A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Serafina's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Female

    Default Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresden)

    Staff and Gun - the Eldritch Gunslinger



    The Spellslinger Wizard Archetype is cool, but sadly cripples the Wizard entirely too much with four opposition schools and no cantrips. However, it's defining feature - Arcane Gun - can be used with spells from any source, not just Wizard-spells. Thus, the most common recommendation is simply a 1-level dip for the archetype and then going into any other class.

    Of all the spellcasting classes, the Eldritch Archer Magus is the one best-suited for ranged weapons. With this archetype, you can cast spells and attack with a ranged weapon during the same full-round action.

    This short guide explores the options for combining the two. Most of this can be just be put together by reading a good Magus or Gunslinger guide, but why not have it all in one place? For further options for the Magus see this guide, if you are interested in Gunslingers take a look at this one, and there is a guide to the Spellslinger Archetype here.


    The foundation: Class Features and Archetypes:

    The Spellslinger has two important class features. You only want a 1-level dip here, so other than this you just get a small amount of first-level spells that you can't cast properly in armor.
    Arcane Gun: The Spellslinger isn't maligned because this is a bad feature, but because of what they have to trade away for it. This does three things: It grants you Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Firearms), it allows you to add your firearms enhancement bonus to your cone, line and ray spells, and if you let your gun explode it makes the explosion worse. Do note that the only reason to have two arcane guns is if you have a backup weapon - wielding two at the same time provides no bonus at all.
    Gunsmith: This lets you build and maintain your own gun, but more importantly you can craft yourself Alchemical Cartridges for only 10% of their price.

    The Eldritch Archer is the other main part of this build. It changes some options from your arcane pool, and makes spell combat and spell strike usable with ranged weapons.
    Ranged Weapon Bond: You can cast spells with the same hand that holds your bonded weapon. Wielding two weapons or a two-handed one is no longer a problem with this. You can craft your own magic ranged weapon - this will be especially important if magic firearms are rare in your campaign. As a drawback, you must make a very hard concentration check if you lose your bonded weapon, and weapons are more likely to be confiscated than a small ring.
    Ranged Spell Combat: This is the class feature that allows you to cast spells and attack with a ranged weapon on the same turn. Together with Ranged Spell Strike, this even amounts to an extra attack with your gun. Since you attack touch-AC, the small to-hit penalty will soon not affect you anymore, though you can't take a penalty to attack to improve your concentration-checks with this class feature.
    Ranged Spell Strike: You can deliver any spell that calls for a ranged attack roll through your gun instead. For a normal Magus, this was almost always the drawback of targeting normal AC instead of touch AC - but you're using a gun, so that's not a problem for you! More on good spell selection for this later on. Very late, you get Focused Spellstrikes and can treat cone- and line-shaped spells as rays for this.

    There are two other magus archetypes that can be combined with the Eldritch Archer and stand out. You don't have to take them, though I would recommend so for most builds.
    Spoiler: Staff Magus
    Show
    Normally, the Staff Magus only trades damage for better defenses. However, for you it basically has no drawbacks. The reduced weapon proficiencies don't affect you (you get Exotic Weapon Proficiency from your Spellslinger dip), you won't want to wear medium or heavy armor anyway and you likely won't have the feats to profit from Fighter Training.

    Even just trading useless class features for the ability to recharge magic staves from your arcana pool could be worth it. However, this archetype really shines if you get some way of reloading your gun with your hands occupied - in that case, you can profit from a nice bonus to AC too by wielding your gun in one hand, and your staff in the other.

    Spoiler: Hexcrafter Magus
    Show
    This archetype costs you spell recall (and thus improved spell recall). In exchange, you get a free Witch Hex, can take more Witch Hexes and add some spells to your list. Consider that you won't take either Arcane Accuracy or Accurate Strike, and thus have a bit more room to spend on Hexes.

    Of particular note here is the Prehensile Hair Hex. You can use it to reload your gun, and thus it can allow you to wield two guns or the Staff&Gun combo that the Staff Magus favors. It will take a standard action to activate, but since you will have to move into range of your guns quite often, this is not as large of a drawback.



