Building a Divine Archer


Advice

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RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

inquisitor/zen-archer does get a ton of mileage from Wis, but it sounds like it might be a little light on the spellcasting OP is looking for...

truthfully, an inquisitor or warpriest could both be pretty effective, and both stack nicely with the evangelist PrC (the inquisitor even more so if you go with erastil because they can get the companion). i love melee clerics but they're probably too feat starved to really be effective archers...

though that does kind of beg the question- do you want a caster who can use a bow when he needs to, or an archer who can cast spells when he has the chance? if you primarily want an archer ranger really might be your best bet... their feat access is just way beyond the other options, just stock up on some wands and scrolls (from your spell list) to augment your meager casting ability. if you want to be a caster with bow back up go with a cleric/evangelist of erastil... your ranged combat won't win any awards but you can have an animal companion helping out in melee (or serving as a mount) and have plenty of spell support for most situations (plus if you use early entry for evangelist you can get double companion at 7th and Wis with your bow at 10th).

in between those options, the warpriest may actually deserve a little more love than they're getting... swift action buff spells is super helpful, sacred weapon ensures that you always have a decent bow handy, and they count as a fighter of their level for determining which bonus feats they're eligible for (including counting as full BAB), so they can access things like snap shot or improved precise shot way ahead of inquisitors...

edit: if you do decide to go with inquisitor you may want to check out the preacher or some other archetype that gives up the teamwork stuff... more has gradually been added but there still isn't all that much for archery in terms of teamwork feats, you'd probably be better off with the re-rolls or something


Rambear wrote:

It's absolutely a contest. You calculated an average DPR of 110 (not sure if you calculated that), a non-shennanigan build for an inquisitor could net you a dpr upwards of 250 dpr. 300 if you try a little harder.

Sure, Inquisitor certainly has a nova-aspect to it. But to argue that it is no contest means you grossly overstate the higher BAB and ignore the fact that Inquisitors (and archers in general) are very dependant on static modifiers to your damage. Greater Bane and Destruction judgement still beat a ranger.

Sure, it's only 12 r/day for Greater Bane and 4/day for judgements. But I would like to point out that at level 12 you have at most 2 level 3 spells as ranger. So instant enemy is also limited to twice a day or a DM being generous in informing you of the type of enemies you will usually encounter.

I would even go so far as to argue that when going all out an inquisitor outpaces a ranger, on staying power they are close and in general versatility there is indeed no contest, but it's the ranger left behind.

Let me explain and clear up a few things.

A. I miss calculated. He would do 1d8 + 21 (+2 Bow, +4 Str, +1 Point Blank, +8 Deadly shot, +5 Favored Enemy, +1 Greater Bracers). I also forgot to add in the shot from Many Shot. So with Gravity Bow thats 6D10 + 126 or 156 avg damage without a crit.

B. I went for a more balance build with tons of utility. You will notice my build doesn't have a stat below 10. I could have gone Human for the extra feat, used for Arcane Strike for another +3 damage. I could have skipped Hooded Champion (it adds utility not dmg), Favored Enemy bonus would have been +6, instead of +5, and dumped int and cha for a 20 Dex and a 16 Str (There is another +1 dmg per shot). I could have spent more gold on his Bow (instead of just using a +2 bow). Either way I could have boosted his dps into the 200ish range pretty easy. But I figured 150 dps a round was good enough for any campaign. Better to be well rounded then a dps machine with huge weakness.

C. I would be very interested to see your Level 12 Inquisitor that could pump out 300 dps. I'm not saying you cant do it, but I dont see it being possible without some serious cheese. Your already at one less attack a round then the Ranger at 12th level.

D. Even if you can push it up to 300. Thats assuming you hit every attack. My ranger has pretty good bonus to hit even with his last attack. He has Improved Precise Shot and Point Blank Master. Your Inquisitor doesnt. He provokes, He misses due to concealment. He can never get Point Blank Master, and you cant get Improved Precise untill 15th level. That HURTS.

E. I will give Inquisitor this. Its a much better PURE divine caster. It actually has spells that are good at helping outside of boosting Archery. But other than that... The Inquisitor might be able to present some pretty numbers on paper, but I have a feeling in actual play they would be far less effective(at archery) then a straight Ranger.


Imbicatus wrote:
Rambear wrote:
whew wrote:
I've seen a couple of inquisitors who had 3+ levels of zen archer so that they could use wisdom as their attack stat which made them less MAD. A huge wisdom also increases the potency of several of the inquisitor class features and skills.

Yeah, a 1 level dip in Paladin + 3 levels of ZA would do some nice things for you. However, you'd postpone Bane/Greater Bane, which I deem it to be not worth it, since most play does not go much past level 16.

On the other hand, in PFS it might actually work (since greater bane is hardly essential).

Bane Baldric overcomes that.

Um... no it doesn't

All the baldric does is give you more rounds of bane, not early access to it.


Dragonamedrake wrote:


Let me explain and clear up a few things.

A. I miss calculated. He would do 1d8 + 21 (+2 Bow, +4 Str, +1 Point Blank, +8 Deadly shot, +5 Favored Enemy, +1 Greater Bracers). I also forgot to add in the shot from Many Shot. So with Gravity Bow thats 6D10 + 126 or 156 avg damage without a crit.

B. I went for a more balance build with tons of utility. You will notice my build doesn't have a stat below 10. I could have gone Human for the extra feat, used for Arcane Strike for another +3 damage. I could have skipped Hooded Champion (it adds utility not dmg), Favored Enemy bonus would have been +6, instead of +5, and dumped int and cha for a 20 Dex and a 16 Str (There is another +1 dmg per shot). I could have spent more gold on his Bow (instead of just using a +2 bow). Either way I could have boosted his dps into the 200ish range pretty easy. But I figured 150 dps a round was good enough for any campaign. Better to be well rounded then a dps machine with huge weakness.

C. I would be very interested to see your Level 12 Inquisitor that could pump out 300 dps. I'm not saying you cant do it, but I dont see it being possible without some serious cheese. Your already at one less attack a round then the Ranger at 12th level.

D. Even if you can push it up to 300. Thats assuming you hit every attack. My ranger has pretty good bonus to hit even with his last attack. He has Improved Precise Shot and Point Blank Master. Your Inquisitor doesnt. He provokes, He misses due to concealment. He can never get Point Blank Master, and you cant get Improved Precise untill 15th level. That HURTS.

E. I will give Inquisitor this. Its a much better PURE divine caster. It actually has spells that are good at helping outside of boosting Archery. But other than that... The Inquisitor might be able to present some pretty numbers on paper, but I have a feeling in actual play they would be far less effective(at archery) then a straight Ranger.

A.In this calculation I am not seeing hit chance. Still, let's say you can do an average 150 dps. So can an Inquisitor, without any shennanigans.

B. I am surprised you state the ranger would be more well-rounded. One of the strong points of Inquisitors is that it does well in social situations, has numerous skills and has way more divine casting. Nothing in the inquisitor build would change that. The build I will show below does not even look into domains/inquisitions. Nor did I throw any real crazy stuff in, like paladin/cleric dip.

C. As for a build go to http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rf14&page=6?Highest-dmg-archer-build-there -is to see how an inquisitor does this. Yes, the build I made is with maxed traits, weapons etc (WBL + a tadbit over) etc. But it's basically just a couple of feats and assuming Heroism/Greater Magic Weapon/Greater Bane/Judgements (surged). No, this is probably not how I'd play the character. Nor would I min-max so much and not focus on fluff. It can, under the right circumstances, nova like hell :).

D. Again, you have not calculated the damage you can do compared to the AC a given character has. My "300 dpr," while indeed not likely to occur every time, is at least calculated against an AC of 24.

Yes, this is overstating how the character would do in actual play (Due to longevity, lacking PBM and late access to Imp Precises Shot). However, it does not include such things as Divine Power, Weapon of Awe etc. Which could be used after Bane/judgements run out.

Yes, cover hurts. Yes, staying out of melee hurts (some), but just as you argue that real-game situations count (cover from team-mates), that also means that an inquisitor also has team-mates to keep targets away from him, not to mention greater invis and true strike to cover lower to hit/concealment.

