College of the Mirthful Mariachi

Bards of the mirthful mariachi “college” (the art is almost never actually taught and comes naturally to most practitioners) feel the droning and vibrating rhythm of the underworld in the strings of their guitars. In love with both their ranged expertise, scouting and the melodies they use to bring the tunes of their strange home to life, these bards are tinkerers and vagabonds, blending their expertise with ranged weapons with a keen ear and a wide smile.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you join the mirthful mariachis at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with 1 skill of your choice as well as ranged, simple, and martial weapons.

Crossover of Destruction

Also at 3rd level, you learn to tinker with ranged weapons. You may, with a day’s work, combine an instrument you are proficient with and a ranged weapon you are proficient with. You can make hornbows, violin-slings, guitar-crossbows or any other combination you can think of. The combination retains the properties of the ranged weapon and is known as a crossover weapon. You are automatically proficient with the resulting crossover weapon, though all other creatures suffer disadvantage when trying to use your modified instrument. Additionally, when firing this weapon, you do not gain disadvantage for firing at long range and gain your Charisma modifier as a bonus to the attack roll to hit your targets.

Crossover Crafting

The mirthful mariachi at 3rd level learns all the necessary tricks to craft, maintain and sometimes repair his crossover weapons. Crafting requires material costs, skill proficiency with the item in question, a crafting place, and time. Depending on the environment you are in, certain modifications may not be possible.

Subterranean Song

Starting at 6th level, you become so attuned to the melodies of the wind surging through the caverns, the dripping of water and the rumble of the earth that you become practically impossible to take by surprise, as you can unconsciously read even the minutest modifications of the melody you perceive. While in the underworld, you gain advantage on your first attack in every combat and you cannot be surprised. Additionally, you do not suffer from disadvantage when attacking with your combined music instrument/ ranged weapon when only 5 feet from an enemy.

Finally, you can expend a bardic inspiration die to completely silence a ranged attack you make with your crossover weapon.

Improved Crossover Crafting

Also at 6th level, you have learned to craft quicker and more efficiently. You craft or repair twice as much as usual per workday of downtime. Additionally, you may spend time during a long rest to craft 2 x your Charisma modifier pieces of ammunition for your crossover weapon.

Hail of Missiles

Starting at 11th level, you may use your crossover weapon to blast a hail of missiles at enemies. You may either make an Attack action twice, instead of once, when attacking with your crossover weapon.

Alternatively, you may fire up to your Charisma modifier projectiles at foes within range, but you suffer from disadvantage on all attack rolls when you do and are stunned in the round following this use of the Hail of Missiles feature.

Can I have that with firearms, please?

It should be pretty evident that the mirthful mariachi was intended as a tribute to the trope of the Wild West mariachi with gun/instrument hybrids. Not all GMs enjoy firearms in their game, though, and the SRD does not feature firearms as something existing by default. For your convenience, here are tried and tested firearm rules for use with the mirthful mariachi!

General Firearm Rules

Ammunition. The ammunition of a firearm is destroyed upon use, cannot be salvaged and has the specified range of the respective weapon.

Broken. When a critical miss is made with a firearm, there is a chance of jamming and mechanical failure. Upon rolling a critical miss, the wielder must succeed a DC 10 Intelligence saving throw to try to fix the problem quickly. On a failed save, the firearm gains the Broken condition until repaired. When a firearm has the Broken condition, all attacks made with it suffer from disadvantage on attack rolls until time is spent repairing the firearm.

Capacity. Each firearm has a capacity to hold a number of bullets before requiring a reload. This is denoted by the firearm’s Capacity rating.

Maintenance. Each day, during a long rest, the character must spend a minimum of 1 hour cleaning and maintaining the firearms carried. Failure to do so means that the firearm automatically receives the Broken condition on a natural roll of 1 or 2 when the firearm is used. A character can maintain a maximum number of firearms this way equal to his Intelligence modifier, minimum 1.

Loud. All firearms generate a thundering blast that can be heard up to 300 yards away. Creatures that are only 100 yards away can pinpoint the direction of the gunfire.

