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AgentPaper
2009-12-07, 11:20 PM
Arcane Archer
{table=head] Level|BaB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Spells per Day
1|1|0|2|2|Imbue Arrow|
2|2|0|3|3|Enhance Arrow +1|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
3|3|1|3|3|Seeker Arrow|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
4|4|1|4|4|Enhance Arrow +2|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
5|5|1|4|4|Force Arrow|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
6|6|2|5|5|Enhance Arrow +3|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
7|7|2|5|5|Phase Arrow|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
8|8|2|6|6|Enhance Arrow +4|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
9|9|3|6|6|Splitting Arrow|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class
10|10|3|7|7|Arrow of Death, Enhance Arrow +5|+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class[/table]

Hit Die
1d8

Requirements

To qualify to become an arcane archer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus
+4

Feats
Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (longbow or shortbow).

Spells
Ability to cast 1st-level arcane spells.

Class Skills
The arcane archerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Hide (Dex). Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level
4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are Class Features of the arcane archer prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
An arcane archer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields.

Imbue Arrow
At 1st level, an arcane archer gains the ability to, instead of preparing her spells normally, imbue an arrow with a spell. Doing so uses up that spell slot for the day as if she had prepared the spell normally. When the imbued arrow strikes a creature, the spell imbued within it is cast targeting that creature. If the spell targets a square instead of a creature, it treats that creature's square as the origin. Line spells, such as lightning bolt, will always direct their line in the direction the arrow hit the target from, affecting the creature hit and any others behind it.

If the spell requires an attack or reflex roll of any kind, then it is treated as having succeeded on that roll for the creature hit by the arrow, but if any other creatures are affected, roll for them normally.

If the spells require and expensive material components or a focus, these must be provided when the spell is imbued into the arrow.

Enhance Arrow (Su)
At 2nd level, every arrow an arcane archer nocks and lets fly becomes magical, gaining an additional +1 enhancement bonus. Unlike magic weapons created by normal means, the archer need not spend experience points or gold pieces to accomplish this task. However, an archerís magic arrows only function for her. For every two levels the character advances past 1st level in the prestige class, the magic arrows she creates gain +1 greater potency (+1 at 2nd level, +2 at 4th level, +3 at 6th level, +4 at 8th level, and +5 at 10th level).

Seeker Arrow (Sp)
At 3rd level, an arcane archer may decide to expend a number of spells to enhance an arrow to seek it's target, ignoring any cover or concealment and avoiding any obstacles between it and the target. The arcane archer must have had line of sight to the target at least once within the since the start of her last turn.

This arrow gains a bonus to-hit equal to the total level of spells expended, up to a maximum of the arcane archer's dexterity bonus, minimum one. You must expend at least 1 level of spells to use this ability. For example, if you had an dexterity of at least 18 you could expend 2 level 1 spells and a level 2 spell to give the Seeker Arrow a +4 bonus to-hit.

Force Arrow (Su)
At 5th level, an arcane archer gains the ability to fire an arrow made of pure force instead of a normal arrow. Doing so uses no ammunition, and the arrow is treated as a +1 magic arrow that deals force damage. These arrows disappear immediately after striking their target.

Phase Arrow (Sp)
At 7th level, an arcane archer may decide to expend a total of 4 levels of spells to enhance an arrow to move through solid objects and ignore armor. An arrow enhanced in this way ignores cover and is treated as a ranged touch attack.

Splitting Arrow (Sp)
At 9th level, an arcane archer may decide to expend a number of spells to enhance an arrow to split and hit a number of targets. Make only one attack roll, and apply it to all of the targets hit. The splitting arrow targets a number of creatures equal the the total level of spells you expended, up to a maximum of the arcane archer's dexterity modifier.

Arrow of Death (Sp)
At 10th level, an arcane archer can decide to prepare a special arrow at the start of the day. To prepare this special arrow, she must expend at least 10 levels of spell slots, as if she had prepared a spell in those slots. If she decides to, she can choose to expend more than 10 spell slots to increase the power of the arrow. The arcane archer can only prepare one arrow of death at a time, and it only lasts for 24 hours, or until used. Spell slots expended in the creation of an Arrow of Death cannot be regained until at least 10 days of passed and the arcane archer has spent a full day resting and settling her mind.

