Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any Rogue
- Ability Requirements: Stamina 10, Aim 11, Health 13, Reason 13
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: by class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: Knife
- Allowed Weapons: By class, plus Bows group
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Groups: By class, plus Survival
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Direction Sense, Survival, Trap Setting
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Animal Training, Animal Lore, Animal Noise, Artistic Ability (woodcarving), Blacksmithing, Boating, Bowyer/Fletcher, Camouflage, Crude Weaponsmithing, Disguise, Endurance, Fire-building, Fishing, Heraldry, Herbalism, Hunting, Leatherworking, Modern Languages, Mountaineering, Riding, Rope Use, Running, Signaling, Swimming, Tracking, Weather Sense.
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
Overview: One might say that Scouts are to thieves as rangers are to fighters—but they avoid the strict “silly ethics” of the ranger class. Scouts are not prohibited from being good—and in fact they are, on the whole, a good deal more dependable than thieves in general—but they have a cutthroat streak that can be dangerous and unpredictable. However, their rugged individualism and harsh practical judgement often endears them to adventurers, and many are found among such steadfast, daring companions.
Unlike bandits (who also operate chiefly in the wilderness), the Scout usually shuns the company of other thieves, including guilds. The guilds, in turn, care little about Scouts. Their poaching and small-time thievery is seen as insignificant in the eyes of the great crime figures, especially when compared to the trouble and expense that would be required to identify and to track down the elusive Scouts, to punish them or force them to join guild ranks.
While not guild-affiliated, many Scouts have a single, consistent employer. Several organizations employ Scouts regularly, sometimes on a permanent basis. The military, in particular, does so; reliable Scouts, trained for reconnaissance and sabotage, are vital to any successful military operation. And the key to having reliable Scouts is to have well-trained and happy Scouts. A common grunt soldier can be bullied into line and, if need be, forced out into battle by the spearheads of the rank behind him—but the Scout’s modus operandi is to explore alone. Maltreated Scouts have more opportunities to desert or, worse yet, betray vital information to the enemy than anyone else in an army. Military Scouts are carefully nurtured and well-nourished. They get decent pay, excellent equipment, and the best training available for their special and important activities. The training of military Scouts is at least as intense and comprehensive as that of a thieves’ guild.
As mentioned before, poaching is also an activity typical of the Scout. Animals may be protected by royal decree, written law, or the monopoly of a hunters’ or furriers’ guild. In medieval times, for instance, hunting was typically reserved for the noble classes. A commoner caught slaying one of “the king’s deer” could be punished by death. But when demand exceeds supply, there may be great incentive for the criminal killing and capture of animals. They may be sought for their meat, valuable pelts, ivory, feathers, magical purposes, or other esoteric ends.
Description: A scout looks not unlike any forester or woodsman, though his dull, natural-colored clothing is difficult to pick out from a background of trees, leaves, grass, and rocks. The scout dresses to avoid being seen or heard, changing clothing colors in fall and winter to maintain the camouflage. Bright metal is deliberately tarnished or painted a dull color to prevent gleaming; a thick tunic might be worn over metal armor to muffle its noise. Leather armor or elven chain mail is used if long combat is not anticipated, to enable the scout to move quickly and quietly. A scout is nearly always dirty but seems quite at home with it. A horse or other mount may be used, but it is trained to remain silent and could be tethered several miles from the point a scout plans to explore for signs of an enemy.
Role-Playing: A scout is highly independent but still takes orders from a higher authority, the person most interested in his scouting reports. He can work well with groups, but his activities are best performed while he is alone or some distance from his associates. The best orders for a scout are those detailing what is to be learned or gained but not how it is to be done; a scout likes great freedom to work out the means to any end, as he might not have the ethical restrictions of a ranger.
A number of the scout’s skills can easily be used as sabotage talents. Indeed, a scout could be employed solely to disrupt and destroy an enemy’s operations to the greatest possible extent, working with foresters, rangers, woodsmen, barbarians, soldiers, and other outdoor types.
- Due to their extensive wilderness experience and expertise, Scouts gain a +2 bonus on all Larceny Proficiencies when used in any region for which the scout has the Survival proficiency.
- A scout in leather or no armor has a +4 bonus to rolls to avoid surprise in any wilderness environment in which he has a Survival proficiency. He can detect ambushes and encounters in time to take evasive action or conduct his own ambush.
- A scout 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. He can cover the tracks of other people and beings with him, but the normal bonuses for tracking multiple people or mounts still applies.
- While Scouts are intimately familiar with the wilderness, they are not so comfortable in urban settings. In the city, consequently, the Scout suffers a -1 penalty on all proficiencies.
- A scout does not allow himself to become encumbered, always wishing to move at the greatest possible speed in case he has to escape pursuit. He will never carry more gear than would make him lightly encumbered.
- A scout never gains followers (though he may still employ hirelings or henchmen).
- A scout, regardless of class, may not use any written magic items (neither spell scrolls, nor protection scrolls, nor magical tomes).
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