I ran a playtest at level 20 and here are the results

Guns and Gears Playtest General Discussion


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Similar to my secrets of magic level 20 playtest last time, I ran another level 20 playtest. Same dungeon (the arcane dungeon paizo flipmap), similar story (except I used Treerazer instead of the Tarrasque)... and, well, there were a couple of no-shows so it was a level 20 weapon inventor and level 20 sniper gunslinger against the following encounters. Many of these monsters were sized down to fit in the dungeon.

- 1) Elite Ancient Umbral Dragon (Severe)
- 2) 2x Sard (Severe)
- 3) 4x Elite Marrmora (Moderate, benchmark)
- 4) 1x Weak Solar (Extreme, reflavoured to evil, I just swapped all the good stuff to evil, and the regen/weakness to good)
- 5) 1x Mu Spore + 2x Vorpal Executioner (Severe-Extreme)
- 6) 1x Weak Treerazer (by request, I intended for the solar to replace Treerazer as the "boss" here because there was only 2).

Building rules - 240000GP, any item of any rarity provided it has a price, and any feat of any rarity is allowed. With the exception of pin to the spot and heaven's thunder.

I put a 150min time limit, but they bought 50 scrolls of level 5 heal and like 10 scrolls of level 6 heroism so they only needed to rest once to remove wounded. They had heroism up the entire dungeon after combat 1. Also some scrolls of energy aegis were bought.


The builds

Weapon Inventor using a Ranseur, mods for trip+grapple and extra reach. Can't remember what the level 9 mod was. Skills were Intimidation, Acrobatics and Athletics. Didn't care about crafting because overdrive was so irrelevant at level 20, and he was a support specced (Using maneuvers) build anyway. Invention could be repaired with the level 19 feature if ever needed.

Class feats
- 1) Unstable Repair
- 2) Swashbuckler Dedication - Gymnast
- 4) Dual-Form Weapon
- 6) Visual Fidelity
- 8) Disarming Flair
- 10) Tinker's Meddling
- 12) Attack of Opportunity
- 14) Eternal Meddler
- 16) Buckler Expertise
- 18) Multifarious Meddler
- 20) Derring-Do

Ultimately, while it did use a unique gimmick the inventor had (15ft reach grapple trip disarm weapon), and it was effective at locking enemies down with grapple+trip, it didn't feel like anything another class wasn't better at.

Sniper gunslinger was using a musket, because the arquebus is trash. Legendary intimidation, stealth and acro. Literally forgot about One Shot, One Kill and the damage was irrelevant anyway. Most turns were ghost shot, reload (perfect readiness), vital shot or hide, ghost shot, reload, something.

Class Feats

1) Firearm Ace
2) Risky Reload
4) Running Reload
6) Shattering Shot
8) Grit and Tenacity
(9)) Rogue Dedication
10) You're Next
12) True Grit
14) Dread Striker
16) Sneak Attacker
18) Unerring Shot
20) Perfect Readiness


The encounters

1) Elite Ancient Umbral Dragon
- Fight lasted about 7 rounds
- Inventor kept the dragon tripped and grabbed for most of the combat (also I sucked at rolling the escape check) which let the gunslinger reload without getting attack op'd.
- Inventor went down (used orc ferocity though), gunslinger ended the fight at about half HP.
- Gunslinger didn't crit once, which might have been why this fight took so long (as you'll see later).

2) Weak Solar
- Fight lasted maybe 3-4 rounds.
- Gunslinger crit about 3-4 times, each dealing 80-100ish damage, blew through the HP bar like butter.
- Inventor did mostly the same, but also threw in a couple crit disarms which made it really awkward for the solar to get anything done.
- Fight was the easiest of the non-moderate encounters.

3) 2 sards
- Fight lasted about 5 rounds, Scare to Death was used twice, one crit (but the Sard didn't fail the resulting check). The fight was extended this long solely because one of the Sards used Storm of Vengeance, giving the gunslinger -4 to hit.
- These enemies weren't very threatening at all, the venom never got delivered (they passed the fort save on like a 4 or something)
- Gunslinger landed maybe a couple of crits, Inventor didn't feel like he was doing much this combat though.
- Shattering Shot was used for the sole time in this combat, dealing about 24 damage (3d6+15 fire weakness).

4) 4x Elite Mammora
- Gunslinger opened the fight with a double crit on one of them, dropping it to ~70 HP from 300.
- Gunslinger then proceeded to scare to death (and kill) the other 3 over the next couple rounds.
- Inventor didn't do much, nor did he need to.
- Scare to Death alone did about 816 damage this fight.

5) Mu Spore + 2x Vorpal Executioner
- Toughest non-Treerazer encounter. Nearly ended in a TPK (Gunslinger was at 10HP, Inventor was down).
- Players were admittedly, playing a bit badly and kept stepping onto squares they knew were trapped.
- The swallow whole was the cause of most of the problems in this fight, + the spores massive range + the free action auto grab it has when you attack or move near it, making it hard to escape after you've gotten out of the swallow whole.
- Couple gunslinger crits and the resulting persistent damage actually did a lot to the spore's HP bar, but the debuffs they got from spores and swallow whole starting grinding them down.

6) Weak Treerazer
- They did about 100 damage and then TPK'd.
- Couldn't hit him.
- Did trip him a couple times.
- Got pounded into paste by the axe.
- Survived around 7 rounds (Treerazer doesn't do much damage surprisingly, and they kept passing the save that makes them turn into plants).


Some thoughts

- Gunslinger too reliant on crits. He'd either hit for ~30 damage or crit for 80-120. Very little in between.
- Keep in mind encounters 2-6 were done with a level 6 heroism active at all times, which might have warped the difficulty somewhat (though it's nothing players can't do at level 20 - scrolls of level 6 heroism are cheap by then).
- Inventor was effective with dering-do at being a maneuver expert but another class could have done that almost as well while contributing a lot of other stuff.

I'll go through the math of it later.

Grand Lodge

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Hi- I was the gunslinger

From my perspective, I felt like a badass in round 1 with Ghost Shot+Vital Shot as an opener (only viable to do because of the 20th level feat Perfect Readiness, mind) and felt like a really bad fighter the rest of the time.
I will say, that 4th combat was a lot of fun for me. I've never gotten to use S2D that effectively before and it was very satisfying.

I tried sticking with just gunslinger feats to test out what they can do. Unfortunately I just felt that the trick shots were a neat, well, trick, but in terms of combat effectiveness they really were not great. Risky Reload is a must have because it saves well on action economy, but even then I only used it when it was my first attack of the round and when the enemy was flat-footed due to me being hidden or me benefiting from Dread Striker. Hell, I even ended up spending my 16th level feat on the rogue MC sneak attacker feat, because I could already tell my damage was going to be so low on a non-crit and I wanted something that could shore it up a bit. I mean, the Fatal Bullet 16th level feat would have been an extra d10 on a crit, or I could take a 4th level multiclass feat for an extra d6 on a much more consistent and frequent basis.

This session also has proven to me that Dread Striker is pretty much a must-have if you're playing a ranged character, just for the bonus chance to hit- especially if you have an ability (like sneak attack and vital shot) that relies on an enemy being flat-footed.

I used Shattering Shot once, in the combat with the Sards, and it was really sad damage for level 20. It's okay-ish for a non-MAP single action ability but at the end of the day I was probably better off just making another Strike.

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Inventor here!

When I skimmed the inventor's feat and innovations, I didn't see any of them as particularly strong. Unstable is basically focus spell with extra step, and overdrive damage scaling is bad at level 20.

Which was why I wanted to do something different, taking advantage of those "weak" innovations into something I can exploit. That's when I see the idea of making maneuver-focused inventor came from. Maneuver stays relevant at late game, and the addition of traits means I don't need free hand, and they all benefit from 15 ft reach.

My level 9 innovation was manifold alloy, I didn't think any of the other choice give meaningful contribution, so why not go for 0 cost cold iron and silver?
I picked dual-form weapon to prepare for ranged or flight battle. But as I chose its innovation, I realised most of the ranged choice are trash. Sniper is worse backstabber, and extra 10 ft range is only good if you use guns. Same goes for the level 17 innovation. My best choice was dice upgrade, because the rest weren't good enough. Although I do think that extra rune slot would've been better for extra energy coverage or other stuffs.

On the actual play itself, my Action routine rarely changes. Just try to trip first to gain panache, after that I can fish for restrained condition.

Overall, I agree with Exo's opinion. It's a good combo but the only advantage was the reach. Other classes can do as good if not better job even without reach (monk, flurry ranger, or specific fighter build).

Since my build is out of the expected inventor use, I wasn't surprised none of the inventor's feat cater my build. So most of the time I took swashbuckler's feat.

One thing I regret was using meddler feat chain. I am not sure if it's impactful enough, but I'm playing with just one other teammate, so it's skewed. Maybe if there's 3 martials other than inventor, it gets to be impactful.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks guys, this is awesome. Was hoping a high level play session would be posted. Maybe you can all test again with your whole group, try out some new builds. Thanks again


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The maths


- Hits Taken: 10/13
- Crits Taken: 7
- Hits: 24/40
- Crits: 9
- Damage Dealt: 2875 (of which 816 was scare to death)
- Damage Taken: 1015

- Athletics Maneuvers landed: 22/28
- Hits Taken: 23/35
- Crits Taken: 7
- Hits: 12/27
- Crits: 3
- Damage Dealt: 719
- Damage Taken: 1751


Elite Ancient Umbral Dragon

- Hits Taken: 1/2
- Crits Taken: 0
- Hits: 8/12
- Crits: 0
- Damage Dealt: 43+15+46+7+49+11+57+32+45+6+37+10+31=399
- Damage Taken: 63

- Athletics Maneuvers landed: 7/9
- Hits Taken: 4/10
- Crits Taken: 1
- Hits: 2/7
- Crits: 0
- Damage Dealt: 32+56=88
- Damage Taken: 38+100+30+47+90+38=343


1x Weak Solar

- Hits Taken: 1/1
- Crits Taken
- Hits: 6/8
- Crits: 3
- Damage Dealt: 126+52+28+73+44+16+50+68+21=478
- Damage Taken: 53+50=103

- Athletics Maneuvers landed: 5/5
- Hits Taken: 1/1
- Crits Taken: 1
- Hits: 2/2
- Crits: 1
- Damage Dealt: 42+68=110
- Damage Taken: 80+47=127


2x Sard

- Hits Taken: 1/3
- Crits Taken
- Hits: 4/6
- Crits: 1
- Damage Dealt: 40+8+9+105+15+29+18+38+6+7+34+9+23=341
- Damage Taken: 23+32+16=71

- Athletics Maneuvers landed: 3/5
- Hits Taken: 6/9
- Crits Taken
- Hits: 5/9
- Crits: 2
- Damage Dealt: 45+90+39+100+84=358
- Damage Taken: 32+35+23+51+36+16+35=228

4x Elite Marrmora

- Hits Taken
- Crits Taken
- Hits: 2/2
- Crits: 2
- Damage Dealt: 123+94+300 (StD)+300 (StD)+83+216 (StD)=1116
- Damage Taken

- Athletics Maneuvers landed: 1/1
- Hits Taken: 2/5
- Crits Taken: 1
- Hits: 3/3
- Crits
- Damage Dealt: 35+46+33=114
- Damage Taken: 94+76+19+19=208


1x Mu Spore + 2x Vorpal Executioner

- Hits Taken: 3/3
- Crits Taken: 3
- Hits: 4/5
- Crits: 3
- Damage Dealt: 86+90+29+36+33+83+37+35+33=462
- Damage Taken: 82+82+104+72=340

- Athletics Maneuvers landed: 2/3
- Hits Taken: 2/2
- Crits Taken
- Hits: 1/1
- Crits
- Damage Dealt: 49
- Damage Taken: 76+36+79+83+72=346


1x Weak Treerazer

- Hits Taken: 4/4
- Crits Taken: 4
- Hits: 2/7
- Crits
- Damage Dealt: 43+36=79
- Damage Taken: 102+110+120+106=438

- Athletics Maneuvers landed: 4/5
- Hits Taken: 8/8
- Crits Taken: 4 (2 celestial hairs were used)
- Hits: 0/5
- Crits
- Damage Dealt
- Damage Taken: 39+53+58+50+98+90+57+54=499

Remember to create a post with a link in the round up Sticky Threads.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What is derring-do?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Nm. You multiclassed.

Thanks for getting this data!

I'm not surprised that muskets are really swingy on damage. The lack of flat damage from stats combined with Fatal will do that, for sure.

Disappointed that the inventor felt poorly about the reach+grapple+trip shenanigan. I suppose it might have been more valuable with more people in play to take advantage of the flat-footed being handed out?

I don't think it's any surprise that Shattering Shot is disappointing. It's just really lacking for damage at all considering you need to consume a bomb and then fire your gun (so you need an extra action for loading). The AoE has a great size, but 1d6 is terrible at level 6 (One Shot, One Kill is, as noted, very lacking in damage for how many hoops it involves).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Verzen wrote:
What is derring-do?

Swashbuckler level 10 feat. The inventor felt it was far more useful to his strategy than any of the inventor 20 feats.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dubious Scholar wrote:
Disappointed that the inventor felt poorly about the reach+grapple+trip shenanigan. I suppose it might have been more valuable with more people in play to take advantage of the flat-footed being handed out?

It wasn’t that people weren’t taking advantage of the flat footed being handed out, it was that the inventor didn’t really add anything else to that combination, whereas another class like Monk or even Gymnast swash might not have 15ft reach+grapple+trip, but they’d have a whole lot of other valuable stuff.

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Scare to Death: the Playtest.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
LandSwordBear wrote:
Scare to Death: the Playtest.

Eh, I mean it’s a pretty powerful borderline broken feat, but the effect was only really relevant in one encounter and, well, I think I got most of the data I wanted for the gunslinger/inventor against level-4 creatures anyway. The gunslinger was a lot more effective due to their crit reliance, and level-4s being crit very easily. The inventor wasn’t doing much, as expected from their build being specced single target.

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