Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Sub-Classes: Any Warrior
  • Ability Requirements: Aim 15
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: By class

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: +1 slot
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: Specialization (any missile weapon)1
  • Allowed Weapons: Any missile weapon, Small one-handed melee weapons
  • Allowed Armors: Chainmail or lighter, No shields

1 For the purpose of the Archer kit, missile weapons include any ranged weapon other than those that are thrown: Arquebuses, Blowguns, Bows, Crossbows, or Slings.

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Artistic Ability (wood carving), Bowyer/Fletcher, Hunting
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alertness, Animal Lore, Appraising, Direction Sense, Dragon Lore, Endurance, Fire-building, Herbalist, Jumping, Order of the Arrow, Rope Use, Running, Sign Language, Signalling, Survival, Tracking, Weather Sense
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Overview: An Archer is a warrior who devotes nearly all of his or her time and energy to the development of skill with a missile weapon. “Archer” is the generic name for this kit: “slinger”, “crossbowman”, and “gunner” versions of the kit also exists and are nearly as popular as the Archer itself, while characters who live in jungle regions may develop a blowgun variant. If there is a difficult shot to make, the Archer will make it. Whether the target can only be reached by firing through high winds or is totally concealed, the Archer is confident of her ability to make the shot. He is skilled in rapid loading and expert at inflicting the most damage possible with his weapon. Exuding confidence in his abilities, he tends to disdain those who resort to hand-to-hand combat.

Description: The Archer’s most essential piece of equipment is his or her bow or sling. At the start of his or her career this is likely to be a non-magical (although well-made) weapon, but throughout his or her adventures the character will continually search for the perfect bow. All Archers carry a plentiful supply of ammunition—usually at least twice the usual quiverfull of arrows.

As often as not, warriors with this kit will collect a variety of special missile types for use in special situations. For example, an Archer might have a few blunt-headed arrows (for stunning, rather than killing, targets), barbed arrows with thin lines attached (enabling him or her to retrieve small game simply by reeling in the string after a hit) and fire arrows (extra-long arrows with rags wrapped around their heads; when soaked with oil and ignited, these missiles fly half the distance of regular arrows but have an excellent chance to ignite any flammable substance that they strike). A slinger will likewise have a selection of special sling bullets—some spiked, others hollow and filled with skunk oil, sleeping gas, or a number of other noxious substances.

Role-Playing: Archers are likely to be drawn into adventure for several reasons. The challenge of competition is strong-the best Archer in a village will naturally be tempted to test his or her skill against other marksmen elsewhere. Because their skill is so easily measurable, Archers are particularly susceptible to this urge to go out and test their abilities against the toughest competition they can find. Alternately, an Archer may be vigorously recruited by other adventurers who recognize the value of a skilled bowman.

The Archer’s skill helps to make him or her an accomplished hunter, and many an adventure can begin during a long stalk through the trackless forest. At the same time, his or her likely status as a prominent member of his village’s militia makes the archer a likely candidate for any rescue party or guard duty that might develop. When in battle, an Archer’s targets are enemy officers, wizards, and clerics, to prevent them from coordinating attacks or casting spells.

Special Abilities2:

  • All Archers start out with a finely-crafted missile weapon at no cost. This weapon may be any Bow, Crossbow, Sling, or Firearm, and must be a weapon the archer is specialized in. This special weapon gains a +1 bonus on all item saving throws due to its superior construction. If this special weapon is a Bow, the Archer gains his full Strength bonus on damage rolls with the weapon.
  • If the Archer keeps and cares for a bow for more than a month and keeps her arrows sharpened to a keen edge, she may cause 1 hp of additional damage when using these items. If using a different bow or new arrows, she does not gain the bonus. It can only be used with familiar, well-cared-for equipment.
  • In addition to the benefits of specialization, an Archer gains a further +1 to attack rolls with any ranged weapon he is specialized in. He is also able to fire faster than other characters, making one extra attack every two rounds. If the Archer elects to stand-still (forgoing his movement in a round), he can make one extra attack every round, above his normal specialist rate of fire.
  • An Archer making a called shot can elect to take careful aim, gaining a +2 bonus on his attack rolls. This bonus increases by +1 for every four experience levels (round down). In order to gain this bonus, he must forgo initiative (acting last in the round) and may make only a single ranged attack in the round.
  • Once per day, an Archer may search for weakness while observing an enemy. If the Archer passes a Reason ability check with a -3 penalty, he finds a weakness in the creature’s armor, some little crack or missing scale where an arrow or crossbow bolt can have maximum effect. If he finds one, all successful hits against that target inflict double damage, including a doubling of his Strength bonus (magical and specialization bonuses are not doubled).
  • At 9th level, an Archer can craft one arrow of slaying. Each time he gains a level thereafter, he can craft one more such arrow (or bolt or bullet).

Special Disadvantages:

  • Archers spend so much time training with missile weapons that they suffer a -1 penalty to all attack rolls with hurled weapons or melee attacks.
  • An archer may never become specialized with a melee or thrown weapon.
  • The Archer must always be concerned about the quality of her bow and arrows. If any are faulty, she must repair them or replace them with equipment of higher quality. She can never use missile equipment of inferior quality—except when in mortal danger or when necessary for the success of a mission.

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