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thejibboo
2011-12-19, 04:44 AM
Hereís my first homebrew PrC: the inspired hunter. I made this up to offer to someone in my group who really wanted to play a Ranger/Bard and is now finding, as we repeatedly warned, that they arenít meshing especially well. As I started working on the concept I found I actually really liked how the Rangerís nature + practical knowledge fluff interacted with the Bardís art + academic knowledge fluff, it just needed some crunch to help it along. The player Iím offering this PrC to is already a Bard 4/Ranger 3, so Iím not really concerned with her ever becoming over-powered, but Iíd like to really fine tune the class so that when itís my turn to be a PC again I could petition to play this renaissance man meets hunter.

Inspired Hunter
Warrior, shaman, scholar, poet Ė few figures unite so many seemingly disparate disciplines as the inspired hunter. On the other hand, she would say that these paths appear divided only to those who cannot pierce the illusions of their own preconceptions. There is only one truth, but there are many ways to catch hold of it, and the inspired hunter eschews none of them. No facet of the human puzzle can be neglected if one is to understand her place in Nature. The knowledge gleaned from the anatomistís flayed corpses equally refines the skills of the sculptor and the hunter. Only one who intimately understands all these paths can fully appreciate Natureís perfection. Science, art, theory and technique, the divine and the mundane; the inspired hunter knows that in the end all these distinctions bleed into one another in battle or the hunt, becoming embodied in the humming bowstring. The only immutable fact is the sovereignty of Nature, and to fully experience that truth is the goal of the inspired hunter. She strives to keep her intellect razor keen without neglecting to train her intuition, the hand that guides the blade of reason. Every aspect of her sprawling education brings her into closer communion with Nature, that one undeniable Reality.
Not surprisingly for one who embodies so many contradictions, the inspired hunter is capable of consummate self-reliance, but can also be the ultimate boon to an adventuring party.
Hit Die: d6

Requirements
To qualify to become an inspired hunter, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
BAB: +4
Skills: at least 1 rank in 6 different knowledge skills
Special: Inspire courage ability, animal companion, archery combat style
Spells: Able to cast divine and arcane spells.

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Spellcasting

1st|+0|+0|+2|+2|Bard Abilities, Animal Companion, Favored Enemy, Lyric Bond (Greater Magic Fang, Barkskin), Lesser Natureís Harmony | +1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

2nd|+1|+0|+3|+3|Deadly Knowledge, Immortalized Vendetta |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

3rd|+2|+1|+3|+3|Passionate Song (1), Natureís Harmony |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

4th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Lyric Bond (Stoneskin) |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

5th|+3|+1|+4|+4| |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

6th|+4|+2|+5|+5|Promise of Defeat, Greater Natureís Harmony |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

7th|+5|+2|+5|+5|Favored Enemy, Lyric Bond (Animal Growth) |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

8th|+6|+2|+6|+6| |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

9th|+6|+3|+6|+6|Passionate Song (2), Perfect Natureís Harmony |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

10th|+7|+3|+7|+7|Death Arrow |+1 level of existing arcane and divine spellcasting classes

[/table]

