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How can Ranged Combat even be feasible?


Advice

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wraithstrike wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Round 2.

Before I begin with the individual replies: Yes, it's Rise of the Runelords, and yes, I believe the GM is tacking on the Advanced template on regular creatures (and possibly even adding creatures to fights) to account for having a 5th party member. Though according to everyone's numbers so far, that shouldn't be grounds for me being absolutely junk in combat.

** spoiler omitted **...

Darksol I think you misread what I wrote.

I will say it again. When people say "ranged combat" it does not refer to all ranged combat. So if that is how understood what people were saying then you misunderstood it.

The argument had never been that all ranged combat is the bees knees so if that is your point then almost everyone here likely agrees with you.

Now if you are still saying bows arent feasible that is another argument.

So to get things on track, are still doubting bows?

After reading my post I realize that I typed "...do think ranged combat is the bees knees", instead of "...do not think.."

That is my fault for not catching the typo.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Round 2.

Before I begin with the individual replies: Yes, it's Rise of the Runelords, and yes, I believe the GM is tacking on the Advanced template on regular creatures (and possibly even adding creatures to fights) to account for having a 5th party member. Though according to everyone's numbers so far, that shouldn't be grounds for me being absolutely junk in combat.

** spoiler omitted **...

Darksol I think you misread what I wrote.

I will say it again. When people say "ranged combat" it does not refer to all ranged combat. So if that is how understood what people were saying then you misunderstood it.

The argument had never been that all ranged combat is the bees knees so if that is your point then almost everyone here likely agrees with you.

Now if you are still saying bows arent feasible that is another argument.

So to get things on track, are still doubting bows?

Super worth saying again. Saying that crossbows and thrown combat causes ranged to not be feasible is basically like saying unarmed without monk is bad and unfeasible for melee and thus saying that how is melee feasible. It takes 1 feat to do lethal damage, then it's only 1d3 with bad crits and no reach. That's nonviable on so many classes! Sure monks and brawlers can make it work, but that doesn't prove that melee is functional!

This is the argument you're making if you're not taking about bows. It's a rather silly argument. The forums are full of "Thrown weapons aren't viable" and only recently, "thrown weapons are only viable (still losing to bows) with X build path." And crossbows are the same, they aren't viable unless a the crossbow gunslinger.

Shadow Lodge

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Quote:
Also why it's easy to fight larger enemies, it's impossible for medium allies to provide cover for large enemies by themselves.

extra words

here
to push
diagram
below
pretty wolf
what were you expecting
a haiku?

erm.. what?

OO
OO
*M
**
**
*A

O= Ogre
M= Mat. medium medium martial
A= Avery the Archer

If Avery attacks from his an east corner , the ogre defends from his North west corner, and that puts Matts metal rumpguard in the way of the shot. If he defends from the west corner, the ogre defends from the east and the same thing happens. you only get to pick which square you're attacking if you attack in melee. Otherwise the defender picks/us automatically given the best one.

Sovereign Court

Mostly wasn't talking about monster treasure , monster with treasure entry as npc gear. There are few kinds of treasure for monsters:

-Standard, then you have double, triple etc...(which shouldn't use to equip monster normally)
-None no treasure
-NPC Gear

As shown in bestiary 1:

Bestiary 1, p. 6 wrote:


“NPC gear” indicates the monster has treasure as normal for an NPC of a level equal to the monster’s CR (see page 454 of the Pathfinder
RPG Core Rulebook).

Of course the problem you could run into with npc gear on some monster, optimization my skew things heavily into the monster favor (depending on GM level optimization).

There aren't many monsters from the bestiaries which uses NPC gear to be quite honest tho.


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I'll try to be as clear and helpful as I can here.

1) if you fight a.c. 24 things don't penalize yourself. Why are you using deadly aim? Dont. Why are you using rapid shot? Don't.

+ whatever damage on a miss is still 0. You cant use this argument on people using power attack to say melee sucks when they do the same thing.

2) you can always move 5 feet. If your friend is in the way, move 5 feet. If all your friends are in the way, pick a different target.

3) improve your initiative. If your friends in the way hurt your to hit, shoot first before they block your way. Then 5 foot back.

4. Point blank shot. It's bonus is half the penalty of rapid shot. Get closer.

5. If they have shield you should get buffed too. Things as simple as guidance could be a great tool to ensure a hard hitting first shot.

This is literally the easiest style to use in the game because all you have to do is stand there. The only reason it's hard is because you're choosing to stand in the wrong spot, or taking penalties you shouldn't be by your own example.


Ok. So from the last batch of replies you did the issues with why you are finding archery bad is because the only gear you have to help you is a +2 weapon.
Put ANY other combat style in your place with the same stats and only a +2 weapon for gear, they will be having a seriously hard time.

Secondly this is exacerbated by enemy a.c. being raised and enemies added.

How is the rest of your party faring? By the seems of things, badly. If this is the case and everyone is struggling seriously speak to the GM.


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@Darksol

Is this a prank post?
You have posted a lot (6000+) showing quite a bit of system understanding/mastery.

Now you claim you can't find/read any of the builds/guides for archry/ranged combat out there?


There are a range of factors at work here.


J4RH34D wrote:

Ok. So from the last batch of replies you did the issues with why you are finding archery bad is because the only gear you have to help you is a +2 weapon.

Put ANY other combat style in your place with the same stats and only a +2 weapon for gear, they will be having a seriously hard time.

Secondly this is exacerbated by enemy a.c. being raised and enemies added.

How is the rest of your party faring? By the seems of things, badly. If this is the case and everyone is struggling seriously speak to the GM.

yeah, it also seems that he has no in class bonuses helping him either, like fighters have weapon training (and greater weapon focus available at lv8), slayers have swift action study for +2 to attack and damage (and access to improved precise shot to ignore cover), bards have heroism and bardic performance, inquisitors have judgment and bane, etc. So if his best option for this is the move action from slayer for +1 then he's multi-classed for a weaker character.


Christopk-K wrote:

@Darksol

Is this a prank post?
You have posted a lot (6000+) showing quite a bit of system understanding/mastery.

Now you claim you can't find/read any of the builds/guides for archry/ranged combat out there?

His claim was that the info on the boards was theorycrafting, and it can't work in real games.

However he seemed to also be under the misunderstanding that ALL archery was claimed as good archery. That is why I clarified that 99% of the time the archery that is spoken about was referring to Longbows and sometimes Guns.

With that cleared up we can hopefully move onto Bows.

However he then claimed to be fighting normal enemies in an AP and cant touch them, but its been shown that they have been altered by the GM.

He also seems to be misunderstanding how the over rules work, which means that he is taking penalties he should not be taking. I am sure there are other things also causing him problems.


wraithstrike wrote:
Christopk-K wrote:

@Darksol

Is this a prank post?
You have posted a lot (6000+) showing quite a bit of system understanding/mastery.

Now you claim you can't find/read any of the builds/guides for archry/ranged combat out there?

His claim was that the info on the boards was theorycrafting, and it can't work in real games.

However he seemed to also be under the misunderstanding that ALL archery was claimed as good archery. That is why I clarified that 99% of the time the archery that is spoken about was referring to Longbows and sometimes Guns.

With that cleared up we can hopefully move onto Bows.

However he then claimed to be fighting normal enemies in an AP and cant touch them, but its been shown that they have been altered by the GM.

He also seems to be misunderstanding how the over rules work, which means that he is taking penalties he should not be taking. I am sure there are other things also causing him problems.

