Anyone who has ever ventured into a forest undoubtedly has come under the scrutiny of an elven archer. Masters of stealth, elven archers are adept at assessing threats to their woodland homes—and at using deadly marksmanship, when necessary, to keep them safe. Elven archers similarly protect travelers who respect their forests’ majesty; to those who abuse nature, though, elven archers quickly deal painful lessons.
Although elven archers respect and safeguard nature, they leave veneration of it to druids and rangers. Instead, they honor the forest-bound spirits of their ancestors and elven-archer forebears by communing with them each morning. This communion grants elven archers access to divine spells; in turn, elven archers use their abilities to protect their homelands.
To elven archers, protecting their homes is more complicated than guarding them from intruders. Indeed, elven archers often can be found far from their ancestral lands, hunting specific foes or skirmishing with evil races to temper their destructive powers.
Role: Elven archers are adept at quickly dealing with single foes. They have mastered some ranger skills and, if necessary, can fill that role in a group. Elven archers excel at hit-and-run tactics; they are skilled at briefly skirmishing with large groups, disappearing, and later returning strategically to strike again. In groups of less-stealthy characters, elven archers can defend weaker members, including arcane casters. In addition, elven archers’ precise marksmanship skills provide excellent ranged support for melee fighters.
Alignment: Any, but usually matches the predominant alignment of his home community.
Hit Die: d8
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (175 gp average.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
The elven archer’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Track, wild empathy||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||Bonus feat, swift tracker||1||0||—||—|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+3||Enchant arrows +1, precision +2d6||2||1||—||—|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+7||+3||Close combat shot||2||1||0||—|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+8||+4||Enchant arrows +2||2||1||1||—|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+9||+4||Bonus feat, precision +3d6||3||2||1||0|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+5||Enchant arrows +3||3||2||2||1|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+6||Enchant arrows +4||4||3||2||1|
All of the following are class features of the elven archer.
An elven archer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor and bucklers.
Elven archers regularly stalk their prey through the forests. An elven archer adds half his level (minimum 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow or identify tracks.
An elven archer can improve the initial attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. The elven archer rolls 1d20 and adds his elven archer level and his Charisma bonus to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the elven archer and the animal must be within 30 ft. of one another under normal visibility conditions. Influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but it might take more or less time under especially stressful or favorable conditions.
An elven archer is a bow expert. At 2nd level, and every 3 levels thereafter, an elven archer receives a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. The elven archer must meet all the prerequisites of the feat prior to selecting it. An elven archer may select these bonus feats from the below-listed combat feats with this class ability. For prerequisites, treat his elven archer level as his fighter level –3. For example, a 7th-level elven archer qualifies for Weapon Specialization because he treats his fighter level as 4th.
An elven archer may select these bonus feats from the following list:
Deadly Aim, Far Shot, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Pinpoint Targeting, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization.
Much like a ranger, an elven archer becomes an expert at hunting a specific type of foe. At 3rd level, the elven archer selects a creature type (and subtype where appropriate) from the ranger favored enemies table. Against those creatures, he gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them.
The elven archer may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures. At 10th level, the bonus increases to +4, and at 17th level it increases to +6. (Unlike a ranger, an elven archer does not select an additional favored creature type at these levels.)
Beginning at 4th level, an elven archer adds the indicated damage bonus to any shot he makes against a foe that is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target already has a Dexterity bonus or not). This extra damage is 1d6 at 5th level. It only applies when the elven archer uses a bow while within 30 ft. of the target.
The extra damage increases by 1d6 every five elven-archer levels thereafter.
An elven archer must see his target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. An elven archer cannot use precision while striking a creature with concealment.
When using elven archer variant classes, a GM might allow spells which specify “arrow” to also apply to bolts, bullets, etc.
Beginning at 4th level, an elven archer can call upon his ancestors and forebears, granting him the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the elven archer’s spell list.
To prepare or cast a spell, an elven archer must have a Wisdom score of 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an elven archer’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the elven archer’s Wisdom modifier.
Like other spellcasters, an elven archer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Elven Archer. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. When Table: Elven Archer indicates that the elven archer gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level.
An elven archer must spend 1 hour per day in quiet meditation with his ancestors’ spirits to regain his daily allotment of spells. An elven archer may prepare and cast any spell on the elven archer spell list (see list at right), provided that he can cast spells of that level. He must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.
Through 3rd level, an elven archer has no caster level.
At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his elven archer level –3.
An elven archer spends his life in the woods, often far from home. Starting at 7th level, an elven archer may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect him.
In addition, the elven archer leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if he so desires.
Beginning at 8th level, the elven archer can move at his normal speed while using Survival to follow tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He takes only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice his normal speed while tracking.
Beginning at 9th level, the elven archer gains the ability to imbue arrows (no other weapons) with ambient, divine energy once per day. He must spend 15 min. communing with his ancestors’ spirits to gain this ability; at the end of the ritual, he imbues up to 50 arrows with an enhancement of his choice.
At 9th level, he may imbue any ability up to a +1 enhancement. Every 3 levels thereafter, the bonus increases by +1.
The elven archer may spend these bonuses as he sees fit. For example, a 12th-level elven archer could enhance his arrows with a +2 bonus, or he could enhance them with a +1 bonus and the flaming ability. Once the abilities are set, they cannot be changed until the next day’s ritual. Unlike when crafting magical weapons, the elven archer need not invest an initial +1 enhancement bonus before imbuing the arrows with special properties. For example, a 12th-level elven archer could imbue his arrows with bane and flaming.
These enchantments vanish at the end of each day.
Beginning at 10th level, an elven archer no longer provokes attacks of opportunity when making a ranged attack with his bow. When making other ranged attacks, such as throwing a dagger, an elven archer provokes as normal.
At 13th level, an elven archer may spend a full round to aim at a target. If the target remains stationary (moves no more than 5 ft.), he may add half his class level to all ranged attacks he makes against that target within the next round.
Beginning at 16th level, the elven archer is so deadly with his bow that he may flank targets. He threatens an area at 10 ft. away, but not adjacent.
New Paths Compendium. © 2013 Open Design LLC; Authors: Marc Radle, Crystal Frasier, John Ling, Jr., and Jerall Toi.