Vigilante (Zealot) Archer Guide (through 13th level)

If you are looking to play a Divine Primary Archer-Caster that has strong party face and role-play potential, you are going to choose between the Oracle (Warsighted) Archer and the Vigilante (Zealot) Archer.  Vigilantes are great in heavy role-play.  The Vigilante can mean extreme fun in role-play campaigns because of Dual Identity, Seamless Guise and Social Talents.  Your Social Talents will provide even more fun and, for the serious optimizer, could even synergize with your combat style, assuming that you have combat abilities that utilize social skills (Bluff, Sense Motive, Intimidate, etc…).

  •  Bad, Okay, Good, Great

The main reasons for the Zealot’s viability as an archer are its access to Smite Evil and Inspiration.  These two things, combined with the Archetype’s access to Inquisitor Divine Spells like Divine Favor, Channel Vigor, and Divine Power, make for a formidable archer.  You are somewhat MAD, but it all seems to work out, nonetheless.  You are limited to fitting in the obvious Archery Feats at a reasonable pace.   And with that, we are done with the combat side of the build, except for maybe choosing your Deity and Inquisition.

Pick a Deity and Inquisition (it seems that Vigilantes can’t choose a Domain in the place of an Inquisition like Inquisitors can) that synergizes well with your character build and concept.  If you do not need proficiency with a Deity’s Favorite Weapon, then forget about a Deity and just choose whatever Inquisition you like without having to match the Inquisition with the Portfolio of the Deity.  If you do choose a Deity, make sure that your Deity or Vigilante alignments allow you to select the Zealot Talent – Smite Evil.  Inquisitions that I like are Chivalry, Conversion, Illumination, and Reformation, though there are some that are as useful for campaign specific reasons.

Your first Social Talent selected for pretty much any Vigilante is Social Graces.  After that you need to ask you GM what kind of role-play campaign he is running.  Consider the following:

  • Many Guises – You had better take this or you are not living up to your potential as a Vigilante on purpose.  This is your 5th level selection absent a very good campaign-related reason that makes the Renown-route (spoke about below) a better option.
  • Quick Change, Everyman and Immediate Change are pretty good for all campaigns and are your 7th, 11th, and 13th level option, unless you went down the Renown-route for a very good campaign-related reason;
  • Mockingbird – Situationally useful in and out of combat for most any campaign, so maybe this is your 3rd level Social Trait.
  • Feign Innocence and Subjective Truth – I say just tell the truth and use your great Diplomacy to justify the truth.  If you must lie, then rely on your great bluff skills (passing on Feign Innocence) and Will Saves to get pass Sense Motive and Lie Detector spells.  If you wanted to pass on invest heavily in bluff, then maybe Feign Innocence is the way to go for your 9th level slot.
  • Renown, Greater Renown, and Incredible Renown are situationally good in a non-mobile role-play game for making a town full of friend and have surprisingly high Intimidate bonuses when applicable. These, alone, are horrible in a mobile roleplaying game.  With that said, you could take Renown by default at 3rd level, if you did not take Mockingbird;
  • Loyal Aid and Safe House are okay for a settled game, but Many Guises does the job of Safe House for your character and both Loyal Aid and Safe House require Renown;
  • Triumphant Return and Instant Recognition are necessary for the Renown-related social traits in mobile games, but lock you into a Social Talent Path.  Further, Instant Recognition can only be taken at 13th level;
  • Gossip Collector– just say no.  We will just have to “suffer” with how great Diplomacy is at allowing us to gather information normally.
  • Celeb Discount, Double Time, Celebrity Perks, and In Vogue – just say no.  The thing is that the Pathfinder writers realize how powerful extra money can be, so they had to make these stink.  So they do. If you choose these, do so for flavor only.  And that flavor would be dookie on a stick.
  • Case The Joint – just say no.  Way too situational.

So there you have it.  Like the Cleric and Oracle archer, you won’t be as powerful in Archery as the Warpriest, but you should come close enough.  Further, you will kill in role-play.  When your GM realizes that she can’t hide from your awesomeness in or out of combat, she will just have to accept your dominance.

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