The Thrill of the Hunt

Playing the Hunter Class

Hunter illustration by DM Bill

Hunter illustration by DM Bill

There are many classes in the player’s handbook that represents a good majority of different adventuring stereotypes, however there are others not presented. Normally for these other ways of life we just take the pre-existing classes and bend them or accommodate them to fit that particular niche, which is fine in most games but then again with that thought we wouldn’t have the paladin, ranger, assassin, or even the druid. All of those optional classes can technically be roleplayed with the four main classes. It is with that reason that I present to you a new class known as The Hunter…. So let the hunt begin!

The Definition of a Hunter

The definition of a hunter is simple it is entirely presumed that a hunter is simply someone that hunts or seeks out prey like a predator, while this may be true for most it certainly doesn’t amount to a whole lot from an epic roleplaying standpoint. The statistics of the hunter presented here represents an individual with a greater need and desire to hunt equally dangerous beasts, to do so with style, fervor, and to do so to aid him and other party members in primordial survival, sport and as a general measure of achievement. Visually the hunter (of this class, not just someone who hunts) whether male or female appears battle hardened, overly prepared, alert, cautious, yet surpirisingly well educated. Of course you often wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at him or her since he or she is often decorated to the hilt with animal hides, or animal hide armor, weapons that may be created with monster pieces, and numerous reminders of who or what trophies they have. One may quickly assume that the hunter is a barbarian, druid, or gruff ranger but they’d be wrong especially if they were brought into the forest to find out the hard way that they were the hunters prey all along.

PC Class Statistics:

Class of Character

Hunter

Ability Score Requirements

Str. 13, Int. 12, Con. 12. If those scores are 15 or above he/she recieves a 10% bonus to experience earned.

Races allowed and their level limits

Human (U), Half-Elf (17), Elf (U), Half-Orc (9), Halfling (10)

Hitdie Type

D10

Maximum Number of Hitdice

9

Spell Ability

No

Class Level Limit

None

Armor Allowed
Leather, Studded leather, Ring mail, or Scale mail. These armors represent a blend of light, yet protective enough to warrant actually using them. Additionally Hide armor can be made from chosen preys skins, carapace, shells, bones, armor cxeated this way functions as scale mail for all intensive purposes.

Sbields Allowed
Hardened Hide (functions as wooden). Chosen prey only (see below).

Weapons Allowed
Battle Axe, Hand/Throwing Axe, Club, Dagger, Dart, Javelin, Partisan, Spear, Scimitar, Tulwar, Sabre, Short Sword (Machete, Bolo Knife, or Kukri), Sling (used for small game), Bow (any), Crossbow (any). These represent hunting weapons with multi-purposes which can also be useful to survival.

Oil
Yes

Poison
Yes, but only poisons that don’t harm meat

HUNTERS TABLE

EXPERIENCE POINTS/ EXPERIENCE LEVEL/ D10 FOR HP ACCUMULATION/ LEVEL TITLE
0-2,300                                        1                                                               1                           Initiate Huntsman
2,301-4,550                               2                                                               2                           Journeyman Huntsman
4,551-10,050                            3                                                                3                           Huntsman
10,051-20,050                         4                                                                4                           Experienced Huntsman
20,051-40,050                         5                                                                5                          Veteran Huntsman
40,051-90,050                         6                                                                6                           Hunter
90,051-150,050                      7                                                                7                            Adept Hunter
150,051-225,050                    8                                                                8                            Accomplished Hunter
225,051-325,050                    9                                                                9                            Grand Hunter
325,051-650,050                   10                                                              9+3                      Great Hunter
650,051-975,050                   11                                                              9+6                       Master Hunter
975,051-1,300,050               12                                                              9+9                       Hunter Lord

300,000 experience points needed for each additional level above 12th.

Hunters gain 3 h.p. For each level beyond the 9th.

Attacks per round

Equal to a Ranger for advancement.

Weapon Proficiency Table

The hunter follows the same advancement as a fighter for weapon proficiencies. A hunter can never have too many weapons.

