Gunslingers needs Better / More Interesting Ways / Deeds


Gunslinger Class


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The core odd level features are martial classes in PF2 are their defining characteristics. A character might spend all of their class feats from level 2 up on an archetype but a Barbarian will always have rage, a Ranger will always have hunt target, and a Gunslinger will always have their Way and their Deeds.

Unfortunately Deeds are pretty underwhelming from levels 1-8. I understand that the Gunslinger also gets higher proficiency but comparing directly to the Fighter the Deeds are less interesting and build defining than lvl 1 AoO (and the gunslinger has less HP to boot)

I think that in the final version the level one deeds should pack a little more punch. Something that makes you think "that's a gunslinger" rather than that's an ability that is largely useless if you are already expecting trouble and have your guns drawn.


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I agree. I don't have the solution, but at low levels especially, the gunslinger doesn't seem to really have a strong niche outside of when initiative is rolled (and even then, it only helps sometimes).

My vote is a level-agnostic feature that either allows them to interact with reload in a different way, as they are basically Reload, The Class.

I also have seen ideas floating around that positively incentivize them to travel without their weapon drawn. Generally speaking, if players are expecting trouble, they all have their weapons and shields and everything out and ready to go--Paizo must know this. So if half their current bonus is related to them getting a free draw on an initiative roll? It has to have some actual reason for them to keep their hands free until that point. Maybe bonus precision damage for their first shot after a weapon draw? Would need some qualifiers or differentiation between the playstyles (snipers would be unduly underserved by this).

Who knows. As you level, more deeds and feats can give you a more specific flair, but base-level gunslingers really don't seem to gain any separation from your average fighter.


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I agree. I've only seen one combat with a gunslinger so far, and the first level sniper feature definitely seemed underwhelming (even if the monster wasn't immune to precision, it would have only added 3 damage to a single attack in a 3-round combat).

Since there's been talk of making reloading more interesting, maybe each of them should get a bonus when they reload. Maybe Drifter gets a small amount of physical resistance (since they're the melee version of a fairly squishy class), sniper can hide while reloading, and pistolero could get a free step. Just throwing ideas out there.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Salamileg wrote:


Since there's been talk of making reloading more interesting, maybe each of them should get a bonus when they reload. Maybe Drifter gets a small amount of physical resistance (since they're the melee version of a fairly squishy class), sniper can hide while reloading, and pistolero could get a free step. Just throwing ideas out there.

I like those! Not busted at all, to my eyes. Take those and find a way to make reloading simpler for the two-weapon builds (which I'd guess is going to be most gunslingers), and I think right there that's the bulk of the class's issues fixed for me!


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And here I thought that having a free move action to engage or Step to reposition was already pretty good.

They also ensure that your first round in combat will always be with weapon in hand and ready to fight at no additional cost. While this may not be a constant boon, it is a sizeable advantage that you get for "free".

They are great action economy enhances and are definitely something unique to the system. The only one I dislike is One Shot, One Kill just because it's pretty boring overall (despite being free damage).

They are pretty strong and interesting. I wouldn't mind having them changed for the better, but I think they're good base features at level 1.
My GM really loves his ambushes and sometimes being able to go guns blazing at first rounds in those battles is pretty useful, since because you're caught off guard in your first turns you are playing catch up.


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Lightning Raven wrote:

And here I thought that having a free move action to engage or Step to reposition was already pretty good.

They also ensure that your first round in combat will always be with weapon in hand and ready to fight at no additional cost. While this may not be a constant boon, it is a sizeable advantage that you get for "free".

They are great action economy enhances and are definitely something unique to the system. The only one I dislike is One Shot, One Kill just because it's pretty boring overall (despite being free damage).

They are pretty strong and interesting. I wouldn't mind having them changed for the better, but I think they're good base features at level 1.
My GM really loves his ambushes and sometimes being able to go guns blazing at first rounds in those battles is pretty useful, since because you're caught off guard in your first turns you are playing catch up.

The free action on initiative roll? Sure, it's pretty good, but like the free draw, it's pretty situational.

That's mostly my concern. Free movement on your first turn of a combat is pretty good, but the longer a combat goes, the less impact it can have. Maybe that's thematic but it also feels a bit disjointed.

