Falconer (5e Class)

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Falconer[edit]

A halfling woman waits on a hilltop, watching the skies until she sees the dark silhouette of her falcon companion. The bird lands on her arm, bearing an item in its beak. It is the distinctive wedding band of a noble's wife, who had been kidnapped by bandits days ago. The halfling asks how many opponents she can expect to see. The bird squawks thrice. The halfling asks if there are traps. The bird nods its head. The halfling asks her bird to guide her in the direction of the kidnapped noble, with specific detail on the location of traps.

An elf lies in wait with her crossbow at the ready. Her sharp eyes see far past the normal range of those who have not trained themselves. Ahead, her falcon has flown to point out to her what objects may provide an impediment to her shot. Though there is fog, it is no problem for either of them. What provides an obstacle for others is only a cloak for herself and her feathery friend. She has seen her quarry. With a pull of her trigger, the bolt flies forth, piercing straight through her target's wooden cover.

A tiefling man battles valiantly against the corrupt lawmen of a town. His daggers fly furiously, but he is outnumbered, three against one. Suddenly, a hawk swoops from above, right past the first officer's face. His throat is cut, and his heart is gouged by the tiefling's daggers. The second officer raises his sword to attack, only to have it snatched from his grip by the falcon's talons, before the tiefling cuts him down. The third officer tries to run, only for the falcon to swoop in and scratch out his eyes. The bird returns to the tiefling's arm, who tells the blind officer to return to his superior and tell him that this is what happens to lawmen who abuse their authority and power.

Falconers excel at the art of falconry, using birds of prey to hunt down their enemies and protect their allies. Their connection and dedication to the creatures of the sky is immeasurably strong, and to separate a Falconer from their bird companion is considered the ultimate punishment.

Creating a Falconer[edit]

Players who want to use the Falconer class must first answer a vital question. When, where, and how did they obtain their bird companion? Were they ceremoniously given their companion by their mentor after years of hard work and training? Was there a lost falcon in the woods and you nurtured it back to health? There has to be a strong personal connection between your character and your bird companion.

Quick Build

You can make a Falconer quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. Second, choose the Hermit background. For equipment, choose the heavy crossbow for your crossbow weapon, then choose padded armor for your armor and the explorer's pack for your equipment pack.

A Falconer on close watch atop a cliff. Source

Class Features

As a Falconer you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Falconer level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 1d8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Falconer level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor, medium armor
Weapons: one-handed melee weapons, crossbows
Tools: Falconry Kit
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills: Animal Handling, Perception, and choose 1 from Acrobatics, Survival, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

Table: The Falconer

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Scouting Radius
1st +2 Avian Companionship, Avian Empathy 500 ft.
2nd +2 Avian Strike 500 ft.
3rd +2 Falconer Specialty 500 ft.
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 500 ft.
5th +3 Avian Delivery, Avian Strike (2) 1 mi.
6th +3 Avian Awareness 1 mi.
7th +3 Falconer Specialty Feature 1 mi.
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 1 mi.
9th +4 Avian Strike (3) 1 mi.
10th +4 Quoth the Raven, Arcane Talons 1 mi.
11th +4 Early Warning 1 mi.
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 1 mi.
13th +5 Falconer Specialty Feature 1 mi.
14th +5 Avian Strike (4) 2 mi.
15th +5 Thieving Magpie 2 mi.
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 2 mi.
17th +6 Flighty Foes 2 mi.
18th +6 Falconer Specialty Feature 3 mi.
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 3 mi.
20th +6 Avian Symbiosis 3 mi.

Avian Companionship[edit]

At the 1st level, you gain a bird companion that travels with you. You must start the campaign with your bird companion. You may choose between an eagle, hawk, owl, or vulture. The stats and traits of your bird companion are dependent on their species, as described in the Monster Manual.

Upon becoming your companion, your birds' Maximum Hit Points are half of your Maximum Hit Points (rounded up) or their current Maximum Hit Points, whichever is higher. Their AC is equal to half of your AC (rounded up) or their current AC, whichever is higher. They also gain a +2 bonus to their AC and a bonus to their Maximum Hit Points based on their CR. If you call a bird that has a CR of 0, they gain a +5 bonus to their Maximum Hit Points. If the called bird has a CR of 1/8 or 1/4, they gain a +3 bonus to their Maximum Hit Points. Finally, if the called bird has a CR of 1/2 or higher, they do not gain a bonus to their Maximum Hit Points. Your bird companion also gains a Hit Dice of 1d6 and gains an additional Hit Die each time you increase in level (as if your bird companion was a Player Character). During combat, you and your bird companion are treated as the same character, occupying the same space and sharing the same turn. However, you and your bird companion do not share movement speed and actions, your bird companion can move in and out of your space, and hostile creatures can still choose to target your bird companion for attacks and spells.

If your bird companion dies, you can use the Falconry Kit to capture a new bird companion of any species mentioned above. Since your new bird companion isn't as trustworthy and familiar with you as your former bird companion, it must spend 12 continuous hours in your presence before you can use any features requiring your bird companion. Once you do, your new bird companion can receive the benefits of any Falconer-related items, such as the Bracer of Inseparable Bonds, and its Hit Points, ability scores, and AC change to match your former bird companion's.

As a Falconer, you are also able to send your bird companion on a scouting mission. Depending on where it's sent during its scouting mission, your bird companion may find treasures, secret passages, enemy positions, or any other useful information for your party. The furthest away your bird companion can be from you is determined by your Scouting Radius, which is a circular area with a radius that starts from your current position and ends at the given distance in the table above. Your bird companion's ability to find anything still depends on the levels of visibility or any other factors that would affect vision or hearing (i.e. light levels, canopy cover, foliage, cloaking spells, weather).

Avian Empathy[edit]

At the 1st level, you have the ability to vaguely understand the messages that your bird companion attempts to give to you. Additionally, while your bird companion is within half of your Scouting Radius, you know its exact location. Finally, other feathered creatures recognize the care that you give to your bird companion, and as a result, birds and bird-like creatures are friendly towards you and are no longer hostile towards your party. However, these creatures will still attack if provoked.

Avian Strike[edit]

At the 2nd level, you and your bird companion have learned to coordinate attacks. As a bonus action, you may send your bird companion to make a melee attack against a creature within 75 feet of you, dealing 1d4 slashing damage on a successful hit. The damage and range from this feature increases to 1d6 slashing damage at the 5th Level, 1d8 slashing damage within 125 feet at the 9th Level, and to 1d12 slashing damage within 175 feet at the 14th level. Attack and damage rolls for this feature are calculated with your Dexterity modifier instead of the bird companion's Strength modifier. After attempting an attack, your bird companion returns to its location prior to the Avian Strike feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature.

Falconer Specialty[edit]

At the 3rd level, you must choose which specialty you will use to train your bird companion. Choose either the Hawkeye or Talon Specialty, both detailed at the end of the class description. The specialty you choose grants you features at the 3rd level and again at the 7th, 13th, and 18th levels.

Ability Score Increase[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. In addition, your bird companion's AC and two different ability scores of your choice increase by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score belonging to you or your bird companion above 20 using this feature.

Avian Delivery[edit]

At the 5th level, your feathered friend gains more trust in you and your decisions. You or any willing creature you choose can give an item to your bird companion to deliver to you or another creature within your Scouting Radius. You can also choose to have your bird companion drop an item given to it anywhere within your Scouting Radius. Items given to your bird companion must be light enough for it to carry. At the 10th level, you can also choose to give it a brief verbal message that is one sentence or shorter.

Avian Awareness[edit]

At the 6th level, you have gained a more profound connection to your beloved bird. You are constantly aware of its position while it is within your Scouting Radius.

Quoth the Raven[edit]

At the 10th level, you have trained your bird to a point that it can better enunciate its messages and intentions. It can now speak certain phrases and short sentences as well as mimic certain noises to let you know slightly more specific details of what it has found on its scouting missions.

Arcane Talons[edit]

At the 10th Level, you have borrowed from the magic of wizards and other spell-casters to enhance the power of your feathered friends. If you or your called birds would deal slashing, piercing, or bludgeoning damage to a creature, you can choose to have that damage be treated as magical damage for the purpose of overcoming damage resistances and immunities.

Early Warning[edit]

At the 11th level, you have trained your bird companion to be on a constant vigil to alert you and your allies to nearby threats. Any hidden creature within 20 feet of you that isn't a part of your party must make a Stealth skill check or your bird is alerted to their presence and will screech loudly. You can also choose to have your bird fly directly above the creature's location and follow them until they leave your Scouting Radius.

Thieving Magpie[edit]

At the 15th level, if your bird companion is on a scouting mission or in combat and is within 50 feet of a creature, you can use a bonus action to have your bird companion make a Sleight of Hand (Beak?) skill check to steal a small item from that creature that it can carry back to you. The item it takes must be light enough for it to carry.

Flighty Foes[edit]

At the 17th level, you have great knowledge about the physics of flight after seeing your bird companion fly for such a long time. You and your bird companion gain advantage on attack rolls and saving throws against creatures with a permanent or temporary flying speed.

Avian Symbiosis[edit]

At the 20th level, you are now perfectly in tune with your bird companion, as if you were the same being. You always know your bird companion's exact location, regardless of its current heath, how far away it is from you, or any magical effects that may be used on you or your bird companion. You understand every specific piece of information it tells you from its scouting missions. In addition, your bird companion's ability scores, AC, and Maximum Hit Points increase to match yours at the exact moment you reached the 20th level. However, your bird companion's Intelligence ability score remains the same.

Falconer Specialties[edit]

Hawkeye Specialty[edit]

For the falconer who prefers long range combat. Your skill with a crossbow has been honed to the point that you can easily pick off targets from afar before they even know what hit them.

Long Shot

At the 3rd level, you have practiced long-range shots with your crossbow. The normal and long ranges of crossbows that you are proficient in increase by 30 feet. You may also use a free action to have your bird companion help guide your attacks by having it moving foliage and other physical barriers that may interfere with your shot. The items that your bird companion move with this feature must be light enough for it to reasonably move or carry.

Harrier

At the 7th level, your bird has been trained to seek out multiple opponents, even those that are behind cover. During your turn, you can use a bonus action to send your bird to mark up to 2 creatures at a range up to your ranged weapon's normal attack range. Whenever you hit a marked target with a ranged attack, it deals 1d8 + your Dexterity modifier bonus magical slashing damage and you gain 10 feet of walking speed until the end of your turn. After hitting a marked creature with a ranged attack, the mark disappears. You can mark creatures with this feature up to 3 times, afterwards you cannot use this feature again until you complete a long or short rest. After marking any number of creatures, your bird companion returns to its location prior to the Harrier feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature.

Strike the Heart

At the 13th level, you have learned how to sharpen your crossbow bolts to pierce layers of cover. When attacking with crossbows that you are proficient in, creatures behind half cover lose their AC and Dexterity saving throw bonus from being under half cover. In addition, creatures behind three-fourths cover only gain a +2 bonus to their AC and Dexterity saving throws, as if they were under half cover.

Eagle Eye

At the 18th level, you and your bird's vision has been sharpened to its fullest potential. You may now clearly see through any non-magical visual interruption. Crossbow bolts also pass through any visual interruption to hit a target that both you and your bird companion see. In addition, whenever you make a ranged attack with your crossbow and there is currently a spell or environmental hazard in effect that would affect the attack or damage roll of your ranged attack (i.e. the 5th-10th rounds of the storm of vengeance spell) you can choose to make a Dexterity saving throw. On a successful save, ranged attacks with your crossbow are unaffected by those spells and environmental hazards until the duration of the spell/hazard. You can use the active portion of this feature once, afterwards you cannot use this feature again until you complete a long or short rest. A use of this feature is used up only when you succeed the Dexterity saving throw.

Talon Specialty[edit]

The way of the blade and bird are your forte. Utilizing perfect focus with your weapon and your feathery friend, you are able to cut through swaths of enemies who come your way.

Extra Attack

At the 3rd level, your bird companion can attack twice instead of once per attack action. This does not count for you until you reach the 5th Level, at which you can make a second attack. The number of attacks that you and your bird companion can make increases to three when you reach the 11th Level in this class and to four when you reach the 20th Level in this class.

Feather Fluster

At the 7th level, you can use a bonus action to send your bird companion to distract a creature. The distracted creature must make a Wisdom saving throw or attack with disadvantage on their next turn. After the distracted creature's turn ends, your bird companion returns to its location prior to the Feather Fluster feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature.

Snatching Strike

At the 13th level, when you hit a creature within 5 feet of you with a melee weapon, or when your bird companion hits a creature with the Avian Strike feature, you can use a free action to have your bird companion disarm them of their weapon. The creature must make a Dexterity saving throw or have their weapon taken away by your bird companion. After attempting to take a weapon from a creature, your bird companion returns to its location prior to the Snatching Strike feature being used. Your bird companion doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it returns to its original location after using this feature. Alternatively, you can choose to have your bird companion bring the stolen weapon back to you, allowing you to use the stolen weapon yourself if you are proficient with it. You can use this feature twice, afterwards you cannot use this feature again until you complete a long rest.

Aim for the Eye

At the 18th level, the Avian Strike feature now deals additional slashing damage equal to your Dexterity modifier. In addition, when you use the Avian Strike feature to attack a creature, you can choose to also have that creature make a Constitution saving throw or become blinded for a number of turns equal to half of your Dexterity modifier, rounded up. This saving throw is separate from Avian Strike's attack and damage roll, meaning that you can still have a creature make the saving throw if you miss. You can use the active portion of the feature up to three times, afterwards you cannot use this feature again until you complete a long or short rest. A use of this feature is used up only when a creature fails the saving throw.

Multiclassing[edit]

Prerequisites.

To qualify for multiclassing into the Falconer class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dex 15, Wis 13

Proficiencies.

When you multiclass into the Falconer class, you gain the following proficiencies: Crossbows, Medium Armor



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