Last Updated: March 7, 2022
In this episode of the RPGBOT.Podcast, we explore Pathfinder 2e’s new “Guns and Gears” supplement. We discuss the new firearm mechanics, the history of firearms in D&D 3.x and Pathfinder, and the march of technology in the timeline of Golarion.
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Materials Referenced in this Episode
- Guns and Gears (affiliate link)
- Pathfinder 2e Advanced Player’s Guide (affiliate link)
- Pathfinder 1e Ultimate Combat (affiliate link)
- Red Hand of Doom for D&D 3.5 on DMsGuild (affiliate link)
- Expedition to the Barrier Peeks
Lord, you can’t take my home. You people take in everything. Everything. You send your knights and your fancy armor. Spell-slingers burned down our homes. Burned down my farmhouse and fields just stop us from feeding folks. The world is changing you see we had a man come through. Taught us how does how a bullet cut straight through plate. Robes don’t do much to stop them, neither. And I bet that crown you’re wearing wouldn’t slow a round down one minute neither. Now I know you’re used to thinkin’ this is your road, your woods. But it’s not. Not really. Not no more. It won’t take a lot of lead to leave you with no army to protect that pretty keep. I got eagle eyes. Can spy you comin’ all the way to the horizon. Me and this arquebus can reach out and touch you. Believe it. See these woods are my home, lord, and you can’t take my home. Welcome to the RPGBOt.podcast. I’m Randall James, your garish gunslinger and with me is Tyler Kamstra.
and Random Powell. Good evening.
Welcome. Welcome. I should say this is RPGBOT dot book review. So this is a bonus episode, we’re going to be talking about Guns and Gear is the new Pathfinder, Second Edition Sourcebook. Tyler, what’d you think?
I’m very excited for this book. This book has so much in it. It’s got guns, it’s got gears. That’s really about it. But there’s a lot packed in here.
Well there’s guns as gear.
There’s guns as gear, there’s gears as guns. There’s a gun that shoots spoons, there’s magical robots. There’s spider legs that you let you climb walls, there are knives with wings on them. All of these things are in this book. And my goodness, there is so much to unpack here. I… I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever read an RPG source book that had me laughing this hard, but at the same time just gave me so many interesting ideas.
Okay, Random, what was your take on it?
Yeah, it’s interesting. So I must confess, I am not nearly as versed in Pathfinder, Second Edition as either of these two folks. With that said, so, quick first impression on read through. I definitely was reading more for the mechanics I could understand and and how that related to, you know, things that I’m more familiar with. I have built a character in Pathfinder, Second Edition, and I wouldn’t claim to know how it worked. So with that said, especially given the timing, it really kind of feels like they’re maybe trying to scramble to say, ah, we see the enormous popularity of the Artificer in fifth edition, we’re going to try and capitalize on that. But with that said, I think they did a really good job. You both… so the book itself is three chapters, there is gears, there is guns, and there is setting. And the gears has some really cool stuff from what I could understand the… you know, that there’s a class, which feels a lot like the Artificer but has some some neat differences to it. There’s, you know, robots, there’s all kinds of stuff that you would want, and then there’s guns. And the guns… In the gun section, I honestly think there’s some, and again, I only sort of understand power balance, but there’s some things in there that I saw and thought, “man, this feels like it is really strong in a way that doesn’t make a lot of thematic sense.” And so I’ll be curious to see how that stacks up against what people who understand this better, or are thinking of it. Yeah, and I should say that those three chapters The, the authors were, were very specific, that kind of each chapter is meant to be taken in isolation if you wanted to. So if you wanted to bring everything from guns into your game, but you didn’t want to bring yours or vice versa, that options available to you. And the reason they structured it the way that they did was explicitly to give a game master the ability to structure their game that way. I think it could be worth maybe kind of looking to the past. So Pathfinder first edition, there were guns.
