musket sniper


Advice

Liberty's Edge

I was trying to build a sniper around the idea of ,Cairn the longshot from Trigun.
I was going to use 5 lvls of Gunslinger; musket master,
than take rogue 6 lvls, sniper archetype with gives me the +10 feet for sneak attack per 3 lvls, than take rogue talents and use ninja trick talent and use all three talents on deadly range will add 30 ft to my sneak attack to a total of 80 feet. Than with the distance magic on my musket plus the musket master ability it would make the first range increment 100 ft.
My feat selection would be, point blank shot, precise shot, improved precise shot, rapid shot for sure
maybe wpn focus, snap shot, snap shot improved, and improved initiative

what do you think of this idea.


You might get better performance out of going 7 levels of bolt ace with a double crossbow and using Dead Shot plus Sharp Shoot. 2 Grit gets you touch AC out to 80', 160' with Distance enchantment. assuming rapid shot and bracers of falcon's aim and a DEX of 20, you are looking at 6D8 + 10 with 17-20/X4 (Criticals would be 15D8 + 40). That's how i would simulate a sniper character at least. maybe the GM would be cool with re-flavouring the crossbow as a giant rifle?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Muskets are loud.

Very loud.

You will need many Oils of Silence to even attempt this.


Is this for Pathfinder Society or a home game?

Liberty's Edge

this is for pathfinder society


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blackbloodtroll wrote:

Muskets are loud.

Very loud.

You will need many Oils of Silence to even attempt this.

Just curious since I don't use firearms at all. Is there an actual rule in-game for the volume of a musket (or other firearm)?

Because, if not, then by RAW muskets might not be any louder than longbows or thrown daggers - they all make the same sound (the sound of a d20 rolling on the table).


Your biggest issue is going to be reliably getting sneak attack with a ranged weapon.

I have thought of character concepts along this line as well. Utilizing a double barrel musket, vital strike, and sneak attack (probably wouldn't get SA on both bullets). The issue is having a mechanism for reliably getting SA.
1) Gazzling display route, Gory finish works well with this concept.
2) Go ninja and utilize vanish. Probably best synergizes with a mysterious stranger for Cha focus.
3) Scout also works well for a mobile ranged rogue but it takes 8 lvls to get a sneak attack after a move. So by the time you get your signature attack you are retiring.


So I don't play PFS but from the comments I've seen about it I'm not sure this will be a viable character (or you're putting too much into longer range combat). I've been led to believe that a lot of combat in PFS takes place in small, enclosed spaces that you can't get out of. This may be entirely wrong, so hopefully someone with actual experience on PFS can speak up.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Muskets are loud.

Very loud.

You will need many Oils of Silence to even attempt this.

Just curious since I don't use firearms at all. Is there an actual rule in-game for the volume of a musket (or other firearm)?

Because, if not, then by RAW muskets might not be any louder than longbows or thrown daggers - they all make the same sound (the sound of a d20 rolling on the table).

Common sense.

The rules don't say water is wet, or that wood can't provide sustenance, but that don't mean you should decide water is dry, and wood makes a healthy breakfast.


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I would lump it in with "the sound of battle" and give it a perception DC of -10.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
blackbloodtroll wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Muskets are loud.

Very loud.

You will need many Oils of Silence to even attempt this.

Just curious since I don't use firearms at all. Is there an actual rule in-game for the volume of a musket (or other firearm)?

Because, if not, then by RAW muskets might not be any louder than longbows or thrown daggers - they all make the same sound (the sound of a d20 rolling on the table).

Common sense.

The rules don't say water is wet, or that wood can't provide sustenance, but that don't mean you should decide water is dry, and wood makes a healthy breakfast.

You're right, of course.

But the rules DO give very specific rules on how to used ranged weapons to make ranged attacks, with and without sniping. Also very specific rules on how to use Stealth to hide from enemies and how to use Perception to find Stealthy attackers.

All of this is EXPLICITLY in the rules.

