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    Default [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    The Gunslinger

    I saw the Paizo blog post about Ultimate Combat at the beginning of the week and noted firearm rules and a gunslinger class. Squeeing with glee with fond memories of the Iron Kingdoms and Gunmages, I downloaded the playtest and read and pored over the class and the firearm rules to see what the PF take was on gunpowder weaponry. These are my observations on what's good, what's bad and why you should care about gunslinging.

    The first thing to note here is that the Gunslinger class, like all 3 of the classes presented are something new to Pathfinder: Alternative Classes. Alternative Classes are classes that replace an existing class and, once you select a version, you can't take the other version. This is important here, as the Gunslinger is a replacement of the Fighter, which is the point of comparison I'll use in this mini-guide.

    Before going into the comparison, I'll use the standard guide color comparisons for easy reading.

    Excellent
    Good
    Standard, not good or bad
    Subpar
    Bad

    Fighter vs. Gunslinger: A Comparison

    • HD You still have your d10, so you can still take a beating.
    • Skill points You still have 2+Int skill points, which is still horrible and something I wish PF had resolved by making the minimum skill point total to be 4+Int so characters can actually do things outside of combat and not just leave it to the skill monkeys.
    • Bad Fort, Good Ref (but see below) Your good save switched but not all is lost, if you check below.
    • New Class Skills!: Acrobatics, Bluff, Heal and Knowledge(Local) are now on your list, because, seriously, it's dumb that Fighters can't jump worth a damn. Gunslingers are kinda Swashbucklerly in this way, though their skill points don't reflect it.
    • Lost Class Skills: Knowledge(Dungeoneering) and Survival are now gone. The class list is an overall buff but I guess Gunslingers are more urban adventurers.
    • Firearms Proficiency: Free proficiency in your weapons of choice is a step in the right direction of making you competent at it.
    • Lost Armor Proficiencies: Heavy Armor, Shields & Tower Shields are lost to you. More of that urban adventurer flavor, I guess.
    • Free guns!: Your choice of either a free musket or 2 pistols, as well as 50 doses of black powder & bullets. That'll get you going in your early days, as firearms ain't cheap and how can you sling guns without a gun to sling?
    • Grit & Deeds: This is the big thing that differentiates Gunslingers from Fighters, which I'll cover below in its own section. It's damn good, though, and worth your attention.
    • Brave and Tough: A flat boost to Bravery, it now gives you a flat bonus to Fort saves as well as to Will saves vs. Fear. You have 2 good saves now, effectively!
    • Less Bonus Feats: This is where all the awesome starts coming out, as Grit & Deeds takes up much of what you did have in your versatility of feats. You now get bonus feats at 4th and a new one every 4 levels, with no bonus feat exchanging like a Fighter can. You lose out on 6 bonus feats, which frankly leaves you a bit feat starved, with all the options out there that you'd want on a Gunslinger. The second kick to the balls here is, because Gunslinger is an Alternative Class to Fighter, it means you can't dip Fighter to make up for that deficit, either. The only nice point is the feat pool expanded, as you can select Combat and Grit feats with your bonus feats (more on Grit feats later).
    • Armor Training/Armor Mastery: The other thing you majorly lose out on is the loss of your ability with armor, which should make you seriously question whether to bother with medium armor if you're not a dwarf. If you're going for a snipery build, it may be alright but Gunslingers are meant to be mobile skirmishers, so you probably want to go with the light armor.
    • Gun Training: Weapon Training is focused here onto firearms. First thing is Gunslingers can only choose one firearm to train in at a time with this ability, as opposed to a group. You get some nice dividends for the additional focus, however, in that you get the +1 to hit bonus, you get your Dex bonus to damage with that firearm with no condition or restrictions () and you reduce the misfire value increase from 4 to 2 (more on this later). The bad bits are that it currently doesn't scale at all, so you're stuck with that +1 bonus to hit, and there are currently only 2 firearms to choose as of the playtest, so after getting your first 2 Gun Trainings, the other 2 are essentially dead levels.
    • True Grit: The replacement to Weapon Mastery and I will give the explanation of why it's awesome when I go into how the Grit mechanic works and how they work with Deeds, in the next section.


    Grit and Deeds

    Grit is a measure of a Gunslinger's luck, their skill and ability to change things around them and their control of their individual fate. A Gunslinger starts with a pool of Grit points equal to their Wisdom modifier, minimum 1 point of Grit. You start the day with a full Grit pool and can recover Grit in three ways:
    1. By confirming a critical hit with a firearm while in combat. Somewhat difficult, at least initially, given the typical firearm's critical range of x4. Later on in your career this may be easier to get off, with things like Critical Focus, Keen firearms and the Targeting(Torso) Deed.
    2. By killing an opponent with a firearm while in combat.Somewhat easier to do than criticaling, though confirming a critical may well kill an opponent with that x4 critical modifier. It should be noted that you can only get this once a day, on the first creature you manage to kill this way.
    3. By accomplishing a daring act. This is probably the method you'll regain Grit through the most often. A daring act is one whose chance of success is 50% or less. It basically boils down to impressing your DM with how daring and debonair you are by going out and being bad ass. You don't get Grit for being meek, so you have to go out and be a Big Damn Hero.

    Now that we have Grit explained away, now you'll probably want to use it and that's what Deeds are for. Gunslingers get Deeds as they level automatically, though there are some Deeds they can get via feat. They come in one of two flavors: costing Grit per use or can be used while you have at least 1 Grit in your pool. Due to how small the Grit pool will usually be, the second flavor is usually preferred.

