Hunter Discussion


Class Discussion

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Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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This thread is for discussing the Hunter. It should be used as a central location for feedback on the class as a whole. Discussion on specific topics and rules should receive their own individual thread in this forum.

Keep it civil and polite folks. Remember we are all here to make this book the best it can be.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

**OFFICIAL UPDATES**

The following updates apply to the Hunter.

• A hunter may choose any animal companion a druid can choose.

• There is no plan to make the standard version of this class a shapeshifter (although an archetype may fulfill that niche).

• The book will include more teamwork feats appropriate to this class, especially teamwork feats suited for a hunter who primarily uses ranged attacks.

• We plan to address the class's power level compared to the druid, particularly in regard to the animal companion.

• We plan to revisit the animal focus ability, perhaps by changing it to an amount of time per day that the hunter can spend in non-consecutive increments.

• It's intentional that some animal focus abilities will overlap with magic belts and such, as you can tailor which focus you're using to complement your magic items.

• We plan to address the quirk of the prohibition against heavy armor and metal shields, which are a quirk of how the ranger and druid armor restrictions are set up.

• We plan to address the weapon proficiencies list to allow for more ranger-appropriate weapons.


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This was in my top 3 or 4 going into it, but it is the biggest letdown.

I feel like if you look at what a druid loses versus what this hybrid gains and then at what a ranger loses vs what this hybrid gains, they BOTH come out losers.

Personally, I find the idea that a class named Hunter is at best a mediocre archer is a bad way to be. But in general, what can this class really do that couldn't be done just as good or almost as good without giving up what is lost from its pieces?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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I'm not sure a Hunter needs to be an expert Archer. Druids have some of the worst ranged attacks in the game, and a lot of rangers take non-archery combat styles.

Since they get Teamwork with their companions, it makes sense to be melee-oriented, so the tactical aspect of the teamwork feats can be played up.

Maybe they need something resembling combat styles?


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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?

Thanks.
GB


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A like the flavour - good animal companion, share teamwork feats with him, gain animal traits, very much gives ideas for a 'raised by animals' character and a few others. Mechanically, this feels like a perfect class to gain natural weapons, and the animal aspect is an opportunity, and I was disappointed it wasn't one of the options. The spellcasting feels a little out of place, there are a lot of Druid spells that I don't think fit with the concept at all. A reduced, or even removed, spell list that fits the theme better in exchange for some other benefits - perhaps some more, even permanent at an earlier point animal aspects - would be what would make this fit the niche I wanted it to. Perhaps as an archtype.

As it stands they seem alright. They gain Enhancement Bonuses via the Animal Aspect which could clash with the most common belt slot choices, but hell, it might free up more options so I'm not complaining. I just find it very hard to justify the class over a Druid, Wild Shape is amazing, and level-earlier spell progression is a big advantage in a campaign spanning many levels.

Sovereign Court

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Davick wrote:

This was in my top 3 or 4 going into it, but it is the biggest letdown.

I feel like if you look at what a druid loses versus what this hybrid gains and then at what a ranger loses vs what this hybrid gains, they BOTH come out losers.

Personally, I find the idea that a class named Hunter is at best a mediocre archer is a bad way to be. But in general, what can this class really do that couldn't be done just as good or almost as good without giving up what is lost from its pieces?

I agree that it seems to make Druids much more melee-viable without wildshaping. And while from a ranger aspect it would reduce it to 3/4 BAB progression, it makes more out of the animal companion and spells rather than just an afterthought. And with the inclusion of teamwork feats with the companion, there are all the more options for melee. Especially opening up the armor selection so you can wear metal.

Granted, you may still be able to make a good archer build with this class, but I don't think it'll be the bread-and-butter assumption when one hears "Hunter".

Lyee wrote:
I just find it very hard to justify the class over a Druid, Wild Shape is amazing, and level-earlier spell progression is a big advantage in a campaign spanning many levels.