    Races&Attributes:
    Most of what goes for a Dexterity-focused Magus goes for you as well. You can favor Intelligence more than usual, since you should have an easier time hitting. Dexterity is still important, especially at the early levels, but having more spells and even higher DCs can be better.


    Feats:
    Building a ranged combatant is pretty feat intensive, but fortunately you get a few bonus feats over your career. It probably means that you will have less feats to spend on other things though, but for those you can look into a magus guide.
    Rapid Reload: Of course this is mandatory, regardless of what gun you use. Together with alchemical cartridges, this will allow free-action reloads of your guns and thus full attacks.
    Point-Blank Shot: You will get the bonus from this almost all the time, and you need it as a prerequisite as well.
    Precise Shot: Sure, you can live with a -4 penalty early on, but later it will hurt. It also helps once you start laying on penalties from rapid shot or two-weapon fighting.
    Improved Precise Shot: You can get this as a +1 weapon bonus, and will often be able to ignore cover via positioning. However, getting a means to ignore concealment is still quite valuable.
    Clustered Shots: You will get between 2 and 5 (potentially even more) attacks on a full attack. The more you have, the more this feat pays off since DR will only be applied once. And you should already have it's prerequisites as well.
    Deadly Aim: You should hit most enemies with ease after the first few levels. You don't have to take this right away, but in the later levels it's a very good damage boost.
    Rapid Shot: It's an additional attack at -2 penalty. You can already do this via spell combat+spell strike, but it stacks and equals more damage.
    Two-Weapon Fighting: You can do this, if you don't use Staff Magus. It's yet another attack at a -2 penalty, stacking with all others. With the Improved&Greater version, Rapid Shot, Spell Combat+Spell Strike and Haste, you could get 9 shots per round, and have a good chance with hitting all of them. But you can already deliver tons of damage via spells, and can of course only do this if you have a way of reloading your weapon for free.
    Improved Critical: You should take this. Yes, it only brings you to a 19-20 critical chance, but remember that your guns get a x4 damage multiplier and that your spells should get a x3 one. Especially if you deliver multiple rays through ranged spell strike, this has a good chance of triggering.


    Traits:
    Roving Range: add 5 feet to the range increment of your guns. And thus to the range of all spells you deliver with ranged spellstrike, which can include a lot of spells that would otherwise be melee touch spells.


    Magus Arcana:


    Spells:
    This section explores what spells are good with your ranged spell strike, and how it combines with arcane gun. For all other spells, please see a magus guide.
    - You can only deliver spells that call for a ranged attack. Lines, cones or anything else does not qualify. Spells with a range of "touch" do not qualify unless you take the reach spellstrike arcana or the reach spell metamagic (I recommend the former).
    - You gain no benefit from Arcane Gun unless your spell also calls for a saving throw, because you now don't attack with the spell but with your gun (that just happens to also deliver a spell effect).
    - Spells will be rated for use with Ranged Spellstrike, if you want to affect multiple enemies or cast at a longer range other spells may well be better.
    - Some of the spells listed here will only be available if you take the Spell Blending arcana (SB) or are a Hexcrafter (HC), I will make note of those.
    - All curses can be delivered with spellstrike if you take the Accursed Strike arcana - ask your GM if this works with Ranged Spellstrike. I will only mention those curse-spells that can be delivered without this arcana.

    Spells that are usable without the Reach arcana/metamagic:

    Cantrips:
    Acid Splash* is great because it qualifies for ranged spellstrike right away. Consider it an extra attack with your gun with a teeny bit of bonus damage, and use it to finish off enemies that you don't want to waste real spells on.

    1st-level Spells:
    Mudball*does no damage, but it can blind your enemy. With a good magic weapon (or one enhanced by your arcane pool), this can have a pretty high DC though and blinded is a good condition.
    Ray of Enfeeblement* also deals no hitpoint damage, but can outright incapacitate low-strength enemies and weakens most others. You do benefit from arcane gun here.
    Snowball* is likely your best first-level spell. It is usable right away, it does some damage, and even better it can stagger the enemy and thus benefits from arcane gun.

