Author Topic: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner  (Read 12277 times)

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JaronK

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Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« on: May 02, 2011, 07:50:51 PM »
This build plays around with the various dex to damage abilities to create a crossbow gunner who can put out some serious damage.  Playing it would feel something like playing a swat team member in D&D... move in, shoot down the enemy, move on.

Whispergnome Feat Variant Rogue 1/Ranger 2/Targeteer Fighter 4/Feat Variant Rogue +1/Warblade 12

Feats: 
1:   Point Blank Shot
(Flaw):  Far Shot
(Flaw):  Precise Shot
Feat Rogue 1:  Improved Initiative
3:  Hand Crossbow Focus
Ranger 2:  Rapid Shot
Targeteer: EWP Great Crossbow
Targeteer: EWP Greatbow
Targeteer 1: Vital Aim
Targeteer 2: Crossbow Sniper
6:  Dead Eye
Targeteer Fighter 4:  Weapon Specialization (Hand Crossbow)
Feat Rogue 2: Ranged Piercing Weapon Mastery
9:  Woodland Archery


Use Complete Warrior to give yourself proficiency in the Quickrazor, which is your backup melee weapon (Feycraft so it uses Dex to hit).  By level 6 you're doing 2.5* Dex to damage with crossbows, so even when using just a hand crossbow you're pretty effective.  Feats are not filled in past level 9, but you get the idea (Take Improved Rapidshot and such).  Eventually, you can use a Splitting Aptitude Force Collision Greatcrossbow while using appropriate maneuvers (Dancing Mongoose and White Raven Tactics). Make sure to get eggshell grenades to use a flashbangs when you charge into a room.

Anyway, it's just the start of a build, but it could be fun. 

JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 05:38:55 AM »
My knowledge of crossbow feats is poor at best.  What's giving you the 2.5*Dex Mod at level 6?

TeslaWolff

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 05:54:13 AM »
I was actually just working on a build just like this, except i was using a dwarf and modelling it after Varric from Dragon Age 2. I believe at lvl20 damage was in the neighbourhood of 5d8+60/attack with 12 attacks (splitting included), not including crits that is respectable and doing it from over 500' with no penalty.

I also recall a whip that automatically entangles enemies you hit if you could get that on the crossbow, it increases the amount of damage you can dish out before they reach you. I believe it is in sandstorm?
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JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 07:38:32 AM »
My knowledge of crossbow feats is poor at best.  What's giving you the 2.5*Dex Mod at level 6?

Crossbow Sniper gives half dex to damage with crossbows in addition to raising sneak attack range to 60'.  Vital Aim just gives dex to damage with ranged weapons.  Deadeye Shot gives Dex to damage within 30' if the enemy isn't immune to sneak attacks. The sum total is 2.5*Dex to damage within 30', 1.5*Dex outside that range (or against sneak attack immunes).

JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 07:51:14 AM »
My knowledge of crossbow feats is poor at best.  What's giving you the 2.5*Dex Mod at level 6?

Crossbow Sniper gives half dex to damage with crossbows in addition to raising sneak attack range to 60'.  Vital Aim just gives dex to damage with ranged weapons.  Deadeye Shot gives Dex to damage within 30' if the enemy isn't immune to sneak attacks. The sum total is 2.5*Dex to damage within 30', 1.5*Dex outside that range (or against sneak attack immunes).

JaronK

Is it the Deadeye Shot from PHII?  Because that one just says that the target loses their dex bonus against my attack.

Tshern

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 08:08:54 AM »
Would Hit and Run Fighter be compatible with the Targeteer variant? That would occasionally give DEX to damage on occasion and a neat +2 to initiative.

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skydragonknight

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 10:13:33 AM »
Would Hit and Run Fighter be compatible with the Targeteer variant? That would occasionally give DEX to damage on occasion and a neat +2 to initiative.

I think they both have armor proficiency reductions, so signs point to "no" unless Targeteers have normal Fighter armor proficiencies.
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Shadowhunter

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 02:42:58 PM »
Would Hit and Run Fighter be compatible with the Targeteer variant? That would occasionally give DEX to damage on occasion and a neat +2 to initiative.

I think they both have armor proficiency reductions, so signs point to "no" unless Targeteers have normal Fighter armor proficiencies.

No and yes respectively.
http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=9073.0

Relevant section:
Quote
NOTE:
Targetteer does NOT gain any shield proficiencies except for the Buckler. So the Hit-and-Run ACF CANNOT be combined with Targetteer.
The only way to combine them would be if your DM allowed you to take Shield Proficiencies enough so that you can swap Tower Shield Proficiency for HaR.
Even then, that's a hefty investment.
Also note that you cannot have different types of fighter in the same character build. Once you choose one of the alternatives, all others are unavailable.
So no HaR Fighter 2/Targetteer 2.


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Rejakor

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2011, 04:33:32 PM »
Couple of wasted feats.

Needs a way to move and then full attack.

Needs a way to full attack with great crossbow.

Might mention gnomish crossbow sight.

Rather than eggshell grenades, flashbangs and tear gas;
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Dragon #298 (the one with the cheesecake Drow on the cover) has a flashstone. 30 GP so it's cheaper than the flash pellet, range increment 10' I believe, 15' diameter burst, Fort save DC 16. Better than the flash pellet pretty much all the way around.

Dragon #334 has something called burning dust, related somewhat to alchemical fire. Thrown weapon, target 5' square, anyone within 5' (so it sounds like a 15' diameter burst) makes Fort save DC 12 or blinded and sickened for 1d6 rounds.

End of the build needs a bit of work.  It's a low level build, but couldn't hurt to do a bit of dumpster diving and find some ways to magic-proof the build, possibly include a short list of items that help keep it viable at higher levels, such as goggles of foe-finding.

Tshern

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 04:42:09 PM »
It can full attack with the Great crossbow as long as it has the Aptitude enchantment thanks to Hand crossbow focus.

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Rejakor

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2011, 04:43:53 PM »
Ah, good point.

JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2011, 05:02:40 PM »
Couple of wasted feats.

Needs a way to move and then full attack.

With Fighter archers, the answer is always the same: get a mount.  Then you can do so.

Quote
Needs a way to full attack with great crossbow.

Already can, so long as it's an Aptitude Great Crossbow.  Hand Crossbow Focus takes care of that.  It can full attack just fine with any Aptitude crossbow (and with any Hand Crossbow)

Quote
Might mention gnomish crossbow sight.

Meant to, somehow forgot to.

Quote
Rather than eggshell grenades, flashbangs and tear gas;

Eggshell grenades ARE flashbangs.  10gp gets you one that blinds your target with no save... there's some others that hit the whole room, but they allow a save and it's pretty low.  I don't like wasting turns on low save attacks like that.

Quote
End of the build needs a bit of work.  It's a low level build, but couldn't hurt to do a bit of dumpster diving and find some ways to magic-proof the build, possibly include a short list of items that help keep it viable at higher levels, such as goggles of foe-finding.

Yeah, I got to level 9 and basically said "well, we're pretty much there."  After that it's just your standard archery build, so slap on the appropriate stuff.

JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 11:13:26 AM »
Might make sense, to get into more detail about your weapon.
- Quickloading is a given, if only to be able to freely choose any of 100 preloaded bolts.
- How about using a Heavy Double Crossbow(RotD Web Enhancement about Kobolds)?
- As for melee backup: Bladed Crossbow, usable as an Axe(officially there only is one with battleaxe, but just like the Elven Swordbow, it can't be hard to extrapolate other types of axe)?
- Add UMD, oder some arcane spellcasting and use Eternal oder normals Wands with a Wand chamber?
- How about Exotic Weapon Master, nothing useful there?

Cagemarrow

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2011, 03:00:21 PM »
I'm a big fan of building a quiver of ehlonna into the ammo cartridge of a repeating crossbow, it's effectively the same as a quiver for a bow right? Turn it into a LAW from Judge Dread by having to tell it what kind of bolts you want. "Adamantine Serpent Tongue Bolts"

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2011, 03:32:55 PM »
Quickloading is redundant with Hand Crossbow Focus.

Heavy Double Crossbow is inferior to Greatcrossbow.

Bladed crossbow sucks, getting into melee is a waste of time for this build.

Nothing really useful in EWM.
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JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2011, 06:27:57 PM »
I went with the Gnomish Quickrazor as a backup weapon because it doesn't use up the hand and the proficiency was free anyway.  The Double Crossbow is pretty lame (firing both shots requires a full round action) so I wouldn't use that, and Hand Crossbow Focus handles the free action reloading, so I'm not too worried about that anyway.

Note that there's another Double Crossbow from Dragon Magazine which is better than the Kobold one... it can fire both shots as a standard action.  Still not great but at least it's useful in the surprise round, and it's also a simple weapon anyhow.

JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2011, 04:30:51 AM »
Wasnt going to respond but I highly suggest that you get MIC (Magic Item Compendium), it has a crossbow enchantment called QUICK LOADING, it allows you to have 100 bolts in a extra dimensional space in addition to it cutting down on the reload time for a heavy crossbow from a full round action to a move action.  Add in RAPID RELOAD and you got free action to shoot as many as your BAB permits.

Heavy repeating and Light repeating could be amusing.

JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2011, 04:52:24 AM »
Wasnt going to respond but I highly suggest that you get MIC (Magic Item Compendium), it has a crossbow enchantment called QUICK LOADING, it allows you to have 100 bolts in a extra dimensional space in addition to it cutting down on the reload time for a heavy crossbow from a full round action to a move action.  Add in RAPID RELOAD and you got free action to shoot as many as your BAB permits.

Heavy repeating and Light repeating could be amusing.

That's AMAZING!  But you know what's even more amazing? Hand Crossbow Focus, which gives you infinite free action reloading on Hand Crossbows, and Aptitude, a +1 Enchantment that lets a feat that applies to any specific weapon apply to the weapon Aptitude is on, thus allowing an Aptitude Great Crossbow to be reloaded as a free action if you have Hand Crossbow Focus.

Seriously, people keep bringing it up, and it's significantly worse than what's in the build right now.  Hand Crossbow Focus + Aptitude is far superior to Quick Loading + Rapid Reload.  This was noted several times.

JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2011, 06:34:04 AM »
Considering there are ways to make sneak attack at range useful, is there a way to work in Craven and Staggering Strike (plus whatever's needed to use them from say 60') in the remaining levels. For added fun, are there ways to get a pounce-like ability for ranged weapons, to allow movement and/or teleportation (UMD a wand of Dimension Jumper if you must) followed by a full attack (or two, with WRT)?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 06:43:18 AM by ILM »

JaronK

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Re: Grace Under Fire: A Dex based crossbow gunner
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2011, 07:30:00 AM »
You could, but I really hate Craven (since I'd rather be immune to fear).  I'd rather get my damage up with Knowledge Devotion and Collision.  Also, note that Crossbow Sniper already sets your sneak attack range to 60'.  As for movement, just get a mount... you're not a Scout, so you don't need to be on foot, and there are many sources of great mounts through the books, most of which are quite cheap and give great maneuverability.  Consider levels of Halfling Outrider if you want to go heavy into that route (in which case you'd want to be a Halfling or Strongheart Halfling, obviously).

JaronK