Build of the Week – The Sniper

I’m back, Gamer Nation. This week, I want to welcome the new year by looking at a long favorite ranged build – the Sniper. Striking hard from hiding, taking down the opponent as quickly as they can; they’re mantra being “one shot, one kill.” While that goal can be difficult with some of the more powerful foes in Star Wars Saga Edition, with the proper build it can be possible to take an opponent the entire way down the condition track in one round.

So, without further ado:

The Sniper

Species: Gran – The Gran may not have a Dexterity bonus, but they do have a few abilities that make them perfect for the Sniper build (or any ranged attacker build for that matter). First off, they don’t take penalties to Perception checks made out to 50 squares, and once per encounter, they can Aim as a single swift action, a very powerful ability.

Ability Scores

Strength -12 (+1)

Dexterity – 16 (+3)

Constitution – 13 (+1)

Intelligence – 10 (+0)

Wisdom – 10 (+0)

Charisma – 10 (+0)

Trained Skills

Perception

Climb

Jump

Survival (trained at Level 8 )

Level Progression

Level 1 – Soldier 1

Starting Feats: Armor Proficiency (light, medium), Weapon Proficiency (pistols, rifles, simple weapons).

Level 1 Feat: Point Blank Shot – This is one of the keynote feats you’ll need to build off a lot of your other feats and one of your prestige class entry requirements. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use it at further than 30 squares until later in your build, but it’s still an important feat to have.

Species Conditional Bonus Feat: Precise Shot

Level 1 Soldier Talent: Devastating Attack (rifles)  – This starts the build off of the condition track mastery track. This talent lets you treat your foe’s damage threshold as 5 lower, letting you break their threshold more often.

Level 2 – Soldier 2

Level 2 Soldier Bonus Feat: Careful Shot – This talent gives you a bigger bonus to your attack roll when aiming, which is a tactic you should be using fairly often with this build.

Level 3 – Soldier 2/Scoundrel 1

Level 3 Feat: Far Shot – This feat drops the penalty from firing at longer range. nothing to sneeze at.

Level 1 Scoundrel Talent: Dastardly Strike – This is the first talent that allows you to move an opponent multiple steps down the condition track. If you catch your foe flat-footed, then you move them an automatic -1 step down the condition track.

Level 4 – Soldier 2/Scoundrel 1/Scout 1

Ability Bonuses: +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity

Level 1 Scout Talent: Acute Senses – This is the keystone talent for the Awareness talent tree, which you need to satisfy a prestige class requirement.

Level 5 – Soldier 2/Scoundrel 2/Scout 1

Level 2 Scoundrel Bonus Feat: Quickdraw – This may or may not be a feat you get a lot of use out of, but it requires a feat requirement for the Gunslinger prestige class.

Level 6 – Soldier 2/Scoundrel 2/Scout 2

Level 6 Feat: Steadying Position (GaW 26) – This feat lets you ignore your opponent’s Dexterity bonus to Reflex Defense when you fire from a prone position, letting you use your Dastardly Strike talent more often.

Level 2 Scout Bonus Feat: Deadeye – This feat grants you a bonus die of damage on your next attack when you use the Aim action, which as stated under the reasoning for the selection of the Careful Shot feat, is a tactic you should be using as often as you can, if not every round.

Level 7 – Soldier 2/Scoundrel 2/Scout 3

Level 3 Scout Talent: Keen Shot – This talent lets you ignore concealment when attacking with a ranged weapon, and finishes your talent requirements for the Bounty Hunter prestige class.

Level 8 – Soldier 2/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4

Ability Bonuses: +1 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom

Level 4 Scout Bonus Feat: Skill Training (Survival) – This finishes your entry requirements for the Bounty Hunter prestige class.

Level 9 – Soldier 3/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4

Level 9 Feat: Double Attack (rifles) – This feat lets you take a second shot as a full round action, helping set up a powerful combination in a few levels.

Level 3 Soldier Talent: Penetrating Attack (rifles) – There aren’t a whole lot of opponents out there with Damage Reduction in Star Wars Saga Edition, but those that do have it can ruin your day real quickly. This talent helps offset some of that.

