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Guns Equipment

Source Guns & Gears pg. 146
Black powder weapons have many permutations throughout history, from simple, handheld affairs built for self-defense to mighty cannons designed to blast holes in castle walls and fortifications. In the world in which you, the reader, live, the history of firearms followed a meandering course around the globe, developing in a slow and uneven arc with many dead-ends and tributaries of varying success and longevity. On Golarion, a world of spells and myths, creatures and cataclysms, this developmental arc is even more diverse, with unexpected leaps forward and unique variations incorporating elements only possible in a world of magic and fantastical creatures.

This chapter will showcase a variety of firearms. Some have historical inspirations, while others are more unusual black powder weapons, never seen on Earth due to the differences in the two worlds' technological advancements, historical eras, and societal shifts. We've also included a short segment here to talk about the ways in which the development, spread, and evolution of firearms on Golarion differs significantly from those on Earth.

Classic Firearms

Source Guns & Gears pg. 150
The following rules cover the use of firearms and includes the firearms and ammunition types available. All firearms are subject to misfires if they're not properly maintained, as described in the sidebar.

The clan pistol and dwarven scattergun have the dwarf trait, the mithral tree has the elf trait, and the flingflenser has the goblin trait. However, feats such as Dwarven Weapon Familiarity, which normally grants access to all uncommon weapons with the dwarf trait, don't grant access to firearms with the listed traits unless the character separately has access to firearms. For instance, dwarves who've never seen a firearm and then train in traditional dwarven weapons don't have access to clan pistols and dwarven scatterguns. You can find more information on this and other firearm access details on page 148.


Source Guns & Gears pg. 150
Firearms require ammunition consisting of a projectile and black powder. A round of ammo can vary in its composition but is typically either a prepackaged paper cartridge, including wadding, bullet, and black powder, or loose shot packed in manually. Some weapons, like hand cannons and blunderbusses, can fire other materials, but their ammunition has the same Price due to the cost of the black powder. Because making rounds of firearm ammunition requires creating black powder, you need the Alchemical Crafting skill feat to make them. Firearm rounds are a valid option for magical ammunition, just like arrows or bolts. Crafting magical firearm ammunition requires you to be able to craft both alchemical and magical items.

Related Rules

Weapons (Source Core Rulebook pg. 278 4.0)

Fantasy Firearms

Source Guns & Gears pg. 154
While their power and rarity make Golarion firearms fantastical in their own right, this hasn't stopped engineers, craftsman, and even fey smiths from attempting to improve the weapons or create their own versions. Whether these fantastic weapons include the beast guns of Arcadia, the combination weapons wielded by gunners of the Inner Sea seeking to stretch their meager supplies of black powder, or the goblin-forged “cobbled firearms” of the Shackles, Golarion is home to a diverse and unlikely array of unusual black powder weapons.

Beast Guns

Source Guns & Gears pg. 154
Arcadia's history of gunsmithing goes back centuries, and Arcadia may very well have been the first continent on Golarion in which firearms were developed. While Arcadia's Deadshot Lands are famous for their rare and prestigious skymetal guns, patterned after the star guns of old, more common in other regions are beast guns, created as part of a long-standing rite of passage.

While they don't look much like ancient star guns and use a different kind of magic, beast guns are particularly notable in that, like star guns, they rely on magic rather than black powder. Beast guns can produce unique effects beyond simply damaging their targets.

Beast guns aren't loaded with the same ammunition as other guns, but they do still use ammunition, rather than shooting magical energy like a star gun. This ammunition comes as specially designed rounds, such as miniature tentacles fired from the tentacle gun or javelin-like spikes from the spike gun. Unless otherwise stated, these rounds come in packs of 10 that cost 1 sp and have light Bulk. The only weapon in this section that works significantly differently is the growth gun, which grows back a gob of its own ammunition once per round, ensuring you always have enough ammunition to fire a shot every round.

Monster hunters of all kinds roam Arcadia slaying beasts and harvesting their body parts to produce new beast guns, both new examples of established models and brand new types never seen or imagined before. Even after thousands of years, innovators expand the possibilities of what a beast gun can do.

The following pages contain a small sample of the many kinds of beast guns crafted in Arcadia. Each beast gun is a specific magic item. You can find more information on the ritual used in hunting the beasts to create a beast gun on page 130.

Related Rules

Weapons (Source Core Rulebook pg. 599 4.0)

Cobbled Firearms

Source Guns & Gears pg. 157
Goblins are nothing if not creative and adaptable, and have a unique gift for recognizing an advantage when they see one. Even with the relative rarity of firearms, only the most secluded goblins are unaware of the deadly metal tubes that fling death over long distances using fire and explosive powder. The goblin gunsmiths of the Motaku Isle Ironworks in Absalom's Shackles constantly experiment with new weapon designs using spare parts from their clients' weapons shipments and whatever happens to be lying around. The more successful versions of these junk guns often get added to the catalogue of weapons available from the ironworks, while the less effective ones usually kill their creators before the unfortunate gunsmiths have a chance to iterate on their designs. All cobbled firearms have the cobbled trait, which causes them to misfire on a failure.

The big boom gun and spoon gun both have the goblin trait. However, feats such as Goblin Weapon Familiarity, which normally grants access to all uncommon weapons with the goblin trait, do not grant access to firearms with the goblin trait unless the character separately has access to firearms. You can find more information on this and other firearm access details on page 148.

Combination Weapons

Source Guns & Gears pg. 158
With the advent of firearms, there have been a number of gunslingers, inventors, and alchemists who have created a variety of combination weapons using black powder. The explosive dogslicer, gnome amalgam musket, and three peaked tree all have traits corresponding to an ancestry. However, feats such as Elven Weapon Familiarity, which normally grants access to all uncommon weapons with the elf trait, do not grant access to firearms with the given trait unless the character separately has access to firearms. You can find more information on this and other firearm access details on page 148.

Rare and Unique Firearms

Source Guns & Gears pg. 160
While firearms are relatively uncommon in Golarion and extremely unusual to encounter in the Inner Sea region outside of a few specific areas, they are nonetheless an attractive choice for use in crafting unique signature weapons and other great works. The fey of Arcadia created their own firearm in the form of the Rowan Rifle to gift to their champions, while in the Inner Sea heroes from several countries and regions have traveled to Alkenstar to have their trophies immortalized as part of a powerful and unusual weapon.

The following are rare and unique specific magic firearms, possessing unusual and sometimes outlandish special effects. Some among these firearms are cursed, haunted, or even intelligent. You can find more information on cursed items on Gamemastery Guide page 90, and more information on intelligent items on Gamemastery Guide page 88. A haunted firearm is simply a cursed firearm whose curse derives from a confused, enraged, or tormented spirit attached to the weapon. It is often possible, though difficult, to discover and resolve the unfinished business that will put that spirit to rest. In this case, the firearm's curse might be forever lifted as the spirit goes free to the afterlife, never to bother the firearm's wielder again

Black Powder Siege Weapons

Source Guns & Gears pg. 172
The advent of black powder is beginning to offer a new sort of weapon to warriors in Golarion, one that isn't dependent on the physical strength of the wielder. Siege weapons like ballistae and trebuchets create tremendous force at a distance with the efforts of multiple operators, allowing for destructive power to rival even mighty spellcasters. Black powder siege weapons take the potential of such machines of war and amplify it to the next level, adding explosive power to the cooperative efforts of the crew. In addition to the force of the black powder ignition itself, black powder siege weapons are able to funnel and direct the energy through a reinforced barrel or muzzle in ways torsion and counterweights cannot, increasing the accuracy, range, and impact of the weapon.

Siege weapons of all kinds operate largely the same way whether they incorporate black powder in their design or not. The Aiming, Loading, Launching, and Move Siege Weapon actions are all identical to the rules found on page 72. The most notable change is the chance of misfire; just like a firearm, improper use, inadequate cleaning, and a number of other factors can lead to deficiencies in a piece of artillery. The construction of the weapons and ammunition are also more expensive and harder to find due to the more advanced makeup.

Siege Weapon Misfire

Source Guns & Gears pg. 172
Just as personal firearms require a meticulous regimen of proper care and cleaning to operate at peak performance, black powder siege weapons must be properly maintained on a regular basis to avoid the risk of terrible consequences that might otherwise befall those who use them. If you attempt to fire a black powder siege weapon that was used or assembled prior to the current day and hasn't been properly cleaned and maintained since the last time it was used or assembled, you must attempt a DC 5 flat check before making your attack roll, risking misfire on a failure. A black powder siege weapon can also potentially misfire as a result of using a specific ability or due to using an unreliable black powder siege weapon with the cobbled trait, such as a siege weapon created at the risky pirate volcano foundry known as the Motaku Ironworks.

If you fail this misfire flat check, the siege weapon misfires and jams, and the attack also becomes a critical failure. To clear the jam, the crew must collectively use a number of Interact actions equal to the number of actions required to complete a single Load activity for the siege weapon. The weapon can then be reloaded and fired again. Once the crew has spent at least an hour cleaning and maintaining the weapon, they don't need to roll for a misfire until the next day unless an effect says otherwise.

If you critically fail a misfire check when attempting to fire a siege weapon, the siege weapon explodes, dealing the damage listed in its Launch entry to all creatures in a 30-foot emanation with a basic Reflex save. The DC of the save is the standard DC of the siege weapon's level (Core Rulebook 503). When it explodes in this way, the siege weapon is destroyed.

Related Rules

Siege Weapons (Source Guns & Gears pg. 72)

Customization Options

Source Guns & Gears pg. 179
The potent stopping power, solid range, and relative ease of use of firearms make them attractive options for almost any warrior who can both obtain one and maintain a healthy supply of ammunition, but these benefits are only the most basic offered by the firearms being produced in Golarion today. Everything from bandoliers for the discerning pirate to specialized scopes for snipers can be obtained from the talented gunsmiths who ply their trades in Dongun Hold, Alkenstar, or Arcadia for the right price.


Source Guns & Gears pg. 179
Firearms and crossbows are generally efficient weapons designed with an eye towards ease of use. However, the act of managing ammunition, reloading, and keeping a grip on a weapon can become cumbersome without a good bandolier or holster to hold your weapons and ammunition in a convenient position until they become necessary in combat.


Source Guns & Gears pg. 180
Scopes for firearms and crossbows have existed, in one form or another, for many years, though they've recently become one of the most soughtafter luxury items for gun enthusiasts in Alkenstar and in various regions that have gotten their hands on Alkenstar firearms (whether through legal means or otherwise). Leatherworkers, metalsmiths, crystal cutters, and spellcasters specializing in the creation and development of magical items all have a part to play in the burgeoning industry. The finest crafters often incorporate signature techniques or styles into the scopes they produce, such as crystal cutters espousing the merits of their flawless lenses and spellcasters promoting the benefits of the particular spells and techniques they use to increase the amount and clarity of information conveyed by scopes they enchant.


Source Guns & Gears pg. 182
The ferocious kickback of firearms is part of the functionality that makes them so appealing as weapons, but it can also present a barrier in wielding them effectively. To increase the functionality of firearms and make them more accessible to a wider audience, gunsmiths and engineers have created a large array of supporting stabilization over the years. From the humble tripod to more elaborate arrays like the gunner's saddle, these tools can be an invaluable part of any gunner's loadout.

Other Modifications

Source Guns & Gears pg. 183
While holsters, scopes, and stabilizers are some of the more common accessories associated with firearms and crossbows, they're far from the only innovations that support such weapons. The variety of accessories is matched only by the inventors' creativity. Blazons and emblems for paired weapons are popular purchases for fashion-oriented aristocrats who like their weapons to match aesthetically and magically. Talented gunsmiths produce replaceable barrels, high-end firing mechanisms, and other commodities for firearm enthusiasts to further customize their weapons to their preferences.

Related Rules

Chapter 11: Crafting & Treasure (Source Core Rulebook pg. 531 4.0)