Spellslinger wizard To be or not to be


Advice


So a little on the nose with the subject but i want to know if the spellslinger wizard archetype is bad in general or just in comparison to wizard archetypes. I like the concept and kind of want to play one but am looking for a general consensus on is it good bad.

Are there any need to do things to make it good? any advice is welcome.


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It's BAD.

First strike, it uses guns. Guns are f+!!ing HORRIFIC in the hands of anyone but a Gunslinger with the proper Deeds.

Second strike, it's a damage dealing Wizard that has to use Cones, Lines, or Rays to attack (cutting out most of the best damage spells) and has the potential of the gun breaking 10% of the time (not sure that math quite works out, but you roll a 1 or opponent rolls a 20 it gets broken), and without Quick Clear you're wasting way too damn long fixing the gun just to fire a piddling Scorching Ray.

All for the benefit of...maybe getting a x3 crit on your Ray? And of course being able to full attack Touch AC. As a Wizard. With a crossbow that explodes when you roll a 1.

Third strike, it completely loses Cantrips.

Fourth strike, it's got 4 Opposition Schools.

Yeah, at the end of the day it's still a full caster...but you have to basically ignore your archetype to make proper use of that.

You may as well play an Eldritch Archer Magus with EWP: Firearms, at least its abilities synthesize better with the gun. Even though that would still be pretty bad.


Not to be.

Best option would be a dip into Eldritch Archer Magus so you start the game with a masterwork revolver as your arcane bond, then you can actually get by without needing the gunslinger dip for quick clear, since revolvers don't explode and you can deal with the -2 to hit and damage from broken condition. Still gotta burn a feat on EWP here though.


i would like to try and avoid dipping, normally i'm okay with it but i'm looking for a simple build. a 1 class only type thing. that said message receive spell slinger sucks


I haven't had a chance to play one yet, but I'm planning to in Strange Aeons, so I've given this a bit of thought.

If you're lucky enough to have access to a Spellcasting Guild, the rules of which are detailed in Inner Sea Magic, my top pick is actually Mystic Theurge.

Spoiler:
A spellcasting guild grants access to the totally incredible Eclectic and Esoteric Training guild benefits, which not only increase your caster level, but your casting ability (same wording as a PrC that advances spellcasting.) You can reasonably expect to get the first benefit by around level 2 and the second by level 7.

You go wizard 2, Eclectic bonus goes to wizard, then cleric 3 with the magical knack trait set to cleric. At 6, you take your first level of Mystic Theurge, giving you effective 4/4 casting.

At around level 7, you get Esoteric Training, increasing your effective wizard casting by another 2 and your effective cleric by 1. Coupled with the increase from Mystic Theurge 2, congratulations, you're casting as a level 7 wizard (2 wizard + 3 ET + 2 MT) and as a level 6 cleric with a 7 caster level (3 + 1 ET + 2 MT.)

This continues until you take your 10th level of MT at 15, putting you at 15/14 casting. At 16, you take another cleric level to get 8th level cleric spells and be an effective 15/15 caster. 17 and 18 increase wizard or cleric to get to 17th level casting and 9th level spells in one class, and then at 19 and 20, you advance the other class to end up at 17/17 at level 20.

In the far more likely event that you don't have access to that, I recommend finding a PrC that you love and bailing on Wizard as soon as possible. I'm a big fan of Soul Warden, myself, and is the path I'll probably end up taking in Strange Aeons (unless I'm allowed to be in a Spellcasting Guild, above.)

Many recommend only taking a single level of Wizard and then switching over to sorcerer for better blasting (since your gun works with *all* spells), but I'm not a big fan of this. You get a lot more spells per day, but you stunt your spell progression by 2 levels compared to just going full casting with your wizard levels, so at level 5, you're *just* getting to 2nd level spells as opposed to 3rd with straight wizard.

The schools you want (in my opinion) are evocation, transmutation (disintegrate), conjuration, illusion, and necromancy, but you'll only get 4. Banning abjuration, divination, and enchantment are easy, but you'll have to pick one of the top 5 schools above to ban on top of that.


Sundakan wrote:
All for the benefit of...maybe getting a x3 crit on your Ray?

Well, and adding your enhancement bonus to the save DC. *That's* what you're going for. A +5 bonus on save DCs for a large number of powerful save or suck/die spells is pretty freaking insane.

And who doesn't want a ×3 critical disintegrate with a +5 bonus on the save DC?

Sundakan wrote:
Second strike, it's a damage dealing Wizard that has to use Cones, Lines, or Rays to attack (cutting out most of the best damage spells)

Nothing is preventing you from preparing those or other spells, as long as they're not opposition schools. They may not be as high priority, but you're still a wizard.


