Is Archer better than Fighter (Archer)?


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Grand Lodge

Is the Archer better than the Fighter (Archer) build? I ask because the Archer build doesn’t seem to provide that much of a bonus vs giving up the armor movement bonuses.

Can someone provide me with a breakdown of the benefits of going Archer vs the Fighter using a Long Bow? And how does it pan out in the long run?


What is the "Archer" if not the fighter archtype?


You can make certain Combat Maneuvers with the archer.

Safeshot means you can fire while in melee and not provoke.

The "archer" is a better archer, but it is a lesser all around combatant.

Scarab Sages

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Archer is better than Janeway, but not as good as Kirk, Picard, or Sisko.

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Imbicatus wrote:
Archer is better than Janeway, but not as good as Kirk, Picard, or Sisko.

Puhleeze!

Sisko wasn't even trusted with a command that was mobile.

And both Kirk and Picard stood on the shoulders of giants like Archer. He wrote the book on being a starship captain!

Grand Lodge

Yeah, that's what I meant. So, other than a lvl. 9 bonus for Safeshot, it looks like the Archer archetype isn't all that good. Now is there a Fighter feat that can do the same thing as Safeshot?


Point Blank Master allows you to attack without provoking. The Archer archetype doesn't really add anything.

Scarab Sages

Serious answer, I like the Mobile Fighter for Archer fighters. The additional mobility is really great for a skirmisher. I like Zen Archers more than fighters, but for fighter, Mobile Fighter is really good.


I've played the archer archetype. If you don't care about having a higher AC, then take the archetype. Also, you won't be able to get access to the gloves of dueling.

However, the archetype frees up a feat, and allows a ranged sunder, disarm, or trip maneuver. If going to high levels, volley is a nice ability.

Grand Lodge

So the Archer archetype really is a poor substitute? That’s a shame. And if its primary benefit can be bought with a single Fighter feat then maybe it this archetype needs to be rethought?

BTW, how do you guys feel about 1 level of WIZ or SOC to get Gravity Bow? Is it worth it?


Fighter(Archer) isn't that great, unless you are planning on taking advantage of the ranged CMBs you can do. If not, I think a straight Fighter (or a few other archetypes) can make a stronger overall archer than the fighter(archer).


Two spells: gravity bow and true strike. Keep Perception at maximum ranks, if campaign allows, pick up Perception as a class skill with a +1 trait bonus. Pinpoint invisible foes' square, true strike, then Vital Strike tree to skewer the bugger most thoroughly.

If you want to get really mean, go Arcane Archer. >:)


wraithstrike wrote:

You can make certain Combat Maneuvers with the archer.

Safeshot means you can fire while in melee and not provoke.

The "archer" is a better archer, but it is a lesser all around combatant.

This is not necesarily true. The archer archetype have a couple of interesting options, like the maneuvers. But a vanilla fighter also can shot without provoke and with a heavy armor and armor training he can be a tank in melee range. A weapon master would have a higher DPR.


Eric Saxon wrote:

So the Archer archetype really is a poor substitute? That’s a shame. And if its primary benefit can be bought with a single Fighter feat then maybe it this archetype needs to be rethought?

BTW, how do you guys feel about 1 level of WIZ or SOC to get Gravity Bow? Is it worth it?

The damage you will lose out by casting that spell instead of just attack, won't be made up from gravity bow.


I am playing an Fighter (Archer)/Transmuter going for Arcane Archer prestige class, i am having a great time, very much because my char isn't a constant armor user anyway (i am aiming for a Fighter 9/Transmuter 1/Arcane Archer 10 buid). Gravity Bow and True Strike may get a round going, but as the bow is my arcane focus often i cast those spells at dead rounds (rounds that i couldn't attack for lack of line of fire, and having a free masterwork composite longbow was very nice.

Grand Lodge

I use a +1 Bow Composite Longbow now and going to add the "Flexibility" enchantment for +1,000gp, that allows it to be a +anything bow, rather than just my current +2 strength.

