Gestalt: Zen Archer + ?


Advice


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello,

I am in a game where I am playing a dwarven Zen Archer. We recently lost a player so we were thinking about playing extra characters, but I also suggested to the GM that maybe making our existing characters gestalts could be a way to go.

So I have a high str, dex and amazing wis, her con is okay while her int and cha are awful.

I thought about wis based caster and the cleric or a druid would work but I have a dwarven druid in another game. She is LN so I don't feel like the Empyrian Sorc would fit for her.

I have been thinking about the Hunter as she would get a good animal companion as well as some wis based spells among them the awesome Gravity Bow.

Now would there be any other good mixes that I have overlooked? Warpriest, Inquisitor? I feel like the Ranger overlaps a bit much but am I wrong?


I found that Warpriest added to Zen Archer works nicely. It increases the damage of your arrows and allows for on-the-fly enchantment of your weapon as well as clerical spells.


DalmarWolf wrote:
She is LN so I don't feel like the Empyrian Sorc would fit for her.

Well it would just mean that one far ancestor was a celestial, that has little to do with your alignment. In Pathfinder lore there are a decent amount of evil Aasimars already so it wouldn't be strange just being Neutral


Ranger will let you take single shots better, but the combat styles overlap a lot and the spell list isn't anything to write home about. The biggest gains are gravity bow before combats and d10 HD. It might free up some of your feat slots, but the biggest benefit is gone (unless you want to rebuild regular flurry).

Warpriest can combat cast and fight, which is a definite plus. However, you basically lose out on the whole sacred armor feature. If you take Sacred Fist, there's a lot of overlap, which is also bad. Still, Warpriest has the best self-buffing ability of any divine class.

Inquisitor, while not quite being able to combat cast like a Warpriest, can use judgement for some crazy damage and hit chance. And there isn't much overlap, but there's Stalwart, which could save you from the most vicious will and fort effects that hurt even on a successful save. And WIS to social skills for an inquisition and to initiative will be amazing.

Hunter is not going to help much. A companion is nice, but requires a lot of investment to function into later levels. Spells are nice, but the Warpriest has a much better spell-dispensing mechanism and the Inquisitor has some quicker spells. Most of the Hunter Animal Focus bonuses can be replicated through equipment or your Monk class features.

If you want a pet and extra damage, a Beast Rider Luring Cavalier might be what you're looking for. Adding a load of damage to each attack (which you get a ton of), and having full BAB (For Deadly Aim), d10s, a full animal companion, and better damage boosts than Gravity Bow will let you terrify your enemies pretty badly. You lose the utility aspect that Hunter would give, as well as the pet synergy, but that's an acceptable tradeoff for damage (lots of it).

I'd personally recommend Inquisitor.


I'd simply go for cleric. I wouldn't bother trying to come up with classes that have abilities that augment the archery. The archery is fine in situation where the challenge is simply physical. Having the option to also use the abilities of a powerful full 9 level caster class without complications, that's the best deal you're going to get.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Inquisitor is a great choice. Even Multiclassed with Zen Archer leads to some really solid stuff. Bane and Judgement means that when you nova you will be doing really insane damage. You can get your face skills based on WIS and jacked up to really high levels, which is big deal if your low player count means covering multiple party roles.

You also get some sweet spells that a Warpriest doesn't. Invisibility, litany spells, bowstaff, honeyed words.. Plus six skill points a level makes up for your crap INT.

I highly recommend it.

Dark Archive

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sniper rogue, getting sneak attack on a flurry of arrows is pretty neat

Sovereign Court

It depends whether you want to do what you do even better - or branch out to do more.

For the former - Inquisitor, Sorcerer, druid, or Ranger are all rather nice. They all give some spellcasting to help your archery - sorcerer gives spells you might do instead of archery, and ranger makes your pseudo full-bab really full-bab and adds HP.

Fighter and Slayer are good choices as well if you don't want to deal with spell-casting. Fighter will add all sorts of static damage & accuracy buffs to your archery, and as a monk you avoid the disadvantages of a Fighter. Slayer does somewhat the same thing with Studied Target - and the SA is nice. Both also give you real full BAB and add HP.

For expanding what you do - ninja could be nice. You'll gain a bit of ki - and gain a lot of things to do with it. SA is always nice, and at 10 when you gain Greater Invis - the Zen Archer's flurry with 5d6 SA each shot becomes stupidly good. The skill points can be nice as well.

