What do you feel about 2e guns?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Still disclosure. Overall, I do not like them.

I could talk about the reload mechanic and how it hampers my favorite aspect of the game (improving action economy) so I'm using feats to, situationally, reach baseline action economy. I can't help but feel by picking up a gun, I'm being penalized.

I could talk about the underwhelming die size.

But in reality I think those are measures taken to address the strength of their crits. Wich I also don't like. I don't like the pick axes fighter with true strikes. I don't like all my power locked behind having to critically hit.

I'd gladly sacrifice such critical traits in exchange for an increased damage die.

This said, I've built a few characters that I enjoy having a gun with. Mainly utilizing the gunsword on a champion or ranger.

At yes I'm biased. But I still want to know how you feel about them. See if maybe a new perspective can be gained.

Sczarni

I think I'm fine with Firearms, I just don't like the Gunslinger.

I gave a Dueling Pistol to my Investigator, because Devise a Stratagem helps me determine whether I'll crit or not.

And I gave an Arquebus to my Inventor, because it scratches that technological itch, and he rides his Construct Companion to help with action economy.

But I don't think I'll ever build an actual Gunslinger. Unless more interesting Ways come out. Or something else that improves their action economy.

Although I suppose a Gunslinger Beastmaster (or Cavalier) could work. This game is just so mobile that you need to reposition reliably, doubly so if you only get one big boom per round.


Quote:
I'd gladly sacrifice such critical traits in exchange for an increased damage die.

The Harmona gun or the Dwarven Scattergun not doing it for you?


Martialmasters wrote:
I'd gladly sacrifice such critical traits in exchange for an increased damage die.

So... Shortbow? Better action cost, better die size, lower power on criticals.

-----

My thoughts on firearms is that they are an interesting option. They are different than bows because they cost more actions to use. They are even different than crossbows because they have more, and often more interesting traits. So it becomes a new puzzle to figure out how to use well.

Currently in a game with a Drifter Gunslinger. He sometimes mixes it up in melee and can get two or three attacks in a round every round. He also sometimes attacks from range and is only doing one or two attacks per round, but is a lot safer from retaliation.

In comparison, the melee characters are also only getting at most 2 attacks in each round - both because of needing to move and because 3rd attacks usually miss and they have something better to be doing. The martial melee characters also do more damage when they hit, but are always getting hit in return.

A Flurry Ranger with a bow could probably do more ranged damage than a Gunslinger assuming that all of the attacks for both of them only hit. But I don't think that other ranged characters would be all that much different because of the MAP penalty for 3+ attacks. A Monk with Monastic Archer Stance would have more actions to spare after making two attacks, but wouldn't get much more benefit from the bow by using those actions to fire it.


Onkonk wrote:
Quote:
I'd gladly sacrifice such critical traits in exchange for an increased damage die.
The Harmona gun or the Dwarven Scattergun not doing it for you?

Harmona is fine, for what it is. But I definitely wanted more options.

Scattergun I actually don't like. I don't like the scatter trait.


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I don’t like them. They just don’t hit hard enough for all the hoops you gotta jump through for them, especially with how good bows (doubly so for composite!) are.


breithauptclan wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
I'd gladly sacrifice such critical traits in exchange for an increased damage die.

So... Shortbow? Better action cost, better die size, lower power on criticals.

-----

My thoughts on firearms is that they are an interesting option. They are different than bows because they cost more actions to use. They are even different than crossbows because they have more, and often more interesting traits. So it becomes a new puzzle to figure out how to use well.

Currently in a game with a Drifter Gunslinger. He sometimes mixes it up in melee and can get two or three attacks in a round every round. He also sometimes attacks from range and is only doing one or two attacks per round, but is a lot safer from retaliation.

In comparison, the melee characters are also only getting at most 2 attacks in each round - both because of needing to move and because 3rd attacks usually miss and they have something better to be doing. The martial melee characters also do more damage when they hit, but are always getting hit in return.

A Flurry Ranger with a bow could probably do more ranged damage than a Gunslinger assuming that all of the attacks for both of them only hit. But I don't think that other ranged characters would be all that much different because of the MAP penalty for 3+ attacks. A Monk with Monastic Archer Stance would have more actions to spare after making two attacks, but wouldn't get much more benefit from the bow by using those actions to fire it.

That's why both my builds utilize a combination weapon. Though I could utilize the reinforced stock. At least for the ranged focused ones.

