Gunmage, level 10

I think I have ranted enough about Gunmages.

I have for you today the Gunmage through level 10.
This rounds out the Heroic tier.

I haven’t yet had a chance to play test beyond level 5,
so there may be some rough edges remaining.
There have been a few minor tweaks to the previously published content and I added another level 5 daily power.

Next on the docket will be prestige classes.
If you have any requests or suggestions, don’t hold back!

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7 Responses to Gunmage, level 10

  1. This is a little long, so I apologize. Also, so there are no misunderstandings, I want you to know that my critique comes from a place of respect. All of this is just my opinion; I’ve never created my own class, so from the start I’m very impressed. I think the class has a lot of flavour and would be fun to play – but also keep in mind I didn’t playtest it. I approached the class as if I were editing it, and these are my notes – I hope the feedback is helpful.
    General Impression: class traits, armour, weapons, implements, and skills all seem fair and balanced. Magelock weapon, training and arcane sights offer a unique mechanic for a striker that I think would be really fun to play and reflect the idea of a magical gunslinger well. Looking through the powers it looks like gunmage would be a striker/controller mix, gravitating to one or the other depending on the weapon chosen. In any case it’s very refreshing to see a striker with a game mechanic that is more than just ‘put your mark on an enemy and do extra damage’. I really like the manipulation of criticals – it’s a great way to simulate the dangerous nature of firearms without having to give them a game-breakingly high damage rating.
    Level 1 at-will: close quarter shot (Dex + Con seems like a lot, maybe just Con?); elemental shot (good, but getting to choose the element is maybe a little too good); electrostatic, frostbite and quicksilver shot are all excellent
    Level 1 encounter: all of these are cool, pretty well- balanced powers.
    Level 1 daily: corrosive and frost bullets (this might add a too much bookkeeping, but I like the idea); I prefer the sonic bayonet stance (since its limited to only 1 use/round and you’re giving up your opportunity attack); diving shot is perfect (evocative move, well balanced, the kind of thing you’d expect in a daily); fair exchange (it might just be me, but I don’t really like daily attack powers that trigger off-turn).
    Level 2 utility: cover fire (great power, the wording is a little off, I understand what you mean but the way the power is worded there is no ‘triggering enemy’); dragoon courage (I love this power, its balanced, plus encourages charging across the field); duellist’s swagger (good utility power for skill challenges – and how can you not love the quote); fresh target (good); smoke bomb (excellent, fun and balanced – nice to see an at-will power in there); sonic sights (very useful, though I might make it a minor action instead of a standard action, otherwise it won’t get used that much – it is a daily after all).
    Level 3 encounter: silenced shot (I like the idea of this but it needs to be reworked since there is no ‘silenced’ condition and I don’t know how that would affect stealth checks); homing volley (this power is neat, but without an attack roll I think it’s overpowered – especially with the dual-pistols); ice beam (good power, when I first read the gun mage I was definitely a shotgun guy, but the rifle powers are starting to intrigue me); roaring furnace shot (great power, one nitpick – the part about your arcane sights target should be put under the heading ‘special:’); muzzle tapping shot (great image and power).
    Level 5 daily: arcane missile (love the dragonball z type of imagery with this one – the damage seems a little high, maybe 3w instead?); arcing voltage shot (awesome power, but the wording needs to be cleaned up a bit, what’s ‘tagged’? What kind of action does it take to sustain?); blast assisted flight (dude, this is the single craziest, most awesome power I’ve ever read, the only thing I’d change would be to make the number of squares a static amount, say 5, plus the number of creatures hit); elemental burst shot (I like this power, the choosing of the elements works better as a higher level daily power, I think it would be more balanced if you had to choose 3 different elemental types so you can’t just stack it with one); arcane bomb (good power – sacrifices implement bonus for area effect plus powerful kicker, but I’m not 100% convinced of the 3/day special – doesn’t that make this better suited to be an encounter power?); wind-fall anchor shot (creative and new way to impede a foe, I like it, the miss should just be half damage and slowed for 1 round though, I think the other effect is too powerful for a miss).
    OK, that’s all I have time for today, I’ll come back later and go through the rest of the powers, as well as the feats. Again I hope this is helpful, and I hope my comments don’t seem like I’m taking a crap on your hard work. You’ve got something great here.

    • 4649matt says:

      Thanks for all the Feedback!

    • 4649matt says:

      I appreciate the effort you have taken to give me thorough feedback. I am of the constructive criticism school, so any feedback is a positive. Thoughtfully considered constructive feedback is even more appreciated.
      I plan on reviewing the powers you have mentioned when I have a further chance to play-test, in the meantime I can at least give you my thoughts on those powers.

