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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Ranged Builds 5th edition

    Ive pretty much accepted Dungeons and Dragons is a magic focused game. I still have a hope for high tier builds in other areas.

    I personally want Markmen type characters but in game balance it means it wont work as intended without Magic. Being shot and killed without "honorable" fights doesnt work with a dramatic feeling people are supposed to feel. Arrows and Bolts get shrugged off even IF they do hit.

    1 Ranged builds have the theoretical advantage of being able to attack with being countered. More likely encounters will not be far enough and youll need melee weapons or at least feats to allow ranged attacks at melee ranges.

    Its usually a heavy investment to make a Ranged Only build work at all ranges.

    2 In Dungeons and Dragons attack damage for most ranged weapons and attacks dont increase from higher Dexterity, just more magical ranged weapons, Ammunition, and buffing spells.

    This means ranged damage will be pretty low overall especialy compared to melee.

    I know of only one character class that has Dexterity to Damage,the Pathfinder Gunslinger.

    Im trying to find out this edition finally made Marksmen high tier, or are they still dependent on melee characters?
    Last edited by Chaosticket; 2018-01-03 at 02:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Can I finally make my Marksmen in 5th?

    It depends what you want from a marksman. All ranged weapons add dex bonus to damage now. Sharpshooter lets you use a ranged power attack and ignores cover and the crossbow expert feat allows you to maximize your action economy. You can pretty much do anything ranged that you cam mellee

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Yes, very much so.

    Achery:

    The only fighting style that give a + to hit so you are more accurate than anyone with a Melle weapon.

    Bracers of Archery, an uncommon item that gives a flat +2 damage to every shot, nobody else gets anything like that. Not though it does not work with crossbows.

    Due to an idiotic ruling by JC magic arrows and magic bows stack. So keep some + 1 2 or 3 arrows around for those super important shots, makes you even more accurate.

    Sharpshooter give you the same damage boost as GWM, but also ignores cover, to again boost the best accuracy in the game.

    Dex based is just plain more useful than str based.

    Everyone can move and attack so kite away.

    Elven Accuracy, one of the best feats in the game can use dex but it can't use str.

    In total:

    Better accuracy, the only offense that stacks 2 magic bonuses, ignores cover, does very good damage and can do if from out of swinging range.

    Archery has never been better than it has been in 5e.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by clash View Post
    It depends what you want from a marksman. All ranged weapons add dex bonus to damage now. Sharpshooter lets you use a ranged power attack and ignores cover and the crossbow expert feat allows you to maximize your action economy. You can pretty much do anything ranged that you cam mellee
    And then what?

    Dexterity to damage is a nice addition to 5th edition but being limited to either a Fighter learning one attack per 5 levels, a high level Ranger casting Swift Quiver, or oddly a Valor Bard.

    The Bard might be the best as aside from Ranged Attacks there are others spells as options. It can reach 4 attacks at level 10 much sooner than the Ranger or Fighter.
    Last edited by Chaosticket; 2017-12-30 at 12:10 AM.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    A level 10 valor bard is probably the best archer in the game until fighters get 3 or 4 attacks. For 2 encounter per day you have 4 attacks-2 are on your bonus action, so you can use an action to do anything(except a concentration spell), AND shoot 2 arrows.

    I think a hexblade blade pact warlock is probably 2nd best. Sack your slots for smite damage, make your pack weapon magical, CHA to damage, HEX for extra die, maybe multiclass after 5 for a fighting style and action surge.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    ...Im trying to find out this edition finally made Marksmen high tier, or are they still dependent on melee characters?
    .
    You need both, and a healer.

    This is how I've observed it work:

    One player makes a "build" that has a high AC, and high HP, either a Barbarian with high CON & DEX (and thus a high AC through "Unarmored Defense", or is a high STR Fighter or Paladin (so they may use heavy armor), and a high CON (for the extra HP), this builds role is to stand next to antagonists

    Next you need some sort of healer ("Life" Cleric works, as does Paladin, etc).

    Third you need a PC with a high DEX, proficiency in a bow, either one level of Fighter or two levels of Ranger for an "Archery Fighting Style " (and that sweet plus two to hit!), and then maybe "Extra Attack" (which a fifth level Fighter or Ranger has), but definitely some levels of Rogue for Sneak Attack.

