Help me build my techslinger?


Advice


I'm rolling up a techslinger for a prospective Iron Gods campaign. The concept I have in mind is a character with a robotic arm (perhaps with a implanted gun in that arm at later levels) who uses covet charge to fire his tech weapon with the robot arm whilst taking a single level dip in swashbuckler so he can fish for crits with his melee weapon in his other hand to gain panache to use with covet charge. At level 11 he takes signature deed and from level 12 onwards he starts using a railgun with dead shot for massive single-target shots (via heavy weaponry deeds). It's not the biggest baddest build possible, but I reckon it'll be fun! Now I just need to get it to work. That's where I consult the peanut gallery. =)

Race: Half-elf (Kindred-raised)
Stats (20 pt buy):
Str - 8 (-2 points)
Dex - 18 (10 points)
Con - 12 (2 points)
Int - 8 (-2 points)
Wis - 12 (2 points)
Cha - 18 (10 points)

Level progression:
Level 1 - Swashbuckler - Deeds, Panache, Swashbuckler finesse, feat?
Level 2 - Techslinger - Deeds (including covet charge), Grit, Gunsmith
Level 3 - Techslinger - nimble +1, feat: Opening Volley
Level 4 - Techslinger -
Level 5 - Techslinger - feat, bonus feat
Level 6 - Techslinger - technic training
Level 7 - Techslinger - nimble +2, feat
Level 8 - Techslinger -
Level 9 - Techslinger - feat, bonus feat
Level10 - Techslinger - technic training 2
Level11 - Techslinger - nimble +2, Signature Deed - Covet Charge
Level12 - Techslinger - heavy weaponry deeds

So far, I only really have 2 feats decided, which are opening volley at level 3 and signature deed at level 11. That leaves me with 6 feats to play around with. Feats from level 13 onwards will probably be spent on impressive grit.
Essential items are at the moment an adamantine +1 keen agile rapier, a cybernetic arm and the first tech pistol I find.

Keeping in mind that I won't have an issue with reloading (using charges in a tech weapon) what feats and items should I take to maximise my combat effectiveness? What archetype should I pick for my swashbuckler if any? What other classes should I consider for my progression after level 12?


Updated level progression:

Level progression:
Level 1 - Swashbuckler - Deeds, Panache, Swashbuckler finesse, feat?
Level 2 - Techslinger - Deeds (including covet charge), Grit, Gunsmith
Level 3 - Techslinger - nimble +1, feat: Opening Volley
Level 4 - Techslinger -
Level 5 - Techslinger - feat, bonus feat
Level 6 - Techslinger - technic training
Level 7 - Techslinger - nimble +2, feat
Level 8 - Techslinger -
Level 9 - Techslinger - Feat: Improved Critical Gravity Gun, Bonus Feat: Improved Critical Rail gun
Level10 - Techslinger - technic training 2
Level11 - Techslinger - nimble +2, Signature Deed - Covet Charge
Level12 - Techslinger - heavy weaponry deeds

Still have 4 feats left to fill and would love suggestions.


If you focused the build, you might have fun removing the Swashbuckler level and using Empty Quiver style.


Secret Wizard wrote:
If you focused the build, you might have fun removing the Swashbuckler level and using Empty Quiver style.

The purpose of the swashbuckler level is to help with the fact that I am essentially using grit/panache for tech ammunition (per the ruling that grit and panache can be used interchangeably). A swashbuckler with a keen weapon regains panache far quicker than a gunslinger could hope to since they get alot more critical hits, and it gives me something to do when I run out of grit/panache (and that something helps me regain panache too). Also important is that swashbuckler levels stack with gunslinger levels for qualifying for signature deed, which I definitely want to get at level 11 (earliest possible level).

Empty quiver style is worded rather vaguely as to whether or not stabbing shot used in conjunction with the style still uses the ammunition, which defeats the purpose anyway. It did get me looking at other style feats though, but nothing looks particularly handy for this character at the moment.


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For Iron Gods I suggest you just go plain gunslinger, then retrain into techslinger once you get a gun with which you can use it. Because techslinger is great, when you have a tech gun. It is not so great when you have a regular gun, which is all you will have until you find a tech gun. You will not be able to clear misfires, your bonuses won't work with a regular gun, etc. And you will not get a useful tech gun in the game immediately. In fact, it will actually be quite a while before you do.