Yes. Yeah. The first edition Pathfinder book Ultimate Combat introduced the gunslinger as a class. Gunslinger had a lot of really cool ideas. I had a panache point system where you, you recharge your abilities by doing stuff that was cool. And that has kind of maintained theme across a few classes in both editions. It also introduced firearms as a serious mechanic. They existed in 3.5 in the dungeon Master’s guide just like they do in fifth edition. But Pathfinder went all in and said no, we’re like we’re just gonna have a class that using guns as their thing. But guns were kind of notoriously very powerful. If you’re familiar with the third edition rules, they made touch attacks instead of regular attacks if you attacked within the first range increment. So like if you’re within 30 feet with a musket or like 15 feet with a pistol, something like that, you just basically had to touch somebody and usually touch AC never got above, like, 15 even if you were really really nimble, so hitting was basically guaranteed. So if you just wanted to do an insane amount of damage all the time you just built using guns. So I will say guns have actually changed a lot between editions. People were justifiably worried that we’d have the same power creep in second edition from firearms and I don’t think that happened. I still kind of need some more time to dig in on the math and figure out exactly how this is going to work. But touch attacks don’t exist in Pathfinder second edition so like that huge advantage for firearms has gone away. So I don’t think firearms are going to be nearly as much of a problem in second edition as they were. They are still very powerful, they can still do a lot of really cool stuff. And I think Paizo actually did a really really good job of differentiating different firearms. Like, first edition you had pistols, muskets, and then later they introduced, like, pillbox guns which are basically just you reload less often because you manually rotate a barrel. But yeah, Second Edition, we’ve got pillbox guns, we’ve got air repeaters, we’ve got hand cannons, we’ve got… there’s a ton of variety. I said this earlier, but there’s a gun that shoots spoons!
There’s also a gun that’s like four barrels on the end of a regular sawd off shotgun. It’s wonderful. Yes. Teh arquebus has like a range of like 150 feet. So you have effectively a sniper rifle as a… Yeah…
Yeah. There, there’s an elven gun called the “mithril tree.” The, the first sentence of the description of… the first sentence of the description is the “mithral tree, neither mithril nor a tree, is an elven firearm.” Let’s see, so the other big change from first edition misfire mechanics have changed a lot. So in first edition, the way that they tried to balance firearms was you had a misfire chance so if you’re old on the tackle, and you’ve rolled I think it was 1 to 4 by default on your d20, your gun misfired which made your gun broken, so you got a penalty to attack and damage if it misfired again, it exploded was permanently destroyed. So, misfire was a huge problem in first edition, so like the first thing you did when you got good at guns was okay, I’ve got to make myself so I can’t misfire, which gunslinger class is like okay, it’s not one to four, it’s one to two and then you take a trait, you take a feat and it’s gone. So it’s very easy to optimize away that drawback. Second edition misfire is something that will generally only happen if you use specific features or actions from a feat. So instead of being like this is just how we’re gonna balance guns, it’s how we’re going to balance specific actions,
And in particular, so, there is also a way that you can hose yourself into having to worry about misfire, even if you don’t use any of these particular things. So they decided to introduce an element of realism, which I always think is fascinating when a role playing game does that. If you use your gun in a day, and you don’t clean it overnight, the next day you can misfire if you roll low is the short answer. And it’s, it’s really interesting that they’re bothering to call out what you’re doing in in the overnight downtime. But, you know, that is something where if you, for instance, it… this was sort of a trope in 3.x because of the way that exhaustion worked, where you could just be like a third level Druid and you never bothered sleeping again, because you would get a lesser restoration back and that cures your tired. And so you just, why would I sleep? So with fifth edition having much less of that, because removing levels of exhaustion costs money now. And with Pathfinder 2e, we… what I have noticed about it is that there is a similar trend away from “we’re going to have these characters who are able to just go and go and go.” I think it’s really interesting that they said no, if you go like a day and you don’t have the time, maybe you’re not able to sleep or not able to have this, this downtime, you’re just gonna be hosed the next day, because that’s how guns work. So I thought that that was a really cool thing.
Yeah, it’d be interesting to me to see how gay masters actually handle that though, because it’s either you give them the long rest, and there’s basically this standing agreement of when I take a long rest before I go to sleep, I always clean my gun. Problem solved. Right? You know, the only other thing could be if you’re denying them the opportunity for a long rest, but at that point, you’re missing a lot of things. And so the, the Gunslinger not having been able to clean their gun is kind of the least of the problems. Vice versa. Like imagine that situation where like it’s been, you know, it’s the 25th hour, goblins are climbing over the wall and coming after him and he’s sitting in the middle of the circle. It’s like, “I gotta clean my gun!”
Yeah. Yes, that’s definitely a thing. The daily preparations are a major mechanic in second edition for a lot of classes. They there are a couple of classes who managed to like sneak around it, like fighters, I think don’t necessarily have to be dependent on daily preparations. But anytime that you prepare spells or materials or anything with a recharge, it’s usually done during that… during a daily preparations period, which is just, like, an hour after you take a long rest, basically. And I do really like that they gave the gunslinger a very specific thing that they had to do. And if you skip that you have a cost.
