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legomaster00156
2011-10-27, 10:06 PM
Hi. I have been GMing a Pathfinder campaign in which guns are exceedingly rare and expensive. There is exactly 1 Gunslinger in the world (the class is banned to PC's), and even most royalty are lucky to simply see a firearm.
I do, however, want to allow my PC's to rise to the ranks of gunsmiths with enough investment in weaponsmithing. I have, therefore, turned Gunsmithing into a long, hard feat tree for the truly devoted. These feats do NOT give proficiency in firearms; merely the ability to create them.
Please critique and let me know if there's any glaring balance issues. :smallbiggrin:

Gunsmithing
You have joined the elite ranks of the Gunsmiths, rare and gifted weaponsmiths who know the secret of creating firearms: the most powerful (and risky) weapons in the world.
Prerequisites: Craft (weapons) 11 ranks
Effect: If you have access to a gunsmithís kit, you can create and restore early firearms, craft bullets, and mix black powder for firearms. Doing so is difficult and expensive. All early firearms cost 2x base price to create. Bullets, pellets, and black powder cost 50% of their base price to create.

Crafting Firearms: You can craft any early firearm for a cost in raw materials equal to 2x the price of the firearm. Crafting a firearm in this way takes 1 day of work for every 1,000 gp of the firearmís price (minimum 1 day).
Crafting Ammunition: You can craft bullets, pellets, and black powder for a cost in raw materials equal to 50% of the price. Crafting bullets or black powder takes 1 day of work for every 1,000 gp of ammunition (minimum 1 day).
Restoring a Broken Firearm: Each day, with an hourís worth of work, you can use this feat to repair a single firearm with the broken condition. You can take time during a rest period to restore a broken firearm with this feat.

Notes: Yes, the first feat takes a long time to reach. This is on purpose. Only the most talented weaponsmiths are capable of creating such weapons as these, which is why it takes an invested level 11 weaponsmith to even be able to consider the feat.
Gunsmithing, Improved
Your knowledge in the field of gunsmithing has risen to the level of the world's most brilliant inventors. You have learned how to craft highly advanced firearms, and make simpler ones with much more ease.
Prerequisites: Gunsmithing, Craft (weapons) 15 ranks
Effect: If you have a gunsmith's kit, you may now create advanced firearms, metal cartridges, and alchemical cartridges (requires Craft (alchemy) 1 rank). Creating advanced firearms costs 2x base price. Cartridges and alchemical cartridges cost 50% base price to create.
In addition, when creating simple firearms, you may create them at their base price. When creating bullets, pellets, and black powder, you pay 20% base price.

Notes: Here is where even advanced gunsmiths usually stop. Advanced firearms are very powerful, and most simply think that there isn't anything more to learn. However, for the truly devoted, there is always room for improvement...
Gunsmithing, Greater
You are, possibly, the world's leading expert on gunsmithing. You have accomplished this feat through countless ages spent inventing, designing, and learning new, quicker ways to create guns.
Prerequisites: Gunsmithing, Improved Gunsmithing, Craft (weapons) 17 ranks
Effect: When creating any firearm, you pay 1/2x base price. When creating any ammunition, you pay 10% base price. In addition, you gain +4 on Craft (weapons) checks when creating firearms or ammunition.

Notes: The character has now invested 17 skill points and 3 feats into the tree, so it was time to give them something good. Technically, everything now costs the normal crafting price, but that's quite incredible in this setting. In addition, I added the bonus to gunsmithing checks as a sweet little bonus.

SamBurke
2011-10-27, 10:18 PM
From a PC's point of view, there's only one question: how much money will it make me?

Is it worth enough to pay such a MASSIVE feat tax?

legomaster00156
2011-10-27, 10:32 PM
That would depend on how devoted they are to the cause of gunsmithing. The last feat is pretty much optional, but it will reduce the prices of ALL firearms to a pittance of their actual cost, while the other feats make it fairly expensive to create. However, because firearms are so rare, they're also highly prized. Someone with even the first feat would easily attract the attention of a noble who wishes for the latest in defensive technology.

jiriku
2011-10-28, 12:37 AM
Ironically, I think the last feat is the least useful of the three. It gives you no new items, and it reduces cost just as PC wealth has begun to grow so explosively that the cost of mundane gear or even minor magic items has become mere pocket change. You need something REALLY BIG for a 17th level feat.

As written, you could probably just rename that feat to "Efficient Gunsmithing" and require only Gunsmithing as a prerequisite.

Prime32
2011-10-28, 04:27 AM
The problem with these rules is... firearms just aren't that good.

I mean, a +1 light crossbow is 2,335gp (plus 2sp per bolt) and works out to 800ft, a nonmagical nonmasterwork pistol is 4,000gp (plus 12gp per bullet) and works out to 100ft. Adding to that, anyone can use a crossbow while the pistol requires two feats to use (despite ease-of-use historically being the greatest advantage of firearms), and the pistol will misfire 10% of the time (despite bows also having maintenance problems, which aren't translated into mechanics). It's actually easier to use wands as a non-spellcaster than guns as a non-gunslinger; possibly cheaper too.
(I'm assuming alchemical cartridges, since otherwise the thing takes too long to load)

EDIT: As for the touch attack thing, why should a pistol have special rules for that when a warhammer pick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_hammer) doesn't?


Someone with even the first feat would easily attract the attention of a noble who wishes for the latest in defensive technology.Er... it requires lv11, so wouldn't it be just as easy to hire an lv11 wizard to cast a dozen wards on the noble and his castle? Especially since no one is proficient in firearms, including the noble.

legomaster00156
2011-10-28, 07:40 AM
Ironically, I think the last feat is the least useful of the three. It gives you no new items, and it reduces cost just as PC wealth has begun to grow so explosively that the cost of mundane gear or even minor magic items has become mere pocket change. You need something REALLY BIG for a 17th level feat.

As written, you could probably just rename that feat to "Efficient Gunsmithing" and require only Gunsmithing as a prerequisite.

Hmmm... I will need to give this some thought, but you raise a good point.


The problem with these rules is... firearms just aren't that good.

I actually agree on this point, but you know how PC's feel the need to grab every single piece of rare equipment in the world? This is such a case. There is actually one PC in this campaign specifically building himself as a blacksmith/mad scientist type (with winebrewing as a hobby). And, yes, he wants to throw civilization into a golden age of firearms.


Er... it requires lv11, so wouldn't it be just as easy to hire an lv11 wizard to cast a dozen wards on the noble and his castle? Especially since no one is proficient in firearms, including the noble.

Maybe, but the entire world has problems each of their own, and any mid to high-level wizards are probably helping out with an undead infestation, slaying Purple Worms, or hiding away in their towers for their entire lives (actually, only one does that, but he's an Archmage... living in a tower in a completely different dimension).
So, basically, it actually easier to just pay a feat for "Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Firearms" and a buttload of gold than it is to coax a wizard/sorcerer/whatever to spend a week casting wards around your castle.

Prime32
2011-10-28, 02:52 PM
I actually agree on this point, but you know how PC's feel the need to grab every single piece of rare equipment in the world? This is such a case. There is actually one PC in this campaign specifically building himself as a blacksmith/mad scientist type (with winebrewing as a hobby). And, yes, he wants to throw civilization into a golden age of firearms.I would suggest treating all firearms as simple weapons in that case, to make this plausible.

legomaster00156
2011-10-30, 04:24 PM
I would suggest treating all firearms as simple weapons in that case, to make this plausible.

Getting firearms into common hands will NOT be an overnight job, and I think the player realizes this. After the current party ascends to level 20 and has their final quest, I intend to skip ahead 1-3 centuries to play the next party, and let them see how their actions have changed the world.

Hazzardevil
2011-10-30, 05:09 PM
Getting firearms into common hands will NOT be an overnight job, and I think the player realizes this. After the current party ascends to level 20 and has their final quest, I intend to skip ahead 1-3 centuries to play the next party, and let them see how their actions have changed the world.

But anyone can pick up a gun and shoot someone with it to a reasnable degree of accuracy compared to someone who has practised. A level 1 commoner and a level 5 warrior, in mechanics will only have roughly a +4 difference or so presuming they have the same stats otherwise.
Also, adding exotic weapon proficiency, really doesn't make guns attractive to PC's unless they build around them. (You can make a pretty good Ninja build in pathfinder based around guns, but it is extremely niche in that the build could use just about any other weapon and do better.)

magwaaf
2011-11-01, 12:45 PM
my only issue with this is that as you level, you are doing such low damage compared to the other party members unless you take specific feats that its not worth paying all that in your world.