Basic gunslinger builds


Advice


I like this thread trend. I'd like to try it out for my favorite class.

Gunslinger:

at first glance, it's just a crit fishing class that can't make many attacks per turn to crit fish efficiently, but there's a lot put into this class that gives it a surprising amount of efficiency and versatility despite the nature of the loaded weapons in it's namesake. Your way specific "slingers reload" gives a strong action pattern that supports a specific playstyle and identity to each way. Here's my take on how each way can be built well.

Drifter:

One handed melee + one handed gun. There's a lot of potential variety in your choice of weapons that could impact your playstyle and your class feats so for these choices, assume the weapons are a slide pistol + shortsword, probably the best combination for a typical drifter because of duel wielding and making follow up attacks with your reloading strike. The drifters main tactic is close quarters ranged attacks and following up with their reloading strike. Your initial deed helps facilitate getting into the correct position. Don't be afraid to fall back when things get hairy, you still have a gun to harass enemies with from afar.

Equipment: leather armor, slide pistol, shortsword
Stats: 14 str, 18 dex, 14 con, 10 int, 12 wis, 10 con.

Level 1: sword and pistol
Level 2: quickdraw
Level 4: black powder boost
Level 6: drifters juke
level 8: stab and blast
Don't want to get too far with this list. Everything past this point is pretty good and could be worthwhile on many builds.

Pistolero:

Charisma based. Built for either deception or intimidation. I would recommend both to have both options for your slinger's reload. Can work with either duel wielding or single gun, even works with a 2 handed jezail if you want it to. You just won't get the benefit from your 9th level deed. Conveniently, your 15th level deed only requires you to be wearing a one handed gun, which seems redundant when you're holding a much bigger gun in your hands, but I digress. Your basic tactics are to stay within demoralize distance and harass opponents with your reload and pistol twirl at early levels. Pistol twirl being optional but very convenient with how much you're boosting charisma.

Equipment: leather armor, dueling pistol. If duel wielding, a slide pistol will allow you to use your slinger's reload with your capacity rounds and works within 30 feet. 2 slide pistols might be too heavy, an air repeater is a likely candidate for a second gun.
Stats: 10 str, 18 dex, 12 con, 10 int, 12 wis, 16 cha.

Level 1: hit the dirt
Level 2: pistol twirl
Level 4: paired shots
Level 6: pistolero's Challenge
Level 8: leap and fire

Vanguard:

The "tank" way. Another way that encourages melee tactics with a more defensive lean than the drifter with your initial deed giving you a free parry on initiative and your shoving reload. The best user of kickback weapons with strength being the recommended secondary stat and athletics being your slinger's reload skill. Your tactics are to probably hang out at range at first and use your defensive tactics only when necessary. There's not much point in running up to someone to shove them when you can be at range and have the same effect, at least until you get to 14th and 15th level for blast tackle and your advanced deed. Then you can run into melee with some very good options.

Equipment: leather armor, arquebus/harmona gun
Stats: 14 str, 18 dex, 14 con, 10 int, 12 wis, 10 cha. (Humans or other ancestry's that can afford a flaw in both int and Cha can start at 16 str to get the large bore modification at 5th level to boost your kickback damage).

Level 1: cover fire
Level 2: risky reload (works best with the harmona gun)
Level 4: running reload
Level 6: phalanx breaker
Level 8: stab and blast

Sniper:

Skyrim stealth archer. Probably the best class to utilize stealth in combat with ranger and rogue being the other contenders.
Pretty simple tactics, you reload + hide/take cover then shoot hopefully hitting your target flatfooted then repeat. Your initial deed won't be all that good until 9th level, with vital shot, then your ranged attacks become very threatening even without a crit. It's a slow progression until 6th level with snipers aim, but the sniper pays off with enough patience. At least as long as you have cover. A sniper in the open or in tight corridors is rough. Thankfully, there's deployable cover you can carry around when you need it.

