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Pack runner

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A pack runner is a beastmaster ranger who has chosen to focus his or her connection with the wild through their bond with a canine such as a wolf or jackal. These pack runners form bonds solely with companions of the canine variety, building upon the long history of friendship between canines and humanoids. So connected is the pack runner and his or her canine friend, that their minds can often seem as one, as the ranger takes on doglike characteristics while their feral friend becomes more and more like a sentient creature.[1]

CultureEdit

Pack runners have no single culture with which they are aligned. Rather, it seems that humanoids in general are naturally drawn to canines, seeking animal companions that are both cunning and social. Canines, and wolves in particular, seem to fit this trait exceptionally well and there is strong evidence to suggest humanoids and canines have worked alongside one another since before the beginning of civilization. This line of thought is furthered by the fact that virtually all humanoid races, from eladrin to goblins, have a tradition of domesticating doglike pets.[1]

Legends also suggest that canines may have, on occasion, reversed the role between themselves and humanoids, raising humanoid children as their own. While these tales are more or less unprovable, it is true that the bond between a pack runner and their "pet" is more like a bond between close siblings rather than between master and slave, even if the bond is based in mind or spirit rather than blood. Gradually, a pack runner and his or her beast become acutely aware of one another's mental processes, affecting one another deeply. A pack runner acquires doglike characteristics, tending to think of themselves and their companion as a single unit within the larger pack of friends, family, and mutual allies. Likewise, the dog or doglike beast that follows them becomes both more intelligent and more self-aware, almost to the point of sentience.[1]

AbilitiesEdit

Pack runners are perhaps closer to the wild than most rangers and evoke this feral nature in their abilities. Pack runners and their companions become preternaturally aware of one another, sensing each other's presence. As a result, they can move with a great amount of coordination, instinctually falling into step with one another's maneuvers, making them dangerous combatants. Pack runners, as their name implies, also learn how to move quickly through the wilderness, so as to keep up with their feral allies, which when applied in combat allows them an unusual degree of maneuverability.[1]

Pack runner exploits are similar in nature, building upon the seamless teamwork between humanoid and canine. Pack runner assault, for instance, is a technique in which the pack runner distracts a foe while their ally moves around and strikes from the flank. Wolfskin, less offensive, is a technique learned by pack runners to blend in with their surroundings, while simultaneously moving more quickly.[1]

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rob Heinsoo, David Noonan, Robert J. Schwalb, Chris Sims (November 2008). Martial Power. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 978-0-7869-4981-6.

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