    Now, in order of acquisition, the Deeds!

    1st Level Deeds
    Leap for Cover: This wouldn't be that great if not for that you can apply it retroactively to your AC, meaning you see what the attack roll is before you Leap, so you can guarantee that the ranged attack your dodging misses you. You're prone at the end but that's a small price to pay.
    Deadeye: Very situational, as you'll probably only have to worry about it for the first round of combat, after which you'll have closed close enough that you're within the first range increment. If you're building a snipery build, it's more worthwhile, though, at least till you get a Far-Reaching Sight.
    Quick Clear: At 1st level, the last thing you want is for your gun to blow up, so this is a life saver if you can't get the wizard to spare you a mending in the heat of combat, especially if you chose the musket over the 2 pistols. Given the way misfiring is currently written, this is the clearest way of fixing a misfired gun (More on misfires later).

    3rd Level Deeds
    Pistol-Whip: Being in melee is the last place for you want to be, so this is a good method of getting out of it and letting your more melee-oriented brethren deal with them.
    Gunslinger Initiative: The first Deed that works as long as you have Grit, it gets you a free bonus to Initiative, as well as an extra benefit if you have Quick Draw. Free stuff? Yes, please!

    7th Level Deeds
    Covering Shot: It'll inevitably happen that you'll miss sometime, so inflicting a status effect when that happens is actually pretty nice, especially with no save. The only problem is that you can't choose to make a Covering Shot to get the entangle when you need it but that's the only drawback.
    Targeting: Torso may be the most valuable version, as it seems like it should stack with Keen and Improved Critical, though the text coming from Improved Critical or Keen might mean it's not. Head and Legs are more situational but still good, as there's no save involved. Arms is probably the least useful, unless you have a damn good reason for wanting to disarm a target without going through normal disarm rules.

    11th Level Deeds
    Bleeding Wound: Can get pretty horrific if you can keep a target from getting treated, especially the Con bleed.
    Utility Shot: They're thematic trick shots and you don't have the Grit to spare on these. Leave the lock picking to the Rogue and the bleed stopping to your local divine type.

    15th Level Deeds
    Startling Shot: Missing always sucks but you don't have to spend anything to use this, unlike Covering Shot, as long as you have Grit in your pool. Your local rogue will love you, too!
    Expert Loading: Your favorite guns are probably Steadfast by this point, anyways, so this probably won't come up all that often.

    19th Level Deeds
    Stunning Shot: No save stun on crit? Yes, please! Too bad you don't get any Grit for the critical but you can't have everything.
    Deadly Shot: Can you say sniping? This requires a save, though it's Dex-based, which is really nice. Like Stunning Shot, you get no Grit for the critical, though if they do die, you can still get Grit for killing your first foe that day!

    True Grit: Now, we can explain why this is awesome: you get to reduce two Deeds (including those gained by feats) by 1 Grit, minimum 0 (a.k.a. you can use them as long as you have Grit in your pool). This is huge, considering how little Grit you usually have. Targeting and Bleeding Wound are prime candidates for this, though Lightning Reload or Deft Shootist are also possibilities.

    Guns, Black Powder and Magics, Oh My!

    Here's an important bit, though not technically part of the playtest, the firearm rules. The playtest document says the rules are final, though I hope they're open to errata, as there are a couple things of note that they may want to change up.

    Now, into the actual rules:
    Proficiency: Only one Exotic Weapon Proficiency to cover all firearms is a nice way to get people to come play without just making them martial or simple weapons. You still need to choose a particular firearm for Weapon Focus and other such feats, which I suppose is fair.
    Capacity: Right now, the only available firearms have 1 barrel and thus 1 Capacity, though it looks like we'll probably have double-barreled guns soon enough, possibly primitive revolvers, if the note about Capacity "often" but not always telling you how many barrels a firearm has.
    Range and Penetration: This is a mixed bag that puts PF firearms in the middle here. The bad is PF firearms are amazingly inaccurate at even close ranges, since they have both range increments of 20' to 40' and only 5 range increments, despite being projectile weapons. The good is that they're incredibly penetrating at those close ranges, making any attack within the first range increment effectively a Touch Attack. There's a slight problem with this in relation to Deadly Aim, which I'll get to in the feat section.
    Loading a Firearm: Another downer on firearms, as they're slow to load, slower than crossbows. Even pistols take a standard action to reload. It's practically a feat tax, too, since you need Rapid Reload with your gun of choice to get a good firing progression (move action for one-handed firearms (pistols) and standard action () with two-handed firearms (muskets)). The only good note on this is that you don't need 2 hands to reload, which opens up an interesting mid-game career path.
    Misfires: Way to kick a guy while he's down, PF. To top it all off, firearms have misfire chance, essentially an expansion on the automiss of rolling a natural 1, though over a range. If you roll in that range for your firearm, you automiss and your weapon gets the broken condition, meaning -2 to attack and damage, the critical range dropping to x2 and, to make matters worse, increasing your misfire range by 4 (only 2 if you have Gun Training with that weapon). If you misfire again, your weapon explodes in a small burst, dealing your weapon's damage, with a Reflex save for half damage.
    To make matters worse, the rules are rather unclear on how to actually fix the gun into workable condition again, as the playtest rules just say the firearm gets the Broken condition; meanwhile, the Broken condition is only concerned with removing damage from the Broken object, which you technically don't have. A Quick Clear will fix it, however, and presumably spamming Mending on your firearms should as well, so bug your resident caster type to memorize Mending every day.
    Fire While Prone: Nice, if situational, especially if you like Leaping for Cover or making Leaping Shots.

