View Full Version : LA +2 race or template for scout-ranger

2010-09-13, 04:00 AM
I'm probably joining a campaign where the DM has, for whatever reason, given us two 'free' levels for level adjustment (in other words, LA +2 characters only, who's gonna leave money on the table?). So level 12, ECL 14. Using two difference +1 LA templates or race+template is fine.

The character I'd've liked to play is something like a scout-4 ranger-8 with the Swift Hunter and Greater Manyshot feats. The idea is that the scout (3/4ths BAB) does bonus precision damage when she moves 10' or more in a round, the Swift Hunter feat stacks this progression with ranger levels (which have full BAB), and Greater Manyshot lets you do precision damage on every arrow. Thus, this character can move and still get 3 such arrows in a round. 6 if the DM allows the cheesy 'splitting' weapon property from champions of ruin (+3 base price bonus, turn every arrow into 2).

What's a good race / template for this character, given that I have 2 levels' worth of level adjustment to burn? Is there anything with a big Dexterity bonus? Some sort of move + full attack (for ranged attacks, not charges), so I could use boots of speed + (Improved) Rapid Shot attack sequences (4 or 5 arrows with favorable modifiers) instead?

Andion Isurand
2010-09-13, 04:08 AM
Obah-Blessed template from Dungeon Magazine 136 is a fun one to look at.

+2 Str, +4 Dex, +2 Con, +4 Cha
one extra pair of arms
multi-weapon fighting bonus feat
+2 LA

-- or --

+4 Str, +6 Dex, +4 Con, +6 Cha
two extra pairs of arms
multi-weapon fighting bonus feat
+3 LA

2010-09-13, 04:15 AM
Catfolk with a +1 template will work nicely for what you suggest... Shadow/Dark/Mineral-Warrior Catfolk. And get catfolk pounce for pouncey goodness.

2010-09-13, 04:26 AM
Catfolk + Feral then? lol

2010-09-13, 04:28 AM
Mineral Warrior (aka: Stony) Catfolk.

Not, perhaps, the best tailored combination for the specific role you want, but it will give you some hefty physical attribute bonuses (off the top of my head, you'll be rocking +8 Str, +2 Dex, +4 Con for the price of -2 Int and -2 Wis) and make you more or less impervious to minor troubles with DR:8/Adamantine and some decent Natural Armour. Depending on the nature of the game you'll be playing, the latter may or may not be particularly useful; if your GM is prone to throwing the biggest and baddest monsters at you, you may find the DR useless, but if you regularly come across low HD mooks, then you can happily wade through them with impunity.

Specific boons to your build from this Race/Template combo include (but are not limited to);

1)High Strength = Composite Bow of Doom. Not only will you be able to get an extra 4 points of damage per shot (on top of whatever you 'roll'), but you can rock the whole Odysseus-schtick of no-one else being able to string your bow! Sweet times.

2)Dex bonus = I don't have to spell this one out do I? Nevertheless, the Stony template is normally not so good for Archer-types because of the Dex penalty, but by using Catfolk as a base Race, you end up with a net bonus to Dex. Can't complain.

3)Burrow speed. Catfolk base speed: 40ft. Burrow speed from Stony = half base land. being able to move 20ft per round safely tucked away underground is useful for tactical positioning. This is important for any Scout as battlefield position is key to get the most out of your Skirmish abilities.

4)Natural Armour and DR. As an Archer, things will go pear-shaped and you'll end up in melee combat more than once. To prepare against this eventuality, the investment in DR and NA is certainly not wasted. As a Scout/Ranger, your HP aren't going to be low (especially with the Con bonus), per se, but the DR will stretch the HP you do have to equal or beat the lofty heights of any Fighter or Barbarian.

2010-09-13, 04:56 AM
Feral is really somewhat DM-reliant and if you manage to make your DM count your class HD for the purposes of the template it stinks of cheese worse than Mineral warrior...

2010-09-13, 05:46 AM
Bah, catgirls are vulnerable to the volatile combination of D&D rules and real world physics. They die in droves.

