The Handcannoneer: a BFG gunslinger archetype kicking arses with cannonballs


Homebrew and House Rules

Silver Crusade

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A bit like what the Titan Mauler is to melee characters, the handcannoneer wields heavy firearms more akin to siege weapons than pistols to break castles and puny enemies alike. Written for a fellow player who got in love at first sight when I explained the concept to him (and who will probably play it as soon as possible, incidentally). This archetype may particularly fit a dwarf both conceptually and mechanically, but all races may become awesome handcannoneers !

Here is a link to the Handcannoneer's google doc presentation.

It's still a work in progress, and some abilities may change when I get to reread it with a clear mind. I hope you will like it !


Great concept, especialyl for campaigns that might incorporate monstorus races.


Oh man. This needs to happen.
This is a fantastic archetype! I'm gonna pitch this to my resident Gunslinger player and see what he thinks. Maybe I'll make a villain for them as well... HAHAHAH.

Now if only I can find a way to let the 3.5 feat 'Brutal Throw' to work with cannons...


I read it and instantly had a picture of a a dreamscarred press's half-giant wielding a cannon. With them working on racial class archetypes, please consider posting it on their boards maybe you could get it published.

Silver Crusade

Thanks guys, I'm glad you like it ! (If you want MOAR, be sure to check in my profile for a link to my other archetypes. I also did the bone-conjurer, a necromancer summoner archetype that isn't in my document yet.)

While the benefit granted by Brutal Throw would be obvious, you shouldn't require this feat to be efficient. The archetype is voluntarily a bit MAD (multiple attribute dependent), in that you will probably need at least 13 Str and 14 Con at 1st level to wield a good armor, your weapon and ammunition. But your weapon deals huge base damage, and it's penalties to attack rolls (if any) are partially then later totally offset and even provide you with more options whether you choose to have a stable, immovible weapon or an unstable you may move everywhere. In addition, you will have a good protection and survivability; and you will be able to use your Str modifier to CMD and several melee attacks (unlike most gunslingers who would avoid these situations like pest). At higher levels, mithral will be your best friend to reduce the strain on carrying capacity.

I'll show this to my impatient fellow player (who will probably squeal like a little girl) and in some months after playtest I'll see if any modifications are necessary. One type of ammunition I may add is the blank load : it would fire no projectile but double the recoil and bonus granted to the following melee attack roll by the recoil slam deed (you would typically use it to propel yourself against a target).


Look great and balanced so far ^_^

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I updated the Handcannoneer's document with two new types of ammunition.
The battered culverin also receives the hardness and hit points of a two-handed blade, more representative of a cannon's sturdiness than the 5/5 of a puny pistol or refined musket.

I'll let you know how it turns out when the player gets to playtest it. Since he's also the DM and already playing a drow bone-conjurer he loves, we'll see how and when he will operate the characters switch.

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