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Mage Hunter

The path of the mage hunter is a dangerous one, combining skill at arms and stealth with a brand of sorcery that serves a singular purpose: slaying mages.

Mage hunters come from a long history of those who both protect and slay wizards, serving as assassins, bodyguards, and champions in many events of ancient wizard kingdoms in days gone by. In current times, it is a rare practice that is both dangerous and in high demand by those in the know, with the deadly mage hunter selling his skills for the wealthiest purse. Some are not without honor, but if one thing unites all present day mage hunters it is their devotion to their profession and the power and respect it affords them.

Mage hunters hail from a number of different classes, but all share the ability to initiate martial maneuvers and they must have base knowledge in both combat and in stealth skills. Lastly, all mage hunters must learn from either a mentor or an ancient grimoire known as the Grimoire Serpentis Ferra to learn their highly prized skills. All mage hunters learn sorcerous arts that aid them in their missions through ancient meditative practices, martial tradition, and mystical trials passed down by masters to students or from copies of the Grimoire Serpentis Ferra itself.

Hit Die: d8

Requirements

To qualify to become a mage hunter, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

  • Base Attack Bonus: +3
  • Skills: Acrobatics 2 ranks, Heal 2 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks, Stealth 2 ranks
  • Feats: Improved Initiative, Step Up
  • Languages: Draconic
  • Maneuvers: Ability to use 2nd level maneuvers, including at least one strike and one stance.
  • Special: Must read the Grimoire Serpentis Ferra, or study with a willing instructor who has done so. Reading the Grimoire requires one full week of uninterrupted study, and the ability to read Draconic. Learning from a willing instructor requires four weeks of training.

Class Skills

The mage hunter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (martial) (Int), Perception (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Table: Mage Hunter
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st +0 +0 +1 +0 Martial arcanist (disruptive), arcane tenacity 2
2nd +1 +1 +1 +1 Anchoring point 3 1
3rd +2 +1 +2 +1 Strike of dispelling 3 2
4th +3 +1 +2 +1 Arcane endurance 4 2 1
5th +3 +2 +3 +2 Stance of the mage killer 4 3 2
6th +4 +2 +3 +2 Mage hunter concentration 5 3 2 1
7th +5 +2 +4 +2 Tethering point 5 4 3 2
8th +6 +3 +4 +3 Martial arcanist (spellbreaker) 5 4 3 2 1
9th +6 +3 +5 +3 Strike of magic rending 5 5 4 3 2
10th +7 +3 +5 +3 Mage harrier’s stance 5 5 4 3 3 1

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the mage hunter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Mage hunters gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Maneuvers

At every even-numbered level, a mage hunter gains new maneuvers known from the Scarlet Throne, Shattered Mirror, Steel Serpent, Solar Wind, and Veiled Moon disciplines. He must meet a maneuver’s prerequisites to learn it. He adds his full mage hunter levels to his initiator level to determine his total initiator level and his highest-level maneuvers known.

At levels 3rd, 6th and 9th, he gains an additional maneuver readied per day.

Table: Mage Hunter Maneuvers and Spells Known
Level Known Readied Stances 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st 0 0 0 3 2
2nd 1 0 0 3 3 1
3rd 0 1 0 3 3 2
4th 1 0 1 4 3 2 1
5th 0 0 0 4 4 3 2
6th 1 1 1 4 4 3 2 1
7th 0 0 0 4 4 3 3 2
8th 1 0 0 5 5 4 3 2 1
9th 0 1 0 5 5 4 3 3 2
10th 1 0 1 5 5 4 4 3 2 1

Stances Known

At 4th level and again at 6th level and 10th level, a mage hunter learns a new stance from any of the disciplines available to him as a mage hunter. He must meet the stance’s prerequisites to learn it.

Spells per Day

A mage hunter has the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells learned through his training and his advancement and growth through the martial medium of his training. To cast a mage hunter spell, he must have a primary initiator attribute score of at least 10 + the spell’s level, so if he has a primary initiator attribute of 10 or lower, cannot cast these spells. Bonus spells are based on primary initiator attribute, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + his primary initiator attribute modifier. He has access to any spell on the magus spell list. He casts spells just as a sorcerer does, including the ability to replace a known mage hunter spell with a new spell at every even-numbered class level beginning at 4th level. 0th level spells, or cantrips, may be cast unlimitedly from his spells known. Mage hunters use their initiator level to determine their caster level for their mage hunter spells. If the character qualified for this class using Martial Training feats, then his spellcasting is considered Intelligence-based.

Arcane Tenacity (Ex)

A mage hunter’s spells are particularly difficult to dispel; add 6 to the DC required to dispel the character’s mage hunter spells.

Martial Arcanist (Ex)

At 1st level, a mage hunter’s practice merging spellcasting and swordplay allows him to cast spells without arcane spell failure wearing light armor or bucklers. At 8th level, this ability improves further to allow unhindered spellcasting in medium armor. This class feature only functions when the character is casting a mage hunter spell. Lastly, a mage hunter gains the Disruptive feat at 1st level. At 8th level, the mage hunter also gains the Spellbreaker feat. He does not need to meet the prerequisites for these feats.

Anchoring Point (Su)

The mage hunter’s foes are often known to use magical means to escape from him, and the Grimoire Serpentis Ferra has taught him a few tricks to prevent his foes from escaping so easily. As part of a successful martial strike, the mage hunter expends a 1st or higher-level spell slot as a free action and may attempt to target the foe with a dimensional anchor effect as a supernatural ability. Anchoring point lasts for a number of minutes equal to the level of the expended spell slot.

Strike of Dispelling (Su)

The tactics and skills learned from the Grimoire Serpentis Ferra instruct disciples how to defeat the defenses and items of their primary foes: spellcasters. With this in mind, the mage hunter learns how to channel his own innate magic and blend it with the martial disciplines of the Path of War. The mage hunter initiating this strike may expend a readied strike to use this strike in its place, and he makes an attack against a target. If the attack hits, the mage hunter may immediately make a dispel check with a caster level equal to his initiator level as if he had cast a targeted dispel magic in addition to doing normal damage. Each effect that is dispelled using this strike inflicts an additional 1d6 points of damage to the target. This strike is treated as a supernatural ability.

Arcane Endurance (Ex)

At 4th level, a mage hunter knows how to extend the duration of spells that he casts on himself or his allies. The duration of any of his mage hunter spells is doubled, as if affected by the Extend Spell feat (but without any adjustments to the spell’s effective level or casting time). Spells that do not have a target entry are unaffected by this power, even if the mage hunter is the only one affected.

Stance of the Mage Killer (Ex)

Upon reaching 5th level, the mage hunter gains a potent stance based upon the instructions within the Grimoire Serpentis Ferra. This is a 5th level stance of no particular discipline. To enter this stance, the mage hunter abandons a martial stance he is currently using as a swift action. The benefits of this ability end if the mage hunter assumes a martial stance until or unless the mage hunter abandons his stance as a swift action. Once within this stance, the mage hunter may cast one mage hunter spell as a swift action per round as part of a martial strike. Also while in this stance, if the mage hunter successfully makes a saving throw against an effect that has a reduced or partial effect on a successful saving throw (such as half damage on a fireball), the mage hunter instead is unaffected by the effect.

Mage Hunter Concentration (Ex)

At 6th level, the mage hunter has learned to focus his mind on both steel and spell, granting him a +4 competence bonus to attempts to cast mage hunter spells defensively, and a +2 insight bonus to saves against spells.

Tethering Point (Su)

At 8th level, the mage hunter’s repertoire in dealing with his chosen prey has expanded to allow him to bind a little piece of his energies to his foe, allowing him to follow it anywhere it goes. As part of a successful martial strike, the mage hunter expends a 1st or higher-level spell slot as a free action and may attempt to target the foe with a magical leash-like effect as a supernatural ability. Tethering point lasts for a number of minutes equal to the level of the expended spell slot. If the target of this ability were to utilize an effect, power, or spell with the (Teleportation) type, the mage hunter may either attempt to make a Will save against the effect (as if he were making a saving throw to resist an effect cast upon him) to cause the target’s attempt to flee to fail, or he may voluntarily go along for the ride and teleport with his quarry to the same location. The mage hunter does not count against any limit the teleportation effect might have, such as number of creatures or total weight teleported.

Strike of Magic Rending (Su)

The pinnacle combat maneuver taught by the Grimoire Serpentis Ferra to its students is the strike of magic rending. By readying this maneuver, the mage hunter proves his dedication to this ancient art. The strike of magic rending replaces the strike of dispelling. The mage hunter initiating this strike may expend a readied strike to use this strike in its place, and he makes an attack against a target. If the attack hits, the mage hunter may immediately make a dispel check with a caster level equal to his initiator level as if he cast a targeted greater dispel magic in addition to doing normal damage. Additionally, if the mage hunter chooses to, anyone within 10 ft. of the mage hunter (excluding the mage hunter) is also affected as if they were hit by an area dispel magic. Each effect that is dispelled using this strike inflicts an additional 2d6 points of damage to the target or targets of this ability. This strike is treated as a supernatural ability.

Mage Harrier Stance (Su)

The final technique that the Grimoire Serpentis Ferra can teach its students is the Mage Harrier Stance, allowing him to cripple the ability of the mage within close range to him. This is a 6th level stance of no particular discipline. To enter this stance, as a swift action the mage hunter abandons a martial stance he is currently using. The benefits of this ability end if the mage hunter assumes a martial stance until or unless the mage hunter abandons his stance as a swift action. Once within this stance, the mage hunter prevents magic-users from being able to cast defensively under any condition if they are within his melee reach; his knowledge of combating them allows him to disrupt their delicate spellcasting needs. Enemies affected by this stance can make a Knowledge (martial) or Spellcraft check (DC 21) to identify the stance and know that they would be vulnerable to it (allowing them to attempt to cast defensively once more). Additionally, while in this stance he gains spell resistance equal to 15 + his initiator level, and spells that fail against his spell resistance or that he successfully saves against grant a number of temporary hit points equal to twice the spell level cast against him to the mage hunter, as his strength is restored as the mage’s strength fades. Temporary hit points last until used or until the end of the encounter.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Path of War, © 2014, Dreamscarred Press.

Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.