Archives of Nethys

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Hunter Class Details | Animal Focuses | Archetypes

Totem-Bonded

Source Adventurer's Guide pg. 131
The Mammoth Lords coexist with the great primeval beasts that roam their lands, surviving with the help of the animals’ meat, hides, milk, bones, and more. These fearsome and wondrous animals have made their way into Kellid culture and tradition. Tribes are named after these creatures. Armor, clothing, weapons, and jewelry—when not fashioned from bone, hide, or teeth harvested from these beasts—are worked into images that evoke their shape and strength. They are even captured and trained for use as guardians, as hunters, or in the most iconic use, as mounts—though they’re rarely tamed, as the Mammoth Lords value the ferociousness of these creatures. The sight of a Mammoth Lord atop an elephantine steed is one that few soon forget.

For some of the people of the Mammoth Lords, this adoration and respect for the megafauna that share their realm goes one step further. ShamansACG, oraclesAPG, druids, and others worship these animals as primal spirits of the world and draw great power from their faith. Others, like rangers and barbarians, are no less faithful in their belief, even though they focus more on physical combat than on spellcasting. Among the most devoted of these hunters are the so-called totem-bonded—hunters who are able to form a true spiritual bond with the powerful fauna that dominate the wildlands. Such a hunter embraces one of the realm’s megafauna as a sort of spiritual guide, eventually attracting a mighty beast that travels with her and helps keep her territory free of invaders. By doing so, the totem-bonded hunter becomes something more than merely a guardian and provider for her tribe—she becomes a manifestation of the tribe’s spiritual belief in the power of the land itself.

Primeval Companion (Ex): The totem-bonded adopts a powerful animal native to the region—often one suited to the cold tundra—selected from the following list: aurochs, badgerB2, bear, big cat, elkB3, giant ravenB6, mastodon, rhinoceros, walrusB4, wolf, or any creature categorized as megafauna. At the GM’s discretion, she can select other animal companions.

In addition, a 7th-level totem-bonded’s animal companion can grow further. If the animal companion’s natural size is Large but it is normally available as a Medium animal companion at 7th level (such as a bear), the totembonded can have the companion increase in size. To generate statistics for such a creature, apply the following modifications: Size Large; AC +1 natural armor; Ability Scores Str +4, Dex –2, Con +2. Increase the damage of each of the companion’s natural attacks by one die size.

This ability alters animal companion.

Shared Strength (Su): At 1st level, the connection the totem-bonded has with her animal companion allows them to draw upon one another’s strength. The totem-bonded can activate this ability as a swift action, and she can use it for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1-minute increments. The effect ends immediately if the animal companion is ever more than 100 feet away from the totem-bonded.

While the shared strength ability is active, the totembonded manifests one aspect of her animal companion drawn from the following list: low-light vision, scent, +1 bonus to natural armor, +10-foot bonus to speed, climb speed 30 feet, swim speed 40 feet, 2 claws (1d4), bite (1d6), gore (1d6), or slam (1d6); the natural attacks are all primary attacks, and the listed damage is for a Medium creature. The totem-bonded can select only a movement speed or natural attack that her animal companion also has, and an aspect cannot cause her speed or size to exceed that of her animal companion with this ability. At 8th level, the totem-bonded manifests two aspects of her animal companion, and she adds the following to her list of available aspects: +20-foot bonus to speed, fly speed 50 feet (average), increased size (as enlarge person), and powerful charge (doubles the damage dice dealt by the granted gore or slam attack). At 15th level, the damage dealt by any natural attacks granted by this ability increases by two die steps.

A totem-bonded’s animal companion also benefits from the shared strength ability, and while it is active, the animal understands the totem-bonded’s known languages and can be pushed to perform an unfamiliar trick as a free action. At 8th level, the animal companion gains a +1 bonus on saving throws and a +2 bonus on checks with each skill in which it has at least 1 rank. At 15th level, the animal companion’s bonuses on saving throws and skill checks increase to +2 and +4 respectively.

This ability replaces the hunter’s animal focus class feature.