Harriers are scouts, rangers, and bushwhackers who rely on speed and agility to overcome their enemies. A harrier is at her best when she is on the move. Unlike other warriors, who might stand in place to use full-attack actions, the harrier fights best when she dodges between opponents, slips into their ranks, and delivers attacks from multiple angles as she speeds by. She is the fastest warrior on the field and, while her attacks may lack the crushing force of a berserker’s axe, she slips beyond a foe’s grasp before he can counter-attack.
Harriers overcome their opponents by never giving them a chance to strike. They slip in, deliver attacks, and speed away from harm.
Dexterity is critical to a harrier. Harriers rely on a variety of skills such as Tumble and Balance to evade attack, and to make use of these skills, they disdain heavy armor that might protect them from attacks. A good Strength score also helps a harrier, as it gives their attacks extra power.
Harriers gain access to the Agility and Athletics skill groups. In addition, they commonly train in skills such as Hide and Move Silently to aid them in setting up ambushes. Many harriers wander the wilderness, as they feel most comfortable in open terrain. Thus, they often carry ranks in Ride, Survival, and similar skills.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (8 + Intelligence modifier) × 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Intelligence modifier
Hit Die: 1d4+4 + Constitution
Harriers gain access to fewer feats than other character classes, as they tend to focus on the special abilities covered below. They have a talent for Finesse fighting and Defense and enjoy some ability with Projectile attacks. Otherwise, they tend to dabble in a variety of areas.
Harriers rely on mobility and maneuverability to overcome their enemies. They can move faster and slip past even the toughest defenses. In combat, they tend to swarm around a foe, landing attacks from a variety of angles as they move before retreating to safety.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Harriers
learn to use a variety of weapons, from longbows to harass enemies at a distance to light scimitars that can cut them down at close range. They enjoy proficiency with all simple weapons and with all martial weapons that are either finesse or projectile arms. They also gain proficiency with light armor.
Combat Speed: You gain the bonus to your speed listed in the Harrier Class Features and Mastery table while in combat. It does not apply while traveling long distances but functions only during combat and similar situations where tactical movement matters. You cannot maintain this speed for more than 10 consecutive minutes, and you must move at your normal speed or slower for double the amount of time you used this ability.
You lose this bonus speed if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Combat Mobility: Harriers excel at avoiding blows in combat. Whenever you provoke an attack of opportunity due to movement, you gain a +4 bonus to defense. This bonus applies only against the attack of opportunity. In addition, you can move at normal speed while using the Tumble skill without penalty and you gain double your Dexterity bonus to Tumble checks.
You cannot use combat mobility if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Mobile Assault: The 3rd-level and higher harrier fights best while on the move. Your enemies have trouble defending themselves as you come at them from an unexpected angle or with the added momentum of your movement. When you use a move action to move and then a standard action to attack, you gain a bonus to your attack equal to the number of squares you moved. This bonus lasts until the start of your next action.
Note that your mobile assault bonus equals the number of squares you actually move, not the amount of movement you spend. For example, if you move across two squares of difficult terrain, you would spend four squares of movement and gain a +2 bonus on your attack.
You gain the bonus only for unique squares that you enter. The maximum bonus you can gain from this ability equals your harrier level. You cannot gain the benefits of any Power feats when you use mobile assault.
You cannot use this ability if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Mobile Defense: Starting at 5th level, you spin, dodge, and maneuver to avoid attacks as you move. When you use a move or a standard action to move, you gain an active bonus to defense equal to half the number of squares you moved. This bonus lasts until the start of your next action. You gain the bonus regardless of your movement mode, but you must use a move action or a standard action to gain it.
You gain the bonus only for unique squares that you enter.
As with mobile assault, your bonus equals the number of squares you physically move, not the amount of movement you spend. If you climb three squares up a wall, spending six squares of movement to do so, you gain a +1 bonus to defense.
You cannot use mobile defense if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Whirling Attack: Beginning at 7th level, when you pounce upon an enemy, you twist, turn, and maneuver around him to confound his defenses. When you use the Tumble skill to move through an opponent’s threatened area without provoking an attack of opportunity as part of a move action, and then attack him with your standard action, you gain a +2 bonus to your attack and deal +1d6 points of damage.
Running Assault: The 8th-level and higher harrier can move and attack as a single action. As a full-round action, you can move your normal speed. At any point during this movement, you can use a standard action to attack. You can move both before and after this attack. You gain the benefits of abilities such as mobile assault based on the squares you moved before your attack.
You cannot attempt a running assault if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Rapid Assault: Starting at 9th level, when you use a standard action to attack, you gain an additional attack in return for attacking with a penalty. You make your second attack at your best base attack bonus, but those attacks, and all other attacks you attempt until your next action, suffer a –4 penalty. In addition, you must carry a light or a finesse weapon to use this ability.
You cannot attempt a rapid assault if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Superior Mobility: Beginning at 11th level, you enjoy a +6 active bonus to defense when you provoke an attack of opportunity due to moving. This bonus counts only against attacks of opportunity.
In addition, you can move at full speed when using the Climb and Balance skills without penalty. You cannot use superior mobility if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Steel Dancer: Against lumbering creatures, harriers of 12th level and higher can take advantage of clumsy attacks. If an opponent attacks you with a weapon one size category larger than your own size, you can dash over him just as his attack is about to fall upon you. You might also tumble beneath him or dodge his weapon, allowing it to dig into the ground, then run up the haft to attack.
To use this ability, you must move through the threatened area of an opponent with an appropriately sized weapon. When he attempts an attack of opportunity against you, make your Tumble check as normal. If you beat your opponent by 5 points or more, he is denied his active defense against your next attack (as well as not getting an attack of opportunity by failing to beat your Tumble check).
Cross Attack Maneuver: Harriers of 13th level or higher who succeed by 5 points or more in a Tumble check to avoid an attack of opportunity can lure an opponent into striking at a different target. You can force your foe to resolve his attack against any target that both you and he threaten from your current square. You can use this ability once per round.
Swooping Assault: Starting at 15th level, when you maneuver on the field of battle, you can build up the momentum to crash into a foe with increased force. When you use an action to move before attacking, you gain a bonus to damage equal to the number of squares you just moved. However, this bonus replaces your Strength bonus to damage. You do not multiply it by 1.5 if you wield a two-handed weapon.
You gain the swooping assault bonus only if you use an action to move, then a second action o attack. As with mobile defense and mobile assault, the bonus equals the number of squares you physically move.
You cannot attempt a swooping assault if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Superior Running Assault: From 17th level forward, you can use your running assault ability to spread your attacks over several spaces. As a full-round action, you can use a full attack action while moving your full speed. If you gain multiple attacks, such as through the rapid assault ability, you can resolve each attack at different times along your movement. For instance, you can move two squares, attack, move three more squares, and attack again. Normally you would have to resolve both attacks together.
If you enjoy any benefits to your attacks based on the distance you moved, your bonus derives from the movement you took up until the current attack.
You cannot make a superior running assault if you wear anything heavier than light armor or if you carry enough equipment to reduce your speed.
Tumbling Assault: Starting at 19th level, you can slip past an opponent’s defenses, moving with such speed that he unknowingly leaves himself open to a deadly attack. When you Tumble through an area occupied by a foe without provoking an attack of opportunity, you enjoy multiple benefits: You gain a +4 bonus to attacks and a +2d6 bonus to damage against the foe whose space you moved through. This benefit applies to an attack you make immediately after using an action to move through your foe’s space. (Normally, you must use a move action to tumble, and then a standard action to attack.)
Superior Rapid Assault: At 20th level, when you make a rapid assault, you may take two bonus attacks in return for a –6 penalty to all three attacks, as well as on all subsequent attacks you attempt until your next action.
PLAYING A HARRIER
The harrier is speed personified, making members of this class ideal scouts, skirmishers, and raiders. They strike fast and hit hard. Against their foes, harriers are best served by swooping in for repeated strikes, neutralizing their enemies’ fighting talents by dancing beyond sword reach after each strike.
Compared to the other classes, the harrier’s fighting style is one of the most likely to arise from a specialized set of cultural or training conditions. Some harriers might simply be barbarian warriors who have hardened themselves to days and nights of endless running. Their rigorous training forges their legs into iron pistons, allowing them to move with unmatched speed and agility.
As should be obvious from the rules described above, harriers must keep moving to maximize their class abilities. It is imperative that you put ranks into Tumble so you can avoid your opponents’ attacks of opportunity. If you cannot move, you become far less effective as a fighter.
Seek out areas that are relatively open and focus on keeping clear avenues for movement. If you allow an opponent to corner you, you either cannot move or you have to waste movement tumbling through a foe’s space. You must pay close attention to the terrain, particularly anything that can block your progress.
Don’t write off the benefits of using Balance and Climb to move at your normal movement rate. If you are cornered or need to escape a tight situation, you can scramble up a wall or move across a rope or similar narrow path.