Build: Brutal Scoundrel/Hand Crossbow/Sharpshooter/Deadly Trickster
Synopsis: Constant combat advantage, multiple ranged attacks per round in addition to stacked modifiers, and resulting in very good DPR, rivaling that of melee focused builds, while providing limited/no exposure to enemy attacks.
Note: I have changed this thread alot and removed a good deal from it. Changes with other books make it harder to make comparitive math, however it seems to me with the addition of critical increases from the PHB2, the hand crossbow rogue is something to be feared. Also note that if you do not intend to play until epic levels, at character creation you can opt for a higher strength vs constitution modifier since we only get that for the 'steady shooter' feat. if you DO go to epic levels, consider keeping it as it will turn out to be a solid +3 damage for little investment.
“Welcome to my Parlor” said the Spider to the Fly
Option: Brutal Scoundrel
22 PT Buy
- STR: 13(13)
- DEX: 20(18)
- CON: 13(13)
- INT: 8(8)
- CHA: 10(8)
- WIS: 10(10)
Attribute Overview at levels 11, 21 and 30:
16 STR (+3 Mod)(+1 level 4, +1 level 8)
14 CON (+2 Mod)
23 DEX (+6 Mod)(+1 level 4, +1 level 8)
9 INT (-1 Mod)
13 CHA (+1 Mod)
11 WIS (+0 Mod)
19 STR(+4 Mod)(+1 level 14, +1 level 18)
15 CON(+2 Mod)
26 DEX(+8 Mod)(+1 level 14, +1 level 18)
10 INT(+0 Mod)
14 CHA(+2 Mod)
12 WIS(+1 Mod)
20 STR(+5 Mod)(+1 level 24)
16 CON(+2 Mod)(+1 level 28)
28 DEX(+9 Mod)(+1 level 24, +1 level 28)
10 INT(+0 Mod)
14 CHA(+2 Mod)
12 WIS(+1 Mod)
1) Weapon Expertise: Hand crossbow
2) Distant Advantage (retrain to Weapon Focus at 16th once you receive hide in plain sight)
4) Ruthless Hunter
6) MC Feat: Warrior of the Wild
10) Novice Power (Scattering Volley)
11) Danger Sense(steady shooter if optimized for paragon, push rest back, kill bleeding backstab).
12) Merciless Killer
14) Two Fisted Shooter
16) Adept Power (Attacks on the Run)
18) Slaying Action
20) Bleeding Backstab (retrain to Crossbow Mastery at level 21)
21) Brutal Advantage
22) Steady Shot
24) Martial Mastery
26) Whirling Sneak Attack (Crack Shot)
28) Brutal Wound
30) Rattling Exploit (Crack Shot)
Skills: Stealth, Thievery, Intimidate, Acrobatics, Perception, + any other.
At Will: Deft Strike, Disheartening Strike
1. Unbalancing Shot
3. Enforced Threat
7. Cloud of Steel
10. Acolyte Power: Scattering Volley (Replaces Enforced Threat)
11. Stab and Shoot
13. Tornado Strike (Replaces Unbalancing Shot)
16. Power Swap: Snap Shot (replaced Cloud of Steep)
17. Triple Shot (replaces Scattering Volley)
23. Crack Shot (replaces Snap Shot)
27. Safe Bet (replaces Tornado Strike)
End: Triple Shot, Safe Bet, Crack Shot, Stab and Shoot
1. Blinding Barrage
5. Walking Wound
9. Burst Fire
15. Slaying Strike (replaces Walking Wound)
16. Adept Power: Attacks on the Run (replaces Slaying Strike)
19. Daunting Barrage (replaces Blinding Barrage)
20. Escalating Barrage
25. Magnetic Shot (replaces Burst Fire)
29. Adept Power: Five Missle Dance (replaces Attacks on the Run)
End: Five Missle Dance, Magnetic Shot, Daunting Barrage, Escalating Barrage
Utility Powers: (W=At Will. E=Encounter. D=Daily)
2. Fleeting Ghost (W)
6. Chameleon (W) (Can be power swapped after 16th for Ferret out Fraility (E)
10. Executioner's Mien (D)
12. Perfect Aim (E)
16. Hide in Plain Sight (E)
22. Raise the Stakes (D)
Still under some development.
