Eagle Rider (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Note: this prestige class is campaign specific. Stonehall is a city of half-giants, with a smattering of gnomes and dwarves. It can, however, be adapted to different campaigns
The wind rushed past her hair, swirling, turning it to a scarf of golden red flame. Kiara felt the wind across her closed eyes, reveling in the cool moisture it brought to her fevered brow. As long as she was above it all, literally, she felt that she could be above it all, figuratively, as well. No need to think. Why think? Ioren would think for her. Ioren wouldn't let her fall, alone. It didn't matter about anyone else, who cared about them? Humans schemed, grabbed for power, lied, cheated. Seduced. All to give meaning to their pitiful existence. Our pitiful existence. When she was soaring, happiness rushed over her, with the wind.
Eagle riders originated in New Stonehall, but are now encountered all over. Back when the terror was still fresh, when people could still remember the day they had had to flee Old Stonehall (then simply called Stonehall, of course), eagle riders were called upon to patrol their new home. Soon their reputation spread, until all races learned to respect the fearsome eagles of Stonehall. Soon, some of the cleverer members of other races began emulating the half-giants.
Adaptation: Eagle riders can be adapted to any campain. In campains with an enemy army, they could be portrayed as evil scouts. By adapting the flavor somewhat, and possibly giving them 3x normal human vision in shadowy illumination rather than +4 bonuses to spot and search checks, owl riders would make an exceptional nighttime scout. Eagle and owl riders could be part of an order of knight/ranger hybrids. They may have originated in dwarven mountains and be favored by dwarves, or they could be a highly respected order of elves.
To qualify to become an eagle rider, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
- Skills: Handle Animal 8 ranks, Ride 8 ranks, Spot 8 ranks
- Feats: Mounted Combat
- Special: Eagle animal companion.
|1||+0||+0||+2||+0||Eagle eyes, extra animal companion,||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|2||+1||+0||+3||+0||Frightful presence, quick flier|
|3||+2||+1||+3||+1||Slow fall||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|4||+3||+1||+4||+1||Fascinate, healing tears|
|5||+3||+1||+4||+1||Eagle's splendor, improved eagle eyes||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|6||+4||+2||+5||+2||Animal messenger, shriek|
|7||+5||+2||+5||+2||Eagle summons||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|8||+6||+2||+6||+2||Greater tears, Improved Grab|
|9||+6||+3||+6||+3||Greater eagle eyes||+1 level of existing divine spellcasting class|
|10||+7||+3||+7||+3||Adamantine talons, free flier|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
Spells per Day: At every odd eagle rider class level, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in whatever divine spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.
If a character had more than one divine spellcasting class before she became an eagle rider, she must decide to which class she adds each odd level of eagle rider for the purpose of determining spells per day.
In addition, an eagle rider adds eagle's splendor and eagle's splendor, mass to her spell list, and can spontaneously cast any summon nature's ally spell she knows (as a cleric casts cure or inflict spells) to summon eagles or giant eagles..
Extra Animal Companion (Ex): When a character takes a level in the eagle rider prestige class, she gains a giant eagle as an additional animal companion (this is an exception to the rule that animal companions must be animals, not magical beasts). Add the eagle riders class levels to her effective druid level -3 for the purposes of improving the animal companions statistics.
An eagle riders class levels also stack with the characters effective druid or ranger level regarding the first animal companion. Should an eagle rider change her first animal companion to that of anything but an eagle, the animal companion gains no benifit from the eagle riders class levels, and the eagle rider loses the ability to take levels in the eagle rider prestige class.
Eagle Eyes(Ex): A 1st level eagle rider gains low-light vision, allowing her to see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of shadowy illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. If an eagle rider already has low-light vision from another source (such as her race), her lowlight vision improves, allowing her to see three times as far as humans in conditions of shadowy illumination. An eagle rider also gain a +4 competance bonus to spot and search checks.
Frightful Presence (Ex): By 2nd level, an eagle riders giant eagle can unsettle foes with its mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever the eagle attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 30 feet are subject to the effect if they have fewer HD than the eagle. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 eagle’s HD + eagle’s Cha modifier) remains immune to that eagle’s frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Giant eagles and the eagle rider's eagle animal companion ignore the frightful presence of other giant eagles.
Quick Flier (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, an eagle riders small eagle animal companion is faster than normal eagles by +20 feet. This bonus increases to +40 at 10th level
Slow Fall (Su): At 3rd level, if an eagle rider falls, she floats down at a rate of 60 ft per round for a number of rounds equal to 1d4/2 eagle rider levels. If she reaches the ground in that amount of time, she lands safely. If not, she falls the rest of the distance, taking 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet of fall.
