Critique My Dual Wielding Longbow Archer


Advice


We'll be starting a new campaign soon. I proposed a character concept, to which my GM response was "You're doing that!". I'd like any advice or critiquing I can get.

We'll be going from levels 1 to 15 with 20 point buy, and we're allowed to use any Pathfinder published material.

The rest of the party will consist of a halfling witch jinxer, a dwarven mounted barbarian mammoth rider, and a gnome casting-focused nature oracle. We will be going through the Jade Reagent adventure path.

My Build- It's a dual-wielding archer. Mainly worried about the feats.

Human Internal Vivisectionist Alchemist 1/Fighter 1/I V Alch 3/Fighter 11
Attributes
STR 14
DEX 19
CON 12
INT 12
WIS 12
CHA 7
Human +2 went into Dex. Planning on putting all increases in Dex

Feats
1 Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
2 Deadly Aim
3 Rapid Shot (discovery- Vestigial Arm)
4 -
5 Two-Weapon Fighting (discovery- Vestigial Arm #2)
6 Weapon Focus (Comp. Longbow)
7 Manyshot
8 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
9 Weapon Specialization (Comp. Longbow)
10 Point-Blank Master
11 Clustered Shots
12 Improved Precise Shot
13 Greater Weapon Focus (Comp. Longbow)
14 Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
15 Improved Critical (Comp. Longbow)

Skills
5 skill points Alchemist levels; 4 at fighter levels (with fav class)
Max Perception, Diplomacy (I ALWAYS end up being the talker; taking a trait to get this), & Knowledge (nature)(adds to heal with Cruel anatomist which in our campaigns we use as Knowledge (medical & CSI)). Other skills open.

I'm also worried if my attack bonus will be high enough with the penalties I'll be accruing. -4 from two-weapon fighting, -2 from rapid shot, and up to a -4 from Deadly aim. That's -10 to attack at 13th level O_O. Will I be able to counter that to a respectable attack bonus?


You'll get back +2 from mutagen. Make it a weaponmaster fighter to get weapon training back on track and it shouldn't be completely hopeless.


Dex 19 + 3 level at 13th level +6 item= 28 (+9)
Weapon focus, greater weapon focus= +2
Gloves of dueling +2
Weapon training +3
+3 weapon by 13th.
BAB: +15( over 16 levels, +14 over 15 levels)
Total attack bonus: +34

Including the -10 from everything
24 first*/ 24 rapid shot / 24 TWF/+19 2nd iterative/ +14 3rd iterative
* many shot

Damage: Str: +2 base + 3 enhancement str belt + 4 get. Weapon. Spec. + 2 gloves of dueling + 3 weapon training + 3 bow + 8 deadly aim = 1d8+ 25

What I don't understand is why get a second set of arms for another bow, just for one extra attack. For trading out the one attack, you lose out on +5 potential to your attack. However, two bow wielding is cool.

Most CR 15 ish monsters an enemy have their AC in the mid 30's give or take. Let's just say 35. Your first 3 attacks will have a 50% chance to hit, the fourth will have 25% chance, and the last will need a natural 20 to hit.

Mind you, that is with an AC of 35 which is just an extreme to test the build under. If it can pass at the high need, it has no issue passing at the low end of combat challenge.


Grizzly the Archer wrote:
What I don't understand is why get a second set of arms for another bow, just for one extra attack. For trading out the one attack, you lose out on +5 potential to your attack. However, two bow wielding is cool.

It's three attacks actually, But yeah rule of cool. But if their AC proves to be too high I can just switch to one bow.

Atarlost wrote:
Make it a weaponmaster fighter to get weapon training back on track and it shouldn't be completely hopeless.

Would the 2 level speed up of weapon training and sub-par abilities really be worth trading out armor training on this high dex build?


Grizzly the Archer wrote:


What I don't understand is why get a second set of arms for another bow, just for one extra attack. For trading out the one attack, you lose out on +5 potential to your attack. However, two bow wielding is cool.

