Loading a flintlock weapon at the speed of Pathfinder Combat leads to pretty comedic combats, Maybe they should be breech loaders instead.


Gunslinger Class


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Loading a Flintlock muzzle loader in real life takes anywhere between 15 to 22 seconds depending on style of gun and training and come with a bevy of awkward movements necessary to properly set up a shot. Now i dont think realism is super important to something like Pathfinder/ most fantasy TTRPG's however i feel like the problem here is that if we condense the fantasy of loading a flintlock so that you CAN load 1-2 times per turn... you get a really REALLY goofy looking gunslinger standing around in combat.

Mechanically i think the firearm rules look fine, but the fantasy is a bit awkward to line up with a cool and collected desperado ready to gun down some bandits... because suddenly your desperado is flailing around at mach 2 to load his guns.

I feel like a big consideration should be the replacement of Flintlock theming with Breech Loading, In terms of action cost it's a method basically identical, but narratively the idea of pulling a cartridge/bullet from your belt with each shot and cycling a breech leads to a more fluid fantasy and in general gets back that cool cowboy gunslinger i hope to see represented in the final product.


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The amount of time it takes to load, aim, and fire a historical flintlock isn't that different than the amount of time it takes to load, aim, and fire a historical crossbow but both are doable every 6 seconds in Pathfinder.

Ranged weapons inherently need to have their whole process sped up for Pathfinder, given the scale most combats are at (relatively few people own battlemats that can accommodate 600' areas).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Personally, I feel the realism question should just be thrown out at this point. Let's decide on what gives the desired mechanics and visuals.

1. How badly do we want to see flintlocks versus breach loading guns with cartridges? How important is it that the default weapon a Gunslinger owns is relatively crude, and takes a powder horn and round bullets and lacks rifling?

2. Since we have the rarity tag, do we need to be as cautious about impacting the technological assumptions of the world?

3. Has the passing of time between editions allowed for a bit more liberal sprinkling of advanced firearms?

4. Would the people who are okay with flintlocks but not breach loaders be a sizable enough portion of the audience that we should be designing the gunslinger for them?

5. How many people immediately imagine things like six shooters when they even hear the name Gunslinger?

If we answer these questions, we can then handwave pretty much anything to get what we actually want. I would argue that it might make more sense to assume the baseline assumption for PCs is breach loaders and cartridges, but many NPCs still use flintlocks because they're NPCs. PCs can elect to use them, but do so at some reasonable cost. I would say range and accuracy and power in a similar fashion to the difference between a regular shortbow and a compound shortbow is a clear upgrade.

I hope multi-round weapons are adjusted to fit into the rules elegantly, because people WILL want them, and they WILL be made sooner or later.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

The amount of time it takes to load, aim, and fire a historical flintlock isn't that different than the amount of time it takes to load, aim, and fire a historical crossbow but both are doable every 6 seconds in Pathfinder.

Ranged weapons inherently need to have their whole process sped up for Pathfinder, given the scale most combats are at (relatively few people own battlemats that can accommodate 600' areas).

True however i feel like in terms of the fantasy, 1 action to rear back a hand or basic crossbow's line and load the bolt makes sense even if it's not realistic. Taking 1 action to winch the heavy crossbow line and 1 to load and position it also makes sense to me in terms of a fantasy.

However it's the general number of separate activities you would expect in loading a musket that makes it hard to imagine simplifying the motions and have it make sense in the fantasy. And if you had a character do the full list to load one shot it would seem spastic in the time it takes to perform one turn let alone one action.

It's why i feel like i prefer a breech load or single action firearm system for pathfinder, the idea of breaking a breech and loading the next cartridge sits very in line with the fluidity of loading a fantasy crossbow.


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Here's a hot take:

Pathfinder's weapons shouldn't be named or balanced around existing weapons. This could be helpful in breaking expectation of how it should behave and thus how it must be balanced. The new edition is the perfect opportunity to overhaul what it needs to, not only mechanically, but maybe flavor-wise as well.

Since Alchemy became and entirely separate branch, I would expect that in world, this could easily apply to guns as well. Instead of having guns constrained by real world designs, they could simply be incorporated in Golarion as the designers see fit regarding balance.

