Guns & Gears Playtest Analysis

Monday, February 22, 2021

Hey everyone! Michael Sayre here, ready to discuss the Pathfinder Guns & Gears playtest that just wrapped up! We’ve had some time to go over the survey results and contextualize all of the amazing posts, videos, and playtest reports you all shared during the course of the playtest. Now that we’ve had a chance to go over that data ourselves and make some decisions, we’re here to talk to you a bit about the direction we’d like to take. Keep in mind, while we’re going to talk about some broad points here, there are likely to be dozens of little changes throughout both classes—covering everything from adding more feats and class options to minor tweaks in the way existing abilities or options function. Just because we don’t mention something here doesn’t mean it won’t get some kind of love and attention during development. We’re just hitting the highlight reel! Also, feel free to stick around to the end of the blog to check out a preview of one of the cool new options that’ll be included in the final release of Guns & Gears!

Gunslinger

pathfinder guns and gears second edition playtest gunslinger iconic with a large rifle over her shoulder

Not surprisingly, a lot of the feedback on the gunslinger focused on the execution of firearms and the Reload mechanic. We also collected some really remarkable data related to the gunslinger ways, so I want to be sure to spend some time exploring what that data could mean for us going forward. Finally, I’m going to talk a bit about the types of gear that weren’t present in the playtest, but that should have a significant impact thanks to inclusion in the final release.

Firearms: Firearms remain a divisive subject when it comes to fantasy roleplaying games, and this particular iteration was no exception, though we did learn some interesting information. The first and most relevant data point suggests that the version of guns we have in the playtest are far and away the most popular choice for how people want to see firearms executed in this edition, so we’re going to stick pretty close to that model. That being said, there are opportunities for improvement here.

The first thing I’ll note is that the final version of Guns & Gears is going to have more than double the number of firearms than the playtest had. This is going to include things like one-handed scatter weapons and guns that fire big, relatively slow-moving rounds that have a higher base damage die but no fatal property. We also plan to incorporate quite a few other variations on the theme that you’ll have to wait to see more of in the final book!

We also embraced a conservative approach to firearm design going into this playtest, keeping the ranges very tight to represent the relative inaccuracy of these kinds of smooth bore weapons and using primarily preexisting weapon traits that people already know how to use. As we go through and develop all of the firearms, we’ll consider opportunities to explore these options: such as extending the range of a few different weapons, potentially introducing new traits that do a better job of telling the story of a firearm, and addressing small oversights in the playtest options. For example, the penalty and action cost for unsteady probably shouldn’t apply to a prone character, so adding that clarification should enhance the usability of unsteady weapons while also adding interesting new dynamics to feats like Hit the Dirt!

Reload: Reload times inspired a lot of constructive debate during the playtest. Many people found that they were an important part of the story of firearms and greatly preferred the tone and era of weapons we used in the playtest, feeling that they were a more natural fit for a fantasy world than things like revolvers and cartridge-loaded rifles. Others felt like the action cost of reloading was a real stumbling block that got in the way a player making the character they wanted. Running Reload was an incredibly popular feat choice for really helping people maximize the value of that action. Consequently, we’re looking at granting each of the gunslinger ways their own unique Reload action. For example, gunslingers who choose the way of the sniper could receive a built-in action to Reload and Hide or Take Cover. We’ll also likely use some of the additional feats that will appear in the final version of the class to expand your options for more robust Reload activities even more, giving gunslingers a highly efficient action economy with lots of ways to interact with the battlefield.

Gunslinger Ways: So, normally in any playtest for a class that has multiple “subpath” options, there’s a clear first-place choice that selected significantly more often by players. That was not the case with the gunslinger ways. While there were small variations between the number of people choosing a given way, they were each so close to a third of the total respondents that it was clear that each of these concepts has just as much draw and appeal as the others. As a result, it’s pretty likely that each of these ways will be present in the final release, though with some changes informed by the experiences from this playtest. A lot of the feedback we received also suggested some possibilities for new ways that weren’t featured in the playtest, so we’ll be looking into those as well. Expect these concepts to stick around but their execution to evolve in multiple ways (pun intended) going forward.

Gear: This is one area where I wish we’d just had a little more time before the playtest to show you what we’ve got lined up, as I think that would have had a really positive impact on some playtesters’ experiences. That said, I think this is as good a place to give you a sneak peek at what’s ahead as any. First, let me just say this. Yes, we plan to include bayonets in the final release.

More than that, we’re looking at an entire section of the book that explores black powder and the things you can do with it (like leaving a trail of powder you can light on fire to blow up a powder keg) and the things you can’t (like igniting it underwater). We are going to include cool options and accessories you can use to customize your gun, though, and that’ll feature options for using your preferred weapon in just about any environment, including underwater. We’re looking at all kinds of choices for accessories, from scopes to holsters, bandoliers to weaponized bipod/tripods, and just about anything else you can think of to customize your gunslinger. There’s always going to be more cool ideas for a product than you can fit into the page count, but we’ll continue to provide players as much variety and as many unique avenues for their character builds as we can.

