Marksmen are astonishingly good at ranged combat, and have a natural home in the party’s second line with their bow, crossbow, or bandoleer of thrown weapons. As much about perception as precision, several of their key abilities relate to sensing “the shot” and pulling off the impossible. Additionally, marksmen have a small array of psionic powers to supplement their ranged prowess. Many marksman abilities also rely on psionic focus – gaining, maintaining, and expending it.
Dexterity is important for a marksman, as it helps them ensure their aim is accurate. A good Wisdom score is also important for manifesting powers, and several class features improve with high Wisdom. Constitution helps improve the marksman’s toughness.
Marksmen are represented in all races, although those with a penchant for ranged combat or mental discipline are more likely to take up this path. Among the common races, humans, elves, half-elves, maenads and xephs are most likely to take up the marksman role.
Marksmen tend towards no alignment; the best and worst are found amongst them. Lawful marksmen are likely to belong to the military as snipers or crack shots, while chaotic marksmen usually wander from town to town, taking jobs as they come as a mercenary.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Hit Die: d6
The marksman’s class skills are Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Escape Artist, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Psionics), Listen, Perform, Profession, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Use Psionic Device, and Use Rope. Skill Points at 1st level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4. Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
You are a warrior first and foremost – your precision and prowess will frequently be tested in battle. However, you are more than just a straightforward archer. Your intuition, psionic abilities and powers can make or break a battle, if they are used wisely.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A marksman is proficient with all simple weapons, all light and ranged martial weapons, light armor, and with bucklers. Armor does not interfere with the manifestation of powers. Power Points/Day: A marksman’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points she has available. Her base daily allotment of power points is given on Table 2-2: The Marksman. In addition, she receives bonus power points per day if she has a high Wisdom score. Her race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.
Powers Known: A marksman begins play knowing no marksman powers (although she can manifest powers from power completion or power trigger items as normal). At each level indicated on Table: The Marksman, she unlocks the knowledge of a new power.
Choose the powers known from the marksman power list. (Exception: The feats Expanded Knowledge and Epic Expanded Knowledge do allow a marksman to learn powers from the lists of other classes.) A marksman can manifest any power that has a power point cost equal to or lower than her manifester level.
The total number of powers a marksman can manifest in a day is limited only by her daily power points. A marksman simply knows her powers; they are ingrained in her mind. She does not need to prepare them (in the way that some spellcasters prepare their spells), though she must get a good night’s sleep each day to regain all her spent power points.
The Difficulty Class for saving throws against marksman powers is 10 + the power’s level + the marksman’s Wisdom modifier.
Maximum Power Level Known: A marksman begins play with the ability to learn 1st-level powers. As she attains higher levels, she may gain the ability to master more complex powers. To learn or manifest a power, a marksman must have a wisdom score of at least 10 + the power’s level.
Wind Reader (Su): A marksman’s intuition enables her to read the actions those around her may take, as well as the flow of the wind in her line of sight. This intuition is similar to a mantra, enhancing her combat ability while honing her thoughts. When the marksman gains psionic focus, she adds her Wisdom bonus as a competence bonus on ranged attack rolls for a number of rounds equal to her class level as long as she maintains psionic focus, starting on her next action. If a marksman already gains her Wisdom modifier to attack rolls, she gains no additional benefit from this ability. This class ability counts as a Mantra feat (see Chapter 3: Feats).
Evade Arrows (Ex): At 2nd level, a marksman’s familiarity with ranged attacks and her natural intuition alerts her to danger from mundane ranged attacks. She gains a dodge bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks (but not ranged touch attacks) equal to half her Wisdom bonus (minimum 0).
Cover Fire (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, the marksman knows not only how to directly engage her enemies, but also how to protect her allies. As an attack action, she may choose to fire a ranged or thrown weapon at an opponent within 30 feet to distract that opponent rather than to deal damage. Make an attack roll against the space a target occupies (AC 10). If successful, the targeted enemy must make a Concentration check or a Reflex save (opponent’s choice, DC 10 + one-half the marksman’s class level + the marksman’s Dexterity modifier), or be staggered for one round. The marksman still expends ammunition as normal for this attack.
If the attack roll would indicate a critical threat and the result would hit the opponent’s AC, roll to confirm: if the critical hit is confirmed against the opponent’s AC, the attack does normal damage as well. A marksman cannot use cover fire if her opponent or the square she targets would be subject to a miss chance (such as from a concealed or dreamborn HC target).
Signature Style: Experienced marksmen generally favor a single weapon type over others, and specialize in its use (similar to a ranger’s choice of combat style). At 7th level, a marksman chooses one of Bows, Crossbows, or Thrown Weapon, and gains the first-tier ability of this chosen style. Every four levels afterward (11th, 15th, and 19th), she may either select a new signature style, and gain its first-tier ability, or advance to the next tier of an existing weapon choice. Once this choice is made, it remains fixed.
