November 21, 2016


Martial Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Ever wanted to play Green Arrow in 5e? 


Prerequisite: Archery fighting style 
The archetypical marksmen is patient, observant, and, most importantly, his shots always find their mark. You are well-practiced with your bow and a variety of thrown weapons, and can pull of trick shots that are as astounding as they are deadly. In addition, you have a cavalcade of inventive and dangerous trick arrows that transform your feats of accuracy into well-placed tactical weapons.

Ranged Superiority
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you learn to use trick arrows that are fueled by special dice called superiority dice.
     Trick Arrows. You learn to craft and use three trick arrows of your choice, which are detailed below. Only one trick arrow can be fired on each of your turns.
     You learn to use an additional trick arrow at 7th, 10th, and 15th level. Each time you learn to use a new arrow, you can also replace one arrow you already know with a different one.
     Superiority Dice. You have six superiority dice, which are d8s. A superiority die is expended when you use it. You regain all of your expended superiority dice when you finish a short or long rest.
     You gain another superiority die at 7th level and one more at 15th level.
     Saving Throws. Some of your trick arrows require your target to make a saving throw to resist the arrow's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Trick arrow save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice)

Eagle Eye
At 3rd level, you can see better from far away. You gain proficiency in in the Perception skill, if you did not have it already, and you can add twice your proficiency modifier to Wisdom (Perception) checks you make that rely on sight.

Vantage Point
By 7th level, you can quickly scale walls to gain a perch above your foes. Climbing no longer costs you extra movement. In addition, by climbing at half speed, you can climb up difficult surfaces (such as vertical walls) without making an ability check.

Improved Ranged Superiority
At 10th level, your superiority dice turn into d10s. At 18th level, they turn into d12s.

Starting at 15th level, when you roll initiative and have no superiority dice remaining, you regain one superiority die.

Trick Arrows
These trick arrows are presented in alphabetical order.
     Boxing Glove Arrow. When you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to fire a boxing glove arrow. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll. A boxing glove arrow deals bludgeoning damage, rather than piercing damage, and, if its target is Large or smaller, pushes it 10 feet away from you on a hit. On a critical hit, this target is stunned until the beginning of your next turn. If you reduce a creature to zero hit points using this arrow, the creature is simply knocked unconscious.
     Grappling Hook Arrow. When you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to fire a grappling hook arrow. If you use this arrow to target an empty space within 60 feet, you can move directly to that space as part of this attack. If you use this arrow to target a creature that is Large or smaller, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll and the target is pulled up to 10 feet toward you.
     Explosive Arrow. When you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to fire an explosive arrow. An explosive arrow deals fire damage instead of piercing damage, and you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll. On a hit, each creature adjacent to the target must make a Dexterity saving throw or take half the damage dealt.
     Frost Arrow. When you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to fire a frost arrow. A frost arrow deals cold damage instead of piercing damage, and you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll. On a hit, the target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it can't make more than one melee or ranged attack until the start of your next turn.
     Glue Arrow. When you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to fire a glue arrow. A glue arrow deals no damage, but its target is temporarily glued to the ground and can't move. At the end of each of its turns, an affected creature can attempt a Strength saving throw to break free of the glue and move freely.
     Scatter Arrow. When you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to fire a scatter arrow. A scatter arrow separates into separate projectiles which can fall in a volley. Make a ranged attack against any number of creatures within 10 feet of a point you can see within your weapon’s range. You don’t add your ability score modifier damage rolls with a scatter arrow, unless that modifier is negative.
     Shock Arrow. When you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to fire a shock arrow. A shock arrow deals lightning damage instead of piercing damage, and you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll. On a hit, the target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the target can use either an action or a bonus action on its turn, not both, and it cannot take reactions. This effect lasts until the start of your next turn.
     Smoke Bomb Arrow. When you take the Attack action on your turn to make a ranged weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to fire a smoke bomb arrow. A smoke bomb arrow deals no damage, but creates a 20-foot-radius sphere of fog. The sphere spreads around corners, and its area is heavily obscured. It lasts a number of rounds equal to the superiority die's roll or until a wind of moderate or greater speed (at least 10 miles per hour) disperses it.

Changelog: 11/21/16: Overhaul. Let's call it a versioning error. Yeah, let's call it that.
11/22/16: Superiority Dice: You start with 6, rather than 4
Grappling Hook Arrow: Hook range increased to 60 feet, no longer requires a saving throw to pull
Glue Arrow: Target is glued immediately, and can break free at the end of its turn with a saving throw
Vantage Point: Climbing no longer costs extra speed, and you can do difficult climbing without a check by moving at half speed


  1. Really don't know about this one, especially as a Fighter archetype rather than a Ranger one. I just really don't see a reason I'd ever choose this over a standard battlemaster.

    As far as the Tricks go, Disarming Shot is just Disarming Attack except without the ability to be used by both melee and ranged attacks. Lacerating Shot is a little boring given that most maneuvers add damage plus some fun benefit instead of simply just a little more damage. Pinning Shot is fun, but I'd usually prefer Trip Attack. Scattershot seems a little crazy, especially when you compare it to something like Sweeping Attack, and it doesn't have any use of the superiority die itself. Snapshot also seems pretty nuts, and it doesn't have any use of the superiority die itself.

    The climbing ability is neat, but the sum total really just doesn't seem like something that would ever persuade me away from the regular battlemaster, especially when I'll end up with nine maneuvers at the end of the road.

    Likewise, losing access to a lot of the core maneuvers I end up using on my Ranged Battlemaster would really hurt. Simple things like Commander's Strike for the party's barbarian, Distracting Strike for a rogue looking to Sneak Attack a target without allies in range, Goading Attack on a bruiser that's far away from you but right beside something squishy, Maneuvering Attack to reposition your pawn-- I mean party, and Trip Attack for the grappler or just to knock fools down in general. These maneuvers offer a wide variety of battlefield support and trickshots that this trickshot archetype somewhat unintuitively loses.

    Would definitely rather see this as an archer-based archetype for the ranger, perhaps in the same vein of the Hunter choosing between hordes and single targets. As is, though, I really can't think of a reason I'd ever pick this over Battlemaster to play a trickshot master or a martial controller.

    1. Huh. Rereading this has been a bit of a journey.

      It's been ages since I actually wrote this one, so I dug back into my old notes to figure out what the original intent on these maneuvers were, and as it turns out, I /did/ have an entirely reworked version of this sitting around. One that has awesome Green Arrow vibes, and some alchemist mechanics thrown in for good measure.

      I genuinely think I might have grabbed the wrong draft when I put the PDF together.

      I'll work this one into the post, so you all can see what I'm talking about.

  2. I've got to say I'm with Derek on this one. There's a sort of lack of variety that would persuade me to really take this over a standard battlemaster. The two non-superiority dice abilities are cool, but The standard cookie cutter setup for a fighter with superiority dice mixed in with a sort of constriction with their maneuvers just doesn't really jive well. Unfortunately, I can't really think of any real fixes save for some sort of overhaul for the archetype in general.

    1. Overhaul complete. I genuinely can't remember what made me drop the Green Arrow thing in the first place -- I think it's far more fun this way

  3. I'll disagree with the others about the fact that this should be a Ranger Archetype. Ranger = Archer is a narrow mindset and people need to move past it.
    That said I do think a lot of its maneuvers do feel a bit same-ey and it needs more flavor. I would also advise taking the idea of Burst Fire from the DMG firearms (where you target a 10 foot cube and all creatures within make a Dex save or suffer full/half weapon damage) and using that for Scatter Shot and just have it use a number of arrows equal to the number of creatures in the area.
    I'm interested to see what changes you make in the future as I love a good Martial non-Ranger Archer.

    1. Okay, it's been Green-Arrow-ified. Lemme know what you think.

    2. I like what you've done. It definitely has its own flavor now with the more-cartoony trick arrows. I'd be honestly tempted to run this using a Heavy Crossbow and the Crossbowman feat just to break away from the Bow & Arrow cliche' a bit.

  4. A few notes:

    Vantage Points is not very good. I would consider replacing it with something more like the Thief Rogue ability Second Story Work. (Climbing does not cost extra movement)

    Scatter Arrow says Frost Arrow in the description. Copy paste error I assume

    Ok time to break this in half. My first thought with this was to use it with the spell-less ranger archetypes from UA. I realize that isn't official content, but getting superiority dice and battlemaster maneuvers as well as these is nuts. It was a cool idea, figured I should throw it out here. A 3rd level ranger variant could have two BM maneuvers, three trick arrows, and EIGHT superiority dice.

