Talk me out of an Archer summoner


Advice

Silver Crusade

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So I want to start something off the beaten path in PFS. I really want to do an archer. I am thinking a Dex and CHA summoner. None of any archer guides out there ever say its plausible with a summoner. I am starting to agree.

I would really like to use a long bow, light leather armor, have high stealth for surpise attacks, and conjur a creature for tanking and flanking for the group. I dont care about spells or buffing all that much.

Only problem is that at level 1, I wont be able to have a long bow with precise shot no matter which race I take. This means I will have to play the first 6 scenarios really gimped on my bow.

I am sort of talking myself out of it unless I take fighter at first level and then summoner at 2 and beyond.

Yes I know I'm a mess.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

You can use a trait to gain proficiency with a longbow, so as a human you can get Precise Shot at level 1. You'll still be behind on feats compared to a martial archer, but since you can cast haste as soon as level 4, you could get by without taking Rapid Shot. Pick up Deadly Aim at 3 and Weapon Focus at 5, and at level 5 you could be attacking at +9/+9 for 1d8+Str+4 each with haste up.

Scarab Sages

RainyDayNinja wrote:
You can use a trait to gain proficiency with a longbow, so as a human you can get Precise Shot at level 1. You'll still be behind on feats compared to a martial archer, but since you can cast haste as soon as level 4, you could get by without taking Rapid Shot. Pick up Deadly Aim at 3 and Weapon Focus at 5, and at level 5 you could be attacking at +9/+9 for 1d8+Str+4 each with haste up.

Plus, if you really want to be curious, take the Serpent form of eidolon (higher dex) - give it arms, and you can have the two of you shooting - he might be using a light crossbow at low levels (I think a feat is better than 4 evolution points for a long bow - but I think a simple weapon is only 2) and your haste could help you both -or a biped that throws things with quick draw.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Sounds like a fine concept. A lot of people think of summoners as pure spellcasters, but they have 3/4 BAB. I've had one player sit at my table with a summoner and eidolon team, both of whom had archery feats. Worked pretty well.

I think he had one level of (Zen Archer) monk.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The only trait that I know of that gives you proficiency with a bow is Hunter's Eye from the Andoran Faction.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Yeebin wrote:

ls or buffing all that much.

Only problem is that at level 1, I wont be able to have a long bow with precise shot no matter which race I take. This means I will have to play the first 6 scenarios really gimped on my bow.

Play an Elf. You get bow proficiency gratis. Take your point blank shot at 1st level and you can have precise at 3rd. You'll never be a great archer, but given that you are a Summoner, it won't matter.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

Sounds like you might want to be an elf to snag that proficiency. You'll probably be fine with a CHA of 14, with a +2 item you'll be able to cast your 6th level spells. Get a decent DEX (16 shouldn't be difficult if you go elf), and then an equally decent STR.

You can turn your eidolon into a mount for mobility, a skill monkey, or really anything you want. Or you can forgo having him out and just enjoy summoning as a standard.

The first few games will be rough, but focus on targets not engaged in combat with anyone else. Given the choice between your one bow attack (+3 or 4 for 1d8+3 or 4) in melee (-8 to that hit), it'd recommend summoning a dog instead. Summoning as a standard is pretty broken. It's effectively like a new melee attack, but at range!


Andoran faction trait: Hunter's Eye makes you an Erastil worshipper and gives you longbow proficiency.


Doesn't necessarily make you a worshiper, just someone who was blessed by him (though to be honest why you wouldn't worship someone who blessed you is beyond me).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Heirloom Weapon trait (Adv Armory) has an option to make you proficient in a martial weapon.

For summoner, most of your buffs are defensive in nature. So you'll want to max out UMD to use things like wands of Gravity Bow, scrolls of magic weapon, etc.

You'll want an Adapative Bow (+1,000gp) so that the STR of your bow can adjust on its own - great for when you cast Alter Self and Bull Strength on yourself.

At level 7, be sure to pick up the spell Heroism (+2 to hit, saves, skills).

You may also want to use a trait to pick up Perception as a class skill, since archers generally need to get that up high. Also a magic item to confer Low Light Vision (and carry potions of Darkvision).

For feats, I'd recommend putting off Deadly Aim - it is a function of BAB, and since you're on the 3/4 track, it's not as immediately useful as Rapid Shot.

