New Paths #3: The Expanded Elven Archer (PFRPG) PDF

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Aim for the Heart!

Combine brutal archery skills with a classic elven heritage using the expanded elven archer class! This in-depth book provides all the class skills, archetypes, spells, and equipment necessary to turn your elven archer into an enemy-hunting, bull's-eye-striking legend. Want a twist on the concept? Roll up a halfling slingmaster, a dwarven crossbowyer, or a mystic archer. Details for each are found within these pages, as well as:

  • Six new feats—use them to drain enemies’ lifeblood, hamstring a target, or even shoot a foe’s weapon right from its hand.
  • A convenient tracking sheet to record all your special arrows and bolts.
  • New wondrous items, including a quiver that provides an endless supply of ammunition.
  • 20 new spells that can create energy arrows, imbue ammunition with animal spirits, slay a foe with one shot, and much more!
  • New options for rangers and druids, including many new spells!
Your aim is true! Get The Expanded Elven Archer today, and check out the other options in the New Paths series with the Spell-Less Ranger and the shaman!

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A Good Ranged Combat Class - Or Four!

4/5

This product presents the Elven Archer, a very smoothly designed base class dedicated to ranged combat. But it also presents several variations on the class -- not just archetypes, but full re-builds -- that are very interesting classes in their own right. I especially like the Dwarven Crossbowman class, which allows this under-appreciated weapon to shine.

All the classes are based around the basic structure of the ranger: full Base Attack Bonus, and four levels of spells. There's a touch of rogue mechanics build in, too, with precision damage. It seems like a good choice, guaranteeing that the classes are well-balanced and interesting. I do wish that the designer could have gotten a bit more experimental and come up with something more unusual, but we still have good, solid quality here.

Things do get more original with the new feats and spells included in the book. There are some very interesting options here to make ranged attacks funkier.

The production quality is excellent, with clean style, helpful tables, and nice artwork. Overall, If you'd like some ranged character options that are a little different from the usual Paizo-published choices, but that still fit well within Pathfinder's power balance and design attitude, I highly recommend this book.


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The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

This is a massive update to the original Elven Archer base class by designer John Ling, Jr. It includes new spells, expanded archetypes, and clarified class tables and tracking sheets.

If you play any kind of archer or sling-oriented character, the feats alone are worth it. If you play a druid or ranger, there's some archer-style spells to add to your arsenal. Give it a look!

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So happy to see this one come out. When Wolfgang approached me at GenCon last summer to work on this, I was giddy at the idea.

So this class came about entirely because one of my players wanted to play an archer, but didn't really like the flavor of the ranger. She didn't want a lot of favored enemies, and didn't want an animal companion. But she liked things such as combat style, tracking, and the various "woodsy" features of the ranger. She knew fighter could give her some feats, and that rogue could give her some skills and neat tricks like sneak attack and evasion. She also knew there were some nifty prestige classes out there. (This is probably a good time to mention: the class was originally designed in 3.5.)

And so she looked at all that potential multiclassing, and had a small panic attack. So stepped in and built her a class that had the stuff she wanted, but kept things fairly straight forward. In fact, the entire reason the class is named "elven archer" is because she was wanted her character to be an elf. Honestly, had she wanted a half-orc, the class would've been the half-orc archer from the start. And, honestly, I'm glad she went elf because when Wolfgang talked about putting together KQ20 he mentioned it was a loose elven theme. "Hey! I have this class. You interested in seeing it?" And so was born the published version of the elven archer.

*

One of the things I wanted to do in this expanded version was steer it away from just being about elves. My original article in KQ20 had a paragraph about how to adapt to other classes, so this was my chance to stretch that idea a bit. And so this product has the halfling sling master and the dwarven crossbowyer - two different racial classes that use the basic chassis of the elven archer, and swap a few things out. I had a grand time coming up with "sling tricks" for the halfling, to be honest. On top of that, I also created the mystic archer, a class for any race that melds archery with mysticism and arcane energy to do some nifty things. My favorite? Using an arrow as a dimension door effect.