"What do you mean the first gun had a rotating barrel, the first weapons barely could should one bullet, let alone such a complex mechanism!?", said the historian and gun aficionado, "Well, because in Golarion it works that way.", answered the GM.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lightning Raven wrote:

Here's a hot take:

Pathfinder's weapons shouldn't be named or balanced around existing weapons. This could be helpful in breaking expectation of how it should behave and thus how it must be balanced. The new edition is the perfect opportunity to overhaul what it needs to, not only mechanically, but maybe flavor-wise as well.

Since Alchemy became and entirely separate branch, I would expect that in world, this could easily apply to guns as well. Instead of having guns constrained by real world designs, they could simply be incorporated in Golarion as the designers see fit regarding balance. What do you mean the first gun had a rotating barrel, the first weapons barely could should one bullet, let alone such a complex mechanism!? Well, because in Golarion it works that way.

Also, the more wacky they get with it the easier it is to handwave and balance as necessary.

Like "Aight, you find a firearm that's powered by a clockwork flywheel. You load it by turning a key. By the way, in a few levels you might pick up a magic laser rifle you load with blood. So what were you saying about the realism of the time it takes loading a blunderbuss versus a musket?"


WatersLethe wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:

Here's a hot take:

Pathfinder's weapons shouldn't be named or balanced around existing weapons. This could be helpful in breaking expectation of how it should behave and thus how it must be balanced. The new edition is the perfect opportunity to overhaul what it needs to, not only mechanically, but maybe flavor-wise as well.

Since Alchemy became and entirely separate branch, I would expect that in world, this could easily apply to guns as well. Instead of having guns constrained by real world designs, they could simply be incorporated in Golarion as the designers see fit regarding balance. What do you mean the first gun had a rotating barrel, the first weapons barely could should one bullet, let alone such a complex mechanism!? Well, because in Golarion it works that way.

Also, the more wacky they get with it the easier it is to handwave and balance as necessary.

Like "Aight, you find a firearm that's powered by a clockwork flywheel. You load it by turning a key. By the way, in a few levels you might pick up a magic laser rifle you load with blood. So what were you saying about the realism of the time it takes loading a blunderbuss versus a musket?"

This is entering the Enter The Gungeon territory, which for anyone that has played it, knows how crazy and inventive it gets. The weapon loaded with blood is pretty amazing though. Perfect kind of sentient cursed item.


Not helpful to all of us playtesting and vying for our respective sides to win out in the rules department.......but regardless of the final presentation of guns in the book there's nothing stopping me from saying my flintlock is a revolver in the final release (and the reload action is just me steadying my next shot). Of course this depends on a gm cool with revolvers or rifled barrels in their setting


WatersLethe wrote:

Personally, I feel the realism question should just be thrown out at this point. Let's decide on what gives the desired mechanics and visuals.

1. How badly do we want to see flintlocks versus breach loading guns with cartridges? How important is it that the default weapon a Gunslinger owns is relatively crude, and takes a powder horn and round bullets and lacks rifling?

2. Since we have the rarity tag, do we need to be as cautious about impacting the technological assumptions of the world?

3. Has the passing of time between editions allowed for a bit more liberal sprinkling of advanced firearms?

4. Would the people who are okay with flintlocks but not breach loaders be a sizable enough portion of the audience that we should be designing the gunslinger for them?

5. How many people immediately imagine things like six shooters when they even hear the name Gunslinger?

If we answer these questions, we can then handwave pretty much anything to get what we actually want. I would argue that it might make more sense to assume the baseline assumption for PCs is breach loaders and cartridges, but many NPCs still use flintlocks because they're NPCs. PCs can elect to use them, but do so at some reasonable cost. I would say range and accuracy and power in a similar fashion to the difference between a regular shortbow and a compound shortbow is a clear upgrade.

I hope multi-round weapons are adjusted to fit into the rules elegantly, because people WILL want them, and they WILL be made sooner or later.

