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Alcopop
2009-06-20, 08:36 AM
...Arcane Archer.


So I'm trying to make a ranged gish for the next game Iím in.

Something functional at level 12 is the target but planned for level 20 is great too.
I'm mostly after high BaB and as full as possible sorc/wiz casting, charisma based is always preferable to me.

Hokay, So far Iíve got two main routes; Bard and Sorc.


Bard

7 Bard
2 Fighter
1 Eldrich Knight
1 Sublime Chord
9 Eldrich Knight

So 9th level casting by 20 and 17 BaB. As well as bardic music which is great for ranged damage.

Biggest issue being the lack of 1-3 sorc/wizard spells, in particular true strike, which I really want in the build (for manyshot)

I guess the other option would be something like


Sorc

6 Sorcerer
1 Fighter
10 Eldrich Knight
3 Something Else >_<Ē
Yeah, I really donít have much of a clue on gish PrCsÖ


For my race Iím thinking Ďbout Star Elf.


Feats (for either) would be somewhere in the realm of;

Point Blank
Precise
Manyshot
Quicken
Smiting Spell (Vampric touch arrows!)
Rapid Shot


So yeahÖ anyone know anything at all to help? Races, Classes, PrCs, Feats, anything really to help make an Arcane Archer with out the Arcane Archer :D


Thanks!

Chineselegolas
2009-06-20, 08:51 AM
Look at that spells in Champions of Ruin. Large number of spells for a ranged character, mostly swift actions which pump the next arrow fired into something really cool.
Unfortunately most the spells are only on Ranger/Assassin spell list. Assassin is partly an arcane caster... Reaching slightly there but could fit.

Ranger into Assassin into Eldritch Knight maybe...
Casters aren't my normal thing

ex cathedra
2009-06-20, 09:05 AM
All 5 levels of Abjurant Champion (Complete Mage) are full BAB, full casting, and the prerequisites are absurdly easy. A rather excellent choice, I think.

If you have full martial/armor proficiency (fighter/paladin levels, etc.) I would take the first level of Spellsword (Complete Warrior). The first level gives you 1 bab, caster progression, d8 hp and a permanent -10% ASF. Coupled with Twilight/Mithral armor and battle caster, you should be getting 0 ASF heavy armor, iirc.

Edit: Just in case, I feel I should point out the excellent save boost that is Divine Grace (Paladin) on a charismatic caster, in case you hadn't consider it.

Keld Denar
2009-06-20, 09:09 AM
Eldariel actually had an interesting build around here somewhere for a Sublime Chord Archer that managed to take 2 levels of AA to get Imbue Arrow. Imbue Arrow is about the only good feature out of that class, and the best part about it is that you take those 2 levels before Sublime Chord, so you don't mess with your full SC casting.

Hmmmm, was like Bard8/AA2/SC2/AbjChamp5/SacExc4

16/20 BAB, IC as a 10th level bard, Turn Undead to power [Divine] feats, and 10th level SC casting.

Lets you drop those AMFs anywhere you want, out to like, a mile away.

Alcopop
2009-06-20, 09:25 AM
Look at that spells in Champions of Ruin. Large number of spells for a ranged character, mostly swift actions which pump the next arrow fired into something really cool.
Unfortunately most the spells are only on Ranger/Assassin spell list. Assassin is partly an arcane caster... Reaching slightly there but could fit.

Ranger into Assassin into Eldritch Knight maybe...
Casters aren't my normal thing

Mm, lot of nice spells in there, definatly for my next archer character but for this one I really want Sorc/Wiz spell list.


All 5 levels of Abjurant Champion (Complete Mage) are full BAB, full casting, and the prerequisites are absurdly easy. A rather excellent choice, I think.

If you have full martial/armor proficiency (fighter/paladin levels, etc.) I would take the first level of Spellsword (Complete Warrior). The first level gives you 1 bab, caster progression, d8 hp and a permanent -10% ASF. Coupled with Twilight/Mithral armor and battle caster, you should be getting 0 ASF heavy armor, iirc.

Edit: Just in case, I feel I should point out the excellent save boost that is Divine Grace (Paladin) on a charismatic caster, in case you hadn't consider it.

Abjurant Champion is ridiculously sexy, no reason not to take it over eldrich knight. @[email protected]" Same with spellsword, why not take the one level dip? Opens up casting with a shield too, which is nice. (though as an archer i'de still want to be in light armor). Divine grace is awesome but the RP and divine connections that a palidan has isn't really what i'm looking for this time round.


Eldariel actually had an interesting build around here somewhere for a Sublime Chord Archer that managed to take 2 levels of AA to get Imbue Arrow. Imbue Arrow is about the only good feature out of that class, and the best part about it is that you take those 2 levels before Sublime Chord, so you don't mess with your full SC casting.

