Hunter Discussion


Class Discussion

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RJGrady wrote:
Since they lost wildshape, I don't see why they don't get the ranger's weapon proficiencies. I can see why they don't get heavy armor proficiency, but why are they prohibited from it? If a hunter wants to burn a feat for a mild AC increase at the cost of reduced movement,

And penalties to some pretty important class skills, like stealth. As well as putting a heavy kiboosh on dex bonuses. Stealthing in plate armor is something you accomplish only with a lot of luck.

Liberty's Edge

My 2 cents.

Make Choice between animal companion and limited wild shape (1 animal shape to start that matches an aspect, get more shapes, times per day with level)

Make aspect a choice, but permanent (see above) with the ability to gain new aspects you can switch to later.

Add synergies with aspect and animal companion being the same type, so that it isn't just the same animal companion two other classes get. For example if you choose bear aspect and have a bear animal companion, perhaps you can have a telepathic connection of some kind. This would need to be fleshed out, but just an animal companion...Even inquisitors and Clerics can get animal companions.

Do this and now you have a class that is based on being in tune with an animal aspect (eventually more than one) to the point that it can either bond with the animal companion better than other classes or even become that animal.

Again, my 2 cents.


Animal Focus (Stag) needs some work.

From levels 1-7, it has a minor advantage over Longstrider in needing only a swift action to activate, but giving half the speed bonus.

From levels 8-14, it's palpably inferior to Longstrider, because with a CL of 8 you'll just cast Longstrider at breakfast for the same speed bonus but no in-combat action required at all. The application of Extend Spell -- via feat or rod -- makes this flip happen up to four levels earlier.

At level 15, it finally starts looking a little better, getting you 10 more feet per round than Longstrider. But frankly, a 15th level class feature that's only twice as good as a first level spell seems pretty lackluster.

My initial impression is that this class probably needs a full BAB. But let's see how it goes in actual play testing.


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I just realized I built this class already, it was an inquisitor with the feather subdomain.

Dark Archive

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The Hunter needs access to EITHER a favored enemy OR a favored terrain. Gaining this at level 4 wouldn't hurt if it were more flexible (a Knowledge nature or dungeoneering check to activate for a specific foe)

I have no real problems with the weapon selection. This can be gotten around by race selection (elves and swords, dwarves and axes).

But the armor restrictions are unclear. Is METAL armor prohibited (metal shields are)? If the Hunter loses certain bonuses in heavy armor, that would make sense.

There should be some other class based bonuses for having the animal companion. Flanking, initiative, perception, tracking. Any of those (or all), especially if the companion is within 30 (or so) feet.

The animal could also receive some advantages to being partnered with a Hunter. Combat bonuses, access to more tricks, or ability score mods would work. Maybe a specific version of Enlarge that would only work on the companion.


My Thoughts:

~The animal aspect does need to be changed away from enhancement bonuses. It also needs to be allowed to last longer given it's limited use. For comparison a paladin's smite, and inquisitors judgment both last until the combat is over (potentially forever) whereas the inquisitors bane weapon and paladins divine bond lasts minutes per level. IT should be pointed out as well that both classes get animal compansions if they choose.

~The weapon restrictions feel fairly unnecessary. There are tons of weapons in the equipment book that are useful hunting tools.

~The class needs more. It's very narrow in it's animal companion and tracking love. It does feel like it should expand into unique arenas and perhaps look at other aspects missed out by rangers and druids. MAybe some ambush type abilities?

~The teamwork feats are okay. But I'm hoping we see a lot mroe come out with the book as there are blessedly that really work well with this class as is.


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Going to echo some thoughts of others, but hopefully throw in some new ideas as well.

Hunter was the class I was most interested in from this playtest. The thought of an animal companion and ranger duo was exciting. I always take the boon companion feat to make sure my companion is on a level with my ranger. Here are some of my thoughts:

-Thematically, I believe the goal (based on the description) is to create a nature character whose animal and them work in tandem to track and defeat foes. They are hunters! I think that the abilities are rather all over the place and the class loses it's focus.

-A hybrid of the druid and ranger, it seems to mix some of the abilities together than present a less than optimal character - others have pointed out the similarities between other classes, specifically the ties to Inquisitor.

Issues/Suggestions:

-Skill ranks should be 6/level. Restricting skill ranks restricts hunting ability, in my opinion.

-Animal Focus: Compared to other abilities from the new classes and compared with previous classes, this is severely underpowered. Suggestion: Replace Animal Focus with either the Shapeshifter abilities or the Skirmisher's "Hunter's Tricks" abilities (new Hunter's Tricks would have to be created to better complement the theme).

Also, this is where teamwork feats should be presented. Perhaps allowing the Hunter/Animal Companion to utilize a teamwork feat without needed to spend a feat on it for x/times per day for x/minutes per class level. Edited the rest of this since my brain wasn't working...

-Druid/Ranger spells up to level 6 - I see no issue with adding ranger spells, since some of them work quite handily with a "Hunter" flavor. I suppose I feel like the hunter is less of a divine spell caster and more of one who has nature assist them in hunting/snaring their foes. Suggestion: This is fine as long as the BaB can be reworked without affecting this. See next paragraph. One other major rehaul option would be make them spontaneous casters choosing from Druid/Ranger spell list... not sure what the implications of that route would be yet, so that's more of an idea rather than suggestion!

-This class needs to be Full BaB, or as another posted suggested, have the attack bonus increase at certain levels. A medium BaB hunter doesn't make sense, flavor wise, to me. They spend their time hunting with their animal companion. If the spells are what is reducing the class to 3/4 BaB, remove the 6 level of spell casting and make it 4. Or, as another poster suggested, have them choose ranged, melee, or magic and give the player a boon every fourth level to bring that particular style up to full BaB to close the gap.

-Weapon restrictions do not make sense. The Hunter should be proficient with tools of the hunt, including most martial weapons. Maybe create a hunting pool of weapons or allow them to choose x amount of weapons at creation.

-I think the Hunter should receive Trackless Step along with Woodland Stride, personally and thematically, but I'm not sure if that would create an imbalance or not.

-The capstone ability feels under powered to me, compared to others. Changing the Animal Focus portion of this class would change the capstone anyway, so I may look into alternatives later when I have more time.

Keep in mind that my suggestions are made with the idea that we want to hybridize the class without creating a huge set of new rules. However, with my proposed changes, it doesn't benefit from any new abilities. So I'll spend some time today thinking about a new ability for this class... I'll post later with an updated list with breakdown by levels.

I love the theme of this class and want to it to work well with the other classes.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think that creating new combat style feat chains like the ranger has, but for Teamwork feats for use with your animal companion, like I pointed out in my previous post, and some abilities like the shield ally ability of the summoner class would go a long way toward making this class more focused on the animal companion. Of course there also needs to be more and better teamwork feats and some of those need to focus on ranged combat.

I also agree that the hunter needs more tranditional hunting style weapon proficiencies and maybe even some abilities or feats in the class to help make them not just proficient, but well-versed in their use when fighting alongside of their animal companion.


Ashanderai wrote:
and some abilities like the shield ally ability of the summoner class

There is a spell in Animal Archive splat book called Shield Companion; level 1 antipaladin, druid, paladin, ranger, sorc/wiz and witch. Functions as shield other, but with AC or Familiar. It even stipulates that other classes who do not normally gain a companion but somehow acquire one through an alternate class feature can prepare and cast this spell as a 1st level spell if they're capable of casting spells.


I agree with the first poster.

Hunter. What is really lost?

Druid: You loose wild shape and perhaps more important you loose your 7th- to 9th-level spells. Teamwork feats aren't that great and aspects cannot compare to wild shape or 7-9 spells.

Ranger: You are one feat away from having a strong animal companion, full bab, combat style, favored enemy etc.

I do not get it. Hunter seems to be a powered down druid.

Owner - Pikes Comics

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So I was reviewing the Shaman and saw something that might work for this class. The nature mystery gives them a familiar/animal companion combo.