Class Skills
The inspired hunterís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (n/a) Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex)
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the inspired hunter prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Inspired hunters gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Spellcasting: At each level, the inspired hunter gains spells per day and spells known as if she had gained a level in one arcane spellcasting class and one divine spellcasting class she had before becoming an inspired hunter.
Bard Abilities: An inspired hunter adds her class level to her bard level for determining her number of uses of bardic music per day, and the bonus provided by her inspire courage ability, but not for other bardic music abilities. She adds her inspired hunter levels to her bard level for the purpose of bardic knowledge checks.
Animal Companion (Ex): An inspired hunter adds half her class levels to her effective druid level for determining the strength of her animal companion.
Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, and again at 7th, an inspired hunter gains a new favored enemy, and increases the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just gained) by 2. This ability functions exactly as the ranger ability.
Lyric Bond (Su): The close bond between master and animal companion allows the inspired hunter to impart extra benefits to her animal companion with the use of her inspire courage ability. At 1st level and higher, the animal companion receives the benefits of the Barkskin and Greater Magic Fang spells while under the effects of its masterís inspire courage ability. At 4th level and higher, it receives the benefits of a Stoneskin spell. At 7th level and higher, it receives the benefits of an Animal Growth spell. The caster level for these spells is equal to the inspired hunterís character level.
Lesser Natureís Harmony (Ex): Inspired hunters have a keen sensitivity to the natural world, as well has a highly developed understanding of harmonics. Beginning at 1st level, the unpredictable gusts and buffets of wind that knock another archerís arrows off course instead seem to guide her arrows to their target. While she is in natural settings, and has uses left of her bard music, she gains the benefit of the Far Shot feat and a +1 bonus on ranged attack and damage rolls. This bonus increases by 1 at every level the inspired hunter gains a Natureís Harmony ability (to +2 at 3rd, +3 at 6th, and +4 at 9th).
Deadly Knowledge (Ex): An inspired hunterís intensive studies in diverse fields allow her to make intuitive leaps, applying detailed knowledge from one subject to another where most individuals could discern no connection. Beginning at 2nd level, once per day an inspired hunter may take a full round action and expend 3 uses of her bardic music ability to attempt a bardic knowledge check against the CR of one living being familiar to her. If the check succeeds, she apply her highest favored enemy bonus against that being as a competence bonus for the rest of the day.
Immortalized Vendetta (Ex): Her scholarly nature never blunts her passion, and victory in combat can raise her to new heights of inspiration. Beginning at 2nd level, when she defeats a favored enemy, an inspired hunter gains a use of her bardic music for the day. This ability can never give her more uses of the bardic music ability than her bard and inpired hunter levels entitle her to.
Passionate Song (Su): The passionate song is the hallmark ability of the inspired hunter. Using her bardic music, she is able to impart a measure of both her own passion and her own knowledge to her allies. Beginning at 3rd level, if she is aware of and engaged in combat with a favored enemy, an inspired hunter may blend the effects of a spell she can cast with her inspire courage ability. Once during the duration of her inspire courage ability, she may expend 2 additional uses of her bardic music as a swift action to chose a spell that she knows and can cast and have that spell affect all allies who are currently receiving the benefits of her inspire courage ability (to a maximum of 4). If the spellís duration is normally longer than ďinstantaneousĒ its effects instead apply as long as the effects of inspire courage. The inspired hunter loses the spell just as if it had been cast, but the spellís level is not raised. Any bonuses (to AC, an ability score, etc.) granted by a spell cast in this manner become morale bonuses and stack with the effects of inspire courage. A spell cast in this way must have a normal casting time of one standard action or less. At 9th level and above when using this ability an inspired hunter may instead expend 3 uses of her bardic music and incorporate the effects of two spells into her inspire courage ability, losing both spells as if they had been cast but without raising either spell's level.
Natureís Harmony (Ex): The inspired hunterís musical study enhance her understanding of the sounds of the natural world. Beginning at 3rd level, an inspired hunterís Move Silently checks automatically succeed in natural settings as long as she has remaining uses of her bard music.
Promise of Defeat (Su): An inspired hunter has an uncanny grasp of the psychology of her prey, and can weave sinister chords into her songs even while those same songs bolster her friends. Beginning at 6th level once during the use of an inspire courage, after an inspired hunter or one of her allies affected by her song defeat one of her favored enemies, she may expend 3 additional uses of her bardic music as an immediate action to choose a spell that she knows and can cast and have that spell effect all favored enemies (excluding allies who happen to share that type) that can hear her bard song (to a maximum of 4). The save DC, if any, is raised by an amount equal to relevant bonus against each favored enemy. If the spellís duration is normally longer than ďinstantaneousĒ it instead lasts as long as the subject hears her sing. She loses the spell as if it had been cast normally, but the spellís level is not increased. A spell cast in this way must have a normal casting time of one standard action or less.
Greater Natureís Harmony (Ex): An inspired hunter eventually becomes so attuned to her bow that it begins to feel like a musical instrument in her hands, and the music of its hum loses any hint of dissonance. Beginning at 6th level, when in natural surroundings, the inspired hunter gains the benefit of the Improved Rapid Shot feat as long as she has remaining uses of her bardic music.
Perfect Natureís Harmony (Ex): To an advanced inspired hunter, even the slightest disruption in Natureís music is glaringly obvious. Beginning at 9th level, an inspired hunter can sense her favored enemies within 100 feet as if she had the blindsight ability, as long as both the inspired hunter and the favored enemy are in natural surroundings and the inspired hunter has bard music uses remaining.
Death Arrow (Ex): At 10th level, an inspired hunter becomes able to channel her both her learning and her force of will into a single potent attack. Once per day, an inspired hunter can spend 1 hour and expend 4 uses of her bardic music to create a death arrow. A favored enemy that takes damage from that arrow must succeed on a Fortitude save against DC 10 + the extra damage dealt from the favored enemy bonus, or die. When creating a death arrow, the inspired hunter can expend additional uses of her bardic music to increase its potency. For every 2 uses of bardic music expended above 4, increase the arrowís save DC by 1.


Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated! There are a few specific details Iím still wondering about:
1) Iím really tempted to give it 3 good saves, as it shares the mystic warrior flavor with the monk. I originally had it at full BAB before admitting to myself that that was over the top, but 3 good saves would make up for that.
2) As itís written now (a competence bonus), the deadly knowledge ability could allow the inspired hunter to potentially double its favored enemy bonus against one favored enemy per day, and Iím not sure if thatís too much. An alternative Iím thinking of would be to simplify the wording to just let her treat one enemy as a favored enemy. This would let her apply the death arrow ability to things that arenít normally favored enemies, but would not allow her to double the bonus against something that was already a favored enemy.
3) My intent is for Ranger 4/Bard 1 to be the quickest way to qualify. Let me know the prereq wording leaves any faster loopholes.
4) The balance of the Passionate Song ability is obviously the main concern. This will basically give ďMassĒ versions of many spells to this PrC before they could be gained otherwise. My thinking is that the restrictions placed on the ability (in combat with favored enemy and once per duration of song) are sufficient balance, but Iím not sure.

Thanks again for reading.