Freebooter Ranger - Freebooter's Bond duration?


Rules Questions

The Exchange

I found two other posts on the subject - but no official ruling, nor was there much discussion so no strong agreement either way.

Here's the ability in question, from the Freebooter Archetype for the Ranger (1E) from Pirates of the Inner Sea:

Freebooter’s Bond (Ex)

At 4th level, a freebooter forms a bond with her crewmates. This bond allows her to spend a move action to grant her allies extra combat prowess when they work as a team. All allies within 30 feet who can see or hear the freebooter gain an additional +2 bonus on attack rolls when flanking with the freebooter or with another ally affected by this ability.

This ability replaces hunter’s bond.

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This ability doesn't have a duration listed.

Hunter's Bond, the ability it replaces, is either an Animal Companion at a -4 level, or the following:

The first is a bond to his companions. This bond allows him to spend a move action to grant half his favored enemy bonus against a single target of the appropriate type to all allies within 30 feet who can see or hear him. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to the ranger’s Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by his allies; they use whichever bonus is higher.

So, do you think it appropriate for have Freebooter's Bond:

1. Have an equal duration to Hunter's Bond (Wisdom Modifier)

2. Last until the end of an encounter

3. Last indefinitely (Counterpoint: why would it then require a move action to activate, other than adding extra allies, like summoned creatures, to the buff?)


I believe it last until the end of the encounter, as you said it wouldn't make sense to mention an activation time if it was indefinite. But the Wisdom based number of rounds doesn't make sense either.

Freebooter's bond replaces Hunter's bond, it doesn't modify it. So it shouldn't inherent the restrictions on it either.

Also as it only happens when you're flanking an enemy and only increases the bonus by two I don't actually find it worth spending the actions on (generally).


Claxon wrote:

I believe it last until the end of the encounter, as you said it wouldn't make sense to mention an activation time if it was indefinite. But the Wisdom based number of rounds doesn't make sense either.

Freebooter's bond replaces Hunter's bond, it doesn't modify it. So it shouldn't inherent the restrictions on it either.

Also as it only happens when you're flanking an enemy and only increases the bonus by two I don't actually find it worth spending the actions on (generally).

It cloning every other feature/limitation of the companions hunter bond option would make it make sense to have been intended with the wisdom rounds benefit. That said, for many a ranger, their wisdom will be longer than the rounds of combat after a few levels beyond 4. It would also make sense to be a specific modification of that ability by the fact the archetype came out in 2012 when the design philosophy for archetypes was "something situationally better gets an overall downgrade": sure the bonus is only +2 to attack, but that's both better than the bonus when it starts, and for any later Favored Enemy that isn't over +4, but it applies to everything that can be flanked, not just favored enemies. Give it to your rogue that has trouble hitting their mid/low BAB attacks and watch the ribbons fly because you sacrificed your move action.

Liberty's Edge

Wisdom bonus rounds (minimum 1)

Aid another is a standard to give +2 and can be fluffed e.g. Helpful. This allows you to keep your standard but trade actually moving or a full attack. Also benefits you next round - I could see move then attack then freebooter’s bond to get +4 instead of +2 and attack then full attack (assuming reasonable Wisdom bonus).

Hunter’s bond is a single enemy while Freebooter’s is flanking so technically many.


AwesomenessDog wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I believe it last until the end of the encounter, as you said it wouldn't make sense to mention an activation time if it was indefinite. But the Wisdom based number of rounds doesn't make sense either.

Freebooter's bond replaces Hunter's bond, it doesn't modify it. So it shouldn't inherent the restrictions on it either.

Also as it only happens when you're flanking an enemy and only increases the bonus by two I don't actually find it worth spending the actions on (generally).

It cloning every other feature/limitation of the companions hunter bond option would make it make sense to have been intended with the wisdom rounds benefit....

I'm not sure what you're talking about. Let's take a look at the similarities/difference between the Freebooter's Bond class feature and the [b]Hunter's Bond[b] class feature, which is completely replaced (not modified). For me, the fact that is a replacement means don't even bother looking at the old ability because it doesn't mention reference to it except similarity of names.

1) Hunter's Bond gives you a choice, Freebooter's bond doesn't. You can choose 2 different forms, one an animal companion and the second a bond with your allies. We will focus on the bond with companions since that is the more similar option.

2) Both require a move action to activate. This is explicitly mentioned in both, and I bring this up again to state that the author didn't just assume you should know to inherit restrictions. Or rather that the function/restrictions aren't inherited and they are setting the two abilities to be similar in this case.

3) Hunter's Bond grants half FE bonus to allies within 30ft who can see or hear the ranger, against a single specific target. Freebooter's Bond grants an additional +2 when flanking with the ranger or anyone else under the effect, also requiring to be within 30ft and hear or see. Again, these restrictions aren't inherited but explicitly called out.

It's hard to say one is strictly better than the other. Depending on party composition flanking may not be a common occurrence, for example if you have a bow user, a melee, a divine caster, and an arcane caster. I personally find Freebooter's bond more restrictive because of the positioning requirements even though you theoretically could apply it against many enemies, you're average party will only be able to use it against 1 at a time. Although the ranger wont have to spend another move action to grant the bonus against the next enemy.

Hunter's Bond while limited to a single enemy at a time doesn't have the positioning restrictions, and eventually would out scale the bonus of Freebooter, although against a more limited potential pool of enemies.

Personally I find the Hunter's Bond version to be better, though I would generally choose an animal companion over the ally bond.

4) Duration - Hunter's bond is limited duration. Although by mid levels a ranger is likely to have a +3 or +4 wisdom modifier, and thus last most or all of combat depending on when they use it. Freebooter's bond...isn't specified and that's what were arguing about.

Honestly I wouldn't use Freebooter's bond unless I were in a melee heavy party (and probably a larger than 4 person party) because I don't view it to be worth the move action.

The real point of the Freebooter archetype is the Freebooter's bane, which grants a better version of the Hunter's Bond form of granting FE bonus (because it's not based on FE it can be used against any target doesn't require positioning (outside of 30ft when activated).

The Exchange

Thanks for the discussion all!

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