Main Hand: +6 Subtle dagger
Off Hand: +6 Mind Iron Hand Crossbow
Armor: +6 Displacers Leather (If it looks like the dm will try to push you out of invisibility, pop this!)
Arm: +6 Bracers of Archery
Head: +1 Headband Of Intellect
Neck: + 6 Cloak of Displacement (this should further make it impossible to move you from invisibility).
Ring: Shadow Band or Nullyfing Ring (if your DM is out to get you out of invisibility, choose the later).
Hand: Level 26 Caustic Gauntlets (6 extra acid damage per ranged attack, not shabby. Also hits adjacent creatures for 3d6 damage)
Feet: Zephir Boots (Light Step Slippers at lower levels)
Waist: Baldric of Valor (item bonus to attack wont stack with our headband, but theres not much in belts we want). Misc: Violet Solitaire (gain AP on crit, spend this turn)
Potion of Clarity +1 (pop this early in a fight, use it to reroll your higher W attacks)
Caustic Whetstones + 2 (cheap)
Black Dragon Bile (cheap!)
Surprise Bullets (For before level 16. At 30 gold a pop they are a cheap way to get combat advantage).
At Will: Deft Strike, Disheartening Strike(second choice can be anything really.
Level 1--Encounter: Unbalancing Shot (1E)
Level 1--Daily: Blinding Barrage (1D)
Level 2--Utility: Fleeting Ghost. This will let us be a scout and sneak around at more or less full speed without taking penalties.
Level 3--Encounter: Enforced Threat (2E) (Current: Unbalancing Shot, Enforced Threat)
Level 5--Daily: Walking Wound (2D) (Current: Blinding Barrage, Walking Wound)
Level 6--Utility: Chameleon. Chameleon is nicer that the later version, as it lets you stealth in the open without cover until 'the end of your next turn'.This is going to be useful if you use party members 'as cover' to remain in hiding. This will allow them to move and you to stay in hiding until the end of your next turn.
Level 7--Encounter: Cloud of Steel or Snap Shot (if your ST is more into BBEGS than mass minions, Snap Shot, otherwise stick with cloud of steel. Later with whirl wind sneak attack, combining it with cloud of darkness can mean alot of sneak attacks)
(3E) (Current: Unbalancing Shot, Enforced Threat, Cloud of Steel)
Level 9--Daily: Burst Fire (nice burst, hits enemies only, misses for half. Targets Reflex). Alternate: Vexing Sting. Being reliable is nice. Also targets reflex.
(3D) (Current: Blinding Barrage, Walking Wound, Burst Fire)
Level 10--Utility: Executioner's Mien--Yes your not ruthless, but making every attack give a -2 to attacks is nice and will make your party love you. At this level you should be getting into the swing of not being attacked very often, so combat tumble set doesn't look at desirable. Alternate: Gap in the Armor.
At this level we use our Acolyte power to swap out Enforced Threat for Scattering Volley (two attacks for 1W+Dex + Slides the target 1 Square).
(3E) (Current: Unbalancing Shot, Scattering Volley, Cloud of Steel)
Level 11--Encounter: Stab and Shoot (PP). Melee attack that then triggers a ranged attack. This is used on the first round of combat (dash in, use it, then next round move out, and cloud of darkness per normal).
(4E) (Current: Unbalancing Shot, Scattering Volley, Cloud of Steel, Stab and Shoot(PP))
Level 12--Utility: Perfect Aim(PP). A +1 to hit and damage before using a daily. Not bad.
Level 13--Encounter: Tornado Strike. Beats out skip shot because its two attack rolls for 2W+dex vs Skips vs ref for 2W + Dex and flat Dex vs another target. Being brutal vs artful provides no benefit (shift 2 vs shift 1+1, same deal).