E. I will agree that it is likely that, given decent circumstances (knowing the most encountered enemy for FA, for instance), rangers have more staying power to keep damage up all day long. They are probably also better and more durable at lower level. Animal companions are also awesome, and we did not calculate AC DPR :).

And it is not as if I am arguing that rangers are bad. I am not even saying that over a given adventuring-day there might be days a ranger does more damage.

Mostly it is flavour. Ranger, to me, goes too much towards the nature side of the divine spectrum. It also lacks spell-casting. If, however, you prefer AC, nature spells and want an awesome archer, rangers are ofcourse fantastic, and can also be made into great switch-hitters.

I merely oppose people saying it is no contest, and there will days when an inquisitor does more damage (if only because of a higher initiative, because let's face it, most enemies will die in 1-2 rounds anyway!).


Rambear wrote:

A.In this calculation I am not seeing hit chance. Still, let's say you can do an average 150 dps. So can an Inquisitor, without any shennanigans.

B. I am surprised you state the ranger would be more well-rounded. One of the strong points of Inquisitors is that it does well in social situations, has numerous skills and has way more divine casting. Nothing in the inquisitor build would change that. The build I will show below does not even look into domains/inquisitions. Nor did I throw any real crazy stuff in, like paladin/cleric dip.

C. As for a build go to http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rf14&page=6?Highest-dmg-archer-build-there -is to see how an inquisitor does this. Yes, the build I made is with maxed traits, weapons etc (WBL + a tadbit over) etc. But it's basically just a couple of feats and assuming Heroism/Greater Magic Weapon/Greater Bane/Judgements (surged). No, this is probably not how I'd play the character. Nor would I min-max so much and not focus on fluff. It can, under the right circumstances, nova like hell :).

D. Again, you have not calculated the damage you can do compared to the AC a given character has. My "300 dpr," while indeed not likely to occur every time, is at least calculated against an AC of 24.

Yes, this is overstating how the character would do in actual play (Due to longevity, lacking PBM and late access to Imp Precises Shot). However, it does not include such things as Divine Power, Weapon of Awe etc. Which could be used after Bane/judgements run out.

Yes, cover hurts. Yes, staying out of melee hurts (some), but just as you argue that real-game situations count (cover from team-mates), that also means that an inquisitor also has team-mates to keep targets away from him, not to mention greater invis and true strike to cover lower to hit/concealment.

E. I will agree that it is likely that, given decent circumstances (knowing the most encountered enemy for FA, for instance), rangers have more staying power to keep damage up all day long. They are probably also better and more durable at lower level. Animal companions are also awesome, and we did not calculate AC DPR :).

And it is not as if I am arguing that rangers are bad. I am not even saying that over a given adventuring-day there might be days a ranger does more damage.

Mostly it is flavour. Ranger, to me, goes too much towards the nature side of the divine spectrum. It also lacks spell-casting. If, however, you prefer AC, nature spells and want an awesome archer, rangers are ofcourse fantastic, and can also be made into great switch-hitters.

I merely oppose people saying it is no contest, and there will days when an inquisitor does more damage (if only because of a higher initiative, because let's face it, most enemies will die in 1-2 rounds anyway!).

A. My bonus was in the first post. 23/23/23/18/13. That is after Deadly Aim and Rapid is factored in. So I would need to roll a 1/1/1/6/11 to hit an AC of 24. I'm not sure how you factored your chance of hit. Ive done very little with "DPR" Olympics.

B. I never said that a Ranger is more well rounded than an Inquisitor. Just that I built the ranger as a well rounded character. I didn't build him for max DPS. However that 1d10+21 could easily be 6 arrows at 1d10 + 29 (And another +4 to hit) off the top of my head if I had built him for straight DPS games. And I am probably missing a lot of the tricks to get his damage up. But I would have had to drop Hooded Champion which adds to the whole well rounded vibe I went with. Never said the Inquisitor wasn't well rounded lol.

C. I couldn't get your link to work. However I didn't have Heroism, or Greater Magic Weapon (Both buffs I could get from my party). I didn't select traits, but I will assume there is little damage boost there. And I was well under WBL (45k under to be exact). Thats wands, potions and extra bonuses on my weapon or whatever.

