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sigtrent
08-23-2007, 02:51 PM
From Sigtrent's Build Request Thread (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=117232)

Build Name: The Harpist
Author: Sigfried Trent
Requester: Skorchedawakenin
Last Updated: 07/13/10

Key Words [Arcane Archer, Elf, Warchanter, Kensei]

Objectives
The request was for a really good ranged DPS build. I wanted to do something unusual at the time and concocted a bard based warchanter with ranger and fighter splahses for feats. I liked the result quite a bit. For the re-vamp I think arcane archer is a must, but I also want to work in Kensei and make an even more robust final build.

Design
With arcane archer-elf as a base I mixed in the best of ranger, fighter, and bard for a triple prestige 6/6/8 build. Ranged DPS is the watch word so every opportunity was taken to enhance this and the result is quite a powerhouse of ranged damage. All the archer feats are there along with weapon focus and specialization, elven racial bonus, Kensei longbow, arcane effects, high strength, favored enemy, and spell buffs galore.

You also get fairly strong melee dps with full TWF and improved critical slashing backed up by the inspire courage and high strength and ranger buffs etc... It has some self healing and handy if short lived buffs and full UMD as well as a good perform score for fascinate.

Where it falls short are defenses. AC and saves are only middling, and HP are a bit lacking, ending up in the mid to high 300s. Ideally you stay out of trouble and use defensive buffs and fascinate to mitigate contact.

The build develops in chunks so it takes its full life to develop its full potential, gaining a set of abilities every 6 levels or so. It doesn’t get haste as a spell until very late so its pots for you or friendly arcanes.


Character Plan by DDO Character Planner Version 3.5.1
DDO Character Planner Home Page (http://www.rjcyberware.com/DDO)

Level 20 True Neutral Elf Male
(6 Fighter \ 6 Ranger \ 8 Bard)
Hit Points: 216
Spell Points: 341
BAB: 18\18\23\28\28
Fortitude: 14
Reflex: 18
Will: 10

Starting Feat/Enhancement
Abilities Base Stats Modified Stats
(32 Point) (Level 1) (Level 20)
Strength 17 26
Dexterity 17 21
Constitution 12 14
Intelligence 8 10
Wisdom 8 10
Charisma 13 16

Tomes Used
+2 Tome of Strength used at level 7
+2 Tome of Dexterity used at level 7
+2 Tome of Constitution used at level 7
+2 Tome of Intelligence used at level 7
+2 Tome of Wisdom used at level 7
+2 Tome of Charisma used at level 7

Starting Feat/Enhancement
Base Skills Modified Skills
Skills (Level 1) (Level 20)
Balance 7 15
Bluff 1 4
Concentration 5 20
Diplomacy 1 4
Disable Device n/a n/a
Haggle 1 3
Heal -1 0
Hide 3 5
Intimidate 1 4
Jump 6 20
Listen -1 2
Move Silently 3 5
Open Lock n/a n/a
Perform 5 26
Repair -1 0
Search -1 2
Spot -1 2
Swim 3 8
Tumble 4 6
Use Magic Device 5 26

Level 1 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Point Blank Shot
Spell (1): Cure Light Wounds
Enhancement: Bard Extra Song I
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery I
Enhancement: Elven Ranged Damage I


Level 2 (Ranger)
Feat: (Favored Enemy) Favored Enemy: Evil Outsider
Enhancement: Ranger Sprint Boost I
Enhancement: Valenar Elf Melee Damage I
Enhancement: Bard Wand Mastery I


Level 3 (Ranger)
Feat: (Selected) Weapon Focus: Ranged Weapons
Enhancement: Elven Dexterity I
Enhancement: Bard Song Magic I
Enhancement: Bard Energy of the Music I


Level 4 (Ranger)
Enhancement: Ranger Favored Damage I
Enhancement: Ranger Dexterity I


Level 5 (Ranger)
Spell (1): Camouflage
Spell (1): Jump
Spell (1): Longstrider
Spell (1): Merfolk's Blessing
Spell (1): Ram's Might
Spell (1): Resist Energy
Spell (1): Summon Nature's Ally I
Spell (1): Tumble
Enhancement: Valenar Elf Melee Attack I
Enhancement: Elven Ranged Attack I


Level 6 (Ranger)
Feat: (Favored Enemy) Favored Enemy: Chaotic Outsider
Feat: (Selected) Weapon Focus: Slashing Weapons
Enhancement: Ranger Favored Damage II


Level 7 (Ranger)


Level 8 (Bard)
Spell (1): Focusing Chant
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Imbue Force Arrows
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage I
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song I
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer I
Enhancement: Bard Charisma I


