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Arcane Archer builds

Discussion in 'Neverwinter Nights (Classic)' started by Gothmog, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Gothmog

    Gothmog Man, a curious beast indeed! ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    [​IMG] I just played this bard 1/RDD 10/barbarian x for the last two days, with strenght over 40, and of course doing over 40 damage with each hit. It's become real easy and rather brain-dead activity. I even killed the Mithril golems and the demi-lich without dying. Overpowered IMO.

    So that's why i'm looking forward to playing an archer. There are lots of enemies in the game (majority AFAIK) who use ranged weapons, so you probably wont get smacked with power attack using Attacks of Opportunity if you try wielding a bow.
    The problem is, archers are a bit like paladins, with their stats spread very thin.

    Strenght is important since there are many, many mighty +5 bows out there. So 20 strenght would be needed.

    Dexterity is the prime stat since it helps you hit the target. I'm wondering though, if it's that important at all. The only penalty you can get on ranged attacks is -2 of Rapid Shot as opposed to all sorts of melee drawbacks (Expertise, Power attack,...) Has anyone tried playing an archer without high dex?

    Constitution isnt that important, eventhough it's nice to have a decent score.

    Wisdom i can leave at 10 since i dont like to have a negative score.

    Intelligence is another stat that is quite needed. If we're talking about bard build it's quite necessary to have in decent amount since bards have a lot of class skills.

    Charisma. Again for bard builds, it's moderately needed.


    Now, i was thinking about brd 5/RDD 10/AA x with saving skill points and raising bard level once in a time to max skills out, until bard levels reach 10. So in the end it'd look like brd 10/RDD 10/AA 20. I was intending to wield that black intelligent longsword, with the best bow found in nearby shops. The longsword is more for being cool than actualy doing wreaking any havoc. Feats are not a big problem since i only really need Focus:longbow, I. Critical:longbow, point blank shot and rapid shot. Any others go wherever i feel like at the moment. Perhaps some to longsword skill augmenting.
    I'd have decent stats all over the board from RDD, nifty immunities, awsome ranged damage from AA and various buffs and spells from Bard.

    So, what do you think?
    I was thinking that perhaps the RDD levels were not that needed, eventhough they make an excellent roleplaying model. After all i give 10 levels away for, basicaly some stat boosts. I wont be going into melee much anyway, so perhaps the added stats dont make up for +5 to attack/damage from AA class.

    That's why, opinions please :)
     
  2. Taza

    Taza Weird Modmaker Veteran

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    Hmm... sounds not that good, actually.

    I've got a build i like to use.
    Elven Monk 10/Wizard 1 /AA 29

    Monk 8 levels (Weapon Focus: Longbow, Point Blank Shot and Zen Archery)
    Wizard 1 level (diviner, memorize True Strikes)
    AA 10 levels (remember to save some points)
    Monk 1 level (improved Evasion, lot of Tumble and Discipline)
    AA 29 levels
    Monk 1 level

    Stats in order of importance
    Wisdom (with wisdom you can increase Ac (monk ac) and AB (Zen Archery))
    Strenght (Mighty bows, go with 14 in the start)
    Constitution (HP)
    Intelligence (Skill points)
    Dexterity (some ac)
    Charisma (this build doesn't need charisma much)


    This build is very powerful, is a archer build _without_ high dex, shoots +5 arrows at L20 (and +15 arrows at L40. :p ), has a high AC, monk speed (pair with haste for some really good movement speed), Deflect arrows (for those other archers in special cases), AA bonuses, several unarmed attacks, you get to use monk only gear (Dark moons, hasted robes that are very nifty), Improved Knockdown for melee, and no need for magical arrows.

    On the downside you can't use armor, but that's a quite small penalty if you have a high wis.

    It's my favourite archer build for a reason. :p
     
  3. BigStick Gems: 13/31
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    I like the Bard/RDD/AA build. It was my first character through HotU. The spell casting of the Bard can get you stat boosting and defensive (Cure, Dispel, Remove) spells, not to mention bard song boosts. This mix also provides a wonderful combination of saving throw bonuses. Having access to the Use Magic Device skill opens up the use of scrolls and magic items of many sorts, including monk-only.

    If you want to use a longsword, you'll have to play an elf or use a feat to take Martial Weapon Proficiency. Half-elves don't get the free weapon proficiencies that full elves do.

    My build focused more on the bard levels than yours does, but that isn't necessarily better. I ended the OC at something like Bard 11/RDD 7/AA 9. In retrospect, I would have taken the RDD levels before the AA. I think I started the char at Bard 8/RDD 4/AA 3 and then took 4-5 more AA levels for the BAB.

