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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Arcane Archer (ranger subclass)



Gnomes2169
2015-01-15, 03:56 AM
Because honestly, I am shocked that this isn't a thing and feel this situation needs to be rectified immediately.


The Arcane Archer

LevelAbility
3Arcane initiate, bonded weapon
7Infused shot
11Force ammunition
15Infused barrage

Arcane initiate: At level 3 you begin to study arcane powers, learning spells and techniques that you found difficult to grasp before. You learn two cantrips from of the evocation or conjuration schools from the wizard spell list, along with two level 1 spells from the same list. At level 7, 11, 15 and 19 you learn two additional transmutation or evocation spells from the wizard spell list of the highest spell level you are able to cast, and you learn one additional cantrip from any school as long as it is a wizard cantrip. These spells may only be exchanged for other wizard spells, and must be changed for spells of the same level. The spellcasting stat for these spells is your wisdom score.

Bonded weapon: At level 3 you may designate a ranged or throwing weapon as a bonded weapon. This weapon is considered magical, and you may summon it from anywhere to your hand as a bonus action, as long as you are on the same plane of existence. You may only have one bonded weapon at any time, and may change which weapon you have bonded at the end of a long rest.

Infused shot: At level 7 when you use an action to cast a cantrip, you may channel it through your bonded weapon with some extra effort. You may spend a bonus action to make an attack with your bonded weapon. If the attack hits the cantrip infused within hits and deals damage as well if it has an attack roll, or forces the creature to make a saving throw against the cantrip's effects at disadvantage if it has a saving throw. If the cantrip has multiple targets then the targets must be within 5' of each other, and only the original target has disadvantage on any possible saving throws.

Force ammunition: At level 11 when you make a ranged attack with your bonded weapon, the attack deals an additional 1d6 force damage on a hit. Alternately, when you used a ranged weapon with the ammunition property and have no ammunition to load your weapon or simply do not wish to expend ammunition, you may create a bolt of pure force that has advantage on attack rolls. This bolt deals 1d4+Your wisdom modifier force damage, and is treated as ammunition for all other purposes. Ammunition created by force ammunition may benefit from your infused shot ability.

Infused barrage: At level 15 you learn to infuse greater amounts of arcane energies into your weapons. When you use a bonus action to attack with infused shot, you may attack with your bonded weapon twice instead of once. The same cantrip is infused within each attack. Alternately you may infuse your weapon with a spell of your choosing, expending the slot you wish to spend on it and launching it with your ranged attack. If a spell has multiple targets then the targets must be within 5' of each other, and if the spell has an area of effect then the spell is centered on the creature. Only the creature struck by your weapon has disadvantage on its saving throw against the effect. If a spell is cast in this way, then you only make a single attack as a bonus action.

Rawrawrawr
2015-01-15, 10:33 AM
This looks pretty cool! I was also really surprised that Arcane Archer wasn't a thing in 5e, and this is pretty much exactly what I'd want to see out of it!

That said, Infused Shot is definitely too powerful for 7th level. At this point, a Ranger can have Extra Attack and Hunter's Mark up and running, so your at-will damage at 7th level is probably 2d8 + 10 + 2d6 + 2d10 (assuming, say, Firebolt - and that last one is made with advantage, which is even more powerful), which is more than anyone else is doing at 7th level. The most direct comparison at that level is the Eldritch Knight, who's spending both his Action and his Bonus Action to cast a cantrip and make a single weapon attack. The Arcane Archer can use just one Action to make two weapon attacks and cast a cantrip with advantage.

You might actually want to swap Infused Shot and Infused Barrage - Infused Barrage is more powerful but it can only be used a limited number of times per day. Plus, infusing a spell also adds some level of risk (since a spell with a save/attack roll now has two fail points, instead of one, increasing the chance you waste the spell) and limitations (an area spell HAS to be centered on the target, a multitarget spell HAS to target clustered creatures), so it's not an automatic upgrade the same way Infused Shot is.

Gnomes2169
2015-01-15, 01:18 PM
This looks pretty cool! I was also really surprised that Arcane Archer wasn't a thing in 5e, and this is pretty much exactly what I'd want to see out of it!

That said, Infused Shot is definitely too powerful for 7th level. At this point, a Ranger can have Extra Attack and Hunter's Mark up and running, so your at-will damage at 7th level is probably 2d8 + 10 + 2d6 + 2d10 (assuming, say, Firebolt - and that last one is made with advantage, which is even more powerful), which is more than anyone else is doing at 7th level. The most direct comparison at that level is the Eldritch Knight, who's spending both his Action and his Bonus Action to cast a cantrip and make a single weapon attack. The Arcane Archer can use just one Action to make two weapon attacks and cast a cantrip with advantage.

Hmmm... perhaps making it cost a bonus action and limiting it to one attack/ round would be in order... That said, if the cantrip has an attack roll then it auto-hits if the attack hits, and misses if the attack misses. The cantrips that have a saving throws impose disadvantage on the save if the attack hits, and is just cast normally if the attack misses.


You might actually want to swap Infused Shot and Infused Barrage - Infused Barrage is more powerful but it can only be used a limited number of times per day. Plus, infusing a spell also adds some level of risk (since a spell with a save/attack roll now has two fail points, instead of one, increasing the chance you waste the spell) and limitations (an area spell HAS to be centered on the target, a multitarget spell HAS to target clustered creatures), so it's not an automatic upgrade the same way Infused Shot is.

Infused barrage might be changed slightly to allow you to use infused shot twice/ round as a bonus action (thus allowing you to make two attacks+2 cantrips/ round), but I'm good keeping it where it is level-wise. Just from a fluff standpoint, cantrips are supposed to be easier to use than "true" spells, so it follows that they should be easier to stick on an attack.