Continuing my project to bring a Shadowrun setting to d&d 5e, this time I’m going to look at the Fighter class.
My philosophy in this project is to use a soft-touch when making modifications to the game mechanics. After all the 5e playtest was huge, so the less I mess with it, the better it’ll be.
The fighter class seems like a good place to start. It’s a pretty simple class – they’re good at hitting things and taking hits. So I figure all I need to do is insert “…and shooting” into that sentence, and my work is done right?
I’m going to avoid using the term ‘street samurai’ as much as I can. I hate it, it doesn’t make sense, it sounds really cheesy. If you want to rename the fighter class you can, but I won’t.
What Makes a Fighter?
Looking at the core fighter class features, it looks like almost nothing needs to be done. A fighter gets a lot of ability score improvements, action surge, second wind and multiple attacks. Seems fine.
The fighting styles are going to need work: it would be good to have something that specialises in guns, and maybe grenades.
I’m going to leave the existing archetypes pretty much as they are. The champion is simple enough to work in any setting, and the eldritch knight will get tweaked along with the Wizard, if at all. I’ll tinker with the combat manoeuvres, just to make it less melee-focused. I’m also going to create an entirely knew archetype that focuses on guns. Big guns.
Pretty simple, I’m just going to introduce two new styles, and modify the ‘Archery’ style. I was going to get rid of ‘Protection’, but I figured someone might want to make a fighter who uses a big riot shield.
Rename this to ‘Marksman’ and give the bonus to guns as well.
Spray and Pray
If you use a weapon with burst fire you may expend an additional 5 ammo to do triple damage (the attack is still made with disadvantage).
You may choose any single creature to automatically pass or fail their saving throw against your grenade attack. Additionally, increase the range of your grenades by 10 feet.
Battle Master Manoeuvres
I think most of what’s there for the battle master is fine, I’d just the following to aid a gun- or grenade-focused fighter.
Flush ’em Out
When attacking a creature behind cover, you may spend a superiority die to attempt to force the creature out. You add the superiority die to the attack roll (or subtract it from their saving throw in the case of a grenade), and the creature makes a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save you may move the creature 5 feet and they do not benefit from cover until your next turn.
Armour Piercing Ammo
When firing at a creature you may expend a superiority die to fire a special armour-piercing shot. Add the superiority die to attack roll, and if the attack hits you may ignore the targets damage resistance for this shot.
New Archetype: Gunner
Ah yeah. This is the good stuff. Let’s bring out the big guns!
A gunner is a master of firearms, and their use in battle. While many fighters may use a gun, only a gunner treats the weapon as an extension of themselves (sometimes literally in the case of certain biowares), and is one of the few individuals able to use the frighteningly effective ‘big guns’. However a gunner also has abilities that help them get into and out of trouble, so that enemies are always engaged on the gunner’s terms.
Big Badda Boom
When you choose this archetype at level 3, you gain proficiency in one ‘big gun’ of your choice.
This Is My Gun, There Are Many Like It…
At 7th level, you know your weapons inside out, and could clean, check and reload them blindfolded. As an action, you can reload every weapon you’re carrying, or as a bonus action you may reload your currently held weapon.
Good? Bad? I’m The Guy With The Gun.
When you reach 10th level, choose one of the following:
- Oscar Mike– you are a master of battlefield mobility. You may dash or disengage as a bonus action.
- Headshot– so long as you do not move on your turn, you may use a bonus action to take careful aim at an enemy. If your next attack hits, it is a critical hit. You must finish a short or long rest before using this ability again.
- Pistol Whip– you may use a bonus action to make a melee weapon attack with your currently held gun, using the stock, handle, etc. The attack does 1d4 of bludgeoning damage and the target must make a strength saving throw (DC 8 + your melee attack bonus) or be pushed back 5 feet.
Say Hello To My Little Friend
When you reach 15th level, you gain proficiency with a second ‘big gun’, or gain another fighting style.
Go Ahead, Make My Day
At 18th level you gain one of the following. Each ability may be used once between each short or long rest.
- Gun Kata– when a ranged attack is made against you, you may use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC, potentially causing the attack to miss.
- CQC– when an enemy moves to within 5 feet of you, you may use your reaction to draw a one-handed melee weapon and make a single melee attack against that creature.
- Self Destruct– when you are reduced to 0 hit points you may use your reaction to use a grenade (or other explosive weapon). The explosive goes off immediately, centred on you. You also immediately fail one death save, if applicable.
I think that makes an interesting class, while still keeping the traditional ‘fighter’ feel.
Next up, I think I’ll make a start on nitrates