Ambusher (3.5e Class)

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Combat Styles with Skirmish Bonuses. Made for Melee Hit and Run. 20 1 Good Poor Good Poor Skirmish Full

Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil Chaotic Good Chaotic Neutral Chaotic Evil


The Master of Hit and Run tactics, the Ambusher is trained or self-taught in surprise attacks. Whirling across the battlefield, dancing with weapons drawn, striking rapidly and then moving out of the way. Using their abilities of both Combat Styles, they focus on either issuing a multitude of strikes while dual wielding, or hammering away with savage blows with two handed weapons. Learning the arts of Skirmishing, they know the best defense is to simply not be where the enemy can strike, moving in to strike only to move away out of reach. Later, they learn how to apply their skirmish ability and their choice style of weaponry while charging and landing deadly blows even whilst on the move.

Making a Ambusher[edit]

The Ambusher is quick to strike and quick to move. Focusing on running in to attack, then dodging back to avoid retaliation. Working in coordination with any class, they are a good ally in mass melee as well a when attempting to tumble a large foe. Light armored and gaining bonuses only when moving, they are hard-pressed when in confined locations such as tight caves or in a room. But when given space to move, they flourish, making them an asset in tactical events as well as a foe worth keeping an eye on.

Abilities: Depending on their Combat style, whether it's with Two Weapons or a single Two-Handed Weapon, Ambushers should either focus on Dexterity to bolster their multiple swings, or Strength to cause more damage with each heavy blow. After that, they should have a good level of Constitution for health and Wisdom to make up for a low Will Save.

Races: Any Race can easily become an Ambusher, but it is more common among the monstrous peoples or at least those who aren't in heavy favor of Lawful or honorable combat. Orcs, Bugbears, Humans, and Lizardfolk are the more common races seen.

Alignment: Any non-lawful.

Starting Gold: Same as Fighter

Table: The Ambusher

Hit Die: d8

Level Base Attack Bonus Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 (Skrimish +1d6), Fast Movement +10'
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Combat Style, Uncanny Dodge
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Skirmish (+1d6 +1 AC)
4th +4 +1 +4 +1 Mobility, Flanking Strikes
5th +5 +1 +4 +1 Skirmish (+2d6 +1AC)
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +2 Improved Combat Style, Ambusher's Strike
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +2 Skirmish (+2d6 +2 AC),
8th +8/3 +2 +6 +2 Camouflage, Spring Attack
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +3 Skirmish (+3d6 +2 AC)
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +3 Spring Attack, Greater Combat Style
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +3 Skirmish (+3d6 +3 AC)
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +4 Fast Movement +20', Bonus Feat
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +4 Skirmish (+4d6 +3 AC)
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +4 Charging Combat Style
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +5 Skirmish (+4d6 +4 AC)
16th +16/+11/+6/1 +5 +10 +5 Telling Blow
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Skirmish (+5d6 +4 AC)
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Master Combat Style
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Skirmish (+5d6 +5 AC)
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Hide in Plain Sight

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Ambusher.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ambushers are proficient with all Simple and Martial weapons, but only in Light Armor. They are able to use Bucklers, but no other shield.

Skirmish: An Ambusher relies on mobility to deal extra damage and improve his defense. He deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks he makes during any round in which he moves at least 10'. The extra damage applies only to attacks made during the ambusher's turn. This extra damage increases by 1d6 every four levels gained above first (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 9th, 4d6 at 13th, and 5d6 at 17th level). This damage only applies to living creatures with discernible anatomies. Undead, oozes, plants, constructs, incorporeal creatures, and creatures that are immune to critical strikes are not vulnerable to to this additional damage. At third level, an Ambusher gains a +1 competence bonus to his AC when he moves at least 10ft. This bonus increases by one every fourth level after level three (+2 at 7th, +3 at 11th, +4 at 15th, and +5 at 19th). An Ambusher loses their Skirmish ability when they wear medium or heavy armor, or are carrying a medium or heavy load.

