Making a Meryl Strife [ranger? Gunslinger? who knows]


Advice

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Anyone remember Trigun? There was a character name Meryl Strife. She had a derpy partner named Millie that carried around a non-lethal combat shotgun/minigun... Meryl? She had a cloak full of dozens of derringers. when she had to fight, she had more than enough bullets. And Millie would be behind, collecting them up.

So, my question is- it is possible to build a character that has/uses several firearms/hand crossbows? I have no idea what class would be used- ranger? gunslinger-bolt ace? slayer?

I do know i'll need to get the "ranged trifecta" and even possibly Two Weapon Fighting with Quick Draw so she can use the entire stash of hand crossbows/firearms when fighting a big-bad.
I also know that the biggest problem i'll have is- quiet obviously affording all the weaponry, especially the guns. so she won't have many to start with.

this character may be put through Iron Gods homegame.

I am also taking advice on possibly building Meryl's counterpart, Millie... but i don't know if there are any non-lethal rounds for a blunderbust (possibly the closest weapon to Millie's "stun-gun").

Thanks.


Salt cartridges are your nonlethal ammo, they are specifically only designed for blunderbusses or the like. Eventually, you can just have a merciful gun. Alternatively, go for a gun mage that can essentially channel spells through the gun.

The problem with having many weapons in Pathfinder is that enchanting all of them costs a fortune. It is doable, but difficult. You can cheat by using a soulbolt soulknife and fluffling your bolts as pistols, I guess.

Would it be okay to just have two (eventually more if you can afford it) pepperboxes instead? If not that, I would check if your DM allows automatic bonus progression from Unchained and ask to have all your pistols enhanced with the same bonus and using either the base pistol or the smaller coat pistol stats.


So I'll be very honest. You know how to build it if you just want the right flavor. If you want it to be good... yeah, not happening. You can make mediocre, maybe, but your concept is going to hold you back the entire time. If you want to not suffer while using it, you'll need to figure out just how much you're willing to compromise. If you insist on the "whole bunch of weapons" route, see if you can score a Spell Warrior Skald to help you out. Especially if the GM will let you consider already loaded ammo as a valid target.

So the basic flaws are: running out of weapons, retrieving weapons, weapon costs, and damage reduction. Those first three are sort of tied together, but they're also the anchor dragging the concept down. You'd need to make sure you have enough weapons or spend a feat on better reloads, but once you go down that road why not just use them normally and reload them normally? If you run out do you blow a standard action (for a one-handed firearm) or just use something else? Hand crossbows are better here (move action). You're flinging all your weapons on the ground, if you don't pick them all up (or someone else takes them) then you're going to have to buy more and you're going to have less buffer time before you have to resort to reloading. This will happen if you ever have to flee a battle or get fireballed (remember, unattended objects, like crossbows on the ground, do take damage from AoE spells). Damage reduction is self explanatory, Clustered Shots will help here.

Personally, I'd look at the character and figure out what their fantasy equivalent is. Meryl uses a light, concealable weapon to deal precise strikes after negotiations have failed. So you want a face, some form of precision damage boost. I think there's a ranged swashbuckler out there? Flying Blade, I think. Honestly, tell me Merisiel doesn't look like a Meryl with daggers. The mythic version takes it even farther, I think she has like 40 daggers in that one (couldn't find a good picture though).

Alternatively, allow the character to grow. Start by using disposable weapons you fire once and throw away, eventually move on to using one weapon you've enchanted and can reload fast enough to full attack. For hand crossbows this is literally just Rapid Reload, firearms need that plus paper cartridges (which is a significant money sink at early levels). Pick up ways to reload with your hands full eventually so you can keep dual-wielding (Juggler Bard, for one).

Oh, and if you're doing Iron Gods you might be able to dip into the Tech Guide for Millie, which include a literal taser (Stun Gun).


Won't help with the price problem, but you might try Spellscar Drifter. Challenge will help a great deal with damage, and the class does have some face skills and is very cowboy.


Meryl's shooting favors tactics over damage, so go fighter and pick up as many Targeting feats (Ranged Trip, Ranged Disarm) and Ranged Weapon Mastery ones (Marksman's Utility, Burrowing Shot, Ace feats, Impressive Grit, Liberating Shot) as possible.

ETA: Ranged Feint doesn't fall into either of those categories, but fits the theme and usefulness.


Wouldn´t a pistolero gunslinger fit better than a fighter? You still get some bonus feats and have the deeds for trick shots.


The Shaman wrote:
Wouldn´t a pistolero gunslinger work better than a fighter? You still get some bonus feats and have the deeds for trick shots.

