Credits: Many of the ideas incorporated here originated with Lans, Ivanhoe, or Florian.
I've been stewing on a second Archer-based Fighter, but it's different enough that it's a separate build. The key otherwise-unused trick is Polymorph Any Object. PaO modifies Polymorph but it's unclear exactly which constraints are nullified. The conservative view is that all constraints not explicitly disallowed by wording remain active. In particular: the Hit dice of the form must be 15 or less and no new allowed types exist. I'm also avoiding the two-castings trick as it's unclear exactly how PaO self-stacks.
There seems to be only one form with a high dexterity, <15HD, and clear ability to wield weapons. Aside from the obvious Strength/Dexterity/Constitution/Intelligence/Natural Armor/Flight, the types and subtypes have value (and a few drawbacks). Outsider means the form is hard to get but there is no need to eat or sleep. [Evil] means immunity to Blasphemy, bypassing good outsider damage resistance, and a level penalty wielding holy items which sucks against the Pit Fiend. [Lawful] provides immunity to Dictum and bypasses the damage resistance of chaotic outsiders. The Fiendish Codex later decides that the Cornugon is a [Baatezu] which grants immunity to Fire & Poison.
For PAO to work, the base race must be outsider. We'll choose Tiefling which comes with a painful LA+1. Using a caster level 31 hired wizard (remember: Red Wizard is core) the PAO will only be dispelled by Disjunction. Whether or not the Tiefling's first level is replaced by Fighter 1 is unclear from the rules. I'll assume "yes" in keeping with the pure fighter discussion. (If the Outsider HD is kept, that's of course better.) I'm also assuming that skill points are determined by intrinsic intelligence rather than PAO intelligence as that seems saner. The duration is permanent (same kingdom, related, same or lower intelligence). Related applies in the literal sense as the Tiefling is descended from a Fiend.
Note that PaO comes online as a trick from ECL 3, very early in the game so although this is an ECL 20 build, it's relevant at much earlier levels. In such a level progression, it would be more natural to start as a melee bruiser while gradually picking up the feats and skills necessary to be an effective scout/archer.
Spoiler: Abilities and Feats
Strength 37 =
Dexterity 32 =
8+2(race)25 +1 inherent +6 enhancement
Constitution 29 =
1625 + 4 enhancement
Intelligence 18 =
14+2(race)14 + 4 enhancement
Wisdom 28 = 18+4(level)+6(enhancement)
Charisma 6 = 8-2(race)
Fighter Bonus Feats:
1. Improved Initiative
2. Point Blank Shot
4. Rapid Shot
8. Precise Shot
10. Improved Critical (Longbow)
12. Weapon Focus(Longbow)
14. Weapon Specialization(Longbow)
16. Greater Weapon Focus(Longbow)
18. Greater Weapon Specialization(Longbow)
1. Iron Will
3. Skill Focus(Sleight of Hand)
9. Skill Focus(Spellcraft)
12. Combat Reflexes
15. Skill Focus(Move Silently)
18. Skill Focus(Spot)
Spoiler: spending 760K gp
Neck: Necklace of Adaptation+Hand of Glory, Constitution+4, Wisdom+6, Natural Armor+2: 81K //Necklace of adaptation+outsider means no breathing, eating, or sleeping constraints. Hand of Glory for extra ring + See Invisibility
Head: Hat of Disguise: 1.8K //This seems pretty critical for social interactions. True Seeing reveals a Tiefling.
Arms: Bracers of Armor+4+Greater Silent Moves+Greater Shadow+Greater Bracers of Archery: 121K
Shoulders: Cloak of Resistance+5: 25K
Waist: Monk's Belt+Strength+6: 48K
Feat: Boots of Speed: 12K
Eyes: Eyes of Eagle: 2.5K
Hands: Gloves of Dexterity+6 + Locking gauntlet: 36.008K //Probably disables claw attacks
Ring 1: Freedom of Movement+Deflect+2: 48K //Shuts down nasty effects.
