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I am pretty convinced that the best Spellslinger is actually a Gunslinger1/Wizard6/Eldritch Knight10, so this topic is germaine to my interest.

I really don't think that the Grit Feats are particularly appealing, but, by the same token, offering the choice to the player is hardly overpowering.

With regard to diverse training, would an Gunslinger/Eldritch Knight automatically get ALL of the deeds available to a Gunslinger of equal effective level? Would my build above automatically have access to all 11th level deeds? This does increase the power of the build. Deadshot and Targeting are my specific concerns. Both, if read liberally, are powerful, and giving them to a Spellslinger really steals the Gunslinger's "thunder," if you will.

I agree with EWHW in almost every regard, save 1. Her Dex is right up there with her Int, low 20s at least. Since he hasn't seen Serenity, I won't spoiler it for him, but, by the end of the movie, her Dex is equivalent to her Int.

I would stat her as a Psion/Monk/Dervish (from 3.5 CW). Its hard to put a bead on the extent of her Psychic abilities, they really are just hinted at.

I actually have an NPC that I based on River Tam (actually a cross between River and Joan of Arc). The thing about River is that while everyone else in Serenity uses the Medium or Slow Advancement Table, she uses the Fast Advancement. This mechanic models her ability to pick up skills fast.

I wouldn't say D20 modern is boring, OK, actually, I would. My big complaint is it is generic. It reminds me of Palladium RPGs "Beyond the Supernatural" where there were literally rules for rolling up a babysitter.

The big thing about D20 Modern is the guns do about twice as much base damage as in Pathfinder (yet crossbows and bows still do 1d10 and 1d8). This may or may not be a good thing, but it will lead to a slightly more lethal campaign.

I am sorry, I wrote "Common Guns," when what I meant was "Guns Everywhere." In a world where guns are everywhere, Gunslingers would lose Gunsmith, but pick up Gun Training at 1st level, which is huge. You don't need to keep Quick Clear at all, unless there is still a reasonable chance a Gunslinger would use early firearms from time to time. As an aside, in the UC archetypes (page 50-51)Mysterious Stranger gets Focused Aim in place of Quick Clear.

IMO, Gunslingers in a "Guns Everywhere" campaign become extremely powerful, probably high second tier. A GM fiat removing misfires makes the Gunslinger more powerful, in effect the loss of the feat is of no consequence, because the ruling becomes and superceeds the deed.

In other words, if I made a ruling to the player's benefit that obviates the need for a feature, I do not feel that I must replace that feature with anything.

One possibility would be to simply remove the misfire mechanic from advanced firearms. You could rule that rifles, shotguns, and revolvers don't misfire, but keep the misfire mechanic for early firearms. Of course IRL all guns can hangfire or misfire, but Pathfinder doesn't deal with broken bowstrings or other major weapon failures, so I think you would be well within your rights to rule advanced firearms don't misfire.

Other than that, use the "Commonplace Guns" setting from UC for pricing and modifications to the Gunslinger Class. Gun Training at first level rocks.

You might also want to consider adding double rifles and repeating rifles to your campaign. Double guns were extremely popular during the last couple of decades of the 19th century, (In Victorian England, double barreled shotguns were very popular for fowling/wingshooting and large caliber double rifles were popular for big game hunting.) The Winchester repeating rifle was also extremely popular.

Just taking a look at CR 17-18 monsters, most of them have a CMD in the high 40s. With a Grapple CMB of 32, you will have to roll very well (likely a 15+) to grapple CR level equivalent creatures.

To put it another way, you will probably not be very successful at grappling most of the big bads you face. Sure, you can always grapple the mooks, but I don't know how fulfilling that will be for you.

I try to tell my players that they should shoot for a slightly better than 50/50 chance in succeeding against level equivalent CRs in their area of expertise. Spellcasters should have a better than 50/50 chance of punching through the Spell Resistance of CR level appropriate monsters. Rogues should have a better than 50/50 chance of picking CR level appropriate locks and disarming CR level appropriate traps. And so on.

A good rule of thumb is that at every level, you should have a better than 50/50 chance of grappling most of the monsters at an equivalent CR.

Simply put, if you want to focus on grappling, focus on boosting Strength. I know that there haven't been primary attributes since first edition, but the concept is still valid. Your primary attribute is Strength, and yours needs to be higher. I would shoot for a starting Strength of 18 with your racial bonus raising it to 20. You haven't posted gear, but you should be inverting in Strength boosting items early and often.

Note: I will be using the general term "scattergun" to reference any firearm that is firing pellets, ie blunderbuss, shotgun etc.

In general, I like the Pathfinder firearms rules, but I hate the rules for scatterguns.

My problem is that, while you have a chance to hit everything within the cone of fire, it is actually harder to hit a specific target within the cone, because you take a -2 to hit on each roll.

I have been wingshooting and shooting sporting clays for a long time, and I just cannot abide this. This will be my attempt to "fix" the scatter rules. Feedback is very much appreciated, I wouldn't be posting if I didn't genuinely want criticisms and critiques of my idea.

