Arcane Bowman (Pathfinder Class)
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There are those who spend their lives poring over ancient tomes and texts, unlocking the power of magic, and there are those who spend their time perfecting the use of bows, becoming masters without equal. The arcane bowman is at once a student of both philosophies, blending magical ability and martial prowess into something entirely unique, a discipline in which both spells and arrows are used to devastating effect. As he grows in power, the arcane bowman unlocks powerful forms of arcana that allow him to merge his talents further, and at the pinnacle of his art, the bowman becomes a force that few foes would dare to stand against. Arcane bowmen are masters of ranged combat, as they possess the ability to strike at targets with unerring accuracy and can imbue their arrows with powerful spells. Arrows fired by arcane bowmen fly at weird and uncanny angles to strike at foes around corners, and can pass through solid objects to hit enemies that cower behind such cover. At the height of their power, arcane bowmen can fell even the most powerful foes with a single, deadly shot.
Making an arcane bowman
Note: The Arcane Bowman is an alternate class for the Magus base class.
Role: Arcane bowmen spend much of their time traveling the world, learning whatever martial or arcane secrets they can find. They might spend months learning a new archery-fighting style from a master warrior, while simultaneously moonlighting in the local library, poring through tomes of ancient lore. Most who take this path dabble in all sorts of lore, picking up anything that might aid them in their search for perfection. Arcane bowmen deal death from afar, winnowing down opponents while their allies rush into hand-to-hand combat. With their capacity to unleash hails of arrows on the enemy, they represent the pinnacle of ranged combat.
Abilities: Intelligence and Dexterity are the most important attributes for this class.
Races: Any, usually elf or half-elf.
Alignment: Arcane bowmen can be of any alignment. Elf or half-elf arcane bowmen tend to be free-spirited and are rarely lawful. Similarly, it is uncommon for elven arcane archers to be evil, and overall the path of the arcane archer is more often pursued by good or neutral characters.
Hit Die: d8
Starting Gold: 4d6×10 gp (average 140 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
|Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Arcane pool, ranged spell combat, cantrips, bonded object, spells||3||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Ranged spell strike, Precision||4||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Knowledge Pool, spell access||5||4||3||1||—||—||—|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+7||+7||Bonus feat, improved spell recall||5||5||4||4||2||—||—|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Improved spell combat||5||5||5||4||3||1||—|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Focused spell strike||5||5||5||5||4||3||1|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+11||Greater spell access||5||5||5||5||5||5||4|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||True Arcane Bowman||5||5||5||5||5||5||5|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the arcane bowman.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An Arcane bowman is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. Arcane bowmen are also proficient with light armor and shields (except tower shields). An arcane bowman can cast arcane bowman spells while wearing light armor and use a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, an arcane bowman wearing medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass arcane bowman still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.
Spells: An arcane bowman casts arcane spells drawn from the arcane bowman spell list (see below). An arcane bowman must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time.
To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the arcane bowman must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an arcane bowman’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the arcane bowman’s Intelligence modifier.
An arcane bowman can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Arcane Bowman. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score.
An arcane bowman may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the arcane bowman decides which spells to prepare.
Cantrips: An arcane bowman can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Arcane Bowman under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.
Spellbooks: An arcane bowman must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook except for read magic, which all arcane bowmen can prepare from memory. An arcane bowman begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level arcane bowman spells plus three 1st-level arcane bowman spells of his choice. The arcane bowman also selects a number of additional 1st-level arcane bowman spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to his spellbook. At each new arcane bowman level, he gains two new arcane bowman spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new arcane bowman level) for his spellbook. At any time, an arcane bowman can also add spells found in other spellbooks to his own.
An arcane bowman can learn spells from a wizard’s spellbook, just as a wizard can from a arcane bowman’s spellbook. The spells learned must be on the arcane bowman spell list, as normal. An alchemist can learn formulae from a arcane bowman’s spellbook, if the spells are also on the alchemist spell list. An arcane bowman cannot learn spells from an alchemist.
