How do archer characters do so much damage?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 103 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Hiya all,

Considering that ranged weapons don't benefit from strength bonus (unless a specially constructed composite bow), how do Rangers, Inquisitors and other ranged specialists do so much damage? What feats, class abilities, and/or other means do these classes have to pump out so much damage? I'm looking at possibly playing an Inquisitor, so I'm curious.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The main thing is that they can unleash full round attacks without having to move, allowing them to get all of their attacks in much more often than their melee counterparts.

The feat Deadly Aim functions like Power Attack for ranged options, and adds considerable damage to your hits.

Lastly, class abilities stack up damage pretty well, Paladins add smite (and bypass DR), rangers get to add in favored enemy, inquisitors get judgments, and fighters get weapon specializations.


Well out of the box you've got feats like Point Blank Shot that grants a +1 to hit and damage wintin 30' Deadly Aim si the Power Attack for a bow. And your Inquisitor judgements work for all levels of combat.

I'm playing an archer in our current campaign and just with PBS, Precise, Rapid shot and Deadly Aim I'm getting decent dadmage and can either focus on single shots with more impact or several arrows to spread it out.

Scarab Sages

Archers tend to get lots of attacks (rapid shot, multi-shot, those things), so any ability that gives you extra stuff per hit (favored enemy, weapon training, bane, smite evil) becomes very powerful very quickly. Add in the fact that archers only rarely need to move (so lots of full attacks) and you get lots of damage.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HeHateMe wrote:


Hiya all,

Considering that ranged weapons don't benefit from strength bonus (unless a specially constructed composite bow), how do Rangers, Inquisitors and other ranged specialists do so much damage? What feats, class abilities, and/or other means do these classes have to pump out so much damage? I'm looking at possibly playing an Inquisitor, so I'm curious.

Well for one...they use those specially constructed Composite bows (or if they have at least an 18 Str, probably shell out 1000 gp for an Adaptive bow since it's cheaper at that point I think).

Throw in weapon enhancement and you're tossing out roughly 1d8+6 or so at level 10-11 (with 16 Str and a +3 weapon).

Doesn't sound like a whole bunch until you get into the sheer number of attacks an archer can crank out.

At 11th a Ranger will have 3 attack from BaB, plus one from Rapid Shot, plus extra damage on the first shot from Manyshot, for a total of 5 "attacks" (though only 4 attack rolls). Point Blank shot adds an extra +1 within 30 feet. Deadly Aim will be adding another +6 damage.

So that jumps up to 5d8+65 right there, which is a respectable amount. 4d8+52 for the Inquisitor (only gets 1 Iterative at that level). More for an Archer focused Fighter because of Weapon Training (and probably Gloves of Dueling), somewhere in the ballpark of 5d8+85 or so.

But the real damage comes in when you factor in class abilities like Favored Enemy (against a primary FE, the Ranger will be doing an extra 6 damage per shot) and Judgement/Bane (an extra 2d6+2 damage on each shot just from Bane, and an extra +3 damage or so from Destruction Judgement I think it's called).

It racks up pretty quick.


Archery works off adding bonus damage to each of your many attacks.

Inquisitors aren't actually that great of archers. Despite everything trying to tell you they are meant to be archers, they don't do it that well: they have no reliable bonus damage beyond Bane and Destruction, which doesn't make up for medium BAB, and archery is also feat intense, but they have no bonus feats.

Rangers work because they get lots of bonus feats with no requirements, plus a OK source of extra damage in Favored Enemy.

Paladins work because they add their Paladin level to damage (which great on its own), and can cast Litany of Righteousness to DOUBLE their damage.


The other thing is the relative ease of acquiring ammunition that overcomes various types of DR, as opposed to trying to do the same with melee weapons

Combine that point with the feat Clustered Shots, and you are pretty much ready to make a mockery of any sort of damage reduction

Sczarni

Keep in mind that Deadly Aim is not always a good choice for a 3/4 BAB progression.

Especially early on... Archery has a lot of penalties that must be overcome (cover, partial cover, firing into melee) before you start trading away attack bonus for extra damage.

