Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Campaign Design - Prestige Classes: Prestige Ranger

(adapted from Unearthed Arcana and Wildscape)

The prestige ranger navigates the dark forests, craggy mountains, or desert wastes of her homeland with unparalleled skill. She becomes one with nature while remaining a deadly hunter. Most prestige rangers are former druids, though some multiclass in barbarian, fighter, rogue, or scout. Some replace druid levels with cleric levels, selecting the Animal domain. NPC prestige rangers are typically loners, trusting few but themselves while on the hunt. Some form loose affiliations of like-minded individuals, occasionally relying on each other for assistance in dire times. Compared to the standard ranger, the prestige ranger gives up immediate access to some of her iconic abilities (such as favored enemy) by having to qualify for the class, but has a much wider selection of spells.

Much as the paladin serves as the baseline holy warrior for the followers of Forseti, Heim, and Tiwas, rangers act as holy warriors for the various druidic sects that can be found throughout the region. Like paladins, rangers are required to establish ties to one of the main religious traditions. Unlike paladins, many rangers adhere to the druidic traditions, or even follow one of the infernal cults, although many rangers are devoted to Vali, but there are some small number devoted to Syfa, Þunor, and Wünd. Unlike paladins, who all share a fairly uniform outlook and set of skills, rangers are as varied as the array of religious traditions they are drawn from. Within a certain sect of rangers, there will be common skills: For example, most halfling rangers select the various missile oriented options, while rangers from the northern wilds of Elizon often choose the stalker, marauder, and bloodletter options, and rangers devoted to Vali favor the combat options focusing on the use of the spear. Player Character rangers may not select one of the Demon Lords as their patron. Rangers are most commonly halfling, human, or khülen, although a few gnomes and dwarves have been known to follow this path.

Hit Die: d8.
Luck Die: (d4 + 1).

To qualify to become a prestige ranger, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
  • Base Attack Bonus: +4.
  • Skills: Knowledge: Nature 2+ ranks, Survival 4+ ranks.
  • Feats: Endurance, Track, and one of the following feats: Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot, or Two-Weapon Fighting.
  • Spell casting: Must be able to cast calm animals as a divine spell.

Class Skills
  • Skill List: The prestige ranger's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are 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), and Use Rope (Dex).
  • Note: Because the Three Worlds campaign uses the Skills by Character house rule, the list of class skills given here is only included for the sake of completeness, and is not used by characters in the campaign setting.
  • Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features
All the following are class features of the prestige ranger class.
  • Base Attack Bonus: Good. A prestige ranger gains +1 base attack bonus per class level.

  • Base Fortitude Save Bonus: Good. A prestige ranger gains a +½ base Fortitude save bonus per class level.

  • Base Reflex Save Bonus: Good. A prestige ranger gains a +½ base Reflex save bonus per class level.

  • Base Will Save Bonus: Poor. A prestige ranger gains a +⅓ base Will save bonus per class level.

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A ranger is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields). Armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble.

  • Wayfinder's Prowess: At 1st level may select one of the following benefits. Once the choice is made, it cannot be changed thereafter.

    • Animal Companion (Ex): A ranger who chooses this ability gains an animal companion. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the ranger on his adventures as appropriate for its kind. This ability functions like the druid ability of the same name. A ranger may select from the alternative lists of animal companions just as a druid can. Like a druid, a ranger cannot select an alternative animal if the choice would reduce his effective druid level below 1st level. If a prestige ranger already has an animal companion from another class, the character's prestige ranger levels stack with those class levels for purposes of determining the companion's abilities.

    • Distracting Attack (Ex): Whenever the ranger hits an enemy with a weapon attack, whether melee or ranged, that enemy is considered flanked by the ranger for the purpose of adjudicating her allies' attacks. This flanked condition lasts until either the enemy is attacked by one of the ranger's allies or until the start of the ranger's next turn, whichever comes first. This ability has no effect on creatures that cannot be flanked.

