Archers in 2.0


Advice

Silver Crusade

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Greetings all!
In Pathfinder 2.0 I'd like to try something that I never got the chance to do in Pathfinder 1.0. I'd like to build a sort of medieval Hawkeye or Green Arrow, the best and most efficient non-magical, strictly skill-based archer / ranged fighter that the new game rules can produce. What would you guys suggest? The Fighter route? The Ranger route? Or a multiclass combination? Would multiclassing considerably slow my progress in any way?
Thanks in advance!

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

For what you want to do, most likely the fighter route from having all the classical archery feats as class feats, to becoming legendary with a bow without investing into it.

Ranger gets similar abilities to the fighter in archery but focus on their hunting prey mechanic. Hunting a prey, gives them various bonuses.

So if you want to hunt, ranger, if you just want to shoot, fighter.

This is just my opinion.


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Do you want to make multiple shots? Then Ranger main for Flurry would be better.

More accurate and thus likely to score a critical hit? Fighter better weapon proficiency is the answer.

I personally think that at lower level, Ranger Hunted shot makes you feel like an Archer sooner than Fighter though.

Rogue is probably the dedication that you are looking for if you wish to multiclass.


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I skimmed over the class feats again and the answer seems to be: it depends on what you want

If you just want to hit hard and effective and your bow skill goes above all else go fighter

If you want to go on it tactical and more options that seem less standard go ranger

If you want a sniper consider rogue with one of the two as multiclass

And multiclassing wouldn'T slow down your progress by much and give you a number of options, but both seem to already have good options by themselves, so it depends, as said, on what you want (and of course a bit on the abilities sorrounding your skill feat)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Alchemist dip might be nice as well. Gives poisons every day and some nice backup tools if enemies get too close.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Alchemist dip might be nice as well. Gives poisons every day and some nice backup tools if enemies get too close.

By the time you get each poison, their DC will be trivial.

Grand Lodge

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Eltacolibre wrote:
For what you want to do, most likely the fighter route from having all the classical archery feats as class feats, to becoming legendary with a bow without investing into it.

I agree...and that pretty much knocks out my preferred character to play in RPG. Ever since reading The Lord of the Rings back in the 70's, my favorite PCs to roleplay were Elven Rangers/Scouts with longbows. Nerfing the longbow with the volley penalty and putting a lot of the classical archery feats as fighter class feats makes that particular class/race combo one I have little interest in playing now. Others may differ though, this is just how I feel about it...


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Rangers with precision edge are also a good option. You don't need to worry about using all your actions to attack and get the most out of flurry, just hunted shot is enough.

Silver Crusade

Thanks for the answers and suggestions, guys!
Well, first and foremost, I'd like to be able to consistently hit what I'm aiming at, the harder the better, but I'd also like a lot of versatility to my fighting style. I'd like to be able to shoot from a run, from a tumble, from a climb, from a fall, that sort of thing. So I'll probably need some sort of Acrobatics, Athletics, something like that.

From what I've gathered so far, Fighter might be the way to go. I'm not all that interested in the nature / animal companion / wilderness aspect of the Ranger, so I might even do without multiclassing, unless Ranger has something really cool and useful at later levels.

Other than that, I was thinking of adding further versatility with different arrows, presuming I take the Bowyer / Fletcher profession and my GM lets me craft special arrows, such as explosive, acid, grappling, deafening, stuff like that.

Is race a factor here? Do I need to be an elf or would human / half-elf suffice?

Dark Archive

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The fighter will be the better archer due to the increase in proficiency (He'll always be one proficiency category ahead to hit vs. the ranger at L1, L5, and L13 in his primary weapon). A +2 increase to hit nets a higher crit chance and will be more important to overall damage than anything else.