Arcane Pool (Su): At 1st level, the arcane bowman gains a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. This arcane pool has a number of points equal to 1/2 his arcane bowman level (minimum 1) + his Intelligence modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the arcane bowman prepares his spells.
At 1st level, an arcane bowman can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties:designating (lesser), designating (greater), distance, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, nimble shot, seeking, shock, shocking burst, or speed.
Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the arcane archer uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the arcane archer.
An arcane bowman can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.
Spell combat (Ex): At 1st level, an arcane bowman learns to cast spells and wield his ranged weapon at the same time. This functions much like Rapid Shot, but the second arrow is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the arcane bowman must be wielding a bow (he can cast spell with somatic components as though he had a free hand). As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his ranged weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the arcane bowman spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). An arcane bowman can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.
Ranged weapon bond (Ex): At 1st level, an arcane bowman gains a bonded object as per the wizard's arcane bonded object; it must be a ranged weapon, and it can't be used to cast a spell once per day. Holding her bonded item does not prevent the arcane bowman from providing somatic components for her spells.
Precision (Ex): When an arcane bowman uses a bow it's critical is considered 19–20/×2 instead of 20/x3 Unlike most other critical modifiers this stacks with other bonus like keen or improved critical.
Ranged spellstrike (Su): At 2nd level, whenever an arcane bowman casts a spell that calls for a ranged attack, he can deliver the spell through a ranged weapon he wields as part of a ranged attack. Instead of the free ranged attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, an arcane bowman can make one free ranged attack with a ranged weapon (at her highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this ranged attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the arcane bowman makes this attack in concert with ranged spell combat, this ranged attack takes all the penalties accrued by ranged spell combat ranged attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier. If the spell can normally affect multiple targets, only a single missile, ray, or effect accompanies each attack; if the spell allows multiple attacks and the arcane bowman can make additional ranged attacks as part of a full-round action with spell combat, one additional ray, missile, or effect from the spell accompanies each subsequent ranged attack the arcane bowman makes in the same round until all attacks allowed by the spell are made.
Magus Arcana: As he gains levels, an bowman archer learns arcane secrets tailored to his specific way of blending martial puissance and magical skill. Starting at 3rd level, an arcane bowman gains one magus arcana. He gains an additional magus arcana for every three levels of arcane bowman attained after 3rd level. Unless specifically noted in a magus arcana’s description, an arcane bowman cannot select a particular magus arcana more than once. Magus arcana that affect spells can only be used to modify spells from the arcane bowman spell list unless otherwise noted. Any Arcana that states it requires a “melee weapon” must be used with a ranged weapon instead, and all melee touch attacks allowed must be used as ranged touch attacks, provided the arcane bowman follows all other rules for spell combat and spell strike. In addition to the magus arcana available to the Magus base class an arcane bowman gains access to the following magus arcana. He cannot select any of these arcana more than once.
Reach Spellstrike (Su): An Arcane bowman can use spellstrike to cast a melee touch attack spell and deliver it through a ranged weapon attack.
Imbue Arrow (Su): An arcane bowman gains the ability to place an area spell upon an arrow. When the arrow is fired, the spell's area is centered where the arrow lands, even if the spell could normally be centered only on the caster. This ability allows the bowman to use the bow's range rather than the spell's range. A spell cast in this way uses its standard casting time and the arcane bowman can fire the arrow as part of the casting. The arrow must be fired during the round that the casting is completed or the spell is wasted. The arcane bowman can make this attack in concert with spell combat, this ranged attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat attacks. The arcane bowman must be at least 6th level before selecting this arcana.
Seeker Arrow (Su): An arcane bowman can launch an arrow at a target known to him 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). An Arcane bowman can use this ability a number of times per day equal to a quarter of his level (rounded down). As a full round action the arcane bowman can make a single attack combining a seeker arrow and a spell usable with the spell strike or imbue arrow ability. The arcane archer must be at least 8th level before selecting this arcana.
Phase Arrow (Su): An arcane bowman can launch an arrow once per day at a target known to him 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, armor, and shield modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally. Using this ability is a standard action(and shooting the arrow is part of the action). An Arcane bowman can use this ability a number of times per day equal to a fifth of his level (rounded down). As a full round action the arcane bowman can make a single attack combining a phase arrow and a spell usable with the spell strike or imbue arrow ability. The arcane bowman must be at least 10th level before selecting this arcana.
Hail of Arrows (Su): In lieu of his regular attacks, once per day, an arcane bowman can fire an arrow at each and every target within range, to a maximum of one target for every arcane bowman level he has earned. Each attack uses the bowman’s primary attack bonus, and each enemy may only be targeted by a single arrow. The arcane bowman must be at least 12th level before selecting this arcana.
Arrow of Death (Su): An arcane bowman can create a special type of slaying arrow that forces the target, if damaged by the arrow's attack, to make a Fortitude save or be slain immediately. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 level + INT. It takes 1 day to make a slaying arrow, and the arrow only functions for the arcane bowman who created it. The slaying arrow lasts no longer than 1 year, and the bowman can only have one such arrow in existence at a time. The arcane bowman must be at least 15th level before selecting this arcana.
Spell Recall (Su): At 4th level, the arcane bowman learns to use his arcane pool to recall spells he has already cast. With a swift action he can recall any single arcane archer spell that he has already prepared and cast that day by expending a number of points from his arcane pool equal to the spell's level (minimum 1). The spell is prepared again, just as if it had not been cast.
Bonus Feats: At 5th level, and every three levels thereafter, an arcane bowman gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.
Knowledge Pool (Su): At 7th level, when an arcane bowman prepares his arcane bowman spells, he can decide to expend 1 or more points from his arcane pool, up to his Intelligence bonus. For each point he expends, he can treat any one spell from the arcane bowman spell list as if it were in his spellbook and can prepare that spell as normal that day. If he does not cast spells prepared in this way before the next time he prepares spells, he loses those spells. He can also cast spells added in this way using his spell recall ability, but only until he prepares spells again.
Spell Access (Su): At 7th level, the arcane bowman gains access to an expanded spell list. He learns and places 8 spells from the wizard's spell list into his spellbook as arcane bowman spells of their wizard level. He gains two of each of the following wizard spells not on the arcane bowman spell list: 0-level, 1st-level, 2nd-level, 3rd-level. He can ignore the somatic component of these spells, casting them without the normal chance of spell failure.
Fighter Training (Ex): Starting at 10th level, an arcane bowman counts 1/2 his total arcane bowman level as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If he has levels in fighter, these levels stack.
Improved Spell Recall (Su): At 11th level, the arcane bowman’s ability to recall spells using his arcane pool becomes more efficient. Whenever he recalls a spell with spell recall, he expends a number of points from his arcane pool equal to 1/2 the spell's level (minimum 1). Furthermore, instead of recalling a used spell, as a swift action the arcane bowman can prepare a spell of the same level that he has in his spellbook. He does so by expending a number of points from his arcane pool equal to the spell's level (minimum 1). The arcane bowman cannot apply metamagic feats to a spell prepared in this way. The arcane bowman does not need to reference his spellbook to prepare a spell in this way.
Improved Spell Combat (Ex): At 13th level, the arcane bowman suffers no penalty to attack rolls for using spell combat.
Focused Spellstrike (Su): At 16th level, an arcane bowman can use ranged spellstrike to deliver a cone- or line-shaped spell as a ray, affecting only the creature or object struck.
Greater Spell Access (Su): At 19th level, the arcane bowman gains access to an expanded spell list. He learns and places 6 spells from the wizard's spell list into his spellbook as arcane bowman spells of their wizard level. He gains two of each of the following wizard spells not on the arcane bowman spell list: 4th-level, 5th-level, and 6th-level. He can ignore the somatic component of these spells, casting them without the normal chance of spell failure.
True Arcane Bowman (Su): At 20th level, the arcane bowman becomes a master of spells and combat. Whenever he uses his ranged spell combat ability, he does not need to make a concentration check to cast the spell defensively. Whenever the arcane bowman uses ranged spell combat and his spell targets the same creature as his ranged attacks, he can choose to either increase the DC to resist the spell by +2, grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on any checks made to overcome spell resistance, or grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on all attack rolls made against the target during his turn.
Arcane Bowman Spell List
The Arcane Bowman gain access to the following spells.
0-Level Arcane Bowman Spells— acid splash, arcane mark, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, disrupt undead, flare, ghost sound, light, mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, spark.
1st-Level Arcane Bowman Spells— abundant ammunition, adjuring step, auditory hallucination,blend, blood money, burning hands, blurred movement, call weapon, celestial healing, chill touch, clarion call, color spray, corrosive touch, dancing darkness, disguise weapon, gravity bow, enlarge person, expeditious retreat, feather fall, flare burst, floating disk, frostbite, glue seal, grease, hydraulic push, illusion of calm, infernal healing, jump, jury-rig, keep watch, lock gaze, long arm, longshot, magic missile, magic weapon, monkey fish, mount, mudball, obscuring mist, ray of enfeeblement, reduce person, returning weapon, secluded grimoire, shield, shocking grasp, silent image, snowball, stone throwing, true strike, unerring weapon, unseen servant, vanish..
2nd-Level Arcane Bowman Spells— acid arrow, alter self, animal aspect, arcane disruption, armor lock, arrows eruption, bear’s endurance, blood transcription, blur, bull’s strength, burning gaze, carry companion, cat’s grace, darkness, defensive shock, elemental touch, fire breath, flaming sphere, fog cloud, frigid touch, glitterdust, gust of wind, invisibility, levitate, minor image, mirror image, pyrotechnics, ricochet shot, scorching ray, shatter, spider climb, stone call, telekinetic assemble, time shudder, twisted space, web, winged sword.
3rd-Level Arcane Bowman Spells— aqueous orb, arcane sight, beast shape I, blink, cloak of winds, daylight, dispel magic, displacement, elemental aura, fireball, flame arrow, fly, force hook charge, force punch, gaseous form, haste, hydraulic torrent, keen edge, lightning bolt, magic weapon (greater), major image, monstrous physique I, phantom steed, ray of exhaustion, sleet storm, slow, stinking cloud, undead anatomy I, vampiric touch, versatile weapon, venomous bolt, water breathing, wind wall.
4th-Level Arcane Bowman Spells— arcana theft*, ball lightning, beast shape II, bow spirit, black tentacles, detonate, dimension door, dragon’s breath, elemental body I, enlarge person (mass), fire shield, firefall, ice storm, invisibility (greater), monstrous physique II, named bullet, phantasmal killer, reduce person (mass), river of wind, shout, solid fog, stoneskin, vermin shape I, wall of fire, wall of ice, wall of sound.
5th-Level Arcane Bowman Spells— acidic spray, baleful polymorph, beast shape III, cloudkill, cone of cold, corrosive consumption, elemental body II, fire snake, geyser, interposing hand, monstrous physique III, overland flight, telekinesis, teleport, undead anatomy II, vermin shape II, wall of force, wall of stone.
6th-Level Arcane Bowman Spells— antimagic field, acid fog, bear’s endurance (mass), beast shape IV, bull’s strength (mass), cat’s grace (mass), chain lightning, contagious flame, disintegrate, dispel magic (greater), elemental body III, flesh to stone, forceful hand, form of the dragon I, freezing sphere, mislead, monstrous physique IV, named bullet (greater), sirocco, stone to flesh, transformation, true seeing, undead anatomy III, wall of iron.