Pack Leader (Legendary Ranger Archetype)

Some hunters learn the value in teamwork, preferring to hunt in large groups rather than alone. The most valorous and knowledgeable of which are heralded as Pack Leaders; strong, brave men and women who organize their tribes and lead them into wars, hunts and battles with tactical expertise. Although they give up the proficiency a lone hunter has in killing their prey- they know better than most on how to lead their allies into battle and ensure the death of their target.

Class Skills

The pack leader adds Diplomacy, Sense Motive and Linguistics to his list of class skills. This modifies class skills.

Pack Hunting (Ex)

The pack leader’s signature ability comes from his experience in battle, and his natural skill in guiding and instructing their allies into fighting alongside them. At first level, he may select a number of creatures up to their Wisdom bonus (minimum 1) to become his tribesmen at the start of each day by spending an hour training with them. Tribesmen can each be assigned a special role that grants them bonuses, special abilities and new ways of tackling most situations, as well as abilities that interact with other tribesmen. Roles last for 1 day per pack leader level, and must be assigned when the pack leader selects his tribesmen. The pack leader can spend ten minutes at the start of each day to refresh the duration by giving his tribesmen instructions or training them for battle. A pack leader may only have a number of tribesmen at a time equal to his Wisdom bonus (minimum 1).

The pack leader is always considered a tribesman, and he may grant himself any role, even if another ally already has that role.

Each specific role can only be assigned to a single tribesman at a time, and no tribesmen can have more than one role. Beginning at 10th level, a pack leader can assign up to two roles to a single tribesman, although they only gain the 1st level benefit of the second role they are assigned. This secondary role does not count as a tribesman already possessing the role for the purpose of multiple tribesman having it.

The pack leader gains access to all the following roles, and can assign them to himself or his allies:

Ambusher: At 1st level, the ambusher can never be caught surprised in a surprise round, and always participates in them. At 3rd level, If a combat would begin without a surprise round, the ambusher can make a Stealth check against all enemies that can see him. On success, the ambusher surprises the enemies with a quick and sudden movement, granting him a single standard action prior to initiative being rolled that cannot be used to cast spells or make attacks. Alternatively, they can add a +4 bonus to their Initiative check. Beginning at 5th level, the ambusher cripples the first foe he strikes in combat. The first melee attack roll he makes against a flatfooted enemy as part of an attack action deals extra damage equal to 2d6, plus 1d6 damage at 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Additionally, it reduces their initiative score by 4 for that combat encounter, increasing by 1 at 7th level and every 2 levels thereafter. If the creature’s initiative score would place them as having the lowest initiative score (even if they already have the lowest), they are staggered for 1 round. Beginning at 9th level, the ambusher may take a full set of actions in a surprise round, rather than just a single standard or move action.

Blitzer: Starting at 1st level, the blitzer doubles all of their movement speeds in the first round of combat, and increases their movement speed by 10 feet for all rounds after the first while in combat, increasing by 10 feet at 6th level, and every 5 levels thereafter. Starting at 5th level, If the blitzer deals damage to any creature in the first round of combat (other than the surprise round) with a melee attack, they gain a bonus to all attack rolls and damage rolls equal to 1/3 the pack leader’s level against that creature for the rest of the encounter.

Escapist: At 1st level, the escapist may move through squares another ally threatens without provoking attacks of opportunity, and any ally may move through the escapist’s threatened squares without provoking attacks of opportunity. Beginning at 9th level, when the escapist successfully deals damage with a melee attack, they may spend an immediate action to cause their target is unable to make any attacks of opportunity until the end of their next turn.

Guardian: At 1st level, the guardian has their reach extended by 5 feet, increasing to 10 feet at 13th level. Beginning at 5th level, when an ally within reach is targeted by an attack, the guardian may take an immediate action to move up to half their speed, but only as long as they end their movement adjacent to another tribesman. Beginning at 9th level, they may use this ability in response to a charge attack, or an attack made with reach against that ally, forcing the attack to resolve against the guardian as long as the guardian places himself in the path of the attack.

Housecarl: The housecarl is empowered by the legendary ranger’s success. When the pack leader successfully damages their quarry, the housecarl gains a stacking +1 competence bonus to attack rolls against the quarry, up to a maximum of 1/2 the legendary ranger’s level. This bonus lasts until the quarry is slain. If a tribesman slays the quarry, the housecarl is empowered, gaining his current bonus as an untyped bonus on all attack and damage rolls made against any creature during his next turn. The pack leader may not grant himself this role.

Phalanx: An ally with this role gains a stacking +1 dodge bonus to their AC for each adjacent ally. Allies with less than half the hit dice of the ally with this role do not grant them a bonus to AC. If the phalanx takes damage from a single-target attack or spell, any tribesman within reach of the phalanx may take an immediate action to redirect half the damage to themselves, although such damage bypasses resistances, immunities, damage reduction and any form of damage redirection. If two allies use this ability on the same attack, they split the damage across themselves accordingly and the phalanx takes no damage. Only up to 2 allies may split the damage at a time from a single attack.

Prowler: At 1st level, the prowler increases the flank bonus he provides and receives by 1 and he applies his full flanking bonus to his damage rolls. At 5th level, The pack leader may make a command to the prowler as an immediate action to begin his hunt, allowing the prowler to make a jump check as a free action, moving the full distance as part of check, however they must move closer to pack leader’s quarry. The prowler is always treated as if they had a running start when making acrobatics checks to jump this way.

Shieldbreaker: Starting at 1st level, enemies within reach of the shieldbreaker have their armor class penalized by -1, increasing by another -1 at 10th level and every 10 levels thereafter. Starting at 5th level, when the shieldbreaker deals damage to the pack leader’s quarry using a melee weapon, they may choose to shatter the creature’s defenses. The creature suffers a -2 penalty to their AC for 1 minute and is flat-footed until the beginning of their next turn. This ability can only function once per creature per minute.

Spotter: An ally with this role gains a bonus to all Perception checks made against stealthed creatures equal to 1/2 the pack leader’s level, and a +1 bonus to Initiative checks that increases by 1 at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Starting at 3rd level, when initiative is rolled, the spotter may swap their initiative check result with the result of one willing ally in line of sight. At 5th level, once per combat the spotter may warn all tribesman within 30 feet of nearby creatures they see as a move action. Warned allies are no longer flatfooted against those creatures and may retain their dexterity bonus to AC, even if they have not acted yet or cannot see the creature. This effect continues for as long as the spotter may see any such spotted creature.

Volley Brigade: At 1st level, the volley brigade reduces the miss chance granted by concealment or total concealment by 10% when making ranged attacks against the pack leader’s quarry and ignore all tribesman when considering whether enemies have soft cover. This reduction increases by 5% at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter. Starting at 9th level, once per turn when a tribesman damages their quarry with a ranged attack, the volley brigade may take an attack of opportunity to make a ranged attack against them as well.

This replaces natural gift.

Tactics (Ex)

At the heart of every pack leader is an ingenious mind filled with an uncanny understanding for potential combat situations, both offensively and defensively. His skill manifests as the ability to command his tribesman to follow Tactics. Tactics can only be activated in the heat of real danger, and thus cannot be used outside of combat.

At 1st level, the pack leader knows one Tactic. At 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter, he learns one additional tactic. Certain tactics require a minimum level to learn, which is listed next to their entries.

Tactics are a set of shouted, organized directions that benefit all tribesman who can see or hear the pack leader, which are started as a standard action and must be maintained every round as a free action. The process of maintaining them includes becoming very perceptively ‘large’, either by making large, visible gestures or by shouting out loud commands, thus a pack leader cannot stealth while maintaining a tactic. Only a single tactic can be active at a time.

The pack leader can select from the following tactics whenever he learns a new tactic:

Ambush (5th level): This tactic can only be activated in the surprise round. Any tribesman that acts while this tactic is in effect treat all enemies as if they were flatfooted, even if they have already acted. Any tribesman with the Ambusher role can ignore the effects of uncanny dodge when considering whether or not enemies are flatfooted. This tactic can only be maintained for 1 round, plus an additional round at 9th level and every 8 levels thereafter.

Anvil Strike (5th level): While this tactic is in effect, all tribesmen gain a +3 morale bonus on attempts made to grapple, increasing by 1 at 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Any tribesman with the Ambusher, Blitzer, Prowler or Housecarl roles who make a charge attack against a grappled enemy gain a +6 circumstance bonus to damage rolls made as part of the charge, increasing by 2 at 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

Charge: While this tactic is in effect, all tribesmen gain a +10 foot enhancement bonus to their movement speed as long as they move closer to a hostile enemy. At 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter, this increases by 5 feet. Any tribesman with the Blitzer role doubles the bonuses they gain to attack and damage rolls from their role.

Endure: While this tactic is in effect, all tribesmen gain a number of temporary hit points at the start of their turn equal to half the pack leader’s level + his Wisdom modifier for 1 round. If a tribesman successfully kills a creature with hit dice equal to at least half the pack leader’s level, they may take an immediate action to ‘consume’ their temporary hit points gained from this ability, removing them and instead healing them for an amount equal to the number of temporary hit points they had. Temporary hit points from this tactic do not stack with themselves or other sources of temporary hit points.

Fire: While this tactic is in effect, the pack leader’s quarry suffers a -2 penalty to their armor class against all ranged attacks. This penalty increases by 1 at 5th level, and every 4 levels thereafter. Any tribesman with the Volley Brigade role treats any cover less than total cover that the quarry might have against them as one step lower (Improved cover is treated as regular cover, and regular cover is treated as partial cover, and partial cover is treated as if they did not have cover at all).

Muster (13th level): While this tactic is in effect, any tribesman that suffers from a frightened, panicked or cowering effect instead reduces that effect to only shaken. Any tribesman that would become nauseated is sickened instead, any tribesman that would be dazed
or stunned is staggered instead, and any tribesman that suffers from the exhausted condition reduces it to fatigued. This tactic does not reduce the duration of or negate effects, and if the tactic is deactivated while actively reducing effects, the effects return to their original condition.

Pike and Shot (9th level): While this tactic is in effect, once per turn any tribesman that deals damage with a melee weapon to a creature can choose one other tribesman who is within range to attack that creature as well. The second tribesman can expend an immediate action to make a ranged attack against that creature. Any tribesman with the Volley Brigade role may make this attack as an attack of opportunity and gains a bonus to damage equal to the pack leader’s level if it is made within the first range increment of their weapon.

Retreat (9th level): While this tactic is in effect, all tribesman do not provoke for moving within threatened spaces on the first 5 feet they move on their turns. At 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter, they do not provoke for the next 5 additional feet they move. Any tribesman with the Escapist role gains an additional move action every turn, but they may only spend that move action to move their speed towards other tribesman.

Swarm: While this tactic is in effect, any tribesman is treated as if they were flanking the pack leader’s quarry if at least one other tribesman threatens them. For every tribesman beyond the second that is adjacent to the pack leader’s quarry, the quarry suffers a -1 penalty to their armor class.

Turtle: While this tactic is in effect, any tribesman adjacent to at least 2 other allies gain a +2 morale bonus to their saving throws, increasing by 1 at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Any tribesman with the Phalanx role gains the Evasion and Stalwart abilities as long as they stand next to at least one other ally.

This replaces predation, and the ranger talents gained at 4th, 10th and 16th levels.

Tongue of the Ealdorman (Ex)

A pack leader knows the best words to pick when communicating with foreign faces and tongues, and always welcomes potential allies under the umbrella of his tribe. He gains a bonus on all Linguistics checks equal to half his level (minimum 1), and can attempt a Linguistics check with a DC of 20 to communicate in a language he does not know. On success, he can share general ideas, locations or emotions such as anger, a request to hunt animals, or to ask directions to a nearby town. On failure, he fails to understand how to imitate that language and cannot try again for 24 hours. Failing by 5 or more denotes that the pack leader fumbles his words, and potentially embarrasses himself while attempting to speak.

By visiting new lands and seeing new faces, the pack leader expands his vocabulary even more. At 5th level, he learns a number of additional languages equal to his Wisdom modifier.

At 9th, the pack leader perfects his use of language. He adds his Wisdom modifier on all Diplomacy, Intimidate and Perform checks as an insight bonus.

At 13th level, he becomes a master of languages, and learns all languages (even secret languages, such as Druidic).

At 17th level, his mastery over language becomes so prolific that he learns how to communicate entire stories to people in the smallest of gestures. By spending a full-round action focusing on one willing creature within sight, him and the creature are treated as if they spent a full hour conversing with each other telepathically about any conversation they may wish to speak about, although they may only use this ability once per creature per 24 hours. The pack leader additionally gains the ability to speak with creatures in an extraordinary fashion, communicating nonverbally and with only minor physical gestures. Treat this communication as a non-magical telepathy between the pack leader and any creature within line of sight.

This replaces wildspeak.

Pack Leader Talents

The pack leader adds the following to the list of talents he may choose his ranger talents from:

Greater Tactician (Ex): The pack leader learns 2 additional tactics. He must still qualify for the tactics chosen. This talent may be selected multiple times.

Ploys (Ex, 5th level): The pack leader learns to enact a pair of special strategies known as Ploys. Each ploy can be enacted as an action and condition as described under the individual ploy. Enacting a ploy ends any active tactic, however if the ploy is considered a success, another tactic may immediately be started as a free action that can be taken outside of the pack leader’s turn.

Front and Back: This ploy can be activated as an immediate action whenever a tribesman with the Escapist, Phalanx or Guardian roles is attacked with a melee attack. The tribesman gains a +1 bonus to their armor class against that attack, increasing by 1 at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. If the attack misses, the tribesman can immediately attempt a reposition combat maneuver with a +2 bonus as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. On success, the tribesman and the enemy swap positions. Beginning at 9th level, the enemy provokes attacks of opportunity from the movement imposed by the reposition. This ploy is considered a success if the reposition attempt succeeds.
Pincer Strike: This ploy can be activated as a move action, but only if two tribesman are adjacent to a creature, and on opposite sides of that creature (similar to normal flanking rules) and threaten the creature. Both tribesmen must make a melee touch attack as a free action that can be taken outside of their turns. If both tribesmen succeed, the enemy is entangled and reduces all of their movement speeds to 0 feet for as long as they are adjacent to at least one of the tribesmen, and both tribesmen threaten him. If only one ally succeeds, the enemy is entangled for 1 round. This ploy is only considered a success if both tribesmen succeed on their touch attacks.

Right Hand Man (Ex, 8th level): Sometimes, the leader of a squad needs to divert his authority and request the assistance of another ally when managing his men. The pack leader can select one ally to become his second-in-command. That ally can assign or change roles as if they were you, and always have a role themselves that does not count against your usual limit of roles assigned. They may also spend actions to try and enact tactics or ploys, as if they were the pack leader. If the right-hand man is maintaining a ploy or tactic, the pack leader cannot start a ploy or tactic himself and vice versa, and they both share the same limit of only enacting a single ploy each round. Additionally, if the pack leader possesses the Leadership feat, he may use his Wisdom modifier in place of his Charisma modifier for its purposes.

Spellborn Roles (Su, 6th level) (Spellcasting): By selecting this talent, the pack leader gains access to the following roles:

Bombardier: The bombardier is an expert at excluding allies from his dangerous spells or excluding enemies from his helpful spells. Whenever using a spell, spell-like ability or supernatural ability that affects multiple creatures in an area, the bombardier may choose an number of creatures equal to the pack leader’s Wisdom modifier to exclude from the effect. Starting at 13th level, the bombardier can allow a hostile or beneficial spell, spell-like ability or supernatural ability he uses with a variable numerical component that normally affects several creatures, or creatures in an area to only affect a single creature. If he does, treat the spell as if it had been enhanced by the Empower Spell metamagic feat, except it uses a spell slot of the same level and does not increase the casting time of the spell.
Spellblader: A spellblader is taught how to cast his magic without attracting attention. At 1st level, as long as the spellblader is adjacent to one other tribesman, none of his spells cast provoke attacks of opportunity. Beginning at 3rd level, if the spellblader casts a spell that targets an enemy in melee range, they do not provoke attacks of opportunity from that enemy for casting that spell. Beginning at 9th level, as part of making any touch attack to deliver a spell, spell-like ability or supernatural ability, the spellblader may take a free action to teleport up to 10 feet closer to his target, although he must have line of sight. This distance increases by 5 feet at 13th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

Additionally, the pack leader learns the following tactic:

Destroy: The pack leader can command his men to unleash a destructive onslaught of magical power on his quarry. All spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities that deal damage to his quarry increase the damage dealt by 1 per pack leader level, although this bonus can only apply once per spell per target. Tribesmen with the Spellblader role can treat their caster level as 1 higher when casting any spell they cast that have a range of touch, increasing by 1 at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

Warleader (Ex, 8th level) A small tribe is no longer enough. You may assign roles to a number of allies up to twice your legendary ranger level, plus your Wisdom modifier, and may assign the same role to multiple allies.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Legendary Rangers © 2019, Legendary Games; Authors: Andrew J. Gibson, Wren Rosario, and Jeff Gomez.

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