Falconer, Variant (5e Class)
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|“||Quinn swept her cloak back over her shoulder and lifted her left arm. A black shafted bolt from her repeater crossbow buried itself in Vurdin’s eye, and he fell without a sound. A second bolt tore into the chest of the man to his left. The remaining four came at her in a rush.
A screeching cry split the night as Valor swept down like a lightning bolt from a clear sky. His wings boomed as he spread them wide and swung around in a scything arc. Hooked claws tore the face from one bandit, and the eagle’s slashing beak clove the skull of the mercenary next to him. The third bandit managed to raise his weapon, but Valor sank his claws into his shoulders and bore him to the ground. The eagle’s beak slashed down and the man’s struggles ceased instantly. The last of the bandits turned and sprinted for the trees.
She stood, and Valor flew over to her, the satchel of military dispatches the thieves had stolen held in his claws. He dropped it and she caught it with her free hand, looping it over her shoulder in one smooth motion. Valor perched on her arm, his body rippling with the thrill of the hunt. His claws and beak were red with blood. The eagle’s head cocked to the side, and his gold-flecked eyes glittered with amusement. She grinned, her bond with the bird so strong she already understood his thoughts.
Falconers excel at the art of falconry, using birds of prey to hunt down their enemies and protect their allies. Their connection and dedication to the creatures of the sky is immeasurably strong, and to separate a Falconer from their bird companion is considered the ultimate punishment.
Creating a Falconer
Players who want to use the Falconer class must first answer a vital question. When, where, and how did they obtain their bird companion? Were they ceremoniously given their companion by their mentor after years of hard work and training? Did they encounter a lost falcon in the woods and nurture it back to health? In order to have your character take on the Falconer class, it is vital to have a strong personal connection between your character and your bird companion.
- Quick Build
You can make a Falconer quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. Second, choose the Outlander background. For equipment, choose the heavy crossbow for your crossbow weapon, then choose scale mail for your armor and the explorer's pack for your equipment pack.
As a Falconer you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor, medium armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: Falconry Kit
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Strength
Skills: Animal Handling, Perception, and choose 1 from Acrobatics, Survival, Sleight of Hand, Investigation and Stealth.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) A hand crossbow with 25 bolts or (b) A melee weapon you are proficient with or (c) A longbow (or a shortbow) with 20 arrows
- Two daggers
- (a) leather armor or (b) scale mail
- a falconry kit
- (a) an explorer's pack or (b) a dungeoneer's pack
|1st||+2||Avian Companionship, Scouting Mission||1/2 mi.|
|2nd||+2||Blinding Assault||1/2 mi.|
|3rd||+2||Falconer Specialty||1/2 mi.|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||1 mi.|
|5th||+3||Special Delivery, Blinding Assualt (2)||1 mi.|
|6th||+3||Heightened Senses||1 mi.|
|7th||+3||Falconer Specialty Feature||1 mi.|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||2 mi.|
|9th||+4||Blinding Assault (3)||2 mi.|
|10th||+4||Mimic, Arcane Talons||2 mi.|
|11th||+4||Falconer Specialty Feature||2 mi.|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||3 mi.|
|13th||+5||Blinding Assault (4)||3 mi.|
|14th||+5||Heightened Senses (2)||3 mi.|
|15th||+5||Sleight of Beak||3 mi.|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||4 mi.|
|17th||+6||Behind Enemy Lines||4 mi.|
|18th||+6||Falconer Specialty Feature||4 mi.|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||5 mi.|
|20th||+6||Avian Symbiosis||5 mi.|
Upon becoming your companion, your birds' Maximum Hit Points are equal to half of your Maximum Hit Points (rounded up) or their current Maximum Hit Points, whichever is higher. Likewise, their AC is equal to half of your AC (rounded up) or their current AC, whichever is higher. After this value is determined, they also gain a +2 bonus to their AC and a bonus to their Maximum Hit Points based on their CR. If you call a bird that has a CR of 0, they gain a +5 bonus to their Maximum Hit Points. If the called bird has a CR of 1/8 or 1/4, they gain a +3 bonus to their Maximum Hit Points. Finally, if the called bird has a CR of 1/2 or higher, they do not gain a bonus to their Maximum Hit Points. Your bird companion also gains a Hit Dice of 1d8 and gains an additional Hit Die each time you increase in level as if your bird companion was a Player Character.
During combat, your bird companion acts independently of you, but it always obeys your commands. It rolls its own initiative and acts on its own turn. Additionally, your bird companion can occupy the same space as you.
