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Defender of the Gnarley Forest

Product Number: 9578

Year Published: 1998

Converted from 2nd Edition to 3rd Edition D&D

by Kajal, the Southern Oracle;

Last Updated: October 13, 2000

Summary of Conversion: I tried to stay as true to the original kit as possible, but issue #274 of Dragon magazine recommended a special ability for every level of a prestige class, so I've added new abilities to keep it in line with the prestige classes in the Dungeon Master's Guide.

Class Level

Base Attack Bonus Fortitude Save Reflex Save Will Save Special


+1 +2 +0 +0 Request Aid


+2 +3 +0 +0 Druid's Cant


+3 +3 +1 +1 Whistle Code


+4 +4 +1 +1 Forest Code


+5 +4 +1 +1 Ranger Code


+6 +5 +2 +2 Animal Companion


+7 +5 +2 +2 Speak with Animal Companion


+8 +6 +2 +2 Shapechange 1/day


+9 +6 +3 +3 Shapechange 2/day


+10 +7 +3 +3 Shapechange 3/day

Defender of the Gnarley Forest

Hit Die: d10


Base Attack Bonus: +5

Wilderness Lore: 10 ranks

Feats: Track

Special: Must have the sponsorship of a current Defender of the Gnarley Forest

Class Skills:

Animal Empathy (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Bowmaking, Trapmaking) (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intuit Direction (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex), Wilderness Lore (Wis)

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier

Class Features:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A defender of the Gnarley Forest is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and shields.

Request Aid: At 1st level, a defender receives a silver oakleaf pin which identifies his/her status within the organization. When showing this pin to natives of the Gnarley Forest, a defender can request "reasonable" aid (a small amount of provisions, shelter for the night, etc.). Abuse of this benefit can lead to complaints and the revoking of the pin.

Druid's Cant: At 2nd level, a defender begins learning the rudiments of Druid's Cant. Since the organization is dedicated to the preservation of the forest, it makes sense that defenders and druids work together. The defender's chance to speak and comprehend Druid's Cant begins at 5% and increases by 5% for every level beyond 2nd.

Whistle Code: At 3rd level, a defender is taught the whistle code employed within the Gnarley Forest. Anyone not familiar with the code simply hears a series of different birdcalls; a Wilderness Lore skill check (DC 10 + defender's level) is allowed to realize the calls aren't natural, but only someone trained in the code can actually decipher it. The whistle code is limited to communicating general information about the state of the forest - distances, major landmarks, the presence of strangers, etc.

Forest Code: At 4th level, a defender is taught the forest code used within the Gnarley Forest. The code consists of patterns carved on tree trunks, special arrangements of rocks, and unusual patterns of woven tree branches. The code is limited to expressing basic concepts such as "dangerous rapids," "animal lair," "clean water," etc.

Ranger Code: At 5th level, a defender is taught the ranger code used within the Gnarley Forest. Similar to Thieves' Cant, defenders and rangers can employ the ranger code with other people present and no one will be the wiser. The code is limited to relaying general, forest-related information.

Animal Companion: At 6th level, a defender may begin attracting animal companions (see the druid entry and the divine spell animal friendship in the Player's Handbook). A defender may have more than one animal companion, provided the total hit dice of all companions does not exceed ½ the defender's level. The defender need not be able to cast the animal friendship spell, although all the strictures of that spell apply (except the 2 HD limit).

Speak with Animal Companion: At 7th level, a defender is able to converse with his/her animal companion(s) (see the sorcerer and familiar entries in the Player's Handbook.) The defender can only speak with his/her companions - other animals of the same species can neither understand nor communicate with the defender without magical aid.

Shapechange: At 8th level, a defender is able to shapechange into the form of his/her animal companion once per day (see the druid entry in the Player's Handbook for an explanation of the wild shape ability). This ability increases to twice per day at 9th level, and three times per day at 10th level. If the defender has more than one animal companion, only one animal's shape may be designated. (Example: At 8th level, a defender chooses his owl companion as his shapechange form. Upon reaching 9th level, he may choose his owl companion again for a total of two shapechanges into an owl per day, or he may select his badger companion for one shapechange into each animal per day.)


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