I don't tend to build one trick ponies unless the mechanics kinda force it (animal instinct barbarian). But if I just wanted to shoot, I'd use a short bow every time.

I'm fine with that added risk of melee too. Never really bothered me.

But most my melee characters invest in ranged options.

So my ranger build is a precision ranger and has many two action attacks. Thus if I didn't want to move I can use one of those then reload.

My paladin doesn't get access to quick draw. So the ability to spend an action and threaten from range with the same weapon,I find value in that.

Result in both is me building my character concept around the weapon to try to leverage it the best I can. Wich is it's own kind of fun and problem solving.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like PF1 had a problem where guns were basically designed to be a pain to use, but Gunslingers and a few other options had the tools necessary to make them work.

... and PF2 just kind of recreated that paradigm which I find really disappointing.

Reload is a really ugly trait and their solution of providing gimmick options to mitigate/avoid reloading is problematic because it's so limited in who gets access to those options, which just means fewer viable builds and more hoops to jump through.

That desire to pick up ways to deal with reloading also kind of makes guns more of a specialist weapon than bows (which anyone with proficiency can use pretty much optimally right out of the box), which feels a little odd conceptually.


Reload 1 weapons like firearms work fairly well on spellcasters. Firing the weapon gives a decent damage spike as a 3rd action after casting a non-Attack saving throw spell for 2 actions. Similarly they can also often spend a 3rd action on reload without feeling like they are giving up too much. Or they can just treat the weapon as a once-per-fight ability.


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Strictly speaking, guns have no mechanical niche in pf2e except maybe the air repeater as a sidearm for non-bard casters. Optimized gunslinger uses repeating hand crossbows over guns too.

Reload is just too awful a mechanic no matter how you try to mitigate it.


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Similar to Squiggit my problem is that guns seem to be made to justify the gunslinger’s existence.Tying them together in such a way just makes them very unsatisfying to use.


breithauptclan wrote:
Reload 1 weapons like firearms work fairly well on spellcasters. Firing the weapon gives a decent damage spike as a 3rd action after casting a non-Attack saving throw spell for 2 actions. Similarly they can also often spend a 3rd action on reload without feeling like they are giving up too much. Or they can just treat the weapon as a once-per-fight ability.

Why wouldn't they utilize a finesse throwing weapon? A short bow? A crossbow even?

Not saying it isn't viable but you are not exactly a critical machine as a caster Wich is what the weapon asks from you

Scarab Sages

I like firearms, I think they're just a bit shy of where I'd like them to be power-wise. It feels like they were tuned to compete with crossbows (simple weapons) and not composite bows (martial weapons). I've had the most fun with them on classes where it's part of their kit rather than being focused on a weapon. I've got an investigator and a rogue/druid with firearms and it feels good to mix them in when the time is right. I imagine a gun-wielding Thaumaturge would be pretty cool.

As for gunslinger itself. It's...fine. I like the utility the class brings. I love the crafting feats that give a different sort of feel and access to a wide array of damage types. One handed firearm builds seem to have a high floor to access and a low ceiling. The ways are where I think the class loses it for me. They...are kind of boring and feel underwhelming in play. The drifter and pistolero need extra feats on top of the Way to hit class fantasy. The sniper is one and done. The vanguard exists. The spellshot one is cool, but takes up an extra feat with an ability that conflicts with other things it does. The archetype its supposed to go into uses cha where it uses Int.


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Very underwhelmed with their implementation. Barely noticably different than any other ranged weapon. Mechanically probably blandly balanced with other options. A gunslinger will get the required mileage out of them.

Pathfinder 2 has so much design space, and they show it with other stuff, yet for guns it just isnt there. And crossbows and bows, similarly. With the 3 actions economy we could have seen an interesting system instead.

In fact, the mechanics of bows, crossbows and guns are not good representations of how they work, or the fantasy around them, it is often talked about in threads that try to homebrew a better system. Even if we take this as a non simulation game, the differences are bland.

-------------------------------------------
Guns (early) - powerful, surprising, loud, long to reload, low rate of fire, easy to shoot, difficult to obtain / make / mantain/ rare, unreliable/quirky, short range or longer range at other costs, needs no physical stats

Bows (shorter) - Fast rate of fire, difficult to master, traditional weapon of many cultures/fantasy tropes, medium power, requires mostly dexterity (but strength/recurve/build affects) and long to master.

