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I always choose the mage class in all RPGs I play, but this one I noticed there was the possibility to use guns. How awesome! How many medieval fantasy RPGs allow you to use guns? And so I choose to be a gunslinger. Terrible mistake.

All my money went straight to bullets. The game was manageble until I reached black mine canion. I noticed the golems there were really strong so I decided to explore the rest of the world and do sidequests. Eventually, killing enemies became a pain. Around 10 enemies I was out of ammo. Learning how to craft bullets didn't help either and the money sink was getting bigger... Eventually, I had no money left. And when the bullets were gone... game over.

The irony is that after I quit with around 8 hours of play, I discovered by looking at google that the mage class is god-like in this game. Now I'm too pissed with my hours wasted to start again.
Post edited October 19, 2012 by RafCaj
Yeah, Arcanum is not the best balanced game. Apparently gunslingers get a lot more powerful later on; early guns are weak and, as you found out, will run out of bullets quickly. Most players suggest having a melee weapon for backup so you don't burn through bullets too fast in the early game.

However, going back and starting over with a completely different character build is one of the best things about Arcanum. Mages, grenadiers, gunslingers, melee fighters, thieves, and diplomats all play very differently and the game also changes a lot based on your decisions. I'd encourage you to try a new character or two at some point, you might discover you're having a lot more fun.

Oh, and I should mention that the Black Mountain Clan Mines are probably the single most annoying place in the game... it takes some patience to get through there, but the game gets a lot better afterwards.
The gunslinger is very hard to start of with, the main reason is that you need to at least get explosives+gun maker+firearms+penalty+dexterity to make any good gunslinger (at least for TurnBased combat) You might want to drop some points into even strength, just to boost your carry capacity (so you don't get encumbered) BUT 1 thing should be said about a gunslinger: you can basicly kill anything lategame, especially if it's melle, when you have enough DX (and is not encumbered) you can kite anything with ease, the slower mobs can even be kited in small circles. Also you should take a look at a recipe overlook before making a tech class, as that's definetly what will dominate what diciplines you choose.

edit: to Waltorious do you know what a grenadier is? it does not fit into the context you see.
Post edited October 19, 2012 by tsgnurk
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tsgnurk: edit: to Waltorious do you know what a grenadier is? it does not fit into the context you see.
A soldier specializing in grenades. One of my most fun characters in Arcanum was a dwarven grenadier. He made molotov cocktails out of rags he found in the garbage, and used a boomerang when he didn't want to waste his grenades. The fact that grenades did no harm to him or his allies was weird, but also meant he could throw one at his feet and it would push all the enemies back.

To make a grenadier, you basically just need Explosives and Throwing. Perception helps a bit with ranged accuracy and Dexterity of course lets you take more actions per turn. And Intelligence to learn better grenade schematics.
Post edited October 20, 2012 by Waltorious
I played through the whole game as a gunslinger and it was extremely fun at the end when I had power armor straight from fallout and a gun that shot blades. Another thing that made the play through even more fun was picking the background, Beaten with an Ugly Stick. The thing with bullets, you need to learn the art of exploiting shopkeepers. Don't buy ammo, steal it. Soon you'll have a near infinite supply of bullets.
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tsgnurk: edit: to Waltorious do you know what a grenadier is? it does not fit into the context you see.
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Waltorious: A soldier specializing in grenades. One of my most fun characters in Arcanum was a dwarven grenadier.
Im sorry after searching through the internet i realise it means that in Britain :) where im from a grenadier would be the term you use for someone who voulounteered for war, rather than being conscripted etc. I must appologize :)
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RafCaj: I always choose the mage class in all RPGs I play, but this one I noticed there was the possibility to use guns. How awesome! How many medieval fantasy RPGs allow you to use guns? And so I choose to be a gunslinger. Terrible mistake. All my money went straight to bullets. The game was manageble until I reached black mine canion. I noticed the golems there were really strong so I decided to explore the rest of the world and do sidequests. Eventually, killing enemies became a pain. Around 10 enemies I was out of ammo. Learning how to craft bullets didn't help either and the money sink was getting bigger... Eventually, I had no money left. And when the bullets were gone... game over. The irony is that after I quit with around 8 hours of play, I discovered by looking at google that the mage class is god-like in this game. Now I'm too pissed with my hours wasted to start again.
You just need a bigger gun. The sniper rifle worked just fine against the stone golems.
Just to let you people updated, I restarted the game and now I'm playing as an elf mage and it is simply destroying everything. I just love it.

Now at almost lv 30 I can explore the amazing world this game has to offer. Mages are trully godly here, even thief functions like picking locks can be done with ease.
Post edited October 22, 2012 by RafCaj
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tsgnurk: Im sorry after searching through the internet i realise it means that in Britain :) where im from a grenadier would be the term you use for someone who voulounteered for war, rather than being conscripted etc. I must appologize :)
No problem! You actually made me look it up as well, and I learned that grenadiers came into being back in the 17th century, specifically to throw grenades. Later on, a specialized soldier for grenades wasn't needed anymore, but the term is still used for certain types of soldiers. So I guess I"m using the old version of the term!

To the OP: Mages are definitely easier to play in Arcanum, and are a great choice for a first playthrough, but some of the tech builds are really fun, even if they are a bit harder. The aforementioned grenadier build is actually fairly easy and a lot of fun, and others are trickier but not too bad once you've been through the game once and understand the mechanics better. They're worth trying out for future playthroughs.
Post edited October 22, 2012 by Waltorious
I've been playing through the game for the first time (I'm at the point where you finally meet the Wheel Clan, so having gotten through the dungeon everybody hates I'd say I've made it farther than some people, haha), I didn't really have a big problem playing as a gunslinger, but I bought the schematics to make bullets pretty early on. It's a lot cheaper because you can buy saltpeter (I think it's saltpeter, it's been a while since I played) in most stores pretty cheaply and find charcoal in the trash cans for free, this is all you need to make 20 bullets per satlpeter/charcoal mix (I think this factored out to 1 gold per bullet instead of 3 or 4 gold per bullet, depending on your trading skills and charisma, etc., so it does end up saving you a lot of money in the long run).

Also I have relied on molotov cocktails quite a bit early on in the game, they are also a simple schematic and very cheap for the damage they cause. They are still very useful even at this point and you can make 15-20 of them pretty easily/cheaply, all you need to do is buy fuel at the shop (not the general store--the store with the lady that sells chemistry supplies. There's one in Tarant), go around to trash cans and find a bunch of rags. Quite easy to make.

However, the best thing to do early on with a gunslinger is use one of your Fate Points (I think that's what they're called? Not sure) and steal the Handcannon from Sammy Whtie in Tarant (he's the guy north of the main entrance a few screens, he's a halfling who argues with you and insults you). The Handcannon basically blows everything to smithereens, especially early on. If your gunslinger also had high thief skills like mine though you might be able to steal it that way. Basically by having a gun that causes so much damage you'll not only decimate most enemies in the first half of the game, but you'll be saving on bullets because you simply won't need as many.

Oh, and if you're playing as a gunslinger it makes sense to start with the Bandit perk/background (I think it's the bandit perk), you get a free gun that is pretty useful until you can get another one. Unfortunately, you get nothing else to start with, and you're foregoing other possible perks that might be better.

Another good weapon later is the repeating rifle but you have to make it. It uses two bullets per shot, though. I've been switching between the handcannon and the repeating rifle as needed--some enemies are faster than others and the high rate of fire for the repeating rifle is needed to take them out before they can get near you. It also uses up less action points than the handcannon, so you can sometimes use it once or twice, retreat a few steps with the remainder of your AP (my character is a high agility thief type), and enemies can't reach you AND attack you in the same turn, or if they can they can only hit you once . This is a very important strategy to use on enemies that cause a lot of damage like the glass spiders in the Wheel Clan cave or other powerful monsters.

You actually have to move around a bit in this game in battle if you want to live. Make sure you're playing on turn-based.

Also, my character has a lot of other tech skills, explosives are important as I mentioned, I think I have a couple of levels in some of the other ones like electricity, smithing, gunmaking, etc. Also your personal attribute skills are important, make sure you put points into firearms and such.

Anyway, those are all the tips I have from what I can remember from my playing through the game so far (it's been a few months since I logged any time on it).

EDIT: Oh, and you should still carry a sword. I've had to use one once or twice on certain enemies for various reasons--for instance stone enemies I think are impervious to bullets, you have to pound on them with a sword? Again it's been several months since I logged any time on it, I need to get back to it sometime.

ANOTHER EDIT: Oh, and since gunslingers are basically a tech class (magic is basically useless if you're putting all these points into tech skills), you should also take herbology. That allows you to make the non-magical healing salves and such that allow you to heal tech people. You have to find the ingredients, of course, but like all the other things you make they're not too hard to find...

