Resource Title:   WILDMASTER
Date Added:
Tom Doolan
December 26, 2005
A class for orc player characters and NPC's.

This article was produced in accordance with the d20 Open Game License


Orcs are not well known for their connection to nature. They have a tendency to destroy rather than cultivate. However, a few among them have attained the ability to communicate with certain animals on an equal level. Perhaps it is because the Orc is very close to the animal level naturally, but whatever the reason, some are able to master the inhabitants of the wild (mainly predators) by sheer force of will.

Wildmasters are usually in charge of training attack animals and mounts, such as wolves and worgs. Occasionally, they are also employed to scout ahead and "tame" new regions for a tribe or clan on the move. They will move in and subdue or run off potential animal threats.

Wildmasters are also effective in combat. Their connection to the animal side gives them a fierce cunning in battle. Additionally, many Wildmasters are accompanied into battle with trained animal followers, who fight with the Wildmaster as a unit. A Wildmaster followed by a pack of worgs is a sight to make even the bravest warrior falter.

The Wildmaster is a replacement class for the Ranger for an orc NPC or player character. While the Ranger seeks to live in harmony with nature, a Wildmaster seeks to bend it to his will, utilizing it as a tool for the furthering of his own needs and desires. Wildmasters can function as a member of party with races other than orcs, but their crude behavior and disdain for animal rights may rub some the wrong way.

Characteristics:  A Wildmaster's main abilities are those allowing him to dominate, both physically and mentally, the animals in his charge. However, a Wildmaster's abilities are generally limited to non-intelligent animals of medium size or smaller. Larger animals gain a bonus against the Wildmaster's abilities equal to +2 per size category above Medium. Additionally, predatory animals react the best, as non-predatory, or "prey" animals tend to just be terrified beyond reason and run away or cower.

Wildmasters prefer to travel light. This extends to their choice in weapons and armor. They will almost exclusively wear light armor, and they almost never use two handed weapons. It is actually very common for a Wildmaster to wield 2 small weapons in combat at the same time. Spiked or clawed gauntlets are also popular, and are often decorated to look more like animal claws.

Alignment:  Wildmasters can be of any alignment. However, their attitudes towards nature makes them very unlikely to be "good." Neutrality is most common.

Religion:  Wildmasters will usually follow whatever religion is prevalent in their tribe. However, they are not very devout followers, and worship only perfunctorily. Occasionally, the rare Wildmaster will secretly worship a more neutral (or even good), nature-themed deity.

Background:  Wildmasters are usually the orcs who spent much of their childhood in the company of animals. Generally, if the pet worg doesn't eat the youth outright, then there is distinct possibility that he may grow to form a strong bond with animals. Wildmasters are as often feared as they are respected. A wise chief will know to treat any Wildmasters in his tribe or clan properly, lest he have a beastly revolt on his hands.

Races:  Although the Wildmaster is a uniquely orcish development, a few half-orcs and particularly vicious goblins have been known to take up the mantle of training the clan animals. It would also be possible for members of other races, such as humans, to develop this class as well, though much more rarely then orcs.

Other Classes:  Wildmasters are often more attuned with their animals then with other orcs, and have little use for them except where their purposes match. Wildmasters will commonly view Orc Warriors (Fighters), Orc Ragers (Barbarians) and Orc Brutes (Fighter/Monk) as more or less equals, recognizing their battle-prowess. Orc Scouts (Ranger/Rogue) are also given some respect as their unique talents and contributions in combat are also well acknowledged. Divine magic is not feared, but is not fully trusted. Wildmasters do not usually understand divine magic and its relation to the deities and spirits, and for that reason they do not cause any grief to Orc Shamans (Clerics) or Orc Spirit Talkers (Cleric/Druid). Although the magic of the Orc Bangers (Bards) is not understood, they do recognize that the beats of the Banger's war drums have an often soothing effect on animals. Orc Casters (Sorcerers) are feared, as their magical abilities are not understood. Wildmasters stay away from Casters. Any beneficial spell a Caster casts upon a Wildmaster is often deemed an attack. Wizards of any race are also feared.

Game Rule Information

Wildmasters have the following game statistics:

Abilities:  A Wildmaster's main abilities are Strength and Wisdom, allowing him to dominate, both physically and mentally, the animals in his charge. However, a good Dexterity and Constitution are also desirable, as dominating some animals involves an actual physical contest.

Alignment:  Any non-Good.