When the arrow of death strikes a creature, that creature must make a DC 20 Fortitude save of be slain instantly. If the creature succeeds on it's save, it instead takes 20d6 damage and is stunned for 1d4 rounds. This damage ignores damage reduction, can't be healed, and if the creature has an ability that would prevent it from taking damage on a successful check, it still takes half damage and is stunned for half the normal amount of rounds.

For every 3 additional level of spells expended, add +1 to the fortitude save, +1d6 damage to the miss damage. For every 9 additional levels of spells expended, increase the stun duration by 1.

For example, if you expended 3 level 7 spells, 4 level 5 spells, and 6 level 1 spells, the arrow of death would require a DC 35 Fortitude check, and deal 35d6 damage and stun for 1d4+5 rounds if the check was passed.

An arrow of death will only ever affect one target, even if it is enhanced with the Splitting Arrow ability, and cannot be enchanted in any way, though the arcane archer's Enhance Arrow ability still applies.


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So, how's this look so far? Pretty rough right now, but I really like the idea of the arcane archer, but just think it was kinda unimaginative and bland in it's execution, so this is my attempt to make it a more interesting class in general, as well as providing it with a much-needed boost in power.

It doesn't have full casting, because it really does have some powerful abilities right now. The Arrow of Death especially is rather ridiculous, but the hefty penalties you get afterward should make it something the player won't use lightly. I'm thinking of putting a cap on the number of spell levels you can sink into it, but I'm not sure that's necessary, and I'd rather not if I don't need to.

Crafty Cultist
2009-12-07, 11:23 PM
This should be in homebrew

AgentPaper
2009-12-07, 11:34 PM
This should be in homebrew

Noticed. Hopefully the mods will move it soon. Still, this little error shouldn't stop anyone from looking over the class and commenting on it. However, I have to head to bed, so I'll have to check up on this tomorrow.

Roc Ness
2009-12-07, 11:57 PM
This is good, I would use it if I could. :smallbiggrin:

I do believe the Splitting Arrow may need more power, though. Preferably in the form of multiple attack rolls, so that one usage that fails doesn't waste all your spell slots. Also, you may need to word something in Splitting arrow about precision damage, so people won't be confused. :smallsmile:

erikun
2009-12-08, 12:09 AM
Someone had linked to Pathfinder's Arcane Archer (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/prestigeClasses/arcaneArcher.html#arcane-archer), which actually looks pretty good. Being able to fire Holy Flaming arrows, then switching to Chaotic Shock the next day looks like it will be a big help in the damage department for the archer side.

Flickerdart
2009-12-08, 12:11 AM
I like using slots to augment the arrow, but it feels a little clunky. Maybe make it 2 extra slots per damage die, 4 slots per point of DC and 5 slots per extra 1d4 rounds. Also, I don't see the logic behind making slots take 10 days to recover, but the arrow expiring much earlier. Being out a ton of spells for the privilege of ganking something one day isn't very worth it. A static DC20 save (even if you can augment it) is also a bit odd, perhaps make the Death Arrow count as a 7th level spell ability and add your casting stat for the DC (so 17+stat) and make the DC more expensive to augment.

Seeker Arrow shouldn't ignore cover, Phase does that and you get it a lot later. Otherwise, this is an excellent class, and makes me consider the feasibility of combining this class with a Theurge of some sort to get a truly ridiculous amount of slots to pitch (since the class allows you to use non-arcane slots by its RAW). You can enter Arcane Hierophant at 8th, Mystic Theurge at 7th or Ultimate Magus at 6th, so a few levels of one of those to build up your slots and then enter this guy, tossing asunder your insane heaps of low-level spells for awesome, level-appropriate benefits.

sonofzeal
2009-12-08, 12:12 AM
I would make it 4/5 rather than 9/10, but I try to err on the side of caution for these things.

How well would this work for Duskblades?

J.J.J-H-Schmidt
2009-12-08, 12:15 AM
i think that a good BaB and d8 are too powerful to combine with +1 caster level/level of class, especially when coupled with powers. maybe gain +1 caster level every other level might balance it out a bit.

sonofzeal
2009-12-08, 12:17 AM
i think that a good BaB and d8 are too powerful to combine with +1 caster level/level of class, especially when coupled with powers. maybe gain +1 caster level every other level might balance it out a bit.
It's kind of hard to see, but it's actually 9/10. I'd still say 4/5 though, especially since it doesn't require any multiclassing to enter.

Animefunkmaster
2009-12-08, 12:34 AM
On the Things you have changed

PreReqs:
Took away Elf/Halfelf and Lowered BAB. This doesnít bother me, but it would be nice to make something special for elves who enter in keeping with the same spirit.

Saves
Changed good fort and bad will to bad fort and good will. No idea why, but it doesnít bother me.

Spells
Spell Progression makes this class more powerful than ANY of the gish classes.

Class Features
-Enhance Arrow has been moved to 2nd level, and did a poor job of the copy/pasta as the progression in the text doesnít match the table but the original progression. Obviously this was moved to fit in force arrow.
-Imbue Arrow has been moved to 1st level for some reason and drastically changed. First, the wording is confusing and abuse-able. Read up on how a spell sword channels spells, and how a spell storing enhancement works and model it after that. Definitely no auto fail for a reflex save. Also note the reason why most DMs do not allow spell storing arrows is the ability to fire multiples during a full round. To make it easier on those DMs perhaps make a version of spell storing that only utilizes touch spells (similar to Duskbladeís Arcane Channeling).
-Seeker Arrow has lost itís 1/day, and gained a bonus to hit based on spell level which isnít bad but distracts from the original intention of negating concealment. Instead make each spell level negate 10% concealment as a standard action that improves to something akin to arcane strike also at a standard action.
-Force Arrow isnít a bad idea, but should just use your enhancement bonus from enhance arrow and not be specifically force but an energy from the classical types (fire/ice/electricity/acid).
-Phase Arrow I have never liked, and you have made it stronger and took away its action again to the point of abuse. I would take this out completely and use this level for the improved seeker arrow that is a mini arcane strike.
-You took away hail of arrows for splitting arrows which is pretty close to the same thing. While I prefer your mechanics over hail of arrows I prefer the fluff that hail of arrows has you firing many arrows quickly. I would NOT limit it by Dex.
-Arrow of death is now stupid powerful, save or die, make the save and stun with damage even with things like mettle. Also the last sentences of the ability need revision as you state the arrow canít be enhanced except by splitting, and enhance arrowÖ

Overall Thoughts
You took the arcane archer and just beefed up everything, to an extreme. Start with half spell progression, change force arrows to energy arrows, add standard actions, take away phase arrow and on that level add Something akin to Arcane Strike that can be used with seeker arrow (thus making seeker arrow more useful but not as useful as imbue arrow for damage). Use the Original Arrow of Death. Imbue Arrow should match more closely to the Duskblades arcane channeling (which staples an action on it so you arenít combining it with Splitting/hail of arrows, or seeker arrows).

Roc Ness
2009-12-08, 12:47 AM
Imbue Arrow should match more closely to the Duskblades arcane channeling

Heh, why don't you add Arcane channeling to the prerequisites and rename it the Dawnbow? :smalltongue:

AgentPaper
2009-12-08, 11:59 AM
This is good, I would use it if I could. :smallbiggrin:

I do believe the Splitting Arrow may need more power, though. Preferably in the form of multiple attack rolls, so that one usage that fails doesn't waste all your spell slots. Also, you may need to word something in Splitting arrow about precision damage, so people won't be confused. :smallsmile:

Well, it was meant to reduce the amount of rolling you need to do, since right now you could enhance all of your arrows in a full attack to hit a dozen or so people, if you really wanted, but I don't think I want to give that much ability to go nova, so I'll switch it to require a roll on each attack, and limit it to once/round. You'll still be able to, for example, fire a splitting arrow and then the rest of your attacks as part of a full attack, but you can't make all of your attacks into splitting arrows.


I like using slots to augment the arrow, but it feels a little clunky. Maybe make it 2 extra slots per damage die, 4 slots per point of DC and 5 slots per extra 1d4 rounds. Also, I don't see the logic behind making slots take 10 days to recover, but the arrow expiring much earlier. Being out a ton of spells for the privilege of ganking something one day isn't very worth it. A static DC20 save (even if you can augment it) is also a bit odd, perhaps make the Death Arrow count as a 7th level spell ability and add your casting stat for the DC (so 17+stat) and make the DC more expensive to augment.

The idea behind it is that you can burn up a lot of your casting ability over the next few days to make a single, really powerful arrow. You'd only use this if there was a very important target that you wanted to absolutely make sure died. The reason the arrow lasts a day and the spells are gone for 10 days is because it's supposed to be something you plan for a specific target and time, not something you always have on you in case you want to use it.


Seeker Arrow shouldn't ignore cover, Phase does that and you get it a lot later. Otherwise, this is an excellent class, and makes me consider the feasibility of combining this class with a Theurge of some sort to get a truly ridiculous amount of slots to pitch (since the class allows you to use non-arcane slots by its RAW). You can enter Arcane Hierophant at 8th, Mystic Theurge at 7th or Ultimate Magus at 6th, so a few levels of one of those to build up your slots and then enter this guy, tossing asunder your insane heaps of low-level spells for awesome, level-appropriate benefits.

Phase arrow is mostly great because it makes your arrows into touch attacks, so letting Seeker ignore cover doesn't really affect it.

And yeah, I realized that you could technically use divine spells for this, but I don't think it's too much trouble. It doesn't progress both, so you'd at best get something like 5 levels of dual-progression, which might net you a bit more spells, but not enough to severely overbalance having lost some high level spells.


I would make it 4/5 rather than 9/10, but I try to err on the side of caution for these things.

How well would this work for Duskblades?

Loosing 2 caster levels might be okay, and I don't know all that much about duskblades.


i think that a good BaB and d8 are too powerful to combine with +1 caster level/level of class, especially when coupled with powers. maybe gain +1 caster level every other level might balance it out a bit.

I might reduce the BaB to 3/4, and the hit die to d6, but loosing that many caster levels would make this unusable.


PreReqs:
Took away Elf/Halfelf and Lowered BAB. This doesnít bother me, but it would be nice to make something special for elves who enter in keeping with the same spirit.

Hmm, seems more like something that would be better represented with a bonus feat, or just fluff, but I'm open to suggestions.


Saves
Changed good fort and bad will to bad fort and good will. No idea why, but it doesnít bother me.

Well, it's a casting class, and they tend to have good will saves. I have no idea why the original class had good fort saves. Just doesn't make any sense for an archer/caster.


Spells
Spell Progression makes this class more powerful than ANY of the gish classes.

How? It's better than the Eldritch Knight, but that's a kinda crappy class to begin with. The Abjurant Champion, for example, blows it out of the water.


Class Features
-Enhance Arrow has been moved to 2nd level, and did a poor job of the copy/pasta as the progression in the text doesnít match the table but the original progression. Obviously this was moved to fit in force arrow.

Whoops. And I moved it since I thought Imbue Arrow should be gained at 1st level, since it was supposed to be pretty much the most important feature of the class, allowing you to cast spells while shooting arrows and even in armor if you like.


-Imbue Arrow has been moved to 1st level for some reason and drastically changed. First, the wording is confusing and abuse-able. Read up on how a spell sword channels spells, and how a spell storing enhancement works and model it after that. Definitely no auto fail for a reflex save. Also note the reason why most DMs do not allow spell storing arrows is the ability to fire multiples during a full round. To make it easier on those DMs perhaps make a version of spell storing that only utilizes touch spells (similar to Duskbladeís Arcane Channeling).

I actually meant to base it more on the Rune Magic from the Runesmith, basically allowing you to prepare spells as arrows instead of memorizing them. I know I botched up the wording, so if anyone has some suggestions on how to word it better, that'd be awesome. The fact that the hit creature doesn't get to make a reflex save is because you already had to hit the thing with an attack roll, though I could see changing that, since most reflex-inducing spells are AoE anyways. Not having to make a second attack roll, though, I think I'll keep.

I'll also probably limit it to one spell arrow shot per round Then, the archer can take a full-round action to make all of her attacks minus one, and also cast a spell. Although, would you then still be able to cast a quickened spell? If so, I'll make using a spell arrow count as having used a quickened spell for the round. One spell and a number of attacks is enough already.


-Seeker Arrow has lost itís 1/day, and gained a bonus to hit based on spell level which isnít bad but distracts from the original intention of negating concealment. Instead make each spell level negate 10% concealment as a standard action that improves to something akin to arcane strike also at a standard action.

Well, when you first get it the negation of concealment (all concealment, mind) is probably the only thing you'll use it for, since you won't really have the spells to burn adding bonuses to attack. Later on, though, you get other, better ways to deal with concealment, like true sight, so the ability to expend low level spells for a bonus to attack keeps it useful later on.


-Force Arrow isnít a bad idea, but should just use your enhancement bonus from enhance arrow and not be specifically force but an energy from the classical types (fire/ice/electricity/acid).

Well, I made it force because that's the most useful damage type, and as far as I can tell there's no way for an archer to make their arrows deal force damage normally, so this lets you choose to lose out on whatever enhancement bonuses you have on your arrows in exchange for having all your damage be force damage. The fact that you don't need to use normal ammo is mostly fluff, since most DMs don't really keep track of ammo, but might come in useful from time to time.


-Phase Arrow I have never liked, and you have made it stronger and took away its action again to the point of abuse. I would take this out completely and use this level for the improved seeker arrow that is a mini arcane strike.

It doesn't seem that powerful, since you have to give up a number of spell slots to use it. You could theoretically try and enchant all of your attacks with it, but that will go through your spells awfully fast. And what's this improved seeker arrow/mini arcane strike you speak of?


-You took away hail of arrows for splitting arrows which is pretty close to the same thing. While I prefer your mechanics over hail of arrows I prefer the fluff that hail of arrows has you firing many arrows quickly. I would NOT limit it by Dex.

Well, there's already a hundred and one ways to shoot really fast, and it doesn't make sense in the first place that, if you can shoot arrows that fast, you can't shoot them all at the same person. Which would, obviously, be a bit on the too powerful side and completely miss what the ability is intended for. You're free to re-fluff it into "Rapid Arrow" or even "Rain of Arrows" with the same mechanics if you wish, of course. It's just a matter of preference.


-Arrow of death is now stupid powerful, save or die, make the save and stun with damage even with things like mettle. Also the last sentences of the ability need revision as you state the arrow canít be enhanced except by splitting, and enhance arrowÖ

I might make it so that, if you have something like mettle, you still take half the damage but are not stunned, or at most are stunned for one round. I definitely don't want to make mettle useless against it, but I also don't want the arrow end up doing absolutely nothing just because the big boss took a feat, given how much the arcane archer has to give up to use the ability.


Overall Thoughts
You took the arcane archer and just beefed up everything, to an extreme. Start with half spell progression, change force arrows to energy arrows, add standard actions, take away phase arrow and on that level add Something akin to Arcane Strike that can be used with seeker arrow (thus making seeker arrow more useful but not as useful as imbue arrow for damage). Use the Original Arrow of Death. Imbue Arrow should match more closely to the Duskblades arcane channeling (which staples an action on it so you arenít combining it with Splitting/hail of arrows, or seeker arrows).

So, use the original class with half spellcasting? No thanks. Remember that, while the new enhance abilities are much more powerful, they're limited by your spell slots, so you can't exactly use them constantly.