And that’s about all I’ve got for you at the moment. I’ll pass this over to Mark so he can talk about the inventor!

Inventor

pathfinder guns and gears second edition playtest inventor iconic with with a small construct

Hi everyone! Mark Seifter here for a post-playtest report for the inventor class. I want to start off by thanking you all so much for your feedback, and especially for the way you've given it to us. At the start of the playtest, I mentioned that since we had two playtests so close to each other, we needed the community's help to avoid too many circular arguments and focus on new data and analyses on various topics. And boy did you deliver! So thank you for giving us great data, ideas, and feedback. This helps make it easy for us to follow along and incorporate your ideas. In terms of the ratio of insights to arguments, this playtest has one of the best I've ever seen, and that starts with you.

Overall people really liked the inventor, almost as much as the swashbuckler with a big gap before the summoner, gunslinger, and a few others that are clustered below. But that doesn't mean that there aren't things about the class that need to change. Brigh knows, I even announced in the “Welcome to the Inventor” thread that unstable had to change after we accidentally didn't use the version asked about in the survey! Thank you for bearing with me on this journey and also at looking past the roughness with unstable to really dig deep on every other aspect of the class, which needed a close eye too.

Unstable: The unstable trait will change. My goal is to make the trait present a gamble that weighs risk versus reward. Unlike the playtest version, you'll always get to perform the action when you take the risk. The gamble will be whether something goes wrong, causing something bad to happen in addition to the action succeeding. I have one very exciting idea for this that I can't share yet until I'm sure it works. In the meantime, if you want to keep playing your inventor in your home game, you can just roll the flat check after you use the unstable ability (including the first time) to see if you can use it again. I'm hoping the final version will be more exciting than that, but that should work okay for now.

Gadgets: We will be adding a fun gadgets feat path for the inventor to make special gadgets each day! It won't be mandatory, as most playtesters expressed that they didn’t want it to be. It will be nice to include it as an option so a player can opt in to the complexity that comes with having to read through a big gadget section.

Innovations: Playtesters asked for more options for modifications and feats for innovations, and the final version will add more of them. All of you inventor playtesters really captured the weird science vibe and had some great ideas, and I took careful and extensive notes. For example, giving the construct companion with a ranged attack a "turret mode" option sounds like a lot of fun, and playtesters had some great ideas for ways to increase the construct's abilities at the expense of the inventor's actions. This helps lend support the playstyle of inventors who want to hang back and let the construct do the work. In that vein, I'm strongly considering giving the construct innovation inventor the baked in ability to spend two actions to give the construct three. This will allow the construct to move and Explode, for example, and helps avoid friendly fire.

Overdrive: While the inventor's special powers are dispersed throughout several abilities, playtesters were interested in consolidating a little more of them into Overdrive, and that's something I'm definitely looking into. If that occurs, expect to see Overdrive scale a bit more than it does now, especially on a success. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do so just enough to make a big difference.

These are just a few of the ways in which I'm tinkering and tweaking my invention thanks to your notes and efforts. In the end, expect the class to look extremely similar to the way it does right now, except with several little improvements in almost every area that will really add up in the long run.

Thanks for reading! For sticking to the end, we’re throwing in an advance treat from the book, an intelligent weapon! The final version is very likely to be one of the new types of gun in the book, but this version for the blog uses the basic pistol so you can throw it into your game right away and have it start mouthing off at enemies.

Sunken Pistol — Item 8

Rare, CN, Arcane, Enchantment, Intelligent

Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk 1
Perception +12; precise vision 30 feet, imprecise hearing 30 feet
Communication speech (Common)
Skills Intimidation +19, Navigation Lore +14, Sailing Lore +14
Int +0, Wis +2, Cha +4
Will +16

A sunken pistol is imbued with the unfulfilled desires and insatiable greed of its previous wielder, a notorious pirate drowned at sea. Once a beautiful and artistically wrought weapon, a sunken pistol is coated in a fine layer of dried salt and is encrusted with barnacles. Each shot fired from this +1 striking flintlock pistol is coated in a layer of salty ectoplasm, and has the effects of a ghost touch rune. You can shoot the sunken pistol underwater, even when using black powder ammunition.

A sunken pistol urges you to amass a horde of treasure even a dragon would be proud of. The methods used to acquire these riches matter not to the greedy pirate pistol, so long as you amass and hoard excessive wealth. Above all else, a sunken pistol desires the return of its own treasure, which might rest in the wreck of its sunken ship’s hold or be hidden on a dangerous island.

In pursuit of treasure, a sunken pistol offers nautical and navigation advice to you, though it refuses such aid during less lucrative ventures. If you prove a profitable partner, the sunken pistol aids you in combat by Demoralizing your opponents (see the first Activation below). If you prove charitable or unwilling to retrieve its treasure, the sunken pistol turns its ire on you, Demoralizing you during combat until you relent. If you repeatedly refuse the sunken pistol, it would be wise to not accept water breathing from it, as it might attempt to drown you to allow a more suitable wielder to acquire it from your corpse. The sunken pistol can use the following activations.

