Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any Warrior
- Ability Requirements: Stamina 11, Fitness 13, Intuition 13
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: Quarterstaff, Longbow
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: Specialization (any missile weapon)
- Allowed Weapons: By class
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Bowyer/Fletcher, Hiding, Hunting, Set Snares, Survival (forest)
- Required Proficiencies: Tracking
- Recommended Proficiencies: Agriculture, Alertness, Animal Handling, Animal Lore, Animal Training, Armorer, Artistic Ability, Blacksmithing, Camouflage, Carpentry, Cooking, Direction Sense, Endurance, Fire-building, Fishing, Herbalist, Jumping, Land-based Riding, Leatherworking, Mountaineering, Rope Use, Set Snares, Tumbling, Weaponsmithing, Weather Sense
- Forbidden Proficiencies: All Detection Proficiencies
Overview: Many old, mighty forests have shrunk greatly over the centuries from the depredations of monsters and battle magic. Human civilization’s hunger for lumber and wood products is also relentless. Many trees are cut or burned by settlers to clear the land for farming, by dwarves creating surface mines, or by humanoids attempting to destroy demihuman foes. As a result, foresters are not uncommon now and possess strong combat abilities. Foresters negotiate with loggers on the taking of reasonable amounts of wood from forests but in extreme cases lead military actions to stop extensive woodcutting, fire-setting, game-taking, and so forth.
Description: A forester relies on stealth to move through the woods unseen and unheard. Clothing is chosen for comfort. He usually wears gray, green, or brown clothing when traveling in a summer forest; reds and browns in autumn, and white and gray clothing is worn when it snows (a cloak and gloves are usually worn in cooler weather). His armor is usually leather if combat is not anticipated, enabling him to move and hunt quietly. Armor more encumbering than chain mail is rarely worn, even during wartime. Foresters rarely bathe, except by accident, and their clothing, boots, and armor are often dirty but well maintained.
Role-Playing: A forester’s first priority is to protect and care for his chosen woodland. He is no enemy of civilization, but he certainly wishes to see his woods preserved for all time. Game animals, fruits, and wood can be taken from the area by those the forester feels can be trusted to protect the forest and share his love for it.
A forester can have many allies, though each has different priorities and goals. Elves and other sylvan peoples are not always reliable but love the forest with a great passion; they might wish the forest to be their own domain, however, shared with no one else. Druids care for forests but might not wish civilization to approach anywhere near their woods. Rangers are most interested in destroying the wilderness enemies of civilization, clearing a forest of evil humanoids, dragons, and giants. Halflings and gnomes love the woods but are often isolationists and refuse to help out if a problem does not immediately concern them. Scouts love the woods but aren’t concerned about poaching or overcutting trees; they are spying on enemy forces.
The enemies of foresters are well-known ones. Red dragons, illegal loggers and poachers, humanoids, and giants deliberately destroy forests and their inhabitants. Groups who declare war on elf kingdoms, like the Zhentarim and evil drow, may ruin forests as part of their strategy. Natural disasters like lightning-created forest fires, volcanoes, great storms, and floods are a serious problem, but the forester is more likely to accept damage from natural sources than monstrous ones.
- A forester gains a +1 bonus on all proficiency checks with the Bowyer/Fletcher, Hunting, Set Snares, Survival (forest), and Tracking proficiencies.
- A forester gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when fighting “unnatural” creatures, including those of extraplanar origin, undead, golems, and other artificially created beings.
- The forester can move through tangled undergrowth at two-thirds normal speed and gains a +2 bonus to save vs. entangle spells.
- A forester learns to cover his tracks in any terrain. When doing so, he moves at half-speed but applies his level as a negative modifier to anyone’s attempt to track him using the Tracking proficiency.
- A forester is such a superb hunter that he can find food for others, by hunting or gathering, in addition to himself. Each day, a forester can find food and drink for as many extra people as he has levels if he successfully makes his Hunting proficiency check.
- Because of their constant exposure to the elements, they have inured themselves to all but the most extreme temperatures. Unless the air is below 32 degrees F or above 100 degrees F, Foresters feel nothing. The variation in temperature is merely a pleasant change.
- Foresters intensely dislike the Underdark, oceans (surface or undersea), cities and towns, deserts, wildspace, other planes, and arctic wastes. On any adventure in these regions, a forester takes a -1 penalty to all proficiency checks and saving throws, as a result of feeling oppressed by the lack of a true forested wilderness. This penalty cannot be removed.
- A forester is out of touch with civilization for long periods of time. Important news can miss him, and no one knows for sure how to reach him. Being a forester produces a -3 reaction from urban-dwelling and upper-class folk for his lack of social graces, though peasants, scouts, rangers, and many elves enjoy the forester’s company.
- Foresters are acutely uncomfortable in civilization. Their need for fresh air and the freedom of the forest overwhelms them within one day unless they can make a Willpower check at –4. Past the second day, they cannot remain within walls and must wait outside for their companions. Likewise, they find it difficult to remain within dungeons, crypts, or other unnatural caverns for long. If a cave is natural, Wilderness Runners will be able to remain inside without having to make a Willpower check. Even then, they do retain their claustrophobia and long for the open air.
- Foresters, regardless of class, never attract followers.
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