Bird of Prey Prestige Class
Written by Chris Gunning
Writer’s note: I wrote up this PrC because I saw a gap in the PrCs in the Soldier/Wheelman Class Guide. I wanted to see a PrC that focused on deep infiltration and scouting. While some of this need is filled by the Fixer/Pointman Class Guide, I still see a bit of a gap. Think along the lines of the Rangers from the computer game “Ghost Recon” and you have a general idea of what I am trying to emulate with this PrC. FWIW, I would love to hear some feedback on the forums about this or anything else you see on this site.
For some, the thrill of insertion is just as exciting as the op itself. More than a simple parachutist with a gun, The Bird of Prey specializes in entering silently from the air, and operating entirely on their own from behind enemy lines – executing their open-ended orders with brutal efficency. They are self-sufficient, deadly, and (understandably) just a bit cocky. In many ways the Bird of Prey is similar to the Grunt and Stingray PrCs, representing a soldier specializing in a particular form of combat – in this case parachuting into extreme environmental situations or into hostile territory and operating with little or no support.
Abilities: The Bird of Prey relies on his physical prowess to resolve any trouble. As such, a Bird of prey uses Dexterity quite often, though raw Strength is almost as important. Because the Bird of Prey must rely on themselves and cannot always call in any support a high Wisdom and Intelligence is very useful to augment their resourcefulness.
Vitality: 1d10 plus Constitution bonus per level.
To become a Bird of Prey, an agent must meet all of the following requirements:
Agent Level: 5+
Base Attack Bonus: 4+
Survival: 4 ranks
Sport (Skydiving): 4 ranks
Feats: Athletic, Endurance, Stealthy
The Bird of Prey’s class skills are Appraise, Bluff, Boating, Balance, Climb, Demolitions, Driver, Escape Artist, First Aid, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Hobby, Jump, Knowledge, Languages, Listen, Move Silently, Pilot, Profession, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Sport, Spot, Swim, Tumble, and Use Rope.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the Bird of Prey.
Class Feats: The Bird of Prey gains the following feats at 1st level: Armor Proficiency (Light), Weapon Group Proficiency (Rifle), Weapon Group Proficiency (Handgun), Weapon Group Proficiency (Melee).
Low-Light Vision: Night operations are the hallmark of the Bird of Prey – darkness is the greatest ally of someone deep in hostile territory. At 1st Level the Bird of Prey is able to see farther than normal in starlight, moonlight, muted light and similar conditions of poor illumination. The Bird of Prey is able to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. If the character dedicates a full action to observing a situation in low-light they may see as far and as clear as if the environment were fully illuminated. Even when the character does not spend a full action to scrutinize their surroundings they halve any penalties to seeing in poor conditions (including darkness, fog, smoke, and other environmental factors).
Coolness Under Fire: This feat is found on p.38 of the Soldier/Wheelman Class Guide. This is considered the Bird of Prey’s core ability.
Conditioned: Beginning at 2nd level the Bird of Prey specializes in surviving in just about any environment. As such, they gain one free covert feat from the following list: Arctic Training, Desert Training, Forest Training, Jungle Training, Mountain Training, or Swamp Training. All prerequisites are waived. These feats are found in the Soldier/Wheelman Class Guide starting on p.41. An additional feat from the same list is also gained at 5th level.
Bonus Feat: At 3rd level, the Bird of Prey gains a bonus basic combat, covert or ranged feat. He must still meet all prerequisites for this feat. At 9th level the Bird of Prey may select a new feat from the previous list as well as from the gear tree.
Absorb Shock: At 4th level, the Bird of Prey begins to ignore low levels of impact shock. The members of this PrC have jumped out of enough planes, fallen enough floors, and shrugged off enough bullets to ignore most minor wounds. Thus the Bird of Prey gains a Damage Reduction of 2 (DR 2/-).
Jaded: Few things scare or intimidate the Bird of Prey anymore. They have seen it all… probably twice. At 5th level the Bird of Prey gains a +2 Will save to all checks that involve fear or intimidation. Additionally, the Bird of Prey can “Take 10” in any situation where they would have to roll a Will save – even in cases where they would normally not be able because of extenuating circumstances.
Go Anywhere, Anytime: The Bird of Prey can continue to function at high levels even under the most grueling environments. At 6th level the Bird of Prey gains a +3 to any Fortitude rolls that involve extreme temperatures or difficult weather.
Leave No Man!: The Bird of Prey is very cognizant of their situation at all times, and at this level they are also aware of their compatriots’ situations. Though a Bird of Prey is not a leader in the same sense of a Point Man, they lead by example. When a close ally (usually another Player Character, though the Control may rule that an NPC is appropriate) falls to zero (0) wound points the Bird of Prey gains a bonus partial action. This bonus action is only applicable once, granting a maximum of one bonus action no matter how many allies are bleeding to death. Also, this ability is not applicable when the Bird of Prey themselves is dropped to zero (0) wound points.
Strike First, Strike Hard: This feat is the same as the “Grey Shadow” feat found on page 44 from the Spycraft Fixer/Pointman Class Guide. All prerequisites are waived for this feat.
Executioner: This feat is found in the “Goodfella” entry of the Spycraft Pointman/Fixer Class Guide (p.12). All prerequisites are waived for this feat.
The Bird of Prey
|1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||2||0||Coolness Under Fire, Low Light vision|
|6||+6||+3||+4||+3||+3||+3||12||4||Go Anywhere, Anytime|
|7||+7||+4||+4||+3||+3||+3||14||5||Leave No Man!|
|8||+8||+5||+5||+3||+3||+3||16||6||Strike First, Strike Hard|