    2nd-level Spells:
    Acid Arrow
    Force Anchor
    Molten Orb* calls for a ranged attack and is thus perfectly usable. Only use it if you want to damage several enemies, though the damage is not that great even then.
    Scorching Ray* will be your first spell that produces multiple rays. You don't have to worry about wasting rays either, as long as you're casting it with spell combat you always have enough attacks that all rays will be delivered. This is your best damage spell for quite a while
    Stone Discus* is normally strictly inferior to Scorching Ray, since it does not attack touch-ac. However, by delivering it with your guns, you bypass that problem entirely. It does just as much damage, does not allow spell resistance and is not affected by elemental resistances. Unless you have an enemy with no resistance to fire, but high resistance to physical damage (or that has regeneration), you should take this spell over Scorching Ray.

    3rd-level Spells:
    Gloomblind Bolts* deal just as much damage as Scorching Ray or Stone Disk (though it's negative energy instead). For the additional spell level it can also blind opponents for 1 round. Technically, you could also heal this to heal undead by shooting them with bullets, though why you would ever do so, who knows?
    Ray of Exhaustion* will cripple melee enemies, and thanks to arcane gun you have a very good chance of success with it.

    4th-level Spells:
    Enervation* (SB) is a pretty powerful debuff, 1D4 negative levels really hurt.

    6th-level Spells:
    Disintegrate* does everything ranged spellstrike and arcane gun want. You can use it with spell combat and it requires a saving throw. At the level where this is available, you'll add +5 to the saving throw DC and 32D6 damage is nothing to sneeze at. Consider not delivering it with ranged spellstrike to take advantage of it's range (possibly even targeting some other target than that of your full attack), you'll still get the advantage of arcane gun.


    Spells that become usable with the Reach arcana/metamagic:

    1st-level Spells:
    Shocking Grasp* is the staple of most magus builds for a reason. For you, this gets replaced by Snowball - but it still does good damage with a bonus to hit you might sometimes need.
    Chill Touch* is a strong contender for snowball as your best low-level spell once you can use it at range. Unlike a normal magus, you can't store this for later rounds, but you can deliver multiple attacks with it at once.
    Frostbite* is good for the same reason as Chill Touch, but since there is no save there is no benefit from arcane gun. Which doesn't make this bad, fatigued is a crippling condition to many enemies. If you want to focus on this at higher levels, it even works well with an Enforcer build.

    2nd-level Spells:
    Disfiguring Touch* is a weaker version of Bestow Curse, I would recommend waiting for the latter.
    Shadow Anchor* (SB) vastly reduces the enemies chance of moving closer to you, so unless they can attack you at range you can shoot them with impunity.

    3rd-level Spells:
    Bestow Curse* (HC) offers some pretty powerful debuffs
    Force Punch* deals force damage (and is thus basically never resisted), benefits from arcane gun and pushes enemies away. If an enemy gets uncomfortably close, this is the spell for you - but be aware that you can push enemies outside of your guns range
    Mark of Obvious Ethics* (HC) can be nice for a witchhunter-type of character, but isn't of much use in combat.
    Trial of Fire and Acid* just deals too little damage per round to be useful in most situations. Unless you have a high caster level and plan to hide/run away after casting this, it's not worth it.
    Vampiric Touch* is as good for you as it is for the normal magus

    4th-level Spells
    Arcana Theft* is a gamble. You can potentially take negative effects onto yourself, and it's not better at dispelling than Dispel Magic. You should generally avoid it.
    Bestow Curse* (HC) offers some pretty powerful debuffs. Sadly you only get it as a 4th-level spell so it has to compete with lots of other good spells.
    Brand, Greater* (HC) is only good if you want to permanently mark enemies, in combat it's just 1D6 damage and sickens the enemy if they're within 30 feet of you (and you have a holy symbol on you).
    Curse of Unexpected Death* (HC) could be cool if you want to shoot an enemy with a single bullet that can explode at a random point later. But for all other purposes, it's just mediocre damage that will likely hit way too late (or not at all!).
    Dimensional Anchor* (SB) sadly loses range when used with ranged spell strike on a gun, but if the enemy is too far away you can simply cast it the normal way.
    Excruciating Deformation* (SB) reduces an enemies, speed, inflicts nonlethal, dexterity and constitution damage and does so for quite a while. The extra saving throw each round will be much harder to make when fired through your arcane gun too. This is a good opener in combat.
    Old Salts Curse* (HC) is great if you are on a ship - permanent stagger is great for a 4th-level spell. If you are not, permanent sickened is much too weak for the level.
    Touch of Slime* (SB) can deal 1D3 constitution damage per round. That is, if the enemy is somehow prevented from removing it right away, though at least then you traded an action of yours and a spell slot (plus a full attack, I hope) for an action of theirs. Sadly this spell does not at all work in sunlight.

