Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Campaign Design - Prestige Class: Archer of the Steppes

Archer of the Steppes (adapted from the Player's Guide to Fighters and Barbarians)

Among the wild and untamed steppes, an elite band of horse archer rains terror on their foes. These archers of the steppes can be found among the riders of the At'viras as well as among the tribes of the Tozlu Desert, and among the Senshidorein of the Minzoku Republic. The archers come from those tribal civilizations that live in lands of such vast emptiness that the speed and companionship of mounted travel is the only thing keeping a traveler from madness. archers are devoted to their mounts, which need not be a horse. An archer's mount is almost always hand raised, and is more than a steed - it is a life-long companion.

An archer's life is one of constant travel, riding long into the day and sleeping while mounted. Because of this, an archer's life is often a lonely one. few find allies or travelling companions that are able to serve them better than their mounts. Nevertheless, an archer of the steppes still has tribal or national obligations. Archers tend to serve their people as advance scouts and messengers, and are highly valued by their communities.

Hit Die: d10.
Luck Die: d4.

To become an archer of the steppes, one must meet the following criteria:
  • Base Attack Bonus: +5.
  • Skills: Craft: Bowmaking 5+ ranks, Handle Animal 8+ ranks, Ride 8+ ranks.
  • Feats: Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus (any bow).
  • Special: Ability to rage.
  • Region: At'viras Steppes, Tozlu Desert, or Minzoku Republic.
Class Skills
  • The archer of the steppes's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Craft: Bowmaking (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Tumble (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: 2 + Intelligence modifier.
Class Features
All of the following are class features of the archer of the steppes prestige class.
  • Base Attack Bonus: Good. An archer of the steppes gains +1 base attack bonus per class level.

  • Base Fortitude Save Bonus: Good. An archer of the steppes gains +½ base Fortitude save bonus per class level.

  • Base Reflex Save Bonus: Good. An archer of the steppes gains a +½ base Reflex save bonus per class level.

  • Base Will Save Bonus: Poor. An archer of the steppes gains +⅓ base Will save bonus per class level.

  • Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: An archer of the steppes is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields (but not tower shields).

  • Archer's Rage (Ex): An archer of the steppes can fly into a rage a certain number of times per day. In a rage, an archer of the steppes temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Strength, a +2 bonus to Constitution, a +4 bonus to Dexterity, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but he takes a -2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the archer of the steppe’s hit points by 1 point per character level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are. While raging, an archer of the steppes cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride, the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. An archer of the steppes may prematurely end his rage. At the end of the rage, the archer of the steppes loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (-2 penalty to Strength, -2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter.

    An archer of the steppes can fly into a rage only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his rage ability once per day. At 2nd level and every other level thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of five times per day at 9th level). Entering a rage takes no time itself, but an archer of the steppes can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action. All feats that require the ability to rage may be used with the archer's rage.

  • Arrow Jab (Ex): When necessary, archers of the steppes are even adept at using their arrows in melee combat. An archer of the steppes can use an arrow as a melee weapon without having to take the non-proficiency penalty.

  • Bonded Mount (Ex): At 2nd level, an archer of the steppes has formed such a close link with her mount that the two act nearly in unison. This bond gives the archer of the steppes a +5 circumstance bonus to all Ride skill checks made while using her bonded mount. In addition, Ride checks never need to be made to keep such a bonded mount from fleeing combat. The mount will only abandon the archer of the steppes if influenced by magic. f a bonded mount were to die and a new mount is found, six months if care and attention are needed before the new animal is considered bonded with then archer. An archer of the steppes may only be bonded to one mount at a time.

  • Bonus Feat: At 3rd, 6th and 9th level, an archer of the steppes may choose a bonus feat from the following list: Improved Precise Shot, Improved Rapid Shot, Far Shot, Manyshot, Penetrating Shot, Precise Shot, Ride-by-Attack, Spirited Charge, Trample, Weapon Focus (any bow), or Weapon Specialization (any bow). The standard requirements for these feats must still be met except for the Fighter level requirement for Weapon Specialization.

  • Improved Mounted Archery (Ex): Starting at 4th level, the archer of the steppes becomes accustomed to using ranged weapons while mounted. This increased proficiency helps eliminate the penalties of mounted archery. At 4th level, there is no penalty while using a ranged weapon while mounted if the character's mount only takes a double move, and a -2 penalty if the mount is running. At 8th level, there is no penalty for using a ranged weapon while mounted even if the mount is running.

  • Flurry of Arrows (Ex): At 5th level, an archer of the stepped may eliminate the penalty associated with using the Rapid Shot feat. Alternatively, the archer may use the Rapid Shot feat with normal attendant penalties as a standard action, essentially firing two arrows at a -2 penalty to hit, These abilities are only usable if the archer of the steppes is in an archer's rage.

    At 10th level, the archer of the steppes may fire two additional arrows with Rap[id Shot, rather than the normal one additional arrow.

  • Share Frenzy (Ex): At 7th level, any time the archer of the steppes enters either a barbarian rage or an archer's rage, her bonded mount also gains the bonuses and penalties associated with that rage.
Archer of the Steppes
1stArcher's rage once per day, arrow jab
2ndBonded mount
3rdArcher's rage twice per day, bonus feat
4thImproved mounted archery (reduced penalty)
5thArcher's rage three times per day, flurry of arrows (reduced penalty)
6thBonus feat
7thArcher's rage four times per day, share frenzy
8thImproved mounted archery (no penalty)
9thArcher's rage five times per day, bonus feat
10thFlurry of arrows (additional arrow)

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