Lately in our group we’ve discussed what it would take to build a super-scout. For wilderness applications it is invariably a Druid. By level 7 (sooner with a generous Master Weaver) a Perception oriented Druid can, with focus, know most everything going on within a mile radius. Rife is just such a build.
Rife grew up the son of a huntsman. His father was proud of his work and loyal to the Duke he served. Rife was also proud of his father, though the man had little time for him. His mother, a herbalist, dominated his childhood, teaching him the ways of nature and educating him in the worship of Skara, god of ravens, the wise governor of the cycles of life. He spent all of his free time in the woods, patiently observing and enjoying. He became quite agile, playing with his father’s hounds, and as he grew older his father took more notice of him, taking him hunting from time to time. Though his father did not recognize Skara for the bounty of their hunts, Rife performed the simple rites himself. It was a good enough life for a lad of 15, in the good graces of a powerful noble, loved by his parents, and very talented. It was his talents that made him think he deserved more, though. He could be like the great men in the stories minstrels told at feasts and carnivals, he could live that life.
His chance came soon enough. His mother sent him to a mountain village a fortnight journey from his home to purchase a rare herb that grew there. He would be gone longer than expected, joining up with a group of young men aspiring to be great on adventures like he had dreamed of going on. He served as the troupe’s scout and support archer, moving ahead through the woods, stalking enemies, and providing regular meals.
Strength: 12, Constitution: 20, Dexterity: 20,
Wisdom: 8, Intelligence: 14, Charisma: 12
Abilities: Marksmanship VII, Natural Empathy VII, Stillness V, Tracking III, See Sign II, Call Animal IV, Speak to Animals I, Tend Wounds I, Prayer I
Skills: Perception V, Agility III
Rife is a pretty standard Druid, though Marksmanship, Agility, and Tracking come from the Master Weaver, these fit well into the Druid build. Using Natural Empathy VII, Rife can sense all within a mile radius of unaltered land with a +9 from Perception V. If while doing this he uses Stillness, he gains an additional +7 bonus to Perception checks over the mile radius. With a 3d6+16 Perception check, Rife can still himself and be aware of most secrets within a mile of him as long as they are natural. He will also recognize any dead spots as alterations. When Tracking, his animal companion and high Natural Empathy will help him keep a trail, but See Sign, Stillness, and Perception also allow him to pick up a trail when it is lost, perhaps even using his wide view to find the path.
Even when not still or concentrating, 3d6+9 is a hard Perception check for a stealthy character approaching Rife to beat. He is very hard to sneak up on. This makes him a good scout, even not in natural conditions.
His Agility,high Dexterity, and Marksmanship make him fairly effective as an archer (he gets critical hits 50% of the time), so he isn’t useless in combat. His animal companion is also a strong resource, probably a wolf about equivalent to a weak level 4 character.
As far as play goes, Rife is interesting for his utility to the party. He also has a slight religious angle in his backstory, described as a worshiper of Skara, god of ravens. If the player elects to make Rife a Fanatic, this will give him access to more abilities. Whether or not he is a Fanatic, Rife’s player should, from time to time, consider having Rife pray to Skara for some kind of aide.
How do you like the Druid Scout build? Would you be willing to sacrifice combat power for this level of utility? Let us know below. We’ll do more in coming weeks.