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View Full Version : DnD 3.5 class that functions as a sniper?



Stormthorn
2009-06-01, 10:14 PM
Is their one? Other than a ranger?

Goatman_Ted
2009-06-01, 10:18 PM
If you're looking for archers specifically, there's the Cragtop archer (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20040815b)in Races of Stone and the Deepwood Sniper in Masters of the Wild (not 3.5, but no good non-magic archery PrCs are).

Berserk Monk
2009-06-01, 10:20 PM
Arcane Archer: with their spells, magical arrows, and other abilities, I don't see why you couldn't make one into a sniper.

Stormthorn
2009-06-01, 10:29 PM
Arcane Archer: with their spells, magical arrows, and other abilities, I don't see why you couldn't make one into a sniper.

Its a PrC. I was hoping for base classes.


Although a half elf Sorcerer 2/ Ranger 4 that i was planning on making the sniper does meet the entry requirments.

Xallace
2009-06-01, 10:32 PM
I believe there is a feat out there that improves your potential Sneak Attack range immensely, but I can't remember the name or where I saw it. If anyone else can remember, that could make quite and effective sniper.

Thoughtbot360
2009-06-01, 10:32 PM
Ranger/Assassin?

I can't promise that Death Attack is gonna be a good trade in for a sub-optimal PrC, but hey, everything you need for the concept is right there.

Eldariel
2009-06-01, 10:33 PM
This is more supported through spells and abilities than classes, so the thing you should be looking for especially is appropriate spell casting. Spell Compendium in particular gives a lot of support for this kind of a character. Mystic Ranger [Crystal Keep (http://www.crystalkeep.com)/Dragon Magazine] is really the perfect option for a Sniper, as you can automatically crit at a range and remove range penalties and such.

Having Sneak Attack and Use Magic Device (or the spells) works too; both Rogue and Assassin function fine thanks to the spell "Sniper's Shot". The absolute best outcome probably comes if you go Archivist [Heroes of Horror] Archer and multiclass for Sneak Attack dice and acquire DMM: Persistent Spell [Complete Divine+Complete Arcane] to maximize the number of spells you can keep active (and to ease detection). Archivist can learn any divine spells to Ranger-spells are a fair game. And thanks to Divine Power and DMM: Persistent, you can easily overcome the BAB.

Epinephrine
2009-06-01, 10:42 PM
There's also a scout variant that gets sniper shot at any range, from a dragon magazine.

You can find it in the crystalkeep (http://www.crystalkeep.com/d20/index.php) base class list, however.

Magi_Ring_O
2009-06-01, 10:57 PM
I believe there is a feat out there that improves your potential Sneak Attack range immensely, but I can't remember the name or where I saw it. If anyone else can remember, that could make quite and effective sniper.

The feat is something like Crossbow Sniper, or something. Increases sneak attack range up to 60ft. with crossbows, and also had another bonus I can't recall off the top of my head. I think it's in CAd. Not really useful to the OP though, because I think he wants Longbow.

Kosjsjach
2009-06-02, 12:03 AM
I'm not knowledgeable enough to really help with the class question, but if you're looking for a decent sniping weapon I'd recommend a heavy crossbow with "gnome crossbow sight" from A&EG p36. It lets one treat targets as if they were two range increments closer. Add the merciful enhancement and that's an extra +1d6, and nonlethal.

I also agree with the sniper's shot + sneak attack combo.

icefractal
2009-06-02, 01:00 AM
It's not a literal weapon-using sniper, but a Warlock with Eldritch Spear has a range of 250' with no penalties (and it's a touch attack, so it will almost certainly hit), plus invisibility and flight invocations to get a good sniping spot.

For more punch on the initial strike, you could take Psionic Shot/Greater Psionic Shot, use Gloves of Eldritch Admixture, and/or go into Hellfire Warlock.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-02, 01:07 AM
It's not a literal weapon-using sniper, but a Warlock with Eldritch Spear has a range of 250' with no penalties (and it's a touch attack, so it will almost certainly hit), plus invisibility and flight invocations to get a good sniping spot.

For more punch on the initial strike, you could take Psionic Shot/Greater Psionic Shot, use Gloves of Eldritch Admixture, and/or go into Hellfire Warlock.Don't forget the various '(Metamagic) SLA' feats. There's not a good selection, but it's reasonable to ask your DM to make up others for the other metamagic feats along the same lines. Widen would be particularly useful to this concept.