Level 10 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4

Level 4 Soldier Bonus Feat: Accelerated Strike (KOTOR 32) – This feat lets you make a full-round attack as a standard action once per encounter, allowing you to aim, gain the benefits of such on your first attack, and follow up with a second stinging shot with your Double Attack feat.

Level 11 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1

Level 1 Bounty Hunter Talent: Hunter’s Mark – This talent states that when you aim and deal damage, you move your target down -1 step on the Condition Track. As long as you fire from a prone position and deal damage, you move the target at least -2 steps on the condition track, -3 if you break their damage threshold.

Level 12 – Solder 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 1

Ability Bonuses: +1 Constitution, +1 Wisdom

Level 12 Feat: Riflemaster (GaW 25) – This feat does a number of things for different rifles, most notably letting you increase the damage die of the heavy blaster rifle from d10s to d12s.

Level 1 Gunslinger Talent: Debilitating Shot – This talent does the same thing as Hunter’s Mark, letting you move your opponent a possible -4 steps down the Condition Track in a single shot, and possibly moving them to the bottom of the track in a single round if you use your Accelerated Strike feat and break their threshold with the second attack.

Level 13 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 2

Level 14 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 3

Level 3 Gunslinger Talent: Precision Shot (GaW 31) – This talent lets you gain the benefits of the Point Blank Shot feat at range.

Level 15 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 4

Level 15 Feat: Triple Attack (rifles) – One more attack with a full-round attack is largely gravy, and may seem a little unnecessary, but can be a wonderful ability against foes with higher than normal Damage Thresholds.

Level 16 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 5

Ability Bonuses: +1 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom

Level 5 Gunslinger Talent: Draw a Bead (GaW 31) – This talent lets you add your Dexterity modifier (which by this point is nothing to sneeze at) to your damage rolls against an opponent you have aimed at from a range by spending a single swift action, but lasting until you finish your opponent off or until he leaves your sights.

Level 17 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 6

Level 18 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 7

Level 18 Feat: Weapon Focus (rifles) – This may seem like a really late point to take this feat, but every point of attack bonus helps.

Level 7 Gunslinger Talent: Multiattack Proficiency (rifles)  (LECG 41) – This talent lowers the attack penalty when you make multiple attacks with rifles, easy as that.

Level 19 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 8

Level 20 – Soldier 4/Scoundrel 2/Scout 4/Bounty Hunter 1/Gunslinger 9

Ability Bonuses: +1 Dexterity, +1 Wisdom

Level 9 Gunslinger Talent: Old Faithful (LECG 41) – This talent lets you add your Trusty Sidearm damage to rifles, netting you an extra four points of damage per attack with your attacks.

Alternate talent choices include a second pick of Multiattack Proficiency (rifles) in order to further mitigate the penalties on your Double and Triple Attack. The rest of the Sharpshooter talent tree from Galaxy at War is also have some great alternatives, so check those out as well.

When looking at equipment, you want to go with a weapon that’s going to deal good damage, such as the heavy blaster rifle, equipping it with either an enhanced low-light targeting scope to give you an edge in darker environs. If you decide to wear armor, you can go with the regular targeting scope should you choose to install a helmet package on your armor. You may also want to look at the Dashade Weapon template from the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide since you’ll be playing with the Condition Track a lot more often than you’ll be concerned with dealing straight hit point damage, and this helps you keep them pushed down the track for longer.

Obvious tactics for this build include finding a position far enough away with solid cover, dropping to the prone position, and aiming before squeezing off your shot. Once per encounter, you’ll be able to aim and take either the Double Attack or Triple Attack action, thanks to the combination of your species ability and the Accelerated Strike feat.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Build of the Week – The Sniper

  1. Tyler

    Looks good, but why double and triple attack?
    But like i said looks good, going to make this character starting at level 1.

    • The Double and Triple Attack are for use with the Accelerated Attack feat from the KotOR Campaign Guide. Basically, it’s the means to the end of getting a target down to the bottom of the CT in a single round, since the most you’ll be able to push in a single shot is 4 steps (1 from Dastardly Strike, 1 from Debilitating Shot, 1 from Hunter’s Mark, and 1 from Damage Threshold). Since two of those require you to be aiming, Taking a second and possibly a third shot is necessary to put him down in one round.

