What do you need help on? Cancel X

Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

Arcane Archer FAQ Guide by G Admiral Thrawn

Version: 0.80 | Updated: 10/16/2003

Arcane Archer (v .35)

1. Introduction and Contact Information
2. What classes make up a good Arcane Archer
3. Abilities
4. Skills
5. Feats
6. Equipment
7. Tatics and Henchmen (or women)
8. Credit where credit is due
9. Version History
10. Final Words
11. Copyright Information

1. Introduction and Contact Information

Hello. I am Edward Collins, and I would like to thank you for taking the time
to read this FAQ. It is my first one, so any help would be appricated. My
e-mail address is Jedi_Master_Edward_ALA@Hotmail.com. Please label it
Neverwinter Nights Arcane Acher build (or something to that effect), or you
wont get a reply.

2. What classes make a good Arcane Archer

Before going into what classes make a good Arcane Archer, let's go over the

Elf or Half-Elf
Base Attack Bonus of +6 or greater
Weapon Focus (Longbow) or Weapon Focus (Shortbow)
Able to cast level 1 Arcane spells

Now let's see what you get for those requirements

Hit Die: d6
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Proficiencies: All simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and

Level 1:
Enchant Arrow +1 - Every non-magical arrow an arcane archer nocks and lets fly
becomes enchanted gaining a +1 enhancement bonus. The arrows will only function
this way for the arcane archer.

Level 2:
Imbue Arrow - Allows the archer to fire an arrow that has the fireball spell
cast upon it three times a day.

Level 3:
Enchant Arrow +2

Level 4:
Seeker Arrow - The archer can launch an arrow once per day at a target that is
known and within range that cannot miss barring unavoidable obstacles.

Level 5:
Enchant Arrow +3

Level 6
Seeker Arrow - Able to fire 2 seeker arrows a day.

Level 7:
Enchant Arrow +4

Level 8:
Hail of Arrows - In lieu of a regular attack the archer can fire an arrow at
each and every target within range.

Level 9:
Enchant Arrow +5

Level 10:
Arrow of Death - Fire an arrow that can instantly kill an opponent.

Class Skills (skill descriptions):

Move Silently

Ok. Now that you see what you get for what you need, let's look at classes that
make up a good Arcane Archer.

Fighter/ Wizzard (or Sorceror)

This class is almost the first combo that comes to mind. And it isn't too bad a
choice either. I'd suggest running Fighter and your spellcaster up to level 4,
then add all the levels you want in Arcane Archer, then one more of Fighter and
one more Wizard. I'll tell you why in the skills section.

You will get 1 familiar, 1 animal companion and 1 dire badger from the creature
summon spell. That's 3 meat shields for your archer excluding the henchman. You
get spells like Mage Armor to increase you AC, True Strike to make your arrows
hit the target "almost" all the time and Grease to slow your enemies down... A
+3 Dex bonus on your bows, a +2 Bonus from Str if you manage to find a longbow
with mighty. (From Wind 79, Gamefaqs Message boards)

One good Arcane Archer build that gets ignored in favor of Warrior/Arcanist
builds is the Bard Archer. (From Jabbrwock, GmaeFaqs Message Boards.)

Bard Archer disadvantages:
Poor HP (d6 per level)
Late qualification for Arcane Archer (level 9 instead of level 8)
No True Strike spell
No Improved Critical until level 12

Bard Archer advantages:
Bard Song
Significant spellcasting ability
Tumble skill
Use Magic Device skill

My build was:
Str 11
Dex 19
Con 10
Int 12
Wis 10
Cha 13

For skills, I did Persuade, Perform, Tumble, Spellcraft, and Use Magic Device.
Persuade is pretty much optional, albeit useful, and if you skip it, you can
put Int at 10 and give those 2 stat points to something else, probably Str
and/or Cha for more carrying capacity and/or more spellcasting.

For feats, I took Point Blank Shot, Rapid Fire, Weapon Focus Longbow, Lingering
Song, and Improved Critical Longbow, in that order (I think).

For my henchman, I took Xanos, and had him level only as a Barbarian. I also
used the DM console to reduce his Charisma so he wouldn't waste time casting
spells. I wish there had been good greataxes, or that he had focused and
improved critical with halberds, but he was plenty nasty even without. He made
a good tank.

For most of the game, I wore Adventurer Robes, and then Greater Adventurer
Robes. At the very end, I wore Chain of Speed, which was pretty nice. I made
good use of all the charged items I got with Use Magic Device, completely
discharging J'Nah's Staff of Power, as well as numerous wands. The Rod of Dawn
I reluctantly ignored, as my UMD was not reliably high enough to use it, I had
to get lucky with +5 from Eagle's Splendor.

