Hello everyone and welcome to another great edition of Best in Class, which is, in my less than humble opinion, the best place on the net for new archetypes, prestige classes, and other classy things. This week I’ve been thinking a lot about defense, and today I have a variant ranger loosely based on a character I’ve been running in a recent campaign which is all about the frontier. Ready to enter the exciting world of the wilderness warden?
New Ranger Archetype
Wilderness wardens strive to bring the wonders of nature to mankind, opening the eyes of civilization to nature’s beauty. They protect the wild places from defilers, but also seek to guide and protect those who wander those same places. Only those dedicated to serving a bright future can call themselves wilderness wardens.
Wilderness Guide: Wilderness wardens are experts on backwoods areas, capable of passing on practical advice about the dangers and wonders of a particular place. Beginning at 1st level, the wilderness warden must choose one type of terrain from the ranger favored terrains table. While in terrain of that type, the wilderness warden gains a +2 insight bonus on AC and Reflex saves. Additionally, the wilderness warden may use Knowledge (nature) to identify creatures native to that terrain type, regardless of their creature type. At 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, the wilderness warden chooses another type of terrain to apply these bonuses to, and increases his bonus to AC and Reflex saves by an additional +2. When the wilderness warden gains the favored terrain class feature, he must choose one of these terrains. This ability replaces favored enemy.
Great Guide (Ex): Wilderness wardens serve the public as guides and escorts. Starting at 4th level, as long as his allies can see and hear him, the wilderness warden provides his allies with ½ his bonus to AC and Reflex saves granted by his favored terrain class feature, as well as ½ his bonus to initiative, Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks granted by his favored terrain class feature. This ability replaces hunter’s bond.
Woodland Stride (Ex): At 7th level, when the wilderness warden gains the woodland stride class feature, allies who can see and clearly hear him also gain the benefit of his woodland stride class feature. This ability otherwise functions like the woodland stride ability gained at 7th level.
Improved Favored Terrain: At 9th level, the wilderness warden truly becomes a master of his terrain. Whenever he is in his favored terrain, the wilderness warden gains twice the usual bonus to initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks. This ability replaces the evasion class feature.
Charge (Ex): At 11th level, the wilderness warden may select a special charge, to whom he lends his experience and skill. As a swift action, the wilderness warden may denote a single creature within 30 feet as his charge. A charge may take 10 on all Knowledge (nature) and Survival skill checks and gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC and to Fortitude and Reflex saving throws. A wilderness warden may dismiss this effect as a free action, but may not select a new charge for 24 hours. This ability replaces quarry.
Master Favored Terrain: At 16th level, the wilderness warden’s mastery of his terrain makes him a true authority in whatever area he travels. As long as he is within his favored terrain, the wilderness warden gains triple the usual bonus of +2 on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks. This ability replaces and does not stack with improved favored terrain. This ability replaces improved evasion.
Improved Charge (Ex): At 19th level, the wilderness warden’s ability to serve a single charge improves, allowing his charge to take 20 on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks, and provides a total of a +4 dodge bonus to the charge’s AC and to the charges’ Fortitude and Reflex saving throws. Additionally, the wilderness warden may now designate his charge as a free action. This ability replaces improved quarry.
King of the Wilds (Ex): At 20th level, the wilderness warden becomes so in tune with the land he champions that he is capable of inhuman feats of expertise while within that land. As long as he is within his favored terrain, he may take 15 on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks. Additionally, he always moves at full speed while using Survival to track. Finally, once per day he may designate a single creature within his favorite terrain; if the wilderness warden’s next attack against that creature is successful, he deals normal damage and that creature must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ the wilderness warden’s level + the wilderness warden’s Wisdom modifier) or die. Alternatively, the wilderness warden may choose to deal non-lethal damage equal to that creature’s current hit points. If this attack misses, the attempt is wasted.