am i wrong or can you do insane damage with the gunslinger?


Rules Questions


so i recently made a goblin gunslinger with a high fantasy 20point buy for stats.
it looks to me that i can do potentially 154d6 of damage in one round by using double pistols.

let me explain.
1) I am a pistolero gunslinger. at lvl 20 i get +5d6 per shot by spending 1 grig using up close and deadly deed (would've loved to use signature deed or true grit on up close and deadly, but the pfsrd says that it cant be reduced to 0 even though the book doesn't say that so for difficultly sake im going with the pfsrd)

2) i have two weapon fighting and my off hand double pistol has. holy, flaming, corrosive and shock. my primary is a shadowcraft holy corrosive frost shock double pistol
that 2d6 from holy and 1d6 per elemental enchantment on that weapon and 1d6 for using small double pistols. totaling 6d6s without up close and deadly.

3) get 7 attacks off i one full round attack and 2 shots per gun(1 from each barrel) totalling 14 shots. i do this by have 4 shots one my first attack action of the full round attack. 2 shots from my primary and 2 from off hand. my second attack will another double shot out of my primary which doesn't need reloading due to shadowcraft(i needed this bc the GM set the number of free actions per turn at 3) giving shots 5&6, 3rd attack from primary giving shots 7&8, 4th giving 9&10. then i have the feat rapid shot giving me and extra attack which gives shots 11&12, and one final attack with boots of hast(which stacks with rapid shot) giving shots 13&14

4) the issue that i ran into is that in order to add on the extra +5d6s per shot i would need 14 grit. my wisdom modifier is at a +5 at lvl 20 so i take extra grit as a feat giving me 7 grit per day. so as a group we went on a quest for a +6 headband of mental superiority
so now i have 10 grit per day....i still need 4 more so we went to find a tatoo inscribe artist and i got a tatoo on my head of a +6 headband of inspired wisdom. so now we're up to 13 grit per day....just quest or somehow aquire a +2 tome of wisdom and understanding. 14 grit per day

5) every shot you take (14 shots, see part 2) spend a grit on every shot on up close and deadly. giving 11d6 per shot overall (1d6 for weapon +5d6 for weapon enchantments and +5d6 for up close and deadly) 11d6 per shot for 14 shots 11x14=154d6

6) pick up clustered shot to minimize any type of resistance or damage reduction.

did i misinterpret rules? or did i just successfully break the game without bending the rules?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Asterothe91 wrote:
or did i just successfully break the game without bending the rules?
Asterothe91 wrote:
at lvl 20


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Yes, a damage-focused class at Level 20, focused primarily on dealing damage, will in fact be able to do so past any reasonable need. XD

However, I'm pretty sure your build is invalid. A Headband of Mental Superiority and a Headband of Inspired Wisdom (via tattoo) would both provide Enhancement Bonuses to a stat, so it doesn't work. Bonuses of the same type almost never stack.

High damage doesn't really break the game, though. It's something the party is sort of assumed to be doing anyway. "Congrats, you killed the creature the GM put there for you to kill" is not game-breaking.


excellent point, i didn't think about this. this is what i was looking for. a flaw in the build. ive never heard of someone being able to roll 154d6s in one full round attack. that was my goal. so, based on the enhancement bonus thing that i would only have 11 grit per day not 14. unless i find a +5 tome instead of a +2. and i didn't think about the ability score bonuses for level which if i place on wisdom (besides the 1st at lvl 4) would give me a wis score of 21=+5 with a tome of +5 id have a 26=+8 extra grit gives me 10 and either +6 headband puts me at 13.... so with this itd be 149d6+base damage

that is, unless im missing something else.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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You can only fire both barrels of a double-barreled pistol when doing so as a standard action, so that also cuts your number of attacks in half.

Double-barreled muskets, for reference.


that seems like bit strectch to me. yes, on the PFSRD it says you can as a standard action (attack action) shoot both, but doesnt say that it cant be done during a full round attack and logically if you can in a standard action as an attack you should be able to during a full round attack as well. that wordage seems very "DM discretiony".


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I'm pretty sure one of Paizo's Organized Play Developers is an authority here. XD

That said, standard action attacks and full attacks are different things. There are some things you can do during one, but not during the other. Sometimes these make perfect logical sense, other times they're meant to serve as a limiter for game balance. For things like, y'know, not letting people roll about a hundred and fifty dice in one attack.


its not the build that i care about in this case, the goal is to try to roll as many dice in a round as possible in a full round attack. and am looking for definitive answers to where its wrong, such as the one you pointed out with headbands. but something that says you can do as an attack action, but doesn't say only. that isn't definitive enough. unless of course this organizers statement in saying "only" amends this wordage. in which case, lovely. but if not and its just organized play ruling then its too "DM discretion"y for me. i have contacted numerous paizo officials and they unfortunately said its dm discussions *sad face for me* im looking for definitive reasoning as to ruin this build. (technically its not mine and i am trying to find the errors in it)
id love for this guy to only roll 77d6 instead of 149, but the DM allows it bc its not definitive enough to say no by the rulebook.


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An Attack Action is a specific kind of Standard Action in the game, and it is not compatible with full attacks.

The text applicable to all of the double-barreled weapons is:

Quote:
This [weapon] has two parallel barrels; each barrel can be shot independently as separate attacks, or both can be fired at once as a standard action (the attack action).

The key word there is "or". You can do one of those two things with it. You cannot shoot both barrels at once as part of a full attack. You can shoot them separately during a full attack.


ok, thanks. 77d6 it is then....well in my view.

DM just asked if it should be a situation like sunder where it is officially ruled bc its worded wrong.
like whether the word "only" should be added into that second part after "or"

this issue here does seem like its bending the rules though.....this was super helpful.

Grand Lodge

Cave Druid 8 / monk of the four winds 12 with shaping focus feat can probably get the most damage dice possible. Let me do the math real quick...

With shaping focus, you count as a 10th level druid for wildshaping, and you can morph into a carnivorous crystal ooze, with a base damage of 7d8. Enlarged and strong jaw'ed I believe you're at 12d6. Throw on vital strike, and improved vital strike, you're at 36d6.

A 12th level monk of the four winds can spend 6 ki points to take 3 standard actions. 3 36d6 vital strikes is 108d6.

My initial numbers could be wrong with what the damage dice is after being enlarged and casting strong jaw, but the point remains.

If your GM allows you to do an unchained monk of the four winds, even better as you can then qualify for greater vital strike too.

Grand Lodge

I looked it up and 7d8 actually translates to 16d6 when you're enlarged and have strong jaw.
So with that, improved vital strike is actually 48d6, and three of those in a round is 144d6.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Syries wrote:

I looked it up and 7d8 actually translates to 16d6 when you're enlarged and have strong jaw.

So with that, improved vital strike is actually 48d6, and three of those in a round is 144d6.

Wouldnt it be 14d6?

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

Moved to Rules Forum.

Grand Lodge

Size Changes, Effective Size Changes, and Damage Dice Progression FAQ:
I'm confused by how to increase and decrease manufactured and natural weapon damage dice when the weapon's size or effective size changes. There's a bunch of different charts, and I'm not sure which to use.
When the damage dealt by a creature’s weapons or natural attacks changes due to a change in its size (or the size of its weapon), use the following rules to determine the new damage.

• If the size increases by one step, look up the original damage on the chart and increase the damage by two steps. If the initial size is Small or lower (or is treated as Small or lower) or the initial damage is 1d6 or less, instead increase the damage by one step.
• If the size decreases by one step, look up the original damage on the chart and decrease the damage by two steps. If the initial size is Medium or lower (or is treated as Medium or lower) or the initial damage is 1d8 or less, instead decrease the damage by one step.
• If the exact number of original dice is not found on this chart, apply the following before adjusting the damage dice. If the damage is a number of d6, find the next lowest number of d6 on the chart and use that number of d8 as the original damage value (for example, 10d6 would instead be treated as 8d8). If the damage is a number of d8, find the next highest number of d8 on the chart and use that number of d6 as the original damage value (for example, 5d8 would instead be treated as 6d6). Once you have the new damage value, adjust by the number of steps noted above.
• If the die type is not referenced on this chart, apply the following rules before adjusting the damage dice. 2d4 counts as 1d8 on the chart, 3d4 counts as 2d6 on the chart, and so on for higher numbers of d4. 1d12 counts as 2d6 on the chart, and so on for higher numbers of d12.
• Finally, 2d10 increases to 4d8 and decreases to 2d8, regardless of the initial size, and so on for higher numbers of d10.

Damage Dice Progression Chart
1
1d2
1d3
1d4
1d6
1d8
1d10
2d6
2d8
3d6
3d8
4d6
4d8
6d6
6d8
8d6
8d8
12d6
12d8
16d6


7d8 is equivalent to 8d6 on the damage progression chart. You go up 2 steps every size increase. Enlarge and Strong Jaw is two size increases, so 8d6 -> 12d6 -> 16d6


Asterothe91 wrote:

ok, thanks. 77d6 it is then....well in my view.

DM just asked if it should be a situation like sunder where it is officially ruled bc its worded wrong.
like whether the word "only" should be added into that second part after "or"

this issue here does seem like its bending the rules though.....this was super helpful.

Nothing's being bent. The double barreled pistol works essentially like a regular pistol with a specific special ability that allows you to fire both barrels during the Attack Action. The Attack Action is a specific type of standard action with its own description in the Combat chapter and usually involves making one attack. A Full Attack Action is a specific type of full round action with a separate description and involves making one or more attacks (not Attack Actions--they're all one action). Firing both barrels of a double-barreled pistol, much like using Vital Strike*, requires using the Attack Action. It may not be used when you make an attack due to some other action or effect, such as executing a Full Attack Action, making an attack of opportunity, or casting disintegrate.

Internalize the distinction between "attack" and "attack action" and it makes perfect sense.

*I'm pretty sure "can I Vital Strike during a full attack/spring attack/charge/whatever" is both the oldest and most common question on these forums. Since this is essentially the same question, you're in good company. : )

Paizo Employee

Syries wrote:
...

Strong jaw actually increases your effective size category by 2 steps, and enlarge increases it by 1. So you've got a total of three steps on the size chart, not 2 (which puts you in the "my number isn't on this chart" territory.)

Grand Lodge

Oh yeah, I forgot it's two size categories larger for strong jaw.
Following the pattern of the FAQ, that puts it at 20d6, 60d6 with improved vital strike, and 180d6 with 3 standard actions.


Both of your pistols are Shadowcrafted, right? You need some way to not reload them since you need an empty hand to reload a firearm.

Base attack wise you get 4 attacks. Rapid fire adds a second attack for a -2 to hit. TWF adds 1 attack for a variable penalty to all attacks, but since there are no light pistols its going to be -4 (unless you play size games, will do so below). Improved TWF will let you add a another attack at -5, which I believe accounts for all of your 7 shots.

To raise your damage you want more grit points, which is difficult. Burn 5 wishes and add +5 to your wisdom is about the limit of what you can do without reallocating feats.

But its possible to add more attacks. Simplistic method is to get haste for +1 attack at full BAB. Lots of items will do this for you, and probably you get this from other party members already.

One more method would be to add more arms. So talk somebody into using Polymorph Any Object on you to make you into a High Girallon which will give you a -2 to dex, but more also switch you to large size and give you 4 arms. 2 more pistols and you have 2 more off hand attacks. If all of the pistols are medium sized thanks to the goblin gunslinger being able to use medium guns with no penalty you are now armed with light weapons so your -4 goes to -2. That more than makes up for the loss in dex...not really. You also lost 1 damage per shot so your only slightly ahead.

Angazhani/Girallon only is good because its a magical beast so it qualifies for beast form 3's benefits. If you choose a humanoid race it would be the same as Alter Self. Polymorph Any Object can not do monstrous humanoid.

That potentially brings you up to 10 shots per round.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just throw barrels of gunpowder near your target, then shoot the barrels. Unless you are dumping a bag of holding that has barrels, you won't roll hundreds of dice. It is an area of effect, though.

Guns and gunpowder can still be defeated by a zero level spell - create water.


Ssalarn wrote:
Syries wrote:
...
Strong jaw actually increases your effective size category by 2 steps, and enlarge increases it by 1. So you've got a total of three steps on the size chart, not 2 (which puts you in the "my number isn't on this chart" territory.)

Enlarge does not work with Wild Shape.


Create Water has to follow the rules for casting magic. You need line of sight and line of effect to your target. As such, you could make the barrel or firearm wet, but it doesn't make the loaded shot or contents of the barrel wet. You can't create water in a space you can't see or draw a line to.

Damp Powder is a spell that specifically says it ruins the ammunition in a firearm. Trying to elevate a zero level spell to have the same effect calls into question the necessity of the higher level spell.

Dark Archive

Damage for a gunslinger is decent, and the touch targets means you pretty much only miss on a natural 1. 38.5 average damage and 7 shots per round is pretty good but not earth shattering.

I have a 12 Rogue/2 Barbarian/1 Fighter who does 14D6+43 points of non-lethal damage per hit while flanking with 3(5 attacks with Hurtful and Opportunist feats) hits per round while raging and unbuffed(magic items included, including a +5 Strength Manual of gainful exercise that got rolled by the GM and I had the cash to buy it). That is an average of 276(42D6+129) damage per round with 3 hits and 460 damage with all 5 hits(70D6+215) connecting. Not to mention all the debuffs he does every hit and the fear effects he does to all enemies within 30 feet after reducing someone to -1 hit points. He is pretty much unstoppable. Only weakness is the Will save. The other melee character is a Shadow Dancer Vigilante who works really well with my character, so we pretty much flank every round and both of us have the Opportunist feat. We often good-naturedly argue about who gets to finish off the BBEG.

At level 20 while buffed by my Skald and Cleric friends I will do 18D6+54 non-lethal damage per hit and 126D6+378 for an average of 819 damage if I hit with all 7 attacks and I still need to pick 3 feats.


Fairly certain a Cannonballing cavalier can VASTLY surpass your gunslingers damage, of course, they only hit twice... but still. I have a level 10 one atm, who already hits 2x a round with a static +82 damage....

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