, a rewrite of the core Prestige Class. Ideally, an Arcane Archer should be the Green Arrow, with an arrow for everything. If he doesn't have an arrow for the situation, he gets the writers to make him one (I mean, finds a way to expand his spell list). Of course, I don't know how accurate that picture is since, I never read Green Arrow, but the idealized point should still stand, right?
This version, rather than trying to balance advancing spellcasting with a heavy martial requirement like many AA fixes try, just gives it its own spellcasting progression. This version isn't for mages who want to spruce up their spellcasting with archery (and who would normally take the original only for a 2-level dip anyways to fire AMF arrows or something). Instead, it's for archers who want a little magic in their bows. Hopefully, it should be a good, solid, 10-level class worth taking to the end.
Imbue Arrow shoves the magic right in, while Spell Volley makes sure that the spellcasting doesn't interfere with what archers normally do, providing ventilation to the internal organs of the soon-to-be-corpses across the room. Seeker Arrow, Phase Arrow, and Arrow of Death are basically unchanged, other than adding more uses and providing some clarifications that similar abilities later on had, although Arrow of Death also gets a bit of a buff through an improved save DC, some extra damage (comparable to what your spells could have done) and the option to paralyze instead of killing. Hail of Arrows also lets you spread your imbued arrows far and wide, which can be very helpful to spread around buff spells, if you so choose. Speaking of which, Imbue Arrow no longer gives you full access to area spells immediately, but starts off as a ranged version of the Duskblade's Arcane Channeling (and upgrades to the full-attack version if you include Hail of Arrows), and lets you employ the few buffs you have at range.
Note that the spell list only contains spells from the PHB. DMs with access to other sources are encouraged to add additional spells as appropriate. Also, Dex-based spellcasting, because why not? (Also, because it feels right.)Requirements
Race: Elf or Half-Elf (or a subrace thereof).
Base Attack Bonus: +6
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (any bow).
Skills: Concentration 2 ranks, Spellcraft 2 ranks
Table: The Arcane Archer Hit Die: d8Class skills
Attack Fort Ref Will ----Spells per Day--- -----Spells Known----
Level Bonus Save Save Save Special 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Enhance Bow, Toxophilite Mage 0 - - - 2* - - -
2 +2 +3 +3 +0 Imbue Arrow (cone, ray, touch) 1 - - - 3 - - -
3 +3 +3 +3 +1 Spell Volley (single shot) 2 0 - - 3 2* - -
4 +4 +4 +4 +1 Seeker Arrow 3 1 - - 4 3 - -
5 +5 +4 +4 +1 Imbue Arrow (area) 3 2 0 - 4 3 2* -
6 +6 +5 +5 +2 Phase Arrow 3 3 1 - 4 4 3 -
7 +7 +5 +5 +2 Spell Volley (quicken) 3 3 2 0 4 4 3 2*
8 +8 +6 +6 +2 Hail of Arrows 3 3 3 1 4 4 4 3
9 +9 +6 +6 +3 Spell Volley (full attack) 3 3 3 2 4 4 4 3
10 +10 +7 +7 +3 Arrow of Death 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4
*Provided the Arcane Archer has sufficient Dexterity to have a bonus spell of this level.
(4 + Int modifier per level): Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival, Tumble, Use Rope
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An Arcane Archer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields.
Spellcasting: Beginning at 1st level, an Arcane Archer gains the ability to cast a number of arcane spells. To cast a spell, an Arcane Archer must have a Dexterity score of at least 10 + the spell’s level, so an Arcane Archer with a Dexterity of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Arcane Archer bonus spells are based on Dexterity, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the Arcane Archer's Dexterity bonus. When the Arcane Archer gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level she gains only the bonus spells she would be entitled to based on her Dexterity score for that spell level.
The Arcane Archer spell list appears below. An Arcane Archer can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time, just as a Sorcerer does. Also like a Sorcerer, an Arcane Archer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day, and knows only a limited number of spells from her Arcane Archer spell list.
Upon reaching 6th level, at every even-numbered level after that (8th and 10th), an Arcane Archer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level Arcane Archer spell the Arcane Archer can cast. An Arcane Archer may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for that level.
An Arcane Archer may use her Base Attack Bonus in place of her Arcane Archer level when determining her Arcane Archer caster level, whichever is better.
