Bounty Hunter (3.5e Class)
Rate this article |
Discuss this article
In civilized lands, local lords call upon Bounty Hunters to capture criminals that live or have traveled beyond their reach or criminals that outclass the knights or soldiers in the lords employ. Closer to the frontier, the Bounty Hunter might be the only law capable of bringing dangerous criminals to justice. Those who hire Bounty Hunters both like them, and scorn them. 20 1 Good Good Good Poor
Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil
Class description by Robert Rath used with permission, Hunters Creed found in article by Patrick Parker and has been slightly modified for clarity purposes.
In civilized lands, local lords call upon Bounty Hunters to capture criminals that live or have traveled beyond their reach or criminals that outclass the knights or soldiers in the lords employ. Closer to the frontier, the Bounty Hunter might be the only law capable of bringing dangerous criminals to justice. Those who hire Bounty Hunters both like them, and scorn them.
Evil Bounty Hunters might seek to recapture the innocent or bring selected captives to cult leaders as sacrifices. They might belong to these cults, or work for pay. Evil Bounty Hunters might also hunt down good adventurers in the name of evil forces.
Making a Bounty Hunter
Abilities: All abilities are crucial to a Bounty Hunter, each with its own significant impact on his ability to do his job. Strength raises a Bounty Hunter's combat ability and damage output, which he uses to apprehend the criminals. Dexterity affects a Bounty Hunter's ability to disable traps and pick locks and his stealth abilities. Constitution raises a Bounty Hunter's toughness and hit points, and therefore his ability to stand against his quarry. A Bounty Hunter also gains his constitution bonus as a bonus on saves against special attacks or spells of his quarries. A high intelligence bonus allows a Bounty Hunter to have a larger selection of skills and therefore makes him a more versatile hunter. Wisdom is directly linked to a hunter's track skill, which is a staple required ability to hunt down his quarries as well as detecting lies from others while hunting down his quarry. Charisma powers the hunter's social skills, which allow him to gather information about a quarry, diplomatically negotiate a price for a quarry, bluff his way out of a situation, bully someone around for information, or even pretend to be someone else while in disguise. Charisma is also linked to a Bounty Hunter's urban tracking feat, which allows him to track quarries in cities.
Background: Long ago, there was a villain so powerful that the local lords and knights shivered with fear. His fighting skill was such that he would destroy anyone in his path and no one was good enough to fight him. Then a mysterious man came to the king and asked if the king needed assistance in tracking this man down. The king then laughed at the man and agreed to pay him a very heavy sum (not expecting him to return). Weeks went by and there was no word from the mysterious man. Until one day, the man marched back into town with the villain thrown over his shoulder. He went to the king to receive his payment and the king stared at him in awe. After receiving the payment, the king offered the man his knighthood, but the man refused and walked out of the kingdom, never to be seen again. This man was the first Bounty Hunter of record. In the years following this, many Bounty Hunters began to spring up throughout the realm. Showing their employers their ability to track, fight, and trap, as they travel from town to town in order to make money. They have also learned the art of disguise; standing right next to their prey and felling their foes without them even knowing what hit them.
Characteristics: Bounty Hunters are relentless in their pursuit of good or evil. Once given a task, they will stop at nothing to accomplish their mission, no matter the difficulty of their apprehension. They can sense when their prey is near and become obsessed and focused on their victim. They also gain amazing speed when in pursuit of their prey and are masters of tracking, stealth, and traps.
Races: Most races can become Bounty Hunters. Humans, with their ambition and greed, make the most common and abundant race for Bounty Hunters. Humans mostly do so to earn riches by bringing in criminals, while some others take to Bounty hunting to progress their tracking abilities, while others seek justice for the world. Elves, who normally care little for riches and gold, and who are generally more chaotic in nature, find it hard to adapt to the Bounty Hunter's role and the Hunter's Creed. Dwarves sometimes seek justice and have been known to carry a little greed themselves; however, most Dwarves lack the speed needed to track their quarries as efficiently as slightly larger races over long periods of time. The same can be said for Halflings and Gnomes; their small size prevents them from moving fast enough to catch their prey, and even if speed weren't an issue, transporting the Quarry back for reward may also be awkward for these smaller races. Half-orcs and other large races such as Half-Giants, Half-dragons, and the planetouched Aasimar and Tiefling all could make excellent Bounty Hunters, especially the Aasimar with their wisdom and charisma bonuses useful for tracking down the Quarry.
Alignment: Bounty Hunters must be any non-chaotic alignment. This non-chaotic nature does not represent that the Bounty Hunters must follow the law of the land, but rather they all must follow a higher cause, and a higher law... the hunter's creed...
Starting Gold: 6d8 times 10 gp (270 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special|| Speed|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Hunter's Creed, Track, Nonlethal Strike, Trapfinding||+0 ft.|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Quarry, Determination, Restraints||+0 ft.|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Master Tracker, Fearless||+10 ft.|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||See Invisibility, Silencing Strike||+10 ft.|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Instincts, Swift Stalker, Ray of Exhaustion||+10 ft.|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+5||+2||Improved Restraints, Improved Tracking +2||+20 ft.|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Flawless Stride||+20 ft.|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||Hide in Plain Sight, Lockdown||+20 ft.|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+3||Sixth Sense, Mind Haze||+30 ft.|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+7||+3||Hunting Skill Mastery, Justicar||+30 ft.|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+7||+3||Treachery Proof Sight||+30 ft.|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+8||+4||Bloodhound, Improved Tracking +4||+40 ft.|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+8||+4||Holding Cell||+40 ft.|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+5||Mind Blank||+50 ft.|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+5||Hunter's Vision||+50 ft.|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+6||Shadowy Figure, Improved Tracking +6||+60 ft.|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+11||+6||Temporal Stasis||+60 ft.|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+6||Discern Location||+60 ft.|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Bounty Hunter.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Bounty Hunters are proficient with all simple and martial weapons as well as with a Sai, Whip, Hand Crossbow, all repeating crossbows and Net. Bounty Hunters are proficient with light and medium armors and with bucklers but not any other shields.
