Author Topic: The Swift Hunter's Handbook  (Read 172441 times)

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Dusk Eclipse

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #100 on: November 13, 2009, 08:59:41 PM »
just Brainstorming a gestalf build

Were Dire Puma 9 (6HD +LA 3 (natural)/Black blood Hunter 3/ dervish 6// scout 5/ ranger 15.

So any athoughts on that? planning on going TWF route
What, no Barbarian dip for Pounce?

dire were puma gives pounce in aniaml form, Black blood hunter 3 allows me to use my special abilities in hybrid form

BowenSilverclaw

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #101 on: November 13, 2009, 09:15:05 PM »
just Brainstorming a gestalf build

Were Dire Puma 9 (6HD +LA 3 (natural)/Black blood Hunter 3/ dervish 6// scout 5/ ranger 15.

So any athoughts on that? planning on going TWF route
What, no Barbarian dip for Pounce?

dire were puma gives pounce in aniaml form, Black blood hunter 3 allows me to use my special abilities in hybrid form

Ah, sorry, mixed BBH up with Black Blood Cultist :)

In that case, looking good :)
"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

Quote from: J0lt
You caught a fish.  It was awesome.   :lol

Dusk Eclipse

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #102 on: November 13, 2009, 09:24:22 PM »
Here is my feat list the game is starting at ECL 17 so just ignore the level 18 feat.. also I am using the spell-less ranger from Complete divine

1-Expeditous Dodge
Human Bonus: Power attack (Prerequisite for Black Blood Hunter)
3 Darkstalker
6 Vile Natural Attack (Prerequisite for Black Blood Hunter)
9Swift Hunter
12 Mobility
15 Improved Critical Scimitar
18 Open

Ranger Feats
Track
Endurance
Two-weapon Fighting
Improved Two weapon fighting
Greater Two weapon fighting
Blind fight<-Filler feats from the spell less ranger, thinking of asking the DM if I can switch it for Combat Expertise
Combat Expertise<- Filler feat from the spell less ranger, thinking of asking the DM if I can switch it for Robilar's Gambit
Improved Trip <-Filler feat from the spell less ranger, thinking of asking the DM if I can switch it for Spring attack
Scout feat
Improved Skirimish
Animal HD
Alertness

BowenSilverclaw

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #103 on: November 13, 2009, 09:36:10 PM »
No Keen Scimitars instead of Improved Critical or Mystic Ranger for Wraithstrike?

Improved Trip is nice, but at higher levels Tripping becomes a less viable tactic (or at least, that's what I've experienced in my own campaigns), especially without a tripping weapon.
"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

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You caught a fish.  It was awesome.   :lol

Dusk Eclipse

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #104 on: November 13, 2009, 09:38:40 PM »
No Keen Scimitars instead of Improved Critical or Mystic Ranger for Wraithstrike?

Improved Trip is nice, but at higher levels Tripping becomes a less viable tactic (or at least, that's what I've experienced in my own campaigns), especially without a tripping weapon.

There is no space for keen scimitar since in this campaing we are limited to only one item so no keen scimitars, as for the mystic ranger I have definetly heard of it, but I don't know exactly what does it do or where do I found it, care to enlightenme?

BowenSilverclaw

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #105 on: November 13, 2009, 09:41:49 PM »
My bad, I meant the Sword of the Arcane Order feat for rangers, I tend to get both mixed up every now and then...
"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

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You caught a fish.  It was awesome.   :lol

Dusk Eclipse

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #106 on: November 13, 2009, 09:44:47 PM »
My bad, I meant the Sword of the Arcane Order feat for rangers, I tend to get both mixed up every now and then...

Is that the feat that lets you prepare wizard spell in ranger slots? if yes from which source is it?

the sad part is that the party doesn't have an arcane caster, we have a druid/ranger half dragon) and a pile of templates Cleric/blackguard

BowenSilverclaw

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #107 on: November 13, 2009, 09:47:10 PM »
IIRC it's from a Forgotten Realms book, I'm not sure which one though (just google it ;)), I've had a hard-drive wipe a couple of days ago.

But yeah, that's the one.

"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

Quote from: J0lt
You caught a fish.  It was awesome.   :lol

Dusk Eclipse

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #108 on: November 13, 2009, 09:48:59 PM »
IIRC it's from a Forgotten Realms book, I'm not sure which one though (just google it ;)), I've had a hard-drive wipe a couple of days ago.

But yeah, that's the one.



thank you

snakeman830

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #109 on: November 13, 2009, 10:40:33 PM »
Which book is Black-Blood Hunter from?
I am constantly amazed by how many DM's ban Tomb of Battle.  The book doesn't even exist!

Quotes:[spoiler]
By yes, she means no.
That explains so much about my life.
hiicantcomeupwithacharacterthatisntaghostwhyisthatamijustretardedorsomething
Why would you even do this? It hurts my eyes and looks like you ate your keyboard before suffering an attack of explosive diarrhea.
[/spoiler]

If using Genesis to hide your phylactry, set it at -300 degrees farenheit.  See how do-gooders fare with a liquid atmosphere.

BowenSilverclaw

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #110 on: November 13, 2009, 10:48:12 PM »
Which book is Black-Blood Hunter from?
IIRC it's from Player's Guide To Faerun...
"Weakness? Come test thy mettle against me, hairless ape, and we shall know who is weak!"

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You caught a fish.  It was awesome.   :lol

Dusk Eclipse

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #111 on: November 13, 2009, 11:05:02 PM »
Which book is Black-Blood Hunter from?
IIRC it's from Player's Guide To Faerun...


That is correct, in the apendix/anex don't remember how they called it

Dusk Eclipse

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #112 on: December 03, 2009, 02:38:54 AM »
Sorry for the double post, but I just had this Idea, assuming we houseruled that the variant druid that gives wisdom to AC, favorite enemy (as ranger) but looses wildshape. would it be a good idea to make a swifthunter out of it?

I know that wildshape is one of the best abilities of the Druid, but it think it could be a flavorful build.

cru

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #113 on: December 03, 2009, 01:03:12 PM »
so you're using this variant, right? http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantcharacterclasses.htm#druid

well, provided you could qualify for the feat and houseruled that advancing druid would improve feat's benefits... it would still suck. I mean, of course, you will still be stronger than a ranger.

A druid/scout is proficient with a limited number of weapons, few are any good. Longbow is not on the list. I don't see druid casting helping you much with triggering skirmish. Spell Compendium has a third level spell that grants Pounce for one round - this will eat up your slots rather fast I guess.

Akalsaris

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #114 on: January 22, 2010, 06:23:53 AM »
I figured I'd post a small update to the thread.  A few pages back I posted the results from my swift hunter's first 2 sessions, we've had another 3-4 sessions since then.  I figured it might be helpful for people interested in what a swift hunter is like in actual play.

The character: Jey, Scout 3/Ranger 10. 
Build:[spoiler]
Jey, NE Human Scout 3/Ranger 10 
1st char: Point Blank Shot
1st hmn: Precise Shot
3rd char: Travel Devotion
4th ranger bonus: Track, FE: Arcanists +2
5th ranger bonus: Rapid Shot, FE: Arcanists +2, Humans +4
6th ranger bonus: Endurance
6th char: Swift Hunter
9th char: Improved Favored Enemy
9th ranger bonus: Multishot
10th: FE: Arcanists +2, Humans +6, Constructs +2
12th char: Natural Bond
In the future...
14th ranger bonus: Improved Precise Shot
15th planned: Improved Critical (Composite Longbow), FE: Arcanists +2, Humans +8, Constructs +2, Dragon +2
18th planned: Darkstalker (LoM)
20th planned: FE: Arcanists +2, Humans +10, Constructs +2, Dragons +2, Elementals +2

Skills: Hide, Move Silently, Jump, Tumble, Spot, Listen, Profession (Sailor), Survival
ACFs: FE: Arcanists (CM), then the cityscape ones are planned for 13th and 17th ranger.
Pet: Snap the Giant Crocodile (Druid level of 10/2 = 5 (+3 from natural bond) = 8.
Spells: Hunter's Mercy, Exacting Shot

Why did I build him like this?  Basically, I joined the campaign at 10th level, and originally went with Scout 4/Cloistered Cleric 1/Ranger 5.  Combat in the campaign almost never occurs more than 1/day, however, so the cloistered cleric level ended up being dead weight, especially since I wanted a better BAB and was annoyed at how it messed up my skills list.  It didn't fit in too well with the character concept either.

