I know that magic missiles do force damage, but telekenetic attacks also do force damage -- and that is just a physical attack. I don't know why that it is assumed that DR does not reduce this damage.
Either way, if force is considered a physical attack then DR will resist it. If it is considered an Energy Attack then switch to Golems with Hardness -- hardness is NOT DR, so magic missile and other force energy attacks (if you consider force as undefined physical energy)will not immediately bypass it. What's more, Hardness is doubled against Energy attacks.
One of the neat things you can do is create a Golem Suit (Ultimate Magic) for your Villain to wear. The alchemist in my group was hating the life he lived when I had the group face Robot enemies in the deserts of Numeria.
The other thing you can do against low level alchemist is Mirror image. That should buy you a round or two. Project Image is for later levels... and it is a killer for a Wizard.
One of the things I like to use is peon's using grapple attacks on PCs to control how they deal with the big guy. You need two hands to prepare a grenade to throw, and you can't do two handed attacks. There's lots of animals that could be allies of the villains that can fill this requirement (cats, octopus, insects).
If your players are Lawful Good, have them sit down with Centaurs and Varnhold leadership to set boundaries of colonization for the Kingdom. The boundaries in such case will be what both sides can live with WITHOUT the need to go to war. No one should be happy with the comprimise... which is what makes it a comprimise.
If your players are Chaotic Evil, have them apologize for the misunderstanding and present the Centaurs a generous gift -- a shipment of blankets infected with Smallpox or some other flesh eating disease (taking a piece of American History here). When they complain about dying from Smallpox, go to war with them when they are at their weakest.
Quantum Steve wrote:
If your point is to say that I am undervaluing the gear and spells that Nyrissa has by allocating it ONLY a +1 to her CR, then OK, I concede your point. It's worth FAR more than that!
But if you are saying that the CR 20 for Pit Fiends includes a ton of valuable magic items that make it invicible but are not included in the stats, then I would encourage your players to rise up in revolt against you, because that's not the way it is supposed to be. In fact, I've read the Pit Fiend description at least a half dozen times, and all I can find in the description about magical equipment is that for treasure it says DOUBLE.
Well, double means double the standard encounter amount for the characters who face him. If the characters are level 17, then that translates into 64,000 gp worth of gear -- which would be 1 random major, 2 random medium, and 4 random minor gear. And that's RANDOM. If you wanted something specific, that would probably be just one item as most Major Items are over 64k in value.
But lets take a look at a combat between Mr. Pit Fiend and Nyrissa:
What Mr. Pit fiend has going for him is his constrict, his greater dispel, and his crazy high SR... He's no slouch, but unless he went into battle with the "How to Defeat Nyrissa Playbook" in hand, he's not going to have much of a chance of stopping her. But that doesn't mean that all of a sudden he has ceased to be a CR 20 creature, which is what this whole discussion is about!
If you really wanted a good pairing though, flip the pages of Kingmaker 6 of 6 to page 59, and put her up against Choral the Conqueror. THAT would be a good fight, but he's CR 25 (NO MAGIC ITEMS EITHER). If she got a Quickened Resist Fire (30 pts) up she might durn well put a hurtin on him (she would take an average of 33 pts of damage for every breath weapon). His High SR would give the edge to the Dragon -- even with her heal spells to help her out... but it would be a closer fight than against the Pit Fiend.
So I will concede that she would PROBABLY be somewhere IN BETWEEN Choral the Conqueror and a Pitfiend. Maybe CR 23 or 24.
Quantum Steve wrote:
One facet at a time:First -- A pit fiend with no equipment is CR 20 -- they've been that way since the game has come out. If you "feel" that they should be CR 19, that's your call but it's not the standard by which CR 20 is judged.
Second -- A 18th level Druid and a 17th level Sorcerer would have their butts handed to them on the first round against Nyrissa (under normal conditions). Her saves would be almost automatic, whilst they would be facing saves of 26 to 30. Most 17th level sorcerers could handle Will saves like this, but not Fort or Reflex. Druids Will and Fort -- but she can chain lightning til her face turns blue. And you're dreaming if they have twice the HP -- Druid with a high Con, maybe... but What 17th level sorcerer has 378 HP?