Proficiency. Unless otherwise noted, proper use of these firearms is more complex than the ones we are used to. Hence, they are classified as one- or two-handed martial ranged weapons, respectively.

Rate of Fire. Most firearms that can be encountered in the quasi-Early Modern Period can only fire one or two bullets before requiring a reload. However, in a fantasy environment, there is no reason why firearms with a larger rate of fire than single shots shouldn’t exist. We have thus included rules for other rates of fire in the variant rules below.

Reload. Each firearm holds a different amount of ammunition, as denoted by the capacity value of the firearm. Reloading a firearm once its Capacity is emptied takes an action during combat.

Targeting. When firing a weapon that requires targeting, an action is required to be spent aiming, and reloading the weapon. This sets movement to 0 ft. The weapon can thereafter be fired on the next turn and after that, the wielder may move normally once again.

Rates of Fire

Single Shot. The weapon fires one piece of ammunition per round. This is the assumed default and unless otherwise noted, all weapons are assumed to be capable of delivering single shots.

Burst. The weapon can fire short bursts, improving its damage. A burst consumes at least 3 shots of ammunition, but allows you to increase the damage inflicted on a successful attack by an additional damage die. A revolver would deal +1d6 damage, for example, while a repeating shotgun would theoretically deal + 1d8 damage.

Spread. Weapons with the spread property allow the wielder to affect more than one creature or object per shot, but only at normal range. When firing this firearm, any creatures adjacent to the target must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC = 8 + wielder’s proficiency bonus + wielder’s choice of either Intelligence or Dexterity modifier) or take damage equal to one die step lower than the base damage die of the firearm used. A firearm with a base damage of 2d6 would for example deal 1d4 piercing damage from the shrapnel, while a firearm with a base damage of 2d8 would deal 1d6 piercing damage due to shrapnel.

Automatic Fire. Instead of shooting at a single target, weapons with this rate of fire property can target a 10- foot cubic area within long range with bullets. Every creature in that area must succeed a Dexterity saving throw (DC = 8 + wielder’s proficiency bonus + wielder’s choice of either Intelligence or Dexterity modifier) or suffer the damage of the attack. Creatures take no damage on a successful save. Targets have advantage on their saving throw if the distance is equal to or greater than the weapon’s normal range. An attack with an automatic fire weapon consumes at least 10 shots worth of ammunition.

Firearms and Associated Equipment
Name Cost Damage Weight Properties Capacity
Pistol 75 gp 1d6 piercing 2 lbs. Ammunition (range 45/135), reload 1
Arquebus 120 gp 2d6 piercing 7 lbs. Ammunition (90/300), reload, two-handed 1
Musket 200 gp 2d10 piercing 8 lbs. Ammunition (90/600), reload, targeting, two-handed 1
Single action revolver 550 gp 2d6 piercing 3 lbs. Ammunition (45/135), reload, fire rate (burst) 6
Shotgun 300 gp 2d8 piercing 7 lbs. ammunition (30/90), reload, fire rate (spread), two-handed 1
Ammunition 10 gp Box with a quantity of 100 bullets and requiring materials to fire them
Ammunition 15 gp Box with a quantity of 50 shotgun shells and associated materials to fire them

Variant Rules

If you wish to emphasize increased potency, but also risk, involved with firearms, here are some additional rules:

  • Unstable. The wielder of this firearm, suffers a catastrophic mishap on a natural 1 (or 2, for more experimental firearms). Treat the wielder as though he had just been shot, as the firearm explodes and gains the broken condition.
  • Lethal (Exploding Dice). Reroll any maximum number rolled on a given firearm’s damage die and add it to the total tally. This can result in ridiculous damage and truly cheer-worthy moments, but it also renders the game more volatile. It is recommended to offset lethal (exploding dice) with unstable to maintain the risk/reward ratio.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Underworld Races and Classes © 2017 AAW Games LLC; Designers: Thilo Graf and Mike Myler