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The PCs reached sixth level at the end of last week's game session. The Healer took Craft Wondrous Item as his sixth-level feat, so he can start cranking out helpful little things for the party, like goodberry bracelets and everfull mugs. The Warlock's taking Extra Invocation, but is still looking over the list for what to choose.
I asked the Scout's player if she'd heard of the "Swift Hunter" feat. She said she hadn't, so I showed it to her. I pointed out the benefits of it, and she decided to take a level in Ranger instead of another in Scout, so as to qualify for the feat. She then asked me if she could substitute one of her previous levels in Scout for one in Ranger, and I allowed her to do so. Since she's already archery-focused, she picked the archery combat style.
After last night's session, she said she'd be taking more levels in ranger when she got the chance, and asked me if it'd be all right to respec her character some more, swapping another old level of Scout for another Ranger level. She's a little enthusiastic about getting an animal companion, and we also pointed out that the Ranger gets spellcasting at the same level (and her character has a good Wisdom score, anyway).
Wild Cohort, http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118a , would help as far as getting a companion without taing as many Ranger levels goes (this would also be improved by all of her character levels). If she can't afford to retrain a feat to get WC, letting her take a Flaw could help.
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And if she doesn't take Wild Cohort (because she'll be taking enough Ranger levels to boost her a companion a little more, etc.), she could always take Natural Bond (it's in Complete Adventurer or Complete Warrior, don't remember which), which can help negate the penalties to Effective Druid Level as far as companions are concerned.
The Playgrounder Formerly Known as rtg0922
The mystic swift hunter paired with the Sword of the Arcane Order feat from Champions of Valor could be pretty nifty.
Though you may want to look at a few more ranger options, like the urban companion from the cityscape web enhancement.
This, this, so much this! If she likes the casting (and honestly, Ranger-casting is AWESOME for Archers with Spell Compendium-spells; just show it to her and she'll love it), Mystic Ranger is Swift Hunter to 10th power or something; it's so good it hurts. Not broken, but comes in quick enough to let the player enjoy and has enough gas to use lots of different spells all day. I love Mystic Ranger in Spell Compendium-games, and Sword of the Arcane Order [Champions of Valor] adds some Arcane spells to your list (generally given to servants of God of Magic though; it's an FR feat for Mystra).
It loses AC though, but as it's pretty weak anyways, that's not bad: She can pick Wild Cohort and end up with a superior companion that way, especially if you allow for Natural Bond to mitigate the adjustment to the boosts. So yah, seconding this. I'll bet she'd love to have a companion already.
If you really want things to get out of hand, give her a Splitting bow. Twice the attacks and twice the Skirmish.
Chameleon Base Class [3.5]/[PF]: A versatile, morphic class that mimics one basic party role (warrior, caster, sneak, etc) at a time. If you find yourself getting bored of any class you play too long, the Chameleon is for you!
Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.