Heavy Gunner (3.5e Class)
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Many classes can be gunners... fighters, rangers, etc, all do well, but none are as dedicated as the heavy gunner. Being a soldier at heart his tenacity and accuracy are what brings his or her enemies to their knees.
Making a Heavy Gunner
Heavy Gunners fight at a distance, out of range and out sight most of the time... until the bullets start flying. A Heavy Gunner can focus on the single powerful shot, or perform a powerful stream of bullets to put many holes in it enemies. Using the heavy gun the class carries around it can use a suppresive fire to give allies a better cover tactic, or just unload into bigger targets to wear it down for others to come in and finish it off.
Abilities: Dexterity is the most important ability of the heavy gunner, who needs to hit and hit often, many times at penalties due to rapid shot or distance. Strength is important for any tank gunner build, allowing additional damage, a problem small arm gunners often face. Constitution is less important than most characters as you will have distance, but still good for the day you are caught in the claws of your enemy. Intelligence can be important as well as any good soldier should be smarter than its foe.
Races: Races with dexterity bonuses benefit best, though even a strength focused heavy gunner can succeed. Elves, Goliaths, Humans, and Half-Elves are the ones most likely to become heavy gunners.
Starting Gold: 5d6 ×10 gp (125 gp).
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+0||Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feat, Gunner Style, Belt Fed Ammo Box, fully loaded|
|2nd||+2||+0||+3||+0||Combat Reflexes, Evasion|
|3rd||+3||+1||+3||+1||Eagle Eyes +1 Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feat|
|5th||+5||+1||+4||+1||Improved Gunner Style, Target of Opportunity|
|6th||+6/+1||+2||+5||+2||Eagle Eyes +2 / Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feat|
|7th||+7/+2||+2||+5||+2||Camo, Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feat|
|9th||+9/+4||+3||+6||+3||Eagle Eyes +3|
|10th||+10/+5||+3||+7||+3||Greater Gunner Style, Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feat|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+3||+7||+3||Elemental Shot 1/day, Safe Shooting|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+4||+8||+4||Eagle Eyes +4|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+4||+8||+4||Elemental Shot 2/day, Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feat|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+5||+9||+5||Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feat, Heavy Gunner Style Supremacy, Elemental Shot 3/day, Eagle Eyes +5|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+5||+10||+5||Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feat|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+5||Elemental Shot 4/day|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+6||+11||+6||Golden Bullet 1/day, Eagle eyes +6|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+6||Elemental Shot 5/day, Fighter Bonus Feat|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+6||Final Gunner Style|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Heavy Gunner.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Heavy Gunners are proficient with all simple weapons, and all martial and a single exotic ranged weapon of their choice. Heavy Gunners are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Fighter/Ranger Bonus Feats: At 1st level and every 3 levels thereafter, a heavy gunner can choose a bonus feat. This feat may be selected from the list of fighter bonus feats. In addition, heavy gunners levels count as fighter levels for the purpose of feat pre-requisites, and stack with actual fighter levels. Or he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a Fighter/Ranger feat: Far Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Rapid Shot. At 6th level, he adds Improved Precise Shot, Snapshot, and Improved Snapshot to the list. At 10th level, he adds Pinpoint Targeting and Shot on the Run to the list. The typical heavy gunner invests in fighter bonus feats related to his style of heavy gunning.
Gunner Style (Ex): At 1st level an heavy gunner has two styles of gunning, the Spray n Pray Heavy Gunner who fights through sheer number of bullets rather than pure damage, or the Sniper Heavy Gunner who fights through the single, strong, devastating burst fire shots or single shot, usually under safety of cover. Once this choice is made, it effects the progression of all further gunner style benefits.
At 1st level the Spray n Pray Heavy gunner gains the Rapid Shot feat, even if he does not qualify for it. The Sniper Heavy Gunner instead gains Darkstalker feat from Lords of Madness (Pg. 179), enabling him to hide from creature's alternate senses.
Darkstalker You have learned how to stalk and surprise creatures whose senses are very different from those of a humanoid. Benefit: When you hide, creatures with blindsense, blindsight, scent, or tremorsense must make a Listen check or a Spot check (whichever DC is higher) to notice you, just as sighted creatures would make Spot checks to detect you. You cannot hide in plain sight unless you have that ability as a class feature. In addition, you can flank creatures that have the all-around vision special quality. Normal: Creatures with these senses do not need to make Spot or Listen checks to notice other creatures within
Belt Fed Ammo Box (Ex): At 1st level an heavy gunner Is given his belt fed ammo box and depending on the type of weapon and size get a bonus for doing so. The ammo from this device is made via mechanical parts the box itself cannot be destroyed or removed from the belt attachment device, if an opponent disarms the weapon that this belt fed ammo box is attached to, it can go no further than 5 feet from you. You do not have to buy or make your own ammo the box itself is very advanced and does it for you allowing you to reload as a free action without a free hand. You have a at least 2 of each weapon in your bag. And 5 grenades and 2 c4 explosive with a detonator. Allow of this is kept in a special bag that holds his items
Pistol / SMG / Small Arms Weapons (including hand crossbows etc) - +1 to attack
Assault Rifle / Single Shot Rifles / Medium Arms Weapons - +1 to damage
Sniper Rifle / Heavy Machine Gun / Rocket Launchers / Heavy Arms Weapons - +5 ft to range
Combat Treflexes (Ex): At 2nd level an heavy gunner gains combat Reflexes as a bonus feat.
Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, an heavy gunner can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the heavy gunner is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless heavy gunner does not gain the benefit of evasion. Eagle Eyes (Ex): At 3rd level the heavy gunner's senses enable superior shooting. He gains a +1 competence bonus to ranged attack rolls. Every 3 levels afterward, he gains an additional +1 to attack.
Gravity Gun (Ex): At 4th level the heavy gunner's trained prowess enables him to imbue the bullets with more weight to increase shooting capability. Gravity gun significantly increases the weight and density of arrows or bullets fired from your bow or crossbow or gun the instant before they strike their target and then return them to normal a few moments later. Any arrow or bullet fired from a bow or crossbow or gun you are carrying deals damage as if one size larger than it actually is. For instance, an arrow fired from a Medium longbow normally deals 1d8 points of damage, but it would instead deal 2d8 points of damage if fired from a gravity gun. Only you can benefit from this ability. If anyone else uses your bow or gun to make an attack the arrows or bullets deal damage as normal for their size. This includes when being mind controlled etc, the person or monster who has control of you can only fire the gun /bow normally.
Improved Gunner Style (Ex): At 5th level a heavy gunner's style advances. A Spray n Pray Heavy Gunner gains Manyshot as a bonus feat. A Sniper Heavy Gunner instead gains the Power Shot ability detailed below. Power Shot: On your action, before making attack rolls for a round, you may choose to subtract a number from all ranged attack rolls and add the same number to all ranged damage rolls. This number may not exceed your base attack bonus. The penalty on attacks and bonus on damage apply until your next turn. This ability can be used in place of power attack to qualify for a feat, class, or other special ability.
Target of Opportunity (Ex): When an ally hits with a ranged attack, you may make a ranged attack as if you had Improved Precise Shot (Combat) Your ranged attacks ignore the AC bonus granted to targets by anything less than total cover, this does not allow you to exceed your normal limit of attacks of opprotunity.
Camo (Ex): At 7th level a heavy gunner gets a +2 on hide and move silently checks
Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level an heavy gunner becomes even more difficult to hit with magic and other attacks. This ability works like evasion, except that while the heavy gunner still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth he henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless heavy gunner does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Greater Gunner Style (Ex): At 10th level a heavy gunner's style advances once more. A Spray n Pray Heavy Gunner gains Improved Rapid Shot (Complete Warrior, Pg. 101). A Sniper Heavy Gunner instead gets the ability to retain cover easier when sniping. He only takes a -10 penalty to hide checks after an attack instead of -20.
Elemental Shot (Su): The heavy gunner begins to grasp energy beyond that of normal people, using their inner ki, force of will, or hidden magical talents to bring elemental fury to their bullets. At 11th level the heavy gunner may, as a free action that is part of an attack, imbue a certain number of bullets equal to 1/2 their intelligence score with either fire, cold, electric, or acid damage. All the damage the bullet normally does instead becomes the appropriate elemental damage, plus an additional +5d6 in elemental damage. He may do this 1/day and an additional time per day every 2 levels afterwards. The player must declare that he is using this ability prior to rolling the attack. A failed attack still uses up the Elemental Shot.
Safe Shooting (Ex): At 11th level and beyond, an heavy gunner may fire even in the midsts of melee. The heavy gunner no longer provokes attacks of opportunity for firing in melee.
Greater Camo (Ex): At 14th level the heavy gunner's is allowed to be in full concealment for one round bending the light around him/her as their free action, this means that the heavy gunner may not be seen by any enemy within 20 yards even if they were in combat with the heavy gunner, allowing them to slip into the shadows and make a movement without an attack of opportunity. Moving and coming out of this camo increases your hit by +5 for one round.
Gunner Style Supremacy (Ex): At 15th level a heavy gunners's style reaches the best of his kind. A Spray n Pray Gunner gains the ability to rain bullets from the sky, the bullets split into many mid-flight. As a standard action he may target a 20 ft. radius area and deal his normal damage, with a Reflex save DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Dex (or other applicable to-hit modifier) for half. A Sniper Heavy Gunner likewise gains a similar power, but instead attacks in a 120 ft. line, striking all opponents within the line with a Reflex save DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Dex (or other applicable to-hit modifier) for half.