    A couple notes on black powder and bullets: Firstly, when you use 'em, you lose 'em, regardless of whether you hit or not, so no bullet recovery. You also can't poison bullets, presumably from the black powder's ignition. Finally, musket and pistol bullets are different sizes, so no interchanging them. They cost the same and you use the same amount of black powder, so it's merely an accounting matter.

    Since I'm going on about firearms, I may as well cover enhancements and accessories, starting with what's covered in the playtest and then into designing your boomstick.

    Weapon Special Abilities:
    Lucky and Greater Lucky: More grit is always good, though there's a feat tax in having Weapon Focus in the Lucky firearm. You may be better off with Extra Grit, unless you go for dual wielding, for which having 2 Greater Lucky firearms becomes more worthwhile.
    Reliable: Only really valuable for muskets, since it can't reduce the misfire chance to 0.
    Steadfast: Very mixed bag here. While this special ability can reduce misfire chance to 0 and to no misfires at all, it comes at a very steep cost of being a +4 ability. It also can't have Reliable, which screws over sniper builds with Reliable muskets. If PF had Synergy abilities like late 3.5, I'd be less bothered by that but it essentially screw you into never taking Reliable or buying a whole new gun when you can afford one. Bad design either way. This'd be palatable if it was +3 and could switch out Reliable but, right now, it's just BAD.

    Wondrous Items
    Far-Reaching Sight: Dead Eye for a full-round action instead of Grit? It's like a sniper's dream true! Only works with muskets but you weren't sniping with pistols, were you? Also very cheap, so you can get to sniping as early as 3rd or 4th level!
    See Invisibility Sight Poor design with this makes this fairly unusable, as it's a full round action to fire and ignore invisibility, though you can't see an invisible target before then with the sight, so how do you know where to shoot in the first place? Not worth replacing a Far-Reaching Sight for as it currently is.

    Designing your boomstick
    Going by PF WBL guidelines, you should have masterwork firearms by 3rd level and your first +1 firearm by 4th or shortly thereafter. +2 weapons come around 6th, for which I highly recommend you get your favored boomstick the Distance enhancement to double Penetration range.

    After that, enhancing your firearms comes down to personal preference, as most of the rest of the ranged enhancements are damage enhancers, whether energy or versus a specific creature type or alignment. The bursts are a good way to help ensure kills and Holy remains the most useful alignment ability. I'd also recommend investing in special bullets to cover situations, like those of special materials or Banes and energy types to deal with specific enemies, as it's more cost effective and less likely to lock your weapon into having useless enhancements if your campaign suddenly shifts in one direction or another. Do note that you can't put Keen or Wounding on a ranged weapon, like firearms, though those can be put on bullets. I don't recommend doing that, as that gets prohibitively expensive over time, especially if you use them often.

    A special note on dual wielding, this doesn't really open up till 11th, when Signature Deed can be applied to Lightning Reload for free action reloads. At that point, investing in a second weapon is paramount, though expensive. Highly consider getting Greater Lucky on both for just 1 feat investment in Weapon Focus, as opposed to the normal 3 that you'd have to do by getting Extra Grit for the same amount of Grit.

    Building your Gunslinger

    Ability Scores
    Strength: Consider as a dump stat, as the only benefit you're really getting is increased carrying capacity.
    Dexterity: Affects your attacks, Initiative, AC and eventually your damage. One of your 2 primary stats, you want this high.
    Constitution: As usual, HP and Fort are important, though a d10 HD and Brave and Tough keep those stats reasonably high already.
    Intelligence: You have a larger skill list than Fighter and a lot of good skills. Plus, with DM permission, this may become a secondary damage stat with Focused Shot.
    Wisdom: This determines your Grit Pool's size, as well as boosting your weakest save and Perception. One of your 2 primary stats, you want this high.
    Charisma: You have some strong social interaction skills, plus pulling off Daring Acts may be somewhat easier with this higher. Otherwise, though, this isn't a bad secondary dump stat.

    Stat Arrays:
    Standard: Str 8, Dex 13, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 9.
    Elite: Str 8, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 10.
    10 Point Buy: Str 8, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 7.
    15 Point Buy: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 7.
    20 Point Buy: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 7.
    25 Point Buy: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10.

    Races
    Core Races
    Dwarves: The bonus to Wisdom gets you a bigger Grit pool and more Con is always welcome. The penalty to Cha doesn't hurt as one of your dump stats, either. Slow and Steady makes being a mobile skirmisher more difficult, so dwarves make for more natural sniper Gunslingers.
    Elves: The Dex bonus makes you more accurate and the Con penalty doesn't hurt quite as much, since you should be away from the center of conflict. Taking the Silent Hunter trait can make Elves able snipers.
    Gnomes: You'd think the race most likely to make firearms would make good gunslingers but none of their racial bonuses help them much at all. Having to use smaller guns doesn't make up for the size bonus to attack and the slow speed.
    Half-Elves: They're versatile as always and can be molded into either skirmishing or sniper Gunslingers. The Perception bonus should help them find targets, especially when combined with Adaptability.
    Half-Orcs: The only strength here is choosing your ability boost but that's it. There are better choices.
    Halflings: Having to use a smaller gun hurts but they are among the most accurate, between the size bonus and Dex bonus. Low Blow and Swift as Shadows can make them the best snipers. Outrider can make for an alternative for a skirmishing gunslinger.
    Humans: As usual, Humans are great at most anything they choose to do. The bonus feat helps a lot and they can choose to be more accurate or have a bigger Grit pool.

    Bestiary Races
    Aasimars: The Wisdom bonus helps provide a sizable Grit pool and the Cha and bonus to Diplomacy can make for a good Face secondary. The energy resistances help survivability and the Daylight and Perception can help you find targets and make them unable to hide. All in all, a Celestial 'slinger can be a rewarding experience.
    Goblins: Provided you can educate one in not blowing itself up, a goblin can be an even better Gunslinger than halflings can, between the +4 Dex, size bonus, 30' move despite being small and the bonuses to Stealth and Ride. They can work well as either snipers or skirmishers (mounted or otherwise).
    Hobgoblins: Like their smaller goblin cousins, hobgoblins can make excellent Gunslingers. The bonus to Dex helps make them accurate, the Con bonus keeps them going and the Stealth bonus helps them get the drop on their enemies.
    Kobolds: Unlike their hated rivals, the gnomes, kobolds can be competent Gunslingers. The Strength penalty doesn't much matter for firearms, though the Con penalty still hurts. They're as accurate as halflings, as well as faster on the ground. They have excellent defenses as well, so, provided you can get a firearm in one's hands, they can be alright 'slingers.
    Merfolk: Merfolk have the stats to be decent Gunslingers, but their land movement speed is crippling in any non-sea-based campaign.
    Mites: Can you say minmaxed? Mites have bonuses to the important Gunslinger stats (Dex & Wis) and penalties to the rest (Str, Int & Cha), with numerous other bonuses and penalties. They can make an interesting alternative small 'slinger, you just have to deal with the weirdness and the probable fear they likely have for dealing in iron weapons, like firearms.
    Orcs: Despite what Warhammer may tell us about orcs, PF orcs are not good Gunslingers.
    Tengu: Tengu are amazing Gunslingers, between bonuses to both Dex and Wis, as well as Perception and Stealth. The only thing hurting them is the penalty to Con but that's a small price to pay for the much awesome they bring to the table.
    Tieflings: Like their fellow planetouched, Tieflings can make decent Gunslingers, focusing instead Dex and Int for a Focused Shot-capable build. They skirmish decently, between bonuses to Stealth and their Darkness ability, as well as being able to stay up with their resistances. One could easily see a rivalry arise between Aasimar and Tiefling Gunslingers, something like the conflict between Vash and Knives of Trigun.

    Skills
    Class Skills

    Acrobatics: Daring Acts practically demand you have a good Acrobatics score, plus it's based off one of your good stats. Good for getting into hard to reach locations for snipers, too.
    Bluff: A strong skill to have, though not based off of one of your primary stats, so you may want to leave this to a real Face.
    Climb: More important for snipers than skirmishers, it may come up in some Daring Acts.
    Craft: Unless you're big on making your own guns and ammo, you have better things to spend your skill points on.
    Handle Animal: Leave it to the druids, unless you're an Outrider Halfling skirmisher, in which case this is somewhat more important.
    Heal: Better than Stop Bleeding and you have the Wisdom for it, though you should probably leave it to the healers.
    Intimidate: Another strong skill to have, though probably better for Fighters, Barbarians and Faces.
    Knowledges: Always nice to have, though somewhat less useful, given Knowledge(Local) only applies to Humanoids. Probably leave this to the Bards and Wizards.
    Profession: Ick, no! You can make better money than this adventuring.
    Ride: Like Handle Animal, unless you're an Outrider Halfling, you probably don't need this.
    Swim: Really depends on your campaign how useful this is. More than one vindictive DM has TPKed parties for not having ranks in this, so you may want to look into investing 1 rank in this.

    Cross-Class to Consider
    Perception: A strong Wisdom and a need to attack at range makes this a strong contender for your skill points. Also probably one of the most rolled skills in the game.
    Stealth: More important for snipers but any Gunslinger can benefit from this, between light armor and high Dex.

    Feats
    Grit Feats
    Amateur Gunslinger: You can't take it as a Gunslinger, though it gives other characters Grit and auto-converts to Extra Grit if they become a Gunslinger later on, so not that bad for them.
    Deft Shootist Deed: This is quite the deal, as you can do with 2 feats (Dodge & Deft Shootist Deed) and a point of Grit for a round what would cost a crossbow firer 7 feats to manage all the time (Point Blank Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Crossbow Mastery, WF(any crossbow), WS(any crossbow) & Point Blank Master). Definitely the better investment as insurance but not much else, as you should be able to get out of melee most of the time.
    Extra Grit: +2 Grit & Max Grit, can be taken multiple times as a gunslinger? If you have room for it, you can never have enough grit!
    Leaping Shot Deed: Looks cool, though probably not worth it. You have the bonus of being able to fire multiple firearms but the penalty that you fall prone at the end of the action and it costs 1 grit. Same prereqs as Shot on the Run, so your choice on which you want. Personally, I'd pass.
    Lightning Reload Deed: Practically required, since you undoubtedly have Rapid Reload already and getting a second shot in a round is worthwhile, as long as your Grit holds out. It works with any firearm, not just the firearm you chose for Rapid Reload, which is another nice perk. Becomes incredibly more valuable with Signature Deed, as you always reload as a free action, opening up iteratives.
    Ricochet Shot Deed: Blind-Fight is an useless prereq feat for you and, while cool, probably won't come up that often unless your DM loves terrain, in which case this becomes a must.
    Secret Stash Deed: Alright if your DM is a **** about the availability of bullets and black powder, gets lulzy if you Signature Deed or True Grit this for infinite bullets and black powder, since it doesn't cost an action to use.
    Signature Deed: This is off my rating scale, it's that good! By the wording, it appears that it should work with deeds gained by feats, so Lightning Reload is definitely my first pick for free reloads all the time while you have grit, though Targeting, Bleeding Wound, Stunning Shot, Deadly Shot and maybe Deft Shootist & Secret Stash are also worthwhile candidates. I'd definitely pick it up at the earliest you can manage to qualify, as you otherwise have to wait on True Grit to open up, which may never happen, anyways, given average campaign length.

    Core Feats
    Acrobatic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Magical Aptitude, Persuasive, Self Sufficient: Bleh, no!
    Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Stealthy: Can be useful in the right build.
    Blind Fight: Useless to you unless you want Ricochet Shot.
    Combat Expertise chain: You probably have enough AC and all the feats dependent on it are melee only, so skip.
    Combat Reflexes & Stand Still: You're probably not going to make many AoOs, since you don't normally threaten, so leave this to your melee buddies.
    Critical Focus chain: This makes getting back Grit easier, plus you still count as a Fighter, so you can pick up Critical Mastery if you delve deep into this. Bleeding, Sickening, Staggering and Stunning Criticals are the ones that are most valuable to you, though Stunning can be emulated with Stunning Shot.
    Deadly Aim: Thanks to Penetration, you want to use this as often as possible. One minor note on this, as a small rules wrinkle in Deadly Aim is that it doesn't work on Touch Attacks, so some rules lawyers may try to cramp your style on whether Penetration makes firearm attacks Touch Attacks or not.
    Disruptive & Spellbreaker: You don't want to be close enough for this to work, so pass.
    Dodge chain: Prereq for Deft Shootist and Leaping Shot, plus Wind Stance is nice for dueling.
    Endurance & Diehard: You don't need these.
    Exotic Weapon Proficiency: You're already proficient in firearms, you don't need this.
    Fleet: Getting into position for your shots is important, especially for the slower races.
    Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes chains: Your 2 primary stats are also save boosters, plus Brave and Tough is a nice boost, so you probably don't need these.
    Improved Critical: Getting crits means more Grit, so this is a good way of making it more likely, especially since you can't get Keen guns.
    Improved Initiative: Going first is always important, this helps with that.
    Improved Unarmed Strike chain: Only reason I can see wanting this is if you want to Snatch bullets out of the air or for Daring Acts, neither of which make investing in this worthwhile except from a fluff stand point. It'd look cool, I'll admit, but not really worthwhile mechanically.
    Lunge: You don't melee, you don't need it!
    Master Craftsman: Only if you really want to make your own magic guns (which may be harder to come by than other magical armament), otherwise pass.
    Mounted Combat chain: Pass unless you're an Outrider Halfling, in which case you probably want Mounted Archery.
    Nimble Moves & Acrobatic Steps: Important for skirmishing, though you probably don't have the feats to spare to invest in this.
    Point Blank Shot chain: Your bread and butter. Important enough to analyze at length:
    • Far Shot: Important for snipers, though those short range increments might make this useful to others. Probably not worthwhile with Penetration doing most of the heavy lifting.
    • Precise Shot: Vital feat tax.
    • Improved Precise Shot: Very nice, though depends on how often cover and concealment comes up. Still worthwhile for Daring Acts.
    • Pinpoint Accuracy: You already have Penetration from the get-go, pass.
    • Shot on the Run: Compare to Leaping Shot, as they both have the same prereqs to do very similar things. Leaping Shot is better for pistol Gunslingers, Shot on the Run is better for musket Gunslingers.
    • Rapid Shot: Useless without Signature Lightning Reload, then becomes much more valuable.
    • Manyshot: By RAW is bow-only, which makes it even more useless to you than Rapid Shot. With Signature Lightning Reload and a kind DM, this might be viable but otherwise pass.

    Power Attack chain: You don't melee, pass.
    Quick Draw: Gunslinger Initiative makes this useful to you, plus it's iconic to gunslinging. Should probably be a bonus feat to the class, really.
    Rapid Reload: You need this to get Lightning Reload and makes you more viable for longer fights. Practically a feat tax to function with firearms.
    Run: Why?
    Shield Proficiency chain: Uh...no. Just no, unless you really want a buckler and even then, just Masterwork it and don't worry about it.
    Skill Focus: Useful in some builds, though you should really only have it if you're a Half-Elf.
    Step Up & Strike Back: Melee only, No!
    Throw Anything: You have guns already, no.
    Toughness: You should have adequate hp and you're not a tank, you don't need this.
    Two-Weapon Fighting chain: Due to the fact that firearms don't need two hands to load, once Signature Lightning Reload is up, you can definitely go this path for a massive damage boost with pistols. Double Slice and Two-Weapon Rend don't work as written with guns akimbo, though a kind DM may let you work this out. Definitely ask your DM about this before pursuing it to hammer out the details.
    Vital Strike chain: Due to reload issues, this is actually a really nice chain for you to get all the attacks owed to you. It's effectively sniping and works beautifully.
    Weapon Finesse: You don't want to melee, you don't need this.
    Weapon Focus: You count as Fighter still, so you can take advantage of this. Plus, Lucky weapons only work if you have Weapon Focus, so if you pursue those (you should!), definitely worth the investment. Deadly Stroke chain is a fun chain to go through and works fine. Penetrating Strike and its improvement may also be really useful to you.

