View Full Version : Combat Sniper, Test Sample II.

Night Shrike
2008-03-11, 10:29 PM
For those of you who have seen this post already, (originally under "Combat Sniper First Test Sample") no, I have not actually changed anything from the first time I posted this. Due to truely a underwhelming level of commentary, I'ma post it up again. So I might get a litte ebit more exposure for the test sample.
I cannot stress enough how important your opinions, insights and theorys are to me people! I need experienced competent gamers to help me edit this stuff before I put it into action! Thnx! :smallbiggrin:

Combat Sniper

Lvl. Base Attack Fort Ref Will Special Abilities
Bonus Save Save Save

1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Patient Marksman, Shot on the Run
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Enhanced Shot +1
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Improved Cover/Improved Concealment
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Enhanced Shot +2
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Improved Projectile +1/+1, Improved Precise Shot
6th +6 +5 +5 +2 Enhanced Shot +3
7th +7 +5 +5 +2 Practiced Marksmanship
8th +8 +6 +6 +2 Enhanced Shot +4
9th +9 +6 +6 +3 Improved Projectile +2/+2, Greater Cov’/Con’
10th +10 +7 +7 +3 One Shot-One Kill, Enhanced Shot +5

Hit Dice: d8

To qualify as a Combat sniper, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Skills: Balance 4 Ranks, Climb 4 Ranks, Move Silently 4 Ranks, Hide 4 Ranks, Spot 4 Ranks, Listen 4 Ranks, and Jump 4 Ranks
Feats: Weapon Focus (Any Projectile Weapon with a range increment of at least 60ft), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Far Shot

Class Skills
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge Local (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex)

Skill Points at each Level: 4+ Int Modifier

Class Features
The following are class features of the Combat Sniper prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Combat Snipers do not gain any proficiency with armor or shields, but gain proficiency with all Basic and Martial projectile weapons. All weapon-related abilities of this prestige class apply only to projectile ranged weapons with which the character is proficient, and only function when the character is wearing light or no armor, no shield and a light or no load.

Patient Marksman(Ex): Equal to a Combat Sniper’s wisdom modifier per day, he may take extra time to “feel the Shot” and increase his accuracy. By spending a number of rounds in full round actions equal to the desired bonus, a Combat Sniper may add up to his wisdom modifier to his attack roll for a single attack. The bonus applied this way may never exceed his Combat Sniper level.
Shot on the Run(Ex): At first level, a new Combat Sniper gains the “Shot on the Run” feat, per the Players Handbook, page 100, as a bonus feat, even if he does not meat the requirements for it. It is always advantageous for a Combat Sniper to take the shot and then leave the scene as soon as possible to avoid capture or deadly retaliation.
Enhanced Shot +1(Su): Beginning at second level, projectiles launched from the ranged weapon of a Combat Sniper almost always seem to find there mark and never seem to waste their energy in less damaging attacks, even when the Combat Sniper finds himself in less then favorable conditions. If a Combat sniper finds himself in a situation that does not led itself to patient extended aim, he may use his acutely honed instincts applying to his chosen weapon’s nature to make his targets wish they had not been so aggressive. This bonus to ranged projectile attacks and damage can only be applied when no other non variable numeric effects from the Combat Sniper class are applied, exception, Improved Projectile (Below). This bonus grows to +2 at 4th level, again to +3 at 6th level, to +4 at 8th level and finally to +5 at 10th level. Enhanced Shot does stack with magical enhancement.
Improved Cover/Improved Concealment(Ex): Once a Combat Sniper has reached third level, he gains the ability to better take advantage of the great significance of secrecy, or the potent benefit a low wall or doorframe presents to a sharp minded sniper. Once per day, multiplied by the Combat Sniper’s intelligence modifier, he may decide to either make better use of cover, by giving himself an extra +2 bonus to his AC and ranged attacks on top of the normal bonus the given cover grants, or he may opt to make himself less noticeable by adding an additional 10% concealment bonus to the already present concealment. Setting himself up in this manner requires a move equivalent action. This ability may not be used in environments where there is no cover or concealment as a physical presence already. This ability stacks with spells such as blur, or displacement. He may never use this ability more times per day than his Combat Sniper level. The duration of this ability is as long as the Combat Sniper holds position, if he moves, he must reset himself. These bonuses increase to +4 AC/Attack, or plus 20% concealment at 9th level as Greater Cover/Concealment.
Improved Projectile (Ex): Upon attaining 5th level, a Combat Sniper learns to harness the intricacies of his weapon to significantly increase the effectiveness of his already deadly attacks. This bonus is equal to +1/+1, and applies to the critical threat range and critical multiplier in all a Combat Sniper’s ranged attacks with his chosen weapon. Example, a 5th level Combat Sniper with a heavy crossbow threatens a critical hit on 18-20 in stead of 19-20, and his crossbow’s critical multiplier increases from x2, to x3. These bonuses increase to +2/+2 and 9th level. This bonus does stack with the improved critical feat and with the effects of the keen edge spell. It does not, however; change the fact that keen edge and the improved critical feat do not stack with each other.
Improved Precise Shot(Ex): At 5th level a Combat Sniper also gains the use of the “Improved Precise Shot” feat per the feat described in the Players Handbook page 96. His skill at making the best of naturally difficult shots have by this time become almost second nature and only complete concealment and cover offer even the least bit of protection from his keen eye and deadly aim.
Practiced Marksmanship(Ex): At 7th level a Combat Sniper’s astounding skill and gut feeling for his weapon take on a new form of display. He gains the ability to extend the range of his weapon by an additional 50%. This increase stacks with the increase applied by the “Far Shot” feat, and other range enhancements and pertains to all attacks he performs with said weapon. Exception, “Practiced Marksmanship” does not stack with range bonuses given from other classes, for example, a Deepwood Snipers 10ft per class level range increment bonus never stacks with this ability.
One Shot-One Kill(Ex): When a Combat Sniper attains 10th level; he has reached the pinnacle of his abilities and gains access to the most potent attack in the arsenal of any sniper. The One Shot-One Kill mantra is uttered by all snipers in training or would be sharpshooters, but only the Combat Sniper truly takes it to heart. By taking a full round per 50ft the intended target is distanced away from the sniper to do nothing but aim and focus his considerable abilities, he may take a shot so deadly, that only the stoutest of body have a hope of survival. If the attack taken at the end of the last round used to aim hits the target and deals damage, the Combat Sniper forces the now injured mark to make a Fortitude save DC = to 20 plus the Combat snipers intelligence modifier. If the subject of the save fails, he immediately drops below -10 hit points and dies. If he succeeds on the save, he must then make an equal DC Will save or be stunned for one round per point of intelligence modifier of the involved Combat Sniper. This deadly attack is useable only one time a day, plus one additional time per day, per kill achieved through the use of this ability. Example, if a Combat Sniper fires a shot and connects with a 1st level warrior and the warrior fails the save and dies or dies from the damage inflicted by the projectile normally, the sniper may go on to immediately make another One Shot-One Kill attack. He may continue to make these attacks until he either fails to kill a target, or he reaches half the number of his Combat Sniper level. He must make all said attacks in succession, without moving from his position, or he loses the ability to make any more of them that day. This special attack is useless against targets invulnerable to death attacks or death by massive damage, such as undead or constructs. It was also unusable against creatures with no discernable anatomy.

2008-03-12, 01:27 AM
you realize that instead of reposting, you can just bump the original? it was only two days ago that your last post went quiet. fresh meat. far from necromancy.

same things that i mentioned last time. go with standard DC and stuff.

it is a good conceptualization. just needs some fleshing out and refining. what does everyone else think?

Miles Invictus
2008-03-12, 01:03 PM
I think it'd be good with a few tweaks, but you really need to clean up your writing.

First, you have too many prerequisites. Trim the prerequisites to base attack bonus, a few skills and a feat or two. I suggest "Base Attack +5, Hide 4, Move Silently 4, Point Blank Shot, and Far Shot." This gives both Fighters and Rangers a decent chance of entering the class at 6th level.

I think you should add Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature), and Survival to the list of class skills. They're very appropriate given the flavor of the class.

Patient Marksman takes multiple full-round actions to utilize properly, only grants a small bonus to a single attack, and uses an otherwise unused stat. For comparison, True Strike requires only a standard action to cast and gives a +20 bonus to an attack. Patient Marksman would be much more useful if it worked faster and used a relevant ability score. For example, allowing the sniper to spend a full-round action to make a single attack, with his or her Intelligence modifier as an added bonus.

Enhanced Shot should stack with Patient Marksman, and it should also be an extraordinary ability. This class is built around highly accurate single attacks, and its features should work together.

One Shot One Kill does not scale, so it becomes less useful over time. Its DC should be 15 + half class level + Intelligence modifier. Its initial DC is the same, but it improves as the player gains additional Combat Sniper levels. The way it gains additional uses is also much too complicated. I suggest 1 + Int mod daily uses, and only allowing it to be used on a particular creature once per day.

Your descriptions are wordy and fail to separate mechanics from flavor. This makes them difficult to understand. Mechanics need to be clearly stated. You also don't need very much flavor -- an introductory sentence or two is more than sufficient for class features. If you must have flavor, give the Combat Sniper an introductory paragraph or two.

For example, rewrite Enhanced Shot as follows:

Enhanced Shot +1(Ex): Beginning at second level, a Combat Sniper's ranged attacks gain an unnamed +1 bonus to attack and damage. This bonus increases by an additional +1 at every even level, until it becomes a +5 bonus at 10th level.

I hope that helps.

2008-03-12, 03:46 PM
I like the flavor of it -- an option for which Rangers can utilize all of their previous class abilities. I know a lot about how this whole archery thing works over a long term campaign -- I have an Order of the Bow Initiate Character I've been playing for 3 years now. The transition from Fighter to OotBI was flawless, but I could imagine Ranger - OotBi being much less so.

However, it's got a lot of really long term abilities. Also, within a party, I could see a lot of people being frustrated having a sniper around.

Sniper: Give me three rounds, then someone's dying.
Warmage: Fine. Whatever. That's 3 fireballs you're asking for me not to use, you know. I could probably waste the whole group with that.
Sniper: True, but see the spellcaster? He'd fireball you back if he lived, and has a crappy fort save.
Cleric: Fine, I'll just buff people.

*Three rounds later*

Sniper: Dead.
Warmage: Time to nuke.

*entire combat ended in 2-3 rounds.*

Just pointing that scenario out. The three rounds is nice enough, I guess, but in that time, the party could accomplish so much more. That's the danger of seriously time dependant abilities. However, the class is intended to be a kind of a loner. I would recommend it if the party had a ranger or Rogue that frequently went out alone. Otherwise...I'm not so sure. I can do a lot of the same things with Greater Invisibility and/or Fly attached to my Order of the Bow Initiate using 4 arrows and my Precision Shot damage. I do 12d8 every round if all 4 of my arrows hit ((Greater Manyshot ftw)).

OotBI might be a good comparison baseline.

Only thoughts so far. Still reading it. The other advice given seems sound to me, though.

Night Shrike
2008-03-13, 06:25 PM
Ok, I guess now is where I address the complete REAMING Miles here handed me.

1st - I originally did set the bar a bit high on the Skills prequisits, which is why I think I'll cut the 4 rank pre-rec in: Balance, Climb, and Jump, but I'll leave the rest of them. I think I will leave the feats alone tho, they are a big part of the flavor of this class, and I would hate to change them. A human fighter or ranger could still both take this class at 6th-lvl anyway, at least if they took these feats right away.

2nd - I think Miles is right about the Knowlege (Nature) and (Geography), it makes perfect sense to add those skills to the list. I kinda got hung up on makeing this an urban warfare class pre-maturely. On the other hand tho, I think that I will aslso add the Knowlege (Architecture) skill to the class skill list too, seeing as what good is trying to hide in a building if u cant figure out the best spots to hide are?

3rd - I think I will change the Patient Marksman thing up a lil too. I'm going to speed it up a little, like you suggested, change it to Move actions in stead of full rounders. I think I might go a step farther and let the add on to attack go up to half your combat Sniper Lvl + Wis Mod. I had allways intended this class to be a Wis/Int based class anyway.

4th - Adressing your Enhanced Shot comments. When you made your points, I began to relaize that haveing a class feature thats not compatable with your other class features was indeed outright goofy. Which is why I think I'll overhaul that ability completely.
Enhanched Shot (Ex): -Revised- A Combat Sniper has a second sense about how a projectile will fly, and can anticipate it. At 2nd level, and every even numbered level afterward to 10th, the Combat Sniper may add 1d8/one-half of his Class lvl to one shot/round/point of Int-Mod. He cannot exceed his normal number of attacks this way. Any other attacks he makes are treated normally. This ability stacks with all combat sniper class abilities.
What do we think of that?