The campaign focuses very heavily on humans, and the BBEG of the campaign is a human sorcerer, so I got arcanists, humans, and constructs as my 3 favored enemies.  Since then we've fought orcs and dragons, so my next FE will be dragons most likely.  I went with a ranged character as the other PCs are either melee (rogue, monk, and shapeshifter druid) or spellcasters (wizard, cleric).  I ended up re-speccing and getting Natural Bond since we really lacked strong meatshields in the party.  [/spoiler]

Sessions:
[spoiler]
1st session: (and the 4th in the campaign)
Summary: We put on a circus, and kidnap an evil double agent for information afterwords.
Non-combat: I made a few pointless perform checks.
Combat: None except for a grapple check on a fleeing woman.  Good thing I took all those child grabbing classes! 
Conclusions: I mostly sat around and got blitzed, with little to no effect on the session, which was largely spent arguing over who should do what in the circus. 

2nd session:
Summary: We scouted out an enemy castle, then fought a giant spider mecha in a courtyard.
Non-combat: I made a few untrained aid another checks, as well as some simple bluff and disguise stuff.  There was an opportunity for me to scout ahead in an enemy fortress, but the monk was also specced for stealthy stuff (though not as well as I was), so I let him do it.  Turned out the DM had some NPCs discussing the monk's monastery and their plans for it anyhow, so it's a good thing I didn't take over. 
Combat: This session had pretty much everything to let a swift hunter shine, since there was a single large opponent in a wide, empty area.  It was a construct, but swift hunter let me use precision damage on it regardless.  My high reflex save meant that its AOE damage was useless against me, and with travel devotion I was able to put out some very solid damage.  My crocodile also came in surprisingly handy, since it made a terrific AOO and grappled the construct.  Overall I made a very big first impression on the party, which wasn't expecting a scout/ranger to be particularly useful in the damage department.  After this fight I switched to my current build, which meant a stronger animal companion (giant crocodile), and more levels in ranger.

3rd session:
Summary: We traveled to a PC's family's house, and stopped an assassination attempt
Non-combat: I made some spot and listen checks easily.
Combat: There was a very easy fight where we bottle-necked some humans and shot them from the balcony as they tried to get into the house.  Every opponent except for the last one was either too far away for skirmish or the area was too tight, so my damage output was pretty limited.  For the last opponent I jumped from the balcony using travel devotion, and unloaded a full attack skirmish for about 110 damage, which felt pretty good.
Notes: The combat was mostly a cakewalk, with the spellcasters not even bothering to cast any of their spells since they were waiting for the actual threat.  The game is extremely loot-light, but in an unexpected twist the opponents had some nice ranger gear that was probably intended for the rogue player.  So despite still using a normal, non-masterwork bow, I had gloves of dexterity +4 and +3 studded leather.  Skirmish was a real pain to use this combat though.

4th session:
Summary: I missed this one!  It was apparently a short session and the diplomancer rogue basically beat the only encounter though, so I would have been useless.

5th session:
Summary: Orcs attack a city by ship and we beat them up
Non-combat: I again prove myself to be the only PC with Spot and listen trained, which means I make a lot of those checks so the DM can tell us things that he'd tell us even if we all rolled 11's. 
Combat: Given that orcs aren't a favored enemy for my character and were far more than 30 feet away, I was reduced to essentially 1d8+3 per attack against them, which was pretty unimpressive.  The wizard and cleric together solved the encounter handily. 

6th session:
Summary: I missed this one!  Basically the orcs were bringing in a siege weapon, and the wizard blew up the bridge under it, then killed the rest of the orcs for good measure.  Nobody else did anything as far as I could tell.

7th session:
Summary: We catch an enemy leader!
Non-combat: Once more I made a bunch of Spot checks. 
Combat: None
Notes: I'm starting to really feel the lack of usefulness for a skills-based character in the campaign, especially since we have a diplomancer and the knowledge skills are taken by the wizard and cleric.  With the monk player gone, at least the scouting role is still theoretically now mine. 

8th session:
Summary: the wizard and cleric single-handedly destroy a city, the 3 non-casters capture the king, chase down a bad guy, and then we all scare off the BBEG on his ancient red dragon.
Non-combat: This session was all combat!  I made some Spot checks (surprise, surprise - but one was a 38!), and also some solid tumble checks. 
Combat: There were 2 main combats in this one that my character was involved in.  The first involved a group of human guards, who basically got torn to pieces by the druid, while I contributed a bit of damage (just doing move and shoot - I should have been using multishot, but I forgot I had the feat).  I got to cast my ranger spells for the first time before the fight with the king - Longstrider was a surprisingly useful spell! 

The second fight was an attempt to kidnap the evil king.  The room was very cramped, but I managed to just barely get skirmish damage every round.  My giant crocodile tanked a ridiculous amount of damage (around 80 points), while I activated travel devotion and ran around the room delivering full attacks with skirmish.  The damage added up quickly, and was nearly on par with our uber-charger druid.  My mobility also proved useful in running down an opponent. 

The next "fight" was an aerial one, which made me very glad that I had purchased a figurine of wondrous power (bronze griffon).  Basically we went up against the main bad guy, who was 10 CRs over us, riding an ancient red dragon also 10 CRs higher than us.  Surprising the DM, we charged to the attack!  At this point he admitted that he thought we would run away and had never statted out the main villain, so he had him teleport away while the red dragon flew off (me pursuing him on my little griffon)!  [/spoiler]

Final Notes: [spoiler]
Even in the best situation (fighting your favored enemy with skirmish active on full attacks), the swift hunter is not really a damage dealer on par with a leap attacking charger, mounted charger, or well-made blaster wizard, but it was able to come close several times.  Skirmish was definitely a fun mechanic, though frustrating in its limitations.

Travel devotion was unbelievably useful for damage and mobility.  I highly recommend it, along with any other method for gaining full attacks with skirmish damage.  A belt of battle (MIC), chronocharm of travel (MIC), and an item of swift leap (warblade/swordsage 1 maneuver), would also be good additions (and I plan to purchase them in-game if/whenever I get the chance).  It wasn't really clear to me if movement while mounted counted towards skirmish or not - if it does, then having a mount and shooting from it with full attacks while it makes move actions is almost certainly a good low-level idea.

The animal companion was also surprisingly handy, even with the hit to its level from multi-classing to scout.  It's sad to think how much more effective a straight druid's AC would have been though.  On that note, by 13th level it's painfully obvious how much more effective the wizard and cleric PCs were at just about everything with just a day's prep.  Mid-levels (6th to 10th) seem to be a sweet spot for swift hunters. 

Skills haven't been heavily used in this campaign, so aside from Spot there wasn't much use to the ranger's varied skill list, which is one of the supposed advantages of a swift hunter.

Mixed with Pathfinder:
I think PF would work very well with a swift hunter build overall.  Less redundancy from skills (Hide+Move silently = Stealth, Spot+Listen+Search = Perception, etc) would let the character cover 1-2 more roles in the party with the freed up skill points.  Ranger caster level and Animal Companion level would also be much stronger.  Having Favored Enemy apply to attacks would also have made a huge difference in damage, especially combined with Deadly Aim (PF's power attack for ranged weapons).  Ranged fighting is hugely feat-intensive, so the extra number of feats in PF would be very handy.  [/spoiler]

Sinfire Titan

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #115 on: January 22, 2010, 10:14:15 AM »
Someone at GianITP pointed out that a Full Attack with a ranged weapon doesn't technically provoke an AoO.


[spoiler][/spoiler]

Brainpiercing

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #116 on: January 22, 2010, 12:34:09 PM »
Akalsaris: Have I just missed it or is there no Improved Skirmish in your build, anywhere? To me that feat is always essential to any swift hunter....

