Ways to fight zombies as a ranger?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hi, y'all. I recently started playing a ranger in a certain undead-heavy adventure path, and it's been a lot of fun taking out skeletons with blunt arrows, but suddenly we're fighting nothing but zombies, and the DR 5/slashing is something to notice.

Does anyone know of a decent way to do slashing damage as a ranger other than the Versatile Weapon spell? I'm currently trying to break through by using Abundant Ammunition with Raining Arrows (from Elves of Golarion), but am curious if there are any actual slashing arrows out there.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Favored enemy: undead.


For ranged? There's no real good way other than picking up some chakram.

Though depending on your level... favored enemy plus deadly aim should get you through DR on anything but minimum damage rolls.


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Don't be squeamish, just pick up a sword and go to work. You're still a full BAB class with all martial weapon proficiency and your FE bonus works regardless of weapon.


If it's allowed Inner Sea Combat has the Weapon Versatility feat that allows you to change out your damage type.

Edit: My bad Undead Slayer's Handbook, sorry about that.

Scarab Sages

Elmar Thonsson wrote:

Hi, y'all. I recently started playing a ranger in a certain undead-heavy adventure path, and it's been a lot of fun taking out skeletons with blunt arrows, but suddenly we're fighting nothing but zombies, and the DR 5/slashing is something to notice.

Does anyone know of a decent way to do slashing damage as a ranger other than the Versatile Weapon spell? I'm currently trying to break through by using Abundant Ammunition with Raining Arrows (from Elves of Golarion), but am curious if there are any actual slashing arrows out there.

Hit them with a sword.

You have the proficiency.

Spoiler:
Almost as bad as fighters that refuse to carry a bow and then complain they can't hit flying targets.


Oh, Weapon Versatility is interesting. I've heard of that, but every time I searched for it I only got the Versatile Weapon spell and assumed that's what people were working about.

That said, the consensus on Weapon Versatility seems to be "without an errata, we'll never know if it works with bows," and wow that seems overpowered while also taking up a feat slot I can't justify freeing up until at least level 10 (but maybe should anyway).

And oh, I do carry a slashing weapon. Decent strength bonus, masterwork Dwarven Waraxe, tends to do a decent bit of damage.

Only thing is that, with a bow, I get two attacks; at level 6 with Multishot, I'll get four, three at a higher attack bonus than I could with an axe.

(Right now, when fighting undead I can choose between 1 attack with a waraxe, for 1d10+4 ~8 damage, or 2 attacks with a longbow, each for 1d8+10 ~15 damage each before DR)

I guess maybe I should also mention that the party is me, a Kensai Magus, and two Clerics. It's all I can do to take out as many skeletons as them in a round, and the fact that I can't one-shot zombies is just slightly disappointing.

Still, Weapon Versatility would stack with endless raining arrows, which could be excellent. (With deadly shot and favored enemy, these currently hit for 1d8+2d4+10 damage, and overcoming an extra 5 points of DR would be icing on the cake)

EDIT: Yeah, what's with those fighters who don't carry bows? Last time I was in a game where we fought medusas, I had to spend every round pulling javelins out of my Efficient Quiver to share with the rest of the party.

Scarab Sages

Carry some chakrams. They aren't as good as your bow, but they will work against Zombies and will make use of all your ranged feats except manyshot.


Unfortunately, without Quick Draw, they don't benefit from Rapid Shot either. Still a cool option.


Problem solved.

Scarab Sages

Elmar Thonsson wrote:
Unfortunately, without Quick Draw, they don't benefit from Rapid Shot either. Still a cool option.

I thought all rangers took quick draw for switch hitting. Even if you are primary ranged, it's a great feat for the option to switch to melee.


Personnally, I would always prefer packing an extra weapon instead of taking an extra feat. Besides, being forced into melee range as a ranger can be a blast and you hold your own pretty well in the frontline.
This being said, of course for later levels you might want to benefit from your bow and feats. At this point, depending on what money permits, your might want to look into a Holy Bow, the extra damage vs the undeads should be more than enough to counter the DR.
For ranged attacks, you may also consider bringing a few throwing axes, as they are slashing weapon and ranged as well!
Enjoy killing zombies!

Silver Crusade

Do 6 points of damage.


Imbicatus wrote:


I thought all rangers took quick draw for switch hitting. Even if you are primary ranged, it's a great feat for the option to switch to melee.

People keep telling me this, but the numbers on the switch hitter just don't make sense. Unless I need to constantly move for some reason, a bow always gives enough extra attacks to deal more damage, and spending feats on 2WF would seriously reduce my damage.

Meanwhile, Point Blank Master, at level 6, makes bows function just as well in melee range, and suddenly any melee feats taken earlier become a waste.

(I guess I could mention that the goal of my build was to get Improved Snap Shot and Combat Reflexes as soon as possible, in order to get full-BAB attacks on around 10 enemies per round)

Scarab Sages

I'd rather have improved precise shot at 6th instead of point blank master. Cover is much harder to deal with than melee range.


fire arrows, fire bombs of some kind (bet your dex is good),fire!, fire!, fire!, fire!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XchwE9zVdnw


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Clustered Shots. That feat makes any DR become a joke.


Maybe it's me, but doing no damage with a bow seems worse than doing sub-optimal damage with a melee weapon. "I don't have the feats" is a terrible reason to not try to be useful in combat. Of course, this is just my opinion.


