Iconic Design: Perram’s Slinger

Welcome to Iconic Design, Private Sanctuary’s source for innovative and evocative character builds for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be looking at a build for a halfling slinger build.

It has been a long time coming, friends. You have NO idea how often I’ve wanted to sit here and write the halfling slinger that Perram wants, no, DESERVES! However, slings were a REALLY bad weapon to try and specialize in, especially anything that wasn’t an actual sling. It seemed like I would never give Perram his halfling slinger friend. But then a light at the end of the tunnel.

Me.

When I was assigned my sections in the Weapon Master’s Handbook, I KNEW that this could very well be my only chance to give halfling slingers some love. And by the gods, I took my chance. Thank you, Owen, for allowing me to make this build for Perram. And now, the halfling slinger build that Perram never knew he wanted.

Build Concept

Let’s look at the majesty that is this halfling slinger build.

  • Halfling: Yes. Of course.
  • Warslinger Alternate Racial Trait: Another obvious choice for a perfect build!
  • Fighter (Vanilla): YES ALL THE UNDERAPPRECIATEDNESS BAKED INTO ONE DELICIOUS BUILD OF JUSTICE!

….I’m sorry. I got carried away there for a second in my revelry. Let’s get started, shall we?

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: fighter 7
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Precise Shot (1st), Weapon Focus: sling (Bonus), Slipshooter Style (3rd), Rapid Shot (Bonus), Startoss Style (5th), Weapon Style Mastery: Startoss Style (Bonus), Startoss Comet (7th)
  • Abilities: armor training 2, bonus feats, bravery +2, weapon training 2 (thrown)

So basically, the idea is to grab Slipshooter Style as soon as possible. For the first few levels, you’ll likely be using a sling instead of a slingstaff, but as soon as you get Slipshooter Style, which allows you to treat the slingstaff as the sling for all purposes, you’re golden. From there, you start building into Startoss Style, which gives you extra damage, and then grab Weapon Style Mastery, which allows you to have Startoss Style and Slipshooter Style active at the same time. Nifty! Also, you’re likely going to want to pick sling with Startoss Style, as Slipshooter Style will allow you to spread your selection with the sling to all other sling-like weapons you possess.

Early on is very important, but not particularly exciting. Having an extra +4 damage while in Startoss Style is, however, pretty cool. That gives us a total of +6 as long as we’re within 30 feet of the target. Let’s move on to the mid levels and see if we can get it any higher.

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: fighter 14
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Precise Shot (1st), Weapon Focus: sling (Bonus), Slipshooter Style (3rd), Rapid Shot (Bonus), Startoss Style (5th), Weapon Style Mastery: Startoss Style (Bonus), Startoss Comet (7th), Startoss Shower (Bonus), Deadly Aim (9th), Advanced Weapon Training: armed bravery (Bonus), Weapon Specialization: halfling slingstaff (11th), Advanced Weapon Training: focused weapon [halfling slingstaff] (Bonus), Greater Weapon Focus: halfling slingstaff (Bonus)
  • Abilities: armor training 3, bonus feats, bravery +4, weapon training 3 (thrown, advanced weapon trainings x2)
  • Advanced Weapon Trainings: armed bravery (Bonus), trained throw (9th), trained initiative (13th)

Mid levels is where we start to pick up some of the wackier abilities for our halfling slinger. We quickly finish off the Startoss Style chain with Startoss Shower (because you KNOW you’ve always wanted to cleave a sling bullet halfway around the battlefield with a flick of your wrist), then begin to grab more damage-increasing abilities for our slingstaff. Now, when it comes to deciding what advanced talents you want, you should always pick the options that’ll help you shine the most. I liked armed bravery because it makes bravery MUCH more useful, but you might want to take focused weapon first for the massive damage die bonus it provides. By the end, of this humble build, we’re looking at 1d8+Strength+6 (Startoss Style)+1 (Point-Blank Shot)+6 (weapon training plus trained throw)+2 (Weapon Specialization)+4 (Deadly Aim), for a grand total of 1d8+19, or an average of 23 damage per attack, with a total of four attacks per round. Not terrible! Let’s sign off with the endgame.

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: fighter 20
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Precise Shot (1st), Weapon Focus: sling (Bonus), Slipshooter Style (3rd), Rapid Shot (Bonus), Startoss Style (5th), Weapon Style Mastery: Startoss Style (Bonus), Startoss Comet (7th), Startoss Shower (Bonus), Deadly Aim (9th), Advanced Weapon Training: armed bravery (Bonus), Weapon Specialization: halfling slingstaff (11th), Advanced Weapon Training: focused weapon [halfling slingstaff] (Bonus), Greater Weapon Focus: halfling slingstaff (Bonus), Greater Weapon Specialization: halfling slingstaff (15th), Clustered Shot (Bonus), Penetrating Strike (17th), Greater Penetrating Strike (Bonus), Improved Critical: halfling slingstaff (19th), FREEBIE (20th)
  • Abilities: armor mastery, armor training 4, bonus feats, bravery +5, weapon training 4 (thrown, advanced weapon trainings x3), weapon mastery: halfling slingstaff
  • Advanced Weapon Trainings: armed bravery (Bonus), trained throw (9th), trained initiative (13th), FREEBIE (17th)

So, what to take for those freebies? I’m pretty impartial to Improved Precise Shot myself, but its totally up to you. Aside from getting Penetrating Strike, there isn’t much left that’ll give you a flat increase to your damage, so I decided to focus on ignoring damage reduction. Between both Penetrating Strike feats and Clustered Shots, you will likely NEVER worry about damage reduction again. Ever.

So, where does this build end up damagewise? By 20th level, its sling has been progressed to 2d6 points of damage by focused weapon, and it has a total of +16 on damage rolls before magic enhancements and the like. On average, you’re looking at 23 points of damage, plus an extra +5 from enhancements and perhaps an extra 1d6 or two of damage from weapon special abilities. I’d say that 35 damage per hit is an accurate estimate, which isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. You’re hitting hard with this build, and you’re sporting five attacks while doing it. Without question, this build isn’t likely to beat a pure archer in effectiveness if only because the archer has TONS of feats that he didn’t require to be effective at his roll. But this build has a fun playstyle, and what’s best, it is PASSABLY FUNCTIONABLE at the table. I dare to call it effective, even!

So rejoice, Perram, and know that another iconic fighting style has been brought to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game in style! Alex signing out!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC.

5 Comments

  1. Thanks, Alex. This is something I know a lot of people have been waiting for. I noticed your feat in the WMH, but hadn’t thought it through yet, so it’s great to see it all together here. Thank you for your efforts to “fix” the game when possible.

  2. Will Johnson Reply to Will

    It’s nice to see Halfling slingers get the tools necessary to make a viable build. Previously your best option was to give up on the sling staff and make a Halfling Warpriest who uses a sling.

  3. remember this from a few years ago? http://knowdirectionpodcast.com/2014/12/1847/

    This makes my Halfling heart sing!

  4. Sean Izaakse Reply to Sean

    I won’t lie I cannot wait to play this build! Think I’m gonna use it for Hell’s Rebels!
    The Weapon Masters HB is really one of my fav books. And basically made me decide on my current Halberd Fighter.
    But really loving this Slinger build a lot.

  5. Love the options in this build!
    But haven’t you forgotten the feat at 13th level?

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