1) Scatterguns can fire slugs or pellets.
2) When firing slugs, use the standard firearms rules, except that the critical multiplier is x4 rather than x2. Sabot or slugs shot from a shotgun are very deadly, hence the x4 critical.
3) When firing pellets, scatterguns target flat-footed AC and make an attack against all creatures in a cone. A blunderbuss targets every creature in a 15 foot cone, a shotgun targets every creature in a 30 foot cone. A double-barreled shotgun can fire only one barrel at a time when making a cone attack. This attack ignores concealment but cannot be modified by precision damage or feats such as Vital Strike.
4) Everything else remains the same (attack roll, critical chance, misfire chance, etc) and the critical multiplier drops to x2, as printed.

Why have I done this?
I believe that targeting Flatfooted AC with pellets more accurately reflects the real-world effect of buckshot. It would be nearly impossible to dodge a cloud of 7-10 .30"-.33" shots/pellets moving at aprox 1000 fps, but penetrating power is lost (hence not automatically bypassing armor and having a lower critial, x2 rather than x4 for slugs and bullets). All of this is even more true if loaded with birdshot. Trying to dodge a cloud of 300+ pellets of no8 shot at 1100 fps would be impossible, but the penetrating power, damage and range are correspondingly lessened. But, in general, combat shotguns shoot buckshot-like loads, so this was my model.

If you have actually bothered to read and think about all of this, I hope you will comment and let me know what needs to be changed and improved.

I like the Tetori Monk a lot and think that grappling is an effective tactic in Pathfinder (it wasn't really in 3.5). The Tetori Monk gets all of the important grappling feats, and with Grab and Constrict, can grapple large targets and deal damage, in addition to locking down an opponent.

What makes the Tetori an effective grappler is that her grapple CMB scales with level and against CR appropriate foes. Generally speaking, a properly build Tetori will need to roll a 9 or 10 to grapple monsters with a CR equal to her level. A 50/50 or slightly better chance to lock down and deal damage is, IMO, is a good deal.

Rite Publishing put out "Secrets of the Gunslinger" and included a Wandslinger archetype. It is a gunslinger who uses wands instead of guns, intended for situations like yours; a player wants to play a gunslinger, but the campaign does not support guns.

I agree with you Maxx, there are problems with the combat system, the difference, IMO, is that most of the problems you bring up are legacy problems, some existing since AD&D.

With firearms, the developers had/have a chance to build something new. The idea that problems in one area excuse problems in another is something I just don't agree with, hence my point(s).

I actually have an idea about how to fix this, but that would be better left to a new thread in the homebrew sub-form.

Actually, the thrust is the most effective strike against armor like full-plate (or even, perhaps especially, armor like chain). There was actually a sword called an estoc; it was sort of a thrusting longsword (bastard sword in D&D/Pathfinder terms) that had a blunt edge but a tappered point, and it was used to half-sword.

Let me try to put this another way then. It should be easier, not harder, to hit a close opponent with pellets/shot. There are two reasons wingshooters use shot shot/pellets. Occassionally you get a two-fer, but mostly, its much easier to hit something in flight with shot than with a single round, yet the rules for Pathfinder firearms model the exact opposite.

Abraham, I am using "scattergun" as a class of firearm, specifically, a firearm that fires pellets in a cone, ie the blunderbuss and the shotgun.

My point is, it is easier to hit a single target using a pistol than with a gun with the scatter quality that is firing pellets (perhaps I should have phased it like that from the start. I know scattergun was an earlier weapon).

No weapons system is perfect, I get that. But if a rule makes a weapon or item worse at what it is supposed to do, then that is a problem that needs to be addressed. It is true that a gun with the scatter quality, when loaded with pellets, has a chance to hit more than one opponent within the burst, but it is actually harder to hit an individual opponent within that burst, due to the -2 to attack. That is my problem with firearms with the scatter weapon quality that are firing pellets.

I love most of Ultimate Combat, despite its flaws. I love the Gunslinger, and I love the gun rules, except the scattergun rules.

The scattergun rules are simply wrong. It is mechanically easier to hit a bird in flight with a pistol than with a shotgun firing pellets, since scatterguns take a -2 to hit when firing pellets in a burst. As someone who has shot probably thousands of rounds both wingshooting and sporting clays, this is so wrong, I don't even know where to start.

Actually, I have an idea about where to start, but I wanted to make sure I was understanding the scattergun rules before I set about to re-write them.

When fired pellets, scatterguns target everything in the burst area, but take a -2 to hit on each target. This is correct, right? If so, this is where my modifications will begin.


I answer this in my game by making firearms a Dwarven invention. Dwarves invented firearms to deal with demons, dragons, and other creatures with high natural armor values. However, the Dwarven Council is reluctant to release the technology to the masses, for fear that the firearms that they created to deal with natural armor would work just as well against their own heavy armor. Dwarves in my world are caught between emerging technology and tradition. They know they cannot hold back progress forever, but they charge exorbitant prices for firearms, and they try to tightly control who has access to them.

