The Ravenloft Files: Dead of the Night
Known to all the folk of Ravenloft as monster hunters, these men and women are scholarly adventurers who research dangerous creatures seeking their witnesses in order to eliminate them more easily. Monster hunters generally prefer to defeat their foes using knowledge, guile and superior tactics rather than brute force. Monster hunters learn to cast a few arcane spells to assist in their hunt. a few have been mistaken as witches due to this ability. monster hunters are generally of good alignment, but some become too zealous or fall into the trap of taking on their foes’ tactics or worldview, usually without realizing they have done so. Evil monster hunters usually still believe themselves to be good, but may overlook a few mistakes or a too-forceful questioning of innocents in their pursuit of their foes. Monster hunters may choose to focus on one type of creature, leading them to become specialized hunters (see below).
Hit Die: d6
To qualify to become a monster hunter a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.
Skills: Diplomacy 3 ranks, Survival 5 ranks, Sense Motive 5 ranks, Knowledge 2 ranks (see Monster Hunter Foe Examples)
Feat: Iron Will
Special: You must have survived a hostile encounter with a certain monster type (see the Monster Hunter Foe Examples for categories).
The monster hunter’s class skills are Craft (alchemy), Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (planes), Linguistics, Perception, Sense Motive, Stealth, Survival
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A monster hunter is proficient with all simple weapons, light armor and medium armor.
Spells: Beginning at 1st level, a monster hunter gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells. A monster hunter prepares and casts spells just as a wizard does, though he is restricted to to certain spells due to the focused nature of his pursuit (see the Monster Hunter Spell List below). To cast a spell, the monster hunter must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the spell’s level, so a monster hunter with an Intelligence of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Monster hunter bonus spells are based on Intelligence, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the monster hunter’s Intelligence modifier. When the monster hunter may have 0 spells of a given level (see Table 2-1), he may employ only bonus spells. A monster hunter without bonus spells for that level cannot yet cast a spell for that level. The monster hunter’s spell list appears below.
Studied Foe (Ex): Starting at 1st level, monster hunter may select a type of creature as a studied foe (see Monster Hunter Foe Examples below). Hunters must choose a subtype from each broad category. At every other level (levels 3 and 5), the monster hunter selects an additional creature as a studied foe. Note that the hunter may choose another type from within the same broad category or may diversify into different ones. A monster hunter can select his own race as a studied foe only if the monster hunter or his race is evil. A few monster hunters are said to be reformed monsters, seeking to wipe out the menace posed by their own kind.
The monster hunter has scrutinized the habits and weaknesses of his studied foe so closely that he gains a +1 insight bonus on Sense Motive checks when used against that general category of creature ( +2 against the specific foe). Likewise, in combat, he gains a +1 insight bonus on attack rolls and saving throws against his chosen category, +2 against his studied foe.
Should a monster hunter choose to take the same foe more than once, he severely limits his effectiveness against all monsters in order to pursue one particular type of foe. Nonetheless, the benefits can be worth it. If the same subcategory of foe is chosen twice, the bonus for Sense Motive checks, on attacks and saves rises to +3. If the same subcategory is chosen for a third time, these bonuses rise to +4 each.
Monster Knowledge: A monster hunter gathers a great deal of knowledge during the hunt. At 2nd level, he adds his level and his Intelligence modifier to knowledge skill checks on monsters in general categories he has selected as foes. Successful checks do not reveal the abilities of a specific monster but offer ideas as to its nature, such as local monster legends, or noteworthy places where the creatures might dwell. It can also give hints as to the general nature of renowned magic items used by or useful against these monsters, including where such items might be found, though it will not reveal the specific powers of these items. A monster hunter may not take 10 or 20 on this check as this sort of knowledge is generally random. Examples of the DC for certain is given below:
|DC||Type of Knowledge||Examples|
|10||Common||Vampires recoil from garlic|
|20||Uncommon||Ghasts reveal their presence by a horrible stench|
|25||Obscure||Golems usually turn against their creators|
|30||Extremely obscure||The little-known Shallosia plant may be useful against fey|
Craft Talisman (Su): At 3rd level, a monster hunter can create single-use magic items that hold spells until triggered. He can imbue a talisman with the power of any spell he knows that is 3rd level or lower. He must provide any material components or focuses the spell requires.
The talisman has a base price of the spell level x caster level x 50 gp.
Hunter’s Confidence (Ex): At 4th level, a monster hunter gains a +2 bonus on all saves against fear and enchantment effects.
Slippery Mind (Ex): At 5th level, the monster hunter gains the ability to wriggle free from magical effects that would otherwise control or compel him. If a monster hunter with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails his saving throw, he can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. He gets only this one extra chance to succeed on his saving throw.
