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Are Firearms viable in Pathfinder Society?


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

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Scarab Sages *****

tails or third arms also let you hold one gun while reloading the other.


There's these super nice guns in Villain Codex (Dragoon Pistol and Musket if memory serves correctly). Sadly their amunition only sells for full price so they are more or less only usable as sideweapons in the context of PFS.

**

bnw wrote:
How do people dual wield pistols these days?

Someone in my lodge has a gunslinger that dipped into juggler bard.


Quick Qraw and Quick Sheath feats allow free holstering and unholstering.

In theory you could have about 9 attacks per turn.

4 from BAB, 3 from dual wielding with feats, 1 from Rapid Shot, and 1 from Haste.

Extra arms would probably give more but I dont think races with that are PFS legal.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

ChaosTicket wrote:

Quick Qraw and Quick Sheath feats allow free holstering and unholstering.

In theory you could have about 9 attacks per turn.

4 from BAB, 3 from dual wielding with feats, 1 from Rapid Shot, and 1 from Haste.

Extra arms would probably give more but I don't think races with that are PFS legal.

What's Quick Sheath? I'm unfamiliar with that feat and where it would come from.

Grand Lodge **

A properly built archer will decimate a gunslinger in damage at mid level. TWFing gunslinger takes a ton of feats to get online as well and is the only build where they can compete with or exceed an archer.

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
ChaosTicket wrote:

Quick Qraw and Quick Sheath feats allow free holstering and unholstering.

In theory you could have about 9 attacks per turn.

4 from BAB, 3 from dual wielding with feats, 1 from Rapid Shot, and 1 from Haste.

Extra arms would probably give more but I don't think races with that are PFS legal.

What's Quick Sheath? I'm unfamiliar with that feat and where it would come from.

I think he means Quick Stow, although it doesn't appear that it's actually a free action, so maybe not.

Scarab Sages *****

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
A properly built archer will decimate a gunslinger in damage at mid level. TWFing gunslinger takes a ton of feats to get online as well and is the only build where they can compete with or exceed an archer.

In theory only. Empirical evidence shows me that this is not true. And I've seen some of the best, most broken, archer builds in action, including Zen, Bard, Paladin and Inquisitor archers. Attacking touch AC typically becomes easier the higher level you go.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Agent, Ohio—Centerville aka Dave Setty

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tallow wrote:
Empirical evidence shows me that this is not true.

Fascinating! I'd love to see the numerical data you've recorded.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
What's Quick Sheath? I'm unfamiliar with that feat and where it would come from.

Quick Sheath is a third party feat.

The Exchange ***

I'm going to agree that archery currently decimates firearms but the question is if firearms are viable which they are. They just aren't on par with the absolute best weapon option.

This assumes that the archer is hitting with attacks. Once AC gets too high the consistency of hitting touch AC improves the comparison in favor of firearms.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

SlimGauge wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
What's Quick Sheath? I'm unfamiliar with that feat and where it would come from.
Quick Sheath is a third party feat.

Obviously not what they are referring to since this is a PFS thread and the OP was the one that suggested that feat assumingly knowing this is still his PFS thread.

Scarab Sages *****

David Setty wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Empirical evidence shows me that this is not true.
Fascinating! I'd love to see the numerical data you've recorded.

Perhaps I meant Anecdotal evidence. The point is, I typically see gunslingers destroy more encounters than Archers (although Archers after they start getting iterative attacks and/or manyshot are pretty good at destroying encounters).

Shadow Lodge

Thomas Hutchins wrote:
SlimGauge wrote:
Thomas Hutchins wrote:
What's Quick Sheath? I'm unfamiliar with that feat and where it would come from.
Quick Sheath is a third party feat.
Obviously not what they are referring to since this is a PFS thread and the OP was the one that suggested that feat assumingly knowing this is still his PFS thread.

Gun Twirling is probably the feat you are looking for...

Grand Lodge **

Tallow wrote:
David Setty wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Empirical evidence shows me that this is not true.
Fascinating! I'd love to see the numerical data you've recorded.
Perhaps I meant Anecdotal evidence. The point is, I typically see gunslingers destroy more encounters than Archers (although Archers after they start getting iterative attacks and/or manyshot are pretty good at destroying encounters).

