Optimizing Gunslinger (pistolero) build


Advice

Silver Crusade

I'm new to the Ultimate Combat book, and I'm wanting to play around with the gunslinger concept. I know some individuals are far more experienced with them than I am. So here I am before you asking for your most esteemed expertise.

Restrictions on the build:
I play PFS when I play a character. So, PFS rules apply.
Early firearms only (all the other builds I see on the forums for some reason are all advanced firearms)
20 pt buy
2 traits
Lvl 12 max

I tend to prefer human, but if you think another core race has it in the bag, I'm all ears.

I'm shooting for a pirate themed character, but I'm not sure how much that'll actually affect the build.

Show me whatcha got!

Silver Crusade

I would go for reliable double-barreled pistols and two-weapon fighting. The attack penalties hurt a lot, but with a high dex and while targeting Touch AC, this isn't so bad and has a good damage potential.
With Signature Deed, you get +3d6 damage from Up Close and Deadly at 0 grit cost, per attack.

At level 11, with TWFing, you have 5 attacks without even adding haste or rapid shot, so 10 bullets, so 10d6 just with Up Close and Deadly.

EDIT : whoops, I said something stupid. Will correct it later, can't do it now.

Silver Crusade

So.

Level 11, two +1 reliable D-B pistols, 24 Dex (+7), with Haste and Rapid Shot, TWFing :

BAB : +11/+6/+1
Ranged, TWFing (+7-4=+3): +14/+9/+4 +14/+9

Damage : 1d8+Dex+1+3d6 = 1d8+8+3d6

=> Haste (+1) and Rapid Shot (-2), +1 weapons : +14/+14/+14/+9/+4 +14/+9
=> Double Tapping the shots : (+10/+10)/(+10/+10)/(+10/+10)/(+5/+5)/(+0/+0) (+10/+10)/(+5/+5)

14 potential attacks with the most cheesing possible full-attack (not including any build with secondary naturral attacks). Your BAB sucks like a vacuum cleaner, but you are unleashing hell on your foes, and against their Touch AC. Beware of misfires, they will happen a lot and you risk explosion if you misfire on both attacks of a single double tap shot, so find yourself some good reliable weapons asap.

With Signature Deed, you have a potential 14d8+112+42d6 before any critical hit (but will never ever see it without being at least immune to misfire, and even then, it is statistically ridiculously low).

To reload, keep a free hand with a weapon cord and alternate main-hand/off-hand each round, or find yourself a glove of storing.


Maxximilius wrote:

So.

Level 11, two +1 reliable D-B pistols, 24 Dex (+7), with Haste and Rapid Shot, TWFing :

BAB : +11/+6/+1
Ranged, TWFing (+7-4=+3): +14/+9/+4 +14/+9

Damage : 1d8+Dex+1+3d6 = 1d8+8+3d6

=> Haste (+1) and Rapid Shot (-2), +1 weapons : +14/+14/+14/+9/+4 +14/+9
=> Double Tapping the shots : (+10/+10)/(+10/+10)/(+10/+10)/(+5/+5)/(+0/+0) (+10/+10)/(+5/+5)

14 potential attacks with the most cheesing possible full-attack (not including any build with secondary naturral attacks). Your BAB sucks like a vacuum cleaner, but you are unleashing hell on your foes, and against their Touch AC. Beware of misfires, they will happen a lot and you risk explosion if you misfire on both attacks of a single double tap shot, so find yourself some good reliable weapons asap.

With Signature Deed, you have a potential 14d8+112+42d6 before any critical hit (but will never ever see it without being at least immune to misfire, and even then, it is statistically ridiculously low).

To reload, keep a free hand with a weapon cord and alternate main-hand/off-hand each round, or find yourself a glove of storing.

Since this is a PFS build and cannot be houseruled, there is some doubt/confusion as to whether you can fire both barrels of a double-barreled pistol only once (like manyshot) or with each attack. There was a lot of discussion about it when UC first came out and I'm not sure if it was ever resolved.

Silver Crusade

It was resolved, you can do it. Heck, you can even fire both barrels during a Dead Shot for each attack your BAB gives you, firing at 11th level a potential of 6d12 with a musket, multiplied on a crit.

