Scatterguns, whats up with that?


General Discussion


So I've been building a character for my friend's upcoming Attack Of The Swarm! game coming up and I've been building this mechanic and I totally want them to use a shotgun to blast some bugs back when they get too close! The major problem I'm finding is that the Scatterguns are just not worth it?

1d4 Damage and a 15ft. Cone, which sounds not too great, but then you put in the -2 on attack rolls to each target in the cone? If you want to fire twice on your turn it's a -6 to each attack roll to targets in front of you for a measly 1d4 points of damage? Are they even viable in any builds? Maybe I'm missing something, but I admit I wish scatterguns were a little beefier. I'm currently trying to get my GM to let me use Owen's 3rd party stuff and replace the scatterguns with those weapon qualities.


Regular scatterguns are pretty bad, but later blast weapons that attack in much larger cones can be good.

And while it has only the breach property and no special pellet spread property, the breaching gun line from armory are probably the closest to shotguns in 1st party products.


Yeah, early level blast weapons are pretty poor.

Later on, between specialization damage, weapon fusions, special effects, and an increased range on the cone, they do get better.

Of course, that's predicated on being able to get multiple targets in the cone.


Pantshandshake wrote:

Yeah, early level blast weapons are pretty poor.

Later on, between specialization damage, weapon fusions, special effects, and an increased range on the cone, they do get better.

Of course, that's predicated on being able to get multiple targets in the cone.

It's a shame there isn't any 1-20 Starfinder adventures where you could use weapon outside of the early levels...


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

While I'd like to see an expansion of the Starfinder AP line into higher levels, blast weapons with a decent sized cone are not something restricted to levels 13-20.


HammerJack wrote:
While I'd like to see an expansion of the Starfinder AP line into higher levels, blast weapons with a decent sized cone are not something restricted to levels 13-20.

You're absolutely right, but my group seems to run exclusively AP's, and mostly Pathfinder ones. We've done the first three books of Dead Suns and the first book of Against the Aeon Throne, so while there are better blast weapons later in the game, doesn't really do me much good right now.

Either way, I'm absolutely in love with the Starfinder system and the setting that they've created, I just can't wait to see what it looks like down the line.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

May I suggest to you Starfarer's Arsenal: Shotguns.

It is a better representation of shotguns than the scattergun.

I has been used at my table for a few weeks now and it has been well received.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aunders wrote:

So I've been building a character for my friend's upcoming Attack Of The Swarm! game coming up and I've been building this mechanic and I totally want them to use a shotgun to blast some bugs back when they get too close! The major problem I'm finding is that the Scatterguns are just not worth it?

1d4 Damage and a 15ft. Cone, which sounds not too great, but then you put in the -2 on attack rolls to each target in the cone? If you want to fire twice on your turn it's a -6 to each attack roll to targets in front of you for a measly 1d4 points of damage? Are they even viable in any builds? Maybe I'm missing something, but I admit I wish scatterguns were a little beefier. I'm currently trying to get my GM to let me use Owen's 3rd party stuff and replace the scatterguns with those weapon qualities.

Ironically scatter guns specialize at shooting swarms. My group jokingly refers to them at low levels as the fly swatter.


One good thing about blast weapons is they work well with standard/move action enhancers like the Technomancer's empowered weapon hack (all) or the Mechanic's overcharge trick (energy only). Try to apply that bonus damage to 3-4 enemies instead of just one, and the Techno's hack helps with accuracy, too.

They're also decent when an Envoy is tossing around Improved Get 'Em using the RP option to effect a crowd.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Unfortunately, blast includes this line:

"Attacks with blast weapons ignore concealment. A blast weapon doesn’t benefit from feats or abilities that increase the damage of a single attack (such as the operative’s trick attack). "

Overcharge is an ability that increases the damage of a single attack.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Dont forget you too add weapon specialization damage. As long as you are hitting 2 or more enemies, you will almost always deal more damage than single target weapons. And that is despite the fact that the weapon die is usually about half that of a single target weapon.


Hawk Kriegsman wrote:

May I suggest to you Starfarer's Arsenal: Shotguns.

It is a better representation of shotguns than the scattergun.

I has been used at my table for a few weeks now and it has been well received.

This also has Owen's name on it! I'm going to look into this, thank you for the suggestion!


Personally I think a shotgun should have an option for a solid shot slug that doed more damage but to only one target and can take a variety if other ammo as well.


HammerJack wrote:

Unfortunately, blast includes this line:

"Attacks with blast weapons ignore concealment. A blast weapon doesn’t benefit from feats or abilities that increase the damage of a single attack (such as the operative’s trick attack)."
Nimor Starseeker wrote:
Dont forget you too add weapon specialization damage. As long as you are hitting 2 or more enemies, you will almost always deal more damage than single target weapons. And that is despite the fact that the weapon die is usually about half that of a single target weapon.

Aren't these two in conflict? Weapon Specialization is a feat that increases the damage of an attack. As far as I understand, blast weapons (and line weapons) do not benefit from Weapon Specialization.

I'd love to be wrong about this, since their damage sucks without Specialization.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Weapon Specialization applies to all weapon damage except missiles and grenades, which specifically except it. “Single attack” refers to action economy abilities.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Great. I wonder how many other things like this I have been getting wrong over 50 scenarios.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I consider Scatterguns a cheap, easily re-usable form of grenades. While you do have to make a to hit roll, the ammo for them are a lot cheaper and usually a lot safer to party members then tossing a grenade into combat.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
I, Lucifer wrote:
Personally I think a shotgun should have an option for a solid shot slug that doed more damage but to only one target and can take a variety if other ammo as well.

There are single target shotguns in starfinder. They're called Breaching Guns.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Naal wrote:
Great. I wonder how many other things like this I have been getting wrong over 50 scenarios.

Probably more than one, less than 20? Not to worry, its pretty common round these parts, I think everyone is guilty of it to some extent.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Scatterguns, whats up with that? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.