Firearms Expanded! – More Gun Options for D&D 5E

UPDATE Feb 2017: I don’t plan on using any misfire mechanics for any future posts with guns, thus they are an “Optional Mechanic” rather than a core part of it.  Quite frankly, they’re not fun and they don’t belong in 5e.  This is in part from realizing that Mercer’s Pathfinder gunslinger conversion only really worked for his show, Critical Role… not really for outside games.  Also, the reload idea didn’t really work, either.  None the less, the redo would make things far more in line with 5e’s design choices and focus on fun rather than trying to make guns feel more “realistic” (as very little of D&D’s combat with ANY weapon feels that realistic.)  So, keep an eye out and look forward to the future!  OOOOOOO, THE FUTURE!
Anyway, while we prepare for the future, here’s what’s currently being edited.




Throughout almost all civilizations in the worlds of D&D, gun fighters have existed in one form or another!  The swashbucklers of Mystara’s coasts, the Gond worshipers of Abeir-Toril, Giff traders of Wild Space, the Tinker Gnomes of Krynn, and  Alkenstar’s soldiers from Golarion are just a few examples.  While a rare curiosity to most, this weapon is a powerful tool in the arms of the right hero.

Firearms are a very new form of weapon slowly making its way into fantastic societies such as the above mentioned and more.  Rarely are they put into the hands of the common civilian.  As such, they are defined as Martial weapons.  If you’d like to restrict their existence to extremely rare, then you cannot become proficient with firearms unless you take specific training measures.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  The following implies a Renaissance/Post-Renaissance settings.  While these were made before the DMG was released (and possibly before the firearm previews), they work decently enough alongside the DMG rules for non-modern/futuristic guns.  The base prices imply rarity within the campaign world, but the DM is free to modify as they see fit.

Weapons Table:


Small Gun/1500 GP/1d8 Pr & Bl/3 lbs./Ammunition (30 ft/60 ft), Firearm, Light, Super Crit

Mini Rifle/2000 GP/1d10 Pr & Bl/4 lbs./Ammunition (40 ft/80 ft), Firearm, Two-Handed, Super Crit

Lock Pistol/1500 GP/1d10 Pr & Bl/6 lbs./Ammunition (60 ft/120ft), Firearm, Heavy, Super Crit

Lock Musket/2000 GP/1d12 Pr & Bl/10 lbs./Ammunition (80 ft/160 ft), Firearm, Heavy, Two-Handed, Super Crit

Blunderbuss/2500 GP/SPECIAL/12 lbs/Ammunition (SPECIAL), Firearm, Heavy, Two-Handed, Super Crit


Small Gun is a miniaturized version of the pistol.  It was created by gnomish engineers who had trouble with guns designed for creatures larger than them.  As a result, this contraption was born.  While not as powerful as other gun-based weapons, it’s still more than capable of packing quite a punch.  That isn’t to say that larger creatures can’t operate them too.

Miniature Rifles were created by the same token.  These smaller model rifles have the benefit of traveling with ease.  Unlike their larger models, these rifles are much easier to carry and pack with supplies.  These are ideal for the hunter on the go.

Lock Pistols are the standard pistol issued by military, sought out by collectors, and used in deadly duels.  While guns are rare, these are the most likely to be seen away from a battlefield.

Lock Muskets are more typical of military usage for their long range and lethal power.  Rarely are these utilized outside of battlefield tactics, do to their long and bulky frame.

The Blunderbuss is a deadly weapon in closer combat.  Unlike the other firearms, it’s designed to scatter cartridge like shots at an enemy.  Anything within a 15 feet cone takes the full brunt of the assault for 1d10 damage.  However, the cone extends to 30 feet, but this weapon can’t do that much damage at that reach for only 1d6 damage.

NOTE: Since these weapons do bludgeoning and piercing damage, both factor into weakness and resistance.  If one damage is a weakness and the other is resistance, they cancel each other out.  Conversely, if only had has a certain effect (weakness, resistance, immunity, etc), it becomes the dominant effect.


Other Items:

Item Type/Price/Weight

Powder Horn/3 GP/1 lbs.

Gunpowder/10 GP (Small Dose), 1000 GP (Whole Keg)/.005 lbs, 5lbs lbs

Bullets/1 GP each/5 lbs (30 bullets)


New Weapon Properties –

Firearm: Firearms are inherently more complex than other weaponry.  Firearms are typically bulky, but still capable of the finesse quality and count as such.


Ammunition: Most early firearms run on ammunition and can’t hold more than one bullet at once.  Those that can still require reloading once all ammo has been expended.  In order to use it once the bullet is expended, the user must take a bonus action or action to reload it with another.

New Fighting Style – Gunslinger (Available to Fighters, Ranger.  This is extended to Paladin with DM Permission.)

You gain a +1 bonus to attacks and damage dealt by firearms.

(Alternatively, should the DM exist it to firearms as well, players can take the Archery style instead)


New Feat – Firearm Mastery

Requirements: Proficient with Firearms

  • You ignore penalties from attacking at long range or within melee range with a firearm
  • You ignore 1/2 or 3/4 cover with your firearm
  • You may take a -5 penalty to your attack and gain a +10 bonus to damage if you hit.  This bonus can only be granted once per round.


Campaign Options: Grittier Firearms

New Feat – Firearm Training

(only use for settings where firearms are very rare and NOT martial weapons)

You gain usage of firearms.  In addition, you may add your proficiency bonus to any attacks made with firearms.

Slow and Volatile Firearms

(Warning: Discuss this feature with players first.  Many won’t be happy if you spring a mechanic to potentially break their weapons, when no such things exists for other weapons.  Playtesting has shown this to not be entirely popular with certain gaming tables.)

Reloading: For those who feel the reload time is too quick for classical firearms, modifying them is a simple task.  The basis for specialized gunfighters is now an action and a movement.   While leveling in a specialized archetype (like the Smokepowder Shootist), it takes an action and a bonus action.  At high level, it’s a movement and bonus action.

Breaking Down: Use of a firearm can be very dangerous, especially in certain situations.  If you roll a natural 1 with this weapon, it becomes “broken”.  When using a broken weapon, roll a d6.  If you roll odds, your weapon explodes, causing you 2d6 fire damage.  The weapon is now severely damaged and unusable.  If exposed to an extremely hot environment for a prolonged time (several hours), roll to a d6 to see if it causes explosion.  If gunpowder is exposed to rainy and wet situations and is not protected, roll an intelligence check DC 15.  Failure results in unusable gunpowder and an unusable firearm.  If your firearm is unused or broken, you must dedicate 1 hour to fixing it.  If damage is more severe, you must use the time of an extended rest to maintain it.)

If you prefer, an even grittier alternative would mean that if your firearm becomes broken from clogging of gunpowder, the DM may choose to have the player roll the d6 on the spot.  Failure results in explosion and loss of the weapon.  Damage is increased to 4d6 fire damage.


Created by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.


One thought on “Firearms Expanded! – More Gun Options for D&D 5E

  1. Pingback: Bang bang. Shoot shoot.: Firearms for 5e | Dungeon Hacking

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