Akalsaris

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #117 on: January 22, 2010, 04:57:36 PM »
Nah, I had it in the original build (Scout 4/Cloistered Cleric 1/Ranger 5), but took it out in favor of natural bond, since that gave me the effective druid level boost to go from a normal crocodile companion to a giant crocodile, which was a big jump in the AC's HP/attacks/grappling/damage, way higher than 2d6 more on skirmish attacks.  Also, the monk PC was whining about my damage, though fortunately he's no longer playing. 

I also weighed having improved skirmish vs. imp. favored enemy, but favored enemy has been more reliable than skirmish so far, and I don't like the way the DM gives me the fishy eyes when I have a handful of d6's in my hands :P  Given how tricky it has been to activate skirmish most fights, I'm not sure how often I'd be able to move 20ft without exposing the character to opponents or leaving skirmish range.  It's still not a bad feat though.  With feats like Darkstalker, Woodland Archer, Improved Initiative, Improved Critical, and more Travel Devotion, however, it's got a lot of competition for those last 2 feat slots.

Sinfire Titan: Personally, I think arguing that a full attack with a ranged weapon not provoking AoO's is being an unnecessary rules-lawyer, like monks not being proficient in unarmed strikes, or drowning healing PCs to 0. 

Sinfire Titan

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Re: The Swift Hunter's Handbook
« Reply #118 on: January 22, 2010, 05:23:48 PM »
Sinfire Titan: Personally, I think arguing that a full attack with a ranged weapon not provoking AoO's is being an unnecessary rules-lawyer, like monks not being proficient in unarmed strikes, or drowning healing PCs to 0. 

I'm aware. Some DMs may let it slide, others won't, but the ones that will are rare.


[spoiler][/spoiler]

S_Jerusalem

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What about Mounted Archery?
« Reply #119 on: March 21, 2010, 06:47:23 AM »
I have been trying to come up with ways to run a reasonably optimized Swift Hunter without resorting to dipping CC1 for Travel Dev sickness. This spurred me to examine everything and, after actually reading the rules for mounted combat, I discovered that mounted archers may make Full Attacks. This seems like an option.

Have any of you tried it out? Here is the build I am thinking of, entering a 1-21 arc (AoW) @ 12-14th. The only stuff that is non-negotiably out is Realms stuff.

Dragonborn Tundra Halfling (Undecided on the feature, leaning to Mind, but metabreath feats seem like an interesting option)

1 Sct1: Point Blank Shot, 1 Flaw allowed for Precise Shot
2 Sct2
3 Rng1: Mounted Combat, Track, ACF: FEnemy: Arcanists
4 Sct3
5 Rgr2: Combat Style (Rapid Shot),
6 Sct4: Swift Hunter, Imp. Skirmish
7 Rgr3: Endurance
8 Rgr4: ACF: Trading spellcasting for the bonus feats. Natural Bond, Phynxkin Companion.
9 Rgr5: Mounted Archery
10 Ftr1: Imp. Mounted Archery
11 Ftr2: Imp. Rapid Shot (Really not certain if this is worth the feat or not, never used it before)
12 Rgr6: Combat Style II (Manyshot... :( ), Some other undetermined Feat xxx

The ability of firing at any point during your animal's move with Imp. Mounted Archery should ensure that he always gets to skirmish and is rarely in range to even be charged. Using a flying mount might be very good as well, though I give up a bit of potential in a dungeon type setting by losing the Phynxkin's climb. (which I usually find better in enclosed spaces)

I understand the potential issues of depending on a mount, I will assure with the necessary scrolls that one of the casters could always summon me up a Phantom Steed/Stag for me to ride JiC.

I'm not thrilled with the Ranged Combat style, but unless I go with the Glove of Javelins approach, I don't see any style that could get me feats I want in all 3 spots. I can probably get Dragon Mag stuff, so if anyone knows a better style, it would be appreciated. I suppose I could just spend a feat on Rapid Shot, take the TWF style and have a nice bow and the gloves.

I have also considered changing the feats slightly (eliminating the bonus from losing casting), being a Mystic Ranger and using the Wild Cohort feat for the mount. This might actually be optimal, since I only really need the precision damage for undead FE.

Please comment.