Gunslingers are terrible. You take 5 levels of Gunslinger for dex to damage then drop out. Even a fighter is a better choice than actually leveling Gunslinger.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Backlash3906 wrote:

Meryl's shooting favors tactics over damage, so go fighter and pick up as many Targeting feats (Ranged Trip, Ranged Disarm) and Ranged Weapon Mastery ones (Marksman's Utility, Burrowing Shot, Ace feats, Impressive Grit, Liberating Shot) as possible.

ETA: Ranged Feint doesn't fall into either of those categories, but fits the theme and usefulness.

That actually sounds plausible, especially if i go Crossbowman archetype.

I do like idea of her trying to be the face before combat.

Should i go Crossbowman/Juggler? I probably won't dip into Juggler, if it's more reasonable to rely on "rapid reload" than a multitude of weapons.

"Meryl"
Human Fighter (Crossbowman)
10 Str/16 Dex/14 Con/13 Int/12 Wis/14 Cha
1> Point-blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (crossbow)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

So, no more advice for this character idea? Is Crossbowman a worthwhile archetype to pursue with this build idea?

i'm also looking for confirmation regarding the existence of speciality ammo- like Sleep Arrows- for Crossbows?


Kudos for good taste in manga.

I have a few ideas but I have some questions. What level are we doing this at? How much freedom do we have while creating the character? Can we use any 3rd party material?


You would skip magical guns and go straight to buying magical ammunition. Having a teammate with greater magic weapon can also make this viable.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Johnnycat93 wrote:

Kudos for good taste in manga.

I have a few ideas but I have some questions. What level are we doing this at? How much freedom do we have while creating the character? Can we use any 3rd party material?

I'm debating on whether or not this character will be build for PFS- so no third-party; or for a homegame of Iron Gods.

right now, i'm just digging for advice on the plausibility of the character.

Melkiador wrote:
You would skip magical guns and go straight to buying magical ammunition. Having a teammate with greater magic weapon can also make this viable.

wouldn't magickal ammunition eventually become more expensive than enchanting the weapon?

i don't think i'll go Firearms/Gunslinger with this character- because of the expense of Firearms, especially early game.


Sorry, I really don't have any advice to offer under those circumstances. Pathfinder doesn't normally support those sort of characters.


Gunslingers get Gunsmithing, which means you can make a pistol for 500gp in 1 day. Not too hard to work your way up to several of them as you go up. You probably won't be making multiple attacks per round for a few levels anyway. Quick Draw lets you draw more pistols as a free action as long as they're not hidden (which, by the time she flips her coat open, would probably count). At 3rd level, you get to draw a firearm as part of an initiative check if you have Quick Draw with the Gunslinger Initiative deed.

I'm currently in an Iron Gods game where I have a Gunslinger/Warpriest, and the combo is working fairly well. So here's my basic idea for Meryl:

Gunslinger/Warpriest of Abadar (she works for an insurance company, that seems like his thing)
Hit 5 as Gunslinger, pick Coat Pistol for Gun Training (more for thematic purposes than mechanical, since she seems to keep a ton of tiny concealed guns rather than full-sized pistols; as an added bonus, they're cheaper to make). It's only 1d4 damage, but when you go Warpriest and choose Coat Pistol as your free Weapon Focus, that'll become 1d6 and scale with your level. You'll open up options for buffing your pistols with swift-cast spells using Fervor and Sacred Weapon (don't rely too much on Sacred Weapon, 1 round/level goes fast).

Since your plan is to have someone collect and reload your pistols for you eventually, there are several feats that give you cohorts (Squire, Recruits, Torchbearer) to do so. Have them take Rapid Reload and Alchemy so they can help you make gunpowder and such.


Pistelero Gunslinger 5/Weapon Master Fighter 4

Quick draw preloaded pistols, fire and forget, get gloves of dueling and weapon specialization for DEX Mod+5 per shot and rely on Clustered Shots to get past DR as you will never have enough magical weapons to do the trick.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Foeclan wrote:


Gunslinger/Warpriest of Abadar (she works for an insurance company, that seems like his thing)
Hit 5 as Gunslinger, pick Coat Pistol for Gun Training (more for thematic purposes than mechanical, since she seems to keep a ton of tiny concealed guns rather than full-sized pistols; as an added bonus, they're cheaper to make). It's only 1d4 damage, but when you go Warpriest and choose Coat Pistol as your free Weapon Focus, that'll become 1d6 and scale with your level. You'll open up options for buffing your pistols with swift-cast spells using Fervor and Sacred Weapon (don't rely too much on Sacred Weapon, 1 round/level goes fast).

does this plan allow for the Targetted Disarm/Targetted Trip? I do like the idea of Tactics over Damage, so i don't know if i really care for damage increase or access to divine spells.


