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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Arcane Archer quick, minimal fix [PEACH]



martixy
2018-04-29, 06:30 AM
Arcane Archer

Hit Die
d8.

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

Base Attack Bonus
+5.

Feats
Point Blank Shot (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#pointBlankShot), Precise Shot (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#preciseShot), Weapon Focus (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#weaponFocus) (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.


LevelBABFortRefWillSpecialSpellcasting

1st
+1
+2
+2
+0
Enhance Arrow +1, Arcane equipment
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class


2nd
+2
+3
+3
+0
Imbue Arrow (standard), Penetrating Arrow
--


3rd
+3
+3
+3
+1
Enhance Arrow +2
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class


4th
+4
+4
+4
+1
Seeker arrow, Unerring Flight -1, Adaptive enhance
--


5th
+5
+4
+4
+1
Enhance Arrow +3
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class


6th
+6
+5
+5
+2
Phase arrow, Unerring Flight -2, Imbue arrow (full-round)
--


7th
+7
+5
+5
+2
Enhance Arrow +4
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class


8th
+8
+6
+6
+2
Hail of arrows, Unerring Flight -3, Multi Imbue
--


9th
+9
+6
+6
+3
Enhance Arrow +5
+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class


10th
+10
+7
+7
+3
Arrow of death, Unerring Flight -4, Swift Imbue
--



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.

Spells per Day/Spells Known:
At each odd-numbered level, an arcane archer gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which she belonged before adding the prestige class level. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning or destroying undead, a bonus feat, and so on). If she had more than one spellcasting class before becoming an arcane archer, she must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Enhance Arrow (Su):
At 1st level, every nonmagical arrow an arcane archer nocks and lets fly becomes magical, gaining a +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 archer's 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 1st level, +2 at 3rd level, +3 at 5th level, +4 at 7th level, and +5 at 9th level).

Arcane equipment (Sp):
At 1st level, an arcane archer can summon any bow in her possession to her hands merely with a mental command. Doing so is a swift action, and the summoned bow must be on the same plane as the archer. In addition she can create arrows as a free action any time she draws her bow. The arrows last for 1 round.

Imbue Arrow (Sp):
At 2nd level, an arcane archer gains the ability to place an area spell upon an arrow. When the arrow is fired, the spell's area is centered on where the arrow lands, even if the spell could normally be centered only on the caster. He may also place any touch or ranged touch spell upon the arrow. Any such spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less. This ability allows the archer to use the bow's range rather than the spell's range. It takes a standard action to cast the spell and fire the arrow. The arrow must be fired in the round the spell is cast, or the spell is wasted. The arcane archer may use this ability a number of times per day equal to her level.
At 6th level she may imbue spells with a casting time of a full-round action.

Penetrating Arrow (Su):
At 2nd level, the Arcane Archer may choose to subtract a number from her BAB and add that number to her caster level for the purpose of overcoming SR. This ability only applies to spells delivered via her arrows.

Seeker Arrow (Sp):
At 4th level, an arcane archer can launch an arrow at a target known to her within range, and the arrow travels to the target, even around corners. Only an unavoidable obstacle or the limit of the arrow's range prevents the arrow's flight. This ability negates cover and concealment modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally.

Using this ability is a standard action (and shooting the arrow is part of the action) and counts as one use of her Imbue Arrow ability.

Unerring Flight (Su):
At 4th level and every even level thereafter, the arrows you loose treat all wind effects as lighter. Example: If you are a 10th level Arcane Archer, your arrows treat all wind effects as 4 categories lighter. So you can shoot even through tornado-force winds at a mere -2 penalty to attacks. And even through a Wind Wall spell(which is considered a Windstorm force wind).
Additionally when firing underwater, the penalties to attack are reduced to -2 per 20 feet of water at level 4, per 50 feet at level 6, per range increment at level 8. At level 10 the arcane archer receives no additional penalties for firing underwater.

Adaptive enhance (Su):
At 4th level, the Arcane Archer can substitute up to half her arrow's enhancement bonus for another weapon property of equal value. For example, she may substitute +1 from her arrow bonus for the Flaming weapon property.
Making this substitution takes 1 minute of meditation. Any number of properties can be switched at the same time.

