View Full Version : [3.5 Base Class] Skirmisher [PEACH]

2010-06-16, 09:20 AM
Just wanted to get some opinions on this...

The Skirmisher is among the most opportunistic of the melee classes. They
rely on agility and mobility to wreak havoc on their enemies by using their
Hit & Run ability to move in, attack and retreat as their attack sequence.
Heavily armored foes who have poor mobility find themselves at the mercy of
the Skirmisher and his brand of tactics. However, a skirmisher almost always
needs to work in tandem with an ally as they have generally poor defenses.

Abilities: Dexterity is the key ability for the Skirmisher. They also rely
heavily upon a hearty Constitution and Wisdom because of their poor
Fortitude and Willpower. They will rely heavily on use of skills, especially
Tumble, Balance and Jump as they will seek to dart in and out of combat,
often following difficult paths for their enemies to traverse. Escape Artist
is very important for them to be able to free themselves from grapples
while Sense Motive, Spot and Listen are imperative in keeping them
from walking into ambushes.

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d8

Class Skills
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Escape Artist
(Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession
(Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str)
and Tumble (Dex).
Skill Pts at each level: 6 + Intelligence Modifier.

The Skirmisher
Lev. BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Skirmish (+1d6, +1 AC), Skirmisher’s Finesse, Hit & Run
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Two Weapon Fighting
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Fast Movement
4th +4 +1 +4 +1 Uncanny Dodge
5th +5 +1 +4 +1 Skirmish (+2d6, +2 AC)
6th +6 +2 +5 +2 Improved Two Weapon Fighting
7th +7 +2 +5 +2 Evasion
8th +8 +2 +6 +2 Mobile Opportunist
9th +9 +3 +6 +3 Skirmish (+3d6, +3 AC)
10th +10 +3 +7 +3 Skirmisher’s Strike
11th +11 +3 +7 +3 Greater Two Weapon Fighting
12th +12 +4 +8 +4 Improved Uncanny Dodge
13th +13 +4 +8 +4 Skirmish (+4d6, +4 AC)
14th +14 +4 +9 +4
15th +15 +5 +9 +5 Improved Evasion
16th +16 +5 +10 +5 Two Weapon Mastery
17th +17 +5 +10 +5 Skirmish (+5d6, +5 AC)
18th +18 +6 +11 +6
19th +19 +6 +11 +6
20th +20 +6 +12 +6 Free Movement

Class Features
Weapon & Armor Proficiencies: Skirmishers are proficient with simple
and martial weapons. They are proficient with light armor, but not with

Skirmisher’s Finesse (Ex): The Skirmisher is treated as having Weapon
Finesse. Skirmisher’s Finesse improves at the following levels:
- L10 – Improved: Skirmisher is treated as having Weapon Finesse for One-Handed Weapons.

Hit & Run (Ex): The Skirmisher may move their Base Land Speed after
any Charge. Doing this negates all bonuses to AC from Skirmish and also
negates any Dodge Bonuses to AC until the next turn. Movement after the
Charge must be in a Straight line (Tumble may be used to move through
other models) and provokes Attack of Opportunity (Tumble Checks apply to
avoid Attack of Opportunity provoked this way). The Hit & Run ability
Improves as the character progresses to the following levels:
- L6 – Improved: Skirmisher may take a Full Attack as part of a Charge via Hit & Run.
- L12 – Superior: Skirmisher may take one Directional Change during his Charge. Move after the Charge need not be in a straight line.
- L18 – Mastery: Skirmisher no longer suffers AC Penalties via Hit & Run.

Fast Movement (Ex): The Skirmisher gains Fast Movement at 3rd
Level, adding +10’ to his Base Land Speed. Fast Movement increases
throughout the Skirmisher’s career by +5’ every 4 levels after 3rd,
reaching a maximum of +30’ at 19th level.

Mobile Opportunist (Ex): The Skirmisher may take a 5’ Move when
an enemy provokes an Attack of Opportunity from him. Taking this 5’ Move
also requires a DC 15 Tumble Check (failure results in not moving at all,
and an Attack of Opportunity is wasted), and any subsequent 5’ Move in
a single round requires another Tumble check at a cumulative +2 DC.
Taking this 5’ Move replaces any available attack action and counts as
one’s Attack of Opportunity for the round. A creature can provoke multiple
Attacks of Opportunity through a single move action for purposes of the
Mobile Opportunist with Combat Reflexes. Because this movement happens
before any attacks are resolved, it may prevent an enemy from being able
to attack the Skirmisher if the enemy doesn’t have movement remaining.
It could also allow the Skirmisher to effectively sidestep a charge, avoid
a trip or avoid a grapple before it happens.

Skirmisher’s Strike (Ex): If the Skirmisher has moved at least 10’,
he may choose to substitute his Dexterity Modifier instead of his Strength
Modifier when dealing Weapon Damage so long as the Weapon is using the
Skirmisher’s Dexterity Bonus to Attack (This includes Finesse Weapons and
Ranged / Thrown Weapons). The Skirmisher’s momentum and accuracy
adds more to the weapon’s effect than the brute strength of his arm itself.
One cannot use Power Attack when utilizing Skirmisher’s Strike.
Skirmisher’s Strike improves at the following level:
- L15 – Ambidextrous Strike (Ex): The Skirmisher, when using Skirmisher’s Strike, no longer halves their off-hand Dexterity Modifier for Damage.

