PDA

View Full Version : The Hunter - A Combination Paladin, Assassin, and Ranger



Baron Corm
2007-12-09, 01:39 AM
A hunter would not be without his quarry. Hunters exist solely to hunt their prey. They train endlessly to defeat their chosen foes, and as a result have extraordinary fighting ability, willpower, reflexes, and fortitude even when not faced with their favored enemies. However, when called upon to stalk one of these favored enemies, a hunter excels far and beyond any others who would attempt the same.

Hunters generally aren't born with a hatred of their favored foes. A member of that species likely did something to the hunter in the past. However, it is possible to have a hunter who hunts simply for the money, and because no one else is as good as him at what he does.

Hunters are commonly called on as assassins or mercenaries. To a hunter, his prey is simply a thing to be stalked and killed (or subdued). Hunters of evil, for example, don't necessarily wield holy power or even have to have a good alignment. When a demon possesses one of their loved ones, a hunter will have no problem killing that loved one. Destruction of their prey is the hunter's number one priority, always.

Hunter
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+1|
+2|
+2|
+2|Stalk +1/0, prey, track

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+3|Hunt +1

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+3|
+3|Stalk +2/1, hunting partner

4th|
+4|
+4|
+4|
+4|Hunt +2

5th|
+5|
+4|
+4|
+4|Stalk +3/1, special ability

6th|
+6/+1|
+5|
+5|
+5|Hunt +3

7th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+5|Stalk +4/2

8th|
+8/+3|
+6|
+6|
+6|Hunt +4, improved hunting partner

9th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+6|Stalk +5/2

10th|
+10/+5|
+7|
+7|
+7|Hunt +5, special ability

11th|
+11/+6/+1|
+7|
+7|
+7|Stalk +6/3

12th|
+12/+7/+2|
+8|
+8|
+8|Hunt +6

13th|
+13/+8/+3|
+8|
+8|
+8|Stalk +7/3, greater hunting partner

14th|
+14/+9/+4|
+9|
+9|
+9|Hunt +7

15th|
+15/+10/+5|
+9|
+9|
+9|Stalk +8/4, special ability

16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
+10|
+10|Hunt +8

17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+10|
+10|Stalk +9/4

18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+11|
+11|Hunt +9, superior hunting partner

19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+11|
+11|Stalk +10/5

20th|
+20/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+12|
+12|Hunt +10, special ability[/table]

Alignment: Any nongood
Hit Die: d10
Class Skills: Jump, Climb, Concentration, Swim, Knowledge (geography), Survival, Spot, Listen, Search, Hide, Move Silently, Bluff, Intimidate, Sense Motive, Gather Information
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

Hunters are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are proficient with light and medium armors. They are proficient with shields, but not tower shields.

Stalk (Ex)

At level 1 and increasing every other level, hunters receive a +1 insight bonus on skill checks against their prey (see below). They receive half this bonus on attack rolls, armor class, and saving throws against their prey.

Prey

Each hunter chooses a single category of prey. They receive their stalk bonus against every creature who falls into that category and may receive an additional bonus depending on which category is chosen. The prey categories are as follows:

Natural: Animals, magical beasts, fey, vermin, plants; add Knowledge (nature) as a class skill

Humanoid: Humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants; add Knowledge (local) as a class skill

Alien: Oozes, constructs, aberrations; add Knowledge (dungeoneering) as a class skill

Evil: Any creature which is "always evil"

Good: Any creature which is "always good"

Chaotic: Any creature which is "always chaotic"

Lawful: Any creature which is "always lawful"

Elemental: Elementals, undead (or deathless, etc.), outsiders; add Knowledge (the planes) and Knowledge (religion) as class skills

Magical: Any creature with racial spells or spell-like abilities; add Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) as class skills

Track (Su)

Hunters receive the Track feat as a bonus feat. In addition, they are able to identify a member of one of their prey categories by smell alone, even if that creature normally doesn't have a scent (as the scent ability). This also allows them to track a creature in their prey category by scent. Negating the ability of the hunter to smell would negate this ability, but the prey cannot mask his scent with perfumes, shapeshifting, or anything else.

Hunt (Ex)

At level 2 and increasing every other level afterward, hunters receive a +1 bonus on damage rolls against their prey.

Hunting Partner

At level 3, the hunter receives a companion. This companion is typically used to flush out the enemy while the hunter waits to ambush, help the hunter to gain flanking bonuses, or simply to aid in intimidating the hunter's quarry.

The hunter may choose any creature as his hunting partner that has an Intelligence score of 1 or 2 and a challenge rating of 1 or less. If the hunter is able to relate to mindless creatures through feats or other venues, he may choose a creature without an Intelligence score. Regardless of the creature's intelligence, the hunter has an empathetic link with it. The hunting partner receives half of the bonuses from the hunter's stalk and hunt abilities.

The hunter may obtain alternate hunting partners in a similar fashion to a druid or paladin; consult your DM.

Special Ability

At level 5 and every five levels after, the hunter may select a special ability from the following list:

Skilled Hunting (Ex)

The hunter can critical hit any creature who is his prey, even if that creature is not normally subject to critical hits.

Tireless Stalking (Ex)

The hunter is immune to fatigue and cannot have his movement speed reduced by anything mundane, such as terrain features or caltrops. He can still have his movement speed reduced by magical effects, and this does not allow the hunter to, for example, climb or swim faster.

Tenacious Stalking (Ex)

When tracking his prey, the hunter cannot have his Survival DC increased by any factors.

Intuitive Stalking (Ex)

The hunter's ability to detect his prey by smell improves to the equivalent of blindsense. In addition, the hunter now has the equivalent of the (standard) scent ability against any creature.

Primal Scaring (Ex)

The hunter's prey does not receive its Wisdom bonus to its modified level check when the hunter uses the Intimidate skill against it.

Vicious Hunting (Ex)

The hunter's hunt ability deals 1d2 damage at every interval instead of 1. This is retroactive. Taking this ability a second or third time increases the die size to d4 and d6, respectively.

This ability also allows the hunter to deal half his previous amount of hunt damage to any creature. For example, someone who had a hunt die size of d4 would deal 1d2 damage per two intervals to any creature.

Skilled Stalking (Ex)

The hunter may use the hide skill against his prey even while being observed. In addition, the hunter's armor check penalty in all armors is reduced by 3 (minimum 0), but only for the Hide and Move Silently skills.

Witch Hunting (Su)

The hunter receives spell resistance equal to (10 + 1.5 x class level) against his prey. This only functions as long as the hunter has on his person a special item, similar to a cleric's holy symbol, which he receives upon taking this ability. He also now receives his Stalk bonus to saving throws against any saving throw, even if not originating from his prey, as long as it is from a spell or spell-like ability.

If taken a second time, the spell resistance from Witch Hunting applies to even supernatural abilities. The hunter's prey makes a HD check instead of a caster level check when using supernatural abilities against him.

Improved Hunting Partner

At level 8, the hunter's hunting partner receives enough HD to bring it up to CR 5. It receives +2 natural armor and +1 Strength and Dexterity.

Greater Hunting Partner

At level 13, the hunter's hunting partner receives enough HD to bring it up to CR 7. It receives +4 natural armor and +2 Strength and Dexterity (cumulative with previous bonuses).

Superior Hunting Partner

At level 18, the hunter's hunting partner receives enough HD to bring it up to CR 10. It receives +6 natural armor and +3 Strength and Dexterity (cumulative with previous bonuses).

Ex-Hunters

A hunter who becomes of a good alignment can no longer advance in the hunter class but retains all class features.

hamstard4ever
2007-12-09, 02:10 AM
I'm not sure of the mechanical merits of a class that specializes this intensely, being incredibly good against one category of foes but mediocre at best the rest of the time; it seems like a rather difficult job to balance a campaign with a hunter PC, since they will have a cakewalk in fights against their chosen prey but otherwise will struggle to contribute significantly. Hunters don't seem like they would make especially good encounters for the party either except in rare circumstances; if most or all of the party falls under the hunter NPC's prey category then the hunter will wipe the floor with them, if none of them qualify as the hunter's prey then the party will have practically no danger. And sending a hunter whose prey is just one member of the party would just be punitive.

