New Paths #6: The Expanded Gunslinger (PFRPG) PDF

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Grit and Gunsmoke!

The wind is rising and the enemy's approaching, adventurer—and they're not afraid of swords or spells. But that suits you just fine, because you've got a weapon in your arsenal that they won't be expecting: a lead-throwing, fire-belching boom stick.

New Paths #6: The Expanded Gunslinger brings new traits, feats, and archetypes to characters in Emerging Guns or higher settings for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Now firearms are more accessible to every class, helping everyone build the characters they want to play.

The Expanded Gunslinger includes:

  • 8 new firearm traits including Childhood Hunter, Duelist and Resourceful Scavenger
  • 11 new feats including Staredown, Steel Fury and Thundering God Stance
  • 7 new archetypes: Black Powder Reaver, Coilgunner, Hellfire Preacher and more!
  • A guide to gunslinging in the Midgard Campaign Setting, from black powder firearms to vril weaponry

New Paths #6: The Expanded Gunslinger puts the thunder and lightning in your character's hands. Get this high-caliber player resource today!

Written by Crystal Frasier.

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An RPG Resource Review


Subtitled 'Grit and Gunsmoke' (worth mentioning because that's how the book self-refers, a bit confusing if you haven't noticed!) this work adds new traits, feats and archetypes aimed at enabling characters of any class to use firearms, assuming that they exist in your game. Not everyone feels that firearms fit in a fantasy game: if you don't, put this down and look at something else. However, if you are comfortable about including firearms in your game, this has some good additions to the material concerning black powder firearms that you might wish to incorporate.

We start with some Firearm Traits, which can be used to explain how come a character is familiar with firearms even if they are not normally associated with his class - perhaps he was a hunter as a young lad - or in some way was involved for better or worse with them. One's quite delightful, 'Gun Shy' which makes a character quite unhappy around firearms, with negative modifiers to shoot and the shakes after he's done so... but a massive luck bonus for resolving criticals should he ever manage them!

Next come some Firearm Feats. Some rely on the Grit class feature (or at least, you need to have it to take them) and others are firearms-related Combat feats. There are even some - the Thundering God series - that bring firearms and martial arts together, enabling you to build a gun-toting style.

Finally, and this is the main part of the book, we have an array of archetypes. These provide many routes for the aspiring gun-slinger and indeed for characters of other classes who wish to add in firearms. Some are downright strange, like the Black Hat who brings bad luck to his opponents. Or maybe you prefer the barbarian approach with the Black Powder Reaver, who doesn't really understand guns but boy, does he enjoy the noise and the havoc that they cause! Then we have the Coilgunner who uses an alchemical weapon called a coilgun, a strange thing that uses alchemy to generate magnetic fields to spit out iron bullets. OK so you need iron bullets rather than lead ones and alchemical fluids rather than gunpowder, but the end result is the same. Or perhaps the Futurist appeals, a witch who senses glimmerings of technical advances that haven't been made yet... and we could go on. The Gunfighter (a fighter who specialises in firearms) is quite obvious, then there's a Hellfire Preacher (a cleric archetype who prefers a firearm over his deity's favoured weapon), and finally the Noble Shootist, a confident fellow with leadership skills.

If you want to make use of firearm technology within your game, here are some novel ideas to help you do so.

An review


This supplement is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial,1 page advertisement and 2/3 of a page SRD, leaving us with 10 1/3 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We kick off this supplement with new firearm-themed traits - 8 to be precise. And they actually are interesting - most of them have options to be used in black powder-less campaigns and two in particular stand out: Kobolds and halflings may opt to be scavengers and thus ignore the penalties of the broken condition of firearms, though increased misfire chance still applies. The other one would be Gun-shy: Taking a cue from one iconic trope from countless movies, taking this trait makes you take a -2 penalty to atk with firearms and automatically become shaken (but not frightened for further shots) when using a firearms - in return, though, you get a massive +4 bonus to confirm critical hits with them. Plain awesome - two thumbs up!

