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View Full Version : Archer (Base Class) [3.5] [PEACH]



Kuma Kode
2009-09-17, 06:22 PM
This class is in no way done, so feel free to suggest changes or just rip it apart with your chaotic evil red pen of FAIL. Anyways, the campaign world I'm currently building has a much greater emphasis on flying monsters than other campaign worlds, so I figured a class specializing in ranged attacks would be a good investment of creative energies, especially considering ranged specialists kind of get ignored in favor of melee classes, probably because melee is more heroic.

So here we are, my attempt at a reasonable archer/sniper.

➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹➷➸➹

Game Rule Information
Archers have the following game rule statistics.
Abilities: Dexterity is necessary for the archer to reliably hit his or her mark, and Strength can add to the archer's power with certain kinds of bows.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d6

Class Skills
The archer's class skills (and their key ability modifier) are Acrobatics (Dex), Athletics (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skill Points at 1st Level: 4 + Int Modifier 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int Modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Archer.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Archers are proficient with all simple weapons, as well as the shortbow, composite shortbow, longbow, and composite longbow. They are proficient with light armor. An archer wearing medium or heavy armor loses access to his archer class abilities while so encumbered.

{table=head;width=100%]
Level |
Base
Attack |
Fort
Save |
Ref
Save |
Will
Save |
Special

1st |
+1 |
+0 |
+2 |
+0 | Trueshot 1/day, Wing Clip +1d6

2nd |
+2 |
+0 |
+3 |
+0 |

3rd |
+3 |
+1 |
+3 |
+1 | Wing Clip +2d6

4th |
+4 |
+1 |
+4 |
+1 | Volley

5th |
+5 |
+1 |
+4 |
+1 | Wing Clip +3d6, Sniper +1

6th |
+6/+1 |
+2 |
+5 |
+2 | Trueshot 2/day

7th |
+7/+2 |
+2 |
+5 |
+2 | Wing Clip +4d6

8th |
+8/+3 |
+2 |
+6 |
+2 |

9th |
+9/+4 |
+3 |
+6 |
+3 | Wing Clip +5d6

10th |
+10/+5 |
+3 |
+7 |
+3 | Sniper +2, Improved Volley

11th |
+11/+6/+1 |
+3 |
+7 |
+3 | Wing Clip +6d6

12th |
+12/+7/+2 |
+4 |
+8 |
+4 | Trueshot 3/day

13th |
+13/+8/+3 |
+4 |
+8 |
+4 | Wing Clip +7d6

14th |
+14/+9/+4 |
+4 |
+9 |
+4 |

15th |
+15/+10/+5 |
+5 |
+9 |
+5 | Wing Clip +8d6, Sniper +3

16th |
+16/+11/+6/+1 |
+5 |
+10 |
+5 | Greater Volley

17th |
+17/+12/+7/+2 |
+5 |
+10 |
+5 | Wing Clip +9d6

18th |
+18/+13/+8/+3 |
+6 |
+11 |
+6 | Trueshot 4/day

19th |
+19/+14/+9/+4 |
+6 |
+11 |
+6 | Wing Clip +10d6

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

Weapon Specialization: Archers are eligible for Weapon Specialization as if they were fighters. Unless the archer is also a fighter of fourth level or higher, the weapon selected must be a bow or crossbow.

Trueshot: Once a day, an archer may focus all of his awareness and years of training into a single, well-placed shot. As a full-round action, the archer may make a single attack with a +20 insight bonus to the attack roll. Additionally, Trueshot attacks ignore the standard miss chances for concealment. Additional daily uses are acquired at 6th, 12th, and 18th levels. This is an extraordinary ability.

Wing Clip: Archers are the first, and often only, line of defense against airborne foes. They practice detailed strategies for dealing with these foes, and become even more effective over time. Whenever an archer successfully strikes a flying target with an arrow, he deals an additional 1d6 points of damage, with an additional die of damage at every odd level after 1st. Should the archer score a critical hit, this extra damage is not multiplied.

To effectively bring down an airborne target, the archer must be able to pick out vital organs and flight-related appendages. Therefore, an archer cannot clip a creature with concealment or one that is immune to critical hits.

