Hunter Discussion


Class Discussion

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I am thinking why doesn't this class use the Hunter's Trick mechanic of the Ranger (Skirmisher) Archetype? It seems like it was built for it!
I also second the use of the Teamwork Style Feats advocated by Roadie above, =)


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I know lots of people have probably said this, but I wanted to get my thoughts out there too:

Why does this class exist at all?

It's just a Druid that trades 3 levels of spells and Wildshape for limited self buffs (that don't stack with other buffs and are obviated entirely by cheap items and spells anyway) and teamwork feats for your animal.

Wild shape and spells are two of the most powerful features in the entire game--trading them for feats and buffs your spells could duplicate anyway is not a good trade.

And this is ignoring the bigger issue:
Animal Companions are too weak to focus a class on.

They level slower than their controlling caster and they have a weaker class chassis anyway. Who cares that my woefully inadequate animal has a ton of teamwork feats with me at level 15? Hint: Nobody.

I don't think there's any need for this class at all--it could just be a Druid or Ranger archetype.

However, I can give you a really quick and dirty way to make it worthwhile:
Leave everything as is, but let the animal companion level more favorably. Let it at least be a 20HD creature by level 20. Consider giving it full BAB. Let the companions evolve again with better stats. Basically, if you want to keep the 6 spell levels and 3/4 BAB chassis, you need to make the animal the focus, and that means it needs more than just some teamwork feats.

Liberty's Edge

Googleshng wrote:
Also, I'm really not picking up any sort of ranger vibe from the class. It feels more like a mix of druid and cavalier or maybe inquisitor than anything.

I had the very same feeling that this class should be described as a Druid/Cavalier hybrid.

Difference of course is that you could then have a Hunter/Ranger multiclass while currently you can have a Hunter/Cavalier multiclass. And the former just might be too powerful.

Liberty's Edge

This class strikes me as the martial version of the PC and pet class (the Summoner being the caster version).

Note that I LOVE this concept.

However, when I read the class with both its 3/4 BAB and spells, I do not feel that it is really martial.

If what is aimed for is indeed a martial-like "PC and pet" class, then we need both PC and pet to be at least competent secondary combatants. Not primary, mind you, as that would give a single player 2 primary combatants which is unfair to other combatant PCs.

One idea provided by our resident optimizer is to have the AC share the benefits of all combat-like feats of his Hunter (such as Power Attack) rather than only the Teamwork feats.


I want to point this out as it appears several people missed this:

Animal Focus wrote:
Animal Focus (Su): At 1st level, a hunter can take on the aspect of an animal as a swift action, gaining a bonus or special ability based on the type of animal emulated (her animal companion also gains this benefit). Once activated, this ability lasts 1 minute.

Bolded for emphasis, naturally. The animal companions receives the same bonuses you do when you use Animal Focus. It's is already present.

Scarab Sages

My review:

Hunter: B. It can't decide if it wants to be a druid with no spells, or a ranger with missing BAB. Given than rangers can already take an archetype that gives them an animal companion, they seem to be trading off full BAB and favored enemy/terrain for the ability to occasionally boost their stats as a swift action, faster spellcasting, and have an improved flanking buddy.

While it's not actually bad, I can't think of a situation in which I'd choose to build one. If I was going to focus on spells/animal companion I'd just go druid, and if I wanted to go melee/animal companion I'd just go beastmaster ranger. It's better to be good at one thing than mediocre at a bunch of things.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

here is an idea that would make the class a LOT more interesting (and possibly op im not sure) if at some point down the line they picked up a secondary animal companion that used either 1/2 or 2/3 the hunters level for determining progression,

Silver Crusade

DeathlessOne wrote:

I want to point this out as it appears several people missed this:

Animal Focus wrote:
Animal Focus (Su): At 1st level, a hunter can take on the aspect of an animal as a swift action, gaining a bonus or special ability based on the type of animal emulated (her animal companion also gains this benefit). Once activated, this ability lasts 1 minute.
Bolded for emphasis, naturally. The animal companions receives the same bonuses you do when you use Animal Focus. It's is already present.

I did miss that. However animal companions can be equipped with items just like the hunter. This makes the bonus they give none stacking with standard gear. This has been addressed earlier. The real problem comes in that you will get some use out of the Animal Focus ability. It will come early in the game. Late in the game you will have item bonus that will not let animal focus stack.

For example: From 1-4 or so the +2 Str bonus is good for the hunter. Then the hunter buys two +2 str belts. By the time they get to level 8. The hunter will most likely have equipped both with +4 Str belts. I don't build characters around gear. However you can not ignore the fact basic gear covers much of what Animal Focus dose.