To be honest, my first thought when hearing of a gunslinger is Clint Eastwood with a six-shooter. I'd personally prefer that revolvers were the expected baseline model weapon, especially considering that the inventor class from the same book is using some way more advanced weaponry and gadgets than a simple mechanical revolver.

I feel like, barring revolvers if they're deemed either unbalanced or too advanced, that breach loaders are a good compromise. I was never crazy about the flintlock weapons from 1e either, precisely because of the imagery presented in @HaydenWills first post.


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I personally think the mental image of breech loading rather than muzzle loading is cooler. And coolness does count!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I get where OP is coming from. I'm not too concerned about realism personally, but it feels very square peg in a round hole to both need guns to reload fast and refer to them as flintlocks.

It's all but asking for the kind of weird dissonance the OP is critical of when you combine the two... and it's completely unnecessary because Paizo gets to define how guns work in their setting however they want.


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Squiggit wrote:

I get where OP is coming from. I'm not too concerned about realism personally, but it feels very square peg in a round hole to both need guns to reload fast and refer to them as flintlocks.

It's all but asking for the kind of weird dissonance the OP is critical of when you combine the two... and it's completely unnecessary because Paizo gets to define how guns work in their setting however they want.

And to be fair to the design team, they don't refer to loading the flintlocks in the way that you would a classical real world one.

GG PT PG. 12 "Firearm Rules" wrote:

Though a round of ammo can vary

in its composition, it is typically either a prepackaged
paper cartridge including wadding, bullet, and black
powder or loose shot that has been packed into a
cartridge manually.

So we already have prepackaged cartridges, something that wasn't strictly speaking impossible with a musket, it just wasn't usually the norm. However you'd still need a powder horn or some equivalent to prime the powder pan, the bit that your hammer strikes to cause the initial explosion.

And really, if you are already having characters cart around prepackaged paper cartridges, why not just use jacketed bullets? And hammers with firing pins?


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If you want to get technical...

Breechloader and flintlock are not mutually exclusive terms.

Breechloading is opposed to muzzle loading, and refer to how the round is loaded into the barrel.

Flintlock refers to the firing mechanism, and could be compared to matchlock, wheellock, and snaplock (all of which are more primitive). The flintlock mechanism was eventually replaced by percussion caps and cartridges.

Some of the first breechloaders were in fact flintlocks.

As such, given their short loading times, it would be accurate to say that the flintlock weapons provided in the playtest are in fact breechloaded weapons.


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Muzzle-loaded muskets were by no means the superior choice of weapon of their time. They were the practical choice of weapon.

The reason why breechloaded weapons and rifles were not the weapon of choice for the armies of the time was that they were slower and much more expensive to produce, and also quite fragile to the stresses associated with battle.

You would occasionally see specialized skirmishers and snipers loaded out with breechloaded rifles. Indeed, the British man responsible for the development of breechloaded rifles fought in the American War of Independence as such a specialist, and the history of North America would have been very different had he not been a gentleman.


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All of this suggests that a single-shot breechloaded rifle would be well within the grounds of an appropriate pre-Industrial firearm for an adventurer.

Certainly not for armies en masse, due to cost and need for care, but a highly skilled and specialised individual would favour such a weapon.


While it is true that Flintlock and Breach loaded are not mutually exclusive, the majority of Flintlock weapons were muzzle loaded, and for a few good reasons. Without a metal cartridge to help contain the blast, it was better to have a solid barrel with no failure points. Breach Loaded black powder weapons had to be ridiculously over engineered to withstand the stress that the powder blast puts on the working parts of the breach. Gas leakage would make wielding such weapons fairly dangerous to the user. And no matter what, without a cartridge you still have issues with getting your powder and shot packed into the breach.

Basically, you circumvent having to pack your charge down the length of the barrel, but you still have to pack it, and the moving parts of the break create failure points that can turn deadly quickly when using free powder instead of jacketed shells.

These sorts of weapons, like the Sharps or Hall rifles of the Civil War era were an inbetween weapon, before large scale adoption of cased shells really occurred. The Hall rifle for instance was only in production for about 20 years, before being phased out in favor of weapons like the Henry rifle (lever action, popularized by Clint Eastwood and other Spaghetti western stars) or the Joslyn rifle. The Joslyn is interesting because it started out life using a paper cartridge, but later was converted to use a rimfire cased shell.

