When Torchlight II first came out, I meant to pick it up, but I was in the middle of something or other and it slipped my mind. A few weeks ago, a friend mentioned in G+ how much she and her whole family were enjoying the game, so Kainenchen and I hopped onto Steam and bought copies. We’ve been enjoying it pretty well since then; we’re a short way into Act II now. In particular, I think the character classes are interesting, and the Outlander is a concept I haven’t seen all that widely before. It’s basically an Arcane Archer, but with any kind of ranged weapon (including guns, which makes it great for Aurikesh), some interesting defensive tricks, and creepy flavor. I guess it’s kind of like a ranger that traded in the vaguely druidic bits for wizard or warlock bits. I think they might have had this guy in mind, but who knows?
In fact, I liked it so much that I wrote up the first eight levels of progression for an Outlander class. It uses the basic design principles and format of the current D&D Next playtest packet. There are things that I’ve included here, such as the fundamental structure of Combat Expertise, that are probably going away as soon as the next packet drops, but that’s fine – I’ll probably update it on Shieldhaven wiki and post a link, or something. Please pardon any formatting issues.
An outlander is a warrior who has developed a mystical connection with bows or starlock weapons. Most outlanders are drifters, either righting wrongs, creating havoc, or both wherever their travels take them. They tend to remain lightly armored, and they place their greatest trust in their preferred weapons. (Think “arcane ranger.”)
While all alignment systems connected to class mechanics suck, if you really care about the Gygaxian nine-alignment model, most outlanders are some variety of chaotic, but these generalizations are stupid anyway.
Creating an Outlander
When you create a character whose first class is outlander, you gain these benefits.
- Ability Adjustment: +1 to your Dexterity, Intelligence, or Constitution score. Yes, this class really wants you to have two good stats. We’ll see if this works.
- Starting Hit Points: 8 + your Constitution modifier
- Armor and Shield Proficiencies: Light and medium armor
- Weapon Proficiencies: Simple weapons, light crossbow, heavy crossbow, longbow, starlock pistol, starlock musket, starlock rifle, blowgun, bolas
You can make an outlander quickly by following these suggestions.
- Suggested Background: Bounty Hunter
- Suggested Specialty: Sharpshooter
- Suggested Equipment: Starlock musket, dagger, 40 bullets, adventurer’s kit, 92 gp
|Level||Weapon Attack||Magical Attack||Martial Damage Dice||Martial Damage Bonus||Arcane Gifts||Class Features|
|1||+1||+0||1d6||—||1/day||Combat Expertise (2 maneuvers), Cunning Defense, Wanderer’s Lore, Outlander Tradition|
|5||+2||+1||3d6||—||2/day||Outlander Tradition ability, Wanderer’s Resilience|
|7||+2||+2||4d6||+5||3/day||Maneuver, Quick Draw|
|8||+2||+2||4d6||+5||3/day||Outlander Tradition ability|
Blah blah blah failcakes. Combat Expertise boilerplate goes here. You learn two maneuvers: Precise Shot and Hamstring (see below).
Your wits grant you extraordinary combat awareness to protect yourself from harm. Benefit: While you are wearing no armor and are not using a shield, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Intelligence modifier.
You gain training in two skills of your choice, taken from the following list: Forbidden Lore, Magical Lore, Folklore, Dungeoneering.
You’ve been toughened by travel, and maybe a few arcane secrets. You gain advantage when making a saving throw against disease or poison.
No one gets a drop on you. You’re a gunslinger, for crying out loud. Benefit: Whenever you would be surprised, make an Intelligence saving throw against the enemy’s Initiative roll. (If initiative is rolled separately for multiple enemies, the DC is the highest initiative of all enemies on the field.) If this Intelligence check succeeds, you are not surprised, and you may draw a weapon as a free action that takes place before the first initiative count.
There are as many kinds of outlanders as there are nations of the world. Maybe more. These are a few of them. Save DC is based on Intelligence. Use of Outlander Traditions is powered by your Arcane Gifts.
The Necromantic – The Adept Path of Bone and Shroud
Outlanders on the Path of Bone and Shroud learn to bind necrotic power to their arrows or bullets, and ward themselves from harm with the stillness of the grave. It is chiefly a defensive path.
Level 1: Curse of the Grave
Level 5: Death’s Veil
Level 8: Be Thou My Sacrifice
The Fey – The Adept Path of Mask and Mirror
Outlanders on the Path of Mask and Mirror learn some of the tricks of fey-pact warlocks and imitate the powers of the fey themselves. It is a balanced path of offense and utility.
Level 1: Dart of the Poison-Fey
Level 5: Hidden Path
Level 8: Gallows Hand
The Infernal – The Adept Path of Flame and Blood
Outlanders on the Path of Flame and Blood have learned some of the lore of Hell, and bind some of its malevolent power into their arrows or bullets. It is primarily focused on dealing damage.