Phase Arrow (Sp):
At 6th level, an arcane archer can launch an arrow at a target known to her within range, and the arrow travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any nonmagical barrier or wall in its way. (Any magical barrier stops the arrow.) This ability negates cover, concealment, and even armor modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally.

Using this ability is a standard action (and shooting the arrow is part of the action) and counts as one use of her Imbue Arrow ability.

Hail of Arrows (Sp):
In lieu of her regular attacks, an arcane archer of 8th level or higher can fire an arrow at each and every target within range, to a maximum of one target for every arcane archer level she has earned. Each attack uses the archer's primary attack bonus, and each enemy may only be targeted by a single arrow.

Using this ability is a full-round action (and shooting the arrows is part of the action) and counts as one use of her Imbue Arrow ability.

Multi Imbue (Sp):
At 8th level, an arcane archer can Imbue arrows used with her Seeker arrow or Phase arrow abilities.

At 10th level, she may also use her Arrow of Death together with her Seeker arrow or Phase arrow abilities.

Using this ability counts as two uses of her Imbue Arrow ability.

Arrow of Death (Sp):
At 10th level, once per day, an arcane archer can fire an arrow of death that forces the target, if damaged by the arrow's attack, to make a Fortitude save or be slain immediately. If the save is successful the arrow still deals an extra 10d6 points of damage. The save DC of the arrow is 18 + your Dexterity modifier.

Using this ability is a standard action (and shooting the arrow is part of the action) and counts as one use of her Imbue Arrow ability.

Swift Imbue (Sp):
At 10th level, any time the arcane archer makes multiple ranged attacks in one round with a bow, she may use her Imbue arrow, Seeker arrow, Phase arrow, Arrow of Death or Multi Imbue abilities in place of one of the attacks. Only one attack in a given round may be replaced in this manner.


Feats

Eldritch Archer [General]

You can use your eldritch energies to fuel your archery.

Prerequisites:
Eldritch blast 1d6

Benefit:
When you have this feat, you may qualify for the Arcane spellcasting requirement of Arcane Archer using Warlock levels.

You may now imbue arrows with your eldritch blast energies. An arrow imbued in this manner does the arrow's normal damage, plus your eldritch blast damage.

Additionally, levels of the arcane archer that advance spellcasting, also advance a Warlock's known invocations. If used in this manner, only the Warlocks known invocations are advanced, not any other spellcasting the character may have or any other class features of the Warlock.

Your levels in Arcane Archer also count as warlock levels for the purpose of advancing your Eldritch blast ability.

Special:
If you are an arcane archer of level 8 or above you may use this feat in conjunction with the Multi Imbue ability.


Extra Imbue arrow [General]

You can Imbue more spells than normally.

Prerequisites:
Imbue Arrow class feature

Benefit:
You gain a number extra uses per day of your Imbue arrow ability equal to your primary spellcasting ability modifier.


Swift Enhancement [General]

You can attune your bow faster than normal.

Prerequisites:
Adaptive enhance[Arcane Archer 4]

Benefit:
The time it takes for you to use your Adaptive enhance ability is reduced to a swift action.


Lingering enhancement [General]

Your enhancement magic is more persistent than usual.

Prerequisites:
Adaptive enhance[Arcane Archer 4], Swift Enhancement

Benefit:
Any time you change the enhancement on your arrows, the previous effects linger for an additional round.