TL;DR Breach Loaded black powder (or smokeless powder paper cartridge) rifles and pistols did exist, but they existed as a hybrid usually does: For a short period of time before their innate design limitations were corrected. In this case, by using jacketed cartridges.


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Since the mechanism doesn't really refer to the method of loading, the best thing to do is probably to maintain "we are at the tech level of flintlocks, percussion caps are not yet produced in sufficient quantities (if at all)." Then let the player figure out the visual they want for "I reload my weapon."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Since the mechanism doesn't really refer to the method of loading, the best thing to do is probably to maintain "we are at the tech level of flintlocks, percussion caps are not yet produced in sufficient quantities (if at all)." Then let the player figure out the visual they want for "I reload my weapon."

The idea that "we are at the tech level of flintlocks," gets hard to swallow when it's in the same book as a Mad Scientist who can build an autonomous Robot, a Tesla gun, and rocket boots all without magic.


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The Mad Scientist's stuff explicitly doesn't work for anyone else though. So if you want a really high tech gun, the class for that is probably Inventor not Gunslinger.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am wondering what the intent was, since I imagine the whole affair with the ram rod wasn't meant to be performed with only a single action-- its possible that they're flintlocks in the flintlock fantasy sense, but are of different construction to earth flintlocks.

OP and I were discussing this over Discord the other day, their suggestion was actually revolvers, but with much lower damage output (or no fatal trait) personally I think the single shot is necessary to keep the fatal trait and damage numbers, and that guns that do a lot of damage on impact are necessary for the core gun fantasy-- you know pulling out a firearm and just blasting someone.

I'm definitely in favor of making them explicitly breach loaded (or some other mechanism that means you don't need a ram rod or pan. Though before they brought it up, I was prepared to ignore it.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
The Mad Scientist's stuff explicitly doesn't work for anyone else though. So if you want a really high tech gun, the class for that is probably Inventor not Gunslinger.

There's a very big difference between lightning gun and revolver. If you want a Tesla style lightning gun because SCIENCE, then you should probably play an engineer. But a revolver is nowhere near that level of zany antics. Their existence is in fact canon for the setting already (or was in 1e, anyway), they were just comparatively rare in 1e.


Serial Loafer wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
The Mad Scientist's stuff explicitly doesn't work for anyone else though. So if you want a really high tech gun, the class for that is probably Inventor not Gunslinger.
There's a very big difference between lightning gun and revolver. If you want a Tesla style lightning gun because SCIENCE, then you should probably play an engineer. But a revolver is nowhere near that level of zany antics. Their existence is in fact canon for the setting already (or was in 1e, anyway), they were just comparatively rare in 1e.

if you are to bring up pf1 setting, they had a split setting, "emerging guns" and "commonplace guns" (and a few other). The latter had rules to involve revolvers but that was in a setting where pretty much all used guns. Gun rules were a mess in pf1 trying to appease all players and most of the adventure paths did not work in that setting. It's better for them to start low/early guns and add variant rules for those who just wanna do sixshooters.

Could even be in the same book

The golden standard in alkenstar is the musket as far fluff goes, Lirianne used 2 flintlock pistols (may she rest in peace) and was from alkenstar, the highest tech on golarion (numeria is looted tech)

setting can change to fit the gm and game of the players.

Reload 1 is just there to keep it fun amd balanced to play, they could make it reload 3 and give them some stupid out of balance trait so they did ridonculus damage.

I actually thought it would have a higher reload value, but the game mechanically works well right now


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Laki7z wrote:

if you are to bring up pf1 setting, they had a split setting, "emerging guns" and "commonplace guns" (and a few other). The latter had rules to involve revolvers but that was in a setting where pretty much all used guns. Gun rules were a mess in pf1 trying to appease all players and most of the adventure paths did not work in that setting. It's better for them to start low/early guns and add variant rules for those who just wanna do sixshooters.

