5/14/2015

The Gunslinger (A Swords and Wizardry/Old School Class)

So the players in my Swords and Wizardry campaign just got their hands on a gun. Plus, the game is FLAILSNAILS friendly, so I know it's only a matter of time before someone's Pathfinder gunslinger wants to come party. So I reckon it's time for me to make a gunslinger class. Fighters could be used, but come on, the Western genre is so much fun.

I tried making a gunslinger class before, but nothing really worked until I read Rolang's Creeping Doom's take on the Illusionist as a LotFP specialist and I was like, hey, that could work.
(Act like this...

Prime Attribute: Dexterity 13+
Hit Dice: 1d8 per level
Armor: Leather, no shields
Weapons: Any
Saving Throw: As thief
Experience: As fighter
Attacks: As cleric

Tricks: A gunslinger's main schtick is tricks. Tricks work like LotFP's specialist's skills--they work on a d6 roll, and the gunslinger has a chance to increase the odds of a trick as they level.

At first level, the gunslinger has two points to assign to tricks. These points can either be put into the same trick, giving it a 2-in-6 chance of success, or two separate tricks, each with a 1-in-6 chance. Every level after the first, the gunslinger gets an additional two points to spread among old or new tricks. If a six is rolled when using a trick, it backfires--either the gun malfunctions or the opposite of the intended action occurs. If a trick has six points in it and a six is rolled, roll another d6--it only fails if the second one comes up a six.

There's no set list of tricks--the player makes them up as they level. Anything a good ol' Western-style gunman can do can become a trick:
  • Disarming an opponent with a well-placed shot
  • Creating a cloud of smoke for cover
  • Rigging some extra gunpowder into a bomb
  • Firing shots to spook animals or mobs (forcing a morale check)
  • Reflexively drawing when suprised 
If the DM is cool with it, tricks could be non-combat things as well: falling safely from high distances, cheating at games of chance, or knocking out opponents with beer bottles and stools. The only stipulation is that tricks can't directly cause damage in combat--that's what attacking is for--they apply penalties or create opportunities. So if one of the gunslinger's tricks is a shooting opponents in the leg, it'll half the opponent's movement speed instead of doing HP damage.  

Example: Sam is a first level gunslinger. I put her first two points into separate tricks: spooking animals and raising a posse. Each now succeed with a roll of a 1 on a d6. Sam gets jumped by some bugbear banditos. The first round she tries to spook their horses into running off. I roll a three, so the attempt is unsuccessful. Bummer. They smack Sam around with their clubs. Next round, she tries to spook them again. I roll a one--it's a success! The horses check morale, fail, then flee, taking the bugbears with them.

Later that day, Sam tries to use her other trick to gather a posse to hunt down the bugbears. I roll a six. Uh-oh, that's a backfire. The posse thinks Sam is a little too eager to hunt down the bugbears--maybe she's the one who's been stealing all the cattle! Now Sam's the one getting chased out of town!

...while looking like this.)

  
Guns
Here's my quick rule for using guns in a retroclone campaign. Guns work like heavy crossbows--same damage, same rate of fire. But, they're like, super deadly. Their damage dice is exploding, so if the max number is rolled, roll it again and total them. If a one is rolled on an attack the gun misfires--either dealing damage to the attacker or causing them to lose a round as they're covering in a smoke cloud choking (50% of either). They should be expensive, but not overly so--maybe double or triple the cost of a heavy crossbow.
 
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