Gunslinger, 2nd Variant (5e Class)

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This is a gunslinger class inspired by other homebrew variations, notably the "Gunslinger, Variant" class available on the D&D Wiki. It is intended for more modern settings and is balanced with the optional firearm rules from the DMG in mind(p. 267-268).

Creating a Gunslinger

Quick Build

You can make a Gunslinger quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. Second, choose the Folk Hero or Soldier background.

Class Features

As a Gunslinger you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Gunslinger level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Gunslinger level after 1st


Armor: Light armor, Medium armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Firearms
Tools: Tinker's Tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from the following: Acrobatics, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Persuasion, Slight of Hand, Stealth, Survival.


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • Light Revolver: 500gp 2 lb. Range: 40/80, Reloading (6 shots), 2d4 Piercing, Light
  • Heavy Revolver: 600gp 3 lb. Range: 50/100 Reloading (6 Shots), 2d6 Piercing
  • Rifle: 900gp 10 lb. Range: 150/600, Reloading (5 shots), 2d8 Piercing, Heavy, Two Handed
  • Shotgun: 800gp 10 lb. Range: 30/60, Reloading (5 shots), 3d6 Piercing, Heavy, Two Handed
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: 700gp 6 lb. Range: 15/30, Reloading (2 shots), 3d4 Piercing, Light
    • The reloading property is a variant of the loading property. A firearm has a number of shots it can make before needing to be reloaded. To do so you must spend your action reloading the weapon.
  • (a) Leather armor or (b) Chain shirt
  • (a) Explorers pack or (b) Dungeoneer's pack
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have a firearm, 60 bullets, and 2d4x10 gold in funds.

Table: The Gunslinger

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Gunsmith, Grit, Deeds, Gun-Fighting
2nd +2 Defensive Cover, Special ammunition
3rd +2 Gunslinger Archetype
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Ammunition: Hollow Point/Flechette
5th +3 Extra Shots, Deeds II
6th +3 Archetype Feature
7th +3 Fireback, Improved Grit I
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 Deeds III,Hardened Ammunition
10th +4 Fast Reload
11th +4 Extra Shots, Archetype Feature
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Explosive Ammunition, Deeds IV
14th +5 Cheat Death
15th +5 Improved Grit II, Hardened Ammunition Upgrade
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Archetype Feature,Deeds V
18th +6 Explosive Ammunition Upgrade
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement, Critical Blow
20th +6 Extra Shots, Hardened Ammunition Upgrade,Improved Grit III


At the 1st level, you can create firearms and craft bullets for all types of firearms. You are not limited by the normal 5gp per day rule for crafting firearms and bullets.

Crafting Firearms: You can craft a firearm for a cost in raw materials equal to half the price of the firearm. Crafting a firearm in this way takes 1 day of work for every 100 gp of the firearm’s total price.

Crafting Ammunition: You can craft bullets pellets for a cost in raw materials equal to 25% of the price (20 gp for 20 bullets, cost of 5 gp). Crafting ammunition is done in an environment where smelting metal is possible. If gunpowder is not available in the environment, alchemist fire may be used as a substitute.

The prices of bullets when being purchased from a PC varies depending on the environment. Some individuals may have no use for bullets, while others may desperately need them. Generally crafting bullets is not a lucrative endeavor for a gunslinger as areas with many firearms have an adequate supply of bullets crafted professionally. Conversely, areas with a very small supply of bullets likely does not have many or any individuals using firearms.


At 1st level, a Gunslinger has a number of Grit points equal to their Wisdom Modifier (minimum 1) + proficiency. The number of Grit points the Gunslinger has can never exceed this number. The Gunslinger can regain Grit points in the following ways:

  • Completing a short or long rest: Upon completion or a short or long rest, the Gunslinger regains all spent Grit points.
  • Critical Hit with a Firearm: Each time the Gunslinger scores a Critical Hit with a Firearm attack, they regain 3 Grit points.
  • Killing Blow with a Firearm: When the gunslinger reduces a creature of significant threat (DM's discretion) to 0 or fewer hit points with a firearm attack, they regain 1 grit point.
  • Archetype Grit Regain: See your Archetype Grit Regain for description.


