Build idea: Arcane Archer

I did some reading on the classes and I thought of something.
I will probably not play this char, but thinking about creating a char might improve my understanding of the rules. Please tell me if you think this could be a good idea.

I thought about a char who hits hard from the distance while also having strong magic powers.

classes: (taken in that order)
Zen archer monk 3 (wisdom for bows, flurry of blows with bows, 2 bow related feats)
Fighter 1 (martial weapon profiency, 1 feat)
Empyrial sorcerer 6 (full arcane caster based on wisdom)
Eldritch knight 10 (only class with high BAB and spell progression, counts as fighter for feat requirements)

Race: Aasimar (+dex and +wis)
stats: max out wisdom for hit chance, spell power and AC, str gives damage bonus to composite bows (otherwise useless), some dex and con is good for saves and survival, cha and int do not matter.

result at lv 20

  • BAB 17 (4 base attacks per round, plus flurry, rapid shot, multishot and haste)
  • Spell power of a sorcerer lv 15 with maxed casting stat
  • weapon specialisation and improved weapon focus
  • You use one stat for hit chance, armor, spell power and saves
  • EK 10 allows you to cast a spell as swift action when you crit, and with your high number of attacks you will crit often. So you can shoot like a machine gun and cast spells at the same time.

If I get the rules right, you could cast true strike as swift action and get +20 AB for all of your attacks in the next round.
I am not sure if there are other arcane offensive buffs (bonus to AB or weapon damage) that are self only.

Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but that build won’t work.

Zen archer flurry specifically says rapid shot and manyshot feats do not work with it.

Also, true strike only works on the next single attack, not the full attack action.

You would want to stay with fighter. Or hope owlcat adds the arcane archer prestige class.


Thats why I ask in the forum.
It is better to ask questions here instead of starting a new game only to find out that it does not work after several hours of playing.
I am not an expert for the pathfinder rules and they are very complicated.

After some thinking I came to this conclusion:

It is an OK char. It may not be super powerful but maybe interesting for role playing.
Even if flurry does not stack, you still have everything a regular archer gets plus the spell power of a lv15 sorcerer and you use the same stat for AB, AC and spell DC.

Classes with arcane spells up to lv9 have low BAB and those who get lv6 spells have medium BAB while classes with high BAB have no spells or only spells up to lv4. All single class chars use a different stat for spells and weapon attacks, as far as I know.
This char has BAB17 (better than medium but worse than high, 4 attacks per round), arcane spells up to lv 7 (better than everything unless you stay a pure caster) and only one primary stat. You have more weapon damage than other arcane casters and you have more arcane spells than any high or medium BAB class.

Role playing wise you could be a paranoid sage.
You have trained a long time alone on top of a mountain, both your archery skill and your spells.
When you left the mountain after many years you are so afraid of other creatures that you try to kill everything that dares to come close to you. Everyone who gets clother to you than the range of your bow is an enemy. If you have to communicate with others you use telepathy or write a letter. If you have to buy or sell something it has to be placed in an open place were you can see everything and you only collect it when your trading partner has gone.

I think this is a solid idea. It may not be the most minmaxed build ever, but I’m pretty sure it’s viable. You could even ditch that fighter level for another sorcerer level. This will get you lvl 8 spells (well, 1 of them),+1 Caster level, - 1bab and - 2 feats. Since you can’t use rapid shot and manyshots anyways you can probably spare them. Oh and you get to Eldritch Knight a level earlier, so you get all the juicy stuff faster.


  • you’re the least squishy of your squishy characters. Might as well survive a thrash mob flank all by yourself.
  • decent archery and spells. High archery AB considering you roll with wis and you can easily get that to 28 and beyond
  • also good at concentration checks and spells per day
  • complety self-sufficient for buffs, might free some slots on your other caster(s)
  • okayish AB to spell touch attacks, sadly you can’t use WIS on those so you need high dex


  • you get the EK spell-critical at level 19 or 20, so you don’t really have much time with it
  • might be getting hard to hit things on high difficulty settings (if they are like kingmaker), since you are slightly worse with archery than a specialist archer and slightly worse with dmg spells than a specialized blaster caster. Kinda depends on how AC scales with difficulty setting, though, I’m not really sure. Might as well wreck havoc on most settings.
  • flat bow-damage mod is lower than a regular archer, so you need a good bow to make it up, str. and a composite bow and bracers and orcane bow or so to reach max damage potential

Did I miss anything? I kinda like it, I’d definitely consider using it

Your character makes use of the broken Spell Combat that allows ALL spells to be used for spell combat, even from other Classes. I hope this old bug gets fixed instead of allowing for these nonsense builds like in Kingmaker.

In my opinion, the best build for an Eldritch Archer / Eldritch Knight is 10 / 10 and its not often you can find such an easy leveling path. You get Fighter Training at Eldritch Archer Level 10 as well as Medium Armor spellcasting and only loose a single caster level.

As a 15th Level Fighter you have access to: Critical Mastery, Penetrating Strike and Greater Weapon Specialization. The Penetrating Strike Feat opens up its Mythic version, Penetrating Strike (Mythic) [ ] that increases in power with Mythic Tier and all your penetration gets applied even to DR/- which I think will be found more often than not because Mythic campaign and all.