You said you don't have melee weapons. Just find a club and use that. You can build your character to archery, just fine. You don't have to be super awesome to just hit some zombies on the head. I am sure you will do plenty of damage. Clubs are awesome!

Edit: Stupid me. Duh, slashing. I always think zombies are DR/bludgeoning. So, you are a ranger. And you don't have a dagger? How do you skin your venison?

The Exchange

Elmar -

For future reference, it's pretty safe for any martial character (no matter how specialized) to presume that lots of flavors of DR are going to show up. Even specialist wizards prepare a few spells outside their school - the warrior equivalent is to carry all three damage types with you. Cold iron daggers (which can be thrown to apply some of your archery feats) are a good, lightweight, inexpensive option that can cope with three types of DR.

By the way - good notion with the bludgeoning arrows. I'm very fond of those things. Pick up some silvered ones when you can. They're great.


No, guys, I absolutely carry slashing weapons, but the damage just can't stack up with what my bow outputs, even after DR 5/slashing. I was just wondering if there were better ways to do slashing with a bow, and it sounds like the only (debatable) good way to do that is with the Weapon Versatility feat.

Sovereign Court

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Take a polearm that does slashing damage and has the Brace property. Brace for the zombies' charge; kill them with double damage before they even get to make an attack roll. Since they're permanently Staggered, they have to use Charge actions to both move and attack in the same round. And they're too mindless to know how much you're taking advantage of that.


Versatile Weapon spell does it.


put your bow away and step up and fight...anything else requires us to cancel your man-card


My advice would be to include a hit that this is about archery in the title. At first I thought this was some kind of joke or riddle when reading the title.

Other than that: If the bow still deals the best damage just carry on until you get either clustered shots or weapon versatility.

Grand Lodge

Ascalaphus suggested you carry a polearm to chop up zombies. He's absolutely right. Zombies use STUPID TACTICS, so you are pretty much guaranteed maximum effectiveness with a reach weapon. You should be able get at least one more attack each round (more if you have Combat Reflexes, which you probably do not) from AoOs. The only time this would be a problem is if your allies allow the zombies to outsmart them by using equally stupid tactics.

As Ascalaphus said, you can get extra attacks with a polearm, which does Slashing damage:

Your Round One (zombies out of reach): Ready an action to attack the first zombie to approach

Zombie Round One: Charge you, take your readied action followed your AoO, roll for charge attack if not already chopped to pieces.

Your round two: Move away from zombies (possibly eating an AoO), ready another action to attack when they approach.

Zombie round two: Charge, take another two attacks from you, attack if not destroyed.

You just doubled your slashing attacks per round. More than that, if you have Combat Reflexes. Less than that, if your allies allow the zombies to outsmart them.

Note that you occasionally eat an AoO, but since your attacks are far more effective than a zombie attack, that's still a win for you.


Clustershot


Elmar Thonsson wrote:
No, guys, I absolutely carry slashing weapons, but the damage just can't stack up with what my bow outputs, even after DR 5/slashing. I was just wondering if there were better ways to do slashing with a bow, and it sounds like the only (debatable) good way to do that is with the Weapon Versatility feat.

Dude, you're fighting outside of your specialty. Doing less damage is a given. Just roll with it.

Unless the DM starts throwing nothing but zombies at you. Then he's just being a jerk.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I must agree.

Your complaint is that 'fighting in melee does less damage then just shooting arrows with full attacks every round."

Well, DUH. (not to be harsh). That's true because it's how the game WORKS. It's not because melee weapons are deficient.

Grab your axe, up your strength, take Power attack, and hack away.

If you want to go back to 3.5, broadhead arrows did slashing damage.

==Aelryinth


Two-hand a Falchion and hack away.


Elmar Thonsson wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:


I thought all rangers took quick draw for switch hitting. Even if you are primary ranged, it's a great feat for the option to switch to melee.

People keep telling me this, but the numbers on the switch hitter just don't make sense. Unless I need to constantly move for some reason, a bow always gives enough extra attacks to deal more damage, and spending feats on 2WF would seriously reduce my damage.

Meanwhile, Point Blank Master, at level 6, makes bows function just as well in melee range, and suddenly any melee feats taken earlier become a waste.

(I guess I could mention that the goal of my build was to get Improved Snap Shot and Combat Reflexes as soon as possible, in order to get full-BAB attacks on around 10 enemies per round)

A switch hitter doesn't use two weapon fighting. It uses two handed fighting, which requires Power Attack, and if you want to have a full round worth of melee attacks, Quick Draw, that's it. You don't move as a switch hitter. You stand in one spot, pelting the enemy with arrows until they finally reach melee, and then anyone still standing gets a 2 hander to the face. It is literally the basest of character concepts, and ranger pulls it off easily.


Sling with sharpstones. Not as much damage, but you can still use most of your ranged feats. Did this with a halfling fighter as a challenge, annoyed the DM to pieces.


for me my sword does fine dmg even though im a halfling ranger because i got high ass roles but for the most part favored enemy and favored terrain should help you in combat.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Sometimes, a character needs to use something other than their "usual" attack/spell/etc. This is a feature, not a flaw.

"One-trick ponies" are boring, IMO.


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Darkness falls across the land
The midnite hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize yawls neighbourhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must raise this thread from depaths of hell
And shuffle like a corpses shell

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