The ultimate archer / switch hitter with a pet


Advice


I was originally planning to do an archer with a pet. My goal was to be as effective as possible with a bow and have a pet from lvl 1 that would remain at my lvl.

After reading the forums and consulting guides i came to the conclusion that with a ranger i could make a switch hitter without sacrificing much effectiveness with the bow. Only problem is i would have a limited choice of pet, would only get it at lvl 4 and it wont be at my lvl.

To solve the problem i start with a hunter, multiclass to a ranger and use Boon companion to keep the pet at my lvl. This give me a really strong pet from lvl 1 (with skirmisher stricks!), free archery feats, favored enemies, teamwork feats that enhance both melee and archery, earlier spell access (limited) and a lot more.

Here it is (for PFS you can remove the 3rd hunter lvl and change the teamwork (tm) feat for other regular ones):

Starting stats as human (25 pts buy):
Str 19, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10

Feat progression:

Lvl 1: Hunter(1) Blank Shot and Precise Shot
Lvl 2: Hunter(2) Bonus Outflank(tm)
Lvl 3: Ranger(1) Boon Companions
Lvl 4: Ranger(2) Bonus Rapid Shot
Lvl 5: Ranger(3) Power Attack
Lvl 6: Ranger(4)
Lvl 7: Ranger(5) Deadly Aim
Lvl 8: Ranger(6) Bonus Manyshot
Lvl 9: Hunter(3) Precise strike(tm)Bonus Spell Sharing(tm)
Lvl 10: Ranger(7)
Lvl 11: Ranger(8) Coordinated Charge(tm)
Lvl 12: Ranger(9)
Lvl 13: Ranger(10) Distracting Charge(tm) Bonus Improved Precise Strike

The core of the character is done by lvl 13. After that getting Ranger lvls would give me better BAB, access to lvl 4 spells, more favored stuff, improved evasion, quarry, camouflage and another free archery feat. Hunter would give me 1 or 2 teamwork feat and a bonus tricks. I think the choice is obvious :-) Feat selections will be based on my play experience.

Only thing i need to figure out is how the spells will work...


Have you considered sacred huntsman with the rage domain?


Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Have you considered sacred huntsman with the rage domain?

Do you mean Divine Hunter?


Sorry. Sacred huntsmaster. Inquisitor archetype. I'm at work and Tired.


Thormind wrote:


After reading the forums and consulting guides i came to the conclusion that with a ranger i could make a switch hitter without sacrificing much effectiveness with the bow. Only problem is i would have a limited choice of pet, would only get it at lvl 4 and it wont be at my lvl.

To solve the problem i start with a hunter, multiclass to a ranger and use Boon companion to keep the pet at my lvl.

I think this is a strong idea, and a Ranger with a dip into Hunter is a sweet combo because it allows the Ranger's AC to get access to the Skirmisher tricks. However there is a slight problem.

Class levels only stack for Animal Companions if the animal is on both lists. So if you wanted your hunter level to stack with your ranger level for your Animal Companion, you would need to pick one that was on both lists. The way around this, is taking the Archetype Beastmaster for Ranger that gets the full list to choose from, but you give up a couple things (bonus feat at 6th level is the big one)

Edit: The design team clarifies how multi-classing with 2 classes that each get animal companions in this FAQ.

Silver Crusade

Boon companion does nothing in that build.

And frankly I think, pure hunter has it's advantages. You suffer a bit in the archery department, but with that mix you tend tend to lose quite a bit.


There are many ways to do this each with pros and cons:

Ranger: you already said most em but the ranger does the most.

Cleric based on dex: simple to do and Erastil gets you your companion at 4 like ranger. Being a full caster plus channeling and archetypes makes you the most diverse of all but your not great at anything. Crusader archetype surprisingly good for this as getting heavy armor, weapon focus , and lesser feats for free is fine.

Guide hand cleric: very SAD but very feat intensive as well. Still suffers many issues as above but there are perks if you can find the feats. Human is near must.

Inquisitor(vanilla): I happy median between cleric and ranger. Bane and judgements wil give more DPS than most rangers and the initiative is awesome as well. Very valid choice.

Inquisitor (sacred huntsman? The new one): little play time with it but people speak well of it.

Druid: if you hadn't specifically said archery this is the guy. Full spells, shapeshift, and animal without feat boosts equals a winner. But u said archery

Paladin: a special mention here. Even though I can't remember a paladin archetype that's get you a non mount companion, there are plenty of reasons to dip 2 levels. Plenty of archetypes help out archery and almost all add big saves.

Sorcerer: BAD BAB!!! But with a composite bow made a 40 strength character this is worth a mention. Your animal companion comes from sylvan bloodline and is available at level 1. Again a full caster so battle field control is almost guaranteed.

Lunar oracle: not great but does give animal companion without feat taxes and is full caster. Revelations are horid for archer but this is very viable if not optimal.

Aside from perhaps the new hybrid classes I'm fairly sure that's every way that works to get an AC. The choice is yours.


Jayder22 wrote:

Class levels only stack for Animal Companions if the animal is on both lists. So if you wanted your hunter level to stack with your ranger level for your Animal Companion, you would need to pick one that was on both lists. The way around this, is taking the Archetype Beastmaster for Ranger that gets the full list to choose from, but you give up a couple things (bonus feat at 6th level is the big one)

Edit: The design team clarifies how multi-classing with 2 classes that each get animal companions in this FAQ.

When they wrote that, the ACG was not released and hybrid classes did not exist. The FAQ was already there when they made the book, they would have made it clear if it would apply to the hunter (like they did for the classes with bloodlines for example). Here is what is written in the ACG for the hunter companion:

"The hunter's effective druid level is equal to her hunter level. If a character receives an animal companion from more than one source, her effective druid levels stack for the purposes of determining the companion's statistics and abilities."

Now for a ranger the CRB clearly says that he has an effective druid lvl -3 for his companion. I am taking the Hunter lvls before the ranger ones. When my ranger starts to get effective druid lvl for his AC, i already have the hunter pet. If i follow the RAW, it works. If for any reason the FAQ would apply (i doubt) i can still take a companion from the ranger list and get all the bonus stuff from the hunter for him...

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Boon companion does nothing in that build.

And frankly I think, pure hunter has it's advantages. You suffer a bit in the archery department, but with that mix you tend to lose quite a bit.

Boon companion is to maintain the companion at my lvl.

The Hunter is nice if you want a melee character. Problem is the teamwork feats for archery are not good and you only have 3/4 BAB. By taking ranger i get full BAB minus 1 and free archery feats from combat styles. This allows me to keep my dex low and boost my STR. I get to have good atk and DMG with both ranged and melee because of this. This is where the switch hitter comes from.

Chaotic Fighter wrote:
Sorry. Sacred huntsmaster. Inquisitor archetype. I'm at work and Tired.

I though about it but i am convinced now that hunter/ranger is the most archery dmg with better pet combo i can get. 3/4 BAB really hurt archery...

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