Arcane Archer Feedback

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by pitttbulll, Apr 30, 2020.

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  1. pitttbulll

    pitttbulll Member

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    Just wondering if anyone has played or developed an arcane archer could give any input on this character class?
    It looks like a really cool character upgrade to play, they have pretty cool skills and the end skill death arrow looks pretty awesome.
    Is it worth putting the time in to develop this character, or is going with a straight elven fighter specialized with a bow and magic user multiclass just as good?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Daryk

    Daryk Veteran Member

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    The elven archers I use routinely are:
    Fighter/Rangers (10/10 ultimately... I usually use two of these for the feats and skills)
    Fighter/Rogues (9/11 in the end... no levels past 20 means the last level is Rogue for the 6d6 Sneak Attack)
    Fighter/Wizards (12/8 to ensure +16 BAB)
     
  3. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    Arcane Archer is one of those prestige classes that looks cool but basically demonstrates that the 3rd Ed DnD designers didn't really understand the mechanics of the game they were writing.

    To enter AA, you need a base attack bonus of +6, and to be able to cast first level arcane spells, so the minimum requirement is something like Fighter or Ranger 6, Wizard or Sorceror 1. So at character level 8, you have a decent archer who can start (a couple of times a day) adding spell effects to arrows, and who by 16th level can create a slaying arrow and fires everything as a +5 arrow.

    BUT- you don't get any spell progression as you level up [I stand to be corrected on this for TOEE/Temple+ as there was some discussion as to whether to implement the Pathfinder version of the class which does add caster levels], so you only have very weak casting ability, or you add levels of wizard (or sorcerer) to your build and delay the other AA features. The opportunity cost is rarely worth it.

    I did make an Arcane Archer character shortly after the option became available- unfortunately on a now-dead computer so I don't have the save games to go back and look at the build. I do remember firing off a couple of arrows imbued with Cone of Cold during the big battle for Hickory Branch, so I wonder if I went down the Wiz12 route to getting my +6 BAB. The problem with this is that if you have a 12th level wizard, even one who was pretty handy with a bow early on in the game when he needed an option for when he was out of spells, then the spending 2 more levels to get to Arcane Archer 2 is a weaker option than spending those 2 levels simply becoming a Wiz14. You're hitting the point where you probably aren't running out of spells by now anyway, particularly since there are options to buy, loot or create wands and staves of things like Magic Missile, Fireball, Cloudkill etc. Remember too that most spells allow effectively perfect targeting anyway- there's no particular advantage to firing a fireball attached to an arrow as opposed to just casting one exactly where you want it to land (to hit the maximum number of enemies, but missing all your allies except the Dex20 rogue who will Evade anyway). And you've been playing this guy as a WIzard for 12 levels so far, even if he is an elf with a longbow.

    If what you want to do is have a sniper character who rains down a hail of magically-enhanced arrows on his foes for awesome damage, the easiest and most efficient way of doing this is with a standard non-magical character using a magically-enhanced bow. Ranger gets good BAB and class features that duplicate useful feats; Fighter gets good BAB and good feat progression; Rogues don't have so good BAB but get an extra dice of sneak attack every odd-numbered level, can deal strength damage with every sneak attack once they hit 10th level, and have the option of becoming Assassins to get some spellcasting (including the ability to cast their own Greater Invisibility spells).

    My current party has Elmo firing 5 arrows a round (6 when Haste is in effect) with a BAB of 17 from a +2 Composite 18 longbow with the Holy, Cold and Thundering properties, and Furnok firing 4 arrows a round, almost always invisibly, with the benefits of the Craven, Rapid Shot, 9d6 of Sneak Attack damage, Staggering Strike, whatever that feat is that means your Sneak Attack roll for any dice is never 1, plus Holy, Cold, Thundering enhancements. That's with every single arrow fired, for the cost of one Greater Invisibility and one Haste per combat.

    Meanwhile, the party Wizard, Spugnoir, is casting Firestorms, Quickened Cloudkills, and Disintegrates, and if he doesn't have anything better to do he uses a wand of Magic Missiles he bought in Verbobonc to apply 5d4+5 damage to anyone he can see.
     
  4. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    AA is indeed trash. Most of the PRCs are. But they can be fun for variety.

    Maybe someone would like to make an addon mod for these classes?
     
  5. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    Arcane Archer is useful primarily for its Imbue Arrow ability, or so I've been told. In tabletop, it means you can shoot antimagic fields where you want them.
     
  6. Maverick Lightstrider

    Maverick Lightstrider Member

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    Trying this class out currently on my Fighter 8 /Wizard 1/ AA x, and honestly...what was the point? Looking at my attack rolls my AA enhanced arrows are canceled out by the bow I crafted for her. I decided to revert to a previous save and add more wizard levels for a ranged Eldritch Knight cause at least there I get spell slots and other things that aren't completely ignored by good gear.

    Conversely, the Arcane Trickster I built up is awesome. He's an Elf and firing off sneak attacks with his longbow, not missing out on Rogue skills, and gaining spell slots. Love it.
     
  7. Pygmy

    Pygmy Established Member Supporter

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    Might I suggest your arcane trickster forgets his bow and tries using a Vampire Touch sneak attack with Sudden Empower and/or Sudden Maximise?
     
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  8. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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    Arcane Archer exists mostly for Imbue Arrow.
     
  9. Maverick Lightstrider

    Maverick Lightstrider Member

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    Will definitely try that next go around. I've been reading up on their spell sneak attacks, but this time around I'm mostly just trying to have a range rogue with wizard spells. He's part of a 3 man party with a Fighter/Cleric and a Druid
     
  10. Maverick Lightstrider

    Maverick Lightstrider Member

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    Do the imbued arrows get overridden by magic weapons? Cause none of my perks from the prestige class stacked with anything, effectively wasting the entire level since my supposed Arcane Archer had leveled 8 levels as a bow Fighter.
     
  11. sigofmugmort

    sigofmugmort Established Member Supporter

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    Arcane Archer is not a good PRC, now if someone did Order of the Bow Initiate or Deepwood Sniper from the Complete series those would be nice
     
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  12. Nightcanon

    Nightcanon Garrulous Halfling

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    There was talk some time ago of implementing the Pathfinder version, which as I understand it gave spellcasting progression with each AA level. I imagine that would be a fairly simple tweak (other Prestige Classes already implemented manage to calculate spellcasting progression), and fairly simple to toggle on/off in the config.
    I haven't the first idea of how all this works, but if I had the code for Arcane Archer and Arcane Trickster and someone to point out which bits did what, I could have a bash.

    Now that Temple+ has added the Swashbuckler class, I'd be keen to see the Daring Outlaw feat added too- presumably a similar mechanic.
     
  13. Endarire

    Endarire Ronald Rynnwrathi

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  14. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    IMO the most optimised AA builds take 2 levels of Fighter or ranged focused Ranger, 8 Wizard levels (allowing 4th level spells) learn as many AoE spells as possible, and 10 levels of Arcane Archer (to hit the level 20 capstone ability.
     
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