Apex Predator (4e Class)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: I don't know if the OP intends to continue work on this: Class is still frontloaded with all the features at level 1, further progression is very uneventful, dead level after dead level. If there's no further development I'll continue to migrate things to Smilodon Maioribus (4e Elite Character)


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Design Disclaimer
This was created outside of the 4e design standards. It may require further balancing in order to function properly in your game.

Racial Class: Apex Predator[edit]

Highly developed predatory talents and adaptations merged with cold, attentive intellect.
An exceptionally deadly and elusive Vanquisher prowls the snowy reaches; capable of fading away into the coming storm on mere whim.
Class Traits
Role: Striker-Controller or Defender-Controller. Intrinsic resilience to harm makes you highly durable and persistent, and those same feline characteristics equally enable you to level disabling, grave injury and death to those in melee range.
Power Source: Primal and Martial. You are a literal force of nature, embodying the greatest attributes of your wild forerunners and combining them with astounding mental aptitude to tremendous and devastating effect.
Key Abilities: Strength, Constitution, Wisdom
Armor Proficiencies: Enduring Hide
Weapon Proficiencies: Saber Fangs, Razored Claws
Bonus to Defense: +2 Will, +1 Fortitude
Hit Points at 1st Level: 15 + Constitution score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 7
Healing Surges per Day: 7 + Constitution modifier
Trained Skills: Perception (Wis), Insight (Wis), Athletics (Str).  From the class skills list below, choose 2 more trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Dungeoneering (Wis), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), Nature (Wis), Stealth (Dex)
Build Options: Challenger Apex, Vanquisher Apex
Class Features: Bestial Proficiency, Pounce, Elusiveness, Feral Challenge, Mortal Bite, Hemorrhaging Wounds

All members of Smilodon Maioribus are born predators, and individual variation stems from developed talents over a course of a life time and can vary greatly, making the most of what has been learned and perfecting it for application. However, some truths regarding their individuality still hold universal, for all members of Smilodon Maioribus are Apex Predators, simply referred to as "Apex"; each Greater Smilodon is a physical force with tremendous stamina and ruthless attacks. While some Sentient Smilodon may decide for the "Challenger" archetype, a stylization that focuses extensively on defensive combat as opposed to the much more prevalent "Vanquisher" archetype, a school of thought that favors greater offense and killing capacity, it is clear that the race has a well defined niche that it is far from leaving.

Apex Predator Overview

Characteristics: Your enemies were prepared for sacking a band of adhoc adventurers, but never once ready for you; you strike without warning, using overwhelming force to subdue and slay. Your powerful lunges and charges, augmented by surprise ambush attacks, allow you to take hold of your enemies, wrestling them to the ground where you aim to deliver a killing blow with the aid of your enormous jaws and killer fangs. The bite and sting of arrows, swords, axes and spells will heal in time, for you shrug off attacks launched at you and enact revenge against your attackers. Outside of battle you are a studious creature, combing through whatever is within eye or earshot to better understand; keen observation and exploitation of this knowledge makes you largely silent, but when you speak, your growl shakes the air. Honorable, you do not take more than you have need for, but you do not ignore advantage either and are quick to launch from a restrained state into one of terrifying fury if it means progress. Monetary wealth and worldly goods serve you little, and only the taste of a fresh kill in the presence of your companions could ever sway your otherwise strict demeanor.
Religion: The ideal of religion seems to have limited impact upon Maioribus as a race, as focus is instead set aside for progression as a whole. Uniquely, Smilodon Maioribus instead views religion as two schools, the benevolent and the malevolent, following the benevolent school themselves and believing there is a far more universal and underlying force of good, though individual Greater Smilodon may recognize and even acknowledge specific deities as they see fit. Naturally, entities of evil origin or those that follow them are recognized as polar to the ideals of the Greater Smilodon, and are considered enemies to the species as a whole.
Races: The Apex Predator is as exclusive to Smilodon Maioribus as the race is exclusive to the class; all Greater Smilodon are Apex Predators, and only Greater Smilodon are Apex Predators.