@the OP:You want a Sniper. It would be helpful if you defined what that meant, as well as level, pt buy, and what sources you can use. Is it someone who deals damage at NI range? Someone with the ability to hit at a distance while avoiding reprisals? Someone with good range and a bow? Someone who sights a target at range and kills it, but is less effective in standard combat? The best fit will be determined by that above all.

lsfreak
2009-06-02, 01:08 AM
It's not a literal weapon-using sniper, but a Warlock with Eldritch Spear has a range of 250' with no penalties (and it's a touch attack, so it will almost certainly hit), plus invisibility and flight invocations to get a good sniping spot.

For more punch on the initial strike, you could take Psionic Shot/Greater Psionic Shot, use Gloves of Eldritch Admixture, and/or go into Hellfire Warlock.

For added effect, talk your DM into letting you take metamagic feats retailored to a spell-like effect (like Maximize/Empower Spell-Like Ability from the books), then take Invisible Spell-Like Ability.

ZeroNumerous
2009-06-02, 01:17 AM
Or you could aim for Spellwarp Sniper. Which is like a sniper, but with spells.

Stormthorn
2009-06-02, 09:46 AM
Don't forget the various '(Metamagic) SLA' feats. There's not a good selection, but it's reasonable to ask your DM to make up others for the other metamagic feats along the same lines. Widen would be particularly useful to this concept.

@the OP:You want a Sniper. It would be helpful if you defined what that meant, as well as level, pt buy, and what sources you can use. Is it someone who deals damage at NI range? Someone with the ability to hit at a distance while avoiding reprisals? Someone with good range and a bow? Someone who sights a target at range and kills it, but is less effective in standard combat? The best fit will be determined by that above all.

The sources i can use are the core books, Forgotten Realms, and Lords of Madness (which i recently ordered) but if you can link to a site detailing some other class.

Lvl 6
2 abilities with a +3 bonus
2 with a +2
1 with a +1
1 with a -2

And as for how to define a sniper im not really sure. Im doing this to try and get my sister to play the game and the only things she likes that are possible in this sort of game are 1: Animals, particularly cats and horses and 2: Killing from long range.
The only reason she ever watches the military or histroy channel is that sometimes they have specials on snipers on.

mistformsquirrl
2009-06-02, 10:05 AM
I liked Deepwood Sniper from 3.0.

It wasn't perfect, and could probably use a cleanup for 3.5e; but if you want to go for a sniper feel, I thought it did the job well.

Another option would be to homebrew a Prestige Class. (I say Prestige Class because standard classes are, by and large meant to cater to a larger group than a Prestige Class. EX: There are several kinds of Paladins. A Knight of the Chalice on the other hand is much more narrow. There are several kinds of Sorcerer, but a Dragon Disciple is again, relatively narrow.)

As for a base class to use...

Ranger is probably one of the better choices; though you could see about going Rogue and allowing said homebrew Prestige Class to use Sneak Attack from further and further away.

Just ideas of course <. .> I'm sure there are other ways to handle it too.

Starscream
2009-06-02, 10:12 AM
Races of the Wild has a Halfling Rogue substitution level called "Sniping Mastery" that lets them shoot at an enemy from hiding and then hide again as a free action (though at -10 penalty).

Edit:
Oops, didn't see the post where you listed the sources you can use.

woodenbandman
2009-06-02, 10:23 AM
It's not impossible to be effective at up to 400 feet range. If you have Dragon magazine, it's easier because of Targetteer fighter. Add your Dex to damage with arrows, add 2 extra attacks/round at a -5 on all attacks (flurry of bows?). Combine with Cragtop Archer, Warblade for TSS, Uhh...Splitting bows, Force arrows...

You won't be killing things with a single arrow, you'll at least be near guaranteed the ability to kill things at an extremely long range.

Targetteer is dragon magazine, Cragtop Archer is Races of Stone, and there are some other classes that help with this stuff.

EDIT: ouch. Good luck with just those sources open, bud. Your best bet for a sniper type is Arcane Archer + True Strike + Finger of Death + a lot of charisma boosters.

Eldariel
2009-06-02, 10:36 AM
Definitely seals it: Go base-Wizard Arcane Archer. Max Int. Dip only two levels of AA. Otherwise, Wizard 6/Eldritch Knight 3/Arcane Archer 2/Eldritch Knight +7/Archmage 2. Use Militia-feat [Player's Guide to Faerun] to qualify for Eldritch Knight. Be a Gray Elf/Sun Elf. Use Area-of-Effect Save-or-Bad-Stuff-Happens spells. Profit!