Selvaxri wrote:
does this plan allow for the Targetted Disarm/Targetted Trip? I do like the idea of Tactics over Damage, so i don't know if i really care for damage increase or access to divine spells.

Warpriest isn't really adding anything if you're not worried about extra damage/weapon enhancement. That's just a way to bump your damage up and gain some nice buffs for your gun.

You can still pick up Ranged Disarm and Ranged Trip, but a Gunslinger doesn't really need them in the long run. At 7th level, the Targeting deed lets them spend a point of grit to target a specific location. If you hit the target in the arm, they drop an item of your choice. If you hit them in the leg, they're knocked prone. You don't even need to make a Combat Maneuver check to do it, it just happens. If you want to do them frequently, you can just take Extra Grit in place of the feats you'd've spent on Deadly Aim and Ranged Trip/Ranged Disarm. Since they don't have any way to resist your ability, this is actually better than trying to perform a maneuver against high level enemies.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

The question becomes- how deep do i got with the Warpriest? Flavorwise, a "Warpriest" of Abadar, would be hilariously appropriate. Though, functionally? it's a free Weapon Focus with a handful of utility. Two levels at most, I'm thinking- don't care for channel, Fervor is a useful for instant-healing.

Gunslinger X/Warpriest X/Fighter X?

I'd rather not wait til 7th Gunslinger for Targeting Deeds.

Fighter 1> Point-Blank Shot, Deadly Aim, Precise Shot
F1/Gunslinger 2> Gunsmithing
F1/G1/Warpriest 2> Weapon Focus (Pistol), Ranged Disarm
??

I want to try to get the "Ranged Trifecta" at first level, hence fighter. Don't know if it's allowed for a Weapon Master fighter to take his "favored weapon" as Pistol before she takes an actual level in Gunslinger.

I definitely want to either try for Spring-Heel Style or at lest Shot on the Run


Both Warpriest and Gunslinger get bonus combat feats, so it shouldn't be too hard to keep up on feat chains with either of them. Gunslinger is every 4 levels, Warpriest is every 3.

While Fervor gives you a little bit of healing, its best use is to swift-cast spells. You can spend a point of Fervor to cast any spell that targets one or more people on yourself as a swift action that does not provoke, which means you don't need to buff ahead of time. It also means you can swift-cast Cure Light Wounds if needed for more healing than Fervor would give, and still get your normal attacks. Divine Favor is pretty much the go-to 1st level spell for Warpriests to cast with Fervor. It's kinda nice to hold out to 4th level for 2nd level spells and Sacred Weapon (sometimes, it's just nice to fire flaming bullets), but certainly not necessary. 3rd might be a good place to stop so you get the bonus feat.

If you do fighter at 1st level, you won't be shooting anyone yet. A pistol runs 1000gp unless you're a Gunslinger; they get one for free that only works for them, and is readily made into a Masterwork weapon for 300gp once you have some cash. If you want to be shooting at people from 1st level, Gunslinger's pretty much your only bet.

A couple of other thematic choices come to mind.

There's the Black Powder Inquisition. You don't get a free gun out of it, but an Inquisitor of Abadar would also be thematic for an insurance investigator.

There's also the Steel Hound Investigator. They get a free gun at 2nd level, and Investigator's a pretty fitting class for her.

Neither is quite as good as a Gunslinger at shooting people, but they have other things going for them that would fit for Meryl (at least from what I remember, haven't seen Trigun in quite a while).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Foeclan wrote:

There's the Black Powder Inquisition. You don't get a free gun out of it, but an Inquisitor of Abadar would also be thematic for an insurance investigator.

There's also the Steel Hound Investigator. They get a free gun at 2nd level, and Investigator's a pretty fitting class for her.

Neither is quite as good as a Gunslinger at shooting people, but they have other things going for them that would fit for Meryl (at least from what I remember, haven't seen Trigun in quite a while).

Sadly, none of those are PFS legal options. I'd like to keep that restriction, as Iron Gods may be a home-sanctioned game.

Investigator would be very thematic and flavorful, i don't know if it'd bring anything to the build.

Gunslinger 1> Gunsmithing, Point-blank shot, Precise Shot
G1/Warpriest 1: 2> Weapon Focus (Coat Pistol)/Sacred Weapon
G2/W1 3> Deadly Aim
???

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Bump for more advice of a possible build direction. A possibly Iron Gods run is planned, and i will see if non-legal stuff will be allowed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Necro time!
As i may be playing this character soon, i'd like to get some further feedback and advice. PFS Legal, mind you.

Recap- Meryl Strife, [human] Gunslinger (Pistolero?)/Warpriest of Abadar/(Investigator?)
10 S/14(+2) Dex/13 Con/12 Int/14 Wis/14 Cha
She favors tactical shooting, disabling enemies when diplomacy fails.

