We need a full 20 level Arcane Archer class!


Homebrew and House Rules


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I wanted to always play an arcane archer, But spending 6+ months and 12+ levels of time is way too much of a pain to ever take the prestige class. Pazio should make a full class out of arcane archer! Most players don't use the Arcane archer prestige class because of the same reason I do?
I have been waiting ages for someone to do what I just suggested.

How many players are out there that has been wanting to play arcane archer and never have?


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I think an archetype for the magus would be better suited for this, rather than making an entirely new class for a very specific role.


There is a magus archetype that gets ranged spell strike.


Magus archetype is kind of nice, but it doesn't carry Area Spells the way the Arcane Archer does.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Magus archetype is kind of nice, but it doesn't carry Area Spells the way the Arcane Archer does.

Mymidarch 8/Arcane Archer 2


Would you mind pointing out some good Area Spells in the Magus list? It's been a while since I perused it, but it's not nearly as good as the Wizard's that's for sure.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You could check out the Elven Archer from Kobold Press. It's not QUITE the same, but it is actually pretty decent.

Another option would be to use the Spellgun Magus MultiClass Archetype and change everything dealing with guns to bows, much like the Bolt Ace archetype does for crossbows.

Scarab Sages

I agree with OP - I'm not satisfied with the alternatives presented here. It should have a full BAB, Intelligence-based arcane magic levels 1-4 or 1-5, and some ability in melee as well as at range (one cool variation would be that the class favored magic in melee
, while using archery at range).


I think that the Myrmidarch Magus was supposed to be more of a Magus + Fighter hybrid archetype than a 20 level Arcane Archer, and just happens to have some arcane archery ability (which starts to get decent at level 11) as icing on the cake. It doesn't do very well as an Arcane Archer, but uses for other purposes deserve more exploration -- in particular, it might be a decent parent archetype for a Hellknight Magus archetype.

Warhawk7 wrote:

{. . .}

Another option would be to use the Spellgun Magus MultiClass Archetype and change everything dealing with guns to bows, much like the Bolt Ace archetype does for crossbows.

This is probably the best 20 level Arcane Archer class idea I have seen so far. Alternatively, do something similar with the Spellslinger Wizard (also see this guide, which also covers some other options), except that it also needs some bug fixes.


I like arcane archers as well, I think they're pretty cool, but I just do not see the need to dedicate any entire class to a very niche concept. Almost every original class that Paizo has published (not including Core classes) is extremely versatile and can allow for innumerable ways to customize your character. The arcane archer concept is very limited in what you can do with it, which is why it is likely a PrC... or would be better as an archetype of an already published class.

I think magus would be the perfect baseline class for an arcane archer. Change things around a little and open up the spell list to accommodate the typical "bomb" spells that are associated with the arcane archer.

That all being said; there's nothing wrong with creating your own 20-level arcane archer for a homebrew game, or even finding a 3pp version.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To the OP: The following might be of interest to you.
Prestige-Archetype-The-Arcane-Archer

Silver Crusade

I am still flummoxed that within the entirety of the Advanced Class Guide there was not Mage/Thief analog.

Point is, there are niches to be filled. Does it have to be with a full 20 level class like the Class Guide? No, archetypes can be wonderful for filling these desires.

I agree that a Magus archetype could be designed to fulfill the roll of Arcane Archer. I might come up with one for my home games...


Book of Roguish Luck (Monte Cook) has an awesome Gutter Mage class that might scratch that mage/thief itch.


Paizo should make more prestige classes.

That are generic.

Last time we had any, was Advanced Class Guide.


Paizo hates prestige classes.


I have started such a class twice... And abandoned it each time. Stretching it out felt forced. It needs to be infused with one or more themes beyond Spells and Archer.

Scarab Sages

Faelyn wrote:
I like arcane archers as well, I think they're pretty cool, but I just do not see the need to dedicate any entire class to a very niche concept.