If your bird companion dies, you can use the Falconry Kit to capture a new bird companion of any species listed above. Since your new bird companion isn't as trustworthy and familiar with you as your former bird companion, it must spend 12 continuous hours in your presence before you can use any features requiring your bird companion. After capturing a new bird companion, you can choose to make a Animal Handling skill check (DC 15) to halve this amount of time. After spending time with your new bird companion, it can receive the benefits of any Falconer class-related items in your possession, such as the Bracer of Inseparable Bonds, and its Maximum Hit Points, ability score improvements, and AC change to match your former bird companion's.
Whenever you or your bird companion force a creature to make a saving throw or skill check with a Falconer class feature, they must roll against your Falconer class DC unless noted otherwise.
- Falconer Class DC
- 8 + your Proficiency Bonus + your Wisdom modifier
As a Falconer, you are also able to send your bird companion to scout ahead of you for treasure or danger. While you are not in combat, you can choose to send your bird companion on a scouting mission. Depending on where it's sent during its scouting mission, your bird companion may find treasures, secret passages, enemy positions, or other useful information for you. The furthest distance away your bird companion can be from you is determined by your Scouting Radius, a circular area with a radius that starts from your current position and ends at the given distance in the Falconer class table. Your bird companion's ability to find anything still depends levels of visibility or any other external factors that would affect vision or hearing (i.e. light levels, canopy cover, foliage, cloaking spells, weather).
At the 1st level, you have the ability to vaguely understand the messages that your bird companion attempts to give to you. Additionally, you know your bird companion's exact location while it is within half of your Scouting Radius. At the 10th Level, you know its location while it is within your full Scouting Radius.
At the 2nd level, you and your bird companion have learned to coordinate attacks. If your bird companion is within 25 feet of you, you can use a bonus action to send your bird companion to make a melee attack against a creature within 25 feet of you, dealing 1d4 slashing damage on a successful hit. The damage from this feature increases to 1d6 slashing damage at the 5th Level, 1d8 slashing damage at the 9th Level, and to 1d12 slashing damage at the 13th level. Attack and damage rolls for this feature are calculated with your Dexterity modifier. After attempting an attack, your bird companion returns to its location prior to this feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature.
At the 3rd level, you must choose which specialty you will use to train your bird companion. Choose either the Hawkeye or Talon Specialty, both detailed at the end of the class description. The specialty you choose grants you additional features at the 3rd level and again at the 7th, 11th, and 18th levels.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. In addition, your bird companion's AC and two different ability scores of your choice increase by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score belonging to you or your bird companion above 20 using this feature.
At the 5th level, your feathered friend gains more trust in you and your decisions. You or any willing creature you choose can give an item to your bird companion to deliver to you or another creature within your Scouting Radius. You can also choose to have your bird companion drop an item given to it anywhere within your Scouting Radius. Items given to your bird companion must be light enough for it to reasonably carry. At the 10th level, you can also choose to give it a brief verbal message that is one sentence or shorter.
At the 6th level, you have learned how to use your bird companion to see further than you can by yourself. If your bird companion is within 25 feet of you, you can use an action to reveal an area around you until the end of your turn. While in this state of improved vision, you can see the locations of all creatures within a 20-foot radius around you that aren't concealed by magic. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier. You regain all expended uses after taking a long rest.
At the 14th level, you bird companion passively watches over you. While you aren't in combat, any hidden creature within 25 feet of you that isn't concealed by magic and isn't a part of your party must make a Stealth skill check against your bird companion's passive perception or your bird will notify you of their presence. You can also choose to expend a use of this feature to have your bird discreetly fly directly above the creature's location and follow them until they leave your Scouting Radius.
At the 10th level, you have trained your bird to a point that it can better enunciate its messages and intentions. It can now speak certain phrases and short sentences as well as mimic certain noises to let you know slightly more specific details of what it has found on its scouting missions.
At the 10th Level, you have borrowed from the magic of wizards and other spell-casters to enhance the power of your feathered friends. If your bird companion would deal slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning damage to a creature, you can choose to have that damage be treated as magical for the purpose of overcoming damage resistances and immunities.
Sleight of Beak
At the 15th level, if your bird companion is on a scouting mission or in combat and is within 20 feet of a creature, you can use a bonus action to have your bird companion make a Sleight of Hand skill check to steal an item from that creature that it can carry back to you. The item it takes must be light enough for it to reasonably carry. After attempting to steal an item, your bird companion returns to its location prior to this feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature. You can use this feature a number of times equal to half your bird companion's Dexterity modifier (rounded down). You regain all expended uses after taking a long rest.
