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D&D 5E More Interesting Archers (+thread)


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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
You can do that with a kensei monk.

1: For free, you can spend a bonus action to add 1d4 dmg to your ranged attacks. So you aren't doing more attacks, but you are doing more damage with well aimed shots.

2: For Ki. In Tasha, Monks gain the power "if you spent ki this round, you can spend a bonus action to do one weapon attack". This looks great, but it's rarely usable because most ki uses are "spend ki to do cool bonus action X". In other words, your bonus action is busy.
It’s there for when you use a subclass ability like Shadow Monk’s spells or 4 Elements disciplines, or the “totally not a spell” abilities of the Sun Soul.
however...

Using a Kensei monk (to get the longbow), if you miss, you can spend a bit of ki (1 ki for +2 to hit after the fact, up to 3 ki (ie +6)). So you spent ki to convert a miss into a hit and now you get to spend a bonus action shooting another arrow! (instead of adding 1d4 to 2 attacks). This pairs well with sharpshooter. If you get 2 great rolls and both attack hits without having to spend ki... well that's not too shabby an outcome either.
You can make a good ranger damage dealer, yes. That isn’t what I proposed, though.
Ooof, that would not fly at my table. But hey, rulings not rules right? :)
Yeah I actually need to discuss it with my group because I’m doubting whether it’s even legit.
Perhaps re-doing the arcane archer would work? You could make it 1: not magic and 2: less mediocre?
Arcane Archer is so disappointing, it really does need a rework.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Okay yeah I'm gonna try to make a class. If nothing comes of it, at least I will have exercised my idea muscles for building archer options in general.

So, the basic concept is to use stances that require concentration, and a resource called focus which is a pool of dice that fuel special abilities, and a focus-fueled ranged smite, extra attack, and evasion. The balance of warrior to skill should be in the arena of monks and rangers. Most archetypes get special moves to spend focus on, in addition to general buffs and such, like a monk if monks put more of their power in the subclass.

Three main archetypes are Arcane Archer (I know, but the fighter one sucks so I'm ignoring it) which will get spells, a Dragoon which is a mounted archer that gets movement boosts and can activate either deffensive or offensive boosts when they use them (and a mount benefits from the movement buffs, along with some general mount buffs), and a sofar unnamed quick-hand shooter type who gets bonuses when attacking with a onehanded ranged weapon or making ranged attacks with a melee weapon, sort of a gunslinger or dagger master. Probably also a trick arrow master? idk the trick arrows might be a base class feature, but then it'd be wierd for a steppes inspired nomadic archer to be using explosive arrows and grapple arrows and the like.

So, the questions are:

Should the class rely on Wisdom for focus, or Constitution? Being a ranged class, having Dex and Wisdom reliance isn't as bad as it is for Monks, and it makes sense to me.

What should the at-will stuff be? Should the stances be at-will, bonus action to start, concentration? Or should they cost focus and there are a couple at-will trick shots? Maybe just a bonus action ranged attack that cannot target a creature beyond your short range, and a scaling feature that increases your short and long range as you level in the class?

Should archetype come in at level 1?
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The class is currently more like a ranged half-caster battlemaster that only gets basic extra attack and a fighting style, combined with stances that change how you play, and subclasses that come with a free enhanced version of a general stance, and some minor buffs/ribbons to lock in flavor, at level 1, and a signature weapon feature that specializes you into a type of ranged weapon (bows, crossbows, thrown weapons and slings, trick arrows and grenades) and enhances the efficacy of that weapon.

Stances are things like
  • the ability to dash or disengage as a bonus action and gain +10 speed when you dash, disengage, or dodge.
  • The ability to make a single ranged attack at your weapon's short range as a bonus action when you crit or down an enemy.
  • Move 10 ft when you succeed on a dex or str saving throw.
  • speed is halved and you can crit on a 19-20 and can spend a bonus action to gain advantage against a single enemy until the start of your next turn
  • As a reaction when a creature you can see makes an attack, you can make an attack against them. If you hit, the damage of the attack is reduced by the damage you deal with your attack. You can choose to spend a focus die, imposing a penalty to attack rolls for the target until the end of your next turn equal to the die's result.

obviously not balanced against eachother yet.

Techniques are things like

Limb Shot

When you hit with a ranged weapon attack, add your focus die to the attack's damage, and the target must succeed on a strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If you use this technique on a critical hit, the target's speed is also halved for 1 minute if they fail the saving throw.

Pinning Shot

When you hit a creature or falling object with a ranged weapon attack, you can spend a focus die, adding the die to the attack's damage, to pin it in place reducing it's speed to 0. The target must make a strength save on it's turn to end the effect.

Put Some Spin On It
1 focus

When you make a ranged weapon attack with a wepaon with the thrown property or a sling, you can curve the tragectory of the weapon or missile around obstacles. The attack ignores partial cover and concealment, and gains a bonus to the attack roll equal to the result of the focus die. If you miss the attack, the next ranged attack against the target before the end of your next turn has advantage.

Tracing Shot
1 focus

When you miss with a range weapon attack, you can use this technique to correct your aim and gain advantage on your next attack. Add the result of your focus die to the damage if the second attack hits.

Archetypes include the Swift Rider (mounted, bonuses to mobility and defense from ranged attacks, share mobility bonuses with mount, and some simple mounted combat boosts ala cavalier), Deepwood Sniper (it's a sniper, with bushcraft), and Trickshot (a gunslinger, basically, but with any onehanded weapon that can make ranged weapon attacks).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The Archer NPC from Volo’s Guide has a 3/day ability to add 1d10 to a ranged attack.

Perhaps it would work to have a basic use of Focus Dice be to just add them to damage, but also, I think it might be good to determine how many d10’s of damage Focus Techniques and Dice should do, by basing it on ki and on half casting.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Skirmisher class?

Thrown weapons needs some love, it’s probably the red-headed stepchild of ranged combat.

A Deepwood Sniper subclass would be nice. An ability or feat that lets you take a bonus action to aim and remove Disadvantage when attacking at long range.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Skirmisher class?

Thrown weapons needs some love, it’s probably the red-headed stepchild of ranged combat.

A Deepwood Sniper subclass would be nice. An ability or feat that lets you take a bonus action to aim and remove Disadvantage when attacking at long range.
So in my rough draft, the Trickshot has abilities to extend the range of ranged attacks with one handed weapons, and an option to make all thrown weapons finesse, and some other abilities that will benefit a thrower.

The Deepwood Sniper has the ability to hide while lightly obscured in a space of difficult terrain, and they can use the Sniper’s Stance without a movement penalty (normally it halves your speed but gives powerful boosts to long ranger combat).

Right now the rest of the basis for the class is Techniques, but I am considering instead giving the base class a couple special abilities and each subclass a couple, and keeping it more simple.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Thrown weapons needs some love, it’s probably the red-headed stepchild of ranged combat.

Amen to that.

Between "dex is the god stat," in addition to certain feats (CBX, SS), I am not sure that you really need anything to make good archers- it's pretty much the baseline in 5e that archers are already great, and it's just a question of how much more Best-er do you want to make archers and dex without completely unbalancing the game.

But maybe re-fluff the arcane archer to be not arcane? The mundane archer?

That said, it would be pretty cool to see some work put into the "traditional" fantasy tropes of throwing daggers / knives / stars / axes and see where that might take you! I'd totally love to see that. (FWIW, the title of the thread made me think about the best Archer seasons. Which is neither here nor there, other than I will throw down and rank them any time).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Amen to that.

Between "dex is the god stat," in addition to certain feats (CBX, SS), I am not sure that you really need anything to make good archers- it's pretty much the baseline in 5e that archers are already great, and it's just a question of how much more Best-er do you want to make archers and dex without completely unbalancing the game.

But maybe re-fluff the arcane archer to be not arcane? The mundane archer?

That said, it would be pretty cool to see some work put into the "traditional" fantasy tropes of throwing daggers / knives / stars / axes and see where that might take you! I'd totally love to see that. (FWIW, the title of the thread made me think about the best Archer seasons. Which is neither here nor there, other than I will throw down and rank them any time).
The thing is, very few archer builds are satisfying to most players I know who want to play out the fantasy of being a genius of archery.

They’re powerful, but powerful is only inherently fun for (IME) a very small segment of players.

Also balance in 5e is just...not as precarious as a lot of people act like it is. Making an archery who can do trick shots and stuff isn’t going to break anything.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, I think that I want to just give the class stances they can learn, and like 5 or 6 special attacks they can just do. Then they can just spend the Smite dice to add damage to any attack, and it’s all fluid and doesn’t risk feeling magical, as much, or being overly complex.


I’ll post a writeup tomorrow or Friday.
 

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