Sharp Shooter (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Whether self-taught hunters or stoic soldiers, Sharp Shooters can be found in many professions. They specialize exclusively in projectile combat, capable of hitting just about anything just about anywhere. Often times outposts and defenses will employ sharp shooters to dispatch priority targets before they approach too near.
Becoming a Sharp Shooter
Sharp Shooters are not necessarily part of any organized society, (although sniper guilds are not unheard of), instead learning their special skills through repeated practice and determination. Sharp shooters also come in a variety of specialities, from crossbow marksmen to rifle snipers.
Most Sharp Shooters are concentrated individuals, who stealthily set up their shots. They are cautious not to alert their targets, since their combat advantage requires patience and cunning rather than brute force.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+6.|
|Skills:||Concentration 5, Spot 10.|
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+0||Snipe Attack +1d6|
|3rd||+3||+1||+3||+1||Snipe Attack +2d6|
|5th||+5||+1||+4||+1||Snipe Attack +3d6, Improved Precise Shot|
|7th||+7/+2||+2||+5||+2||Snipe Attack +4d6|
|9th||+9/+4||+3||+6||+3||Snipe Attack +5d6|
All of the following are class features of the Sharp Shooter.
Snipe Attack (Ex): The sharp shooter takes extra time to carefully aim a shot in order to strike a foe's vital spots and deal extra damage with a ranged weapon. As a full round action, the sharp shooter can make one normal ranged attack. She adds +2 to her attack roll and the attack deals extra damage equal to her snipe attack damage. If she withholds the snipe attack for an additional full round action, the bonus to the attack roll increases to +6 and the critical strike multiplier increases by x2. The bonus damage for a snipe attack is 1d6 for every odd level of sharp shooter the character has, and can critically strike. Creatures immune to critical hits, such as undead and constructs, are also immune to a snipe attack.
- While performing a snipe attack, the sharp shooter is limited to a single 5ft step, and must focus on her target. If she is distracted or struck, she must make a Concentration check to maintain her focus, or she is interrupted and cannot complete the attack. The DC for this Concentration check is 20 - (sharp shooter level) + (damage received). Refer to uses of Concentration for DCs for distraction.
Improved Precise Shot: At level five, the sharp shooter gains Improved Precise Shot as a bonus feat, regardless of prerequisites. This feat only applies while the sharp shooter is wearing light or no armor.
Special Ability: At levels 4, 6, 8, and 10 a sharp shooter may choose between the following special abilities.
- Crippling Strike (Ex): A sharp shooter with this ability can snipe opponents with such precision that her projectiles weaken and hamper them. An opponent damaged by one of her snipe attacks also takes 2 points of Strength damage. Ability points lost to damage return on their own at the rate of 1 point per day for each damaged ability.
- Headshot (Ex): Once per day, a sharp shooter may declare she is making a headshot before making her snipe attack. If the snipe attack is successful, the target must make a Reflex save DC 10 + class level + Dexterity Modifier. A failed save means the attack is considered a critical strike and deals damage as such. This ability has no effect on creatures immune to critical hits, such as undead, constructs, etc.
- Ranged Disarm (Ex): A sharp shooter with this extraordinary ability is so accurate with her projectile weapon that she can disarm an opponents from up to 30 feet away. The sharp shooter incurs a -4 penalty for this specialized attack.
- Ranged Trip (Ex): A sharp shooter selecting this special ability can fire her weapon in such a way as to upset a foe's movement. From up to 30 feet away, the sharp shooter may take a -4 to this special attack roll to attempt a ranged trip.
- Camouflage (Ex): A sharp shooter may choose this special ability to be able to use the Hide skill in any sort of predetermined terrain, regardless of cover or concealment. The sharp shooter must first choose which terrain she wishes to be able to hide in, then make a Diguise check at DC 10 to apply paint, foliage, etc. to disguise her form.
- Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): Requires Camouflage. In her chosen terrain, the sharp shooter can use the Hide skill even while being observed.
Playing a Sharp Shooter
Combat: Given their slow but powerful shots, Sharp Shooters are best placed either behind support or under cover, with concealment. They favor a one-shot, one-kill approach, where hiding and sniping will be more advantageous than standing up and shooting.
Resources: As a group, Sharp Shooters can have little to nothing in common with others of their prestige. Those who seek commraderie may join guilds or clubs with regular competitions to test their abilities, and hopefully learn some tricks in the process.
Sharp Shooters in the World
Sharp Shooters can be found in hunting parties for especially wary prey, or raiding parties to pick off guards. In general, if you need to kill it without being too close, a Sharp Shooter can get the job done.
NPC Reactions: Reactions vary depending on the NPC's previous dealings with Sharp Shooters. Sharp Shooters may also be judged based on their profession: worthy hunters who make the job much much easier, or murderous soldiers who never fight a fair fight, attacking from cover and moving before a foe knows what hit them.
Sharp Shooters in the Game
A Sharp Shooter can most easily fill in a sniper's position, capable of dealing moderately severe damage over fairly long distances, without much consequence. However, a Sharp Shooter quickly falters when faced with multiple foes. Since Snipe Attacks require a full-round action, Hit and Run tactics seldom prevail.
Adaptation: Several Special Abilities are clearly ripped from the Ranger and Rogue classes, however Camouflage and Hide in Plain Sight have been tweaked to allow urban use, depending on where the Sharp Shooter expects to do battle. If you wish to hold true to the abilities by the same name, these skills can be reverted to their original "natural only" aspects.