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Sniper (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Created By
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Date Created: 2/21/10
Status: First Draft
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Balance: Rogue

{{#set:Summary=A ranged class specializing in precision for the patient. |Length=10 |Minimum Level=1 |Base Attack Bonus Progression=Good |Fortitude Save Progression=Poor |Reflex Save Progression=Good |Will Save Progression=Good |Class Ability=Other |Class Ability Progression=Other }} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Evil}}


SniperEdit

My Captain was talking with a barbarian commander. Apparently something went wrong, because he coughed then snapped his fingers. That was my signal, and I put a hole through the barbarian's loincloth. ...In the end, they decided to spend their time raiding some other settlement.
—Lieutenant Narkoth, Human Sniper

Patience is a skill not possessed by all warriors, be they melee combatants or ranged attackers. Rewards come to those who wait, however - a sniper is a ranged attacker who has chosen the path of patience. Quality over quantity. Precision over power.

Becoming a SniperEdit

Characters who choose the path of the sniper are not concerned with pumping out damage over time from a range (Sharpshooting is the name of that other art), but rather prefer to enjoy an increased accuracy for the few shots they do take, as well as making those shots count. Snipers are a martial class, drawing from the ranks of fighters, rangers, rogues, and other classes of similar persuasions. Due to Snipers being a ranged class, and a class that prefers to stay out of melee (or even return fire), ability in archery is of primary importance. The skills necessary to sneak around is also very helpful.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Concentrate 3 ranks, Spot 3 ranks.
Feats: Far Shot, Precise Shot.
Special: Character must possess requisite patience.

Table: The Sniper

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 Sniper's Patience
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Sniper's Instinct
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Sniper's Patience
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 Specialized Shot
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 Sniper's Patience
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +5 Intent Study
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +5 Sniper's Patience
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +6 Extraordinary Precision
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +6 Sniper's Patience
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +7 Sniper's Patience

Class Skills (Skill Points::4 + Int modifier per level.)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).


Class FeaturesEdit

All of the following are class features of the Sniper.


Sniper's Patience (Ex): When you could make a ranged attack against an opponent, you may forfeit that attack, and keep your weapon trained on the target until your next attack, making it at the original bonus, and rolling your attack roll twice, taking the better roll. If you hit with a critical, you may apply the same number of bonus rolls to your confirmation.

Losing sight of the target (target gains total concealment) wastes this ability.

Aiming at your opponent this way denies your dexterity bonus to AC, and if you are hit, you must make a concentration check (DC 10 plus damage taken minus your attack bonus) to continue to hold your aim steady. If you move more than half your speed while aiming, you must make a concentration check (DC 10 plus each foot of distance traveled past half your speed). At the DM's discretion, additional concentration checks may be imposed for anything that may disrupt your aiming.

At level 3, you may roll two extra times by skipping two of your attacks, then at level 5 you may roll three extra times by skipping three of your attacks. This increases every odd level to level 9, where you may skipping up to five attacks to roll your next attack roll five extra times in addition to your actual attack roll, and take the highest result. At level 10, you may skip any number of attacks, and get that many bonus rolls to your next attack.


Sniper's Instinct (Ex): At level 2, the sniper can shoot at any moment, relying on his instincts to release his projectile in response to the slightest of cues. Whenever the sniper is aiming at a target, using his Sniper's Patience ability, he may use the latest stored attack whenever he wants, as if his attack were an opportunity attack. This uses any existing Sniper's Patience bonus rolls, but does not add the final extra roll - only the stored bonus rolls are being used. (Example: Mubasa the 6th level sniper is aiming at a prince through a window. He has given up two attacks, and would like to wait until he has the perfect shot [Three bonus rolls plus the actual attack's roll, at his level]. However, the prince stands up, and decides to go to the restroom, which would break Mubasa's line of sight. Mubasa releases his arrow then, attacking with the correct modifier, and rolling with the two stored bonus rolls for the better result of 2 d20s.)


Specialized Shot (Ex): At level 4, the sniper is able to aim specifically at certain parts of the body to achieve certain effects. While it is harder to aim at specific body parts, with patience, the sniper can hit with precision. Whenever you make a ranged attack, you may take a -2 penalty and one of the following special attacks:

Vital Shot: Against creatures with discernible anatomies, the sniper can specifically aim at vital areas, doubling the threat range of his weapon.