    Advance Player's Guide Feats: (I'll be only dealing with feats that have a possible use for you)
    Additional Traits: There are some nice traits out there for Gunslinger and you may find yourself wanting more than just 2, so this may be worth your while.
    Arcane Talent: If you don't have a primary caster in the party, this is a way to get Mending to fix your gun when you don't have Grit to spend.
    Cosmopolitan: You can get Perception and a useful Knowledge with this, though you can probably get these with traits.
    Crippling Critical: Restricting movement can be a useful method of battlefield control.
    Focused Shot: It's not a primary stat and by RAW doesn't apply to firearms, though if you have a nice DM and a decent Int (like if you're an Elf), it might be useful to get multiple stats to damage.
    Light Step: Can be useful for a skirmisher build if you spend a lot of time in a natural environment.
    Lookout: If you can get somebody else to take this, this can help with your action economy and getting the drop on opponents.
    Mounted Skirmisher: Useful for Outrider Halflings, otherwise pass.
    Parting Shot: Good for repositioning and might make Lightning Stance worthwhile.
    Point Blank Master: A more feat intensive alternative to Deft Shootist that doesn't cost Grit. You probably don't want to be that close but, if you keep finding yourself in melee situations, it may be worthwhile to invest into if Deft Shootist uses up all your Grit on a regular basis.
    Trick Riding: A must for Outrider Halflings, not useful to anyone else.

    Traits
    Anatomist: Any way to get more Grit is usually good.
    Armor Expert: Helps with Daring Acts.
    Bullied: You don't normally threaten, so don't bother.
    Courageous: You already have Brave and Tough, this isn't especially useful on top of that.
    Deft Dodger: It's your best save already, it doesn't really need further buffing.
    Dirty Fighter: Meleeish, pass.
    Fencer: Swords only, pass.
    Killer: x4 Crit with firearms makes this somewhat useful in helping getting off kills for the Grit.
    Reactionary, Warrior of Old & Elven Reflexes: More Initiative is always good.
    Resilient & Forlorn: Second best save and helped by Brave and Tough already, pass.
    Birthmark: The save boost is nice, though you don't care about the divine focus.
    Caretaker, Bully, Fast Talker, Brute: You already have these as class skills, pass
    Child of the Temple, Devotee of the Green, Scholar of the Great Beyond, Mathematical Prodigy, Guardian of the Forge: You don't have the skill points to be a font of knowledge.
    Ease of Faith, Well-Informed, World Traveler, Calistrian Prostitute: Diplomacy would give you the last of the social skill triumvirate, though you're not really built to be a face.
    History of Heresy & Failed Apprentice: Broad base that save bonus applies to, though it depends on how prevalent those magics will show up in your campaign..
    Indomitable Faith: Your weakest save, this might be good to have around.
    Sacred Conduit: You can't channel, pass.
    Sacred Touch: Spending a skill point in Heal will probably give you all the bonus you need.
    Classically Schooled, Child of the Streets, Poverty-Striken, Suspicious, Outcast, Militia Veteran, Vagabond Child, Child of Nature: You need these as class skills why?
    Dangerously Curious: UMD is nice, but Charisma is a tertiary stat, so better to leave this to others.
    Focused Mind, Gifted Adept, Magical Knack & Magical Lineage, Divine Warrior, Magic is Life: You don't cast, pass.
    Hedge Magician: Unless you're a Master Craftsman to make your own magic guns, you don't need this.
    Magical Talent: A way to get Mending for emergencies when your out of Grit.
    Skeptic: Not common enough to really matter, unless your DM loves Illusions
    Adopted: Could be useful to pick up an off-race trait.
    Canter: How often is this going to come up?
    Charming: Castery, you got better things to choose.
    Natural-Born Leader: Leave to minionmancers.
    Rich Parents: That's potentially another pistol, right there.
    Goldsniffer: That's very situational
    Tunnel Fighter: If you're underground a lot, it's better than Reactionary, otherwise pass
    Freedom Fighter: Very situational, though could make for some good Daring Acts.
    Desert Child: Only really useful in desert campaigns
    Highlander: Good for snipers, decent for any other Gunslinger
    Log Roller: Could be useful for getting off Daring Acts
    River Rat: Bleh, no
    Savana Child: Possibly useful for an Outrider Halfling, otherwise pass
    Asmodean Demon Hunter: Not that useful for you at all
    Ear for Music: It's for bards, pass
    Eyes and Ears of the City: Perception? Yes!
    Flame of the Dawnflower: You don't use a scimitar, pass.
    Fortified Drinker: Really useful in the right situation.
    Patient Optimist: It's for faces, pass
    Starchild: Dependent on skills you don't have, pass
    Undead Slayer: Only useful if there's lots of undead.
    Veteran of Battle: Worse than Gunslinger Initiative, though doesn't require a feat to use.
    Wisdom of the Flesh: Nice way to get Climb onto your skill list onto a stat you want high.