Activate [one-action] command; Frequency once per minute; Effect The sunken pistol curses and insults a creature it can see, attempting an Intimidation check to Demoralize that creature.

Activate [three-actions] command; Frequency once per day; Effect The sunken pistol casts water breathing on you as a 3rd-level arcane spell. The sunken pistol can Dismiss this spell, so be sure to keep the gun happy if you’re relying on its good graces to breathe!

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
To broach a different topic, what other class feats abilities do people think we might see for non-gunslinger classes? I'm trying to imagine a barbarian with a gun, and beyond throwing the musket at someone I'm not sure how they might best utilize one.

Special barbarian action where you throw a gun at someone and it goes off when it hits them.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
To broach a different topic, what other class feats abilities do people think we might see for non-gunslinger classes? I'm trying to imagine a barbarian with a gun, and beyond throwing the musket at someone I'm not sure how they might best utilize one.
Special barbarian action where you throw a gun at someone and it goes off when it hits them.

The gun goes off, propelling the bullet into your target and the gun back into your hand.

*Way of the Drifter Flashbacks*


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
To broach a different topic, what other class feats abilities do people think we might see for non-gunslinger classes? I'm trying to imagine a barbarian with a gun, and beyond throwing the musket at someone I'm not sure how they might best utilize one.
Special barbarian action where you throw a gun at someone and it goes off when it hits them.

And the bullets bounce back for you to catch, then throw again


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Barbarian feat to load bullets into your mouth and spit them as a ranged attack?

Barbarian feat to punch gunpowder in order to light it on fire?

Someone getting rifle dual wield? (I guess you still can't load them since your hands are full)

High level monk feat to fire a bullet and ride it to its destination?

Focus spell to temporarily turn a gun into a siege engine?


Barbarian or alchemist feat to purposefully break your firearm to do AoE damage? "Gun? That's a weird way to pronounce bomb."

Rangers or possibly champions getting some kind of "named bullet" feat?

I'm also quietly cheering for some skill feats involving guns. Things like the feat to shoot locks that look less appealing when sat alongside other combat-focused class feats could come into their own when placed in the skill feat pool.


I think we may expect some feats and mechanics for other classes in Guns & Gears just like we received in other books like APG and probably with SoM too. So I'm little anxious about it.


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Unironic suggestion for a gun barbarian is a Gun Tank designed to slog into melee with the shotgun-class weapons. Give me my Payday 2 Enforcer dammit

Actually just the idea of short range heavy weapons that you use strength for accuracy on appeals to me in general. Not sure how viable it'd be to support that but I want it.


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Once the Gunslinger archetype is released, wouldn't anyone be able to use it just like they can use any of the other multiclass archetypes? (Whether this would be a good idea for any particular starting class is another question.)

Scarab Sages

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UnArcaneElection wrote:

Once the Gunslinger archetype is released, wouldn't anyone be able to use it just like they can use any of the other multiclass archetypes? (Whether this would be a good idea for any particular starting class is another question.)

As guns appear in the playtest, anyone with Martial proficiency can use them (if they have access). We can guess at what the Gunslinger Archetype will look like, but we don't know for sure yet. If other classes are an example, it will grant proficiency, it might grant a skill, but it likely won't grant the abilities of the different Ways. 1st and 2nd level feats would be available at 4th level. Other feats would be available at twice their level. Possibly you could take a reduced version of a Way's ability at 4th or 6th level.

But if all the Dedication feat is doing is granting proficiencies and a skill (like Fighter Dedication), then the dedication feat itself won't add a lot for classes that already have martial proficiency.

Maybe it will break the trend and bump their proficiency up a level, but I think that's unlikely (again, based on Fighter). If it somehow lets a class outside of Gunslinger get to Legendary, obviously that would be worth it. I don't think that's likely, though.

What would be interesting is if it grants access to guns, though I think it's probably more likely to need access to take the archetype.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Once the Gunslinger archetype is released, wouldn't anyone be able to use it just like they can use any of the other multiclass archetypes? (Whether this would be a good idea for any particular starting class is another question.)

Sure. But just like one doesn't need to take the barbarian archetype in order to make a greataxe worth using, you shouldn't need the gunslinger archetype in order to make guns worthwhile (though a class focused on guns should be better at using them just as an alchemist is better at utilizing bombs and monks are better at unarmed attacks), which is what (I think) most of us are worried about happening.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Once the Gunslinger archetype is released, wouldn't anyone be able to use it just like they can use any of the other multiclass archetypes? (Whether this would be a good idea for any particular starting class is another question.)

To an extent, and that extent is the exact amount they can utilize abilities primarily written for the gunslinger class. We know, however, there will be stuff that allows some combining of other classes features. Specifically, we know gunmages will be a thing, though we don't yet know how exactly.

