So, I researched the etymology of the words “archer” and “archery,” and the words come to us from Latin, where they referred to ‘a maker of bows,’ and seemingly indicative of a person who uses a bow and the related sport.

Well, I’m bucking the system.

Here’s my Archer class for reference:
Essentials Dungeons & Dragons Archer Class (v0.1)

For too long has archery and the bow sucked in D&D. So here, I present a ranged fighter who doesn’t suck. Does the archer use lighter armor than a fighter? Yes, but he still gets the hit points of a fighter. He also gets a tasty CON bonus to damage.

Yo dawg, I heard you like hit points and damage, so I put some hit points and damage in the ability scores that give you hit points and damage, so you can get hit points and damage while you get hit points and damage.

After talking it over with my players, they recommended that the 2nd-, 6th-, and 10th-level features be optional replacements for utility powers, so feel free to do that if you play with any of the classes I make with 2nd-, 6th-, and 10th-level class features.

You might notice the skills are a little funny. That’s ’cause I’ve been working on a skill system overhaul (again). This time around, we’re going with a condensed list (12 total) of skills with shorter, more generic names with the potential for broader application.

The archer gets access to six of them, of which you can choose three. If the new skills weird you out too much, feel free to copy-paste the list from the Essentials slayer — they’re basic fighters. If you change anything else, that’s your prerogative.

Finally, the archer here is built out to 10th level, which is as far as I think it needs. I guess I could add stuff for Paragon and Epic tiers, but the thing is that so much is replaced between Heroic and Epic, that it isn’t terribly important at the start.

I’ll probably limit a lot of my future classes to the first 10 levels, since that’s where the bulk of their power is — and most of it is dropped in your lap at 1st level.