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Thread: There's archers, and then there's THIS.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Dec 2007
    California, USA

    Default Re: There's archers, and then there's THIS.

    Before I get to anything, let me say that keeping all your replies to a single post is better than multiposting. To quote multiple different posts, just click the quotation marks next to the quote button on each post.

    Thread responses:

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    For the sniper archer, yeah, I'm going to change that to ranks. Much less cheese and makes more sense.
    Even ranks is a hell of a lot of bonus damage. That will be you level + 3, as no one is going to not increase it every level. At tenth level it will grant a +13 bonus to damage, which is roughly 4d6 extra damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    As for the eagle eye bonus, I'd rather it only works as BAB for number of attacks and the amount you can take as a penalty for overdraw, dropping its ability to take feats and prestige classes since that apparently might me used for munchkinning. Oh, and it stops at +6, because being to effectively hit enemies five levels higher seems cheesy enough.

    I read the epic progression rules, and they apparently mean that a level 40 fighter without any special effects or feats can only attack four times. The hell. I'm calling bullcr** on this. You're basically a war god by then and you can't swing your sword more than four times in six seconds? Come on!

    I'd rather that yes, you can attack six time, but considering the problems mentioned in your later comment, then I'll just stick it to a normal attack bonus for now.
    You missed my point. As it stands, there is no way to obtain a Base Attack Bonus higher than your level. Which means that there is no way to obtain a BAB higher than 20 and 4 attacks (epic levels add an spic bonus to all attacks, but your BAB no longer increases). There are no rules for dealing with BABs higher than 20 as the system is built for it to not be an issue

    So what happens once a True Archer hits level 16? Do they have 21 BAB? Do they gain another iterative attack, a completely unique feature in 3.5?

    This effect, by itself, is incredibly powerful. Don't worry about minor early entry issues, worry about the utterly unique ability that surpasses even Epic capabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    You do know that the other attacks aside from the first and the one granted by haste are at -5, -10, and -15 to hit respectively, right?
    And that adding three arrows gives another -8 on top of everything to all rolls to hit?
    It's practically a given that a -10 or a -15 attack won't hit. A -8 on top of everything? You won't hit anything with AT LEAST 3/4 of all your attacks if you're fighting monsters on your challenge rating!
    YES you fire a TON of arrows. But barely any of them will hit. And if you end up fighting a ton of weak enemies that you can easily hit because you're so many levels above them, well, that's EXACTLY what the volley archer is for!

    Also, using one rain of arrows for one monster is a waste. Rain of arrows only does the same damage you do with one arrow. It's for tons of enemies, not only one enemy.
    The -5/-10/-15 penalties do not matter because every single melee class deals with them. They are system-wide, so they are not a balancing factor. Other classes would kill to have a third of the attacks that True Archer can churn out every round. 4-5 attacks is strong at 20th level, and True Archers can be laughing at that at 5th level.

    The -10 penalty from you flurrying all those arrows can be negated with appropriate bonuses. At level 20 you'll have:

    • 20 BAB
    • 6 Eagle Eyes
    • 11-13 32-36 Dex
    • 1 Haste
    • 5 Weapon enhancement

    So a +43 to hit minimum. -10 knocks you down to 33. did you know the average AC of a CR 20 monster is between 35 and 40? So with just a little bit of work (morale, luck, insight bonuses, and so much more) even with the penalty your first two volleys will only be missing on a 1. By the way, you'll be making 24 attacks at your highest bonus before the iterative attacks kick in. 24! And nothing says they can't all be shot at the same creature.

    Rain of Arrows is not what I'm worried about. It's not the problem. The problems are Rapid Shooting and Multishot.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    Once again, I will say that most of the shots will miss if you maximize the amount against a monster on your challenge rating.
    Seeking and Bloodseeking only works if the enemy is concealed or has cover in some way. Otherwise it does not help at all.
    Yes, monsters will take a lot of damage whenever you hit them with those enhancements, but you have to hit them first.
    Let's take some monsters around challenge rating 15 and their ACs: Horned Devil (35), Ice Devil (32), Storm Giant (27), Golden Protector (29).

    By level 15 you have +20 to hit from you class BAB and abilities. Add in feats and magical weapons and let's say you have +30.

    Let's say a d20= 10. So that's a +40. You hit all of them with the first two attacks (rapid shooting included). The next, at -5, barely hits all of them. After that you only hit on a 1/4 chance or worst. Using Multishot (which, FYI, is just manyshot, only you don't have to take improved manyshot to shoot more than four arrows at once) makes your chances of hitting WORSE. Perhaps adding one on the first attacks will give you two or more hits, but at the -10 and -15 ones? No, not a good idea to add a -4 to those. You'll have crapshoot aiming by then.

    See? Not so cheesy when take in your aiming. (unless I'm missing something, AGAIN)

    Edit: I changed the overdraw. It is not 'as power attack' now. I'm going to change the precision and deadly precision too...
    You are missing something. It is that every other melee class deals with the same degrading bonus to attacks. There is nothing to prevent the True Archer from dealing with it like everyone else. They just get waaay more shots at the monster. And their damage is extremely comparable, if not outright superior, thanks to Deadly Skill.

    Also, I think you are misusing the term "cheesy." Cheesy implies something that is technically legal but is obviously overpowered, unintended, or questionable. When you're designing homebrew you don't get "cheesy," you get "broken." As in "this is broken because it does not work and needs to be fixed."

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    For you to cause absurd damage, you'd have to HIT first. Using too many arrows makes hitting hard, and so you'll have to lessen your attacks. which makes it not so cheap.

    Still, splitting DOES make it doubly effective, yeah...
    And that is true of every single melee class. And yet the True Archer has so many more opportunities. Eagle Eyes by itself nearly completely cancels out the effect of multishot, putting them on an even footing with melee classes...just with a hell of a lot more attacks.

    And don't worry about splitting. It's a good weapon enhancement, but fair for the cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    I just gave my say on why I think it's not overpowered. If I'm right, then all's well.

    If not, and I missed something again, then I'm out of ideas on how to make a viable volley archer.

    Considering that all the comments have been about the volley archer, I'm guessing the Sniper Archer isn't OP after I nerfed it. So I don't have to scrap the class after all. Still, if I'm wrong about the volley, then half the class is still OP, and I don't know what to do.

    So help me if I I'm wrong...
    You don't need to scrap the class. The ideas are solid. What needs to be dealt with is math and execution.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    I KNEW his math was wrong! Still, that's too much for level 5? Really? Aw well, I guess I'll just have to trust in your judgement. You seem more experienced than me after all.
    Are you crazy? Have you ever played a level 5 melee character? They're extremely happy to have 2 attacks, and thrilled to have 3. Having 8 is great at level 20!

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    As for deadly skill, yeah, I'm going to have to nerf that. Should it be just your level in damage, or just you dex bonus?
    Adding your class level to damage is extremely strong. The feat Craven does this and is generally regarded to be an overpowered feat. Adding just your dexterity to damage is excellent. You don't even have it added as precision damage!

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    The problem is, though, that I KNOW there's a feat that gives you your dex modifier in damage, but only if you attack as a full round action...which you do all the time as a true archer. Cripes.
    I am unaware of such a feat. The only feat I know of that adds Dex to damage is Shadow Blade from Tome of Battle, and that only applies when you're wielding the proper weapons and in a Shadow Hand stance.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    There's also probably a feat that gives you your LEVEL in damage. I think it's from this book called dragon lords of melnibone.
    As above, Craven is the only feat I know that adds your level to damage. And it only does so on sneak attacks and gives you a penalty to fear effect and is still widely considered too strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    That's where I got the idea for deadly skill's mechanics.

    So if those feats are legit, then there's no difference even if you take out deadly skill. Players will just take the feats and start dealing mass damage.
    Double cripes.
    Ideas are fine, you just need to run the math and compare it to what other classes are capable of.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrossyCross View Post
    Maybe it should be like you get your level in damage at early levels and you start adding your dex modifer at later levels? Or maybe just ban the feats?

    As for the volley rules, where do I get the pdf for that?
    Don't worry about the feats. Adding extra things to the class won't break it more. Personally, adding Dex should be fine, as it is roughly equivalent to melee classes adding strength to damage. None of those classes, however, are adding their level on top of that.

    The volley rules are in the Heroes of Battle splat book. If you don't own it you'll have to find it on your own. Suffice to say it's a lot lower powered than your version.

    Point by point critique of the class:

    • A d4 hit die is an interesting choice. Given the utter focus on being far away from the enemy I like it. Makes getting up close a rather dangerous proposition. Good to see a non-caster with a d4.
    • Skills look good, though I'd give them access to Knowledge Geography, History, and Nobility and Royalty - they're primarily flavor, but make sense for martial characters to have access to.
    • BAB and Saves are fine. (10th level Will is missing a "+")
    • I'd remove the single exotic weapon from their natural proficiencies. They can use all exotic bows already. If an archer wants to get more crazy, they can spend a feat just like everyone else. Armor seems fine.
    • Archer, Not a Fighter: Interesting. I'm not sure it's necessary, given their hit die, but it's not a bad thing. Though it makes multiclassing and wanting to do any melee absolutely horrible. The name, though, could use some work, as it's a little meta at the moment.
    • Deadly Skill: That's a lot of bonus damage. Just Dex by itself as precision damage is a great class feature. I'd cut it down to just Dex damage added.
    • Bonus Feats: 7 bonus feats is a lot, considering they get a bunch of class features. But this could certainly be fine, depending on how the rest of the class is.
    • Archery Style: Ok, I can dig alternate styles. I'd format it based on the Ranger Combat Style wording though.
      • Rapid Shooting: This is freaking incredible. It doubles your attacks at no cost. At 1st level. Hell, it isn't even restricted to ranged attacks! Needs to be seriously scaled back. What's wrong with Rapid Shot that you don't want to just use the feat?
      • Darkstalker: Great feat. It could carry a level by itself for a stealthy class. Makes for a tempting dip (though not nearly as tempting as Rapid Shooting).
      • Sniping: So...Do you automatically hit without having to roll? Do you just automatically threaten a critical? Is it confirmed? If distracted what is the DC of the Concentration check? And given the name is the same as the action under the Hide Skill, I'd change it to something like Snipe Attack.
    • Evasion: Like a Monk, at the same level. Fine.
    • Eagle Eye: So they get an additional bonus to attacks that virtually cancels out the multishot penalty? On top of that it grants additional attacks? This is insanely powerful. Just an attack bonus seems Very Good. Does any other melee class get a scaling bonus like this? Well...other classes can spend a feat to get Weapon Focus? Again, a very very very strong ability.
    • Improved Range: Solid, but oddly worded. Having Far Shot should not be the assumed situation. I'd word it as "When you use a bow, its range increment increases by one-half (multiply by 1). If you have the Far Shot feat the range increment is doubled (this includes the increase from Far Shot).
    • Overdraw: Seems...well, I was going to say fine, but it has a problem. Power Attack isn't used with single handed weapons - a direct -1/+1 trade from attack to damage simply isn't worth it. So as written, Overdraw isn't breaking things with its power level. It will just sit there, unused, gathering dust. It just isn't relevant. I see no reason why they couldn't add 2 damage for each point of attack sacrificed. And perhaps instead of being limited by BAB, it's limited by your Strength modifier.
    • Improved Archery Style: Wheee, combat styles!
      • Multishot: As covered above, this is broooooooken. The problem is the uncapped nature, granting you attacks for virtually everything with nary a restriction. Its exponential growth, which essentially invalidates the attack penalty (along with the other bonuses to hit the True Archer gets). I'm honestly not sure what the fix is for this. Firstly it needs some kind of limit. I'm unsure if it should be usable in conjunction with Rapid Shooting.
      • Hidden Shooter: Given that he'll need cover or concealment to be hiding regardless, the bonuses for partial cover and concealment seem superfluous.
      • Precision: No. Just no. When you get it's a +8 to attack. That, right there, without any further increasing, boggles the mind. By level 20 you might as well not bother rolling to hit, because you're only missing on a 1, ever. It more than doubles your Base Attack Bonus! I have no idea what to replace this with, because it needs to be replaced, which means a new direction. Maybe something that allows precision damage to be applied father, or ignore certain types of AC bonuses, or punch through weather effects, or...well, anything.
    • Improved Evasion: Whee, more dodging of Reflexes.
    • Greater Archery Style: It feels like we got to this rather quickly from the improved version, which means I'm a little concerned about dead/unexciting levels. I'm starting to think that the Styles that gain multiple things at these levels should be spread out more.
      • Extended Augment: Wait, what are these things its talking about? Oh, I see, we haven't learned any of them yet. Ok then, that's weird. Well, without knowing what they do, it seems alright, and certainly makes sense to affect your entire volley of arrows.
      • Improved Hidden Shooter: Why is this granting a bonus to all Hide checks? Can't you just remove the penalty to hiding after sniping? And maybe if firing from total concealment or total cover you don't need to make a new hide check?
      • Deadly Precision: Given that you may only make one attack a turn while sniping, I think this isn't too bad.
    • Elemental Arrow: The fluff feels very out of the blue. The class has been completely mundane, and now it's access "magic" to elementalize it's arrows. Where did that come from?! Mechanically, I don't understand why it neutralizes things like poison. The damage is equivalent to a sneak attack, but with none of the prerequisites...and Volley Archers can add it to every arrow they fire from Multishot? That is a very high amount of damage. I think to have this make more sense, I'd lower when it's acquired (make it early), tie it's uses per day to a mental stat so your class isn't totally SAD, and rejigger the damage (maybe 1d6 per 3 levels?).
    • Golden Arrow: So he gets a guaranteed hit (but is it a crit? does he roll anyway to see if he threatens?), no matter what? Wow, that is great with combined with Multishot and weapon enhancements. Instead of turning a single arrow into this thing, I'd make it something like a full round action that gives a penalty to AC as he focuses on a single shot to the exclusion of all else. Acquired earlier, like Elemental Arrow, and also tied to a mental stat.
    • Advanced Archery Style: I'd switch this name with Greater, since Greater just sounds like it's better than Advanced.
      • Rain of Arrows: First, I think this should be moved much lower, since it's the real "volley" effect. Get it at 1st or 5th level. Somewhere around there. Additionally, I'd rewrite it to be a lot more similar to the HoB volley rules. In this case, I'd say you make a full round action to target a 15' diameter area and fill it with arrows. An attack against a fixed AC of 15 (to hit the targeted squares), dealing damage based on your weapon if you hit, which creatures can Reflex save for half. Really, check out the HoB rules if you can. If you can't, well, I can take a swing at writing up an ability if you'd like.
      • Killing Shot: A -10 modifier to what? Attack? Hide? The ability to juggle penguins? When did he gain the ability to auto-crit while flanking? PEACH did the math on the coup de grace saves, which is obviously just stupid. I'd never both hiding and sniping, I'd just unload my attacks. I'll roll a 20 eventually, and then my target is just straight dead. I'm not sure what to do here (but it's late, so I'm not running at full capacity by now )
    • Supreme Archery Style: Sounds sweet. Capstone time baby! (though the lack of any new abilities since advanced should be tweaked.
      • Instinctual Lethality: This name sounds way more applicable to the Sniper Style, FYI. As PEACH mentioned, the crit bonuses are just kinda gravy, not anything that really blows one away. It's...well, it's generic. Nice, but not exciting or terribly unique.
      • Slaying Shot: Name sounds like an action, not a passive ability. What if the Sniper is using a weapon with a crit multiplier other than x3? Like the above, these crit bonuses are nice and all, but really do nothing except make something that occasionally happens and is exciting just bigger numbers.

    Please don't take my critique to harshly, I'm just trying to offer constructive criticism and my thoughts. The class is certainly salvageable, a lot of the issues are numbers-based, not concept-based.
    Last edited by MammonAzrael; 2012-03-17 at 04:13 AM.