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The Hunter is a great addition to any party that you create in the game. If you're trying to figure out what type of Race to pick, keep in mind that the Hunter is really geared towards three different races in the Silversword game; Barbarians, Dwarves and Elves all make great Hunters in this game. You really have two different styles of game play with this class, the Ranged Hunter and the Melee Hunter for the three races mentioned. Here's the reasons why:

Ranged Preferred Race:
1) Elves get +1 toHit with Bows.

Melee Preferred Races:
2) Dwarves get +1 toHit with Melee weapons and get Resiliant (-1 SV).
3) Barbarians get +1 toHit with Melee weapons and Slaughter (1% on Critical Hit skill).

Yes, you can create a Hunter with the other Races, but the problem is that not all of their Race Traits will be fully used... You really want to be able to "Critically Hit" or for that matter, actually HIT your target. These three races all offer "toHit" bonuses in both melee and ranged weapons. Your main skill is actually your main weapon for this class and as this character starts to level, they will become one of the most deadlist classes in your party. In comparison to a Thief, you will "Critically Hit" in any combat situation versus having to "Hide in Shadows." The problem is, you're vulnerable to being attacked and being effected with magic based spells. Luckily, the Hunter gets DX as one of their Main Stats so being in the forefront of battle shouldn't be a problem for avoiding those annoying nasty Warg bites or repeated Troll bashings...

The Ranged Hunter:
If you like the idea of having a "ranged" frontlines-man (or woman), then pick the Elf by all-means and you'll be able to critically hit any target with your onslaught of arrows. In order for this to be effective though, you'll need a high DX score and you'll also want to situate this character in the 4th or 5th character slot (assuming you don't have a Rogue in your party). Be aware that you're going to be heavily dependent on arrows and you should carry extra ones around (with other party members) so that you don't run out. I'd also carry some sort of a melee weapon so that when you do run out (and you will) that you can still be an effective teammate and assist in the many battles that you're going to partake in to get back to the Shop that sells arrows...

The Melee Hunter:
In my opinion you really can't go wrong with the Barbarian (being #1 choice) or Dwarf (being #2 choice) when picking a Race for the "melee" Hunter. Remember that these two races have a "toHit" racial modifier for "melee" weapons and so, equiping either with a sword, axe or scimitar is going to make this character one of the deadliest members of your party. As these characters start to advance in level, they'll be hitting their target more frequently and the targets that they do hit, will be dead...

Party make-up is strickly a choice. If you're looking for a "balanced" party then for me, I think an Elf-Bard with an Iron Longbow and Sniper Arrows along with a Barbarian Hunter with a melee weapon (like an Iron Greatsword or an Steel Scimitar) will make a much better choice of teammates. It's really up to you...

So, what should you be looking for when making or progressing a Hunter? Below are some notes:

Main Stats: DX - Dexterity and ST - Strength
For some reason strength is a main stat and although your Hunter won't be doing any serious damage to a target, aside from critically hitting it, then it seems Strength plays some part in actually "hitting" the target. Dexterity on the other hand is your critical hit modifier and also what is going to give you a rather low armor class (AC) score.

Note: You have a potential of reaching a maximum score of 25 (or above) in both of these areas until all of your other stats are at 18.

Sub-Stats: Constitution
Nothing stays alive that doesn't have a higher constitution score and luckily the Hunter is the 2nd highest hit point class in the Silversword game. Its strongly suggested that you have this score above 16 before starting out your adventures.

Note: This score will max out at 18 until both of your Main Stats are all raised to a score of 25 (or above). Only then will you be able to raise this score above 18...

Leveling: The game raises your "stats" until they are all at a score of 18 with your Main Stats (DX/ST) going up to 25 (or above) and all of your other Stats maxing at 18. Once these two tiers are hit, then the stat-scores can be progressed beyond those maximum numbers.

Note: Keep in mind that you have an opportunity of Rolling an 18 for ANY stat (or combination of) when you create your character!!! For my Hunter, I kept the character that I was creating that rolled all of the stat scores over 15 in each catagory with ST, DX and CN in the 16-18 range...

Hit Points per Level: 1d16
Anything below a 14 in CN is really going to hurt you in the long run. If you're rolling a character, try and get this score at or above 16 so that you can get a bonus (+) each time you level.

Note: Save your game often!!! In fact, when your Hunter is ready to level, take them to the Training Hall and save the game right outside the door. Walk in, progress your character and if you don't get 16 HPs or more (with the CN modifer - notes below), I would reload the game - rinse and repeat. Save the game when you get the score that you're looking for... If your CN is somewhat low, then when you level try and get a CN increase in combination of a maximum HP adjustment. Reload if you don't get the stat / HPs that you want...

Bonuses w/ Constitution: You get a bonus of +1 HPs for every point above 14. So, if you have a CN of 18, then you will get 1d16 + 4 per level for a maximum total of 20 HPs per level. If you start out with this character having a high CN score, you will be able to take a beating which will allow you to keep your Thief and Magic Users protected and prevent them from moving up to the front line (when someone is INCP or DEAD). Constitution for this Class is very important to keep in mind when you're creating this character from level 1. It's also important because this Stat maxes out at a score of 18 and if you have this score set to a higher level in the beginning, then you'll get more HPs per level until you can get your Main Stats (both) to a score of 25 (or above). Only then can you raise this above 18.