Creating an Apex Predator[edit]

The distinctions within the Apex Predator, their personal finesse, are drastic in comparison to that of another Smilodon; there is no middle ground in filling their niches. Specific superiority and expertise is individual preference and experience; some members of Maioribus favor refining their innate ambush talents, stalking their victims and striking with overwhelming force whilst wrestling them to the ground. Yet others, namely those in places of authority, assert their dominance within their clans, driving away even the most determined attacker by challenging them directly; ignoring their presence is met with a swift, bone crushing punishment.

The Vanquisher Apex favors brutal offense and rapid tactical thinking pulled from ancient, evolutionary knowledge to best exploit their victims' weaknesses, making Strength their primary attribute, followed by Wisdom. Constitution is the favored tertiary attribute, giving their already large health pool and endurance an even greater boost, allowing them to out last even the toughest of enemies in the most harsh of environments.

The Challenger Apex uses its extreme stamina to turn the tide of even the most dire situation by simply living longer and better than their foes, allowing them to make use of their tremendous strength over the duration of the fight. Because of this, Constitution is their primary statistic, closely followed by Strength, the both of which are used extensively throughout their skill set. However, Wisdom should not be ignored, as added insight to their enemy's natures is an exploit worth having.

The Vanquisher Apex[edit]

The Vanquisher is a brutal artist of deception and destruction; stalking their foes then lunging at them, and dragging them to the ground, aiming to deliver a lethal coup de grace in mere moments. Those of the Vanquisher Apex favor powerful damage rolls executed following a successful grab or knocking of a target prone. Excelling against single targets, Strength, followed by Wisdom and then Constitution are their primary attributes; many attacks delivered by a Vanquisher require the finesse gained through Wisdom to operate at their greatest, while Constitution keeps them in even the roughest of fights, where those of faint heart have already become no more.

Suggested Feat: Exploit Perception
Suggested Skills: Nature (Wis), Stealth (Dex)
Suggested At-Will Powers: Shredding Strike, Seize
Suggested Encounter Power: Ambush
Suggested Daily Power: Feline Rage
Vanquisher Apex Features:
  • Feline Guile: You gain a +2 bonus Initiative and Stealth, increased to +4 at 11th level, and +6 at the 21st level.
  • Opportunistic Finesse: Attacks by you against Surprised, Grabbed or Prone creatures deal an addition 1d4 damage. This damage is increased to 2d4 damage at the 11th level, and 3d4 damage at the 21st level.
  • Hungering Fury: Upon succeeding in dealing damage with an attack made by you, you gain Regeneration 1 for as long as that attacked creature is alive or until the end of that Encounter. Upon its death, you lose Regeneration 1. This Regeneration value is increased to 2 at the 11th level and 3 at the 21st level.
The Challenger Apex[edit]

Those of the Challenger Apex are powerful, durable members of Maioribus kind who willingly take the worst of the enemy's onslaught for their lesser allies, but they do not take their beatings without enacting devastating revenge upon their aggressors. Challengers intercept attacks which they are not the focus of, using the pain and debilitation as weapons to enact swift rebuttal in the shape of feline vengeance. Because those of the Challenger Apex endure such hardship, Constitution and Strength are their greatest means of offense and defense, with the former being even more essential than the latter. Yet, worthy of note, Wisdom allows the Challenger greater utility, and combat longevity that neither statistic before it provides, and should be taken as a tertiary stat.

Suggested Feat: Rapacious Hunger
Suggested Skills: Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis)
Suggested At-Will Powers: Overrun, Vicious Strike
Suggested Encounter Power: Intercept
Suggested Daily Power: Adrenaline Surge
Challenger Apex Features:
  • Bloody Sustenance: Your Mortal Bite now allows you to expend a free Healing Surge when it drops an enemy to 0 or less hit points.
  • Force of Nature: Whenever you critically hit, the victim is knocked prone. Targets that cannot be knocked prone, abilities which knock enemies prone on a critical hit, or do so automatically on success, instead cause the victim to take additional damage equal to your Constitution modifier.
  • Devour: Attacks made by you which use your Saber Fangs in place of your Razored Claws heal you for 1/2 of your Wisdom modifier when they deal damage.

Apex Predator Class Features[edit]

Bestial Proficiency: Armor and weaponry manufactured by humanoids are ill-suited for you, and unnecessary. Your thick pelt, savage jaws, and sharpened claws are more than adequate. Because of this, you cannot wear armor or equip weapons outside of your naturally provided ones.

  • You naturally have an Enduring Hide, which cannot be removed from your being by any means; this protective natural armor can be enchanted and disenchanted without turning to dust.
  • You are always considered to be wielding Saber Fangs and Razored Claws, with which you are proficient. You may enchant and disenchant your Saber Fangs and Razored Claws without them turning to dust. Attempts made to disarm or otherwise remove them from your being automatically fail.

Pounce:

You as Smilodon Maioribus are much alike your wild, non-sapient cousins and thus a natural master of jumping long distances, even from a stand still. You gain the benefit of Pounce as follows; you may make all long jumps as if you had a running start, and you may shift 2 squares in place of your regular movement to make a charge attack. Following your shifting through Pounce, you cannot use the shifting charge granted by this class feature again until you drop an enemy to 0 or less hit points. Pounce as a class feature is treated as if you had taken Long Jumper feat.

Elusiveness:

Once per round, you may make a Stealth vs. Perception check against an enemy of your choosing whom you are flanking as a free action. If successful, you have total concealment from that enemy until the end of your next turn, or until your next attack made against it, and may shift 1 square without provoking opportunity attacks against you. While you have total concealment against the target, you may use powers that require a surprised target against it.

Feral Challenge:

In combat, enemies will find that you are not easily ignored by any means, because of your Feral Challenge; every time you successfully attack an enemy, you can choose to mark that target; your mark lasts until you wish to remove it, or until you use Feral Challenge against another creature. While you are marking a target, it takes -2 penalty to attack rolls on attacks that do not include you as a target in addition to granting you the ability to pinpoint its location so long as it remains within 10 squares of you.
Those of the Challenger Apex archetype may also may make an immediate interrupt in the form of a basic melee attack against challenged creatures that attack another target that does not include you if they are in melee range.

Mortal Bite:

You aim to bring down a wounded target with a swift killing blow delivered by your massive fangs, with desires to end this conflict here and now, or bring it one step closer to closure. Your brash attack is all or nothing, either it succeeds and your opponent feels the pain, or you do; you may make use of the Mortal Bite power.

Hemorrhaging Wounds:

Brutal swipes of claws and gnashing fangs leave enemies you critically hit suffering from extensive trauma in the form of Hemorrhaging Wounds; the bleeding will only worsen if it fails to stop, causing victims to take additional damage over time (save ends).

Natural Toughness:

Gained at 4th Level
As you progress in talent and ability your thick pelt toughens further to endure even greater hardship and trial that awaits you in the future. Starting at 4th level your Enduring Hide grants additional AC equal to the next tier of Scale armor at the same levels that improved Scale armor is available.

True Instinct:

Gained at 6th Level
Your heritage is born from the harsh wilderness, one that is merciless and unforgiving; it has honed your kind, and grants you swiftness and talent foreign to most mortal races. As part of this true, pure instinct you may make a Nature check, and reduce the amount of falling damage you take by one-half your check result (round down) whenever you are falling as a free action, in addition to gaining a +2 bonus to all Athletics checks you make.

Attentive Mind:

Gained at 11th Level
Your animal senses and predatory mindset far outmatch the ability of your mortal allies, allowing you a keen advantage over your prey before combat even begins. Whenever you roll Initiative, you may roll twice and take the higher result.

Apex Predator Powers[edit]

A complete list of Apex Predator Powers can be found here.

Apex Predator Feats[edit]

A complete list of Apex Predator Feats can be found here.



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