You're forgetting the extra attacks from improved and greater two weapon fighting.

I agree with the advice to take the weapon master archetype for your fighter levels. You really, really need to up your attack bonus. But if any character can overcome an additional -4 penalty on top of all the normal penalties, a weapon master fighter can.


Hmm, 3 attacks,, with all those negatives, you can make it work, but any bonus you can get, like haste, or bless or prayer, will be a huge boon for you.


I will have four levels of Alchemist and (I'm told) a lot of downtime to brew potions. I should also be able to use wands from my extract list no problem. Plus my mutagen should help.

My group is also pretty good at custom treasure, so a set of the greater bracers of archery and the pale green prism ioun stone could be conceivable in my future. Any other Items you could think of?


First thing to drop if you have trouble hitting isn't TWF (assuming you have the improved version), it's rapid shot. Rapid shot will lose you one arrow rather than up to three. Nothing stops you from using manyshot in a full attack that doesn't use rapid shot.


Goz mask, amazing for archers who get bogged down by obscuring mists and fog cloud and the sort.

Specialty arrows: blunt, silver/cold iron / adamantine, durable adamantine, smoke arrow and more.

Make the bows adaptive, and with seeking on them.


Would a greater hat of disguise be worth it? Alter self at will gives +2 dex and small size for a +2 to attack in exchange for 1 point of damage per hit (1d8 to 1d6).


That sounds quite good, yes.

Also, as an alchemist 4 you have access to alchemical allocation, possibly the most powerful formula on the alchemist's list if you have a GM who is nice with letting you obtain items. See if you can't obtain a high CL potion of greater magic weapon, that would help you a lot. And of course, there are the stupidly overpowered gloves of dueling.


Yes, I also do that trick, giving myself extra damage instead of to hit because my attack was so high. I definitely recommend you use the small size to get an extra 2 point to your attacks. That's another 10% chance your damage will take. It's always better to boost your atk over Dmg, because if the atk doesn't go through, the damage is pointless.

Efficient quiver is needed highly, maybe 2.

If you can, poisons on arrows are the most effective way to get poisons into the enemy. Certain poisons ad more control style than pure damage, like: woundweal, spellscorch, blue whinnis, drow poison.


Sigh. You can't do that. "The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, ". This has been confirmed by the devs. Thus you can't dual wield two longbows.


As you can see below the average AC for a CR15 monster in the Bestiary I is 30
.
.
.
.
..........................AC Table.........................

.....# of
CR Entries Min Max Mean Median Mode Std Dev
1 81 6. 18. 14.1 14. 14. 2.09
2 113 7. 22. 15.1 15. 14. 2.08
3 112 4. 25. 15.8 15. 15. 1.96
4 94 5. 20. 17.0 17. 17. 1.75
5 88 4. 21. 17.9 18. 18. 1.94
6 74 5. 26. 19.0 19. 19. 3.28
7 89 3. 23. 19.7 20. 20. 3.03
8 69 10. 26. 20.9 21. 21. 1.98
9 67 19. 25. 22.7 23. 23. 1.36
10 50 18. 28. 23.9 24. 24. 1.64
11 52 6. 30. 24.8 25. 25. 3.25
12 51 21. 31. 26.7 27. 27. 1.65
13 32 2. 32. 27.0 28. 28. 4.93
14 30 23. 34. 29.2 29. 29. 2.17
15 44 24. 37. 30.3 30. 30. 2.65
16 33 6. 39. 31.6 31. 31. 5.32
17 23 27. 46. 34.2 32. 32. 4.14
18 23 32. 41. 35.1 35. 35. 2.43
19 20 33. 41. 36.2 35. 34. 2.58
20 24 32. 42. 37.0 37. 36. 2.05
21 5 37. 38. 37.4 37. 37. 0.49
22 4 38. 45. 40.5 39.5 - 2.69
23 2 40. 44. 42.0 42. - 2.00
24 2 42. 42. 42.0 42. 42. 0.00
25 2 40. 42. 41.0 41. - 1.00


DrDeth wrote:
Sigh. You can't do that. "The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, ". This has been confirmed by the devs. Thus you can't dual wield two longbows.

