Gold Falcon (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Gold falcons are champions against slavery.


The Gold Legion is an alliance of mercenary companies that despise slavery. Originally a mercenary guild with unusual loyalty and determination, the Gold Legion gradually shifted to an anti-slavery focus.

The gold falcons are the Gold Legion's spiritual and physical vanguard, spreading their philosophical ideologies by whatever means necessary. This can be anything from bribing a noble with inside information, to breaking the chains of the enslaved, to orchestrating widespread rebellion in an unfriendly land. Less concerned with pretensions of professional neutrality than other members of the Gold Legion, gold falcons stand up for what they believe is right.

While they occasionally serve as envoys and diplomats, gold falcons must be skilled at a variety of techniques if they expect to survive in hostile lands and accomplish their missions. The ability to utilize traps is as important to the gold falcon as the camaraderie she shares with her fellows. And while manipulating an enemy’s emotions and seeking diplomatic solutions can solve some problems, others present no solution other than battle.

Other prestige archetypes of the Gold Legion include gold legionnaire (from Warrior Prestige Archetypes, also by Purple Duck Games), gold corsair (a type of mariner), and gold talon (a type of agent). There is a certain rivalry between gold falcons and gold talons about the leadership of the Gold Legion. In practice, gold falcons are usually tactical leaders in command of missions, while gold talons handle strategy and lead the legion as a whole.

Gold Falcons on Porphyra

The Gold Legion started as a halfling mercenary company fighting the Oncoming Wave of Mâl. The exceptional team loyalty and their motto "Leave no-one behind" made the legion famous. Later, when involved in other conflicts where members of the legion were captured and made slaves, this turned into a rallying cry against slavers and slavery everywhere. Today the Gold Legion has a global perspective and is as much an alliance of adventurers and abolitionists as a mercenary league.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype built on the steel falcon prestige class and the ranger class.

Alignment: Chaotic good, neutral good, or chaotic neutral only. Gold falcons are the idealists and propagandists of the Gold Legion. They have the sponsorship of Talo, an azata lord that grants some of their abilities. A gold falcon that changes to a non-allowed alignment can continue to advance in the class but loses the heart of freedom, chainbreaker, luck of the falcon, Talo's blessing, liberator's cry, and Talo's fury abilities.

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 (average 175 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp. or less.

Class Skills

The gold falcon’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks At Each Level: 6 + Int Modifier.

Class Features

The following are all the class features of the gold falcon prestige archetype.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A gold talon is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields). She cannot use her combat style feats, set traps, or use mariner's tricks in heavy armor.

Favored Enemy: Slavers (Ex)

Table: Favored Enemies

Humanoid (aquatic)
Humanoid (dwarf)
Humanoid (elf)
Humanoid (giant)
Humanoid (goblinoid)
Humanoid (gnoll)
Humanoid (gnome)
Humanoid (halfling)
Humanoid (human)
Humanoid (orc)
Humanoid (reptilian)
Humanoid (other subtype)
Magical beast
Monstrous humanoid
Outsider (air)
Outsider (chaotic)
Outsider (earth)
Outsider (elemental)
Outsider (evil)
Outsider (fire)
Outsider (good)
Outsider (lawful)
Outsider (native)
Outsider (water)

The gold falcon gains the ranger's favored enemy ability. She gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of her selected type. Likewise, she gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A gold falcon may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures.

From the start, the gold falcon focuses much of her training on how to interact with slavers, both in combat and in diplomatic confrontations. The first favored enemy is not a creature type or subtype. Instead the gold falcon has slavers and slave owners as their first favored enemy. This includes those who provide security for slavers without being slavers themselves and anyone who holds an ally of the gold falcon captive for any reason.

At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the gold falcon may select a type of creature as a favored enemy. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by +2.

If the gold falcon chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, she must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on Table: Favored Enemies. (Note that there are other subtypes to choose from—those called out specifically on the table below are merely the most common.) If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the gold falcon’s bonuses do not stack; she simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

Gold Falcons and Mâlites
Because of their long tradition of fighting mâlites, gold falcons on Porphyra can choose all creatures with the mâlite template as a favored enemy instead of selecting a creature type. She can even make this selection at 1st level, postponing "slavers" until level 5.

Heart of Freedom (Su)

A gold falcon gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against charm and compulsion effects and against attempts to possess her body.

Sailor and Survivalist (Ex)

A gold falcon adds half her class level to Profession (sailor) checks and Survival checks.

Combat Style

At 2nd level, the gold falcon gains the ranger's combat style ability, giving her bonus feats at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level.

A gold falcon cannot use combat style feats in heavy armor.

Heroism Pool (Su)

At 3rd level the gold falcon gains a heroism pool. She uses this pool to power her other abilities. She has a number of points in her heroism pool equal to her class level + her Charisma modifier.

Only One Swift Action
Gold falcons have many abilities that use swift actions. Because a creature can only ever us one swift (or immediate) action per round, the gold falcon can only use one of these abilities in any given round.

Superior Aid (Ex)

At 3rd level, when performing the aid another action, a gold falcon grants a +4 bonus on the ally’s armor class, attack roll, or skill check instead of the normal +2. She can spend one point of heroism to perform aid other as a swift action.

Tricks of Nature (Ex)

As part of their guerrilla warfare activities, starting at 3rd level, gold falcons learn how to use the natural environment to create simple traps. At 3rd level, and every 5 levels after, a steel falcon learns to craft one ranger trap. The steel falcon can only set extraordinary traps (not supernatural ones). She learns one extraordinary ranger falcon trap chosen from the following: alarm trap, burning trap, exploding trap, fire trap, marker trap, poison trap, snare trap, and swarm trap. At level 9, all her traps that deal damage deal double damage and at level 19 triple damage.

If the natural conditions are right (an existing pit for a pit trap, quicksand for a quicksand trap and so on, the gold falcon can set all of the following traps without needing regular components: limning trap, marking trap, pit trap, quicksand trap, sleet trap, tar trap, and toxic fumes trap. The GM is the final arbiter of what sort of trap the character can build in a particular environment (a barren desert landscape can support a pit trap but not a falling tree trap, while an overgrown swamp can have a falling tree trap but a pit trap would quickly fill with water).

Alternatively, the gold falcon can choose mariner tricks (see the mariner prestige archetype) instead of a trap when she should normally learn a new trap. At level 13 she can choose advanced mariner's tricks. At level 18, she can choose legendary mariner's tricks. A gold falcon uses points from her heroism pool instead of points of savvy to power mariner tricks.

A gold falcon cannot set traps or use mariner's tricks in heavy armor.

Heroic Speech (Su)

A 4th level gold falcon can spend a point of heroism and a swift action to inspire allies within 30 ft. (including herself) for one round with tales of greatness, heroism, and the ideals of the gold legion, bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 competence bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 10th level and 16th level, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +3 at 16th level.

Comrade’s Bond (Ex)

At 5th level, a gold falcon’s love of freedom and hatred of slavery are so great that she evokes similar feelings in her companions. As a swift action that expends one point of heroism, she can grant her allies half her favored enemy bonus against all appropriate targets in sight for a single round; the allies must be within 30 feet and able to see or hear her. This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses her allies have; they use whichever bonus is higher.

Chainbreaker (Su)

At 7th level, a gold falcon’s attacks against bindings, chains, and manacles does additional damage equal to the gold falcon's class level. This includes weapons with chains (such as flails, nunchaku, and spiked chains), a kyton’s armor and weapons, chains animated by animate objects, and so on. Additional damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. The gold falcon also gains a +10 bonus on all checks to escape bindings, such as the entangled condition, webs, manacles, or ropes.

Uncanny Dodge

At 7th level, a gold falcon gains the ability to react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A gold falcon with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if she is immobilized or an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her. If a gold falcon already has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Subtle Manipulator (Ex)

At 8th level, if the gold falcon spends a point of heroism and a full-round action studying a target, she can attempt a Sense Motive check (DC 10 + the target's Hit Dice + the target's Charisma modifier). If she succeeds, she gains a +5 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks against that opponent for one hour. This ability can be used on a given target only once per day.

Luck of the Falcon (Su)

At 9th level, once per day, a gold falcon can reroll any one d20 roll before she learns the result of that roll. At level 19, she can use this ability 2/day.

Talo's Blessing (Su/Sp)

At 11th level, a gold falcon gains the blessing of Talo. She gains a +10 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks to make high or long jumps, a +4 enchantment bonus on Perception checks, and constant feather fall.

Crowd Camouflage (Ex)

A gold falcon of 12th level or higher can use Stealth to hide (as if she had concealment) as long as she is in a crowd square or has at least 2 other creatures of her creature type within 10 ft. that have an attitude of indifferent or better.

Improved Uncanny Dodge

At 13 level, a gold falcon can no longer be flanked. This defense denies enemies the ability to sneak attack the gold falcon by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least 4 more levels in classes that provides sneak attack than the gold falcon has in classes that provide uncanny dodge.

Supernatural Traps

At level 13, the gold falcon learns to set supernatural traps, with the same selection of traps she has for mundane traps. This removes the penalty for exceptional traps and the need for parts. Each supernatural trap set costs one point of heroism.

Liberator's Cry (Su)

At 16th level, as a swift action that costs a point of heroism, the gold falcon can inspire liberty in all creatures within 30 ft. Any creature in the area that is bound, grappled, entangled, or otherwise restrained can make an Escape artist check or Reflex saving throw to escape as a free action against any effect that allows such a roll. A successful skill check or saving throw breaks the effect. Allies can use the gold falcon's skill bonus in Perform (oratory) instead of their own bonus, if that is better.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex)

While using crowd camouflage, a gold talon of 17th level or higher can use the Stealth skill even while being observed.

Talo's Fury (Su)

At 20th level, as a swift action that costs two points of heroism, a gold falcon can channel her rage at the injustice in the world, transforming her countenance into a terrifying display of righteous fury, giving her a fear aura with a range of 30 feet. Enemies within this radius are affected as by a fear spell (caster level equal to the gold falcon's class level, Will DC 20 + the gold falcon’s Charisma bonus). All other creatures in the area (including the gold falcon) are bolstered by the gold falcon’s wrath and can immediately attempt new saving throws against any charm, compulsion, or possession effects currently affecting them. A success ends that effect. Allies can use half the gold falcon's skill bonus in Perform (oratory) instead of their Will save if that is better. The gold falcon can use this ability if she is conscious, even if paralyzed or under the effect of a charm, compulsion, or possession that affects her judgment.

Table: Gold Falcon

Level Base
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Favored enemy (slavers), heart of freedom, sailor and survivalist
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Combat style feat
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Heroism pool, superior aid, tricks of nature
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Heroic speech (+1)
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 2nd favored enemy, comrade's bond
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Combat style feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Chainbreaker, uncanny dodge
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Subtle manipulator, tricks of nature
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Luck of the falcon (1/day), tricks of nature (x2 damage)
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 3rd favored enemy, combat style feat, heroic speech (+2)
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Talo's blessing
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Crowd camouflage
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Improved uncanny dodge, tricks of nature (supernatural)
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Combat style feat
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 4th favored enemy
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Heroic speech (+3), liberator's cry
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Hide in plain sight,
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Combat style feat, , tricks of nature
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Luck of the falcon (2/day), tricks of nature (x3 damage)
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 5th favored enemy, Talo's fury

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to each listed race. Unless otherwise stated the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward. All these choices are available from level 1, even if they enhance an ability you only gain at a higher level. A favored race bonus that helps you qualify for a certain class ability means you get that particular class ability at an earlier level.

  • Dwarf: Increase the bonus from the dwarf's stability by +1/4.
  • Elf: Add +1 to the elf’s CMD when resisting a disarm or sunder attempt.
  • Gnome: Choose the dirty trick or sunder combat maneuver. Add +1/2 to the gnome's CMB when attempting this maneuver (maximum bonus of +5).
  • Half-Elf: Add +1 to the half-elf's CMD when resisting a disarm or overrun.
  • Halfling: Add +1 to the halfling's CMD when resisting a grapple or trip attempt.
  • Half-Orc: Add +1 to the half-orc's Constitution score for the purpose of determining death from negative hit points and gain +1 bonus to damage when at 0 or fewer current hit points.
  • Human: Gain 1/6 bonus feat the human fulfills the prerequisites for.

  • Aasimar: Add +1/2 to the resistances of the celestial resistance racial trait.
  • Anpur: Gain a +1/4 bonus on saves against disease and fear.
  • Avoodim: Add +1/5 to the favored enemy bonus against all outsiders.
  • Catfolk: Choose a weapon from the following list: claws, kukri, longbow, longsword, short spear, or shortbow. Add +1/2 on critical hit confirmation rolls made while using that weapon (maximum bonus of +5). When the bonus reaches +5, the catfolk can continue to spend points, gaining a bonus on confirmation rolls with all the listed weapons. This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus.
  • Changeling: Add +1/2 ft. to the changeling's natural reach. Always round this down to the nearest multiple of 5 ft. The changeling can only use this with natural weapons and touch attacks.
  • Dhampir: Add a +2 bonus on rolls to stabilize when dying.
  • Dhosari: Increase Strength by 1/2, but only for the purpose of Strength checks (not Str-based skill checks) and carrying weight.
  • Dragonblood: Add +1/4 to the bonus of the Gatecrasher racial trait.
  • Drow: Choose the disarm or sunder combat maneuver. Add +1/2 to the drow's CMB when attempting this maneuver (maximum bonus of +5).
  • Grippli: Add a +1 racial bonus on Swim skill checks. When this bonus reaches +8, the grippli gains a swim speed of 15 feet (this does not grant the grippli another +8 racial bonus on Swim checks).
  • Kitsune: Gain +1/3 bonus on Bluff checks to feint.
  • Kobold: Add +1 to the kobold's CMD when resisting a grapple or trip attempt.
  • Lizardfolk: Add +1/5 to the lizardfolk's natural armor bonus.
  • Merfolk: Increase land speed by 2 ft. to a maximum of 20 ft. Thereafter, gain +1 ft. of climb speed. Always round speed down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Nagaji: Add +1 to the nagaji's CMD when resisting a grapple or trip attempt.
  • Orc: Gain +2 bonus to damage when at 0 or fewer current hit points.
  • Orcam: Gain a +1/2 dodge bonus against attacks of opportunity triggered by leaving an enemy's threatened space.
  • Oread: Add +1 to the oread's acid resistance.
  • Polkan: Add 1 ft. of land speed. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Qit'ar: Gain +1/4 to saves vs. mind-affecting spells and effects, and poison.
  • Ratfolk: Add +1 to the ratfolk's CMD when resisting a bull rush or grapple attempt.
  • Samsaran: Add +1/4 to the bonus of given by the samsarans lifebound ability.
  • Shibaten: Add +1/4 to Bluff and Intimidate checks.
  • Sylph: Add +1 ft. to all of the speed of all moves of movement the sylph have a speed with. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Tengu: Gain a +1/2 bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls made with a with any one melee weapon listed under the tengu’s swordtrained ability (maximum bonus of +5). When the bonus reaches +5, the tengu can continue to spend points, gaining a bonus on confirmation rolls with all melee weapon listed under the tengu’s swordtrained ability. This bonus does not stack with those gained through Critical Focus and similar effects.
  • Tiefling: Add 1/2 to the resistances gained from the theifling's fiendish resistance ability.
  • Undine: Add +1 ft. to the undines's swim speed. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Vanara: Add +1 to the vanara's CMD when resisting a grapple or trip attempt.
  • Wayang: Add +1 to the wayang's CMD when resisting a dirty trick or grapple attempt.
  • Xesa: Add +1/4 to the Will save bonus against mind affecting effects gained from the xesa immunities racial trait.
  • Zif: Choose the dirty trick or grapple combat maneuver. Add +1/2 to the zif's CMB when attempting this maneuver (maximum bonus of +5).


These feats compliment the gold falcon prestige archetype.

Extra Heroism (General)

You are even more heroic than expected.

Prerequisite: Heroism pool class feature.

Benefit: Add 4 points to your heroism pool.

Special: You can gain Extra Herosim multiple times. Rhe effects stack.


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  • System Reference Document © 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors: Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
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  • Lands of Porphyra © 2015, Purple Duck Games; Authors: Ken Austin, Thomas Baumbach, Carl Cramér, Daniel Denehy, Perry Fehr, Mark Gedak, August Hahn, Noble Hays, John Hazen, Sam Hing, Sean Holland, N. Jolly, Christopher Kaiser, James H. Lewis, Chris Longhurst, Liz Mackie, Josh McCrowell, Christopher Mennell, Scott Messer, Angel “ARMR” Miranda, Julian Neale, Daniel M. Perez, David Pryzbyla, Marc Radle, David N. Ross, Treyson Sanders, Justin Sluder, Todd Stewart, Stefen Styrsky, Mike Welham, Jeremy Whelan, Patricia Willenborg.