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Shootist - a magus alternate class for Pathfinder 
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Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:23 pm
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Post Shootist - a magus alternate class for Pathfinder
As per Deepshadow of the FOS's suggestion, I'm moving this alternate class build for the Pathfinder Magus class, I just created for a home game (and possibly an adventure entry for the upcoming Rite Publishing's Adventure Quarterly magazine which he is starting this year.)

This for a Gothic Old West setting and possible series of adventures for Ghost Posse, a kind of X-Files 1880 themed setting. (It's probably a lot like Deadlands, but I don't care for their canon and setting, as mine is not the US per se, rather a complete analog - with my own setting tweaks.)

So Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly - for the PEACH market...

Shootist (magus alternate class)
The shootist blends mystical arcane powers and masterful prowess with a weapon much like his kin the magus, however the shootist uses a firearm as his chosen weapon and a deck of cards as his spellbook. While he can use all simple and martial weapons, including firearms, pistols or revolvers, revolvers are his preferred weapon.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.
Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp)
Class skills
The shootist’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The following are class features of the shootist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A shootist is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and all firearms. A shootist is also proficient with light armor. He can cast magus spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a shootist wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass shootist still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

A shootist casts arcane spells drawn from the magus spell list. A shootist must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time.

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the shootist must have an Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a shootist’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the shootists’s Charisma modifier.

A shootist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given for the standard magus class. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

A shootist may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spell deck. While studying, the magus decides which spells to prepare.

Cantrips: A magus can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted with Magus under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

Spell Decks: Instead of a spellbook, a shootist uses a spell deck that resembles an ornate playing card deck with cryptic symbols and formula hidden in the numbers, icons and border on each card's face.

A shootist must study his spell deck each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spell deck except for read magic, which all shootists can prepare from memory. A shootist begins play with a spell deck containing all 0-level magus spells plus three 1st-level magus spells of his choice. The shootist also selects a number of additional 1st-level magus spells equal to his Charisma modifier to add to his spell deck. At each new shootist level, he gains two new magus spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new shootist level) for his spell deck. At any time, a shootist can also add spells found in other spellbooks to his own.

A shootist can learn spells from a wizard’s spellbook, just as a wizard can from a shootist’s spell deck. The spells learned must be on the magus spell list, as normal. An alchemist can learn formulae from a shootist’s spell deck, if the spells are also on the alchemist spell list. A shootist cannot learn spells from an alchemist.
Arcane Pool (Su) – At 1st level, the shootist gains a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. At 1st level this arcane pool has a number of points equal to ½ his shootist level plus his Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

The pool refreshes once per day when the shootist prepares his spells. A shootist can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 18th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves. A shootist can also expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to gain deadeye or quick clear abilities (see below)

At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: brilliant, flaming, flaming burst, frost, ghost touch, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, or speed.

Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the magus uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the shootist.

A shootist can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.

Deadeye (Su): At 1st level, the shootist can resolve an attack against touch AC instead of normal AC when firing beyond her firearm’s first range increment. Performing this costs 1 arcane point per range increment beyond the first. The shootist still takes the –2 penalty on attack rolls for each range increment beyond the first when she performs this action.

Quick Clear (Su): At 1st level, as a standard action, the shootist can remove the broken condition from a single firearm she is currently wielding, as long as that condition was gained by a firearm misfire. The shootist must have at least 1 arcane point to perform this action. Alternatively, if the shootist spends 1 arcane point to perform this action, she can perform quick clear as a move-equivalent action instead of a standard action.

Spell Combat (Ex) – At 1st level, a shootist learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the shootist must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Charisma bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A shootist can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.

Magus Arcana
As he gains levels, a shootist learns arcane secrets tailored to his specific way of blending martial puissance and magical skill. Starting at 3rd level, a shootist gains one magus arcana. He gains an additional magus arcana for every three levels of shootist attained after 3rd level. Unless specifically noted in a magus arcana’s description, a shootist cannot select a particular magus arcana more than once. Magus arcana that affect spells can only be used to modify spells from the magus spell list unless otherwise noted.

Ranged Spellstrike (Su) – at 2nd level a shootist can use ranged spellstrike to cast a single target touch attack range spell and deliver it through any gun attack. Even if the spell normally has multiple targets, only a single missile, ray or effect accompanies the attack. At 11th level whenever a shootist using a multiple target spell with this ability may deliver one ray or line of effect with each attack when using a full round action, up to the maximum allowed by the spell (in the case of ray effects). Any effects used in the round the spell is cast are lost. This replaces spellstrike.

Quickfire (Ex) – At 4th level a shootist gains the ability to draw and fire his firearm as a standard action. This ability replaces spell recall.

Bonus Feats – At 5th level, and every six levels thereafter, a shootist gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.

Dual Pistols (Ex) – At 7th level, the shootist learns how to use his magical abilities to effectively blend two one-handed firearms fighting and casting spells. When holding two one-handed firearms in separate hands, the shootist may spend a shootist pool point as a swift action to count one of his hands (shootist's choice) as free for the purposes of casting spells and delivering touch attacks. The shootist may also use this hand to cast spells for the spell combat class ability (but then cannot fire the firearm the hand is holding as a part of spell combat). This ability lasts for a number of rounds equal to the shootist's Charisma modifier. This ability replaces the medium armor ability..

Knowledge Pool (Su) – At 7th level, when a shootist prepares his magus spells, he can decide to expend 1 or more points from his arcane pool, up to his Charisma bonus. For each point he expends, he can treat any one spell from the magus spell list as if it were in his spell deck and can prepare that spell as normal that day. If he does not cast spells prepared in this way before the next time he prepares spells, he loses those spells. He can also cast spells added in this way using his spell recall ability, but only until he prepares spells again.

Improved Spell Combat (Su) – At 8th level, the shootist’s ability to cast spells and make range attacks improves. When using the spell combat ability, the shootist receives a +2 circumstance bonus on concentration checks, in addition to any bonus granted by taking an additional penalty on the attack roll.

Fighter Training (Ex) – Starting at 10th level, a shootist counts 1/2 his total magus level as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If he has levels in fighter, these levels stack.

Swerve Bullet (Su) – At 11th level, the shootist gains the ability to alter the trajectory of bullet fired at him by sheer force of will, working as deflect arrow feat, but with magic instead of your hand. This ability replaces improved spell recall.

Lightening Reload (Ex) – At 13th level, as long as the shootist has at least 1 arcane point left in his pool, he can reload a single barrel or chamber of a one-handed or two-handed firearm as a swift action once per round. If he has the rapid reload feat or is using an alchemical cartridge (or both), he can reload a single barrel or chamber as a free action. Further more using this ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. This ability replaces heavy armor.

Greater Spell Combat (Su) – Starting at 14th level, a shootist gains the ability to seamlessly cast spells and make ranged attacks. Whenever he uses the spell combat ability, his concentration check bonus equals double the amount of the attack penalty taken..

Counterstrike (Ex) – At 16th level, whenever an enemy within reach of the shootist successfully casts a spell defensively, that enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from the shootist after the spell is complete. This attack of opportunity cannot disrupt the spell.

Greater Spell Access (Su) – at 19th level, a shootist gains access to an expanded spell list. He learns and places 14 spells from the Bard spell list into his spell deck as magus spells of their bard level. He gains two of each of the spells from the Bard list, not on the magus spell list: 0 level, 1st level, 2nd level, 3rd level, 4th level, 5th level and 6th level.

He can ignore the somatic components of these spells, casting them without normal chance of failure.

True Shootist (Su) – At 20th level, the shootist becomes a master of spells and combat. Whenever he uses his spell combat ability, he does not need to make a concentration check to cast the spell defensively. Whenever the shootist uses spell combat and his spell targets the same creature as his melee attacks, he can choose to either increase the DC to resist the spell by +2, grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on any checks made to overcome spell resistance, or grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on all attack rolls made against the target during his turn.

Suggested Magus Arcana
Arcane Accuracy, Bane Blade, Close Range, Critical Strike, and Ghost Blade. Note: Bane Blade and Ghost Blade can be applied to firearms for the shootist.


Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:49 pm
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
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Post Re: Shootist - a magus alternate class for Pathfinder
Wow, I must say this looks like an awesome class concept! I like the synthesis of the magus' arcane pool and the gunslinger's grit pool. It looks balanced from where I sit--I added it to the peach market, and may have more feedback if someone IMC chooses to play one of these.

"Who ever took a sword to fight the ocean?"--Beowulf

Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:52 am
Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:23 pm
Posts: 451
Post Re: Shootist - a magus alternate class for Pathfinder
I'm glad you like it, and I hope someone does try this out. I might include this class in my upcoming Gothic Horror Romance adventure coming in the next few months. I see it in the PEACH thread, so I'm glad it's linked there.

I have a few other custom designed classes, though they are mostly for Kaidan, thus more Japanese in feel than typical classes (and Ravenloft classes), but I can post a few anyways. I am still building some. I have class designs and archetypes for ranger samurai (yojimbo), tattooist wizard, blind bard (moso), a shinobi monk (monk with more stealth and extended specialized ki powers list), I have one for kensei (tengu sword saint magus), also a very cool tengu cavalier on a dire boar class (but then that's getting weird...)

Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:03 pm
Evil Genius
Evil Genius
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Post Re: Shootist - a magus alternate class for Pathfinder
I know I'm a bit late, but this is really cool! I don't have enough experience with the Magus and gunslinger yet to comment on balance, but it looks pretty fair. I especially like the spell deck idea.

"We're realistic heroes. We're not here to save the world, just nudge the world into a better place."

Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:36 am
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Evil Genius
Evil Genius

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:23 pm
Posts: 451
Post Re: Shootist - a magus alternate class for Pathfinder
Gonzoron of the FoS wrote:
I know I'm a bit late, but this is really cool! I don't have enough experience with the Magus and gunslinger yet to comment on balance, but it looks pretty fair. I especially like the spell deck idea.

Thanks, Gonzo (I didn't notice your post until today...) I think the concept of a gunslinger spellcaster is a cool one, and magus seemed the only class to base it off of, with just enough 'gunslinger' to get it rolling with the 'dead eye' and 'quick clear' (Su) to replace these normally Grit abiliites. And if you're going to riff off a design from an old west concept, a spell deck is much more flavorful and fits the old west concept really well.

I'm glad you like the design!

I see him as a traveling gambler/gunfighter - a kind of Doc Holiday for PF.

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:40 pm
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