Wing clip only applies to flying creatures who are intentionally airborne. Creatures who are falling or jumping do not take additional damage, nor do creatures who are standing on the ground, even if these creatures are capable of flight. Thus, a winged creature can avoid the extra damage by remaining grounded.

Sniper: The archer is a master of precise, deadly shots. Upon reaching 5th level, an archer's critical threat range when wielding a bow increases by 1. His threat range expands further at 10th and 15th level. This ability is factored after all other critical modifiers, such as from Improved Critical.

Volley: An archer of 4th level and higher may sacrifice efficiency and accuracy for coverage, shooting wildly at a group of targets. This ability consumes ten arrows. As a full-round action, an archer may attack a 10 ft. by 10 ft. square within range instead of a single enemy. Each target within the area must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 Archer's level + Archer's Dexterity modifier) or take damage as if struck by the archer's normal attack. A character with Evasion takes only half damage on a failed save. A character with Improved Evasion is immune to Volley unless they are immobile. Wing clip and Sniper do not apply to this attack.

Volley can be used with a light or hand crossbow if the archer has the Rapid Reload feat. A repeating crossbow can be used as well, assuming that the clip is full. Using Volley with a repeating crossbow only consumes five bolts.

Like other attacks with a ranged weapon, this ability provokes attacks of opportunity.

Improved Volley: At 10th level, the archer may target a 60 ft. cone, extending from the archer, with Volley instead of a 10 ft. by 10 ft. square. He may only do this once a day. This version of volley can affect up to one enemy per archer class level and consumes one arrow per enemy. It is otherwise identical to the original Volley.

Greater Volley: At 16th level, the archer's volley reaches its peak. He gains an additional daily usage of Improved Volley. Additionally, once per day, he may use Greater Volley, Instead of a 60 ft. cone, the archer may instead target any enemy within his attack range. This ability is otherwise identical to Improved Volley.

Zovc
2009-09-17, 06:30 PM
Weapon Specialization: Archers are eligible for Weapon Specialization as if they were fighters. Unless the archer is also a fighter of fourth level or higher, the weapon selected must be a bow.

Why not crossbows? ...or other ranged weapons (thrown, slingshots, "other stuff")?

Admiral Squish
2009-09-17, 06:57 PM
While wing clip is a good ability, I think it's rather underpowered. Consider that the rogue is widely considered to be one of the most balanced classes, and you're actually taking it down a notch by not only limiting damage, but also the targets available. I understand the desire to make a warrior specifically for flying foes.

As for trueshot. Definitely needs work. A single attack at +20 is nice, but considering most archers are designed around maximizing the arrows in the air, this is a significant downage of your power level.

I think you should combine wing slip and trueshot. I suggest making it a full attack action at will to fire a single arrow with a +20 to attack, and 1d6/two levels extra damage. Maybe add something at higher levels that allows you to ignore ranged penalties with this.

Volley is good, but I think it's underpowered. I probably would make it consume a lot more arrows, and deal a lot more damage. A volley was traditionally something you pretty much needed to have cover against if you wanted to survive. I'd keep the mechanic, but make every creature that fails their save get hit by as many arrows as the archer would normally produce in a full attack.

I'm kinda being greedy in this, because I've been looking for a LONG time to find a sniper-esque class, and I really want one. Plesase ignore me if you feel this is pushing you into territorry you don't want.

GreatWyrmGold
2009-09-17, 07:03 PM
I've only read the 1st paragraph or so, but I think this is a good idea, and not just in your campaign.

Kuma Kode
2009-09-17, 07:29 PM
Why not crossbows? ...or other ranged weapons (thrown, slingshots, "other stuff")? The class features and such focus on a bow archer. Volley is impossible with a crossbow, and thrown weapons seem to be different enough to deserve their own class.

While wing clip is a good ability, I think it's rather underpowered. Consider that the rogue is widely considered to be one of the most balanced classes, and you're actually taking it down a notch by not only limiting damage, but also the targets available. I understand the desire to make a warrior specifically for flying foes. Yeah, I was also thinking it was underpowered. I'll probably bump it up to a d6, similar to sneak attack.

As for trueshot. Definitely needs work. A single attack at +20 is nice, but considering most archers are designed around maximizing the arrows in the air, this is a significant downage of your power level.

