A stealthy wilderness class
Scouts are humans who excel at speed and stealth in the wilderness, often employed to conduct recon missions, rescue or recovery operations, or act as point units for larger forces moving through hostile territory.
The prime requisite of a scout is Dexterity. A scout with a Dexterity score of 13 or greater will gain a bonus on earned experience points.
RESTRICTIONS: Scouts use six-sided dice (d6) to determine their hit points. They save and fight as thieves of equal level. To travel quickly and stealthily, they may wear only leather armour and may not use a shield. However, they may use any weapon.
SPECIAL ABILITIES: A scout’s training focuses on Wilderness Survival, which is a catch-all skill used for hunting and foraging (feeds 1 person per level per day), outdoor stealth (hiding and moving silently at 1/2 normal movement rate), tracking (detecting and following quarry), and finding/removing natural traps. Scouts can also climb natural surfaces (trees and rocky surfaces) and hear noise. Scouts are surprised only on a roll of 1 (d6) when fighting outdoors, and are also well-trained with missiles, gaining a +1 “to-hit” with bows, slings, and crossbows. Finally, scouts have the Fighter’s lance attack and set spear vs. charge abilities.
OPTIONAL: Each of the following options may be included if they suit the GM’s campaign and the player’s vision of the character; there is no impact to XP or advancement for including these:
- Any wilderness area where the scout spends a full experience level (i.e., where he earns and consecutively gains a level) may be designated as “familiar territory.” While in familiar territory, the scout gains a +1 to wilderness survival, climb, and hear noise rolls. The territory’s size is up to the GM, but usually has recognizable geographic boundaries (e.g., the Dark Forest, the Western Desert, the Lands from Here to the Sea, etc.).
- Scouts may wear chain mail armour, but suffer a -1 penalty to wilderness survival and climb rolls as a result.
- Scouts have a good sense of direction, and thus reduce the party’s chance of getting lost in the wilderness by 1 on a d6 (X56).
- Scouts can avoid unwanted attention in the wilderness, reducing the chance of a random encounter by 1 on a d6 (X57).
- When searching a wilderness hex for a specific person, place, or thing, the scout gains a +1 bonus on a d6 to find it.
Experience and Level Advancement
|Level||Title||Exp. Points||Hit Dice||Wilderness Survival, Climb, Hear Noise*|
|* Chance of success on a d6; roll d8 in harsh weather or terrain.
** Constitution adjustments no longer apply.
† 120,000 XP per level above 14th.
Under the Hood
The scout class was built with the revised Excel tool from Building A More Perfect Class. For those checking the math, here’s how characteristics worked out:
HD: 6; Saving Throw: Thief; Attack: Cleric/Thief; Armour: Restricted; Weapons: Any; Spells: None; Special: x3 (lance attack, set spear vs. charge, special attack); Skills: x9 (awareness, hunting, hide, move silently, tracking, find/remove traps, climb, hear noise); WM: Non-fighter; Lvl Limit: Unlimited; Base XP: 1,600
A few aspects that merit more playtesting and discussion:
- Does it make sense for the scout to be capable of stealth while wearing heavier armour at higher levels (e.g., shield at 4th-level, then chain at 9th)?
- Could the scout be classified as a sort of wilderness bounty hunter, and if so, do the class abilities change?
- Is the wilderness survival skill progression adequate?
So, all that said, let me know what you think. Is this a fun class to play? Does it work at higher levels? Am I better off with a burly thief, or a just a fighter?