Imbue Arrows were really key for me, since I'd used up both the Staff of Power
and the Necklace of Missiles right about the time when I got them. +2 Enchant
Arrows would have saved me money, except that by the time I got them, I was
already close to the end and never went back to sell stuff one last time, so
the money was useless.

I guess that's all there is to say about this character and my experience with
it. Most of the game's challenge was created by Xanos being an idiot, and
really went away when I got him to stop casting spells.

Fredrik Derefeldt refutes the late qualification for Arcane Archer (level 9
instead of level 8) build

This is not true. See below.

A Bard have 1st level Arcane spell abilites on level 2 (if high Charisma) or on
level 3.
This is late, thats true, because both Wizard and Sorcerer have this access on
level 1.

But, all this classes have on level 1 +0 Base Attack Bonus (BAB), this means
you must have 7 levels (one with +0 BAB and six with +1 BAB on each level, = 7
level at least before you can take Arcane Archer on level 8)

Look at Bard (Brd), Sorcerer (Sor) and Wizard (Wiz) on both level 2 and level 3.

Base Attack Bonus on Level (Total)
Level   Brd      Sor      Wiz
  1     +0 (+0)  +0 (+0)  +0 (+0)
  2 +1 (+1)  +1 (+1)  +1 (+1)
  3 +1 (+2)  +0 (+1)  +0 (+1)
  4 +1 (+3)  +1 (+2)  +1 (+2)
  5 +0 (+3)  +0 (+2)  +0 (+2)

You can make an Arcane Archer on level 8 with this four follow variants to be
an Arcane Archer on level 8:

Fighter* 6/Wizard# 1
Fighter* 5/Wizard# 2
Fighter* 5/Bard 2
Fighter* 4/Bard 3

* You can change this to Ranger/Barbarian or Paladin
# You can change this to Sorcerer

My Recomended:
With Wizard Arcane spell user class: Elf (because +Dex and favored class:
With Sorcerer Arcane spell user class: Half-Elf (because favored class: Any)
With Bard Arcane spell user class: Both, Half-Elf if you later think to take
only one class
of Fighter or Bard (because favored class: Any), with Elf, you must take
Fighter and Bard on
this: First Fighter, Second Bard, Third Fighter etc.

Here's an arcane archer build I really like; it ends up being a 9/1/10
Bard/Shadowdancer/Arcane Archer. Since all three classes get hide/move
silently as a class skill, this character has excellent potential to
be an assassin-type character.

First level, Elven Bard
Str 12
Dex 18
Con 12
Int 10
Wis 8
Cha 14

You can probably ditch 2 points of Cha and put it in Str or Int
instead. If you do this you won't be able to cast level 3 Bard spells
without a Charisma-buffing item. I actually don't really like any of
the lv. 3 Bard spells, so I put an additional 2 points in Int.  You
could also try taking some points off of other stats to get Dex to 19.

First three feats should be Dodge, Mobility, and Point Blank Shot, in
any order.

Skills: Tumble, Hide, Move Silently are required. You only need 5
ranks of tumble; if you'd like the additional +1 to Dodge AC go ahead
and bring tumble up to 10 too. No sense in putting more than 10 points
here though.  Always max out hide and move silently at every level,
this build depends on them.  Might want to take a few levels of
Perform to make good use of your bardsong.  Keep in mind your bard
level won't hit 11 so there's no point in raising Perform past 15. Use
any additional skill points for whatever skills you like (I personally
like Heal and Lore, though I know other players find them useless...)

At level 8, take a level of Shadowdancer, you'll now get the insanely
useful "Hide in Plain Sight" skill.

At level 9, take another level of Bard or Shadowdancer. I chose
Shadowdancer but you don't really get any decent abilities at level 2
so Bard might be a better choice. Now you can finally take the Weapon
Focus Shortbow or Weapon Focus Longbow feat...

At level 10, you can take your first level of Arcane Archer. From here
take your 10 levels of Archer and then another level of Bard or

Recommended additional feats:

Lv. 12: Rapid Shot
Lv. 15: Improved Critical: Longbow
Lv. 18: Whatever (probably toughness)

Advantages of this build:

- Bardsong gives you a total of +2 attack, +2 damage, +1 for all
saves, +8 temp. HP. Add this to your +5 Enchant Arrow, +5 longbow, +6
attack from Dex, and potentially +5 additional Dex bonus from equipped
items, and you're talking insane attack bonuses.


Same as for the Bard Archer you mention, but also:
- You qualify for Arcane Archer really late (lv. 10).
- Rapid Shot and Improved Crit are also pretty late, since you have to
take Dodge and Mobility early on.

