Huntsman Specialisation

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Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:59 pm

I always loved the D&D Ranger class (and those of other games), and have been looking to bringing such elements to the Dragon Age RPG. Certianly there are numerous hunters throughout Fereldan, according to the set 1 material. And whilst that holds true, apparently no specialisation has been crafted for such character types. So, I decided to craft the specialisation myself...

**I should note that when I take about the Ranger class, I mean a character who's a savant of survival in the wilderness and highly proficent with a bow for hunting... Basically, a hunter without peer...and then some!**

Huntsman

Class: Rogue
Requirements: You must have Cunning and Dexterity 3 or higher and Archery Style (Novice).

You are a master of the wilderness and the hunt.

Novice: You are a skilled hunter, capable of tracking prey through difficult terrain and treacherous weather. If you fail a Perception (Tracking) test, you can re-roll it, but must keep the results of the second roll.

Journeyman: You’re deadly with a bow. If you take the activate action, you gain a +1 Damage bonus until the end of the encounter while fighting with a bow or crossbow.

Master: You aren’t just capable of surviving in the wilderness, you thrive in it. If you fail a Cunning (Natural Lore) test, you can re-roll it, but must keep the results of the second roll.


Possible Revisions

Journeyman: You dispatch your quarry quickly and efficiently. While fighting with a bow or crossbow, you inflict +1 damage.

Journeyman: Your aim is both true and deadly. Whenever you take an aim action whilst using a bow or crossbow, you also gain a +1 damage bonus.

So, what do you all think?
Last edited by Vosoros on Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Zapp » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:58 pm

Good clean rules language. Some comments:

1) You talk about the Ranger class, but your specialization seems solely focused on ranged combat: hunting with bows. But the Ranger was never solely about ranged combat - one major area of expertise was dual-wielding and doing impressive amounts of damage vs. specific kinds of enemies.

Why not rename your specialization "the Archer" since that seems to be the sole focus?

And let me answer that myself, since..

2) I definitely like the re-roll tracking thing. It puts the focus on the hunt and not only the bow. Now if only there were more perks for hunting in general (and not just shooting things in particular).

All in all a good start, though I suspect you will want to add more goodies to make this competitive with other rogue specs. Especially bonuses that break away from "more death from a bow" :)
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby shonuff » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:32 am

Zapp wrote:1) You talk about the Ranger class, but your specialization seems solely focused on ranged combat: hunting with bows. But the Ranger was never solely about ranged combat - one major area of expertise was dual-wielding and doing impressive amounts of damage vs. specific kinds of enemies.


Personally, i've always felt that rangers dual wielding always seemed a little out of place.

As to the specialization, to me it seems a little weak. Maybe swap Master & Novice, and make the tracking thing a permament buff (even if restricted to an environmental type).
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:26 am

Zapp wrote:1) You talk about the Ranger class, but your specialization seems solely focused on ranged combat: hunting with bows. But the Ranger was never solely about ranged combat - one major area of expertise was dual-wielding and doing impressive amounts of damage vs. specific kinds of enemies.

Why not rename your specialization "the Archer" since that seems to be the sole focus?


I never found the dual weilding aspect of the D&D Ranger all that attractive or practical IMHO. Although I refer to the Ranger class from D&D, it's merely a means to remind folks of the class per sae. To my mind, a true Ranger carrys a bow, a blade and a dagger...for practical purposes. Certianly that holds true in the "Dragon Age-Verse" when you look at the likes of the Chasind Stalkers, Dalish Raiders and Avvarian Hunters.

I light of such clarification (and amendment to the original post) I'd be interested to hear your thoughts again...

shonuff wrote:As to the specialization, to me it seems a little weak. Maybe swap Master & Novice, and make the tracking thing a permament buff (even if restricted to an environmental type).


I think you may have mis-read. I always intend the Perception (Tracking) test re-roll to be available to characters/players regardless of environment. In doing so a character with the Huntsman spec would be significantly better at tracking their chosen quarry over all manner of terrain and through all manner of weather. Again, I hope I've clarified here...

