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View Full Version : Yet another Arcane Archer fix...



ShneekeyTheLost
2008-02-05, 09:01 PM
Okay, we all know the Core Arcane Archer... well... stinks. It's an arcane class that doesn't have any caster level progression. Furthermore, it's primary claim to fame can be reproduced with a single 3rd level spell (Greater Magic Weapon). It's other abilities are similarly uninteresting.

Imbue Arrow... yea, if you actually had any spells you could load up, it might have been worth something. As it is? Not so much.

Seeker Arrow... Greater Precise Shot does this, only doesn't require a Standard Action to pull it off, and unlimited number of times per day.

Phase Arrow... if it were more than 1/day, or actually do something useful, it might be worth it...

Hail of Arrows... Well, let's see... if I had to describe this ability in one word, I'd probably choose... pointless. If you've got a mob of mooks, you're not wanting to shoot one arrow at each, and why bother with a 1/day ability that ONLY has use against common mobs of mooks? Good idea, poor implementation.

Arrow of Death. Never did like Save or Die as class abilities. They either shortcut a BBEG fight or are completely worthless. The fixed DC also makes this ability fall in to the 'made of fail' category.

So, let's clean this up a bit, eh?

Highlights to the change:

Imbue Arrow. Changed it to any area spell to just any spell. If it's an Area Effect, it's centered on the arrow. If it's a touch/ranged touch, the spell is considered to have hit the target if the arrow does.

Elemental arrow. Fire, Ice, or Lightning, pick your flavor of 1d6 damage. Swift action to change it around.

Phase Arrow. No longer simply going through obstacles, it now gives all arrows the Ghost Touch ability, far more useful, IMO.

Arrow Storm. I figure if someone needs to chunk a whole lot of arrows, it's likely going to be only at one or two targets, who need to get dead fast. So, here's my idea: either 1/day can shoot a number of arrows equal to AA level, at highest BAB, as full-round action, with no restriction on what you can target; or it increases the number of arrows shot with Rapid Shot to 2 and negates the -2 penalty... kinda like Monk Flurry, but with arrows.

Arcane Shot. Add casting stat as damage to all arrows. Sure, it's powerful, but hey, it's also a capstone, and probably a hell of a lot more useful than 1/day save or die.

Prerequsites:

BAB +5
Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot
Spells: Caster level 3rd

{table="head"]Level | BAB | Ref | Fort | Will | Special Abilities | Spellcasting
1 | +1 | +0 | +2 | +2 | Enhance Arrow +1 | -
2 | +2 | +0 | +3 | +3 | Imbue Arrow | +1 Arcane Caster Level
3 | +3 | +1 | +3 | +3 | Enhance Arrow +2 | -
4 | +4 | +1 | +4 | +4 | Elemental Arrow | +1 Arcane Caster Level
5 | +5 | +1 | +4 | +4 | Enhance Arrow +3 | -
6 | +6 | +2 | +5 | +5 | Phase Arrow | +1 Arcane Caster Level
7 | +7 | +2 | +5 | +5 | Enhance Arrow +4 | -
8 | +8 | +2 | +6 | +6 | Arrow Storm | +1 Arcane Caster Level
9 | +9 | +3 | +6 | +6 | Enhance Arrow +5
10 | +10 | +3 | +7 | +7 | Arcane Shot | +1 Arcane Caster Level[/table]


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 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 1st level, +2 at 3rd level, +3 at 5th level, +4 at 7th level, and +5 at 9th level).

Imbue Arrow (Sp)
At 2nd level, an arcane archer gains the ability to place a spell upon an arrow. When the arrow is fired, the spellís area is centered on where the arrow lands, even if the spell could normally be centered only on the caster. This ability allows the archer to use the bowís range rather than the spellís 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. If the spell is a touch attack or ranged touch attack, the spell is considered to have hit if the arrow hits.

Elemental Arrow (Su)
At 4th level, an arcane archer gains the ability to imbue their arrows with an element. He can choose fire, ice, or lightning. Each arrow fired deals an extra 1d6 elemental damage of the appropriate flavor. You can change which elemental flavor is used as a swift action during your turn.

Phase Arrow (Su)
At 6th level, an arcane archer gains a deeper and more intuitive understanding of the astral and ethereal planes of existance. Every arrow he shoots is considered to have the Ghost Touch ability in addition to any other enchantments or abilities on the weapon.

Arrow Storm (Su)
At 8th level, an arcane archer gains an improved understanding of archery. He increases the number of arrows he may shoot in a full attack by one, at the highest base attack bonus, and negates any penalties from the Rapid Shot feat.

Arcane Shot (Ex)
At 10th level, an Arcane Archer gains the intuitive knowledge of archery and how magic can affect it. He gets to add his primary casting stat of the arcane prestige class used to qualify for this PrC to the damage of all arrows he shoots.

ForzaFiori
2008-02-05, 09:12 PM
I like it, though your gonna catch hell for having you lose caster levels. Doing that here is like insulting the pope in the Vatican.

Ascension
2008-02-05, 09:36 PM
Your table still says Arrow of Death where Arcane Shot should be.

And I like it. Archers need more love in D&D. A whole lot more love.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-02-05, 09:39 PM
I like it, though your gonna catch hell for having you lose caster levels. Doing that here is like insulting the pope in the Vatican.

1/2 casting progression is a hell of a lot better than NO casting progression...


Your table still says Arrow of Death where Arcane Shot should be.

And I like it. Archers need more love in D&D. A whole lot more love.

Fixed. Thanks, I always thought Archers got the raw end of the deal too, which is why I'm trying to fix this class, which has such potential.

Slash_712
2008-02-05, 09:43 PM
I agree, Archers truly have the short end of the stick in DnD. Mainly because everyone else is spending their time brandishing their fancy Greatswords everywhere.

dyslexicfaser
2008-02-05, 10:27 PM
Good stuff. I love the idea of the Arcane Archer, but the mechanics are weak. This fixes that.

I kind of miss the storm of arrows ability, though, just because I like strong 1/day abilities. Lord only knows why.

GoC
2008-02-06, 11:30 AM
Arrow Storm (Su)
At 8th level, an arcane archer gains an improved understanding of archery. He increases the number of arrows he may shoot in a full attack by one, at the highest base attack bonus, and negates any penalties from the Rapid Shot feat.

Everything's good apart from this. I recommend you change it to:

Arrow Storm (Su)
In lieu of her regular attacks, an arcane archer of 8th level or higher can fire a number of arrows 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 archerís primary attack bonus, and each enemy may only be targeted by as many arrows as the arcane archer's BAB allows.

ErrantX
2008-02-06, 11:41 AM
I dig the remake. Good abilities, thank you for the caster progression, all in all, very good. Nothing I can see wrong with it at all, archers need love too. All they have is Order of the Bow Initiate.

Good work.

-X

Yakk
2008-02-06, 02:25 PM
Specific problems:

Your odd levels are weak, and your even levels are strong.

And your capstone ability isn't that good.

...

General problems:
I prefer classes that have a choice of abilities over those that have a fixed progression.

Ie:


Powers
1 2 3 4 Caster Enhancement
1 2 - - - - +1
2 2 - - - +1 +2
3 2 1 - - - +3
4 2 1 - - +1 +3/+1
5 3 2 - - - +4/+1
6 3 2 - - +1 +4/+2
7 3 2 1 - - +5/+2
8 3 3 2 - +1 +5/+3
9 3 3 2 1 - +5/+4
10 3 3 3 2 +1 +5/+5


Powers are arcane archer abilities. They come in 4 levels. Some can be used at-will, some can be used per-day, some can be used per-encounter. You'll need to write about 6 of them per power level, so a total of 24...

Enhancement of +X/+Y means your arrows gain an enhancement bonus of +X, and also gain "secondary enhancements" of up to +Y. You learn secondary enhancements by finding enchanted arrows and breaking down the magic in them. Changing your automatic arrow enchantment requires 1 hour of study and destroys the arrow you are studying.

But that's just me -- I can also understand the draw of a simple PrC. :)

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-02-07, 08:58 AM
Everything's good apart from this. I recommend you change it to:

Arrow Storm (Su)
In lieu of her regular attacks, an arcane archer of 8th level or higher can fire a number of arrows 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 archerís primary attack bonus, and each enemy may only be targeted by as many arrows as the arcane archer's BAB allows.

As explained, I just got away from this, I don't want to go back to it... archery flurry is better than one arrow against a bunch of things to get them all really cheezed off at me...

GoC
2008-02-07, 09:49 PM
As explained, I just got away from this, I don't want to go back to it... archery flurry is better than one arrow against a bunch of things to get them all really cheezed off at me...

:smallamused:
Reread it. You'll notice that it attacks each creature with three or four arrows! Isn't that good enough?:smallwink:

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-02-08, 01:33 PM
:smallamused:
Reread it. You'll notice that it attacks each creature with three or four arrows! Isn't that good enough?:smallwink:

Are you saying you get your full attack on a number of creatures equal to your AA level? That seems... overly powerful...

Ascension
2008-02-08, 04:06 PM
This is one of those times when we need to remember that a round is six seconds long.

I accept that a magically enhanced and supremely skilled archer can get off a superhuman number of shots in that time, but I'm with Shneekey. Turning it into basically a full attack against everybody is not only supremely powerful, it downright breaks the bounds of plausibility. That would basically be turning the archer into a machine gun. Perhaps the AA could fire that many arrows in six seconds with magical assistance, but even then he'd have absolutely no chance of properly aiming them unless time has completely stopped for him.

Now, if you want to flavor it as some limited form of Time Stop, make it the capstone ability, and raise the entry level to the class so that you couldn't possibly do it until some outrageously high level... that might work.

GoC
2008-02-08, 06:02 PM
Are you saying you get your full attack on a number of creatures equal to your AA level? That seems... overly powerful...

Meh, Archers are pretty weak in general.
With this fix the can do 4*(1d8+1d6+5)=52 damage to 10 enemies at level 20.
A 20th level wizard on the other hand can do more damage then that to more people with a single 6th level spell (chain lightning).
Doesn't seem overpowered to me unless you're somehow stacking rogue sneak attack damage on there...

Ascension: How about he's actualy firing AA level arrows per shot and they're magicly guided to their targets?

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-02-08, 06:38 PM
Meh, Archers are pretty weak in general.
With this fix the can do 4*(1d8+1d6+5)=52 damage to 10 enemies at level 20.
A 20th level wizard on the other hand can do more damage then that to more people with a single 6th level spell (chain lightning).
Doesn't seem overpowered to me unless you're somehow stacking rogue sneak attack damage on there...

Ascension: How about he's actualy firing AA level arrows per shot and they're magicly guided to their targets?

1d8+1d6elemental+str mod (mighty) + Casting Stat (Arcane Shot) is going to be the calculation, actually. Probably a LOT more than +5, closer to +10 or even more. And you can get 5 shots off with Rapid Shot, plus if you Imbue any of your arrows with a spell effect, that goes off as well.

And there's nothing that says you can't get something with sneak attack progression into it, which can get broken quick.

GoC
2008-02-09, 01:30 PM
1d8+1d6elemental+str mod (mighty) + Casting Stat (Arcane Shot) is going to be the calculation, actually. Probably a LOT more than +5, closer to +10 or even more. And you can get 5 shots off with Rapid Shot, plus if you Imbue any of your arrows with a spell effect, that goes off as well.

And there's nothing that says you can't get something with sneak attack progression into it, which can get broken quick.

But rapid shot doesn't apply because I wrote it so that only BAB changes the number of arrows fired. No stacking Haste on there!:smallbiggrin:

Let's see...
4x(1d8+1d6+5+8+5)=104
That's almost as high as a meteor storm but at least it's not a touch attack...

Nib
2008-03-26, 09:18 AM
Here's my take on the Arcane Archer fix

I tried to change as little as possible and as much as necessary to make the class just as simple but powerful enough to be a competitor for the other classes.

Changes:

1) Arcane Archers can use their special abilities (imbue arrow, seeker arrow, phase arrow, etc.) up to AAL / 2 times (rounded up) per day (where AAL is the Arcane Archer level)

2) Imbue arrow also works for touch spells, but the arrow needs to hit the full AC of the target for the spell to become effective.

3) The +X ability of the Arcane Archer is considered an "arcane bonus" and as such will stack with the weapon's enhancement bonus (for attack and damage).

4) An arcane archer gains the spell-casting abilities of the equivalent of one level of wizard/sorcerer for every two levels of Arcane Archer (No extra hit points, skill points or feats).

5) There is a special feat for the Arcane Archer

Arcane Fletching [Fighter/Wizard]

Choose one type of special ability. (Example: flaming, shock, holy)

Prerequisites:
Arcane Archer level 3 or higher.

Benefit:
You may spontaneously chose to change your magically enhanced arrows to add the chosen special ability by lowering the enhancement bonus by a certain amount (see Table: Ranged Weapon Special Abilities). The arrow needs to retain at least a +1 bonus after this trade.

Special:
You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of ability. As long as the base enhancement bonus is high enough, the multiple abilities may be combined on one arrow.

Example: a level 5 arcane archer with Arcane Fletching (flaming) may chose to fire either arrows +3 or arrows +2, flaming. If (s)he also has Arcane fletching (shock), (s)he may also chose to fire arrows +1, flaming, shock.