But then I have no experience playing or running the class yet. I acknowledge I'm just spitballing based on my guesses. :)

I think the value of the free draw and stuff is very table-dependent. I am pretty sure most players are often wandering around, guns out. In the rare occasion that you are ambushed or surprised, gunslinger is in a great spot (especially since they have great perception). I'm just concerned that a group setting their own pace, which in my experience is virtually all of them (acknowledging again the specificity of my anecdotal understanding), would see the gunslinger relegated towards "basically a fighter."

And my main goal in all these discussions is to help Paizo generate as much distinction between those two classes.


Lightning Raven wrote:

And here I thought that having a free move action to engage or Step to reposition was already pretty good.

They also ensure that your first round in combat will always be with weapon in hand and ready to fight at no additional cost. While this may not be a constant boon, it is a sizeable advantage that you get for "free".

They are great action economy enhances and are definitely something unique to the system. The only one I dislike is One Shot, One Kill just because it's pretty boring overall (despite being free damage).

They are pretty strong and interesting. I wouldn't mind having them changed for the better, but I think they're good base features at level 1.
My GM really loves his ambushes and sometimes being able to go guns blazing at first rounds in those battles is pretty useful, since because you're caught off guard in your first turns you are playing catch up.

I don't doubt that in games such as yours where you are ambushed a lot that it is good. In terms of action math alone it's three actions for free which is pretty amazing. However if you aren't ambushed than the free draws don't help and the free step is situational. The only one that is always useful is going to be the Sniper one but as you said it's pretty boring. I also think ambushes are more rare in other games. I think maybe one in eight combats in my home games are ambushes, not sure how common they are in APs overall.

I think thees current deeds would even make good feats for that always ready gunslinger concept (though it's hard to beat the general versatility of quick draw). However I think the core class feature should be a bit more universally useful.


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The problem with the sniper one is it basically forces you to always avoid notice as your exploration activity to use it.

I think it should also allow perception - the image of a gunslinger on lookout, gun at the ready, someone pops out and he just snaps over and blasts them before they can react because he's ready for anything.

Although it's more just a mechanical thing - it's just too limiting like that, when the other two work on any form of initiative roll.


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The thing with the Deeds is that they are very fitting with the intended flavor of the Gunslinger, of always be ready for a fight and being quick on the draw. The action economy enhancement can't be underestimated as well, because a free step is an extra 10ft either move away from the opponent or get into your first range increment, it can be very useful despite working only on the first round. Keep in mind that early on, most classes are still gearing up for combat with their preparatory abilities, such as entering a stance or hunting prey, then, depending on the distance, heavy armored characters will spend more than one action (It was a stark difference between my monk and my friend's liberator in battle). It gives you the upper hand or freedom to use other abilities.

My main worry with the Gunslinger right now is that it doesn't have extra abilities to engage with the system, like how the Alchemists suffer, and then it needs to keep a set of specific actions in rotation to simply function. This is why I think giving the Reload action more fun and engaging options is a good idea, it keeps the drawback but also adds options for the player (sneaking reload, jumping reload, defensive reload, offensive, etc).

Remember guys, just because the fear or feature isn't used 100% of the time, doesn't mean it isn't good or useful. But given that reloading is a big concern right no, I wouldn't mind changing up the movement benefits for reloading benefits. For example, each Deed would give you the current quick draw benefits (including the +2 from Pistolero) and instead of giving some kind of movement (or the extra damage), it the gunslinger a special kind of reload. For Drifters this could mean Reload+Avoid Reactions, Pistolero could Reload+Recall Knowledge (sizing up your opponent in a duel) and sniper could give Reload+Aim (avoiding Unsteady).


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Lightning Raven wrote:
Remember guys, just because the fear or feature isn't used 100% of the time, doesn't mean it isn't good or useful.

I agree with this for feats. I disagree for core class defining features. I think they really should be used most of the time.

Lightning Raven wrote:
But given that reloading is a big concern right no, I wouldn't mind changing up the movement benefits for reloading benefits. For example, each Deed would give you the current quick draw benefits (including the +2 from Pistolero) and instead of giving some kind of movement (or the extra damage), it the gunslinger a special kind of reload. For Drifters this could mean Reload+Avoid Reactions, Pistolero could Reload+Recall Knowledge (sizing up your opponent in a duel) and sniper could give Reload+Aim (avoiding Unsteady).

I think that type of reload benefit is a lot better design since it gives more flavor to the class and is more commonly going to be used.

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