Hunter's Creed: Bounty Hunters must follow a code of ethics called The Hunter's Creed, sometimes just referred to as The Creed. The Hunter's Creed is a series of beliefs set forth by the first Bounty Hunters, and it is still followed to this day. The Bounty Hunter must follow The Creed at all times (see Ex-Bounty Hunters below).
- People Don’t Have Bounties, Only Quarries Have Bounties: This single, cardinal rule, more than any other, defines the way in which Bounty Hunters approach their chosen profession. It reflects the idea that sapient beings, to some degree, must be accorded respect. If, however, an individual has a bounty placed on them, he or she ceases to be an individual with rights. No longer a member of the galactic community, the "quarry" becomes fair game. Tears should never be shed over the fate of someone who is, after all... "Only a quarry."
- Capture By Design, Kill By Necessity: In keeping with the loosely defined hunter code of ethics, killing is sometimes necessary. That’s business, pure and simple. However, unnecessary killing is still murder. The Bounty Hunter, unless otherwise directed by those leveling the bounty, must attempt to deliver the quarry alive. Often, those leveling the bounty have a vested interest in a live target — and the target might be better off trying to get themselves killed by the Bounty Hunter.
- No Hunter Shall Slay Another Hunter: Simply put, no matter their origin, Bounty Hunters see themselves as a special breed. They take their lives (and those of others) into their hands each time they hunt. One may agree with another hunter's motives, or damn him for the manner in which they carry out their hunts, but no Bounty Hunter may ever knowingly kill a fellow Bounty Hunter. This law applies only to hunters who themselves still follow the creed. Those who have broken the creed, or those that have a bounty posted on their heads, are merely quarries. In such cases, the ex-hunter is no longer seen as a member of the common fellowship and old scores can now be settled with impunity. The hunter has become the hunted.
- No Hunter Shall Interfere With Another's Hunt: While it is not unheard of for Bounty Hunters to work together as a team, the hunt for a given quarry is most often viewed as a form of personal duel between two sapient creatures. In such a duel, the hunter matches skills, wit, and courage against all the resources that one's opponent can bring to bear. If the hunter wins, it is a personal triumph denoting superior skill and intellect, not simply a question of luck. To interfere in another’s hunt, unless first invited, is to leave the question of "who is better" open and, perhaps forever, unresolved. Of course, competition between hunters is often fierce and there is often a very thin line between "competition" and "interference." This being true, while a Bounty Hunter is constrained from taking direct action against another hunter, there is nothing to constrain a Bounty Hunter from hiring others to do the dirty work. Of course, if such an action, successful or not, can be traced back to the original perpetrator, serious consequences inevitably follow.
- In The Hunt, One Captures Or Kills, Never Both: In the case where the quarry has been taken alive, that "choice" cannot be altered. To kill a quarry in the course of the hunt is one thing, which is fine. But to purposely kill an unarmed, helpless being already subdued and unable to resist is seen as simple slaughter and wanton butchery.
- No Hunter Shall Refuse Aid To Another Hunter: While no hunter has the right to interfere in another’s hunt, there comes times when even the best among master Bounty Hunters require assistance. In extreme cases, any hunter may ask and expect to receive aid and assistance from another hunter, even if it means the latter must temporarily suspend his or her own hunt in the meantime to render such aid. Whatever personal grievances or animosities may be involved between the two parties, it is known and understood that Bounty Hunters take care of their own. Of course, such assistance is not without a price tag, and the arbitration of payment after the fact can often put a substantial dent in the requesting Bounty Hunter's expected profit.
Track: (R1) At first level, a Bounty Hunter gains Track as a bonus feat.
Nonlethal Strike (Ex): At first level, a Bounty Hunter can use any weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead without taking the normal −4 penalty to attack rolls. A Bounty Hunter with this ability can also turn any potentially killing blow into an incapacitating one, useful for bringing a quarry back for punishment. At the Bounty Hunter's option, any attack he makes that would reduce any foe to −2 or fewer hit points reduces the foe to −1 instead. A Bounty Hunter must choose to use this ability immediately upon reducing his foe to −2 or fewer hit points, and before making any other actions, even before continuing a full attack action, or even before using any feats such as cleave. A raging Bounty Hunter can not use this ability.
A Bounty Hunter can only use Nonlethal Strike on a living creature with a discernible anatomy; undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures and creatures immune to nonlethal damage are immune to Nonlethal Strike damage. The Bounty Hunter cannot make a Nonlethal Strike attack against a creature with concealment.
Trapfinding: (Ex): Bounty Hunters can use the search skill to locate traps when the the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magical trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. Bounty Hunters can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A Bounty Hunter who beats the trap's DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.
Quarry (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a Bounty Hunter can target, or mark, any individual humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant, outsider (native), or any other creature who is partially or mostly humanoid in shape for this to work, such as; Aasimar, Teifling, Rakasha, Nymphs, Satyrs, Mephits, Half dragons, Dragonkin, Mind flayers, Night hags, Nightwalkers, Zombies, Skeletons, Vampires, including the vast majority of devils and angels are acceptable as well so long as they are predominantly humanoid in shape. To quarry an individual of the aforementioned creature types, a Bounty Hunter must focus on a foe who is present and visible, the depiction or description of one who isn't, or ask general questions of someone who is knowledgeable about his quarry for 10 minutes. Any interruption ruins the attempt and forces the Bounty Hunter to start the process again. Once the study is complete, that target is now called a quarry, and a Bounty Hunter gains several bonuses and advantages against a quarry.