Ring 2: Invisibility: 20K //Allows Hide anywhere with +20 to Hide.
Ring 3: Blinking: 27K //Attacks are always against flat-footed AC with +2 to hit. Able to walk through walls.
Weapon: Composite (+13) Longow+1+Seeking+Flame+Frost+Shock+Merciful: 73.7K //We can craft a composite+13 bow ourselves!
Backup Bow: Composite(+13) Longbow: 1.7K //Craft[Bowmaking] allows us to actually make this.
Slotless: Masterwork tools of all skills 0.3K
Slotless: Luckblade (0 Wishes): 22.5K //primarily for the luck, but also a potent weapon.
Slotless: Handy Haversack: 2K
Slotless: Tower Shield: 0.03 //backup in case we want total cover.
Slotless: Manual Dexterity+1: 27.5K
Slotless: Dark Blue Ioun Stone: 10K //Grants Alertness
Slotless: Dusty Rose Ioun Ston: 5K //AC+1(insight)
Slotless: Pale Green Ioun Stone: Skill/ability/save/attack+1(competence): 30K
Slotless: Scroll Permanency, 1K exp @ caster level 31: 8.875K
Slotless: Scroll Permanency, 1K exp @ caster level 21: 7.625K
Expendables. The number of expendables for a one-shot is 1/5th rounded down.
Arrows: 200 Cold Iron: 0.02K
Arrows: 90 Silver: 0.185K
Arrows: 30 Adamantine: 1.802K
Arrows: 30 +1+Anarchic: 10.982K
Arrows: 30 +1+Holy+Silver: 11.042K
Arrows: 30 +1+Holy+Cold Iron: 12.182K
Arrows: 30 +1+Bane[Dragon]: 4.982K
Arrows: 30 +1+Bane[Magical Beast]: 4.982K
Arrows: 30 +1+Bane[Good Outsider]: 4.982K
Oil of Greater Magic Weapon+5 x5 15K
Dust of Disappearance x5: 17.5K
Protection from Evil Potion x5: 0.25K
Silence x5: 1.5K
Remove Fear x5: 1.5K
Resist Energy 30 potion x5: 5.5K
Good Hope Potion x5: 5.25K
Cure Light Wounds x40: 2K
Remove Disease x1: 0.75K
Remove Curse x5: 3.75K
Remove Blindness/Deafness x5: 3.75K
Lesser Restoration x5: 1.5K
Polymorph Any Object[Cornugon] @caster level 31: 2.48K
Invisibility [Bow] @caster level 31: 0.62K
Magic Jar + See Invisibility @caster level 21: 0.87K
Again, I'm avoided effects with a cost of >3K given that these are "not generally available". Part of avoiding this is via buying the more expensive scrolls of permanency.
Total spent is 759.663K and all equipment + the rest of a party (about 2400lbs to spare) is a light load.
Armor Class: 59 = 10(base)+11(Dexterity)+4(Armor Enhance)-1(Size)+1(Dodge, boots of Speed)+2(Deflect)+10(Monk's belt)+2(Natural armor enhance)+19(Natural armor)+1(Insight)
+Invisibility +50% miss from Blink
Touch AC 34
Universal Save modifiers:+7 = +5(Resistance, cloak)+1(Luck, Luckblade)+1(competence, Ioun stone)
Fortitude: 27(Good Hope+2): 11(Fighter 19)+9(Constitution)+7(Universal)
Reflex: 25(Good Hope+2): 6(Fighter 19)+11(Dexterity)+1(Boots of Speed)+7(Universal)
Will: 24(P from E +Immune Charm&Control Compulsion, Good hope+2): 6(Fighter 19)+9(Wisdom) +7(Universal)+2(Feat)
Bow Attack: +42+no dex to AC (Good Hope+2): +19(Fighter 19)+11(Dexterity)+5(Enhance)+2(Competence, Bracers)+2(Feats)-1(Size)+1(Haste, Boots of Speed)+1(Point Blank Shot)+2(Blinking)
Improvised Bow Attack (melee): +39+no dex to AC(Good Hope+2): +19(Fighter 19)+13(Strength)+5(Enhance)+2(Competence, Bracers)+2(Feats)-1(Size)+1(Haste, Boots of Speed)-4(Improvised)+2(Blinking)
Bow+Arrow Damage: 52 (Good Hope+2): 7 (Large Arrows)+13(Strength)+5(Enhance+5)+7(Holy)+4(Feats) +3.5(Frost)+3.5(Flame)+3.5(Shock)+3.5(Merciful)+1( Greater Bracers of Archery)+1(Point Blank Shot)
Improvised Bow Damage: ~50: as bow+arrow except smaller dice, no Holy, no point blank shot
Attack Routine with Haste & Rapid Shot: +40/+40/+40/+35/+30/+25 Expected damage against AC 37: 285 (including criticals)
Attack Routine with Manyshot: +34 with 4 arrows. Expected damage against AC 37: 181 (Including criticals)
Universal Skill Modifiers: 3: 2(Master work tool, Circumstance)+1(luckstone)
Universal circumstantial: Good Hope+2
Hide: 55: +6(Fighter, cross class)+3(Universal)+11(Dexterity)-4(size)+15(Competence, armor)+2(Stealthy)+20(Invisibility)+2(Tiefling) // don't be found
Move Silently 45: +11(fighter, cross class)+3(Universal)+11(Dexterity)+15(Competence, armor)+2(Stealthy)+3(Skill Focus) //don't be found
Spot 33: +11(fighter, cross class)+3(Universal)+9(Wisdom)+5(Competence, Eyes of Eagle)+3(Skill Focus)+2(Alertness) // find bad guys
Sleight of Hand 29: +11(fighter,cross class)+3(Universal+11(Dexterity)+3(Skill Focus)+1(Ioun Stone) // Used to speak command words for rings quietly as per Rules Compendium rules for muttering spells.
Spellcraft 25: 11(fighter, cross class)+4(Int)+3(universal)+1(ioun stone)+3(skill focus)+2(synergy, k(arcana)) // Used to notice illusions
K(arcana) 13: 5(fighter, cross class)+4(int)+3(universal)+1(ioun stone)
Initiative: 17(Good Hope+2): +11(Dexterity)+4(Feat)+1(luckstone)+1(ioun stone)
Hit Points: 204: 109(Fighter 19)+95(Constitution)
Comparing with the Halfling Fighter we see that the attack bonus is 5 lower (-3 from size, -1 from dexterity, -1 from LA+1) which becomes -6 against a Pit Fiend due to the Holy arrows. Similarly, Hide is much lower which primarily reduces the ability to snipe. On the upside the baseline damage is ~9 higher, the build's broader selection of Bane arrows makes it significantly more dangerous, the AC is much higher, special attacks are quenched by size, flight synergizes with archery well and provides more mobility, and the high strength provides significant backup melee capability.
A number of unclarities in the rules had to be dealt with in making these builds, so this is some record of the rulings being used and their reasoning.
Spoiler: Rules Lawyering
Spoiler: Which rules precisely?We are using the core rules (PHB, DMG, MMI), but generally assuming a restrictive DM. Hence most custom magic items are disallowed. The x1.5 cost for double use of an item slot is allowed as that is a mandatory rule. Intelligent items are not allowed as they have no designed construction rules.
Spoiler: What if the core rules are altered by other rules?There are several instances where other rules alter the core rules. We use the altered rules.
Spoiler: What is the price of routine bonuses?We go with the Magic Item Compendium rules which state that the x1.5 cost need not be paid.
Spoiler: How loud is a command word?This seems to never be stated anywhere, but one argument is that it should be as loud as verbal components in spells which should generally be in a "firm voice". The Rules Compendium offers a use of Sleight of Hand opposed by Spot (huh?) to cast verbal spells without notice. This is adopted here for retriggering the Ring of Blinking and the Ring of Invisibility to keep the effect constant.
