Arcane Emporium, Vol. 4

This month’s issue of Arcane Emporium explores new martial options for player characters: the Gunslinger and the Vanguard.

The Gunslinger is perhaps the most famous of all non-standard D&D player classes. With a focus on medieval warfare, Wizards of the Coast has never officially endorsed a gunslinger class, leaving the door open for homebrewers of all levels of ingenuity to try their hand at creating one.

This imagining of the class is firmly rooted in the transitional period of warfare (late 15th through early 16th centuries), well before automatic weapons, percussion caps, and even flintlocks. During this period, men still carried rapiers for duelling and plate armour became thicker in order to be pistol proof. It was still impractical for large armies to be equipped with imperfect, highly expensive firearms, and so the hallmarks of medieval warfare still prevailed. The decision to set the technological level at this point was primarily so that Dungeon Masters don’t have to drastically alter the fabric of society in their campaign in order for players to be able to use this class.

The Gunslinger has two main subclasses: the Fulminator and the Sniper. The Fulminator is a Gunslinger who has dabbled in the arcane and learns to imbue their weapons and ammunition with magic. The Sniper is a Gunslinger who focuses on eliminating threats from a distance.

The Vanguard is the leading section of an army a fighter subclass submitted by guest contributor Christian Cole. This class uses fearsome shouts called Battle Cries to maintain battlefield supremacy by buffing allies and de-buffing enemies. With a Vanguard on your side, you are sure to stand resolute against the toughest foes.

Simply click the image below to be taken to the full PDF.

Arcane Emporium is a catalogue of homebrew rules, weapons, spells, monsters, and much more. New issues will be published at the end of each month with additional material. If you like what you see, please consider become a patron on my Patreon. This will help me post regular content for everyone’s enjoyment.


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1 thought on “Arcane Emporium, Vol. 4”

  1. One thing I’d like to get ahead of in regards to Gunslinger class features is the absence of “Called Shots”. Of all the features that people suggested for Gunslingers, Called Shots have been the one consistent entry, and some people may be surprised that I have not included them in this class.

    The reason for the absence of Called Shots is, quite simply, that nobody uses them correctly. In the article entitled “Describing Combat & Hit Points”, I touch on how Called Shots were never intended to allow people to maim, blind, or cripple an opponent. This is because the nature of hit points is such that they represent a character or creature’s luck, magical protections, and/or divine favour as much as they do physical hardiness and ability to sustain being hit.

    What Called Shots became at the hands of those who integrated them as a class feature for Gunslingers was a way to bypass hit points. If you disable all of a creature’s limbs, they’re just a sack of meat with a meaningless “hit point” value as opposed to being a threat. Not only that, but the level to which one must suspend their disbelief with such things as “head shots” threatened to render the game farcical. I am willing to accept many elements of the game as being necessarily unrealistic, but I firmly hold that, if a creature is shot in the head, they die.

    For these reasons, the class has been designed to emphasize other options in combat that are equally effective, if less unrealistic.

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