Additionally, any feats a marksman has selected that require her to choose a ranged weapon (except Martial Weapon Proficiency and Exotic Weapon Proficiency) may now apply to any weapon type that falls within her chosen signature styles, provided that she is proficient with the weapon. The list of compatible weapons may be expanded with proficiency feats or at your GM’s option. For instance, Ceruth, a 9th level marksman, has chosen the Crossbow as her signature style. She may apply her Improved Critical (Light Crossbow) feat to any weapon listed under the crossbow style that she is proficient with. When she attains 11th level, she may choose to learn the first-tier ability of another style (and apply Improved Critical to any weapon within that style as well), or she may master the second-tier ability of the Crossbow style.
- Crossbow Style - Crossbow-using marksmen are consummate snipers, able to deliver immensely powerful single shots, often from great distance. Impeccably patient, crossbow specialists are frequently loners, or at least maintain an aloof image. Weapons: light crossbow, heavy crossbow, hand crossbow, repeating crossbow.
- Augmented Shot (Su): If you spend a standard action to attack with your crossbow and expend your psionic focus, the bolt becomes an instrument of your will and deals augmented damage. You may add +1d8 points of damage to the crossbow bolt for each crossbow style tier you have. Unlike normal bonus damage, this increases the actual weapon damage (much like your Strength modifier on a melee attack), and is thus multiplied in the case of a critical hit.
- Unstoppable Force (Ex): If your crossbow bolt would deal enough damage to a target to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it), you may choose to have the bolt continue on a straight line through your target’s location until it hits another target, at which point you make a second attack roll at the same bonus as the previous attack -4. If this attack roll is successful, the target takes damage as if struck by the bolt (although bonus damage that would not be multiplied on a critical hit only applies to the first target). This process repeats until a target does not drop, you miss with an attack roll, or your bolt strikes an object or reaches its maximum range.
- Call the Shot (Ex): If you spend a full-round action sighting your target, you can deliver a single, precisely aimed bolt to a critical part of the target’s anatomy. While sighting a target, you cannot move from the spot you occupy and must maintain line of sight to your target; if you move or line of sight is broken, your sighting has no effect. If your target leaves the maximum range of your weapon while sighting, your sighting fails as if line of sight were broken. After sighting a target, your first single crossbow attack made the following round ignores all range increment penalties (though is still bound by the crossbow’s maximum range), and if this attack hits, it automatically threatens a critical hit (regardless of the actual die roll). After using Call the Shot, you cannot attack for the remainder of the round.
- One Shot, One Kill (Ex): As Call the Shot, except you may attempt to instantly kill your opponent. To use One Shot, One Kill, you must prolong your sighting period to three full-round actions before your attack (all restrictions on sighting still apply). If you do, and successfully hit your opponent, in addition to the normal effects of Call the Shot, your target must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + one-half your class level + your Wisdom modifier) or die. Creatures immune to critical hits take normal damage and are immune to the death effect.
- Bow Style - Bowyer marksmen are notoriously good at attacking large areas at once, and are most frequently found in military service. A unit of archers led by marksmen could hold off an entire advancing army. Weapons: shortbow, longbow, composite shortbow, composite longbow
- Force-charged Fletching (Su): You may channel psychokinetic force through your arrows, overwhelming your opponents. To use this ability, you must expend your psionic focus. Until the beginning of your next turn, you may spend 1 power point as you fire an arrow to have it deal non-lethal bludgeoning damage instead of lethal piercing, as you charge the arrows with a psychokinetic buffer. If you do so, the charged arrow has a chance of hammering its target off balance. On a successful hit, a charged arrow initiates a free trip attack on your foe, using your Wisdom score in place of your Strength score (and granting no bonuses or penalties to your check based on your size). Charged arrows can be used against prone targets as well. A prone target struck by a charged arrow finds it more difficult to stand up during the subsequent round: it takes a standard action to stand from prone unless the target makes a Strength check of DC 10 + your Wisdom modifier. Prone targets hit by multiple charged arrows in the same round have this DC increased by 2 for each subsequent arrow. One round after being struck by a charged arrow, its force dissipates, and a target may stand normally.
- Lightning Draw (Ex): Bowyer marksmen eventually learn to fire their bows far faster than nearly anyone else without significantly reducing their accuracy. When using the Manyshot or Greater Manyshot feats, you may fire one more additional arrow than otherwise indicated, without increasing the penalty to attack beyond what it would normally be for you. When you use the Rapid Shot feat, you may make another additional attack at your highest attack bonus (without increasing your attack penalty). You may only benefit from Lightning Draw while you maintain psionic focus.