At 1st level the gunslinger gains three Deeds, an additional deed is gained at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level Gunslingers use Grit points to perform Deeds. Some deeds are instant bonuses or attacks, while others are bonuses that can last for a period of time. Some deeds last as long as the Gunslinger has 1 Grit Point.

Quick Draw: As long as the Gunslinger has 1 Grit point, you add your proficiency bonus to your initiative roll.

Gunner's Mark: The Gunslinger can spend 1 Grit point as a bonus action to mark a creature within its line of sight. This ability gives you an additional 1D4 damage against the Marked Creature. This lasts for 1 minute or until the creature has 0 hit points. when the creature reaches 0 hit points you may use your bonus action on your next turn to move the mark to another creature until 1 minute is up. Extra damage is increased to 1d6 at 7th level, and 1d8 at 15th level. This cannot be used on more than 1 enemy at a time.

Evasive Maneuvers: The Gunslinger gains an uncanny knack for avoiding danger and getting into position. The Gunslinger may spend 1 Grit point to take the dodge or dash action as a bonus action.

Targeting Shot: The Gunslinger can spend 1 Grit point to target a specific location when you make a ranged attack against a humanoid. If the attack misses, the Grit point is still lost.

  • Head – On a hit, the target takes normal damage, and must make a Constitution Saving throw (DC = 5 + damage dealt) or suffer disadvantage on attacks for 1 round.
  • Torso – The attack is a Critical hit on a 19-20.
  • Arms – On a hit the target takes no damage, but must make a Dexterity Saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier) or drop 1 item of the Gunslinger’s choice.
  • Legs – On a hit, the target takes normal damage, and must make a Strength Saving Throw.

(DC = 5 + Damage Dealt) or is knocked prone.

  • Wings – On a hit, the target takes normal damage, and must make a Constitution Saving Throw.

(DC = 5 + Damage dealt) or plummet to the ground (taking falling damage).

Utility Shot: If the gunslinger has at least 1 grit point, he can perform all of the following utility shots. Each utility shot can be applied to any single attack with a firearm, but the gunslinger must declare the utility shot he is using before firing the shot.

  • Blast Lock: The gunslinger makes an attack roll against a lock within range. A lock's AC is decided by the DM. You deal double damage when you hit the lock with a firearm shot.
  • Shoot Unattended Object: The gunslinger makes an attack roll against a Tiny or smaller unattended object within the first range increment of her firearm. The AC of the object is determined by the DM.
As a recommendation, a Tiny unattended object has an AC of 5, a Diminutive unattended object has an AC of 7, and a Fine unattended object has an AC of 11.

Fan the Hammer: You can spend 1 Grit point to fire an extra shot from a firearm as a Bonus Action.

Fast Hands: As long as the Gunslinger has 1 Grit point, he may stow a firearm and draw another as a single object interaction.The gunslinger may spend 1 grit point as a bonus action, to ignore the reloading property on their Gun-fighting style Firearm, for one minute, or they may reduce the reload speed from an action to a bonus action for other firearms. At 10th level the Gunslinger may ignore the loading property of all firearms for one minute.

Punch Through: When you make a firearm attack against a creature, you can expend one grit point to attempt to fire through multiple opponents. On a hit, the creature suffers normal damage and you make an attack roll with disadvantage against every creature in a line directly behind the target within your first range increment.

Hammer Shot: When you make a firearm attack against a creature, you can expend one or more grit points to enhance the volatility of the attack. For each grit point expended, if the attack hits, you can roll one additional damage die when determining the damage.

Staggering Shot: When you make a firearm attack against a creature, you can expend an amount of grit points to attempt to trip them up and force them back. On a hit, the creature suffers normal damage and must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC = 5 + Damage Dealt) or be pushed 10ft/point away from you.


