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# Gunslingers for Hakken

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The math has been done to death with percentages and all that. I believe there are public forum posts out there that show all the probabilities coupled with prorated DPR based on the probabilities, including the chance of misfire.

The fact, that the math will prove, should you be willing to go find it (I’m not of a mind to go search it out again), is that a Gunslinger stacks up about equally with an archer.

A few things to note:

Gunslingers will be 4 to 6 levels behind on ranged feats because they first have to take a couple feats to get that free action reload. One complaint is that the gunslingers always go first and kill everything before anyone else gets to go. To do this, they need Rapid Reload and Improved Initiative. Just those two feats alone will put them 4 levels behind on the other ranged feats. If they take rapid shot before precise shot, it will put them 6 levels behind.

No precise shot means about 75% of the time they will be at -4 to hit.

Dual-wielding will give them another -4 to hit on every shot. This will put them another 2 levels behind getting precise shot. And if they follow it up with Improved twf and greater twf they will fall even further behind.

Double firing Double-barreled firearms gives them another -4 to hit on every shot.

It is likely that they would be in 10-11 subtier before facing an adult dragon, so assume they have +11 BAB, +10 Dex, and +3 weapon, for a +20/+15/+10 primary hand and +20/+15/+10 offhand. So now they get -4 for double-barrel, which is +16/+16/+11/+11/+6/+6 on both hands. Then 75% of the time they are at an additional -4 for not having precise shot. +11/+11/+6/+6/+1/+1 on both hands.

Now this is of course assuming they have a weapon cord, and the GM allows them to reload with a weapon cord.

This is also assuming the GM allows them this many free actions. I would only allow them free actions up to their iterative attacks and feats they’ve spent like two-weapon fighting and rapid shot.

Then there is also the issue of when taking 12 shots, chances are one of your firearms will misfire about 85% of the time, thus making it more difficult to get that many shots off.

Then the final kicker, is if a GM allows you to take all primary hand attacks first, then take all secondary hand attacks. Some GM’s require you to stagger the primary/secondary attacks. If this is the case, then you will only get your 3 primary hand and 1 secondary hand attack.

Finally, bullets are pretty weighty, and cartridges are costly. One scenario at that high of a level could end up costing them several hundred gold and weigh about 100 pounds to have enough ammunition.

Are encumbrances and ammunition depletion being taken into account?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

straight up--if you were the gm---then gunslingers would not be a problem.

but in the games I am playing they are always allowed weapon cords and always allowed to fire all of one hand first. They are allowed unlimited actions. I have yet to see them roll for the misfires--seems they get caught up in all their attack rolls. and I have yet to see one at the end of a scenario calculate money spent for bullets---I watch them put their money earned and just add it straight to their starting gold for a final total on their chronicle sheet---with no subtractions.

If all Gms put on restrictions like you, there wouldn't be the problems. But like the synthesist--too many GMs just kind of say "uh--ok whatever--run your character." And it makes for a VERY unfun game for the rest of us.

 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Well then it's not really the fault of the class then, is it?

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The converse is also true.

Be courteous and polite and remind GMs gently about the rules when it comes up. many GMs do not know all the intricacies of Gunslingers, and would appreciate a reminder or clarification. Everyone wins!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

played a sixth level game where the barbarian and the paladin got up from the table halfway through in frustration and said call us back when it is over. They started shopping in the store for the next hour or so. The barbarian had got to attack for one round each in two combats, the paladin not even a single round up to that point. As the cleric I had gotten off one spell in the two encounters. Between the druid, animal companion and gunslinger nothing lived to get off a second attack

but dont you see--it is the rules for the gunslinger---same as synthesist. The rules are so convoluted. One GM posted it---it would take half his time just managing the one character out of 6.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

unfortunatly Nani by RAW, there are no rules to cover how many shots. Legally they can fire all weapons from one hand, then go to the other. Unless a GM steps up like Andrew would. And then the gunslinger will start arguing that RAW allows him to do it.

Don't you need a free hand to reload a firearm, anyway?

As someone who doesn't really follow optimization forums and doesn't see that many gunslingers, exactly what is this trick I've read about a couple times that allows all these shots in a round? I mostly ask for the time when I eventually encounter this.

Hakken, I will refrain from throwing around a certain word willy nilly, because players make mistakes when they don’t fully know the rules or forget rules when they get excited about what they wanna do. Especially if they have a ton of actions.

Still no excuse. If they aren’t following the rules, then you can’t blame the class for being game breaking. The rules are there for game balance.

Secondly, if I stepped up and made a call at my table because the rules are ambiguous and I need to make some sort of a call, and they wanted to bog down game time with argument, then I’d politely ask them to adhere to my ruling we can discuss it after the session is over. If they persisted, I’d politely ask them to leave the table.

Weapon Cords require a swift action to recover your weapon. So they can’t drop and recover both weapons in the same round.

Weapon Cords say that no fine manipulation can be done and no other weapon can be wielded while they are still attached. That to me says no reloading a gun with a weapon cord. Guns always take two hands to reload, so you need to drop one to reload the other.

Quick Draw does not allow you to sheath a weapon as a free action.

You gotta have about 9 fame before you can get a second firearm. And that’s the cheap one. You need 13 fame to get the expensive firearms, and the real expensive I think you need roughly 18 fame. And that’s just to purchase the firearm, let alone adding enhancements and such. You probably need about 18 fame just to get a +1 firearm of the cheap variety.

So, I would suggest having a conversation with the player of the gunslinger and/or the GM about the gunslinger in play, and bring up all these rules.

If the problem persists, I’d calmly reiterate the rules. If it still persisted, then I personally would stand up during play and audibly call the player out, publicly, as a cheater and then leave the table. I’d then never play with that GM or player again.

Don't you need a free hand to reload a firearm, anyway?

Thus the use of a weapon cord from the Adventurer's Armory.

You can drop your weapon, and then recover it as a swift action, thus freeing up your hand to do something.

Although, it does say no fine manipulation, so I would say you couldn't reload a gun with a weapon cord.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

start with double barrel pistol in right hand, left hand has double barrel pistol hanging from a weapon cord.

fire your double barrel pistol in right hand as many shots as you have primary hand attacks while using your left hand to reload as a free action. (first shot can be two shots---others depends on if GM lets them reload both barrels as free action--all GMS I have played with so far do--because the gunslinger just declares two free actions-one to reload each barrel)

after all primary hand attacks done--use free action to drop right hand gun

use swift action to recover left hand weapon---repeat above actions with left hand firing and right hand reloading

on next round just repeat the process but start by firing left hand gun first

all RAW legal from what I can see. But unless a GM steps in, it ruins it for everyone else.

Michael Meunier wrote:
As someone who doesn't really follow optimization forums and doesn't see that many gunslingers, exactly what is this trick I've read about a couple times that allows all these shots in a round? I mostly ask for the time when I eventually encounter this.

Two Double-barreled pistols, two-weapon fighting, improved two-weapon fighting, greater two-weapon fighting, weapon cords, rapid reload, and alchemical (paper) cartridges.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

would love to have you as the GM, if I had gunslingers at my table Andrew.

would love it if RAW added that fine manipulation clarification.

Andrew Christian wrote:

You can drop your weapon, and then recover it as a swift action, thus freeing up your hand to do something.

But that wouldn't let you dual weild and reload both in a single-round - discounting getting tangled up in cords.

Nani Pratt wrote:
Be courteous and polite and remind GMs gently about the rules when it comes up. many GMs do not know all the intricacies of Gunslingers, and would appreciate a reminder or clarification. Everyone wins!

Don't let that avatar and her nice tone fool you everyone. She's TPK'd more tables than me. Think about that.

Andrew Christian wrote:

You can drop your weapon, and then recover it as a swift action, thus freeing up your hand to do something.
But that wouldn't let you dual weild and reload both in a single-round - discounting getting tangled up in cords.

What many folks are doing though, is saying that nowhere in the rules does it require you to stagger your primary hand/offhand attacks.

So they just fire all their primary hand attacks (reloading in between shots as free actions –thus allowing them to reload the double barrels), drop that pistol, recover the other pistol that’s on a weapon cord, and then fire all the offhand attacks (again reloading in between shots as free actions).

Then next round, rinse and repeat, just inverted.

Got it. Have to look some stuff up but I already figured out how I'm going to shoot this down if I encounter it. As a GM I reserve the right to invoke common sense. Even the most skilled gunman couldn't load and shoot that fast. I'd also agree with the logic that "no fine manipulation" would include reloading. Even with my limited shooting experience I would find it tricky to reload even a breach loading weapon with something hanging off my "free" hand.

Don't forget range increments. A standard pistol is only 20 feet so if they aren't up close that's another -2 for every 20 feet plus they no longer hit touch AC outside the first 20 feet.

A-ha... thanks for the explanation. But like you say, you'd get tangled up in the cords... they're two-foot long!

 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

...Does anyone actually do this?

Kyshkumen wrote:
Don't forget range increments. A standard pistol is only 20 feet so if they aren't up close that's another -2 for every 20 feet plus they no longer hit touch AC outside the first 20 feet.

That’s debatable actually. They can spend grit to hit touch AC outside the 1st range increment.

Cavaliers have an archetype (luring cavalier) that at 3rd level can negate up to 3 range increments of penalties to hit.

 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Hey there.

So the idea is for the gunslinger (level 6, under haste, with the feats Rapid Reload, Two-weapon Fighting, Improved Two-weapon Fighting) to have a pair of double-loaded pistols. She begins with one dangling from her left wrist, and the other in her right hand. She double-fires the pistol (a single action), reload (free action because of rapid reload and alchemical cartridges) fire again, reload, fire under the effects of haste, reload, drop the weapon on its weapon cord, take up toe weapon in her left hand (her single swift action this round), fire, reload, fire, and reload.

