So, I'm wondering what the next best advancements for my rogue are. I actually play a Sniper, one of the Rogue archetypes that increases the range of Sneak Attack when using bows/ranged weapons (my GM also allows this bonus to apply to all the feats I have that normally have a 30ft range, so I can currently SA, with Point-Blank Shot effect, from 50ft away.) I sometimes regret playing a ranged rogue, since I don't get my SA bonus as often as I'd like, but then again, the rest of the party currently consists of a gunslinger, a spell-focused druid, an archery ranger, and a cleric who refuses to enter melee combat, so I wouldn't have a flanking buddy most of the time even if I was a melee rogue.
Anyway, here's my build:
Notable skills: Acrobatics +16, Stealth +22, UMD +16
Talents: Fast Stealth, Expert Leaper, Trap Finder
Feats: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Stabbing Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim
Notable items: +2 Shocking Composite Longbow (+3 Str Bonus), Slippers of Spiderclimbing (gives me climb speed 20ft 10minutes/day), wand of grease, wand of lightning bolts, wand of scorching ray, wand of shatter, wand of cure light, various scrolls including haste, fly, teleport, true strike, gravity bow, invisibility, see invisibility.
I'm really thinking about taking a level in Fighter when I hit level 9, for the bonus feat. My GM will allow me to take a feat from the 3.5 Complete Warrior called Improved Rapid Shot, which removes the -2 penalty to attack rolls when using Rapid Shot. I would take that for being level 9, and Manyshot as my Fighter Bonus Feat. That way I would get one attack at +7 that fires 2 arrows (Manyshot), a second attack at +7 (the second shot from Rapid Shot), and one attack at +2 (bonuses obviously don't include Dex, PBS, my magical bow, or the penalty if I use DA.) Even without Sneak Attack damage, that's still pretty good, if I manage to hit with the first two attacks.
As an aside, does anyone know if the +1d6 electrical damage from my shocking bow would apply to both arrows when using Manyshot? The feat says that precision-based damage, such as SA, is only applied once if Manyshot hits, but is shocking/flaming/icy/etc considered precision-based?
I'm also wondering what rogue talent to take next, once I get high enough level to take one. I sort of like the idea of taking minor magic/major magic, and getting Resistance (my Will save is in the gutter, at only +2) and True Strike. Then again, scrolls of True Strike are only 25gp and my UMD score is high enough that I almost never fail using a low level scroll. I also thought about taking Bleeding Attack, since by the time I get another talent, my SA bonus will be at +4d6 so I'll do 4 bleed damage when I do manage to land a SA.
I also REALLY want to find a way to land my Sneak Attack more consistently, so if anyone has any suggestions for that, I'm all ears. I'm probably going to pick up a scroll of greater invis next time we play, but obviously that's one time use only. My GM and I priced an item like a ring of greater invis 1/day, which would cost around 10,000gp to buy, I think, and I don't even start to have that much gp laying around. And the awesome bow that I have, I just got last time we played, from an enemy we've been hunting for a few weeks now. So my GM isn't exactly inclined to give me any more gifts any time soon.
So, suggestions, recommendations? Let me know if there are any important stats I forgot to include.
Grab a cloak or resistance. Seriously XD
Here's an option that you might get your SA more often, but it might require some rebuilding (if your DM would allow that):
Shatter Defenses (Combat)
Your skill with your chosen weapon leaves opponents unable to defend themselves if you strike them when their defenses are already compromised.
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus, Dazzling Display, base attack bonus +6, proficiency with weapon.
Benefit: Any shaken, frightened, or panicked opponent hit by you this round is flat-footed to your attacks until the end of your next turn. This includes any additional attacks you make this round.
EDIT: I just realized how against the concept of a "sniper" this feat is. That's just hilarious. You could always just house rule that you can sneak attack at range (so long as you can draw a line from your square through that of your enemy and reach an ally that would otherwise be flanking were you in melee -- my group does this, and it really doesn't "break the game").
The electrical damage should apply to both arrows.
Improved Initiative wouldn't be a bad choice. One advantage of a ranged build is you can take a full attack during the first round of combat when everyone is still flat-footed. Surprise Attack might be an okay rogue talent in that regard.
Basically, you should be stealthed at all times and have enough perception to always be active during a surprise round or create one on your terms. Then if you win initiative you have 4 potential SAs (1 during surprise round and 3 against a flat-footed target in first round of combat).
Also, take a look at the Stag's Helm from the 1st Kingmaker adventure. It would be good for your character. It is only 3,500 gold.
I haven't play tested it yet, but I have a somewhat similar build multiclassing the sniper archetype and the crossbowman archetype. It might not be a great suggestion, but here it is... When making my build I was debating taking major magic for either true strike, or vanish. Rogues aren't my forte, so I'm not sure of the exact rules for SA, but vanish as a spell-like ability 3/day might help you get in your SA damage, wouldn't it? If that's no good, there's a 3rd level spell called twilight knife that you can use to flank opponents.