As far as spells cast, I'm looking to DPS since I'm playing PFS, so I want this guy to hum.

Now, I'm going for the +3 total bonus first because I don't want DR to mess with me, what other items should I keep an eye out for, afterwards.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Archer is better than Janeway, but not as good as Kirk, Picard, or Sisko.

Puhleeze!

Sisko wasn't even trusted with a command that was mobile.

And both Kirk and Picard stood on the shoulders of giants like Archer. He wrote the book on being a starship captain!

Benjamin "I'M NOT PICARD!" Sisko is my favorite, BECAUSE he's such an obvious outsider, He doesn't bother to hide the outright hatred he has for Picard as the being responsible for the death of his wife, and so many of his shipmates. Unlike Kirk who's a movie icon, and Picard who's the expression of self-righteous perfection, And Janeway who tries to be a Female Shatner, Sisko is the only Starfleet commander who's actually written as a human being. Who actually embodies a role not constrained by the Starfleet uniform. Sisko is the one who exposes Picard's false Utopia for what it truly is... a world inhabited by fallible people who do their best to get along from day to day.

I'm probably one of the few Trekkies who thinks that the addition of the Defiant to the show was a detriment, not an improvement.

That, and he's a fellow Rutgers man. The first Afro-American to receive an MFA from the University. What's not to like?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Eric Saxon wrote:

I use a +1 Bow Composite Longbow now and going to add the "Flexibility" enchantment for +1,000gp, that allows it to be a +anything bow, rather than just my current +2 strength.

As far as spells cast, I'm looking to DPS since I'm playing PFS, so I want this guy to hum.

Now, I'm going for the +3 total bonus first because I don't want DR to mess with me, what other items should I keep an eye out for, afterwards.

The name of the enchantment you are talking about is Adaptive.

As far as DR goes there are much cheaper ways starting out to bypass DR. Always buy cold iron arrows, it's only 1 gp more. Buy weapon blanches (alchemical silver, adamantine and ghost salt) and apply each to a stack of 10 arrows. Buy blunt arrows. That should cover everything except slashing. I'm not saying you shouldn't upgrade your bow to +3 eventually but you can bypass DR for cheaper and use that money for a Dex belt or something else.

Grand Lodge

At lvl. 4 I've got 4 adamantite. 10 silver, 10 blunt, 10 cold iron and 20 standard. But there are magical beasts that get DR and you need +3 to overcome it, so that's my current target goal. To get it to the +4 range, I'll spend 10k for the +2 str/dex belt. Which is much cheaper than paying for the +3 -> +4 upgrade.

Scarab Sages

The belt won't help you overcome DR at all. It will give you a bonus to hit, but for overcoming DR the only thing that counts is the Enhancement bonus on the bow or arrow and what it is made of.

Personally I think the best was to overcome DR on an archer is clustered shots, but that's just me.


Agreed on clustered shots being very effective. Even if you use the archer standard of cold iron arrows, or durable ones, the feat only has the DR count as once. There is the flat barbarian style DR/- where no amount of specialty put into the arrow, like material or enhanc,ent will bypass it. But with clustered shots it doesn't matter, and as an archer your easily going to get most of your arrows to deal damage, and somewhat significant amount at that.

As for items to get : bracers of falcons aim, dueling gloves, eyes of the eagle (goggles), efficient quiver, a goz mask if possible (inner sea). also, if possible, have someone when making the efficit quiver, have a permanent abbundant ammunition spell put on the quiver. This will help stretch out the use and effectiveness of your ammo.

Different types of arrow, including: blunt arrows, durable arrows cold iron/adamantine arrows, weapon blanches of all types, smoke arrows , dye arrows.

Also, poison is a great addition to any and all arrows. Poison works best with a source that can apply multiple potion types, or the same one multiple times to increase the DC rating.