To sort of echo what Lincoln said, the feudal nobility of most of the major nations in my world are also resistant to firearms. Their superiority both militarily and socially revolves around being able to field heavy cavalry. Firearms threaten the social structure of the entire continent that my players live on.

I think that the in-game answer is that people have always paid a premium for new, emergent technology.

However, I am going to make an argument that, while it may not be popular, I hope demonstrates that the costs of guns are not as far off the mark as one might think.

A masterwork longsword costs 315 gp. A masterwork rifle costs 5,300gp. therefor, a rifle costs about 16.8 times what a longsword does.

I had a nice, handforged longsword (a bastard sword in Pathfinder terms) made for use in HEMA training. it cost about $3,500. I have a bespoke rifle that cost 40,000 pounds (or about $63,000), which is 18 times more expensive than the sword. This is roughly in line with Pathfinder costs.

We see $500 Mossberg shotguns and think that 5,000 gp for a firearm is overly expensive. But these guns, while excellent firearms, are mass produced. Nothing in Pathfinder is mass produced, so for equivalent economics of scale, we must look to bespoke items. When looked at in these terms, a 5,000 gp rifle is not really that out of sync.

A Winchester model 1866 was a repeating rifle chambered (initially) in .44 caliber. This was done so that the rounds used in .44 cal revolvers were compatible with rounds from that rifle.

So, you could take the rifle and make it a 6 or 7 shot capacity and keep the 1d10 damage, or you could drop the damage to 1d8, to reflect the smaller cartridge.

The rifle in UC, if it is modeled after anything at all, is probably modeled after the Springfield model 1865, which was chambered in .58 cal, I think. This would have been a single shot, breech loader, which means you load a single cartridge into the breech (back end of the barrel), fire that round, remove the cartridge and reload. A MUCH more efficient system than muzzle loaders (all of the early firearms in UC reflect muzzle loaders).

So, it seems like Pathfinder is using the "larger caliber equals greater damage" school of thought.

A musket does 1d12, it fired a .6 to .7 cal ball of lead.
A pistol (flintlock) does 1d8 would have fired a .45 to .52 cal ball of lead.
A Rifle (single shot, breech loading) does 1d10 chambered in .58
A revolver does 1d8, and chambered in .45 or .44.
A Winchester (level action repeating rifle) is chambered in .44 cal, and so should do 1d8, but have rifle range.

There are those who would disagree with this method, but honestly, when you start getting too specific, ballistics and bullet tissue damage become quite complicated, and even specialists debate how, precisely, a bullet kills.

Honestly, the above damage tables, and the associated assumptions, are fine for a game.

I have had characters that started with NPC class levels and then took a PC class, slowly replacing the NPC class levels. It is actually a lot of fun and there are lots of examples of this in fiction and movies (Luke Skywalker?).

The problems I see with you method are two-fold:
1) A 10th level NPC is, in most campaigns, a near epic level NPC, with long years of experience in their trade or craft. I would start much lower, like 2nd or 3rd.

2) While fun, the NPC levels become a drag after a while. The novelty tends to wear off quickly. I used the following method. At the beginning of the campaign, the PC was a 3rd level Aristocrat, Character (Char) Level 3. When the Character reached Char level 4, she added a PC class, and converted one of her NPC levels to PC, so she went from an Aristocrat 3 to an Aristocrat2/Fighter2. At Char level 5, she could trade in two NPC levels, going from Aristocrat2/Fighter2 to Fighter 5, and a fully realized character.

Whether or not you stick with your original plan, the main issue I had was recalculating skill points and hit points.

I have been thinking about this for several hours and, going all the way back to when it was its own class in 1ed, I honestly cannot remember anyone playing an effective illusionist. I have seen an ineffective illusionist...

This is NOT being critical of the concept, in fact, my intent is quite the opposite. I love the concept, and as such, I would love to see ideas about how to use Illusions to full effect. In addition to helping me out, it might give the OP some ideas because I believe that this is a very challenging concept to play effectively.

Just to throw out some info I consider general and applicable to all Wizards, I agree, your Char is too high, and Dex and Con are too low. The first couple of Wizard levels are about surviveability, when one errant shot can take you out.

From a theoretical standpoint, you should be away from melee, but in practice Grease and Color Spray are both close-range spells. This is one of the best reasons to have Sleep, the range is medium (100ft plus).

Finally, spell slots are your most valuable commodity, and as a Wizard, you have to remember that while you can do almost anything, you cannot do everything because you have a limited number of slots. This means scrolls, and after a couple of levels, wands, become your fallback option for situations where your prepared spells are not adequate.

I know that Mysterious Stranger has Char synergy, but you give up Quick Clear. There are really three (or perhaps four) reasons for the 1 level of Gunslinger:
1) Access to all martial weapons so that you can take Eldritch Knight.

2) For 300 gp, you can make your original firearm masterwork. Masterwork weapons have a +1 enhancement bonus, which you can add to arcane gun. If you take Rich Parents as a trait, you can have this from first level.

