What do you feel about 2e guns?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I'm relieved they aren't better. I'm not a big fan of guns in my fantasy games generally, and the degree to which it works for me strongly ties in with "how much does it feel like flintlock pistols and blunderbusses instead of revolvers".

You can get guns to work, but it's not the go-to option for mechanical reasons. That's exactly where I'd want it.


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This is a discussion that always come back since the release o G&G.

Maybe I'm being polemic but usually the players are divided into 2 groups:
- GM and some players that don't like guns in their games: The firearms are OK as they are.
- GM and some players that like guns in their games: The firearms are weak and too limited, specially when compared to other ranged weapons and spells.

IMO the above distinction already explains how the current situation are. When those that don't like guns are those one that's more satisfied with the currently available weapons while those who like usually complains is already a signal the they probably are currently subpar.

I'm part of those who think that the currently firearms are subpar. The main reason isn't really because their damage but their reload time.

That said, unless you are playing society games and the GM are not averse to homebrew an easily way to balance this is add revolvers and pistols to the game.
Basically to do them just take a martial firearms of your preference that don't have capacity or double barrel then add repeating trait to them and turn them an advanced weapon. If you want you can do the same thing with simple weapons that don't already have repeating turning them to martial.
You can also increase the dice damage by one size if you really want that firearms to work better than other ranged weapons but this probably will make then stronger than bows because of their traits so do this carefully specially if you have gunslingers in the party.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think guns turned out pretty great. They fall right in line with other weapons with strengths and weaknesses to consider.

I do wish there were some more flavorful reload actions, however. It'd be great for more people to get access to "reload+[mental action]" type feats.


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I think they should revise all the ranged weapons.

Currently bows are way too op compared to any other ranged weapon ( gunslingers may manage to tweak firearms and crossbow a little, but in the end bows are always better ).

Knowing that a melee character has to rely on stuff like:

- Movement
- Shield raise ( even the shield cantrip )
- Athletics Maneuvers
- Etc...

even setting all ranged ( not thrown weapons, obviously ) weapons with reload 1 and 2 hands would make every single weapon solid ( depends the player choice ).

What would be left is a feat to reload twice on the round ( you activate it before you shot, like the valet familiar feat ) and another one to consider one of your hand "free" for interact purposes or holding a L item ( open a door, battle medicine, holding a scroll, etc ).

But this is just some random stuff I thought in a couple of seconds while writing this whole post.

Point is, I am really sick of seeing bows in every single adventure or build.


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Guns in 2e give you the general "feel" of an older firearm within the boundaries of the system and they have a distinct identity from bows and other ranged weapons. With this in mind, I would say guns were executed well. They might be a niche pick by default and have their limitations, but that is fine by me.

It would have been cool to see guns being more attractive for a wider range of builds, but I agree with the compromises and priorities that I think I see in the final product. And even this problem can be mitigated a lot. Adding a few more widely available reload feats via archer-style archetypes and a few more non-fatal weapon options would open a lot of doors for quite a few classes.


In my iron gods campaign I've had most tech weapons broken down that way

Deal energy damage on a d8 basis with the knife critical specialisation (but with the appropriate energy damage) and a magasine of 10 (representing a battery charge) with reload 0.

Pistols are short ranged affairs with 20-30 ft reach. They deal d8

Semi automatic pistols and guns have the agile trait but otherwise similar to pistols.

2 handed deal D12 and have the reload 1 trait of they're long ranged rifles and deal d10 with the agile trait for assault rifles. Assault rifles also have higher power capacity. Assault rifles give you access to a special power to do a 10ft burst zone within first range increment that deals weapon damage with class DC. Takes 3 actions costs 10 charges.

Snipers have the kickback trait and the deadly d8 trait.

2 Handed rifles have the volley trait.

I realise that they are slightly over the power curve but so far my players have ignored them largely, even the d12 dealing emp pistol (only affects constructs )


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
AlastarOG wrote:

In my iron gods campaign I've had most tech weapons broken down that way

Deal energy damage on a d8 basis with the knife critical specialisation (but with the appropriate energy damage) and a magasine of 10 (representing a battery charge) with reload 0.

Pistols are short ranged affairs with 20-30 ft reach. They deal d8

Semi automatic pistols and guns have the agile trait but otherwise similar to pistols.

2 handed deal D12 and have the reload 1 trait of they're long ranged rifles and deal d10 with the agile trait for assault rifles. Assault rifles also have higher power capacity. Assault rifles give you access to a special power to do a 10ft burst zone within first range increment that deals weapon damage with class DC. Takes 3 actions costs 10 charges.

Snipers have the kickback trait and the deadly d8 trait.

2 Handed rifles have the volley trait.

I realise that they are slightly over the power curve but so far my players have ignored them largely, even the d12 dealing emp pistol (only affects constructs )

I think that the easy of modifying firearms design (including advice for how to do so in the Guns and Gears book) is a strength of the PF2 design.