Bows (longer) - Fast rate of fire, less than shorter. Requires huge strength for higher damage (but mechanical/recurve/build affects). Takes a lifetime to master, the weapon of elves in fantasy etc.

Crossbows (simple) - Slow rate of fire, easy to operate and learn, powerful, less mobile than bows. Heavy. Preloaded.

Crossbows (heavy) - massively powerful, slow rate of fire, requires strength or mechanical advantage (pulleys, cranks etc). Very heavy. Preloaded.


I quite like them. I think they did a good job making them good for the gunslinger. Other classes need to go more out of their way to make them good aside from investigator that doesn't usually attack more than once a round anyways. I'm currently playing a pistolero with fake out with a vanguard that also has fake out. Not typical, but we have a lot of accuracy to make those crits happen. It's a lot of fun. The thing that currently bugs me about the drifter specifically is the change to flanking so you can't flank using your suggested tactics.


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I think what's missing are some better one handed options. A d8 option that isn't the jezail. That would round them out and give a better option to classes that aren't the gunslinger.


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Martialmasters wrote:

Still disclosure. Overall, I do not like them.

I could talk about the reload mechanic and how it hampers my favorite aspect of the game (improving action economy) so I'm using feats to, situationally, reach baseline action economy. I can't help but feel by picking up a gun, I'm being penalized.

I could talk about the underwhelming die size.

But in reality I think those are measures taken to address the strength of their crits. Wich I also don't like. I don't like the pick axes fighter with true strikes. I don't like all my power locked behind having to critically hit.

I'd gladly sacrifice such critical traits in exchange for an increased damage die.

This said, I've built a few characters that I enjoy having a gun with. Mainly utilizing the gunsword on a champion or ranger.

At yes I'm biased. But I still want to know how you feel about them. See if maybe a new perspective can be gained.

I have changed my mind on them. I used to not like them at all in a fantasy games as they don't fit the genre. But its restricted to musket style weaponry so I'm coming around on the flavour, and the balance is OK. Like with Barbarians, the role playing is easy and fun.

Because of the action cost built into the class (reload), the Gunslinger like the Swashbuckler is never going to be a super powerful class. But the high to hit numbers, the good reaction options, the first turn action bonus from your deed, and nice criticals still leave it as an effective class. Just pay attention to your build. Its a bit harder to get right than most.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I also like where they landed. It is pretty important in a fantasy game that guns don't just equal better than all other weapons. I think the Guns and gears book does a very good job of explaining where the power balance issues lie and why the choices about avoiding revolvers and automatic weapons were made. It even gives GMs reasonable options for shifting the technology level to WWI and having the more archaic firearms shift down in power.

Imagine how boring a game PF2 would be if "easy of use and training" became the thing that defined what weapons characters used and what became available on large scales. It would completely shift things away from the fantasy of small groups of heroes and on to large armies, which might be fine for a war game, but kinda defeats the purpose of small group RPGs.

I also enjoy how fire arms make good fire and forget weapons in PF2, especially with how they can often be used one handed, or even 2 handed ones can just be dropped when the battle folds into melee. I also like that they are more focused on weapon traits than just raw numbers. Concussive is an incredibly useful trait on a ranged weapon. Bows can really, really suffer against the huge numbers of enemies that resist piercing damage but not bludgeoning.

Fatal makes crits just so much more exciting. It is almost difficult to go back to a non fatal weapon after you land a couple of crits with one.

I really like the sniper gunslinger. Contrary to being one and done, I love that they are a class that benefits from slowing combat down and using actions to hide. The biggest problem I have seen with the sniper is that it is a class that asks many parties to change up their play from the traditional "charge in with melee weapons and fight until someone is dead" approach that seems pretty common in TTRPGs.


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Reload devours to much of your action economy and makes combat more repetitive, reducing the chance of doing anything interesting in your turn in favour of just "attack then reload" over and over and over.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
Reload devours to much of your action economy and makes combat more repetitive, reducing the chance of doing anything interesting in your turn in favour of just "attack then reload" over and over and over.

So don’t reload? I mean, for many classes, one decent, versatile ranged attack in a combat is going to enough. If you want to use a gun every round for all your attacks, you probably do need to be a gunslinger, but that feels pretty intentional


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Overall guns feel underwhelming to me. We needed an air repeater style reload 0 weapon with d8 and maybe fatal d12 and the volley trait.

Yes this looks very similar to a longbow but honestly right now the arquebus/jezail is just a terrible longbow.

Yes it has fatal d12 but fatal actually tapers off behind deadly d10 eventually, they even out around greater striking and at major striking deadly is better.

Major striking arquebus Crit: 5d12 (32.5)
Major striking longbow Crit: 4d8+3d10 (34.5)

Greater striking arquebus Crit: 4d12 (26)
Greater striking longbow Crit: 3d8+2d10 (24.5)

Given that, as shown, longbow Crits are eventually better with the deadly d10 trait than the fatal d12 trait, guns are just behind vs the bows in every single situation.

Adding insult to injury, the gunslinger has a Bunch of cool support feats that could make them a really good ranged support/damage character, filling a similar niche to ranger and inventor, but right now with the reload mechanics using reactions that cost a shot is very penalizing, so the build only works with either a repeating crossbow (advanced, need a level 6 class feat or the archer archetype level 6 feat) or air repeater dealing d4.

In both those cases youre either A: dealing d8 with reload 0 but don't have the deadly d10 or fatal d12 traits or B: dealing d4.

Both cases just make me wish I'd have a bow instead, so I'd get one.

Hence: we need a gun that's a bow equivalent, and we ain't got one.


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And yes stabilizers can eventually make guns with kickback equivalent to bows in damage but it takes up a slot, has you jump through hoops for it, and costs 120gp.

Meanwhile Archer fighter/ranger over there's been plugging away with his bow since level 1 in the straightest manner possible.

S*@@ in my SoT game the precision ranger often has the problem of having TOO MANY actions and doesn't know what to do after she's used hunted shot (precision ranger with gravity bow). As a gunslinger the same equivalent (shooting twice) takes all 3 of your actions and maybe allows you to do an extra utility one? Ranger can shoot twice for 1 action, then do literally anything else AND still have a shot loaded for reactions (like the awesome sniper duo ones)


Deadly doesn't work that way. You only get 1d10 on a crit.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
It is pretty important in a fantasy game that guns don't just equal better than all other weapons.

Has anyone said they want that? Who are you debating with?

I think it's reasonable to expect a martial weapon to be about as good as another martial weapon, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
Unicore wrote:
It is pretty important in a fantasy game that guns don't just equal better than all other weapons.

Has anyone said they want that? Who are you debating with?

I think it's reasonable to expect a martial weapon to be about as good as another martial weapon, though.

Quote:
We needed an air repeater style reload 0 weapon with d8 and maybe fatal d12 and the volley trait.

even if it was just bludgeoning and not concussive that would still be flatly better than a bow


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I really like guns in my fantasy, is the thing - but with all their drawbacks for very little payoff, I always end up reaching for bows or casters over firearms when I want to build a ranged character.

If guns need to have a huge cost in the form of Reload, then their payoff should be proportionate. If guns need to be balanced with bows, then just make them as easy to use as bows and call it a day. It feel like we got the worst of both.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
even if it was just bludgeoning and not concussive that would still be flatly better than a bow

I mean, would it? d8 volley is the same stats as a longbow. Fatal is a nice upgrade over deadly (at least for most of a campaign).

But 2h is worse than 1+ and as soon as your magazine empties you hit a big action economy wall. On average it does slightly more damage, but with some significant caveats you have to play around.

Doesn't actually seem that extreme.


aobst128 wrote:
Deadly doesn't work that way. You only get 1d10 on a crit.

Have you read the deadly trait? Maybe look up the rule before correcting someone...

"On a critical hit, the weapon adds a weapon damage die of the listed size. Roll this after doubling the weapon's damage. This increases to two dice if the weapon has a greater striking rune and three dice if the weapon has a major striking rune."

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.


Whoopsie. I never play past 10th level. The extra dice never came up for me. Definitely odd that it scales that way and over takes fatal. Makes Taw launcher the best 2 handed loaded weapon anyways.


The balance point for longbow vs jezail/arquebus seems to be the volly trait then rather than damage at higher levels.


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I think that in their quest to have everything "perfectly balanced" they over corrected guns into being useless outside of the Shobhad Rifle (rare, backstabber, fatal d12, built in silencer, 1d8, with 120 ft range). I swear thing like that gun is why I never trusted the whole "rare tag is not about power".

What do I mean by over correction? For those that don't know because they didn't play PF1 in that system guns targeted severely reduced AC, had 3x or 4x crit, and had a very easy way to make 6 attacks in one round (it only took 1 feat and 1 special set of ammunition). The cost for all of that? If you rolled really low (usually a nat 1 or 2) the gun got jammed/broken.

So what have they done in PF2? The crit damage is lower, there is no way to reduce the reload rate (not easy ways anyway), they have the same or worse to hit (because of the traits). The literal only upside is that some rifles have 150 ft range, an upside that is 90% of the time useless because most combats happen with 60-100 ft.

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

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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.

Fatal d10 on a d6 weapon gives higher bonus damage than deadly d10. If you have 4 damage dice you increase them all from d6 to d10 (+2 average damage per die, +8 total), then double them (+16) and add an additional d10 (5.5), for 21.5 bonus damage. Deadly on a 4 damage dice weapon gives you 3d10, average 16.5.


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Michael Sayre wrote:
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.
Fatal d10 on a d6 weapon gives higher bonus damage than deadly d10. If you have 4 damage dice you increase them all from d6 to d10 (+2 average damage per die, +8 total), then double them (+16) and add an additional d10 (5.5), for 21.5 bonus damage. Deadly on a 4 damage dice weapon gives you 3d10, average 16.5.

That's the case with d4/6/8 fatal weapons but it's a bit odd that the great pick is out damaged by the scythe at higher levels. Pick specialization would put it back on top though. For ranged weapons, you'd need to deal with volly with the longbow to get closer to the damage of an arquebus so I could see that being a decent balance point. Plus vanguards in close range are mean with stab and blast and blast tackle.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
AlastarOG wrote:

Overall guns feel underwhelming to me. We needed an air repeater style reload 0 weapon with d8 and maybe fatal d12 and the volley trait.

Yes this looks very similar to a longbow but honestly right now the arquebus/jezail is just a terrible longbow.

Yes it has fatal d12 but fatal actually tapers off behind deadly d10 eventually, they even out around greater striking and at major striking deadly is better.

Major striking arquebus Crit: 5d12 (32.5)
Major striking longbow Crit: 4d8+3d10 (34.5)

Greater striking arquebus Crit: 4d12 (26)
Greater striking longbow Crit: 3d8+2d10 (24.5)

Given that, as shown, longbow Crits are eventually better with the deadly d10 trait than the fatal d12 trait, guns are just behind vs the bows in every single situation.

Adding insult to injury, the gunslinger has a Bunch of cool support feats that could make them a really good ranged support/damage character, filling a similar niche to ranger and inventor, but right now with the reload mechanics using reactions that cost a shot is very penalizing, so the build only works with either a repeating crossbow (advanced, need a level 6 class feat or the archer archetype level 6 feat) or air repeater dealing d4.

In both those cases youre either A: dealing d8 with reload 0 but don't have the deadly d10 or fatal d12 traits or B: dealing d4.

Both cases just make me wish I'd have a bow instead, so I'd get one.

Hence: we need a gun that's a bow equivalent, and we ain't got one.

Shouldn’t an arquebus with major striking rune on a crit be 9d12 damage?


Unicore wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Overall guns feel underwhelming to me. We needed an air repeater style reload 0 weapon with d8 and maybe fatal d12 and the volley trait.

Yes this looks very similar to a longbow but honestly right now the arquebus/jezail is just a terrible longbow.

Yes it has fatal d12 but fatal actually tapers off behind deadly d10 eventually, they even out around greater striking and at major striking deadly is better.

Major striking arquebus Crit: 5d12 (32.5)
Major striking longbow Crit: 4d8+3d10 (34.5)

Greater striking arquebus Crit: 4d12 (26)
Greater striking longbow Crit: 3d8+2d10 (24.5)

Given that, as shown, longbow Crits are eventually better with the deadly d10 trait than the fatal d12 trait, guns are just behind vs the bows in every single situation.

Adding insult to injury, the gunslinger has a Bunch of cool support feats that could make them a really good ranged support/damage character, filling a similar niche to ranger and inventor, but right now with the reload mechanics using reactions that cost a shot is very penalizing, so the build only works with either a repeating crossbow (advanced, need a level 6 class feat or the archer archetype level 6 feat) or air repeater dealing d4.

In both those cases youre either A: dealing d8 with reload 0 but don't have the deadly d10 or fatal d12 traits or B: dealing d4.

Both cases just make me wish I'd have a bow instead, so I'd get one.

Hence: we need a gun that's a bow equivalent, and we ain't got one.

