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    Default [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    So my girlfriend wants to try out playing DnD with my group, which I'm excited for. She's never really done much nerdy before, so there might be a bit of a steep learning curve that I want her to get over as fast as possible.

    After talking with her, she decided that she wants to make an elf archer. We're starting at level one, so I figured that I'd start her off as a fighter. Then, when she learned more, maybe multiclassing into Rogue. It's a 28 point buy, so I'm thinking (after racial adjustments)

    14 STR
    12 CON
    18 DEX
    8 INT
    12 WIS
    10 CHA
    ((She wanted to squeeze a few points into WIS or CHA if possible, since she didn't want to be really dumb with no social graces whatsoever))

    First two levels would probably be fighter for feats, and after that she'd go into Rogue. For feats, I'm thinking point blank shot and precise shot - precise shot would help make it simpler, so that she wouldn't have to worry about melee messing up her shots. Next level I'd probably have her take rapid shot for more pew-pew-ing.

    Any other build advice or general tips to help a newbie out would be appreciated. I was thinking of making her some notecards that explained her various options, including what move actions/standard actions/full-round actions can be used for.

    the rest of the party is:

    -Me, a cleric of St Cuthbert using divine metamagic:quicken. So far I've just used it to buff the party and melee in the same turn.
    -A fighter going the route of dual-wielding kukris for critical hits. (Worried that this one won't be very strong, but that's a different issue)
    -A hellbred paladin. Not sure what build he's working towards. Probably a charging build with a lance eventually. He seems to like charging a lot.
    -A psion. I forget what race and I don't know much about psionics
    -And a rogue who doesn't seem to intend to take many combat-related feats. (Also worried about his effectiveness, but again, not the issue at hand here)

    Edit: Starting at level one. Allowed books: Core+sequels, complete series, races of the ____.
    Last edited by rezplz; 2010-04-06 at 04:32 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Intelligence is what keeps her from being dumb, not Wisdom. Low Wisdom will just makes her naive or imperceptive. That's an acceptable tradeoff, because mechanically, Wis does nothing whatsoever for her build. You're much better off moving those points to intelligence to boost her skills.

    Also, start her off as a Rogue, not as a fighter. You'll get a ton more skill points and useful skills that way, and the sneak attack damage will be very useful at that level.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    I suppose when I said dumb, I meant lacking in common sense/naive/imperceptive and such. In any case, she said that out of the mental stats she'd want "Wisdom or Charisma" to be boosted up a little bit if there was room in the point buy. So even if neither of those would be very useful to her build at all, I'd still rather do one of those since that's what she asked for.

    As for rogue, if she wasn't completely new to DnD or anything like it, I would have probably gone rogue. I'm just not sure if adding in sneak attack, and getting her to learn when she qualifies for it, would be too complicated to use effectively since she still has to learn, well, pretty much everything else about the system.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by rezplz View Post
    I suppose when I said dumb, I meant lacking in common sense/naive/imperceptive and such. In any case, she said that out of the mental stats she'd want "Wisdom or Charisma" to be boosted up a little bit if there was room in the point buy. So even if neither of those would be very useful to her build at all, I'd still rather do one of those since that's what she asked for.
    You should still try and talk her into Intelligence; Wisdom does nothing for her. Even Charisma is better, especially if she goes with more Rogue levels and becomes the party face (as well as putting points into UMD.) Have her roleplay it as childlike innocence, rash behavior, impetuousness, or what have you, and give her more Charisma to compensate.

    Quote Originally Posted by rezplz View Post
    As for rogue, if she wasn't completely new to DnD or anything like it, I would have probably gone rogue. I'm just not sure if adding in sneak attack, and getting her to learn when she qualifies for it, would be too complicated to use effectively since she still has to learn, well, pretty much everything else about the system.
    She doesn't have to know when SA applies - that's your job. Just say things like "move over here, then shoot," and when she does, hand her a pile of d6s to roll.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    You should still try and talk her into Intelligence; Wisdom does nothing for her. Even Charisma is better, especially if she goes with more Rogue levels and becomes the party face (as well as putting points into UMD.) Have her roleplay it as childlike innocence, rash behavior, impetuousness, or what have you, and give her more Charisma to compensate.