I'd imagine as Human, you're feats would be:

1: point blank, precise shot
3: rapid shot
5: deadly aim
7: weapon focus
9: manyshot or cluster shot
11: improved critical

I think it will be a very interesting character. You will probably not deal the raw damage of a Fighter, Ranger, or Zen Archer - but you'll be effective, AND you'll have the pure versatility of your summons and/or Eidolon. If you max out UMD, you have a lot of potential Buffing options others will not.

If you stat your Eidolon out with skills (as opposed to a damage monkey), it will turn you into an Archer + Rogue (the Eidolon could max out Disable Device, Perception, Stealth, Knowledges, etc.). Again, you have the potential of making a very useful and versatile character.

Kudos and best luck!


Summoner/Aracher is viable for sure. Archery is strong by level 9 with Many Shot for all classes...with the correct feat chain. I haven't checked them all, but you can probably make a solid archer from every class in the game.

The only downsides to Archery for non-traditional archers is having to avoide provoking with bow shots and late entry into improved precise shot.


Yeebin wrote:

So I want to start something off the beaten path in PFS. I really want to do an archer. I am thinking a Dex and CHA summoner. None of any archer guides out there ever say its plausible with a summoner. I am starting to agree.

I would really like to use a long bow, light leather armor, have high stealth for surpise attacks, and conjur a creature for tanking and flanking for the group. I dont care about spells or buffing all that much.

Only problem is that at level 1, I wont be able to have a long bow with precise shot no matter which race I take. This means I will have to play the first 6 scenarios really gimped on my bow.

I am sort of talking myself out of it unless I take fighter at first level and then summoner at 2 and beyond.

Yes I know I'm a mess.

The most powerful character I've ever made or played was a standard Summoner 19/Dragoon 1 who either fought side-by-side with his eidolon or fought mounted upon it. Absolutely crushing.

If it worked so well as a melee type, I'd think you could build it pretty effectively as a ranged type, but there are other options... unfortunately, my advice is limited by my lack of knowledge of what's legal in PFS. For instance though, consider a Sorcerer.

Make an Elven Fey Sorcerer and go with the Sylvan Wildblooded version. That gives you an animal companion (grab Boon Companion), the ability to use Improved Invisibility as a spell-like ability. Then you have spells to augment your archery skills like Cat's Grace, Gravity Bow, Arrow Eruption, etc. And you can still grab Summoning spells if you like.

I'd still reccomend a level or two of Fighter for the bonus feats to jump start your archery since the spells you'd want to cast are all low level anyway.

Silver Crusade

Awesome. I'll be playing around with some specs for sure. This community is so helpful to newbies. I really appreciate it.


I have an archer druid that has many of the same synergies/issues as an archer summoner would have. She's pretty awesome, and the archery goes a long, long way in helping her conserve her spells for when the party really needs them.

I would caution you about deadly aim. Deadly aim is suitable for a full BAB archer, but it is easy to end up with less overall damage potential with a less than full BAB archer that also is feat starved.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You could do all of that as a bard.


I'm new to society, so bear with me.

Couldn't you take Heirloom Weapon? To get your proficiency in Longbow? I think it's from the Adventurer's Armoury.

Going Human would get you the feats for Point Blank and Precise Shot. By level 3 you could snag Arcane Strike, level 5 nets you Weapon Focus and level 7 Rapid Shot to leads into Many Shot at level 9. Deadly Aim could be snagged at level 11 and your done with your archer feats.
Slower than a martial class, but not much slower than an archer bard or cleric. Your spell casting will probably amount to buffing and support, so you probably won't need a Charisma higher than 14 (13 at the start maybe?), which leaves more room for more Dexterity and Strength.
You could do a Fighter dip if you wanted, but it wouldn't change your end BAB, and it would weaken your Eidolon, which would be undesirable if you were also running that one as an archer, as you would lose too much.

Running an archer Eidolon would technically also net you more archery ability than rolling an equivalent martial one, as you'd have 2 archers on the field instead of one. It's archery abilities can match pace with your own, though it has fewer feats to work with.
If your running one, I agree with Dhjika, the Serpentine form looks to be the best, higher dex and the ability to be used as a mount to boot, makes it an attractive choice. The slower speed is easily offset by adding more legs or adding flight.
Can an Eidolon with 4+ arms use 2+ (cross)bows? If so, a Kali like naga would be an intimidating pincushioner. If not, oh well.