Not all of us want druids to go that route. Not saying that's the only way druids work, but I do tend to see a lot of them. And it seems convoluted to make them elsewise.


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While I agree with Davick, I would say the most obvious comparison is not to the Druid or the Ranger, but the Inquisitor. It is, more or less, a reskin of that class. However There is no replacement for Bane, Stalwart, Exploit Weakness, or Slayer, the Animal Focus abilities are more likely than Judgements to step on the toes of other items/buffs, and there is an added punishment for wearing heavy armor (or metal shields, but not metal armor? Odd).

While I like the idea of a companion-focused class, I feel this one will need some added love offer something really unique from its predecessors. The companion is a bit better than, say, just taking the Animal Domain, but not sufficiently for me to see it as the focus of the class, or to make up for what is lost in comparison to the others.


I'm a bit mixed on this one.

The Teamwork Feats bit is cool, but it seems like that was meant to be the main schtick of the class, tandem attacks with the AC.

The problem is twofold here: He doesn't get anything that makes the AC better than normal (besides MAYBE Animal Focus, which is short duration), and Teamwork Feats in general are not very good, even when you get 'em for free.

The reason it works for Inquisitor is that he gets a bunch of other stuff to go with it, the Teamwork Feats are an afterthought. Here, they most definitely are not (at least it seems so given the dearth of other abilities the class has), and it's not really good enough to carry a class IMO.

On Animal Focus, I dislike the route this takes a good bit. THere are two or three abilities that are good (Moose, Wolf, and Falcon) but the rest are pretty situational (Snake) or are redundant when you take into account magic items (Bull, Bear, Tiger).

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Lyee wrote:
They gain Enhancement Bonuses via the Animal Aspect which could clash with the most common belt slot choices, but hell, it might free up more options so I'm not complaining.

I'm hereby suggesting these should be polymorph/size bonuses or something of that ilk.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Lyee wrote:
A reduced, or even removed, spell list that fits the theme better in exchange for some other benefits - perhaps some more, even permanent at an earlier point animal aspects - would be what would make this fit the niche I wanted it to.

We would really like to avoid creating a new spell list for any of these classes, which is why none of them have unique spell lists (they all use the spell list of another class). Every time we create a new class spell list, we have to (1) spend a lot of lines in the book re-listing all of the existing spells that should be on that list, and (2) add to the amount of text in a spell stat block to call out which classes the spell belongs to.

As an example of #1, the list of alchemist extracts, inqusitor spells, and summoner spells in the APG each take up an entire column of space (or close to it), and ditto for the magus spell list in UM. Likewise, the spell lists in Ultimate Magic take up 9 pages, 3 of which are spell lists for classes that aren't in the Core Rulebook. If those classes didn't have unique spell lists, that's 3 additional pages of spells we could have had in Ultimate Magic. Now, I'm not saying that ALL new classes shouldn't have unique spell lists, but as all of the classes in the ACG are hybrids of existing classes, it's reasonable to try giving them access to existing spell lists.

As an example of #2, a spell stat block already has to call out alchemist, antipaladin, bard, cleric, druid, inquisitor, magus, paladin, ranger, sorcerer/wizard, summoner, and witch.
ACG classes could potentially add arcanist, bloodrager, hunter, investigator, shaman, skald, and warpriest listings.

Do not all of the spells on the druid spell list seem to be a perfect fit for the hunter? Sure.
But not all of the spells on the cleric spell list fit for fire clerics, death clerics, or healing clerics... but there are many, many types of cleric characters you can build, and there will be many, many types of hunter characters you'll be able to build (with the base class and archetypes).
I'd rather leave the door open for spellcasting for those builds than to close the door and have to wedge in additions to the spell list for each archetype and such.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
~snip~

Thank you for the explanation. It seems reasonable. I use online services for most of my reference so I am rarely burdened by these printing drawbacks, the books are just for the pretty pictures and setting on my end.

