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DnD Gunslinger 5e subclass guide

For Dungeons and Dragons players who want to go full Rambo, here’s all there is to know about the unofficial DnD Gunslinger 5e subclass.

The DnD Gunslinger may not be an official subclass, but it’s possibly best way to live out your action movie dreams in fifth edition. Lovers of daring risks, crafty tinkering, and explosions will get a kick out of the Gunslinger 5e. If your DM is happy for you to turn up to a campaign with guns akimbo, then read on: all you need to know about the Gunslinger can be found here.

The Gunslinger comes from the mind of Critical Role’s Matt Mercer, who also dreamt up the Blood Hunter 5e, the goriest of all DnD classes. This subclass is his take on a DnD Fighter who invented the next evolution of the crossbow. Before you get building, bear in mind this is all DnD homebrew material – admittedly made by a pro, but still not as elegantly refined as official 5e content.

Here’s all you need to know about the DnD Gunslinger 5e:

DnD Gunslinger 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a steampunk gun

Guns in Dungeons and Dragons

Guns have never had much of a presence in official D&D content. There are optional firearms rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, but they’re not particularly in-depth. The Gunslinger subclass provides some expanded and alternative firearms rules for Dungeons and Dragons.

In case it wasn’t already obvious, firearms count as ranged DnD weapons. The Gunslinger rules replace the DM’s Guide’s main properties of a firearm, instead using the following:


A weapon’s reload score is how many times it can be fired before you must spend an attack or action to reload (you need a free hand to reload your weapon).

DnD Gunslinger 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a space clown wielding a gun


When you make a firearm attack roll and the roll is equal to or lower than the weapon’s Misfire score, the firearm misfires. This means your attack misses, and you can’t use the weapon until you spend an action trying to repair it.

Repairing a firearm requires you to make a successful Tinker’s Tools check, with the difficulty class equal to eight plus the weapon’s Misfire score. If you fail this check, you’ve broken your firearm and must mend it outside of combat.


If your attack hits, everything within five feet of your original target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to avoid 1d8 fire damage. The DC is eight plus your proficiency bonus and Dexterity modifier. If your attack misses, nothing happens.


Each firearm uses its own unique ammunition. You can occasionally buy this, but it’s more likely you’ll need to craft the ammo yourself. Here are the ammo requirements for each firearm:

Name Cost Damage Weight Range Properties
Palm Pistol 50g (2g for 20 ammo) 1d8 piercing 1lb (40/160) Light, Reload 1, Misfire 1
Pistol 150g (4g for 20 ammo) 1d10 piercing 3lb (60/240) Reload 4, Misfire 1
Musket 300g (5g for 20 ammo) 1d12 piercing 10lb (120/480) Two-handed, Reload 1, Misfire 2
Pepperbox 250g (4g for 20 ammo) 1d10 piercing 5lb (80/320) Reload 6, Misfire 2
Blunderbuss 300g (5g for 5 ammo) 2d8 piercing 10lb (15/60) Reload 1, Misfire 2
Bad News Crafted (10g for 5 ammo) 2d12 piercing 25lb (200/800) Two-handed, Reload 1, Misfire 3
Hand Mortar Crafted (10g for 1 ammo) 2d8 fire 10lb (30/60) Reload 1, Misfire 3, Explosive

Wizards of the Coast art of a DnD Gunslinger 5e elf

Gunslinger 5e features

Firearm Proficiency

Level: Three

When you first choose the Gunslinger 5e subclass, you become proficient with firearms. This allows you to add your proficiency bonus as you would with other weapons your character is familiar with.


Level: Three

You also start your Gunslinger career with a proficiency with Tinker’s Tools. These can be used to make ammo for your firearm at half the cost, and you can repair a damaged gun. If your DM is up for it, you might even be able to build new firearms.

Adept Marksman

Level: Three

At this level, you begin to learn trick shots, which are unique feats your Gunslinger can perform with their weapon. At third level, you choose two trick shots to learn. You’ll learn an extra trick shot at levels seven, 10, 15, and 18, and you can also replace one trick shot you already know at these levels.

Trick shots must be declared before you make an attack roll. You can also only use one per attack. For any trick shots that require your target to make a saving throw, use this to calculate the save DC:

Trick shot save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier

Also at third level, you gain a number of ‘grit’ points equal to your Wisdom modifier. These are spent resolving trick shots. You regain a grit point any time you roll a 20 when attacking with a firearm, or any time you kill a significantly beefy creature with your firearm. Failing that, you’ll get all your grit points back with a short or long rest 5e.

DnD Gunslinger 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of Forge Fitzwilliam from the DnD movie

Gunslinger 5e trick shots

Here’s the full list of Gunslinger trick shots:

  • Bullying shot – Spend a grit point to get advantage on an Intimidation check.
  • Dazing shot – Spend a grit point to make a foe dizzy (if you hit it, the creature suffers normal damage and suffers disadvantage on attacks until their next turn if they fail a Constitution saving throw).
  • Deadeye shot – When you attack a creature with a firearm, spend a grit point to give the attack advantage.
  • Disarming shot – Spend a grit point to try and shoot an object from an enemy’s hands (a successful attack means they suffer normal damage and drop a held object if they fail a Strength saving throw, with the object pushed 10ft away from you).
  • Forceful shot – When you attack a creature with a firearm and spend a grit point, the target suffers normal damage and is pushed 15 feet away on a failed Strength saving throw.
  • Piercing shot – When you make a firearm attack and spend a grit point, your attack gains +1 to the firearm’s misfire score – but if you hit, you make an attack roll with disadvantage against every creature in a line directly behind your original target (who takes normal damage).
  • Violent shot – For each grit point spent on this firearm attack, add +2 to the firearm’s misfire score – but roll an additional damage die per grit point if the attack hits.
  • Winging shot – When you hit with a firearm attack and spend a grit point, your target suffers normal damage and is knocked prone on a failed Strength saving throw.


Level: Seven

This feature lets you add your proficiency bonus to your initiative rolls. You can also stash a firearm and draw a different one as a single object interaction on your turn.

Rapid Repair

Level: 10

You can now spend a grit point to attempt to fix a misfired firearm as a bonus action. This doesn’t work on broken firearms, though, so bear that in mind.

DnD Gunslinger 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a gnome (seen from behind) tinkering in a workshop

Lightning Reload

Level: 15

You can now reload any firearm as a bonus action.

Vicious Intent

Level: 18

You score a critical hit on a firearm attack and regain a grit point if you roll a 19 or a 20.

Hemorrhaging Critical

Level: 18

Any time you roll a critical hit on a firearm attack, the target additionally suffers half of the damage from the attack on the end of its next turn.

DnD Gunslinger 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of an elf holding a hawk

Gunslinger 5e races

Dexterity is the most important DnD stat here, and Wisdom is a secondary concern. There are plenty of optimal DnD races to choose from in the Player’s Handbook – a Wood DnD Elf gives you all the ability score boosts you need as well as a speed increase, while a DnD Halfling’s Lucky trait is very helpful when working with such volatile weapons. There’s also the Variant DnD Human, which offers a free 5e feat and extra stat flexibility.

If you’re keen to try some of the rarer races, you should absolutely consider one that can fly. An Aarakocra or the Owlin 5e firing guns in the air is an awesome sight to see and can be a lot of fun to play with.

Now you’re almost ready to build an Elf with an AK47. For further character advice, be sure to check out our guides to DnD backgrounds, DnD character builds, and DnD character sheets.