Bolt Ace (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

While gunslingers are full of sound and fury, there is a class of gunslingers that never soil their hands with powder or feel the sting of gun smoke. They commit their deeds in a more hushed manner, but with just as much flair.

Crossbow Maven

A bolt ace is proficient with all crossbows instead of all firearms and begins play with a masterwork crossbow of her choice.

This ability alters the gunslinger's weapon proficiencies and replaces fog of war and gunsmith.

Grit (Ex)

A bolt ace regains grit when she scores a critical hit or deals a killing blow with any kind of crossbow. She regains grit normally for dares and daring acts. This ability modifies the grit class feature.


A bolt ace can choose from the following deeds and use them with a crossbow instead of a firearm. Deeds in red are only available to the bolt ace.

Level 1: fabulist, fast musket, gunslinger’s dodge, gunslinger's gait, lightning reload, melee shooter, on your feet!, pavise, sharp shoot, sneak shot, stand and deliver, steady aim, vigilant loading.

Level 3: back shield, gunslinger initiative, no name, pistol-whip, redeploy, rope swing, salt shot, twin shot knockdown, up close and deadly.

Level 7: dead shot, deadeye, deft shootist, derring-do, gun twirling, inexplicable reload, leaping shot, startling shot, targeting.

Level 11: bleeding wound, clandestine expertise, deadly aim, evasive, gun sniper, opportunity shot, spotter, wing clip.

Level 15: fast draw, gunslinger's edge, marksman, menacing shot, named bullet, pinning shot, ricochet shot deed, slinger’s luck, staggering shot.

Level 19: at gunpoint, authoritative bluff, cheat death, death’s shot, stunning shot.

Dares: desperate evasion, frantically nimble, out for blood, run like hell.

These deeds are unique to the bolt ace:


A 1st level bolt ace with the pavise deed gains proficiency with tower shields. As long as the bolt ace has 1 or more points of grit, she can position a tower shield in her square. An emplaced tower shield is called a pavise. Picking up the tower shield again is a move action. If she moves to another square without first picking up the pavise, it falls flat and is counted as a normal dropped object. Another creature adjacent to the pavise can pick it up or cause it to fall flat as a move action. If the bolt ace is outflanked while using pavise, the tower shield falls flat automatically. By spending one point of grit, the bolt ace can either place or pick up the pavise as a swift action.

Sharp Shoot

At 1st level, a bolt ace can resolve an attack against touch AC instead of normal AC when firing a crossbow at a target within its first range increment. Performing this deed costs 1 grit point. This deed's cost cannot be reduced by any ability or effect that reduces the amount of grit points a deed costs (such as Signature Deed).

Vigilant Loading

At 1st level, as long as a bolt ace has at least 1 grit point, she does not provoke attacks of opportunity when loading a crossbow.

Back Shield

At 3rd level the bolt ace gains proficiency with tower shields. The bolt ace can wear a tower shield strapped to his back. By turning her back while reloading, she gains a significant amount of protection at little cost. As long as she has at least one point of grit, she can use a tower shield without needing to use a hand to wield it. She gains all the normal advantages and disadvantages of a tower shield. By spending one point of grit at the end of her turn, she can take cover behind the tower shield as noted in its description, except that it is a free action. She retains this cover until the beginning of her next turn. She cannot use this deed and wield a melee weapon; if she does, she suffers the penalties of the tower shield but gains none of the bonuses.

Inexplicable Reload

At 7th level, loading a crossbow becomes unthinking and automatic for a bolt ace. As long as she has at least 1 grit point, she always starts each round of combat (even a surprise round) with her crossbow loaded. Also the amount of time needed to reload a crossbow decreases by one step: a standard action becomes a move action, a move action becomes a swift action, a swift action becomes a free action, and a free action becomes not an action.

Pinning Shot

At 15th level, the bolt ace can spend 1 grit point while shooting a crossbow and attempt to pin down its target with the bolt. If the crossbow attack hits, it pins the target to a nearby object, to a wall, or to the ground, entangling and staggering the target. While pinned by the bolt, the target cannot move out of its space until it takes a standard action to free itself from the pinning bolt, except by means of teleportation.

Crossbow Training (Ex)

Starting at 5th level, a bolt ace can select one specific type of crossbow, such as hand crossbow or heavy crossbow. She gains a bonus on damage rolls equal to her Dexterity modifier with that crossbow. Furthermore, when she scores a critical hit with that type of crossbow, her critical modifier increases by 1 (a x2 becomes a x3, for example). Every 4 levels thereafter, she can pick a different type of crossbow, gaining the bonus damage and increased critical multiplier with that type of crossbow as well.

This ability replaces gun training.

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