Is Fatal Bullet a trap feat?


Gunslinger Class

Horizon Hunters

The fatal trait is very strong, specially on a Legendary proficiency class like a Gunslinger. Still this feat is only adding a single damage die to an already brutal crit likely to finish off a foe resulting in overkill.

Compared to Hair Trigger, the extra attack will average more damage than what your first 8 crits or more, depending on your weapon, would get from the extra die. Except for exceptionally long fights or a party focused on boosting you up (heroism, tripping opponents, clumsy...) You are unlikely to crit enough to compensate, and even then a big burst of damage early to help quickly take down an enemy (and reduce his impact in the fight) is more valuable than the every round DPR increase.

Even if the playstyle of the group involves rarely hitting in the first round like some more urban/intrigue campaigns, you might be better off with a lower level feat.

Did I miss something or is it just a feat that sounds cool until you run numbers and see it adds only 12% aaverage damage to a crit in the best case scenario.


Not really, it's just a passive that is always on, a damage increasing one, something that's is not really common in the game.

Hair Trigger while nice have their own downside, because what you use is a normal strike on class that have design similar to the fighter that is about using "metastrikes" (strikes that have a secondary effect on hit), so a normal strike taking out the first without MAP attack is not always desirable because could have be used on an active feat/feature like Rebounding Assault instead.


It might not be quite equal in damage, but I would prefer Fatal Bullet, actually.

That is mostly due to my playstyle with two firearms. If you use Hair Trigger, the best you can do after that is Paired Shots both at -5 MAP, so essentially -3. Which is something you really, really don't want. Not to mention it would actually reduce the number of shots I get in the short term (first 2 turns)from 4 to 3.

I also have other ways to get my enemies flat-footed (Surprise Attack for one), so I don't really need it for that.

So, at the end of the day, it is not necessarily that much more useful.


Karmagator wrote:

It might not be quite equal in damage, but I would prefer Fatal Bullet, actually.

That is mostly due to my playstyle with two firearms. If you use Hair Trigger, the best you can do after that is Paired Shots both at -5 MAP, so essentially -3.

Never mind, I'm dumb. MAP only increases on your turn and only applies on your turn, so the Paired Shots would actually be without MAP. Still a slight damage reduction until turn 3, but turn 3 and after you are actually 1 attack ahead. I still wouldn't say this makes Fatal Bullet a trap, but Hair Trigger, at least under ideal circumstances, is certainly more optimal for damage.

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It’s not a trap, but it is very bad for a feat 16. One of my players was building a gunslinger for a level 20 playtest and 16th was the hardest feat level... because everything sucked.

He took sneak attacker, which, give he was investing in intimidation and dread striker, is probably going to be better than fatal bullet. It does more damage on a crit than fatal bullet ever can (7 vs 6.5) and also does damage on a hit too.

Fatal Bullet should be a 6-10th level feat, not a 16th.


Honestly just making it a full on save or die on crit (with incap, and maybe the death tag for style) would be far cooler than adding 6.5 damage. 16th level feats should be powerful, and Incapacitation would make it so you're only cleaning up the chaff if they fail. Then make the success outcome do a d12 of damage so it doesn't feel wasted against elite enemies.


It is all up to playstyle. Fatal bullet helps other actions and kinda well with ghost shot. It is kinda supposed to scale with how deadly increase in nr of die, but choosing middleground and only one increase

Hair trigger would expose the undetected sniper.

It can be combined with sneak attacker if taken either by free archetype or other level, really going for one shot, one kill. If you want something dead, take a few buffs, stealth in and have good odds critting, and with ghost shot, you essentially become skyrim stealth archer good, add in goblin very very sneaky and do it in the open.

Maxing one shot is also good against resistant enemies even if just by "12%" (dunno the math)

Horizon Hunters

I'm not saying hair trigger is a great option either, I was mostly referring to my own experience, I was hyped about the Stealth Sniper type and thought Fatal Bullet would be great but even when you crit very often is just an extra die at level 16 when your crits already hit for at least 7 dice already.

I didn't save the calculation but Arquebus critting with only Greater Striking (less dice is better for the feat but of course we don't want less damage) so a normal hit is 3d8+8+2 (weapon specialization and firearm ace) and a crit 7d12+20=65.5 so 6.5 extra damage is just 10%. I think I found a gun that would do 12 % but I don't remember what combination that was. And with Major Strikingthis feat is less powerful.

Some playstyles will hate Hair Trigger because they want loaded guns at the start but even then other feats might be better.

And of course the last lvl 16 feat is by far the strongest... If you are in a campaign where enemies are shooting at you often.

I guess My opinion has shifted slightly to Fatal Bullet is meh and it should be lower level to be competitive, or better, we need more options at level 16.


Backtospawn wrote:

I'm not saying hair trigger is a great option either, I was mostly referring to my own experience, I was hyped about the Stealth Sniper type and thought Fatal Bullet would be great but even when you crit very often is just an extra die at level 16 when your crits already hit for at least 7 dice already.

I didn't save the calculation but Arquebus critting with only Greater Striking (less dice is better for the feat but of course we don't want less damage) so a normal hit is 3d8+8+2 (weapon specialization and firearm ace) and a crit 7d12+20=65.5 so 6.5 extra damage is just 10%. I think I found a gun that would do 12 % but I don't remember what combination that was. And with Major Strikingthis feat is less powerful.

Some playstyles will hate Hair Trigger because they want loaded guns at the start but even then other feats might be better.

And of course the last lvl 16 feat is by far the strongest... If you are in a campaign where enemies are shooting at you often.

I guess My opinion has shifted slightly to Fatal Bullet is meh and it should be lower level to be competitive, or better, we need more options at level 16.

Feats shouldn't increase basedamage too much, I mean firearm ace feels like a nobrainer 90% of the time. Sneak attacker feels good enough to take lvl 16 for some,1d10 or 1d12 at lvl 16 is what a "passive feat"should probably give. But I agree to prefer more active feats, but fatal bullet have its place and it is to not outperform deadly (in extra dice) but yet be viable choice compared to bows.

I like this one more than firearm ace as fatal bullet makes you want those crits more, by buffing, hiding, debuffing etc.

As a closure, it could make the weapon count as "keen" as keen is unusable by ranged weapons and work with a brace style play too

Horizon Hunters

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The keen feat is level 18 for Fighters so a bit of power creep but not too much. Barbarians get a better version of Fatal Bullet at 18 where it works with any weapon and also inflicts some bleeding.

Firearm Ace is actually a great example of Fatal Bullet issue. +2 to damage means +4 on crits from a level 1 feat. Meanwhile the level 16 feat gives +6.5 or +5.5 on average but only to crits. Unless you are fighting very debuffed mooks your chance of normal hit will always be higher than your chance to crit so Firearm Ace actually gives more damage than Fatal Bullet.

I think Firearm Ace is way too important to the class and should be a class feature not a feat because it's not a choice at all but still.

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