Need some help with an archer-ish build

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So here's the thing. My friend is joining a small group (two of us) and he really wants to play an archer type character. The party is level 9 and consists of a Human Swordmage and a warforged scout artificer. We're in eberron and we're traveling into the mournland for a dungeon crawl. I'm really not sure what to expect. The DM took Whitehearth from the adventure Shadows of the Last War and expanded it and pumped it up. In the adventure, the enemies consisted of a construct, a couple of living spells, and two medium elementals, and so those are the only things I can guess are in there.

As for the build I was thinking a general swift hunter. Scout 5/Ranger 15. Some basic archery feats. But I am really stumped, I only ever deal with spellcasters so I really don't know what else to do. I was thinking about maybe doing goliath as race, seeing as he really enjoys that class. And his rolls for stats are 11, 14, 14 16, 13, 10.
I was thinking str 14, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 10 before mods and level bumps.

So members of the CO build, I beg for assistance, because I really want to play that game again.
I can't really give any advice on a Swift Hunter build, since I've never even bothered to read up on them. That type of character is just not what I like to play. I also know nothing about Eberron, so I can't give any advice specific to that setting. Starting at level 9 you can make almost anything work, though. Here's what I would suggest, just because it's what I would prefer to play:

Elf Cleric, War and Elf domains, Zen Archery (CW), Divine Spell Power (CD), Lesser Rod of Extend, standard Strand of Prayer Beads minus Smiting, heavy armor, Animated shield, Magic Vestment on both and Greater Magic Weapon on a +1 Seeking bow. Replace Divine Spell Power with Divine Metamagic: Persistent and/or Quicken with Night Sticks for some even more unbalancing plays.

Elf Archer Gish, probably with Arcane Archer 2 to use Imbue Arrow with (rod of Maximized) Fireburst. Starting at 9th level I'd even be tempted to just make spellcasting a secondary focus and start out something like Fighter 4/ Wizard 2/ Abjurant Champion 1/ Arcane Archer 2, later taking at least one Spellsword level and finishing out Abjurant Champion. Specialize in Evocation with Focused Specialist, and with Practiced Spellcaster your Firebursts will be doing the maximum dice of damage.

Alternatively, go Grey Elf with max Wizard spellcasting, focus on Ray spells with Point-Blank and Precise Shot, Split Ray, etc. Be a spellcaster focused on ranged spell attacks but also capable of resorting to attacking with a bow.

In any case you could make use of +1 Spell Storing arrows to effectively use multiple spells/round at a fraction of the cost of using scrolls.
I strongly suggest against Arcane Archer focusing on martial archery. That is, as we on this board call it, a Trap. Arcane Archer's only worthwhile ability (Imbue Arrow) requires highlevel casting. Therefore, if Arcane Archer interests him, I'd make him Bard 8/Arcane Archer 1, going for Bard 8/Arcane Archer 2/Sublime Chord 2/Abjurant Champion 5/Sacred Exorcist 3. That gives him a really solid spelllist to choose from, the Turn Undead-attempts for Divine Might (Charisma-based, remember?), the ability to convert spellslots for damage/attack (Abjurant Champion), high CL Greater Magic Weapon (better than Enhance Arrow), a solid spell-list and overall all sorts of goodies. Such an archer would be solid.


However, you asked for help with a Swift Hunter. I'd first have to suggest against Goliath as the race, since Goliaths get the racial -2 to Dexterity, which kinda makes life really hard for a Swift Hunter (good luck hitting anything ). I'd go with the Scout 4/Ranger 15/Cloistered Cleric 1 with Travel Devotion. That way he wouldn't be stuck just Greater Manyshotting, he could actually full Rapid Shot attack (the Cleric-domains would be Travel, Undeath and the automatic Knowledge - trade Travel and Knowledge for the appropriate Devotions, burn all the Turn Undead-attempts for extra uses of Travel Devotion and profit).

Feats should obviously contain Swift Hunter and Improved Skirmish. Beyond that, PBS, Precise Shot and the Ranger-bonuses. After that, you've got Darkstalker (Lords of Madness), Ranged Skirmisher (Dragon 346/Crystalkeep), possibly Greater Manyshot (for when you need to do something with a Standard Action), etc. The feats will pretty much build themselves.

For race, you should really consider something with Dex-bonus with those rolls. Alternatively, Human is always great, but I feel you'd really want an Elf of some variety (Snow Elf from Frostburn would be sweet - just find some Arctic Location and say that's where he's from) provided that you are allowed to ignore Favored Class-rules (if not, just go Human - everything else is too much hassle). Also, if you gotta worry about Favored Classes, Scout 3/Cleric 2/Ranger 15 works better to avoid Exp penalties. There isn't really much to it - a Swift Hunter is fairly straightforward to build (unless you want a Nemesis: Evil-build). Pick up Favored Enemies that are normally immune to Crits (Undead, Plants, Elementals, Constructs, Oozes), ramp up your Skirmish-damage, focus on wilderness skills, move each turn and profit.


Other options would indeed include:
-Arcane Archer
-Cleric Archer
-Psionic Archer/Soulbow
-Martial Archer (Warblade/Eternal Blade Archer, actually)

Anyways, Swift Hunter is a solid option. It does have the annoying tendency to occasionally get rather monotonous as the combat is pretty much the same always, but it's efficient. And spells and items can add something of interest to the fight.
Thank you for the advice. I'm actually trying to shy away from too much spellcasting, because my friend has only played fourth edition. And since spellcasting and just combat in general is completely different I want to just sort of ease him into it.
I think he might enjoy the martial archer. So it would just be a Warblade 10/Eternal Blade 10 build? With the archery feats Point blank, precise, and stuff like that? I guess I'll peruse the handy links to find info.
I'm really just thinking about giving him the skeletons of several archer type characters and let him choose which one he wants to flesh out. So thank you again.
I worked on the build here and got a pretty good one nailed down. Doesn't work with favoured classes though (you could go Ranger 4/Warblade 6 giving up casting as a Wood Elf with those, or Half-Elf/Half-Drow with the basic build). It's not the only good option, but it's solid - gets ability to ignore DR, use Knowledge Devotion without much effort on skills, Dancing Mongoose, all the basic Ranged Weapon Mastery-stuff, Ranger-wands (including Hunter's Mercy), Hide/Move Silently/Spot/Listen from Ranger and so on.

And you can fight in melee decently too if you feel like that. And some other cool stuff (like stances and the ability to go broke on level 19-20 with Time Stands Still and eventually Island in Time). Oh yeah, and Int to Critical Confirmation, Reflex Saves and so on.


Don't forget to pick up the Drow of the Underdark Fighter Alternative Class Feature if possible - give up Heavy Armor and Tower Shield proficiency for good (you're an Archer, you don't use Heavy Armor or Tower Shield) for Dex to Damage within 30' on surprise round (awesome for an Archer - kinda like a pseudo-3d6 (or so) Sneak Attack) and +2 to Initiative.
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