Behind Enemy Lines
At the 17th level, your bird companion has unyielding loyalty to you, drastically increasing your combat capabilities. If your bird companion is within 5 feet of you, you can use an action to have it magically carry you into the air. While you are being carried by your bird companion, you gain a flying speed equal to your bird companion's flying speed, and any attacks or harmful spells that would target your bird companion target you instead. Additionally, you gain a bonus to all attack rolls and Dexterity saving throws equal to half of your bird companion's Dexterity modifier (rounded up). While you are using this feature, your bird companion always shares the same space as you, you cannot use any Falconer class features that would change your bird's location, and your bird companion doesn't take its own turn. You can use a bonus action to end this state and immediately make a ranged weapon attack against a creature within 20 feet of you. After using this feature, you cannot use it again until you've finished a long rest.
At the 20th level, you are now perfectly in tune with your bird companion, as if you were the same being. You always know your bird companion's exact location, regardless of its current Hit Points, how far away it is from you, or any conditions or magical effects that you or your bird companion may have. You understand every specific piece of information it tells you from its scouting missions. In addition, your bird companion's ability scores, AC, and Maximum Hit Points increase to match yours. However, your bird companion's Intelligence ability score remains the same.
You prefer long range combat. Your perceptiveness and skill with ranged weapons has been honed to the point that you can easily pick off targets from afar before they even know what hit them.
- Long Shot
At the 3rd level, you have practiced long-range shots with your weapon. The normal and long ranges of ranged weapons that you are proficient in increase by 20 feet. If your bird companion is within 20 feet of your target, you may also use a bonus action to have your bird companion move foliage and other physical barriers that may interfere with your shot. The items that your bird companion move with this feature must be light enough for it to reasonably move or carry. After removing physical barriers from your target, your bird companion returns to its original location prior to this feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature.
At the 7th level, your bird has been trained to seek out multiple opponents, even those that are behind cover. During your turn, you can use a bonus action to send your bird to mark up to 2 creatures at a range up to your ranged weapon's normal attack range. Whenever you hit a marked target with a ranged attack, it deals 1d8 + your Dexterity modifier bonus magical slashing damage and you gain 10 feet of walking speed until the end of your turn. After hitting a marked creature with a ranged attack, the mark disappears. You can mark creatures with this feature up to 3 times, afterwards you cannot use this feature again until you complete a long or short rest. After marking any number of creatures, your bird companion returns to its original location prior to this feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature.
- Strike the Heart
At the 11th level, you have learned how to sharpen your ammunition to pierce layers of cover. When attacking with a ranged weapon that you are proficient in, creatures behind half cover lose their AC and Dexterity saving throw bonus from being under half cover. In addition, creatures behind three-fourths cover only gain a +2 bonus to their AC and Dexterity saving throws, as if they were under half cover.
- Eagle Eye
At the 18th level, you and your bird's vision has been sharpened to its fullest potential. You may now clearly see through any non-magical visual interruption excluding darkness. In addition, you and your bird companion can see through magical visual interruptions and see creatures concealed by magic while using any part of the Heightened Senses feature.
Primarily focusing on attack power is your forte. Utilizing perfect focus with your weapon and your feathered friend, you are able to cut and shoot through swaths of enemies who step in your way.
- Relentless Assault
At the 3rd level, whenever you use a bonus action to use the Blinding Assault feature, you may make an additional melee attack with your bird companion on the same targeted creature.
- Feather Fluster
At the 7th level, if your bird companion is within 25 feet of you, you can use a bonus action to send your bird companion to distract a creature within 25 feet of you. The distracted creature must make a Wisdom saving throw or lose concentration on their spells and attack with disadvantage until the end of their next turn. After using this feature, your bird companion returns to its location prior to this feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature. You can use this feature a number of times equal to half your Wisdom modifier (rounded up). You regain all expended uses after taking a long rest.
- Aim for the Eye
At the 11th level, when your bird companion attacks a creature with the Blinding Assault feature, you can choose to also have that creature make a Constitution saving throw or become blinded for a number of turns equal to half of your Wisdom modifier (rounded up). You can use this feature three times, afterwards you cannot use this feature again until you complete a long or short rest.
When you reach the 18th level, you can deal a devastating amount of damage alongside your bird companion. Whenever your bird companion hits a creature while using the Blinding Assault feature, they deal bonus slashing damage equal to your Wisdom modifier. In addition, after using the Behind Enemy Lines feature to end your combined state, you can make ranged attacks against any number of creatures within 20 feet of you.
Large construct, unaligned
Anytime the mech must make a choice while activated, the creature piloting the mech makes the choice instead. The mech uses the same senses as the creature piloting it when determining what it can see.
Club. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d4 + 4 bludgeoning damage.
Arm Cannon. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 60/180 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8 + 4 piercing damage. Hit or miss, if the mech isn't anchored, it must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.
Because of the amount of time it takes for someone to bond with a bird of prey to fight alongside them without magic, you cannot multiclass into the Falconer class.