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How, exactly, are Gunslingers supposed to be viable?


Advice

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I'm running a campaign including a gunslinger, and time and time again he's proving to be the group's weakest hitter, and generally the most useless party member.

His grit abilities add little to the game, his damage output is pitiful, and basically all he amounts to is a poor man's fighter with the ability to use guns.

Firstly: the group started off dirt poor, so he couldn't do much in the way of ammunition - he used a crossbow for the longest time - and when he finally managed to get his gun, the only noteworthy change was that he was now shooting to hit touch AC instead of full AC. This sounds really great, except for the fact that fighting any enemy with DR 5 is his biggest nightmare, since he has a 65% chance of doing literally no damage, unless the enemy is weak against piercing.

Everyone in the group out-fights him, he can use martial weapons, but at that point you might as well be a fighter. His weapons are obscenely expensive to make, and even more so to buy, and he doesn't get anything particularly amazing - no crazy trick shots, no ways to boost his damage (other than a feat that allows him to apply dex to damage) and his grit powers don't allow him to do anything really all that useful...

Does anyone have any ways to make this guy more viable without spending an arm and a leg on magical guns - they're currently level 5, and they're constantly falling on hard times, so that crazy amount of money isn't going to happen - because seriously, the gunslinger is probably one of the worst classes I've seen in play.


This should probably be in Advice, not Rules Questions. There's a Gunslinger guide here.


As Gunslingers level they get more useful, especially considering things like targeted shot, which you may notice has nothing in it about saving throws. Another aspect is deadshot, which allows a gunsilnger to roll an attack for every attack his BAB (and effects like haste) allow him to have as a full round action for 1 grit. If even one hits, then the attack is successful. For every hit that occurs he adds the weapon's damage die. If even one threatens critical, the gunslinger gets a chance to confirm with a penalty that is reduced as more threats occur. This can be reduced to 0 grit at lvl 11 with a feat. Ditto targeting.

The biggest thing about a gunslinger is the fact that they use touch attacks to hit. It does take a bit to get the ball rolling, but with a proper array of feats and some enchantment (which every character will look into as they level) a gunslinger can be a very valuable addition. The party I am running for has a Musket Master gunslinger who constantly dead shots the enemies (his deeds and feats means he reloads once per round as a free action) and makes his own ammo.

I realize a number of people have house ruled the different feats and deeds to make it stronger or weaker as they see fit, and I guess your campaign can as well, though I honestly see no reason to. Targeting doesn't effect creatures immune to sneak attack, which includes anyone able to use uncanny dodge and confusing an undead doesn't work.


I can't say much without knowing what his build looks like, but may I suggest the feat Deadly Aim? The attack penalty hurts the gunslinger less, and the extra damage will help him with DR.


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We have gunslingers in two campaigns, and they own. I am wondering if you could clarify something: you say he used a crossbow for a time, and you hint that this was because ammunition is costly, but then you tell us that you thought something would change when he "finally got his gun."

Which is it? Did he have a gun from creation, as he is supposed to? Or did you gimp him and make him wait until he could buy one?

Additionally, the gunslinger gets the Gunsmithing feat as a bonus feat at 1st level, which means he can MAKE his own ammunition at 10% of the price he would normally pay for it, and he doesn't even have to make a skill check to do it. So while I appreciate that you are playing a low-gold campaign, it seems from your description that the character is being unnecessarily pinged by it.

As to how to make him more effective now that he has the equipment (and hopefully abilities) he should have had at creation, the most obvious and quickest path to being dangerous is to take feats that speed up reloading, that increase range increments, Weapon Focus, anything that will get to that x4 crit multiplier faster, etc. They all exist. Some are even within reach at low levels.

I also suggest you make sure the built-in abilities of the class are not being ignored. For example, as long as the gunslinger has a point of grit in reserve, his initiative rolls are increased. Coupled with the Quick Draw feat, this puts a weapon in his hand as part of the initiative roll. These things are not chopped liver.

However, nothing you do to tweak the character will help if what is really happening is that the GM is creating encounters that only favor a certain style of fighting. If you have tweaked everything so that the only means of dealing damage is with high melee output to overcome a specific type of DR, then obviously you have set your player up for failure. In that case, my advice would be to ask your workplace to send you to seminar on employee management.


Bruunwald wrote:

We have gunslingers in two campaigns, and they own. I am wondering if you could clarify something: you say he used a crossbow for a time, and you hint that this was because ammunition is costly, but then you tell us that you thought something would change when he "finally got his gun."

Which is it? Did he have a gun from creation, as he is supposed to? Or did you gimp him and make him wait until he could buy one?