A gunslinger dedication might be enough to fill this need, particularly since Drifters will be a thing and if your class is primarily melee it might be good enough synergy. But I'd also like to see them go beyond that. Something like, idk, Riflewhip, where you can use a 2handed ranged weapon as a d8 melee weapon using your martial weapon proficiency.

Instead of being class feats, or perhaps instead of being *just* class feats, these could be added into the existing fighting archetypes (like Mauler in the case of this feat). Some of the Pistelero utility stuff might be added into the Celebrity or Gladiator archetypes.

Paizo Employee Designer

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AnimatedPaper wrote:


Something like, idk, Riflewhip, where you can use a 2handed ranged weapon as a d8 melee weapon using your martial weapon proficiency.

While I am currently actively developing this book and a lot of this hasn't been locked in yet, that's the kind of thing that I'd really rather pick up in gear by having bayonets and reinforced stocks that are martial (or even simple) weapons you attach and enhance just like a shield boss. There's actually a lot of potential there for making customization a big feature of firearms, and likely crossbows too, as a result of trying to make sure the crossbow-using gunslinger is as fun to play as the firearm-using one. There's potential for things like attachable scopes, bipods that can be used as back-up weapons, bayonet fixtures, reinforced stocks, etc., so that by mid-game even if player A and player B both start with the same gun, the ways they use that gun and the particular configuration of attachments they use might be completely different and customized for unique playstyles.

Smoke bomb out to continue development while pondering what kind of trouble an alchemist or gunslinger with an alchemical crossbow "grenade launcher" and attached bayonet might get up to....


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Michael Sayre wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:


Something like, idk, Riflewhip, where you can use a 2handed ranged weapon as a d8 melee weapon using your martial weapon proficiency.

While I am currently actively developing this book and a lot of this hasn't been locked in yet, that's the kind of thing that I'd really rather pick up in gear by having bayonets and reinforced stocks that are martial (or even simple) weapons you attach and enhance just like a shield boss. There's actually a lot of potential there for making customization a big feature of firearms, and likely crossbows too, as a result of trying to make sure the crossbow-using gunslinger is as fun to play as the firearm-using one. There's potential for things like attachable scopes, bipods that can be used as back-up weapons, bayonet fixtures, reinforced stocks, etc., so that by mid-game even if player A and player B both start with the same gun, the ways they use that gun and the particular configuration of attachments they use might be completely different and customized for unique playstyles.

Smoke bomb out to continue development while pondering what kind of trouble an alchemist or gunslinger with an alchemical crossbow "grenade launcher" and attached bayonet might get up to....

I'm excited to see the goodies alchemist get in the book


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:


Something like, idk, Riflewhip, where you can use a 2handed ranged weapon as a d8 melee weapon using your martial weapon proficiency.
While I am currently actively developing this book and a lot of this hasn't been locked in yet, that's the kind of thing that I'd really rather pick up in gear by having bayonets and reinforced stocks that are martial (or even simple) weapons you attach and enhance just like a shield boss.

Oh sure. I'm just trawling for ideas. And now a line from Witches Abroad keeps popping into my head.

Witches Abroad wrote:

'Use the wand!' shouted Nanny, darting forward. 'Don't ninj at them! Use the wand! That's what it's for!'

The other snake instinctively turned to follow the movement, which is why instinct is not always the keynote to survival, because Magrat clubbed it on the back of the head. With the wand.


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

So I know I'm super late to this discussion, but I felt a bit let down by the 18th level armor-inventor feat. Both weapon and construct got a spammable "ultimate" ability, whereas the armor got effectively one-shot big DR.

Now with unknown changes coming to the unstable trait, it's hard to say for sure how that ability will turn out, but that discrepancy felt odd.

I'm also very glad that unstable itself is seeing a change. Inventor is arguably one of my favorite classes in PF2 thus far, but my biggest gripe with it was how much of the design space revolved around various abilities/feats that all keyed off the same essentially once per encounter resource. There's a plethora of things you can do, but you can effectively only do one of them (2 with the 14th level feat) in a given encounter. I would've much preferred to have unstable work on a case-by-case basis (I.E. Each action with the "unstable" trait would only need to roll if itself had already been used previously), but I also recognize that that would add a lot of bookkeeping that PF2 has thus far been trying to avoid.

Maybe instead of a hard-and-fast one use, then you have an 80% chance of never using it again for the encounter, develop some kind of ramping difficulty? I.E. Your first use is guaranteed, and then maybe make the flat DC 5, then add some number to that for each use of further unstable actions. I'm not sure how to balance the "risk" element, as losing access to it entirely seems fair but it also means that a single unlucky roll early (like rolling a 1 on your first check) suddenly cuts you out of the unstable abilities entirely, but if you don't make the risk bad enough (like say oh you take this small amount of damage if you fail) then players will just muscle through and not care about the risk at all.

Personally I think my ideal version of this would be some version of what I described above, where you have an "Instability" counter. For each unstable action after the first, you add 1 to the Instability. At the end of the action, you roll a flat check, with DC of 5+2xInstability. If you fail the check, you take 1d6 damage for each point of instability. And maybe as part of the class itself you have a cap on how unstable your invention can become before it stops functioning, with that cap increasing as you level so you can push it further.

