Gunner 5e

Published on March 12, 2022, Last modified on July 9th, 2022

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What Is Gunner 5e?

While most fantasy settings don’t have firearms, there are a select few that do, or your DM might just not care.

However, these weapons are not just a simple reskin of other ranged weapons. These have their own uses and types and add a ton of character to a setting. Plus, they go boom!

But if you want access to the gun show, you’ll need to first find a way to become proficient.

How Does Gunner Work?

With this feat, you get four new benefits:

  • You increase your DEX by 1, to a max of 20.
  • You are now proficient with firearms (which has accompanying rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide).
  • You now ignore the loading property of firearms.
  • You no longer have disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls when you are within 5ft of an enemy.

Is Gunner Good?

In our 5e Feats Tier List, Gunner was given an A Tier rating, making it an excellent pickup for specific classes.

This is an entirely setting-dependent feat but, if your DM allows it, Gunner makes firearms more accessible. While this feat isn’t overpowered, it definitely enables a type of character build that isn’t otherwise possible (in published materials). Being able to increase DEX and ignore the loading property of a pistol (1d10) or musket (1d12) allows firearm users to keep pace with melee damage dealers because they can use the extra attack features.

Gunner 5e Interactions

It’s important to preface this with a very important factoid:

The firearms in the Critical Role supplemental content on D&D Beyond have the Reload property, not the Loading property.

This means that the 5e Gunner feat does not work with those weapons, so be wary. However, it does work with the Renaissance firearms from the DMG.

Which 5e Classes Make the Most of Gunner?

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good the Gunner 5e feat is for a specific class/subclass.

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange is an OK option
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Gunner is best on builds looking at the Crossbow Expert feat or want to play a gunslinger style with their weapons.

This feat is comparable to the Crossbow Expert feat, wherein you can ignore the loading property and still don’t have disadvantage on your ranged attacks while in melee range. However, you do get half an ASI out of it.

Artificer: If firearms are available in your setting, this will be invaluable to a ranged artificer built around using firearms. As artificers are the only class to get firearm proficiency off the bat they can use them without this feat. That said, the advantages are undeniable. You can imbue your weapons, get killer buffs, and it works with most subclasses.

Barbarian: Ranged combat doesn’t work with barbarians. Your kit is wholly based around melee damage and maintaining rage, which you can’t do with firearms. You are much better off with Great Weapon Master.

Bard: Gunner isn’t a bad choice for flavor reasons, as bards typically do ranged damage anyway. This is an excellent alternative if you want to rely less on spells for damage.

Cleric: A priest with a gun? This doesn’t mix well with the overall cleric kit, which is never DEX-based. The more supportive domains won’t be relying on non-magical damage anyway.

Druid: Typically, your only ranged options are magic-based, so this is a waste for druids. Also, they kind of go against the whole druidic vibe.

Fighter: DEX fighters are great, and this feat is a strong contender for them. Between this and Crossbow Expert, it only comes down to whether or not you want to use hand crossbows for the extra bonus action or the extra DEX from this feat.

Monk: Most monk subclasses don’t stick to ranged damage, making this feat pretty subpar. The only subclass this would work with is the Way of the Kensei, but they’re still pretty melee-focused.

Paladin: Dexadins are a thing, but they don’t stick to range. Using firearms takes away one of the best aspects of a paladin (the smites), so you’re really only hurting yourself with this feat. You’re better off with a melee weapon and Polearm Master to capitalize on the class’ strengths.

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Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house. He is the author of Escape from Mt. Balefor and The Heroes of Karatheon. Mike specializes in character creation guides for players, homebrewed mechanics and tips for DMs, and one-shots with unique settings and scenarios. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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