Gestalt Archer Build


Advice


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Just the title. All PF materials are allowed, no 3rd party stuff. Starting at 1st but it's okay if the build only really pays off a little later on.
I've heard lots about Zen Archer, Eldritch Archer, Fighter, Ranger and Inquisitor. Also heard something about the Slayer being okay.
I'd love to hear some concrete advice on what you would suggest, including classes, archetypes, feats, spells if any and any other choices to be made.
Looking forward to reading your thoughts!


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I'd be inclined toward Ranger/Eldritch Archer

You would have all good saves, bonus feats from the ranger, full bab, spell strike and spell combat for added damage, arcane pool for bonuses. It is a little MAD, but you don't need a ton of WIS for ranger spells (and an archetype that traded up ranger spells wouldn't be bad.)

Animal Companions are great for archers, since you can move and get a full attack every round.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Really, any full BAB class mixed with Eldritch Archer would work great. I'm partial to fighter because weapon training is just awesome on gestalt characters, but ranger is definitely a top pick choice. Slayer would be fine too if you like that.

The one thing to remember with archers is that you need the Precise Shot feat to shoot into melee accurately, and you'll want Rapid Shot and Deadly Aim for damage. So make sure those feats (along with Point Blank Shot, which is needed as a prerequisite) are your first feats.


Thank you guys!
So Eldritch Archer definitely looks awesome. From what I see, Ranger has the added benefit of the Animal Companion (so I can move and Full Attack), while Fighter gets me way way more feats, which seems to be a really good thing for an archer.
Any thoughts on Zen Archer? Maybe just as a dip, to grab some quick easy feats.
Would also love to hear some takes on Inquisitor and how that plays into this debate because I haven't had any interaction with the class.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So something like Fighter//Zen Archer or Ranger//Inquisitor would work great; zero problems there if you want to do that, these are strong classes that work well with ranged combat. However, Zen Archer and Inquisitor wouldn't mix well with Eldritch Archer. You could do it if you wanted to, and it would definitely work, but there'd be a lack of synergy there. The one level dip probably isn't very helpful, since flurry doesn't work with either rapid shot or ranged spellstrike so you lose more than you gain with just a one level dip.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Zen Archer is a good archer. Doesn't necessarily synergize well with the other archer classes though so it isn't particularly attractive for Gestalt if you want to focus on archery.

Nothing wrong with an Inquistor. Judgements and Bane are probably not going to be as heavy hitting as spell combat and spell strike, but you have a better spell list for utility and support. If damage is what you want the Magus will probably work better. Magus tends to Nova more, so if you are expecting a whole lot of fights in a day, Inquisitor might be a little more attractive, although with a full BAB martial as half of your gestalt, you should be just fine even when you don't have magus resources to spend.

I'd be cautious about Gestalt and dipping plans. You'll want to go over with your GM and make sure that you are in agreement with how it works. Personally, If I am running a Gestalt game I don't allow multiclassing at all, figuring that gestalt itself gives plenty of flexibility and multiclass and gestalt can yeild some weird results (wizard 1/ fighter 1 multiclassed to wizard x / sorcerer x ends up being full BAB even though except the first level, every level in every class is 1/2 BAB.)


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Dave Justus wrote:
(wizard 1/ fighter 1 multiclassed to wizard x / sorcerer x ends up being full BAB even though except the first level, every level in every class is 1/2 BAB.)

Allowing that particular loophole would be madness, and no reasonable GM should allow it. You need to run fractional progression alternate rules if you want to allow multiclassing gestalt.


In general, Ranger, Slayer, and Vigilante are really good for gestalt. Full BAB, good skills, two good saves, and lots of bonus feats are welcome for pretty much any class. The only class that doesn't gain a lot by gestalting with one of these is one of the others, and even then archetyped vigilantes are still good to pair with slayer or ranger. Another general recommendation is getting full casting on one side.

I propose Cleric 20 of some god with longbow as their favored weapon on one side, while grabbing Channel Smite and Guided Hand. On the other side take Ranger or Slayer for 20 levels. Full cleric casting, full BAB, 6+int skills, all good saves, profienct with all martial weapons and medium armor, lots of bonus feats, wisdom to your to hit and either a: Sneak attack and studied target or b: Animal companion, ranger spells, and favored enemy.


I’d wonder what you want out of the combo. Do you want the most damage, or are things like utility and survivability important to you? A slayer/wizard could be quite versatile, and still be a great archer, but it’s not like the two halves are really working together, other than some buffing

A ranger/shaman would be a similar combo if you want to be more woodsy.

Shadow Lodge

Dasrak wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
(wizard 1/ fighter 1 multiclassed to wizard x / sorcerer x ends up being full BAB even though except the first level, every level in every class is 1/2 BAB.)
Allowing that particular loophole would be madness, and no reasonable GM should allow it. You need to run fractional progression alternate rules if you want to allow multiclassing gestalt.

Personally, I've always interpreted Gestalt as:

  • You have two separate class progressions, which I refer to as 'left' and 'right'.
  • For most class features (including BAB, HPs, Skill Points, and the three saves), you take the better total from the 'left' or 'right' progression rather than looking at what you gain each level.

Thus a 'fighter 1 wizard 1' / 'Sorcerer 2' would still only have a +1 BAB, and a 'Fighter 1 vivisectionist alchemist 4' / 'Rogue 5' would not have +5 BAB and +5d6 Sneak Attack.


I want to gestalt Eldritch Archer with gunslinger so I can finally hit someone with a stone discus.


Maybe consider a dip one level in Primal Hunter for Rage+Exceptional Pull and get a Str Composite Bow. +2 att/dmg while raging, and +2 dmg at all times.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lelomenia wrote:
I want to gestalt Eldritch Archer with gunslinger so I can finally hit someone with a stone discus.

Eldritch Archer makes an excellent combo with the Gunslinger. In fact, even without gestalt the Gunslinger is a great 1-level dip for an Eldritch Archer. Siege Gunner and Musket Master are the two most obvious archetype choices, with Siege Gunner giving you intelligence-based grit (which has obvious synergy with the Magus) and the Musket Master making you better with the best firearm weapon.

Generally speaking there's not much point to taking more than 5 levels of Gunslinger, and you should multiclass out at that point. Any class will do; Fighter, Ranger, Slayer, they're all great. Feat requirements are Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, and Deadly Aim.


Thanks to everybody for your thoughts!
Regarding Melkiador's question, I'd love to maximize damage. Bonus points for utility that doesn't trade away too much damage.


Regarding Ranger, any thoughts on the Divine Marksman archetype? Are the trades it makes worthwhile in your opinion? (I just don't love Ranger spellcasting and would like to trade it for something good)


Divine tracker is OK if that's what you mean. If not, where's divine marksman from?

The only archetypes I know of that lose ranger spellcasting though are skirmisher (weak, but maybe good enough in gestalt) and trapper (no.) And maybe the whole slayer class as a close variant on the ranger.


Divine Marksman is the fake name for the Ilsurian Archer. It's a pretty ok archetype. You lose spellcasting, but at level 4 all of your ranged attacks are as if you have at least half your favored enemy bonus against the target. This is a pretty good trade, as instant enemy has a lot of limitations, such as a short range and limited uses per day.


Why not just go Fortune Finder and keep the spellcasting? A little extra damage is most certainly not worth the trade, IMHO.


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Dasrak wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
(wizard 1/ fighter 1 multiclassed to wizard x / sorcerer x ends up being full BAB even though except the first level, every level in every class is 1/2 BAB.)
Allowing that particular loophole would be madness, and no reasonable GM should allow it. You need to run fractional progression alternate rules if you want to allow multiclassing gestalt.

I agree that it is probably not going to be allowed. There are several mechanisms though that can be used to mitigate it (fractional progression is one) and if you are planning to multiclass you should talk it all out with your GM first, so you know how it will work.


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Kaouse wrote:
Why not just go Fortune Finder and keep the spellcasting? A little extra damage is most certainly not worth the trade, IMHO.

For a single class character I would personally agree. With Gestalt and a second casting class whose casting stat isn't WIS, I would be pretty tempted by this archetype. Makes the character a lot less MAD.


Does it have to be a bow user or are you open to gun and crossbow builds as well?


Dave Justus wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
(wizard 1/ fighter 1 multiclassed to wizard x / sorcerer x ends up being full BAB even though except the first level, every level in every class is 1/2 BAB.)
Allowing that particular loophole would be madness, and no reasonable GM should allow it. You need to run fractional progression alternate rules if you want to allow multiclassing gestalt.
I agree that it is probably not going to be allowed. There are several mechanisms though that can be used to mitigate it (fractional progression is one) and if you are planning to multiclass you should talk it all out with your GM first, so you know how it will work.

that’s not just an issue for multiclassing in gestalt, by that accounting gestalt of non multi class with a good and bad save is +15 (vs. +12 base for a good save normally at level 20).


From the original gestalt rules:

Quote:
A gestalt character can’t combine two prestige classes at any level, although it’s okay to combine a prestige class and a regular class. Prestige classes that are essentially class combinations-such as the arcane trickster, mystic theurge, and eldritch knight-should be prohibited if you’re using gestalt classes, because they unduly complicate the game balance of what’s already a high-powered variant. Because it’s possible for gestalt characters to qualify for prestige classes earlier than normal, the game master is entirely justified in toughening the prerequisites of a prestige class so it’s available only after 5th level, even for gestalt characters.


Zen Archer/Inquisitor can dish out a lot of damage, but only a limited number of times per day. Zen Archer supplies all the feats and flurry while the Inquisitor adds damage via bane and judgements. If your GM allows the unchained Zen Archer that is even better. This build also gives you very good utility through spells and class abilities. You can also take the Chivalry Inquisition to get a mount. Even when you are not going nova you still deal significant damage. This is the one Zen Archer combination that does synergize well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:

From the original gestalt rules:

Quote:
A gestalt character can’t combine two prestige classes at any level, although it’s okay to combine a prestige class and a regular class. Prestige classes that are essentially class combinations-such as the arcane trickster, mystic theurge, and eldritch knight-should be prohibited if you’re using gestalt classes, because they unduly complicate the game balance of what’s already a high-powered variant. Because it’s possible for gestalt characters to qualify for prestige classes earlier than normal, the game master is entirely justified in toughening the prerequisites of a prestige class so it’s available only after 5th level, even for gestalt characters.

For the most part, Paizo PRC's are specifically level-gated by skill ranks, BAB, or spell levels so it's not a problem. The Mystic Theurge is the only class I can think of that can qualify more than one level earlier, and it's banned for good reason (as an aside, I don't feel Arcane Trickster or Eldritch Knight would be problematic. Sneak Attack isn't going to break the bank, and the class feature trade-off on AT is fairly balanced. EK gets basically no class features and basically just gets you a better chassis, which isn't exactly hard to come by in gestalt)


Given the criteria, I'd probably go with a sniper slayer/eldritch archer magus. The damage should be really good, and you also get great skills and stat synergy.


Dasrak wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
I want to gestalt Eldritch Archer with gunslinger so I can finally hit someone with a stone discus.

Eldritch Archer makes an excellent combo with the Gunslinger. In fact, even without gestalt the Gunslinger is a great 1-level dip for an Eldritch Archer. Siege Gunner and Musket Master are the two most obvious archetype choices, with Siege Gunner giving you intelligence-based grit (which has obvious synergy with the Magus) and the Musket Master making you better with the best firearm weapon.

Generally speaking there's not much point to taking more than 5 levels of Gunslinger, and you should multiclass out at that point. Any class will do; Fighter, Ranger, Slayer, they're all great. Feat requirements are Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, and Deadly Aim.

One bit of warning of combining Eldritch Archer and Gunslinger... or, frankly, any Eldritch Archer that uses guns.

Your ranged weapon is a bonded object. Which means ANY TIME YOU CAST A SPELL, you need to have your gun in your hand or else you need to roll a concentration check. I find it pretty awkward to have to explain to the local watch why you are drawing your gun just because you want to cast Light or Greater Detect Magic.... but that could just be me :)

I have been putting together a Zen Archer-Empyreal Bloodline Sorcerer with the idea of taking Arcane Archer levels soon. Sure, you can't flurry and imbue arrows, you CAN flurry and use Arcane Strike, and the Wisdom synergy is a nice bonus, with the occasional fireball arrow or ice slick arrow to mix things up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
haremlord wrote:
I find it pretty awkward to have to explain to the local watch why you are drawing your gun just because you want to cast Light or Greater Detect Magic.... but that could just be me :)

This is just as much of a problem for the more standard archery approach, but you are correct that this is by far the biggest downside of the Eldritch Archer archetype. Having a bonded weapon is a massive downside.


Quote:
If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell.

A gun in a holster could be considered to be "worn". The intent is unclear.


Glamered is affordable after maybe level 6.


Melkiador wrote:
Quote:
If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell.
A gun in a holster could be considered to be "worn". The intent is unclear.

And failing that, having a hand on a holstered firearm is pretty easy (though it does mean you need both hands to cast. Thankfully handedness hasn't existed since 3.5 made everyone perfectly ambidextrous.). Just don't carry appendix.

If a sheathed weapon counts as worn is a pretty general question independent of this build. I can't imagine any GM going against it since it makes bonded weapons even worse than they are.


Half-Orc with the Gatecrasher alternative racial feature, and an Orc HornBow.

Fighter-Archer/Ranger-Toxophilite

Target priority list:
1. Familiars and Holy Symbols
2. Shields, Heavy armor
3. Bows and Reach weapons

Tactics:
Use the Fighter's ranged Sunder and the Toxophilite's targeting bonus to small targets, as well as the Toxophilite's full damage to objects with a bow, to kill or destroy familiars, Holy Symbols, specialty equipment the enemy relies upon.

By the time the enemy reaches the party, they have no shields, armor, or weapons. The spellcasters are nerfed without their familiars, Holy Symbols, wands, or staves.

....................

It may not be a Perfect Strike Zen Archer Monk with Bane, but it's an interesting build, nonetheless. Parties hate sunder builds, though, so maybe this is better as an enemy NPC in a gestalt campaign.

....................

I have an Aasimar ZAM/Inquisitor in my gestalt Kingmaker campaign and she is an absolute beast. Level 7, dropping maxed out health CR12 Forest Giants like it's nothing.


Melkiador wrote:
Quote:
If a wizard attempts to cast a spell without his bonded object worn or in hand, he must make a concentration check or lose the spell.
A gun in a holster could be considered to be "worn". The intent is unclear.

Unfortunately, the full text covers this:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/wizard/ wrote:
If the object is an amulet or ring, it must be worn to have effect, while staves, wands, and weapons must be held in one hand.

Since a gun is a weapon, it must be held in one hand. Having it in your holster, even while your hand on it, is not holding it.


I recently made a gunslinger (bolt ace)-rogue (underground chemist/shadow scion) that I'm intrigued by (using a launching crossbow, of course).

I didn't finish the character, but I thought it might be interesting.


I like the Bolt Ace Gunslinger quite a bit, actually.

Bolt Ace/ Warpriest is good.

Bolt Ace/ Inquisitor is good.

Bolt Ace/ Nature's Fang Druid is good.

I currently have a Bolt Ace/ Crusader Cleric as a playable NPC in my gestalt Kingmaker campaign. He mainly just does Cleric stuff, but every time the party takes him away from the temple, he does alright. The Cleric stuff doesn't help his archery much, but it makes him a way more useful Gunslinger. Lol.


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Elf* magus (eldritch archer) 8/arcane archer 3/magus +9//oracle (Wood mystery) 20.

Elf for the favored class bonus ("+1/6 to the oracle's level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation"). Wood mystery oracle for the Wood Bond revelation ("You gain a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls when wielding a weapon made of or mostly consisting of wood (such as a bow, club, quarterstaff, or spear). This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level and every five levels thereafter."). Together, that's a +1 at 1st, +2 at 5th, +3 at 9th, +4 at 13th, and +5 at 18th; plus access to divine favor/divine power (luck bonus, so it stacks). After 12th level, you can probably use the favored class level on hit points or skill ranks.**

Arcane archer adds Imbue Arrow (to deliver area effect spells) and Enhance Arrows (Elemental) on top of Ranged Spellstrike (to deliver ranged touch spells***) and Arcane Pool (to enhance the character's bow). The Broad Study magus arcana should also be taken.

*- or half-elf
**- or, if a half-elf with Multitalented, on magus (the elf favored class bonus of "1/6 of a new magus arcana")
***- and touch spells with Reach Spellstrike/Distant Spellstrike magus arcana

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