Specialist Hunter (3.5e Class)

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A specialist hunter tends to carry multiple weapons to fit different situations.

Specialist Hunter, Ranger Variant[edit]

Specialist hunters are similar to rangers in that they can specialize in enemies, but they are far more limited in choice by focusing on only 1 type of enemy.

Making a Specialist Hunter[edit]

Specialist Hunters are incredibly effective in dealing with the enemy they specialize against. However, they are only marginally effective against other types of enemies.

Abilities: Dexterity is important for a specialist hunter as they don't usually wear heavy armor. Strength is also important to increase the damage they do in combat. Intelligence is important for a specialist hunter because many of his abilities are affected by it and it gives him extra skill points to spend.

Races: Specialist hunters tend to be human because of their adaptability, but it isn't uncommon for other races (particularly ones with a scent ability) to become specialist hunters.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp.

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Specialist Hunter

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Chosen Quarry +5, Track
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Prescience
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Hasty Step +10 ft.
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Precognition +1
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Chosen Quarry +10
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Hasty Step +20 ft.
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Swift Tracker
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Mettle, Precognition +2
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Evasion, Hasty Step +30 ft.
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Chosen Quarry +15
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Hide in Plain Sight
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Hasty Step +40 ft., Precognition +3
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Deadly Attack
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Quarry Research
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Chosen Quarry +20, Hasty Step +50 ft.
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Precognition +4
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Power Resistance
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Hasty Step +60 ft.
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Quarry Affinity
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Chosen Quarry +25, Precognition +5

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the specialist hunter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A specialist hunter is proficient with all simple weapons and martial weapons, and with light armor and medium armor but not with shields.

Chosen Quarry (Ex): At 1st level, a specialist hunter may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Specialist Hunter Chosen Quarries. The specialist hunter gains a +5 bonus on Bluff, Escape Artist, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures of this type. Likewise, he gets a +5 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures. Furthermore, he adds his Intelligence modifier as a bonus on attack rolls against his chosen quarry.

At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the bonus against the specialist hunter's chosen quarry increases by 5.

If the specialist hunter selects humanoids or outsiders as a chosen quarry, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the table.

Table: Specialist Hunter Chosen Quarries
Type (Subtype) Type (Subtype)
Aberration Humanoid (reptilian)
Animal Magical beast
Construct Monstrous humanoid
Dragon Ooze
Elemental Outsider (air)
Fey Outsider (chaotic)
Giant Outsider (earth)
Humanoid (aquatic) Outsider (evil)
Humanoid (dwarf) Outsider (fire)
Humanoid (elf) Outsider (good)
Humanoid (goblinoid) Outsider (lawful)
Humanoid (gnoll) Outsider (native)
Humanoid (gnome) Outsider (water)
Humanoid (halfling) Plant
Humanoid (human) Undead
Humanoid (orc) Vermin

Track: A specialist hunter gains Track as a bonus feat.

Prescience (Su): A specialist hunter's awareness extends a fraction of a second into the future, allowing him to exploit occasional weaknesses in his enemies. At 2nd level, a specialist hunter adds his Intelligence modifier as an insight bonus on his damage rolls.

Hasty Step (Ex): At 3rd level, a specialist hunter's base land speed increases by 10 feet. This bonus increases by 10 feet every 3 levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level).

Precognition (Su): A specialist hunter can see possible outcomes before they happen, allowing him to act on the outcome with the least negative consequences. At 4th level, a specialist hunter gains a +1 insight bonus to AC and on all saving throws. This bonus increases by 1 at 8th level and every 4 levels thereafter (12th, 16th, and 20th). If a specialist hunter is caught in a situation where his Dexterity bonus isn’t applied to his Armor Class, this bonus to AC and saving throws does not apply.

Swift Tracker (Ex): Beginning at 7th level, a specialist hunter can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He takes only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.

Mettle (Ex): A specialist hunter can resist magical attacks and unusual attacks through their rigorous physical training. Beginning at 8th level, by drawing on his experience in combat and physical conditioning, a specialist hunter can weather effects that would hinder or cripple less hardy souls. If he succeeds on a Fortitude or Will save against something that would normally produce a lesser effect on a successful save (such as a spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial, the effect is negated. A specialist hunter does not gain the benefit of Mettle when he is unconscious or sleeping.

Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a specialist hunter can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the specialist hunter is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless specialist hunter does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A specialist hunter of 11th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

Deadly Attack (Su): At 13th level, the specialist hunter has learned enough about his chosen quarry that he can make unusually lethal attacks against creatures of it's type by empowering his weapon with energy specifically attuned against it. If a specialist hunter studies his quarry for 3 rounds and then takes a full-round action to make an attack with a weapon that successfully deals damage, the attack has the additional effect of killing the target (or destroying the target if it cannot be killed). While studying the quarry, the specialist hunter can undertake other actions so long as his attention stays focused on the target. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the specialist hunter’s class level + the specialist hunter’s Int modifier) against the kill effect, it dies or is destroyed. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is treated as a critical hit (even if the creature would normally be immune to critical hits). Once the specialist hunter has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the deadly attack within the next 3 rounds.

If a deadly attack is attempted and fails (the quarry makes its save) or if the specialist hunter does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another deadly attack. Even in places where supernatural effects do not normally function, a specialist hunter can attempt to make a deadly attack by making a DC 20 Will save. Abilities that protect against death effects are only partially effective against a specialist hunter's deadly attack, granting a +4 bonus on the save (natural immunity to death effects, such as in the case of undead for example, is circumvented by the attuning process). The specialist hunter can only use his deadly attack against his chosen quarry (although it can work against his chosen quarry even if they make use of effects that alter their original type in a fashion that is reversible (such as shapechange)).

Quarry Research: At 14th level, the specialist hunter has extensive knowledge about his chosen quarry. Whenever a knowledge check would be required to know some detail about his chosen quarry, the specialist hunter may instead make an Intelligence check and add his class level + 3 to the check.

Power Resistance (Ex): At 17th level, the specialist hunter gains power resistance equal to his current specialist hunter level + 10. Against effects created by his chosen quarry, the specialist hunter adds his Intelligence modifier to his power resistance.

Quarry Affinity (Su): At 19th level, the specialist hunter is treated by his chosen quarry as a creature of the same type as his chosen quarry. If a creature attempts to discern information about the specialist hunter they must make a Will save (DC 10 + the specialist hunter’s class level + the specialist hunter’s Int modifier). If the creature fails it's saving throw, the specialist hunter becomes aware of the attempt and may falsify what the creature learns about him (this effect is a mind-affecting effect, but can affect creatures with protection against mind-affecting effects or natural immunity to them). In addition, as a standard action, the specialist hunter may assume the appearance of a creature whose type matches that of his chosen quarry. Creatures who see the specialist hunter may make a Will save (DC 10 + the specialist hunter’s class level + the specialist hunter’s Int modifier) to be unaffected and see the specialist hunter in his true form, but if they fail their save, they are not allowed another for 24 hours (this effect is a mind-affecting effect, but can affect creatures with protection against mind-affecting effects or natural immunity to them). Quarry affinity functions even in places where supernatural effects do not normally function.

Epic Specialist Hunter[edit]

Table: The Epic Specialist Hunter

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Hasty Step +70 ft.
24th Bonus Feat, Hasty Step +80 ft., Precognition +6
25th Chosen Quarry +30
27th Hasty Step +90 ft.
28th Bonus Feat, Precognition +7
30th Chosen Quarry +35, Hasty Step +100 ft.

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Chosen Quarry (Ex): The epic specialist hunter's bonuses against his chosen quarry increase by +5, every five levels higher than 20th.

Hasty Step (Ex): The epic specialist hunter’s speed increases by 10 feet every three levels higher than 18th.

Precognition (Su): The epic specialist hunter's bonus to AC and saving throws increases by +1 every four levels higher than 20th.

Deadly Attack (Su): Use the specialist hunter’s class level when determining the DC to resist this attack, as normal.

Quarry Research: Use the specialist hunter’s class level when determining the result of the check, as normal.

Power Resistance (Ex): The epic specialist hunter's power resistance is equal to his class level + 10, as normal (adding his Intelligence modifier against effects created by his chosen quarry).

Quarry Affinity (Su): Use the specialist hunter's class level when determining the save DC for the effects of this ability, as normal.

Bonus Feats: The epic specialist hunter gains a bonus feat every four levels higher than 20th.

Human Specialist Hunter Starting Package[edit]

Armor: Leather Armor (+2 AC, maximum dex bonus 6, armor check penalty 0, speed 30 ft., 15 lbs, light).

Weapons: Greatsword (2d6, crit 19-20/x2, 8 lb., two-handed, slashing) and Longbow (1d8, crit x3, range increment 100 ft., 3 lb., ranged, piercing).

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Escape Artist 4 Dex 0
Listen 4 Wis
Hide 4 Dex 0
Move Silently 4 Dex 0
Spot 4 Wis
Survival 4 Wis

Feat: Improved Initiative.

Bonus Feats: Run, Track.

Chosen Quarry: Undead.

Gear: Backpack with Waterskin, five day's trail rations, Bedroll, Sack, Flint & Steel, 1x Tindertwig, 3x Torches. Quiver with 20 arrows.

Gold: 2d4 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Specialist Hunter[edit]

Religion: Specialist hunters are typically drawn to gods which emphasis hunting if they choose to worship.

Other Classes: Specialist hunters get along well with rangers. Melee fighters appreciate specialist hunters devotion to weapon mastery but chide them for their lack of armor. Wizards, Psions, and Monks admire their discipline, spontaneous spellcasters chide them for it. Sometimes they rub harshly against those obsessed with 'honorable combat' and dissuading the use of stealth.

Combat: Specialist hunters are the "silver bullet" that takes out the enemy they specialize against. However, a specialist hunter can still contribute in combat against enemies he doesn't specialize against and is quite difficult to kill.

Advancement: Any combat based prestige class can work with the specialist hunter, although it may be beneficial to multiclass into a caster class to pick up useful utility spells.

Specialist Hunters in the World[edit]

When the frost giants attacked our town, I thought there was no chance of defeating them, but our mayor made a good decision when he hired a specialist hunter to deal with them... the battle was over before it began.
—Ruprecht Greybeard, Human Guard of Winterhaven

Specialist hunters can be hunters or hired assassins, but they typically do adventuring work. As such, they often form guilds in metropolises to hire themselves out to towns or adventurers who need help with a specific kind of enemy.

Daily Life: Specialist hunters typically live in populated areas near their chosen quarry unless they have decided to join a guild to offer their services. A specialist hunter spends time learning about his chosen quarry as a hobby.

Organizations: Specialist hunters do not typically meet unless they create a guild to pool their talents.

NPC Reactions: NPCs have mixed feelings depending on the type of specialist hunter they come off to be. A hunter of animals for sport is admired, but an assassin dare not speak of his profession, and rather plays the part of some other class when introducing themselves.

Specialist Hunter Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) can research specialist hunters to learn more about them. When a character makes a knowledge check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Psionics)
DC Result
5 Specialist hunters are individuals with some psionic talent who focus it and much of their time on learning how to fight a specific type of creature.
10 Specialist hunters are very effective and deadly in combat when fighting the type of creature they specialize against.
15 Specialist hunters use their psionic talent to see the near-future which gives them significant offensive and defensive capability even when not fighting the type of creature they specialize against.
20 Very experienced specialist hunters can appear to be a member of the type of creature they specialize against and use this to learn about and fight the creatures they specialize against.

Specialist Hunters in the Game[edit]

A specialist hunter may be hired by towns or adventurers to fight creatures they specialize against. It may be the PCs job to root out and kill a gathering of these creatures. Alternatively they might be assigned to be an assassin of a prominent figure of that creature type, and must escape the attentions of the heavily armed guards afterwards.

Adaptation: The specialist hunter is typically adaptable to any campaign that has a large number of encounters being a specific creature type.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL whatever: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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