Now while common sense says guns are loud and we should ignore some of those explicit rules, that DOES force us to create a bunch of house rules for just this kind of ranged weapon to handle an imaginary problem that isn't specifically or explicitly excepted in the rules.

While your other examples about making water dry and wood edible are cute, those changes don't really require a bunch of house rules to create new mechanics that don't exist in the book.

In short, the devs made firearms do the same thing that longbows or crossbows do, then they altered a few mechanics for them such as misfires and touch attacks, and left us to use the existing mechanics for everything else. If they had wanted to make it impossible to Snipe with firearms, they could have included that when they altered those other mechanics - but they didn't.


Lab_Rat wrote:
I would lump it in with "the sound of battle" and give it a perception DC of -10.

So it's pretty much impossible to use sniping with firearms in your game? Except at extreme long ranges (extreme for any typical distance for encounters in this game) where the distance penalty offsets this awful DC - and of course there is no Sneak Attack at those ranges.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You don't need houserules.

Some things don't have listed Perception DCs, but creating one is not a houserule, just one using established rules to create a DC.

Also, there is the -2/+2 Circumstance bonus, that a DM can apply to anything he/she likes.

There is no listed Perception DC for hearing a barrel of gunpowder explode, but we know it's not silent.

Why do you think they explicitly listed the price of Oils of Silence, in the same book, and in the same section, as they introduced firearms?


blackbloodtroll wrote:

You don't need houserules.

...

Why do you think they explicitly listed the price of Oils of Silence, in the same book, and in the same section, as they introduced firearms?

An excellent question. But not one from which we can deduce that firearms are so noisy that sniping is impossible, nor one from which we can deduce a proper Perception modifier to hear firearms. In fact, the Oil of Silence, while it suggests that firearms are noisy, it provides absolutely ZERO rules, not even the hint of a modifier, for what a firearm does without the oil.

Firearm snipers existed in the real world before silencers were employed. Common snipers in WWI and WWII used unsilenced rifles (although some silencers were used in WWII, just not always).

Of course, Pathfinder is not real life. We all know that.

But to suggest that firearms are so loud that sniping is impossible, without any rules text anywhere to support that, is imposing a made-up rule to limit firearms.

That absolutely IS house-rule territory.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I didn't say it was impossible.

Just really hard.

Also, Silencers don't really exist.

There are suppressors, but even on modern firearms, they are still loud.

It was suggested that Bows and Muskets made the same amount of noise when fired.

I disagreed. I also said, in not the exact same words, that having them make no more sound than a Bow, was a silly idea.

That's all that happened.


Ok so the first questions is how effective a character you want vs how well do you want it to adhere to Caine?

If I was to model Caine as a PF character I would go 1 level of warpriest with the air blessing (you no longer take a penalty for range increments). Even though there are no penalties, you are still limited by max range, so let try and maximize that. Musket master is a good starting point, and goes well with the double hackbut (longest range gun, require an action to set up the tripod. Exactly like Caine's). Add in the distance weapon enhancement and drink a potion of longshot and we have a nice starting place: (50ft base +10ft musket master +10ft longshot) X2 from distance X10 max range. so 1400ft or 280 battle mat squares.

Now lets assume you want to maximize combat effectiveness: musket master is still a good call (free rapid reload). level 5 gives you dex to damage which is nice, or you can go rogue/slayer for extra damage. Normally I would suggest getting ranged SA by casting obscuring mist and wearing a fog cutting lenses, but with this character you want sniper goggles (affordable at lvl 6 or 7) so you can SA at any range. As such you need a level of wave mystery oracle (or fire or any of the other fog vision granting classes). So I would probably go 5 musket master, 1 oracle, and then finish rogue (or slayer for less damage but more accuracy). Not Caine at all, but bounty hunter slayer can technically get dirty tricks at range when they SA so there can be some fun with that.


Um, Far-Reaching Sight and Kinsight Goggles ... you have a gunslinger sniper


DM_Blake wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Muskets are loud.

Very loud.

You will need many Oils of Silence to even attempt this.

