Gunslinger Paths


As a gunslinger advances, they choose one or more paths to follow. Those who follow one path gain more power, while those who choose from different paths trade power for versatility. The Path of Lightning and the Path of Thunder represent two poles of the gunslinger’s existence: speed and accuracy. Some gunslingers tread between the two, while others devote themselves wholly to one road. Whatever path the gunslinger takes, their enemies can look forward to a death in thunder and fire.

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Prestige Class: Gunslinger

It’s been a busy month, and posting kind of got away from me. I’ve been working on this for a while, and I’m pretty proud of it. I love the idea of the prestige class in 5e, and even though I know some people aren’t so keen on it, I think it opens up a lot of possibilities, without limiting anything. Recently, I considered a bunch of new rules for firearms, trying to better represent the way guns really work. I wanted to do something similar with the gunslinger. The whole point of guns is that anyone can use them, so anyone should be a gunslinger. It shouldn’t be limited to fighters or rangers (though they  might be better at it). Making “gunslinger” an archetype of fighter closes that door. Why can’t rogues shoot a gun, or sorcerers? The prestige class is the prefect answer.

Enter: the gunslinger prestige class!

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5e Kineticist: Aerokineticist

I wanted to have the gunslinger ready, today, but that didn’t happen. It turns out that building a prestige class is pretty hard.

Instead, I’m continuing my work with the kineticist, this time with the aerokineticist. I expect the rest of the kineticist paths to follow in the coming weeks, and maybe an Iron Gods recap (which might involve me having to write rules for psychic duels and performance combat in 5e).

First, though, a couple of changes to the kineticist and the aether:

Psychic Talents

As your connection with the elemental forces of the universe deepens, you gain the ability to shape your powers in new ways. At 1st level, you gain one talent from the list at the end of the class description. As you increase in level, you can choose more talents, as shown in the Talents Known column of the Kineticist table. Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the talents you know and replace it with another talent that you could learn at that level. Unless the description of the talent says otherwise, activating a talent is an action.

Aetheric Talents

Prerequisites: aether element, 5th level
If you take 1 point of burn as a reaction, you gain resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage until the beginning of your next turn.

Telekinetic Finesse
Prerequisite: aether element, 3rd level
Your mage hand can perform any action that your hands could perform, up to its weight limit, including performing Dexterity-based skill checks. 

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Bang bang. Shoot shoot.: Firearms for 5e

CC 2015 by scodoMother Superior’s got a gun. She’s got a lot of guns.

For this post, I owe a huge debt to the Muser at DungeonMusings for his initial work on firearms in the Iron Gods campaign. I stole a lot from him, and have made a whole lot of changes, here. What’s below represents how I think firearms should work in 5e’s medieval fantasy setting. I had planned to do both firearms and the Gunslinger prestige class in one post, but it got way, way too long. I’ll save the Gunslinger for next time. I had a lot of fun playing with the idea of “early” and “modern” firearms, and trying to represent the ways in which guns were possible for everyone to use, but very dangerous for the untrained.

Doc Necrotic over at Daemons and Deathrays also did some nice work with guns, and while I went a different direction, I want to shout out to his work.

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5e Kineticist


His eyes blazing with an inner fire, the halfling walks calmly through the goblin encampment; as goblins all around him spontaneously burst into flame, he thinks of nothing but the feeling of his beloved, dying in his arms, a goblin blade between her ribs.

Even among her own kind, people avoided the old tiefling for the inexplicable things that happened around her: objects never found where they had been set down, passers-by tripping over nothing, windows and doors opening on their own. No one wanted her around, until the bugbears came and she threw them out of town, one at a time, without moving from her chair.

While his family always said that they spoke the language of the rocks in their mountain home the young dwarf was the only one who believed that those stones spoke directly to him, and maybe his family would have believed he’d grow out of playing pretend if he hadn’t warned them about the earthquake and the giant invasion, but they could never doubt him again when the mountain itself rose up to drive the giants away.

A kineticist binds themselves to an element, manipulating one of the fundamental forces of nature with their mind. These abilities are often born of trauma or violence, and nearly ever kineticist tells a story of their first manifestation, and the damage they did before they gained control of their abilities. Some kineticists believe that they are in control their element, while other believe that it controls them. In either case the result is the same: the kineticist shapes a fundamental force of the universe with their thoughts.

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5e Items 2: It’s Magical!

Five Magic Items and some Skymetal Armor

Meteor-strike Dagger
Weapon (dagger), very rare (requires attunement)
When used in melee combat, this dagger grants a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls. When thrown, however, the meteor-strike dagger is truly deadly. The dagger has 3 charges. When you make a ranged attack with the dagger and it hits  an opponent within 30 feet of you, you can use 1 charge to cause the dagger to explode, doing 4d6 fire damage to the target and all creatures within 10 feet of it. The dagger reforms at the beginning of your next turn, and you can use a bonus action to call it to your hand. If you expend 3 charges and plunge the dagger into the ground at your feet, it instead deals 10d6 fire damage to all creatures within 20 feet of you. Any creatures that survive the damage are pushed 10 feet away from you. The dagger regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn.