Oh, I also have two charged rings. I either made them or found them, I forget, but they help with speed/action points I believe...
Post edited October 29, 2012 by baramos
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RafCaj: Just to let you people updated, I restarted the game and now I'm playing as an elf mage and it is simply destroying everything. I just love it.

Now at almost lv 30 I can explore the amazing world this game has to offer. Mages are trully godly here, even thief functions like picking locks can be done with ease.
Pure melee fighter (preferably Half-Ogre) can make minced meat out of anything. Does not need technology or magick.
Techies, especially gunsmiths, require a lot more time spent playing. If you want quick and easy like everyone says go with pure melee or a mage. With a gunsmith I usually wouldn't take on the BMC until I was around level 20. With a 'ran away with circus' half ogre moron I could blow through it by level 10.

If you're willing to sink some of your very real time into it you shouldn't be going broke or running out of bullets. I find myself hanging out in Tarant and advancing time one day trying to find good schematics and saltpeter. While doing that I'd run a route of the shops and trashcans.

With a human BE 8, CH 8 and Arbaleh's blessing saltpeter costs 37-40 gp. Charcoal you get in trash cans. As long as you're digging in garbage grab the other stuff too. The General Store will buy mens shoes and boots for 7-8 gp. Ladies boots for 18 gp. Liquid Soap and Metal Can's for 2gp. The Junk Dealer will buy Coal and the Large Metal Pipe for 3 gp. Rusty Dagger for 2 gp. Nickel and dime stuff but every little bit helps early on.

The Junk Dealer will also buy at least some tech items. For example the Hand-Crafted Flintlock can be sold for 47 gp with him selling the metal tube for 14 gp. If you have Jayna or Therapeutics 1 you can make and sell Potion of Persuasion. The General Store sells the Mirgaine Cure and Thermometer for 12 gp and will make 3 potions the Junk Dealer will buy for 27 gp each so net profit of 69 gp. Experiment find out what you can turn a profit on and make a bunch of it.
Here's a few things that I did to complete the game as a gunslinger/techguy:

When making the character put a few points into throwing and buy the bomerang in the shop at the start of the game, don't use the early guns just wait until you can craft the first revolver. Put some points into charisma/speech so you can hire the ogre at the first town inn, he's really good at melee. The most important thing to do is allways have a lot of molotovs with you, they are a must for killing hard enemies for most of the game, you can buy the oil/gasoline in shops quite cheap sometimes and the rags you can find in garbage cans along with one of the materials to make bullets. The bullet recipe must be bought at a store so check the techstores regularly. Virgil is decent at first but as you lean more and more to tech his heals fails more often so you might want to learn how to make some healing kits. I didn't do this but I wish I had since a few parts of the game got frustrating like when I stepped on traps and didn't have a way to heal myself.
Post edited November 04, 2012 by MaxGyver92
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MaxGyver92: Put some points into charisma/speech so you can hire the ogre at the first town inn, he's really good at melee.
I'd say thats a waste of points (that is if your just going for combat stuff):
1: the dog allthough lacking in health part is much more efficient damage dealer in this game, and doesn't fill party slot, has no requiry etc.
So you have a better combatant, AND save your skill points.
But i'd advice people not to get any of them, as in arcanum you do get xp for each hit you yourself do, so doing all the hits yourself will drasticly increase the rate of which you level :)
if you take the Bandit background, you start with a pistol that is quite good, and if you put 2 points in gunsmithing early on you can make an even better version of it, the parts for which can all be found at the Crash Site.

if you get the molotov cocktails (1 point in explosives) it will dramatically increase your firepower too, especially against magic enemies. they are probably the most cost-effective weapon in the game.

just buy a bucket of fuel from a merchant, then go around Tarant pulling rags out of the trash. 1 fuel+1 rag=1 molotov. on any given visit you can always find at least 20 or so rags, and sometimes much more. potions of haste are extremely good too, makes your pistol like an uzi.


i never had any trouble with cash. when i was leaving Shrouded Hills i shot dead the old gypsy lady and got a couple thousand gold from her, then went to Dernholm and robbed the blacksmith. combined with all the loot i sell, i never have less than 7-8 thousand bucks.

i usually carry about 300 rounds, but Sogg the halfogre carries at least 1000 more extra just in case. most of the time i end up shooting or blowing up everybody before Sogg gets a chance to hack them, so mainly i just use him as a packmule to carry ammo/trap parts/fuel/loot
Post edited November 12, 2012 by Marrik