I'd get the building block feats out of the way before even considering Deadly Aim. If you're tight for feats (which you will be), Deadly Aim is one you can skip and not miss too much if you are a 3/4 BAB.


So who makes the best archer?


Also for the sake of this threads point. Mounted archery is damn near cheating because you're essentially a mobile turret.


Chaotic Fighter wrote:
So who makes the best archer?

I am quite fond of paladins, as their smite bypasses DR.


In order of consistency/reliability:

1.) Fighter
2.) Ranger
3.) Bard
4.) Inquisitor
5.) Paladin

In order of sheer potential damage:

1.) Paladin
2.) Ranger
3.) Fighter
4.) Inquisitor
5.) Bard

I haven't actually seen a Zen Archer Monk in action but I'd assume it falls somewhere between Ranger and Inquisitor in consistency and around Inquisitor level in sheer damage too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Also for the sake of this threads point. Mounted archery is damn near cheating because you're essentially a mobile turret.

How is it cheating? There's a -4 to hit penalty for firing while mounted, -8 while moving, and even after taking the Mounted Combat and Mounted Archery feats it only drops down to -2(-4). Plus you have to put points into the Ride skill.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Chaotic Fighter wrote:
So who makes the best archer?

Very dependent upon the level you're talking about and the campaign itself. Hard to go wrong with the ol' Zen Archer, but Luring Cavaliers and Paladins pack a lot of punch, and Rangers get more built in feats. Sohei gets the largest number of attacks possible, but he's junk until 6th level.


So what are your guys thoughts on the Arcane Archer? The abilities seem pretty useful, except for the 1 level dip required into Sorcerer/Wizard/Witch/Magus /Bard to get the casting requirement.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Also for the sake of this threads point. Mounted archery is damn near cheating because you're essentially a mobile turret.
How is it cheating? There's a -4 to hit penalty for firing while mounted, -8 while moving, and even after taking the Mounted Combat and Mounted Archery feats it only drops down to -2(-4). Plus you have to put points into the Ride skill.

Your numbers are way off. The -4 is for firing while taking a double move, and the -8 is for firing while your mount runs. You can have your mount move its normal movement (usually twice anyone else's anyway) and full attack penalty free, without ever having to make a Ride check beyond DC 5, which shouldn't even require rolling for an archer.


Zen Archer's are actually pretty nasty archers. They can add Wis to damage (which is pretty nice), They get a good amount of bonus feats (which is also nice since the bonus feats tend to be front loaded), and they use their unarmed damage for the Arrows, which is SUPER nice.


Ssalarn wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Also for the sake of this threads point. Mounted archery is damn near cheating because you're essentially a mobile turret.
How is it cheating? There's a -4 to hit penalty for firing while mounted, -8 while moving, and even after taking the Mounted Combat and Mounted Archery feats it only drops down to -2(-4). Plus you have to put points into the Ride skill.
Your numbers are way off. The -4 is for firing while taking a double move, and the -8 is for firing while your mount runs. You can have your mount move its normal movement (usually twice anyone else's anyway) and full attack penalty free, without ever having to make a Ride check beyond DC 5, which shouldn't even require rolling for an archer.

He's right you know. My Luring cavalier never needed to take a double move so I really didn't have a problem.

Silver Crusade

How do Zen Archers add WIS to damage?


Also, one of the best feats in combat is clustered shot. All your ranged damage is totaled BEFORE subtracting DR. I don't know of a melee equivalent. Across several attacks, that can be 50 damage you've "lost" to DR alone.


lucky7 wrote:
How do Zen Archers add WIS to damage?

Ki Arrows (Su)

At 5th level, a zen archer may spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action to change the damage dice of arrows he shoots to that of his unarmed strikes. This lasts until the start of his next turn. For example, a Medium zen archer’s short bow normally deals 1d6 damage; using this ability, his arrows deal 1d8 damage until the start of his next turn.

This ability replaces purity of body.


What makes the ranged good is that they're the only kind of fighters that get to take full attacks regularly. While on paper a two hander with a high strength looks good compared to the archer, when you actually play it that two hander is running all over Densas green earth trying to find things to kill, and losing attacks in the process.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
lucky7 wrote:
How do Zen Archers add WIS to damage?