If the giant eagle manages to get 5 feet under the eagle rider during this time, the eagle rider may attempt a DC 20 reflex save to land on and remain on the eagle. If she succeeds, the eagle rider lands safely on the giant eagle. However, she takes a -5 to all Ride checks and Reflex saves until she takes 2 full round actions to right herself (Ride check DC 15 each round, penalty applies)
Fascinate (Su): A 4th level eagle riders giant eagle gains the ability to fascinate creatures. A number of times per day equal to the giant eagles Wisdom modifier, an eagle can attempt to fascinate a creature with HD up to the eagle riders class level x the Charisma bonus of the giant eagle. Any creature within 30 feet must make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 giant eagle's HD + giant eagle's Charisma modifier) or be fascinated. If a creature is already subjected to the frightful presence special ability, they take a -5 penalty to the will save. This ability lasts a number of rounds equal to the eagle riders class level. This is a mind-affecting ability. Giant eagles ignore the fascination of other giant eagles.
Healing Tears (Su): Beginning at 4th level, an eagle riders small eagle can heal wounds (her own or those of others) by touch. Each day she can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to her HD x her Wisdom bonus + the eagle riders class level. An eagle may choose to divide her healing among multiple recipients, and she doesn’t have to use it all at once. Using healing tears is a standard action.
Eagle's Splendor (Ex): At 5th level, both animal companions gain a +2 bonus to Charisma.
Improved Eagle Eyes (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, an eagle riders vision improves further. The eagle riders ranged attacks have +50% range, and the eagle rider may make spot checks as a free action. If the eagle rider has the Quick Reconnoiter feat, he instead gets a further +4 competance bonus to spot and search checks.
Animal Messenger (Sp): A 6th level eagle riders small eagle companion gets an intelligence bonus of 1d4 points. In addition, the eagle companion can cast tongues as a spell like ability 1/day per Wisdom modifier. Its caster level is equal to 1/2 its HD
Shriek (Su): A 6th level eagle riders giant eagle has a breath-weapon like sonic attack. For every 4 HD the giant eagle has, the sonic attack deals 3d8 points of damage in a cone equal to the eagle riders class level times 5 ft. (ignores hardness). The giant eagle can only use this ability once every 2d4 rounds. A giant eagle can take metabreath feats to improve this ability.
Eagle Summons (Sp): At 7th level, an eagle rider can summon 1d3 giant eagles or 1d4+1 eagles a number of times per day equal to her Wisdom modifier (as summon nature's ally spell, caster level equal to eagle rider level).
Greater Tears (Su): The 8th level eagle riders small eagles healing tears ability improves. He can now use his healing tears as a swift action, and may add the eagle riders wisdom bonus to the amount of damage he can heal per day.
Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a giant eagle must hit with a bite or claw attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.
Greater Eagle Eyes (Ex): By 9th level, the eagle riders vision reaches the pinacle of its clarity. He gains the ability to See Invisibility (as the spell), and can always choose to take 10 on spot checks, even in adverse conditions.
Adamantine Talons (Ex): Upon 10th level, the giant eagles natural attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for purposes of overcoming DR. In addition, the giant eagles natural weapons can be enchanted as masterwork weapons. The eagle rider must pay all costs associated with the magic property, and may only give the eagle a +1 magic bonus/4 giant eagles HD.
Free Flier (Su): The 10th level eagle riders small eagle is always under the effect of the spell Freedom of Movement. He does not, however, gain the ability to attack normally with slashing and bludgeoning weapons underwater.
Sample Eagle Rider
Variant Eagle Rider: Owl Rider
1st level: Owl Sight (Ex): A 1st level owl rider gains low-light vision, allowing her to see three times as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of shadowy illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. If an owl rider already has low-light vision from another source (such as her race), her lowlight vision improves, allowing her to see four times as far as humans in conditions of shadowy illumination. Replaces Eagle Eyes
2nd level: Improved Flight (Ex): An 2nd level owl riders small owls maneuverability is increased by 1 step-clumsy to poor, poor to average, average to good, or good to perfect. At 10th level, the fly speed increases by a further step. If a small owl has the Improved Flight feat (CAdv), he instead gains a +20 bonus to his speed at 10th level. Replaces Quick Flight.
Improved Owl Sight (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, an owl riders vision improves further. The owl riders low-light vision increases to 5x (or 6x if they have low-light vision from another source), and the owl rider may make spot checks as a free action. If the owl rider has the Quick Reconnoiter feat, he instead gets a further +4 competance bonus to spot and search checks. Replaces Improved Eagle Eyes
Baleful Gaze (Su): Any creature within 30 feet of a 6th level owl riders giant owl is subject to it's baleful gaze. If a creature fales its will save is held in place (as the spell hold monster). Any creature that makes it's save cannot be subjected to this ability for the for a number of minutes equal to the successful save minus the save DC. This is a gaze attack. The giant owls caster level is equal to 1/3 of its HD. Replaces Shriek
Owl Summons (Sp): At 7th level, an owl rider can summon 1d3 giant owls or 1d4+1 owls a number of times per day equal to her Wisdom modifier (as summon nature's ally spell, caster level equal to owl rider level). Replaces Eagle Summons
Greater Owl Sight (Ex): By 9th level, the owl riders vision reaches the pinacle of its clarity. She gains the ability to See Invisibility (as the spell), and can always choose to take 10 on spot checks, even in adverse conditions. Replaces Greater Eagle Eyes