    In fact lots of levels of Rogue, let those extra d6's of damage pile up!

    The tactic is this:

    The archer (with levels in Rogue), either hides and uses Stealth to suprise the antagonists (and hopefully get Advantage, and thus "Sneak Attack", Wood Elves with their "Mask of the Wild" Feature, and Gloom Stalker Rangers in darkness are good at the "hide and suprise" tactic), or the Barbarian and/or Heavy Armor wearer does a solid, and stands next to the target, granting "Sneak Attack" (it's all about those d6's).

    The healer is there to patch up the Barbarian or Armor wearer.

    I'm sure there's a role for Arcane spell -casters as well, but I can't think of it.
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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    And then what?

    Dexterity to damage is a nice addition to 5th edition but being limited to either a Fighter learning one attack per 5 levels, a high level Ranger casting Swift Quiver, or oddly a Valor Bard.

    The Bard might be the best as aside from Ranged Attacks there are others spells as options. It can reach 4 attacks at level 10 much sooner than the Ranger or Fighter.
    in 5e, that's about as good as anyone gets. you're not going to one-shot enemies with a bow any more than the melees are going to one-shot them with a sword unless you're fighting really crappy enemies. your damage will be fairly similar, though you are unfortunately heavily motivated to use a hand crossbow as your weapon (you don't strictly speaking have to, but as a fighter you can get 4 attacks per round that way consistently, and thanks to power attack mechanics that's going to deal more damage than using a longbow or crossbow).

    i don't know what you think ranged combat should be like, but if you're imagining yourself getting 20 attacks per round or one-shotting dragons, then expect to be disappointed.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    I think Ranged attacks are too strong, because many monsters do not have ranged attack capability. In an open setting, a longbow can put a lot of damage into a monster before it gets close enough to do anything.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    I'm sure there's a role for Arcane spell -casters as well, but I can't think of it.
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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    ???ranged weapons weren't bad in 4e or 3.5, and "darts are op" is a 2e meme

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    I was in a party once that had 2 Rangers (I was one of them) and a Crossbow Rogue

    We also had a Paladin to 'tank', but after a while we just asked him stand behind us since it made more sense not to risk losing Bless than him trying to be somebody in the front.
    Basically every threat was pretty quickly nuked down, but we only got to Lv7.

    After a few weeks, the Paladin stopped coming which kinda of caused the group to fall apart.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    My roommate made a kobold battle master with crossbow expert and sharpshooter. Does some of the craziest dmg consistently I've seen in the game to date. I think his minimum dmg on a hit (and he almost always hits even with -5) is like 18 (SS +10, dex +5, bracers of archery +2, +1d6 the actual bolt). And he get 4 shots a round and can action surge for 3 more. Dude doesn't get the least bit excited on a crit. His crits are just "Meh. Extra d6 on my base 17 dmg".

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    .
    Next you need some sort of healer ("Life" Cleric works, as does Paladin, etc).
    I've played in plenty of games without healers. I play a LOT, like 4 times a week average, many pick up games where we just don't have the luxury of a healer. I don't get this notion that one is at all crucial. Healing is very inefficient in this edition and doesn't seem to keep up with dmg. It's comforting to have one, to be sure, kind of like insurance, but they don't actually need to heal that often. If they are healing frequently, it seems like DPS and crowd control are what the party is lacking as those tend to be work much more efficiently to limit dmg in the first place. A Hypnotic Pattern, a well-placed wall, or a cutting words for instance, will prevent the dmg you otherwise have to heal and at a much better rate for the resource cost. Prevent the fires so you're not blowing crazy resources putting them out after the fact.

    Fortunately when they made a dedicated healer unnecessary, they also gave those healers other things to do. Clerics and druids can help kill things when they aren't blowing all their actions and spell slots on healing, thus contributing to less need to heal.
    Last edited by Dalebert; 2017-12-30 at 08:06 AM.
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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    They aren't just great, I'd argue they are vastly superior to melee builds especially at higher levels.

    Firstly Dex adding to ranged weapon damage and sharpshooter being able to add +10 damage per shot makes them very relevant.

    Ranged combat has been boiled down to being boosted by 2 consumate feats; Sharpshooter which ups damage, accuracy and range and crossbow expert which removes the melee penalty, loading penalty and allows a bonus action attack when wielding a 1-handed weapon (hand crossbow). To that end most builds will have Sharpshooter and some will also have Crossbow expert, but essentially you can flush out your ranged weapon build with 1 feat as early as levels 1-4.

    Archery Fighting Style is one of the few ways to modify your hit chance with the new bounded accuracy concept and is the equivalent of gaining 8 levels of proficiency bonus.

    Dexterity (the stat associated with most ranged weapons) is much more versatile than strength affording bonuses to initiative, saves, ranged + some melee attack and damage, escaping grapples (acrobatics), and sometimes AC as well as a handful of useful skills like Stealth and Sleight of Hand.

    Because dexterity is usable with finesse weapons for both attack and damage it means that building for ranged still affords some melee options.

    Battlemaster Maneuvers are almost all usable with ranged weapon attacks which adds a far greater depth of strategy.



    Having just played Rise of Tiamat I can honestly say that having a character without solid ranged options severely hamstrings the capabilities of the PC against a multitude of higher level foes that use terrain, flying, teleportation and various other methods of keeping distance, where as building for ranged combat and being forced into melee is very manageable.
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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Okay so ranged fighting IS better but can say a Rogue work with it I mean aside from Sneak Attack?

    Sharpshooter feat is basically a combination of Far Shot, Precise Shot, and Deadly Aim. Its pretty much required to make a Ranged Character. It doesnt grant additional attacks however.

    Like 2nd edition Classes have different Attack factors, so unless you can make about 4 attacks by level 10-15 it would be easy to fall far behind in damage. Even by level 5 you still need 2 attacks.

    Even after all that things will still reaches points where Banish may be more useful than a Longbow.
    Last edited by Chaosticket; 2017-12-30 at 09:43 AM.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Okay so ranged fighting IS better but can say a Rogue work with it I mean aside from Sneak Attack?

    Sharpshooter feat is basically a combination of Far Shot, Precise Shot, and Deadly Aim. Its basically required to make a Ranged Character. It doesnt grant additional attacks however.

    Like 2nd edition Classes have different Attack factors, so unless you can make about 4 attacks by level 10-15 it would be easy to fall far behind in damage. Even by level 5 you still need 2 attacks.
    Pure Rogues without Multiclassing can grab Crossbow Expert & Sharpshooter and pick up 2 attacks. This gives them 10+Dex Mod+Other Mod Damage x2 + Sneak Attack. Yes they can keep up, in my experience.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Sharpshooters -5/+10 isn't as important or valuable for rogues. You're decreasing the chance of your small number of large hits, rather than increasing the impact of your many medium hits. It's not necessarily bad but the AC where it's the optimal choice is lower for a rogue than a fighter

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Im asking the wrong things again.
    I should basically just ask for a Gestalt character build that has 4 attacks, a 75+ percent chance to hit, oneturnkill on multiple low difficulty or single medium enemies. And then also have stealth and Flight.

    So Basically a 20/10 Fighter/Wizard by level 20.
    Last edited by Chaosticket; 2017-12-30 at 10:31 AM.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Im asking the wrong things again.
    I should basically just ask for a Gestalt character build that has 4 attacks, a 75+ percent chance to hit, oneturnkill on multiple low difficulty or single medium enemies. And then also have stealth and Flight.

    So Basically a 20/10 Fighter/Wizard by level 20.
    So play a Valor Bard

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Okay so ranged fighting IS better but can say a Rogue work with it I mean aside from Sneak Attack?
    Not sure what you mean, but yes, a Rogue works with ranged combat. Sneak Attack in itself is pretty sweet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Sharpshooter feat is basically a combination of Far Shot, Precise Shot, and Deadly Aim. Its pretty much required to make a Ranged Character.
    It's not required, just good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    It doesnt grant additional attacks however.
    And? You don't need additional attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post

    Like 2nd edition Classes have different Attack factors, so unless you can make about 4 attacks by level 10-15 it would be easy to fall far behind in damage. Even by level 5 you still need 2 attacks.
    What are you talking about? What do 2nd edition has to do with this? And no, you don't need additional attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Even after all that things will still reaches points where Banish may be more useful than a Longbow.
    No.

