Excellent, thank you for the thorough reply; it is sincerely appreciated (and a LOT at that).
Before I respond to stuff, I just want to clarify; the Hunter is not meant to emulate a camouflaged huntsman in the wild, utilizing nature skills and makeshift spears, or anything like that. The Hunter is more akin to a focused killer (might Seeker be a better name, to pull it away from the Scout-like connotations?) or nullifier. Not sure how much that was influencing your notes, but it was a point i remember telling myself to make when i first read over your response yesterday. Anyway, onto the stuff.
Hunter needs blend. Sadly, dropping Crafting for that is the best fit.
We had a hell of a time with the skill list, as we thought of far more than 10 relevant skills, but I'm trying to justify blend as a staple skill for every Hunter. When I think of a stereotypical Big Game Hunter (complete with tea and monocle) or Van Helsing, or a Ghost Buster, I just can't see blend as a skill. That said, Crafting feels pretty core to the class, given its (intended) focus on gear feats, and using a lot of tools and items to accomplish your goals.
But again, I'm open to commentary/explanation, 'cause if you see a better niche for this that steps on less toes, once I'm pointed in that direction I'd probably be more inclined to accepting it.
Blend is appearing like you belong or are part of the environment. That's why camouflage helps Blend and not Sneak. Blend is kinda a budget Disguise, in a sense. Big Game Hunter? He's got Blend. Van Helsing? He's got Blend when he's trailing a Vamp or whatnot that walks among the crowded gas-lit streets. Ghostbuster? Maybe they don't have Blend when they're packin' proton accelerator packs, but the rest of the time they might well be rockin' it. A classic bounty hunter definitely has it, as does an Iosian mage hunter.
2 types per bounty category? Woah. I'd make the list more like this:
Any 2 faiths (by Alignment Interest)
Any 2 nations (by possessing the appropriate Native Culture Study)
Beasts (Beast type)
Criminals (by having possessing any appropriate Interests, such as Study: Pickpocketing, or Language: Thieves Cant)
Fauna (Animal type)
Fey (Fey type)
Flora (Ooze or Plant type)
Folk (Folk type)
Planar Threats (Horror or Outsider type)
Spellcasters (Caster Level of 1+)
The Created (Construct or Elemental type)
The Restless (Spirit or Undead Type)
The only types that double up are those that are fairly rare in most campaigns. If both types in a double are common in the campaign, they'll need to be broken up too.
Got it. Works well for me, with my only question being; is it TOO powerful to let them get Bounty advantages against all folk at once? the Pick 2 Races was to prevent a character from just picking folk and pretty much getting stuff against criminals/infidels AND MORE.
Actually, I just noticed you also put any 2 nations in there, so I think between criminals, infidels, and chosen nations, all the satisfying/important bounties related to folk have been covered. I think 'Folk' as a bounty can just be cut entirely. Your thoughts?
I'm not sure. Can someone else chime in with their thoughts?
The Rep reward is a little high to me, I'd change it as follows:
You gain 1 Reputation at the end of an adventure in which you defeat a mob of standard characters of your bounty, and another 1 Reputation for each special character of that bounty you defeat. Also, once per session you may reroll a single failed skill check or saving throw targeting or prompted by a character of your bounty.
The bounty breadth and Rep reward would grow as part of a class ability chain, using the Ceven slot, like this:
At Level 5, you may choose an additional bounty for a total of 2. You may earn the Reputation award for defeating a standard mob up to twice per adventure.
At Level 9, you may choose an additional bounty for a total of 3. You may earn the Reputation award for defeating a standard mob up to three times per adventure.
At Level 13, you may choose an additional bounty for a total of 4. You may earn the Reputation award for defeating a standard mob up to four times per adventure.
At Level 17, you may choose an additional bounty for a total of 5. You may earn the Reputation award for defeating a standard mob up to five times per adventure.
I'm down with the reduction to Reputation gain from Bounty Hunter, but i'm very
hesitant about the additional steps. I think increasing the amout of Rep it can net you could escalate at higher levels into effectively rep-grinding hordes of standards just to reach the cap and make the Hunter feel like they're making the most of their class feature, rather than providing a nice, tangible bonus for taking down what you're entirely designed to take down.
And allowing the Hunter to choose extra bounties really feels iffy, because I think the Hunter actually becomes more homogenized and uninteresting both as a class and as a character in the narrative if their specialty area eventually broadens to "everything relevant". That said, I could see "pick an additional bounty" as a potential Lead, since a single extra bounty is not very broad, and it's just a side option for the characters that want it.
I don't see it as grinding for Rep, I see it as getting rewarded for something you were already doing. At low levels, you get rep for telling others about fighting off a flight of wyverns, but people tend to tune you out as you go on to mention the owlbears and the pack of wolves - so only 1 rep. At level 9,having those three encounters form a thrilling narrative that is the toast of the naturalists' lecture circuit - bam! 3 rep.
As for picking additional bounties I'll quote Morgenstern:
Continuing my read through FFG's Way of the Sword, the second prestige class is a monk based undead-hunter. Ok, I can get behind that. Unlike many folks, I actually think a well crafted, "focused monster hunter" class has a place in game design. By 'well crafted' I mean deconstructing the single-foe frenzy into the tools that will let you take on that foe, but also be valuable in other related situations. For example, a Drow-killer class that gains dark vision and high magic resistance will do well against Drow but has a place in many encounters that don't include the dark elves.
So, a zeroed in on one type hunter is kinda anti-FC. With a bounty progression, as you go up in level, you get more capable of expanding your techniques to other bounties. That's how I view that.
That's broke. Here's how: kicks in at 3, dips for 5, has two categories. The Assassin's Blade Practice is the max of how generous the "gain temp feats" ability should get.
Also, you get crazy with splitting ability chains here - Either Ceven and Codd or Deven and Dodd. But both is too much. I split the C chain between building the Bounty Hunter ability and Bonus feat.
Bonus Feat: At Levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19, you gain 1 additional Melee Combat or Terrain feat.
The explanation is much appreciated. Upon some consideration, this works fine, though I'd like to change the feat trees accessed to Gear and Basic Combat. I'm pretty adamant about keeping gear a central focus of this class, since I think it's underrepresented in the base classes to start (unless there is a reason for that I'm unaware of), and it really does fit the central idea of a character suited from teeth-to-toe in equipment ready to handle any situation that an X specifically would throw at them. As far as basic combat goes, I see the hunter less of a master of specific weapon stlyes, but more of a knowledgable, talented, or capable dabbler in the general act of fighting. Certainly not a master on par with the Soldier or Lancer, but capable of putting Armor to good use, or being Evasive as hell when the bounty gets ticked off, or drawing that clutch, enchanted fire-shiv at the last moment and Snake Strike-ing the looming Vine Thrasher creature.
Also, I think avoiding terrain feats helps to establish a broader distinction between the Hunter and the Scout.
There's a reason that the Gear tree is underrepresented in the base classes - it only has 8 feats (out of 24) that don't have to do with making stuff, and only 3 of those are really about your gear (Favored, Signature and Trademark Gear). Terrain has 16 feats most of which are applicable to someone who trails, hunts, or ambushes. And the fact that Terrain feats are the go to feat tree for this class is the reason I said It steps all over the Scout. That's just the way that works.
Not bad, but the D split fragments the class theme too much. And too much iteration breaks the ability itself.
Moved this to the D slot.
Of Books and Blades: At Levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, you may choose to gain 1 additional interest and proficiency, or 2 of either.
Keeping the D unfragmented, going with your Books and Blades. Works well for me.
for the Ceven
, I'd like to keep Renown in for the class, so i'll just steal directly from the Courtier this time with a minor coat of paint. Went with military renown because I figured there's already a choice present, and Heroic Renown gets enough spotlight from the existing classes.Reaping the Rewards:
At Levels 5, 9, 13, and 17, you gain 1 Lifestyle or your Military Renown increases by 1.
Don't let the fact that Heroic is used a lot in other classes artificially push you away from using it here. Each type of renown has a different set of baggage with it.
Cool little variant, but I dropped it from my revision to fit in some additions. A few of these were due to modifications to the class chart (dropping down the Lifestyle and Legend).
Legendary Hunter: Your Legend rises by 2.
There, now people know you.
Life of Leisure: Your lifestyle rises by 2.
There, now you can be dilettante rich.
Predator: You gain 1 Heroic or Military Renown.
There it's added back in and can't break anything.
Sneak Attack: You gain an additional die of sneak attack damage.
You're a hunter. Duh.
Legendary Hunter's fine.
I think Life of Leisure and Predator can both go with the advent of Reaping the Rewards (though I'm curious as to what you meant when you said Predator was broken; Assassin already has a full D-slot progression of Renown, AND gets a little bonus on top of that. I guess there's just something I'm missing?).
Unspoken Name only grants heroic and a single skill situational modifier. I think granting a choice of two 5 times is better than that. It might not be.
Sneak Attack, I don't see as necessary, especially since it pushes this class closer to the Scout's side of the field, and I'd much rather have Number One Customer before it. But if there's still room for SA even after adding NOC, then I think Sneak Attack's not bad to have on the list. Not necessary, but it works.
Ok, what does NOC really do to fit the class? It's nice and clever, but when you hear it, why do you thing "Hunter needs that!"?
Also, add in this
Twin Trails: You may pick one additional bounty.
Twin Trails does that job, and if the additional bounties get drop it's needed. In fact it's needed to says something like:Twin Trails
: You may pick one additional bounty. You may take this choice multiple times, choosing a different bounty each time.
Neat idea, but it doesn't really weaken them (in a spiritual sense, at least). My mod:
My Only Weakness!: Your sources have whispered to you the secrets of defeat for your chosen bounty. Once per adventure, at Level 8, you may produce and hold aloft an object that serves to ward, repel, or weaken a character of one of your bounties in its presence as a full-round action. So long as the repellant object remains within Close Quarters of the specified character, their Error ranges with Skill Attack checks vs you and your allies in increased by an amount equal to your starting action dice, and if you possess any studies relevant to the character then all their attributes are further reduced by one. An object produced in this way is lost at the end of the scene.
At level 20, these impairments increase the Error range by an additional 2 and reduce attributes by an additional 2 (total of -3).
This looks good to me, though just to be clear; when you say that the error ranges with Skill Attack checks increase, do you mean Skill checks made as part of Attack Actions (like Bull Rush, Trip, etc.) or were you saying Attacks and Skill checks, and something got lost in the formatting? Either way, I think it works well to fit the "Hold the cross/garlic/holy water in front of the vampire, or encircle the spirit with a ring of salt" trope. And I'm glad you kept the mechanics tied to the produced item itself, as well, because I think that allows for interesting scenarios where the Hunter may try and bargain with or coerce a subdued character, using the item not just as mechanical aid, but narratively as leverage.
Whoops, you got me. It should be Error ranges with Skill and Attack checks vs you and your allies...
All in all, I'm really impressed (but not surprised) you managed to make something interesting and appealing out of my clusterfuck gamebreaker. The highest-quality of kudos to you, Jim!
Thanks, but all I did was clean up after you and think about what the resources of a hunter's guild might really be useful in "adventurer" terms. As to the Panache problem, a say we leave it alone (You may stay, fellow guildsman, but I only have room for 2 of your friends.) I mean if your heading to the game breaker, you should have plenty of time to get ready to use it.
Having said all that, I think an Expert Class
might be the way to go.
Man, more than anything, this makes me feel really guilty disputing or contesting any of your changes. You put in some major effort, and I really appreciate that. I'm still stubbornly stuck on the idea of this as a base class to broaden the current repertoire and add a solid lead-in for Monster Slayer and (to a degree) Inquisitor, as well as homebrew classes like the Bounty Hunter, the Opportunist, and any/all anti-Mage classes developed (I can't recall if there are any on the class compendium thread, but i'm sure i'm not the first to think of that.)
It's not that hard, really - I made a template. By the time I plugged it in, the hard work had already been done.
After going through this stuff again, I'm thinking that a lot of the confusion/differing views may be because (the second time I've done this) the name choice wasn't ideal. I think Hunter may be a little too evocative of a wilderness survivor who tracks an animalistic prey to topple with bola and spears, then devours the carcass of his unlucky kill.
Do you think changing the name to the previously-proposed "Seeker" might help to keep this class a little more distant from other base classes? Do you think it conveys the idea of "focused creature/character chaser, who acquires and uses knowledge to find, disable, and (optionally) destroy those of a given designation; typically by using a decent pool of resources and skills at their disposal to accomplish these ends" any better or worse?
Actually, the whole time I was writing up my version of stuff, I was thinking Bounty Hunter. Big Game Hunter was down the list past that and Guerrilla Fighter, and Zealot. In fact my five examples would be:
A bounty hunter tracking down criminals for personal satisfaction and, of course, cold hard gold
A hardened guerrilla fighter taking back his home from a usurper from a neighboring kingdom
A member of a secret religious order who hunts the followers of his god's ancient enemy
A classic big game hunter, ever watchful for his next big trophy for his lodge
A member of the secret police that uncover and arrest clandestine purveyors of illegal magiks
I wasn't really thinking of a trapper or game hunter at all. I had to go back and make sure that "real" hunters could still work with this class.
And then ultimately, do you still think that concept is unnecessary alongside the existing base classes, or would simply be better as an Expert Class?
That's the way I lean. But hopefully some others will weight in here and we'll both get some differing views.