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[IMG]http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/ph2_gallery/97115.jpg[/IMG]

Welcome to the swift hunter's handbook. Swift hunters get their name from a feat published in complete scoundrel, so you need at least that book to be able to play one. Swift hunters are unique in playstyle and combine several party roles, that of the support ranged/melee character with heavy damage, skill-monkey, wand user and utility. With that in mind, i won't only aim for high damage output, but optimize other aspects of the character, too.

The numerous threads about ranger/scouts that pop out from time to time is the main reason i was motivated to create this compilation. I would like to present some of my own observations and have the opportunity of sharing thoughts on the unique style of the swift hunter, the feat that has spawned all this.

I would like to give my thanks to Encard and his Scout's Handbook which i got many ideas from.

AttributesEdit

  • Strength: As swift hunters mainly use their skirmish damage for offense, this attribute isn't important for damage. This is a dump stat for two weapon fighting and improved manyshot builds. Still a composite bow can benefit from this, but it's definitely not the first priority.
  • Dexterity: Important stat for most of the skills. Also it is a requirement for most feats that can be used to capitalize damage output.
  • Constitution: Boosts your hit point total and constitution saves. This is top priority for any character.
  • Intelligence: A swift hunter's base classes have a very good selection of skills and skill points per level. The extra skill points from this are nice. While this isn't a first priority, having a decent score in this helps.
  • Wisdom: There is a decent amount of skills keyed off wisdom. Also boosts your will saves which should be your lowest. Also ranger spells are based on wisdom. Don't overdo it though, a score of 12-14 should be fine.
  • Charisma: Dump stat. Your class features and skills don't have anything to do with this skill.[/FONT]


RacesEdit

Note: If you choose a race with favored class other than ranger, scout or "any", you may have experience penalty for multiclassing

  • Humans: One of the best races. Gives skill points and a bonus feat, which are hard to come by. Free multiclassing is nice to have since swift hunters are multiclass anyway.
  • Strongheart Halflings: Huge save, skill and weapon bonuses. Since you only need to move 10ft to use skirmish, slow movement isn't much of a problem. The only drawback this one has is that it's favored class is rogue. You may want to work with your DM to change that to scout (since the two classes aren't that far apart).
  • PHB Elves: They get a constitution hit and you will eventually have multiclassing penalties. They get nice bonuses, but if you want a race with a dexterity bonus, it is better to choose halflings. Elves are *not* suitable for swift hunters.
  • Mongrelfolk: They get a nice bonus to their constitution, an intelligence hit which isn't that nice and a huge penalty to a dump stat. Not the best choice, but they have interesting capabilities and nice bonuses to saving throws and skill checks.
  • Tieflings: Dexterity and intelligence boost, penalty in charisma. Darkvision and that's all they offer. You can be a lesser tiefling for pretty much the same benefits and +0 level adjustment. If sword of arcane order and LA buyoff are allowed to you, consider taking them with level adjustment and then buying it off. At high level play, the outsider type and spells like alter self are going to make the difference.
  • Underfolk: Bonus skill points, darkvision, human blood, camouflage are nice bonuses for the party's scout.
  • Illumians: Their sigils are very nice. If you choose Uurkrau you can get bonus spells from high dexterity, while you have to keep your wisdom to 14 to be able to cast all of them. Especially if you are playing in faerun and using the shooting star substitution levels, illumians can cover some of lost caster levels with their sigil. Also they are technically human, which grants them access to the great able learner feat to equalize their skills under extreme multiclassing situations.
  • Whisper Gnomes: Nice bonuses to important stats. They are small, but their speed remains 30ft. They have both low light and dark visions, bonus on scouting skills, spell like abilities that add flavor and versatility and are able to take some racial feats. Very nice.
  • Catfolk: Not good any more. With complete champion you can take a level in barbarian and pounce all day (without having to spend a feat), along with an extra d12 hit die, skill points, rage, saving throws, etc. Still they have nice bonuses, but are only worthwhile if LA buyoff is allowed. I don't recommend taking this race for the pounce ability, but more for the bonuses to important attributes.
  • Kobolds: Not especially good, but deserve a mention due to dragonwrought and their kobold endurance.
  • Snow Elves: +dex -cha. Nice and a penalty to a dump stat. Favored class (wizard) though, so be careful of multiclassing penalties. This is a choice if you absolutely want to play an elf without penalties to important statistics.
  • Neraphim: This is an overlooked race from Planar Handbook. What is great about Neraphims is that they are outsiders, which can work wonders combined with sword of the arcane order feat, granting you access to the abusable alter self and polymorph spells. To back all those benefits up, they get some natural armor, favored class ranger and some unique abilities. This is a great pick for high-level play.

List of races with ranger as a favored class:

  • Wood Elf: +2 Str +2 Dex -2 Con -2 Int, meduim, 30 ft., ranger, humanoid (elf), monster manual pg.104
  • Stonehunter Gnome: -2 Str +2 Con, small, 20 ft., speak with animals 1/day (Cha 10 or better dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation 1/day), ranger, humanoid (gnome, dragonblood), dragon magic pg.9
  • Jungle Dwarf: +2 Con -2 Cha, medium, 20 ft., ranger, humanoid (dwarf), unearthed arcana pg.14
  • Artic Halfling: -2 Str +2 Dex, small, 20 ft., ranger, humanoid (halfling), unearthed arcana pg.10
  • Tundra Halfling: -2 Str +2 Dex, Small, 20 ft., ranger, humanoid (halfling), frostburn pg.36
  • Shifter: +2 Dex -2 Int -2 Cha, medium, 30 ft., shifting (su), ranger, humanoid (shifter, shapechanger), races of eberrron pg.25


ClassesEdit

Swift hunter builds mainly use scout and ranger for their main combination. This is an overview of these two classes and also some nice dips for swift hunters.

[SBLOCK=The Swift Hunter] Those of you who still wonder what swift hunter is, i'll enlighten you. Swift Hunter is a feat from the supplement complete scoundrel. It has the requirement of +1d6/+1 skirmish and a favored enemy. It stacks ranger and scout levels for the amount of skirmish you get and your favored enemies. You can also apply skirmish damage to your favored enemies, even if they are normally immune to it.

This is a quick chart to determine your abilities from your combined ranger + scout level. As you can see it is not optimal to take levels in ranger + scout that their sum equals to 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16 or 18 levels.

  1. Favored Enemy, Skirmish +1d6/+0
  2. .
  3. Skirmish +1d6/+1
  4. .
  5. Favored Enemy, Skirmish +2d6/+1
  6. .
  7. Skirmish +2d6/+2
  8. .
  9. Skirmish +3d6/+2
  10. Favored Enemy
  11. Skirmish +3d6/+3
  12. .
  13. Skirmish +4d6/+3
  14. .
  15. Favored Enemy, Skirmish +4d6/+4
  16. .
  17. Skirmish +5d6/+4
  18. .
  19. Skirmish +5d6/+5
  20. Favored Enemy

[/SBLOCK] Observation: As you can see, ranger 16 is a rather bad level, and that's why ranger 16/scout 4 is a bad choice. You gain far better benefits by going ranger 15/scout 5, or Ranger 15/scout 3/xxx 2.

[SBLOCK=Ranger:]

  • Full base attack bonus.
  • Good reflex and fortitude saves.
  • 6+int skill points.
  • d8.
  • Favored Enemies.
  • Combat styles.
  • Spells.

Good Levels:

  • 1st level: Favored enemy, track, wild empathy. Minimum ranger level required for Swift Hunter.
  • 2nd level: Combat style.
  • 4th level: Access to 1st level spells. Also animal companion and endurance.
  • 6th level: Improved combat style.
  • 9th level: Evasion and 2nd level spells.
  • 11th level: Combat style mastery and 3rd level spells.
  • 13th level: Camouflage.
  • 15th level: 4th favored enemy and 4th level spells.
  • 17th level: Hide in plain sight.

Bad Levels:

  • 12th level: +1 to all saves and +1 3rd level spell.
  • 16th level: +1 to fort and reflex and +1 2nd level spell.
  • 18th level: +1 to all saves and +1 1st level spell.

[/SBLOCK][SBLOCK=Scout:]

  • Medium base attack bonus.
  • Good reflex save.
  • 8+int skill points.
  • d8.
  • Skirmish.

Good Levels:

  • 3rd level: Trapfinding, uncanny dodge, battle fortitude, fast movement, trackless step. Minimum level required for Swift Hunter.
  • 4th level: Bonus feat. Only 1 base attack bonus lost.
  • 5th level: Evasion.
  • 8th level: Camouflage, bonus feat. Only -2 base attack bonus.
  • 10th level: Blindsense.
  • 11th level: Battle fortitude, fast movement.
  • 12th level: Bonus feat. -3 base attack bonus.
  • 14th level: Hide in plain sight.
  • 16th level: Bonus feat, -4 base attack bonus. Note: if you get more levels in a non-good base attack bonus class after this level, you will never have 4 attacks per round.
  • 18th level: Free movement.

Bad Levels:

  • 7th level: +1 BAB and +1 AC from skirmish.
  • 9th level: +1 fort and will +1d6 skirmish damage.
  • 13th level: +1d6 skirmish damage.
  • 15th level: +1 BAB +1 fort and will +1 AC from skirmish.
  • 17th level: +1d6 skirmish damage.
  • 19th level: +1 BAB + 1 AC from skirmish.

[/SBLOCK]

Dipping GuideEdit

When dipping in other classes try to:

  • Be careful with your BAB.
  • Don't use classes that don't have a wide selection of skills and skills/day.
  • Consult the Swift Hunter table for level breakdowns.
  • Don't just multiclass for extra feats (e.g. fighter) you have plenty of them.

Base ClassesEdit

  • Barbarian: Mostly as a one level dip for two weapon fighting builds.
  • Monk: 2 levels net you 1 BAB great saves 3 bonus feats and evasion. Also Ascetic hunter stacks ranger and monk for various class features.
  • Rogue:
  • 2nd level: Evasion and nice skills.
  • 4th level: Uncanny dodge. With scout's uncanny dodge that makes for improved uncanny dodge.
  • Ninja: 2 levels for ok skills, some wisdom synergy and ghost step. Also a minor boost to your will save if your ki pool has at least 1 point.
  • Swordsage: 2 to 3 levels boost your will save, keep your skills to nice levels, give you some wisdom synergy and grant you some maneuvers and stances.

Prestige ClassesEdit

  • Uncanny Trickster CS: Boosts your effective level and has better skill points/level than ranger.
  • Master Thrower CW: Nice for throwing builds. Also gives you evasion and quick draw.
  • Dervish CW: Although you need a good perform for this to work, you get many attacks and still move up to your speed.
  • Harper Paragon PGtF/Stalker of Kharash BoED: Both give you favored enemy (evil) but that requires the investiture of feats/skills to enter both classes. However they continue your casting.
  • Unseen Seer CM: Continues arcane spellcasting and skirmish damage. Nice abilities and easy to enter.
  • Dragon Devotee RotD: This is a good class. Fast skirmish damage progression, various bonuses and sorcerer casting if you don't already possess sorcerer levels.


Class featuresEdit

RangerEdit

Main Class Features:

  • Favored Enemy: Rangers choose types of creatures that are more effective at. They gain a bonus in some skills and on damage rolls. Swift Hunters have an extra benefit. They can apply their precision based damage from skirmish to their favored enemies, even if they are immune to it. Enemy types immune to critical hits include: construct, elemental, ooze, plant, undead.
  • Wild Empathy: This is an ok ability, since it also affects magical beasts. However charisma is a dump stat and the ability is keyed off your ranger level, which will also be lacking since you will multiclass anyway.
  • Combat Style: You choose a combat style and gain some feats related to your style. The core styles available are archery and two-weapon combat.
  • Animal Companion: Not only you have a hit to your effective druid level to determine your companion's abilities, you also multiclass. This may have uses, but it won't help generally much.
  • Woodland Stride: Indifferent ability but has flavor with the whole scout concept.
  • Swift Tracker: This speeds up your tracking. Again, nice to have, but not a die for.
  • Evasion: Now that's really important. Your dexterity is important and reflex save is good for both ranger and scout.
  • Camouflage: A nice ability. Note that it works only in natural terrain.
  • Hide in Plain Sight: This, too, is worth it. Be careful though, because as camouflage, this works only in natural terrain.
  • Spells: The ability to cast spells is really important. There are lots of them that will get you out of difficult situations and assist in combat.

Alternative Class Features:

  • Arcane Hunter CM: You gain favored enemy (arcanists). This includes any character able to use invocations or cast arcane spells. This is more important to a Swift Hunter than to a ranger, because you can now bypass immunities to critical hits those creatures have (if any) with your skirmish ability. Replaces favored enemy at 1st level.
  • Spell Reflection CM: If an enemy misses you with a spell or spell-like ability aimed on you, you can use an immediate action to reflect it back on the caster. This is really important since you gain dodge benefits when you skirmish and dexterity is basic. Spells like enervation can disable you easily. You can gain evasion through scout. Replaces evasion.
  • Distracting Attack PHB II: This can qualify as good only because it lets you get rid of your already useless animal companion. Great if you have a rogue in your party. Replaces animal companion.
  • Trap Expert Dungeonscape: If you don't have the luxury of spending a feat to Able Learner (or you don't qualify for it), you can choose this and be the party's trapfinder. Remember that it benefits you only if you are going to get many ranger levels. You gain trapfinding ability and add disable device and search to your class skills. Because you will gain trapfinding again from scout, you can swap it with the alternative class features from Drow of the Underdark. Unfortunately i don't have the book and i will update when i do. Replaces Track and swift tracker.
  • Phynxkin Companion Dragon Magic: This can be taken if you are having problems with fear effects, as if you are within 30ft of this companion you are both immune to them, but otherwise it is will very difficult for your companion to keep track with your low effective druid level.
  • Champion of the Wild CC: This is useful only if you are taking a few levels. Don't take it if you are going to take more than 4 levels. Spells are more important. Useful feats to take are: Precise Shot, Shot on the Run, Weapon Finesse.
  • Spiritual Connection CC: I see this as an equal trade. If i were to exchange my wild empathy though, i would choose the alternative feature from the cityscape web enhancement.
  • Spiritual Guide CC: Add 1/4 of your ranger level to several important skills. The bonus is "divine" so it'll stack with others. Also cast commune with nature and add it to your list. Better than animal companion, but there are other alternative features that are more important.
  • Celestial Slayer EoE: Well it gives you the option to swap any of three available class features and it gives you spell resistance and critical roll confirmation. Not much, but it's pretty good if you are evil.
  • Feign Death EoE: I don't like this feature very much, although you can use it for infiltration and spy stuff. It's also i nice panic button if you are hit by a disease or poison that damages you over time. It's kinda risky and you depend a lot on others, so be careful.

The rest alternative features are from Cityscape web enhancement:

  • Crowd Walker: I personally like this ability more than woodland stride, but it depends on the campaign style. Replaces woodland stride.
  • Hidden Stalker: People in 5ft from you are sufficient cover to hide and you can move when hiding with lesser penalties. Also hide in plain sight functions in urban environments rather than natural terrain. The hide in plain sight modification may be campaign specific but the main ability is better than camouflage. Replaces camouflage and modifies hide in plain sight.
  • Rival Organization: This may be nice, but you will lose the ability to apply skirmish to your critical immune enemies. Replaces favored enemies at all levels.
  • Skilled City-Dweller: Again if are not eligible to qualify for Able Learner, or you don't have the free slot, you can take this to adjust your class skills a little. Especially tumble for ride and gather information for handle animal.
  • Urban Companion: This is worth it for you. This is more small and versatile, able to assist in scouting. It opens up the option for improved familiar also.
  • Urban Tracker: Again this ability depends on the campaign you are in.
  • Voice of the city: Understanding people is more important i think to understanding animals. Also understanding others is keyed off wisdom, which is nice. Makes speak language a class skill, but you already have that from scout. Replaces wild empathy.

Substitution Levels:

  • Spell-less Ranger CW:
  • 6th level: +10ft unnamed bonus to your speed.
  • 11th level: Gives +4 unnamed bonus to dexterity, constitution and wisdom. Nice duration but this is the point where spells become really good.
  • 13th level: Just memorize the spells and cast even more.
  • 16th level: As above.
  • Elf Ranger RotW:
  • 1st level: Nice skill points and if you don't like the available favored enemy choices, you can always select Arcane Hunter.
  • 4th level: You can get this for the extra skill points, but while elven hounds are cool, it still isn't powerful enough.
  • 10th level: Unless you are hunting drow don't take this. It is too specific and you are better off with extra favored enemies.
  • Gnome Ranger RoS: Ideally these substitution levels will be used with whisper gnome.
  • 1st level: This is a bad option with no additional bonuses.
  • 4th level: This boosts your level for your companion's abilities. This can result in a normal companion, but remember that you must choose a mammal.
  • 8th level: This trade is worth it. The spells also give you flavor as the scout of the party.
  • Half-Elf Ranger RoD
  • 1st level: Urban tracking, gather information and speak language as class skills. You can get this benefits with alternative class features without having to be a half elf.
  • 4th level: You lose more spells than the ones you get. I don't think it is worth it.
  • 13th level: Skill mastery is nice. This is worth it.
  • Planar Ranger PlH:
  • 4th level: Fiendish or celestial companions may be nice, but you reduce even further your effective druid level.
  • 8th level: This is a nice ability, but too campaign specific.
  • 13th level: Again, this depends on your campaign.
  • Shadow Sword CoV:
  • 3rd level: Gain some hide bonuses in exchange of endurance. Not worth it.
  • 6th level: This doesn't won't last long, due to multiclassing. You probably won't be able to designate "arcanists" as the bane type.
  • 8th level: Portal Sense that replaces swift tracker.
  • Shooting Star CoV: Add spellcraft and knowledge (arcana) at each substitution level.
  • 3rd level: Replace endurance with sending 1/day. Sending is effectively a 3rd to 4th level spell.
  • 4th level: Lose your companion to gain better spellcasting benefits at various levels.
  • 8th level: See invisibility and word of recall in exchange of swift tracker.
  • Shifter Ranger RoE: Add balance at each substitution level.
  • 1st level: Sure, why not reduce MAD?
  • 4th level: Not too hot since you lose share spells, your ranger level is lower than usual and your animal companion sucks.
  • 9th level: Very nice ability worth taking. You can gain evasion from scout.


ScoutEdit

Main Class Features:

  • Skirmish: This is the main damaging ability of the swift hunter. Here are some points to consider:
  • It is precision based damage:

That means that you can't apply skirmish damage to creatures who are immune to critical hits. That includes elementals, undead, constructs, plants, oozes.

  • You have to move to be able to apply skirmish damage to your attacks:

There will be times when you won't be able to move. Spells and effects aren't always the case. Be careful of crowdy corridors and rooms in dungeons.

  • You have to be within 30ft of your target:

That means that even if you are ranged, you still are in danger. Light armor and usually low hit points make you vulnerable.

  • You gain a small ac boost if you move:

Which helps when targeted by enemies. Note that this is competence bonus, so you can add it to your touch AC. So it defends you from rays, too.

  • You cannot use skirmish when wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying medium or heavy load:

You only can wear light armor. The most common suggested light armor is a mithral breastplate.

  • Skirmish bonuses gained from other classes stack:

Sure someone will came up with a crazy build with prestige after prestige to gain skirmish benefits earlier.

  • Trapfinding: You have this, so you can perform different roles in your party than just dealing damage.
  • Battle Fortitude: Bonus to your fortitude save and initiative. It is nice to be able to play early in a given round because even if you don't get significant bonuses from catching an opponent flat-footed, your damage output is big, so your team can easily dispatch an enemy if you concentrate on a single target.
  • Uncanny Dodge: This helps you. You already have moderate hit points, so any effects that reduce damage taken is a boon.
  • Fast Movement: You get an enhancement bonus to your speed. This is a good ability and even helps slower races (such as small sizes). But remember that you only need to move 10ft to activate skirmish. Enhancement bonuses don't stack.
  • Trackless Step: This is a nice ability to have when spying or scouting. It won't probably come into play much, but you'll be grateful that you have it when the time comes.
  • Bonus Feats: The scout class gets a few bonus feats over the levels from a nice small list. Always handy to have.
  • Evasion: As above (ranger).
  • Flawless Stride: This is a similar ability to woodland stride, but actually better. This comes into play more, so it is more handy.
  • Camouflage: As above (ranger).
  • Blindsense: This is a great and unique ability.
  • Hide in Plain Sight: As above (ranger).
  • Free Movement: Again, this is awesome. Permanent freedom of movement and also (ex) that means it works even inside an antimagic field.
  • Blindsight: The capstone ability of the scout class. Unfortunately, unless you get access to Swift Hunter in a cheesy way, you won't be able to use this great ability.

Alternative Class Features:

  • Spell Reflection CM: As above (ranger).
  • Dungeon Specialist PHB II: This is not worth it. Unless you know that you will be climbing a lot, don't take it.

The rest alternative features are from Cityscape web enhancement:

  • Go to Ground: As trackless step, only that you are impossible to find with urban tracking. Depends on the setting.
  • Hidden Stalker: As above (ranger).
  • Riposte: This isn't good. Swift Hunter has a requirement of and it improves skirmish. It may work nicely in other builds, but not suitable for a swift hunter.


FeatsEdit

[IMG]http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/spellcomp_gallery/92300.jpg[/IMG] [SIZE="1"]The power gained from various combat styles[/SIZE]

Combat StylesEdit

There are 3 basic ways to activate skirmish and use it offensively with feats:

Ranged StyleEdit

Overview:

  • Strength important (damage)
  • Dexterity 13+ (Archery feats regular requirement)
  • Size medium or smaller (bonus to both attack rolls and dexterity as you go down sizes)

Feats:

  • PHB Point Blank Shot: A requirement for most archery related feats.
  • PHB Far Shot: You need to be within 30ft of your target to apply skirmish damage.
  • PHB Precise Shot: Being ranged means that someone in the team has to tank or take care of enemies in melee. This takes care of attacking enemies in melee and is the requirement of other great feats, such as improved precise shot.
  • PHB Rapid Shot: This is a full-round action, so you can't activate skirmish. However note, that this is usable along with travel devotion.
  • PHB Manyshot: Fire many arrows as a standard action, but at a huge penalty. Still you can move and manyshot, so you get skirmish.
  • PHB Shot on the Run: Nice feat that lets you move while still getting one attack.
  • PHB Rapid Reload: If you are going to use crossbows this is important. Note however that you can't manyshot with crossbows.
  • PHB Improved Precise Shot: This is a very good ability.
  • CV Brutal Throw: Used to reduce MAD with thrown weapons.
  • CV Power Throw: Power attack with thrown weapons.
  • CW Improved Rapid Shot: Ignore the -2 penalty on ranged attack rolls when using rapid shot. Still bad since you need to use the full attack function to gain its benefit.
  • CW Ranged Disarm: Nice, but limits you to 30ft. Still, it is nice to have attack modes with ranged weapons.
  • CW Ranged Pin: Grapple with ranged weapons and has no range limitation, but targets must be within 5ft of solid surface.
  • CW Ranged Sunder: Also a nice ability, but limits you to 30ft. Nonetheless, this offers versatility.
  • CW Sharp-Shooting: Get this until you qualify for improved precise shot and retrain it for something more useful.
  • CW Throw Anything: Nice if you want to have melee/ranged transparency. Has its uses.
  • PHB II Crossbow Sniper: Lets you add your dexterity bonus to crossbow damage rolls. Requires weapon focus though. Also you got skirmish to damage. This isn't needed.
  • PHB II Penetrating Shot: Attack all enemies in a line, but you must roll against each of them and if you fail the projectile stops there. It's a standard action. However you get skirmish damage only at your first target.
  • MM Flyby Attack: This activates skirmish and still you can take a manyshot.
  • XPH Greater Manyshot: Allows you to make multiple attacks with a standard action and all your arrows receive the benefit of skirmish. It's usually essential for ranged skirmishers.

