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Arcane Archer

Arcane Archer

Description: (Prestige class) Master of the elven warbands, the arcane archer is a warrior skilled in using magic to supplement their combat prowess. Beyond the woods, arcane archers gain renown throughout entire kingdoms for their supernatural accuracy with a bow and their ability to imbue their arrows with magic. In a group, they can strike fear into an entire enemy army.

Fighters, rangers, paladins, and barbarians become arcane archers to add a little magic to their combat abilities. Conversely, wizards and sorcerers may take this prestige class to add combat capabilities to their repertoire. Monks, clerics, druids, rogues and bards rarely become arcane archers.


Race: Elf or half-elf.

Base attack bonus: +6.

Feats: Point blank shot, Weapon focus (longbow or shortbow).

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 1st-level arcane spells or higher.

Class Stats[]

Hit die: 8
Proficiencies: Weapons (simple, martial), armor (light, medium) and shields (not including tower shields)
Skill points: 4 + Int modifier
Class skills: Craft alchemy, Craft weapon, Hide, Listen, Move silently, Spot, Survival
Base attack bonus progression: High
Saving throws high: Fortitude, Reflex
low: Will

Feats Progression[]

Level Features Gained
1 Enhance arrow +1
2 Imbue arrow x3
3 Enhance arrow +2
4 Seeker arrow x1
5 Enhance arrow +3
6 Seeker arrow x2
7 Enhance arrow +4
8 Hail of arrows x1
9 Enhance arrow +5
10 Arrow of death x1

Feat Descriptions[]

Enhance Arrow[]

Beginning at 1st level, the arcane archer imbues every non-magical arrow they fire with an enhancement bonus. This bonus is +1 at 1st level, +2 at 3rd level, +3 at 5th level, +4 at 7th level, and +5 at 9th level (this adds to both attack bonus and damage dealt). Enhance arrow's enchantment bonus stacks with a magical bow's enhancement bonus. Therefore, for example, a +5 bonus on the arrow and a +3 bonus on the bow equals a +8 to attack and damage.
Note: This ability actually works with magical arrows as well. Essentially, as long as the Arcane Archer has a bow equipped, they will always be able to apply the entire bonus.

Imbue Arrow[]

Three times per day, a 2nd-level archer may choose to fire a special arrow imbued with the fireball spell. When the arrow hits its target, the fireball spell detonates from that point, inflicting damage as per the spell as though it were cast by a wizard of the arcane archer's class level.

Seeker Arrow[]

Once per day, a 4th-level arcane archer may fire an arrow that unerringly flies to its target, ignoring any and all cover, concealment, or other factors. When this ability is used, no attack roll is made; the target is automatically hit and takes damage as normal. At 6th level, this ability may be used twice a day.

Hail of Arrows[]

At eighth level, the arcane archer gains the ability to perform this special ability, which automatically fires one arrow at every target within range as a full-round action. This ability may be used once per day.

Arrow of Death[]

At 10th level, an arcane archer can enchant an arrow once per day that forces a target, if damaged by the arrow to make a Fortitude save or be slain. The Difficulty class of this Fortitude save is set to 20 and can't be modified.


  • Despite listing Heal as a class skill in the class description, Heal is not a class skill of the Arcane Archer.
  • As noted in the description, the prerequisite for this class is, literally, the ability to cast 1st level arcane spells (e.g. a 2nd level bard with a charisma of 11 will meet this requirement, but a 1st level bard with a charisma of 12 will not).
  • Drow archer using hail of arrows

    Although the arcane archer class is, by itself, more limited than its equivalent from NWN1 (see below), it is possible to build an epic character of comparable ability by incorporating the following steps:
    1. at character creation allocate as many points to charisma as can reasonably be spared (playing the drow as a sub-race helps considerably)
    2. level the arcane archer to at least level 7 or 9 for a +4 (or +5) to hit and damage
    3. progress the PC to level 8 Fighter (so Divine Champion in step 5 may select epic weapon focus and epic prowess as feats while leveling)
    4. (optional) progress the PC to level 12 fighter so divine champion may select epic weapon specialization while leveling
    5. progress the PC to level 10 Divine Champion for its advance use of Divine Wrath, which will allow for a (temporary) additional +5 to hit and damage, as well as damage reduction 10/-

NWN comparison[]

  • This class was introduced in the Shadows of Undrentide NWN expansion.
  • In NWN1 the "Enchant Arrow" feat added +1ab +1 damage, it still does in NWN2, but the +1 damage is not shown.
  • In NWN1, the number of targets shot at by Hail of arrows was limited to the class level of the arcane archer (if there there were more targets than archer levels), while in NWN2 all targets within range face one arrow from the NWN2 equivalent feat.
  • In NWN1, the following qualities were superior, making this class much more appealing than what it is in NWN2 by itself:
    1. you were not limited to 10 levels of Arcane Archer; the enchant arrow bonuses continued to increase every odd level (+6 at level 11, +7 at level 13 etc)
    2. damage inflicted by Imbue Arrow immediately started at 10d6 (at 2nd level) and increased by 1d6 with every class level past level 10
    3. arrows fired by use of the hail of arrows feat were treated as ranged touch attacks (making them more likely to hit), included the PC's strength bonus (if any) and were limited in range only by the area the PC was in (up to 320 meters).

DnD 3.5 comparison[]

  • Use Rope and Ride are class skills that arcane archer does not have in NWN2.
  • In NWN2 Arrow of Death is an ability, in D&D 3.5 the player has to create the arrow (takes 1 day), it lasts no longer than one year, and the archer can only have one arrow of death in existence at a time.
  • In both NWN1 and NWN2, the Imbue Arrow ability launches a Fireball spell that is centered on the target struck by the arrow used during this ability's attack. However, in D&D 3.5, the player selects any known area spell to imbue into the arrow. Thus, in D&D 3.5 the player could use a Lightning Bolt, Vitriolic Sphere, Cloudkill, or any other similar area effect spell with the Imbued Arrow as a full action. This is not implemented in NWN1 and NWN2.

External Resources[]