Design notes:
This is supposed to be a quick and very minimal fix to the arcane archer to shore up the problems the class has and archers in general have. This includes among other things lack of spellcasting progression on what is supposed to be a gish PrC and being stopped dead by a second level spell.
While it isn't a full casting progression, the aim was to get something good any time you don't get a caster level.
And of course the allowance of placing more spells within Imbue Arrow. The notion of, say, a bard shooting arrows imbued with Cure spells is too amusing to pass it up.
Also, no race requirements, because seriously, f* those.
I do also strongly suggest a general reduction of feat taxes (http://michaeliantorno.com/feat-taxes-in-pathfinder/). In our case eliminating Point blank shot.
Update:
Added some feats that allow new things to do with the class. For one, prestige classes for warlock are few and far between, and now this is one, with the help of a kind of "Swift hunter" feat.
Added the Penetrating arrow ability, stolen from Nifft's rework. It absolutely makes sense for these guys to have an SR-focused power-attack.
The "adaptive enhance" ability is something that further improves the class' versatility. It isn't meant to replace a good magic bow, but it can augment your usefulness with certain situational weapon properties you'd never put on your primary weapon. Can also be dramatically improved.
Something else I came to realize recently is that another archery show-stopper: Underwater combat. Therefore the Unerring flight ability now helps not just in wind, but underwater too.
Finally, the L6 Imbue arrow upgrade is specifically targeted towards Sorcerer builds. It allows one to put metamagicked spells upon the arrow. Even acts as a kind of "Rapid spell", reducing the time to get of a metamagicked spell from full-round to standard if imbued in an arrow.

Changelog:
v0.1 Initial version
v0.2 First round of feedback:
- Changed "Infinite arrows" ability to "Arcane equipment"
- Changed arrow of death to simply be a 1/day imbue-like ability instead of the admittedly weird mechanic it used before.
- Cleaned up some wording I'd forgot to from the original RAW text.
- Renamed Multi/Swift Enchanter to Multi/Swift Imbue
v0.3 Second round:
- Removed redundant text in Unerring flight ability
v0.4 Round three:
- Cribbed the Penetrating arrow from Nifft's rework
- Tweaked a few abilities to cover some more potential situations (e.g. underwater combat, sorcerer-based builds)
- Added the Adaptive enhance ability
- Added feats section

nonsi
2018-04-29, 10:47 AM
.
1. It's not clear what Multi Enchanter ability does.
2. Seeker Arrow doesn't indicate #uses.
3. I'd make Phase Arrow available once per day per level.
4. I'd allow an arcane archer to conjure a bow out of thin air at some point.
5. Arrow of Death: just make it a once-per-day usage and be done with. As written, it conflicts with Infinite Arrows.
6. Swift Enchanter: This is the class' capstone level. No reason not to allow an arcane archer to use all of them in a single round as he sees fit.

It might seem like all of the above amount to a lot, but you give up 5 CLs and invest crappy feats to get there. Let the character have his/her day in the sun.

martixy
2018-04-29, 12:38 PM
.
1. It's not clear what Multi Enchanter ability does.
2. Seeker Arrow doesn't indicate #uses.
3. I'd make Phase Arrow available once per day per level.
4. I'd allow an arcane archer to conjure a bow out of thin air at some point.
5. Arrow of Death: just make it a once-per-day usage and be done with. As written, it conflicts with Infinite Arrows.
6. Swift Enchanter: This is the class' capstone level. No reason not to allow an arcane archer to use all of them in a single round as he sees fit.

It might seem like all of the above amount to a lot, but you give up 5 CLs and invest crappy feats to get there. Let the character have his/her day in the sun.

1. Normally all 3 abilities are standard actions making them mutually exclusive. This allows the abilities to be combined. If you have a suggestion for a better wording, I'm all ears/eyes.
2. Yes it does.
3. It's more that than, but between #2 and #3, I noticed I'd accidentally left that default reference to 1/day usage.
4. That's a good suggestion. I'll see how I can fit it in. Probably in addition to the infinite arrows thing, as one ability, since that one is really more of a quality of life improvement, rather than a significant mechanical advantage(just lets you forego keeping track of arrows on your sheet).
5. I suppose the way it was worded in the RAW class is needlessly convoluted in comparison to simply saying 1/day.
6. Entirely unsure what you mean.

P.S. Fixing crappy feats is out of the scope of this class' responsibility. I already mentioned that in the design notes in the original post. Erasing PBS is a good first start. In my game I've also made Weapon Focus a feat worth taking, but again, all of this falls outside of the scope of this class. I explicitly went for minimal, because it's supposed to work together with other improvements to the game, not try to single-handedly fix everything wrong that this class touches(like crappy feats that may feature in the class' prereqs).

