While some who take up the sword or the bow and delve into the wild do so in pursuit of a just cause, to develop a greater sense of community with nature, or even in search of great treasures, there are still others who do so simply for the thrill of the hunt; for these intrepid adventurers, no mountain is too high, no cave too deep, and no terrain too perilous to stand between a trophy hunter and his prize. Trophy hunters pursue creatures of all types, always searching for that one
legendary creature whose defeat will earn them great respect and renown among their fellow hunters.
While trophy hunting is not necessarily regarded as a good and just reason to pursue most targets, the trophy hunter is not necessarily evil--most trophy hunters are simply in pursuit of the reputation that comes from hunting the biggest prey. A trophy hunter, then, can be of any alignment (though they tend toward chaos over law), and as such, trophy hunters have been known to hunt down creatures of all types, from woodland beasts to great dragons, celestial beings to demons and devils, and even other humans (though in the case of the latter, the trophy hunter usually tends toward the bounty hunting trade).
Due to the demanding nature of the environments trophy hunters often find themselves in, rangers find themselves most naturally able to adapt to the trophy hunter's task, though scouts have been known to rise to the challenge as well. Occasionally, rogues and barbarians will carve out a niche for themselves capturing and killing increasingly tough prey for the renown it brings them, but most are dissuaded by the diverse range of challenges and opportunities the trophy hunter aspires to overcome.
To qualify to become a trophy hunter, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus:
Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, Craft (Taxidermy) 6 ranks, Survival 8 ranks
Track, Trophy Collecting
- Hit dice: D8
|Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st favored enemy, Trophy Collecting|
|Favored boon, Uncanny Dodge|
|2nd favored enemy, bonus feat, trophy bonus (+2)|
|Favored boon, tremorsense 30ft.|
|3rd favored enemy, alternate form|
|Favored boon, trophy bonus (+4)|
|4th favored enemy, bonus feat|
|Favored boon, tremorsense 60ft.|
|5th favored enemy, trophy bonus (+6)|
|Favored boon, improved favored enemy, improved alternate form|
The trophy hunter's class skills (and the relevant ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken indivually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis).
Skill points at each level:
6 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Trophy hunters are proficient with light armor. They gain no proficiencies with any weapon.
At 1st level, a trophy hunter may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Ranger Favored Enemies (Player's Handbook, p. 47). The trophy hunter gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures of this type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.
At 3rd level and every two levels thereafter (5th, 7th, and 9th level), the trophy hunter may select an additional favored enemy from those given on the table. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by 2.
The trophy hunter's favored enemy feature combines with other classes that grant favored enemies. For instance, if a 5th-level ranger has aberration (+4) and plants (+2) and takes a level of trophy hunter, selecting dragon as their favored enemy, the dragon is treated as the character's third favored enemy, and the character can increase the favored enemy bonus for aberrations, plants or dragons by an additional +2.
Above all else, a trophy hunter aspires to collect trophies, souvenirs of their hunts. From the 1st level onward, a trophy hunter who uses the Trophy Collecting (Player's Handbook II, page 83) to craft a trophy from an enemy who is treated as a favored enemy, the trophy hunter receives a number of benefits. First, a trophy hunter must spend ten minutes of each day either studying trophies they have on-hand (such as a creature's paw, or a necklace of teeth) or reflecting on trophies they have collected that are not with them (such as stuffed trophies) in order to receive the benefit of their favored boons.
Second, a trophy hunter can spend a full-round action focusing on a trophy they have in hand before performing a skill to receive a moral bonus on that skill equal to the number of trophies being worn.
Third, a trophy hunter can show a trophy to a favored enemy of the same type as the trophy being displayed to gain a morale bonus to an Intimidate check on that creature equal to the trophy hunter's favored enemy bonus against that creature. This Intimidate bonus stacks with the bonus granted by the trophy being used, but not the bonus granted by other trophies. If an Intimidate check to demoralize an opponent succeeds by more than 5 while displaying a trophy of that favored enemy, the enemy is instead frightened.
As a trophy hunter becomes more advanced in their knowledge of the various different creatures that they are hunting, they gain a number of enhancements and abilities, otherwise known as favored boons, that use their advanced knowledge of their prey to their advantage. At 2nd level, and every two levels thereafter (4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th), a trophy hunter learns a new favored boon. Favored boons allow the trophy hunter to use their specialized knowledge to their advantage; the more they know about the creature they are hunting, the better.
The various favored boons are listed below, and are as follows:
A trophy hunter with this boon can anticipate the attack patterns of creatures that they have studied and pursued intensely. Trophy hunters with this boon add their Intelligence bonus (if any) as an insight bonus to their Armor Class against attacks from creatures who are listed as their favored enemy. A trophy hunter must have at least one other favored boon before they can take this boon.
A trophy hunter with this boon will always strike true. Trophy hunters with this boon add their favored enemy bonus to all attack rolls made against an enemy of the appropriate type. A trophy hunter must have at least three other boons before they can take this boon.
A trophy hunter with this boon knows how to strike true against their target, and adds their favored enemy bonus as an insight bonus to rolls made to confirm critical hits.