I don't think it's any more niche than the "my entire class revolves around a weird variation of two-weapon fighting" Magus (and talk about an unsatisfactory name - "magus" sounds to me like it should go to a class that's much more like some kind of doddering ritualist). My background is in the Might & Magic games, where the Archer was the game's resident warrior-sorcerer hybrid from the get-go, so it doesn't seem "niche" at all to me.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

You don't need a 20-level class for a specific build. That's what archetypes are for.

noble peasant wrote:
There is a magus archetype that gets ranged spell strike.

It's not very good and doesn't work as written. The archetype was never meant to be a ranged magus either.

Liberty's Edge

I'd also suggest the elven archer class in the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press.

It pretty much is the Arcane Archer as a standard base class. Plus, there are a number of cool variants, including the Halfling Slinger, Dwarven Crossbowyer, and the Mystic Archer.

Well worth checking out! :)

Scarab Sages

Marc Radle wrote:

I'd also suggest the elven archer class in the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press.

It pretty much is the Arcane Archer as a standard base class. Plus, there are a number of cool variants, including the Halfling Slinger, Dwarven Crossbowyer, and the Mystic Archer.

Well worth checking out! :)

Except its magic is divine for some reason; maybe a good start, but not satisfactory.


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You don't like arrows of healing?


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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:

I'd also suggest the elven archer class in the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press.

It pretty much is the Arcane Archer as a standard base class. Plus, there are a number of cool variants, including the Halfling Slinger, Dwarven Crossbowyer, and the Mystic Archer.

Well worth checking out! :)

Except its magic is divine for some reason; maybe a good start, but not satisfactory.

I agree with that sentiment. Perhaps taking the Elven Archer and giving it the magus' spell list? I believe the article on the elven ranger even states something about pulling any arrow/bow related spells from other classes and adding them to the elven archer's list.

I still personally like switching the theme of the Spellgun Magus archetype to bows.

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
You don't like arrows of healing?

What if you hit someone in the face with an arrow of healing?


That'd be how he casts his spells.

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The 3.5 warlock was kind of like a magical archer/gunslinger. At will eldritch blasts, with invocations that could be selected to alter the shape and effects of the ranged touch attack.

But it seems like the magus could support at least one ranged specialist archetype.

Shadow Lodge

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This is what my group uses.


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I tend to think it would be a good idea if all PrC's were reworked into either archetypes, alternate classes, or regular classes that could be taken for 20 levels. In the case of Arcane Archer, an archetype might be best, probably a Magus archetype.

PrC's don't work well in PF because the system is set up to discourage multiclassing, but you almost have to multiclass for most PrC's.

So, it should be possible to use the concept as a 20 level single class (probably through an archetype).


^I agree with reworking some prestige classes into archetypes or feat chains, but not all of them, and would even do the reverse in a couple of cases.

As generic advanced classes that anybody can get into with the right independently-developed entry requirements, prestige classes usually don't make much sense, but hybrid prestige classes are an obvious exception (for instance, Mystic Theurge and Rage Prophet, although these need some serious bug fixes).

As advanced classes tied to an organization, philosophy, or religion, prestige classes actually make a lot of sense. Isn't that what the "prestige" part was originally supposed to mean? Unfortunately, this seems to have been quickly forgotten even back in D&D 3.x. Hellknight (the martial type, not the Signifer) is a great example, although I have been toying with ideas of converting this myself. (Hellknight Signifer is also not a bad idea, but needs some bug fixes to work properly with 6/9 spellcasters and with any arcane spellcaster that already has an ability to cast in armor without Arcane Armor Training, which is normally a lousy feat.)

Paladin/Antipaladin and Inquisitor are currently base classes, but should be prestige classes. Don't get me wrong, I love their mechanics, but you'd think a religion wouldn't let just any random initiate off the street become an elite holy warrior or a behind-the-scenes enforcer that has license to bypass the normal rules of the faith -- they would want some proof of ability, loyalty, and steadfastness. These should be prestige classes, as D&D 3.5 Unearthed Arcana and Kirthfinder did with the Paladin (but for the Holy Warrior, provide an entry route that doesn't require spellcasting, and retain a tweaked Inquisitor chassis to use as the new Cleric, and bump existing Cleric to a d6 1/2 BAB class like a tweaked version of the Priest example from Adamant Entertainment).

Orthos wrote:
This is what my group uses.

Looks just about ready for prime time, although I would like to see an Improved Spellshot and Greater Spellshot that allow spells to do critical damage and eventually allow full use of spells that grant multiple attacks (have these replace the extra Bonus Feats).


I believe the thing with Paladin and Inquisitor is that they aren't some random schlub off the street, but that the Training-Makes-the-Man so to speak. A Paladin isn't born, he's forged, etc etc.


^Yes, but it should be forging that requires going through some levels that actually demonstrate ability to use (increasing) power responsibly out in the field, not just in boot camp. Same for Inquisitor.

Shadow Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Looks just about ready for prime time, although I would like to see an Improved Spellshot and Greater Spellshot that allow spells to do critical damage and eventually allow full use of spells that grant multiple attacks (have these replace the extra Bonus Feats).

You'll need to track down the person who made it to suggest those, or leave them as comments in the doc; it's not my work. It was linked here in Homebrew along with several other similar "prestige archetype" ideas, but I don't remember by who.


^How do you even do that? They didn't even put a name or alias on the document.

Shadow Lodge

If you have Drive yourself, go to your main page and select either "shared with me" or "all items" and it should show up, with the username or name of the owner to the right. Granted, if they don't go by their real name or Google username on Paizo, doesn't help much, admittedly. You could send them a message over Google, though.

Unfortunately it seems they've disabled comments in the doc, so that option is out.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Yes, but it should be forging that requires going through some levels that actually demonstrate ability to use (increasing) power responsibly out in the field, not just in boot camp. Same for Inquisitor.

I can see that for Paladins more than Inquisitors. Inquisitors require (in my view) less trust than Clerics, precisely because they don't have to adhere to the tenets of the faith as strictly as Clerics do.

There's a whole starting age thing somewhere that distinguishes between Studied, Self-Taught, and Intuitive classes, related to the training the person needed (or didn't need) before he started adventuring. We just should take it that Inquisitors were in the Studied (I could have the name wrong) group, as would be true with Clerics as well.

With Paladins, there's more of a point (though I'd rather see no PrC's, with them all turned into 20 level things-- many through archetypes, but some like Arcane Trickster seem to deserve their own class; nothing is close enough to Archetype from, except maybe through the multiclass archetypes project with "First class: Arcanist, Second class: Rogue"-- using Arcanist because "Trickster" and "Exploits" seem to work together in my mind; I could see Sorcerer for Cha-based casting, as a "Trickster" would usually be Charismatic; Wizard would seem off).

But if Paladins were made a PrC that definitely required no multiclassing or specific feats, but simply, say, 5-7 levels as a Fighter (maybe Rangers could me included, possibly Slayers, but not just any martial), with Lawful Good alignment and the character having shown that he abides by the Paladin's code even without the powers, and maybe 5 levels of Knowledge (religion)...I could accept that.

I definitely dislike PrCs' usually forcing you to multiclass and usually forcing you to take specific feats that you may not want much. If it didn't force either, and at worst made you throw 5 levels into a skill that's sometimes useful anyway and you'd expect a Paladin to have, but otherwise just required showing commitment by being super-Lawful Good, my only problem would be the number of games that never even reach level 10, where the player wanting to play a Paladin would end up having to spend most of his time as something else.


It should be a Magus Archetype.

The Myrmidarch is a Fighter-y archetype and has Ranged Spellstrike, but that isnt enough to get some Arcane Archer feeling, and you have tons of abilities you simply cant use when you are an Archer. And you miss out on several important "professional Archer"-abilities, like early entry into Improved Precise Shot. A Magus can only get that at level 15, which sucked very VERY hard. --> "Yay! Finally no more stupid groupmates always blocking my Line of Fire ... and the campaign is finished... Meh"

I played a pure Myrmidarch-based Arcane Archer from Level 1 to 15 in Legacy of Fire. The damage was okay, but overall i wasnt satisfied with the build.


Oly wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Yes, but it should be forging that requires going through some levels that actually demonstrate ability to use (increasing) power responsibly out in the field, not just in boot camp. Same for Inquisitor.

I can see that for Paladins more than Inquisitors. Inquisitors require (in my view) less trust than Clerics, precisely because they don't have to adhere to the tenets of the faith as strictly as Clerics do.

If I was high priest of some religion, I wouldn't want some random person to become an Inquisitor that could override the normal rules. I would want somebody who had proven themselves beyond Clerical boot camp. I would want somebody I could trust. Let the random people become regular priests who are strictly under the religious heirarchy's rules, so that error or treachery is easily spotted.

Oly wrote:

{. . .}

With Paladins, there's more of a point (though I'd rather see no PrC's, with them all turned into 20 level things-- many through archetypes, but some like Arcane Trickster seem to deserve their own class; nothing is close enough to Archetype from, except maybe through the multiclass archetypes project with "First class: Arcanist, Second class: Rogue"-- using Arcanist because "Trickster" and "Exploits" seem to work together in my mind; I could see Sorcerer for Cha-based casting, as a "Trickster" would usually be Charismatic; Wizard would seem off).

Oz the Great and Powerful would disagree . . . although he's really some kind of Alchemist-Bard hybrid.

Oly wrote:
But if Paladins were made a PrC that definitely required no multiclassing or specific feats, but simply, say, 5-7 levels as a Fighter (maybe Rangers could me included, possibly Slayers, but not just any martial), with Lawful Good alignment and the character having shown that he abides by the Paladin's code even without the powers, and maybe 5 levels of Knowledge (religion)...I could accept that.

I mostly agree, but I would incline the martial class to be Cavalier/Samurai (as recommended by the class heirarchy in AD&D 1.x), and Smite {opposed alignment} becomes a specialization of Challenge. Actually, the lowest level Paladin/Antipaladin abilities could be applied in the Holy Warrior Cavalier/Samurai Order instead of waiting for the prestige class to start (for instance, make Lay on Hands be the Order's 2nd level ability). As Holy Warrior prestige class prerequisites, probably would want 1 feat that is relevant to being a Holy Warrior but at the same time actually useful (not sure which one to pick), 5 ranks of Knowledge (Religion), 2 ranks of Diplomacy, 2 ranks of Sense Motive, 2 ranks of a skill dependent upon your Holy Warrior Order, alignment as dictated by your Holy Warrior Order, and an event/quest-based story/RP requirement (along the lines of defeating a Devil of greater HD than yours to qualify to be a Hellknight, but with these specifics replaced by something that makes sense for your Holy Warrio Order). The Holy Warrior prestige class requirements would not require the Cavalier/Samurai stuff from levels 3 - 5 and would even be pretty flexible about making use of altered Challenge and altered or replaced Mount and/or Banner, so most Cavalier/Samurai archetypes could qualify, and you could even multiclass into something else if you wanted to.

Back to the original topic, Arcane Archer definitely would make more sense as an archetype of a base class, like a slightly tweaked version of the Magus archetype that Orthos linked above. The current Arcane Archer isn't bad if you go the caster-centric route into it (Elf/Half-Elf Sorcerer/Wizard to level 12 while picking up the needed feats), but where's the prestige? Also, the current Arcane Archer would admittedly lose a lot of its lustre if the current brokenly overpowered Anti-Magic Field (and maybe a handful of other things like that) were properly nerfed.

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