D&D Fight Club
Athor, Verdant Reaver Scout
By Robert Wiese

Design Notes

Monster Manual V is out this month, and it contains a number of interesting new monsters. One of them, the verdant reaper, throws a new and menacing light on what before wasn't that bad -- being charmed by a dryad. When a victim of dryad charming becomes a verdant reaper, it loses the memories of its former life and therefore all its class levels. But, they can be taught new classes. Verdant reapers are very rare, and so it behooves a dryad to make the most of one.

Athor became captivated by a dryad while adventuring, and he never broke the charm despite many opportunities. He had worthless friends, too, apparently, because they didn't try to rescue him. (Or perhaps they fell prey to a final death of sorts -- or had misfortunes of their own that caused them to forget Athor's existence.) Eventually he became a verdant reaper, and his old life was gone forever. The dryad that captivated him is evil and capricious, and she leaves him to fend for himself much of the time. She does, however, appreciate him as a resource and arranged for him to learn wilderness skills. Now slavishly devoted to his evil mistress, he does whatever she says without question.

Athor: The Month After His Transformation

Though he is more dangerous than a "standard" verdant reaper, he has not come into the real synergies of his two classes yet. His two slam attacks do more damage than one slam plus skirmish, so he is equally comfortable with both attack methods. His dryad mistress has equipped him with a few magic items, including a scout's headband that grants him enhanced vision powers (see Magic Item Compendium, page 132). He relies on his verdant growth power to gain a movement advantage over melee foes, since his own movement is not impeded by the growth.

Athor CR 7
Verdant reaver ranger 1/scout 1
NLargeplant
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Listen +7, Spot +8
Languages Sylvan

AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19
(-1 size, +2 Dex, +7 natural, +2 armor, +1 deflection)
hp 91 (8 HD)
Immune critical hits, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, stunning
Fort +14, Ref +8, Will +2
Weakness vulnerability to fire

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares); woodland stride
Melee 2 slams +11 (1d8+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Base Atk +5; Grp +16
Atk Options Cleave, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, favored enemy (elves) +2, skirmish (+1d6), verdant growth, verdant rend 1d8+7

Abilities Str 25, Dex 15, Con 25, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 6
SQ trapfinding, wild empathy -1
Feats Cleave, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, Track[B]
Skills Hide -2, Jump +11, Listen +7, Spot +8, Tumble +4
Possessionsbracers of armor +2, scout's headband [MIC], ring of protection +1

Woodland Stride (Ex) Athor can move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.

Skirmish (Ex) Athor relies on mobility to deal extra damage and improve his defense. He deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks he makes during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet away from where he was at the start of his turn. The extra damage applies only to attacks made after Athor has moved at least 10 feet. The skirmish ability cannot be used while mounted. The extra damage applies only against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. Athor must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. Athor can apply this extra damage to ranged attacks made while skirmishing, but only if the target is within 30 feet. Additionally, Athor gains a +1 competence bonus to Armor Class during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet. The bonus applies as soon as the scout has moved 10 feet, and lasts until the start of his next turn.

Verdant Growth (Su) Squares adjacent to Athor spring up with low brush and tangled roots, even if they are actually bare stone. It costs 2 squares of movement to enter a square of verdant growth, and the DC of Tumble checks increases by 2 in such squares. This growth also imposes a -2 penalty on Move Silently checks. Squares of verdant growth revert to their normal state as soon as Athor is no longer adjacent.

Verdant Rend (Ex) If both of Athor 's slams hit a single target that is touching the ground and adjacent to Athor, verdant growth tears at that target, dealing an extra 1d8+10 points of damage.

Athor: The Year After His Transformation

The Swift Hunter feat grants Athor some synergies between his two classes, and this has enhanced his skirmish abilities. He now prefers to skirmish and make one attack, preferably with Powerful Charge and especially Leap Attack. He can tumble effectively and relies on movement as much as possible.

Athor CR 12
Verdant reaver ranger 1/scout 6
N Large plant
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Listen +12, Spot +13
Languages Sylvan

AC 27, touch 14, flat-footed 24; uncanny dodge
(-1 size, +3 Dex, +9 natural, +4 armor, +2 deflection)
hp 149 (13 HD)
Immune critical hits, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, stunning
Resist evasion
Fort +17, Ref +12, Will +6
Weakness vulnerability to fire

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares); flawless stride, trackless step, woodland stride
Melee2 slams +15 (1d8+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Base Atk +9; Grp +20
Atk Options Cleave, Leap Attack, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, favored enemy (elves) +4, favored enemy (magical beasts) +2, skirmish (+2d6, +2 AC), verdant growth, verdant rend

Abilities Str 25, Dex 16, Con 25, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 6
SQ trapfinding, wild empathy -1
Feats Cleave, Iron Will[B], Leap Attack, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, Swift Hunter, Track[B]
Skills Balance +5, Climb +10, Hide +2, Jump +21, Listen +12, Spot +13, Tumble +17
Possessionsbracers of armor +4, ring of protection +2, scout's headband, amulet of natural armor +2

Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Athor cannot be caught flat-footed and reacts to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. See the barbarian class feature on page 26 of the Player's Handbook.