When Hunters Go Up A Level:
Critical Hit: This score improves by 4% +1% per point of DX over 14 (for a maximum of 99%).

Update: Brand new!!! Skills improve a flat 4% per level plus your stat modifier. So for example, if your DX = 16, then your Critical hit goes up 4 + 2 = 6% per level.

Gear / Armor / Weapons:
Hunters can wear Leather Armor & Cuir Boulli Armor (Padded, Hardened, Studded, etc.), Chain Armor and Heavy Chain Armor (Bronze, Iron, Steel, etc.). They can not wear any kind of Scale or Plate armor pieces.

  • Head: Keep an eye out for a Mail Coif - This is really a "chainmail" helmet. Mail Coifs give an AC of 2, but a "Bronze Mail Coif" gives you an AC of 3.

  • Hands: Keep an eye out for Leather Gloves - "Padded Cuir Boulli Gloves " (AC 3) being the best item before level 16. Anything with "Padded" or "Hardened" in it, gives you an extra 1 to 2 AC on top of the item's AC base score.

  • Chest: To start, I would immediately go to the store after creating your Hunter in the Ruins and purchase a "Heavy Chain Mail." If you don't have the money, create a bunch of "Warriors"and sell all of the items that the Warriors are wearing / carrying, then POOL all the money to the Hunter... You should have more than enough now to buy your "Heavy Chain Mail." Once you bought your armor, go back to the Ruins, remove the Warriors and then delete them... Make sure you keep the Healing Balms off of them though!!! I'd suggest you carry at least 1 for emergencies. After putting on the "Heavy Chain Mail" you should notice that right off the bat, you're starting out with an AC bonus of 5. This is actually pretty good armor to wear until you finish the Crypt / Deep Forest. By that point, you should be looking out for "Bronze Chainmail" (AC 5) or "Iron Chainmail" (AC 6) - that usually drops in those areas...

  • Shields: The best shield for this class in the beginning / middle of the game is a "Dwarven Shield." You're most likely to find this item in the Deeper Forest, the Crypt, Bandit's Cave or Savages Crossing. A "Bronze Dwarven Shield" gives an AC of 6 while an "Iron Dwarven Shield" gives an AC of 7. Dwarven Shields give the highest AC bonus and are even better than a Tower Shield (in case you're looking for a shield for your other Melee classes).

  • Back: Look for an "Elf Cloak." This item will give you an AC modifier of 2. The first one you find, you should probably give to your Thief but if you stumble across any extra ones, I would give it to your Hunter. Later in the game, after exploring Savages Crossing, the next "training" town will offer these for sale for about 500 gold each. If you're saving your game at "chests" to try and get these, don't... Its a waste of a "loot" chest and acquiring these early on from an actual store (that sells unlimited supplies) will be available to you.

  • Weapons (Melee): I would look for a Longsword (1d8), Greatsword (1d10), Battle Axe (1d12) or Scimitar (2d6) - listed in order of weakest to strongest damage. You can sell the Shortsword that you're given and purchase a Longsword right at the shop in the Ruins (where you start out).

  • Weapons (Ranged): The Long Bow is the best ranged item (non-named) in the game with Bronze and Iron being damage bonus modifiers (i.e. +5 dmg). You're really going to want to keep an eye out for an Elven Longbow with an Iron or Steel name-tag in front of it.

  • Other Items: I would actually give my Hunter a "Healing Balm" or "Healing Potions." Since this character isn't a magic-user, having these items allows this character to "heal" other party members in combat by electing to "Use Item" during combat and then select the character that is injured. You could also save on Spell Points and give this character a Lantern (which has 5 charges) of if you're lucky and stumble across this item, equip your Hunter with a "Fairylight" which is a stone that gives non-casters #25 charges of "light" for a really nice / long duration.

Battle Tips:
Your Hunter excels at killing things that are a threat to the frontline party members. Have them single out targets that do mass damage, have effects when they hit teammates (i.e. Old, Crazy, Poison, etc.). I especially think that this character should be concentrating on those bosses that are upclose and personal while the rest of the party concentrates on mobs, summoned creatures and other pesky monsters that are in the way of winning a battle. In the beginning of your adventures, your Hunter's dexterity is going to be "average" so have them take a swing at creatures that are in the 20' foot range and advancing on the party. You have a rather good chance of the monsters advancing first (before the party starts to make their move) and then you critically hitting them second within a battle round. Overall, the Hunter is a great party member and can be considered your "specialist" for taking out those tough targets that need more than 1 round to dispatch.

Final Notes:
Realistically, your Hunter should be in the 3rd or 4th Character slot... This character has the "2nd" highest Hit Point modifier per level with Paladins and Warriors being first (because they get a Max Stat CN of 25 while leveling). If you position your Hunter right, you can use them to take out single NPCs / Monsters while the rest of your party attacks groups or clusters of monsters. I always have my Hunter go after the Trolls, single-casters that are in Melee range, etc. If your DX is high, then you should be critically hitting at least once per 2/3 rounds per battle at around level 10-12.

Hope this helps!!!