Towards a better gunslinger (also some stuff about reload weapons on other classes)


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
The Drifter and Triggerbrand both still benefit from +2 to attack rolls when using their actual gun vs. the martial standard, so their damage is objectively north of the Monk's. They both can also get benefits putting their melee attack above the standard Monk one depending on how their ranged attacks go.

Both only benefit from that +2 for one of their two attacks per turn and each individual attack is still worse than the usual Monk's Stance Strikes. Especially the Triggerbrand with its usual d4 ranged attacks and its lack of agile in general. The Drifter's gun Strike can get on par, but only against enemies you have a high crit chance against.

Triggerbrand Salvo is a massive help, but also a considerable risk as your melee attack is first and missing it means you are doing nothing that turn. If you are lucky and melee hit + ranged crit a lot of the time it is better than the normal Monk, if not, the Monk is better. The Monk is simply better before you get this feat.

Then you now have the option to get a ton of Ki Strikes, which really boosts the Monk's offense. Stumbling Feint hits in the same vein. To the point where these Monks likely deal more damage than any but the luckiest of Drifters and post-6 Triggerbrands.


Karmagator wrote:
Both only benefit from that +2 for one of their two attacks per turn and each individual attack is still worse than the usual Monk's Stance Strikes. Especially the Triggerbrand with its usual d4 ranged attacks and its lack of agile in general. The Drifter's gun Strike can get on par, but only against enemies you have a high crit chance against.

It depends on what you're attacking with. Piercing wind is a great option and it's a d6/fatal d10 weapon. I believe three peaked tree is also a d6 gun. Also, to be frank, an Agile weapon isn't super necessary for a triggerbrand, though it's nice to have if you can get it. It generally works best to engage in melee, either because you've got Salvo or to use a combination weapon's special abilities, so an Agile melee weapon isn't strictly required, and the only Agile gun I know of is the air repeater, and being Agile is its whole thing.

Karmagator wrote:
Triggerbrand Salvo is a massive help, but also a considerable risk as your melee attack is first and missing it means you are doing nothing that turn.

It's not as punishing as all that to miss, though it does still suck. You only make the ranged Strike if you hit with your melee one, so if your melee Strike misses then you're just down the single action you spent on it, and down -5 in MAP, which will be a -3 should you decide to attack with the ranged portion of your weapon, or -4 if your melee portion is Agile, like with a dagger pistol. Neither choice is great, going for the melee attack will mean that, should you hit, you're eating full MAP for your ranged hit, and going for ranged means spending an action switching modes, but that's still far from doing nothing.


Bullet dancer vs drifter. Definitely giving that to the drifter. Bullet dancer is a mess without abp and free archetype to patch in reload support. Simple firearms are just too cruddy.


Perpdepog wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
Both only benefit from that +2 for one of their two attacks per turn and each individual attack is still worse than the usual Monk's Stance Strikes. Especially the Triggerbrand with its usual d4 ranged attacks and its lack of agile in general. The Drifter's gun Strike can get on par, but only against enemies you have a high crit chance against.
It depends on what you're attacking with. Piercing wind is a great option and it's a d6/fatal d10 weapon. I believe three peaked tree is also a d6 gun. Also, to be frank, an Agile weapon isn't super necessary for a triggerbrand, though it's nice to have if you can get it. It generally works best to engage in melee, either because you've got Salvo or to use a combination weapon's special abilities, so an Agile melee weapon isn't strictly required, and the only Agile gun I know of is the air repeater, and being Agile is its whole thing.

Yeah, agile only really matters for Triggerbrands pre-6, but until then it is pretty important. After 6 you are basically always using Salvo afaik (Triggerbrand is the only Gunslinger I have zero experience with), so agile stops being a factor.

And Piercing Wind really looks like the best option for the most part. A free hand as a Triggerbrand seems to be of very limited usefulness, as you don't have the casual actions to regularly do things anyway, so the fatal aim d10 doesn't really have a major downside.

Three Peaked Tree is d4, that one is more about the parry and the melee part doesn't have finesse either, so that seems like a poor choice.

Perpdepog wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
Triggerbrand Salvo is a massive help, but also a considerable risk as your melee attack is first and missing it means you are doing nothing that turn.
It's not as punishing as all that to miss, though it does still suck. You only make the ranged Strike if you hit with your melee one, so if your melee Strike misses then you're just down the single action you spent on it, and down -5 in MAP, which will be a -3 should you decide to attack with the ranged portion of your weapon, or -4 if your melee portion is Agile, like with a dagger pistol. Neither choice is great, going for the melee attack will mean that, should you hit, you're eating full MAP for your ranged hit, and going for ranged means spending an action switching modes, but that's still far from doing nothing.