Silver Crusade

According to the description on the link of Heirloom Wep, you would only get +1 or +2 if you had an AoO or CBM respectively. I would not think that it would add wep proficiency.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Don't do it.

See, that was easy.


Yeebin wrote:
According to the description on the link of Heirloom Wep, you would only get +1 or +2 if you had an AoO or CBM respectively. I would not think that it would add wep proficiency.

Heirloom Weapon:
You carry a non-masterwork simple or martial weapon that has been passed down from generation to generation in your family.

*Benefit: When you select this trait, choose one of the following benefits:

-proficiency with that specific weapon
-a +1 trait bonus on attacks of opportunity with that specific weapon
-a +2 trait bonus on one kind of combat maneuver when using that specific weapon.
Note: You pay the standard gp cost for the weapon.

Actually, you get a choice of proficiency or one of the other two.
You still need to buy the weapon though.
[edit]It appears that you can't enchant an Heirloom Weapon in PFS using the Masterwork Transformation route at this point in time, makes no sense to me, and no don't try to explain it, I don't want to derail this thing, still you could use Magic Weapon spells and Magic Arrows to get around that limitation.[/edit]

Silver Crusade

Here is my 2 cents... Do this, the end game is amazing and the amount of arrows that you and your eidolon will fire per round will turn heads.

Here is my quick Herolab build,

Archer:
Summoner Archer
Male Human (Ulfen) Summoner 12
LG Medium Humanoid (human)
Init +9; Senses bond senses (12 rounds/day), low-light vision; Perception +0
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 22, touch 15, flat-footed 17 (+7 armor, +5 Dex)
hp 87 (12d8+24)
Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +8
Defensive Abilities greater shield ally (+4 ac/saves, +2 for allies); Resist fire 15, greater shield ally (+4 ac/saves, +2 for allies)
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged +3 Adaptive Composite longbow (Str +0) +16/+16/+11 (1d8+6/19-20/x3)
Spell-Like Abilities
6/day—Summon Monster VI (6/day)
Summoner Spells Known (CL 12):
4 (3/day) Major Creation, Insect Plague, Infernal Healing, Greater, Purified Calling
3 (5/day) Invisibility, Greater, Heroism, Protection from Energy, Fly
2 (6/day) Haste, Cat's Grace, Bull's Strength, Invisibility, Alter Self
1 (6/day) Shield, Expeditious Retreat, Protection from Evil, Grease (DC 14), Jump, Feather Fall (DC 14)
0 (at will) Open/Close (DC 13), Detect Magic, Mending, Guidance, Message, Light
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 16, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +9; CMB +12; CMD 27
Feats Improved Critical (Longbow), Improved Initiative, Manyshot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus (Longbow)
Traits Ease of Faith, Hunter's Eye (Longbow)
Skills Diplomacy +19, Fly +15, Knowledge (planes) +17, Linguistics +17, Spellcraft +10, Use Magic Device +18
Languages Abyssal, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Hallit, Ignan, Infernal, Protean, Senzar, Shoanti, Skald, Sylvan, Terran, Thassilonian
SQ aspects (low-light vision, resistance, fire 15), eidolon link, life link, maker's call/transposition (2/day), share spells with eidolon
Other Gear +3 Mithral Chain shirt, +3 Adaptive Composite longbow (Str +0), Belt of incredible dexterity +4, Headband of alluring charisma +2, 37100 GP
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Bond Senses (12 rounds/day) (Ex) As a standard action, you can share Eidolon's senses while on same plane.
Damage Resistance, Fire (15) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Fire attacks.
Eidolon Link (Ex) Mental link allows communication over any distance, but share magic item slots.
Greater Shield Ally (+4 AC/Saves, +2 for allies) (Ex) +4 AC and save when within Eidolon's reach. Allies gain +2.
Hunter's Eye (Longbow) You do not suffer a penalty for the second range increment when using a longbow or shortbow.
Life Link (Su) Damage that dismisses Eidolon can be taken by you. It weakens if not in 100 ft.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.