The developers settled on a level where firearms exist in a niche space, not a sought out space. Technologically, this prevents firearms from being the thing that every nation on Golarion is out to reproduce quickly or else fall instantly behind all rival nations. They can remain somewhat of an oddity because advanced, more powerful fire arms are higher level items to make, same with alchemical weapons and bombs. On low level enemies, weapons with fatal are dangerous enough. If they had no reload, a D8, D12 fatal firearm would become the instant weapon of choice for every army.

As a GM, it is really easy to play with the baseline expectations of your world and give weapons new traits, or increase the capacity of fire arms to make them the weapons everyone wants to use. By excluding all of the really finicky bits of firearms from PF1, they are now weapons much easier to work with to fit the world you are trying to run. I am sure there is a great opportunity for a third party to make a setting where guns are the default weapon and you wouldn't have to change them much to make that mechanically make sense.


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One thing guns definitely suffer from is a huge amount of options that are mechanically... questionable. This is a lot more of a subjective observation than my general thoughts, though.

For me, the entirety of combined weapons fall into this category. I wouldn't say that they are of no use ever, but they are definitely striking an unattractive compromise. They are a ranged/melee combination that still requires an action to switch between, but both components are weaker than non-combination alternatives, at least one often massively so. A cool visual, but mechanically a more specialized loadout (or even just a normal firearm with an attached weapon) is almost guaranteed to be superior.

The other problems is beast guns - though that is more of a weakness of the system than guns specifically. Again, cool idea, but like 90%+ of specific magic items, they scale so poorly as to often be obsolete within a few levels of being acquired. The upgraded version are even worse, as while the trade-off might have been worth it compared to one property rune it really isn't when compared to two or three.


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Karmagator wrote:

One thing guns definitely suffer from is a huge amount of options that are mechanically... questionable. This is a lot more of a subjective observation than my general thoughts, though.

For me, the entirety of combined weapons fall into this category. I wouldn't say that they are of no use ever, but they are definitely striking an unattractive compromise. They are a ranged/melee combination that still requires an action to switch between, but both components are weaker than non-combination alternatives, at least one often massively so. A cool visual, but mechanically a more specialized loadout (or even just a normal firearm with an attached weapon) is almost guaranteed to be superior.

The other problems is beast guns - though that is more of a weakness of the system than guns specifically. Again, cool idea, but like 90%+ of specific magic items, they scale so poorly as to often be obsolete within a few levels of being acquired. The upgraded version are even worse, as while the trade-off might have been worth it compared to one property rune it really isn't when compared to two or three.

Combination weapons have one advantage over regular firearms with attached weapons. Gold cost in runes. That seems to be the only thing. They have no mechanical niche that gives them an edge. It's just to save you money, which it does a decent job at if you want to use stab and blast as a gunslinger. Especially if you happen to be dual wielding combination weapons. I hope we get some more unique variations on weapon traits for future combo weapons. Something with reach could be worth the trouble.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
HumbleGamer wrote:

I think they should revise all the ranged weapons.

Currently bows are way too op compared to any other ranged weapon ( gunslingers may manage to tweak firearms and crossbow a little, but in the end bows are always better ).

100% agreement with your whole post, but especially this part.

Guns are alright. I’d have preferred not crit fishing, but instead acting more like bombs (with softer crust overall but chip damage on a miss) to more closely align with their ability to hit touch AC in PF1. But they turned out well enough.

I’ll also echo Unicore’s misgivings with the scatter trait. Which I’m sad about; in the playtest I interpreted it to work more or less how I wanted them to (which, looking again, I think I was wrong in my reading), but the final version is just not great in its wording. I wouldn’t call it unusable, but there’s more interpretation needed than I am comfortable with. The playtest version was just so much clearer and easier to read, even if I interpreted it a bit too optimistically.


To be fair, firearms also have what is - for me - the single most awesome weapon in the game. The Rowan Rifle is what every other specific magic weapon wishes it was.


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@aobst128: I agree about combination weapons, right now they just kinda make me sad.

On the iron gods campaign, one of my players actually fell in love with the idea of a gunsword, but then upon learning it was 2handed and didn't work with quick draw dropped it cause just having a bastard sword was better for her flurry ranger build.

So as a gm I modded it, I made gunsword 1 handed (for melee) and allowed the switch to work with quick draw, and she really likes the feel.

I understand why the balance point came down that way, but sometimes as Gm's we have to allow our players to go SWOOSH SLASH CLICK CLACK PEW PEW PEW without too much hassle.


AlastarOG wrote:

@aobst128: I agree about combination weapons, right now they just kinda make me sad.

On the iron gods campaign, one of my players actually fell in love with the idea of a gunsword, but then upon learning it was 2handed and didn't work with quick draw dropped it cause just having a bastard sword was better for her flurry ranger build.

So as a gm I modded it, I made gunsword 1 handed (for melee) and allowed the switch to work with quick draw, and she really likes the feel.

I understand why the balance point came down that way, but sometimes as Gm's we have to allow our players to go SWOOSH SLASH CLICK CLACK PEW PEW PEW without too much hassle.

Wait, why wouldn’t a gun sword work with quick draw? There are no restrictions on the kind of weapons it works with.


