Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything wanted to support some of the less focused-on mechanics in 5E. One of those mechanics is the concept of Firearms. The Gunner feat allows any character to gain access to firearms. You’re a gunslinger, able to wield the most technologically advanced weapon with ease. The blast of black powder is music to your ears, and you can reload a gun just as fast as one knocks an arrow. Check out our Gunner Feat 5E guide to see if this ability is worthwhile!
Gunner Feat 5E Guide
The Gunner feat increases your Dexterity by +1, gives you proficiency in the Firearms class of weapons, and allows you to ignore the Loading quality of guns. In addition, you do not take any penalty to attack rolls for having an enemy in melee range.
CAUTION: This feat should only be considered in campaigns where firearms are available. Please talk to your DM to see what firearms are available for use. Don’t take this in a high-fantasy campaign and expect to get an Antimatter rifle!
The Gunner feat has a lot going for it. It gives an ability score boost, so you’re not throwing away everything for the feat. You gain Firearm proficiency and can make multiple attacks with a firearm in a round. That’s very useful! Firearms tend to do a lot of damage; even the weakest gun deals 1d10 damage. It’s a good numbers game for your damage per round!
The final benefit is whatever. You get to shoot accurately even in melee. You can do some cool Pistol and Sword shenanigans with this! It’s a fun way to open some new build paths.
First, and most obvious; firearms aren’t available in every campaign. If you take this in some hardcore fantasy games, you’re just getting a +1 to Dexterity. So talk to your DM first.
Now, guns have problems. Their range is pretty short; a pistol is 30/90, while a musket is only a little better, at 40/120. Compare that to the Heavy Crossbow’s 100 feet, and it’s not even close. So even if guns are available, you’re going to be a short-ranged character… Unless you’re playing a futuristic campaign, in which case guns become basically essential.
Taking a whole feat for one single weapon does make you a bit one-dimensional. What if you only find one pistol for the entire campaign? You’ll have to spend time and money enchanting that single weapon and not really have the chance to try new weapon types out. That can be annoying!
You’re going to want to be a build with Extra Attack. Removing the Loading quality makes multiattack so much better. A Fighter or Ranger are naturally good choices, with them both having a Fighting Style with a +2 to attack rolls.
Firearms also tend to lack the Heavy quality, so you can be a good ranged damage dealer with a Small character! If you’ve ever wanted a Goblin fighter to fan the hammer for 4 shots, then this feat will do the deed!
If you’re in a campaign where guns are everywhere, gunner is a reasonable feat to consider. It lets you deal a good amount of damage while not sacrificing the entire ability score improvement. Besides, Dexterity is a ridiculously strong stat! If you’re trying out a gunslinger of some kind, this is a fantastic idea.