One of my players in my new campaign wanted to play a Wizard with a gun / Magic Law Enforcement type character. However we found that none of the existing class options quite hit what we were looking for. Therefore we created this homebrew class.


The design goals for the class are:

  • Create an arcane casting equivalent to the Ranger, without the major drawbacks of the Ranger class.
  • Give Wizard-like feel as a half-caster (intelligence casting, spellbook)
  • Provide a gunslinger / arcane archer type combat option
  • Be balanced between in-combat and out of combat utility


To create this class I borrowed heavily from existing material for progression. In particular:

  • Uses feature progress (ASIs and features per level) from Ranger
  • Spellcasting progression from Artificer
  • Borrow heavily from Arcane Archer and Matt Mercer's Gunslinger subclass for Spellshot subclass

I'm looking for review on the mechanical aspects of the class. In particular the relative power level compared to the classes/subclasses it is based on (Ranger, Gunslinger/Arcance Archer Fighter, Artificer).

The Class

I'm going to omit a lot of the flavour text in favour of keeping this post length manageable, I'm also leaving out some of the basic features as I am confident they are balanced. The full class is available here for anyone that wants to see it.


Hit Die: d8


  • Armor: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
  • Weapons: Simple weapons, Martial weapons
  • Tools: Thieve's Tools
  • Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
  • Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Stealth, Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Intimidation, Perception

Enforcer Table

Level Proficiency Bonus Features Cantrips Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Spellcasting 2 2
2nd +2 Fighting Style, Insightful Combatant 2 2
3rd +2 Enforcer Specialisation 2 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 2 4 2
6th +3 Spell Combat 2 4 2
7th +3 Enforcer Specialisation Feature 2 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Lay Down the Law 2 4 3
9th +4 2 4 3 2
10th +4 Badge of Authority 3 4 3 2
11th +4 Enforcer Specialisation Feature 3 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 3 4 3 3
13th +5 3 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Precision Fighter 4 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Enforcer Specialisation Feature 4 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 3 3 2
17th +6 4 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Arcane Restraints 4 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Law Unto Yourself 4 4 3 3 3 2

Class Features


Weapon or Wand

You can use an arcane focus (see the Adventuring Gear section) as a spellcasting focus for your enforcer spells. Alternatively, you may use any weapon you are proficient with as a spellcasting focus.


At 1st level, you know two cantrips of your choice from the enforcer spell list. You learn additional enforcer cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Enforcer table.


At 1st level, your spellbook contains 4 1st-level Enforcer spells of your choice. Your spellbook is the repository of the enforcer spells you know, except your cantrips, which are fixed in your mind.

Preparing and Casting Spells

[...] You prepare the list of enforcer spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of enforcer spells from your spellbook equal to your Intelligence modifier + half your enforcer level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. [...]

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of enforcer spells requires time spent studying your spellbook and memorizing the incantations and gestures you must make to cast the spell: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spell Casting Ability

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your enforcer spells. [typical magic rules]

Ritual Casting

You can cast an enforcer spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell prepared.

Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher

Each time you gain an enforcer level, you can add two enforcer spells of your choice to your spellbook for free. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots, as shown on the enforcer table. On your adventures, you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook.

Detail Oriented

Beginning at 1st level, your training has gained you an uncanny eye for detail.

You have advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) check made to uncover hidden objects or information.

Your detailed notes also allow your to precisely recall important information. Your notes are stored in your spellbook, if you wish you may write then in a code only you can understand. You may check your notes to recall a specific fact you have since forgotten. Once you have used this feature you cannot use it again until you have completed a long rest. Your spellbook must be in your possession to use this feature.

Fighting Style

[Standard Fighting Style rules] Options: Archery, Defense, Dueling, Protection, Two-weapon Fighting

Insightful Combatant

From 2nd level, your keen attunement to the intentions of others grants you an edge in combat. You may add your Intelligence modifier to Initiative checks. Additionally you have advantage on Attacks of Opportunity made when an opponent attempts to leave your reach.

Enforcer Specialisation

At 3rd level, you select a specialisation to hone your skills with advanced training. Enforcer specialisations are described at the end of this class. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 11th and 15th level.

Spell Combat

From 6th Level, you have become extraordinary profiency at wielding both weapons and magic. When you use your action to cast a spell during your turn, you may use your bonus action to make one weapon attack with a weapon you are holding.

Lay Down the Law

At 8th level, your force of personality has power over others. As a bonus action, you fix a creature you can see with a piercing stare. The target must make a charisma saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, you have advantage on persuassion and intimidation checks targetting that creature until you finish a short or long rest.

