Wizard With A Gun Build?


Advice

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

With Outlaws of Alkenstar upon us, I'm looking for advice on how best to play a Wizard With A Gun, using the Inexplicably Expelled background.

My instinct is to start with Way of the Spellshot Gunslinger, and then take either the Wizard or Magus multiclass archetype as soon as I'm able. I know it'll be a slow starter because Spellshot is as much an archetype as a Way, so I have to take 2 of its feats before I can take another dedication. I'm just wondering which would be the better multiclass: Wizard or Magus?


Magus is out because archetype magus can't use ranged spellstrikes.

I would recommend skipping spellshot entirely. The way it's feats are spread out, you can't get another archetype until 9 (multitalented) or 10 (feats at 2, 6, 8).

I'd also ask your gm to let you reflavor a repeating hand crossbow as a 5 bullet revolver but that's just a personal thing.


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An archetype Magus can't use ranged spell strikes. It does have the advantage over Wizard that your weapon is your focus so it helps for certain spells with material components. But if you are playing Vanguard or Drifter and might be in melee sometimes I think I would prefer it for the occasional big damage bonus.

If that doesn't interest you then Wizard has more spell slots as a multiclass than a Magus.

I'm not really a fan of Spellshot as a Gunslinger as the best features arrive only at very high level, plus you have to take an almost pointless feat Spellshot Dedication at level 2. Not all creatures have a weakness you can exploit.

Is this free archetype?

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gortle wrote:
Is this free archetype?

I'm just prepping ahead of time in case some GM posts on the recruitment forums, so I don't know if Free Archetype would be available or not.

gesalt wrote:
I'd also ask your gm to let you reflavor a repeating hand crossbow as a 5 bullet revolver but that's just a personal thing.

At the moment there really isn't a GM to ask that to. Besides, I was more interested in the gunsword...


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Gortle wrote:
Is this free archetype?

I'm just prepping ahead of time in case some GM posts on the recruitment forums, so I don't know if Free Archetype would be available or not.

gesalt wrote:
I'd also ask your gm to let you reflavor a repeating hand crossbow as a 5 bullet revolver but that's just a personal thing.
At the moment there really isn't a GM to ask that to. Besides, I was more interested in the gunsword...

Gunsword is going to be difficult to pull off. Gunslingers are restricted from having full proficiency in guns and swords and using different stats for ranged and melee combat mean the sword side is always going to be -2 or -3 behind the ranged side even if you max dex and str. You might be better served with a fighter (gun) base and the mauler archetype to bring it to -0 or -1. This is probably a step too far from your desired character though.

Of course, if you're capping str and dex, you can't invest in the int needed for wizard without sacrificing con or wis which is ill advised for obvious reasons. If you want something with a melee flex, I would recommend just sticking a bayonet on the end of your gun to keep everything under dex and prevent MADness.


The Best gunsliger with gunblade is a fighter with sword master Archetype ( and then gunsliger Archetype).

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Darnit why are all the fun character concepts I have not doable in this edition?! >:(


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Darnit why are all the fun character concepts I have not doable in this edition?! >:(

It's doable, just not good. One of the big perks of the system people like to tout is that it's hard to be irredeemably bad at the character creation step.

In this case, you'll need to wait for game where you both have free archetype and you can run an archetype concurrently with your free archetype (or a dual class game but those are nearly inexistant).

The build would be something like

Android
Fighter
Background with dex or int
16/18/10/14/12/8

Specialize in guns as fighter
At level 2 take mauler to bring 2 handed weapons on par with your guns. Using free archetype, take wizard.

Really simple skeleton that gets you fighting at all ranges and a little magic asap. Your melee will be -1 compared to your guns at 1-4, 10-14 and 20 (ignoring apex item). Good enough. You will never boost int after the start, but as long as you stick to buffs, illusions and walls, DC doesn't matter.

If android is unavailable, you'll have to suck it up and pick an ancestry with a wis or con flaw that can boost str, dex and int. Hopefully they'll release more cha flaw ancestries. Alternatively, maybe try sorc and find an int flaw ancestry instead.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This combo doesn't work from a narrative standpoint with the Inexplicably Expelled background, though: it places you as a student at Blythir College, Alkenstar's lone magic school, so a fighter has no business there.

This is getting frustrating: I get inspiration from the new books and stuff, and then I ask for help here and find out the rules for this edition won't accommodate it. First the Flame Oracle with a sword I wanted to play for Age of Ashes, now this. It's like, if I want cool thematic powers, I can't have a weapon, and if I want my weapon to be more than just for show, I can't have cool thematic powers! The only option that kind of works is Magus, and that doesn't fit the themes I'm going for in EITHER case! Why is everything that's EFFECTIVE in this edition so BORING?!