Equipment: leather armor, arquebus/jezail
Stats: 14 str, 18 dex, 12 con, 10 int, 14 wis, 10 cha. The 14 in strength is for the arquebus, if you don't need the extra damage and range, a jezail will serve just fine and allow some extra flexibility with your stats. Conveniently, a sniper really only needs dex for hitting and stealthing.

Level 1: munitions crafter
Level 2: risky reload
Level 4: alchemical shot
Level 6: snipers aim
Level 8: smoke curtain


A couple notes for more specific builds, drifters work very well with monk/martial artist archetype. Specifically, tiger stance with drifters juke allowing two 10 foot steps. Works notably well with a dragonmouth pistol with the large bore mod as you can safely step out of range of your scatter radius before striking with it against an adjacent for.

Pistolero works well with swashbuckler. Pretty much just for antagonize. The bonus to demoralize is the cherry on top.


aobst128 wrote:

I like this thread trend. I'd like to try it out for my favorite class.

Gunslinger:

Thankyou


My thoughts. The Gunslinger seems a bit light on damage, but its +2 to hit really increases your chance to hit and critical so its very much like the fighter.

Your Pistolero build is excellent and a build I'd play. With a repeating hand crossbow you can get off 5 rounds of paired 1d6 base shots with no MAP, Before worring about reloads. Mixing in a fire arm like a Clan Pistol for variety Raconteur's Reload, is a good fallback position.

To get two pistols to work though you need Dual Weapon Reload - don't you?! But even then you can't always fire both every round. Looks like the magazine weapons are the place to start here.

Pistolero's Challenge seems too fair, but you get to choose when to use it, and you get to fire first so its going to work in your favour.

Hit the Dirt is fantastic if the encounter becomes a ranged duel. Thats going to depend on the rest of your party. If you have someone in the party who can generate obstacles and difficult terrain. Then that is going to be a lot.

Definitely using both Deception and Intimidation

The other builds I'm not feeling as much yet.


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Surprised you didn't include Fake Out in any of these, the feat is cracked once you level a bit. As a Sniper I would much rather have Fake Out than Risky Reload.

As Gortle said, I would mention that for using Paired Shots often you need a Capacity + Repeating weapon combo.

I like the builds overall, they are very good samples.


If you use Double-Barrled Pistols + Dual Weapon Reload you have enough gas to use Paired Shots for 4 rounds in a row before running out of ammo, after that you can go back to single shots if the fight lasts longer.

5 rounds if you also have Breech Ejectors in one of the guns.


Yeah, fake out is pretty good for a sniper. I did mention the slide pistol for pistolero. Duel weapon reload is kinda sad for pistolero since it overrides your slinger's reload. Wanted to focus on your core abilities for these builds. Duel weapon reload is more useful for a drifter since it won't compete for reloading strike, since they have different situations to use them in rather than a pistolero that can't use their own reload if duel wielding non-capacity guns.


The best dual gun way might be drifter. You can pummel things with your guns to reload them. A couple of double barrels and you're good to go. Drifters wake works pretty well with 2 guns as well. You can make all 3 strikes from your firearms if you want to.


aobst128 wrote:
The best dual gun way might be drifter. You can pummel things with your guns to reload them. A couple of double barrels and you're good to go. Drifters wake works pretty well with 2 guns as well. You can make all 3 strikes from your firearms if you want to.

Level 9 onwards I really like Spellshot for dual wielding guns. The reaction is really solid and opens up your actions a lot.


The gunslinger might be light on damage but it's not so light that the dual-wielding paired shots crossbow style doesn't do enough to be in the same realm as non-fighter CRB martials.

Spellshot Dual-Wield:
Dual crossbows don't interact much with the Ways to begin with, but there is one reason we prefer to use spellshot for this setup. Conjure Bullet. Conjure Bullet is essentially a reload, but, very important here, it never says you reload, just that you "immediately Interact to load it into your weapon." Since you aren't reloading, you ignore the 3 action reload on magazines and can Conjure, shoot, whatever until the fight ends. A tenuous argument to be certain, but I love little things like this. Basic strategy is simple. You have five (5) rounds of paired shots before you're empty and need to do the above to keep yourself fighting, or blow a turn doing the 3 action reload. The paired shots and no reload give you a 3rd action to use as you please.