As a final note, I'm also not a fan of the Infinite Invention class feature at 19th level. I completely understand the thematic and design choice that led to it, but at the same time I can't help but feel that it almost removes the "identity" of each sub-class at 19th level. For the first 18 levels they all have a distinct path and flavor and then at 19th level they just unite into one homogenous blob. I'd almost prefer this as an 18th level feat instead of a core feature? If someone wants to take this path with their inventor by all means, but I feel like having it as a core capstone-style ability is weirdly out of flavor for the one-minded obsession that the class shows up to that point.

Just to be clear: I absolutely love this class and would play it even if printed as is, I just hope that some things can be made even better.


Michael Sayre wrote:

Smoke bomb out to continue development while pondering what kind of trouble an alchemist or gunslinger with an alchemical crossbow "grenade launcher" and attached bayonet might get up to....

I hate when people do this, but... Good sir I have a character concept I would love to make a reality with this book and I have a couple hopes and dreams I would like to share. Some of it might already happen but if you could just keep me in the back of ur brain when making decisions that would be awesome.

I would love, looove to make an alchemist with a grenade launcher arm. And it wouldn't take much to get there! If multiclassing into inventor and being able to pick up built in tools is possible (not even sure what inventor would get you, but I hope an innovation, even if you wouldn't get the initial modification to it), and being able to get a prosthetic arm with a weapon built in is possible (hope it should be, we've seen a few characters like that including the iconic), then I'll be happy as a clam. If what you're saying is also a thing, a crossbow grenade launcher, well then that is icing on the cake and would be the s@~*.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Once the Gunslinger archetype is released, wouldn't anyone be able to use it just like they can use any of the other multiclass archetypes? (Whether this would be a good idea for any particular starting class is another question.)

I'm not sure exactly how effective a gunslinger multiclass archetype would be at this, since a lot of it's still up in the air. I think it's possible you can get pretty effective with firearms through the MCA, but I think most likely it'll be more efficient to have a firearms fighting style ("rifleman"?) archetype, similar to Dual-Weapon Warrior or Duelist.

Gaining feats at 2*[base class's level] (as you do with MCAs) stunts you pretty hard compared to 2+[base class's level] (as you do with martial archetypes), and if the gunslinger has a set of feats for something more "generic" like a rifleman, I could see going that route being better for archetyping than an MCA. I think it's somewhat likely you end up needing 2 feats to get a Way-based reload, and you'll almost definitely have to wait until 8th level for Running Reload.

This also depends on what level the other reload feats they're working on will be accessible at; if they're at or above Running Reload that's likely a problem, but if there's one at 2nd level then you could grab it as early as 4th level. A rifleman archetype would be also lot more likely to give you a low-level class feat as its dedication, rather than proficiencies.

It's obviously impossible to make definitive statements about how things will turn out, though.

Liberty's Edge

Perpdepog wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I just realized that the gunslinger is in a weird place since it's the only class that wants to acquire "rarer types of gear" (whose rarity is independent of magical properties) as they level. This is kind of a weird place to be in, since the Barbarian with a polearm isn't going to be hunting a la "I hear in Casmaron they make even better glaives".

So I'm not sure a wide range of gun technology gated by rarity is really a good thing.

It's a bit weird, but IMO it still makes more sense than something like some gun technology being Advanced instead of Simple or Martial. Then you get into the dissonant headspace of finding a firearm which has a rifled barrel or what have you, but those improvements, which are supposed to make a gun shoot better, instead effectively give you a -2 to hit with it.

By the same token, most of what might make guns rare comes from their technological complexity. The inventor has already showd us that other weapons can also get more technologically complex "BECAUSE SCIENCE!" so it is in theory possible to go somewhere to find better glaives. We are going to be getting gear accessories in G&G as well, and it's possible some of them will be gadgets or doodads that make weapons more technologically complicated, like guns.

I think the Rare firearms could be those that really improve the reload action economy, so basically redundant with Gunslinger's abilities.

They would be of greatest interest to all classes but Gunslinger, who might still get some benefit from them though.

And once these firearms become more common, the Gunslinger will drift into oblivion, just as it happened IRL.

Liberty's Edge

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Arachnofiend wrote:

Unironic suggestion for a gun barbarian is a Gun Tank designed to slog into melee with the shotgun-class weapons. Give me my Payday 2 Enforcer dammit

Actually just the idea of short range heavy weapons that you use strength for accuracy on appeals to me in general. Not sure how viable it'd be to support that but I want it.

I was thinking of having heavy firearms with a Strength score, like armors do. So that when you meet the score, you gain a benefit, for example not having to use a bipod or be prone to shoot accurately with a really big rifle.

And now I know Hellboy is really a Giant instinct Barbarian with a Large pistol.