Two-Weapon StyleEdit

Overview:

  • Dexterity 15+ (two-weapon fighting feats)
  • Use of light weapons or double weapons (offset two-weapon fighting penalties)

Feats:

  • PHB Greater/Improved/Two Weapon Fighting: This feats are required to effectively use two handed weapons. Should be acquired as fast as you fulfill their requirements if this is your chosen style.
  • PHB Weapon Finesse: Used to reduce MAD. This weapon style requires high dexterity and light weapons, so it fits perfect.
  • PHB Greater/Improved/Two Weapon Defense: Not worth the feat investment. Just get a animated shield.
  • CW Improved Buckler Defense: A lot better than the two-weapon defense feats.
  • CW Pin Shield: Nice if you encounter opponents with shields. If you use this a lot, you should consider not taking improved or greater two-weapon fighting feats.
  • CW Anvil of Thunder: Requires power attack and improved sunder. These feats are sub optimal for two-weapon fighting. Also the two weapon focus feats hurt a lot. Finally many creatures are immune to daze effects.
  • CW Bear Fang: You are a mobile warrior, not a grappler.
  • CW Cresent Moon: A free disarm attempt if you hit with both weapons. I'd stick with a disarming weapon and use it as a mode on my attack.
  • CW Hammer's Edge: The difficulty class is nice, but this isn't a trip attempt, which means that you won't take a free attack if you have improved trip.
  • CW High Sword Low Axe: This isn't of blue quality because it requires two weapon focuses. However it is probably the best of the weapon style feats.
  • CW Lightning Maces: This is good. You gain the attack on a threat. Not on a successful critical hit. This helps much if you somehow manage to have a nice threat range.
  • PHB II Two-Weapon Pounce: Attack with both weapons when charging with -2 penalty. Pounce is strictly better.
  • PHB II Two-Weapon Rend: Optimize damage output. Unfortunately 1/round and you already have skirmish for damage.
  • CV Dual Strike: Useless.
  • CV Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting: Useful if you want to wield a normal weapon in your off hand instead of a light one.
  • RoS Shielded Axe: Improved buckler defense is strictly better.
  • PGtF Twin Sword Style: +2 armor bonus that stacks with that of a shield, but for a single opponent.

Spring Attack StyleEdit

Overview:

  • Dexterity 13+ (dodge, mobility)
  • Increased movement speed

Feats:

  • PHB Spring Attack: This is very nice. Coupled with improved trip you can trip, attack and move away from your target.
  • PHB Whirlwind Attack: This not only is acquired late because it lists many other feats as requirements, but to use it efficiently you must be surrounded by enemies, which is bad. Also you need to move to activate skirmish.
  • PHB II Bounding Assault: Take a second attack as a part of a spring attack.
  • PHB II Rapid Blitz: As above but make three attacks. Note that this is difficult to acquire, due to the high BAB requirement.
  • MM Flyby Attack: Nice, but only if you acquire somehow a fly speed.

CombatEdit

  • PHB Blind-Fight: Get this only if you need to qualify the requirements for a prestige class.
  • PHB Combat Expertise: A requirement feat. It has its uses nonetheless.
  • PHB Improved Trip/Disarm: As said above, you can use improved trip with spring attack.
  • PHB Combat Reflexes: While your dexterity is high, your attacks of opportunity won't be affected by skirmish.
  • PHB Dodge: This is a prerequisite for strong feats like spring attack.
  • PHB Mobility: As above.
  • PHB Improved Unarmed Strike: You can use this to threaten any adjacent squares with your unarmed strikes if you are using a reach weapon (for whatever reason) or a bow.
  • PHB Power Attack: You have skirmish to optimize your damage output, don't use this, unless you are going for a pouncing two handed weapon build.
  • PHB Improved Sunder: However this is good. You can sunder items too, such as a spellcaster's spell component pouch.
  • PHB Weapon Finesse: Mainly used to reduce multiple attribute dependency (MAD).
  • PHB Weapon Focus: Unless you need it to fulfill requirements, this is bad. Just enchant your weapon.
  • CW Elusive Target: This is one of the best defensive feats. Also you'll need its requirements for other feats, too.
  • RotWExpeditious Dodge: If you move 40ft a round gain a +2 bonus to AC. Handy.
  • MoI Midnight Dodge: Gain a dodge bonus to AC equal to essentia invested. Generally better than plain dodge with the same benefits.
  • CS Improved Skirmish: +2d6/+2AC to skirmish bonuses if you move 20ft. Great.

GeneralEdit

  • CD Practiced Spellcaster: Gives you a +4 bonus to your already low caster level.
  • PHB Track: Don't neglect this feat. It is very important. Free from ranger 1.
  • CW Improved Favored Enemy: +3 damage to any of your favored enemies. Mediocre.
  • CV Natural Bond: +3 to your effective druid level for determining your companion's abilities. This is for those who definitely want a pet.
  • CV Quick Reconnoiter: Bonus to initiative and spot and listen are free actions.
  • CV Tactile Trapsmith: A way to boost your trap disarming capabilities if your intelligence is low.
  • PHB II Cunning Evasion: Provide a quick way to avoid further danger.
  • PHB II Keen Eared Scout: More information with listen checks. Requires alertness or skill focus (listen).
  • PHB II Steadfast Determination: Use this if you have a bad wisdom score.
  • LoM Darkstalker: You hide from creatures with blindsense, scent, blindsight and tremorsense normally.
  • RoD Able Learner: Purchase cross-class skills at 1 skill point cost. Generally great for multiclass characters.
  • CoV Sword of the Arcane Order : Great feat. Lets you prepare spells from a borrowed spellbook or your own in your ranger slots.
  • Minor Shapeshift CM: With polymorph in one of your 4th level spell slots you can power this great feat. If you don't use your swift actions a lot, do it!
  • BoED Nemesis: Pinpoint the location of a chosen favored enemy. This is really nice if you have a general creature type, such as undead, arcanists and evil.
  • CC Travel Devotion: 1/day move your speed as a swift action.
  • ECS Action Surge: Spend action points to take extra move or standard action. This way you can greater manyshot twice a round. Don't take it, unless you have a way of regaining action ponts.
  • EE Murderous Intent: Unfortunately, this isn't going to serve well a swift hunter. It's a full round action, a single attack (although it can be done with travel devotion) and the saving throw is charisma based. The secondary effect that auto-crits a favored enemy is nice, but not to swift hunters, which probably want to take the immune to critical creature types as favored enemies to benefit most from their presicion damage.

RegionalEdit

  • PGtF Fearless: You become immune to fear.
  • PGtF Fleet of Foot: +10ft to your land speed that stacks with any other.
  • PGtF Foe Hunter: This grants you a favorite enemy. With this feat you can qualify for swift hunter without actually taking levels in ranger, granting you a full favored enemy progression.
  • PGtF Magical Training: Gain a small number of 0-level arcane spells of your choice. While the bonuses are not very important, it does grant you access to eternal wands, wondrous items that let you use them if you cast arcane spells, regardless of the spell they contain.
  • PGtF Otherworldly: The darkvision helps you scout, also you gain various immunities for being a native outsider.
  • PGtF Swift and Silent: Use hide/move silently and still move up to your speed at no penalty.
  • PGtF Tireless: You cannot become exhausted. Whatever makes you exhausted makes you fatigued instead. If an effect would make you fatigued, it has no effect.


Skills & Skill TricksEdit

SkillsEdit

  • Balance: Take at least 5 ranks in this skill. If you are balancing without it you are considered flat footed without the suggested ranks.
  • Climb: This skill is needed when you haven't spent ranks to it.
  • Concentration: You shouldn't have problems casting your spells.
  • Disable Device: If you are the party's trapfinder, max this out.
  • Gather Information: This is very useful for urban rangers. If you are one of them, max it out.
  • Handle Animal: This skill becomes less useful since you won't be having an animal companion probably. Also charisma is a dump stat. I would skip it.
  • Heal: Based on wisdom, this can be used to help allies from dying. If you want to stabilize your companions you can just heal them however. It's a nice skill, but not the first priority.
  • Hide: This is important. After all, you are a scout. Combined with darkstalker feat this becomes really powerful.
  • Jump: You don't need this, as you gain bonus to jump rolls from your superior movement speed. Consider 5 ranks however for the synergy bonus to tumble.
  • Knowledge(dungeoneering, geography or nature): You should spend some ranks at least in one knowledge. It opens up interesting interaction capabilities and also helps you identify monsters of the chosen type.
  • Listen: Another stalking/scouting skill, this can be augmented by keen-eared scout and quick reconnoiter.
  • Move Silently: Again this fits with the spy/scout flavor.
  • Profession: Come on, you are an adventurer! Who needs to make a living this way?
  • Ride: A cheesy way to gain skirmish damage is to use a mount and fast mount/dismount. They are free actions and you have unlimited per round. If this qualifies for movement to activate skirmish however, it is your DM's call.
  • Search: This comes with disable device.
  • Spellcraft: Particularly useful to characters with sword of the arcane order. You may want to beef it up so you can prepare spells from a borrowed spellbook.
  • Spot: As with listen, this is essential for a scout.
  • Survival: This is useful for track. I'd max it out if that's your area of expertise.
  • Swim: As with climb, this is most needed when you don't have it.

Skill Tricks:

  • Clarity of Vision: Notice invisible enemies for 1 round. Requires spot 12.
  • Collector of Stories: +5 on knowledge checks to identify monsters. Requires one knowledge at 5 ranks.
  • Listen to This: Repeat perfectly what you've heard. Very useful for scouts. Requires listen 5 ranks.
  • Spot the Weak Point: Spend a standard action to spot your opponent's weak spot and then manyshot your target's touch AC. Requires spot 12.
  • Back on your Feet: Get up from prone immediately. Requires tumble 12.


[IMG]http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/spellcomp_gallery/92244.jpg[/IMG] [SIZE="1"]Spells can be a huge boon[/SIZE]

[SBLOCK=1st Level]* Alarm (PHB):: This has a nice duration which helps due to your low caster level. Useful in a range of situations.

  • Animal Messenger (PHB):: Huge duration and very useful. A bag of tricks and this spell net you an instant messenger.
  • Calm Animals (PHB):: Another great spell, this is particularly useful when you want to bypass animal guards with ease. Note that animals have a low will save and only trained ones are even allowed a save.
  • Charm Animal (PHB): Great duration, but requires a charisma roll to influence the target creature.
  • Detect Animals or Plants (PHB): These handy spells when you are scouting.
  • Detect Poison (PHB): A 0 level spell for most classes.
  • Detect Snares and Pits (PHB): Nice spell if you are disabling mechanical traps.
  • Endure Elements (PHB): 24 hours duration, if you are a scout that likes to venture in rough places, this is ok.
  • Entangle (PHB): A debuff lite that doesn't require a spell resistance check.
  • Hide from Animals (PHB): Not that good, unless you need to hide a party from guard animals.
  • Jump (PHB): You already have this as a class skill and your speed is more than ok to provide bonuses.
  • Longstrider (PHB): This is good and all, with its big duration, but remember that it gives you an enhancement bonus to your speed, so it doesn't stack with scout's movement.
  • Pass without Trace (PHB): This is good and all, but you already have trackless step/go to ground. With this you can be trackless in any terrain however, which is a nice addition to any feature you'll select (trackless step or go to ground)
  • Resist Energy (PHB): Protects you from one type of energy for 10 minutes/level. Really nice.
  • Speak with Animals (PHB): As the title suggests. Mediocre.
  • Accelerated Movement (SC): This has low duration but it's a swift action. Nice bonuses to multiple skills.
  • Arrow Mind (SC): Really nice since it is an immediate action and has a nice duration. Every archer swift hunter should memorize this.
  • Bloodhound (SC): Nice if you are a tracker. 24 hour duration.
  • Branch to Branch (SC): Nice duration and bonuses, but enhancement bonus to speed.
  • Camouflage (SC): +10 circumstance bonus to your hide checks. It's ok if you don't have circumstance bonuses from other sources.
  • Climb Walls (SC): Gain an enhancement bonus to your climb skill. Becomes bigger as you go up in caster level.
  • Crabwalk (SC): Nice for pounce builds, but this only benefits the first attack.
  • Deep Breath (SC): Gives you some rounds of free breathing underwater. Nice, but don't memorize if you aren't close to an aquatic environment.
  • Detect Favored Enemy (SC): This is very nice, especially if you choose very general favored enemies as (arcanists) or (evil).
  • Easy Trail (SC): Nice if tracking or want to move with your party through dense terrain.
  • Embrace the Wild (SC): This is a very nice spell. Low light vision plus blindsense or scent and a +2 bonus on listen and spot checks. 10 minutes/level duration.
  • Guided Shot (SC): Only 1 round duration but swift action. Usable until you get improved precise shot, but after that it's useless.
  • Hawkeye (SC): The range increment is useless since skirmish function within 30ft of the target. You gain also a small competence bonus to spot checks but i don't think that it is worth a 1st level spell.
  • Hunter's Mercy (SC): Your first hit next round is considered a critical hit. Great in a wand.
  • Instant Search (SC): Search as a free action with a small bonus. Mediocre.
  • Lay of the Land (SC): This is a nice spell to gain basic information for a new area quickly. It is worth it.
  • Lightfoot (SC): Again a handy spell for a wand. If you are in a crowdy situation cast this to use your speed to escape.
  • Living Prints (SC): Great spell to track targets that have escaped days ago.
  • Low-Light Vision (SC): Unless you want to apply this to another creature, you are better off with embrace of the wild.
  • Marked Object (SC): Bonuses to track a subject if you get one of his personal items.
  • Omen of Peril (SC): Gain an insight for your journey.
  • Remove Scent (SC): Although you are better off with non-detection.
  • Resist Planar Alignment (SC): Unless you will be plane hoping this is useless.
  • Rhino's Rush (SC): Double damage on the first attack of your charge.
  • Scent (SC): Unless you want to apply the scent quality to an ally, this is worthless. Take embrace of the wild.
  • Sniper's Shot (SC): Even if this affects skirmish, it lasts for 1 round. Not good.
  • Snowshoes (SC): If you are going to be fighting in snowy areas this is nice, but the bonus to speed is enhancement.
  • Stalking Brand (SC): No save but spell resistance. Useful if you are trying to track tricky subjects.
  • Surefoot (SC): Nice bonuses to multiple skills and you are not flat footed while climbing.
  • Surefooted Stride (SC): Useful for pouncing builds.
  • Traveler's Mount (SC): Nice if you want to travel long distances with a normal mount.
  • Vine Strike (SC): Just select plant type as a favored enemy. You already have swift hunter!
  • Wings of the Sea (SC): Boosts your swim speed only if you have one. Bad.

[/SBLOCK][SBLOCK=2nd Level]* Barkskin (PHB): This gives you a bonus to your natural armor. It's an ok spell early level but later it will only boost your AC by 3 or 4 points.

  • Bear’s Endurance (PHB): As above, this becomes less significant when you acquire items with enhancement bonus to attributes.
  • Cat’s Grace (PHB): The same.
  • Owl’s Wisdom (PHB): Ditto.
  • Protection from Energy (PHB): Nice spell, but i prefer resist energy, mainly because your caster level is lacking and this won't absorb much.
  • Snare (PHB): Set a trap. Unless you are hunting someone this is indifferent.
  • Balancing Lorecall (SC): ok bonuses, but especially useful if you have 5+ ranks in balance.
  • Burrow (SC): Gain 30ft burrowing speed. Nice.
  • Camouflage, mass (SC): Useful for tactical attacks.
  • Curse of Impeding Blades (SC): This is actually nice, since it is only subject to spell resistance and its duration is ok.
  • Easy Climb (SC): Memorize it if you are going somewhere really high.
  • Exacting Shot (SC): This is nice if you have favored enemies subject to critical hits. Swift hunters usually don't so it isn't optimized.
  • Fell the Greatest Foe (SC): This is really bad. Even for a small creature, it will deal only 5d6 damage against a colossal creature. And has a duration or rounds/level.
  • Swift Haste (SC): Lasts for 1d4 rounds and is a swift action. This is important not for the extra attack, but because it dispels slow, which is a huge disable for swift hunters.
  • Lion's Charge (SC): This is a nice spell, but since you can pounce all day with one barbarian level dip, makes it bad.
  • Listening Lorecall (SC): Very nice spell. If you have the required ranks in listen, it grants you blindsense or even blindsight! Duration is 10 minutes/level.
  • One with the Land (SC): You get a +2 competence bonus to various nature related skills. Nice duration, but watch out since competence bonuses don't stack.
  • Tremorsense (SC): Grants you tremorsense for 10 minutes/level. Very nice but works only on you.

