Archer, Adventuring (3.5e Class)

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The Adventuring Archer[edit]

The adventuring archer lives for, well, adventure. They excel in ranged combat and survival, relying on their allies and quick wits to avoid the edges of blades.

Making an Adventuring Archer[edit]

Abilities: Dexterity, dexterity, and more dexterity. Wisdom is helpful for some of the finer points of archery, as well as improving their poor will saves, and constitution is always helpful with their limited hit points.

Races: Adventuring archers tend to be members of more dexterous races, though exceptional individuals are common. Most of the ranks of this group consist of humans, elves, half-elves, and halflings. Dwarves, gnomes, and half-orcs tend to lack the coordination required to excel as an archer.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 6d4x10gp (150 gp).

Starting Age: As ranger.

Table: The Adventuring Archer

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st + 1 +0 +2 +0 Power Shot, Precise Shot
2nd + 2 +0 + 3 +0 Endurance
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Leg Shot, Weapon Focus [Longbow]
4th +4 +1 + 4 +1 Dodge, Bow Sniper
5th + 5 +1 + 4 +1 Mobility, Point Blank Shot
6th +6/+1 +2 + 5 +2 Weapon Specialization [Longbow], Shot on the Run
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +2 Rapid Shot, Far shot
8th +8/+3 +2 + 6 +2 Arm Shot, High Ground
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +3 Greater Weapon Focus
10th + 10/+5 +3 + 7 +3 Opportunity Shot
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +3 Improved Point Blank Shot
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +4 Improved Critical [Longbow], Greater Weapon Specialization [Longbow]
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +4 Many Shot
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +4 Uncanny Dodge
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +5 Farsight
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +5 Improved Precise Shot
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Greater Many Shot
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Exceptional Mobility
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Swarm of Arrows

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of The Adventuring Archer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Adventuring Archer is proficient in the use of light armor, as well as all simple, martial weapons, and 1 exotic ranged weapon.

Power Shot (Ex): At 1st level, the adventuring archer gains power shot, as the Power Attack feat, for ranged attacks. Power shot damage is treated as a sneak attack for purposes of special ability usage (ex. does not apply to additional manyshot arrows).

Endurance (Ex): At 4th level the adventuring archer gains Endurance as a bonus feat.

High Ground (Ex): After 8th level, if the adventuring archer is at least 5 vertical feet above their target, they gain a +2 circumstance bonus to all attack rolls made against them. The effective range of the archer's special abilities (such as Sneak Attack and Point Blank Shot) is doubled. The effects of this ability cannot increase the range of the archer's attacks beyond the archer's maximum range.

Bow Sniper: At 4th level you add your Dexterity modifier to your attack and damage roll when making attacks with a bow or crossbow. If you have the skirmish or sneak attack ability the maximum range for such attacks increases to 60ft. If you are able to make attacks of opportunity with your bow or croasbow, the maximum range for those attacks also increases to 60 ft.

Shot on the Run (Ex): After achieving 6th level, the adventuring archer gains Shot on the Run as a bonus feat, regardless of whether they meet the normal prerequisites for the feat.

Arm Shot (Ex): At 8th level, an adventuring archer may target a creature's arms. The archer attacks at a -2 penalty. If the attack hits the creature takes normal damage from the attack, and takes a -2 penalty on all melee attacks for 1 + Wisdom modifier rounds (minimum 1). If a creature is already affected by arm shot and is hit by another arm shot the effects do not stack, instead the duration is calculated from the most recent arm shot applied. Creatures that are immune to critical hits are immune to this attack.

Exceptional Mobility (Ex): By 18th level, the archer is exceptionally capable of moving in combat, and can use the Shot on the Run feat during a full-round attack, though the archer can only move before or after the attack, and at half their movement speed. In addition, while fighting on unsteady terrain (slippery, uneven, or the like), the archer may choose to take 10 on any balance check, even if distracted or endangered. The adventuring archer no longer needs to make concentration checks due to the terrain they're standing on, or any other natural environmental effects.

Leg Shot (Ex): At 3rd level, an adventuring archer may target a creature's legs to attempt to hinder its movement. The archer makes an attack at a -2 penalty. If the attack hits, the creature takes normal damage from the attack, and moves at half its normal speed (to a minimum of 10 feet), which affects the creature’s jumping distance as normal for decreased speed. The reduced movement speed lasts for 1 + Wisdom modifier rounds (minimum 1). If a creature is already affected by leg shot and is hit by another leg shot the effects do not stack, instead the duration is calculated from the most recent leg shot applied. Creatures that are immune to critical hits are immune to this attack.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 14th level, an adventuring archer can react to danger before their senses would normally allow them to do so. They retain their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if they are caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, they still lose their Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

Halfling Adventuring Archer Starting Package[edit]

Armor: Padded Armor

Weapons: Sling, Short Sword.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Balance 4 Dex -0
Hide 4 Dex -0
Jump 4 Str -0
Move Silently 4 Dex -0
Survival 4 Wis
Tumble 4 Dex -0

Feat: Toughness

Bonus Feats: Weapon Finesse.

Gear: Standard Adventurer's Kit, Hempen Rope (50 ft.), Pouch of 10 bullets (10), Explorer’s Outfit.

Gold: 5d4x10 (125) gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing an Adventuring Archer[edit]

Religion: Many Adventuring Archers are woodsmen and explorers, and thus tend to worship gods of nature and travel. Adventuring Archers are known to worship all manner of gods, however.

Other Classes: Adventuring archers' relationships with those around them vary greatly based on the individual. Adventuring archers are as diverse as the world itself.

Combat: Pounding opponents from a distance, slowing their approach to you, and dispatching them with deadly close-range shots. Despite their frailty, adventuring archers are skilled survivalists and combatants.

Advancement: Common multiclass options include scout, rogue, ranger, and warrior. Scouts and rogues offer sneak attack damage at close range, while rangers and warriors offer additional feats and hit points.

Adventuring Archers in the World[edit]

Adventuring archers' lifestyle is more heavily based on the adventuring than the archery. They tend not to be especially interested in other members of their own class, though many enjoy boasting their exceptional combat skills.

"Boy were those bugbears surprised when I launched a bag-full of bullets at them. The one that wasn't smart enough to run had more lead in his face than flesh!"
—Kirk Hopskipper, Halfling Adventuring Archer

Daily Life: Generally adventuring, like every other friggin' class.

Notables: None, aside from Kirk Hopskipper, Example Starting Package Extraordinaire.

Organizations: No known organizations.

NPC Reactions: Neutral.

Author's Note[edit]

I generally don't play any campaigns past level 12, and by level 15 classes like Monk are so OP that things get ridiculous. Overall, the archer gets about the same number of feats as a fighter does by level 10, but has d4 HD and poor saves. This class is supposed to be something of a slippery glass cannon. If something manages to close on them, they're as good as dead. I haven't had a chance to test this class out, so I wouldn't call it finished. The whole idea is a DPS class that needs the group to survive. Specific bonus feats (endurance, diehard, weapon finesse) are given out because I felt the last was very necessary and the other two go well with the class theme, but are unlikely to be picked over ranged combat feats.

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