Though we will need a Class feat to use Rage with ranged weapons, similar to Flying Blade for the Swashbuckler.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The ability to add a scope or sight easily to a crossbow or gun, since they are weapons that can be loaded and then held without requiring maintaining an arduous position, and thus gaining a circumstance bonus to accuracy would go a really, really long way in making them weapons that characters of all classes might want to consider carrying around and using circumstantially.

A +1 to accuracy is worth far more than a dice size increase, especially on a weapon that is fatal.

Scarab Sages

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If we're getting things like bayonets, Barbarians natural course of action is to use a melee strike with the bayonet to assist in aiming. Hard to miss when they're stuck on the end of it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Angel Hunter D wrote:
If we're getting things like bayonets, Barbarians natural course of action is to use a melee strike with the bayonet to assist in aiming. Hard to miss when they're stuck on the end of it.

That could be a really interesting feat, where you attack with a melee attack first with a bayonet, then fire the weapon, automatically hitting or even criting, but then the weapon automatically misfires, or even breaks.

Scarab Sages

Unicore wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
If we're getting things like bayonets, Barbarians natural course of action is to use a melee strike with the bayonet to assist in aiming. Hard to miss when they're stuck on the end of it.
That could be a really interesting feat, where you attack with a melee attack first with a bayonet, then fire the weapon, automatically hitting or even criting, but then the weapon automatically misfires, or even breaks.

There are a few ways it could be done.

Scarab Sages

Unicore wrote:

The ability to add a scope or sight easily to a crossbow or gun, since they are weapons that can be loaded and then held without requiring maintaining an arduous position, and thus gaining a circumstance bonus to accuracy would go a really, really long way in making them weapons that characters of all classes might want to consider carrying around and using circumstantially.

A +1 to accuracy is worth far more than a dice size increase, especially on a weapon that is fatal.

Yes, if there are mundane ways to increase the effectiveness of guns without requiring an additional feat or being a specific class/archetype, that would go a long way towards closing the gap that I've been talking about. There are still considerations like circumstance bonuses not stacking with each other, but at least it would stack with the item bonus from runes.

This would be similar to short bow vs composite short bow, where all you have to do is spend 11 extra gp and you're more effective (provided you have a 14 or greater STR). If you don't have a STR bonus, you just don't buy the composite bow (or maybe you do anyway, in case of handing it to a teammate). If you don't need the circumstance bonus from a scope, because you're getting it elsewhere, then you don't buy that attachment. This would, effectively, be a bump to the guns that many of us feel is necessary, just taking a different form that a straight damage die increase.

If things instead move in the direction that weapon modifications went in 1E (moving the weapon up one proficiency category), that would greatly reduce their usefulness, even for a Gunslinger, who would get the +1 circumstance bonus, but lose their Legendary proficiency if something became an Advanced Gun after it was modified (I think I'm remembering that correctly). It doesn't sound like this is the direction things are headed, but it's something that has been done before, so it's in the realm of possibilities.


Unicore wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
If we're getting things like bayonets, Barbarians natural course of action is to use a melee strike with the bayonet to assist in aiming. Hard to miss when they're stuck on the end of it.
That could be a really interesting feat, where you attack with a melee attack first with a bayonet, then fire the weapon, automatically hitting or even criting, but then the weapon automatically misfires, or even breaks.

I think playing with a bayonet you'd want to take the opposite approach? Bayonets are for charging with after you've fired your one shot, it'd be more of a "open with a ranged attack and then get stuck in" playstyle.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
This would be similar to short bow vs composite short bow, where all you have to do is spend 11 extra gp and you're more effective (provided you have a 14 or greater STR). If you don't have a STR bonus, you just don't buy the composite bow (or maybe you do anyway, in case of handing it to a teammate).

As an aside, it seems weird to me that there's not much of a difference between a composite or regular bow beyond the price and trait. I'd have at least expected composites to be level 1 items, given the price.

Not a big deal, and not something I'm actually advocating for, but I'm more curious why that didn't happen.


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We have already heard that unsteady interacting with the prone condition. But how do you people feel about guns, and crossbows for that matter, still suffering from the -2 attack roll penalty when prone?

It makes a lot of sense for most weapons, but for these it is just odd. If anything, they should be more accurate when prone.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Karmagator wrote:

We have already heard that unsteady interacting with the prone condition. But how do you people feel about guns, and crossbows for that matter, still suffering from the -2 attack roll penalty when prone?

It makes a lot of sense for most weapons, but for these it is just odd. If anything, they should be more accurate when prone.

I can confidently say I would house rule that crossbows and guns don't suffer from that penalty the very first time it would come up.

So, I agree that it should not be a thing.


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It's because this modification has to retroactively affect the PHB but IMO the guns and crossbows deserve a trait that at last ignore the prone condition penalty do to attacks.


Here is another idea - the pistol brace playstyle necessitates Quick Draw, but that would, amongst other things, lock you out of pretty much every active class feat ever. Not exactly ideal.

So how about an additional feat that allows you to take other actions or activities with Quick Draw? There are a couple of ways you could do that. Interact to draw a weapon as a free action that locks you in to something Strike-related as the next action or Improved Quick Draw as a variable action activity/action. The latter is probably better from an accessibility standpoint.

Liberty's Edge

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I see the Gunslinger as the Reload specialist, so the pistol brace playstyle would IMO better fit non-Gunslinger classes who do not have access to features that allow for free reloading.

No reason for any specific feat there IMO.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly pistol brace just sort of seems like a bad idea. Being able to simply ignore reloading is a tremendous damage advantage and significantly improves hand-economy as well. It's too high impact. You'd need a really overpowered feat to benefit reloaders to keep up, or if Paizo actually balances firearms around reloading you'd have to have the brace nerf the weapons pretty significantly when you use it.

Either way it seems kind of messy just because the discrepancy is so large.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:

Honestly pistol brace just sort of seems like a bad idea. Being able to simply ignore reloading is a tremendous damage advantage and significantly improves hand-economy as well. It's too high impact. You'd need a really overpowered feat to benefit reloaders to keep up, or if Paizo actually balances firearms around reloading you'd have to have the brace nerf the weapons pretty significantly when you use it.

Either way it seems kind of messy just because the discrepancy is so large.

I think this is already handled by other action economy lubricants, like running reload and such. You can quick draw fire three shots, but you're still dealing with MAP on the third shot, so its not actually a good idea, so the real benefit is being able to fire twice, and then do something else without having to reload.

But if you have a feat that says you can reload AND do a thing, like move, or whatever else you might like to do (lots of ideas for feats here, really.) Then it pretty much comes out to the same thing.

Remember that due to action economy, in average DPR, Shoot-Shoot-Shoot isn't much better than Shoot-Shoot-NotShoot, in fact its more than likely worse if you can do something else, like demoralize or reposition. You do lose a -5 MAP attack every other turn though (reload-shoot-reload) that the pistol brace doesn't, but I think thats pretty easy to balance via maunevers that are designed to help that second turn, since the pistol brace has to keep quick drawing, so they can't use proper martial flourishes and such.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Running Reload isn't even as good if every single action you'd take with that third action is Stride, and that's definitely not going to be the case. It's far from a solution.

You're also dismissing that extra flexibility in terms of action economy a lot. A regular gunslinger making their three attacks over two rounds can do nothing else. The brace user is not only making more attacks, but essentially gets a free extra action every round. I mean, there's a level 20 fighter feat that gives you an extra action every round that you can only strike with... and we're talking about giving someone an extra action every round that they can do anything with. Forget damage, "better than permanent haste" should be a red flag on its own.

Finally (even though I just said forget damage), you're overselling MAP a bit. Three attacks per round is rarely optimal, but the ability to throw six attacks over two rounds if you choose to when the reload-bound gunslinger is limited to three is a significant amount of extra firepower. Even going from three to four (plus the better action economy) isn't exactly trivial.

A feat like ace, along with feats to give gunslingers enhanced single action firepower would help even the odds, but now we're talking about multiple mandatory feats and weapons that are essentially required to be bad in a vacuum because of how relatively powerful these options are. Both of those are terrible design directions to take things in.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:

Running Reload isn't even as good if every single action you'd take with that third action is Stride, and that's definitely not going to be the case. It's far from a solution.

You're also dismissing that extra flexibility in terms of action economy a lot. A regular gunslinger making their three attacks over two rounds can do nothing else. The brace user is not only making more attacks, but essentially gets a free extra action every round. I mean, there's a level 20 fighter feat that gives you an extra action every round that you can only strike with... and we're talking about giving someone an extra action every round that they can do anything with. Forget damage, "better than permanent haste" should be a red flag on its own.

Finally (even though I just said forget damage), you're overselling MAP a bit. Three attacks per round is rarely optimal, but the ability to throw six attacks over two rounds if you choose to when the reload-bound gunslinger is limited to three is a significant amount of extra firepower. Even going from three to four (plus the better action economy) isn't exactly trivial.

A feat like ace, along with feats to give gunslingers enhanced single action firepower would help even the odds, but now we're talking about multiple mandatory feats and weapons that are essentially required to be bad in a vacuum because of how relatively powerful these options are. Both of those are terrible design directions to take things in.

No one is dismissing anything, you're exaggerating the benefit of the third action vs. a 'running reload' style third action enhancer, and severely overestimating a third attack. If you aren't kitted to drop MAP hard, or capable of throwing more than one attack out per action, attacking with the third action is not worthwhile.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Running Reload isn't even as good if every single action you'd take with that third action is Stride, and that's definitely not going to be the case. It's far from a solution.

You're also dismissing that extra flexibility in terms of action economy a lot. A regular gunslinger making their three attacks over two rounds can do nothing else. The brace user is not only making more attacks, but essentially gets a free extra action every round. I mean, there's a level 20 fighter feat that gives you an extra action every round that you can only strike with... and we're talking about giving someone an extra action every round that they can do anything with. Forget damage, "better than permanent haste" should be a red flag on its own.

