I'm wondering which are the pros and cons the different level splits for an elven, maybe even half-elven, Arcane Archer with at least Kensai II.
The following level splits seem sensible to me, where I have a 32pt build with starting stats similar to 16 STR, 17 Dex, 14+ Con in mind, since I plan to use Improved Precise Shot.
18 Fighter/1 Ranger /1 Caster, where Caster is either Bard or Wiz. This is the build which is most centered around ranging since one can take the Kensai III enhancement. There is room for the TWF feats, but the melee abilities of the following builds are better.
12 Fighter/8 Ranger. Ram's Might at least compensates the Superior Weapon focus and Sup. Specialization, also for the melee part. Offers more feats than the 18/1/1 split when going TWF, but you need to take mental toughness.
Loss of Kensai III, but gain of Ram's Might, more melee damage and SP.
12 Fighter/6 Ranger/2 Rogue or Monk. Less SP than the 12/8, same number of feats (maybe even 2 more due to monk), Evasion. Rogue offers Skill points which one will not be able to maintain during fighter levels, Monk offers feats and saves. Loss of SP but gain of Evasion and possibly feats.
Feat-wise, there is not much difference between 12/6/2 and 18/1/1: on both variants, 12 fighter levels grant 7 feats. 6 Ranger gives 4 feats, but forces Mental Toughness. Fighter 13-18 gives 3 feats; both variants thus netting 3 feats.
What do you think about these 3 options? Did I miss some of the pro's or con's?
If anyone's interested, these are the feats I am contemplating over, where those marked with * are automatically granted by 6 levels of ranger:
TWF*, ITWF*, GTWF
Point Blank Shot
Weapon Focus: Ranged
Weapon Specialization: Ranged
Improved Critical: Ranged
Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons
Improved Precise Shot
Mental Toughness (only on the 12/X splits)
If there is room: OTWF. Other suggestions?