Level 1: Baneful Rune
Level 5: Hellfire Shot
Level 8: Curse of the Heartseeker
The Stars Are Right – The Adept Path of the World’s Ending
Outlanders on the Path of the World’s Ending derive their arcane power from that which lies beyond both planets and constellations. It is primarily focused on dealing damage.
Level 1: Unbearable Insight
Level 5: Unleash the Horror
Level 8: Form of the Dreaded One
Your list of options for maneuvers includes:
- Precise Shot (automatic)
- Hamstring (automatic)
- Rapid Shot
- Defensive Roll
- Staggering Shot
Your attack slows an enemy’s advance, usually by striking at a leg. Creatures such as oozes may be immune to this maneuver. Effect: As an action, you can spend a single martial damage die to make a ranged attack. That target’s speed is reduced by 10 feet until the beginning of your next turn.
Your shot drives your opponent back. Effect: When you hit a creature that is your size or smaller with a ranged weapon attack, you can spend one martial damage die to push that creature 5 feet away from you. If you instead spend two martial damage dice, you can use this maneuver when attacking a creature that is one size larger than you.
Presented in alphabetical order:
You draw a rune of infernal power on a square adjacent to you, and expend one arcane gift. Any creature watching you sees it flare with power, but it fades from sight after one round. Any creature entering that square other than you takes 2d10 fire damage and is blinded until the end of its next turn.
Be Thou My Sacrifice
When you make a ranged attack that drops a target to 0 hit points or fewer, you may expend one arcane gift. That creature dies, and from its corpse a shadow creature rises under your command. The Medium-sized creature has (4 hit points x your Outlander level), and shares your AC and saving throws. It flies at a speed of 40 feet, and may make a melee attack at (2 + your Int bonus) that deals 1d8 + 4 slashing damage. Each round at the end of your turn it makes an Intelligence saving throw against DC 14; if it fails this saving throw it dies immediately. It automatically passes this saving throw on the round it rises, and it makes this saving throw with advantage on any round that it deals damage.
Curse of the Grave
When you hit with a ranged attack, you may expend an arcane gift to curse the target. The target takes 2d8 additional damage from your attack, and the damage of its next successful weapon attack is minimized.
Curse of the Heartseeker
As a reaction when you take damage, you may expend an arcane gift to curse the target. The target gains vulnerability to piercing damage for 1 minute, as all piercing attacks are drawn toward its heart. Creatures without a heart are still subject to this effect.
Dart of the Poison-Fey
When you make a ranged attack, you may expend an arcane gift to add 2d8 poison damage to the attack. Further, the target must make a Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed until the end of its next turn. The arcane gift is wasted on a miss.
As a reaction when you take damage, you can expend an arcane gift to magically reduce the damage to 0.
Form of the Dreaded One
In place of your movement and before taking your action on your turn, you may expend an arcane gift to transform yourself into the form of an aberration. You fly up to 40 feet; in the course of that movement you may make a single attack with 10-foot reach, using your magical attack bonus. This attack deals 2d10 + your Intelligence modifier necrotic damage, as a tendril of shadow issues from one of your many mouths.
As a reaction when you are missed by a melee attack, you can expend an arcane gift to conjure a noose of braided hair around the attacker’s neck. The creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 30 feet away from you and taking 3d6 constricting (bludgeoning) damage. The noose fades at the end of the move.
When you make a ranged attack, you may expend an arcane gift to cause the bullet, arrow, or other projectile to explode into a gout of hellfire. This creates a 15-foot cone of magical fire originating from you. Each creature in the cone takes 2d8 fire damage, or half damage on a successful Dexterity saving throw. Resolve the initial shot normally as well.
In place of your movement, you may expend an arcane gift to teleport up to 40 feet away, to a location within line of sight. The square you previously occupied is filled with smoke that grants concealment; the smoke dissipates after one round.
In your travels, you’ve seen and heard things that mortals were not meant to know. Speaking aloud, you utter a small part of one of these mysteries, expending an arcane gift. Your allies within 30 feet take 2d6 psychic damage, while enemies within 30 feet take 5d6 psychic damage. All targets may attempt Intelligence saving throws for half damage.
Unleash the Horror
When you make a ranged attack that drops a target to 0 hit points or fewer, you may expend one arcane gift. That creature dies, and from its corpse a horrifying aberration rises under your command. The Medium-sized creature has (4 hit points x your Outlander level), and shares your AC and saving throws. It flies at a speed of 40 feet, and may make a magical attack at (2 + your Int bonus) that deals 1d8 psychic damage and forces the target to make a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for one round. Each round at the end of your turn it makes an Intelligence saving throw against DC 14; if it fails this saving throw it dies immediately. It automatically passes this saving throw on the round it rises, and it makes this saving throw with advantage on any round that it deals damage.