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Allan Quatermain

By Charles Henry Malcolm Kerr (1858–1907) - Scanned from a copy in my collection, Public Domain,, Allan Quartermain
By Charles Henry Malcolm Kerr (1858–1907) – Scanned from a copy in my collection, Public Domain,

Allan Quatermain is the hero of King Solomon’s Mines and other adventures by H. Rider Haggard. Quatermain’s primary location is Africa, where he struggles to keep a proper Englishman’s stiff upper lip while on safari , fighting or befriending Zulus, chasing diamonds and discovering lost civilizations.

The character Quatermain is an English-born professional big game hunter and occasional trader in southern Africa, who supports colonial efforts to spread civilization in the Dark Continent, though he also favours native Africans having a say in their affairs. An outdoorsman who finds English cities and climate unbearable, he prefers to spend most of his life in Africa, where he grew up under the care of his widower father, a missionary.

Native Africans refer to Quatermain as Macumazahn, meaning “Watcher-by-Night,” a reference to his nocturnal habits and keen instincts. Quatermain is frequently accompanied by his native servant, the Hottentot Hans, a wise and caring family retainer from his youth. His sarcastic comments offer a sharp critique of European conventions. In his final adventures, Quatermain is joined by two British companions, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good of the Royal Navy, and by his African friend Umslopogaas.

Appearance and character

Quatermain has just turned 55. Physically, he is small, wiry, and unattractive, with a beard and short hair that sticks up. His one skill is his marksmanship, where he has no equal. Quatermain is aware that as a professional hunter, he has helped to destroy his beloved wild free places of Africa. In old age he hunts without pleasure, having no other means of making a living.

He lives at Durban, in Natal, South Africa. He marries twice, but is quickly widowed both times.

Name Allan Quatermain
Human CR 14
XP 38400
Gunslinger level 15 (skill points 105) Gunslinger
(Musket Master )
Any Medium Humanoid
Init +8; Senses ; Perception +25


AC 24, touch 20, flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +2 Natural, +2 armor, +5 feats, +1 deflection)
hp 102 (0d8+15d10+15);
Fort +9, Ref +13, Will +7


Speed 30ft.
Melee MWK Cutlass +16/+11/+6 (1d6/19-20), Dagger +9 (1d4/19-20)
Ranged +2 Distance Musket +22 (1d12+8 /19-20 X4) range 80 +1 to hit and +1 damage if within 30ft
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks
Deed Bleeding Wound (Ex) Can spend 1 grit point as a free action to have an attack deal extra bleed damage. The amount of bleed damage is equal to the gunslingers Dexterity modifier. Alternatively, can spend 2 grit points to deal 1 point of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution bleed damage (gunslingers choice) instead. Creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to these types of bleed damage.
Deed Dead Shot (Ex) As a full-round action, can take careful aim and pool all of her attack potential into a single, deadly shot. makes the attack rolls in order from highest bonus to lowest, as if she were making a full attack. If any of the attack rolls hit the target, the gunslingers single attack is considered to have hit. For each additional successful attack roll beyond the first, the gunslinger increases the damage of the shot by the base damage dice of the firearm.
Deed Deadeye (Ex) Can resolve an attack against touch AC instead of normal AC when firing beyond her firearms first range increment. Performing this deed costs 1 grit point per range increment beyond the first. The gunslinger still takes the -2 penalty on attack rolls for each range increment beyond the first when she performs this deed.
Deed Evasive (Ex) When the gunslinger has at least 1 grit point, she gains the benefit of the evasion, uncanny dodge, and improved uncanny dodge rogue class features. She uses her gunslinger level as her rogue level for improved uncanny dodge.
Deed Expert Loading (Ex) whenever the gunslinger rolls a misfire with a gun that has the broken condition, she can spend 1 grit point to keep the gun from exploding, though it retains the broken condition.
Deed Gunslinger Initiative (Ex) As long as the gunslinger has at least 1 grit point, she gains the following benefits. First, she gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks. Furthermore, if she has the Quick Draw feat, her hands are free and unrestrained, and the firearm is not hidden, she can draw a single firearm as part of the initiative check.
Deed Lightning Reload (Ex) As long has as at least 1 grit point, can reload a single barrel of a one-handed or two-handed firearm as a swift action once per round. If she has the Rapid Reload feat or is using an alchemical cartridge (or both), she can reload a single barrel of the weapon as a free action each round instead. Furthermore, using this deed does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Deed Menacing Shot (Ex) Can spend 1 grit point, shoot a firearm into the air, and affect all living creatures within a 30-foot-radius burst as if they were subject to the fear spell. The DC of this effect is equal to 10 + 1/2 the gunslingers level + the gunslingers Wisdom modifier.
Deed Pistol-Whip (Ex) Can make a surprise melee attack with the butt or handle of her firearm as a standard action. Gains a bonus on the attack and damage rolls equal to the enhancement bonus of the firearm. One-handed firearms deal 1d6 points of damage and two-handed firearms deal 1d10 points of damage. If the attack hits, the gunslinger can make a combat maneuver check to knock the target prone as a free action. Performing this deed costs 1 grit point.
Deed Quick Clear (Ex) Can remove the broken condition from a single firearm she is currently wielding, as long as that condition was gained by a firearm misfire. The gunslinger must have at least 1 grit point to perform this deed. Alternatively, if the gunslinger spends 1 grit point to perform this deed, she can perform quick clear as a move-equivalent action instead of a standard action.
Deed Slingers Luck (Ex) Can spend grit to reroll a saving throw or a skill check. It costs 2 grit points to reroll a saving throw, and 1 grit point to reroll a skill check. The gunslinger must take the result of the second roll, even if it is lower. The deeds cost cannot be reduced by the true grit class ability, the Signature Deed feat, or any other effect that reduces the amount of grit a deed costs.
Deed Startling Shot (Ex) A gunslinger with least 1 grit point can spend a standard action to purposely miss a creature that she could normally hit with a firearm attack. When she does, that creature becomes flat-footed until the start of its next turn.
Deed Steady Aim (Ex) As long as a musket master has at least 1 grit point, can take a move-equivalent action to increase the accuracy of a two-handed firearm. this increases the range increment of the firearm by 10 feet. This stacks with other abilities that increase her range increment.
Deed Targeting (Ex) As a full-round action, the gunslinger can make a single firearm attack and choose part of the body to target. She gains the following effects depending on the part of the body targeted.
Deed Targeting (Ex) – Arms On a hit, the target takes no damage from the hit but drops one carried item of the gunslingers choice, even if the item is wielded with two hands. Items held in a locked gauntlet are not dropped on a hit.
Deed Targeting (Ex) – Head On a hit, the target is damaged normally, and is also confused for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Deed Targeting (Ex) – Legs On a hit, the target is damaged normally and knocked prone. Creatures that have four or more legs or that are immune to trip attacks are immune to this effect.
Deed Targeting (Ex) – Torso Targeting the torso threatens a critical on a 19-20.
Deed Targeting (Ex) – Wings On a hit, the target is damaged normally, and must make a DC 20 Fly check or fall 20 ft.
Deed Utility Shot (Ex) -3 Scoot Unattended Object: Make an attack roll against a Tiny or smaller unattended object within the first range increment. A Tiny object has an AC of 5, Diminutive AC of 7, and a Fine AC of 11. On a hit, the gunslinger does not damage the object, but can move it up to 15 feet farther away from the shots origin. On a miss, she damages the object normally.
Deed Utility Shot (Ex) -4 Stop Bleeding: The gunslinger makes a firearm attack and then presses the hot barrel against herself or an adjacent creature to staunch a bleeding wound. Instead of dealing damage, the shot ends a single bleed condition affecting the creature. The gunslinger does not have to make an attack roll when performing the deed in this way; she can instead shoot the firearm into the air, but that shot still uses up ammunition normally.
Grit (Ex) Grit is a fluctuating measure of a gunslingers ability to perform amazing actions in combat. At the start of each day, a gunslinger gains a number of grit points equal to her Wisdom modifier (min 1). Her grit goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than her Wisdom modifier (min 1), though some feats and magic items may affect this maximum. A gunslinger spends grit to accomplish deeds (see below), and regains grit in the following ways.
Grit (Ex) – 2 Killing Blow with a Firearm: When the gunslinger reduces a creature to 0 or fewer hit points with a firearm attack while in the heat of combat, she regains 1 grit point. Destroying an unattended object, reducing a helpless or unaware creature to 0 or fewer hit points, or reducing a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the gunslingers character level to 0 or fewer hit points does not restore any grit.
Musket Training (Ex) Gains a bonus on damage rolls equal to the Dexterity modifier, and when misfires with a two-handed firearm, the misfire value increases by 2 instead of 4.
Musket Training-2 (Ex) Never misfires with a two-handed firearm


Str 11, Dex 18, Con 11, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +15; CMB +15; CMD 35
Feats Extra Grit (Grit), Improved Critical (Ranged), Mounted Combat, Armor Proficiency Light, Deadly Aim, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Rapid Reload, Shot on the Run, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus(Ranged)
Skills Acrobatics +10, Bluff +10, Climb +0, Handle Animal +17, Heal +13, Intimidate +17, Know Arch & Eng +2, Know Geography +11, Know Local +12, Know Nature +6, Perception +25, Ride +18, Sleight of Hand +10, Survival +17, Swim +0
Languages Common

SQ Deed Fast Musket (Ex), Deed Utility Shot (Ex) -2, Musket Training-1 (Ex) 2, Nimble (Ex) 4, Rapid Reloader, Weapon Proficiency Firearms

Gear Leather armor, Masterwork Cutlass, Dagger, +2 (+1 special ability) Musket Distance, Amulet of natural armor (+2), Lens of detection (+5), Ring of Protection (+1)


Environment Any
Organization Company 10-20, Band 30-100, Squad 4-8
Treasure Standard

Indiana Jones won’t ever appear in the Mythological Figures column because he’s not in the public domain. The character that inspired him is however, so allow us to introduce to you Allan Quatermain!

