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    Default The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    The Sniper

    Thatís rightÖ Stand still. It wonít be long.

    The scout might call himself an archer, but all he does is constantly flee from an enemy. The ranger might call himself an archer, but he merely knows a few tricks with a bow. A sniper, on the other hand, is death from afar, incarnate. When one is hit with a literal bolt from the blue, one knows to fear for oneís life Ė a sniper is nearby. Despite the fact that many of the Sniper's class abilities have "arrow" in the name, they function with all ranged attacks.

    Inspiration: Iíve seen sniper classes before, but I donít think Iíve ever seen a fragile one that blended casting and sniping. I think Iíll give a try at it!

    Game Rule Information

    Alignment: Snipers can be of any alignment.
    Hit Die: d4. A sniper focuses on the ability to defeat enemies from afar rather than face them in melee.
    Starting Gold: As Rogue.

    Class Skills:
    The class skills for a Sniper(and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex) and Use Rope(Dex).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (6+Int Mod) x4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (6+Int Mod)

    The Sniper
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|1st Level|2nd Level|3rd Level|4th Level

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Eagleís Eye|-|-|-|-

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Undaunted Arrows|-|-|-|-

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Stationary Protection|-|-|-|-

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Stealthy Sniper|0|-|-|-

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Extended Range|0|-|-|-

    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Definite Strike|1|-|-|-

    7th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    | Hide In Plain Sight|1|-|-|-

    8th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    | Flawless Vision|1|0|-|-

    9th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    | Quick Arrows|1|0|-|-

    10th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Endless Range|1|1|-|-

    11th|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Piercing Arrows|1|1|0|-

    12th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Improved Eagleís Eye|1|1|1|-

    13th|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Forceful Arrows|1|1|1|-

    14th|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |Masterful Snipe|2|1|1|0

    15th|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |Infinite Range|2|1|1|1

    16th|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Infallible Arrows|2|2|1|1

    17th|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Lightning Arrows|2|2|2|1

    18th|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |Improved Masterful Snipe|3|2|2|1

    19th|
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    | Perfect Eagleís Eye|3|3|3|2

    20th|
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Death Arrow|3|3|3|3[/table]

    Class Features:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Snipers are proficient in the use of all longbows and shortbows, in addition to all simple weapons. They are proficient in the use of light armor as well.

    Spellcasting: A sniper casts divine spells which are drawn from the sniper spell list, below. A sniper regains spell slots after 8 hours of rest. He casts spells as a sorcerer, using the sniper spell list as his spellís known list.

    To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the sniper must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a sniperís spell is 10 + the spell level + the sniper's Wisdom modifier. A sniper gains bonus spells per day based on his Wisdom score.

    Eagleís Eye: (Ex) By focusing on an opponent, a sniper can study him or her, focusing in on the targetís weak points and movement patterns. By spending a move action observing a creature, a sniper can get a lock on that creature. On the next attack the sniper makes against that creature, he gets a +1 competence bonus to attack rolls, a +1d6 bonus on damage, and an increase of 1 to his critical threat range. A sniper can maintain multiple locks on the same creature, and may maintain a number of locks equal to his class level. However, to maintain a lock on a creature, that creature must remain within the sniper's line of sight. Multiple locks stack, unlike most competence bonuses. The extra damage from a lock is precision damage, and is not normally able to affect creatures immune to critical hits.

    Undaunted Arrows: (Ex) Snipers, although they aim for one point, can still hit despite missing that point. Whenever a sniper attacks a creature that he has a lock on and misses by 5 or less, the sniper may deal normal damage to that creature.

    Stationary Protection: (Ex) Snipers often find themselves staying in one place for long periods of time. As such, snipers train to turn a lack of movement into protection. At the end of each sniperís round, if the sniper did not move, he gains a +1 competence bonus to AC. This ability stacks with itself, to a maximum AC bonus of Ĺ the sniperís class level.

    Stealthy Sniper: (Ex) The sniper gains a +5 competence bonus to Hide, Move Silently, and Spot Checks.

    Extended Range: (Ex) The sniper trains long and hard to increase the range at which he can deal death on swift wings. The range increment of any ranged weapon wielded by the sniper increases by 50%.

    Definite Strike: (Ex) A sniper's accuracy with the bow is undaunted, allowing him to scope out weak points in any being. Whenever a sniper attacks a creature that he has at least one lock on, that creature is vulnerable to precision damage and critical hits from that attack.

    Hide in Plain Sight: (Ex) The sniperís long training in the wild allows him to fade into the shadows. As long as the sniper is within a shadowed area, he may use the hide skill without concealment.

    Flawless Vision: (Su) The sniperís choice of spells is a careful assortment, chosen to aid the sniper instead of hindering him. The sniper is unaffected by any negative effect of any spell cast as a sniper spell. For example, the sniper would ignore the concealment of other creatures within his Fog Cloud spell, in addition to being able to see through it as easily as normal weather.

    Quick Arrows: (Ex) A sniperís training allows him to shoot more quickly than normal. A sniper may make a single attack with any ranged weapon as a move action.

    Endless Range: (Ex) A sniperís skill at hitting far away creatures increases farther. The range increment of any ranged weapon wielded by the sniper increases by a further 50%, for a total increase of 100%.

    Piercing Arrows: (Ex) A sniper can pour so much force into ranged weapons that he wields, they can slice right through one creature and hit another. Whenever a sniper attacks with a ranged weapon, successfully hits a creature, and has another creature in the ammunitionís path, he may make an attack against the second creature at a -5 penalty to hit.

    Improved Eagleís Eye: (Ex) A sniperís use of his Eagleís Eye ability matures, giving him the ability to further analyze his targets. A sniper may use a move action to create two locks instead of one. These locks may be on the same creature or different creatures.

    Forceful Arrows: (Su) A sniperís weapons become capable of piercing the boundary between the planes, resulting in ammunition that seems to be able to hit anything. When a sniper attacks with a ranged weapon, it becomes sheathed in a skin of force, causing all damage dealt by the ammunition to be force damage. Any ammunition also function as Ghost Touch weapons.

    Masterful Snipe: (Ex) A sniper becomes a master at dealing damage while hidden. When a sniper makes a hide check after a successful attack, he only takes a -10 penalty, as opposed to the normal -20 penalty.

    Infinite Range: (Ex) A sniper becomes able to hit enemies accurately, no matter what the distance between him and his target. A sniper only takes a -1 penalty per range increment, instead of -2.

    Infallible Arrows: (Su) A sniperís weapons seem to always find their target, no matter how much protection the latter has. A sniperís ranged attacks ignore all negative consequences of spells and effects that apply only to ranged attacks. As an example, a sniperís arrows would be unaffected by the Protection From Arrows spell.

    Lightning Arrows: (Su) A sniper's attacks become even swifter and deadlier. A sniper may make a single ranged attack as a swift action.

    Improved Masterful Snipe: (Ex) A sniper takes no hide penalty after attacking, instead of a -10 penalty.

    Perfect Eagleís Eye: (Ex) A sniperís ability to lock onto targets becomes nearly inhuman. A sniper may now use a move action to create three locks. These locks may be on the same creature or different creatures.

    Death Arrow: (Ex) A sniper becomes a master at dealing death from afar. Whenever a sniper successfully makes an attack on a creature he had at least one lock on, that creature must make a Fortitude save and a Reflex save, both of DC 10 + Ĺ the sniperís class level + the sniperís Dexterity modifier. If both saves fail, the creature dies instantly. If the creature succeeds at one or both saves, this ability has no effect. This is a mundane effect, and as such, is not subject to abilities that protect against death effects, such as Death Ward.

    Sniper Spells:
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    1st Level: Alarm, Grease, Obscuring Mist, True Strike, Floating disk, Silent Image, Ventriloquism, Disguise Self, Expeditious retreat, Feather Fall, Magic Weapon, Golem Strike, Vine Strike, Grave Strike, Hunter's Mercy

    2nd level: Protection from Arrows, Fog Cloud, Web, See Invisibility, Darkness, Blur, Invisibility, Minor Image, Mirror Image, Catís Grace, Darkvision, Levitate, Owlís Wisdom, Spider Climb

    3rd level: Nondetection, Sleet Storm, Stinking Cloud, Arcane Sight, Displacement, Major Image, Invisibility Sphere, Blink, Fly, Keen Edge, Greater Magic Weapon

    4th level: Dimensional Anchor, Dimension door, Solid Fog, Arcane Eye, Locate Creature, Hallucinatory Terrain, Greater Invisibility, Sniper's Eye


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    Last edited by Rauthiss; 2010-08-13 at 09:32 PM.
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    Good question

    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Most glaring flaw: Fast Movement + bonuses to not moving = ???

    Other than that, I'll let other's critique.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever Curious View Post
    Most glaring flaw: Fast Movement + bonuses to not moving = ???

    Other than that, I'll let other's critique.
    The fast movement is a slow progression - It's meant to be a sniper's getaway method, rather than his typical M.O. Ideally, a sniper is able to set himself up in a "sniper's nest", and rain down death. With little in defensive capabilities while moving and a d4 HD, I felt it was fair.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    I think... arrow of death requires a boost based on number of locks acquired. Perhaps a small one, since it's basically at will. Very spammable. Locks feel like a lot of work to get working, since they eat standard actions, which you need to attack until you get quick arrows. Even then, the boost is pretty much negligable. Stealthy sniper might as well just say "+5 to hide and move silently", unless the feats are useful as prereqs for something. Make locks extend threat range, or something, perhaps.

    Piercing arrows seems difficult to adjucate.

    Oh, and rangers do it better, with Hunter's Mercy (SPC, ranger 1, standard action, next arrow automatically hits and threatens a critical) Oooh, you know what's a good spell? Arrow mind. You threaten 15 ft with a bow, as an immediate action. Sweet defense if you're found.