Ki Arrows (Su)

At 5th level, a zen archer may spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action to change the damage dice of arrows he shoots to that of his unarmed strikes. This lasts until the start of his next turn. For example, a Medium zen archer’s short bow normally deals 1d6 damage; using this ability, his arrows deal 1d8 damage until the start of his next turn.

This ability replaces purity of body.

That doesn't add his WIS to damage though. The only way to do that is to use Elemental fist attacks through his bow which he can't do until level 17. But. A level 17 Zen archer with Mythic Elemental Fist would be insane.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My bad I read it wrong, they can use their Wis instead Dex for Hit with a Bow. This lets them pump up their Wis a bit more to get even more Ki points.

The other big things with the Zen Archer though is the ability to ignore Cover or concealment at higher levels by using Ki:

Trick Shot (Su)

At 11th level, a zen archer may hit targets that he might otherwise miss. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, the zen archer can ignore concealment. By spending 2 points, he can ignore total concealment or cover. By spending 3 points, he can ignore total cover, even firing arrows around corners. The arrow must still be able to reach the target; a target inside a closed building with no open doors or windows cannot be attacked. These effects last for 1 round.

This ability replaces diamond body.

This allows them to make shots that, for other archers, would be near impossible to do.

Additionally, the Zen Archer gains the use of Perfect Strike with a bow which is extremely useful for your later iterative attacks (the ability to roll 3 times, only zen archers get this, makes the stats more in your favor).

The Zen Archer's ability to make AoO with a bow with is especially handy as well.

You also cannot forget the fact that the Zen Archer can stack with Qinggong Monk (like every other archetype) and can take advantage of some of the nice abilities of available to them (true Strike seems to be a good candidate).

Also there is the nice little tibit that allows Zen Archers to have the rediculous range (especially combined with True Strike. ) by using a Ki poin to extend their range Increment by 50 ft. This could allow a zen archer to hit someone while not even being on the map.


Rynjin wrote:
Well for one...they use those specially constructed Composite bows (or if they have at least an 18 Str, probably shell out 1000 gp for an Adaptive bow since it's cheaper at that point I think).

Actually, an adaptive bow is more expensive than standard composite Str-bonus-based out until you're Str 30 (+10 * 100 gp).

However, you still want it because it means you never get penalized for not having enough strength or get caught unable to use all your strength, no matter what powers and abilities are jerking your Str score up and down.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
What makes the ranged good is that they're the only kind of fighters that get to take full attacks regularly. While on paper a two hander with a high strength looks good compared to the archer, when you actually play it that two hander is running all over Densas green earth trying to find things to kill, and losing attacks in the process.

Unless you're a Barbarian.

In which case, let the good times roll.

see wrote:


Actually, an adaptive bow is more expensive than standard composite Str-bonus-based out until you're Str 30 (+10 * 100 gp).

However, you still want it because it means you never get penalized for not having enough strength or get caught unable to use all your strength, no matter what powers and abilities are jerking your Str score up and down.

I always thought it was 300 GP per point of Str for some reason. Hm.


Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
lucky7 wrote:
How do Zen Archers add WIS to damage?

Ki Arrows (Su)

At 5th level, a zen archer may spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action to change the damage dice of arrows he shoots to that of his unarmed strikes. This lasts until the start of his next turn. For example, a Medium zen archer’s short bow normally deals 1d6 damage; using this ability, his arrows deal 1d8 damage until the start of his next turn.

This ability replaces purity of body.

That doesn't add his WIS to damage though. The only way to do that is to use Elemental fist attacks through his bow which he can't do until level 17. But. A level 17 Zen archer with Mythic Elemental Fist would be insane.

You're right. I had a moment.

It's fairly common for Zen archers to invest in a guided bow as early as possible.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
lucky7 wrote:
How do Zen Archers add WIS to damage?

Ki Arrows (Su)

At 5th level, a zen archer may spend 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action to change the damage dice of arrows he shoots to that of his unarmed strikes. This lasts until the start of his next turn. For example, a Medium zen archer’s short bow normally deals 1d6 damage; using this ability, his arrows deal 1d8 damage until the start of his next turn.