A Bounty Hunter may add a new quarry as many times per day as he likes so long as he has an available quarry spot, and may have a maximum number of quarries equal to his Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1) at any given time. The Bounty Hunter does not need to study all of his quarries at the same time, but if he chooses to take a new quarry when he is already at his maximum number of quarries, he must choose one of his existing quarries to unmark. When he unmarks a quarry, a Bounty Hunter loses an amount of experience equal to what he would have earned from defeating the unmarked creature in one-on-one combat. If a Bounty Hunter gives up on hunting any of his quarries, the creature becomes unmarked and the Bounty Hunter loses all bonus described below. To remark an unmarked quarry, the Bounty Hunter must go through the same process detailed above to remark them.
A Bounty Hunter is anticipating deception from his quarries at all times. Against a quarry, a Bounty Hunter can ready an action, even outside the initiative sequence. If the quarry triggers the Bounty Hunter's readied action at any point within the next 10 minutes, if the Bounty Hunter is not in combat with the quarry, he can still carry out his readied action as though the two were in combat (as long as the Bounty Hunter is physically capable of carrying out that action), granting the Bounty Hunter the only action in a suprise round with the quarry being treated as flat-footed for the round. If the Bounty Hunter is incapable of carrying out the action, for instance, if he is too far away to strike the quarry with a melee attack, the readied action is lost.
A Bounty Hunter also adds 1/2 his Bounty Hunter level (minimum of +1) as an insight bonus on all Bluff, Gather Information, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks made against a quarry, or any skill or ability checks made to determine the whereabouts of a quarry, as well as a bonus equal to his class level on attack and damage rolls against his quarry. The extra damage may also be added into a Nonlethal Strike. As a Bounty Hunter gains levels, he gains additional abilities that can only be used against a quarry.
Determination (Ex): The grit, intestinal fortitude, and determination of Bounty Hunters is legendary. Beginning at 2nd level, a Bounty Hunter gains Endurance as a bonus feat, and receives an additional +4 bonus on top of the bonus from the Endurance feat, on all Fortitude saves and Constitution checks to continue his hunt, such as Constitution checks made to resist non-lethal damage from a forced march while tracking a quarry, resisting ill effects of an environment while hunting a quarry (such as Fortitude saves for extreme environments between −20o and 140o (severe cold to severe heat)), Fortitude saves on high altitude effects and altitude sickness, and so on. A Bounty Hunter also gains a bonus equal to 1/2 his Bounty Hunter class level (rounded down to a minimum of a +1 bonus) on all Fortitude and Will saves made to resist the special attacks or spells of his quarry.
Restraints: (Ex): A Bounty Hunter is constantly having to engage his quarry in grapples in order to subdue a target and bring them in. At 2nd level, a Bounty Hunter gains Improved Grapple as a bonus feat, and gains an additional +4 insight bonus on all grapple checks. When a Bounty Hunter pins an opponent while grappling, he can attempt to hog-tie the opponent (in addition to his other options; see If You're Pinning An Opponent on page 156 of the Players Handbook). A Bounty Hunter must have a rope, chain, or manacle in one hand to use this ability.
A Bounty Hunter can use this ability on an opponent that is up to one size category larger than he is (for example, a gnome Bounty Hunter can attempt to hog-tie a medium or smaller opponent). He can use this ability only against humanoid shaped creatures (thus any quarry would qualify). The Bounty Hunter adds 1/2 of his Bounty Hunter level rounded down (to a minimum of +1) to the DC of all Escape Artist, Open Lock, Strength, or Use Rope checks made to escape from any bonds that the Bounty Hunter has created or used on the target.
An attempt to hog-tie is resolved with an opposed check. The Bounty Hunter can choose to make a Use Rope or grapple check, while the opponent must make an opposed Escape Artist or grapple check depending on what check the Bounty Hunter made. If the Bounty Hunter succeeds, the opponent is hog-tied. If the opponent succeeds, the hog-tie attempt fails and the grapple continues.
If a Bounty Hunter successfully hog-ties an opponent, that person is considered bound and helpless. A bound person can attempt to escape by making an Escape Artist check opposed by the Bounty Hunter's Use Rope check (including his +10 bonus; see Bind a Character on page 86 of the Players Handbook) or a Strength check (DC 23 for rope, DC 26 for manacles or chains, and DC 28 for masterwork manacles or chains + the Bounty Hunter's class bonus) to break free.
Master Tracker (Ex): A Bounty Hunter gains Urban Tracking as a bonus feat at 3rd level; this feat can be found on page 154 in Races of Destiny or page 56 of the Unearth Arcana. Also starting at 3rd level, a Bounty Hunter is so good at following tracks that he can even track someone under the influence of a pass without trace spell or similar effect, though he takes a −10 on his Survival checks when doing so. A Bounty Hunter leaves absolutely no trail while traveling in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if so desired.
Fearless: (Ex): Bounty Hunters are some of the most icy, courageous, and dauntless heroes in the world, and are scared of nothing. A 3rd level Bounty Hunter is immune to fear, magical or otherwise. This bravery of the Bounty Hunter does not convey a bonus onto his allies.
See Invisibility (Su): Not even invisibility will stop a Bounty Hunter from tracking down and apprehending his quarry. This ability, gained at 4th level, functions like the See Invisibility spell, except that it is constantly in effect, and reveals only invisible quarries, things that are cloaking or hiding a quarry, or things made invisible by a quarry such as objects, buildings, secret doors, allies, text, etc. The Bounty Hunter can readily distinguish things he sees as being masked by invisibility from things that are normally visible.
Silencing Strike (Ex): At 4th level, a Bounty Hunter may make a single attack at a −2 penalty; if he succeeds, the Bounty Hunter may choose that the opponent is unable to speak for 1d4 + 2 rounds. This prevents casting spells with verbal components, or shouting warnings or alarms. This ability does not work on creatures immune to critical strikes, such as undead.
