The Harrier

The basic harrier is pretty decent. Its main perceived problems are the mechanic of counting squares for bonuses, and many of its abilities are poorly worded or overly specific. Therefore, the objectives of this revision are:


Class Statistics

Hit Die: 1d4+4/level.

Skill Groups: Agility, Athletics.

Skill Points/Level: 8 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level).

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Base Defense Bonus

Combat Speed

Special

Defense Feat Mastery

Finesse Feat Mastery

Projectile Feat Mastery

Other Feat Mastery

1

+1

+1

+2/10 ft

Combat agility

1

1

2

+2

+2

+2/10 ft

 

1

1

3

+3

+3

+2/10 ft

Blade rhythm

2

2

1

4

+4

+4

+2/10 ft

 

2

2

1

5

+5

+5

+2/10 ft

Bonus feat

3

3

2

1

6

+6

+5

+4/20 ft

Running assault

3

3

2

1

7

+7

+6

+4/20 ft

Whirling attack

4

4

3

2

8

+8

+7

+4/20 ft

Greater blade rhythm

4

4

3

2

9

+9

+8

+4/20 ft

Rapid strike

5

5

4

3

10

+10

+9

+4/20 ft

Bonus feat

5

5

4

3

11

+11

+10

+6/30 ft

Superior agility

6

6

5

4

12

+12

+10

+6/30 ft

Steel dancer

6

6

5

4

13

+13

+11

+6/30 ft

Supreme blade rhythm

7

7

6

5

14

+14

+12

+6/30 ft

Bonus feat

7

7

6

5

15

+15

+13

+6/30 ft

Scything charge

8

8

7

6

16

+16

+14

+8/40 ft

 

8

8

7

6

17

+17

+15

+8/40 ft

Improved rapid strike

9

9

8

7

18

+18

+15

+8/40 ft

Blade crescendo

9

9

8

7

19

+19

+16

+8/40 ft

Bonus feat

9

9

8

7

20

+20

+17

+8/40 ft

Flashing blade

9

9

8

7

Class Abilities

In general, you only gain your harrier special abilities if you are wearing nothing heavier than light armour, and your speed has not been reduced by encumbrance.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

Harriers are proficient with all simple weapons, all martial finesse weapons, and all martial projectile weapons. They are proficient with light armour.

Combat Agility

Harriers are masters of acrobatic maneuver in combat. As a harrier, you gain a +4 active bonus to defense against attacks of opportunity due to your movement. In addition, you can move at normal speed while using the Tumble skill without taking a penalty, and you gain double your Dexterity bonus to Tumble checks.

Combat Speed

You gain a bonus to your speed in combat. This does not apply when travelling long distances, but functions during combat and similar situations where tactical movement is important. You cannot maintain this speed for more than 20 minutes in any given hour.

Blade Rhythm

Starting at 3rd level, you gain the ability to use your speed and reflexes to greatest advantage in combat. Your agility allows you to catch your opponent unawares; you spot opening in their defenses and strike faster than their reactions can keep up with. As they try to strike back, you can anticipate their attacks and avoid them with ease. If you move at least 6 squares (30 feet) in a round, you gain a +3 bonus to attacks and a +2 active bonus to defense. Furthermore, if you attempt an attack stunt involving the Climb, Jump or Tumble skills, you can make the stunt as a free action without taking the usual -5 penalty to your skill check. These benefits take effect on the 6th square that you enter, and last until the start of your next turn.

Gaining this benefit requires that you enter at least 6 squares, not that you spend 6 squares of movement. For example, if you move across 2 squares of normal and 2 squares of difficult terrain, you would spend 6 squares of movement but only move 4 squares. Only count unique squares entered for this purpose.

Bonus Feats

At 5th, 10th, 14th and 19th level, you gain a bonus feat. This feat must come from the Defense or Finesse category. You must still meet the usual prerequisites for the feat.

Running Assault

At 6th level, you gain the benefit of the Mobility expanded mastery 3 feat. As a full attack action you can make a single melee attack at your best base attack bonus and move. You can move both before and after the attack, provided your total distance moved does not exceed your speed. Moving in this way does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender you attack, although it might provoke them from other creatures.

If you also have the Mobility expanded mastery 3 feat, you gain a further +2 bonus to your attack on your target if you move and attack in this way, provided you move at least 6 squares before you attack.

Whirling Attack

You gain this ability at 7th level. If you move at least 6 squares prior to attacking and enter an opponent's threatened area, you can make a Tumble check as a free action, opposed by their base attack check. If you win, you gain a +2 attack bonus and deal an additional +1d6 points of damage on your next melee attack against them. This attack must be made before the end of your current turn. You can use this ability once per round.

Rapid Strike

At 9th level, you can strike devastatingly quick blows. If you move at least 6 squares prior to attacking, you can make 2 attacks as an attack action. You make your second attack at your best attack bonus, but this attack and all your other attacks for the round suffer a -4 penalty. You must be wielding a light or finesse weapon to gain this benefit.

You cannot use rapid strike as part of a full attack or charge, or in conjunction with running assault.

Greater Blade Rhythm

At 8th level, your bonuses from blade rhythm increase to a +5 bonus to attacks and a +3 active bonus to defense.

Superior Agility

At 11th level, you gain a +2 bonus to Reflex saves, and a further +2 active bonus to defense against attacks of opportunity due to your movement. Furthermore, you can move at your full speed while using the Balance and Climb skills, without taking a penalty on your skill checks.

Steel Dancer

You gain this ability at 12th level. Your skill and agility allows you to run rings around slower opponents, especially large, brutish ones. If you move at least 6 squares prior to attacking and enter an opponent's threatened area, you can make a Tumble skill check as a free action, opposed by their base attack check. If you beat your opponent's roll by at least 5 points, they lose their active bonus to defense against your next attack, provided it is made before the end of your turn. If your opponent is larger than you or is wielding a weapon whose size category is larger than your own, you gain this benefit if you win the opposed roll, regardless of the margin of success.

You can combine this ability with whirling attack, but both must be used on the same target. Make one set of opposed rolls, and apply the result to both abilities. You can use this ability once per round.

Supreme Blade Rhythm

At 13th level, your bonuses from blade rhythm increase to a +8 bonus to attacks and a +4 active bonus to defense.

Scything Charge

You gain this ability at 15th level. You can use the Jump and Tumble skills as part of a charge. When you charge, you deal bonus damage on your first attack equal to the number of squares moved before attacking, and you may continue moving after making your attack. You do not have to end your movement immediately after attacking, although other charge limitations on movement still apply. In particular, all your movement for the round must be in a straight line, and you must charge at the closest square that would allow you to make your attack and continue your movement. The total distance you move cannot exceed twice your speed, and you cannot move more than 6 squares after your attack. You can use this ability once per target per round.

Improved Rapid Strike

You gain this ability at 17th level. If you move at least 6 squares prior to attacking, you can make 3 attacks as an attack action. You make your extra attacks at your best attack bonus, but this attack and all your other attacks for the round suffer a -6 penalty.

You can use either rapid strike or improved rapid strike in a round, but not both. You cannot use improved rapid strike as part of a full attack or charge, or in conjunction with running assault.

Blade Crescendo

At 18th level, your bonuses from blade rhythm increase to a +10 bonus to attacks and a +5 active bonus to defense.

Flashing Blade

At 20th level, your knowledge of the rhythm of combat allows you to anticipate your opponent's moves and strike with unerring precision and grace, despite their best efforts to counter you. Select an opponent. If you move at least 6 squares prior to attacking, you can declare that all your attacks for the round ignore your target's active bonus to defense and any miss chance due to concealment. You can use this ability once per opponent per encounter.

Harrier Strategy

Needless to say, if you are playing a harrier, you should try to stay moving. Mobility is your strategy of choice, even if it means you give up the opportunity to make full attacks. If you stand still and trade blows, you give up all of your advantages in a fight. You should be wary of taking on large groups of opponents, as you may get hemmed in and be unable to move the distance you need to obtain your combat bonuses.

At mid to high levels, you have two basic tactics that you can use each round in melee: you can use running assault to move in, strike and move away; or you can use rapid strike to move in and make multiple attacks. The type of opposition should influence which tactic you choose. Against powerful opponents who have strong full attacks or good defenses, you should favour using running assault; while you only make one attack, it will be at a large bonus, and you expose yourself to only one attack in return. Against weaker opposition, or if you are confident in your ability to connect with your attacks, you should use rapid strike. This lets you make multiple attacks at a smaller bonus. You can also use rapid strike if your enemy has exceptional reach, or you can't get out of range of a full attack for whatever reason.

You should also not ignore the benefits of using ranged weapons. With the bonuses from blade rhythm, you can be a serious rival to the archer, especially when rapid strike is brought into play. As long as you can keep your distance from your enemies and your speed will help you in this you can shoot with impunity.

Finally, your bonus feats bring you a significant degree of flexibility. In particular, the Dodge base and expanded mastery 3 feats will give you an additional +2 defense, while Power Attack and Combat Expertise will let you shift attack and defense bonuses as the situation demands. (Even if the bonus feats can only be Defense and Finesse, they do free up any slots that you would have spent on such feats otherwise.)


Last updated: 23 Jun 2006

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