Arcane Archer

Elves are well-known as a race who has mastered both archery and magic, so a discipline combining the best parts of both is a natural outgrowth of those masteries. Arcane Archers are fairly common among the elves and occupy a unique place in their militiaries. They often serve as scouts and skirmishers, using their spells and enchanted arrows to sow confusion and wreak havoc on their enemies.

Over time, the art of arcane archery has spread (or been spread) to members of other races despite the elves' best efforts to the contrary, so it is not uncommon to find a human, half-orc, or even a monstrous humanoid (especially gnoll) Arcane Archer.

Ranger/sorcerers or ranger/wizards are the common class combination for Arcane Archers, followed by those with fighter (or rarely bard) levels. Paladins prefer divine magic to arcane, and very few members of other classes become Arcane Archers.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become an Arcane Archer (ArA), a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +4

Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (longbow or shortbow)

Spells: Ability to cast 2nd-level arcane spells.

Class Skills

The Arcane Archer's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Wis), Jump (Str), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis).

Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Table 1: The Arcane Archer
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Spells Per Day
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Enhance arrow (minor) +1 level of existing class
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Imbue arrow (touch)
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Enhance arrow (effect)
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Phase arrow +1 level of existing class
5th +3 +2 +4 +4 Enhance arrow (lesser)
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Imbue arrow (area)
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Enhance arrow (effect) +1 level of existing class
8th +5 +3 +6 +6 Combined casting
9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Enhance arrow (greater)
10th +7 +4 +7 +7 Arcane arrow +1 level of existing class

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Arcane Archer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An Arcane Archer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and shields.

Spells Per Day: At the indicated levels, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic feats, etc.), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If she had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming an Arcane Archer, she must decide to which class she adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Enhance Arrow (Su): At 1st level, every nonmagical arrow an Arcane Archer nocks and lets fly becomes magical, gaining a +1 enhancement bonus. Unlike magic weapons created by normal means, the Archer need not spend time or gold to accomplish this task. However, an Archer's magic arrows only function for her. At 5th and 9th levels, the magic arrows she creates gain +1 greater potency, as noted on the table above.

At 3rd and 7th levels, she can choose a single special single special ability from the following list: bane (one creature type only), flaming, frost, ghost touch, keen, merciful, seeking, shock, or thundering. Each ability, with the exception of bane, can be chosen once (each time the bane property is chosen, it applies to a new type); it can't be changed, but it applies to every arrow fired unless she chooses to suppress it (as a free action).

Imbue Arrow (Sp): At 2nd level, an Arcane Archer can place a touch or ranged touch spell on an arrow. When the arrow is fired, the spell takes effect on the target as normal. This ability allows the Archer to use the bow's range rather than the spell's range. It takes a standard action to cast the spell and fire the arrow. The arrow must be fired in the round the spell is cast, or the spell is wasted.

At 6th level, she can place an area effect spell on an arrow. The spell's area is centered where the arrow lands, even if it would normally be centered on the caster.

Phase Arrow (Sp): Three times per day, an Arcane Archer can launch an arrow at a target known to her within range; the arrow travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any nonmagical barrier or wall in its way. (Any magical barrier stops the arrow.) This ability negates cover, concealment, and even armor modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally.

Using this ability is a standard action (shooting the arrow is part of the action).

Combined Casting (Su): As a full-round action, the Arcane Archer can both cast a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or 1 free action and fire a single arrow.

Arcane Arrow (Su): The Arcane Archer can sacrifice an arcane spell she has prepared to create an arrow of arcane energy. The arrow has an enhancement bonus equal to the spell's level and deals 1d6 points of damage per spell level; there is no save to avoid or mitigate the damage, nor does spell resistance grant one. This ability is usable at will as a standard action. Once the arrow has been created, it must be shot within 1 round per class level or it dissipates.

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