Instincts (Su): A Bounty Hunter has superb instincts, almost bordering on the supernatural. A 5th level Bounty Hunter can make a special survival check to determine in which direction a quarry might be found if the quarry is within 1 mile of the Bounty Hunter (DC 15 + target's HD). This ability only works against quarries. The DM should roll this check secretly for the Bounty Hunter, since the player should not know if he failed the check because of the die roll, or because the target is too far away. A Bounty Hunter may only try to use his Instincts in this manner a number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of 1).
In addition, if the Bounty Hunter is able to deal damage to his quarry during a battle, and the quarry escapes, for the next 48 hours, the Bounty Hunter automatically knows which direction the quarry is in, and the approximate distance (within 10% of the total distance) between himself and his quarry. If the Quarry is within 60 feet, the Bounty Hunter knows the quarry's exact location regardless of cover, concealment, or even magical effects. Only Mind Blank, Limited Wish, Wish, Miracle, or divine intervention can hide the quarry's location once the Bounty Hunter is within 60 feet during this 48 hour period. This ability only works if the Bounty Hunter and his quarry are on the same plane of existence, and the Bounty Hunter automatically knows when he loses the quarry's trail because they are not on the same plane of existence anymore. This ability can be active on multiple quarries at the same time, regardless of the distance between each quarry.
Swift Stalker (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a Bounty Hunter can move at his normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal −5 penalty. He only takes a −10 (instead of the normal −20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking. A Bounty Hunter can also move stealthily even at a quick pace. He no longer takes a −5 penalty on Hide and Move Silently checks when moving at any speed up to his normal speed, and he takes only a −10 (instead of the normal −20) on Hide and Move Silently checks when running. (He still takes the normal −20 on such checks when charging.), A Bounty Hunter may also use the Hide skill in any type of terrain, even if the terrain does not grant cover or concealment.
Ray of Exhaustion (Sp): A number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of 1), a Bounty Hunter of 5th level or higher can cast the Ray of Exhaustion spell, with a caster level equal to his Bounty Hunter class level. A Bounty Hunter casting this spell gains a +4 competence bonus on his ranged touch attack for this spell.
Improved Restraints (Ex): A Bounty Hunter of 6th level or higher can make a hog-tie attempt without first pinning his opponent. Whenever a grapple is established, the Bounty Hunter can use an attack action to make a hog-tie attempt. Also, if the a Bounty Hunter has the Quick Draw feat, he does not need to be holding the rope, chain, or manacles in his hand before making the attempt.
Improved Tracking (Ex): A Bounty Hunter is a master when it comes to following tracks and finding his target. Starting at 6th level, a Bounty Hunter gains a +2 bonus on all Gather Information, Search, and Survival checks. This bonus increases to +4 at 12th level and +6 at 18th level. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by the Bounty Hunter's quarry ability.
Flawless Stride (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a Bounty Hunter can move through any sort of terrain that slows movement (such as undergrowth, rubble, overgrown areas, natural thorns, briars and similar terrain) at his normal movement speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. This ability also allows him to run and charge in situations where others cannot. He may charge, or run over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or allies or neutral characters blocking his path. This ability enables him to run down steep stairs, leap down from a balcony, and tumble over tables to get to his destination. Depending on the circumstances, he still may need to make appropriate checks (Jump and Tumble, in particular) to successfully move over the terrain. This ability does not let him move more quickly through terrains that are enchanted or have been magically manipulated to impede movement. A Bounty Hunter loses this ability when wearing heavy armor, or carrying a heavy load.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any sort of terrain, natural or otherwise, a Bounty Hunter of 8th level or higher can use the hide skill even while being observed.
Lock Down (Sp): When a Bounty Hunter goes up against an opponent or quarry that is capable of dazzling feats of the arcane, some such foes would attempt to rob a Bounty Hunter of his prize by using their magic to escape, but a good Bounty Hunter is prepared for such tactics. A number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of 1), a Bounty Hunter of 8th level or higher can produce an effect identical to the Dimensional Anchor spell, except the duration is 48 hours and there are no visible "bubble" effects. The Bounty Hunter's caster level is equal to his Bounty Hunter class level.
Sixth Sense (Sp): A Bounty Hunter's amazing instincts about finding his quarry gives the Bounty Hunter a sixth sense when it comes to determining the whereabouts of a quarry. A number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of 1), a Bounty Hunter of 9th level or higher can produce an effect identical to the Locate Creature spell, except that it works only on quarries, and has a caster level equal to his Bounty Hunter class level.
Mind Haze (Su): At 9th level, a Bounty Hunter gains spell resistance against all divination spells, or any spells of any other school (such as wish) when used in an attempt to gain information about the Bounty Hunter. This spell resistance is equal to 10 + his Bounty Hunter class level.
Hunting Skill Mastery (Ex): At 11th level, a Bounty Hunter becomes so sure of his skills while tracking that he can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. When making Gather Information, Listen, Search, Spot, and Survival checks, a Bounty Hunter can take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.
Justicar (Sp): A Bounty Hunter rarely trusts others, and never trusts a quarry any further than an old gnome wizard could throw them. That being the case, a Bounty Hunter sometimes needs an "insurance policy" to ensure that others will act according to their word. A number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of 1), a Bounty Hunter of 10th level or higher can produce an effect similar to the Mark of Justice spell, with a caster level equal to his Bounty Hunter class level. Most Bounty Hunters use this spell to state that if the quarry goes X feet away from the Bounty Hunter or attempts to flee, that they either have their movement speed permanently reduced to 5 feet per round, or become permanently blind and deafened, or the like. A Bounty Hunter can remove the effects of his Justicar ability at any time, as a free action.