    1. Spell less Ranger isn't an archetype. It's a chassis overhaul located in Unearthed Arcana: Class Design Variant.

    2. There should definitely be some sort of errata about what happens if you get superiority dice from 2 different sources (other than the feat).

    3. Agreed. RAW I believe they stack. Like Monk and Kensai (Redux) Ki Points

    4. Good notes, Xela. Typo is taken care of and Vantage Point has been modified.

      I gotta ask, though: do two separate people comment on your account?

  5. Still seems like it just doesn't offer enough to be a standalone archetype. Too much like the battlemaster. Sure, the elemental arrows are cool, but the Arcane Archer ranger does them MUCH better, and these maneuver's aren't really that much better for a ranged fighter over the ones battlemaster offers.

  6. The fighter chassis makes me want to try a cool magical ranger multiclass. something like Marksman 11/Arcane Archer 3/ Wild Huntsman 6

  7. This subclass is neat, but it's really not able to contend with normal battlemaster.
    The first issue is only one per round, while battle master can just nova in one turn for massive damage.
    The second issue is, these guys have to declare arrow before it hits, versus after it hits, so you can just flub it and lose a manuever dices.
    The boxing glove one is just wrong in the last affect because you can already declare a hit nonlethal after it connects, which is dumb sure, but it's already in the rules.
    Grappling hook arrow is godawful, a strength based archer should probably just take a greataxe and cleave someone to pieces instead of being arrow man.
    Glue arrow doing no damage on a hit is godawful too, because it means you need to hit and they need to fail a save for it to even work.
    Scatter arrow is best arrow overall and it's probably the one thing that really makes this even work and it's the one thing that makes it able to contend with battlemaster, because you can use sharpshooter's -5 to hit +10 to damage and just AoE do decent damage.

    1. I'll grant you some of these points, but be careful with some of your assessments.

      Some rule clarifications: the battlemaster can't 'nova'. The battlemaster also has a one maneuver per round restriction. The boxing glove /is/ unique, in that only melee attacks can knock a creature unconscious in the core rules.

      That being said, I'll remove the Strength save on Grappling Hook, and change the way Glue Arrow works so that it guarantees some movement restriction, even on a save.

      Lastly, I think I'm going to increase the number of superiority dice you get, to contend with the different way maneuvers tend to work.

  8. Question since you do a sillier on once in awhile, how do picture the hero of time link as a class?

    1. I have something for this in the works. I started it forever ago, and put it on hold, but I can look it over again, and work towards finishing it :)

  9. how come you guys haven't made a prestige class yet? they aren't very popular to homebrew but they are a great thing for players

    1. Prestige classes pose a number of mechanical challenges that we don't really know how to solve. We've only seen one WoTC example of how a prestige class in this edition is supposed to look, and it's not really enough information to go on.

      Moreover, prestige classes encourage a lot of multiclassing, and add a lot of complexity to the way that people build their characters. In 3.5, this kinda made the process of playing the game a bit of a nightmare. I actually much rather building things for archetypes rather than prestige classes in this edition, at least until Wizards decides to publish more prestige models for us to work off of.

    2. I mean they're are plenty of homebrew prestige classes, like the vampire,Elf, dwarf, or fey knight, And i don't really think prestige classes encourage multiclassing, rather they can be used as a reward or to flesh out a character.

    3. Prestige classes are absolutely a multiclassing endeavor. A prestige class is basically a multiclass into a class which is not designed to be taken alone. Since we haven't seen many examples of this, it's very hard to know which features to give this type of class, or what type of prerequisites such a class should have. Moreover, how do we handle things like spellcasting progression with prestige classes? When do/can we give Extra Attack or spells of a particular level?

      It's not enough to look into other homebrew prestige classes -- we need material from wizards, or a best-principles design guide, to know how to fit this type of class on the power curve.

  10. I agree with robins, prestige classes from you guys would be awesome!
    Or maybe some house rule to treat your classes as prestige classes?

  11. does scatter replace extra attack or can i scatter 1/2/3/4 times a round if i have the dice?

  12. nvm just noticed the 1 trick arrow per turn