Once you use this ability you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Badge of Authority

From 10th level, at the beginning of combat you may force a number of humanoid creatures up to your intelligence modifier to make a wisdom save (using your spell save DC). On a failed save they are frightened of you for 1 minute. Affected creature may attempt the save again at the end of their turns. You may use this feature once per long rest.

Precision Fighter

Starting at 14th level, your astute mind can determine weak points in your enemies. When you hit with a weapon attack you may add your intelligence modifier to the damage roll.

Arcane Restraints

From 18th level, you may use an action to conjure arcane manacles onto a large or smaller creature who is already grappled, restrained or incapacitated. Make an opposed grapple check using your Intelligence modifier + Proficiency Bonus vs the targets Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Stength (Athletics) (targets choice). If you succeed the target is bound.

While bound a creature cannot use any action that require their hands, cast spells or move more than half their speed in one turn. The creature make attempt to break free once per day by making a Strength (Athletics) check against your spell save DC.

You may only bind one creature in this way at a time.

Law Unto Yourself

At 20th level your law enforcing prowess knows no mortal comparison. You may serve as investigator, judge and jury all at once, passing judgement on creatures you deem deserving.

You learn the Geas spell, which always counts as prepared for you but it not counted against the number of enforcer spells you have prepared. Once per day you may cast Geas as though you were casting with a 9th level spell slot.

Once you have judged a creature in this way, you may not do so again until you complete a long rest.

Spellshot Subclass

I intend to provide three subclasses for this class. One ranged combat focused (this one), one magic focused and one melee focused. However as this is the one my player will be using I want to focus on this for balance.


Firearm Proficiency

Starting when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with firearms, allowing you to add your proficiency bonus to attacks made with firearms.


[As per Matt Mercer's Gunslinger, with minor fixes]

Arcane Shot

At 3rd level, you learn to unleash special magical effects with some of your shots. When you gain this feature, you learn three Arcane Shot options of your choice (see "Arcane Shot Options" below).

Once per turn when you fire a firearm as part of the Attack action, you can apply one of your Arcane Shot options to that shot. You decide to use the option before making your attack roll. You have a number of uses of this ability equal to your proficiency modifier, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a short or long rest.

You gain an additional Arcane Shot option of your choice when you reach certain levels in this class: 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level. Each time you learn a new Arcane Shot options, you may replace an option you already know with another one.

Lightning Reload

Starting at 7th level, you can reload any firearm as a bonus action. [Moved to earlier level than Gunslinger as both player and I feel it is too late to be useful]

Covering Fire

You have learned to use your firearms defensively. From 7th level, when making an attack, you may forego the attack roll to instead fire over your targets head. The target makes a wisdom saving throw against your Arcane Shot DC. On a fail, they have disadvantage on attack rolls until the start of your next turn.

Fan the Hammer

At 10th Level, you gain the ablity to rapidly fire multiple shots. You may use your action to fire all remaining ammunition in a firearm you are holding. Make a spearate attack roll for each shot. Once you have used this ability you cannot use it again until you complete a short rest, or expend one use of Arcane Shot to do so.

Improved Arcane Shot

Beginning at 15th level, your ability to manipulate the arcane energy attached to your shots has improved. Many effects increase duration from 1 round to 1 minute, this requires your concentration to maintain. While in effect the target may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns. Other effects increase in damage. See Arcane Shot Options below.

The Arcane Shot Options are largely inspired by the Arcane Arrow options from Arcane Archer as well as the Trick Shots from Gunslinger. As they as a lot of complexity to the review I'm just going to put three as examples. Assume the other options will be balanced in terms of power level.

Arcane Shot Options

If an option requires a saving throw, your Arcane Shot save DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.

Banishing Shot

Imbued with planar energy a creature hit by this shot must make a charisma saving throw or be banished to harmless pocket plane. While banished in this way, the target's speed is 0, and it is incapacitated. At the end of its next turn, the target reappears in the space it vacated or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied.

From 15th level you maintain this effect for up to one minute duration using your concentration.

Seeking Shot

When you use this option, you don't make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, choose one creature you have seen in the past minute. The shot flies toward that creature, moving around corners if necessary and ignoring three-quarters cover and half cover. If the target is within the weapon's range and there is a path large enough for the shot to travel to the target, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. Otherwise, the shot disappears after travelling as far as it can. On a failed save, the target takes damage as if it was hit by the shot and you learn the target's current location. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage, and you don't learn its location.