Next up are 11 new feats and while many utilize grit, not all of them do. Being more pain-resistant as long as you have grit (bonus to saves), you may also heal yourself 1/day by spending 1 point of grid for 1d8+class level hp. Covering Fire is also BRILLIANT - when succeeding a touch attack as a standard action against a foe, you may opt to deal no damage, instead granting an ally (or more with the improved version) a +4 dodge bonus to AC for a round. Disabling devices via well-placed shots is another absolute winner. Also rather neat - as a full-round action, you can threaten all squares within 30 ft. for a round - a nice take on the trope similar to LRGG's overwatch, but more limited. Free stare-down intimidates have been done before, though there's nothing per se wrong with that. Steel Fury is also epic - 1/round when suffering firearm damage, you get 1 round of rage or one point of grit - finally something for gun-toting barbarians! Monks may opt to adopt the Thunderous God Stance, which is a style in all but name (instead being a combat feat tree): This style allows you to wield your firearm as a bludgeoning weapon and mix unarmed and firearm attacks in flurry of blows. The follow-up feats allow for quicker reloading via ki and stop provoking AoOs as well as essentially making a 30 ft. whirlwind attack with a firearm, applying precision damage etc. only to one of the targets. The latter feat would be overpowered, were it not for the MASSIVE requirements that even the playing-field - hence: No complaints. Finally, there's a feat that allows you to use intimidate and diplomacy via firearms -the only one of these feats I wouldn't consider excellent - and that saying quite something!

Next up are new archetypes, first of which would be the Black Hat for the Gunslinger-class - essentially a Malefactor light for gunslingers, these individuals are master of psychological warfare and jinxes, causing bad luck, mishaps and even potentially making enemies fumble for grit-expenditure - neat one! Barbarians may become Black Powder Reavers now - which nets a weaker rage, but also the amateur gunslinger feat while raging. When in rage, moment of clarity is required to reload, may use firearms sans bullets (with a greatly reduced range - though the ability does improve) and a limited fixed amount of deeds and feats. Again, neat!

Oozing flavor and offering something for those who hate blackpowder in their game, Coilgunners have salvaged their weird weaponry from ancient civilizations and use these mysterious coil guns with their alchemical ammunition. Being more scholars than killers, they get grit not from killing, but from scoring crits or suffering misfires. The archetype also gets 3 exclusive deeds that replace others from the gunslinger list - allowing you to electrically overcharge your coilgun, dealing electricity damage instead of piercing damage. While mechanically not as exciting as the first two, this one is high and iconic in concept and hearkens back to pulp-themes. Whether introduced via Azlant or Ankheshel, this one is a winner.

Witches may now opt to become Futurists -diminishing their spellcasting for the option to deliver hexes via bullets and for an area of study: alchemical, natural philosophy or mechanics - depending on the discipline chosen, we get different benefits and bonus spells - neat! And if you want to go the other way round and want a gunslinger with minor hex-access, the Hexslinger from RiP's "Secrets of the Gunslinger" has you covered - I love it when 3pps don't overlap!

Gunfighters are essentially fighters with a focus on guns - more reliable and wealthy in feats, but less flashy than the gunslinger - especially neat for anyone who doesn't like the gunslinger's mechanics. Hellfire Preachers could have come from my favorite italo-westerns - disillusioned with the gods, these clerics lose some of their supernatural powers in lieu of the ability to shrug off divine spells easier and hitting foes with massive mortal wrath at higher levels - iconic indeed and once again, both high in style and execution.

Noble Shootists use charisma instead of wis for their grit and also are rather adept at social skills - simple, yet effective. Noble Shootists also get two exclusive deeds to rally and buff allies when scoring crits and may, against flatfooted opponents, replace the damage her hit would have caused with a combat maneuver - thanks to the limits imposed, a great deed. The pdf also provides a sidebar on gunslinging in Midgard.


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Kobold Press' beautiful 2-column full color standard and the full color artworks are neat. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

The gunslinger has been blessed with some awesome 3pp supplements already and I was seriously dreading too much overlap when I set out to read this one. My fears, as it turns out, were completely unfounded. This is one of those rare little crunch-books that literally are all killer - there is not a single problematic piece of content herein - neither rules-language-wise, nor balancing-wise - instead, we actually get content that is high and iconic in concept and execution - author Crystal Frasier lives up to her excellent reputation and my exceedingly high expectations and delivers - appropriately, with a bang and fanfares. Fans of gunslingers (and everyone contemplating introducing ancient ray-guns from empires past into the campaign) are looking at a must-buy file they should not miss - final verdict? Easy 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Great Options for games with guns


The Expanded Gunslinger is a collection of traits, archetypes, and feats for the gunslinger base class from the ever-inventive folks at Kobold Press.

First is a collection of gun-centered traits. Several of these get away from the standards of '+1 to a given skill' and/or 'gain skill as class skill'. Some of them allow you to take a specific gun (pistol, rifle, etc.) as a proficiency, one gives you a penalty on attacks with guns but a bonus on rolls to confirm criticals, bonuses against foes who have yet to act in combat, and even an ability to make certain alchemical goods like thunderstones for less money. They seem rather different from most new traits in good ways.