Thanks for the feeback thus far guys...please keep it comming.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby shonuff » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:23 am

Vosoros wrote:
shonuff wrote:As to the specialization, to me it seems a little weak. Maybe swap Master & Novice, and make the tracking thing a permament buff (even if restricted to an environmental type).


I think you may have mis-read. I always intend the Perception (Tracking) test re-roll to be available to characters/players regardless of environment. In doing so a character with the Huntsman spec would be significantly better at tracking their chosen quarry over all manner of terrain and through all manner of weather. Again, I hope I've clarified here...


I understand. IMO, a tracking re-roll just seems to be too weak for a Specialization point. With the frequency that tracking would possibly come up during a typical session, I would even consider allowing a buff and a re-roll.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Raphaquina » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:28 am

Re-rolling Track and Lore are already done with Scouting Talent (Master) for the Track focus, and with Lore Talent (Master) for the several Lore foci.

IMO, a huntsman would pick Trapsmith and Scouting talents, along with according foci like Stealth, Track, Natural Lore etc. So this is already covered by the official rules, then the way you could make a Huntsman Specialization could go benefiting spears and bows, at least.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Estoirtoh » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:40 am

Actually, the Scouting talent let's you re-roll Dexterity (Stealth) and Perception (Seeing) at Master level, not Perception (Tracking)
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:42 am

shonuff wrote:I understand. IMO, a tracking re-roll just seems to be too weak for a Specialization point. With the frequency that tracking would possibly come up during a typical session, I would even consider allowing a buff and a re-roll.


My apologise, what you propose sounds interesting. However, if you could refer my to a presedent for something similar in either the set 1 or 2 published material, or the set 3 beta material, I would be happier to review how such is done and consider if something similar could be done with the Huntsman specialisation.

But it may be worth noting that a GM worth their salt would surely note a character's choice of specialisations, talents and focuses as signposts as to what would be an enjoyable game for the players, and provide apt adventures. As such, surely a character who's skills, focuses and talents/specialisation talents are predominantly orientated around surviving in the wilderness would therefore find themselves (predominantly) in adventures in the wilderness of Thedas...thereby lending greater credance to the novice talent of the Huntsman spec.

The same holds true for talents like scouting's novice talent, for example...

Regardless, I'd be interested to deliberate on your proposal...more so if you can find me a game president for such.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:04 am

Raphaquina wrote:Re-rolling Track and Lore are already done with Scouting Talent (Master) for the Track focus, and with Lore Talent (Master) for the several Lore foci.

IMO, a huntsman would pick Trapsmith and Scouting talents, along with according foci like Stealth, Track, Natural Lore etc. So this is already covered by the official rules, then the way you could make a Huntsman Specialization could go benefiting spears and bows, at least.


Firstly, Estoirtoh is correct in that the Scouting talent let's you re-roll Dexterity (Stealth) and Perception (Seeing) at Master level, not Perception (Tracking).

But, more importantly, I fear you're focusing on a powergaming falacy in such popositions. The core focus of the design for the Huntsman specialisation is to make you a master of the wilderness and the hunt...as noted under the requirements of the original post.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Zapp » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:32 am

shonuff wrote:Personally, i've always felt that rangers dual wielding always seemed a little out of place.


Vosoros wrote:I never found the dual weilding aspect of the D&D Ranger all that attractive or practical IMHO. Although I refer to the Ranger class from D&D, it's merely a means to remind folks of the class per sae. To my mind, a true Ranger carrys a bow, a blade and a dagger...for practical purposes. Certianly that holds true in the "Dragon Age-Verse" when you look at the likes of the Chasind Stalkers, Dalish Raiders and Avvarian Hunters.

The D&D Ranger is inextricably associated with the dual-wielding dark elf whether you like it or not. I just wanted to point out that unless you adhere to that general stereotype, perhaps it would be best to drop the comparison? Or at least save it for another thread...

That's all I have to say on that subject.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Raphaquina » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:58 am

Vosoros wrote:
Raphaquina wrote:Re-rolling Track and Lore are already done with Scouting Talent (Master) for the Track focus, and with Lore Talent (Master) for the several Lore foci.

IMO, a huntsman would pick Trapsmith and Scouting talents, along with according foci like Stealth, Track, Natural Lore etc. So this is already covered by the official rules, then the way you could make a Huntsman Specialization could go benefiting spears and bows, at least.


Firstly, Estoirtoh is correct in that the Scouting talent let's you re-roll Dexterity (Stealth) and Perception (Seeing) at Master level, not Perception (Tracking).

But, more importantly, I fear you're focusing on a powergaming falacy in such popositions. The core focus of the design for the Huntsman specialisation is to make you a master of the wilderness and the hunt...as noted under the requirements of the original post.



Yea, my mistake. I got confused since the new Observation Talent gives Perception (Seeing) a re-roll too.

I'm not powergaming, it's just every Specialization has a "knack" for combat and buffing Spears would be nice since they are not the 1st choice for warriors, besides that both spears and bows are primary tribesman hunt tools. It just needs a good mix from wilderness and combat.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Loswaith » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:13 pm

The bow damage for me doesnt sit as well for the hunter bit. Sure I understand they want to be good with a bow but realy doesnt seem to fit the entire scheme. Haps something to do with traps could work out and add to the 'Hunter' feel but I cant realy see much other than another re-roll option (since just about everything else is combined into traps already) for that and having a specialisation with just 3 re-roll options doesnt seem fitting for a Specialisation.


Also I'd likely go for an order of Survival, Tracking then Archery bonus, as that to me seems like a better progression for a hunter and would stop just picking up the first rank of the specialisation for simply the tracking bonus.

An option for the Archery could be that with an aim action the Ranger can negate any cover (cant recall if DA even has cover rules) bonuses/penalities.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Estoirtoh » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:57 am

Also I'd likely go for an order of Survival, Tracking then Archery bonus, as that to me seems like a better progression for a hunter and would stop just picking up the first rank of the specialisation for simply the tracking bonus.


In RAW, even if you did just pick the first degree for the Tracking bonus and weren't interested, you'd still have to take the other degrees of the specialization, before choosing another one.

Level 8
New Specialization Talent: You gain the journeyman degree in the specialization talent you gained at level 6.

Level 10
New Specialization Talent: You gain the master degree in the specialization talent you gained at level 6.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:54 am

Loswaith wrote:The bow damage for me doesnt sit as well for the hunter bit. Sure I understand they want to be good with a bow but realy doesnt seem to fit the entire scheme. Haps something to do with traps could work out...


I get where you're going with this...trouble is I only have three talents to empower a player, in as sleak as possible fashion, to become better in the wilderness. When I thought about what makes a hunter truely exceptional I realised it was 1) his ability to track prey, 2) his proficency to bring down his prey (human or beast), and 3) the fact that exceptional hunters don't just survive in the wilderness...they thrive in it.

I get that hunter's use traps...but not so much as they hunt and forage, otherwise they'd be a trapper like Branik (Blood in Ferelden, p. 23-24). Besides which, the trap-making talent deals nicely with traps on it's own IMHO.

Loswaith wrote:An option for the Archery could be that with an aim action the Ranger can negate any cover (cant recall if DA even has cover rules) bonuses/penalities.


An interesting proposal...though I'm really trying to emulare the hunter's quarry aspect of the D&D 4E ranger class at journeyman level here. To such an end I'm trying to mirror the DA RPG assassin specialisation's novice talent somewhat, as it's the only comparitive means I'm aware of.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:01 am

I believe I've resolved the specialisation's design flaw...

Hunter

Flavour text here…

What is a hunter?