A trophy hunter with this boon can strike with devastating efficiency. Trophy hunters with this boon increase the critical hit multiplier of all attacks made against a favored enemy by +1. A trophy hunter must have at least three other favored boons before they can take this boon.
A trophy hunter with this boon adds their favored enemy bonus to Fortitude saves made against enemies of the appropriate type.
A trophy hunter with this boon can share their expertise in combat with their companions. This boon allows them to spend a move action to grant half their favored enemy bonus against a single target of the appropriate type to all allies within 30 feet who can see or hear them. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to the trophy hunter's Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by their allies; they use whichever bonus is higher. A trophy hunter must have at least one other favored boon before they can take this boon.
A trophy hunter who studies an enemy well can know them better in battle. A trophy hunter with this boon can make knowledge checks untrained to identify a favored enemy. In addition, a trophy hunter gains a bonus to the knowledge roll equal to the favored enemy bonus.
A trophy hunter is always prepared to act first when their prey is at hand. A trophy hunter with this boon adds their Intelligence modifier (if any) to their initiative modifier, up to their favored enemy bonus, when they enter combat with enemies of the appropriate type. (If a trophy hunter is entering into initiative against multiple different favored enemies, they use the highest favored enemy bonus, and ignore the rest.)
A trophy hunter who has earned repute as a great hunter can strike fear into the hearts of its targets. A trophy hunter with this boon can designate a single foe within 30 feet of them that they can attempt to demoralize as a free action (see the intimidate skill, page 76 of the Player's Handbook). A trophy hunter can apply their favored enemy bonus as a competence bonus for this attempt. If successful, the enemy remains shaken for the remainder of the encounter. This ability can only be used once per encounter. Regardless of whether the attempt succeeds or fails, a creature who the trophy hunter has attempted to demoralize is immune to subsequent attempts for the next 24 hours. A trophy hunter must have at least one other boon before they can take this boon.
Sometimes, a trophy hunter would rather bring their prey back alive. Before rolling an attack roll against a favored enemy, a trophy hunter with this boon can decide to make the damage nonlethal instead, without incurring the usual -4 penalty for a nonlethal attack.
When a trophy hunter with this boon makes an attack against a favored enemy, they gain an additional attack at their highest attack bonus. A trophy hunter must have at least three other boons before they can take this boon.
A trophy hunter with this boon adds their favored enemy bonus to Reflex saves made against enemies of the appropriate type.
A trophy hunter with this boon adds their favored enemy bonus to Will saves made against enemies of the appropriate type.
At 2nd level, a trophy hunter retains their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if they are caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, they still lose their Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a trophy hunter already has uncanny dodge from a different class, they automatically gain improved uncanny dodge instead.
At 3rd level, a trophy hunter gains a bonus feat, which is drawn from the Scout bonus feat list (Complete Adventurer, p. 13). At 7th level, the trophy hunter gains an additional bonus feat from this list.
At 3rd level, a trophy hunter's trophies begin to augment his own abilities. Every trophy a trophy hunter crafts from the 3rd level on grants them a +2 bonus to any ability score of their choosing for as long as they wear it. This bonus increases to +4 at the 6th level, and +6 at the 9th level.
At 4th level, a trophy hunter gains tremorsense to a range of 30 feet. A trophy hunter can detect and pinpoint any creature or object within 30 feet in contact with the ground. At 8th level, the range extends to 60 feet.
At 5th level, a trophy hunter begins to see their trophies as an extension of their very selves. A trophy hunter gains the Alternate Form
special ability, but may only use it to use it to transform into a creature the trophy hunter regards as a favored enemy, whose trophy they are currently wearing. The creature is considered to be the same CR as it was when it was slain for advancement purposes (meaning, a CR8 Gargantuan monstrous spider whose fang was used to make an amulet does not allow the trophy hunter to change into a Colossal monstrous spider under any circumstances, since it was a Gargantuan spider when it was slain).
Improved Favored Enemy:
At 10th level, a trophy hunter has become so masterful at hunting for game that their knowledge of the creatures they fight becomes like an extension of themselves. A 10th level trophy hunter treats all favored enemy bonuses as if they were increased in increments of +4, effectively doubling their favored enemy bonuses for each creature.
Improved Alternate Form:
At 10th level, a trophy hunter's connection with his trophies extends beyond the creature from which the trophy was formed, and into their families. A trophy hunter can now use alternate form
to change into any creature with the same creature type as a favored enemy whose trophy they are currently wearing, as long as the creature's CR is equal to or less than the trophy. For example, a trophy hunter who has made a trophy out of a CR8 Gargantuan monstrous spider can instead change into a Gargantuan monstrous centipede, since the base creature is CR6.
Any thoughts on the class? I tried to give it a great deal of openness for customization, because it seems like the bonuses for this type of thing aren't exactly something you want locked in (originally, I had Knowledge, Armor Class, Intimidate, Attack Rolls and Critical Multiplier appearing as your only five, in that order). I think I may have overdone it a tad by giving the trophy hunter a double bonus to all favored enemies and
full BAB progression (when initially it had 3/4 BAB progression), so I may well change that.
Have at it, Playground! Tear the trophy hunter to pieces, so he can use them to create a trophy that gives him a morale bonus to Appraise skills.