When I became the editor for EN5ider my first objective (aside from keeping the high level of quality D&D 5E articles coming!) was a new suite of classes to follow up on the original A Touch of Class. In this series I’m going to explore the 9 new entries in A Touch More Class, reveal some of the development process behind them, and consider the obstacles in getting these from ideas to fully finished concepts. Get a quick fix on them all here and BACK THE KICKSTARTER! As of this post, the project has garnered $78,656 from 1,677 backers!!!
This class is one I had nothing to do with! I am however confident in the skills of the editor before me (James Haeck) and Walt Ciechanowski’s design chops. Most folks are familiar with the gunslinger by Matthew Mercer but I’m glad for this alternative, if for no other reason than it’s OGL so it’s something everyone can use. Enough with the interruptions–let’s take a look at THE GUNFIGHTER!
Fighter is in the name on this one and there are some obvious similarities between the two–fighting styles, hit dice, skills–but the concept is so broad that it easily lends itself to many archetypes, which is a solid reason to build a full class. Gunfighters also have enough elements associated with other classes (like moving quickly with a bonus action Dash) and specific benefits (ignoring cover for ranged attacks) that its skeleton has plenty of bones for meat to put onto.
- Fighting Styles All gunfighters ultimately get 2 different fighting styles and this class includes 5 new ones. No matter what firearm they prefer, there’s a fighting style to compliment it.
- Rogue Elements As mentioned above gunfighters (around mid-level) get some quick dashes along with Evasion. On top of that their saving throws are for Dexterity and Charisma, and their skill selection is a little more appealing (looking at you, Stealth).
- Codes of the Gun Like several other entries this is where I feel that the gunfighter really justifies itself as a full class. Each archetype presented is flavorful and has a major impact on how a gunfighter plays at the table, making this whole thing feel whole. Kudos to you Walt and James!
- Bushwacker Gunfighters that want to get really rogue-y want this subclass. They get a kind of sneak attack, extra bonuses for hiding, can shoot at longer ranges, and eventually hide as a bonus action, ignore difficult terrain, and can shoot blind!
- Drifter If the goal is for a more charismatic kind of gunfighter then drifters fit the bill wonderfully. They get some ranger-esque travel bonuses, plenty of attacks, and can do some cool things with their reputation (inspiring fear and 1/short rest rerolls on a failed attack roll or ability check).
- Maverick These are the really charismatic gunfighters–natural liars, not above using dirty tricks (of which there are 13!), and gain some limited spell access.
DESIGN HURDLE: Too Few Words
Even though I had nothing to do with this one I can promise you that the biggest challenge that James and Walt faced was keeping this inside of word count. Even for something as iconic and self-explanatory as a gunfighter, there just wasn’t enough space to both do the mechanics correctly and allow for this class to really breathe (and they sensibly leaned harder towards the former instead of the latter). No worries though–in A Touch More Class this gets the full treatment including fiction, context, quickbuild advice, and so on.
If this sounds awesome to you then please check out the A Touch More Class Kickstarter and if you can’t wait for the PDF/book (which deliver as soon as the project funding period ends) consider joining the EN5ider Patreon! It can be as affordable as $1 per month and as soon as you join you get instant access to the Gunfighter along with the rest of the 270+ article archive!