Stats: 10/18/14/12/12/10
Half-elf is assumed. Int is boosted here mostly because I assume the party already has a face and cha skills covered, but your 4th stat doesn't matter. Dumping the two stats you aren't using to boost another is recommended.

Mandatory Equipment: Blazons of Shared Power, 2x repeating hand crossbows

Mandatory Feats:
1 spellshot, unconventional weaponry (repeating hand crossbows)
2 spellshot
4 paired shots
6 fake out or advanced shooter if your gm won't let you take repeating hand crossbows with unconventional weaponry
8 fake out (if not taken at 6)

After 6 or 8, it really doesn't matter what you take as your gameplan never changes. If the conjure bullet thing is disallowed, you can use this setup with any Way you want.

Do note the level 9 reload reaction doesn't work here because it REloads specifically.


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Conjure bullet seems pretty redundant if you're using paired repeating crossbows. 5 rounds is plenty. Spellshot is wasted if all it's doing for you is some action saving 5 rounds after initiative. Would rather just use some capacity guns.


aobst128 wrote:
Conjure bullet seems pretty redundant if you're using paired repeating crossbows. 5 rounds is plenty. Spellshot is wasted if all it's doing for you is some action saving 5 rounds after initiative. Would rather just use some capacity guns.

The issue with capacity is that you only get 3 rounds out of the pepperbox and the slide pistol only has 30ft range. Not to mention you're stuck waiting until level 6 to get running reload or paired shots.

It is a little redundant though I suppose. Not often you get 7 or 8 round combats. In which case just build it as a cha pistolero and go fake out, paired shots and enjoy your free use of cha skills or movement as a 3rd action. Maybe grab rogue for sneak attack or beastmaster for a pet at 6+


Pistolero's challenge is definitely more useful with repeating weapons. Between pistol twirl and challenge, it's tough to fit in those reloads every round in order to use paired shots consistently. I. Actually prefer the single gun pistolero with running reload instead of paired shots. It's not as much damage output but it's more comfy.


Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Any recommendations for a spellshot build that uses one or more firearms, rather than crossbows?


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I've decided that Fake Out is another one of those abilities worth multiclassing for.
Especially for the Wizard but other classes too.

Level 2 Gunslinger Dedication to get proficiency with the Long Air Repeater and Hand Crossbow. Sadly the Repeating hand crosbow is advanced. A nice 1 action ranged attack is just useful for a caster. A guess a bow might be better.

Levl 4 Basic Shooting for Fake Out Because now you can use a reaction to Aid in combat without costing you an action on your turn. It's only potentially a +2 but its a lot better than just not using your reation.

Level 6 Slinger's Readiness Can I recommend +2 to initiative, draw your weapon and a free action 10 ft step on your first turn. 10 ft being just enough to be on the other side of your fighter.


gesalt wrote:
Do note the level 9 reload reaction doesn't work here because it REloads specifically.
It IS reloaded (The ammunition you just fired is reloaded back) but YOU don't reload. That's the way I see it. When they want to reference a Reload they say "interact to reload" with that specific wording.
Nikofaust wrote:
Any recommendations for a spellshot build that uses one or more firearms, rather than crossbows?

Spellshot with Inventor Dedication. You use a Slide Pistol and an Air Repeater and you grab Basic Modification at 8 for a d6 Air Repeater. It is worse than getting proficiency with a repeating crossbow but it uses 2 guns and it is the exact same level 8 onwards.


roquepo wrote:
Spellshot with Inventor Dedication. You use a Slide Pistol and an Air Repeater and you grab Basic Modification at 8 for a d6 Air Repeater. It is worse than getting proficiency with a repeating crossbow but it uses 2 guns and it is the exact same level 8 onwards.