Did I get that right?

The Gunslinger character probably has a leg to stand on when it comes to choosing the order of iterative attacks. As a player, I might want to see which attacks hit, and therefore drop, my first opponent before turning towards another. The order for multiple weapons and iterative attacks not in the rules anywhere, so "rules as written" is a lousy argument, but I can see it making sense -- not from a weapons cords point of view, but from the perspective that players should be able to determine which targets get attacked with which bonuses.

Misfire chances, though, are not optional. They're there in order to keep the class balanced. If you fire a double-loaded pistol six times, and alchemical cartridges give you a 20% chance to misfire, that's a 73.8% chance that one of those cartridges gets jammed. Fire ten times, and that's a 89.3% chance.

Tracking the really expensive ammunition is not optional, either. Again, it's a limiting feature. Fire 10 shots, and that's 120 gp. Per round. For non-magical ammunition.

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

This is why I don't dual wield Pistols, much simpler that way.

In fact my Pistolero is going for Pistol + Sword Combo.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Hakken wrote:
I have yet to see them roll for the misfires--seems they get caught up in all their attack rolls. and I have yet to see one at the end of a scenario calculate money spent for bullets---I watch them put their money earned and just add it straight to their starting gold for a final total on their chronicle sheet---with no subtractions.

I assume these are the same type of players who 'forget' to mark off the spells that they cast, and 'forget' that all the equipment they're carrying take them into a medium load.

For the record, I play a gunslinger (with one single-barrelled pistol and no weapon cords). I track ammunition costs religiously: my most recent chronicle for him has over 150gp spent on alchemical cartridges. When using Rapid Shot, I clearly designate which d20 is for the first shot, so that if I roll a 1 or 2, the second d20 is completely disregarded. I'd expect no less from anyone who played a gunslinger at my table.

 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, also, regarding weapon cords: they don't say "no fine manipulation" (well, unless the AA wording is different than the APG, but isn't the APG more recent?), they say "a dangling weapon may interfere with finer actions". Key words are "may" and "interfere".

Although it might still prevent this particular trick, it's very different from completely preventing any and all "fine manipulation". Remember that going forward if you need to rule on weapon cords in other situations.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
...Does anyone actually do this?

unfortunatly yes Jiggy. You haven't seen me complain much about other classes. but I have seen at least 3 games ruined by a gunslinger. two different ones. one guy was at two of the games. Made it very unfun for the other players and the GM. but no rules to support the GM and as people had known each other for years the GM did not push it in any of the three cases.

Give me a GM with common sense and willing to enforce commons sense like Andrew--I gladly quit complaining. but when one player can make it unfun for 5 other players and the GM by basically one or two shotting every mob?

I'm confused as well, given the free hand required to reload as Funky Badger just ninja'd me as I was copying and pasting my post here :P

Unless people are trying to suggest that if you have a weapon cord you can:

1 - Fire a one-handed firearm (double-barrel for two shots, I'm assuming)
2 - Let it dangle from the cord
3 - Reload it with your shooting hand while it's dangling (again, two barrels for two reloads simultaneously?)
4 - Grab it again
5 - Fire it again (again possibly x2 for two barrels)

x2 for both hands at the same time?

I love the way Paizo did the gunslinger class - I don't think it could have been introduced into a fantasy RPG any better...but that ^ is just pure roquefort, czech sheep's milk, gouda, cheese!

Let's assume we're putting reality and physics of trying to load anything down the barrel of a gun while it's dangling from your wrist aside to believe that even a cheese monkey would try to defend the above as "realistic":

PRD wrote:
If you drop your weapon or are disarmed, you can recover it as a swift action

RAW, this means that with the example the OP gave, the gunslinger would get +16/+16 for both hands for the first double-barreled shot with each gun, would then have to drop one or both guns to then use now-free hands to reload both barrels (again suspension of disbelief) and then grab one of them as a swift action (since you only get 1 swift action per round)...

...no, actually, that's it - if you're making a full attack and trying to shoot multiple times, even with rapid shot as part of it, you can't take a swift action to grab a dangling firearm from your weapon cord even if you could reload it one-handed.

So by my estimation, that means you can either get a +16/+16/+11/+11/+6/+6 with one firearm as a full attack, or you get +16/+16 and +16/+16 with one firearm in each hand, because reloading to take subsequent shots as part of a full round action prevents you from the swift action to recover a gun dangling from a cord.

Or am I missing something?

Chris Mortika wrote:

Hey there.

So the idea is for the gunslinger (level 6, under haste, with the feats Rapid Reload, Two-weapon Fighting, Improved Two-weapon Fighting) to have a pair of double-loaded pistols. She begins with one dangling from her left wrist, and the other in her right hand. She double-fires the pistol (a single action), reload (free action because of rapid reload and alchemical cartridges) fire again, reload, fire under the effects of haste, reload, drop the weapon on its weapon cord, take up toe weapon in her left hand (her single swift action this round), fire, reload, fire, and reload.