Combat Style: Learning the arts of melee combat is one of the few gifts of the Ambusher. Similar to that of the Ranger, an Ambusher learns a Combat Style at 2nd level, and it improves every fourth level afterwards (6th, 10th, 14th, 18th). Two-Weapon fighting feats are still used for this, but instead of learning bow or ranged tricks, the Ambusher picks up feats and bonuses to Two-Handed weapons. At second level, the Ambusher decides between Two-Weapon fighting and Cleave, even if they do not meet the prerequisites required for them. At 6th level, if Two-Weapon fighting was chosen, they pick up the feat Improved Two-Weapon Fighting. If Cleave was chosen, the Ambusher learns Weapon Specialization with their chosen weapon, even if they don't qualify. Upon reaching level 10, The Dual Weapon Ambusher gains Greater Two Weapon fighting. The Two-Handed Weapon Ambush gains Deft Strike, even if they don't qualify. Upon reaching level 14, the Charging Combat style is earned. The Two Weapon Ambusher gains Two-Weapon Pounce, enabling them to deal Skirmish damage twice in a round - either twice to a single target, or once on each of two targets that are at least 10 feet apart. A given Ambusher only learns one of these two variations of the Two-Weapon Pounce. The Two-Handed Ambusher gains the ability to deal Double Skirmish damage and Double Weapon damage on a charge or to Pull off a Run-by Swipe on two foes, dealing weapon damage and skirmish damage to both enemies, so long as they are at least 10ft apart. Finally at level 18, the last bonus to weapons is earned. The Two-Weapon Talented lessen the penalties on their off hand attacks by 2, even if this improves their attacks. The Two-Handed Talented deals double damage with their weapon at all times. If any of the class gained abilities are earned prior to where the class's progression would gain it, IE racial or level feats, the Ambusher earns the next combat style bonus until they are earning past Greater, in which case Dual Weaponed Ambushers earn Two Weapon Rend, and Two-Handers earn Greater Weapon Specialization, even if either build does not qualify for it. If these are already taken, the Player should consult their DM for options. Suggestions would be Two Weapon Defense and its improvements, Tactical feats, oversized weapon feats, or weapon specialization feats, including those that offer more abilities with their weapons, especially to Two-handed weapon Ambushers.

Uncanny Dodge: At level 2, an Ambusher earns Uncanny Dodge, which allows the Ambusher to retain their Dexterity bonus to their AC when caught flat-footed. Being Immobilized still overrides this ability. If Uncanny Dodge is already known to the Character, Improved Uncanny Dodge is earned instead. This is lost if the Ambusher wears medium or heavy armor or carries a medium or heavy load.

Flanking Strikes: Upon reaching 4th level, an Ambusher may apply their Skirmish damage and AC on foes they are flanking with an ally.

Mobility: At level 4, an Ambusher earns Mobility, allowing them to gain a +4 AC against Attacks of Opportunity from foes they have already engaged and are moving from. This improves to Spring Attack at level 8, allowing for greater Hit and Run success rates.

Fast Movement: At the first level, Ambushers can move faster than others of their race by 10ft; this improves by another 10ft at level 12. This is lost if the Ambusher wears medium or heavy armor or carries a medium or heavy load.

Ambusher's Strike: An Ambusher learns guerrilla warfare tactics, learning to hide and wait until prey is close enough to pull off hitting more than one foe at a time. Starting at 6th level, if an Ambusher is hidden or at least undetected by his foes, he may only need to move within range to strike his enemy, dealing his Skirmish Damage and Applying his Skirmish AC until his next turn. He also avoids Attacks of Opportunity against him during such attacks. This is lost if the Ambusher wears medium or heavy armor or carries a medium or heavy load.

Camouflage: After attaining their 8th level, an Ambusher now has the ability to use his Hide skill anywhere in natural terrain. This Improves at level 20 with Hide in Plain Sight, to which they can conceal themselves even when being watched, if they roll well enough or have enough ranks in the Hide Skill. Again, this is lost if they are wearing Heavy or Medium armor or Carrying a Medium or Heavy load.

Telling Blow: On the 16th level, Ambushers earn Telling Blow, which allows them to apply their Skirmish damage on Criticals. Again, this is lost if they are wearing Heavy or Medium armor or Carrying a Medium or Heavy load.