Yeah, I mean that that does feel super thematic, though like that, of course, is exactly what a gunslinger would do. They’re going to take care of their tools, because their tools take care of them. So one thing that I didn’t get into, and I’m wondering, Tyler, if you did. So one of the biggest differences in my mind, in the action economy between 5e and Pathfinder 2 is this idea that you get to take three actions on your turn, period, one of those can be movement, and you cannot… I think it’s tru, you can’t cut up your motion, right? Like if you move, that counts as movements. And then if you want to do something in the move again, that’s two movements. It’s two actions up to your total movement, right? Okay, good.
So you can use those three actions for basically whatever. The typical movement action is the “stride,” which is you move your speed. You can only interrupt an action with generally free actions or reactions. So like, there are specific things that you might be able to do during movement, but you’re not going to like, I take an action to stride, I walk a little bit, I take two actions to attack and then I use the rest of my stride to move further. It’s like no, you’re you have you you’ve ended your stride to do something else. But if you want to stride attack, and then stride again, that’s something you could do.
And that’s all three of your actions at that point.
Okay, cool. And so kind of setting the stage for folks who maybe weren’t familiar with how actions worked in Pathfinder 2. How how do the actions of loading and firing work for the gunslinger?
So I thought that the way that they handled reloading was really interesting. I again, I’m sort of going on this like, with a half understanding, but I think that it’s really cool that basically they gave every flavor of gunslinger, of which there are four, a different way of reloading. So there’s somebody who uses twin pistols. There’s a sniper, there’s somebody using a sword and a pistol, and then there’s somebody using like, enormous two-handed, you know, explosives or shotguns or that sort of thing. And each of them has a mechanic where basically they get to do something which is always, like, which is normally in action, and then reload for free as part of that. So, like the twin pistols person gets to, like, dance somehow, I didn’t quite understand what that was.
You twirl your pistols, and then you reload both has one action, then you have an action to fire both is one action. It’s… it’s pretty cool I like it a lot.
So take, take just the…. it’s a pistol dancer, right?
Pistolero. Okay. So ,mtaking taking that character they could reload the weapon if it was discharged last turn, they could fire, and then they actually still have the action to move if they want to, or to reload to prep for next stop.
Yeah, so depending on… depending on which feat you use, like I think their primary attack option is like “dual shot.” I’m forgetting the name, but you It takes two actions, you fire both pistols. So it may actually be difficult to fire, move, and reload if you want to fire both pistols but you could just fire one, move, reload like that. Balancing your needs with the action economy is super important to combat in Pathfinder and the Gunslinger does get better ways to reload their weapons than your average character, but you still have to juggle that action economy a lot
Ieah, but I do I feel like that sounds nicer. I… I’ve played as a low level spell caster where I’m actually using more crossbow bolts than I am spells because, right, that’s what I have available to me. And yeah, the… Go ahead.
No it just funny that you mentioned crossbows. The Gunslinger also does call out that even if your game master has decided, no, I don’t want guns in my gun game. You can still use the gunslinger class with crossbows a lot of the features actually call that out, which I thought was a really nice way to say you know, even if someone is still horribly traumatized by 3.x guns, no, you can still use this class you can still have fun with it. It’s just going to be slightly different and more twang than boom. No, I mean that that sounds great, though, but yeah, exactly the idea that like I could reload and I could fire one of my crossbows off and then have a choice of moving alternative to, right, having to take two actions to reload my crossbow. That sounds absolutely amazing.
Awesome. So that… is that is that guns two? Is there anything else we want to say about guns?
One super quick thing. So if you’re familiar with the iconic characters in first edition, you may be familiar with the iconic gunslinger. I cannot remember her name, but tri-corner hat, two pistols. She has been replaced by a new iconic gunslinger who I’m actually very fond of. She is a Dwarven woman with a shotgun. She is a… a widow, she’s a mom, and she’s going adventuring in retirement. And for some reason, all of those things make me very, very happy. There’s also art in the book of her using her shotgun to perform a rocket jump. Which it… you got to see it. It’s so good. It’s so good.