By the way your thread title is misleading. The Arcane Archer [ ] is a Prestige Class that is NOT part of WotR.

Well, it does not use this prestigue class, but it is a char that has arcane magic and uses a bow so I think it is OK to call it like this.
Most importently: You can do it with the classes that are currently in the game.

The AA gets profiencies for simple and martial weapons and for light and medium armor, but armor does still cause spell failure and the monk AC from wisdom works only without armor, so its still better to wear a robe.

Edit: Ignore the bold written part, the reason is written in my next post.
I did not find a strike through option for text.

If the AA prestigue class was in the game you could do:
Zen archer 3
Empyrial sorcerer 1
Arcane archer 10 (you need 7 levels to get lv 3 spells)
Eldritch knight 6

Since you need 3 levels of monk (wisdom for bows) and 1 lv sorcerer (any arcane spells) and 7 levels arcane archer (for lv 3 spells) you have only 9 levels left so you cannot get EK10.
Thats why I chose AA10/EK6 over AA7/EK9

This would give you BAB19 and magic arrows that deal extra elemental and alignment damage.
Downside would be you have only spells like a lv13 sorcerer (spells up to lv6)
AA8/EK8 would give you lv7 spells but you lose alignment arrows.
So I guess the arcane archer class would make this char better.

Sorry, forget the last post, I have forgotten the BAB6 requirement for arcane archer.
I need monk3 and sorcerer6 before I can select AA as class.
So the AA version will have the same level distriubution as my initial EK version, just the one level of fighter can be replaced with something else. If it is sorcerer you will lose 1 BAB and everything else will lose one caster level. The AA version will definitively have a lower caster level as AA has a spell progression of 7/10 while EK has 9/10.
Well, non of this matters until we get the AA class in the game anyway.

We need a build maker similar to NWN2.
It is really hard to keep track of all the requirements for everything and it is hard to find out what you can get at which level.

Stuff like:
I want to have feat A. It has feat B and C as requirements. Feat B requires dex15 and feat C requires BAB4. I get a feat every odd level and one of the classes I have gets a bonus feat at lv3, but it can only be used for some feats.
It is really hard to keep track of all of these things.

How does rapid shot not work with zen archer? Lann has it as his first Level Feat given by owlcat and this rule is nowhere mentioned in game

I have reported this as bug.

The PnP rules for zen archer say that flurry does not work with rapid shot or multi shot.

In the alpha it works and Lann has 3 attacks at lv3.
The description in the game says that zen archer flurry works only for bows but otherwise like the normal flurry. It does NOT mention that it does not work with rapid and multi shot, unlike PnP.

A dual wielding Monk can also have these 3 attacks with the same attack bonus at level 3.

Attack: Mainhand, Mainhand, Offhand
-3, -3, -7 (normal penalties)
-1, -1, -5 (Light Offhand)
-1, -1, -1 (Two-Weapon Fighting)
+1, +1, +1 (Light Offhand + Two-Weapon Fighting)

Lann has:
+1, +1, +1

The reason they allowed this may be connected to the fact that its not the Monk we are talking about but the Unchained Monk, meaning …

A Chained Zen Archer cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot when making a Flurry of Blows with his bow. An Unchained Zen Archer can ?

Yes, the zen archer is listened as archetype for the normal monk, not for the unchained monk.
Unchained changed how flurry works but there is nothing written about how it changes old archetypes.

The way it works now would make it a very powerful level 1 ability.
Ekun did good damage in PK.
Take a zen archer1/ranger19 and you have one additional attack and still the full power of your pet (with boon companion) and with your wis as AC you may be better with robe than with light or medium armor if you get some stat boosts. Favoured enemy demon would be the obvious choice in this campaign.

I guess every archer wants one level of zen now, unless somethings else gives you a bonus that is better than one additional attack at full AB.

These OP combos existed for pretty much every gameplay type. This one works for Bows and we have not as many Classes that make good use of Bows as melee weapons. Now only Crossbows and that Slingstaff are lacking.

I think the original PKM lack a Arcane Archer class correct me if i’m wrong. Wanting to play such a class. I hope Owlcat adds them in. I’m pretty sure it ain’t difficult to do as it’s not like asking Owlcat to use the Unreal Engine 5 or something.

Not the same, but there is the Magi Archetype Eldritch Archer, if you want to try it.

not the same at all. if not mistaken eldritch archer can only deliver the spells together with the arrow only on range touch spells correct me if i’m wrong.

i love arcane archer better as each non magical arrows are imbued at just level 3. wondering if the +1 enhancement bonus only just 1 time at level 1. does it stacks with high enhancement bows like for example +3? also… if the bow itself has enchantment of frost for example… and imbued with fire… can we deal both fire and frost damage? that will be nice.

as for level 9 can gained anarchic, axiomatic, holy, or unholy. wondering if it means that it can gain both element enchantment + level 9 enchantment as well (eg. holy fire arrows). the pathfinder ruleset does not state that AA gained these enchantments as number of casts per day. i assume they are permanently imbued.