It's a one trick pony. If you're willing to give up basically everything else to get the one trick then go for it. Else, hard pass.


ABSOLUTELY NOT TO BE. EVER.

It's one of the worst archetypes in the game. In fact, most Wizard archetypes suck... There are a few gems, but most of them are garbage.

Liberty's Edge

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The thing about the Spellslinger is that you basically get the full impact of the archetype abilities with a one level dip. That is, there are no archetype powers that require a higher level before they become available or which scale with level. Consider;

Spellslinger 1 / Gunslinger 1 / Sorcerer 18

Quick Clear from Gunslinger greatly reduces the broken gun limitation of the Spellslinger and Sorcerer restores cantrips and greatly improves spellcasting.

Ergo, great class for a one level dip. Not so good for single classing.


Hmm. I'll admit that it's far from the strongest wizard in the game. At best, it's situationally amazing. But I still have a hard time believing that it's OMGALLTHEBADNESS.

You're still a wizard. At *worst*, I'd say it "drops" you to be on-par with the 6th level classes, which are incredibly popular and viable. Except that, you know, you still have access to 9th level casting, so I still don't think it even does that.

As long as you jump out of wizard at 6 and get into a PrC, I think it's still very strong in play, even if it looks bad on paper.


Well how good is it? Ranged touch attacks so good for spells with attack rolls. But 1/2 bab. So... Meh. You probably be better off dipping gunslinger then magus. In fact, there was a thread not to long ago.


okay so the consensus seems to be it's pretty terrible. now how to go about making a gunslinging mage. thinking something like a magic sniper focusing on long distance combat.


Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:
okay so the consensus seems to be it's pretty terrible. now how to go about making a gunslinging mage. thinking something like a magic sniper focusing on long distance combat.

That's sort of a different question. For example, a straight Gunslinger can satisfy "a sniper focusing on long distance combat" as in fact could any of a number of archery focused classes/builds.

So the real question is what do you mean by "magic"?

Zen Archer, being a Monk, has a number of magic like abilities. If you can combine that with Qinggong you get even more magic like stuff.

Arcane Archer is a thing. Not a great thing, but a thing.

If you mean casting straight up Wizard spells from long range, aside from advising you to be careful about investing too much in long range capability because you may not always be at that range, then how would that be different from just playing a Wizard (or Sorcerer who is generally considered a somewhat better straight up blaster)?

And if you mean, still, combining the two, your choices become more limited. So... what is a "magic sniper" to you?

Silver Crusade

Mostly we just need a list of parameters. Something like: use a firearm, be able to cast or replicate X level spells, do at least Y damage on a hit, apply Z effects to targets when hit, etc.


i'm not good with numbers or exact effects but i can describe what i want better.

Basically i want to be able to to as or something similar to what the spellslinger could do. I want firearms and spells together if possible but not required. something focusing on single target damage, shooting spells through a gun or at least being able to hold one while casting.

By magic i mean spells, not ki or the like or just having an enchanted weapon.

so to summarize firearms and spells, focusing on damage would prefer single target damage but not picky about that part.


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I wrote a guide to the Spellslinger, it's slightly out of date now (early entry shenanigans are barred now) however it should answer most of your questions about the archetype.
In summary: it's rubbish at being the primary arcane caster in a party, worse than a bard, but gunslinger5/spellslinger5/Eldritch Knight makes a very versatile and enjoyable gunslinger who also casts some useful spells.

You can find the guide in the advice forum in Broken Zenith's guide to the guides post.


Gilarius wrote:

I wrote a guide to the Spellslinger, it's slightly out of date now (early entry shenanigans are barred now) however it should answer most of your questions about the archetype.

In summary: it's rubbish at being the primary arcane caster in a party, worse than a bard, but gunslinger5/spellslinger5/Eldritch Knight makes a very versatile and enjoyable gunslinger who also casts some useful spells.

You can find the guide in the advice forum in Broken Zenith's guide to the guides post.

I quite like VMC'ing into Battle Oracle and grabbing Skill at Arms in order to stay single-class wizard and just go straight into Eldritch Knight, myself. Gives up only a single level of spellcasting for a big martial boost. Not to mention all the other oracle benefits you pick up along the way.


Gulthor wrote:

Hmm. I'll admit that it's far from the strongest wizard in the game. At best, it's situationally amazing. But I still have a hard time believing that it's OMGALLTHEBADNESS.

You're still a wizard. At *worst*, I'd say it "drops" you to be on-par with the 6th level classes, which are incredibly popular and viable. Except that, you know, you still have access to 9th level casting, so I still don't think it even does that.

As long as you jump out of wizard at 6 and get into a PrC, I think it's still very strong in play, even if it looks bad on paper.

