Desperado (3.5e Class)

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In a time of war, when your primary weapon is destroyed or missing, there is always the sidearm to keep you safe. The Desperado is a testament to the wonders and the deadly ferocity of the standard pistol.

Making a Desperado[edit]

A Desperado is good for almost any combat situation. Remaining calm and careful in the midst of chaos.

Abilities: Dexterity is most important of all attributes, as it is dexterity that allows a Desperado to survive in combat. Charisma affects their ability to judge and handle social situations and determine how people will react. Intelligence is useful mainly for crafting and casting spells.

Races: Any.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 10 gp.

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Desperado

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Cast Rounds, Craft Pistol, Craft Explosive, Craft Rifle, Gunbound, Steady Aim(1D6), Point Blank Shot, Bonus Feat 1 - -
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Dodge 2 - -
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Modified Rounds, Fast movement, Aimed Shot, Steady Aim(2d6) 3 -
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Dexterous Dodge, Pistol Whip 5 1 - -
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Shot in the Dark, Steady Aim(3d6), Evasion 5 2 - -
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Uncanny Dodge 5 3 - -
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Steady Aim(4d6), Active Reload 6 4 - -
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Enchant, Trackless Step 6 4 - -
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Steady Aim(5d6), Track 6 5 - -
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Hollow Point 6 5 1 -
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Steady Aim(6d6) 6 6 1 -
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 improved Uncanny Dodge 6 6 2 -
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Steady Aim(7d6) 6 6 2 -
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 6 6 3 -
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Dead Shot, Steady Aim(8d6) 6 6 3 -
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 6 6 4 -
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Hide in Plain Sight, Steady Aim(9d6) 6 6 4 -
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 6 6 4 -
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Steady Aim(10d6) 6 6 5 -
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Unearthly Dodge 7 6 6 1

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Desperado.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Desperado is only proficient with guns. They are proficient with light armor and bucklers shield.

Crafting Guns: The very first thing a Desperado must learn to do is create weapons. The Desperado may take Guncraft as a Profession, and Craft Rounds/Pistol/Rifle. The Desperado can add their Guncraft Bonus to all of these Crafting checks. The Desperado has to chose one specialization (pistol or rifle) each additional specialization will cost a feat. Guns are difficult to create requiring a Craft Rounds/Pistol/Rifle according to the chart below, over time the Desperado will become skilled enough to craft more powerful weapons.

Table: Crafting Pistols
Level Craft DC Bonus Damage Attack Bonus Additional Hardness Additional Health Cost
1st 16 850gp
6th 23 2d6 +1 +2 +5 1450gp
12th 29 3d6 +3 +4 +10 3850gp
18th 38 4d6 +6 +8 +20 5450gp

Base Pistol:

Size Small
Critical 19-20/x3
Range Increment 60ft
Type Piercing
Damage 1d8
Magazine 6 rounds
1 Round 1 bullet
Weight 6lbs

Table: Crafting Explosives
Level Craft DC Bonus Damage Bonus Range Additional Hardness Additional Health Cost
1st 16 850gp
6th 23 3d4 +5 +2 +5 1450gp
12th 29 6d4 +10 +4 +10 3850gp
18th 38 9d4 +15 +8 +20 5450gp

Base Explosive:

Size Small
Critical 20/x4
Range Increment 30ft
Explosive Radius 15ft
Type Piercing
Damage 3d4
Magazine 1 Round
1 Round 1 Explosive
Weight 3lbs

Table: Crafting Rifles
Level Craft DC Bonus Damage Attack Bonus Additional Hardness Additional Health Cost
1st 20 +2 +2 650gp
6th 27 +2 +4 +5 +5 1600gp
12th 35 +4 +6 +8 +10 2800gp
18th 43 +6 +8 +12 +20 3400gp

Base Rifle

Size Medium
Critical 19-20/x3
Range Increment 90ft
Type Piercing
Damage 3d6
Magazine 2 Rounds
Round 1 Bullets
Weight 15 lbs
Scope +2 Attack Bonus

Casting Rounds: Creating rounds is the second thing a Desperado must learn to do as it is hard to use guns without ammunition. The Desperado gains the ability to craft special rounds which, through advanced alchemical processes, store energy and explosive components that can cause great harm. There are 18 types of rounds, each varies in power and build components. Each round costs 2/3rds of an ounce of the associated material (Roughly the weight of 8 coins, or about 12 measures in a pound of material). Additionally, each round has a base cost of 3 silver worth of materials required by the casting process (this includes the led or other heavy metal). As the material each round is produced from improves, it improves the weapon bonus it receives in order to increase attack rolls as well as to bypass damage resistance. If a critical is made the extra damage is also multiplied.

