Hunter, Variant (3.5e Class)
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A Hunter is someone who fights with cunning and guile, they utilize dexterity and speed to sneak up on their opponent or face them head on. A Hunter also makes use of an array of magical powers that he draws from the very essence of nature itself, giving him a distinct, and many times unexpected advantage over his foes. A Hunter is a cunning fighter that can dispatch his opponents before they even see him, or if he so chooses, can meet them face to face. Hunters are loners in a wild world. They fend for themselves, live by themselves, and their might is matched by none in their forests. A Hunter is exactly what their namesake implies, they hunt, whether their prey be animal or elf, orc or dragon, they always find it, and they always kill it.
Making a Hunter
A Hunter is at his strongest when he is hidden. Hunters always make sure that they know where you are, but never show themselves in return. Hunters ambush their opponents, moving quickly around them dodging attacks and hitting with deadly accuracy. The Hunter also utilizes quite well, probably even better than the sword, his bow. However Hunters are poor front line combatants. Without the room to move around, and without the space to pull off some heavy ranged hits, the Hunter can be defeated. If you want to kill a Hunter, you must box him in.
Hunters travel and fight alone. They do not embrace social attention and often shrink away from cities. A Hunter in a group can easily be given away, but a hunter alone, will never be found. It is rare for a Hunter to be found with barbarians or fighters, but it does happen. It is however much more common to find Hunters teaming up with other Hunters when they do choose to travel in groups.
Abilities: Dexterity is the most pivotal force that drives a Hunter. Dexterity provides them with a better armor class for a class that does not often wear armor of any bulky kind, it grants them a greater hit chance with their ranged weapons, it is essential for many of the skills that this class commonly utilizes, and it is the key ability in a number special powers. Next in order of importance is Wisdom. Wisdom is the key ability for the magical powers of a Hunter, it also is useful for many skills commonly used by the Hunter, and is used in a few class abilities. Strength and Constitution can also be useful for the Hunter to provide him with extra hit points and allow him to deal out greater damage, two key items needed when fighting close hand.
Alignment: Any Neutral.
Starting Gold: 3d6×10 gp (105 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+2||Animal Companion, Animal Focus, Nature Training, Nature Sense, Wild Empathy||1||-||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||+0||+3||+3||Precise Companion, Combat Style||2||-||-||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Track, Trackless Step||2||1||-||-||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+4||+3||+5||+5||Improved Empathic Link, Improved Combat Style||5||4||3||1||-||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+6||Improved Dexterous Striking, Second Animal Focus||6||5||5||3||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+6/+1||+4||+6||+6||Resist Nature's Lure, Swift Tracker||6||5||5||4||2||-||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+7/+2||+4||+7||+7||Nimble, Raise Animal Companion||6||5||5||5||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|11th||+8/+3||+4||+7||+7||Diving Strike, Combat Style Mastery||6||5||5||5||4||2||-||—||—||—|
|12th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Speak with Master||6||5||5||5||5||3||1||—||—||—|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Greater Empathic Link||6||5||5||5||5||4||4||3||1||—|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+6||+10||+10||Hide in plane sight||6||5||5||5||5||4||4||4||2||-|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||One with the Wild||6||5||5||5||5||4||4||4||4||3|
Skills Points (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Hunter.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Hunters are proficient with the following weapons: club, dagger, dart, quarterstaff, scimitar, sickle, shortspear, sling, spear, longsword and all types of bows.
Hunters are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they may wear only padded, leather, or hide armor. (A Hunter may also wear wooden armor that has been altered by the ironwood spell so that it functions as though it were steel. See the ironwood spell description) Hunters are proficient with shields (except tower shields) but must use only wooden ones.
A Hunter who wears prohibited armor or carries a prohibited shield is unable to cast Hunter spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.
Spells: A Hunter casts divine spells, which are drawn from the Druid spell list. his/Her alignment may restrict her from casting certain spells opposed to her moral or ethical beliefs; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells, below. A Hunter must choose and prepare her spells in advance (see below).
To prepare or cast a spell, the Hunter must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Hunter’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Hunter’s Wisdom modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a Hunter can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Hunter. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score. She does not have access to any domain spells or granted powers, as a cleric does.
A Hunter prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does, though she cannot lose a prepared spell to cast a cure spell in its place (but see Spontaneous Casting, below). A Hunter may prepare and cast any spell on the Hunter spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during her daily meditation.
Spontaneous Casting: A Hunter can channel stored spell energy into summoning spells that he/she hasn’t prepared ahead of time. She can “lose” a prepared spell in order to cast any summon nature’s ally spell of the same level or lower.
Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A Hunter can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to his/her own. Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions.
Bonus Languages: A Hunter’s bonus language options include Sylvan, the language of woodland creatures. This choice is in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.
Animal Companion (Ex): A Hunter may begin play with an animal companion selected from the following list: badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the following creatures are also available: crocodile, porpoise, Medium shark, and squid. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the Hunter on her adventures as appropriate for its kind.
The hunter's effective druid level is equal to her hunter level. If a character receives an animal companion from more than one source, her effective druid levels stack for the purposes of determining the companion's statistics and abilities. A hunter may teach her companion hunter's tricks from the skirmisher ranger archetype instead of standard tricks.
If a hunter releases her companion from service or her animal companion perishes, she may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of prayer in the environment where the new companion typically lives. While the hunter's animal companion is dead, any animal she summons with a summon nature's ally spell remains for 1 minute per level instead of 1 round per level. A hunter cannot have more than one summon nature's ally spell active in this way at one time. If this ability is used again, any existing summon nature's ally immediately ends.
Animal Focus (Su): At 1st level, a hunter can take on the aspect of an animal as a swift action. She must select one type of animal to emulate, gaining a bonus or special ability based on the type of animal emulated and her hunter level. The hunter can use this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but must be spent in 1-minute increments. The hunter can emulate only one animal at a time.
The hunter can also apply one of these aspects to her animal companion. Unlike with the hunter herself, there is no duration on the animal aspect applied to her animal companion. An aspect applied in this way does not count against the hunter's minutes of duration per day—it remains in effect until the hunter changes it. The companion's aspect can be the same aspect the ranger has taken on or a different one. The hunter can select or change the animal foci on both herself and her animal companion as part of the same swift action.
If the hunter's animal companion is dead, the hunter can apply her companion's animal focus to herself instead of her animal companion. This is in addition to the normal one she can choose, and (as with a companion's focus) remains in effect until the hunter changes it instead of counting against her minutes per day.
Bat: The creature gains darkvision to a range of 60 feet. At 8th level, the range increases by 30 feet. At 15th level, the creature also gains blindsense to a range of 10 feet.
Bear: The creature gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution. This bonus increases to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.
Bull: The creature gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength. This bonus increases to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.
Falcon: The creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Perception checks. This bonus increases to +6 at 8th level and +8 at 15th level.
Frog: The creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Swim checks and on Acrobatics checks to jump. These bonuses increase to +6 at 8th level and +8 at 15th level.
Monkey: The creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Climb checks. This bonus increases to +6 at 8th level and +8 at 15th level.
Mouse: The creature gains evasion, as the rogue class feature. At 12th level, this increases to improved evasion, as the rogue advanced talent.
Owl: The creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Stealth checks. This bonus increases to +6 at 8th level and +8 at 15th level.
Snake: The creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls when making attacks of opportunity and a +2 dodge bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity. These bonuses increase to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.
Stag: The creature gains a 5-foot enhancement bonus to its base land speed. This bonus increases to 10 feet at 8th level and 20 feet at 15th level.
Tiger: The creature gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity. This bonus increases to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.
Wolf: The creature gains the scent ability with a range of 10 feet. The range of this sense increases to 20 feet at 8th level and 30 feet at 15th level. The range doubles if the opponent is upwind, and is halved if the opponent is downwind.
Nature Training (Ex): A hunter counts his/her total hunter level as both druid levels and ranger levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats, traits, and options that modify or improve an animal companion.
Wild Empathy (Ex): A Hunter can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The Hunter rolls 1d20 and adds her Hunter level and her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result.
To use wild empathy, the Hunter and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
Precise Companion (Ex): At 2nd level, a hunter chooses either Precise Shot or Outflank as a bonus feat. She does not need to meet the prerequisites for this feat. If she chooses Outflank, she automatically grants this feat to her animal companion as well.
Combat Style (Ex): At 2nd level, a Hunter must select one of two combat styles to pursue: archery or two-weapon combat. This choice affects the character’s class features but does not restrict his selection of feats or special abilities in any way.