Could even be in the same book

The golden standard in alkenstar is the musket as far fluff goes, Lirianne used 2 flintlock pistols (may she rest in peace) and was from alkenstar, the highest tech on golarion (numeria is looted tech)

I remember the split rules sidebar explaining all of that for gameplay purposes, but I also remember that revolvers were available in the setting, they were just treated as higher level items. The following entry from the Pathfinder Wiki talks about revolvers, specifically noted is the On Golarion section. There's also apparently an NPC that heads Alkenstar's law enforcment that dual wields revolvers, so there's that.

https://pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Revolver wrote:

A revolver is an advanced firearm with five or six chambers that spin as the wielder cocks its hammer, aligning the next chamber to the barrel. Each chamber can hold one metal cartridge consisting of a bullet and wad of guncotton. Because the mechanics are so complex, revolvers are prone to misfiring.

On Golarion
Revolvers are one of the few firearms on Golarion with a five-round capacity, and is one of the most technologically advanced firearms. It is also the most expensive one-handed firearm, with a base model's price ranging from 2,600 to 4,000 gp on the open market.

Also, from the PF1E Archives of Nethys:

https://www.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?Name=Firearms%20in%20Your%20Campaign& Category=Firearms wrote:

Pathfinder’s world of Golarion uses the rules for emerging guns, which is also the default category of gun rarity detailed in this Pathfinder RPG supplement.

...
Emerging Guns: Firearms become more common. They are mass-produced by small guilds, lone gunsmiths, dwarven clans, or maybe even a nation or two—the secret is slipping out, and the occasional rare adventurer uses guns. The baseline gunslinger rules and the prices for ammunition given in this chapter are for this type of campaign. Early firearms are available, but are relatively rare. Adventurers who want to use guns must take the Gunsmithing feat just to make them feasible weapons. Advanced firearms may exist, but only as rare and wondrous items—the stuff of high-level treasure troves.

And this is from before the time jump to PF2E, before the inventor was a class. I'm not saying that everyone under the sun should have revolvers, though I'll reiterate that baseline revolvers is my personal preference, but I feel like dismissing revolvers out of hand for being too advanced for Golarion is slightly misleading.


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The worst thing you can do in a fantasy RPG whose focus is balance. Is to force realism. If you want to make flintlock useless that's up to you.

In 5e my DM was big on the idea that realism should be forced into the game as he saw it. Made heavy crossbow completely useless.

So not a fan.


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Yeah looking at the history and how much time has passed in setting muzzle loading should probably be facing out.

Not to mention that Breech-loading double barreled pistols is a thing introduced in Heroes of Golarion. So it stands to reason that more breech-loading guns would be created as well.

But then again, "it takes too long IRL" was never a concern, specially if you consider PF1. In PF1 Golarion you could shoot 8 bullets from a pistol. 11, if you use some magic and dual pistols.

*************

Martialmasters realism is a good base because that is what we know works. Realism does not mean it cannot be balanced. The problem comes when people forget its a world of magic and extraordinary feats.

Aka realism should not be the end goal, but the base on which the system sits.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Once again, OP isn't talking about realism. He's talking about preferred visuals. If you got the Flash to load a muzzle loader or a breech loader, he would undoubtedly look cooler loading the breech loader, regardless of each one taking a negligible amount of time.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:
Once again, OP isn't talking about realism. He's talking about preferred visuals. If you got the Flash to load a muzzle loader or a breech loader, he would undoubtedly look cooler loading the breech loader, regardless of each one taking a negligible amount of time.

Yeah there's actually some pretty good visuals out there of people loading such weapons. It could especially work well for dual wielding. Crack guns open, toss bullets into the air, catch bullets in them and snap them shut in one fluid motion.

Not realistic in the slightest but it looks cool as hell and is perfectly in line with feats the class has shooting projectiles out of the air and such.


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If we're going to talk about "the next technological step for firearms" it really should be rifling in the barrel more than any kind of more advanced action. Barrel rifling dates back to the 15th century on Earth, it was just very rare because it requires precision manufacturing which was hard to do in a pre-industrial society.

Specifically this would allow you to have projectiles that are a tighter fit in the barrel, which causes less wasted energy from the powder ignition, which leads to higher muzzle velocity, which leads to more kinetic energy from the bullet.

Since the limiting reagent here is "manufacturing the barrel" this specifically runs opposite the sorts of "lots of shots without reloading" (e.g. pepperboxes) options we're probably going to have.

Paizo Employee Designer

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TheGentlemanDM wrote:

If you want to get technical...

Breechloader and flintlock are not mutually exclusive terms.

Breechloading is opposed to muzzle loading, and refer to how the round is loaded into the barrel.

Flintlock refers to the firing mechanism, and could be compared to matchlock, wheellock, and snaplock (all of which are more primitive). The flintlock mechanism was eventually replaced by percussion caps and cartridges.

Some of the first breechloaders were in fact flintlocks.

As such, given their short loading times, it would be accurate to say that the flintlock weapons provided in the playtest are in fact breechloaded weapons.

This is even explicitly called out in the current draft for the introduction of the "Guns" section of Guns & Gears, which also talks about how firearms followed a very different evolution in Golarion thanks to concurrent development and the advent of weapons from other worlds and dimensions. Back in 1811, the Hall rifle was patented and was a breech loading flintlock rifle that spent some time as the most effective, but not most popular, firearm used by the US Army, though smooth bore muzzle loaders stayed in popular use through the next fifty some-odd years. Because breech loading mechanisms are more intuitive to reverse engineer than caplock or percussion lock firing systems (especially since ammunition for more advanced weapons coming in through vectors like the Russian soldiers time-displaced during the events of Reign of Winter would be incredibly valuable and not likely to be easily relinquished by the person in possession of it), a flintlock firing mechanism on a breech loaded weapon is arguably a pretty natural development for the dwarves of Dongun Hold.

There's also firing mechanisms and options completely unique to Golarion; in Arcadia, the land is covered with lakes hiding huge reserves of star metal scattered across the continent during Earthfall, and they've developed many unique weapons and forms of ammunition that can only exist thanks to those vast deposits of rare minerals. There's also parts of Arcadia that completely lack these resources but have innovated equivalent devices by harvesting biological components from fantastic creatures and repurposing them through alchemy and taxidermy.

The weapons presented in the playtest are the basic statistics for classes of firearms that will have a variety of examples in the final book; the arquebuses crafted at Dongun Hold are large affairs with stabilizing hooks for mounting them on the city walls and threaded breeches that can be twisted open and then quickly screwed back into place to secure the firing load, while an arquebus from Arcadia could have a dragon-jaw stock with an alchemical firing mechanism or have a noqual firing mechanism that uses the noqual's magic resistant nature to concentrate and repel a small magical charge to detonate the shot.

With Dongun Hold and Alkenstar being the most prominent source of firearms in the Inner Sea, the guns crafted there are most representative of the type of firearms that can be found in Golarion and the default assumption is that they'll be the guns most commonly available for a given class of firearm, but they're far from the only ones.


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"Breach-loading flintlock with paper cartridges" was enough for me to suspend disbelief just as easily as with crossbows' unrealistic loading time, but everything Michael just said makes the question actually cool instead of an obstacle to be overcome.


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I suppose for me then Guns will be a RAFO when the book comes out. I have some reservations, but am willing to give Paizo the benefit of the doubt that things will generally line up in a pleasing manner.

I do like the idea that firearms followed a different "evolution" on Golarion. It makes complete sense given some of the events that have happened there, and materials they have access to.

Now we just have to see how long/what hoops a Gunslinger has to jump through to start feeling more like Clint Eastwood (my first gunslinger will have heavy influences) than Captain Jack Sparrow.


I would assume that most of the R&D on firearms going on in Dongun hold is specific to their circumstances, so "get as much lead in the air as fast as possible" is less of a priority. Since primarily they're going to be standing on the top of some high walls, shooting at things that are approaching those walls, with good firing lines. No one can magic your great big stone walls town (because mana wastes) and anything that walks right up to the walls is an easy target.

So their R&D priorities are probably going to be more about "range and stopping power" than "reduce the time per shot from 6 seconds down to 4."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I would assume that most of the R&D on firearms going on in Dongun hold is specific to their circumstances, so "get as much lead in the air as fast as possible" is less of a priority. Since primarily they're going to be standing on the top of some high walls, shooting at things that are approaching those walls, with good firing lines. No one can magic your great big stone walls town (because mana wastes) and anything that walks right up to the walls is an easy target.

So their R&D priorities are probably going to be more about "range and stopping power" than "reduce the time per shot from 6 seconds down to 4."

That's debatable. Really when standing on high walls you want volume of fire as much as, if not more than, single precise shots. I'd say they'd be roughly equal design goals.

I mean sure the enemy can't magic down your walls, but they can get a bunch of guys with a big battering ram to your gate. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to tear them to shreds with a fusillade of bullets from your neato gatling gun??


I feel like the "big group of guys with the battering ram" is what the cannons and other less-portable ordnance are for.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like the "big group of guys with the battering ram" is what the cannons and other less-portable ordnance are for.

Not everyone wants cannon ball holes littering the road to their castle. That and cannons aren't very well known for firing down from a wall at a steep angle. I guess if you manage to see the battering ram out in the open, then sure pelt it with cannons.


Aren't the local environs literal wasteland anyway?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Aren't the local environs literal wasteland anyway?

Craters are bad for wagons in any environ and even a featureless plain + spells that offer cover, like Obscuring Mist, offer a way to make single shot/long reload weapons less useful. Even non-magical means of concealment, like smoke, can work wonders on those shots where suppressive rapid fire shots could be of more use.


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Basically, I just don't see a good argument for why one of the Only places in the world developing firearms wouldn't be researching how to put More bullets down range. IRL, basically since the arrow was invented, we've tried to find innovative ways of putting projectiles down range.

Whether that was through formations of archers, the Chu Ko Nu, the Hwacha or any other number of crazy inventions, we've always known that one projectile is good. But a bunch of them are better.

Liberty's Edge

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Michael Sayre wrote:
There's also firing mechanisms and options completely unique to Golarion; in Arcadia, the land is covered with lakes hiding huge reserves of star metal scattered across the continent during Earthfall, and they've developed many unique weapons and forms of ammunition that can only exist thanks to those vast deposits of rare minerals. There's also parts of Arcadia that completely lack these resources but have innovated equivalent devices by harvesting biological components from fantastic creatures and repurposing them through alchemy and taxidermy.

ME NEED ARCADIA BOOK NOW !!!

Ahem ... sorry for the slight derail :-)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
beowulf99 wrote:

Basically, I just don't see a good argument for why one of the Only places in the world developing firearms wouldn't be researching how to put More bullets down range. IRL, basically since the arrow was invented, we've tried to find innovative ways of putting projectiles down range.

Whether that was through formations of archers, the Chu Ko Nu, the Hwacha or any other number of crazy inventions, we've always known that one projectile is good. But a bunch of them are better.

If the game rules have anything at all to do with the reality of fighting on Golarion then it would make more sense, the world is filled with creatures and even people any given amount of force can barely hurt. A gatling gun is pretty useless, if it just bounces off a dragon's hide, a giant's shield, or maybe worse of all, some of the people on the battle field.


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Culturally dwarves seem more inclined to a "if you're going to spend the powder, you should at least hit something, otherwise it's wasteful" approach than a "MORE DAKKA" approach.

Even if ammunition is artificially cheap on Golarion, that's for game balance reasons, not diagetic ones.

Liberty's Edge

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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:

Basically, I just don't see a good argument for why one of the Only places in the world developing firearms wouldn't be researching how to put More bullets down range. IRL, basically since the arrow was invented, we've tried to find innovative ways of putting projectiles down range.

Whether that was through formations of archers, the Chu Ko Nu, the Hwacha or any other number of crazy inventions, we've always known that one projectile is good. But a bunch of them are better.

If the game rules have anything at all to do with the reality of fighting on Golarion then it would make more sense, the world is filled with creatures and even people any given amount of force can barely hurt. A gatling gun is pretty useless, if it just bounces off a dragon's hide, a giant's shield, or maybe worse of all, some of the people on the battle field.