(From Colin McMillen)

For people who want to cast both devine and Arcane spells, an Elf Cleric
9/Wizard 1/Arcane Archer 10, is a very effective build.

(From Drgnlncr, GameFaqs Message Boards)

The most dangerous Arcane Archer build, however, is a 7/3/10
Rogue/Wizard/Arcane Archer. A 5d6 Sneak Attack, ability to cast lvl 2 spells,
and stealth abilities. The bad part is the same for the Bard.

Another build is one based on the Rogue/ Wizard/ Arcane Archer, only rather
than maxing your levels in Arcane Archer, run your character to level 9, add 9
Arcane Archer levels, then and a level of Shadowdancer, for Hide in Plain
Sight, then add the last wizard level.

(rest not completed... looking for other multi-class options.)

3. Abilities

You will want a high DEX, STR, and INT. Let's go over them one at a time.
Dexterity is important because you do want to hit your target, don't you?
Strength is important because the Longbow (and shortbow) deal extra damage
based on your strength. You will want Composite Bows that come with Mighty,
though. Intelligence is important because you are a spellcaster. You may not be
a full caster, but you will be able to cast some spells.

Constitution, Wisdom, and Charisma is important, but not as important as the
aforementioned. While Con and Wis improve saving throws, if you are a fighter/
mage, you already have good saving throws in these areas. Charisma is good in
the single player game, but honestly, since persuade is a cross class skill,
you migh want to stear clear of this one and put your points into the important
ones. Set Con, Wis, and CHA to 10, just so you don't have a penality.

However, if you're a Bardic or Sorcerer based Arcane Archer, you will need
Charisme, rather than INT.

4. Skills

Ok. this section not only deals with skills for the Arcane Archer, but skills
for the classes that make up it as well.


Disipline- Get it. Max it. You need it if that dragon comes after you, and
tries knockdown on you.
Lore- Get it. Put enough in it that you feel comfortable of being able to
identify most (if not all) the items you come across
Parry- Forget it. Sounds good in theory, but in practice, it never works for
me. And on top of that, you're a ranged attacker.


Concentration- Get it. Max it. While you generally won't cast spells in battle
(and even if you do, you probally won't draw Attacks of opputunority), it helps
when you come up against archers (arcane or normal).
Spellcraft- Not sure the counterspell benefit (see Parry, under the Fighter
section), but +1 saving throws never hurt.
If you took my advice, then you would want to max Spellcraft, Concentration,
and Disipline, AS CLASS SKILLS. That's why you want to have 2 levels left after
leveling up your Arcane Archer class. One goes to fighter, the other to wizzard.


Animal Empathy- Very good. Gives you an additional meat shield.


Disable Device/ Search- Even if you aren't a rogue based Arcane Archer, you
will want to put points in to here, so you can disable some traps that
otherwise might hurt you.
Perform- Very helpful if your a Bard- based Arcane Archer.
Use Magic Device- Good if you find some monk items that you find useful, but
put the skill points into other skills first. If you have any left over, put it

(rest not completed... looking for other class skills for other classes.)

Now for the Arcane Archer.
Hide/Move Silently: Good for a rogue, but if you took my advice, you should
have Invisibility. Usless.
Listen/Spot: Not sure how good these are. Why not some one telling me.
Lore: See fighter section

5. Feats

Required Feats

Point Blank Shot
Weapon Focus (Longbow) or (Shortbow) {NOT BOTH}: I'd reccomend the Longbow,
since it is more powerful than the shortbow (and the Taralesh is an excellent

Feats good to have

Weapon Specilization (Longbow): Good for +2 to damage. Never hurts. Only
available to the fighters.
Toughness: Save it for one of your last feats. Don't bother taking it early in
the game, doesn't really help. Helps Late in
the game, though.
Still Spell: Until you find good robes, you will want to wear armor, so use
this feat to negate the penalities.
Improved Critical (Longbow): Doubles the threat range, so it is a good feat.
Mobility/Dodge/Spring Attack: Since you are a long-range attacker, you will
want to stay away from the front lines. But sometimes the enemy breaks through.
Use these feats to get away.
Rapid Shot: More attacks. Need I say more?
Improved Iniative: Good for getting the jump on unwary foes.
Weapon Finnesse: If an enemy breaks through the front lines, you might want to
pull out a rapier rather than retreating.

Feats to ignore

All the rest of them.

(If you disagree, please tell me).