    So... I think fairly underpowered, even with spells. Probably give armored casting, increase HD to d6, reduce BAB, because as it is, it doesn't follow, let locks occur on swift and move actions. Damage output is still low, maxing at 6d4+1d8+??, but that's ok. Perhaps increase lock boost damage to d6, and the attack boost to +2? Not sure about that, might be overkill. Possibly boost threat range with locks as well, 1/lock, to increase the odds of massive damage. Hopefully, this allows a consistiently solid damge output, allowing the class to contribute in regular combat situations, and rapidly down targets at long range.

    Fast movement lacks synergy. I can understand why relocating is useful, but I'd just slap Haste on the spell list if you need that.

    Hm. I'm going to compare with a optimized scout4/ranger16 using decent feat choice. Greater manyshot lets you make 4 shots all with precision damage from 30 feet, combined with decent movement speed. Travel devotion lets you make full attacks instead. That's 7d6 bonus dice on 4 attacks. Comparatively, here you get a few d4 on a single attack. So yeah. At lower levels, the scout runs and shoots for an extra d6, while you camp and attack every few turns? Not good.
    Last edited by Arbitrarity; 2010-04-23 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I think... arrow of death requires a boost based on number of locks acquired.

    Sounds like a decent idea. Maybe +1 to DC for every 2 locks beyond the first?

    Locks feel like a lot of work to get working, since they eat standard actions, which you need to attack until you get quick arrows. Even then, the boost is pretty much negligable.

    Agreed. I might have them take move actions instead, so that a still sniper is even more powerful. A bit of the lock system was my finding out what exactly was worth a standard action.

    Stealthy sniper might as well just say "+5 to hide and move silently", unless the feats are useful as prereqs for something.

    I like giving feats, and the fact that they're good for prereqs helps.

    Make locks extend threat range, or something, perhaps.

    Would extending critical range by one per lock be too powerful, especially if I moved locks to move actions?

    Piercing arrows seems difficult to adjucate.

    I would use the same rules presented for Line attacks in the PHB (pg. 175-176)

    Oh, and rangers do it better, with Hunter's Mercy (SPC, ranger 1, standard action, next arrow automatically hits and threatens a critical)

    Do what better, exactly? The class as a whole?

    So... I think fairly underpowered, even with spells. Probably give armored casting, increase HD to d6, reduce BAB, because as it is, it doesn't follow, let locks occur on swift and move actions.

    Armoured casting can be fixed by making them divine spells. The HD and BAB I'd like to keep, if possible. Locks on move actions make sense.

    Damage output is still low, maxing at 6d4+1d8+??, but that's ok. Perhaps increase lock boost damage to d6, and the attack boost to +2? Not sure about that, might be overkill.

    The damage is a bit low, but I wanted to ask - how do you figure damage maxing at 6d4? it continues on per class level. I originally had the damage boost at +1d8, but I thought that was overkill.

    Possibly boost threat range with locks as well, 1/lock, to increase the odds of massive damage. Hopefully, this allows a consistiently solid damge output, allowing the class to contribute in regular combat situations, and rapidly down targets at long range.

    I like this idea a lot, actually.

    Fast movement lacks synergy. I can understand why relocating is useful, but I'd just slap Haste on the spell list if you need that.

    I'm a sucker for fast movement and I had levels to fill up. :p
    Thank you for your input. I'll consider the changes you suggested, but I'd like to get multiple opinions, if possible, before changing anything.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Well, I was maxing at 6d4 assuming things were revised slightly to let locks on swift actions.

    The problem with the lock concept is it doesn't sync well with parties, but allows massive buildup without them. Essentially, it's why assassin's death attack fails normally. If you didn't have to kill the target now, we'd be gold. However, we need to SHOOT IT, which means you need to figure out how much damage you can do now. Whenever I examine a class, that's the first thing I look for. How can it contribute in a normal sort of fight, at mid-range, each round? Furthermore, how is its sustained damage each round? The problem with Assassin's Shrouds in 4e is the same, except those are ok, since they have many ways to apply more rapidly, retain, and are applied each round as a free action. That the Assassin already deals a lot of damage with each hit doesn't hurt.

    As a move action, with expanding crit range 1/lock, +1 to hit, and d4's or d6's (probably 6's. Maybe 8's, since they don't get multiplied by crits, still), the class seems immediately much better. This also allows double-locking in a turn just sitting still and watching, which is nice.

    Hunter's mercy does the sniper concept better by being as quick as the originally proposed standard actions, adding essentially infinite to hit, and giving very good odds on relatively huge bow crits (4d8+4*bonuses, vs 1d8+1d4+bonuses... huge damage difference), at any range. It's rather like a single spell designed specifically to make rangers good snipers.

    Making spells divine, leaving HD is fine, I just thought they were slightly tougher than wizards, maybe rogues, with the outdoors theme. BAB is fine, but doesn't synergize flavorwise with the one shot concept, just by enabling rapid fire and competence with a sword.
    Last edited by Arbitrarity; 2010-04-23 at 11:02 PM.

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Well, I was maxing at 6d4 assuming things were revised slightly to let locks on swift actions. Ah.

    The problem with the lock concept is it doesn't sync well with parties, but allows massive buildup without them. Essentially, it's why assassin's death attack fails normally. If you didn't have to kill the target now, we'd be gold. However, we need to SHOOT IT, which means you need to figure out how much damage you can do now. Whenever I examine a class, that's the first thing I look for. How can it contribute in a normal sort of fight, at mid-range, each round? Furthermore, how is its sustained damage each round? The problem with Assassin's Shrouds in 4e is the same, except those are ok, since they have many ways to apply more rapidly, retain, and are applied each round as a free action. That the Assassin already deals a lot of damage with each hit doesn't hurt. Hm, good point.

    As a move action, with expanding crit range 1/lock, +1 to hit, and d4's or d6's (probably 6's. Maybe 8's, since they don't get multiplied by crits, still), the class seems immediately much better. This also allows double-locking in a turn just sitting still and watching, which is nice. Sounds good, but like I said, I'll wait for more input than just one person.

    Hunter's mercy does the sniper concept better by being as quick as the originally proposed standard actions, adding essentially infinite to hit, and giving very good odds on relatively huge bow crits (4d8+4*bonuses, vs 1d8+1d4+bonuses... huge damage difference), at any range. It's rather like a single spell designed specifically to make rangers good snipers. Hunter's Mercy, at least the one I see in my Spell Compendium, doesn't guarantee a hit at all - In fact, it provides no bonus to hit in the least.

    Making spells divine, leaving HD is fine, I just thought they were slightly tougher than wizards, maybe rogues, with the outdoors theme. BAB is fine, but doesn't synergize flavorwise with the one shot concept, just by enabling rapid fire and competence with a sword. I suppose a large part of the BAB is opinion, although I see your point with the sword proficiency. At the same time, it seems silly to me to make the sniper less powerful just to assure they don't use swords - I think the classes abilities push the sniper towards ranged combat just fine, but that's just my thought.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Aha, mixed up SpC and MoF versions. Sorry. The SpC version makes you next HIT threaten and confirm a critical, while the MoF version makes your next attack automatically hit and threaten.
    Last edited by Arbitrarity; 2010-04-23 at 11:17 PM.

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Hmm. Is the bonus damage from Eagle's Eye precision damage? And if it is precision damage, could you add the vinestrike spell (and other similars) to the spell list? Because otherwise the Sniper can be pretty helpless...
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Weak saves end on +6. You have to have three +1s.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Saves fixed, Precision damage and spells added, and fast movement dropped in favor of more abilities. Thoughts?
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Locks allowing for precision damage seems ungodly powerful to me. With its Hide in Plain Sight, too, slap Darkstalker onto this and nobody will find you while you lock-spam them.

    Basically, one on one they seem absurdly potent, while more than one enemy will ruin you.

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulaas View Post
    Locks allowing for precision damage seems ungodly powerful to me. With its Hide in Plain Sight, too, slap Darkstalker onto this and nobody will find you while you lock-spam them.

    Basically, one on one they seem absurdly potent, while more than one enemy or having a party will ruin you.
    Annnd? That isn't that good, even if you assume you don't have a party. To boot, even at level 20, all that is is an auto-crit with +20d6 damage and an SoD. That's... basically like Feral Death Blow, except it auto-hits and might do a tad more damage. And you spent 4 rounds to do it.

    Oh noes. Oh, and at lower levels, you do about the same as a rogue who surprises the target and hits, wins initiative, hits again. Again, spending 2-4 rounds to do this. Scary amounts of damage there!

    And why is "precision damage" so scary? It's not as good as untyped damage, for one.

    Anyways, I like it now. Potent at range, as it should be, with a variety of interesting abilities. I'd argue Grave, Golem, and Vinestrike are redundant with Definite Strike, but that's not really a problem.

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Annnd? That isn't that good, even if you assume you don't have a party. To boot, even at level 20, all that is is an auto-crit with +20d6 damage and an SoD. That's... basically like Feral Death Blow, except it auto-hits and might do a tad more damage. And you spent 4 rounds to do it.
    Actually, that does become a bit scary once you add Greater Manyshot. Still takes four rounds though.


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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Oh, wait. Does greater manyshot do that....
    I don't think that's an intended interaction.

    No, it doesn't work. Each attack of Greater Manyshot uses a seperate attack roll, so they're seperate attacks. Pretty sure.

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Oh yeah. Dang. I missed the "On the next attack" bit. 'Doh.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Yep, Sorry Roc. No breaking the game like that. XD

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    This seems to be a solid class, a solid tier 3 if not tier 2. I would suggest adding Silence to the list of spells, since it is thematically related and a powerful spell in its own right. It can be OP though, by casting it on a arrow, and firing it at a spell caster or into a crowd of enemies.

    This class is very memorable and versatile. It is the quintessential sniper, one shot, one kill, who will be able to operate in combat, urban encounters, wilderness situations or solo missions. And a definite Mage-killer/High priority eliminator. I'd play this class.

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    The abilities that you've given this class at 1st and 2nd level make it very prone to dipping abuse.

    I can get an extra 1d6 damage (or maybe 2d6, if I spend two move actions locking?), and still hit my target if I miss by less than 5.
    Combined with rogue, this is just a little too good for just one or two levels' investment.

    Maybe you could have the Eagle Eye bonus not stack with Sneak Attack?

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    I don't see anything wrong with it, myself. The only complaint I have (and it's fairly minor) is that the words "arrow" and "bow" are used so frequently. Technically, a bow includes crossbows, but the word arrow denies the usage of bolts. I happen to like the idea of a silent crossbow user, stalking the city from the rooftops...

    Beyond that, there are other ranged weapons that would be appropriate, such as the prodd and atlatl. In fact, given the amazing things that Snipers can do with bows and Rogues can do with anything, I don't see where it would be such a bad idea to allow the usage of any ranged weapon with Sniper class features. Keeping their proficiencies the same seems fine, though (with the possible addition of the hand crossbow, but I'm sort of on the fence with that).
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Unstoppable Arrows and Forceful Arrows have some overlap. Since Force damage bypasses all known DR, Unstoppable Arrows is quite frankly, redundant.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Looking at the class overall:
    • This is an excellent execution (if you'll pardon the pun) of a spellcasting sniper. It does its thing very very well. I'm concerned that concept of a bow-based sniper may be overly narrow for a 20-level base class. Classes that are this narrowly focused are normally 10-level prestige classes. By my count, you have 16 features that help you snipe, 2 that help you hide, 1 that improves defense, and 1 that improves your spells. 90% of your features are unhelpful if the challenge at hand can't be solved by sneaking up on a guy and putting an arrow his eye socket.
    • If you move this into 10 levels, then the player has 10 other levels with which to develop other abilities and become more well-rounded. If you keep it as a 20-level class, however, you're obligated to provide the player with that well-roundedness yourself.
    • I kind of expect that you'll prefer the class at 20 levels, so let me also give you some useful feedback that applies to the sniper in its present format.


    Looking at the class mechanics:
    • I'm torn as to whether the concept is best executed with a medium or good base attack. I guess when in doubt, give a strong base attack to everyone who isn't a full caster or sedentary.
    • A d6 hit die would be more appropriate to this concept than a d4. The d4 hit die is really only appropriate to pure arcane casters who do everything with their spells.
    • Likewise, you're going to need 6 skill points per level rather than 4.
    • Further, you want more class skills. How about Knowledge (local) [Edit: and Gather Information, OMG how could I forget that one!] for the word on the street, and Knowledge (nobility and royalty) to know who's who among those who are likely to hire you? Disable device and the trapfinding feature seem natural for a stealthy guy who operates on his own and murders people who might be well-guarded. Bluff and Disguise also seem like a natural fit, given that you already have disguise self on your spell list, so you're clearly planning to conceal your identity.


    Looking at the abilities:
    • Looking at Eagle's Eye, I'd recommend adding a maximum duration for how long a sniper can hold a lock. As written, you can stack a lock on a target, go take a vacation in the Carribbean, come back next week, and you're still locked on your target. Also, how does a sniper dismiss a lock if he wants to free up that "slot" to lock a different creature?
    • If would encourage you to adjust Stealthy Sniper to a flat +5 to Hide and Move Silently. It's easier to read, and frankly, if someone wants to blow three feat slots to gain an additional +5 on top of this class feature, then more power to them.
    • Consider adding an exception to Definite Strike for the fortification special ability. Fortification is expensive and difficult to acquire. It's reasonable to reward players who invest in it by allowing it to work all the time.
    • It would be a good idea to use Quick Arrows as a swift action. There's considerable precedent for using swift actions to attack, but move actions can't generally be used offensively.


    Looking at the spell list:
    • A divine power source seems an odd choice, and ill-suited. Which gods provide spells for snipers? Why is the source divine when all of the spells are chosen from the sorcerer/wizard list?
    • The spell list seems unfocused to me. There are a number of spells here that seem only tenuously connected to class concept, such as the flight, fogs, and illusion-casting. There are also a lot of spells I'd expect to see that aren't here. I'd encourage you to browse less heavily from the sorcerer/wizard list and take much more from the assassin and ranger lists, especially some of the archery-focused ranger spells found in the Spell Compendium.


    I'll admit that I have a taste for bad puns, but I couldn't help homebrewing a feat for Lyndworm.

    LOCK AND LOAD [General]
    You can snipe effectively with a crossbow.
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with a crossbow, Eagle's Eye class feature
    Benefit: You may use crossbows with your sniper class features. Whenever you spend a move action to load a crossbow, you may also lock a target with your Eagle's Eye, as if you had spent the move action observing. Whenever you spend a full-round action loading a crossbow, you may lock targets twice with Eagle's Eye, as if you had spent two move actions observing.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-07-07 at 03:26 PM.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    I'm not the creator of the class, but I'll respond to some to these concerns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Unstoppable Arrows and Forceful Arrows have some overlap. Since Force damage bypasses all known DR, Unstoppable Arrows is quite frankly, redundant.
    Does Force damage bypass DR/-? I don't think so, but I've been wrong before.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    This is an excellent execution (if you'll pardon the pun) of a spellcasting sniper. It does its thing very very well. I'm concerned that concept of a bow-based sniper may be overly narrow for a 20-level base class. Classes that are this narrowly focused are normally 10-level prestige classes. By my count, you have 16 features that help you snipe, 2 that help you hide, 1 that improves defense, and 1 that improves your spells. 90% of your features are unhelpful if the challenge at hand can't be solved by sneaking up on a guy and putting an arrow his eye socket.
    I agree with this entirely, but without a Base class specifically designed to do such a thing, it would be impossible to play a low-level sniping character. Rogues can sort of do it, but not without a heavy feat investment. Rangers can also sort of do it, but it requires their spells so... they can be a sniper once a day at fourth level? Not my cup of tea.

    If you move this into 10 levels, then the player has 10 other levels with which to develop other abilities and become more well-rounded. If you keep it as a 20-level class, however, you're obligated to provide the player with that well-roundedness yourself.
    I agree with this immensely. This class fell into the trap presented by so many others, and is left with nothing to do outside combat. Their spells help with that a little bit, but it's barely worth mentioning.

    ]I'm torn as to whether the concept is best executed with a medium or good base attack. I guess when in doubt, give a strong base attack to everyone who isn't a full caster or sedentary.
    I think that a Good BAB more accurately represents the Sniper creed; one shot, one kill and all that. A Medium BAB would put it more in line with the Rogue and Scout, but this class is it's own beast.

    A d6 hit die would be more appropriate to this concept than a d4. The d4 hit die is really only appropriate to pure arcane casters who do everything with their spells.
    I agree with this. I think that the d4 was supposed to balance out the Good BAB, but I think that it would be fine with a d6.

    Likewise, you're going to need 6 skill points per level rather than 4.
    I think that this would be a tremendous help, and it fits the concept. The Sniper character is a being of great skill, not great power. Pushing him into a skillmonkey role wouldn't hurt the class, it would probably help it.

    Further, you want more class skills. How about Knowledge (local) for the word on the street, and Knowledge (nobility and royalty) to know who's who among those who are likely to hire you? Disable device and the trapfinding feature seem natural for a stealthy guy who operates on his own and murders people who might be well-guarded. Bluff and Disguise also seem like a natural fit, given that you already have disguise self on your spell list, so you're clearly planning to conceal your identity.
    I agree with every thing you just said. I have not a single fault with any part of it.

    Looking at Eagle's Eye, I'd recommend adding a maximum duration for how long a sniper can hold a lock. As written, you can stack a lock on a target, go take a vacation in the Carribbean, come back next week, and you're still locked on your target. Also, how does a sniper dismiss a lock if he wants to free up that "slot" to lock a different creature?
    This had never occurred to me, actually. I just assumed that a Lock expired when you stopped observing the Locked opponent. To dismiss a Lock, you simply stop maintaining it by observing the creature in question. I don't recall specifically reading that, but that's the feeling I got.

    If would encourage you to adjust Stealthy Sniper to a flat +5 to Hide and Move Silently. It's easier to read, and frankly, if someone wants to blow three feat slots to gain an additional +5 on top of this class feature, then more power to them.
    I agree with this, as well. It's simpler, and we all know that the simplest answer is usually the most correct.

    Consider adding an exception to Definite Strike for the fortification special ability. Fortification is expensive and difficult to acquire. It's reasonable to reward players who invest in it by allowing it to work all the time.
    I don't mind this change at all. It makes sense that magical immunity would still work.

    It would be a good idea to use Quick Arrows a swift action. There's considerable precedent for using swift actions to attack, but move actions can't generally be used offensively.
    I agree with this.

    A divine power source seems an odd choice, and ill-suited. Which gods provide spells for snipers? Why is the source divine when all of the spells are chosen from the sorcerer/wizard list?
    I think it's Divine because the Ranger is Divine. No other real logic, here. Arcane makes more sense to me, and it seems a lot more flavorful. This magic is something you learn, something you earn and perfect. It's not just handed out willy-nilly.

    The spell list seems unfocused to me. There are a number of spells here that seem only tenuously connected to class concept, such as the flight, fogs, and illusion-casting. There are also a lot of spells I'd expect to see that aren't here. I'd encourage you to browse less heavily from the sorcerer/wizard list and take much more from the assassin and ranger lists, especially some of the archery-focused ranger spells found in the Spell Compendium.
    I agree with this very much as well.

    I'll admit that I have a taste for bad puns, but I couldn't help homebrewing a feat for Lyndworm.

    LOCK AND LOAD [General]
    You can snipe effectively with a crossbow.
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with a crossbow, Eagle's Eye class feature
    Benefit: You may use crossbows with your sniper class features. Whenever you spend a move action to load a crossbow, you may also lock a target with your Eagle's Eye, as if you had spent the move action observing. Whenever you spend a full-round action loading a crossbow, you may lock targets twice with Eagle's Eye, as if you had spent two move actions observing.
    I enjoy tis feat quite a lot, actually. Thank you for that.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    I would up the Hit die to atleast d6. Wizards have the 4 sider because they live in libraries, where as your class lives in the woods. The woods are going to toughen him up a little. Rogues also don't like to seen when they attack either, but they still have a d6.

    Force damage does indeed bypass DR/anything.

    Probably give them 6+ skill instead of 4+ since they have no abilities outside of hide and shoot people, I would say track too, but then you are an ACF of ranger.

    The crossbow feat is awesome, and I would not take this class without it. Either that or TWF with two self reloading hand crossbows? Moar Dakka!
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    How would ranged feats interact with this class? Namely point blank shot, rapid shot, the other multi arrow move that is interesting but not nearly as good as rapid shot?
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Averagedog View Post
    How would ranged feats interact with this class? Namely point blank shot, rapid shot, the other multi arrow move that is interesting but not nearly as good as rapid shot?
    Err...Point Blank Shot grants a +1 bonus to attack and damage when within 30 feet of a target...etc.

    Feats do what they do regardless of class.
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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

    By the by, Lyndworm, yes, Force damage defeats DR. DR only affects the physical damage types, Piercing/Bludgeoning/Slashing, so unless Force is the long-lost fourth Marx brother, yeah, it beats the DR.

    Also, to Averagedog, probably just like how they work normally. As to their effectiveness, I couldn't say. Probably up in the air.

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    Default Re: The Sniper [3.5 Base Class, PEACH]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    I don't see anything wrong with it, myself. The only complaint I have (and it's fairly minor) is that the words "arrow" and "bow" are used so frequently. Technically, a bow includes crossbows, but the word arrow denies the usage of bolts. I happen to like the idea of a silent crossbow user, stalking the city from the rooftops...

    Beyond that, there are other ranged weapons that would be appropriate, such as the prodd and atlatl. In fact, given the amazing things that Snipers can do with bows and Rogues can do with anything, I don't see where it would be such a bad idea to allow the usage of any ranged weapon with Sniper class features. Keeping their proficiencies the same seems fine, though (with the possible addition of the hand crossbow, but I'm sort of on the fence with that).
    I'll edit this to use all ranged weapons; bows are too specific. However, the wording might be awkward in places. I'll work on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Unstoppable Arrows and Forceful Arrows have some overlap. Since Force damage bypasses all known DR, Unstoppable Arrows is quite frankly, redundant.
    Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrp you are right.
    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Looking at the class overall:
    • This is an excellent execution (if you'll pardon the pun) of a spellcasting sniper. It does its thing very very well. I'm concerned that concept of a bow-based sniper may be overly narrow for a 20-level base class. Classes that are this narrowly focused are normally 10-level prestige classes. By my count, you have 16 features that help you snipe, 2 that help you hide, 1 that improves defense, and 1 that improves your spells. 90% of your features are unhelpful if the challenge at hand can't be solved by sneaking up on a guy and putting an arrow his eye socket. I was looking for tier three/four with this build, as I do with most of my homebrew. The spells and such provide largely versatility and hiding ability, but the class is meant to be narrow.
    • If you move this into 10 levels, then the player has 10 other levels with which to develop other abilities and become more well-rounded. If you keep it as a 20-level class, however, you're obligated to provide the player with that well-roundedness yourself.
    • I kind of expect that you'll prefer the class at 20 levels, so let me also give you some useful feedback that applies to the sniper in its present format. Yep.


    Looking at the class mechanics:
    • I'm torn as to whether the concept is best executed with a medium or good base attack. I guess when in doubt, give a strong base attack to everyone who isn't a full caster or sedentary. Martial class? Full BAB. They're subpar in general anyway. I felt they deserved it.
    • A d6 hit die would be more appropriate to this concept than a d4. The d4 hit die is really only appropriate to pure arcane casters who do everything with their spells. The idea here is that Snipers are NOT meant to be in melee. Like spellcasters, they have a devotion to their craft that results in less resiliency.
    • Likewise, you're going to need 6 skill points per level rather than 4.I'd like to avoid them having skills as important. I suppose I could give them more, but I'd like to avoid it.
    • Further, you want more class skills. How about Knowledge (local) [Edit: and Gather Information, OMG how could I forget that one!] for the word on the street, and Knowledge (nobility and royalty) to know who's who among those who are likely to hire you? Disable device and the trapfinding feature seem natural for a stealthy guy who operates on his own and murders people who might be well-guarded. Bluff and Disguise also seem like a natural fit, given that you already have disguise self on your spell list, so you're clearly planning to conceal your identity. This, I should change.


    Looking at the abilities:
    • Looking at Eagle's Eye, I'd recommend adding a maximum duration for how long a sniper can hold a lock. As written, you can stack a lock on a target, go take a vacation in the Carribbean, come back next week, and you're still locked on your target. Also, how does a sniper dismiss a lock if he wants to free up that "slot" to lock a different creature? True.
    • If would encourage you to adjust Stealthy Sniper to a flat +5 to Hide and Move Silently. It's easier to read, and frankly, if someone wants to blow three feat slots to gain an additional +5 on top of this class feature, then more power to them. I chose the feats more so they could help with prerequisites.
    • Consider adding an exception to Definite Strike for the fortification special ability. Fortification is expensive and difficult to acquire. It's reasonable to reward players who invest in it by allowing it to work all the time. I'd rather not, but I might change definite strike to granting a 5 or 10% chance to get a critical on a lock.
    • It would be a good idea to use Quick Arrows as a swift action. There's considerable precedent for using swift actions to attack, but move actions can't generally be used offensively. Since a sniper has bonuses to staying still, I wanted to give them a use for their unused move actions.


    Looking at the spell list:
    • A divine power source seems an odd choice, and ill-suited. Which gods provide spells for snipers? Why is the source divine when all of the spells are chosen from the sorcerer/wizard list? Avoiding Armor Spell Failure chance.
    • The spell list seems unfocused to me. There are a number of spells here that seem only tenuously connected to class concept, such as the flight, fogs, and illusion-casting. There are also a lot of spells I'd expect to see that aren't here. I'd encourage you to browse less heavily from the sorcerer/wizard list and take much more from the assassin and ranger lists, especially some of the archery-focused ranger spells found in the Spell Compendium.The fogs and illusions are meant to hide the sniper, and the flight helps them against other melee types.


    I'll admit that I have a taste for bad puns, but I couldn't help homebrewing a feat for Lyndworm.

    LOCK AND LOAD [General]
    You can snipe effectively with a crossbow.
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with a crossbow, Eagle's Eye class feature
    Benefit: You may use crossbows with your sniper class features. Whenever you spend a move action to load a crossbow, you may also lock a target with your Eagle's Eye, as if you had spent the move action observing. Whenever you spend a full-round action loading a crossbow, you may lock targets twice with Eagle's Eye, as if you had spent two move actions observing.
    Hopefully unneeded after my rewrite.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    I agree with this entirely, but without a Base class specifically designed to do such a thing, it would be impossible to play a low-level sniping character. Rogues can sort of do it, but not without a heavy feat investment. Rangers can also sort of do it, but it requires their spells so... they can be a sniper once a day at fourth level? Not my cup of tea.
    This.

    I agree with this immensely. This class fell into the trap presented by so many others, and is left with nothing to do outside combat. Their spells help with that a little bit, but it's barely worth mentioning.
    Skills should help, I guess? :S

    I think that a Good BAB more accurately represents the Sniper creed; one shot, one kill and all that. A Medium BAB would put it more in line with the Rogue and Scout, but this class is it's own beast.
    This

    I agree with this. I think that the d4 was supposed to balance out the Good BAB, but I think that it would be fine with a d6.
    See above - the d4 represents a caster like frailty from not having to experience melee.

    I think that this would be a tremendous help, and it fits the concept. The Sniper character is a being of great skill, not great power. Pushing him into a skillmonkey role wouldn't hurt the class, it would probably help it.
    This could work.

    This had never occurred to me, actually. I just assumed that a Lock expired when you stopped observing the Locked opponent. To dismiss a Lock, you simply stop maintaining it by observing the creature in question. I don't recall specifically reading that, but that's the feeling I got. This is RAI. :D

    I think it's Divine because the Ranger is Divine. No other real logic, here. Arcane makes more sense to me, and it seems a lot more flavorful. This magic is something you learn, something you earn and perfect. It's not just handed out willy-nilly.
    See above
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Stabber View Post
    I would up the Hit die to atleast d6. Wizards have the 4 sider because they live in libraries, where as your class lives in the woods. The woods are going to toughen him up a little. Rogues also don't like to seen when they attack either, but they still have a d6. Except, they're not rangers. And rogues can still be found in combat.

    Force damage does indeed bypass DR/anything. derp

    Probably give them 6+ skill instead of 4+ since they have no abilities outside of hide and shoot people, I would say track too, but then you are an ACF of ranger.Yeahhhh

    The crossbow feat is awesome, and I would not take this class without it. Either that or TWF with two self reloading hand crossbows? Moar Dakka!
    DAKKA!
    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    By the by, Lyndworm, yes, Force damage defeats DR. DR only affects the physical damage types, Piercing/Bludgeoning/Slashing, so unless Force is the long-lost fourth Marx brother, yeah, it beats the DR.
    Sure

    Also, to Averagedog, probably just like how they work normally. As to their effectiveness, I couldn't say. Probably up in the air.


    So yeah. Editing now.
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