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

This combo doesn't work from a narrative standpoint with the Inexplicably Expelled background, though: it places you as a student at Blythir College, Alkenstar's lone magic school, so a fighter has no business there.

This is getting frustrating: I get inspiration from the new books and stuff, and then I ask for help here and find out the rules for this edition won't accommodate it. First the Flame Oracle with a sword I wanted to play for Age of Ashes, now this. It's like, if I want cool thematic powers, I can't have a weapon, and if I want my weapon to be more than just for show, I can't have cool thematic powers! The only option that kind of works is Magus, and that doesn't fit the themes I'm going for in EITHER case! Why is everything that's EFFECTIVE in this edition so BORING?!

If SoT is anything to go by, you'd fit right in being a martial with a minor in magic which is what you were going for initially with gunslinger with a wizard dedication.

As for the rest, they're desperately afraid of a caster being good enough with weapons to obsolete martials so you'll never get around that. Fortunately the reverse isn't true since, as stated, DC doesn't matter for most of the worthwhile spells in this edition. You can get away with a caster base only if you get a bow or returning thrown weapon and understand that your weapon is a "I have nothing better to do" or "I'm in an anti-magic zone" option.

I've long since gotten into the habit of just building something mechanically powerful and trying to be interesting through RP rather than bothering with "interesting" mechanics that will inevitably lose their luster as they become routine or stop getting used because they don't measure up.


If you are using Wizard or another, then I would reccomend Sniping Duo dedication, the reactions on it are great to use on any caster.

Using gunslinger you either go to the Beast Gunner path or Spellstrike Ammunition + Risky Reload if you wish to use the magic offensively.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I get inspiration from the new books and stuff, and then I ask for help here and find out the rules for this edition won't accommodate it.

The rules accommodate it just fine. You've just 1) run across someone reacting with "OMG! You'll only be Trained in the sword part so you should throw out your concept!" and 2) you haven't fully explained what you want (e.g., you didn't say you want to be a gunsword wielder).

Most straightforward:
Gunglinger, Way of the Spellshot, Wizard Multiclass Dedication
Wield gunsword.

Less on spellbullet theme, more with gunsword:
Gunslinger, Way of the Drifter, Wizard Multiclass Dedication
Wield rapiergun and daggergun.

More magic-y less gunslinger-y:
Magus, Starlit Span
Wield gunsword of choice and spellstrike with gun fire.

Less on-theme weapon but faster magic:
Gunglinger, Way of the Spellshot, Eldritch Archer
Wield a crossbow (it counts as a bow)


Gortle wrote:

An archetype Magus can't use ranged spell strikes. It does have the advantage over Wizard that your weapon is your focus so it helps for certain spells with material components.

...

That advantage hadn't registered with me. Thanks for mentioning it.


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gesalt wrote:
Gunsword is going to be difficult to pull off. Gunslingers are restricted from having full proficiency in guns and swords and using different stats for ranged and melee combat mean the sword side is always going to be -2 or -3 behind the ranged side even if you max dex and str. You might be better served with a fighter (gun) base and the mauler archetype to bring it to -0 or -1.

I think you are better of with the Bayonent attachment to your firearm. Yes its only a d4 but it is finesse and therefore you avoid the MAD problem. Which is important if you want INT as well. It is reasonable but ultimately you can't have everything.


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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Darnit why are all the fun character concepts I have not doable in this edition?! >:(

I'm unclear on exactly what your concept is. So far I've seen the following elements.

• You want to be able to blend magic with guns.
• You want the Inexplicably Expelled background.
• You want to be good at both gunplay and melee to use a combination weapon.

You've said that Magus doesn't fit your concept, but a high-Dex, Starlit Span Magus with Gunslinger archetype would seem to tick all of the boxes.

• Spellstrike lets you blend magic with guns from level 1.
• It makes sense for a Magus to attend Alkenstar's lone magic school.
• Spellstrike also works with melee, so combination weapons like a Rapier Pistol or Piercing Wind (or gun with a bayonet or reinforced stock) work well.

What am I missing?


Gortle wrote:

I think you are better of with the Bayonent attachment to your firearm. Yes its only a d4 but it is finesse and therefore you avoid the MAD problem. Which is important if you want INT as well. It is reasonable but ultimately you can't have everything.

I did mention that in the paragraph after yeah.

Blake's Tiger wrote:

The rules accommodate it just fine. You've just 1) run across someone reacting with "OMG! You'll only be Trained in the sword part so you should throw out your concept!" and 2) you haven't fully explained what you want (e.g., you didn't say you want to be a gunsword wielder).

Most straightforward:
Gunglinger, Way of the Spellshot, Wizard Multiclass Dedication
Wield gunsword.

Less on spellbullet theme, more with gunsword:
Gunslinger, Way of the Drifter, Wizard Multiclass Dedication
Wield rapiergun and daggergun.

More magic-y less gunslinger-y:
Magus, Starlit Span
Wield gunsword of choice and spellstrike with gun fire.

Less on-theme weapon but faster magic:
Gunglinger, Way of the Spellshot, Eldritch Archer
Wield a crossbow (it counts as a bow)

Trained, 16 str and no booster puts you so far behind all other martials it is laughable. I can't imagine actually wanting to fight like that as anything but an absolute last resort which I don't think is what anyone who wants to use a gunsword is going for.

Both spellshot configurations don't actually get Wizard/Eldritch Archer until 9 (human) or 10 (everyone else). Starlit magus is functional but magus action economy is so locked down that mixing in reload is backbreaking. It'd be a different story if he were to run an air repeater or repeating crossbow though.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Gisher wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Darnit why are all the fun character concepts I have not doable in this edition?! >:(

I'm unclear on exactly what your concept is. So far I've seen the following elements.

• You want to be able to blend magic with guns.
• You want the Inexplicably Expelled background.
• You want to be good at both gunplay and melee to use a combination weapon.

You've said that Magus doesn't fit your concept, but a high-Dex, Starlit Span Magus with Gunslinger archetype would seem to tick all of the boxes.

• Spellstrike lets you blend magic with guns from level 1.
• It makes sense for a Magus to attend Alkenstar's lone magic school.
• Spellstrike also works with melee, so combination weapons like a Rapier Pistol or Piercing Wind (or gun with a bayonet or reinforced stock) work well.

What am I missing?

Wait, you can still melee Spellstrike if you're Starlit Span?


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Sure. Starlit Span expands your options by allowing you to use Spellstrike with ranged weapons, but it doesn't remove the melee option.

Quote:
When you use Spellstrike, you can make a ranged weapon or ranged unarmed Strike, as long as the target is within the first range increment of your ranged weapon or ranged unarmed attack.


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Gisher wrote:

Sure. Starlit Span expands your options by allowing you to use Spellstrike with ranged weapons, but it doesn't remove the melee option.

Quote:
When you use Spellstrike, you can make a ranged weapon or ranged unarmed Strike, as long as the target is within the first range increment of your ranged weapon or ranged unarmed attack.

Kind of like how a barbarian's variant rage from their instict doesn’t prohibit you from using a standard rage if you so chose (for example, if a spirit barbarian were fighting something known to be immune to negative and positive energy). Or how many versatile ancestries that grant darkvision don't take away low-light vision. You frequently end up with both.

95% of the time it won't matter, which is why people often over look little things like that.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

That being said, taking the Gunslinger multiclass with a Starlit Span Magus would preclude Spellshot, given the odd way Spellshot straddles the line between Archetype and Class Feature, right?


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
That being said, taking the Gunslinger multiclass with a Starlit Span Magus would preclude Spellshot, given the odd way Spellshot straddles the line between Archetype and Class Feature, right?

Correct. Spellshot is a class archetype that has gunslinger as a pre-requisite so there's no way of using it with a magus base.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I suppose it makes sense; it almost seems like the stuff Spellshots can DO is a poor-man's version of stuff Magi can do even BETTER.

Besides, Spellshots ARE supposed to be rare in Alkenstar according to the book...

So I start off with Starlit Span Magus and take Gunslinger Dedication asap, what way do I pick? I'm thinking the piercing wind is going to be best, given staying DEX based prevents me from using the Gunsword itself. I'll deal...there are gunblades that are similar to how the Piercing Wind would be.


Your way selection will probably be based on whether you want to continuously shoot in combat or open with a shot and then close to melee. It'll also matter if you intend to pick up more gunslinger feats, or stick into Magus feats.

Way of Sniper, for instance, is probably not a bad investment if you plan to shoot and then close to melee. You'll draw your weapon immediately and get a damage boost on your first shot, at which point you could jump into melee and start swinging and not worry about reload unless you need it.