As a hunter, you possess almost supernaturally keen senses and a deep appreciation for untamed wilderness. With your knowledge of the natural world, you are able to track your enemies through nearly any landscape, using the smallest clue to set your course, even sometimes the calls and songs of beasts and birds. Your severe demeanour promises a deadly conclusion to an enemy you hunt.

Class: Rogue
Requirements: You must have Cunning and Perception 3 or higher and Archery Style (Novice).

You are a master of the wilderness and the hunt.

Novice: You are a skilled hunter, capable of tracking prey through difficult terrain and treacherous weather. If you fail a Perception (Tracking) test, you can re-roll it, but must keep the results of the second roll.

Journeyman: Your aim is both true and deadly. Whenever you take an aim action whilst using a bow or crossbow, you also gain a +2 damage bonus.

Master: You aren’t just capable of surviving in the wilderness, you thrive in it. If you fail a Cunning (Natural Lore) test, you can re-roll it, but must keep the results of the second roll.

I've borrowed some flavour text from the D&D 4E Ranger pro-tem, and noted changes to the specialisation in green text for ease of refernce for those kindly helping out. I've also changed the specialisations name to Hunter...which seemed more apt IMHO.

The Journeyman adjustment came about when I reviewed the in-game means by which a D&D 4E Ranger increased their damage curtosey of the hunter's quarry class feature. I did so by pouring over the side-bar of Martial Power (D&D suppliment), p.47. To my mind it indicated that such a charater was highly focused on their chosen quarry, noting movement patterns, weak-spots, and assessing (from one moment to the next), just what they'd need to do to take advantage of such. Besides which, this nicely plays alongside the level nine Lethality class power that follows...

Let me know what you think folks.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby shonuff » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:02 am

I still think it's weak as a specialization. Re-rolls typically aren't in specializations, and you have 2. Also, while any GM would tailor adventures to PCs, there is only so much tailoring that can be done... and if every session had a tracking section, I'd be the first to call shenanigans.

IMO, too much of this specialization is non-combat, and to me, the specializations are combat abilities. I also thought Loswaith's ideas about the traps was interesting. You could do a lot with them -- changing damage to penetrating, affecting set-up/discovery. You could also modify exploration stunts.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Knightwolf64 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:27 pm

There is a character specalization in the pdf of the 3 box material that you can download on the main site if that is helpful at all.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:50 pm

Knightwolf64 wrote:There is a character specalization in the pdf of the 3 box material that you can download on the main site if that is helpful at all.


Sounds fantastic...any chance of a link, on the off-chance I'm unable to find it?
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby MacGrein » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:01 am

My piece of contribution:

Hunstman
Class: Rogue
Requirements: PER (survival*), Archery Style (novice)

PS.: Survival Focus is a group of foci about terrain with subgroups (snow, forest, desert, city, mountain, sea, cavern, etc.)

Novice: You are a skilled hunter, capable of tracking prey through difficult terrain and treacherous weather. When you're at a terrain which you have the PER (survival*) focus, you can re-roll any Perception tests, but you must keep the results of the second roll.

Journeyman: Your aim is fast and deadly. You Aim action now becomes a Free Action and allows you to add you Survival focus on the attack, if you are in a terrain which you have the focus in.

Master: You're a master on the knowledge of creatures. If you win a CUN (nature lore) TN 15 when a kind of creature appears in a encounter, you gain +1 on any tests against it. You can make this test once per creature-type in a given scene.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Knightwolf64 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:54 pm

This is the site link for the playtest that has a plethopra of info, though not final that people can use for the game.
http://grfiles.game-host.org/dragon_age ... aytest.pdf
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:40 am

MacGrein wrote:My piece of contribution:

Hunstman
Class: Rogue
Requirements: PER (survival*), Archery Style (novice)

PS.: Survival Focus is a group of foci about terrain with subgroups (snow, forest, desert, city, mountain, sea, cavern, etc.)

Novice: You are a skilled hunter, capable of tracking prey through difficult terrain and treacherous weather. When you're at a terrain which you have the PER (survival*) focus, you can re-roll any Perception tests, but you must keep the results of the second roll.

Journeyman: Your aim is fast and deadly. You Aim action now becomes a Free Action and allows you to add you Survival focus on the attack, if you are in a terrain which you have the focus in.

Master: You're a master on the knowledge of creatures. If you win a CUN (nature lore) TN 15 when a kind of creature appears in a encounter, you gain +1 on any tests against it. You can make this test once per creature-type in a given scene.


An interesting proposition, though if I may critique...it turns out we practically agree verbatum.

In the Dragon Age RPG Verse, Natural Lore is basically synonamous with Survival from other games. Also, when you propose the journeyman talent of this proposed specialisation change Aim to a free action...well, what do you plan to do with your minor action each turn now? Buy this level, my own character has already obtained the journeyman talent in archery and thus no longer need expend his minor action reloading.

Regardless, thank you for the contribution. I truely believe that this specialisation is almost build to my satisfaction...and I'll share with you all one done.
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby MacGrein » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:30 am

@Vosoros
Nice point!
I work with these two different foci because of the ability they are relative to.
Nature for Cunning (thinking, knowledge)
Survival for Perception (self-protection, scouting)

While someone knows of fauna e flora very well (nature focus), this doesn't means this one person is good about tracking things/founding food/safely traveling through some kind of terrain.
I can be a (D&Dish) Ranger who knows a lot about Forest and Swamps, using the PER (survival:forest) or (survival:swamp), but can be a Thief who knows about backstreets using the PER (survival:city) focus.

And about the available Minor Action for the Ranger, he can use it to move around, keeping it's distance from enemies, at the same time he takes Aim. Just think an archer aiming at someone and moving closer or sideways, or afar.
This "power" can even do a good synergy with other powers, like those of a Bard, or allow Item grabbing.
If I have a Ranger character like this, I would do pretty much things!
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:05 am

I've decided that the key aspect missing from this specialisation is a unqie weapon set, and would invite help...

Basically, after much research into the lifestyle, I've noted that hunter's are adept with weapons that are also tools. The chief tool is invariably a hatchet...a light-weight axe designed to chop firewood, craft items (such as bows and arrows), and defence against natural predators. Other weapons and tools of choice seem to boil down to a durable and sharp blade (often used to butcher meat and craft items) and a light spear (typically used to fish and hunt if the trusty bow fails).

Naturally a bow and arrow is an intigral part of a hunter's repatoir, but I've left it out of such debates given the weapon is readily available from the outset.

:wink:

So, what would you propose or improve upon at this starting point?
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby MacGrein » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:46 am

Great!

Hunting Group
Hatchet - http://www.canadianoutdoorequipment.com ... 282%29.png
Treadant - http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2 ... ii-cid.png
Kukri - http://images.knifecenter.com/knifecent ... SZ2103.jpg
Bolas - http://www.alltribes.com/media/kbase/Boleadoras.png

Hatchet - throwing (low range) and melee axe-like
Treadant - throwing (low range) and melee 1H spear-like
Kukri - throwing (low range) and melee dagger-like
Bolas - throwing (medium range) grapping weapon
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Re: Huntsman Specialisation

Postby Vosoros » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:46 am

MacGrein wrote:Great!

Hunting Group
Hatchet - http://www.canadianoutdoorequipment.com ... 282%29.png
Treadant - http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2 ... ii-cid.png
Kukri - http://images.knifecenter.com/knifecent ... SZ2103.jpg
Bolas - http://www.alltribes.com/media/kbase/Boleadoras.png

Hatchet - throwing (low range) and melee axe-like
Treadant - throwing (low range) and melee 1H spear-like
Kukri - throwing (low range) and melee dagger-like
Bolas - throwing (medium range) grapping weapon


Naturally I love the hatchet concept...and the kukri is a good prospect too. The bolas, whilst thematically apt, may best be left to the improvised weapons catagory given their weight (and weaponised practicality) and thus the number a hunter may-well carry. The treadent....erm, still this a spear's more apt.
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