The ranger's favored enemy feature gets a lot of flak and justifiably so, but the favored enemy bonuses don't completely make or break the ranger. The wider categories available as prey choices and increased bonuses are a nice addition to the favored enemy concept, but here they come at a cost of everything else useful or interesting about the ranger. Personally I would either make this a 5- or 10- level PrC, or else cut the rate of Stalk/Hunt progression in half and add some more generalized abilities on the off levels.

Thanatos 51-50
2007-12-09, 02:20 AM
I believe there is a "Bloodhound" PrC in either CW or CS which hunts a specific (I.E. one) target and gets simular bonuses. You may want to tone this class down and make it prestige, perhaps with a bit of modeling after the Bloodhound.

Also - whats up with "any nongood"? Why can't I have a NG Hunter with a prey of "Evil?"

EDIT: you may want to also include such basics as weapon and armor proficencies, too.

Baron Corm
2007-12-09, 03:07 PM
I'm not sure of the mechanical merits of a class that specializes this intensely

Yes, it is difficult to balance, but that is the whole idea behind the class, and instead of changing it, I want to fix it. When not fighting his prey, he gets all good saves, good HD, and good BAB. He can still be useful. When fighting his prey, he's much better. That's the concept.


Personally I would either make this a 5- or 10- level PrC,

This is meant to replace the paladin and ranger classes. I want it to be balanced as a base class.


...or else cut the rate of Stalk/Hunt progression in half and add some more generalized abilities on the off levels.

I've done this, kind of. Hopefully it's a lot better.


Also - whats up with "any nongood"? Why can't I have a NG Hunter with a prey of "Evil?"

See fluff. A NG hunter would have priorities other than defeating his prey (such as upholding the virtues of goodness), and thus be worse at it.


EDIT: you may want to also include such basics as weapon and armor proficencies, too.

Yeah, whoops :smallbiggrin:.

hamstard4ever
2007-12-09, 04:25 PM
This is meant to replace the paladin and ranger classes. I want it to be balanced as a base class.

Balancewise it's looking much better now; the bonuses it gets are not quite so utterly overwhelming, and it gets a few more interesting options to compensate.

But if actually replacing those classes is your intention, though, I don't think it works. It is considerably more specialized in its usage than either the ranger or the paladin; it cannot fully cover the roles of either class, let alone both. For certain purposes, yes, it excels. I would imagine there are many individual ranger and paladin characters who would happily switch to this class, trading in their spellcasting and a few miscellaneous other abilities for the increased bonuses against their prey. This trade is overall a balanced and reasonable one and it makes sense for many character concepts. However, it cannot possibly hope to account for all paladins and rangers, either in terms of mechanical roles or flavor effect.

Personally I think this class needs a spellcasting progression even more than the ranger or paladin. A half-casting progression would give the hunter badly needed options to contribute even in situations where their prey bonuses don't directly apply. They would still be very mediocre when not dealing with their chosen prey--weaker than a standard ranger or paladin, neither of which is an amazingly powerful class to begin with--but they would not suck quite so badly.

Balancewise the bonuses would probably have to be curtailed a bit more to accomodate the addition of spellcasting; I gather the intent behind all the hunt/stalk bonuses is in part to replace paladin and ranger buff spells, and they are balanced appropriately as such, which means that if you gave the hunter spellcasting in addition then the hunt/stalk bonuses would have to be trimmed to compensate.

If you're adamant about being a non-spellcasting class, then the hunter needs more abilities and more variety in ability choices--particularly in terms of abilities that are useful even if their chosen prey isn't around!--if you want to be able to replace the spellcasting role of the ranger and paladin, although again I would shave a few points off the bonuses in that case. As a class option in addition to standard ranger or paladin, the hunter as it stands looks generally balanced if a bit dull. As a class option replacing both ranger and paladin I think it falls flat.

Baron Corm
2007-12-09, 05:34 PM
How about that? I gave them a companion. I like open-ended things, so this is probably how a druid's animal companion ability would look in my campaign too. There would be feats and stuff to let the hunter get things of higher intelligence, like an imp for a chaos or good hunter, as his companion.

Prophaniti
2007-12-09, 06:40 PM
Looks really fun, don't see any grevious balance issues except one: taking 'Magical' as your prey. Who woundln't want SR, especially SR that tops out at 40(!) at level 20? Maybe just 10+ .5x class level...

Thanatos 51-50
2007-12-10, 02:17 AM
See fluff. A NG hunter would have priorities other than defeating his prey (such as upholding the virtues of goodness), and thus be worse at it.


I see what you mean, but fluff is highly mutable.

I once played a Paladan of a Nature Goddess who would pretty much show no remorse when "stalking" evil creatures, even planning elaborate, multi-pronged sneak attacks in the dead of night (or broad daylight in the case of nocturnals), but would skirt for miles around a rust monster becasue it didn't ping on his evil-dar.

He would act in mutch the same fashion you descirbed in your fluff, even taking up arms against a fellow Paladan who was being mind-controlled (and he didn't pull punches).

My point is, you can be good-aligned, and still have a single-minded dedication towards "killing evil things".

<<EDIT, becuase I don't want to jack the thread. I apologise for the unintetional beginings of an alignment debate - I'll go slaughter some innocents now to repent.

~~Also, I apologise for typos.>>

Baron Corm
2007-12-10, 02:36 AM
I'd rather not have an alignment discussion here, heh. It's all opinion. You can change it if you want.

Ioth
2007-12-10, 02:57 AM
So far this is looking like pretty good class. Personally I wouldnt give up the paladin for it if not for the strict alingment *Anything lawful gets no fun freedom... :smallannoyed: *

you should look into the dungeon masters guide right before epic characters, Its got a pretty good system on how to get a balanced mount or animal companion and its practically specialized around the paladin and the ranger.

Good job on the character. Personally I was going to make something like this that was more singularly based around slaying evil outsiders *Demon Hunter* But I can pretty much completely make that character using this class.

lol playing in a extremly high powered campaign *18 level* and demons, Devils and undead if there were any around our level that couldn't kill our 50 str Tub of meat in one glance.

Brom
2007-12-16, 02:39 AM
I will start by stating my bias: I hate how the Ranger is set up. I hate 80 percent of their abilities; all I truly care for is their spells, skills, hit die, light armor, and nature based abilities.

Their combat styles are too restricted, their favored enemies too skewed, & their spells two few/day.

The favored enemies is a biggy for me. That's supposed to be a -highlight- of the ranger. I would rank it with one of the weakest abilities in the game; unless there is a pre-designed agreement to fight one type of creature for an entire campaign ((God forbid)) Rangers fail to contribute through anything other than Survival & their Knowledge (Nature) abilities. A Rogue can handle the stealth end, and a Wilderness Rogue can completely obviate the Ranger while providing a more generic and applicable sneak attack.

And I noticed immediately three things that were OP ((overpowered)):

- Fighter base attack bonus
- Monk Savings throws
- Rangers skills
- Rangers skills/lv
- Oh and don't forget that the Favored Enemy equivilant is superior.

I would say give them a Hunt ability ritual that, through 2 hours of meditation and focus, allows them to retask their hunting abilities 1/3 days towards a new creature that they have been at least within 10 feet of.

Neftren
2007-12-16, 07:43 PM
Oh, just a note, I believe Fax already has a stranglehold on the name "The Hunter"... you may want to change that. IIRC.


Tireless Stalking (Ex)

The hunter is immune to fatigue and cannot have his movement speed reduced by anything mundane, such as terrain features or caltrops. He can still have his movement speed reduced by magical effects, and this does not allow the hunter to, for example, climb or swim faster.

Just a bit broken. Immune to Fatigue? This guy can go for hours and hours on end... if he can't get fatigued, he can't get exhausted. He'd never have to sleep or stop walking...

Pie Guy
2008-04-03, 04:23 PM
So he doesn't.

This class is about tirelessly stalking their prey.