Djinn71 wrote:
It'd be nice if Fatal was just errata'd so that it also scales into the late game, when all the HP gets inflated.

It does, just not as directly as Deadly.

Deadly scales by adding more dice after doubling. Fatal scales by increasing the weapon damage dice size. So, as you add damage dice with Striking runes, Fatal improves each die before doubling and adding the additional Fatal die.


Seisho wrote:
Never gonna take the bullet Dancer though, why would I put d4 melee strikes between short ranged d6 shots of I can either Go füll Ränge as monastic Archer or full melee both with easy d8 or at least consistent d6?

Musket w/ Reinforced Stock (Finesse and Two-Hand d6).


Ventnor wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

@aobst128: I agree about combination weapons, right now they just kinda make me sad.

On the iron gods campaign, one of my players actually fell in love with the idea of a gunsword, but then upon learning it was 2handed and didn't work with quick draw dropped it cause just having a bastard sword was better for her flurry ranger build.

So as a gm I modded it, I made gunsword 1 handed (for melee) and allowed the switch to work with quick draw, and she really likes the feel.

I understand why the balance point came down that way, but sometimes as Gm's we have to allow our players to go SWOOSH SLASH CLICK CLACK PEW PEW PEW without too much hassle.

Wait, why wouldn’t a gun sword work with quick draw? There are no restrictions on the kind of weapons it works with.

I had understood that quick draw would not allow you to switch from the melee to ranged mode on a combination weapon, I could have been wrong.


aobst128 wrote:
Karmagator wrote:

One thing guns definitely suffer from is a huge amount of options that are mechanically... questionable. This is a lot more of a subjective observation than my general thoughts, though.

For me, the entirety of combined weapons fall into this category. I wouldn't say that they are of no use ever, but they are definitely striking an unattractive compromise. They are a ranged/melee combination that still requires an action to switch between, but both components are weaker than non-combination alternatives, at least one often massively so. A cool visual, but mechanically a more specialized loadout (or even just a normal firearm with an attached weapon) is almost guaranteed to be superior.

The other problems is beast guns - though that is more of a weakness of the system than guns specifically. Again, cool idea, but like 90%+ of specific magic items, they scale so poorly as to often be obsolete within a few levels of being acquired. The upgraded version are even worse, as while the trade-off might have been worth it compared to one property rune it really isn't when compared to two or three.

Combination weapons have one advantage over regular firearms with attached weapons. Gold cost in runes. That seems to be the only thing. They have no mechanical niche that gives them an edge. It's just to save you money, which it does a decent job at if you want to use stab and blast as a gunslinger. Especially if you happen to be dual wielding combination weapons. I hope we get some more unique variations on weapon traits for future combo weapons. Something with reach could be worth the trouble.

Idk about the gold thing; blazons on a bayonet or stock gets you close to the same benefits without having to swap. It's some gold, but not much compared to the benefits


Alchemic_Genius wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Karmagator wrote:

One thing guns definitely suffer from is a huge amount of options that are mechanically... questionable. This is a lot more of a subjective observation than my general thoughts, though.

For me, the entirety of combined weapons fall into this category. I wouldn't say that they are of no use ever, but they are definitely striking an unattractive compromise. They are a ranged/melee combination that still requires an action to switch between, but both components are weaker than non-combination alternatives, at least one often massively so. A cool visual, but mechanically a more specialized loadout (or even just a normal firearm with an attached weapon) is almost guaranteed to be superior.

The other problems is beast guns - though that is more of a weakness of the system than guns specifically. Again, cool idea, but like 90%+ of specific magic items, they scale so poorly as to often be obsolete within a few levels of being acquired. The upgraded version are even worse, as while the trade-off might have been worth it compared to one property rune it really isn't when compared to two or three.

Combination weapons have one advantage over regular firearms with attached weapons. Gold cost in runes. That seems to be the only thing. They have no mechanical niche that gives them an edge. It's just to save you money, which it does a decent job at if you want to use stab and blast as a gunslinger. Especially if you happen to be dual wielding combination weapons. I hope we get some more unique variations on weapon traits for future combo weapons. Something with reach could be worth the trouble.
Idk about the gold thing; blazons on a bayonet or stock gets you close to the same benefits without having to swap. It's some gold, but not much compared to the benefits

That's true for fundamental runes. But cost you the pricy upgrade if you want to duplicate property runes. You could also use the upgraded blazons on 2 combination weapons to effectively quadruple your property runes. By level 11, you could have 8 runes for the price of 2. Pretty niche build though

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

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Alchemic_Genius wrote:


Idk about the gold thing; blazons on a bayonet or stock gets you close to the same benefits without having to swap. It's some gold, but not much compared to the benefits

It depends a bit on your loadout. Blazons only work on one-handed weapons, so a gun sword will always have a significant advantage over an arquebus and reinforced stock when it comes to your runes.