Hmmmm, was like Bard8/AA2/SC2/AbjChamp5/SacExc4

16/20 BAB, IC as a 10th level bard, Turn Undead to power [Divine] feats, and 10th level SC casting.

Lets you drop those AMFs anywhere you want, out to like, a mile away.

Ranged AMF? thats AWESOME! *steals* The Bard8/AA2/SC2/AbjChamp5/SacExc4 is fairly nice, though I wouldn't take the SacExc.



Ok so so far we've got

8 Bard
2 Arcane Archer
1 Sublime Chord
5 Abjurant Champ
1 Spellsword
3 ~?~


I think i'm just going to have to give up on truestrike arn't I >_<" Unless there is a PRC with advanced learning that could fit.

Chineselegolas
2009-06-20, 09:35 AM
Don't forget to grab polymorph and be an outsider (Otherworldly feat) and turn Arrow Demon for twice as many shots (Such useful ability and extraordinary too)


Mm, lot of nice spells in there, definatly for my next archer character but for this one I really want Sorc/Wiz spell list.
No worries, was looking for archer based spells a month back for a character of mine who died before getting them *grumble*great axe critical*grumble*

Keld Denar
2009-06-20, 09:35 AM
Sacred Exorcist is mostly there because its full casting, 3/4 BAB and it gets Turn Undead, as I mentioned, which can be used to power [Divine] feats like Divine Might (Cha to damage, even with a bow) or [Devotion] feats like Travel Devotion (swift action movement) and Law Devotion (massive boost to AC or AB).

Just another way to bring your Cha to bear in combat.

The standard Sorcadin Gish build is Paladin2/Sorcerer4/Spellsword1/AbjChamp5/SacEx8.

This finishes with 18th level Sorcerer casting (1 9th level spell), Divine Grace, Turn Undead, 16/20 BAB, and whatnot. You could easily take ranged feats instead of melee feats and be pretty much of similar effectiveness.

Alcopop
2009-06-20, 09:48 AM
Don't forget to grab polymorph and be an outsider (Otherworldly feat) and turn Arrow Demon for twice as many shots (Such useful ability and extraordinary too)


No worries, was looking for archer based spells a month back for a character of mine who died before getting them *grumble*great axe critical*grumble*

Ha, great axe crits. gets the best of us!

Also, do explain on the arrow demon thing! sounds perfect, what books for Otherworldy feat ?_? and stuff?


Sacred Exorcist is mostly there because its full casting, 3/4 BAB and it gets Turn Undead, as I mentioned, which can be used to power [Divine] feats like Divine Might (Cha to damage, even with a bow) or [Devotion] feats like Travel Devotion (swift action movement) and Law Devotion (massive boost to AC or AB).

Just another way to bring your Cha to bear in combat.

Hrm, good points. If i can fit it into the concept in my head (which is still pretty vague atm) then yeah, definatly.


Also, feats atm,

1 Point Blank
3 Precise
6 Smiting Spell
9 Many Shot
12 Rapid Shot?
15 ~?
18 ~?

Flaw B 1 ~?
Flaw B 2 ~?

Could still take quicken but without True Strike it doesn't seem as sexy. Though with Improvisation it could be nice.

Eldariel
2009-06-20, 09:58 AM
I feated it thusly:

1. Point Blank Shot
3. Precise Shot
6. Planar Touchstone: Catalogues of Enlightement (War)
9. Combat Casting
12. Divine Might
15. Smiting Spell
18. Rapid Shot


Planar Touchstone is basically there just to give you proficiency and weapon focus in Longbow with one feat. PBS, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus & Combat Casting are all prerequisites. Otherwise, you'd have to take Weapon Focus in Shortbow at first and retrain it to Longbow once you take your first Arcane Archer-level.

Oh, and you take first level of Sacred Exorcist on 12 to qualify for Divine Might. It might be worth it to finish off Sacred Exorcist 4/Abjurant Champion 4 instead of Sacred Exorcist 3/Abjurant Champ 5; this allows you to switch out "Dismissal" from your Spells Known, as then you can use Sacred Exorcist's level 4 "Dispel Evil 1/week" to be qualified for the class.


If you had Flaws, I'd go:
1. Point Blank Shot
F. Rapid Shot
F. Combat Casting
3. Precise Shot
6. Weapon Focus (first Shortbow, retrained to Longbow on first AA level as you gain Longbow proficiency)
9. Smiting Spell
12. Divine Might
15. Rapid Metamagic
18. Quicken Spell

just as an example. Hell, you could fit Arcane Disciple in there somewhere for True Strike and all that. But yeah. This should work out just fine.

Chineselegolas
2009-06-20, 10:00 AM
Ha, great axe crits. gets the best of us!

Also, do explain on the arrow demon thing! sounds perfect, what books for Otherworldy feat ?_? and stuff?
Arrow Demon, demon from Monster Manual 3. 10HD outside, three ex abilities, these being:
Oversize Weapons - Bows one side larger without penalty
Close Combat Shot - You don't provoke using a bow, and you can make AoO with bow
Symmetrical Archery - use two bows in unison, -2 to all attacks, make two attacks in place of each (Including all the way down iterative). Sort of greater two weapon fighting except for two bows

Otherworldly is a regional feat in Player Guide to Faerun, makes you an Outside (Native) instead of humanoid. Some other benefits too. And one of the races it is limited to is elves and you are looking at Star Elf...

Keld Denar
2009-06-20, 10:00 AM
Lyric Thaumaturge in Complete Mage might get you what you want, but it'll cost you some BAB. Really, True Strike is kinda lame for archers. You don't have Power Attack, so you really don't have anything to lower your accuracy to increase damage. Thus, between AB, Dex, Greater Magic Weapon, and buffs, you shouldn't ever be missing.

You could do like, a Bard1/Wizard6/Fighter1/ArcaneArcher2/SublimeChord2/AbjCham5/Spellsword1/SacEx2 or something. That would get you 3rd level wizard spells, and your 4th+ level spells would be taken care of by SC.

Alternatively, if you could bend the rules slightly, there are a couple of Paladin varients in Champions of Virtue that grant Inspire Courage. While not full Bardic Music, you might be able to con your DM into allowing it to count to qualify for Sublime Chord. This is not RAW, but its also not that overpowered. Then you could go:

Harmonious Knight Paladin2/Wizard4/Spellsword1/EldKnight1/ArcaneArcher2/SublimeChord2/AbjChamp5/EldKnight+3. This would give you 17/20 BAB, full SC casting, 5th level wizard casting, and some other bonuses.

Eldariel
2009-06-20, 10:10 AM
Lyric Thaumaturge in Complete Mage might get you what you want, but it'll cost you some BAB. Really, True Strike is kinda lame for archers. You don't have Power Attack, so you really don't have anything to lower your accuracy to increase damage. Thus, between AB, Dex, Greater Magic Weapon, and buffs, you shouldn't ever be missing.

You could do like, a Bard1/Wizard6/Fighter1/ArcaneArcher2/SublimeChord2/AbjCham5/Spellsword1/SacEx2 or something. That would get you 3rd level wizard spells, and your 4th+ level spells would be taken care of by SC.

There's a reason I didn't do that though: It doesn't work. Arcane Archer requires 6 BAB, while the base-Wizard build gets 4.75 by level 8 even with fractional BAB. The only functional alternative to Bard 8 is Bard 1/Battle Sorcerer 6/X 1 by fractional BAB and that has very real skill issues with entering Sublime Chord (not to mention, you're taking Battle Sorcerer, meaning you'll have maybe 5 spells known overall).

Alcopop
2009-06-20, 10:29 AM
I've come to peace with losing true stike now that improvisation is on the table, it's a better spell anyhow.

I also think i'll skip Sacred Exorcist; Definitly more optimised but doesn't sit well with me consept wise.

Also on otherworldly, doesn't that mean as an outsider you now can't get
resurrected ?_?

Okay almost there :3


Race, Elf

8 Bard
2 Arcane Archer
2 Sublime Chord
5 Abjurant Champ
1 Spellsword
2 ~?~

Feats
1 Otherworldly
3 Smiting Spell
6 Weapon Focus (elf give prof)
9 Precise Shot
12 Combat Casting
15 Manyshot
18 Quicken

Flaw Noncombative, Point Blank Shot.
Flaw B 2 ~?

Chineselegolas
2009-06-20, 10:39 AM
Also on otherworldly, doesn't that mean as an outsider you now can't get resurrected ?_?
Outside (Native), the same as Tieflings or Aasimars. Raisable and all that good stuff

Eldariel
2009-06-20, 10:41 AM
I wouldn't bother with Manyshot. First of all, firing an Imbued Arrow is a Standard Action giving you a superior way to attack while moving. Second, it requires Rapid Shot, a feat you don't have right now (but you should; it's actually useful for your massive long range volleys).

Quicken Spell is completely useless to you without Rapid Metamagic; you're a spontaneous caster so you normally need a full-round action to apply Metamagic. Therefore, you need Rapid Metamagic somewhere. Seeing you have the open Flaw, you could take Rapid Shot in the Flaw-shot and then Rapid Metamagic where Manyshot is right now.