Third -- You have a point about the tweaks she gets for Uprooting the house. But they are not as substantial as you might say. Shaken will give her a -2 to her saves... and that's about it. Fatigued gives her -2 to Strength and Dex -- lowering her Reflex save and her AC both by a meager one point... NO BIG DEAL!
As far as Staggered goes -- first you have to actually HIT her, and then she gets a Fort Save of 40, but even if her House is uprooted her Fort is +30 -- that's a 55% chance of save. And all staggered means is that she can't run AND cast spells... Ah! but let's not forget her Quickened Spells! I guess the real penalty is that she can't run and cast TWO spells in a round.
The real way to kill her is simply by having her stand still in Melee with the fighter wielding Briar while he keeps swinging until he rolls a natural 20... twice.
This is for Quantum Steve as well:
You MUST be Joking... she's what you would call a CR 20 monster?
Let's compare her to my FAVORITE CR 20 monster, a Pit Fiend
AC: Nyrissa 51; Pit Fiend 38
Attacks: Nyrissa -- the combined spell power of a level 18 Druid and a level 17 (which you say only entitles her to +3 CR) Sorcerer which she can cast simultaneously once a day... not to mention the fact that if you even look at her you go BLIND
Magic Items: Nyrissa -- a boat load of high end Magic Items that complement her every move as well as precast spells -- Contingency heal if brought below 0... Protection from Decapitation? What the Heck?; Pit Fiend -- spells and magic items are for pussies!
I think you must be of a mind that it is your duty to skimp for every XP you give your characters if you think these two creatures are the same. If they survive Nyrissa WITHOUT GM intervention they ought to get "PAID" for it!
She's AC 51 so she can only be hit MAYBE once a round by fighters, and she's almost a shoe-in to make every save rendering spells only significant if they have a decent effect against those who make their saves... exactly how BADLY do you have to play Nyrissa to make her the equivalent of a CR 20 monster?
If they are dwarves building a dwarven city underground, I wouldn't think that it would cost any more build points than creating a normal city.
We have the same thing happening in my campaign -- one of our players is an outcast dwarf, but we made a side trip (mini-adventure) to the Five Kings mountains and redeemed his reputation. We now have dwarven outposts existing WITHIN both the gold and the silver mines, and farmlands above.
The hardest part about getting a dwarven city build is getting the dwarves. If you have dwarves building an underground city, it shouldn't be any more difficult for them as for humans building their own cities above ground.
I allow it with NO adjustment to build points. I figure they've got all the raw materials they need (stone) so there is little they need to bring in to make it work.
I just wanted to throw out to people that although I like the fact that Nyrissa is as tough as nails, I think it is unfair for a GM to gift characters with only the XP of a CR 20 monster for defeating her. I don't know WHAT the mentality of the DEVs were on calling her a CR 20 opponent... perhaps clinging to the idea that an epic enemy should not be more than 4 CR higher than the party level... but my math says otherwise:
Base CR for Nymph -- 7
So by my reckoning, she should be a CR 26 Encounter! That makes her worth about 2.5 million XP! I can't see ANYTHING in her make up that would qualify her for less... it's not like she has any real weaknesses! The only weakness she would have is if the GM played her like a tool.
The way I see it, it would be a matter of her saying, "Hi! You're dead, now you're dead, now you're dead! Buh-bye!"
One might argue that her character levels are NOT complimentary... which is of course a crock. If she had 6 levels of Barbarian or 6 levels of Monk... yeah, that would not be complimentary. But she is a caster, and her Charisma is crazy high. Looks complimentary to me.
An advanced revolver firearm... so he can shoot himself in the noodle for being such a useless character.
There is a human bard in my campaign that is completely useless... can't do a thing other than cast haste and give everyone a +2 bonus to hit and damage...
Another character decided to build themselves a GNOME bard... as far as I can tell the only reason he had to do so was to remind the first bard that there is always someone out there more worthless than you.
"Gnome Bard -- when a regular bard JUST isn't useless enough!"
When she says that she wants the sun blade, what she really means is that she wants to develop a relationship. Oh yeah... you know what I'm talking about!
Take her out to dinner... wine her and dine her. Get to know the real oracle in her! Woo her, man! Woo her like she's never been wooed before!