5th - Your One Shot-One Kill arguement struck me hard, but it's true. What's the use in a capstone ability if it doesnt remain usefull? So I decided to do as you suggested and add some scaleing to it. I changed the save to 15 + half class lvl + Int mod, and went ahead and changed the uses to Once per day, + Int mod, as you suggested. I wanted the save to remain high, because I did not want the Combat Sniper's capstone ability to take a backseat to an Assassin ability he gets at first level, and can use as many times as he wants per day, on anyone as many times as he feels like it per day.
Also I limited OS-OK to once per day, on any given creature, to avoid any kind of overpowered "Brain Dusting" sessions, also a suggestion of Miles's.

And lastly for Mile's comments, yeah I know I got more than a little wordy there. I just felt that the flavor of the class was a big part of the allure. Kind of a sudden death from above setup. I will sdefinitly shorten the ability descriptions in the next draft, and prolly add some flavor text at the begining to make it easier on all of you to get the machanics separated from the babble! :smallwink:

I also read what you all had to say about the OotBi class possibly just being an overlap to this one and vice-versa. I understand your feelings, especially the part where it could slow a party down to have to let the sniper set things up first. The players I had in mind for this class, would be working more as a backup unit, or first stike force, coverig the party from range, or scouting ahead and takeing out targets of oppurtunity. I understand that this creates allot of one on one time with the DM for a Combat Sniper, but it would aslo be a great way to keep the party aware of thier surroundings.
I never really did get the realistic point of the OotBi anyway, whats the great idea in haveing a bow if your just going to use it within the "Pointy Shiny Armored Whirling Blades of Death" fighter range? If u have a range weapon, why not use it at an actual range? :smalltongue: Prolly just my opinion.

Tell me what you all thought about these changes people, and THANK you all very much. This is the kind of commentary I needed, and still need.

Miles Invictus
2008-03-13, 10:31 PM
It's a well-intentioned reaming. If I didn't like your idea, I wouldn't have bothered to post in the first place. :smallsmile:

I think your change to Patient Marksman is a good compromise. Wisdom is useful, but players without it still get some utility.

I'm not sure what your Enhanced Shot rewrite is supposed to do -- do you mean it adds 1d8 to your Int mod, for shot effects? Personally, I liked the original effect. A bonus to attack and damage that stacks with magical enhancements is a nice touch, especially since bonus damage is hard to find with ranged weapons.

On that note, something else to consider: maybe class levels could count as fighter levels, for picking up fighter-only feats? There's precedent, and it'd let players pick up higher level things like Ranged Weapon Mastery (PHB2).

If your class requires four feats, only a Fighter can meet the prerequisites before level 6:
1: Weapon Focus
1F: Point Blank Shot
2F: Precise Shot
3: Far Shot.

None of the skills required are class skills for the fighter, so he needs to spend 32 skill points over five levels to enter at 6th level. Before racial or Int bonuses, a 5th-level Fighter will have a grand total of 16 skill points. In order to meet the skill prereqs, a Fighter needs to have a +2 Int mod (or +1 and be human) and spend his points on nothing else. I suppose this is fair, though, since the PrC uses Intelligence for its features, and its skills allow the player to catch up fairly quickly.

Other classes follow this progression:
1: Weapon Focus
3: Point Blank Shot
6: Precise Shot
9: Far Shot

Humans can meet the requirements at 6th level, but this means they can't take the class until 7th. (I believe you are supposed to pick your class before your feats.) Non-humans have to wait until 10th level.

That's why I think you should reduce the feat requirements to one or two. Perhaps Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot?

2008-03-13, 10:47 PM
I'd suggest changing the One-Shot One-Kill range to scale with the weapon. As is, its a flat 50 ft. for all weapons, be it a hand crossbow or a composite longbow, which is in the second increment for the first weapon and only halfway through the first increment for the second weapon. I'd suggest changing it to something along the lines of 1/2 range increment, to give people a reason to still use the biggest weapon they can when using the ability. If you're worried about Distance enhancement abuse, you could make it so that the range cannot be altered through magical enhancement.

Night Shrike
2008-03-14, 10:56 AM
Ok, first Blinky:
The range of the One Shot-One Kill ability, is completely unuseable for a handcrossbow anyway. The original intent in this class was to exploit the large range increment provided by weapons like the heavy crossbow or the longbows. If you read the top description, it says that the Combat Sniper's abilities can oly be used with weapons who have a range increment of at least 60 ft. The intent there was "Base" range increment of at least 60ft. I'll make that more clear in future drafts. :smallconfused:

What I meant with the Enhanced Shot redo, was that the Combat Sniper gets to add 1d8-dmg once per attack/per point of Mod. The dmg would increase at the same rate the original "Enhanced Shot" rate of growth, plus
1d8 every even numbered lvl after 2nd. How it works? Say a character has three attacks a round with his bow, but only a 2 mod, he could "Enhance" two of those attacks, but not the third. Adding 1d8 (depending on character lvl of course) to the first two attacks, you get? Kind of Mirroring an ability of the OotBi I like, but less damage in exchange for extended range for the ability. :smallsmile:

Night Shrike
2008-03-14, 07:06 PM
Wait..ehhh, on second thought, I think I'm gonna change the d8 dmg enhancement, to d6. Tones it down a bit and won't take any glory from the Order of the Bow Initiate. :smallamused:

2008-03-14, 07:29 PM
Its a sniper right?

How about a way to gain concealment (instead of improved concealment), Hide in Plain Sight, The penalty for shooting and hiding reduced, and the ability to move at your full movement (can't run/charge) and remain hidden. Spread out over the 10 levels.

2008-03-14, 09:16 PM
First, it's not a bad effort, but I don't think it is particularly playable as written. The primary abilities listed for the Sniper really are not that terrifying. Anything called, "One Shot One Kill" should be a nightmare. A DC 23-ish save is not a nightmare for high level targets.

Some alternatives to consider...

The pre-req's are not particularly high, but they are numerous. Maybe:
Weapon Specialization (Longbow) + 5 Ranks in Hide or
Weapon Focus (Longbow) + 10 Ranks in Hide

A Sniper is not a particularly tough guy (in the sense of Conan) and should probably not get a good Fort save.

Sniping requires the utmost concentration. When the Sniper uses his class ability, the following applies to him:

a. Must observe his opponent for at least 1 round per 5 HD of his target (consecutive rounds).
b. Must remain very still (treat as defenseless) from the start of observation until he attacks.
c. Must be hidden from his target for the duration, though not necessarily from others.
d. Can only fire one arrow with his Sniping attack.

At the following class levels, the Sniper gains the associated abilities:

1. The Sniper gains +2 to his attack for each additional round that he focuses on his target up to his class level in rounds (no other actions may be taken). If the Sniper hits his target, the hit is treated as a confirmed critical.

4. The Sniper may exchange one point of his attack bonus (above) for one point of damage up to his class level.

7. The Sniper ignores damage reduction when he uses his class ability.

10. The Sniper's attack is instead treated as a Coup d' Grace.

2008-03-14, 10:51 PM
First, it's not a bad effort, but I don't think it is particularly playable as written. The primary abilities listed for the Sniper really are not that terrifying. Anything called, "One Shot One Kill" should be a nightmare. A DC 23-ish save is not a nightmare for high level targets.

10. The Sniper's attack is instead treated as a Coup d' Grace.

I agree with mroozee that DC 20+int mod isn't as good as it should be. A wizard can do the same thing without all the special conditions and long wait time.
However a Coup d' Grace is way too powerful! That's DC 40 without too much optimization! How about unlimited uses per day (seriously I've never figured out why highly situational powers have per day uses) and allow it to be used for a number of continous rounds equal to his sniper level instead of until he misses.
Now it's beginning to look nasty but losing it's One-Shot-Kill style. Maybe One-Shot-Kills aren't good to have in a fantasy game where BBEGs are supposed to be long, difficult and epic encounters?

2008-03-15, 04:31 AM
I agree with mroozee that DC 20+int mod isn't as good as it should be. A wizard can do the same thing without all the special conditions and long wait time.
However a Coup d' Grace is way too powerful! That's DC 40 without too much optimization! How about unlimited uses per day (seriously I've never figured out why highly situational powers have per day uses) and allow it to be used for a number of continous rounds equal to his sniper level instead of until he misses.
Now it's beginning to look nasty but losing it's One-Shot-Kill style. Maybe One-Shot-Kills aren't good to have in a fantasy game where BBEGs are supposed to be long, difficult and epic encounters?

In the form I suggested, it would be usable any time. If the BBEG is 16 or more HD, the Sniper will have to make themselves defenseless for at least 4 rounds and then an additional round for each +1/+1 they want on their attack bonus. If the BBEG is alone, sunning himself, he probably SHOULD be in trouble. But if he is in his lair or has guards, dogs, ravens, or anyone else that can spot the Sniper during those 4-14 rounds, the Sniper could be in serious trouble. The challenge shifts to the problem Snipers have always faced: "How do I get into position and get my shot off at my target?"

So if we consider that this is a VERY SLOW attack by a 16th level PC (think 8th level spells that require multiple rounds to cast) is it really unbalanced?

The Sniper still has to hit the BBEG (a great AC, Mirror Image, Blink, Displacement, Invisibility, Wind Wall, Etherealness, Immunity to Criticals, Spotting the Sniper, or simply standing behind a door are all good defenses). Plus there's the save. A 40 DC save is enough to be an instant kill against all but the biggest and baddest evil guys, but by 16th level, if you are a master sniper, you SHOULD be able to kill someone who is unaware that you are attacking. The mage would!

2008-03-15, 07:03 AM
I think Practiced Marksman comes too late, with too small of a bonus to be completely useful. Why not increase the range increment +10 ft. with ever other level? Pick it up at level 2, and by level ten the range increment is +50?

He should also be allowed to use sneak attack from a distance greater than normal. So if he goes Rogue 10/Sniper 10, he can add Practiced Marksman to his distance for sneak with a range weapon? 30 ft. to 80 ft., Now that's useful.

Night Shrike
2008-03-15, 05:35 PM
Ok, Dc 40, = Irritateingly high DC, for any DM or PC. A little more realistic than a DC 23-25 for somethign Called One shot-One Kill, perhaps, but remember, the d20 gamieng system that DnD is a part of is exactly that, a game....games should never be reduced to one move, then win or loose. As far as I'm concerned thats called cheating, or overpowering if you will. I also believe that could be called gambleing. Go to Vegas for that, I'd rather use my dice for fun.
I want people, monsters, and anything else targeted by a sniper to stand a chance of survival if the are particularly tough. Otherwise, whats the point of haveing a Fighter build that bases itself on a high Con or a dmg reduction, if you've got an awesome +23 fort save, and now have to make an unforseen arbitrary DC 40 save...or DIE...that would suck beond all suck....cause it becomes useless to be a melee fighter at all if your just gonna get picked off, with little or no warning, from a range where you can't even see your attacker! So I decided to keep the DC moderate, cause its a rough ability in the first place. :smalltongue:
Mroozee, the suggestsions you posted aren't really all that helpfull beacuse many of them require an allomst complete overhaul of the class. At this point, I feel that we are nearing an ending point to the trial period where I leave things up for review here, and am not willing to re-build this class completely because it doesn't fit one person's idea of his picture perfect sniper class. Make your own homebrew class if you want that. I appriciate your input, but at this point, the things youve suggested are almost usless to me. I'm still willing to make dramatic changes to the class, but only if something groundbreaking is brought to my attention. The time now is for fine tuneing.:smallconfused:
As for the comments to how a Wizzzy or Scorc can beat sniper class abilitys with thier spells. Of course MAGES can do a few things that are rough for even the most seasoned fighter, barb, or ranger to deal with, but they're 9th or 8th lvl spells. That's why they are so friggin hard to handle! Most of them have a few more requirements than, wait a while, then shoot...then win... like expensive spell components or EXP costs. Or the cost of haveing d4 HD or no base attack bonus! This class was abosolutly NOT meant to stand toe to toe with a mage of equal level. Any intelligent player could make a mage at 10th lvl that could absolutely OWN almost any fighter of twice that level. It's a fact, and I deal with it just fine without compareing every class to a spellcaster who can someday fling dweamors... :smallannoyed:

Now, as far as Triaxx's concerns go, I needed to increase the range of a Combat Sniper's attacks to make him more of a threat to creatures that can chuck fireballs and metor swarms and what not, like mages. Not a way to completely counter those abilitys, but at least a way to defend or pre-emptively strike those who also have longer range offensive weapons.
The ability you suggested, wether you know it or not, comes directly from the pages of the "Masters of the Wild" guidebook, from the "Deepwood Sniper" prestiege class. I used that class as a scource of inspiration, among others, for the class I'm setting up here. I did NOT want to just copy down the things I liked from a few classes and mishmash them into a new mutant class that pirated features from existing rules. I like the +50% range increment, because while it might not grow to as large as the Deepwood Sniper's range, it conforms itself to the weapon of choice that the sniper enjoys. This puts weight the the past choices of the Sniper, even before he joins the class. Which fits nicely into a personal belief of mine, that prestiege classes should be a long time goal of a character, and a goal on its own to strive for. Not just something cool you like to do when you feel like it. :smallamused:
As far as the sneak attack damage stacking with the "Enhanced Shot" damage, yes it would be cool, and I think that there is a feat somewhere...don't remember where, that increases the range at which sneak attacks can be used. This class, however; was not meant to singularly bump up Rogue abilitys. Take the feat if you want, or just set up where a good invisibility potion would do you more good than 10 lvls in a prestiege class would. You'd get more sneak attack damage then anyway. :smallsmile:

Ok guys, I really love that more of you have taken notice. Takeing defensive positions on my homebre class's abilitys and purposes have mad me think hard about them and sometimes, lead me to change them completely. Again, thank you all allot for your input and commentary. Cooperation like this makes DnD homebrewing not only more of a reality, but more fun. :smallsmile:
Keep those ideas comeing, and be prepared for the next edition of the "Combat Sniper" class, up for final review as soon as I feel I cannot learn anymore from this posted edition.

Your'e all Awesome! :smallbiggrin:

2008-03-15, 06:28 PM
Ah.. I don't actually have that one. But I didn't expect for Sneak attack to stack with enhanced shot. It's stated that it wouldn't. I meant the range increase should stack if you choose Sneak Attack over Enhanced Shot. So instead of being able to Sneak attack at 30ft, you can do it at 45ft.

Night Shrike
2008-03-15, 10:38 PM
Where does it say that sneak attack doesn't stack with Enhanced Shot?:smallconfused:

2008-03-15, 10:56 PM
I have one more recomendation:
Make One-Shot-Kill be an automatic critical hit independant of wether the enemy makes his fort save.

2008-03-15, 11:09 PM
Isn't this eerily similar to the Arcane Archer PrC?

2008-03-16, 06:06 AM
Missed that it said non-variable. I'd still rather have an increase in range, than the minor damage boost.

2008-03-16, 08:45 AM
Since One Shot One Kill seems to be hotly contested, let me add my 2cp.

DC 10 + Class level +Int Mod is more than sufficient. It's the DC that almost all class abilities get, and has been proven to be workable and efficient. If it's to low for you, up your Int of take ability focus. Raising it to anything else results in overpowering, as it then becomes better than the Assassin's death attack. It should be at about the same level, which that formula makes it.

Night Shrike
2008-03-16, 09:17 AM
W00t! Somebody finally agrees with me! :smallbiggrin:

Ok Peeps. I Feel I've gotten all the good I can get out of this post of the class. Facts are starting to get confused cause people dont wanna read the whole string of posts, which makes sense, it's begining to get to be allot.
Sometime later Today or tonight, I'm post up the newest version, edited according to all of your suggestions, comments and ideas.

Be prepared! Wooooo scarey...:smalltongue:

2008-03-16, 09:49 AM
I'd agree it's not low at all.
While I have never felt the need for a sniper class in a fantasy world (they are just two different kind of universes) I like the sniper in itself, and whenever the setting is appropriate I tend to be generous as a GM with sniper players.

Point is, it's a heroic game, and one has to think that what happens to an NPC can happen to a PC. Now, we all know that real snipers can take down heroes like King Arthur, Vash the Stampede and Kyle Reese without breaking a sweat, no glory, no fame, just Jarhead's "pink cloud" and a headless body that drops dead. So, let's assume that there are going to be other snipers out there. A sniper, with a good weapon and good trining, provided he is in a reasonable range (what is that? dozens of meters for a crossbow?) can hit where he wants, and there is no defense or agility to stop their bolt.

Now, nobody wants your 15th level paladin to go down because the sniper NPC has a too powerful 1 shot 1 kill ability. It's a heroic game, again, and heroes take punishment (loads), and you can't just backstab them with a pair of scissors and kill them. Well, I mean, you can, but you are going for a quite gritty and grim capaign them. If that is the kind of flavor you like, go ahead; but I don't think your PrC was designed to that way, right?

A sniper takes down sentries, bodyguards, corrupted bankers and trade guilds CEOs, possibly high ranking officers in the opposing army. Now, all these are well challenged by the DC as it is. Which makes the sniper say, at the end of the day, "I've done my job".

