The Ravenloft Files: Dead of the Night
The avenger is a haunted soul. At some point in his history, the avenger suffered a horrible crime at the hands of another. This crime – typically a vile betrayal or the murder of a loved one – casts a pall over the avenger’s life from that point on. He walks through life like a man trapped in a nightmare from which he cannot wake, his mind seething only with thoughts of vengeance. Avengers have abandoned their old lives and devoted themselves to the utter destruction of their nemesis, no matter the cost. They are ruthless combatants, skilled in rooting out their enemies and blessed with both a hunter’s instincts and a holy warrior’s zeal.
Character’s who began their adventuring careers as fighters/rogues slip most comfortably into the life of an avenger, but characters of all classes are capable of the requisite burning thirst for vengeance. Barbarians, fighters, rangers, rogues, and ex-paladins all make excellent avengers. Spellcasters rarely turn to the path of the avenger, however, unless their desire for revenge overtakes their aspirations of magical power.
Hit Die: d10.
To qualify to become an avenger, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Any nonlawful.
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Feats: Endurance, Jaded.
Skills: Diplomacy 2 ranks, Sense Motive 6 ranks.
Special: The avenger must have suffered some disaster at the hands of a foe that escaped punishment. The hunt for this nemesis is the avenger’s driving force. An avenger without a nemesis (or who destroys his nemesis) cannot gain avenger levels. The player and GM should work together to develop an avenger’s nemesis (a player can choose to become an avenger if the appropriate situation arises, or he can express the desire to become an avenger and the GM will work towards creating the appropriate situation). An ideal nemesis should be a worthy foe (at least +2 CR above the avenger’s character level), and should have lesser minions for the avenger to encounter before a final confrontation.
The avenger’s class skills are: Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Perception, Profession, Sense Motive, Stealth. An avenger can take a Knowledge skill as a class skill so long as it applies directly to his nemesis creature type. For example, an avenger with a werewolf nemesis can take Knowledge (local) (for humanoids) as a class skill.
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are features of the avenger prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The avenger is proficient in the use of all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and shields.
Intuition (Ex): An avenger knows his nemesis so well that he can accurately guess its direction with a successful Sense Motive check at the DC listed on the table below. The avenger can retry the check once per day. The avenger determines his nemesis’ location by analyzing its motives and observed behavior; he does not need to literally follow its tracks. If the check succeeds by 5 or more, the avenger can narrow the nemesis’ probable location to an area the size of a large city. If he succeeds by 10 or more, he can narrow the location down to a specific neighborhood within that city. If he succeeds by 15 or more, he can narrow his focus down to a handful of specific “usual hideouts” within that neighborhood.
Resolve (Ex): When facing his nemesis in combat, an avenger gains an effective morale bonus to his Constitution and Wisdom based on his avenger levels: +2 at 2nd level, +4 at 4th level, +6 at 6th level, +8 at 8th level, and +10 at 10th level. The bonus lasts as long as the avenger battles his nemesis, plus a number of rounds equal to one-half the granted bonus after the nemesis has been defeated or has escaped. Thus, a 10th-level avenger’s Constitution and Wisdom would drop back to normal five rounds after ending combat with his nemesis.
To be continued.