And if that doesn't work, backstab her character and take all of her stuff! What on earth are you doing with a Ninja that's Neutral Good, anyway?
When she cries about it, just remind her that she ought to be happy that she got a free dinner out of you... hateful little harpy!
My group is running Kingmaker VERY slowly. We play online from different parts of the country using MapTools (awesome program).
They discovered an entry in the wizard's journal (at the Inn) describing an ancient being called Vordakai. The Cleric in our group immediately asked me how to spell it, so I told him. The Bard took a 20 (KS History 17) to learn more about the name, but I told her that it was a name unknown to her (DC 40).
That's when the Cleric interupted, saying, "Vordakai is an ancient and powerful wizard cyclops... lives near some place called Casmaron."
I was too shocked to reply, but the other players immediately asked, "How do you know that?"
The Cleric answered, "I just Googled it."
Why bring a Bard when you have Google.
I have been looking for great Zuddiger Picnic illustrations for a while now. I am grateful for Elizabeth's contribution, but it wasn't what I was looking for.
Have a Fighter Barbarian in our group who specializes in over-run.
With the Barbarian Rage powers of:
So... When he RAGES and charges an opponent in a large group -- targetting the guy in the MIDDLE of the group -- he gets a free Overrun attack (Charge Through)
Power Attack Great Cleave FTW
Sometimes it gets bungled up by the slowly accumulated negatives to his BAB and CMB, but when it works perfectly it is a thing of BEAUTY!
IMHO, when you get that high of a level you should just pat yourself on the back, thank the GM for a wonderful campaign, and then retire the character and make a new first level character.
Spending too much time on an UBER character is ultimately self-defeating. Half the fun of the game is playing in circumstances where I know I might lose and die. Losing an UBER character sucks beyond scope, so you really aren't playing for the FULL challenge... you have to know when to let go.
Tell your GM that you are designing your OWN retirement story for your campaign, and you want him to incorporate it into his game. If you want to retire your character as an ascended being, just tell him you don't want to roll any dice! Just DO IT so you can start a new adventure.
Naaww... I'm pretty sure that the wakisashi part of the Daisho was so that the samurai always had a weapon ready to stab himself in the gut with. I think it wasn't until Myamoto Musashi that two weapon fighting became all the rage.(I'd give an XP bonus to Samurai if they disembowell themselves for failing their Lord)
That was when all the Samurai started saying to themselves, "You mean I can stab somebody ELSE with this thing? Well slap my face, and call me a Ronin!"
From what I can tell Kendo is not taught from horseback -- in fact I can't seem to recall any stories about Samurai who fought on horseback. They certainly shot bows on horseback, so I guess that counts. In fact, being on a horse with a bow and arrow went out of fashion after the Tokugawa Shogunate in preference to fighting with sword and spear and mobile armor using ashigaru ("light feet") tactics. That's not saying it disappeared, but one-on-one combat was preferred.
Even though they were good riders I don't think it is enough to give them a horse follower like cavaliers or paladins -- they really WEREN'T dedicated horse fighters (not like the Western Knight in Shining or the mobile and agile Mongols). They really were more comfortable as fast moving Guerrilla foot soldiers.
Devs, If you are going to give every class that ever looked at a horse a horse follower, you might as well give Wizards a Horse follower (Gandalf had Shadowfax) or Gunslingers a horse follower (actually, that's a pretty good idea: The Lone Ranger had Silver, Roy Rodgers had Trigger, and heck! Rooster Cogburn had ol' Bo!). A Samurai HORSE, eh, it just doesn't work for me... might as well be a Samurai PENGUIN!
Things about guns and gunslingers I do and don't like.
Ranged Touch attack is how it should be IMHO, and I think that armor piercing should be a part of it, but it DOESN'T have to be an all or nothing! Try to find some middle ground -- and throw in a Strength Bonus and Strength Requirement like you do with bows (does it matter whether your bow is strung more tightly or whether there is more powder packed in your weapon).
Misfire is a BIG mistake! Only players who would grab their Wand of Wonder and start casting in the middle of a big battle would pack a pistol that could explode after two shots. If you really, really, really need misfire, exclude it at least for masterwork weapons. Don't go for a magical solution to this, as that would be unavailable in Alkenstar (Golarion campaign setting where Guns originate)
Gunslinger abilities should just be simmered down into firearm combat feats -- if any character wanted to focus on firearms they could take those feats. Having a new class JUST for firearms is a waste.
