Mounted Archer (3.5e Class)

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Mounted Archer (Mongol)[edit]

A powerful ranged warrior who holds an unbreakable bond with his or her mount.

Making a Mounted Archer[edit]

The mounted archer excels in combat at a distance, combining skill, speed and accuracy with deadly efficiency. This warrior style originated with the Mongols conquering most of Asia, and is still utilized with deadly force today.

Abilities: Dexterity is vital to the mounted archer, as their prowess with the bow and ability to ride their mount effectively. Wisdom and Strength also benefit many class skills, with Strength allowing her to wield composite bows. Lightly armored, the mounted archer benefits greatly from a high Constitution similar to most classes with low or average hit dice.

Race: Humans, Elves, and Halflings are the most common followers of the mounted archer. Dwarves and races that dislike horses or mounts almost never are mounted archer's.

  • Alignment: Any. Mounted Archers that serve in a military are likely to be more Lawful but mounted archers that are mercenaries or adventurers lean towards Chaotic. Also, what race a mounted archer is plays a huge role in determining alignment.
  • Starting Gold: 6d4 x 10gp. ("Moderate" or "As fighter").

Table: The Mounted Archer

Hit Die: d8

Level BAB AAB Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +1 +0 +2 +0 Archer’s Aptitude, Archer Feat, Mounted Combat
2nd +1 +2 +0 +3 +0 Archer Feat, Ride bonus +2
3rd +2 +3 + 1 +3 +1 Animal Affinity
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 +1 Archer Feat, Battlefield Tactics, Ride Bonus (initiative)
5th +3 +5 +1 +4 +1 Special Mount
6th +4 +6+1 +2 +5 +2 Archer Feat, Ride Bonus (AC)
7th +5 +7+2 +2 +5 +2 Improved Mounted Combat
8th +6/+1 +8+3 +2 +6 +2 Archer Feat, Ride Bonus +4
9th +6/+1 +9/+4 +3 +6 +3 Improved Battlefield Tactics, Heal Mount
10th +7/+2 +10/+5 +3 +7 +3 Archer Feat, Special Ability, Ride Bonus (attacks)
11th +8/+3 +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +3 Bow Aptitude
12th +9/+4 +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +4 Archer Feat, Ride Bonus +6
13th +9/+4 +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +4 Improved Greatbow Proficiency
14th +10/+5 +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +4 Archer Feat, Special Ability, Ride Bonus (senses)
15th +11/+6/+1 +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +5 Mastered Battlefield Tactics
16th +12/+7/+2 +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +5 Archer Feat, Ride Bonus (reflex)
17th +12/+7/+2 +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5
18th +13/+8/+3 +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Archer Feat, Special Ability
19th +14/+9/+4 +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6
20th +15/+10/+5 +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Archer Feat, Ride Bonus +8

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
> Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mounted 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 mounted archer substitutes her Base Attack Bonus (BAB) with her Archery Attack Bonus (AAB). A mounted archer also uses her AAB in lieu of her BAB for the purpose of qualifying for archery feat. Finally her Mounted 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 Mounted 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 mounted archer may also consider using her AAB in lieu of her BAB and/or apply her mounted 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.

Archer Feats: [1st / 2nd and every even numbered level thereafter] The mounted 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).

Mounted Combat: The mounted archer gains the Mounted Combat feat.

Ride Bonus: A mounted archer gets a +2 competence bonus on her Ride checks at 2nd level. This bonus increases to +4 at 8th level, +6 at 12th, and +8 at 20th. She can always take 10 on a Ride check, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so. In addition, as the mounted archer increases in levels, she can apply this bonus to other checks . At 4th level and above, she applies her Ride bonus on her initiative checks while fighting from horseback. At 6th level and above, she applies her Ride bonus to her Armor Class while she is mounted. At 10th level and above, she applies her Ride bonus on melee or ranged attacks she makes from horseback. At 14th level and above, she applies her Ride bonus to Listen and Spot checks while she is mounted. At 16th level and above, she applies her Ride bonus to her Reflex saves.

Animal Affinity: gains Animal Affinity as a bonus feat.

Battlefield Tactics: At 4th level, a Mounted Archer has advanced knowledge of combat tactics. If she studies the current combat situation for 3 rounds, she and her allies get a +2 to attack rolls for the entire encounter. If she studies the battlefield before a battle, she gets an additional +1 to her attack roll bonus, and automatically notices tactically useful information about the area as if she had made a DC 15 Spot or Search check.

Special Mount: At 5th level a mounted archer gains a special mount just as a paladin. This Feat functions just as a paladin's special mount but has slightly different progression. See below. Also, a Mounted Archer's special mount counts as a Paladin's special mount when qualifying for certain feats or prestige classes.

