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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Bow Knight Build


    My character in my current campaign recently died of dehydration and disease after faffing around in a sewer for 30+ hours (long story), and I'm building her replacement. I'm basing the character on a Bow Knight from the Fire Emblem franchise, but that's not super important - the point is that he's supposed to be a horseback archer. I didn't want to invest 5 levels into paladin for a dex-based build, but my DM OK'd me having a riding horse as a Revised Ranger Beastmaster companion. We're level 5, and my current thought is either R. Ranger 4/Fighter 1 to snag mounted combatant as early as possible or R. Ranger 3/Fighter 2 for Action Surge and to put me on the path to Extra Attack ASAP. Since the character is an archer, I felt like going to Ranger 5 for Coordinated Attack is probably not worth it as my horse and I aren't usually going to be in melee so horsey mchorseface probably won't have much occasion to be making attacks.

    Looking for thoughts on what the final level split between Fighter and Ranger should end up being and what order the levels should be taken in. My instinct is to leave Ranger at 4 and take Fighter to 16 (probably Battlemaster), as bow knights in FE aren't particularly magical and don't really do the whole favored enemy thing, either. Probably looking to pick up Mounted Combatant (more for survivability on my companion than for advantage on melee attacks), XbX (so I can shoot in melee and give my horse a chance to attack if I want to), and SS (duh).

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Is there any particular reason for your horse to be anything other than a regular warhorse? If not, then you don't need those ranger or paldin levels.
    There's also a mounted fighter subtype in XGtE, the Cavalier. It might be worth looking into.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Personally, I would go fighter 5 (Probably battlemaster) and just buy a horse. Mounted combatant probably isn't necessary for a ranged character unless your DM goes out of his way to take down the horse.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent_bystan View Post
    Is there any particular reason for your horse to be anything other than a regular warhorse? If not, then you don't need those ranger or paldin levels.
    There's also a mounted fighter subtype in XGtE, the Cavalier. It might be worth looking into.
    Relatively limited gold availability + not many places to buy a horse means it'd be rough to get one in the first place and a pain in the rear whenever it died to get a replacement. Snagging a horse as a class feature dodges that problem. Also, it's nice to always have the same horse from a narrative perspective - it lets the horse be a character in its own right, which is less possible if you have a new horse every couple sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by CantigThimble View Post
    Personally, I would go fighter 5 (Probably battlemaster) and just buy a horse. Mounted combatant probably isn't necessary for a ranged character unless your DM goes out of his way to take down the horse.
    See above for why i'd rather not just buy a horse. Though you're right about being ranged making Mounted Combatant less necessary, leaning towards Ranger 3/Fighter 2

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Fair enough. In that case what about non-revised ranger 5? The revised ranger does a great job of incorporating the beast companion into combat but that isn't really what you're going for. You just want a horse while you shoot your bow.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by CantigThimble View Post
    Fair enough. In that case what about non-revised ranger 5? The revised ranger does a great job of incorporating the beast companion into combat but that isn't really what you're going for. You just want a horse while you shoot your bow.
    My understanding is that the PHB beastmaster's companion can't take actions without me giving up my action, while the revised Ranger's companion has its own action, so if I use it as a controlled mount I can have it Dash, Dodge, or Disengage every turn for free. Will talk to my DM about it tho

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by gloryblaze View Post
    Relatively limited gold availability + not many places to buy a horse means it'd be rough to get one in the first place and a pain in the rear whenever it died to get a replacement. Snagging a horse as a class feature dodges that problem. Also, it's nice to always have the same horse from a narrative perspective - it lets the horse be a character in its own right, which is less possible if you have a new horse every couple sessions



    See above for why i'd rather not just buy a horse. Though you're right about being ranged making Mounted Combatant less necessary, leaning towards Ranger 3/Fighter 2
    Yeah, but can't you just get your DM to not be a jerk about killing your horse without making you sacrifice a ton of levels? Beastmaster is just so.... ehhh even if you have a companion that's suited to it, which in this case you don't. Essentially you're burning at least 3 levels and your entire archetype for them for what amounts to narrative.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by gloryblaze View Post
    My understanding is that the PHB beastmaster's companion can't take actions without me giving up my action, while the revised Ranger's companion has its own action, so if I use it as a controlled mount I can have it Dash, Dodge, or Disengage every turn for free. Will talk to my DM about it tho
    Based on the rules for controlling a mount on page 182 it looks like a normal horse would be able to dodge, disengage or dash while you were controlling it and it seems odd to have that not apply to a companion mount. Regardless, at level 7 you'll get the ability to have the companion take those actions (or help) as your bonus action. It seems better to delay that to level 7 while getting extra attack at level 5 rather than delaying extra attack to level 7-8.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    What about lore bard 6 / fighter 14
    Pick up find steed and like some 3rd level ranger spell from magical secrets.
    Or any bard 10 / fighter 10 and find greater steed (pegusus) and swift quiver
    (Maybe Valor for bonus action attack)
    Then you can cherry pick ranger and horse spells

