So a little background. As cheesy as it sounds, I enjoy what some would call trashy anime shows. This includes Sword Art Online. In the first third of the second season, the protagonist plays a game called Gun Gale Online. While playing he mains a photo sword while carrying a standard issue pistol, and is capable of using both in combat effective.
So to my question:
In Pathfinder, is it possible to build a character that can use both a sword in his main hand (obviously a regular sword and not a photo sword) and a pistol in his offhand. I know it would be some form of dual Wielding. I'm just not entirely certain on how a build would work for this. I figure some form of Gunslinger to be able to use the pistol, but not sure what else would be needed.
I know this sounds like an odd request. I am also new to actually posting on the forums here so wasn't sure if this was the correct place to post a question like this. I hope someone can give me a hand in answering my lil fantasy request for this
Hey, welcome to the forums.
The biggest issue with dual-wielding a gun and sword is reloading. Pathfinder rules state that it takes both hands to reload a gun, which you can't do while holding another weapon in your main hand. If you have a gun that holds multiple rounds or a gun enchanted with the shadowshooting quality, those can lessen the need to reload, somewhat.
(I've seen people try and get around this using various juggling feats or a particular bard archetype, but those have questionable legality for reloading a weapon.)
The next biggest thing to consider is that to be effective, you'll need to obtain both ranged or gun-specific combat feats and dual wielding feats. Both ranged combat and dual melee combat styles are feat intensive, and what you want combines them with little synergy.
I know all of this because I've also wanted to build a sword and gun type of character. The best option I found at the time was the Picaroon swashbuckler archetype. I feel that the archetype is a non-starter both because of the reloading issue above, and because a swashbuckler can't use the their precise strike deed if you're using your off-hand to attack. At most levels, it trades off a large chunk of damage (precision damage) for a smaller chunk of damage with an attack penalty (off-hand firearm).
Maybe somebody else has figured out another option since I last looked at this, however.
The Swashbuckler archetype is for you! It is a combination of Fighter and Gunslinger. Pretty decent class too and they can definitely pull their own weight.
As long as you have two-weapon fighting you can basically use any two weapons. Rapier is a very popular sword for Swashbucklers. The problem with dual-wielding when one of the weapons is a pistol is that you need a free hand to reload. There are ways around this problem though.
It depends how goodnyou want it to be. As Andostre said it take a lot of feats, it need something for you to be able to reload your pistol, and even then your damage will be sub-parr.
Off the to nof my head Picaroon has something for you (see the link in Andostre's post). If you want to put out competetive damage you probably want an agile sword, 5 levels of gunslinger and 2 levels of Juggler Bard (so it's kind of a non-starter toll level 7). There's also the question of whether a pistol counts as a 1-handed weapon or a light weapon (I've seen both argued), so your penalties to-hit might be huge.
Is it doable? Yes.
Is it going to be good? Probably not.
If your group is ok with you trying it, and you're ok being sub-parr till at least level 7 then go for it.
PS. This probably belongs in the "Advice" sub-forum.
The biggest roadblock is the reloading issue. However, you can get around that several ways. The first, carry a lot of pistols and quickdraw them.
Second, pick a gun-type that has a capacity greater than 1. Buckler gun has 2, Double-barreled pistol also has 2, but both can be fired at the same time as a special standard action. Dragoon pistol has 3, and is my favorite since when you reload it, you automatically reload all 3 bullets in a single action, though it only has a x4 crit multiplier. Paddle-foot pistol has a capacity of 4, but has reduced maximum increments and a x3 crit multiplier. Pepperbox has a capacity of 6, however you must rotate the barrel with a free hand, defeating this purpose.
Third, pick a gun that doesn't run out of ammo like the Pistol of the infinite sky.
Fourth, start with a 1 handed ranged Shadowcraft weapon and command it to turn into an appropriate gun. Or enchant an existing gun with Shadowshooting. Note that the DC is different between the two, the shadowcraft weapon gets twice enhancement bonus, but the light level is important.
Fifth, you can use an item like Beneficial Bandolier to reload once per round as a swift action. Or a spell like Reloading Hands to reload once per round as a non-action.
Finally, as mentioned, Juggler Bard which states that if you are juggling fewer than 3 objects, you are considered to have a hand free so should work to reload.
It may also be important to note that if you aren't making any more attacks than your normal BAB would allow, you can take them with either weapon. So if your BAB was +11, you could Sword/Pistol/Unarmed Strike with no two/multi-weapon fighting penalty.
I risk restating what's already been said by Firebug and Val'bryn2, but it's a really important consideration for sword-and-pistol builds: You only need to invest in the Two-Weapon Fighting feats if you want extra off-hand attacks in a full-round attack. I.e. Two-Weapon Fighting as a style of fighting represents using two weapons 'at once' - not necessarily switching from one to the other.
Pathfinder characters are ambidextrous by default. If you simply hold a one-handed weapon in each hand, you can choose to use either one for a given attack.
If you do go the TWF route, there's even the Sword and Pistol feat for that combat style. If you still have feats available somehow.There are a few archetypes geared for that, too.
The main hurdles you're gonna run into, as mentioned, are gonna be proficiencies and reloading.
wow, 4 feats to have before you can get that one? that's a lot of feat tax to pay. (without even mentioning the weapon focus required to get snap shot)... on the plus side, by the time you have all the feats, odds are you won't have to worry about the minimal BAB required anymore.
and unless you use the alchemical answer to reloading, I am even more convinced than before that a repeating weapon is necessary to make that feat chain worthwhile, unless you're ready to carry a half dozen single shot weapons and able to retrieve them all from the ground after each fight...
Depending on your GM, you could shoot for a late game ultimate cheese. Early game describe your character as being fascinated with stories of Technology and Numeria. Somewhere around 12th level pick up the Technologist feat. Also acquire a single handed, ranged Shadowcraft weapon. Now you should be able to transform it into any of the pistols described in the Technological Weapons section. Since it shoots shadows, there is no need for power or nanite ammo. This also means being able to change energy types and hitting touch AC at every range. The only downside is not being able to get dex to damage. Most classes that let you add dex to damage with a firearm only allow it with a specific weapon type.
But still, being able to swap between sonic, electric, fire, cold and force damage with the same weapon is very strong. You could even result to copying normal firearms if that would be better for your current situation.
The feat isn't absolutely mandatory, but I'd require it as a GM. If I allowed this nonsense in the first place.