DMs Guild Review – Gunslinger Class Revised

A full level 1-20 player class focused entirely on guns.

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A review copy of “Gunslinger Class Revised” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Stratos Fotakis

I’m not a big fan of guns in the real world, but in a fantasy setting I think they’re fun as hell. I’m often drawn to the sharpshooters and dual pistol-wielders in any game or world that offers it. In D&D, adding guns to the mix raises some obvious balance concerns.

Thankfully “Gungslinger Class Revised” does an excellent job creating a balanced new class based entirely around guns for levels 1-20, including seven archetypes and lots of fun trick shots to perform.

The gunslinger is a DEX-based ranged warrior, and right from level 1 they are able to craft their own firearm and ammo, though the details of this are frustratingly left completely up to the DM.

Firearms are gunpowder-era, and though they do more damage they have a limited number of shots before an action (or an attack) must be used to reload them. Rolling a crit fail (or up to a nat 2 or 3 on more advanced guns) results in the gun jamming completely, and must be fixed out of combat. Guns are also hugely expensive. These feel like appropriately necessary balancing tool, and makes a higher level gunslinger, who gains extra attacks, faster reloads, and minimal weapon jamming, that much more powerful.

At level 2 the class gains its signature playstyle with with Calibrated Shots, the gunslinger’s version of the Battle Master’s maneuvers. Unlike the popular Fighter archetype, these shots are baked right into the gunslinger base class, giving everyone the ability choose their own fun trick shots, like disarming shot, precise shot, and muffled shot.  I love that the bluster point resource is scaled off INT rather than a set value, and that the gunslinger regains them when getting crits or kills in addition to rests.

When I picture a gunslinger I absolute picture someone who’s capable of pulling off impressive feats with their weapon, and it looks like the gunslinger gets plenty of opportunities.

A few of the abilities are copy and pasted from other classes, such as Extra Attack, Expertise, and Evasion, but the gunslinger also has several fun new talents. Swift Draw (level 6) adds your INT modifier to initiative rolls, Signature Firearm (level 11) lets you personalize your weapon and add a permanent 1d6 damage die, and Steady Aim (level 15) gives you the option to forego movement to gain max damage on your attack.

In comparison the level 20 capstone ability is a bit less exciting, extending the Signature Weapon to 2d6 (or adding a second weapon) and essentially eliminating the need to ever reload. Very nice, but not exactly god-tier.

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The class includes a staggering seven archetypes, though I was less impressed when I realized that half of them are hybrid spell-casters, essentially borrowing spells and abilities from wizards, paladins, rangers, and warlocks, much like the Fighter’s Eldritch Knight. They’re not bad. In fact the Arcane Gunner is particularly powerful with Arcane Shots acting exactly like Divine Smites, and gaining a counter-spell reactive shot against enemy spellcasters at level 13.

The other three archetypes are a bit more thematic and interesting. Close Quarters Gunner needed a better name but fits the theme of attacking with both melee weapon and gun. Skirmisher is the one to pick for dual pistols, while Sniper will finally inspire PCs to drop prone during ranged combat.

Several new magic guns are included as a bonus appendix. This is a wonderful addition, as magic guns aren’t exactly common in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. They do a great job offering fun ideas within a range of power-levels, from a Dragonslaying Pistol up to the legendary Despair, which emits frightening screams of agony with every shot.

Normally I would be leery of any player who wants to play a custom gun-wielder, but the “Gunslinger Class Revised” not only assuaged my fears, but makes me excited to play one myself!

Pros:

  • Fun, thematic abilities like Signature Firearm, Steady Aim, and Swift Draw.
  • Calibrated Shots make each Gunslinger a unique marksman.
  • 7 Gunslinger archetypes provides a wide range of specializations.
  • 8 interesting new magic guns.

Cons:

  • 4 of the 7 archetypes are hybrid spellcasters that amount to soft multi-classes (wizard, paladin, ranger, and warlock).
  • Leaves firearm forging and ammo crafting up to the DM.

The Verdict: “Gunslinger Class Revised” is the perfect implementation of a gun-focused character class, with fun thematic abilities and over half a dozen archetypes.

A review copy of “Gunslinger Class Revised” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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