Additionally, the gunslinger gets the Gunsmithing feat as a bonus feat at 1st level, which means he can MAKE his own ammunition at 10% of the price he would normally pay for it, and he doesn't even have to make a skill check to do it. So while I appreciate that you are playing a low-gold campaign, it seems from your description that the character is being unnecessarily pinged by it.

As to how to make him more effective now that he has the equipment (and hopefully abilities) he should have had at creation, the most obvious and quickest path to being dangerous is to take feats that speed up reloading, that increase range increments, Weapon Focus, anything that will get to that x4 crit multiplier faster, etc. They all exist. Some are even within reach at low levels.

I also suggest you make sure the built-in abilities of the class are not being ignored. For example, as long as the gunslinger has a point of grit in reserve, his initiative rolls are increased. Coupled with the Quick Draw feat, this puts a weapon in his hand as part of the initiative roll. These things are not chopped liver.

However, nothing you do to tweak the character will help if what is really happening is that the GM is creating encounters that only favor a certain style of fighting. If you have tweaked everything so that the only means of dealing damage is with high melee output to overcome a specific type of DR, then obviously you have set your player up for failure. In that case, my advice would be to ask your workplace to send you to seminar on employee management.

They started out as slave kids, so they didn't have much available to them in the way of equipment. They spent their first 3 levels dirt broke, and a short time after reaching level 1 (I started them out as commoner levels for 'level 0') he received his broken gun, but not a gunsmithing kit. I think he got a gunsmithing kit around level 3.

He's been multiclassing for character reasons, and you don't start getting anything worth a damn until you hit level 7 as a gunslinger - and every guide I've seen basically says that you either need to do EXACTLY THIS SET OF THINGS, or multiclass to be any kind of use.

Even with the gunsmithing kit, though, making guns is expensive, and takes a massive amount of downtime that my campaign doesn't have, due to things falling apart around them.

I'm wondering why guns are so underpowered, it seems kind of retarded that a revolver does as much damage as a longsword.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

If you're screwing around with default rules for gear and WBL, well, you end up screwing people over.

Grand Lodge

I might not be able to cite specific examples in this case, but I had a gunslinger player in my last campaign. Yes, at lower levels he didn't do a lot of damage, mostly because of his gun. He had to reload and thus could only shoot every other round. But when he fired, he nearly ALWAYS hit, making the damage he was doing consistent. After a few levels though, his character really came into full swing and seemed to do just fine in combat.

The only downside I ever saw was his choice of weapon (musket) in the beginning. But in the end he ended up being very fun to play, and certainly not overshadowed by the rest of the party.


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Okay, so your argument is "This Gunslinger does not have the proper equipment, has multiclassed out of his class and he now he sucks. Why is this class so bad?"

Gunslingers get really good when a.) they can actually use their guns ( shocking, I know ) and b.) get a bit higher in level, so that they can do full-attacks and get their dexterity bonus to damage. Also, at higher levels they do weird stuff like automatically tripping enemies ( no size restriction ) when they do a special full-around single-shot attack ( or with two successful ones in a normal full-round attack in case of the Pistolero archetype ).

At the low levels they tend to suck a bit more than other classes, though, since they lack much damage and their attack costs them their scarce money.


We have a low level gunslinger in our game. He is slow and a bit clumsy due to reloading rules. But he does 1d8 damage with his pistol and he has yet to use a single point of grit, actively or passively. He's not optimized but a quick overview of the deeds alone (I'm still largely ignorant about grit feats) implies that he should be able to prove useful for dealing damage in his own way. No, I don't see him competing with a fighter. But Dead Shot, Startling Shot, Deadeye, Targeting, Gunslingers Dodge, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Reload, Improved Critical, keen enchantment, Improved Initiative, and a few higher level deeds all seem to scream that they catch up.

Gunslingers aren't as simple as a fighter. They require you pay attention to operate them. They typically will have bonus feats remaining to spend on whatever you'd like. If he is performing poorly, it is because the class isn't simple and streamlined. It's not an archer in simplicity. He'll be vulnerable when firing or immobile when doing the same for a good while.

From what I can tell, Gunslingers usefulness is tied almost directly and exclusively to level. A rogue can be useful from the start, improving existing but already useful abilities. A wizard, or sorcerer or cleric begins immediately being useful as long as you did not pick universalist school. Gunslingers do pitiful damage but do hit reasonably often at low levels. At level 5, they get a damage boost which should be large. At level 7 they have access to deeds that give them options they can legitimately use to participate in combat beyond their normally clumsy way. Every few levels a gunslinger gains flat out new abilities and each time they expand on what was once a virtually nonexistent pool of options. By 9th-12th level seems to be the 'sweet spot' for the class since, by that point, they have the ability to contribute to a fight in several ways, and are functioning like an archer (because I think they can reload as a free action by then), among other things. But at level 1-5, you can expect someone who is making a single attack a round, and sometimes not even that, doing average damage but hitting often. Honestly, level 7 is the point where they seem to get to play the game.
Level 5 is a taste of being almost as useful as a fighter. The skills they get are decent, though.

PS. I don't think that a single crit on dead shot turns the entire shot into a crit. I strongly suspect that it makes confirming crits in the attack easier while giving you an increased likelyhood of confirming any other crits you might threaten. The end result being each crit functioning as additional dice usually 4). That is a lot of damage with more than one crit.


Demonskunk wrote:

They started out as slave kids, so they didn't have much available to them in the way of equipment. They spent their first 3 levels dirt broke, and a short time after reaching level 1 (I started them out as commoner levels for 'level 0') he received his broken gun, but not a gunsmithing kit. I think he got a gunsmithing kit around level 3.

...

Even with the gunsmithing kit, though, making guns is expensive, and takes a massive amount of downtime that my campaign doesn't have, due to things falling apart around them.

You realize this is like telling someone they can play a mage, and then revealing there's no such thing as books in your setting, right? If you aren't going to let someone have the time and money to make their own ammo without really having a noticeable impact on their wallet, just ban the class up front.

Quote:
I'm wondering why guns are so underpowered, it seems kind of retarded that a revolver does as much damage as a longsword.

Have someone shoot you in the arm, have someone else swing a big ol' sword at your arm as hard as they can. Let us know which leaves your arm in better shape.

Back to the original question though, the big deal with gunslingers kicks in once they have rapid shot and enough BAB to make iterative attacks. With other classes, once you reach the point where you're making attacks at -12 to hit, you're just praying for 20s, but a gunslinger will still be consistently landing them. Plus they have a grit power to count all their attacks for the round as a single attack for purposes of DR, should it come up.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yeah, multiclassing really hurts the Gunslinger, and cutting his resources hurts even more.


I had a similar experience when I first had a gunslinger in my game, and I didn't impose any unusual conditions or requirements on mine. The every other round attacks meant the character was often only involved in the start of combat, maybe getting to finish whatever the magus hadn't killed in two rounds. If enemies got to melee range, her damage went up 'cause she put the gun away. It got a little better once she had the gold to start making alchemical cartridges, but then she was spending all of her finances on that (and the 300 to fix up her gun), and falling behind. The extra misfire from the cartridges would have been a serious problem if she hadn't been nearly paranoid careful to always save one grit point for quick clear.

By 6 she had rapid reload, and combined with alchemical cartridges, she was doing allright, but still nothing impressive. Both the magus and a dervish dancer (archetype) bard using claws constantly outdamaged her. She'll probably do better once she has precise shot (touch AC is nice, but not a great deal at +4), and rapid shot, but I'm certainly not concerned that she'll be unbalancing in any way. Higher on her agenda is Deft Shootist, because being required to stay in charge range to get that touch AC means survival trumps damage.


@Scythia: Wait up until your party begins meeting opponents with high AC, but a miserable touch AC and the gunslinger begins to reliably hit every attack but the occasional 1 and misfire. That's when the class shows what it can do.


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To OP:

You're basically saying "I created a campaign that specifically strips away what gunslingers need to be effective, and now I'm surprised that gunslingers aren't effective."

Having a poverty, extremely low wealth campaign that stays that way for levels on end with no respite (or even time so that crafting characters could compensate a little bit by making things themselves) is MUCH more damaging to mundanes than magical characters.

A sorcerer is nearly unaffected, whereas a gunslinger is almost completely axed.

So, I ask you, why didn't you just tell the player that a gunslinger wouldn't really work in this campaign?


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Rapid Reload and alchemical cartridges reduce the reload time to a free action at level one for a one handed weapon and a move action for a two-hander. And if you take Musket Master it will be a free action by the time he reaches third. The musket reaches out there and he needs to play it as such. By focusing on other ranged fighters, mounts, sundering equipment, and killing casters he can be a terror on the battle field. Adding a bayonet and using cover/higher positions he can continue to fire with no need to move in the early levels.

Halfling snipers with the Stealthy Sniper alternate racial ability are pretty tough, too. No rule says that a firearm gives away your position any faster than a bow/crossbow...


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Demonskunk wrote:
They spent their first 3 levels dirt broke, and a short time after reaching level 1 (I started them out as commoner levels for 'level 0') he received his broken gun, but not a gunsmithing kit. I think he got a gunsmithing kit around level 3.

It's been stated, but really, this is the crux of the issue. This guy basically didn't have access to his character's abilities for the first 3 levels of play.

It'd be the equivalent of playing a Fighter who couldn't take any feats until 3rd level. Or a Barbarian who couldn't rage.

This is an artificial limitation that has artificially crippled the character's class, causing the problem you see.

Demonskunk wrote:
Even with the gunsmithing kit, though, making guns is expensive, and takes a massive amount of downtime that my campaign doesn't have, due to things falling apart around them.

You know that he's crafting at 1000gp per day of work, right? Going by the magic crafting rules that this is based on, that's also only 8 hours of quiet time a day for that, with a kit he carries around with him.

By the way, that's over 900 regular shots, or 160+ alchemical shots per day of work... one sit down means he'll have the bullets he needs for the week, honestly.

Even out adventuring you can spend 4 hours of rest to net 2 hours of work. That's still over 200 bullets (or 40+ alchemical charges). Time is NOT the issue when it comes to making ammunition.

Demonskunk wrote:
He's been multiclassing for character reasons,

I suggest taking a single level in Archeologist. Get a nice luck bonus to things, and access to casting Abundant Ammunition.

Make a single alchemical charge for 6gp the next time you stop for rest, and then go ahead and fire faster for an entire combat.

Honestly, I played an Archeologist/Gunslinger and had zero problems playing the class within the rules, cheaply, and even without dumping feats all over for combat (who needs precise shot? -4 attacking melee vs attacking touch ACs... pff).
Or maybe convince the group's caster to pick it up (it's a wizard, sorcerer, cleric, ranger and bard spell).


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I applaud the guy for sticking with a gunslinger without a gun, lol.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A wand of Abundant Ammunition will do wonders.

Also, tell him to stop multiclassing.

Sczarni

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Demonskunk wrote:
he has a 65% chance of doing literally no damage, unless the enemy is weak against piercing.

Keep in mind that guns bypass DR against piercing and bludgeoning.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Demonskunk wrote:
I'm wondering why guns are so underpowered, it seems kind of retarded that a revolver does as much damage as a longsword.

Well they're not exactly modern guns and you couldn't be further from the truth about being underpowered. 2 Guns in the hands of a two-weapon fighting rogue with greater invisibility equals a metric boatload of dice rolls. And a properly built gunslinger breaks the game in half at higher levels in terms DPR. Depending on the build a gunslinger can do up to 700 points of damage or higher in a single round before the enemy can even react. Bye-bye BBEG the DM spent two hours working on.

If you feel he's kinda gimped let him switch out his non-gunslinger classes with gunslinger class levels. You'll see a noticeable improvement in his ruining your day potential.


To the OP:

You started the game gimping his character. This would be like choosing a paladin and all your enemies are CN.


I had a gunslinger that operated under similar restraints. Our party was born in a village that was essentially a forced labor camp where weapons and magic were forbidden to the populace. Our GM did warn us however. My class ability gun was provided as loot found in the mine pretty quickly. After that, I was to paranoid to carry it most of the time, leaving it hidden until I made sure to pump my sleight of hand. Even after that, I used it sparingly because of the noise. When I did use it, I was quite effective.


First off, he has a revolver, so reloading isn't an issue. Ammunition cost is why he almost never uses the thing.

Second off, he has a full kit now, and he's still made worthless by any enemy with even the tiniest of DR that isn't /Piercing or /Bludgeoning.

He started out using a crossbow because as a gunslinger, you get absolutely no bonus to using guns specifically, so the crossbow worked fine at lower levels, and did the exact same damage as the revolver he eventually got - the main difference being the fact that it hit against full AC, but even though he has the gun now, he still uses the crossbow because it's cheaper and generally just as effective, since Gunslingers have Fighter-equivalent BAB progression.

He's multiclassing because he plays by character concept, and he's the type of player that likes to experiment; I'll let him know about the Archaeologist class.

I think if a class requires you to ride out 5 - 7 levels of being worthless, it's badly written, personally. It'd be a different story if it wasn't for the fact that a lot of ranger-aimed feats that would potentially be useful specifically apply to only the bow, or only bows and crossbows. Grit is also extremely selective in it's usefulness - and is generally overall worthless (IMO) until you hit level 7, especially given that your grit pool doesn't grow with your level, and you have to burn feats or increase your wisdom modifier to expand your pool - that combined with the fact that by the non-optional rules, you have to either crit with a gun, or finish a guy off with a gun in order to regain your pool of probably 2 or 3 grit.

The pistol firearms do such pitiful damage that the chance of you finishing off an enemy that hasn't been dramatically softened up by your allies is slim, and you only have a 1 in 20 chance of rolling a crit.


darkwarriorkarg wrote:

To the OP:

You started the game gimping his character. This would be like choosing a paladin and all your enemies are CN.

no no no, a paladin against CN enemies still have BAB, saves and can heal himself. A gunslinger without a gun is more like a wizard without a spellbook.


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Can you post his stats and his classes plus feats?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Gunslingers are hardly the first "not that flashy at levels 1-5, goes ballistic later" class in the game. One word: Wizard.


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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How often do they fight enemies with DR? Even DR magic shouldn't be THAT common at the opposition at this level.
He can craft metal cartiges with a cost of 7,5 gp per cartige, also he can craft a maximum of 66 metal cartiges per day.
If he goes to early firearms the cost of each shot falls to 6gp or 1sp (depending on whether he is using paper cartiges or bullets).
To sum up the cost of firing firearms at this level shouldn't be an issue.

On the feats:
Iirc the only bow feat that doesn't work with firearms is the manyshot, all the others work just fine (and the important ones are the rapidshot and deadly aim that do work with firearms just fine).
In order to deal with DR there is the clustered shots feat.
It isn't a problem with the class that the player decided to multiclass (by the way to what class did he mutliclass?).


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I don't see why DR would be a particularly big problem for a slinger. He can pierce two kinds of DR right from the start, he can use bullets made of special materials (thus making it much easier for him to pass DR than a melee guy who has to switch weapons) - and he *hopefully* has a magic gun at this point. I honestly don't see why he is particularly weak against DR compared to an archery ranger, say.

We have a gunslinger player in our group (just reached level 8) and her character is clearly one the most potent of the 5(as far as damage goes, he is beaten only by our optimized, buff-stacking vivisectionist/beastmorph alchemist). Yeah, at the very low levels there was a bit of turn 1: Shoot, turn 2: Reload - but between feats and alchemical cartridges he always gets several shots a round now. And he pretty much always hits.


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Demonskunk wrote:

First off, he has a revolver, so reloading isn't an issue. Ammunition cost is why he almost never uses the thing.

Second off, he has a full kit now, and he's still made worthless by any enemy with even the tiniest of DR that isn't /Piercing or /Bludgeoning.

It should only cost him 1.1gp/shot if he's making his own ammunition(as he should). Even if me makes all of his ammo Cold Iron, which isn't a bad idea, they would all be 1.2gp. That's hardly prohibitive; even Silver bullets would only cost 1.5gp and Adamantine ones 7gp. Compared to 180gp or 3,000gp for a silver or adamantine sword, respectively, that's nothing.

So why is DR a problem, again?

Demonskunk wrote:


The pistol firearms do such pitiful damage[...]

Okay... so let's take a level 3 gunslinger with a revolver(1d8) and throw in point-blank shot(+1), and rapid shot(extra attack).

In total, that's 2d8+2 damage/round, or an average of 11 damage.

Now, let's take a level 3 fighter with a longsword(1d8) and throw in power attack(+2), Weapon Focus(+1 to-hit), and weapon specialization(+2 damage), as well as 16 strength(+3).

In total, that is 1d6+7 damage/round, or an average of 10.5 damage.

Both have the same to-hit, both deal roughly equal damage, but the gunslinger is still targeting Touch AC.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@Sean H
The 10% price of gunsmithing applies only to regular bullets, for alcemical cartiges you go at 50% price.


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I'm the said player of the gunslinger.

Human: J.B. Harbor

Gunslinger 3 / Ranger 1 / Cavalier 1

STR: 12, Dex 16*, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 18*, CHA 10
alt human racial trait for +2 to an additional stat (at cost of feat, extra skill, etc) and have a circlet of wisdom +2

Feats: Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Quick-draw, Tactician TW feat of Broken Wing Gambit.

Traits: Quick Learner, Alkenstar Defender.


Hey, all of the Alchemical rounds are useless if you don't want to use a Dragon Pistol, Scatter weapon or Blunderbuss.

in fact, Alchemical Cartridges can't even be used in the modern pistol.


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AnachronicRodent wrote:

I'm the said player of the gunslinger.

Human: J.B. Harbor

Gunslinger 3 / Ranger 1 / Cavalier 1

STR: 12, Dex 16*, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 18*, CHA 10
alt human racial trait for +2 to an additional stat (at cost of feat, extra skill, etc) and have a circlet of wisdom +2

Feats: Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Quick-draw, Tactician TW feat of Broken Wing Gambit.

Traits: Quick Learner, Alkenstar Defender.

One level of cleric would have been a better choice than ranger or cavalier, with that high a wis you get 2x abundant ammo/day (3 if is a domain spell but don't know of any domain with AA, a custom domain?) which can really save cash, although you need one round to use it (cast as a standard action and load as a movement action). You should be looking at a pouch/wand of abundant ammunition or having another character cast it for you, but the spell is essential for keeping the cost of a gunfighter under control. Can be used on silver, adamantine or even masterwork ammo to lessen the cost of fighting the DR beasties you are likely to fight at your level- one cartridge = 1 minute of unlimited ammo.

