image by burnz08
ĒThe thrill of the hunt is only matched by the joy of taking a hoard.Ē
Is a dragon hunter one who hunts dragons, or a dragon which hunts? Perhaps a little bit of both. The dragon hunter knows so much about his prey he has unlocked its secrets, for better or for worse. While a dragon hunter doesnít limit himself to only fighting dragons, he aspires to kill dragons and take their hoards for his own. A dragon hunter is not greedy in the traditional sense, but has, through their frequent contact with dragons, acquired many of the traits of dragons, including the dragonís need to acquire and maintain a hoard. The dragon hunter has a deep connection with his hoard, and much of his power comes from his hoard, and increases as his hoard increases. The dragon hunter is adept at fighting large enemies and can even the odds with his supernatural abilities.
Adventures: A dragon hunter are generally concerned with increasing their personal wealth and use their skills to accomplish this goal. Usually this involves hunting and slaying dragons, but a dragon hunter will seek other methods of increasing his wealth through any means. For example, a dragon hunter might take on mercenary work, or fight large, and preferably wealthy, creatures in order to take advantage of his skill in dealing with them. Either way, dragon hunters tend to prefer to travel a lot in order to find more monsters to conquer.
Characteristics: A dragon hunter is a formidable combatant, but is also competent in social and other non-combat situations. A dragon hunter gains impressive supernatural abilities, and limited tracking abilities. While a fighter may attain power through rigorous training, or a barbarian through sheer force of will, the dragon hunter gains power through life experience and trial and error, pushing through difficulties with their strong ambition.
Alignment: The motives and alignment of a dragon hunter vary, but they are never lawful as they prefer to make their own way in life without being held down by anyone who would claim authority over them. Some dragon hunters are good, and use their powers and skills to rid the world of evil dragons and help people (while still increasing their personal wealth). Some are evil, and will kill any kind of dragon in order to get what they want, or even focus their efforts on destroying good dragons. A neutral dragon hunter is simply out to attain power and wealth, and sees destroying dragons as the most efficient means to an end.
Religion: Dragon hunters worship a variety of gods, with some even choosing to worship dragon gods such as Bahamut. The most common god a dragon hunter worships is Astilabor, who represents the draconic hoard. An evil dragon hunter might worship Tiamat. Dragon hunters often have a complicated relationship with dragons. Other dragon hunters might worship gods of martial strength in order to gain their favor in combat.
Background: A dragon hunter is born of someone who seeks great personal power through conquest. A dragon hunter is generally the kind of person who will do whatever it takes to get what they want, and arenít often deterred by details that would dissuade others, such as the overwhelming size and power of a dragon. Dragon hunters usually have some rudimentary training in combat, but most of their skills are learned throughout their travels.
Races: Any race can become a dragon hunter, but most dragon hunters are humans or dwarves due to their ambition and greed. Elves tend to not be dragon hunters as they tend to be less interested in wealth than other races, but this does not preclude the possibility.
Other Classes: Dragon hunters get along best with other martial classes. A dragon hunter can see the value in a spellcaster, but tends to regard them as weak or cowardly. However, any class that seeks power or wealth above all else is easy for a dragon hunter to relate to.
Role: A dragon hunter would most likely take the role of melee combatant in a party, and possibly even tracker in a dragon-focused campaign. While a dragon hunter focuses on the slaying of dragons, their abilities make them versatile combatants with plenty to offer to the party.
Adaptation: If a campaign doesnít have dragons, a dragon hunter would most likely be hard to adapt, but another powerful and greedy race could be substituted for dragons if needed.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Dragon hunters have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Dragon hunters value Strength and Constitution most, as these stats allow them to increase their strength in combat. A high Dexterity score can be helpful for avoiding the breath weapons of dragons. A high Charisma score helps the dragon hunter to be more diplomatic and persuasive, and also affects some of the dragon hunterís abilities.
Alignment: Any non-lawful.
Hit Die: d10
Starting Age: As fighter.
Starting Gold: 12d4x10 gp.
The dragon hunter's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis).
Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Draconic knowledge +1, exotic weapon proficiency, favored dragon, track 4 3 1 2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Hoard 5 3 1 3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Track property 6 4 2 4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Leap of the heavens 6 4 2 5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Draconic knowledge +2 7 4 2 6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Golden luck 8 4 2 7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 ó 9 4 2 8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Prosperous power 9 5 3 9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Draconic knowledge +3 10 5 3 10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Eagle claw 11 5 3 11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 ó 12 5 3 12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Cache of knowledge 12 6 3 13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Draconic knowledge +4 13 6 4 14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 ó 14 6 4 15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Draconic might 15 6 4 16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 ó 15 7 4 17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Draconic knowledge +5 16 7 4 18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Temporal affluence 17 7 5 19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 ó 18 7 5 20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Draconic transformation 18 8 5
All of the following are class features of the dragon hunter.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The dragon hunter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and all shields except tower shields.