Play one, then see if you agree with everyone else :)

A bard makes a better stand in for a real wizard than a Spellslinger. However, if you want to play one it's a lot of fun.
I played one in Rise of the Runelords, from 1st to 17th level. Once I reached 12th level or so, the gun became irrelevant because non-gun spells were of more use (even with only 5 schools available (opposition research)) and it was never worth burning high level spells to boost the DC of a spell from the gun.
All it did was to allow me to shoot wimpy mooks which didn't require a spell.
At low levels, it was much more useful and enjoyable to play.


so can eldritch archer magus use fire arms with it's abilities cause i might just default to that. a single level gunslinger dip seems to fix most of the problems,

Silver Crusade

Perhaps you could reflavor an Air Kineticist to hold a non-functional gun (for rules purposes the gun wouldn't exist).


Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:


So a little on the nose with the subject but i want to know if the spellslinger wizard archetype is bad in general or just in comparison to wizard archetypes. I like the concept and kind of want to play one but am looking for a general consensus on is it good bad.

Are there any need to do things to make it good? any advice is welcome.

It's a perfectly functional archetype as long as you're willing to accept that you're essentially a blasty gun mage and you're going to lose out on the functionality of a less specialised wizard.

If you invest in it, you will be the best ray and cone caster out there. And that can be enough. You can still pack scrolls of the utility spells you rarely use, even if they are opposition schools.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

It's a perfectly functional archetype as long as you're willing to accept that you're essentially a blasty gun mage and you're going to lose out on the functionality of a less specialised wizard.

If you invest in it, you will be the best ray and cone caster out there. And that can be enough. You can still pack scrolls of the utility spells you rarely use, even if they are opposition schools.

An admixture evoker dipping one level of crossblooded sorceror begs to differ! Even if they'd rather use 'balls than rays or cones...

Spellslingers can be fun, but that doesn't mean the same thing as effective.


Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:
so can eldritch archer magus use fire arms with it's abilities cause i might just default to that. a single level gunslinger dip seems to fix most of the problems,

Yes, the Eldritch Archer abilities like Ranged Spell Combat and Ranged Spellstrike work with firearms. So would the Ranged Spellstrike for a Myrmidarch, although that isn't very good for a purely ranged build. Arcane Archer abilities, though, are restricted to bows.


Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:
so can eldritch archer magus use fire arms with it's abilities cause i might just default to that. a single level gunslinger dip seems to fix most of the problems,

Eldritch Archer Magus as I mentioned earlier is your best bet, but again, you don't get proficiency, so you're burning your first level feat on EWP: Firearms, and then your 2nd (you are going human after all) on Point Blank Shot. Also you lose Gunsmithing so ammo is gonna be a bit of a money sink for a bit.

Starting level 1 with a masterwork revolver is extremely critical here as I mentioned since revolvers do not explode. They only become broken, and then nothing else, and since you're hitting for touch, the penalties won't hurt too much for shooting with a broken gun, and then you can just repair it later after combat. Also since you're using a revolver you can push back Rapid Reload to around level 7 to make room for other more important stuff, like Precise Shot, and Deadly Aim. Also your revolver is your arcane bond so it's very easy and cheap to enchant and enhance it.

The issue you run into here though is you'll never get dex to damage for your gun without a 5 level dip into Gunslinger, or Savage Technologist, so your damage will be rather poor with just a base 1d8+ whatever Deadly Aim gives you + whichever spells you throw on your bullet.

Anyway, it's doable. Not particularly effective I fear, but I think you may have some fun with it.


Now to point this out as a bit of personal belief here. i've always tried to make a difference between optimization and min maxing.

Optimization should be used in reference to making a generally or non cookie cutter idea good

min maxing is doing something like crossblooded draconic orc sorcerer with a evocation wizard dip. no offense to anyone who likes that build but i've seen it so much i kind of resent it because it's turning something that is supposed to be uncommon into well cookie cutter.

i never mentioned a race so don't assume human please if anything assume i will not being using human. also i am restricting a dip if i even do one to 1-2 levels no higher unless a prestige class is involved then we get into some shenanigans.

but yea as far as this character goes i am okay with being the "blaster" as far as spell go


Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:


i never mentioned a race so don't assume human please if anything assume i will not being using human. also i am restricting a dip if i even do one to 1-2 levels no higher unless a prestige class is involved then we get into some shenanigans.

but yea as far as this character goes i am okay with being the "blaster" as far as spell go

This isn't optimization, this is "What can I do to make this not feel like I'm chewing on glass".

Also sorry but you need 2 feats at level 1. You're not pushing Precise Shot all the way back until level 5.