This ability replaces purity of body.

That doesn't add his WIS to damage though. The only way to do that is to use Elemental fist attacks through his bow which he can't do until level 17. But. A level 17 Zen archer with Mythic Elemental Fist would be insane.

You're right. I had a moment.

It's fairly common for Zen archers to invest in a guided bow as early as possible.

Wat would be the point of the guided property on a bow, may I ask?

It replaces your STR mod for attack and damage only, therefore is useless to anyone with a bow because they use no mod, or their mod is attached to a composite bow which still would require a str score


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Also for the sake of this threads point. Mounted archery is damn near cheating because you're essentially a mobile turret.
How is it cheating? There's a -4 to hit penalty for firing while mounted, -8 while moving, and even after taking the Mounted Combat and Mounted Archery feats it only drops down to -2(-4). Plus you have to put points into the Ride skill.
Your numbers are way off. The -4 is for firing while taking a double move, and the -8 is for firing while your mount runs. You can have your mount move its normal movement (usually twice anyone else's anyway) and full attack penalty free, without ever having to make a Ride check beyond DC 5, which shouldn't even require rolling for an archer.
He's right you know. My Luring cavalier never needed to take a double move so I really didn't have a problem.

Huh, you're right, I've been doing it wrong.

Lantern Lodge

I've played a Zen Archer in an AP and it was awesome. In addition to all kinds of nice abilities, Zen Archers get A LOT of free feats:

They get bonus feats at levels 1,2,6,10,14,18 like regular monks, but use them to get: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Far Shot, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Rapid Shot. Or at Level 6+: Focused Shot*, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Mobility, and Parting Shot*. Or at Level 10+: Improved Critical, Pinpoint Targeting, Shot on the Run, and Snatch Arrows. So by Level 10, you have 4 free feats to select. Note that some of the feats are mostly useless, except as pre-requisites (such as Rapid Shot and Manyshot).

THEN, you also get the following feats:

Level 1: Perfect Strike (usable with a bow)
Level 2: Weapon Focus with your bow
Level 3: Point Blank Master (no AOO for firing bow)
Level 6: Weapon Specialization with your bow

So, by Level 10, you get 8 free feats (good ones) + your 5 PC feats that you get at odd levels. PLUS you get monk abilities (like unarmed combat, 3 good saves, fast movement, slow fall) PLUS you get a bunch of Archery related powers (Ki pool stuff, ability to use WIS to hit, Flurry of Shots, AOOs using bow).

Note that the combination of Point Blank Master and being a monk means, at level 3, you're pretty much as functional as any melee character. You can shoot in melee without triggering an AOO, you still get AOOs using your unarmed combat (unlike most archers), AND you can still (unlike a melee character) reach out and hit someone 100' away.

Fun, fun, fun. But like any Monk, very MAD. You also have to deal with the Armor Class issues as you can't wear armor. While you only have a 3/4 BAB, Flurry of Shots largely negates that issue.


The Sohei also merits a look. At low levels they aren't spectacular, but starting at level 6 they can chose from among several weapon groups including bows to flurry with and unlike the zen archer they can stack flurry with rapid shot and manyshot. That gives them more shots at their highest attack bonus than anyone else even if the bonus itself is lower.


Rynjin, why did barbarian not make your list as an archer?

I love the one I play in pfs, urban barbarian/invulnerable rager

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Archery has a lot of feats, I'm actually not too surprised. Fighter is #1 for that reason, even more so if you take the archer fighter archetype.

Rangers get combat style for their archery, which is fine but doesn't make the best archers.

Paladin are the only ones keeping up damage wise to the fighter and to be fair their increased damage do come up fairly often, in a regular campaign you are most likely going to fight evil creatures/npcs. Divine Hunter Paladin have also the advantage of getting all the cool feats straight out of the box.

Silver Crusade

deuxhero wrote:
Inquisitors aren't actually that great of archers. Despite everything trying to tell you they are meant to be archers,.