Shouldn’t an arquebus with major striking rune on a crit be 9d12 damage?

Looks like they forgot to double the initial damage for both examples. From my quick math, I believe only d10, deadly d10 weapons will outdo fatal d12 weapons at major striking. But only barely.


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Unicore wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Overall guns feel underwhelming to me. We needed an air repeater style reload 0 weapon with d8 and maybe fatal d12 and the volley trait.

Yes this looks very similar to a longbow but honestly right now the arquebus/jezail is just a terrible longbow.

Yes it has fatal d12 but fatal actually tapers off behind deadly d10 eventually, they even out around greater striking and at major striking deadly is better.

Major striking arquebus Crit: 5d12 (32.5)
Major striking longbow Crit: 4d8+3d10 (34.5)

Greater striking arquebus Crit: 4d12 (26)
Greater striking longbow Crit: 3d8+2d10 (24.5)

Given that, as shown, longbow Crits are eventually better with the deadly d10 trait than the fatal d12 trait, guns are just behind vs the bows in every single situation.

Adding insult to injury, the gunslinger has a Bunch of cool support feats that could make them a really good ranged support/damage character, filling a similar niche to ranger and inventor, but right now with the reload mechanics using reactions that cost a shot is very penalizing, so the build only works with either a repeating crossbow (advanced, need a level 6 class feat or the archer archetype level 6 feat) or air repeater dealing d4.

In both those cases youre either A: dealing d8 with reload 0 but don't have the deadly d10 or fatal d12 traits or B: dealing d4.

Both cases just make me wish I'd have a bow instead, so I'd get one.

Hence: we need a gun that's a bow equivalent, and we ain't got one.

Shouldn’t an arquebus with major striking rune on a crit be 9d12 damage?

They also didn't double the bow's damage.

So with major striking it would be 9d12 (58.5) for arquebus vs 8d8+3d10 (52.5) for longbow. With greater striking it would be 7d12 (45.5) for arquebus vs 6d8+2d10 (38) for longbow.

But remember this is using a regular longbow. A composite longbow would get and extra 2-8 damage (half str*2). Also this is assuming that the bow only hit once, when you can easily make 3-4 attacks with a longbow but only 1-2 attacks with a arquebus.

Spending an action to get marginally more damage on a crit then a longbow that is effective getting a fortune effect at -5 to hit. Is a very big different in overall damage. Idk about you but rolling to hit twice and getting 1x to 4x damage is a lot more than rolling once to deal 1x or 2x damage.

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They didn't add Kickback to the damage either, which is 2 damage on a crit for the arquebus, and if you're assuming both have an 18 str you can add the Large Bore modification for 120 gp to double it to 4 on a crit. Which gets the bonus damage pretty much identical between it and the longbow.

Admittedly, I played through Fists of the Ruby Phoenix with an arquebus sniper, and the damage he dealt was disgusting, especially since he partnered with a fighter using the Sniping Duo archetype.


Cydeth wrote:

They didn't add Kickback to the damage either, which is 2 damage on a crit for the arquebus, and if you're assuming both have an 18 str you can add the Large Bore modification for 120 gp to double it to 4 on a crit. Which gets the bonus damage pretty much identical between it and the longbow.

Admittedly, I played through Fists of the Ruby Phoenix with an arquebus sniper, and the damage he dealt was disgusting, especially since he partnered with a fighter using the Sniping Duo archetype.

Yeah. Gunslingers are definitely good with them as they have pretty potent support. Snipers specifically have very good abilities to get that crit. I think the main issue is for anyone else using them.


I like guns and the balance point. Serviceable ranged damage that adds extra punch on a crit. Balanced to not overtake bows but have their own traits and niche. Easily usable by other classes but better in the hands of a gunslinger. I had a lot of fun with my catfolk pirate drifter and automaton inventor with an arquebus

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aobst128 wrote:
Yeah. Gunslingers are definitely good with them as they have pretty potent support. Snipers specifically have very good abilities to get that crit. I think the main issue is for anyone else using them.

I totally believe that. I haven't had a chance to play a character using firearms yet (it usually isn't my thing to begin with, so I'm not surprised), so I can't speak from personal experience. I just played in a game with a gunslinger, and GMed for one through Night of Gray Death that did pretty well. No one else has asked for guns to date, though I considered it with my most recent investigator, but it didn't fit their style.

