Need help with a ranged character


Advice

Dark Archive

I've been invited to a group and I need to make a 3rd level character before Saturday. The party exists of a Cleric, Rogue, Warpriest and Witch, but they could use "a ranged character of any kind". Spheres of Power has already been shot down, so no Elementalist. (Not because it's broken, but because it's too much homework for the GM.)

What I want is a ranged character that has the ability to do more than just damage. Some debuffing attacks would be nice. Kineticist is way too much text for me to go through right now, so something simple and elegant would be preferable. There are way to many options for me to go through right now, so I'd like to hear suggestion on what I could do.

Thanks!


There is already a witch, cleric and warpriest in the group. Why do you want to be a ranged debuffer? Witch is a ranged debuffer? Cleric and Warpriest can both do that as well? The only way you'd be able to substantially contribute is to get access to the wizard/sorcerer list.

So did you want to be a Wizard/Sorcerer/Arcanist, or did you want to be ranged dps?

If you want to do both, make a Sorcerer. If you take the bloodlines/mutations to give you +2 damage you make a superior nuking machine, and you can still take the major name brand wizard debuffs.

If you are thinking about anything else, don't bother. Let the other players debuff while you focus on damage. Full BAB Archer would probably be best, but you could go for a Gunslinger or a Magus if you want to be inconsistent. Magus is a burst build, and your sustained DPS will be lower. Also as a 3/4 BAB it is possible that AC could become a problem.

You could also play with firearms to get rid of the AC problem. But firearms come with their own problems. The bow is stronger if you invest it in properly.

The last option I'd seriously consider is a Summoner focused on actually summoning. Depending on how your 3 casters are built the group could be very vulnerable to melee. A summoner could solve a lot of those problems with disposable meat shields.


For a character that makes Ranged Attack Rolls with Ranged Weapons, I consider it essential to have Precise Shot immediately. If my character is not a Human,

Level 1, Fighter: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot,

and I probably would not be a Human, because I really like the Orc Hornbow. It's an Exotic Weapon that does 2d6 Damage instead of the 1d8 that other bows do. Half Orcs get to use them because they are Orc Weapons. Half Elves get an Alternate Racial Trait called Ancestral Weapon, which gives them an Exotic Weapon Proficiency.

the David wrote:
Some debuffing attacks would be nice.

How available are magic items in your campaign? In Pathfinder Society, you can generally purchase magic items at their market prices. For a PFS character, I like dipping into Ranger early, because even a Level 1 Ranger can use Magic Wands with Ranger Spells. I like the Freebooter Archetype. You mark any single opponent as a Move Action, then the whole party gets +1 Attack and Damage against them. Another alternate Racial Trait for Half Elves I like is Arcane Training, which lets them use the Magic Wands of any single Arcane Spellcasting Class they choose. With your choice of magic wands, you will have a tremendous selection of debuffing options.

Are you allowed firearms in your campaign?

There are a few ways you can go I can think of off the top of my head for this.

I like the idea of being a ninja using Vanishing Trick and False Attacker to disappear and inflict Sneak Attack Damage while Invisible and hiding in some spider hole, using False Attacker to stay hidden, maybe using a Wand of Scorching Ray to make Ranged Touch Attacks vs. Flatfooted AC that automatically lock in Sneak Attack Damage.

I like the idea of dipping 3 levels in Bard with the Flame Dancer Archetype. Song of Fiery Gaze gives your whole party the ability to see through Fire and Smoke. So then you get yourself an Eversmoking Bottle and every opponent is Blind, but your party can see just fine. Then you start taking levels in things that give you Sneak Attack Damage.

I like the idea of being an Alchemist. I like Grenadiers and Gunchemists. Take Alchemal Weapon and/or Explosive Missile. You will have a rate of fire of only 1/round, but you will be shooting exploding bullets or exploding arrows. Exploding bullets are cool. Lots of debuff options are available here. To offset your slow rate of fire, you cast Gravity Bow with your Ranger Wand, then drop your quiver of Size Large Arrows, Enlarge Person as a Swift Action because you dipped a Level in Living Monolith, then pick up your quiver as a Move Action, dropping your Wand as a Free Action. The next round, you mark a target with Freebooter's Bane as a Move Action then use Vital Strike and fire an exploding arrow as a Standard Action, inflicting a base of 8d6 damage, plus whatever your Bombs do.

So, my favorite things along the lines of what you are talking about are double Size Buffs, Vanishing Ninja Snipers with a Wand of Scorching Ray, Half Elf, Goblin, or Half Orc with an Orc Hornbow, muskets, and/or lots of Wands, Alchemists firing exploding arrows or bullets, and I like the idea of making everybody Blind.


You could play an eldritch archer magus. When you want to debuff you cast grease or color spray with spell combat. More options will open up later. Rapid fire using spell combat & acid splash is another option.

Or you could play a mesmerist. The witch will love you. They're nothing special as archers, though painful stare and bold stare add some, but they're great debuffers.

An inquisitor makes a good archer and can use litany spells to debuff at the same time if desired, or they can use intimidate to demoralize for a different debuff.

Any alchemists, nature fang druids w/eagle domain and many others are options too.


My advice would be to go with a Bard.

If so many of the members are melee based, having Bardic Performance at your service will drastically improve their output.

For archetype, nothing is a hard requirement, but I think Fire Dancer or Thunder Caller could give you some extra blasts to throw in.
I personally think Arrowsong Minstrel is pretty crappy.
If you want to lean harder on being the Charisma guy, you can always go for Wit, and Chronicler of Worlds is an option if you want to go nuts on INT.

Anyway, you need PBS, Precise Shot, Deadly Aim, Rapid Shot.
If you keep Versatile Performance, you can replace one with Martial Performance to count as a Fighter for bow feats. This will allow you to eventually get Point Blank Master and Weapon Specialization feats if you feel like.

Your playstyle will be a mix of shooting arrows, casting debuffs, and buffing with your performances.
The Rogue and the Warpriest will love you.


An Alchemist may work for you. With the right discoveries you bombs can impose a variety of conditions on the target


I'd suggest a bomb throwing Alchemist. Ranged, good damage if necessary (lvl8+), and a vast selection of debuffs to chose from. If you pick Sand Bomb, you're not only one hell of a debuffer, and increase your own damage if you full attack the target, but the Rogue will really love you, because free Sneak Attack > Haste.

Presuming you don't want to play a full caster, most of which would easily fall under "a ranged character of any kind".

Edit: 10 minute ninja. I think I need someone to cast Haste on me!


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
For a character that makes Ranged Attack Rolls with Ranged Weapons, I consider it essential to have Precise Shot immediately. If my character is not a Human, Level 1, Fighter: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot...
Secret Wizard wrote:
My advice would be to go with a Bard. If so many of the members are melee based, having Bardic Performance at your service will drastically improve their output.

Let's do both!

STR: 7
DEX: 14 or 15
CON: 12 (human, 17,14,12,12,12,7 20pt-array)
INT: 12 or 10
WIS: 12
CHA+ 19

alignment: (within one step of CG)
human alternate racial-trait: Draconic Heritage (for low-light and limited darkvision)
character traits: Magical Knack (bard), Reactionary, or TRAIT(non-Magic)

01 Ranger1 [Freebooter], Quick Draw, Flagbearer
02 Ranger2 [archery style: Rapid Shot]
03 Bard1 [Inspire Courage], Desna's Shooting Star (retrained to Lingering Song, or FEATg, at 4th)
04 Bard2 [Desna's Shooting Star retrained in by sacrificing a versatile performance], CHA>20

Features:
* Rapid Shot without tax-feats
* awesome primary stat lessens sting of eschewing Precise Shot
* ranged and melee capacity in a single switch-hitter weapon
* divine and arcane item use (much of it without need of UMD)
* three stacking bonuses to attack and damage for all allies
* great skill-set, and medium armor proficiency (for MBP)
* martial weapon proficiency

Equipment at 3rd: a "colorful banner" (10gp, for Flagbearer), lots of non-masterwork star-knives, non-masterwork buckler, lamellar leather armor (non-masterwork).

Bucket list: Blinkback Belt (priority item needed before upgrading weaponry, hopefully attained before 5th via stringent penny-pinching), Efficient Quiver, mithral buckler, mithral agile breastplate, Headband of Alluring Charisma, +1/Seeking starknife, Opalescent White Pyramid ioun stone (cracked; keyed Heavy Repeating Crossbow)

Pre-combat: carrying flag in hand whose arm has wears buckler; other hand is free for casting and item-usage.

1st-round of combat:
* non-action: hold flag (allies +1 morale bonus to attack/damage)
* standard action: Inspire Courage (allies +1 competence bonus to attack/damage)
* move action: direct Freebooter’s Bane to single enemy (allies +1 untyped to bonus attack/damage)
* swift: (available)

(Allies are also +1 morale versus charm and fear.)

Later rounds of combat:
* Rapid Shot full-attack, or...
* Freebooter's Bane (new target) or other move-action + any standard action


Today is another day where I'm reminded how far a good build looks to me from Slim's.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Today is another day where I'm reminded how far a good build looks to me from Slim's.

It takes all kinds


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Today is another day where I'm reminded how far a good build looks to me from Slim's.
It takes all kinds

It does, and they're not even having wrong-fun!

Pathfinder is amazing.


if you want to add a shameless +1 to hit and damage to this build from Slim. taking this trait and then casting this bard's spell on yourself once (last for ever or until dispelled) should work (can use other spells if in a pfs game like this if dispelled can allways fall back on bless from cleric to regain bonus)

im going with the thought ' i am great! ' (inspired by 'Min-max' from the goblins comic)

Grand Lodge

I would say to forget about debuffing and focusing on martial. There's enough on that aspect already that trying to do so self would only dilute the playstyle, but that's just me.

I think the character could be a vanilla fighter. Not very versatile, but simple to build. Even in the case of wisdom dump, the will save would still be acceptable (if you take Armed Bravery). There's also advanced armor trainings to get 1 SP/level to some specific skills (I don't have the list). Ultimately (I'll admit it's a big "if"), if the GM allows it there's the possibility of wearing/crafting a Celestial Plate Armor (+12 AC) and still having a good max dex bonus.

The character is unlikely to reach obscenities like inquisitors, kineticists or else, but doesn't need lots of buffs to work because the base attack and damage bonuses would be good (Weapon Training, Gloves of dueling, full BAB)


Seems odd that they want more ranged. With a rogue in play, I’d be wanting another melee to help with the flanking.

Your party has a surprising lack of charisma. So, sorcerer could be tempting. And any party with over 4 characters could use a bard.

Grand Lodge

Melkiador wrote:

Seems odd that they want more ranged. With a rogue in play, I’d be wanting another melee to help with the flanking.

Your party has a surprising lack of charisma. So, sorcerer could be tempting. And any party with over 4 characters could use a bard.

I write that assuming slightly more conventional builds (if quirkier, my bad), I'm gambling both Rogue and Warpriest are melee, so adding a 3rd one would n't be as contributing. Worse adding that possible 3rd wouldn't get as much benefit, or would need to spend more to have the Gang Up and co thing.

Witch and Cleric are unlikely to have a big ranged artillery, so having a dedicated ranged damage dealer makes sense. If needing a social specialist and a DD at the same time, then I might suggest a paladin of Erastil (Divine Hunter) with the aformentioned trait.


Warpriest is a solid melee character. Rogue...isn't solid but generally melee friendly. Just don't ask them to hold the line since they tend to go down really fast. Also depending on how friendly your Warpriest is, the rogue might need to reposition a lot so he won't be body blocking for the rest of the party.

Cleric can be a solid melee character, especially at low levels. Some people like to focus their cleric into a dedicated melee role. Recently I had a destruction cleric that at the end of the campaign had a little trouble hitting things, but had absurd damage potential.

Witch...you can build a melee witch. I do not recommend it, but you can. Witch really is better off centering its gameplay around cleaver use of Hexes with the occasional spell.

There is always room for an archer, or other dedicated ranged combatant. One of the best parties I've been in was dedicated to using ranged weapons. There are some encounters that puts a ranged group at a disadvantage, but all ranged is overall a huge positive. Just make sure you have a backup plan for each character.

Grand Lodge

Meirril wrote:

Warpriest is a solid melee character. Rogue...isn't solid but generally melee friendly. Just don't ask them to hold the line since they tend to go down really fast. Also depending on how friendly your Warpriest is, the rogue might need to reposition a lot so he won't be body blocking for the rest of the party.

Cleric can be a solid melee character, especially at low levels. Some people like to focus their cleric into a dedicated melee role. Recently I had a destruction cleric that at the end of the campaign had a little trouble hitting things, but had absurd damage potential.

Witch...you can build a melee witch. I do not recommend it, but you can. Witch really is better off centering its gameplay around cleaver use of Hexes with the occasional spell.

There is always room for an archer, or other dedicated ranged combatant. One of the best parties I've been in was dedicated to using ranged weapons. There are some encounters that puts a ranged group at a disadvantage, but all ranged is overall a huge positive. Just make sure you have a backup plan for each character.

Just to rebound a little bit about that :

The problem of the Warpriest would be the very low number of skill points, with no real means to have more of these. At worst, this means putting everything on perception and nothing else. But I think they need more than just that (no 7 int, please !). But it's far more resilient than a rogue who usually goes faster in the tracking order and who either delays or takes the risk of getting hit first, unless the rogue is tanky enough to put some GMs in a loss (I'd myself not expect that kind of character so I might respond badly)

I'm myself not a fan of melee cleric (I think the class isn't suited for), but it's viable. Built around freebies (Protection Domain first), there would be enough budget for everything else (even better with crafting feats).

Ones won't always be able to get into opponents' melee range, so lacking a dedicated range DD could be concerning. As for melee witches, given my general emphasizing on resilience, I can't help but self-censor a PG-18 expletive (!)

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