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Does a spellslinger need a loaded firearm to fire spells from their arcane gun?


Rules Questions


Pretty much as the title asks.


Based on the wording of the ability, I think not. They are essentially using the arcane gun as a focus, but they are still just casting a spell. They don't actually fire any bullets, and the ability doesn't specifically state that it needs to be loaded. So no, no bullets necessary.


one other question about spellslingers ... does using a 2 handed firearm prevent spellcasting ... either normal or through their arcane gun?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

using a 2 handed firearm requires both hands to use it.

casting a spell requires a free hand to cast the spell.

So unless you are just holding and not using the firearm I would say you can not use a 2 handed firearm AND cast a spell, unless you have three hands. ANd that is not beyond the realm of possible in many games :)


releasing a hand from something and re-gripping it are both free actions. You only need both hands on a two handed weapon when in the act of wielding it (so attacking with it.) So yes you can cast and have a two handed weapon. Otherwise a wizard would never be able to have a staff.

Since they are free actions in same round is not a problem as long as action economy allows you the ability to still attack after casting. (Quickened, spell strike, and so on.)

This also works for say a magus and spell strike (Not spell combat though so its kind of a poor choice but hay if someone wishes to id it that's up to them.) And even back in 3.5 it worked for duskblades. There is a FAQ about a orc caster with a great axe somewhere that covers this. Don't have the time to hunt it down.


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stome wrote:
releasing a hand from something and re-gripping it are both free actions.

Your forget this is always a question unresolved as far as i know.

There are 2 schools:
- release and grip are free: prefered by those who want to optimize
- release is "free" and grip is "move": prefered by those who like a more balanced game
Stome wrote:

You only need both hands on a two handed weapon when in the act of wielding it (so attacking with it.) So yes you can cast and have a two handed weapon. Otherwise a wizard would never be able to have a staff.

Since they are free actions in same round is not a problem as long as action economy allows you the ability to still attack after casting. (Quickened, spell strike, and so on.)

This also works for say a magus and spell strike (Not spell combat though so its kind of a poor choice but hay if someone wishes to id it that's up to them.) And even back in 3.5 it worked for duskblades. There is a FAQ about a orc caster with a great axe somewhere that covers this. Don't have the time to hunt it down.

However you cannot cast somatic when you wield 2H weapon: that's is effective for arcane bond 2H and that's the same for 2H firearm for spellslinger.

cannot cast somatic with arcane bond 2H

Staff are not the same thing as quarterstaff, so no need to wield in 2 hands. You can have a staff one-handed and it will not be a quarterstaff.
A quarterstaff is a weapon and a staff.
staff are not quarterstaff


No the question is not unresolved. The two actions I mentioned are in fact free actions.

The thread you linked is about the problems with a arcane bound two handed weapon because for the bond item to function it must be "wielded". This is a problem unique to bond items and has no relevance at all to this topic.

Just because some people don't like something and want to argue about it in the face or RAW does not make it unresolved.


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stome wrote:

No the question is not unresolved. The two actions I mentioned are in fact free actions.

[...]
Just because some people don't like something and want to argue about it in the face or RAW does not make it unresolved.

It is strange, the other school say the same thing about your position.

The 2 schools may be "RAW".
That's fact is perhaps what you wish, but the answer is in the hand of each GM.

For use the arcane gun, it must be wielded as for any other weapon. There are no exceptions. If it's a 2HW, you must wield it with 2 hands, so it functions as "arcane bond".
And you can cast only Verbal spell if you wield with your 2 hands.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The archetype indicates the arcane guns may be one or two-handed guns. This is a "class-feature" of the archetype. Clearly, a spellslinger with a one-handed gun would have an enormous advantage over one with a two-handed gun if gesticulations were an impediment to casting the spell through the gun, but the archetype does not adjust for this.

I don't think it's meant to be an issue. The spellslinger should be able to cast with either type of gun in his hands, even if at first glance that sounds cheesy.


I may have missed it, but I don't see anything in the spellslinger description that says he must wield his gun to cast spells. As far as I can tell, he doesn't even need one. Again, I may have missed it, so correct me if I'm wrong.


according to the description, they cn cast through the gun but I'm not really sure if that is ...

step 1: cast range touch/cone/ray spell into gun (standard action)
step 2: make range touch attack with gun (free action)

though that does lead to a few other questions to me now.

1: do you use the gun rules which state you only get ranged touch in the first range increment or the spell's range and a set touch attack?

