Hunters are tough, independent warriors who use their strong grasp of tactics and clever stratagems to defeat their enemies. Many hunters wander the wilderness alone. When outnumbered or facing a single powerful beast, they make the most of the terrain and their talents to survive.
While hunters often work alone, they also make excellent leaders. A hunter may lack the social graces and winning smile of a thief, but he has the knowledge and battle lore to help others work together as a team. A hunter’s timely advice can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Wisdom and Intelligence are both important to a hunter. Intelligence helps him formulate good plans, while Wisdom is the key to anticipating an enemy’s moves and countering them with a good plan. Of all the warriors in Iron Heroes, the hunter is the smartest, savviest, and most cunning.
Leveling the Class
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Intelligence modifier) × 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier
Hit Die: 1d4+4 + Constitution
Hunters excel at using their mind to overcome their enemies. They are the only class with advanced access to the Tactics feat category, and their mastery of Lore feats lets them create poisons or defeat specific creature types that they have studied. Hunters also can select one category of weapon feat that matches their preferred fighting style: either Power, Finesse, or Projectile. They gain a mastery progression in their chosen area as shown in the Hunter Class Features and Mastery table.
Hunters are the ultimate tacticians. They excel at turning difficult situations into an advantage. During a battle, they are at their best when they coordinate their allies’ actions and use their knowledge to defeat their enemies. A hunter may lack a barbarian’s strength and an executioner’s deadly attacks, but he always seems to know when and where to strike.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Hunters focus on light weapons and armor. They prefer mobility to heavy protection and versatile weapons to massive axes and maces. Hunters gain proficiency with all simple and martial weapons and light armor.
Tactical Pool: Like many other classes, hunters build up a pool of tokens they can use to power special abilities. However, a hunter’s tokens work slightly differently than those of other classes.
Hunters have two main talents: They can use the terrain to their advantage, and they can help the party fight together as an effective team. The hunter’s tactical tokens allow him to accomplish these goals.
You earn a pool of tactical tokens at the beginning of an encounter based on your hunter class level, as shown on the table, above and to the right. This represents the accumulation of hunter’s lore you have gained through experience and can bring to bear on the battle at hand.
You may use tactical tokens against any opponent to power class abilities, as described below. At the end of the encounter, you lose any remaining tokens you have built up. Your pool of unspent tactical tokens cannot exceed 10 + your hunter level.
|Hunter Level||Starting Tokens|
Hunter’s Eye: In addition to the tokens gained at the start of an encounter, hunters earn additional tactical tokens by studying the battlefield (see table below). Studying the battlefield is either a move action or a standard action, your choice.
|Action Spent||Tokens Gained|
Terrain Advantage: A smart hunter uses the terrain to his advantage. During a battle, he sees where he should position himself to fire upon an enemy or spots a good place to take cover.
When you gain a cover bonus to defense due to terrain, you can spend 1 tactical token to increase that bonus by +1. You cannot increase the cover bonus to more than double its initial value. Any allies who gain a cover bonus from the same terrain feature also enjoy this benefit if you use a free action to advise them. For example, you might tell your allies to duck to the left or lean right to avoid enemy arrows.
If an opponent takes cover, you can reduce the defense bonus she gains from it by 1 point for each token spent. This reduction applies only to your attacks, unless you extend it to your allies by using a free action to tell them where or how to attack an enemy with cover.
When you enter a difficult square (see “Difficult Terrain” Combat), you can spend 1 token as a free action to treat that square as normal terrain for movement purposes—in effect, you locate a clear path. The terrain still retains all its other features. For example, if you step into a pool of boiling water, you still suffer damage. If you use a free action to tell your allies about the clear path you found, they can treat the exact path you took as normal terrain as well.
The token-granted benefits last until the start of your next action; by that time, your opponents might fire from different angles, or a target under cover may shift to account for your tactics.
Tactical Insight: Starting at 3rd level, hunters can provide their allies with insightful counsel that helps them perform better in combat. They might advise an archer as to an opponent’s weak points or speak carefully chosen words to fire a berserker’s rage.