If you're wielding one-handed weapons, your fighting style and supporting feats will come heavily into play. If you're keeping a free hand, then you can blazon a pistol and bayonet and the rune cost compared to a rapier pistol pretty much washes out and the pistol with attached weapon might be a bit better. If you're dual wielding, then the blazons on e.g. a dagger pistol and rapier pistol are applying to two ranged attack sources and two melee attack sources, so the combination weapons regain some significant advantages in rune costs that will cascade into higher accuracy and damage as you scale (compensating for the lower per-weapon-form trait value of the combination weapons).


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AlastarOG wrote:
I had understood that quick draw would not allow you to switch from the melee to ranged mode on a combination weapon, I could have been wrong.

That is correct.

What Quick Draw does is let a character interact to draw a weapon and immediately Strike with it in one action. Quick Draw, RAW, does not interact in any way with the Combination trait's switching mechanic.

Though, the Combination trait says, "However, if your last action was a successful melee Strike against a foe using a combination weapon, you can make a firearm Strike with the combination weapon against that foe without fully switching to the firearm usage, firing the firearm just as you hit with the melee attack. In this case, the combination weapon returns to its melee usage after the firearm Strike."


HumbleGamer wrote:

I think they should revise all the ranged weapons.

Currently bows are way too op compared to any other ranged weapon ( gunslingers may manage to tweak firearms and crossbow a little, but in the end bows are always better ).

Knowing that a melee character has to rely on stuff like:

- Movement
- Shield raise ( even the shield cantrip )
- Athletics Maneuvers
- Etc...

even setting all ranged ( not thrown weapons, obviously ) weapons with reload 1 and 2 hands would make every single weapon solid ( depends the player choice ).

What would be left is a feat to reload twice on the round ( you activate it before you shot, like the valet familiar feat ) and another one to consider one of your hand "free" for interact purposes or holding a L item ( open a door, battle medicine, holding a scroll, etc ).

But this is just some random stuff I thought in a couple of seconds while writing this whole post.

Point is, I am really sick of seeing bows in every single adventure or build.

This is actually really weird to me.

1- bow's do less haven't than melee

2- far as I've been able to tell, they're no ways to avoid attack of opportunity when using ranged weapons

3- to my mind, every character should have a ranged option or risk getting into no win scenarios or moments where they have nothing to do


Pixel Popper wrote:

Though, the Combination trait says, "However, if your last action was a successful melee Strike against a foe using a combination weapon, you can make a firearm Strike with the combination weapon against that foe without fully switching to the firearm usage, firing the firearm just as you hit with the melee attack. In this case, the combination weapon returns to its melee usage after the firearm Strike."

For some strange reason, this makes me want to have a pistol whip. not entirely sure where that came from.


Martialmasters wrote:
2- far as I've been able to tell, they're no ways to avoid attack of opportunity when using ranged weapons
  • Don't be there. Ranged weapons have the advantage of being able to attack from outside of Attack of Opportunity range.

    If you just hafta be there...

  • Gunslinger Level 1 Feat: Sword and Pistol. After attacking with melee, ranged strikes (with one-handed firearms and crossbows) do not provoke.

  • Fighter Level 8 Feat (Archer Level 10): Mobile Shot Stance...


  • One of the better use cases for high level combination weapon use is with an inventor with the enhanced damage modification. I believe it would apply to both modes giving you a gunsword that does d10s with both melee and ranged. Just one level later, you could poach stab and blast from gunslinger and go to town.


    Pixel Popper wrote:
    Martialmasters wrote:
    2- far as I've been able to tell, they're no ways to avoid attack of opportunity when using ranged weapons
  • Don't be there. Ranged weapons have the advantage of being able to attack from outside of Attack of Opportunity range.

    If you just hafta be there...

  • Gunslinger Level 1 Feat: Sword and Pistol. After attacking with melee, ranged strikes (with one-handed firearms and crossbows) do not provoke.

  • Fighter Level 8 Feat (Archer Level 10): Mobile Shot Stance...
  • You can also Step then fire a Bow twice once there's no reload.


    Michael Sayre wrote:
    Alchemic_Genius wrote:


    Idk about the gold thing; blazons on a bayonet or stock gets you close to the same benefits without having to swap. It's some gold, but not much compared to the benefits

    It depends a bit on your loadout. Blazons only work on one-handed weapons, so a gun sword will always have a significant advantage over an arquebus and reinforced stock when it comes to your runes.

    If you're wielding one-handed weapons, your fighting style and supporting feats will come heavily into play. If you're keeping a free hand, then you can blazon a pistol and bayonet and the rune cost compared to a rapier pistol pretty much washes out and the pistol with attached weapon might be a bit better. If you're dual wielding, then the blazons on e.g. a dagger pistol and rapier pistol are applying to two ranged attack sources and two melee attack sources, so the combination weapons regain some significant advantages in rune costs that will cascade into higher accuracy and damage as you scale (compensating for the lower per-weapon-form trait value of the combination weapons).

    So, for me. What I like about guns

    Concussive trait- this is a really cool trait and is very useful

    Combination weapons- are conceptually a lot of fun

    Things I don't like

    Medium issue- reload mechanic makes me feel like I never want to make a gun primary character. It makes me feel penalized.

    Minor issue- seems like a bayonet or reinforced stock is just better than using any combination weapon?

    Major issue- far too many focused on critical hits. The harmona gun is a good step, but it not having my favorite trait, concussive, is just a deal breaker for me.

    I'm actually curious as to how far we can push damage dice on a firearm if we just removed the fatal die. One step? 2? Curious as to the stat budget fatal gives. It's 2 steps higher than the guns damage usually by the looks. So one step?


    Martialmasters wrote:
    HumbleGamer wrote:

    I think they should revise all the ranged weapons.

    Currently bows are way too op compared to any other ranged weapon ( gunslingers may manage to tweak firearms and crossbow a little, but in the end bows are always better ).

    Knowing that a melee character has to rely on stuff like:

    - Movement
    - Shield raise ( even the shield cantrip )
    - Athletics Maneuvers
    - Etc...

    even setting all ranged ( not thrown weapons, obviously ) weapons with reload 1 and 2 hands would make every single weapon solid ( depends the player choice ).

    What would be left is a feat to reload twice on the round ( you activate it before you shot, like the valet familiar feat ) and another one to consider one of your hand "free" for interact purposes or holding a L item ( open a door, battle medicine, holding a scroll, etc ).

    But this is just some random stuff I thought in a couple of seconds while writing this whole post.

    Point is, I am really sick of seeing bows in every single adventure or build.

    This is actually really weird to me.

    1- bow's do less haven't than melee

    2- far as I've been able to tell, they're no ways to avoid attack of opportunity when using ranged weapons

    3- to my mind, every character should have a ranged option or risk getting into no win scenarios or moments where they have nothing to do

    I am lost ( I think you misunderstood my post ).

    Why are you comparing ranged combat to melee combat?


    Your guys talk about like I'm taking issue with ranged attacks suffering attack of opportunity.

    I'm not. I'm just saying it's a balance point. It's actually more annoying to me that spell strike triggers reactions lol. But it is what it is.


    HumbleGamer wrote:
    Martialmasters wrote:
    HumbleGamer wrote:

    I think they should revise all the ranged weapons.

    Currently bows are way too op compared to any other ranged weapon ( gunslingers may manage to tweak firearms and crossbow a little, but in the end bows are always better ).

    Knowing that a melee character has to rely on stuff like:

    - Movement
    - Shield raise ( even the shield cantrip )
    - Athletics Maneuvers
    - Etc...

    even setting all ranged ( not thrown weapons, obviously ) weapons with reload 1 and 2 hands would make every single weapon solid ( depends the player choice ).

    What would be left is a feat to reload twice on the round ( you activate it before you shot, like the valet familiar feat ) and another one to consider one of your hand "free" for interact purposes or holding a L item ( open a door, battle medicine, holding a scroll, etc ).

    But this is just some random stuff I thought in a couple of seconds while writing this whole post.

    Point is, I am really sick of seeing bows in every single adventure or build.

    This is actually really weird to me.

    1- bow's do less haven't than melee

    2- far as I've been able to tell, they're no ways to avoid attack of opportunity when using ranged weapons

    3- to my mind, every character should have a ranged option or risk getting into no win scenarios or moments where they have nothing to do

    I am lost ( I think you misunderstood my post ).

    Why are you comparing ranged combat to melee combat?

    You mentioned melee....


    YuriP wrote:
    Pixel Popper wrote:
    Martialmasters wrote:
    2- far as I've been able to tell, they're no ways to avoid attack of opportunity when using ranged weapons
  • Don't be there. Ranged weapons have the advantage of being able to attack from outside of Attack of Opportunity range.

    If you just hafta be there...

  • Gunslinger Level 1 Feat: Sword and Pistol. After attacking with melee, ranged strikes (with one-handed firearms and crossbows) do not provoke.

  • Fighter Level 8 Feat (Archer Level 10): Mobile Shot Stance...
  • You can also Step then fire a Bow twice once there's no reload.

    That falls into "Don't be there," but fails when the target has reach...


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    Also my other point was, every character should pack ranged options even if it's not their main option.


    Martialmasters wrote:

    Your guys talk about like I'm taking issue with ranged attacks suffering attack of opportunity.

    I'm not. I'm just saying it's a balance point. It's actually more annoying to me that spell strike triggers reactions lol. But it is what it is.

    It is not that I think you have an issue with Ranged attacks provoking AoO. It is that I thought you haven't explored all the possibilities.

    You said, "far as I've been able to tell, they're no ways to avoid attack of opportunity when using ranged weapons." Since you could not seem to find any ways to avoid AoO with ranged weapons, I pointed some out.


    Martialmasters wrote:
    HumbleGamer wrote:
    Martialmasters wrote:
    HumbleGamer wrote:

    I think they should revise all the ranged weapons.

    Currently bows are way too op compared to any other ranged weapon ( gunslingers may manage to tweak firearms and crossbow a little, but in the end bows are always better ).

    Knowing that a melee character has to rely on stuff like:

    - Movement
    - Shield raise ( even the shield cantrip )
    - Athletics Maneuvers
    - Etc...

    even setting all ranged ( not thrown weapons, obviously ) weapons with reload 1 and 2 hands would make every single weapon solid ( depends the player choice ).

    What would be left is a feat to reload twice on the round ( you activate it before you shot, like the valet familiar feat ) and another one to consider one of your hand "free" for interact purposes or holding a L item ( open a door, battle medicine, holding a scroll, etc ).

    But this is just some random stuff I thought in a couple of seconds while writing this whole post.

    Point is, I am really sick of seeing bows in every single adventure or build.

    This is actually really weird to me.

    1- bow's do less haven't than melee

    2- far as I've been able to tell, they're no ways to avoid attack of opportunity when using ranged weapons

    3- to my mind, every character should have a ranged option or risk getting into no win scenarios or moments where they have nothing to do

    I am lost ( I think you misunderstood my post ).

    Why are you comparing ranged combat to melee combat?

    You mentioned melee....

    I mentioned melee to show that a melee character has other actions to take in order to perform melee strikes ( or to properly use their build ).

    Resulting in a ranged one that would be ok to expend 1 action to reload ( or even 1 flourish one to reload twice ).

    Knowing this, the existance of a 1+ weapons ( battle medicine, interact, maneuvers, grab an edge, etc... ) with zero reload ( even 3 strikes per round ) totally annihilates any other weapon which requires a reload.

    If we assume short fights ( 2-3 rounds ) a repeating weapon "might" do the job. And I really mean "might". If you empty your magazine, good luck expending 3 actions to reload it.

    Currently we have a ranged combat which is a real mess, and the bows which are the best weapons so far.


    Martialmasters wrote:
    Michael Sayre wrote:
    Alchemic_Genius wrote:


    Idk about the gold thing; blazons on a bayonet or stock gets you close to the same benefits without having to swap. It's some gold, but not much compared to the benefits

    It depends a bit on your loadout. Blazons only work on one-handed weapons, so a gun sword will always have a significant advantage over an arquebus and reinforced stock when it comes to your runes.

    If you're wielding one-handed weapons, your fighting style and supporting feats will come heavily into play. If you're keeping a free hand, then you can blazon a pistol and bayonet and the rune cost compared to a rapier pistol pretty much washes out and the pistol with attached weapon might be a bit better. If you're dual wielding, then the blazons on e.g. a dagger pistol and rapier pistol are applying to two ranged attack sources and two melee attack sources, so the combination weapons regain some significant advantages in rune costs that will cascade into higher accuracy and damage as you scale (compensating for the lower per-weapon-form trait value of the combination weapons).

    So, for me. What I like about guns

    Concussive trait- this is a really cool trait and is very useful

    Combination weapons- are conceptually a lot of fun

    Things I don't like

    Medium issue- reload mechanic makes me feel like I never want to make a gun primary character. It makes me feel penalized.

    Minor issue- seems like a bayonet or reinforced stock is just better than using any combination weapon?

    Major issue- far too many focused on critical hits. The harmona gun is a good step, but it not having my favorite trait, concussive, is just a deal breaker for me.

    I'm actually curious as to how far we can push damage dice on a firearm if we just removed the fatal die. One step? 2? Curious as to the stat budget fatal gives. It's 2 steps higher than the guns damage usually by the looks. So one step?

    IMO.

    Concussive trait is cool but not so useful. It's basically an automatic versatile to prevent resistances/immunities but don't work for weakness and is opponent dependent.

    But I agree with all other statements.

    Pixel Popper wrote:
    That falls into "Don't be there," but fails when the target has reach...

    Depends from how long is your step and how closer you are from a reach (usually big) opponent.


    Repeating weapons work fine for 5-6 rounds in a paired shots dual-wield setup or as something to do when the local caster has nothing better to do with themselves after a spell/cantrip.

    A ranged attacker should not be using a single repeating weapon as their primary weapon of choice.


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    I value versatile, modular, both highly for my games.

    Having a ranged option that not only can do two types of damage, but doesn't require me as the character knowing Wich one is more effective, is huge to me personally.


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    gesalt wrote:

    A ranged attacker should not be using a single repeating weapon as their primary weapon of choice.

    In fact, everybody uses a bow.

    Paizo Employee Senior Designer

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    HumbleGamer wrote:
    Knowing this, the existance of a 1+ weapons ( battle medicine, interact, maneuvers, grab an edge, etc... ) with zero reload ( even 3 strikes per round ) totally annihilates any other weapon which requires a reload.