In terms of raw power - go sorcerer and focus upon out of combat spells - buffing etc with a few in-combat spells to mix things up or for when someone throws up a Wind Wall. (Dispel is always nice to deal with said Wind Wall.)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly, it may depend on what you need covered in the party. Inquisitor is still my top pick, but if you don't have someone going Cleric or Oracle already you may need access to their casting.

Sovereign Court

ulgulanoth wrote:
sniper rogue, getting sneak attack on a flurry of arrows is pretty neat

With both classes having ki - going ninja is probably superior. Sniping only involves a single attack, and therefore it wastes flurry of arrows.

Dark Archive

the sniper rogue (the archetype) increases the range of your sneak attack, to all range attacks, which is the only reason I didn't say ninja

Grand Lodge

Inquisitor or Hunter would be my choices.

Flurry of arrows and Bane is a +2 to hit and +2d6+2 damage PER SHOT. It is great. Plus a lot of skills and some fun inquisitions or domains.

Hunter can get you a pet, which some will tell you is an investment to make good, but a Deinychus pet is simply awesome. It also gets you Gravity bow, which should stack with the ki pool making the arrows deal unarmed strike damage.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Or go best of both worlds with a Sacred Hunt master. ^_^


My vote would be for Cleric too. Having played a Zen archer into mid teens I know you aren't going to be hurting for damage. You will already be a machine gun with crazy bonuses and nigh unbeatable in combat unless circumstances force you not to use your bow.

Cleric gives you so much. 2 domains (1 can be used to get you an animal companion if you like that idea) with abilities like, freedom of movement, roll twice on initiative, swift action heroism... 9th level casting (this should be enough on it's own) and with your high wisdom you will get tons of bonus spells.

I don't know if this would work for you, but off the top of my head I would suggest the Ecclesitheurge cleric Erastil (obviously only if you already worship). You lose nothing important for your archer, but gain flexibility with your domain, a bonded holy symbol, and you can enchant/upgrade your holy symbol. Coincidentally the holy symbol for Erastil is the bow and arrow... You could turn your bow into your holy symbol! Not to mention you can use your holy symbol to have spontaneous access to any spell on the cleric spell list anytime you need it once per day.


Hahaha Captain Morgan beat me to it, I was also going to suggest hunt master.

There are two important questions that need to be answered: 1) What other characters are in the party (and what character left) so we know what weaknesses need to be overcome. 2)Do you want your second class to improve archery or open up versatility?

Inquisitor boosts archery while still opening up spells and adding potential party face skills so it is probably your best bet, though war priest or hunter are by no means bad options. I have not seen anyone recommend shaman yet. As far as 9th lvl spell casters go I think it adds as much as cleric does.


If the guy who left was a front liner:
Brawler is ideal to get back your melee. There's a bit of overlap, but it does let you pick up pummeling style.
Ranger (TWF, mounted, or two handed) is decent if brawler//monk gestalt isn't allowed, though it doesn't qualify for pummeling style. You get archery boosting spells as well.
Hunter will get a front line pet while boosting your archery.

If the guy who left was a healer:
Cleric is still the only complete healer outside one witch patron. You're probably going to sacrifice the least by taking a healer role so unless someone else wants cleric or two people are planning to share the role or there's someone dying to be a paperwork oracle

Spoiler:
Oracles don't have enough spells known but can do the job with lots of pages of spell knowledge and scrolls (the paperwork oracle above). Druids never get remove blindness/deafness or restoration, get reincarnate instead of raise dead, and get heal late. Shamans never get remove disease and get a bunch of important stuff only from the life spirit and get heal late unless they take the life spirit. Warpriests get everything except resurrection, but get it late -- up to five levels late for heal. Paladins can do everything with mercies and ultimate mercy, but are so late to blindness/deafness and restoration they may as well not have them except for scroll access.

If the guy who left was an arcane controller or blaster:
Druid
Celestial Sorcerer

If the guy who left was a debuffer:
Shaman

If the guy who left was a buffer:
Evangelist Cleric (preferably Erastil) gets you prayer, blessing of fervor, good hope (if Erastil), and inspire courage. Your charisma penalty will impact your perform rounds, but you'll still have (2/level)-1 rounds. Hopefully if you've lost a buffer someone with more charisma will gestalt bard and you won't have to.

If the guy who left was a blaster:
Druid
Celestial Sorcerer
Or buy a swarmbane clasp and double down on archery with inquisitor, hunter, mounted combat style ranger, or luring cavalier.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The one who is still in the game is a Magus and the one that left was a Druid. Thanks for all the suggestions so far :))


Empyreal Sorcerer into Arcane Archer is quite fun
Barbarian, especially Savage Technologist, can be absolutely deadly


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

For pure combat focus, Druid might do cool things... Wild shaping into things which can still use a bow can up your damage dice, provide strength boosts and natural armor. You also get druid spells and stuff. But I'd think you would be better served by Cleric or Inquisitor.

Cleric or Warpriest also get you open up the ki channel feat, which can be rather awesome.

The Exchange

Inquisitor makes a great Zen Archer Combo


Warpriest of Erastil maybe? Going with your bow as the sacred weapon


Cleric super strong choice simply because you can summon to give you more action economy and then shoot behind your meat shield. Inquisitor is pretty good if you pick a good combination of features.


As several people have said combining Zen Archer with an Inquisitor is going to lead to some insane damage. With the right inquisition this would also allow you to become a skill monkey.

If your alignment was good that would open allow you more options. A Stone Lord Paladin would actually be pretty decent. You gain full BAB and the ability to enter a defensive stance, which is basically the same as a barbarians rage. You also gain some decent defenses including DR Adamantine equal to half your level and the ability to sometimes ignore critical hits or sneak attack. It also gives you an earth elemental as a companion.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Archer archetype for the fighter from the APG.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

As several people have said combining Zen Archer with an Inquisitor is going to lead to some insane damage. With the right inquisition this would also allow you to become a skill monkey.

If your alignment was good that would open allow you more options. A Stone Lord Paladin would actually be pretty decent. You gain full BAB and the ability to enter a defensive stance, which is basically the same as a barbarians rage. You also gain some decent defenses including DR Adamantine equal to half your level and the ability to sometimes ignore critical hits or sneak attack. It also gives you an earth elemental as a companion.

It doesn't look like all the Stone Lord abilities work with archery though.

One problem with going Cleric: every round you use a standard to cast a spell is a round you aren't raining down death via flurry goodness. Fervor, bane, and judgment all mesh better with your full attack paradigm. At least until you can quicken spells.


I'd suggest cleric. Preferably Iomedae (I misspoke before about which cleric gets good hope). Followers of Irori can cast haste as a 4th level spell, but it's not that much better than blessing of fervor which all clerics get. Still, if you already follow Irori, which is likely for a monk, it may be an upgrade.

Warpriest offers too little. You can already do unarmed damage with arrows beyond anything favored weapon offers and nothing else the class offers is worth the slower spell progression. Fervor isn't very good for you. You can just not bother buffing for most fights or spend your round casting something the warpriest doesn't have access to yet. Or you can quicken divine favor

You're going to need restore and removes on the cleric schedule. Their levels are mostly set based on the CR of the enemies that make you need them. Or vica versa: both the spells and monsters in question are first edition legacy. They often appear at that level in APs. You'll level a little faster not having to share XP as many ways, but since XP requirements rise it will resolve to a small boost that will stay small. That might get oracle onto schedule to be able to cast with pages of spell knowledge since that's just a 1 level delay, but it won't get a warpriest on schedule with his increasing delay. I guess if the magus is an eldritch scion going for oracle you don't have to be the healer and can be a warpriest, but if you don't have to be the healer why be either?

If your friend is taking suggestions I'd suggest he add investigator to get more skills, a huge damage and accuracy boost, and extracts for general utility. Unless he's one of the unarmored magus archetypes in which case witch, wizard, or sage sorcerer might offer more.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

As several people have said combining Zen Archer with an Inquisitor is going to lead to some insane damage. With the right inquisition this would also allow you to become a skill monkey.

If your alignment was good that would open allow you more options. A Stone Lord Paladin would actually be pretty decent. You gain full BAB and the ability to enter a defensive stance, which is basically the same as a barbarians rage. You also gain some decent defenses including DR Adamantine equal to half your level and the ability to sometimes ignore critical hits or sneak attack. It also gives you an earth elemental as a companion.

It doesn't look like all the Stone Lord abilities work with archery though.

One problem with going Cleric: every round you use a standard to cast a spell is a round you aren't raining down death via flurry goodness. Fervor, bane, and judgment all mesh better with your full attack paradigm. At least until you can quicken spells.

Stone strike is the only thing that does not work with archery. Defensive stance works fine with archery as long as you have an adaptive bow. Since it is a morale bonus it stacks with any enchantment bonus you have like belts or bulls strength.

A Zen archer still gets the unarmed damage of a regular monk so even stone strike is not completely useless. This allows you to still be effective is your archery is shut down.


If you want a insight into what a zen archer/Inquisitor looks like I have an old one made up from a past Gestalt campaign. I like to think of myself as a decent character maker so hopefully this will help out. Lot of reading and moving parts though since it's gestalt, not the most versitile since this was made for a one-shot that was mostly team combat but no reason it shoudlnt fit in any basic gestalt(Since any full-caster usually covers all the utility a party will need). http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=700855

Edit: After reading through it I realized I had an animal companion for this one but I cant remember for the life of me what animal it was or which sheet it was so I dont have that one to display. But im sure you have your own companion you would like to pick out for it anyways :) I think I picked a Hippo or something for fun but again not sure.


Captain Morgan wrote:
One problem with going Cleric: every round you use a standard to cast a spell is a round you aren't raining down death via flurry goodness. Fervor, bane, and judgment all mesh better with your full attack paradigm. At least until you can quicken spells.

Yeah, 9-level casting classes usually don't make the best gestalts if you want to retain the flavor of the other class. Zen Archer/Cleric will end up looking a lot more like "Cleric who's good with a bow" than "Zen Archer who can cast spells."

I'll toss another vote in for the Inquisitor. Bard or Investigator would also be really good if you can afford the MAD-ness of the combo.


This isn't about flavor. The point is to make a two person party work. That means that what's important is having the capabilities expected of a four person party. Action economy isn't as important as having the out of combat capabilities that come from full casters.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:
This isn't about flavor. The point is to make a two person party work. That means that what's important is having the capabilities expected of a four person party. Action economy isn't as important as having the out of combat capabilities that come from full casters.

Are you mixing your threads up? We know he's got a small party, but 2 people doesn't seem to be mentioned, and we have no data on the rest of the composition, or even if they are playing an AP.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Atarlost wrote:
This isn't about flavor. The point is to make a two person party work. That means that what's important is having the capabilities expected of a four person party. Action economy isn't as important as having the out of combat capabilities that come from full casters.
Are you mixing your threads up? We know he's got a small party, but 2 people doesn't seem to be mentioned, and we have no data on the rest of the composition, or even if they are playing an AP.
DalmarWolf wrote:
The one who is still in the game is a Magus and the one that left was a Druid. Thanks for all the suggestions so far :))

His monk and his friend's magus make two. We don't know they're playing an AP, but lots of GMs like using "classics" that do "interesting" things that need cleric spells to fix even when not running APs.


I second all the hubbub about inquisitor, but with that said, does your gaming group allow or have you read into dreamscarred press' psionics?

The Marksman can make an insane archery build in gestalt, especially with zen archer, and there is surprisingly little overlap.

Full Bab, Wisdom synergy, and the option of The Shroud archetype can make you even more of a tactical espionage beast.

Just a thought.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
One problem with going Cleric: every round you use a standard to cast a spell is a round you aren't raining down death via flurry goodness. Fervor, bane, and judgment all mesh better with your full attack paradigm. At least until you can quicken spells.

Yeah, 9-level casting classes usually don't make the best gestalts if you want to retain the flavor of the other class. Zen Archer/Cleric will end up looking a lot more like "Cleric who's good with a bow" than "Zen Archer who can cast spells."

I'll toss another vote in for the Inquisitor. Bard or Investigator would also be really good if you can afford the MAD-ness of the combo.

one variant on this could be an evangelist cleric based on glory/heroism. as swift actions you are inspiring and buffing away to help your shooting and casting as a backup.


If Psionics is permitted Soulknife with the Soulbolt Archetype could perhaps, be rather frightening. Maybe add in the Gifted Blade Archetype to get some actual manifesting ability.

The Exchange

I would do sanctified slayer with feather domain if possible. I would also offset the bab with a full bab class in one of them so you get full bab progression on the 3/4 bab classes.


Slyph wrote:
I would do sanctified slayer with feather domain if possible. I would also offset the bab with a full bab class in one of them so you get full bab progression on the 3/4 bab classes.

I'd give good odds that DalmarWolf decided what he was going to play about 3 years ago.


I know this is a necro-ed thread, but I made a Scaled Fist Monk / Stormborn Sorcerer gestalt. He's a homebrew race that has a Fly Speed and I found a cool weapon that he can flurry with while hovering over the opponents' heads - the Rope Dart. I made him to be the BBEG NPC if I ever get the chance to run my own game.

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