Inquisitors are just as good without a bow. They are not an exclusive ranged class nor are they built as one. I don't know where you get that idea from.

Silver Crusade

Captain Zoom wrote:
Note that the combination of Point Blank Master and being a monk means, at level 3, you're pretty much as functional as any melee character. You can shoot in melee without triggering an AOO, you still get AOOs using your unarmed combat (unlike most archers), AND you can still (unlike a melee character) reach out and hit someone 100' away.

Is this correct? I haven't looked into this much so I'm not going to insist on anything here, but I suspect this might be a case that triggers restrictions based on which weapon you "wield" with your action—having made the choice to wield the bow, you're locked in to using that till your next turn. Like how you lose shield bonus when you shield bash or how you're locked into power attack or combat expertise.

But a good counter-example: how you can switch hands as a free action: hold your greatsword in one hand to cast a spell, then switch to both hands as a free action so you still threaten through the rest of the round.

In other words—I'm not all that clear on the rules (mostly not spelled out in the book, but puzzled together from forum-reading) about handedness, wielding, etc. I'm curious whether this case actually works, or if the Zen Archer would have to wait till Snap Shot to make AOOs with a bow.


Joe M. wrote:
Captain Zoom wrote:
Note that the combination of Point Blank Master and being a monk means, at level 3, you're pretty much as functional as any melee character. You can shoot in melee without triggering an AOO, you still get AOOs using your unarmed combat (unlike most archers), AND you can still (unlike a melee character) reach out and hit someone 100' away.

Is this correct? I haven't looked into this much so I'm not going to insist on anything here, but I suspect this might be a case that triggers restrictions based on which weapon you "wield" with your action—having made the choice to wield the bow, you're locked in to using that till your next turn. Like how you lose shield bonus when you shield bash or how you're locked into power attack or combat expertise.

But a good counter-example: how you can switch hands as a free action: hold your greatsword in one hand to cast a spell, then switch to both hands as a free action so you still threaten through the rest of the round.

In other words—I'm not all that clear on the rules (mostly not spelled out in the book, but puzzled together from forum-reading) about handedness, wielding, etc. I'm curious whether this case actually works, or if the Zen Archer would have to wait till Snap Shot to make AOOs with a bow.

If you're asking whether or not Zen Archers can make AoO with unarmed strikes while full-attacking with a bow, then yes, you can. Archery doesn't 'lock' you into a combat style, like TWF does, but even TWF doesn't prevent you from using other weapons.

Something you have to remember is that unarmed strikes are *not* just punches, they can be head butts, knees, kicks, elbows etc. So a Zen Archer can full-attack with a bow, and make AoO with his feet (think round-house kicks).

The benefit is that the Zen Archer can still provide flanking bonuses, and full attack with his Bow, unlike most other archers. In fact, technically, the Zen Archer also receives flanking bonuses with his Bow, despite being unable to flank with the Bow unless he takes the Snap Shot line of feats.

Now, at 9th level, this changes as the Zen Archer gains Reflexive Shot.

Zen Archer wrote:

Reflexive Shot: At 9th level, a zen archer can make attacks of opportunity with arrows from his bow. The monk still threatens squares he could reach with unarmed strikes, and can still only make one attack of opportunity per round (unless he has Combat Reflexes).

This ability replaces improved evasion.

So, if by 9th level you haven't taken the Snap Shot feats, you don't have to, though it might still be a good idea to do so as Snap Shot eventually lets you threaten out to 15 ft. with a bow and also add to damage on the AoO made with a bow.

Zen Archer is a strong contender for 'best archer' in Pathfinder. Monks usually have to make a choice, build for damage, or build for AC, but can't usually do both. A Zen Archer can do both as he gets all the free class abilities from his archetype to do so, while still maintaining the strong defenses of the Monk.


Eltacolibre wrote:
Archery has a lot of feats, I'm actually not too surprised. Fighter is #1 for that reason, even more so if you take the archer fighter archetype.

The Archer fighter is strong but frankly the Archer archetype actually makes you a worse archer than straight Fighter.