Treachery Proof Sight (Su): Bounty Hunters have such focus and determination when pursuing their quarries that they will let nothing fool them, and nothing stand in their way. At 11th level, a Bounty Hunter is always considered to be under the effects of a True Seeing spell while actively hunting his quarry. "Actively hunting his quarry" means while all of his focus is on capturing his quarry, and he is actually making physical progress in his hunt. This ability is not active while eating, sleeping, socializing for leisure's sake, shopping, working a side quest, etc, but is active while traveling with intent in the direction of a quarry, following tracks, interviewing people about a quarry, searching town for a quarry, and while apprehending a quarry. It is always DM discretion as to when players are and are not "actively" hunting their quarry.
Bloodhound (Sp): Having keen instincts is a key ability of a Bounty Hunter, and a focused Bounty Hunter is capable of sensing his way to any location and out of any problem. A number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of 1), a Bounty Hunter of 12th level or higher can produce an effect identical to the Find the Path spell, with a caster level equal to his Bounty Hunter class level.
Holding Cell (Sp): There are times when a Bounty Hunter just needs someone to stay put. Most often it is his quarry, whether at night while he sleeps, or while he goes to look at the noise over the hill, or sometimes, someone else is just getting in his way, a Bounty Hunter needs a means of keeping people in a set location. A number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of 1), a Bounty Hunter of 13th level or higher can produce an effect identical to the Forcecage spell, with a caster level equal to his Bounty Hunter class level. The Bounty Hunter can dismiss the cell at any time with just a thought as a free action.
Unshackled (Su): The determination of a Bounty Hunter is legendary. No restrictions or confinements are capable of keeping him from his appointed task. Starting at 14th level, the Bounty Hunter can act normally regardless of magical effects that impede movement, as if he were affected by a Freedom of Movement spell. The effect lasts for a total number of rounds per day equal to his wisdom modifier (minimum of 1 round). The effect occurs automatically as soon as the Bounty Hunter chooses to apply it, and lasts until it runs out or until the Bounty Hunter decides he no longer wants it, and can be used multiple times per day (up to the daily total limit of rounds). His caster level is equal to his Bounty Hunter level.
Mind Blank (Su): A Bounty Hunter is an enigma, and trains himself to always keep a clear mind and not let others know what he's truly thinking. When a Bounty Hunter reaches 15th level, he gains protection from all devices and spells that detect, influence, or read emotions or thoughts. This power protects against all mind-affecting spells and effects as well as information gathering by divination spells or effects, including scrying, as though the Bounty Hunter were always effected by a Mind Blank spell with a caster level equal to his Bounty Hunter level.
Teleport (Sp): A number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of 1), a Bounty Hunter of 15th level or higher can cast the Teleport spell, with the following exceptions. A Bounty Hunter's teleport spell only works when targeting the location of a quarry or the location to turn in a quarry, and unless the Bounty Hunter is "very familiar" with the teleport destination, then the spell always has an off target arrival. If the Bounty Hunter is "very familiar" with the teleport destination, then the spell always has an on target arrival. This spell may only ever teleport the Bounty Hunter, and the only target a Bounty Hunter may ever bring along is a quarry. Quarries teleported in this manner do not receive saving throws or spell resistance to negate the effect. A Bounty Hunter's caster level is equal to his Bounty Hunter class level.
Hunter's Vision (Su): If a 17th level Bounty Hunter successfully picks up a trail of any subject with a successful Survival check, he can then choose (at that moment only) to enter a trance-like state for 1 minute. During this time, the Bounty Hunter's irises and pupils turn completely white and he loses awareness of the present as he gains a vision of the past. In this vision, the Bounty Hunter can see exactly what transpired in his current physical location from 30 seconds before the trail he found was even made, until 30 seconds after it was made. He can see all around himself from his current exact spot as though he himself had been standing there at the time the trail was made. The Bounty Hunter can see and hear everything around him as far as the eye can see during this vision and hear every noise made and everything that was said if it would have been audible to him (had he actually been there) at the time the trail was made. The Bounty Hunter can produce this effect in the same location or even a few feet away from the same location so long as he successfully makes his Survival check to identify the tracks each time. This vision is interrupted and lost if the Bounty Hunter is strongly shaken or knocked over in the present.
Shadowy Figure (Ex): For an expert Bounty Hunter, moving about unnoticed comes naturally, like second nature. A traveling Bounty Hunter comes and goes like the wind. An 18th level Bounty Hunter is always considered to be taking 10 on Hide and Move Silently even while walking around normally. Unless the Bounty Hunter wants to be seen or heard, players must make Listen and Spot checks, and the DM must make opposed Spot and Listen checks for any NPCs to be aware of the Bounty Hunter's presence.
Temporal Stasis (Sp): Some prey are more 'slippery' than others, and for such cases, a Bounty Hunter sometimes deems it impractical to bring in a quarry that moves on its own; sometimes, returning such quarries requires... more drastic measures. A number of times per day equal to 1/2 his wisdom modifier (rounded down, minimum of 1), a 19th level Bounty Hunter can produce an effect identical to the Temporal Stasis spell, with the following exceptions. This spell only works on quarries, and the Bounty Hunter may release the quarry from the effects of this spell at any time he sees fit, as a free action. His caster level is equal to his Bounty Hunter level.
Discern Location (Sp): As a master Bounty Hunter, no matter how much he runs, there is nowhere that a quarry can hide. A number of times per day equal to his wisdom modifier (a minimum of once per day), a 20th level Bounty Hunter can produce an effect identical to the Discern Location spell. His caster level is equal to his Bounty Hunter level.
A Bounty Hunter who becomes chaotic in alignment or grossly violates the Hunter's Creed loses use of all supernatural and spell-like class abilities (but not any feats, weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies or Extraordinary class abilities). He may not progress farther as a Bounty Hunter. He regains his class abilities and advancement potential if he makes amends for his violations as appropriate, preferably by seeking forgiveness with the begrieved party, but if that is not possible (either there is no party to make amends to, or the party in question wants nothing to do with forgiving the Bounty Hunter), only then will an atonement spell from a cleric of their deity or a cleric of the same alignment also regain a Bounty Hunter his progression potential (see the atonement spell description on page 201 of the Players Handbook).