Laming Shot: Against creatures with a discernible mode of physical locomotion, the sniper can shoot them in the foot, leg, wing, fin, etc. This reduces the relevant move speed by half, and if the creature is flying, reduces its manueverablity by one level. This lasts until a DC 20 heal check, or magical healing equal to the damage taken in the attack.

Felling Shot: By shooting the target at the right moment during their step (wingbeat, etc.), the sniper can cause the target to fall over. On a hit, the target must make a reflex save (DC 10 + damage) or fall prone.

Throat Shot: By shooting the target in the throat or lungs, (or wherever they store their ability to speak), you can eliminate enemies silently. If the target is killed by this attack, they will not make a sound. Otherwise, they lose the ability to speak for 1d4 rounds if they fail a (DC 10 + damage/2) fortitude save.

Close Call Shot: The sniper shoots next to the target, obviously having chosen to miss (shooting off a hat, between the legs, etc). The sniper shoots this attack as a ranged touch attack. Upon a 'hit,' the sniper bequeaths an intimidation bonus to any allies equal to half his attack bonus plus his charisma modifier. In the absence of anyone else claiming the arrow, the archer may make the Intimidate check herself through the intimidation of the shot alone (no other mods). Sniper's instinct can shoot this shot to prop up a (bad) intimidate check if the sniper can observe the intimidate check - she may choose to shoot after seeing the intimidate result, though before it is applied. The intimidate bonus is doubled on a critical. Upon a miss, there is a 50% chance to accidentally hit at the target instead, attacking them with the same modifiers as your original attack.

Artery Shot: The sniper aims for a major artery. If the attack hits, it causes the target to bleed, taking 1 damage at the start of each of its turns. On a critical hit, the target also takes one point of Constitution damage. The bleeding lasts until a DC 15 heal check, or magical healing equal to the damage taken in the attack.

Maiming Shot: The sniper aims at a limb of the creature. If he hits, all skill checks, physical ability checks, and attack rolls that creature makes that use the damaged limb get a -3 penalty. This lasts until a DC 20 heal check, or magical healing equal to the damage taken in the attack.


Intent Study (Ex): At level 6, the sniper is able to identify the chinks in armor, and weaknesses in the target's body. The sniper may convert a bonus roll (from Sniper's Patience) into ignoring armor and attacking as if as a ranged touch attack.

Additionally, for each round spent aiming or intently studying the target, the sniper gains a permanent +1 competence bonus to damage against the target, with a maximum bonus of her levels in sniper. This bonus is not based on discernible anatomy, but rather on the sniper understanding how to make her attack deal the most damage to the target on a holistic basis. As a permanent bonus, the bonus damage may be applied whenever the sniper deals damage to the target, be it this year or the next - however, at the DM's discretion, gross physical alterations to the target may cause the sniper's knowledge to be outdated. Note that a sniper's intent study is fairly obvious, and requires the same total concentration as would normal sniping.


Extraordinary Precision (Ex): At level 8, the sniper is able to aim with such precision that damage on a confirmed critical hit is additionally doubled on top of the normal effects of a critical. The sniper may also convert a number of bonus rolls (from Sniper's Patience) equal to the number of range increments her or she is distant from the target to ensure a critical threat on a hit.

Campaign InformationEdit

Playing a SniperEdit

Boom! Headshot!
—Anonymous, Red Team Human Sniper

Combat: Snipers fight in combat by starting the battle with a well-aimed shot, hitting commanders to sow confusion, wizards and other enemy squishies before they can buff, etc., and any other high-impact shot. Alternatively, if the sniper is confident in her ability to stay hidden, her tendency towards quality over quantity gives her targets less chances to spot her. Snipers are, of course, ideal for shooting a single unsuspecting target: assassination.

In general combat, however, levels in sniper provide little advantage over shooting as often as possible, and such combats rely on the sniper's base class abilities.

Advancement: The sniper class exists to specialize in a particular tactic - sniping. Some characters may want pursue sniping in full, but others may only want to dabble in the art of precision. Low entry requirements are friendly to dabblers, but the sniper is no more powerful than a base class - simply more specialized.

Resources: Sniping is a skill and a style, not an identity. Very few sniper organizations exist - instead most snipers are part of military marksmanship academies, orders of assassins, etc.




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