You lose weapon training for a bow specific ability which hurts your ability to switch hit if needed. More Importantly it also prevents you using Gloves of Duelling. The rest of the archetypes abilities are either not really all that useful or can be replaced by a feat.


my group has played this game of who is the best bow user a fighter can almost keep up with a zen monk a ranger and paly can out damage if the they are fighting the right thing but 8/10 the zen wins a lot of it is the speed at which they get the feats need pump out the damge


Rynjin wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
What makes the ranged good is that they're the only kind of fighters that get to take full attacks regularly. While on paper a two hander with a high strength looks good compared to the archer, when you actually play it that two hander is running all over Densas green earth trying to find things to kill, and losing attacks in the process.

Unless you're a Barbarian.

In which case, let the good times roll.

even the barbarian is move kill move kill move kill. The archer just stands there kill kill kill kill.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
What makes the ranged good is that they're the only kind of fighters that get to take full attacks regularly. While on paper a two hander with a high strength looks good compared to the archer, when you actually play it that two hander is running all over Densas green earth trying to find things to kill, and losing attacks in the process.

Unless you're a Barbarian.

In which case, let the good times roll.

even the barbarian is move kill move kill move kill. The archer just stands there kill kill kill kill.

But the Barbar gets pounce at level 10 if he want to. Then it is charge full attack charge full attack.


That does require easy access to charge lanes which arent blocked by other opponents, your allies, summoned monsters, animal companions, difficult terrain, walls etc. Its not quite as easy as that but the Archer will largely ignore those things.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HeHateMe wrote:


Hiya all,

Considering that ranged weapons don't benefit from strength bonus (unless a specially constructed composite bow), how do Rangers, Inquisitors and other ranged specialists do so much damage? What feats, class abilities, and/or other means do these classes have to pump out so much damage? I'm looking at possibly playing an Inquisitor, so I'm curious.

In no particular order

As melle:
1. Str to damage: "Each point of Strength bonus granted by the bow adds 100 gp to its cost." - really is 100 gp an issue? one or two encounters sorts that out and if you really cannot wait there is a trait: "Rich Parents = 900 gp."
2. Power attack aka deadly aim.
3. 2 weapon fighting aka rapid shot.
4. Weapon bonuses as usual.
5. mastery/specialization/smite/judgement etc whatever your flavor of extra damage is..

AND what melee can only dream of/make cookie cutter cheese builds to get near -

Archery (note-some of these bonuses NOT for crossbow/sling etc)

6. Full attacks first round of combat and vs better positioned and flying etc opponents.
7. Extra attack for free aka multi-shot (thats sweet with existing damage and your extra damage below ... its an extra multiple for all that damage).
8. Point Blank (extra +1 hit and damage).
9. Braces of Archery (extra +2 hit and +1 damage) till then cheapish braces of the falcons aim for +1 hit and 19-20/x3 crits.
10. Ignore cover and concealment aka Improved Precise Shot.
11. 5,10 and 15 ft reach aka snapshot.
12. Easy DR penetration (couple arrows of each type is cheap and easier then a couple weapons of each type).
13. Easy bane (10 arrows of each of the bane type arrows for bosses is well affordable sooner or later).
14.Touch attack aka Pinpoint targeting.
15. DR pen and auto death chance if over 50 hps by totaling all your attacks damage aka Clustered shots.
16. Full attacks from a mount.

You get the idea.

Don't believe power gamers, its not that melee SUXOR its just that unfortunately archery was over powered originally (elf fan-boy effect) and now more than ever severely breaks the baseline.

Its not like you even need quick draw to draw incredible amounts of very long arrows from your back... those daggers on your belt/arm/chest sheath though ... THEIR a doozy lol

Archery probably needs a tone down/players that avoid it(prefer medevil 'heroic' type play)/intelligent opponents that sunder - or your game becomes pretty boring like sports (rugby etc) where they kick alot instead of tackling or gaming in god mode where you just press the same button over,and over,and over.. and over, ... and over....

That said if its all about killing and winning - archery ROCKS !!!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah on a top of it, like Insane mentioned getting different kind of ammo is fairly easy. Thistle arrows when you can afford them easily, plus most likely if you have a caster in your party, they can create ammo almost at will (spell abundant ammunition).