I may go Gunslinger 5 and get Targeted Disarm/Trip feats; or go Gunslinger 7 for the Targeting Deeds. Warpriest is just a way to get more feats to support this build idea.

I know there are "better" builds for Gunslingers, but I like to make quirky characters and try to make the best i can.

Silver Crusade

How about making a Meryl Streep?


What we could use is an item like the amulet of mighty fists that works with all attacks. It would of course be expensive, but it'd allow builds like this and throwing builds too.


A nice thing about the Targeting Deeds is that there's no saving throw or CMD to roll against. If you hit, you've disarmed/tripped/confused them. And you're probably going to hit.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I was considering getting Targeted Disarm/Trip and retraining out of those when i get 7th lvl Gunslinger.

Gunslinger 7/Warpriest 4/?

Since both my Gunslinger's Grit and Warpriest's spells and Fervor are dependent on Wisdom, should i apply my human bonus to Wis instead of Dex? By the time i hit 5th Gunslinger, i should have a belt of dex to boost my damage.

I may do a quick jump into Warpriest to get the Sacred Weapon bonus, then dedicate myself to getting to 5th Gunslinger ASAP, then another dip into Warpriest to get Fervor.
Blessings: Travel & Law

G1/W0- Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot
G1/W1- Weapon Focus (Coat Pistol)*
G2/W1- Deadly Aim
[G3/W1- (Deeds)
G4/W1- Targeted Disarm, Rapid Reload
[G5/W1]
G5/W2- ? (Fervor)
[G6/W2]
G7/W2- ? (retrain Targeted Disarm) (Deeds)
G7/W3- ?*
G8/W3- ?, ?*
G8/W4- ?*

I'm also pondering this character's alignment. I was thinking Lawful Neutral


Note: I am not sure if going with guns or crossbows might be best for this. it is a difference in the flavor of the mechanics.

Honestly, I would more readily compare that derringer style to a knife throwing build- tons of light, hidden weapons for hitting at a bit of range.

There are, of course, ways to get throwing builds to work well. Not sure if the optimal methods work well with the 'consumption' inherent in both meryl's style and what people usually imagine with knife throwing...


Selvaxri wrote:

I was considering getting Targeted Disarm/Trip and retraining out of those when i get 7th lvl Gunslinger.

Gunslinger 7/Warpriest 4/?

Since both my Gunslinger's Grit and Warpriest's spells and Fervor are dependent on Wisdom, should i apply my human bonus to Wis instead of Dex? By the time i hit 5th Gunslinger, i should have a belt of dex to boost my damage.

I may do a quick jump into Warpriest to get the Sacred Weapon bonus, then dedicate myself to getting to 5th Gunslinger ASAP, then another dip into Warpriest to get Fervor.
Blessings: Travel & Law

We were starting from level 1, so I went Gunslinger 1 to get the fundamental bits (free pistol, gunsmithing, etc.), then Warpriest to 4 (so I could buff my gun), then resumed Gunslinger (probably to 7). If you're starting at higher level, the order isn't as important.

I'd try to get Wisdom to 16. Between Gunslinger, Warpriest, and Perception/Sense Motive being key to her character, you'll benefit a lot from it. You won't likely be spending a lot of grit until Gunslinger 7 to disarm people, so it doesn't necessarily have to be right away. Similarly, you won't get the most benefit from a high Dex until Gunslinger 5 when you get Dex to damage, so you've got some time to build them up with items and the bonuses at 4, 8, and possibly 12. There are good arguments either way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Yes, she's starting at lvl 1. would be lvl 2 if i weren't too tired to play monday; and i am planning to run her through a module soon.

I do like the idea of getting to Warpriest 4 because i can also enchant my weapons. the Law blessings allows my character to bestow an axiomatic enchantment.

It's just going to take so long to get my Targeting Deed online, so i will have to invest in Ranged Disarm/Trip until then.

I was thinking of giving her an alternate trait- Silver Tongued [she is going to be the type to try to talk down enemies, if possible], and for her normal traits- Black Powder Bravado will be good, especially when i get Targeting Deeds. The "Gregarious" would help with the Silver Tongue alternate trait.

I wouldn't mind taking "Extra Traits" later to get Black Powder Bravado when i have Deeds that have rolls associated with them.

So-
12 S/14 D/12 C/13 I/14(+2) W/14 Ch

G1/W0- Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot [Deeds]
G1/W1- Weapon Focus (Coat Pistol)*
G1/W2- Deadly Aim [Fervor]
G1/W3- Rapid Reload
G1/W4- Ranged Disarm
[G2/W4]
G3/W4- Extra Grit/Quick Draw/Dodge?
G4/W4- Ranged Trip
G5/W4- Extra Traits?
[G6/W4]
G7/W4- ?

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