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Pathfinder - The Gunslinger Handbook

Disclaimer

I will use content from the core rules, but will intentionally omit any content not published on the official Pathfinder SRD due to the unmanageable volume of non-SRD content, and the wildly varying quality of non-SRD content. If you would like me to write handbooks for specific content not published on the official SRD, please email me and I will consider it on a case-by-case basis. I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.

Temporary Note: Pathfinder Unchained and Occult Adventures were both recently added to the SRD. I'm excited to explore them, and I am actively working on adding their contents to my collection of handbooks. I appreciate your patience while I make these changes.

Introduction

The Gunslinger is a Striker, plain and simple. If your favorite trick is "use gun on man", the Gunslinger is for you. With a bit of optimization the Gunslinger is easy to play and produces a reliable stream of damage against nearly any enemy.

Be sure to read my Practical Guide to Firearms for general guidance on selecting and using firearms.

Gunslinger Class Features

Hit Points: d10 hit points is plenty, especially because gunslingers are almost exclusively ranged combatants.

Base Attack Bonus: Full BAB.

Saves: Good Fortitude and Reflex saves, and with enough Wisdom to power the Grit pool, and the Gunslinger's saves are very good.

Proficiencies: Only light armor, but access to martial weapons. Oh, and firearms. Don't forget those.

Skills: 4+ skill ranks, but the Gunslinger's skill list contains very few options that work for the Gunslinger.

Gunsmith: Gunsmithing allows you to maintain you weapon, craft new ones, and craft your own ammunition. Getting a free gun at first level saves you a whole pile of money, and being able to upgrade it for 300 gp saves you the cost of buying or crafting a new one when you're ready to upgrade to masterwork.

Grit (Ex): Grit fuels the Gunglinger's deeds, but it's a very limited pool. You can restore grit with critical hits (very difficult) or with killing blows (much less difficult), but you still want to use Grit sparingly.

Deeds: Gunslinger deeds offer numerous tactical options for the gunslinger. See my Gunslinger Deeds Breakdown for more help with Gunslinger Deeds.

Nimble (Ex): A nice dodge bonus to AC will help make up for limiting the Gunslinger to medium armor, and is particularly useful against other firearms. You can supplement this by fighting defensively, by using Combat Expertise, and with the Halfling's favored class bonus.

Bonus Feats: The Gunslinger gets half as many as the Fighter, but this is till a great source of additional feats.

Gun Training (Ex): This is a huge boost in damage output.

True Grit (Ex): Many deeds cost a point of grit to do something awesome, and being able to perform those deeds for free every round can make the Gunslinger considerably more effective.

Abilities

Dexterity defines the Gunslinger, but a bit of Wisdom is important for the Gunslinger's Grit pool.

Str: Dump to 7.

Dex: Dexterity is everything for the Gunslinger.

Con: More hitpoints are always welcome, but the Gunslinger already gets d10 hit points and good Fortitude saves.

Int: The gunslinger's skill list is pretty bad and they already get 4+ skill ranks.

Wis: Crucial for the Grit pool and the Gunslinger's poor Will saves.

Cha: Dump to 7.

25 Point Buy 20 Point Buy 15 Point Buy Elite Array
  • Str: 7
  • Dex: 18
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 11
  • Wis: 16
  • Cha: 7
  • Str: 7
  • Dex: 18
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 11
  • Wis: 14
  • Cha: 7
  • Str: 7
  • Dex: 17
  • Con: 14
  • Int: 10
  • Wis: 14
  • Cha: 7
  • Str: 8
  • Dex: 15
  • Con: 13
  • Int: 12
  • Wis: 14
  • Cha: 10

Races

Dexterity bonuses are crucial, and small size is very beneficial.

Dwarf: Despite lacking a bonus to Dexterity, the Dwarf has some great defensive abilities, and the Dwarf favored class bonus cuts down on pesky misfires.

Elf: The bonus to Dexterity is great, but the elf is much better as a spellcaster. Alternate racial features do very little to improve this.

Gnome: Despite small size, the Gnome offers nothing of interest to the Gunslinger.

Half-Elf: A flexible ability bonus, and a lot of options with alternate racial features. The Half-Elf favored class bonus grants extra Grit points to fuel the Guslinger's abilities.

Half-Orc: Similar to the Half-Elf, but the Half-Elf's favored class bonus is miles better than anything the Half-Orc has to offer.

Halfling: A Dexterity bonus and small size make the Halfling very accurate and effective. The Halfling favored class bonus provides an excellent Dodge bonus to AC, despite being limited to a total +2 bonus.

Human: Flexible ability bonus, a bonus feat, and the Human favored class bonus adds to the Gunslinger's Grit pool.

Skills

Feats

Weapons

See my Practical Guide to Firearms for help selecting firearms.

Armor

Armor is presented in the order in which you should acquire it, rather than alphabetical order.

Magic Items

Rings

Wondrous Items

Permanent Spells

Multiclassing and Prestige Classes

The Two-Weapon Warrior gets everything that it needs, and the high level abilities are very good. Multiclassing isn't recommended.