From what I've gathered the archer archetype adds versatility in your bow use (different abilities while using a bow) as well as a tiny bit more damage.

Straight fighter adds versatility in your weapon choice, allowing you to be more effective with more types of weapons, as well as allowing you to have more effective use of armor.

If you want to be really good with more than just the bow, be a straight fighter, if you want to be very versatile with just the bow as your weapon do the archer archetype.

If all you're looking for is damage, do the weapon master archetype and focus on the bow.

My personal choice would be the archer archetype. In pathfinder it is much better to focus on a single weapon than it is to have a bunch of different one. Specialization of type is rewarded more than versatility in weapon choice, and the archer archetype allows that specialization. I wouldn't choose weapon master simply because just doing damage is boring and I'd like to be able to help the party by more than just doing a ton of damage each round.

HOWEVER this is NOT the sort of advice I would give if you want to fight on the front lines. Armor training is very good if you're going to be the bruiser of the party.


Straight up Fighter with the Snap Shot line together with point Blank Master lets you tank and cover a 15' radius attack of opportunity area.

Grand Lodge

Imbicatus wrote:
The belt won't help you overcome DR at all. It will give you a bonus to hit, but for overcoming DR the only thing that counts is the Enhancement bonus on the bow or arrow and what it is made of.

You need a +3 weapon to overcome DR for most things, that's why I'm going for a +3 weapon and then going for the belt.

As far as the numbers are concerned, this is how I'm planning to buy gear:

+1 2k (+1 bow) [already bought it]
+2 6k more (8k total) (+2 bow)
+3 10k more (18k total) (+3 bow)
+4 11k more (+Adaptive + belt +2 DEX/STR)
+5 14k more (32k total) (+4 bow)
+6 18k more (50k total) (+5 bow)
+7 upgrade belt to +4 DEX/STR
etc....

Will probably buy some armor up in between just to give myself the minor AC boosts but AC is not a major factor for my PC.


Imbicatus wrote:
Serious answer, I like the Mobile Fighter for Archer fighters.

I'd suggest Dervish over even mobile fighter. I think it's from Inner Sea Primer (according to d20pfsrd.com).

-James

Grand Lodge

I don't quite understand why people are saying you need +3 to get over most DR. +3 only covers cold iron and silver. Cold iron arrows are super cheap, and so is silver weapon blanch. Adamantine blanch is also much cheaper than the arrow (though a few durable Adamantine arrows are useful for machine gun opening locks). Ghost salt weapon blanch is a few hundred gold and gives the same effect as another +1 weapon property ghost touch. The only difficult DR for you is slashing, /- , and alignment, and alignment requires a +5 weapon.


andreww wrote:
Straight up Fighter with the Snap Shot line together with point Blank Master lets you tank and cover a 15' radius attack of opportunity area.

There is a great feat to add to this: Pin Down.

If you can fit in combat patrol, that might be fun as well.

-James


Kiinyan wrote:
Ghost salt weapon blanch is a few hundred gold and gives the same effect as another +1 weapon property ghost touch.

You can't put ghost touch on a bow, unless that's been changed.

-James

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
Kiinyan wrote:
Ghost salt weapon blanch is a few hundred gold and gives the same effect as another +1 weapon property ghost touch.

You can't put ghost touch on a bow, unless that's been changed.

-James

No, but you can put one dose on 10 arrows.

Kiinyan wrote:


I don't quite understand why people are saying you need +3 to get over most DR. +3 only covers cold iron and silver. Cold iron arrows are super cheap, and so is silver weapon blanch. Adamantine blanch is also much cheaper than the arrow (though a few durable Adamantine arrows are useful for machine gun opening locks). Ghost salt weapon blanch is a few hundred gold and gives the same effect as another +1 weapon property ghost touch. The only difficult DR for you is slashing, /- , and alignment, and alignment requires a +5 weapon.

