Most cat-sized creatures, regardless of their level of intellect or ability to reason, are at a significant disadvantage in combat due to the simple fact that without reach, these little creatures expose themselves to attack when they fight. Palicos have mastered the tactic of lunging with sudden ferocity, allowing them to exploit their size as an advantage rather than a detriment.
The prowler is an archetype of the thief class, available only to palico thieves.
Prowling Strikes (Ex)
The prowler’s signature ability allows her to enter an adjacent creature’s space in order to make melee attacks without provoking an attack of opportunity. In addition, the prowler gains a bonus equal to half her thief level (minimum +1) on Acrobatics checks made to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity. The prowler can make prowling strikes only against foes whose at least one size category larger than her. At the end of the prowler’s attack on the foe, she can return to the square she left without provoking an attack of opportunity. She can instead choose to remain in the foe’s space without squeezing as long as the foe is at least one size category larger than she is.
This ability replaces trapfinding.
Slinking Leap (Ex)
At 3rd level, a prowler becomes adept at confounding foes as she moves with sudden changes of direction. Once per round, when a prowler would provoke attacks of opportunity from movement but avoids doing so using Acrobatics or her prowling strike class feature, she can make a Bluff check to feint or to create a distraction to hide as a free action. She gains a +1 bonus on Bluff checks to feint and to create a distraction to hide for every three thief levels she has.
This ability replaces danger sense.
Furious Stance (Ex)
At 4th level, when a prowler uses prowling strike against a foe, she threatens that foe until the start of her next turn. This allows her to make attacks of opportunity and flank that foe (including dealing sneak attack damage), with some limitations.
While flanking this way, the first attack she makes upon entering a foe’s space benefits from any flanking she had when she left her previous square. She must enter the foe’s space to make an attack of opportunity if she does not already share that foe’s space. She can move up to 5 feet to make this attack of opportunity and then return to her previous space as part of the attack of opportunity. This movement doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.
This ability replaces uncanny dodge.
At 8th level, if a prowler makes a prowling strike against a creature that is larger than she is, she can elect to remain in that creature’s space. As long as she does so, she gains partial cover from attacks and effects directed at her from sources other than the creature whose space she shares. While remaining underfoot, the creature whose space the prowler shares gains a +2 circumstance bonus on attack rolls to hit the prowler and a +2 dodge bonus to AC against the prowler. While underfoot, the prowler can select one ally who is adjacent to the creature: the prowler and that selected ally are considered to be flanking the foe until the start of the prowler’s next turn or until the creature whose space the prowler shares, moves out of that space, whichever comes first.
This ability replaces improved uncanny dodge.