Diasporan Sniper Rifles and Mechanic's Overcharge


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Since they are battery based, Overcharge can be used on them. Operative's trick attack damage cannot be applied to any sniper.

Pretty sure this makes the Mechanic the go to class as the archetypal, one shot high damage, sniper... Should they invest in Sniper weapons, either via an extra feat as an Exocortex Mechanic, or a dip in Soldier.

Thoughts?

Grand Lodge

take the feat, dont lose the extra class features in the mech class IMHO


Well, I don't particularly care about how it's done. I'm just trying to open up discussion about whether my assessment is correct.


The diasporan sniper rifles are pretty good on a damage vs cost/level perspective. The level 5 and 10 weapons are pretty good compared to standard laser rifles/heavy weapons.


Takes some feat investment, but sure I can see it being done.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What it actually does is make the best sniper a two man team of Mechanic Overcharging and Operative debilitating. Kinda like real life with a spotter and sniper duo.


Eh, I'd make a Soldier the guy taking the shot. The Operative doesn't get much out of sniper rifles, while the Soldier could actually Snipe + Fire and still get his advantages. Which isn't something the Operative can claim.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I dunno I think it would be very advantageous for a sniper duo to halving the enemies speed each attack. After all the advantage of sniping is dealing damage outside your enemies effective retaliation range so make it significantly harded to cover that ground seems like you'll get more shots.


To use trick attack, an operative needs to use a full round action and thus can't use the move action to increase the range of a sniper though.
Or can't use trick attack.

(as a DM I'd change that via a houserule though)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh yeah I'm being an idiot so disregard me.


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Mechanic will probably want three feats for this. Sniper Proficiency, Specialization, and Technomantic Dabbler for Supercharge Weapon. That way your opening shot can be a very nasty one.

If you want even more damage on one shot, go with Technomancer with a Mechanic friend. Supercharge Weapon for 4d6 by casting the round in advance, Overcharge Weapon for anywhere from 1d6 to 7d6 depending on the level of investment, and Spellshot to include Explosive Blast for an extra 9d6 damage with a save (which seems to be the most damage you can do that includes the target in the area; lines and cones don't include the square they originate from). You can also throw on Harmful Spells for an extra half-level to damage.

So at level 20, the best snipe with a sniper weapon I can see is 10d8 + 11d6 + 20 + (9d6 + 10 reflex half). If we assume anything at that level saves on reflex against a third-level spell, then that's in the ballpark of 124 damage. That takes three charges, two rounds, a third level spell, and a first level spell, and a bunch of class features. That's at 1,000 feat, though, assuming we aren't willing to go any further than one range increment. If you're within 600 feet, though, Distant Spell Disintegrate does more damage.


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QuidEst wrote:
If you want even more damage on one shot, go with Technomancer with a Mechanic friend. Supercharge Weapon for 4d6 by casting the round in advance, Overcharge Weapon for anywhere from 1d6 to 7d6 depending on the level of investment, and Spellshot to include Explosive Blast for an extra 9d6 damage with a save (which seems to be the most damage you can do that includes the target in the area; lines and cones don't include the square they originate from).

Spellshot allows you to orient the cone/line in any direction from a corner of the target, including toward the target creature, different from a standard cone/line that must move away from the originator.


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Xenocrat wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
If you want even more damage on one shot, go with Technomancer with a Mechanic friend. Supercharge Weapon for 4d6 by casting the round in advance, Overcharge Weapon for anywhere from 1d6 to 7d6 depending on the level of investment, and Spellshot to include Explosive Blast for an extra 9d6 damage with a save (which seems to be the most damage you can do that includes the target in the area; lines and cones don't include the square they originate from).
Spellshot allows you to orient the cone/line in any direction from a corner of the target, including toward the target creature, different from a standard cone/line that must move away from the originator.

Ah, cool. That's some more damage, then.


I'm just imaging how sweet that damage is combined with the chain surge spell at level 20


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MagicA wrote:
I'm just imaging how sweet that damage is combined with the chain surge spell at level 20

That’s not an AOE and can’t be used with Spellshot. It targets individuals.


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Mechanic with overcharge, an entangling fusion, and Technomantic Dabbler. A technomancer friend would be better, but we can't always have what we want.


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Looks like math wise it's an average of 7 more damage at level 20 over the equivalent laser rifle. At level 10, vs. the level 9 laser rifle, it's an average increase of 7.5 damage. At level 5 vs. level 6 laser rifle it's an average of 1 damage more.

