Gunner Feat DnD: Firearms Improvement in 5e

Last Updated on November 9, 2023

You have a quick hand and keen eye when employing firearms, granting you the following benefits:

Increase your Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.

You gain proficiency with firearms (see “Firearms” in the Dungeon Master’s Guide).

You ignore the loading property of firearms.

Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.

Source: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

The fact is that most players don’t actually see the full benefit of guns in Dungeons and Dragons.

However, although they are technically lore-friendly to some extent, some Game Masters still don’t allow them. In this article, we will talk about the Gunner feat and see if it can change your playing style to your advantage.

The Gunner Feat Explained

The Gunner feat offers multiple benefits. It slightly boosts your Dexterity, gives you proficiency with firearms, and allows you to ignore the loading property of firearms.

On top of that, if you are close to a hostile creature, you won’t get a disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.

So, is the Gunner feat worth it? If you are completely set on building a character that strictly uses firearms, you should definitely take this feat. If you are not, you won’t need it.

However, due to the Dungeons and Dragons mechanics, it makes a bit more sense to use a bow or crossbow if you are aiming toward maximal damage. The feat is good, but not spectacular.

Advantages of the Gunner Feat

Technically speaking, the Gunner feat is very similar to what you get from feats like Crossbow Expert – but for firearms.

Obviously, the first benefit of this feat is that it increases your Dexterity by 1 point. Ranged attacks are based on Dexterity score, so a higher score has a big advantage on your attacks.

Another very important advantage of the Gunner feat is that you ignore the loading property of firearms.

It is important because, without the feat, the loading times mean only one attack per turn. It doesn’t matter how many attacks your class usually has.

However, it does allow a firearms-proficient fighter to switch from musket to pistols, for example, which allows 2-3 attacks if you are a 4-attack-per-turn fighter.

Lastly, if you are within 5 feet from a hostile creature, you won’t be imposed to disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.

Drawbacks of Using the Gunner Feat

Like every feat, the Gunner feat also has some drawbacks.

Firearms in D&D come with certain problems. For example, the range of a pistol and musket is quite short compared to crossbows.

Even if the GM allows guns, you can only be a short-ranged character.

Note also that taking a whole feat for a single weapon can make things quite difficult for you.

It might happen that you find only one pistol for the entire campaign, which would force you to spend money enchanting that weapon without getting a chance to try new weapon types.

Classes That Should Use the Gunner Feat

The first and the most obvious class that works well with this feat is Artificer. Its ability to multiple attacks in the long distance and the ability to create technological weapons makes this class an excellent fit.

Other good options would be a Dexterity-based Fighter and a Ranger. Both classes are based on combat, and both can attack from distance.

One class that really sticks out as being a potentially effective option with this feat is Rogue. It can perform sneak attacks from distance quite effectively, while pistols make an excellent backup option for when things go sideways.

It might seem kinda awkward that you can make a sneak attack with a gunpowder weapon, but since it works quite well with the game mechanics, there is no reason not to take the Gunner feat.

Rogues also get +1 more ability score improvement while still getting the full range of other feats and score boosts they are looking for.

The college of valor can also be used to create an interesting character who uses magic but is also able to wield multiple pistols.

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