Now if you do decide to take a level 1 dip into Gunslinger then you at least won't need to burn your feat on EWP. You can easily pick up PBS, Precise Shot, and be off on your merry way, picking up Deadly Aim at level 3, and going wherever after that. You're gonna have to suffer with a crappy Pistol though at the start until you hit level 2, so be sure to spend a chunk of your starting money on Alchemical Cartridges, maybe pick up at least 10 of them, and also Metal Cartridges, so you have some ammo at level 2 for your fancy new revolver.


Heretek wrote:
Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:


i never mentioned a race so don't assume human please if anything assume i will not being using human. also i am restricting a dip if i even do one to 1-2 levels no higher unless a prestige class is involved then we get into some shenanigans.

but yea as far as this character goes i am okay with being the "blaster" as far as spell go

This isn't optimization, this is "What can I do to make this not feel like I'm chewing on glass".

Also sorry but you need 2 feats at level 1. You're not pushing Precise Shot all the way back until level 5.

...

In this particular situation, Half-Elf is as good as Human. Just trade Adaptability for Ancestral Arms and you can have both Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) and PBS at first level.

I do agree that a Gunslinger dip is probably better.

Silver Crusade

I made a build starting with spellslinger 1, and the rest eldritch archer. I went with human, to get amateur gunslinger (quick clear) and rapid reload. The next two feats will be PBS and precise shot. While I haven't been able to test this build, I believe the fact that you're using a touch attack weapon with spells will compensate for the -4 to hit while firing into melee. Just remember that you cannot spell combat the cone spells, because they are area effects and do not have an attack roll. However, all spells that you spellstrike will get the +1 to their save dc. Also, you will have to use a pistol in order to keep the reload as a free action by using paper cartridges.


so for now assume half elf as race and assume i'm using one of the two handed firearms.

as of right now i'm thinking 1 level gunslinger (are there any archetypes i should take?) as it seems to fix a few problems and save a feat or two.

and the rest seems like eldritch archer unless the 1 level in spellslinger would be worth it. Eldritch archer archer works with my spell casting sniper idea so that's the main class

Silver Crusade

Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:

so for now assume half elf as race and assume i'm using one of the two handed firearms.

as of right now i'm thinking 1 level gunslinger (are there any archetypes i should take?) as it seems to fix a few problems and save a feat or two.

and the rest seems like eldritch archer unless the 1 level in spellslinger would be worth it. Eldritch archer archer works with my spell casting sniper idea so that's the main class

Just understand that you won't be able to reload as a free action without at least a three or five level dip into musket master. With rapid reload and paper cartridges, a two-handed firearm will reload as a move.


so if i were to bump it up to a 3 level dip to decrease the reload time would it be worth it?

Silver Crusade

Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:
so if i were to bump it up to a 3 level dip to decrease the reload time would it be worth it?

If you're okay with delaying your spell progression and arcana. Remember, however many levels you take in gunslinger takes away from your end levels.

Silver Crusade

Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:
so if i were to bump it up to a 3 level dip to decrease the reload time would it be worth it?

You just have to be aware of the lines between a multiclass dip, a full multiclass, and being so invested you shouldn't even take another class.

Once you're 3 levels in for free-action reload, why not take another 2 for dex-to-damage? What are you losing from the other class with each level you take in your "dip"? Should you just go full gunslinger and focus up your UMD? Maybe you take 3 levels of gunslinger (musket master) then 5 of eldritch archer, then 2 more gunslinger, then back to eldritch archer.

You might even find that a hard multiclass would suit you better. Like 1 musket master, 3 wizard, 2 musket master, 4 wizard, 2 musket master, 8 wizard.


Ammon Knight of Ragathiel wrote:

so for now assume half elf as race and assume i'm using one of the two handed firearms.

as of right now i'm thinking 1 level gunslinger (are there any archetypes i should take?) as it seems to fix a few problems and save a feat or two.

and the rest seems like eldritch archer unless the 1 level in spellslinger would be worth it. Eldritch archer archer works with my spell casting sniper idea so that's the main class

Before we go any further I think we need to REALLY clarify the situation here. Are you allowed to use advanced firearms? I know some DMs are cool with revolvers, but draw the line at rifles. The rifle will solve all your problems, much the same way the revolver does, but if you're doomed to use a musket for the entire game... you're gonna be wanting 3 levels of Musket Master... and as mentioned, you may as well just go 5 levels for dex to damage then, which means you're pushing Eldritch Archer further and further back, though you can get back 2 of your lost caster levels with a Magical Knack trait.

In short, if you'r using a musket, your "dip" just became 3-5 levels long. If you can use a rifle, then you're fine.


not for any game specifically, im just building for the future

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