Arcane Archer revamp PEACH

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Ok, so some discussion on the optimization bords put an idea into my head the other night for a revamped version of the arcane archer, This is what I have so far, and I'm looking for a little feed back. I finished this up at around 2:30 am last night, so if anyone notes any mistakes please feel free to point them out (by mistakes I mean mathematical, or grammatical), otherwise, thoughts, opinions, ect, on how you think this redone version would play, enjoy picking me apart lady's and gentlemen!



Arcane Archer revamp


The purpose of this revamp is to make the Arcane Archer not only an appealing class to play, but to make it balance by that standards set forth by other supplemental prestige classes. This revamp has the following goals in mind:


A)    Making the Arcane Archer more fluid as part of an arcane casting build that utilizes ranged weaponry.


B)    Giving the class more utility via augmenting some of its class abilities, and giving additional uses to others.


C)    Encouraging the player to complete all the levels of the prestige class by offering incentive to do so that will not hinder a primary caster as much as the current class features do.


With these goals in mind, let us review the revamped Arcane Archer.


Entry prerequisites:


Race: Any Elf or Half-Elf


Base Attack Bonus: +6


Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (long bow or short bow)


Spells: Ability to cast 3rd-level arcane spells


The Arcane Archer


Hit Die: d8


Class Skills: Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis)


Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int Modifier




























































Level



Base Attack Bonus



Fort Save



Ref Save



Will Save



Special



Spellcasting



1st



+1



+2



+2



+0



Enhance Weapon, Imbue Ammo



 



2nd



+2



+2



+2



+0



Armored Mage, Seeker Arrow



+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class



3rd



+3



+3



+3



+1



Phase Shot



 



4th



+4



+4



+4



+1



Arrow Storm



+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class



5th



+5



+4



+4



+1



Arrow of Death



 



 


Class Features


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An Arcane Archer is proficient with all martial weapons, and with light armor, but not shields.


Armored Mage (Ex): Normally, armor of any type interferes with an arcane spellcaster's gestures, which can cause his spells to fail (if those spells have somatic components). An Arcane Archer of 2nd level however can avoid arcane spell failure as long as he sticks to light armor. This training does not extend to medium or heavier armors, nor shields. This ability only apply to spells gained from the class he has added his +1 existing level of spell casting to.


Enhance Weapon (Su): Any projectile weapon used by an Arcane Archer gains the benefit of a greater magic weapon spell as long as the weapon is in hand with a caster level equal to the character level of the Arcane Archer. Only weapons with which the Arcane Archer are proficient with  gain this benefit, and the weapon can only gain a maximum enhancement bonus equal to their Arcane Archer level. For example, Lucian a 5th level wizard, 4th level fighter, 1st level arcane archer would have an effective caster level of 10, normally granting a +3 enhancement bonus to a weapon. However since Lucian has only 1 arcane archer level, any projectile weapon he wields only gains a +1 enhancement bonus. When Lucian advances to a 3rd level arcane archer however he would gain the full benefit of Enhance Ammo’s caster level relative to his arcane archer level. This ability only effects weapons and not ammunition intended to be used for the weapon.


Imbue Ammo (Sp): An arcane archer gains the ability to place an area spell upon a piece of ammunition. When the ammunition is fired, the spell’s area is centered on where the ammunition lands, even if the spell could normally be centered only on the caster. This ability allows the archer to use the weapon’s range rather than the spell’s range. It takes a standard action to cast the spell and fire the ammunition. The ammunition must be fired in the round the spell is cast, or the spell is wasted.


Seeker Shot (Sp): At 2nd level, an arcane archer can launch an attack with a ranged weapon at a target known to her within range, and the ammunition travels to the target, even around corners. Only an unavoidable obstacle or the limit of the weapon’s range prevents the attacks flight. This ability negates cover and concealment modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally. Using this ability is a standard action (and shooting the ammunition is part of the action) that the arcane archer can use a number of times per day equal to his class level.


