Campaign of the Month: September 2012
A Manifestation of Chaos
Alternate Class - Elven Archer
Many folks have traveled through the forest under the watchful eye of an elven archer and never realized it. Masters of stealth in natural environments, elven archers use deadly marksmanship to eliminate threats. They maintain a protective eye on the forest, but quickly deal abusers a painful lesson.
While the elven archer respects and safeguards nature, he does not venerate it like druids or rangers. Instead, he honors the spirits of his ancestors and elven archer forebears, spending time each morning communing with their spirits, who grant him access to divine spells. The archer, in turn, uses this provided power to protect his homeland. Elven archers typically take a broad definition of protection,
however, and they can often be found far from home, hunting a specific foe or skirmishing with evil races to prevent them from becoming too strong-thereby becoming a future threat to his people.
Elven archers are adept at quickly dealing with a single foe. They have some of the ranger’s skills, such as the ranger’s superior tracking ability, and so can fill that role in a group, if necessary. Elven archers excel at hit and-run tactics: they skirmish with a large group, disappear into the forest, and then return later to strike at a more advantageous time. In groups of less stealthy characters, elven archers defend weaker members such as arcane casters. Additionally, their precise archery provides excellent ranged support for melee fighters.
Table 1: Elven Archer
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Track, Wild Empathy||-||-||-||-|
|6th||+6 / +1||+5||+5||+2||Camouflage||1||-||-||-|
|7th||+7 / +2||+5||+5||+2||Lightfoot||1||0||-||-|
|8th||+8 / +3||+6||+6||+2||Bonus Feat, Swift Tracker||1||0||-||-|
|9th||+9 / +4||+6||+6||+3||Enchant Arrows +1, Percision +2d6||2||1||-||-|
|10th||+10 / +5||+7||+7||+3||Close Combat Shot||2||1||0||-|
|11th||+11 / +6 / +1||+7||+7||+3||Bonus Feat||2||1||0||-|
|12th||+12 / +7 / +2||+8||+8||+4||Enchant Arrows +2||2||1||1||-|
|13th||+13 / +8 / +3||+8||+8||+4||Take Aim||3||2||1||0|
|14th||+14 / +9 / +4||+9||+9||+4||Bonus Feat, Percision +3d6||3||2||1||0|
|15th||+15 / +10 / +5||+9||+9||+5||Enchant Arrows +3||3||2||2||1|
|16th||+16 / +11 / +6 / +1||+10||+10||+5||Threatening Shot||3||2||2||1|
|17th||+17 / +12 / +7 / +2||+10||+10||+5||Bonus Feat||3||3||2||1|
|18th||+18 / +13 / +8 / +3||+11||+11||+6||Enchant Arrows +4||4||3||2||1|
|19th||+19 / +14 / +9 / +4||+11||+11||+6||Percision +4d6||4||3||3||2|
|20th||+20 / +15 / +10 / +5||+12||+12||+6||Bonus Feat||4||3||3||2|
Race: Elven archers must be elves or half-elves.
Adaptation: The easiest adaptation, of course, is to simply remove the racial requirement-or replace it with another. A quick name change allows the elven archer to become the human king’s elite bowyers. Changing the class focus co thrown weapons rather than bows and adding Quick Draw to the allowable bonus feats, creates another interesting adaptation of this class, such as knife thrower-which would be fantastic for Halflings! Finally, the elven archer’s abilities could be modified to function with crossbows rather than a standard bow. In that scenario, add Rapid Reload to the list of bonus feats.
Alignment: Any, but usually matches the predominant alignment of his home community.
Hit Die: d8.
The elven archer’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft [Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the elven archer.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies:
An elven archer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor and bucklers.
Track (Ex): Elven archers regularly stalk their prey through the forests. An elven archer adds half his level (minimum 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow or identify tracks.
Wild Empathy (Ex): An elven archer can improve the initial attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. The elven archer rolls 1d20 and adds his elven archer 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 elven archer and the animal must be within 30 ft. of one another under normal visibility conditions. Influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but it might take more or less time under especially stressful or favorable conditions. The elven archer can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, with a -4 penalty on the check.
Bonus Feat: Elven archers are bow experts. At 2nd level, and every three levels thereafter, the elven archer receives a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. The elven archer must meet all the prerequisites of the feat prior to selecting it. An elven archer may select these bonus feats from the below-listed combat feats with this class ability. For prerequisites, treat his elven archer level -3 as his fighter level. For example, a 7th-level elven archer qualifies for Weapon Specialization because he treats his fighter level as 4th. Elven archers may select these bonus feats from the following list: Deadly Aim, Far Shot, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Pinpoint Targeting, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization. Elven archers must select a bow when selecting a feat that allows them to choose a weapon, such as Improved Critical or Weapon Focus.
Preferred Target (Ex): Much like a ranger, an elven archer becomes an expert at hunting a specific foe. At 3rd level, the elven archer selects a creature type (and subtype) where appropriate) from the list of ranger’s favored enemies. Against those creatures, he gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival check. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. The elven archer may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures. At 10th level, the bonus increases to +4, and at 17th level it increases to +6. (Unlike a ranger, an elven archer does not select an additional favored creature type at these levels.)
Precision (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, an elven archer adds the indicated damage bonus to any shot he makes against a foe who is denied Dexterity to AC (whether the target already has a Dexterity bonus or not). This extra damage is 1d6 at 5th level, and it only applies when the elven archer uses a bow while within 30 feet of the target. The extra damage increases by 1d6 every five elven archer levels thereafter. At 16th level, when the elven archer gains the ability to flank with the bow, this damage also applies to shots against flanked targets. The elven archer must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.
Spells: Beginning at 4th level, an elven archer can call upon his ancestors and forebears, granting him the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the ranger’s spell list. To prepare or cast a spell, an e1ven archer must have a Wisdom score of 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an e1ven archer’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the elven archer’s Wisdom modifier. Like other spell casters, an e1ven archer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1: Elven Archer. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. When Table 1: Elven Archer indicates that the elven archer gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level. An elven archer must spend 1 hour per day in quiet meditation with the spirits to regain his daily allotment of spells. An elven archer may prepare and cast any spell on the ranger spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation. Through 3rd level, an elven archer has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his elven archer level – 3.
Camouflage (Ex): The elven archer may use the Stealth skill to hide in any natural environment, even if he does not have cover or concealment.
Lightfoot (Ex): An elven archer spends his life in the woods, often far from home. Starting at 7th level, an elven archer 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. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede
motion, however, still affect him. In addition, the e1ven archer leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if so desired.
Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, the e1ven archer can move at his normal speed while using Survival to follow 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.
Enchant Arrows (Su): Beginning at 9th level, the elven archer gains the ability to imbue arrows (only arrows) with ambient arcane energy once per day. He must spend 15 minutes communing with his ancestral spirits to gain this ability; at the end of the ritual, he imbues up to 50 arrows with an enhancement of his choice. At 9th level, he may imbue any ability up to a +1 enhancement bonus. Every three levels thereafter, the bonus increases by +1. The elven archer may spend these bonuses as he sees fit. For example, a 12th level elven archer could enhance his arrows with a +2 bonus, or he could enhance them with a +1 bonus and the keen ability. Once the abilities are set, they cannot be changed until the next day’s ritual. Unlike when crafting magical weapons, the elven archer need not invest an initial +1 enhancement bonus before imbuing the arrows with special properties. For example, a 12th-level elven archer could imbue his arrows with keen and flaming. The enchantment lasts for one hour per level.
Close Combat Shot (Ex): Beginning at 10th level, the elven archer no longer provokes attacks of opportunity when making a ranged attack with his bow. When making other ranged attacks, such as throwing a dagger, the elven archer provokes as normal.
Take Aim (Ex): At 13th level, an elven archer may spend a full round to aim at a target. If the target remains stationary (moves no more than 5 ft), he may add half his class level to all ranged attacks he makes against that target within the next round.
Threatening Shot (Ex): Beginning at 16th level, the elven archer is so deadly with his bow, he may flank targets. He threatens an area at 10ft. away, but not adjacent.