Human Bounty Hunter Starting Package
Weapons: Rapier and Longbow.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
Feat: Improved Initiative.
Bonus Feats: Track from class and Weapon Focus (Rapier) for Human.
Gear: Chain Shirt.
Gold: 6d4 X 10.
Epic Bounty Hunters
|21st||Unchained Hunt||+70 ft.|
|23rd||Bonus Feat||+70 ft.|
|24th||Improved Tracking +8||+80 ft.|
|25th||Grand Master||+80 ft.|
|26th||Bonus Feat||+80 ft.|
|29th||Bonus Feat||+90 ft.|
|30th||Soul Scry, Improved Tracking +10||+100 ft.|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).
Unchained Hunt (Ex): At 21st level, a Bounty Hunter has perfected his craft, perfected the art of the hunt, and mastered the subtle nuances of his spell-like abilities, making them easier on him to use. A Bounty Hunter of this master rank can use his greater knowledge of the hunt to be able to mark any creature as a quarry regardless of creature type or shape of the creature. A master Bounty Hunter of this level may also have as many quarries as he would like, and may make a target a quarry with only 2 minute of study, rather than the normal 10. A master Bounty Hunter may also unmark a quarry without losing any experience points for an unmarked quarry.
The Bounty Hunter also uses his adept expertise to expand on the following abilities at this level as well:
- Master Tracker: The penalty for finding a target that is under the effects of a pass without trace spell is reduced from −10 to −5.
- Instincts: A Bounty Hunter may use this ability an unlimited number of times per day, and even against targets who are not quarries, but he must have a specific target (i.e Ralson Smith), not a general concept (i.e the thief who stole the fruit from the local vendor). Also, a Bounty Hunter who is able to damage a quarry no longer has a time restriction until he loses track of the quarry. If the quarry crosses plannar boundaries, the Bounty Hunter now automatically knows what plane the target is on at all times, and if the Bounty Hunter can secure passage to that realm, when he arrives on that plane, he again automatically knows which direction the quarry is in, and the approximate distance (within 10% of the total distance) between himself and his quarry as normal.
- Unshackled: The number of rounds per day that a Bounty Hunter can use this ability is increased to 1/2 his class level.
- Teleport: Teleport can now be used a number of times per day equal to 1/2 the Bounty Hunter's class level + his wisdom modifier. The :Bounty Hunter's teleport ability still has an automatic off target arrival when targeting a quarry with an unknown location, and an on target arrival when targeting a quarry with an exact known location. A Bounty Hunter may now take other passengers with him per the normal teleport spell description. Quarries still receive no saving throw or spell resistance when being held by the Bounty Hunter.
- Ray of Exhaustion, Dimensional Anchor, Locate Creature, Mark of Justice, Find the Path, Force Cage, and Discern Location can now be used a number of times per day equal to 1/2 the Bounty Hunter's class level.
Bonus Feats: The epic Bounty Hunter gains a bonus feat every 3 levels after 20th.
Improved Tracking: At 24th level and every 6 levels thereafter, an epic Bounty Hunter gains an additional +2 on all Gather Information, Listen, Search, Spot, and Survival checks.
Grand Master Bounty Hunter (Ex): A 25th level Bounty Hunter has become a Grand Master of his craft. Against targets that are quarries, the Grand Master Bounty Hunter now adds his entire Bounty Hunter level (up from 1/2 his level) as an insight bonus on all Bluff, Gather Information, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks made against a quarry, or any skill or ability checks made to determine the whereabouts of a quarry, and gains a bonus equal to his Wisdom modifier on attack and damage rolls against his quarry.
Soul Scry (Sp): At 30th level, the Bounty Hunter gains the ability to produce an effect identical to the Soul Scry spell, found on the bottom of page 86 in the Epic Level Handbook. This ability allows a Bounty Hunter to forge a connection with a quarry. The target is entitled to a Will saving throw (DC 20 + 1/2 the Bounty Hunters class level + the Bounty Hunter's wisdom modifier) to negate. If successful, the Bounty Hunter enters a trance-like state, becoming vulnerable as he can no longer see or hear with his own senses, and in exchange gains real time feed into the quarry's 5 senses. The Bounty Hunter sees everything the quarry sees, hears everything the quarry hears. This effect lasts as long as the Bounty Hunter concentrates on the effect. The quarry is entitled to a new saving throw each time the Bounty Hunter attempts to tap into the target's senses. Even if a quarry makes his saving throw, a quarry never gains any special awareness of what has happened.
Playing a Bounty Hunter
Religion: Bounty Hunter's are not renown for being overly pious people, but Bounty Hunters that do worship deities often choose deities of law such as Tyr or dieties who have a general code of honor such as Heironeous, St Cuthbert, Tyr, Zues, Athena, Nike, Tyche, . Others may worship neutral or hunting related deiites such as Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, Kord Obad-hai, Artemis. Evil Bounty Hunter's almost always worship deities of tyranny or oppression, such as Hextor, Tiamat, Anubis, Set, . Given the restriction of wanton killing and slaughtering of quarries, its unheard of and would even be taboo for even an evil bounty hunter to worship any deities that highly promote death and especially slaughter such as Erythnul, Gruumsh, Nerull or Wee Jas, Ares, Hades, as this would call in to question whether they have a conflict of interest and are able to separate their religious views from what is required of them by the Creed.
Other Classes: Whenever possible, Bounty Hunters like to work alone, and why not? They are as stealthy as any rogue and as tough and strong in battle as most fighters. If they are forced to adventure they prefer the company of Druids and Rangers because of their tracking abilities and same stealthy ways. Barbarians and big armored fighters tend to annoy Bounty Hunters. Bounty Hunters trust no other class, especially other Bounty Hunters since both Bounty Hunters could be after the same target.