Spells per Day: At 2nd level and 4th, an arcane archer gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in whatever arcane spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic or item creation feats, bard or assassin abilities, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of arcane archer to the level of whatever other arcane spellcasting class the character has, and then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly. If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before she became an arcane archer, she must decide to which class she adds each level of arcane archer for the purpose of determining spells per day.


Phase Shot (Sp): At 3rd level, an arcane archer can launch an attack with a ranged weapon at a target known to her within range, and the shot travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any nonmagical barrier or wall in its way. (A wall of force, a wall of fire, or the like stops the arrow.) This ability negates cover, concealment, and even armor modifiers (except armor modifiers from force effects such as mage armor or shield), but otherwise the attack is rolled normally. Using this ability is a standard action (and shooting the ammunition is part of the action) that the arcane archer can use a number of times per day equal to his class level.


Arrow Storm (Sp): At 4th level, an arcane archer can use Arrow Storm (spell compendium pg. 16) as a spell like ability usable a number of times per day equal to her class level.


Arrow of Death (Sp): At 5h level, an arcane archer can create an arrow of death that forces the target, if damaged by the arrow’s attack, to make a DC 20 Fortitude save or be slain immediately. It takes one day to make an arrow of death and the arrow only functions for the arcane archer who created it. The arrow of death lasts no longer than one year, and the archer can only have one such arrow in existence at a time.


Design notes:


You may have noticed that the wording of the arcane archers abilities have been altered slightly. This was done so that an arcane archer would not be limited to a bow and arrow when using most of their abilities, but still encourage the use of a bow via the feat prerequisites, and select class abilities. The arcane archer can just as easily utilize a hand cross bows or a ballista with abilities like phase shot and seeker shot however he is still restricted to the use of a bow with arrow storm and arrow of death, giving him a little leeway with the weapons he uses at a given time, but still making a bow the most optimal weapon in his arsenal. The class has been reduced to a 5th level cap as opposed to a 10th level cap in order to make its options more appealing and to service spell casting advancement more.


On that note, two levels of spell casting advancement have been added in as to not nerf the casting capabilities as the prior version did, well also not giving away “free bees” by making it a full casting progression. Another simple reason why arcane archer has been condensed into five levels is that it’s particularly strong attributes of good base attack, fortitude saves, and reflexes saves (all week points of the standard caster) would not be exploited by a prolonged level advancement like its prior rendition that simply had spell casting advancement “slapped over it”. The +2 additional levels or existing arcane spell casting on the other hand give a slight advancement to the core spell casting of any overall build well not making it the focus of the class.


The addition of the armored mage ability is also a tweak that gives spell casters a little bit more standing power and utilizes proficiencies that a build would likely already have, but not be able to use due to arcane spell failure. Finally, the addition of multiple uses of class ability fixes a problem the previous arcane archer had, which was a lack of options relative to encounters. Originally everything save for Imbue arrow was usable only once per day, putting a painful choice on the player as to whether or not to use X ability in Y scenario. Giving multiple uses takes the worry out of using Phase Shot (formerly phase arrow) in one encounter, because there are more uses of them left in the day.

You wanted Errors:  Greater Magic Weapon provides a bonus of +1 per four caster levels.  This means +2 for a 10th-level caster.

Sealed
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If you've read my previous posts on the AA it should be expected that I'm not all that impressed by it.  Looking at it right now it is maybe a two level dip and there is certainly no real reason to go five levels deep in it.  I'll explain more:

Prereqs:  I see you added 3rd-level spells which no longer means the AA is a "martial class requiring a bit of spellcasting" but is now a full blow "PrC for real spellcasters."  Ultimately that changes how people view the class and by default means it MUST be more suited to spellcaster who want to avoid the unspoke rule "Thou shall not give up caster levels!"

Armored Mage:  Nice easy way for any caster get gain the ability to cast in light armor.  Perhaps it's a throw away ability considering it isn't too hard to get some light armors down to 0 ASF.