Just think again about the previous build. You have a metric-s%&! ton of attacks, but :

- you need to reload with alchemical cartridges, so without any reliable magic, you are doing 14 attacks with a 1-3 misfire range. If you misfire on one of your double-tap, it becomes a 1-5 misfire range, and explodes without you being able to stop it if your second bullet also misfires (a 1/4 chance).
- if 1 shot misfires, you get an additional -2 to attack and damage, an increased misfire range, and a critical modifier divided by 2 with this weapon until it the firearm is repaired.
- even against low-touch AC creatures (big monsters with range), you need to spend ressources not to provoke by reloading/shooting, and unless you are really lucky, you will not hit so much often than you will misfire.

The build only gets scary at level 13, when a pistolero firearms can't misfire anymore, and even then, you need to hit and be at close range, something you are not being the best at.

Silver Crusade

Maxximilius wrote:
Awesome build

Are you able to show me what you do level by level, and what stats you start with?

Silver Crusade

I'm working on a Chronomage wizard archetype right now so I'm a bit mind-fu/cked, but I can point you to this post. I don't agree with the full build (using distance weapons probably isn't a better idea than using reliable weapons) and there are some feats you could change the order of, but it globally shows how to do it.


Maxximilius wrote:
It was resolved, you can do it. Heck, you can even fire both barrels during a Dead Shot for each attack your BAB gives you, firing at 11th level a potential of 6d12 with a musket, multiplied on a crit.

Not that I don't believe you, but do you have a link for where it was resolved? I remember the debate but must have missed the conclusion and would like to see it for myself.

Silver Crusade

Here.
Whenever you can do the attack action (not the "standard action" one, just "attacking"), you can fire both barrels, thus doing two attacks rolls suffering each a -4 penalty.
Yep, it is potent, but more than risky until higher-mid/high levels, which the OP will never reach, and no more than a hasted archer who doesn't risk to get his weapon exploding and deals easily triple damage per arrow.
By RAW (and thus, in PFS) this is doable, and quickly, heavily punished by bad luck on the dice. No developers to my knowledge later denied the interpretation used in the previous build.

Liberty's Edge

The only problem I see is this:

"Loading a Firearm: You need at least one hand free to load one-handed and two-handed firearms."

Thus you could fire each of your two double pistols only once in a round for a total of four attacks.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Nice thread necromancy.

As mentioned, weapon cords (Advanced Player's Guide equipment), along with alchemical cartridges, allow you to maintain a high rate of fire while wielding two double-barrelled pistols.

Grand Lodge

I'm pretty sure Raise Thread is a 7th level spell. Sulaco is just that good.

I'm looking at finally convincing my DM to let me play a gunslinger (I'm in love with the flavor of the class), but I don't think D-B pistols will be something he green-lights. In all likelihood I'll be using a musket. Any advice for a prospective sniper?

Sczarni

Start a new thread and I would be more than happy to help you put something together, but if you don't start a new thread we will get a million people posting about the first few posts from a year ago and NOT your question.

Silver Crusade

Simply take the musket master archetype. The basic feats are the same than any other ranged class (Rapid Reload (musket), Rapid Shot at 3rd level as soon as you can reload as a free action, Precise Shot, PBS, Deadly Aim...). All damage and precision-based feats.

Take a primary sniper musket based on accuracy (Seeking, Distance + Far-Reaching Sight).
Later, take a secondary musket, double-barreled. Enhance it with elemental burst abilities, more about this later.
Get a glove of storing.

At higher levels, enjoy reloading one of the DB musket's barrel per round as a free action even without the Rapid Reload (DB musket) feat, thanks to lightning reload and the glove of storing. You only get Rapid Reload for simple muskets at level 1, remember. Do not forget that drawing/storing a weapon from a glove of storing or switching your weapons between each hand is a free action, so you can effectively draw/store/reload your sniper musket all day long and draw/switch/reload/switch/store your DB musket once per round.

Full-attack with your sniper musket from as far as possible. You hit Touch AC within 16 squares (80'). It will be your primary damage-dealing option.

Switch to your DB musket at the end of the round if enemies attempt to get close, so you can Snap Shot their butts with two bullets for the price of one attack of opportunity. If the enemy is too close/threatening you, draw your DB musket and use Dead Shot. At level 12 it's a potential (3x(2x1d12) + 2xDex + 2x1 + 2xMagic) 19-20x4 (so 24d12 + huge bonuses on a critical hit), and this attack only misfires if all 3 attack rolls at -4 penalty are misfires. Devastating when you need a big heavy hit to land on a close creature. Also, when your weapon is broken, it makes you pretty sure not to misfire with it unless you are the most unlucky guy on earth.
With the elemental burst enhancements, you get +1d6 bonus damage per bullet plus 3d10 in case of critical hit (so +2d6 per attack roll or dead shot, +6d10 per critical hit).
This will be your low-range (10' or less) damage option, which you can pull off once every two rounds at best and with enough grit. It will be enough to avoid taking too much AoO and deal average damage most of the time, or crazy damage on a critical hit if you are really lucky.