At the 1st level, choose one weapon category. You gain one of the following benefits and may reload said weapon as a bonus action:

  • Light Revolver: You may reload 2 pistols at once and additionally, and You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls with light revolvers.
  • Heavy Revolver: You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with heavy revolvers.
  • Rifle: You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls with rifles, and may ignore the long range increment.
  • Shotgun: You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls with Shotguns and do not have disadvantage when attacking enemies that are within 5 feet.
  • Sawed-off Shotgun: You may reload 2 Sawed-off Shotguns at once, and your Shotgun attacks do not have disadvantage when attacking enemies that are within 5 feet.

Defensive Cover

At 2nd level, you can dive 5 feet to cover behind any nearby object of full cover as a reaction when targeted by a ranged attack. The attacker rolls at disadvantage for said attack.

Special Ammunition

At the 2nd level, you gain the ability to craft special ammunition. You gain new special ammunition crafting options at higher gunslinger levels. Some special ammunition requires materials worth more than 20% of the total value.

Incendiary Ammunition: 75 gp for 20 round and consumes half of a flask of alchemists fire (5 gp + half of alchemist fire to craft). These bullets deal fire damage rather than piercing damage. This ammunition can be used to ignite flammable objects, DC or attack roll necessary is determined by DM. "Shooting Unattended Objects" under deeds can be used for reference.

Spell Bullets: This ammunition is created by taking any bullet that has already been crafted, and applying a spell to it. This crafting process is treated the same as crafting a spell scroll. This crafting process does not have to be performed by the gunslinger, they are able to give ammunition to a spell user of any kind and have them apply the spell.

Spell bullets cast the applied spell at the point of impact, and if there is a direction to the spell, such as with burning hands, it is in the direction the bullet was facing on impact. Spells that allow for targeting of multiple enemies at will can only affect creatures damaged by the bullet. A DM may determine that a spell is not compatible with being applied to a bullet.

Ability Score Increase

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of you choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Ammunition: Hollow Point/Flechette

At 4th level you learn to craft hollow point ammunition. For shotguns this is considered Flechette ammunition.

Hollow Points/Flechette: 60 gp for 20 rounds (15 gp cost in materials). These bullets excel in tearing flesh. When rolling for damage with this ammunition, roll 1d4 as well. If the target is resistant to piercing damage or is wearing heavy armor subtract the 1d4 from the total damage. If the target is not wearing heavy armor or resistant to piercing damage, add the 1d4 to the total damage. If the attack is considered magical for overcoming resistance to piercing damage, the 1d4 is still subtracted from the total damage. This damage increases to 2d4 at 10th level, and to 3d4 at 16th, but the subtraction amount does not increase.

Extra Shots

Beginning at 5th level, you can Attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 11th level in this class and to four when you reach 20th level in this class.

Ammunition: Hardened Ammunition

At 8th level you learn to craft hardened ammunition.

Hardened ammunition: 80 gp per 20 bullets (20 gp per batch of 20 bullets). These hardened bullets require stronger metals and more gunpowder. These bullets have +1 damage on damage rolls. At level 15 this becomes +2. At 20th level this becomes +3.


At the 7th level, if an enemy misses you with a ranged attack, you can use your reaction to fire a shot back at it. By spending 1 grit point you can drop a bullet into your gun to perform this reaction if you do not have the bullets loaded, as part of the same reaction.

Fast Reload

At the 10th level, you can ignore the reloading property of your gun-fighting style firearm, and reload all other firearms as a bonus action.

Ammunition: Explosive Ammunition

At 12th level you learn to craft explosive ammunition.

Explosive ammunition: 120 gp per batch of 20 (15 gp + half flask of alchemist fire). This ammunition explodes on impact dealing an extra 2d4 fire damage to all creatures within 5 feet of the site of impact, including creatures hit by the round. This damage increases to 2d6 at 18th level.

Cheat Death

At the 14th level, whenever the Gunslinger is reduced to 0 hit points or lower, the Gunslinger can immediately spend all remaining Grit points to instead be reduced to 1 hit point. This cannot be used if your hit points were 1 before you took the damage.

Critical Blow

At the 19th level, when the gunslinger scores a critical hit against a creature, you may spend up to 3 Grit points to deal 1 additional damage die per Grit point spent. If at least 1 Grit point is spent, at the start of the targets next turn, roll the attacks damage again with no ability modifier for damage taken from internal injuries. The creature must make a Constitution saving throw, taking full damage on a failure and half as much on a successful save.