I agree. That was what I was trying to get at with the blanches. If you have those then there is no reason to get a +3 bow. You could even go further and get oil of bless weapon to cover alignment DR (good at least).


Pin down is a great feat for the snap shot line.

I still think that the archer archetype, even if behind the straight fighter for AC and damage, is still a nice option.

Being able to range trip, sunder, and disarm, and also do those for an AoO is a great option. Can't tell you how many times when I was able to get an AoO, even at higher levels, and sunder some sort of armor, or trip an easier target to set up for the other party members. At a reasonable distance. Now the a re a few more options to increase the CMB for the trick shot manuevers. It's not exceptionally high like a barbarians would be for instance, but it isn't slacking either.


I had a fun build utilizing the Archer archetype and the Called Shots rules/feats in combination with the ranged maneuvers to make a consistent ranged debuffer/controller, with called shots to vitals and ranged trip/disarm/sunders.

The build focused on accuracy more than damage, to do things like shoot the an opponent in the hand before disarming him at range, or in the foot followed by a trip attempt. Deadly Aim + weapon training + enhancement bonuses is plenty to still do decent damage when killing something quickly is best, but I loved the control of a trick shot archer.


What about a barbarian that likes to hurl BIG THINGS at their enemies?

Lantern Lodge

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Here is a build i made a while back so u can get an idea of a few things that the archer focused fighter would need or like to have.

-Race-
Human

-Class-
Fighter (Weapon Master)

-Stats 20pb-
STR 16 (+2 racial)(+2 leveling) = 20
DEX 16 (+2 leveling)(+6 item) = 24
CON 10
INT 14
WIS 09
CHA 07

-Feats-
01 Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus Composite Longbow
02 Deadly Aim
03 Rapid Shot
04 Weapon Specialization
05 Point Blank Master
06 Manyshot
07 Clustered Shots
08 Greater Weapon Focus
09 Snap Shot
10 Improved Snap Shot
11 Combat Reflexes
12 Pin Down
13 Greater Weapon Specialization
14 Hammer the Gap
15 Penetrating Strike
16 Greater Penetrating Strike
17 Vital Strike
18 Improved Vital Strike
19 Greater Vital Strike
20 Bullseye Shot

-Method-
Clustered Shots and Penetrating shot makes DR apply to the total damage from full round attacks and reduced that DR by 5/10. Snap Shot gives the ability to perform AoO and Pin Down makes it were withdraw actions and 5ft steps provoke and will force enemies that get into melee to stay in melee when needed. Vital Strike chain and Bullseye Shot ar to make use of the Weapon Master's Unstoppable Strike when forced to make only standard action attacks or when facing an enemy that's ac is so high that only one attack will hit. Unstoppable Strike btw ignores DR and hardness anf hits Touch AC.

Shadow Lodge

Sohei monks are the best archers in the game (past 6th level).

Grand Lodge

TYVM everyone, I'll keep all this in mind as I level up.


Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Sohei monks are the best archers in the game (past 6th level).

Care to expound on that? He gets a number of attacks as if TWF (thanks to flurry) and can spend ki for an extra attack. So, level 20 fighter would get 20/15/10/5 + rapid shot + many shot. Sohei would get 18/18/13/13/8/8/3/3 + ki but can't do rapid/many shot. 6 vs 9. Or 7 vs 10 with haste. Fighters get weapon training 4, heavy armor, armor training, etc.

Can the sohei get enough +attack bonus to hit with his last few shots?

Scarab Sages

Sohei gets weapon training as well, and can full attack flurry and move thanks to their mount. I like Zen Archers More than the Sohei, but Sohei are more moble.


I doubt a sohei would out damage a fighter, but I do not know. I would like to see a build for it.

Shadow Lodge

i would choose a vanilla fighter over an archer fighter, there will be times that you dont want to arch. and having a great sword (or what ever) backup will go a long way to keeping you viable in those situations.

not to mention heavy armor with full mobility.