- Burst Arrows (Su): Originally developed to break up marching formations, the technique for firing burst arrows is only capable of being performed by dedicated marksmen. To fire burst arrows, you must expend your psionic focus. If you do, until the end of your turn, you may spend 1 power point as you fire an arrow to have it psychokinetically explode with a flash and bang at the end of its flight, dealing its damage to all targets in a 5’ radius burst and studding the ground in that area with arrow shrapnel (treat as a caltrop spread). Targeting a given area with this attack only requires an attack roll hitting AC 10 (modified by range), although targets within the area of effect may make a Reflex saving throw (DC 10 + one-half your class level + your Wisdom modifier) to negate the damage. Burst arrows can be used to deliver additional damage from magical sources, but mundane additions, such as poison or alchemist’s fire, along with non-damaging effects of any sort, do not spread with the burst. Burst arrows cannot deliver critical hits, nor can they directly target creatures (only squares).
- Rain of Arrows (Su): True masters of the bow may psychokinetically adjusting the air around the bowstring, making their arrows more vicious. Once per day per point of Wisdom bonus (minimum 1), you may expend your psionic focus when making a full attack with your bow, make two attack rolls per arrow and take the best of the two. Each arrow fired until the start of your next turn deals double damage.
- Thrown Weapon Style - Marksmen who follow the thrown weapon style are usually the subject of many tales amongst the common folk, but history isn’t clear whether this is because few warriors normally choose throwing weapons or because thrown-weapon marksmen are frequently show-offs. In either case, the mockery stops once the marksman demonstrates his prowess in controlling the field of battle. Weapons: dagger, club, shortspear, spear, dart, javelin, throwing axe, light hammer, trident, sai, bolas, shuriken, mind blade. This only applies if you are throwing the weapon. In the special case of the sling, this style operates normally, treating the bullet as your thrown weapon.
- Ricochet (Su): To use this ability you must expend your psionic focus. Until the end of your turn, if a thrown weapon you fire would hit a wall, you may psychoportatively redirect its momentum up to 90 degrees, allowing it to continue its path as if it were thrown in that new direction. Each time you do, you impose a -2 penalty on the weapon’s attack rolls and damage rolls. You may even recover from missed attacks this way: if a failed attack would also miss a creature’s touch AC, it continues past the creature, potentially rebounding off of another wall for another attempt to hit. All distance traveled, regardless of direction, counts toward the weapon’s range. You may attempt a number of redirections per attack equal to 1 plus your Wisdom modifier. If you select the thrown weapon signature style again, each redirection can be up to 180 degrees.
- Push by Proxy (Ex): Through a combination of exceptional throwing talent and raw strength (of arm or of will), you may attempt to rearrange your foes with your thrown weapons. If your thrown weapon would successfully hit a creature, you may choose to have your weapon deal no damage and instead resolve that attack as a bull rush, starting with the opposed Strength checks (you do not fall back if you fail). Since you do not move with the defender, you may only move someone back 5’ with each individual attack, but additional attacks may be made to push them back further. Exactly which direction constitutes “back” is dependent on which direction the attack came from (see Ricochet). If your ranged bull rush would push an opponent into another creature (or a wall), the opponent doesn’t move, and both take damage equal to your Strength modifier. This bull rush uses your size modifier as normal, but is further modified by the weapon you use. light weapons reduce your check by -4, while two-handed thrown weapons grant it a +4 bonus. If you are psionically focused, you may choose to substitute your Wisdom score for your Strength score for the opposed checks and damage on a collision.
- Psychoportative Momentum Mastery (Su): While you are psionically focused, every weapon you throw may, at your option, be treated as a teleporting weapon, described in the Expanded Psionics Handbook. These weapons may even reappear in their sheaths instead of in your hand, should you wish. If you expend your psionic focus as part of a thrown weapon attack, your weapon teleports to the other side of your opponent with its momentum reversed, coming back toward you. Unless your opponent cannot be flanked, they are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC against this attack. After your attack, this weapon teleports back to your hand or its sheath instantaneously, leaving no weapon for your opponent to find, and an impact wound coming from the wrong direction.
- Psychokinetic Momentum Mastery (Ex): Your weapons’ psychokinetic properties are augmented many-fold. Your thrown bull rush attempts (see Push by Proxy) extend in power and ferocity: if your Strength (or Wisdom) check would allow you to move a target further back than 5 feet, you may do so, up to a maximum number of additional squares equal to your Strength or Wisdom modifier (whichever you used to resolve the attempt). Additionally, if you expend your psionic focus to activate Ricochet, two effects occur: Push by Proxy can now bull rush foes in any direction away from the direction the attack came from (that is, an attack from the north could send the target east, southeast, south, southwest or west), and thrown weapons can continue on to another target as if the first target were a wall (see Ricochet).