Arcane Archer (5A)
|Starfox's 5th Edition Fan Page|
An Arcane Archer studies a unique elven method of archery that weaves magic into attacks to produce supernatural effects. Arcane Archers are some of their most elite warriors among the elves. They stand watch over the fringes of elven domains, keeping a keen eye out for trespassers and using magic-infused arrows to defeat monsters and invaders before they can reach elven settlements. Over the centuries, the methods of these elf archers have been learned by members of other races who can also balance arcane aptitude with archery.
Greyhawk: Most arcane archers are indeed elves, tough druidic archer might be a more appropriate title for the many wood elves that use this art. But the arcane masters of Greyhawk's magic schools love to reverse-engineer any magic they can get their hands on, and over time alternate arcane archery traditions are evolving, some not involving bows but crossbows or firearms.
Source: Xanathar's Guide to Everything
Arcane Archer Lore
At 3rd level, you learn magical theory or some of the secrets of nature – typical for practitioners of of this elven martial tradition. You choose to gain proficiency in either the Arcana or the Nature skill, and you choose to learn either the Prestidigitation or Druidcraft cantrip. You learn Prestidigitation if you choose Arcana, Druidcraft if you choose Nature. If you already know Arcana or Nature and don't want to learn the other one, you can choose one of Athletics, Acrobatics, History, Perception, Stealth, or Survival instead.
At 3rd level, you learn to unleash special magical effects with some of your shots. When you gain this feature, you learn two Arcane Shot options of your choice (see "Arcane Shot Options" below).
Once per turn when you fire an arrow from a shortbow or longbow as part of the Attack action, you can apply one of your Arcane Shot options to that arrow. You decide to use the option when the arrow hits, unless the option doesn’t involve an attack roll. You have two uses of this ability, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a short or long rest.
You gain an additional use and an additional Arcane Shot option of your choice when you reach certain levels in this class: 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level. Each option also improves when you become an 18th-level fighter.
At 7th level, you gain the ability to infuse arrows with magic. Whenever you fire a nonmagical arrow from a shortbow or longbow, you can make it magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage. The magic fades from the arrow immediately after it hits or misses its target.
At 10th level 7th level, you learn how to direct an errant arrow toward a new target. When you make an attack roll with a magic arrow and miss, you can use a bonus action to reroll the attack roll against a different target within 60 feet of the original target.
Starting at 15th level, your magical archery is available whenever battle starts. When you roll initiative you regain one use of Arcane Shot, not to exceed your normal maximum. If you roll initiative and have no uses of Arcane Shot remaining, you regain one use of it.
Alternate Weapon Options
As written the arcane archer is locked to using a longbow or shortbow. Depending on the campaign, there might be arcane archers that use a different set of ranged weapons; crossbows, slings, even firearms.
Arcane Shot Options
The Arcane Shot feature lets you choose options for it at certain levels. The options are presented here in alphabetical order. They are all magical effects, and each one is associated with one of the schools of magic.
If an option requires a saving throw, your Arcane Shot save DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier (if you choose Arcana for Arcane Archer Lore) or Wisdom modifier (if you choose Nature for Arcane Archer Lore).
You use abjuration magic to try to temporarily banish your target to a harmless location in the Feywild. The creature hit by the arrow must also succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be banished. While banished in this way, its speed is 0, and it is incapacitated. At the end of its next turn, the target reappears in the space it vacated or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied.
After you reach 18th level in this class, a target also takes 2d6 force damage when the arrow hits it.
Your enchantment magic causes this arrow to temporarily beguile its target. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 psychic damage, and choose one of your allies within 30 feet of the target. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw, or it is charmed by the chosen ally until the start of your next turn. This effect ends early if the chosen ally attacks the charmed target, deals damage to it, or forces it to make a saving throw. The target won't attack the creature it is charmed by, and has disadvantage on any other attacks it makes. All creatures have advantage on saving throws against the target's spells and effects.
The psychic damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.
You imbue your arrow with force energy drawn from the school of evocation. The arrow detonates after your attack. Immediately after the arrow hits the creature, the target and all other creatures within 10 feet of it take 2d6 force damage each.
The force damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.
You weave necromantic magic into your arrow. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 necrotic damage. The target must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw, or the damage dealt by its weapon attacks is halved until the start of your next turn.
The necrotic damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.
When this arrow strikes its target, conjuration magic creates grasping, poisonous brambles, which wrap around the target. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 poison damage, its speed is reduced by 10 feet, and it takes 2d6 slashing damage the first time on each turn it moves 1 foot or more without teleporting. The target or any creature that can reach it can use its action to remove the brambles with a successful Strength (Athletics) check against your Arcane Shot save DC. Otherwise, the brambles last for 1 minute or until you use this option again.
The poison damage and slashing damage both increase to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.
You use transmutation magic to give your arrow an ethereal quality. When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, the arrow fires forward in a line, which is 1 foot wide and 30 feet long, before disappearing. The arrow passes harmlessly through objects, ignoring cover. Each creature in that line must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 piercing damage. On a successful save, a target takes half as much damage.
The piercing damage increases to 2d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.
Using divination magic, you grant your arrow the ability to seek out your target, allowing the arrow to curve and twist its path in search of its prey. When you use this option, you don’t make an attack roll for the attack. Instead, choose one creature you have seen in the past minute. The arrow flies toward that creature, moving around corners if necessary and ignoring three-quarters cover and half cover. If the target is within the weapon’s range and there is a path large enough for the arrow to travel to the target, the target must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 force damage, and you learn the target’s current location. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage, and you don’t learn its location.
The force damage increases to 2d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.
You weave illusion magic into your arrow, causing it to occlude your foe’s vision with shadows. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 psychic damage, and it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be unable to see anything farther than 5 feet away until the start of your next turn.
The psychic damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.