[/SBLOCK][SBLOCK=3rd Level]* Darkvision (PHB): Not optimal. You can get darkvision in other ways.

  • Plant Growth (PHB): This combined with woodland stride can be used as a quick way for escape.
  • Tree Shape (PHB): Another way to escape from pursuers.
  • Water Walk (PHB): Although its name suggests water, this actually works for any liquid. Useful.
  • Arrow Storm (SC): Nice spell, but doesn't let you activate skirmish, since you must cast it at the beginning of your round. You can use it if you are able to use a free action item that gives you free movement however.
  • Blade Storm (SC): As with arrow storm.
  • Blade Thirst (SC): It has a duration of 1 round/level.
  • Bottle of Smoke (SC): Gives you a really fast mount for the duration of the spell.
  • Decoy Image (SC): Messing with people minds can give you enormous advantage in a battle.
  • Find the Gap (SC): Resolve your first attack as a touch attack for rounds/level. Manyshot uses only one attack.
  • Forestfold (SC): Gain +10 competence bonus to move silently/hide for one particular terrain type for hours/level.
  • Mark of the Hunter (SC): Some improved precise shot - like abilities and greater favored enemy bonuses against that creature. Allows saving throw and spell resistance.
  • Phantasmal Decoy (SC): Not only it is mind affecting and requires saves, it is too vulgar also for the swift hunter's style.
  • Safe Clearing (SC): Again this is subject to saving throws and spell resistance. Not optimal.[/SBLOCK][SBLOCK=4th Level]* Commune with Nature (PHB): A very solid scouting spell.
  • Freedom of Movement (PHB): Everything that impedes your movement is bad. Again this is a very good ability.
  • Nondetection (PHB): This is nice, but it requires you to boost your caster level a little.
  • Tree Stride (PHB): This helps quickly moving through forests and tree-heavy areas. Nice for scouting, escaping and the like.
  • Aspect of the Earth Hunter (SC): This is great. You gain many abilities and you keep your skirmish.
  • Deeper Darkvision (SC): This is actually better than plain darkvision and has a duration of 1 hour/level.
  • Foebane (SC): Unfortunately, even though this is powerful, it only lasts rounds/level.
  • Implacable Pursuer (SC): It requires a will save. Nice abilities, but i don't think it's going to work most of the times.
  • Land Womb (SC): Provides protection and a home for you and your party when in the wilderness.
  • Planar Tolerance (SC): Also handy if you are plane hoping. Don't memorize it otherwise.
  • Swamp Stride (SC): As tree stride but for bodies of water. This may prove more useful for traveling.
  • Wild Runner (SC): This opens up many possibilities. You can be used as a mount, so an ally or cohort with maxed out ride and mounted combat can negate easily hits on you. Also the attributes of the centaur are not half bad.

[/SBLOCK][SBLOCK=Magic Item Crafting:] You have some spells that you acquire at a lower level than other classes. I am not suggesting to take item creation feats yourself, but to provide the spells for the crafters. Some spells to consider for this are:

  • Animal Messenger (Rgr 1, normally 2)
  • Delay Poison (Rgr 1, normally 2)
  • Resist Energy (Rgr 1, normally 2)
  • Protection from Energy (Rgr 2, normally 3)
  • Speak with Plants (Rgr 2, Drd 3, Brd 4)
  • Snare (Rgr 2, Drd 3)
  • Spike Growth (Rgr 2, Drd 3)
  • Wind Wall (Rgr 2, Air 2, normally 3)
  • Command Plants (Rgr 3, normally 4)
  • Repel Vermin (Rgr 3, normally 4)
  • Animal Growth (Rgr 4, Drd 5)
  • Commune with Nature (Rgr 4, Drd 5)
  • Tree Stride (Rgr 4, Drd 5)

[/SBLOCK]

[IMG]http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/sx_gallery/98386.jpg[/IMG] [SIZE="1"]Basic equipment[/SIZE]

Armor/Shields:Edit

Armor is essential for a swift hunter. To skirmish a target, you must be close to enemies, making you vulnerable to attacks and spells. You must try to use armor that keeps your check penalty low while allowing for a big dexterity modifier.

Remember that medium and heavier armors give you penalties to speed and many of your abilities including skirmish don't work while you wear them.

Usual armor worn by swift hunters include:

  • Leafweave Padded: +1 armor/+9 max dex/0 acp
  • Thistledown Padded: +1 armor/+10 max dex/0 acp
  • Mithral Chain Shirt: +4 armor/+6 max dex/0 acp
  • Mithral Breastplate: +5 armor/+5 max dex/-1 acp

If you have the max dexterity modifier provided by each armor, the best choice is thistledown padded (and cheap, too). Don't forget that you are also proficient with shields. Usually you will have your hands full, but animated can be used as a solution to this problem.

The typical shield that can be used is a darkwood heavy shield, +2 shield/-/0 acp.

Enhancements:

  • Fortification DMG: Given your average hit points and the inability to take big hits, this can help. +1/+3/+5 bonus.
  • Anchoring MIC: Nice bonuses to checks that can hurt. +1 bonus.
  • Aporter MIC: Essentially 2/day dimension door, this helps to escape tight situations in combat but nice for scouting and moving through difficult areas, too. +20.000.
  • Death Ward MIC: 1/day ignore a death effect. +1 bonus.
  • Mindarmor MIC: +5 unnamed bonus to your worst save as an immediate action, but only for mind-affecting abilities. 3/day. +3.000.

Armor Enhancements:

  • Shadow DMG: This is a nice enhancement, to provide even better benefits for your scouting and spy roles. It even saves you space for a custom magic item. Also jet black armors look really badass :D .+3.750/+15.000/+33.750.
  • Silent Moves DMG: As shadow. +3.750/+15.000/+33.750.
  • Bane Blind MIC: Swift invisibility that affects only one favored enemy type, lasts for 10 rounds and is usable 3/day. Nice if you have favored enemy (arcanists) or favored enemy (evil) somehow. +15.000.
  • Blurring, Greater MIC: Unlimited times per day, create a blur effect for 10 minutes. +3 bonus equivalent.
  • Buoyant MIC: Useful for sea swift hunters, prevents you from applying acp to swim checks and give you a small bonus to them, too. Only +4.000.
  • Deepdweller MIC: This is also useful for sea related swift hunters, providing nice benefits underwater. +12.000.
  • Easy Travel MIC: Allows you to use skirmish, even if you are carrying a medium load. Also nice traveling benefits. +1.500.
  • Freedom MIC: Very nice, essentially gives you permanent freedom of movement. Only problem is that it costs much. +5 bonus.
  • Healing MIC: Keeps you from dying and grants you an extra chance to get to safety, while saving actions for your party's healer. +8.000.
  • Landing MIC: Nice for mountain hoping swift hunters. +4.000.
  • Nimbleness MIC: The armor gains +1 max dex/+2 acp. +1 bonus.
  • Quickness MIC: +5 enhancement bonus. Bad because it doesn't stack with scout's fast movement. +5.000.
  • Woodwalk MIC: This is very good. Tree stride is normally a 4th level spell for you. Although it does last for only 1 round. Usable 3/day. +9.000.

Armor Crystals:

What is unique about these crystals, is that you can carry them all and change to the crystal that fits most to the situation. After all their cost is very low for the bonuses they provide.

  • Crystal of Adaptation MIC: Saves you from memorizing those planar protection spells. Nice for a planar ranger. 500/1.500/3.000.
  • Crystal of Aquatic Action MIC: Better than deepdweller provides pretty much the same benefits for a reduced price. Handy to have if it is required for you to function underwater. It even lets you breathe underwater and gives you a swim speed.250/1.000/3.000.
  • Restful Crystal MIC: Sleep in your armor for no penalties. 500.

Shield Enhancements:

  • Animated DMG: The shield floats close to you while your hands are free to use a bow or two weapons. +2 bonus.
  • Arrow Deflection DMG: Your reflex save will be high already and this doesn't require an action, but is usable 1/round. Unfortunately you can't deflect spells.+2 bonus.

Shield Crystals:

  • Clasp of Energy Protection MIC: This isn't bad to have if you have opponents that blast you with a particular energy type. 500/1.500/3.000.
  • Crystal of Arrow Deflection MIC: This is better from the Arrow Deflection shield enhancement, although it is actually handy if you are using a two handed weapon. Removing a hand from a two handed weapon is a free action, so before you finish your turn you can remove one hand, holding it in the other and be ready to deflect that arrow. 500/2.500/5.000.

