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The Hunter

by Scott Moore

From the lush, dense woods of Alfheim to the goblin-infested Dymrak Forest of Karameikos, certain resourceful individuals have chosen to live off the land, far away from the comforts available in the urban centres of the Known World, relying solely on their wits, perceptiveness, and talent.

Hunters are always human and are typically Lawful or Neutral in alignment. Due to the patience and self-control required by members of this class, there are few, if any, Chaotic hunters. Those of name level (9th) or higher are frequently addressed by the title of nimrod but those of lower levels do not use titles. Hunters use the same saving throw and combat tables as a cleric of equal level.

Class Details

Prime Requisites: Dexterity and Wisdom.

Minimum Scores: A hunter character must have a Constitution and Intelligence of at least 9 when first played.

Experience Bonus: +5% for Wisdom of 13 or better and Dexterity of 13-15, +10% for Wisdom of 13 or better and Dexterity of 16 or higher.

Hit Dice: 1d6 per level up to 9th level. Starting at 10th level, the hunter gains +2 hit points per level, and Constitution adjustments no longer apply.

Maximum Level: 36.

Armour: Hunters may use only leather armour and may not use a shield.

Weapons: Hunters may use blowguns, bolas, clubs, crossbows, daggers, javelins, nets, short bows, slings, spears, tridents, and long bows. Hunters will always purchase a dagger and a long bow as part of their starting equipment if they can afford it.

Hunter's Experience and Special Abilities Table

XP Level Hit Dice Move Silently Climb Camouflage Read Tracks Set Snares
0 1 1d6 20% 87% 50% 50% 10%
2000 2 2d6 25% 88% 55% 55% 15%
4000 3 3d6 30% 89% 60% 60% 20%
8000 4 4d6 35% 90% 65% 65% 25%
16000 5 5d6 40% 91% 70% 70% 30%
32000 6 6d6 44% 92% 75% 75% 35%
64000 7 7d6 48% 93% 80% 80% 40%
120000 8 8d6 52% 94% 85% 85% 45%
240000 9 9d6 55% 95% 90% 90% 50%
360000 10 9d6+2 58% 96% 93% 93% 54%
480000 11 9d6+4 61% 97% 96% 96% 58%
600000 12 9d6+8 64% 98% 99% 99% 62%
720000 13 9d6+10 66% 99% 102% 102% 66%
840000 14 9d6+12 68% 100% 105% 105% 70%
960000 15 9d6+14 70% 101% 108% 108% 73%
1080000 16 9d6+16 72% 102% 111% 111% 76%

120,000 XP per level for each additional level beyond 8th. Hunters gain 2 additional hit points per level after 9th level, at which time Constitution bonuses no longer apply.

Special Abilities

Most of a hunter's abilities are best suited for use in the wilderness, as that is where the hunter spends most of his time. Some of them, however, can be just as effective in a dungeon or urban setting.

Awareness: Hunters are only surprised in outdoor or dungeon settings on a roll of 1 on 1d6

Move Silently: Hunters can move silently (as per thieves) when in natural terrain. This ability advances just as the thief's ability.

Climb: Hunters and can climb cliffs and natural overhangs with relative ease, requiring a skill check only once for every 50 feet of travel. Loose, gravely, or unpacked material reduces the chance of climbing success by at least 10%. Extremely muddy and fluid surfaces reduce the chance of success by at least 20%. Climb advances as the similar thief's ability.

Camouflage: Although akin to the thief's ability to Hide in Shadows, the hunter's Camouflage ability relies on access to natural surroundings, as opposed to darkness, making it more like a halfling's racial ability to hide outdoors in execution. A camouflaged hunter will automatically gain surprise unless spotted by Infravision, True Seeing, or a similar method of enhanced detection. This ability progresses by 2% for every level beyond 16th. Penalties to the chance of success may be assigned by the GM based on the thickness of cover, equipment carried, or colour of the surroundings.

Read Tracks: This ability allows a hunter to identify any tracks created by animals or humanoids and use them to pursue the originating creature(s). This ability can be used in the dungeon as well as in the wilderness. Only creatures that leave tracks can be identified (beholders, for example, cannot be tracked or identified). Adjustments to the chance of success for reading tracks are as follows:

-20% for each hour of precipitation.

-5% for each day old (after the first day they are made).

+5% is the tracks are fresh (made from 12 to 24 hours ago).

+10% if the tracks are new (less than 12 hours old).

Read tracks progresses at the rate of +3% per level beyond 16th level.

Set Snares: This is the ability to make small traps in which to catch game. For each correctly installed snare along a hunter's "trap line", there is a 5% cumulative chance that the hunter will catch something. The maximum chance for success on a given day is 90%, even if more than 18 snares are set. At 9th level, the hunter may build man-sized snares. The chance for a successful catch of a man-sized intelligent creature is equal to half the hunter's chance of successfully setting the snare. If triggered, a man-size snare can keep one creature trapped for a number of minutes equal to 30 minus their Intelligence score. This ability progresses by 3% per level beyond 14th level to a maximum of 100% at 24th level. If the hunter already has the snares general skill, they instead gain a +1 bonus every 2 levels starting at 10th level and reaching a maximum bonus of +8 at 24th level.

Wilderness Lore: Hunters know many other skills well suited for survival in the wilderness. These include food gathering (foraging), fire making, animal and plant identification, long distance signalling (using a mirror, whistle, or smoke signals), and first aid. First aid allows the hunter to cure 1d4 hit points of damage to any humanoid creature a maximum of once per creature per day. In addition, this ability can only be used once per a given set of wounds. The amount of damage that can be healed by first aid increases by 1 point for every five levels of experience the hunter has attained so a 16th level hunter could heal 1d4+3 hit points of damage.

Long Bow Proficiency: Due to their familiarity with the long bow, hunters gain a +1 bonus to hit and damage rolls when using it. This allows hunters to make short range attacks at +2, medium range attacks at +1, and long range attacks with no penalty. At 14th level, the hunter gains an additional +1 bonus to this ability, resulting in short range attacks at +3, medium range attacks at +2, long range attacks at +1, with a total bonus of +2 to damage at all ranges.

Call Animals: This ability can apply to traditional game animals, as well as any non-intelligent beasts the hunter is familiar with that use some form of vocalisation to communicate. To Call Animals, the hunter rolls 2d6 and consults the following table. A result equal to or greater than the number given on the table for the corresponding creature's hit dice indicates success. Other contributing factors can affect the chance of success as well, and are discussed under Hunting, below.

The maximum ability to Call Animals is reached at 20th level when the hunter is capable of automatically calling creatures of 7 hit dice or less.

Hunter's Call Animals Ability Table


Hit Dice

Hunter's Level
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Below 1 7 5 5 3 3 C C C C C C C C C C
1- 9 7 5 5 3 3 C C C C C C C C C
1 11 9 7 5 5 3 3 C C C C C C C C
1+ 11 11 9 7 5 5 3 3 C C C C C C C
2 11 11 11 9 7 5 5 3 3 C C C C C C
2+ 12 11 11 11 9 7 5 5 3 3 C C C C C
3 - 12 11 11 11 9 7 5 5 3 3 C C C C
3+ - - 12 11 11 11 9 7 5 5 3 3 C C C
4 - - - 12 11 11 11 9 7 5 5 3 3 C C
4+ - - - - 12 11 11 11 9 7 5 5 3 3 C
5 - - - - - 12 11 11 11 9 7 5 5 3 3
5+ - - - - - - 12 11 11 11 9 7 5 5 3
6 - - - - - - - 12 11 11 11 9 7 5 5
6+ - - - - - - - - 12 11 11 11 9 7 5
7 - - - - - - - - - 12 11 11 11 9 7
7+ - - - - - - - - - - 12 11 11 11 9
8 - - - - - - - - - - - 12 11 11 11
8+ - - - - - - - - - - - - 12 11 11
9 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 12 11
9+ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 12

"-" means no effect. "C" means the hunter can automatically call 2d6 hit dice of animals.

Spellcasting: Hunters gain limited spell casting abilities beginning at fourth level. A hunter may cast each of their allowed spells only once per day. Some instruction is required from other spellcasting characters for hunters to gain these spells. Spells denoted by (C) and (D) in the following list are clerical and druid spells, respectively, which require time spent in prayer or meditation to prepare, just as for clerics and druids. Those denoted by (M) are magic user spells, which require the hunter to have a spell book and to spend time studying each morning in order to cast them.

Hunter Level # Of Useable Spell Spells Selections
4 1/0/0/0 1<sup>st</sup> Level: Cure Light Wounds (C), Predict Weather (D), Magic Missile (M)
6 1/1/0/0 2<sup>nd</sup> Level: Speak With Animal (C), Invisibility (M)
8 1/1/1/0 3<sup>rd</sup> Level: Protection From Poison (D), Infravision (M), Protection From Normal Missiles (M)
10 1/1/1/1 4<sup>th</sup> Level: Plant Door (D), Hallucinatory Terrain (M), Massmorph (M)

Arrowsmith/Fletcher: Hunters also have the ability to craft their own arrows and quarrels. A first level hunter has a 50% chance to successfully complete a score of arrows or quarrels in one day's uninterrupted work, provided they have access to the required raw materials (material cost = half the normal cost of purchase). This ability increases by 5% per level up to a maximum of 95% at 10th level. Every additional hour spent working on the arrows or quarrels increases the hunter's chance of success by 2%. Failure indicates (1d4+5) x 10% of the raw materials have been consumed in the process and must be reacquired before the hunter can try again.

Magic Items

Hunters may use any magical versions of the armour and weapons useable by their class. They may also use any miscellaneous magic items, scrolls, potions, or rings useable by thieves as well as any rods, staves, or wands useable by fighters or thieves. A ring or potion of Animal Control used by a hunter has double the effect.

Retainers, Followers, and Strongholds

Hunters may have retainers at any level, as determined by their Charisma.

Upon reaching nimrod status (9th level), the hunter may choose to construct a lodge where novices may come to learn wilderness and survival skills. Usually, such a construction is built on a secluded hill, a high mountaintop, or deep within a forest. Once completed, the lodge will attract 2-12 (2d6) hunters of levels 1-3. Also, the nimrod should ensure that there is at least one druid or magic user available to the new hunters in order for them to learn their spells.


Before starting a hunt, the hunter must find and become familiar with an area of land for at least a week. After this region has been explored, the hunter will retain a mental "map" of it and will rarely, if ever, become lost in that area.

When hunting, the character must successfully Move Silently into the area and can either search for tracks or use his ability to Call Animals. If tracks are found, the hunter must successfully Read Tracks to identify the creature type. If the hunter desires, they may then choose to track the creature. Once within close range, the hunter must Camouflage themselves and either wait patiently or see if they can Call Animals within range.

All large wooded areas have a base 95% chance to contain game species. A huge forest may hold 6d6 groups of each relevant animal type, whereas a small area may only hold 3d6 groups of each game species. If a hunter is within hearing range and calls correctly, there is a base 80% chance that an animal may respond. A failed Move Silently or Camouflage check when within hearing or visual range of the target results in a penalty of -25% for each check failed. The chance of success should be further modified by the GM based on season, weather, daylight, or other activity going on in the region.

Hunting does not necessarily have to result in the harvest of game. The hunter may instead attempt to discern information from the behaviour of the creatures in the area. A turkey, for example, might return a loud "putt" if it has detected a threat in the area.

The Bounty Hunter

Upon reaching 9th level, a wandering hunter that doesn't form a lodge may instead choose to become a bounty hunter. Bounty hunters specialise in tracking down wanted fugitives and criminals and claiming the reward for their capture and return. Characters that become bounty hunters cease progression in the Call Animals and Climb abilities, but gain the following advantages:

-          Use of any weapon useable by thieves.

-          Use of heavier armours (scale and chain) and shields.

-          Use of disguises.

-          The ability to discern the truth of what they see and hear.

-          If the bounty hunter's Dexterity is 13 or above, the hunter gains the following thieving abilities as a thief of 1/3 their level, rounded down: Find Traps, Hear Noise, Hide in Shadows, Open Locks, Pick Pockets, and Remove Traps. The bounty hunter must be a member of a thieves' guild (treat as a rogue) in order to regularly increase these abilities.

In addition, the bounty hunter has a chance (checked by the GM once per game week) of learning information about the recent whereabouts of his current quarry. As he gains levels, rumours of the bounty hunter's adventures are likely to spread quickly, for better or worse.

Bounty Hunter Special Ability Table
Level Discern Truth (%) Disguise (%) Credentials
9 5 - 0
10 10 - 0
11 15 25 0
12 20 30 0
13 25 35 0
14 30 40 1
15 35 45 1
16 40 50 2
17 45 55 2
18 50 60 3
19 55 65 3
20 60 70 4
21 65 75 4
22 70 80 5
23 75 85 5
24 80 90 6
25 85 95 6
26 86 96 6
27 87 97 7
28 88 98 7
29 89 99* 7
30 90 99* 8
31 91 99* 8
32 92 99* 8
33 93 99* 9
34 94 99* 9
35 95 99* 9
36 96* 99* 10*

* Maximum possible.

Discern Truth: This is the bounty hunter's ability to see through a disguise, know when they are being double-crossed, or realise when they receiving a bad tip or false lead. The detection is never automatic; the character must state that they wish to use this ability to focus on the sincerity of the character(s) they are dealing with or to properly assess the situation they find themselves in.

Disguise: Bounty hunters can alter their appearance to make others believe they are actually someone else. The standard penalties for trying to impersonate another specific individual is -10% in front of those who know of the individual, -30% in front of those who have met the individual being impersonated before, and -50% for intimate associates or family members of the individual being impersonated. For targets that know the bounty hunter personally, apply a penalty of -15% for those that have met him before or -25% for close associates. When disguised, the bounty hunter may only use weapons and armour useable by a member of the character class they are disguised as. When disguised as a magus, for example, a bounty hunter would not wear scale mail or carry a sword.

If the bounty hunter already has the disguise general skill, they instead gain a +1 bonus per level starting at 17th level and reaching a maximum bonus of +9 at 25th level.

Credentials: This is the quantity of fraudulent identification materials the bounty hunter has managed to acquire. These documents are not for specific individual identities, but instead imply that the bounty hunter is actually of another character class or profession (a letter of enrolment from a wizardry school, a note of recommendation from a thieves' guild, or a transfer order for a cleric to another church, for instance).


The standard fee for a bounty hunter's services is 500gp per level of the bounty hunter plus 100gp per level or hit die of the target. If the quarry is a magic using creature, add an additional 400gp to the fee for every level the target has attained. For example, a 20th level bounty hunter hired to bring in a 10th level magic user would receive 15000gp upon completion of the mission: 10000gp for being 20th level, 1000gp for seeking a 10th level target, and an additional 4000gp because the target has 10 levels of magic ability. These rates may be further adjusted depending on the individual situation. Full rewards are paid only upon return of a live target. If the quarry is killed, the bounty hunter typically receives only 25-50% of the original fee upon providing conclusive proof of the target's demise. Failure to return the quarry at all results in no payment. Money earned for a successful capture and return also counts as treasure for purposes of awarding experience points.

Beyond 36th Level

After reaching 36th level, a hunter may continue to improve some of his special abilities (Climb, Move Silently, and Set Snares) by spending 10,000 XP for every 1% increase in a specific ability. Bounty hunters may use this method to increase their Discern Truth or Disguise abilities, as well as any of their thieving abilities. No special ability may be increased beyond 150% in this manner.

If using the disguise or snares general skill rather than the percentages given here, hunter class characters may gain an additional +1 bonus to either general skill for every 50,000 XP spent. The maximum bonus to either of these general skills for hunter class characters is +12.

For those choosing to pursue immortality, the paths of the Epic Hero (Thought) and the Polymath (Matter) are the most suitable for hunters. Bounty hunters tend to favour the path of the Epic Hero.