I think you should combine wing slip and trueshot. I suggest making it a full attack action at will to fire a single arrow with a +20 to attack, and 1d6/two levels extra damage. Maybe add something at higher levels that allows you to ignore ranged penalties with this. Hmm. I never considered that. I'll check into it.


Volley is good, but I think it's underpowered. I probably would make it consume a lot more arrows, and deal a lot more damage. A volley was traditionally something you pretty much needed to have cover against if you wanted to survive. I'd keep the mechanic, but make every creature that fails their save get hit by as many arrows as the archer would normally produce in a full attack. It's pretty much just D20 Modern autofire with a bow. Considering it's an at-will ability, I didn't want it to be too powerful. It's good for hitting heavily armored fighters, though, since it's a Reflex and not an attack roll. Making it equal to a full attack kinda gets rid of the use of an actual normal attack, though, and being able to deal a full attack to four creatures at once seems pretty powerful for an at-will ability... I'll look into making it a bit better, though.


I've only read the 1st paragraph or so, but I think this is a good idea, and not just in your campaign.
Yay! Praise! :smallbiggrin:

Admiral Squish
2009-09-17, 07:48 PM
Hmm, you have a point on volley. It definitely needs more power, though. one arrow's damage to possibly four dudes? And not just four targets, but four squares, all next to one-another. I'm not really sure what to do with it.

I think crossbow should be allowed. Very much fits the feel in my opinion, and there's not enough love for crossbows. Maybe volley is just cramming ten bolts into the launcher?

GreatWyrmGold
2009-09-17, 07:51 PM
Yay! Praise! :smallbiggrin:
Praise partly done because the archer role isn't that emphasised in D&D.

dentrag2
2009-09-17, 07:54 PM
Hmm, you have a point on volley. It definitely needs more power, though. one arrow's damage to possibly four dudes? And not just four targets, but four squares, all next to one-another. I'm not really sure what to do with it.

I think crossbow should be allowed. Very much fits the feel in my opinion, and there's not enough love for crossbows. Maybe volley is just cramming ten bolts into the launcher?

Or emptying the entire clip from a repeater crossbow in 2 seconds.

AgentPaper
2009-09-17, 08:10 PM
While it might work and be balanced, (though I'm not qualified to evaluate that really) it definitely looks like a very boring class to play. I'd recommend giving it something to make it more interesting. "Trick Shots" is the common way of doing this, which works but can be kinda boring as well.

Kuma Kode
2009-09-18, 09:18 AM
I'm getting the distinct impression I should give more love to the crossbows. I have edited the class to reflect this (changes are in Teal).


While it might work and be balanced, (though I'm not qualified to evaluate that really) it definitely looks like a very boring class to play. I'd recommend giving it something to make it more interesting. "Trick Shots" is the common way of doing this, which works but can be kinda boring as well. You're right. It's very point-and-shoot, like the warlock. What else do you think might make it more interesting? More ability options, roleplay-related abilities, something else?

Admiral Squish
2009-09-18, 11:06 AM
Perhaps you could give them the 'trick shot' feats (Ranged Disarm, Ranged Sunder, Ranged Pin) as bonus feats? That would certainly add some flavor.

A problem is this: while the warlock and this chare some features, a warlock has MANY more options. Blast shapes, eldritch essences, and invocations make the warlock a rather versatile class. And think about it like this; the warlock does the same bonus damage, but all day, as a touch attack, with a virety of other nasties applied.

Perhaps you could make this class have two 'paths' within it, the sniper and the flurry. The sniper focuses on bonus damage, and some one-shot-one-kill stuff (Extra crits? Death attacks at higher level?). The Flurry would be pretty much MOAR DAKKA (Volley, maybe at highter levels the ability to make a single attack against all targets within one or two range increments).

Kuma Kode
2009-09-18, 05:26 PM
I'll look into the trick shot feats. It seems right up a sniper's alley.

And I like the path idea, kinda like how the ranger chooses between dual wielding and ranging...

Admiral Squish
2009-09-19, 10:39 AM
Exactly. Here's an idea, keep wing clip. It's a useful air-negation tool. However, the sniper path gets to deal that extra damage any time they use trueshot, and then later in the sniper path, they can use trueshot at-will. Finally, in the last few levels, give them an asassin-esque death attack that can be used anytime they use trueshot. I'd make the division happen at the time you get volley.

The volley archer gets volley, improved volley, greater volley...