Triggerbrand Salvo counts as two attacks regardless of how many attacks you actually make. So afterwards you are at -10, so I definitely stand by my statement ^^. I would personally rule against that though, simply because I would feel bad for the player and the subclass needs the help.


aobst128 wrote:
Bullet dancer vs drifter. Definitely giving that to the drifter. Bullet dancer is a mess without abp and free archetype to patch in reload support. Simple firearms are just too cruddy.

Then again, having a favourable matchup with one of the worst combat archetypes in the game is not exactly an achievement ^^


Karmagator wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Bullet dancer vs drifter. Definitely giving that to the drifter. Bullet dancer is a mess without abp and free archetype to patch in reload support. Simple firearms are just too cruddy.
Then again, having a favourable matchup with one of the worst combat archetypes in the game is not exactly an achievement ^^

Ok but weren't you of the opposite opinion a moment ago?


aobst128 wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Bullet dancer vs drifter. Definitely giving that to the drifter. Bullet dancer is a mess without abp and free archetype to patch in reload support. Simple firearms are just too cruddy.
Then again, having a favourable matchup with one of the worst combat archetypes in the game is not exactly an achievement ^^
Ok but weren't you of the opposite opinion a moment ago?

No, the Bullet Dancer is not the Monk and not even remotely a "usual monk stance". It's an archetype a Monk can theoretically take when you feel like you want to downgrade your character that day.


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Karmagator wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Bullet dancer vs drifter. Definitely giving that to the drifter. Bullet dancer is a mess without abp and free archetype to patch in reload support. Simple firearms are just too cruddy.
Then again, having a favourable matchup with one of the worst combat archetypes in the game is not exactly an achievement ^^
Ok but weren't you of the opposite opinion a moment ago?
No, the Bullet Dancer is not the Monk and not even remotely a "usual monk stance". It's an archetype a Monk can theoretically take when you feel like you want to downgrade your character that day.

I meant when you were comparing bullet dancer to drifter/triggerbrand. Might have been someone else. Can't find the post.

Edit: yeah that was you

Edit again: oh that was just comparing monk in general I see. I just assumed bullet dancer since it has the same niche as the melee gunslingers. My bad


Best to compare specific combat niches when talking class comparison. Monk has shooting stars stance which also allows switch hitting if you've got the gold to rune up handwraps along with throwers bandoliers. Then the case is a lot better for monk.


But anyways, triggerbrand salvo and stab and blast do make for some great melee turns. Just kinda stinks before then. I also appreciate the spellguns as a source of ranged support for gunslingers. The new draw/stow rules make their use a lot more comfortable.


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Karmagator wrote:
Triggerbrand Salvo counts as two attacks regardless of how many attacks you actually make. So afterwards you are at -10, so I definitely stand by my statement ^^. I would personally rule against that though, simply because I would feel bad for the player and the subclass needs the help.
Triggerbrand Salvo wrote:
You slice, stab, or batter your opponent with the melee portion of your combination weapon before pulling the trigger at point-blank range. Make a melee Strike with your combination weapon. If the Strike is successful, you can immediately make a ranged Strike against the same target with that combination weapon, and you get a +2 circumstance bonus to the attack roll. This counts as two attacks toward your multiple attack penalty, but you don't apply the multiple attack penalty until after making both attacks.

Emphasis mine. I'd argue that, if you don't make "both attacks" then you shouldn't be gaining the multiple attack penalty as if you had. This'd be different if, say, you just made both attacks regardless, but your second, ranged attack is contingent on you hitting with your first, so there are definite scenarios where you don't make both attacks.

Karmagator wrote:
Yeah, agile only really matters for Triggerbrands pre-6, but until then it is pretty important. After 6 you are basically always using Salvo afaik (Triggerbrand is the only Gunslinger I have zero experience with), so agile stops being a factor.

In contrast, it's the only way I do have experience with. And I didn't personally find Agile all that necessary. Granted, that was also because it was generally more efficient for me to just plong people from range with my weapon, so I barely ever got into actual melee. I think that's the main issue with Triggerbrand, that it doesn't really have enough incentive to get into melee pre-6, especially for the demands it puts on your stat spread to make sure your Dex is maxed, your Str is high enough to make melee not a complete waste of time, and Con to make sure you don't get instantly downed if you do decide to go into melee.

Karmagator" wrote:
And Piercing Wind really looks like the best option for the most part. A free hand as a Triggerbrand seems to be of very limited usefulness, as you don't have the casual actions to regularly do things anyway, so the fatal aim d10 doesn't really have a major downside.

True that. I took Munitions Crafter because I figured I'd need bullets, shlubbing around in the woods all the time, and I had some plan of crafting some bombs to throw, but I just haven't got the actions to use them. I need to start spreading those out to the rest of the party, I suppose.

Most of my turns are reloading, shooting, maaaaaaaybe moving, and using Pistol Twirl. It's a bit of a gray area, but Pistol Twirl stipulates that you need to use a one-handed weapon, and piercing winds are one-handed.

Karmagator wrote:
Three Peaked Tree is d4, that one is more about the parry and the melee part doesn't have finesse either, so that seems like a poor choice.

Oopse. Then, yeah. Piercing wind really might be the best if you want ranged stopping power on a finesse-able gun. There are other combo weapons that go to d6, but they're all expressly strength-based with hammers or axes on the end.


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Perpdepog wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
Triggerbrand Salvo counts as two attacks regardless of how many attacks you actually make. So afterwards you are at -10, so I definitely stand by my statement ^^. I would personally rule against that though, simply because I would feel bad for the player and the subclass needs the help.
Triggerbrand Salvo wrote:
You slice, stab, or batter your opponent with the melee portion of your combination weapon before pulling the trigger at point-blank range. Make a melee Strike with your combination weapon. If the Strike is successful, you can immediately make a ranged Strike against the same target with that combination weapon, and you get a +2 circumstance bonus to the attack roll. This counts as two attacks toward your multiple attack penalty, but you don't apply the multiple attack penalty until after making both attacks.
Emphasis mine. I'd argue that, if you don't make "both attacks" then you shouldn't be gaining the multiple attack penalty as if you had. This'd be different if, say, you just made both attacks regardless, but your second, ranged attack is contingent on you hitting with your first, so there are definite scenarios where you don't make both attacks.

The ability doesn't differentiate between both instances is the problem. The wording doesn't allow any other outcome. It just says that it counts as two attacks, just like Vicious Swing (formerly Power Attack). An ability that instead allows for this is Slam Down (formerly Knockdown), reading "Both attacks count toward your multiple attack penalty, but the penalty doesn’t increase until after you’ve made both of them." This was already available when the Salvo and the original ability (Stab and Blast) was released, but not used. Hence we have to assume this was intentional.

Again, I'd say screw that regardless of the actual ruling, but as far as I can tell that is what the ability says.

Perpdepog wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
And Piercing Wind really looks like the best option for the most part. A free hand as a Triggerbrand seems to be of very limited usefulness, as you don't have the casual actions to regularly do things anyway, so the fatal aim d10 doesn't really have a major downside.

True that. I took Munitions Crafter because I figured I'd need bullets, shlubbing around in the woods all the time, and I had some plan of crafting some bombs to throw, but I just haven't got the actions to use them. I need to start spreading those out to the rest of the party, I suppose.

Most of my turns are reloading, shooting, maaaaaaaybe moving, and using Pistol Twirl. It's a bit of a gray area, but Pistol Twirl stipulates that you need to use a one-handed weapon, and piercing winds are one-handed.

FYI, this was cleared up as not working in the CRB 4th printing clarifications:

Quote:
For abilities that count the number of hands for a weapon while you're using it, such as an action with "Requirements You are wielding a one-handed melee weapon," count the actual number of hands you're using at the time. If you're holding a bastard sword in two hands, you couldn't use it with that ability.


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Karmagator wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
Triggerbrand Salvo counts as two attacks regardless of how many attacks you actually make. So afterwards you are at -10, so I definitely stand by my statement ^^. I would personally rule against that though, simply because I would feel bad for the player and the subclass needs the help.
Triggerbrand Salvo wrote:
You slice, stab, or batter your opponent with the melee portion of your combination weapon before pulling the trigger at point-blank range. Make a melee Strike with your combination weapon. If the Strike is successful, you can immediately make a ranged Strike against the same target with that combination weapon, and you get a +2 circumstance bonus to the attack roll. This counts as two attacks toward your multiple attack penalty, but you don't apply the multiple attack penalty until after making both attacks.
Emphasis mine. I'd argue that, if you don't make "both attacks" then you shouldn't be gaining the multiple attack penalty as if you had. This'd be different if, say, you just made both attacks regardless, but your second, ranged attack is contingent on you hitting with your first, so there are definite scenarios where you don't make both attacks.

The ability doesn't differentiate between both instances is the problem. The wording doesn't allow any other outcome. It just says that it counts as two attacks, just like Vicious Swing (formerly Power Attack). An ability that instead allows for this is Slam Down (formerly Knockdown), reading "Both attacks count toward your multiple attack penalty, but the penalty doesn’t increase until after you’ve made both of them." This was already available when the Salvo and the original ability (Stab and Blast) was released, but not used. Hence we have to assume this was intentional.

Again, I'd say screw that regardless of the actual ruling, but as far as I can tell that is what the ability says.

Perpdepog wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
And Piercing Wind
...

Shhhhh...


I really like the triggerbrand but I do wish the 9th level deed was less situational. The way is mostly a salvo machine which also sort of sidelines touch and go if you're sticking with melee since you don't want to switch modes.

Then again, I'm of the opinion that triggerbrand and drifter aught to stick with ranged at the start and let the other melee martials soften things up before deciding to skirmish. That's the purpose of switch hitting. No point in running immediately into melee if you have a gun. Gunslinger is on the squishier side of AC progression so keeping your distance is a good idea already.


Karmagator wrote:
Triggerbrand Salvo counts as two attacks regardless of how many attacks you actually make. So afterwards you are at -10, so I definitely stand by my statement ^^. I would personally rule against that though, simply because I would feel bad for the player and the subclass needs the help.

As a player with a GM who ruled that you're at -10 regardless of if you get the second attack, I do know the pain of that ruling.

But on the subject of Triggerbrand, it really needs a fix. Combo weapons already are not very good and with the new swap rules they feel pretty weak when you're damage die and traits are punished (why use a gunsword when I can use a greatsword in melee & an arquebus? Switch hitters were great in 1e). Singular Expertise locking you out of advancing the weapon proficiency for the melee end of the weapon makes sense perhaps for the main class, but for a triggerbrand you're effectively always at a -2 to melee vs your gun so why use it? You can't even get around it with an archetype/ancestry feat because of the wording on Expertise. Gunslinger Weapon Mastery stops you from even getting critical specialization on your melee without one of those extra archetype/ancestry feats, so you don't even get to take advantage of the Critical Fusion trait unless you can crit with melee weapons (why have a trait that doesn't work with the class that's supposedly designed to use it?!).

Ultimately the above (the Salvo ruling, expertise & mastery) that made me switch off of Gunslinger and opt for a fighter w/ gunslinger dedication instead and have been much happier since. I know fighters are generally the best with every weapon but I don't think that a Fighter should be so much better than a Gunslinger with a way that's geared towards it.


Here is (maybe) a good one - The melee ways could make it so your ranged gun/crossbow attacks benefit from flanking when within reach of a melee weapon you are wielding. Maybe include unarmed attacks as well, because why not.

After all, you are already forced into melee, you might as well actually get the benefits of a melee character.


Karmagator wrote:

Here is (maybe) a good one - The melee ways could make it so your ranged gun/crossbow attacks benefit from flanking when within reach of a melee weapon you are wielding. Maybe include unarmed attacks as well, because why not.

After all, you are already forced into melee, you might as well actually get the benefits of a melee character.

The main issue is that it doesn't really help with doing melee stuff, in just encourages you to shoot more, while people want them to be better at the melee side of it.


MEATSHED wrote:
Karmagator wrote:

Here is (maybe) a good one - The melee ways could make it so your ranged gun/crossbow attacks benefit from flanking when within reach of a melee weapon you are wielding. Maybe include unarmed attacks as well, because why not.

After all, you are already forced into melee, you might as well actually get the benefits of a melee character.

The main issue is that it doesn't really help with doing melee stuff, in just encourages you to shoot more, while people want them to be better at the melee side of it.

You could just do both, the subclasses certainly have the budget left for it.