Evasion (Ex) Athor can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Reflex save. See the monk class feature on page 41 of the Player's Handbook.

Battle Fortitude (Ex) Athor gains a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves and initiative checks.

Flawless Stride (Ex) Athor can move through any sort of terrain that slows movement (such as undergrowth, rubble, and similar terrain) at normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. This ability does not let Athor move more quickly through terrain that requires a Climb or Swim check to navigate, nor can Athor move more quickly through terrain or undergrowth that has been magically manipulated to impede motion.

Trackless Step (Ex) Athor cannot be tracked in natural surroundings. See the druid class feature on page 36 of the Player's Handbook.

Woodland Stride (Ex) Athor can move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.

Fast Movement (Ex) Athor's land speed is faster (+10 foot enhancement bonus already included above) than the norm for his race. See the barbarian class feature on page 25 of the Player's Handbook.

Skirmish (Ex) Athor relies on mobility to deal extra damage and improve his defense. He deals an extra 2d6 points of damage on all attacks he makes during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet away from where he was at the start of his turn. The extra damage applies only to attacks made after Athor has moved at least 10 feet. The skirmish ability cannot be used while mounted. The extra damage applies only against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. Athor must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. Athor can apply this extra damage to ranged attacks made while skirmishing, but only if the target is within 30 feet. Additionally, Athor gains a +2 competence bonus to Armor Class during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet. The bonus applies as soon as the scout has moved 10 feet, and lasts until the start of his next turn.

Verdant Growth (Su) Squares adjacent to Athor spring up with low brush and tangled roots, even if they are actually bare stone. It costs 2 squares of movement to enter a square of verdant growth, and the DC of Tumble checks increases by 2 in such squares. This growth also imposes a -2 penalty on Move Silently checks. Squares of verdant growth revert to their normal state as soon as Athor is no longer adjacent.

Verdant Rend (Ex) If both of Athor 's slams hit a single target that is touching the ground and adjacent to Athor, verdant growth tears at that target, dealing an extra 1d8+10 points of damage.

Trapfinding (Ex) Athor can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and he can use Disable Device (if taken) to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps. See the rogue class feature on page 50 of the Player's Handbook.

Athor: Two Years After His Transformation

Athor now fights almost solely with a lot of movement. His skirmish damage plus feats make his single attack very powerful. He can tumble through opponents' squares or at full speed, and can fly and enlarge thanks to magic items provided by his mistress. He can also turn during charges, so he has a lot of tricks for getting in, hitting hard, and moving on. And creatures with a reach of less than 10 feet cannot charge him. He might be accompanied by a second verdant reaver (perhaps one of the versions above with a different name) since his mistress likes trying to make verdant reapers.

Athor CR 18
Verdant reaver ranger 1/scout 12
N Large plant
Init +9; Senses blindsense 30 ft., low-light vision; Listen +18, Spot +19
Languages Sylvan

AC 30, touch 16, flat-footed 27; uncanny dodge
(-1 size, +3 Dex, +7 natural, +7 armor, +4 deflection)
hp 218 (19 HD)
Immune critical hits, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, stunning
Resist evasion, fire 20 (ring)
Fort +20, Ref +52, Will +8
Weakness vulnerability to fire

Speed 50 ft. (10 squares); flawless stride, trackless step, woodland stride, Fleet of Foot, Run
Melee2 slams +21 (1d8+8)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Base Atk +14; Grp +26
Atk Options Cleave, Leap Attack, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, favored enemy (elves) +6, favored enemy (magical beasts) +3, favored enemy (humans) +6, skirmish (+4d6, +3 AC), verdant growth, verdant rend

Abilities Str 26, Dex 17, Con 25, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 6
SQ camouflage, trapfinding, wild empathy -1
Feats Cleave, Fleet of Foot, Improved Favored Enemy, Improved Initiative[B], Iron Will[B], Leap Attack, Power Attack, Powerful Charge, Run, Swift Hunter, Track[B]
Skills Balance +11, Climb +17, Hide +4, Jump +26, Listen +18, Spot +19, Tumble +27
Possessionsbracers of armor +7, ring of protection +4, wings of flying, ring of resist fire 20, scout's headband [MIC], belt of growth [MIC]

Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Athor cannot be caught flat-footed and reacts to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. See the barbarian class feature on page 26 of the Player's Handbook.

