School of Black Powder

The school of black powder bridges magic and technology. Wizards of this school form a magical bond with a firearm, allowing them to channel their magic through the weapon to enhance its effects.

Students go beyond simple offensive magics, using their black powder magic to great utility in aiding allies and hindering foes. Practitioners of this school refer to themselves as powdermancers, though many folk refer to all spellcasters with an affinity for firearms as “gun mages,” not fully understanding firearms or the differences between the various magical disciplines and styles that utilize them.

Gun Savant

When you select this school at 2nd level, you gain proficiency with simple firearms and with the musket. When attacking with firearms, you can use your Intelligence modifier, instead of Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls. You can use a firearm as a spellcasting focus. In addition, you gain proficiency with alchemist’s supplies or gunsmith’s tools (your choice).

Arcane Arms

Starting at 2nd level, you can imbue your firearm with arcane power to create minor magical effects.

As an action, you can invoke one of the following effects, provided you have a gun in your hand. The effects created by this feature don’t cause the firearm to release an audible boom, but other attacks or effects from your firearm still create the sound. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Arcane Dusting. You shoot a 15-foot cone of magical dust from the barrel of your firearm. Each creature or object in the area that is currently being affected by a spell, such as mage armor, or that is magical, such as bracers of archery, glows until the end of your next turn, shedding dim light in a 5-foot radius.

Flare. You fire a bright ball of magical light from the barrel of your firearm. If fired into the air, the ball rises to a maximum height of 100 feet, unless stopped by an intervening obstacle, hovers until the end of your next turn, then falls slowly, reaching the ground by the end of the next round. The light extinguishes when it hits the ground. The flare can be seen up to 1 mile away in daylight or up to 5 miles in darkness. Alternatively, the flare can be fired up to 50 feet away in any other direction. Each creature within 5 feet of the path of the flare must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC or have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight for 1 minute.

Lockbuster. You fire a magical shot from your firearm at a lock within the weapon’s normal range. Make an attack roll with the firearm. If the result is equal to or exceeds the DC required to pick the lock, your shot destroys the lock. You have advantage on this attack roll if the lock is protected by magic, such as the arcane lock spell.

Smokescreen. A cloud of smoke billows from your firearm, creating a 10-foot-radius sphere of smoke centered on you. The sphere spreads around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. The cloud lasts until the end of your next turn or until a wind of moderate or greater speed (at least 10 miles per hour) disperses it. When you reach 6th level, the sphere’s radius increases to 20 feet.

Starter’s Gun. You discharge your firearm into the air. Each friendly creature of your choice within 30 feet of you has its speed increased by 10 feet until the start of your next turn. When you reach 10th level, each affected creature can also Dash as a bonus action on its turn.

Tracer Shot. You fire a ball of light at a creature you can see within 60 feet of you. Make a ranged attack with your firearm. On a hit, the attack deals damage as normal, and the target is outlined in light, as if affected by the faerie fire spell, until the start of your next turn. When you reach 10th level, the target is outlined in light for 1 minute.

Spell Shot

Starting at 6th level, when you cast a spell that requires a melee spell attack roll, you can instead project the spell through your firearm, using the firearm’s normal range as the range of the spell. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest. In addition, your attacks with a firearm count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Improved Arcane Arms

At 10th level, you are able to imbue your firearm with more powerful magical effects. When you use your Arcane Arms feature, you can choose one of the following effects instead. In addition, you can expend a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to regain a number of expended uses of your Arcane Arms feature equal to half the level of the spell slot.

False Shot. You fire an illusionary shot at a target within 30 feet, your weapon booming and smoking as if you had actually made an attack. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, the target is paralyzed with fear until the start of your next turn. On a successful save, the target is frightened of you until the start of your next turn.

Invigorating Burst. You discharge your firearm into the air, dispersing a magical dust that settles around you. Each creature of your choice within 20 feet of you, including yourself, gains 2d4 temporary hit points for 1 hour.

Shot in the Arm. As a bonus action, you can fire a crackling bolt of energy from your firearm at a friendly creature you can see within 60 feet of you. If the target is suffering from exhaustion, its level of exhaustion is reduced by 1. If not, the target gains 5 temporary hit points for 1 hour and has advantage on its next ability check, attack roll, or saving throw.

Warning Shot. You fire a shot into the air, producing a magically enhanced, thunderous boom. Each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you becomes indifferent about creatures of your choice that it is hostile toward. This indifference lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if an affected target is attacked, is harmed by a spell, witnesses any of its allies being harmed, or if you use your firearm to invoke another Arcane Arms effect before the duration ends.

Hand Cannon

At 14th level, when you make a ranged attack roll with a firearm, you can expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher to imbue the firearm with great arcane power. If you do, you gain a bonus on the attack roll equal to the spell’s level. If you hit the target, the force of the shot continues in a 30-foot line that is 5 feet wide directly away from you and originating from the target. Each creature in that line must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC.

On a failed save, a creature takes 1d6 force damage for each slot level of the spell expended. On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage.

This damage can experience bursts, as described in the gunpowder weapon property, but this effect counts as a single effect for the purposes of determining how many times the damage can burst, regardless of the number of targets affected.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Heroes ©2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Celeste Conowitch, Jeff Lee, Sarah Madsen, Ben McFarland, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind

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