This doesn't include the lack of critical effects on the diasporan rifles, nor does it include the sniper effect that largely negate range penalties.

Definitely seems worth a feat once you can afford that level 10 diasporan rifle.


I think it definitely can be Overcharged. I might be missremembering, but I think the Diaspora Sniper Rifle has lower base damage than the Shirren Eyes, so they probably expected this. The Mechanic would be most effective assisting the shooter though I think. Though if no other shooter is on the team, then it may be worth the Feat costs.


Mechanic can use Overcharge twice in a round... Once as a move action on an ally, once as a standard action attack on themselves.

The mechanic assisting a teammate doesn't decrease their own efficacy as a shooter.


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Cathulhu wrote:

Mechanic can use Overcharge twice in a round... Once as a move action on an ally, once as a standard action attack on themselves.

The mechanic assisting a teammate doesn't decrease their own efficacy as a shooter.

Remember you need to save that move action for yourself to use the sniper range.


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Envall wrote:
Cathulhu wrote:

Mechanic can use Overcharge twice in a round... Once as a move action on an ally, once as a standard action attack on themselves.

The mechanic assisting a teammate doesn't decrease their own efficacy as a shooter.

Remember you need to save that move action for yourself to use the sniper range.

You're totally right, I forgot.

In any case, I think an operative with the Debilitating Trick,Hampering Shot exploits, and Technomantic Dabbler; with an Exocortex Mechanic with sniper proficiency and specialization, focused on overcharge and with Technomantic Dabbler would be the most efficient sniper team.

If things somehow got into closer combat, (fairly often in this game no matter how well you play it) the mechanic can use that move action to also buff the operative, who can delay action until you've finished your turn and given them that Overcharge.


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I'm not really sure what the Operative really brings to this. The Soldier is full BAB and has gear boosts, so I'd lean towards him for his superior accuracy. If you are shooting a guy from 1500ft, he's likely going to be flat footed when you start regardless.


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I think the Operative's supposed to bring long-ranged debuffs, but that's ignoring that Operatives can't use Sniper ability with a Trick Attack, which you'd need to apply Debilitating Trick.


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Operative brings greater effectiveness at close range to make up for a sniper rifle being unwieldly. Skittermanders can make a trick attack snipe at long range once per day, though.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I agree at first glance early observation, the Mechanic Overcharge ability is a great way as a STANDARD action to apply the benefit and shoot. Compared to many other classes, that's not easy and includes additional skill checks, and/or more actions.

I'm also not seeing anywhere anythign about not being able to use both the overcharge for your Standard Action attack AND using the move action to grant the bonus to an ally's touched weapon.

So Mechanic Operative and Operative Sniper buddy pair, Mechanic goes first,

Mechanic
Move Action: Boost Operative weapon
Standard Action: Ready Action for Overcharge Weapon Attack when Operative shoots

Operative
Full Action: Trick Attack now-Overcharged rifle and apply debilitation
*READIED ACTION* Overcharge Attack against now debuffed target

Operative delays next turn as the Mechanic's readied action puts him behind the Operative in initiative. Rinse. Repeat.


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Debilitating Sniper exploit allows you to apply trick effects, but not damage, with sniper weapons. (I made a typo and referred to it as debilitating trick in a post above.) Hampering shot halves the targets speed. Use that every round, while the mechanic uses overcharge every round. Both the operative and the mechanic could use Supercharge Weapon in the first shot, via Technomantic Dabbler.

If they get too close, operative pulls out their small arm, mechanic stops using it's move action for aiming/steadying the rifle, and instead buffs the operative whenever movement isn't required. The mechanic is still gaining extra extra damage over a typical laser rifle in these close quarters.


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Using a sniper’s long range requires a move action to aim. Trick Attack requires a full round action. The only ways to do both in one round are having an Envoy spend a resolve and standard action to give you a standard action to use for a move action to aim, or skittermander’s 1/day extra move action.


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You wouldn't be using the move action overcharge on your friend until you are engaged in close enough combat that you are no longer use the move action to gain the sniper effect.

In short, you aren't using both at the same time.

The operative is debuffing, the mechanic is providing damage. At close range, the mechanic I'd adding damage to both PCs, but no one is sniping anymore.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Using a sniper’s long range requires a move action to aim. Trick Attack requires a full round action. The only ways to do both in one round are having an Envoy spend a resolve and standard action to give you a standard action to use for a move action to aim, or skittermander’s 1/day extra move action.

Not to mention that the ability to use trick attack with sniper rifles appears to do nothing to remove the limitation that you can't trick attack with unwieldy weapons...


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Ravingdork wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Using a sniper’s long range requires a move action to aim. Trick Attack requires a full round action. The only ways to do both in one round are having an Envoy spend a resolve and standard action to give you a standard action to use for a move action to aim, or skittermander’s 1/day extra move action.
Not to mention that the ability to use trick attack with sniper rifles appears to do nothing to remove the limitation that you can't trick attack with unwieldy weapons...

RAW, it does appear that way. RAI, I'm pretty sure you're meant to apply debilitating effects with a sniper rifle once you have the Debilitating Sniper exploit.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cathulhu wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Using a sniper’s long range requires a move action to aim. Trick Attack requires a full round action. The only ways to do both in one round are having an Envoy spend a resolve and standard action to give you a standard action to use for a move action to aim, or skittermander’s 1/day extra move action.
Not to mention that the ability to use trick attack with sniper rifles appears to do nothing to remove the limitation that you can't trick attack with unwieldy weapons...
RAW, it does appear that way. RAI, I'm pretty sure you're meant to apply debilitating effects with a sniper rifle once you have the Debilitating Sniper exploit.

I totally agree. Still the wording could probably be cleaned up a little bit.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

OR you just snipe with a long arm. Mechanic/Technomancer snipes alone.

The amount of times one can snipe in a gameplay setting is...few. Plus, longarms can be fired more than once per round.

I dream of sniping one day as well. But the mechanics of sniper rifles leaves some kind of benefit to be desired. Higher damage, bonus to hit with the move action range, something. A lazimuth laser rifle has a range of 120ft. Your just better off using a longarm.

There is an unfortunate difference between wanting a flavorful sniper and a mechanically strong sniper.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Even as written, sniping with a sniper rifle is mechanically strong, if somewhat unrealistic. People just can't respond at those ranges unless they themselves carry sniper rifles.


A mechanic using overcharge DOESN'T CARE that you can only fire once with a sniper rifle. (And you actually can fire more than once a round, if you haven't spent a move action to aim. The unweildy property only applies if you've aimed, and the sniper special property is in affect.)

The mechanic (specifically, exocortex option) has more accuracy ( with miracle worker) than a soldier. With overcharge, the mechanic deals more damage on a standard attack. 1d6-7d6, depending on level, the only requirement being that the weapon must use a battery. (Plus another +2 damage, from miracle worker.)

My point is that with an energy based sniper rifle, the mechanic is most capable of any class of doing the most damage as a sniper.

Yes, full attacks do more damage, obviously. But since a sniper can't do that, and I mechanic with overcharge doesn't really want to anyway...


Cathulhu wrote:
(And you actually can fire more than once a round, if you haven't spent a move action to aim. The unweildy property only applies if you've aimed, and the sniper special property is in affect.)

Have no idea where you're getting that, but pretty sure it's false. There's nothing in the Sniper quality to imply that, and the table just lists "Unwieldy" in the Special column like any other Unwieldy weapon.


If you read the sniper effect, it in fact says they can be fired normally.

"You can still fire a sniper rifle as normal, but it only has the listed under it's normal range increment when you do so."

There was another thread somewhere about it, if I remember correctly.

In any case if I am wrong, RAI, an operative can use a sniper rifle with Debilitating Sniper, and it doesn't affect a mechanic with overcharge in any way.

My primary point that a mechanic is the most damaging sniper in the game still stands.


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"Firing normally" in that case merely means not using the Sniper quality (and thus not using the Move Action). It has no impact on the weapon's other qualities, which includes Unwieldy.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Snipers can only be fired once a round, period. Like all other unwieldy weapons they can never benefit from any method of gaining multiple attacks. No full attacks. (Or triple/quad...) No haste effects.

Unwieldy weapons are very good at one thing. Hitting hard once per round.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Even as written, sniping with a sniper rifle is mechanically strong, if somewhat unrealistic. People just can't respond at those ranges unless they themselves carry sniper rifles.

Solarians.

"Oh, that Book Depository window...yeah, I go there. Instantly." ;)


Again, when it comes to the mechanic overcharge ability, it really doesn't matter that it can be only fired once a round.

A mechanic with overcharge is going to be doing that every round, as the most damaging and accurate standard attack in the game, whether you are actually sniping with a sniper rifle or not.

And increase of 7 damage or so damage with sniper proficiency and specialization over a regular laser rifle seems worth the investment.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Corwynn Maelstrom wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Even as written, sniping with a sniper rifle is mechanically strong, if somewhat unrealistic. People just can't respond at those ranges unless they themselves carry sniper rifles.

Solarians.

"Oh, that Book Depository window...yeah, I go there. Instantly." ;)

Not a solarian expert. How does this happen? Some teleportation effect?

Even so, you have to first determine that the sniper is indeed in that particular window.

Even if the solarian guesses correctly, the sniper has effectively split the party. His chances are way higher against a single adversary than that of a whole party.

If his CR is on par with the solarian, the solarian going after the sniper may well turn into a suicide mission.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I was just pointing out that there's a built-in response to being sniped at. (Ray of Light, pg 107 if you care.)

If you want to get to the point of being able to determine where fire is coming from, I'd submit that a bunch of computer, science, and combat experts with access to powerful computers and cameras will PROBABLY be able to figure out where shots are coming from pretty quickly. I'd make them roll, but it's not going to be even remotely close to impossible. The time it takes gives the Solarian time to become fully attuned and then they fire off the Zenith Revelation. Instant melee range, even if they've retreated a bit from where you land. (Stellar Rush as a standard action.)

Now, if the GM is designing enemies that not only snipe from a thousand feet away but also do a one-sided clean up in melee against the strongest melee class in the game, well that sounds more like an issue of managing expectations. I can make NPCs that the PCs can't kill, uh, because...I just choose not to.

Personally I think this is unlikely to be as usual a counter as those using spells (Dimension Door at 10th, Teleport at 13th, or Shadow Walk at 16th, which all allow passengers) except at very high levels (17+, as Solar Acceleration is pretty much too good to pass up at 9th) but it's notable because you can just do it on round 3 (which is plenty of time to make checks to determine sniper position) and arrive fully powered up...and at 17th+, with a friend in tow—so even if the GM is fudging a little, the odds are tilted by that much.

Sniping is really good, but it's not without counters outside of sniper rifles—particularly once characters hit mid-level and can rapidly move to mitigate a sniper's line of fire, or to engage them.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And Cathulhu, as for the "yeah but all you need is one shot" thing, that's fine. The fact is that you suggested you could fire more than once. That's not the case.


Corwynn Maelstrom wrote:
And Cathulhu, as for the "yeah but all you need is one shot" thing, that's fine. The fact is that you suggested you could fire more than once. That's not the case.

But in this case (a mechanic using overcharge) it's not relevant. But thank you for the correction.


Cathulhu wrote:
an entangling fusion

I've seen people post about Entangling infusion and scratch my head since a once a day entangle seems like a waste of an infusion slot.

Is there something I'm missing?


Zabraxis wrote:
Cathulhu wrote:
an entangling fusion

I've seen people post about Entangling infusion and scratch my head since a once a day entangle seems like a waste of an infusion slot.

Is there something I'm missing?

Normally, you might not consider it. But sniper rifles are something that give you massive unfair advantage against an enemy so long as they don't reach you or get behind a wall. It's not far off from 1/day "get a free attack, maybe more". Especially if you're going heavily into Dex, and definitely if you're firing on somebody without full acrobatics ranks.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cathulhu wrote:
Mechanic with overcharge, an entangling fusion, and Technomantic Dabbler. A technomancer friend would be better, but we can't always have what we want.

The entangling fusion only works on weapons that do BSP or cold damage. Overcharge only works on weapons with batteries, none of the sniper rifles are both battery powered and cold/physical out of the box. You could add a frost weapon fusion as well to make this work though although it couldn't be done on a weapon lower than level 7 (there's probably other ways to make this work that I'm not thinking about as well.)


Good point on entangling fusion and damage types. Did not catch that.


But any weapon you apply a freezing fusion to you can the apply the entangling fusion to. So you can make your laser to cold damage and entangle, it's just more expensive and can only be done at higher weapon levels.


So far, playing in a home game and having theorized over a dozen builds that actually made it to paper... Wealth by level in this game is quite a bit more restrictive, it seems. For SFS characters, or people playing with lenient DMs, this may not matter much.

But an equivalent level weapon with two fusions, equivalent level heavy armor basic armor mods would be quite a price.

I only mention it because it may not be available to many players, and the mechanic sniper is very effective damage wise regardless.

Even in close range, (should you not have an entagle fusion, or they can otherwise close quickly) use Jump Jets (with Sky Jockey feat for best effect) in heavy armor, and just keep jumping back with a standard action overcharge attack. 40ft move that avoids rough terrain, or that can jump 20ft (30ft with Sky Jockey) straight up onto higher ground?

That should still be effective if you can't afford an entangling fusion combo, and you should probably have such a set up anyway.

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