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Letting your combination weapon's melee half share your full bonus would be nice. Aside from the accuracy increase it'd also make it easier to track; I always have to double check my sheet out of paranoia I'm remembering the -2/+2 right.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
aobst128 wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Bullet dancer vs drifter. Definitely giving that to the drifter. Bullet dancer is a mess without abp and free archetype to patch in reload support. Simple firearms are just too cruddy.
Then again, having a favourable matchup with one of the worst combat archetypes in the game is not exactly an achievement ^^
Ok but weren't you of the opposite opinion a moment ago?
No, the Bullet Dancer is not the Monk and not even remotely a "usual monk stance". It's an archetype a Monk can theoretically take when you feel like you want to downgrade your character that day.

I meant when you were comparing bullet dancer to drifter/triggerbrand. Might have been someone else. Can't find the post.

Edit: yeah that was you

Edit again: oh that was just comparing monk in general I see. I just assumed bullet dancer since it has the same niche as the melee gunslingers. My bad

I was the one who brought up Bullet Dancer a while back. I have been playing one.

It is definitely weaker than base Monk. It is also definitely stronger than a Drifter.

Flurry makes up for the lack of reloading synergy -- you can get a Flurry off every turn. Assuming you take Stunning Fist (which works with your guns/bayonets/stocks) you can force a Fort save vs Stun every turn. This draws aggro, and (unlike the drifter) you have the hp, defences, and saves to deal with it. They also have the same proficiency with their guns and melee, so they are better at making melee attacks.

A real Monk has more tricks, but the one trick that the Bullet Dancer has is solid.


pH unbalanced wrote:

I was the one who brought up Bullet Dancer a while back. I have been playing one.

It is definitely weaker than base Monk. It is also definitely stronger than a Drifter.

Flurry makes up for the lack of reloading synergy -- you can get a Flurry off every turn. Assuming you take Stunning Fist (which works with your guns/bayonets/stocks) you can force a Fort save vs Stun every turn. This draws aggro, and (unlike the drifter) you have the hp, defences, and saves to deal with it. They also have the same proficiency with their guns and melee, so they are better at making melee attacks.

A real Monk has more tricks, but the one trick that the Bullet Dancer has is solid.

I'm all for giving the Drifter the criticism it deserves, but it is definitely not weaker than a Bullet Dancer Monk.

For defenses, the Monk wins, no question.

For weapons, it looks like the BDM is choosing a flintlock musket plus a bayonet (for a Stunning Fist build). A pistol + attached bayonet is just worse. Despite the art, two single-handed weapons aren't usable without another archetype. The Drifter usually chooses the clown gun (slide pistol) plus a shortsword or a thorn whip. So the damage of each weapon itself is the same, but the Gunslinger has +2 to hit for the gun and a flat +1 damage. That isn't compensated by the Monk only using the bayonet (not the gun) to get that STR bonus damage either. So the Drifter has a serious damage advantage and also more reliably does at least some damage. The BDM's output on the other hand is terrible even for the Monk.

Both usually need two actions for their combat routine. Flurry + dead reload vs gun Strike + Reloading Strike. Both can be used every turn. However, the Monk has the option to free up a second action by simply not reloading and will probably do so at lower levels, when there is not much point to using the gun. But how useful that is is highly situational, as you don't really have the hands or the stats to do much besides Striking more until later levels. Slight advantage to the Monk.

As for Stunning Fist, you need to hit both attacks to trigger it. This is usually about the same chance of the Gunslinger's gun landing a crit. And starting at level 5, the firearm crit spec also inflicts stunned 1 on a failed Fort save, just without the incapacitate trait, but without the stunned 3 on crit fail. The Gunslinger doesn't have to pay anything for this, though, unlike the Monk. Overall, this one goes slightly in favour of the Gunslinger.

Now, for the same cost as the Monk took Stunning Fist (or lower - the Monk needs the BD Dedication as well), the Gunslinger takes Fake Out. If the rest of your party isn't composed of only wet noodles when it comes to damage, then this increases the damage contribution of the Drifter substantially as well. If you have a Magus, then you just became the MVP of that player specifically and the group in general. Either way, the damage contribution is now massively in favour of the Gunslinger.

In conclusion, the Bullet Dancer Monk might be able to take a quite a bit more, but its contribution is questionable at best. To the point that I question what mechanical reason there is for me to include it in a party. Stunning Fist is great, but just like Fake Out it isn't great enough to carry a class on its own. The Drifter is already a downgrade from a dedicated melee or ranged class in terms of output. An actual ranged class is also much safer than a Monk already, so there is no reason to further downgrade my output for that reason. So if the Drifter is obsolete, the BDM is doubly so.

There is nothing solid about the Bullet Dancer except the reasons to never pick it.