While the swashbuckler dip could work, as someone who played a techslinger in Iron gods, let me tell you, it's unneeded. You will become death destroyer of worlds, even without the level dip. You won't need to fish for crits. Any panache you could use for grit you could just get by getting grit. You will have plenty of weapon charges. Trust me on that you will have PLENTY of weapon charges. Normally in APs you don't find caches of bullets as loot, but you don't use bullets anymore, do you? You use charges, which come in items you will find in caches.

Also, why would you bring a sword to a gunfight?

Also I would suggest lowing your charisma, increasing your wisdom to 14 at least and not dumping so much strength. Wisdom gets you more grit and better Will saves. You will need Will saves.

The strength, you said you wanted to eventually use a railgun, which weighs 14 pounds. It is a heavy weapon, which is a weapon different class than firearm, which means you do NOT automatically get a proficiency with it as a gunslinger, not even as a techslinger (Heavy Weaponry Deeds allows you to use gunslinger deeds with heavy weapons, not actually wield them.) You will either need to take exotic weapon proficiency: heavy weapon, or wear a heavy weapon harness (which allows you to wield a heavy weapon as a firearm) which weighs an additional 10 pounds. At a 8 strength you will only because to carry 26 pounds total before you start hitting encumbrance. And trust me, there are parts of the path where you do NOT want to get slowed down. Also you will probably want to wear some armor, carry some gear, or have magic items. With an 8 strength you can wear clothing, which is fine if you have the ability to protect yourself with magic. A gunslinger doesn't get magic. Raise your strength.

For other feats, there are the ranged attack standards, Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot, which you will want to take, and Deadly Aim is super useful as well.

You do not need a rapier, you will never use it once you get a tech gun. Not even an adamantine one (who cares about hardness, you have LASERS.) You WILL need some way of obtaining darkvision, like Goggles of Night, and GET A GOZ MASK. Trust me on this. Goz mask. Get this first. Remember, if you can't SEE them, you can't SHOOT them. If you follow none of the other advise I've given, please for the love of every pantheon you can name, get a Goz Mask.


Instead of swashbuckler, use inspired swash, it gets you 1 more point to the pool at least (more if you got higher INT).

I'd probably go with Savage Technologist after the first level of techslinger. You get massively better clas abilities, and you get your DEX mod to damage with all firearms right away at 5, instead of having to use groups, as well as having actually good class features.

Tech weapons also don't really need to relaoad, so it has synergy with the TWF support of savage technologist, if you want to use that.


Oh, and take the Technologist feat eventually. Otherwise when you find tech item you won't be able to tell whether it's a weapon or a high tech band-aid.


'Sani wrote:

For Iron Gods I suggest you just go plain gunslinger, then retrain into techslinger once you get a gun with which you can use it. Because techslinger is great, when you have a tech gun. It is not so great when you have a regular gun, which is all you will have until you find a tech gun. You will not be able to clear misfires, your bonuses won't work with a regular gun, etc. And you will not get a useful tech gun in the game immediately. In fact, it will actually be quite a while before you do.

While the swashbuckler dip could work, as someone who played a techslinger in Iron gods, let me tell you, it's unneeded. You will become death destroyer of worlds, even without the level dip. You won't need to fish for crits. Any panache you could use for grit you could just get by getting grit. You will have plenty of weapon charges. Trust me on that you will have PLENTY of weapon charges. Normally in APs you don't find caches of bullets as loot, but you don't use bullets anymore, do you? You use charges, which come in items you will find in caches.

Also, why would you bring a sword to a gunfight?

Also I would suggest lowing your charisma, increasing your wisdom to 14 at least and not dumping so much strength. Wisdom gets you more grit and better Will saves. You will need Will saves.

The strength, you said you wanted to eventually use a railgun, which weighs 14 pounds. It is a heavy weapon, which is a weapon different class than firearm, which means you do NOT automatically get a proficiency with it as a gunslinger, not even as a techslinger (Heavy Weaponry Deeds allows you to use gunslinger deeds with heavy weapons, not actually wield them.) You will either need to take exotic weapon proficiency: heavy weapon, or wear a heavy weapon harness (which allows you to wield a heavy weapon as a firearm) which weighs an additional 10 pounds. At a 8 strength you will only because to carry 26 pounds total before you start hitting encumbrance. And trust me, there are parts of the path where you do NOT...