This is a costly but good build, able to both deal constant and solid damage from the safety of backlines with the sniper, and potentially tear new holes to melee foes closing range with the carbine.

Sczarni

Don't take Rapid Reload...you get it for free when you take the Musket Master Archtype. And I'd add Distance to a DB Musket and shoot it from 80 ft. out using both barrels each round. Double the bullets you put out...you shoot at touch AC so that -4 to hit with a high Dex isn't going to be significant enough to make you miss.

Silver Crusade

ossian666 wrote:
Don't take Rapid Reload...you get it for free when you take the Musket Master Archtype. And I'd add Distance to a DB Musket and shoot it from 80 ft. out using both barrels each round. Double the bullets you put out...you shoot at touch AC so that -4 to hit with a high Dex isn't going to be significant enough to make you miss.

A DB musket has a 10' base range, so Distance only brings it to 20', the level of a base pistol. While it can make for an awesome enforcer, close range high risk/reward gunslinger build, Dallimar asked for the exact opposite, which is a sniper build, usually shooting safe behind the lines with great accuracy.

Sczarni

I'm 99% sure they have said its a misprint...why would adding a barrel decrease the distance a gun can shoot by over 80%? The distance should be the same on both just like the double barrel pistol is the same as the regular pistol.

Silver Crusade

The "99%" probably comes from reading the posts of people repeatingly arguing this may be a misprint. I have seen no developer speaking about it being a mistake that needs to be corrected. Just check Ultimate Equipment - even in this book, there has been no stealth-errata and by RAW the DB musket's range remains 10'. The text on DB pistols and muskets isn't even the same and implies the DB pistol can only be fired for a double-tap once per round.

In the same fashion, the blunderbuss is terrible at it's job when compared to the Dragon pistol (+1 average damage for a longer reloading time and x2 multiplier instead of x4), but it does not seem to be a misprint either.

Sczarni

Then by RAW since it was printed a second time in Ultimate Equipment the Brass Knuckles fluff text says it works with Monk Unarmed Strikes.

I love Pathfinder and all the hardworking staff at Paizo, but the truth remains...their releases are plagued with typos, mistakes and errata. They probably haven't fixed it because anyone with a third grade reading comprehension can look at it and go, "hmmm why would adding a barrel to a musket decrease the range to be LESS than a pistol? Even worse why doesn't the range on the double barrel pistol decrease as well to be even less than the musket...5 ft.?"


The biggest problem I had with my pistolero had nothing to do with the load times. My problem was that each back powder charge is 10g, and each bullet is 1g. Even if you take alchemy yourself so you can make the alchemical paper cartridges, it is still 11g in parts. so in a round where you shoot something like:

Double Tapping the shots : (+10/+10)/(+10/+10)/(+10/+10)/(+5/+5)/(+0/+0) (+10/+10)/(+5/+5)

... that is 14 shots!

Sure it is hella damage down field/round, but it is also 154 gold/round.


gunsmithing reduces powder costs though so you may have gotten a raw deal there...


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pun somewhat intended.

Silver Crusade

Again, this is not a so great issue since it seems a single DB pistol can only be double-tapped on a single attack per round. The DB musket does not suffer from this issue but has also a much smaller range and bigger penalties involved.

Sovereign Court

I got a question, and I haven't been able to track down an answer yet.

At 5th level, the Pistolero gets Pistol Training, but nothing I've seen says it gives up Gun Training. Does that mean you can choose Pistols for your gun training at 5th level and add Dexterity to Damage twice?

Also, do you need a hand free to reload a Fire arm?

Sovereign Court

Never mind, found the answer to my second question.


Dragonchess Player wrote:

Nice thread necromancy.

As mentioned, weapon cords (Advanced Player's Guide equipment), along with alchemical cartridges, allow you to maintain a high rate of fire while wielding two double-barrelled pistols.

