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Noble Bird of Prey

Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily via flight, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing flesh. In most cases, the females are considerably larger than the males. The term “raptor” is derived from the base word rapere (meaning to seize or take by force) and may refer informally to all birds of prey, or specifically to the diurnal group. Birds of prey are often apex predators.

Species Descriptions

Terrors from the sky for any small scurrying creature (and a large number of flying creatures as well), noble birds of prey are recognized by many species as being inherently proud and majestic. They foster this belief themselves, in an almost propaganda-like fashion.

With the exception of noble eagles, most noble birds of prey choose to challenge humanoids. The degree to which they pursue their challenge is often simply lip service, finding much more interesting activities in the skies and far away from the haunts of man.

The aforementioned eagles found themselves drawn to the elvish peoples, joining with them in an alliance against a similar alliance of goblins and evil wolves.

Past the requirements of mutual defense, eagles and elves often become lifelong friends. In fact, it was through elvish magic and the participation of a few noble eagle volunteers that the giant eagles came into being. Inherently more powerful than their progenitors, giant eagles nonetheless have a great deal of respect for noble eagles.

Noble condors enjoy the isolation that their remote mountain lairs afford them, not particularly caring for the troubles and intrigues to be found among other noble animals or humanoids. But when those troubles and intrigues intrude on their solitude, a noble condor will waste no time in dealing with the intrusion, judging each instance on its own merits, and acting in accordance to their own values.

Like most carrion eaters, noble vultures do not enjoy a very active social life. Intellectually, they understand that they fill a vital role in helping to stem the spread of disease, and they eliminate the waste that might take place when a creature dies in the wild. But that knowledge does nothing to dull the sting of a snub from a fellow noble bird of prey, who does not consider the noble vulture a “true hunter,” or the threats and growls from land-based predators, who considers noble vultures to be opportunistic thieves. Given this wide spread prejudice, most noble vultures become masters of ridicule; tearing down the self-image of those who insult them.

These rules can be used to represent noble falcons and other small noble raptors that prey on other birds.

Noble Bird of Prey Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom
  • Size: Small.
  • Base Speed: 10 ft., Fly: 60 (poor).
  • Natural Weapons: 2 talons (1d4), bite (1d4).
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex)
  • Bonus Feat: Weapon Finesse.
  • Skills: +8 racial bonus to Perception checks. +4 racial bonus to Stealth checks.
  • Family: Avian.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble birds of prey have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Social Group: Varies.
  • Automatic Languages: High Fauna and Raptor.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Rodent, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.

Noble Condor Sub-Species Traits

In all other ways, the noble condor shares the same species traits and progression listed for noble birds of prey.

Noble Eagle Sub-Species Traits

  • Social Group: None.

In all other ways, the noble eagle shares the same species traits and progression listed for noble birds of prey, although it can never advance beyond 1st level in the Noble Bird of Prey class.

Noble Hawk Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: -4 Strength, +6 Dexterity, +4 Wisdom. This replaces the noble bird of prey’s ability adjustments.
  • Size: Tiny. This replaces the noble bird of prey size.
  • Natural Weapons: talons (1d4) (this is a single attack using both talons). This replaces the noble bird of prey’s natural weapons.
  • Skills: The Noble Hawk does not get the skill bonuses listed for Noble Birds of Prey.
  • Social Group: None.

In all other ways, the noble hawk shares the same species traits listed for noble birds of prey. The noble hawk can never gain levels in the Noble Bird of Prey class.

Noble Vulture Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +4 Wisdom. This replaces the noble bird of prey’s ability adjustments.
  • Base Speed: 10 ft., Fly: 40 (poor). This replaces the noble bird of prey’s base speed.
  • Social Group: Flock.

In all other ways, the noble vulture shares the same species traits and progression listed for noble birds of prey, although it can never advance beyond 1st level in the Noble Bird of Prey class.

Noble Bird of Prey Class

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The noble animal’s class skills are Fly (Dex), Perception (Wis), Survival (Wis).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Noble Bird of Prey
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Ability Increase (Dex +2, Wis +2), speed increase +20, natural armor +1
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Ability Increase (Str +2), natural armor +2
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Ability Increase (Str +2), natural armor +3

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the noble bird of prey class.

Ability Increase

At 1st level your Dexterity and Wisdom scores increase by 2 each. Your Strength score increases by 2 at 2nd and 3rd levels.

Speed Increase

At 1st level your fly speed increases by 20 feet.

Natural Armor

At 1st level you gain a natural armor bonus of +1. This bonus increases to +2 at 2nd level, and +3 at 3rd level.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Noble Wild. Copyright 2009 by Lee Garvin and Skirmisher Publishing LLC.