Mando Knight
2009-06-02, 01:27 PM
Definitely seals it: Go base-Wizard Arcane Archer. Max Int. Dip only two levels of AA. Otherwise, Wizard 6/Eldritch Knight 3/Arcane Archer 2/Eldritch Knight +7/Archmage 2. Use Militia-feat [Player's Guide to Faerun] to qualify for Eldritch Knight. Be a Gray Elf/Sun Elf. Use Area-of-Effect Save-or-Bad-Stuff-Happens spells. Profit!

Unfortunately, you lose 3 caster levels (take Practiced Spellcaster or whatever it's called to get your CL up to snuff), and so you'll only get 1 level 9 spell. I suggest Wail of the Banshee, which goes from having a range of 125 feet to several hundred feet. Or shoot an AMF arrow to disable the enemy casting while you send in Conjuration attacks and Walls of Force.

Eldariel
2009-06-02, 01:35 PM
Unfortunately, you lose 3 caster levels (take Practiced Spellcaster or whatever it's called to get your CL up to snuff), and so you'll only get 1 level 9 spell. I suggest Wail of the Banshee, which goes from having a range of 125 feet to several hundred feet. Or shoot an AMF arrow to disable the enemy casting while you send in Conjuration attacks and Walls of Force.

This was unfortunately the minimum while still gaining Imbue Arrow and maintaining a decent BAB. However, only 1 Level 9 Spell is a huge understatement. A level 20 Gray Elf can (and will, given 1 18 in the stat rolls and about half the expected WBL) have 20+5 levels+5 inherent+6 enhancement = 36 Int, which means two bonus level 9 spells. And specialization grants an extra, and that's before using Pearls of Power or the like.

So I'd imagine we're looking at least at 4 level 9 spells; Archmage can duplicate one with Spell-Like Ability too. If abusing Polymorph Any Object, much higher numbers are of course possible, but I'm not accounting for that.

Mando Knight
2009-06-02, 01:47 PM
However, only 1 Level 9 Spell is a huge understatement. A level 20 Gray Elf can (and will, given 1 18 in the stat rolls and about half the expected WBL) have 20+5 levels+5 inherent+6 enhancement = 36 Int, which means two bonus level 9 spells. And specialization grants an extra, and that's before using Pearls of Power or the like.

Hm. That's true. I had forgotten about stat boosts.

AslanCross
2009-06-02, 06:35 PM
I tend to use the Rogue; there are a whole bunch of Feats that can be used to make sniping (typically with a high-damage single shot weapon such as a great crossbow) feasible. Crossbow Sniper, Able Sniper, etc.

Taking a dip in wizard or taking Assassin gives you access to sniper's shot, a swift action spell which gives you unlimited sneak attack range on your next shot.

I once built a Greenspawn sneak sniper who haunted the spires of a castle that my PCs were raiding. She could sneak attack at over 400 feet away thanks to a gnome crossbow sight and sniper's shot.

lsfreak
2009-06-02, 06:45 PM
Near Horizon (Complete Mage) is good too, swift action, for the next 3 rounds attacks have no range penalties. Combine that with two sniper's shot casts, far shot, and cragtop archer, and you get two rounds of sneak attack at almost 2300 feet.

Stormthorn
2009-06-02, 07:14 PM
You realize that a lot of this is too involved for someone im having to coerce into playing for the first time ever.

WeeFreeMen
2009-06-02, 07:19 PM
Order of the Bow Initiate?
Its as close to the "Sniper" feel as any PrC I can think of.

Its limited to 30ft..but it gets better to 60ft (although 10 lvs in) Alternately
Arcane Archer using the gimped dimension door spell, so you can jaunt around the field. Take 1 or 2 levels of Shadow Dancer for Hide in Plain Sight?

Just carry some smoke-sticks with you to hide in, or to create a shadow to hide in.

Have you asked your DM for a custom enchantment? Maybe he'll be kind.
I too have been looking for a "Sniper" like build. So I feel your pain.

Best of luck tho

Lorien077
2009-06-02, 09:46 PM
Depends on how you feel about homebrew and psionics. I made a base class called psionic archer, and they make pretty dang good snipers. Just be sure to watch your power points, have a good wisdom, and spend your skill points wisely.

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98311

Also a suggested fix from play-testing is to not be able to wear light armor until second level.

ericgrau
2009-06-02, 10:27 PM
Why not stay with the ranger? If he's not a sniper or tracker or master of non-monster wilderness encounters or etc., then he's a fighter with less feats and worse armor. You hide at 400 feet, observers get a -40 to their spot vs your -20 to hide, and you bask in your invincibility as you make shot after shot against your enemies. And there are no natural 1's or 20's on skill checks. Meanwhile you get a -6 to hit, or -2 with far shot. Bow and arrow enchantments keep damage up. But a ranger that walks up and stabs things without doing anything outside of close combat is someone who should have played a fighter or something else for all the same abilities and more.