Just curious since I don't use firearms at all. Is there an actual rule in-game for the volume of a musket (or other firearm)?

Because, if not, then by RAW muskets might not be any louder than longbows or thrown daggers - they all make the same sound (the sound of a d20 rolling on the table).

I sm going to go 6 of one, half dozen of another there.

The thing with arrows and daggers is that they are relatively large, and they move at speeds that can be rather visible. So the target might spot the thing (not have enough time to react, of course, but enough to tell where it came from). In comparison, musket balls are small and move at a speed that is exceedingly hard to spot.

So there are equal indicators either way, just using different senses. That is how I justify that penalty to stealth for shooting.

Scarab Sages

Horas Ebonfeather wrote:
I was trying to build a sniper around the idea of ,Cairn the longshot from Trigun.

The guy with the ridiculously long gun? Love him, just such a funny character.

I think it would work fine in casual play, but I've found that long range is very tough for PFS missions. Just not too many big maps. PFS also seems rather opposed to the "one shot, one kill" design that a sniper should be focused on.

Scarab Sages

Anyway, if you want a sniper rifle user for PFS, I'd make a blow gun user, and just refer the blowgun in-game as a silenced rifle.


Horas Ebonfeather wrote:

I was trying to build a sniper around the idea of ,Cairn the longshot from Trigun.

I was going to use 5 lvls of Gunslinger; musket master,
than take rogue 6 lvls, sniper archetype with gives me the +10 feet for sneak attack per 3 lvls, than take rogue talents and use ninja trick talent and use all three talents on deadly range will add 30 ft to my sneak attack to a total of 80 feet. Than with the distance magic on my musket plus the musket master ability it would make the first range increment 100 ft.
My feat selection would be, point blank shot, precise shot, improved precise shot, rapid shot for sure
maybe wpn focus, snap shot, snap shot improved, and improved initiative

what do you think of this idea.

I realize that this is pretty late. But irl the suppressor placed on a sniper rifle isn't designed to stop people from hearing you. It's been my experience that suppressed weapons are loud as f%##. A suppressors main job is to prevent spotters from seeing the muzzle flare. Snipers are trying to sneak in, collect data, make one shot if they have to, and leave without being seen unless they're in overwatching positions and then in that situation, their stealth isn't usually that necessary.

I do realize that this is a fantasy game, I just hope some irl stuff can lend some ideas to the character concept. Oil of silence is a neat magic item tho seeing as it completely mutes the weapon, tho doesn't necessarily stop the flash or the cloud of smoke usually associated with black powder weapons.

The Exchange

Horas Ebonfeather wrote:

I was trying to build a sniper around the idea of ,Cairn the longshot from Trigun.

I was going to use 5 lvls of Gunslinger; musket master,
than take rogue 6 lvls, sniper archetype with gives me the +10 feet for sneak attack per 3 lvls, than take rogue talents and use ninja trick talent and use all three talents on deadly range will add 30 ft to my sneak attack to a total of 80 feet. Than with the distance magic on my musket plus the musket master ability it would make the first range increment 100 ft.
My feat selection would be, point blank shot, precise shot, improved precise shot, rapid shot for sure
maybe wpn focus, snap shot, snap shot improved, and improved initiative

what do you think of this idea.

To avoid the arguments about sniping and sound, just head into Spellslinger Wizard after your 5th level in gunslinger and cast Invisibility and Silence on yourself. At 10th you can jump into Eldritch Knight to pump up the BAB again, and you'll be able to cast Greater Invisibility for some serious sniping.

Or alternatively, Musket Master 5, Rogue (Sniper) 1, pick up Accomplished Sneak Attacker while taking Wizard (Spellslinger) 3, then take Arcane Trickster to continue advancing spells and sneak attack.
Even more ways snipe. Speaking of which, Sniper Goggles will let you make ranged sneak attacks from any distance, so you'll want to pick those up regardless.