Eidolon:
Snake Archer
Serpentine
LG Medium Outsider
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +20
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 31, touch 19, flat-footed 22 (+9 Dex, +12 natural)
hp 67 (+18)
Fort +4, Ref +15, Will +6 (+4 morale bonus vs. Enchantment spells and effects)
Defensive Abilities evasion; Resist acid 15, cold 15, electricity 15, fire 15
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 20 ft., climbing (20 feet)
Melee Bite (1 extra at -5) (Bite) +8 (1 extra at -5) (1d6+2/x2) and
Tail slap (Tail Slap) +8 (1d6+2/x2)
Ranged +1 Adaptive Composite longbow (Str +0) +17/+17/+12 (1d8+5/x3)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 18, Dex 28, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +9; CMB +13; CMD 32 (can't be Tripped)
Feats Martial Weapon Proficiency (Longbow), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +26 (+28 to balance, +22 jump), Climb +21, Perception +20, Stealth +21; Racial Modifiers tail
Languages Common
SQ devotion +4, multiattack / extra attack
Other Gear +1 Adaptive Composite longbow (Str +0), You have no money!
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Climbing (20 feet) You have a Climb speed.
Damage Resistance, Acid (15) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Acid attacks.
Damage Resistance, Cold (15) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Cold attacks.
Damage Resistance, Electricity (15) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Electricity attacks.
Damage Resistance, Fire (15) You have the specified Damage Resistance against Fire attacks.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Devotion +4 (Ex) +4 Morale bonus on Will Saves vs. Enchantments.
Evasion (Ex) No damage on successful reflex save.
Multiattack / Extra Attack Multiattack or second attack with primary weapon at a -5 penalty.
Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
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.
Tail (Ex) Tail grants +2 Acrobatics checks for balance.

By my calculations with you both using Rapid Shot you are looking at 6 arrows a round, before Haste or other buffs

Grand Lodge

@Tumskunde: Actually, you can go the Heirloom Weapon, Masterwork Transformation, enchanted weapon route.

Main thing to remember on that route, since you have to buy the longbow early, is that either you are going to spend most of your money for a long time on that bow, or you should go a different way.

Remember that it is either not going to ever be able to include your Strength mod to damage (regular longbow) or cost 2/3rds of your starting money for a Composite Longbow (Str +0), and need to get the Adaptive enhancement from UE later.

If you go Andoran/Hunter's Eye for longbow proficiency, you can then spend two of your PP to get a masterwork darkwood composite longbow with up to a +3 Str adder, or a masterwork greenwood composite longbow up to a +2 Str adder.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

have you ever played a summoner before? i like that you're thinking outside of the box (and think the summoners are powerful enough that you can get away with it)- my concern is that you may end up investing a lot into archery and then not really using it, or getting frustrated with it... a well built eidolon can rival a straight class fighter in damage output; that means your bow damage will be embarrassing compared to what your pet is doing. there may be times when your bow does that last little bit of damage that you need to drop an enemy the eidolon couldn't quite finish off, but more likely you're going to discover that the best uses for your actions in combat are for buffing and healing your combat monster (and at 10th dimension dooring it into position); if/when that happens you'll be upset that you wasted so many feats/traits on a weapon you rarely use.

obviously your experience might be different, but my best advice (for whatever its worth) if you want an atypical summoner is to use a reach weapon instead... summoners are already proficient with the longspear- take combat reflexes at first (and weapon focus at 3rd) and you can do damage with your AoOs and still have your actual turn for casting (or using your SLA).


Bow damage from a level 9 character with the Feats to match, ie, Many Shot at L9 is anything but embarrassing. The only issue I'd have with playing archer/summoner is that at some point you just get tired of playing archers...


Tumskunde wrote:
Yeebin wrote:
According to the description on the link of Heirloom Wep, you would only get +1 or +2 if you had an AoO or CBM respectively. I would not think that it would add wep proficiency.

** spoiler omitted **

Actually, you get a choice of proficiency or one of the other two.
You still need to buy the weapon though.
[edit]It appears that you can't enchant an Heirloom Weapon in PFS using the Masterwork Transformation route at this point in time, makes no sense to me, and no don't try to explain it, I don't want to derail this thing, still you could use Magic Weapon spells and Magic Arrows to get around that limitation.[/edit]

Well, you don't get a weapon proficiency, you just know how to use that specific weapon (proficient with that specific weapon, and only that specific weapon, so hope you don't meet any enemy with sunder, or a thief ect.)

Silver Crusade

nate lange wrote:
obviously your experience might be different, but my best advice (for whatever its worth) if you want an atypical summoner is to use a reach weapon instead... summoners are already proficient with the longspear- take combat reflexes at first (and weapon focus at 3rd) and you can do damage with your AoOs and still have your actual turn for casting (or using your SLA).