Even if you face an opponent with high dr, you most likely took penetrating strike, greater penetrating strike (ignore 10 points of DR) + clustered shots (which is so much better than vital strike, essentially all multiple arrows damage counted as one).

Yeah going straight fighter is actually better than archer archetype my bad on this one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:

In order of consistency/reliability:

1.) Fighter
2.) Ranger
3.) Bard
4.) Inquisitor
5.) Paladin

In order of sheer potential damage:

1.) Paladin
2.) Ranger
3.) Fighter
4.) Inquisitor
5.) Bard

Inquisitor is way too low on the damage scale. Bane + Judgement is brutal and gets ridiculous when you get to Greater Bane.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lamontius wrote:

Rynjin, why did barbarian not make your list as an archer?

I love the one I play in pfs, urban barbarian/invulnerable rager

Urban Barbarian is possibly the highest damage archer due to a few reasons

rage + a furious/courageous +2 spiked gauntlet or bow

reckless abandon working with ranged attacks

Come and get me synergizing with improved snapshot and your very high (raged up) dex.

You end up with improved snapshot 2 levels later due to feat starvation (Unless you dip fighter), but it just doesn't matter. Barbarians do archery well.


well all that being said I'm a huge fan of the cleave archer with a hint of rage and a bunch of Ninja

The idea? moderate str and dex (16's in each)
Some rage chemist (1-2)
some urban barbarian (1-2)
an adaptive bow

Then cleave build all the way up (Don't forget surprise follow-through if you need it!)

frankly i'm a big fan of the version of that build that implements 3 strix (Airborn ambusher/trench fighter)fighter and 17 rogue/ninja (Whatever) in which you use a shotgun


andreww wrote:
That does require easy access to charge lanes which arent blocked by other opponents, your allies, summoned monsters, animal companions, difficult terrain, walls etc. Its not quite as easy as that but the Archer will largely ignore those things.

I think this depending on the lay out of the battlefield. And therefore the GM.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:

In order of consistency/reliability:

1.) Fighter
2.) Ranger
3.) Bard
4.) Inquisitor
5.) Paladin

In order of sheer potential damage:

1.) Paladin
2.) Ranger
3.) Fighter
4.) Inquisitor
5.) Bard

I haven't actually seen a Zen Archer Monk in action but I'd assume it falls somewhere between Ranger and Inquisitor in consistency and around Inquisitor level in sheer damage too.

If you'd seen a Zen Archer in PLAY, you'd have put it on the top of the second list, and arguably the first one as well, at the very least the number two spot.

On the flip side, they tend to face plant alot as their damage quickly puts them high on the enemy's list.... especially if they have ranged attacks of their own.


A Zen Archer should almost never be in a situation where the enemy can even reach him. With increased speed, acrobatics, and the Monk's usually solid defenses, he should be able to navigate the battlefield without too much threat.

Granted, if all the enemies charge the Zen Archer, he can be in trouble, but that's true of just about any character, regardless of class. Even high DPR melee enemies could be in trouble if a bunch of guys charge him at the same time.

But, on the upside, the rest of the party can now focus fire the enemies as they are all in the same spot. A Monk, for instance, could tell the Wizard to drop a Create Pit, Fireball, or similar type spell on him, which the Monk would probably be able to dodge.


deuxhero wrote:

Archery works off adding bonus damage to each of your many attacks.

Inquisitors aren't actually that great of archers. Despite everything trying to tell you they are meant to be archers, they don't do it that well: they have no reliable bonus damage beyond Bane and Destruction, which doesn't make up for medium BAB, and archery is also feat intense, but they have no bonus feats.

Rangers work because they get lots of bonus feats with no requirements, plus a OK source of extra damage in Favored Enemy.

Paladins work because they add their Paladin level to damage (which great on its own), and can cast Litany of Righteousness to DOUBLE their damage.

What is the everything that makes you think they should be good at archery. Only thing is proficiencies that get. But mean they class doesn't even get Gravity Bow on their list.

1 to 50 of 103 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / How do archer characters do so much damage? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.