Arcane Archer, Variant (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||And they let loose a hail of screaming shafts, each louder than the one before, and with every strike and every blow, the walls of Belanenon crumbled.||”|
|—The Legend of Keana Strongbough, regarding Arcane Archers|
Elves live long lives, learning slowly but with great skill. Many elves take up archery or wizardry as an art, and many still become great rangers or wizards in their own right, but few are as capable of marrying the two as the arcane archer. Arcane Archers are typically elves that have trained with both magic and elven longbows all their lives, but both wizards seeking to learn useful combat skills that don't put them in danger, or rangers and fighters that seek to add a bit more of a punch to their ranged weapons can be Arcane Archers.
Arcane Archers are feared combatants on the battlefield, capable of imbuing their ammunition with magical properties and even casting spells through their arrows.
Becoming an Arcane Archer
Much of the magic that grant Arcane Archers their abilities was created by the elves, and respond only to their kin. As such, only elves can be Arcane Archers, and those elves must be experienced spell casters and archers.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+6|
|Feats:||Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (Longbow or Shortbow)|
|Skills:||Craft (Bowmaking) 6, Spellcraft 6|
|Spellcasting:||Ability to cast at least 1st-level Arcane spells|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Enhance Arrow +1||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+0||Imbue Arrow||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Enhance Arrow +2||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Seeker Arrow||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Enhance Arrow +3||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+2||Phase Arrow||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+2||Enhance Arrow +4||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|8th||+6||+2||+6||+2||Hail of Arrows||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|9th||+6||+3||+6||+3||Enhance Arrow +5||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+3||Imbue Arrows||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the arcane archer.
Spellcasting: At each level except for fifth and tenth, an arcane archer gains new spells per day and increases in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if they had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which they belonged before adding the prestige class level. They do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If they had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming an arcane archer, they must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Enhance Arrow (Su): At 1st level, every nonmagical arrow an arcane archer nocks and lets fly becomes magical, gaining a +1 enhancement bonus. Unlike magic weapons created by normal means, the archer need not spend experience points or gold pieces to accomplish this task. However, an archer’s magic arrows only function for her. For every two levels the character advances past 1st level in the prestige class, the magic arrows she creates gain +1 greater potency (+1 at 1st level, +2 at 3rd level, +3 at 5th level, +4 at 7th level, and +5 at 9th level).
Imbue Arrow (Sp): At 2nd level, an arcane archer gains the ability to deliver arcane spells, of 1 spell level lower than the highest spell level spell they can cast, via an arrow. When the arrow is fired, the spell’s area, if it has one, is centered on where the arrow lands, even if the spell could normally be centered only on the caster, and targets whatever object or creature it hits. This ability allows the archer to use the bow’s range rather than the spell’s range. Firing the arrow is part of the casting of the spell, so the time it takes to imbue and fire an arrow is the same as the time it takes to cast the imbued spell. The arrow must be fired in the round the spell is cast, or the spell is wasted. Spells with a range of personal cannot be delivered in this way.
At 10th level, an arcane archer may imbue two arrows simultaneously with the same spell. This allows an arcane archer to use the same spell twice for a single spell slot. Spells imbued onto multiple arrows must be no greater than third level spells. Spells with expensive material or XP components must still have these components provided twice (once per arrow), however. Arrows produced in this fashion must be fired within 10 minutes of being prepared, or the spell is wasted.
Seeker Arrow (Sp): At 4th level, an arcane archer can launch an arrow once per day at a target known to her within range, and the arrow travels to the target, even around corners. Only an unavoidable obstacle or the limit of the arrow’s range prevents the arrow’s flight. This ability negates cover and concealment modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally. Using this ability is a standard action (and shooting the arrow is part of the action).
Phase Arrow (Sp): At 6th level, an arcane archer can launch an arrow once per day at a target known to her within range, and the arrow travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any nonmagical barrier or wall in its way. (Any magical barrier stops the arrow.) This ability negates cover, concealment, and even armour modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally.
Using this ability is a standard action (and shooting the arrow is part of the action).
Hail of Arrows (Sp): In lieu of her regular attacks, once per day an arcane archer of 8th level or higher can fire an arrow at each and every target within range, to a maximum of one target for every arcane archer level she has earned. Each attack uses the archer’s primary attack bonus, and each enemy may only be targeted by a single arrow.