Creating rounds is a very intensive process, requiring meticulous and detailed alchemical work. To create rounds requires a Craft Rounds/Pistol/Rifle skill check (24) and a molding kit (250gp). Every hour (6 bullets) spent consecutively working past the first requires a concentration check (DC: 20) or the crafter must pause in crafting for 24 hours to relax, the DC increases by 5 for each additional hour spent crafting. Additionally, each hour past the first causes a -1 penalty to all ranged attacks. These points are recovered at a rate of 1 per every 2 hours provided the Desperado is no longer crafting rounds.

Further, firing a round is a harsh process on the pistol or rifle. Each round (6 bullets) fired deals damage to the Desperado's Pistol equal to it's type number. So, a Type 5 round would deal 5 damage to the pistol, and a type 18 round would deal 18 damage to the pistol. The Desperado can counteract this damage by modifying and enchanting his pistol. With up-to-date reinforcement, a Desperado can keep his guns in good condition, never taking damage when discharging rounds he made himself. This damage stacks with other damage dealt to the weapon that round, making firing two or more consecutive rounds a dangerous prospect.

Table: Casting Rounds
Level Round Type Craft DC Bonus Damage Extra Materials Attack Bonus
1st Type 0 16 0 None +0
3rd Type 1 17 1d4 Copper +0
Type 2 19 2d4 Copper +0
Type 3 22 3d4 Copper +0
6th Type 4 25 2d6 Silver +1
Type 5 26 3d6 Silver +1
Type 6 27 4d6 Silver +1
9th Type 7 28 2d8 Gold +2
Type 8 29 3d8 Gold +2
Type 9 32 4d8 Gold +2
12th Type 10 33 2d10 Platinum +3
Type 11 35 3d10 Platinum +3
Type 12 36 4d10 Platinum +3
15th Type 13 37 5d10 Mithral +4
Type 14 38 4d12 Mithral +4
Type 15 39 5d12 Mithral +4

Gunbound: Desperado's create a sort of bond with their weapons, much as a druid would have a bond with her animal companion, a Desperado can interact with his weapons on a deeper level then other characters. To achieve this bound the Desperado must have made the weapon he is bounding to and spend 24hours with his weapon. At the end of this period the Desperado must make a check 1d20+Desperado level (DC20) to successfully bound with the gun. This process will cost the Desperado 250xp. The Desperado may bound with more then one weapon but the DC to do so increase by 5 with each successive gun and the experience cost increase by 50xp with each successive gun. When a Desperado has these bound weapons on him, he can achieve feats that he could not without, consult chart below.

Table: Desperado's Bounded Pistol Abilities
Level Hardness Hit Points Special
1-2 +1 +2 Call Pistol
3-4 +2 +3 Weaponized Allure
5-6 +3 +5 Sighting Link
7-8 +4 +7 Weaponized Allure 2
9-10 +5 +9 Alertness
11-12 +6 +11 Bound Accuracy +2
13-14 +7 +13 Scry Pistol
15-16 +8 +14 Bound Accuracy
17-18 +9 +16 Bound Accuracy +3
19-20 +10 +20

Alertness: Whenever a Desperado is in physical contact with his bound pistol, touching it with his hand, he gains heightened senses and is treated as if having the Alertness feat.

Weaponized Allure: Whenever a Desperado attacks with his bound pistol he may add his Intelligence modifier to his Attack and Damage. Starting at Level 7 the Desperado adds double their Intelligence instead. The Desperado may draw two bound pistol's as a single move action. If he has the Quick Draw feat he may do so as a free action.

Bound Accuracy: A Desperado slowly learns every detail and characteristic of their weapon. At fifth level a Desperado gains a +1 to his attack roll. This increases at level 11 to +2, and then to +3 at level 17.

Sighting Link: A Desperado's bond with his weapons is a unique and spiritual one, crossing over to the supernatural. By concentrating (DC 20), a Desperado can instead see out of the sights of his weapon, as if looking right out of the barrel of the pistol. This ability allows the Desperado to preform some extremely impressive trick shots, such as shooting behind him or around corners with no loss of accuracy. Using this ability is a move action and negates all but 100% miss chance. It also allows the Desperado to fire around his own 100% cover as long as he is adjacent to a square with 0% cover.

Call Pistol: At 1st level, a Desperado can will his weapons to his hand. The pistol must not be gripped by anyone, so that it may fly free to it's master. Secondly, the Desperado must be able to see the bonded weapon or know its exact location to call it to him. This is equivalent to a free action to preform.

Scry Pistol: At level 13, a Desperado can scry (as the spell) on his weapons once per day per Int modifier. This is a spell-like ability requiring no material components or focus that allows the Desperado to see and hear his bonded weapons and their surroundings if they are ever separated. It has a casting time of 1 full round.

Modified Rounds: At third level a Desperado begins to create modified rounds which hold special elemental projectiles. There are six different types of elemental rounds; Cold, Fire, Electrical, Sonic, Acid, and Poisoned. Additionally, the Desperado can create holy and unholy water capsule rounds which contain aligned water, powdered silver, and garlic (or other materials that could be suspended in small capsules) used against evil or good enemies. Every hour, a Desperado can craft 6 rounds of any one element and requires materials detailed in the following chart. Additionally, each hour requires a craft (rounds) DC check to successfully create. Failure results in the loss of all crafting materials. These modifications can be made to any type of bullets the Desperado can and has made.

Table: Modified Rounds
Level Type Craft DC Bonus Damage Required Materials
1st Fire/cold 12 +1d6 fire/cold 1 flask of Alchemists Fire/1 Coldstone
2nd Holy/Unholy 15 +1d4 holy/unholy 1 flask of holy/unholy water
3rd Sonic 18 +1d6 sonic 1 thunderstone
5th Electric 21 +1d6 electric 1oz. acid
8th Acid 24 +1d6 acid 1 flask of chosen acid
11th Poison 27 +poison Chosen Poison (requires check for working with poison)

Steady Aim:Steady Aim: If a Desperado is granted the right conditions such as a clean shot of his target and a fraction more time, he is able to aim for vulnerable or exposed areas which will grant extra effectiveness to his attack.

Starting at 1st level, a Desperado may take a full-round action to gain extra damage as well as range upon his chosen ranged weapon. This damage starts firstly at an extra 1d6 per attack and then increases every two levels of Desperado thereafter. Should the Desperado score a critical hit with his steadied aim, the extra damage included is not multiplied. Steady Aim is useable with two ranged weapons so long as the Desperado is proficient with both weapons and takes into account the regular two-weapon fighting penalties.

Whilst taking Steady Aim the range increment of the weapon doubles, stacking with any effects such as the Far Shot feat or Distance magical weapon enhancement. A target must first be selected for the Desperado to use Steady Aim and be within sight of the Desperado. If the target is moving, this does not effect the accuracy of Desperado while using Steady Aim. However if the Desperado is on a surface which is either unstable or is himself moving, then he is unable to use the Steady Aim enhancement.

A Desperado may steady his aim even when mounted although must be stationary unless he has acquired the Ride-By Attack feat, which allow the Desperado to use Steady Aim even when his mount is moving. However this does not allow the Desperado to use Steady Aim when on foot.

Steady Aim does provoke an attack of opportunity. If an enemy is successful in scoring a direct hit on the Desperado while he attempting Steady Aim, then the Desperado must succeed a Concentration Check of DC 10 + Damage Dealt or else lose extra damage granted by Steady Aim.

Point Blank Shot At first level the Desperado is given the Point Blank Shot feat giving the Desperado a +1 Bonus to Attack and Damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges up to 30 feet.

Bonus Feat At 1st level a Desperado is awarded a Bonus Feat.

Dodge: At second level the Desperado gains the dodge feat.

Fast Movement: At third level the Desperado gains Fast Movement as a monk would, increasing their movement speed by five feet every three levels.

Dexterous Dodge: Same as Dodge but +2 AC against the target rather than one.

Shot in the Dark: Desperados gain a version of Sneak Attack at fifth level; unlike rogues, Desperados may only use Sneak Attack whenever they are unnoticed by an enemy. This means if the creature fails to Spot the Desperado, then the Desperado may sneak attack it. At fifth level Shot in the Dark damage is 1d6. This increases ever other level by 1d6.

Uncanny Dodge: A Desperado no longer looses his Dex modifier to AC when he is caught flat-footed. He does, however, still loose this bonus when immobilized.

Active Reload At 7th level the Desperado can reload as a free action much like the Quick Draw feat in the sense that it does not require time to reload. This rule applies to both combat and non-combat situations.

Enchanting: Desperados can enchant their weapons upon reaching eighth level. This means that they may apply any spell they are of sufficient level to cast (this spell does not have to be from the Desperado Spell list, of equivalent Sorcerer level, regardless of school or domain, upon their weapon, then apply a permanency spell. This acts as though adding a + 1 enchantment upon the weapon. This costs 250 experience points and can only be done once unless a Mage's Disjunction spell is used to remove the enchantment. Enchantments can include all manner of spells. Desperados may have no more than one enchantment on each weapon. If a spell not listed under enchantments is used (fireball for example), you may cast that spell by removing the correct level spell slot from that days spells per day.

Trackless Step At 8th level a Desperado does not leave footprints making it almost impossible to track.

Track At 9th level a Desperado is as good at hunting his target as well as killing it. Track is given as a bonus feat at this level.

Hollow Point At 10th level a Desperado knows just as much about his bullets as his guns. Once per day a Desperado can take 5 hours to create up to 20 Hollow Point rounds. Hollow point rounds increase the damage of the weapon by one dice (d6-->2d6 or d8-->2d8). If the Desperado is firing at an enemy wearing heavy armor, the Desperado recieves a -1 on attack rolls as hollow points arent as effective.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: at 12th level the Desperado can no longer be flanked.

Dead Shot: Once per day a Desperado can make an attack with his rifle that is a guaranteed critical and has the chance of killing or incapacitating a target. After three rounds studying the target to line up a good shot, you may decide whether to kill or incapacitate the target before the shot is fired, and the target is entitled to a fortitude saving throw (15+1/2 Desperado level+Charisma. If the target fails his fortitude save the target either dies or is incapacitated.

Hide in Plain Sight: You may hide whenever and wherever you want without minuses. Hiding in normal hiding spots now grants you a +6 to hide in those places. You may not hide from someone who is staring directly at you, searching for you, or engaged in combat with you at the time of the hide attempt.

Unearthly Dodge: At 20th level, the Desperado is dexterous enough to dodge absolutely anything they can see coming. This means all attacks both melee and ranged and all spells that have a save also have a chance to be dodged with a reflex save (DC equal to Attack rolled). If the dodge fails versus a spell the Desperado is still entitled to a saving throw if one is normally allowed. This applies to all spells that require a ranged touch attack, all traps, all normal attacks, and anything else that the Desperado can see coming. To use this ability versus a spell the Desperado must first see the spell being cast a second succeed on a spellcraft check to determine the nature of the spell. This ability can be used a number of times each round equal to the Desperado's dexterity modifier.


Spells: Gunslingers are adept at using illusion and trickery to achieve their ends. Gunslingers know and can use any spell off the following list. Every 4 levels they may also pick one spell from any school that they are high enough level to cast and add that to their spell list as well. A Gunslinger's spell selection works like that of a warlock; he need not scribe any of the spells, and can cast one at a moments notice without preparation. Gunslingers choose their spells from the following list:

0— Div

  • Detect Poison: Detects poison in one creature or small object.
  • Detect Magic: Detects spells and magic or enchanted items within 60 ft.
  • Read Magic: Read scrolls and spellbooks.




  • Mage Hand: 5-pound telekinesis.
  • Mending: Makes minor repairs on an object.
  • Message: Whispered conversation at distance.
  • Open/Close: Opens or closes small or light things.


1st— Conj



2nd— Abjur



  • Darkness: 20-ft. radius of supernatural shadow.
  • Blur: Attacks miss subject 20% of the time.



3rd— Evoc

  • Blacklight: 20-ft. radius of darkness.




Desperado Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: .

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor

Feat: .

Bonus Feats: .

Gear: .

Gold: .

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Desperado[edit]

Religion: .

Other Classes: .

Combat: .

Advancement: .

Desperados in the World[edit]


Daily Life: .

Notables: .

Organizations: .

NPC Reactions: .

Desperado Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
5 .
10 .
15 .
20 .

Desperados in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: .

Sample Encounter: .

EL : .

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