There are several new firearm feats such as Steel Fury, allowing you to gain grit or rage if injured by a gun, and the Thundering God feats for pistol-packing monks. Oddly enough they don't seem to be listed as Style feats, as they're put together the same way. But in any event they are made to order if you want to play someone as good with a gun as their hands.

Then the archetypes, and there are some very original ideas in here. Note that unless stated otherwise every new archetype is for the gunslinger class.

The Black Hat loses some deeds in exchange for being able to put curses on anyone struck by one of their bullets. The Black Powder Reaver is a barbarian who combines their rage with firearms skill (no new rage powers for use with guns, though) and gets deeds in exchange for trap sense.

The Coilgunner is very fun -- being basically a mad scientist sort who's invented the equivalent of a SF blaster gun that can shoot bolts of lightning along with a few exchanged skills. If you like Numerian supertech from the Golarion setting, this archetype would fit like a glove.

Another good one is the Futurist archetype. This is a witch whose power comes from technology and science. She can set hexes on her bullets and gets to choose from three great new patrons; Alchemy, Mechanics, and Natural Philosophy. The one for alchemy is especially great, as it allows the witch to toss a few bombs per day along with lead and spells. Okay you get less spells per day than the normal witch -- but some on, a spell-slinging witch who can throw bombs and sling lead too? What more do you need?

There's the Gunfighter archetype for fighters who want to use firearms and get access to fighter-only feats too. You also get superior gunsmithing skills and the ability to reduce damage from injuries by half a few times per day ("Twas a mere flesh wound!"). The Hellfire Preacher is a cleric who has suffered a crisis of faith and decided to become a pistol-packing padre in response. His skill with channel energy is lessened and he loses a domain in exchange for gun skills and improved saves against divine magic. Last comes the Noble Shootist archetype for those noblemen who wish to duel with gun rather than blade. You gain a few new deeds and skills, but it seems rather lean compared to the sheer joy of the coilgunner and futurist.

Great, great collection of traits, feats, and archetypes. I'd have loved to see some a few new rage powers and maybe even a hex or two for the barbarian and witch archetypes; and sad to say that if your game doesn't allow for both guns and 3rd party material at the table this won't do you any good. But if it does, you WILL want to get a copy of this PDF.

An Excellent Expansion of Gun Powder Rules


For an explanation of how I use the five star review method, see my entry on So What's the Riddle Like Anyway? HERE.

Gunslingers remain a controversial topic in fantasy role-playing games. I for one love them and currently have a player using a gunslinger in my campaign. I haven't seen any significant overpowered actions by that PC and we are now at 13th level. I believe that rules become overpowered only when the GM loses control of the game. Still, guns can use touch AC to do significant damage round after round and with very little effort new additions could make reigning in the chaos an almost impossible task. So let's see how Crystal Frasier expands on guns and gun fighting and find out if she has been able to keep it in line.

First we get the warning that this material is subject to GM approval. I like that it is said right up front. Many GMs find themselves on the defensive when they won't allow a book or rule that has been published. I think players do need the occasional reminder that part of the GM's job is deciding what is in and out of the game.

We begin the rules expansion with eight new Firearm Traits. These are pretty straight forward and have good flavour, although Gun-shy seems almost a feat with a drawback attached for balance. That is pushing the envelope on what constitutes a Trait. Also—in regards to the Saltpeter Birthright Trait—is there really a need to declare Craft (alchemy) as a class skill, since all classes in Pathfinder have Craft as a class skill anyway? Just a thought. Otherwise, I really like what is written here.

Next we have Firearm Feats. We have eleven new feats, four of which are Grit Feats. All seem fairly balanced and most have to do with style and flair over damage output. I noticed that the Thundering God Stance feats (three of them) do not have the first as a prerequisite, even though the other feats are useless without the first. A minor quibble. I like the idea of shooting a construct at its weak spot from Disabling Shot but I would have also like to have seen an expansion feat that would allow you to hit a machine, let it function a bit, and then collapse. Personal style preference and easily added by myself, so no real criticism there. My favorite of these feats is Serpent's Bite, which allows you to make an Attack of Opportunity on anyone closing to within 30 feet after readying your shot. Would only be used at the beginning of combat, limiting its use while producing a very cool and unique action. That is good feat design.