  • Ranger Favored Enemies
    AberrationMagical beast
    AnimalMonstrous Humanoid
    DragonOutsider (air)
    ElementalOutsider (chaotic)
    FeyOutsider (earth)
    GiantOutsider (evil)
    Humanoid (alvari)Outsider (fire)
    Humanoid (aquatic)Outsider (good)
    Humanoid (dwarf)Outsider (lawful)
    Humanoid (goblinoid)Outsider (native)
    Humanoid (gnome)Outsider (water)
    Humanoid (halfling)Plant
    Humanoid (human)Undead
    Humanoid (orc)Vermin
    Humanoid (reptilian)
  • Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a ranger may select a type of creature from among those given on the Ranger Favored Enemies table, or another type of favored enemy approved by the DM. The ranger 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 and 15th level), the ranger 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 ranger 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.

  • Wild Empathy (Ex): A ranger can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. The ranger rolls 1d20 and adds his ranger level and his Charisma modifier 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 ranger 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 ranger 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. If a prestige ranger already has the wild empathy ability from another class, the character's prestige ranger levels stack with those class levels when making animal empathy checks.

  • Spells per Day: A prestige ranger's training focuses on divine spell casting. At every odd numbered level reached, the prestige ranger gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in whatever divine spell casting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class.

  • Spells: The prestige ranger adds some spells to his class spell list for any one divine spell casting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. Regardless of his original divine spell casting class, he adds all of the spells on the ranger class spell list to his list of available spells. He still needs to prepare (and, if appropriate, learn) these additional spells to cast them, and for all other purposes he is treated exactly as a caster of the appropriate level in his original divine spell casting class with respect to what spells are on his class spell list.

  • Ranger Ability: At 2nd level, 6th level, 9th level, and 13th level, a prestige ranger gains a special ranger ability. The ranger must choose this ability from the following list. The ranger must meet all applicable prerequisites to choose a particular ability.

    • Agile Spear Fighter: The ranger gains the ability to use his spear with superior speed and agility. When fighting with a spear that is not a reach weapon, he gains +5 feet of reach. If an opponent moves adjacent to him, he may attack that foe with his spear even if its reach normally prohibits such attacks.

    • Alert Fighter: An explorer’s many travels take him to distant lands. He has faced a variety of deadly monsters, and his keen senses and eye for detail allow his to react to a variety of dangers, keeping his cool and wits despite the chaos around him. He gains the uncanny dodge ability.

    • Bloodletter: (Prerequisite: skirmish or sneak attack +3d6 or better). The ranger learns to deliver horrific wounds against the enemies he studies as chosen targets. Against his favored enemies, he gains the benefits of the Improved Critical feat with all weapons. If he already has that feat with a specific weapon, increase its threat range by one when the ranger fights one of his favored enemies.

    • Bonus Feat: Instead of a specific ranger ability, the ranger may select a bonus feat from the following list. The ranger must meet all prerequisites for the feat he selects. Brew Potion, Danger Sense, Dash, Dead Eye, Desert Walker, Dodge, Extra Favored Enemy, Far Shot, Fast Rider, Favored Enemy Critical Strike, Favored Enemy Strike, Favored Power Attack, Forest Ambusher, Forester, Great Fortitude, Great Stamina, Greater Track, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Hill Walker, Hunter’s Wisdom, Improved Encumbrance, Improved Favored Enemy, Improved Initiative, Improved Mounted Archery, Improved Precise Shot, Improved Rapid Shot, Improved Track, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Manyshot, Marshlander, Master Tracker, Mobility, Mountaineer, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Plainsman, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Resist Disease, Resist Poison, Ride by Attack, Run, Shot on the Run, Spelunker, Spirited Charge, Stalker of Prey, Trample, Waterman, Weathered Traveler.

    • Camouflage (Ex): (Prerequisite: Hide 17+ ranks). A ranger with this ability can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.

    • Canny Rider: (Prerequisite: Mounted Combat). The ranger can guide his mount with such skill that he ignores the effects of many types of terrain. If an obstacle costs more than one square of movement to enter, the ranger can reduce the movement required by one square, to a minimum of one.
    • Cunning Strategem: (Prerequisite: Lore of Beast and Blade). A ranger’s many travels and experiences in a wide variety of situations have taught him many unorthodox tactics. Against a foe within his threatened area, once per encounter the ranger can, as a standard action, make a Survival check opposed by his opponent’s Will save. If his opponent fails this save, he suffers a -2 circumstance penalty to attacks for the rest of the encounter as the ranger yanks his foes belt loose, throws sand in his face, delivers a particularly effective taunt or otherwise causes his opponent to lose his cool or focus.

    • Danger Sense: (Prerequisite: Alert Fighter). A ranger is always on his toes, and unexpected events barely faze him. While others gape in surprise, he takes whatever actions are necessary to survive. He gains the improved uncanny dodge ability.

    • Deadeye Shot: (Prerequisite: Improved Precise Shot). The ranger gains the ability to fell his chosen enemies with a single, well-placed shot. Against such foes, he may make a single shot as a full attack action. If his shot hits, his target must make a Fortitude save (DC 15 + the ranger’s Wisdom modifier) or suffer critical rather than normal damage. This ability functions only against a ranger’s favored enemies. Creatures that are immune to critical hits cannot be affected by this ability.

    • Death Dealer: (Prerequisite: Marauder). The ranger’s sneak attack or skirmish damage increases to +3d6.

    • Deceptive Strike: (Prerequisite: Improved Two-Weapon Fighting). When using the full-attack action, a ranger fighting with two weapons may forgo his off-hand weapon attacks. He uses his full attack bonus with his primary weapon, and gains a +2 bonus on attacks rolls with all his attacks as he distracts his foe with jabs and feints with his off-hand weapon.

    • Defender of the Realm: (Prerequisite: Ranger Knight). The ranger learns to tap into his connection to the land and call upon a steely resolve that allows him to face down fierce opponents. Once per day, he can tap into his inner reserves and bolster his defenses against spells and other effects. For the duration of one encounter, the ranger gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws.

    • Driven Rider: (Prerequisite: Mounted Combat). The ranger can coax his mount into producing a burst of speed beyond its normal limits. During combat, his mount gains a +10 foot bonus to all movement modes, including flying, swimming, or burrowing, if appropriate.

    • Evasion (Ex): (Prerequisite: Base Reflex Save +3). The ranger can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save (such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or a fireball), she instead takes no damage. Evasion can only be used if the ranger is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless ranger (such as one who is unconscious or paralyzed) does not gain the benefit of evasion.

    • Frontier Emissary: In his travels, an explorer encounters a wide array of cultures, civilizations, and writings. While other pay little mind to tongues they cannot understand, an explorer develops an intuitive sense of language. He gains the ability to speak one additional language. He gains an additional language every three levels he attains thereafter.

    • Frontiersman: An explorer learns to adapt to his environment. Starvation, thirst, extreme temperatures, and other hazards mean little to him. His drive to uncover what lies over the horizon pushes him to ignore many discomforts and hazards that would discourage others. He gains a +1 bonus on all saving throws, and a +4 competence bonus to all saves and checks made to avoid environmental hazards.

    • Hail of Arrows: (Prerequisite: Manyshot). A ranger may subject his enemies to a furious volley of arrows. He may opt to strike every opponent in a 30-foot radius with a single arrow. The area of effect can be centered on any spot within range of his weapon. He attacks each opponent at his best base attack bonus, but suffers a –2 attack penalty or each opponent beyond the first (i.e. a -2 penalty to fire at two targets, a -4 to hit three, -6 for four and so on). This penalty applies to all his shots. The ranger fires one arrow at each target. The standard penalties and modifiers for range, cover, and other factors apply to each shot as normal.

    • Healing Hands: Based on his studies of anatomy, healing, and magic, a ranger learns to provide his patients with a small amount of relief from their injuries. With a DC 20 Heal check, he cures a number of hit points equal to 1d6 + his Wisdom modifier (if positive). On a failed check, the ranger fails to heal the patient. A ranger can use this ability once per day per subject whether he succeeds of fails. Using this ability requires ten minutes of uninterrupted concentration and work. Make the Heal check after this time period passes. The ranger must have bandages, thread, and a needle. If anything interrupts the ranger’s efforts, his patient gains no healing, but he may try to heal him again that day.

    • Hide in Plain Sight: (Prerequisite: Camouflage). While in any sort of natural terrain, a ranger of 13th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

    • Knightly Defense: (Prerequisite: Ranger Knight). For every five points of his base attack bonus, the ranger gains a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class while wearing light or no armor.

    • Lore of Beast and Blade: The ranger’s knowledge of animals, beasts, and other creatures allows him to direct his allies’ efforts in battle. If he spend a full-round action counseling his allies, they gain a +1 competence bonus to attack rolls, and a +2 competence bonus on weapon damage rolls against one of his favored enemies for the rest of the encounter. The ranger chooses the enemy type when he activates this ability, and may use the ability three times per day.

    • Marauder: (Prerequisite: Stalker). The ranger’s sneak attack or skirmish damage increases to +2d6.

    • Overwhelming Attack: (Prerequisite: Rough Rider). When charging an opponent while mounted, the ranger can leap from the saddle to overwhelm his foe. The ranger must make a charge attack against his opponent as normal. When he makes his attack, he jumps from the saddle and uses the additional momentum to power his strike. He resolves the attack as normal for a mounted charge, gaining all bonuses that he would gain for fighting while mounted. In addition, he gains a +2 bonus on the attack roll and a +4 bonus to damage. After resolving this attack, the ranger ends his movement standing on the ground next to his mount.

    • Precise Spear Fighter: (Prerequisite: Agile Spear Fighter). The ranger’s talent with his spear allows him to engage enemies who are already locked in melee with enhanced accuracy. The ranger ignores the standard –4 penalty for attacking a creature through soft cover.

    • Ranger Knight: (Prerequisite: Ranger Squire). A ranger’s training allows him to dodge blows and protect himself from attacks. He gains a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class while wearing light or no armor. Dodge bonuses stack, giving him a +2 bonus (if he chooses to apply his Ranger Squire bonus to Armor Class) when carrying a shield.

    • Ranger Squire: Some rangers prefer to fight with a weapon and shield. When using a shield, a ranger gains either a +1 competence bonus to attacks, or a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class. You must choose this bonus before taking any action for the round.

    • Reaper: (Prerequisite: sneak attack +3d6 or better). The ranger masters the art of dispatching foes with a single decisive strike. When fighting against his favored enemies, he gains an additional +2d6 points of sneak attack damage. This +2d6 sneak attack damage applies against creatures that are normally immune to sneak attack damage.

    • Redoubtable Spear Fighter: (Prerequisite: Precise Spear Fighter). A spear-fighter masters the use of his weapon. Whenever an opponent draw an attack of opportunity from him due to movement, he counts as having set his spear to receive a charge. He gains the bonus damage even if his foe did not charge him.

    • Rough Rider: (Prerequisite: Scout). Rangers form close bonds with the creatures they ride. A ranger gains a +1 competence bonus to all attacks made while mounted. In addition, he may guide a creature to attempt daring stunts in battle. He grants his mount a +10 competence bonus to all Jump checks. Any movement the mount completes while jumping does not draw attacks of opportunity, as the ranger and his mount move too fast and in an unexpected manner to take advantage of the opening in their defense.

    • Scout: (Prerequisite: Mounted Combat). A ranger’s magical abilities and skill with animals allows him to form a close bond with any creature he rides. He gains a +5 competence bonus to all Ride checks, and suffers no penalty for riding a creature without a saddle. Under his guidance, a mount gains a +1 competence bonus to all attacks, a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class, and a +2 competence bonus to all saves.

    • Shield Defense: (Prerequisite: Ranger Knight). A ranger can improve his defenses by carefully biding his time to strike at the proper moment. Rather than use his full array of strikes, he uses his shield to block attacks and lashes out when his opponent's guard is weakest. The ranger can use this ability with a full attack action. Rather than make multiple attacks, he makes a single attack at his highest base attack bonus. In return, he gains a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class for each attack he did not use. The ranger gains this benefit only when he carries a shield.

    • Spear Defense: (Prerequisite: Agile Spear Fighter). When equipped with a spear, the ranger can parry blows with his weapon’s haft. While wielding a spear, the ranger gains a +2 shield bonus to Armor Class.

    • Spearman’s Defense: (Prerequisite: Precise Spear Fighter). A ranger gains the ability to force his opponents to stop if they draw attacks of opportunity from him from movement. If the ranger’s attack of opportunity hits, he may make an opposed Strength check against the target of the attack. If he succeeds, his opponent’s movement stops in the square it occupied before it provoked the attack. Creatures gain any bonuses they would normally have against bull rush attacks for having four or more legs or for being exceptionally stable.

    • Stalker: The ranger gains the ability to sneak attack as the rogue class ability or skirmish as the scout class ability. The character must choose whether this ability provides sneak attack or skirmish damage at the time of selection, and may not be changed thereafter. He deals +1d6 points of damage with this talent. This damage stacks with any other source of sneak attack or skirmish damage, such as that gained from rogue or scout levels.

    • Storm of Arrows: (Prerequisite: Hail of Arrows). The ranger may use his hail of arrows ability to fire two arrows at each target within a 30-foot radius. He suffers a -4 penalty per target after the first. Otherwise, use the rules given for hail of arrows.

    • Wanderer’s Insight: (Prerequisite: Lore of Beast and Blade). A ranger’s wide range of experiences and the many stories and rumors he has heard combine to give him an insight into many monsters he faces. Once per encounter, the ranger can learn the basic weaknesses and strengths of a creature he faces.

    • Wanderer’s Luck: (Prerequisite: Frontier Emissary). The ranger has acquired a wide and deep collection of anecdotes, stories, and legends. Three times per day, the ranger may make a skill check using any skill, even ones that are prohibited or cross-class for him, as if he had ranks in that skill equal to half his total level.

    • Warding Attack: (Prerequisite: Precise Spear Fighter). A ranger can drive his opponents backwards by making a furious array of jabs and attacks at them. As a full-attack action, a ranger armed with a spear can make a single attack at his highest base attack bonus. If this attack hits, he opponent must make a Strength check with a DC equal to the attack’s result. If this check fails, the ranger can force his opponent to move up to 10 feet away from him. Creatures cannot be forced to move off cliffs, through lava pools, or into any other hazard that inflicts more than 2d6 damage. Each time the creature moves, the ranger can move 5 feet in the same direction. Both the ranger and his target incur attacks of opportunity for moving through threatened areas as normal, but the ranger cannot make such attacks against his target.

  • Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a ranger may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.

  • Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a ranger 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. Alternatively, the ranger may select one of the following feats in lieu of the Swift Tracker ability: Greater Track, Improved Track, Master Tracker, or Predict Path.

Prestige Ranger

LevelSpecialSpells per Day
1st1st favored enemy, wayfinder's prowess, wild empathy
2ndRanger ability, woodland stride+1 level of existing divine spell casting class
3rdSwift tracker
4th+1 level of existing divine spell casting class
5th2nd favored enemy
6thRanger ability+1 level of existing divine spell casting class
8th+1 level of existing divine spell casting class
9thRanger ability
10th3rd favored enemy+1 level of existing divine spell casting class
12th+1 level of existing divine spell casting class
13thRanger ability
14th+1 level of existing divine spell casting class
15th4th favored enemy

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