Maneuvers: A dragon hunter begins his career with knowledge of four martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Breath of Fire, Desert Wind, Heroís Edge, Iron Heart, Stone Dragon, and Tiger Claw.
Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by dragon hunters is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one. You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the table above. You must meet a maneuverís prerequisite to learn it. See page 39 of the Tome of Battle to determine the highest-level maneuvers you can learn.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered dragon hunter level thereafter (6th, 8th, 10th, etc.), you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. You can choose a new maneuver of any level you like, as long as you observe normal level restrictions; you need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, you could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd-, or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.
Maneuvers Readied: At level 1, a dragon hunter may ready three maneuvers. As you gain in level, you may ready additional maneuvers. Maneuvers are readied by by meditating for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to meditate again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend 5 minutes meditating, you can change your readied maneuvers.
You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (until you recover them, as described below).
An expended maneuver is recovered 1d4 rounds after it is expended. The number of rounds a maneuver takes to recover must be determined immediately after its use. Additionally, you may use a standard action to recover a single expended maneuver.
Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any discipline open to dragon hunters. At 3rd, 8th, 13th, and 18th level, you can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description. Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of ones you already know.
Bonus Languages: A dragon hunterís bonus language options include Draconic, the language of dragons. This choice is in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of his race.
Draconic Knowledge: A dragon hunter has devoted much of their lives to hunting dragons, and has garnered substantial knowledge of dragons. Starting at level 1, a dragon hunter gains a +1 modifier on various checks and rolls concerning dragons. This bonus increases by 1 at level 5, and every 4 levels thereafter. For the purposes of this ability, any creature with the dragon type is considered a dragon (e.g. this ability does not only affect true dragons). Creatures with the dragonblood subtype and any living creature whose size exceeds the dragon hunterís are also considered dragons for the purposes of this ability, but the draconic knowledge bonus is halved (minimum 0).
A dragon hunter gains his draconic knowledge bonus on Gather Information and Knowledge (arcana) checks when used to gather information on or to check his knowledge of dragons. Add the dragon hunterís draconic knowledge bonus to all Survival checks made to track dragons.
Due to his extensive knowledge of dragons, a dragon hunter is aware of the weaknesses of many types of dragons. The dragon hunter adds his draconic knowledge bonus to any attack rolls made against dragons.
Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Since dragon hunters tend to be nomadic, traveling the world to hunt dragons and take their power, they pick up more exotic skills than most warriors. At level 1, the dragon hunter gains Exotic Weapon Proficiency as a bonus feat.
Favored Dragon: While the dragon hunter has a great deal of knowledge about most dragons, he has one type of dragon that he is especially knowledgeable about. Pick one type of dragon (red dragon, gold dragon, black dragon, etc.). You may take 10 on all Knowledge checks concerning this type of dragon, and on all Gather Information checks about this type of dragon. Additionally, when in combat with his favored dragon, the dragon hunter may apply his draconic knowledge bonus to all damage rolls made against it.
The dragon hunterís favored dragon also affects the type of attacks the dragon hunter has at his disposal. All of the dragon hunterís abilities that deal energy damage (fire, cold, electric, acid, or sonic) are replaced with an energy type determined by his favored dragon. This energy type can either coincide with or counter his favored dragon. If the energy type used by the ability is not one of the five listed above, this ability does not affect it. This ability only affects abilities (including maneuvers) gained from the dragon hunter class. For example, if the dragon hunter gains maneuvers that deal energy damage from another source, those maneuvers are not affected.
For example, if the dragon hunter were to use a Desert Wind maneuver that deals fire damage, but has selected the silver dragon as his favored dragon as well as choosing to have his energy type coincide with his selection, the maneuver would instead deal cold damage. If the dragon hunterís favored dragonís breath weapon has a type not affected by this ability (i.e. not fire, cold, electric, acid, or sonic), or his favored dragon has no subtype, the dragon hunter can choose from any of the five options or simply leave energy damage as its natural type.
If the dragon hunter chooses to have the energy type of his abilities oppose his favored dragon, consult the following table:
Air Acid Cold Fire Earth Sonic Fire Cold Water Electric
At level 5, and every 5 levels thereafter, the dragon hunter may change his favored dragon.
Track: A dragon hunter gains Track as a bonus feat.
Hoard (Ex): A dragon hunter has acquired a dragonís zest for gold and collects a hoard. The dragon hunterís deep connection with his hoard has inextricably linked his power to his hoard based on the dragon hunterís appraisal of its worth. To a dragon hunter, a dragonís hoard is the source of its power, and by stealing the hoard of a dragon he gains its power for his own. Starting at level 2, any currency carried by the dragon hunter does not count towards his carrying capacity. Any art objects, gems, or similar items that are used as currency or for aesthetic value also have their weight reduced by half.
Additionally, the overall value of the dragon hunterís hoard improves his power. Each day, when first meditating to select his maneuvers, the dragon hunter adds up the value of all currency, gems, precious metals, and art objects. The total value is determined the first time the dragon hunter meditates each day, regardless of when he does so. To determine this value, use the listed price of the objects. Additionally, any masterwork or magical items are added to this value, but instead use half the listed price of the item.
The total value of the dragon hunterís hoard is used to determine the number of hoard points the dragon hunter has, which can be used to power the special abilities of the dragon hunter. Hoard points are equal to the value of the dragon hunterís hoard (as determined above) divided by 3,000. Hoard points cannot exceed class level. Hoard points reset each day, and the dragon hunter does not recover his hoard points until he has meditated at least once in order to select his maneuvers.
The more gold the dragon hunter has, the more resilient he is. Starting at level 2, the dragon hunter may expend a hoard point in order to gain a +1d6 bonus on a single saving throw. The dragon hunter must decide whether or not to use this ability before making the roll, and the hoard point is expended even if the roll is failed.
If the dragon hunterís hoard is stolen, misplaced, lost, or otherwise removed from his person, he loses access to his hoard points. This does not include selling or utilizing parts of his hoard, although his hoard points would be reduced the next day as normal, based on the value of his hoard. If the dragon hunter loses access to only part of his hoard, he loses hoard points for the day based on the treasure lost. If at least 50% of the dragon hunterís hoard is lost, he must succeed on a DC 10+level Will save every hour he remains separated from his hoard or he suffers a -3 penalty on all rolls.
Track Property (Sp): The dragon hunter can easily track those whose property he obtains. At level 3, once per day, a dragon hunter may use marked object (Spell Compendium 139) as a spell-like ability. Use the dragon hunterís class level to determine caster level for this spell-like ability.
Leap of the Heavens: At level 4, a dragon hunter gains the Leap of the Heavens feat (PHBII pg. 80) as a bonus feat.
Golden Luck (Ex): The dragon hunterís hoard improves his luck in and out of combat. Starting at level 6, the dragon hunter can expend a hoard point to gain a bonus on an attack roll, damage roll, or skill check. This bonus is equal to 1 per two dragon hunter levels (minimum 1, maximum 5). The dragon hunter must decide whether or not to use this bonus before making the roll, and the hoard point is expended at this point.
Prosperous Power (Ex): The dragon hunterís connection to his hoard allows him to use his abilities more frequently. At level 8, as a free action, the dragon hunter may recover any expended maneuver at the cost of one hoard point. This ability may also be used to switch stances as a free action.
Eagle Claw: At 10th level, a dragon hunter gains access to the Eagle Claw prestige discipline, even if he doesnít meet the prerequisites. All Eagle Claw maneuvers are available to select whenever you are able to learn a new maneuver. The dragon hunter must meet all maneuver prerequisites as normal.
Cache of Knowledge (Sp): At level 12, the dragon hunter can sense the location of creatures. By expending a hoard point, the dragon hunter can use locate creature or locate object as a spell-like ability. Use the dragon hunterís class level to determine caster level for this spell-like ability.
Draconic Might (Ex): The dragon hunterís hoard powers his ability to endure damage. At level 15, the dragon hunter can expend a hoard point as a swift action to reduce damage taken. When he elects to use this power, the dragon hunter must choose between damage reduction and energy resistance. For one round, the dragon hunter gains either DR 10/-, 10 energy resistance (to all types of energies), or spell resistance equal to his class level.
Additionally, the dragon hunter may choose to reduce all incoming damage by 5, regardless of type. If the dragon hunter chooses this option, the damage reduction stacks with any physical damage reduction as well as applying to all other forms of damage. Like standard damage reduction, this reduction applies to each individual source of damage separately.
If the dragon hunter expends two hoard points, he may instead, as an immediate action, entirely negate the last attack he suffered in its entirety, even if it would have killed him. Any effects caused by this attack are negated as well.
Temporal Affluence (Ex): Through the power of his hoard, the dragon hunter can alter the flow of time. Starting at level 18, the dragon hunter can expend three hoard points in order to speed up his own actions. This ability grants the dragon hunter an extra full round in addition to the normal round. This ability canít be used to grant more than one additional round in any given round. For example, at the start of his turn, the dragon hunter could activate this ability and then would have two full roundsí worth of actions in which to act in place of the normal one round.
Draconic Transformation (Su): By hunting dragons, he has become one. At level 20, the dragon hunter gains the ability to take on the form of a dragon once per day. He becomes scaly grows wings, and increases in size, but overall remains roughly the same shape. The color of his scales match those of his favored dragon. The dragon hunterís type changes to Dragon, and he gains the following bonuses:
- +5 natural armor
- DR 10/-
- Spell resistance 20
- Energy resistance 10 (all types)
- Size increases by one step (maximum Huge)
- Flight speed 40 ft. (good)
- Breath weapon: 1d6 damage/HD (maximum 15d6), 30 ft. cone, damage type matches favored dragon, useable once per round as a standard action
- Base movement speed increased by 50%
- +4 bonus to Strength and Constitution
The effects of this ability last for 4 rounds, and requires a swift action to activate.