The final section on Firearm Archetypes takes up most of the book. There are three gunslinger archetypes, and one each for barbarian, cleric, fighter, and witch. The Noble Shootist is the closest thing to a "standard" gun fighting archetype of the seven, describing a gunslinger that uses leadership and precision to accomplish their objectives. The fighter archetype—the Gunfighter—is a good take on a professional combatant's approach to guns. The Black Powder Reaver is a barbarian with guns, and is more like a lunatic with explosives than anything else. I can see it being very popular with goblin characters. The Black Hat is a strange combination of witch-like jinxes and gunslinger shooting. It is kind of moody and would make for an interesting character within a campaign.

The other three archetypes are the ones that really stand out for me though. Two of them are firmly set in steampunk style gaming with vril magic and technology . The Coilgunner (gunslinger) uses a vril magic style rail gun instead of the usual firearms. It gives off electric discharges in addition to normal shooting damage. The changes seem in line and it doesn't appear any more powerful than a standard gun in normal operation. It is much harder to repair and get parts for, so it's added abilities are compensated for somewhat. The Futurist (witch) seems like it was lifted right out of Girl Genius. No familiar or patron, but the character specializes in alchemy, mechanics, or natural philosophy. A mechanics specialist can even build their own clockwork familiar! This is wonderful, and I believe a must have for any steampunk style campaign.

In spite of my love of steampunk, it is the Hellfire Preacher that is my favorite of them all. This archetype presents a cleric that is losing her faith to cynicism and despair but desperately is trying to hold on at the same time. The imagery and style are intense, gritty, and evocative. The changed powers and abilities really reflect the image well and bring to mind a number of different movie preachers —Jacob Fuller of From Dusk till Dawn and Father Adam from John Carpenter's Vampires in particular. Both are very different and their disillusionment with the church take on very different forms, but the fact that both came to me as I read this is a good sign that the flavour of the archetype can be flexible and adapted to many different character concepts. This is wonderful work.

We have two side bars with information on coil guns and guns in the Midgard campaign setting. Both do a very good job of helping a GM visualize how to integrate these wild concepts into a game with verisimilitude.

Final Thoughts: There are a few mistakes in the form of typos here and there, but nothing to distract from what is a very good addition to the gun rules from Ultimate Combat. There is nothing here that ups the damage potential of guns by a significant degree while giving a lot of flavour and cool additions to the game. The steampunk archetypes are fantastic and a must have for that style of game. The Hellfire Preacher really puts this over the top for me. Probably the best addition to the gunpowder rules that I have seen so far. I would give this supplement four and a half stars out of five, but will round up to five for the Hellfire Preacher. Five out of Five Stars.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Now available!

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

8 people marked this as a favorite.

I haven't seen it post-development, but I know the author and she's pretty cool.

Liberty's Edge

She is indeed!

Wow. Crystal Frasier. Midgard guns stuff. Vril weaponry. Not sure I can resist this AT ALL! And with very nice cover art. This line rocks and we STILL don't even have a White Necromancer yet...

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Gimme time, man! Next up are fighters options.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ooh... gunslinger stuff! With Midgard gunslinger stuff!

Crystal, does this give any support to a scatter-gun style Gunslinger?

Vril weaponry? What's next, the Antarctic Space Nazis? (Sorry, but I've only heard of 'vril' in connection with occult/UFO Nazis.)

Seriously, though, this one sounds like it's one great PDF.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
This line rocks and we STILL don't even have a White Necromancer yet...

A crime which will be rectified soon ... very soon ... :)

And, regarding the Expanded Gunslinger - I'm not a big fan of the APG's gunslinger class personally (there is nothing wrong with the class, I'm just firmly in the "No Guns in My Game" camp :)

However, while I worked on the graphic design and layout for this, I of course read it and, I have to say, Crystal came up with some very cool stuff here! Fans of the gunslinger really need to pick this up, like, immediately!

Heck, after reading through it, the Expanded Gunslinger almost made me change my mind on gunslingers .... almost :)

stealth product post! Awesome!

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The novel that first introduced Vril predates the Nazis by about 60 years or so.

The coilgunner archetype in this PDF fits in neatly with vriltech or similar non-black-powder gunnery.

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

Cheapy wrote:
Crystal, does this give any support to a scatter-gun style Gunslinger?

The book focuses more on concepts and philosophies than speciliaizng in specific varieties of firearms. It does introduce the Black Powder Reaver, though, which is a barbarian archetype that specializes in getting up close and personal with firearms and don't care much about accuracy.

Wolfgang Baur wrote:

The novel that first introduced Vril predates the Nazis by about 60 years or so.

The coilgunner archetype in this PDF fits in neatly with vriltech or similar non-black-powder gunnery.

Thanks for that link and the brief explanation.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I totally blame Brandon Hodge for my growing understanding of Vril power. Someday, I am sure I will use this knowledge.

Until then, I can't believe Vril is from the same mind that gave us "It was a dark and stormy night."

Crystal Frasier wrote:
It does introduce the Black Powder Reaver, though, which is a barbarian archetype that specializes in getting up close and personal with firearms and don't care much about accuracy.

Whoa...sounds like a gunslinging Giff from Spelljammer. :P

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't know what you are accusing me sir, butI assure you I have never met this "Mr. Spelljammer" to whom you refer >.>

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Reviewed! I really loved this supplement, especially the archetypes. This Crystal Frasier person seems to know what she is doing! ;-)

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Thank you for your review, Feros!

And yes, the kobolds certainly hope that Crystal is available for a future engagement in design.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Very solid and fun stuff.
Are the Tundering God feats supposed to be style feats? It seems from the descriptoion that they should be, but they're not marked as such and the latter two don't mention the base feat as a requirement.

Also, should the Gunfighter lose Armour Mastery? Technically its not part of Armour Training and it always makes me double check when I see it left aloen when armour training goes (and the same with weapon mastery and weapon training).

Shadow Lodge

So, tell me about this Hellfire Preacher and Coilgunner I am hearing so much about...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Feros's review is pretty accurate on those two archeytpes. Clerics with lost faith due to seeing too many bad things happen to good and true servants of their god give up some of their divine power and decide to go get a gun and take revenge themselves. Coilgunners are mad scientist railgunners trusting to knowledge that may or may not be better left lost.

I just put up a review of my own, I hope it's both entertaining and helps make people want to buy this PDF. I seriously love both the Coilgunner and Futurist -- both great archetypes!

Are these available for hero lab or are you planing to make them available, because that would be cool.

Shadow Lodge

So what are the stats supposed to be for coilguns? Do we just use the stats of standard firearms and modify them with what the coilgun block talks about or are there supposed to be whole stat blocks for them?

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

Paul Watson wrote:

Very solid and fun stuff.

Are the Tundering God feats supposed to be style feats? It seems from the descriptoion that they should be, but they're not marked as such and the latter two don't mention the base feat as a requirement.

Yes, the Thundering God are style feats, and should have the previous iterations as prerequisites. Chalk that one up to my being too excited about the rest of the feat writeup to double-check my prereqs.

Paul Watson wrote:
Also, should the Gunfighter lose Armour Mastery? Technically its not part of Armour Training and it always makes me double check when I see it left aloen when armour training goes (and the same with weapon mastery and weapon training).

Armor Mastery is not an evolved form of Armor Training and isn't replaced if that class feature is.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Thanks for those answers, Crystal! We'll have an update on style feats and prereqs when folks recover from Gen Con.

What about coil guns?

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
What about coil guns?

I actually don't have an author copy yet, so I don't know if anything changed in development, but in my turnover it specifically calls out that coil guns function identically to blackpowder weapons, rules-wise. Here are the major differences:

Mechanically, coilguns function identically to firearms. They require alchemical fluid rather than black powder and fire steel or iron bullets, but the prices for ammunition remain the same. The only major difference is that coilguns have fewer moving parts, reducing their misfire chance by 1 (minimum 1), and new parts for them cannot be manufactured, only salvaged from ancient treasure hoards. Because of this, coilguns cost 50% more than the equivalent firearm, and are generally not available for purchase even if ordinary firearms are available in a campaign. Because of their unique nature, applying the shock or shocking burst weapon qualities to a coilgun costs 10% less.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Er, ah, author copy now sent! Sheesh, I must be further behind the Gen Con curve than I thought.

Thank you, Crystal!

Reviewed first on, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS! Cheers!

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Thank you for reviewing it!

I'm happy to hear it stands out among the many gunslinger PDFs--Crystal does great stuff.

Liberty's Edge

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New Paths Compendium includes:

  • 28 new archetypes for monks, ninjas, gunslingers, barbarians, fighters, clerics, and 7 Compendium classes
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  • Almost 100 new feats for new and existing classes

The seven Compendium classes each bring something new to your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game:

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  • The elven archer, deadly ranged fighter capable of astonishing feats of marksmanship
  • The savant, master of all trades (if only for an instant)
  • The all-new theurge class, combining arcane and divine power!

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New Paths Compendium

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