The shotgun has long been a staple of American law enforcement and self-defense, but with modern advancements in carbine and submachinegun technology, this venerable weapon system has fallen out of favor. Many view the shotgun as an obsolete weapon meant for country bumpkins and uneducated rural cops at worst, or a niche tool for breaching doors or riot control at best. The Scattergunner proves them all wrong.
While the materials and technology advances of firearms have recently been applied to the shotgun, only the Scattergunner has taken the time to learn specialized techniques to make the most out of this powerful weapon system. In the hands of a trained Scattergunner, a shotgun is capable of reaching out to surprising distances, engaging targets with a level of precision that was previously unknown to the weapon’s detractors. Scattergunners are not simply trap or skeet shooters with a “high-speed, low-drag” weapon; they are highly trained specialists who excel in Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) situations. A Scattergunner can rip targets apart at close range with buckshot, and then rapidly transition to a slug to engage distant targets.
Many Scattergunners are drawn to the shotgun by its brutal close-range power. Others see the inherent versatility of a large-caliber weapon that can chamber multiple types of specialty rounds, from less-than-lethal riot control loads to door breaching rounds to magnum buckshot and slugs for increased punch at extended ranges. Some have merely decided to take the familiar shotgun to new levels of effectiveness.
To qualify to become a Scattergunner, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +2.
Sleight of Hand: 6 ranks
Repair: 6 ranks
Craft (Mechanical): 6 ranks
Feats: Personal Firearms Proficiency; Point Blank Shot; Weapon Focus (any shotgun)
The Scattergunner’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Mechanical), Drive (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Gamble (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (current events, popular culture, streetwise) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Read/Write Language (none), Repair (Int), Ride (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (none), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at Each Level: 5 + INT modifier.
All of the following are class features of the Scattergunner prestige class.
Hit Die: d8
Action Points: 6 + one-half character level, rounded down, every time the Scattergunner attains a new level in this class
Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Scattergunners gain no additional weapon or armor proficiency.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Def Rep
1 +1 +0 +2 +0 CQB Training +1 +1
2 +2 +0 +3 +0 Rapid Fire +1 +1
3 +3 +1 +3 +1 Transition +2 +1
4 +4 +1 +4 +1 Defensive Position +2 +2
5 +5 +1 +4 +1 Tight Pattern +3 +2
6 +6 +2 +5 +2 Weapon Specialization +3 +2
7 +7 +2 +5 +2 Swap Shell +4 +3
8 +8 +3 +6 +3 Greater Weapon Focus +4 +3
9 +9 +3 +6 +3 Keep It Hot +5 +3
10 +10 +3 +7 +3 Hammer of Thor +5 +4
CQB Training (Ex): Since the shotgun’s main arena is Close Quarters Battle, a user must learn how to engage targets at point-blank range. At 1st level, a Scattergunner gains the ability to make a ranged attack with a firearm while in a threatened area without provoking an attack of opportunity.
Rapid Fire (Ex): Many semi-automatic shotguns are unreliable when firing exotic or alternative ammunition, so the professional’s weapon of choice is the pump-action shotgun. Unfortunately, most people cannot cycle the action of a pump shotgun very quickly, and this reduces their effective rate of fire. Through a strict regimen of practice, and a stance designed for better recoil recovery, the Scattergunner can overcome this limitation and fire his pump-action shotgun at nearly the speed of a semi-auto weapon. At 2nd level, when wielding a pump-action weapon, the Scattergunner may treat it as a semi-automatic weapon for all.
Transition (Ex): Shotguns generally lack large amounts of ammunition capacity and are slow to reload, so Scattergunners often find themselves under fire while their weapon is either out of ammunition, jammed or otherwise disabled. In these cases, the Scattergunner trains to quickly transition to a secondary weapon and engage the threat. At 3rd level, the Scattergunner gains the Quick Draw feat for free. If he already has the Quick Draw feat, he gains the Improved Initiative feat instead.
Tight Pattern (Ex): Shotguns are notorious for their limited effective range, but with proper technique and equipment, they are lethal at much longer distances than the average person believes. A trained Scattergunner can even take down a target holding a hostage without harming the innocent. At 5th level, a Scattergunner gains the Precise Shot feat, but may only use it within the first two range increments when using shot rounds. If he has the Far Shot feat, he may now use it with shot rounds.
Defensive Position (Ex): Starting at 4th level, the Scattergunner gains an additional +2 cover bonus to Defense and an additional +2 cover bonus on Reflex saves whenever he or she has one-quarter, one-half, three-quarters, or nine-tenths cover.
Weapon Specialization (Ex): At 6th level, the Scattergunner gains Weapon Specialization in any shotgun with which he has taken the Weapon Focus feat. The Scattergunner gets a +2 bonus on damage rolls with this shotgun.
Swap Shell (Ex): One of the shotgun’s greatest attributes is its versatility. However, it takes precious time to swap out a shell in the weapon for a shell of a different type. Scattergunners train to be able to quickly bring the appropriate type of ammunition to bear on their opponents. At 7th level, a Scattergunner can replace a chambered shell with another shell in easy reach (bandolier, weapon-mounted shell carrier, tactical vest shell loops, etc) as a move-equivalent action that provokes attacks of opportunity, as long as there is at least one empty space in the weapon’s magazine. The previously chambered shell is discarded.
Greater Weapon Focus (Ex): At 8th level, a Scattergunner receives a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls made with the shotgun he selected for Weapon Specialization. This bonus stacks with the bonus from Weapon Focus.
Keep It Hot (Ex): Shotguns rarely carry large amounts of ammunition in their magazines, and few use detachable box magazines. While the power of the shotgun is unparalleled in close quarters, keeping the weapon loaded can be troublesome. The Scattergunner knows this, and continually feeds rounds into his weapon during a fight. At 9th level, the Scattergunner may load a number of shells equal to his Dex modifier once per round as a free action. The Scattergunner must have readily available ammunition to use this ability, such as a receiver-mounted ammunition carrier, bandolier, or tactical vest pouch.
Hammer of Thor (Ex): The combat shotgun is often referred to as the Hammer of Thor by its adherents, and for good reason. The impact of multiple shot pellets or a large slug often causes a nervous system ‘reset’ in targets. The Scattergunner uses this effect to his advantage in combat. At 10th level, when he hits a target with a shot or slug round, he may spend an Action Point to stun the target for 1d4 rounds. The target gets a Fortitude save (DC equal to 10 + Scattergunner class level + Scattergunner’s Dex bonus) to reduce the duration to 1 round.