An Arcane Archer does not cast her spells like most spellcasters. Rather than intellectually understanding magic like a Wizard or using intuition to draw her innate abilities out like a Sorcerer, an Arcane Archer practices her magic through the forms of archery. Rather than using commonly understood arcane rituals, Arcane Archers cast their spells through the act of drawing an arrow, nocking it in a bow, pulling the string, and letting loose. As such, all Arcane Archer spells have a somatic component (firing a bow, or miming it), even if the spell would not normally have one, or if it would be removed by abilities such as the Still Spell metamagic feat. Holding a bow does not interfere with an Arcane Archer's ability to supply these somatic components. An Arcane Archer need not hold a bow to cast her spells. Simply mimicking the actions is sufficient. However, if she does not wield a bow, some aspects of spellcasting may be more difficult (see the Toxophilite Mage ability below).
Toxophilite Mage (Ex): While you are wielding a bow with which you are proficient, you do not suffer the normal risk of arcane spell failure for casting Arcane Archer spells, regardless of the armor or shield or wear. While you wield a bow with which you are proficient, you can also substitute an arrow or other projectile appropriate to the bow as an arcane focus component in place of any or all material components of your Arcane Archer spells costing 1 gp or less.
In addition, if you have the ability to use an ability modifier other than your Dexterity modifier to determine the bonus you gain on ranged attack rolls with your bow attacks (such as through the Zen Archery and Charming the Arrow feats), you may use that ability score in place of your Dexterity score to determine the highest level Arcane Archer spell you can cast and the save DCs of your Arcane Archer spells (but not the number of bonus Arcane Archer spells you can cast each day).
Enhance Bow (Su): Any bow you wield is magically reinforced. For as long as you wield a bow, it gains the benefit of a greater magic weapon spell with a caster level equal to your Arcane Archer caster level. This benefit lasts for as long as you possess the bow, and ends if someone else uses it (until such time as you wield the bow once more).
Imbue Arrow (Su): Starting at 2nd level, you can imbue an arrow or other projectile with magical energy. As part of casting a spell with a range of touch, an effect of ray, or a cone-shaped area, you can store its energies in a single projectile you touch. If you attack with that projectile and hit, the target you hit is affected by the spell stored within the projectile without requiring any subsequent attack rolls, in addition to the normal effects of being struck by the projectile (resolve the spell after resolving the effects of the attack). Alternatively, you can attack with the projectile as a touch attack. If you do and you hit, the target you hit is still affected by the spell stored within the projectile, but the projectile deals no damage and does not trigger any other effects of hitting (although effects tied to simply attacking may still occur). For area spells, if you hit a target, the stored area spell's point of origin is any corner of the space of the target you hit. If you miss, treat the projectile as a grenade-like weapon to determine where the spell's point of origin occurs. You can also use a projectile with a stored area spell to attack a particular 5-foot square instead of a specific target. If you do, treat the target square as AC 5, but the projectile functions as though you attacked with a touch attack (dealing no damage and triggering no other effects of attacking). Willing targets may choose to automatically be hit by your imbued projectiles without requiring an attack roll, and may allow you to hit their weapons, armor, or other held equipment (also without requiring an attack roll, despite the fact that you can't normally attack weapons and armor with ranged attacks).
Starting at 5th level, you can also store spells with any area in this way, rather than just cones.
A spell cast in this way takes effect at the indicated location regardless of where you were when you cast the spell or fired the projectile, even if this is beyond the spell's normal range or if it could normally only originate from its caster's position. Time spent imbued within the projectile does not count against a spell's duration. A spell still stored within a projectile dissipates if you cast another spell. In addition, if the imbued projectile leaves your possession, the spell also dissipates. Otherwise, you can keep the spell stored indefinitely or until used. Despite the name of this ability, it can be used with projectiles other than arrows, as long as they are useable as projectiles with a bow.
Spell Volley (Su): Starting at 3rd level, as part of the action required to cast an Arcane Archer spell, you may make a single ranged attack with a bow you wield at the completion of the spell's casting. Beginning at 9th level, you may also spend a move action when casting such a spell (in addition to the spell's normal casting time) to make a full-attack instead of a single attack. If you make any attacks this way, you suffer a -2 penalty on all attack rolls you make this round (including any required by the spell you cast). Attacks made this way do not provoke attacks of opportunity for making ranged attacks while threatened. If your spell was disrupted, countered, or otherwise was not cast successfully, you cannot make these attack. This benefit only applies to spells with casting times of 1 standard action or greater. You can combine this with the Imbue Arrow ability to immediately fire a projectile you have just imbued.
Starting at 7th level, you may cast any Arcane Archer spell with a casting time of 1 full-round action or less targeting only your bow or projectiles in your possession as a swift action instead of its normal casting times and without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Seeker Arrow (Su): Starting at 4th level, you can expend an unused 2nd-level or higher Arcane Archer spell slot as a free action to enhance the arrows or other projectiles you launch with a bow for 1 round. Until the beginning of your next turn, when you launch such a projectile at a target known to you within range, the projectile travels to the target, even around corners, allowing you to determine line of effect along the arrow's path instead of as a straight line. Only an unavoidable obstacle or the limit of the projectile's range prevents the projectile's flight. This ability negates the effects of cover and concealment (including soft cover and improved cover, but not total cover or total concealment), but otherwise the attacks are rolled normally. If a target has total concealment from you, you must still attack the correct space, otherwise the attack still misses. Despite the name of this ability, it can be used with projectiles other than arrows, as long as they are useable as projectiles with your bow. You may use the same or different projectiles with each attack.
Phase Arrow (Su): Starting at 6th level, you can expend an unused 3rd-level or higher Arcane Archer spell slot as a free action to enhance the arrows or other projectiles you launch with a bow for 1 round. Until the beginning of your next turn, when you launch such a projectile at a target known to you within range, the projectile travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any barrier or wall in its way, allowing you to determine line of effect through them. Only barriers that fully affect incorporeal and ethereal creatures stop the arrow (such as force effects, but not walls more than 5 feet thick unless they are present on both the material plane and the ethereal plane). This ability negates cover (including soft cover and total cover), and you may resolve the attack rolls as incorporeal touch attacks, but otherwise the attacks are rolled normally. If a target has total concealment from you, you must still attack the correct space, otherwise the attack still misses. Despite the name of this ability, it can be used with projectiles other than arrows, as long as they are useable as projectiles with your bow. You may use the same or different projectiles with each attack.
Hail of Arrows (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, you can fire a volley of arrows in the time it would take a normal archer to nock and fire one. As part of this ability, you can make a single ranged attack with a bow at your full Base Attack Bonus against each target within range, to a maximum of your Arcane Archer level. If you have stored a spell in the first projectile you fire with your Imbue Arrow ability with a casting time no greater than 1 full-round action, no material components costing more than 1 gp, and no experience components, you can split the magic, channeling it through each projectile you fire in this way. If you do, each such projectile is considered to be imbued with the same spell (using the same characteristics as the original, such as caster level and save DC), although any given subject or area can only be subjected to a single instance of the imbued spell (their effects overlap instead of stacking, regardless of how multiple instances of the spell normally interact). If a subject would be affected by multiple such instances, determine which one it is affected by randomly. Subsequent castings of the same spell operate normally. Despite the name of this ability, it can be used with projectiles other than arrows, as long as they are useable as projectiles with your bow. You may use the same or different projectiles with each attack. Using this ability is a full-round action, and it can be used no more than once per encounter (or once every 5 minutes outside of an encounter).
Arrow of Death (Su): Starting at 10th level, you can expend an unused 4th-level or higher Arcane Archer spell slot as a move action to enhance a single arrow or other projectile you launch with a bow within 1 round. Until the beginning of your next turn, if you damage a creature with an arrow so enhanced, the target must immediately make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + your Arcane Archer Level + your Dexterity modifier) or die immediately (non-living creatures are instead destroyed). Regardless of whether the target succeeds or not, it also suffers an additional 10d6 points of damage. Alternatively, you may instead cause the arrow to paralyze the target and put it into a catatonic state superficially similar to death should it fail the saving throw, which lasts until you spend a standard action to negate the effect. If you do, the bonus damage dealt is considered nonlethal damage. The death or paralysis caused by an arrow of death is considered a death effect, although the other aspects of the ability are not.
Arcane Archer Spell List
1st - Burning Hands, Color Spray, Entropic Shield, Expeditious Retreat, Faerie Fire, Jump, Longstrider, Magic Weapon, Obscuring Mist, Ray of Enfeeblement, True Strike,
2nd - Acid Arrow, Align Weapon, Bear's Endurance, Cat's Grace, Eagle's Splendor, Fog Cloud, Glitterdust, Greater Magic Weapon, Invisibility, Owl's Wisdom, Protection from Arrows, Scorching Ray, Spider Climb
3rd - Dispel Magic, Fireball, Flame Arrow, Keen Edge, Levitate, Lightning Bolt, Ray of Exhaustion, Searing Light, Sleet Storm, Wind Wall
4th - Air Walk, Dimension Door, Dimensional Anchor, Enervation, Freedom of Movement, Greater Invisibility, Ice Storm, Rainbow Pattern, Shout, Solid Fog