    5th-level Spells:
    Siphon Magic* is way better than Arcana Theft. No save, no SR, not even a caster level check - if you want to remove one specific spell on an enemy, this is the best way to do it.

    6th-level Spells:
    Contagious Flame* (SB) is an improved version of Scorching Ray - you get up to two more rays, and the rays can jump to other targets for three rounds. Still, at this level you should have better options available than a 6th-level spell you had to take with spell blending.
    Hellfire Ray* (SB) doesn't offer better damage, but at least you'll almost certainly damn a slain target to hell - if that is something you want.


    Other Spells:
    Well, okay, a short section on notable spells for this character.
    Reloading Hands* can provide an alternate way of getting full-attacks while having your hands full. However, spending a second-level spell and a standard action for that each fight will probably be rather costly.
    Named Bullet* (SB) is great because of it automatically threatens a critical hit. With your guns x4 crit modifier and the possibility of a x3 crit modifier on your spell...well, imagine what you can achieve if you combine that with Enervation (up to 12 negative levels!) or Disintegrate (an average of over 580 damage).


    Spoiler: Spells for your 1-level Wizard dip
    Show
    Well, you won't get terribly many here. One from level, and really never more than two from high Intelligence (and really just one for most of your career). They'll also be stuck at caster level 1 (unless you get an Orange Prism Stone or similar), and suffer from arcane spell failure (though yours won't be terribly high). Of course you can basically learn every 1st-level Wizard-spell since you're using a spellbook, but then again you also have four opposition schools. Really, you benefit more from being able to use Wizard-scrolls and other such spell-trigger items.
    Nevertheless, here are some spells that don't suffer too badly from the restrictions.

    Identify* is a staple spell, you'll always need someone to identify magic items. You can do it with just spellcraft, but +10 to the roll certainly doesn't hurt! Low caster level just means that one casting is only enough for one item, but that's still good. You won't be harmed if you miscast this spell, and you can cast it at the end of the day when you take your armor off anyway. Oh, and best of all this spell isn't even on the Magus spell list.
    [COLOR="##00FFFF"]Comprehend Languages[/COLOR]* still allows for 10 minutes of conversation, or the deciphering of one message.
    Discern Next of Kin* is certainly situational. But that's why you have it in a spellbook, and on spell slots you won't use terribly often. It can be great extortion material, and this spell basically does not suffer at all from low duration (learning about six relatives is good enough for most situations).
    Heightened Awareness* should last long enough for several knowledge checks if you make them all at once, and even for just one it's a decent option. Or as a pre-combat buff if you're doing the "let's buff up before we bust into the big bads throne room" for +2 to Initiative.
    See Alignment* is basically a more flexible detect evil. The one round duration is still enough to identify the alignment of several people (if they are all in your field of view).
    Memorize Page* is nice because it doesn't suffer at all from reduced caster level. Having this prepared can be a good idea if you ever run across written information that you only have momentary access to, but mostly you will cast this during your downtime.




    Equipment, Magic and Mundane
    You should probably take a look at a Magus-guide for information on most magic items. The main difference here is magic weapons, and what staves to choose if you do choose to be a Staff Magus.

