Night Stalker Print E-mail
Written by Ryan. Costello, Jr   
Tuesday, 27 November 2007 08:30

A base class for the mysterious vigilantes and n e’er-do-well that keep to the shadows, focusing on a single target and doing everything they can to go undetected.

3.5 Open Game Content

   NIGHT STALKER  

 The chill down a nervous spine is a kiss blown by a nearby night stalker. At home in the shadows, night stalkers are thrilled by watching people, or marks as they call them, that can not see them. Some stalk for sport, others only stalk when they have something to gain. Unlike rogues or ninjas, night stalkers rely on distracting their marks with subtle hints that they are not alone and there is nothing they can do about it.

 Adventures: Despite a loner attitude, night stalkers aren’t hermits. They thrive in populated areas. The challenge to see how long they can follow a mark undetected drives them. A night stalker takes personal pride in following high stakes marks like royalty with bodyguards or local authority. Good aligned night stalkers put their skills to use trailing bandits for bounty. Ambitious night stalkers use their skills to track monsters. There is no greater accomplishment for a night stalker than marking an invisible stalker.  The sense of power over others motivates night stalkers, and adventuring provides numerous opportunities to achieve this power.  

Characteristics: Night stalkers are quiet in everything they do, only making noise when they so choose. This doesn’t mean they are all brooding half-mutes. Some night stalkers find particular satisfaction socializing with their marks during the day and tracking them silently at night. Night stalkers tend towards plain dark clothing that obscures as much of their physical attributes as they can without drawing attention. Baggy clothes conceal weapons nicely. And soft-soled shoes make each step as quiet as a cat. 

Alignment: Though meticulous and committed, lawful night stalkers are almost unheard of. Night stalkers tend to be self-motivated, with little interest in the greater good or greater evil. However they acknowledge that their selfish obsession does disrupt the lives of their marks, some just don’t care. Ultimately a neutral night stalker will lean towards either good or evil. 

Religion: It’s rare a night stalker thinks in broad terms. Those that do favour a god do so passively at best. The most commonly worshiped deities among night stalkers are the god of rogues and the god of roads.  

Background: Night stalkers aren’t normal people. Some are born with such poor social skills that they never learn to interact with others, settling for watching those they like from afar. Others are born normal but suffer a tragedy so severe they lose hope in humanity. They turn to the shadows as cure to their problems, only making their detachment worse.  

Races: Tragedy and awkwardness can befall any race, and so night stalkers are found everywhere. Halfling and gnome night stalkers see what they do as a prank. Dwarves and half-orcs see it as a hunt. Elves and humans as an escape.  

 Other Classes: Night stalkers find fighters, and barbarians useful allies because of how much attention they draw to themselves. Rangers, with their stealth and ability to track, make great companions for night stalkers on the prowl. Night stalkers view rogues as both competition and untrustworthy. Paladins and clerics’ tendency to preach unnerve night stalkers, bringing out their mischievous side. Arcane casters, especially bards, are too flashy for a night stalker’s taste, with the exception of illusionists. A night stalker can relate to the illusionists ability to manipulate others.  

Role: A night stalker makes an ideal tracker and scout. Their ability to move around undetected aids in the gathering of information, but they are less able than the rogue at disabling traps and opening locks.   

Table: The Stalker
LevelBaseFortRefWillSpecial
Attack BonusSaveSaveSave
1st0020Bump in the Night, Track
2nd1030Pass Without Trace , Shadow Slide +1
3rd2131Vantage +1
4th3141Fast Track
5th3141Shadow Slide +2, Stalking Style
6th4252Vantage +2
7th5252Mass Distraction
8th6262Gag, Shadow Slide +3
9th6363Vantage +3
10th7/2373Improve Stalking Style
11th8/3373Shadow Slide +4
12th9/4484Vantage +4
13th9/4484Sudden Bump in the Night
14th10/5494Shadow Slide +5
15th11/6/1595Stalking Style Mastery, Vantage +5
16th12/7/25105Gag and Drag
17th12/7/25105Shadow Slide +6
18th13/8/36116Vantage +6
19th14/9/46116 
20th15/10/56126Shadow Slide +7, Vantage +7
   
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Night stalker has the following game statistics:  
Abilities: Most of the night stalker’s class features and class skills rely on high Dexterity, which also improves their ranged attacks and makes up for their lack of armour. High Constitution benefits the night stalker that gets spotted. And a high Strength increases the impact of their attacks.
Alignment: Any non-lawful.
Hit Die: d6 

Class Skills
The Night stalker’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) ×4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier 

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the night stalker.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Night stalkers are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the shortbow and composite shortbow. Night stalkers are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Bump in the Night: With a well timed throw, a simple rock can be as powerful as an illusion. As a standard action, a night stalker can make a Sleight of Hand skill check opposed by her target’s Spot check. If she succeeds, the target is distracted and considered flat footed against the night stalker’s next attack for one round. If the check fails by 5 or more, the target is aware of the night stalker’s position. Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to distraction.
Track: A night stalker gains Track as a bonus feat. When a night stalker tracks, she makes a Knowledge (local) skill check rather than a Survival skill check. She suffers a -4 penalty when tracking outside an urban environment.
Pass Without Trace: Beginning at 2nd level, a night stalker moves through urban areas as though under a continuous Pass Without Trace spell.
Shadow Slide: A night stalker makes darkness her home. Beginning at 2nd level, a night stalker gains a +1 bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks while in low-light or darkness. This bonus increases by 1 every three levels thereafter (+2 at 5th level, +3 at 8th level, +4 at 11th level, +5 at 14th level, +6 at 17th level and finally +7 at 20th level).
Vantage: A night stalker always knows how best to follow her mark without being seen. Beginning at 3rd level, a night stalker gains +1 bonus to Listen and Spot checks. This bonus increases by 1 every three levels thereafter (+2 at 6th level, +3 at 9th level, +4 at 12th level, +5 at 15th level, +6 at 18th level) and finally +7 at 20th level.
Fast Track: Beginning at 4th level, a night stalker no longer takes a -5 penalty to Track at normal speed, and may Track up to twice her normal speed with a -5 penalty.
Stalking style. At 5th level, a night stalker must choose one of two stalking styles to pursue: melee or ranged. This choice affects the character’s class features but does not restrict his selection of feats or special abilities in any way. Once a stalking style is chosen, the character may not change it.
If the night stalker chooses the melee stalking style, she gains the Backstab class feature. A melee trained night stalker may take advantage of a mark with their back turned. All melee attacks with a light weapon that successfully hit a distracted opponent are automatically critical hits. This ability has no affect on creatures immune to critical hits.
If the night stalker chooses the ranged stalking style, she gains the Snipe class feature. A ranged night stalker in hiding may move out of hiding, make a single ranged attack against a distracted target, then move back into hiding and make another hide check, all as a standard action.
Mass Distraction: Beginning at 7th level, a night stalker can affect all targets within 30 feet with her Bump in the Night ability. The night stalker makes a single Slight of Hand check and distracts any targets that fail their Listen check.
Gag: Perfectly resourceful, a night stalker can turn a foot of cloth into a tool. Beginning at 8th level, a night stalker may gag a distracted opponent as a standard action. Gagged opponents can not speak except indecipherable grunts. They can not cast spells with verbal components, or communicate through language. Anyone attempting to hear a gagged opponent makes a Listen check opposed by the night stalker’s Move Silently check. Removing a gag is a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Gagging requires a piece of clothe or short rope.
Improved stalking style. At 10th level, a night stalker’s stalking style improves.
If the night stalker chose the melee stalking style, she gains the Dagger Rush class feature. A melee night stalker may make a backstab attack as part of a bullrush against a distracted opponent.
If the night stalker chose the ranged stalking style, she gains the Headshot class feature. All ranged attacks that successfully hit distracted opponents are automatically critical hits. This ability has no affect on creatures immune to critical hits.
Sudden Bump in the Night: Beginning at 13th level, a night stalker can use the Bump in the Night special ability as a move action, not a standard action.
Stalking style mastery. At 15th level, a night stalker masters her stalking style.
If the night stalker chose the melee stalking style, she gains the Wounding Backstab class feature. Her Backstab attack also deals 1 Constitution damage from bleeding. This does not stack with the Constitution damage from a wounding weapon (a weapon with the wounding magical property).
If the night stalker chose the ranged stalking style, she gains the Wounding Snipe class feature. Her Snipe attack also deals 1 Constitution damage from bleeding. This does not stack with the Constitution damage from a wounding weapon (a weapon with the wounding magical property).
Gag and Drag: Starting at 16th Level, a night stalker can move out of hiding, gag a distracted target, then move back into hiding as part of a full round action. She may not exceed her total movement. Targets more than one size category larger than the night stalker are immune to Gag and Drag. After the Gag and Drag is performed, the night stalker must successfully grapple her target to keep her in place. Anyone not distracted in the area is entitled to a Spot or Listen check to notice what is happening.