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Zen Marksman

One does not normally picture the quiet tranquility of a monastery working in tandem with the thunderous roar of a firearm. Zen marksmen forgo much of their more spiritually-inclined training in order to master a deadly combination of physical perfection and precision with a firearm.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Zen marksmen are proficient with all firearms in addition to their normal weapon proficiencies.

Flurry of Blows (Ex)

Starting at 1st level, a zen marksman can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action, but only when using a gun (even though it is a ranged weapon), an unarmed strike, or with a pistolwhip attack (by using the pistolwhip deed, see Deeds below). He may not make a flurry of blows with any other weapons. A zen marksman does not apply his Strength bonus on damage rolls made with flurry of blows unless it is with an unarmed strike. When making a flurry of blows with a firearm, the zen marksman can choose to rapidly reload his weapon, reducing the reload time to a free action. For each step he reduces the reload time of the weapon (from full-round to standard action, standard action to move action, and move to free action), the misfire chance of the firearm increases by 1. For example, reloading a pistol is normally a standard action: reducing it to a free action (standard action to move action, then move action to free) is two steps, so the misfire chance of the firearm increases by 2 for any attacks he makes while performing his flurry of blows. The misfire chance returns to normal if he does not perform a flurry of blows or opts to not use this ability during his flurry of blows (instead making remaining attacks with unarmed strikes or pistol whips). A zen marksman’s flurry of blows otherwise functions

as normal for a monk of his level. A zen marksman cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot when making a flurry of blows with his firearm.


At 1st level, a zen marksman gains one of the following firearms of his choice: blunderbuss, musket, or pistol. His starting weapon is battered, and only he knows how to use it properly. All other creatures treat his gun as if it had the broken condition. If the weapon already has the broken condition, it does not work at all for anyone else trying to use it. This starting weapon can only be sold for scrap (it’s worth 4d10 gp when sold). The zen marksman also gains Gunsmithing as a bonus feat.

This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level.

Grit (Ex)

At 1st level, a zen marksman gains an amount of Grit equal to his Wisdom modifier, as the gunslinger ability. He regains grit from dealing critical hits and from landing killing blows with both firearms and unarmed strikes, as opposed to just firearms. He may use these grit points to accomplish deeds (see below).

This ability replaces stunning fist.


At 1st, 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th levels, a zen marksman gains a single gunslinger deed. He must select a deed that he can use at the level he gains the deed. A zen marksman treats his monk levels as gunslinger levels for the purpose of the effects of deeds as well as for meeting the prerequisites for grit feats. If he selects the pistol-whip deed, he may use pistol-whips as part of a flurry of blows in place of any of the attacks made, but he must pay separately for each pistol-whip he uses.

This ability replaces still mind, wholeness of body, diamond body, quivering palm, and empty body.

Bonus Feats

A zen archer’s bonus feats must be taken from the following list:

Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Far Shot, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, and Rapid Shot.

At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list:

Focused Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Mobility, and Parting Shot.

At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list:

Improved Critical, Pinpoint Targeting, Shot on the Run, and Snatch Arrows.

The zen marksman does not need to have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

These feats replace the monk’s normal bonus feats.

Zen Marksmanship (Ex)

At 3rd level, a zen marksman may use his Wisdom modifier instead of his Dexterity modifier on ranged attack rolls when using a gun.

This ability replaces maneuver training.

Ki Pool (Su)

A zen marksman’s ki pool is equal to 1/2 his monk level. He may use ki points interchangeably with grit points, substituting one for the other for performing deeds or ki abilities. Having at least one point in his ki pool allows him to use deeds that require at least one grit point, just as having at least one grit point allows him to make a ki strike.

This ability alters ki pool.

Ki Focus Gun (Su)

At 17th level, as long as he has at least 1 point of ki in his ki pool or has at least one grit point, a zen marksman may treat ammunition fired from his gun as if they were ki focus weapons, allowing him to use his special ki attacks as if his bullets were unarmed attacks. If he has the pistol-whip deed, he may also treat melee attacks made with the pistol-whip deed as if the gun was a ki focus melee weapon.

This ability replaces tongue of the sun and moon.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Path of Iron, © 2015, Ascension Games, LLC; Author Christopher Moore