Author Topic: Building an Archer  (Read 2074 times)

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Kajhera

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Building an Archer
« on: October 26, 2010, 01:26:05 PM »
Hello, so, I was reading many guides, handbooks, and so forth, and I decided it would be fun to try my hand at building an archer. Of course, the handbooks don't account for the relatively lenient houserules I have to work with, so I figured I'd see what ideas you had for one.

Sources: Most 3.5 or 3.0 sources, notably including Dragon Magazine, and one or two things from World of Warcraft roleplaying game (well, one or two things that are easy to remember, I happen not to be the one with the book). I personally refuse to use half-ogre or half-minotaur, however, particularly since I want a dex-based archer for this; also, I am more familiar with 3.5 sources than 3.0.

Character: I want a dexterity-based volley archer, fighting preferably at ranges greater than 60', to rain down death on my foes long before they reach me and possibly before they see me.

Levels: Both an e6 build (no higher than level 6 expected, but feats beyond that) and a 20-level build would be ideal. Either way, I'd like every level to feel like a notable increase in power.

Houserules: Well...
[spoiler]
- 32-point buy.
- Up to 2 flaws, 1 trait per flaw.
- Feats every odd level rather than every third level.
- Feat and skill retraining allowed, cost is time.
- Races aren't required for all racial variants; this tends to vary by racial variant - halfling rogue substitution level can be taken by non-halflings, but goliath barbarian could only be taken by a race with powerful build, say.
- There is no such thing as a multiclassing penalty.
- All skills are class skills except speak language.
- Skills are combined: Acrobatics(Balance,Tumble), Athletics(Climb,Jump), Diplomacy(Diplomacy, Gather Information), Linguistics(Decipher Script, Forgery), Perception(Spot, Listen), Stealth(Hide, Move Silently)
- Most LA +0 playable races gain an additional +2 to an ability score. (Any: Humans, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs; Int: Elves, Goblins; Wis: Dwarves, Changelings; Cha: Halflings, Gnomes, Kobolds; Others: Varies)
- Using the kobold features from Races of the Dragon web enhancement.
- Mutations from d20 Future allowed, though taking cybernetic dependency is ah, not recommended.
- No such thing as the track feat; anyone can track with survival, and rangers gain a bonus feat instead.
- Point Blank Shot does not exist and is not a prereq for anything.
[/spoiler]

----

So the build I'm looking at, I decided to start with a strongheart halfling. I like small size, I like feats, I like dexterity, and I like a bonus with slings and thrown weapons at least until I gain greatbow proficiency. Going with these ability scores for now.
Str 10, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 10.

Now, my thoughts on e6 are basically take Targetteer from Dragon Magazine for all six levels, so I can get the Woodland Archer feat and a +6 attack bonus. However, for normal 20-level play I can probably live without it a few levels.

So how's this: dip Cloistered Cleric for first, exchanging knowledge domain for knowledge devotion, and taking time and pride domains. Cloistered Cleric's having identify as a first level divine spell seems quite nice, I get the 6+int x 4 skill points, and I can simply pretend to be a cleric for first level and do a half-decent amount of damage with the sling.

Continue with Targetteer for a couple of levels, getting greatbow proficiency, dexterity to damage, and arrow swarm.

Dip wildshape-variant ranger for nothing having to do with wildshape and everything to do with a bonus feat and +10 movement speed.

Move into Arcane Swordsage, taking advantage of how those classes work in multiclassing to get 2nd-level spells available here.

Go back into Targetteer for the BAB for woodland archer.

Maybe get another level of swordsage for third-level spells.

Do ... something with my remaining 11 levels. Eldritch knight? Something less vanilla?

So, not entirely sure what flaws/traits to take, and could use some advice on feats as well. I oddly seem to have too many.  :p

Kajhera

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Re: Building an Archer
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 11:58:39 AM »
Hm... no input? Was I too uninteresting / specific?

carnivore

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Re: Building an Archer
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2010, 12:19:44 PM »
do you have a link to the Targetter Class? i am unfamilliar with it

why jump to classes that do not focus on the desired goal(Archery)?

 :D




Kajhera

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Re: Building an Archer
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2010, 12:58:11 PM »
It's a class from Dragon Magazine, issue #310. Fighter variant. Shield proficiency's limited to bucklers, give up proficiency with martial weapons except ranged, gain a couple exotic ranged weapons, and are limited to a specific feat list plus class abilities they can take in place of feats. Of interest to me are the ones that let you add your dexterity to hits with ranged weapons in place of a strength bonus (doesn't let you negate a penalty, and only works against creatures vulnerable to critical hits), and the one that lets you get 2 more attacks for an additional -5 to all attacks, rapid shot as a prereq... so rapid shot and that let me get 4 attacks at a -7 penalty at first level, should I wish.

I'm grabbing Cloistered Cleric for quick Knowledge Devotion, enough skill points to boost that, and for features I happen to like (identify, domain powers, absolute-emergency healing), but I could just take Knowledge Devotion as a feat. Boosting to-hit and damage output I figure are good things, so knowledge devotion's good.

Would you think gishing with arcane swordsage to be a bad idea? Things like nerveskitter, flight, ebon eyes, and sonic weapon struck me as potential options (and invisibility if I somehow manage to get illusion spells, but that's less likely). I'm not sure what would be the *best* spells to take, but I am fairly sure there are spells in the abjuration, evocation, and transmutation schools to make archery more effective. - If I take a level of cloistered cleric, unless offered a compelling argument otherwise, I'm probably going to dip at least two levels of arcane swordsage at some point; those classes add to - ah yeah we use fractional BAB and saves. So they add to +2 BAB for 3 levels and get it back to a nice even number.

There's no specific reason for the level of ranger aside from it gets me a feat now and fast movement helps halflings a touch.

I could definitely use suggestions for nice arcane spells of personal or touch range in the aforementioned schools that boost archery, should I go that route.

Hm - also I don't seem to be doing anything with those Turn Undead attempts. Should I switch 6 points from my wisdom to my charisma, grab a feat to make use of those 6 turn attempts, and completely forget about armor class (concealment and miss chance being slightly more reliable protection)? Not if I want to use wisdom-based (presumably) swordsage casting... Are three turn attempts worth a feat to do something useful with?

Of course, if I switch my scores around to qualify for Power Attack and Divine Might, I can get a reasonable damage boost on my full attack, use up a couple feats, and maybe take a look at that Power Shot bow to further decrease my to-hit bonus... because ... that's obviously my real goal here.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 01:57:55 PM by Kajhera »

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Building an Archer
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2010, 02:44:03 PM »
You're not getting many replies because your first post is long and lacks formatting or easy-to-read organization. Try summarizing your build using a more readable format, like:

Targetteer 6/Cloistered Cleric 1/X 7/Y 8/whatever


Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, etc...

Key equipment: +1 Bloodseeking, Splitting, Hank's Bow, or whatever.

Then add some comments and questions.

What are you applying Eldritch Knight to, by the way? Swordsages don't cast spells. Are you planning on using the arcane variant, which is widely regarded as being pretty broken?

Cloistered Cleric is a great dip. I'd either pick up domains that grant you useful abilities (like Pride), good bonus feats (Time), or that you can trade in for other good Devotion feats (I like Earth, but Law is highly spoken of on here, and Animal is also quite good). The kobold domain can also get you trapfinding, if you want to be the party trap-monkey.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 02:47:02 PM by PhaedrusXY »
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Kajhera

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Re: Building an Archer
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2010, 02:54:11 PM »
Yeah, I wanted to try out the arcane swordsage variant. I don't want to break it, particularly, just abuse it very gently to lend a gishy flare suitable for an archer (as melee maneuvers are not). Perhaps helping me select spells on par with maneuvers of the same level may be more suitable a request?

I'll keep the formatting in mind. Now that I've thought so many different things, not sure how I'd go back to change it.

Law devotion looks really nice, I'll keep it in mind should I decide to make the character lawful. Otherwise probably sticking with Time and Pride. Pride's like the next best thing to being a deity on saving throws, better in some cases, worse in .25% of them.  :)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 03:01:21 PM by Kajhera »

Rebel7284

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Re: Building an Archer
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2010, 03:08:21 PM »
I don't want to break it, particularly, just abuse it very gently

*Snort* sounds like a healthy S&M relationship.
Negative level on a chicken would make it a wight the next day.  Chicken the other wight meat. -borg286

Kajhera

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Re: Building an Archer
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 03:12:02 PM »
... Why does that stuff keep showing up in my group's D&D combos anyway? /tangent.