Hit Die:  d10

Class Skills

The Wildmaster's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Animal Handling (Str or Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Str or Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).

     Skill Points at 1st Level: 3 + Int modifier) X 4.
     Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 3 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Wildmaster:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:  A Wildmaster is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor and shields.

Base Attack
1 +0 +0 +1 +1 Animal Domination, Animal Training, Track
2 +0 +0 +1 +2
3 +2 +1 +2 +2
4 +3 +1 +2 +3 1st Favored Animal
5 +3 +1 +3 +3 Call of the Wild
6 +4 +2 +3 +3
7 +5 +2 +3 +4 Favored Animal Form (1/day)
8 +6/+1 +2 +4 +4 2nd Favored Animal
9 +6/+1 +3 +4 +5
10 +7/+2 +3 +4 +5
11 +8/+3 +3 +5 +6 Favored Animal Form (2/day)
12 +9/+4 +4 +5 +6 3rd Favored Animal
13 +9/+4 +4 +5 +7
14 +10/+5 +4 +6 +7
15 +11/+6/+1 +5 +6 +8 Favored Animal Form (3/day)
16 +12/+7/+2 +5 +7 +8 4th Favored Animal
17 +12/+7/+2 +5 +7 +9
18 +13/+8/+3 +6 +8 +9  
19 +14/+9/+4 +6 +8 +10 Favored Animal Form (4/day)
20 +15/+10/+5 +6 +9 +10 5th Favored Animal
Animal Domination:  A Wildmaster is able to communicate with animals on a primal level. Whenever a Wildmaster encounters a hostile animal, he and the animal make opposing Willpower checks, with the Wildmaster adding half of his class level (rounded up) to the roll, and the animal adding half of its hit dice (rounded up). If the Wildmaster wins by less than five, the animal is intimidated, and will flee as soon as possible. If the Wildmaster wins by 5 or more, the animal is dominated, and the Wildmaster can attempt to train it. Domesticated animals are treated as "prey" animals, as their connection to the wild is tenuous at best.

Animal Training:  Wildmasters are very adept at training animals to do their bidding. Whenever an animal is successfully dominated, a Wildmaster may begin training the animal. This must be begun within a single day, or the animal reverts to being hostile and will attempt to escape or otherwise flee. It normally takes a long time to properly train an animal, especially a wild one. However, a Wildmaster's primal connection to animals gives him a distinct edge. For each task the animal is to perform, it takes 3 days of focused training, or 6 days of partial training. At the end of each training session, make opposed willpower checks per the Domination rules, with the Wildmaster gaining a +1 per day of training performed. Success means the training can continue as normal. Failure means that session must be repeated until a successful check is made. Typical tasks include Attack, Track, Guard (stay) and Hunt. Should the player wish to teach different tasks, the DM may lower or raise the number of days required to train as he sees fit.

Track:  Per the Ranger description in the PHB.

Favored Animal:  By 4th level, a Wildmaster has developed an affinity with a certain type of animal. Attempts to dominate this type of animal automatically succeed, and training time requirements are cut in half. The Wildmaster gains an additional Favored Animal every 4 levels after (8th, 12th, 16th and 20th). Diminutive and Tiny animals are assumed to be in groups of five or more. See the particular listing in the MM.

Typical Types of Favored Animals:

CaninesWolves, wild dogs, foxes, hyenas, etc
FelinesAll wild cats, up to medium size
BearsAll bears, including wolverines, up to medium size
RodentsRats, mice, squirrels, badgers, etc…
BoarsWild boars and other porcine animals

Call of the Wild:  At 5th level, the Wildmaster is able to call members of his Favored Animal type to him, and they will travel and fight with him for a single day (or a single battle, whichever comes first). The number of animals that come is equal to the Wildmaster's class level, and they arrive within an hour. He can use this ability once a week. Called animals cannot be dominated or trained. It should be noted that if the Wildmaster is not in an area where such animals naturally exist, this ability cannot be used.

Favored Animal Form:  At 7th level the Wildmaster's connection to his Favored Animal becomes so strong as to be supernatural. When this happens, the Wildmaster is able to assume a form similar to his Favored Animal once a day. This form is not a true representation of the animal, but a humanoid form with similar traits (natural weapons, facial features, body hair, enhanced senses, etc…). In this state, the Wildmaster is not able to articulate speech, and must communicate through signals and such. This ability can be used once a day at this level, with an additional use per day for every 4 levels beyond (11th, 15th and 19th). Each use lasts for one hour per class level of the Wildmaster.

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