Shotgun Specialist

January 3rd, 2017

Alex Riggs

Best in Class Archive

It’s a whole new year and a whole new Best in Class. If you haven’t already, check out our announcement about our new article lineup here. For Best in Class specifically, this year you can look forward to several archetypes for classes by other 3PPs, and the return of the Paizo classes we passed over last year, such as today’s archetype, the shotgun specialist, for gunslingers who want to specialize in scatter weapons.


New Gunslinger Archetype
Shotgun Specialist

Not afraid to get their hands a little dirty, nor ones to shy away from a mess, shotgun specialists prefer to use firearms with the scattering shot ability, unleashing deadly blasts of shrapnel and debris directly into the faces of their enemies. Able to make the most of such weapons, increasing their range and damage, and capable of performing several trick shots with them, shotgun specialists are masters of this specialized type of firearm.

Deeds: The shotgun specialist gains the following deeds.

Close Quarters Shooter (Ex): At 1st level, a shotgun specialist is able to make ranged attacks with a firearm without provoking attacks of opportunity for doing so.

This ability replaces the quick clear deed.

Expanded Blast (Ex): At 1st level, a shotgun specialist can unleash a particularly powerful blast from a firearm with the scatter quality, increasing the size of the cone it creates. Doing so costs 1 grit point, and increases the range of the cone by 5 feet. At 6th level, and every five levels thereafter, this ability increases the size of the cone by 5 additional feet.

This ability replaces the deadeye deed.

Trick Shot (Ex): At 3rd level, if the shotgun specialist has at least 1 grit point, she can perform all of the following trick shots. Each trick shot can be applied to any single scattering shot attack with a firearm, but the shotgun specialist must declare the trick shot she is using before firing the shot. In the case of the junk shot, she must declare she is using the trick shot when she loads the firearm.

  • Junk Shot: A shotgun specialist can load pebbles, debris, or similar objects into her firearm as ammunition for a scattering shot, rather than normal ammunition. This imposes an additional –2 penalty on all attack rolls made as part of the scattering shot, and also increases the misfire range for the attack by 5.
  • Metal Rain: By firing into the air at a slight angle, the shotgun specialist can cause a rain of metal debris to fall in a 5-foot-radius area anywhere within 30 feet, filling the area as though with caltrops. 
  • Shoot Through Walls: When making a scattering shot with a firearm with the scatter quality, shrapnel and projectiles from the blast penetrate barriers, even if they fail to completely destroy them. A target in the blast area that would normally have total cover from the shotgun specialist’s attack only has improved cover, instead, although any damage dealt to that target is halved. If the cover is provided by an object with a hardness of 20 or greater, this ability has no effect.


This ability replaces the utility shot deed.

Powerful Blast (Ex): At 7th level, as a full-round action, by spending 1 grit point, a shotgun specialist can fire a particularly deadly blast from a firearm with the scatter quality, increasing her damage for each creature hit by the attack by an amount equal to her gunslinger level.

This ability replaces the dead shot deed.

Surgical Shot (Ex): By 7th level, a shotgun specialist is particularly adept at manipulating her scattering shots, allowing her to avoid hitting certain creatures or objects within the blast. Whenever she makes a scattering shot attack with a firearm, she can choose a number of creatures equal to her Dexterity modifier within the area of the attack, and those creatures are unaffected by the scattering shot.

This ability replaces the targeting deed.

Nothing Left (Ex): At 19th level, a shotgun specialist can focus all the energy of a scattering shot against an opponent at point-blank range in order to completely tear the victim to shreds. As a standard action, a shotgun specialist can expend 2 grit points and make an attack with a firearm with the scatter weapon quality against an adjacent creature. The attack uses the same type of ammunition required for a scattering shot, but it affects only the target, due to the nature of the attack. If the attack hits, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC = 10 + 1/2 the shotgun specialist’s gunslinger level + the shotgun specialist’s Dexterity modifier) or suffer an additional 2d6 points of damage per gunslinger level the shotgun specialist possesses. Even on a successful save, the attack still deals an additional 5d6 points of damage. A creature that dies as a result of this attack is reduced to only a fine, bloody mist, as the spell disintegrate.

This ability replaces the stunning shot deed.