Ranger Variant: Plainsrunner

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Ranger Variant: Plainsrunner[edit]

The plainsrunners are rangers of the open field. They regularly travel long distances by foot to hunt and are more agile in combat as a result of this training. They are much more comfortable in open spaces though they aren't afraid of tracking their prey wherever it leads them.

This ranger variant simply abandons spell-casting abilities and the Woodland Stride bonus for permanent bonuses to their agility in and out of combat as well as a hit die increase over the base ranger while meeting some base ability and racial standards.

Making a Plainsrunner[edit]

Ability Scores: Strength: 14, Dexterity: 14, Constitution: 14

Alignment: Any.

Race: Any medium sized race.

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Plainsrunner

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 1st Favored Enemy, Track, Wild Empathy, Plainsrunning
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Combat Style
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Endurance
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Animal Companion
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 2nd Favored Enemy
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Improved Combat Style
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Swift Tracker
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Evasion
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 3rd Favored Enemy
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Combat Style Mastery
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Camouflage
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 4th Favored Enemy
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Hide in Plain Sight
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 5th Favored Enemy

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the plainsrunner.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A plainsrunner is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a plainsrunner may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Ranger Favored Enemies. The plainsrunner 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 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the plainsrunner 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.

If the plainsrunner chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table. If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the ranger’s bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

Table: Ranger Favored Enemies
Type (Subtype) Type (Subtype)
Aberration Humanoid (reptilian)
Animal Magical beast
Construct Monstrous humanoid
Dragon Ooze
Elemental Outsider (air)
Fey Outsider (chaotic)
Giant Outsider (earth)
Humanoid (aquatic) Outsider (evil)
Humanoid (dwarf) Outsider (fire)
Humanoid (elf) Outsider (good)
Humanoid (goblinoid) Outsider (lawful)
Humanoid (gnoll) Outsider (native)
Humanoid (gnome) Outsider (water)
Humanoid (halfling) Plant
Humanoid (human) Undead
Humanoid (orc) Vermin

Track: A plainsrunner gains Track as a bonus feat.

Wild Empathy (Ex): A plainsrunner can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. The plainsrunner rolls 1d20 and adds his ranger level and his Charisma bonus to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

To use wild empathy, the plainsrunner and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

The plainsrunner can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a –4 penalty on the check.

Plainsrunning (Ex): A plainsrunner is trained from an early age to run faster and farther than the average person. As a result a plainsrunner's movement speed increases by 10 feet. In addition plainsrunners may move up to 10 feet during a 5 ft. step action however moving more than 5 feet in this way incurs an attack of opportunity as normal movement would.

Combat Style (Ex): At 2nd level, a plainsrunner 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.

If the plainsrunner selects archery, he is treated as having the Rapid Shot feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

If the plainsrunner selects two-weapon combat, he is treated as having the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

The benefits of the plainsrunner’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Endurance: A plainsrunner gains Endurance as a bonus feat at 3rd level.

Animal Companion (Ex): At 4th level, a plainsrunner gains 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 plainsrunner on her adventures as appropriate for its kind.

This ability functions like the druid ability of the same name, except that the plainsrunner’s effective druid level is one-half his plainsrunner level. A plainsrunner may select from the alternative lists of animal companions just as a druid can, though again his effective druid level is half his plainsrunner level. Like a druid, a plainsrunner cannot select an alternative animal if the choice would reduce his effective druid level below 1st.

Improved Combat Style (Ex): At 6th level, a plainsrunner’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 plainsrunner 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 plainsrunner’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, a plainsrunner can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He takes only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.

Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a plainsrunner can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the plainsrunner is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless plainsrunner does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Combat Style Mastery (Ex): At 11th level, a plainsrunner’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.

If the plainsrunner selected two-weapon combat at 2nd level, he is treated as having the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat.

As before, the benefits of the plainsrunner’s chosen style apply only when he wears light or no armor. He loses all benefits of his combat style when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Camouflage (Ex): A plainsrunner of 13th level or higher can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any sort of natural terrain, a plainsrunner of 17th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

The Druid's Animal Companion

A druid’s animal companion is different from a normal animal of its kind in many ways. A druid’s animal companion is superior to a normal animal of its kind and has special powers, as described below.