2: they cannot castcantrips unlimied as Wizards and from what I can tell, I think they actually have to use lvl 1 spell slots for read and detect magic. Does that mean they don't get any cantrips in their spellbooks at 1st level (vs what the spellbook section states) and does that also mean they get no 0 level spell slots?


gourry187 wrote:

according to the description, they cn cast through the gun but I'm not really sure if that is ...

step 1: cast range touch/cone/ray spell into gun (standard action)
step 2: make range touch attack with gun (free action)

though that does lead to a few other questions to me now.

1: do you use the gun rules which state you only get ranged touch in the first range increment or the spell's range and a set touch attack?

2: they cannot castcantrips unlimied as Wizards and from what I can tell, I think they actually have to use lvl 1 spell slots for read and detect magic. Does that mean they don't get any cantrips in their spellbooks at 1st level (vs what the spellbook section states) and does that also mean they get no 0 level spell slots?

For the spellcasting part: It is the same as casting a spell normally. The difference is that you use the gun as a focus to add to the DC and/or attack rolls of the spell, and the gun might break. Other than that, it is essentially the same as normal casting.

You are not actually firing bullets, so you use the spell's range to determine how far the ranged touch can go and such.

They do not have and level 0 spells. Cantrips become level 1 spells for them, which means they would have to use their starting spells known to pick detect or read magic. So they technically know the same number of level 1 spells as normal characters, but some of those will (most likely) be read magic and detect magic.


The archetype says to add Read Magic to their spellbooks as a 1st level spell, so you don't need to burn a known spell to get it.


CloakedInSmoke wrote:
The archetype says to add Read Magic to their spellbooks as a 1st level spell, so you don't need to burn a known spell to get it.

Oops, missed that part. And they also get detect magic. So, they get the staple cantrips for free, but none of those d3 damage spells (unless you really want them...)


Defraeter wrote:
Stome wrote:

No the question is not unresolved. The two actions I mentioned are in fact free actions.

[...]
Just because some people don't like something and want to argue about it in the face or RAW does not make it unresolved.

It is strange, the other school say the same thing about your position.

The 2 schools may be "RAW".
That's fact is perhaps what you wish, but the answer is in the hand of each GM.

For use the arcane gun, it must be wielded as for any other weapon. There are no exceptions. If it's a 2HW, you must wield it with 2 hands, so it functions as "arcane bond".
And you can cast only Verbal spell if you wield with your 2 hands.

The ONLY reason arcane bound weapon has a problem is it has to be "Wielded" to function as their bound item.(meaning the Wizard has to make a concentration check to cast without it.).

Any two handed weapon that is not arcane bound does not present any problem to the caster. Free actions are FREE and can be taken any time in ones turn.

-Free action to change grip and hold (But not wield) the two handed weapon in one hand.
-Standard action to cast spell
-Free action to change grip back (Now wielding again.)
-Whatever is left that the class can do. Such as spell strike and the like.

The spellslinger does not have the arcane bound problem because their gun is not the same as as an arcane bound item. It does not have the same clause about wielding it to function as a bond item.

This is RAW. What people do at home is their business but that is for homebrew/house rule forum. Not the rules forum.


Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stome wrote:

The ONLY reason arcane bound weapon has a problem is it has to be "Wielded" to function as their bound item.(meaning the Wizard has to make a concentration check to cast without it.).

Any two handed weapon that is not arcane bound does not present any problem to the caster. Free actions are FREE and can be taken any time in ones turn.

-Free action to change grip and hold (But not wield) the two handed weapon in one hand.
-Standard action to cast spell
-Free action to change grip back (Now wielding again.)
-Whatever is left that the class can do. Such as spell strike and the like.

The spellslinger does not have the arcane bound problem because their gun is not the same as as an arcane bound item. It does not have the same clause about wielding it to function as a bond item.

This is RAW. What people do at home is their business but that is for homebrew/house rule forum. Not the rules forum.

Free actions in the table don't include "grip your weapon"

Actions in Combat
The others free actions are under the rules of GM'Fiat
free action

For the release/grip action, consult this recent thread:
Alternating between how you carry weapons?
Effectively, many people use the free action for re-grip the weapon, but nothing in the rules, FOR THE MOMENT, confirm this fact, so the 2 schools are valid and RAW. So, again, that's the realm of GM'fiat.
You wish your vision of rules be the only one, but it's not the case.

And you don't need to be so aggressive.

For the arcane gun, i recognize the rules are not very clear.
What is written?
"...spells fired through the arcane gun that require an attack roll have a ×3 critical hit multiplier."
And nowhere i see the Arcane Gun is a "Focus".

"...as they were normal firearms before the spellslinger imbued them with magic.": Arcane Guns are normal firearms imbued with Spellslinger's magic.
So they keep on to be firearm, so are always weapon, so keep on to follow rules of weapons...

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