Role: Depending on how a Bounty Hunter selects their skills, a Bounty Hunter could act as a scout, tracking ahead and finding suitable areas to camp, or a Bounty Hunter could act as the party voice haggling with merchants, lying to city guards, pushing an informant around or negotiating out of a situation. Having both disable device and open locks and trap finding, a Bounty Hunter could replace a party rogue disarming traps in a dungeon. A Bounty Hunter is also a capable combatant able to hold their own even if most of their special abilities are geared only at Quarries. A Bounty Hunter is a versatile character who can fill many different rolls..
Advancement: Some Paladins may choose to take a few levels of Bounty Hunter before beginning on the path of the paladin to be better able to hunt down specific evil foes, or possibly some others could go from Bounty Hunter over to the career of Assassin, as a Bounty Hunter, you would be better able to find your target of assassination.
Bounty Hunters in the World
|“||Ya want him brought back here? No problem, but it'll cost ya.||”|
|—"The Marksman", Human Bounty Hunter|
Adventures: Like earlier stated the Bounty Hunter normally works for pay. Just how they become Bounty Hunters is another story. Some are vigilantes, holding a grudge against evil and seeking justice against those who have wronged them. Some see themselves as protectors, rounding up escaped criminal and convicts inorder to keep them from hurting someone again. Others view this profession as just an income, taking advantage of the stupidity of others for either running, or for letting someone get away; in order to grow their own personal wealth. Some just have exceptional skill and decide to put that skill to good use.
Evil Bounty Hunters probably begin adventuring to seek riches and to kill those things that are good in life. Evil Bounty Hunters are sometimes forced into adventuring to repay some of their evil debts to someone they owe. Some of them are hired by aristocrats who want to become powerful and pay the Bounty Hunter to kill whoever is in their way.
Notables: Lucian, Elven Bounty Hunter, believed to be the last of the surviving co-writers of The Creed, reputed to still be alive to this day, Lucian was a noble and honorable adventurer who handed down the traditions and knowledge of tracking and arcane magic to the next generation of Bounty Hunter's.
Organizations: Very rarely do Bounty Hunters purposely congregate and assemble in one place for socializing. More often, if many Bounty Hunters are in the same area, it is probably due to a substantially high reward placed on a particular quarry and many Bounty Hunters having come to the same place to mark the target as one of their quarries.
NPC Reactions: If the Bounty Hunter is after the NPC, reactions can vary from begging, pleading or possibly even attempts to guilt or maybe even bribe the PC into letting them go, such as "Hey look I always paid my debt bef- oh your looking for Paul? I .. uh.. I don't know any Paul... never mind that friend, may I buy you an ale?" or maybe just outright fleeing. If the Bounty Hunter isn't after the NPC but merely in the same area, likely the NPC will feel unsettled around the Bounty Hunter.
Bounty Hunter Lore
Characters with a lore skill (martial lore or bardic knowledge, etc) or ranks in gather information or knowledge (History) can research Bounty Hunters to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Bounty Hunters hunt people and return them for money. They are also, generally very mysterious people who wander from place to place looking for criminals to apprehend.|
|15||Bounty Hunters are master trackers, equally capable of finding people in a city or in the wilderness and can reportedly find someone no matter how far they run. A Bounty Hunter has a bevy of tools and abilities to thwart their prey's attempts to escape.|
|20||All Bounty Hunters follow a code they call the Hunter's Creed. Its nearly impossible to learn anything about an expert Bounty Hunter through divination magics. A master Bounty Hunter is an adept of stealth, he could seemingly disappear right in front of your eyes, and can sneak around without even trying. He comes and goes like the wind.|
|30||Any character who rolls a check of this level of success can learn very broad and general things about a specific Bounty Hunter, such as their name, recent activities, history of quarries, possible motives, and potentially even current projects for specific Bounty Hunters.|
Bounty Hunters in the Game
Bounty Hunters are the ones that lords and nobles turn to when they want a particularly hard criminal brought to justice that none of the warriors or knights in their employ can capture or defeat, but the security of knowing a Bounty Hunter will capture the criminal in due course usually comes with a hefty price tag.
Adaptation: So, how do you handle bounty hunting in your campaign? Any special rules? Limitations on force? Is there a guild? Are there people like bail-bondsman around? Is the risk worth the money for the Bounty Hunter? Possibly the hunters are hired by the City-state, noble or merchant directly.
- American Old West Style: Wanted sign on the street: Dead or Alive for 200 gold. Anyone can post one of these and the Bounty Hunter can take any of these contracts he wishes.
- Current American Bounty Hunting Style: Someone skips out on a bail-bondsman and a Bounty Hunter is hired to track the person down and bring them in alive.
- Good Ol' Wanted List: There is a "black book" that the local government has that Bounty Hunters can take contracts from. Fairly free-form.
- Highly Regulated by the Government: Similar to a few of the above options. The Government usually posts some kind of wanted poster or otherwise makes it known that their is a bounty on someone. In these situations there are strict rules that must be followed to even get a mark placed on someone by anyone not involved in the government.
- Word of Mouth or Personal Hire: Easy enough to understand. A contract passed around in taverns and other establishments or simply a contract given to an individual on a one-on-one basis.
To incorporate this class further into your game, you could set up a bounty system. Any NPC that has a bounty placed on them has a tangible gold reward based directly on how powerful the target is via use of a set formula. Such as using the Table 3-3: Treasure Values Per Encounter table on page 51 of the DMG. Find the quarries level on that chart and divide the value provided by 4. Then multiply the gold amount you now have based on the severity of the crime committed. Such as X1 for Minor crimes, X1.5 for Intermediate crimes, and X2.5 for Major crimes (see the list of crimes below). Also, some Bounty Hunters may choose (any possibly be allowed by the DM) to also charge an additional gold fee based on the creatures type, i.e +50 if its a Outsider (native), +100 for monsterous humanoid +150 for Giants, +200 for other odd types that aren't humanoid in shape or would be otherwise hard to restrain with manacles or conventional means, or +250 for creatures whom the Bounty Hunter cannot use the quarry ability on.
