Desert Strider (Elf, Ranger Archetype)

While elves are close to nature, most prefer the green canopies of the forest to other terrains. However, there are those who have adapted to the hot, arid deserts, relying on their wits and natural magic to become one with their homeland. 

Class Features
The desert strider has the following class features.

Desert Empathy (Ex)

This is exactly like the ranger’s wild empathy ability, except that it applies only to animals while in a desert terrain.

Heat Shimmer (Su)

As a free action, a desert strider of 2nd level can surround himself with heat distortion that acts as the blur spell. Creatures that strike the desert strider in melee while he’s using this ability are dazzled for 1 round (Fortitude negates). The desert strider may use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + his Wisdom modifier. These rounds need not be consecutive. This ability replaces the combat style feat gained at 2nd level.

Desert Knowledge (Ex)

At 3rd level, a desert strider gains a +2 bonus on Initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks while in desert terrain, and he cannot be tracked in such environments, unless he so chooses. Every 5 levels thereafter, the desert strider gains an additional +3 on each of those checks while in desert terrain (to a maximum of +11 at 18th level). This ability replaces favored terrain.

Terrain Resilience (Ex)

At 3rd level, a desert strider ignores the effects of a hot climate as if using endure elements. He also has a reduced need to eat and drink, as if wearing a ring of sustenance (though normal sleep is still required). This ability replaces endurance.


A desert strider adds the following spells to his spell list at the indicated spell level: 1st–summon monster II (camel or gnoll), summon sand worm I; 2nd–summon monster III (giant scorpion or locust swarm only), summon sand worm II; 3rd–summon monster V (giant ant lion or janni only), summon sand worm III; 4th–summon monster VII (androsphinx, desert drake, desert giant, or gynosphinx only), summon sand worm IV.

Desert Stride (Ex)

Starting at 7th level, a desert strider may move through any sort of desert terrain (such as sand, dust, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Desert areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect him. This ability replaces woodland stride.

Servant of the Sands (Sp)

At 8th level, a desert strider may call upon the aid of a janni as if using lesser planar ally once per day. At 12th level, the desert strider may call upon the aid of any type of common (non-noble) genie as if using planar ally. At 16th level, a desert strider may call upon the aid of a noble genie as if using greater planar ally. If the desert strider uses this power while in desert terrain, he need not make an offering to call the creature(s), and the cost of any service is halved. This ability replaces 2nd favored terrain.

Desert Camouflage (Ex)

At 12th level, a desert strider can use the Stealth skill to hide in desert environments, even if the terrain does not grant cover or concealment. This ability replaces camouflage.

One with the Sand (Ex)

At 17th level, a desert strider can use the Stealth skill while he is in desert terrain, even when being observed. This ability replaces hide in plain sight.

Desert Hunter (Ex)

This is exactly like the ranger’s master hunter ability, except that the desert strider can always move at full speed while using Survival to follow tracks without penalty, but only in desert terrains. In addition, the desert strider increases his land movement by 30 feet when in desert terrains.

Table: Desert Strider

Attack Bonus
SpecialSpells Per Day
1st+1+2+2+01st favored enemy, desert empathy, track
2nd+2+3+3+0Heat shimmer
3rd+3+3+3+1Desert knowledge, terrain resilience
4th+4+4+4+1Hunter's bond0
5th+5+4+4+12nd favored enemy1
6th+6/+1+5+5+2Combat style feat1
7th+7/+2+5+5+2Desert stride10
8th+8/+3+6+6+2Servant of the sands, swift tracker11
10th+10/+5+7+7+33rd favored enemy, combat style feat210
12th+12/+7/+2+8+8+4Desert camouflage221
14th+14/+9/+4+9+9+4Combat style feat3211
15th+15/+10/+5+9+9+54th favored enemy3221
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+10+5Improved evasion3321
17th+17/+12/+7/+2+10+10+5One with the sand4321
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+11+6Combat style feat4322
19th+19/+14/+9/+4+11+11+6Improved quarry4332
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+12+65th favored enemy, desert hunter4433