One with the Gun.
Just as a Monk masters using their body as a weapon and a knight channels their energy into their blade, the shootist treats their “fire brand” as an extension of themselves. Explosive power of the gun is truly an art form in the hands of a shootist. While declare guns as a dishonorable weapon, the shootist shows that it merely requires its user to have panache, constant mobility and an eye like no other. No longer is the fight about stopping and studying, as the fighter is always on the go. Their new goal is to outpace their rival while sinking a challenging hit.
Unlike other martial trainings, the shootist is a considerably rare one. While many are capable of picking up a gun and shooting it, few can truly master the art of gun fighting. The ways of steel and fire are too complicated for some and likewise too frightening for others. Even so, orders that are dedicated to this fighting style are very protective over it. To risk sharing it to an unworthy fighter is an extreme disgrace. With an almost religious fervor, they seek out anyone who would dare to steal their secrets… or worse, give them to someone unworthy. Much like the outsider, the informant is also deemed an outcast among the shootists. Outcast Shootists are typically tracked down and executed by a posse. Just as the punishment for transgressions and mockery of the art are harsh, joining them is just as harsh. Due to their secretive nature, they tend to be very picky on who can join. Much of their “initiation” tasks are actually suicide missions meant to kill off potential recruits. Those who survive some insane ordeal are then tested in a lethal trial grounds. Anyone capable of surviving the onslaught has proven themselves to be a worthy addition to their cause, so long as they prove themselves loyal as assistants on missions.
Of course, that isn’t to say that the shootists are an inherently corrupt order. To them, innovation and order must be handled gently, by those who can be trusted. To let it slip into the wrong hands would result in unethical science and totalitarianism, among other atrocities. Balance in all things is a philosophy held strong by this gunslinging knighthood.
Beyond the dimensional nexus where this quasi-religious order was started, its influence has made its way into countless Prime Material planes throughout the multiverse. In worlds like Abeir-Toril, residents of the technocratic island nation of Lantan pay tribute to their planar inspirations by making their own gun-based arms. On Khorvaire, the secret is horded by mercenaries and artificers who have long since disbanded from the dimensional order, often seeking new methods and black markets around urbanized regions like Sharn. On Oerth, this order takes a heavy divine angle in service to a plane traveling deity named Murlynd, who brought the secrets of explosive powder from a realm named “Boot Hill.”
Author’s Note: The original Shootist post needed a bit of a pick me up, so here we go! Granted, this one turned out to be a hybrid of The Brotherhood of Steel from the Fallout games and the characters of the Dark Tower saga. That said, if you want to ignore the fluff, by my guest! Make them a studied guns expert, a weird western gunslinger, a honed rifleman, etc. Nothing mechanical is directly tied towards the Order in anyway. I simply added that in the fluff for the sake of being a fanboy. With that, I updated my Shootist archetype. After some mulling over, I tried to downplay the Pathfinder Gunslinger element that was heavily prominent in the initial version. This one takes cues from the Battle Master, as well as a 3E class made by one of my good friends (with their permission) and just bit of the Paizo class. Also, you may be wondering what this has to do with my gothic theme? Quite simply, my idea was “Gothic and Gaslamp”, expanding out towards Dark Fantasy, Steampunk and Weird Western. Besides, this is just another type of romanticized warrior of sorts.
For the longest time, I asked myself one thing, “Do I want to remake the archetype or expand it into a full class with its own archetypes?” To this day, I still ask this. I’m considering making a full class at some point, but not at the moment. Personally, I find Tribality’s full class to hit that niche pretty well. As it is, I’m going up against Matt Mercer’s take on the archetype… (which in my opinion is just a conversion of the Pathfinder class.) With that, here’s a modified fighter archetype! Enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: This version is somewhat tested, utilizing some feedback to try something completely different. Lemme know what you think, as I’m more than eager to develop it from here.