I didn't really get to explore everything I wanted. At least in depth. As publishers often do, Wolfgang put me on a word count limit. So there's also two archetypes: the royal guardian, sort of an urban-themed tweak; and the plains rider, which takes mounted archery and gives it some love.

*

And there's other goodies. Cool feats, alchemical arrows, an arrow made from a dragon's tooth, new spells (LOTS of new spells), new magic items.

My other favorite feature in here is an idea Wolfgang planted in my head when I started - the arrow tracking sheet. Never lose track of how many arrows of different types you possess again. The sheet is designed to allow you to fill in numerous different types and keep track of what you have, and what you've used.

*

Anyway, I've talked a lot. I'll happily answer questions. I'm really excited to see this one finally out, and thankful to Wolfgang for giving me the opportunity. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful editing work of Amanda Hamon. She was a pleasure to work with - she kept me in the loop for any important changes she was making, to make sure I was OK with what she was doing. It's always a pleasure to work with the folks over at Kobold Press!

Contributor

Congrats, John! I really liked the class when it appeared in KQ! Can't wait to see what all has been expanded.

Liberty's Edge

I'll jump in as well and say this is a very cool class! There's plenty in here for anyone seeking to play an archer.

I also dig the arrow tracking sheet - it was a neat idea in writing and it was fun to graphically conceptualize and lay out. I think folks playing archers will certainly have fun with it :)


New classes rock! I'm still waiting for a spontaneous witch class by you, Marc...^_^


Dotting so I can swing by later and nab a copy. Thanks!


And I have it. Thanks again. This series is another good one; nice work all around.


This new base class looks really interesting ; I remember reading the original version in KQ and liking it.

Thanks Zherog for sharing the genesis of the class with us ; those stories are always good food for thought.

I empathize with your player's reluctance to multiclass builds: one of the appeals of a base class is that it makes it so much simpler for a player to enjoy him/herself without being overwhelmed by rules complexity.

The mention of a plain rider archetype caught my eye: I'm sure it would be a good fit for a woman archer from Perunalia in the Midgard campaign setting.

Honestly, I would have bought this pdf already if there was a Hero Lab file associated with it.
Nowadays I favor products that are backed by HL because it makes my life as a player and GM so much easier (I digress here, but I'm eagerly awaiting the Hero Lab files for the Midgard Campaign setting book :-).

I think I'll buy it anyway x-).

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Yep, the Perunalian archer is called out by name in this one.

There's a HL file planned, but they take time. Thank you for that vote of confidence in picking it up *without* a HL file. :)

Liberty's Edge

Bardess wrote:
New classes rock!

Especially cool ones!

Bardess wrote:
I'm still waiting for a spontaneous witch class by you, Marc...^_^

spoiler:
Heh, some sort of spontaneous witch is certainly in my 'idea bank'. Before that, though, I have two other New Paths classes to put the final writing touches on!
Shadow Lodge

When you do I'll buy them both! I like this series!


Quiche Lisp wrote:
This new base class looks really interesting ; I remember reading the original version in KQ and liking it.

-

That was a good article. A good choice for an expansion.

Contributor

Thanks, Mike. And Marc. And Christine. And everybody else.

I'm interested in hearing what people think of the expansion. If you bought it, I'd love to hear about your thoughts - what do you plan to use in your game, what grabbed your attention? What (if anything) left you a bit flat?

Cheers!

-- John Ling

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

No comments on all those archer spells, feats, and items? Damn.

Is ranged combat dead, or does it just take a while for good stuff to trickle into play?

Contributor

And no comments on the class variants, either. The halfling sling master is my favorite, but I'd love to hear others.

Sczarni

All right all right, ya guilted me into it! :)

But seriously, I fondly recall playing a Deepwood Sniper back in an old campaign of Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign my brother ran.

All I do nowadays is GM. But maybe I'll crunch out a few NPCs with this. :)


I feel like you guys really missed a cross-product marketing opportunity by not having a Spell-Less Elven Archer. :)


A hard-fighting monk with new styles of peerless power, eh? Interesting, and fairly well timed too.