Liberty's Edge

If I go the alchemist archtype, gun chemist I can get my damage up there with potions of silence, longshot, etc. Take gun chemist at lvl 6 and from then on, or maybe dabble in slayer, sniper archtype as well


I fully realize that the previous message was a "Arise chicken Arise" necro. But. since this is still common questions.. for sniping and such.

Gloves of Whispering
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/e-g/glove s-whispering/

This lets your Musket fire as much as it likes with no noise.

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/e-g/gogg les-sniper-goggles/
Sniper googles. Sneak Attack from any range.

Not cheap investments though...

Those combined with Far Reaching sight.

That can make a sneak attacker long range.

All that said. these days I would rather build it out of a Gunchemist, Extracts like True Strike and other buffs. Combo with Conductive.
you get One bullet, double Bomb damage, Touch AC.

could probably take Toxciant as well replacing mutagen (Cause doesn't fit anywy) and add some poison to that one shot.
hit.. and leave. or move. but if you do it near max increment.. well... hard to find you

Liberty's Edge

Zwordsman wrote:

I fully realize that the previous message was a "Arise chicken Arise" necro. But. since this is still common questions.. for sniping and such.

Gloves of Whispering
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/e-g/glove s-whispering/

This lets your Musket fire as much as it likes with no noise.

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/e-g/gogg les-sniper-goggles/
Sniper googles. Sneak Attack from any range.

Not cheap investments though...

Those combined with Far Reaching sight.

thankyou, those items will be very useful, is it possibly to combine it with the archetype winged marauder to give you even more flexibility and mobility, not to mention some flare.

how did you get double bomb damage?


Think your quotes went a little awry there.. So If I misss a question let me know~

I don't know the winged maruder archetype but hope it works for ya.

bomb damage.
This works whether Gunchemist or normal chemist. (though for normal chemist you need the lv 4 discovery. explossive missile )
Base bomb on bullet daamge (either gunchemist base or explossive missle). Then also Conductive on the rifle. As both abilities are SU, they can be used via conductive.

This uses 3 bomb uses for 2 iterations (well technically "1 bomb" damage and "1 bomb-like" damage) of bomb damage for the one shot.
Generally speaking if you are shooting a bomb, you are less likely to be doing a full attack.

Explossive Missile discovery is a standard action; until level 8 anyway with a discovery.
Gunchemist's requires you to load the bullet(and only last X long) but is no specific action. (though only one per round until a lv 8 discovery) .

So with gunchemist you can combine with say, shot on the run, or vital strike (likely vital with the sniper concept)

Oh. if you are doing it "not gunchemist" and have normal bombs, there are the bomb adjustment extracts which could net you more INT damage.


In PFS you will be short range a lot, very much a lot. Therefore, "sniping" is not a great option. However, a 5th musket master gunslinger with 5 levels of rogue and 1 level of sorcerer can be very effective with a view to using the 1st round of combat to 'get in the sneak attack' and then simply contributing decent damage after that. I wouldn't be concerned about 1 shot kills, because PFS is centered around party, not one gal running around and one-shooting everything. This is what I suggest:

Gun: Double hackbut

Important Feats:
1. point blank shot
2. precise shot
3. weapon focus double hackbut
4. improved unarmed strike (to get monkey style)
5. monkey style (You will need this when you land on your butt after shooting a double hackbut without the carriage.)
6. deadly aim
7. vital strike

You will need to invest skill ranks in climb (for monkey style) and stealth (for that 1st shot sneak attack).

Dipping 1 level unchained monk gets improved unarmed strike without sacrificing BAB, but dipping 1 level Master of Many Styles monk gets the monkey style without sacrificing a character feat.

The sorcerer gets you true strike (and some useful utility spells at the expense of +1 BAB).

If you are willing to forego the sneak attack damage, then levels of fighter gets more feats (could be devastating strike, improved critical, weapon specialization, point blank master), or levels of ranger gets more skill points and a few extra feats (Guide archetype gets bonuses to hit and damage on focussed targets as a swift action).

