Firearm Focus (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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A compendium of ideas for firearm-focused characters. Just some ideas.


Players Handbook, DMG, and Homebrew Content from this site.


  • The most important stat for a firearm user is Dexterity. That's obvious. The second most important stat is Strength. Why Strength? Because firearms and bullets are heavy. And you'll likely need more than one. For lower level characters, you'll need to carry multiple firearms around. Reloading is often 3 rounds, unless you have a lot of feats sunk into faster reloading. You can offset that with multi-barrel weapons ($$$), or simply carry more pistols.
  • Magical protection from fire, if possible. Considering the fact you're carrying a fair amount of black powder or cartridges on your person, you're a tempting target for a fire arrow or some other fire spell. Which basically, blows you up. It's 150 gp for a resist energy scroll, or 375 gp for a protection from energy spell, or you can ask your party wizard nicely to make you one. A cloak enchanted with Protection from Energy would also be extremely useful.
  • Sanctuary, Shield, or other Abjurations are good stuff to get out of harm's way while you reload.
  • Since you won't fit in with the "normal" party setup, you'll need to make yourself useful. Boosting that Strength score helps in that department, you can carry stuff for everyone else. It also won't hurt in case you get engaged in melee.


  • If you need a race, Half-Giants are great. They've got +2 on saving throws to resist fire effects and spells, +2 to Strength, and low-light vision. -2 to Dexterity and +1 LA hurts a bit, though.
  • Dwarves are also a good choice, due to their +2 to Strength and bonuses to Craft (metalworking) checks. It's also kind of a techy-discipline - something Dwarves could appreciate, I'm sure.
  • Wood Elves are a good choice due to the +2 Strength and +2 Dexterity.
  • Orcs and Half-orcs are also great choices due to their +4 and +2 bonuses to strength.

Firearm Feats[edit]

Point Blank Shot and SRD:Far Shot (Feat) are always good choices for firearm users. Anything that improves your range increment is good, since range increments for firearms are usually pretty bad.

Rapid Shot is definately out-of-flavour for firearms, but if your DM allows it, this is a great feat to overcome one of the limitations of firearms - long reload times. 2 attacks in one round seems a little better when it takes 3 to reload.

Here are a number of homebrew related to firearms.


There aren't a lot of hard-and-fast rules for firearms. You'll have to talk to your DM about a lot of things.

  • The Dungeon Master's Guide 3.5 has a section on "Renaissance Weapons" (page 146). As per the DMG, muskets and pistols take one Standard action to reload. In the only campaign I've played with firearms, the DM houseruled it to 3 rounds. Seems more reasonable, but definately puts the musketeer at a disadvantage.

Other Links[edit]

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