    Spoiler: Staves, and how they can support you
    Show
    First, let's take a look at how your class features interact with staves (only if you are staff magus of course):
    - You can wield quarterstaves in one hand.
    - Until Magus Level 7, you have no reason to do so other than allowing attacks of opportunity (which you can just do with a spiked gauntlet anyway, and without weapon finesse they won't ever be good anyway).
    - At that level, wielding a magical quarterstaff gives you a shield bonus equal to it's enhancement bonus. That's very underwhelming, for less gold you could get a +1 mithral buckler that does grant a +2 shield bonus and keeps your hand mostly free (to, say, wield a buckler). However, at 13th level this increases by +3, and a +3 mithral buckler would actually have a noticeable cost (but the free hand would still be good for using a rod).
    - At 10th level, you treat any magical staff as a magical quarterstaff with an enhancement bonus of (caster level/4). This will be a +2 or better, and it's for free in addition to the staffs cost.
    - And last but not least, at 10th level you can recharge staves using your arcane pool. This is pretty expensive - you can easily pour most of your pool into this, especially for staves with high-level spells. However, you can do something nobody else can - you can put more than one charge per day into a staff. Even if you only recharge during downtime, that's pretty good.

    So even as a staff magus, you'll only really start using staves from 10th level onwards. That being said, they can offer lots of options, including unique ones or spells not normally on your list.

    Staff of the Master*. You don't want this one for the spells, you want it for the metamagic. However, let's first compare it to metamagic rods. A Metamagic Rod (Quicken) costs 75.500 gp, but can allow you to quicken any of your spells (you won't cast anything higher than 6th level) three times per day. The staff can quicken a spell for you two times, and does need recharging, but only costs less than half as much gold.
    So, when is this staff preferable? It will give you a +2 shield bonus, and at 13th level a +5 shield bonus. It is efficient if you only need quicken a few times, and can recharge easily between adventures. However, if you are constantly out adventuring, recharging this staff costs 12 (!) points from your arcane pool for one quicken. Are 12 pool points and one third-level spell slot worth ~35k GP to you?

    Staff of Travel* allows you to use Teleport and Dimension Door. That's always useful to have. And wielding it actually gives you a +10 foot enhancement bonus to speed

    Staff of Power*. Yikes this is expensive. It only contains three spells that are not on your list (Continual Flame, Hold Monster and Globe of Invulnerability). It's enhancement bonus is redundant (it instead functions as a +4 quarterstaff for you), as is it's smite-function (you won't be attacking with it) and you shouldn't buy it for retributive strike. It also offers a +2 luck bonus to AC and Saves, which is better than any other luck-bonus I can think of. If +9 to AC and +2 to saves is worth occupying your hand and almost a quarter million gold to you, congratulations. However, for most people this will be entirely too expensive.

    Staff of the Hierophant*. Yikes, this is also very expensive. But it actually has a much better spell-selection than the Staff of Power (some healing, some useful buffs) and offers the same luck bonus as the Staff of Power. If you have that much money to shell out, go for this one instead.




    Builds:
    With three recommended archetypes and some feat constraints, this build paints a rather narrow picture of build options. However, you can still decide between more precision, more shots, a more caster-focused build and so on. Below are a few sample-builds, some of them will only have the basics which you can expand upon.
    Spoiler: Basic Eldritch Gunslinger - Level 3
    Show
    This is a Wizard 1/Magus 2. Archetypes other than Eldritch Archer and Spellslinger don't matter yet.

    Strength 10, Dexterity 16, Constitution 14, Intelligence 18, Wisdom 12, Charisma 8
    Classes and Archetypes: Wizard 1(Spellslinger), Magus 2 (Eldritch Archer)
    Races: Human
    Traits: Roving Range, Paragon of Speed
    Favored Class Bonus: Hitpoints
    Skills:
    Feats: Rapid Reload, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot
    Spells: three Cantrips, two 1st-level Wizard spells, three 1st-level Magus spells

    Tactics: Your favored move in combat is pretty simple: blast your enemies with two pistol-shots per round. Use Ranged Spell Combat, fire off one shot, cast a spell and deliver it by firing another shot. Against most enemies, you'll use Acid Splash. But if there's something nasty, Snowball works very well to take them out of the fight for one round, while Mudball will likely blind them for several rounds. If you craft yourself a +1 Pistol for just 1000 GP and use your arcane pool, you should have a +5 to hit against an enemies touch-AC, and your Snowball/Mudball should have a DC of 17.
    Outside of combat, you can contribute via cantrips, first-level Wizard spells and a good number of skillpoints.
    Last edited by Serafina; 2016-02-12 at 05:50 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Serafina's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    This is obviously still a work in progress, I still have some spells to rate (and likely add), as well as lots of arcana, feats, traits, magic items and other such things.