I do not think I'll be playing a hunter myself as it is presented in the playtest document, but I look forward to an archtype which drops the casting, and will report back on any players I see using it.

Best of luck to the rest of you!

Shadow Lodge

quick question. as the armor prof reads right now it looks like metal armors are allowed but only wood shields. is this right or just a minor errata to be fixed later. i have a player interested in a dwarf hunter (retraining his druid) for our current dragons demand adventure.

The Exchange

I've always wanted a Ranger that could give up the boring bits(Favored Enemy and Favored Terrain) for more Wild Shape and a full Animal Companion.

This is close, as Animal Focus is more useful if you don't want to get forced into being a melee fighter. The one weak point is the loss of the Combat Style. I would rather be giving up more of the wilderness utility options or staying down at 4 levels of spells and keep the Combat Style.

That said, I suppose that might just be a better option for a Ranger Archetype?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

As an example of #2, a spell stat block already has to call out alchemist, antipaladin, bard, cleric, druid, inquisitor, magus, paladin, ranger, sorcerer/wizard, summoner, and witch.

ACG classes could potentially add arcanist, bloodrager, hunter, investigator, shaman, skald, and warpriest listings.

Backing Sean up here, this isn't just space on the page, but also something to remember when designing spells, as well. You run out of mental "room". When freelancing, I know I've turned in spells and then realized "Oh, crap, that really should be been <x class> spell too."

Liberty's Edge

This is my first "meh". It isn't bad, but it is fairly narrow. Why force the animal companion rather than giving an option?

And the animal focus stuff...I would prefer the class just let you have very limited shape change rather than this aspect stuff.

Perhaps keep the aspect, but in exchange for the animal companion allow you limited wild shape to actually shape change into one of the various animals you learn the aspect of.

It is ok, but I kind of expected more and see missed potential here.


Animal Focus feels weird and fiddly, with the X/day but 1 minute duration thing. I'd rather see the class have access to some kind of limited set of abilities it can switch between at will (with no duration), something like stances in 3.5's Tome of Battle.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ross, where's your Golem?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Kryzbyn wrote:
Ross, where's your Golem?

I'm not Paizo staff anymore.


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When I first heard of the Hunter, I loved it. After reading the Brawler and the Bloodragers, I had high hopes for it!

Then I read the playtest.

And now Hunter is my one and only disappointment with the ACG.

Problem #1: Animal Aspect becomes less and less useful as the character buys magic gear, since most of the Aspects provide Enhancement bonuses and the ones who don't provide very minor bonuses for such a limited ability.

Suggestion: Give it real Wildshape as Druid of lower level (Hunter level -4, maybe?) or make Animal Aspects more useful, either by making it so they are not made irrelevant by gear the character will certainly buy or at very least, by increasing their duration to hours per level, like Wild shape.

Problem #2: Teamwork Feats are completely unrelated to the class, as neither Rangers nor Druids have anything to do with those feats and the lone wolf who lives. They seem to have been pidgeon-holed in there just to make Teamwork feats less ignored. I know the idea is that they share those feats with their pets, but it really hurts the class effectiveness and variety, IMHO.

Suggestion: Give the Hunter a combat style, but give them less feats (e.g.: 2nd, 8th and 16th level) and include Teamwork feats in their list of bonus feats.

Overall, this class is basically a terrible Ranger and an even worse Druid. If it allowed for some new type of character of character flavor, it might not have been so bad, but that's truly not the case, as this character concept can easily be achieved by Rangers, Druids, Inquisitors and even Cavaliers...

Grand Lodge

I'm looking forward to playtesting this one.

I've always wanted to make a character that is solely based on the PC and AC working together. I do like the teamwork feats as a bonus class ability although I was really hoping for the ranger combat styles to carry over, even with a medium BAB progression.

Grand Lodge

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I almost think it needs the suggestion I made on another thread. Give the spell-casting to the animal companion and give more martial options to the hunter. You end up with a reverse summoner. Well at least I think it would be neat.