Improved Mounted Combat: gains Improved Mounted Combat as a bonus feat

Improved Battlefield Tactics: At 9th level, a Mounted Archer has even more advanced knowledge of combat tactics. If she studies the current combat situation for only 2 rounds, she and her allies get a +3 to attack rolls for the entire encounter. If she studies the battlefield before a battle, she gets an additional +2 to his attack roll bonus, and automatically notices tactically useful information about the area as if she had made a DC 20 Spot or Search check.

Heal Mount: Once plus her Wis mod, a mounted archer of 9th level or higher can use heal mount as a spell-like ability.

Special Archery Ability: [10th/14th/18th 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 10th, 14th, and 18th, she may select one of the following special abilities; unless otherwise noted, each special ability can be selected only once:

Archery: The mounted 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 mounted 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.

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 mounted archer gains the Deflect Arrows feat even if she does not meet the requirements if the mounted 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 mounted archer can take a shot that ignores natural armor. This special ability may be used a number of time per day equal to three plus the mounted archers Wis mod.

Mighty Draw: ( Str of 15 or higher ) The mounted 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.

Ricochet Shot: As a standard action the mounted 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.

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.

Bow Aptitude: Any weapon specific feat applied to a certain type of bow can be changed to another type of bow after an hour of practice.

Improved Greatbow Proficiency: The mounted archer can now use composite greatbows while mounted but not regular greatbows.

Mastered Battlefield Tactics: Starting at 15th level, a Mounted Archer has masterful knowledge of combat tactics. If she studies the current combat situation for only 1 round, she and her allies get a +4 to attack rolls for the entire encounter. If she studies the battlefield before a battle, she gets an additional +3 to her attack roll bonus, and automatically notices tactically useful information about the area as if she had made a DC 25 Spot or Search check.

The Mounted Archer's Mount[edit]

The mounted archer's mount is superior to a normal mount of its kind and has special powers, as described below. The standard mount for a Medium mounted archer is a heavy warhorse, and the standard mount for a Small mounted archer is a warpony. Another kind of mount, such as a riding dog (for a halfling mounted archer) or a Large shark (for a mounted in an aquatic campaign) may be allowed as well.

A mounted archer's mount is treated as a magical beast, not an animal, for the purpose of all effects that depend on its type (though it retains an animal’s HD, base attack bonus, saves, skill points, and feats).

Mounted Archer
Armor Adj.
Int Special
5th–7th +2 +4 +1 6 Empathic Link, Improved Evasion, Share Saving Throws
8th–10th +4 +6 +2 7 Improved Speed
11th–14th +6 +8 +3 8 Upgraded Mount
15th–20th +8 +10 +4 9 Greater Teleportation

Mounted Archer's Mount Basics: Use the base statistics for a creature of the mount’s kind, but make changes to take into account the attributes and characteristics summarized on the table and described below.

Bonus HD: Extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Consitution modifier, as normal. Extra Hit Dice improve the mount’s base attack and base save bonuses. A special mount’s base attack bonus is equal to that of a cleric of a level equal to the mount’s HD. A mount has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the animal’s HD). The mount gains additional skill points or feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice.

Natural Armor Adj.: The number on the table is an improvement to the mount’s existing natural armor bonus.

Str Adj.: Add this figure to the mount’s Strength score.

Int: The mount’s Intelligence score.

Empathic Link (Su): The mounted archer has an empathic link with her mount out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The mounted archer cannot see through the mount’s eyes, but they can communicate empathically.

Note that even intelligent mounts see the world differently from humans, so misunderstandings are always possible.

Because of this empathic link, the mounted archer has the same connection to an item or place that her mount does, just as with a master and his familiar (see Familiars).

Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a mount takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage if the saving throw fails.

Share Saving Throws: For each of its saving throws, the mount uses its own base save bonus or the mounted archer’s, whichever is higher. The mount applies its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesn’t share any other bonuses on saves that the master might have.

Improved Speed (Ex): The mount’s speed increases by 10 feet.

Upgraded Mount: The mounted archer's steed strengthens and reflects the inner soul of its master. Unicorn - (good aligned only) mounted archers will see their mount acquire a unicorn horn and some spell like abilities. The Unicorn will have a 40 ft good aura around it that acts as a continuous prayer spell. It will also be able to cast cure moderate wounds 3/day. Pegasus - the mount will sprout wings and obtain a fly speed of 100 ft (good). Hippocampus - the mount will acquire aquatic traits including being able to breathe underwater and a swim speed of 60ft. Nightmare - (evil aligned only) the mount turns black and it's eyes become flames. It acquires the Smoke ability. The smoke doesn't obscure the nightmare or the mounted archer's vision.

Greater Teleportation: The mount can act as if its cast teleport, greater once per day.

Epic Mounted Archer[edit]

Table: The Epic Mounted Archer

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
22nd Special ability
25th Bonus feat, Ride Bonus +10
26th Special ability
30th Special ability, Bonus feat, Ride Bonus +12

4 + (Int) modifier skill points per level.

Special ability: An epic mounted archer gains one additional special ability 22th, 26th and 30th levels.

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

Epic Mounted 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.

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