The benefits of the Hunter’s chosen style apply only when he wears light armor or medium armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing heavy armor.
Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a Hunter leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. he/She may choose to leave a trail if so desired.
Dexterous Striking (Ex): When a Hunter obtains 4th level he has achieved such a level of grace and skill when fighting that his weapons seem to glide across the battlefield with uncanny agility, doing things with style that many would achieve by brute force. A Hunter may now use his dexterity modifier instead of strength modifier for the attack bonus with melee weapons.
Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a Hunter may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her.
Improved Empathic Link (Su): At 6th level, the hunter gains an empathic link with her animal companion. This functions like an empathic link with a familiar, except the hunter can also see through a companion's eyes as a swift action, maintaining this connection as long as she likes (as long as the companion is within 1 mile) and ending it as a free action. The hunter is blinded while maintaining this connection.
A Hunter of 4th level or higher may select from alternative lists of animals (see below). Should she select an animal companion from one of these alternative lists, the creature gains abilities as if the character’s Hunter level were lower than it actually is. Subtract the value indicated in the appropriate list header from the character’s Hunter level and compare the result with the Hunter level entry on the table to determine the animal companion’s powers. (If this adjustment would reduce the Hunter’s effective level to 0 or lower, she can’t have that animal as a companion.)
Improved Combat Style (Ex): At 6th level, a hunter’s aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery or two-weapon combat) improves. If he selected archery at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Manyshot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.
If the hunter selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.
As before, the benefits of the hunter’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or medium armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing heavy armor.
Ambush (Ex): At 7th level a Hunter can surprise his opponents with greater efficiency. Any time his opponent is surprised (i.e denied their dexterity bonus to armor class) a Hunter gains an additional 2d6 + Wis modifier damage. This stacks with any other bonuses and is counted with the normal weapon, so it is multiplied by critical hits, etc.
Improved Dexterous Striking (Ex): A Hunter of 8th level has begun to understand how to place blows to better utilize their effects. A Hunter may now use his dexterity modifier in place of his strength modifier for damage purposes with any weapon.
Second Animal Focus (Su): At 8th level, whenever a hunter uses his/her animal focus ability, he/she selects two different animal aspects for herself instead of one, and can assign two aspects to her companion instead of one. As with the companion's previous aspect, the second one does not count against the minutes per day a hunter can take on an aspect.
If the hunter's animal companion is dead and the hunter has applied the companion's animal aspect to herself, that aspect does not count toward her maximum of two aspects at once. The hunter can still apply only one of her dead companion's aspects to herself, not both.
Swift Tracker (Ex): At 9th level, a hunter can move at her normal speed while using Survival to follow tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. She takes only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking. Raise Animal Companion (Sp)
Nimble (Ex): A Hunter of 10th level gains the ability to avoid incoming attacks to an extent. Whenever a Hunter is allowed a dexterity modifier to AC, he may use twice his dexterity modifier instead of the normal bonus to his armor class.
Raise Animal Companion (Sp): At 10th level, a hunter gains raise animal companion as a spell-like ability; this is not restricted to raising only her own animal companion. Using this spell-like ability gives the hunter a permanent negative level. This negative level cannot be overcome in any way (including by restoration), but automatically ends after 24 hours. At 16th level, this functions as resurrection instead of raise dead, but otherwise operates as normal.
Diving Strike (Ex): At 11th level if a Hunter uses tumble to move past, or to approach a threatened square he may also make a full attack without accruing any attacks of opportunity from his opponents.
Combat Style Mastery (Ex): At 11th level, a hunter’s aptitude in his chosen combat style (archery or two-weapon combat) improves again. If he selected archery at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Improved Precise Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.
As before, the benefits of the hunter’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or medium armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing heavy armor.
Speak with Master (Ex): At 12th level, a hunter and his/her animal companion can communicate verbally, as if they were using a common language. Other creatures cannot understand the communication without magical aid.
Venom Immunity (Ex): At 14th level, a Hunter gains immunity to all poisons.
Greater Empathic Link (Su): At 16th level, the range of the hunter's empathic link with her animal companion increases to 10 miles. If the animal companion is within 1 mile, the hunter can communicate with it telepathically.
Master Hunter (Ex): At 18th level, a hunter becomes a master hunter, able to track down foes with ease. he/She can always move at full speed while using Survival to follow tracks without penalty.