My problem with the hunter class as it stands now. It is suppose to be a pet class. I like the idea over all. The problem I have it dose not work. Looking at my level 7 druid vs. 7 Hunter. The Druid dose so much better job of buffing the pet with long duration buffs. That his animal companion is better. Then with wild shape the druid is fighting better then the hunter. If you go to it form the other side Ranger 7 vs. Hunter 7 the pet is a bit better. However the ranger is so much better at combat the hunter is not even in the same ball park. There is very little benefit in playing a hunter over druid. As the druid starting at level 5 will out preform the hunter as the pet class. Before adding in the Druid ability's. And it dose not take play test to figure this out. All I hade to do was take my level 7 animal companion focus druid, and compare him to the animal companion focus hunter. The Druid has a large lead in to hit and damage over the hunter. For both the animal companion and there base class.

What it comes down to is the hunter needs something to over come one of two things. It needs a tougher animal companion ability's, or it needs to be better at fighting. Making it better at fighting moves it to close to the ranger. So the animal companion needs some kind of static boost. With out the early access to spells of a druid. They have shown they want the hunter to be the animal companion class. With out over coming some of the animal companions short falls there is not a good way to go forward from here. You can't say animal companions are just as good at ediolons. And the hunter is the divine version of the summoner. With a much weaker pet. So if your not going to revise the Hunter spell list. Like was done with the summoner. There is little else to be done but give the hunter new ability's that boost the animal companion.

I have listed my suggested fixes. With out something to boost the animal companion in power. This problem will still be the same. And there have been enough people poking holes in the Animal Focus ability. I don't need to post any more on it.

Liberty's Edge

I must say that the Wolf focus granting Scent to the AC struck me as pretty useless.

Shadow Lodge

I think one of the things that would help a lot is a name change and a bit of rebranding for the class. As it stands the Hunter title runs pretty close to something players have already been making with rangers, inquisitors, and even some druids for years instead of what it sounds like it's supposed to be, a power team of a well trained animal handler and his custom reared beast companion. So why not change its name to something like the Beastmaster and play up how they search the world for the perfect breeds of various animals in search of crafting the perfect breed of specialized beast.

Honestly I love the idea of having traps here in place of or in some modification to the druid spell list. Having the character act as this support, trapping, ranged character while the Animal companion works as the heavy lifter in direct combat would be very cool and provide them an interesting and unique form of field control and support that doesn't just leave them sidelined while the animal companion fights and he sits in the back. Also it could add a lot to the trapper concept we already have so mores the merrier.

Another thing we could get would be something like a bonus on attack and damage rolls against targets your animal companion is running down, have it represent their synergy in combat.

Finally I would love to see some feedback on the idea of granting them low Int magical beasts or other creatures as animal companions on top of the standard animal and vermin options. Nothing would differentiate them more from their parent classes then the option of having more fantastical beasts at their sides and the increase to HD and BAB would help a lot in allowing the creature to be the heavy. Could even say that it's part of what distinguishes them from the druids and rangers since they say lack the same code of ethics that would prevent the former class from taking on such unnatural animals and have the focus, dedication, and skill at training the beasts that the latter might lack due to more focused training in other areas.

Liberty's Edge

The magical beast AC is a very good idea per se, but it will need the Devs to stat many of these as AC, which can be quite time and space consuming IMO. Not sure it will make it into the final version, even though that would be great.


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why trade spellcasting for traps, why not just give them traps too

Shadow Lodge

The black raven wrote:
The magical beast AC is a very good idea per se, but it will need the Devs to stat many of these as AC, which can be quite time and space consuming IMO. Not sure it will make it into the final version, even though that would be great.

I don't know. Considering the amount of focus this class has on the whole animal companion abilities and how they seem to already be taking advantage of the fact that this book is an add on by not reprinting material that is in other books like the CRB I could see them fitting it in.

Now that being said, I couldn't see them remaking all the magical beasts as options but cherry picking a few classics from literature and favorites from gaming history would be very in their wheel house. Taking something like Owlbear, Hydra, Basilisk, Rust Monster, and maybe another 6-10 more and they would have a nice roster to give players plenty of character combinations. Then all they have to do is just make sure to give a small section where they mention the swaps of HD from d8s to d10s and the changed saves and they are golden. With that they should still clock in at a page count at about that of the Druid, maybe less.

Shadow Lodge

christos gurd wrote:
why trade spellcasting for traps, why not just give them traps too

That's kind of what I was suggesting but I would want them to expand it and make sure to release more trap options to go along with the class. At the very least I would want them to reprint the new traps we got in kobolds of golarion.

As for alongside spellcasting I think I would either want the casting list to be shortened down some more to say 4 levels or removed as a way to help further draw the class out of the shadow of the druid and ranger. Also without them it gives the devs more room to go nuts since you don't have to balance the Animal companion teamwork thing against also having casting ability.

Silver Crusade

Give the hunter a full AC, by this I mean the regular animal from the beastiaries 1-4. Give the hunter all simple and martial weapons. Every 3rd level give the hunter +2 to handle animal and survival and heal. Give the hunter lay on the hands self and companion only
Give the hunter greater companion link. Give the AC a+2 to one of its stats each 4th level as well as a+2 to its natual ac and multiattack at 7th level.