If you really feel obliged to have a Gunslinger specialist, make it an alternate Archetype for different classes: Fighter, Alchemist, Rogue, Ranger, Paladin, even Wizards or Sorceresses. I think that would be more creative, diverse, and fun than having just be one class.
I agree completely. In fact, there are so many Ninja legends that trying to fit them all into one class is a exercise in futility. There are too many ways to color a ninja to, frankly, WASTE on one class.
In my own campaign, I throw in a Ninja Clan (which I creatively call, the NINJA) composed entirely of dispossessed Half-Elves. They are contemptuous of all races except themselves, and as such make excellent assassins. Every member of the clan has levels in Rogue, but they also have levels in other classes based on their level of expertise.
The rank and file Ninja have levels in Fighter -- wield weapons but can whoop ass unarmed as well. The sneaky-sneaky Ninja are either full on Rogue or Rogue-Assassins (I never use assassins against players, but I love to threaten them with them). And of course, there is always a small handful of Rogue-Sorcerers with their crazy Ninja Magic. I haven't built a Rogue-Monk into the mix, but only because the other Ninja are more than enough to do the job.
The point is, Ninja are more like a society than a class to me. Turning it into a strict class kind of pigeon-holes them, and further-more screws with the balance of the game, since what you want to make is a rogue-fighter-sorcerer-monk that is good at all of these things.
Does the samurai even need a horse? I mean, Is that the iconic for a real samurai?
If I were to make the samurai, I would utilize something akin to the Paladin's spiritual bond to his weapon in the build rather than to the mount.
I agree that there are problems with the guns - specifically with the misfire rules. My players won't go NEAR intelligent weapons with EGO for fear of something going wrong in the middle of combat, let alone equipping a weapon that is liable to explode. I do, however, like the increase in damage and the touch attack system with guns, so I think they are better options than what was listed in CS.
However, I also think that one of the limitations that NEED to be placed on guns is that they are not TOO powerful in the hands of first and second level characters. Experience needs to make gun use better, and I think it is WRONG to limit that progression to one class (ie gunslinger)
I think gunslinger should be totally scrapped, and Piazo should focus on a set of feats and skills (and maybe a couple of character alt-builds) that would incorporate guns EFFECTIVELY into their class. That would make guns within the campaign more flexible than just as useless weapons in the hands of anyone OTHER than a gunslinger.
Money always gets a tweak. When I was younger, every character that ever played in my campaign had at least a million gp by the time they were tenth level. Not too hard to do if you just go and sell some magic items, I mean... who doesn't have 75,000 gold to buy your sword, afterall. Of course, everybody needed a portable hole to put all their cash into...
Since you could get a servant to work for you for a silver piece a day, that meant that PCs had the available income of a small country in their wallets.
My house rule for gold is that the exchange rate of CP:SP:GP is 10,000:100:1. The different coins are standards for the different classes -- Copper is the coinage of the lower class, silver is the coin of the middle (adventurer and merchant) class, and gold is the coin of the upper (Nobility and bankers). Platinum (1PP:10GP)exists only in 25lb bars, and is used only for mass transfers of wealth and banking.
This is a difficult house rule to play because you have to sacrifice rules for realism. Three rules of thumb I use to guide me is first, silver is the baseline conversion, which would make gold 10 times more valuable. If the treasure reward says 200 gp, I make it 20 gp
Second, 1 SP has a relative value of about 5 dollars. This is especially important with regards to starting equipment. 100 GP for a longbow? That's about $50,000 for the weapon ($5000 if I knock the cost down to 1/10th). I could imagine buying a decent rifle today for $500, so I make the price 100 SP. I used to pay villagers in Africa (I was in Peace Corps) about $1.25 a day for a days work assisting in projects, so this seemed about right the other direction.
Lastly, an item is only worth as much as you can sell it for, or for whatever you're willing to buy it for. That is to say, there is no Wal-Mart for magic items.
You are right. I was using absolute terminology to make a relative comparison.
But the whole "ball rattles in the barrel" was relative to the shooter. Expert shooters (even with Muskets, not just rifles) tried to find a ball size (or a mould) that fit their barrel (with the wadding) -- which wasn't easy to do since standard barrel sizes and interchangable rifle parts didn't happen until the civil war. But even with expert shooters, after a certain range it didn't matter... physics and chaos theory took over.
Very simple. I like it!
Let me just fix this to the way it should be, assuming the weilder of the musket had 18 STR and he loaded his musket with as much powder as he could handle
The thing that I think people are having trouble with understanding about my house rule is simply that for muzzle loaders both the DEX of the shooter and the STR of the weapon effectively adds to the ATT roll, but the STR only counts for the purposes of overcoming armor. If you have a fast and naked dude shucking and jiving, the STR of the weapon is NOT going to help you hit him -- if it is a dude in full plate armor shucking and jiving, then it IS going to help hit him.
If the same 18 STR guy was shooting a Scattergun loaded with as much powder as he could handle, it would look like this
You may also notice with Scattergun two differences. One is that the bonus to ATT continues after 1st range increment and two is that there is no armor penetration. That does, what I think, best to mimic a shotgun spray. I don't like the AoE methodology of shotguns. I have hit two clay pigeons while skeet shooting before, but I've never managed to hit two geese or quail yet.
Phasics, there is a lot of discussion on this, and you have good personal points with which I disagree. I will be succinct in my replies
First point. Muzzle loaders (with the exception of rifles) are very accurate at short ranges because of the energy and velocity pushing the bullet out of the barrel is tremendous, unlike any other medieval weapon. Essentially, what you get is an immediate effect in a perfectly straight line to your target (at short range)-- there is no effective flight time of an arrow or crossbow -- the instant you pull the trigger there is a hole in your enemy. This early accuracy is quickly lost as the bullet starts spinning in flight -- after a certain distance it doesn't matter how you correct for aim the bullet is going to fly randomly. Of course, this effect was corrected with rifling. I know this is just a matter of perspective in regards to the in game physics, but I like to represent the fact of muzzle loader accuracies
Your second point argues complicated rules to fix rules that are too complicated. To each his own, I guess. The same goes for your third point -- it is a choice of game dynamics for the weapon.
Your fourth point with the feat and the weapon proficiency -- I have heard it both ways. Some have argued that firearms are ridiculously easy to master (especially when compared to the bow) so they should not require a proficiency, or maybe be considered simply weapons. I call them exotic in my campaign and require a feat to use (unless the character is from Alkenstar, then they get that feat for free). I usually let the player start out with a single pistol (which are not game changers) and let it go from there. As far as the "double penalties to hit," you and I both know that is completely unrealistic. All you have to do is show someone which way the bullet goes and how to pull the trigger and they can instantly shoot a pistol... reloading it is another matter.
Your last comment dealt with campaign preferences, which I respect, so lets leave it at that.
First of all, thank you for the gold star. I've got a gold one for you reading my post as well
But you missed a few key points with your critique.
First of all, the high ATT roll for Pistols, Revolvers, and Muskets apply for ONLY the first range increment. For Muskets, that means at 0-90 feet, you get a +2 but at 91-180 feet you get a -2 ATT (just slightly less than a longbow). For a pistol (and revolver)this applies for the first 30 feet, but is slightly better since at close range pistols are easier to "target in" than a heavier musket (+3 at 0-30, -2 at 31-60, -4 at 61-90). Also note that based on the Max STR a pistol can handle it's Armor Penetration is max -3 (-2 for revolver)
With Blunderbuss (BB), the ATT bonus persists at increased ranges, but reduces VERY rapidly (-2 ATT/20 foot range increment)and damage reduces by 1/2 for each range increment. Also for BB(as well as Scattergun (SG)), THERE IS NO ARMOR PENETRATION! The strength bonus ONLY applies to Damage.
Other posters have offered alternative ways to utilize scattergun attacks, calling them an AOE attack that diminishes with range, but always hitting with targets saving vs Reflex for half. BB and SG have been designe to be CRAZY dangerous at short range (though WITHOUT the armor penetration) but much diminished as range increases.