From 15th level, creature who fail to save against this effect also take 2d6 force damage.

Slowing Shot

Your shots limit your opponents ability to flee. Make hit by this shot a creature must make a dexterity saving throw or be slowed until the start of your next turn. While slow the creature's speed is halved, it cannot take reactions and may only use an action or a bonus action on its turn, not both.

At 15th level you can maintain this effect for up to 1 minutes by concentrating on it.

Spell List

I'm not overly concerned about the balance of the spell list. However I understand it is required to be able to assess the relative power of the spellcasting feature. Therefore I have included it below.

Cantrips 1st 2nd 3rd
  • Detect Magic
  • Mage Hand
  • Blade Ward
  • Booming Blade
  • Light
  • Encode Thoughts
  • Lightning Lure
  • Message
  • Mind Sliver
  • Spare the Dying
  • True Strike
  • Toll the Dead
  • Absorb Elements
  • Bane
  • Cause Fear
  • Command
  • Compelled Duel
  • Comprehend Languages
  • Detect Magic
  • Feather Fall
  • Find Familiar
  • Gift of Alacrity
  • Hunter's Mark
  • Identify
  • Illusory Script
  • Protection from Evil and Good
  • Sanctuary
  • Sleep
  • Speak with Animals
  • Alter Self
  • Arcane Lock
  • Augury
  • Borrowed Knowledge
  • Calm Emotions
  • Detect Thoughts
  • Knock
  • Locate Object
  • Find Traps
  • Fortune's Favour
  • Hold Person
  • Invisibility
  • Magic Mouth
  • Mind Spike
  • Pass without Trace
  • See Inivisibility
  • Silence
  • Spider Climb
  • Tasha's Mind Whip
  • Wristpocket
  • Zone of Truth
    • Blink
    • Clairvoyance
    • Counterspell
    • Dispel Magic
    • Enemies Abound
    • Fast Friends
    • Hyponotic Pattern
    • Nondetection
    • Protection from Energy
    • Tongues
    4th 5th
    • Arcane Eye
    • Charm Monster
    • Compulsion
    • Divination
    • Fabricate
    • Freedom of Movement
    • Greater Invisibility
    • Locate Creature
    • Secret Chest
    • Contact Other Plane
    • Dispel Evil and Good
    • Dominate Person
    • Legend Lore
    • Modify Memory
    • Scrying
    • Steel Wind Strike

    Balance Concerns

    Overall I'm fairly confident in the balance of this class and plan to begin playtesting it this weekend. However I've spent so long looking at it I'm sure there is a chance I have completely overlooked a glaring issue. Therefore I wanted to get some more eyes on it. Mainly I want to know:

    • Does this class achieve the design goals?
    • Have I avoided making the classes it is based on entirely redundant?
    • Is it balanced from a relative power level?
    • Is there any potential issues I should be monitoring during playtesting?

    I know this is an enormous question. I've tried to reduce it as much as possible while still being a fair review of the class. If anyone has suggestions for formatting improvements or feel I've left something out please let me know in the comments below.

    • \$\begingroup\$ Page 2 has some formatting issues in the top right, this paragraph is partially clipped out of the: "Your detailed notes also allow your to precisely recall important information. Your notes are stored in your spellbook, if you wish you may write then in a code only you can understand. ... etc". I also noticed you don't include rules for copying spells into your book but mention "you might find other spells that you can add to your spellbook." \$\endgroup\$
      – user73918
      Jan 12, 2022 at 3:08
    • 1
      \$\begingroup\$ @Non-humanPerson I'm aware there's some formatting issues with the PDF, I've got to do a few more editing passes and I'm trying to find some appropriate artwork to make it look nice.. Any rules that I missed can be assumed to follow the same rules as the class I copied it from. In this case it follows the same rules as Wizard for copying spells. \$\endgroup\$
      – linksassin
      Jan 12, 2022 at 3:14
    • 1
      \$\begingroup\$ @Non-humanPerson I'm aware it's a huge question, I don't mind if it takes a while. I've already gone through some review in the Role-playing Games Chat. I don't generally like forums as they don't require good quality answers. \$\endgroup\$
      – linksassin
      Jan 12, 2022 at 3:18
    • 1
      \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin Yes, this class is in active playtesting. Currently up to level 4 after 8 sessions. I intend to write an answer after a couple more sessions. \$\endgroup\$
      – linksassin
      Apr 29, 2022 at 13:36
    • 2
      \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot I've written up a summary of the playtest so far as an answer. Just in case you are interested. \$\endgroup\$
      – linksassin
      Sep 26, 2022 at 6:24

    3 Answers 3


    OK, so this is a long post, and I know you want input on the whole thing, but here are a few important points:

    • This class shouldn't have access to medium armor; it's a ranged spell caster so offer it light armor at best. Also, no shields; ranged spell caster.

