Putting together an archery build, could use some advice
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  1. #1

    Putting together an archery build, could use some advice

    As the title says, putting together some kind of archer. Starting at level 1 (ugh) and working my way from there, so whatever I stat up is gonna have to be decent at all levels making this a bit more difficult. I'm used to starting at higher levels which gets me out of some of the growing pains of playing weird builds.

    So far I'm leaning towards Fighter into Arcane Archer. Then either at 4 or 6, hopping over to Rogue and going into Arcane Trickster for utility and sneak attack (plus it's just flavorful). So the final build would end up being Fighter 3/Rogue 17 or Fighter 5/Rogue 15. The real questions I have are of course, is this a good idea? It seems like the stats fit together really well, and it's sort of a natural marriage of the concepts. And if this is a viable idea, What should I start as? Rogue or Fighter? How should I split up the leveling? I feel like Fighter gets me better saves, and I want to hit Arcane Archer as quickly as possible anyway, but starting Rogue gets me Sneak Attack. If I do decided on Fighter 5, I imagine doing that asap is important to get the 2nd attack.

    Thoughts? Ideas? Have I missed something? Do you have a better idea? I'd love to hear it, so please let me know!

  2. #2
    If you're gonna go Fighter 5, you might consider one further Fighter level. That gets you a bonus ASI/feat, which is normally one of the key weaknesses of any multiclass build. It looks like you'd probably break even at 20th level...but much better to have it right away, methinks.

    I would certainly recommend at least Fighter 5 though, since that gets Extra Attack and that makes a pretty big impact on the Rogue side, effectively doubling your sneak attack damage. (I still remember the near-constant "no you can't have a Warlord that grants attacks, it would make sneak attack horrendously broken!!")

  3. #3
    Honestly, Fighter 20 ends up being a better archer than any multiclass if that's your goal. However, a fighter/rogue multiclass should be an effective archer from 1 through 20

    If you do want to multiclass with rogue, yes, 1 level of rogue to start grabs you an extra skill over taking it later, but costs you 2 hp. It also slows down your ASI and Extra attack progression. Not worth it in my opinion.

    It was mentioned to go Fighter 6. You want Dex 20 ASAP, plus sharp shooter. Grabbing Magic Initiate (Warlock) is also decent for Hex. Crossbow mastery allows melee range shooting without disadvantage and gives you greater versatility in weapon choice since it negates reloading property in crossbows (and a bonus action shot if you use a hand crossbow)

    If you go Arcane Trickster, pick up Find Familiar as a 1 level spell. Use the help action to grab advantage on your first arrow.

    Obviously (as always) variant human is the superior choice so you can grab sharpshooter at level 1.
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  4. #4
    Solid advice! Definitely starting fighter then. I have no doubt that straight Fighter wins the DPR race, and is the tankiest to boot, but I'm also interested in the RP story aspect of being an Arcane Archer who eventually learns more advanced magic via Arcane Trickster. Plus the utility of that build as well. I like having things to do outside of combat. Yeah, I think I'm settled on variant human fighter 5 to start, then Rogue 15 after that.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ark the Pie King View Post
    Solid advice! Definitely starting fighter then. I have no doubt that straight Fighter wins the DPR race, and is the tankiest to boot, but I'm also interested in the RP story aspect of being an Arcane Archer who eventually learns more advanced magic via Arcane Trickster. Plus the utility of that build as well. I like having things to do outside of combat. Yeah, I think I'm settled on variant human fighter 5 to start, then Rogue 15 after that.
    One interesting twist you could do, if Fighter 6/Rogue 14 is acceptable, is taking Magic Initiate with the Fighter 6 ASI: it's a strong feat, and could give an RP reason why your character is starting on a path toward magic. (Of course, you don't actually become an Arcane Trickster until Rogue 3, but...) You don't (technically) lose out on any ASIs doing Fighter 5/Rogue 15, but you have to wait until level 20 to 'catch up.' Since there are more than a few feats you'd like, and maxing your attack stat is always desirable, you might want to get the small power boost earlier rather than later.

    That said, you don't have to take the levels 'in order.' You could always do Fighter 5/Rogue 4/Fighter +1/Rogue +10, or whatever you like. Fighter 5/Rogue 15 is not a bad choice either--just means getting Rogue skills earlier and having a couple more top-end spell slots.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EzekielRaiden View Post
    I would certainly recommend at least Fighter 5 though, since that gets Extra Attack and that makes a pretty big impact on the Rogue side, effectively doubling your sneak attack damage. (I still remember the near-constant "no you can't have a Warlord that grants attacks, it would make sneak attack horrendously broken!!")

    Sneak attack is limited to once per turn.
    Extra attack just gives you more opportunities for attacks to hit, and therefore for sneak attack to be activated, it does not let you use multiple sneak attacks.
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  7. #7
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    Consider Ranger 5/Rogue X for archery. Ranger Hunter makes a great archer. Both Colossus Slayer and Horde breaker are great options for archers. Hunter's Mark adds some extra damage. I really like Scout Rogue for archers too. Gloom Stalker Rangers make great Archers too. Gloom Stalker 5/Assassin X have amazing first rounds. Add in 2 levels of Fighter later on for Action Surge and you'd get 6 attacks on your first turn with all of them having advantage and autocrits on hits if the enemy is surprised which shouldn't be hard at range.


    Fighter 1/Valor or Swords Bard X make great archers. You could pick up Swift Quiver at level 11 for 4 Longbow attacks a round.


    Of course pure Fighters make great archers too. I much prefer Battle Master over Arcane Archer though. Maneuvers are awesome at range. You can trip, disarm, distract, and goad the enemies from a safe distance. Goading attack is awesome because if you use it from far away, the enemy has disadvantage on any attack that isn't against you.


    One thing for sure is you want to max Dex asap and get the Archery fighting style.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ClockworkNinja View Post
    Sneak attack is limited to once per turn.
    Extra attack just gives you more opportunities for attacks to hit, and therefore for sneak attack to be activated, it does not let you use multiple sneak attacks.
    Oh, duh. *facepalm* Using too many different systems at once right now. Thank you for correcting me.

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