Stinging Arrow: how does it works?

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Stinging Arrow: how does it works?

Post by LukeZ » Mon May 14, 2018 2:27 pm

1) You don't roll any d20 to hit: you simply declare a Stinging Arrow attack, expend 1 HD and roll for critical damage
2) You roll the d20 to hit: if your attack is succesful, you expend 1 HD and roll for critical damage

Which one is correct for Stinging Arrow?
Last edited by LukeZ on Tue May 15, 2018 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stinging Arrow: how does it works?

Post by Otaku-sempai » Mon May 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Number 2. My understanding is that you still need to make a successful attack as normal. By spending a HD, the attack automatically becomes a ranged critical hit.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Re: Stinging Arrow: how does it works?

Post by iuzbob » Tue May 15, 2018 7:11 am

Number 1 for me. You spend the Hit die to make an automatic ranged critical hit. The emphasis is on automatic hit. Else the wording should have been altered to "After you have made a successful ranged attack you can spend a Hit Die to make critical damage". Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Stinging Arrow: how does it works?

Post by Keridwyn44 » Tue May 15, 2018 4:05 pm

I've been using Number 1. Spending a Hit Die makes it cost enough to make its use fairly rare in our game.

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Re: Stinging Arrow: how does it works?

Post by rogre » Tue May 15, 2018 7:48 pm

Don't you think there is a little problem with the combo : "Stinging Arrow + Sneak Attack" (from the Treasure Hunter class)?
Especially if you are using solution Number 1: as a Treasure Hunter very often begins a fight while being hidden, so, just spending a Hit Die would mean : "double damage for the (crit) arrow, PLUS double Sneak Attack damage"… (!) A very powerful combo in itself - why not after all… but another consequence is that Elven Treasure Hunters become, mechanically speaking, the deadliest bowmen in the game!
Someone wrote (somewhere in the forum) about "20th lvl Elven Treasure Hunters with Stinging Arrows: 20d6 damage twenty times a day!" Somewhat frightning, or fun, in itself (?) - but I think that the main problem could be the unbalance it introduces between the classes. Is it possible to build an efficient elven bowman, with or without Stinging Arrow, while being "just" a Warrior or a Wanderer?

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Re: Stinging Arrow: how does it works?

Post by Mac_na_hEaglaise » Thu May 17, 2018 11:14 pm

#1. If the Elf has magic that makes the arrow fly true, it doesn't just make it "truer" - if it can hit in such a way that it deals significant damage, whether it hits at all (or hits in such a way that it could penetrate armor, etc) is not up to chance.

Treasure Hunter is based on the Rogue class, which traditionally shines by fishing for crits. Rogues are damage-dealers, but need to be tactical to be most effective. Looking for ways to get advantage, or targeting distracted enemies, is a big part of using the Rogue-type class in combat. They don't only get sneak attack damage when they are hidden at the start of combat - they can get it any time they have advantage, or when there is an ally within 5 feet of the enemy and the TH/Rogue isn't at disadvantage.

Regarding elven bowmen of other classes, the Wanderer has some pretty sweet features - Swift Shot lets them get off a ranged attack before anyone else, and Volley could in theory let them attack 21 different medium-sized creatures (pick a point in the center of a square, move 10 feet in any direction). If you don't use the Variant Rule for diagonal movement, the player can shoot 25 creatures at once. Wanderer is based on 5E Ranger - you can check out some builds and tactical advice for them if you're looking for inspiration.

Assuming there is a horde of enemies all spaced five feet apart, let's say they're using a Great Bow - that's 21d8 damage. They can also take the Archery Fighting Style, giving them a +2 to attack rolls with ranged weapons, and Extra Attack means they can attack twice on all of their other turns.

What if it's an Elf Wanderer at, say, Level 11? They use Volley, realizing that they need to cause some serious damage or else they won't make it to the next short rest. Swift Shot lets them get a round off before Initiative is rolled. They spend all 11 hit die to ensure that of those 21 shots, 11 are crits. Assuming everything hits, that's potentially 33d8 in one round (with a 50% chance of 34d8 for a random crit on the other shots). This is at level 11, which more players are likely to reach than level 20 (at level 20 we could have 45d8, and the Wanderer doesn't roll damage at that point, they automatically get the maximum result, which on average will be 2x the regular damage roll). Importantly, that damage is against multiple targets. The way 5E is built, Actions are king - mobs of weak creatures can be far more deadly than powerful solo monsters because they can take many more Actions in a round.

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