      At-Wills:
      Close Quarter Shot is an odd beast in that it has two attack rolls and two attack types. I used a power Monk power that similarly broke an attack in half as a template and separated the ability mod damage from the dice of damage. The first part of the attack targets Fort but has no Damage roll (so most damage bonuses will not apply and crits are wasted at low levels); the second part of the attack has the damage roll and targets Ref. In earlier play-testing giving only Dex or Con mod damage to the attack felt disappointing to the player, at that point the 2 attack rolls feels like a penalty impeding the chance to get normal damage. I will ponder other possibilities to balance the damage over the two attacks.
      Elemental Shot was lifted almost word for word from the controller / striker class, the Seeker. This cool ability was left languishing in a class that fell by the wayside. Check the PHB p.118 for the power in question. I liked it for the gunmage as it simulated them choosing their ammo intelligently. How would you suggest altering this power?

      Level 1 Dailies
      Valid thoughts, will keep them in mind.
      Level 2 Utilities
      Good catch on Sonic Sights, that was a cut and paste error and should have been a minor action.
      On Cover Fire, I am still uncertain how to word it as to be clear, but not overwrought. The other draft I have reads: “[your ally] gains combat advantage against the enemy you hit this round that your ally shifted away from until the end of your next turn.” This feels potentially more confusing.
      Level 3 Encounters
      I will have to ponder how to address the silenced element in Silenced Shot. The main element is that the enemy couldn’t shout for help or something else, but that is still not a mechanical consideration. Also, Move Silently is no longer part of the equation!
      Homing Volley is the new magic missile as an area power, but it is probably a bit over the top. A previous draft has it at Dex mod damage standard, and Dex+Cha mod for pistols (I’m glad I keep old drafts😉 ). That’s probably more reasonable.
      Roaring Furnace Shot has been updated.

      Level 5 Dailies
      Arcane Missile is intentionally high. Consider the Barbarian’s Rage Strike (PHB2, p.50). With limitations, the attack deals 4[W] + primary ability modifier damage. There are a few other powers out there that equal or exceed this, with limitations. With all of the cool things that can be done at level 5, pure damage is just one option.
      On Blast assisted flight, the maximum possible fly is only 25 squares… Hmmmmmmm. I may have to tune that a bit.
      Arcing Voltage Shot does have a sustain cost listed with a sustain minor. Tagged is shorthand to indicate that it is tagged with the charged shot. It carries no actual effects. Any suggestions on how to word it differently?
      I can see what you are saying with Elemental Burst Shot, but I don’t see it as an issue. Choosing elements isn’t that uncommon, and the potential to stack is the point of the power. Forcing the player to choose three elemental types would actually make the power more complicated and open the power up to potential abuses.
      Regarding Narcolepsy bomb, I am not going to say that 3/day with a daily isn’t wonky. Multiple use dailies are not unprecedented though. The power is a daily level effect (unconscious) so it is grouped with other daily powers regardless of the number of uses. The power is actually the level 1 wizard daily, Sleep, broken up over 3 discreet uses. Bomb powers all have 3 uses by design, so this is something I am looking at.
      Would making the effect on Wind-fall Anchor Shot a (save ends) on a miss be better? The power already loses the Immobilize on a miss. I must confess that I prefer the consistency in being able to eliminate 1 special movement mode from 1 monster 1 time per day. I don’t know that I would take this power otherwise as it is a niche ability.

      From this level onward things are a lot more rough, so your input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Ah, I see what you’re saying about the Seeker class and choosing the elemental damage. I hadn’t noticed that before.

    For cover fire change the target to ‘a creature you hit with an attack power this round’, and the effect as ‘the target grants combat advantage to one of your allies adjacent to it. That ally can shift 3 squares as a free action.’ – I’m not sure if that’s clearer, but that’s what I got.

    Now that I’m looking for them I can see the precedent about multiple use dailies. Keeping that as the standard for bombs is a good idea.

    On windfall shot I think keeping the movement loss but adding save ends would be good.

    For arcing voltage shot I think you could just remove the ‘tagged’ bit and it still works – the effect would be’ make a secondary attack against an enemy within 2 squares of the primary target, or the primary target if no enemies are in range.’

  3. The critique continues…

    Level 6 utility: flash bomb (I really love the flavour of these bomb utility powers, but blinding people seems a lot like an attack power, not a utility); flickering step (good, I like the image of shooting your gun an teleporting where your bullet hit); scan: strengths (I can’t tell you how many times I wish a had a power like this for the avenger that I play – excellent power); sniper flanking (good idea for a power, and balanced for a daily stance, the wording is a little off though, I think you could just leave it as ‘adjacent to an ally’ – as it reads now it seems like the enemy has to be able to attack your ally, which I don’t think is what you mean); tandem targeting (I love powers like this that let you share how cool your class is with another player – instead of using your attack roll though, you might want to reiterate what the arcane sight class feature gives you here and instead say something like: ‘Your ally adds your Int, Con, or Cha modifier to the attack roll and rolls a critical on a 19-20 – this does not stack with other abilities that increase critical range’).