(4E---Unbalancing Shot) (Current: Scattering Volley, Tornado Strike, Cloud of Steel, Stab and Shoot(PP))
Level 15--Daily: Slaying Strike. A strength attack that works with ranged! Wait till their bloodies and youll wallop them from cloud of shadows. 5W+Dex+2x STr with combat advantage! and half on a miss built in. Not bad!
(3D--Replace Walking Wound) (Current: Blinding Barrage, Slaying Strike, Burst Fire)
Level 16--Utility: Hide in Plain Sight; This will make your DM cry. Its best to still get things like rings of invisibility and the like to back this up. Eventually your DM will try to break you out of hiding if you use this every fight (which you will be doing!).
At this level we receive the Adept Power Feat and promptly exchange Slaying Strike (5w+dex+str 18-20 crit, half miss) for Shot on the Run (two attacks, 3W+dex, half on miss, and no range restrictions. We want to keep burst fire because, as long as it hits 2 targets, its going to be very competitive with damage vs slaying strikes output. Of course we wont use the 'one the run' option unless you want to open with this attack.
We swap Cloud of Steel for Snap Shot. Once we have hide in plain sight, we want to keep our distance from the fight as much as possible, so close blasts stop being ideal.
(Current: Scattering Volley, Tornado Strike, Snap Shot, Stab and Shoot(PP))
(3D--slaying Strike) (Current: Attacks on the Run, Blinding Barrage, Burst Fire)
Level 17--Encounter: Triple Shot! Three 1W+Dex attacks is a no brainier here. Pounding Barrage passives are not nice enough to negate the inability to attack multiple foes. Because we can only have one ranger encounter at a time from multi classing, we replace Scattering Volley. Remember the key here is keeping CA, and we will be going into Hide in Plain Sight fast, so close blasts arnt that great o
(4E---Scattering Volley) (Current: Triple Shot, Tornado Strike, Snap Shot, Stab and Shooter(PP))
Level 19---Daily: Daunting Barrage. Close Blast 5, hits for half, so its an great minion killer. Hits reasonably hard, even vs Marked Beatting its only 2W less and it hits a much larger area. Has the rattling keyword and target is dazed until save? The biggest reason we take this is more attacks. More attacks=more chances to crit, more times we apply our damage modifiers. Infact when you compare this to Marked Beating, its pretty favorable even in its single target damage. Assuming you can get 3 people in your close blast 5's (not that hard) then you are making out like a bandit on this.
(3D--Blinding Barrage) (Current: Daunting Barrage, Attacks on the Run, Burst Fire)
Level 20-- Daily: Escalating Barrage(PP). Another triple hitting attack! First hit is basically a ranged basic but after that, you keep gaining accuracy and damage on every other attack. The only downside is each attack as to be on a new target, however unlike some other powers, you dont need to hit to enjoy the cummulative bonuses on attacks. Sexy!
(4D)(Current: Daunting Barrage, Burst Fire, Attacks on the Run, Escalating Barrage (PP))
Level 22--Utility: Raise the Stakes. For two rounds a day you can increase your crit change to 17-20. Use this along with your multi attack powers and action points. Since were invisible, the down side does not truely hurt us.
Level 23--Encounter: Crack Shot. While Manticores Volley, its not that much better than Triple Shot (another 5 or 10 damage if all attacks hit), and we would need to replace triple shot if we did that, and that best option there is Geurilla blitz (2W + dex+strength, not that great). The decision is Crack Shot vs Blindside. Blind Side: It hits fairly hard, but because we will be in hiding, its another method of dazing a foe and helping our party. Snap Shot loses its luster at this level. Crack Shot is a better overall but the limit of 10 squares can make it limiting. For a pure 'sniper', keep blind side. However the limit of 10 squares is not that bad; use it early in the encounter, preferably on round two after you already used stab and shoot and enter your cloud of darkness. Later we will apply whirling sneak attack to this.
(4E--Snap Shot) (Current: Triple Shot, Tornado Strike, Crack Shot, Stab and Shooter(PP))
Level 25--Daily. Magnetic Shot. Not much choice here. Hits harder than slaying, targets ref, still half misses, does not crit as much though. Rogues Resurgence is an option and it does get us back an encounter power OR hits for 8W, which is nice but the fact there is no half damage on a miss makes it unpallatable for me.
(4D--Replaces Burst Fire)(Current: Magnetic Shot, Attacks On the Run, Daunting Barrage, Escalating Barrage(PP))
Level 27--Encounter: Safe Bet. Safe Bet is 4W +Dex and another attack for 2W+Dex (basics at this level)). You could take hail of arrows (and be the official minion killer of at this level) but if you have any other characters with bursts/blasts, i think you should stay with Safe Bet.
(4E--Replaces Tornado Strike) (Current: Triple Shot, Safe Bet, Crack Shot, Stab and Shoot(PP))
Level 29-- Daily: Five Missile Dance. Yes....no Assassins Point. 5 attacks at 2W a peice + modifiers. So thats a total of 10W + 5x your modifiers vs 7W + 1x your modifiers + 2x sneak attack. Since we have brutal advantage, after your first sneak attack, each next hit (remember your invisible) is going to deal additional damage equal to your strength. On top of that you get some control on the creature via pushes and knock prones, but this is really just garnish to the HUGE damage. We ditch Attacks on the Run.
(4D--Replaces Attacks on the Run (GASP))(Current: Five-Missile Dance, Magnetic, Daunting Barrage, Escalating Barrage(PP)).
Encounters: Triple Shot(3 attacks), Safe Bet(2 attacks), Crack Shot(At least one extra attack with any amount of aiming), Stab and Shoot(PP)(1 extra attack))
Daily: Five-Missile Dance(insanity)(5 attacks), Magnetic (hard hit, accurate), Daunting Barrage (close blast 5 with debuffing), Escalating Barrage(3 attacks, escalating damage and accuracy).
Early game 1-10
Start with unbalancing shot on something you beat in initiative. After that going into cloud of darkness. Some melee might need to be done beyond round 3 but hopefully deft strike keeps you ranged. Ask your DM if there are bushes, as you can probably claim them as superior concealment and hide behind them, overwise look for other places of total concealment (this generally is not an issue in a dungeon, plenty of doorways and the like). Distant Advantage should allow you and your party to work together to keep your combat advantage going.
In this level range you come into your own. You will start combats landing stab and shoot (unless you plan to use blinding barrage, then use stab and shoot on round 2 and delay everything else to round 3) and then moving back, entering your cloud of darkness and continuing. Once you hit 16th youll step into hide in plain sight. Positioning on round 2 for your cloud of darkness is critical and will be something you need to practice. Position yourself close enough to ensure you can land all your attacks can be used, but far enough behind your tanks so that reaching you is not easy for any bull rush attempts. Be careful of creatures with tremorsense. These guys can see through invisibility...if your close enough. Most creatures with tremorsense only have a range of 5 or 10 on this ability, so just stay outside range and you'll be ok.
Many sources of added attacks. You are dealing very good DPR, and brutal advantage is ensuring that those extra attacks are each dealing + STR mod damage. Triple Shot, Safe Bet, Crack Shot and Stab and Shoot are great sources of damage. Dailies are used on big bad guys, with Five-Missile Dance being utterly insane. Escalating Barrage seems ideal when fighting groups of elites (save your last shot for the biggest bad in the group!). Use your swift shot crossbow on round one. Quick Draw out your mind iron and go from there. The +1 to attacks and being able to make your daily attacks focus on Will is a huge benefit to your offense. The load 'minor' is nothing really; once in invisibility we will never really use our minors. If it becomes an issue, quick draw back to swift shot.
Defense is never really an issue unless your DM targets you. In these cases remember this. The only way to end Hide In Plain Sight is to be MOVED. This reduces what creatures are even able to get you out of this effect. Your cloak will give you a +2 to ac/ref. At the end of every turn, make a stealth check; monsters need to guess what square your in. Boots give you a +6 bonus. If the DM is hell bent on getting you, pop your armors (Displacement) daily ability; they will need to roll twice to hit you and use the lower of the two! This on top of the -5 penalty for not seeing you and +2 provided by your cloak, as well as any penalties from being marked/etc should be enough to ensure that only a crit (5%) is going to get you out of invisibility. If that happens, use your shadow bands daily power to gain full concealment for the encounter, and use your move actions to hide in the open.