Thats a nice trick but it needs Free Archetype to work as Spellshot the Dedication feat gets in the way till level 10 at the earliest.


aobst128 I've taken your text and added mine. I hope you are Ok with that.

Gunslinger

At first glance, it's just a crit fishing class that can't make many attacks per turn to crit fish efficiently, but there's a lot put into this class that gives it a surprising amount of efficiency and versatility despite the nature of the loaded weapons in its namesake.
The most troublesome mechanic for Gunslinger is the reload time. Almost all your weapons have reload 1 so you can’t fire them twice in a round. The weapons with reload 2 are very hard to use as that is all you can do. There are repeating weapons with reload 0, but they have a much smaller damage dice, or are advanced which is effective -2 to hit.
Each Way has a different approach to help work with or around reload.
Here's my take on how each way can be built well. (Aobst128 wrote much of this)
Drifter
One handed melee + one handed gun. There's a lot of potential variety in your choice of weapons that could impact your playstyle and your class feats so for these choices, assume the weapons are a slide pistol + shortsword, probably the best combination for a typical drifter because of dual wielding and making follow up attacks with your reloading strike. The drifters main tactic is close quarters ranged attacks and following up with their reloading strike. Your initial deed helps facilitate getting into the correct position. Don't be afraid to fall back when things get hairy, you still have a gun to harass enemies with from afar.

Basic equipment: Leather, Short Sword, Slide Pistol
Str 14 Dex 18 Con 10 Int 14 Wis 10 Cha 10
Class Feats: Level 1: Sword and Pistol, Level 2: Fake Out
Level 4: Black Powder Boost, Level 6: Drifter's Juke, Level 8: Stab and Blast
Don't want to get too far with this list. Everything past this point is pretty good and could be worthwhile on many builds.
Skills: Stealth, Thievery, Athletics

Pistolero
The Pistolero is the charismatic Gunslinger. Built for either deception or intimidation or both for your slinger's reload. Can work with either duel wielding or single gun, even works with a 2 handed jezail if you want it to. You just won't get the benefit from your 9th level deed. Conveniently, your 15th level deed only requires you to be wearing a one handed gun, which seems redundant when you're holding a much bigger gun in your hands, but I digress. Your basic tactics are to stay within demoralising distance and harass opponents with your reload and pistol twirl at early levels. Pistol twirl being optional but very convenient with how much you're boosting charisma.
It's too action intensive to reload two weapons. Accept that and take at least one repeating weapon Long Air Repeater for d4, or Repeating Hand Crossbow for d6 but it’s advanced so you lose 2 points of proficiency off your attack roll but the increased damage may be worth it.

Basic equipment: Leather, Long Air Repeater and Slide Pistol, or Repeating Hand Crossbow and Dueling Pistol
Str 10 Dex 18 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 16
Level 1: Hit the Dirt! If you have a Slide Pistol or two repeaters, otherwise you need Dual-Weapon Reload. Level 2: Pistol Twirl, Level 4: Paired Shots, Level 6: Pistolero's Challenge, Level 8: Leap and Fire
Skills: Deception, Intimidation, Stealth, Thievery

Vanguard
The "big gun tank" way. Another way that encourages melee tactics with a more defensive lean than the drifter with your initial deed giving you a free parry on initiative and your shoving reload. The best user of kickback weapons with strength being the recommended secondary stat and athletics being your slinger's reload skill. Your tactics are to probably hang out at range at first and use your defensive tactics only when necessary. There's not much point in running up to someone to shove them when you can be at range and have the same effect, at least until you get to 14th and 15th level for blast tackle and your advanced deed. Then you can run into melee with some very good options. When you get to 18 Str get a Large Bore Modification.