IE They get an animal companion with the special abilities and intelligence of a familiar. That would be perfect for this build. Extra skill points and abilities on the animal companion would definitely help. Also the higher intelligence would explain how these animal companions understand and know how to do teamwork feats.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The animal companion aspect should be buffed. Better archery support would be good. And I demand that the iconic is a female elf doing a standing backflip while shooting an arrow sideways.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
lostpike wrote:

So I was reviewing the Shaman and saw something that might work for this class. The nature mystery gives them a familiar/animal companion combo.

IE They get an animal companion with the special abilities and intelligence of a familiar. That would be perfect for this build. Extra skill points and abilities on the animal companion would definitely help. Also the higher intelligence would explain how these animal companions understand and know how to do teamwork feats.

Yeah, but not until level 16, which is around the same time a lot of AP campaigns are ending. Add in levels of Investigator and you are an even higher level before you get that ability.


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I think the main thing I am missing with some of these classes is the sense that they are doing something special. Hunter is definitely in that group.

The Investigators inspiration is very cool.
Panache is essentially Grit, but its trying.
Bloodragers get a wholly different set of rage powers (Arcane line adding arcane buffs to rage is not something I saw coming, pretty cool)

Hunter gets... not much. The Animal Focus abilities all come from spells, (bull's strength, aspect of the stag, aspect of the wolf, cats grace etc.) but are functionally worse that those spells.

The way I see it, a Hunter is focused Companion, and they are supposed to get some Animalistic powers, alrighty.

So firstly.

New set of abilities:

(1) A special set of powers, some with limited uses per day. These represent the advanced training techniques of the Hunter and they can:

    heal your pet
    grant it an extra action
    grant it bonuses to a roll
    allow it to reroll a save for an effect it is under
    when adjacent, allow the companion to redirect an attack on you to it itself (permanent)
    when adjacent, allow the Hunter to redirect an attack on his companion to himself. (permanent)
    Allow them both to help each other's attacks as if they had the "designating" property with their attacks that only functions for each other. (First lesser then greater)
    Grant the companion the use of a feat that the Hunter has
    Gives the effects of Battlemind Link for a few rounds per day.
    Grants the Companion the Advanced simple template for a few rounds per day.
    Increases the Companions Natural Armor (permanent)
    Reduces the companions check penalty from armor and lets it move full speed. (permanent)
    And so on.

Then the other set of powers would be the similar to animal focus powers, these are the ways of the Animal Kingdom that the Hunter's companion has taught him (see? a fun exchange). All of these are PERMANENT bonuses:

Animal Sight: If your base race has normal vision, you gain low-light vision. If your base race has low-light vision, you gain darkvision out to a range of 30 feet. If your base race has darkvision, the range of your darkvision increases by 30 feet.

Animal Senses: You gain a +2 competence bonus on Perception checks and Scent.

Animal Claws: You grow a pair of claws. These claws are primary attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage (1d3 if you are Small).

Frog's Jump: +4 competence bonus of acrobatics checks. You can make a running jump without needing to run 10 feet before you jump.

Wild Instinct: You gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks and a +2 bonus on Survival skill checks.

Gorilla Grip: +4 bonus to CMB on Grapple and Reposition checks. Your unarmed strike damage is increased by 1 step.

Monkey Climb: You gain a climb speed equal to half your land speed.

Otter Swim: You gain a swim speed equal to half your land speed. You may also hold your breath for up 4 rounds per point of Constitution before making Constitution checks to hold your breath.

Raccoon Banditry: You gain a +2 competence bonus on Disable Device, Sleight of Hand and Stealth Checks. Choose one of these skills, from now on it is always a class skill for you.

Boar's Ferocity: You gain the ferocity special quality.

Bear's Fortitude: You gain a +1 insight bonus on Fortitude saves.

Animal Bite: You gain a bite attack. This is a primary attack that deals 1d6 points of damage (1d4 if you are Small).

Stag's Speed: You gain a +10 enhancement bonus to your land speed.

Chameleon's Blending: You gain a +4 competence bonus on Stealth Checks. This bonus is doubled if you do not move.

Wolf's Takedown: Once per round when you hit a target with a natural attack or unarmed strike, you may attack to Trip your target as if you had the Trip Special Attack. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to your Hunter level.

Lion's Grab: Once per round when you hit a target with a natural attack or unarmed strike, you may attack to Grapple your target as if you had the Grab Special Attack. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to your Hunter level.

Snake Slither: You gain a +4 competence bonus on escape artist checks and a +4 dodge bonus to AC versus attacks of opportunity provoked by your movement.

Rhino's Hide: You gain a +2 Natural Armor bonus. This bonus stacks with all other Natural Armor bonuses.

Badger's Fury: Your weapons are treated as Keen. This does not stack with other effects that increase critical threat range etc.


My pre-build impressions

1) I was worried about this one because it seems defined by a pet. Like the Cavalier I'm not too fond of pets that you cannot get rid of. Pets are generally things that require an extra level of book keeping that I'd rather be optional. That said, at this point there are enough Ranger-ish classes to play a Ranger without a pet so its not too bad.

2) I think animal focus should be a permanent choice and do more things. I do like the Micro-Beastshape aspect of it and making a choice package would make it easier for third parties to introduce more beast aspects and more design space for splat books and archetypes.

It seems a little on the weak side but I may be wrong. I will make a special note to see how it does at the table.


Lord Malkov has some excellent suggestions. I would like to add one thing the Hunter could give back to the companion: the AC qualifies for all combat- and teamwork feats that the Hunter qualifies for. Doesn't look unbalanced to me, and adds quite a bit of flavour in my opinion.


I like this class concept, but I'll select Shapesifter Ranger or Druid, not this beta Hunter.

I hope...
-More class option. Not only Teamwork feat, Archer, Trapper, Rider, Melee, Scout, or Natural Weapon ability.

-More Skill point as well as Ranger.

-Full BAB or full caster ability.

-Hunter's Trick (APG p.128)


In terms of a character who fights with teamwork feats, compare to the Huntmaster Cavalier archetype from the Animal Archive. I expected this to be a bit more like that, from the summary of the class. If I was building a hunter, it'd probably look more like a huntmaster/ranger with maybe a few druid toys.

I'm kind of OK with the 3/4 BAB, it's closer to what animal companions have

The Ranger spell list has a lot of things that are useful for hunters that the druid list doesn't.


Animal focus is really bad in almost every case.

Instead replace it with something that actually focuses on animals.

1. Similar to summoner let this class be the "pet class" and give it the ranger spell list, not the Druid list.

2. Keep the teamwork feat thing, but add good teamwork feats.

3. Give the hunter better weapon proficiencies and better ability to support the companion in combat.


I love the theme of the Hunter. But as a few others have said it doesn't quite seem to be about "hunting" and more about mild shifting into aspects of an animal.

I also love the idea of Teamwork feats working for the Hunter and his animal companion.

With that said i would suggest the following;

1. Combine Animal Focus and Animal Companion into a single skill that scales. Example: "Beast Bond" Give the Hunter an animal companion and based upon his choice grant powers to both the Hunter and Companion.
Beast Bond [Bear] Could grant a +2 enhancement to Con to both the Bear and the Hunter for 1 minute.

This ability would change based upon the current animal companion taken.

2. Make Archery based Teamwork possible for the Hunter.
Example: In a round that the animal companion attacks the target the Hunter gains a +2 attack bonus upon the target.

3. Either give them Favored Enemy [at a staggered pace] or some kind of "Hunting" based skill. Perhaps at first level a Hunter chooses a Knowledge skill and if they can make a successful skill check gain bonus attack and damage against the target.

Hunter's Prowess: At First level a Hunter chooses a Knowledge skill[Planes, Religion, Nature, etc. Any skill that pertains to a creature type] with a successful skill check DC= creature's CR +10 the Hunter applies a +2 attack and damage bonus agianst that creature. For every 5 points beyond the DC the Hunter gains an additional +1 attack and damage. Or something like that.


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Here are some proposed changes to the class to better fit the theme of hunter. The proposed changes keep the teamwork feats but focus on the Animal Companion and Hunter duo as master trackers, hunters, scouts, etc.