    She doesn't have to know when SA applies - that's your job. Just say things like "move over here, then shoot," and when she does, hand her a pile of d6s to roll.
    Good point on the sneak attack bit. But I was always under the impression that at low levels, it was sometimes difficult to get sneak attack with a bow?

    And I suppose I can talk her into Intelligence. I just feel a little bad about it because there hasn't been a whole lot that she's decided for herself with her character.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by rezplz View Post
    Good point on the sneak attack bit. But I was always under the impression that at low levels, it was sometimes difficult to get sneak attack with a bow?
    Haley doesn't seem to have much trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by rezplz View Post
    And I suppose I can talk her into Intelligence. I just feel a little bad about it because there hasn't been a whole lot that she's decided for herself with her character.
    As I said above, you can lean more for Charisma if you think it'll help (you have a great case for it - she'll be a stunningly beautiful elf, and the party face.) But focus on the positives; show her that lots of Int and Cha will mean she can make anyone like her, lie with a straight face, get bruisers twice her size to back down, use the wizard's wands better than he can, get the best prices in the market, and many other benefits.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Any chance of the DM letting her play prestige ranger? Spells like Hunter's Mercy, Arrow Storm, Hunter's Eye (who needs rogue levels for sneak attack?) are all just very very good, but ranger spellcasting progression sucks (and using wands/etc while possible is complex). The archivist has the spell list but is cheesy as hell and complicated, the prestige ranger combined with Favoured Soul or Spirit Shaman should be okay though. With spontaneous spellcasting and some cue cards spellcasting is hardly complex.
    Last edited by PinkysBrain; 2010-04-06 at 07:58 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Fighter and rogue don't mix well. She needs to same amount of effort triggering her sneak attacks while getting less benefit for that effort. In round 1 it's easy enough to beat something's initiative, but after that it gets expensive. You either need to eat up a round to buff with greater invisibility or get an expensive item. All to basically keep up with or barely exceed a pure fighter archer (even with a pure rogue), since while you have more damage you have less BAB (less hits) and your bonus damage does not apply against all creatures. And at low levels, you can't even get any SA past round 1. Rogues are not real warriors; they are skillmonkeys first and warriors 2nd. So when most veterans disregard this and screw it up, no, she shouldn't bother with the complications of rogue. Is this an archer build or an archer / skillmonkey build? From what you said you already have a focused skillmonkey anyway.

    I'd go straight fighter. I agree that rapid shot and precise shot are key. Weapon focus is your next best option in core, and even with other books with better options it's a pre-req for a lot of things. Otherwise continue down the fighter tree for weapon specialization and so on to get more damage and AB for more hits. As for tactics, combat modifiers are her best friend. She should also look into the ready action rules to disrupt casters and to fire at the first thing to open a door. If she wants other interesting options she can check out PHB 2 and Complete Warrior, among other options I'm sure. Doing double duty and grabbing quick draw for bola ranged trips (even without proficiency) to mix in with her arrow attacks works too. Or thrown alchemical weapons and so on.

    As for items she should get boots of speed as soon as possible, as another attack at full BAB trumps just about anything else. Beyond that, a bow and ability score boosts, the lesser bracers of archery are pretty good for the money. And be sure to greater magic weapon her at high levels of course.

    As for the kukri fighter, he should be fine as long as he made strength first and got the minimum required dex. And as long as he doesn't get burst enchantments. Unless you or the paladin has crazy stuff like shock trooper it will almost keep up with two handed fighting. Throw in spell storing weapons with inflict serious wounds courtesy of you or poison (at mid levels) or just about anything special and it should hit par or higher.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    PHB2 has deadeye shot, which offers an interesting option to rogues wanting to trigger SA on ranged attacks.

    For archery, I would recommend a ranger/scout build with swift hunter. Nab greater manyshot (lets you apply skirmish to all your attacks). The handbook is here.

    http://community.wizards.com/go/thre...ndbook_--_2007

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Guys, as a reminder, she's a newbie player, and his girlfriend who has never really done much nerdy before. Do you REALLY think pulling out supplemental books is a good idea?


    Stick to core and focus on the fun not the mechanics.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    I say, give her either Bard or Ranger. They are fairly simple, give her what she wants and have more interesting options than "I Full Attack again". Also, the mental stats will get some use.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Do you REALLY think pulling out supplemental books is a good idea?
    It is only a tad more complicated to build, but gameplay is fairly straightforward. Simply fire and forget.

    A core rogue archer isn't really viable without a lot of magical support from the spellcasters (eg: glitterdust/invisibility). Fighters aren't that good either due to a lack of decent feats. Same for ranger, namely because you need good dex for attack rolls, and are reliant on str for damage.

    Stick to core and focus on the fun not the mechanics.
    I would argue that only when you have settled the mechanics issue can you then start to have fun.

    Maybe it is less relevant if we assume the OP's party will be pulling their punches to accommodate inexperienced players. But I feel that she still needs to be able to to hold her own in combat so she doesn't end up becoming dead weight.

    Especially because she is new, her build should be more optimized than the norm, yet remain straightforward to play, because I assume she will not be able to play the build to its fullest capabilities as she would be grappling with the rules aspect.

    Hence my swift hunter suggestion. It is a no-brainer to run in combat (move+greater manyshot, skirmish applies to every hit, distracting shot from PHB2 lets you treat monster as being flanked by you). Simply let someone else handle the class lv progression. She won't notice that it is a mix of 2 classes. Granted, the only drawback is that this build takes some time to come together, since swift hunter feat is the crux.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Tip 1:don't play an elf


    If you want the character have a good wisdom, make a Soul Knife 4(take the ACF in Mind's Eye to sub your really really poor "Psychic strike +1d8" for a feat, see if the DM let's you take Zen Archery to get Wis to Hit for your mind arrows)/Soulbow (complete crud, but this one good part is an excerpt)/full bab class (and remember that RAW and Rules as Balanced you can use an actual bow to fire your mind arrows for the extra enchantments). A cool part is that it's all excerpts/web/SRD (except Zen Archery, but it isn't needed) and doesn't actually need any books.
    Last edited by deuxhero; 2010-04-06 at 09:36 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by archon_huskie View Post
    Do you REALLY think pulling out supplemental books is a good idea?
    Do you REALLY think saddling a new player who wants to play a martial archetype with a core only build is a good idea?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    The optimization level of the rest of the party seems mild, except the OP who seems to be using his build for support anyway. Mechanics are an issue, but in this case I don't think she needs extra books to handle it. Unless she picks a monster manual race she doesn't have any option that's much better than the elf's +2 dex, so no reason to switch there. The con penalty is bad, but she is at the safety of range and at least it's only half as bad as getting rogue HP. Yet another reason why rogue is a bad idea without a ton of tricks, btw.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    I like the concept, with one addition:

    Race: Wood Elf (exclusively for fluff)
    Class: Monk 1/Ranger 3(archery)/Soulknife 5/Soulbow 10/Kensei 1

    Feats minus Required: Unorthodox Flurry (Mind Arrow)
    Buffs from Cleric: Girillion's Blessing, Greater Manyshot

    how it works: Girillion's Blessing gives her 4 arms, which she Flurrys and Greater Manyshots, unleashing a enough psychic arrows to blot out the sun.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Drop a soul knife level or two and go whirling Frenzy Barbarian for another attack (I did a "how many mind arrows can I get" build once more or less SRD+free only out of boredom once).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim View Post
    I like the concept, with one addition:

    Race: Wood Elf (exclusively for fluff)
    Class: Monk 1/Ranger 3(archery)/Soulknife 5/Soulbow 10/Kensei 1

    Feats minus Required: Unorthodox Flurry (Mind Arrow)
    Buffs from Cleric: Girillion's Blessing, Greater Manyshot

    how it works: Girillion's Blessing gives her 4 arms, which she Flurrys and Greater Manyshots, unleashing a enough psychic arrows to blot out the sun.
    Girallon's Blessing doesn't give her extra attacks. Doesn't work. Kensei isn't needed either.

    And I don't think Unorthodox Flurry will work with a Mind Arrow...

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    Girallon's Blessing doesn't give her extra attacks. Doesn't work. Kensei isn't needed either.

    And I don't think Unorthodox Flurry will work with a Mind Arrow...
    1. okay. far afb and cant use SRD.

    2. Unorthodox Flurry's obscure rules simply says "Any weapon you have proficiency in is treated as a monk weapon for FoB"

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim View Post
    1. okay. far afb and cant use SRD.

    2. Unorthodox Flurry's obscure rules simply says "Any weapon you have proficiency in is treated as a monk weapon for FoB"
    And is from Dragon Mag, IIRC. I'd rather not use 3rd party material from a company like Paizo. Personal preference, but something I stick with.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinfire Titan View Post
    And is from Dragon Mag, IIRC. I'd rather not use 3rd party material from a company like Paizo. Personal preference, but something I stick with.
    My dm doesn't actually care. That's why I suggested it personally. I just thought 4 arms + Flurried Greater Manyshot Mind Arrows would be hilarious (not for the unfortunate sap on the recieving end)

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Quote Originally Posted by LichPrinceAlim View Post
    My dm doesn't actually care. That's why I suggested it personally. I just thought 4 arms + Flurried Greater Manyshot Mind Arrows would be hilarious (not for the unfortunate sap on the recieving end)
    Your DM != Their DM. What flies in your games may not work in the OP's. This is a rule of thumb for Practical Optimization. If the OP does not specify book restrictions, try to stick with what examples they give and suggest other sources while giving a good reason for using those books.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    While there are some Elf variants with different favored classes, mostly their favored class is Wizard. That means you'll have to worry about unequal levels if you pick more than one non-Wizard base class.

    Fighter gets you feats and BAB; that's it. Ranger gives you a bunch of options with alternative class features that can actually yield a better archer than if you were a Fighter.

    The Champion of the Wild alternative class feature (ACF) (Complete Champion, page 50) trades spellcasting for 4 feats, selectable at Ranger levels 4, 8, 11, and 14. The Distracting Attack ACF (Players Handbook II, page 55) trades the Ranger's animal companion for the ability to be considered flanking each enemy they hit, including at range. Add in the archery combat style and you'll be pretty well set.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    I would agree that a Ranger is a good option for a newer player. They're relatively straightforward and they get some nice utility and combat abilities. However I adore fighters. There's nothing easier than a fighter.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    +1 for swift hunter.

    Alternatively, talk her out of playing an archer. TWF Rogue is way better and much more fun IMO. Flank & Shank.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Oh, and a few things that I may have forgot to mention is that we're all level one right now. So any build ideas would have to be fun, playable, fairly effective, and feel like an archer from the very first level.

    And as for what books we're using: Core+sequels (PHBII, etc.), races books, complete series are all pretty much allowed. Stuff from other books is usually allowed on a case-by-case basis. But my dad, who is DMing for us right now, is pretty quick to house rule the crap out of stuff he thinks is overpowered (example: he thought a swordsage level one would be more powerful than a wizard level four, so he ruled that swordsage was a prestige class requiring two fighter levels, two wizard levels, and once you entered the class you lost your wizard powers. I told him he was being dumb, but hey, what can you do? ;P I could have shown him he was wrong if I pressed the issue, but since I didn't want to play a swordsage I didn't bother.)

    So anyway, I guess I'd prefer to stay within the complete series and the races books. Because I'm still in the process of getting familiar with those, and other books I have basically no idea on, and anything outside those has a good chance of not being allowed.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    +2 for Swift Hunter.

    Or just go Scout.

    Or go Psychic Warrior.

    Or just go plain Fighter. Really, fighter pretty much beats ranger at combat styles. The Hit and Run Fighter variant also lets you get DEX to damage versus flat-footed foes.

    Or you could go Warblade/Eternal Blade to get stupid amounts of arrows in one turn.
    Last edited by strider24seven; 2010-04-06 at 04:36 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Newbie elf archer build

    Straight Scout would be fun, easy, and workable. Skillz skillz skillz along with bonus archery damage on top of some fun class abilities. For a new player going Fighter and focusing on archery ain't so bad.

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