Harrier (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|It is as foolish to fight as but a lone man against an army as it is to fight as a lone man among many men against an army.
|—Ultan the Packmaster, Shifter Harrier
Harriers represent the pack mentality of the wild's countless wolf packs; they are cunning, highly intelligent, social creatures that not only take advantage of their prey, but mercilessly hound it. Distant relatives to the Champion of the Ferine and shapeshifters in general, they are unique in that they are not subject to the same trials that the Champions of the Ferine are; whereas a Champion of the Ferine need gain more of the wild's nature by rending it with their will, Harriers are innately granted it.
Becoming a Harrier
In a world dominated by civilized societies which abandon animal nature, there are some among them who wish to become attuned once more to the gifts the wilderness provides. Harriers, most often Rogues who have a fondness for those things canine and nature, are drawn to their calling by a subtle allure within their mind. Like that one feels in fatal attraction, they cannot resist the urge to come closer to the animal within, some going so far as to become Lycanthropes by choice in addition to taking the mantle of Harrier. For them, it is not a choice, but a destiny they need fulfill; to return to their wild, animalistic side.
|Spot 6 ranks, Listen 6 ranks, Move Silently 4 ranks, Hide 4 ranks, Knowledge (Nature) 4 ranks
|Requires a minimum Sneak Attack or Skirmish of +2d6.
|Sneak Attack +1d6, Heart of the Pack, Canine Empathy
|Uncanny Dodge, Trip
|Sneak Attack +2d6, Improved Trip
|Exploit Opportunity, Agility of the Wolf
|Sneak Attack +3d6
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Harrier.
Sneak Attack: This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 every other level (1st, 3rd, 5th). If a Harrier gets a sneak attack bonus from another source the bonuses on damage stack.
Heart of the Pack (Ex): At 1st level a Harrier gains additional benefit when flanking a target with one or more allies. In addition to the normal bonuses flanking provides, a Harrier gains an additional +1 to his attack rolls while flanking, and a further +1 bonus to his attack rolls for each additional ally providing flanking to the same creature, even if he would not be benefiting from their positioning. So long as an ally is flanking the target, with or without the Harrier, he receives this +1 to attack rolls against that creature for each additional flank as long as he is within 25ft of that flanked creature.
Canine Empathy (Ex): At 1st level a Harrier can improve the attitude of a canine Animal or Magical Beast as a Druid can with her Animal Empathy extraordinary ability. Canine Empathy only functions when dealing with canine animals or magical beasts which are canine-like in nature.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a Harrier can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If the Harrier already had Uncanny Dodge, he receives Improved Uncanny Dodge; in the event he already has both Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge, he gains a permanent +2 Dodge bonus to AC.
Trip (Ex): Starting at 2nd level a Harrier that hits with his Sneak Attack can attempt to trip the opponent as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity against him from the target. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the Harrier.
Improved Trip (Ex): Upon reaching the 3rd level a Harrier gains the Improved Trip feat as a bonus feat even if he did not qualify for it or its perquisites. In addition, a Harrier counts as unarmed for the purposes of the bonus feat's effects even if he is wielding a weapon.
Exploit Opportunity (Ex): Beginning at the 4th level a Harrier may make an attack of opportunity against a target in reach whenever an ally within 25ft makes an attack of opportunity. This bonus attack of opportunity can only take place once a round, and does not count against his maximum allotted attacks of opportunity in a round or any similar effects. In addition to these effects, a Harrier who is flanking a target with an ally and makes a trip attempt against the flanked enemy may trip a creature one Size Category larger than normal for him (a Medium sized Harrier flanking a Huge creature may attempt to trip the Huge creature, whereas he would normally only be capable of doing so against a Large creature) provided that the ally providing flanking to the Harrier uses his next turn to assist the Harrier in the attempt, and otherwise giving up his turn in its entirety.
Agility of the Wolf (Ex): At the 4th level a Harrier takes on wolf-like qualities, most notability their agility and speed. His land speed is increased by +20 ft, and he gains +2 Dexterity in addition to a +2 Dodge bonus to AC. Physically, he becomes more atypically lean for his race, but exhibits more robust and refined muscle which is particularly sinuous and animal-like. His mentality is one most devoted to his allies and extensively focused on out maneuvering the enemy; because of this, he gains a +2 bonus to all of his saving throws against mind-affecting conditions.
Harrier Strike (Ex): Having advanced to the 6th level, a Harrier may fully utilize his potential in the shape of Harrier Strike. Whenever the Harrier makes an attack of opportunity or Sneak Attack, he may take a 5ft step, ignoring Difficult Terrain and enter a state of readiness; should the creature he attempted Harrier Strike against approach or attack him before the start of the Harrier's next turn, he may make an attack of opportunity against it provided it is in range of his attacks. A Harrier may only utilize his Harrier Strike once per round, regardless of how many attacks he made; a Harrier need not succeed on his attack of opportunity or Sneak Attack to make use of his Harrier Strike class feature. This 5ft step provided by Harrier Strike is in addition to the character's normal movement and or 5ft step, and is treated as bonus movement.
A Harrier who ceases to revere the concept of the pack or willfully acts against those deemed part of his pack loses access to his class features until he atones. He must return to those within his pack he wronged and seek forgiveness in addition to having someone cast an Atonement spell for him or complete an appropriate quest to re-establish himself with his allies; if his pack again accepts him without providing a quest for him to prove loyalty, he need not have an individual cast the Atonement spell on him, and he regains his class features as if he had atoned or completed their objective.
Playing a Harrier
Combat: A Harrier is a highly mobile combatant who capitalizes on exploiting his enemy's faults and weaknesses; he is most successful in these regards when aided by his fellow adventurers, which make up his "pack". The Harrier's traveling companions, be them Wizards, Fighters, Clerics or the like, become his closest allies with whom he relies upon to assist him in conflict; a lone Harrier does not find success, but with the exploits of his allies and proper tactical maneuvering, a battle can be reshaped. Harriers have limited hit points and excel when they are not threatened by their enemies, allowing their stronger, more durable companions to keep a creature's attention whilst they apply their harrying attacks in the various forms such as tripping opponents, utilizing attacks of opportunity, and dealing Sneak Attack damage.
Resources: The greatest asset to a Harrier is his pack, or what is otherwise known as his traveling companions. They are his de facto brothers and sister on which he must rely and who must rely on him. Trust is the greatest and most valuable, if not also elusive, resource a Harrier needs for success in life. Should his companions fail to interact in social and combat settings with the Harrier, he cannot successfully build rapport with them, formulate tactics with them or even so much as gain their understanding. This bonding process results in tremendous acts of devotion and heroism from the Harrier's half, willing to prove that he will stand and fight, to the death if need be, for those he considers brother and sister. Outside of his pack the other Harriers within the world offer but minor aid unless it benefits their pack too.
Harriers in the World
|It is my bond to my brothers and sisters that makes me strong, for alone I am but just a man, together we are the pack.
There are but a few notable Harriers and Harrier packs within the world, they are not widely renowned, not widely spread, and not widely known. This however certainly does not mean they are unworthy of note, it is simply that they are not boastful. To be boastful is an affront to one's pack, it is their collective pride that makes them unique, not each individual's. A Harrier simply does not claim he is the greatest warrior among any given lot, he instead attributes his talents to the whole; he is but a piece of the puzzle, essential, but not the entirety. A Harrier is most comfortable in social settings alongside those they have aligned with, but can exist comfortably around various towns and cities provided they are not openly hostile to those more aligned to animal nature.
Among those in the world, Harriers are of little note; their characteristics, to those not well educated on animal nature, appear as self devotion to the group; the core ideal of collective success. Despite their physical traits and differences, Harriers appear much alike those of their race who are not attuned to the animal spirit. There is no reason for hostility or aversion in most cases, but an offense to one of the pack is a personal offense to a Harrier, and grudges can run deep if allowed to fester; purveyors need take note that a Harrier will not take kindly to their brothers and sisters in arms finding themselves cheated or swindled.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nature) can research Harriers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|Harriers use wolf pack tactics to eliminate their enemies, utilizing their talent with numbers to make up for their individual frailty. Their attacks focus on disabling techniques, namely tripping, alongside making opportunistic strikes.
|A technique unique to the Harrier is the Harrier Strike, an opportunistic blow and maneuver that allows them to traverse even the worst of terrains without effort, strictly by instinct.
|It is uncertain where the Harrier arose from, many claim observation of wolves, whereas others, those more talented with ancient and mystic lore of the wild, know that they are in some manner distantly related to shapeshifters and beast spirits.
|Many Harriers drift closer and closer to the deadly allure of Lycanthropy, the promise of fulfilling their wolfish nature and gaining further benefits from doing so, all while being unaware of their shapeshifter calling. Those that do answer these subtle whispers feel accomplished beyond all reason.