Taken from druid: Full Animal Companion, orisons, trackless step
Taken from Ranger: BaB, saves, track, swift tracker
From both: Wild Empathy, woodland stride, Spell Lists

Skills, 6+INT
Weapon Proficiencies – All Ranger
Armor Prof - Druid, including the restrictions

(Potentially reduce the spell level to a max of level 4 spells taken from both Druid and Ranger. If spells are learned at a later level, other abilities could be added to offset the balance.)

Note that below the levels with no new abilities indicate a level in which the Hunter gains a new spell casting level.

Breakdown by Level:

Level Special
1 Animal Companion, Orisons, Shared Hunt +1
2 Track, Wild Empathy
3 Hunter Tactics, Teamwork feat
4
5 Trackless Step, Woodland Stride
6 Teamwork Feat
7
8 Swift Tracker
9 Teamwork Feat
10
11 Act As One
12 Teamwork Feat
13
14 Strike As One
15 Teamwork Feat
16
17 Strong Companion
18 Teamwork Feat
19
20 Master Hunter

New: Combination of Quarry and Favored Enemy: benefits increase when near Animal Companion (Shared Hunt)

--Shared Hunt: This will work like quarry, but instead of needing a favored enemy, the Hunter can choose one target within their line of sight. The text and effects have been altered.

---At 1st level, a Hunter can, as a standard action, denote one target within his line of sight as his Shared Hunt target. Whenever he is following the tracks of his Shared Hunt target, the Hunter and his animal companion can take 10 on his Survival skill checks while moving at normal speed, without penalty. In addition, both the Hunter and animal companion receive a +1 insight bonus on Attack and Damage, Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against the Shared Hunt. A Hunter can have no more than one Shared Hunt target at a time. He can dismiss this effect at any time as a free action, but he cannot select a new target for 1 hour. If the Hunter sees proof that his target is dead, he can select a new target on his turn using a standard action. If the Hunter or Animal Companion land the killing blow on the target, reducing their hit points below 0 or killing them, the Hunter can instead choose a new target as an immediate reaction. If the Hunter and Animal companion are within 30 feet of one another this bonus increases by +1. If the Hunter is using a ranged weapon the range increases to 60 feet. The Hunter can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + Wisdom Modifier.

---At first level the bonus is +1, this increases to +1 at fourth level and every 5 levels thereafter (4, 9, 14, 19) to a maximum bonus of +5 at 19th level. (EDITED)

--Act As One: The Hunter and Animal Companion can use whoever rolls the highest on initiative. Alternatively, the Hunter and Animal companion can choose to act on the initiative they each rolled.

--Strike As One: The Animal Companion uses the Hunter’s BaB in place of it’s own when making it’s attack. This only applies to their attacks and does not count as a pre-requisite for Feats requiring a specific BaB.

--Strong Companion: A Hunter’s whose animal companion is medium size or smaller goes up to the next size category. A companion who is large or bigger instead gains a +2 STR and +2 CON.

--Master Hunter: As the Ranger ability except it only affects the Shared Hunt target and can be used a number of times per day equal to: 1 + ½ Wisdom modifier.


Animal Focus really needs a different bonus type. Being able to have a higher strength than normal isn't broken when it's attached to a medium BAB.


Animal Focus could be improved by having it give the Hunter a natural attack dependent on the animal while Animal Focus is active, starting at a certain level (Possibly 4th). Choosing Wolf for Animal Focus could give the Hunter a bite attack, and the damage from the bite would get better as the Hunter levels up. When you gain the ability to choose multiple animals for the Focus, choosing two animals that grant the same natural attack could give either a second attack or increase the damage die by 1 step.

The version of Master Hunter that the Hunter gets is rather poor when compared to the Ranger's version. The Ranger gets a death attack against their Favored Enemy, whereas the Hunter chooses an Animal Focus to have active the entire day, and can track targets while moving at full speed without a penalty. The benefit from the Animal Focus part of that is rather strong in that it can raise an ability score by 6 for the day, but the tracking part doesn't seem that fit for a capstone.

For this version of Master Hunter, the Animal Focus part should remain, but change the part about tracking. Tracking at full speed seems like it would be a good ability for around level 15 (in the middle of the section that is bare, except for more uses of Animal Focus, more Teamwork Feats, and more spells). An ability that works with tracking would be good for the Hunter, such as one that allows you to use a Death attack if you've tracked the target for X time, or one that works with the Animal Companion to benefit both the companion and the Hunter.

Shadow Lodge

I really want to like this class, and my first impression before thinking through it was very positive.

Like others, I'm left with a lot of thoughts that it doesn't quite deliver.

It definitely feels like it's a druid foremost, with giving druid spellcasting from 1st level (with a 1 level delay in there), and providing a pet. Without d8 HP, not having a full BAB and 4 skill points per level, it seems to be closer to druid than ranger. There's some extra weapons in there, but the half-orcs and elves don't really see much reason to grab this class based on that fact.

If I was trying to make a "WOW Hunter", the Ranger class along with Boon Companion seems to provide a better emulation.

At first blush, the teamwork feats sounded fun, but then I realized that it's not all that difficult, if there are some new teamwork feats in the new book to simply have both the main character and the companion buy these feats. A vanilla animal companion usually has quite a few feats, so if there are new tasty ones that come out, without being a hunter, you'd be sacrificing things like Improved Natural Attack, Weapon Focus (bite) and grabbing those, making "Hunter Tactics" a nice thing, but not mandatory.

Although, I'm not sure I want this class to be a better animal companion class than a druid. Ultimately I'd think a druid and hunter should be exact equals when it comes to natural pets, and thus anything going on to make pets more interesting should come by way of feats that both can grab.

Again, going back to what I'm sure many folks will first think when they see this class, "Oh, I can create my WOW hunter now!" - once you start to build your elf hunter and realize that they aren't picking up Precise Shot until 3rd level and Rapid Shot until 5th level, you quickly realize this class is fairly terrible in that regard.

Then, you think "OK, well maybe I can build a melee hunter then", and realize without a BAB+1, there's no Weapon Focus or Power Attack until 3rd level either.

I suppose the Aspects are supposed to bridge some of this gap, but like most folks mention, the type of the bonuses usually conflicts with what kind of gear you'd be excited to see. I'd totally want my "sneaky hunter" to pick up a cloak of elvenkind, but then my "stealth aspect" (owl??) never sees the light of day again. Although at 1 minute of use per day at low level, I'm probably being very picky about when I use this ability.

TLDR:
1) Not sure I want this class to be better with a natural companion than a pure druid.
2) Want to be martial/ranged with a pet? Ranger + boon companion trumps this class in most every way.
3) Teamwork feats aren't that big of a deal, the animal companion could use its own feats for something tasty.
4) Something "special" is missing from this class, but I don't think it's beefing up the AC (point #1 above)

I'm with the other posters, perhaps something that improves the main character themselves when the animal companion is involved in combat. An ability that gives a bonus to hit/damage on a target already hit by the companion keeps the ACs of druid and hunter on equal ground squaring off, but makes the hunter more interesting. Perhaps the hunter can bridge some of the skill gap to ranger by allowing them to use their companion's modifiers when they are within 10ft of each other (for Stealth, Perception, Survival, etc)... again boosting the hunter because of the companion, but not boosting the companion itself.

Finally, something to make this stand out - at higher levels, maybe the hunter can cast healing spells on their companion with a move action and at close range instead of a standard action? Perhaps this uses a point of their "pool" (right now aspect minutes per day)...


doc the grey wrote:
Loveskud wrote:
<Stuff>

Actually the favored enemy thing is something that a rangers animal companions already get as part of their class.

As for the rest I'm with you on the aspects but feel like they need WAY more options that are more interesting and viable as you move along then what we have right now.

As it stands I would love to see them mess with the animal companion thing more and maybe even give them more animal companion options like 1 or 2 Int magical beasts, aberrations, and dragons.

I was thinking more just for the companion


Alex Mack wrote:
I like this class. The problem is mechanically you can probably pull of very much of what this class does with the inquisitor who takes the animal domain and has his animal spend feats on teamwork feats. This is probably the most optimized route to build an inquisitor anyway so we have some major redundancy here especially as the class lay out is pretty much modeled after the inquisitor.

You can also do all of what this class does with a druid who just decides not to Wild Shape or cast his high-level spells and picks up some teamwork feats.


Jessie Scott wrote:

Here are some proposed changes to the class to better fit the theme of hunter. The proposed changes keep the teamwork feats but focus on the Animal Companion and Hunter duo as master trackers, hunters, scouts, etc.

Taken from druid: Full Animal Companion, orisons, trackless step
Taken from Ranger: BaB, saves, track, swift tracker
From both: Wild Empathy, woodland stride, Spell Lists

Skills, 6+INT
Weapon Proficiencies – All Ranger
Armor Prof - Druid, including the restrictions

(Potentially reduce the spell level to a max of level 4 spells taken from both Druid and Ranger. If spells are learned at a later level, other abilities could be added to offset the balance.)

Note that below the levels with no new abilities indicate a level in which the Hunter gains a new spell casting level.

Breakdown by Level:

Level Special
1 Animal Companion, Orisons, Shared Hunt +1
2 Track, Wild Empathy
3 Hunter Tactics, Teamwork feat
4
5 Trackless Step, Woodland Stride
6 Teamwork Feat
7
8 Swift Tracker
9 Teamwork Feat
10
11 Act As One
12 Teamwork Feat
13
14 Strike As One
15 Teamwork Feat
16
17 Strong Companion
18 Teamwork Feat
19
20 Master Hunter

New: Combination of Quarry and Favored Enemy: benefits increase when near Animal Companion (Shared Hunt)

--Shared Hunt: This will work like quarry, but instead of needing a favored enemy, the Hunter can choose one target within their line of sight. The text and effects have been altered.

---At 1st level, a Hunter can, as a standard action, denote one target within his line of sight as his Shared Hunt target. Whenever he is following the tracks of his Shared Hunt target, the Hunter and his animal companion can take 10 on his Survival skill checks while moving at normal speed, without penalty. In addition, both the Hunter and animal companion receive a +1 insight bonus on Attack and Damage, Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against the Shared Hunt. A Hunter can have no more than one Shared Hunt target at a time. He can dismiss this effect at any time as a free action, but he cannot select a new target for 1 hour. If the Hunter sees proof that his target is dead, he can select a new target on his turn using a standard action. If the Hunter or Animal Companion land the killing blow on the target, reducing their hit points below 0 or killing them, the Hunter can instead choose a new target as an immediate reaction. If the Hunter and Animal companion are within 30 feet of one another this bonus increases by +1. If the Hunter is using a ranged weapon the range increases to 60 feet. The Hunter can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + Wisdom Modifier.

---At first level the bonus is +1, this increases to +1 at fourth level and every 3rd level thereafter (7, 10, 13, 16, 19) to a maximum bonus of +5 at 19th level.

--Act As One: The Hunter and Animal Companion can use whoever rolls the highest on initiative. Alternatively, the Hunter and Animal companion can choose to act on the initiative they each rolled.

--Strike As One: The Animal Companion uses the Hunter’s BaB in place of it’s own when making it’s attack. This only applies to their attacks and does not count as a pre-requisite for Feats requiring a specific BaB.

--Strong Companion: A Hunter’s whose animal companion is medium size or smaller goes up to the next size category. A companion who is large or bigger instead gains a +2 STR and +2 CON.

--Master Hunter: As the Ranger ability except it only affects the Shared Hunt target and can be used a number of times per day equal to: 1 + ½ Wisdom modifier.

Wow. They should just give you money and print this.

At first, I was afraid shared hunt would too closely mimic the slayers ability, but then it totally worked. That said, I don't think I'd speed up the progression over favored enemy. Also, am I missing something? +1 at 1,4,7,10,13,16,19 adds up to 7, 8 if within 30 feet, not 5. Really, if anything, it should progress slower since you're getting gull BAB and more spells.

Would it make more sense for Strike as One to only apply when attacking the same target?

And I'd still like to see a "back to back" ability that mimics the summoner's shield ally bonus.


Benly wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:
I like this class. The problem is mechanically you can probably pull of very much of what this class does with the inquisitor who takes the animal domain and has his animal spend feats on teamwork feats. This is probably the most optimized route to build an inquisitor anyway so we have some major redundancy here especially as the class lay out is pretty much modeled after the inquisitor.
You can also do all of what this class does with a druid who just decides not to Wild Shape or cast his high-level spells and picks up some teamwork feats.

Not quite.... you would have a better will save and could take heavy armor proficiency.

So... actually better.


Davick wrote:

Wow. They should just give you money and print this.

At first, I was afraid shared hunt would too closely mimic the slayers ability, but then it totally worked. That said, I don't think I'd speed up the progression over favored enemy. Also, am I missing something? +1 at 1,4,7,10,13,16,19 adds up to 7, 8 if within 30 feet, not 5.

Would it make more sense for Strike as One to only apply when attacking the same target?

And I'd still like to see a "back to back" ability that mimics the summoner's shield ally bonus.

Drats, you're right. I added up completely wrong. Hmmmm. I'll have to rethink that, as +7 is not only an odd number, but may be out of balance.

With the idea that these are supposed to be hybrid classes, I tried to incorporate Quarry and Favored Enemy into a unique mechanic. I'm wondering if a "from scratch" mechanic would fit better rather than trying to adapt an existing one. Plus, I was trying to keep in mind that any increase in power to the Animal Companion equals an increase in power for the player using the Hunter class.

I suppose you could do Strike as One against the same target, but then there is more stats to keep track of, and having to already keep track of the Hunter and the Animal Companion is a lot. It seems simpler to make it a fixed item.

In mention of the Shield Ally other ability, I'm not sure it would work thematically here. The Eidolon is fairly big meaning they can interpose themselves in front of the Summoner. Also, keep in mind that an Animal Companion needs to be given a command before it's likely to do anything.

Overall, I tried to focus on the Animal Companion and Hunter duo as a whole unit. I may revisit this later and take another stab at it. Or, if others have suggestions those could be incorporated as well.


The bottom line is "what do you want this class to do?"

As someone mentioned on this thread earlier.

The slayer seems more like a hunter to me.

Give the slayer a boon companion, lvl 1-2 druid/ranger spell progression
and were done.


Jessie Scott wrote:
Davick wrote:

Wow. They should just give you money and print this.

At first, I was afraid shared hunt would too closely mimic the slayers ability, but then it totally worked. That said, I don't think I'd speed up the progression over favored enemy. Also, am I missing something? +1 at 1,4,7,10,13,16,19 adds up to 7, 8 if within 30 feet, not 5.

Would it make more sense for Strike as One to only apply when attacking the same target?

And I'd still like to see a "back to back" ability that mimics the summoner's shield ally bonus.

Drats, you're right. I added up completely wrong. Hmmmm. I'll have to rethink that, as +7 is not only an odd number, but may be out of balance.

With the idea that these are supposed to be hybrid classes, I tried to incorporate Quarry and Favored Enemy into a unique mechanic. I'm wondering if a "from scratch" mechanic would fit better rather than trying to adapt an existing one. Plus, I was trying to keep in mind that any increase in power to the Animal Companion equals an increase in power for the player using the Hunter class.

I suppose you could do Strike as One against the same target, but then there is more stats to keep track of, and having to already keep track of the Hunter and the Animal Companion is a lot. It seems simpler to make it a fixed item.

In mention of the Shield Ally other ability, I'm not sure it would work thematically here. The Eidolon is fairly big meaning they can interpose themselves in front of the Summoner. Also, keep in mind that an Animal Companion needs to be given a command before it's likely to do anything.

Overall, I tried to focus on the Animal Companion and Hunter duo as a whole unit. I may revisit this later and take another stab at it. Or, if others have suggestions those could be incorporated as well.

You could do it as a static bonus that achieves the same effect, so its easier to add up.

Strike as One: When your animal companion attacks they same target as you they gain a +1 attack bonus. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

I don't see how commands would really hinder Shield Ally

At 4th level, whenever a summoner is within his eidolon’s reach, the summoner receives a +2 shield bonus to his Armor Class and a +2 circumstance bonus on his saving throws. This bonus does not apply if the eidolon is grappled, helpless, paralyzed, stunned, or unconscious.

Just make Summoner Hunter instead. Unless you mean thematically (EDIT: I see you did in fact say thematically). I think it's very fitting thematically. Rename it "Protective Pet" or something. It's as if they're always aiding your armor class in the same way attack roles with aid another can. A wolf that barks or bites at anyone who comes near, or a bird who flies in their face and caws.

Silver Crusade

I love animal aspects but also feel that the "hunter's tricks" should be a part of this class. I'm actually amazingly disappointed that this class has spells and wouldn't mind the spells being replaced with wild shape. I think a lot of people feel that there should be less dependence on the animal companion but I disagree. To me that's the real flavor of the class. I think the hunter would be better designed as follows:

Full BAB

Strong fort and reflex saves

Medium armor proficiency with no shield proficiency

Select weapon proficiency that is argumentatively full of effective weapons for hunting (which would include bolas)

Keep wild empathy

Keep animal aspects as I think it's a good mechanic although it needs some tweaking

Animal companion is good as is the way that teamwork feats and animal aspects are shared with them

Keep teamwork feats where they are

Keep the tracking stuff

Add hunter tricks every 4 levels that the animal companion can also utilize

Drop spell casting all together and instead add a limited wild shape ability that only allows taking the shape of animals, plants, and possibly vermin that has a slower progression then the Druid.

I like this and can imagine the hunter starting at range then closing the gap to finish the fight with solid teamwork tactics utilizing their animal companion


Things i like about the Hunter:

- animal focus in general
- animal companion
- track
- wild empathy
- woodland stride
- hunter tactics
- swift tracker

Things i don't like (and why):

- spells ("hunter" doesn't sound like "spellcaster" to me)
- weapon selection (strange limitations)
- bab (should be full bab)
- skill ranks per level (6 might be useful)
- animal focus bonus types (should stack with something)
- animal focus duration (1 minute bonus in climb or swim checks is not at all enough when it is really needed! 1 minute per level might already be a bit more useful)

maybe some other things might be good to make it feel more like a hunter.
- availability for setting up traps (although they might seldom be used)
- some special tricks like constricting arrows or other slowing ability
- maybe even some other combat advantage (combat style or plain bonus to attack and damage like the slayer gets one)

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Goblin Berserker wrote:
Quick question. It says "A hunter may begin play with any of the animals listed in Animal Choices (Core Rulebook 53)." I know the answer is right in front of me, but I just want reassurance. Does it mean that the Hunter cannot choose any other animal companion form any other resource?

The hunter text for this ability is essentially the druid class text for choosing an animal companion, except the druid is referring to another section in the same book (the Core Rulebook); the hunter is in a different book, so it has to call out where to find the druid animal companion list. A hunter can choose any animal companion a druid could choose, whether from the Core Rulebook or a later source.

=====

Other clarifications:

* This class has a very narrow line to walk betweeen "ranger with full BAB, limited animal companion, and weak spells" and "druid with 3/4 BAB, full animal companion, and full spellcasting." Take too much from the ranger and it invalidates the ranger. Make it too much like druid and it's redundant with the druid.

* We're not going to make this a shapeshifting class, especially not at the cost of the animal companion. Creating an archetype that trades out something (perhaps spellcasting) for shapechanging, maybe, but that's not a change we'll make for the default class (especially as "full druid spellcasting with shapechanging" already exists as the druid class).

* As I mentioned earlier, I agree that we could really use more ranged-oriented teamwork feats (for the hunter in particular, but it would also benefit the inquisitor and cavalier), and I'll make sure we get some for the book. I'll talk to Jason about getting some added to the official playtest, too, as that would be very valuable info for evaluating the hunter-as-written.

* We're not going to create a custom spell level progression for this class (such as "ranger spell progression but starting at level 1").

* We don't need to explain that an animal companion must still meet equipment requirements for a teamwork feat (such as Shield Wall) because that's built into using the feat (frex, Shield Wall requires your ally to be using a shield, so your falcon animal companion can't help you set up Shield Wall unless it's a shield-wearing falcon).

* If this class had full BAB, it's really stepping on the ranger's toes (more animal companion options, 6 levels of spellcasting starting at character level 1).

=====

I'd like to acknowledge the following issues people have brought up (however, I'd still like to hear playtest feedback based on the abilities as printed, without altering based on my comments below):

Acknowledged Points:

* The animal focus ability could use more "oomph," probably in terms of duration. It's intentional that some aspects will overlap with magic belts and such; that's fine, as if you have a belt of giant strength you still have other non-bull options to choose from. Sometimes your magic items make certain class abilities redundant; just pikc another option instead of the redundant one (i.e., you're not locked into choosing a specific animal, so it's not like this class ability is completely wasted as soon as you gain a belt of giant strength). Revising animal focus and having it apply to your companion as well is an interesting idea.

* The "no heavy armor" is a quirk of how the ranger and druid armor restrictions are set up. Likewise for the metal shield restriction. I've noted this topic for design team discussion.

* The animal companion could use more "oomph." Compared to the druid, a hunter has worse spellcasting and the same animal companion, with a few other ranger-ish abilities added in. We'll be discussing ways to improve the hunter's animal companion, as it's a key feature of the class.

* The weapon proficiencies are mostly based on the druid list, but the class could use more ranger-ish weapon proficiencies, or at least all simple weapons.

* A ranged hunter is going to run into problems with the animal companion interfering with shots, requiring the hunter to take Precise Shot, which would be an annoying feat tax. Perhaps we can add a class ability that counts as that.

* Being able to select multiple animal foci at once is an interesting idea, but that might end up a feat instead of a default function of the class. A feat such as "extra uses of animal focus per day" is an obvious feat option for this book.

* Applying your woodland stride to the animal companion is an interesting idea.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

* If this class had full BAB, it's really stepping on the ranger's toes (more animal companion options, 6 levels of spellcasting starting at character level 1).

* The animal companion could use more "oomph." Compared to the druid, a hunter has worse spellcasting and the same animal companion, with a few other ranger-ish abilities added in. We'll be discussing ways to improve the hunter's animal companion, as it's a key feature of the class.

i mostly agree with you. But, if you gave me this class right now with full BAB, I'd still rather ranger. That says something about giving it full BAB. And like I mentioned earlier, if you want to make archery viable, well it's hard to rapid shot deadly aim with 3/4 BAB.

That said, I could be convinced to live with 3/4, but the companion has to get better. If you're afraid of encroaching on druid, I'll take 3/4/ BAB, cap at 4th level spells and a wicked metal companion. Metal as in awesome, not made of metal.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
your falcon animal companion can't help you set up Shield Wall unless it's a shield-wearing falcon

How about a falcon-wearing S.H.E.I.L.D.?


Seeing as how the hunter is now the druid/ranger/inquisitor, adding another class to that list (ok, unofficially :) ) letting you infuse the animal companion with the power of nature for fantastical purposes (aka: applying very limited Eidolon evolutions) to the animal companion as some sort of transformation could work.

As the hunter charges into battle, the hunter gives a quick prayer and her bestial friend grows in size and has their claws lit with a dancing flame.

I believe one of my players is going to be a Hunter for our friday test game, so I'll post results then.


More Ideas

1) Anytime you cast a single target spell on yourself that has a duration, your companion also gains the benefits of that spell. So you could cast any of the Aspect spells, or Barkskin etc. and have it affect your Companion too. This is basically a hopped up version of share spells.

2) Start giving extra abilities to the Companion. Teamwork feats are neat and all, but what about some unique things?

For example, how about Stalwart (evasion for fort/will saves). This is a lvl 15 ability that a companion archtype can currently get, but what about getting it at level 10? The nature warden PrC also lets you give your companion Silver or Cold Iron DR and DR penetration. Seems appropriate here too.

3) Some sort of "same target" synergy that lets the Hunter help the companion hit and vice versa would be very cool. Even if this is just a sort of "ranged flank" teamwork feat.