    If there are any misunderstood rules in there somewhere, please do tell me!

    Oh, and I think there was a rule somewhere against including pictures in guides? I hope the link at the beginning does not violate those, otherwise I am sorry and will of course take it out.

    I won't need any more reserved posts, so post away!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    sleepyphoenixx's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Pretty good so far.

    I don't know if you've already considered it, but the Staff Magus has another considerable benefit: the 10th level ability allows you to directly translate your Arcane Pool into adjustment-free metamagic if you combine it with a Staff of the Master, since the recharge feature is only limited by your pool instead of being 1 charge/day.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Serafina's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Oh, that IS very interesting and I shall certainly point it out once I get to the magic item section!

    I suspect it will be especially potent with Quicken Spell - normally not a great pick for the magus since they only get up to 6th-level spells (and get an Arcana that can quicken anything, if only once per day). But not only is that already pretty good for some low-level spells (a quickened snowball can certainly make a difference if it effectively has the DC of a 6th-level spell), but it also gives an extra attack via (ranged) spell strike. The staff only makes it better because it's spontaneous, does not consume higher spell slots - and more importantly, can actually go above the highest-level spell you can cast! So you could eventually quicken Disintegrate as easily as you could Acid Splash.

    Now doing that with this staff in particular would be rather expensive, arcana-wise. It'd take three points to get one charge, and you need four charges to quicken - so it'd be 12 arcana points, which is a large part of your pool. Still, if you do stick to mostly picking hexes and arcana that doesn't cost points, you can eventually do that once per day (and twice per day if you sacrifice a third level spell too).

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    I wonder if there's any way (custom magic items notwithstanding) to be able to treat a two-handed firearm as a quarterstaff? Partly because it means you wouldn't have to worry about having a free hand to reload while wielding your "staff", but mostly because I love the visual of using a musket to alternately block blows, smash faces in melee, and blast distant foes with spell-charged bullets.

    If it's workable, this concept could also benefit from a 3-level dip in Musket Master (for Fast Musket), using Magical Knack to reduce the caster level hit to -1. You could also add Siege Gunner to use INT for grit.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    digiman619's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    SCP-1912-J
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    First thing first, I LOVE the subtitle. I also think that a good idea for this build is to make a staff that has, say, reloading hands, unerring weapon, and mirror strike. Also, Harry would be far more likely to be a Staff Magus rather than a hexcrafter. I also think that his duster should best be represented by enchanted leather lamellar.
    Last edited by digiman619; 2016-02-12 at 03:35 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Just spotted a slight mistake regarding the alchemical cartridge it is not 10% of the cost but half price. The 10%is limited to bullets.
    Great work please keep it up!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Serafina's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Bleh, why are most staves so boring and high priced?
    The only staves that do anything interesting are either way too expensive (Hierophant, Power) or will eat up your arcane pool like candy and still compare unfavorably to other options (Staff of the Master vs. Metamagic Rods).
    And the shield bonus compares unfavorably to a mithral buckler for most of your career, too.

    So I'm afraid I'll only be able to put them in as "nice to have for some very limited spells, and if you really want the style and a bit of a shield bonus".

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    Bleh, why are most staves so boring and high priced?
    The only staves that do anything interesting are either way too expensive (Hierophant, Power) or will eat up your arcane pool like candy and still compare unfavorably to other options (Staff of the Master vs. Metamagic Rods).
    And the shield bonus compares unfavorably to a mithral buckler for most of your career, too.

