• Justin Handlin

Matt Mercer's Gunslinger Fighter Archetype

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Main Topic: Gunslinger


Crit Academy discusses the Dungeons and Dragons 5e Fighter Archetype created by the Critical Role's Matt Mercer, the Gunslinger! Some weapon masters couldn’t stop with the innovation of the crossbow. Experimentation with alchemic components and rare metals has unlocked the secrets of controlled explosive force. The few who have survived these trials of ingenuity may become the first to create and deftly wield the first firearms, Powerful yet dangerous ranged weapons. However, not being a perfect science, firearms carry an inherent instability that can occasionally leave the user without a functional means of attack. But when fully functional, the wielder of these weapons can become a distant force of death on the battlefield.


What really makes this class work well is the special Firearms properties combined with the dozen or so trick shot options to give your gunslinger a fun and unique feel. Check it out below and watch as we give our thoughts on the mechanics, lore, and theme.


Firearm Properties:

Firearms are a new and volatile technology, and as such bring their own unique set of weapon properties. These properties are outlined in the firearms table given by in the supplement. These replace the optional ones that are present in the DMG.

Reload. The weapon can be fired a number of times equal to its reload score before you must spend 1 attack or 1 action to reload. You must have one free hand to do so.

Misfire. Whenever you make an attack roll with a firearm, and the dice roll is equal to or lower than the weapons misfire score, the weapons misfires. The attack misses, and cannot be used again until it's repaired


Get the Gunslinger Free Here!


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Character Concept:

Narissa the Silent

Narissa was abandoned as a child in a small town far from civilization. She was found and raised by an Elven Bard who took pity on her. He decided he would show her a better world with music and song. Narissa was raised with another girl who was the elven bard's favorite student. They would often compete and became rivals and sisters. Narissa would sacrifice anything to help her sister and father figures. Unfortunately, she took up some bad habits as she never got the same praise as her sister. As she grew up she grew distant and left on her own. The Elven bard wished her the best and she went on her way. It wasn't until years later that she was called back to his home. He was getting older and wanted to pass on the knowledge he had obtained over his long life. Unknown to Narissa, her sister/rival was extremely jealous of her pure honest relationship with her master and plotted to eliminate her. This backfired and the old elf died as a result. This forced Narissa to kill her own sister and leave behind her life. She now trusts no one and depends on only herself as she does not want to make close connections. Though her master's teachings still stick with her and she will often show a kind soft side for those who earn it.


Quirks: She to speak in riddles and hyperbole. She is often quick to judge and will throw out insults with the best of them. She favors her lute and anyone who touches it will get hissed at. She also carries her sister's journal and will often be seen reading it. No one knows what is in it but she will not let anyone read it. She also likes to search for potential people of talent for music and other darker arts.



Monster Variant:

Buccaneer!

Origin: Scout

Replace Longbow with Palm Pistol from the gunslinger table.


Grit: The Buccaneer has 2 grit points that are expended to use a trick shot.


Trick shots.

Dazing shot. When the Buccaneer makes a firearm attack against a creature, it can expend one grit point to attempt to fight dirty. On a hit, the creature suffers normal damage and must succeed a DC 12 constitution saving throw or have disadvantage on their next attack roll.


Disarming Shot. When the Buccaneer makes a firearm attack against a creature, it can expend one grit point to attempt to shoot an object from their hands. On a hit, the creature suffers normal damage and must succeed a DC 12 Strengths saving throw or drop 1 held object of your choice and have that object be pushed 10 feet away from you.


Encounter:

The Nesting Doll - by Troy Z.

I once played a game where you encounter a mercenary woman named Matryoshka(the Russian name for nesting dolls). The players encounter and kill her. Then when you go to the next zone and their she is again, so take her out again. You end up encountering her in every zone, 9 of them. Finally, at the end of the chapter, you learn she is a mutant and comes back to life each time she dies but now she’s on her last life and if she dies again it’s permanent. How much would it bother players if they kept killing a primary villain who just kept coming back to life?

I wonder if she gets smaller with each lost life? I could see this being more of a construct than a flesh and blood creature.


Magic Item:

Rose Whip

Whip, very rare(requires attunement)

When not in use, this whip appears as a simple red rose with a beautiful scent. When you use a bonus action to speak the command word the rose lashes out into a thorny vine-like whip.

The whip has 10 charges for the following properties. The whip regains 1d8+2 charges at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the weapon remains as a magical weapon for the purposes of overcoming resistances but loses all its other properties.

While wielding the rose whip, you gain the following benefits:

  • When an enemy attempts to grapple you, they take 1d4 damage from the whip’s thorns.

  • When you take the Dodge action, you may lash around your whip in a defensive rose whip flurry. An enemy that successfully hits you with a melee attack takes 1d6 piercing damage.

  • As part of your attack action, you may snap your whip around a creature or its weapon. If you target the weapon, the creature must make a DC 14 Strength saving throw or drop its weapon at its feet. If you target the creature, it must make a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be restrained. It may repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns. You cannot make whip attacks until the restrained condition is ended.

  • Spells: While holding this whip, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using the spell save DC 14: thorn whip(1 charge), hold person(5 charges), hold monster(10 charges)


Dungeon Master Tip:

Create dreadful suspense!(from the game Dread - add link)

The game dread is an RPG game that uses the Jenga set to help build tension and suspense. You can grab one of these sets and as the players make checks, take actions, or just to represent time passing, you(or them) pull a block from the Jenga tower. The longer they take, or the more actions they do, the more likely the tower is going to fall.


For example, the tower could represent a collapsing, building, or cave.

Successful checks you pull a single block out, on a failure, you remove two. If the tower falls, you fail the encounter and suffer the consequences


Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Patron Gabe

Don’t be afraid of negative stat modifiers!

These flaws lead to great roleplayer opportunities.

Can be used to flesh out physical characteristics as well as mannerisms

Classic is a big dumb barbarian

Weakling wizard to name a few

Wizard so weak, he can’t lift his own heavy-ass spellbook.

Needs unseen servant to carry it around - thus floating spellbook.

These can lead to absolutely hilarious character concepts


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