Overview: While other Marksmen keep to their places in the back lines, the Skirmisher is a special kind of Marksman that is ready and more than willing to leap into the fray, sending arrows deep into the ranks of the enemy while flirting with the dangers of melee.
Generals use Skirmishers in hit and run tactics to harry the enemy out of their positions. Warlords use Skirmishers to soften enemy positions right before the charge. The Skirmishers’ place is in the front of the battle, alongside the swordsmen and the axemen. When a Skirmisher meets his fate by sword or spear, his colleagues are quick to attribute it to bad luck and poor skill. After all, a veteran Skirmisher will need both aplenty to survive his own crazed tactics.
Crazy or not, Skirmishers lend potency to their side in battle. The arrow can reach farther and is harder to block than the spear. The closeness of melee adds well to accuracy. Only shields can withstand the onslaught of a Skirmisher and even then, such impediments can be bypassed by skill and strength.
Role-playing Notes: Daring, Bold, Audacious – such words have been used to describe madmen and Skirmishers. And yet even the Skirmishers themselves would agree that the two kinds of folk are often times one and the same.
It takes a special kind of insanity to leap into melee and pepper the enemy with arrows while weaving through the perils of the sword. But Skirmishers have the madness and they have it aplenty. It is no surprise then that Skirmishers are the most known, across the lands for their bravery and their foolhardiness. When a Skirmisher is asked to bring back the head of the most feared outlaw in the land or to drink the most venomous type of drink – the question is not whether the Skirmisher will agree or not. The question is whether they will survive their own sense of daring.
And to the credit of most Skirmishers (and the chagrin of most wager-hounds), they usually survive although missing some flesh and none the wiser from the task.
SUB-CLASS FEATURES: A first level Skirmisher automatically receives the following abilities at no cost to build:
POINT BLANK SHOT
– You learn the Critical Strike feat for no build cost.
– Furthermore, whenever you are within 10 feet of a target, you can Augment a normal Ranged attack or a ranged attack feat to add 1 more point of damage to it. This bonus increases to +2 at 10th level. Preface such attacks with “Point-Blank Shot”
– You learn the Parry feat for no build cost.
– You may use the Parry feat while wielding a Bow or Crossbow without breaking the ranged weapon.
– Whenever you use the Parry feat or Dodge feat, you gain a free (0 SP) use of the Critical Strike feat or the Knockback feat (if you have learned it) to use upon your assailant. Preface this with “Skirmisher” (e.g. “Skirmisher Crit! 10 damage” or “Skirmisher Knockback 10!”. Unlike their normal usage, these feats do not require you to aim in order to use them.
The following Sub-class features can only be gained when the Character reaches the required level and has learned the required feats, skills and/or spells.
Level 2: Hit and Fade
Requires: Flee the Scene feat, Dodge feat and Critical Strike feat
A Skirmisher must know well the dance of the battlefield, of attack and defense, of advancing and retreating.
Once per period, you may say “Hit and Fade” and then throw an arrow-packet at a target within 10 feet of him, saying “Piercing! 15 damage!”. Whether you hit or miss, you may resume a defensive stance while saying “Minimal 1, Minimal 2, Minimal 3…Minimal 10”; if you are hit by anyone at this time, the damage is reduced to minimal (1 damage). While counting “Minimal”, you may not do anything except move at any pace or defend yourself from attack. If you violate these conditions, your defensive stance ends prematurely.
The defensive stance of “Hit and Fade” does not reduce the damage of the appropriate Bane attack (Mortal-Bane damage for all Races plus Demon-Bane for Nightkin and Spirit-Bane for Beastlings).
Level 4: Retributive Fire
Requires: Grace under Fire I, Critical Strike or Knockback.
Because a Skirmisher must endure the difficulties of the front line, these audacious folk often have to make do with the fact that they will almost always incur some kind of injury. To combat this, Skirmishers have found ways to channel the pain of their wounds into their attacks.
If you take damage while you are aiming, your next “Point-blank shot” attack or Critical Strike feat has its damage improved by +2 as long as you target the one that damaged you. This bonus persists for only 10 seconds after you’ve been damaged.
Level 6: It’s a TRAP!
Requires: Sense Hidden, Sense Deception and Skullduggery I
Boldness and audacity have its purposes but the Skirmishers that survive the initial trials of their Sub-Class often find that listening to their instincts can often be beneficial to their health and the health of those around them.
Once per Period, you may use this feature to escape an ambush or to harmlessly spring a trap. To do this, say “It’s a Trap” to do one of the following:
– All invisible enemies within earshot are revealed to you and your allies. You must loudly clarify this effect to everyone that can be affected.
– Alternatively, you can say “It’s a Trap” to negate the effects of a Trap that just hit you.
– Lastly, you can use “It’s a Trap” to gain a free
use of the Flee the Scene feat that does not require any running. To do this, simply invoke this feature, say “Flee the Scene” and then proceed to your escape count.
Level 8: Return Fire
Requires: the Dodge feat, the Evade feat and the Critical Strike feat
At first, you can only avenge yourself against melee assailants, now you have expanded your combat repertoire to include retributive attacks even against ranged attackers and spell-casters that assail you.
Whenever you perform the Dodge feat or the Evade feat, you gain a free (0 SP) use of the Critical Strike feat or the Knockback feat (if you have learned it) to use upon your assailant. Preface this with “Skirmisher” (e.g. “Skirmisher Crit! 10 damage” or “Skirmisher Knockback 10!”. Unlike their normal usage, these feats do not require you to aim in order to use them.
Furthermore, the Dodge feat now costs 1 SP to use instead of 2 SP.
Level 10: Storm of Vengeance
Requires: Bow Mastery skill, Crossbow Mastery skill or Thrown Weapon Mastery skill; and Batter/Pierce Shield feat.
A master Skirmisher is a whirlwind of chaotic destruction on the field of battle. Having survived death-defying odds time and time again, he is nigh fearless against even the most formidable of enemies and utterly determined in his dedication to victory.
Once per moon, after you fall to 0 HP, you may say “Storm of Vengeance! Heal 100!” to revive from your fallen state, regaining up to 100 HP. Immediately afterward, you may throw up to 5 arrow-packets; in mid-throw for each of these attacks, say “Piercing! 20 damage!” or “Piercing! Knockback 10!”. These attacks will affect their targets, whether they hit body, weapon or shield.
Furthermore, “Point Blank Shot” now adds +4 to the damage of your ranged attacks instead of +2.