Dwarven Crossbowyer

Note The elven archer class can be adapted quickly to create many variants. The easiest way to do so involves simply altering or removing the racial requirement and re-flavoring the class accordingly. For example, swapping the “elf or half-elf ” racial requirement for “orc or half-orc” allows the class to function exactly as-is, but with an entirely different flavor—perhaps as the orcish skirmisher. Adding flavor text that describes orcish skirmishers as among the most disciplined of the orc race—and that emphasizes their love of discreetly picking off foes in forests—effectively creates a new class with the same abilities as an elven archer.

Dwarven crossbowyers battle the vilest creatures—often in underworld tunnels, far from their homes—in defense of their clans. Their great skills with crossbows make dwarven crossbowyers deadly hunters of the dark aberrations and depraved humanoids that otherwise would destroy everything the dwarves have built.

Race: Dwarves.

Alignment: Any, though a dwarven crossbowyer’s alignment typically matches his home community’s predominant alignment.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The dwarven crossbowyer’s class skills are: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: Dwarven Crossbowyer
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Armor piercer, pack mule
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Bonus feat
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Preferred target
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Precision +1d6 0
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Bonus feat 0
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Camouflage 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Stone feet 1 0
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Bonus feat, superior sight 1 0
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Enchant bolt +1, precision +2d6 2 1
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Close combat shot 2 1 0
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Bonus feat 2 1 0
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Enchant bolt +2 2 1 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Take aim 3 2 1 0
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Bonus feat, precision +3d6 3 2 1 0
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Enchant bolt +3 3 2 2 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Threatening shot 3 2 2 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Bonus feat 3 3 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Enchant bolt +4 4 3 2 1
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Precision +4d6 4 3 3 2
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Bonus feat 4 3 3 2

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the dwarven crossbowyer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A dwarven crossbowyer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, and with bucklers.

Armor Piercer (Ex)

A dwarven crossbowyer regularly defends his underground home from some of the most dangerous predators in the world. When using a crossbow (of any sort) a dwarven crossbowyer reduces the armor, shield, or natural armor bonus of his target by 1. This ability cannot reduce the target’s modifier below 0. For every 4 additional class levels, a dwarven crossbowyer can reduce the armor, shield, or natural armor bonus of his target by an additional –1. (For example, –2 to armor, shield, or natural armor at 5th level, –3 at 9th level, and so on.)

A dwarven crossbowyer can apply this penalty to multiple aspects of the target’s AC. For example, if a 9th-level dwarven crossbowyer attacks a creature with a +1 armor bonus and a +2 natural armor bonus, he can negate both bonuses completely.

In order to use this ability, the dwarven crossbowyer must be within 60 ft. of the target creature.

Pack Mule (Ex)

Early in his career, a dwarven crossbowyer learns to better bear the burden of the gear and equipment he needs during long excursions away from home. He gains a +2 bonus to his Strength score for the purposes of determining carrying capacity. At 10th level, this bonus increases to +4.

In addition, even when bearing a large load or burdened by weighty armor, the dwarven crossbowyer fares better than others. At 1st level, he reduces his armor-check penalty by 1 when the penalty is caused by armor or by carrying a medium or heavy load. This ability never reduces the armor-check penalty below 0. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the reduction increases by a further +1 (+2 at 5th level, +3 at 10th, and so on).

Bonus Feat

A dwarven crossbowyer is a crossbow expert. At 2nd level, and every 3 levels thereafter, a dwarven crossbowyer receives a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. The dwarven crossbowyer must meet all the prerequisites of the feat prior to selecting it. A dwarven crossbowyer may select these bonus feats from the below-listed combat feats with this class ability. For prerequisites, treat his dwarven crossbowyer level as his fighter level –3. For example, a 7th-level dwarven crossbowyer qualifies for Weapon Specialization because he treats his fighter level as 4th.

A dwarven crossbowyer may select these bonus feats from the following list: Deadly Aim, Far Shot, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, Improved Precise Shot, Manyshot, Pinpoint Targeting, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization. A dwarven crossbowyer must select a crossbow when selecting a feat that allows them to choose a weapon, such as Improved Critical or Weapon Focus.

Preferred Environment (Ex)

When underground or in a structure made primarily from stone, a dwarven crossbowyer feels at home. He gains a +2 bonus on Acrobatics, Climb, Knowledge (dungeoneering), Perception, and Survival checks. He also gains a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls. A dwarven crossbowyer may make Knowledge (dungeoneering) skill checks untrained. At 10th level, the bonus increases to +4, and at 17th level it increases to +6.

Precision (Ex)

Beginning at 4th level, a dwarven crossbowyer adds the indicated damage bonus to any shot he makes against a foe that is denied Dexterity to AC (whether the target already has a Dexterity bonus or not). This extra damage is 1d6 at 5th level. It only applies when a dwarven crossbowyer uses a crossbow while within 30 ft. of the target.

The extra damage increases by 1d6 every five dwarven-crossbowyer levels thereafter.

At 16th level, when a dwarven crossbowyer gains the ability to flank with the crossbow, this damage also applies to shots against flanked targets.

The dwarven crossbowyer must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot, and he must be able to reach such a spot. A dwarven crossbowyer cannot use precision while striking a creature with concealment.

Spell Casting

Dwarven Crossbowyer Spell List

When using elven archer variant classes, a GM might allow spells which specify “arrow” to also apply to bolts, bullets, etc.

1st Level

2nd Level

3rd Level

4th Level

Beginning at 4th level, a dwarven crossbowyer can call upon his ancestors and forebears, granting him the ability to cast a small number of divine spells.

To prepare or cast a spell, a dwarven crossbowyer must have a Wisdom score of 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a dwarven crossbowyer’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the dwarven crossbowyer’s Wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a dwarven crossbowyer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Dwarven Crossbowyer. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. When Table: Dwarven Crossbowyer indicates that the dwarven crossbowyer gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level.

A dwarven crossbowyer must spend 1 hour per day in quiet meditation with his ancestors’ spirits to regain his daily allotment of spells. A dwarven crossbowyer may prepare and cast any spell on the dwarven crossbowyer spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level. He must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation.

Through 3rd level, a dwarven crossbowyer has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his dwarven crossbowyer level –3.

Camouflage (Ex)

At 6th level, a dwarven crossbowyer may use the Stealth skill to hide in any stone environment—including within structures made primarily of stone—even if he does not have cover or concealment.

Stone Feet (Ex)

A dwarven crossbowyer spends his life underground crawling through stone tunnels. While traveling through natural stone environments, a dwarven crossbowyer does not suffer any armor-check penalty or encumbrance penalty to the Stealth skill. In addition, a dwarven crossbowyer cannot be tracked through such an environment unless he explicitly decides to leave a trail.

Superior Sight (Ex)

Beginning at 8th level, a dwarven crossbowyer’s darkvision range increases by an additional 30 ft.

Enchant Bolt (Su)

Beginning at 9th level, a dwarven crossbowyer gains the ability to imbue crossbow bolts (no other weapons) with ambient, divine energy once per day. He must spend 15 min. communing with his ancestors’ spirits to gain this ability; at the end of the ritual, he imbues up to 50 bolts with an enhancement of his choice.

At 9th level, he may imbue any ability up to a +1 enhancement. Every 3 levels thereafter, the bonus increases by +1.

The dwarven crossbowyer may spend these bonuses as he sees fit. For example, a 12th-level dwarven crossbowyer could enhance his bolts with a +2 bonus, or he could enhance them with a +1 bonus and the flaming ability. Once the abilities are set, they cannot be changed until the next day’s ritual. Unlike when crafting magical weapons, the dwarven crossbowyer need not invest an initial +1 enhancement bonus before imbuing the bolts with special properties. For example, a 12th-level dwarven crossbowyer could imbue his bolts with bane and flaming.

These enchantments vanish at the end of each day.

Close Combat Shot (Ex)

Beginning at 10th level, a dwarven crossbowyer no longer provokes attacks of opportunity when making a ranged attack with his crossbow. When making other ranged attacks, such as throwing a dagger, a dwarven crossbowyer provokes as normal.

Take Aim (Ex)

At 13th level, a dwarven crossbowyer may spend a full round to aim at a target. If the target remains stationary (moves no more than 5 ft.), he may add half his class level to all ranged attacks he makes against that target within the next round.

Threatening Shot (Ex)

Beginning at 16th level, the dwarven crossbowyer is so deadly with his crossbow that he may flank targets. He threatens an area at 10 ft. away, but not adjacent.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

New Paths Compendium. © 2013 Open Design LLC; Authors: Marc Radle, Crystal Frasier, John Ling, Jr., and Jerall Toi.

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