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The switch hitter ranger - yes, again


Advice


Hello all, I know this has been multiple times before but I would like to have some additional insight ragrding the switch hitter ranger, if possible.

Let's take the below as an example:

Ranger 1
CG Medium Half-elf / Humanoid (Half-elf)
Init +2 ; Senses Perception +8, Low-light Vision, Keen Senses,

==DEFENSE==
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor, +2 dex)
hp 11 (1d10+1)
SR 0
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +2
Armor Studded Leather, Light
Defensive Abilities Elven Immunities (PFCR 24)

==OFFENSE==
Spd 30 ft/x4
Melee Greatsword +5 (2d6+6) 19-20/x2
Ranged Composite Longbow +3 (1d8) 20/x3

==STATISTICS==
Str 18, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 7
BAB +1, CMB +5, CMD +17
Feats Armor Proficiency (LIGHT / MEDIUM) (PFCR 118), Power Attack (PFCR 131), Shield Proficiency (PFCR 133), Skill Focus (Acrobatics) (PFCR 134)
Skills Acrobatics +5, Handle Animal +2, Intimidate +2, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (nature) +5, Perception +8, Stealth +5, Survival +6
SQ Favored Enemy (PFCR 64), Wild Empathy (PFCR 65)
Languages Common, Elven

Now, here are my doubts and my request for help (please keep in mind I am going to play this guy since level 1):

- The AC seems to be extremely gimped, to the point that I have the feeling that if I don't hit with the first blow, I'll get hammered through my AC15

- I saw in the forums a discussion regarding the Switch hitter entering in combat with enemies who have range - and how hard he would be hit bu their AoO... For that reason I took skill focus in Acrobatics - do you think it will be possible to maintain it at acceptable levels to be able to move through threatened squares?

- As you can see I pushed INT to 12, since I am a sucker for skills, trying to add Intimidate as my only "social" skill (if one can even call it that)for playing Council of Thieves, and Acrobatics for the abovementioned reasons. Would it be better to keep it at 10, sacrificing a skill somewhere to boost Dex to 15, and eventually 16 at level 4, thus increasing the to hit with bows, AC and some skills at that point?

- For those who have actually played a Switch Hitter Ranger before, how bad is it really NOT having Point Blank and Precise Shot? And how much is it offset by using melee combat?
Have any others made an attempt at trying to include precise shot/point blank shot in the mix somehow?

- Attempting to improve on melee combat, has anyone attempted to bet on stuff like finesse/dervish dancer/etc, and then capitalizing on a dex increase to boost the melee side of combat? Or even finesse>piranha strike combinations?

Thank you in advance for any possible input.

Cheers


Boy, a lot going on there. I’m not sure I can help, but I can offer my thoughts.

Playing a switch hitter – L4 atm. My first splash into PF and I’ve noticed that the PFS modules take place in confined spaces and that makes using the bow troublesome for more than a shot or two. Having precise shot would have helped a little. I’ve taken to dropping the bow if engaged and quickdrawing my melee weapons. Sometimes I charge with a reach weapon then swap to something in close. Yay, for switch hitter flexibility. Fun!

I’m absolutely not trying avoid AoO with acrobatics, but I can see the value. I’m starting to pump it. My AC is 19, but I am in the ‘striker’ role not tank role so I don’t feel too bad about that. I screwed up and took Barbarian at level one [rage/bonus movement] and I’ve kind rolled with that. Being a Raging Ranger has been kinda neat, but I don’t recommend it as optimized…it’s not.

I could see where finesse would be nice (Dex to attack), but I’m addicted to the +STR I get from my composite Longbow and having high STR has encumbrance benefits. If you’re going to do that and go high DEX, maybe a TWF Ranger would make more sense?

If you’re pushing INT, you might look at dangerously curious and wands.

~cheers


You are level 1, and most CR 1 monsters or lower CR monsters have a +1 or maybe a +2 to hit. You still have a less than 50% chance of being hit, and you can still one-shot them in melee.

If you are going to be an archer first then you want point precise shot and PBS. Point blank is not that important if you are not going to be archery based since it is mostly used to pick up later archery feats.


wraithstrike wrote:

You are level 1, and most CR 1 monsters or lower CR monsters have a +1 or maybe a +2 to hit. You still have a less than 50% chance of being hit, and you can still one-shot them in melee.

If you are going to be an archer first then you want point precise shot and PBS. Point blank is not that important if you are not going to be archery based since it is mostly used to pick up later archery feats.

Yeah, the whole point of switch hitting is that when you'd need to fire into combat, you just charge in instead. Ranger combat style lets you bypass the archery feat requirements.

As soon as you've got a little cash, you can boost that armor a bit, either to a Medium armor or at least a Hide shirt. To start with you could also go sword and board. +2AC at first level is nothing to sneeze at. You won't really be using the bow at low levels anyway. When the bow gets effective, then you can go back to a 2-hander to not waste time getting the shield out and on.


At low levels for switch hitting builds I prefer reach weapons over a greatsword. Both you will be one-shotting stuff anyway, but even with out combat reflexes you typically will get to swing at some guy twice with a reach weapon for when he closes and gets a swing at you.

Also I don't generally carry a bow at low levels either. (Too pricey if you want to take advantage of strength bonus) You should just grab a few javelins they are cheap. My strategy is to hold a guisarme on one hand hold a javelin in the other.

See enemy, throw javelin and then free action wield the guisarme. Enemy closes I AoO. Preferably between the javelin and the AoO the guy is dead, and if a little lucky two guys are dead already.

Also wear a cestus on one hand or if you can afford grab armor spikes. That way you will always be armed.


@Havoq:

Would you say you play more like a ranged class that uses melee when necessary or the other way around?

I am also a fan of the STR based damage, and it assists also in ranged damage (which seems to be one of the major problems for archer types), once you have a composite bow. However, isn't your Dex taking a big hit? Are you an effective archer?

@wraithstrike:

Exactly my point regarding Precise and PBS... I tend to find Precise shot more important since PBS is..welll.. one more damage. However I can't seem to fit Precise Shot in my switch hitter, even though I would like to, and here is why:

- I am currently taking power attack feat at level 1, I could just ignore it and go PBS (because it is a prerequisite for Precise), but;

- At level 2 it seems to make logic to select Rapid Shot, I mean its 2 attacks, period.

- So I would be getting Precise Shot only at level 3, instead of Quickdraw

My list would then be PBS, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot vs. Power Attack, Rapid Shot, Quick Draw. I really don't know...

This is in part the point of my post, to see how exactly essential Precise Shot is.

@thejeff:

Hmmmm, actually the sword and board makes a lot of sense, at least I should have more than enough strength to carry all that around. In any case, I would be able to draw my weapon while I advance on them, but not the shield, which would be available on round 2 - not to shabby actually.

I do have, flavor wise, a strange feeling regarding carrying around sword and shield most of the time during the early levels, kinda seems to take away some of the "rangerish" flavour.

To be honest, I was taking a further look at the Sword and Shield combat style for the ranger, and even though admittedly I am not a genious regarding Pathfinder mechanics but, as an exercise, what would you think about going a similar path as above, but instead using Sword/Shield combination?

So, the logic would be, archery from combat style, but the switch instead of being to a 2handed weapon, would be to sword and shield. Would be a loss in damage vs. a win in AC, but is the loss in damage that big?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Playing Switch-Hitter Ranger in Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. Currently at level 6.

My damage rocks, my ability to move around (Longstrider + Cleave) allows me to own most of the battlefield. That said, I came close to death several times because:
- my Will save sucks (only 13 Wis here)
- hitting stuff at range is problematic due to lots of confined spaces
- my AC sucks, if opponents get drop on me (or get to flank me), I'm down

If I were to start all over again, I would make the following feats my priority:
- Power Attack, Improved Will, Precise Shot, with Cleave and Point Blank Shot being close second, and Rapid Shot in distant third place

Here is why:
- Power Attack is no brainer, it's a staple of my gaming,
- You're supposed to switch to melee only when you have to... with 14 Dex and no Rapid Shot you miss too much to use a ranged weapon when someone else is in melee, Precise Shot is worth it, especially if you start using Deadly Aim,
- Get all +attack for your ranged weapon you can. With all my ranged feats in play, my attacks can look like this (Deadly Aim + Rapid Shot + Manyshot): +5/+5/+0 (2d8+12/1d8+6/1d8+6) - looks decent until you realize that most of the opponents boast 18 AC or more, making your hits quite difficult. Even more so if they are engaged in melee (-4 to attack).

Regards,
Ruemere

PS. That said, Power


Gignere wrote:

At low levels for switch hitting builds I prefer reach weapons over a greatsword. Both you will be one-shotting stuff anyway, but even with out combat reflexes you typically will get to swing at some guy twice with a reach weapon for when he closes and gets a swing at you.

Also I don't generally carry a bow at low levels either. (Too pricey if you want to take advantage of strength bonus) You should just grab a few javelins they are cheap. My strategy is to hold a guisarme on one hand hold a javelin in the other.

See enemy, throw javelin and then free action wield the guisarme. Enemy closes I AoO. Preferably between the javelin and the AoO the guy is dead, and if a little lucky two guys are dead already.

I have to be completely honest, I have heard about that logic before and have been somewhat against it because it just seemed strange to me for some reason, but it actually makes sense. And the idea of simply not buying a bow at the earlier levels is actually really good - can the javelins be retrieved?

Gignere wrote:


Also wear a cestus on one hand or if you can afford grab armor spikes. That way you will always be armed.

I got a little lost here, you mean having a cestus to guarantee that if they get close, I can make unarmored attacks without taking AoO? And can I wear the cestus, grab the javelin and Guisarme all at once?


You really should check out Teantmonks ranger guide. it has not been updated for UC or AGP but it is still perfectly valid.

Precise shot....No reason is simple if you have friends in combat you are better off flanking with the greatsword and getting your 2d6 and higher crit. Stop thinking like and archer and think like a switch hitter

Point blank shot is likewise of no use since if the target is that close you better be closing for mellee.


Edeldhur wrote:

I have to be completely honest, I have heard about that logic before and have been somewhat against it because it just seemed strange to me for some reason, but it actually makes sense. And the idea of simply not buying a bow at the earlier levels is actually really good - can the javelins be retrieved?

Gignere wrote:


Also wear a cestus on one hand or if you can afford grab armor spikes. That way you will always be armed.

I got a little lost here, you mean having a cestus to guarantee that if they get close, I can make unarmored attacks without taking AoO? And can I wear the cestus, grab the javelin and Guisarme all at once?

Yes javelins can be retrieved they are not ammo.

You can carry other stuff while wearing a cestus. This way you can free action let go of your guisarme and punch them in the face without incurring AoO. Also easy way to diversify your attacks to include bashing damage.

Bonus points if you have a weapon cord on your guisarme.


Sirlink is right. You're not an archer, you're a switch-hitter.

Your role is to be the guy who always has a good option in combat. And when enemies get close to your team, switch to your big-a$$ melee weapon and swing away.


ruemere wrote:

Playing Switch-Hitter Ranger in Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign. Currently at level 6.

My damage rocks, my ability to move around (Longstrider + Cleave) allows me to own most of the battlefield. That said, I came close to death several times because:
- my Will save sucks (only 13 Wis here)
- hitting stuff at range is problematic due to lots of confined spaces
- my AC sucks, if opponents get drop on me (or get to flank me), I'm down

If I were to start all over again, I would make the following feats my priority:
- Power Attack, Improved Will, Precise Shot, with Cleave and Point Blank Shot being close second, and Rapid Shot in distant third place

Here is why:
- Power Attack is no brainer, it's a staple of my gaming,
- You're supposed to switch to melee only when you have to... with 14 Dex and no Rapid Shot you miss too much to use a ranged weapon when someone else is in melee, Precise Shot is worth it, especially if you start using Deadly Aim,
- Get all +attack for your ranged weapon you can. With all my ranged feats in play, my attacks can look like this (Deadly Aim + Rapid Shot + Manyshot): +5/+5/+0 (2d8+12/1d8+6/1d8+6) - looks decent until you realize that most of the opponents boast 18 AC or more, making your hits quite difficult. Even more so if they are engaged in melee (-4 to attack).

Regards,
Ruemere

PS. That said, Power

I also had that idea - it seems that there is a lot of stuff packed against ranged attacks, because of many possible negative modifiers (melee, cover, etc.).

What I seem to notice from your impressions is that you are mostly functioning as a melee combatant most of the time, not only by option but also because, as you said, you are kinda being forced into that position as soon as melee breaks out because you cannot hit the enemy from range. Then again, that is how switch hitters are supposed to work right?

Is there any chance we can take a look at your character, or how you would build it? I would like to see how best to fit all the feats you suggested.

Two last things, you placed Rapid Shot way over in third place, meaning you would stick to your iterative attacks? And, when you say "Get all +attack for your ranged weapon you can.", what would you mean by this exactly, swap some STR for DEX or are we talking magic weapons?

Thank you for all the feedback by the way :D


Sirlink wrote:

You really should check out Teantmonks ranger guide. it has not been updated for UC or AGP but it is still perfectly valid.

Precise shot....No reason is simple if you have friends in combat you are better off flanking with the greatsword and getting your 2d6 and higher crit. Stop thinking like and archer and think like a switch hitter

Point blank shot is likewise of no use since if the target is that close you better be closing for mellee.

Hehe, I have read it multiple times, actually that is the reason why I decided to go Switch Hitter in the first place :D

Now follow me on this reasoning:

- Say I keep the logic of the Switch Hitter, but not the name, neither the archer ranger name - just Ranger - and then:

- I build him "mainly" as an Archer (let's say human because for Archer Ranger is almost essential)

Lvl1: Point blank + Precise
Lvl2: Rapid Shot
Lvl3: Deadly Aim
Lvl5: Power Attack
LvL6: Manyshot

So I am not taking power attack early on, and instead of doing 2d6+8 at level on, I am doing... 2d6+6. Let's even say I do not take Power Attack AT ALL - wouldn't that still make for a decent enough melee character if it comes down to it?

Thank you for the brainstorming so far :D


My understanding of treantmonk's approach, the switch hitter is melee primary (hence the goal is high strength) but is not a charger, is a ..well..kinda an aggro magnet. They'll stand at range smacking you hard with arrows, until you or someone gets so fed up you close to melee range, at which point they sword and board you, or two handed ruin your day.

They way I see it, the switcher doesn't charge into the fight, but they influence how the battlefield moves. They pick an advantageous position, lets say just a bit past the front line melee types, but ahead of the caster, and then they hammer away. When the foes close, thinking they'll be weakening the archer, surprise the archer switches to fighter mode and suddenly the foes realize they've boxed themselves between two melee units and STILL have the mage plinking them.


Sure, that works, you're just shifting the focus. Instead of a melee guy who has the ability to go ranged when necessary, you're just the opposite.

If I were to do this, I might switch Many shot for Improved Precise Shot as your level 6 combat style feat... means ignoring all but full cover when shooting around corners, over tables, and past your front-line friends. It also means less damage, but could consistenly mean the difference between hitting and not hitting.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The switch hitter should logically have all options open for fighting. That includes sword and board.

Suprise! Most one handed viable melee weapons can be used in two hands for more damage. If you want to blow a prof slot, the bastard sword, dwarven waraxe, and falcata are all highly valuable in sword and board or with two hands.

Having a reach weapon you can drop for melee is another tactic. However, having to go all the way down to a cestus for damage would hurt.

The javelin is a nice alternative to a bow, since it auto has Str damage, and if you not worried about range increments, it'll do for most fights. Remember you can always grab a bow later if you want it.

Just remember that as a switch hitter, you're using multiple weapons...which means you are dispersing your cash. At some point you're going to have to settle on a primary weapon, and decide if you are ranged with a melee accent or melee with a ranged accent.

But, yes, keep the shield option open. It might mean not using a Greatsword, but that's fine. You give up 2 pts of damage, but pick up anywhere from 1 to 7 AC. Worth it.

==Aelryinth


I've played CoT and your opportunities for archery aren't terribly frequent. So keep that in mind.

As others have mentioned, you are a great sword wielder who can shoot when no one is close enough to you. If they are in charge range, dump the bow, and charge.

I'd actually suggest starting off with scale rather than studded leather. I see you're hoping to eventually be a tumbler, but until you can afford some decent defensive gear, that's your best bang for your buck. If you really want a lower armour check penalty, then the chain shirt or armoured coat are your next go to options.

I think you should save your money on the composite long bow, and get a cheap short bow instead. You don't need the range in a city, and at this point in your career, the difference between 1d6 and 1d8 isn't huge considering how often you'll be using it. Armour on the other hand will be useful frequently. ;) Wait until you can afford a proper master worked composite longbow with the appropriate strength bonus to make a real investment in ranged weaponry.

I don't see any traits listed, but if you just haven't picked them out yet, I suggest Armour Expert, which lowers your armour check penalty by 1. Which will help your tumbling while wearing armour.

Eric


@Eben:

You may actually have a very good point with Improved Precise Shot.

Regarding the focus shift, it seems that he won't lose that much but again as I said in the first post, I do not fully master the Pathfinder mechanics, and that is why i am looking for advice :D

So, in the first 10 levels he would lose:

- Power Attack
- Cleave
- Quickdraw
- Great Cleave?

I have to admit that as far as melee combat, it is obviously diminished, but is it THAT diminished? :D


I kind of get the feeling you're asking if your archer ranger is going to be viable if he can't stay out of melee.

I'd actually ask you this: How often do you think you'll actually be in melee and need to swtich to a melee weapon? With those switches in ability scores, feats, skills and tactics, it seems like you'd want to maximize your archery.

IF the answer is, "I'm going to use the bow as much as possible", then no, it's not much of a big deal to lose that much melee.


It just sounds to me like you really want to favor the bow, but have a melee weapn on-hand for "oh Sh!t" situations... an archery ranger can do this quite well.


I’m fine as a 14DX archer even with Rapid Shot, but I focus on melee. +4ST +2DX bonus…not a huge difference at low levels. You can get bracers of archery or Point Blank Shot, wpn focus etc. Get out a planner and build your character to 20, and do that ten ways to Tuesday….imagining how you want to play it. There’s more than one way to build it. Try and do what you think is fun…not the “best” because in the long run the most fun probably is the best. I went with the Beast master Archetype with Boon Companion by the way. Now, that’s fun...Druid pets.


@Eben:

Actually, I am now tending in the "oh crap" direction BUT what I have been looking for is a 50/50 balance.

With the "classical" switch hitter set up I get the feeling that it is not that straightforward to give up Precise Shot (and consequently PBS).

Additionally, it would also seem that the switch hitter, at early levels works basically as a melee fighter (wither 1h+sh or 2h) most of the time, and only by stacking those 2 feats above you can actually have any hope of actually being useful with your ranged weapon.

It just feels it is not a 50/50 trade, but more of a 70/30 melee/archer set up - and it seems to stay like that for quite a few levels simply because the -4 from being in combat + the cover modifiers indeed are steep, even for a... level 6 ranger( I would say maybe even until level 10), as stated by ruemere.


Havoq wrote:
I’m fine as a 14DX archer even with Rapid Shot, but I focus on melee. +4ST +2DX bonus…not a huge difference at low levels. You can get bracers of archery or Point Blank Shot, wpn focus etc. Get out a planner and build your character to 20, and do that ten ways to Tuesday….imagining how you want to play it. There’s more than one way to build it. Try and do what you think is fun…not the “best” because in the long run the most fun probably is the best. I went with the Beast master Archetype with Boon Companion by the way. Now, that’s fun...Druid pets.

I agree 100% with you regarding fun - and the idea of the switch hitter strikes me as loads of fun, and that's why i liked instantly when I read it the first time, but I'm getting second thoughts regarding if it actually works, or if it will simply turn me into a melee fighter 80% of the time and that's it.


You might look into the Spell-less Ranger book. It had some very fun variants including switchhitter options


Sirlink wrote:
You might look into the Spell-less Ranger book. It had some very fun variants including switchhitter options

Is that 3rd party or?


The switch hitter never suffers the -4 from an opponent in combat because he's not shooting arrows at that point, he's joining the fray...

I don't think you'll have much fun focused on archery in Council of Thieves. The battle fields tend to be very close quarters, with walls to go around, and that sort of thing.

Also remember that people who occupy squares between you and your target add cover penalties on top of the one for being in hand to hand combat. You have to check for all the corners of your square, so this will come up a lot in cramped quarters.

Eric


Yeah the Switch hitter isn't trying for the melee-ranged/super point blank archery use. As soon as a foe hits melee range, they simply switch to melee. If that foe drops, and they are no longer in melee range of anything, they switch back to ranged. Almost kinda like the idea of the monk that despite movement bonuses, should really stay still most of the time and full attack nuke.


This is the link to Spell-less Ranger

Sczarni

Level 12 switch hitter in the Rise of the Rune Lords at the moment. It's been awesome. I went with the guide archetype - which is the only thing I would change if I could. I took Opening Volley as my level 7 feat and it has been good but I would rather have an Animal Companion & Boon Companion if I could do it over.

One other thing I wish I had done is take Magical Knack as a trait so my buffs last longer.

Other then that the character has been a blast to play and because I followed Treantmonks advice and took QuickDraw I use the following tactic:
Shoot with bow. When enemies close switch to reach weapon. If they continue to close I switch to my Curveblade.

What makes this character so good at consistently dishing out massive damage is that I am always Full Attacking. Always.

Also one last thing: You want Manyshot. I only use Rapid Shot on mooks now. I'm always using Manyshot + Deadly Aim.


I appologise if someone covered this and i missed it but why are you in light armor? Move speed is not all that important to a switch hitter where as ac is. I'd go for scale mail and throw chakrams at level 1 due to the cost of bows.

Of course if you are in a party full of melee morons who charge at the sight of enemies then switch hitter will probably never work well for you and i'd suggest you go full archer.


I'm playing a 5th level switch-hitter in Carrion Crown right now and having a great time. I am definitely finding that I'm going heavier on the melee than on archery - in part because, as Calendir says, I'm better at melee at this point, but also because of party make-up - I'm needed up front.

I wanted to go very light and quick, but didn't really have the dex for it after boosting strength - so I wear a chain shirt and carry a heavy shield, and I still get wacked around a bit in melee. I have definitely found that I'm taking bow shots at targets when I can, but they don't like that and come at me pretty quick - and most of the party then gets behind me. And I expect I'll agree about manyshot, when I pick it up at next level - seems more useful than rapid shot.

The other thing I've done is take the Infiltrator archetype, which has been fine will be very nice when I pick up darkvision and natural armor +2 at 8th level (2nd favored enemy is undead, cuz it's Carrion Crown...). Better than trying to find a patch of favored terrain, I think.


Khelreddin wrote:

And I expect I'll agree about manyshot, when I pick it up at next level - seems more useful than rapid shot.

They stack. In a full round action you can use them both.

The line between Ranged and Melee is Weapon Focus. Ironic, eh? Once you take that your next Feat in line is Snap Shot where you threaten with a ranged weapon. Cross that line and you’re an Archer.

Sczarni

^i think he is aware they stack. My point was that instead of using rapid shot and reducing my my to hit chance even further I only use Many shot + deadly aim the majority of the time.

Because Manyshot has no penalty to attack rolls you will use it anytime you full attack.


You can do all three if you want. I suppose it's situational, like if you're facing DR or high AC. I'm sure someone has the optimization numbers for sweet spots...I don't.

As to cash issues...after your second or third session you’ll be able to buy a composite bow and a breastplate. Before you’re level 5 it can be +1 darkwood +4ST and your breastplate can be mithral, fast on your way to +1 mithral….if you so choose.


I am currently playing a Switch Hitter in PFS, level 5. The beauty of Ranger is feats without the prereqs. Use your Bonus feats for your archery feats. I was a Human and took Quickdraw and Power Attack at first level, my first Ranger feat, I went Archery and took Precise Shot. This is by far the feat I've needed the most. Sometimes you're just too far away and it allows you to shoot while you move up.


I still say more is better, if you get 2 bow attacks at lvl 2 they should be unattended opponents and only -2. If that isn't feasible FORGET the bow and close for melee. That said I would look for a better str/con balance and with 6 skills per lvl I wouldn't bother with Int unless for combat expertise, in which case you need a 13, otherwise dump it for a 9 or partial dump and keep a 10. Wis above 14 not necessary so you're covered there and cha only REALLY matters if you want to catch and tame a wild animal, which if you wait you may be able to use charm animal instead of relying on cha anyway. Also with the Con penalty from elf consider the favored hp bonus each lvl over a skill point.


Edit: make that a better str/dex balance sorry!


Yep, Jodokai has the right of it.

The beauty of Treatmonk's switch hitter build is that it takes almost zero investment in archery (just the combat style feats -- which ignore pre-reqs) to maintain a useable ranged platform for when you can't close to melee.

Basically, it's incredibly feat-efficient. Trying to switch the balance over to the archery side -- as you're finding out -- requires much more of an investment in resources... meaning you're basically just an archery ranger in the end.


Don't know if anyone has mentioned the quickdraw shields yet. Only +1 ac, but could be useful if you as have the quickdraw feat and wanted to sword and board.

Does anyone know how much of an issue 20ft movement, due to breastplate, is compared to 30ft? I hate the idea of having lower base movement, but like the idea of extra ac.

Edit:
Crap...sorry for raising the dead on this thread. Forgot I got to it via Google and not the main board.


HowlingWolf wrote:

Don't know if anyone has mentioned the quickdraw shields yet. Only +1 ac, but could be useful if you as have the quickdraw feat and wanted to sword and board.

Does anyone know how much of an issue 20ft movement, due to breastplate, is compared to 30ft? I hate the idea of having lower base movement, but like the idea of extra ac.

Edit:
Crap...sorry for raising the dead on this thread. Forgot I got to it via Google and not the main board.

I used a 2-handed sword, I wanted to focus on damage, but Quickdraw would be workable, downside is going back to your bow would take longer.

You can use a bow, 20' movement is much of a problem. My suggestion though is to wait until you can afford mithral, not so much because of the movement but more because it will save you 100gp. If you buy a regular Breastplate (for 200gp) you can't upgrade that armor to mithral, that means you have to sell it for 100gp, and re-buy it as mithral.

I also recommend the same thing with weapons. I usually walk around with a plain old weapon until I can afford Adamantite.

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