What you ought to look is the Poison Dusk lizardfolk. +2 dex, +2 con, -2 cha, small with 30' move, poison use, automatic web and bola proficiencies, and you won't be a furry. Oh, and claw/claw/bite attack routine.

For move & full attack, there's no beating cleric dip.

2010-09-13, 06:02 AM
Or just be a badass Whispergnome. No templates required :smallcool:

@above: you'll be a "scaly" that way.:smallsigh:

2010-09-13, 06:46 AM
Half-vampires (Libra Mortis) can be fun to play.

2010-09-13, 06:54 AM
Yep..they can. But they are very unscout/ranger-y and mechanically they...kind of...suck.

2010-09-13, 07:01 AM
Shadow Creature in Lords of Madness gets some amazing special abilities and increased movement for a +2 LA. There are no ability score bonuses, but you get Shadow Blend (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/shadowMastiff.htm), Fast Healing, Evasion, +2 to saves, cold resistance, and +6 Move Silently. Put it on a Whisper Gnome in Races of Stone and you'll have 45 ft. move speed, +8 Hide with size bonuses, +10 Move Silently, and all the other Whisper Gnome goodies. Since you'll get Evasion from the template you can get the Spell Reflection ACF in Complete Mage instead of your Ranger evasion, since they won't stack anyway. Shadow Creature gets to pick special abilities from a list, so at this level you should definitely get the 1/day Plane Shift since you'll be considered an extraplanar creature and if you get Banished you won't have any way back to the material plane otherwise.

A lower alternative would be Dark Creature from Tome of Magic, which is only a +1 LA. A Dark Catfolk would be a pretty good choice, for example. Consider using the Planar Ranger substitution levels from the Planar Handbook, which allows you to get a Celestial or Fiendish creature for your animal companion. See if your DM will allow you to get a Dark animal companion instead, since that would make it native to the plane of shadow like your character is.

2010-09-13, 07:43 AM
Yep..they can. But they are very unscout/ranger-y and mechanically they...kind of...suck.

They get a +2 to str, dex, which would be useful for an archer (and +2 to cha, but meh), can charm humanoids at will, +2 natural armor, and get racial bonuses of +2 to a lot of good skills, among other things. It's a decent alternative if the DM isn't receptive to some of the more overpowered templates that exist, like feral.

An afflicted were-jackal wouldn't be a bad idea either. They use the stats of a dog (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/dog.htm) for the purposes of stats, so you only get 1 RHD, +2 str, +6 dex, +4 con, +2 wisdom, iron will, alertness, and track, among other things.

2010-09-13, 11:45 AM
If you don't mind 4 lvls of monstrous humanoid, a centaur from Races of the Wild might be an option (LA +2). Never played m myself, but I do want to play m if I start a character with at least ECL 8 or so.

+8 str, +4 dex, +4 con, -2 int, +2 wis
50ft base landspeed, large size, +3 nat armor, etc

and ranger is it's favored class, in case your dm gives xp penalties for roleplaying

2010-09-13, 04:02 PM
Or just be a badass Whispergnome. No templates required :smallcool:

@above: you'll be a "scaly" that way.:smallsigh:
Add on the Shadow Template or Shadowwalker + Dark Creature for an even sneakier whisper gnome.

2010-09-13, 06:09 PM
Feral is really somewhat DM-reliant and if you manage to make your DM count your class HD for the purposes of the template it stinks of cheese worse than Mineral warrior...
The Feral template has two tables. The first (special attacks) is advanced only by monster Hit Dice. The other table is advanced by (any) Hit Dice. There's only the one word difference in qualifications, so it's fairly common for players to try to ignore that word and slip it past their DM. :smallannoyed: Of course, it's the special attacks table that has pounce (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#pounce).

2010-09-13, 07:08 PM
Mineral Warrior for huge DR and Feral for scaling Fast Healing combine to make a basically unstoppable tank.

"Why would I want my Scout to tank," you might ask.

The Riposte variant of Skirmish, of course! Instead of dealing extra damage when you've moved, you deal extra damage to anyone who's tried to hit you this round. "That sounds difficult to take advantage of..." you say. Not in the slightest.

Put these feats together:
Combat Reflexes: It's Combat Reflexes. You should probably start as an Air Goblin to offset Feral's -2 Dex, which is a hilarious concept anyway to be combined with Mineral Warrior of all things. Maximize your Dex, otherwise.
Karmic Strike: Take a -4 to AC; you get an Attack of Opportunity against anyone who hits you with an attack.
Double Hit: You make each Attack of Opportunity with two weapons.
Robilar's Gambit Take another -4 to AC; you get an Attack of Opportunity whenever anyone attacks you

So let's say someone saunters over to your freakish self and, after you fail spectacularly at normal conversation, decides he wants to kill you. He swings... and you stab him in the face with each weapon before he can even hit you, dealing Skirmish-equivalent Riposte damage on each strike. Then he actually hits you, dealing minimal damage, and gets another two stabs in the face with more Riposte damage. This happens every single time someone attacks you as long as you have AoOs to spare.

This is quite feat intensive, though - those feats all have prerequisites to fill. Some can be filled with items, I think. If you can get Swift Hunter to advance Riposte with Ranger you'll wind up ahead by getting TWF and ITWF for free.

2010-09-14, 12:53 PM
Thanks all.

The mineral warrior I know (Underdark manual) is +2 Str +4 con...someone mentioned a 'Stony' template with +8 Str and a Dex penalty?

I'm currently thinking catfolk + mineral warrior. However Feral looks amazing for a melee character (I'm sure I could get my DM to go for 'character level' for all the abilities) and I may use it sometime (and pounce and skirmish ahve good synergy).

Catfolk seems to have great synergy for the ranger-scout:
- +4 Dex
- speed bonus (high speed is key to trigger Improved Skirmish even when tumbling or doing other half speed things)
- ranger favored class (although I expect the DM would ignore multiclass penalties, as most do)
- Catfolk Pounce feat has great synergy with skirmish, so I'll likely take the feat for occasions when melee is needed, such as a surprise or initial round where a Manyshot is not in skirmish damage range, but I could close with a charge (I can use Tumble to move back to range later)

Mineral Warrior seems very nice defensively, and the burrow speed may actually be useful for skirmishing (especially b/c my speed's high enough for the half-speed burrow to trigger improved skirmish).

Also thanks for some of the suggestions using AoOs / riposte / etc. I'm sure I could get the DM to let Swift Hunter stack it with ranger in place of skirmish, but I probably won't go this route simply b/c it's PBP and so lots of AoOs and immediate actions like Rob's Gambit will slow down play (especially if the DM keeps forgetting the ability). I agree that Rob's Gambit seems crazy good.

Shadow and Dark seem like they'd be awesome for a sneak attacker. I read the link for the Shadow Mastiff, whose Shadow Blend states

"Shadow Blend (Su) In any condition of illumination other than full daylight, a shadow mastiff can disappear into the shadows, giving it total concealment. Artificial illumination, even a light or continual flame spell, does not negate this ability. A daylight spell, however, will."

So is this 'continuous' total concealment (in the right conditions), or does it 'merely' allow hide checks without concealment, a la Hide in Plain Sight? If it's the former I just might abandon ranger-scout for a sneak attacker instead!

2010-09-14, 01:06 PM
...someone mentioned a 'Stony' template with +8 Str and a Dex penalty?
Stonebone acquired template (Dragon # 350, page 36):

STR +4, CON +4, DEX -4
-4 penalty to Climb, Swim
Speeds: Land -10', Swim -20'
Powerful Build (treated as one size larger for most things except unarmed strikes & other natural attacks)

2010-09-14, 01:47 PM
in case your dm gives xp penalties for roleplayingThat sounds rather peculiar. :smallamused:

2010-09-14, 03:00 PM
He's talking about a rule that doesn't make sense and restricts roleplaying as its only corollary. I don't think there's anything peculiar about his statement...