Enhanced Weapon:  Better and WORSE then the normal AA ability.  It's in that you may not get the bonuses as fas and better because you can get them fast.  This ability can eventually give +5 with only five class levels but it does miss out where the EPIC AA (this class can't go epic) gets to shoot +6 arrows.

Seeker Shot/Phase Shot/Arrow Storm:  If you consider these abilities to be better then the previous then why does the character get to use them multiple times when they are first gained?  I agree they shouldn't all be "once per day" abilities but I think letting you use ALL of them multiple times a day is too much.

Arrow of Death:  While this can come online very early is suffers the same problem the normal AA's AoD does in the long run.  DC 20 just isn't that much at the higher levels.

Spellcasting Increase:  Something I don't believe is needed when the AA is a martial class that needs a little magic but when you turned this into a spellcaster's class it is something that is needed.


As I look at this it is either a two or maybe four level dip.  Two levels gets me Armored Mage, the ability to Imbue Arrows, a couple uses of Seeker Shot so I can avoid cover/concealment, and only costs me a level of spellcasting.  Two more levels cost me another level of spellcasting (not something to look forward to) be gets Phase Arrow and Arrow Storm up to FOUR times per day while increasing the number of Seeker Shots that can be made.  Because the character who uses this classis primarily a spellcaster your Enhanced Weapon ability (and its level based limitation) isn't worth so much.  The 5th-level of this class is basically a complete waste as your Arrow of Death's save isn't going to be too difficult make and shooting +5 arrows isn't that big a deal to lose a castering level over.
 
I almost want to say that "Arcane Archer" should just be a feat. Tangent
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Arcane Archer: You can put magic in your bow.
Prereq: BAB +1, CL 1
You can imbue an arrow with a spell. This can be done in two ways. 1- You can enchant your arrows by expending a prepared spell or spell slot and spending 5 minutes. When this arrow used as a part of a standard attack action (cannot be full attack), the spell effects go off. If those effects needed a ranged touch attack, they no longer do. Otherwise the spell functions as normal. 2- You can enchant an arrow on the fly as needed. As a full round action, you can channel your magic into your bow. Choose a spell to use, then make a single ranged attack with your bow. Regardless of whether or not this attack hits the spell is expended. If the attack roll hits, resolve it as normal. After you resolve the attack, the spell triggers. If this spell required a touch attack it no longer does. 

Basically let you cast 1 spell a round and fire 1 arrow. You get the effects of a single attack and a spell.  No full attacks and casting, but maybe you do a lot of awesome hawkeye trick arrow effects. I shoot him, and then a fireball goes off sort of thing.

It also lets you make magic arrows and give them to people.


Back on topic, your class should probably get spell casting at levels 3 and 5 or people won't take it. Your prereqs are very high, and people won't be into this until fairly late game. Is that on purpose? I'd drop to d6 Hit die, because I don't see mages or archers as particulalrly hardy. But d8 isn't awful.   

Arrow of Death - DC 20 flat sucks. By the time you get it no one will fail. Try DC 15+ Stat mod. or 10 + level + stat mod or something so its sort of competitive. 

Why good fort and ref? I'd think ref and will? Again, I don't see them as particulalrly hardy as compared to magical (will) and quick (archer).

As it stands, I see a 2 level dip. maybe 4 if your group doesn't optimize much/at all.  

Elf only is pretty lame honestly. What about this class is particulalrly "elf-ie?".  

Seeker shot - This is just improved precise shot, only a few times a day. Why not just grant that feat.

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Very much noted StevenO, I was thinking perhaps changes the time per day to 1 at level obtained and +1 per additional level. As for the arrow of death, I'm honestly trying to find a way to make that more appealing, perhaps making the use of the ability just a full round action and functioning as a greater slaying arrow (DC=23)? It's kind of and odd thing to regulate in comparison to say a death attack since it's effect is based off of a magic item. Any thought on how to make the ability more appealing are more than welcomed. Also my math is fine on the bonus for magic weapon, if you look the max bonus is based at the cap of the class, in other words a 20th level character with 4 levels only has access to a maximum of a +4 enhancement bonus since he only has 4 levels of the class. That was part of the design parameters to make the class appealing to play all the way through though according to your tastes it seems I've not met that goal yet T-T.

@Krusk, I'm trying to modify the prestige class from the DMG, which is elven geared. The stats from hit die, base attack, to save were all ripped from the preexisting class (which was , I think they were aiming to make it an arcane themed ranger? however a d6 hit die does seem reasonable, though I think the saves are fine as is, however if more people agree I can submit to that point.  To answer your question, I did see this as being a class taken on late game, but that may be changed yet, perhaps spells of 2nd level?

Info assimilated. So far the possible changes may be in order: Increase DC on arrow of death (potential even entire ability mechanic), reduce times per day on higher level class abilities, possibly modify hit die to be lower, and change saves to better reflect an archer archetype. Also SteveO thinks that granting spell levels is out of line with the original premise, perhaps a compromise of no advancement of of caster level equal to the class, but no spell casting advancement?

Anything else?
Just because wizards was lame doesn't mean your correction of their lame-ness also has to be lame. 
--
When you grant casting and how much you grant depends on what focus you want. If you want full caster, you really can't drop more than 1 level ever. If its for a martial guy who happens to cast much, You can drop more, but need to give more abilities. 

Dropping to level 2 spells required brings it back in line with a martial guy with some magic, which I think is your goal.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

You know Krusk, having Imbue Arrow as some kind of ItemCreation/Metamagic feat combo could maybe work.  After all all the ability is basically doing is turning out some kind of "magic item" every time it is used.

Lashius, you math is wrong with Greater Magic Weapon.  You're saying GMW would give you +3 with caster level 10 but when it only give +1 per four levels that means it would just be +2.  GMW does cap out at 20th-level and +5.

Dropping the spell requirement down to just 2nd level spells does make it a lot more accessable to someone who isn't a full caster or gish.

For what it's worth my changes to the core AA are basically:
Up skill points to 6 points bringing it in line with the ranger although it's class list is rather limited.
Allow the bonus from Enhanced Arrow to stack with that from a Magical Bow.
SeekerArrow/PhaseArrow/Hail of Arrows are going to be reworked into some kind of "trick shot" category that would let you pick and choose which one to use and make multiple uses possible.
Set Arrow of Death DC to 15+1/2 AA level + ability modifier.  This keeps it viable into epic levels.

Adding Armored Mage could be done but doesn't change much.  I may be a minority but I do not see Imbue Arrow as being the best thing about the class because much of the time spells have plenty of range on their own without casting them out using arrows; if you need/want an arrow to carry a spell then maybe that spell is strong enough you should be willing to give up some spellcasting to get it.

I'll also note that I believe the "best" entry point into AA is going to be BattleSorcerer8 if casting isn't all that important there are plent of way to meet the normal class's spell requirement.

 
Doh! >.< I completely missed the typo you where talking about, I thought I just didn't explain the cap on the bonus properly or something...for my own posterity, I must point out I am aware of how greater magic weapon works that was just typed up at 2 in the morning...

On another note I'd have to disagree about the bonuses stacking with arrows. I think that would be to easily broken. One over looked aspect of the arcane archer as it stands however is that the bonus to attack and damage my not stack, but special abilities do, and as far as I understand, using the higher of an enhancement bonus is perfectly legal, so one could theoretically take the core arcane archer and shoot the equivalent of of a +23 bow (+5 enhancement bonus + bow with +1 enhancement and +9 total equivalent abilities +arrows with same amount of equivalent enhacment/special abilities). Anyway, I'm running low on sleep yet again so I think I'll stop this post short befor a make an a** out of myself Embarassed.
Nope.  The core AA can shoot the equivalent of +14 arrows.  That's getting +5 for the arrows from AA and another +9 in special abilities from the bow.  You need to remember that the AA's ability works on NON-MAGICAL arrows; they may be special materials but they can't be enchanted already so no +9 in added abilities there.  I'd like to see the AA get back to that +15 potential it once had using cheap ammo while being able to stack attack and damage.  I'm not going to say it overcomes DR/epic until one of the bonuses is +6 all by itself but I think the extra point (or maybe even more) of attack and damage shouldn't be too bad for a martial class.
 
Heres a thought then, why not just change the bonuse type granted by AA to to bow? If it was made into something like an insight bonus to attack and damage then it would stack legally with magical enhancement and still progress into epic at a fixed rate. granted you wouldn't brake DR with the bonus, but maybe adding in a class feature like the monks ki strike could give it a little flare. say that at 1st level any projectile weapon the AA uses counts as magic for over coming DR, and at an epic progression that increases to overcoming DR/epic at 21st level? that would make the class exceptionally appealing to myself as you don't have the worry of needing to advance a bow into epic bonuses to take on epic challenges, well still not giving out the equivalent of free equipment and encouraging people to advance there gear.
Actually Lashius that is something that can be done to clean things up.  You could just forget about "typing" the normal Enhance Arrow attack and damage increases and then give the AA the ability that it's missile weapons overcome DR/magic at 1st-level and DR/epic at AA11.
Well, it seems we've cracked the code as it where! By changing the bonus type and adding a monk-esq DR typing to the weapons used, you have reason to make it a 10 level prestige that isn't just a 2 level dip. grouping all the abilities granted save for arrow of death into a trick pool of use seems nice enough, say using all assessable abilities a number of time equal to half your AA level seems fair.now to just work out arrow of death...Perhaps making the DC and use functional different like such: Arrow of death-An arcane archer may once per day as a full round action imbue an arrow with spell energy to creat an arrow of death. this arrow can only be created after the arcane archer has been damaged after which she takes a full round action to tune an arrow to an opponent that has cause her harm by expending a spell or spell slot for the day. This arrow functions as a slaying arrow keyed to a particular creature that meats the requirements mentioned with a dc equal to 10 + 1/2 arcane archer level + spell levels sacrificed up to arcane archer level.

Example: a 10th level arcane archer is struck by an orc and decided to use his arrow of death ability, the next round he sacrifices a 5th level spell slot and spends a full round to imbue an arrow to make an arrow of death, giveing it a DC of 20. the next round the arcane archer fires the arrow, forcing the orc to make a saving throw against it's death effect. If the arcane archer ahd wish, he could have sacrificed any number os spells to a total of 10, giveing his arrow of death a DC of 25.

That seems rather reasonable to me.
The save would still be too low. Make it 10 + class level + spell level (up to class level), and grant the ability before 10th level.
Also, I think the bonus granted by the class should be either untyped (preferred) or competence. There are a wealth of magic items and a fair number of abilities that already grant insight bonuses.

An option for spellcasting: let AA levels add to arcane caster level (but not spells known) like a Revenant Blade does with Ranger. Add in the possibility of allowing the AA to choose one AoE spell to add to his spells known and/or spells per day at certain levels (maybe 4, 7, 10?).
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
I don't have much to add in re the class make-over itself.  Lots of time and work spent, I see, always a good thing.

What I'd do with the black arrow idea, is a base DC as stands, 20 plus Chr, then specific mods like for themes that exist.  Narrow the focus.  So, say pick a racial type as a ranger would (but not limited to that list).  DC 20 + Chr +5, "humanoids (reptilian)" (2 day creation time).  Or, DC 20 + Chr + 10, "The Emperor Lizard King Braxatli" (3 day creation time).  The arrow would work in all cases, down the line, at the respective DC;  Highest vs. the Emperor, middle vs. his racial subjects, and lowest (as normal) vs. "Anyone else in the world".

Edit to add:  To steal the wording from the spell Locate Creature, "The spell can locate a creature of a specific kind or a specific creature known to you. It cannot find a creature of a certain type. To find a kind of creature, you must have seen such a creature up close (within 30 feet) at least once."
(You get the idea...) 
When it comes to the save for the Arrow of Death I like using 15+half AA level as a base and then including modifiers from there.  That base means it's DC 20 at AA10 just like it normally is but it would mean that with epic levels in AA the save difficulty goes up at the same base rate that saves increase.  I could have used 10 + AA level but then the save goes up too quickly in epic and 10+half AA level means you need a pretty big bonus just to make the standard DC 20.  To me the challenge is figuring out what to "add" to the base save.

The most basic thing to add the the AoD save is an ability modifier but I can using using three different ability scores.  You could use the arcane casting stat (INT or CHA) which could be ok but I'm not sure it will be enough unless you're actually working on AA as a caster.  My next choice is actually DEX modifier which can represent the amazing precision of the arrow's attack as it strikes its chosen target; the scarry thing here is that DEX is king to an Archer so this could make that save very difficult.  Sacrificing a prepared spell to power up the AoD is an interesting choice but +1 DC/spell level may be too much.
 
I don't think +1 DC/spell level is too much. Personally, I think the AoD should have a chance of working on creatures immune to death effects, too. Or at least, heightened abilities; making them Bane arrows against creatures immune to death effects still makes them worthwhile, provided the added bonus is still untyped.
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56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Thanks NeueRegal and draco1119, it's always a pleasure to have you both comment. As for the arrow of death I found this spell the other night, and think this would be a good template to work off of
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Arrow of Bone


(Complete Arcane)

Necromancy [Death]
Level: Sorcerer 6, Wizard 6,
Components: V, S, M,
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Touch
Target: One projectile or thrown weapon touched
Duration: 8 hours or until discharged
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial
Spell Resistance: Yes



You scribe runes of dire power on a single missile or thrown weapon (usually an arrow, bolt, dart, javelin, or spear), changing the weapon into a sinister missile of cold, enhanced bone.
When thrown or fired at a creature as a normal ranged attack, the weapon gains a +4 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls.
In addition, any living creature struck by an arrow of bone must succeed on a Fortitude save or be instantly slain.
A creature that makes its save instead takes 3d6 points of damage +1 point per caster level (maximum +15).
Regardless of whether the attack hits, the magic of the arrow of bone is discharged by the attack, and the missile is destroyed.
Material Component: A tiny sliver of bone and a vial of blood mixed with powdered precious gems worth 50 gp, used to paint the runes on the projectile.



---------------------------------------

So now we have a spell that is similar to arrow of death, but actually has a few more benefits than it. I'm thinking make arrow of death a spell like ability with these parameters except make it a day to create (passively) that lasts a year or until discharged, letting it work on construct and undead as a slaying arrow, and using the primary casting ability to determine the dc instead of default cha like most spell likes.

Combine that with maybe giving the class armored mage and possably either half spell casting or full caster level with no spell per day/known advancement and I think we have a very playable class.
You didn't even really need to go non-core for this one.  That's the same spell as slay living or as finger of death, just a new delivery method.
As NeueRegal mentions you don't really need to look outside the core to find the Arrow of Death's inspiration.  It is also very similar to an Arrow of Slaying except the AA's arrow doesn't appear to require a type.  The AA's arrow doesn't have the Necromantic or Death types to it so it would appear that they can function against undead or constructs which gives them a little added power over many death effects.  This can make the AoD a bit better then we normally give it credit for but it still should have a save that scales.

I don't know what you're talking about when you say "either half spell casting or full caster level with no spell per day/known advancement" because that really cripples spontaneous casters while barely being a blip to many book casters.  If you want to say AA levels stack to determine CASTER level, as opposed to letting in increase spellcasting, I could get behind that but adding spellcasting just makes it into more of a caster's gish class.
Yes, I meant just advancing caster level. Otherwise though I still think that the over all abilities of arrow of bone would work fine to determine the Dc and effects if the target passes. Just add in the stipulation that it can effect undead/constructs and that would clean things up.
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