My battle cleric already uses this approach. And it is fun to play. Unfortunately I don't get to attack all that much as I'm usually channeling and healing by round 2-3.

Havoq wrote:
Bow damage from a level 9 character with the Feats to match, ie, Many Shot at L9 is anything but embarrassing. The only issue I'd have with playing archer/summoner is that at some point you just get tired of playing archers...

This will be my first archer and at this point its all I want to play. I am not interested in going fighter or ranger so I can't imagine I will get tired of being an archer. I am not looking at this PC as a caster but rather an archer with conjuration abilities. I think I am going to build the edilon as tank or flank creature rather than a dps or ranged.


There's nothing to be talked out of. If you can get longbow proficiency with a trait, it works just fine. Otherwise, I'd take a one level dip in something else (either fighter or divine hunter paladin). Being an elf doesn't help, as you lose the human bonus feat.

If you go with the one level dip, you can do without being a human, in which case you could play as a halfling. That gives you a dex and cha bonus (although the strength penalty isn't that great, but you can live with it) and the ability to use your eidolon as a mount from level one. It may not be what you want though, but I thought it should be mentioned as mounted archery tends to work quite well. It's not as powerful as letting your eidolon roam free (since eidolons are really powerful), but that doesn't necessarily make it a bad option.

Also, don't forget arcane strike!

Silver Crusade

Well here goes. Tomorrow is my first scenario...Here's what I got. My idea for this PC is a young girl who never could quite learn how to mimic her father's aptitude for the sword. She was however, very agile and learned the bow very quickly. Her natural ability for magic has led her to learn how to summon a clone of herself who is very strong and very capable of handling the sword she's always wished she could learn. After all, she has come to the pathfinder's to make her Father proud despite his clear favoritism of her brother.

Summoner Archer:

Fumbles
Female Human (Taldan) Summoner 1
LG Medium Humanoid (human)
Init +4; Senses Perception +0
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+3 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 9 (1d8+1)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +2
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Cold Iron Light mace +1 (1d6+1/x2)
Ranged Longbow +4 (1d8/x3)
Spell-Like Abilities
. . 5/day—Summon Monster I (5/day)
Summoner Spells Known (CL 1):
1 (2/day) Expeditious Retreat, Mage Armor
0 (at will) Guidance, Open/Close (DC 12), Detect Magic, Light
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 13, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14
Base Atk +0; CMB +1; CMD 15
Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Traits Highlander (hills or mountains), Hunter's Eye (Longbow)
Skills Acrobatics +3, Climb +0, Escape Artist +3, Fly +3, Profession (woodcutter) +4, Ride +3, Stealth +8 (+10 in hilly or rocky areas), Swim +0, Use Magic Device +6; Racial Modifiers highlander (hills or mountains)
Languages Common
SQ eidolon link, life link, share spells with eidolon
Other Gear Studded leather armor, Cold Iron Arrows (50), Cold Iron Light mace, Longbow, 15 GP
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Eidolon Link (Ex) Mental link allows communication over any distance, but share magic item slots.
Highlander (hills or mountains) +1 to Stealth checks, Stealth is always a class skill for you. Double this in hilly or rocky areas.
Hunter's Eye (Longbow) You do not suffer a penalty for the second range increment when using a longbow or shortbow.
Life Link (Su) Damage that dismisses Eidolon can be taken by you. It weakens if not in 100 ft.
Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Share Spells with Eidolon (Ex) Your spells ignore type restrictions for Eidolon and it can recieve your personal spells.
Summon Monster I (5/day) (Sp) Standard action summon lasts minutes, but only 1 active at a time and can't use with eidolon.

--------------------

Shyla
Female Biped (Claws)
LG Medium Outsider
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 7 (+2)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +2
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Claw x2 (Claws) -1 x2 (1d4+1/x2) and
. . Greataxe +4 (1d12+4/x3)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 16, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +1; CMB +4; CMD 15
Feats Martial Weapon Proficiency (Greataxe)
Skills Bluff +4, Perception +12, Sense Motive +4, Stealth +13
Languages Common
Other Gear Greataxe, You have no money!
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).

Silver Crusade

Too late to change much...
However, it amuses me a lot, so here's something silly:
Paladin(Divine Hunter) 2/Summoner X

Get the huge boost to saves, BAB, and proficiencies as well as bonus weapon related feats. Who cares about the armor anyway. Yes, you are two levels behind on summoning and casting, but once a day you can ignore DR from Smite Evil.

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