Where has it been confirmed? Because as everyone I play with sees it, I'll just be using the attacks granted by two weapon fighting, just with unorthodox weapons. The vestigial arms never give me extra actions; they only allow me to use bigger weapons to take actions I already have.


DrDeth wrote:
Sigh. You can't do that. "The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, ". This has been confirmed by the devs. Thus you can't dual wield two longbows.

This is actually not a case of getting extra actions from the arms. It's a case of being able to effectively wield a 2 handed weapon in one hand (by growing an extra limb for support)

It's been ruled that you can't wield 4 weapons and take 4 attacks because of vestigial limbs.

However, you can wield two greatswords and benefit from two-weapon fighting normally.

Longbows are treated exactly the same. It's technically a valid build, even if it is extremely underpowered and kinda silly.


My alchemists always get tumor familiar monkey to have an extra set of hands to swap items, grab potions for you while your hands are full, pour them down your throat, etc. Great for this kinda guy.


Atarlost wrote:
First thing to drop if you have trouble hitting isn't TWF (assuming you have the improved version), it's rapid shot. Rapid shot will lose you one arrow rather than up to three. Nothing stops you from using manyshot in a full attack that doesn't use rapid shot.

No, the extra attack gives you a much better chance to land a hit than the 10% increased chance to hit from dropping rapid shot.

If have a 50% chance to hit with rapid shot, a single shot means you have a 60% chance to hit in that round. But you have a 75% chance to hit with _at least_ one arrow if you rapid shot:

Possible outcomes with rapid shot:
(miss, miss): 1/4 no hits
(hit, miss); (miss, hit): 2/4 1 hit
(hit, hit): 1/4 2 hits

If you are having problems hitting, drop the deadly aim first. The times rapid shot makes it less likely for you to hit are so rare that in general practice it's not worth dropping.

What the OP is doing, getting a third shot in, that's interesting. If he has a 50% chance to hit when twf+rapid shot, he'll have a 80% chance to hit without. (-10% for rapid Shot, -20% for TWF with non light weapons.)

P(hit with at least 1 of 3) = 1-P(missing all three) = 1-(0.5^3) = 0.875 > 0.8

So he will have a better chance of landing at least one arrow when TWF+Rapid Shot, but not a hugely better chance. There is also a much wider range of ACs where dropping the TWF will give him a better chance to hit: I think if he would need to roll a 16 or better with a single attack, he'll be better off rapid shotting instead of doing the whole shebang.

I don't think I would use deadly aim on this build very often.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Have you thought of swapping a level of Fighter out for Gunslinger and going dual pistols? You'll be targetting touch AC (most of the time), which will help with hitting.


Made a rough build in Hero Lab, see below.

You cannot do your build RAW, since you only have one Primary arm, no matter how many secondary arms you have. You need a Primary and a Secondary to wield a Large weapon.

But go for it, ask you DM for permission for a House rule. The build is NOT overpowered, it will suck against for example a well built Zen Archer.

Below: 4 Feats left open, quick build. Note that Wisdom is the Attack-stat (Guided). Haste boots and rapid shot are active. Also note thst there is a Hippogriff mount, as Ranger lvl 14.

test
Human Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) 5 Fighter (Weapon Master) 4 Paladin (Divine Hunter) 1 Ranger (Sable Company Marine) 10
LG Medium Humanoid (human)
Hero Points 1
Init +5; Senses Perception +7
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 10 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 178 (15d10+5d8+60)
Fort +20 (+4 vs. hot or cold environments and to resist damage from suffocation), Ref +18, Will +14; +4 vs. effects that cause you to lose your grip on weapons, +1 bonus vs. effects targetting a Longbow held by you, +4 vs. disease, +4 bonus vs. poison
Defensive Abilities evasion; Resist disease resistance +4, poison resistance +4
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 60 ft.
Melee Greatclub +17/+17/+12/+7/+2 (1d10/x2) and
. . Greatclub +17/+17/+12/+7/+2 (1d10/x2) and
. . Unarmed strike +17/+17/+12/+7/+2 (1d3/x2)
Ranged +3 Guided Longbow +31/+31/+31/+26/+21/+16 (1d8+8/x3) and
. . +3 Guided Longbow +31/+31/+31/+26/+21/+16 (1d8+8/x3)
Special Attacks favored enemies (dragons +4, giants +2, undead +4), sneak attack +3d6, weapon training +3: longbow
Alchemist (Internal Alchemist, Vivisectionist) Spells Prepared (CL 5):
Paladin (Divine Hunter) Spells Prepared (CL 0):
Ranger (Sable Company Marine) Spells Prepared (CL 7):
3 (2/day) Cure Moderate Wounds, Cure Moderate Wounds
2 (3/day) Arrow Eruption, Arrow Eruption, Arrow Eruption
1 (4/day) Alarm, Abundant Ammunition, Gravity Bow, Shield Companion
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 10, Dex 21, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 24, Cha 7
Base Atk +18; CMB +17; CMD 34 (39 vs. Disarm, 39 vs. Sunder)
Feats Boon Companion (Animal Companion), Brew Potion, Clustered Shots, Endurance, Greater Two-weapon Fighting, Hammer the Gap, Improved Precise Shot, Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Manyshot, Point Blank Master (Longbow), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Two-weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Longbow), Weapon Specialization (Longbow)
Skills Acrobatics +5 (+17 jump), Bluff -2 (+2 vs. dragons, +0 vs. giants, +2 vs. undead), Perception +7 (+11 vs. dragons, +9 vs. giants, +11 vs. undead), Sense Motive +7 (+11 vs. dragons, +9 vs. giants, +11 vs. undead), Survival +7 (+11 vs. dragons, +9 vs. giants, +11 vs. undead, +12 to track), Swim +0 (+4 to resist nonlethal damage from exhaustion); Racial Modifiers alchemy +5
Languages Common
SQ animal companion link, breath mastery, combat styles (two-weapon combat), discoveries (vestigial arm, vestigial arm), fast poisoning (move action), hero points, hippogriff companion, mutagen (dc 13), poison use, share spells with companion, swift tracker, track, weapon guard +1: longbow, wild empathy, woodland stride
Other Gear +3 Guided Longbow, +3 Guided Longbow, Greatclub, Greatclub, Belt of physical might (Dex & Con +4), Boots of speed (10 rounds/day), Bracers of falcon's aim, Gloves of dueling, Headband of inspired wisdom +6, 140 GP
--------------------
TRACKED RESOURCES
--------------------
Action Points - 0/15
Aspect of the Falcon (Constant) - 0/0
Boots of speed (10 rounds/day) - 0/10
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Alchemy +5 (Su) +5 to Craft (Alchemy) to create alchemical items, can Id potions by touch.
Animal Companion Link (Ex) You have a link with your Animal Companion.
Boon Companion (Animal Companion) +4 levels to calc familiar/animal comp abilities (max of your HD).
Boots of speed (10 rounds/day) Affected by haste
Breath Mastery At 1st level, the internal alchemist can control his breath and the flow of vital energy within his body. Without preparation, he can hold his breath for a number of minutes equal to his Constitution score (after this, he must begin making Constituti
Clustered Shots Total damage from full-round ranged attacks before applying DR
Disease Resistance +4 (Ex) +4 to save vs. Disease.
Endurance +4 to a variety of skill checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Evasion (Ex) If you succeed at a Reflex save for half damage, you take none instead.
Fast Poisoning (Move Action) (Ex) Apply poison to a weapon as a move action.
Favored Enemy (Dragons +4) (Ex) +4 to rolls vs Favored Enemy (Dragons).
Favored Enemy (Giants +2) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs Favored Enemy (Giants).
Favored Enemy (Undead +4) (Ex) +4 to rolls vs Favored Enemy (Undead).
Gloves of dueling These supple gloves grant the wearer a +4 bonus to her CMD against disarm attacks, attempts to sunder her wielded weapons, and effects that cause her to lose her grip on her weapons (such as grease). The wearer doesn't drop held weapons when panicked or stunned. If the wearer has the weapon training class feature and is using an appropriate weapon, her weapon training bonus increases by +2.