Did I get that right?

I think that's the cheese...er...thing that apparently people think they can do - but firing multiple times as part of a +X/+Y/+Z/+Haste is a full round action - am I crazy for thinking that you can't do a full round action and a swift action in the same round? ^^;

Even if I was playing a dual-wielding gunslinger in a life-or-death combat during a scenario, I don't think my brain would let me even dream of trying to defend this as a viable method. Even Gorum would look down on that and say "dude, not cool," methinks...

Hakken wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Give me a GM with common sense and willing to enforce commons sense like Andrew--I gladly quit complaining. but when one player can make it unfun for 5 other players and the GM by basically one or two shotting every mob?

I suspect the real problem here isn't with the gunslinger class...

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Paz wrote:
Hakken wrote:
I have yet to see them roll for the misfires--seems they get caught up in all their attack rolls. and I have yet to see one at the end of a scenario calculate money spent for bullets---I watch them put their money earned and just add it straight to their starting gold for a final total on their chronicle sheet---with no subtractions.

I assume these are the same type of players who 'forget' to mark off the spells that they cast, and 'forget' that all the equipment they're carrying take them into a medium load.

For the record, I play a gunslinger (with one single-barrelled pistol and no weapon cords). I track ammunition costs religiously: my most recent chronicle for him has over 150gp spent on alchemical cartridges. When using Rapid Shot, I clearly designate which d20 is for the first shot, so that if I roll a 1 or 2, the second d20 is completely disregarded. I'd expect no less from anyone who played a gunslinger at my table.

and I would gladly play at a table with you anytime. But as an example--I play (well played a master summoner). I believed the focus should be on the players. So I always kept my eidelon out-(limiting me to one Summon monster)

the eidelon at level 3 had 6 hps. at level 5 it had 13 hps---remember half strength. so I basically had it defend me or assist from range another party member. My summons I would pull out a single creature. If the summoned creature did too much and would outdo party members---I would ask the GM if it could instead work as a flank buddy and auto assist another party member. so instead of attacking 3 times with an eagle say--the eagle would postition on the other side of a bad guy and just automatically apply +2 flanking and +2 aid another to a party member.

so I didn't play a "broken" master summoner either. but some did.

I agree Chris. There is definitely ambiguity in some of the rules that could limit, or could allow excess for the gunslingers.

I haven’t decided how I stand on the iterative attacks for primary/offhand order of operations yet. So far it hasn’t really been an issue in the 59 tables I’ve GM’d and at least that many I’ve played at. But obviously it could should I run into the dual-wielding gunslinger.

Jiggy, you are correct. The wording was imprecise (I was going based off memory). But still, there is enough language there that would indicate that reloading a gun while wearing a weapon cord could be difficult. Additionally, the 2nd printing (and errata’d Adventurer’s Armory is dated after the APG).

And I’d certainly make them track their bullets.

 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

CanisDirus wrote:
am I crazy for thinking that you can't do a full round action and a swift action in the same round? ^^;

Crazy, no. Just misinformed.

"In a normal round, you can perform a standard action and a move action, or you can perform a full-round action. You can also perform one swift action and one or more free actions. You can always take a move action in place of a standard action."

 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Are cartridges flammable?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

most of the problem lies with the double barrel pistol.

take the feat improved two weapon fighting. how many extra attacks does that give characters? One right? wrong. one extra attack for everyone but a gunslinger with a double barrel pistol. it gives them two extra attacks. same as greater improved weapon fighting--two extra attacks again instead of the one for everyone else.

haste your party and how many extra attacks does everyone get? One? once again--the double barrel pistol gives TWO extra attacks.

 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

CanisDirus wrote:
am I crazy for thinking that you can't do a full round action and a swift action in the same round? ^^;

Crazy? No.

Incorrect? Yes.

Not only can you perform a swift action in the same round, you can perform it during a full-round action.

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Wasn't the most recent furore about Flurry of Blows triggered because the rules for two-weapon fighting were clarified to require the attacks to alternate between weapons (as well as being required to be taken in decreasing order of attack bonus)?

That would prohibit taking all the attacks with your primary hand weapon first, followed by all the attacks with the weapon in the secondary hand.

But getting that extra attack incurs a -4 to hit with both shots, the shots both must be at the same target, and that -4 on top of the -4 for double-wielding (two one-handed weapons is -4 on both) and on top of a -4 for the probability of not having precise attack, and another -4 for the probability of cover…

That right there is -16 in most instances.

JohnF wrote:

Wasn't the most recent furore about Flurry of Blows triggered because the rules for two-weapon fighting were clarified to require the attacks to alternate between weapons (as well as being required to be taken in decreasing order of attack bonus)?

That would prohibit taking all the attacks with your primary hand weapon first, followed by all the attacks with the weapon in the secondary hand.

Hmm… I’d forgotten about that. That would solve that issue then. Can easily point to a clarification on the boards regarding the order of operation of iterative attacks and staggering primary/offhand attacks.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JohnF wrote:

Wasn't the most recent furore about Flurry of Blows triggered because the rules for two-weapon fighting were clarified to require the attacks to alternate between weapons (as well as being required to be taken in decreasing order of attack bonus)?

That would prohibit taking all the attacks with your primary hand weapon first, followed by all the attacks with the weapon in the secondary hand.

do you have a link to that John?

 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

JohnF wrote:

Wasn't the most recent furore about Flurry of Blows triggered because the rules for two-weapon fighting were clarified to require the attacks to alternate between weapons (as well as being required to be taken in decreasing order of attack bonus)?

That would prohibit taking all the attacks with your primary hand weapon first, followed by all the attacks with the weapon in the secondary hand.

No, it was the clarification that Flurry needed a second weapon at all - had nothing to do with what order the attacks were in. I.e., a 1st-level monk was thought to be able to Flurry by attacking twice with the same temple sword as opposed to needing two swords or a sword and an unarmed strike or whatever.

The order of primary and off-hand attacks was never part of the issue.

Chris Mortika wrote:
Are cartridges flammable?

I'd say so, as are weapon cords...

Jiggy wrote:
CanisDirus wrote:
am I crazy for thinking that you can't do a full round action and a swift action in the same round? ^^;

Crazy? No.

Incorrect? Yes.

Not only can you perform a swift action in the same round, you can perform it during a full-round action.

(and thanks Chris too for the reply)

Bah, bah I say... Nice to know that even after years of playing I can still miss things - if I were perfect, I'd start to worry that I really was crazy!

Jiggy, does RAW say you can take a swift action during a full-round action? I just glanced at the PRD but I didn't see that part actually stated.

Either way...Venezuelan beaver cheese...

The one thing I would like to mention is that Gunslingers spent a feat, uses a class feature, and has a higher risk of misfire in order to get free action reloads. So if your going to put a limit on the number of free actions a gunslinger can take to reload, you should put the same limit on archers, or people who quick draw and throw daggers and such. Otherwise you are just being a jerk to the gunslinger player and treating them unfairly.

Justifying cheating the gunslinger out of his free action reloads that he spent the feats, and class features, and gold [all three required] by saying that by "common sense" no one could load that fast is unfair. By the same logic a wizard would be banned from casting fireball.

Double Barrel Pistols are a bit powerful, but really the key is to enforce the rules that are already on the books. A 20' range increment is a bit tough, and if they want to hit touch AC after the first range increment it's 1 grit per increment per shot. That's a lot of grit with so many attacks.

As for being able to dual wield and use the weapon cords, that one is a bit tough just because I'm not even sure it's what the rules intended. I always read the rules on full attacks...

Quote:
If you get multiple attacks because your base attack bonus is high enough, you must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest. If you are using two weapons, you can strike with either weapon first. If you are using a double weapon, you can strike with either part of the weapon first.

I always took that to mean that you go from highest to lowest switching back and forth between hands. Not that you do all the attacks with one hand, and then all the attacks with the other hand. But I can see how that could be read that way.

 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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We had a 458 post discussion on the VC Message board about this very thing. The reason was because Musket Master was initially on my list to be a banned archetype, along with getting rid of alchemical cartridges, double barrel weapons, and weapon cords. Alchemical cartridges being removed was almost immediately taken off the table as it hurts the class as a whole, and not just one archetype. Eventually Fame restrictions were put on double barrel weapons, and cords and cartridges were left alone.

I'm going to bring some of that discussion over here so people have it for food for thought. These are not all my thoughts. These are a mixed bag from various VCs and VLs where good points were made.

Quote:

I did a quick review on eliminating weapon cords, double barreled pistols, or both.

If we only eliminated weapon cords we'd still see 6 attacks per round reasonably by level 2.

If we eliminated both weapon cords and double barreled weapons we'd see that number drop to 3.

If we eliminated alchemical cartridges but left in weapon cords and double weapons you'd still see 4 per round.

If we eliminated alchemical cartridges there would be no change if we eliminated weapon cords.

If we eliminated alchemical cartridges and double barreled weapons we'd see that drop to 2.

I still don't like the idea of limiting the class that severely as it would pretty much eliminate the competitiveness of non-cheese builds entirely.

I really think that leaves coming up with an alternative, such as "No firearm user may fire more than the wielder's number of iterative attacks plus one per round".

Quote:

4 attacks in round 1 at -8 per attack (yeah, its touch, but -8 is pretty prohibitive until much higher level)

Drop one pistol, reload other pistol, shoot 2 more times at -4 each

Drop 2nd pistol, recover first, reload, shoot 2 more times at -4 each

So with two-weapon fighting, rapid reload and rapid shot, you could presumably get 6 attacks in round 1 at 1st level, which you probably can't until 2nd or 3rd anyways.

At higher level, with improved two weapon fighting, you could get up to 8 attacks in a round with that sequence.

