With the future comes a new way to wage war. There are a few new features added to combat in this system. Most noteable are ballistics damage, and the way proficiency works with firearms, and the new aim bonus action.

Ballistics Damage

Ballistic damage is the type of damage that firearms inflict, and is a subset of piercing damage. This means that all ballistic damage counts as piercing damage, but not all piercing damage counts as ballistic damage. Magical effects or creature properties that grant resistance to piercing damage also apply to ballistic damage, but effects or properties reducing ballistic damage do not automatically apply to piercing damage.

Firearm Proficiency

Because of the high potential damage granted to firearms, a character proficient with a firearm does not automatically add any proficiency bonus to the attack roll. Rather, proficiency with a firearm allows a character to use a bonus action to take the aim action.

Several classes enjoy proficiency with firearms, while others have to earn their proficiency with multiclassing or by training through the use of downtime days (see the Player’s Handbook). Firearms are divided into two basic classes: sidearms (for anything up to a submachine gun) and pimaries (for anything up to a light machine gun.) Anything heavier — such as a heavy machine gun, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, or a flamethrower — is given special dispensation according to the in-game situation. There is a feat called Heavy Weapon Specialist that allows proficiency in all modern weapons heavier than a medium machine gun wielded by an unassisted individual on foot. This feat is also available as a fighting style for the fighter class.

Firearm Proficiencies by Class

Class Firearm Proficiency
Bard Sidearms
Barbarian Primaries
Cleric None (though sidearm proficiency is granted with City and War domains)
Druid None
Fighter Primaries and Sidearms
Gunmage Sidearms
Monk Sidearms
Paladin Primaries and Sidearms
Ranger Primaries and Sidearms
Rogue Primaries OR Sidearms (choose at character creation)
Sorcerer None
Warlock None (sidearms and primaries can be created through Pact of the Blade class feature)
Wizard None (though sidearm proficiency is granted through Techromancy)

The Aim Action

Characters proficient with a firearm they are attempting to use can use a bonus action to take the aim action, which adds the character’s proficiency bonus to the attack roll. Without taking the aim action (or if a character is using a firearm without proficiency), the shooter receives only the benefit of a Dexterity bonus on the attack roll.


Modern Magic: San Waterdeep PhantomNimbus