    So I'm afraid I'll only be able to put them in as "nice to have for some very limited spells, and if you really want the style and a bit of a shield bonus".
    Huh? Your inclusion of the Spellslinger Wizard is what makes staves a beauty on this build.
    Trading away Spell Recall reduces the staying power a bit and the handful of wizard spells are pretty useless, but you gain full access to the wizard spell list, alleviating the need to UMD any staff and, with the right pick, you simply use those useless wizard spells to recharge the staff. Slow? Yes, but still reliable. Any staff that has a combination of first level/high level spell on it will do the job here.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Prime32's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    There's also the trick with the Bladebound Myrmidarch who chooses a sword cane pistol as his Black Blade, making it immune to the broken condition.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Serafina's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Unless I severely misunderstood something, you don't need to UMD most staves anyway. Or rather, you only need to have at least one of the staffs spells on your list in order to activate it without UMD.
    So the staff has a bunch of cleric-spells you want, but also a single magus-spell? Great, you can activate it!

    And the first-level spells of the Wizard are certainly utterly useless for recharging the staff. You need a spell with a level equal to the highest-level spell of the staff. So if the staff has a 7th-level spell, you'd need a 7th-level spell slot to recharge it as well. Hence, you could only recharge a staff that has only first-level spells.


    Now don't get me wrong, Staves could be great.
    A few have unique options to spend charges on, some of which are quite good. Some offer good passive bonuses as well. But both of those things tend to be way too expensive.
    And staves can give you spells off your spell list. This can be huge, and very flavorful.
    But here's the problem: most of the official staves do a really crappy job at these things.

    If your GM allows custom staves? Remember that other casters can provide the spells for the purpose of crafting a staff. Decide to work together with a Cleric and you can get a ton of divine spells on your staff. You could have nifty stuff like this:
    Spoiler: Staff of Battlefield Healing
    Show
    This potent staff was designed by wizards and clerics alike to preserve life on the field of battle.
    Heal (2 charges)
    Wall of Force (1 charge)
    Mass Cure Light Wounds (1 charge)
    Neutralize Poison (1 charge)
    Adjuring Step (0 charges)
    Spoiler: Cost
    Show
    We set the caster level at 12. Highest level spell is Heal (6th level). Then we have two 5th-level spells and a 4th-level spell. Heal costs 2 charges, so it gets it's costs halved. Adjuring Step is instead treated as a normal command-word spell, so it's calculated differently.
    So we have (400 x 6 x 12 /2 (=28.800)) + (300 x 5 x 12 (=18.000)) + (200 x 5 x 12 (=12.000)= + (200 x 4 x 12 (=9.600)) for the spells, and (1.800 x 1 x 12 (=21.600)) for Adjuring Step, for a total market price of 90.000.

    We could probably safely make Adjuring Step use-activated on "when you cast a spell from this staff" (it'd cost just 2400 gold), and of course we can change some spells around if we want to. Heck, throwing in Dimension Door or something would just cost another 9.600 gp, which is pretty cheap.


    The staff as presented here is useful to both clerics and wizards, and can actually be used by a lot of classes (bards, druids, inquisitors, magus, paladins, rangers, sorcerers, shamans, witches, wizards) without using UMD because they all have a spell from it on their list. However, only those capable of casting 6th-level spells can recharge it on their own.
    A Wizard would want it because it offers healing. A Cleric would likely want it for it's adjuring step effect, and could use Wall of Force to protect wounded allies (another spell may be better there, mind).



    Well, at least you can grab a few high-level spells that way, since the class feature allows you to recharge a staff regardless of whether you have access to it's highest-level spell. So you could use a Staff of the Planes without issue and get access to Plane Shift, for example. Unless you end up doing that a lot, it'd probably be cheaper to get some scrolls (you can get almost 30 scrolls for the same price).

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    @Serafina:

    Please check your UE and FAQs on this.

    Staves use Spell Trigger activation, considered on a spell-by-spell basis. The implications should be clear. Amongst other things, you need to have the required minimum ability score to cast that spell and it has to be on your spell list. Else: UMD those.
    Recharging uses one spell that is also on the staff and you canīt recharge more than one charge on the staff per day. That is the limit here unless modified by certain class features, feats or items.

    Look at the "Expanded Studies" feat for advanced classes (Hunter, Warpriest) that have access to a regular spell list but are capped by level. That feat is needed so they can use staves w/o resorting to using UMD.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    @Serafina:

    Please check your UE and FAQs on this.

    Staves use Spell Trigger activation, considered on a spell-by-spell basis. The implications should be clear. Amongst other things, you need to have the required minimum ability score to cast that spell and it has to be on your spell list. Else: UMD those.
    Recharging uses one spell that is also on the staff and you canīt recharge more than one charge on the staff per day. That is the limit here unless modified by certain class features, feats or items.

    Look at the "Expanded Studies" feat for advanced classes (Hunter, Warpriest) that have access to a regular spell list but are capped by level. That feat is needed so they can use staves w/o resorting to using UMD.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Legendary Games
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Huh, found one of my guides linked here.

    It seems like you're on a good start, but make sure you actually define your color coding. Without that, it's hard to tell what color means what. As an aside, never been a fan of black as a rating color, seems to be a GITP thing to do, but that's me being ornery.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Quote Originally Posted by N. Jolly View Post
    As an aside, never been a fan of black as a rating color, seems to be a GITP thing to do, but that's me being ornery.
    I rather have black for "not really rate-able" rather than the "rainbow" rating of "could be anything from red to purple" that has come up lately.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Akal Saris's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Hi Serafina,

    Thanks for your ideas in Kurald's guide.

    The build I have in mind focuses on Snowball along with Intensify Spell (for 10d6) and Rime Spell (for 1 round entangles), and then higher level spell slots would use Empower, along with a trait to reduce metamagic increases for Snowball. So the spell in different slots might look like this:

    At 10th level, for example: (all with a trait to reduce metamagic by 1)
    0 level: Acid Ray (or pick up Ray of Frost with a trait for the cold theme)
    1: Intensified Snowball (10d6), Rime Snowball (5d6)
    2: Intensified Rime Snowball (10d6, entangles for 1 round)
    3: Intensified Empowered Snowball (15d6)
    4: Intensified Rime Empowered Snowball (15d6, entangles for 1 round)

    Essentially, the first attack should be a shot a Rime spell, reducing the opponents' AC by 2 for the following attacks.

    Snilloc the Gunmage
    Sample build:
    Hmn Wiz 1/Magus 19 (Archetypes: Spellslinger, Eldritch Archer, Staff Magus
    Traits: Magical Lineage (Snowball), Roving Range

    Feats:
    1: Point Blank Shot
    1: Rapid Reload (Pistol)
    1: EWP: Guns (B Spellsinger 1)
    1: Gunsmithing (B Spellsinger 1)
    2: Quarterstaff Master (B Staff Magus 1)
    3: Rime Spell (B Hmn 1)
    5: Precise Shot
    6: Intensify Spell (B Magus 5)
    7: Rapid Shot
    9: Deadly Aim
    11: Empower Spell
    12: Clustered Shot (B Magus 11)
    13: Improved Critical (Pistol)
    15: Quicken Spell
    17: Spell Perfection (Disintegrate? Bestow Curse? Many good options here)
    18: Improved Initiative (B Magus 17)
    19: Divine Obedience
    Last edited by Akal Saris; 2016-03-11 at 01:09 AM.
    Handbooks: (Hosted on the new MixMax forums)
    [3.5] The Poison Handbook
    [3.5] (New) Master of Shrouds Handbook
    [3.5 Base Class] Healer's Handbook

    Trophies!
    Spoiler
    Show

    Thanks to Strategos and Jumilk for the awesome Iron Chef trophies!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: Staff and Gun - a miniguide to the Eldritch Gunslinger (or: How to be Harry Dresd

    Definitely want to throw in that staves are Javelin-sized and thus you can fit 6 in an Efficient Quiver to swap on the go.

    If you're going for Harry Dresden, the Ember staff from Advanced Player's Guide is a deep resemblance to Harry's homemade blasting rod in addition to being cheap (as staves go).

    If you dip further into alchemist you can grow a Vestigial Arm or Tentacle to help you reload. You could also dip into summoner, you can optimize a multi-armed Eidolon that sits there to hand you guns and reload for you. I've seen some people post that Unseen servants could do that as well

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •