Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
{snip}
Yeah, that's basically what I was feeling. Really, archery in D&D only has two advantages that I can think of - {a} that you can mix and match enchantments and materials on bows as well as arrows (meaning you can fire a cold iron arrow at the demon and a silver one at the devil on the same turn, or fire a +1 flaming frost arrow out of your +1 acid shock bow), and {b} that you're marginally less likely to take damage.

{a} is pretty cool, granted, but {b} just doesn't work in a normal party. Chances are, even in lighter armor, your archer character is going to be one of the best tanks of the group, and unless everyone else is playing a melee char you're going to see front-line action in most encounters because, let's face it, that's probably what your party NEEDS. Standing back and firing is only a valid strategy if you've got the DPR to really lay down the smack, but you don't. At your best you can keep up with the melee types, but rare is the archer build who has any serious damage advantage over the guys on the front line. So {b} exists, but there's absolutely no mechanical motivation other than pure selfishness to use it that way. Gah.