Liberty's Edge

There's also an expanded necromancer whose favorite color is white AND a "arcane paladin" type of class on the horizon :)

But back the the elven archer - I'm anxious to check out the first few reviews of this bad boy!


Did Kobold Press pick up the Battle Scion? Or is it a different "arcane paladin"?

Sczarni

Overall, great product! I really wanna play a dwarven crossbowman now! :)

I've noticed a couple of things:

1. Typo - On p. 25, the table for projectile weapons is mislabeled. It says, "Table 5: New Arrows." Should say "Table 7: Projectile Weapons."

2. I was surprised by the precision requirement on some of the feats. For example, Ranged Disarm requires BAB +8 and precision +4d6 or better. But an elven archer doesn't get +4d6 precision until level 19. Doesn't seem to fit with the BAB requirement, unless you're expecting a multiclass rogue. Even worse is Improved Bloody Shot, which requires +6 precision and doesn't include the proviso that sneak attack counts for it, meaning that strictly as-written, an Elven Archer can never get this feat.

I'm wondering if originally the EA had a lot faster precision progression, and it got dialed back for balance, but the feats weren't amended?

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Cheapy wrote:
Did Kobold Press pick up the Battle Scion? Or is it a different "arcane paladin"?

What a good question you have there. You might think so, but I could not possibly comment. :)


Well, all I'm saying is that if it is, I'd be happy. When I first saw that, I was intrigued but 2 pages is not a whole lot for a full class. :)

Liberty's Edge

Cheapy wrote:
Did Kobold Press pick up the Battle Scion? Or is it a different "arcane paladin"?
Wolfgang Baur wrote:
What a good question you have there. You might think so, but I could not possibly comment. :)
Cheapy wrote:
Well, all I'm saying is that if it is, I'd be happy. When I first saw that, I was intrigued but 2 pages is not a whole lot for a full class. :)

Well ....

If you take a look at who wrote the original Battle Scion, you'll see that he and I know each other pretty well, so .... :)

But enough about upcoming New Paths - back to the Elven Archer! :)


I'm hurt that you thought I didn't remember who wrote that :)

But yes, back to the elven archer. I'll be reading it throughout the day and write something up.


Any reviews on this one? Is this one good?

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

No reviews on this one yet.

It's larger than the prior New Paths, with a lot of spells that work for other classes as well, but whether it is good I leave up to the reviewers.

Contributor

Trinite wrote:

2. I was surprised by the precision requirement on some of the feats. For example, Ranged Disarm requires BAB +8 and precision +4d6 or better. But an elven archer doesn't get +4d6 precision until level 19. Doesn't seem to fit with the BAB requirement, unless you're expecting a multiclass rogue. Even worse is Improved Bloody Shot, which requires +6 precision and doesn't include the proviso that sneak attack counts for it, meaning that strictly as-written, an Elven Archer can never get this feat.

I'm wondering if originally the EA had a lot faster precision progression, and it got dialed back for balance, but the feats weren't amended?

That's... *scratches head* Hmmm... *scratches some more*

I'm at work, so don't have my notes with me. I'll dig into them when I get home tonight and see if I can figure out what happened there.


Endzeitgeist wrote:
Any reviews on this one? Is this one good?

It's great if you like ranged combat, though there's a couple of annoying typos in the feats section concerning the amount of the class's precision damage as a requirement for certain feats. I haven't written any reviews mainly because I figured that, this being something from Kobold Press, some far better writer would have covered it by now.

And I do love the Dwarven Crossbowyer.


The typography on 'classes' in 'variant classes' on page 6 could use some polishing.

Contributor

Zherog wrote:
Trinite wrote:

2. I was surprised by the precision requirement on some of the feats. For example, Ranged Disarm requires BAB +8 and precision +4d6 or better. But an elven archer doesn't get +4d6 precision until level 19. Doesn't seem to fit with the BAB requirement, unless you're expecting a multiclass rogue. Even worse is Improved Bloody Shot, which requires +6 precision and doesn't include the proviso that sneak attack counts for it, meaning that strictly as-written, an Elven Archer can never get this feat.