I know that some muzzle loader weapons are too powerful to put into the hands of 1st level schnooks. Most other weapons off the shelf in the equipment charts are more or less balanced for 1st level, but there is a lot in the game that is not. Wands of fireballs are ALSO disproportionally overpowered for first level characters... and I don't know ANY GM who would let a starting character have one. But at third level or higher, even a SG loses it's game changing power edge (and 3rd level is just about when characters in my campaign can afford the 2,200 gp price tag listed in the Pathfinder Campaign book). And besides, you only get one shot before you have to switch to something different.
Also, as far as AoO, I think the final ship battle of Master and Commander offers an excellent example of pistols used in hand to hand -- Sword in one hand and a quick shot with the pistol in the other. Firing a pistol (now, I confess, this is not from personal experience) does little to diminish a fighters defense in intense combat.
As far as your final comment on multibarrelled weapons and rates of fire -- maybe that would work for my campaign at the higher levels (since there would ultimately be uniquely crafted weaponry all around) but I personally want to maintain that limitation in my own campaign at the lower/middle levels. If guns had no faults, there would be no cons to weigh against the pros -- that's to say, everyone would want one.
You're right. Let's see if this is a more easier to comprehend display
-------------- DMG / Crit // Range / Cap / Wgt / Type / ATT/ STR Mod / Max STR
*STR Mod of the STR bonus adds to damage of the weapon and reduces the Armor/Natural Armor of the target AC for the purposes of the ATT roll for Musket, Pistol, Revolver and Rifle.
*STR Mod of the STR bonus adds to damage ONLY for Blunderbuss and Scattergun. Furthermore, damage for these weapons is halved for every range increment after the first, to the max of 1/8th damage at four range increments.
*One handed firearms do not draw an attack of opportunity when fired. Firing two handed firearms does draw attacks of opportunity, as does reloading ANY firearm.
*Reloading a firearm takes 4 full round actions using a powder horn and separate ball and wad. Using premade paper cartridges to reload takes 2 full rounds. Minuteman Feat(rapid reload for muzzle loaders) reduces time to 2 movement actions.
Does this help make it easier to understand?
Mirror, Mirror wrote:
Where are you getting your info for your weapon stats? In my the campaign book (albeit it is for 3.5) the stats for Muskets is 1d8 dmg and the stats for blunderbuss is 2d6?
I think our systems are quite similar. Instead of the Strength bonus (and Max Bonus) you opt for an increase in damage. Instead of the Armor/Natural armor reduction, you go for the Penetrating feat reducing DR. All in all our ideas are very similar, just different approaches.
But they already are in the Pathfinder Fantasy Campaign. Wedged between Nex and Geb, in a strip of land completely devoid of magic on account of centuries of wizard warfare, lies the Grand-Duchy of Alkenstar. There are no wizards or clerics or anything mystical there, but there are fortresses and walls and horrors living in the mana wastes outside those walls.And there are guns (and as far as I am concerned, the rules for those guns suck!)
For the sake of space, Dabbler, I will be succinct:
But you and I have different opinions of things, I think. There is no harm in that.
I did play GURPS, and Hero System, and a half a dozen other gaming systems. I liked and disliked aspects of all of them.Now I play Pathfinder and I am looking to make guns that are realistic for my players and don't suck -- and for me, that takes more than just saying "Guns=Bows" or making guns into a wondrous magical item.
Mirror, Mirror wrote:
You are right... the thought processes behind it are complicated, but it boils down to simplistic rules.Your rules for muzzle loaders are definitely superior to Pathfinder's, however I am still a stickler on the slow reload times for blackpowder weapons. The big one shot punch that you have to scramble to reload is my driving philosophy.
I agree and disagree with you. Muskets were inaccurate... yes, that is true. But bows and crossbows were MORE inaccurate. Archers in lines of battle fired arrows not too dissimilar to muskets, however they couldn't point their arrows directly at their enemies, they arched them up and fired them in the air, and hoped that the arrows would land where they were supposed to.
Crossbows superceded bows and arrows because it was easier to train a crossbowman than it was an archer. Contrary to popular belief, only the largest crossbows (eg arbalests) could be classified as Armor penetrating. Take a look at the comparison of the Heavy Crossbow shooting at laminate armor and the Chinese repeating crossbow shooting at plated mail armor on "The Deadliest Warrior" (Vlad vs Sun Tzu). The Xbow bolt was deflected once and failed to penetrate significantly a second shot (which took about half a minute to load)
The reason shafted projectile weapons are inferior is because they carry their energy in the shaft, which vibrates as it flies. When they strike a soft target, that energy is transfered into the tip. If they hit a hard target (armor) that energy is deflected laterally.
Bullets don't have that problem. If there is enough energy in the shot, the bullet will part steel plate. A muzzle loaded pistol would not have enough energy to bust through plate, but it would tear a hole through chain or leather armor pretty quick (and, as you might see from the max strength of my weapon list, it can only have a max Armor piercing of +2).
And yes, for all who want to throw it back at me, I am VERY concerned with realism in my game. I game with adults 35+ years, and they insist on believing in the world I present to them.
You all bring up some very interesting points regarding the place of firearms within a fantasy campaign.
And it is very difficult for a firearm to compete with the imagery of Legolas on top of the ramparts of Helms Deep with his bow, puting his arrows into the eyes of orcs, one after another after another.
But for people who really like the idea of packing some "heat", you can't really compete with that bow-shooting dynamic -- inaccurate as it may be! The only way for firearms to compete with the idealistic fantasy bow is to either make the firearms just as unrealistic (either by making them rapid-shooters like bows or ultimate damage monsters) or by finding some middle ground where they still retain their flaws (on account of reasonable comprimise) yet still remain a viable, useful alternative.
The rules for firearms in the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign book fails to make firearms even SLIGHTLY appealing -- you're honestly better off throwing rocks than shooting (you at least get your strength bonus and full attacks per round throwing rocks!). This is why I created my alterations to the rules.
Thank you for the compliment and I definitely agree with your observations of Muskets. They were only accurate up to 30 to 50 yards, which is why the point blank attack bonus only applies to that first range increment. So at up to 90 feet they get a +2 but after 90 they get a -2. Rifles, however, continued to be accurate at extreme ranges.
I also completely agree with the fact that they are an Exotic Weapon. Firing a musket is not so hard at all... but loading one? DFINITELY exotic to an axe wielding dungeon runner.
My only exception is for people from Alkenstar. Any character from Alkenstar in my campaign gets it for free. However, in my campaign the Alkenstar mana dampen affects characters -- no wizards, clerics, sorcerers, bards or magic of ANY kind exists, and all PCs (and NPCs) gain a +2 to all saves against spells or spell-like abilities.
One other way in which guns are different than bows is due to the fact that, YES! you can load and shoot a bow MUCH faster than you can shoot a blackpowder weapon.
Pathfinder tries to cloud this fact by making the time to reload a black powder weapon only one round. The most highly skilled British infantry of the Revolutionary War could load and fire their muskets (using cartridges) 4 times a minute.
Based on that, in my campaign the time it takes to reload a blackpowder weapon is 4 full round actions. If they are using premade cartridges this is reduced to two full round actions. If the character has the feat "Minuteman," these full round actions are changed to move actions.
Typically speaking, a blackpowder shooter in my game fires once with his rifle (musket/scattergun), drops the weapon and pulls two pistols next, and then pulls a sword. Unless there is someone to fend off attackers, there is no time to reload
Way too powerful.
When you line up characters of the same level, and one character is better in almost all ways to the others, you know that class is too powerful.
Advice -- get rid of the AC bonus (even though you probably REALLY don't want to) and trim down the GOOD will save to a BAD will save... if you want GOOD will save Ninja, they should be in a separate, special clan dedicated to the mind and harmony.
Personally, I would drop the Ki powers altogether. Ninja, at a baseline, were not altruistic mystics, but well trained killers. I like your use of clans, and it is here that you can make the differentiations. For the core abilities, I would follow a strict course of what "ALL Ninja's" are capable of (like climbing and jumping and stabbing poor schooks in the gizzard), and use the clans to diversify ninja into those that can turn invisible, those that can survive toe-to-toe against an equivalent level fighter, those who can summon magical powers, those that are faster than lightning and can dodge attacks with ease.
That comment on going toe-to-toe against a fighter should be your baseline guide -- if your 15th level ninja is wiping the floor toe-to-toe against an equivalen 15th level fighter, you are too powerful.
I like the idea of simplicity you present. However, I like guns to have an allure to them that draws players out. "Why would I want to travel all the way to Alkenstar just for something that mimics a bow."
Also, as I may have implied, in my mind GUNS are superior -- but they are also more complex and elusive. In my world, if you see a dozen archers marching down the street, it is of no importance -- but if you see a dozen sharpshooters from the walls of Cloudreaver Keep marching down the street, you definitely take notice.
The thing that I don’t like about most “Gun Rules” in the game is that they try to do three things, all of which I completely disagree with:
First, they try to capture the variability of blackpowder weapons like as if they were wands or independent magic items… that is to say, they make up a new class of gun for every preference (“is that a light pistol, heavy pistol, heavy repeating pistol, medium long barreled pistol?”). In a nutshell, they complicate things.
My rules for firearms are very simple. First, start with the basics as presented in Pathfinder chronicles (For my game I made changes to the pistol/revolver ranges)
----------- DMG / Crit / Range / Cap / Wgt / Type
Now we must ask the question, “Why are firearms superior?” After all, they are unbelievably slow to reload and they require utilizing dangerous blackpowder. The reasons are obvious – they are accurate in a way which no other weapon was, they were more physically damaging that arrows and bolts, and they made armor obsolete.
To take this into account I did two things to my firearms – gave them a strength bonus that penetrates armor, and gave them a point blank accuracy bonus.
Consider the strength bonus for a second. If you have the opportunity, go out with a .22 caliber pistol to the firing range and take a few shots. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it doesn’t take much effort. Now switch over to a .357 magnum revolver – I imagine if you’ve never shot one before the recoil will scare the wits out of you. The .357 is what I would call a pistol with a high Strength modifier, while the .22 has none, and while the .22 round probably won’t punch through a suit of platemail, the .357 is known to be able to crack an engine block.
Now, go out with a bow and arrow with your pistol. Pick a target and take turns shooting the target first with your bow and then with your pistol. Unless you have trained extensively with the bow, odds are you will be RIDICULOUSLY more accurate with the pistol than the bow. Blackpowder weapons, however, were not as accurate as modern weapons (with the exceptions of rifles) so after a certain range that accuracy was diminished. Nevertheless, ask yourself – if some crazed lunatic with an axe was charging at you, would you feel safer with a bow, a crossbow, a katana, or a pistol?
----------- / Pt Blank ATT / STR Mod / Max STR(of weapon)
Firing a Musket, Rifle, or Scattergun draws an attack of opportunity. Firing a Blunderbuss, Pistol, or Revolver doesn't.
Attack bonus for applies ONLY to the first range increment for Muskets, Pistols and Revolvers. Rifles, Scatterguns, and Blunderbuss maintain the ATT bonus at longer ranges.
Strength Modifier of any particular weapon VARIES with the amount of charge (blackpowder) put in the weapon. The STR of the charge must not exceed either the STR of the character or the Max STR of the weapon – if it is greater than what the character can handle, bad things happen (I have not developed rules on this, but typically I just say to the character you are thrown to the ground by the recoil and take non-lethal damage equal to the damage of the shot); if it is greater than the MAX STR of the weapon, bad things happen to the weapon (this is where exploding weapons on a critical miss comes into play)
The STR Bonus for all weapons, except Blunderbuss and Scattergun, add to both the damage done by the shot and REDUCE the Armor/Natural Armor factor of the target. If the weapon reduces the armor value to zero, excess armor penetration is lost. Example: A warrior in Plate Mail would be more susceptible to a shot from a 18 STR rifle (+6 armor penetration, +2 accuracy) while a Quickling would be more susceptible to a 18 STR scattergun (No armor penetration, +4 accuracy).
Also, Scatterguns and Blunderbuss lose energy the further away the target is from firer. Damage in the second range increment is at ½, in the third range increment is at ¼, and in the fourth range increment is at 1/8. After the fourth range increment, damage from these weapons is negligible.
That is my basic rules for firearms. I have other rules taking into account feats (e.g. Minuteman, Heavy Weapon Shooter) and skills (Quickdraw). But I just want to give you the general idea.