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    Default [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Archer


    Gallaren, an elven archer, taking aim at a trespasser.

    Since creatures first killed each other with stones and fists, they have wondered “How can I kill my enemy without being killed?” Keeping your distance seems like a fine way to avoid their pointy bits of metal, and thus was throwing things born. The art of killing from a distance has evolved much since its humble beginnings, becoming as much an art as an instrument for delivering swift death. Those truly dedicated have taken the path of the archer.

    Becoming an archer
    To become a true archer is to do more than just pick up a bow. To an archer, his chosen weapon becomes an extension of his arm, allowing him to touch his enemies from a great distance. He may have other interests, but an archer’s true passion will always be the art delivering death from a distance. Some places frown upon the lethality, and as such have turn it into a sport of precision and focus, but the archers are no less skilled or devout in honing their abilities.

    Fighters are by far the most common archers, their skills on the battlefield translating to a frank understanding of the advantages of killing from a distance. Rogues, especially those with a penchant for assassination, sometimes take this path, pouring their deft skill into placing arrows as accurately, and painfully, as possible. Rangers, while sharing some innate interest in the bow, rarely devote themselves to the degree of study of ranged combat required, often keeping their attentions more divided.

    Entry Requirements
    Base Attack Bonus: +5
    Skills: 5 ranks in Craft (Bowmaking)
    Feats: Point Blank Shot, Weapon Specialization (any ranged weapon)

    Hit Die: d8
    Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier
    Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History) (Int), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis)


    Weapon and armor proficiencies
    An archer gains no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

    Ranged Precision (Ex)
    The archer has spent countless hours training to place his shots accurately, to inflict the maximum amount of damage with his weapon of choice. An archer may add his Dexterity modifier to all damage he deals with ranged weapons as precision damage. At 5th level this damage is no longer considered precision damage. At 9th level he may add twice his Dex modifier.

    Additionally, an archer may deal precision damage with ranged weapons as long as he is within 30' + 5' per class levels of his target.

    Take Aim (Ex)
    The archer may spend a full round action, during which he focuses on his target, excluding everything else from thought, and then unleashes a single ranged attack at his highest base attack bonus. He gets a bonus on this attack roll equal to half his class level and it ignores all interference from weather conditions (including spells like Wind Wall), and he receives a -2 penalty to AC until his next turn. At 4th level he may ignore miss chances from concealment and spells like blur. At 7th level he may make a second ranged attack with a -5 penalty to the second attack roll. At 10th level attacks rolls made with this ability are considered to be 5 higher for purposes of determining if the attack threatens a critical hit.

    Close Combat Shot (Ex)
    At 2nd level an archer can attack with a ranged weapon while in a threatened square and not provoke an attack of opportunity.

    Deadly Precision (Ex)
    At 2nd level the archer may deal an extra 1d8 points of precision damage on ranged attacks. This damage increases an additional 1d8 every 2 levels (2d8 at 4th, 3d8 at 6th, 4d8 at 8th, and 5d8 at 10th). Since it is precision damage it cannot be applied to creatures immune to critical hits.

    Bonus Feat
    At 3rd level the archer gains a bonus feat from the list given below. Your archer levels are considered fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats. You must meet the prerequisites for the feat you select. The archer gains another bonus feat at 8th level.

    Bonus Feat List: Able Sniper, Bowslinger, Deadeye Shot, Far Shot, Improved Critical (ranged weapons only), Improved Precise Shot, Improved Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Penetrating Shot, Plunging Shot, Precise Shot, Ranged Disarm, Ranged Pin, Ranged Sunder, Ranged Weapon Mastery - Bludgeoning/Piercing/Slashing, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Sharp-Shooting, Shot on the Run, Greater Weapon Focus (ranged weapons only), Greater Weapon Specialization (ranged weapons only), Woodland Archer, Zen Archery.

    Lethal Marksman (Ex)
    At 3rd level all ranged weapons the archer wields are treated as having a critical threat range 1 larger (a threat range of 20 becomes 19-20). At 5th level their critical multiplier is treated as being 1 larger (a multiplier of x3 becomes x4). At 7th level the critical threat range increases by an additional 1 (a normal threat range of 20 is considered 18-20). At 9th level the critical multiplier increases by an additional 1 (a normal multiplier of x3 is considered x5). These increases are applied after effects that increase critical threat ranges and multipliers (like Improved Critical).

    Expert Shot (Ex)
    At 6th level an archer becomes extraordinarily skilled at finding chinks in the armor of nearby foes. Archers may ignore any armor bonuses to the AC of targets within 30'.