Finally... I still don't quite get it. This is a 6 level caster... but its supposed to focus on physical combat? I mean, you have a 6 level caster, whose only abilities are to get a small buff that only enhances physical combat (animal focus) and to use teamwork feats with his companion (also all about physical combat).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Re: Hunter and companion cover issues

What about having an ability where the Hunter and Companion can provide cover for each other against enemy attacks, but do not hinder each other's attacks against their targets.


waltero wrote:

Re: Hunter and companion cover issues

What about having an ability where the Hunter and Companion can provide cover for each other against enemy attacks, but do not hinder each other's attacks against their targets.

Might be cool to expand that to also let the hunter or the companion charge through each other as well. That way this ability would help both ranged and melee builds.

Liberty's Edge

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If the animal companion is "in" and the shapechanging is "out" how about as a compromise you allow the player to "warg" into the animal companion, with bonuses that come as a result.


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ciretose wrote:
If the animal companion is "in" and the shapechanging is "out" how about as a compromise you allow the player to "warg" into the animal companion, with bonuses that come as a result.

Only if the Hunter has to dramatically proclaim "Assuming Direct Control" when he does it.


It could use a boost such as...

A fighter attack bonus and better class skill selection.

More benefits for the class and it's animal companion.

Magical beast companions or the ability to change animal companion into magical beast and it gains some special abilities.

Constant benefit based on animal companion such as skill bonuses, save bonus, etc..

No spellcasting but supernatural abilities like lay on hands but works only on animals(and maybe magical beast, vermin, and/or plants), energy resistance, fast healing, etc.

Shadow Lodge

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I quickly built up 4 fairly generic implementations of the concept - "nature warrior with wolf" without really min-maxxing. All 4 characters are elves working their way up to rapid shot, using Boon Companion if needed to have a full powered wolf companion (arguably one of the most popular choices among lay players).

In the case of the ranger, I used the Infiltrator archetype (since the Adaptation feature is somewhat similar to the aspects).

In the case of the inquisitor, I selected the Feather domain, and the Preacher archetype. You could argue that I should've picked a Teamwork Feat and selected the same feat for the animal companion, but there's not a lot that make sense for a archer+companion duo to test it against.

All 4 characters use a composite longbow and ended up with Precise Shot and no Rapid Shot (because the Ranger needed to pick up Boon Companion). All 4 have the exact same animal companion mechanically (and that's okay with me).

All 4 use the same ability array and purchased a belt of dexterity +2 and a longbow +1 with their wealth.

3 of them have Aspect of the Falcon in their 1st level spell slot. The inquisitor has Divine Favor.

The big differences, that would affect them in a playtest.

Skills
I tried to keep essentially the same skill investment across all 4 classes. The inquisitor used a trait for Handle Animal.

Hunter: Climb +6, Handle Animal +6, Heal +7, Knowledge (nature) +10, Perception +12, Ride +8, Spellcraft +8, Survival +12, Swim +6

Ranger: Acrobatics +8, Climb +6, Handle Animal +5, Heal +7, Knowledge (geography) +5, Knowledge (nature) +8, Perception +12, Ride +8, Sense Motive +3, Spellcraft +8, Stealth +11, Survival +10, Swim +6

Druid: Climb +6, Handle Animal +6, Heal +7, Knowledge (nature) +10, Perception +12, Ride +8, Spellcraft +8 , Survival +12, Swim +6

Inquisitor: Acrobatics +8, Bluff +3, Climb +6, Diplomacy +3, Handle Animal +6, Heal +7, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (geography) +2, Knowledge (nature) +7, Perception +14, Ride +8, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +11, Survival +9, Swim +6

As expected, the ranger and inquisitor are far superior here, with more class skills and more ranks to invest.

Our hunter's aspects are really about boosting an ability score (Str/Dex/Con), a skill (Stealth/Perception/etc) or movement speed (+5). Because you never know when you fail a Perception check, and all of these builds wanted the Belt of Dex +2 for the "always on" benefit, the hunter is likely to use their aspect for 2 minutes of increased stealth (for scouting?) or an Acrobatics check.

The ranger really wins out here with the adaptations, as some of those goodies (darkvision for example) can dramatically influence the skill challenges a character may face. Plus, you get them for so many more minutes per day. I'd almost divide the aspects up so that skill augmentations can get more minutes of use per day to try to make up the gap (especially if the 4 skills/level sticks) between hunter and ranger/inquisitor.

Raw Combat

All 4 classes are doing the same thing in combat - sending in an identical companion, and then firing their bow. They all have identical weapons and feats for ranged combat.

The ranger stands above the others, with the same 1st level spell (Aspect of the Falcon), but also adds +1 BAB along with favored enemy, when it comes into play.

The inquisitor is easily second, with the flexibility that judgements provide, for extra damage for a specific fight, fast healing, or the ability to overcome some DR in a pinch.

Spells and Versatility

The druid, hunter and inquisitor are all rough peers here.

For the hunter, I quickly picked Entangle, Magic Fang, Faerie Fire, Flaming Sphere, Spider Climb.

The druid has one more 2nd level spell, which I picked Fog Cloud and the ability to spontaneously summon animals for extra firepower if needed. It probably makes sense for the hunter to allocate a slot to Summon Nature's Ally.

These two classes are roughly at par with an outdoor crowd control spell, dealing with concealment, or bringing some fire damage to bear on a swarm or a troll. Granted, the ranger should have some scrolls of Magic Fang for those DR/magic monsters along with Entangle, so for 50-100g, he can close some of this gap in their respective careers.

The inquisitor makes this all the harder to compare, as they can pick up litanies, divine favor, true strike, protection from good invisibility, see invisibility, etc. It will totally depend on the adventures/encounters to know if the druid list or inquisitor list shines brighter, but overall I'd think they would be comparable over the first 50 encounters these characters see.

Summary Thoughts

For the most part, I'd pick a hunter over a ranger for the same reason I'd pick a druid over a ranger - because I want more spells and don't mind sacrificing my own personal combat effectiveness for the versatility of those spells.

Without any interesting teamwork feats to playtest here, which is the sole difference between the druid and the hunter, you're left comparing:

Druid Side:
Wildshape 1/day
Extra 2nd level spell
Spontaneous Summon Nature's Ally

Hunter Side:
Aspect 2/day
Teamwork Feat

Again, with the Belt of Dex +2, this pretty much limits the hunter's aspects to skill modifiers (barring the need for a +1 to a check to break out of some ropes), with the major skills I can see coming into play being Stealth and Acrobatics. For that critical time when it matters, wild shape is there for this same challenge, and also provides a lot more versatility and more importantly - duration (i.e. running down a fleeing opponent or scouting ahead).

I can't bring myself to see where I'd play a hunter over a druid built in a similar manner. This is actually looking at 4th level too, where the classes are much closer together. At 7th level, the druid is rocking 4th level spells, where the hunter's on 3rd level spells. At 11th level, we're comparing 6th level spells to 4th level spells.

At 11th level, the aspect goes up to 4 minutes of use per day and there's 3 teamwork feats in the equation. For a melee hunter, this is definitely more interesting as there's some feats that make sense.

I'm probably on the sidelines waiting for a revision to the aspects and at least 1 or 2 teamwork feats before this merits a few hours of genuine playtesting.

What I'd think is needed to make this all come together are just two things:

* More interesting benefits of the animal focus akin to the ranger archetype adaptations (i.e. darkvision, blind-fighting) and perhaps a longer duration for the ones that aren't just doing pure stat-boosts (at least 10 mins so the character can make it through the jungle or city district with his increased Perception)

* Some example teamwork feats (i.e. the animal companion doesn't count as cover vs the hunter; or if one member of the team is in melee and one is ranged, the enemy is considered flat-footed against the first shot of the round). These would clearly make the hunter's handful of teamwork feats stack up for differentiation against the similarly-built druid.

Hunter Archer 4:

HunterArcher4
Elf Hunter
NG Medium Humanoid (elf)
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 27 (4d8+4)
Fort +5 (+4 vs. hot or cold environments and to resist damage from suffocation), Ref +8, Will +4; +2 vs. enchantments
Immune magic sleep; Resist elven immunities
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged +1 Composite longbow (Str +2) +8 (1d8+3/x3)
Spells Prepared (CL 4):
2 (2/day) Flaming Sphere (DC 15), Cat's Grace
1 (4/day) Magic Fang, Aspect of the Falcon, Entangle (DC 14), Faerie Fire
0 (at will) Detect Magic, Create Water, Guidance, Light
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 19
Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skills Climb +6, Handle Animal +6, Heal +7, Knowledge (nature) +10, Perception +12, Ride +8, Spellcraft +8 (+10 to determine the properties of a magic item), Survival +12, Swim +6; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Druidic, Elven
SQ animal companion link, elven magic, nature bond abilities (wolf, wolf), resist nature's lure, share spells with companion, spontaneous casting, trackless step, wild empathy, wild shape (1/day), wild shape (animal), woodland stride
Other Gear Masterwork Leather armor, +1 Composite longbow (Str +2), Belt of incredible dexterity +2, 150 GP
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Animal Companion Link (Ex) You have a link with your Animal Companion.
Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Elven Magic +2 to spellcraft checks to determine the properties of a magic item.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Share Spells with Companion (Ex) Can cast spells with a target of "you" on animal companion, as touch spells.
Animal Focus (2/day)
Teamwork Feat (TBD?)
Hunter Tactics animal companion treated as having same teamwork feats as hunter
Wild Empathy +3 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.

Most likely aspects to use (2x, for 1 min a day) - +4 Stealth, +4 Jump, Scent, +5ft Speed

Ranger Archer 4:

RangerArcher4
Elf Ranger (Infiltrator) 4
NG Medium Humanoid (elf)
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 32 (4d10+4)
Fort +5 (+4 vs. hot or cold environments and to resist damage from suffocation), Ref +8, Will +4; +2 vs. enchantments
Immune magic sleep; Resist elven immunities
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged +1 Composite longbow (Str +2) +9 (1d8+3/x3)
Special Attacks favored enemy (animals +2)
Ranger (Infiltrator) Spells Prepared (CL 1):
1 (1/day) Aspect of the Falcon
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 8
Base Atk +4; CMB +6; CMD 20
Feats Boon Companion (Animal Companion), Endurance, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skills Acrobatics +8, Bluff -1 (+1 vs. animals), Climb +6, Handle Animal +5, Heal +7, Knowledge (geography) +5 (+7 vs. animals, +7 while in forest terrain), Knowledge (nature) +8 (+10 vs. animals), Perception +12 (+14 vs. animals, +14 while in forest terrain), Ride +8, Sense Motive +3 (+5 vs. animals), Spellcraft +8 (+10 to determine the properties of a magic item), Stealth +11 (+13 while in forest terrain), Survival +10 (+12 vs. animals, +12 while in forest terrain, +12 to track), Swim +6 (+10 to resist nonlethal damage from exhaustion); Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Elven
SQ adaptation (40 minutes/day), adaptations (adaptation: darkvision 60'), animal companion link, combat styles (archery), elven magic, favored terrain (forest +2), hunter's bonds (animal companion, wolf), share spells with companion, track, wild empathy
Other Gear Masterwork Leather armor, +1 Composite longbow (Str +2), Belt of incredible dexterity +2, 150 GP
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Adaptation (40 minutes/day) (Ex) Temporarily gain characteristics of your favored enemies.
Adaptation: Darkvision 60' (Ex) Gain temporary use of various abilities
Animal Companion Link (Ex) You have a link with your Animal Companion.
Boon Companion (Animal Companion) +4 levels to calc familiar/animal comp abilities (max of your HD).
Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Elven Magic +2 to spellcraft checks to determine the properties of a magic item.
Endurance +4 to a variety of fort saves, skill and ability checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Favored Enemy (Animals +2) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs Favored Enemy (Animals).
Favored Terrain (Forest +2) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs Favored Terrain (Forest).
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Share Spells with Companion (Ex) Can cast spells with a target of "you" on animal companion, as touch spells.
Track +2 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.
Wild Empathy +3 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.

Druid Archer 4:

DruidArcher4
Elf Druid 4
NG Medium Humanoid (elf)
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 27 (4d8+4)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +7; +2 vs. enchantments, +4 vs. spell-like and supernatural abilities of Fey and against effects that target plants
Immune magic sleep; Resist elven immunities
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged +1 Composite longbow (Str +2) +8 (1d8+3/x3)
Druid Spells Prepared (CL 4):
2 (3/day) Flaming Sphere (DC 15), Cat's Grace, Fog Cloud
1 (4/day) Magic Fang, Aspect of the Falcon, Entangle (DC 14), Faerie Fire
0 (at will) Detect Magic, Create Water, Guidance, Light
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 19
Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skills Climb +6, Handle Animal +6, Heal +7, Knowledge (nature) +10, Perception +12, Ride +8, Spellcraft +8 (+10 to determine the properties of a magic item), Survival +12, Swim +6; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Druidic, Elven
SQ animal companion link, elven magic, nature bond abilities (wolf, wolf), resist nature's lure, share spells with companion, spontaneous casting, trackless step, wild empathy, wild shape (1/day), wild shape (animal), woodland stride
Other Gear Masterwork Leather armor, +1 Composite longbow (Str +2), Belt of incredible dexterity +2, 150 GP
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Special Abilities
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Animal Companion Link (Ex) You have a link with your Animal Companion.
Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Elven Magic +2 to spellcraft checks to determine the properties of a magic item.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Resist Nature's Lure (Ex) +4 save vs. effects from Fey and effects using plants.
Share Spells with Companion (Ex) Can cast spells with a target of "you" on animal companion, as touch spells.
Spontaneous Casting The Druid can convert stored spells into Summon Nature's Ally spells.
Trackless Step (Ex) You do not leave a trail as you move through natural surroundings.
Wild Empathy +3 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.
Wild Shape (1/day) (Su) Shapeshift into a different creature one or more times per day.
Wild Shape (Beast Shape I: Small - Medium animal) You may use your Wild Shape ability to become an animal.
Woodland Stride (Ex) Move through undergrowth at normal speed.

Inquisitor Feather Domain Archer 4:

InquisitorArcher4
Elf Inquisitor 4
NG Medium Humanoid (elf)
Init +7; Senses low-light vision; Perception +14
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Defense
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AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 27 (4d8+4); judgement of sacred healing 2
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +7; +2 vs. enchantments
Defensive Abilities judgement of sacred protection +1; DR judgement of sacred resiliency 1: magic; Immune magic sleep; Resist elven immunities, judgement of sacred purity +1, judgement of sacred resistance 4 (sonic)
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Offense
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Speed 30 ft.
Ranged +1 Composite longbow (Str +2) +8 (1d8+3/x3)
Special Attacks judgement of sacred destruction +2, judgement of sacred justice +1, judgement of sacred piercing +2, judgement of sacred smiting (magic)
Spell-Like Abilities
At will—Detect Alignment (At will)
Inquisitor Spells Known (CL 4):
2 (2/day) Invisibility, See Invisibility
1 (4/day) Protection from Good, True Strike, Divine Favor, Litany of Weakness
0 (at will) Disrupt Undead, Acid Splash, Daze (DC 13), Detect Magic, Create Water, Guidance
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Statistics
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Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 8
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 19
Feats Boon Companion (Animal Companion), Escape Route, Point Blank Shot
Traits Savannah Child (Handle Animal)
Skills Acrobatics +8, Bluff +3, Climb +6, Diplomacy +3, Handle Animal +6, Heal +7, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (geography) +2 (+5 to identify the abilities and weaknesses of creatures), Knowledge (nature) +7 (+10 to identify the abilities and weaknesses of creatures), Perception +14, Ride +8, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +7 (+9 to determine the properties of a magic item), Stealth +11, Survival +9 (+11 to track), Swim +6; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, monster lore
Languages Common, Elven
SQ animal companion link, determination (1/day), domains (feather), elven magic, eyes of the hawk (+2 perception / +2 init.), judgement (2/day), share spells with companion, teamwork feat (change 3/day), track
Other Gear Masterwork Leather armor, +1 Composite longbow (Str +2), Belt of incredible dexterity +2, 150 GP
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Special Abilities
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Animal Companion Link (Ex) You have a link with your Animal Companion.
Boon Companion (Animal Companion) +4 levels to calc familiar/animal comp abilities (max of your HD).
Detect Alignment (At will) (Sp) Detect chaos, evil, good, or law at will.
Determination (1/day) (Ex) Free, may reroll attack/force foe hitting ally to reroll/gain +4 AC for 1 attack.
Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Elven Magic +2 to spellcraft checks to determine the properties of a magic item.
Escape Route You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when moving through spaces adjacent to allies
Eyes of the Hawk (+2 Perception / +2 Init.) (Su) +2 Perception, +2 Initiative during a surprise round.
Inquisitor Domain (Feather) Associated Domain: Animal
Add Fly to your list of class skills. In addition, whenever you cast a spell that grants you a fly speed, your maneuverability increases by one step (up to perfect).
Judgement (2/day) (Su) Variable bonuses increase as the combat continues.
Judgement of Sacred Destruction +2 (Su) Weapon Damage bonus.
Judgement of Sacred Healing 2 (Su) Fast Healing
Judgement of Sacred Justice +1 (Su) Attack bonus
Judgement of Sacred Piercing +2 (Su) Concentration and vs. SR bonus
Judgement of Sacred Protection +1 (Su) AC bonus
Judgement of Sacred Purity +1 (Su) Save bonus
Judgement of Sacred Resiliency 1: Magic (Su) DR/magic
Judgement of Sacred Resistance 4 (Sonic) (Su) Energy Resistances
Judgement of Sacred Smiting (Magic) (Su) DR bypass
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Monster Lore +3 (Ex) +3 to Knowledge checks when identifying the weaknessess of creatures.
Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Share Spells with Companion (Ex) Can cast spells with a target of "you" on animal companion, as touch spells.
Teamwork Feat (change 3/day) Swap your most recent Teamwork feat for another
Track +2 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.

Wolf Companion:

Wolf4
N Medium Animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +5
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Defense
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AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 30 (+12)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +2
Defensive Abilities evasion
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Offense
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Speed 50 ft.
Melee Bite (Wolf) +6 (1d6+3/x2)
Special Attacks trip
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Statistics
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Str 14, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 18 (22 vs. Trip)
Feats Power Attack -1/+2, Weapon Focus (Bite)
Skills Acrobatics +7 (+15 jump), Climb +6, Perception +5, Stealth +7; Racial Modifiers +4 to survival when tracking by scent
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Special Abilities
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+4 to Survival when tracking by Scent +4 to Survival when tracking by Scent.
Evasion (Ex) No damage on successful reflex save.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.
Trip (Ex) You can make a trip attempt on a successful attack.

Liberty's Edge

Rynjin wrote:
ciretose wrote:
If the animal companion is "in" and the shapechanging is "out" how about as a compromise you allow the player to "warg" into the animal companion, with bonuses that come as a result.
Only if the Hunter has to dramatically proclaim "Assuming Direct Control" when he does it.

I think it is a good compromise, and given the popularity of game of thrones it is something that doesn't really exist in the game as a feature.


Looking at just the playtest packet, I can't help but feel like the Hunter is strictly worse than the Druid. I mean teamwork feats and animal aspect are probably not worth giving up even just wildshape with all its power and versatility. Then again: I sort of like the idea of a more martially focused Druid/more magical Ranger.

I would really like to see what this class would look like with a freebooter-like team buff (or even just self-buff/animal companion buff) that can be delivered with a move action around level 4 or so. This could play up the "guy who fights with his bear" aspect of the build.

Just something I think would be cool and give me a reason to play the class. If that is overpowering, then maybe the shared teamwork feats for the animal companion can be limited to when the animal companion is under the effect of the boost.


I would say drop the spells and give full BAB. Also drop the animal focus and go for a Hunter focus where you pick a target you are hunting and get x bonuses against target. Oh and track should be moved to first lvl, you are a hunter. As for weapons and armor I personaly would limit weapons to what one might use for hunting or trapping,something that could be seen more as a tool, like spears and bows maybe axes. I don't think they should use swords. Also I don't think they should not wear metal armor. Keep the animal companion and the team work feats. I think it is an interesting idea and something that could be very useful. I think with changes like this you could also open into a bounty hunter archtype.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
* We're not going to make this a shapeshifting class, especially not at the cost of the animal companion. Creating an archetype that trades out something (perhaps spellcasting) for shapechanging, maybe, but that's not a change we'll make for the default class (especially as "full druid spellcasting with shapechanging" already exists as the druid class).

I can understand not wanting to give Wild Shape to a class that is already so similar to Druids, in fact, I find Animal Aspect to be far more flavorful and interesting than simply turning into an animal. Unfortunately, from a mechanical PoV, the ability is very underwhelming.

Medium BAB class need some way to boost their attacks, otherwise, they won't hit anything consistently. If the Hunter is supposed to fight alongside his Animal Companion, he's probably going to be in melee more often than not, since animals are usually unable to use bows. Ranged Teamwork feats wouldn't change that.

Hunters currently have no means of boosting their attacks. Animal Aspect could do it, but as soon as the character buys level-appropriate gear, Animal Aspect becomes useless. And the system expects your character to have those items. Why create a class feature that is made obsolete by gear the character will surely have? I know it was taken from the Shapeshifter Ranger, but that archetype is very ineffective.

The other animal aspects offer very small benefits or situational benefits (+X to Climb checks, +X to Acrobatics checks made to jump, etc). Wolf and Stag can be useful, though. But it's sad that only 20% of the Animal Aspect is actually worth using... And even then, you suffer quite an impact in action economy.

And again, the class doesn't expand flavor options either. Rangers, Druids, Inquisitors and Cavaliers can all represent the same character concept/role and still be much more effective (with the possible exception of Cavaliers, as I don't know that class very well).

A revision to Animal Aspect seems extremely necessary. Hunter seems pretty weak as it is right now.


What exactly is the ranger bringing to the table here? Because I honestly don't see anything...

Here's a class I would like to see.

6+int skills/level
weapon proficiency as is
light / medium armor and shield (not tower) proficiency.
3/4 BAB
Strong Fort/Ref saves
Full animal companion
No spellcasting ability
Teamwork feats and animal focus are possible components of the combat style (see below).
Also keep situational stuff like wild empathy, track, and woodland stride

Add Ranger traps (these are cool, thematically appropriate, and unused enough in normal play that they seem new).
Add a "ranger-ish" combat style. Ideally, these would be more than just a "pick a feat" that the ranger has in order to more fully define the class. Archery, melee, natural attacks, animal focus. For example, an animal focus would give the animal companion more abilities (evolutions, maybe?). Natural attack style would grant access to natural weapons and some feats appropriate to them. One of these could easily be a shape-shifting tree.

Summary
Ranger brings skill points, combat style, and removed metal restriction on armor.
Druid brings full animal companion, and a lot of the flavor of the combat styles.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Revising animal focus and having it apply to your companion as well is an interesting idea.

Doesn't it already? In the first paragraph about Animal Aspect it says "(her animal companion also gains this benefit)."

Quote:
* A ranged hunter is going to run into problems with the animal companion interfering with shots, requiring the hunter to take Precise Shot, which would be an annoying feat tax. Perhaps we can add a class ability that counts as that.

This would be great. Ideally (through class features or new Teamwork feats) the companion would not require Precise Shot NOR provide cover to an enemy. I could see a Hunter's companion keeping enemies at bay while his master peppers them with arrows, or goes in for the kill with a Boar Spear. Or perhaps some way to extend the range of Teamwork feats, or allow the companion to provide protection from AoOs.

Really, anything that allows a Hunter the options of shooting, casting, or otherwise not directly getting into melee while still providing benefits from the companion. Armed with the current class and selection of Teamwork feats, a melee team would seem to have the lion's share of options at the moment.

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