Archer (3.5e Class)

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A seasoned marksman who's pursuit of archery and peerless accuracy has elevated and distinguished her amongst her fellow adventurer's.

Making an Archer[edit]

The archer excels in combat at a distance, combining skill, speed and accuracy with deadly efficiency. A standard and distinct fantasy archetype, the archer has little use for the typical trappings of other warriors. They values accuracy, agility, and skill over brute force and prowess with bow over familiarity with a variety of weapons.

Abilities: Dexterity is vital to the archer, as their prowess with the bow and ability to dodge melee blows depend upon it. Wisdom and Strength also benefit many class skills, with Strength allowing her to wield composite bows. Lightly armored, the archer benefits greatly from a high Constitution score which also improves her Aim ability.

  • Alignment: Any.
  • Starting Gold: 6d4 x 10gp. ("Moderate" or "As fighter").

Table: The Archer

Hit Die: d8

Level BAB AAB Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +1 +0 +2 +0 Archer’s Aptitude, Aim (+1d6), Archer Feat
2nd +1 +2 +0 +3 +0 Archer Feat
3rd +2 +3 + 1 +3 +1 Aim (+2d6)
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 +1 Archer Feat, Defensive Shot
5th +3 +5 +1 +4 +1 Aim (+3d6)
6th +4 +6+1 +2 +5 +2 Archer Feat
7th +5 +7+2 +2 +5 +2 Aim (+4d6)
8th +6/+1 +8+3 +2 +6 +2 Archer Feat
9th +6/+1 +9/+4 +3 +6 +3 Aim (+5d6)
10th +7/+2 +10/+5 +3 +7 +3 Special Ability
11th +8/+3 +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +3 Aim (+6d6)
12th +9/+4 +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +4 Special Ability
13th +9/+4 +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +4 Aim (+7d6)
14th +10/+5 +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +4 Special Ability
15th +11/+6/+1 +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +5 Aim (+8d6)
16th +12/+7/+2 +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +5 Special Ability
17th +12/+7/+2 +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Aim (+9d6)
18th +13/+8/+3 +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Special Ability
19th +14/+9/+4 +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Aim (+10d6)
20th +15/+10/+5 +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Special Ability

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Devivce (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex),Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Archers are proficient with all Simple weapons and with all bows (including exotic bows). They are proficient with light armor but not with shields.

Archer’s Aptitude: They excel at archery at the expense of combat with other weapons. While wielding any bow, the archer substitutes her Base Attack Bonus (BAB) with her Archery Attack Bonus (AAB). An archer also uses her AAB in lieu of her BAB for the purpose of qualifying for archery feat. Finally her Archer levels are applied as fighter level for the purpose of accessing feat in the Weapon Focus tree.

Therefore a 2nd level fighter (BAB +2) / 2nd level Archer (BAB +1, AAB +2) would qualify for either Weapon Specialization (Longbow) and Shot on the Run, assuming she had the prerequisite feat(s).

The archer may also consider using her AAB in lieu of her BAB and/or apply her archer level as a fighter level(s) when qualifying for any archery-based feat or prestige class, such as the Zen Archery feat or arcane archer prestige class, with the DM's approval.

Aim: As a standard action an archer may ready a single arrow and take aim at a target. In doing so the archer is consider to have readied an attack against the target that can be used as an immediate action. An archer can hold her aim in this way for as long as she chooses but may not take any other actions while doing so.

At the beginning of each round, the archer is entitled to an aim check which is resolved as a concentration check (DC 15). Each successful check grants the archer an aim counter. The counters are accumulative (at 5 the attack cannot critcally fail). However, if she rolls a natural one on this check all the counters are lost. Any arrows fired while aiming receives a bonus of +2 per aim counter to attack rolls. An archer who spends at least one rounds aiming deals additional +1D6 points of precision damage on damage rolls, plus an additional 1D6 for every two archer levels beyond the first. Once the arrow is fired aim ends and the counters are burned; likewise, the counters are lost if aim is dismissed or dropped for any other reason.

An archer is considered flat footed while aiming and is treated as such for any attack directed at her while aiming, even if she releases in response to being attacked, though doing so negates any chance of the attack interfering with the shot. If the archer takes damage while maintaining aim she must make a concentrate check (DC 15 + damage taken) to continue. If the target moves more then five feet within a single action the archer must immediately make a concentration check DC equal to the distance of movement made to maintain aim. She can however release an arrow in response to the target's movement to avoid this check. If she fails any of these checks aim is dropped and the associated counters are burned.

Archer Feats [1st / 2nd / 4th / 6th / 8th level] The archer strives to increase her skill and prowess with the bow. At 1st level and every even numbered level, the archer can select a feat from the following: Deadeye Shot, Far Shot, Improved Critical (Any bow), Improved mounted archery, Improved Precise Shot, Improved rapid shot, Manyshot, Greater Manyshot, Mounted Archery, Penetrating Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Power Critical, Ranged disarm, Ranged pin, Range sunder, Ranged Trip, Ranged Weapon Mastery, Rapid Shot, Sharp-Shooting, Shot on the Run, Weapon Focus (Any bow), Greater Weapon Focus (Any bow), Weapon Specialization (Any bow), or Greater Weapon Specialization (Any bow).

Defensive Shot: Once per round the archer may spend a swift action to grant herself a +4 dodge bonus versus attacks of opportunity drawn from firing a bow within a threatened square. This bonus last until the beginning of her next turn.

Special Archery Ability [10th/12th/14th16th/18th/20th level] The archer learns unusual maneuvers with the bow and arrow, such as ricocheting arrows off walls or peppering her enemies with a barrage of arrows. At 11th level and every two levels thereafter, she may select one of the following special abilities; unless otherwise noted, each special ability can be selected only once:

Archery: The archer can select an additional feat from the Archery class feature. Archery can be taken multiple times.

Barrage: (Rapid Shot, and Manyshot) This ability can be used once per day as a full round action to lay fire to an area. Barrage effects a designated 60ft cone, allowing the archer to make one attack against each creature within the target area at her highest BAB -2. This ability can be taken multiple times to increase the number of daily uses.

Called Shot: While aiming the archer can attempt to strike a specific body part on a targeted creature within 30 feet, to cause various effects so long as she has at least one aim counter. The archer must declare her intention to attempt a Called Shot and designate the specific target and body part (an arm, a leg, etc.) before the attack roll is made. The archer then makes a single standard attack at the archer's highest BAB. A successful attack deals weapon damage normally, but if the archer's attack roll exceeds the target's AC by 2 or more or resulted in a successful called shot, striking the targeted body part and causing a debilitating secondary effects. Conditions and penalties incurred by called shot lasts for 24 hours, or until the creature is successfully treated with a DC 15 Heal check, or until it receives the benefit of a lesser restoration spell or equivalent effect. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to the effects of a Called Shot, and creatures with multiple limbs or eyes may suffer reduced effects. Multiple successful Called Shots against the same body part or body parts of a single creature have a cumulative effects:

  • Arm: An archer using this ability receives a –2 penalty on her attack roll. A successful hit imparts a -2 penalty to both damage rolls and skill checks (Climb, Sleight of Hand, Use Rope, etc.), which utilize the arm struck. A target with more than four arms is immune to these penalties.
  • Hand: An archer using this ability receives a –5 penalty on her attack roll. The creature struck must succeed Reflex save DC verses damage taken or be disarmed and drop whatever it is holding with the hand struck. A successful hit also imparts a -2 penalty to both attack rolls and skill checks (Climb, Sleight of Hand, Use Rope, etc.), which utilize that hand struck.
  • Eye: An archer using this ability receives a –10 penalty on her attack roll. The creature struck is partially blinded, suffering a -2 penalty to his AC, Spot checks, search checks and deals critical damage. If both or all of its eyes are partial blinded with Called Shots, the creature is permanently blinded. If the Called Shot also results in a critical strike, the arrow pierces the brain, and the creature is forced to make a Fortitude 15 save against death from massive damage, regardless of damage roll. A creature with blindsight is immune to these penalties. Blindness and partial blindness represent condition more server than others covered under called shot and require the equivalent a of a remove blindness spell to be cured.
  • Gut: Creature struck by this attack has a 50% chance of being nauseated each round and takes a –2 to Fort saves, until the arrow is removed. Half of the physical damage from this attack is considered subdue damage.
  • Leg: An archer using this ability receives a –2 penalty to attack rolls. A creature stuck by this ability can no longer use a five foot step and can no longer take the run, or charge actions. A successful hit also imparts a -2 penalty to both Reflex saves and skill checks (Climb, Jump, balance, tumble, swim, etc.) in which it utilize it’s legs. Bipeds also incur a –5 movement penalty. A creature with more then 4 legs is unaffected.
  • Neck: An archer using this ability receives a –5 penalty to attack rolls. A creature struck in the neck begins to bleed taking 2 points of Con at the beginning of each of it turn each round.
  • Wing: Reduces target’s creatures fly speed by 5 and their maneuverability by go down one step. A creature brought to 0 speed or below very poor maneuverability losses the ability to fly and falls.

Devastating Strike: When wielding any bow in which she has Weapon Focus or Improved Critical, the damage multiplier for critical hits increases by x1. Also, should any attack you make with a qualifying weapon deal 50 or more damage in a single attack the DC to avoid death by massive damage is increases from 15 to 20.

Dismiss Arrow: The archer gains the Deflect Arrows feat even if she does not meet the requirements if the archer already has Deflect Arrows she instead gains Snatch Arrows. This special ability may be taken twice, in order to gain both effects.

Eagle Eye: While wielding a bow you are considered to be one range increment closer your target for all attack rolls made outside of your first range increment. In addition aim, point blank shot, sniper attack, sneak attack, and skirmish are now effective out to 60ft.

Hunter’s Shot: (Prerequisite: Survival 12 ranks) The archer can take a shot, while aiming with at least one aim counter, that ignores natural armor. This special ability may be used a number of time per day equal to three plus the archers Wis mod.

Mighty Draw: ( Str of 15 or higher ) The archer is consider to have +4 Str for the purposes of wielding a composite bow

Pepper Shot: (Prerequisite: Rapid Shot) You can use a full round action to pepper a target within 30ft. When doing so make a single attack roll at a -4. Then roll damage as normal plus an additional 4d8 of piercing damage. A successful attack deals full damage and dazes the target for 1 round. If you miss with this attack and have 10 or better on your D20 roll daze is negated but you still deal have damage. This attack expends 5 arrows. Creatures with evasion are afforded no protection from this attack.

Piercing Strike: When wielding any bow in which she has Weapon Focus or Improved Critical, the net threat range is increased by 1, and is allow to take ten on rolls to confirm crit.

Ranged Flank: On a successful attack made with a bow against a target within 30ft, you may declare a ranged flanking position. You are therefore treated as though you occupied the nearest square adjacent to the target for the purposes of determining whether or you or and allies are flanking the target, so long as you maintain a position that is known to and within 30ft of the target. You may only use this ability once per round, and only against one target at a time.

Ranged Sneak Attack: (Prerequisite: Hide 5 ranks, Move Silently and 5 rank) The archer deals an additional +1D6 points of Sneak Attack damage with Projectiles against any target within 30 feet that is flanked or denied its Dexterity bonus to AC. This special ability can be taken multiple times, the effects stack with each other and other sources of sneak attack. This ability otherwise functions as the rouge’s Sneak Attack ability.

Ricochet Shot: As a standard action the archer can attempt to strike a target within 30 feet with a Ricochet Shot, allowing her to ricochet her arrow off a nearby surface so that the arrow strikes from an angel that negates cover (even total cover) and shield bonus. This ability can be used at any time provide there is a hard surface nearby (ex. Stonewall) and a conceivable flight path. This attack uses the archers highest base attack bonus –2.

Sniper: (Prerequisite: Hide 12 ranks) When the archer uses the hide skill then attacks she can immediately roll another hide check to remain hidden without incurring the normal penalty so long as she makes only a single attack.

Steady Aim: The archer no longer losses any accumulated aim bonus on a concentrate check when she rolls a natural and receives a +5 competency bonus on all concentrate checks made for the purpose of aiming.

Trace: The archer can ignore the first 10 feet of a targets movement and she gains a +10 competency bonus on concentration check required for addition movement beyond that. In addition she may take a five foot step while aiming.

Quick Aim: This special ability allows the archer may take a single standard action to aim, instantly gaining the benefit of three rounds of aiming. The archer then attempts a DC 15 aim check to receive three aim counters. This ability can be used a number of times each day equal to her wisdom modifier.

Volley: As a full round action an archer with this special ability can make an attack against a target who is within line of site but at least four range increment out with a -4 penalty to his attack. This negates all other ranged penalties.

Epic Archer[edit]

Table: The Epic Archer

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
22nd Special ability
24th Special ability
25th Bonus feat
26th Special ability
28th Special ability
30th Special ability, Bonus feat

4 + (Int) modifier skill points per level.

Special ability: An epic archer gains one additional special ability 22th level and every 2 levels there after.

Aim: An epic archer continues to advance in aim as described, gain an addition 1D8 points of precision damage for every 2 level beyond level 19.

Bonus Feats: The epic Archer gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Archer bonus feats) every 5 levels after 20th.

Epic Archer Bonus Feat List: Combat Archery, Devastating Critical, Distant Shot, Epic Dodge, Epic Speed, Epic Prowess, Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Weapon Specialization, Exceptional Deflection, Improved Manyshot, Infinite Deflection, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Reflect Arrows, Swarm of Arrows, Uncanny Accuracy.

Human Archer Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Longbow, with 50 arrows

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 5 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Climb 4 Str 0
Concentration 4 Concentration -
Hide 4 Dex -
Jump 4 Str 0
Listen 4 (Wis) -
Spot 4 (Wis) -

Feat: Point blank shot.

Bonus Feats: Precise shot, Rapid shot.

Gear: Leather armor, quiver, hooded lantern, bedroll, waterskin, flint, winter blanket, lump of wax.

Gold: 140gc.

Campaign Information[edit]

Like fighters.

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