Weapon (longsword or longbow), uncommon (requires attunement)
A swordbow is always a beautiful weapon of elven design, with the words “Always ready” carved in elven on its side. As an action, you can command the swordbow to change from a longsword into a longbow or back again. The weapon grants a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls in either form.

Corsair’s Eyepatch
Wondrous item, rare
When you wear this simple black eyepatch over your right eye, you can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as it if were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern most colors in darkness, only shades of blue and gray. When you wear the eyepatch over your left eye, you gain advantage on saving throws against the blinded condition. Whenever you wear the eyepatch over either eye, the lack of depth perception grants you disadvantage on ranged attacks.

Shield of the Dragon’s Maw
Shield, legendary
This heavy wooden shield always bears an image of a dragon, a linnorm, or other draconic creature, usually from the side. When you slay a dragon, the image changes to reflect the last dragon you slew. While you wear the shield, you  As a bonus action, you can make an attack with the shield. If you use it in this way, the dragon on its face turns outward and emits a might roar as its jaws seem to come to life. Until the beginning of your next turn, the shield provides no bonus to your AC or resistance to damage, but it can be used to attack as a primary weapon or for two-weapon fighting. The shield is a magical weapon with a +3 bonus to attack and damage that deals 1d8 bludgeoning and piercing damage.

Haunted O-Yoroi
Armor (o-yoroi), very rare (requires attunement)
While wearing this armor, you gain a +2 bonus to AC. In addition, when an incorporeal creature tries to strike you, an image of a ghostly samurai appears to step out of you and tries to block the blow with its weapon, granting the attacker disadvantage on the roll. When the armor is not being worn and a character who is not attuned to the armor comes within 5 feet of it, it emits  a ghostly howling and a burst of wind, causing all creatures within 5 feet to succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be pushed back 10 feet.

Skymetal Armor 

Most skymetals are useless for armor, but three are notable in their use as rare armor materials that can be worked by highly skilled smiths using magical or other powerful fires.

Adamantine Armor is detailed in the DMG.

Noqual Armor
Armor (any metal), very rare
You have advantage on saving throws against all spells while you wear this armor. If you are the target of a spell that does not normally require a saving throw, you must make a saving throw against the spell as though it required a Wisdom saving throw. In order for the spell to affect you, you must fail the saving throw.

Siccatite Armor
Armor (any metal), rare
There are two kind of siccatite armor: fire and frost. Fire siccatite is always hot to the touch, and deals one point of fire damage to you for every minute that you wear it. While you wear fire siccatite armor, you are protected by the armor’s heat and gain resistance to cold damage and immunity to environmental effects related to cold.  Frost siccatite is always covered by a layer of ice and deals one point of cold damage to you for every minute that you wear it. While you wear frost siccatite armor, you gain resistance to fire damage and immunity to environmental effects related to fire.

Hacking Magic Items

I have a much longer post about magic items coming, but I need to spend some time immersing myself in the DMG, first. I’m curious about the trends and patterns of magic items. On one hand, they seem to be much easier to create in 5e: determine what you want the item to do, determine the rarity, and go. On the other hand, there are clearly some design decisions that a GM has to be careful about not screwing up. (For example, no uncommon armors provide a magic bonus, and +3 armors are always legendary.) I’d love to figure out what all of those are and write about it, maybe in a couple of weeks.

I wanted to play with three different things, here: the various levels of the magic items, the “charges that reset at dawn” mechanic, and the idea of items that provide a benefit with a drawback. Items that have drawbacks should be more rare, by virtue of their power, but if the drawback is bad enough (disadvantage on ranged attack rolls, say), they can move down a step in rarity. Protection against conditions is one of those things that is very rare in magic items, and so should probably be very rare, but that disadvantage forces the wearer to be in melee combat, and that’s potentially a high price to pay (particularly since it doesn’t say “ranged weapon attacks,” so it applies to spell attack rolls, as well).

Siccatite armor is just about useless, unless you have regeneration or are resistant to fire or cold damage, which is exactly the point. Most PCs would never buy it, but every once in a while, it’s going to be exactly the right choice.

Next time: The beginning of a longer-term project: the 5e Kineticist, a full base class!

5e Items Part 1: Weapons of Hurting

New Weapon Rules for 5e

Weapon Properties

Blocking. You may forego one attack with this weapon to increase your AC by 1 until the beginning of your next turn.

Double weapon. You can use this weapon in both hands as though one side were a light weapon. All double weapons are two-handed.