I meant cover rules not "over" rules. I need to stop typing from my phone.


Archery is far and away the strongest weapon choice. IF you are willing to invest literally every feat you get into it, and gauge your choice by damage output and the consistency of that damage. By contrast, I tend to think of two handed as the most effective choice in game simply due to the fact that you only really need one feat, power attack, to be a reliable threat. You can make tons of characters invested in utility or defense or just plain cool s@*!. In many ways, archery reflects all the worst aspects of optimization. Boring, samey builds that really only vary a little bit by class.


I have to admit; I don't understand why DS's GM is jacking up the AC on these ogres so much. I am running a homebrew and the 5 PCs in the party are well optimized for their roles. I design encounters as follows:

1. Each PC is level 4 but because of their level of optimization and the stats they have, I set the party's APL at a base 5 instead.

2. Based on that, I start with an XP budget. For an APL 5 party, the base for an Average fight is CR 5, or 1600 XP

3. I divide that by 4 (the expected amount of people in a party per the CRB) and figure each PC can handle a CR 1/400 XP villain individually

4. Finally I multiply that back up by 5 (the number of people actually IN the current party) and that gives me an Average/CR 5 fight budget of 2000 XP

Ok, so, with all of that figured, I could make a fight using, say, a Tatzlwyrm Barbarian 2, a CR 4 creature with some NPC gear on it to make it a challenge, and have him be accompanied by 4 kobolds - 3 Warrior 1, 1 Adept 1.

The kobolds are literally only there to distract the PCs and provide Aid Another or spell buffs to the Tatzlwyrm in combat, if they even last that long. The Tatzlwyrm immediately start raging and tries to savage as many PCs as it can before getting destroyed.

Tossing on a Shield spell, hitting all of them with the Advanced template and then finishing with the best NPC gear on these foes would definitely crank the CR sky high. I think Darksol said this was a boss fight though so maybe that explains things.

Bottom line - this fight would likely include our elf wizard PC shooting his bow at least once. He spent considerable cash on a Composite that works with his (rolled stats remember) Str 14/+2 bonus. His base to hit with the thing is +7 and he inflicts 1d8 +2. Could he end fights with other things like spells? Certainly, but those are a finite resource whereas arrows are cheap and plentiful.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
graystone wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Mount is a big help for an archer. Flying mount is HUGE
Or just flying! ;)

Mount gets you to the best place for shooting using its actions. Then you can full attack each round (while still moving around the battlefield).

Also, since a Mount is adjacent to its rider, you get to benefit from shared Teamwork feats, such as Lookout, the one that helps you get a full attack on a surprise round :-)

I played a Ranger in RotRL, mounted archer. Just devastated the opposing mobs.

Even worse later on when I added Paladin levels for story reasons. Smite = no DR (which are the usual bane of the archer), so I did not even need Clustered Shots

And I never invested a single feat in mounted combat, so no Mounted Archery. It was not needed


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For kicks and giggles, I ran Darksol's numbers from his last post through a DPR calculator. Here's some advice based on the results.

  • Vs AC24, using +10/+10/+5 with manyshot and 1d10+13 as damage, you have a DPR of 22.76. If all your enemies have the advanced template, then this is indeed pretty low and its understandable why you're dissatisfied with ranged/bow combat.

  • Your attack roll is very low vs. the enemies you're fighting. That said, dropping rapid shot is not a solution. Even at your low accuracy, the extra attack is still worth it in terms of full-attack damage (you lose about 5% DPR by dropping it). If your base accuracy was better, Rapid Shot would be worth a lot more. OTOH, deadly aim is not worth it. If you don't need to punch through DR on a particular foe, you should NOT use deadly aim (and gain about 4% DPR)

  • The attack roll you listed doesn't include point blank shot. If you include it (bringing you up to +11/+11/+6), you gain about 20% DPR.

  • Adding weapon focus or a dex belt similarly gets you about 18% DPR. I can't emphasize enough that you've hamstrung yourself by going with a low accuracy build in a game where the GM has bumped up all enemy AC.

  • Studied target +1/+1 gets you the same benefit as point blank shot. That said, you must have an odd build. If you were pure slayer, you would be able to study as a swift for +2/+2 by this point.

  • Adding a DEX belt, weapon focus, point blank shot, and +1/+1 studied target brings you to 47.25 DPR, more than double of where you started, toting a much more respectable +15/+15/+10 attack roll and d10+15 for damage. This should be more than enough against even the advanced Ogres your DM is throwing at you. There is also still plenty of room for improvement! If you have any buffs from your team... inspire courage, heroism, etc, your DPR would skyrocket.

    ADDENDUM: As seen above, bow builds benefit more than any other build from flat increases to attack and damage rolls. This is why they work great for Fighters with weapon training, Warpriests with divine favor, Slayers with Studied Target, etc. They also get by far the most mileage out of buffs. All these things act multiplicatively, causing the build the *scale* out of control. Your build is both underoptimized and against more powerful foes, so you're not seeing that multiplicative scaling benefit.

  • Shadow Lodge

    I think you're just discovering that archers are a bit more gear based than even most other martials. Low level Adventure paths are ROUGH on wealth by level and getting people their gear customized.


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    FiddlersGreen wrote:
    There are a range of factors at work here.

    I see what you did there.


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    Range combat is bad unless you build around it?

    Whaaa? The good but feat intensive style is feat intensive.

    I'm shocked. SHOCKED!


    The Raven Black wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    The Raven Black wrote:
    Mount is a big help for an archer. Flying mount is HUGE
    Or just flying! ;)

    Mount gets you to the best place for shooting using its actions. Then you can full attack each round (while still moving around the battlefield).

    Also, since a Mount is adjacent to its rider, you get to benefit from shared Teamwork feats, such as Lookout, the one that helps you get a full attack on a surprise round :-)

    I played a Ranger in RotRL, mounted archer. Just devastated the opposing mobs.

    Even worse later on when I added Paladin levels for story reasons. Smite = no DR (which are the usual bane of the archer), so I did not even need Clustered Shots

    And I never invested a single feat in mounted combat, so no Mounted Archery. It was not needed

    A mount is as much of a detriment as it is a bonus. All those nifty things that a mount does for you stop when it falls over dead, which is even worse if that means you're now falling from the sky. To prevent that you throw cash at the mount, which reduces the amount of magic goodies YOU have for combat. So while a "Flying mount is HUGE", it's a huge cash sink, often a tempting target for bad guys [especially with touch attacks], and when it takes a nap all those teamwork feats stop working...

    or sometimes you use your own move action to avoid ground cover and gain higher ground. A mount can be a nifty boon but it isn't clearly better than flying on your own.


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    I feel like too many people are granting that crossbows and thrown weapons are terrible, which they generally are, but there are specific ways to make each work reasonably well. It's just that these builds are extremely specific (moreso than "use an adaptive composite longbow and take the archery chain") and aren't "the best thing ever" but are merely "effective".


    Warpriest, Ricochet Shot, and a returning weapon is pretty fun. Worked great in Carrion Crown, and I was using Daggers.


    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I feel like too many people are granting that crossbows and thrown weapons are terrible

    It's a fact that they require more feats to be less effective than a bow. So if you're looking for the best 'bang for your buck', they are right.

    The other side is true too: You can make thrown/crossbow/ect PC's that do fine. My far strike monk tossing improvised weapons has never had the slightest issue in the AP she's in.