I'm wondering if originally the EA had a lot faster precision progression, and it got dialed back for balance, but the feats weren't amended?

That's... *scratches head* Hmmm... *scratches some more*

I'm at work, so don't have my notes with me. I'll dig into them when I get home tonight and see if I can figure out what happened there.

So, I've looked and gone through my notes (granted, there isn't much in the way of notes). And I can say I don't know what the heck I was thinking. That's one of the joys of getting older - lots of things are surprises. I've sent the following to Wolfgang to serve as errata, and I've been told the PDF will get updated and that I can share it here. So...

  • On the feat Bloody Shot, reduce the precision prerequisite down to +2d6 and add "BAB +7" to the prerequisite list. Also, add the following:

    Special: Sneak attack, such as the rogue’s class ability, counts for the purposes of meeting the precision prerequisite.

    (We're adding the BAB pre-req to keep those pesky rogues from having access to this sooner than elven archers get access. We want rogues to have it if they want, just not significantly before the elven archer.)

  • On the feat Improved Bloody Shot, reduce the prerequisite from 6d6 down to 3d6. Add the same "special" line at the end of the feat.

  • On the feat Ranged Disarm feat, reduce the precision prerequisite to +2d6.

That should clear up the issues. Thanks for pointing them out, and my apologies for not getting it right the first time.

Sczarni

Good fixes! I think I'll write a positive review!


Thank you for writing those in, Zherog! I wish that more publishers were as quick to make such corrections as Kobold Press.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

We try to stay on top of it as much as possible: many thanks to Zherog for a quick and elegant solution.

The revised file is now live here and on DriveThru.

Contributor

I'm always happy to make something I worked on better. This one was a no-brainer of a fix, especially when nothing in my (admittedly few) notes indicated what I might have been thinking way back when I wrote it.

Wolfgang is a class act, so I'm not at all surprised he acted so quickly to upload the changes. I've never once felt slighted or disrespected while working for him. And sadly, I can't say that about every other publisher I've worked with over the years.

Trinite - I look forward to the review. They definitely help. Thanks.

Contributor

Thanks for the review, Trinite! I appreciate it, and the kind words.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Seconded on the review: thanks Trinite, I like the crossbow option as well.

And thanks also to everyone who made this one of the most-downloaded PDFs on Paizo this week!


Curious about the cost on the Bracers of Archery, Superior. They're listed at $16,000 but provide twice the bonus of Greater Bracers which cost $25,000?

Contributor

I have heard from the boss-meister that it shall be corrected soon. Thanks for pointing it out.


Presumably there's a feat for Precision and concealment much like Shadow Strike? Or can they just take that feat?

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

@Jon, yes, the correct cost is $50,000 for the Superior Bracers.

I defer to Zherog on the feats.


Regarding the Crossbowyer, Armor Piercer just affects the dwarf, right? It doesn't lower the armor for others from the piercing-ness of the bolts.

I like the touch of the Pack Mule. Pretty clever, IMO. It's an area of the rules that most people just ignore, but it fits really well.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but are there any abilities in the crossbowyer that helps close the chasm that is the damage output disparity between crossbows and bows?

Does the bonus from Take Aim just affect attack rolls, or does it affect Damage rolls as well? The way it's phrased can be read both ways as it doesn't specify what he adds half his level to.

Thanks in advance!

Contributor

Cheapy wrote:
Presumably there's a feat for Precision and concealment much like Shadow Strike? Or can they just take that feat?

They could just take Shadow Strike; the only pre-req for it is BAB +1, and nothing in the feat text prohibits it from working with ranged attacks.

For your other questions, I'll provide answers later this evening. I'd prefer to be in front of my books - including my copy of the Elven Archer - before giving answers.


Whoops, should've reread that feat. Thanks!