Evasion (Ex) Athor can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Reflex save. See the monk class feature on page 41 of the Player's Handbook.

Battle Fortitude (Ex) Athor gains a +2 competence bonus on Fortitude saves and initiative checks.

Flawless Stride (Ex) A scout can move through any sort of terrain that slows movement (such as undergrowth, rubble, and similar terrain) at normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. This ability does not let the scout move more quickly through terrain that requires a Climb or Swim check to navigate, nor can the scout move more quickly through terrain or undergrowth that has been magically manipulated to impede motion.

Trackless Step (Ex) Athor cannot be tracked in natural surroundings. See the druid class feature on page 36 of the Player's Handbook.

Woodland Stride (Ex) Athor can move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.

Fast Movement (Ex) Athor's land speed is faster (+20 foot enhancement bonus already included above) than the norm for his race. See the barbarian class feature on page 25 of the Player's Handbook.

Skirmish (Ex) Athor relies on mobility to deal extra damage and improve his defense. He deals an extra 4d6 points of damage on all attacks he makes during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet away from where he was at the start of his turn. The extra damage applies only to attacks made after Athor has moved at least 10 feet. The skirmish ability cannot be used while mounted. The extra damage applies only against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. Athor must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. Athor can apply this extra damage to ranged attacks made while skirmishing, but only if the target is within 30 feet. Additionally, Athor gains a +3 competence bonus to Armor Class during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet. The bonus applies as soon as the scout has moved 10 feet, and lasts until the start of his next turn.

Verdant Growth (Su) Squares adjacent to Athor spring up with low brush and tangled roots, even if they are actually bare stone. It costs 2 squares of movement to enter a square of verdant growth, and the DC of Tumble checks increases by 2 in such squares. This growth also imposes a -2 penalty on Move Silently checks. Squares of verdant growth revert to their normal state as soon as Athor is no longer adjacent.

Verdant Rend (Ex) If both of Athor 's slams hit a single target that is touching the ground and adjacent to Athor, verdant growth tears at that target, dealing an extra 1d8+10 points of damage.

Camouflage (Ex) Athor can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain.

Trapfinding (Ex) Athor can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and he can use Disable Device (if taken) to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps. See the rogue class feature on page 50 of the Player's Handbook.

Additional Feats

These feats are not presented in the Player's Handbook or Monster Manual.

Fleet of Foot (from Complete Warrior): When running or charging, you can make one direction change of up to 90 degrees.

Improved Favored Enemy (from Complete Warrior): You gain a +3 bonus on skills and damage related to favored enemies, instead of a +2 bonus.

Leap Attack (from Complete Adventurer): You can combine a jump with a charge against an opponent. If you cover at least 10 feet of horizontal distance with your jump, and you end your jump in a square from which you threaten your target, you can double the extra damage dealt by your use of the Power Attack feat. If you use this tactic with a two-handed weapon, you instead triple the extra damage from Power Attack. This attack must follow all the normal rules for using the Jump skill and for making a charge, except that you ignore rough terrain in any squares you jump over.

Powerful Charge (from Monster Manual IV): When the creature charges, if its melee attack hits, it deals an extra 1d8 points of damage (if it is of Medium size). For Large creatures, the extra damage is 2d6 points; for Huge, 3d6; for Gargantuan, 4d6; and for Colossal, 6d6. This feat works only when the creature makes a charge. It does not work when the creature is mounted. If the creature has the ability to make multiple attacks after a charge, it can apply this extra damage to only one of those attacks.

Swift Hunter (from Complete Scoundrel): Ranger and scout levels stack for determining skirmish effects and favored enemy bonus and number of favored enemies.

About the Author

Robert Wiese has been playing D&D since 1978 after he watched a game played in the car on the way home from a Boy Scouts meeting. He was fascinated, and delved into this strange world of dragons and magic and sourcebooks. Years later, he was hired to edit tournaments for the RPGA Network, and from there progressed to running the network after his boss was assassinated in the great Christmas purge of 1996. Times were tough, but he persevered and brought the RPGA into a shining new era. Eventually he met a girl who liked to play D&D too, and he left Renton for the warmth and casinos of Reno, Nevada. Now, he works in the Pharmacology department of UNR studying mouse foot muscles and the effects of RF emissions on same. He spends as much time as possible with his wife Rhonda and son Owen.


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