    I'd start with stats something like (elf-build): 12, 16, 12, 12, 10, 15. Add one to CHA at level 4 to get the most of your bonus spells/day, then add all DEX. If you get to RDD 10 and character level 26-27 in the HotU OC, you should end up with 20, 21, 14, 14, 10, 18. If you want fewer Bard levels take the starting CHA down to 14 and the starting DEX up to 17 and don't bother adding any CHA.

    I'm not crazy about the monk build, though I love monks in general. There are several reasons for this: Extra feat required to use WIS for ranged attacks, don't get to use improved melee attacks/round with a bow, can't deflect arrows with a bow in hand, no Use Magic Device skill available. I always much prefer boosting DEX over WIS for my Monks. DEX impacts ranged attacks and AC without the need for an extra feat and with an extra feat (Weapon Finesse) can affect his unarmed attack as well. On the other hand, having the extra speed would be great for an archer to be able to keep at range.
     
  4. Gothmog

    Gothmog Man, a curious beast indeed! ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I must say i prefer the bard/RDD/AA build. I'm having a little trouble imagining an arcane archer originating from monk levels roleplaying-wise. Oh, btw i dont often play my characters without some idea behind them of their biography and that kinda stuff. It's also more satisfying roleplaying that kinda character through the game. *shrugs*
    I'm creating some kind of monk character for my next run-through.

    Another thing i'm interested in is whether dexterity is that important for an archer after all. Sure, it affects his AB and AC, but beyond that..?
    I was thinking that instead, i might wear medium armor (heavy doesnt go with char concept ;) and have higher int for skill points, which i seriously lack. So; 12 14 10 16 10 15
    I realise it's not the most efficient (except for the strenght), but i get a lot of skill points instead. Lvl4 point goes to charisma, beyond that i dont really know.

    Another point; Having a bard/AA might be a more powerful archer build combat wise. It would not have that much strenght, but it'd have +5 arrows instead, which would get him +5 to hit as well. Melee, he would be no good, but ranged combat, it'd be probably stronger. You'd also lose all the nifty immunities of RDD like fire, sleep and paralysation as well as all other stat increases. *shrugs* I certainly like the RDD build better, probably more for RP reasons :)
     
  5. BigStick Gems: 13/31
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    The biggest problem you'll run into with your proposed starting stats is the fact that it takes 32 points. ;)

    If you're looking to add in more skill points, you could replace the RDD with Rogue or ShadowDancer levels. I'm not sure what your character concept is so it's hard to recommend something specific.

    In general, I have a problem with spending 10 of 30 total points on one stat, especially one that is not a key requirement for a class. Why would a character with an INT of 16 become a bard and not a wizard? It doesn't seem to be the smartest decision. :D

    I've never tried to create an archer without a high DEX, so I'm not sure how much impact it would have. I'd think that you'd want to have the best chance possible at hitting everything at which you aim. Think of the hours, days, weeks, and so on that an Arcane Archer spends just for the privilege of becoming an Arcane Archer. After that, the training gets really intensive. :eek:

    Just my thoughts... Have fun!
     
  6. Gothmog

    Gothmog Man, a curious beast indeed! ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Hehe, i made the guy now. Without 32 point buy though :( :p ;)
    12 14 10 16 10 14

    The 16 intelligence is a bit extreme for a char who doesnt rely on it. Now, with 10 RDD levels, it becomes a rather minor thing. So right now i have bard 5/RDD 10 with 20 16 13 18 10 16
    Just got Enserric the longsword a large shield +4 and a mighty composite bow +3. I'm using improved knockdown (requires 13 int) and it goes quite well. It's not insanely powerful, but i didnt want it to be easy.
    I'll soon level up to bard 6 for skill distribution and then its all AA :D
     
  7. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Has anyone tried a Cleric/Wizard/Arcane Archer?
    Boosting WIS to rely on Zen archery and wearing a decent armour at the same time.

    I'm thinking about making a half elf Cleric/Bard/Arcane Archer.

    Monk/Wizard/Arcane Archer looks like an effective build but I'd be ready to dump DEX and get some Cleric buffs instead.

    Half Elf would get a better CON and this is more important since we're not looking at a DEX build.

    Any ideas?
     
  8. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    No, I haven't, but I'm planning to try a half-elven Paladin/Wizard/Arcane Archer one day. Or make it sorc or something. ;) Just add paladin spells and Divine Might on top of AA bonuses. ;)

    You could try a Zen monk too.
     
  9. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I've done some tests.

    Elf Cleric 8 Wizard 1 AA X is rather straightforward, you can dump CHA as well.

    Half Elf Cleric 7 Bard 2 AA X is slightly more difficult to pull off. Starting as a Bard you get more skillpoints but you have to take the Martial Weapon feat (half elf don't have bows at the start).

    The difference (apart from the casting level) would be one fourth level spell.

    I like the second build better, it's more versatile (you don't have a familiar but I can live without one, some Wizard spells can be handy though).

    @Chevalier: what about a Half Elf Paladin 6 Sorcerer 1 AA X
    with that build you won't need Zen Archery but you'd need a decent DEX (Weapon Finesse?) and good CHA and WIS as well (although WIS won't be as essential). That could prove effective and easier (less levels needed to get your first AA level).

    Or maybe an Elf Rogue 8 Wizard 1 AA X with sneak attacks (+4d6 at level 7).

    Elf Monk 8 Wizard 1 AA X perhaps (Monk 9 for Improved Evasion).

    I'm not sure about the Monk, how does it compare to being able to cast 4th level cleric spells or getting 4d6 sneak attacks?

    I think I might try the Rogue build... It may not be as cool but no uber WIS is needed and no Zen Archery. Plus elves can start with 16 DEX very easily.
     
  10. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I prefer to use Zen for the fun of it and for keeping the full plate, holy avenger and shield paladin tradition. ;)
     
  11. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Wizard/Rogue/Archane Archer or Bard/Rogue/Arcane Archer gives sneak attacks for the first couple of arrows. Using a tank, every arrow gets a sneak attack. Use Any Item skill is really great for the Arcane Archer -- monk only items are a real boon: +5 boots of the sun soul (with +3 dex bonus) and the robe of the dark moon for speed (+1 attack and +4 AC). Take tumble to 15 and you'll never be hit by an attack of opportunity while putting distance between you and your enemy. Bard's song helps somewhat.

    Strength is overrated. You can always use belt to get your strength up along with Bull's Strength spells and potions to take full advantage of Mighty.
     
  12. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I've done some thinking about those builds...
    A Druid Wizard AA could be fun, familiar + animal companion could be handy to keep foes away or even better, a Ranger Wizard AA (since the prestige class would be available much sooner).

    Has anyone tried a Barbarian Wizard AA? That would be a weird build but the speed would help.
     
  13. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I'd rather say the first very obvious advantage of the barbarian + wizard goes by the name 'D12' :)

    IMO more substantial than speed.
     
  14. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I still think rogue (or assassin) gives the best offensive fire power -- 5th level rogue has 3d6 for a sneak attack, 7th level rogue has 4d6. That damage adds up fast for the majority of your enemies.

    Another build is bard/arcane archer/shadowdancer. Hide in plain sight is almost cheating.
     
  15. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Except for all those pesky monsters that are immune to sneak attacks.......
     
  16. Scot

    Scot The Small One Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I'm thinking of doing Darkness over Daggerford with seemingly plain ranger 6 wizard 1 AA x, maybe wizard 3 for cat's grace.

    Is archane archer powerful enough to get by with a build like that, or do you really need those funky builds like monk/wiz/aa to make it work well?
     
  17. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Ranger should be fine. A friend of mine is currently playing the OC with a Paladin/Wizard/AA.
    When you think about it, Ranger is quite a nice class at level 6. You get free dual wielding and an animal companion which can be helpful to keep foes away while you fire at them.

    Since with DoD you start at level 8 (iirc) you could get a least one level of AA at the very start of the module.
     
  18. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
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    I play an elven Ranger lv9/Wizard lv1/Arcane Archer lv13 now. He has some incredible damage with the bow. I managed to put down the Dragon lich at HotU 3 times in a row alone, since my Henchman (the tiefling) got scared and then died. I was using acid arrows of course and from point blank i had damages usually above 30 (Strength 26 and Dexterity 26). I had managed to do damage above 50 too. And when i want i can switch to dual wielding where i also have some decent damage and attack rating going on.

    He is quite good. Although i haven't been able to defeat the demi lich wizard of the golem island so far, but i will try again soon.
     
  19. Sir Fink Gems: 13/31
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    I assume you're taking this character through HOTU since you mentioned the "talking black sword." You realize you'll hit level 26 or 27 by HOTU's end? So let's not bother with a level 40 build.

    The talking sword can become a shortsword or dagger (or greatsword) if you ask him when you first discover him. Go with shortsword and take Weapon Finesse so your archer's DEX will apply to your BAB when using the sword.

    You need to ask yourself what you want your archer to do. Do you want him to be a pure, awesome 100% kill stuff with arrows build? In that case make a fighter/wizard/AA. Take the first six levels as fighter and then 1 wizard level (elf's favored class and thus no XP penalty). You could easily get away with 8 Intelligence and never bother with spells. By the higher levels you'll have HUGE BAB and damage will be fairly good. Leave strength at 8 and just use items and potions to buff it up so a Mighty bow will be useful.
     
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