    Playing an archer
    Archers come in all shapes and sizes. While most focus on the longbow, they are by no means the only weapon of choice. Crossbows, throwing axes, even daggers, have become deadly in the hands of an archer. The archer, regardless of temperament or station, is a being of precise action. They aim for something, and they hit it. This can lead to single-mindedness, a focus on their target to the exclusion of all else, though the more skilled they become the more archers are able to adjust to other influences, while still driving towards their goal with determination.

    Combat
    Archers chose their targets carefully, usually starting with those furthest away. Not only does this help to hone your abilities by constantly challenging yourself, but those farthest from the battle are usually those easiest to fell with a well-placed shaft. Wielders of magic are an archer’s most common target on the battlefield, as the destruction they can bring to bear is far more than the punishment they can take. While any archer is skilled enough in battle to stand face to face with his opponent, that is never a desired position. Like the targets they select, and archer will always prefer to have an ally standing in front of them.

    Advancement
    Thanks to the level of precision demanded in archery, many archers will focus on dealing as much as they can, gaining sneak attack or other precision-based damage bonuses. Because of their tremendous range, an archer won't focus too heavily on defense, usually having just enough to suffice for emergencies. Feats or methods that help the archer’s reaction time, enabling to loose their arrows before the enemy mage can bring them low, such as improved initiative, are a great asset to all archers.

    Resources
    There isn’t an army or mercenary band in the world that doesn’t respect the skills of a talented archer. While there is often less glamor involved than for the generals or heroes who go toe to toe with their opponents, there is a significantly increased lifespan in trade. Less scrupulous archers can often be found in thieves guilds, enforcing their turf or taking out rivals with ease. Archers will often pursue the other skills they have once they feel they have mastered the bow, though they are careful to keep their skills sharp. There are many places devoted to the art of archery, and one will never be without a place where they earn at least a small measure of respect. In more peaceable kingdoms their skills are often treated as a sport, through which an archer can gain significant renown.

    Archers in the world
    ”I came out the door to massacre. Some crazy wizard was standing on a hill raining fire down on the entire town. The traveler next to me took only a moment, fitting an arrow to his bow, lifted it while breathing slowly. The next thing I knew the wizard was tumbling down the hill with an arrow in his skull.”
    - Dirreck Roldar, describing the incident to a guard

    Archers are found in every corner of the world. In any place where men have thought of how to kill each other and avoid dying themselves. In every culture that has needed to hunt animals for their meat. Where ever you go, you will find archers there. You’ll find many of them in the ranks of a powerful lord’s army, or among a tribe’s best huntsmen. Even in a simple village you can often find a farmer or two who’s skill with the bow is remarkable. And that skill will serve them well no matter where they travel.
    Last edited by MammonAzrael; 2011-01-19 at 04:34 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] For the fighter that wants to shoot things

    So...is it really that boring? 93 views and no one had anything to say?

    I've gotta make more outrageous power levels in these things then.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    It's not that it's boring. It's that it doesn't leave much an impression. 'Archer' is pretty generic, dont'cha think? What's the hook, where's the pull in, what separates this from all those other ranged attack classes? Use your imagination! Is it part of a secret order of archers? Do they make deals with fae and elementals? Are they assassins from a hidden monastery? Get creative!
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    It's a nice fix of the Order of the Bow Initiate, but it lacks flavor.
    Also, the ability that lets you ignore armour. A skilled archer can fire 4-6 arrows in one round, and they ALL find chinks in the enemy's armour? There are only so many places where arrows would penetrate, but again: this is D&D, where clerics go Codzilla and barbarians charge for 1d12+567 damage.
    Last edited by Combat Reflexes; 2011-01-17 at 04:30 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tygre View Post
    It's not that it's boring. It's that it doesn't leave much an impression. 'Archer' is pretty generic, dont'cha think? What's the hook, where's the pull in, what separates this from all those other ranged attack classes? Use your imagination! Is it part of a secret order of archers? Do they make deals with fae and elementals? Are they assassins from a hidden monastery? Get creative!
    That...is a very good point. I mean, the PrC was intended to be a little bland, to be an option for a basic fighter that could be fit into any core setting...but that certainly doesn't make people remember it unless it was an official class, does it? I'll see what I can do to spice it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Combat Reflexes View Post
    It's a nice fix of the Order of the Bow Initiate, but it lacks flavor.
    Also, the ability that lets you ignore armour. A skilled archer can fire 4-6 arrows in one round, and they ALL find chinks in the enemy's armour? There are only so many places where arrows would penetrate, but again: this is D&D, where clerics go Codzilla and barbarians charge for 1d12+567 damage.
    As I said, good point about the blandness.

    As for Expert Shot, yeah, pretty much. You're getting it earliest at level 11, which is well beyond what humans are capable of. And note that you're only ignoring the armor bonus. shield bonuses, Natural Armor bonuses, and everything else still apply. Only the bonus they get from their armor (and I guess their Mage Armor ) are ignored. So its not like they're making touch attacks.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    My immediate question would be... why a PrC? If you're going for bland, why not just have it as a ranged combatant base class?
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    My immediate question would be... why a PrC? If you're going for bland, why not just have it as a ranged combatant base class?
    I don't think it's bad, it's nice too have some 'universal' PrC instead of all Grand Disciples of Violet Buffalo of Kurjk.

    Anyway, as far as master of all ranged weapons go, this one traditionally isn't too compatible with crossbows, to not search long, although Take Aim could play quite nicely with it.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    My immediate question would be... why a PrC? If you're going for bland, why not just have it as a ranged combatant base class?
    Actually...this is based off my archer base class from several years ago. And while it works as a base class, I also think it is a very narrow focus for an entire base class to have, there are really very few options (it felt like even less options than a fighter had!). Hence making it a PrC. Like Spiryt said, PrCs aren't just for unique, specialized groups, but for simple a narrow focus.

    I guess while it did end up bland, that isn't the right word for what I was aiming for. Rather, it was supposed to be fairly generic. An archery focused PrC for all the archers that weren't in some weird cult or secret club.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Anyway, as far as master of all ranged weapons go, this one traditionally isn't too compatible with crossbows, to not search long, although Take Aim could play quite nicely with it.
    How, exactly, is this not too compatible with crossbows? Ever class ability is fully functional with a crossbow. And the class doesn't offer any multiple attack abilities, so there isn't the loading conflict either.
    Last edited by MammonAzrael; 2011-01-18 at 01:36 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Quote Originally Posted by MammonAzrael View Post
    How, exactly, is this not too compatible with crossbows? Ever class ability is fully functional with a crossbow. And the class doesn't offer any multiple attack abilities, so there isn't the loading conflict either.

    The conflict is that most abilities offer additional dice or damage, from which weapons that doesn't require reload gain much more.

    Take Aim is nice for crossbow, as it allows single ( later additional, but still) attack anyway.

    So even if somebody uses somehow reworked crossbow stats, that doesn't suck completely, it's not too good for it.

    Bonus feat list could use Crossbow Sniper, anyway. Could work well.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Quote Originally Posted by MammonAzrael View Post
    Actually...this is based off my archer base class from several years ago. And while it works as a base class, I also think it is a very narrow focus for an entire base class to have, there are really very few options (it felt like even less options than a fighter had!). Hence making it a PrC. Like Spiryt said, PrCs aren't just for unique, specialized groups, but for simple a narrow focus.

    I guess while it did end up bland, that isn't the right word for what I was aiming for. Rather, it was supposed to be fairly generic. An archery focused PrC for all the archers that weren't in some weird cult or secret club.
    Good points!
    I only used the word bland because you did. I meant no offence, I like the class.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Well then I'd suggest they grab Rapid Reload as one of their bonus feats! Sure it doesn't help the Heavy Crossbow users, but I'm ok with that.

    And from what I can tell, Crossbow sniper would add 1/2 Dex to damage, and nothing more. The Archer can already dish out precision damage at extended ranges. I could include it, but is seems rather...I dunno, wasteful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    Good points!
    I only used the word bland because you did. I meant no offence, I like the class.
    None taken! I know I did before, so I revised myself. Glad you like it! Give me some time, and it'll be fleshed out to have some flavor, while I hope, still be generic enough to plop into any setting without needing to be changed at all!
    Last edited by MammonAzrael; 2011-01-18 at 02:11 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    I think that this prc is fantastic! I have always loved archery builds, but I've never actualy got to play one because while I like the flavor of archery it just dosen't fill certain party roles. I'm the guy who tends to give up what he wants, to play what is needed.

    This prc is also really good for ranged rogues, allowing sneak attacks at distances greater than 30ft thanks to Ranged Precision. Also, being able to add twice your dex mod plus strength mod (with composite bows) would be a very nice boost to damage.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Well then talk to your DM, see if you can't give it a whirl!

    And yes, that is part of the idea. You won't be power attacking, so you'll just have to get your extra damage somewhere else. Its just a little more than wielding a melee weapon in two hands anyways!
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Unfortunately, my local group has disolved due to inter-player conflict and other players moving away. But I can still play here!

    Now I have the image of a Goliath wielding an oversized greatbow in my head. It would be like the Na'vi all over again, but less stupid and more about rock monsters. lol
    Last edited by Codemus; 2011-01-18 at 03:51 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Rock Monsters!

    Class updated with some generic flavor.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Looking good! One thing though. Under Advancement, is that suppost to be will or won't?

    Advancement
    Thanks to the level of precision demanded in archery, many archers will focus on dealing as much as they can, gaining sneak attack or other precision-based damage bonuses. Because of their tremendous range, an archer will focus too heavily on defense, usually having just enough to suffice for emergencies. Feats or methods that help the archer’s reaction time, enabling to loose their arrows before the enemy mage can bring them low, such as improved initiative, are a great asset to all archers.
    It looks like it was suppost to be won't, but you never know.

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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Quote Originally Posted by Codemus View Post
    Looking good! One thing though. Under Advancement, is that suppost to be will or won't?



    It looks like it was suppost to be won't, but you never know.
    Good catch, its supposed to be "won't."
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Thread for background research : http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=152550 .

    Note that I fixed the reload time problem for crossbows and the results are included in that thread. Granted, it is a pair of enchantments for REPEATER crossbows, but if you have this PrC give those proficiencies for free... or if you insist, you can just allow it as a bonus feat.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    My first instinct was to stick a composite long bow on it. I wonder how effective that would be?

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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    @ DracoDei - that is a nice collection of archery options! Especially the number of ranged disciplines! I don't see any issue with having the class grant proficiency with all ranged weapons, do you?

    @ 22Charisma - Well...that would be the most common weapon, yes.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Quote Originally Posted by MammonAzrael View Post
    @ DracoDei - that is a nice collection of archery options! Especially the number of ranged disciplines! I don't see any issue with having the class grant proficiency with all ranged weapons, do you?
    Well, there MIGHT be something in some splat-book that would break that... especially with things that are designed to be race-specific (Halfling? boomrangs from Eberron, orcish shot-put, that sort of thing). The simplest solution might be to make sure you exclude thrown weapons.

    EDIT:
    Also, did you mean Weapon SPECIALIZATION, or Weapon FOCUS for the requirements? If you meant specialization you MIGHT want to also list focus for sake of allowing people to know at a glance how many feats they need to get into the class in the first place. This will present a problem for people wanting to go into repeater crossbows later on in their careers since they might not prefer light crossbows until they get into the class, which means wasted feats. You might want to suggest/specify retraining allowances.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2011-01-20 at 05:18 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    If I use a composite longbow, do I get both a strength and a dexterity bonus on the attack?
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    Default Re: [3.5 PrC] A compelling reason for archery

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Well, there MIGHT be something in some splat-book that would break that... especially with things that are designed to be race-specific (Halfling? boomrangs from Eberron, orcish shot-put, that sort of thing). The simplest solution might be to make sure you exclude thrown weapons.

    EDIT:
    Also, did you mean Weapon SPECIALIZATION, or Weapon FOCUS for the requirements? If you meant specialization you MIGHT want to also list focus for sake of allowing people to know at a glance how many feats they need to get into the class in the first place. This will present a problem for people wanting to go into repeater crossbows later on in their careers since they might not prefer light crossbows until they get into the class, which means wasted feats. You might want to suggest/specify retraining allowances.
    I thought about excluding thrown weapons from benefiting from this class at all, as they don't really fit flavor wise. But then I thought...what the hell? Throwing weapons see close to no love at all, so why not? If something is really stupid in combination with something from this PrC, then it should be easy to Rule 0 it once it becomes an issue.

    I meant Specialization, as this PrC was intended for Fighters and a very core-friendly PrC. Adding Weapon Focus is a good idea. I considered adding a Weapon Aptitude ability (from the Warblade) that only applied to Ranged Weapons. The base class version of the Archer had it. Not sure why I didn't include it at this point, tbh.

    @ Kinnicht - No. You don't add your strength mod to your ranged attack rolls. Unless you have a feat like Brutal Throw.

    You do, however gain whatever strength bonus the bow allows, plus your dexterity modifier, to your damage rolls.
    My homebrew - If you use it, please let me know how it goes!

    Current Projects - Warlock rewrite

    1st place in GITP Monster Competition LV and LVI

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