Finally (even though I just said forget damage), you're overselling MAP a bit. Three attacks per round is rarely optimal, but the ability to throw six attacks over two rounds if you choose to when the reload-bound gunslinger is limited to three is a significant amount of extra firepower. Even going from three to four (plus the better action economy) isn't exactly trivial.

A feat like ace, along with feats to give gunslingers enhanced single action firepower would help even the odds, but now we're talking about multiple mandatory feats and weapons that are essentially required to be bad in a vacuum because of how relatively powerful these options are. Both of those are terrible design directions to take things in.

No one is dismissing anything, you're exaggerating the benefit of the third action vs. a 'running reload' style third action enhancer, and severely overestimating a third attack. If you aren't kitted to drop MAP hard, or capable of throwing more than one attack out per action, attacking with the third action is not worthwhile.

Especially with the design of fire arms being dependent on accuracy for really increasing the damage you can do, if the brace is only going to apply to one handed fire arms and we aren’t getting base damage dice on one handed firearms higher than 1d6, the short bow is still going to be the superior option for a dedicated ranged fighter who wants to prioritize rate of fire.


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Well we already know that there are going to be firearms that don't have the Fatal trait. Reasonable to assume that these will have a higher damage dice than the crit-focused ones in the playtest.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
No one is dismissing anything, you're exaggerating the benefit of the third action vs. a 'running reload' style third action enhancer

Not really. Running Reload lets you do one thing. Having an extra action every round lets you do whatever you want. That's not an exaggeration, that's a description of what running reload does. Unless you're going to be Striding every turn, you're obviously hampered here in terms of action economy.

Quote:
and severely overestimating a third attack.

Nah, I already said attacking three times in a round is rarely worth it, but even if you're only spending two actions offensively the person who gets to ignore reload is still making more attacks than the person who can't... while also having more flexible action economy and being able to use a shield, etc. etc.

Unicore wrote:
the short bow is still going to be the superior option for a dedicated ranged fighter who wants to prioritize rate of fire.

Yeah, obviously. In a lot of ways this is just rehashing the fundamental problems guns have when compared to weapons like bows and why reload is such a problematic trait.


Just to be clear, I really do not like the pistol brace idea either. There are way too many problems with it in all sorts of areas, pure gameplay most of all (it is Quick Draw city and nothing else for miles).

But the devs and quite a few people seems to be excited about it, so I just wanted to suggest something that would alleviate the thing that would stick around forever and be generally the biggest issue - not being able to do anything aside from draw and Strike the entire time. Since it seems to be here to stay, we might as well make the option good for those who want it.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Wasn't the brace of pistols concept that you'd have a way to share enchantments, but once you run out of guns to fire you have to start reloading them?

It seems like during this conversation someone switched to assuming you'd have endless guns and never have to reload.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

Wasn't the brace of pistols concept that you'd have a way to share enchantments, but once you run out of guns to fire you have to start reloading them?

It seems like during this conversation someone switched to assuming you'd have endless guns and never have to reload.

It's hard to say, it depends how many guns fit on it so it's too variable to even really consider.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

Wasn't the brace of pistols concept that you'd have a way to share enchantments, but once you run out of guns to fire you have to start reloading them?

It seems like during this conversation someone switched to assuming you'd have endless guns and never have to reload.

It's hard to say, it depends how many guns fit on it so it's too variable to even really consider.

If we go by pure practicality it would be either four or six, depending on the size of the guns. For the average pistol, it would probably be six, so three round on average before you have to reload. Given that, in my experience at least, combat usually lasts four rounds, that is a lot. It will be interesting how they will balance this against other options, particularly using a single one-handed weapon.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Six makes a lot of sense. It would also be a step toward balancing a revolver.


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Blackbeard was famous for carrying a brace of six pistols, since that was considered an excessive number at the time. So it certainly shouldn't be more than that.

Grand Lodge

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"What if it was just one guy with six guns?"


StarMartyr365 wrote:
"What if it was just one guy with six guns?"

That is exactly what I have been picturing in my head whenever the discussion turns to this topic XD

Grand Lodge

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Karmagator wrote:
StarMartyr365 wrote:
"What if it was just one guy with six guns?"
That is exactly what I have been picturing in my head whenever the discussion turns to this topic XD

I'll probably end up missing every shot but I really would like to be the guy with six guns at some point in my adventuring career.


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StarMartyr365 wrote:
"What if it was just one guy with six guns?"

Being able to pull this off in game is objectively a good thing


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

hoping we get some advance firearms & siege engines & stuff like flamethrower & grenades & poison gas artillery & mortars i found out that in pf1e you got to go to AU ww1 & I would LOVE if they gave us enough tools to be able to just do a whole setting around it! give us ww1 tech please!


belgrath9344 wrote:
hoping we get some advance firearms & siege engines & stuff like flamethrower & grenades & poison gas artillery & mortars i found out that in pf1e you got to go to AU ww1 & I would LOVE if they gave us enough tools to be able to just do a whole setting around it! give us ww1 tech please!

My current game is industrial revolution era and I'd love to go up to WW1, so big seconding in this

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