    Shadow Lodge

    graystone wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I feel like too many people are granting that crossbows and thrown weapons are terrible

    It's a fact that they require more feats to be less effective than a bow. So if you're looking for the best 'bang for your buck', they are right.

    The other side is true too: You can make thrown/crossbow/ect that do fine. My far strike monk tossing improvised weapons has never had the slightest issue in the AP she's in.

    before the gloves how did you get through DR or even hit incorporeals?


    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I feel like too many people are granting that crossbows and thrown weapons are terrible

    It's a fact that they require more feats to be less effective than a bow. So if you're looking for the best 'bang for your buck', they are right.

    The other side is true too: You can make thrown/crossbow/ect that do fine. My far strike monk tossing improvised weapons has never had the slightest issue in the AP she's in.

    before the gloves how did you get through DR or even hit incorporeals?

    "Ki Missile (Su): At 5th level, a far strike monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action to change the base damage dice of thrown weapons to that of his unarmed strikes. These weapons are also treated as ki focus weapons, allowing the monk to apply his special ki attacks to his thrown weapons as if they were unarmed strikes. This effect lasts until the beginning of his next turn."

    Liberty's Edge

    Come to Omaha. I will setup a game with two different archer builds that will show you the true power of the bow.

    It takes dedication and time, but once you get to that promised land, which is soon than you might expect, the rewards are great and fun.


    I have a build for a shield thrower with the Sheild champion brawler and star toss style which looks okay, one of the major difficulties for that build being the Sheild master feet having a 11 BAB pre req.


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    Everyone else here has already made a lot of the points that address your concerns, especially regarding the math and probability and whatnot. I just wanted to address one thing that no one else seems to have touched on: that you say you need both Dex and Str on par with melee types to do damage with a bow.

    I would like to point out the feat Focused Shot. It is a standard action (so no machine gun fire using the feat), and it's only within 30' of a target, but it lets you add your Int to damage. This makes archery way less MAD for classes like investigator, alchemist, and occultist (what I used it on). Heck, even a wizard can get appreciable damage using this feat if you absolutely needed to shoot an arrow rather than cast a spell.

    You do lose out on multiple attacks this way, but 3/4 BAB classes can't get Improved Precise Shot until level 15, so you'd likely be using your move action to get a clear line of fire on foes anyway.

    It doesn't exactly help your situation directly, but it does prove that not all archery builds need exactly the same feats to be "effective."


    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
    If that's the case, then I fail to see how one specific weapon with one specific chain of feats results in an entire style of combat being good.

    I just never really consider anything else to be an option. To me, that specific chain of feats (with room for variation) is pretty much the entire style of combat.

    But if I do step back to think on it and consider crossbows and thrown weapons... That's another story.


    Rub-Eta wrote:
    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
    If that's the case, then I fail to see how one specific weapon with one specific chain of feats results in an entire style of combat being good.
    I just never really consider anything else to be an option. To me, that specific chain of feats (with room for variation) is pretty much the entire style of combat.

    I feel like "here is a way that ranged combat can be viable" (which involves a specific weapon and feats) is an appropriate rebuttal to "How can ranged combat even be feasible?"

    Obviously nobody is going to come out here and try to say blowguns are a good weapon, so expecting *all* ranged combat options to be good is kind of strange.


    Pretending that there isn't a mechanically best or mechanically bad weapons doesn't do anyone any good


    I would like to point out to everyone that people saying "ranged combat" means "bow" is like saying "spellcasting" means "Wizard." They may be terms/nouns widely associated with the verb, but that doesn't mean that's what that term only means. By that logic, Paladins aren't spellcasters, Magi aren't spellcasters, and so on, which is perhaps the biggest misnomer I've ever seen on these boards, and with it being so widespread, no less! Now I'm really curious where everybody got the idea that anything other than a Bow isn't ranged combat, even though they follow the rules for ranged attacks like a Bow does.

    Anyway, third time's the charm, right? Maybe. But with a negative billion to my Diplomacy modifier on this check, only a Wish or Miracle can make it work...

    @ Chromatic Durgon:
    There's no need to rush your reply, it does take me a while before I can make a rebuttal due to real life commitments, so if you need rest or a break to properly reply, then by all means. But since it's here, I might as well go with it, right?

    Refluffing a trait falls into GM FIAT territory, which I may (or may not) have any control over. But that's not the point here; the point here is that I have to sacrifice flavor that I may want to emulate in place of what's required to make it work sooner than usual. It's almost as restrictive as the PFS traits and feats, which actually require you to follow the flavor text to reasonably acquire it (at least, from what I've gathered; I don't play PFS for reasons like this one).

    By a similar token, you shouldn't be (commonly) facing flying at level 3, and if you are, using an uninvested combat style isn't so bad that it's a waste of action economy at that level. Same can be said for Deflect Arrows and Crane Wing, the latter of which got nerfed into the ground due to abuse that arised from it occurring in PFS, where encounters are practically ran in a vacuum, and therefore makes for accurate playtesting compared to other playtesting sources. The climb thing wasn't really apparent to me, but even if it is, the Archer would be at a very similar disadvantage if they're subject to, for example, a Create Pit spell, where there is little to no room to maneuver from to get a clean shot on enemies. And that is to be expected by 3rd level from arcane spellcaster enemies.

    It was a rhetorical claim, but it's interesting you acknowledge that the AC part of their attributes match a CR that is 7 above their norm. (The Ogres objectively weren't, though, since the Fighter Ogres were listed as CR 9 in the AP, maybe 2 CR above, but not 7, same goes for the BBEG, which has an even higher base CR than the Ogres.)

    I don't think that kind of math makes much sense. Persistent spell basically forces a "Reroll if originally a success" effect on your spell, which means the "Save DC" benefit varies based on how well the spell would originally work anyway, similar to Rapid Shot. A creature that can make the save on, say, a 5+ would have a different "DC" impact, compared to a creature that needs a Natural 20 to succeed. It's also a lot of spell power with an overall reduced save DC unless you've invested in traits to reduce the cost, which only works with one spell, and would require Heighten metamagic to maintain its consistency throughout the game.

    I strongly disagree with that sentiment. If I specify "spellcaster," the first thing that's thrown as a suggestion shouldn't be (and possibly isn't) "Wizard," even if it's the most powerful option that exists. If anything, the first question would/should be "What kind of spellcaster?" so that we can ascertain if they want full spellcasting, some gish capabilities with 2/3 spellcasting and 3/4 BAB, or some minor spellcasting with full BAB and 1/2 spellcasting, and if they want divine or arcane spells, or if they want certain spells to cast, and so on. Not "NO, YOU'RE PLAYING A WIZARD OR YOU'RE NOT PLAYING A SPELLCASTER AT ALL!" that I've gotten in relation to this topic (i.e. Bows or nothing. Maybe I should name the next Bow I find "Nerf," so that I can make a "Nerf or Nothing" joke whenever somebody wants to do ranged combat. Thanks for that, I guess...)

    I mean sure, you can argue that such options "don't exist" for ranged combat because they aren't as strong, but the fact of the matter is that they do exist. Bolt Aces, Throwing Fighters via Ricochet Toss, Desna Fighting Technique, Startoss Style ranged characters, and I imagine there are others that exist that I can't think of right now, are objectively all as much a part of ranged combat as Bows are, even if they aren't as strong as Bows are. In relation with the above equivalency, Magi spellcasting, Warpriest spellcasting, and even Cleric/Oracle spellcasting doesn't exist as a result, because they aren't the most powerful spellcasting that ever existed, which is apparently the only kind of spellcasting that matters. See how ridiculous and obtuse that sounds?