Golden Bullet (Su): At 18th level, the heavy gunner's ability to strike at his opponents is uncanny. As long as the heavy gunner targets the correct square, he will hit. 1/day, he may choose one of his attacks as his Golden bullet, which strikes without fail. He must choose his golden bullet before he makes the attack roll.
Final Gunner Style (Ex): At 20th level an heavy gunner's style exceeds all others. Regardless of which style he has chosen, he may select one of the following two abilities. He may increase his critical hit range by +1 (thus a sniper would be 19-20/x3, and a assault rifle 18-20/x2). This increase stacks with Improved Critical and Keen effects. Alternatively he may increase the critical multiplier by one (giving a sniper x4 critical, or a assault rifle, x3). This increase represents his keen ability to place his shots just right to make it more likely to hit a vital organ, or strike with that much extra force.
Epic Heavy Gunner
|21st||Eagle Eyes +7, Bonus Feat|
|22nd||Elemental Shot 6/day|
|24th||Eagle Eyes +8|
|26th||Golden Bullet 2/day, Elemental Shot 7/day|
|27th||Eagle Eyes +9, Bonus Feat|
|30th||Elemental Shot 8/day, Eagle Eyes +10|
6 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Elemental Shot: The number of times an elemental shot can be performed increases once four three levels in epic levels.
Golden Bullet: The number of times a golden bulet can be performed increases once every eight levels in epic levels.
Eagle Eyes: The bonus from Eagle Eyes increases once every three levels in epic levels.
Human Heavy Gunner Starting Package
Weapons: Machine Gun.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
|Craft Bullet Making||4||Int||—|
Feat: Weapon Focus Machine Gun.
Bonus Feats: Zen Aiming, Point Blank Shot.
Gear: Leather Armor, Backpack, 60 Bullets.
Gold: 35 gp.
Playing a Heavy Gunner
Religion: Heavy Gunners have no particular focus on religion, but as an heavy gunner may very well be a hunter, nature based gods often works well with the heavy gunner.
Other Classes: The rifle-dedicated fighter and the ranger gun respect the heavy gunner to the dedication to their art. An heavy gunner always appreciates a good meat shield as well, he does not survive well in melee and should avoid it at all costs. Casters stand in rank with him and can provide good battlefield control while the heavy gunner rains death from afar.
Combat: If the heavy gunner can avoid melee combat, he does. Where most non-magic using classes perish against a flying enemy who is out of range, the heavy gunner has no such problems.
Advancement: Ranger classes often work well with the heavy gunner, as do fighter and rogue classes for a more martial, or sneaky bent.
Heavy Gunners in the World
|“||My bullets will rain down upon you like a tsunami of steel!||”|
|—I. Darrien, Human Heavy Gunner|
Heavy Gunners are hunters and soldiers alike. The best way to survive a battle after all is to ensure the enemy falls before he even reaches you.
Daily Life: Heavy Gunners are almost impossible to distinguish from Fighters or Rangers, depending on their style, and thus follow ranks with their two fellow classes.
Notables: They say a certain chain gun wielding madman was a deadly foe with a bullet storm.
Organizations: Heavy Gunners who organize are likely soldiers in the army. In there they provide ranged combat services which destroy large tight-knit phalanxes of enemy troops.
NPC Reactions: As before, heavy gunners get confused with fighters and rangers, and likewise are treated as such by the ignorant populace.
Heavy Gunner Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Local can research Heavy Gunnerss to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Heavy Gunners are master of the ranged weapon, focusing on it even more than a mere fighter or ranger.|
|15||The Heavy gunner has an incredible shot, and can fire at things with uncanny accuracy, be they snipers or if they rain bullets in volley shots.|
|20||Heavy Gunners gain special powers, enabling them to fire in vast areas, shoot elemental bullets, and strike harder than normal.|
|30||People who recieve this level of success can gain insight on specific heavy guners, their achievements, and last known location.|
Heavy Gunners in the Game
Heavy Gunners are often secondary fighters, but with a little optimization and a set of spell storing bullets, they can become dangerous battlefield controllers, quasi-mages from ranges even casters fail at.
Adaptation: A more modern setting can adept all things dealing with guns to alien tech rifles.
Sample Encounter: The PCs must assault the Castle of Darkness, but they catch wind of their deadly heavy gunners lined up en masse. A frontal assault is suicide, but how will they make it past the bullets raining down from the heavens?
EL whatever: 10.
Thanks to User:Eiji for his template.