Now that Dev Crit has been enabled for longbow users, everyone knows that the best way to get it is to do a bard / RDD / AA, right? WRONG! here's another super fun cool way to get Dev Crit on your arrows, and also get some useful buffing spells. Basically, if you like the Bioware-featured epic build Bewildering Archer - well, this is a bit like that, but with Dev Crit.
Elf, True Neutral Str 14 Dex 18 Con 10 Int 12 Wis 8 Cha 14
I originally did the epic levels so that it first got all the AA levels, saving the RDD and Sorceror levels for 30-40, but it seemed as though it would be more fun to get Dev Crit earlier on. Taking RDD levels later meant he would have got better Discipline, but he would have had to go for 26 strength as well, otherwise he couldn't have got Dev Crit before level 40.
I preferred to take a hit to Discipline and Strength so I could save a feat for Called Shot, a feat all archers should have really, especially at the level this guy gets it, because it will help loads with levelling.
Skill points Sorceror levels give (11x2) = 22 RDD levels give (10x2) = 20 AA levels give (19x4) = 76 Int bonus gives 40. He also gets +2 to Int at level 25, so that's 15 extra skill ponts. Total = 173, enough for 29 Discipline, 43 Spellcraft, 20 Tumble (cross class) and 43 Concentration. Don't forget the 8 Lore needed to be an RDD either. There's 10 points over after all this; Spot is probably a good place for these, or maybe Lore.
AB The DC Archer doesn't do half badly on this front, considering he's a Dev Crit archer, who usually struggle to get decent AB. Unbuffed, and using a non-magical bow. 26 base +10 Dex +10 Enchant Arrow +1 Weapon Focus +2 Epic Weapon Focus +1 Point Blank Shot (within 15 feet of target) which is +50 in total. Or +70 with True Strike. I don't know which of the arcane weapon buffs can be applied to bows / arrows, so I calculated it unbuffed.
Damage I'm not really sure how much damage he'll do until I actually test the build - but he should do ok if he has access to Mighty bows. He can get up to an extra +7 damage unbuffed, if he can find bows that go that high. His base damage is 1d8+10 unbuffed and without magical equipment.
Of course, there's always the Dev Crit factor - it's threatened on a roll of 19 or 20. The DC isn't great but it's still not exactly low, i think it's around 37 unbuffed.
AC This is one area where RDD archers have an advantage, thanks to Draconic Armour. 10 base +10 Dex modifier +4 Tumble +4 Draconic Armour = 28 unbuffed. That can be improved with spells quite easily. Off the top of my head, he can cast Mage Armour, Shield, Cat's Grace and Protection from Alignment to help this out. He'll also get Improved Invisibility and Stoneskin, both of which offer added protection.
HP Sorceror (11x4) = 44 RDD (3x6 + 2x8 + 5x10) = 84 AA (19x8) = 152 Con bonus from RDD adds 40 Total = 320. Fairly standard for an archer.
In short, the Devastatingly Charming Archer offers a good mix between arcane spell casting and ranged Dev Crit. He doesn't do either spectacularly well, but he's decent-ish at both. The build also is fairly unique; most RDD builds use Bard over Sorceror, and most AA build use Wizard, so this one is an interesting diversion.
Edited By griphook on 07/07/05 23:41
Charming indeed! I already like the build.
Thanks Mick, glad you like it.
One thing to point out about the build though. I was so busy gunning for 30 Dex that I didn't realise it might not be worth it. If you drop two Great Dex feats and get Armour Skin and Epic Prowess instead, the build will get the same AB but +1 to AC. Not a major improvement, but worth posting all the same.
Finally, his saves at level 40, unbuffed, should be Fortitude 24 Reflex 30 Will 21 which is a balanced set of saves indeed, for an archer.