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Thread: The Huntsman

  1. #1
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    This is not a prestige class, but a full character class variant of the 3.5 Ranger. I've not written all of the details of various totems yet, but the rest is pretty well finished. Hope you like it...

    In Cerilia, Huntsman would most commonly be found in Vosgaard, Rjuven, perhaps among the mountain and steppes nomads of Khinasi, or in the dark forests and steep mountains of Brechtur. Imagination could find many niches for the Huntsmen of Cerilia.

    Huntsman A variant of the Ranger character class

    The Huntsman is a hunter and warrior of the wilds who dedicates his spirit to a single totem animal. This is nearly always a predator of some sort, and must be a normal animal type (between Tiny and Large size) as defined in the Monster Manual. Common totem animals include the wolf, bear, eagle, lion, owl, boar, and wolverine, and variants of these basic types (cheetah, falcon, dog, weasel, etc.). Aquatic races might have sharks and dolphins as totem animals, even squids.

    The Huntsman’s reverence for his totem is one of respect and spiritual devotion. A portion of any kill must be consecrated as an offering to the totem spirit, and most huntsman will say a prayer to the spirit to bless the fruits of any hunt. This includes not only normal hunting for food, but also the cleansing of the huntsman’s enemies from the wilds.

    As a huntsman rises in level, the bond with his totem spirit slowly deepens. Eventually the two become so intertwined that the huntsman can take on the form of his totem animal. With time, the totem’s power infuses the huntsman, and the animal form may grow larger and more powerful.

    In exchange for the power to change shape, huntsmen lose the normal selection of spells available to rangers. However, they retain the bonus feats and favored enemies of rangers.

    Alignment: any non-lawful alignment
    Base Hit Die: d8/level
    Base Attack: +1/level
    Saves: Fortitude and Reflex high, Will low

    Skills: (6+Int) x 4 at 1st level
    (6+Int) at each additional level
    Class Skills: Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Jump, KnowledgeGeography, Nature), Lead, Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Ride, Search, Spot, Survival, Swim, Warcraft

    The Huntsman

    Level Fort Ref Will Special
    1 +2 +2 +0 Track, 1st Favored Enemy, Wild Empathy
    2 +3 +3 +0 Combat Style
    3 +3 +3 +1 Endurance, Totem Affinity +2
    4 +4 +4 +1 Wild Shape: Totem Animal form, 1/day; Animal Companion
    5 +4 +4 +1 2nd Favored Enemy, Call Totem’s Allies
    6 +5 +5 +2 Wild Shape 2/day, Improved Combat Style
    7 +5 +5 +2 Woodland Stride, Totem Affinity +4
    8 +6 +6 +2 Superior Wild Shape, Swift Tracker
    9 +6 +6 +3 Evasion
    10 +7 +7 +3 3rd Favored Enemy, Wild Shape 3/day
    11 +7 +7 +3 Combat Style Mastery, Totem Affinity +6
    12 +8 +8 +4 Dire Wild Shape
    13 +8 +8 +4 Camouflage
    14 +9 +9 +4 Wild Shape 4/day
    15 +9 +9 +5 4th Favored Enemy, Totem Affinity +8
    16 +10 +10 +5 Giant Wild Shape
    17 +10 +10 +5 Hide in Plain Sight
    18 +11 +11 +6 Wild Shape 5/day
    19 +11 +11 +6 Totem Affinity +10
    20 +12 +12 +6 Totem Avatar, Wild Shape 6/day

    Class Features:
    Track at 1st level, as per the PHB feat.
    Favored Enemies are chosen as per the Ranger guidelines, with a few additions. The Huntsman’s 1st favored enemy must be of a type that is hated or preyed upon by the totem spirit and its children. This typically includes animals, as well as many other species that prey upon the totem animal (such as humans who hunt wolves, for example).
    Wild Empathy at 1st level as the Ranger ability.
    Combat Style: A Huntsman, like a ranger, gains bonus fighting feats at 2nd level, and then again at 6th and 11th levels. At 2nd level the Huntsman must choose to pursue Two-Weapon Fighting or Ranged Weapons as the chosen combat style.
    - 2-Weapon Fighting: At 2nd level the Huntsman learns Two-Weapon Fighting, usable only in light or no armor. At 6th level he learns Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, and at 11th level he learns Greater Two-Weapon Fighting.
    - Ranged Weapons: At 2nd level the Huntsman gains Rapid Shot, at 6th level he gains Precise Shot, and at 11th level he gains Improved Precise Shot.
    Endurance: The Huntsman gains the Endurance feat at 3rd level. At the DM’s discretion, another feat that is more appropriate to the totem might be taken instead. Possible examples include Alertness, Run, Skill Focus, and Stealthy. The feat chosen should not include combat maneuvers or enhancements.

    Woodland Stride, Swift Tracker, Evasion, Camouflage, and Hide in Plain Sight are all identical to the 3.5 Ranger abilities. He gains no general spell casting abilities, however, trading these for the totemic powers gained.

    Totem Affinity: At 3rd level, the Huntsman gains a +2 divine bonus to all checks relating to his totem animal. This includes the ranger’s wild empathy ability and Handle Animal checks. He gains half this bonus (+1 at 1st level) when dealing with creatures of the same general family (ex. eagle: raptors, wolf: canines, etc.), including dire and giant types. The huntsman’s bond heightens with time and experience, adding an additional +2 (+1 to totem family) every 4 levels thereafter.

    Animal Companion: This ability, gained at 4th level, allows the huntsman to gain an animal companion of his totem’s type. The huntsman may use his full class level to determine the companion’s abilities (identical to druids), but is forbidden to have any other species of companion besides the totem type. The huntsman may, of course, befriend and use other types of creatures, so long as it is not anathema to the totem.

    Call Totem’s Allies: At 5th level the huntsman has such status with the totem that he can send out a spiritual beacon to those creatures connected to the totem. When in need (no more than once per day), the Huntsman may summon creatures of the totem’s type or of the related family type to aid him. The target creatures of the totem family must be within a 5-mile radius of the huntsman at the time of summoning, and the power summons a maximum of (2 x huntsman’s level) HD worth of totem animals and their cousins. These are normal animals of their type, although they may include dire types at 12th level and giant animals at 16th. The closest animals of the appropriate type will be the first to respond. The animals will come to the huntsman as swiftly as possible, at which point he must make a Wild Empathy check (DC 15 + target creature’s Hit Dice) to persuade the animals to aid him. His divine bonuses apply normally, of course. They will serve him to the best of their abilities, although combat is limited to 1 turn per class level, and other tasks (such as tracking, guarding, etc.) are limited to 1 hour per class level.

    Wild Shape: At 4th level, the Huntsman gains the ability to polymorph into a normal specimen of his totem animal. He gain do this once per day at 4th level. At higher levels, he can do this more often (+1/day at 6th, 10th, 14th, 18th, and 20th), to a maximum of 6 times per day at 20th level.

    Superior Wild Shape: At 8th level, the huntsman can now assume the form of a superior member of the totem species. It is larger and stronger than most of its kind, but could still resembles the normal animal type. The huntsman may add +4 to the Strength and Constitution of the basic animal form. For creatures that emphasize speed and agility over strength, a Dexterity bonus may be substituted for the Strength bonus. Such creatures are faster and tougher than normal animals of their breed.

    Dire Wild Shape: At 12th level, a huntsman may assume a Dire form of the totem animal when shape shifting. The dire form’s Str, Dex, and Con are as listed in the Monster Manual or as the Heightened Form (+4 normal for the 2 appropriate abilities), whichever are better. The dire form is generally one size category larger than the normal animal size.

    Giant Wild Shape: At 16th level the huntsman may now become a giant version of his totem animal. Most giant forms are 2 sizes larger than the normal animal type (and 1 larger than the dire type), and may be up to Huge in size. This represents the mythical aspect of the totem animal manifested, and is an impressive (and often terrifying) sight.

    Totem Avatar: At 20th level the Huntsman may take on a superior giant form of his totem. Add +4 Str (or Dex) and +4 Con to the giant form’s base statistics. While in this form, any summoned totem allies will follow the huntsman with fanatic courage and loyalty. They are immune to all fear and harmful enchantments, obeying only the huntsman’s commands. They will gladly sacrifice themselves to aid and protect the huntsman.

    PS - Sorry for the wierd table formatting - the results of transcription from WordPad. If anyone wants a better copy, you can email me at:

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Victoria BC, Canada
    Interesting... I think that this would fit in *very* nicely if modified into a Rjurik-only PrCl....
    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion -- and usually easier."

    - R. A. Heinlien, from The Collected works of Lazarus Long

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