Thanks for the suggestions! The reason for the Swash dip was mainly 'cos we were going to have plans to keep going after the AP concludes, so I wanted to make sure I have sustainability. But now that I think of it, by that time I will have signature deed up, so maybe it's not that necessary. I guess I will also replace the kindred-raised alternate racial trait with ancestral arms for heavy weapon proficiency (perhaps my parents were members of the technic league)?

I am very reluctant to dip any class other than swashbuckler since I want to make sure I get signature deed at level 11.

Can the panache from amateur swashbuckler be used on gunslinger deeds?

Good points on the techonologist feat and the STR score. I hadn't considered the weight constraints that much. I've rearranged my stats to bump my STR up to 10, and should be able to get an implanted ioun stone for 12 STR before I get a rail gun, so that's 12. If I make sure to pack my misc gear in a handy haversack, that should suffice, I think.

Race:
Stats:
Str - 10 (0 points)
Dex - 18 (10 points)
Con - 12 (2 points)
Int - 8 (-2 points)
Wis - 16 (10 points)
Cha - 10 (0 points)

Level progression:
Level 1 - Techslinger - Deeds (including covet charge), Grit, Gunsmith, Dodge
Level 2 - Techslinger - nimble +1,
Level 3 - Techslinger - Mobility
Level 4 - Techslinger - Deft Shootist
Level 5 - Techslinger - technic training, Technologist?
Level 6 - Techslinger - nimble +2,
Level 7 - Techslinger - feat
Level 8 - Techslinger - Bonus Feat: Improved Critical Gravity Gun
Level 9 - Techslinger - technic training 2, Feat: Improved Critical Rail gun
Level10 - Techslinger - nimble +2,
Level11 - Techslinger - heavy weaponry deeds, Signature Deed - Covet Charge

Still need suggestions for feats though. I've picked up dodge, mobility and deft shootist. Probably will take Technoligist at level 5, which leaves me with a one more feat to play with at level 7.


Amended level progression:

Level progression:
Level 1 - Techslinger - Deeds (including covet charge), Grit, Gunsmith, Point blank shot
Level 2 - Techslinger - nimble +1,
Level 3 - Techslinger - Precise Shot
Level 4 - Techslinger - Dodge
Level 5 - Techslinger - technic training, Technologist?
Level 6 - Techslinger - nimble +2,
Level 7 - Techslinger - Mobility
Level 8 - Techslinger - Deft Shootist
Level 9 - Techslinger - technic training 2, Feat: Improved Critical Rail gun
Level10 - Techslinger - nimble +2,
Level11 - Techslinger - heavy weaponry deeds, Signature Deed - Covet Charge

Basically I settled for getting precise shot and deft shootist, with the associated pre-requisites. Thoughts?


The feats look good, as do the stats. Those are the same feats I took during my campaign, except I was a human so I got an extra feat for Deadly Aim as well.

If you are going Half-Elf just for the Ancestral Arms, remember there is an item in Iron Gods that allow you to wield Heavy Weapons as a Firearm, negating the neat for a special feat to wield it, the Heavy Weapons Harness. If you think your GM will let you get one (I'm pretty sure they show up as loot in the AP), then choosing Half-Elf just for the ability to wield the weapon may be a bit of a waste. However, if you want to play a Half-Elf for other reasons, then it is a great use of an alternate race trait.

Shadow Lodge

'Sani wrote:
Oh, and take the Technologist feat eventually. Otherwise when you find tech item you won't be able to tell whether it's a weapon or a high tech band-aid.

Since it's Iron Gods, do you need to take Technologist if you take the Local Ties campaign trait?


'Sani wrote:
You do not need a rapier, you will never use it once you get a tech gun. Not even an adamantine one (who cares about hardness, you have LASERS.)

I agree with you 'Sani but I need to point out that lasers do not bypass hardness. Or is there a deed or feat I am missing?


WagnerSika wrote:
'Sani wrote:
You do not need a rapier, you will never use it once you get a tech gun. Not even an adamantine one (who cares about hardness, you have LASERS.)

I agree with you 'Sani but I need to point out that lasers do not bypass hardness. Or is there a deed or feat I am missing?

It doesn't bypass, but most tech guns are semi-automatic or fully automatic, meaning you get an extra attack with them per round. That extra attack, especially if you are using a rifle, will do enough damage to get through the hardness anyway. Also, if you can get your hands on the electricity pistol/rifle, then you really, really aren't going to care as you cut through robots like butter.

