The Gunpowder Codex

The Gunpowder Codex: Rules, Gear, Crafting, & 11 Archetypes for Worlds with Firearms

The existence of this document is predicated on the feeling that not all gunslingers must be fighters. Just as there is room in D&D for all classes to wield a sword (some better than others, granted), so too should all classes have an option that deals with guns.

This codex was jointly inspired by Matthew Mercer's Gunslinger archetype (which we endorse, with one tweak), and by the Gunslinger class in Pathfinder. Note that we've not included a fighter archetype, because we didn't think we could do much better than Matt already did. We have, however, modified some general firearms rules and created an entirely new and more robust list of firearms, along with 10 enchanted guns. We've included a simple but clearly defined system for crafting guns and ammunition. We've made a half dozen spells and a feat. And the main event, of course, is the 11 archetypes.

As mentioned above, we didn't include fighter because Gunslinger already exists. We similarly didn't include Artificer, because Gunsmith exists, and we didn't include Mystic because it's likely to change within 6 months - and, frankly, we're not big fans of psionics. We've been working on some of these for over 5 months, and we're pretty confident in both their flavor and mechanics, although we don't claim that they're perfect by any means. Check them out and let us know what you think. For those of you that use CharForge (see the link at the top), yes, these will be included in v1.3 within a few weeks or so.

The Gunpowder Codex is primarily aimed at settings in which guns are, if not common, at least not unheard of. Perhaps only the rich or inventive possess them, or perhaps every other city guard does. That part is up to you. For DMs who want to use these archetypes without making firearms at all common in their worlds, see our section on balance - you may need to tweak your encounters somewhat to keep challenge on an even keel.

Thanks for your interest in the Gunpowder Codex!


  1. The descriptions of tools in Xanathar's Guide to Everything made it clear that Smith's Tools are more appropriate for the crafting work that gun-wielding archetypes do. Thus, simply swap all mentions of Tinker's Tools in the Gunpowder Codex for Smith's Tools.
  2. The Advanced Gunner feat is intended to grant proficiency with both martial and advanced firearms.
The Gunpowder Codex v1.1.pdf