Basic equipment: Leather, Arquebus or Harmona Gun attach a Bayonet or Reinforced Stock.
Str 14 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 10
Level 1: Cover Fire, Level 2: Aobst128 says Risky Reload (works best with the harmona gun), but I prefer Fake Out, Level 4: Running Reload, Level 6: Phalanx Breaker, Level 8: Stab and Blast
Skills: Stealth, Thievery, Athletics

Sniper
Skyrim stealth archer. Probably the best class to utilize stealth in combat with ranger and rogue being the other contenders. Pretty simple tactics, you reload + hide/take cover then shoot hopefully hitting your target flatfooted then repeat. Your initial deed won't be all that good until 9th level, with vital shot, then your ranged attacks become very threatening even without a crit. It's a slow progression until 6th level with snipers aim, but the sniper pays off with enough patience. At least as long as you have cover. A sniper in the open or in tight corridors is rough. Thankfully, there's deployable cover you can carry around when you need it. If you want to branch out into an archetype there is a bit more flexibility in the attributes here.
Basic equipment: Leather, Jezail
Str 10 Dex 18 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 16 Cha 10
Level 1: Munitions Crafter, Level 2: Risky Reload, Level 4: Alchemical Shot, Level 6: Sniper's Aim, Level 8: Smoke Curtain
Skills: Stealth, Thievery,

Spellshot
You can go any direction with this Way as it is not locked into a weapon build. It’s special ability is the ability to recharge on a recall Knowledge check, and the option to select variable ammo types on the fly with Energy Shot. A poor power as you may not even know what your enemy is yet - you certainly haven’t rolled for recall knowledge yet. Not really a good choice as the required Spellshot Dedication is hard to leave. It's got some awesome options that are very high level, and the Dedication rules cuts you out of other options.
Basic equipment: Leather, Jezail
Str 10 Dex 18 Con 12 Int 16 Wis 12 Cha 10
Level 1: Cover Fire or Munitions Crafter, Level 2: Spellshot Dedication (required) Level 4: Running Reload, Level 6: Fulminating Shot, Level 8: Grit and Tenacity, Call Gun Level 14: Phase Bullet, Level 18: Black Powder Embodiment
Skills: Stealth, Thievery, lots of knowledge skills.

I couldn't find a version of SpellShot I like

I've got an online copy of this document available here. Its still in progress, not halfway yet. There are some incomplete builds I'm still working on.


That's a lot of intelligence and not a lot of constitution for a drifter. But otherwise, decent additions.


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Fake out is one of those feats that seems crazy not to take, especially with humans. Quickdraw and risky reload I think are close contenders. Saving actions when it comes to reloading is pretty impactful for gunslingers. It's a tough time choosing early feats for gunslingers. It's front loaded with a lot of great ones.


aobst128 wrote:
Fake out is one of those feats that seems crazy not to take, especially with humans. Quickdraw and risky reload I think are close contenders. Saving actions when it comes to reloading is pretty impactful for gunslingers. It's a tough time choosing early feats for gunslingers. It's front loaded with a lot of great ones.

I think it is really important to have a good reaction, and Fake out is one of them.


aobst128 wrote:
That's a lot of intelligence and not a lot of constitution for a drifter. But otherwise, decent additions.

Sorry thats a mistake.


Gortle wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
That's a lot of intelligence and not a lot of constitution for a drifter. But otherwise, decent additions.
Sorry thats a mistake.

I realize I also listed con twice the first time. Should be charisma at 10. That might be why.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

QuickDraw I don’t find super useful on gunslinger most of the time. You are able to draw your weapons for free with your ways.

If you use that bandolier that shares runes, it doesn’t work with quick draw. And keeping up multiple runed weapons is insanely expensive. Maybe if playing ABP?

Risky reload is a super nice action compressor, although flourish. I would absolutely take that early unless you have a way reload you are going to spam.

Fake out is great later on when you can reliably hit with it, and get high benefit for master/legendary. It does compete with a couple other good gunslinger reactions later though, and will reveal a hidden sniper.


CaffeinatedNinja wrote:

QuickDraw I don’t find super useful on gunslinger most of the time. You are able to draw your weapons for free with your ways.