Alternatively, this formula could be a PC Bounty Hunters formula for his minimum asking price per quarry he takes up. The resulting formula would look something like this: (Character wealth per level / 4) X crime bonus + creature type fee = Gold Price of Bounty. So for example using the additional fee rule, a level 5 humanoid (goblinoid) Bugbear who committed a singular murder would have a formula looking like this. A level 5 encounter is worth 1600 gp according to the Treasure Values per encounter chart, so that divided by 4 is 400 gp multiplied by 1.5 for the crime type is 600 gp + 0 gp for the gold type because hes just a normal humanoid for the creature type giving a resulting bounty somewhere in the realm of 600 gp, but feel free to play with the amount so the formula doesn't sound so preset. Maybe that bugbear has a bounty of 585 gp or maybe 625 gp, just to mix it up some. Another example would be a level 15 mindflayer who committed multiple murders would have a Treasure Values Per Encounter value of 22,000 gp, divided by 4 would be 5,500 gp and then times 2.5 for the crime type would be 16,500, and then +400 for the creature type because he counts as a misc creature that quarry works on, and that would give a rough bounty of 16,900 gp or some random number slightly lower (16,795) or slightly higher (17,250).
Arson that causes little to no damage to property
Minor theft (less than 1 gp)
Aiding and abetting a criminal
Arson that causes damage to property
Moderate theft (more than 1 gp, less than 100 gp)
Arson that causes major damage to property or multiple properties, or resulted in a death.
Conspiracy against the king or church
Major theft (more than 100 gp)
Sample Encounter: The characters are traveling in the wilderness when they are caught up to by a Bounty Hunter who isn't interested in talking and attacks the party going after 1 specific member with a purpose. In the opening round, he'll cast Dimensional Anchor on his quarry, then in the second round ray of exhaustion on the Fighter/Barbarian/Combat character. In the third/fourth round he attempts to fire an arrow with sleep poison at the wizard/sorcerer/caster character, and then focus solely on closing range to his target to start wearing them down with nonlethal strikes or grapple to hog tie them.
Medium Humanoid (Human)
Hit Dice: 11d10 (110) + (33 con) = (133 hp max or 93 hp average)
Speed: 50 ft (60 feet while not encumbered)
Armor Class: Normal 21 ( Armor +5, Dex +2, Magic +2, Deflection +1, Shield +1), Touch 15, Flat Foot 19
Base Attack / Grapple: +10 / +23 (10 BAB, 3 Str, 2 Dex, 4 Improved Grapple, 4 Competence)
Full Attack: +15/+10 1d8 + 4 17-20 X2 or +20/+15 1d8 + 9 17-20 X2 against a quarry
Space / Reach: 5 ft / 5 ft
Special Abilities: Nonlethal Strike, Trapfinding, Quarry, Determination, Master Tracker, Fearless, Silencing Strike, Instincts, Swift Stalker, Improved Restraints Improved Tracking +2, Flawless Stride, Hide in Plain Sight, Mind Haze, Hunting Skill Mastery
Spell-like Abilities: 3/day each: See Invisibility, Ray of Exhaustion, Dimensional Anchor, Locate Creature and Mark of Justice. Only while actively hunting his quarry: True Seeing
Saves: Fort 10, Ref 9, Will 6 or Fort 15, Ref 9, Will 11 against attacks of a quarry
Skills: Gather Information, Hide, Move Silently, Open Locks, Search, Sense Motive and Survival 13 ranks, Disable Device and Intimidate 6 Ranks, +2 bonus on Gather Information, Search and Survival. An additinal +5 on all Bluff, Gather Information, Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival against or to find a quarry.
Feats: Dodge, Weapon Focus (Longsword), Track, Endurance,Urban Tracking, Improved Grapple, Improved Inniative, Mobility, Improved Critical (Longsword)
Abilities: Str: 17, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 13
Treasure: +2 Chainmail, +1 Longsword, +1 Buckler, Ring of Protection +1, Masterwork Heavy crossbow, 3 Medium Masterwork Manacles with Amazing Locks, and 2 Small Masterwork Manacles with Amazing Locks (All manacles enchanted with Dimensional Anchor and have DC 45 Open Locks, DC 40 Escape Artist, DC 33 Strength to break), 6,700 gp
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
- If for use in a gestalt campaign, make the second class Ranger and feel free to make his favored enemies most of the party's race type, and take archery combat style. Make his animal companion anything with scent and tracking ability.
- For more powerful for their level groups that are not ghestalt campaigns perhaps consider taking away from his 7,700 gold and giving him a cloak of resistance +2 or perhaps a gauntlets of ogre strength for +2 Strength
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral + and Neutral Evil +|
|Article Balance||High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Good +|
|Class Ability Progression||Full +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Good +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Minimum Level||1 +|
|Rated By||SecondDeath777 + and Franken Kesey +|
|Rating||Rating Pending +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Appraise +, Bluff +, Climb +, Craft +, Diplomacy +, Disable Device +, Disguise +, Escape Artist +, Gather Information +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge (Arcana) +, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +, Knowledge (Geography) +, Knowledge (Local) +, Knowledge (Nature) +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Open Lock +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +|
|Skill Points||6 +|
|Summary||In civilized lands, local lords call upon … |
In civilized lands, local lords call upon Bounty Hunters to capture criminals that live or have traveled beyond their reach or criminals that outclass the knights or soldiers in the lords employ. Closer to the frontier, the Bounty Hunter might be the only law capable of bringing dangerous criminals to justice. Those who hire Bounty Hunters both like them, and scorn them.ty Hunters both like them, and scorn them. +
|Title||Bounty Hunter +|
|Will Save Progression||Poor +|