    *Best option: Or ask your dm if you can flavor eldritch blast into energy arrows. This way it naturally developes and adds charisma with agonizing blast and you add other effects with invocation, topping out at 5 energy arrows. you take find steed as a ritual for your tome at level 3 (but not greater as it's not a ritual) focus on support/aoe magic you can concentrate on and stay out of melee. Your choice of patron for flavor
    Last edited by MagneticKitty; 2018-07-12 at 06:00 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by AvvyR View Post
    Yeah, but can't you just get your DM to not be a jerk about killing your horse without making you sacrifice a ton of levels? Beastmaster is just so.... ehhh even if you have a companion that's suited to it, which in this case you don't. Essentially you're burning at least 3 levels and your entire archetype for them for what amounts to narrative.
    Well, the goal is to switch into Fighter, so it's not really my "entire archetype". 3 levels of delayed Fighter progression is kind of a bummer, but I get an extra fighting style, Natural Explorer, Primeval Sense, Favored Enemy, and 2 Hunter's Mark/day to make up for it. And horses are VERY prone to dying, even if your DM is purposefully NOT targeting it. For example, a riding horse on average dies to a Fireball even on a successful save, and it's not like it's making those saves very often (that is, unless it gets to add my proficiency bonus as my companion!). A warhorse isn't much better, dying on a failure to a single fireball or scraping through with only 5 hp on average on a failure. Furthermore, every time the horse dies I need to make a trip to a town big enough to have horses for sale, and then drop either 75gp for a riding horse or 400(!) gp for a warhorse, which is a pretty chunk of change when I have less than 50 gold total right now and I need to save up for studded leather or maybe plate armor for me and ideally plate barding (6,000 gp!) for the horse. Going the mundane route means I won't even have a horse for quite a while, and each time it dies that would be a major setback to my finances.

    Quote Originally Posted by CantigThimble View Post
    Based on the rules for controlling a mount on page 182 it looks like a normal horse would be able to dodge, disengage or dash while you were controlling it and it seems odd to have that not apply to a companion mount. Regardless, at level 7 you'll get the ability to have the companion take those actions (or help) as your bonus action. It seems better to delay that to level 7 while getting extra attack at level 5 rather than delaying extra attack to level 7-8.
    All good points! Will definitely discuss non-revised beastmaster with the DM

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    What about lore bard 6 / fighter 14
    Pick up find steed and like some 3rd level ranger spell from magical secrets.
    Or any bard 10 / fighter 10 and find greater steed (pegusus) and swift quiver
    (Maybe Valor for bonus action attack)
    Then you can cherry pick ranger and horse spells
    That was actually one of the first things I considered (as the character in question has the Entertainer background and is a dancer). My hangups are that it takes too long to get both the horse and extra attack online (at level 5, our current level, I'd have neither) and also that it's a bit too magical for my tastes
    Last edited by gloryblaze; 2018-07-12 at 05:55 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    So you want the ability to magically summon a horse... But bards are too magic... I added another build above but probably also too magic. Mystic has an arrow ability under nomad I think...

    Other than that I'd just go straight fighter and ask your dm if you can have/find/buy the horse statue (a magic item) or the ivory goat of travelling (reflavored horse)
    I think you'd be happiest with straight fighter tbh

    *New idea: play a centaur (ua) and just be the horse. :)
    Nah I kid but would be funny
    Last edited by MagneticKitty; 2018-07-12 at 06:11 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    So you want the ability to magically summon a horse... But bards are too magic... I added another build above but probably also too magic. Mystic has an arrow ability under nomad I think...

