Scout Skirmish Ability Question

Swedish Chef

Explorer
It's certainly your game, but that's most definitely not RAW. Per the SRD:

You are correct. I misspoke when I typed that in. We had actually clarified that rule as well about 3 sessions ago. I'm afraid I was suffering from C.R.A.F.T. when I typed that! :lol:

From what I have read on this thread, the consensus appears to be the following:

1) My interpretation of the rules is correct, and a scout at low levels suffers from "lack of ability" by design, so to speak.
2) There are ways around this, even at relatively low level, provided you have the correct feats or access to the correct spells.
3) As the scout gets higher in level and has access to more feats and magic items, he will become quite the combat force. He just needs to be a bit patient.

I should note that the player's younger sister is playing the party sorcerer. Unfortunately for him, she's playing a pyromancer type of character - almost all her spells are fire based! He's in for a bit of a rough time getting access to the appropriate spells! :p

I played a couple of years ago, taking a break from DM duty for a while. I chose to play a ranger specializing in bow, aiming for Order of the Bow Initiate (although the revamped version in 3.5 was a bit nerfed from the 3.0 version, IMO). I ran into the same sort of problems. Until about 5th level, I was as dangerous to my own party as I was to the enemy when firing into melee. Around 5th level that started to balance out (especially with the Precise Shot feat). Once I hit about 10th level or so (I don't remember the exact level), and I had Rapid Shot, Precise Shot and Manyshot, I was doing average damage that equaled the party Barbarian! And since I usually set up 60 or 70 feet away from melee, I was rarely hit in return (the odd enemy spellcaster was still an issue, but not much).

Part of the issue here is that the player is the son of one of the other players. He has grown up in the video game age. WoW and other games give you so much so fast that your character is a force almost from the start. For the rest of the group, we started with AD&D or OD&D, so we're used to waiting for our power levels to increase. We don't look down on the player in question. We're simply using this as a means of teaching the game to the next generation. I encourage him to question the rules, as sometimes a fresh set of eyes will find issues that us grognards may overlook or take for granted! And how better to learn a game than to read and question the rules for the game? B-)

Anyway, thanks for everyone's input. I look forward to any more points of interest, and I'm sure we'll be back for more advice as time goes on! :D
 

log in or register to remove this ad

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
Part of the issue here is that the player is the son of one of the other players. He has grown up in the video game age. WoW and other games give you so much so fast that your character is a force almost from the start. For the rest of the group, we started with AD&D or OD&D, so we're used to waiting for our power levels to increase. We don't look down on the player in question. We're simply using this as a means of teaching the game to the next generation. I encourage him to question the rules, as sometimes a fresh set of eyes will find issues that us grognards may overlook or take for granted! And how better to learn a game than to read and question the rules for the game? B-)

If he wants a faster path to awesome damage dealing as a scout, he should trade in those archery feats for the two weapon fighting tree and dip a level in Barbarian for Pounce (the Lion totem variant in Complete Champion). Doesn't take long at all to achieve and will do better damage than archery both immediately and in the long term. Heck, dragon magazine even had a "Dashing Step" Barbarian variant to further make that dip pay dividends. You don't suffer -2 AC for charging. Kinda obscure though, and sort of cheesy. You suffer no drawback for it until Barb 3 (you lose Trap Sense, and starting at level 3 the Trap Sense bonus instead adds to AC against AoOs caused by charging). Anyway...

For both scouts and archers, and ESPECIALLY scout archers, in 3E you need a while to get all your feats going to make archery useful, and even if you're patient and wait...even later on you'll never become a "force" compared to other classes. Melee will grotesquely outdamage you and eventually gain cheap access to fly spells buffs/potions/items to make your whole "I can always attack no matter the scenario" benefit kinda moot. Spellcasters will absolutely dwarf you and all other noncasters at later levels as their spellpower increases exponentially. Scouts and archers (and again, especially scouts who are archers) do reliable, decent damage and can seldom be completely shut down (Wind Wall excepted, but that spell's crazy broken, IMO), but they never get "really good." You just sort of have to accept that you'll always be mediocre when you play such a class, or otherwise pick something else.
 

Empirate

First Post
Getting the Splitting enchantment on your bow, and some of the juicy archery related spells in Champions of Ruin, will make your archer quite competent at dealing damage, really. Damage reduction will always remain a problem, but other than that, you can contribute well enough.

Note that you still need to optimize heavily to make your archer worthwhile. Also, Scout archers in particular are not that great. Swift Hunter with a majority of Ranger levels (as opposed to actual Scout levels...) makes a world of difference. Especially if you can get the Sword of the Arcane Order feat or simply a Mystic Ranger variant in the first place. But you'll be pretty feat-starved.

A good dip for archers, surprisingly, is Barbarian, at least the Whirling Frenzy variant: +2 to hit (via Dex increase), +2 damage (via Str increase), and an extra attack that works like Rapid Shot and stacks with that - what's not to love?
 


StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
Force enchantment solves your DR related problems.

It should also solve the wind wall problem, although some people disagree for reasons I can't comprehend.

A good dip for archers, surprisingly, is Barbarian, at least the Whirling Frenzy variant: +2 to hit (via Dex increase), +2 damage (via Str increase), and an extra attack that works like Rapid Shot and stacks with that - what's not to love?

Unless you have an adjustable strength rating bow or carry a bow specifically for use while in whirling frenzy (expensive to maintain two bows later on), you're likely not getting the +2 damage. And without a feat (Extra Rage) or a spell/wand buff (Blood Frenzy spell, Druid 2, in Spell Compendium), it's only 1/day. It's a decent dip, but especially if doing Swift Hunter not neccessarily worth it. On the other hand, Whirling Frenzy + pounce + possibly Dashing Step makes Barb dip for a melee scout still better yet, thanks for reminding me.
 
Last edited:

Empirate

First Post
On a Barbarian dip, Extra Rage is of course assumed. But thanks for reminding me - archer types are generally feat starved, so Extra Rage might be hard to fit in.
And you're right about the adjustability of your bow's pull. At mid levels up, I'll usually go for a Composite Bow that's +2 better than I can handle with my own Str, assuming either Whirling Frenzy or Bull's Strength to come my way. But it can be skipped, Whirling Frenzy is good even without the damage boost.

And yeah, 1 level of Barbarian is, in fact, a mandatory dip for every melee build except ToB stuff.
 


Eman Resu

First Post
Couldn't you just take levels in Dervish and use the Dervish Dance ability to get skirmish damage on all your attacks?


what like whirlwind attack?
the main problem is a ya cant move more than 5' and get full round, class not thought out.
even if you find a way to attack after moving 10' or more then your left standing there toe to toe until your next init.
I read up bounding assault (spring attacks big brother) and two wep strike and those are the only feats I know of that allow two attacks after a move, and bounding ass. allows you to move after attack as spring attack does.

Everybody seems to have asnswers to fix the scouts main problem -as written it cant work! But all the solutions are in magazines or off-core books, or some expensive magic item the pc will never see. We use the complete series (most) and core.

Magic items just dont grow on trees, in our low-magic campaign, the Red Wizards are the only ones with open "shops" as they kill anybody who competes. The rest of items are found in dungeons etc.

So if your a core only campaign, make a single class scout work. Without access to unique magic items. Again after reading into it, none of us can figure out how they intended this class to work, we like the idea, of a rogue/ranger combo with new class abilities but errumm do it with core and a low magic campaign.
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
Dervish is extremely feat heavy to enter, and not the feats a melee scout necessarily wants (Everything in the Spring Attack tree save for Spring Attack, and Weapon Focus). And any levels in Dervish is lost skirmish progression, particularly painful if you're a Swift Hunter (also lose favored enemy progression, with favored enemies letting tell the precision damage rules to sit down and shut up).

But yeah, a few levels of Dervish is cool with Scout. I just think that once C.Champion came out with "Pounce at level 1" Dervish sort of lost a lot of its appeal is all. :)
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
what like whirlwind attack?
the main problem is a ya cant move more than 5' and get full round, class not thought out.
even if you find a way to attack after moving 10' or more then your left standing there toe to toe until your next init.

That's why he said Dervish. The dervish dance explicitly lets you move between attacks. In fact, you're required to move at least 5 ft between each attack of your full attack, and if you can't move any more (used up all movement or hit some sort of sudden obstruction) that round, you lose any attacks you still had to make! Dervish being in C.Warrior existed before Scout and is a great example of how from the very release of the book, scout had options to move and full attack.

So if your a core only campaign, make a single class scout work. Without access to unique magic items. Again after reading into it, none of us can figure out how they intended this class to work, we like the idea, of a rogue/ranger combo with new class abilities but errumm do it with core and a low magic campaign.

If you're in a core only game, Scout doesn't exist. If C.Adventurer is allowed, assuming other books, especially other Completes, are allowed as well is fair. I suppose you could have custom campaign set ups where Scout is worthless.... I could blanket my world in an Antimagic field and make all spellcasting worthless. That doesn't prove anything.

Low magic campaigns are extremely unbalanced in their own right, scout's far from the only one with problems. Casters can cast their own buffs and possibly craft items. Noncasters in such a game just get shafted.

How does scout work? With some planning and setup, just like the rogue. Rogue can seldom get sneak attack all on his own, at least after the 1st round of combat. He relies on melee buddies to flank and casters or wands to grease enemies, Invisbile or Blink him, or to summon flanking buddies. Scout relies on spells or items to move 10+ ft without spending a move action. Both classes can get feats and other tricks to self-serve a little, but both fare much better with party support.
 



DumbPaladin

First Post
If you cast celerity on yourself (obviously in this example, you are a rogue/sorcerer or rogue/wizard) AFTER you have moved 10', to give yourself an extra standard action which you use as an attack, would you essentially deal multiple attacks for that round with skirmish damage?
 



Swedish Chef

Explorer
what like whirlwind attack?
the main problem is a ya cant move more than 5' and get full round, class not thought out.
even if you find a way to attack after moving 10' or more then your left standing there toe to toe until your next init.
I read up bounding assault (spring attacks big brother) and two wep strike and those are the only feats I know of that allow two attacks after a move, and bounding ass. allows you to move after attack as spring attack does.

Everybody seems to have asnswers to fix the scouts main problem -as written it cant work! But all the solutions are in magazines or off-core books, or some expensive magic item the pc will never see. We use the complete series (most) and core.

Magic items just dont grow on trees, in our low-magic campaign, the Red Wizards are the only ones with open "shops" as they kill anybody who competes. The rest of items are found in dungeons etc.

So if your a core only campaign, make a single class scout work. Without access to unique magic items. Again after reading into it, none of us can figure out how they intended this class to work, we like the idea, of a rogue/ranger combo with new class abilities but errumm do it with core and a low magic campaign.

You bring up an interesting problem vis-a-vis melee attacks. However, in my original post I pointed out that the player in question was going for the archery feats.

Others have provided options for the melee attacks which should work out. It does appear that the scout has an easier time obtaining the necessary feats to move and gain skirmish attacks on all attacks if he goes the archer route, though.

Either way, the player has several options available to him. He just needs to learn the patience required to obtain them. ;)
 

Eman Resu

First Post
That's why he said Dervish. The dervish dance explicitly lets you move between attacks. In fact, you're required to move at least 5 ft between each attack of your full attack, and if you can't move any more (used up all movement or hit some sort of sudden obstruction) that round, you lose any attacks you still had to make! Dervish being in C.Warrior existed before Scout and is a great example of how from the very release of the book, scout had options to move and full attack.



If you're in a core only game, Scout doesn't exist. If C.Adventurer is allowed, assuming other books, especially other Completes, are allowed as well is fair. I suppose you could have custom campaign set ups where Scout is worthless.... I could blanket my world in an Antimagic field and make all spellcasting worthless. That doesn't prove anything.

Low magic campaigns are extremely unbalanced in their own right, scout's far from the only one with problems. Casters can cast their own buffs and possibly craft items. Noncasters in such a game just get shafted.

How does scout work? With some planning and setup, just like the rogue. Rogue can seldom get sneak attack all on his own, at least after the 1st round of combat. He relies on melee buddies to flank and casters or wands to grease enemies, Invisbile or Blink him, or to summon flanking buddies. Scout relies on spells or items to move 10+ ft without spending a move action. Both classes can get feats and other tricks to self-serve a little, but both fare much better with party support.

We do use core, complete series (most), Unearthed Arcana, Psionic books and the PhB2
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top