    • It shouldn't have martial weapons, arguably it shouldn't have all simple weapons. Give them the wizard's weapon proficiencies plus guns.

    • I have no clue why they have thieves tools; drop that and give them smithing tools proficiency.

    • A weapon as a spellcasting focus should cost something, not just be the default. Look at Warlocks - even if you take BOTH weapon based paths (hexblade warlock and pact of the blade) you still have to take an invocation to use that weapon as a spellcasting focus. This goes triple if you keep the full list of weapon proficiencies you currently have.

    • The Detailed Notes section has perks from two different feats; I would pull it back to either one of those but not both (cut it in half basically).

    • Just drop fighting style, that has no business in this ranged spellcasting class.

    • Insightful combatant is OP. Adding your main ability mod to your initiative when Dex is already implied to be the other main ability - not balanced, not even at a higher level. I also fail to understand where the advantage on something leaving your reach would give you advantage with a gun. This is supposed to be a ranged spell casting class.

      Honestly looking at what you have and what I've said so far just screams that this class needs stripped down to nothing and redone. OR, you could just re-flavor a class to be the thing you want. Honestly a Warlock with Pact of The Blade and a free invocation from the UA:Modern Magic called Arcane Gunslinger would work.

    TL:DR too OP, go with a Pact of The Blade, Arcane Gunslinger, Warlock.

    And in case you are wondering about my experience base: I've been playing D&D since I was 8, and started DMing when I was 13, I'm 36 now, and have created my own and gone over my friends homebrew classes for decades now.

    • 3
      \$\begingroup\$ A lot of these comments are too brief/unjustified to be useful. In particular for a lot of should/shouldn't have comparisons (and justifications) re canon options are needed, and they seem slightly lacking here. On what basis are you calling this "ranged spell caster"? Did you perhaps miss that it's a half-caster? A lot of the notes you make seem to miss that Artificers get the exact same benefits. \$\endgroup\$
      – Someone_Evil
      Apr 24, 2022 at 20:28
    • \$\begingroup\$ But where are my manners? Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
      – Someone_Evil
      Apr 24, 2022 at 20:30
    • \$\begingroup\$ Most of this answer seems based on the assumption that this class is somehow a 'ranged spell caster'. However it is a half-caster with very few offensive spells on it's spell list, so I'm failing to understand the basis for your assumption. Weapon based fighting is this classes primary combat technique. It operates similarly to a ranger in combat, since I lifted the proficiencies directly from there. \$\endgroup\$
      – linksassin
      Apr 26, 2022 at 0:15
    • \$\begingroup\$ OK, as a new contributor I can see now the mess of my answer here, thanks for all the feedback \$\endgroup\$
      – Will Moff
      May 2, 2022 at 2:36
    • 2
      \$\begingroup\$ That's ok! We were all new once, this is a place for learning. You can always edit your posts to improve your answer. \$\endgroup\$
      – linksassin
      May 2, 2022 at 12:31

    Playtesting Results

    This answer is a summary of the results from playtesting during my current campaign. The campaign has so far run for 17 3-4 hour sessions across levels 2-5. The party consists of:

    • A Human Spellshot Enforcer
    • A Wood-Elf Way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk
    • A Dragonborn Rune-Knight Fighter
    • A Half-Elf Blood Domain Cleric


    As expected the Enforcer character has taken the role of ranged damage dealer and utility caster. Overall there have been no major issues or concerns with the class, but there are a couple of things I will be tweaking moving forwards.

    Feature Breakdown

    I'm going to go over each of the features up to 5th level and how they have played out at the table.


    My player has chosen Light and Mind Sliver as his cantrips; Compelled Duel, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Feather Fall, Hunter's Mark, Identify, Illusory Script and Sleep as his 1st level spells; and Detect Thoughts and Silence as his second level spells.

    So far there have been two encounters where his spellcasting has been a defining moment, one due to Sleep, the other due to a Silence / Grapple combo with the Fighter that shutdown an enemy spellcaster.

    Nothing about the spellcasting has given me cause for concern. If anything there may be a lack of damaging spells on the list as he very rarely uses magic offensively.

    Detail Oriented

    The advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks has come up about once a session on average (3-4 times in one session, then not at all in others). Situationally useful but not particularly powerful.