      I hope you enjoy the build. Keep me informed of how you like it as it levels, and any changes you make. Always interested to see people’s variations on it.

  2. Tyler

    Oh i will, just made the character, he is a human, that way i get one more trained skill, i like stealth, and the feat went to precise shot, cause the race you used started with that, probably a bad idea due to not being able to aim fast, but…the race is…..Not my style.
    And just one note that i found silly with the build as i was looking at it, you probably have a reason but i am going to ask anyway, Why rifle master?
    Isint sporting hunter better?
    I mean you get a gun that does 1 D less of Dmg sure, but you can improve that, but the bullet in unseeable, right?
    and i thought Hunters mark and Debillitating shot both take it down by 2 if you are prone?
    But anyway, looks like a great build and i will tell you how it works, thank you and see ya.
    And i thought scoundrel was the only real stealth class for the sneak attack!

  3. Darth Higgs-Bozon

    I like this build. I am making a Clawdite Replica Droid for use with this build. I like all the choices as the appropriate levels, my concept is more of a Bounty Hunter/Assassin/Spy type of character. Multiple personas via the use of shapechanging skin (GM already approved it)

  4. Zeroltheluz

    This is kind-of a necro of a 3 year-old thread but…

    I was using this build for a local game but after looking at it its probably too powerful.

    The concept of the condition-track sharpshooter is very powerful but with this particular build the wheels fall off when trying to give it one to two multiple attacks per encounter.

    You can also jump into the condition track /earlier/ if you don’t worry about getting multiple shots once or twice an encounter. You can also pick up additional talents that further wreck your foes the first time an aimed shot hits. Basically stun locking as long as you do 1 damage.

    Also, can get ‘smuggler’ point blank shot as one of its multi-class feats so that’s a feat you can save (and grab weapon focus early to off-set the class-dipping BAB reduction). Scout for first level will give you survival. So that’s another feat saved.

    Human Sniper.

    Level 1: Scout 1
    Skills: Whatever, just make sure you take endurance to get shake-it-off. You get lots.
    F: WF (Rifles)
    BF: Riflemaster
    Talent: Acute Senses

    L2: Scoundrel 1
    MF: Pont Blank Shot
    T: Dastardly Strike

    L3: Soldier1
    MF: AF (Light Armor) — Unneeded but you have all the others.
    F: Precise Shot (I realize lvls 1 and 2 sucked)
    T: Devastating (rifles)

    L4: Soldier2
    BF: Careful Shot
    Attrib: Dex and XX (Con is nice)

    L5: Scoundrel 2
    BF: Quick Draw

    L6: Scout 2
    F: Steadying Position
    BF: Dead Eye

    L7: Scout 3
    Talent: Keen Shot

    L8: Bounty Hunter 1
    Talent: Hunter’s Mark
    Attrib: Dex and XX (Con is nice)
    L9: Gunslinger 1
    Talent: Debilitation Shot (now we’re a condition track killer and only level 9)
    F: Far Shot (for precision shot)

    L10: Gunslinger 2

    L11: Gunslinger 3
    T: Slowing Shot –We’re always cranking out debilitating shots. Now each time you aim you also flat-foot the target for your entire party. Also, you don’t need to prone out for Dastardly strike anymore. Just shoot them with debilitating shot and every subsequent shot is a dastardly unless they spend actions to un-condition themselves. Which they better.

    L12: Gunslinger 4
    F: You pick. At this point your biggest flaw is missing targets or getting swarmed. So Improved Defenses or Toughness to shore up your survival iare nice.

    L13: Gunslinger 5
    T: Precision Shot

    L14: Gunslinger 6

    L15: Gunslinger 7
    T: Pinning Shot <- When you aim you not only super-condition but you make their movement a flat 2. And flat foot them.
    F: See level 12

    L16: Gunslinger 8

    L17: Gunslinger 9
    T: Harrying Shot <- When you aim you super condition, make their movement a flat 2, flat-foot them, and now they can't attack on their next turn. Congrats. Every shot you aim with stun-locks your foe. The only DRAWBACK is you never get your trusty-sidearm bonus to your rifle but you can aim-shoot with a pistol.

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