The Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Degree of Familiarity: Not much at all.
Books Required: Spellslinger and a 3.5 PHB or equivalent.
Like Mechamorphosis, Spellslinger is one of Fantasy Flight's mini-settings using the v3.5 D20 system. Sixty pages, with all the new stuff anyone needs to run the game. In many ways, this is the spirit of what Wizards wanted the whole open gaming thing to become, rather than what it did become. But that swiftly becomes a discussion on re-bottling genies and the worthlessness of unconveyed intentions.
So what is Spellslinger? Well, it's a fantasy western. As in, the Standard-Issue D&D Fantasy World (issue#3.5, requisition from stores as needed) where magic died off, gunpowder started to actually affect the world, and this whole new land cropped up to be the Wild West analogue. Standard-Issue races with a few tweaks, guns get deadly quick (they're RTAs, thus ignore armor), the presence of steam locomotives—no magic, remember?
In this new land, some people have Brands, physical marks that carry magical power when exposed. These range from the Magi, who channel good old-fashioned flashy magic through one milky-white eye to the anti-magical Blackhands (go ahead, guess what their mark is) who can dip bullets in their own blood to slay Magi. Padres are Cleric-analogues with a heavy coating of Western preacher-man, Pale Riders combine ghostly mount-summoning and a death-touch, Skinwalkers can shape-shift into all manner of forms, and Steelhearts can shape metal with their bare hands. And that's it for magic.
Interestingly, a Brand must be a character's first-level class choice. The three main classes (Gunfighter, Maverick, and Trailblazer) have additional features available for those who take a normal class instead of a brand, and those tend to be fairly powerful: the Trailblazer, for example, takes the best of two rolls whenever she gains a hit die, and always has enough warning to act during surprise rounds even if her player fails the Senses roll.
One last note before I dive in headlong: Spellslinger characters are all supposed to be 3rd level. I'll take care of that when selecting a class.
1 Ability Scores
You should know where I'm going by now. 4d6 drop lowest nets me 9 10 11 11 11 and 13. Oh, for fuck's sakes.
Racial weapon proficiencies become racial firearm proficiencies. Sexy. I'm tempted to stick with human, but there's something about half-elves. Persecuted in the old lands, things are no better on the frontier.
Low light vision, Weapon Familiarity: Elven Longbarrel, +1 bonus to Senses and +2 to Chat. No Attribute modifiers. The persecuted don't tend to get much book-learning, so I'll drop the 9 into Intelligence. The 10 goes into Con, and the 13 into Dex: our protagonist has inherited some of the traits of his bastard parentage.
3 Class & Brand
OKay. Do I want a Brand, and if so, what should it be? Hell with it. The idea of being born inimical to all magic, being shunned not just because of the accident of birth but because anything magic withers and dies in her presence... that's cool. So the first level goes into Blackhand. BAB +1, +1 Init bonus, 1/2/1 saves, a set of feats to start with, the Black Hand coolness, and a bonus Black Hand feat alongside the normal first level feat. That bonus feat goes on Strong Blood, increasing Spell Resistance and adding to dispel checks. That first level feat goes on Point Blank Shot. 4 skill points, so I pick up Ride and Survival at 2 each. 10 HP to start with.
Despite, or perhaps because of, never settling in one place, she's got used to sleeping rough. The next two levels both come from Trailblazer. More BAB, shored up saves, some new Feats, 6 Skill Points, and 2d10 HP. Ride and Survival go up by 3 each. Feats go on Rapid Shot and Under the Stars
An Elven Longbarrel and bullets, backed up by a light pistol. Bedroll and horse and that's me set.
Susan Grey. She took the name because it's normal and boring and all the things that she isn't. One thing she is, is on the run. Her and a glove over her left hand that's black as night. She's spent the last six months in a mining town off the edge of the map, a place where nobody notices if you wear gloves all the time. But now she's moving on, wanting to outrun whatever's coming for her
Class Gunslinger 2
Base Attack +3/+4
Small Firearm Proficiency
Large Firearm Proficiency
Weapon Familiarity: Elvish Longbarrel
Point Blank Shot
Under the Stars
Black Hand SR 17+lvl, detect magic within 30 ft, held weapon becomes magekiller
Elven Longarm, light pistol, knife, bedroll, horse
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