    The detailed notes to recall information hasn't come up yet in the campaign, but I expect it will at some stage. Open to looking at this feature again in future but satisfied with it for now.

    Fighting Style

    He took Archery as his fighting style. No more effective on the Enforcer than any other ranged weapon combatant. No issues.

    Insightful Combatant

    Adding Intelligence modifier to Initiative checks has lead to the Enforcer going first in almost all combats. Though other class / subclasses have a similar feature to this I've found it to be far stronger in play than I was expecting.

    Advantage on attacks of opportunity has only come up once in the campaign due to being a ranged fighter and preferring to stay away from the action.

    I dislike this feature both from a balance and a usefulness perspective and will be reworking it before our next session.

    Spellshot Specialisation

    So far I am happy with the firearm rules I chose to use. They see like a reasonable balance between damage and risk of misfire without being overly cumbersome to manage. In retrospect I would have made my player start with a 4 shot Pistol instead of a 6 shot Revolver as reloading hasn't come up very often. But after gaining extra attack that has resolved itself.

    My player chose the Fearful Shot and Gravitational Shot options for their Arcane shots. Both have proven useful when they work but enemies often make their saves against the effects.

    I'm considering changing some of the arcane shot options to have reduced effects on a successful save but for now I'm fairly happy with the balance of this feature.

    Ability Score Improvment

    My player chose to take a homebrewed variant of the gunner feat instead of an ASI. This allowed him to use his gun in close quarters. No issues from this so far.

    Extra Attack

    Standard feature for martial classes at 5th level. Damage is typically a step behind the fighter in the party but that is mostly due to build choices rather than the relative strength of the classes.

    Changes for further testing

    I'm looking forward to Spell Combat becoming available in the next session or two and seeing how that plays out at the table.

    In the immediate future the only change will be to completely rework the Insightful Combatant ability since is hasn't worked how I wanted it to. I will replace it with something similar to:

    Insightful Combatant

    From 2nd level, your keen attunement to the intentions of others grants you an edge in combat. You may use your bonus action to study your opponent. Make an Intelligence (Insight) check with a DC equal to 10 + your targets charisma modifier. On a success, you have advantage on the next attack roll you make against that creature.

    • \$\begingroup\$ I am curious exactly how the initiative is overpowered, is it because other players don't get to go first often, or is it actually affecting encounters? Mostly when a damage class goes first they do some damage but if they don't actually kill anything they have made effectively no difference. Is it a balance issue or a perception issue? The real reason to go first is to use control abilities, I haven't read the spell list thoroughly recently so not sure if the class has them, but could it be the spell list at 'fault' rather than simply going first? \$\endgroup\$
      – SeriousBri
      Sep 27, 2022 at 8:05
    • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri It's not so much that it is overpowered as it is not fun. Rolling initiative is a formality because the Enforcer character is going first in 95% of combats. The spell list has plenty of control spells on it, that's why I gave the ability in the first place. But my player has remarked that going before the enemies means he often doesn't know who to target with control abilities in the first round. \$\endgroup\$
      – linksassin
      Sep 27, 2022 at 8:10
    • \$\begingroup\$ I would say then to be careful for balancing a class around one player, unless they are the reason you are making the class of course. If that is something one of my playtesters said to me I would genuinely question the value they bring to that test. But obviously if you are building this for them, then fun trump's all and you definitely should amend it. I might also suggest considering the style of narrative if they are starting fights with limited information on who or what they are against. (This sounds awful but I am trying to be genuine) \$\endgroup\$
      – SeriousBri
      Sep 27, 2022 at 9:18

    Just play an Artificer.

    Frame challenge: there is no need for homebrewing anything. Like most home-brew classes, the mechanical and conceptual space the class is focused on is already adequately provided by other classes.

    If you want to play an Arcane half-caster with a gun and a focus on Ranged attacks just play an Artificer; either the Battle Smith or Artillerist could work, depending on whether or not you want your gun to primarily be used as a weapon or as an Arcane Focus for spells, respectively.

    For the law enforcement aspect, just take an appropriate Background, such as City Watch/Investigator from SCAG or the Investigator from VRGR.

    • \$\begingroup\$ This really isn't an answer to a homebrew-review question. There are multiple reason my player didn't want to play an artificer but that is irrelevant to the question. \$\endgroup\$
      – linksassin
      Sep 26, 2022 at 7:39
    • \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin Frame challenge answers are valid answers. \$\endgroup\$
      – nick012000
      Sep 26, 2022 at 8:10

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