As a free action at any time during a round, you can give tactical tokens to an ally within 30 feet of you. These tokens become a type of the ally’s choice, and she may spend them on any abilities she possesses that require tokens. She cannot violate the cap on unspent tokens. These tokens disappear at the end of the encounter.
When you use tactical insight, your ally gains 1 token for every 2 tokens you spend on it. You may make this free action at any time during a round, as long as you are neither flat footed nor incapacitated (paralyzed, asleep, etc.).
Assess Opponent: Beginning at 4th level, a hunter can use his keen senses to quickly
determine the tendencies, tactics, and abilities of a monster he faces and to gain a key
You study an opponent’s demeanor, movements, and fighting style to create an appropriate counter. For every tactical token you spend against a foe, you gain a +1 active bonus to defense against her attacks and a +1 bonus to attacks against her, but the total bonus you gain cannot be greater than half your hunter level. These benefits last until the end of the encounter. The maximum total bonus you can gain equals half your class level. Assessing an opponent is a standard action. You can assess a single foe multiple times, increasing your total bonus each time. If you attempt to assess an additional foe, you lose your benefits against the first one.
Woodsman’s Senses: The 5th level and higher hunter is well attuned to his environment. Little escapes his notice, from a minor detail in the pattern of a tapestry to the assassin lying in wait behind it.
Each round as a free action, you may make Spot and Listen checks as a free action to notice hidden enemies and other details detectable with those skills. Outside of combat, you always gain the benefits of taking 10 with Listen and Spot, even if you do not explicitly attempt to use those skills. For example, if an executioner hides in a nearby alley, you take 10 on a Spot check to see her, even if you do not explicitly look down the alley in search of an opponent.
Fortuitous Insight: From 7th level on, the hunter’s keen mind, sharp senses, and combat experience shows him advantages on the battlefield that others would ignore. For instance, when an ally attempts to trip an opponent, the hunter might notice a root sticking out of the ground. A quick word of advice from the hunter allows the ally to take advantage of that otherwise minor aspect of the terrain.
You can spend 1 tactical token to grant yourself or an ally a +1 circumstance bonus to an attack, skill check, saving throw, or ability check. You can spend a maximum number of tokens at one time equal to half your class level. You can use fortuitous insight once per round as a free action on your turn or an ally’s turn. For an ally to receive the bonus, you must be able to see and speak to her.
Outside of combat, your fortuitous insight grants your allies a +2 competence bonus to all Strength-, Dexterity-, and Wisdom-based ability checks as long as:
- they stay within 60 feet of you;
- you can see them; and
- they can hear you offer advice to help them with their tasks.
In the chaos of combat, you cannot be so free with guidance while maintaining your wits. This use of fortuitous insight carries no token cost.
Improved Terrain Advantage: Starting at 9th level, a hunter can use his terrain advantage ability to increase or reduce the defense bonus provided by cover by 2 points for each token spent, rather than just 1 point. In addition, the hunter can increase the bonus provided by cover to up to triple its base value.
Wolf Pack Tactics: Beginning at 10th level, hunters cultivate an excellent sense for striking at just the right time.
While fighting alongside your allies, you can time an attack to take advantage of the momentary distractions they create. Once per round, if a foe you threaten suffers damage from any source, you can make an attack of opportunity against him. Using wolf pack tactics carries no token cost.
Improvised Attack: Drawing on his experience, keen senses, and knack for turning mundane conditions into tactical advantages, the 11th level and higher hunter uses the terrain to confound and injure opponents.
As a full-round action, you can use an attack action that normally targets one creature against multiple opponents. You must spend 2 tokens for each target, and you also need some logical way to exploit the terrain to your desired end. You might pull on a rug to send two ruffians sprawling to the ground (a trip attack) or knock a sturdy branch from a tree to smash into the goblins beneath it.
You can trip opponents or damage them as normal in this way. For each token you spend on the improvised attack beyond the ones required to target foes, you gain an additional +1 bonus to attack rolls, checks, and damage made as part of the attack.
Some examples of improvised attacks include shooting loose stones from a wall, throwing a cask of cooking oil at an area to slip up your foes, and so forth.
You can use melee or ranged weapons to damage a group of enemies, but you can only trip the ones you threaten in melee.
Woodsman’s Reflexes: From 13th level forward, hunters have an intuitive sense for trouble, one that keeps them from stumbling into danger.
During a surprise round, you may use the result of your Spot or Listen check in place of your initiative, provided that you are not surprised. On later rounds, use your normal initiative result.
Improved Tactical Insight: Starting at 15th level, hunters can use their tactical insight ability to grant an ally 1 token for each tactical token spent. In addition, the hunter may grant an ally more tokens than she normally can have unspent until the end of her next action. At that time, she loses any tokens above her maximum.
Brilliant Tactician: Beginning at 17th level, the hunter’s grasp of small-unit tactics and his uncanny ability to read and react to a situation allow him to organize his allies quickly into an effective fighting force.
At the start of your action, you earn a bonus token that you can either keep as a tactical token or grant to a single ally within 30 feet. The token becomes a type of the ally’s choice.
Swarm Tactics: From 19th level forward, a hunter can lead his allies in a swarm attack against a chosen foe.
For each tactical token you spend as a free action, you grant all your allies a +2 bonus to attacks against a single target that you threaten. You must select this target when you use this ability, which you can do only once per round. The total bonus you grant cannot exceed your class level. If for any reason you no longer threaten the target, your allies no longer enjoy this bonus. The bonus lasts until the start of your next action.
Supreme Terrain Advantage: The 20th-level hunter’s superior sense of terrain and uncanny ability to use it to his advantage helps him lure enemies into difficult situations.
By spending 4 tactical tokens, you gain one of the following advantages:
- An enemy who charges you must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + half your hunter level + your Wisdom modifier) or fall prone in a square of your choice along the path of her charge. You have positioned yourself so that an opponent must move across an area of dicey foothold. Even if the ground is clear, your position requires the foe to move across a barely noticeable pothole, an exposed root, or similar hazard.
- An ally gains an immediate attack of opportunity against an opponent of your choice who currently acts. You can use this ability at any time during an opponent’s action.
- You immediately cancel an attack of opportunity against an ally. One foe of your choice loses the chance to use such an attack against one ally within 30 feet of you. (His attack of opportunity does not count as used for that round, however.)
You can use your supreme terrain advantage once per round.
ROLEPLAYING A HUNTER
The hunter might seem like the class most likely to thrive at the edge of civilization, but his talents allow him to adapt to almost any environment. In an urban setting, the hunter tracks down lawbreakers, navigates the criminal underworld, and stalks the streets and alleys. Hunters serve as guides into almost any sort of terrain, from deep jungles to the areas of town that even the city guard are loath to enter. Their ability to lead, and their talent for combining lore with combat proficiency, make them ideal leaders or independent scouts.
While hunters resemble the other warrior classes in many ways, their emphasis on mind over brawn makes them worthy of separate consideration.
As a hunter, you are the group’s expert tactician. Many of your class abilities have a 30- foot range, making it important that you stay near the middle of the group and maintain line of sight to your friends. That way, your allies have the best chance to benefit from your counsel.
Terrain of any sort is your friend. Seek out every opportunity to take cover against your enemies. You can either use your abilities to reduce your target’s benefit from the cover or render yourself nearly untouchable by making the most of it. Always keep your abilities in mind, and try to maximize your benefits. Since you start each encounter with a pool of tokens, spend them freely. At low levels, you can use a move action to earn more tokens and a standard action to attack or move. At higher levels, you start with enough tokens that you can spend them throughout the battle.
The hunter is perhaps the most difficult class to play in Iron Heroes. As a leader, you sometimes must put the needs of others ahead of your own.