Kinda wish Magus and Gunslinger had a more 'generic' class path


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Love both of these classes, but a couple times building or helping players build one I've run into a little bit of a thematic hurdle.

The Gunslinger has four ways, two of which are weapon driven, another of which encourages the gunslinger to be up close (and is a little weapon driven) and another which is stealth based. This, ime, leaves a little bit of a blindspot in the system for someone who's just a little more interested in focusing on gunplay. I had a player who wanted to use a two-handed firearm, but wasn't really interested in combat maneuver/melee or stealth stuff and suddenly to him it felt like he didn't really have a good option for a Way and it made that part of building his character a lot less exciting and a lot more frustrating for him.

I've had similar experiences with the Magus. The existing Hybrid Studies are all fascinating and neat, but I've had players who, just for a couple examples, want to be a switch-hitter, want to use a one-handed weapon but like holding things in the other hand, or just want to be able to pick up whatever drops and don't want to be beholden to a specific type of weapon and they've all felt a little put off by hybrid studies as a result.

Obviously 'generic' is a weird word and hard to really quantify, but the point is I've been seeing some real interest in seeing broader themes and more weapon-agnostic options.

Not really going anywhere with this, just some feedback I've seen more than a few times I thought I'd share.

Scarab Sages

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I think part of is that these new classes get very caught up in their own mechanics and gimmicks, they don't really leave a lot of room for a "generic" version. I really wish they did, my solution for "generic guy with a Rifle" ended up being Spellshot.

In short, I agree with you.


Idk, laughing shadow and inorexible iron feel like "generic" mage warriors, though LS might need to reflavor the "teleports behind you" into just lighting fast footwork or something, and starlit span can be used as a switch hitter, though I would have enjoyed a thrown weapon switch hitting themed HS, and I would have also liked a gun themed HS that helps with the reloading action economy.

Gunslinger does seem to be missing a generic path; sniper is the only one that really seems to be interested in focusing on two handed weapons used mostly at range. Ranger COULD work, but since G&G didnt add any feats to preexisting classes, and there lacks a rifle themed archetype, you miss out on a lot of the cool gunslinger feats, and imo, munitions crafter and the like are important for the rifleman soldier type feel


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Unsure about Magus, but for me for Gunslinger and very specifically anyone who wants to dual wield, it does feel awkward being unable to use your Way reload while having the Dual Wield feat from the Gunslinger itself. IMO, it'd make sense to mek to errata the Gunslinger version of that feat so that you can use it to reload a weapon without having to have a hand free, so that you can at-least use it when required. That doesn't save on action economy necessarily, but it would at-least make Pistolero or Sniper as safe paths for anyone who's going down that class fantasy.

Granted, I'm saying this without playing - it might be a different situation in actual play.


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MadamReshi wrote:

Unsure about Magus, but for me for Gunslinger and very specifically anyone who wants to dual wield, it does feel awkward being unable to use your Way reload while having the Dual Wield feat from the Gunslinger itself. IMO, it'd make sense to mek to errata the Gunslinger version of that feat so that you can use it to reload a weapon without having to have a hand free, so that you can at-least use it when required. That doesn't save on action economy necessarily, but it would at-least make Pistolero or Sniper as safe paths for anyone who's going down that class fantasy.

Granted, I'm saying this without playing - it might be a different situation in actual play.

The Dual Wield Reload is a trap feat that they should have reworked if they were going to include it.

Capacity weapons work with the Way Reloads die to a FAQ, and will be errata'd to reflect that.


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I agree about the feeling that Gunslinger lacks a more generic path, all the Ways are built for specific narratives. At the same time, I'm not sure what I'd do about that though.

Magus is easier to be generic about though I think, as the schools are mostly just about your choice of weapon.

