Specimin Curate (3.5e Class)

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Specimen Curate[edit]

Not all adventurers are there for the money, the fame, or the sheer thrill. Some are there for the opportunity to see something rare, and then preserve it for the viewing pleasure of all those after them, these individuals are the specimen curators. They are those who wander about in nature and flip over the log just to see what is underneath, not because of the treasure chest that might be hiding in the dragons cave, or the magic items that await discovery, but simply to say "I saw a fully grown Red dragon eat a fully armored half orc, then begin to count the minutes until the screaming stopped, then I grabbed the dragon neck and snapped it, and now it hangs over my mantle, shame about the half orc, he didn't preserve nearly as well" you just can't buy memories like that (though with the right curator you can probably buy one very much like it!).

To be fair, there are many Curators who are in it for the money, but those are far less likely to go into a dragons cave.

Making a Specimen Curate[edit]

The weakest thing about the specimen curate is their lack of combat focus, and specialization against a few enemies every day, they will catch their mark, and then hope the party has their back. They are viewed as a foolish group of unprepared citysilckers by the vast majority of other adventurers, especially fighters. Please note that this class is made for a player who wants to make something pretty unique for roleplaying and overall fun and is not unwilling to sacrifice some combat ability for this experience.

Abilities: The specimen curate actually doesn't need any high abilities, they don't need worry about where their abilities align, as they lack the need for combat or spell focus like other classes. Adding to pretty much any ability will help a Curate in some degree, strength helps them carry their heavy marks, Dexterity increases their ranged net attacks, as well as their AC (which is more than likely terrible), Constitution gives them additional concentration bonuses, as well as some much needed HP. Intelligence adds to skill points, as well as most of their key skills. Wisdom increases the rest of their key skills. Charisma is very usefull for explaining to the fighter who was in combat with "your" goblin that you really didn't mean to grab HIM with the net, but he got in the way and you will never, never do it again, and you are terribly sorry that the net stopped him from being able to participate in the combat at his full potential.

Races: Humans are the most likely to be Specimen Curates, as their museums are the most likely to have an incomplete collections, Half-elves may also be likely to be hired as a Specimen curate, though it is unlikely they will take the job, as they have a better future as an adventurer. Other races may also take up the Curate as a profession. Though Half-orcs are far too brutal and rough to be trusted by any well reputed museums. Halflings are sometimes specimen curates to look for rare animals to be preserved for future identification for culinary purposes.

Alignment: Any, though certain bonuses will only apply to Good, Lawful, Chaotic and Evil Curates.

Starting Gold: 10d10 x 10 (this number may seem high, but the Specimen curate needs a large number of expensive pieces of equipment, such as cages, nets, as well as carts and notebooks).

Starting Age: As Fighter.

Table: The Specimen Curate

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Don't hurt the Specimen, Field Notes, Marks (1/day)
2nd +0 +1 +2 +1 Specialized tracker, Marks (2/day)
3rd +1 +1 +3 +1 Hafted Net Proficiency, Put it down
4th +1 +2 +3 +2 Marks (3/day), Greater Grappling
5th +1 +2 +4 +2 Improved Field Notes
6th +2 +2 +4 +2 Marks (4/day)
7th +2 +3 +5 +3 Improved Field Notes
8th +2 +3 +5 +3 Marks (5/day), Quick refold
9th +3 +3 +6 +3 Improved Field Notes
10th +3 +4 +6 +4 Greater Marks,
11th +3 +4 +7 +4 Improved Field Notes
12th +4 +5 +7 +5
13th +4 +5 +8 +5 Marks (6/day)
14th +4 +6 +8 +6 Improved Field Notes
15th +4 +6 +9 +6 Marks (7/day)
16th +5 +7 +9 +7
17th +5 +7 +10 +7 Marks (8/day)
18th +5 +8 +10 +8 Improved Field notes
19th +6 +8 +11 +8 Marks (9/day)
20th +6 +9 +11 +9 Masterful Field Notes

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (int), Concentration (con), Gather information (cha), Handle Animal (cha), Knowledge (nature,Marks), Move silently, Profession (taxidermist AND curate, both skills taken with one point) (int), Search (int), Spot (wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Specimen Curate.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Specimen Curate gains exotic weapon proficiency Net, no armor or shield proficiencies.

Don't Hurt the Specimen: When fighting with a net, a Specimen Curate must deal subdual damage, but they take no penalties to such actions, it just comes naturally. Additionally while using a net, a Specimen Curate counts as having the Improved grapple feat, even if they fail to meet the prerequisites.

Field Notes: A Specimen Curate can buy and use special books on both nature, animals, and enviorments to aid them, these books each have the same market price as a Empty Spell book, and a Specimen Curate needs every night to write their own field notes (1 page per day). These books give a Specimen Curate a +2 to survival tests, +2 to Knowledge tests as well as Gather Information for whatever these books cover (DM's call). At later levels these notes become magical items.

Marks: Specimen Curate's pride themselves on their knowledge against whatever species they are tracking, by spending 2 hours a Specimen Curate can choose a number of creatures to seek out in the coming days, the marks. These selections must be at least to family of creature, though it may include class levels,(goblinoid is acceptable, Small humanoid is not, type is not an acceptable mark, but a name of a small group such as Forminian is, alternatively DM's may allow other groups to be chosen based on the Curate's own research) in order for a class to count as a mark, it must have more levels in that class than any other level, so a Goblin Cleric counts as a cleric, but a Hill giant cleric with at least 1 Cr in giant, does not count until it has at least 8 levels in cleric. A Specimen curate gains a bonus similar to those of a Ranger's Favored Enemy Trait against their marks, but only gets a +1 to each one, rather than an escalating bonus. however, a Specimen Curate may stack their marks, for example; a 2nd level Specimen Curate chooses his first mark as a Orc, then his second mark is Clerics, against an Orc Cleric (2 level in cleric, 1 orc hit dice) he gains a +2 bonus, a cleric with 1 level in cleric would only give a +1, it just isn't enough of a cleric to count for the museum. Also, for whatever marks the Curate has, they may use the Knowledge (marks) skill instead of any others to represent their quick teachings from the species (so would replace other knowledges if the species is specifically involved). These bonuses only apply up until the Specimen Curate collects a sample of this species, so if the Curate captures a goblin, he then looses his bonuses (if any) for any marks that goblin falls under. Evil Curates may pick any Intelligent race, or their own race as a mark, Good Curates may pick any evil Intelligent race as a Mark. Lawful Specimen Curates may not choose any "civilized" group that they associate themselves with (DM's choice), while Chaotic may ignore any restrictions on mark choice (they are hard to control, and do whatever they want).

Selling Marks: When a mark is captured, it can be sold to a museum at a value of 15 gold pieces per mark used (more specific creatures sell better), per challenge rating (bigger creatures are better).

Specialized Tracker: At 2nd level, a Specimen Curate uses the Knowledge (marks) instead of survival with the Tracking feat as long as the tracks in question are made by a mark (anyone/thing that gives a bonus to the Specimen Curate).

Hafted Net Proficiency: At 3rd level a Specimen Curate gains the ability to make a Hafted net out of any regular net, it counts as a 2 handed weapon with the following stats: Size: large, Damage: d6, Crit: x2, Reach 10ft, against a charge if braced the net gains a +4 to hit the target, 8 lbs.

Put it down: At 3rd level a Specimen Curate may take a full action to make a touch attack against an opponent that has been successfully grappled for 3 rounds (not including the round of this attack) in order to deal it 1 point of lethal damage, this attack triggers the Massive damage threshold for a creature (though it doesn't actually damage the creatures outward appearance, it does massive internal damage). If a creature only has one hit point left, it dies from this action no save and does not count as a circumstance where a Curate becomes an Disgraced-curate.

Greater Grappling: At 4th level a Specimen Curate gains a +2 bonus to grappling, which stacks with the bonus from a target being a mark.

Improved Field Notes: At 5th,7th, 9th, 11th, 14th and 18th level a Specimen Curate chooses a new bonus to gain from a filled Field Notebook they finish, this is a spell like ability, as experience flows into the pages, and will later illuminate the Curate. These bonuses do NOT apply to previously filled notebooks, a new notebook must be finished, though a book may be transcribed (takes 6 hours), The bonuses are as follows: Land Insights: this ability functions just like the "Terrain Mastery" ability of the Horizion Walker Paragon Class. Biology Insights: This ability allows the Specimen curate to add his Mark bonus to his defenses against that creature (defenses are saves) Biology Insights II': These improved notes allow a Specimen curate to add his Mark bonus to his AC against that creature (he has learned what wounds really hurt and what he can take). On Avoiding Harm: gains the Evasion Ability, will take no damage rather than half when given the option for a 1/2 damage with a successful reflex save On Maintaining an Animals Love: gives the Animal companion, same as the Ranger, level at which this ability is taken counts as if he is a 3rd level Ranger, subsequent levels do not improve the animal companion as normal, but if the ability is taken again the animal improves to the next tier of animal companion. or a Bonus feat: works like the Metamagic feats available to a wizard, however the abilities are changed: Empower Spell: By looking over a creatures biology and habitat, a specimen curate finds the best netting material for the job, so as to best catch the beasty; by improving his net for a mark type, or multiple marks (done when marks are chosen, adds one hour time as the curate makes the net have double loops, fireproofing etc..) the specimen curate adds his mark bonus versus a target into the hardness of his net. Enlarge Spell: By looking into approximate biology of his chosen marks a Specimen Curate can learn to catch larger creatures by netting key points on their anatomy, this ability allows a specimen curate to count his net as another size larger (stacking by 1 for each mark bonus), additionally if the size of the net is more than 1 step larger than the target, the Specimen Curate can try and hit and entangle an additional target for every 2 sizes that their net is larger than the target, they must be of the same species, and they may be no more than 5 feet from the target. Extend Spell: By making some minor adjustments to their net, a specimen curate can learn ways to capture a creature without needing to be right in its face (always a nice thing), this ability increases the ranged increment on a net by 10 meters, it also adds another 5 ft. of reach onto a hafted net. Heighten Spell: By making some minor modifications to the net, a specimen curate can more effectively entangle a creature, this ability adds an extra half an hour on a curates studying time, and allows a curate to impose his mark bonus versus a creature as a bonus penalty for an entangled creature, and can impose 1/2 his mark bonus as a grappling penalty to the creature. (this penalty applies to doing actions not involved with the grapple(though the entangle does)). Maximize Spell: By making lots of practice throws, and loosing a lot of specimens a specimen curate learns to avoid botching a throw, by taking a number of rounds equal to 5-1/3 his mark bonus(round down) of solid concentration of a species and it's movements, a specimen curate may take 20 on a net throw or a grapple check, if he has a sneak attack feature, he may add this damage to the 20 for his grapple or net throw result. this ability cannot be used more than once per combat. but any number of times per day, the creature may not be aware of the specimen curate in order for this ability to work. Quicken Spell: By making a few reviews of his notes, a curate learns to simply throw in a general area, and let the net do the work, this allows a specimen curate to initiate a grapple, or to throw a net (pick one) as a move equivalent action rather than a full action. Silent Spell: By reviewing the warning sounds made by the mark, a specimen curate quickly learns to stop any noise from being made, when a specimen curate successfully makes a grapple or entangle (pick one) he may do so silently, unaware targets are not alerted to the loss of the specimen and the curate makes a noise to reassure them of the all clear (this becomes much more amusing when the curate attacks a sentient target) the unaware marks take a will save DC 10+2 x Mark bonus+5 for every 10 feet away from target, sentients get a +2 to this save. Still Spell: A specimen curate can learn to net a specimen with a flick of their wrists and a quick turn, when making a net throw a specimen curate does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the creature he is attacking, or any creatures who are in combat with him, he may also shift 5 feet whenever he entangles a creature, and may shift the creature in the same direction as him 5 squares. Widen Spell: A specimen curate is never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, when a specimen curate makes a net throw or net attack, he may push any creatures in the occupied squares around the target, if they fail a Reflex save DC= 10 + 2x Mark bonus+4/size level the net is above them they are pushed and knocked prone, and also have a chance of becoming hit and entangled by the net ( attack made while target is prone prone), if they pass the save they are pushed and their AC increases by 5 for the net hit chance(deals 1/2 damage) if a target has evasion they may ignore half damage as normal, and improved evasion has it's normal effect. this ability may stack with enlarge spell, and will cause all occupied squares surrounding the creatures that he is targeting to be pushed and possibly knocked prone, this ability does not affect the initially targeted creature.

Quick refold: At 8th level a Specimen Curate gains the ability to quickly prepare for another net throw, allowing them to only take 1 round to fold a net rather than 2.

Greater Marks: At 10th a level Specimen Curate gains the ability to make Marks include Gender, Age, and Type. They become that good at following and catching specific specimens. The Specimen Curate also gains the ability to preform Put it down on creatures immune to critical hits.

Masterful Field Notes: At 20th level a Specimen Curate has written so much they have truly seen it all, they may spend a full action to switch a mark to any other possible mark, as long as that mark has not been used yet today, this does provoke an attack of opportunity as they page through their notebooks and mumble to themselves. Additionally at 20th level a Specimen Curate gains the ability to spend 2 hours of intense studying a day (the specimen curate cannot even walk, the study is that intense) to gain the ability to gain a new mark if they have already used a mark this day, this ability may be used any number of times in a day (though if the Curate is disturbed at any time he will have to start over).

Ex-Specimen Curates[edit]

A Specimen Curate who fails to capture a marked creature for 3 weeks becomes an Ex-Specimen Curate. Also, Whenever a Specimen Curate kills one of their Marked species for that day they become a shamed Specimen Curate (this does not count if the kill is caused by subdual damage, the Put it Down class feature or if the specimen curate deals damage to a marked species, or if another character kills a creature after it is captured), a shamed specimen curate cannot gain gold for new marked species, until they gain a formal acceptance of their apology and gain written permission from their museum to continue working. A shamed Specimen curate still can use their class features, and abilities, while an Ex-Specimen Curate cannot, there is no way to return to a specimen curates path (once you fall off the bandwagon, it's really hard to come back, the gift is gone).

Multiclass Restrictions[edit]

A Specimen Curate cannot take a multiclass (if a Curate does they lose all class abilities of a specimen curate) as the path of a curate requires constant dedication, readings and practice. However once a Specimen Curate reaches level 10, they can take a single class as a multiclass if they wish, once they reach level 20 they may multiclass normally (they are almost always abysmally low learners)

Human Specimen Curate Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Netx2

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Knowledge (nature) 4 Int "—"
Knowledge (marks) 4 Int "—"
Handle Animal 4 Cha "—"
Profession (taxidermist and Curator) 4 Wis "—"
Search 4 Int "—"
Spot 4 Wis "—"

Feat: Weapon focus (net)

Bonus Feats: Track

Gear: Bedroll, Caltrops x3, Block and Tackle, fishhook, Bullseye lantern,4 pints oil, Manacles (masterwork), 50ft Rope (hempen), 3 Field Notebooks (empty), Masterwork Tool (Taxidermy), explorer's outfit, Cart, Mule, flint and steel, inkpen, 2 oz. ink, Map case, 2 tanglefoot bags, Magnifying glass

Gold: 500 GP (average), leftover gold: 42.3 GP

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Specimen Curate[edit]

Religion: Religion among Specimen Curators has effect on what they may try to capture, but almost any religion will allow a curator. The only real exception is the god of nature, but this doesn't stop Curators from claiming him as their chief deity. In fact Specimen Curates really choose their own religions as the day goes on, and most bounce between gods who will benefit them at the time.

Other Classes: Most other classes have some level of dislike for a Specimen Curator in general, they often fail to contribute to the combat in a meaningful way, and often leave the party to go back to town with their marks. Though they do add significant gold to the parties coffers. Druids and Rangers significantly dislike the Curators as they are viewed as a bad example of their office to the public.

Combat: A Curator should focus on their marks, and only them, once their marks are captured, they should get out! they are not build to fight against really any enemy other than those they have studied very hard against.

Advancement: A Curate Cannot Multiclass due to their multiclass restrictions, though once they reach 10th level, they can take one class. Fighter gives a Curate some well needed

Specimen Curates in the World[edit]

Yes, I know it's poisionous, just cause you snagged it with a butterfly net doesn't mean I think it's harmless, though YOU did catch it so how bad can it be?
—Thomas Bivelgrig, Human Fighter (killed by a spidereater, much to the chagrin of his parties specimen curate)

The Specimen Curates are really just common citizens who want to live a life of adventure, or a cooped up museum official who dreams of wandering the world. These figures probably lacked the schooling to become a ranger, or the connections to become a druid. Although not adventurers, they very often join a group of adventurers, then try and become "one of the gang".

Daily Life: Every day the Specimen Curate observes the needs of museums around them, look for postings of specimens, and observe their personal collection, with a thought about what they can add. Often a good third of their day is spent in contemplation, similarly to a mage, though no nearly as productive.

Notables: not many notable Specimen Curates exist, but those that are, are only famous to other Curates, others just know them as the more vocal members of this class.

Organizations: Curates form small guilds based around each museum, and usually engage in friendly collection competitions, duels of knowledge, as well as banter over the benefits of their own personal field notes.

NPC Reactions: Most will be confused, officials who collect will be more than happy to share their needs with a Curate, and slightly less happy to pay their rates.

Specimen Curate Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nature) can research Specimen Curators to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs. Using Knowledge (nature) the character takes a -5 to the test, curators are very rarely named in natural knowledge.

Knowledge (nature) -5
DC Result
5 Specimen Curators are private Contractors for museums, finding specimens for the private collector.
10 Specimen Curators are regarded very negatively by druids, as they disrupt natural orders with their collecting.
15 Specimen Curators posses large levels of knowledge against a small number of foes that far surpasses any other walk of life.
20 Museums are placing large bounties on monsters of larger scope, in an effort to get more adventurers to send in specimens, the only result has been more dead Specimen Curators.

Specimen Curators in the Game[edit]

The Specimen Curate is really for a player who wants to try something a little more difficult, or more novel. Gm's should really think about how much they want the party to have one.

Adaptation: none

Sample Encounter: Placing a single Specimen Curator in a party, informing the party of their marks and watch them hunt it out, this can be more fun if the Curator is very bad at his job.

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