D&D 3E/3.5 3.5 Arcane Archer -- Nifft's Version!

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Spatzimaus said:
So, anyone switching to your AA will want to replace their +1 Chaotic Shocking Burst bow with a straight +5.
[...]
In fact, you could add a few new enchantment options that aren't available as regular weapon enchantments.
[...]
As for the feat in Complete Warrior, if it's anything like the Dragon magazine feat that was discussed earlier then it probably is melee-only, where a caster would suffer from the lack of armor or HP. If not, I'd say it's horribly unbalanced; allowing any Wizard or Sorcerer to drop a 9th-level slot for thirty to forty extra ranged damage plus an attack bonus higher than a fighter would get? Not a chance.

Part of my reasoning behind this class is that every Archer must fear Disjunction and Improved Sunder, thus the loss of his bow. He's meant to be able to do stuff even if he loses his prized posession. So, sure, he may own a +5 Bow... but he shouldn't count on keeping it long around Nightwalkers, Balors or Old Dragons.

New Enhancements: that's really up to the DM. For example, I allow Corrosive and Corrosive Burst, even though they're not Core enhancements. The best I wish to do in this thread is allow a DM to decide what value he should allow... what specific effects are allowed is a separate issue.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying in the last bit: that a Feat emulating Arcane Shot II would be too strong, or that Arcane Shot II is too strong?

-- N
 

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Spatzimaus

First Post
What I meant was, "if the feat in Complete Warrior is like the melee-only one from Dragon Magazine discussed earlier, AND it applied to ranged attacks, it'd be too powerful". It's like Power Attack vs. Ranged Power Attack; an ability that is balanced for melee could be totally broken when a ranged version is made.

But, I could also say, "if Arcane Shot II was a feat anyone could take it'd be too powerful". The fact that you have to take 10 levels of a half-caster class to reach it balances it all out. This wasn't what I meant in the earlier post, but I do agree with it.
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Spatzimaus said:
But, I could also say, "if Arcane Shot II was a feat anyone could take it'd be too powerful". The fact that you have to take 10 levels of a half-caster class to reach it balances it all out. This wasn't what I meant in the earlier post, but I do agree with it.

Yes, I agree too. The maximum caster level that an ArcArch could reach by level 20 is 15, and that's if he takes 10 Wizard or Sorcerer levels to get his BAB up to 5. Very sub-optimal to have a BAB of 15 at level 20 for an archer.

-- N
 

jaults

First Post
Nifft, a new player recently joined our group, and we made his chaarcter using your AA build. He is currently a Ftr4/Wiz4/AA2, and just gained enough XP to level up to AA3. Things seem to be working out well; he has only played in 2-3 sessions, but so far, so good. I will let you know if we run into any problems or have any comments.

Thanks,
Jason
 

jomac2k

First Post
Hey, I was just redirected to your post based on my trying to make an alternative to the arcane archer seems we have a few ideas in common and a few different.

My arcane shot was made completely separate from yours. Let me know what you think of mine. I'm currently reworking and will definitely borrow a point or two from yours. It's the topic called the Eldritch Archer.
 


Zad

First Post
For those that care (Nifft knows this but if anyone is looking at balance) -

I've been using an Arcane Archer in a long running campaign. We've converted over to this build of the AA. I've had it a few sessions now but they weren't combat-intensive. But as things develop I'll be posting feedback here, especially on the epic-level implementation.
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Zad said:
But as things develop I'll be posting feedback here, especially on the epic-level implementation.

Are you going to be using my Epic Arcane Archer progression? It eyeballs correctly, but I've got no experience gaming at that power level -- the party I DM is around 10th level.

-- N
 

Zad

First Post
Yes, currently I'm 22nd and 12th level AA. I've got some epic level experience and it seems right to me too, but really nobody has a lot of experience at this.

There is one thing that made me wonder...