Level 9 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Ranged Weapons
Spell (1): Feather Fall
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack I
Enhancement: Elven Ranged Damage II


Level 10 (Bard)
Spell (2): Blur
Spell (2): Rage
Enhancement: Bard Extra Song II


Level 11 (Bard)
Spell (1): Detect Secret Doors
Spell (2): Cure Moderate Wounds
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery II


Level 12 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Power Attack
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Imbue Acid Arrows
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song II
Enhancement: Bard Warchanter I
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Conjure +2 Arrows


Level 13 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Precise Shot
Enhancement: Fighter Attack Boost I
Enhancement: Fighter Haste Boost I
Enhancement: Fighter Critical Accuracy I


Level 14 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Improved Precise Shot
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Imbue Explosive Arrows
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Conjure +3 Arrows
Enhancement: Fighter Strength I


Level 15 (Fighter)
Feat: (Selected) Greater Two Weapon Fighting


Level 16 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Weapon Specialization: Ranged Weapons
Enhancement: Fighter Attack Boost II
Enhancement: Fighter Critical Accuracy II


Level 17 (Fighter)


Level 18 (Fighter)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Oversized Two Weapon Fighting
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Imbue Force Burst Arrows
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Imbue Terror Arrows
Enhancement: Kensei Longbow Mastery I
Enhancement: Fighter Kensei I
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Conjure +4 Arrows
Enhancement: Fighter Strength II


Level 19 (Bard)
Spell (3): Haste
Spell (3): Displacement
Spell (2): Invisibility
Enhancement: Valenar Elf Melee Damage II


Level 20 (Bard)
Spell (3): Cure Serious Wounds
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Imbue Slaying Arrows
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage II
Enhancement: Elven Arcane Archer: Conjure +5 Arrows





Play
All the usual rules of archery apply and in extra measure due to your relative squishyness to DPS ratio. You will pull agro, but you need to ensure you can handle what you pull and kill it quickly. While solo, kiting is your best option against anything you can’t bring down fast.

Variations
You can sacrifice some of the melee combat feats for toughness and better HP or take the bard and fighter in slightly different patterns to get a more even level up experience. I don’t recommend doing this with a 28pt build, although it is possible by tanking strength and charisma some and pumping points into dex on level up.

EinarMal
08-23-2007, 03:01 PM
Is weapon focus ranged what you meant or improved critical? Seems like you would want that instead.

sigtrent
08-23-2007, 04:30 PM
Is weapon focus ranged what you meant or improved critical? Seems like you would want that instead.

Whoops, missed adding it to the leveling guide. You pick it up at level 11.

spifflove
08-27-2007, 10:24 PM
This is pretty good. Actually somewhat but not exactly like my main. But in practice the archery isnt that great. You accomplished alot with the build but in the end there should be some melee capability.

Also you need 9 levels of bard for inspire greatness.

If you pick up a good paralyzing heavy repeater consider droping weapon focus to use the weapon.

UMD is great for making flame arrows.

sigtrent
08-28-2007, 12:26 PM
This guy should be pretty decent with a rapier, not amazing but he'd do a lot of damage with it since he can turn on power attack and still have a decent attack bonus thans to inspire courage. Crit damage would be quite substantial.

But I agree that all in all ranged damage has limited uses. I've found it extreemly nice in the mid levels in smallish groups. My wife and I were playing a Ranger and Rogue in Sorowdusk around level 6 and we were able to handle all the big named trolls by kiting and agro juggling despite having paultry HP compared to their attacks.

Impaqt
08-28-2007, 12:34 PM
Weapon Focus Piecing? Seems lke an odd feat choice..... Weapon FInesse would actually give you more TO HIT bonus since your Dex is Higher than your STR by 2. THis efectively gives you "Weapon Focus: FInesseable Weapons".

spifflove
08-28-2007, 12:39 PM
I think two levels of fighter could be dropped for two more levels of bard. This will come at a cost of point blank shot and weapon focus piercing. Still no room for weapon finesse.

The gain in inspire greatness and extra sp, spell level is worth the trade off.

Point blank shot wont be missed when fully buffed and is situational anyway.

Impaqt
08-28-2007, 12:40 PM
I think two levels of fighter could be dropped for two more levels of bard. This will come at a cost of point blank shot and weapon focus piercing. Still no room for weapon finesse.

The gain in inspire greatness and extra sp, spell level is worth the trade off.

Point blank shot wont be missed when fully buffed and is situational anyway.

Point Blank Shot is a Prereq for Manyshot. Cant be dropped.

spifflove
08-28-2007, 12:45 PM
well it doesnt have too fortunately. droping two levels of fighter will only cost one feat, in this case weapon focus piercing

maddong
08-28-2007, 01:53 PM
Need the piercing for the +1/+2 warchanter bonus. So whatever you gain in bard levels will probably even out or lose song-wise (too lazy to look up the enhancements level 8 vs 10). Plus the loss of many shot.