20% of your attacks(crits) will explode into another attack(which can inturn, explode again), as well as land the high crit property. Nothing to laugh at with your 8 die damage for weapon attacks. Accuracy should not be an issue with weapon expertise, combat advantage and your mind iron bows.
Unless your DM is gunning for you, you should not face a situation like this that often, and with the built in defenses with this build, you should be fine
Extra Attacks Per Encounter:
Triple Shot: 2
Safe Bet: 1
Stab and Shoot: 1
Swift Shot Weapon: 1
Crack Shot : 2+
Action Point generated free attack: 1 (when AP is used)
Deadly Trickster Benefits and Synergies
--We use our 3 rerolls on Magnetic Shot, Safe Bet, etc or other attacks which hit for 4W or harder and trigger other effects.
--15% of our encounter or dailies wont be expended. When teamed up with epic trick and a long fight, this can mean an extra daily or encounter power. Teamed up with the rerolls above, the chances increase.
--Our level 30 power isnt going to effect us much, so its being ignored.
--Epic Trick is well...epic. We wont take much damage with this build, however recovering all of our powers is utterly amazing, and lets us keep up the offense.
Damage at 30th (ranged basic attack)
2W(9.5) + Dex(9) + STR(5) + Weapon Ench (6) + Steady Shot (3) + Merciless Killer (2.5) + Weapon Focus (3) + Bracers of Archery (6) + Subtle Dagger (6) = 50 damage
Sneak Attack Adds 22.5 Damage
So our first ranged basic attack each round deals 72.5 damage.
Subsiquent attacks will deal 50.
One encounter per day add 6 damage to the above plus 3d6 splash from Caustic Gloves but for now, lets ignore that.
10% crit rate adjusts these figures as following (including high crit and magic damage).
Base Damage = 59.5
Sneak Attack= 40
Weapon Enchancement = 21 (6d6)
High Crit = 10.5
Lets apply a 20% miss rate (meaning a 4 or less misses which sounds good).
This will proc an offhand attack for free. For simplicity I will assume the offhand free attack does NOT crit itself (although it could).
This means out of every 20 attack rolls (assuming a large enough base of rolls here, statistics vs probability and all) i will crit twice, miss 4 times, hit 16. My crits will yeild 2 more attacks which have a 80% chance of landing each. Ignoring that those attacks can crit as well.
First Attack 84.8125 damage on average on our first standard 2W attack per turn.
Subsequent Attacks: 66.375
So there are builds that do more damage sure but when you look at it, many of our attacks are hitting many times in a turn. In fact we rarely got through any encounter without hitting at least twice in a turn, meaning on 'average' we are putting out about 151.1875 damage in a turn if we attack twice. The numbers go up as you would imagine. Crack shotting 3 creatures pushes you into 200 damage out put, as do your encounters and the such. Our dailies are pushing out insane damage to a single target (5 missle dance is able to put out 350.3125).
Poping your Caustic gloves will further increase this damage (about 5.4 damage per hit + the 3d6 splash damage).
Now again, other builds can do stuff to but the keys here are as follows:
A) you are relatively safe. There are few creatures that can see you in invisibility, and those situations are going to be rare. If your DM is breaking this out on you every fight, then your DM hates you. Roll a cleric or something. On the plus side in any standard game, you are not taking up healing or other focus from your party.
B) You are able to take out multiple targets in a given round. Save for other ranger builds, 'insane' damage builds generally can only do the damage to a single creature. While they excell vs solos and elites, strategically its nicer to be able and divide up your damage across multiple enemies.
C) Like sorcerers, your adding your secondary stat to all targets in a round thanks to brutal advantage. Unlike sorcerers you dont have to fear hitting your party. That does not make your a sorcerer replacement as they have many more aoes, but it makes you competitive in their own department. Meanwhile you have the single target damage per round of a ranger (or better unless they are using an abused build).