If an Ambusher begins to follow a truly structured or Lawful path, such as multiclassing into Paladin or Samurai, they are unable to access their Skirmish abilities any longer. They never lose their training with weaponry, though.

Human Ambusher Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Short Sword, Handaxe

Feat: Weapon Finesse

Bonus Feats: Improved Buckler Defense

Gear: Leather Armor, Buckler, Backpack, Trail Rations, 50ft Rope, Water skin (full).

Gold: 86gp and 50sp. Started with 150gp base before gear

Playing an Ambusher[edit]

Religion: Gods have little to do with the work of an Ambusher, but some more evil ones may pray to Olidammara the god of Thieves, Nerull the god of Death, Fharlanghn the god of the Roads, or Vecna the God of Secrets. These gods all have some ties to the lifestyle of the nomadic Ambusher.

Other Classes: Ambushers tend to get along with Fighters, Barbarians, and even Druids to some extent. But Good or Lawful Clerics, Paladins, and Monks find them disdainful. Being marked as a "Lawless" style of combat and a dirty way to make a living. Rogues, Rangers, and Scouts tend to put Ambushers in with uneasy peace. Working in similar fashions, they are great for tactical combat. But the end goals are usually too similar to trust fully as well.

Combat: Not having the range of the Bow, nor the resilience of the Fighter, ambushers are best at hit and run, striking fast and then dodging back before the enemy can strike back. Though on most foes they could stand Toe to Toe, their teachings and abilities work best when they dash around the battlefield, striking multiple foes and using their Skirmish skills.

Advancement: Leveling quickly in an action packed campaign, this addition to the party would shorten battles and open up more time to puzzle solving and handling those irritable peasants who need help. Its ability to strike many foes and chip away at a good sized force, or hammer full time on one single brute, allows the party to relax into their most adapted arts, leaving many to only need to play their own roles rather then juggle many due to who's being attacked when in the party. This allows for quick advancement in the class, and shows promise for the rest of the party's advancement as well.

Ambushers in the World[edit]

Quiet down, seems our next pay day is just about to make the turn!
—Garaeth, Human Ambusher

Ambushers are usually found out raiding other people of their stuff, working like Orcs or Thieves sitting in the bushes waiting for a merchant's caravan to ride past. Some end up in the adventuring lifestyle, using their teachings to their advantage on the battle field. They make excellent Shock Troops against formations and moving troops, as well as doing their exact pleasure, stealing from the enemy and raiding their nightly camps.

Organizations: Raiding Clans, Scavenging Guilds, and Thief Groups.

NPC Reactions: Unless working for the military, or raiding less desirable peoples, most Ambushers are given their distance, treated roughly like thugs and thieves.

Ambusher Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Gather Information or Sense Motive can research Ambushers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Gather Information, or Sense Motive
DC Result
5 Ambushers are pillagers and thugs who prey upon unsuspecting caravans and travelers.
10 Those trained in the arts of Ambushing are often swayed by gold from the Military to help lessen the supplies and numbers of marching enemy forces.
15 Working well with a party, and given the right mannerisms, an Ambusher could prove to be a powerful ally as well as a good scout.
20 These dexterous foes are masters of Hit and Run, they can overwhelm an unprepared force, even in small numbers. They are most effective when they're catching even well armed militant groups or a well organized party unaware.

Ambushers in the Game[edit]

Counter Invasion Troops, Guerilla Warfare Forces, and Tactical Swarm.

Adaptation: Raiders, Viking Pillagers, and Goblin Swarms.

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Facts about "Ambusher (3.5e Class)"
Allowed AlignmentsNeutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceModerate +
AuthorTyranas +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionGood +
Class AbilitySkirmish +
Class Ability ProgressionFull +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
Rated ByThunderGod Cid +
RatingRating Pending +
Reflex Save ProgressionGood +
SkillAppraise +, Balance +, Climb +, Craft +, Gather Information +, Heal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +
Skill Points8 +
SummaryCombat Styles with Skirmish Bonuses. Made for Melee Hit and Run. +
TitleAmbusher +
Will Save ProgressionPoor +