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nerk
2015-08-25, 02:28 PM
From my blog (https://ineleschild.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/arcane-archer/)

This is the prestige class that I always wanted to play in 3.5/pf, but it just never quite made sense. I still play pathfinder, so I may try to make the next character an arcane archer, but my heart belongs to 5e now, so I wanted to try to make an arcane archer for 5e. I sat down this morning and came up with this, so letís all try to allow that it probably needs a lot of tinkering. I'm looking for constructive comments and suggestions.

Arcane Traditions: The Arcane Archer

Your study of the magical arts has been paired with your study of the longbow. While other wizards see magic as their weapon, you use your weapon as the focus of your magic. As your magical power grows, you have learned to concentrate your power in the arrows that you fire.

Archers Focus

Beginning at 2nd level when you take this tradition, you may use any longbow as your arcane focus. You may not use any other arcane focus, however.

Arcane Arrows

Starting at second level, all arrows that you fire from a longbow are considered magical for the purposes of overcoming damage resistance. Additionally, you gain the ability to use your arcane energy to increase the destructive power of your arrows. As an action, you may make a ranged weapon attack with a longbow, and use a spell slot of first level or higher to increase the damage done. At second level, you may imbue your arrows with either Acid, Cold, Fire, Force, Lightning, Necrotic, Poison, Psychic, Radiant or Thunder. Each time you gain spells known, you may add a new type of damage, though you may only add one type of damage to any given arrow. The arrow will do an additional 1d10 points of the chosen type of damage on striking, plus an additional 1d10 for each level spell slot above first.

Imbue Arrows

At 6th level, you gain the ability to deliver spells through your arrows. As an action, you may cast a spell with an area of effect. As part of casting, you make a ranged weapon attack using your longbow. Whether or not the arrow hits the intended target, the spell discharges, using that creatures space as the point of origin for the spell. If the attack hits, the target is included in the spellís area of effect and has disadvantage on any saving throws against the spellís effect. If it misses, and it is a cone, cube or line, the creature is outside of the area of effect. The spell is resolved normallly otherwise.

Seeker Arrow

at 10th level, you may launch a seeker arrow. As an action, you may make a ranged weapon attack. The arrow will fly unerringly towards the target, going around corners and avoiding any interference. As long as there is a path for the arrow to travel to reach the target without travelling farther than its range allows, the attack is resolved normally, negating all cover and concealment. This can be combined with arcane arrows or imbued arrows. Once this abiliy is used, it cannot be used again until a long rest.

Rain of Arrows

At 14th level, the arcane archer can unleash a rain of arrows. You may target a number of creatures in range up to your intelligence modifier plus your proficiency bonus, and make a ranged weapon attack against each of them. These cannot be imbued with spells or seeker arrows, but they can be arcane arrows, though each arrow will use a seperate spell slot. This ability can be used once and cannot be used again until after a long rest.

Flashy
2015-08-25, 03:57 PM
You should probably have the 2nd level feature grant proficiency with the longbow, since the wizard doesn't otherwise have it.

Amechra
2015-08-25, 04:43 PM
Arcane Arrows needs clarification - I'm assuming you pick one energy type at 2nd level, and then get an additional damage type each time you gain a spell level?

nerk
2015-08-25, 04:55 PM
You should probably have the 2nd level feature grant proficiency with the longbow, since the wizard doesn't otherwise have it.

That's a very good point and one that I thought about a bit. I opted to not, for a couple of reasons.

The Arcane Archer prestige class from 3d was limited to elves only. Wood Elves and High Elves get proficiency with the longbow as a racial feature, so that holds to that flavor a little. Other races can pick up the proficiency via multiclassing or a feat, making it less optimal for non-elves.

And, I felt the 2nd level treats were a little OP already.

I'm not sure if these reasons are good enough to balance the fairly obvious need to have the proficiency for the tradition to work, but at least now you know there's a method to the madness.

nerk
2015-08-25, 05:00 PM
Arcane Arrows needs clarification - I'm assuming you pick one energy type at 2nd level, and then get an additional damage type each time you gain a spell level?

That is a little messy.

Yes, one energy type at 2nd level, and then additional energy types can be added in place of the new spells known a wizard gains each level. Let me know if this edit clarifies.

(Italics are where I made changes)

"Starting at second level, all arrows that you fire from a longbow are considered magical for the purposes of overcoming damage resistance. Additionally, you gain the ability to use your arcane energy to increase the destructive power of your arrows. As an action, you may make a ranged weapon attack with a longbow, and use a spell slot of first level or higher to increase the damage done. At second level, you choose one type of damage to imbue your arrows with: either Acid, Cold, Fire, Force, Lightning, Necrotic, Poison, Psychic, Radiant or Thunder. Each time you gain a level, you may opt to add a new type of damage in place of one of the spells known gained at that level. You may only add one type of damage to any given arrow. The arrow will do an additional 1d10 points of the chosen type of damage on striking, plus an additional 1d10 for each level spell slot above first."

BRKNdevil
2015-08-26, 10:13 AM
Kinda feels like you are trying to make the wizard as op as it was in 3.5

nerk
2015-08-26, 12:49 PM
Kinda feels like you are trying to make the wizard as op as it was in 3.5

I would actually hate for the wizard to achieve that level of OP. If you could point out what in particular strikes you as OP, it would make it a lot easier to try to balance it.

Or, as you put it in your swashbuckler homebrew: "IF YOU FIND THIS BASE CLASS OP, THEN INSTEAD OF SAYING IT IS OP, WOULD YOU KINDLY POINT OUT WHERE AND HOW YOU SUGGEST TO FIX IT. SUCH COMMENTS WOULD BE INFINITELY MORE USEFUL."

Nifft
2015-08-26, 01:20 PM
Hmm.

I'm not sure it's best represented as a Wizard archetype. I feel like it's a better match for a Ranger or Bard.

- Arcane Arrows is a fine ability.

- I don't like Imbue Arrow. It was a bad ability in 3.x, and it's weird in 5e. The thing about cones especially. This isn't your fault, it was bad originally.

- Seeker Arrow seems fine, but it's basically a duplicate of the Sharpshooter ability to ignore cover, unless you give a special way to target an enemy that has total cover.

- Rain of Arrows seems fine.

nerk
2015-08-26, 04:25 PM
Hmm.

I'm not sure it's best represented as a Wizard archetype. I feel like it's a better match for a Ranger or Bard.

- Arcane Arrows is a fine ability.

- I don't like Imbue Arrow. It was a bad ability in 3.x, and it's weird in 5e. The thing about cones especially. This isn't your fault, it was bad originally.

- Seeker Arrow seems fine, but it's basically a duplicate of the Sharpshooter ability to ignore cover, unless you give a special way to target an enemy that has total cover.

- Rain of Arrows seems fine.

Seeker arrow can turn corners. That's the magic part, and why once/long rest.

BRKNdevil
2015-08-26, 06:01 PM
The 1st, 2nd, and 4th abilities seems to outshine any ranged character with smite like abilities and no limitations on damage cap, plus a volley like ability that a ranger doesn't get till the same time and doesn't have full casting. Though, so does bard at half the level so i dunno. Maybe its the stacking that irks me.

I'd be fine with the 2nd ability if it was melee touch only or something of the like, but as is i dunno.

Also some clarification on how it interacts with antimagic and counterspell would be nice.

Finally, dropping the swashbuckler since it seems like they are releasing it in the next expansion as a archetype.

P.S. would still love some comments on the Psychic warrior and the Alchemist along with all the subclasses that i've thought of.

Nifft
2015-08-26, 06:38 PM
Seeker arrow can turn corners. That's the magic part, and why once/long rest.

How do you target a creature around a corner?

How do you know there is a creature there at all?

I guess it's useful in a maze made out of walls of force, but that seems kinda limited in application.

Gr7mm Bobb
2015-08-27, 09:49 AM
How do you target a creature around a corner?

How do you know there is a creature there at all?

I guess it's useful in a maze made out of walls of force, but that seems kinda limited in application.

The usual trick would be involved with magical sight (eg. find familiar, arcane eye), or mundane indirect sight (mirrors). Overall, fantastic utility shot and would allow them to negate cover when feats aren't available.

I'm still tweaking the a similar archetype for the Duskblade (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?431632-5e-Duskblade-PEACH) 5e conversion I've been working on. I like what you've done with making a functional tradition without jam packing it things into it. If its ok with you I would like to cannibalize your writing of seeker arrow for my own uses as I have not found a way to word it with both brevity, clarity, and balance.

I would recommend giving them proficiency with a ranged weapon of their choice instead. Certain abilities make sense to be 1/long rest but I feel that some could be brought down to short rest. Also since it is a wizard sub-class I recommend allowing them to use there Int for attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons otherwise this'll be even more MAD than the monk.

IMO Imbue Arrows seems a bit too combat focused in its wording. And is there a reason why Arcane Arrows and Seeker Arrow are 'as an Action' instead of 'when you make a ranged attack roll. . .'

nerk
2015-08-27, 10:20 AM
The 1st, 2nd, and 4th abilities seems to outshine any ranged character with smite like abilities and no limitations on damage cap, plus a volley like ability that a ranger doesn't get till the same time and doesn't have full casting. Though, so does bard at half the level so i dunno. Maybe its the stacking that irks me.

I'd be fine with the 2nd ability if it was melee touch only or something of the like, but as is i dunno.

Also some clarification on how it interacts with antimagic and counterspell would be nice.

Finally, dropping the swashbuckler since it seems like they are releasing it in the next expansion as a archetype.

P.S. would still love some comments on the Psychic warrior and the Alchemist along with all the subclasses that i've thought of.

I'll take a look at the PW and Alchemist.

You may be right about balancing v other ranged characters, I was trying to balance against other wizard traditions, so there's definitely something to look at.

First ability (using bow as arcane focus) seems pretty essential to the class.

The second ability has two effects, which is probably a flaw. The first (all arrows magical for overcoming damage resistance) may be a problem. The second is balanced because it uses spell slots. You burn a first level spell slot for 1d10 damage, (+1d8+dex for the arrow) when you could have cast chromatic orb for 3d8. The damage is similar, so really the benefit is the increase in range. So probably drop the magic for overcoming DR, and add language to the effect that the arrow becomes a part of a ranged spell attack, and so can be counterspelled, and nullified by antimagic. And add the magic for DR effect to arcane arrows only. Both of which would apply to imbued arrows as well, I think.

The 14th level ability was intended as a supernova. It's also really similar to other abilities that are already there, like the ranger's volley. It may well be overpowered, but the once/long rest helps balance it compared to the ranger's volley. I'll look more closely and tinker.

PS, thanks for your thoughts. Even though I probably sound argumentative and may disagree on some points, you're calling out things that I do need to consider, and it is appreciated.

nerk
2015-08-27, 10:26 AM
How do you target a creature around a corner?

How do you know there is a creature there at all?

I guess it's useful in a maze made out of walls of force, but that seems kinda limited in application.

Gr7mm Bob pointed out some possibilities. I would add things like:

If the target moves behind cover or into concealment.
If the target turns invisible.
If the target is in that room at the top of the tower that you can just see the window....

It IS a once/long rest ability of a 10th level wizard, after all. It's supposed to be magic. Though I obviously need to make the wording clearer.

nerk
2015-08-27, 10:44 AM
The usual trick would be involved with magical sight (eg. find familiar, arcane eye), or mundane indirect sight (mirrors). Overall, fantastic utility shot and would allow them to negate cover when feats aren't available.

I'm still tweaking the a similar archetype for the Duskblade (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?431632-5e-Duskblade-PEACH) 5e conversion I've been working on. I like what you've done with making a functional tradition without jam packing it things into it. If its ok with you I would like to cannibalize your writing of seeker arrow for my own uses as I have not found a way to word it with both brevity, clarity, and balance.

I would recommend giving them proficiency with a ranged weapon of their choice instead. Certain abilities make sense to be 1/long rest but I feel that some could be brought down to short rest. Also since it is a wizard sub-class I recommend allowing them to use there Int for attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons otherwise this'll be even more MAD than the monk.

IMO Imbue Arrows seems a bit too combat focused in its wording. And is there a reason why Arcane Arrows and Seeker Arrow are 'as an Action' instead of 'when you make a ranged attack roll. . .'

Imbue Arrows is pretty combat focused, but I suppose it could have non-combat applications. Should probably read "When you use your action to cast a spell with an area of effect, you may make a ranged attack with a longbow as a part of that action. The spell is delivered through the arrow and the area of effect is centered on its target." or something. So you can shoot at a chandelier to fill a room with webs, for example.

Arcane Arrows and Seeker Arrows are actions because some min-maxer will take 9 levels of arcane archer and 11 of fighter and try to tell the GM he can launch 3 attacks in a round, each using 4th level spell slots for an extra 4d10 damage. Oh, and then action surge to launch 3 more, using 3rd level spell slots for an extra 3d10.... All of which may not be so unreasonable for a 20th level character to do. Hm. But the idea is that if you're using these arcane abilities, it takes your whole action to do it.

By all means, cannibalize.

Nifft
2015-08-28, 02:15 AM
Gr7mm Bob pointed out some possibilities. I would add things like:

If the target moves behind cover or into concealment.
If the target turns invisible.
If the target is in that room at the top of the tower that you can just see the window....

It IS a once/long rest ability of a 10th level wizard, after all. It's supposed to be magic. Though I obviously need to make the wording clearer.

Yeah, and cover cases like: target walks around a corner and casts teleport, and is now seven thousand miles away (i.e. outside of long range for your bow), or casts plane shift and is now literally in Hell, but the player has no way of knowing that information.

- - -

Anyway, I think this archetype would suffer from some hefty competition from both Rangers and Bards.

A Valor Bard who used Magical Secrets to pick up Swift Quiver at 10 is making a lot of arrow attacks; if the Valor Bard prefers to conserve ammo, Hex or Hunter's Mark both provide extra damage, and both of those are compounded by the Bard's extra attack at level 6.

Bard seems to do the job pretty well already, actually. Hmm.

Maybe start with Ranger instead?

nerk
2015-08-28, 08:28 AM
Yeah, and cover cases like: target walks around a corner and casts teleport, and is now seven thousand miles away (i.e. outside of long range for your bow), or casts plane shift and is now literally in Hell, but the player has no way of knowing that information.

- - -

Anyway, I think this archetype would suffer from some hefty competition from both Rangers and Bards.

A Valor Bard who used Magical Secrets to pick up Swift Quiver at 10 is making a lot of arrow attacks; if the Valor Bard prefers to conserve ammo, Hex or Hunter's Mark both provide extra damage, and both of those are compounded by the Bard's extra attack at level 6.

Bard seems to do the job pretty well already, actually. Hmm.

Maybe start with Ranger instead?

The idea isn't to replace or outshine all other ranged classes. The guy is still a full-blown wizard with all the goodies wizards get.

The ranger might be a good way to do it, and is a homebrew I'd love to see. I (obviously) went the other way, took a caster and attaching a few archery tricks rather than starting with the iconic choice for archery and adding a little more blastyness to it.

As to the guy teleporting or travelling to a different plane, I sort of feel like those situations are covered by: "As long as there is a path for the arrow to travel to reach the target without travelling farther than its range allows, the attack is resolved normally, negating all cover and concealment." The guy who teleports 700 miles is 700 miles away. If the arrow can travel 700 miles without travelling more than 600 feet, it's still legit, but I'm pretty sure he's safe. And the guy who's in another plane is likewise out of range. Unless the arrow can somehow travel to the other plane.

Nifft
2015-08-28, 12:17 PM
The idea isn't to replace or outshine all other ranged classes. The guy is still a full-blown wizard with all the goodies wizards get.
That's a valid point.

If your goal is to be a Wizard who sometimes shoots a bow, then you're on the right track.

I was thinking of something different -- a primary ranged archery guy who also has some magic, which is clearly NOT what you're doing.

Maybe I'll do the Ranger version, since it seems like Valor Bard can already do something pretty decent.

Cheers!

nerk
2015-08-28, 01:15 PM
That's a valid point.

If your goal is to be a Wizard who sometimes shoots a bow, then you're on the right track.

I was thinking of something different -- a primary ranged archery guy who also has some magic, which is clearly NOT what you're doing.

Maybe I'll do the Ranger version, since it seems like Valor Bard can already do something pretty decent.

Cheers!

Honestly, a ranger is probably more true to the 3e PrC. This guy is more what I wanted it to be, a primary caster who uses a bow to lay down the hurt.