Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pathfinder RPG: Urban Variants

In my preparations for fall semester, I've decided to take on a second Pathfinder campaign. I will be continuing (and hopefully finishing) the Rise of the Runelords adventure path, but I will be starting up another group to run the Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path as well. In addition, I've decided to run this adventure using the new Pathfinder RPG Rules.

Since this is primarily an urban campaign, I've already had some player interested in using both the Urban Ranger variant, and the Urban Druid class from Dragon Magazine #317. Now, I love urban campaigns, and both of these variants, so I was more then happy to oblige. So, I sat down and made the changes - some big, some small - but I think they are passable versions of either class. Enjoy!

Pathfinder Variant: Urban Ranger

The urban ranger stalks the treacherous streets of the city, relying on his knowledge of alleyways and underworld contacts to keep him alive.

Class Features
The Pathfinder urban ranger has all the standard Pathfinder ranger class features (as presented in the Pathfinder RPG Rulebook), except as noted below.

Class Skills
Eliminate Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (dungeoneering), and Survival from the ranger's class skill list. Add Diplomacy, Knowledge (local), and Sense Motive to the class skill list.

Hunter’s Bond
An urban ranger can’t naturally bond with an animal larger than medium. If the urban ranger takes a feat that grants him a specific type of animal companion however, he may bond with the provided animal, regardless of size. For example, an Urban Ranger who wishes to have graduated from the Endrin Military Academy of Korvosa may take the Sable Company Marine feat from the Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide and bond with a Hippogryph.

Urban Tracking
An urban ranger does not gain the Track ability at 1st level. Instead, he gains the Urban Tracking feat (see below), which allows him to use Diplomacy to track down a missing person, suspect, or other individual within a community.

An Urban Tracker gains a +2 bonus to Urban Tracking check against his favored enemies.

Urban Tracking [General]
You can track down the location of missing persons or wanted individuals within communities.
Benefit: To find the trail of an individual or to follow it for 1 hour requires a Diplomacy check. You must make another Diplomacy check every hour of the search, as well as each time the trail becomes difficult to follow, such as when it moves to a different area of town. The DC of the check, and the number of checks required, depends on the community size and the conditions. If you fail a Diplomacy check, you can retry after 1 hour of questioning. The game master should make these rolls.
Normal: A character without this feat can use Diplomacy to find out information about a particular individual, but checks takes 1d4+1 hours and don’t allow trailing.
Special: A character with 5 ranks in Knowledge (local) gains a +2 bonus on Urban Tracking Diplomacy checks. You may make Diplomacy checks every 30 minutes at a -5 penalty.

Favored Enemy

Remove Survival from the list of skills given a bonus by this ability.

At the game master's discretion, an urban ranger may select an organization instead of a creature type as his favored enemy. For example, a character might select a particular thieves' guild, merchant house, or even the city guard. The favored enemy bonuses would apply to all members of the chosen organization, regardless of their creature type or subtype.

Favored City
This replaces the Favored Terrain feature gained at 3rd level.

At 3rd level, a ranger may select any community in Golarion. This may be anything from a Thorp to a Metropolis. The ranger gains a bonus on Knowledge (local), Perception, Stealth, and Diplomacy skill checks when he is in this community dependent on the community size of the location shown on the table below.

Likewise, he gets a +1 bonus on initiative checks when in this community. At 8th level and every five levels thereafter (13th and 18th level), the ranger may select an additional Favored City. In addition, at each such interval, the skill bonus in any one favored terrain (including the one just selected, if so desired) increase by +1, while the initiative bonus increases by +1.

The urban ranger's spell list differs from the standard ranger list. Remove the following spells from the urban ranger's spell list: 1st – animal messenger, charm animal, detect animals or plants, detect snares and pits, entangle, speak with animals; 2nd – bear's endurance, cat’s grace, hold animal, owl’s wisdom, snare, speak with plants; 3rd – command plants, diminish plants, plant growth, reduce animal, tree shape, water walk; 4th – commune with nature, and tree stride.

In exchange, the urban ranger adds the following spells to his class spell list: 1st – comprehend languages, detect chaos, detect law, detect secret doors, hold portal (*secret weapon), message; 2nd – arcane lock, detect thoughts, eagle's splendor, knock, locate object, spider climb; 3rd – discern lies, invisibility, secret page, shrink item, speak with dead, tongues; 4th – dimensional anchor, and locate creature.

Woodland Stride
An urban ranger does not gain this ability.

Swift Tracker (Ex)
Beginning at 8th level, am urban ranger may make a Diplomacy check for his Urban Tracking feat every half hour without taking the normal -5 penalty.

Quarry (Ex)
A ranger can, as a standard action, denote one target within his line of sight as his quarry. Whenever he is tracking down the location of his quarry, a ranger can take 10 on his Diplomacy skill checks making Diplomacy checks for his Urban Tracking feat, without penalty. In addition, he receives a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls made against his quarry and all critical threats are automatically confirmed. A ranger can have no more than one quarry at a time and the creature’s type or association with an organization must correspond to one of his favored enemy types. He can end this effect at any time as a free action, but he cannot select a new quarry for 24 hours. If his quarry is killed, he can select a new quarry after waiting 1 hour. This ability does not confer the ability to know whether or not the quarry is still alive. The ranger must see proof that his quarry has been killed to select another after 1 hour.

An urban ranger does not gain this ability.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex)
An urban ranger can use this ability in any area, whether natural terrain or not.

Improved Quarry (Ex)
The ranger’s ability to hunt his quarry improves. He can now select a quarry as a free action. He can now take 20 while using Diplomacy to track his quarry every half hour without penalty. His insight bonus to attack his quarry increases to +4. If his quarry is killed or dismissed, he can select a new one after 10 minutes have passed.

Master Hunter (Ex)
A ranger of 20th level becomes a master hunter. He can, as a standard action, make a single attack against a favored enemy at his full attack bonus. If the attack hits, the target takes damage normally and must make a Fortitude save or die. The DC of this save is equal to 20 plus the ranger’s Wisdom modifier. A ranger can choose instead to deal an amount of nonlethal damage equal to the creature’s current hit points. A successful save negates this damage. A ranger can use this ability once per day against each favored enemy type he possesses, but not against the same creature more than once in a 24-hour period.

Pathfinder Variant: Urban Druid
The urban druid sees a city as a living organism – living, breathing, seeing and hearing. They are one with the urban environment they live in.

Class Features
The Pathfinder urban druid has all the standard urban druid class features (as presented in Dragon Magazine #317), except as noted below.

Class Skills
Eliminate Concentration, Gather Information, and Speak Language from the urban druid’s class skill list. Add Linguistics to the class skill list.

Skill Points Per Level
4 + Int modifier (do not multiply by 4 at first level)

An Urban Druid should follow the spell chart on Table 4-6 of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting book to determine the appropriate amount of spells per day (page 24).

City Sense
Replace the bonus granted to Gather Information with a bonus to Diplomacy checks instead. Gather Information now falls under the Diplomacy skill.

Favored City (Ex)
Remove the bonus granted to Gather Information. Gather Information now falls under the Diplomacy skill.

Information Network
Replace the benefit granted to Gather Information with a benefit to Diplomacy checks instead. Gather Information now falls under the Diplomacy skill.


suudo said...

As little as I know about the ruleset you're working with, this seems solid. Playing an urban ranger would be pretty cool.

Storyteller said...

Hey suddo! Sorry for not getting back sooner. Thanks for the comment! I hope it works well since I have players using both classes! I'll give updates as I see how it plays out.

TJS said...

The whole Urban Tracking thing seems needlessly complicated.
It seems like all you really need here is a bonus for the urban ranger using Diplomacy in this way, and some guidance on DCs. Diplomacy skill already lets anyone gather information about individuals, and surely an individual's location is information about him. In particular, the idea that you couldn't do this normally with Diplomacy seems invented just for this purpose.