Two Weapon Mastery (Ex): The Skirmisher no longer suffers
Two-Weapon Penalties to Attack, furthermore, all Standard Action
attacks and Attacks of Opportunity made by the Skirmisher consist of
both a Primary and Off-Handed Strike.

Free Movement (Ex): At 20th level, a skirmisher can slip out of
bonds, grapples, and even the effects of confining spells easily. This
ability duplicates the effect of a freedom of movement spell, except that
it is always active. A Skirmisher loses this benefit when wearing medium
or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.

This is a Base Class that was made to accomodate a more streamlined version of a Ranger (Variant) / Scout / Barbarian (Variant) / Cleric that had the following going on:
- Travel Devotion 6/day,
- 5d6 & +4 AC Skirmish, Evasion, Track, Uncanny Dodge, Trap-Finding
- Favored Enemy, Animal Companion, Two-Weapon Chain, Endurance
- Full Attack on Charge, Rage
- 70' Land Move before Magic Item Bonuses

The Multi-Class build essentially had a 100' move, would use Travel Devotion each combat (1 Minute Duration) to get a swift move each round before doing a full attack (7 Attacks) with a 7d6 Skirmish Bonus on each attack. Paired with a WarBlade, it would get another move action to withdraw (Though this latter part wasn't really necessary) and it got really ugly. It makes the traditional Ranger / Scout / Rogue pretty obsolete since it's also an incredibly skillful class combination and is so much more offensively powerful than any progressive base class that it's not even funny.

The Skirmisher Base Class seeks to create a streamlined two-weapon fighting melee class that relies on speed and hit & run tactics. It's more limited than the multi-class combo in that it relies on the Charge to trigger it's hit & run and Skirmish abilities that the multi-class combo doesn't. It does have a little "uniqueness" with it's One-Handed Weapon Finesse, Dex to Damage and true Ambidexterity with 2Wp Fighting. I haven't yet figured out if Mobile Opportunist isn't going to be more of a headache when all is said and done than a benefit to the class.

Anyhow, all opinions welcome, and I'd appreciate suggestions to potentially streamline the class.

I was considering making it a 10-Level PrC with prerequisites of 2Wp Fighting, Skirmish and the Swift Hunter Feat, but I liked the 20-Level Base Progression a bit better. Plus, making it a PrC would just allow for more dipping abuse than making this Base Class progression, IMO. Plus, I wanted to avoid the whole Trapfinding, Tracking, Animal Companion, Wild Empathy aspect. I wanted this to be a pure combatant. Hence the class being the Skirmisher.

2010-06-17, 09:53 AM
Dead levels... Spring Attack tree...
Evasion comes way too late to count, and it should also have Improved Evasion.

2010-06-17, 12:24 PM
I agree with nonsi, and I think this class is underpowered. Pounce should be gained way earlier (a one level barbarian dip gives it, and you still get rage or whirlwind frenzy), freedom of movement, although nice, is almost useless at lvl 20, the dead levels need to be filled, and this class definitely needs a power boost.

A standard (unoptimized) swift hunter ranger with assassin's stance and 1 lvl dip in barb does every thing this class does and does it better, in fewer levels.

This would probably be better as a 10 or even 5 lvl prc, and even then it would still need a power boost to be worth taking.

2010-06-17, 02:39 PM
What if Pounce came at L6? The Optimal Barbarian Dip is L5, so it would only be delayed one level that way... And a little boost was added on as things moved up... See the inline revision...

Also bumped Evasion to 7th, added Improved Uncanny Dodge at 12th and Improved Evasion at 15th (Where Evasion Was).

"A standard (unoptimized) swift hunter ranger with assassin's stance and 1 lvl dip in barb does every thing this class does and does it better, in fewer levels."

I would argue that's not true. Not at all. You can't get the 2Wp Chain as quickly multi-classed by any means. You're not getting Dex to Damage. You're not Dex Attacking / Damaging w/ One-Handed Weapons. You're never negating the -2 2Wp Penalty. You're not getting movement after the charge - (which sets up the charge again next round). Without Travel Devotion and a Cleric Dip to power it multiple times, you're essentially an everey-other-round Full-Attack Skirmisher. This class enables you to do it every round, which is a pretty big boon. Add in Improved Skirmish and Assassin's Stance and you're looking at an extra 9d6 Damage per Attack with 7 Attacks - every round.

That's pretty beefy. Then you add Telling Blow and get a Keen / Improved Crit weapon and it gets just as mean as the multi-class combo does. It just drops a lot of stuff along the way like Spells, Animal Companions, Tracking, Trap-Finding, Rage, etc...

This class has a bit of uniqueness built into it that - albeit with limitations (like needing to Charge) - that offsets a lot of the other things being lost...

2010-06-17, 02:43 PM
freedom of movement, although nice, is almost useless at lvl 20

You're immune to grapples though! :smallbiggrin: Note that this is a joke, though freedom of movement is always helpful, no matter what level you are.

This reminds me of Valas Hune. :smallamused: