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Baron Corm
2008-03-31, 06:22 PM
Archers need a niche. Meleers got melee, mages got ranged artillery, skillmonkeys got skills. This is why I feel giving a ranger or rogue a bow is just not good enough. A rogue with a bow is kind of like a mage with invisibility, knock, and disintegrate, but worse (sorry Haley). It would also be nice to give an NPC or even a PC levels of "archer" without chaining him to all that associated flavor of ranger or rogue.

This class aims to give archers a niche; a reason to play them over something else. That reason is mostly their high attack roll, complemented by high-damage ranged mundane abilities, which involve a lot of attacks, meaning improvements to your weapon will help you a lot more than they would help any other martial character. These are balanced by the fact that you can only use them a couple times per encounter, after which your damage drops significantly, so they must be used tactically. They are also squishy like a mage and with their damage output are just as ripe a target. The class is probably stronger than PHB classes but most of mine are.


Archer
{table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|+1|+0|+2|+0|Ranged Precision +1d2

2nd|+2|+0|+3|+0|Multishot 1/encounter

3rd|+3|+1|+3|+1|Ranged Precision +2d2

4th|+4|+1|+4|+1|Multishot 2/encounter

5th|+5|+1|+4|+1|Ranged Precision +3d2

6th|+6/+1|+2|+5|+2|Multishot 3/encounter

7th|+7/+2|+2|+5|+2|Ranged Precision +4d2

8th|+8/+3|+2|+6|+2|Pierce 1/encounter

9th|+9/+4|+3|+6|+3|Ranged Precision +5d2

10th|+10/+5|+3|+7|+3|Pierce 2/encounter

11th|+11/+6/+1|+3|+7|+3|Ranged Precision +6d2

12th|+12/+7/+2|+4|+8|+4|Pierce 3/encounter

13th|+13/+8/+3|+4|+8|+4|Ranged Precision +7d2

14th|+14/+9/+4|+4|+9|+4|Seeking 1/encounter

15th|+15/+10/+5|+5|+9|+5|Ranged Precision +8d2

16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+5|+10|+5|Seeking 2/encounter

17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+5|Ranged Precision +9d2

18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+6|Seeking 3/encounter

19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+6|+11|+6|Ranged Precision +10d2

20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+6|Perfect Shot[/table]

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d6
Class Skills: Hide, Move Silently, Spot, that kind of thing.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

Archers are proficient with all simple weapons and all bows and crossbows. From here on, "bow" and "crossbow" are used interchangeably, as are "arrow" and bolt". They are proficient with light armor, but not with any shields.

Ranged Precision (Ex)

Archers have the advantage of being able to line up their shot instead of pitting their simple reactionary ability against their opponent's. If an archer takes a full-round action to shoot, he may add the listed amount to his attack roll. If the archer takes a standard action to shoot, he may add the minimum amount without rolling. Ranged Precision itself is permanent and requires no actions to activate.

Multishot (Ex)

One of the first tricks an archer learns is how to accurately fire multiple arrows at once. While impressive in archery competitions, this is also useful in combat.

At 2nd level, as a full-round action, the archer can fire 1 arrow per 2 class levels divided amongst any number of targets within range at his highest attack bonus. Alternatively, as a standard action, he may fire 1 arrow per 4 class levels. Each separate target requires a separate attack roll, with a -1 penalty to attack on each arrow per two arrows fired. Multishot may be used once per encounter, increasing to 2/encounter at level 4 and 3/encounter at level 6.

Single Target Variant: This ability may be flavored that the archer is firing one arrow with the power of many, and have its use restricted to one target only. This is a little more believable. In this variant, only one arrow is used up.

Pierce (Ex)

The archer's army-devastation abilities truly come to fruition at level 8, when he learns the ability to send his arrows through multiple enemies. Once per encounter as a free action, the archer may cause all arrows he fires for one round to continue on after hitting a target and hit another target behind. A separate attack roll must be made each time, with the new range increment taken into account if applicable. This ability may be used 2/encounter at level 10, and 3/encounter at level 12. It may be used more than once in a single round to have arrows pierce more than one target.

Single Target Variant: Under the single target variant, this ability instead increases the damage die of your bow by 1 step. It may still be used more than once in a single round.

Seeking (Ex)

At level 14, the archer unlocks the power of true precision. Once per encounter, while using a full-round action to attack, the archer may increase his bow's critical threat ranged by his ranged precision bonus. This increases to 2/encounter at level 16 and 3/encounter at level 18. Seeking may be used as a free action. It may be used more than once in a single round, with the second and/or third uses granting a ranged precision reroll.

Perfect Shot (Ex)

At level 20, the archer gains the ability to focus all of his training into one perfect shot. As a full-round action, he may fire one arrow, taking 20 on the attack roll, meaning that it automatically hits and critical hits unless something intervenes. It also causes the target creature to make a Fortitude save equal to (Ranged Precision bonus + Dexterity bonus + total enhancement on arrow or bow, including special abilities) or die. Perfect Shot may be used once per encounter.

keyboardboy101
2008-03-31, 09:07 PM
Just a couple things. For level 20 did you mean +10d2?

The saves seem good, as do the skills (as nonspecific as they are, its still obvious what you mean), BAB is good.

The only thing I'd have to say is that the multishot seems slightly overpowered. By 20th level, thats a possible 20 arrows in one round, even if it is only 3 times per encounter.

Threatening a critical hit is also extremely powerful, but maybe not overpowered. It's a very nice class feature.

Perfect shot works well because it's at such a high level. (What class isn't complete without some death-causing attack after all?)

JackTR69
2008-04-01, 06:15 AM
Hmm, i'd say this needs some playtesting. It looks like it could be balanced, except for how ridiculous multishot gets, which you could fix by making it something like 2 arrows up to level 5, then 3 at 5, 4 at 10, 5 at 15, and 6 at 20.

Oh, and you should give them simple weapon proficiency.

Charlie Kemek
2008-04-01, 09:24 AM
I just realized that if a rogue took a 2 level dip in this class, he would get auto sneak attacks as long as he took a full round action to fire. I don't think that that's what you want. yes, and is it supposed to be a d2? you might want to say that the abilities per encounter can be used instead for the lesser ones that are from lower levels. is it only supposed to be multishot 3/encounter for both a 5th level and 20th level?

MammonAzrael
2008-04-01, 10:59 AM
I've been working on an archer class myself, it's in my sig if you want to take a look. It's got a bunch more abilities, and needs to be trimmed, but that's why it's still a work in progress! Post a reply, let me know what you think!

Mewtarthio
2008-04-01, 10:59 AM
I just realized that if a rogue took a 2 level dip in this class, he would get auto sneak attacks as long as he took a full round action to fire.

Why's that? Sure, he's more likely to hit, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's caught the target flat-footed.

Ossian
2008-04-01, 11:09 AM
Wait a second. Thre are archers in the game. They are called fighters. They have high BAB (1/lvl) and a messload of feats that they can pick to improve their archery skills. Some of them take 2 levels in ranger and some go for some rogue, but basically they are fighters.

Besides, if a guy is able to pull a trick once, why should he be able to do so only a certain number of times per encounter? It's like being a good sniper with a 7x20 scope but only 3/day. Why?

My take it is that the best way to do archers is to pick well the feats, or make up new ones. It gets too much like Orlando Bloom otherwise! 1 Arrow every five seconds with no associated penalties is already a frigging good ratio of fire. Add the point blank, precise shot, multi shot, manyshot, weapon focus and weapon specialization, or their level 12 and 18 equivalents and a good magic bow and you already have a monster with a medieval Barrett M82
And that is firing only 1 arrow per round. With high BAB things get even more ridiculously close to "Hercules the legendary Journay crossed over with Robin Hood man in tighs".

One could perhaps improve stuff like firing into melee or while being attacked, or on avoiding AOOs while firing, but that also can be covered by a good feat selection or by levels in scout.

If I was to make an "archer" class I'd go for a PrCl, perhaps a 3 levels one, which fighters and rangers could access more easily. A class that would also benefit rogues though, maybe enhancing the range of sneak attacks.

What about a "ranged cleave". Everytime you manage to take down an enemy with one shot you get a free shot against the nearest target to the one you just shot down (provided it is in the SAME range increment). You could even get a "ranged great cleave" (but that is a bit too much...) or perhaps "ranged AOOs". That is, if your weapon is ready and the arrow set, everytime a target within point blank range does something that prevents him to defend effectively (casting, drinking a potion) you get an AOO on him.

This could lead you to "ranged combat reflexes", i.e. the same as C.R. (AOOs= 1+Dex mod), only within point blank

Anyway....


Ranged Precision (Ex)
Archers have the advantage of being able to line up their shot instead of pitting their simple reactionary ability against their opponent's. If an archer takes a full-round action to shoot, he may add the listed amount to his attack roll. If the archer takes a standard action to shoot, he may add the minimum amount without rolling. Any other abilities may be combined with Ranged Precision; it is used automatically when the archer fires a bow.

This one looks cool.


Pierce (Ex)
The archer's army-devastation abilities truly come to fruition at level 7, when he learns the ability to send his arrows through multiple enemies. [...]It may be used more than once in a single round to have arrows pierce more than one target.

It is far too overpowered. One could get a magic bow that does that, but unless we're talking shonen anime tao-zen archer here, the ability to bypass the DR of a living body is just too much. A body can stop heavy bullets at point blank; arrows, OTOH, are light shafts that make you bleed to death, perhaps break a bone if you are lucky, or kill on the spot if they get a vital spot (heart, eyes, spine...)


Seeking (Ex)
At level 13, the archer unlocks the power of true precision. Once per encounter, while using a full-round action to attack, the archer may cause his shot(s) to automatically threaten a critical hit. This increases to 2/encounter at level 15 and 3/encounter at level 17. Seeking may be used as a free action.

Why not just give the archer the Feat "Improved Critical" for free instead? he would qualify anyway, so even earlier than lvl 13. Maybe at said levels the range could improve further, or perhaps he'd get a bonus to the confirmation roll. So, a longbow threatens with 19-20. This becomes 17-20 at level , say, 8. Then it becomes 16-20 at level 13, 15-20 at level 16 and 15-20 with an increased multiplier (x4) by level 19 or 20.
Another option would be that your archer threatens a critical normally (or with the IC feat) and if he does he automatically rolls max damage (by level 13).


Perfect Shot (Ex)
At level 19, the archer gains the ability to focus all of his training into one perfect shot. As a full-round action, he may fire one arrow, taking 20 on the attack roll, meaning that it automatically hits and critical hits unless something intervenes. It also causes the target creature to make a Fortitude save equal to (Ranged Precision bonus + Dexterity bonus + enhancement bonus on arrow or bow) or die.

I see it happens at level 19, so it should be ok (God like status is around the next corner), although d20 seems to be crazy about multiclassing and Pr-classing, so I doubt anyone but an epic archer could get it.

I hope I have not been too disruptive! (in case, apologies). :smallsmile:


O.

MammonAzrael
2008-04-01, 11:31 AM
I've been working on an archer class myself, it's in my sig if you want to take a look. It's got a bunch more abilities, and needs to be trimmed, but that's why it's still a work in progress! Post a reply, let me know what you think!

Baron Corm
2008-04-01, 05:11 PM
The 20th level "capstone" is supposed to be upgrading the die of Ranged Precision. I thought that without that, there would be little reason to take it to 20, and if Ranged Precision was put on the odd levels, archers don't get anything fun to do at level one.

@Mammon: Damn, this always tends to happen. It's like homebrewing ideas for one topic just pop into everyone's head at the same time. Probably subliminal messages or something. I'll go check yours out.


Hmm, i'd say this needs some playtesting. It looks like it could be balanced, except for how ridiculous multishot gets, which you could fix by making it something like 2 arrows up to level 5, then 3 at 5, 4 at 10, 5 at 15, and 6 at 20.

Oh, and you should give them simple weapon proficiency.

True on both accounts. Will have to test multishot, will add simple weapon proficiency now.


Besides, if a guy is able to pull a trick once, why should he be able to do so only a certain number of times per encounter? It's like being a good sniper with a 7x20 scope but only 3/day. Why?

It's mostly a balance issue. But think about it. You can probably subtract 83490 from 282937, but it would take you a while (would take me a while), and is somewhat mentally draining. Using all of your focus to pull off these abilities is much more draining than subtraction, so you can only use them every so often.


Wait a second. Thre are archers in the game. They are called fighters. They have high BAB (1/lvl) and a messload of feats that they can pick to improve their archery skills. Some of them take 2 levels in ranger and some go for some rogue, but basically they are fighters.

Archer-fighters I don't think do enough to really be useful in a team of sorceror/barbarian/rogue or something at a similarly decent power level. Let's look at those feats, keeping in mind also that you get 7 over the course of your career without being a fighter.


Add the point blank, precise shot, multi shot, manyshot, weapon focus and weapon specialization, or their level 12 and 18 equivalents and a good magic bow and you already have a monster with a medieval Barrett M82
And that is firing only 1 arrow per round. With high BAB things get even more ridiculously close to "Hercules the legendary Journay crossed over with Robin Hood man in tighs".

Point Blank Shot - You can not have to take a penalty. Alright.

Precise Shot - Ignoring concealment. Alright, but not helping damage or usefulness.

Multishot - Pretty good but don't have to be a fighter to take it, and as shown with my class I think it does not give enough arrows (or in other words increase damage/usefulness enough). Giving more arrows for a feat would be too good, hence the class.

Weapon Focus/Specialization - Often regarded as examples of very poor feats, making me think you haven't looked into optimization much (no offense). The bonuses they give are very small.

And this is 5 feats, leaving you with another 15 or however many fighters get; an archer really doesn't need to be a fighter. The power level of the feats I think is very low as well. Anything else I could say about this I think was covered in the introduction to the class.


What about a "ranged cleave". Everytime you manage to take down an enemy with one shot you get a free shot against the nearest target to the one you just shot down (provided it is in the SAME range increment). You could even get a "ranged great cleave" (but that is a bit too much...) or perhaps "ranged AOOs". That is, if your weapon is ready and the arrow set, everytime a target within point blank range does something that prevents him to defend effectively (casting, drinking a potion) you get an AOO on him.

These I think stretch logic (or verisimilitude or w/e) a little bit too far.


It is far too overpowered. One could get a magic bow that does that, but unless we're talking shonen anime tao-zen archer here, the ability to bypass the DR of a living body is just too much. A body can stop heavy bullets at point blank; arrows, OTOH, are light shafts that make you bleed to death, perhaps break a bone if you are lucky, or kill on the spot if they get a vital spot (heart, eyes, spine...)

True, which is why it is an (Ex) class feature, and not a combat option. Extraordinary abilities stretch the rules of physics, they're just believable enough to not require magic. I suppose you don't think it is, but I do, so nyah :smallyuk:.


Why not just give the archer the Feat "Improved Critical" for free instead? he would qualify anyway, so even earlier than lvl 13. Maybe at said levels the range could improve further, or perhaps he'd get a bonus to the confirmation roll. So, a longbow threatens with 19-20. This becomes 17-20 at level , say, 8. Then it becomes 16-20 at level 13, 15-20 at level 16 and 15-20 with an increased multiplier (x4) by level 19 or 20.
Another option would be that your archer threatens a critical normally (or with the IC feat) and if he does he automatically rolls max damage (by level 13).

It is threatening normally. The Seeking ability does not let you confirm the critical automatically. I think if it was just increasing the threat range it would be underpowered and less fun/exciting.


I hope I have not been too disruptive! (in case, apologies). :smallsmile:

Not at all. I love constructive criticism. Even though I didn't agree with anything it helps to think about the class from new perspectives.

Ossian
2008-04-02, 06:21 AM
Not at all. I love constructive criticism. Even though I didn't agree with anything it helps to think about the class from new perspectives.

Aye aye! I actually think that having a devil's advocate in one's homebrewing team kinda helps. It makes brainstorming more effective, and it adds some input. Things that will look wrong or unbalanced to you taken singularly, will perhaps make more sense blended with others, partially or completely.
It actually helped me too to get your feedback on my feedback, as it had me reconsider some things that looked kinda good when I posted, and not so much afterwards.

So, best luck with the archers!

Charlie Kemek
2008-04-02, 09:55 AM
Why's that? Sure, he's more likely to hit, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's caught the target flat-footed.

look at the abilitiy.


Ranged Precision (Ex)
Archers have the advantage of being able to line up their shot instead of pitting their simple reactionary ability against their opponent's. If an archer takes a full-round action to shoot, he may add the listed amount to his attack roll. If the archer takes a standard action to shoot, he may add the minimum amount without rolling. Any other abilities may be combined with Ranged Precision; it is used automatically when the archer fires a bow.

emphasis mine. that means that if a rogue takes a 2 level dip, if he fires a bow, he automatically gets sneak attack damage.

Baron Corm
2008-04-02, 07:00 PM
Heh, I meant the other archer abilities. I just wanted to make it clear that you could use all of them at once, because they're all free actions except for Multishot. I'll go try to clear that up.

martyboy74
2008-04-02, 07:45 PM
Does the Seeking ability make the arows automatically hit? Also, do you want it to be usable with Multishot? As worded, it looks like it does, and that could get rather ridiculous. Using the splitting enchantment, and ignoring the critical potential, that's 200d4 points of ranged precision damage at level 20, not counting any damage from, say, the bow itself. Or the arrows.

Baron Corm
2008-04-02, 09:11 PM
Does the Seeking ability make the arows automatically hit?

Nope


Also, do you want it to be usable with Multishot? As worded, it looks like it does, and that could get rather ridiculous. Using the splitting enchantment, and ignoring the critical potential, that's 200d4 points of ranged precision damage at level 20, not counting any damage from, say, the bow itself. Or the arrows.

I'm not sure I've seen the Splitting enhancement before, or if it would be allowed in a game where this class was. Sounds like it makes each arrow two arrows? Would that make it 20d8 + 20 x Strength bonus (with a longbow and full Multishot), x3 for critical so 60d8 + 60 x Strength bonus, Splitting making it 120d8 + 120 x Strength bonus... yeah I don't know where you got the number from. Damage reduction of 10 will completely negate the Strength bonus... just keep that in mind for your BBEGs and you should be fine. Also should probably disallow Splitting, heh.

So without Splitting and taking DR 5 or something into account and a Strength bonus of 10, you're doing an average of 770 damage. DR 10 makes this an average of 470 damage. No DR makes this an average of 1070 damage. A monster immune to critical hits divides all averages by 3. The numbers get much bigger with other weapon enhancements, even ones such as Flaming, but can be reduced by similarly large numbers by monster resistances.

Well, with Split Ray and Empower (and Arcane Thesis), disintegrate deals 140d6 as a ranged touch, and with the right build, even more metamagic can be applied to it. You could at least double that damage with a Quicken metamagic rod. Plus a mage can do things other than cast disintegrate.

A Quickened, Split Ray, Empowered disintegrate deals an average of 840 damage. A high Fortitude save or touch AC can help your monsters against that, just like even small increases in the DR can protect them very well from the arrows. An archer can do this 3 times per day, while a mage can do it more than that, unless he decides to use his spell slots on more useful things.

Overall I would say the mage is still stronger in all aspects of his class features, except that the archer is more reliable, can beat spell resistance and antimagic fields, and can sometimes deal higher damage depending on the circumstances, which was the idea. The archer can split his damage among many targets, but delayed blast fireball is probably more economical for this purpose. Now tell me how I did all the math wrong :smallcool:.

Mando Knight
2008-04-02, 10:23 PM
Are you sure you want to use d2s for the ranged precision ability? It seems kinda awkward to me... a smaller number of larger dice would be easier to use... though the average values would be smaller for the same maximum values...