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Boreal Raider Barbarian Archetype

The boreal raider emulates many of the traits practiced by one of his native habitat’s longest-lasting and most successful predators, the wolf. Like his bestial cohort, he may imitate the lifestyle of the proverbial lone wolf by leading a nomadic existence alone in the wild or on the fringes of society. This singular predator hunts small game animals, scavenges for scraps from abandoned kills, and pilfers goods from a nearby settlement. Most though follow the canine’s more iconic path and assemble into packs of individuals gathered together from a variety of sources. Some share family ties or the bonds of friendship. Others were formerly lone wolves who grew weary of constant vigilance and desired companionship with their fellow men and women. Regardless of the group’s origins, boreal raiders observe a strict hierarchy within their ranks that eerily resembles those practiced by the animals they so closely mirror. An alpha male or alpha female along with his or her consort wield absolute authority over the wandering band, while the remaining members establish a distinct pecking order within their ranks. Whereas only the alpha pair may breed in a wolf pack, the same restriction does not apply to the leaders’ underlings as they are free to consummate relationships with any other group member or select outsiders in exigent circumstances.

Despite the preceding laxity, the alpha members unquestioningly lead communal hunts as well as raids against neighboring humanoid communities. Boreal raiders generally prefer the former option when their most valuable game, musk oxen and reindeer, are plentiful, and usually resort to the latter choice during leaner times. The sedentary residents who survive one of their notorious raids refer to the cutthroat barbarians as “feral mad dogs,” a moniker they deem insulting.

Nonetheless, the derogatory title seems strikingly apropos, which may account for their intense dislike for the offensive nickname.

Boreal Runner (Ex)

At 1st level, the boreal raider can move across regular snow and shallow bogs without penalty. Moving across heavy snow or deep bogs costs the boreal raider 2 squares of movement instead of 4.

He can also move across icy surfaces without penalty and does not need to make Acrobatics checks to run or charge on ice. This ability replaces fast movement.

Wolf Pack (Ex)

At 3rd level, a boreal raider gains a teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. He gains an additional bonus teamwork feat for every three levels attained after 3rd, to a maximum of six bonus teamwork feats at 18th level. This ability replaces trap sense.

Wolves’ Eyes (Sp)

At 7th level, a boreal raider can control animals as a spell-like ability. This ability acts like dominate animal, except it lasts only 1 minute. He may use this ability once per day at 7th level and one additional time per day for every three barbarian levels he possesses beyond 7th up to five times per day at 19th level. The boreal raider’s affinity with wolves causes these animals to suffer a –4 penalty on their Will saves against this spell-like ability. This ability replaces damage reduction.

Wolf Trip (Ex)

At 14th level, a boreal raider learns to trip opponents. Whenever the boreal raider confirms a critical hit against an opponent while raging, he can attempt to trip that opponent as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If his trip attempt fails, the boreal raider is not tripped in return. This ability replaces indomitable will.

Rage Powers: The following rage powers complement the boreal raider archetype: animal fury, beast totem, greater beast totem, intimidating glare, knockdown, lesser beast totem, low-light vision, primal scentUC, scent, superstition, and terrifying howl.