Nice. As a character concept. That’s fine. It’s like Well, yeah, I’m ready to take it easy from being a widowed mother. Going to go adventuring with my shotgun.
so before we before we had too much out of guns: so one of the things that I was talking about earlier, a thing which seems mechanically very strong. So some of the dedication feats in the guns section, there’s… there’s a tree that’s about, like, well, there’s two that seemed really kind of unnecessarily strong. One is like, I am meant to be a person watching over the battlefield. And so I’m like crazy good at perception, which perception in Pathfinder two is not only perception, which is always good, but it’s also initiative. A lot of the time? Question mark? So sure, but so that that whole dedication tree seemed really good. And then there was another one, where basically it leaned into the sniper archetype. And you trained a party member as your spotter. And you could do some really interesting things with it. And the immediate abuse case that I saw is if you have two people, both being sniper gunslingers using each other as their spotter, some of the mechanics in fact seem almost intended for that. There was a like, I, I didn’t really understand the the full, like, how this would play out, but that that you should look into because that seems like it would be something that would be a very quick abuse case.
Yeah, the RP opportunity for the sniping duo seems like a lot of fun. Like if you if you had another player who you were interested in doing that with, and that’s how you wanted to play it. That does really seem like it’d be a lot of fun.
Yeah. That… might need a handbook for that. Someday, but yeah, when I when I get caught up on on the other classes.
Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. Yeah. So guns, to in my mind was really cool. Being somebody who’s permanently played 5e, I I’ll be honest, I was barely aware that 5e actually had options for guns. And it’s certainly nothing nowhere near this. And so if this is something that fits in your game, well, I think it could be a lot of fun.
I agree. Fifth edition, kind of like… guns are in the dungeon Master’s guide because they have to be, I guess? And then we finally got a feat that made guns broadly available in Tasha’s because there are some settings where guns canonically exist. Ravenloft, Spelljammer, probably a couple others, but most people play D&D, like, in a setting with no firearms. But Pathfinder, there are very much firearms in setting.
Okay, awesome. Alright, so I think it makes sense. Let’s go ahead and go to the gears chapter. Yeah, what did folks what folks think of the gears chapter?
There is, again, a lot here. I have my physical copy sitting in front of me. It arrived literally today and I’m very excited about it. The gears equipment chapter, the first… the first piece of art is the iconic alchemist with some kind of robotic spider legs suspended from the side of a building throwing bombs at intellect devourers, while the iconic Monk looks on helplessly from below. Just, there’s some just crazy wacky nonsense in here. There are… there are boots called blast boots that are literally firework strapped shoes that you use to jump grade to sits it’s like, if, if “this sounds dangerous” was a character concept, it would be this section of the book. It’s so good. It’s so much fun.
The character ever said here hold my beer.
Well, and who better to say here hold my beer then the, the Inventor. So yeah, I sort of touched on this earlier. This is basically their response to an Artificer. And one thing that’s interesting, so… so they, as I understand, as far as I could understand, there’s no spellcasting to this character. It functions a lot more like, like an alchemist, where it’s, it’s more just like, do things that are far beyond the pale of a regular person, but there’s no actual magic employed here. But some interesting things, they always get armor. Now you can tech harder into the armor. You know, if that’s your shtick, but like everyone gets it, as opposed to their just being an armorer subclass, like I am an enormous fan of fifth edition. But one of the other things that really struck me is that they can sort of do anything. I mean, they can be pretty tanky and if you want to tech into the armor, they can be a pet class, and a really damn good one if you take into the automaton. They can be a really competent fighter with an enormous number of choice points, oh my god. Like you can… i don’t, i don’t really understand like what a level zero or level one weapon, but it feels like you can sort of take any weapon that you want and then just like, okay, and here’s six bells and whistles that make this uniquely mine and amazing.
Yeah, so to quickly touch on how items work because that is super important to the inventor. So in Pathfinder, weapons and armor have runes on them and you’ve got an enhancement rune, you have a, like, a power rune basically, and then your property runes.
So rol zoar ess?
Something like that, yeah. Thank you Diablo Yes. So if you’re familiar with 3.x like you have your plus whatever, that’s your enhancement bonus. in Pathfinder second edition that’s that’s like your power rune basically. For weapons in second edition there’s a striking rune which multiplies the damage dice from your weapon. So like, there are three steps you go one die, two dice, three dice, four dice. So damage gets nuts. And then property ruins or stuff like flaming, returning, holy, all those… the fun fancy properties, that aren’t just math. And the Artificer… er, the Inventor, excuse me. The inventor says, Okay, what if my weapon was even more complicated? What if my armor was even more complicated, and gets a bunch of additional decision points on top of that? So like, if, if you play fifth edition and look at the Artificer and say “this is the right level of complexity for me,” consider Pathfinder second edition because like, the typical character in Pathfinder, Second Edition is as complicated as as an Artificer in fifth edition. If you look at the Artificer in fifth edition, or a typical character in Pathfinder say there aren’t enough decision points here and there’s not enough micromanagement, the Inventor is going to be really fun for you because they’re… there’s so many buttons to push and knobs to turn and things to fiddle with. And you get all the items and all the bells and whistles and then you can strap it all into your super cool invention and then you can blow it up! And that makes me very happy. There’s literally, like, one of the base features of your invention is you’re the only person who can make it work because it’s cobbled together with like duct tape and glue, and you can just at some point be like “eh, overload it and turn it into a bomb and it does a d6 damage per character level.”