Reduce spell cast to the ranger progression and add all buff spells. New spell enlarge companion as enlarge person except target is the AC.

Give the hunter one combat style with normal ranger progression. Two favored terrain types from forest, plains, swamps and mountaians. Increase animal aspect to 10min/level and make it an untyped bonus

I think with these changes the hunter would be a great class.


I really like that the Hunter is focused on animal companions, I think Pathfinder needed something like a Summoner but for Divine/Nature-ish side. However, the class was a let down. What I suggest is a heavier focus on the Animal Companion and class features that let's you buff them. There are a few problems that I have with the hunter. I'm going to try not to compare it to the Druid or Ranger as it should be taken as it's own class:

1) Animal Focus

2) Teamwork Feats

3) Skills

4) Animal Companion direction

1) My problem with the Animal Focus is four parts: First they are very limited, Second they don't allow for stacking, third is the time constraint, and finally they are not balanced well.

First, the animal focus list does not give too much liberty with the bonuses. Physical stat bonuses and some very niche situations are the only ones that are given.

Second, enchantment bonuses and competence bonuses aren't that useful when you already have other things that are giving you the same bonuses. I know it might be for balance purposes, but it makes your class skills look useless compared to the other classes.

Third, When is a hunter going to need the scent ability for ten feet for 1 minute? Or climb checks for 1 minute? It's true they can be cycled for other Focuses, and that's one of the things I love about the Hunter, but the time duration is too low and too static.

Fourth, A +4 competence check is not the same as a +2 to Strength, even if it is an enchantment. Neither is the scent ability or the stags 5 feet a good trade for the other physical stats.

What I do like, as I mentioned before, is the cycling as a swift. It's really good for managing resources and what not. I also love that you put a focus to the animal companion and gave them the use of Animal Focus. What I propose is a system in which the time that Animal Focus is used scales so that players have more resources. Example:

Animal Focus (Su): At 1st level, (...) a Hunter can use this ability as a swift action for 1/2 level(minimum 1) + WIS in minutes. These must be used in one minute intervals.

Bear: The Hunter gains a +2 (not enhancement) bonus to Constitution.

Stag: The Hunter's base speed increases by 10 feet. This bonus increases to 20 at level 8 and 30 at level 15 (This is an enchantment bonus).

Wolf: The hunter gains a +2 to CM attempts, +4 if it's a trip. +4/+6 at level 8 and +6/+8 at level 15.

Also like someone else said, adding something like: Chameleon's Blending: You gain a +4 bonus on Stealth Checks. This bonus is doubled if you do not move.

Based on animals.

2) As many people are saying, you should probably expand the teamwork feat section, not just for archery either.

3) I want to play a human who is best friends with a lion who lets me ride it, but I don't have the ride skill. I think that the ride skill is a very hunter-ish thing to have, especially when all the hunters are basically best friends with their pet. Also, I petition that you cut them some slack and give the Hunter 6+INT skills.

4) I really like that you are going in the Animal Companion direction, but you are not going in strong enough. The animal companion should be to a hunter what a sword is to a fighter or JUSTICE is to the paladin. It's their best friend and greatest asset. Hunter Tactics and Animal Focus are great, but like mentioned in this thread it falls flat. There should be class skills that fill up this need.

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.
From Jessie Scott is a great start into this, or at least something that gives you an initiative bonus when close (30ft?) from your AC, including his other suggestions "Strike as One" and "Strong Companion".

Also, like the fighter understands his sword, a Hunter must understand his animal companion. I propose that the Hunter has a mental connection or can speak his animal companion language.

To improve the animal companion, I also suggest that when it hits a certain level, say 8 and 14, like the monk's fists gets some bonuses. Such as giving it an intelligence/mythical beast template or advanced template.

Thank you for reading, I hope it wasn't too long winded. I don't have any problems with the saves, BAB, and other proficiencies. Spell list is also fine. I just hope that the Hunter can become as close to his animal companion as the Summoner is to his eidolon.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I agree that this class needs either full BAB or extra combat feats. As it is, it just trades in Wild Shape for the weaker Animal Focus, loses some spell progression, and all it gains is some Teamwork feats (which I don't think I've ever seen put to good use).


I have seen teamwork feats put to good use by the inquisitor but they grant every allies the benefit of there teamwork feats. But I agree they traded a lot for just some teamwork feats.


I'll be chiming in with a lot of others saying this class needs some love. I've been trying to create a good hunter/companion combo, but it's intensily hard to get them to work together. The lower BaB doe not help, and the fact that the "animal focuses" are enhancement/competence (and of very limited nature) means they are of dubious use. I'll be posting up a build tonight, but I'm not terribly encouraged.

While I am pretty certain you guys dont want to create another summoner, how about giving access to MAYBE a few evolutions to this animal companion? Just to really make it stand out in comparison to the druid & cavalier.

More new teamwork feats would also be fun.


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If you went Ranger 4, took Boon Companion, and then started taking Druid levels from there on out, you would have an equal pet, better BAB, favored enemy, favored terrain, martial weapons, a combat style feat, and up to 8th level druid spells. You could also wildshape, should you have the inclination. I think you would be a better pet + hunter duo. You would lose the teamwork feats, animal focus bonus, some of your track bonus, and quarry and its improvements.

When you create a hybrid class, it's not really going to be fifty-fifty. Since you can't bring all your abilities to bear at the same time, it usually needs to be more like 2/3 plus 2/3, unless there are strong synergies. If the druid side is locked in at 6th level spells, and taking into account that the animal companion already has full progression, it seems to me that it's the ranger side that is coming up weak. I like that the quarry ability is there. But really, why not gain martial weapon proficiencies and actually be a hunter in your own right? Animal focus and teamwork feats are nice, but lack the punch of favored enemy.

Given that animal focus is this class's unique ability, I think that's the part that needs more octane. More thematic relationship with animal companion, more bonuses.


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How about gaining the 6 levels of spells at the full caster rate rather than waiting forever to get 6th level spells.
Losing 7-9th is a big loss, why make it even more painful.?


Today's my impulse about Animal Focus...

-Wolf Focus
1st:Stat Bonus +2 Dex
:Focus Skill Bonus +2 Survival Check
:+4 bonus on Handle Animal check with wolves
2nd:Focus Talent "Wolf Pack" Hunter and wolf get +4 flanking bonus if they flank an opponent.
:+4 bonus on the Wild Empacthy check to influence wolves
:Focus Feat (Improved Trip)
3rd:Empathic link with wolf Companion
4th:Spell like ability (Summon Nature's Ally2 (wolf only))
5th:Focus Skill Bonus +4 Survival Check
6th:Focus Feat (Spring Attack)
7th:Speak with Wolf Companion
:Focus Talent (Bite Attack)
8th:Stat Bonus +4 Dex, +2 Con
9th:Focus Skill Bonus +6 Survival Check
:Spell like ability (Greater Magic Fang)
10th:Speak with wolves
11th:Focus Feat (Greater Trip)
12th:Focus Talent
13th:Focus Skill Bonus +6 Survival Check
14th:Spell like ability(Summon Nature's Ally4 (Dire wolf only))
15th:Stat Bonus +2 Str, +6 Dex, +4 Con
16th:Focus Feat (Lightning Stance)
17th:Focus Talent
18th:Focus Skill Bonus +10 Survival Check
19th:Spell like ability (Beast Shape 6(wolf like shape only))
20th:Wolf Lord


stuart haffenden wrote:

How about gaining the 6 levels of spells at the full caster rate rather than waiting forever to get 6th level spells.

Losing 7-9th is a big loss, why make it even more painful.?

I don't think they would make up an entirely new completely inconsistent with anything previously done casting progression, that just stops at level 11. Pathfinder has been designed around a number of consistencies, one of these is three different types of spellcasting progressions 9, 6 and 4 levels respectively, always spread across all 20 levels.

Nor do I think they should make a new one. Yes the Hunter has balance problems and is underpowered at the moment, but where does this need to come up with completely out of the blue suggestions like this come from?

There is plenty of room to improve on other ends. (quite literally "room" with all those dead levels, that add nothing other than two spells per day)

It's not like being a secondary caster is the end of the world and will forever make your magic useless.


Why not post your ideas for the designers rather than clutter up the thread with your opinion of mine? The point of this thread is to give ideas about the class, that's what I've done.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pros:
Animal focus abilities useful in low magic campaigns
Cons:
MAD.
Animal focus outstripped by simple wealth by level in normal campaigns.

The Exchange

Working on building a level 8 hunter from scratch is hard. hopefully this helps people make characters quicker.

rough build details:

Your bab is not high enough to pick the good combat feats at a decent level, especially archery focused feats. below are just feats i can qualify for.

The feats my hunter would take are: precise shot, rapid shot, deadly aim and weapon focus. The team work feats I thin i would take are lookout and enfilading fire.

The pet i would choose would be a tiger. it can be a combat beast and has grab to hold enemies away from you. I thought maybe i could focus on a pet with poison but the options do not appear strong.
my pet feats would be: blind fighting, combat reflexes, dodge, and power attack.

For gear I would probably spend most of it on a good adaptive bow then spend most of the rest on improving my tiger. surprisingly there are not many good belt options that are not stat bumps, i would probably just go with a con belt if i had a tiger.

for spells i would prepare something like this: bristle,fairy fire, clw, obscuring mist, windy escape, barkskin, lesser restoration, resist energy, companion mind link, resinous skin, sleet storm.

20pt buy @8
str 14
dex 20 (racial and level bonus here)
con 12
int 12
wis 14
chr 7

tiger @8
str 24
dex 17
con 17
int 2
wis 15
chr 10


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What if every 4 or 5 levels or so you actually got a boost to your effective druid level for your animal companion ABOVE your class level?

It makes it stronger without needing to make up a buncha new stuff.


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Wanted to update with some quick higher level feedback (5th level). I'm going to try to be specific in regards to the Hunter's specific abilities and unique traits.

Stuck with my half elf Hunter and Wolf Companion. The class starts to feel more in tune and flavorful at higher levels, but still not quite where it should be.

3rd level took Stealth Synergy. A non-combat oriented feat, but I still really liked the idea of my Wolf and I moving through the brush together and stealthing as one predatory unit.

Animal Focus is 2/day by this time. I was able to use them to some degree of benefit. Falcon, Bull and Owl are the only ones that I really found useful; Bull being in combat and only if I don't already have a STR belt or Bull's Strength. Hesitated to use some of the others (like climb) seeing as how you have to specify before hand to use it and once you're done your daily allotment is reduced (or gone). Also, some of the skills aren't very useful to the animal companion. Monkey (Climb) for one, is very situational where my Hunter could climb a wall, but it wasn't feasible for my animal to climb it. Snake is okay, but again, it requires forethought and I wasn't thrilled I had to delay, swift to activate, then move around. Didn't bother with Stagat all. As of now, it's worth is close to 0 in my opinion and I can't see people using this at all.

That's still it at 5th level. 2 uses of 1 minute duration Animal Focus and a teamwork feat. It starts to feel like a new class, but does not distinguish itself enough to be considered a new base class at this juncture.

Spell selection was typical of what any druid would select; magic fang, cure light, etc. I feel like most people are going to choose magic enhancements for their companion or themselves.

Animal Focus:

--Animal Focus needs more. More duration, more effects, better effects, more uses. Take a look at the Shapeshifter Ranger archetype for bringing this in line power wise. These are useful powers. If this is the lifeblood of the class in terms of ability, make it powerful and useful enough to quality as a defining feature. Ranger level + wisdom modifier number of rounds per day. Swift action to activate. This shouldn't be a polymorph effect, instead being his keenly honed senses allowing him to use the abilities of animals they are so adept at hunting. I felt like each Animal Focus should give new boons at certain levels, maybe in between the increased bonus levels, like at level 4 Bull gets a free bull rush attempt with an attack, Bear gets a free grapple, tiger gets increased land movement speed, wolf free trip attack... etc. Something to make them become more powerful.

Teamwork Feats:

--Teamwork feats are problematic. As many others have said, there are not enough teamwork feats. Worse, many of them have pre-reqs the animal cannot achieve. If the intent is for the duo to use flanking to increase their to hit ratio, then there is more of an issue as many of those teamwork feats require them to be adjacent. You can't flank and be adjacent. We either need a lot of new teamwork feats, or we need to allow the animal companion to bypass restrictions/change adjacent to an adjacent ally or attacking the same foe.

BaB:

--I still stand by that BaB should be increased. Spell level shouldn't be altered. Druid is already a powerhouse with a full AC, full Spell list and 3/4 BaB. Let's see some more ranger in this rather than a watered down Druid.

Other Considerations:

--Boon Companion: The problem the developer's have on their hands here is the Boon Companion feat. This allows many classes to gain a fully leveled Animal Companion. In order to stand out, this class has to offer something that no other classes can emulate.
--Teamwork feats are a nice addition and flavor, but Inquisitors can get them too. The only upside is that the animal companion gets them for "Free", however many of them are too restrictive to be considered useful. Also, adding new teamwork feats means the Inquisitor benefits as well, and is already a wisdom based caster.
--Animal Focus Doesn't scale well, and Shapeshifter archetype does this better.
--Skirmisher, Shapeshifter, Trapper: These archetypes all lend flavor that SCREAMS Hunter to me. These should be used as resources to help increase the usefulness of the class.

Something needs to set this class apart at first level. It does not currently. It's Druid with missing abilities and a minor boon (animal focus). After that, the focus should be on making it further stand out.

Something to consider: Give the Hunter favored terrains at 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th. Works like Ranger's, but in addition to the normal bonuses, either the Animal Focus is higher powered, or gets more uses. For instance, outside favored terrain at 1st level - 1x per day. Inside favored terrain ranger level + wisdom modifier. [Redacted statement]. What about allowing the Ranger to use the Heal Skill to, say, Treat Deadly Wounds without the need of a kit inside favored terrain?

-Jessie


stuart haffenden wrote:

Why not post your ideas for the designers rather than clutter up the thread with your opinion of mine? The point of this thread is to give ideas about the class, that's what I've done.

I have to concur with Treeshades here. It would be neat to access spells earlier, but I don't think that's the goal of the class. In fact, it would set a new precedent and the other classes may have to be errata'd or changed as well. It's a slippery slope that has consequences.

My personal opinion: spells are the least worrisome feature. The focus needs to be elsewhere and we can re-evaluate spells after the Hunter is made to feel like a Hunter.

Just as important as having different opinions is coming to a consensus about what players would want on top of balance. It's one of the parts of submitting feedback. People are going to critique it.

2 coppers.


GeneticDrift wrote:
The team work feats I thin i would take are lookout and enfilading fire.

Keep in mind the pre-req for Enfilading Fire: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, 1 other teamwork feat. Which means your animal companion also has to meet these requirements meaning they can't use this and thus you can't gain the benefit of this one.

Which is why I mentioned one helpful boon for Hunter Tactics would be to allow the animal companion to forego the need to meet pre-requisites to utilize the feat. Or we just need a lot of new teamwork feats (probably this one more likely).


I like the concept of animal focus but would much rather have a constant bonus then a limited use ability.

It should have a fighter HD/AB.

I agree about the teamwork feats though maybe they should get special abilities like the hunter and his animal companion are considered to be flanking a target even if they are attack from the same direction(or same squire if mounted).

Mounted combat options would be nice.

I still wouldn't mind keeping the spells to 6th maybe 5th level.


Jessie Scott wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:
The team work feats I thin i would take are lookout and enfilading fire.

Keep in mind the pre-req for Enfilading Fire: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, 1 other teamwork feat. Which means your animal companion also has to meet these requirements meaning they can't use this and thus you can't gain the benefit of this one.

Which is why I mentioned one helpful boon for Hunter Tactics would be to allow the animal companion to forego the need to meet pre-requisites to utilize the feat. Or we just need a lot of new teamwork feats (probably this one more likely).

The AC has to meet the action criteria of the feat, but not the actual prereqs.


Davick wrote:
Jessie Scott wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:
The team work feats I thin i would take are lookout and enfilading fire.

Keep in mind the pre-req for Enfilading Fire: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, 1 other teamwork feat. Which means your animal companion also has to meet these requirements meaning they can't use this and thus you can't gain the benefit of this one.

Which is why I mentioned one helpful boon for Hunter Tactics would be to allow the animal companion to forego the need to meet pre-requisites to utilize the feat. Or we just need a lot of new teamwork feats (probably this one more likely).

The AC has to meet the action criteria of the feat, but not the actual prereqs.

Went back and reread it, and you're absolutely right - mentioned nothing about needing to meet the pre-reqs.

Still, as it stands, a ranged attack is needed to make Enfilading Shot cue up; as such, it is still not a viable one unless I'm missing something further (which may be entirely possible).

Also, Sean, I wanted to point out one more thing:
* 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 know you posted this earlier, but I wanted to respond to it. I have to disagree with this. Already we're seeing a lack of Ranger in this first round of playtesting of Hunter. Consider what you're giving up from Ranger right now:

No favored enemy, no combat styles, no endurance, no favored terrains, no evasion/improved, no quarry, no camouflage, no hide in plain site.

What are we actually seeing here from the ranger (note Ranger only and not overlap with Druid):

Track, Swift Tracker. That's it.


Jessie Scott wrote:
Davick wrote:
Jessie Scott wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:
The team work feats I thin i would take are lookout and enfilading fire.

Keep in mind the pre-req for Enfilading Fire: Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, 1 other teamwork feat. Which means your animal companion also has to meet these requirements meaning they can't use this and thus you can't gain the benefit of this one.

Which is why I mentioned one helpful boon for Hunter Tactics would be to allow the animal companion to forego the need to meet pre-requisites to utilize the feat. Or we just need a lot of new teamwork feats (probably this one more likely).

The AC has to meet the action criteria of the feat, but not the actual prereqs.

Went back and reread it, and you're absolutely right - mentioned nothing about needing to meet the pre-reqs.

Still, as it stands, a ranged attack is needed to make Enfilading Shot cue up; as such, it is still not a viable one unless I'm missing something further (which may be entirely possible).

Its still only marginally useful for the duo.

An alternative may be:

Shot in the Back
Benefit: When making a ranged attack against an enemy threatened by an ally with this feat gains a +2 bonus to attack. This bonus does not apply if your ally is providing soft cover to the enemy.
---

I imagine there's a better way to word that, but I think its a good start.

Owner - Pikes Comics

Did a playtest with a build idea i have considered for a while. A wayaang with a roc companion. He lives in the shadows as he stalks and hunts his prey waiting to swoop down upon them.

Playtest was a level 6th and found a few issues.

A. Prerequisites- Really wasnt able to switch teamwork feats as I didnt meet the prereqs for the majority of the feats. Also the animal companion gets so few skill points it makes this near impossible.

B. Animal Focus- too short of duration. I blew through my uses way too quickly. the bonuses did not have much affect (other then stealthing).

Overall I can see the vision and definitely need to reserve judgment till they open up more teamwork feats next month. I do think they need to just state you can ignore X prerequisite for the teamwork feats. make it much more useful.


Instead of going martial I decided to build the Hunter as a pure spellcaster with buffs/debuffs while the Animal Companion deals damage, which is what I think this class wants to achieve

Hunter

Spoiler:

Hunter One
CN Half-Orc Hunter with Roc animal Companion
Level 7

STR: 10
DEX: 13
CON: 11
INT: 8
WIS: 22 (20 base + headband)
CHA: 14

HP: 32 (7d8 average)
AC: 21 (8 Armor + 2 Shield + 1 Dex)

FORT: +5
REF: +6
WILL: +9
(Cloak of resistance +2)

Feats:
Combat Casting
Uncanny Concentration
Spell Focus (Transmutaion)[subject to change]
Greater Spell Focus (Transmutation)[^]

Teamwork Feats:
Precise Strike
Outflank

Equipment:
Heavy Wooden Shield
Steel, Cthonic Scythe
Mithril Breastplate (Agile/Armored Kilt) +1
Wisdom Band +2
Misc.

Animal Companion

Spoiler:

Rocky the Roc
Level 7

STR: 22
DEX: 20
CON: 14
INT: 2
WIS: 13
CHA: 11

HP: 46 (average 7d8 + 14)
AC: 34 (6 armor + 5 dex + 1 dodge + 12 natural)

FORT: +7
REF: +10
WILL: +3

Feats:
Dodge
Mobility
Spring Attack

Attacks:
Bite - +10 1d8 + 6
Talons (2) - +5 1d6 +6 + grab
+15 to grapple

Technique

Spoiler:

Technique:
This is purely a control build focused on strengthening the animal companion so that it can grab a hold of medium > enemies bring them 160 feet up in the air, and drop them on the floor or on other enemies. It also plays to the strength of a fighting spellcaster, as Hunter will be in the frontlines debuffing the enemies with spells like Frostbite to fatigue and exhaust the enemies all the while providing flanking to Rocky. You will keep your animal focus to STR up for Rocky and if either one of you drop low, you switch it to the CON animal focus.

It's not the most optimized build ever, but it works as I think Hunters want to work. What I really found bad in this build was that the Animal Companions don't have too many Feats themselves and fall really quickly compared to other classes features. Let the Hunter be able to give them more feats or even share combat feats, also let the Hunter be able to upgrade their BAB to at least 3/4th because the Roc isn't going to hit anything at +10 at level 7. I think there needs to be a higher emphasis on the Animal Companion.

The Exchange

I have played with a Roc companion before, it did great. I don't remember all of its feats, but it had power attack and hover. It provided a concealment, a body blocking the way, and dealt good damage, and i did not buff it at all. An animal companion is a really good class ability as is, but I can see a hunter having the best companion.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Thanks for the additional character builds and playtest feedback!


I don't know if it's going to be taken out by the realese, and is just there because you (the designers) want to limit the splatbooks that goes into conjunction with the playtest, but one particular sentence from the AC feature of the Hunter is really harmful to compatibility with any non-core material.

I think it's an oversight. it needs to get fixed with a great-ax of an edit real quick.

Quote:

Animal Companion (Ex): At 1st level, a hunter forms

a bond with an animal companion. A hunter may begin
play with any of the animals listed in Animal Choices
(Core Rulebook 53)
. This animal is a loyal companion that
accompanies the hunter on her adventures. The hunter’s
effective druid level is equal to her hunter level.

This reads to me that you can't pick out of the CRB for your companion. Might I suggest the ability says "This functions as the Druids Natures Bond class feature, except that the Hunter may not pick access to a domain."?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

I actually addressed that in this post upthread: the hunter can use any animal allowed for druids. :)


Great :). Will there be an edit to that effect when the book comes out? I can see the text as is confusing other people than me in the future.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

We'll make sure it's clear in the book. :)

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Also, we've edited the sticky post to include some of the points addressed in my response post, so it's easier for people to spot them when they get to this thread.

The Exchange

Okay, those edits would be pretty great on making the Hunter stand out some more. I'm still on the side of making Animal Focus also apply to the Companion, so we'll see how that goes when changes are made.

For now, back to testing.


ICPD wrote:

Instead of going martial I decided to build the Hunter as a pure spellcaster with buffs/debuffs while the Animal Companion deals damage, which is what I think this class wants to achieve

Hunter
** spoiler omitted **

Animal Companion
** spoiler omitted **

Technique
** spoiler omitted **

It's not the most optimized build ever, but it works as I think Hunters want to work. What I really found bad in this build was that the Animal Companions don't have too many Feats themselves and fall really quickly compared to other classes features. Let the Hunter be able to give them...

So all the Hunter does himself is flank and buff (casting defensively)? That is actually not terrible. Does the Hunter really get anything that makes him significantly better at that than the druid? For instance: could you just switch out spell focus for your two teamwork feats and be the same character with more spellcasting ability? (your buffs don't require saves, after all).

Like I said earlier: I really wish the Hunter could buff himself and his animal companion with something other than enhancement bonuses (which are just so easy to get with normal druid spellcasting and/or magic items). What you (we?) are describing sounds like a bard with an animal companion and only spell resources as buffs. Which maybe works? I dunno.

Lantern Lodge

So here's a build I'm looking at for a PFS level 4 Hunter. Due to the lack of melee Teamwork feats, going for Melee goodness.

Level 4 PFS Hunter:

Korath
CN Human Hunter with Bear
Level 4

STR: 16+2 (Belt)
DEX: 16
CON: 14
INT: 12
WIS: 14
CHA: 7

HP: 31 AC: 20 (6 Armor + 1 Shield + 3 Dex)

FORT: +6
REF: +6
WILL: +3

Traits:
Beast Bond (+1 Handle Animal)

Feats:
Two-Weapon Fighting
Double Slice
Two-Weapon Defense
Precise Strike (TW)

Skills:
Climb +11
Handle Animal: +7
Knowledge: Nature +8
Perception +9
Stealth +9
Survival +9

Equipment:
Quarterstaff +7 (1d6+4) or +5/+5 (1d6+4/1d6+4)
Shillelagh +8 (2d6+5) or +6/+6 (2d6+5/2d6+5)
mw comp (+3 Str) longbow +7 (1d8+3/x3)
20 arrows
Mithral agile breastplate
Wand of Shillelagh
Wand of CLW

Spells:
0: Create Water, Detect Magic, Guidance, Light
1: Aspect of the Falcon, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Magic Fang
2: Barkskin, Resist Energy

Animal Companion
Brahk (Bear)

STR: 20
DEX: 14
CON: 16
INT: 2
WIS: 12
CHA: 6

HP: 30 AC: 18 (+3 Armor, +2 Dex, +2 Nat, +1 Dodge)

Attacks: Bite +8 (1d6+5), 2 claws +8 (1d6+5)

Feats: Light Armor Training, Dodge

Skills: Perception +6, Survival +6

Tricks: Combat x2, Flank, Defend, Come, Heel, Guard

Tactics: Buff (Animal Aspect and/or Shillelagh) and work with AC to flank and get Precise Strike benefits. Aim to maximize the number of attacks to get that benefit and Shillelagh grants a solid, high damage weapon).

Hoping to break this PC in this weekend!

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Virilitas wrote:
I'm still on the side of making Animal Focus also apply to the Companion, so we'll see how that goes when changes are made.

It already does, actually:

Playtest Document wrote:
Animal Focus (Su): At 1st level, a hunter can take on the aspect of an animal as a swift action, gaining a bonus or special ability based on the type of animal emulated (her animal companion also gains this benefit). Once activated, this ability lasts 1 minute.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Also, we've edited the sticky post to include some of the points addressed in my response post, so it's easier for people to spot them when they get to this thread.

Thank you so much for the consideration, I can't wait to see the end result.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
So all the Hunter does himself is flank and buff (casting defensively)? That is actually not terrible. Does the Hunter really get anything that makes him significantly better at that than the druid? For instance: could you just switch out spell focus for your two teamwork feats and be the same character with more spellcasting ability? (your buffs don't require saves, after all).

Well yes, you are a mage and the Animal companion is like your best friend eidolon. While he does solid damage, albeit not as great as many other classes and really depends on the animal you pick, and you still have a turn to lay down buffs for your party/AC or debuffs at your enemies. Always be flanking, you are on the front lines, you and your animal companion are a single machine.

Which is why I would like to see an animal companion buff of some sort. I could switch out spell focus, but I didn't see anything in the teamwork feats that was really enticing, which is why I love that they are considering putting more in. It'd be a solid decision. The spell focus decision was to lay down debuffs on your enemies so that your AC could then have an easier job. Although, now that I think about it, this class could be useful (not how I build it) to take crafting feats, like Scribe Scroll and potions in order to help out your team while you let your AC take point of an enemy.

The difference in my opinion between a Hunter and a Druid, from fluff reasons and what I understand, is that Druids are all about nature as a whole. They get along with plants, animals, bugs, you name it, which is why Druids can even have trees as animal companions. Hunters, on the other hand, have a close bond to a single animal which is the reason why they are so attuned with nature. Their Animal Companion is their best friend, not just some other creature in nature. Their experience together has strengthened their bond and respect for one another.

Mechanically, Hunters cast less spells, can't wildshape (which I don't think they should, doesn't go with the fluff), and druids have far less dependence on their Animal companions. Hunters need them.


So after finishing a series of encounters with one I have a long post incoming...

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