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Ok, apologies if there is a ruling for this, but I can't find it and the builds I'm seeing online don't agree on just how this works.
Basically, when I first saw this feet, I was happy, as it effectively undid that unpleasant ruling about Warslinger (we don't need to go back there)... So now I can totally make a useful Halfling Warslinger with a sling-staff who's actually good at it, as long as I'm willing to put in 1 point of "feat tax", right?
Well... that depends on how you interpret the feat.
So, RAW says:
You can fire all manner of slings and sling-like weapons.
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus (sling) or weapon training (thrown) class feature, warslinger racial traitARG.
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls made with all types of slings, and don’t provoke attacks of opportunity when reloading a sling. In addition, you treat all ranged and thrown weapons that have “sling” in their name as if they were slings for all feats and class abilities that require such weapons, as well as the warslinger racial trait.
Interpretation #1Now -- some of the builds out there seem to think that this feat is recursive -- which is to say, that it applies to itself. So you see characters take Weapon Focus (Sling Staff), then take Slipslinger, and go on with life to get the bonus to hit and reload. Mechanically, I like this interpretation -- but I don't know that I buy it. I would think that, if that was the correct intent, the Weapon Focus requirement would say so... and it doesn't.
This feat effectively copy-pastes all "ranged and thrown weapons that have 'sling' in their name" into all feats that use such weapons, not only those that require them. So, per this interpretation, a halfing with Weapon Focus (Sling) and Weapon Specialization (Sling) also has WF (Sling Staff, Double Sling, Other "Sling" I can't think of...) and WS in the same. It all boils down to how we define "require", obviously. I have more of a problem with this mechanically than #1, but, strangely, less of a problem with the semantic argument (I know, I know, I'm weird.)
This would be the strictest reading interpretation, the one that basically says #1 and #2 are wrong -- but I hope you're willing to pay a little more of that delicious feat-taxing. Under this interpretation, someone who wants to get to Weapon Specialization (Sling Staff) needs to take Weapon Focus (Sling Staff) to qualify for Weapon Specialization, per the usual, but now needs to sink 2 feats into the feat-tax machine to get to reload: Weapon Focus (sling) [which will then just sit there, uselessly, other than letting you qualify for...] and Slipslinger Style [the feat tax we're happy to pay]. Mechanically, I like this one the least, as it basically means that Sling-Staff wielding Warslingers pretty much need to follow a class with a whackload of bonus feats, because 2 of them are going in to doing something that your racial ability should have given you in the first -- wait, no, I said I wasn't going to rehash that very old argument.
So, has there been a ruling that clarifies which is correct -- as I said, the builds I've seen all seem to flip between 1 and 2, even in threads where the guy who apparently wrote the feat is present, without any correction or comment. I'm really quite hoping it ain't #3, but given the anti-love for the Sling Staff and Halflings, I'm kind of expecting it.
Weapon Focus (slingstaff) would not let you qualify for this feat. However, you could take Weapon Focus (sling), take this feat, then retrain to Weapon Focus (slingstaff)--though, by then, you wouldn't really need to as your slingstaff would now be getting the sling's Weapon Focus bonus.
That's my interpretation anyways.
I disagree with RD. There's an explicit FAQ (see 10/16/13 update) that you can't use levels in a prestige class to qualify for that prestige class via that kind of retraining shenanigans, and I don't see why the same principle wouldn't apply to feats.
I'm really quite hoping it ain't #3, but given the anti-love for the Sling Staff and Halflings, I'm kind of expecting it.
While I'm actually fond of halflings and think sling-staves should be way useful, reason forces me to go with #3 when interpreting RAW.
My ideal fix would be to change the prereq of Slipslinger so that the warslinger trait satisfied it by itself (or just to fold Slipslinger into warslinger, of course). But I cannot claim that RAW says something just because I'd like it to be the case.
To me it seems that #2 is the closest.
The recursive requirement satisfaction doesn't work for me; not only because you can't use a feat to qualify for itself, even after retraining, but because this doesn't change the text of feats, but only what certain feats apply to. So, you must have WP (Sling) to get on board this train. BUT once on board, you only need stuff relating to sling; this feat seems to make you (because of prereqs) proficient with and WF and/or the weapon training bonus for any ranged or thrown weapon with sling in its name. Further you reload any of them w/o provoking and as a free action, and you get +1 damage. And any other sling feats (but not sling-staff, etc) would apply to anything with sling in the name (solong as it is ranged/thrown). That is the literal wording, even if they do not expound upon it explicitly.
In other words, this changes the weapons, not the feats. So In the hands of a slipslinger, a sling staff is a sling. So is a sling-a-majing. But WF (sling-a-majing) doesn't apply to slings or sling staves. (in case it isn't clear, sling-a-majing is a purely hypothetical ranged or thrown weapon).
As I said, I think #2 makes the most sense -- I just expect pushback about how feats like Focus and Specialization don't require slings [the obvious counter-argument being that Weapon Focus (sling) sure does] -- but was sort of hoping for a bulletproof official response to avoid that whole back-and-forth.
I mean, sure, I can decide how it works at my table, but it'd be nice to know what's PFS-legal, too.
It seems pretty clear to me that while weapon focus doesn't have a prerequisite requirement of 'sling,' weapon focus (sling) absolutely does require you to use a sling to gain the attack bonus.
Basically 'weapon focus' is a whole lot of different feats that are only printed once and contains instructions on how to customize them.
So the feat Weapon Focus (sling) reads
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls you make using a sling.
The feat was explicitly designed with the Warslinger halfling racial trait and the (Sling staff, Double sling, sling glove) equipment in mind.
My interpretation is in order to avoid rewriting a whole slew of feats, weapon lists, and class lists they simply turned these weapons into one that automatically works (Sling).
So, a slipslinger needs weapon focus (Sling) to then use any of the above weapons as slings. This allows a slingstaff to qualify for warslinger use (its now a sling for the trait), AWT fighter thrown (Sling, they are all basic slings even though they are not explicitly in the list), Specialization (Sling) also applies.
This one feat is doing its job of bringing these weapons into use where before they were implicitly barred from use.
The feat designer chimed in on this saying this was the whole point of the feat - making alternate sling weapon use viable for halflings. Which was a huge oversight by Paizo making a racial weapon impossible to use reliably by the race meant to use them. This is NOT RAW, but it is a very, very compelling RAI which I think any PFS GM would be hard pressed to argue against.
Especially for a still underpowered style compared to other weapons.
A Slipslinger gets Weapon focus (Sling [Slingstaff, slingglove, double sling]), Warslinger (Sling [etc]), which then qualifies for Specialization (Sling [etc]), and applies fighter AWT (Thrown=Sling [etc]).
Weapon focus (Slingstaff) would NOT apply to all additional slings as this is now calling out a specific subitem from a broader list.