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How can Ranged Combat even be feasible?


Advice

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Shadow Lodge

Yeah, i think it is a bit of a problem. Dictating one feat doesn't make a cookie cutter. Dictating

point blank, precise, rapid, multi, clustered, deadly aim , improved precise...

7 feats .. or like, every feat you're likely to have in a typical campaign is.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Is being cookie cutter a problem?

Maybe

Is it related to the problem this thread was made to address. No.


Claxon wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
@Claxon the build you are discribing is one of the best archery build in the game. The build is amazing but I would not recommend using it for the the combat style good as a whole discussion. Likewise I would also avoid Arsenal Champion warpriest, and Weapon master mutation warrior fighters and build that dip Savage technologist.

That's fair-ish I guess.

I would say a fair baseline is a full BAB martial not using any special tricks.

So perhaps an non-archetyped fighter. Taking the standard archery feats.

Really the only classes that are bad at archery at the ones that don't have a way to add to their accuracy and damage of ranged attacks.

So barbarians make bad archers, but only because their bonuses to strength and con don't really help much. The strength bonus increases damage, but since you don't get accuracy bonus and since you don't get two-handed weapon type damage scaling it just means barbarian isn't a great chassis for ranged combat.

But really, all that's saying is "If your class doesn't support your combat style well, you're probably going to have a bad time". I don't see anyone who would make the claim that two-handed weapon fighting is bad because a wizard can't make good use of (actually a transmutation wizard can do okay for the first few levels but it gets bad after that).

There's actually two barb archetypes that work well with archery, savage technologist and the Primal Hunter. Both will get accuracy boost with bows while raging and still get a str boost for damage. Throw in having reckless abandon while being at range to care even less about the AC penalty and you have some pretty good accuracy. True they aren't the top archer of archers, but they are a lot better at it than most people give them credit for.


SheepishEidolon wrote:
When it comes to closing to a distant archer, the run action can make sense - sometimes there is not much Dex bonus to lose, but a lot to be gained by closing as fast as possible. In the best case you might end your movement behind some cover, forcing the archer to move more than a 5 ft step.

Sure you can run, but now you're in the middle of the team and easily killed and you didn't get off any attack that round.

Like sure, there are things that are more annoying for archer to deal with, but they don't really benefit the enemy, or that the archer is no less susceptible than others. A fighter having their weapon disarmed or sundered, or grappled if THW user, and this archer is not more susceptible than a melee build of the character.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There are ways to be an effective archer even w/o a major investment;

Halfling archer on riding dog - Direct the dog to ride away from anyone who tries to close with you, make full iterative attacks every round

Any form of one way total concealment (e.g. invisibility, darkness + darkvision, fog + fog vision, tiny hut, etc) plus sneak attack - Make full iterative attacks every round, get sneak attack damage on each

High stealth + various sniping bonus options - Shoot / hide, shoot / hide, shoot / hide... not a lot of damage per round, but doesn't matter much if they never find you.


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Is "all good archery builds take the same feats" really a problem? One of the reasons that Archery is so strong is because there are a huge number of feats you can take that all work together pretty well.

One of the reasons that the 2-handed weapon approach just needs power attack, is that there just aren't that many feats that will improve your combat performance as much as power attack will.

As for why Archery is good, beyond its damage output it is generally preferable to not be in a position where the things trying to kill you are able to full attack. That you can full attack while they cannot is pretty handy.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Yeah, i think it is a bit of a problem. Dictating one feat doesn't make a cookie cutter. Dictating

point blank, precise, rapid, multi, clustered, deadly aim , improved precise...

7 feats .. or like, every feat you're likely to have in a typical campaign is.

The only nearly-mandatory feats for an archer are Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot, and Point-Blank Shot is necessary only because it is a feat tax for Precise Shot. I have seen a bard archer that used Arcane Strike (and, of course, Inspire Courage bard song) for damage with his bow. I built a D&D 3.5 elven cleric archer who took only Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Weapon Focus(longbow) and a level of Wizard so that he could become an Arcane Archer and shoot area-of-effect divine spells from the Spell Compendium with his longbow. My Pathfinder ranger/monk never got farther than Precise Shot himself, since he used a longbow at range and his unarmed strike close up.

A cookie-cutter series of feats can vary a lot when combined with different abilities from different classes.


yeah, archery is feat intensive, like TWF, or vital striking, or spell blasting for some examples. Do you have to take the full chain on these? no. But do the chains exist if you want to go down it? Yes.

For melee you have power attack and perhaps weapon focus. Yes that's it, but the downside is that that's it. If there was a power attack, reckless accuracy (reckless abandon rage power), painful strike (kinda like vicious weapon), heavy handed (the Two handed fighter's ability to get x2 str), and greater power attack (again like the THF ability to get x4 for power attack) as a chain of feats then you'd probably see people taking all or most of those and get more complaints that all of these builds are cookie cutter.

Silver Crusade

Mathmuse wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Yeah, i think it is a bit of a problem. Dictating one feat doesn't make a cookie cutter. Dictating

point blank, precise, rapid, multi, clustered, deadly aim , improved precise...

7 feats .. or like, every feat you're likely to have in a typical campaign is.