    Other than that I'd just go straight fighter and ask your dm if you can have/find/buy the horse statue (a magic item) or the ivory goat of travelling (reflavored horse)
    I think you'd be happiest with straight fighter tbh
    It's relatively easy to fluff the horse as just a particularly durable and friendly horse that your character has befriended / tamed, and if it dies, you can say it was just injured and the 50gp resurrection = medicine and treatment for the wounds. Less easy to justify the fact that from level 1 through 6 I'd be playing a full-caster and would need to regularly use spells to not just be a Cruddy Rogue

    Hadn't thought of the horse statuette! That would work, although I don't think I'll be able to guarantee that I get one. This is a very low magic campaign

    EDIT: wait nevermind about the statuettes. The goat one can only be used for 1 day / week, and the steed can only be used once / 5 days and also has a 10% chance to send my Good character to Hades each time I use it lol
    Last edited by gloryblaze; 2018-07-12 at 06:19 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by gloryblaze View Post
    It's relatively easy to fluff the horse as just a particularly durable and friendly horse that your character has befriended / tamed, and if it dies, you can say it was just injured and the 50gp resurrection = medicine and treatment for the wounds. Less easy to justify the fact that from level 1 through 6 I'd be playing a full-caster and would need to regularly use spells to not just be a Cruddy Rogue

    Hadn't thought of the horse statuette! That would work, although I don't think I'll be able to guarantee that I get one. This is a very low magic campaign
    Ask your dm if your beast master horse scales hit dice, prof to ac, and Asis when you mc out of it. Important to find out

    The only other horse spell I can think of is phantom steed which is a level 3 spell. Meaning it comes online at wizard 3 or arcane trickster 10. Maybe ask your dm if you can eldritch knight with paladin spells. If so you can use a mundane horse until lv 7, after which you use it until it dies and bring it's spirit back with find steed. (Interresting narritively speaking. It also gains intelligence from the find steed spell which is cool)

    Robe of useful items, but all the items are horses? Lol it does have riding horse in it but I've not though about using it as a horse dispenser.
    Last edited by MagneticKitty; 2018-07-12 at 06:28 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    Ask your dm if your beast master horse scales hit dice, prof to ac, and Asis when you mc out of it. Important to find out

    The only other horse spell I can think of is phantom steed which is a level 3 spell. Meaning it comes online at wizard 3 or arcane trickster 10. Maybe ask your dm if you can eldritch knight with paladin spells. If so you can use a mundane horse until lv 7, after which you use it until it dies and bring it's spirit back with find steed. (Interresting narritively speaking. It also gains intelligence from the find steed spell which is cool)
    Yeah in our campaign the Ranger horse scales with character level

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Well gee, that's the most op 3 level dip ever. Go with that then.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    Well gee, that's the most op 3 level dip ever. Go with that then.
    It's definitely pretty good but I'm not aiming to break it or anything. Since I don't really plan to have the horse attack it's basically all going to survivability of the horse, not increasing my DPR.

    Although I am considering going RR 5 and just using rapier + shield + coordinated assault until level 10 when I get Extra Attack from Fighter 5, since Bow Knights do use swords in the source material. Or maybe just taking XbX at Ranger 4 so I can use longbow + coordinated assault for a while.
    Last edited by gloryblaze; 2018-07-12 at 06:36 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Aside from the energy arrows I suggested, insyead you can do lv 3 Warlock for find steed (a level 2 spell) which does rituals half your level rounded up. 3/2=1.5 rounded up. Then fighter the rest of the way. Cheaper and faster than ranger horse because that takes 8 hours to call back. Find steed ritual takes 20 minutes and costs nothing. Take utility spells for the rest, and maybe hex for extra damage. Take spells that don't have flashy effects and to them as effects.
    This is probably least magic earliest level cheapest horse.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: Bow Knight Build

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    Aside from the energy arrows I suggested, insyead you can do lv 3 Warlock for find steed (a level 2 spell) which does rituals half your level rounded up. 3/2=1.5 rounded up. Then fighter the rest of the way. Cheaper and faster than ranger horse because that takes 8 hours to call back. Find steed ritual takes 20 minutes and costs nothing. Take utility spells for the rest, and maybe hex for extra damage. Take spells that don't have flashy effects and to them as effects.
    This is probably least magic earliest level cheapest horse.
    The two rituals you get from Book of Ancient Secrets have to be 1st level spells, after that you copy rituals into your book in the same way as a wizard, so I'd have to find a scroll of Find Steed or a wizard with Find Steed in his spell book, which seems... unlikely haha

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