So, we got beaten to the punch. Dan Whitcomb did a truly excellent set of hunter archetypes to play around with and he even did it in our standard “one classic archetype, three variant archetypes” Do It Different format. Does that mean we can’t do it?
We think there are lots of Hunter archetypes out there, and to prove it, we’re going to add three more again!
Stereotype: The ranger. Aragorn. A man of the wilds who can survive in any natural environment, knowing lots of the tricks and ways of nature. He or she is maybe a little quiet (Daniel Whitcomb suggested gruff, but as many are simply eerily quiet, creatures of the wild) and could act in odd ways, being uncomfortable in cities.
Alternatives: Went Native – A long time ago, this hunter was just another dwarf, troll, or elf. He grew up in towns or villages, and maybe was a merchant of some kind. For whatever reason, he was alone in the wilderness when they were attacked by troggs, forest trolls, or ogres. Most of his friends died but, for some reason, he did not. Maybe he initially fled. Maybe the superstitious villagers found a strange birthmark on him and it matched one of their legends. For whatever reason, he was accepted into their number and learned their ways – including their skill in hunting. Later he was discovered and brought back into civilisation, but now he’s not really comfortable there; even though he grew up there. A really good addition for this character is an addon like Lore (BE CAREFUL. All addons can be harmful to your security.) which lets you speak in the native language. Play your character as a little wiser yet odder than others, littering your role-play with tiny gestures and trinkets that play into your superstitious nature. Best spec: Survival. This archetype doesn’t really lean into a pet as well as some, and it’s less about being massively deadly with a bow than it is about managing to exist in the harshest of environments.)
Pet Master – Gotta catch ’em all, right? OK, OK, no more jokes. The pet master is a lover of animals in all their forms, great and small. So much so, in fact, that they’re determined to catch each and every one of them… at least for a while. A few hardcore will always be shifting to a new pet; most will have a ‘constant companion’ and then rotate others always. Perhaps they’re an exotic animal seller of some sort, and they take animals, train them until they’re happy being handled by humanoids, and then they sell them on. (By getting a new pet.) Or perhaps they’re a researcher, trying to get into the head of different animal families and understand them better. You could have a lot of fun with this, inverting the concept of the hunter as a ‘back to basics’ type and actually playing your hunter as something of an intellectual; extra bonus points will be doled out for doing your book releases as a role-play event. Either way, the basic role-play designs are the same: Constantly be excited over the ‘new pet’, be on the lookout for a new one, and otherwise be Steve Irwin in Azeroth. Best spec: Beast Mastery. Of course.
I am the wolf – By contrast, this guy really gets into the mindset of one animal; so much so that he identifies with it. Something in that animal’s mindset… the steady lethality of the wolf, the size and courage of the bear or the vision of the eagle… becomes a driving force within his own personality. As far as they’re concerned, to be with the animals is to become them, to adopt their superior virtues to ones own. This means that role-playing this archetype shifts depending upon the animal in question, but the key is to adopt a near brotherly relationship with one’s pet – never pet when you can hug, exchange ‘knowing glances’ with them when possible. Hint at a near psychic connection with them. Also consider adopting non-human mannerisms, a night elf with a night sabre thing going on may rub his eyes with the back of his wrist, similar to a cat. Best specs: Depends on the animal, but either Marksmanship or Survival. This guy doesn’t depend on the strength of his pet, he adopts it as his own.