Construction
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, greater magic weapon; Cost 7,500 gp
Hammer the Gap With a full-attack action, each hit against the same opponent deals extra damage
Hero Points (1) Hero Points can be spent at any time to grant a variety of bonuses.
Hippogriff Companion (Ex) You gain a +2 bonus on Ride checks made when riding your hippogriff companion, and whenever you are within 20 feet of your hippogriff, it gains a +2 morale bonus on all saving throws made against fear effects. This ability replaces favored terrain an
Improved Precise Shot Ignore AC bonuses and miss chance from anything less than total cover/concealment.
Manyshot You can shoot two arrows as the first attack of a full attack action.
Mutagen (DC 13) (Su) Mutagen adds +4 to a physical & -2 to a mental attribute, and +2 nat. armor for 50 min.
Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Poison Resistance +4 (Ex) +4 to save vs. Poison.
Poison Use You do not risk poisoning yourself accidentally while poisoning a weapon.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Rapid Shot You get an extra attack with ranged weapons. Each attack is at -2.
Share Spells with Companion (Ex) Can cast spells with a target of "you" on animal companion, as touch spells.
Sneak Attack +3d6 +3d6 damage if you flank your target or your target is flat-footed.
Swift Tracker (Ex) Tracking penalties when moving at normal speed or faster are reduced.
Track +5 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.
Vestigial Arm The alchemist gains a new arm (left or right) on his torso. The arm is fully under his control and cannot be concealed except with magic or bulky clothing. The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, though the arm can
Vestigial Arm The alchemist gains a new arm (left or right) on his torso. The arm is fully under his control and cannot be concealed except with magic or bulky clothing. The arm does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, though the arm can
Weapon Guard +1: Longbow (Ex) +1 CMD vs. Disarm and Sunder or other effects targeting your chosen weapon.
Weapon Training +3: Longbow (Ex) +3 to hit and damage with your chosen weapon.
Wild Empathy +8 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.
Woodland Stride (Ex) Move through undergrowth at normal speed.


The more I look at it, The more I think I'd just have more fun with a zen archer:/

While I like the idea of a Hippogriff mount, I'll be partying with two other characters with animal companions (a mounted fury barbarian and a Nature mystery Oracle) and would feel like a jerk coming to the table stealing their shtick and then some (oh, your mount doesn't fly, that sucks). That and I hate not being able to actually place my miniature on the table since he would realistically be sitting on the ceiling fan. We are also only going to 15th level.

I keep looking at the math and feel sad. I could be spending the gold I would be spending on a second bow, armor, and attack bonus on more awesome character building items for a zen archer:(

The Exchange

Your group has 2 casters and a fighter.

They need a scout.

Go Alchemist/Rogue instead of Alchemist/Fighter.
If you're going to be the face of the party drop a couple of STR and go for CHA.

Forget the 4 arm deal, but keep the dual-wield archer concept, just go for hand crossbows instead.

Half of the Rogue Talents are the same as fighter feats, and you shoud be able to get a similar feat progression.

Stay HUman to get the bonus Feat,

1st level: Two Weapon Fighting,Rapid Shot
2nd level: Point Blank Shot (Rogue Talent-Combat Trick)
3rd level: Deadly Aim
4th level: Weapon Focus (hand crossbow)(Rogue Talent-Weapon Training)
5th level: Rapid Reload

You start with 4 shots every other turn, at -2 for each hand from TWF, and -2 to each shot for Rapid Shot. With your DEX, that gives you +0/+0/+0/+0 ATK at 1st level, with 1d4 DAM for each hit. It takes you a move action to reload each crossbow, so it's a full round action to reload both. Have a couple of daggers handy for when they try to rush you.

