Thursday, January 17, 2013

Clint Barton: Adventurer

So I guess this is going to be a theme, you remember Phil Spiderman: Adventurer? Eric will take a hero from comics and figure out how to build it in Pathfinder and then I'll do the same. There will likely be a variety of differences between our implementations of the rules to make these characters, so it should be kind of neat. Mind you, I've never been big on comics, though I have perused Wikipedia frequently and there are lots of Marvel and DC articles on there. Eric will likely know characters a lot better than me, but I feel my knowledge of the rules will be superior to his. Also, Eric seems to be gearing his guys more towards Hekinoe rules, I won't be doing so. Here we go. 

My thought is that he'd be a Fighter with the Archer archetype. See you next time.

Oh, you wanted more? 

So Hawkeye, also known as Clint Barton is an Avenger who uses a bow. My understanding is that he is a completely normal human dude that is just an expert marksmen with a pile of trick arrows. I won't profess to know all the trick arrows he has, but explosive ones seem likely. Or maybe just a boxing glove arrow, oh wait, that is the Green Arrow. 

When thinking archery, most people go to the Ranger. Which is wrong. Eric likely chose Ranger because of the combat style ability that gives bonus feats, and perhaps the Skirmisher archetype's abilities. So, the thing you need to be aware of is that combat style gives like five bonus feats over twenty levels. Whereas the Fighter gains eleven bonus combat feats over twenty levels, in addition to all the weapon mastery bonuses and such. Beyond the five bonus feats the Ranger has no archery abilities. To be fair, the Ranger bonus feats are granted without a need for any prerequisites, which is handy. Most of those prerequisites are going to be other feats useful to archery though, so you might as well have them and with the Fighter you have enough bonus feats that you don't need to sacrifice much to get them. Looking at the Archer archetype, there is also an ability that eliminates the need for one of the Ranger bonus feats. The safe shot ability does what the Point Blank Master feat does.

Additionally, as far as I know Hawkeye had no pet and did not specialize in terrain or fighting certain foes, at least not any more than any other Avenger does. The focus of the Fighter class is their weapon, or their armor, so a Fighter with the Archer archetype seems most appropriate to me. This is a case of taking a class because of one feature you need for a build idea and gaining a whole slew of abilities that make no sense in the context of the build. You can argue that Spiderman is not a thief or assassin, so he shouldn't have sneak attack or trapfinding or trap sense, which is why you take the Acrobat archetype and lose the trap abilities and gain agility abilities. Also, while Spiderman doesn't really attack with a conventional kind of sneak attack, he does tend to lurk and surprise his foes and gain a jump on them, which makes him more effective in a fight and sneak attack can kind of fit with that. 

While I do like the Alchemist's discovery that allows them to incorporate their bombs into ammo, and have built the new version of Gob around that concept, you have to look at what you sacrifice for that ability. Because you're taking levels of Alchemist, you're progression in gaining bonus archery combat style feats from being a Ranger is slowed down, and you are reducing your bonuses to attack rolls. You're also gaining the mutagen and magic and poison resistance and other abilities that make no sense for Hawkeye to have. There's already a Hulk in the Avengers, no need for Hawkeye to Hulk out too, and any bonuses to damage and attack rolls you could get from the mutagen being keyed to Dexterity can already be gained from Fighter weapon training without negatively impacting mental ability scores and are also permanent bonuses, rather than only existing until the mutagen wears off.

With the Archer archetype he would gain bonuses to Perception and increased range with his attacks. He'd also gain the ability to perform a few combat maneuvers with his arrows, like tripping or disarming his enemies, which is not normally possible but is really fitting for a combatant with the kind of expertise that Hawkeye would have. Obviously, as a Fighter he'd have all the appropriate Weapon Focus and Specialization feats which further increases his ability to hit and kill targets. Coupled with feats like Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, and so on and so forth we're working towards someone incredibly deadly and versatile with a bow, which is kind of Hawkeye's schtick. 

You could also go the craftsman route and take ranks in Craft (Bowyer/Fletcher) and build all kinds of fancy arrows. There are arrows that cause bleed damage, ones that explode into shrapnel, tanglefoot arrows, distance arrows, and so on. At one time I thought there was some sort of specialty arrow that would allow you to fire it with an alchemical weapon on the end, but I cannot currently find such a thing anywhere. My personal belief is that if you can make a holy water arrow and a tanglefoot arrow, you should probably be able to make other stuff work. Granted, certain heavier items would likely offer a penalty to attack rolls and range. I realize that being a Fighter penalizes this aspect of the build, but with Clint Barton being human and favored class bonuses, we can increase the amount of skill points the character has at his disposal, and you can always give him a twelve in Intelligence and have plenty left over for a high Dexterity and above average Strength so he can use composite bows to add in the Strength damage. 

I realize this is a pretty light description of how to build Hawkeye, but what do you want? He shoots arrows, take feats and use a class that is good at that, heh. Obviously, finding a very nice quality bow is beneficial to such a character. You could also improve his versatility by using the Master Craftsman and Craft Arms and Armor, which are two of the twenty-two total feats he'll have over twenty levels, to create magic arrows and bows such. 

So I guess that is the gist of Hawkeye. 


  1. I actually can't believe I missed the Archer archtype for the Fighter. I think it works great and I honestly miss that. Not sure how, but oh well.

    On another note, he has the hawk just because his name was Hawkeye and I wasn't trying to make a complete copy, kind of like you did with Phil Spidermun. I figured it was kind of a neat play off of the original. My intentions where for him to have purple scales (like the original suit.)

    I would still pair up the Alchemist with this unless the DM/GM was good enough to allow you to use Craft to make special arrows... I was kind of trying to get around that with the Alchemist, make sense?

  2. Phil Spiderman was about as complete a copy of Spiderman as I could make with Pathfinder. I thought that was the intent of this series of posts. The Craft rules exist, and those special arrows I spoke of exist, all you'd need to do would be to say that you are crafting them. Additionally, with Master Craftsman and Craft Magic Arms and Armor, your options for special arrows opens up quite a bit. You can make lightning arrows and fire arrows, and so on and so forth. I think the bomb idea is a great one, but I think taking the Alchemist class retards the growth of the archery abilities too much to be worth it and adds too many abilities that have no place in the build, and archery is kind of the point of the character. Doesn't matter if he can turn an arrow into an 8d6 explosive missile or a stun arrow if he sucks at archery in general.

    1. I guess it was the intent, but I kinda like the idea of making them like I am right now. Hawkeye especially would have been boring so I tried to spice it up.

      There are a lot of third party stuff that I have been reading and it has been pretty neat. I like the idea of bringing new things to the table. There is a system of archtype by Super Genius Games that has the basic classes broken down into two archtype and you can remove one of those archtypes you can add one of thiers. It is an odd system, but if you liked to bomb part of the Alchemist but not the mutagen, you can actually keep the bomb part and do away with the mutagen and select a new archtype that would fit your build better. I think it is a neat, if flawed, system...