By Thure de Thulstrup - Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. LXXVII, No. 459, 26 (p. 351), Public Domain,
By Thure de Thulstrup – Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Vol. LXXVII, No. 459, 26 (p. 351), Public Domain,
Alan Quartermain DnD 5e banner.jpg

Originally Posted by Mike Myler on the Enworld forums.

On this Thread

Allan Quartermain is a colonial gentleman, treasure seeker, and explorer of Africa. There’s something like a score of books about this guy but chances are good that if you’ve ever heard the name at all, it was in the The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. The real takeaway is that he’s the 19th century’s version of Indiana Jones. Plundering tombs, getting involved in tribal skirmishes, saving white women from danger—you get the idea.

Design Notes: Gentleman wilderness adventurer? I can do that! My strongest impression of this character (and I have seen more than one iteration—sup Swayze fans?) is when Sean Connery played him and I suspect most people checking out this article know that version so we’re generally aiming at that. Allan’s proverbial hat is hung on the sharpshooter fighter archetype, sprinkled with a little ranger to make him competent out in the wild and great at going after beasts, and then complemented with some feats to make him more survivable (upping his ability scores) and supplement that killer shooting accuracy.

With all that said: let’s do the numbers. Because of his Sharpshooter feat there are several ways this can play out—either with or without that damage boost. Note that statistically here the tradeoff is weighted negatively. The DMG rubric comes out to either a 9.75 for accuracy (8ac+3hp+21atk+7dam=39/4) or a clean 7 for damage (8ac+3hp+5atk+12dam=28/4), then the Blog of Holding at either a flat 10 for accuracy (9ac+6hp+14atk+9dam+12save=50/5) or for damage a 9.2 (9ac+6hp+4atk+15dam+12save=46/5). Averaging the higher scores brings it in as a high 9 while all four together are juuuuuuuust on the cusp (8.9875), so for Allan’s challenge rating we’re going with a 9.

Allan Quatermain
Medium humanoid (human), lawful good fighter (archer) 12/ranger 1
Armor Class 16 (studded leather)
Hit Points 96 (12d10+1d8+26)
Speed 30 ft.

14 (+2)​18 (+4)​14 (+2)​12 (+1)​14 (+2)​13 (+1)​

Saving Throws Str +7, Dex +9, Con +7
Skills Animal Handling +7, Athletics +7, Perception +7, Survival +7
Senses passive Perception 17
Languages English
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Background: Wilderness Trained. Allan never forgets the geographic arrangement of terrain, settlements, and areas of wilderness. In addition, he can forage fresh water and food each day for as many as 6 people as long as the environment nearby can support it.

Action Surge (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Allan can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.

Attentive Gaze. Allan can use a bonus action to take the Search action.

Excellent Aim (3/Short Rest). Allan can spend a bonus action to aim a wielded ranged weapon at a target within its range. Until the end of his turn, ranged attacks that Allan makes against the target deal an extra 5 damage.

Favored Enemy. Allan has advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track beasts, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them.

Feat: Resistant. Allan has proficiency with Dexterity saving throws (included above).

Feat: Superb Aim. Allan ignores half cover and three-quarters cover when making a ranged weapon attack, and he doesn’t have disadvantage when attacking at long range. When Allan makes his first ranged weapon attack in a turn, he can choose to take a –5 penalty to his ranged weapon attack rolls in exchange for a +10 bonus to ranged weapon damage.

Indomitable (1/Long Rest). Allan can reroll a saving throw that he fails but must use the new roll.

Marksman Combatant. Allan doesn’t have disadvantage from making ranged weapon attack rolls against targets within 5 feet of him. In addition, whenever he makes a ranged weapon attack against a creature on his turn, that creature is unable to take reactions until the end of his turn.

Natural Explorer: Grassland. When Allan makes an Intelligence or Wisdom check related to the grassland, his proficiency bonus (+5) is doubled if he is using a skill that he’s proficient in. While traveling for an hour or more in his favored terrain, Allan gains the following benefits:

  • Difficult terrain doesn’t slow his group’s travel.
  • Allan’s group can’t become lost except by magical means.
  • Even when he is engaged in another activity while traveling (such as foraging, navigating, or tracking), Allan remains alert to danger.
  • If Allan is traveling alone, he can move stealthily at a normal pace.
  • When he forages, Allan finds twice as much food as he normally would.

While tracking other creatures, Allan also learns their exact number, their sizes, and how long ago they passed through the area.

Second Wind (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Allan can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+12 hit points.

Extra Attack. Allan attacks three times when he takes the Attack action.

Cutlass. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6+4) slashing damage.

Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) piercing damage.

Dagger. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) piercing damage.

Revolver. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 40/120 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) piercing damage.

Hunting Rifle. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 80/240 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10+4) piercing damage.

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