The beastmaster understands the animal spirit deeply and naturally, for her own nature echoes the animal world and its connection to the primordial. Like the druid, the beastmaster is one with the wild and the natural world, but lack’s a druid’s mystical bent. The beastmaster possesses a personal kinship with their pack or herd. Some beastmasters seem to have been raised in whole or in part by creatures of the wild, such as fey, intelligent beasts, or even exceptional animals, while others simply develop their uncanny rapport through practice, friendship, and their natural charisma. Most beastmasters are spirits of the wild places, but some are animal friends of creatures found in the country, village, or city.

Role: Like a barbarian or ranger, the beastmaster is a front-line combatant,relying on might and quickness to defeat foes. Her powerful animal companion aids her in combat and adds its natural abilities to her own sharp senses. Despite her rugged appearance, the beastmaster is a charismatic and perceptive character whose force of personality may sometimes make up for a lack of social graces.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d12.

Class Skills

The beastmaster’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Beastmaster

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Animal companion, wild empathy, fast movement, animal agility, speak with animals
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Uncanny dodge, calm animals
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Trap sense +1, endurance
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Animal instincts, low-light vision
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Improved uncanny dodge, battle roar
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Trap sense +2
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Woodland stride, damage reduction 1/-
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Evasion
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Trap sense +3
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Scent, damage reduction 2/-
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Greater battle roar
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Trap sense +4, opportunist
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Dominance, damage reduction 3/-
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Animal scrying
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Trap sense +5
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Damage reduction 4/-
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Bond of blood
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Trap sense +6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Damage reduction 5/-
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Animal majesty

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the beastmaster.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Beastmasters are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are proficient with light and medium armor, but not with shields.

Fast movement (Ex)

A beastmaster’s land speed is faster than the norm for her race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when she is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor, and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the beastmaster’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn. This bonus stacks with any other bonuses to the beastmaster’s land speed. However, it does not stack with the identical barbarian ability.

Animal Companion

At 1st level, the beastmaster gains the services of an animal companion, as the druid ability, nature bond. The beastmaster’s effective druid level is her beastmaster level.

Speak with Animals (Ex)

The beastmaster can speak the language of animals. Communication is limited by the intelligence of the animal.

Animal Agility (Ex)

The beastmaster gains a +2 bonus to Acrobatics, Climb, Fly, and Swim checks.

Wild Empathy (Ex)

A beastmaster can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The beastmaster rolls 1d20 and adds her druid level and her Charisma modifier 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 beastmaster and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

A beastmaster can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a –4 penalty on the check.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, a beastmaster can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A beastmaster with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.

If a beastmaster already has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Calm Animals (Ex)

A beastmaster of at least 2nd level can calm animals through her wild spirit. The effect is as per the spell calm animals, except the DC is 10 + ½ the beastmaster’s level + the beastmaster’s Cha modifier. If the animal is under some other effect, the beastmaster’s effective caster level for contesting control is her character level. The beastmaster can use this ability a number of times equal to 3 + the beastmaster’s Cha modifier (minimum once).


At 3rd level, the beastmaster gains Endurance as a bonus feat.

Trap Sense (Ex)

At 3rd level, a beastmaster gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus against attacks made by traps. These bonuses increase by +1 every three beastmaster levels. Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Animal Instincts

At 4th level the beastmaster gains a +2 bonus on Escape Artist, Intimidate, Perception, Stealth and Survival checks.

Low-Light Vision

At 4th level, the beastmaster gains low-light vision. If she already has low-light vision, she gains a +2 bonus to Perception checks in adverse lighting conditions.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 5th level and higher, a beastmaster can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the beastmaster by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has beastmaster levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Battle Roar (Ex)

Starting at 5th level, the beastmaster can unleash a powerful cry as a standard action. Any allied animals within 60 feet who can see or hear the beastmaster gains a +1 morale save to attack rolls and saves versus fear, while non-allied animals become frightened. Animals may make a Will Save with a DC of 10 + ½ the beastmaster’s level + the beastmaster’s Cha modifier to avoid being frightened.

If they succeed, they are instead shaken. Battle roar has a duration of one minute. The beastmaster can use battle roar a number of times equal to 1 + the beastmaster’s Cha modifier (minimum once per day). This is a mind-affecting ability. Against non-allied animals, it is a fear effect.

Woodland Stride (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, a beastmaster may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect her.

Damage Reduction (Ex)

At 7th level, a beastmaster gains damage reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the beastmaster takes each time she is dealt damage from a weapon or natural attack. At 10th level, and every three beastmaster levels thereafter, this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.


At 8th level and higher, a beastmaster can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the beastmaster is wearing light armor, medium armor, or no armor. A helpless beastmaster does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Scent (Ex)

At 10th level, a beastmaster gains scent. This special quality allows the beastmaster to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. The beastmaster can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights.

The beastmaster can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range.

When a beastmaster detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The beastmaster can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When the beastmaster is within 5 feet of the source, she pinpoints the source’s location.

A beastmaster with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry’s odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. Beastmasters tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.

Greater Battle Roar (Ex)

At 11th level or higher, battle roar grants a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls, saves, and skill checks to allied animals.

Opportunist (Ex)

Once per round, a beastmaster of 12th level or higher can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage by another character. This attack counts as an attack of opportunity for that round. Even a beastmaster with Combat Reflexes can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

Dominance (Su)

A beastmaster of at least 13th level can dominate animals with the force of her personality. This is as per the spell dominate animal.

The DC is 13 + ½ the beastmaster’s level + the beastmaster’s Cha modifier. The beastmaster can use this ability a number of times equal to 3 + the beastmaster’s Cha modifier (minimum once).

Animal Scrying (Sp)

Starting at 14th level, at will, the beastmaster can use scrying, as the spell, on her animal companion. The caster level is her level.

Bond of Blood (Sp)

Starting at 17th level, once per day, the beastmaster can use shield other on her companion. Alternatively, she can gain the effects of shield other as though the companion were the caster. The caster level is her level.

Animal Majesty (Ex)

At 20th level, the beastmaster inspires awe in animals. Animals must succeed on a Will save with a DC of 20 + the beastmaster’s Cha modifier to directly attack the beastmaster. If the creature fails, its action is wasted. This ability may also affect magical beasts with an Int of 1 or 2, although they get +4 on their saving throw. Once a creature succeeds it is immune to the effect of that beastmaster for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting ability.

In addition, the beastmaster acquires a loyal following of animals. She acquires a second animal companion with an effective beastmaster level of her level -2, plus a group of auxiliary companions. The group of auxiliary companions consists of 3 + her Charisma modifier companions with an effective beastmaster level of 5th. Although vulnerable in combat against high level foes, such companions can perform a number of helpful functions, such as spying, providing transportation, carrying things, and so forth.

If an animal companion dies or is dismissed, she can promote an existing companion to a higher level at the same time she replaces a missing companion. For instance, if her highest level companion dies, she can promote the second companion to a higher level, then promote one of her weaker companions to the second companion slot and and acquire a new auxiliary companion.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Adventuring Classes: A Fistful of Denarii

Adventuring Classes: A Fistful of Denarii. Copyright 2009, Robert J. Grady. All rights reserved.
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