Homebrew Homebrew: Gunslinger Ranger Archetype and accompanying Gunfighter Combat Tradition

m0dredus

Explorer
Hello everyone! I've been working on a while on spinning up a workable Gunslinger class for A5E, and quickly realized I needed to make an accompanying Combat Tradition and set of maneuvers. I would love some input on these before I let my player use it. I tried to make this all work with the RAW firearm rules in the Handbook, limiting as that may be. A lot of gunslinger classes use misfire and reloading as the primary balancing levers, and with those absent I ran into trouble. I think Misfire is a bad mechanic, so if that was in the game I'd have put a "During a long rest, you can remove the Misfire chance from 1 firearm in your possession" to the Firearm Expertise class feature. Reloading however, using an action or bonus action, could have worked really well here in terms of limiting some scary damage numbers from the more potent firearms.

Anyway, I tried my best to work with the RAW for now, but am willing to work backwards to introduce a "reload" mechanic if that's the only way to make it work. In the old Zeitgeist book, there was the "Ammunition Clip" Firearm Enhancement, which is essentially the same thing as introducing a "Reload" weapon property. If the new zeitgeist book introduces that as well, I might retrofit for that.


Gunslinger Ranger Archetype
I wound up making the Gunslinger into a Ranger archetype, since a lot of the things that would normally be features are covered by maneuvers, and the theme of the gunslinger meshes really well with Ranger. It's definitely a step in the "martial" direction, but since it's focused on a particular class of weapon I think that's unavoidable. I imagine making a couple of these subclasses now that I've got the Combat Tradition sorted out, so I'd like to do more to make this more "ranger-y" if possible. I think the answer to that is to bring in more of the Intimidation focus, but I don't know how to do that.

Firearm Experience
This is sort of the catch-all to bring the gunslinger up to speed. I opted for a 8-hour timer on training because I felt like it seemed more fun that way, but hand-wave-able. The two Fighting Styles are designed to be useful to multiple classes, given you could learn them through a feat. Akimbo is your basic "you can two weapon fight" feat, while Deadeye is stolen right from the Kensai for the one-gunners out there.
Fearsome Reputation
This is where the ranger-feel comes in I think. I remember the Ranger designer talking about how in A5E, Rangers are made to seem magical, but not be. The way that seemed like it should translate into Gunslinger is through embodying the "lone wanderer" archetype from the classic westerns. So I want them to be good at intimidating people. Since its a spooky kind of intimidation, I think Wisdom works thematically and mechanically.
Gunfighter
Maneuvers, man. Tricky stuff given Biting Zephyr works fine 80% of the time with guns. But some things just dont make any sense, so I made these "parity" maneuvers instead. I think the wording is pretty clear, as is the intent. It's basically "you do the same type of thing, but with a gun." Also since this is coming online at 3rd level, I included the option of swapping out an existing maneuver for a Gunfighter one.
Lethal Cascade
This one seems a little scary because there was nothing like it already in A5E (that I noticed) and I wasn't sure why. I wanted to harken back to the classic "Grit" mechanic that finds it's way into every Gunslinger class, so I wanted it to trigger on Crits, especially since the gunslinger can do things with maneuvers to get a lot of attack rolls out. So what to reward them with if I have no Grit? Well, I figured I'd give the options of Accuracy Bonus uses or Exertion points. The reason for Accuracy bonus is that I feel like I don't quite understand why that resource is so scarce to begin with. Its a pretty small boost in power from what I can tell, so I though it would be a fun interaction with Base-class abilities. I included maneuvers because, well, I put a lot of work into them and 1 exertion point per crit doesn't seem like enough to be game-breaking. NOTE: I think I'm going to add a restriction to this to make it so it only triggers on your first critical hit each round.
Reliable Gunfighting
It's just a watered-down version of the Fighter's Maneuver Mastery. Seems simple enough, and not too strong.
Line 'em up
I this this might be a little too strong, but it comes online post-10 so I'm not to sure. I think the idea is neat and I really like the concept of a class feature that gives you basically a counter that resets each round. I just feel like If I could dream up a cool late-level ability that felt more Ranger-y, I could put this on a Fighter arcehtype instead. That said, the idea of honing in and getting into "the Zone" feels Ranger-y to me, so I dunno.
Knock 'em down
Once again, this could maybe go to a fighter instead. In A5E there are more things that can grant a critical hit range increase, but I think most of those are in maneuvers that don't work for ranged weapons. The synergy with Line 'em up is obvious, and I think it's really a fun idea. Resetting on a crit is how I think it remains balanced.


Gunfighter Maneuvers
I tried to make these similar in power to Biting Zephyr. I actually went 1 by 1 through the Biting Zephyr list, and tried to match the mix of damage vs utility at each degree level. I wont go maneuver by maneuver right here, but I want to point out a few concerning ones. But first, let me say: Loading. I had a LOT of trouble with the loading mechanic. I think I settled on some useable language, but I would very much love some advice here.

Fan Fire
Oh boy, this went through some revision. I settled on the "don't add your ability modifier to damage" strategy, essentially making this a 2d6/exertion point damage, requiring an attack roll for each hit. I think they best way to water this down would be to say you can't spend more exertion than your Proficiency bonus, but I don't know if that's necessary. This also get's really weird with some types of firearm. If I introduce the Reload property, I could just say "You cannot spend more points than your weapon's Reload value."

Draw.
This one was originally a Class Feature instead. I fell like it worked better as a Maneuver, but might be both too strong and too weak. On one hand, it take a long time to build up. But the potential to activate it out of combat and just stare down someone until combat starts is POTENT. Especially if you combine it with other maneuvers like Deadly Start and Flawless Draw. That being said, that's the fantasy, right? I could make it so the bonus Psychic damage isn't multiplied on a critical hit to water it down if this is too much, of course.


So, I'm very curious to see what anyone and everything thinks of this. I'm quite sure that some things are probably too strong, but I'd like to find creative ways to bring it into line without sacrificing the power fantasy at play. My initial thought is a re-working of the Firearm rules in general, tuning damage and weapon properties there, since if something really needs to change I think it's foundational. I keep asking myself "If this all worked with a longsword, would it be as strong" and I'm not so sure it would be. So please, good people, give me your feed back - whether it be knee-jerk or well-considered, all is welcome.
 

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Only had the chance this morning to skim, but I’m interested in reading more later today. Just wanted to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I found out this was a ranger archetype! Gunslinging so often defaults to fighters that I forgot to even consider ranger gunslingers, but I think it really works, especially for a Lone Ranger type that’s going to be spending extended periods of time out in the desert just surviving before getting into a gunfight… I like it!
 

m0dredus

Explorer
Only had the chance this morning to skim, but I’m interested in reading more later today. Just wanted to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I found out this was a ranger archetype! Gunslinging so often defaults to fighters that I forgot to even consider ranger gunslingers, but I think it really works, especially for a Lone Ranger type that’s going to be spending extended periods of time out in the desert just surviving before getting into a gunfight… I like it!
I'm also not ashamed to say that one reason I did it is because I had trouble thinking of unique or interesting late-level features. I'd considered making a 1-20 class but I was just really struggling to give it it's own identity. What wound up happening is I made some subclasses that were like "The Warlock-style subclass" and "The Ranger-style subclass." I realized it made more sense to make subclasses for those existing kits, and work from there. I fully intend to make a Warlock, Wizard, Fighter, and Rogue subclass once I've got this one ironed out a bit.
 


Cayde-6_2-0

First Post
Excuse me, i don't understand english very well so i have a little question, i don't understand how works the gunfighter maneuverse and the biting zephyr, i don't find equivalent, if it works like the maneuverse of the fighter (battle master), how many dice of maneuverse do you have or how many point ?
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
Excuse me, i don't understand english very well so i have a little question, i don't understand how works the gunfighter maneuverse and the biting zephyr, i don't find equivalent, if it works like the maneuverse of the fighter (battle master), how many dice of maneuverse do you have or how many point ?
the maneuvers being referred to are a concept from level up advanced 5th edition, which you can think of as basically to 5e what pathfinder was to 3.5. classes that get maneuvers get something called an exertion pool which is usually equal to twice their proficiency bonus which they can spend to do maneuvers
 

Cayde-6_2-0

First Post
the maneuvers being referred to are a concept from level up advanced 5th edition, which you can think of as basically to 5e what pathfinder was to 3.5. classes that get maneuvers get something called an exertion pool which is usually equal to twice their proficiency bonus which they can spend to do maneuvers
Okay thanks a lot, sorry but i have another question about maneuverse, i don't understand the thing about the biting zephyr, how it works ?
 


Cayde-6_2-0

First Post
Biting zephyr is one of the official maneuver traditions. If the system is completely new to you, I'd suggest you start here for more information: About — Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition (A5E)
Alright i get it now thanks a lot, last thing i did not understood (i'm french so i don't know how translate it well) this is when it's write : "the Attack action and make a weapon attack, as well as any additional attacks granted by Extra Attack." Does that mean that the attack used with the manoeuvre become an extra attack or it is just to inform that it works with normal attack and also extra attacks ? (it is in the part on the gunfighter manoeuvre).
 


enzolangkilde

First Post
Hi, I've been super interested in what you have made here and wanted to know, if you have played with any of it and how did you find it? Was some of the maneuvers too strong? Or redundant? I read them and found them cool, but I have not played much myself and as such have little idea, if they are fair, so to speak.
Would love to hear what you have learned so far! ;)
 

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