    That point was to address the apparent hypocrisy you seemed to address in my post. Yes, it was there, but I did address it with the "Fight Fire with Fire" argument, which is applicable in a situation like this one.

    We did go before them. We even got the jump on a couple ogres that were outside BSing by being well over 60 feet, and killed a couple of them before they got to us. Problem then became that more of them were there, opened the side doors that we were adjacent to, were attacked from said side doors, and with our current positioning, got us sandwiched between a bunch of hard-hitting, tripping, reaching Ogres that had a large defensive advantage over us via cover from the exterior walls compared to them simply reaching us through the door. It was like being attacked from arrow slits, except slightly less overpowered.

    Yes, you will struggle. And my point is that not every combat gives you ample space or time to react against a given enemy, nor should you assume that every combat will be like that. My experience in this AP (and a couple others even as a melee) so far have demonstrated that to largely not be the case.

    As for the tree part, they would get cover from my shots, in addition to 20% miss chance if they're exceptionally far into the woods (i.e. multiple trees within range of the target), and if I was within their melee reach due to the tree not being big enough, they could just reach around the tree and hit me. As I've stated, it's a deterrent, but not some catch-all solution that stops Large-sized (or bigger) creatures in their tracks. Same goes for throwing allies in their face too unless they have reach to match theirs.

    [spoiler=@ Bob Bob Bob]I do appreciate the link of that rule, which really tells me that the fight was a lot more deadly than it should have been (since I was only hit once from reach by an Ogre inside a room with melee in front of me, and it dropped half my HP). Ironically enough, the other players remarked how stupid the reach rules were being handled, so we should be able to get how the reach rules currently function repealed.

    As for the math, I was talking more on a "to hit" number scale from 1-20, where that number is what my attack roll needs to equal in order for a "hit" to be scored, where I would have up to a 25% increased chance in scoring a "miss" instead. As far as a "net" increase, your assumption is correct, but that's not the sort of mathematical angle I was going for with those calculations.

    @ Wraithstrike:
    So, everybody pulled an "Ancient Aliens" on me? Do I have that right? "I'm not saying it's not ranged combat, but it's not ranged combat." That's what you're suggesting when you make that comment, and between everybody else saying my arguments are disingenuous, this really just creates a Pot meet Kettle situation, which is both silly and quite ironic.

    But don't worry, since I'm the only pot here, and everybody else is kettles, I'm still the bad guy here, so don't think that just because we argued in a similar manner that I'm not equal to you guys or anything... /sarcasm

    In relation to your "grab and go" comment, I disagree to an extent. If the PCs may need certain consumables or items for them to progress onward to the next part of the AP (maybe a Scroll of Raise Dead for a PC death?), then that's what the NPC WBL is for, especially if it's not being spent or given to the PCs in the form of raw gold for them to spend as they see fit, and it can be used to buff monsters, but as you stated, it should only be done when necessary (and by everyone's comments here, it certainly isn't in this situation).

    @ Chess Pwn:
    While I can believe the reach rules not being what they were, I'm not sure how cover prevents all AoOs, especially from AoOs being triggered. A citation for this would be helpful. As for medium versus large creatures, some of the lines I would draw would affect them unless the medium creature is diagonal from the large, something which wouldn't have been permissible in this fight due to it being in a 10 foot wide hallway.

    The class levels are 5 levels Bolt Ace, 3 levels Sniper Slayer. I considered Weapon Master Fighter, but the lack of skill points, good saves, and that I already played a Fighter in a game prior deterred me from going that route. Ranger was also an option, but I didn't want their spellcasting, and anything that replaced it just wasn't enough to warrant the selection. Yes, reflavoring exists, but considering how the spellcasting rules are obvious to detect spellcasting, it's kind of hard to reflavor it as anything other than that.

    Weapon of choice is an Underwater Heavy Crossbow. While this was somewhat of a flavor choice, I had ample bonus feats from character creation to make the style work, as well as cross all of my t's and dot my i's with my combat choice, since going the traditional route (light crossbow) meant that I provoke for reloading, which is very bad.

    Armor is currently +1 Mithril Chain Shirt with either a +1 or Masterwork Living Steel Buckler. (GM ruled that the Buckler can be used with my Crossbow without interference; ironic, really.)

    Equipment is currently my Crossbow being +2 (wanted to make it Cyclonic for flavor and mechanical reasons, but not enough cash at the time), my armor items listed above, a Resistant Cloak of Elvenkind +1 (plan to increase both of these to +5 Resistance/+15 Bonus if WBL permits), one Efficient Quiver, and an AoNA +1 and RoP +1. I also have a junk Belt of Teeth that I've never used, and Chimes of Opening that are half-used (was like that when I got them), and useless because I have a higher Disable Device; they should really go to somebody who doesn't have a Disable Device skill, which is basically anyone else in the party besides me.

    Skills are Disable Device, Escape Artist, Stealth, Acrobatics, Knowledge (Engineering), Knowledge (Local), Perception, Sleight of Hand, and Survival, all at max ranks (4 class + 2 background skills from Unchained + 1 Intelligence + 1 Favored Class + 1 Human), with Climb and Swim at character level - 5 ranks (the extra two from the Slayer levels went into here) for added maneuverability of terrain without relying on magic.

    Feats (and feat projection) are as follows (yes, I had a couple more bonus feats than normal from the GM to make this work, other players were equally compensated via Race Points spent as they so chose):

    1. Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Rapid Reload
    3. Crossbow Mastery
    4. Extra Grit
    5. Deadly Aim
    7. Weapon Finesse (Dex to Attack in melee, which isn't granted from EQF), Empty Quiver Style
    ---
    9. Stabbing Shot (acquired via Ranger Combat Style for retraining Precise Shot, GM approved), Empty Quiver Flexibility (full switch-hitting compatibility, increased sneak attack application and providing flanking/threatening bonuses)
    11. Improved Precise Shot, Point Blank Master (sometimes even
    13. Improved Critical (17-20/X3 multiplier), Accomplished Sneak Attacker?

    Fun fact, GM gave Point Blank Shot and Power Attack away for free if creatures meet the requirements, and has disallowed Weapon Focus (Shield and Armor Focus included) as a feat; they cannot be taken, and for selecting other feats, they are no longer required.

    @ Christopk-K:
    If this was a prank post, it wasn't very funny or made people laugh, so on that front it's quite the failure. Which means the odds of it being a prank post is quite silly.

    Also, I'm not sure if one can gauge a person's skill and system mastery by the number of posts, especially if we want to compare those posts to ones like these, where people will say that my arguments or concepts don't make any sense. Which is fine, I'm not saying I know anything about the game; I'm just saying that post numbers are irrelevant when it can be construed that those posts don't add anything to anyone. AKA Spamming threads with useless jibber-jabber that help nobody.

    Sound familiar in this instance?

    @ Mark Hoover 330:
    The GM has stated that the monsters are mostly buffed because we have a 5th player. The other players joke when we miss by 1, saying "Thanks [5th player's name]," since they're the reason they're not as effective as they could be. It's not because the 5th player did anything wrong or because we don't like him, it's to compensate for having more than the expected number of players the AP assumes, which makes sense, since the GM gave us a couple recent examples of encounters that he just shrugged his head and said "Why is this even here?"

    Now, I'm not 100% certain that it's tougher by an "Advanced Template" addition, but we can say for sure that their overall stats are higher compared to what's most likely published (with the Advanced Template being the closest comparison to this markup), so...yeah.

    For the record, it wasn't a boss fight. We had the boss fight before this (where we burned a considerable amount of power in the hopes of killing her before she could get away), but I got dominated and about shot my wizard teammate to death after I miraculously made his illusion saving throw, and the boss was able to dimension door away (though the GM told us that we'll be facing the boss again in an upcoming encounter). Ironically enough, the only reason we didn't have a PC death in this fight was because the GM fudged a damage roll that would have mathematically killed our Warpriest.

    @ The Raven Black:
    I'm curious how you could stay mounted in a lot of the winding halls and such that were present in that AP, which would make bringing a mount into certain areas impossible. Most of books 1 and 2 had winding halls and caverns, whereas the book we're currently in has less of them (though it still has its fair share). Were you small-sized, or was there some other sorcery at work?

    @ Cellion:
    Now this is the more objective post that I've been waiting for, instead of everybody telling me that there's no other way to play this sort of style, something that I've seen in the past be considered a thing of absolute sacrilege and disrespect to posters on these forums by telling them they're playing the game wrong. (I'm curious where those kinds of posters are at right now, they'd have a hay-day here...)

    A shame the post came this late, but I'll take it at this point; thanks for the insight, I honestly thought it was just me, but with those projected numbers I think it won't be so bad. Some advice as to how I can increase my to-hit/damage further as the levels progress would be appreciated as well.

    I'll direct you to Chess Pwn's section for further information regarding my build if it helps you give other useful advice; as much as I'd like to just copy-paste it, this post is already a wall of text as it is, using spoilers for band-aids to fix that problem.

    As a quick aside though, Weapon Focus is banned at my table, with the consequence that feats which require Weapon Focus don't require that feat anymore in an attempt to diversify builds. (Yes, the Warpriest PC was compensated with an extra Combat feat of his choice, so it's not a case of major screwage here.)

    @ Rhedyn:
    Just because I have a differing opinion on what constitutes ranged combat doesn't give you an excuse to be a dick.

    @ Aishama:
    I'm going to tell you the same thing that everybody else has told me in regards to that sort of option.

    That's not ranged combat. You're wrong. You're silly for thinking that's ranged combat. You've been living under a rock with fake news telling you what ranged combat is and buying into it like a bunch of young guys moving into their bro-out pad and expecting to make something of it. You're playing the game wrong, and therefore I can't ever take you and anything you say seriously. /sarcasm

    Now, instead of giving an unhelpful and obviously hostile argument that only further adds to the existing vitriol present in the thread, I'm going to take a page from Cellion; let me give you some more objective advice in regards to that feat:

    The Intelligence to damage is nice, but most martials prefer full attacks due to their modifier scaling, and usually don't have a high enough Intelligence score for the damage boost to compensate for the damage they deal for each attack. The only time I can see this being particularly used are Bow-proficient Wizards with a feat to burn on something interesting or to have constant pressure on enemies, even while spell-less. And this assumes a more-than-competent Dexterity score to make up for the lack of BAB. Even then, Rapid Shot and Manyshot, when available (12th level), would make them deal more damage by comparison if they didn't add their Intelligence modifier to damage rolls.

    The reasoning for my answer is because most half BAB classes won't get anything more than two attacks, and usually have weak strength/physical modifiers as a result of lacking BAB synergy for martial prowess (and obviously because they have much more powerful spellcasting capabilities). Expanding on your example, Alchemists might take it, but they do have Bombs which add their Intelligence damage to targets they affect, and deal significant amounts of damage and effects that no ranged combat can emulate, making it a redundant choice, and Investigator have better means of carrying out their offensive actions through Inspiration and Studied Combatant to further boost their chosen combat style's effectiveness to a level equivalent to that of Full BAB classes, similar to an Inquisitor.


    Thrown weapons can do some things that are pretty awesome. There's an item that makes them hit like seige weapons, making gust of wind a non issue for instance.


    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
    I would like to point out to everyone that people saying "ranged combat" means "bow" is like saying "spellcasting" means "Wizard."

    There's a reason why people equate ranged combat with bows in Pathfinder: unless you are using firearms, bows are really the best, most practical, and build-efficient option for damage output.

    There are very few ranged weapons compared to, say, melee weapons. Reduce those to weapons that fire ammunition--what's the point of a range-optimized build if you throw your weapon away each shot?--and you are down to even fewer still: blowguns, bombs, bows, crossbows, slings, and (if you are using them) firearms. That is a short list. If you want range increments > 50 ft, then bows, crossbows, the halfling sling (a specialized weapon) and firearms are it.

    Of these, bows and firearms are really given most of the love, with the big advantage to firearms being that they target touch AC, which even a Commoner 1 can hit reliably. There are a (small) handful of general purpose feats that apply to multiple ranged weapons, but bows offer more options (and more opportunities for modifiers) than crossbows. Compare that to melee weapons, where nearly every weapon is viable option because the feats are largely weapon-agnostic.

    Examining the analogy of spellcasters as you suggest, it becomes really clear why people don't equate "caster" to "wizard" in the same way they equate "ranged combat" with "bows". There are tons of metamagic feats, along with feats that boost general spell casting in various ways, which are class-agnostic. Several of those classes have extensive spell lists, many of which overlap with other casting classes.

    This isn't the case for ranged weapons. If you want to have high damage output in PF, anything other than "bow" is severely hamstringing you.

    Is that the fault of PF? Or D&D in general? Not really. There just aren't many ranged weapons even out in the real world, and crossbows don't have the flexibility of bows because they were designed to be so simple that any idiot could shoot one.

    Liberty's Edge

    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
    While I can believe the reach rules not being what they were, I'm not sure how cover prevents all AoOs, especially from AoOs being triggered.

    Cover and Attacks of Opportunity: You can't execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with cover relative to you.


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    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

    1. Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Rapid Reload

    3. Crossbow Mastery
    4. Extra Grit
    5. Deadly Aim
    7. Weapon Finesse (Dex to Attack in melee, which isn't granted from EQF), Empty Quiver Style
    ---
    9. Stabbing Shot (acquired via Ranger Combat Style for retraining Precise Shot, GM approved), Empty Quiver Flexibility (full switch-hitting compatibility, increased sneak attack application and providing flanking/threatening bonuses)
    11. Improved Precise Shot, Point Blank Master (sometimes even
    13. Improved Critical (17-20/X3 multiplier), Accomplished Sneak Attacker?

    Summary: you built a bad build and you blame ranged combat? Interesting logic.

    You have a lot of wasted feats. Starting with going Crossbow to begin with.
    It requires extra feats to be useful and does less damage than bows (bow users benefit from strength).

    Never build to be a switch hitter, it is one of the worst things you can do in Pathfinder. That is a lot of wasted feats that could be spent on increasing your actual combat effectiveness.

    What class, archetype, race, etc have you selected?
    What were your starting ability scores?
    Where did you put your level points?
    Where have you put your favored class bonus?
    What equipment do you have?

    All of those factor into your problem.

    Summary: don't say ranged combat is bad if the problem is your build.


    I don't have any mathematical info to give, but all I can say is I've played a Bard Archer, Zen Archer, Ranger Archer, and now a Fighter using a SLING, and I have never felt lacking. Far from it. This is occurring in homebrew adventures, but they're often more difficult than the APs I've looked through. So I guess I'm saying while the math may say one thing or another, it seems as if my own (and several others, at least, I gather) experiences indicate that ranged combat is at the very least feasible.

    Sure, Two Handed Power Attacking is great but it's tough to compare to that investment/return ratio

    Liberty's Edge

    If you're presuming some of the more optimal builds, lets do a quick comparison at level 10, chosen randomly:

    Inquisitor Archer:

    So, we're 10th level. 18 dex to start with, +2 belt, +2 from 4th and 8th level increases puts us at 22 DEX. Could be more, but that seems reasonable - a +6. +7 bab as well, and lets say a +2 weapon, and a bane baldric. Feats are:

    1: Point Blank Shot
    3: Precise SHot
    5: Rapid Shot
    7: A bit more free, to be honest. Let's go with Weapon Focus.
    9: Many Shot

    Heroism is 10 min/level, and you don't have too many great spells, so you should definitely have it running on yourself. Divine Power is cast. Swift-action to activate Bane, because it's very good. Lets presume that's the extent of our buffing. We're at:

    To-hit:

    +6 dex + 7 bab + 2 weapon + 2 bane +1 weapon focus + 3 luck = +21(x2 damage)/+21/+16 to hit. Factor in rapid shot, and it becomes +19(x2 damage)/+19(Divine Power)/+19(rapid shot)/+14(iterative) for your attack bonus.

    Damage:

    1d8 base + 1 strength + 2 enhancement + 2 bane + 3 (divine power) + 4d6 ( greater bane)
    = 1d8+4d6+8 per shot, except on the Many Shot, which is 2d8+4d6+16 damage. This averages to 27 damage per shot. If all 4 attacks (5 with many shot) hit, that's an average of 135 damage, against an APL+3 monster's 180 HP. Factoring in the intended armour class of that enemy, it's 88 damage/round, on average. If you full attack through cover, you average 57 damage/round. If you've engaged your Judgement as well, that's 101 damage/round.

    Keep in mind this is quite a low level of optimization - and not casting Greater Invisibility to be targeting flatfooted AC (significant boost to damage), no Ioun stones to boost their to-hit, etc, etc. Bare-bones 3/4 BAB archer.

    Two Handed Fighter:

    18 strength going to 20 with a +2 belt, and 22 with the 4th and 8th level increases. Holding a 2d6 damage weapon in two hands, +2 weapon. Feats:

    1: Power Attack
    1: Furious Focus
    2: Weapon Focus (Greatsword)
    3: ??
    4: Weapon Specialization
    5: ??
    6: Curnugon Smash
    7: Advanced Weapon Training
    8: Greater Weapon Focus
    9: Improved Critical
    10: Critical Focus

    Ran out of useful feats there :P Haste is reasonable to assume is running, giving:

    To-hit:

    +10 (bab) + 6 (strength) + 2 (weapon focus) + 2 (weapon training) +1 haste - 3 (power attack, except on the first attack) = +21/+18/+13

    Damage:

    2d6 base + 9 (strength) + 2 (specialization) + 2 (weapon training) + 9 (power attack) = 2d6+22 damage, an average of 29 damage a hit.

    The same APL+3 enemy has 180 HP and 28 AC still (Monster Creation guidelines). Your attack bonus of +21/+18/+13 gives you a 14/20, 11/20 and 6/20 chance to hit, giving you an average damage of 20.3, 15.95, and 8.7 for the three attacks. Crits are then taken into account, for a final set of damage of 70 damage/round.

    From two moderately similar levels of optimization builds, you can see the two-handed fighter is 70/damage a round at level 10, compared to roughly 60 damage/round for the archer with cover, 90 damage/round without cover, or 100 damage/round with a bit of a nicer buff applied - the archer also has a lot more room to improve. The Archer can also full-attack from any distance - the melee fighter is stuck moving and making a single attack for ~31 points of damage - potentially 38 if they took Vital Strike. If they kill an enemy as part of their full attack and there are no enemies in reach, they're out of luck too.

    It's true that non-archery styles aren't as good in Pathfinder - guns can compete due to deadly aim and targeting touch, but thrown weapons, crossbows and the like are typically quite bad unless you build around them.

    Lots of classes also work well for ranged combat:

    - Occultist
    - Ranger
    - Fighter
    - Paladin
    - Bard
    - Magus
    - Summoner
    - Gunslinger
    - Bloodrager
    - Barbarian
    - Skald
    - Slayer
    - Warpriest
    - Hunter
    - Investigator
    - Alchemist
    - Vigilante

    I feel that's relatively conclusive proof that ranger combat can indeed be feasible :)


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    Here is a Sylph fighter build: 20pt buy, level 8, 3/4 WBL:

    (Elf works equally well)

    HP: 64 (8d10+16, PFS average is 68)
    AC: 27 (+9armor, +6dex, +1 Deflection, +1 Natural Armor)

    Str 14, Dex 22 (16+2race+2lvl+2belt), Con 12 (14-2race), Int 14 (12+2race), Wis 12, Cha 7

    Traits/Feats:
    T1) Seeker: +1 Perception and Perception is a class skill
    T2) Indomitable Faith: +1 Will saves
    1) Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
    2) Rapid Shot
    3) Weapon Focus <Longbow>
    4) Weapon Specialization <Longbow>
    5) Point Blank Master
    6) Manyshot
    7) Deadly Aim (-3atk/+6dam)
    8) Gr. Weapon Focus

    Favored Class bonus: HP
    Weapon Training: +1
    Armor Training: +1, Armor Specialization Breastplate (+2)

    Equipment: +1 Mithril Breastplate (5.35k), +2 Comp. (+2str) Bow (8.6k), Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2 (4k), +2 Cloak of Resistance (4k), Efficient Quiver (1.8k), 1k in misc arrows = 24.75k

    Attack bonus: 8bab, +6dex, +2wf, +1wt, +2enh, +1pbs^, -2rs^, -3da^
    Damage: +2str, +2enh, +2ws, +1wt, +1pbs^, +6da^
    (optional damage is marked with ^)

    Single Attack: +19 (+1pbs, -3da) for 1d8+7 (+1pbs, +6da)
    Full Attack: +19*2/+14 (+1pbs, -3da) for 1d8+7 (+1pbs, +6da)
    Rapid Shot: +17*2/+17/+12 (+1pbs, -3da) for 1d8+7 (+1pbs, +6da)

    Due to Point Blank Master and an AC of 27 this is an archer than can tank. Improved Precise Shot is not required since it is up front.

    With a +19 (+20pbs) or rapid shot's +17 (+18pbs) bonus to hit the AC 24 enemy is hit pretty easily.

    Later feats just add on to this.

    Here is a Sylph Ranger-Guide build: 20pt buy, level 8, 3/4 WBL:

    (Elf works equally well)

    HP: 64 (8d10+16, PFS average is 68)
    AC: 24 (+7armor, +5dex, +1 Deflection, +1 Natural Armor)

    Str 14, Dex 22 (16+2race+2lvl+2belt), Con 12 (14-2race), Int 14 (12+2race), Wis 12, Cha 7

    Traits/Feats:
    T1) Reactionary: +2 Initiative
    T2) Indomitable Faith: +1 Will saves
    1) Point Blank Shot
    2) Precise Shot
    3) Rapid Shot, Endurance
    5) Weapon Focus <Longbow>
    6) Improved Precise Shot
    7) Manyshot
    @9) Deadly Aim (-3/+6)
    @10) Point Blank Master

    Favored Class bonus: HP
    Ranger's Focus 3/day, +4attack/damage

    Equipment: +1 Mithril Breastplate (5.35k), +2 Comp. (+2str) Bow (8.6k), Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2 (4k), +2 Cloak of Resistance (4k), Efficient Quiver (1.8k), 1k in misc arrows = 24.75k

    Attack bonus: 8bab, +6dex, +1wf, +2enh, +1pbs^, -2rs^, +4rf^
    Damage: +2str, +2enh, +1pbs^, +4rf^
    (optional damage is marked with ^)

    Single Attack: +17 (+1pbs, +4rf) for 1d8+4 (+1pbs, +4rf)
    Full Attack: +17*2/+12 (+1pbs, +4rf) for 1d8+4 (+1pbs, +4rf)
    Rapid Shot: +15*2/+15/+10 (+1pbs, +4rf) for 1d8+4 (+1pbs, +4rf)

    The Ranger version sacrifices the ability to tank (due to less AC) and some attack/damage bonuses for skills, spells, etc but in a pinch it makes up for that with Ranger's Focus and can be in the back since he ignores Cover/Concealment.

    Similar builds can be made with an Inquisitor, Paladin or any number of other classes.

    P.S. This isn't theorycrafting, this is basically a tweak of an existing build that I have played up through level 12.


    Gauss wrote:
    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

    1. Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Rapid Reload

    3. Crossbow Mastery
    4. Extra Grit
    5. Deadly Aim
    7. Weapon Finesse (Dex to Attack in melee, which isn't granted from EQF), Empty Quiver Style
    ---
    9. Stabbing Shot (acquired via Ranger Combat Style for retraining Precise Shot, GM approved), Empty Quiver Flexibility (full switch-hitting compatibility, increased sneak attack application and providing flanking/threatening bonuses)
    11. Improved Precise Shot, Point Blank Master (sometimes even
    13. Improved Critical (17-20/X3 multiplier), Accomplished Sneak Attacker?

    Summary: you built a bad build and you blame ranged combat? Interesting logic.

    You have a lot of wasted feats. Starting with going Crossbow to begin with.
    It requires extra feats to be useful and does less damage than bows (bow users benefit from strength).

    Never build to be a switch hitter, it is one of the worst things you can do in Pathfinder. That is a lot of wasted feats that could be spent on increasing your actual combat effectiveness.

    What class, archetype, race, etc have you selected?
    What were your starting ability scores?
    Where did you put your level points?
    Where have you put your favored class bonus?
    What equipment do you have?

    All of those factor into your problem.

    Summary: don't say ranged combat is bad if the problem is your build.

    Except for ability scores, I'm pretty sure the rest of that information was in the post you quoted, dude, just a couple of paragraphs up.


    dysartes wrote:
    Gauss wrote:
    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

    1. Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Rapid Reload

    3. Crossbow Mastery
    4. Extra Grit
    5. Deadly Aim
    7. Weapon Finesse (Dex to Attack in melee, which isn't granted from EQF), Empty Quiver Style
    ---
    9. Stabbing Shot (acquired via Ranger Combat Style for retraining Precise Shot, GM approved), Empty Quiver Flexibility (full switch-hitting compatibility, increased sneak attack application and providing flanking/threatening bonuses)
    11. Improved Precise Shot, Point Blank Master (sometimes even
    13. Improved Critical (17-20/X3 multiplier), Accomplished Sneak Attacker?

    Summary: you built a bad build and you blame ranged combat? Interesting logic.

    You have a lot of wasted feats. Starting with going Crossbow to begin with.
    It requires extra feats to be useful and does less damage than bows (bow users benefit from strength).

    Never build to be a switch hitter, it is one of the worst things you can do in Pathfinder. That is a lot of wasted feats that could be spent on increasing your actual combat effectiveness.

    What class, archetype, race, etc have you selected?
    What were your starting ability scores?
    Where did you put your level points?
    Where have you put your favored class bonus?
    What equipment do you have?

    All of those factor into your problem.

    Summary: don't say ranged combat is bad if the problem is your build.

    Except for ability scores, I'm pretty sure the rest of that information was in the post you quoted, dude, just a couple of paragraphs up.

    He had a wall of text, I missed it.

    Rereading it, I would not have multiclassed, he loses progression on his feats.

    As for the loss of weapon focus, that actually hurts a number of builds that use it to offset things.

    It becomes clear why he has problems, GM house rules, a build with a less than clear focus, and lack of wealth.

    Generally, crossbows should be avoided. They do less damage than bows (no strength bonus), lose manyshot, and take more feats. There is almost nothing to redeem them.


    Surely you've played the game long enough to have run into a player who uses range. You've probably also seen a rogue in your games. Both might have sucked but both could also out damage the barbarian. It is all about the build and optimization.

    The various combat options allow players to live their fantasies and do so in a mostly balanced way. The game is not about hitting a high score or out damaging your friends. It is about the experience.

    You could argue that your games are ruined by people who play weak characters but it's not the combat style or class that made the character weak. It's the build. Weak characters can be fun while an optimized damage machine could be a buzz kill. You could still role play with your rock and sock em robot but the viability of a build is not why we play. We play for fun. Ask your friend to try to optimize better if he really is killing your campaign or even help him out when he's building. The only thing that matters is whether or not everyone everyone is having fun.

    There is Role Playing and there is Roll Playing. You can immerse yourself into the world or you can yawn and drool until the next combat starts.


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    So bow = ranged combat because that's what you use for ranged combat.
    It's like how dex based based magus = dervish dance scimitar builds because it's the best way for them to get dex to damage and be a good dex magus
    It's like how swashbucklers and magus are by default assumed to have a large crit range weapon like rapier or scimitar since they get so much benefit from crits
    It's like how THF's aren't using clubs or shortspears but things like greatswords, nodachis, and falcata's, the better crit ranges and base damage just make them the options you actually consider.
    It's like how range combat uses a bow (I know this is the thing being proved but to show that it fits.)
    It's like how paladin's have sky high High charisma
    it's like how animal companions are normally from a small subset of the full list.
    It's like how being a bard means you use inspire courage.
    It's like how saying you want to play core rogue means you get told to play one of the many classes that do that niche better.
    Why caster's don't mean ranger's and paladins (because casting is often quite a minor nice addition rather than something you'd ever really focus on)

    These are the things you think of by default because they are the case in the vast majority of people.


    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    I think you're just discovering that archers are a bit more gear based than even most other martials. Low level Adventure paths are ROUGH on wealth by level and getting people their gear customized.

    Good thing there's such thing as rich parents! The right GMs will also allow rich parents and dusk agent to stack meaning 1800 gp to start at 1rst and 2nd level. Should be enough to cover your MW Composite Bow 5 and the best armor you can wear.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    so as someone mentioned, your build is very unfocused and scattered.
    and you/your table seem to not know your cover rules which causes you more trouble than you should be having.

    Cover rules.
    Any source of cover prevents all AoO, right in the Core rule book when it tells you want cover does. Also cover with ranged is you take 1 of your corners and go to all corners of an enemies square, as long as no line crosses a border that grants cover they have no cover.

    So if you're behind a tree shooting someone in a field you have cover from them no matter what, and as long as they aren't directly in line with you behind the tree then they don't have any cover from you.

    Yes, if there's a 5ft doorway and a large creature blocking entrance then you have your best melee stand next to them and then have a reach user and then you, which are now out reach and are getting free hits off, sure it's against cover, but it's better than the 3rd melee that can't do anything. If you're in a small room, or if the doorway is 10ft tall, then see the tree example, your ally (the tree) grants you cover and per the cover rules that means they can't take AoOs against you. And since you can pick your top corner and go above the head of your ally to all the corners of the large enemy above you and you see that you have a clear shot.

    So unfocused build, switch hitting is an AWFUL idea, especially if your primary combat mode is ranged. From like lv2 or 3 there's no reason to use a melee weapon, your ranged weapon is FAR superior to it. Like it sounds like you're not using the ability to target touch AC, which is the only redeeming feature of the bolt ace to make crossbows at all viable (yes, turn it into a gun makes it worth using). By not using this you've chosen to give up the thing that your class was meant to do to help you be good. That's like building a barb and never raging, or a battle cleric and never using a spell.

    You're build is one of the things I've seen so much, You're so hyper worried about the things that maybe might be a problem that instead of doing the simple things to avoid those problems you invest lots of resources into trying to be slightly better at your weakness which makes you not be so great at your actual main thing.

    Also banning weapon focus and then raising AC of enemies is just mean, Make the enemies harder while disallowing options for players to be better at hitting is a double whammy to the players.


    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

    So, everybody pulled an "Ancient Aliens" on me? Do I have that right? "I'm not saying it's not ranged combat, but it's not ranged combat." That's what you're suggesting when you make that comment, and between everybody else saying my arguments are disingenuous, this really just creates a Pot meet Kettle situation, which is both silly and quite ironic.

    But don't worry, since I'm the only pot here, and everybody else is kettles, I'm still the bad guy here, so don't think that just because we argued in a similar manner that I'm not equal to you guys or anything... /sarcasm

    In relation to your "grab and go" comment, I disagree to an extent. If the PCs may need certain consumables or items for them to progress onward to the next part of the AP (maybe a Scroll of Raise Dead for a PC death?), then that's what the NPC WBL is for, especially if it's not being spent or given to the PCs in the form of raw gold for them to spend as they see fit, and it can be used to buff monsters, but as you stated, it should only be done when necessary (and by everyone's comments here, it certainly isn't in this situation).

    First I am going to address the "grab and go" comment. I agree that from a real life perspective the monsters should use the money. What I am saying is that to stay within a certain CR range monsters have to stay within certain numbers, and they come from the book with those numbers. If I take a monster's treasure value, and use it to buy stuff there are times to boost the monster's CR by 2 and sometimes more, according to what a monster should have according to Paizo.

    As an example if I put armor on a monster I can't boost it's AC by 5 or more, and it monsters with a difference in armor of 5 or normally at least 3 CR's apart. The same can be done with attack bonuses, saves, and so on.

    Let me know if you get what I mean. Feel free to restate what I said in your own words to be sure we are on the same page.

    Edit: I am sure that I can boost overall stats enough with some monster to justify a CR increase. In addition if I only increase one area such as AC or saves then it can lead to monster who's CR is hard to nail down if things are too far off. As an example a combat based monster with the attack bonus and damage of a CR 11 monster, but the AC of a normal CR 15 monster, and the saves of CR 13 monster make it hard to decide what XP to give. The AC and saves would definitely increase how hard the monster is to fight so it should be a bump in XP.
    -------------------
    Now as for the ranged combat thing I dont think you are being disingenuous, but I am surprised that considering you level of knowledge about the game, that you can't make bows work. Once you know what feats to pick it is one of the easiest styles to make work.

    Now to get things back on track I am still asking if you think bows are not viable in most games since you didn't answer that question.

    I am focusing on bows because most people agree that some weapons are better than others, and if you say "not all weapons" then there is really no argument there, and at that point the discussion is pretty much over.

    However if you want to say "bows also don't work" there we have more to discuss.

    Anyway, let us know what your thoughts are on bows.

    PS: I didn't read your replies to the others yet so you may have already answered any queries that are in this comment.


    Summary:

    Some types of ranged combat are feasible. For example, a full-BAB composite longbow specialist with all the usual feats in a game where the GM uses the cover rules correctly and doesn't increase the AC of all monsters.

    Some types of ranged combat are not feasible.

    I think this is a consensus.

    If a guy who claims that all kinds ranged combat are always feasible ever shows up, we can consider that guy soundly defeated.


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    Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

    I would like to point out to everyone that people saying "ranged combat" means "bow" is like saying "spellcasting" means "Wizard." They may be terms/nouns widely associated with the verb, but that doesn't mean that's what that term only means. By that logic, Paladins aren't spellcasters, Magi aren't spellcasters, and so on, which is perhaps the biggest misnomer I've ever seen on these boards, and with it being so widespread, no less! Now I'm really curious where everybody got the idea that anything other than a Bow isn't ranged combat, even though they follow the rules for ranged attacks like a Bow does.

    Anyway, third time's the charm, right? Maybe. But with a negative billion to my Diplomacy modifier on this check, only a Wish or Miracle can make it work...

    ** spoiler omitted **...

    To be clear nobody(well most of us, but there is always one) is saying that nonbows are not ranged combat. The reason why we are saying that the idea of ranged combat defaults to being understood as "bows" is that bows had gone unchallenged for so long as the best ranged weapon that "ranged combat" has become synonymous with "bows". So what happened was conversations around ranged combat started to default to bows.

    Another example is that when people would talk about the martial/caster disparity the class that is often dominates the discussion is the wizard. They are not the only magic class of course, but they always get mentioned, and are sometimes the only class mentioned. When people say magic is OP, they tend to point to the wizard.
    .


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    @Darksol your replies are rather frustrating because you seem to either not be reading what people are saying or ignoring part of it.

    For instance, yes refluffing a trait is GM fiat. Before I mentioned refluffing I also mentioned my archer worships Shelyn, the point being, she doesn't have that trait, because not every archer needs it. Clearly this got lost in translation. To re-iterate, not every archer has or needs that trait.

    And yeah Create pit would be bad for archers, grease is pretty bad for any character in heavy armor, every martial style falls short compared to casting.

    If the Ogre's AC were 6 CR above what it should be if they had 30 AC and were CR 9 which is what I understand to be the case. I don't know what you're getting this stuff about them being 2 CR above.

    I don't really care if you believe it or not, my understanding and the general consensus is that Persistent spell is an effective DC boost of 3-4, people wouldn't use it in save or suck builds if it was worse than just using two levels of heighten spell but they do. Someone has even come into your thread and worked out the maths to show you that Rapid shot is increasing your chances to hit in your build.

    Your magic user comparison is a false equivalency and not actually helpful to this discussion just distracting. The reality is that Archery is much more easily made to work that any other ranged combat style. This is just a fact.
    Wizards are not the only easy way to make spell casting work, it isn't even the easiest way to make spell casting work.
    And most importantly you didn't come into the thread and specify "I need to make ranged combat work" you came in and said that it doesn't. These two sentiments will obviously garner different response.

    Now I didn't say those options don't exist, if you'd been reading the thread you'd know I've actually made a shield thrower build, so either you're not reading the thread or you're just ignoring it for the sake of argument.

    As for the specific scenario you're describing, yeah, thats a nasty situation for ranged combat.
    Every style of combat has situations in which it struggles, do you want ranged to be applicable in every single scenario before you can call it feasible?

    How can they be exceptionally far away with multiple trees between you and them and also in melee reach?

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