    Banishment is a nice spell, but it's situational, takes Concentration, and you will only have a limited number of spells.

    A Longbow? There are few fights where a Longbow can't be useful.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybren View Post
    Sharpshooters -5/+10 isn't as important or valuable for rogues. You're decreasing the chance of your small number of large hits, rather than increasing the impact of your many medium hits. It's not necessarily bad but the AC where it's the optimal choice is lower for a rogue than a fighter
    Yeah you will probably opt to not -5/+10 more often than a Fighter, but SS is a smart choice for any Archer regardless of class. So might as well if you have a bonus attack shot and you have already stuck SA on your Attack Action.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 2017-12-30 at 10:40 AM.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    I should basically just ask for a Gestalt character build that has 4 attacks,
    So a Fighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    a 75+ percent chance to hit,
    To hit against what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    oneturnkill on multiple low difficulty or single medium enemies.
    So a Fighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    And then also have stealth
    Proficiency in Stealth, get 20 in DEX.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    and Flight.
    A Broom of Flying or a Wizard buddy to adventure with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    So Basically a 20/10 Fighter/Wizard by level 20.
    20/10 Fighter/Wizard by level 20, really?

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Archers are good in 5e. The horrible taxes from 3.5 and PF are folded into the basic rules, essentially. They have a -5/+10 feat (the key to sky-high weapon damage) and a reliable bonus action attack feat to combo with, just like two-handed weapons. Flight is available from level 1 with the right race, and archery alone gets a bonus to attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Im asking the wrong things again.
    I should basically just ask for a Gestalt character build that has 4 attacks, a 75+ percent chance to hit, oneturnkill on multiple low difficulty or single medium enemies. And then also have stealth and Flight.

    So Basically a 20/10 Fighter/Wizard by level 20.
    Ummm... Aarakocra Battlemaster Fighter 20//Lore Bard 20 would be pretty horrifying. You can make a truly horrifying number of attacks per round, and have a boatload of inspiration/superiority dice to boost accuracy, and can use stolen spells like Bless, Haste, Swift Quiver, and Elemental Weapon to crank up the power. Aarakocra fly, and you've got both Expertise and the potential to nab Pass Without Trace to get your stealth checks into the stratosphere.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2017-12-30 at 10:46 AM.
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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    .


    I'm sure there's a role for Arcane spell -casters as well, but I can't think of it.
    Deal with the mooks so this team work can bring down the BBEG of the combat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talamare View Post
    I was in a party once that had 2 Rangers (I was one of them) and a Crossbow Rogue

    We also had a Paladin to 'tank', but after a while we just asked him stand behind us since it made more sense not to risk losing Bless than him trying to be somebody in the front.
    Basically every threat was pretty quickly nuked down, but we only got to Lv7.

    After a few weeks, the Paladin stopped coming which kinda of caused the group to fall apart.
    Personal reasons or because the paladin player didn't like being told not to do anything but cast a buff spell and let everyone else do the work?
    Last edited by Pex; 2017-12-30 at 10:47 AM.
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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosticket View Post
    Im asking the wrong things again.
    I should basically just ask for a Gestalt character build that has 4 attacks, a 75+ percent chance to hit, oneturnkill on multiple low difficulty or single medium enemies. And then also have stealth and Flight.

    So Basically a 20/10 Fighter/Wizard by level 20.
    College of Swords or College of Valor bard, take Crossbow Expert, Sharpshooter, and Elven Accuracy. You won't get four attacks without Swift Quiver, but you'll get three (one being a bonus action). College of Swords lets you add a d6 to damage and AC every round you take the attack action after level 14; before (and after) you can spend an Inspiration die and add that instead. (There are also some other options, one allowing for extra damage to grouped-up enemies, and one allowing you some movement.) Find a way to get Advantage and with Elven Accuracy you'll use the best of three d20 rolls per attack. Take Flight as a Magical Secret, and put Expertise in Stealth (and cast Greater Invisibility on yourself--easy Advantage against enemies without blindsense or truesight, and Disadvantage on enemy attack rolls against you).

    With a +5 to damage, your minimum damage per Sharpshooter attack is 16 (10+5+[minimum 1 from die roll]). Your average damage, not accounting for crits, will be roughly comparable to a Thief rogue getting Sneak Attack. Nothing stellar, but not too shabby either.

    Maybe take a level of Fighter for Archery Style, or dip Hexblade for damage and cutting down on MADness.

    And you're a fullcaster, with access to True Polymorph, Wish (via Secrets), etc.
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2017-12-30 at 10:57 AM.
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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Archers are good in 5e. The horrible taxes from 3.5 and PF are folded into the basic rules, essentially. They have a -5/+10 feat (the key to sky-high weapon damage) and a reliable bonus action attack feat to combo with, just like two-handed weapons. Flight is available from level 1 with the right race, and archery alone gets a bonus to attack.


    Ummm... Aarakocra Battlemaster Fighter 20//Lore Bard 20 would be pretty horrifying. You can make a truly horrifying number of attacks per round, and have a boatload of inspiration/superiority dice to boost accuracy, and can use stolen spells like Bless, Haste, Swift Quiver, and Elemental Weapon to crank up the power. Aarakocra fly, and you've got both Expertise and the potential to nab Pass Without Trace to get your stealth checks into the stratosphere.
    It's true, the Aarakocra is a good option if you want flight early.

    Flying Tieflings are also an option for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    Personal reasons or because the paladin player didn't like being told not to do anything but cast a buff spell and let everyone else do the work?
    "BMX Bandit & Angel Summoner"" hits hard, no matter the classes. I doubt the player enjoyed this setup much, even in the case it's not why they didn't come back.

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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    It's wonderful archery is a viable combat choice. That does not make melee chopped liver. Initiative isn't that important. You don't get more AC with DX than you would with heavy armor. DX saves do happen more than ST saves, but you still take damage from DX saves. If it's that big a deal to you melee has ways of dealing with it such as barbarian and paladin.

    Edit: Actually, Fighter too with a feat or a spell for Eldritch Knight.
    Last edited by Pex; 2017-12-30 at 11:00 AM.
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    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    I was too subtle in the opening post? It's a wishlist character I try to make in games and like I said its not fair, even scaled back.

    Marksmen, a person able to hit, and therefore destroy a target with high accuracy
    1 high accuracy. 100percent is impossible or at least too costly, so 75percent is acceptable
    2 high damage, when you fight its to kill as arrows kill. If instant death from BOOM HEADSHOT isnt possible then high per turn damage is acceptable.
    3 Range. Using a ranged weapon is for the benefit of not being countered, at least effectively.
    4 Other required skills to make the above possible such as escape abilities to avoid any enemies closing in and interrupting your attacks or stealth to never be detected.

    Overall its the equivalent of bringing a military sniper into roleplaying. Not likely in a medieval fantasy, but not impossible with the Arcane Trickster in 3.5/Pathfinder.

    I wondered if it was possible without magic in 5th, but seems less possible now.
    Last edited by Chaosticket; 2017-12-30 at 11:50 AM.

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    Beholder

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    Sep 2013

    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Winged Dispater or Glaysa Tiefling (Fiendish Options UA)
    Gestalt Battlemaster, Scout, or Monster Hunter Fighter|Lore Bard

    Battlemaster, Scout(UA Kits of Old), Monster Hunter(UA Gothic?, can't recall atm) all can use Superiority Dice to add to an Attack Roll. Fighters get the 4 Attacks. Lord Bard gets the most Magical Secrets. Valor is also a good choice because the can cast & attack, but you will have Action Surge for that sooo...

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Accuracy depends on the target's AC and the cover they have. Saying "75% accuracy" doesn't work without context.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default Re: "Dont bring a sword to a Bow Fight" Are ranged builds finally great in in 5th?

    Hi all a little side question here,
    Does the sharpshooter feat apply to all types of ranged weapons like daggers and hand axes, as well as bows x bows and the like ?

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