Or cheese up all the same with a rogue with enough spells to make his only AB penalty his mid BAB and add on unlimited range sneak attack damage to boot. But with the whole inability to get hit advantage, that's a bit unfair.

But ya, outside of the ranger I can only think of some other class that makes use of all those cheesy sniping spells. Or homebrew.

Doc Roc
2009-06-02, 10:30 PM
Archivist, when built properly, oddly.

RangerOfFortune
2009-06-02, 10:53 PM
I played a "sniper" once... Ranger/Deepwood Sniper. Had the right feel, considering my crazy bonuses to hide and sneak. Only problem was it was fairly underpowered, and I felt it. (Especially when the rest of the party was drawing the Deck of Many Things and Lich-ifying themselves...)

But it's straightforward and has the right feel, so seems good for a new player.

AslanCross
2009-06-02, 11:27 PM
You realize that a lot of this is too involved for someone im having to coerce into playing for the first time ever.

Just go Rogue, then. Even without the sniper's shot support, Crossbow Sniper can still give him sniping from 60 feet away.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-03, 03:32 PM
The sources i can use are the core books, Forgotten Realms, and Lords of Madness (which i recently ordered) but if you can link to a site detailing some other class.

Lvl 6
2 abilities with a +3 bonus
2 with a +2
1 with a +1
1 with a -2

And as for how to define a sniper im not really sure. Im doing this to try and get my sister to play the game and the only things she likes that are possible in this sort of game are 1: Animals, particularly cats and horses and 2: Killing from long range.
The only reason she ever watches the military or histroy channel is that sometimes they have specials on snipers on.

If you need something simple, a base class that does archer well without a lot of rules then I highly recommend Warlock (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/editpost.php?do=editpost&p=6212154). If you are starting at level 5 or higher, then I suggest the best type of Warlock: Pixie Warlock. Without adding anything else, you do damage from a range (up to 250' with the right Invocation), and have flight and greater invisibility at level 1. All you have to understand is that Eldritch blast is a single target attack that ignores armor (touch attack) and does an extra +d6 damage every odd level of Warlock.

Your sister will like it because she'll be hitting almost all the time, because Pixie Warlocks almost never miss an attack. You'll like it because she won't be dominating encounters because her damage is low. Pixie illusion SLA also allow for some imaginative solutions to problems, but have enough holes in them to still give encounters a chance. It also gives her a chance to bring in her love of animals, since a Pixie's permanent illusion can be anything creature or object within a certain size.

The downside is you might need Complete Arcane, but it's one of the more useful D&D sourcebooks out there.

Realms of Chaos
2009-06-03, 03:40 PM
I may be missing something but I can't see where any of this thread is going.

In DnD, the definition of sniping, according to the PHB, is taking a single shot from hiding and then making a new hide check to remain hidden.

In game terms, sneak attacking at range isn't sniping (although it makes sniping a feasable strategy as you're only getting one attack).

That said, you want any class that can use a bow and you combine it with another that gets sneak attack and voila.

Ranger/Assassin is probably a good choice as you get two sources of spells, a death attack to go with your sneak attack, and hide in plain sight so you can snipe even in the middle of the battlefield.

I suggest halfling for your race because it grants a bonus to hide checks and attack rolls and I think it is required to get the only feat in existance that actually aids sniping (from races of the wild).

Lunawarrior0
2009-06-04, 08:35 AM
From what you have told us about the person you want to get playing D&D, if you want to make it a sniper, I would go Ranger (at least 4, see bellow) and then either rogue or assassin for sneak attack.

The number of levels in ranger could depend on which pet you want, after 4 levels, you can get a horse, but if you go farther you might be able to get pets that she would like more, such as at 8th level you could get a cheetah or leopard, or at 14th level, you could get a Lion, or a Tiger (or a bear, oh my :smallsmile:). And if you really want, and can go up to, level 20, then you could get a Dire lion. So Ranger has the advantage of hitting both of the things you told us the other person likes. (killing form a distance, and animals)

And to make sure you have seen this, A composite Long bow of Distance can shoot up to 215 feet with no penalty, max range of almost half a mile (2195ft) if willing to take a -10 to hit. Also, for some reason, I am thinking that there is a feat that will increase your range, as well, but I can't find it.