Peacekeeper Archetype

When you choose this archetype at the 3rd level, you may have your shots that would be lethal render the target unconscious instead.

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency with Investigation and Manacles.

Weight: 1 lb. Cost: 1 gp. DC to break free: 20. DC to pick lock: 15.

Archetype Grit Regain

When you capture a target you may gain a grit point.


Peacekeepers are able to pronounce judgment upon their foes. At the 3rd level, as an action choose a judgment to make and the Peacekeeper receives a bonus or special ability based on the type of judgment. At first, a Peacekeeper can use this ability once per Long Rest. With each archetype leveled increase, the Peacekeeper gains an additional use/long rest. Once activated, this ability lasts until the combat ends, at which point all of the bonuses immediately end. If the Peacekeeper become paralyzed, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, the ability does not end, but the bonuses do not resume until they can participate in the combat again. When the Peacekeeper uses this ability, select one type of judgment to make. As an action, they can change this judgment to another type.

Destruction: The Peacekeeper is filled with great wrath, gaining a +1 bonus on all weapon damage rolls.

Healing: The Peacekeeper is surrounded by a healing light, causing the Peacekeeper to heal 1 point of damage each round as long as the Peacekeeper is alive and the judgment lasts.

Justice: This judgment spurs the Peacekeeper to seek justice, granting a +1 bonus on all attack rolls.

Protection: The Peacekeeper is surrounded by a protective aura, granting a +1 bonus to Armor Class.

Purity: The Peacekeeper is protected from the vile taint of their foes, gaining a +1 bonus on all saving throws.

Resistance: The Peacekeeper is shielded by a flickering aura, gaining 2 turns worth of resistance against one damage type chosen when the judgment is declared.

Smiting: This judgment bathes the Peacekeeper’s weapons in a magical light. The Peacekeeper’s weapons count as magic for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction.

Shared Judgement

At the 6th level, the benefits from a Judgement may now also affect a numbers of allies up to your Wisdom modifier within 30 feet.


At the 11th level, a Peacekeeper may now have 2 Judgements active at the same time.

Final Decree

At 17th level, Judgements are now restored after a Short Rest instead of a Long Rest.

Desperado Archetype

You may take this archetype at 3rd level if your starting weapon is a Heavy Revolver, Or Sawed-off Shotgun. When you choose this archetype at the 3rd level, you gain the Threatening Shot Deed.

Threatening Shot: As long as you have one unspent grit point you can shoot into the air in an attempt to Intimidate others as an action. Enemies within 40ft, who can hear must make a Charisma save DC= 8 + your proficiency + your Wisdom modifier. On a failed save, they are frightened of you for a minute.

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency in Intimidation.

Archetype Grit Regain

When you successfully intimidate or steal, (DM's discretion) you may regain a grit point.

Cheap Shot

At the 3rd level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage or if they are 5ft away from an ally. The attack must use a firearm.

At the 6th level, the bonus damage of Cheap Shot becomes 2d6.
At the 11th level, the bonus damage of Cheap Shot becomes 3d6.
At the 17th level, the bonus damage of Cheap Shot becomes 4d6.

Criminal Tongue

Thieves' Cant. At the 6th level with your desperado lifestyle you have picked up thieves' cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation. Only another creature that knows thieves' cant understands such messages. It takes four times longer to convey such a message than it does to speak the same idea plainly.

In addition, you understand a set of secret signs and symbols used to convey short, simple messages, such as whether an area is dangerous or the territory of a thieves' guild, whether loot is nearby, or whether the people in an area are easy marks or will provide a safe house for thieves on the run.

Criminal Eye

At the 11th level, you have learned to appraise the value of objects with a single glance. As a bonus action you can take note of an object and the DM will tell you how much you will be able to sell it for. You can use a bonus action to figure out which object you can see is the most valuable.

Forever on the Run

At the 17th level, you have learned exactly how to give the law the slip in a chase, whether ducking into an alleyway or weaving through a crowd. You can't be tracked by non-magical means, unless you choose to leave a trail, and gain a permanent +5 to stealth checks. Additionally your criminal lifestyle has led you to improved haggling skills. When fencing stolen goods you may make a deception roll with advantage vs a DC set by the DM. On a success, you receive a 50% increase in sale price of a single sale: e.g. a pair of earrings, or a collectors set. If both rolls would have beat the DC, you may continue with multiple objects, repeating the roll for each sale. You can also buy things naturally 10% cheaper without haggling.

Marksman Archetype

You may take this archetype at 3rd level if your starting weapon is a rifle. When you choose this archetype at the 3rd level, you gain the Dead Eye Deed.

Deadeye Shot When you make a firearm attack against a creature, you can expend one grit point to gain advantage on the attack roll.

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency in Perception or Stealth.

Archetype Grit Regain

When you successfully attack an enemy that is behind cover, regain 1 Grit point.

Ghillie Suit

At the 3rd level, the Gunslinger gains advantages when laying prone. While stealth is lost after using a firearm, enemies must still make a Wisdom(Perception) check to determine the Gunslingers exact location if they are further than 80 feet away. Additionally, you may crawl without revealing your position, and standing up uses only 5ft. of your movement.

Steady Aim

At the 6th level, you can use a bonus action to gain a bonus to your next attack roll with a rifle equal to half your Gunslinger level, but only if the target has moved no more than 15ft. since its last turn. This restriction is removed at 12th level in this class.

Trained Eyes

At the 11th level, you gain advantage on Wisdom(Perception) checks relying on sight.

Perfect Shot

At the 17th level, your firearm attack rolls now score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20. If you already would score a critical hit on 19 or 20, you now score a critical hit on 18-20. Your Targetting Shots aimed at the torso now score a critical hit on rolls of 17-20.

Insurgent Archetype

You may take this archetype at 3rd level if your starting weapon is a Shotgun or Light Revolver

Bonus Proficiency

When you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency in Athletics or Acrobatics.

Archetype Grit Regain

If you become within melee range of two enemies at the same time, regain 1 Grit point. Once the Grit point is gained this cannot be done with the same two enemies.

Weapons Specialist

At the 3rd level, you gain bonuses in using your starting weapon type:

Pistol: You gain the Two Weapon Fighting fighting style(The same as a fighter's) if you are wielding 1 or more pistols. Additionally you are proficient with short swords.

Shotgun: You gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls when using shotguns. Additionally, you have advantage on checks that would result in being disarmed of your firearm.

Run and Gun

At the 6th level, when you make a firearm attack, you may move without provoking opportunity attacks.


At the 11th level, once you have rolled initiative for an encounter, and 1 minute after combat has ended, your mind is focused on battle. During this time you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, frightened, or stunned.

Weapons Specialist II

At the 17th level, you gain the Cripple and Execute actions.

Cripple: You may attempt to cripple the enemy if you have advantage on an attack roll or if they are engaged in combat with an enemy that is within 5 ft of them. To cripple an enemy make an attack roll as normal. If the attack hits, they must make a strength saving throw (DC = 5 + damage dealt). If the target fails its speed is reduced to 5 ft for 1 minute, or until the wound is healed. If the target succeeds, its movement is only reduced to 5 ft until the end of its next turn. Cripples can be made with 1 or 2 pistols. With 2 pistols only 1 attack role is made and the damage of both pistols are added together.

Execute: If you have advantage on an attack role with a light revolver or sawed-off shotgun, and are within 15 feet of the enemy you may take the execution action for 2 Grit points. To execute an enemy roll your attack roll, If successful, the creature must then make a constitution saving throw (DC = 5+ damage dealt). On a failure, if the creature has less than 100 hp it drops to 0 hp. If the creature has more than 100 hp and fails its saving throw, the creature is stunned until the end of its next turn and receives 10d10 of the weapons damage type. Executions do not restore Grit points for a critical hit.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Gunslinger class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Gunslinger class, you gain the following proficiencies: Light armor, Firearms, and Tinker's tools.

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