It is a ton of damage. It is so good.
So also… sorry, just fun thing that I did manage to parse out of this. If you do go as a pet class, you can have your pet be the thing that detonates. It doesn’t just have to be the thing you’re holding. So you know, just run your pet around the corner. Nuke.
You’ve been really good to me, what I need you to do is go over there.
See? What’s even better: the explosion somehow doesn’t kill it.
Yeah. It overloads it, which prevents you from using certain features. Like, it’s hair’s messed up, but it still works.
Can it… can it still move? Like, alright, you know, after you blow them up, please come back to me.
Yeah, it totally can!
Okay, I need to dive deeper in this. So I don’t get as much time to hop into gears. But yeah, from what you’re describing, to hop into a different nerdom. Right? It sounds like Rocket Raccoon from from the MCU?
Yeah, I would play that in a heartbeat, ’cause that sounds great!
So I think we skipped over it, but we there is also a new race buried in here called the Automaton. If you’re coming from fifth edition, it’ll feel very similar to the warforged. The art takes a very different spin. Random I were saying earlier, if you’re familiar with the Mass Effect franchise, they look like Geth, which is a little… a little jarring in a fantasy setting. But the mechanics look pretty solid.
Yeah, that was actually the… So, in a very similar feel to how the Artificer can kind of do anything except maybe heal because it doesn’t really have spells in this in this game. But the automaton really feels like you can, by default, do kind of anything with it. I mean, if you want it to fly, it can fly. If you want it to get swole it can get swole. In a way that like a lot of other races, as I’ve read them, you know, they, apart from humans, because humans are also how all the half-things happen. And so you get a lot of weirdness there. Automaton is really a single race that feels like, Ah, well, yes, this is the amount of variety you would get with a race that was literally built. So that was really interesting to see, just like, know they can kind of do whatever you want them to, and they’re going to be pretty good at it.
So I guess what is the limitation of that at like character creation. You know, can I… can I fly and be a submarine?
Probably not at first level. If you’re coming from fifth edition races work very differently. In second edition, you get feats from your race every few levels. So your race matters a lot more beyond first level. Like, in fifth edition, like you get a race at first level and unless your race has some like central mechanic that you’re building around that you’re using all the time, your stats just kind of fall to the background compared to your class. Pathfinder second edition, your race really is a super important part of your build for your entire career. There are some ways to, like, tweak the options that you get from your race, like there’s the Adopted Ancestry feat. Like, you could be a you could be an automaton who was adopted by goblins and pick goblin feats. Whichm what a character! Yeah, so your race really matters, and it can really define the mechanics of your character. And there’s cool stuff like… sorry this is super stupid aside but I just… there’s a new thing in here called “ablative armor” which is basically disposable armor plates that you strap on to give yourself temporary hip points. And as a goblin you can take a feed called Junk Tinker which lets you craft items out of garbage to make them cheaper. So you can use Junk Tinker and ablative armor to give yourself temporary hit points by tying garbage to your body So, I’m sorry, but this this ablative armor interesting and maybe this is me not understanding the economy in this edition very much, but it feels really odd there’s a… so there’s in, in both the the guns and the gears section there’s a lot of items. I mean like a lot of items. And you know, some of them feel very cool, very thematic, and then in this gear stuff there was a lot of just, like, why does this exist? A lot of this one-use armor like this ablative armor or… a lot of this that like, like Tyler talked about, like, you can attach wings to daggers and then, like, it… so and you think Oh cool! This means like I can, you know, throw a dagger at somebody and it’s going to home in on them! Great. Okay, so you can, you can have one that hones in on somebody, or you can have one that flies back to you, and if you you think “Ah great, I have the one that flies back to me so that I can reuse the same three daggers” or whatever to throw them The problem is you have to wind them. They’re literally clockwork, and it takes an action to rewind them. So, like, I feel like they made a lot of stuff that is just bad. Maybe I don’t understand it enough? But like, what? There’s definitely… sorry, go ahead, Randall.
No, so real quick, I want to push back on the… the, er, I want to agree with how awesome the idea… okay, so I’m a goblin I’m looking across the campfire and somebody is eating beans out of a can. And I’m like “hey buddy are you doing with that been can” and they say “yes.” I take it. I flatten it. I strap it across my chest, and I smile That’s fantastic roleplay! Like that’s… Yeah, that’s what I want right and even you know the the flying spoon. I’m sorry, it’s a dagger. It’s not a spoon. Or is it a spoon dagger? But yeah, you’re right that like the dagger flies over there. It flies back. And then I’m sitting there winding. Like, I feel like that’s great storytelling because I’m hiding behind a pillar just like counting. One, two, three. And the other thing I’ll say is like with that three action action economy, it’s an interesting choice because early in a fight I might make the decision to not rewind and to get an extra attack in with the recognition that if this fight goes much longer, I’m going to be in a bad spot because I’m going to be sitting here winding my daggers for a whole turn. Or vice versa, you know, if you’re… you might be spending more money to get more daggers so you spend less time winding. I think it could equally be like an interesting decision point that you’re negotiating with your DM of like okay, I don’t want to spend my money on this but seems like I got to
Yeah, there are some cases like that where things… like, things offer options that you might not use every turn and the, uh, the knife wing things, I’m forgetting their names, are really great example. So you might… you definitely probably aren’t going to wind those every turn and throw them. Like, the, the homing option lets you get around cover so it’s more likely that you’ll have that oh there’s somebody has cover I’m going to wind this real quick and then throw it immediately. Cases like that, or you might just walk into every fight with them pre-wound. I think… I think one thing that Paizo dropped the ball on with that is the idea of switching weapons. So, much like Pathfinder first edition and 3.five before it, you generally have one weapon. Like you have one really, really good weapon that you’ve put all of your gold into. If you’re two-weapon fighting, you have two weapons that are a little less good, but no one’s going to be like “oh yeah, I’ve got like 10 really good guns in case any of them misfire.” Like there’s a feat for the gunslinger that lets you… as a reaction, your gun misfires, as a reaction you stow it and draw different gun. No one is gonna have enough guns to make that work like you can’t afford it! There’s not enough gold in the world/
Well I think you did say that it was rare that a gun would it’s more rare in in Pathfinder second edition for gun to misfire, right?
You either have to not Sleep correctly or you have to intentionally use something that has a chance. Like there’s there is one feat in particular that I read that was like you’re gonna do a crazy powerful shot. It’s literally load an extra charge of black powder. If you hit it does a boatload of damage, but if you miss at all it is a misfire. So unless you’re using something very powerful like that, misfires aren’t really going to happen
Well and I do feel like, how would you actually handle that? Maybe you would carry two guns with you total you would take the risks until you get burn,t and once you get burnt you would basically avoid anything that might lead to a misfire on your second weapon, right?
Yeah, that… that sounds reasonable, but the scale on how powerful weapons become… like ,oka,y so… so quick touch on striking runes. So there’s three tiers of striking. It’s like minor, major, greater, if I remember correctly. And I’m drawing a blank on this one, so sorry fans at home, so your… your weapon will do a die of damage. Like, it’s always one die there’s no 2d6 greatswords in Pathfinder. So a pistol does a d6. So a the first rune of striking makes that 2d6. The second one makes it 3d6. The fourth makes it 4d6 and, you know, it’s it’s doubled on a critical hit, so like you want that extra damage die because that adds up real fast. So, so, let’s say I have a greater striking pistol that’s doing 3d6 damage and my backup weapon is a +2 lesser striking pistol. So, like, I’m losing plus one to hit. I’m losing an entire d6 of damage, and I’m probably losing any property runess that I had on my big gun. So, like, going to your backup weapon is crippling. So, very much, misfire… misfire was recoverable in first edition. It is death in second edition. So like, if you misfire, first thing you got to do is fix that misfire because you are useless until you get that fixed.
And then how many actions does it typically take to fix a misfire?
I should know that answer off the top of my head, and I don’t, and I feel bad about that. I’m pretty sure it’s not huge. Like you have to spend a couple of actions fixing your gun. So, like, you can do it in the like within the span of combat so you’re not just like “okay, my gun misfired, I’m done, I’m gonna go take a nap.” But it’s still time that you’re not spending fighting which is a big cost to your team. So…
So it’s always a risk/reward anytime you have a chance to misfire.
And so it generally seems like you’d be, you know, you’ll miss something on the order of a round of combat where you’re not productive
If I remember correctly, yeah, I need to double check. I haven’t memorized that rule yet.
Well, no one will hold us… actually, you should tweet at us at RPGBOTDOTNET. Tell Tyler what is wrong
Thank you internet
Yeah. Hashtag #whyTylerwhy
Couple other fun things in the gears section. So siege engines a thing and there’s like a lot of rules for them. I mean I… it’s kind of amusing. So, comparing this to fifth edition with which I’m much more familiar, it’s kind of amusing how many backgrounds give you things like land vehicle piloting in fifth edition that I have had come up literally once and it’s… and yet it’s very common. Which, sure. And yet here we are in in PF2 with a bunch of actual cool vehicles, including a literal Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s in there. I don’t know, like, why they felt that necessary, but it’s super cool. And then also, like, what if we just put a… a you know, kind of flying Wizard Time Machine orb? Which is neat, but yeah, in terms of more regular siege engines. I mean there’s, you know, you’ve got your here’s a battering ram here’s a, a three-tier tower with, like, you got your people driving it on the bottom, you’ve got your commander on top, you’ve got places for… for, you know, soldiers stowed away, and some really robust rules for it, which I was pleasantly surprised about. Because it, you know, it’s interesting that these games while being in a very medieval setting where siege warfare was, like, literally the meta, have so few rules to play into it. Because you know, if if you want to be in this fantasy setting, that maybe is something that you want to participate in. And, you know, I’ve only ever even seen one adventure path that even really delved into like large scale army fighting, which was In 3.5, red….
Red Hand of Doom.
Thank you. Yeah. Which, you know, like, had a really cool system of tracking points of like, Okay, well, clearly you are not an army, but you are four very important people. And so like, if you do this thing, it adds points to your tracker. And then at various points along the timeline, of which there was a literal timeline that like, players, you know, we’re being measured against, if you have points, you do this thing and this thing. So seeing actual siege rules for people who want to have that in their game. I am very pleased about that. And I think that they’re going to have a lot of fun picking up the stuff and looking at it.
We should do an episode on war.
Yeah, just executing a war in tabletop gaming?
Yeah, well, it’s hard, so we should do it.
There you go.
Okay, you heard it. Awesome. So did… I guess one of the things that was interesting within gears is the idea that we, we now have like Artificer-style equipment that can be available to everybody.
Yeah, yeah, that’s sort of what I was talking about, like the like the clockwork stuff that you can put on your, on your weapons and that sort of thing. It and it’s interesting, because again, a lot of it seems very single-use and therefore they made it cost money, like single-use things, which, that’s the part that sort of feels really weird to me, it’s like… I don’t… it feels very weird to both introduce a class that does this, and then also introduce a way to pay money to mimic a class. So… and I don’t know how that would play out in an actual game.
I mean, is it, is it basically an opportunity cost? Like as, as a real thing, right? So you could take these feats and if you take these feats, you get these benefits. If you don’t want to take these feats, but you want the benefits, you have to pay money for them.
Yeah, that’s about right. The Alchemist is probably the, I mean, it’s the most accessible answer because it’s in the core rulebook for second edition. So you can buy any item that the Alchemist uses. You can buy any bomb, you can buy any mutagen, you can buy any elixir, and they come with a gold cost, but the alchemist gets to, lik, I have these disposable reagents that… that I produce each day by some means and can use to craft incredibly powerful and incredibly expensive items for free. They only last a day. But like I get all these like level 20 bombs for free and I’m gonna go throw them on people. So there’s a lot of that. There are a lot of character options in second edition that really embrace crafting as a character concept. Snares, bombs, elixirs, mutagens, traps, disposable weapons, all these kinds of stuff. So if you want to build a character be a crafter like there’s a ton of options, and guns and gears introduces a ton of new options. Like, it took a while to get more snares, and snares were, like, a big thing in the core rulebook. Like, Rangers are really good at snares. And then we got kobolds in the Advanced Players Guide, and kobolds are really, really good at snares. So like, if you want to like snares, kobold ranger. And then guns and gears has a bunch of new snares in it to expand on that. So, like, every time we get new items, those item-based classes get new options just like a spellcaster would if we add ednew spells. Now one thing… one thing that’s pretty easy to overlook if you’re unfamiliar with Pathfinder second edition: the tagging system. Basically every thing has tags on it, which gives you some meta information about it. A ton of the stuff in guns and gears has the “uncommon” tag. So your common items are like your long sword, your full plate, your longbow. Like, that stuff that you can find anywhere in the setting. Stuff that’s uncommom is available with… with your GM’s permission. Like, if it makes sense that your character has seen these things. Like, oh yes, my my dwarf fighter is from a clan of dwarfs that famously uses firearms ,so my character has access to firearms because I grew up around them. Whereas like oh, I’m a goblin who lives in a deep dark cave. I’ve never heard… I’ve never even heard the sound of black powder. Can I have a gun please? And your GM will rightfully say, like, “where would you get one?” So rare items are… are rare both in the sense like they’re very hard to find, but also I haven’t seen a lot of them. So, like I have the siege weapons open in front of me right now and I’ve seen like three things in here that are rare like the heli– hello– hellopolis? Someone help me.