And yeah, Elf gives proficiency normally, but Star Elf doesn't (it gets +2 Cha, -2 Con which is why I suggested it; a Bard Archer likes that). That's why I had to get the proficiencies (although worth noting that Otherworldly makes you an Outsider, which also gives you all martial weapon profs). You could of course pick up "Words of Creation" [Book of Exalted Deeds] as a feat to use Inspire Courage for Great Justice.

Oh, and you don't qualify for Spellsword; you lack Heavy Armor Proficiency, a prerequisite for the class. That's why I like the Sacred Exorcist, it's a decent combatant and easy to qualify for. Besides, as an Outsider, it makes all sorts of sense for you anyways. And Divine Might kicks ass.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-06-20, 12:02 PM
Actually, if you're wanting to build a decent gish, may I suggest:

Pal2/Sorc4/SS1/AbChamp5

You get:

* Casting Stat to all saves
* Sorcerer casting at 10th level
* 10% reduction in ASF (Mithral Chain is 0% ASF now)
* Auto-quicken on all Abjuration spells of 3rd level and lower
* +5 bonus to AC with Shield spell (which can be brought up as a Swift action for a total of +9 Shield bonus to AC)

Add Feats for flavor

Of course, if you are simply wanting a badass ranged combatant, rather than doing archery exclusively, you simply cannot beat Warblade/Bloodstorm Blade.

If you were wanting a badass archer who didn't need magic, then Scout/Ranger with Swift Hunter feat works better. Take Undead and Constructs as your favored enemies and you can kill almost anything.

Goatman_Ted
2009-06-20, 01:34 PM
A build I've played with great success:

Requires Complete Mage
Made easier by PHB2, UA, CArc, RoD

Rogue 1/Wizard 4/Unseen Seer 10/Arcane Trickster or Spellwarp Sniper 5

Use feat and class feature retraining with Unearthed Arcana's Feat Rogue and Combat Wizard to keep Precise and Rapid Shot from level 1.
Use Practiced Spellcaster for full CL in all schools.


Only loses 1 level Wizard casting.
Uses Persisted Hunter's Eye and Persisted Cloud of Knives for high damage output.
Capable archer from level 1.
Its familiar is a better skillmonkey than most. (Though Abrupt Jaunt is a good choice until you get some better defenses from the Wizard class)

Alcopop
2009-06-21, 10:29 AM
Okay, the more and more I thought about it the less i liked bard and the more i liked sacred exorcist. So I dropped the bard and the Arcane Archer and went the mentioned sorc route.

So heres the final build
Alicia Windcutter

Race
Star Elf

Classes
2 Paladin (Paladin of Freedom)
4 Sorcerer (Metamagic Specialist)
1 Spellsword
5 Abjurant Champion
8 Sacred Exorcist

Feats
F Noncombative, Point Blank
1 Otherworldy
3 Precise
6 Combat Casting
9 Smiting Spell
12 Rapid Shot
15 Divine Might
18 Quicken or Manyshot

I'll try to get my hands on two "splitting" bows.

Solid ranged damage with great versatility and alot of tricks up her sleeve.


Best tricks so far (for when i need to pull out the stops)

Chineselegolas arrow demon transformation for a frighting 24 arrows in a round at 20th (4 bab 1 rapid 1 haste, doubled, split)
of course with charisma to damage aswell.

Explosive Ruin wrapped arrows which are detonated with abrjurant champions swift dispells.

Smacking people with multiple save or die split bone arrows! :D


Heh, and heres the concept, I even drawed pretty pictures!

Alicia Windcutter,
C/G

(Minor Nudity Warning >_<) :P
http://img188.imageshack.us/img188/4291/arcanearcherpub.png

Alicia is a quite young women who tends to handle most affairs politely and professionally; whether negotiating or slaying foes she always seems to remain oddly calm. However in particularly heated situations her outward demeanor changes to more aggressive and boastful, though she doesn't seem to like this about herself. She doesn't tolerate evil, though often refrains from slaying unless necessary, unless of course in it is undead or demonic in which she makes the best of her Craft (Pin Cushion) skill :P. Her goals are to hunt evil and to avenge her fallen order, though this is something she rarely talks about.

(bio, abridged!)
Alicia spent much of her childhood wondering from city to city her natural good luck getting her by without ever landing in too much trouble.
However due to the regions distrust of magic her strange and otherworldly nature often got her run out of town.

After some time she found the Order (of something something), or rather it found her; It was a collection of roaming holy knights bent on destroying demonic and undead forces. She was first adopted and then apprenticed to one of these knights, who taught her the ways of the bow. She took to these teachings with passion.

Hrm, thatís all I got atm, i think the setting she'll be in is ruled by an evil necromancer (named Dr. Cadaverific >_<) so it's likely her order got annihilated by him; giving me a lovely revenge motive for the campaign.


thanks for all the help!

Everything looking solid? :D (if so, spell list next!)