Can you define High Rate of Fire? Are holding a pistol, reloading it for all it's iterative attacks and then dropping that one and picking up the other to do all it's iteratives? I think I just thought through the answer to my own question.


Ok I am a noob and confused about this

Level 11, two +1 reliable D-B pistols, 24 Dex (+7), with Haste and Rapid Shot, TWFing :

BAB : +11/+6/+1
Ranged, TWFing (+7-4=+3): +14/+9/+4 +14/+9

Damage : 1d8+Dex+1+3d6 = 1d8+8+3d6

=> Haste (+1) and Rapid Shot (-2), +1 weapons : +14/+14/+14/+9/+4 +14/+9
=> Double Tapping the shots : (+10/+10)/(+10/+10)/(+10/+10)/(+5/+5)/(+0/+0) (+10/+10)/(+5/+5)

So I get with a double barel pistol you can attack twice with it. So in a full round action you can atck 4 times IE if your dual weilding So tahts one for each barrel. I understand at 11 level u can attack 3 times. So you can do this three times so thats 3x4 = 12 attacks.

So how does this get to 14 attacks Im confused lol. Sorry I just been reading alot and just kinda confused

I wanna run a dual weilding pistolero also so i read this thread.

Silver Crusade

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You could perform 3 attacks from your high BAB, +1 with Rapid Shot + another 1 for Haste ; plus one or more off-hand attacks with TWFing feats.

You still need to reload or switch your gun between each double-tap, unless you shoot only one barrel at a time so you can fire your gun twice before needing to reload.

To do a full-round attack with DB pistols you first need to be able to reload them after each shot... and recovering a weapon from a weapon cord is now a move action, which means you'd need to invest in additional guns if you wish to really bring it out.

A typical round would go like this :

- double-tap main gun (1st primary attack)
- reload main gun (free actions with the feat and alchemical cartridge)
- draw off-hand gun (free action with quick draw)
- double tap off-hand gun (1st off-hand attack)
- double tap main gun (2nd primary attack)
- drop main gun
- reload off-hand gun with your main hand now free
- double tap off-hand gun (2nd off-hand attack)
- reload off-hand gun with your main hand now free
- now use your off-hand weapon as your main weapon : keep the double-tap/reload until you have no primary attacks left
- pick up a new gun for your off-hand attacks next round

I know you aren't supposed to legally use an off-hand weapon as a main hand weapon in the middle of a full-round attack, but the sheer idea that I have a loaded weapon in my hand but cannot keep attacking despite having a loaded weapon in my hand (unless of course I drop this loaded weapon to draw another loaded weapon) is just too stupid to contemplate.

Considering you still need to drop one gun per round, I'd say it's even.

BTW, gloves of storing allow you to hide or recover a single gun inside them as a free action. Switching weapons in your hands is a free action... so you can basically just shoot, reload, get your gun back from the glove, switch weapons, store the loaded gun, shoot the new gun as off-hand, reload, recover your main, switch, etc etc etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Xion wrote:

Ok I am a noob and confused about this

Level 11, two +1 reliable D-B pistols, 24 Dex (+7), with Haste and Rapid Shot, TWFing :
...

The original build utilized weapon cords which was recently changed.

I asked a similar question here:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2q9sq?Explain-the-PistoleroWeapon-Cord-12-attac ks

While people argued that the mechanics were silly, it was technically legal until recently.

There was also debate that it brought gunslinger damage up to archer builds. However I have not found a numeric breakdown of DPR.


To maintain a TWF rate-of-fire now (post weapon cord FAQ) requires a dip (2 levels of alchemist for a vestigial hand works), magic item (cheapest I've seen is a monkey belt, or being a teilfing/grippi with a prehensile tail/tongue. I'm not certain that switching weapons between hands is a free action if both hands are full, moving a weapon into an empty hand would fall under this FAQ but I am unaware of any official ruling which says switching weapons between hands both of which have weapons in them is a free action. A monkey belt costs slightly less than a glove of storing and has a +2 dex BUT it only lasts for 5 minutes/day AND also takes the same slot as a belt-of-exceptional-dexterity/beneficial- bandolier.

The problem with the TWF double barreled pistol build is misfires, prior to level 13 when pistoleros cease to misfire, misfires are going to decrease the rate of fire. Racially the best option is to be a dwarf gunslinger which can use the dwarf favored class option to lower the chance of misfire. The are a number of ways to use magic items to lower the chance of misfire as well, but none in the 400GP range.