Also, good catch with the Local Ties trait TruthyWine, it will indeed allow you to identify weapons if you take the knowledge engineering bonus.


'Sani wrote:


It doesn't bypass, but most tech guns are semi-automatic or fully automatic, meaning you get an extra attack with them per round. That extra attack, especially if you are using a rifle, will do enough damage to get through the hardness anyway. Also, if you can get your hands on the electricity pistol/rifle, then you really, really aren't going to care as you cut through robots like butter.

1. Hardness applies to each shot, not once per round. So that extra shot is still losing 10 (usually) points of damage with no way to overcome it.

2. Electricity/EMP weapons are ok, but they are still reduced by hardness, only everything over 10 gets multiplied by 50%.

I don't think you've been applying the hardness rules properly.


Slithery D wrote:
'Sani wrote:


It doesn't bypass, but most tech guns are semi-automatic or fully automatic, meaning you get an extra attack with them per round. That extra attack, especially if you are using a rifle, will do enough damage to get through the hardness anyway. Also, if you can get your hands on the electricity pistol/rifle, then you really, really aren't going to care as you cut through robots like butter.

1. Hardness applies to each shot, not once per round. So that extra shot is still losing 10 (usually) points of damage with no way to overcome it.

2. Electricity/EMP weapons are ok, but they are still reduced by hardness, only everything over 10 gets multiplied by 50%.

I don't think you've been applying the hardness rules properly.

By the time the AP hands you a tech gun worth using (hence my earlier advice of going regular gunslinger and retraining into techslinger later) you are close to getting the Dead Shot deed, which pools all your attacks into a single shot, which only has hardness applied once. Before that you will be firing regular bullets from a regular gun, and having a few adamantine bullets on hand would be more effective than carrying around an adamantine rapier.

My GM ruled that Electricity damage was calculated before the hardness was subtracted, and though I haven't seen anything that states otherwise, I do expect you are right that there could be table variation on that one. Either way, Electricity damage still cuts through robots like butter.


Aah, Dead Shot. Forgot about that :)
My GM also applies vulnerability first, hardness after.


Dead Shot is terrible. You trade out the damage you lose on DR for damage you lose on all the /hit bonus effects (like your dex, enhancements, inspire courage, other buffs). And you need to pay grit for this... privilege.

I mean, I guess it conserves ammo. That's something.


LoneKnave wrote:

Dead Shot is terrible. You trade out the damage you lose on DR for damage you lose on all the /hit bonus effects (like your dex, enhancements, inspire courage, other buffs). And you need to pay grit for this... privilege.

I mean, I guess it conserves ammo. That's something.

Dead Shot works great against robots, who have hardness, not DR. Unless you have a Dex of 20 and are within 30 feet and have a bard of 7th level singing and a +2 weapon, then you are better off using Dead Shot to 'lose' all the /hit bonus effects.


"Hardness isn't a problem because I can use this really suboptimal option to slightly overcome it rather than using my normal full attack to devastate something without hardness."


If there's a bard 7 around, he can also cast good hope. Also, there's deadly aim.

Why does deadshot work better against hardness than DR? I may be missing something there.


Don't really care to theorycraft it into the ground here, so I can only give advice based on my experience playing a techslinger in Iron Gods. I started the game with a melee weapon as well, but other than one time in the first book when my regular non-tech gun broke from misfires, I never, ever used it. So I give advice based on that.

If other posters and the OP think it's more advantageous to run into melee combat to stab things instead of shoot them, that's cool too, but I have no experience doing that so I can't advise it.


Resist elements and stay away from melee is a good strategy against robots for gunslingers. Adamantine bullets are far cheaper than adamantine rapier, especially if you craft the bullets yourself. You also hit easier and do more damage.
Ask your GM if Clustered Shots work against hardness. RAW it does not but I think it would be a fine houserule to let it work.


I feel like the true power of dead shot lies in the crit chance. If any of the attack rolls are a crit threat, you confirm the whole thing once (albeit it at a -5, which should not be a problem against touch AC). I can't find a firm answer on the boards as to whether or not this works with rail guns though. If it doesn't targeting torso isn't a bad fallback option (with improved critical and targeting torso, that's still a 17-20/x4 crit on a 3d10 damage weapon).

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