D. See this is what makes me go Hmmm. I wish I could get your link to work. To say that, "Especially against an AC 24", makes me think your bonus to hit is pretty bad. I hit that on less then a 10 on every attack but the last. I hit it on a 1 on my first 4 arrows. Factor in Concealment and your bonus gets worse where mine doesn't. Again I cant see your build so I am assuming.

Divine Power, Weapon of Awe, ect take rounds away from combat. Your buffing while the Ranger is killing things. Most of his buffs are instantaneous. And Teammates can do very little if the enemy is in your grill. You have to hope you can keep taking 5 foot steps and the mobs aren't Large, or have reach. You have to hope the DM doesn't play your enemies smart and use cover/concealment. You have to hope that your Tea mates don't step in front of you and give you penalties due to concealment.

E. Here we agree. I think Rangers and Inquisitors are awesome. I think Inquisitors are all around a better class then Ranger when it comes to the power curve. But that's based on its buffing potential and 6th level casting. Archery is one of those things that require so many feats, that you almost have to have an Archetype or class ability that give you early access or give you class abilities that mimic them. Monk, Fighter, Ranger, ect... they all have an archetype or combat style dedicated to Archery. Inquisitors don't (as far as I know). In fact there best option is to Dip Zen Archer.

I said no contest based off just Archery. Inquisitors are better casters, better at social situations, and have better damage potential. But 3/4 BAB and lack of early access/Bonus feats it really hurts it for Archery. At least imo. I don't think our opinions are too far from each other. We both think both classes are good. We just differ on which we think is a bit better for archery.


The best Zen Archer dip is take six levels so you get all must have feats.


If you look for the terms "Highest DMG and Archer" you should find it on page 6. Recent topic too. There is at least one mistake in there (for the final DPR that clocked at 296) which is that I calculated a +4 holy bow rather than a +3 (with greater magic weapon). I know, the build tries its' best to max damage in one round, and can only work for 4 comabts :).

Let's be very clear: DPR isn't the be-all-end-all to compare builds. But it is something to compare, which is hard to do with allies, cover, concealment etc. Furthermore, we´d have to do this at various levels to compare. Too much work for my taste.

As for PBM and IPS. With a decent to-hit you'd be looking at shooting from at least 200' yards away, meaning you won't get grilled THAT often. And let's be honest, people without shields, medium armour and probably an average CON (Wisdom/Dex and Sterngth being more important) you'd get wacked anyway, with or without the AoO from lack of PBM. You also have the option to shoot stuff not engaged by your BSFscasters, enemy archers or large/huge enemies that do not get cover from allies.

As for the dpr. It used simple rules: Level 12, against AC 24 (average against CR 12 I guess?), WBL, only class abilities, a non-class swift action (spell or w/e and buffs that last 10min/level or longer. Greater Magic Weapon and heroism are in, for you gravity bow would be for instance (not sure if you have relevant long duration buffs).

This eliminates the whole: I kill while you buff thing mentioned earlier. Sure, not wcompeletely representative as Inq needs two swifts for class abilities, but meh. Traits were Killer (for crit damage) and Faith's favoured (not part of the damage calculated.

Average damage is calculated as follows

The damage formula is h(d+s)+tchd. (For manyshot, which cannot crit, it is just h(d+s))

h = Chance to hit, expressed as a percentage
d = Damage per hit. Average damage is assumed.
s = Precision damage per hit (or other damage that isn't multiplied on a crit). Average damage is again assumed.
t = Chance to roll a critical threat, expressed as a percentage.
c = Critical hit bonus damage. x2 = 1, x3 = 2, x4 = 3.

h versus AC 24
d is 25.5 (at 1d8 +21, this is average damage)
s is 0 (no precision damage)
t is .1 (assuming Improved Critical)
c is 3 (multiplier for Bow)

These would be your numbers, the h is just the percentage of you rolling and hitting the AC. Your first attacks would run at .95 (cause a natural 1 is always a miss), at +16 you would hit on an 8, so 1-7 is a miss, meaning your h=0.65 etc.

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