Money

Since hunters lean less on civilization to provide for them they follow the magic-user for beginning gold.

Saving Throw and Attack Matrices

Hunters follow the same progression as fighters.

Hunter Alignments

Hunters can be of any alignment. Note that there is a hunter’s code.

1. Upon creating a hunter character at 1st level, and again at 6th level when the character attains the title of “hunter” the player must choose a type of creature to which his/hers character is driven to hunt for the rest of his adventuring career, if the situation arises with a party, against the characters chosen prey he/she recieves a +1 to the attack roll, and +1 to damage per level of hunter class against them, this comes from knowledge of the preys movements as well as anatomy knowledge, it’s up to the player and DM to collaborate types of creatures to hunt or you can roll on the sample table below, note that only evil beings hunt other good races which is why evil is listed in brackets:

Roll 1d20
1.) Dragons or Hydrae
2.) Vampires or Mummies
3.) Zombies or Ghouls
4.) Giants or Titans
5.) Trolls or Ogres
6.) Goblins or Orcs
7.) Minotaurs or Mind Flayers
8.) Dinosaurs or another dangerous Animal
9.) Anhkegs or Owlbears
10.) Giant Beetles or Giant Ants or Giant Wasps
11.) Giant Centipedes or Giant Spiders or Giant Scorpions
12.) Basilisks or Medusae
13.) Chimera or Cockatrice
14.) Devils or Demons
15.) Achaierai or Manticores
16.) Purple Worms or Umber Hulks
17.) Giant Eagles or Griffons or Unicorns or Pegasi (Evil)
18.) Evil Lycanthropes
19.) Good Aligned Humanoids (Evil)
20.) Beholders or Intellect Devourers or Naga or Remorhaz

Note that in cases where it’s “or” you pick one not both, and not all

2. The hunter has learned to track akin to a ranger (see ranger ability), but can only utilize it effectively in the environment his chosen prey is from (ie. Plains, Desert, Forest, etc.) This can be used on any creature native to the evironment his chosen prey is from.

3. Hunters like Rangers surprise opponents 50% of the time (d6, scare 1 through 3) and are themselves surprised only 161/3% of the time (d6, score 1). This can only be done in the chosen prey’s environment. This can be used on any creature native to the evironment his chosen prey is from.

4. Instead of a body of followers the hunter can take on 1d6 “intiate huntsman” at 9th level, other then these members and his/her fellow party members hunters prefer working alone.

5. A hunter can make weapons, armor, shields and other misc. items (like bags, pouches, pelts, jewellry etc.) from the bodies, appendages, or organs of his chosen prey. This chance of making something useful is 1 or 2 on 1d6. The time to make such an item is 2d4 days. Additionally he can use pieces to adorn weapons, and armor he already has as a class ability.

6. Hunters can always find a meal, even in the darkest, dank dungeons a hunter will almost never go hungry, once per day a hunter can obtain a sizable meal in numerous forms, such as berries, edible fungi, edible insects, eggs, and small mammals. All are easily prepared by the hunter, the chance of finding a meal 1,2,3,4 on 1d6. Finding enough to eat for an entire party is more difficult 1, or 2 on 1d6.

Restrictions

The hunter must follow a code, failure to follow this code strips him/her of the hunter class and is forever after a fighter, the hunter can go on a quest to redeem himself (not earning any experience while doing it) to redeem and commence playing the hunter class. It is up to the DM to determine what such a quest entails.

The Hunters Code
1.) The hunter must try not to waste that from which he preys on (his chosen prey). At the very least he needs to: either eat its meat, make one item from it, or harvest anything of worth useful for selling as spell components. The DM should tell the player what body parts are useful, as this would be knowledge the character knows.

2.) Regardless of whether or not something can be salvaged from the characters prey, he/she must always take something as a trophy as proof to his claim of slaying it, a skull, ear, eye, heart, spine, a hunk of carapace, stinger, fang, claw, or horn piece are typical examples. All are cleaned, and preserved in a special concoction when the hunter has time, some are worn, others are put out on display at the hunter’s home.

3.) When the hunter has the chance he “must” fashion himself a full set of armor made from the components of his chosen prey, to proudly show off his profession, this can either be added to pre-existing (including magical) armor or made fully into hide armor from scratch. He must wear this armor while hunting his chosen prey to gain his benefits because the hunter believes they aid him greatly related to that prey. The same thing needs to be done when he chooses a new prey type later on.

4.) A hunter must never knowingly interfere with another hunters hunt, regardless of the fact that the other hunter might be hunting the same chosen prey as the character in question, the only time it is allowed is if the hunter invites the other hunter for aid (and a promise of half the kill afterwards)

5.) A hunter must never overhunt one area to ensure his livelihood, the DM will decide if this is the case.

6.) Knowingly good hunters, against knowingly evil hunters (or vice versa) must and should interfere with the enemies hunt and when faced with one another must stalk and hunt eachother to the death. The winner claims a piece of the other as a trophy. This is only the case if one hunter catches the other doing something that proves alignment allegiance, and only if the others hunts interfere with the characters hunting area directly.

Roleplaying the Hunter Class

Why did the hunter decide to adventure?

Hunters are more than warriors that want to kill and obtain trophies, adventuring is an extreme highlight and offers oppurtunity to use his/her skills in other situations other then hunting. Although hunters appear to be barbarians they are civilized and care about party issues just as much as the next pc, except that they need to hunt on occasion. Hunters encourage other pcs to hunt along side them, and can teach pcs valauble survival lessons. It’s up to the DM and player to decide what exactly this entails.

Getting along with other classes

Simply put hunters get along with most classes this is because most hunters understand patience is in fact a virtue, especially surrounding the hunt this carries over to party interaction. When they are out on the hunt they typically enjoy solitude although party members and for 9th level hunters initiate huntsman are fine as long as they are quiet. Out of the classes that get along with the hunter is surprisingly the barbarian (unearthed arcana) because the class understands nature but isn’t afraid to reap from it. Rangers also tolerate good aligned hunters since they practice some of their abilities and understand that hunting, is essentially part of the balance of conservation without it animals, creatures, etc. would overrule humanity. Out of the classes that least gets along with the hunter are the druid because they typically protect nature and view nature is better then humanity. Allowing a hunter and druid together will eventually break out in a fight so it’s better left alone.

Personality

Hunters have very differing mentalities and personalities, but most are calm, calculating, and all have a sense of inner peace. The hunter typically “comes alive” during the hunt and is more alert and unrelenting. The hunter is very happy just after a successful hunt, he/she gloats shows off trophies, struts around in his/hers finest hide and weapons and stands proud at the accomplishments he/she has done, this is in fact the only time a hunter is truly sociable. This soon wears off and a new hunt is needed to appease the members of the class, it’s almost an addiction. Evil hunters are spiteful and nonmannerful they care nothing for friendship just the next hunt they are the true bane of rangers and druids who stop at nothing to rid the world of them. Evil hunters get along with assassins if they share a common prey of humans or other demi-humans but even these relationships are rarer still.

Conclusion

The hunter can be a fun class in limitation, I suggest one per group, unless the whole party is hunters and never with a druid in the midst, lastly evil hunters should only ever be paired with evil fighters, or assassins. They detest evil thieves as they worry about them wanting to steal their newly gotten “goods”.
If there is anything else you’d like to add to the class in your own games please feel free, and have fun!

Enjoy!

DM Bill

2 comments on “The Thrill of the Hunt”

  1. DM Bill

    Awesome header pic Jayson!..really fits..I apologize for the level chart not being in an actual table…It was in word I guess it didn’t translate into the copy and paste…would I have to use html code to put the table in..if so I’d have to brush up on my html!?..

  2. Todd Hughes

    nice art Bill, you should do some art for my next module :).

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