To make 18 hit rolls (9 attacks) with two double barreled pistols as a tiefling you would need a build something like this :

  • be level 16+ at least 13 of which are gunslinger (pistolero archetype)
  • have prehensile tail alternative racial trait
  • have grasping tail racial feat
  • have greater TWF feat
  • have rapid shot feat
  • be hasted
  • have tons of alchemical cartridges
  • have quick draw feat

and your combat sequence might look something like this:
round 1: both hands empty


  • draw main-hand pistol as a free action
  • fire main-hand pistol first attack using full BAB -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol hasted attack using BAB -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol rapid shot attack using BAB -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol second iterative attack(BAB-5) -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol third iterative attack(BAB-10) -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol fourth iterative attack(BAB-15) -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • drop main-hand pistol on the ground so both hands are empty as a free action
  • draw off-hand pistol as a free action
  • fire off-hand pistol first attack using full BAB -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload off-hand pistol using main-hand which is empty
  • fire off-hand pistol second iterative (improved TWF feat) TWF attack(BAB-5) -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload off-hand pistol using main-hand which is empty
  • fire off-hand pistol third iterative (greater TWF feat) TWF attack(BAB-10) for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload off-hand pistol using main-hand which is empty

round 2: off-hand has pistol in it


  • make 5' step so targets are at optimal range
  • fire off-hand pistol first attack using full BAB -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload off-hand pistol using main-hand which is empty
  • fire off-hand pistol second iterative (improved TWF feat) TWF attack(BAB-5) -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload off-hand pistol using main-hand which is empty
  • fire off-hand pistol third iterative (greater TWF feat) TWF attack(BAB-10) for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload off-hand pistol using main-hand which is empty
  • drop off-hand pistol on ground as a free action so both hands are empty
  • retrieve main-hand pistol from adjacent square with your tail and put it in your hand
  • fire main-hand pistol first attack using full BAB -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol hasted attack using BAB -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol rapid shot attack using BAB -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol second iterative attack(BAB-5) -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol third iterative attack(BAB-10) -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty
  • fire main-hand pistol fourth iterative attack(BAB-15) -2 for rapid shot +1 for haste -4 for TWF with non-light weapons, 2 hit rolls versus one target
  • reload main-hand pistol using off-hand which is empty

It works, but is not advised for the lactose intolerant.


Dont forget that double barreled pistol and pistol aren't the same weapon for the weapon feats like rapid-reload.

It is important for the Pistolero power and the choice of feat at level 1.

it probably also mean the Pistol training at level 5 did NOT applmy to double-barreled pistol.

"Even though the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) feat grants you proficiency with all firearms, anytime you take a feat that modifies a single type of weapon (such as Weapon Focus or Rapid Reload), you must still pick one specific type of firearm (such as musket, axe musket, blunderbuss, pistol, or double pistol) for that feat to affect."


Maxximilius wrote:

The "99%" probably comes from reading the posts of people repeatingly arguing this may be a misprint. I have seen no developer speaking about it being a mistake that needs to be corrected. Just check Ultimate Equipment - even in this book, there has been no stealth-errata and by RAW the DB musket's range remains 10'. The text on DB pistols and muskets isn't even the same and implies the DB pistol can only be fired for a double-tap once per round.

In the same fashion, the blunderbuss is terrible at it's job when compared to the Dragon pistol (+1 average damage for a longer reloading time and x2 multiplier instead of x4), but it does not seem to be a misprint either.

Surely you don't a believe a musket is supposed to have a shorter range than a pistol? Read the FAQ here.

Silver Crusade

Wolfmang wrote:
Maxximilius wrote:

The "99%" probably comes from reading the posts of people repeatingly arguing this may be a misprint. I have seen no developer speaking about it being a mistake that needs to be corrected. Just check Ultimate Equipment - even in this book, there has been no stealth-errata and by RAW the DB musket's range remains 10'. The text on DB pistols and muskets isn't even the same and implies the DB pistol can only be fired for a double-tap once per round.

In the same fashion, the blunderbuss is terrible at it's job when compared to the Dragon pistol (+1 average damage for a longer reloading time and x2 multiplier instead of x4), but it does not seem to be a misprint either.

Surely you don't a believe a musket is supposed to have a shorter range than a pistol? Read the FAQ here.

Dude, the FAQ came almost a year after my post.

This doesn't change the fact that blunderbusses still suck balls.

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