Hand Crossbow Hunter (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Hand Crossbow Hunter[edit]

"I once saw a man claiming he was going to hunt an Admantine Golem. All I saw on him was a tiny little hand crossbow. I told him it was suicide, but he just laughed at me. Three days later he came back with the spoils from his hunt. I loved that man."
—Olaf, Dwarven Barkeep, Anonymous Campaign

Some hunters found that using large weapons to kill their targets in one or two hits far too boring and repetitive. They wanted more thrill and risk, and so took to training themselves in the humble hand crossbow. A weapon that only seemed fit when concealed, hardly a serious choice for hunting. Through training, the hand crossbow hunters were able to hit their targets hand from as far as damage them just as much as a hunter with a longbow or heavy crossbow, and gained techniques to surprise their targets and hit them from different directions.

Becoming a Hand Crossbow Hunter[edit]

Most characters that pursue this path start out as Fighters, Rangers, or Rouges, though other classes may decide to join the class as well. Becoming a hand crossbow hunter often stems from a desire for a more challenging hunt.

Entry Requirements
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Skills: Hide 7 ranks, Move Silently 7 ranks and Survival 5 ranks.
Feats: Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Quick Draw and Weapon Proficiency (Hand Crossbow).

Table: The Hand Crossbow Hunter

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Combat Training(1), Intense Training
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Combat Training(2)
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Camouflage, Combat Training(3)
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Combat Training(4)
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Handiness, Combat Training(5)
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Combat Training(6)
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Tracking Shot, Combat Training(7)
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Combat Training(8)
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Gigantic HandCrossbow, Combat Training(9)
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Combat Training(10)

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level)
Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Disguise, Escape Artist, Hide, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering), Listen, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand, Spot and Survival.

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Hand Crossbow Hunter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Hand Crossbow Hunters do not gain any weapon or armor proficiency.

Intense Training: While using a hand crossbow, Hand Crossbow Hunters may add their Dexterity modifier to damage within the base range increment of their hand crossbow. They may also increase the base range increment of their hand crossbow by (Dexterity Modifier)*5ft. To do so, they must fire the hand crossbow with both hands

Combat Training(X) (Ex): Each time you level, you may level one of several combat abilities of your choosing. Each ability is extraordinary, has 5 maximum levels, and only works when using a hand crossbow:

Ricochet Shot(X) - Bounce shots off of X walls maximum, at a 6-X penalty to attack rolls per wall. The hunter must have some way of sensing the monster being shot at, be it through an animal companion's emphatic link, sound, etc.

Creedmore Stance(X) - Enter creedmore stance X times a day 2X turns per time. Entering and exiting creedmore stance are move actions which provoke an attack of opportunity. When in creedmore stance, the hunter is considered prone and dex modifier is halved in terms of Armor Class and Reflex saves. When in creedmore stance a hunter may add points from his base attack bonus to either his damage, critical range, or range (Ex. If a hunter has a +8 base attack bonus, he may increase his damage by 2, his critical range by 1, and his range by one, but will only have a +4 base attack bonus). A hunter may choose to leave creedmore stance before 2X turns are over as a move action provoking attacks of oppertunity.

Fast Draw(X) - Draw and fire a loaded hand crossbow as a swift action 3X times a day, at a 5-X penalty to attack rolls. Because the crossbow is being held with one hand, intense training does not apply.

Camouflage Shot(X)- Fire a shot is a way that enemies can not discern where the shot is coming from at a 5-X attack roll penalty. The enemy must succeed a DC 15+X will save to discern the location of the shooter. If the location of the shooter is not discerned, then there is no penalty to hiding following a shot.

Cripple(X) - X times a day, replace a critical hit with the ability to cripple an enemy's body part. If the enemy does not succeed a 10 + dexterity fortitude save, that enemy will not be able to use that body part until it is healed.

Camouflage) (Ex): A Hand Crossbow Hunter of 3rd level or higher can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment. (The same as ranger's Camouflage, but only works when a hand crossbow is equipped)

Handiness (Ex): At level 5, Hand Crossbow Hunters learn to make advantage of the small size of their weapon. When using a hand crossbow of the same size as the hunter, the hunter is able to shoot at point blank range without attacks of opportunity and shoot once at a -5 attack roll penalty before withdrawing.

Tracking Shot (Sp): At level 7, a Hand Crossbow Hunter may imbue one of his hand crossbow bolts with a little bit of arcane magic 5 times a day. These bolts allow the hunter to note the location of the monster even when not in line of sight, and work for as many turns as the hunter has levels in hand crossbow hunter.

Gigantic Hand Crossbow: At level 9, the hunter gains the ability to use larger crossbows. Works the same as the feat Gigantic Weapon, but only works for the hand crossbow. No prerequisites must be met.

Ex-Hand Crossbow Hunters[edit]

If a Hand Crossbow Hunter loses its entry requirements then it loses everything gained from this class except its base attack bonus, saving throws and bonus feats.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Hand Crossbow Hunter[edit]

Hand Crossbow Hunters get various new actions to compensate their low DPS. Despite not wearing armor, their ability to hide grants them the ability to survive.

Combat: Ranged Damage/Round

Advancement: Hand Crossbow Hunters benefit greatly from the general bulk of fighters, the already skilled at ranged rangers and the bonus sneak attack damage of rogues.

Resources: Hand Crossbow Hunters make excellent scouts, and with the right equipment can gain a high damage output previously unthinkable to a wielder of a hand crossbow.

Hand Crossbow Hunters in the World[edit]

Hand Crossbow Hunters are hunters who saw killing dragons and hydras with a great sword or longbow too easy, and decided to challenge themselves.

"Anyone can kill a dragon with a lance. Its much more thrilling to kill one with a hand crossbow"

NPC Reactions: Did he just kill a T-Rex with THAT tiny little thing?

Hand Crossbow Hunter Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can research Hand Crossbow Hunters to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (local)
DC Result
11 None.
16 Appears to be a specialist in stalking.
21 Looks to be hiding some sort of projectile launcher in their cloak.

Hand Crossbow Hunters in the Game[edit]

If you plan on playing a hand crossbow hunter make sure your Dexterity, Intelligence and Wisdom ability scores are optimized. Hand Crossbow Hunters don't get many hit points and usually have a low AC in attempts to increase hiding ability. This is compensated by their ability to completely avoid being detected by their prey, if you use your skills right.

Adaptation: In games with a future setting, with firearms, they would use handguns rather than hand crossbows. This works best when there are rifles present which do more damage than the handguns these hunters would use.

Sample Encounter: A large monster suddenly dying from a bolt that came out of seemingly thin air.

EL whatever: To be added later.

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