At level 7 dead shot helps with DR for those things which aren't piercing/bludgeoning/silver/adamantine vulnerable. Honestly though DR beasties at CL 5 are going to be tough for all characters. A level 5 gunslinger gets +DEX to damage which also helps.

Your WIS is more than high enough, focus on improving dexterity since it improves AC/damage/hit chance. Rapid shot, get it - an extra attack is not something to sneer at. DO not use grit feats all the time, use one when you have 4 grit so you don't waste a crit and save 2 for special needs.


cnetarian wrote:

One level of cleric would have been a better choice than ranger or cavalier...

I was thinking that as well, but it was only the last session that we got the +2 circlet of wisdom, so back when I had gained cavalier I didn't see that as an option back then.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Demonskunk wrote:

I think if a class requires you to ride out 5 - 7 levels of being worthless, it's badly written, personally. It'd be a different story if it wasn't for the fact that a lot of ranger-aimed feats that would potentially be useful specifically apply to only the bow, or only bows and crossbows. Grit is also extremely selective in it's usefulness - and is generally overall worthless (IMO) until you hit level 7, especially given that your grit pool doesn't grow with your level, and you have to burn feats or increase your wisdom modifier to expand your pool - that combined with the fact that by the non-optional rules, you have to either crit with a gun, or finish a guy off with a gun in order to regain your pool of probably 2 or 3 grit.

The pistol firearms do such pitiful damage that the chance of you finishing off an enemy that hasn't been dramatically softened up by your allies is slim, and you only have a 1 in 20 chance of rolling a crit.

But Druid, Wizard, and Witch are not worthless or badly written and neither is the Gunslinger. Usually when a class has a slow start up it's because they scale in power quite rapidly at higher levels. And the Gunslinger isn't worthless from levels 1 - 4. They lack the kinda power you're wanting at that level but they should be getting in more hits than the other martial class. At those levels they're basically really good at chipping away an enemies health with an occasional crit to remind others that he is a threat. But like the Druid, Wizard, and Witch at levels 5 - 7 he's going to get a huge boost in power. Here's an example.

Gunslinger 5th
Starting Dex 16 +3
Dex at 5th level 19 +4 (+1 level, +2 item)
+1 Pistol

Feats: Rapid Reload, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot

Full attack with rapid shot: +8/+8 vs touch (1d8+5)
At most he'll have to roll 5 to hit most monsters and he'll do anywhere from 12 - 26 points of damage with an average of 19. That's pretty much on par with a 20 str fighter power attacking with a greatsword at the same level. The difference though is that the gunslinger will be hitting far more often than the fighter. In short you're not giving guns or the gunslinger class itself a chance to shine.

Check out this thread for an idea of what a fully optimized (and cheesey) Gunslinger can do.


I can't comment on gunslingers anymore, when we were playtesting the class in it's beat form, My gunslinger was so overpowering, I was forced into retirement due to the other players having no fun, due to lack of opportunity to participate. Following an episode I had with a tie fling gunslinger/inquisitor that similarly killed everything insight. My wife boycotted playing at all, unless Gunslingers were banned from the table.

Thus we haven't played a gunslinger since the first module in Carrion Crown was new.

all I can say is, we didn't ban the gunslinger because it was a weak POS.


AnachronicRodent wrote:

I'm the said player of the gunslinger.

Human: J.B. Harbor
Gunslinger 3 / Ranger 1 / Cavalier 1
STR: 12, Dex 16*, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 18*, CHA 10
alt human racial trait for +2 to an additional stat (at cost of feat, extra skill, etc) and have a circlet of wisdom +2
Feats: Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Quick-draw, Tactician TW feat of Broken Wing Gambit.
Traits: Quick Learner, Alkenstar Defender.

Thanks for writing in and giving us the whole build! It's incredibly helpful to discussions to have "the facts" rather than having everyone working from their own imagination.

What is your basic concept for this character? Do you want him to be a Gunslinger? A mounted Ranger who happens to use a gun? Cowboy, swashbuckler, ninja, Jedi, or robot dinosaur? Above all it's YOUR character, and should be fun for YOU to play.

And, if you don't mind, a multiple choice question:
a) I'm quite happy with my character and its performance.
b) I'm somewhat dissatisfied with my character and its performance, but I'm committed to my plan as it stands.
c) I'm somewhat dissatisfied with my character and its performance, and would like some advice on what future choices to make.
d) I'm dissatisfied with my character and its performance, and would like to change a few things to make it work better.
e) Other (please specify)


Gorbacz wrote:
Gunslingers are hardly the first "not that flashy at levels 1-5, goes ballistic later" class in the game. One word: Wizard.

Or the Inquisitor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The multiclassing was a poor choice - a 5th level gunslinger should always be breaking DR/5- because they get dex to damage, so he should be rolling 1d8+5 by now (if he had an 18 dex and a belt.) And like others said, he should also be using bullets made out of silver, cold iron, or adamantine as the situation calls for.

If it's considered a problem that he's not doing enough damage, I would allow him to rebuild his character as a straight Gunslinger 5 and then do any multiclassing he wants to after 5th level. Hitting level 5 is just so vitally important to a gunslinger because it makes you do twice as much damage.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I really wish this thread and this thread would some day meet each other. That'd be fun.

Qadira

RumpinRufus wrote:

The multiclassing was a poor choice - a 5th level gunslinger should always be breaking DR/5- because they get dex to damage, so he should be rolling 1d8+5 by now (if he had an 18 dex and a belt.) And like others said, he should also be using bullets made out of silver, cold iron, or adamantine as the situation calls for.

If it's considered a problem that he's not doing enough damage, I would allow him to rebuild his character as a straight Gunslinger 5 and then do any multiclassing he wants to after 5th level. Hitting level 5 is just so vitally important to a gunslinger because it makes you do twice as much damage.

Oh hell yeah. My PFS slinger went from 1d8 at 3rd to 1d8+4 at 4th (deadly aim) to 1d8+9 at 5th (two attacks if i grab rapid shot) Levels one to three were sad but now i jump in power every level.


Gorbacz wrote:
If you're screwing around with default rules for gear and WBL, well, you end up screwing people over.

I think this should be posted on the front page of the forums, in giant red lettering. I understand that people are comfortable with a ruleset that they already know; Pathfinder in particular has cashed in on people spending a lot of time and energy learning 3.5.

But if you're tired of running a Pathfinder-style campaign, with its WBL tables and plentiful magic items, you should try running something that isn't Pathfinder. Because, honestly, what you're running now isn't Pathfinder, and it doesn't seem like you have taken the time to consider what it actually is.


If you're not giving the characters adequate wealth and if the player is sub-optimally multiclassing than of course there is going to be some discrepancy.

A gunslinger (especially with a revolver!) should be dealing the most damage, or at least a large amount of damage, in the party. At 5th level he should have Gun Training 1 which gives his Dex mod to damage. He should have the Deadly Aim feat, point blank shot and rapid shot.

Given the stats above, his damage output at 5th level with rapid shot, point-blank shot, deadly aim and would be:

Revolver +5/+5 ranged (1d8+6)

Now a +5 at 5th level might not seem like much, but when he's hitting touch armor class several range increments out it adds up. This only gets better as both base attack bonus and dexterity increases. The gunslinger might not hit quite as hard as a power-attacking two handed fighter, but he's guaranteed to hit more often on almost any target.

Throwing in 1 or 2 levels of random classes is going to impede this. Sure, it may make great thematic sense, but that's not what's in question here. The compounded issues of too-low wealth coupled with sub-optimal multiclassing is the reason why the gunslinger is under-performing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
firefly the great wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If you're screwing around with default rules for gear and WBL, well, you end up screwing people over.

I think this should be posted on the front page of the forums, in giant red lettering. I understand that people are comfortable with a ruleset that they already know; Pathfinder in particular has cashed in on people spending a lot of time and energy learning 3.5.

But if you're tired of running a Pathfinder-style campaign, with its WBL tables and plentiful magic items, you should try running something that isn't Pathfinder. Because, honestly, what you're running now isn't Pathfinder, and it doesn't seem like you have taken the time to consider what it actually is.

It bears repeating: Pathfinder is a game firmly based on several mathematical assumptions.

If you try to alter them without understanding them, you risk breaking the game for yourself and others at the table.

My very first 3.5 game featured zany stuff such as:

- level 6 party of three PCs facing against a CR 12 Fire Giant
- my Wiz/Clr/MT had at that point a ring of protection +1 and that's it for magic items
- the GM allowed a Paladin and a MT without as much as hitning that they are not the most optimal choices (we played Core only)

Once the game fell apart, I asked the GM what was his reasoning for the likes of above, he said something pretty much equivalent to "yeah well I thought it won't be much of a problem, it's a roleplaying game after all, not some wargame".

He was wrong. The D&D/PF ruleset is a wargame ruleset.

Shadow Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:
firefly the great wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If you're screwing around with default rules for gear and WBL, well, you end up screwing people over.

I think this should be posted on the front page of the forums, in giant red lettering. I understand that people are comfortable with a ruleset that they already know; Pathfinder in particular has cashed in on people spending a lot of time and energy learning 3.5.

But if you're tired of running a Pathfinder-style campaign, with its WBL tables and plentiful magic items, you should try running something that isn't Pathfinder. Because, honestly, what you're running now isn't Pathfinder, and it doesn't seem like you have taken the time to consider what it actually is.

It bears repeating: Pathfinder is a game firmly based on several mathematical assumptions.

If you try to alter them without understanding them, you risk breaking the game for yourself and others at the table.

My very first 3.5 game featured zany stuff such as:

- level 6 party of three PCs facing against a CR 12 Fire Giant
- my Wiz/Clr/MT had at that point a ring of protection +1 and that's it for magic items
- the GM allowed a Paladin and a MT without as much as hitning that they are not the most optimal choices (we played Core only)

Once the game fell apart, I asked the GM what was his reasoning for the likes of above, he said something pretty much equivalent to "yeah well I thought it won't be much of a problem, it's a roleplaying game after all, not some wargame".

He was wrong. The D&D/PF ruleset is a wargame ruleset.

This is exactly the problem we are having in our current group. Our GM wants to run a low magic low gold world. We keep struggling through encounter after encounter. At level 11 it is do one or two fights then go out to rest. Do one or two fights then go out to rest. The GM insists that the CR is only supposed to be challenging and does not understand when we tell him the CR assumes that the PCs have access to resources and equipment that our characters cannot possibly get.


PatientWolf wrote:
This is exactly the problem we are having in our current group. Our GM wants to run a low magic low gold world. We keep struggling through encounter after encounter. At level 11 it is do one or two fights then go out to rest. Do one or two fights then go out to rest. The GM insists that the CR is only supposed to be challenging and does not understand when we tell him the CR assumes that the PCs have access to...

I know it's been beaten to death but THIS. Pathfinder is balanced not only within the mechanics of the classes and their progressions, but also around an assumption of certain levels of magical items and wealth throughout that progression.

Someone said earlier that not giving a Gunslinger the gun with which she's supposed to begin is like throwing a Paladin up against nothing but CN characters. I think it would be more accurate to say that it's like playing a Fighter and being restricted to nothing but light armor and daggers: You're removing the tools necessary for the class to be successful.

Resolving attacks against Touch AC should be a major benefit, since in most cases this lowers the DC of your attack roll by 2-4 points. And as others have noted, the Gunsmithing ability makes crafting ammunition and firearms so much faster and cheaper than any other type of magic item.

Note that based on wording, the metal cartridges used in advanced firearms are alchemical cartridges. From the SRD:

Quote:
Ammunition (Firearms): Cartridge, Metal - These sturdier versions of alchemical cartridges serve as the ammunition for advanced firearms.

This means that the reload time reduction noted for alchemical cartridges should apply to metal cartridges as well.

Andoran

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

He should be using Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, and have his Gun Training ability by level 5, which is more than enough to lay down some hurt. Gunslingers generally shouldn't be multi-classing until at least 6th level since that's when their ability packages are finally fully distributed (it's all scaling bonuses and additional deeds after that). Gunslingers are a more complicated class. Similarly to a monk or sorcerer, they can be played really well and be one of the top performers in their field, or if run by someone who doesn't have a firm grasp of what they're doing, they can be played and perform very poorly.


AnachronicRodent wrote:

I'm the said player of the gunslinger.

Human: J.B. Harbor

Gunslinger 3 / Ranger 1 / Cavalier 1

STR: 12, Dex 16*, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 18*, CHA 10
alt human racial trait for +2 to an additional stat (at cost of feat, extra skill, etc) and have a circlet of wisdom +2

Feats: Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Quick-draw, Tactician TW feat of Broken Wing Gambit.

Traits: Quick Learner, Alkenstar Defender.

As a gunslinger with Broken Wing Gambit, I'm curious as to what type of character you're playing. In general though, I'd suggest allowing a retrain to gunslinger 5. THEN multi class. 5 levels of gunslinger will give you a really solid base to build on. 3 isn't really doing it for you.

I'm not clear on how reloading a metal cartridge works. Is it a move action per round or per full cylinder? That's a heck of a difference. Can you buy quick reloaders and then just restock those between combats? Depending not he answers, you may want to look into switching quick draw for rapid reload. 6 shots won't take very long to go through at level 7 if you pick up rapid shot. And if it's a move action per round at that point you may as well have a single shot pistol.

Oh, one more thing..... DEADLY AIM! Use it with a rifle/musket if you have to to make sure you're hitting touch, then drop it and whip out your revolver and try to stay in that touch range. You'll be doing 1d8+7 twice a round, 3 times with rapid shot.

EDIT:
It is a move action to load a one-handed or two-handed advanced firearm to its full capacity.

That is accounting for metal cartridges, which means rapid reload would make it a free action, but a move action for six shots isn't so bad.

Cheliax

4 people marked this as a favorite.

It's Gunslinger, not Noneslinger.
Let him have his dang gun and give him the means to actually play the class, or just say no to the class.

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