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What is the best way for an Arcane Archer to get a Roc Animal Companion?


Advice

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I know I have talked about my son playing an Arcane Archer in the upcoming campaign. That campaign will be starting soon. My son is 10yrs old by the way. I had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk over what his priorities were for this character and it turns out he has 2 that I don't see as mixing very well but he is set on them. He wants to:

1. Play an Arcane Archer.
2. Have a Roc Animal Companion for riding purposes.

He has other priorities as well but they are secondary:

3. Be a sneaky type though he doesn't necessarily want to deal sneak attack damage. Right now he is just very interested in the Hellcat Stealth feat. I think that should be fairly easy to fit in, but it is more of the question of which feats he will be sacrificing by taking Hellcat Stealth over them.
4. Be an elf.

So far the closest I could get is the following build:
Ranger levels are for Beast Master to get Roc as the animal Companion.
He would be a Halfling with the following stats with 20 point buy:

Str 13 (including the -2 racial)
Dex 18 (including the +2 racial)
Con 13
Int 8
Wis 10
Cha 14 (including the +2 racial)

1 - Ranger 1: Favored Enemy: Magical Beast, Track, Wild Empathy, Point Blank Shot (1st)
2 - Ranger 2: Rapid Shot (bonus)
3 - Ranger 3: Endurance (bonus), Boon Companion (3rd)
4 - Ranger 4: Animal Companion
5 - Fighter 1: Precise Shot (Fighter), Hellcat Stealth (5th)
6 - Ranger 5: Favored Enemy: Undead
7 - Sorcerer 1: Bloodline: Sylvan, Cantrips, Eschew Materials, Weapon Focus: Longbow (7th)
8 - Arcane Archer 1: Enhance Arrows
9 - Arcane Archer 2: Imbue Arrow, Mounted Combat (9th)
and on from there...

(This is also with the interpretation that the Animal Companion gained from the Sylvan Bloodline simply adds to the effective druid level of the one gained from Ranger. The DM has approved this interpretation.)

This build accomplishes everything he wants except for being an Elf. But by sacrificing that he is able to ride his animal companion sooner being that it starts at Medium size and he starts at Small size. He still may need to purchase Muleback Cords to allow his mount to carry him plus the weight of both of their gear. He plans on getting Light Armor Proficiency for his mount and giving it some armor. Maybe even Mithril Medium armor as he doesn't care about the attack penalty as the mount will not be used for attacking.

I can't help but think this can be done better, though. The obvious downfalls that he is dealing with are thus:
1. He doesn't obtain his mount until 4th level. The only way to get it sooner that I know of would be to use a Druid or Cavalier, neither of which benefit the build greatly.
2. He is small sized with being a Halfing which hurts his damage from weapon size. Besides that he couldn't fit in Deadly Aim which only worsens that issue. He didn't want to drop Hellcat Stealth for it but has at least left it open for consideration pending his judgement on how far behind on damage he will actually be. I am hopeful that he forgoes Hellcat Stealth for 9th level and grabs Deadly Aim despite it fitting his vision of the character.
3. He doesn't get to be an Elf. IMO, this isn't a big deal anyway as he understands that as an Elf the Roc will not be big/strong enough to support him until 7th effective Druid level. Thematically though, he was interested in being an Elf.

Any suggestions?


Leadership?


You could take 1 level in druid and get the AC right away.

Might fall under GM fiat but possibly the falconeer ranger arctype. They get a weak bird Ac at first level.


Leadership + Monstrous Cohort.

Take the stats of a pegasus (lvl 6), a giant vulture (lvl 7) or a griffon (lvl 8), refluff it to look like a roc.


Leadership is being disallowed. Also, you can't get it until after he can already get the Animal Companion.

Taking the level of Druid at first level would further delay him from entry into Arcane Archer. This sacrifice is unacceptable to him.


Then use a figurine of wondrous power (Bronze Griffon) that looks like a roc.


Rereading, go with Falconer ranwger archetype. At first level they get any type of large or scavenging bird. At 4th level gets better and then better ago when his druidism level goes up.


Thank you for the suggestions.

However, he does not want a figurine of power as he wants this to be an Animal Companion.


The Falconer seems better than the Beastmaster archetype, though they basically both lose out on the 5th level feat. Meh, still a minor improvement I'm not sure how I missed. Thanx!

Liberty's Edge

Hellcat Stealth requires Skill Focus (Stealth) and 6 ranks of Stealth.

Boon Companion requires the Animal Companion class ability; ranger doesn't yet have the class ability at 3rd level, but I'm not sure that prevents it or not.


Well, crap. Good catch on the Skill Focus (Stealth) bit. I thought I had a solution for that... something with a racial alternative or something I think. I'll have to look back over it.


See if the GM will let you (or if you are the GM, let him) pick up Eldritch Heritage: Sylvan instead of taking it as an actual Sorcerer bloodline, then grab Boon Companion. It is questionable rules wise (Wildblooded lines are technically archetypes, though the Sage FAQ implies you can take them, though it may refer to a few other abilities that can give non-sorcerers bloodline abilities. Slyvan has the issue of being both an arcana and power)

If 3.5 stuff is allowed, see if you can take Wild Cohort and get it updated to PF's animal companion rules.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

move up the Level of sylvan sorcerer for the arcane spell requirement (the ranger normally casts divine spells)- that will give you an animal companion right off the bat, and you can take Boon Companion right away. Unlike most classes with a druid companion -3, the Sylvan sorcerers has a minimum of 1.

If he's small the roc starts at medium, so you can fly on it from level 1.

Definitely get precise shot before rapid shot: its VERy hard to shoot into melee with an effective -8 penalty (+4 from cover and the -4 for shooting into melee that precise shot negates)

Liberty's Edge

Is the 13 Str needed? What about 12 Str and 12 Wis, giving ranger spells at 4th level; they can be somewhat flavorful and useful.

Also, consider Fighter 2 instead of Ranger 5 for a bonus feat to help with the Skill Focus issue by juggling the combat feats. It gives up 2nd favored enemy and a spell slot; the spell slot only if bumping Wis, as with 10 Wis he doesn't get ranger spells at all.

Edit: One of the things I ran into playing an arcane archer in 3.5 (elf sometimes mounted on bat) was the relative ineffectiveness of the first level area spells for imbuing arrows. First level core Sorc/Wiz spells that work are only burning hands, color spray, and sleep. Of those, sleep is ineffective at the levels that you get imbue, color spray is stun 1r only, and burning hands isn't all that much damage at those levels.

If the imbue isn't a big draw, also consider bard rather than sorc.

You've mentioned mithral medium armor: it's probably worthwhile to check with your GM regarding flying in medium barding; the reduction of category for movement/other limitations should cover, but it just avoids a later shock by talking about it first. The Light Armor Proficiency is nice, but not required if the mount won't be attacking. It picks up a possible penalty on some skills (0 penalty with masterwork studded leather or mithral chain shirt), including Fly, but at the cost of a feat as well as a point of Int to allow the feat at all.


Zen Archer+Empyreal Seeker Sorcerer is my favorite Arcane Archer entry, and the high SAD (even more if you take Wisdom of the Flesh as a trait) makes 13 charisma pretty obtainable. You can't enter AA till 10 with the build (stupid Monk BAB that is sometimes full but not actually full for qualifying), but you are a much better combatant before and after you enter.

Sczarni

Howie23 wrote:

Hellcat Stealth requires Skill Focus (Stealth) and 6 ranks of Stealth.

Boon Companion requires the Animal Companion class ability; ranger doesn't yet have the class ability at 3rd level, but I'm not sure that prevents it or not.

Yea there are developer comments on taking feats before you qualify. And those comments say no dice.

Make sure that getting a roc is even allowed. According to text on them they are incredibly rare and fairly expensive...you are talking about a purchase on the black market of animal trading for thousands of gold. Its a great companion and I had one because I could use to to pick enemies up and then drop them from high heights, but it wasn't something I got at level 4 for sure.

Spoiler:
Rocs are most commonly white but can be a number of different colors, from dark brown or gold to black or blood red. Their massive feathers are highly prized, and their eggs even more so. Due to their scarcity and the high risk involved in harvesting them, a single man-sized roc egg can net 4,000 gp if transported to market undamaged. A roc can be trained as well as any other animal, but its great size makes this a daunting task for most would-be trainers of human size. The same isn't true for giants—particularly cloud and storm giants, who often use trained rocs as guardians for their lairs. Rocs are even large enough to serve as mounts for the most prestigious of giants.


Animal Companions don't need to be bought (Like Familiars do), they just sort of appear before the druid when she prays to replace it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

move up the Level of sylvan sorcerer for the arcane spell requirement (the ranger normally casts divine spells)- that will give you an animal companion right off the bat, and you can take Boon Companion right away. Unlike most classes with a druid companion -3, the Sylvan sorcerers has a minimum of 1.

If he's small the roc starts at medium, so you can fly on it from level 1.

Definitely get precise shot before rapid shot: its VERy hard to shoot into melee with an effective -8 penalty (+4 from cover and the -4 for shooting into melee that precise shot negates)

didn't notice the Sylvan Bloodline .... yeah move that to level 1 (or 2 if you're worried about max hp at 1st level) and get your Roc then.

Sczarni

deuxhero wrote:
Animal Companions don't need to be bought (Like Familiars do), they just sort of appear before the druid when she prays to replace it.

I understand that, but for something as rare and powerful as a roc the GM may nip it in the bud or place that requirement upon the player. Just here to educate.

It would be like me wanting a cheetah as a pet in Cleveland, OH...I can probably get one, but its gonna be expensive.

Lantern Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I thought there's something coming out soon to give options for AC's for all classes.


deuxhero: Ah, I had forgotten about Eldrich Heritage. That is a good idea. That would allow for taking just that first level of Sorcerer and then the other 6 martial class levels could be placed wherever he wants them. Even Fighter. Hm. That is definitely a good possibility.

Howie23: Str is needed for damage on ranged attacks. Starting at a 15 (modified down to a 13) is helpful in that at 4th level (and every level, actually) he can put a point into Str to gain a +2 to damage rather than just a +1.

Fighter 2 was undoable in the build above because he needed to keep his effective druid level to 7 to make the Roc progress to Large size. Taking Fighter 2, while it would give him another bonus feat, wouldn't allow him to do that.

Why would a mount need an Int of 3 to get armor proficiency?

Also, whatchu talkin bout, Black Powder Chocobo?!


"Black Powder Chocobo wrote:
I thought there's something coming out soon to give options for AC's for all classes.
Lune wrote:
Also, whatchu talkin bout, Black Powder Chocobo?!

I'm not sure December counts as soon ... and I don't know that it'll be full-blown animal companions.


Summoner with a flying eidolon qualifies for an arcane archer pretty easily... no multiclassing required. Elf it up for bow proficiency and away you go!


thegreenteagamer wrote:
Summoner with a flying eidolon qualifies for an arcane archer pretty easily... no multiclassing required. Elf it up for bow proficiency and away you go!

+1

Summoners are fantastic for creating those hard to hit builds


Summoner does not qualify for Arcane Archer until 8th level making it a fairly late entry. Aside from that their spell list is terrible for Imbue Arrow. It is my opinion that Summoner makes for a poor Arcane Archer.

I believe that the Arcane Archer is better suited towards a martial build that focuses more on the archery than the arcane. The arcane needs to come from a class that can contribute to Imbue Arrow though making Wizards and Sorcerers the best. Magus also has a pretty decent spell list for this and I have considered a build using that as well but again, that is late entry. But, at least with the Magus you can have the Arcane Archer feel all the way through with the Myrmidarch's Ranged Spellstrike ability.

The Sable Company Marine wouldn't be too shabby mechanically speaking for the build. However, it is from the Paizo blog and I am not sure if my DM would allow it. Even so I'm not sure if it offers much over the base Ranger using Eldritch Heritage: Sylvan with Boon Companion.

I'm going to look at a few builds using that and see how it works out.


6 Fighter/1 Sorc gets the most feats, and you are seriously feat starved with all these strict requirements.

Archery is infamously feat intensive and the only way to have an AC that doesn't suck is going to cost you 3 feats (Skill Focus, Arcane Heritage, Boon Companion), plus you want Hellcat Stealth as well.

So I guess

1:Point Blank, Skill Focus
2:Precise Shot
3:Arcane Heritage
4:Deadly Aim
5:Boon Companion
6:Weapon Focus
7:Hellcat Stealth

If he's OK with being a half-elf you can get Skill Focus as a bonus feat which will relieve some pressure.

(All this is assuming your DM allows Wildblooded+Heritage.)


Ok, here goes.

All Fighter levels are Weapon Master levels.
All Monk levels are Zen Archer levels.
Sorcerer is Empyreal Blooded.

1 - Sorcerer 1: Cantrips, Eschew Materials (bonus), Skill Focus: Knowledge (nature) (Half-elf bonus), Eldritch Heritage: Sylvan (1st)
2 - Monk 1: Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike, Point Blank Shot (Monk 1), Perfect Strike (bonus)
3 - Monk 2: Weapon Focus: Composite Longbow (bonus), Precise Shot (Monk 2), Boon Companion (3rd)
4 - Monk 3: Zen Archery
5 - Fighter 1: Deadly Aim (Fighter 1), Skill Focus (Stealth) (5th)
6 - Fighter 2: Weapon Guard, Mounted Combat (Fighter 2)
7 - Fighter 3: Weapon Training: Composite Longbow, Hellcat Stealth (7th)
8 - Fighter 4: Weapon Specialization: Composite Longbow (Fighter 4)
9 - Arcane Archer 1: Enhance Arrows, Arcane Strike (9th)
10 - Arcane Archer 2: Imbue Arrows
...etc.

Str 14 (all future ability increases going here aside from 1 into Wis)
Dex 12
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 17 (+2 racial going here)
Cha 8

(These stats are assuming that my DM will allow him to select Eldritch Heritage by qualifying with his Wis score rather than his Cha score due to him having the Empyreal Bloodline. If he doesn't then his scores would instead by 13, 12, 12, 10, 16, 13.)

I was thinking that this build would allow him to pick up every feat that he wanted before even entering Arcane Archer. It would delay entry by 1 level but still is worth it as it cuts down on MAD with the Empyreal Bloodline making him not dependent on Charisma. It all seemed perfect... until I reread Eldritch Heritage.

Eldritch Heritage wrote:
...treat your sorcerer level as equal to your character level – 2, even if you have levels in sorcerer.

That along with the -3 from Sylvan Bloodline would mean that the Animal Companion would be at character level -5. Boon Companion would take that to character level -1. Actually, that isn't too bad. That would mean that the Roc would go to Large size at level 8 rather than level 7. I can't switch around the Bloodline that he gets with Sorcerer for the Bloodline he gets with Eldritch Heritage as that would negate the Bloodline Arcana that he needs for using his Wis as his casting stat.

Anyway, I think that is the best I can come up with. It allows for several big advantages. The only real important stats are Strength for damage and Wisdom for AC, saves, to hit bonus and casting stat. Secondary would be Dexterity for to hit bonus before he gets Zen Archery, saves and AC. Con would be a distant 4th simply for HP and Fort saves. He wouldn't much need Int for anything except skills and he could pretty much tank Cha.

Half-Elf allows him to keep the Elf flavor and gives him Skill Focus as a bonus feat which is needed twice for this build. With that as a bonus feat at first level he also can take Eldritch Heritage at first level allowing him to get his Animal Companion right away. Taking the Zen Archer allows him to cut down on MAD and gives him several feats; Point Blank Shot, Precise Strike, Precise Shot and Weapon Focus. Gaining Weapon Focus from Zen Archer allows him to take Weapon Specialization from Fighter later on. Flurry of Blows negates the need for Rapid Shot which essentially acts as giving him another bonus feat. Having Unarmed Strike from Monk makes him a switch hitter without even having to drop his weapon if needed but by 3rd level in Zen Archer it wont matter as he can fire his bow in melee without provoking an AoO anyway. Lastly, the bonus movement speed is definately nice for an archer who may need to remain mobile. And without the need of armor with a decent Dex and a high Wis it will save on cost and keep him fast on his feet. It also keeps down the weight for his mount's carrying capacity.

Weapon Adept dovetails into the build nicely. They lose Armor Training which doesn't matter at all for this build as he will not be wearing armor anyway. Bravery is also lost but made up for by high Will saves due to a high Wisdom and all good saves from Monk. Aside from granting 3 bonus feats and allowing access to Weapon Specialization it also grants Weapon Training at level 3 rather than level 5. That is awesome considering he will never get to level 5 in Fighter. That allows for use of both Bracers of Archery and Gloves of Dueling which together will add +3 to his damage per arrow over and above any other class features, weapon enhancements or anything else.

All in all this build grants 14 feats by 8th level (including Eschew Materials and Unarmed Strike) which is more than I can manage to squeeze out of any other build. Whats more is that every single one of those feats and class abilities benefits the build. In fact, the only downfalls to this build is that it delays entry into Arcane Archer and Animal Companion progression both by 1 level. IMO that is a very minor price to pay for everything that this build brings to the table.

At level 10 I figure he should be getting:
+17 to hit (8 BAB, +6 Wis, +2 Bracers of Archery, +1 Weapon Focus, +1 Enhancement Bonus, +1 Weapon Training -2 Deadly Aim)
1d8 +16 (+4 Str +1 Bracers of Archery +3 Weapon Training (including Gloves of Dueling) +2 Weapon Focus +4 Deadly Aim +1 Enhancement +1 Arcane Strike) + whatever weapon enhancements like Flaming, Shock, etc. he can afford to get on his arrows.
He can make 3 shots/turn with Flurry of Blows or if he only has a single shot he can Imbue Arrow for one of his shots.

His AC would likely be pretty high fairly early as he can cast Mage Armor from first level and have wants of Mage Armor and Shield. With both active his base AC would be:
23 (10 base +4 Wis +1 Dex +4 armor +4 shield)
That is before any stat boosting items or other magic items.

And he can be doing all of this from the back of a Roc by 8th level.

What do you all think?

Anyone have anything to offer that can improve upon that? (bearing in mind the priorities listed above)


Deadly Aim requires Dex 13, also I'm not sure you need to worry about having a high casting stat. Your save DCs aren't going to be very high anyways.


Does Sylvan work with Eldritch Heritage? The animal companion replaces both the 1st level power and the bloodline arcana. If you don't have the bloodline arcana to trade out, it seems a bit cheaty to loophole yourself around it.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

Mighty Squash wrote:
Does Sylvan work with Eldritch Heritage? The animal companion replaces both the 1st level power and the bloodline arcana. If you don't have the bloodline arcana to trade out, it seems a bit cheaty to loophole yourself around it.

I don't think it works, and he needs a level of arcane caster for his arcane archer anyway.


Take Boat: Ah, good catch. I'll have to readjust that.

Mighty Squash: Sage advice points to "yes" as the answer. There has never been anything official on it so the best answer is: ask your GM. As I have, and he approves, it is moot for the purpose of this discussion. However, I have seen many a threads derailed due to this so if anyone has any doubts I would appreciate it if this is discussed in another thread.


BigNorseWolf: I'm not sure how you missed the first level of the build being Sorcerer 1.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

Lune wrote:
BigNorseWolf: I'm not sure how you missed the first level of the build being Sorcerer 1.

I didn't. What i missed was that Squashy was questioning your eldritch heritage empyreal mix. I thought he was suggesting trying to get out of the sorcerer level altogether by getting eldritch heritage to get an animal companion.


Oh. Hm... yeah, I don't get that. Wouldn't that kinda defeat the purpose of going into Arcane Archer if I didn't hve a spell list to advance and Imbue my arrows with?

I think I'm confused all over the place now.

Liberty's Edge

Lune wrote:

Howie23: Str is needed for damage on ranged attacks. Starting at a 15 (modified down to a 13) is helpful in that at 4th level (and every level, actually) he can put a point into Str to gain a +2 to damage rather than just a +1.

Why would a mount need an Int of 3 to get armor proficiency?

On the Strength, it just looked an odd numbered stat. I hadn't seen anything for where bumps were going.

My bad on Int 3.


Lune wrote:

Summoner does not qualify for Arcane Archer until 8th level making it a fairly late entry. Aside from that their spell list is terrible for Imbue Arrow. It is my opinion that Summoner makes for a poor Arcane Archer.

I believe that the Arcane Archer is better suited towards a martial build that focuses more on the archery than the arcane. The arcane needs to come from a class that can contribute to Imbue Arrow though making Wizards and Sorcerers the best. Magus also has a pretty decent spell list for this and I have considered a build using that as well but again, that is late entry. But, at least with the Magus you can have the Arcane Archer feel all the way through with the Myrmidarch's Ranged Spellstrike ability.

The Sable Company Marine wouldn't be too shabby mechanically speaking for the build. However, it is from the Paizo blog and I am not sure if my DM would allow it. Even so I'm not sure if it offers much over the base Ranger using Eldritch Heritage: Sylvan with Boon Companion.

I'm going to look at a few builds using that and see how it works out.

The more I am looking into it the better Summoner is going to look though, it has the same BAB, same level entry as your latest suggestion and it's spell list though restricted does have enough spells to make it worthwhile, especially considering your very low sorcerer level with the other build.

I'd make it an half-elf Wild Caller from the advanced race guide giving it 2 more evolution points by level 8, it can get another 2 from having summoner as favored class. Drawback are the eidolon is restricted from some evolutions by making it more savage and animal like and exchanging summon monster for summon nature's ally as SLA.

I'd work on AA appropriate spells and a natural progression for the eidolon but as far as I am concerned it is likely the most effective build and isn't taxing on ability scores needing relatively low charisma.

My only concern here is that there is no base form that is exactly suitable, homebrew Avian :

Size Medium; Speed 20 ft., fly 40 ft.; AC +2 natural armor; Saves Fort (good), Ref (good), Will (bad); Attack bite (1d6); Ability Scores Str 12, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11

Free Evolutions

bite, flight (wings) (3), low light vision

1st lvl I'd add limbs legs and claws (land and fly speed + 10')

2nd lvl mount possibly

3rd lvl improved natural armor

4th lvl another four evolution points..


My personal opinion is to take ...

1 sorceror ... sylvan bloodline
2-7 archer ... as a fighter for get full Bab and lots of archer stuff like ranged disarm or sunder
8+ arcane archer

You get AA faster, you have full BAB all but 1 lvl, your AA gives you more magic as you level (including new spells), you only need a CHR of about 13 where you can foucus the rest in dex.

Side note: how stealth can you be riding a doc who will likely kicking up clouds of dust?


Remco Sommeling: In what way would Summoner help fit the priorities that I posted above?
1. It wouldn't enter AA any faster
2. It wouldn't have a Roc as an animal companion. The thing that it would have would not continue to progress after going into Arcane Archer.
3. The spell list for Summoner sucks for Arcane Archer. It just does.
4. You don't get even nearly the number of feats so I'm not sure what your plan is for fitting in the archery feats plus the ones I mentioned above.
5. Summoners are definitely not known for being sneaky. ...or archers.

gourry187: You wouldn't need Fighter 7. Fighter 6 gets enough BAB to qualify. But going straight fighter does not give the number of feats that the above build does nor does it cover his priorities to the same degree.

As far as birds of prey being stealthy... well, actually they usually are. And he was going to have his Roc take Hellcat Stealth as well and find other ways to pump it's Stealth check.

Besides that though, he wasn't planning on using Stealth while mounted often. That was mostly for when he was not mounted.


Didn't notice the half elf ... AC rock starts as size medium so he can't ride it without more effective druidism levels. Roc isn't large until 7 effective druidism levels. Boon companion and a lvl of sorcery won't be enough


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

gourry187: Why would he not be able to ride it? I did not see any rule stating that a mount has to be one size category larger than it's rider.


Lune wrote:

Remco Sommeling: In what way would Summoner help fit the priorities that I posted above?

1. It wouldn't enter AA any faster
2. It wouldn't have a Roc as an animal companion. The thing that it would have would not continue to progress after going into Arcane Archer.
3. The spell list for Summoner sucks for Arcane Archer. It just does.
4. You don't get even nearly the number of feats so I'm not sure what your plan is for fitting in the archery feats plus the ones I mentioned above.
5. Summoners are definitely not known for being sneaky. ...or archers.

gourry187: You wouldn't need Fighter 7. Fighter 6 gets enough BAB to qualify. But going straight fighter does not give the number of feats that the above build does nor does it cover his priorities to the same degree.

As far as birds of prey being stealthy... well, actually they usually are. And he was going to have his Roc take Hellcat Stealth as well and find other ways to pump it's Stealth check.

Besides that though, he wasn't planning on using Stealth while mounted often. That was mostly for when he was not mounted.

I missed the fact that you were allowed to use Eldritch Heritage to get the bloodline so I assumed your AC was static.

1. It wouldn't be slower

2. That is true it wouldn't advance unless you take more summoning levels, but you can wonder what you want from the AA class, nobody I know that has taken levels in it takes it all the way. The Eidolon itself is quite a bit superior to an AC so even losing a few levels would not be bad.

3. The spell list might be inferior to sorcerer but you enter the AA class as a sorcerer 1, compared to the spells an 8th lvl summoner has it's actually much superior, it does get quite a few handy spells with a much superior CL. I'd like to know what spells you really miss though, you would end up as an 8th lvl sorcerer after 10 AA levels compared to the list of a 15th lvl summoner.

4. Mounted combat is not needed, the AC of the Eidolon will be pretty good and there is the possibility to transfer hitpoints if needed. You would not need skill focus knowledge or Edlritch heritage, skill focus stealth is an half-elf bonus feat. Neither do you bother with boon companion, you are right though feats come up a bit short, I forgot that the summoner is not proficient with bows.

5. You dont really need charisma beyond 14, the rest you can put in dex, str, con which will make the summoner more sneaky once it enters AA and gets stealth as a class skill. They have average BAB and good buff potential, I guess they can be pretty decent archers

Also you do need a charisma of 13 for eldritch heritage regardless, so charisma 8 would not be possible to take the feat, if you boost charisma it will cost you points from your other stats.

Not sure if it has been said but you would not be able to take Boon Companion if you do not have the AC class feature, unless the GM gives his fiat ofcourse.


Lune wrote:
gourry187: Why would he not be able to ride it? I did not see any rule stating that a mount has to be one size category larger than it's rider.

I am quite sure it is true, though I wouldn't know exactly where to find it, maybe it is not part of RAW anymore if it ever was, it makes sense that you cant ride a bird that isn't bigger than you though.

Liberty's Edge

Lune wrote:
As far as birds of prey being stealthy... well, actually they usually are. And he was going to have his Roc take Hellcat Stealth as well and find other ways to pump it's Stealth check.

Can I make the Int 3 observation now? :)

Re: Mounts and relative size, it was explicit that a mount had to be a larger size than the rider in 3.5. This language was non-OGC that was not brought into PF, leaving it unclear in PF. Players who had a 3.5 background tend to expect and/or enforce it.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Lune wrote:
gourry187: Why would he not be able to ride it? I did not see any rule stating that a mount has to be one size category larger than it's rider.

There is nothing in the core book about mount size ... however the Beast Rider archtype I think shows a presicent ...

Exotic Mount (Ex)

At 1st level, a beast rider forms a bond with a strong, loyal companion that permits him to ride it as a mount. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the beast rider’s level as his effective druid level. The animal chosen as a mount must be large enough to carry the beast rider (Medium or Large for a Small character; Large or Huge for a Medium character). The beast rider does not take an armor check penalty on Ride checks while riding his mount. The mount is always considered combat trained, and begins play with Endurance as a bonus feat. A beast rider’s mount does not gain the share spells special ability.

Bolded by me ...

On a side not the medium Roc AC has a strength of 12. HIs max lift is 130 pounds.


Remco Sommeling wrote:
1. It wouldn't be slower

I did not say that it would be slower. I said that it wouldn't be faster. Meaning it had no advantage over my build there.

Remco Sommeling wrote:
2. That is true it wouldn't advance unless you take more summoning levels, but you can wonder what you want from the AA class, nobody I know that has taken levels in it takes it all the way. The Eidolon itself is quite a bit superior to an AC so even losing a few levels would not be bad.

First of all this isn't about what I want. It is about what my son wants. He wants pretty much everything that the Arcane Archer class has to offer.

Wait... did you just say that the Eidolon is superior to an Animal Companion? I think not, sir. But for arguments sake lets have a look:

Animal Companion at first level:

Str 12
Dex 19
Con 9
Int 2
Wis 13
Cha 11

HD: 2d8-2, average: 10.5 (assuming max starting HP)
AC 18 10 base +5 natural +3 armor (studded leather)
Speed: 20ft, fly 80ft
Attack: 2 talons +1 1d4+1, bite +1 1d6+1

Skills: 2

Abilities:
low light vision
Link
Share Spells
1 bonus trick

Feat:
Light Armor Proficiency

Saves:
Fort: 2 = 3 base -1 Con
Ref: 7 = 3 base +4 Dex
Will: 1 = 0 base +1 Wis

Eidolon at first level:

This is going with the suggested homebrew base for above as there is no base form that includes avians:

Str 12
Dex 16
Con 13
Int 7
Wis 10
Cha 11

HD: 1d10+1 average 11 (assuming max starting HP)
AC: 13 = 10 base +3 Dex +0 armor (Eidolons can not wear armor)
Speed: 20ft, fly 40ft. (good)
Attack: bite +2 1d6+1

Skills: 4

Abilities:
Darkvision
Link
Share Spells

Feat: 1
Hover

Evolutions:
Bite (free)
Flight (Wings) *taken twice to gain +20ft fly speed (free)
Low light vision (free)

Saves:
Fort: 3 = 2 base +1 Con
Ref: 5 = 2 base +3 Dex
Will: 0 = 0 base

Since neither are able to be used as a mount at this level it is more important that they remain alive through these levels. Because of that their defenses are more important. Comparing the two we can see that the Animal Companion has superior AC by a large margin mostly due to the fact that Eidolons can not wear armor. Their HP are about the same. The Animal Companion also has much faster fly speed and slightly better saves overall.

Animal Companion at 8th level (7th level companion):

Size moves to Large

Str 23
Dex 17
Con 15
Int 2
Wis 13
Cha 11

HD: 6d8+16 average 55.5
AC: 23 = 10 base +8 natural +5 armor (+1 chain shirt)
Speed: 20ft, Fly 80ft.
Attack: 2 talons +12 1d6+9 plus Grab, bite +12 1d8+9

Skills: 6

Abilities:
low light vision
Link
Share Spells
3 bonus trick
Evasion
Devotion

Feats:
Light Armor Proficiency
Hover
+1

Saves:
Fort: 7 = 5 base +2 Con
Ref: 8 = 5 base +3 Dex
Will: 3 = 2 base +1 Wis

Eidolon at 8th level:

Str 16
Dex 19
Con 13
Int 7
Wis 10
Cha 11

HD: 6d10+6 average 43.5 (assuming max starting HP)
AC: 19 = 10 base +3 Dex +6 armor (Eidolons can not wear armor)
Speed: 20ft, fly 40ft. (good)
Attack: bite +9 1d8+4, 2 claws +9 1d6+3 plus Grab

Skills: 24

Abilities:
Darkvision
Link
Share Spells
Evasion
Devotion

Feat: 3
Hover
Skill Focus: Stealth
Hellcat Stealth

Evolutions: 11
Bite (free) *taken again to give 1.5 str to damage (1)
Flight (Wings) *taken twice to gain +20ft fly speed (free)
Low light vision (free)
Limbs (2)
Claws (1)
Large (4)
Grab (2)
Mount (1)

Saves:
Fort: 6 = 5 base +1 Con
Ref: 8 = 5 base +3 Dex
Will: 2 = 2 base

Comparing the two at this level we can see that the Animal Companion's Strength score is MUCH higher than the Eidolon's making it much more well suited as a mount. It is still important that they remain alive (as them dieing while mounted and airborn is unhealthy for the rider) so looking at their defenses we can see that the Animal Companion's is still quiet a bit ahead of the Eidolon's. Same with saves. Same with HP.

Also, a big problem here is that the Eidolon's movement is still slugging along at 40ft. fly speed. I could have taken more evolution points out of something else but then it is just losing out in a different area over the Animal Companion and becoming less like a Roc. And not that it matters much as they would be primarily used as a mount but the Animal Companion's attacks are MUCH better than the Eidolon's.

The only real place that I can see that the Eidolon pulls ahead is in skill points. That doesn't matter much for something that is primarily used as a mount, though. Also, the Eidolon does start out one feat ahead but that is only because it can not take armor proficiency which in the end hurts it more than it helps.

In summary, the Eidolon appears much worse as a "Roc" than the Roc Animal Companion does. Furthermore after 8th level the Roc will continue to get better while the Eidolon will continue to be worse off than the 8th level Roc was.

Remco Sommeling wrote:
3. The spell list might be inferior to sorcerer but you enter the AA class as a sorcerer 1, compared to the spells an 8th lvl summoner has it's actually much superior, it does get quite a few handy spells with a much superior CL. I'd like to know what spells you really miss though, you would end up as an 8th lvl sorcerer after 10 AA levels compared to the list of a 15th lvl summoner.

Lets look at it this way: what spells does a Summoner have that work well with Imbue Arrow?

The only Summoner spells level 1-3 capable of being Imbued into an arrow:

1st:
Grease

2nd:
Create Pit
Wind Wall

3rd:
Black Tentacles (Hey, its early entry. This is something they can actually do better)
Dispel Magic
Obsidian Flow (Also early entry)
Pellet Blast
Spiked Pit
Wall of Fire
Wall of Ice (Also early entry)

Did I miss any?

As opposed to the 1st-3rd Wizard/Sorcerer spells:

1st-3rd Wizard/Sorcerer spells for Arcane Archers:

1st:
Obscuring Mist
True Strike (cant be imbued but a very good archer spell)
Burning Hands
Hypnotism
Sleep
Flare Burst
Color Spray
Gravity Bow (cant be imbued but a very good archer spell)
Unerring Weapon (cant be imbued but a very good archer spell)

2nd:
Protection from arrows (cant be imbued but great for a mounted archer)
Arrow Eruption (THE MUST HAVE ARCANE ARCHER SPELL!)
Glitterdust
Stone Call
Web
See Invisibility (cant be imbued but it is good to see what you are shooting at)
Ricochet Shot (cant be imbued but a good archer spell)
Darkness
Frost Fall
Gust of Wind
Haunting Mists
Defoliate

3rd:
Ash Storm
Sleet Storm
Spiked Pit
Stinking Cloud
Deep Slumber
BlackLight
Chain of Perdition
Daylight
Diamond Spray
Distracting Cacophony
FIREBALL
Hydraulic Torrent
LIGHTNING BOLT
Sheet Lightning
Twilight Knife (cant be imbued but good for close quarters fighting)
Illusory Poison
Vision of Hell
FLAME ARROW
Keen Edge
Greater Magic Weapon

I'm sorry but Sorcerer wins. It just plain does.

Now, sure, using Summoner as a base would open up higher level spells sooner. But that isn't a priority for my son. He wants to make a primarily martial character. This was stated above multiple times. And for that the Summoner is definitely not ideal.

Remco Sommeling wrote:
4. Mounted combat is not needed, the AC of the Eidolon will be pretty good and there is the possibility to transfer hitpoints if needed. You would not need skill focus knowledge or Edlritch heritage, skill focus stealth is an half-elf bonus feat. Neither do you bother with boon companion, you are right though feats come up a bit short, I forgot that the summoner is not proficient with bows.

Mounted Combat is less needed for the Roc than it is for the Eidolon. See the comparison made above. The Eidolon is going to get hit more often and has less hit points to soak the damage. I guess it is a good thing that you can transfer hit points because I suspect it would happen often.

As far as the feats go the Summoner doesn't get ANY bonus feats whereas the build I posted above gets 14 feats by 8th level. That is a whole world of difference there. Even taking out the 4 feats you mentioned that still leaves the build I posted far above the Summoner in feats.

Remco Sommeling wrote:

5. You dont really need charisma beyond 14, the rest you can put in dex, str, con which will make the summoner more sneaky once it enters AA and gets stealth as a class skill. They have average BAB and good buff potential, I guess they can be pretty decent archers

Also you do need a charisma of 13 for eldritch heritage regardless, so charisma 8 would not be possible to take the feat, if you boost charisma it will cost you points from your other stats.

Not sure if it has been said but you would not be able to take Boon Companion if you do not have the AC class feature, unless the GM gives his fiat ofcourse.

Did you see the stats listed above? Because my build has either a Charisma of 8 if the DM allows qualification of Eldritch Heritage based on Wisdom rather than Charisma due to being Empyreal Blooded or a Cha of 13 if not. I said this in the stats posted above. Go look, its still there.

Besides that my build can focus on Wisdom while the Summoner still has to focus on Dexterity for accuracy (and AC, saves and casting stat). This makes my build less MAD than yours. Not more.

I'm not sure what you meant by the comment about Boon Companion being that the build I posted above starts with an Animal Companion at first level.

Howie23: Good catch on the Hellcat Stealth feat requirement. I'd have to run that one by my DM.


Regarding mount's size in comparison to it's rider:
First of all, please see this thread. In fact, it might be better to post in that thread on that particular topic rather than here.

Compelling evidence that mount size relative to rider doesn't matter:

Dwarves classically ride ponies. Ponies are the same size category as a Dwarf. In the real world humans can ride ponies.
The ride skill has rules for riding "ill suited mounts". It does not define what "ill suited" means but does imply that you can still ride them.
Mites ride giant spiders and other vermin that are the same size category that they are.

More directly to the point, in the text for Roc it states:
"A typical roc is 30 feet long from beak to tail, with an 80-foot wingspan and weight of up to 8,000 pounds." and " A roc can be trained as well as any other animal, but its great size makes this a daunting task for most would-be trainers of human size. The same isn't true for giants—particularly cloud and storm giants, who often use trained rocs as guardians for their lairs. Rocs are even large enough to serve as mounts for the most prestigious of giants."
In the text for Storm Giants it states, "Adults are typically 21 feet tall and weigh 12,000 pounds." and "...storm giants are fond of training whales, sharks, and even sea serpents as mounts or beasts of burden, either for riding or pulling their enormous watercraft."

The base Roc has a Str of 28 and is Gargantuan size which gives it a carrying capacity of:
Light: 3200 or less
Medium: 3201 - 6400
Heavy: 6401 - 9600

According to this a Roc would never be able to carry a Storm Giant rider as a Light load much less a Heavy load. A flying mounts can not fly in more than medium or heavy barding and the rules for carrying capacity state, "A medium or heavy load counts as medium or heavy armor for the purpose of abilities or skills that are restricted by armor." That means if the Roc is carrying anything more than a Light load it can not fly.

...so how is it that Storm Giants manage to ride Rocs again? Whales, Sharks and Sea Serpents would have a similar problem.

If they are able to do it then I think the problem with Dwarves riding ponies and Elves riding Medium sized Rocs is rather non-existant.

gourry187 wrote:
On a side not the medium Roc AC has a strength of 12. HIs max lift is 130 pounds.

Muleback Cords grant the wearer a +8 Str for the purposes of carrying capacity and are only 1000gp. That would bump it's Str up to 20 granting it a Light load of 133lbs at first level. Remember, it has to be Light load or less for a flying mount. A Half-elf weighs 110 - 180 lbs. without gear. With creative use of gear and a light rider he could feasibly ride it at first level. At 3rd level animal companion it gets a +1 Str bumping it's Light load up to 155lbs and at 4th level it gets another +1 bumping it's Light load up to 173lbs. As you can see it quickly becomes a non-issue especially if he makes things like a Handy Haversack a priority. Also, with the build I posted he doesn't wear armor so that lessens the load.


All fine, mostly solid arguments since I do not know what your son wants exactly I am just stating it as an option I will go through the objections you listed.

1. True, it isn't faster so it only matters if the build is infact perceived to be better for this character.

2. Fair enough, I do not know what your son wants exactly, but comparing the eidolon and an AC :

- you can not compare them at lvl 1, since you do not have an AC at level 1, at the earliest you can take Eldritch Heritage at lvl 3, with cha 13 (which can be houseruled away, possibly) at which point the Eidolon would be a 3rd lvl Eidolon vs a 1st lvl AC.

- The Eidolon does not 'die' it gets unsummoned, a substantial benefit at any level.

- You forgot the +2 starting AC for the Eidolon and it has another 3 EV points to spend, so start AC could be as high as 17 with 2 more points to spend, since it has hover it can just about always benefit from higher ground for +1 to hit, has a superior standard action attack and has no cost or Armor Check penalty for light armor.

- Superior skills and intelligence with a telepathic link, you dont need handle animal checks to control it which are hardest to do at low level.

- AC and Eidolon have average hp so Roc 7 hp, Eidolon 6 hp (but as said comparing at 1st lvl is not really applicable).

- Your sample for 8th lvl Eidolon is way off, comes up 1 EV points short at the base, does not include stats for being large, ignores 2 EV points from the suggested archetype, an half-elves (potential) extra EV points and the +2 starting AC for the base form. Eidolon hp is 6d10+18 (51), animal companion 6d8+18 (45 with toughness feat). I'd also say that the summoner can easily cast an armor spell to buff the eidolon, negating most of the benefit of light armor and with the extra EV points and armor will come out with far superior AC (25 base, 29 with mage armor).

Spells missed at a casual glance :

1st - mostly inconsequential

2nd - glitterdust and some mostly inconsequential ones

3rd - dispel magic is not an area spell anymore.

4th - acid pit, faithful hound, wall of stone

5th - dispel magic (greater), hungry pit, tarpool, wall of iron

6th - incendiary cloud, antipathy

important to note :

AA1 1st lvl (CL 3)
3rd lvl (CL 9)

grease, glitterdust, create pit, wind wall, black tentacles, obsidian flow, pellet blast, spiked pit, wall of fire, wall of ice

AA3 1st lvl (CL 5)
4th lvl (CL 11)

+ acid pit, faithful hound, wall of stone

AA4 2nd lvl (CL 6)
4th lvl (CL 12)

AA7 3rd lvl (CL 8)
5th lvl (CL 15)

AA10 4th lvl (CL 10)
5th lvl (CL 17)

you made some good points on spells you miss, but caster level will be abominable for the most part, arrow eruption will target up to 10 creatures at AA 10 (lvl 18) and up to 6 at AA 4 (lvl 12) and still allows SR, making CR appropriate creatures with SR very unlikely to be affected. The CL is so bad that it is mostly not worthwhile to use imbue arrow in my opinion, the spell list of summoner starts much more appealing in my opinion and both can only select a number of spells as spontaneous casters which reduces the benefits of a diverse spell list somewhat.


Remco Sommeling wrote:
- you can not compare them at lvl 1, since you do not have an AC at level 1, at the earliest you can take Eldritch Heritage at lvl 3, with cha 13 (which can be houseruled away, possibly) at which point the Eidolon would be a 3rd lvl Eidolon vs a 1st lvl AC.

Ah, you know, your right. I missed the 3rd level requirement of that feat. Actually, that doesn't matter too much as at 1st level the Animal Companion is more of a liability than an asset. At 3rd level he could protect it much better. It is easily resolved just by shuffling around a few feats though.

However, I think you would run into a similar issue comparing them at 3rd level than at first. The Animal Companion just seemed in all ways superior.

Remco Sommeling wrote:
- You forgot the +2 starting AC for the Eidolon and it has another 3 EV points to spend, so start AC could be as high as 17 with 2 more points to spend, since it has hover it can just about always benefit from higher ground for +1 to hit, has a superior standard action attack and has no cost or Armor Check penalty for light armor.

You'll have to forgive me, I do not build a lot of Summoners. I did forget the +2 starting AC it seems but that still does not make up for the difference of actually being able to wear armor. When you consider magical barding the difference is even larger.

The +1 for higher ground does not make up for the disparity between the attack bonuses of the two. Especially when you consider that the Roc would often get this bonus when attacking as well and can pick up Hover later on as well. Besides, the primary role of the critter is not to attack, it is to serve as a mount. Even so, the Roc still performs as an attacker better than the Eidolon.

Remco Sommeling wrote:
- AC and Eidolon have average hp so Roc 7 hp, Eidolon 6 hp (but as said comparing at 1st lvl is not really applicable).

This is untrue. Animal Companions start with 2 HD, not one. This is an advantage that they have over Eidolons. At second level animal companion they go up to 3 HD. That is the first comparable level and their HD match at that level. At that level the Eidolon would win out slightly in HP but it loses in AC. The difference in AC is large enough that the AC would be more defensible.

Remco Sommeling wrote:
- Your sample for 8th lvl Eidolon is way off, comes up 1 EV points short at the base, does not include stats for being large, ignores 2 EV points from the suggested archetype, an half-elves (potential) extra EV points and the +2 starting AC for the base form. Eidolon hp is 6d10+18 (51), animal companion 6d8+18 (45 with toughness feat). I'd also say that the summoner can easily cast an armor spell to buff the eidolon, negating most of the benefit of light armor and with the extra EV points and armor will come out with far superior AC (25 base, 29 with mage armor).

First of all the Eidolon base form doesn't even exist so the whole thing is just pretend anyway. It is not 1 EV short at the base. All of the points are spent.

Evolution points spent:

Bite (free) *taken again to give 1.5 str to damage (1)
Flight (Wings) *taken twice to gain +20ft fly speed (free)
Low light vision (free)
Limbs (2)
Claws (1)
Large (4)
Grab (2)
Mount (1)

Bolding mine. That is 11 points. (1+2+1+4+2+1=11)
I did not include an archetype, that is true. But the 2 evolution points aren't going to make a difference.
The average HP (considering starting max HP) for 6d10+18 is 55.5.
The average HP (considering starting max HP) for 6d8+16 is 46.5. If you add in Toughness that brings it to 54.5.
This makes the Eidolon win out slightly on HP. With the stats changed to adjust for size and +2 EV (which I accidentally left out) the Eidolon's stats would change as such:
New Stats for Eidolon at 8th:

Str 24
Dex 17
Con 17
Int 7
Wis 10
Cha 11

HD: 6d10+18 average 55.5 (assuming max starting HP)
AC: 19 = 10 base +2 Base form +2 Dex -1 Size +6 armor (Eidolons can not wear armor)
Speed: 20ft, fly 40ft. (average)
Attack: bite +14 1d8+10, 2 claws +14 1d6+7 plus Grab

Skills: 24

Abilities:
Darkvision
Link
Share Spells
Evasion
Devotion

Feat: 3
Hover
Skill Focus: Stealth
Hellcat Stealth

Evolutions: 11
Bite (free) *taken again to give 1.5 str to damage (1)
Flight (Wings) *taken twice to gain +20ft fly speed (free)
Low light vision (free)
Limbs (2)
Claws (1)
Large (4)
Grab (2)
Mount (1)

Saves:
Fort: 6 = 5 base +1 Con
Ref: 8 = 5 base +3 Dex
Will: 2 = 2 base

I have no idea where you are getting a base 25 AC for the Eidolon from. My math is shown above, if I missed something please point it out.

I did not include the extra 2 evolution points in the above build because I'm not sure where you are suggesting the best place to put them would be. If you put them both into natural armor then that would increase it's AC by +4 bringing it on par with the Animal Companion. But doing so makes it so much slower than the Animal Companion. It might be better to spend the points on increasing the fly speed by 20ft. but it still falls short of the Roc's fly speed by 20ft.

I also didn't include spells to buff AC because that can be done on both sides of the board. Doing so, however, uses up expendable resources. It is better to compare standing AC as both can be modified via spells.

And this is all really missing the point. The mount is not the entire character. Using a my build gets the following feats before entering Arcane Archer:

Spoiler:

Eschew Materials
Flurry of Blows (basically the equivalent of Rapid Shot)
Unarmed Strike
Point Blank Shot
Perfect Strike
Weapon Focus: Composite Longbow
Precise Shot
Boon Companion
Deadly Aim
Skill Focus
Mounted Combat
Hellcat Stealth
Weapon Specialization: Composite Longbow

To be fair there are some in there that do not matter much. So you can take out Unarmed Strike as he is likely not going to use it much and Eschew Materials. I also left out Skill Focus: Knowledge (Nature) and Eldritch Heritage: Sylvan as those are simply the means by which he obtains the Roc. So even taking out those 4 feats your still left with 11 feats.

How many does your Summoner get? No bonus feats? I think it is pretty clear that he loses this competition. But for arguement's sake which feats would he pick up? Well, lets consider this. By level 8 he only has his feats from leveling up: 4 feats. Since he doesn't even start with proficiency in Composite Longbow. And he needs 3 feats just to qualify for Arcane Archer. Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus. Welp, thats it. He is spent. Wanna know what he didn't get?

[spoiler]
Flurry of Blows or Rapid Shot
Perfect Strike
Weapon Focus: Composite Longbow
Deadly Aim
Mounted Combat
Skill Focus: Stealth
Hellcat Stealth
Weapon Specialization: Composite Longbow


Losing Deadly Aim and Weapon Specialization alone is going to make a huge difference in DPS. Rapid Shot just makes the disparity worse. Losing Skill Focus: Stealth and Hellcat Stealth also makes him lose out on my son's priority of making him stealthy. The rest I'm willing to call icing on the cake.

But that is just feats. He also loses out on Zen Archery which makes the character no longer dependent on Dex, while yours still is. Yours also loses out on Weapon Training thus negating the possibility of the use of Gloves of Dueling the combination of which provides another +3 damage. He also loses out on All good Monk saves for 3 levels, Fast movement, Monk's skill points and Fighter and Monk HD.

I gave my calculations above that my build would be getting:
+17 to hit
1d8 +16 + whatever weapon enhancements like Flaming, Shock, etc. he can afford to get on his arrows. Also not including things like Gravity Bow.
He can get 3 shots/turn with Flurry of Blows.
His AC would be 23 before use of magic items.

I'm not going to bother calculating the Summoner's attacks and AC as compared to the above it would be an exercise in futility.

And that leaves us with the spell lists. And again, spells are a completely secondary concern. I don't know how I can make that point more apparent than I already have. However, even with all of the spells on the Summoner's list considered and the increase in caster level I (and more importantly, my son) simply would not be willing to sacrifice the spells that would be lost on the Sorcerer list. It is too big of a loss. This is more true when you consider the use of spell completion magic items like scrolls and wands. Which is why this last statement is just false...

Remco Sommeling wrote:
...the spell list of summoner starts much more appealing in my opinion and both can only select a number of spells as spontaneous casters which reduces the benefits of a diverse spell list somewhat.

In what way does the Summoner's spell list start out stronger for the purposes of an Arcane Archer? It doesn't. The list is worse for an Arcane Archer. We aren't building a character in a vacuum here, there is an end goal in mind. And like I said, with the use of spell completion magic items like scrolls and wands, the spells that you don't know but are on your list DO matter. So I guess your "somewhat" is correct, but I think it is under estimating the importance of the list itself.

And finally, I want to apologize. You have touched on a nerve with me. Two, actually. Let me explain. I have a couple of pet peeves that you managed to nail pretty hard:

1. When someone posts something on a forum and says "I want to play X" and someone else posts, "You shouldn't play X. You should play Y instead because it is much better."" That person didn't ask for opinions on a completely different kind of character. They asked for opinions on how to make the type of character that THEY wanted to play. The person offering his "advice" wasn't being exactly helpful.

2. When someone says, "I want to make a character that does X." and someone else posts, "You should play a Summoner because a Summoner can do better at everything than any other class." And, yes, I understand that I am exaggerating here. It was intentional because this is how I perceive it now after seeing so many people post something similar to this. I understand I'm sensitive to this but, well, Summoners just annoy me. Perhaps it is even due to their versatility. I do not like it when caster classes (say the Synthesist Summoner for example) can make better melee combatants than classes that were designed for it (like say the Fighter).

So no hard feelings, but the Summoner advice will not be getting used for this build. Thank you for posting your suggestions, though.


I would suggest looking at the guided weapon enchantment. My dm ruled its fine for ranged weapons and would allow u to cut str to 10 and dex to 13, as well as bumping either wisdom or con,


Lune wrote:

And finally, I want to apologize. You have touched on a nerve with me. Two, actually. Let me explain. I have a couple of pet peeves that you managed to nail pretty hard:

1. When someone posts something on a forum and says "I want to play X" and someone else posts, "You shouldn't play X. You should play Y instead because it is much better."" That person didn't ask for opinions on a completely different kind of character. They asked for opinions on how to make the type of character that THEY wanted to play. The person offering his "advice" wasn't being exactly helpful.

2. When someone says, "I want to make a character that does X." and someone else posts, "You should play a Summoner because a Summoner can do better at everything than any other class." And, yes, I understand that I am exaggerating here. It was intentional because this is how I perceive it now after seeing so many people post something similar to this. I understand I'm sensitive to this but, well, Summoners just annoy me. Perhaps it is even due to their versatility. I do not like it when caster classes (say the Synthesist Summoner for example) can make better melee combatants than classes that were designed for it (like say the Fighter).

So no hard feelings, but the Summoner advice will not be getting used for this build. Thank you for posting your suggestions, though.

Fair enough, I didn't think it was a completely different character and thought it might have been helpful, I was trying to focus on the things you wanted it to do and not make it better in all ways. My apologies if I ended up doing the opposite of helping. I should note that I do not like summoners either mostly because they are so easy to abuse and make something entirely devoid of flavor but they have potential if you stick to a theme. The summoner is mechanically capable but with a stronger focus on buffing and casting, but.. I better not get into it any further. No hard feelings I am just trying to help to make a viable build.

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