The double hackbut used without the carriage takes a -4 on attack rolls and lands you on your butt, but at 50' range the attack is a touch attack and at longer range you can spend a grit to make it a touch attack.


Pink Dragon wrote:

In PFS .... This is what I suggest:

Gun: Double hackbut

Was there a change to make the double hackbut PFS-legal?

Liberty's Edge

Zwordsman, yes my questions did go awry, sorry about that. You did answer my questions as well, thankyou.

The winged marauder archetype is for goblins only ( but my DM allows me to use it with other races) and it gives me a flying mount at lvl 1.

I think I am going to go the vital strike route because it fits the sniper concept better, thought the multiple attacks might be able to put out more damage.

Pink Dragon, yes I will be using the double hackbut as my main firearm. The beauty of this concept is that I might be able to make this character in a normal campaign as well.

So besides the feats:
1. point blank shot
2. precise shot
3. weapon focus double hackbut
4. improved initiative
5. improved critical (hackbut)
6. deadly aim
7. vital strike
8. improved vital strike
9. greater vital strike

maybe: clustered shots, devastating strike, penetrating strike, penetrating strike greater, precise shot improved, endurance, to get weathered warrior.


Smallfoot wrote:


Was there a change to make the double hackbut PFS-legal?

Ah heck. I hadn't noticed that. Thanks for pointing it out.


Be a Strix...

Take one level of Bolt Ace Gunslinger followed by one level of Sniper Slayer, allows you to target touch AC and have them flat footed out to the first range increment of a masterwork crossbow of your choice.

Once you get sneak attack, probably from a certain Inquisitor archetype, you can snipe/sneak attack/bane out to ~120'.

No suppressor or silencing oil required.


DM_Blake wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Muskets are loud.

Very loud.

You will need many Oils of Silence to even attempt this.

Just curious since I don't use firearms at all. Is there an actual rule in-game for the volume of a musket (or other firearm)?

Because, if not, then by RAW muskets might not be any louder than longbows or thrown daggers - they all make the same sound (the sound of a d20 rolling on the table).

Oke, I love out of the ordinary rule questions.

First, we need to know if there are perception based DC's for hearing for sounds we have in the real world. The perception "notice something" table on D20pfsrd gives us 2 data points of which we know the dB from:
Talking and whispering:
Talking is a DC 0 and gives us 70 dB.
Whispering is a DC 15 and gives us 20 dB.
This gives us a formula of DC=-0.3xdB+21

A flintlock gun generates about 155 dB of noise.
-0.3x155+21=DC -26.

Keeping in mind this is from 5 feet away. You won't fire a musket this close. A musket has a range of 5 x 40 ft. = 200 ft.
For every 10 feet, a +1 gets added to the DC.
This will give us a Perception DC of -6.

Hm... This sucks..
Just buy some oil of silence, and you should be good to go...

Liberty's Edge

Or gloves of whispering to negate all noise from any firearm used, more than a one time use.


Horas Ebonfeather wrote:
Or gloves of whispering to negate all noise from any firearm used, more than a one time use.

Pretty damn expensive I must say, but it is a good catch. I just assume he has an antipaladin, bard, cleric, oracle, inquisitor, mesmerist, or psychic in the group. He can cast silence on a rock or something and just put it in your pocket.


Sniper is easier with a longbow. The sniper slayer archetype let's you deal sneak attack from the first range increment rather than 30 feet. Also there's an advanced talent that let's you reduce sniping penalty to 10.

Grand Lodge

3 levels of Slayer with rapid shot as a ranger combat feat at 2, 8 levels unchained rogue nets you only 1 level delay in sneak attack progression and allows you to have all the feats necessary as a Halfling to pick up Go Unnoticed, Master Sniper, and Hellcat Stealth, as well as picking up Skill Unlock (Stealth) and the Expert Sniper feat to completely negate the sniping penalty. Pop into stealth on the first round when enemies dont see you, thanks to Go Unnoticed, then use hellcat stealth to snipe twice from anywhere. It's all within the realm of PFS play, too.

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