6. Equipment

Weapon- A LONGBOW. Preferably one that has mighty, but when you start out, you
just want a longbow.
Armor- Studded Leather is good, but you will eventually want to wear just
normal robes, since all armors cut into the important Dexerity bonus and cuts
into your spellcasting.
Jewelry- Elemental Resistance, or stat boosters. Also look out for low level
spell slot increasers.
Helmet- Darkvision or mind-affecting spells (email me with other suggestions)
Cloak- Damge Reduction or AC bonus.
Belt- STR increasers, or in the case of Bardic Arcane Archers, Perform Bonus
Bracer- Stat boosters, or skill Boosters
Examples of good equipment

Taralesh, for the weapon
Robes of the Magi, for he armor slot. While you aren't a full caster, the +5 to
AC help alot. On top of that, it is Robes, so you get your full DEX bonus
Jewelry: For the Amulet slot, an Amulet of Natural Armor (all the way up to
+5), or Linu's Pendant of the Elf (DEX bonus+ Darkvision)
         Rings: Ring of Power, and a Ring of Resistance
Helmet: Golden Circlet (Immunity to mind affecting spells)
Cloak: If the module has it, a Greater Mantle of Spell resistance (SR 20).
Otherwise, either a Cloak of Resistance or Fortification.
Belt: Non Bards should go for Giant STR Belts, while Bardic Archers should go
for belts that have a Perform Bonus (Like Sharwyn's Belt of the Performer.
However, the Brawler's Belt, the Archer's Belt, the Swordman's Belt, and the
Greater Belt of Guiding Light all have thier purposes, so keep them handy.
Bracers: Dexterity and Armor are good choices here
Tatics and Henchmen (or Women)

Since your a back line archer, you want somebody to make sure the enemy doesn't
get to close to you.

Good Henchmen to choose

Daelen/ Grimnaw- For the purpose of henchmen, these act the same. Meatshields,
so you can annoy enemies from a distance.
Linu- She's a cleric and tanks pretty well, so she is probably the best for an
Arcane Archer.
Dorna- she combines Tomi with Linu, so if your playing the XP, she's, while not
a good, is you're best choice.

Decent Henchmen

Tomi- He's a Rogue, so rogue based Arcane Archers don't need him. He's good,
but since he's not a tank, go with either Daelen or Linu.

Bad Henchmen to choose

Boddynockle- He's a mage, who has a poor A.I. He'd help, if he summons, but
since he doesn't, steer clear.
Xanos- He's a Barbarian/Sorc, who will cast spells first, no matter how much
you want him to tnk. He suffers from the same A.I. problem as Boddynockle. On
top of that, he's an insane meglomaniac. Some people might be able to put up
with that, but not me.
Deekin- Although he's the coolest henchman (in both the OC and the XP), he's
VERY fragile. So you don't want to take him along with you, although he has
some VERY good stories to tell.


Granted, you're an archer, so te backline's the place for you, but there is one
tactic that helps tremendously. MOVE CONSTANTLY. You're a gunship. You don't
have the HP to go toe toe with Dragons, and you aren't playing to your
strengths that way either, so keep moving.
8. Credit where credit is due.

You, for taking the time to read this FAQ.
Me, for writing this FAQ
GameFaqs, for putting it up
Bioware, for making such a good game
Wind 79, Gamefaqs Message boards
Jabbrwock, GmaeFaqs Message Boards
Fredrik Derefeldt, for adding refuting the late qualification for the
Bard-based Arcane Archer
Colin McMillen, for an additional Bardic Arcane Archer build.
Drgnlncr, GameFaqs Message Boards, for a Cleric Arcane Archer build

9. Version History
v .80 added a Cleric build

v .75 Major Changes. Added examples to the items list, added tatics to the
Tatics list, and additional minor spelling corections. I seem to make a lot of
those :)

v .60 Added IGN.com to allowed sites, minor spelling/ grammatical changes

v .55 Added a different Bardic Arcane Archer build, changed Final Words

v .50 Added Sorcerers.net to allowed sites to use this

v .45 added a refute to the Bardic Arcane Archer

v .35 Added Shadowdancer to Arcane Archer builds, minor spelling corrections
and additions.

v .25- initial release.

10. Final words

Thanks for reading this. And for those who contrubited, your contribution is
greatly appreicated. Contact me if you have praise, constructive critisism, or
advice to make it better. Your help is greatly appriacated

11. Copyright Information

Currently, the only websites allowed to post this are:

If you see it somewhere else, contact me, and I will work on correcting it. If
you want to post this, e-mail me, and let me know.

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web
site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation
of copyright.

Remember, you don't have to steal it, just contact me, and I'll probably
(almost surely), let you post it.

Copyright September 2003

View in: