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Bountiful Hunter by Ballig

DM Feature #1 (The Sorcerer's Tower) - 25 April 2009

Last session the players in my level 10 evil campaign (The Sorcerer's Tower) had just finalised a nasty situation involving a doppelganger party infiltration (who was this ]   [ close to convincing them to kill the real party wizard) when they were ambushed by a bounty hunter bent on bringing the evildoers to justice (statistics below).

The half-gold dragon ranger used arrows tipped with Drow poison when making an initial attack in an attempt to immediately neutralise the threat posed by overt spellcasters before moving in to two-handed melee, where he shines. In this instance he was successful in forcing the wizard into unconsciousness - the poor fellow, who had only an hour earlier been tied up by his own party members and almost killed at the word of a clever doppelganger, was now out of action for the first few rounds of combat with this new threat. Before being spotted in his vantage point on a hill not far off he also attempted to take down the ranger/arcane archer of the group but a Drow poison's DC 13 fortitude save is relatively easy to overcome for any of the heartier classes.

The group quickly learned a lesson about half-dragon races - while grouped up around the wizard, supposedly giving him a bit of support while he took a quick nap, this bounty hunter used the opportunity to hit them all with a cone of fire breath attack. The arcane archer wisely used this as his cue to get a bit of distance and shoot some electricity-laced arrows.

For the moment being content with slicing a few pieces off the party cleric, the bounty hunter ignored the prone (and therefore "harmless") wizard but quickly realised the archer was his biggest threat. Casting resist energy (electricity) to mitigate some of the extra damage, he focused in on the arcane archer and began taking him down a few notches.

In the end the party prevailed, after each member took massive amounts of damage (at least half their hitpoints); the cleric stepped up behind the bounty hunter and used inflict critical wounds a round before the wizard awoke and cast orb of force (from Spell Compendium) to devastating effect. The half-dragon ranger had no chance of escape once all members of the party decided to act in unison.

Half-Gold Dragon 9th-Level Human Ranger
Medium Dragon (Augmented Humanoid)
Hit Dice: 9d8+18 (90 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 26 (+4 dex, +4 natural, +8 +3 mithral breastplate), touch 14, flat-footed 22
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+14
Attack: +2 longsword +17 melee (1d8+7/19-20) or masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str bonus) +14 ranged (1d8+4/x3)
Full Attack: +2 longsword +15/+10 melee (1d8+7/19-20) and +1 shortsword +13/+8 melee (1d6+3/19-20) and bite +9 melee (1d6+3); or 2 claws +14 melee (1d4+5) and bite +9 melee (1d6+2); or masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str bonus) +14/+9 ranged (1d8+4/x3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Breath weapon, spells
Special Qualities: Animal companion (wolf), combat style (two-weapon combat), darkvision 60 ft., evasion, favored enemy +2 (humanoid - human), favored enemy +4 (outsider - evil), immunity to fire, sleep, and paralysis, improved combat style (two-weapon combat), low-light vision, swift tracker, wild empathy, woodland stride
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +5
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Climb +17, Concentration +14, Hide +16, Knowledge (nature) +13, Listen +14, Move Silently +16, Spot +14, Survival +14
Feats: Dodge, Endurance, Eyes in the Back of Your Head, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Mobility, Spring Attack, Track, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Challenge Rating: 11
MM Page: 146
Spells Prepared (2/1; save DC 12 + spell level): 1st--entangle, resist energy; 2nd--barkskin
Possessions: +3 mithral breastplate, +2 longsword, +1 shortsword, masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str bonus), 10 arrows applied with Drow Poison (DC 13 unconsciousness)