Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More Abandoned Arts reviews (Gunslinger and Alchemist)

I received the Alchemist and Gunslinger Class Acts and Class Acts: Archetypes this week. Now these are ones I was definitely looking forward to. From glancing over them so far there seems to be some pretty cool stuff in there. The Drifter gunslinger archetype is especially intriguing. So look for the first 1 or 2 of these reviews to be up tonight.

I will cover the two gunslingers supplements first. In the interest of time, The layout and subsequent style hasn't changed in this series as of yet, and the "Gunslinger archetypes" is no different, 4 pages, 2 1/2 pages of crunch after you remove the Cover, OGL and generic archetype description.

Class Acts: Gunslinger  archetypes Four archetypes are presented. The Deadeye, The Drifter, The Grim Outlaw and The Harrier.

The Deadeye
This prestige class has two Abilities, Deadeye's Focus (ex) and Sharpshooter's Senses (ex). Deadeye's Focus gives up access to a couple of defensive deeds, and effectively upgrades the Startling shot deed with an ability that grants extra damage for each range inc. and the ability to cause fear at higher levels while using the Deadeye deed. The nimble ability is replaced by Sharpshooter's senses, which grants perception bonuses. This archetype is nasty at range and would make a worthy NPC to ambush the players, I see it being slightly under powered in regular play.

The Drifter
Gunslinger is a class which instantly evokes the drifter imagery, Clint Elfwood. This archetype makes the gunslinger more versatile, while giving up some powerful deeds. With access to 6+int skill points, and 5 additional skills, this archetype is a nice fit for any skill based gunfighter concept. It gains a +10ft move bonus in light/no armor, and the fleet feat as a bonus, then the wind and lightning stances free at 3rd and 7th levels respectively. This is kind of up my alley for a class, I like skill based classes.

The Grim Outlaw
Another 6+int skill class with 5 additional class skills, this one is perfect for a rogue/gunfighter, with catch off-guard, and dex based damage bonuses with pistol whips and firearm attacks. (I think this should be a pistol class only.) The final ability removes ranged to hit penalties for prone opponents if the gunfighter is within 5feet. This archetype loses access to Gun Training, and several offensive deeds. This is a dex archetype and just begs for 1 to 5 levels of a sneak attack dip.

The Harrier 
This is a mixed bag, I need to think over before I review, I'm not sure if I like it or not just yet. I need to mull it over in my head. OK mulled it over, there are parts I like and parts I'm iffy about. First it starts off strange by granting weapon proficiency with the Net, and Bola. The first ability is very powerful, replacing just the quick clear deed, Suppressive Fire Deed lets the gunslinger inflict a penalty of -2,-4 (7th) or -6 (15th) to their attack rolls, now I think it reads if you damage the opponent with their readied action, not if the Harrier damages the opponent with a readied action, which means it only becomes effective against those using a readied action, but still very powerful. The Harrier's Training replaces Gun Training letting the Harrier use Dex bonus for damage rather than the static bonus, with a high Dex character, its only effective against those with a condition such as blinded, dazed, etc, (there's a large list), but two or three shots with a +5 bonus at  lower levels can be very unbalancing, probably less unbalanced than any 'optimized' melee class with a 2H weapon. Improved targeting modifies the targeting deed, changing the effects, the torso shot with auto crit confirmation being one of the most powerful (especially for a bursting magical firearm.) Distracting shot, is an anti-caster spell forcing a concentration check, bad for those without the skill, but fairly easy for those with good concentration.

Overall this is a good product, no spelling errors jumped out at me and the content is good.

18/20 Critical Threat

Class Acts: Gunslinger
This is one of the regular class acts. Contained within are 18 Grit Feats/Deeds; Feats specifically designed to be used by gunslingers, using grit points.This is a 5 page supplement, weighing in at about 3 pages of actual material. There are some great feats and some flavorful feats which would be a waste of a feat, but are pretty cool to see in print. Two of the feats, work in tandem, The Just Won't Die and With a Vengeance. Of course the fact that Just Won't Die has two other feats in the line, plus Endurance and Die Hard, so qualifying for it requires a LOT of feats. Deafening Shot Deed and Give 'em Hell are a nice pair for screwing up spellcasters, between deafening them and creating a cacophony to distract their casting. Anyway, here's the full list of feats (minus requirements....):

Aim True
Take aim as a full-round action in order to add your Wisdom modifier to damage rolls against a single foe.

Biting Retort
Demoralize opponents that attempt to demoralize you or your allies with an immediate-action retort.

Deafening Shot Deed
Spend a grit point to deafen nearby creatures with a cacophonous firearm attack.

Give ‘em Hell
Turn the battlefield into a distracting environment with your fire, hindering spellcasting and Perception checks.

Grin and Bear It
Convert some lethal damage into nonlethal damage when an opponent confirms a critical threat against you.

  Last Man Standing
Subtract grit points from damage that you would receive, as though your grit points were temporary hit points.

   Just Won’t Die
grit class feature or Amateur Gunslinger, Diehard, Endurance,
You refuse to die easily, and can continue to act for long moments after you should have dropped dead from injury.

Halting Shot Deed
Halt an opponent’s movement and force it to provoke attacks of opportunity with a well-placed readied action.

Into the Sunset
Creatures whose attitudes you improve with a Diplomacy or Intimidate check remember your influence longer.

Lightning Draw Deed
You can draw and holster firearms at lightning speed.

Ride Tall
Your gunslinger class levels stack with levels in other classes when determining the capabilities of your mount.

Shootist’s Stance
Give up your Dex and nimble bonuses to AC to gain a bonus on attack and damage rolls with firearms.

Shrouded Shot
Conceal a drawn weapon with a cloak, coat, or poncho.

Smooth Moves
As long as you move slowly, your swaggering confidence grants you a bonus to (and against) Intimidate checks.

Think Twice
Gain a threat bonus when performing a readied action firearm attack against an opponent that you warn.

  Think Again
Warn an opponent a second time in order to double the threat bonuses granted by your Think Twice feat.

Gain a Sleight of Hand bonus, and spend a grit point to gain a +10 bonus on certain troublemaking skill checks.

With a Vengeance
Recover grit points when an opponent puts you down.

Another Solid supplement in the setting, So far I haven't seen many missteps by Abandoned Arts.
18/20 Critical Threat

Comback tomorrow for this review. And keep watching for the Alchemist reviews.