3) Access to the Quick Clear Deed. You only need to have 1 point of Grit for this, and it doesn't burn Grit to Quick Clear. As long as you have a Grit Point, you can Quick Clear. For a character whose primary weapon explodes in a ball of fire, cold or acid, removing the Broken condition is of paramount importance. My Spellslinger has 1 Grit point, and I only ever use it to quick clear because:

If you are using paper cartridges (and you almost assuredly should be), you will misfire more often. Statistically, you misfire more often than you crit, so this will come up. Quick Clear allows you to remove the broken condition and move on.

4) Maybe, depending on GM... Musket Master Archetype. Assuming your GM rules that you can cast spells and use arcane gun with a two-handed firearm (and this is not a given, it is reasonable, but not a given, a GM could be within her rights to rule that you do not have a free hand when firing a two-handed gun. I would disagree with that ruling, but RAW are unclear) then Musket Master, and the free Rapid Reload (Musket) is a very solid choice.

Basically, there are some solid reasons to put off being a Spellslinger for one level so that you can take one level of Gunslinger, but the biggest by far is the Quick Clear Deed.

My Spellslinger's prohibited schools were Abjuration, Enchantment, Illusion and Necromancy. So I was left with unfettered access to Conjuration, Divination, Evocation and Transmutation.

I generally think keeping Conjuration, Divination, and Transmutation are a given for any Wizard. Evocation is a given for this archetype, after all, you are ranged support. From a pure power standpoint, I probably should have kept Necromancy because of its Rays and Ranged Touch attacks, but I have a personal thing against Necromancy.

If you choose to keep Necromancy, you have to drop one of my triumvirate. Probably Divination would be the best choice. There is no prohibition in Spellslinger AGAINST dropping Divination, so I would think that you should be allowed to. Remember, you can still prepare Divinations (or spells from other oppositional schools, if needed), they just cost extra.

The problem is, since you don't have a specialization, you don't get any extra spell slots (as you would, were you a specialist), so spell slots become your most valued and limited resource. Any spell that takes up two slots needs to be worth it.

As an aside, I would strongly consider either:
Gunslinger 1/Wizard 6/Eldritch Knight 10/Wizard 3

or the even more complex:
Gunslinger 1/Wizard 1/Sorcerer 6/Eldritch Knight Knight 10/Sorcerer 2.

And I disagree with the above, you are a limited Wizard, but still a Wizard. Not every problem is going to have an Arcane Gun solution, and even with 4 opposition schools, you still have a lot of flexibility, as long as you have access to to Conjuration and Transmutation.

To me, it totally depends on the story, but then I have an NPC in my game who is a 13 year old girl, but a Monk8/Cleric2, sort of River Tam meets Joan or Arc.

That being said, think about movies, books, etc. Luke Skywalker's (power/level) increases exponentially over the two or so years from Ep IV to Ep VI. He goes from first level to, well pretty high. I think Player Characters (ie hopefully the main characters in the story you are telling at your table) grow in experience at a much faster rate than NPCs. The nature of being an adventurer leads to a constant stream of events that challenge a character and help them develop quickly. XP and level are just an abstraction of this.

In my mind, adventuring puts a unique pressure on the PCs that causes them to develop/grow in power/experience far faster than an average NPC.

No, I agree with you, point by point. Its for my character; I have been GM, but we are transitioning to a new GM so I can play for a while. I would probably let it fly if it were my game; I'm pretty lenient. I have been GMing a long time and tend to let players play the character that they want. I would just adjust the treasure I give out so that the other players caught up after a game or two. But that would probably be putting to much strain on a new GM, the firearms rules are probably more than enough.

Thanks to everyone who helped give me a consensus.

Assuming a world that is primarily emerging guns but where several nations have commonplace guns, could/should a Gunslinger be allowed to take a revolver as her starting gun? I would think that this goes against the intent of the rules; however, a Gunslinger can take a blundebuss, musket or pistol as a starting gun, and the first line of the revolver description clearly states that a revolver is a pistol.

I know that the ultimate decision rests with the GM, but please help the GM make a fair ruling with thoughts and comments.

I love the Dark Tower series, but the novels actually contain very little that would help with world-building. OTOH, the prequel graphic novels have tons of info on Mid-world. I also recommend Dark Sun, great post-apocalyptic desert setting. In both cases, the (Dark Tower and Dark Sun) the world is very old.

Just as an aside, the edges of deserts have trees. Throw Wyoming, or even Nevada into Google Images.

I once created a gameworld where the bones of long dead (extinct) giant animals served the same purposes as both wood and steel.

Kensai is a Magus archetype found in UC. It is a Magus devoted to perfection with a single weapon. I chose it because the archetype gives you access to Fighter only feats faster than the base Magus. For this, you loose armor proficiencies and some spellcasting. So, where the Magus is 33% caster, 67% combat, the Kensai is more like 25% caster, 75% combat.

I played a Staff Magus for a while, while it is a Magus, in practice, the archetype plays more like a caster. Not that it isn't a good archetype, it is, but I found myself more reliant on spells than when I played a Kensai Magus.

A Staff Master Magus is really more of a caster than your other options. However, I would submit that a Kensai Magus with ExWP Bo Staff is an excellent choice. If you can convince your GM to let you take Tripping Staff and Twirling Staff and substitute Bo Staff (which seems perfectly reasonable to me, and I wouldn't hesitate to allow), even better.

To be very precise, neither Schrodinger, nor anyone else to my knowledge, actually believes that the cat would be in a state of superposition (both alive an dead simultaneously). It is the wave function that describes the cat that is in superposition (existing in both states simultaneously). When the observer makes a measurement (ie "looks in the box") then the wave function describing the cat collapses into one of the the two possible states (alive or dead).

The thing that is really hard to wrap your brain around is, well then, was the cat alive or dead? This question, for all intents and purposes has no answer. Its not that we just don't know, it goes much deeper than that. There really is no answer until a measurement is made, and then the wave function describing the system collapses, the superposition is broken,and we can have our answer about the state of the cat. The act of measurement breaks the state of superposition; we can't say anything about the cat, or know anything about the cat, until we make a measurement, and as soon as we measure, the wave function collapses. Its not the cat that is in superposition, but rather the wave function that describes the cat. This wave function is the sum total of all the information that we have describing the state of the cat, and from a technical standpoint, it is the wave function describing the cat, and not the cat itself, that was in a state of superposition.

This is analogous to the famous "two slit" experiment. To be very brief, when we shoot a beam of electrons at a barrier that has two slits, half the electrons go through one slit, and half go through the other, creating a very simple wave interference pattern on the detector behind the barrier. Logically, you would think that if you shot a single electron at the barrier, it would travel through one slit or the other. However, when we shoot single electron(s) through the slit, we still get the same interference pattern. From the perspective of the observer observing after the fact, it looks like the individual electron(s) went through both slits simultaneously. To be very clear, it is the wave function that describes the electron(s) that is in a state of superposition. When we "watch" the electron(or to be more precise, take a measurement), the electron will only ever travel through one slit or the other. The act of measurement or examination collapses the wave function that describes the electron(s), and the state of superposition is lost, or as I think of it, broken.

So, the million dollar question, which slit was the electron passing through? Just like the cat, there is no answer until we look (take a measurement), and when we take a measurement, we collapse the wave function, just like observation or measurement collapsed the wave function of the cat. At this point, if you are still following me, you should cry BS. That is the conundrum that is wave particle duality underlying the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Wave functions can and will exist in a state of superposition until we examine or measure the particle that it is describing, and the act of examination breaks the superposition, collapsing the wave function.

I don't expect you to understand it, or believe it; I don't understand it, but I do believe it, because the math tells me so. What is going on doesn't have an answer in natural language, I can only describe the system in question, be it a cat or electron, with a wave function, which is very complicated. There are actually a bunch of versions of the wave function, the one I tend to use is a hybrid model using matrices and partial differential equations.

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The answer to your question can either be very long (taking several years of study) or very short. The very shot answer is that Schrodinger's Class is a thought experiment based on Schrodinger's (relatively) famous thought experiment.

I must respectfully disagree with Hudax that particle-wave theory is more like philosophy than science. I would more closely liken it to a tool box, except this tool box is composed of PDEs, linear algebra (matrices) and formal analysis. It is, IMHO, the greatest tool box ever assembled because it allows us to describe and predict, with exacting certainty and incredible precision, phenomenon that we cannot begin to describe with natural language. This is the inherent problem with "quantum mechanics." Neither I, nor, I would dare say, anyone else in the entire world, can adequately address the subject devoid of the mathematics, to the point that I do not even try.

I often say that the more I understand it, the less eloquently I can talk about it.

Zen Archer Monk, for sure. I have a Zen Archer Monk 9/Mobile Fighter 11 who is, for all intents and purposes, a Tetragrammaton Cleric.

Now that it has been errata'ed, the Tetori Monk is a very good 1 trick pony. Actually, a very good 1 trick pony. The Tetori Monk CMB for Grappling scales quite well against CR level appropriate monsters, and by spending Ki, she can grapple anything.

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Gee, I actually like the Gunslinger, the Alchemist, and the Summoner. I guess my Steampunk and Final Fantasy bias shows.

I am not a big fan of Samurai or Ninja, but I would let them in my game.

I wasn't a fan of the Chavelier until one of players played one. Its actually kind of a cool class.

I don't like Barbarians or Druids. Definately my least favorite classes. I still have nightmares about the Frenzied Berserker and the Planar Shepard even though I never had either in my game.

My games tend to be more 15th to 17th century level tech, so Gunslingers and Alchemists work better than Barbarians and Druids.

I play lots of Blaster Wizards, and I try to use Feats to help overcome what I see as the three main problems with the Blaster archetype.

Problem 1: Damage dice do not scale with the HPs of CR appropriate challenges.
This can be mitigated to some extent by Metamagic (Empower and Maximize), but this turns out to be a very expensive solution, utilizing high-level slots for lower-level spells

Problem 2: Spell Resistance
Spell Penetration and Gr. Spell Penetration help, as does Piercing Spell Metamagic. I often take Spell Penetration at 5th or 7th level, and Gr. Spell Penetration at 9th, or 11th at the absolute latest.

Problem 2.1 Save DCs.
Spell Focus Evocation helps, I try to take this early, 3rd or 5th level, but I try to bump my DCs with stat bumps, rather than Feats.

Problem 3: Energy Resistance. Spells like Shout, with the Sonic Descriptor are gold, but Knowledge Checks are key, so you can have an idea about the strengths and weaknesses of what you are up against.

Selective Spell is important for AoE spells

Finally, I use Rays extensively, so Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot are always taken early on.

My choices, in order:
Point Blank Sot, Precise Shot, Spell Focus (Evocation), Spell Penetration, Selective Spell MM, Greater Spell Penetration, Piercing Spell MM, Empower Spell MM, Maximize Spell MM.

I must concur. Overhand Chop and Backswing say nothing about wielding a two-handed MELEE weapon. Its obviously an oversight and goes against RAI, and I can't begin to imagine allowing it in my games (and I REALLY like firearms), but that would be a houserule on my part. RAW, I am fairly certain it works.

Although, I must say that I think that RAW, the Pistolero adds Dex to damage twice, which is the route I would take, if I were trying to optimize a Gunslinger.

Sorry to resurrect a week old thread, but I saw Shisumo's post and had the same question. I believe, RAW, a masterwork weapon has a +1 enhancement bonus, therefore, I am inclined to believe that it works as a +1 enhancement for arcane gun. However, I am not certain at all that this interpretation is the correct one.

I do not believe that RAW answers the question about casting spells through a two-handed gun. I think that the posters that say that the RAI support casting through a two-handed weapon are correct in as so far as it is clearly intended. I agree that it is analogous to casting with a staff in your hand; however, I see no definitive ruling on the matter.

Just wanted to point out that the PFSRD says that Duelists must wield MELEE piercing weapons.

See note under Precise Strike Class Ability.

I also thought that a Pistolero/Duelist would be cool idea. After all, lots of duels were fought with pistols. I really don't see the problem with a houserule that negates the text-box, but I think it would be considered a houserule.

Having played Arcane Archers and Spellslingers, the Spellslinger is much better in ranged support. The biggest differences are the ability to target Touch AC and enhancement bonus to DCs and Attacks through Arcane Gun. Enhance Arrows requires you to choose your energy type at the beginning of the day. In practical play I have found this very limiting. Imbue Arrow, which most people seem to see as the signature ability of the AA, I have found highly situational. This is not to say I hate the AA, one of my favorite characters was a Sorcerer 12/Arcane Archer 4/Eldritch Kinight 4.

I play a Spellslinger right now (actually, Gunslinger 1/Spellslinger Wizard 6/Eldritch Knight X). Four opposition schools is fairly significant loss. You have to re-evaluate how you play Wizard... The Batman Wizard is totally off the table. Instead you focus on dealing damage with spells cast through your arcane gun.

The Spellslinger makes a good ranged support (ne' Blaster) character. I think that most char ops posters would argue that a Blaster is a suboptimal role for a Wizard for three reasons.
1) Damage Dice don't scale with HD.
2) Spell Resistance and Energy Resistance.
3) Low BAB and high saves mean your damage spells are less effective.

In order to be an effective in ranged support, you have to overcome all of the above.

My build deals directly with problems two and three.

Problem Three: Actually hitting your opponent with your spells.
Solution: Arcane Gun plus a couple of feats more than make up the difference.
A combination of multiclassing (to raise BAB) and the Arcane Gun feature means that I never miss with my ranged touch attacks. In my experience playing a Spellslinger, my BAB plus enhancement bonus out-scales the touch AC of the monsters I face. I have a similar experience with saves vs my Evocation spells. Spell Focus: Evocation and Greater Spell Focus: Evocation when coupled with the enhancement bonus from my arcane gun outscales opposing Reflex saves.

Problem 2: Spell Resistance and Energy Resistance.
Solution: Feats, which my focused build can accommodate.
Early on, this wasn't a problem, it is really a mid to high level issue. I use Piercing Spell Metamagic plus Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration to overcome Spell Resistance. With these feats, plus a good Int, my Caster Level Check scales with the Spell Resistance of the monsters I have fought. It does NOT outpace Spell resistance, but I keep up. Energy Resistance is dealt with in two ways. First, I use lots of Skill Points in Knowledges so that I know the weaknesses of my opponents. Second, I use Shout extensively. Very few things have Sonic Resistance.

Problem 1: Damage Dice don't scale.
Solution: None. This remains a problem.
None. Still working on this. Metamagic can help, but costs so many high level slots that it really isn't feasible for a Wizard. Sorcerer tends to be a better frame on which to build a Blaster.

Sorry if this was overly long, but the short answer is that Spellslinger directly helps overcome one weakness inherent to Arcane Ranged support, allowing you to devote build resources to dealing with at least one of the other major problems.

The even shorter answer is, its a fun, flavorful character that is optimal enough to contribute to the party.

I used Wizard 12 for my AA. It is an unconventional approach and you don't actually get to be an Arcane Archer until you are nearly 2/3 through your build, but you are, for all intents and purposes a full caster, or as I call it, "A Mage with a bow." Its certainly not for everyone, but I like to throw it out as an option.

Totally depends on what your role is within the party. I like to play Ranged Support (read Blaster), and Scorching Ray is a good choice, but I also like Acid Arrow. Acid Arrow gets a bad rap, but it bypasses SR and continues doing damage round after round. The Sorcerer in my party took down a Bullette with a Wand of Acid Arrows.

Other Conjuration spells to consider:
Summon Monster 2 (summon several riding dogs and let them go crazy with trip attacks)
Summon Swarm (swarms are a real pain unless you have AoE spells).
I think Glitterdust is overrated.

I almost always give up Enchamtment, but Hideous Laughter, as mentioned above, is a very good spell.

Fire Breath is often overlooked due to the ubiquitous nature of Energy Restance: Fire, but I use it for Ogre Magi, Swarms and Trolls.

A lot of people online seem to think Minor Image is a very good choice, but I honestly don't see it.

Bull's Strength if you have several melee characters.

So, if you are a blaster, there are several good choices at second level, but most are fire-based, the other is acid-based. At high levels, many creatures are resistant or immune to both, but at low levels you will fight monsters with Regeneration, and in that case, fire and acid shine.

If you are a Buffer, Bull's Strength is always appreciated by your melee teammates.

If you are a debuffer, Hideous Laughter is a good choice; Touch of Idiocy is a tremendous debuff against casters, but you either need Reach Metamagic, which you can't use yet, or be close enough to touch an opponent, which is not a good tactical idea.

If you are a Summoner, you have a couple of good choices.

Sean, I see where having 1 arcane gun gives you a x3 crit multiplier, but I do not see anything about two-handed guns giving you a x3 multiplier. Are you sure? I do see the following text:

Arcane guns are normal one-handed or two-handed firearms in the hands of others, as they were normal firearms before the spellslinger imbued them with magic. In a spellslinger's hands, they both fire projectiles (bullets and pellets) and cast magic.

Irrespective of the crit point, this text leads me to believe that you can cast spells through a two-handed weapon. I guess you take one hand off the rifle for a moment to handle the material and somatic components, then pull the trigger. Or maybe you don't pull the trigger at all, and the gun is sort of like an arcane bonded staff.

At any rate these are my feats for my first 12 levels:
GS 1: Gunsmith, PBS, PrS.
W 1:
W 2: Eschew Materials
W 3:
W 4: Spell Focus (Evoc)
W 5: Piercing Spell (MM)
W 6: Spell Penetration
EK 1: Weapon Focus (Rifle)
EK 2: Gr. Spell Focus (Evoc)
EK 3:
EK 4: Selective Spell (MM)
EK 5: Weapon Spec (Rifle)

Other feat choices would include Deadly Aim (I assume it works for Firearms), Rapid Reload (although with cartridges and advanced firearms it looses some luster) and other metamagic feats. With Piercing Spell and Spell Penetration, I can punch through most Spell Resistance, and with Spell Focus, Gr. Spell Focus, along with an enhancement bonus from my rifle, my DCs are pretty high.

I think PBS and Pr. Shot are absolutely critical, the -4 to AB for firing into melee is a killer, even on touch attacks.

That is pretty much all I have from my Spellslinger, other input is very welcome.

From an optimization standpoint, Gunslinger1/Wizard5/EK10 really isn't superior to Gunslinger1/Wizard6/EK/10. Wizard 6 gives you +1 BAB and additional spells, so I argue that holding off EK until Character level 7 is a better choice.

The biggest question that I believe remain unanswered re: the Spellslinger is can you cast spells through a two-handed firearm? Gun Mages in Iron Kingdoms bonded with pistols, but I think a Spellslinger with a rifle would be the way to go, assuming you can cast with a two-handed firearm. If anyone has a ruling on this that I have missed, I would appreciate it.

I look at this character much like I do Arcane Archer. Most AA maximize BAB and lead to Gish builds that max out at 5-7th level spells. I look at Spellslingers and AA a bit differently. My AA is a "Mage with a bow" who casts spells first and shoots second. My Spellslinger is the same way, a "Wizard with a gun," casting spells through my magically enhanced gun, and shooting second. It is amazing how much Spell Focus (Evocation), Gr. Spell Focus (Evocation) and an enchanted gun help ratchet up the DCs of area effect spells.

The list above is a good spell list for the build if you have Evocation and Necromancy. I drop Necromancy (in addition to Abjuration, Enchantment, and Illusion), so these are the spells I use regularly.
1) Burning Hands
2)Acid Arrow, Scorching Ray, Fire Breath (an underrated spell)
3) Lightning Bolt
4)Shout (very good, almost nothing has Energy Resistance: Sonic), Dragons Breath.

A lot of people seem to want to make the Spellslinger a Sorcerer Bloodline, and that seems fine; however, a really big loss if you do this is a Wizard's access to Knowledge Skills, which will be crucial so you can know what will, and more importantly, will not harm the monsters you face. Energy Resistance is the bane of my build, but good use of a variety of Knowledge Skills helps out tremendously.

Finally, I haven't found that the loss of Cantrips makes much difference, but YMMV.

I love grappling. I'm a novice Judo player, but compete in Gi and No Gi Submission Grappling. I have seen plenty of guys use size/strength to overpower opponents. I've been on both ends of it. That being said, I've never seen anyone "Rage" on the mat, although I'm sure it happens.

However, back on topic, is there a list of restricted actions? I must have missed it, which isn't surprising, no one in my group plays a Barbarian.

I guess this is a simple question. I would say so, but:

While in rage, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration.

gives me pause. In real life, grappling requires patience and concentration, but in Pathfinder...?

I don't think so. In the description of a Buckler, it specifically states that you can use a Buckler and cast a spell, albeit with a forfeiture of the AC bonus of the shield. There is no such mention with regard to light or heavy shields.

In addition, the Skirnir can, at 8th cast with a shield (other than a Buckler), and if using a Buckler, no longer forfeits the AC bonus. This suggests to me that Bucklers are inherently different than other shields with regard to casting.

The problem, of course, is that you cannot bash with a Buckler unless you take 2 levels of Rondelero Duelist Fighter.

It seems like it really takes 8 levels or a multiclass to make this archetype work, and I was under the impression that these were precisely the things Pathfinder was trying to avoid (complicated multiclassing and class archetypes that take several levels to do what they are intended to do).

Of course, there is always the Quickdraw Shield... which with the Quickdraw feat allows donning and removing a Quickdraw Shield as a free action.

Edit 2:
Sorry Leo, you posted right as I was finishing mine. I see what you are saying, but this seems like a silly workaround for a poorly designed feature.

I love the concept of a Magus with a shield. As soon as I saw this I thought Taldan Duelist Magus. It seems like the only way to do a build like this is with a Buckler, since you can't cast spells with both hands full. It seems like unless you bond with a Buckler, the class really doesn't do what you think it should until at least 8th level (that is cast spells with sword and shield in hand). I must be missing something here, right?

I actually prefer Gunslinger 1/Spellslinger 6/EK 10/ Spellslinger 3.
This should net you two firearms for free, the equivalent of Medium BAB, and looses only 2 caster levels. I would actually take 2 rifles, but have only one arcane gun. The other would be my backup. I think most of the gunslinger Deeds are sort of silly, but the free clear is useful.

The rifle is my firearm of choice for this build because of the range. Most of the combat situations my characters are in begin within the first range increment for a rifle.

One thing remains unclear. If your arcane gun/bond is a two-handed firearm, can you cast spells with somatic or material components through it. Clearly, the intent is that you can, but I am not sure that the rules permit it. I just hand-wave the whole thing in my campaigns, but other GMs may have more stringent rulings.

When I read it, I assumed that it would apply to both.

I actually really like this archetype, although Gunslinger 1/Spellslinger Wizard 9/Eldritch Knight 10 seems like the best way to go; +15 BAB and 9th level spells at 20th level. Since you are primarily using touch attacks, you don't have as tough a road to hoe as the Arcane Archer.

Losing Scribe Scroll and Cantrips is a minor inconvenience (the only 2 Cantrips I use regularly are Detect Magic and Read Magic).

Losing 4 schools is a very serious hit and requires careful consideration. You pretty much need Conjuration, Evocation and Transmutation (Con and Trans are must-haves, and the archetype is built for blasting). I would also never give up Divination, so I am forced to give up Abjuration, Enchantment, Illusion and Necromancy.

Necromancy has some nice debuffs, but isn't a huge loss, at least for me. I often give it up when I specialize. I personally don't use Enchantments (except for Sleep) for purely roleplaying reasons. Abjuration is nice, but it is not crucial. I don't like to rely on illusions. I keep reading that Silent Image, Minor and Major Image and the Shadow spells are very potent, but my gaming experience is that I have never seen anyone play an effective Illusionist. Although Illusion does have some nice utility, especially at low levels, I can live without it.

Each represents a certain loss of utility, but this is not the archetype for playing a utility caster.

Err... I agree with both points and can see both sides, so I will bump my thread once in hopes of getting more opinions.

If you take the Racial Heritage Feat, can you take the Favored Class alternative(s) of the extra race you have selected?

Thank you both very much. I appreciate your responses.

Are Alchemist bombs subject to spell resistance, Damage Reduction, or Energy Resistance/Immunity? My ruling would be no, yes, yes, but I was wondering if there was an official rule I have missed.

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