    That's actually less true than you might think. Take the arquebus vs. composite shortbow (longbow is a weirder conversation because volley skews the math heavily in favor of other weapons whenever it comes into play and you can't even use a longbow while mounted, so there's an entire vector of play it doesn't sync with). Assuming both weapons crit on your opening attack, you've got-

    Major striking arquebus- (4d12+2)2+1d12 = avg. 62.5
    Major striking composite shortbow- (4d6+2)2+3d10 = avg. 48.5

    So your bow starts out at a 14 point deficit (this would be more like a 6 point deficit for the longbow if you want to keep track of that). It has to make a second attack just to catch up to the arquebus. Since subsequent attacks are going to be pretty well outside of your ability to reliably proc a crit (and since "lucky 20s" favor the firearm), you're looking at average damage of 16 points per attack (4d6+2) before bringing in property runes and class damage adjustments. Adjust for MAP increasing the chances of missing-

    16 x .75 on 2nd Strike- 12
    16 x. 50 on 3rd Strike- 8

    Gets you an additional 20 damage on average for Striking three times with standard MAP. Subtract the 14 point lead the arquebus started with, the shortbow has a 6 point advantage for attacking 3 times to the arquebus's single attack. In other words, if the arquebus can use its second action to deal 6 or more points of damage, it equals or exceeds the bow in this scenario even with reloading. A simple Running Reload into a butt-strike with a reinforced stock secondary weapon-

    Greater striking reinforced stock- 3d6+4 = avg. 14.5 x.65 (reduce by 35% to account for MAP and lower proficiency) brings you to about 9.5 average damage, putting you 3.5 damage and an entire move action ahead of the bow user, with a loaded ranged weapon and a melee weapon in hand for any reactions you might have.

    Feats like Alchemical Shot, Sniper's Aim, deeds like OSOK or Ghost Shot, etc. will actually squeeze larger damage advantages out of that, but at that point in the discussion you'd also need to bring in archery style feats on the other side that will largely wash out with the gun abilities and bring us to about the same place. Spellcasting non-gunslingers might go true strike > Bespell Weapon > Strike > reload instead, and still have the potential to deal more damage than triple-Striking with a bow (especially since their chances of hitting at all with those subsequent attacks are going to decrease catastrophically).

    Obviously, that's reliant on you getting in that first crit, so those numbers will be most applicable in Moderate or lower encounters where the enemy numbers are roughly equal to the PC numbers (note that this is the recommended encounter structure in the CRB) and you can pretty reliably boost your crit chances on the first attack. As you shift towards Severe/Extreme encounters (and/or as your limited resources start to dry up for people going the true strike route), especially Severe/Extremes with a low number of enemies, the numbers will shift to favor the bow, possibly dramatically so for non-gunslingers. There's also other factors that come into play; the firearm's higher initial damage means that they have a better chance of one-shotting non-boss monsters where the bow user will end up with "damage waste" from having to make two attacks per firearm Strike to finish a minion off, whereas encounters where the firearm user has to use their highest crit-chance attack against the same enemy (especially non-boss enemies) across multiple rounds shifts the likelihood of damage waste to the firearm user.

    Arguably, that's what you want to see out of a given weapon category though; something that has strong niches and use cases but isn't always the best option. A weapon that's equally good in every situation regardless of tactics or build is probably a bit too strong since you want to encourage diversity of play and options.


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    Reload as a mechanic that costs actions cuts down dramatically on characters that can easily use a gun. It's annoying. My investigator player struggled with using a gun for an entire campaign and eventually grabbed a bow. Suddenly damage went up because she could attack more than once (even without Devise) and had a way more flexible action economy.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    This is an interesting conversation and thank you Michael Sayre for contributing to it. We all know you put a lot of work into developing firearms for PF2.

    I think there are some folks who wish they could just get something close enough to a reskinned longbow that looks like a gun, and many others that are vastly underestimating the annoyance factor of volley in thinking that longbow is the superior weapon to the arquebus. Overall, I think it is pretty impressive how different various weapons feel in PF2, rather than just how powerful they are.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    I do think additional feat support for nongunslinger classes is a pretty easy thing to keep adding to the game in the future


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

    I like them, and I also feel that having firearms be mainly effective for gunslingers only is in keeping with the themes that Pathfinder supports, namely that gunpowder is an exotic part of society and not a mainstream thing.

    If you're frustrated that reload as a mechanic reduces your action economy, well, I welcome seeing how you would balance it without utterly breaking the world setting and making every encounter devolve into a gunfight in Pathfinder Infinite.


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    Personally I would never ever ever use a longbow without Point Blank Shot, my GM tends to dump us onto maps where I'd have to walk off the screen to avoid the penalty. As far as I'm concerned the longbow does not exist for any archer other than the Fighter, and the Fighter is uniquely bad at dealing with resistances compared to Precision Rangers and Gunslingers.

    Paizo Employee Senior Designer

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    Unicore wrote:
    I do think additional feat support for nongunslinger classes is a pretty easy thing to keep adding to the game in the future

    There's probably about 3ish class feats per new class we write that would also make sense on a previously published class but which we really just don't have the space to graft backwards for without cutting more original and interesting ideas that aren't things a GM could just homebrew by saying "Sure, you can take Running Reload as an investigator feat" or whatever. Book space is always at a premium and there's always some stuff that ends up on the cutting room floor for one reason or another.

    I suspect if we ever do something like an APG 2, going through the new classes and asking "What is here that makes just as much sense on class X?" will be part of the planning process. There's also stuff that we know is going to hit the game that just takes more time to reach the players; like, do you really think we're going to publish an Impossible Lands book that doesn't have firearm options in it? Or an Arcadia book, should that blessed day ever come?


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    But looking at those same numbers, if you don't crit, the arquebusier shoots once and spends an action reloading for 20 damage, while the shortbow user shoots twice for 28.