Bearing this in mind (just so that you know from which viewpoint I write) I'd go for some "snipnig-specific" fluff.

a) A sniper (specially a heroic class D&D sniper) is VERY patient. He won't eat, move, urinate, sometimes even breathe not to betray his position and not to lose his mark. This works well with a rifle, perhaps even with a crosbow. Not so much with anything else. So, I'd say the sniper should have the "endurance" feat as a prereq. and gain the "self sufficient" feat somewhere near the beginning of his PrC progression. They are solos, and they can take care of themselves. They don't like to sleep until you are dead, and they'll keep you in their sights until your condition indicator says you are.

b) Snipers know that there is no ideal shot whatsoever. They are trained to be goodmarksmen as a prereq. Improving their attack bonus with SQs makes sense, but it makes more sense to me if they manage to ignore what other shooters can't. Difficult conditions. A marksman is good at shooting at distant targets, especially when they are partially concealed and far away. They prefer a standing bullseye ijn a desert plain, but hey if your man is an Al Qaeda leader moving through your camp with some foliage and crates and thugs interposing in your line of fire you have got to make sure you still get a headshot! I see you put Precise Shot as a feat prereq. , so perhaps you already though about most I have written. Well, as you suggested, let's brainstorm a bit!
b1) So, while I don't like the Shot on the Run feat (as a bonus one. it is still good for your character type though) I'd go for something that makes you ignore at least partially concealment. Something close enough to a blind fight feat.

b2) As a class quality give your sniper the skill to train his weapon on the target's head even if he is moving. If you follow the target for at least 3 rounds (full action) you can make (3rd round) a Will Check (use the will save bonus) with a DC of 10 (+2 DC per range increment and +2 per move the target takes in the round you shoot, stacks). If you succeed you reduce the penalties for movement and concealment by 1 point per point of DC beaten. You can hold your shot for every round after the 3rd you manage to pass the Will check. This is because you might want to wait for a better moment or position.

c) Iron Will wouldn't be bad, but I don't know if that should be a prereq. or a Bonus Feat

d)Sneak attack? Well, at the very least a prereq, even if given the other prereqs it's quite likely that you'll have taken a level in rougue at some stage. So, increase the range of the sneak attack. Not just 30 feet but a lot more, and make it grow through the levels. Also a +1d6 sneam attack every 3levels would be ok (up to 3d6 by level 10).

e) improved vital spot shot. Your sniper instinctively goes for unarmored or weakly armored vital spots. Armor plate connections, the neck, soft parts and so on. By mid career (level 5 and +1 point per level after the 5th) you can ignore one point of armor AC up to your WIS modifier, maximum 5 points by level 10 (that is, even a man in chainmail is like a naked worm for the sniper).

f)I'm not sure about the full BAB progression. But it's just a very minor concern

Well, I guess that's enough for the moment. Hope that helps you to build you walking death!


Night Shrike
2008-03-17, 05:07 PM
Ok, sorry about the slow reaction time here folks, life tends to be a bear, so I had to postpone my posting of the "Combat Sniper, Second Draft". I'll post it up soon tho, and I would again like to thank you all for your help.
I just have a few things to add here, before I post up the new thread.

Your right, without a crossbow or a rifle, the modern sniper might as well just be light infantry with a talent for in and out tactics. The version of the sniper I wanted to introduce presents a more of a fantasy oriented posture to the otherwise very personal head shot master that today's snipers have grown accustomed to. I wanted to make a class that would not only make themselves usefull in covert operation, but would aslo lend themselves to direct, in your face, "I just took out your General with a shot to the spine!" kind of action.
It doesn't happen often that somebody actually has a PC hat worrys about HOW exactly a villan or his cronies die (Pallys excluded) as long as it doesn't happen right in their face or by their hand. A sniper class, I think, will present a new "down and dirty" angle to takeing care of a antagonistic NPC, that doens't involve the whole party going on a manhunt that detracts from the overall story. At the same time it also wont restict the class to One on One campeigns, and can integrate intself into a party of standard class characters wthout much trouble.
I did want to add a little more "fluff" to the class features. Add some special restictions and conditional modifiers that go above and beyond the call of normal specs. Unfortunately, it became a sort of rats nest of rules, that just started to feel less and less like a character class, and more and more like a one time use NPC PrC....kinda bummed me out.
It makes me happy to notice that almost evrything you mentioned in your post has been an issue I've struggled with when in pre-development on this class. It shows that the flavor I was going for isn't lost in the mechanics. Unfortunately, most of the modern tactics of the Marine, or Army Sniper are some of the most BOREING adventures ever, when you get past the "I KILLED HIM BY BLOWING HIS HEAD OFF!!" part, it beocmes a little monotonus. I didn't want the session to be:

Find a spot, set up, wait....wait.....wait....wait....wait....wait...BA NG!! Yay....go home.

I appriciate the attention you've given this thread man. I hope you post in the new one too. I need all you gamers to keep me on my toes. :smallamused: