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So my inquisitor archer level 9 in PFS and kinda lost where to go on gear (or maybe do some general upgrades) As it stands right now my gear is: +1 seeking composite longbow (+2str) +2 mithril chain shirt, +2 dex belt, cloak of resist +1, extend lesser rod, handy haversack, a clear spindle ioun stone in a wayfinder, a couple potions of darkvision, potions of enlarge person and mage armor, not to mention some scrolls of endure element, a swarmsbane clasp ,and a wand of cure on his person...on his cat he has a ring of tactical precision (improved spell sharing). a +1 mithril chain shirt and a +1 amulet of might fist +1. (yes the companion has the extra item feat for ring)
As it breaks down he usually has up heightened awareness on himself, greater magic weapon (at level 9 I believe the bow is upgraded to a +2 seeking longbow) extended heroism on himself and his pet. At the start of combat he casts divine favor on himself and the pet. So combat he is pretty nice but not sure where to go.
Stats are str 14, dex 20, con 10, int 12, wis 16 and cha8..his con is low and thinking about boosting it. Reason I went with the domain is the cat acts as a buffer to keep enemies off of me
I would start with a masterwork spiked gauntlet to threaten when you are not firing your bow.
Your combat rounds would then be put both hands on bow (free action), shoot for your full round, release one hand from bow (free action). You would threaten except during the time you shoot.
Your neck slot is empty. Might want to invest in a Lesser Talisman of Life's Breath (3.5K, one use Life's Breath) and possibly Lesser Talisman of Freedom (900 gp, one use Freedom of Movement for 3 rounds) -- both found in Occult Adventures. You are at the level where having something like this can make all the difference in a battle.
I would also improve that cloak of resistance and look at adding the Adaptive enchantment (+1K, Ultimate Equipment) to your bow. Putting Adaptive on it would allow you to benefit from anything that increased your strength score.
The others are right, the cat can't directly wear a ring.
The latest FAQ talks about what slots various types of creatures have. Cat's are listed as Quadruped [claws/paws] and therefore only have the armor, belt [saddle], chest, eyes, head, headband, neck, shoulders as possible slots to unlock.
Unlocking the neck slot and putting a Hand of Glory on it would allow the cat to use one ring.
Boots of Speed (12,000 gp)
Getting Haste as a free action 10 times per day is worth the price. This is cheaper than a wand of Divine Power and doesn't take a standard action to activate.
Fog-Cutting Lenses (8,000 gp)
As a ranged attacker, you're especially vulnerable to fog and vision obscuring effects, which can shut down your damage output to zero. These are a situational item but worth their cost to have an automatic counter to vision blocking effects such as an eversmoking bottle, obscuring mist or the like.
I know you have pretty good dex, but I prefer mythral medium armor for my archers due to the fact that the bolstering enchantment cannon be placed on light armor. With your 20 dex a suit of mythral agile plate with bolstering on it would work well. Any reason why you would need to keep the chain?
Second, slapping adaptive on your bow for when accidents happen might save you at some point.
I am far more concerned about saving throws than the average player, but in your position I would upgrade the cloak as well. I fully understand that lvl 9 archer inquis has pretty beastly saves, so I wouldn't argue that it's necessarily the "correct" move.
Dusty Rose Prism (Cracked) Ioun Stone (500 gp)
A +1 bonus to initiative that stacks with pretty much everything is worth the low, low cost of admission.
Magenta Prism (Cracked) Ioun Stone (800 gp)
A +2 competence bonus to one skill, which can be changed once per day, typically when you rest and prepare new spells. Have a few skills that you'd like an extra 10% success chance on using? Buy half a dozen!
Vibrant Purple Prism (Cracked) Ioun Stone (2,000 gp)
Criminally underpriced for its power. Per the FAQ, you can buy spellcasting from an NPC and store it in this item prior to a chronicle. This opens up range: personal target: you spells of 1st level from any PFS legal spell list. Would you like to be able to cast Gravity Bow? This is how you can do it.
+1 dueling alchemical silvered cestus - 16,325 gp
A cestus is superior to a spiked gauntlet in pretty much every respect. This is a luxury purchase, not a priority, but if you've got cash and nothing else to spend it on, an extra +4 initiative never goes out of style.
Con 10... I usually do not like going below 14 when it comes to Constitution, but I might be a bit biased when it comes to that. I would definitely go for a DEX/CON belt next, but that is just me.
As for other gear, my fighter(archer) makes use of the following:
Silver Nocking Point: shooting through impossible winds with a -8 is harsh, but you can still shoot through impossible winds (no more Wind Wall blocking of the archer).
Bracers of Archery (Lesser): Simple +1 competence bonus to attack rolls. Doesn't stack with Inspire Courage, but in PFS you cannot expect there is someone at the table who uses that anyway (random people and stuff).
Durable Arrows: Not the regular ones, but the ones from special materials. 61 gp for a durable Adamantine Arrow, 31 gp for a Bloodcrystal arrow (only to be used in conjuction with thistle arrows).
Adaptive: I also recommend this. Although you can live without it, the party Skald would also like to be able to buff you further.
I do not know if you forgot to mention these next things, or maybe you do not have them, but here are some general things as well.
An Efficient Quiver (or two), any sort of Buckler (you can use it without penalty with bows), the Alchemical Arrows (Tangleshot, but more importantly Pheromone arrows), and a spiked gauntlet/cestus/armor spikes/dwarven boulder helmet (to threathen).
Wow I need to create a list for all these.
@JDLPF...I honestly planned on getting boots of speed but I thought it was a swift action and not a free action. So definitely worth looking into. Fog cutting lenses do sound useful, I went with a seeking bow so as long as they arent totally obscured I'm ok...so important but not a deal breaker. I already have a ioun stone...never looked up how multiple ones work. Confused about the vibrant purple one, how would i get gravity bow? As for a weapon...not overly worried I have a mace I've never pulled out...it is literally just a normal mace since I never upgraded it. The cat is meant to keep them busy while I take the high road...worse case litany of sloth :)
@ Del_Taco_eater..The armor is a good point I would have to do some number crunching on that since I'm so invested in the chainshirt, but AC never hurts. Adaptive is a good idea.Resist bonuses never hurt but right now (I pretty much keep heroism up whenever I can) I have a 10 fort, 11 ref and a 12 will. Which are nice and with a little gold the upgrade wouldnt be a deal breaker.
@Grimdog73..I like those gloves...funny enough I would like them on the companion more...wording is odd though...is it one glove or two? Either way a pretty nice route.
@ Mr Bonkers... I agree the con was a mistake (made this character around 5 years ago) A dex/con belt is on my short list. I actually have the potions of enlarge to use against wind effects (with large arrows) although I never went that route...that said the silver nocking point is right up my route. I actually have clustered shot so almost never need special arrows...although the durable bloodcrystal thistle arrow sounds darn nice...but a tad confused...how much is the bleed damage from thistle arrows? I do have a efficient quiver (not sure how i missed that) another might be useful...but if i go the durable route not sure how much i will need it. The buckler is nice but i was told before that if you shoot the bow you lose the armor bonus. I always forget about the pheromone arrows, is tangleshot still worth it in later levels?
The vibrant purple prism (cracked) ioun stone stores one level of spell within it. You can then activate the item to cast the spell upon yourself.
Ordinarily this isn't a big deal, since potions are cheap. However, unlike a potion, a spell storing item lets you gain the benefits of a personal range spell.
To use this item, you need to have a spellcaster cast a level 1 spell into the ioun stone first. In this case, a level 1 NPC wizard can cast Gravity Bow per the PFS rules at a cost of 10 gp prior to the session starting.
Once the spell is stored inside the stone, you wear the stone and spend a standard action at any point to cast the spell on yourself.
This also works with spells like Shield, Aspect of the Falcon and the like. Whilst it's only 1 minute, it opens up a lot of options you'd otherwise not have access to with your class spell list. It's an even better item for pure martial classes with no spellcasting at all.
Huh bought the hand, Luckily a companion already gets the neck slot...BUT my one and only magic item...the amulet of mighty fist is there...which is a bit of a issue. Anyone know off hand if you can customize the location of magic items in pfs? Sigh feel like I'm bashing my head in the wall for this feat...it's nice but man. Only option I could figure is go from the cat to something like a dinosaur or a ape. Not familiar with dinosaurs in the game...honestly ignore that aspect. The whole planet of the ape guardian would be amusing. That would allow him to take the ring.. but would the temptation to take armor prof and a greatsword be too much for the ape :) Nah but seriously any dino worth looking at?
Gravity Bow will, on average, add +2.5 damage per hit (1d8 = 4.5 average, 2d6 = 7 average). Aspect of the Falcon on the other hand adds +1 competence bonus to attack rolls and doubles your weapon's critical threat range.
Neither of these spells are available to an Inquisitor without investing into a wand and UMD, to say nothing of needing a free hand to activate the wand, since they're personal range spells and therefore cannot legally be purchased as potions.
So assuming you're not using UMD, is it worth 2,000 gp for 1 minute per session?
Personally, I say yes. The aforementioned Deliquescent Gloves, for example, add +3.5 average acid damage per hit for 8,000 gp cost. The advantage is they don't require a command activation and have unlimited duration for four times the cost.
Of course, feel free to differ in your opinion. Building a character and selecting their gear is part of the fun, after all!
So, first to address the "ape with greatsword" thing...
Animal, plant, and vermin companions in categories marked with an asterisk (*) are able to grasp and carry one object at a time in their paws, claws, or hands, including weapons, rods, wands, and staves, as long as their carrying capacity is sufficient. No animal, plant, or vermin companions can wield weapons or activate magic items, with the exception of the imp granted by the diabolist prestige class, which uses the rules for an imp familiar (See “Can my familiar wield weapons or use magic items?”), and the promethean alchemist’s homunculus, which gains weapon proficiency as described in the archetype. Animal, plant, and vermin companions cannot use spell trigger, spell completion, command word, or use-activated magic items (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 458). An animal companion with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher may use ioun stones.
Bolding mine, PFS FAQ here. So unfortunately, an animal companion cannot gain proficiency, or even wield a weapon, no matter how humanoid it is (exception being the Imp and Homunculus companions from the Diabolist and Promethean Alchemist). Also, you cannot customize a magic item in PFS. Crafting/customizing items is not allowed in PFS as stated in the Guide.
Now with that unfortunate news out of the way, your question about the various arrows. First the Thistle Arrow, which is a mess to understand until you realize you need 2 books to have the complete rule set. You see, the Adventurer's Armory version you find online a lot only mentions a small part of the item. This is because in that book, it was stated that this was a clarification on how the item worked when imported from the old rules (as presented in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting). So that single little sentence must be used in combination with the following description found in the Campaign Setting:
Thistle Arrow: These arrows are a specialty of the Ekujae shamans, who craft the arrowheads out of the thistles of a toxic plant that most creatures find highly caustic. They deal normal damage but then become embedded in the wound and deal an additional 1 point of damage each round for 1d6 rounds from their irritating sap. Creatures immune to poison are immune to this extra damage. A creature can remove an embedded thistle arrow as a move action without provoking attacks of opportunity, but doing so deals an additional 1d3 points of damage as the thorny barbs are pulled free. A DC 12 Heal check (made as a standard action) can pull free a thistle arrow's head without dealing any additional damage. A single thistle arrow costs 1 gp.
So it deals normal damage, and that additional point of damage it does has been defined as being bleed damage (I guess to prevent it from stacking to absurd amounts of passive damage each round). Furthermore, because the arrowhead is made vegetable matter, and it gains its power from that fact, I doubt Thistles Arrowheads can be made of different materials and keep their properties. What I meant with Durable Bloodcrystal arrows in combination with Thistle arrows, was shooting them in succession of each other. I'm sorry if I was too vague on that, my mistake.
Tangleshot arrows are still useful at higher levels, because you have iteratives. If it seems that the opponent has high AC and people are having trouble hitting that opponent, shooting a Tangleshot Arrow with your iterative attack could not only help you, but also help your allies to hit. Remember, you do not fire it to glue someone to the floor, you do it to impose the Entangle condition.
And finally, Durable Adamantine Arrows. You state you have Clustered Shots, which is a damn fine feat. However, it has a small thing people tend to forget:
When you use a full-attack action to make multiple ranged weapon attacks against the same opponent, total the damage from all hits before applying that opponent’s damage reduction.
People tend to forget that there is also something called Hardness, which isn't covered by this feat. So they are handy to have when dealing with Constructs and stuff, because they tend to have hardness 5 (or more). And the Adamantine Arrows are pricey enough to warrant the durable upgrade on them. You do not want to shoot 60 gp per arrow into nothingness.
@jdlpf not saying it is a bad idea but I find this character strapped for actions. One of the reasons I went the improved spell sharing route.
@ Mr bonkers... figured as much but a large ape in full armor and a weapon protecting him would be cool. Thinking a Velociraptor might work.. just need to get over the whole Dino thing. Didn't realize hardness was a separate thing.
So need to switch for a new companion and save 8000 and invest in at least 20 of those arrows
So I switch to a Velociraptor. Gear upgrade is looking like switching my armor from a +2 mithril chainshirt to a +1 mirthil agile breastplate. A mw buckler, Belt to a +2 dex/con. A silver nocking point, 50 durable adamantine arrows, a second efficient quiver and finally 50 pheromone arrows. That would leave me a couple hundred gold. But this saturday the gm is running a mod so 3 sessions back to back so I will level and should get some decent gold
Consider changing or adding a Rod of Lesser Quicken particularly if you find yourself trying to improve your action economy. My Cleric based archer always found it useful to rapidly get those buffs off and get on with the skewering targets. In the first round you now have Divine Favor plus another already going.
Encouraging metamagic rod, Knight's Pennon (Battle), Spell storing armor with Stricken Heart (never get full attacked again), bolstering armor (you should be attacking casters first).
A meancing amulet for your animal companion buffs your whole group.
Jaunt Boots, 2 Cracked Pale Green Prism, a lucky horse shoe.