Additionally, each day when the hunter prepares spells, she chooses one animal focus to be active on herself for the entire day. This focus is in addition to using her animal focus class ability (including the additional focus ability she is able to use on herself if her animal companion is dead).
One with the Wild (Su): At level 20, the hunter and her animal companion are respected or even feared by other animals, so long as the animals are approximately of the same type as any of the hunter's current animal foci: bat for bats, tiger with felines, falcon for birds, snake for reptiles, and so on. No animal in this category (including dire varieties) willingly attacks the hunter or her companion unless magically compelled to or if the hunter or companion attacks it first.
The hunter and her companion can attempt to demoralize animals in the appropriate category as a swift action, rolling 1d20 and adding the hunter's level and her Charisma modifier to determine the Intimidate check result.
A Hunter’s animal companion is different from a normal animal of its kind in many ways. A Hunter’s animal companion is superior to a normal animal of its kind and has special powers, as described below.
|1st–2nd||+0||+0||+0||1||Link, Share Spells|
Animal Companion Basics: Use the base statistics for a creature of the companion’s kind, but make the following changes.
Class Level: The character’s Hunter level. The Hunter’s class levels stack with levels of any other classes that are entitled to an animal companion for the purpose of determining the companion’s abilities and the alternative lists available to the character.
Bonus HD: Extra eight-sided (d8) Hit Dice, each of which gains a Consitution modifier, as normal. Remember that extra Hit Dice improve the animal companion’s base attack and base save bonuses. An animal companion’s base attack bonus is the same as that of a Hunter of a level equal to the animal’s HD. An animal companion has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the animal’s HD). An animal companion gains additional skill points and feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice.
Bonus Tricks: The value given in this column is the total number of “bonus” tricks that the animal knows in addition to any that the Hunter might choose to teach it (see the Handle Animal skill). These bonus tricks don’t require any training time or Handle Animal checks, and they don’t count against the normal limit of tricks known by the animal. The Hunter selects these bonus tricks, and once selected, they can’t be changed.
Link (Ex): A Hunter can handle his/her animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if she doesn’t have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. The Hunter gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.
Share Spells (Ex): At the Hunter’s option, she may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) she casts upon herself also affect her animal companion. The animal companion must be within 5 feet of her at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the animal companion if the companion moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the animal again, even if it returns to the Hunter before the duration expires.
Additionally, the Hunter may cast a spell with a target of “You” on her animal companion (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A druid and her animal companion can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the companion’s type (animal).
Multiattack: An animal companion gains Multiattack as a bonus feat if it has three or more natural attacks and does not already have that feat. If it does not have the requisite three or more natural attacks, the animal companion instead gains a second attack with its primary natural weapon, albeit at a –5 penalty.
Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, an animal companion takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and only half damage if the saving throw fails.
Alternative Animal Companions: A Hunter of sufficiently high level can select her animal companion from one of the following lists, applying the indicated adjustment to the Hunter’s level (in parentheses) for purposes of determining the companion’s characteristics and special abilities.
A Hunter who ceases to revere nature or teaches the druidic language to a non-hunter and non-druid loses all spells and Hunter magical abilities (including her animal companion, but not including weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She cannot thereafter gain levels as a Hunter until she atones (see the atonement spell description).
A hunter who becomes non neutral in alignment cannot progress in levels as a hunter, though he retains all his hunter abilities. He immediately can progress as hunter when he returns to be neutral.
Animal Companion: The epic Hunter’s animal companion continues to increase in power. At every three levels higher than 18th (21st, 24th, 27th, and so on), the animal companion gains +2 bonus Hit Dice, its natural armor increases by 2, its Strength and Dexterity modifiers increase by 1, and it learns one additional bonus trick.
Epic hunter Bonus Feat List: Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Colossal Wild Shape, Diminutive Wild Shape, Dragon Wild Shape, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Fast Healing, Fine Wild Shape, Gargantuan Wild Shape, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Elemental Wild Shape, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Magical Beast Companion, Magical Beast Wild Shape, Multispell, Perfect Health, Permanent Emanation, Plant Wild Shape, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic, Vermin Wild Shape.
Elf Hunter Starting Package
Weapons: Longbow, 20 arrows, Scimitar.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
Feat: Point blank shot.
Gear: Leather armor, quiver, hooded lantern, bedroll, waterskin, flint, winter blanket.
Gold: 1d4gp +3sp.