Maybe? Hello Paul? The… the death coil, which is a… a bed of Tesla coils used as spikes in a pit as far as I can tell. So like there there’s some stuff in here that’s rare so like you’re not going to run into this stuff a whole lot. You’re not going to find this at like your, your adventurers’ farmers’ market.
So let me ask, to be clear, so like in 5e I’m used to the idea of thinking of like common, uncommon, rare, as essentially what level would you expect a character to encounter this. What I feel like I’m hearing you say though, is slightly different in the sense that I’m coming also might mean there just aren’t very many examples of this in the world. Is it still a statement of, also and you probably aren’t going to achieve or acquire this until you hit some level?
Well, it’s really going to be… so one of the cool things about Pathfinder is because there is basically just the one setting, there’s different regions where it’s going to make more sense. And in fact one of the cool things if you do choose to use the… the last chapter the like settings chapter, is it has a neat map of, like, How did blackpowder like go from trade routes to along places? How did clockwork tech go from trade routes along places and so you’d like like, starts out Salaam goes here goes here goes here goes here. And so I mean, cool that they thought of that and that gathered here section and that’s that I think more than like level, like you say cuz, you know, you think in fifth edition, all right? Yes, I’m a super powerful Wizard. If I can’t teleport to a friend who has robes of the archmage, I’m doing it wrong, right? Where in Pathfinder, it really can be like, Okay, if you want this thing, you’re gonna have to go to the people who make it and even the, the, like some of the automaton like things call that out like you’re, you’re this… you’re this race that was made by this one people in this one area. Or like that there’s a there’s a set of tech that’s like you know, spoilers there’s like a starship crashed in one section of Golarion. And so there’s like, you are getting this tech from this place where the starship is crashed. So you know, if you’re from there, it makes sense. Or if you like, as a character, you know, in the narrative, go visit there. Maybe that’s how you’re gonna find these things that, like, maybe they’re rare across the world, because you can only find them here. And so that’s,,, that’s a lot more the way I see the Pathfinder item system.
Yeah, that’s about right.
Yeah, that the the starship crashing in my fantasy world definitely felt bonkers when I was first reading it.
I should introduce you to some very old AD&D modules. But that’s a very different episode.
Nice. All right. Yeah, I like the book, I’m going to be honest, I think I need more time with it to really digest everything that’s available to it. But I definitely think it’s something that the next time we pick up a Pathfinder 2 campaign we should totally bring us in.
Awesome. Random? In or out?
Cautiously optimistic. And in. You know, again, it… it, it does sort of seem like maybe there’s some power creep going on. And so I am curious how that’s gonna stack up against other things with, again, my very limited knowledge of Pathfinder. You know, it does sort of seem like, Automaton is really good at a lot of things. It does sort of seem like, Inventor is really good at a lot of things. And so you’re maybe running into the problem that Tasha’s introduced, were like, why do I play anything from before this? So it’ll be interesting to see like it… how, you know, if that maybe starts becoming too over-represented, but with that said, I definitely think I would err on the side of, let’s use it. Let’s play with it. And let’s see how that falls out.
Yeah, it feels like we’re gonna have to do some research. So everybody kind of buckle down. All right. Well, thanks, everybody, for joining us tonight for this RPGBOT dot book review of using guns. I really enjoyed our time together. If you look in the show notes, you’ll find affiliate links for a lot of the content that we’ve discussed, including Guns and Gears. And yeah, we look forward to seeing you next time. Is it Gears and Guns, or Guns and Gears.
Its Guns and Gears.
What… What did I say? Both ways? That way?
Alright, 50/50. That’s all we can hope for.