Weapons:Edit

A swift hunter's main damage source is his skirmish ability. So his weapon selection actually isn't too important. There are four types of weapons used generally by skirmishers:

  • Light Melee Weapons: Favored by the two weapon fighting style swift hunters, these lessen penalties for fighting with two weapons. Power attack doesn't matter much since skirmish damage is pretty high already.
  • Two Handed Melee Weapons: These are used mainly by power attack pouncers, along with power attack multipliers to capitalize damage.
  • Ranged Weapons: Ranged skirmishers with bows are probably along with two weapon style warriors, the vast majority of the swift hunters.
  • Throwing Weapons: An interesting variation, these skirmishers take advantage of the range requirement of skirmish attacks and use throwing weapons to be efficient from both close and afar.

Enhancements:

  • Bane DMG: After all you are a ranger and this might come handy against your most hated enemy. +1 bonus.
  • Distance DMG: Sure nice ability, by why would you want to have a larger range since you can only skirmish a target within 30ft?. +1 bonus.
  • Returning DMG: Unfortunately this can't be used in conjunction with shot on the run. Otherwise it's fine. +1 bonus.
  • Collision MIC: +5 damage per hit. +2 bonus.
  • Dispelling, Greater MIC: 3/day greater dispel magic with a caster level of 15. +2 equivalent bonus.
  • Fiercebane MIC: This is a nice addition for a bane weapon. +2 equivalent bonus.
  • Force MIC: Overcomes damage reduction and suffers no miss chance. Only problem is that it doesn't damage those immune to force effects. +2 bonus.
  • Hunting MIC: Deal +4 points of damage against favored enemies.
  • Mage Bane MIC: The spellcaster bane. You gain a +2 enhancement bonus to your weapon and +2d6 points of damage against opponents that use invocations or cast arcane spells.
  • Precise MIC: If your feat selection is set for a different fighting style, this can be used to effectively use basic archery. +1 bonus.
  • Shattermantle MIC: If you have a blaster in your team and you are dealing with spell resistance opponents, get your hands on this to assist them. +1 bonus.
  • Sizing MIC: Lots of usefulness in this one. Most importantly you can reduce it to pass weapons from guards etc. +5.000.
  • Splitting CoR: This is the best weapon enhancement to optimize your damage output, as each arrow fired is magically split. Requires you to have precise shot though. +3 bonus.
  • Seeking DMG: Although you get improved precise shot, you still need to overcome concealment to deal precision damage. Note that this only negates the miss chance from concealment, but i'd say it works.

Weapon Crystals:

  • Crystal of Return MIC: Gives eventually the returning property for a mild cost. 300/1.000/4.000.
  • Demolition Crystal MIC: Deal extra damage, treat your weapon as adamantine for overcoming damage reduction and eventually allow you to sneak attack constructs (assuming that works for skirmish damage). 1.000/3.000/6.000.
  • Truedeath Crystal MIC: Deal bonus damage, be treated as ghost touch and eventually be able to sneak attack undead. 1.000/5.000/10.000.

RingsEdit

  • Counterspells DMG: You have a lot of buffs, but you lack the caster level to keep them if you are targeted by a dispel magic or similar effect. You can keep one of these rings to protect you from debuffers. 4.000.
  • Evasion DMG: With this you can get both evasion and spell reflection alternative class feature. 25.000.
  • Freedom of Movement DMG: A very good ability and much too cheaper than the freedom similar armor ability. 40.000.
  • Protection DMG: Boosts your armor even more against attacks and spells. (bonus^2)*2000.
  • Sustenance DMG: This is cheap, so you can keep watch easily after 2 hours of sleep. 2.500.
  • Darkhidden MIC: Renders you invisible to darkvision. 2000.
  • Entropic Deflection MIC: If you move at least 10ft away from where you started your turn, this creates a 20% entropic shield. If you have an item that grants a bonus to your speed (easily obtainable on your armor through Quickness enhancement) that miss chance is 50%.
  • Floating MIC: Cheap and easily used to pass over any form of liquid. 2.000.

MiscellaneousEdit

  • Immovable Rod DMG: Useful when adventuring to help climb, bar doors and the like. 5.000.
  • Metamagic Rods, lesser DMG: And especially extend. You have a lot of nice buffing spells, and lesser rods are too cheap and affect the 75% of them. various: extend, lesser 3.000
  • Bag of Tricks DMG: Along with an animal messenger spell, this is well worth it to inform allies. 900 (gray).
  • Bracers of Archery DMG: Gives you a small boost to your ranged attacks. 5.000/25.000.
  • Ioun Stones DMG:
  • Clear: Sustains you without food or water.
  • Dark Blue: Grants you the alertness feat.
  • Pale Green: +1 competence bonus to most rolls.
  • Orange: +1 caster level.
  • Dull Gray: With a continual flame casted on it, you have a free torch.
  • Bead of Karma DMG: Use this when you buff up and gain a nice +4 bonus to your caster level.
  • Amulet of Translocation MIC: If the hop allows for skirmish to activate, use this at low levels if you fight two weapon style. 1.400.
  • Armbands of Might MIC: +2 on strength checks and strength related skills, which include jump, climb, swim. Also a small bonus to power attack if you use it for whatever reason. 4.100.
  • Belt of Battle MIC: Exchange your swift action for a move, standard or full round action. Also a +2 competence bonus to initiative. Again, this is used for both activating skirmish and taking a full attack. 12.000.
  • Belt of Ultimate Athleticism MIC: Give away your swift action for skill mastery in balance, climb, jump, swim and tumble. This probably can be used unlimited times per day. Also once per day you can activate the belt to treat a balance, climb, jump, swim or tumble check as a natural 20. 3.600.
  • Blindfold of True Darkness MIC: Gain blindsight 30ft and become immune against gaze attacks or effects that rely on sight. However you can't see, so don't scout around while wearing this. 9.000.
  • Boots of Agile Leaping MIC: Use dexterity for jump checks and stand up from prone as a swift action if you have 5 ranks in balance. Also you don't provoke attacks of opportunity when standing up from prone. This is a very good item against trippers. Only 600.
  • Boots of the Battle Charger MIC: Interesting charge related abilities, usable for pounce builds. 2.000.
  • Boots of Sidestepping MIC: 3/day take a 5ft movement even if you moved that round as a swift action. Combined with your free 5ft per round, this is enough to activate skirmish. 6.000.
  • Chronocharms MIC: You can wear multiple chronocharms but only once each. 500 each.
  • Celestial Wanderer: Reroll a listen or spot check.
  • Fateweaver: Reroll a balance, climb or tumble check.
  • Horizon Walker: Move as part of the swift action required to activate this chronocharm. You move half your speed and this movement doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.
  • Laughing Rogue: Reroll a disable device check even after you have determined failure or success.
  • Circlet of Mages MIC: Retain some spells. You can wear this if you want to buff yourself and retain your spells for later use. Also gives you some bonus on concentration checks.
  • Enemy Spirit Pouch MIC: A +2 bonus for a single favored enemy. Also +1 bonus to attack rolls. 2.100.
  • Finned Gauntlets MIC: A nice addition to any aquatic swift hunter, these grant you a swim speed, skill mastery and bonus on swim checks and you can run while swimming.
  • Gloves of Agile Striking MIC: 3/day +2d6 damage with ranged or light weapons. 2.200.
  • Gauntlets of Manual Prowess MIC: This item gives you a variable competence bonus to various skills. It saves you space from custom magic items that grant you competence bonuses. 3.000.
  • Gloves of Object Reading MIC: Nice if you are a hunter-tracker type. Gain information of an item's owner.
  • Googles of the Ebon Hunter MIC: 30ft darkvision if you already don't possess it and +1 competence bonus on attacks and damage with ranged weapons. 18.000.
  • Hat of Anonymity MIC: Continuous non-detection and +5 unnamed bonus to your hide skill. 12.500.
  • Mindvault MIC: Considering the low will saves you'll have, this can by handy in many situations. 8.000.
  • Moonstone Mask MIC: Bonuses to listen and spot checks and darkvision. 15.000.
  • Quicksilver Boots MIC: 2/day as a swift action move up to your speed and can go across liquids without falling in. 3.500.
  • Scout's Headband MIC: Bonus on spot checks and various uses dependent on charges/day. 3.400.
  • Skirmisher's Boots MIC: +2 bonus on damage rolls and 2/day use a swift action to gain an extra attack if you moved at least 10ft. 3.200.
  • Transposer Cloak MIC: Allows swapping places with an ally. If it allows for skirmish to activate, it is great for tactical movement, such as transporting a pouncer that just charged back to ready-to-charge position, while you deliver skirmish full attack. 6.000.
  • True Strike Gauntlets MIC: Manyshot requires only one attack roll, so every arrow will benefit from it. 3.500.
  • War Wizard Cloak MIC: Despite its name, this has great abilities that help a scout. Endure elements, feather fall. Also 1/day dimension door, mage armor, protection from arrows and sending. 16.000.
  • Cyran Gliding Boots here: 3/day move 10ft as your free action. This can be used with the storm spells (especially arrow storm) to deal exceptionally large amounts of damage to many creatures, while activating skirmish.


BuildsEdit

Archetypical Ranged Swift HunterEdit

Archetypical Ranged Swift Hunter
Level Class Level Notes
1 Scout 1 Point Blank Shot
2 Scout 2
3 Scout 3 Precise Shot
4 Ranger 1 ACF - Arcane Hunter, ACF - Trap Expert, ACF - Tumble replaces Ride
5 Scout 4 Scout bonus - Swift Hunter
6 Scout 5 Track
7 Ranger 2 Combat Style: Rapid Shot
8 Ranger 3 Bonus: Endurance
9 Ranger 4 ACF - Distracting Attack, Darkstalker
10 Ranger 5
11 Ranger 6 Combat Style: Manyshot
12 Ranger 7 Greater Manyshot
13 Ranger 8 (Swift Tracker replaced by Track Expert)
14 Ranger 9 ACF - Spell Reflection
15 Ranger 10 Practiced Spellcaster
16 Ranger 11 Improved Precise Shot
17 Ranger 12
18 Ranger 13 Improved Skirmish
19 Ranger 14
20 Ranger 15


  • 5 Scout/15 Ranger.
  • Any Race.
  • 18 BAB.
  • 10/13/6 Saves.

Yes i know of scout 4/ranger 16 is considered standard, but i prefer both evasion and reflecting rays back to spellcasters and the possibility to disable them, than just +1 BAB +1 to fort and reflex and +1 2nd level spell. The spell reflection is based on your dexterity and you have a very high touch armor class (bonuses from skirmish, high dexterity, etc).

Human Mobility Swift HunterEdit

Human Mobility Swift Hunter

Level Class Level Notes
1 Scout 1 Dodge, Pointblank Shot
2 Ranger 1 Track
3 Scout 2 Mobility
4 Scout 3
5 Scout 4 Swift Hunter
6 Ranger 2 Precise Shot, Rapid Shot
7 Scout 5
8 Scout 6
9 Scout 7 Shot on the Run
10 Scout 8

Spring Attack

11 Scout 9
12 Scout 10 Elusive Taget
13 Scout 11
14 Scout 12 Darkstalker
15 Scout 13 Improved Skirmish
16 Scout 14
17 Scout 15
18 Scout 16 Bounding Assault, Quick Reconnoiter
19 Scout 17
20 Scout 18
  • 15 BAB
  • 9/14/6 Saves

This build uses only one attack per round, but is proficient with both close and ranged combat. It has a nice range of defensive capabilities and scouting feats.

Human Nemesis Swift HunterEdit

[/SBLOCK][SBLOCK=Human Nemesis Swift Hunter][CODE]Scout 1 Point Blank Shot, Alertness Scout 2 Scout 3 Precise Shot Ranger 1 Track, ACF - Arcane Hunter, ACF - Tumble replaces Ride Ranger 2 Rapid Shot Ranger 3 Endurance, Favored of the Companions Stalker 1 Stalker 2 Ranger 4 ACF - Distracting Attack, Swift Hunter Ranger 5 Ranger 6 Manyshot Ranger 7 Greater Manyshot Ranger 8 Ranger 9 Ranger 10 Nemesis (evil) Ranger 11 Improved Precise Shot Ranger 12 Ranger 13 Improved Skirmish Ranger 14 Ranger 15[/CODE]

  • 3 Scout/2 Stalker of Kharash/10 Ranger.
  • 19 BAB.
  • 8/13/4 Saves.

Human Invisible Needle Swift HunterEdit

[SBLOCK=Human Invisible Needle Swift Hunter][CODE]Scout 1 Point Blank Shot, Able LearnerScout 2 Scout 3 Precise Shot Ranger 1 Track Ranger 2 Rapid Shot Ranger 3 Endurance, Swift Hunter Dragon 1 Dragon 2 Dragon 3 Improved Skirmish Dragon 4 Dragon 5 Unseen 1 Practiced Spellcaster Unseen 2 Unseen 3 Unseen 4 Invisible Needle Ranger 4 ACF - Distracting Attack, ACF - Champion of the Wild, Improved Precise Shot Unseen 5 Unseen 6 Darkstalker/Flyby Attack Unseen 7 Unseen 8[/CODE]

  • 3 Scout/4 Ranger/Dragon Devotee 5/Unseen Seer 8.
  • 15 BAB.
  • 11/10/9 Saves.

The main idea is to move and use an invisible needle attack. Both unseen seer and dragon devotee progress the damage part of your skirmish and you gain a sorcerer casting from dragon devotee that progresses with unseen seer. You wind up with 7d6/+2 skirmish (plus whatever bonuses for improved skirmish) and 10th level sorcerer casting. While you no longer need wisdom for casting, you can't actually dump it, since it is needed for much of your skills. Charisma on the other hand becomes important and you need at least 15 to use your spells sufficiently. I wouldn't suggest to take offensive save or die/lose type of spells, but more of the utility type. Invisible needle can be swapped with acidic splatter if you want your attacks to be touch, but i prefer force effects as primary attacks.[/SBLOCK]


Sublime Way Swift HunterEdit

[SBLOCK=Sublime Way Swift Hunter][CODE]Scout 1 Able Learner Warblade 1 Warblade 2 Weapon Finesse Scout 2 Scout 3 Ranger 1 Track, Darkstalker Warblade 3 Ranger 2 Two Weapon Fighting Uncanny 1 Evasive Reflexes Uncanny 2 Advancing Scout, Swift Hunter Ranger 3 Endurance Ranger 4 Oversized Two Weapon Fighting/Open Uncanny 3 Advancing Warblade Ranger 5 Ranger 6 Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Open Ranger 7 Ranger 8 Ranger 9 Practiced Spellcaster Ranger 10 Ranger 11 Greater Two Weapon Fighting[/CODE]

  • 3 Scout/3 Warblade/11 Ranger/3 Uncanny Trickster.
  • 17 BAB.
  • 12/14/6 Saves.

This uses the white raven stance Press the Advantage and a full attack to a target. Uncanny trickster levels come handy to offset the lost skill points to the Warblade class. Initiator level at level 20 is 12 and gets 15 level swift hunter abilities (3 favored enemies, 4d6/+4 skirmish). Also quite some spells, maneuvers and improved uncanny dodge.[/SBLOCK]


Ranger 14 vs Ranger 14 with Shooting Star substitution levelsEdit

[SBLOCK=Ranger 14 vs Ranger 14 with Shooting star substitution levels] [SBLOCK=Ranger 14]

  • Normal class skills
  • Endurance
  • Animal companion
  • Spells: 2/1/1/0
  • 7 caster level
  • Normal spell list

[/SBLOCK][SBLOCK=Shooting Star Ranger 14]

  • Normal class skills + 2 each substitution level
  • Weavespeak (sending 1/day)
  • Spells: 3/2/2/1
  • 9 caster level
  • Normal spell list + 2 spells.
  • -swift tracker

[/SBLOCK] So at the expense of endurance, animal companion and swift tracker, the shooting star ranger gains:

  • weavespeak (a 3rd or 4th level spell slot)
  • 2 caster levels
  • 2 spells
  • 2 class skills
  • +4 levels of spell slots (ranger 18)[/SBLOCK]

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