So there was recently a thread about how to viable an archer bard is. Personally I really like the soald class and would like 5o see a decent archer build for soald. The class features aren't the best for it so it certainly won't be the best thing a skald can do, but if being an archer and a skald, what's the best build to achieve those conflicting goals? Can it be viable?
I've looked at it and twilight speaker seems to be one of the best archetypes to achieve a solid archer skald. What can you guys come up with?
Skald class for majority of levels (expect for prestige classes)
Must be viable from level 1 though doesn't have to be amazing
Must use a bow as main weapon, but can be a switch hitter
Can't be completely dependent on any particular single item (if you don't have access to the magi-mart the build still has to work)
Spell Warrior would also work to get the song on attack roll, but the archetype is much weaker because it looses Spell Kenning, and because you have to divide up the total bonus. On the plus side, it would allow you to get the human bonus feat, and the Deadeye Bowman trait.
Your feats should pretty much be clear, standard archery stuff (PBS, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, Manyshot, Clustered Shots).
For a Twilight Speaker, you don't need any regular or alternate racial traits, and don't specifically benefit from any, either, so pick what you like.
There aren't really any Rage Powers specifically benefitting ranged or bow attacks, so you should look at what the party needs (might even be Beast Totem line). One standout is Scent, which in combination with a Pheromone Arrow grants the entire party a +2 to attack and damage rolls against the target, presuming you hit with the arrow.
Thematically fitting (and very powerful when mostly dealing with human(ish) or animal enemies) would be the Night Vision + (Greater) Eclipsing Rage combination.
Great, and now I'm anxious to build and play that character myself. Look what you've done!
Totemic(Tiger) Skald can get +Dex (Bull gets +Str) as part of Raging Song, though it is an enhancement bonus. Keep in mind that Adaptive enchant exists and is cheap, so increasing your strength as an archer gives you damage. Throw in a Tuned Bowstring and you essentially have as many rounds of Raging Song as you want.
If you want to drop a few feats on prereqs (not easy in an archer build, though you can get EWP for 1500 gp) you could pick up Redistributed Might and do the Half-orc dip into Bloodrager build(bloodline & valet familiar, amplified rage for +8 str/con, add in totemic bull for even more). Redistributed Might allows you to swap out morale and enhancement bonuses to Str into the same bonuses to Dex. However, you will need GM permission, as one of the prereqs (enhanced morale) doesn't actually exist anywhere. It was likely a class feature or feat that got cut in editing. Alternatively, drop (even more) feats on the prereqs for a 2 level dip in Sanguine Angel to get Furious Huntress for Str to attack with all bows. It does allow you to switch hit a bit because of the sword and board feats required though. Though, with the bloodrager dip you are 3 levels behind in Skald at that point just for (granted a lot of) Str to attack.
Speaking of EWP, probably get that same Ioun Stone for a Orc Hornbow because why not.
Rage Powers: Mighty Swing/Reckless Abandon/Surprise Accuracy(and chain)/Witch Hunter don't specify melee only, and Come and Get Me + Snap Shot could be interesting. Otherwise, defensive type powers to share with the party.
So the way I see it looking at skald you have a couple of main archery paths.
1) High dex, raging strength, adaptive bow
This path most skalds can follow. This is fairly good on damage, but is heavily reliant on getting the adaptive enchantment.
2) Moderate strength, moderate dex, other rage.
This path is only availble to the urban skald, spell warrior and twilight speaker.
I think if you've got a melee heavy party path 1 is probably better assuming you can get adaptive.
I like path 2 though because it's effectiveness as a buffer is less dependent on party composition.
I love that combo of the scent rage power and the pheromone arrows. What do you guys think of talking arcane strike? I don't feel like skalds have too many swift actions they need to cycle so it seems like a solid feat, plus makes switch hitting easier too which is always a nice thing to be able to do.
Inspired Rage + Community Minded = Use one round of raging song and then stop to give allies two rounds of the morale bonuses to Str, Con, and Will saves of Inspired Rage with none of the penalties.
Inspired Rage (or Song of Strength) + Greater Skald's Vigor + Tuned Bowstring = Unlimited full party fast healing
Also, see if your GM will allow you to use Unchained Barbarian rage powers with the Skald. Many of these are straight up better than the original Barbarian versions.
The way I read Spell Warrior, it always gives the maximum bonus to one weapon per party member who accepts the rage, but that declines if you cover multiple weapons per party member.
Half-Orc Skald naturally can use an Orc Hornbow and Human/Half-Elf could just take the EWP. The rest everyone basically already mentioned.
So, this is my build after incorporating a few things others have thrown out there
14, 16, 12, 13, 10, 16
Twilight Speaker Skald
1: Point Blank shot
3: precise Shot, Scent Rage Power
4: Int +1
5; Arcane Strike
6: Guarded Life Rage Power
7: Rapid Shot
8: Cha +1
9: Many Shot, Lesser Celestial Blood
11: Clustered Shots
12: Fearless Rage Rage Power Cha +1
I was also considering instead of going down the rapid shot tree taking deadly aim and leaving it there. Then taking shield focus and unhindering shield for the shield bonus to AC.
Now someone is going to point out that Deadeye Bowman has a requirement for worshiping Erastil and Twiligh speaker requires worshiping Findeladlara. If a GM will allow worshiping not (which to me seems doable given how similar their teachings are) then great. If not then I'd drop that trait.