    Gunslinger Builds

    Human Sniper
    Human Gunslinger 20
    Str 10, Dex 16(10), Con 14(5), Int 14(5), Wis 14+2=16(5), Cha 10. (25 Point Buy)

    Human: +2 Wis, +1 SkP, +1 Feat
    Favored Class: Gunslinger

    Skill Points: 2+2(Int)+1(Human)+1(FC): 6/level
    Skills: Acrobatics, Climb, Heal, Knowledge(Local), Perception, Stealth. Get Knowledge (Arcana, Dungeoneering, Local, Nature, Planes & Religion) to 5 ranks a piece to activate Cunning.

    Feats: Rapid Reload(Musket) (1st), Lightning Reload Deed(Human Bonus[1st]), Point Blank Shot (3rd), Deadly Aim(Gunslinger Bonus[4th]), Precise Shot (5th), Vital Strike (7th), Improved Critical(Musket) (Gunslinger Bonus[8th]), Critical Focus (9th), Signature Deed(Lightning Reload) (11th), Improved Vital Strike (Gunslinger Bonus[12th]), Weapon Focus(Musket) (13th), Penetrating Strike (15th), Greater Vital Strike (Gunslinger Bonus[16th]), Greater Penetrating Strike (17th), Staggering Critical (19th), Stunning Critical (Gunslinger Bonus[20th]).

    Firearm: Musket + 50 bullets and black powder.
    Gun Training: Musket (5th), Pistol (9th), ?(13th), ?(17th).
    True Grit: Targeting (Deed #1), Deadly Shot (Deed #2).

    Traits: Anatomist (+1 Crit Confirm), Killer (+Crit Mod in damage on crit)

    Armament: +1 Distance Cunning Steadfast Greater Lucky Seeking Musket with a Far-Reaching Sight attached. (If Steadfast is reduced to +3) Otherwise +1 Distance Cunning Steadfast Greater Lucky Musket with a Far-Reaching Sight attached.
    Normal, Cold Iron, Silver & Adamantine bullets
    Bane, Energy Burst and Alignment bullets as needed and researched.

    Pretty basic sniper, can Lightning Reload from the beginning to get an extra shot off when it needs to. Really starts coming to its own around 7th when Vital Strike kicks in and continues to get more awesome feat choices from there. Caps with Stunning Critical, basically combining Stunning Shot with Deadly Shot for either a save or still suck. Even then, they still have to contend with a Greater Vital Strike that deals 7d12 + Dex mod (8-11, which is 32-44 on that crit) + Deadly Aim (10 multiplied by the crit mod, so 40) + whatever the magic bullet had on it.

    This is a guide in progress, so feel free to comment on your impressions, what I can do to improve this to make it easier to read and anything else that comes to mind. Now, to reserve some posts...
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-guide

    Reserve Post #1
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    Reserve Post #2

    That should be more than enough, I think. Go ahead, post, Playground!
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Right now the gunslinger has some serious action economy problems (reloading is very time consuming, and getting full attacks isn't possible at all until level 11), but once multi-barrel firearms make it into the game (which they will - there are rules for them in the gun rules, though no such guns are provided) this will likely be remedied.

    Being able to shoot for touch AC at the first range increment is quite handy. I can see Shot on the Run being popular for pistol-wielders.

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Rixx View Post
    Right now the gunslinger has some serious action economy problems (reloading is very time consuming, and getting full attacks isn't possible at all until level 11), but once multi-barrel firearms make it into the game (which they will - there are rules for them in the gun rules, though no such guns are provided) this will likely be remedied.

    Being able to shoot for touch AC at the first range increment is quite handy. I can see Shot on the Run being popular for pistol-wielders.
    I'll be covering the issues of reloading when I get to covering firearms, though I do note you noticed the same thing I did (Lightning Reload + Signature Deed).

    The shooting for touch AC is both good and bad, at least if you want to use Deadly Aim, due to a statement at the end of DA against using it with touch attacks. I can see arguments for it going either way, though I'm clearly on the side of Deadly Aim being usable.

    As for Shot on the Run, yes and no. Leaping Shot has the same prereqs and lets you shoot more than just once, at the cost of Grit and being prone at the end of your action, so YMMV. Me, I'd prefer Leaping Shot if wielding pistols and Shot on the Run if I have a musket, though either may not be that great next to other methods.
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    If you want damage vital Shot might be a nice feat: Granted base gun damage is not really high, just decent.

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    This looks like it will shape up to be an excellent guide. Great work, Cieyrin.

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    If you want damage vital Shot might be a nice feat: Granted base gun damage is not really high, just decent.
    I'll get to that bit as well, when I start getting into builds, as that feat line is ideal for sniping without dealing with precision damage's many issues, especially with the Far-Reaching Sight and Deadly Aim. Especially with a musket, given you're not likely to get iteratives with a musket without Lightning Reload or Quick Drawing loaded muskets.
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Sorry for the double post but Deeds are now complete and I'll be getting into Feats and Firearms themselves, then into actually building a competent Gunslinger. Feedback on formatting would be good, as I'm a tad worried about how Block of Text some areas are looking, as well as other ideas on actual builds.
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    I dunno. I just don't see muzzle loading, single round weapon as a viable primary weapon choice in the setting. Reloading a musket in six seconds? Really? My disbelief, she is not suspended.

    I don't mind the inclusion in the setting in principle: the idea of pirate type pulling out a flintlock and blasting an enemy is a satisfying one, but then he goes back to using his cutlass. Further, the idea of outfitting your army with them can work out well (as borne out by, well, history).

