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I know that as a scout progresses he gets more attacks/round from his BAB. if using both attacks or all three is a full round action how can he gain the benefit from his skirmish which requires him to move at least 10 ft?

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Ranged or melee? What level? –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Feb 21 '14 at 7:31
Right now my scout focuses on ranged at lvl 6 but as i level higher i hope to move into a ranged/twf scout. Yes i understand that is a huge amout of feats needed to be proficient with both but its ok i will deal with that situation myself not to mention we have a fairly generous dm. –  gareth the elf Feb 21 '14 at 19:12

5 Answers 5

The best resource for this is KRyan's answer to his own question, "What are the best ways to move and full-attack in the same round?"

Add to his list the following:

  • The shoulders slot item shadow cloak (DrU 101) (5,500 gp; 1 lb.) as an immediate action 3/day grants the wearer the ability to teleport up to 10 ft.
  • The feet item boots of sidstepping (MIC 78) (6,000 gp; 0 lbs.) as an immediate action 3/day grants the wearer the ability to take a 5-ft. step even if the wearer's already taken a 5-ft. step or move action this turn.
  • The slotless item sparring dummy of the master (AE 137) (30,000 gp; 40 lbs.) grants a creature with at least 1 level of monk the ability to move 10 ft. when taking 5-ft. steps. Training with the dummy takes 4 weeks. This forces the scout into monk (or forces him to find a DM generous enough to allow the scout to employ the Use Magic Device skill to fake monk-ness), and as this item wasn't updated to D&D 3.5 the DM may rule it's unavailable.
  • The feat Sidestep (MH 28) as a nonaction 1/round grants the creature the ability, after the creature attacks, to take a 5-ft. step instead of making an attack of opportunity. To use this to activate skirmish, the scout must take a 5-ft. step, make at least one attack as part of his full attack routine, and then somehow force a threatened creature to provoke an attack of opportunity from him during his full attack. Difficult to use and not recommended.
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Thanks for the items listing and books that was very helpful. But im looking for a more permanent solution not just a x/day type thing –  gareth the elf Feb 21 '14 at 19:08
Also as far as kryan's response to his question with pounce and trading fast movement does that scout have that option as well since a scouts fast movement acts the same as a barbarians –  gareth the elf Feb 21 '14 at 19:18
@gareththeelf The barbarian alternative class feature spiritual totem (lion totem) (CC 46) is restricted to barbarians, but with a generous enough DM all things are possible. –  Hey I Can Chan Feb 21 '14 at 20:37
@gareththeelf Barbarian 1 is a really solid dip for a scout, between Lion Spiritual Totem and the Whirling Frenzy (gain a bonus attack) or Ferocity (+Str/Dex) alternatives to Rage. Also, consider levels of ranger with the Swift Hunter feat from Complete Scoundrel. Barb 1/Sct 4/Rngr 15 is a really solid, simple Skirmish build. However, Pounce doesn’t help with ranged attacks; considering that, cleric 1 may be a better dip. –  KRyan Feb 22 '14 at 0:15
I'd like to add a note: There is some disagreement on whether teleportation effects count as movement for the purposes of Skirmish. This interpretation makes quite a few of the magic items inapplicable. –  Ernir Feb 22 '14 at 14:41

I guess the point is to take 10 ft step (i.e. free action) to make a full attack later on. In that case, I know the following ways:

  1. Get the feat "Travel Devotion" (CC), which allows you to move for free. To boost this, you could add some levels of cleric to have more turn undead to spare and then get the feat "Improved turning". A word of warning: the "Devotion" feats are IMHO pretty broken, especially "Travel Devotion", so it's good to talk about this with your master.
  2. Magic items. In the MIC there are items that grant you extra 5ft in your step. One such item is called "Boots of sidestepping". Alternatively, you could use an "Anklet of translocation". I don't know of other items, but suggestions will be edited. Another word of warning: check your master's policy on MIC items.
  3. Only for melee. Instead of getting a free, larger step, you can get a full-round action after a movement. The most common way is the "Lion-totem barbarian" class replacement feature (UA).

A final remark. I thought the point of the skirmish damage was to let a scout choose: either many arrows, each of which deal normal damage, or a single arrow, dealing lots, probably getting to do a similar amount of damage as in the full round. I am unaware whether getting the skirmish damage on all arrow hits makes the game unbalanced, but surely this is something to avoid, and it is something one should weigh based on the party he is in.

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Actually, any option letting you choose between many attacks, very low damage and one attack, low damage is inherently bad. Luckily, at least for ranged Scouts, the Improved Manyshot feat is in the Core ruleset. –  Zachiel Feb 21 '14 at 14:07
My understanding is that the move free action is a 5 foot step not 10. Is my understanding wrong and if not is there a way to increase that distance –  gareth the elf Feb 21 '14 at 19:05

This isn't fancy, but it gets the job done without straining magic item budget or depending on DM rulebending.

Very simply: take Quick Draw, Combat Reflexes, and Hold the Line. Humans can do this at level 3 without multiclassing, others at 6. Don't use a bow. Use a throwing weapon, preferably a throwing axe, and make "Returning" its first enhancement when you can afford it. Keep additional axes on yourself as well. Every round, position yourself at a point 30' feet away from your primary target and as far away from all other enemies as you can. Throw the axe for Skirmish damage. Most melee enemies will have to charge you to attack; when they do, AoO them for additional Skirmish damage. Then tumble away and repeat on the next turn. You will be an appealing target to ignorant enemies and nobody will be able to afford to ignore you for long, but the tactic will not be ideal against strong ranged enemies. Against spellcasters, ready your attack action each round to interrupt their casting. Keep your Spot and Hearing up and put "Seeking" as the second enhancement on your magic axe when you can afford it. Congratulations! You will be in charge of neutralizing spellcasters, and that will be increasingly important as you rise in levels.