Spoiler: How can you get expensive spells cast?Spellcasting services are generally not available if the price exceeds 3K gp. However, scrolls are not limited by price, and you can cheaply hire a spellcaster to cast a spell.
Spoiler: How do you See Invisibility on a fighter?Hire a wizard to cast magic jar on the fighter, then cast see invisibility, then cast permanency from a scroll.
Spoiler: How do you pierce illusions?Spellcraft includes an option to recognize any spell whose effect is seen. Hence, if an illusion is seen it can be recognized as an illusion spell which grants a will save to see through it.
Spoiler: How does Merciful interact with elemental damage?Merciful says "all damage it deals is nonlethal damage" so it converts elemental damage to nonlethal damage which bypasses elemental resistance/immunity since it is no longer elemental damage. This is based on the judgement that nonlethal damage is a primary and exclusive type of damage which seems to be consistent with the rules and most clearly spelled out in the nonlethal substitution feat.
Spoiler: Which forms can wield wepaons?Polymorph Any Object opens up many forms. We assume that only forms wielding weapons can wield weapons unless they are described as having hands or as being particularly nimble. The rationale here is that weapons are very cheap and clearly beneficial so any form capable of using them uses them by default.
Spoiler: How does damage from a bow used as an improvised melee weapon work?
In a worst-case situation, the Pit Fiend may be able to get attacks off, so it's important to have robust defenses.
Spoiler: Pit Fiend Attacks
Spoiler: Full attack
If the Pit Fiend full attacks it suffers a 50% miss chance due to the ring of blinking and the AC is high enough that the Pit Fiend only hits on a 20. Overall, the probability of hitting at all is 2.5%/attack. A Black Wyrm on the other hand can hit 10% of the time with a bite and 5% of the time with other attacks doing an expected 7 damage.
Spoiler: Full Disarm attack
The Pit Fiend may not be able to disarm an invisible weapon. If it can, each Disarm attack provokes an AOO which Combat Reflexes allows the Fighter to service. Using the bow as an improvised melee weapon plausibly (this requires DM interpretation) has an attack roll of +39 as detailed above. This hits against AC 36 95% of the time and inflicts ~50-15 = 35 nonlethal damage.
In the 5% case the disarm will miss half the time (blinking) and then the opposed Disarm resistance roll is plausibly:
+53=19(base)+13(strength)+5(enhancement)-4(Improvised)+10(Locking Gauntlet)-1(size)+2(feat)+2(competence)+1(haste)+2 (invisibility)+4(Two-handed weapon)
vs +26=30(base)-4(Light Weapon)
so disarm is always resisted. More generally, disarm is typically well resisted even against a Black Wyrm (+46) almost all the time.
Spoiler: Full Sunder attack
A pit fiend may not be able to sunder an invisible weapon. If it can, each Sunder attempt provokes an AOO as for disarm, but Sunder can continue despite doing damage. Half the time the disarm will miss (blinking) and in the other half of the time, the opposed attack roll is:
+43=19(base)+13(strength)+5(enhancement)-4(Improvised)-1(size)+2(feat)+2(competence)+1(haste)+2 (invisibility)+4(Two-handed weapon)
vs +26=30(base)-4(Light Weapon)
implying that sunder almost never hits. Furthermore, even when it hits a hardness of 15 reduces all damage significantly. A Black Wyrm (+46 on the sunder roll) actually has a reasonable chance of hitting although the AOO damage adds up quickly and overall expected damage is ~10 for the full attack.
The Pit Fiend has no AOOs for bow attacks because blinking attackers attack as if invisible.
Spoiler: Grapple/Constrict/Improved Grab
Grapple/Constrict/Improved Grab autofails due to the Ring of Freedom.
Blasphemy has no effect since it's caster level 18 vs. 19HD and because of the [evil] subtype.
Spoiler: Create Undead
Create Undead is stated by the SRD as having a casting time of 1 hour, but the Monster Manual plausibly states that it has a casting time of 1 standard action for monsters. Regardless of the rules, the created undead have negligible effect. They generally can't observe the fighter due to very high Move Silently/Hide, if they do observe they have a negligible chance of hitting, and if they do hit the paralysis effects are negated by the Ring of Freedom. Note that the Mummy's Despair(Su) effect causes paralysis so it is also negated by the Ring of Freedom.
Spoiler: (Quickened) Fireball
The [baatezu] subtype provides immunity to fire.
Spoiler: Greater Dispel MagicThe pit fiend can't target an invisible bow.
An area dispel magic has no effect or a dispel targeted on the creature has no effect due to the high caster level of spells. Some items could be targeted, but none are individually crucial in combat.
Spoiler: Mass Hold Monster
Mass Hold Monster has no effect due to the Ring of Freedom.
Invisibility is countered by the Permanency See Invisiblity which operates at any range.
Spoiler: Persistent Image
Relevant persistent images are visible so spellcraft says if you can:then you canOriginally Posted by spellcraftwith a DC 25 spellcraft check. The spellcraft check is never failed and the save against an illusion once we know it's there happens 5% of the time so most persistent images are transparent and the remainder are a suspicious illusion spell effect.Originally Posted by spellcraft
Spoiler: Power Word Stun
Power Word Stun has no effect because the Fighter has more than 150 hit points.
Spoiler: Unholy Aura
Unholy Aura increases AC by 4, but there is no blinding effect due to the Fighter being True Neutral.
Spoiler: Meteor Swarm
This is a 1/day ability. Meteor Swarm is double nerfed by Blink since it is both targeted and an area effect. Expected bludgeoning damage is 8*3.5/2=14, and immunity to fire comes from the [baatezu] subtype.
This is a 1/year ability, but it could be used to replicate Antimagic Field which significantly nerfs the Fighter. Against AMF attacks do only ~130 nonlethal damage and many of the Pit Fiends physical attacks become more potent.
Spoiler: Summon Devil
Spoiler: Fear Aura
The Fear Aura has a .1 probability (=.01 with a luckblade reroll) of affecting as a fear spell which institutes panic with a save for shaken. The probability of panic is .01 (or less with a luckblade reroll).
Of all these effects, Wish[Antimagic Field] seems the most detrimental since it shuts down attacks enough to buy another round where a Charge/Tail Slap/Improved Grab/Constrict proves nearly irresistable. Amongst at-will abilities, nothing has any significant effect.
Next we analyze attack damage vs. various creatures for the Tiefling below. These are generated by a simulator using 10^6 montecarlo full attacks.
Spoiler: Tiefling Fighter Full Attack vs. MMI monsters
AC(mod) is the AC taking into account everything under "Active Effects". I'm assuming all combat is happening within 30' (for point blank shot and manyshot), but that's not super-necessary. The number before the slash is without a luckblade reroll while the number after is with a luckblade reroll.
The first columns of numbers is the baseline full attack in terms of expected damage, expected fraction of hit points accounted for, and probability of a knock-out. Use this for mid-combat damage.
The second set takes into account flat-footed opponents as is typical in the first round of combat. Use this for the "win initiative & full attack" situation.
The third set takes into account a surprise round (with multiattack). Use this for the "surprise, win initiative & full attack" situation.
