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Hello all, I wanted to make both for players and GM's a ranger Archetype for the Sable Company Marine. The Feat suggested in the players guide feels like a bad carry over from the OGL version of the Module and the Golorian Day archetype breaks later class features without compensation. As both a GM and a player for going on 20+ years now I feel I am personally Equipped to make this right so here is my current build and I will place my reasoning for each change after the fact.
Sable Company Marine
The Sable Company is an elite group of Rangers, Paladins and Soldiers under the command of the Seneschal of Castle Korvosa. These men and women protect the skies and waters of Korvosa as well as its surrounding territory. They are most known for riding Hippogryphs around the city.
- A Sable company marine gains Knowledge(Local) as a class skill
- Hippogryph Mount
At 4th level when a sable company marine gets hunters bond he/she must select animal companion. They must also select a hippogryph as this companion. A sable company marine gets Monstrous mount as a bonus feat even if they don't meet the prerequisites to make this choice of companion possible.
This ability replaces Wild Empathy and Endurance. This ability also replaces but otherwise functions as hunters bond for a ranger this level and a sable company marine treats their druid level equal to their ranger level -3 for determining stats and abilities for their Hippogryph.
- Combat Style
A Sable company Marine must select either Archery, Crossbow or Mounted Combat as their combat style
This ability changes but otherwise functions as combat style
- For Korvosa!
At 3rd level a Sable Company Marine gains Favored Community(Korvosa) as a bonus feat. The bonuses provided by this feat is increased by +2 at 8th and every 5 levels thereafter(13th,18th)
This ability replaces Favored Terrain at 3rd, 8th, 13th and 18th levels
- Mount Mastery
At 7th level a Sable Company Marine gains Monstrous Mount Mastery as a bonus feat even if they don't meet the prerequisites. Additionally they receive the mastery bonus of this feat for hippogryphs when they acquire this ability even if their effective druid level is not 7th.
This ability replaces Woodland Stride
My reasons and justifications
- Knowledge(local) As rangers who literally fly over and work exclusively within and around Korvosa this seems like a no brainer to me.
- Wild Empathy and Endurance - I feel having a hippogryph is a strong enough class option that it should have a cost and Endurance and Wild Empathy are both decent abilities that don't fit the theme of a city bound marine in my opinion and since endurance is itself a feat feel it is a good cost to grant Monstrous Mount as a bonus feat to facilitate getting a Hippogryph Companion.
- Favored Terrain - The Golorian Day archetype for the Sable company gave the hippogryph companion as a trade out for favored terrain. As the literal sky patrol and part protectors of the city if feels silly that they wouldn't be able to choose a favored terrain(likely urban), also removing favored terrain later breaks Camouflage and Hide in Plain Sight and offers no reasonable compensation for those iconic abilities. As a compromise both for a powerful companion and not ruining Camouflage and Hide in Plain Sight, Favored community allows a sable company marine to be an expert of their terrain while specifically in Korvosa and my modification making it grow like favored terrain but removing the ability to gain other favored Terrains.
- Combat Style - These just seem like the bread and butter of what the company does and would teach. While this does limit some ranger build it does not limit the 2 most popular and powerful builds the Straight archer and the Switch hitter.
- Monstrous Mount Mastery - Sable company marines are known for flying hippogryphs. Hippogryphs can't fly while they are mounted without this feat. Providing the ability to fly a few levels before a ranger taking this feat normally would be able to feels fine to me because in the confines of CotCT flight is not a huge power boost and 7th level is about where straight casters like wizards can get similar flight without the limit of being on the back of a large creature.
The only changes I could maybe think to this archetype are granting Boon Companion as a Bonus feat at 7th and than at 9th grant Monstrous Mount Mastery as a Bonus feat(or a free feat of the characters choosing if they already have that feat)
As a small aside although I am aware of spoilers about the Sable company as I also intend this to be for player use and the fact that I am currently playing in CotCT and am not aware of any spoiler other than those about the sable company since I did research on them, Lets keep this spoiler free.
Also I may look into making the Paladin equivalent to this archetype but at the moment ranger is what I am playing and I made this Archetype for myself before bringing it here to share with the community.
Feedback would very much be appreciated especially if someone like JJ who made the AP and the Sable Company gave some input.