If you plan to switch back and forth, Way of the Pistelero's initial deed could help you get the weapon out and let you position.

Reloading and Spellstrike are two damage heavy but action inefficient combat styles and you'll have access to both. Realistically, to blend them effectively, you'll want to look for ways to lean into one or the other. There's no way to recharge your spell strike and reload at the same time so you'll never mirror a Starlit Span Magus with a bow turreting, but that's probably not what you were hoping to do anyway?

Edit: You may want to consider the Runic Impression focus spell at 8 since it'd let you add an elemental property rune to both sides of the gunblade. The extra on demand elemental damage seems reminiscent of what you were hoping for from the Way of the Spellshot.

Don't be afraid of starting with a 16 Str/16 Dex if you really want to switch hit with the gunblade. Or, go 14 Str/18 Dex if you want to use piercing wind and lean into finesse.


So right off the bat I think your problem is you want your concepts to be good at everything.

That being said if you're going for a switch hitter with magic that magus build works.

Eventually you can spellshot shoot, running reload to get closer to melee, if you're not there yet, recharge spellstrike, spellshot strike.

If you're in melee recharge spellshot and strike.

I'd go Str 16 Dex 18 Con 12 Int 12 Wis 10 Cha 10.

You can also dump wis and cha to 8 for 14 int or cons.

Boost STr/Dex/Con/Int every 5th level.

Your will save will be low but dem's the breaks.

You'll be 1 to 2 behind on melee but that's easily mitigatable with flanking.

You won't have the critical specialization feature so you won't be able to exploit critical fusion, but that's ok most things don't survive a magus crit.

Main issue here is that the bow is just a superior weapon on all points to guns as they are now, including the gun sword. As a Gm, I've allowed the gunsword to be 1 handed when used in melee and 2 handed when used at range for the ranger in my iron gods game. Combination weapons are especially weaker than the sum of their parts.

But if what you want is the coolness factor go for it. The main argument some people are saying is that its suboptimal. But f%!&it, the math is so tight in PF2e that suboptimal is definitely viable.


I posted this on your Reddit thread too, but since you've got it going here as well:

Your original idea was to get the elemental bullets and spellcasting of that trailer, and you've pointed to Gunblade which appears to be more physical augmented by magic. Choosing to look at the Gunblade or Piercing Wind sort of emphasizes that for me: you want to be good in melee and ranged, but also have magic.

Based on that, I think Magus may be the wrong base for you since it emphasizes powerful spells vs. spell augmented shots. I think that Gunslinger might be a better base for this, using Wizard or Sorcerer dedication.

Here's a sample build of what it could look like at level 10 (end of Outlaws of Alkenstar).

Key Points:

* You're using your Suli ancestry to, at level 1, be able to fire elemental bullets or elementally empower your blade. At first it's just once per day, but we're going to grow into this theme. At level 9 you'll be able to fire elemental attacks for four rounds just from your ancestry with Tetraelemental Assault. At level 5 you can pick what you want, but I grabbed Elemental Bulwark to represent another magical ability. I left human as base, but you could swap something else in.

* You're using Strength and Dex to take advantage of the Gunblade, choosing to emphasize shoves and strikes. The Gunblade lacks a fatal die, so crits are less important to you and you'll want to offset your melee damage + be good at athletics.

* You grab Wizard and Basic Spellcasting as early as possible to get some magic options. Cantrips aren't terribly important, but we went for Ray of Frost and Electric Arc because you'll be shooting to get a Conducting Rune (7) ASAP.

* Your spell choices are Echoing Weapon (1) and Flame Wisp (2) to give you single spells you can cast to empower your strikes across a whole battle. Time Jump (3) is just fun, but you could upscale one of the other two. But you're also a prepared caster, so try stuff out to see what works for you.

* Risky Reload and Stab and Blast lean into your Cantrip + Gunsword w/ Conducting Rune combo. Cast a cantrip, conduct the energy in, and then use your weapon. This gives you on-demand energy bullets/blade attacks in addition to your ancestry and spells. Several different ways to apply several different elemental effects to your blade and gun by combining cantrips, spells, and ancestry abilities with your 1 action special strikes from Gunslinger.

Note: This all gets way easier if you're doing Free Archetype. You could grab Wizard Dedication on the side and pick up a few extra Gunslinger feats or dip into Witch for even more spellcasting.


@cavernshark: that's a cool build.

With FA considering OP's general feel maybe beast gunner ?

OP look all of these are 100% viable, pick the one you like the most and just play it :-)

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