Skilled trackers and deft skirmishers, the spell-ranger is a master of weapon styles and a skilled hunter of all manner of prey. He is a cunning scout with an unparalleled knowledge of his environment.
Instead of spells, the spell-less ranger relies on a host of specialized abilities, including ranger talents, nature’s healing, and a deadly stealth attack which can be used within the spell-less ranger’s various favored terrains or against his many favored enemies.
The spell-less ranger is an alternate class to the ranger core class.
Role: Spell-less rangers are adaptable, self-sufficient masters of survival, both in and out of combat. Their abilities allow them to deal impressive damage to specific types of foes, but their skills are valuable against all manner of enemies.
Hit Die: d10
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (175 gp average.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
The spell-less ranger’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the spell-less ranger.
Spell-less rangers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).
At 1st level, a spell-less ranger can select a creature type from Table: Spell-less Ranger Favored Enemies. He gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of the selected type. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. He may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures.
At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), a spell-less ranger may select an additional favored enemy.
In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by +2.
If a spell-less ranger chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, he must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on Table: Spell-Less Ranger Favored Enemies. (Note that there are other types of humanoid to choose from—those called out specifically on the table below are merely the most common.) If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, these bonuses do not stack; simply use whichever bonus is higher.
Add half the spell-less ranger’s level (minimum 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow or identify tracks.
A spell-less ranger can improve the initial attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. The spell-less ranger rolls 1d20 and adds his spell-less ranger level and his Charisma bonus to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the spell-less ranger and the animal must be within 30 ft. of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
If a spell-less ranger can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The spell-less ranger’s attack deals extra damage any time his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when he flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 2nd level, and it increases by 1d6 every four spell-less ranger levels thereafter. Should he score a critical hit with a stealth attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as stealth attacks only if the target is within 30 ft.
At 2nd level, a spell-less ranger must select one of two combat styles to pursue: archery or two-weapon combat. His expertise in this style manifests in the form of bonus feats at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level. A spell-less ranger can choose any feats from his selected combat style, even if he doesn’t have the normal prerequisites.
With the GM’s permission, a spell-less ranger may also choose from any of the following combat styles for rangers: crossbow, mounted combat, natural weapon, two-handed weapon, weapon and shield.
The benefits of the chosen style feats apply only when the spell-less ranger wears light, medium, or no armor.
The spell-less ranger loses all benefits of his combat style feats when wearing heavy armor. Once a spell-less ranger selects a combat style, it cannot be changed.
Combat Style Options
If the spell-less ranger selects two-weapon combat, he can choose from the following list whenever he gains a combat style feat: Double Slice, Improved Shield Bash, Quick Draw, and Two-Weapon Fighting.
The spell-less ranger gains Endurance as a bonus feat at 3rd level.
Beginning at 3rd level, a spell-less ranger’s extensive knowledge regarding the flora and fauna of his favored terrains gives him a +2 bonus to all Heal skill checks made when in one of those favored terrains.
In addition, as long as he is in one of his favored terrains when using the Heal skill, he also gains the following benefits:
Long-Term Care: If the spell-less ranger’s Heal check is successful, the patient recovers hit points or ability score points lost to ability damage at three times the normal rate: 3 hp per character level for a full eight hours of rest in a day, or 6 hp per character level for each full day of complete rest; 3 ability score points for a full eight hours of rest in a day, or 6 ability score points for each full day of complete rest. The various items and supplies necessary (bandages, salves, and so on) are easy to come by in the spell-less ranger’s favored terrains.
Treat Deadly Wounds: When treating deadly wounds in any of his favored terrains, a spell-less ranger can restore an additional 1d6 hp plus 1 hp for every three spell-less ranger levels he possesses. A spell-less ranger does not need a healer’s kit to treat wounds when in one of his favored terrains and receive no penalties for not having such an item.
At 3rd level, a spell-less ranger may select a type of terrain from the favored terrains table.
He gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when in this terrain. A spell-less ranger traveling through his favored terrain normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses).