Class
Level
Bonus
HD
Natural
Armor Adj.
Str/Dex
Adj.
Bonus
Tricks
Special
1st–2nd +0 +0 +0 1 Link, Share Spells
3rd–5th +2 +2 +1 2 Evasion
6th–8th +4 +4 +2 3 Devotion
9th–11th +6 +6 +3 4 Multiattack
12th–14th +8 +8 +4 5
15th–17th +10 +10 +5 6 Improved Evasion
18th–20th +12 +12 +6 7

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 druid level. The druid’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 Constitution 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 druid 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.

Natural Armor Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the animal companion’s existing natural armor bonus.

Str/Dex Adj.: Add this value to the animal companion’s Strength and Dexterity scores.

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 druid 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 druid selects these bonus tricks, and once selected, they can’t be changed.

Link (Ex): A druid can handle 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 druid gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.

Share Spells (Ex): At the druid’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 druid before the duration expires.

Additionally, the druid 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).

Evasion (Ex): If an animal companion is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.

Devotion (Ex): An animal companion gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.

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 druid of sufficiently high level can select her animal companion from one of the following lists, applying the indicated adjustment to the druid’s level (in parentheses) for purposes of determining the companion’s characteristics and special abilities.

4th Level or Higher (Level –3)
Ape (animal)
Bear, black (animal)
Bison (animal)
Boar (animal)
Cheetah (animal)
Crocodile (animal)1
Dire badger
Dire bat
Dire weasel
Leopard (animal)
Lizard, monitor (animal)
Shark, Large1 (animal)
Snake, constrictor (animal)
Snake, Large viper (animal)
Wolverine (animal)
7th Level or Higher (Level –6)
Bear, brown (animal)
Dire wolverine
Crocodile, giant (animal)
Deinonychus (dinosaur)
Dire ape
Dire boar
Dire wolf
Elasmosaurus (dinosaur)1
Lion (animal)
Rhinoceros (animal)
Snake, Huge viper (animal)
Tiger (animal)
10th Level or Higher (Level –9)
Bear, polar (animal)
Dire lion
Megaraptor (dinosaur)
Shark, Huge (animal)1
Snake, giant constrictor (animal)
Whale, orca (animal)1
13th Level or Higher (Level –12)
Dire bear
Elephant (animal)
Octopus, giant (animal)1
16th Level or Higher (Level –15)
Dire shark1
Dire tiger
Squid, giant (animal)1
Triceratops (dinosaur)
Tyrannosaurus (dinosaur)
  1. Available only in an aquatic environment.

Epic plainsrunner[edit]

Table: The Epic Ranger

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
21st
22nd
23rd Bonus Feat
24th
25th 6th Favored Enemy
26th Bonus Feat
27th
28th
29th Bonus Feat
30th 7th Favored Enemy

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Favored Enemy (Ex): The epic plainsrunner gains one additional favored enemy, and his or her bonuses against one category of favored enemies goes up by +2, every five levels higher than 20th.

Animal Companion: The epic plainsrunner’s animal companion continues to increase in power as normal. The plainsrunner’s effective druid level is half his or her plainsrunner level. For plainsrunner above 41st level, consult the epic druid for details on how an animal companion’s power level increases.

Bonus Feats: The epic plainsrunner gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic ranger feats) every three levels after 20th.

Epic Ranger Bonus Feat List: Bane of Enemies, Blinding Speed, Combat Archery, Death of Enemies, Distant Shot, Epic Endurance, Epic Prowess, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Fast Healing, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Favored Enemy, Improved Manyshot, Improved Spell Capacity, Legendary Climber, Legendary Rider, Legendary Tracker, Perfect Health, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Permanent Emanation, Spontaneous Spell, Storm of Throws, Swarm of Arrows, Two-Weapon Rend, Uncanny Accuracy.

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