The Sniper

The Sniper is a first-level sample character for Spheres of Might - created by a member of the community! It is suitable for use as a PC or NPC. More information on using this character is presented below.

The Sniper
Human conscript 1
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6; Senses Perception +6


AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+5 Dex, +3 armor)
hp 11 (1d10+1)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +2


Speed 30 ft.
Melee dagger +0 (1d4-1/19-20)
Ranged deadly shot with heavy crossbow +7 (1d10+1d10/19-20; only first die is multiplied on a critical hit); on a successful deadly shot, also attempt a trip attempt against the target using the result of the attack roll as your combat maneuver check; deadly shot expends martial focus
. . heavy crossbow +7 (1d10/19-20)
. . barrage +5/+5 (1d10/19-20 each); barrage expends martial focus
For All Above: +1 attack and damage with ranged attacks when within 30 feet, and +1 damage in surprise rounds


Str 8, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 15
Feats Crossbow Mastery, Extra Combat Talent, Weapon Focus (heavy crossbow)
Traits Ambush Training, Armor Master
Skills Climb +3, Disable Device +9, Knowledge (local) +4, Knowledge (nature) +4, Perception +6, Stealth +9, Survival +6 [Disable Device, Knowledge (nature), and Stealth were chosen as additional class skills]
Languages Common
SQ Barrage Sphere, Barrage (ability), Combat Training, Equipment: Crossbow Mastery, Equipment: Expert Reloading, Equipment: Huntsman Training, Martial Tradition: Canny Hunter, Scout Sphere Specialization, Scout: Unimpeded Positioning, Sniper Sphere, Sniper: Deadly Shot, Sniper: Focusing Reload, Sniper: Trip Shot, Studied Target
Other Gear Heavy crossbow, studded leather armor, dagger, 30 bolts, 70 gp

Special Abilities

Barrage Sphere (Ex) Barrage practitioners specialize in using ranged weapons to make fast shots, often from the middle of the melee itself. Practitioners of the Barrage sphere gain a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 ft. Associated Feat: Point-Blank Shot.

All practitioners of the Barrage sphere gain the following ability: Barrage.

Barrage: Barrage (Ex) As a special attack action, you may make two ranged attacks at your full base attack bonus -2. Beginning at 6 base attack bonus, you may expend your martial focus to make an additional extra attack, increasing the penalty to all your attacks from -2 to -4. For every 5 points of base attack bonus you possess, when expending your martial focus you may increase this penalty by an additional -2 to make an additional extra attack.

Some talents are marked (blitz). You may apply a maximum of one (blitz) per extra attack to a barrage, but only if the barrage meets the prerequisites, including that attack (for example, if a (blitz) requires a target be struck twice, you can only apply that (blitz) to a target that has been struck twice. If he is struck a third time, you could apply a second (blitz) that requires at least two attacks to that target). Associated Feat: Rapid Shot.

Combat Training (Ex) A conscript may combine combat spheres and talents to create powerful martial techniques. Conscripts are considered Adept combatants, and in this Wisdom is chosen as your practitioner modifier. Characters with combat talents can gain martial focus. They can expend this focus as part of making a roll to “take 13” on any Fortitude or Reflex save. You can also expend martial focus to use Deadly Shot (see below). Focus can always be regained by taking the total defense action; you can (and usually will) also use Focusing Reload to regain focus (see below).

Equipment: Expert Reloading and Crossbow Mastery You may reload any type of crossbow as a free action, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity when reloading any crossbow. The feat prerequisites for the Crossbow Mastery feat are met by the Barrage sphere and Expert Reloading. Associated Feat: Rapid Reload.

Equipment: Huntsman Training You gain proficiency with the atlatl, bolas, boomerang, handaxe, harpoon, longbow, net, shortbow, throwing axe, and tube arrow shooter. In addition, you only suffer a –1 penalty per full range increment between you and your target when using a ranged weapon. Associated Feat: Far Shot.

Martial Tradition: Canny Hunter Canny hunters are skilled marksmen and trackers, capable of spotting a creature’s weaknesses and felling them with a single well placed shot. Bonus Talents: Huntsman Training (Equipment), Scout Sphere, Sniper Sphere, and one talent from the Equipment or Scout sphere

Scout Sphere Specializaton When you gain the Scout sphere, you gain 5 ranks in the Stealth skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Scout sphere (maximum ranks equal to your total Hit Dice).

As a swift action, you may identify a creature’s weaknesses (DC 10 + creature’s CR) as described under the Knowledge skill, but may substitute a Perception check for the appropriate Knowledge check at a -5 penalty. This only reveals the target’s weaknesses, or lack thereof, (such as damage reduction types and vulnerabilities), and does not reveal any additional information about the target. Once you have succeeded at a scout attempt or Knowledge check against a target, any talents or effects that require you to scout a target may be used against the target for the next 24 hours; after this period you must successfully use the scout ability against the target again to continue benefiting from related effects.

Specializing in the Scout sphere grants it as a bonus sphere. You treat your BAB and HD as being 1 higher when determining the effects of talents in the sphere. There are also abilities to increase damage that you will gain at 3rd, 8th, and 20th levels.

Scout: Unimpeded Positioning As long as you have martial focus, you ignore non-magical difficult terrain. Whenever you draw or reload a weapon as a move action, you may move up to 10 ft. as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Sniper Sphere (Ex) You can shoot or throw a ranged weapon at someone in melee without taking a -4 penalty. Associated Feat: Precise Shot.

Sniper: Deadly Shot (Ex) As a special attack action, you may make an attack with a ranged weapon. You may add any one (snipe) talent you know to this attack.

In addition, you may expend your martial focus to increase the damage dealt by the attack by 1d10, or 1d6 if the attack targets touch AC or is made with a scatter weapon. You must choose whether or not to use this ability before making your attack roll. These extra damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total. For every 4 points of base attack bonus you possess, you deal an additional 1d10 damage, or an additional 1d6 if the attack targets touch AC or is made with a scatter weapon.

Sniper: Focusing Reload (Ex) You may regain martial focus whenever you use a move, standard, or full-round action to reload a weapon you are wielding (including nocking an arrow to a bow). If you can normally reload your weapon faster than a move action, you may choose to reload as a move action to gain this benefit.

Sniper: Trip Shot (Ex) On a successful deadly shot, you may make a free ranged trip attempt against the target, using your original attack roll for the deadly shot as your combat maneuver check. You do not provoke an attack of opportunity for this combat maneuver, except as usual when making ranged attacks.

Studied Target You can study a creature you can see as a move action. You then gain a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks attempted against that creature, and a +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against it. The DCs of your class abilities and combat sphere effects against that creature also increase by 1. You can only maintain these bonuses against one creature at a time; these bonuses remain in effect until either the creature is dead or you study a new target.

Build Rules

The Sniper is built with a 20-point buy and 150 gp starting wealth (80 gp is spent on weapons and armor, spend the other 70 gp as appropriate). Favored Class Bonus is 1 skill point. If using a lower point buy, you can lower Charisma, Intelligence, and Constitution (in that order). If using a higher point buy (or rolling really well), Dexterity is the top priority. Wisdom is less important, but affects Perception and Will saves. Wisdom has been chosen as your practitioner modifier, so it determines the save DCs of combat talents, but the spheres being focused on here only include one talent with a saving throw (Head Shot).

Playing The Sniper

The Sniper tries to make individual shots as devastating as possible. Try to get in position using Stealth if possible, and hopefully get to use Studied Target before combat begins. Once combat starts, you can spend a standard action and expend you martial focus to use deadly shot, and then spend a move action to reload. You can reload as a free action, but if you do it as a move action you both regain martial focus and can move up to 10’ as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

The Barrage sphere provides an alternative to deadly shot and also fills prerequisites. A barrage cannot be combined with a deadly shot, but barrage lets you attack two targets at -2 to hit. The Barrage sphere also acts as two prerequisites for Crossbow Mastery.

Crossbow Mastery not only lets you reload a heavy crossbow as a free action, it also means reloading a crossbow provokes no attacks of opportunity. This means that if you find yourself in melee, spend a move action to reload. You will reload your weapon, regain martial focus, and move 10’ as a free action - all without provoking. Not only are you 5’ further than where a 5’ step will get your opponent, but you still have a standard action and martial focus to attack with deadly shot (or barrage) at point-blank range.

Stealth can be very useful in getting yourself in the right position. If the enemy doesn’t see you, take the time to use Studied Target. “Sniping” is actually used as a game term for a function of the Stealth skill that lets you make ranged attacks without being seen, but the Stealth check takes a -20 penalty. You are best off accepting that you will be seen after attacking until you can combine a talent and a feat to eliminate that penalty at level 3. Other skills can also help you get where you need to be. For example, Disable Device can get past locked doors in a city or town, while Knowledge (nature) and Survival are useful in the wilderness.

Future Abilities

For damage and debuffs, Deadly Strike and Mechanical Savant add straight damage to your attacks. The (snipe) talents from the Sniper sphere can inflict other penalties instead of tripping enemies. If you take the Sniper Shot talent, you can apply two of those talents at once. Also consider Alchemy with the Poison package for even more debuffing.

The Sniper sphere also includes multiple ways to make sure your attacks are effective. Perfect Shot, Targeted Assault, and Unblockable all help bypass your enemy’s defenses. Find Gap from the Scout Sphere also increases accuracy.

As mentioned above, the sniping function of the Stealth skill can become much more effective once you reach level 3. You can take the talent Active Camouflage and the feat Expert Sniper (you can take the talent earlier, but the feat requires 3 ranks in Stealth). Together, they reduce the penalty when using the sniping function of the Stealth skill from -20 to 0. For general stealthiness, the Lurker talent allows you to hide from unusual senses such as blindsight.

As you progress, you may want to consider multiclassing. Technician can give you trapfinding, as well as inventions. The invention most relevant to you would be the Improved Crossbow, which can add damage, integrate the crossbow with a shield or melee weapon, or add a poison dispenser. Scholar also has a variety of useful tricks, especially attaching a flashbang to ammunition for even more damage and debuffs with one attack. Just keep in mind that you will gain some bonuses to deadly shot damage and improved bonuses against studied targets as you gain conscript levels, and the Scholar and Technician are not full BAB classes.

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