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Class Acts: Gunslingers (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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The Class Acts PDFs introduce new class options for the base classes and core classes featured in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Every PDF contains two full pages of high quality content (no fluff or filler)!

Class Acts: Gunslingers includes eighteen feats for gunslingers, including well over a dozen new grit feats.

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Product Reviews (2)

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****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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4.5 stars - put some Sergio Leone-style cowboy-badassery in your gunslinger

*****

This pdf is 5 pages long, 1page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 3 pages of content, so let's check out the new tools for the gunslinger!

We get a total of 18 new grit-feats, so what exactly are we looking at? There is for example a feat that allows you to aim at an opponent in line of sight, provoking an AoO - if you succeed, you gain your wis-bonus to damage against that creature - until you aim at another or have no grit left.
To represent the gunslinger with the big lip, you may take biting retort to counter an enemy trying to intimidate you by intimidating him instead and perhaps even keep the nerves of your allies calm. If you're crited, you can transform a bit of the damage depending on your grit-reserves to non-lethal damage, take another feat to treat grit as temporary HP and there's also a feat that enables you to last longer, refusing to die due to grit and even come back from the brink of death. Mechanically, you could use grit to soak some damage, add your grit to the negative damage threshold etc. - neat, though Last Man Standing, which enables you to soak damage via grit, needs a clarification on how exactly it works - as worded, it remains a bit ambiguous. While Daron has already commented on its intended purpose and how it works on Paizo's product discussion boards, I'd enjoy an update in the pdf as well.

Think Twice forces your enemies to reconsider whether it's wise to mess with you - while Think Again potentially doubles your threat range against opponents you've warned like that. Riding into the sunset and maintaining good impressions is also part of the staple, as is the power to enter a stance, that, while it makes you easier to hit, adds your nimble moves bonus to damage. Shooting concealed weapons, gaining grit from being downed by superior foes and come back at them with a vengeance and making the battlefield a cacophony of multiple, disorienting shots are also part of the offering, as are 3 deed-feats, which work somewhat akin to deeds:
By spending grit, you may halt opponents in their tracks, deafen them when in a space that potentially has the option to echo or draw your weapon as an immediate action.

Furthermore, all PCs who want to truly go cowboy can now do so with a nice feats that ensures continued power-progression for your animal companion gained via other classes. It should be noted that the pdf also provides a comprehensive list of all the feats herein.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to AA's no-frills, two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. I'm not big on feat-books unless they're really well-made and I'm happy to announce that this is an example of the breed: Costing just a single buck, we get 18 feats specifically designed to enhance your gunslinger in not only useful and balanced, but actually extremely iconic ways. The influence of a staple of the best, gritty Western movies and the distinct lonesome ranger/Wild West-flair blowing through the pages of this pdf makes reading about the options for the gunslinger a pure joy that will serve not only to enhance your own experience, but provide some situations at your table that will have both players and GMs smiling at the iconicity of what has just been done. Well balanced, full of flavor and cheap to boot, this pdf clocks in at a solid 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


****( )

Class Acts Gunslinger brings the attention of Abandoned Arts to one of the most controversial classes to ever find its way to my game table. True, there are gaming groups out there that embrace the idea of guns in a fantasy setting with no issues. Just as there are groups that stand on a blanket ban of all things firearm, with no exceptions. My own viewpoints lie somewhere in the middle, typically.

Personally one of my biggest issues with the entire concept of firearms in a fantasy game is the lack of truly realistic rules to handle them, or the sheer ridiculous intentional weakening of these weapons to try and maintain a balance with melee weaponry. So, these things now established, let us take a look to see how Darron Woodson chose to approach a set of new feats for this class shall we?

PDF weighs in at 5 pages, losing 2 to the OGL and coversheet. The framing and coloration remain the standard from previous Abandoned Art releases, as well as the opening with a definition of how Paizo defines the focus of this particular PDF, that being grit feats.

Darron starts us off with a handy chart/table giving us the familiar layout of the new feats in a feat tree format, listed by their connections to each other. Prerequisites and a shortened Benefits section complete the chart. Personally I love these charts, and tend to copy them into a larger document I keep of all playable feats within my game, and would love to see more companies begin offering a breakdown of their feats in this manner.

OK, with eighteen new feats, I am not going into detail for each of them here, but we will cover a few that grabbed my attention, the first being a chain of two. Think Twice and Think Again may in fact be skirting the idea of being unbalanced in that they allow you to swap out a skill check for the critical hit confirmation role, but to put it bluntly, I Don't Care...these feats are cool as hell. The basic idea here I'm going to tell you EXACTLY what I am going to do to you with my gun, and if you are dumb enough to trigger that readied action, well, I get to double up on my crit range...and if I stack the feats, that range gets even better. That's Hollywood tough guy translated right to the game table there folks, pure and simple...gaining a better chance of screwing up the bad guy because you tell him what you're going to do to him...gotta love it.

Shrouded Shot gives us mechanics to handle those sneaky shots, like when you draw your pistol under your cloak. Well done and balanced, logical explanation and limitations. Last Man Standing not only gives you an extra grit point, it allows you to apply hp damage to your grit points. This one had me with the idea, but I feel it fell short in the mechanics. It mentions that only some part of the damage can be applied, but goes no further in determining how much that some would be. Nor does it specify if this feat stacks, thereby allowing you to gain numerous grit point bonuses as well as numerous damage sponge-feats. This one needs a little more refining in my opinion.

We'll end on a high note here, with Just Won't Die, as I really liked this one for its story telling potential. If you have grit left you get to recalculate your negative hp threshold for death, and even then still get one full round of action after passing the point of dead...yeah, total story loving feat right here...well done!

OK, Darron was wise here with his feats for this class, he steered clear of the idea of the gunslinger being only defined by his weapon of choice. Yes, there are a feats in this collection that give some new tricks to the usage of a gun in combat, but truth be told, they are ones that are practical and make sense in a real world kind of manner. Two of them play on the sound of a gunshot, one other handles quick-draw. Most of the other feats deal with the person himself, not the gear, and I like that, a lot. The gunslinger as a person is a different breed from other fighters, they approach battle with a different mindset. And before I forget, I must mention Smooth Moves. Yet another feat for the thematic playgroups looking for story enhancers more than the power gamers out there, this feat actually rewards you for walking a little slower, lol. Think about it, every movie you've ever seen with someone running their tail off being followed slowly by a foe, it's unnerving isn't it? Well, here you go. The calm, confident gunslinger taking her time to walk up on an enemy...loved it! Feats that enhance story like this are what I love to see in product far more than power gamer fuel.

So, final tally...a handful of feats I truly enjoyed, for a problematic class. Editing, formatting all looked good as usual when it comes to Abandoned Arts. One feat in particular that just has to many holes as worded...am going to have to go with a 4 star rating, with the statement that a revisit to that feat could easily inspire me to adjust my rating.


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