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Polar Whaler Barbarian Archetype

In civilized ports of call, whaling is an impersonal business. For polar whalers, intimacy with these magnificent cetaceans fosters tremendous respect for their chosen prey. These indigenous peoples view their quarry not as a commodity to be bartered or sold, but as a noble beast and a worthy rival whose sacrifice serves the greater good and ensures their continued survival. While the polar whaler’s motivation for hunting his fellow mammals differs from those of a ship captain seeking a monetary reward, the polar whaler is still a formidable and merciless predator no different from his sedentary counterpart. Indeed, he favors coming face to face with his prey from the defenseless confines of his small, nimble watercraft over the notion of stalking his opponent from afar aboard a colossal commercial vessel. His hunting exploits may even take him for a brief foray into the icy waters or atop an ice floe in search of a breathing hole in the otherwise contiguous crystalline structure.

The polar whaler places his trust in his astute instincts and keen senses as well as his most cherished weapon, his reliable harpoon. Whether with a potent thrust or a mighty heave, the polar whaler’s fortunes often rest upon his prowess with his barbed instrument of death.

When he hits the mark, his plentiful rewards can last for weeks or months. Failure, on the other hand, may end in starvation or a swift demise in a chilly, unmarked grave at the bottom of the sea. In either case, the polar whaler stirs his unquiet spirit into seething wrath before basking in triumph or going down with his ship.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A polar whaler is proficient with the harpoon in addition to all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

This alters the barbarian’s weapon and armor proficiency.

Man O’erboard (Ex)

At 2nd level, the polar whaler takes nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage from immersion in cold water. He may navigate a water vehicle through sea ice with a successful Knowledge (nature) check. In addition, when he encounters an ice sheet in a polar saltwater system, he may attempt a DC 20 Knowledge (nature) or Survival check. If he succeeds on the check, the barbarian locates the closest breathing hole, if any, within a 1-mile radius of his current location. Further checks attempted within the next hour yield the same result. This ability replaces uncanny dodge.

I Stab at Thee (Ex)

At 3rd level, the polar whaler masters the art of hurling thrown weapons. Increase the range increment of any thrown piercing weapon by 5 feet (10 feet if the weapon is a harpoon. The range increment increases by 5 feet every six levels (three levels with a harpoon) thereafter to a maximum of +15 feet (+30 feet with a harpoon) at 18th level.

This ability replaces trap sense.

Hot Pursuit (Ex)

At 5th level, a polar whaler gains a swim speed equal to half his land speed.

This ability replaces improved uncanny dodge.

Reel Her In (Ex)

At 7th level, a polar whaler gains a +1 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to grapple a foe with his harpoon. This bonus increases by 1 for every three barbarian levels beyond 7th. In addition, opponents swimming, floating or treading water on the surface or wading in water at least chest deep have cover (reduced to no cover at 13th level) instead of total cover against a polar whaler on land or in a waterborne vehicle. At 10th level, a completely submerged creature has improved cover (+8 bonus to AC, +4 bonus on Reflex saves, reduced to cover at 16th level), instead of total cover against a polar whaler on land or in a waterborne vehicle.

This ability replaces damage reduction.

Harpoon Gun (Ex)

At 14th level, while in a rage a polar whaler can make a ranged attack with a thrown piercing weapon while underwater, though any ranged attack beyond the weapon’s first range increment always misses.

This ability replaces indomitable will.

Rage Powers: The following rage powers complement the polar whaler archetype: bestial swimmer, fearless rage, greater hurling, hurling, hurling charge, lesser hurling, raging swimmer, and strength surge.