Exotic. This weapon requires special training. No class is automatically proficient in its use. If your game uses the optional feat rules, you may use the Weapon Master feat to gain proficiency. If not, your GM may allow you to purchase training, as though purchasing a tool or language proficiency.

Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Simple Melee Weapon
Emei piercers             1gp 1 piercing Special
Exotic Melee Weapons
Double-bladed sword                 100 gp 1d8 10 lbs. double-weapon, heavy
Meteor Hammer        


40 gp 1d6 bludgeoning 10 lbs. blocking, double-weapon, reach, special
Quadrens 10 gp 1d4 piercing 2 lbs. special
Sang kauw                          15 gp 1d6 slashing 1 lb. blocking, double-weapon
Shotel 50 gp 1d8 piercing 5 lbs. special, versatile (1d10)
Tetsubo                      10 gp 1d12 bludgeoning 10 lbs. blocking, heavy, two-handed
Urgrosh 80 gp 1d10 slashing and piercing 12 lbs. double-weapon, heavy

Special Weapons

Weapons with special rules.

Emei piercers. While wearing emei piercers, you are considered unarmed, but your unarmed attack damage is considered piercing, and increases by the amount listed.

Meteor hammer. You must choose each round whether to use the meteor hammer’s blocking or reach properties. Once this decision is made, it cannot be changed until your next attack action.

Quadrens. The four-blades of the quadrens dagger are specially designed to leave gaping holes in an opponent. On a critical hit, the quadrens deals an additional die of damage.

Shotel. The shotel is designed to reach around an opponent’s shield, but this use trades power for accuracy. The shotel can either be used two-handed or ignore an opponent’s shield bonus to AC.

Skymetal Weapons

Adamantine Weapons
Weapon (any metal), uncommon (or 250 gp for light weapons and 500 gp for other weapons, if purchased)
Adamantine weapons function like regular weapons, unless they are used against inanimate objects. When used to attack inanimate objects, adamantine weapons give their wielder advantage on the attack rolls. In addition, the wielder can roll the damage twice and choose the best roll, as well.

Inubrix Weapons 
Weapon (any metal), rare (or 1,000 gp, if purchased)
“Ghost iron” seems to ignore iron and steel, but the effect is unpredictable. Attacks made with weapons made of inubrix always have disadvantage. Any time the wielder rolls an even number on the die that decides the attack, however, the inubrix weapon ignores any metal armor worn by that opponent.

Siccatite Weapons
Weapon (any metal), rare (or 750 gp, if purchased)
Siccatite weapons are extremely cold or not to the touch. While this makes the weapons mildly uncomfortable to hold for extended periods of time, when the weapon is used to strike, that cold or heat is released. A siccatite weapon deals an additional 1d4 damage, either cold or fire (chosen when the weapon is crafted). When this ability is used, whether or not the opponent is immune to the damage, the wielder takes 1 point of damage of the same type.

Hacking Weapons

I was planning to write about magic weapons, but I realized that there were regular weapons that I wanted to mess with. En5ider magazine did a little bit of this, but I don’t like the way they handled the double-weapon property. I scaled down the damage of a double weapon, and they all require a feat to use (because it’s harder not to stab yourself with an awesome-looking two-bladed sword, because it’s harder to tell which end goes in the other guy). I also wanted to play with weapons that have unique properties, which 5e tried to limit. I love the idea that weapons like the meteor hammer and the shotel require the user to make round-by-round choices. You don’t have to use them, but they reward a play style that like to fiddle with choices.


In Pathfinder, there are certain metals that come from the stars. Most of these are useless for making weapons, but a couple are really cool. The thing about skymetals is that they’re not magical. They can be worked and purchased, so their effects aren’t as powerful as magic items. They can be handed out like magic items, just like the adamantine armor in the DMG, but they can also make a nice money-sink for PCs.

Adamantine already exists in the PHB, but it might be nice to have a few more adamantine weapons. In the DMG, adamantine weapons are nonexistent, but adamantine armor turns a critical hit into a normal hit. I think the lack of adamantine weapons (which have long been a staple of the game) comes from the different way that 5e treats inanimate objects. Instead of a “hardness,” they have an increasingly higher AC, depending on how strong the material is, but all materials have the same hp, depending on their size. It was probably tough to figure out how adamantine weapons fit into the system, and not really a priority. I like my fix: it keeps the focus on adamantine versus other items, but doesn’t make the metal any more powerful against living things.

Inubrix or “ghost iron” seems to ignore iron and steel, but the effect is unpredictable. I like the idea that a roll of an 8 could be the “low roll” because of disadvantage, but hit because of the special properties of the weapon. It’s not super-powerful, but could be a fun, flavorful addition to a military campaign (where most of the enemies are wearing armor).

Siccatite emits extreme cold or extreme heat and usually won’t be worth the trouble, but creatures that are resistant to cold or heat could get a lot of use out of siccatite weapons.

Next time: Actual Magic Items!