GeneralDiomedes
08-28-2007, 02:06 PM
The only issue with relying on party buffs such as Inspire Courage is that they raise all boats, so to speak. Your relative strength in the party isn't any better, and this buff is negated whenever another Bard joins the party. And Haste .. Haste is basically everpresent. Would you stand out in a typical group? Probably not.

Soloing, you may have a case. Actually most of your builds seem to be built with soloing in mind.

If you are looking for a max-DPS ranged combatant, I would probably look at a Ranger/Fighter/Barbarian combo. Fast Movement would give you a nice edge in the kiting dept and Rage would give you an edge in the DPS dept.

sigtrent
08-28-2007, 03:09 PM
Weapon Focus Piecing? Seems lke an odd feat choice..... Weapon FInesse would actually give you more TO HIT bonus since your Dex is Higher than your STR by 2. THis efectively gives you "Weapon Focus: FInesseable Weapons".

It is a prerequisite for the warchanter enhancment, as is power attack (which is useless with ranged attacks btw). However they can be handy when if the character ever goes into melee and there are limited means for upping ranged damage.

sigtrent
08-28-2007, 03:12 PM
I think two levels of fighter could be dropped for two more levels of bard. This will come at a cost of point blank shot and weapon focus piercing. Still no room for weapon finesse.

The gain in inspire greatness and extra sp, spell level is worth the trade off.

Point blank shot wont be missed when fully buffed and is situational anyway.

You need Point blank Shot for the precise shot line which is important. You need weapon focus piercing to get warchanter (wf ranged doesn't count for it). Inspire greatness just isn't needed, its an attack bonus and this build really doesn't need more of that. Damage is the key and warchanter is worth 2 points (same as going to bard 14 gets you). But bard 14 is a lot farther from picking up weapon specilization which is another 2 damage. This way you can get the best of both fighter and bard.

sigtrent
08-28-2007, 03:21 PM
Soloing, you may have a case. Actually most of your builds seem to be built with soloing in mind.

If you are looking for a max-DPS ranged combatant, I would probably look at a Ranger/Fighter/Barbarian combo. Fast Movement would give you a nice edge in the kiting dept and Rage would give you an edge in the DPS dept.

I'm not sure that I build with solo in mind but I do build without any preconceptions about what your other party members can do. Not every group has a caster or a bard or a cleric or whatever, so I just build for the character to be self reliant for whatever thier function is.

Basicaly if you don't do that you get into the crush of.. well he has very few HP but I'll just assume there is a cleric so he rocks..

Not every bard has the same song bonuses, although most will have some investment in inspire courage. Still, a non-warchanter bard would have to max out damage boost and be level 14 to match the song damage bonus here. To beat it you need to be a higher level warchanter which is a pretty specific character.

I noodled around with damage numbers, I'm farily confident this is about as big a bonus as you can muster. A pure fighter comes one point short with fighter str 3 regular and greater weapon specilization. A barbarian would be hard pressed to come up with 38 Str to match the +6 damage from inspire courage.

GeneralDiomedes
08-28-2007, 03:32 PM
I noodled around with damage numbers, I'm farily confident this is about as big a bonus as you can muster. A pure fighter comes one point short with fighter str 3 regular and greater weapon specilization. A barbarian would be hard pressed to come up with 38 Str to match the +6 damage from inspire courage.

But if you were partying with a Barbarian, he would have the equivalent of around a 50ish str now wouldn't he? The Elven 12 Fighter/2 Ranger you are partying with is going to out-DPS you. That's the irony of Bard buffs: whomever you party with, they will out-perform you.

Highest range DPS in the game: A Fighter/Ranger/Barb who parties with a Warchanter :)

sigtrent
08-28-2007, 06:21 PM
Highest range DPS in the game: A Fighter/Ranger/Barb who parties with a Warchanter :)

True, but you can beat either one of them alone. I'm pretty happy if it takes two characters working together to outperform me.

Pluss there is the suprise factor. I have a similar build but set up for melee damage. They see the bard tag but then observe the monsters dying absurdly fast and ask "what the hell are you hitting those thigns with?" And you can say Just a +2 Holy great axe... that does 1d12 + 32 damage per swing. Gives you a warm fuzzy feeling to defy expectation.

96th_Malice
06-15-2009, 12:53 PM
I actually have a Ranger 2 / Bard 14 that only uses Ranged weapons ( As all my toons do )

Other than only having 3 arrows per pull on manyshot due to the lower BAB ... She is a great toon

Basically my Haggle Archer !!