Tips for a Gun-mage Build.


I was curious about a few things so i though i asked

the Gun-mage in question would most likely be using early fire arms
and as much as I would like to use a long-barrel weapon I assume a one-handed
fire arm would be better.

Should I

A: Still go with a build that uses a musket?
B: Use a pistol
C: Use a Dragoon Pistol or Musket?

Should I

A: Try to duel wield pistols / Dragoon pistols
B: Use a single pistol / musket?

Should I

A: I Invest in Spell cartridges
B: Use physical ammo

Class set up how should i do my first 6 levels. might make it to level 10 but idk

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There are lots of ways to build a gun-mage, and they differ drastically, so it's very hard to give suggestions without knowing more details about what kind of gunmage you're playing. Just to list off some possibilities: a Spellslinger/Sorcerer plays differently from a Spellslinger/Eldritch Archer plays differently from a Trench Fighter/ Spellslinger/Eldritch Knight plays differently from a Mysterious Stranger/Sorcerer/Eldritch Knight. There is a surprising wealth of support for the gun mage archetype!

Musket, pistol, and dragoon pistol are all viable weapons for different builds, and it really depends on your reloading solution. Dual wielding pretty much requires you to use the Juggler Bard archetype for your spellcasting. The problem is that you need a free hand to provide somatic components. If you're using a two-handed firearm it's a free action to hold it in one hand while you cast with the other, but if you're dual wielding there is no easy way to get the free hand to provide somatic spell components. Juggler bard can literally juggle firearms to give himself a free hand whenever needed.

Now, the question of reloading is the big one. Spell Cartridges is a good option for reloading, but it adds two more feats onto a build that's already going to be very feat-starved, plus it deprives you of your swift action economy which is a big deal at higher levels. However, there are other options; shadow-shooting weapons are a good one that frees up feats at the cost of a more expensive weapon, while if you've got the spell slots for it the reloading hands with dragoon cartridges can be a great reloading options. There are pros and cons to every approach, and I think you can make a good argument in favor of a wide variety of choices. Though do keep in mind that the Spellslinger/Sorcerer build doesn't need to bother with any reloading shenanigans; when casting spells through their arcane gun they don't need ammunition, and when not casting spells their firearm attack is so weak it's just not worth risking a misfire.

@ Dasrak

Well I Really like the image of a musket but Idk if i want to invest in 3 levels of musket master. (I Guess it what depend on what level i start) I'd like some levels of spell casting class under my belt

I played a spellslinger / Eldritch archer before and for what little time i had him i enjoyed him.

I was also told of the pepper-Box pistol so i am kinda considering that

though the mysterious stranger . sorcerer , Eldritch knight sounds fun
How many levels would i need of each to be viable . would it come online bfore level 9?

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You don't need to invest 3 levels in musket master to use a musket. There are plenty of alternative ways to get free action reloading. Reloading Hands on Dragoon Cartridges, Spell Cartridges, and Shadowshooting weapons all work great.

For the Mysterious Stranger build, you want 1 level of Mysterious Stranger, 6 levels of Sorcerer and then the rest to Eldritch Knight. Presuming you take the Prestigious Spellcaster feat, that gives you 4th level spells and +6 BAB by 9th level which is a solid place for a gish to be. You can use the combination of Mending and Jury Rig spells to cover for the fact that you don't get Quick Clear. Jury Rig can suppress the broken condition if a misfire happens during combat, then you can cast Mending afterwards to fix it. I would probably go with a Shadowshooting weapon to avoid spending feats on reloading. By 9th level I'd aim to have Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, Favored Prestige Class, and Prestigious Spellcaster. Alternately a human could drop Deadly Aim to take Arcane Strike and Spell Cartridges.

Liberty's Edge

Have you considered the wizard archetype designed to be an arcane gunslinger?


Shadow Lodge

Thats a good archetype for a one-level dip. None of its class features restrict themselves to only Wizard spells. Go into Bard(Arcane Duelist is nice for this) or Magus or even divine classes like Cleric and start shooting spells into people.

@ Dasrak

Well I Might do A Musket Magus (and Do spell Cartridges)

What would work better for a low to Middle level game

1: 1 level spellslinger and the Rest Magus
2: 1 level Gunslinger and the rest Magus

I know both have there Advantages but i want to figure out what one i want and I'd like some comparisons to help me figure it out

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nosta1300 wrote:

Well I Might do A Musket Magus (and Do spell Cartridges)

What would work better for a low to Middle level game

1: 1 level spellslinger and the Rest Magus
2: 1 level Gunslinger and the rest Magus

I know both have there Advantages but i want to figure out what one i want and I'd like some comparisons to help me figure it out

Definitely Gunslinger, and while you're at you want to be human.

Your build will come online at 5th level as a Human Gunslinger 1 / Eldritch Archer 4. That lets you have (with human bonus feat) Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Arcane Strike, and Spell Cartridges. At 6th level with the Magus bonus feat you can pick up rapid shot, and at 7th level you take deadly aim, and at 8th level you get +6 BAB to get your first iterative.

With the Spellslinger approach everything is delayed since your BAB is one point lower and you need to pick up Quick Clear via Amateur Gunslinger so you're a feat behind. It's not the end of the world, but if you're mostly concerned about low-level performance the Gunslinger version is getting everything a little earlier.

Not clear why you'd pick up Rapid Shot. Can't you use normal Ranged Spell Combat to give you your extra ranged attack? Even if they stacked, I don't think three attacks at -4 to hit is worth it.

Riving strike is a better choice than rapid shot. Shoot once to lower saves, cast your spell, hit then with your spellstriked shot. Since you are already committed to taking arcane strike Riving strike is a really good choice for a magus.

Nosta1300 wrote:

What would work better for a low to Middle level game

Honestly? Avoiding firearms would probably work better for the low to mid game. Go straight Magus with a bow as your arcane bond. A big part of any really powerful Magus build is using Intensified Spell to increase shocking grasp/snowball beyond 5d6 as you get over 5th level.

Dumping all of your feats into Ranged combat means capping that explosive power 5 levels earlier than a vanilla Magus. Using a bow instead of a gun means you have a harder time hitting, but you save on the reloading feats. Sinking those 2+ feats into metamagic will help you a lot.

Then you save up your money. Do not buy a magic bow. Instead save up enough to buy an enchanted firearm that doesn't need to reload. Shadowshooting, shadowcrafted, or the unique pistol with infinite ammunition. Then pay the 200gp per level to switch your arcane bond from the bow to the firearm.

Well here is what i got so far

Human Musket magus

Level (1) Gunslinger
Level (2-15) Eldritch Archer magus


Level 1 / Human Point Blank shot / Precise strike
Level 3 Arcane strike
Level 5 Spell cartridges
Level 7 Rime spell
Level 9 Intensified spell
Level 11???
Level 13 Dazing spell
Level 15 spell perfection (snowball)

Magus Arcana 1 (Taken at level 4) Arcane Accuracy
Magus Arcana 2 (Taken at level 7) Empowered Magic
Magus Arcana 3 (Taken At level 10) Reach Spellstrike
Magus Arcana 4 (Taken at level 13) Distant Spellstrike

Get a Large-sized Double Hackbut and carry it around in your pocket with Shrink Item. Then w/e you need to bring the pain, end the Shrink Item spell and presto, instant cannonade :)

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