Bullet dancer definitely has more staying power since it's base monk but in terms of offense, it's a clumsy mess compared to drifter.

Considering stab and blast, it's a far greater action condenser than fob too.


If bullet dancer stance allowed martial firearms and the archetype had dual weapon reload as well as running reload, it would be a much better comparison.


Actually, one correction to my previous comment - the third action the Bullet Dancer Monk can free up can be used for movement. That way you can do hit-and-run tactics, which is very nice for survivability. Doesn't change the argument, but it's still important to point out.


Bullet dancer can also grab reloading strike themselves with gunslinger archetype later on. With that and bullet dancer burn, it looks a lot better


I'm still confused with bullet dancer reload. It's nice with a musket but doesn't actually help to make multiple strikes with pistols since once your gun or guns are empty, you still don't have a way to reload them.


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Karmagator wrote:
As for Stunning Fist, you need to hit both attacks to trigger it.

How so? I'm looking through the feat and it says nothing about having to hit with both attacks. You have to target the same creature with both attacks, but from what I'm reading it says your Stunning Fist activates if either hits.


Perpdepog wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
As for Stunning Fist, you need to hit both attacks to trigger it.
How so? I'm looking through the feat and it says nothing about having to hit with both attacks. You have to target the same creature with both attacks, but from what I'm reading it says your Stunning Fist activates if either hits.

Yeah no, you're right. I forgot how OP the feat was and must have mixed it up with a different one that would've made it more reasonable XD

That evens the scales a lot. However, it still leaves the Monk with next to nothing besides a somewhat unreliable stun - Fort saves vs class DC are not hard to beat for many monsters. Unless you are playing something like Agents of Edgewatch, where half the monsters have had a bit too much Rogue in their diet :P

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

In practice, my Bullet Dancer has landed a lot of stuns on enemy casters. Being able to do that at range on round 1 (with dual pistols) has given us starting momentum in combats that would otherwise have been pretty fraught. And Stunned 3 on a crit fail is almost a combat ender, and has happened far more often than I would have expected.

I built with high Dex & Wis though, so my Class DC is rather high. Damage output is severely lacking, so I do other things. This is a battlefield control character that can occasionally deal burst damage on a crit, not a DPS character. (I've got a number of other tricks I'm not mentioning because they could be used by a character of any class.)

Things may turn around at high levels, but having been in the same party as a Drifter, I severely outclassed him at all times. That said, I have *also* been in the same party as a Monastic Archer, and they severely outclassed *me* at all times.

Bullet Dancer is a terrible archetype, but my argument is that a terrible archetype on a Monk is still better than the base Drifter Gunslinger, and so is meant to bolster the stance that the Drifter needs more things.

EDIT: As to why build a Bullet Dancer? It was entirely to model a videogame character, Fie from the Trails of Cold Steel series.


Sounds like the argument hinges entirely on stunning fist, which is very good but the role of switch hitting dpr that the archetype suggests still falls short of drifters.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
aobst128 wrote:
Sounds like the argument hinges entirely on stunning fist, which is very good but the role of switch hitting dpr that the archetype suggests still falls short of drifters.

That is a fair assessment.


I'll posit shooting stars monk fills that switch hitting role best. Less range than pistols but that can be improved through archetypes.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Drifters aren't really switch hitters either, you need to be in melee range to use all their features. A drifter at range is just a gunslinger without a reload feature.

Though I'm also not convinced switch hitting is even much of a meaningful role in PF2- most switch hitters I see are better off just sticking to range or melee entirely.


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Switchhitting has always been weird because most of the time it's just "ranged character who isn't completely helpless in melee" and the actual usefulness of switch hitting is kind of limited because of how kind of rare it is to actually need to swap and how expensive weapons runes are while you don't really have a way to mitigate it like dual wielders do.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
MEATSHED wrote:
Switchhitting has always been weird because most of the time it's just "ranged character who isn't completely helpless in melee" and the actual usefulness of switch hitting is kind of limited because of how kind of rare it is to actually need to swap and how expensive weapons runes are while you don't really have a way to mitigate it like dual wielders do.

Switch hitting is useful if you can't count on a set party composition (like PFS) because you might have to legitimately change whether you are melee or ranged from session to session. I think the gold standard switch hitter is probably the Kineticist, but a base Fighter can manage it really well too if they're willing to spend the money on gear.


Squiggit wrote:

Drifters aren't really switch hitters either, you need to be in melee range to use all their features. A drifter at range is just a gunslinger without a reload feature.

Though I'm also not convinced switch hitting is even much of a meaningful role in PF2- most switch hitters I see are better off just sticking to range or melee entirely.

I disagree. You're not obligated to use all of your tactics immediately by running into melee. Drifters simply can do that more easily. Turn one drifters aught to use their free stride to get in, do their routine, then get out. You've got a gun. Why be a action movie goon and run at the target? Lol. You're flimsy so skirmishing and keeping distance is still a good idea. You just gotta use your judgement for when to use your melee strategically.

As a side note, drifters are the best use case for dual weapon reload if you don't want to use a slide pistol. Reloading strike for melee, dual weapon reload for range.


pH unbalanced wrote:
MEATSHED wrote:
Switchhitting has always been weird because most of the time it's just "ranged character who isn't completely helpless in melee" and the actual usefulness of switch hitting is kind of limited because of how kind of rare it is to actually need to swap and how expensive weapons runes are while you don't really have a way to mitigate it like dual wielders do.
Switch hitting is useful if you can't count on a set party composition (like PFS) because you might have to legitimately change whether you are melee or ranged from session to session. I think the gold standard switch hitter is probably the Kineticist, but a base Fighter can manage it really well too if they're willing to spend the money on gear.

I mean sure but when most people mention switch hitting it's mostly in the context of someone who can swap between both quickly.


aobst128 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Drifters aren't really switch hitters either, you need to be in melee range to use all their features. A drifter at range is just a gunslinger without a reload feature.

Though I'm also not convinced switch hitting is even much of a meaningful role in PF2- most switch hitters I see are better off just sticking to range or melee entirely.

I disagree. You're not obligated to use all of your tactics immediately by running into melee. Drifters simply can do that more easily. Turn one drifters aught to use their free stride to get in, do their routine, then get out. You've got a gun. Why be a action movie goon and run at the target? Lol. You're flimsy so skirmishing and keeping distance is still a good idea. You just gotta use your judgement for when to use your melee strategically.

As a side note, drifters are the best use case for dual weapon reload if you don't want to use a slide pistol. Reloading strike for melee, dual weapon reload for range.

Dual Weapon Reload should just let reloads happen with full hands in the first place.

And I disagree with you because in that case my ranged(as in my 40-60 ft ranged increment Strikes) amd melee should synergize more.


Gobhaggo wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Drifters aren't really switch hitters either, you need to be in melee range to use all their features. A drifter at range is just a gunslinger without a reload feature.

Though I'm also not convinced switch hitting is even much of a meaningful role in PF2- most switch hitters I see are better off just sticking to range or melee entirely.

I disagree. You're not obligated to use all of your tactics immediately by running into melee. Drifters simply can do that more easily. Turn one drifters aught to use their free stride to get in, do their routine, then get out. You've got a gun. Why be a action movie goon and run at the target? Lol. You're flimsy so skirmishing and keeping distance is still a good idea. You just gotta use your judgement for when to use your melee strategically.

As a side note, drifters are the best use case for dual weapon reload if you don't want to use a slide pistol. Reloading strike for melee, dual weapon reload for range.

Dual Weapon Reload should just let reloads happen with full hands in the first place.

And I disagree with you because in that case my ranged(as in my 40-60 ft ranged increment Strikes) amd melee should synergize more.

Agreed about dual weapon reload. There's synergy if you choose it. Drifters juke, bullet split, and rebounding assault come to mind. And of course, the final deed which is incredibly good, drifters wake.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
aobst128 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Drifters aren't really switch hitters either, you need to be in melee range to use all their features. A drifter at range is just a gunslinger without a reload feature.

Though I'm also not convinced switch hitting is even much of a meaningful role in PF2- most switch hitters I see are better off just sticking to range or melee entirely.

I disagree. You're not obligated to use all of your tactics immediately by running into melee. Drifters simply can do that more easily. Turn one drifters aught to use their free stride to get in, do their routine, then get out. You've got a gun. Why be a action movie goon and run at the target? Lol. You're flimsy so skirmishing and keeping distance is still a good idea. You just gotta use your judgement for when to use your melee strategically.

As a side note, drifters are the best use case for dual weapon reload if you don't want to use a slide pistol. Reloading strike for melee, dual weapon reload for range.

IF you're avoiding melee combat because you're flimsy you could just be any other Way at that point and not leave a bunch of features dead on the floor.


Really, the only sense in which the Gunslinger is squishy is that they get 8 HP instead of 10 and they get expert light armor at 13 instead of 11 like a normal martial.

I don't see people talk about classes like the Ranger, Rogue, Thaumaturge, Swashbuckler, and Inventor as "people you want to keep away from the front line." That's the assumption for a class built around ranged combat, but you *can* do something else.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Really, the only sense in which the Gunslinger is squishy is that they get 8 HP instead of 10 and they get expert light armor at 13 instead of 11 like a normal martial.

I don't see people talk about classes like the Ranger, Rogue, Thaumaturge, Swashbuckler, and Inventor as "people you want to keep away from the front line." That's the assumption for a class built around ranged combat, but you *can* do something else.

gunslinger magus and thaumaturge certainly have more trigger aoo problem

gunslinger doesn't even have mobile shot stance instead have to rely on awkward feat like sword and pistol


Gunslinger piecemealing anti reaction is such a f*~$ing chore


Squiggit wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Drifters aren't really switch hitters either, you need to be in melee range to use all their features. A drifter at range is just a gunslinger without a reload feature.

Though I'm also not convinced switch hitting is even much of a meaningful role in PF2- most switch hitters I see are better off just sticking to range or melee entirely.

I disagree. You're not obligated to use all of your tactics immediately by running into melee. Drifters simply can do that more easily. Turn one drifters aught to use their free stride to get in, do their routine, then get out. You've got a gun. Why be a action movie goon and run at the target? Lol. You're flimsy so skirmishing and keeping distance is still a good idea. You just gotta use your judgement for when to use your melee strategically.

As a side note, drifters are the best use case for dual weapon reload if you don't want to use a slide pistol. Reloading strike for melee, dual weapon reload for range.

IF you're avoiding melee combat because you're flimsy you could just be any other Way at that point and not leave a bunch of features dead on the floor.

They're not dead. You can do both. That's the point.


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aobst128 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:


IF you're avoiding melee combat because you're flimsy you could just be any other Way at that point and not leave a bunch of features dead on the floor.

They're not dead. You can do both. That's the point.

If you are not in melee, literally none of your Way features or Way-exclusive feats apply. You essentially don't have a subclass. If that's not dead, then I don't what is.

And as Squiggit already pointed out, a Drifter at range isn't actually good. "You can do both" is technically true, but it also implies that you are competent at both, which the Drifter is very much not.


Karmagator wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
Squiggit wrote:


IF you're avoiding melee combat because you're flimsy you could just be any other Way at that point and not leave a bunch of features dead on the floor.

They're not dead. You can do both. That's the point.

If you are not in melee, literally none of your Way features or Way-exclusive feats apply. You essentially don't have a subclass. If that's not dead, then I don't what is.

And as Squiggit already pointed out, a Drifter at range isn't actually good. "You can do both" is technically true, but it also implies that you are competent at both, which the Drifter is very much not.

Regardless, the most competent drifters are ones who use their features tactically and not exclusively, which I will still argue is the point. What you're leaving dead if you only use melee is your range increments which are fairly useful considering your better half will always be your gun. It hinges on how much you value switch hitting which I do. If not, drifter probably isn't for you


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If you need to switch hit you don't even need to go drifter though, just get an attached weapon and have a better gun and worse melee weapon because you are going to use the gun more anyway.


MEATSHED wrote:
If you need to switch hit you don't even need to go drifter though, just get an attached weapon and have a better gun and worse melee weapon because you are going to use the gun more anyway.

That's a fair point. Drifter has some of the best deeds though. Into the fray is good enough to consider multiclassing for even if you don't use guns lol. Plus, reloading strike makes things a lot smoother.


MEATSHED wrote:
If you need to switch hit you don't even need to go drifter though, just get an attached weapon and have a better gun and worse melee weapon because you are going to use the gun more anyway.

That's what I do, because ABP is a treat ^^. Tbf to aobst, if you want to be even remotely relevant in melee before level 6/8, then the Drifter is really your only option. I don't think it is worth making you bad at range as well, though.

Yes, I don't value switch hitting, but I don't see how the Gunslinger is any good at it either. Not that the system in general actually supports that playstyle to any reasonable degree, even including ABP.


The more troublesome way is triggerbrand. Tougher to dedicate yourself to a D4 ranged attack when you have salvo in your pocket. Mainly a problem with combo weapons themselves.

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