Maneuverability is key to many combat strategies, and history is full of stories where a small, highly-mobile force whittled down and harassed a much larger, less maneuverable one, and ultimately prevailed by harrying their weak spots and avoiding their counterattacks. Today’s Best in Class introduces two new archetypes—one for cavaliers and one for rangers—which are designed to specialize in mobility and maneuverability.
New Cavalier Archetype
Most cavaliers are heavily armored, and focus on power and strength in both themselves and their mounts, rather than on mobility and agility. Not so the fleet hussar, a cavalier focused on the tactics of light cavalry. These mounted warriors thrive in open environments where they can outmaneuver their foes, and their mounts are capable of incredible speed and maneuverability.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Fleet hussars are not proficient with heavy armor.
Mounted Defense (Ex): As long as a fleet hussar is mounted, is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor, and has moved at least 40 feet since the beginning of his most recent turn, he gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC. This stacks with dodge bonuses from other sources.
At 6th level, and every 6 levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1.
Swift Mount (Ex): A fleet hussar’s mount is faster and more mobile than the mounts of other cavaliers. The fleet hussar’s mount’s land speed increases by 10 feet. This benefit only applies when both the fleet hussar’s mount and its rider are wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor, and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the mount’s land speed because of any load carried or armor worn. This bonus stacks with any other bonuses to the mount’s land speed.
At 9th level, and again at 17th level, the fleet hussar’s mount’s land speed increases by an additional 10 feet.
This ability replaces the tactician class feature.
Agile Mount (Ex): Beginning at 9th level, whenever the fleet hussar uses the run or charge actions while riding his mount, he may change directions once at any point during his movement. He must still otherwise move in a straight line during this movement.
This ability replaces the greater tactician class feature.
Master Horsemanship (Ex): Beginning at 17th level, a fleet hussar’s mastery of horsemanship allows him to push his mount to perform extreme feats. Whenever he uses the Ride skill to make his mount leap, he uses the higher of his Ride modifier or the mount’s jump modifier to determine how far the creature can jump, instead of the lower. Additionally, he can use the Ride skill to make his mount swim, sneak, and perform acrobatic maneuvers. This functions as the leap application of the Ride skill, except that it applies to other uses of the Acrobatics skill, as well as the Stealth and Swim skills. In these cases, the mount uses its own modifier for the skill, or the fleet hussar’s Ride modifier, whichever is higher.
This ability replaces the master tactician class feature.
New Ranger Archetype
All rangers are at home in the wilderness, but while many seek to conquer and tame it, and others seek to befriend it, there are some who simply love to experience it. Longstriders take joy in simply travelling the world, seeing the sights and experiencing the experiences. Many longstriders also have a great love of running, climbing, swimming, and hiking for their own sakes, and will trek through rugged wilderness as an end in and of itself. This grants them an incredible mobility that allows them to outdistance and outmaneuver even cunning and hearty adventurers.
Class Skills: A longstrider adds Acrobatics to his list of class skills, and removes Craft and Profession from his list of class skills.
Fleet (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a longstrider’s land speed increases by 10 feet. This benefit only applies when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor, and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the longstrider’s land speed because of any load carried or armor worn. This bonus stacks with any other bonuses to the longstrider’s land speed.
At 7th level, the longstrider’s land speed increases by an additional 10 feet.
This ability replaces the endurance class feature.
Athletic Stride (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, a longstrider becomes particularly adept at moving with grace and skill in even the most difficult of situations. He gains a bonus on all Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, Stealth, and Swim skill checks equal to 1/2 his ranger level. Additionally, he gains a bonus equal to 1/2 his ranger level on all Constitution checks and Fortitude saving throws made to resist the effects of adverse weather, forced marches, fatigue, exhaustion, and similar effects.
This ability replaces the hunter’s bond class feature.
Sure Feet (Ex): Beginning at 10th level, the longstrider becomes so comfortable with moving in unusual ways that he can do so much more swiftly than others. The longstrider moves at half his speed, instead of one-quarter his speed, while climbing or swimming, and moves at his full speed, rather than half his speed, when using the Acrobatics or Stealth skills.
At 14th level, the longstrider moves at his full speed while climbing or swimming.