    So you're 8 points of damage behind for two actions most of the time, but if you get lucky you're 2 points ahead instead. The gunner is going to end up on the bad end of that trade more often than not, but the downside is also four times better than the upside too. That doesn't really seem like a win for the arquebusier.

    And if you don't have running reload, you're just stuck there doing nothing for that second action except making your weapon functional again, which is something worth emphasizing because not everyone has access to running reload and the shortbow user in this example isn't using any feats.

    A big part of the problem with guns isn't their raw power so much as the underlying idea that you need to invest into overcoming their problems just to make them compare well to weapons they're supposed to be somewhat equivalent with in the first place. Finding a way to pick up running reload or something like risky reload/bullet dancer's reload becomes a central part of making guns work and that feels problematic for build and character variety.

    ... That or maybe the real problem is that bows are kind of overtuned compared to other ranged options, because it feels like the only time they're not the right choice is when your class can't use them properly.


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    Outside of gunslingers, I think risky reload might be the best option through archetyping if trying to get the most out of your guns. Especially for classes that can cut out the risky part of risky reload. Like investigators. Tome thaumaturge is pretty good with pistols as well from what I can tell. Enhancing your crit potential and avoiding the penalty on risky reload is pretty good and can choose freely whether or not to replace your roll unlike the investigator making landing 2 attacks against a creature much more reliable. Only when you start a turn loaded however.


    Has anyone done the math on risky reload?


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Squiggit wrote:

    But looking at those same numbers, if you don't crit, the arquebusier shoots once and spends an action reloading for 20 damage, while the shortbow user shoots twice for 28.

    So you're 8 points of damage behind for two actions most of the time, but if you get lucky you're 2 points ahead instead. The gunner is going to end up on the bad end of that trade more often than not, but the downside is also four times better than the upside too. That doesn't really seem like a win for the arquebusier.

    And if you don't have running reload, you're just stuck there doing nothing for that second action except making your weapon functional again, which is something worth emphasizing because not everyone has access to running reload and the shortbow user in this example isn't using any feats.

    A big part of the problem with guns isn't their raw power so much as the underlying idea that you need to invest into overcoming their problems just to make them compare well to weapons they're supposed to be somewhat equivalent with in the first place. Finding a way to pick up running reload or something like risky reload/bullet dancer's reload becomes a central part of making guns work and that feels problematic for build and character variety.

    ... That or maybe the real problem is that bows are kind of overtuned compared to other ranged options, because it feels like the only time they're not the right choice is when your class can't use them properly.

    Shortbows really are not though. Everyone just uses the longbow for these comparisons without factoring in the necessity of mitigating volley to ever be able to use a longbow. It is so frustrating how many gods have longbows as favored weapons instead of shortbows since clerics are pretty much required to keep within 30ft of the rest of their party to do any of their things.

    Compare the dueling pistol to the shortbow, if the arquebus kickback trait feels too much. The dueling pistol is still range 60ft, Fatal d10, concussive and can both be concealed and carried in one hand, opening up tons of options.

    Pf2 in play never feels like a white room simulation to me. Sitting still and firing 3 times always feels like I am failing as a player to be dynamically involved in combat and usually happens from battle maps that are too small and ally tactics too focused on having half the party charge ahead into enemies and getting clobbered in the first 2 rounds of combat, leaving me to decide if I want to follow in and make it a full TPK or stay back and fire from cover.


    Arachnofiend wrote:
    Personally I would never ever ever use a longbow without Point Blank Shot, my GM tends to dump us onto maps where I'd have to walk off the screen to avoid the penalty. As far as I'm concerned the longbow does not exist for any archer other than the Fighter, and the Fighter is uniquely bad at dealing with resistances compared to Precision Rangers and Gunslingers.

    Two of my players that uses bow (a Ranger and a Rogue) take Point Blank Shot via Archetype due how effective this feat is but this also possible with Gunslinger/Unexpected Sharpshooter Archetype pinking Risky Reload. Including this probably is currently best way to improve the effectiveness of firearms if you are not a Gunslinger, IMO is a feat even more killing than Point Blank Shot due how strongly this feat improves the firearms action economy.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Unicore wrote:
    Shortbows really are not though.

    They really are though. It's pretty much the de facto ranged option of choice for any dedicated ranged character except for those with mechanics built into their class to prevent it (i.e. swashbucklers and barbarians only getting thrown weapon support, gunslinger proficiency, thaumaturges requiring 1h weapons).

    Bows are so good that in the playtest (when singular expertise didn't exist) one of the strongest options a gunslinger had was equipping a shortbow.

    Quote:
    Everyone just uses the longbow for these comparisons

    Almost all of these comparisons are using shortbows though.

    Quote:
    Sitting still and firing 3 times always feels like I am failing as a player to be dynamically involved in combat

    I agree being dynamically involved in combat is essential and one of PF2's cornerstones of design.

    Which is why a weapon that requires you to burn actions doing nothing in order to use them is particularly troublesome, doubly so on classes that already have restrictive action economy like Magi and Investigators.

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