    Level 7 encounter: ride the lightning (I don’t really know what to make of this power, it’s a wall, which doesn’t really fit the class and pushes it too far into controller territory, but it has no sustain, so it really isn’t a wall); heat seeking shard (this power is good, at first I wasn’t sure about the re-roll, but looking at warlock powers of that level, I don’t think it breaks anything); liquid hot-magma blasts (cool power but why 2 targets? For the shotgun it should either be 1 target with 2w damage or close blast 2 with 1w damage); breaching shot (this power should be 2w damage and last until the end of your next turn).

    Level 9 daily: maybe there should be a non-stance power in here?; force bullets, incendiary ammo, and lightning bullets are fine; stand and deliver (gotta love the classic highwayman – very interesting power, and great imagery, as an immediate reaction its limited to 1/round, so it’s not over the top, the target should just read ‘the triggering creature’).

    Level 10 utility: web bomb (I really like the bombs, but again I’m worried that this should be an attack, not a utility); duellist’s cloak (cool, I like the image of twirling your cloak around to evade incoming attacks), scan: weakness (I see why you included this – as the companion the previous scan power – but this doesn’t seem all that much better than scan: strengths, but that could just be my subconscious preference to know what my enemy is immune to); sniper camouflage (nice , very useful power); targeting beacon (very cool, I like this one a lot – shouldn’t it be a daily power though if you can only use it twice?).

    Once again I just want to say how impressed I am by this. Reading through your work I can see that creating your own class is a mammoth undertaking, and you have made something here that actually adds to the game and breaks new ground.

    • 4649matt says:

      Jolly good. Keep it coming good sir!

      Level 6 utilities
      I am with you on flash bomb. The later bomb powers were a bit of a quandary. Defining the line between utility and attack is tricky. I think blinding steps over. I will migrate and revise Flash bomb. In its place I have a similar power from my notes. Keep the illumination and the area (instant light sources are fun!) but declare it a zone. Attacks made against creatures in the zone gain +2 power bonus to hit.
      I also hate wasting fire power on an immune monster! Fortunately, Scan: Strengths just was a good fit for this class.
      Sniper Flanking has the call out about being able to attack similar to the rules for standard flanking so that restrained, dazed, helpless, petrified, etc allies cannot grant you flanking. I should clarify it or simplify it.
      Similarly I can expand and expound on the effect of Tandem Targeting.

      Level 7 Encounter
      I wish I could take credit for the brilliance in using a wall this way, but using a wall in this way allows you to make a snaking area. This way you can snake the attack around enemies and avoid allies, it is precision area effect at it’s finest. Ride the Lightning is almost a direct copy of the Blaster Wizard power Twisting Lightning.
      For Liquid hot-magma blasts, I was trying to mix up the available powers for the shotgun with a multiattack power that wasn’t just another close blast. I had an image in my head similar to this or this, but decided not to make it a triple attack as that might push it over the top.
      Breaching Shot is fine at 1[W] because it is a minor action. It may be worth it to extend the debuff until the end of next turn though, but the idea was a sudden shot setting up a personal nova attack (delightfully selfish).

      Level 9 Dailies
      I had 2 non-stance powers that were cut because they turned into untenable messes. One was a time delay bomb that I want to revisit, but didn’t work as it was written. This would be an excellent spot to move Flash Bomb though.
      Stand and Deliver was based on Spitting-Cobra Stance and benefits from it’s errata changing it from an overwhelming opportunity action to a more reasonable immediate action. I will make the suggested revision to make it easier to read though.

      Level 10 Utilities
      As it is, Web bomb is better as an offensive tool than the defensive utility I envisioned. Instead making a zone where the origin square must be an unoccupied square and creatures that move into or inside the zone {are immobilized (save ends)} or perhaps {make a saving throw: restrained on a failed save uent, slowed on successful save uent} would make it more likely to be defensive area denial. Thoughts?
      Scan: Weakness is the higher of the pair because of the offensive possibility of actually knowing what attacks to use, rather than knowing what not to use. Especially combined with an attack like Elemental Burst shot, this power would yield offensive dividends.
      Yeah Targeting Beacon would be better as a Daily, mirroring the power that inspired it Swordmage’s Decree (although making this just an encounter power, or 3/day daily are also justifiable).

      Thank you again for such a thorough critique.
      It is supremely flattering that you would take the time to look this over and in doing so help me revise this mammoth.

      I have seen a lot of custom classes, powers and content out there in the wilds of the internet, much of it stops midway, and even more of it never sees editing or play-testing. Tinkering behind the curtain reminds me that quality content takes a lot of work, and allows me to appreciate products like 4E and the quality fan content that much more.

      Your input is appreciated.

  4. Pingback: Gunmage, Revision + PP | SURPRISE ROUND 不意打ち!

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