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Ultimate Archer


Advice

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Quick write up to follow up on the Titan Mauler. Incomplete, but I think I got most of the offensive abilities. Additional Rage powers could include Superstition, Rolling Dodge, or possibly Unexpected Strike (to set up future use of Snap Shot and Imp Snap Shot). You could also go Disruptive and Spellbreaker for the Snap Shot chain.

Goblin Barbarian 12 (Titan Mauler)
(25 point buy system)

Bse Enh Rage
Str 16 16 22
Dex 18 28 28
Con 10 10 16
Int 10 10 10
Wis 12 12 12
Cha 7 5 5

Init +9
BAB +12
CMB +16
CMD +25

Attacks: +27/+27/+27(2)/+22/+17
Attack Bonuses: BAB(+12), Dex(+9), Tiny (+2), Enh(+4), Haste(+1), RA(+4), BGH(+1), DA (-4), RS (-2)= +25
Damage (3d6+21) (+9str, +4weap, +8DA)

Large Composite Longbow (Gravity Bow) +4 (3d6)
Belt: +4 Str/Dex
Ring of Permanent Reduce Person
Boots of Haste

FEATS/ABILITIES
1) Big Game Hunter(+1 AR, +1 dodge vs larger enemies), Point Blank Shot, rage
2) Jotungrip, rage power (Reckless Abandon)
3) Precise Shot, Massive Weapons (-4 AR penalty reduced for using oversized weapons)
4) Rage power
5) Rapid Shot, Evade Reach
6) Rage power
7) Deadly Aim
8) Rage power
9) Manyshot
10) Rage power
11) Improved Precise Shot, greater rage
12) Rage power

What I like about this build (aside from the uniqueness) is the ability to customize your defenses through Rage Powers. Every build could differ depending on the rage power choices, which gives added flexibility not found in the fighter or ranger variants.


Whisperknives wrote:

On the topic of Zen Archer:

What is the point of them getting Ki Focus as a class feature for their weapon when they do not get stunning fist or it's variants to use it with?

As pointed out by Porpentine a couple of days ago...

"Lyu gains stunning fist arrows at 17th level, courtesy of the zen archer class ability, Ki Focus Bow. As laid out in this thread, he doesn't have it at 15th - but he will soon, and it's a stonking ability when he finally gets it."

Meaning, you take the feat Stunning Fist at level 15. When you pick up Ki Focus Bow at level 17 you then possess 21 stunning fist attempts.


So even if you just take it as a feat and not a class feature you get the bonus attempts, I was under the impression that if you take it as a feat it is the normal number of times a day.

Osirion

Even as a class feature it's a feat, it's just a bonus feat.


Overcast wrote:
Quick write up to follow up on the Titan Mauler. Incomplete, but I think I got most of the offensive abilities. Additional Rage powers could include Superstition, Rolling Dodge, or possibly Unexpected Strike (to set up future use of Snap Shot and Imp Snap Shot). You could also go Disruptive and Spellbreaker for the Snap Shot chain.

You realize you get zero benefit from your rage without that new enchant on your composite bow. I forgot the name but it allows your str mod to vary.

Without it you only get the +4 from having a composite str bow (+4). If you make it a composite up to your Rage Str mod... then you cant use it unless your in a Rage.


Overcast wrote:
Anyone considered making a Barbarian Archer, using the Titan Mauler archetype? There's something to be said for wielding a colossal bow in combat (for that matter, would Gravity Bow still increase the damage beyond colossal?)I know going Barbarian makes you light on feats, but you can still get the essential ones, and 7 attacks a round with a colossal weapon and the power of barbarian rage behind it has to make up for quite a bit. For that matter, some of the rage powers are significant as well. Reckless Abandon seems far less Reckless when you're raging at the back of the party, peppering them with arrows.

except you cant wield a bow that large. titan mauler does nothing to allow bigger weapons beyond what a normal person would wield (a large one-handed weapon or bastard weapon, or a huge sized light weapon), it simply reduces the penalties for mis-sized weapons (-2 for every category larger). it breaks my heart too, since i always wanted to play a guy who could club a cloud giant to death with another cloud giant.


The rules about using wrong sized weapons is all about melee weapons.
There don't seem to be any rules about using wrong sized ranged weapons.

This can mean:
1) You can't do it at all
2) Everyone can do it.

In both cases you don't get any benefit from being a titan mauler.


Whisperknives wrote:
So even if you just take it as a feat and not a class feature you get the bonus attempts, I was under the impression that if you take it as a feat it is the normal number of times a day.

You get a stun per monk level, by the wording of the feat.

It isn't clear that you get the alternate monk class feature benefits (paralysis etc) - I'd rule not, if I were GMing - but it doesn't matter. At high levels, one round of stun isn't just all you need, but is the least-resisted condition a monk can apply with the multi-flavour ability. It's supernatural (so no SR), and a zen archer's arrow-stun at 20th, with the right feats, is DC36. A spellcaster can get the same DC with full investment at that level, but will tend to come up against spell resistance.

If you have time for a bit of reading, click on my name and hunt out the zen archer guide to see what this does to foes at the highest levels.

ps: I like the goblin builds, by the way. You can certainly get some decent mileage out of goblinhood with a zen archer, though human and dwarf are superior. The better attack balances out the lower damage a bit, and the Stealth is useful.


Umbranus wrote:

The rules about using wrong sized weapons is all about melee weapons.

There don't seem to be any rules about using wrong sized ranged weapons.

This can mean:
1) You can't do it at all
2) Everyone can do it.

In both cases you don't get any benefit from being a titan mauler.

werent there lots of arguements about the (non-thri-keen) zen archer not actually being able to flurry because bows take up both hands?

because a two haned weapon scaled up becomes a 3 handed weapon (and so not useable).

actually, im stuck posting on my 3ds, could you paste the different-sized weapon section please? i mean, if im wrong then great: i always wanted y-to play an arbalist from etrian odyssey.


Where does it say you can't use oversized weapons? I mean, in the class description itself, it says directly that the titan mauler specializes in using weapons looted from their foes. Why scale the actual Titan Mauler ability to the point that you could use colossal weapons without penalty, if you never can actually wield colossal weapons? To me it seems quite clear that the designer's intent was to allow the barbarian to do just that.


Nevermind,I found it myself. I agree that in the RAW, it doesn't look like it would work. I still believe that the intent of the Titan Mauler class was to get around the RAW, but it never states that it allows the Titan Mauler to use weapons beyond what's allowed. Otherwise, it's not a Titan Mauler, it's an Ogre mauler...which really is kind of worthless. I'll have to keep it as a house-ruled ability then, because I refuse to allow a thematically fun class to become terrible through the devolopers inability to write.


It is the fact that ranged weapons are not specified as being light, onehanded or two-handed combined with the following paragraph:

SRD weapons section wrote:

The measure of how much effort it takes to use a weapon (whether the weapon is designated as a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon for a particular wielder) is altered by one step for each size category of difference between the wielder's size and the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed. For example, a Small creature would wield a Medium one-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon. If a weapon's designation would be changed to something other than light, one-handed, or two-handed by this alteration, the creature can't wield the weapon at all.

I know that you need two hands to use a bow. But that alone doesn't make it a twohanded weapon.

On the other hand you could interpret this in a way that there just no size limit for ranged weapons.
If you go that route then a medium creature could use a gargantuan weapon. An with just a -6 to attack. This penalty would be one that could be reduced by the titam mauler's level 3 power.
So at level 18 a titan mauler could fire a gargantuan bow without penalties.

So I interpret RAI as can't be done and the HR that titan mailers can use weapons one size larger applies to ranged weapons as well.


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One aspect of the Zen Archer that people seem to not be taking advantage of is their Ki Arrows ability. This allows them to key their arrow damage to equal their unarmed damage. Porpertine did it here with his excellent build.

The monk has access to spells that the fighter simply does not because of being able to link it to their unarmed damage.

Monks Robe - Sets damage to 2d10
Strong Jaws - 2 size increases
Lead Blades - 1 size increase
Improved Natural Attack - 1 size increase (I would switch it for dodge at 7th and take out improved initiative at 1 for dodge)
= 4 size increases

Damage extrapolation: (This follows the small/large unarmed table)
Medium (2d10)->Large (4d8)->Huge (6d8)->Gargantuan (8d8)->Colossal (10d10)

The fighter simply cannot match this damage output. He cannot get access to Strong Jaws, Lead Blades or INA as all of these are keying off of the monks unarmed damage. The monk out damages the fighter, for at least 21 rounds/day, which nothing will survive past the first as:

Bow ki damage deadly vital strike +24 (2d10+4d10+18 & ditto)
Bow ki damage deadly flurry haste +27/+27/+27/+22/+22/+17/+17 (2d10+18)

becomes

Bow ki damage deadly vital strike +24 (10d10+4d10+18 & ditto)
Bow ki damage deadly flurry haste +27/+27/+27/+22/+22/+17/+17 (10d10+18)

Average damage/shot for 10d10+4d10+18: 95
Average damage/shot for 10d10+18: 73x7 shots = 511 damage on full attack


problem i find with that is not everyone allows INA (since some DMs are opposed to giving PCs monster feats), others argue that those effects don't stack since they're "similar" effects (size increases), like haste/speed/etc. don't stack with each other.

it also takes two turns and a swift action to buff up to reach said dubious DPR potential if you don't have party members buffing you (as they might not be the appropriate classes or be doing other things like helping the rest of the party)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

From what I've been able to put together, playing with the various builds, the archers pretty much work out like this:

Fighter: basically an artillery platform. One of the most damaging characters in the game, but very much a one-trick pony. Weapon Master ideal, Archer a solid second option.

Zen Archer: trades a little bit of the Fighter's damage for a tremendous amount of defense and in-combat utility.

Ranger: not as damaging as the Fighter or the Zen Archer, lacks the Zen Archer's in-combat utility but offers a lot of out-of-combat utility. Basically being a solid ranged threat is the 'other thing' he does.

Paladin: when Smiting is as dangerous a character as you can get, but lacks the feats to be a truly effective Archer when not. Divine Hunter would be the best choice here, but the truth is that Smite works better as a switch-hitters than a pure archer.

Inquisitors: never messed with them.

Sohei: never messed with them.

Bard: significantly less effective as an archer than those mentioned above. If you play one, you play them for reasons other than their archery skills.

Rogue: see Bard.


well, you guys can go ahead and quibble about optimals, but my ranger archer at lvl 6 six just had an amazing adventure! One full attack round, with gravity bow up and one critical confirmation, 74 points of damage! Though only two non-crits were against favored enemies (and only +2's at that.) Then in the next encounter, 72hp, one a crit with both gbow and aspect of falcon up this time, on only two hits.

And last night, a whole adventure of nothing but undead (my 1st favored now at +4/+4) and humans (my 2nd favored at +2/+2).

Okay, so we might not be the most consistent, but wow it feels great, with full BAB, at level 6, to totally disregard cover, low light, etc., and blast away as only a ranger can do! And then favored enemies! Neither of the parties from the last two nights would have survived without that bonus, tactical fact.


After looking over the class, I have to say that the Zen Archer is probably the most powerful archer in the whole entire game. The reason for this is rather simple: they can get 9 attacks on a full-round action OR they can settle for 8 attacks and deal their unarmed strike damage into each arrow.

Needless to say, that's kinda crazy.

On the plus side, Zen Archer's don't need manyshot or rapid shot feats since their Flurry pretty much provides that to them anyway. Furthermore, between things like Bracer’s of Falcon’s Aim, Clustered Shot, and Deadly Aim (which scales off the Flurry BAB), you basically unleash an absurd amount of damage while having the defensive benefits of a monk at the same time.

Plus, you can make attacks of opportunity with your bow, you don't provoke from firing your bow when you're in melee, and you can fire at enemies that most other archer's can't even see. To top it all off, the monk's speed boost will allow you to safe separate yourself from any potential enemies, while basically giving you the chance to snipe them off at incredible distances before they can even reach you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Duskblade wrote:

After looking over the class, I have to say that the Zen Archer is probably the most powerful archer in the whole entire game. The reason for this is rather simple: they can get 9 attacks on a full-round action OR they can settle for 8 attacks and deal their unarmed strike damage into each arrow.

Needless to say, that's kinda crazy.

On the plus side, Zen Archer's don't need manyshot or rapid shot feats since their Flurry pretty much provides that to them anyway. Furthermore, between things like Bracer’s of Falcon’s Aim, Clustered Shot, and Deadly Aim (which scales off the Flurry BAB), you basically unleash an absurd amount of damage while having the defensive benefits of a monk at the same time.

Plus, you can make attacks of opportunity with your bow, you don't provoke from firing your bow when you're in melee, and you can fire at enemies that most other archer's can't even see. To top it all off, the monk's speed boost will allow you to safe separate yourself from any potential enemies, while basically giving you the chance to snipe them off at incredible distances before they can even reach you.

I honestly think what puts the Zen Archer over the top is all of its combat utility powers and its incredibly high survivability.

Just wish it wasn't quite so complex to play at times, with ki points, ki powers, Perfect Strike and so on.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The other advantage of a Zen Archer is if you don't want to just be an archer you can very effectively multiclass out of Zen Archer into another high-WIS based class and have a very flexible and incredibly fun to play character - once you get to Improved Precise Shot (and have Deadly Aim) you have nearly every feat you need (Clustered Shot might be good at some point in the future but you don't absolutely need it if you can afford to keep your bow enchanted and/or carry lots of types of arrows)

This means you can easily multiclass into another Wis based class - Cleric (if you have enough CHA to pull it off well) or as I have done with my PFS you can multiclass into Druid very nicely (especially if you don't focus on CHA based aspects of the druid - I took a domain over an animal companion though boon companion would help equalize if you wanted a companion).

Monks get a lot of great defensive capabilities - combine them with some spellcasting and you have a character that can do lot in combat and out of combat. You could alternatively multiclass into a full BAB class and pick up a secondary chain of feats (however you probably want to be unarmored so consider archetypes of the fighter that give that up if you go that route).

Done well the Zen Archer is nearly a SAD class (WIS is nearly everything) though having a good to high STR with the right bow is also quite helpful - but the monk doesn't need much Dex (though a bit helps with defenses of course) and INT and CHA are reasonable to dump (though INT hurts more than CHA for low skill ranks)


Is this considered as an "archer build"?

Qadira

Ed-Zero wrote:
One aspect of the Zen Archer that people seem to not be taking advantage of is their Ki Arrows ability.

Nah Ed - I used the Ki arrows as part of my goblin build a page or two back. Permanent reduce person for the bonus to hit, ki arrows for the damage.


Well, A lots of great ideas in this thread. I want to share the next build I call him the archer tank. Maybe he do not do massive amount of damage but I think he can do very well in melee range.

I do not know how it compares In DPR agaisnt ravindork brothers or that zen archer though.

EDIT: I think I have to revise those numbers, they seems too high.
EDIT 2: All should be fine by now.

Human - Fighter 15

Initiative +11

=== Stats ===

Str 12,Dex 22 (28) ,con 14,Int 12,Wis 14(16), Cha 7

=== Defense ===

Hp: 132 (15d10 + 45)
AC: 39
FF AC: 30
Touch AC: 20

CMD: 37 (47 against grapple and trip, 50 against Disarm and sunder)

=== Saves ===

Fort +17
Ref +18
Will +14 (+18 Vs Fear) (Inmune to mind affecting effects from evil creatures)

=== Attacks ===

+5 Adaptative Longbow:

+33/+33/+28/+23 (1d8 +24 19-20/x3)

=== Traits ===
+1 Will, +2 Initiative

=== Feats===
1. Point blank shot, Precise shot,Weapon focus (C. longbow)
2. Rapid shot
3. Iron will
4. WS (longbow)
5. Point blank master
6. Deadly aim
7. Manyshots
8. GWF (longbow)
9. Snap shot
10. Improved snap shot.
11. Improved critical hit (longbow)
12. Improved precise shot
13. Toughness
14. GWS (longbow)
15. Improved Iron will

=== Skills ===

Perception +18
Stealth +25
Climb +9
Swim +9
Survival +9
Knwoledge (dungeonering) +14

=== Special ===
wapon training 4, armor training 4, Bravery 4.

=== gear ===

+6 Belt of dex (36K), +5 Adaptative longbow (51 K), Gloves of dueling (15K), +5 mitrhal Full plate

(36K),Greater bracers of archery (25 K), +5 Cloak of resistance (25K) cracked Pale Green Prism Ioun stone [saves], cracked Pale Green Prism Ioun stone [attack] (4K), +2 Ring of protection (8K), +2 amulet of natural armor (8K), +2 Headband of wisdom (4K), Wayfinder + Clear spindle Ioun stones (4,5K) , Manual of quickness in
action + 1 (27K), Dusty Rose Prism (5K), +2 Darkwodd buclker (5K)

Total spended 238 K


Ravingdork wrote:

Perhaps my two archer brothers will help you find your way?

Dayer is a master archer optimized for high attack and damage. Every arrow that lands promises more damage to the next, and he rarely misses. He laughs in the face of high hit points, high AC, and high damage reduction.

Deacon is a trick archer optimized for versatility and trick shots (such as bouncing arrows off a wall to bypass cover). He is a highly effective battlefield controller that can also perform a variety of useful combat maneuvers at range. He can disarm or trip an entire platoon of enemies as they attempt to charge into melee.

Enjoy!

Those guys are a little out of date now. Here are their newer renditions:

Dayer Rann, the master archer

Deacon Rann, the trick archer

Ravingdork wrote:
Dayer and Deacon above can easily net 150+ damage per round at 15th-level. I'm doubting any single attack build can top that.

Oh yeah? Meet Nudel the Devourer.

Her chomp attack automatically deals over 310 damage.


Builds at this level are too crazy, So even if my build seems good to my eyes I really can not say it is indeed strong. What do you think of him?


Nicos wrote:
Builds at this level are too crazy, So even if my build seems good to my eyes I really can not say it is indeed strong. What do you think of him?

I think some of your numbers are off. You have him listed as an 11th-level fighter, but with 15 HD.


Ravingdork wrote:


Ravingdork wrote:
Dayer and Deacon above can easily net 150+ damage per round at 15th-level. I'm doubting any single attack build can top that.

Oh yeah? Meet Nudel the Devourer.

Her chomp attack automatically deals over 310 damage.

explanation?


Ravingdork wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Builds at this level are too crazy, So even if my build seems good to my eyes I really can not say it is indeed strong. What do you think of him?
I think some of your numbers are off. You have him listed as an 11th-level fighter, but with 15 HD.

uh, yeap you are righ. I had him at level 11 and did a quick level up just to compare against the builds in this thread. Ssorry for that.


Nicos wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


Ravingdork wrote:
Dayer and Deacon above can easily net 150+ damage per round at 15th-level. I'm doubting any single attack build can top that.

Oh yeah? Meet Nudel the Devourer.

Her chomp attack automatically deals over 310 damage.

explanation?

size shenanigans (like strong jaw) and furious finish, i'd assume. the captain falcon build that i've seen floating around uses a similar method, iirc.


Nicos wrote:
Explanation?

She wild shapes into a Behemoth Hippopotamus, casts strong jaw, rages, attacks with her bite using Improved Vital Strike. Then when she hits she uses here Furious Finish feat, which ends her rage and allows the attack to deal maximum damage (36d8+23 = 311).


Ravingdork wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Explanation?
She wild shapes into a Behemoth Hippopotamus, casts strong jaw, rages, attacks with her bite using Improved Vital Strike and Power Attack. Then when she hits she uses here Furious Finish feat, which ends her rage and allows the attack to deal maximum damage (36d6+23 = 311).

I walk away silently ...:P

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