Ross Byers wrote:

I'm not sure a Hunter needs to be an expert Archer. Druids have some of the worst ranged attacks in the game, and a lot of rangers take non-archery combat styles.

Since they get Teamwork with their companions, it makes sense to be melee-oriented, so the tactical aspect of the teamwork feats can be played up.

Maybe they need something resembling combat styles?

Don't get me started on the lack of viable ranged teamwork feats. (Though if there are going to be more printed in this book I've got suggestions).

I'd much rather have a combat style instead of a small bonus to STR that won't stack with anything. More importantly, I don't think that would be unbalancing. Or more abilities like the one that grants scent. How about claws or a climb speed?

But on another personal note, I'm not a wild shape fan thematically. I like that the aspect abilities don't necessitate any sort of transformation on the character's part.

Concerning archery: To put it one way, I'd like a falconer sniping from a tree while his falcon makes fly-by attacks for the ultimate ambush/confusion attack to be a viable way to play this class. This is something that is very hard to do with a straight ranger or druid currently. But I'd also like to be able to do a more classic flank with the wolf type. Which is something I'd probably do with a ranger (and Boon Companion) instead of this class right now. So it's pretty much failing all around.

Also, who wants to rapid shot, with 3/4 BAB? Rapid shot AND Deadly aim? Forget about it. You don't even have the feats for it anyway.

I like that it gets 6th level spells, but I'd be happy with Full BAB and 4th level spells, but open it to all druid spells and not just ranger.


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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:

While I agree with Davick, I would say the most obvious comparison is not to the Druid or the Ranger, but the Inquisitor. It is, more or less, a reskin of that class. However There is no replacement for Bane, Stalwart, Exploit Weakness, or Slayer, the Animal Focus abilities are more likely than Judgements to step on the toes of other items/buffs, and there is an added punishment for wearing heavy armor (or metal shields, but not metal armor? Odd).

While I like the idea of a companion-focused class, I feel this one will need some added love offer something really unique from its predecessors. The companion is a bit better than, say, just taking the Animal Domain, but not sufficiently for me to see it as the focus of the class, or to make up for what is lost in comparison to the others.

I agree with this. Animal Focus, especially, is frankly terrible compared to the Inquisitor's Judgments. That's not even counting Bane and the rest. The Hunter also has less skill points and a worse class skill selection.

As it stands, an Inquisitor with the Animal domain and Boon Companion is much better at the Hunter's own game.

I would have preferred a lesser focus on spellcasting (paladin-grade or none at all), more skill points, and some supernatural abilities. Compared to the Bloodrager, this is pitiful.

One last niggle: the weapon selection doesn't feel "Hunter" at all to me. A scythe is a piece of agricultural gear, not a weapon. To hunt, you want things like a (boar) spear, net, a small set of axes/maces/swords, and the ranged weapons.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Ross, where's your Golem?
I'm not Paizo staff anymore.

:(


I'm mainly just repeating what others have said, but this is the one class in the book that I really just can't ever see myself playing. The idea seems to be to go for a more combat focused druid, with the tradeoff being less spells, like the magus and war priest (or bard and inquisitor for the matter), and while I appreciate the sense of symmetry, I don't really see how what it picks up really offsets what it loses.

BAB and HP are unchanged, so we're not improving their combat capability in that sense. There's a full level spread animal companion, but we already had one. Animal focus is a fun flavor sort of thing, and I liked seeing variations on the theme with the various _____ Shaman druid archetypes (and isn't there a feat or a spell somewhere that basically grants these?), but it works a lot better as a low-level flavorful thing than a real backbone class feature that scales up as you level. Being enhancement bonuses, the utility of these is overwritten by the most ubiquitous magic items in the game. Plus, there doesn't seem to be any benefit gained from taking these you couldn't replicate with the wild shape feature, or even with a few level 2 spells.

All that leaves is the teamwork feats for you and your animal, which is a little interesting, but I still don't see it as a good consolation for reduced access to spellcasting and a complete loss of wildshape. Most teamwork feats don't particularly make sense for an animal to take, and while these also come in handy if any party members are going in for them, I don't really see that coming up unless the whole party is built around the Hunter's presence in it.

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.


This class honestly looks like the Shapeshifter Ranger archetype. Except with 3/4th BAB and a D8. When I saw that the class would be getting bonus team work feats with its animal companion, I was thinking that this class would have a restricted wildshape ability (Like only being able to shift into animals similiar to your companion and being able to use the team work feats to act like an animal pack). Animal focus is a cool alternative and all but with the types of bonuses it gives, it loses its luster.

I just don't feel like this class separates itself enough from its base classes to be considered another class. The shapeshifter ranger archetype or even a vanilla druid seem to cover a majority of what this new class tries to offer.


Needs more static buffs to the animal companion through leveling.


I don't understand the "prohibited from wearing heavy armor" bit. Druids, provided they invest to it, are capable of wearing Stoneplate or Dragonhide armor. So why no heavy armor?

The hunter is limited to wooden shields (as a druid), but his armor proficiency/prohibation is not the same at all.

I like the Teamwork with an animal companion bit, but the weapon choice is also restrictive. If I am going to team-up with my cat in melee, I'm packing a scythe if two-handing, a scimitar if one-handing, or a sub-par weapon? No thanks, I'll play a Beastmaster Ranger and take Boon Companion at 4th instead, raise my companion's Int and give him teamwork feats naturally.

Liberty's Edge

Ross Byers wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
Ross, where's your Golem?
I'm not Paizo staff anymore.

NO!!!!!!


Makarion wrote:


I would have preferred... some supernatural abilities.

NO!

Makarion wrote:
One last niggle: the weapon selection doesn't feel "Hunter" at all to me. A scythe is a piece of agricultural gear, not a weapon. To hunt, you want things like a (boar) spear, net, a small set of axes/maces/swords, and the ranged weapons.

YES!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Makarion wrote:

One last niggle: the weapon selection doesn't feel "Hunter" at all to me. A scythe is a piece of agricultural gear, not a weapon. To hunt, you want things like a (boar) spear, net, a small set of axes/maces/swords, and the ranged weapons.

Good call.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Lyee wrote:
A reduced, or even removed, spell list that fits the theme better in exchange for some other benefits - perhaps some more, even permanent at an earlier point animal aspects - would be what would make this fit the niche I wanted it to.

We would really like to avoid creating a new spell list for any of these classes, which is why none of them have unique spell lists (they all use the spell list of another class). Every time we create a new class spell list, we have to (1) spend a lot of lines in the book re-listing all of the existing spells that should be on that list, and (2) add to the amount of text in a spell stat block to call out which classes the spell belongs to.

As an example of #1, the list of alchemist extracts, inqusitor spells, and summoner spells in the APG each take up an entire column of space (or close to it), and ditto for the magus spell list in UM. Likewise, the spell lists in Ultimate Magic take up 9 pages, 3 of which are spell lists for classes that aren't in the Core Rulebook. If those classes didn't have unique spell lists, that's 3 additional pages of spells we could have had in Ultimate Magic. Now, I'm not saying that ALL new classes shouldn't have unique spell lists, but as all of the classes in the ACG are hybrids of existing classes, it's reasonable to try giving them access to existing spell lists.

As an example of #2, a spell stat block already has to call out alchemist, antipaladin, bard, cleric, druid, inquisitor, magus, paladin, ranger, sorcerer/wizard, summoner, and witch.
ACG classes could potentially add arcanist, bloodrager, hunter, investigator, shaman, skald, and warpriest listings.

