Order of the Bow Master

Order of the Bow Master

(Dragon Magazine #297, p. 54)

The Way of the Bow, originally presented in Sword and Fist, describes the spiritual, philosophical, and religious aspects of archery. But while the Order of the Bow Initiate dabbles in such learning, the master truly dedicates his life to these teachings. In doing so, the master reaches levels of enlightenment and spiritual understanding that defy explanation.

While fighters, rangers, and other combat-oriented characters can great benefit from this class, most who become Masters of the Order of the Bow (or bow masters as they are often called) have already pursued advanced training in archery skills. Obviously, Order of the Bow Initiates are singularly qualified to become masters, but arcane archers also find that much of their training overlaps with that required for this class. In fact, dedication to either of those prestige classes can greatly accelerate a character’s entry into this prestige class.

Bow masters are highly revered individuals, respected for their dedication and extraordinary skills. Most bow masters feel driven to help others find the discipline of the Way of the Bow. Even those who continue adventuring often make time to give back to other would-be masters in the form of teaching, guidance, and example. Whether this occurs in the discipline setting of an academy or while wandering through the countryside depends on each individual.

Requirements

Base Attack Bonus: +5

Skills: Knowledge (religion) 12 ranks

Feats: Manyshot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run, Weapon Focus (any bow)

Epic Feats: Combat Archery, Epic Weapon Focus (any bow), Swarm of Arrows

Special: An Order of the Bow Initiate may substitute his Close Combat Shot class feature for the Swarm of Arrows feat requirement, and he may substitute his Greater Weapon Focus class feature for the Epic Weapon Focus feat requirement as well.

Hit die: d8

Skill points: 2 + Int

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Order of the Bow masters gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Ranged Precision (Ex): As a standard action, a master may make a single precisely aimed attack with a ranged weapon, dealing an extra 1d8 points of damage if the attack hits. When making a ranged precision attack, a master must be within 30 feet of his target. An master’s ranged precision attack only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits (including undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures) is not vulnerable to a ranged precision attack, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits (such as armor with the fortification special ability) also protects a creature from the extra damage.

Unlike with a rogue’s sneak attack, the master’s target does not have to be flat-footed or denied its Dexterity bonus, but if it is, the master’s extra precision damage stacks with sneak attack damage. Treat the master’s ranged precision attack as a sneak attack in all other ways.

The master’s bonus to damage on ranged precision attacks increases by +1d8 every two levels.

A master can only use this ability with a ranged weapon for which he has taken the Weapon Focus feat.

Opportunistic Shot (Ex): At 2nd level, a bow master effectively threatens an area 15 feet around him in all directions with his bow. He may make attacks of opportunity against opponents within 15 feet using a ranged weapon for which he has taken the Weapon Focus feat.

Deadly Precision (Ex): At 4th level, whenever the bow master makes a successful attack with a ranged weapon for which he has taken the Weapon Focus feat, he adds his Dexterity modifier to the damage dealt.

True Strike (Su): At 6th level, the bow master becomes highly aware of his surroundings and gains an intuitive insight into the future. Once per day as a free action, the bow master may use this ability to gain a +20 insight bonus to a single attack roll as per the spell True Strike. The insight bonus may only be applied to a ranged weapon for which he has taken the Weapon Focus feat. For every 6 levels of bow master, he may use this ability one additional time per day.

Special: Order of the Bow Initiate levels stack for determining this ability. For example, a 6th level Order of the Bow Initiate, and a 6 th level Order of the Bow Master could use True Strike twice per day.

Improved Opportunistic Shot (Ex): At 8th level, a bow master effectively threatens an area 30 feet around him in all directions with his bow. He may make attacks of opportunity against opponents within 30 feet using a ranged weapon for which he has taken the Weapon Focus feat.

Epic Precision (Ex): At 10th level, a bow master’s senses for “the shot” become so attuned that he may make ranged precision attacks (and sneak attacks, if he has the ability) at a range of up to his first increment using a ranged weapon for which he has taken the Weapon Focus feat. For example, a longbow has a range increment of 100 feet, so a 10th level a bow master could make ranged precision attacks up to 100 feet.

Advancement

Level

Special

1st

Ranged precision +1d8

2nd

Opportunistic Shot

3rd

Ranged precision +2d8

4th

Deadly Precision

5th

Ranged precision +3d8

6th

True Strike

7th

Ranged precision +4d8

8th

Improved Opportunistic Shot

9th

Ranged precision +5d8

10th

Epic Precision

Class skills

Skill name

Key ability

Trained only

Armor check penalty

Climb

STR

No

Yes

Craft

INT

No

No

Knowledge (religion)

INT

Yes

No

Ride

DEX

No

No

Spot

WIS

No

No

Swim

STR

No

Yes

Order of the Bow Master

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