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Archer

Of history’s most persistent necessities, none has colored the art of death more strikingly than the ability to kill from afar. While this innovative concept came in many forms, no method was as universal or as long-lasting as the bow. By the power of resistance and elasticity, a bow can carry projectiles great distances, leading to sweeping changes in the possibilities one might expect to meet his end.

Role: Archers are ranged artillery specialists, able to deal death with a quiet hum of their bows. Often quiet and stealthy, they are able skirmishers and ambushers.

Alignment: Any

Hit Die: d8

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gil (average 175 gil.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gil or less.

Class Skills
The archer’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Table: Archer

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
Type3/4BadGoodBad
1st+0+0+2+0Archer Training, Archery Style, Aim (+1), Limit Breaks
2nd+1+0+3+0Archery Talent, Hawkeye
3rd+2+1+3+1Agile Archer, Evasion
4th+3+1+4+1Archery Talent, Expert Archer (+1)
5th+3+1+4+1Improved Archery Style, Called Shot, Aim (+2)
6th+4+2+5+2Archery Talent, Fast Movement (+10 ft)
7th+5+2+5+2Uncanny Dodge, Quick Shot
8th+6/+1+2+6+2Archery Talent, Expert Archer (+2)
9th+6/+1+3+6+3Fast Movement (+20 ft), Safe Shot
10th+7/+2+3+7+3Archery Talent, Archery Style Mastery, Aim (+3)
11th+8/+3+3+7+3Ranged Cleave, Improved Evasion
12th+9/+4+4+8+4Archery Talent, Fast Movement (+30 ft), Expert Archer (+3)
13th+9/+4+4+8+4Evasive Archer, Take Aim
14th+10/+5+4+9+4Archery Talent, Critical Aim
15th+11/+6/+1+5+10+5Fast Movement (+40 ft), Penetrating Shot, Aim (+4)
16th+12/+7/+2+5+10+5Archery Talent, Expert Archer (+4)
17th+12/+7/+2+5+10+5Volley, Improved Uncanny Dodge
18th+13/+8/+3+6+11+6Archery Talent, Fast Movement (+50 ft)
19th+14/+9/+4+6+11+6Ranged Defense, Aim Mastery
20th+15/+10/+5+6+12+6Archery Talent, Expert Archer (+5), Master Archer, Aim (+5)

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the archer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Archers are proficient with all simple weapons, plus longbow, shortbow, composite longbow, composite shortbow, and greatbow. Archers are proficient with light armor, but not with any type of shields.

Limit Breaks (Su)

At 1st level, the archer receives the Limit Breaks (Barrage and Trueshot Arrow).

Barrage (Su): This Limit Break allows the archer to shoot a barrage of arrows in a 60-ft.-cone. The archer makes separate attack rolls for each enemy in the area of effect, dealing damage as normal plus 1d6 points of damage. This extra damage increases by 1d6 for every four archer levels after 1st but is not multiplied upon a critical hit.

Trueshot Arrow (Su): This Limit Break allows the archer to fire an arrow at any opponent at three times the maximum range without any penalties for the round. The archer receives a +1 competence bonus on the Attack roll per archer level. If the attack hits, the damage is maximized.

Archer Training (Ex)

Starting at 1st level, an archer counts his total archer levels as base attack bonus for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Archery Style (Ex)

At 1st level, the archer is treated as having one of the following feats: Deadly Aim, Far Shot, Focused Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, and Rapid Shot, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat. The benefits of this ability apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Aim (Ex)

Also at 1st level, an archer can aim at an opponent he can see as a move action. The archer then gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks attempted against that opponent, and a +1 bonus on ranged weapon attack and damage rolls against it. An archer can only maintain these bonuses against one opponent at a time; these bonuses remain in effect until either the opponent is dead or the archer aims at a new target.

At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the bonuses on ranged weapon attack rolls, damage rolls, and skill checks against an aimed target increase by 1. In addition, at each such interval, the archer is able to maintain these bonuses against an additional aimed target at the same time. The archer may discard this connection to an aimed target as a free action, allowing him to aim at another target in its place.

At 7th level, an archer can aim at an opponent as a move or swift action.

Hawkeye (Ex)

At 2nd level, an archer gains a +1 bonus on Perception checks, and the range increment for any bow or crossbow he uses increases by 5 feet. These bonuses increase by +1 and 5 additional feet for every 3 levels beyond 2nd.

Archery Talents (Ex)

As an archer gains experience, he learns a number of talents that aid him against his foes. Starting at 2nd level, an archer gains one archery talent. He gains an additional archery talent for every 2 levels of archer attained after 2nd level. Unless otherwise stated, an archer cannot select an individual talent more than once.

Evasion (Ex)

At 3rd level and higher, an archer can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the archer is wearing light armor. A helpless archer does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Agile Archer (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, an archer adds his Dexterity modifier to the damage roll while using a bow or crossbow. If an effect or item would allow an archer to use his Strength, he instead uses Dexterity, but it doesn’t stack.

Expert Archer (Ex)

At 4th level, an archer gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with bows and crossbows. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 4th.

Improved Archery Style (Ex)

At 5th level, an archer’s aptitude in his archery improves. He is treated as having one of the following feats or a feat from the previous ability: Crossbow Mastery, Improved Precise Shot, Parting Shot, and Manyshot, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat. As before, the benefits of this ability apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Called Shot (Ex)

At 5th level, while using aim at a target, the archer can attempt to strike a specific body part on an aimed target within the first range increment of his ranged weapon, to cause various effects. The archer must declare his intention to attempt a called shot and designate the specific target and body part before the attack roll is made. The archer then makes ranged attacks as normal (can make multiple called shots as his number of attacks allowed). A successful attack deals weapon damage normally and causes debilitating secondary effects. Conditions and penalties incurred by called shot lasts for 24 hours, or until the creature is successfully treated with a DC 15 Heal check, or until it receives the benefit of a restora spell or equivalent effect. If damage reduction completely negates the damage from a called shot, the called shot has no effect. If hit point damage does get through, the called shot has normal effects. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to the effects of a called shot. Multiple successful called shots against the same body part or body parts of a single creature are not cumulative.

  • Arm: Arms are the manipulating limbs of a creature, including tentacles. Wings are also considered to be arms for purposes of a called shot. Called shots to the arm suffer a –2 penalty to attack rolls. A called shot to an arm deals no additional damage, but for 1d4 rounds, any attack rolls, ability checks, or skill checks made using the wounded arm take a –2 penalty. A flying creature shot in the wing must make a Fly check to avoid descending involuntarily. A critical hit to the arm deals 1d4 points of Dexterity damage and 1d4 points of Strength damage. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) halves the ability damage (minimum 1 point to each attribute). The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the arm for 1d4 minutes.
  • Chest: Called shots to the chest are aimed at the well-protected center of mass of a creature. Called shots to the chest suffer a –2 penalty to attack rolls. A called shot to the chest deals no additional damage, but any skill checks caused by the hit (such as an Acrobatics check while balancing or a Climb check while climbing) take a –2 penalty. A critical hit to the chest deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage and fatigues the target. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) (made after the Constitution damage is applied) negates the fatigue. The creature also suffers the effects of a called shot to the chest.
  • Ear: Ears are the organs used to hear. Creatures without visible ears generally aren’t susceptible to called shots to that location. Called shots to the ear suffer a –10 penalty to attack rolls. A called shot to the ear deafens that ear for 1 round, and imposes a –2 penalty on Perception checks. A creature that loses hearing in all ears is deafened until hearing is returned by way of the restora spell or a similar effect. A critical hit to the ear deafens that ear for 2d6 minutes and leaves the target staggered for 1 round. The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the ear for that duration.
  • Eye: Eyes include whatever organs a creature uses to see. Generally, a creature can’t be blinded until it has lost all vision in all of its eyes. Creatures with five or more eyes take no penalties from called shots to their eyes until they’re blinded in enough eyes to bring them down a single functional eye, but can still be blinded in that eye by a critical hit. Called shots to the eye suffer a –10 penalty to attack rolls. A called shot to the eye gives all of the target’s foes concealment against its attacks for 1 round and gives it a –2 penalty on Perception checks. If the creature only has one functional eye prior to the called shot, it is blinded for 1 round instead. A critical hit to the eye costs the target’s sight in that eye for 1d4 minutes. The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the eye for that duration.
  • Hand: Hands include most extremities used for fine manipulation. Called shots to the hand suffer a –5 penalty to attack rolls. For 1d4 rounds, any attack rolls, damage rolls, ability checks, or skill checks made using the wounded hand take a –2 penalty, including attack and damage rolls with two-handed weapons. In addition, the target takes a –4 penalty to its CMD to resist disarm attempts, and drops its weapon (if any) on an attack roll result of a natural 1. A critical hit to the hand deals 1d4 points of Dexterity damage. In addition, the target drops anything it is holding in that hand unless it succeeds at a Reflex save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier). Items held in two hands aren’t dropped, but the target still loses its grip with the injured hand. The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the hand for 1d4 minutes.
  • Head: Called shots to the head suffer a –5 penalty to attack rolls, as most creatures show some skill at dodging attacks aimed at their faces. Some creatures lack a proper head altogether. Creatures with multiple heads must be hit by called shots to all their heads in a single round to suffer ill effects, and even then, only suffer the least effect that is inflicted on any single head. A called shot to the head leaves the target sickened for 1d4 rounds. A critical hit to the head deals 1d6 points of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma damage (randomly determine which) and staggers the target for 1d4 rounds. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) prevents the target from being staggered. The target also suffers the effects of a called shot to the head for 1d4 minutes.
  • Heart: A called shot to the heart represents an attempt at a killing blow. If the hit isn’t a critical hit, the attempt fails and is just a normal hit. A called shot to the heart can be used for any small, likely fatal location on a creature, such as the only weakness on an unimaginably ancient red dragon. Called shots to the heart suffer a –10 penalty to attack rolls. A called shot to the heart is just a normal hit with no extra effect. A critical hit to the heart pierces the organ, causing exhaustion and 1d4 points of Constitution bleed damage. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) reduces this to fatigue and 1 point of Constitution bleed damage. In either case, stopping the bleeding requires either regeneration (spell or special ability), magic healing that heals as many points of damage (from one or more sources) as the original blow dealt, or a successful DC 20 Heal check that takes 1d4 rounds to complete.
  • Leg: Legs are the ambulatory limbs of a creature, including feet. Called shots to the leg have no special effect on creatures with five or more legs. Called shots to the leg suffer a –2 penalty to attack rolls. A called shot to a leg lowers the target creature’s speed by 10 feet for 1d4 rounds if it has two or fewer legs, and by 5 feet if it has three or four legs. In either case, the creature’s speed cannot be reduced below 5 feet per round. Called shots to the leg have no effect on creatures with five or more legs. Hitting the same leg more than once has no extra effect, but the speed penalty for hits on different legs stack. Additionally, any skill or ability checks involving movement (such as Acrobatics or Swim checks) take a –2 penalty for 1d4 rounds. A critical hit to the leg deals 1d4 points of Dexterity damage and knocks the target prone. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) keeps the creature from falling prone. The creature also suffers the effects of a called shot to the leg for 1d4 minutes.
  • Neck: The neck makes for a difficult but rewarding target. Injuries to the neck keep a creature from speaking easily, and if blood vessels or the windpipe are damaged, such injuries rapidly lead to death. Creatures that lack vulnerable heads generally can’t be attacked in the neck either. Called shots to the neck suffer a –10 penalty to attack rolls. A called shot to the neck makes speaking above a hoarse whisper impossible for 1 round. Spells have a 20% chance of failing outright, as do attempts to activate command-word items (although for magic items, the use of the item is not wasted). A critical hit to the neck deals 1d6 points of bleed damage. In addition, the target must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) or suffer a crushed windpipe and be unable to breathe or speak, possibly suffocating. A crushed windpipe can be repaired by magical healing (from one or more sources) that heals as many hit points of damage as the original hit dealt, or by a DC 25 Heal check to open up a hole into the windpipe. The latter check deals 2d6 hit points of damage, and leaves the creature still unable to speak. If target makes its saving throw, it still suffers the effects of a called shot to the neck for 1d4 minutes.
  • Vitals: The vitals correspond to the abdomen on a humanoid: critical organs not well-protected by bone. Attacks on the vitals can also include dastardly “low blows.” Vitals for non-humanoid creatures can include nearly any location that is relatively hard to hit, poorly protected, and debilitating if struck. Called shots to the vitals suffer a –5 penalty to attack rolls. A called shot to the vitals leaves the target sickened for 1d4 rounds. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) reduces this duration to 1 round. While sickened from the blow, the target cannot run or charge. A critical hit deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage. In addition, the target is nauseated for 1d4 rounds and sickened for 1d6 minutes. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) negates the nauseated condition. While the target is sickened from the blow, it cannot run or charge.

Fast Movement (Ex)

At 6th level, when not firing or reloading, archer can quickly change position. When wearing light or no armor and carrying no more than a light load, his base move speed increases by 10 feet. This bonus increases by 10 feet for every three archer levels after 6th level.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 7th level, an archer can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does he lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. An archer with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against him. If an archer already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Quick Shot (Ex)

Also at 7th level, whenever an archer makes a full attack with a bow or crossbow, he can make one additional ranged attack. This attack is at the archer’s highest base attack bonus, but each attack in the round (including the extra one) takes a –2 penalty. This ability stacks with Rapid Shot feat.

Safe Shot (Ex)

Beginning at 9th level, the archer no longer provokes attacks of opportunity when making a ranged attack with his bow or crossbow. When making other ranged attacks, such as throwing a dagger, the archer provokes as normal.

Archery Style Mastery (Ex)

At 10th level, an archer’s aptitude in his archery improves again. He is treated as having one of the following feats or a feat from the previous two abilities: Pinpoint Targeting and Shot on the Run, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat. As before, the benefits of this ability apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Ranged Cleave (Ex)

A bow in the hands of an 11th-level archer becomes a weapon capable of shots with incredible power and precision. Whenever an archer deals enough damage to a creature with a bow or crossbow to drop the creature below 0 hit points, the archer receives a second attack against another creature within half the weapon’s range increment of the first target. If the second target is dropped below 0 hit points by the attack, the archer may take a third attack against another creature within one-quarter of the weapon’s range increment from the second target, and so on – the maximum distance between potential targets halving each time a target is successfully dropped.

Improved Evasion (Ex)

At 11th level, the archer’s evasion ability improves. This works like evasion, except that while the archer still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, he henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless archer does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Take Aim (Ex)

At 13th level, whenever the archer uses the aim ability, he can double the bonuses. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Dexterity modifier.

Evasive Archer (Ex)

Also at 13th level, an archer gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC against ranged attacks. This bonus increases to +4 at 17th level.

Critical Aim (Ex)

At 14th level, the archer’s aim becomes a precise deadliness. The critical threat range of all bows and crossbows in the hands of the archer is increased by 1. At 18th level, this increases by 1 again. This increase stacks with Improved Critical or Keen effects but applies after.

Penetrating Shot (Ex)

At 15th level, when an archer confirms a critical hit with a bow or crossbow, the arrow or bolt pierces the target and can strike another creature in line behind it. The archer must be able to trace a line starting at his space and passing through both targets to make this additional attack. The secondary attack is made at a –4 penalty, in addition to any modifiers for added range. If this attack is also a critical hit, the arrow or bolt can continue to hit another target, but the penalties stack.

Volley (Ex)

At 17th level, as a full-round action, an archer can make a single bow or crossbow attack at his highest base attack bonus against any number of creatures in a 30-foot-radius burst, making separate attack and damage rolls for each creature.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

An archer of 17th level or higher can no longer be flanked. This defense denies an enemy the ability to gain a bonus on attack rolls by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more character levels than the archer does.

Ranged Defense (Ex)

At 19th level, an archer gains DR 5/- against ranged attacks. In addition, as an immediate action, he can catch an arrow or bolt fired at him and shoot it any target he chooses.

Aim Mastery (Ex)

At 19th level, the archer becomes a master at capturing or killing his aimed targets. As a standard action, he can make a single ranged attack against an aimed target at his full base attack bonus, choosing one of the following effects: kill, knock unconscious for 1d4 hours, or paralyze for 2d6 rounds. If the attack succeeds, the target takes damage normally and must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the archer’s level + his Dexterity modifier) or suffer the additional effect. Whether or not the target succeeds, it cannot be targeted by this ability again (by any archer) for 24 hours.

Master Archer (Ex)

At 20th level, an archer’s skill with archery becomes legendary. Any attacks made with that any bow or crossbow the archer wields automatically confirm all critical threats and have their damage multiplier increased by 1 (×2 becomes ×3, for example). In addition, he cannot be disarmed while wielding any bow or crossbow.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have archer as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

  • AnticaAdd +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls for attacks made with bows or crossbows (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus feat.
  • Au Ra: Add +1/3 bonus to the archer’s Aim bonus for attack and damage rolls.
  • Dwarf: Add +1 foot to the range increment with bows or crossbows. This option has no effect unless the archer has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5).
  • Elvaan: Add +1/3 bonus to the archer’s Aim bonus for attack and damage rolls.
  • Galka: Add +1/4 to the archer’s damage rolls with bows and crossbows.
  • Garif: Add +1/3 bonus to the archer’s Aim bonus for attack and damage rolls.
  • Genome: Add +1 foot to the range increment with bows or crossbows. This option has no effect unless the archer has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5).
  • Hume: Add +1/4 to the archer’s damage rolls with bows and crossbows.
  • Ixal: Add +1 foot to the range increment with bows or crossbows. This option has no effect unless the archer has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5).
  • Lamia: Add +1/3 bonus to the archer’s Aim bonus for attack and damage rolls.
  • Mandragora: Add +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls for attacks made with bows or crossbows (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus feat.
  • Mithra: Add +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls for attacks made with bows or crossbows (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus feat.
  • Moogle: Add +1 foot to the range increment with bows or crossbows. This option has no effect unless the archer has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5).
  • Orc: Add +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls for attacks made with bows or crossbows (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus feat.
  • Seeq: Add +1/3 bonus to the archer’s Aim bonus for attack and damage rolls.
  • Tarutaru: Add +1/4 to the archer’s damage rolls with bows and crossbows.
  • Tonkin: Add +1/3 bonus to the archer’s Aim bonus for attack and damage rolls.
  • Viera: Add +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls for attacks made with bows or crossbows (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus feat.
  • Yagudo: Add +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls for attacks made with bows or crossbows (maximum bonus of +4). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus feat.

Archetypes