Killer (3.5e Prestige Class)
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There are those who fight with honor, against worthy and prepared opponents. And there are those who simply do it for the lulz, by stealth and treachery. Some do this for money, others because it's the only way of defeating powerful opponents who simply can't be beaten in a straight fight, or to silence a guard without raising an alarm. Of all the core classes, Rangers are the ones who can meet the entry requirements most easily: Ranger/Killers commonly act as bounty hunters, tracking and killing outlaws. Rogues who do not wish to use magic and are not evil often become killers instead of assassins. There are 10 levels of this prestige class.
Killers and Assassins: the Killer is essentially an Assassin without magical abilities (and who doesn't necessarily kill for hire), and with combat abilities that allow the character to exploit surprise attacks and attacks of opportunity to the full. These two classes can coexist. An Assassins Guild may include members of both types, and will seek to assassinate freelance hired killers operating in its area. Characters can be multiclassed Killer/Assassins, and these levels stack for determining the success of the Death Attack ability (subject to the rules for Epic progression: beyond 10 levels of combined Killer and Assassin, the save DC rises by 1 per 2 levels).
Alignment: any non-Good.
Skills: Hide 6 ranks, Move Silently 6 ranks.
Feats: Improved Initiative, Quickdraw.
Base Attack Bonus: +4.
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skill points at each level: 4 + Int modifier
Hit Die: d8
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Killers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor, but not shields.
|1.||+1||+0||+2||+0||Death Attack, Poison Use, Deadly Accuracy|
|2.||+2||+0||+3||+0||Sneak Attack +1d6, Uncanny Dodge|
|3.||+2||+1||+3||+1||Rapid Coup de Grace|
|4.||+3||+1||+4||+1||Sneak Attack +2d6, Master of Initiative|
|5.||+4||+1||+4||+1||Improved Uncanny Dodge|
|6.||+4||+2||+5||+2||Sneak Attack +3d6, Crippling Strike|
|7.||+5||+2||+5||+2||Murder in Passing, Opportunist|
|8.||+6||+2||+6||+2||Sneak Attack +4d6, Improved Flanking|
|9.||+6||+3||+6||+3||Move Or Die|
|10.||+7||+3||+7||+3||Sneak Attack +5d6, Quick And Deadly|
All of the following are class features of the Killer:
Sneak Attack: This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 every other level (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th). If a Killer gets a sneak attack bonus from another source the bonuses on damage stack.
Death Attack: If a Killer studies his victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (Killer’s choice). While studying the victim, the Killer can undertake other actions so long as his attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the Killer or recognize the Killer as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the Killer’s class level + the Killer’s Int modifier) against the kill effect, she dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the Killer. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the Killer has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.
If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes her save) or if the Killer does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.
If the killer has a death attack from a previous class it stacks with this class for purposes of save DC and the number of rounds of study required is reduced by one
Poison Use: Killers are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade. Unlike Assassins, however, they are not so inured to poison that they get a save bonus against it.
Deadly Accuracy: After studying a helpless or flat-footed opponent for at least one round (which can be part of the three-round study period for a Death Attack), the Killer rarely misses, as he can add his Killer level to his attack roll. This can only be done for the next attack roll, and only in melee (not with a missile weapon).
Uncanny Dodge: Starting at 2nd level, a Killer retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. (He still loses any Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.)
If a character gains uncanny dodge from a second class the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below).
Rapid Coup de Grace: normally, a coup de grace against a helpless opponent is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. This ability allows a 3rd level Killer to deliver a coup de grace against a helpless opponent as a standard action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Master of Initiative: at 4th level, the Killer gets +2 on Initiative rolls and is allowed two extra attacks of opportunity per round (this stacks with Improved Initiative and Combat Reflexes).
Improved Uncanny Dodge: at 5th level, a Killer can no longer be flanked, since he can react to opponents on opposite sides of him as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies rogues (or characters with similar abilities) the ability to use flank attacks to sneak attack the Killer. The exception to this defense is that a rogue (or similar) at least four levels higher than the Killer can flank him (and thus sneak attack him).
If a character gains uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge, and the levels from those classes stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.
Crippling Strike: a 6th level Killer can sneak attack opponents with such precision that his blows weaken and hamper them. An opponent damaged by one of his sneak attacks also takes 2 points of Strength damage. Ability points lost to damage return on their own at the rate of 1 point per day for each damaged ability.
Murder In Passing: Once per round, a 7th level Killer can deliver a coup de grace against a helpless opponent as an attack of opportunity. Even a Killer with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use this ability more than once per round.
Opportunist: Once per round, a 7th level Killer can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. Even a Killer with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.
Improved Flanking: normally the Improved Uncanny Dodge ability negates the advantage of a flanking attack unless the attacker is at least four levels higher than the defender (counting only levels in classes that grant the Uncanny Dodge ability). Improved Flanking allows an 8th level Killer to override this level limit, when flanking or when being flanked. When flanking, the Killer can successfully flank (and thus sneak-attack) an opponent with Improved Uncanny Dodge if his own Uncanny Dodge ability is at least four levels higher OR he scores a successful critical hit in melee (not missile) combat. Conversely, the Killer's own Improved Uncanny Dodge ability works unless the opponent's Uncanny Dodge ability is at least four levels higher AND the opponent scores a successful critical hit in melee combat.
Move Or Die: merely being flat-footed when within striking range of a 9th level Killer (or unaware of the Killer's presence, or unaware that the Killer is an enemy) is enough to provoke an attack of opportunity.
Quick And Deadly: the 10th level Killer can make a Death Attack against an opponent who is flat-footed (or unaware of the Killer's presence, or unaware that the Killer is an enemy), as a standard action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. There is no longer a requirement to study the opponent beforehand, and the Uncanny Dodge ability does not negate this attack (it allows the subject to retain his dexterity bonus, but it does not prevent him being flat-footed). However, after using this ability, it takes at least three rounds for the Killer to compose himself (outside combat) before using it again.
The Epic Killer
Skill points at each additional level: 4 + Int modifier
Hit Die: d8
All the following are class features of the Epic Killer:
Sneak Attack: This continues to improve by a d6 on every even-numbered level.
Death Attack: The save DC continues to rise, but at the rate of 1 per 2 Killer levels above 10th.
Bonus Feats: The Epic Killer gains a bonus feat every four levels above 10th, from the Assassin feat list.