If you clarify that a weapon cord means the hand is not free, then you can't reload a firearm while using weapon cords.

This means 4 shots in round 1, then you basically gotta futz around with your weapon cords in round 2 to even draw a sword, let alone reload your pistols.

Quote:

Alright, time to theory craft a bit to see how egregious all of this business is. I’m going to build two characters, one will be a Human Gunslinger using three double barreled pistol once he can afford them so not at level one as has been listed above (full cheese whiz build). I’ll be basing each comparison versus three enemy types for each level analyzed, one will be a touch AC much lower than regular AC, one with good touch AC, and one that is immune to crits like an elemental creature. I’ll be showing the stats for every odd level against creatures with CR at or very near character level. I will do all attacks assuming ideal conditions for the character and I will upgrade equipment using standard wealth by level numbers. I’m doing the first level calculations assuming they are not fresh level 1 characters so 1000 gp for gear.

1st Level Fighter uses a masterwork +3 STR rating composite longbow and uses point-blank shot and rapid shot to attack.

Attacks at +6/+6 dealing 1d8+4 damage on a successful hit.

Against a Gnoll (page 155 Bestiary, AC = 15) he successful hits on a 9-20 (60% hit rate including critical threats), and confirms a crit 3% of the time. So average normal damage is 8.5 per normal hit (57% chance per shot), average critical damage is 25.5 (3% chance). DPR = 11.22

Against a Psudeodragon (page 229 Bestiary, AC =16) normal hit rate including critical threats is 55% and confirms a critical 2.75% of the time. Damage averages are the same as above, DPR = 10.285

Against an Small Air Elemental (page 120 Bestiary, AC =17 and crit immunity) DPR drops to 8.5

1st Level Gunslinger uses a masterwork double-barreled pistol and has the rapid reload (double-barreled pistol) and point-blank shot feats. Side note, there is no way to get rapid shot at this point and actually use it as a gunslinger because without point-blank shot you cannot take rapid shot and without rapid reload you cannot fire the gun multiple times.

Attacks at +2/+2 (after the -4 penalty for shooting both barrels) versus touch AC and deals 1d8+1 damage on a hit.

Against a Gnoll (page 155 Bestiary, Touch AC = 10) he successful hits on a 8-20 (65% hit rate including critical threats), confirms a crit 3.25% of the time, and also misfires on a 1 or 2 (10% of the time). So average normal damage is 5.5 per normal hit (61.75% chance per shot), average critical damage is 22 (3.25% chance). DPR = 8.2225

Against a Psudeodragon (page 229 Bestiary, Touch AC =14) normal hit rate including critical threats is 45% and confirms a critical 2.25% of the time. Damage averages are the same as above, DPR = 5.94

Against an Small Air Elemental (page 120 Bestiary, Touch AC =14 and crit immunity) DPR drops to 4.95

So at 1st level the archer fighter is easily doing a lot more damage even against the creature with significantly (-5) lower touch AC considering the level. I expect this will shift as the levels increase.

Alright onto Level 3

3rd level Fighter has upgraded his longbow to a +1 composite longbow (Str +3) and selected improved initiative and deadly aim as his feats.

Attacks are now at +7/+7 dealing 1d8+7 damage assuming rapid shot, deadly aim, and point-blank shot all in use.

Against a Centaur (page 42 of Bestiary, AC =20) normal hit rate including critical threats is 40% and confirms a critical 2% of the time. Damage averages are now 11.5 for a normal hit and 34.5 for a critical hit. DPR = 10.58 DPR

Against an Ettercap (page 129 Bestiary, AC = 15) normal hit rate including critical threats is 65% and confirms a critical 3.25% of the time. Damage averages are the same as above, DPR = 17.1925

Against a Medium Air Elemental (page 120 Bestiary, AC=19) DPR drops to 10.35

3rd level Gunslinger has purchased a second masterwork double-barreled pistol and picked up the two-weapon fighting feat to dual wield both of them. He also has them attached to weapon cords to drop reload and recover quickly allowing him to shoot and reload both guns every round.

Attacks at +2/+2/+2/+2 (after the -4 penalty for shooting both barrels and two-weapon fighting) versus touch AC and still deals 1d8+1 damage on a hit.

Against a Centaur (page 42 of Bestiary, Touch AC =11) normal hit rate including critical threats is 60% and confirms a critical 3% of the time. Damage averages are still 5.5 per normal hit, and 22 for the average critical hit. DPR = 15.84

Against an Ettercap (page 129 Bestiary, Touch AC = 13) normal hit rate including critical threats is 50% and confirms a critical 2.5% of the time. Damage averages are the same as above, DPR = 13.2

Against a Medium Air Elemental (page 120 Bestiary, Touch AC=16) DPR drops to 7.7

At 3rd level the Archer Fighter decisively wins the DPR battle with the Ettercap and Medium Air Elemental, and the Gunslinger wins the Centaur.

Onto 5th Level

5th Level Fighter has upgraded his Longbow to a +2 and selected Weapon Focus (Longbow) and Weapon Specialization (Longbow) with his feats. He is also high enough level for Fighter weapon training class feature for which he’s selected bows.

Attacks are now at +11/+11 and deal 1d8+13 on a hit.

Against a Cyclops (page 52 Bestiary, AC = 19) normal hit rate including critical threats is 65% and confirms a critical 3.25% of the time. Damage averages are now 17.5 for a normal hit and 42.5 for a critical hit. DPR = 25.5125 DPR

Against a Half-Celestial Unicorn (page 169 Bestiary, AC = 17) normal hit rate including critical threats is 75% and confirms a critical 3.75% of the time. Damage averages are the same as above, DPR = 29.4375.

Against a Large Air Elemental (page 120 Bestiary, AC=21) DPR drops to 19.25

5th Level Gunslinger has now purchased a third masterwork double-barreled pistol to rotate between three guns for 6 shots per round. He has also purchased a belt of incredible dexterity +2 and selected deadly aim and rapid shot as feats.

With the additional penalties of deadly aim and rapid shot the Gunslinger is now attacking 6 times per round at +1/+1/+1/+1/+1/+1 versus Touch AC and thanks to gun training and deadly aimnow deals 1d8+11 damage per hit.

Against a Cyclops (page 52 Bestiary, Touch AC = 8) normal hit rate including critical threats is 70% and confirms a critical 3.5% of the time. Damage averages are now 15.5 for a normal hit and 62 for a critical hit. DPR = 74.865 DPR!

Against a Half-Celestial Unicorn (page 169 Bestiary, Touch AC = 13) normal hit rate including critical threats is 45% and confirms a critical 2.25% of the time. Damage averages are the same as above, DPR = 48.1275.

Against a Large Air Elemental (page 120 Bestiary, Touch AC=17) DPR drops to 23.25

Wow, now there’s where the Gunslinger really lays the wood to the Fighter. Though the Fighter is about to get some major boosts at level 7.

Quote:

Weapon Cords

After performing this review, I still think Weapon Cords are dangerous. No other piece of non-magical equipment allows a class (oracle) to defeat a significant part of its class limitation at level 1. Additionally, it permits casters to do some fishy stuff with spellcasting (I drop my weapon, cast a spell, recover my weapon, all while hiding behind my +4 tower shield) rather than needing to balance shield types with free hands. This is on top of the rapid fire pistol user. To anybody claiming that it's how fighter types can protect themselves from disarm, that's what the locked gauntlet is for, which has penalties befitting its benefit.

I don't think it's the only cause of the problem, but I do think it exacerbates the problem and should be seriously considered for elimination.

Question: Assuming that the locked gauntlet is an acceptable alternative for the weapon cord, whether or not you personally think it is, are there any other unforseen problems with eliminating the weapon cord?

Double Barreled Weapons
This is a major contributor to our damage problems at early levels. You don't even need rapid shot to fire off four bullets in a single round, just dual wield these bad-boys and pull the trigger. Weapon cords plus double barreled weapons are also contributing to the problem, but simply eliminating double barreled weapons automatically eliminates dual wielding cheese.

Question: Are double barreled weapons thematically appropriate for Golarion?

Pistols vs. Muskets
What I find interesting is that it wasn't the pistoleer build that was originally being scrutinized, but rather the musketeer. With the removal of the double hackbutt and large weapons, suddenly the two-handed nature of the musket makes it pretty much on even footing with the other ranged options. Everything right now seems to focus on the pistoleer and their two firearms and dual wielding.

Question: What about eliminating dual wielding for pistols or using the idea of requiring alternating shots between pistols?

Comparison vs. Crossbowmen
This may sound silly, but it's a comparison we haven't done yet. It is possible to cheese the same number of shots per round by using a hand crossbow (and this also minimizes the off-hand penalty you would get from a light crossbow)? I know crossbow users don't get the strength bonuses vs. archers, which should theoretically cut down on the firing cheese pretty strongly, but I'm curious to see how a cheese built crossbow user stacks up to a gunslinger.

Comparison vs. Archers
I still think this is a fair comparison and where we need to make sure we don't swing too far. It would be very easy to eliminate this issue altogether, eliminate paper cartridges, but doing so would completely eliminate any class viability vs. archers.

It's a little late now, but I almost would have rather seen a mechanism with gunslingers where each weapon had a base damage, and gunslingers would have gotten bonus damage by expending a move action to aim their weapon. If you then had limited fire to a maximum of once per round, gunslingers would have continued to be viable without allowing the problem we're having. It's a little late for it, but an interesting thought experiment.

The 10 Ton Elephant
I assume, because I'm sure Jason put a lot of thought into it, that the gunslinger (without cheese) was designed to fight alongside the ranks of an archer. In essence, a "normal" archer and a "normal" gunslinger could stand side-by-side and be just about as effective. Sure there's a lot of gray area fluff (jam chance, shorter ranges, etc.), but overall they're roughly equivalent. It would appear, that for certain specific builds, and certain specific feat users, that the gunslinger's standard deviation is quite a bit larger than the archer.

So while I appreciate that certain gunslinger builds pass the border of aburdity, overall the core of the class isn't really that big of a problem. If the intent is to keep people enjoying the unique element of Golarion that is the gunslinger, I would be extraordinary careful about reducing that average effectiveness, and rather focus on reducing that enormous standard deviation.

Quote:

Double Barrel Pistol:

Realistically, unless a 1st level plays up to 4-5, the chance of getting a 2nd one (double barrel weapon) before 3rd level is not real good.

Most GM’s and people who create ranged characters, realize that precise shot is almost mandatory, even for gunslingers and alchemists (although I have yet to take it with my level 9 alchemist). This is even more true for the Double Barrel Pistol dual-wielding build.

The feats you need to make this worthwhile.

Point Blank Shot (to get Rapid and Precise)
Rapid Shot
Precise Shot

Otherwise, you get the -4 for shooting both barrels as the same action. -4 for dual-wielding two one-handed weapons. -4 for the inevitable firing into melee penalty (unless precise shot is taken). +4 to target’s AC for the inevitable cover.

In almost every circumstance, cover and melee is an issue for ranged specialists. They have to specifically maneuver to avoid the cover, which often means they only get a single attack (two shots with a double barrel).

The above math shows, until you fight huge creatures with sub-10 touch AC’s, that these penalties balance the double barrel with the archer.

Additionally, remember, the weapon cord requires a swift action, not a free. As such, you can’t recover both pistols in the same round. The action for improved two-weapon fighting and rapid shot would look like:
Round 1: Fire P1 (both barrels), Fire P2 (both barrels), drop P1, reload P2, fire P2 (both barrels), reload P2, drop P2, recover P1, reload P1, fire P1 (both barrels), reload P1, fire P1 (both barrels), reload P1. That’s 10 shots where each is minimum -10 (-4 for firing both barrels, -4 for dual-wielding one-handed weapons, -2 for rapid shot). Assuming 20 Dex, that’s a +11 to hit, with the penalties of -10, that’s +1/+1/+1/+1/+1/+1/+1/+1/+1/+1
Round 2: Fire P1 (both barrels), reload P1, Fire P1 (both barrels), reload P1, Fire P1 (both barrels), drop P1, recover P2, fire P2 (both barrels), reload P2, fire P2 (both barrels). That’s 10 shots again.

If you clarify that you can’t reload with weapon cords and assuming Quick Draw, it changes to:

Round 1: Fire P1 (both barrels), Fire P2 (both barrels)
Round 2: holster P2, reload P1, fire P1 (both barrels), reload P1
Round 3: holster P1, draw P2, fire P2 (both barrels, reload P2

You get a huge 1st round, but after that, you actually gimp yourself with the build, it works better if after Round 1, you just drop P2 and use all your iterative for P1.

With iterative and rapid shot, at 11th level, you could get essentially 8 shots a round at -6 per shot (-4 for shooting both barrels in same action and -2 for rapid shot). That -6 is actually significant for most medium or smaller humanoids that aren’t heavily armored. When Touch ACs of Large and larger creatures moves towards 10 and lower, then the less that -6 matters. But then the more damage they can take. Also, these penalties don’t include the penalties for deadly aim. At 11th level, that -6 becomes a -9. For the Dual-Wielder the -10 becomes a -13. And this all doesn’t consider cover and melee if they choose not to take precise shot.

Several quite enlightening comments up there. I'll have to process all of that before I comment further but I'm quite happy to know the matter has gotten the attention it's deserved from campaign leadership.

 Global Organized Play Coordinator

Michael Meunier wrote:
Several quite enlightening comments up there. I'll have to process all of that before I comment further but I'm quite happy to know the matter has gotten the attention it's deserved from campaign leadership.

All changes that are made are usually heavily debated and discussed on the VC message board.

Mike, from the discussion you posted, do weapon cords prevent reloading? Its not clear.

edit: As in "a dangling weapon may interfere with finer actions" ... reloading a weapon is a finer action?

Gully13 wrote:

Mike, from the discussion you posted, do weapon cords prevent reloading? Its not clear.

edit: As in "a dangling weapon may interfere with finer actions" ... reloading a weapon is a finer action?

Last I checked, no. That's my point of view though, and there is nothing RAW to black and white say it is.

I would mention even at full cheese whiz the gunslinger trails the "standard" (fighter/ranger) ranged cheese whizzers.

 Global Organized Play Coordinator

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Gully13 wrote:

Mike, from the discussion you posted, do weapon cords prevent reloading? Its not clear.

edit: As in "a dangling weapon may interfere with finer actions" ... reloading a weapon is a finer action?

Weapon cords do not prevent reloading. As for defining what finer actions are, I am going to stay away from that at the moment as it would create an incredibly long list.

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