Goaty14
2018-04-29, 01:42 PM
6. Entirely unsure what you mean.

I think he means that the aforementioned abilities in the capstone should all be usable when using the capstone. I.e change "one of her attacks" to something like "as many of her attacks as she can make, though she still depletes her per-day abilities as normal". Also does the capstone work with Hail of Arrows?

Imbue Arrow is usable a # of times equal to her "level" per day. Class level or character level?

Unerring flight contains redundant text, since it is a (Su) ability and wouldn't work in an AMF regardless.

Multi Enchanter: Remove the ability, and add an extra line onto Imbue and Death Arrow, respectively.

martixy
2018-04-29, 01:52 PM
I think he means that the aforementioned abilities in the capstone should all be usable when using the capstone. I.e change "one of her attacks" to something like "as many of her attacks as she can make, though she still depletes her per-day abilities as normal". Also does the capstone work with Hail of Arrows?

Imbue Arrow is usable a # of times equal to her "level" per day. Class level or character level?

Unerring flight contains redundant text, since it is a (Su) ability and wouldn't work in an AMF regardless.

Multi Enchanter: Remove the ability, and add an extra line onto Imbue and Death Arrow, respectively.

Essentially allowing the archer to "go nova" as it were, I take it?

Also, yes, the capstone does work with Hail of Arrows. I specifically worded it as "any time she can make multiple attacks" rather than "as a full round action" or "as part of a full attack" specifically so it would work together with Hail and Rapid shot(which allows an archer to make multiple attacks as a standard action).

Also, yea, I renamed "enchanter" to "imbue". We all know naming things is the hardest problem of all. :)

And yea, I'll remove the redundant text.

P.S. # of uses per day is based on class level - that's how it always is, for every prestige class. I'm using standard wording, seen all throughout published materials here.

Nifft
2018-05-02, 12:43 PM
I did something similar (http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?67172-3-5-Arcane-Archer-Nifft-s-Version!) to the Arcane Archer a while back.

If you look through that thread, you'll see a bunch of feedback, including some people play-testing the class up through Epic.

martixy
2018-05-03, 04:45 AM
I did something similar (http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?67172-3-5-Arcane-Archer-Nifft-s-Version!) to the Arcane Archer a while back.

If you look through that thread, you'll see a bunch of feedback, including some people play-testing the class up through Epic.

Neat.

Between all the suggestions and threads and my own thoughts, I've probably collected enough relevant abilities to make a base class out of it. And I see you too went the half-caster progression.

Like, I was thinking of the ability to switch out part, or all of the enhancement bonus for weapon abilities of equal value. That will certainly improve versatility. So far I'm leaning towards half the bonus. And standard action switching of abilities. So for example if you're facing a high-SR opponent, you might switch to shattermantle arrows. Or if facing something with high DR you might use Transmuting.

martixy
2019-02-19, 11:48 PM
Update:

Been looking to use this in-game recently, and in the process of building and play-testing came upon a few new considerations. So I've tweaked the class a bit to cover those.

Added some feats that allow new things to do with the class. For one, prestige classes for warlock are few and far between, and now this is one, with the help of a kind of "Swift hunter" feat.
Added the Penetrating arrow ability, stolen from Nifft's rework. It absolutely makes sense for these guys to have an SR-focused power-attack.
The "adaptive enhance" ability is something that further improves the class' versatility. It isn't meant to replace a good magic bow, but it can augment your usefulness with certain situational weapon properties you'd never put on your primary weapon. Can also be dramatically improved with feats.
Something else I came to realize recently is that another archery show-stopper: Underwater combat. Therefore the Unerring flight ability now helps not just in wind, but underwater too.
Finally, the L6 Imbue arrow upgrade is specifically targeted towards Sorcerer builds. It allows one to put metamagicked spells upon the arrow. Even acts as a kind of "Rapid spell", reducing the time to get of a metamagicked spell from full-round to standard if imbued in an arrow.

There.
Now it feels like the gish class it was meant to be, with strong options all around and a good balance of martial, utility and casting advancement.