If you use that bandolier that shares runes, it doesn’t work with quick draw. And keeping up multiple runed weapons is insanely expensive. Maybe if playing ABP?

Risky reload is a super nice action compressor, although flourish. I would absolutely take that early unless you have a way reload you are going to spam.

Fake out is great later on when you can reliably hit with it, and get high benefit for master/legendary. It does compete with a couple other good gunslinger reactions later though, and will reveal a hidden sniper.

Yeah, quick draw works best with ABP for drifters and pistoleros that have a free hand to work with. Helps to have multiple options for ranged attacks handy with just one action


aobst128 wrote:
Gortle wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
That's a lot of intelligence and not a lot of constitution for a drifter. But otherwise, decent additions.
Sorry thats a mistake.
I realize I also listed con twice the first time. Should be charisma at 10. That might be why.

Yep, copy paste error. These really are your builds that I have edited and added to.


I see it a lot in discussions about Fake Out and One For All but I do think it is worth noting that you are able to aid without these two feats.

Now Fake Out is especially good because it doesn't require an action to set up but nothing specifically disallows you from using your Intimidation to Aid as a Wizard if it is feasibly helping.


The action cost of Aid is significant. if you aren't using your reaction its great. Otherwise the Gunslinger is too busy with his normal reload routine to do Aid.
For sure a bard/sorcerer with a few ranks in Deception is pretty good at aiding attacks as well but who can spare the actions.

Gunslingers are Master with their weapons from level 5. At that level 5 + 6 proficiency+ 4 Dex + 1 item you need a 3 on a d20 to succeed for a +1 circumstance bonus, and a 13 on a d20 for a +3 bonus to an allies attack. It only gets better. That's without spending an ancestry feat on an easy bonus to Aid. By level 13 it pretty much an automatic +4 circumstance bonus to hit. Add it to a spellstrike, powerattack, or just a barbarian with a great pick and its devastating.

So two reasons Aid is better for Gunslingers
1) They are ranged and can't easily use other good reactions
2) Better proficiency faster than most.

Finally for sure another reaction may be better - and if they are take them too - but Fake Out is like 95% usable every round. Its may even be more reliable than the Champion's reaction.


Oh yeah, for Gunslingers it is amazing and I think Fake Out is an amazing feat. Especially because it doesn't require an action to set up.

I just think that more if you spend 2 feats to get it as a wizard (or spending two feats to get One For All on other casters) I think it might be worth exploring that you don't neccesarily need those feats.


Onkonk wrote:

Oh yeah, for Gunslingers it is amazing and I think Fake Out is an amazing feat. Especially because it doesn't require an action to set up.

I just think that more if you spend 2 feats to get it as a wizard (or spending two feats to get One For All on other casters) I think it might be worth exploring that you don't neccesarily need those feats.

Casters have little to nothing worthwhile to do with their reaction to begin with. Casters also tend to have awful class feats. Circumstance bonuses are also hard to come by. With these in mind, there's almost no reason not to go for fake out or one for all on a caster.

In a party optimization scenario, I don't think there's a single instance where at least one caster in the party doesn't take one of them.


gesalt wrote:
Onkonk wrote:

Oh yeah, for Gunslingers it is amazing and I think Fake Out is an amazing feat. Especially because it doesn't require an action to set up.

I just think that more if you spend 2 feats to get it as a wizard (or spending two feats to get One For All on other casters) I think it might be worth exploring that you don't neccesarily need those feats.

Casters have little to nothing worthwhile to do with their reaction to begin with. Casters also tend to have awful class feats. Circumstance bonuses are also hard to come by. With these in mind, there's almost no reason not to go for fake out or one for all on a caster.

In a party optimization scenario, I don't think there's a single instance where at least one caster in the party doesn't take one of them.

Regarding Casters its the wizard, the witch, the cleric, and marginally the bard that have lots of lower grade feats, so they can afford to do this easily. Druids and Sorcerers have other options so this would actually be a real cost to them. Its up to them if they want the bonuses or the action efficiency.

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