I've taken flaming and flaming burst in the non-epic progression. But if I had taken holy instead of flaming burst, and then taken holy power at 23rd, (I took epic DR at 21) things could get odd. One negative level per shot could really make things nasty. Wizardru and I agreed to steer away from the "holy" progression partly because of the campaign world. (The AA's are not really agents of divinity per se so we stopped at "good aligned")

The elementals aren't nearly so worrisome given how many things resist them so that's not as big a factor.

But like I said, we haven't had any knock-down, drag-out battles but what we have done seems fine. I'm missing damage from 3.0 but I feel good about it at least.

I'm also working on a new bow - an epic magic item. It's going to have several spells in it that can be delivered by arrow, like the AA's own spells. And the AA can use their penetration to overcome SR. Things like Delayed Blast Fireball, Polar Ray, Chain Lighting - more a weapon of war for battlefield effects. I mention it only because it might affect how my balance opinion plays out. (Of course it's costing me about a level of exp too...)
 


Thanee

First Post
Looks quite nice. I think the Imbue Arrows ability is too much (just to make sure, that's in addition to all the effects of the bow and the spells on it, right?) and the Arcane Shot one too weak OTOH, but otherwise... good job. Surely better than the DMG original. :)

Bye
Thanee
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Thanee said:
Looks quite nice. I think the Imbue Arrows ability is too much (just to make sure, that's in addition to all the effects of the bow and the spells on it, right?) and the Arcane Shot one too weak OTOH, but otherwise... good job. Surely better than the DMG original. :)

Hi Thanee!

Specifics, please? What's too strong?

The Arcane Shot is at that strength because untyped damage is VERY nice for an Archer or Wizard, and full attacks are easier for an Archer to pull off safely... so the Arcane Strike mechanic wasn't appropriate.

Thanks, -- N
 

Thanee

First Post
Too much stacking goodness IMHO.

Eventually you'll have...
...a +1 weapon with 4 levels worth of enhancements
...a class ability adding another 4 levels worth of enhancements
...some spells, which add some more on top of this (as a swift action)
...Greater Magic Weapon for the enhancement bonus (a +3 is reasonable)

Doesn't that rack up a little too high? I'd guess so.


I agree, that Arcane Strike would be a little much, but Arcane Shot seems seriously crippled in comparison. No attack bonus and only one attack per round? I would probably 'drop' only one of those, not both. In most cases, I cannot believe, that it will be worth dropping a spell just to potentially deal (level)d4 extra damage; especially if you have less spells than a full caster, since they become even more valuable then. Has this ability really been used to good effect?


And there are no prerequisites to speak of. Nothing you wouldn't take, anyways. So the only cost of the class is the opportunity cost that you cannot get levels in another class at the same time (the strongest disadvantage is probably the d6 HD the rest looks pretty nifty all around).

Bye
Thanee
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
The cost of the class:

1/2 spellcaster progression -- NOT a primary spellcaster
d6 HD -- NOT a front-line fighter
4 skill points/level -- NOT a skill monkey

Given that you could have most of those arrow benefits anyway, I really don't see the problem. It's been common practice since 3.5e came out to have a +1 Bow with +9 equivalent abilities, and then a bunch of specific stuff on +1 arrows (e.g. bane (chaotic outsider) bane (evil outsider) shocking burst keen cold iron arrows), which you then boost using Greater Magic Weapon.

This PrC adds one more group of specials, with the caveat that you can't change them around for different fights.

Given how the old Arcane Archer PrC was a free pass on 3.0e DR, I think the updated class fits the intent of the old version perfectly.

...


But the short answer is: try it. :) Zad's played one up to significantly high levels, and I've thrown NPCs using this class at my PCs, and now the party has one NPC with this class in their cohort-pool. So far, so good, all around.

Do you have numbers, or only vague worries? :)

-- N
 

Thanee

First Post
Nifft said:
The cost of the class:

1/2 spellcaster progression -- NOT a primary spellcaster
d6 HD -- NOT a front-line fighter
4 skill points/level -- NOT a skill monkey

Compared to a typical fighter, that looks pretty good. :)

1/2 spellcaster progression -- more spells than you could ever dream of
d6 HD -- ok, not a front-liner, but you are an archer, right?
4 skill points/level -- certainly better than what you had before

Given that you could have most of those arrow benefits anyway, I really don't see the problem.

The 'problem' (it's just a 'vague feeling' as you put it) is the number of benefits, not that you can actually have them. I only listed a +5 weapon, since +10 weapons are pretty unreasonable in most campaigns, while +5 are certainly possible. :)

It's been common practice since 3.5e came out to have a +1 Bow with +9 equivalent abilities, and then a bunch of specific stuff on +1 arrows (e.g. bane (chaotic outsider) bane (evil outsider) shocking burst keen cold iron arrows), which you then boost using Greater Magic Weapon.

Of course. But is it a good idea to make this even better by adding on top of it?

But the short answer is: try it. :) Zad's played one up to significantly high levels, and I've thrown NPCs using this class at my PCs, and now the party has one NPC with this class in their cohort-pool. So far, so good, all around.

As usual, there are many factors to it. I mainly think that class ability is adding to something, which I consider to be pretty strong already.

Bye
Thanee
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
Thanee said:
Compared to a typical fighter, that looks pretty good. :)

1/2 spellcaster progression -- more spells than you could ever dream of
d6 HD -- ok, not a front-liner, but you are an archer, right?
4 skill points/level -- certainly better than what you had before

Except some of these abilities are opposed to each other. You're a Fighter -- but you can't wear armor, or you lose spellcasting. You already have at least one level of Wizard or Sorcerer, so your BAB has already taken a hit (as have your HP).

The skill points are there to make the transition from Rogue, Ranger or Scout hurt less... they might be nice for a Fighter, but I can't see anyone taking this PrC just for the skill points.

Thanee said:
As usual, there are many factors to it. I mainly think that class ability is adding to something, which I consider to be pretty strong already.

All I can say is: please give it a try! I value your opinion, but in this case I think experience will change it. :)

If nothing else, stat out an Arcane Archer at a few levels, and see how much damage an Elf Cleric Archer (core only, no FR cheese) could put out. Divine favor in particular will be pivotal, I think, but the higher caster level -> higher GMW bonus will be nice, too.

Cheers, -- N
 

Thanee

First Post
Nifft said:
...but I can't see anyone taking this PrC just for the skill points.

No, surely not! :D

All I can say is: please give it a try! I value your opinion, but in this case I think experience will change it. :)

Well, I don't think the class as a whole is really that much overpowered as it might sound. I just think that this particular ability is a bit much (and the Arcane Shot a little on the weak side). :)

Bye
Thanee

P.S. And most of the 'cheesy stuff' for the cleric archers is in the PHB, not in the FR supplements. They mostly brought in Persistent Spell (which is easily replaced by Quicken Spell) and the Elf domain, which is completely reasonable. :)
 


Nifft

Penguin Herder
Demoquin said:
bump

Good work here. Have you made the Epic version of this PrC? Any more feedback would be appreciated

There's an Epic version somewhere in this thread... but the Epic stuff is far less tested than the rest.

-- N
 

Nareau

Explorer
Indeed, great class! We're going to be using this in our game (Ftr2/Battle Sorceror 7/Niffty Archer 6). A couple of thoughts...

1) A very large percentage of the arcane touch spells in the PHB are necromancy spells. That might be fun to work into the flavor of the class. Can people recommend some other sources for touch spells that aren't necromantic?

2) On a related note, a lot of non-arcane touch spells are druidic. I think it would be interesting to see this class opened up to other spellcasters (although that might throw all balance out the window). I wonder what it would look like if the prereq's were "Ability to cast 1st level spells", and the spellcaster progression was "+1 level of existing spellcasting class".

Spider
 

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