Critical range is 19-20. You are trying for critical hits, the more times you roll to attack, the more often you get critical hits.

At 2nd level your BAB goes to +1 and Point Blank kicks in, and for ranges under 30 ft, which just happens to be the range increment for the hand crossbow, you get +2/+2/+2/+2 ATK.

At 3rd level, Deadly Aim lets you trade ATK for DAM at a ratio of 1:2. So your BAB = +2, +1 Point Blank, -1 Deadly Aim, and your ATK stay at +2/+2/+2/+2, but now you do 1d4+2 DAM.

4th level, BAB=+3 and Weapon Focus adds another +1 to ATK, so now you're +4/+4/+4/+4 ATK & 1d4+2 DAM.

5th level, and Rapid Reload lets you follow up a 4 shot first round with 2 attacks every subsequent round until you run out of ammo.

6th level you get a Rogue Talent that can't be converted into a combat feat, but your BAB goes to + 4, which makes your Deadly Aim deadlier. Now your ATK is +4/+4/+4/+4 for 1d4+4 DAM.

10 Skill ranks per level, and lots of Class skill bonuses.

This doesn't even take into account Masterwork or magical weapons.

And don;t forget the criticals. You have a 10% chance of scoring criticals. With 4 shots, that should give your about 40% chance of a critical hit. Even if you can't beat your opponent's AC on a normal shot, and don't have any chance at confirming the crit, you still do normal DAM if you roll the 19-20.

Is that the kind of math you had in mind?


It is closer to 34% chance for a critical per four attacks, actually. While I agree that hand crossbows are more practical for a TWF ranged style, I worry that this might just be easier to go with a thrower build. You would also be able to avoid the need for a third arm, and quick draw will be about the same as rapid reload. Other than that, it would be basically the same set of feats that Jimbo Juggins suggested

You can get similar ranged abilities, and you can even take a rogue archetype with higher sneak attack dice if you went with daggers. Also, realize: crossbows will never do more that 1d4+sneak attack. In comparison, daggers can be given the Agile property (and returning, so you do not have to waste magical daggers) which could add your DEX modifier to damage. They can also still be used in melee without worrying about the attacks of opportunity.


Ed Girallon Poe wrote:


Human Internal Vivisectionist Alchemist 1/Fighter 1/I V Alch 3/Fighter 11

By taking Fighter first its 1 extra HP.

The Exchange

lemeres wrote:

It is closer to 34% chance for a critical per four attacks, actually. While I agree that hand crossbows are more practical for a TWF ranged style, I worry that this might just be easier to go with a thrower build. You would also be able to avoid the need for a third arm, and quick draw will be about the same as rapid reload. Other than that, it would be basically the same set of feats that Jimbo Juggins suggested

You can get similar ranged abilities, and you can even take a rogue archetype with higher sneak attack dice if you went with daggers. Also, realize: crossbows will never do more that 1d4+sneak attack. In comparison, daggers can be given the Agile property (and returning, so you do not have to waste magical daggers) which could add your DEX modifier to damage. They can also still be used in melee without worrying about the attacks of opportunity.

Well, actually, now that you mention it. Jimbo is A thrower build. He throws things. Anything. With both hands.

At 2nd level, I get 2 attacks at +0/+0 with +0 DAM, because I took Throw Anything for 1st ( not human, so no bonue Feat) and TWF for 2nd.

Last major combat round, I threw 2 sling bullets, range 80 ft. range, with all the appropriate modifiers, was attacking at -4/-4. Confirmed crit on the first throw. Missed the second. Didn't matter, the first one killed him (he was mostly dead and running away.) Awesome shot, good die rolls, but the potential was definitely there.

Didn't really want to tell this guy to just copy my character.

So my best advice. Maximum your chances for getting crit's. Hit more often and with a bigger crit range, like TWF with twin Scimitars of Keenness!

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