Realms of Acadecia
Black Cloak Hunter
Centuries ago, a group of rangers sought vengeance against a troll raiding party who had destroyed their village. These first Black Cloaks caused uncountable collateral damage in their hunt for the trolls. When their blood-rage had passed, they realized how many they had hurt in their quest for revenge. Vowing never again to allow innocents to suffer for their hatred, the rangers sat down and hammered out the first iteration of the Black Cloak Code. While minor changes have been made over time, the basic tenets of the Code remain the same. Those who have suffered under the violent and malicious creatures of the multiverse have often found their way to—or just as often, been found by—the Black Cloak Hunters. The Black Cloaks teach these individuals to hone their rage into a weapon, and to keep that weapon in check when it would endanger those who are not their quarry.
Role: Because most Black Cloak Hunters start off as rangers, they fill a similar role in combat as skirmishers and damage-dealers. Despite their Nemesis Rage, Black Cloak Hunters can occasionally take on the role of defender, thanks to their Oath of Protection.
Hit Die: d10.
|1||+1||+1||+0||+1||+0||Black Cloak Code, Hated Enemy +2, Nemesis Rage|
|2||+2||+1||+0||+1||+1||Nemesis Gaze, Oath of Protection|
|3||+3||+2||+1||+2||+1||Hated Enemy +4, Relentless Hunter|
|4||+4||+2||+1||+2||+1||Nemesis Strike, Oath of Vengeance|
|5||+5||+3||+1||+3||+2||Hated Enemy +6, Hatred Unto Death|
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Class Features: Favored Enemy Class Feature.
Skills: Knowledge (any one—must be associated with Favored Enemy) 2 ranks, Stealth 3 ranks, Survival 5 ranks.
Special: Must swear an oath to adhere to the Black Cloak Code.
The following are class skills for the Black Cloak Hunter: Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int Mod.
Hit Die: d10.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Black Cloak Hunters are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are proficient with light armor and shields (but not tower shields).
The Black Cloak Code: All initiates into the Black Cloak Hunters must swear an oath to adhere to the Black Cloak Code. The founders of the order realized their thirst for vengeance often brought about pain and suffering to innocent bystanders—the same pain and suffering for which they were hunting the violent creatures of the world. The founders then laid down the Black Cloak Code so that they could hold each other accountable for their actions. Any member found to have violated the code is immediately removed from the order, and only a quest spell, sanctioned by the order’s Hunter Lords, will allow a member to atone and rejoin the order.
If a member is ejected from the order, he cannot gain new levels in the prestige class until he atones. If he reaches fifth level in the prestige class and violates the code, the penalties are far more severe. Because of his abilities and knowledge, he is deemed to dangerous to be left alive without the code to guide him. He will forevermore be hunted by his former allies.
I am the Hunter. The wicked are my prey.
The wicked are those who prey upon the fearful.
The wicked are those who sow destruction and suffering for pleasure or profit.
The innocent of the world are not my prey. No harm shall come to them from my hand or deed.
The guilty of society are not my prey. No harm shall come to them from my hand or deed.
The wicked are my prey. I will hunt the wicked to my dying breath.
The innocent of the world are not my prey. I will protect them to my dying breath.
The guilty of society are not my prey. I will protect them to my dying breath.
I am the Hunter. I am the ward. I am the spear. This I swear.
Clearly, the code is open to interpretation, and no reported violation of the code goes without a trial by peer, which is generally a debate on the subtleties of the code and whether the code was actually violated. If the Hunter Lords cannot be persuaded beyond a doubt that the code was violated, the accusation is dismissed. If the code was deemed violated but through ignorance, sometimes a lesser punishment will be implemented (often a task is given to protect a group of weak or innocent individuals from danger, to prove the accused individual’s loyalty to the order and its tenets).
Hated Enemy (Ex): Every Black Cloak Hunter gains advanced training from a veteran order member in the best methods to hunt the initiate’s particular brand of foe for which he has a need for vengeance. At 1st level, he chooses one of his favored enemies (usually his first, but not always). This is now his Hated Enemy, and he gains an additional +2 bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls against this enemy, as well as a +2 bonus to Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks made in regards to his Hated Enemy. At 3rd level, this bonus increases to +4, and at 5th level, it increases to +6.
Nemesis Rage (Ex): The very sight of his Hated Enemy will drive a Black Cloak Hunter into what is referred to by other Hunters as the “Nemesis Rage.” Not rage in the typical sense, the Black Cloak Hunter instead focuses on his Hated Enemies to the point where little else matters. He still retains his senses and can use complex skills and actions (such as spellcasting), but he cannot leave the enemy alive without strong coercion.
While in a Nemesis Rage, the Hunter gains a +2 insight bonus to his AC and CMD against attacks from his Hated Enemy, but suffers a -2 to his AC and CMD against attacks from all other sources. He gains a +2 insight bonus to saving throws against spells and abilities from his Hated Enemy, but suffers a -2 to his saving throws from all other sources. He gains a +4 bonus on attack rolls made to confirm critical hits against his favored enemy, but he cannot attack any other opponent unless innocents are threatened.
The code is heavily ingrained into the mind of every Black Cloak Hunter. Even in the depths of Nemesis Rage, Hunters will still strive to uphold the code. If retreat or leaving a Hated Enemy alive will better protect innocent bystanders or allies than killing it, the Hunter may attempt a Will Save (DC 15+CR of the highest CR Hated Enemy within 60ft) to exit Nemesis Rage prematurely. If an ally or innocent bystander (any NPC with primarily NPC levels) is in grave danger (one quarter or less Wound Points), the Hunter gains a +4 bonus on the saving throw.
Nemesis Gaze (Sp): At 2nd level, the Hunter learns to focus his fury and hatred into a seething gaze that leaves his Hated Enemy little doubt as to its fate. As a Standard Action, the Hunter can use his Nemesis Gaze in a 60ft cone in front of him. All Hated Enemies in the cone must succeed at a Will Save (DC = 10 + 1/2 character level + Wis Mod) or become shaken. Even creatures normally immune to fear effects (such as mindless creatures or undead) can be affected by the Nemesis Gaze, though they gain a +4 bonus on their saving throw.
A Black Cloak Hunter can use Nemesis Gaze three times per day. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.
Oath of Protection (Ex): At 2nd level, the Hunter takes the code further to heart, vowing to keep others safe from the monsters that stalk the darkness. As a swift action, the Hunter can call out an Oath of Protection on a single ally within 10 feet. For the duration of combat, the Hunter grants that ally a +4 cover bonus to AC and a +2 cover bonus to saving throws, as long as they remain within 10 feet of the Hunter. Once per round, when the affected ally is successfully dealt damage, the Hunter may attempt a Reflex Save (DC 10 + damage dealt) to jump in front of the attack and take the damage instead. The Black Cloak Hunter may switch the target of his Oath of Protection as an immediate action once per round.
A Black Cloak Hunter may only have one Oath active at a time. Once he activates an Oath, he cannot activate another Oath until after combat has ended. Oath of Protection is useable twice per day.
Relentless Hunter (Ex): At 3rd level, the Hunter’s hatred is so intense that it drives him in his hunt for his Hated Enemies. When using the Survival skill to track a Hated Enemy, he can begin a Relentless Hunt as a Free Action. During a Relentless Hunt, he ignores all penalties for a forced march, and does not need to make Constitution checks against nonlethal damage.
This focus lasts until he gives up on his quarry (requiring a successful Will Save, as with Nemesis Rage) or he finds and defeats his quarry. As soon as combat ends or he succeeds on his Will Save, he must immediately make a DC 10 Fortitude Save. The DC increases by 4 for each Constitution check he avoided during his Relentless Hunt. If he succeeds on the save, he is exhausted for ten minutes, then fatigued for one hour. If he fails the save, the toll on his body is too much, and he immediately falls to 0 WP and begins dying. He may be stabilized or healed normally.
Nemesis Strike (Su): At 4th level, the Black Cloak Hunter can focus his fury and hatred into a single potent attack. As a Standard Action, he may choose to perform a Nemesis Strike on a Hated Enemy. He must make a successful attack roll against the enemy. A failed attack roll means the attack is wasted. If successful, the target suffers an additional 4d6 precision damage and must succeed at a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + Wis Mod) or be stunned for one round. Even creatures normally immune to stunning may be affected by a Nemesis Strike, though they receive a +4 bonus on the saving throw.
A Black Cloak Hunter may use Nemesis Strike three times per day.
Oath of Vengeance (Ex): At 4th level, the Black Cloak Hunter can channel his fury to targets other than his Hated Enemy for a short period of time. As a swift action, he can call an Oath of Vengeance against a single target. For the duration of combat, he gains his Hated Enemy bonuses to attack rolls, damage rolls, and the listed skill checks. He may also use his Nemesis Gaze and Nemesis Strike against the target. On a successful Will Save (DC 15 + the target’s CR) he may willingly enter a Nemesis Rage against the opponent as well.
A Black Cloak Hunter may only have one Oath active at a time. Once he activates an Oath, he cannot activate another Oath until after combat has ended. Oath of Vengeance is useable twice per day.
Hatred Unto Death (Ex): At 5th level, the Black Cloak Hunter’s hatred for his Hated Enemy is so intense that he will shrug off otherwise fatal blows in pursuit of his Hated Enemy. When he is in the throes of Nemesis Rage, the Hunter receives a +4 morale bonus to saving throws against all death effects, as well as DR 5/- against attacks from his Hated Enemy. While in Nemesis Rage, he can act normally even while at 0 WP. He must reach a number of negative Wound Points equal to his maximum Wound Point total before falling. However, once he reaches this total, he receives no Fortitude Save — he simply dies.
If he reaches less than his maximum WP in negative Wounds by the time his Nemesis Rage ends, he falls unconscious at the end of combat and begins dying, and may be healed by spells or stabilized by a Heal check as normal.