That being said, the ranger has a few things to try and re-align it. For example the 'Flurry' Hunter Edge selection decreases MAP on your hunted target. With the L1 Hunted Shot Feat that can bring some balance, but at some point your shots are so inaccurate that it may be a wasted action to throw them out. A standard turn for both classes (say L6 so triple shot is in play) looks like this (values are considering the +2 proficiency that fighters have over rangers at all times):

Round 1:
- Fighter:
- 1 Action(s) - Point-Blank Shot Stance (Extra Damage or Accuracy)
- 2 Action(s) - Doubleshot (-2/-2)

- Ranger:
- 1 Action(s) - Hunt Prey
- 1 Action(s) - Hunted Shot (-2/-5)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-8)

Round 2:
- Fighter:
- 2 Action(s) - Doubleshot (-2/-2)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-10)
or
- 3 Action(s) - Tripleshot (-4/-4/-4)

- Ranger:
- 1 Action(s) - Hunted Shot (-2/-5)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-8)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-11)
or
- Ranger:
- 1 Action(s) - Hunt Prey
- 1 Action(s) - Hunted Shot (-2/-5)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-8)

While the ranger can put out more attacks per turn, the fighter is more accurate for the ones that count. Critical hits are likely where the majority of big damage will come from (especially since the comp. bows are deadly d10). Someone would need to run the math, but it may be beneficial to just take the +0/-5/-10 attack sequence for the chance on the +0.

Things get worse for the ranger if they are trying to hit a non-hunted target (-5/-10 MAP instead of -3/-6). It may become quite obnoxious to have to re-hunt multiple times in a battle. Note also that past level 7, when weapon specialization kicks in, the extra fighter proficiency bumps their damage with an equivalent weapon by +1.

I just posted a rules questions regarding the hunt prey feature concerning the ranged penalty wording, but I suspect that the ranger will also need to drop down to a short bow (D6 vs. D8) or multi-class into fighter to get point-blank shot to avoid the volley 30' penalty (most combats happen within the 60ft ranage and having to deal with cover and a volley penalty would suck).

One possible MC that might be somewhat beneficial is MC into bard. At L8 you can get inspire courage so you could spend 1 action to inspire yourself/party for a +1 Attack/+1 Damage to all subsequent attacks in the round. It would require 14 CHA and 2 feats, but you could grab L1-L7 spells without too much trouble for self buffs.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ancestries when it comes to classes, really don't matter that much.

As you level up, your ancestries just make you "more dwarf", "more human", "more elf" etc...

Elves, of course, get some bow stuff but it's more add on to the class than the main feature.

Like for example, Elves level 13 feat gives you the same class training, that you get as expert and higher in all kind of bows.

It's nice but for example, Fighter already gets that in all weapons (in a weapon group) so as an archer you will most likely choose bows.

So this feat might be nice for Wizards or other classes with fewer proficiencies.

Silver Crusade

Thank you guys!
Red Griffyn, this analysis was absolutely AMAZING!
I'll print out this whole thread once I get around to actually creating my Archer, because this is insanely useful and in-depth! When all is said and done, it would seem that Paizo more or less reserved the Fighter class built with ranged combat in mind for those who'd like to go for a really dedicated Archer.


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Red Griffyn wrote:

The fighter will be the better archer due to the increase in proficiency (He'll always be one proficiency category ahead to hit vs. the ranger at L1, L5, and L13 in his primary weapon). A +2 increase to hit nets a higher crit chance and will be more important to overall damage than anything else.

That being said, the ranger has a few things to try and re-align it. For example the 'Flurry' Hunter Edge selection decreases MAP on your hunted target. With the L1 Hunted Shot Feat that can bring some balance, but at some point your shots are so inaccurate that it may be a wasted action to throw them out. A standard turn for both classes (say L6 so triple shot is in play) looks like this (values are considering the +2 proficiency that fighters have over rangers at all times):

Round 1:
- Fighter:
- 1 Action(s) - Point-Blank Shot Stance (Extra Damage or Accuracy)
- 2 Action(s) - Doubleshot (-2/-2)

- Ranger:
- 1 Action(s) - Hunt Prey
- 1 Action(s) - Hunted Shot (-2/-5)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-8)

Round 2:
- Fighter:
- 2 Action(s) - Doubleshot (-2/-2)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-10)
or
- 3 Action(s) - Tripleshot (-4/-4/-4)

- Ranger:
- 1 Action(s) - Hunted Shot (-2/-5)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-8)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-11)
or
- Ranger:
- 1 Action(s) - Hunt Prey
- 1 Action(s) - Hunted Shot (-2/-5)
- 1 Action(s) - Strike (-8)

While the ranger can put out more attacks per turn, the fighter is more accurate for the ones that count. Critical hits are likely where the majority of big damage will come from (especially since the comp. bows are deadly d10). Someone would need to run the math, but it may be beneficial to just take the +0/-5/-10 attack sequence for the chance on the +0.

Things get worse for the ranger if they are trying to hit a non-hunted target (-5/-10 MAP instead of -3/-6). It may become quite obnoxious to have to re-hunt multiple times in a battle....

This should note that fighter double shot must target two different targets until level 6 so there is a different play experience up to that point. Also, if the target is outside of the first range incriment the ranger catches up with hunt prey and far shot increasing range


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should also note ranger double shot combines damage for purposes of resistance, which may have some value.


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i generally find RAnger with multiclass fighter (to nab the level 1 stance) to be the superior archer.

the -2/-4 less penalty on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th+ attacks make up for the loss of base proficiency almost immediately, and he just have way more cool tricks to pair up with his archery (like 4x range and AoO with bow and etc)


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

You mentioned wanting a way of firing arrows that deal fire/frost/acid/etc damage. If you want to do this RAW, you can do it with a crossbow focused Ranger (optionally with a alchemist multiclass) and the Alchemical Crossbow from the new Plaguestone adventure.

I say Ranger because I think they’re currently the only ones who can really use a crossbow well. (The Alchemist multiclass is optional because you can just buy the relevant bombs if you prefer.)


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Krky77 wrote:

Greetings all!

In Pathfinder 2.0 I'd like to try something that I never got the chance to do in Pathfinder 1.0. I'd like to build a sort of medieval Hawkeye or Green Arrow, the best and most efficient non-magical, strictly skill-based archer / ranged fighter that the new game rules can produce. What would you guys suggest? The Fighter route? The Ranger route? Or a multiclass combination? Would multiclassing considerably slow my progress in any way?
Thanks in advance!

I would build a Human Fighter (including halfelf/halforc), taking Versatile or General Training to get Fleet. Martial Disciple background for Acrobatics + Cat Fall. 18 dex, 14 or 16 str. 16 doesn't get you an immediate benefit, but getting to 18 sooner will.

Composite Shortbow + Point Blank Shot
1+4+4 = +9 to hit, and 1d6+4 ~= 7.5 damage on a hit, 2d6+8+1d10 ~= 20.5 on crit.

There isn't an obvious archer fighter feat at level 2, (assisting shot seems niche?) so taking the rogue dedication for more skills is a good option.

Double Shot at level 4, etc.

Silver Crusade

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Personally, I'd take The multiclassing into ranger. That seems to combine the best options to me. Hunt Prey is just too nice to pass up


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Differences between various archers (Fighter, Ranger, Rogue:

Proficiency: T/E/M/L
Fighter: 2/2/5/13
Ranger: 1/5/13/NA
Rogue: 1/5/13/NA

Weapon Specialization/Greater
Fighter: 7/15
Ranger: 7/15
Rogue: 7/15

Fighter Feats:
1: Point-Blank Shot: Ignore volley or add +2 damage within first range increment
2: Assisting Shot: Aid action at range
4: Double Shot: >> for two Strikes at -2
6: Triple Shot: >>> for three strikes at -4
8: Incredible Aim: >> for one strike at +2, ignore concealed
8: Mobile Shot Stance: Ranged attacks don't trigger AAOs, and can be used for AAOs
10: Agile Grace: MAP for agile weapons is now -3 and -6
10: Debilitating Shot: >> for strike that slows 1 (Flourish)
12: Incredible Ricochet: > for strike that ignores concealed condition and cover (Press)
14: Desperate Finisher: R to use action with Press trait
16: Multishot Stance: >, Double-Shot/Triple-Shot penalty halved (Stance)
18: Impossible Volley: >>> Strike at -2 penalty vs all enemies in 10-foot burst
18: Savage Critical: 19s treated as natural 20s
20: Weapon Supremacy: Quickened, action can only be used for strikes

Other Fighter Class Traits:
5: Fighter Weapon Mastery: Critical Specialization
7: Battlefield Surveyor: +2 circumstance to initiative
9: Combat Flexibility: Gain extra fighter feat at preparation
15: Improved Flexibility: Gain two extra fighter feats at preparation

Ranger Feats:
1: Crossbow Ace: +2 damage and larger damage dice on crossbow
1: Hunted Shot: > two strikes, normal MAP (Flourish)
1: Monster Hunter: Possible +1 circumstance to next attack
2: Hunter's Aim: >> strike at +2 bonus, ignore concealed
2: Quick Draw: > Draw and attack with same motion
4: Far Shot: Double range increments
4: Favored Enemy: Free Hunt Prey vs type
4: Running Reload: > Stripe, Step, or Sneak then reload
6: Skirmish Strike: > Step/Strike or Strike/Step (Flourish)
6: Snap Shot: Can AAO with ranged weapons (Ranger needs AAO for this to work)
8: Deadly Aim: > Strike at -2 penalty for +4/6/8 damage (11/15) (Open)
10: Penetrating Shot: >> Strike vs two creature (Open)
10: Master Monster Hunter: Treats successes as critical successes
12: Distracting Shot: Critical hits make target flat-footed
14: Targeting Shot: > Strike that ignores concealed and cover
16: Greater Distracting Shot: Hits make target flat-footed
16: Legendary Monster Hunter: Monster hunter benefit now +2
18: Impossible Volley: >>> Strike at -2 penalty vs all enemies in 10-foot burst
18: Manifold Edge: Two Hunter's Edge benefits (no masterful hunter benfit)
18: Perfect Shot: >>> Strike. Hits deal maximum damage.

Other Ranger Class Traits:
1: Flurry (Hunter's Edge): MAP is -3/-2 vs hunted target
1: Precision (Hunter's Edge): 1d8/2d8/3d8 (1/11/19) first hit per round vs hunted target
9: Nature's Edge: Enemies are flat-footed in natural difficult terrain or uneven ground
17: Masterful Hunter (Flurry): MAP reduced to -2/-1 vs hunted target
17: Masterful Hunter (Precision): 2nd hit also deals 1d8. At 19 the second hit deals extra 2d8 and third deals extra 1d8.

Rogue Feats:
2: Quick Draw: > Draw and attack with same motion
2: Unbalancing Blow: Critical hits make target flat-footed
4: Dread Striker: Frightened foes are flat-footed
4: Poison Weapon: > apply a poison, special gives access to poisons that deal 1d4 damage
6: Skirmish Strike: > Step/Strike or Strike/Step (Flourish)
8: Improved Poison Weapon: Poisons created are now deal 2d4
8: Sly Striker: Deal 1d6 even when foe is not flat-footed
10: Precise Debilitation: Adds debilitation options:
C: Strikes deal against target extra 2d6
D: Target becomes flat-footed
10: Vicious Debilitation: Adds debilitation options:
E: Target gains weakness 5 to your choice of B/P/S
F: Target becomes clumsy 1
12: Felling Shot: >> Strike against flat-footed creature that can make flying creature fall
14: Instant Opening: > Target is flat-footed till end of turn
16: Dispelling Slice: >> Strike vs flat-footed, if it deals sneak attack damage you can counteract single spell active on target
20: Impossible Striker: Always deal full sneak attack damage even if target isn't flat-footed

Other Rogue Class Traits:
1: Sneak Attack: Deal 1d6/2d6/3d6/4d6 (1/5/11/17) extra damage to flat-footed targets
2: Surprise Attack: Enemies that haven't acted are flat-footed
9: Debilitating Strike: F, if Strike deals damage to flat-footed foe:
A: Target gets a -10 status penalty to Speed
B: Target gets enfeebled 1
15: Double Debilitation: Apply two options for Debilitating Strike
19: Master Strike: F, if Strike deals damage to flat-footed foe they make Fort save vs your class DC (heavy penalties for failure)

Multiclass Fighter Archetype:
4: Basic Fighter's Trick: Level 1 Fighter Feat
4: Opportunity: Can make AAOs
6: Advanced Fighter's Trick: Any Fighter Feat 1/2 your level

Multiclass Ranger Archetype:
4: Basic Hunter's Trick: Level 1 Hunter Feat
6: Advanced Hunter's Trick: Any Hunter Feat 1/2 your level

Multiclass Rogue Archetype:
2: Rogue Dedication: Get Surprise Attack class feature
4: Basic Trickery: Level 1 Rogue Feat
4: Sneak Attacker: 1d4/1d6 (6) sneak attack
6: Advanced Trickery: Any Rogue feat 1/2 your level

At level 1:

A fighter with a longbow and PBS can attack at +9/+4/-1 for 1d8+1 damage, 1d8+3 if the target is outside the volley range.
A fighter with a shortbow can attack at +7/+3/-1 for 1d6+4 damage.

A ranger with a longbow, Flurry, and Hunted Shot can start combat by using Hunt Prey, then using Hunted Shot, then a normal strike at +7/+4/+1 for 1d8+1 damage.
A ranger with a shortbow and the same tactics can attack at +7/+5/+3 for 1d6+1 damage.
A ranger with a crossbow, Precision, and Crossbow Ace can start combat by using Hunt Prey, then attack, then reload at +7 for 1d10+1d8+2 damage (1d12+1d8+2 if using a heavy crossbow).

A rogue using any ranged weapon can deal either normal Strike damage or Strike + 1d6 damage at a bonus of +7 originally.

At level 5:

A fighter with a +1 striking longbow, PBS, and Double Shot can make attacks at +14/+14/+6 for 2d8 + 4 outside of volley range.
A fighter with a shortbow using same tactics can make attacks at +14/+14/+8 for 2d6 + 4.

A ranger with a +1 striking longbow, flurry, Hunter's Shot, Hunter's Aim, and Favored Enemy can either attack as before for +14/+11/+8 for 2d8+2 or at best case get free Hunt Prey and attack at +16/+11/+8.
Same with shortbow gets you to either +14/+12/+10 for 2d6+2 or +16/+12/+10 against your favored enemy.
A ranger with a +1 striking crossbow, Crossbow Ace, Hunter's Aim, and Running Reload can attack at +16 for 2d10+1d8+2

A rogue with Poison weapon can attack at +14/+9 or +14/+10, dealing up to 2d8+2d6+1d4+2 on the first attack and 2d8+2d6+2 on the second.

At level 10:

A fighter with a +1 striking longbow, PBS, and Triple Shot can attack at +18/+18/+18 for 2d8+7.
A fighter with same weapon, PBS, Double Shot and Ranger Dedication, Hunted Shot, and Favored Enemy can attack at best for +20/+20/+12/+12 for 2d8+7.
A fighter with a shortbow variant of the above can attack at +20/+20/+14/+14 for 2d6+7.
Fighters can also benefit from Rogue Dedication by this point. A Fighter with PBS, Double Shot, Hunter Dedication, Hunter's Shot, Favored Enemy, Rogue Dedication, and Sneak Attack can attack with a shortbow for:
Hunt Prey: Free vs Favored Enemy
Double Shot: +20/+20 - 4d6+7
Hunted Shot: +14/+14 - 4d6+7

A ranger with a longbow, Hunted Shot, and Deadly Aim can make attacks at +18 for 2d8+8 then at +15/+12 for 2d8+4. Against a favored enemy, this increases to +18/+15 for 2d8+8 then +12/+12 for 2d8+4.
With similar tactics and a shortbow, those numbers are +18 for 2d6+8 then +16/+14 for 2d8+4 and +18/+16 for 2d8+8 then +16/+16 for 2d8+4 vs. a favored enemy.
A ranger with a crossbow, crossbow ace, deadly aim, favored enemy, rogue dedication, and sneak attack can attack for +18/+13 for 2d10+1d8+1d6+4. Alternatively, they can Hunter's Aim at +22 for 2d10+1d8+1d6+4.
A ranger at this point can also spec into fighter for PBS or Rogue for sneak attack.

A Rogue with Improved Poison Weapon and longbow can attack at +20/+15 for 2d8+2d6+2d4+4. They can also use debilitations to add either additional damage from weakness or an extra 2d6 from sneak attacks.
A rogue can benefit from taking PBS and Double Shot from Fighter by this point, or Hunter's Shot and Incredible Aim from Ranger.

I think all three builds are viable. Fighter is the most consistent, Ranger the strongest if it can guarantee Favored Enemy or its utility (far lower Aim variant, higher range, running reload), Rogue the most bursty. They also all benefit from multiclass dedications.

Silver Crusade

DAYUM!!
You guys are off the chain!
I'm going to need at least 48 hours to work through all these numbers and combinations! :)

Manbearscientist, this comparative evaluation and examination belongs in a compendium somewhere! Aspiring archers everywhere can consider themselves outright blessed by this community's thoroughness and willingness to help! I don't know what to say. I never expected this level of expertise. This is absolutely precious!

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