The only nearly-mandatory feats for an archer are Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot, and Point-Blank Shot is necessary only because it is a feat tax for Precise Shot. I have seen a bard archer that used Arcane Strike (and, of course, Inspire Courage bard song) for damage with his bow. I built a D&D 3.5 elven cleric archer who took only Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Weapon Focus(longbow) and a level of Wizard so that he could become an Arcane Archer and shoot area-of-effect divine spells from the Spell Compendium with his longbow. My Pathfinder ranger/monk never got farther than Precise Shot himself, since he used a longbow at range and his unarmed strike close up.

A cookie-cutter series of feats can vary a lot when combined with different abilities from different classes.

Improved Precise Shot is even not really needed if you have the corresponding Trait and with LvL 3 every Archer Should be done with must have feats for hitting.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I had tested out an archer that took Precise Shot without PBS thanks to bonus feat ignoring prereqs in a game, but we sadly only got to about 3rd level.

Liberty's Edge

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Claxon wrote:

What you're stating here is true. But you are basically agreeing with the point I have seen others make.

Archery is crazy f#!#ing powerful, but it takes a lot of investment to get there.

I wasn't disagreeing so much as trying to clarify in a less confrontational fashion. Though I admit that ship seems to have sailed...

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Requiring a 10th level character for a build to come online is mathematically twice as ridiculous as people who state Dex to Damage by 5th level is a bad expectation (and they do say it). And that's from a purely mathematical standpoint; players play levels 1-10 a lot more often than levels 11+, meaning I'm much less likely to enjoy levels 10+ than I am levels 1-9, and if Archery was meant to be a level 10+ build, then I don't understand why people would build for it when the odds of them coming to fruition are pretty slim.

Archery is okay from level 3 and great from level 5. This happens earlier (online from level 1, great from 2 or 3) if playing a Human or class with bonus Feats.

The build was just a sample.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If all a CR 10 enemy has for AC is 24, then quite frankly that's some of the weakest monsters in the game for that level, and of course you're going to shred them. I'm 3 CR below that, and that's the AC I'm consistently facing right now, and that's not including the BBEG's AC (which is close to 30), which is probably going to be the staple at CR 10, and I don't have or get any of those kinds of buffs because those are mostly personal only.

As others have noted, that's not normal in Pathfinder. That doesn't mean you're playing the game wrong, but it does mean that for all the people who play in games where AC 24 is middle of the road at 10th that example is valid.

Or to put it another way: Your game specifically may have different expectations that make archery worse. Though I suspect it'd be pretty good even there.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
It's also hypothetical because you're assuming you get ample time or safety to buff when bad stuff had reach, stupid amounts of CMB/CMD scaling, combat maneuvers at their beck and call with no counter on your behalf, readied actions to screw up your spellcasting, etc. Or that you actually have 30 feet of space to move away from, or that enemies can't or won't close that gap with a single action (because they exist). That PC would be tripped before he could move away, provoke from his casting (or potentially lose the spell from casting defensively, which is a good chance due to how high of a spell level Divine Power is compared to lacking a high casting stat, as well as lacking Combat Casting feat), and be set right up for the bad guys next turn to be turned to shreds from full attacks. Or are we assuming +5 to the other Big 6 items too? Divine Favor might have a better chance, but either way, that full attack isn't happening the next turn, and even less likely on the turn after. (Which is why I'm saying bad guys getting next to you is such a big deal.)

All this assumes you're remotely in melee range of the enemy, and have no melee characters between you and the enemy. Both of those are weird and atypical assumptions for an archer. This also assumes you have no prep time, which will not always be the case (especially since an Archer Inquisitor makes an excellent scout).

Also, being buff based is an artifact of the Inquisitor class, not the archery combat style. Complaining about it is complaining about how Inquisitor isn't good, not how archery isn't good. And is thus weird because, well, Inquisitors are very effective and powerful.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Fighter is perhaps the only safe bet here because he doesn't have to rely on his buff shenanigans to be effective, and he has feats available to him to counter his biggest weakspots. You're also missing buffs from Warrior Spirit and such, which I imagine is a staple for Fighters as well, but I believe that would be equally scrutinized as above. But the factor that I have to be a Fighter to do this sort of stuff safely really only means that Archery is Fighter Combat, and only proves my point that ranged combat may as well be class specific due to how easily countered the other classes are at doing it.

As others have noted, Ranger, Slayer and a host of other Classes can easily get all the archery stuff Fighters do. You act like Fighter is the only non-magical class...which is weird and untrue.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

re best archery build...

they all use the same build pretty much. It's cookie cutter.

mm cookies

Talk about all archers being cookie cutter has always seemed weird to me when the only thing they actually have in common is Feats (well, and high Dex I guess). I've seen Inquisitors, Bards, Rangers, Paladins, and a host of other Classes played as archers. In my upcoming game, one player is even doing an Elven Silksworn Occultist Archer.

Their skills, non-physical stats, and everything else that makes the character actually unique were all wildly different. The only thing they had in common was similar Feat choice and a preference for Dex and Str comparable to melee characters preference for Str and other physical stats. The differences were far more striking than the similarities, often even in combat.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Crossbows are bad and have been ruined because Lord of the Rings and Legolas made bows a lot more popular, and because a lot more people wanted to be like Legolas from Lord of the Rings instead of some other famous guy who uses a crossbow (which there aren't any, I might add), Bows became the fantasy staple, and everything else ranged-related went to the toilet. Which is why nobody uses anything except bows for ranged combat.

William Tell would like to have a work with you...

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Archery is indeed the bee's knees. The cat's pajamas. The third out-of-date reference for a cool thing.

The mutt's nuts, perhaps?

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Because it no longer becomes a "combat" style, it becomes a "class" style. Hence my "joke" with "Fighter Combat."

FTFY.


I mean, everything but two handed weapon fighting is feat intensive to do to best effectiveness.

Sword and board requires dips into twf, twf requires a ton of feats, thrown requires most of archery and then some, singleton is usually associated with dex and thus has 2 "tax" feats associated with it.

Also Oh noes, muh melee


Hey dark, have you considered that maybe the reason your archer is struggling so much just might be because he is so powerful that your GM is forced to buff your encounters by a significant degree just to provide you a challenge?

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

Removed a post. If you do not feel that a post has been made in good faith, flag it and move on. Do not accuse other community members of trolling.

To help foster a welcoming environment and debate or discussion instead of bickering or fighting please keep the following in mind. When creating posts about game mechanics, theories or content that you are struggling to understand, do not agree with or feel is not optimal, try cutting back on hyperbole and sarcasm. Use subjective statements rather than declaring opinions as objective facts.


Sara Marie wrote:

Removed a post. If you do not feel that a post has been made in good faith, flag it and move on. Do not accuse other community members of trolling.

To help foster a welcoming environment and debate or discussion instead of bickering or fighting please keep the following in mind. When creating posts about game mechanics, theories or content that you are struggling to understand, do not agree with or feel is not optimal, try cutting back on hyperbole and sarcasm. Use subjective statements rather than declaring opinions as objective facts.

Oop. I hope I am no guilty of any of this, or encouraging this. If I am, even advertently, then I apologise.

Either way, I figure I should refrain from posting in this thread from now on.
Cheers :)


Rebuttal time.

@ Jarhead:
My ranged character is level 8 and has identical bonuses to the Fighter you suggested. When I factor in Deadly Aim and Rapid Shot, that's 1/3 of my bonus down the drain after-the-fact, and against an enemy whose AC is 2+ CR above the norm (AKA AC 24), that's a significant reduction in accuracy that would result in a lot more misses than hits, and I have no buffs to compensate for that loss. As a minor nitpick, your final result BAB calculations don't properly reflect the Deadly Aim penalties, which would be an extra minus 1 (or 2 if 8th level).

But in short, that identical non-optimized character would have just as hard a time as I am with hitting a given enemy, and while you can blame it on the game "being outside the norm," that's a little hard to consider when this is actually happening inside a Paizo AP.

@ Gobo Horde:
Considering my character is hardly optimized and still struggles, and compared to the rest of my team that constantly spout "You have the highest attack bonus," I'm going to go on a limb and say no. Especially when, on a given full attack with my feats going, I'm only ever hitting once every other round, and never with my iterative.

I mean, when you roll more 1's than you do actual hits, it's time to change up what it is you do with your attack round, and when the best course of action is "Retrain your penalty feats into something else," even though everyone else's mindset is that they are de facto for ranged combat, you're kind of at a crossroads as to how you can make this combat style work. Hence the thread. I'm actually instead considering going the Vital Strike feat chain and snatching Bullseye Shot for the added bonuses, since I can't rely on my iteratives for anything...

@ wraithstrike:
I did refer to ranged combat as a whole. Crossbows and Thrown weapons still suck as character options, and have little to no build support for them outside of one archetype or a couple classes. This is the case when practically everybody's argument has been "Be X class and use a bow." I primarily used Legolas as an excuse for this sort of answer considering how influential Lord of the Rings was to this genre compared to..."William Tell," which I'm fairly certain 80% of people who play this game don't know who that is, myself included.

And while Guns can be just as powerful because "lolTouchAC," they're usually banned for that reason (even though Bows do the same thing without those shenanigans), if the reason they're banned isn't because "No guns in my fantasy." I had to deal with that restriction, or I would have totally used a Gun; instead, I settle with the next closest thing...

Bows do a lot of damage if they are permitted to do so. Smart enemies or encounters that leave you heavily disadvantaged remove that privilege, and in a lot of encounters I've been in so far, I've dealt with both subjects consistently (and even at the same time). Even at 1st level I've dealt with this problem, and the later levels have been more and more unforgiving for not increasing my priveleges through feats.

Honestly, a Witch has better tools to deal with enemies in their face than an Archer does. Having an innate Flight ability is pretty powerful, and is to melee what Wind Wall and co. is to archery; a very hard counter. And that's not including Slumber or the other hexes. Fun fact, Hexes are probably a lot better safety tool than Spells are, since they can't fail due to bad rolls, don't provoke, and have the same success rate as casting a Spell would. Archers don't get any of that, so the odds of them having threads in relation to this are increased as a compared result.

As for keeping alive, it's difficult in tight quarters against enemies with reach and melee characters at arms length from you (meaning you're in their reach), with no space to retreat to, even using corners and doorways to your advantage (which was actually a disadvantage here because they can attack us without penalty whereas we'd suffer cover bonuses when we attacked them). And considering that dungeon crawling and castle invasions are the norm in numerous Paizo APs, I'm really wondering if what happens is they try and lure all the bad guys outside to fight them. Which really only works if the bad guys are stupid enough to trigger that obvious trap.

Spellcasters are often invisible or have powerful defensive abilities in place, like Blur/Displacement or Mirror Images, and smart enemies wouldn't waste their action economy on that stuff when an Archer is probably much easier to hit while being an equal threat.

Also, Reach says hi. Bigger enemies can just attack the martials at a range, letting them safely walk around to the squishies and eat them, and if the martials try to intervene, the bigger enemy is going to punish them dearly for it. That's actually literally what happened in this last fight we did.

@ Chromatic Durgon:
Fine, that's a strawman. It's still an issue regarding ranged combat, however. Even dex builds are criticized for it, and outside of bow users, they're the most popular character to build for.

It'd be 3rd level if you took the obvious trait starting out (because apparently every Archer worships that deity). It's otherwise higher than that usually, even with bonus feats factored in. Only when an archer shores up their biggest weakspots (cover/concealment and provocation for attacking) can I say that they're as reliable as a melee character is.

As I've stated above, these are the stats that the GM told us from the AP we're running. If they're "wrong", then quite frankly we're facing some of the highest AC foes of that level, and then some. Which seems silly when all it is are Ogre Fighters in light or medium armor...

Also, I fail to see how having an AC 3 or 4 above the given CR (which was 9 according to the GM by the way) is "extremely far outside the typical assumptions." It seems more likely that my feats are more detrimental to me than they are helpful, and as such requires retraining into something more conducive to my issue (i.e. I can't hit).

Just because you have friends doesn't mean they can actively engage them without getting slaughtered. Reach is a powerful and trusted melee style for the same reasons why people say ranged is better than melee as a whole; added threat and increased fidelity without compromising kill potential.

Who says they aren't mutually exclusive? They trip you first so they keep you in their "kill zone," then hit you for provocation. Are you saying that you don't provoke for performing distracting actions while prone? If so, that's a big buff to that condition, and quite frankly a lot of people would do that before moving to avoid AoOs a lot more than using Acrobatics, which isn't foolproof by comparison.

Apparently every fight in this game is out in an open field where
the terrain is perfectly flat, everybody can see everybody and there's no such thing as cover, concealment, or even enemies being equally skilled at ranged combat. Sounds like a golf course. If it was, my low attack bonuses would win the game. A shame that's not the case...

More seriously, last I checked, most APs involve dungeon crawling and investigating rooms as large parts of the game, where enemies may or may not occupy said dungeons or rooms. Even if they aren't in a dungeon or a hallway, being in woods with trees and such everywhere isn't exactly conducive to ranged combat either due to cover from trees, difficult terrain (that most enemies ignore due to it being their natural habitat), and other terrain features, creating a lack of openness that you can just let projectiles loose.

Ryan Freire:
I'd really only recommend that for those who don't have Point Blank Master available to them. Even so, that's 3+ feats for it, when you're already investing over 5+ feats for this; I mean, that's what bonus feats are for, but I wouldn't expect it to take place until the mid teens since there are other feats you may want, and even if there aren't, you have better things to do as a mid-high level archer than nabbing melee capabilities.

Fun fact, I'm working towards that feat and will have it next level because I need the option to switch-hit and benefit from Sneak Attacks since ranged can't Sneak Attack reliably, but I'm paying for it by not nabbing other useful feats that I'd rather have, and I may just retrain it back due to lack of effective iteratives.

If I missed someone's post or question, feel free to repost what you'd like me to respond to.

As a heads up, I probably won't be able to reply to everyone's rebuttals until the following night due to daily routines (8 hours of rest followed by 8 hours of work and 1 hour of kicking back after a rough shift), so don't be surprised if I take a while to post, well...something.


Also ranged investigator isn't getting enough love :P


Ryan Freire wrote:
Also ranged investigator isn't getting enough love :P

I love these guys but ouch want to talk about a build that takes a while to get going.


Grandlounge wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Also ranged investigator isn't getting enough love :P
I love these guys but ouch want to talk about a build that takes a while to get going.

Yeah but, snowball down a mountainside man...once you're going...get yourself an inspired shortbow....you're GOING


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
@ Jarhead: My ranged character is level 8 and has identical bonuses to the Fighter you suggested. When I factor in Deadly Aim and Rapid Shot, that's 1/3 of my bonus down the drain after-the-fact, and against an enemy whose AC is 2+ CR above the norm (AKA AC 24), that's a significant reduction in accuracy that would result in a lot more misses than hits, and I have no buffs to compensate for that loss. As a minor nitpick, your final result BAB calculations don't properly reflect the Deadly Aim penalties, which would be an extra minus 1 (or 2 if 8th level).

Let's crunch the numbers. Eighth-level martial character gives +8 BAB, assume Dex 18 for +4 Dex bonus, and a +1 composite (Str +1) longbow. That is +13 to hit. Assume Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Deadly Aim, and Rapid Shot for the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th level feats. All other feats went to non-archery uses, such as Iron Will.

The archer would hit AC 24 on a roll of 11 or more, 50% chance, at full BAB, and 25% chance on the iterative -5 penalty attack. That gives the expected number of hits in a full attack as 0.75. Average damage per round is (0.75)(1d8+2)(1.1) = 5.3625, not good for 8th level.

Throw in Rapid Shot. That gives three attacks at 40%, 40%, and 15%. The expected number of hits would be 0.95. That is a 27% improvement, typical for a good feat. Average damage per round would be 6.7925, closer to effective but lackluster.

Use Deadly Aim instead of Rapid Shot for -3 to hit and +6 to damage. That gives two attacks at 35% and 15%, and expected number of hits at 0.45. Average damage would be (0.45)(1d8+8)(1.1) = 6.1875, not as good as Rapid Shot.

Combining Deadly Aim and Rapid Shot would give three attacks at 25%, 25% and 5%. That is slightly better than either feat alone, 0.55 hits per round and average damage per round of 7.5625, still lackluster.

Let me check the CR 10 monsters from the first Bestiary:

Bebilith: AC 22, hp 150, reach 15 ft but no ranged attack
Couatl: AC 22, hp 126, flying and ranged spells
Dinosaur, Brachiosaurus: AC 18, hp 171, reach 20 ft but no ranged attack
Dragon, adult white: AC 27, hp 149, 10 ft reach with bite, also flying and breath weapon
Dragon, young red: AC 22, hp 115, 10 ft reach with bite, also flying and breath weapon
Dragon, young silver: AC 22, hp 104, 10 ft reach with bite, also flying and breath weapon
Flytrap, giant: AC 22, hp 149, reach 15 ft but no ranged attack
Giant, fire: AC 23, hp 142, reach 10 ft and rock throwing
Golem, clay: AC 24, hp 101, reach 10 ft but no ranged attack
Naga, guardian: AC 24, hp 114, spits poison 30 ft and ranged spells, greater invisibility
Rakshasa: AC 25, hp 115, DR 15/good and piercing, invisibility

Yes, AC 24 can be expected. Against monsters with 110 hp, an archer would want to deal 11 damage per round on average. And if other party members buff him, he will be expected to accomplish even more. He will have to acquire more feats or seriously upgrade his bow or have class abilities that boost the bow damage. After 4th level, my D&D 3.5 archer cleric needed Arcane Archer abilites to remain a good archer, which had to wait until 10th level.

Nevertheless, when a flying creature such as a couatl or dragon shows up, the party will be glad for a ranged martial that can deal even as little as 6 damage per round. And against the slow-moving giant flytrap, the party's best strategy is to back away while the archer slowly kills it with arrows.

EDIT: For comparison, an 8th-level warrior with Str 18, Power Attack, and a +1 greatsword against AC 24 has two attacks at 35% and 15%, and expected number of hits at 0.45. Average damage would be (0.45)(2d6+16)(1.1) = 11.385.


@Ryan Freire

Agreed. I had mine take a level of divine hunter and rp'd and divine cop. Rapid shot at level one was nice I was a little delayed in getting mutagen. I have not looked at the investigators that get other sets of spell they may be interesting.


Let's have a little fun.

Rangey McRange, Human Commoner(Ranged, Basic).

Level 1:
RMR is a standard human, no tricks there. As a commoner he is proficient with a single simple weapon. Let's use an old example and say he's a sheep herder and uses a sling.

His stats at first level: Str 11, Dex 15(13+2), Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8.

He takes the standard feats for human archers at 1st level: Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. If something is attacking his flock there's a good chance he'll be close and doesn't want to hit them.

His attack looks like this: Sling +2 (1d4) or Point Blank Sling +3 (1d4+1).

Not the best.

Level 3 & 4:
Somehow RMR has managed to survive to level four! His trusty sling is now masterwork and made of wolf skin(for fluff reasons). He has also picked up Weapon Focus and worked on his power, gaining +1 Strength.

Sling +6 (1d4+1) or Point Blank Sling +7 (1d4+2).

His Attack modifier sky-rocketed. He can hit a battle cleric on a 9(or 8) and a battle monk on a 13(or 12). 19 AC seems about right for a CR 4 to me, though for different parties you never know.

Level 5:
This level he takes a hit to attack rolls by using Deadly Aim all the time. He never stops using it.

Deadly Aim Sling +5 (1d4+3) or Point Blank Deadly Sling +6 (1d4+4)

Is he winning any contests? Nah, not likely. However he is a Commoner with terrible stats and still pretty decent at ranged combat from what I can tell. Let's got a few more levels.

Level 7-8:
Rapid Shot joins the feats and he gains +1 Dex.

Deadly Sling +6/+6 (1d4+3) or Point Blank Deadly Sling +7/+7 (1d4+4). Two attacks but he's definitely dropped behind any PC by now. He simply has no way to keep up.

Now that is just a commoner. He has no class features, spells, or magic items and the only thing he really had going for him was the extra feat at first level.

Any PC class is going to do better. For an NPC he didn't really do all that badly. Using the Battle Monk as an example he either has two chances to hit with a 40% chance to hit or two chances to hit with 45% chance to hit(if the math is wrong, let me know).

There are flaws(no melee chance, low damage, low to-hit) but that's why Commoners look after sheep and adventurers kill Ogres. Adventurer's can easily overcome and eliminate those flaws.


Dang, Mathmuse, you leave up to your name. Bit of a ninja too, it seems.


I had a (somewhat) melee focused Inquisitor that I gave a repeating heavy crossbow and Rapid Shot as a backup and almost never used his main weapon again.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Throwing Weapons only work with Fighters or with a dual feat tax (Martial Focus + Ricochet Toss). They're otherwise garbage.

You can actually focus on improvised weapons + Gloves of Improvised Might to make a viable throwing character without fighter or Ricochet Toss.

Doomed Hero wrote:
Since Darts are ammo I don't have to worry about Quickdraw when switching between throwing them and using a Longspear.

Darts, the weapon, aren't ammo.

Dart: Category Ranged; Proficiency Simple. No entry like the Shurikens "treated as ammunition" to be seen.

Now there are several weapons that use darts as ammo but they are only useful when using those weapons. Blowgun, Kestros and Wrist launcher are examples of weapons that fire darts but those darts aren't the throwing darts on the weapon list.


Gunslingers target touch AC, and people notoriously ban them because of this obvious power gap, if not because they break setting immersion.

Just because he can do good damage with his guns doesn't mean he's a good switch-hitter. Against enemies with stupid-high AC (which he probably doesn't have Weapon Finesse or equally-magical side weapons, meaning his to-hit bonus isn't anywhere near as high enough to reliably hit), or Damage Reduction, his side weapon would prove as ineffective as crying over spilled milk.

First, I think the combats you are relating are sounding like either a)your DM plays monsters like they are an opposing football team, lining up perfectly or b) you have no idea how to position your character.

Second, Gunslingers do have access to the Bolt Ace archetype which changes out the guns for crossbows and you can apply all of the archery feats.

I very rarely see a combat where we run face up against an equal line of monsters. We typically get scattered all over the battlefield and the archer is, bar none, one of the most critical components. Are you telling me that every monster you encounter is within move range of your fighters? No enemy takes an elevated position that your melee can't reach?

In my last campaign night, the party encountered 7 kobolds - 1 caster, three brutes and three snipers. The snipers ate the party, and pretty much the only way they got taken out in their 30-foot-high tree perches were the ranged combatants.

So, when you say ranged combat isn't feasible, I truly have no idea what you are talking about.


There's an old Ad+d module called Dragon Mountain that I REALLY think needs updated to pathfinder. Unfortunately my copy is long lost.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Since Darts are ammo I don't have to worry about Quickdraw when switching between throwing them and using a Longspear.

Darts, the weapon, aren't ammo.

Dart: Category Ranged; Proficiency Simple. No entry like the Shurikens "treated as ammunition" to be seen.

Darts are listed in the Ammunition category.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Rebuttal time.

*snip*

As I've stated above, these are the stats that the GM told us from the AP we're running. If they're "wrong", then quite frankly we're facing some of the highest AC foes of that level, and then some. Which seems silly when all it is are Ogre Fighters in light or medium armor...

OK, Darksol - which AP are you playing through?

Reason for asking is that AC24 (which is what you quoted earlier) seems rather high for Ogres. The default Ogre is already wearing medium armour with a +4 modifier, and only clocks in at AC17.

There's the possibility some have class levels giving a boost, but +7 seems a little excessive.


dysartes wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Rebuttal time.

*snip*

As I've stated above, these are the stats that the GM told us from the AP we're running. If they're "wrong", then quite frankly we're facing some of the highest AC foes of that level, and then some. Which seems silly when all it is are Ogre Fighters in light or medium armor...

OK, Darksol - which AP are you playing through?

Reason for asking is that AC24 (which is what you quoted earlier) seems rather high for Ogres. The default Ogre is already wearing medium armour with a +4 modifier, and only clocks in at AC17.

There's the possibility some have class levels giving a boost, but +7 seems a little excessive.

I don't know what AP he is using, but no AP I have come across has AC 24 as a common thing at level 3. I don't even think I have seen it for a boss fight at that level.


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Darksol, I cant help but feel that you aren't really reading my post.
I state that I built to level 7.

Mathmuse, you can easily get your +13 to a +16, you have spend a grand total of 3000 gold out of 33000 gold.
If we want to cheese, and say that because we have spend our feats up to this point on iron will and the like, I am going to buy lots of combat stuff.
+2 dex belt, 4000gp
+2 adaptive composite bow, 9000 gp
Bracers of Archery, 5000gp

If we are talking fighter pick up gloves of dueling.
You are now at +18.
With deadly aim and rapid shot you have a +14.

Now I also want to say that you are not calculating your %chances wrong.

You cant sum them across like that. What happens if you have 3 50% chances? In your method you end up with 150% chance that one hits. That doesnt work.

Instead to calculate the chance that atleast 1 hits you multiple the chances that they all miss.
So in my +14:
my routine is +14,+14,+9
Miss chance is 0.5,0.5,0.7
Chance that none hit is 0.5*0.5*0.7=0.175
Chance that at least 1 hits = 1-0.175=0.825
You have an 82.5% chance of at least 1 of your attacks hitting and dealing 1d8+2+4+3 = 13.5 on avg.

Chance that all hit is 0.5*0.5*0.3=0.075
Chance at least 2 hit is (0.5*0.5*0.3)+(0.5*0.5*0.3)+(0.5*0.5*0.3)=0.225
Chance at least 1 hit = 0.825

3 hit =0.075
2 hit =0.325
1 hit =0.425

Now the best way to calc avg damage is a bit more in depth. Especially once multishot comes into play.
But for now it is P1*13.5+P2*13.5*2+P3*13.5*3=17.55

The other way is to do it avg damage on each attack and sum. This works better when you have multishot.
Avg Damage=13.5*0.5+13.5*0.5+13.5*0.3=17.55

If you had multishot that formula changes to 13.5*2*0.5+13.5*0.5+13.5*0.3=24.3

EDIT
Lets check your two handed fighter:
He needs to buy some armor so he might not be able to afford the gloves of dueling as easily, but I want to include them.
+2 belt. 4000gp
+2 Two Hander. 8000gp
Gloves of Deuling 15000gp.

Total to hit= 8 bab +5 str + 2 weapon +3 weapon training
=+17
-2 for PA=+15
Routine = +15,+10
Chance = 0.55,0.35
Miss=0.45,0.65
Avg Damage per hit: 2d6+6pa+7str+2weapon+3training=2d6+18=25
Avg Damage for full attack = 0.55*25+0.35*25= 22.5
Avg Damage for single attack = 0.55*25 = 13.75

If the archer gets to full attack and has multishot they do more damage than the two handed fighter.
If they dont have multishot they loose out by 5 damage a round.
However if they get to full attack and the two hander doesnt they are ahead by 4 without multishot, and ahead 10 with multishot.


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Wraith, they are not level 3, they are level 8 apparently.
So they are apparently constantly fighting at cr+2 enemies. Which is bizarre

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

@ Jarhead:

My ranged character is level 8 and has identical bonuses to the Fighter you suggested. When I factor in Deadly Aim and Rapid Shot, that's 1/3 of my bonus down the drain after-the-fact, and against an enemy whose AC is 2+ CR above the norm (AKA AC 24), that's a significant reduction in accuracy that would result in a lot more misses than hits, and I have no buffs to compensate for that loss. As a minor nitpick, your final result BAB calculations don't properly reflect the Deadly Aim penalties, which would be an extra minus 1 (or 2 if 8th level).
But in short, that identical non-optimized character would have just as hard a time as I am with hitting a given enemy, and while you can blame it on the game "being outside the norm," that's a little hard to consider when this is actually happening inside a Paizo AP.


Which AP?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

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Possibly jacked up because it's a larger than average party?


J4RH34D wrote:

Wraith, they are not level 3, they are level 8 apparently.

So they are apparently constantly fighting at cr+2 enemies. Which is bizarre

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

@ Jarhead:

My ranged character is level 8 and has identical bonuses to the Fighter you suggested. When I factor in Deadly Aim and Rapid Shot, that's 1/3 of my bonus down the drain after-the-fact, and against an enemy whose AC is 2+ CR above the norm (AKA AC 24), that's a significant reduction in accuracy that would result in a lot more misses than hits, and I have no buffs to compensate for that loss. As a minor nitpick, your final result BAB calculations don't properly reflect the Deadly Aim penalties, which would be an extra minus 1 (or 2 if 8th level).
But in short, that identical non-optimized character would have just as hard a time as I am with hitting a given enemy, and while you can blame it on the game "being outside the norm," that's a little hard to consider when this is actually happening inside a Paizo AP.

See I feel like that is gonna make any fight seem kind of hard.


Mark Thomas 66 wrote:
Possibly jacked up because it's a larger than average party?

Possibly he took precise shot/didnt (i havent seen a build) and the GM is still including the -4 to hit?


Doomed Hero wrote:
Darts are listed in the Ammunition category.

That's nifty and all but to you have a quote from the PRD? An actual book/page number? Because I have NEVER seen darts = ammo in any paizo book. Unless of course it's the dart from an ATLATL which is only "loaded like a projectile weapon" and is not actually ammo or in the pseudo-weapon Spear-thrower but since it's not an actual ranged weapon it doesn't actually use ammo.

I'm assuming that's some kind of clerical error/mistake because, as I pointed out, the dart lacks the 'ammo' wording of the Shuriken. d20pfsrd can make mistakes too and this would be one of them. For instance, I can list a links too but with NO ammo listing.
Darts NOT listed in the Ammunition category.
Darts STILL NOT listed in the Ammunition category.

Liberty's Edge

J4RH34D wrote:

Now I also want to say that you are not calculating your %chances wrong.

You cant sum them across like that. What happens if you have 3 50% chances? In your method you end up with 150% chance that one hits. That doesnt work.

That formula works out your average hits per round based on probability, not the probability of hitting per round. The math works out the same, whether you add the average amount of hits together and multiply by the average damage per hit, or multiply the chance to hit from every attack by the average damage per attack, then add of the sum of all attacks. Some people get hung up on there being a number greater than 1 in that formula, but it's not a probability greater than 100%, it's an average that is higher than 1.

The formula has been used for quite a while in a number of DPR competitions to calculate the average damage per round based on attack bonus, target AC, and average damage per attack, along with critical chance, critical confirmation chance, and critical damage per hit. There's nothing wrong with the formula, even if that's not how you like to do the math. It does tend to require less work than the other option.


Deighton Thrane wrote:
J4RH34D wrote:

Now I also want to say that you are not calculating your %chances wrong.

You cant sum them across like that. What happens if you have 3 50% chances? In your method you end up with 150% chance that one hits. That doesnt work.

That formula works out your average hits per round based on probability, not the probability of hitting per round. The math works out the same, whether you add the average amount of hits together and multiply by the average damage per hit, or multiply the chance to hit from every attack by the average damage per attack, then add of the sum of all attacks. Some people get hung up on there being a number greater than 1 in that formula, but it's not a probability greater than 100%, it's an average that is higher than 1.

The formula has been used for quite a while in a number of DPR competitions to calculate the average damage per round based on attack bonus, target AC, and average damage per attack, along with critical chance, critical confirmation chance, and critical damage per hit. There's nothing wrong with the formula, even if that's not how you like to do the math. It does tend to require less work than the other option.

Ah, I see I misread quite badly there. I read "That gives three attacks at 40%, 40%, and 15%. The expected number of hits would be 0.95." as saying it had a 95% chance of 1 hit landing, not the avg hits landing per round.

For completeness sake I want to test that.
I was saying 0.5,0.5,0.3
That gives us 1.3 avg attacks land per round.
1.3*13.5=17.55
That matches perfectly.

It also makes sense from my second calc in my big post above:
0.5*13.5+0.5*13.5+0.3*13.5
That can be simplified to 13.5*(0.5+0.5+0.3)=13.5*1.3

The simplified one is slightly harder to apply with stuff like multishot. Only ever so slightly and simple enough if you go from the base of it.
0.5*13.5*2+0.5*13.5+0.3*13.5
1.8*13.5=24.3

Thank you for correcting me on that Deighton Thrane.
I honestly feel like a bit of a tool for not spotting the ease of this sooner instead of drawing out bloody probability trees.

I also just like doing maths. So the excuse to calc those % of each number of hits is fun.

I am honestly amazed that an archer comes out ahead of the two hander in damage even with only spending their combat feats.
We did use a very bland two hander for comparison though.
He still has a bunch of other feat he can use to boost combat prowess outside of just damage.


That was almost a fatal math mistake. better be more careful next time J4.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
That was almost a fatal math mistake. better be more careful next time J4.

Fortunately it was only almost.

Hopefully my foible, and subsequent figuring out of where it comes from helps others see how that number is derived rather than just accepting it as fact.

I like thinking in terms of the chance of different numbers of hits landing versus the average number of hits that land.
I know they actually mean the same thing but for some reason I prefer probabilities to averages


J4RH34D wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
That was almost a fatal math mistake. better be more careful next time J4.

Fortunately it was only almost.

Hopefully my foible, and subsequent figuring out of where it comes from helps others see how that number is derived rather than just accepting it as fact.

I like thinking in terms of the chance of different numbers of hits landing versus the average number of hits that land.
I know they actually mean the same thing but for some reason I prefer probabilities to averages

It probably averages out in the end. *snicker*


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Un-Bear-able Puns wrote:
J4RH34D wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
That was almost a fatal math mistake. better be more careful next time J4.

Fortunately it was only almost.

Hopefully my foible, and subsequent figuring out of where it comes from helps others see how that number is derived rather than just accepting it as fact.

I like thinking in terms of the chance of different numbers of hits landing versus the average number of hits that land.
I know they actually mean the same thing but for some reason I prefer probabilities to averages

It probably averages out in the end. *snicker*

Hey, I have the right to bear arms... Hand em over!!! :P


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You know the other day I entered a pun competition.
I entered ten puns in the competition in the hope that one would win.
Unfortunately no pun in ten did.


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J4RH34D wrote:

You know the other day I entered a pun competition.

I entered ten puns in the competition in the hope that one would win.
Unfortunately no pun in ten did.

Oh my that was just grizzly. *goes back to hiding from gray stone*


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Un-Bear-able Puns wrote:
J4RH34D wrote:

You know the other day I entered a pun competition.

I entered ten puns in the competition in the hope that one would win.
Unfortunately no pun in ten did.
Oh my that was just grizzly. *goes back to hiding from gray stone*

Sorry, my behavior is barbearic.


Can you post your build that has so many problems?


From all ive gathered this seems a problem with GMing style which seems to use lotsa gotcha encounters and very good area control from antagonists. I mean our GM is almost always tactical but the chaos of the battlefield always breaks that (especially if we make it).

Archers ive seen have with one exception always been most reliable damage dealers because of extra attacks and constant full attacks. And thats with GMs who almost always concentrate on biggest damage dealers.


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graystone wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
Darts are listed in the Ammunition category.

That's nifty and all but to you have a quote from the PRD? An actual book/page number? Because I have NEVER seen darts = ammo in any paizo book. Unless of course it's the dart from an ATLATL which is only "loaded like a projectile weapon" and is not actually ammo or in the pseudo-weapon Spear-thrower but since it's not an actual ranged weapon it doesn't actually use ammo.

I'm assuming that's some kind of clerical error/mistake

If it's a clerical error, it's one the designers make too. ricochet toss specifically refers to darts as ammo.

Honestly, I don't know what the exact RAW is about darts. It makes sense to me that they are ammo because if they aren't then they are just an objectively worse dagger. There's no reason for them to exist if they aren't ammo.

If they turn out not to be ammo I'll use a sling. Makes no difference to a warpriest. I'll just reflavor my character's sling bullets as thrown darts instead.

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