Do not all of the spells on the druid spell list seem to be a perfect fit for the hunter? Sure.
But not all of the spells on the cleric spell list fit for fire clerics, death clerics, or healing clerics... but there are many, many types of cleric characters you can build, and there will be many, many types of hunter characters you'll be...

So why not just say that they access the druid spell list and also have a short list of spells which they can cast at a lower level than normal(and possibly also some that they can't access if you insist).

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Hunter really feels like it loses out in the innovation aspect. A lot of the other classes from the playtest have something unique to them, and the animal aspect of hunter doesn't give enough options to make it feel like something wholly worthwhile.

My main criticisms of animal focus is that all they give is a numerical bonus that increases at a set level. That's great in some respects, but they're not balanced to one another. A +6 enhancement bonus to Strength is not worth the same as a +8 bonus to Perception.

Instead of giving incremental numerical bonuses, why not give more options with each animal focus instead? I, personally, find abilities that give more things I could possibly do in a round more rewarding than a flat numerical bonus.

Here's some example animal aspect ability ideas that can be used while in the animal focus. If you think they're too much out of the gate, you can stagger these abilities to become available at, say, 3rd level:

Primal Surge
Let's call these "Primal Surges" for now. You can only use a primal surge once per activation of animal focus.

Bear: As a swift action you may channel the ferocity of a bear to make a bull rush attempt against an opponent within reach. This bull rush attempt is made with a +4 bonus on your combat maneuver check. Any movement you make with your opponent counts against your total movement you may make for the round.

Bull: As a swift action while making a charge attack you may call upon the might of a bull to demolish your foe. If your charge attack hits, the target of the attack must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Hunter Level + your Strength modifier) or be staggered for one round.

Falcon: As a swift action upon making a successful critical hit on an opponent in melee, the target of your attack must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Hunter level + your Strength modifier) or be blinded (could be lessened to dazed or dazzled, depending on balance) for one round as you strike at their eyes.

Frog: When an opponent attacks you in melee, you may make an Acrobatics check as a swift action. If the check result is higher than your opponent's attack roll you successfully evade the attack and may move 5 feet in any direction without provoking an attack of opportunity as you leap away from the blow.

Monkey: When you make a successful acrobatics check to move through an opponent's threatened area, you may make a combat maneuver check to trip them as a swift action.

Snake: When an opponent misses you in combat you may make an attack of opportunity as a swift action, the target is considered flat-footed to this attack.

Stag: When running you may make an Acrobatics check to jump as a swift action and the movement made does not count against your total movement per round limited by your speed.

Tiger: As a swift action when you successfully score a critical hit against an opponent in melee you may inflict them with a vicious wound that causes 1 point of bleed damage per round for the remainder of your Animal Focus.

Wolf: As a swift action when flanking an opponent, you grant an ally you are flanking with a free trip combat maneuver attempt against the opponent you are both flanking.


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My problem with this class is that, since it's supposedly a druid hybrid, comparing it to the druid is natural and inevitable. The Hunter only makes sense as a druid hybrid if you forget that druids already have 3/4 BAB and medium armor (with the option of heavy if they want it). I get that this is supposed to be a more combat-focused hybrid than the druid, but what makes it more combat focused? It has barely better proficiencies (longsword isn't really a step up from scimitar, longbow is nice I guess), an enhancement bonus a few times a day (which doesn't stack with items or the buffs that are already on the druid list), and bonus teamwork feats.

A druid who spends his feats on weapon combat will come out looking pretty much exactly the same as a hunter, except with better spellcasting and the option of wild shape if he feels like it. There's no significant boost to the combat ability of the hunter compared to a druid, even a druid who entirely ignores wild shape.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Furthermore, to increase their focus on their animal companion I recommend the (potentially controversial) suggestion:

Companion Wild Shape (Su): At 11th level a hunter can transform his animal companion by empowering it with the supernatural forces of the natural world. This ability functions identically to a druid's wild shape, except it only affects the hunter's animal companion. The hunter's effective druid level for purposes of this ability and its improvement is -7.

__________

(Yes, it allows their animal to shapechange into other animals. It's weird, but it feels different. It could also be slotted into lower levels with some arrangement.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I feel like if the hunter is going to do ranged combat, she needs to be able to do so without her companion potentially getting in the way. Perhaps add something to Hunter Tactics where the companion does not provide a cover bonus against the hunter's attacks, and the companion doesn't trigger shooting-into-melee penalties for the hunter.

I like the idea of a hunter's companion interposing itself between the hunter and a foe while the hunter uses a bow, but waiting until 15th level for Improved Precise Shot to ignore that cover bonus hurts.

The Exchange

Well, most of the Teamwork feats are triggered by being adjacent to the companion or flanking with the companion so that sort of makes ranged combat less optimal.

In fact, that is another reason the Hunter should be getting Wild Shape. It sort of seems like Animal Focus could be part of an archetype for Hunter that would allow ranged combat and give the companion a teamwork benefit like Inquisitor, where they can count everyone else as also having the same teamwork feats they do.

Then you could have an archer and your companion could be a flank buddy for a teammate.


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I am just not sure what exactly the Hunter is doing that is (A) unique or (B) justifies the massive hit to power that it takes.

The obvious comparison is a druid.

Druid has full caster progression
Same animal companion
wild shape
better saves (strong will > strong reflex)
Same BAB
Woodland stride, wild empathy, same.

So you take a huge hit to casting.
You lose wildshape
and in return you get teamwork feats that apply to your animal companion.
The Animal Focus abilities have real problems.

1) Half of them are enhancement bonuses, which do not stack with common buffs or with common items.
2) The duration never increases.

I think it would be good to take a long look at the "Shapeshifter" ranger archtype... its abilities are very similar to Animal Focus.

I was really excited to see what the Hunter would look like. Primarily because there is no good option to be a ranger or druid without an animal companion. There is also a lot of room to make a more wildshape focused druid... this is not what I was expecting.


I have to be completely negative here, but I hope to come across as logical and objective and not just whiny.

"Hunters can adapt their tactics to many kinds of opponents and cherish their highly trained animal companions. As a team, the hunter and her companion can react to danger with incredible speed, making them excellent scouts, explorers, and saboteurs."

Emphasis mine. Sounds like they need more skill points.

Overall, I don't like it. I like the concept but to be blunt, I don't think this class executes anything it was set out to do. The ranger side loses BAB, HD, and skill points in addition to combat styles, while the druid side loses spellcasting, wild shape, and that beautiful Will save.

Animal aspect might make up for losing the good Will save. Teamwork feats don't make up for much either. Even the two of them together leave A LOT to be desired... like... I know Paizo has given their stance on having some sub-par options, but I hope that philosophy doesn't hold up in this particular case.

I would recommend drawing more from the Ranger and less from the Druid. things I would keep are the Ranger's BAB and skills and the Druid's 1st level animal companion. Spellcasting should be reduced. A Hunter sounds far less mystical than a Ranger.


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So it looks like what this needs to be is a Full BAB class that has 4 level casting (full druid list for those 4 levels) and a full power animal companion, and then instead of aspect of the animal or the ability wild shape it gets the ability to make it's companion awesome. Take the bonuses that a druid would get from wild shape and just stack them onto the companion at the same level progression as wild shape.

You could probably still fit in the teamwork feats at a progression equal to combat style and not be over powered.

(But I'd rather have a way to combat style so archery is doable)


I really do like the hunter's animal foci, and contrary to what some have said here, I think they can replace the Obligatory Stat Belt, which alone is great, as it allows some versatility in item choice.

On the other hand, with a one minute flat duration, I just don't see them being relevant, especially at one minute per day, which, yeah, will last you an average combat, but the scent focus isn't much good for tracking if they're more than a minute away, and the falcon focus only really seems relevant when you know you need to be on the looking inside the next minute, which it makes it extremely situational.

In my opinion, they desperately need a scaling duration, like perhaps the 10 minutes per level of the Alchemist's mutagen.

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I was definitely let down by this class.

A. Doesn't feel like a hunter. Like someone said earlier this is more a wildshape ranger take 2.

B. Weapon selection doesnt include weapons a hunter would use.

C. Animal aspects. Not that useful especially since half will be replaced by magic items. Maybe change these from enhancement to unnamed bonuses.

D. Animal companion selection. The way it is worded you are only allowed to select the short list from the phb. I would love to see this opened up to animals in the beastiary as well.

E. Maybe instead of the Druid spell list we use the Ranger spell list and let him get spells at first? This definitely would up his combat potential and the ranger spell has way more of a hunter feel than the druid list.

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lostpike wrote:
E. Maybe instead of the Druid spell list we use the Ranger spell list and let him get spells at first? This definitely would up his combat potential and the ranger spell has way more of a hunter feel than the druid list.

I like this idea very much.


I am also one of those that was really hoping for this hunter build to bring more, the animal focus ability is fairly lackluster along with the teamwork feats. The teamwork feats I can see, but losing access to 7-9th level spells for a couple of small bonuses at higher levels just seems blah.

The abilities just bring nothing to the class that a few items could not do, I think the hunter needs something sort of like pool for improving their companion, or a list of talents they can acquire but please do not make it focused on wildshape.

I have been running games for the D20 system for close to twenty years now, and I could probably count the amount of times I have had a player use wildshape in combat with just my hands. And this class seems to really want to be in combat.

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I felt that the hunter didn't bring any new abilities to the table. Technically animal focus is new, but it's really just a weaker version of wild shape. I don't know what I'd suggest to fix this class, but as written I'm not really sure what it does that an actual ranger/druid wouldn't. And with a multi-class ranger druid, you can choose how much you want to focus on combat vs. spellcasting.

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Robert Brookes wrote:
lostpike wrote:
E. Maybe instead of the Druid spell list we use the Ranger spell list and let him get spells at first? This definitely would up his combat potential and the ranger spell has way more of a hunter feel than the druid list.
I like this idea very much.

My only concern is if you just dropped the druid spell list this would just be a Hybrid of Ranger. I dont see anything else that a druid is contributing to this class.


I'm going to say I like that the animal aspects let me buy things other than the stat belts, though the duration is indeed a bit short.

I'm also going to say I like that it's not wild shaping. Leave that for the druid.

If I had to make a suggestion, just let the animal companion gain bonus teamwork feats the same time the hunter does.


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Reading it over I just don't get the feeling of a "hunter" from the class. I understand the flavor they were going for with the companion but when I think Hunter I think someone who stalks their prey. A cool unique ability to this effect that would increase it's Combat potential and keeping the Bond with the Animal companion would work. This would also help define what it is that makes it different from a ranger with lower BAB.


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Seeker of skybreak wrote:
Reading it over I just don't get the feeling of a "hunter" from the class. I understand the flavor they were going for with the companion but when I think Hunter I think someone who stalks their prey. A cool unique ability to this effect that would increase it's Combat potential and keeping the Bond with the Animal companion would work. This would also help define what it is that makes it different from a ranger with lower BAB.

Honestly, the slayer seems to make a better hunter than the hunter.


I think if we look at this in the context of the druid it's going to be somewhat lackluster but if we look at it in the context of a pet focused ranger it's certainly acceptable.

In general it's going to be a challenge to create a hybrid class that competes effectively with the Cleric and Druid because both are full casters with 3/4 BAB and a decent amount of special abilities. Even with the power hit that the Druid took in the transition from 3.x to PF it's still one of the top tier of classes so automatically expecting any druid hybrid to be automatically as good it probably not a good design goal.

I think it's better to go with the question of "If the Druid didn't exist would this be an acceptable class in comparison to other classes" as it stands I think so.

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