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I'm trying to create a high-charisma/persuasion gunslinger character, but it seems pretty difficult. From what I can see, you need high perception (to hit stuff), high charisma (for persuasion), high intelligence for crafting the powerful weapons and accessories, AND high dexterity, so you can shoot more within a single round.

That, plus the various skills and recipes seems like there's not enough skill point room to make this a viable build in the early/mid game; I'm sure that it's possible to get these sorted out by the time you reach the endgame, but how does one survive the beginning, and where to focus during char creation?
Maybe you could start out emphasising diplomacy, and use your charisma to recruit the largest possible party so you're not defenceless.
You don't have to take gunsmithing, which means you could drop the intelligence requirement. It's not difficult to get your hands on most guns in the game without having to make them yourself. And you can always use tech manuals to build the crazy ones you find schematics for. Feel free to invest in it if you'd like, but if you want to save points for charisma and persuasion, that might be a good thing to cut.

I haven't tried a gunslinger myself, but to survive early on you'll want to have some OK fighting skills, because you won't be able to recruit more allies until a little farther in the game. Many players recommend a single point in melee so you can still fight if you're out of bullets. But you should definitely either have a point of melee or some firearms skill at the start. Maybe start with two points in firearms, but also a decent charisma score? Then you can probably build both charisma and your gunfighting skills at the same time as you progress, with extra followers helping you out in fights.
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Waltorious: You don't have to take gunsmithing, which means you could drop the intelligence requirement. It's not difficult to get your hands on most guns in the game without having to make them yourself. And you can always use tech manuals to build the crazy ones you find schematics for. Feel free to invest in it if you'd like, but if you want to save points for charisma and persuasion, that might be a good thing to cut.

I haven't tried a gunslinger myself, but to survive early on you'll want to have some OK fighting skills, because you won't be able to recruit more allies until a little farther in the game. Many players recommend a single point in melee so you can still fight if you're out of bullets. But you should definitely either have a point of melee or some firearms skill at the start. Maybe start with two points in firearms, but also a decent charisma score? Then you can probably build both charisma and your gunfighting skills at the same time as you progress, with extra followers helping you out in fights.
^This

I have done a charismatic gunslinger -- though I think that I also did not chose to build my own guns (or at least not until late enough in the game where I didn't need to up my perception, dexterity, and firearms skill to not die in combat).
The point in melee isn't needed if you are willing to put two points in firearms (which means at least 9 perception right off the bat) and have a gun to start off with -- you won't run out of bullets unless you are very unlucky before you are able to get to Shrouded Hills and buy more. After that you should be fine, though a bit tight on money early on. If you need a meat shield you can pick up Sogg Mead Mug in Shrouded Hills, and then also bluff your way past Lukan and his gang if your charisma and persuasion are high enough (like 9 or 10 and two points, respectively, I think).
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SheBear: If you need a meat shield you can pick up Sogg Mead Mug in Shrouded Hills, and then also bluff your way past Lukan and his gang if your charisma and persuasion are high enough (like 9 or 10 and two points, respectively, I think).
To pick up Sogg, you need IIRC 9 Charisma; to bluff Lukan, you only need 1 point in Persuasion to open up the necessary dialogue. But the dialogue tree itself is tricky, so I recomment the OP save and reload until they figure it out.
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Waltorious: You don't have to take gunsmithing, which means you could drop the intelligence requirement. It's not difficult to get your hands on most guns in the game without having to make them yourself.
this is true but you must consider your Tech Aptitude (TA) as a gunslinger. Using your gun is considered a tech attack just as if casting a spell would be considered a magic attack. Your success with tech weapons (grenades, traps, guns) is based on your TA versus the enemy's Magic Aptitude (MA) and your skill with that weapon (in this case, the Firearms skill)

if you havent noticed already the early game is full of high MA creatures like zombies and golems and elementals (oh my!) and even with max Firearms skill youll only have a TA of 27 (5 TA for each odd point spent in Firearms and 6 TA for each even point spent in Firearms) which is too low to reliably kill a fire elemtental without hurting yourself.

this is a moot point if you hope to have your allies kill these kinds of monsters, but I cant recommend it as there are so many high MA enemies it would mean you doing alot of nothing for much of the fighting in the game
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GRV: this is true but you must consider your Tech Aptitude (TA) as a gunslinger. Using your gun is considered a tech attack just as if casting a spell would be considered a magic attack. Your success with tech weapons (grenades, traps, guns) is based on your TA versus the enemy's Magic Aptitude (MA) and your skill with that weapon (in this case, the Firearms skill)
This is a very good point that I hadn't thought of. It means that some investment in tech disciplines is advised. But, if you don't want to raise Intelligence too high, you could pick a few different low-level tiers in different tech disciplines instead of focusing all on gunsmithing. One point in Explosives is advisable anyway since it will let you make bullets, and also molotov cocktails which are awesome in a pinch because they (bizarrely) don't hurt you or your allies. The first level of Herbology lets you make healing salves, which are much better than healing potions for a tech character (although you can also recruit allies who can make them for you instead).

Alternatively, you could invest in other tech skills, like lockpicking. Those also raise tech aptitude, and are based off of other stats (like Dexterity) that you're probably already putting points into.

Short version: raising tech aptitude is good, but doesn't necessarily require high Intelligence.
Guns diplomat is totally doable, but you should focus early on getting good with guns. Choose a good background (raised by monks or charlatan's protege for your purposes), get 4 skill points into firearms (req. 15 pe), then do whatever diplomacy stuff you want. Definitely max charisma before beauty, because persuasion and extra followers rules.


As far as MA/TA goes, I wish Arcanum was that cool, but the truth is that TA has very little effect compared to MA.

TA basically only determines "chance of failure" that is: it reduces the effect of the item if your MA is high. 0 TA (neutral, nonmagical) will usually make tech items work just as fine as 100 TA.

MA on the other hand, is the full spectrum, where 100 TA means you get nothing from magic items, and 100 MA means you always get the fullest effect from magic items.

As far as tech items versus magic monsters:

1) there are not really enough of them for it to be a big deal

2) your chance to hit is the main thing affected, which is really determined by weapon skill


As far as magic vs tech monsters, it's basically like magic resistance where high TA monsters have a higher chance to resist a spell entirely.
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ewmarch: Guns diplomat is totally doable, but you should focus early on getting good with guns. Choose a good background (raised by monks or charlatan's protege for your purposes), get 4 skill points into firearms (req. 15 pe), then do whatever diplomacy stuff you want. Definitely max charisma before beauty, because persuasion and extra followers rules.

As far as MA/TA goes, I wish Arcanum was that cool, but the truth is that TA has very little effect compared to MA.

TA basically only determines "chance of failure" that is: it reduces the effect of the item if your MA is high. 0 TA (neutral, nonmagical) will usually make tech items work just as fine as 100 TA.

MA on the other hand, is the full spectrum, where 100 TA means you get nothing from magic items, and 100 MA means you always get the fullest effect from magic items.

As far as tech items versus magic monsters:

1) there are not really enough of them for it to be a big deal

2) your chance to hit is the main thing affected, which is really determined by weapon skill

As far as magic vs tech monsters, it's basically like magic resistance where high TA monsters have a higher chance to resist a spell entirely.
I suppose if someone really wanted to RP the hell out of a Gunslinging Diplomat (though I think a personable gunslinger would be more fun imo, like a Han Solo type) then one could put points into BE but personally I feel its a bit of overkill and those scarce points could be better spent elsewhere since BE only raises initial reaction

re: TA vs MA
I disagree that there arent many high MA enemies, especially in the early game. The Tarant Sewers alone is chock full of high MA enemies, the Mines have both golems and fire elementals, Ashbury is full of zombies and skeletons, the Maze has high level dread zombies and plant creatures, the site of the dead dragon has magical dragonlings and so on and so on, all of this in the first half (or maybe even first third) of the game

also, although I am admittedly new to AOSAMO I still feel relying solely on rank 5 Firearms and the 16 TA that provides wouldnt be enough to successfully finish the game without giving oneself a headache -unless- (as I stated above) youre okay with your party finishing off those high MA enemies
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Waltorious: You don't have to take gunsmithing, which means you could drop the intelligence requirement. It's not difficult to get your hands on most guns in the game without having to make them yourself.
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GRV: this is true but you must consider your Tech Aptitude (TA) as a gunslinger. Using your gun is considered a tech attack just as if casting a spell would be considered a magic attack. Your success with tech weapons (grenades, traps, guns) is based on your TA versus the enemy's Magic Aptitude (MA) and your skill with that weapon (in this case, the Firearms skill)

if you havent noticed already the early game is full of high MA creatures like zombies and golems and elementals (oh my!) and even with max Firearms skill youll only have a TA of 27 (5 TA for each odd point spent in Firearms and 6 TA for each even point spent in Firearms) which is too low to reliably kill a fire elemtental without hurting yourself.

this is a moot point if you hope to have your allies kill these kinds of monsters, but I cant recommend it as there are so many high MA enemies it would mean you doing alot of nothing for much of the fighting in the game
thats why if you are a gunslinger, you should also put 1 point in explosives and 1 point in traps. spike traps and the explosions from molotovs still hurt magical creatures.

and i have found that sometimes explosives cause summoned creatures to simply disappear. 1 molotov doesnt do enough damage to take out all the health points of a fire elemental, but in practice 1 is usually all it takes if it is summoned. although that may be because of how high my tech aptitutde is compared to the magic aptitude of the mage i was fighting
GRV after rereading your post it seems like you think your TA directly affects how your character will do vs magical enemies. It affects whether magic will work on you, effect of magic items, and crit failure of your tech items. A TA 100 character will do the same as a char with neutral MA/TA using the same gun. Skill in firearms is the most important thing for guns.

For tech characters fighting magic enemies, it's better to pull out a melee weapon or use grenades instead of guns, but guns can still do quite well. Especially considering how easy the enemies are in Arcanum.