After the three feats above, if you are married to being a two-weapon fighter, take Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, and Double Hit. I wouldn't recommend this, though, it has too little payout until you get Double Hit towards the end of your career; until then you will depend on non-Skirmish full attacks without Skirmish damage and they will be lame. It will be slightly less lame if you have a good flanking partner to set up flanks, but still only so-so. Alternative: multiclass with Ranger, and take the 2-weapon bonus feat path will free up feats for Swift Hunter and increase your BAB; take the Arcane Favored Enemy alternate feature and the results will be semi-good, but you will still have a long stretch with little payout for your investment.

However, instead of 2-Weapon fighting I would recommend Point Blank Shot, Deft Opportunist, and Weapon Finesse in that order. Again, you can multiclass with Ranger but take the archery path and substitute Swift Hunter for Point Blank Shot. Also, equip a light shield (people often forget rangers have shield proficiency). That shield will up your defense A WHOLE LOT and you can cheaply enhance it for additional alternate attack options as well. You will rarely be making full attacks so the loss of the hand to the shield will be no big deal for you.

As an alternative to all of the above, you could go full archer with a bow, forget the AoOs and melee combat entirely, and go with a combination of Point Blank, Rapid, and Many shot (again, you can multiclass with ranger for the archery path and take Swift Hunter instead of using your own feats for Rapid/Manyshot). Then you go with Dodge, Mobility, and Shot on the Run. You might be able to squeeze in one or two more feats as well. With these build(s), you never willingly go into melee and instead use Shot on the Run to emerge from and return to hiding every round wherever feasible. There is a lot to recommend that course, but with it you never, ever want to be in melee and will be weak where you can't find or make concealment/cover for hiding.

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Pilot a Broom (or any mount technically, but totally best on broom)

This is a great way of building a character who, yes takes a thousand feats to be good, crosses a nice threshold from hey that's a neat workaround to "Look at my assault helicopter. Isn't he Pretty?". Steering with your Knees in a DC FIVE ride check, a 10 in combat, under duress. Key Defense points:

A flying shield (with arrow blocking) responds to a large amount of your immediate non-caster threats, is cheap, and works for all time, even on super awesome DM customized archers, but only once a round.

A godawful high Dex is key to hitting, not getting hit back, and your REFLEX save, so yeah, DO THAT.

Evasion, and Improved same, and something like a Ring of Invisibility (greater if you can get it) will protect you from rays and AoEs through mid levels.

An Airborne sort of flavor works very very well with a scout's military background, tons of fun to RP it all. I started this build as a Cohort cause it seemed cool but the story was heavily invested in the character with leadership. It quickly became not only my favorite, but a really useful tool; chasing other flying baddies, as a virtually silent reconnoiter build (no footfalls), the fastest non-monk in the party, and with Quiver of Elhalona (sp?), you can fit your entire character in one backpack (bows, brooms, arrows, spec. shots, wands (with 1 lvl rogue), etc). Cloak of the Bat is a ton of fun, and boots of spider climb for the same reason: sneak in by landing on ceiling and just walking in. Air walk is actually weaker than this because it takes an action to walk. Steering the broom is NOT a move action.

Best Race I've built this on: Silver Brow Human (Lvl 15). Free feather falls (otherwise that's another ring you SIMPLY MUST HAVE), and with two feats, you can convert you Precision damage dice to FIRE, which does work on Undead, Constructs, Plants, Oozes, and Elementals (except the obvious). Ghost also seems to have a ton of promise, but i haven't had time to every really look at it.

When your broom is taken away; The ceiling is too low, Anti magic, targeted dispelling/suppression, whatever. You are still a decent Arrow Machine Gun from the ground, you just need to do a bunch of the regular work-arounds to earn Skirmish.

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This doesn't allow full attacks, though. Still need a move action to move, even if on a horse or broom. Also, the Errata specifically disallows mounted movement to trigger Skirmish. –  Jack Lesnie Dec 29 '14 at 1:18

Scouts are kinda supposed to find a way, through clever character building, to get rid of this limitation. As Monte Cook explained in his Ivory Tower Game Design essay, D&D is a game where your character results depend on your system mastery - especially recognizing trap options (or, like Monte tells us, options that are not good in our game) and finding out combos.

So, while your first option would be "don't play a Scout, even if you combo him out it's not really strong"(1), your second option is "find ways to move at least 10ft before striking/shooting".

Some of these options are right there, hidden in plain sight in the bonus feat list of the Scout. The Manyshot feat allows you to dish out up to 4 attacks in a standard action and the Improved Manyshot one lets you apply your skirmish damage to all of them.
Some involve more system mastery and material from different books. While it's not the best option out there, the Dervish Prestige Class is one easily recognizable way to get that extra damage at least once or twice per day.
The other answers already suggest lots of ways to do so.

1) That depends a lot on your DM and on the power level and output damage of the rest of your group. If you're "not really strong" but nobody is or your DM manages to give you something else satisfying to do, that's fine.

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