I think the way I'd put is that Ways are more prescriptive of how a character should be built and played (in regards to combat routines, skill choices, etc). Magus hybrid studies don't do that as much - you just pick the study that matches your weapon type and then do whatever.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
Idk, laughing shadow and inorexible iron feel like "generic" mage warriors, though LS might need to reflavor the "teleports behind you" into just lighting fast footwork or something

Both of them are still very style-focused though. Inexorable Iron's abilities don't work if you aren't wielding a two-handed weapon and Laughing Shadow wants you to have a completely free hand. Shadow does have some trickery flavor to it (the feint feat and shift blame, etc.) that can be a bit of a turn off for some people but those options aren't too hard to ignore either.

LS is probably the most flexible here, since you don't lose as much by wielding the wrong kind of weapon or having your hand occupied, but forgoing your Cascade bonus psychologically feels pretty bad.

The magus is admittedly thematically driven less by its Studies than the Gunslinger by its path, but weapon choice is still a big part of character identity and if your vision for the character doesn't conform to one of the existing options it can feel kinda bad. Which is why I think an option that is more weapon agnostic could be appealing down the road.

For the game in particular I mentiond upthread, I just houseruled away the two-handed requirement from Inexorable Iron and it doesn't appear to have caused any balance problems so far.


Sniper is your closest match to generic gunslinger. Nothing about it mechanically ties you to any weapon type and the reload to hide can just as easily be shooting from around cover as it is about sniping.

As for magus, sure it doesn't have a universal style, but it's even more generic than fighter in that your weapon categories are extremely wide. The single most generic one is probably starlit span since it's only ability is to let you spellstrike with literally anything instead of melee only. Nothing is gained or lost no matter which weapon you pick up.


Squiggit wrote:

Both of them are still very style-focused though. Inexorable Iron's abilities don't work if you aren't wielding a two-handed weapon and Laughing Shadow wants you to have a completely free hand. Shadow does have some trickery flavor to it (the feint feat and shift blame, etc.) that can be a bit of a turn off for some people but those options aren't too hard to ignore either.

LS is probably the most flexible here, since you don't lose as much by wielding the wrong kind of weapon or having your hand occupied, but forgoing your Cascade bonus psychologically feels pretty bad.

The magus is admittedly thematically driven less by its Studies than the Gunslinger by its path, but weapon choice is still a big part of character identity and if your vision for the character doesn't conform to one of the existing options it can feel kinda bad. Which is why I think an option that is more weapon agnostic could be appealing down the road.

For the game in particular I mentiond upthread, I just houseruled away the two-handed requirement from Inexorable Iron and it doesn't appear to have caused any balance problems so far.

Eh, they might be style focused, but the style is literally "one handed with open hand" and "two handed weapon", which is pretty general and open ended. I'm not really sure how you'd get any more generalist, outside of the house rule you mention; but even without it, the flavor is still pretty open. You technically aren't even really locked out of your main stuff of you dont follow the style, you can still spellstrike and such


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like a fighter with a gun is a pretty "generic" gun user. It is hard for that to exist alongside the gunslinger.


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There aren't any "generic" subclasses for the Champion, Druid, Sorcerer, Oracle, Witch, or Summoner.


Ventnor wrote:
There aren't any "generic" subclasses for the Champion, Druid, Sorcerer, Oracle, Witch, or Summoner.

Tbf, two of those have heavily prescribed flavor as part of the class itself (Champion and Druid, the latter of which lets you dip into other subclasses) while the latter two have a boatload of subclasses to choose from.


I dont really feel that the "forced" weapon choices make a magus less generic. Thats like saying "i wanna play a twohanded fighter but that forces me into twohanded weapons". Most fighter feats also follow a route. Dont fully get what is the problem here, or do you wanna switch weapons from onehanded to twohanded? Sparkling Targe generally also works as that since you can use a twohander and have the shield cantrip instead of a shield.

For the Gunslinger i see the sniper as the "generic" one. You can just use cover instead of hide and many class feats are good without stealth. Thats as generic as it gets. Doesnt even force you into twohanded weapons.

I dont really know what "generic" means in that regard, like just a magus or gunslinger without any features?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ventnor wrote:
There aren't any "generic" subclasses for the Champion, Druid, Sorcerer, Oracle, Witch, or Summoner.

I get what you mean, but to some extent I'd argue a lot of those options already less intrusive, at least in the way this thread is talking about them. Which Champion Cause I pick doesn't really limit my weapon choice (though paladins need a melee weapon, that's still a lot broader) or hedge me into any specific skills. Which Order I pick actually doesn't change my core druid features much at all (excepting Wild which does encourage specific investment).

But I mean, if you want to argue that there are a lot of good ideas for Champion or Witch builds that aren't encapsulated by the currently existing options so you want to see more... that makes sense, it isn't really mutually exclusive with anything I've said either.

Candlejake wrote:
I dont really know what "generic" means in that regard, like just a magus or gunslinger without any features?

I mostly just mean that options that don't push you hard into specific weapons or skills would be good for enabling more character ideas. Right now it sort of feels like the four Gunslinger ways map to four fairly specific character ideas and to some extent so do the Magus Studies.

Which means if the character you want to play doesn't fall into those boxes, it can feel like a struggle to get full value from those class features.


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I mean, subclasses are always going to have something they focus on. A subclass that doesn't focus on something would... I'm not even sure what it would do. I guess either do nothing or just make you better at everything? Which is really boring and difficult to balance with other options.

We just need to wait for more Ways to come out to cover different concepts. They will necessarily focus on particular weapon types or skills or abilities.

On what Ways I would like to see;

Dragoon A way focused on using firearms in tandem with a mount.

Grenadier A way where you combine using firearms with the use of alchemical bombs.

Rifleman? a 2h firearm way that is focused more on shooting at medium ranges, maybe with a focus on teamwork or mobility or something.

Some kind of acrobatics focused way, like how the swashbuckler works with doing fancy acrobatic stuff combined with their attacks. (John Woo style stuff).

Some kind of way focused on laying down heavy amounts of fire with big weapons at range, flushing enemies out of cover by shredding it, or forcing them to hide in cover.

Grand Archive

MadamReshi wrote:

Unsure about Magus, but for me for Gunslinger and very specifically anyone who wants to dual wield, it does feel awkward being unable to use your Way reload while having the Dual Wield feat from the Gunslinger itself. IMO, it'd make sense to mek to errata the Gunslinger version of that feat so that you can use it to reload a weapon without having to have a hand free, so that you can at-least use it when required. That doesn't save on action economy necessarily, but it would at-least make Pistolero or Sniper as safe paths for anyone who's going down that class fantasy.

Might I offer you a suggestion as to what archetype you may find helpful?


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

I mean, subclasses are always going to have something they focus on. A subclass that doesn't focus on something would... I'm not even sure what it would do. I guess either do nothing or just make you better at everything? Which is really boring and difficult to balance with other options.

We just need to wait for more Ways to come out to cover different concepts. They will necessarily focus on particular weapon types or skills or abilities.

On what Ways I would like to see;

Dragoon A way focused on using firearms in tandem with a mount.

Grenadier A way where you combine using firearms with the use of alchemical bombs.

Rifleman? a 2h firearm way that is focused more on shooting at medium ranges, maybe with a focus on teamwork or mobility or something.

Some kind of acrobatics focused way, like how the swashbuckler works with doing fancy acrobatic stuff combined with their attacks. (John Woo style stuff).

Some kind of way focused on laying down heavy amounts of fire with big weapons at range, flushing enemies out of cover by shredding it, or forcing them to hide in cover.

Seconding all of these ways. I personally would also like to see more gun+bayonet support. Drifter can work, but a lot of the melee+gun stuff feel like it wants you to have a pistol in one hand, sword in the other.

I also feel fighter is a great place to slot in a rifleman that starts combat shooting, then does bayonet charges.