    The idea would work with revolvers, but then you're playing steampunk style, a' la Deadlands, which, again, is not a bad thing, but it doesn't really suit a medieval fantasy campaign setting.
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by GoatToucher View Post
    The idea would work with revolvers, but then you're playing steampunk style, a' la Deadlands, which, again, is not a bad thing, but it doesn't really suit a medieval fantasy campaign setting.
    Both Pathfinder and D&D haven't been 'medieval' for some 20 years now.

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by GoatToucher View Post
    I dunno. I just don't see muzzle loading, single round weapon as a viable primary weapon choice in the setting.
    Well, the only one who can use the firearms (at least, the ones in the playtest manual) as viable primary weapons is the gunslinger, and even for them it's practically a superpower (of the Charles Atlas variety, but still).
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    the over all technology of dnd and it's successors is about 17th century. many of the armor and weapons like halberds and plate armor co-existed with gins and in the case of armor probably helped it's existence.

    the sort of guns presented are technologically and thematically appropriate, in regards to the reload times yes it's fast but people in rl don't fire 5-6arrows in 6secand actually hit anything either.


    it's likely though the gunslinger will be heavily re worked in a round 2 play test a lot of the thematics are awesome but actiall play seems to show problems

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    Well, the only one who can use the firearms (at least, the ones in the playtest manual) as viable primary weapons is the gunslinger, and even for them it's practically a superpower (of the Charles Atlas variety, but still).
    Definitely superpower if you consider a Signature Lightning Reload for full iteratives from the mid-levels on. But then, so to are most characters by this point. You are well into Wuxia levels of unbelievable nonsense that you should leave any sense of logic being followed at the door.
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    I find it a bit weird they don't have Perception as a class skill. Yeah, much of the mechanics and fluff focuses on point-blank range combat, but still.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    I find it a bit weird they don't have Perception as a class skill. Yeah, much of the mechanics and fluff focuses on point-blank range combat, but still.
    That does bug me as well, though I figure you should have a decent Perception regardless, since Wis is a strong secondary stat. There's probably a trait to give Perception, I think, though.

    Yep, Eyes and Ears of the City does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    That does bug me as well, though I figure you should have a decent Perception regardless, since Wis is a strong secondary stat.
    That's kind of weird too, though probably they were going more for perception than actual 'wisdom' with that. Grit, and the flavour in general seems to be leaning towards cha, in my opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    That's kind of weird too, though probably they were going more for perception than actual 'wisdom' with that. Grit, and the flavour in general seems to be leaning towards cha, in my opinion.
    I could see that, but, from a game design standpoint, there are a lot of Cha-based abilities already, so depending on another stat makes sense. I see Grit being Wis-based as a personal pool of insight, similar to Ki.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    I could see that, but, from a game design standpoint, there are a lot of Cha-based abilities already, so depending on another stat makes sense. I see Grit being Wis-based as a personal pool of insight, similar to Ki.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post


    Need I point you to ninja from the very same leaflet?
    I was thinking of Monk but yeah, that works too.
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    I can see leadership being a good feat for gunslingers. Both mechanically and thematically. I'm thinking the sniping style gunslinger with an apprentice (the cohort) reloading the gunslinger's muskets as he fires them like something out of an old western or even a new one (True Grit anyone?) :P

    The cohort would help with the sniping gunslingers action economy if he keeps two muskets (one to fire that round and the other being reloaded by the cohort)

    I downloaded the PDF after I saw this thread. I'm a little disappointed in that most of the feats and abilities encourage the pistol style with few sniping abilities and feats

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarakos View Post
    I can see leadership being a good feat for anything under (and above, and inside) the sun.
    Fixed that for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    Fixed that for you.
    Lol, very true. I just meant it naturally complements the flavor of the gunslinger class better than most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarakos View Post
    Lol, very true. I just meant it naturally complements the flavor of the gunslinger class better than most.
    That seems more like a job for a hireling than a cohort, if you ask me. Hire a commoner to reload and pay him a gold a day. Bam, there you go.

    In any case, I'll be updating this again in short order, I got a bit sidetracked converting a character of mine from 3.5 to PF for my RL game and that's finally done, so I can get back to actually doing stuff with this.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    That seems more like a job for a hireling than a cohort, if you ask me. Hire a commoner to reload and pay him a gold a day. Bam, there you go.
    Then some baddie with a bow goes POIK! and Bam, down they go. Sure, you can get another one, but you are now that much less useful until you can get to town IF you can find someone to hire.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    Then some baddie with a bow goes POIK! and Bam, down they go. Sure, you can get another one, but you are now that much less useful until you can get to town IF you can find someone to hire.
    That's why you keep spares.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius Maximus View Post
    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    That's why you keep spares.
    That's why Baddie took Rapid Shot. A moderate strength bow is going to kill your typical commoner hireling in one shot almost all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    That's why Baddie took Rapid Shot.
    That's why you keep lots of spares.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudius Maximus View Post
    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    That's why you keep lots of spares.
    And that's why you gain a reputation for getting anyone you hire killed and no one wants to work for you any more. People talk, gossip, its what they do.
    Still want to mix this with arcane archer, if I can successfully use my DM wrangling skills.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

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    Default Re: [PF] Guns and Black Powder: An Ultimate Combat Playtest's Gunslinger Mini-Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    And that's why you gain a reputation for getting anyone you hire killed and no one wants to work for you any more. People talk, gossip, its what they do.
    Well, you can't gossip if you are dead.
    Unless you are gossiping with 3rd level clerics, that is.

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