CR name AC(mod) damage #killed P(KO) flat-f flat KO flat P(KO) surp. surp KO surp P(KO) Active Effects 22 Solar 44 203/238 0.9/1.1 0.32/0.53 268/299 1.2/1.3 0.71/0.88 382/451 1.7/2.0 0.87/0.94 See Invisibility, Magic Vestment, Heroes' Feast, Protective Aura, Bane arrows, Regenerate 15 21 Titan 40 231/258 0.6/0.7 0.02/0.04 231/258 0.6/0.7 0.02/0.04 371/426 1/1.2 0.56/0.8 Invisibility Purge, Neutral 20 Pit Fiend 37 278/306 1.2/1.4 0.81/0.94 278/306 1.2/1.4 0.81/0.94 463/506 2.1/2.2 0.98/1 Unholy Aura, Holy Arrows, Silver, Regenerate 5 20 Tarrasque 30 298/318 0.3/0.4 0/0 298/319 0.3/0.4 0/0 472/500 0.5/0.6 0/0 Bane arrows, Regenerate 40 20 Balor 42 244/274 0.8/0.9 0.21/0.36 301/328 1/1.1 0.56/0.78 440/507 1.5/1.7 0.84/0.95 True Seeing, Unholy Aura, Holy Arrows 20 Black Wyrm 41 264/296 0.6/0.6 0.01/0.02 265/296 0.6/0.6 0.01/0.02 420/489 0.9/1.1 0.44/0.69 Mage Armor, Bane arrows 18 Nightcrawler 38 211/234 1/1.1 0.57/0.78 211/234 1/1.1 0.57/0.78 361/402 1.7/1.9 0.93/0.99 Immune nonlethal, Immune Cold, Silver, Immune critical hits 16 Planetar 36 302/332 2/2.2 1/1 326/349 2.2/2.4 1/1 533/565 3.6/3.8 1/1 See Invisibility, Heroes' Feast, Protective Aura, Bane arrows, Regenerate 5 16 Nightwalker 35 227/247 1.3/1.4 0.87/0.97 235/254 1.3/1.4 0.92/0.99 403/428 2.2/2.4 1/1 Immune Nonlethal, Immune Cold, Silver, Immune critical hits 16 G. Stone Golem 27 237/247 0.9/0.9 0.01/0.01 237/247 0.9/0.9 0.01/0.01 394/412 1.5/1.5 0.95/1 Immune Nonlethal, Neutral, Immune critical hits 16 Horned Devil 29 316/334 1.8/1.9 1/1 316/334 1.8/1.9 1/1 511/538 3/3.1 1/1 Holy arrows, Silver, Regenerate 5 16 Hound A Hero 30 338/359 2.5/2.7 1/1 338/359 2.5/2.7 1/1 550/580 4.1/4.4 1/1 Magic Circle V. Evil, Bane arrows 16 Old Black 34 319/347 1.1/1.2 0.63/0.84 319/347 1.1/1.2 0.63/0.84 531/568 1.9/2 0.98/1 Mage Armor, Bane arrows 15 Marut 37 240/264 2.1/2.4 1/1 245/268 2.2/2.4 1/1 419/458 3.7/4.1 1/1 True Seeing, Anarchic arrows, Immune critical hits 13 Death Slaad 33 313/337 2.2/2.4 1/1 333/348 2.3/2.5 1/1 537/561 3.8/4 1/1 See Invisibility, Magic Circle V. Law, Holy arrows 11 E Air Elemental 18 200/208 1/1 0.52/0.67 199/208 1/1 0.52/0.67 332/348 1.6/1.7 0.98/1 Neutral, Immune critical hits, DR 10 11 Dread Wraith 18 276/289 2.7/2.8 1/1 276/289 2.7/2.8 1/1 461/482 4.4/4.6 1/1 Immune Nonlethal, Holy Arrows, Immune critical hits
Overall, this is a significantly more combat capable build that is somewhat worse at stealth and somewhat better at detection compared to the Halfling Archer. Looking through the monsters.
- The Pit Fiend looks like the weakest CR 20 monster since it dies in a mid-combat full attack. Calculating the odds incorporating use of luckblade for either initiative or the full attack (but not both), the odds that the Pit Fiend loses initiative and is knocked out before it can attack is 75%.
- "Win Initiative & Full Attack" works against a Solar (CR 22!), a Pit Fiend, a Balor, a Nightcrawler, and every CR16- creature except the Greater Stone Golem.
- "Surprise, Win Initiative, & Full Attack" is good against everything except for the Tarrasque.
- The one luckblade reroll hits pretty hard in probability. For example, it adds 21% to the chance of taking down an Old Black Dragon.