Radiant Oath

Tender Tendrils wrote:


On what Ways I would like to see;

Dragoon A way focused on using firearms in tandem with a mount.

Grenadier A way where you combine using firearms with the use of alchemical bombs.

Rifleman? a 2h firearm way that is focused more on shooting at medium ranges, maybe with a focus on teamwork or mobility or something.

Some kind of acrobatics focused way, like how the swashbuckler works with doing fancy acrobatic stuff combined with their attacks. (John Woo style stuff).

Some kind of way focused on laying down heavy amounts of fire with big weapons at range, flushing enemies out of cover by shredding it, or forcing them to hide in cover.

Firearms from a mount is cool and probably historically accurate, but it's doubling up on things that don't work in a dungeon. Probably very niche.

Grenadier seems obvious. There's already some feats that push that style.

I have mixed feelings about Rifleman. I think it's exactly what people are looking for, but it's a miss for the lore. Firearm users are a solidary bunch in Golarion. A group of trained riflemen would be a powerhouse.


AceofMoxen wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:


On what Ways I would like to see;

Dragoon A way focused on using firearms in tandem with a mount.

Grenadier A way where you combine using firearms with the use of alchemical bombs.

Rifleman? a 2h firearm way that is focused more on shooting at medium ranges, maybe with a focus on teamwork or mobility or something.

Some kind of acrobatics focused way, like how the swashbuckler works with doing fancy acrobatic stuff combined with their attacks. (John Woo style stuff).

Some kind of way focused on laying down heavy amounts of fire with big weapons at range, flushing enemies out of cover by shredding it, or forcing them to hide in cover.

Firearms from a mount is cool and probably historically accurate, but it's doubling up on things that don't work in a dungeon. Probably very niche.

Grenadier seems obvious. There's already some feats that push that style.

I have mixed feelings about Rifleman. I think it's exactly what people are looking for, but it's a miss for the lore. Firearm users are a solidary bunch in Golarion. A group of trained riflemen would be a powerhouse.

I honestly think mounts are massively underused in TTRPGs - there are plenty of outdoors environments they can shine in, and a lot of indoors ones that are large enough to accommodate them. It's like people's suspension of disbelief just evaporates as soon as a horse is involved.

Also, having a party member who had a horse gave me a lot of opportunities to make jokes about the horse in neverending story, which was really fun.


Tender Tendrils wrote:
AceofMoxen wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:


On what Ways I would like to see;

Dragoon A way focused on using firearms in tandem with a mount.

Grenadier A way where you combine using firearms with the use of alchemical bombs.

Rifleman? a 2h firearm way that is focused more on shooting at medium ranges, maybe with a focus on teamwork or mobility or something.

Some kind of acrobatics focused way, like how the swashbuckler works with doing fancy acrobatic stuff combined with their attacks. (John Woo style stuff).

Some kind of way focused on laying down heavy amounts of fire with big weapons at range, flushing enemies out of cover by shredding it, or forcing them to hide in cover.

Firearms from a mount is cool and probably historically accurate, but it's doubling up on things that don't work in a dungeon. Probably very niche.

Grenadier seems obvious. There's already some feats that push that style.

I have mixed feelings about Rifleman. I think it's exactly what people are looking for, but it's a miss for the lore. Firearm users are a solidary bunch in Golarion. A group of trained riflemen would be a powerhouse.

I honestly think mounts are massively underused in TTRPGs - there are plenty of outdoors environments they can shine in, and a lot of indoors ones that are large enough to accommodate them. It's like people's suspension of disbelief just evaporates as soon as a horse is involved.

Also, having a party member who had a horse gave me a lot of opportunities to make jokes about the horse in neverending story, which was really fun.

The default assumption of the d20 TTRPG is the dungeon crawl, where mounts are certainly at their worst.

Outdoor adventures just aren't as common since they necessitate larger maps and are harder to make adventures for, while a dungeon not only adheres to table restrictions, but organically creatures individual "encounter rooms."

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