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I use the Lore Warden archetype for my Wayang archer. Losing medium and heavy armor isn't bad since I've got high Dex and stay in the back, and in exchange I get 8 skill points per level, and have better knowledge skills than a bard at low levels.


Imbicatus wrote:
Sohei gets weapon training as well, and can full attack flurry and move thanks to their mount. I like Zen Archers More than the Sohei, but Sohei are more moble.

They get 1 less weapon training than a fighter, and I don't see anything special about their mounts. A fighter who is using a bow could easily have the same mounts a sohei has. Sure, the sohei can give it a few bonus HP, and some of his abilities(really evasion/imp. evasion is the only important one). But really, not that different.


For what its worth, I went 2 levels of Urban Barbarian for the Dexterity boost and Reckless Abandon, then 15 levels of Weapon Master for the accelerated Weapon Training class feature. Finished up the build with 3 levels of Wizard (Transmutation) for assorted useful spells and a familiar.

Worked out pretty well for me.


james maissen wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Serious answer, I like the Mobile Fighter for Archer fighters.

I'd suggest Dervish over even mobile fighter. I think it's from Inner Sea Primer (according to d20pfsrd.com).

-James

Dervish of Dawn Bard archetype is the best 'switch hitter' I've ever seen, and that doesn't even take into account spell use. It does lend itself to being more melee heavy though.

Shadow Lodge

Tarantula wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Sohei gets weapon training as well, and can full attack flurry and move thanks to their mount. I like Zen Archers More than the Sohei, but Sohei are more moble.
They get 1 less weapon training than a fighter, and I don't see anything special about their mounts. A fighter who is using a bow could easily have the same mounts a sohei has. Sure, the sohei can give it a few bonus HP, and some of his abilities(really evasion/imp. evasion is the only important one). But really, not that different.

then you realize that a sohei can flurry and many + rapid shot if he chooses to. which gives up to 3 more attacks per round then a fighter and a zen archer.

Shadow Lodge

TheSideKick wrote:
then you realize that a sohei can flurry and many + rapid shot if he chooses to. which gives up to 3 more attacks per round then a fighter and a zen archer.

And wears Gloves of Dueling (which stack with Bracers of Archery).


Sohei can't combine rapid/many with flurry.

Scarab Sages

Tarantula wrote:
Sohei can't combine rapid/many with flurry.

Why not? It doesn't state that anywhere like it does with Zen Archer's flurry.


Its not clear either way. I think using full-attack to flurry excludes using it for rapid/many shot. There was an old thread about it where it was requested for FAQ and not answered.

Zen archer shows precedent that it shouldn't be able to work, and I think the sentence in zen archer is to clarify that rapid/many doesn't work with flurry, not that it normally would if not for that sentence. As such I think it should carry over to the sohei as well.

My specific argument is that flurry states: "a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action"

While rapid shot states: "Benefit: When making a full-attack action with a ranged weapon, you can fire one additional time this round."
Manyshot: "Benefit: When making a full-attack action with a bow, your first attack fires two arrows."

Because flurry states "as a full-attack action" and not "When making a full-attack action a monk can make a flurry of blows" I do not thing it works with rapid/many shot.


Tarantula wrote:
Its not clear either way. I think using full-attack to flurry excludes using it for rapid/many shot.

So you're saying that a monk can no longer rapid shot and flurry with shurikens? Moreover that the language specifically stating the zen archer restriction is superfluous, though it is not worded as a reminder but as special rules?

-James


james maissen wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Its not clear either way. I think using full-attack to flurry excludes using it for rapid/many shot.

So you're saying that a monk can no longer rapid shot and flurry with shurikens? Moreover that the language specifically stating the zen archer restriction is superfluous, though it is not worded as a reminder but as special rules?

-James

I never thought they could. I always have though flurry was exclusive from rapid/multishot. Much like how vital strike is its own special attack action and is therefore exclusive from other granted attacks (charge, AoOs).

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