Nature Warden (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Nature wardens are guardians of the wild places of the world, hunters and explorers par excellence, highly skilled in negotiating their way among the nonhuman inhabitants of the wild. Nature wardens befriend and train a beast of the wild as a companion, and some call wardens “beastmasters” because of these pets, but nature wardens are much more than tamers of wild things. They are experts at navigating the harsh brutality of nature’s fury and making do with whatever tools and weapons present themselves, but they go beyond being hardy survivalists to become cunning tacticians with keen analytical minds, able to adapt and prepare for any situation and make the absolute best use of the advantages that any terrain or environment can afford them.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype. A nature warden is a ranger focused on terrain and his companion.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Prestige Class: Nature Warden from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player's Guide.

Build Classes: Ranger.

Role: The nature warden is a master of wilderness environments and is at his most powerful in any of the variety of environments that he has studied. He and his animal companion form a potent team. They are excellent scouts and versatile warriors, able to supplement their skills with spells to fulfill almost any role.

Alignment: Any. Neutral nature wardens are unconcerned with civilization, chaotic ones resist the encroachment of civilization or work for a special interest, while lawful ones seek harmony between land and folk.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Features

A nature warden has all ranger class features, except as noted.

Armor Proficiency

Nature wardens are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they may wear only padded, leather, or hide armor. A nature warden may also wear wooden armor that has been altered by the ironwood spell so that it functions as though it were steel. Nature wardens are proficient with shields (except tower shields) but must use only wooden ones.

A nature warden who wears prohibited armor or uses a prohibited shield is unable to cast ranger spells or use any of his supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

Companion Bond (Ex)

This ability functions like the druid animal companion ability (which is part of the Nature Bond class feature), except as noted here.

This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the nature warden on his adventures as appropriate for its kind. A nature warden's animal companion shares his favored enemy and favored terrain bonuses. The nature warden and his animal companion have an empathic link like that between a wizard and his familiar. This replaces track.

Natural Empathy (Ex)

This is the same as the ranger ability wild empathy except as noted.

When in his favored terrain, a nature warden adds his favored terrain bonus to wild empathy checks. He may also choose to use wild empathy to demoralize an animal or magical beast rather than improving its attitude, as if using Intimidate rather than Diplomacy.

At 8th level, a nature warden no longer suffers a penalty when using wild empathy to influence or demoralize magical beasts. At 12th level, he may use wild empathy to affect vermin (bypassing their immunity to mind-affecting effects). At 16th level, he may use it to affect plant creatures (whether mindless or with Intelligence 1 or 2). This is a modification to wild empathy.

Animal Speech (Sp)

At 2nd level, a nature companion can speak with animals at will when in his favored terrain. Outside his favored terrain, he can use speak with animals once per day. His caster level is equal to his class level. This replaces the combat style feat gained at level 2.

Mystic Harmony (Su)

At 3rd level, a nature warden in his favored terrain gains an insight bonus to AC equal to half his favored terrain bonus. He loses this bonus when he is immobilized or helpless. This replaces hunter's bond.

Spells

Beginning at 4th level, a nature warden gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, which are drawn from the druid or ranger spell list. For spells on both lists, use the lower spell level. A nature warden must choose and prepare his spells in advance.

To prepare or cast a spell, a nature warden must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a nature warden’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the nature warden’s Wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a nature warden can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 10.1 - Nature Warden. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). When Table 10.1 - Nature Warden indicates that the nature warden gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level.

A nature warden must spend 1 hour per day in quiet meditation to regain his daily allotment of spells. A nature warden may prepare and cast any spell on the nature warden spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his daily meditation. Through 3rd level, a nature warden has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his nature warden level – 3.

Ironpaw (Su)

At 18th level, a nature warden may grant his animal companion and any creature he summons with summon nature’s ally DR/cold iron equal to his class level. In addition, their natural weapons are considered cold iron for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. This replaces the combat style feat gained at level 6.

Wild Stride (Ex)

At 7th level, a nature warden and his animal companion gain the ability to move through natural hazards of his favored terrains (such as bogs, loose sand, snow, ice, rockslides, and so on) at his normal speed without taking damage or suffering any other impairment (in effect, this is the woodland stride ability applied to non-plant environmental hazards). Terrain hazards that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him. This replaces woodland stride.

Survivalist (Ex)

At 9th level, a nature warden suffers no penalty for using an improvised weapon or improvised tool. A warden can spend 1 minute examining and adjusting an improvised weapon or tool; thereafter he treats it as a masterwork weapon or tool. This replaces endurance.

Companion Walk (Su)

At 10th level, the nature warden’s companion shares the benefits of travel spells (such as tree stride and transport via plants) and polymorph and similar spells cast by the warden from the druid or ranger spell list. The companion counts either as part of the warden or as an object with no weight, whichever is more favorable for the warden. This replaces the combat style feat gained at level 10.

Silverclaw (Su)

At 12th level, a nature warden’s animal companion and any creature he summons with summon nature’s ally gain DR/silver equal to the warden’s class level. In addition, their natural weapons are considered silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. This replaces the combat style feat gained at level 18.

Woodforging (Sp)

At 14th level, a nature warden can manufacture wooden items which he may use with surpassing skill. Once per day, he may use wood shape as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his nature warden level. In his hands, items created with this ability are treated as masterwork items under the effect of an ironwood spell; in the hands of others, they are merely ordinary wooden items of the appropriate type. If the warden uses this ability to create armor or weapons, he may craft them into magic items as if he had the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat (though they are merely magical wood in the hands of others, and only ironwood when he uses them). This replaces the combat style feat gained at level 14.

Guarded Lands (Ex)

At 14th level, a nature warden may designate an area as his guarded lands, allowing him to treat it as his favored terrain or to enhance his bonuses if it is already in his favored terrain. The area must be no larger than 1 square mile, and the warden must spend 24 hours carefully studying the entire area. This period of study gives him a +2 favored terrain bonus in that area, which stacks with any favored terrain bonus for that area (for example, he also gets his forest favored terrain bonus if his guarded lands are part of a forest). He may also designate one creature type as his favored enemy within those guarded lands, gaining a +2 favored enemy bonus against the creature type that stacks with any favored enemy bonus he has against that type of creature. Allies who can see and hear the warden gain an initiative bonus equal to half the warden’s favored terrain bonus for that terrain. Guarded lands and plant speech make up for the inability to wear metal armor (see weapon and armor proficiency).

A nature warden may have a number of guarded lands equal to his Wisdom bonus (minimum 1). When he reaches his maximum number of guarded lands, he can select a new guarded land by abandoning an existing one and performing the ritual for a new area.

Plant Speech (Sp)

At 15th level, a nature warden can use speak with plants at will when in his favored terrain. Outside his favored terrain, he can use speak with plants once per day as a spell-like ability. His caster level is equal to his class level. Guarded lands and plant speech make up for the inability to wear metal armor (see weapon and armor proficiency).

Companion Soul (Su)

At 20th level, a nature warden’s bond with his animal companion is so strong that it transcends distance and even death. The companion’s devotion ability increases to a +8 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects. The warden may scry on his animal companion once per day as if using the scrying spell, except he needs no focus or divine focus. He may view the area around his companion or see through its eyes. If his companion dies, he can revive it with an 8-hour ritual; this has the same effect as raise dead, except it doesn’t require a material component and the companion does not gain any negative levels from the ordeal. This replaces master hunter.

Table: Nature Warden

Class
Level
Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Spells per Day
1 2 3 4
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 1st favored enemy, companion bond, wild empathy
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Animal speech
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 1st favored terrain
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Mystic harmony 0
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 2nd favored enemy 1
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Ironpaw 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Wild stride 1 0
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 2nd favored terrain 1 1
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Evasion, survivalist 2 1
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 3rd favored enemy, companion walk, 2 1 0
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Quarry 2 1 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Camouflage, silverclaw 2 2 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 3rd favored terrain 3 2 1 0
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Guarded lands, woodforging 3 2 1 1
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 4th favored enemy, plant speech 3 2 2 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Improved evasion 3 3 2 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Hide in plain sight 4 3 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 4th favored terrain, ironpaw 4 3 2 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Improved quarry 4 3 3 2
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 5th favored enemy, companion soul 4 4 3 3

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the ranger are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Armor Proficiency
  • Track
  • Combat Style Feats (all)
  • Endurance
  • Hunter's Bond
  • Woodland Stride
  • Swift Tracker
  • Master Hunter
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