Introduction to the Harper Scout class
Despite being called a scout, the Harpers are far from just being limited to the same purpose as a ranger or scout class. There is a rich cultural and historical milieu surrounding the Harper society, which forms an integral part of the 2ED Forgotten Realms campaign-settings; this is specifically detailed in the book ‘The Code of the Harpers’ by Ed Greenwood. Some of the historical background follows this introductory paragraph.
This prestige class is often chosen by bards, since they possess many abilities which complement this class, but Harpers are by no means limited to any particular class. You may find that the wizard is also suited to being a Harper, due to their aptness with the arcane, as are Rogue characters since Harpers are able to use stealth well and move fairly quickly. Harpers are of good alignment so this is effectively the only restriction which this class imposes on the player.
The origins of the Harpers take place at the beginning of Myth Drannor, when humans were invited to co-exist with the elven dwellers. Eventually all races were welcomed in the town, and with the passing of time the ancient Elves found the need for an organization which kept this balance between the various races stable, protecting all citizens from dissidents and criminals such as the Starym elven family. Lady Steel, an elven mage, eventually agreed to form the ‘Harpers of Twilight’, who sought to fight all things evil, although mainly preoccupied with slavery at the time.
Race, Skills and Feats requirements
To begin playing as a Harper scout you need to have a good aligned character first of all, with no particular importance placed on whether he is lawful or chaotic. The primary skills are mainly based around stealth, such as pick-pocket or the move silently skill; Harpers are also able to craft weapons and armor, however, along with also being suitable to evading fighting situations (Tumble skill). A skill which will be favoured by the Wizard class will be quicken spell, which the Harper also possesses. The main requirements for being a Harper are:
- You need the Alertness and Iron Will skills
- 4 points being attributed to Discipline
- 6 points of Lore skill
- 8 points of Persuade
- 4 points in the Search skill
The Harper scout class only has 5 levels available, instead of the usual 10 levels associated with prestige-classes.
Some Feats acquired
The main feats which you will acquire as a Harper are the following:
Bardic knowledge (Level 1) – This feat is optional and is only available if you have a Bard as a basic class. It allows you to identify items which have a higher DC (Difficulty class) by stacking the abilities of the two classes, Bard and Harper Scout.
Deneir’s Eye (Level 2) – Allows you to evade trap with a +2 on saving throws.
Craft Harper Item (Level 5) – You can make a potion of any Harper spells which you have learnt, such as Eagle Splendor or Invisibility. This is for very little gold and experience points: it will cost 5 gold pieces and 5 XP in order to brew any kind of potion, as long as it’s a Harper-related spell.