Actually they are so good and awesome that you just cannot target them long enough and they avoid your shots or transform them into glancing wounds through sheer badassery.

Think Benedict from the Chronicles of Amber.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Culturally dwarves seem more inclined to a "if you're going to spend the powder, you should at least hit something, otherwise it's wasteful" approach than a "MORE DAKKA" approach.

That isn't necessarily at odds with rapid fire: You fire a single large round and miss all the powder is wasted while spreading it around to multiple smaller shots might mean that instead some of the shots hit instead. Making a big shot in no way means it's going to be a hit.


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I just feel like Dwarves are going to want to avoid MAP on their shots with long guns at far away targets no matter how fast they reload.

Like for defense of the Sky Citadel you could literally have "hand the gun to someone who will reload it for you" after every shot and they're still not going to want to take those -5s if it's not necessary.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I just feel like Dwarves are going to want to avoid MAP on their shots with long guns at far away targets no matter how fast they reload.

Like for defense of the Sky Citadel you could literally have "hand the gun to someone who will reload it for you" after every shot and they're still not going to want to take those -5s if it's not necessary.

SO you think dwarves never shoot something like a bow after the first shot in the round? Boy, you must think dwarves REALLY like their money... From my perspective, I think they'd value dwarves and their property more than some ammo. IMO, if more shots improves your chances of putting your target down it seems pretty miserly unless shots are quit rare/expensive. I just can see those dwarves being behind the 13th century tech of the hwach'a or that they would see the benefit of attacking multiple targets with a single weapon.


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I mean, the standard tactical approach of dwarf melee fighters in organized civil defense units is probably "advance, raise shield, attack".

It's better to get 2n dwarves on that wall, firing once per round than n dwarves on that wall, firing twice per round.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, the standard tactical approach of dwarf melee fighters in organized civil defense units is probably "advance, raise shield, attack".

It's better to get 2n dwarves on that wall, firing once per round than n dwarves on that wall, firing twice per round.

To me, that doesn't follow at all. Those n dwarves have the exact same chance to hit on the first attack and some of those n dwarves will hit on the second attack meaning more shots will hit with 2 attacks... What is the reasoning that the second attack is bad? What possible meaning can be extrapolated from shield carrying melee fighters in a non-shield using ranged combatant? I just don't get the point you're making here.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I guess since we haven't seen the list of weapons in the guns section it might be hard to get the whole concept. At first I was thinking Mark's comment meant that Michael's comment indicated something in the playtest document had said something about breechloading being the dominant standard for firearms in Golarion, and that I'd somehow missed it. It made me try to think of how to make it more plain that that was the case.

It brought up the idea of having a sidebar in the weapons section saying, these weapons unless specified otherwise are assumed to be breechloading firearms. Muzzle loading variant of these weapons likely exist, but are typically considered inferior and less popular, in large part due to the greater inconvenience of loading. To convert a given example into a muzzle loading variant, you increase the loading actions by +1 for one handed firearms, and +2 for two-handed firearms, and give them a Point-Blank trait that gives a +1 damage to (primary) targets within their first range increment. Lastly discount their cost by 1gp per barrel. Depending on things, I might be tempted to have the time needed to clear a muzzle loader equal the normal time to load one, but I'm not positive about it. However, it seems much easier to imagine cleaning out a barrel that both sides are open rather than one that is only accessible from the muzzle, and adds to the reason why the breech loading version has taken off.

This would give them a strong limitation (their reload time) that would explain why they aren't popular. It gives them a minuscule perk, other than a slight monetary improvement. It also would make it be another reference point, that these weapons are presumed to not be muzzle loaders, but breech loaders, since the rules for muzzle loaders are there, if they want to have some show up. They might prove viable for some builds that just want a first-shot and drop, but that seems like it would be ok to exist.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:


There's also firing mechanisms and options completely unique to Golarion; in Arcadia, the land is covered with lakes hiding huge reserves of star metal scattered across the continent during Earthfall, and they've developed...

*Suddenly has an adventure in mind over an Arcadian firearm blueprint and metal being fought over in the blackmarket and the PCs called into secure it.*

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