Personally, regarding the OP, I normally hate guns in my fantasy, but PF2e has proven far less jarring to me where they're concerned, and less likely to make me burst a blood vessel from annoyance (looking at the 'uses touch AC' part from PF1 here).


Sniper and Sniping Duo is the only way to actually deal considerable amount of damage with guns.

Sniper lets you deal an extra 3d6 on the first turn or anytime you use Ghost Shot (not difficult). They can also get a rare +2 circumstance bonus to hit on top of being legendary. Then Sniping Duo lets a fighter do their thing even better. AoO when the enemy is escaping for no bonus or attack with the Duo with a bonus? Of course the attack with the bonus would win.

All the other ways are just trying to remove the penalties that were added to firearms. With non-gunslingers having little recourse.


Unicore wrote:

I also like where they landed. It is pretty important in a fantasy game that guns don't just equal better than all other weapons. I think the Guns and gears book does a very good job of explaining where the power balance issues lie and why the choices about avoiding revolvers and automatic weapons were made. It even gives GMs reasonable options for shifting the technology level to WWI and having the more archaic firearms shift down in power.

Imagine how boring a game PF2 would be if "easy of use and training" became the thing that defined what weapons characters used and what became available on large scales. It would completely shift things away from the fantasy of small groups of heroes and on to large armies, which might be fine for a war game, but kinda defeats the purpose of small group RPGs.

I also enjoy how fire arms make good fire and forget weapons in PF2, especially with how they can often be used one handed, or even 2 handed ones can just be dropped when the battle folds into melee. I also like that they are more focused on weapon traits than just raw numbers. Concussive is an incredibly useful trait on a ranged weapon. Bows can really, really suffer against the huge numbers of enemies that resist piercing damage but not bludgeoning.

Fatal makes crits just so much more exciting. It is almost difficult to go back to a non fatal weapon after you land a couple of crits with one.

I really like the sniper gunslinger. Contrary to being one and done, I love that they are a class that benefits from slowing combat down and using actions to hide. The biggest problem I have seen with the sniper is that it is a class that asks many parties to change up their play from the traditional "charge in with melee weapons and fight until someone is dead" approach that seems pretty common in TTRPGs.

Lot is what you talk about reads as flavor to me fair enough.

But I loathe fatal, because I'd take almost and other trait or even increased damage die over it.

Concussive is pretty cool though. That has a lot of value


Temperans wrote:

Sniper and Sniping Duo is the only way to actually deal considerable amount of damage with guns.

Sniper lets you deal an extra 3d6 on the first turn or anytime you use Ghost Shot (not difficult). They can also get a rare +2 circumstance bonus to hit on top of being legendary. Then Sniping Duo lets a fighter do their thing even better. AoO when the enemy is escaping for no bonus or attack with the Duo with a bonus? Of course the attack with the bonus would win.

All the other ways are just trying to remove the penalties that were added to firearms. With non-gunslingers having little recourse.

Vanguards and drifters also have stab and blast to work with to get that +2. It's point blank but it's there. The best use case for combination weapons as well. Comes online just in time for damaging property runes.


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I don't mind "one attack per round" in a combat loop if my other actions feel meaningful.

I also prefer that when there are guns in my Fantasy that they are not the absolute best choice of weapon in every circumstance. I'm not sure why the "it takes too many bullets to drop someone" argument holds more water than "it takes too many arrows or blows from an axe to drop someone", to be honest.

The baseline for how guns are now on Golarion does definitely suggest that "in the future, once the technology takes off, these things are going to be the first, last, and only choice in ranged combat" but I'm glad we're not there yet.


I think stab and blast is the cornerstone to pulling around the efficiency of firearms for both melee centric ways. It's 2 actions for one and ignores MAP. In fact it essentially has MAB (multiple attack boost). Only issue is needing the first attack to land and you can only do it in melee reach but hey, that's where you're supposed to be. Vanguards are a little better with it ut drifters can hypothetically dual wield to skirmish with stab and blast for a couple rounds without needing to reload. Only issue I have is getting your attached weapons runes up. Not as big of a problem with ABP.


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Temperans wrote:
Spending an action to get marginally more damage on a crit then a longbow that is effective getting a fortune effect at -5 to hit. Is a very big different in overall damage. Idk about you but rolling to hit twice and getting 1x to 4x damage is a lot more than rolling once to deal 1x or 2x damage.

Cydeth did a good job talking about how guns have ways of adding static damage to crits so I won't rehash that, but I think this last bit of your post kind of is the point to me.

Fighter with bows fire a lot of arrows. They have a little support for sniper fire combat styles, but it pales compared to the "line up one killer shot" options of the sniper. In the end, I like that fire arms play much differently than bows, but still have their place.

Personally I lean more towards the crit fishing style of play which the sniper supports, but there are other different ways of playing with fire arms that have niche usefulness that has to be built into, rather than just picked up by anyone. I like that you have reasons to pick different runes for the different firearms than you would for a bow, especially as a gunslinger, as the critical effects of the runes can play a big role in their selection.

I have yet to play with scatter guns, but that is mostly because of my issues with the splash trait, not the scatter trait. What is "Splash damage" does it keep the damage type of the gun? What does it mean that the scatter trait says it does splash damage only on a hit but the splash trait doesn't describe what splash damage is, only what weapons with the splash trait do? The fact that it only exists as a trait that is describing bombs causes all kinds of trouble for the spell acid splash as well so this really isn't a guns issue but a long standing Errata issue that seems resistant to getting dealt with. If scatter weapons get to do splash damage of the type of the ammunition they fire, they can be very, very useful for triggering weaknesses. If they just do this undefined "Splash damage" type then it is less interesting overall, but still might be worth every fighter carrying a blunderbuss or two even, just to deal with the inevitable swarm of wasps that will otherwise kill the party if you can't target their weaknesses.


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Sorry for faulty math, i did indeed forget that the increased dice get doubled which means that fatal slightly outperforms deadly, in the case of d8/fatal d12 weapons vs d8/deadly d10 weapons.

Sniper duo is pretty good, but once again you suffer the <<having to take a shot on a reaction>> problem because you either

A: Shot, reload, shot on your turn, meaning you're out of bullets for a reaction shot.

B: Shot reload... held (or third action) and then shot, leaving you starting empty, then reload shot, reload.

Risky reload helps on this but it can very well cost you another action.

Meanwhile, with sniper duo, the archer can

Shoot, shoot, move (utility) then still have a reaction available for all the awesome sniper duo reactions.


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AlastarOG wrote:

Sorry for faulty math, i did indeed forget that the increased dice get doubled which means that fatal slightly outperforms deadly, in the case of d8/fatal d12 weapons vs d8/deadly d10 weapons.

Sniper duo is pretty good, but once again you suffer the <<having to take a shot on a reaction>> problem because you either

A: Shot, reload, shot on your turn, meaning you're out of bullets for a reaction shot.

B: Shot reload... held (or third action) and then shot, leaving you starting empty, then reload shot, reload.

Risky reload helps on this but it can very well cost you another action.

Meanwhile, with sniper duo, the archer can

Shoot, shoot, move (utility) then still have a reaction (or two if fighter) available for all the awesome sniper duo reactions.

The fun thing about risky reload is that even if you miss, you're breaking even with the actions it normally takes to reload and fire. When you miss, you repay the saved action with clearing the chamber. So it's always a good option but it does compete with your other special reloads.


I Like guns in general
They are sometimes a little...careful about their damage Output (which one feels especially with combination weapons) but besides that they are a fun Option

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?

Admittedly my view might be slightly influnced from me mostly playing in Dual class Games which can help out with Action Economy and third action options


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Honestly my only beef with the guns as written are:

-we don't have a magazine martial gun, one or two handed. From an action economy standpoint, magazine is still worse than reload 0, and we already have a handed and 1+ handed non guns, so I'm not convinced this would break the game. Before G&G, or even the abomination vaults repeating crossbow, I homebrewed in a bunch of firearms, complete with a magazine trait that was eerily similar the the official one, and featured a number of martial guns with a magazine, and none of them wound up outshining existing weapons

-I wish the crit spec was the pick crit and not the sling crit. The +2/damage die would have simulated that big headshot feel. I tend to find that enemies almost never fail the fort save

Otherwise, I rather like 2e guns. They offer unique options and add more spice and vareity to ranged characters. The air repeater pistol is a nice sidearm for alchemists and simple proficiency casters that feels much better to use than a crossbow with no feat support. Scatter is a little funky, but I still really like it. I'm also glad that they aren't locked behind Advanced proficiency. I do wish some classes, namely inventor, alchemist, rogue, and fighter, got some more firearm support, but my table mostly plays FA, so picking up a reload booster isn't too hard

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