Saturday, 26 April 2014

Death Slayer - variant class

Death Slayers are men at arms specializing in hunting down and putting to rest the dead that will not dwell quietly. Whether they are clearing out zombie infestations or taking on a vampire or lich, the Death Slayer is perpetually delving through fetid dungeons and dank caverns.

Death Slayers are a variant of the Fighter class but receive some pretty powerful abilities. This is made up for by their fairly limited focus. In a campaign with very few undead opponents, this class may be somewhat disappointing to play.

The class is treated as a Fighter for the following purposes:
Attack rolls.
Ability score bonuses (such as exceptional strength)
Experience and levels.
Non combat skills and proficiencies
Hit points.

They do not receive multiple attacks per round and do not receive any benefits of weapon specialization or special Fighter-specific combat maneuvers.

Under most circumstances, they take saving throws as Fighters do. However, when facing Undead threats, they may use the better saving throw of a Fighter or Cleric of the same level.

In combat, they may fight with any melee weapon but a life of delving into horror-ridden crypts have disinclined them against using any ranged weaponry. They may wield any armour but do not use shields.

They may use magical items permitted to fighters, as well as any item with special attacks or benefits against undead.

They may not hold an Evil alignment but may otherwise follow any moral path. Lawful Death Slayers are more likely to be part of an organization or order, while Chaotic ones tend to be lone wolves.

Death Slayers tend to do their work alone and may not take on hirelings until level 3. They may have Henchmen provided they are Fighters, non-Evil Clerics, Paladins or Death Slayers.

They receive the following advantages:

Soul Strike:
All attacks against an undead target receive a +2 bonus to attack rolls and may reroll any 1's rolled on damage dice.
Death Slayers may strike undead requiring silver, +1 or +2 weapons with any weapon they are proficient in.

Path of Vengeance:
While a Death Slayer suffers level drain just like any other character, they recover faster. Until the Death Slayer has regained their original Experience Level, all experience awards are doubled.

Repel the horde:
When fighting undead that are no more than one experience level above the Death Slayer, the character may perform a melee attack against up to three such targets if they did not move significantly this round. (A character that is not charging or moving more than 5 feet or so qualifies, such as characters beginning the round in melee)

Deny the unholy:
If wielding a weapon in hand, the character and any comrades within 10" receive a 15% resistance to any spells cast by the undead or any spell caster using undead minions.
The character must be aware of the enemy and cannot be attempting to hide.

Death Slayers tend to be a somewhat grim and fatalistic bunch, and unless they are fighting undead, hiring followers for such a task or otherwise dealing with their "mission", they count as having a Charisma score 2 lower than normal.

They will never consent to being raised from the dead or otherwise resurrected. If they are raised against their will, they will become an ordinary Fighter until they have slain the guilty party.

Design Notes:

The idea of an "undead hunter" is not a new one, but I wanted to give him / her some pretty beefy abilities since undead can absolutely destroy a party with no cleric. The power of his abilities will hopefully be tempered by the limitations elsewhere. Once you get into the campaign, a conventional fighter will have the edge when fighting regular foes.