That's because it's far easier to do on a gunslinger. You hit easier across all levels, only need 2 attributes, and don't have to plan your build nearly as much. But an optimized archer with manyshot, rapidshot, and clustered shot will rain death even more so than that gunslinger.

And the great thing about "in theory" when it comes to the numbers involved in TWFing Gunslinger vs full martial Archer is that we don't have to worry about prebuffs, which means we can do analysis without running into the "schrodinger's wizard" problem. Archer gets more average damage per round. But its all based on probability and assuming they're both equally optimized so of course sometimes the gunslinger will do more in practice. It's just that the archer will do more in the long run given an equal playing field.


Most feats pertaining to ranged weapons work on both Bows and Firearms. Also Archer Vs Gunner is a moot point in Pathfinder Society.

Each has advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately Advanced Firearms are the Winner. A Reliable Rifle has 0 misfire chance, can reload for Free with just Rapid Reload, and other advantes. Too bad its not PFS approved

**

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think you just answered why it isn't approved. Taking one of the most optimal strategies in Pathfinder and removing even more of the obstacles placed in the path of said strategy by design seems imprudent. But then again, if people really want to see what the Cheese-Monkey Squad can do to justify the restrictions already in place...go ahead.


Firearms only work well with Gun Training, something exclusive to the Gunslinger. Otherwise their damage is fixed with no increase from any statistics.

The Feats necessary to make any ranged weapons work are very high.

Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot

Weapon Focus, Snap SHot, and Improved Shop are necessary give ranged weapons a Threat range. Alternatively using a combination of feats and "fist" weapons you can gain a Threat Area, and enchanting with Agile it also benefits from dexterity-to-Damage.

Rapid Reload is necessary for crossbows and firearms.

Point Blank Master is particularly hard to get but also necessary to attack without getting Attacks of Opportunity against you.

Early Firearms, the only ones legal for Pathfinder Society, have an extremely limited effective range. a Pistol is only good for 20feet and a Musket for 40feet. After that you have little advantage aside from the Dexterity-to-Damage.

There are no complete fixes to the flaws of Early Firearms.
---------------
The Bolt Ace Archetype acknowledges this and instead focused on Crossbows that are much more practical. You lose the ability to target Touch Ac but you gain a number of advantages.

Crossbows have much cheaper ammunition and no worries about Misfire. They can much more easily reduce their reload times to Free with Rapid Reload(any) and Crossbow Mastery. Their critical chance is higher and their range is higher.

Arguably the Bolt Ace is actually better than most claases with a Composite Longbows as you dont have to put points into strength for damage. You just focus on Dexterity for damage, hit, and your own AC,

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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ChaosTicket wrote:
Point Blank Master is particularly hard to get but also necessary to attack without getting Attacks of Opportunity against you.

Deft Shootist will cover you with less hassle to access.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
ChaosTicket wrote:
Point Blank Master is particularly hard to get but also necessary to attack without getting Attacks of Opportunity against you.
Deft Shootist will cover you with less hassle to access.

Needing Dodge+Mobility is still awkward to access. You're ranged, you shouldn't need either of them.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Dodge and Mobility are still easier than the requirements for Point Blank Master.

**

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ChaosTicket wrote:
There are no complete fixes to the flaws of Early Firearms.

That's not a bug, it's a feature. Even without a stat to damage, a gun user with Deadly Aim is only lagging behind a comparable archer by about 3 damage a shot. The gun user, however, has a significantly higher chance of hitting their target with their iterative shots.

The sheer number of fears required to make ranged combat work are actually just 4-5: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, and (if applicable) Rapid Reload or equivalent. That's all you need. Point Blank Master, Improved Precise Shot, and the Snap Shot feats, while useful, are by no means essential, at least with guns.

I have a non-gunslinger gun user in PFS. They're totally fine in the damage department without that Gun Training.

As for Bolt Ace, crossbows target regular AC. No wonder they don't have a laundry list of weaknesses.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Gun Training is nice, but Deadly Aim was honestly what kicked damage up for mine.


Now people can discuss their personal definition of viable.

I dont know if Firearms are viable. They are certainly not practical. Without putting in at least 5 levels of Gunslinger and filling a massive list of Feats you end up with a character not able to fit its intended role. If you try to skip some you glass cannon only effect at short ranges.

Anyone with Martial Weapons Proficiency can use a Composite Longbow. Splitting stats between Dexterity and Strength does reduce overall damage, accuracy, and armor class, but you dont need Gunslinger levels and it can slim your feats down as you dont need Rapid Reload, Gun Twirling, Signature Deed and so on.

Over a year ago I thought about that and ended up making a Kineticist instead. I dont know if the Kineticist is itself a good class at higher levels as its limited in terms of attacks per turn. At Low levels a Kineticist is quite a bit more practical than Firearms/Gunslinger. 30 feet Touch AC and 120 feet with Extended Range Infusion on every turn without the problems of ammo cost, misfiring, reloading, etc.

Sovereign Court *** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, you can try to prove on paper whether they're viable, or you can observe in the field. If it works in practice, does it matter that it doesn't work on your paper?

What people are saying here matches what I've seen myself:

1) Ammo costs are not problematic. Yes, it costs money. No, it hasn't stopped people. You earn enough money in PFS to keep up.

2) Misfire is not a showstopper, as long as you don't trade out Quick Clear. It slows you down, doesn't stop you.

3) Nett damage output, after to-hit, is easily high enough for PFS. Touch AC is a big weakness for many enemies. It doesn't matter if you're higher or lower DPS than archers, what matters is if you're deadly enough for PFS adventures, and you are.

4) It gets boring. You're a killing machine but what else? After level 5 when you get gun training, the lure of multiclassing into any class that makes you more diverse becomes strong. Because all that more gunslinger levels do is make you a bit deadlier.

Shadow Lodge *****

4) It gets boring. You're a killing machine but what else? After level 5 when you get gun training, the lure of multiclassing into any class that makes you more diverse becomes strong. Because all that more gunslinger levels do is make you a bit deadlier.

This is a big thing with a lot of martial classes. There just isn't anything cool after the first few levels, and you lose little by bailing out

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

And it's not like you're going to get to those big capstone abilities anyways. PFS ends at 12, so unless there's something you really want at 11, you might as well multiclass.

Admittedly, gunslinger used to have something awesome at 11 that was worth staying for. But it got nerfed so hard that there's not much reason to go past 5 now.


#1 ammo costs are a problem when every attack costs 6 gold and youre trying to increase the number of attacks per round. Also A lot more gold is necessary than for other classes for just various items to keep Firearms working. Want to dual-wield pistols? 8300g to upgrade you base pistol +1 Reliable. A second pistol costs over 9000g.

#2 Quick Clear is important but its also not a complete fix. You have to keep getting Criticals for to earn the Grit necessary to use it. Firearms only crit on a 20, or 19-20 with Improved Critical. Youre more likely to Misfire than Crit.

#4 Went over that last page in this thread. Theres no real argument about martial classes being boring without combat. Pure gunslinger has 2 base skills. One of those is certainly going to Perception. If you have 12 Initiative and and pick Human you get 4 skills per level and that still isnt much.

Multiclassing is even more useful to get as many bonus feats as possible.

3 levels of Luring Cavalier doubles you Touch AC range. 4 levels and you can pick up a Horse Companion that scales with you.

1 level of Unchained Rogue gives you 8+ skill points, plenty of new class skills, Weapon Finesse, Sneak Attack, and Trapfinding.
2 levels give you even more skill points, Evasion, a Rouge Talent(pick Combat Trick for Bonus combat feats).
3 levels and yet even more skill points as well as Finesse Training with one weapon. You can pick a Spiked Gauntlet/Cestus and skip Weapon Focus, Snap Shot and Improved Snap Shot feats and dont have to use Agile on melee weapons .

Until you actually get to level 5 with a Gunslinger its more practical to use a Bow of some kind.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

James Anderson wrote:

And it's not like you're going to get to those big capstone abilities anyways. PFS ends at 12, so unless there's something you really want at 11, you might as well multiclass.

Yeah, mine will get the excellent capstone of Bane at 11th. :)

Scarab Sages *****

James Anderson wrote:

And it's not like you're going to get to those big capstone abilities anyways. PFS ends at 12, so unless there's something you really want at 11, you might as well multiclass.

This is not true anymore. There are lots of play opportunities with official PFS scenarios, after level 12.

Scarab Sages *****

ChaosTicket wrote:
#1 ammo costs are a problem when every attack costs 6 gold and youre trying to increase the number of attacks per round. Also A lot more gold is necessary than for other classes for just various items to keep Firearms working. Want to dual-wield pistols? 8300g to upgrade you base pistol +1 Reliable. A second pistol costs over 9000g.

Ammo costs are NOT a problem. With a minor amount of skill points spent on a day job skill (which you already HAVE to spend 1 on for craft (alchemy) anyways) you basically can pay for most of your ammo with your day job.

ChaosTicket wrote:
#2 Quick Clear is important but its also not a complete fix. You have to keep getting Criticals for to earn the Grit necessary to use it. Firearms only crit on a 20, or 19-20 with Improved Critical. Youre more likely to Misfire than Crit.

I've never seen this be a significant enough issue to stop a gunslinger from dominating combat. Plus, with Reliable and Greater, Reliable on your gun, you virtually assure you won't misfire.

ChaosTicket wrote:
#4 Went over that last page in this thread. Theres no real argument about martial classes being boring without combat. Pure gunslinger has 2 base skills. One of those is certainly going to Perception. If you have 12 Initiative and and pick Human you get 4 skills per level and that still isnt much.

I kept wondering how you felt that Gunslingers were skill poor, and now I know why. Gunslingers get 4 + Int in skill points. That's more than enough to have several skills and be a semi-skill monkey.

ChaosTicket wrote:

Until you actually get to level 5 with a Gunslinger its more practical to use a Bow of some kind.

This does not bear out in practice. My gunslinger played from level 1 through early Season 6 scenarios against Robots, was quite effective at lower levels.

Scarab Sages *****

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm actually shocked that someone is actually trying to argue that gunslingers aren't viable or effective in PFS.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It confuses me because I've only seen one of three types of gunslingers:

1. Those who don't know about reduced ammo costs and take maybe three good guaranteed shots a scenario (including the one I played).

2. Those who are clearly holding back out of courtesy for the table. We'll call this one 'Chipper'

3. Those who have opened up the gates to the Plane of Gunpowder. We'll call this one the MegaUltraDeluxe Chipper-Shredder 9000

Grand Lodge *****

"Why, I reckon that this ChaosTicket feller ain't never tried his hand at 'slinging. Only once or twice have I cringed at the cost of feedin' Vera... and that was when I was loadin' some adamantine paper cartridges when some metal men needed killin'... and Vera didn't like the feel of those extra hard bullets, causin' me to miss.

"You remember that one, dontcha Mr. Christian?

"In any case, it ain't no big deal. No worse that one of them twiddly-fingered wizards burnin' through wands of magic missile or mage armor. Just the cost of doin' the adventrin' business, right?"

"Sure, after a point, Abadar called, and I became one of his Lawmen... 'course havin' Vera to enhance with the Judge of the Gods power was only a bonus. She darn right took to his enhancements."

"And if any varmint calls me skill poor, I challenge him to a contest!"

Grand Lodge *****

"It does have to be said, of course, that while it is difficult to really get the feel of a gun until you train enough to get the fast musket training, it clear from the success of Pathfinder S.W.A.T., that it isn't necessary.

"Guns are lethal, doncha know?"

Liberty's Edge *****

"You two and your muskets, and your training. The point of guns is to have something to fire when you are swinging in on the boarding party, or what have you. Then the real fun starts when you go hand to hand.

"Who cares about misfires? Not so spendy if you don't bother reloading until after the combat. Fire once, draw your blade, and finish things."

Grand Lodge

...needs to get into some correspondence courses to work out how to make more bullets faster and cheaper. Then. Then.... The Thunder will be brought.

Grand Lodge *****

"I was being lightning before the thunder!"

Scarab Sages

"Y'know, there's an' a oin'men' f'r tha', righ'?"

Grand Lodge *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"HA-HA! Good one, battle brother!"

Silver Crusade ***

You know, I've never even considered playing a gunslinger. I've seen them at tables just often enough to think that playing a Killbot, with nothing specific to make them interesting outside of combat, seems boring.

But I like to keep at least one level 1 in the bullpen for the evergreen scenarios, and I'm about to hit level 2 with my only current level 1 PC, so I've recently been trying to come up with ideas for my next character. This thread has me taking another look at gunslingers. I still don't know if I'd want to single class gunner, but multi classing with a wisdom based divine martial/caster like inquisitor or warpriest could be interesting.

What do you all think of just a single level of gunslinger for the gun (mustket?), grit, quick clear, etc, then go inquisitor to get judgments, skills, some spells, and keep going with it until level 5 for bane? Not sure if I'd then go back to gunslinger for 4 more levels to get the dex to damage, or stick with inquisitor for higher level spells and higher bonuses on my judgments.


Interesting

Last page I brought up the Swashbuckler archetype, the Inspired Blade. Multiclassing even one level gives you more stats to use for Grit points and An easy pirate build. An Agile rapier with Keen or Improved Critical feat has a threat area and A critical range of 15-20.


Gunslinger build I had designed for PFS

Dark Archive ***

I stumbled on a fun gunslinger counter.
Break a 1st level spell that gives the broken condition. My wizard cast it on an NPC gunslinger. A very amusing thing to cause someone's gun to blow up in their face. It is also not fixable with quick clear.

Downside that gunslinger managed to roll 2 crits before his gun exploded in his face.

Sovereign Court *** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

2 people marked this as a favorite.
ChaosTicket wrote:
#1 ammo costs are a problem when every attack costs 6 gold and youre trying to increase the number of attacks per round. Also A lot more gold is necessary than for other classes for just various items to keep Firearms working. Want to dual-wield pistols? 8300g to upgrade you base pistol +1 Reliable. A second pistol costs over 9000g.

One pistol or musket is more than enough, since you need both hands if you want to keep reloading. You don't need reliable as soon as possible, you want it. Want it badly, but you'll be effective enough even if you misfire now and then.

And 6gp is not a problematic cost. I've been throwing money at people with alchemists and it was only a problem when I was throwing 25gp holy water at people at level 1-2; after that the money from scenarios went up so much faster than ammo costs that it just didn't matter anymore.

ChaosTicket wrote:
#2 Quick Clear is important but its also not a complete fix. You have to keep getting Criticals for to earn the Grit necessary to use it. Firearms only crit on a 20, or 19-20 with Improved Critical. Youre more likely to Misfire than Crit.

You also get grit back when you drop enemies. And if the only thing you're spending grit on is quick clear, then it'll balance out against each other well enough.

---

You keep coming back to your theory, but everyone here who's actually seen gunslingers in play keeps telling you that they're doing fine. They're deadly enough, they make enough money to buy ammo.

Their real problems are that they don't do a whole lot besides killing, and that they're so good at killing that they can suck the fun out of scenarios. But nobody's saying they're bad at killing.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Davor Firetusk wrote:

I stumbled on a fun gunslinger counter.

Break a 1st level spell that gives the broken condition. My wizard cast it on an NPC gunslinger. A very amusing thing to cause someone's gun to blow up in their face. It is also not fixable with quick clear.

Downside that gunslinger managed to roll 2 crits before his gun exploded in his face.

Currently the only NPC gunslingers are either the undead type that is immune to misfires, or you're playing pregens that don't have the ability. But maybe some day.


Anyone pointing out my concerns you are right. Im trying to find options to make early firearms practical which basically means 0 misfire, free action reloads and about 100 feet touch Ac.

Are Firearms viable in PFS? Yes

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

ChaosTicket wrote:
Anyone pointing out my concerns you are right. I'm trying to find options to make early firearms practical which basically means 0 misfire, free action reloads and about 100 feet touch Ac.

Yes a longbow that target's touch AC. Why is it that you fail to see how this isn't going to happen?

Early firearms are practical, they do tons of damage. Sure they come with some drawbacks to make the "balanced" with bows.
you're not going to get guns that are better than bows because they are supposed to be equal to or less than bows.

*** Venture-Agent, Utah—Provo aka Chess Pwn

4 people marked this as a favorite.

@ChaosTicket You know what, you should hit up Lady-J and see if you can't play in their games. They play some considerably higher powered games than most people, so it seems like you might fit in fine there.

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