At 8th level and every five levels thereafter, he may select an additional favored terrain. In addition, at each such interval, the skill bonus and initiative bonus in any one favored terrain (including the one just selected, if so desired), increases by +2.
If a specific terrain falls into more than one category of favored terrain, these bonuses do not stack; simply use whichever bonus is higher.
At 4th level, the spell-less ranger form a bond with his hunting companions. This bond can take one of two forms. Once the form is chosen, it cannot be changed. The first is a bond to his companions. This bond allows him to spend a move action to grant half his favored enemy bonus against a single target of the appropriate type to all allies within 30 ft. who can see or hear him. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to the spell-less ranger’s Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by his allies; they use whichever bonus is higher.
The second option is to form a close bond with an animal companion. A spell-less ranger who selects an animal companion can choose from the following list: badger, bird, camel, cat (small), dire rat, dog, horse, pony, snake (viper or constrictor), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, he may choose a shark instead. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the spell-less ranger on his adventures as appropriate for its kind. The animal companion shares the spell-less ranger’s favored enemy and favored terrain bonuses. This ability functions like the druid animal companion ability (part of the nature bond class feature).
The spell-less ranger’s effective druid level is equal to his full spell-less ranger level.
FYI There are feats intended for animals. Here are a few:
As a spell-less ranger gains experience, he learns a number of talents that aid him in combat and help him survive in the wilds. Starting at 4th level, he gains one ranger talent. A spell-less ranger gains additional ranger talents as he increases in level. Except where specified, he cannot select an individual talent more than once.
Additional Animal Companion (Ex) With this ability you may select an additional animal companion. Your effective druid level is equal to your full spell-less ranger level. This second companion can be the same animal type as you first animal companion or you may select a different animal.
Cat’s Fall (Ex) With this talent you may ignore the first 20 ft. of any fall when calculating falling damage. If you take no damage from the fall, you do not fall prone.
Cheetah’s Stride (Ex) You can move up to twice your speed as a move action. You don’t suffer any penalty on Stealth checks for this move, although it will provoke attacks of opportunity as normal. You may use this talent a number of rounds per day equal to your spell-less ranger level. These rounds need not be consecutive.
Combat Trick: By selecting this talent you gain a bonus combat feat.
Deadly Range (Ex) This talent increases the range at which you can deal stealth attack damage by 10 ft. You may take this talent more than once. Its effects stack.
Eagle Eyed: You gain Eagle Eyes as a bonus feat. You do not need to meet the feat’s prerequisites.
Fast Stealth (Ex) You can move at full speed while using the Stealth skill without penalty.
Favored Attack (Ex) When making an attack against a favored enemy or in a favored terrain, the critical threat range of your weapon is doubled. This does not stack with any other ability that doubles critical threat ranges.
Favored Defender: You gain Favored Defense as a bonus feat.
Favored Step: While in a favored terrain, you may ignore the effects of difficult terrain, treating it as normal terrain instead.
Favored Enemy Critical (Ex) When scoring a critical threat on one of your favored enemies, you gain a +4 bonus to the roll made to confirm the critical.
Hawk’s Eyes (Ex) As a standard action, you can make a ranged attack that ignores concealment (but not total concealment), soft cover, and partial cover. You may also apply stealth attack damage, if applicable, to such a target.
Heel (Ex) You may use this talent as an immediate action when your animal companion moves. The square in which your animal companion starts its move is not considered threatened by any opponent it can see, and therefore visible enemies do not get attacks of opportunity against it when it moves from that square. The animal companion must end this movement in a square adjacent to you and must be able to see and hear you in order to take this movement.
Improved Stealth Attack (Ex) You may add an additional 1d6 to your total stealth attack damage.
Ranger Feat: Instead of a talent, you may choose a feat for which you qualify from your chosen combat style or from the following list: Additional Favored Enemy*, Additional Favored Terrain*, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Coordinated Companion*, Dodge, Diehard, Favored Defense**, Favored Terrain Expert*, Favored Terrain Master*, Greater Animal Companion*, Improved Animal Companion*, Improved Nature’s Healing*, Increased Devotion*, Invulnerable Animal Companion*, Natural Tracker*, Nimble Moves, Run, Savage Terrain Warrior*, Self-Sufficient, Slayer’s Knack***, Stealthy, Sudden Strike*, Toughness.
Scent (Ex) You gain the scent special ability.
Skirmishing Attack (Ex) With this talent, whenever you move at least 10 ft. and attack in the same round, you may also apply stealth attack damage, if applicable, to the target, as though it were flat-footed. If you make more than one attack during the round, this ability applies only to the first attack. Foes with uncanny dodge are immune to this ability.
Skilled Climber (Ex) You may climb at up to your full speed as a move action without penalty. If you fail a Climb check by 5 or more, you can immediately make another Climb check at the surface’s base DC +10 (or at the surface’s base DC +5 if in a favored terrain). If successful, you stop your fall by clinging to the surface. You do not take any falling damage when stopping your fall in this manner.
Skilled Swimmer (Ex) With a successful Swim check, you may swim at up to your full speed (as a full-round action) or at half your speed (as a move action). If you fail a Swim check by 5 or more, you can immediately make another Swim check at the water’s base DC +10 (or at the water’s base DC +5 if one of the spell-less ranger’s favored terrains is swamp or water). If successful, you do not go underwater. When underwater, you may add +4 to the total number of rounds you can hold his breath.
Stag’s Leap (Ex) This talent allows you to attempt a running jump without moving 10 ft. before the jump.
Trackless Step (Ex) When desired, you leave no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. You can track others possessing the trackless step ability when in one of your favored terrains, but you suffer a –10 to the check.
When in a favored terrain, the spell-less ranger’s base speed increases by +10 ft. at 5th level.
At 12th level, this bonus increases to +20 ft. These bonuses apply only when a spell-less ranger wears medium, light, or no armor.
Starting at 7th level, the spell-less ranger may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect a spell-less ranger.
Beginning at 8th level, a spell-less ranger can move at his normal speed while using Survival to follow tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. He takes only a –10 penalty (instead of the normal –20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.
On reaching 9th level, a spell-less ranger can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead take no damage. Evasion can be used only when wearing light armor, medium armor, or no armor. A helpless spell-less ranger does not gain the benefit of evasion.
At 11th level, a spell-less ranger can, as a standard action, denote one target within his line of sight as his quarry. Whenever the spell-less ranger is following the tracks of his quarry, he can take 10 on his Survival skill checks while moving at normal speed, without penalty. In addition, he receives a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls made against his quarry, and all critical threats are automatically confirmed.
A spell-less ranger can have no more than one quarry at a time and the creature’s type must correspond to one of his favored enemy types. He can dismiss this effect at any time as a free action, but then cannot select a new quarry for 24 hours. If he sees proof that his quarry is dead, the spell-less ranger can select a new quarry after waiting 1 hour.
At 16th level, a spell-less ranger’s evasion improves. This ability works like evasion, except that while he still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, he henceforth take only half damage on a failed save. A helpless spell-less ranger does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
On reaching 17th level, when in any of his favored terrains, a spell-less ranger can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.
At 19th level, the spell-less ranger’s ability to hunt his quarry improves.
He can now select a quarry as a free action, and can now take 20 while using Survival to track his quarry, while moving at normal speed without penalty. The spell-less ranger’s insight bonus to attack his quarry increases to +4. If his quarry is killed or dismissed, the spell-less ranger can select a new one after 10 minutes have passed.
A spell-less ranger of 20th level becomes a master hunter. He can always move at full speed while using Survival to follow tracks without penalty. He can, as a standard action, make a single attack against a favored enemy at his full attack bonus. If the attack hits, the target takes damage normally and must make a Fortitude save or die. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + ½ his level + his Wisdom modifier. The spell-less ranger can choose instead to deal an amount of nonlethal damage equal to the creature’s current hit points. A successful save negates this damage. He can use this ability once per day against each favored enemy type, but not against the same creature more than once in a 24-hour period.
New Paths Compendium. © 2013 Open Design LLC; Authors: Marc Radle, Crystal Frasier, John Ling, Jr., and Jerall Toi.