Contributor

Hey, no worries. There are so many options out there, it's hard to keep track of it all. Let's try and get you some answers to your other questions...

Quote:
Regarding the Crossbowyer, Armor Piercer just affects the dwarf, right? It doesn't lower the armor for others from the piercing-ness of the bolts.

Correct, just for the dwarf's attacks. The idea is that the dwarf is so good at placing his shots that he's picking weak spots, unarmored joints, etc.

Quote:
Perhaps I'm missing something, but are there any abilities in the crossbowyer that helps close the chasm that is the damage output disparity between crossbows and bows?

Hmmm... I'm not sure what you mean here. A longbow does 1d8, a heavy crossbow does 1d10. Granted, once we hit iterative attacks that becomes a small problem, where the crossbowyer will need to spend two feats to overcome the reload time. But... assuming he spends most of his time underground, preferred environment gives him a +2 to attack and damage rolls, which the longbow user won't have. So at the cost of two feats (Rapid Reload, Crossbow Mastery) the dwarven crossbowyer is cranking out more damage per round than an elf with a longbow. He's doing 1d10 per shot, and he's getting the bonus from preferred environment (which rises to +4 at 10th ant +6 at 17th).

I don't know if that's what you had in mind, but that's what I see.

Quote:
Does the bonus from Take Aim just affect attack rolls, or does it affect Damage rolls as well? The way it's phrased can be read both ways as it doesn't specify what he adds half his level to.

It's just to attack rolls. The idea is that he spends round 1 studying the opponent, then on round 2 every attack he makes gets the bonus to attack rolls equal to half his level.

Could it apply to damage as well without breaking things? Maybe; that will depend a lot on your group, to be honest. It would be a lot of bonus damage, though. It comes online at 13th level, so we're talking about 3 attacks, 4 with Rapid Shot, each getting a +6 bonus (minimum). Now consider that the bonus to attacks makes using Deadly Aim an even better deal, meaning even more bonus damage, and it could add up quickly.

If your group has a lot of spellcasters who min/max the system, then adding the bonus from take aim to damage rolls isn't going to hurt. If your game swings more towards the "traditional" group with the evocation-tossing wizard, etc then it's probably too much to give out the bonus damage.

As a designer, I'd prefer to make something a little bit too weak than a little bit too powerful. It's real easy for a GM to say to a player, "Hey. I'm going to take this ability you have and make it just a little bit better." Players like that. But if the GM has to say the opposite, players get angry. It's always easier for the GM to adjust upwards, so I prefer to come in on the light side if I have to. Of course, the goal really is perfect balance, but, well..


Thanks for the clarifications.

The disparity in crossbow and bow damage output is due to bows not needing 1 or 2 feats just to do what bows can do from the start, the lack of strength bonus to damage from compound bows, and the lack of manyshot (since deadly aim and the strength bonus to damage will apply to that too). It adds up to be pretty significant. Being underground helps with this, but that isn't so reliable, at least for the campaigns I was think using a crossbowyer for. Maybe if I cast Stone Call over my enemies? :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I always have at least one person at my gaming table wanting to play an archer so I thought I go ahead and buy this, I do have a few questions.

Does Lightfoot allow a five step movement in the terrain mention?

Sling Master
“when using the sniping feature of the Stealth skill, her penalty is only –10 (rather than the usual –20)” is listed twice once at first level at Stealth Master and at 8th level with Superior Stealth. Is this a mistake?

Is there reason why Sling Master and Mystic Archer uses Charisma rather than wisdom for casting like the other versions?

Does Arrow Transport have any limit on how much it can be used? Seem extremely powerful if there isn't.

Contributor

Good questions. I won't be able to answer most of them until I'm home tonight and in front of my copy (as well as my handful of notes I kept).

But for your 3rd question: I opted to make the sling master and mystic use Charisma just for variety, to be honest. Charisma seemed to fit well for those two, so it was a good chance (in my mind at least) to mix things up a little bit.

I'll clear up the other questions tonight for you...

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