This is part of my RPG series of entries here at SOB. See the inaugural entry in the series for more details.
A while back, I created a Gunslinger Prestige Class for use in a gameworld I created. It’s basically exactly what it sounds like — except, of course, that the gameworld only has single-shot pistols, so there won’t be any revolvers being rapid-fired by fanning the hammer with the off-hand, or anything like that.
I’ve updated the class for use with PRPG Beta rules, and now the PRPG Prestige Class: Gunslinger (Beta Test) is available for public consumption.
From that page:
I created the Gunslinger Prestige class for use in my Midian gameworld set in the island kingdom of Tyrne. A PC adopted the Prestige class after initial advancement as a Knave, and everything went well as long as the game progressed. That campaign went on hiatus due to problems getting the players’ schedules to synchronize well enough to maintain an ongoing campaign, however, and I haven’t been able to really test the Gunslinger class in play as fully as I would like as a result. Furthermore, while the class is being updated to use PRPG rules, that campaign was still operating under standard D&D 3.5 rules, so the class has not yet been tested by me at all in its PRPG incarnation. As such, it is labeled a Beta Test class.
The Gunslinger is a rare breed. He is sharp-eyed duelist whose weapon of choice is the height of martial technology in the compact form of a pistol. He is the unarmored or lightly-armored man who can go toe-to-toe with a knight in full armor hefting a ten-pound greatsword. The gunslinger uses a half-ounce piece of lead as the business end of his own weapon, pitting wits, speed, and precision against the tremendous strength of his opponent’s arms.
Gunslingers are respected, at least to their faces, because of the legendary viper-like speed and lethality of their tempers, but all too often they are derided as ruffians, assassins, and worse, behind their backs. Theirs tend to be short, lonely lives, subject to treachery and poor luck, lured into such a life by the promise of quick fame and trapped in it by the danger of others seeking a name for themselves at the Gunslinger’s expense.
A pistol is an impractical weapon for all but a few lifestyles, most notably the duelist and certain classes of military man. It can be lightning-fast on the draw, and devastatingly lethal in skilled hands, but its power is too quickly spent for the self-defense of the common man and far too expensive to practice without the support of military funding or a means of turning its use to lucrative ends. Whereas a bow brings in food while hunting and is cheap to supply with arrows, and a sword requires only occasional cleaning, oiling, and honing to serve as an effective weapon of self-defense, a pistol consumes considerable time in practice, a lot of money for its exotic ammunition, and regular, skilled maintenance. The easiest way to pay for all that, when one lacks a substantial inheritance or outside funding, is to kill for the needed money. Thus is the Gunslinger born.
As noted when I announced the Mage Beta Test version, I’d prefer to release these things under the terms of a simpler copyfree license such as the OWL — but legal restrictions limit me to the OGL. At least the OGL is an open content license of some sort (which is more than I can say for D&D 4E’s GSL).