Bulletwriter Gunslinger Archetype

Many see the receiving end of a bullet as a very impersonal form of murder: to bulletwriters, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Gifted with a talent for psychic magic but led by circumstance to take up the way of the firearm, bulletwriters are artisans who imbue a unique memory, sensation, or concept into every piece of ammunition they load, and these sentiments make their bullets perform the impossible. A memory of a starlit night might make bullets veer, the searing glow of a campfire may make them burn with a perpetual flame, a fervent wish for peace could have the bullet knock a weapon from an opponent’s hand – the only constant is that every shot has a story behind it.

Table 2-1: Archetype Maneuver Progression
Level Maneuvers Maximum Maneuver Level Known
Known Readied Stances
1st 3 3 1 1
2nd 4 3 1 1
3rd 5 3 1 1
4th 6 4 2 2
5th 6 4 2 2
6th 6 4 2 2
7th 7 4 3 3
8th 7 4 3 3
9th 8 4 3 4
10th 8 5 3 4
11th 9 5 4 5
12th 9 5 4 5
13th 10 5 5 6
14th 11 5 5 6
15th 11 6 5 6
16th 12 6 5 6
17th 13 6 5 6
18th 14 6 5 6
19th 14 6 5 6
20th 15 7 5 6

Maneuvers

A bulletwriter begins his career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers.

The disciplines available to him are Sagitta Stellaris, Solar Wind, and Tempest Gale.

Once the bulletwriter knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by bulletwriter is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in it or its discipline’s description. A bulletwriter’s maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and he does not provoke attacks of opportunity when he initiates one.

The bulletwriter learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as indicated on Table 2 – 1: Archetype Maneuver Progression. The maximum level of maneuvers gained through bulletwriter levels is limited by those listed in that table as well, although this restriction does not apply to maneuvers added to his maneuvers known through other methods, such as prestige classes or the Advanced Study feat. A bulletwriter must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it. See the Systems and Use chapter in Path of War for more details on how maneuvers are used.

Upon reaching initiator level 4th, and at every even numbered initiator level thereafter (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), the bulletwriter can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. In effect, he loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. He can choose a new maneuver of any level he likes, as long as he observes the restriction on the highest – level maneuvers he knows; the bulletwriter need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level.

He can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.

A bulletwriter’s initiation modifier is Wisdom, and each bulletwriter level is counted as a full initiator level.

Maneuvers Readied: A bulletwriter can ready all three of his maneuvers known at 1st level, and as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he is able to ready more, but must still choose which maneuvers to ready. A bulletwriter must always ready his maximum number of maneuvers readied. He readies his maneuvers by meditating on or experimenting with new bullet ideas for ten minutes. The maneuvers he chooses remain readied until he decides to practice again and change them. The bulletwriter does not need to sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready his maneuvers; any time he spends ten minutes practicing, he can change his readied maneuvers.

A bulletwriter begins an encounter with all his readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he might have already used them since he chose them. When he initiates a maneuver, he expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless he recovers them, as described below).

In order for the bulletwriter to recover maneuvers, he must use his spontaneous bullet class feature (see below).

Alternatively, the bulletwriter may immerse himself in a single thought without needing to channel it, allowing him to recover a single maneuver as a standard action.

Stances Known: A bulletwriter begins his career with knowledge of one stance from any discipline open to bulletwriter. At 4th, 7th, 11th, and 13th levels, he can select an additional stance to learn. The maximum level of stances gained through bulletwriter levels is limited by those listed in Table 2 – 1: Archetype Maneuver Progression. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended and the bulletwriter does not have to ready them. All the stances he knows are available to him at all times, and he can change the stance he is currently maintaining as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance or discipline description.

Unlike with maneuvers, a bulletwriter cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one he already knows.

This ability replaces the bonus combat feats gained at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th levels.

Occult Awareness: At 1st level, a bulletwriter gains Psychic Sensitivity as a bonus feat.

Bulletwriting (Su)

As part of readying maneuvers for ten minutes, a bulletwriter can condense memories, sensations or sentiments into phantasmal firearm rounds. This creates twenty semi-real pieces of ammunition that function as mundane steel ammunition appropriate for a firearm of his choice, except the bulletwriter reduces the time required to reload a firearm with them by one step (a full-round action becomes a standard action, a standard action becomes a move action, and a move action becomes a free action). After this ammunition is used for an attack, it vanishes. Otherwise, the ammunition lasts for 24 hours.

If any creature other than the bulletwriter tries to attack with this ammunition, the attack fails and the ammunition used vanishes. If the firearm loaded with this ammunition has magical properties, these properties are bestowed upon the ammunition as normal.

Deadliner Bullets The Advanced Study feat can allow an initiator to learn a maneuver that is not limited in level by Table 2 – 1: Archetype Maneuver Progression. Typically, this means that the deadliner bullet can contain a strike maneuver of a level one higher than the highest level maneuver the bulletwriter knows from gunslinger class levels, or even higher starting from 15th level.

Spontaneous Bullet (Su)

The bulletwriter is never at shortage of new experiences to channel, and focusing his adrenaline lets him materialize more ammunition on the spur of the moment, perfectly tailored to the situation. As a standard action, the bulletwriter creates a single piece of ammunition as if by his bulletwriting feature, or chooses an existing piece of held firearm ammunition, and it then gains one of the following weapon properties: cruel, corrosive, dry load, flaming, frost, limning, merciful, or shock.

This ammunition loses the granted property after being used in an attack, if more special ammunition is created by this ability before the first is used, or at the end of the bulletwriter’s next turn. After using this ability, the bulletwriter recovers a number of expended maneuvers equal to his bulletwriter initiation modifier (minimum 2).

The bulletwriter must be holding an appropriate firearm, which is immediately loaded with this special ammunition – if he lacks one, he recovers maneuvers as normal but does not create or enhance any ammunition.

The list of properties the bulletwriter can choose from increases with his level in this class:

The bulletwriter may spend one point of grit to reduce the time taken to use this ability from a standard action to a move action. Starting from 12th level, the bulletwriter may also spend an additional point of grit to have the chosen weapon property instead apply to the ammunition of every firearm attack he makes until the end of his next turn.

Invitation (Su)

Connections and risks both fuel inspiration. By creating a brief, unguarded psychic link with a nearby enemy, the bulletwriter receives a flash of vague ideas and memories from them to fuel his art – though enemies can also take advantage of the vulnerability this link creates.

Starting from 2nd level, once per round as a move action in combat, the bulletwriter may choose a hostile creature within 60 ft. that he can see and issue them a psychic invitation. The creature cannot have fewer hit dice than half the bulletwriter’s character level, must be able to move, and must have a melee threatened area.

That creature may then immediately move up to half their speed closer to the bulletwriter as a free action outside of their turn, and gains a + 4 bonus to their AC against attacks of opportunity during that movement. Whether or not the creature chooses to move, the bulletwriter restores 1 grit point by sending this invitation.

Starting at 6th level, the bulletwriter can use this ability as a swift action at even greater risk: the invitation is sent to all applicable creatures in range, and the bulletwriter cannot choose which creature accepts, though no more than one creature can do so. The responding creature can then move up to its full speed and does not provoke any attacks of opportunity during that movement, and if it threatens the bulletwriter at the end of that movement, it may make an attack of opportunity against him. At least one applicable creature must be in range of the invitation for the bulletwriter to restore grit.

This ability replaces nimble.

This One’s From the Heart (Su)

A bulletwriter knows there are countless different sentiments to draw on, and the only limit is his own skill: with preparation, devotion, and an especially powerful sentiment, he can keep pushing his limits.

Starting from 5th level, once per day, the bulletwriter can spend one hour of work to create a single unique deadliner bullet. This ammunition is created either as if by his bulletwriting feature, or by imbuing an existing piece of firearm ammunition with extra power (despite the name, it can be any type of firearm ammunition, not just a bullet).

When he does so, he chooses any strike maneuver he could learn as a bulletwriter maneuver with the Advanced Study feat: the maneuver must either be able to be used with ranged attacks, or create an area of effect without requiring an attack roll. The deadliner bullet stores this maneuver for 24 hours, or until the bulletwriter makes a new deadliner bullet.

The deadliner bullet must be loaded into a firearm normally, and the action of firing it is treated as a single use of that maneuver as if the bulletwriter had that maneuver known and readied (the action required to fire the bullet is the same as the action needed to initiate the maneuver). If the maneuver allows multiple ranged attacks to be made, all ammunition comes from the deadliner bullet making magical copies of itself for that purpose. A deadliner bullet may not be used simultaneously with any other strike maneuver. After being used once, regardless of the maneuver’s success, the deadliner bullet loses the stored maneuver. Deadliner bullets function as mundane bullets for anyone except the bulletwriter, and possessing a deadliner bullet does not count as knowing the maneuver for any other purpose (such as meeting prerequisites, gaining class skills, or gaining bonus power points from the Sleeping Goddess discipline).

At 10th level and every five levels after, the bulletwriter can create an additional deadliner bullet as part of the same hour of work, and carry an additional active deadliner bullet at once. These bullets can each contain a different maneuver.

Deeds

A bulletwriter gains a modified list of deeds. This does not cause the bulletwriter archetype to be incompatible with other archetypes that modify the deeds list, as long as the bulletwriter still has the appropriate deeds to trade out.

Wandering Impulse (Su)

At 3rd level, the bulletwriter can spend 1 point of grit when making an attack to infuse it with feelings of wanderlust, spontaneity, or claustrophobia. If the attack hits, the target is forced to move 10 feet in any direction it can, without provoking attacks of opportunity, but cannot be moved into an inherently dangerous area.

This replaces pistol-whip.

Blackpowder Medicine (Su)

At 7th level, as a swift action the bulletwriter can spend 1 point of grit to infuse his ammunition with vigor, defiance, or belief, and fire it at an ally, making an attack against their AC as normal. If the bulletwriter fires at himself, it automatically hits. If the attack hits, it deals no damage, and the hit ally may make a new saving throw against an ongoing effect that allows for multiple saving throws over time to negate, or an effect that has a duration measured in rounds. A successful saving throw ends or reduces this ongoing effect as if they had passed the original saving throw. If the bulletwriter spends an additional point of grit, he may take this action even if a condition would otherwise prevent him from being able to as long as he could still take purely mental actions, and the affected ally gains a morale bonus to the saving throw equal to the bulletwriter’s initiation modifier.

This replaces dead shot.

Heaven’s Lore (Su)

At 11th level, the bulletwriter can fill their bullets with intricate knowledge and intense convictions that forcibly fill the target’s mind when they hit. Once per round when making a ranged firearm attack against a creature, the bulletwriter can spend 2 points of grit to activate this ability: if the attack hits, the target must make a Will with save DC of 10 + one-half the bulletwriter’s level + the bulletwriter’s initiation modifier against one of the following effects:

  • The target gains a better understanding of the bulletwriter’s beliefs or history, and improves their attitude towards him by two steps.
  • The target believes a statement of information of up to 25 words, as if the bulletwriter made a successful bluff and/or diplomacy check to convince them. They realise that these aren’t their own thoughts after twenty-four hours, or when faced with clear evidence they’re wrong. This cannot change a target’s fundamental beliefs.
  • The target’s sense of self and identity is violently overwritten for 1 round, during which they perform any non-suicidal actions that the bulletwriter wishes. This is a compulsion effect.

All modes of this ability are a Mind-Affecting effect. A target that fails their save forgets that they were shot by the triggering attack, but becomes immune to further uses from the same bulletwriter for the next 24 hours. If the bulletwriter chooses, they can have the attack deal no damage to the target.

This replaces Bleeding Wound.

The World in a Bullet (Su)

The culmination of a bulletwriter’s artistic development lets them create entire worlds that exist within the ammunition they craft. At 19th level, by spending 4 points of grit and four hours of work with a piece of non-magical non-alchemical non-scatter firearm ammunition, the bulletwriter can create a demiplane inside it, as if by the create greater demiplaneUM spell, or add features to an existing plane. This demiplane cannot have the Portal feature, cannot have its area expanded by further castings of the spell or uses of this ability, and cannot be made permanent with Permanency. It exists within its own extradimensional space rather than the Astral or Ethereal plane. The ammunition becomes magical, and can no longer be damaged by mundane means, including by being used in a ranged attack. Any creature touching the ammunition can use a standard action to enter the demiplane: creatures that willingly enter the demiplane may use an action to leave it at any time, appearing in the closest unoccupied space to the ammunition. If the bulletwriter uses this ammunition in a ranged firearm attack, a creature hit by it must make a will saving throw with DC of 10 + one-half the bulletwriter’s level + the bulletwriter’s initiation modifier or be forcibly shunted into the demiplane within, and if successfully sent inside, other creatures cannot be forced to enter the bullet’s demiplane until one minute has passed.

If the bulletwriter creates another demiplane this way, or if the ammunition is destroyed or permanently enchanted, the existing demiplane ends and ejects all foreign contents into the ammunition’s surroundings. As long as they are on the same plane, the bulletwriter can cause the demiplane ammunition to teleport into one of their free hands as a standard action.

Optional Deeds: In addition to the above modifications to the gunslinger deed list, a bulletwriter may choose to individually trade out further deeds for alternate options. If a particular gunslinger deed is not replaced by an optional deed, it may be traded out by a different archetype as normal.

Traditional Unorthodox Design (Su)

The bulletwriter has taken inspiration from alchemical cartridges, and figured out how to replicate their effects with emotions. At 3rd level, by spending 2 points of grit when using his bulletwriting feature, the bulletwriter can instead create ten pieces of ammunition that mimic the properties of an alchemical cartridge of his choice, instead of mundane steel. The reduction in reload time from the bulletwriting feature does not stack with the time reduction from alchemical cartridges, but if ammunition created this way would call for a saving throw, the save DC instead becomes 10 + half the bulletwriter’s level + the bulletwriter’s initiation modifier.

Otherwise, this ammunition behaves in all ways as normal for the bulletwriting feature. This deed can be taken in place of gunslinger initiative.

The Origin Trail (Su)

At 7th level, the bulletwriter can spend 1 point of grit when making an eligible attack to apply the benefits of the Stellar Trailblazer feat to it, as if he possessed the feat. He does not need to meet the prerequisites of the feat or obey the feat’s recovery restriction to use this deed again. He may also use this deed without making a strike as long as he does not use a strike maneuver that round, applying the [Trail] benefits to a normal ranged attack which can be part of a full attack. If so, treat the resulting trail as if it was associated with a maneuver of level equal to half the bulletwriter’s initiator level, rounded up (maximum 9).

If the bulletwriter already has the Stellar Trailblazer feat on learning this deed, he may immediately exchange the feat for another feat he would have qualified for at the time. This deed can be taken in place of Startling Shot.

Heavy Rain (Ex)

At 7th level, the Bulletwriter gains Heavy Rain as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

In addition, he gains an additional maneuver known, which must be a 1st level strike with the [Rain] descriptor from one of his Bulletwriter disciplines. If he already knows such a maneuver, he may instead learn any 1st-level maneuver available to him from his disciplines. This deed can be taken in place of Targeting.

Primal Spirit (Su)

At 11th level, once per turn as part of making a ranged attack the bulletwriter can spend 3 points of grit to infuse the projectile with powerful, instinctive emotions, which causes it to emanate a fierce animal-shaped field of psychic energy around it as it flies. The ammunition’s path is controlled as if drawing a [Trail] strike with length equal to the attack’s first range increment, except it doesn’t leave any path (If used with a [Trail] strike, use the strike’s trail length and create the trail’s path as normal). Unlike a normal Trail, this path does not require line of sight or line of effect from the bulletwriter to its spaces, and can even attack targets that have total cover from the bulletwriter if approaching from a direction where that cover would not apply, and the target does not gain any concealment from cover negated this way.

After drawing this path, the bulletwriter picks a number of creatures up to their initiation modifier (minimum 3) that are in or adjacent to any of its spaces. These creatures must make a Will save with DC of 10 + one-half the bulletwriter’s level + the bulletwriter’s initiation modifier or become staggered for 1 round or fall prone (the bulletwriter’s choice) from the animal aura savagely tearing past them. The bulletwriter cannot use this deed with a different attack after already making a [Trail] attack that turn. This deed can be taken in place of Expert Loading.

Boltwriters and other styles

If the bulletwriter archetype is combined with another gunslinger archetype changes the weapon that the class focuses on to a different ranged weapon (such as the Bolt Ace with crossbows), all bulletwriter features that specify firearms, firearm attacks or firearm ammunition can additionally work with whichever type of weapon becomes the new focus of the class.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Legendary Classses: Sagitta Stellaris © 2022, Legendary Games; Authors Z. Wong

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