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||Craft talisman, 2nd studied foe||1||1||-||-||-|
|5th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Slippery mind, 3rd studied foe||2||1||1||-||-|
Monster Hunter Spell List
Monster hunters choose their spells from the following list. Note that some of the monster hunter’s first level spells incorporate 0 level sorcerer/wizard spells.
1st level – alarm; chill touch; detect magic; detect secret doors; detect undead; disrupt undead; hold portal; light; protection from (chaos, evil, good, law); read magic; resistance
2nd level – arcane lock; continual flame; darkvision; daze monster; expeditious retreat; knock; magic weapon; see invisibility
3rd level – daylight; dispel magic; gentle repose; halt undead; magic circle against (chaos, evil, good, law); tongues
Monster Hunter Foe Examples:
General categories are in bold, followed by their subcategories. Each general category also has a Knowledge skill associated with it in parenthesis. As part of the requirements for the Monster Hunter prestige class, a character also needs 2 ranks of this Knowledge skill for every general type of creature that is selected as a foe, including foes that are selected more than once. In other words, at 1st, 3rd and 5th level, whenever a character selects a new foe, he must have 2 ranks in a Knowledge skill associated with that general monster type. If the 2nd foe chosen is associated with a skill that has already been used as a prerequisite for the 1st monster foe, the character must have 4 ranks in that skill. And if the 3rd foe chosen is associated with a skill that has already been used, the character must have 2 additional ranks in that skill (6 total if it is being used for the third time). See Skills – Knowledge – Monster Lore for more monster categories.
Lycanthropes: werewolves, wererats, weretigers, jackalweres, wolfweres, etc (Knowledge [local])
Extraplanar creatures: demons, devils, etc (Knowledge [planes])
Incorporeal creatures: ghosts, shadows, spectres, wraiths, etc (Knowledge (religion])
Intelligent corporeal undead: ghasts, ghouls, vampires, wights, etc (Knowledge [religion])
Monstrous spellcasters: hags, fey, etc (Knowledge [arcana] or Knowledge [nature] for fey creatures)
Constructs: bone golems, flesh golems, gargoyle golems, zombie golems, etc (Knowledge [arcana])
Elementals: blood elementals, grave elementals, pyre elementals, etc (Knowledge [planes])
Specialty Hunter Prestige Classes
Specialty prestige classes are available after a character has followed the path of the monster hunter. Each focuses on one of the different archetypal monster sorts in Ravenloft:
Beast-hunter – lycanthropes, skin-changers (Knowledge [local])
Demon-hunter – extraplanar creatures (Knowledge [planes])
Ghost-hunter – incorporeal creatures (Knowledge [religion])
Vampire-hunter – vampires, ghouls, intelligent corporeal undead (Knowledge [religion])
Witch-hunter – hags, sorcerers, spellcasters, fey creatures (Knowledge [arcana] or Knowledge [nature] for fey creatures)
Hit Die d6
Skills: Knowledge 10 ranks (associated with specialty – see list above), Sense Motive 10 ranks
Class Requirement: Must have at least 3 levels of monster hunter.
The specialty hunters’ class skills are Craft (alchemy), Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering),Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (religion), Knowledge planes), Linguistics, Perception, Sense Motive, Stealth, Survival
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Class Features (common)
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A specialty hunter is proficient with all simple weapons, light armor and medium armor.
Spells: Spell progression continues from the character’s monster hunter levels. These supersede rather than adding to the spells he received as a monster hunter. Any spells noted as 0 means that the hunter receives only bonus spells at that level. Note that if a monster hunter chooses to become a specialist before attaining 5th level, his spells should be reduced to reflect what he had accordingly.
Studied Foe (Ex): Continue to pick a studied foe as before, but it must be of the hunting specialty (vampire, ghost, witch, lycanthrope, demon). Again, studied foes are chosen at 1st, 3rd and 5th level. Each time, the bonus on Sense Motive, attack rolls and saving throws against the chosen foe increase by +1. Thus, if a monster hunter with a +4 bonus against vampires chooses to specialize in vampires, his bonus rises to +5 at 1st level, +6 at 3rd and +7 at 5th as a specialist.
Improved Critical (Ex): At 3rd level, the hunter gains the Improved Critical feat against a monster of the chosen type, even if that monster cannot normally suffer a critical.
Smite Enemy (Su): At 5th level, the hunter gains the ability to smite his chosen foe once per day. Add your Intelligence bonus (if any) to your attack roll and deal 1 extra point of damage per character level. If the hunter has more than one chosen foe, he can smite any of them, but can still use the ability only once per day.
Class features specific to each specialty are as follows:
Lycanthrope Resistant (Su): Beast-hunters get a +1 bonus on saves against lycanthropy. This increases by +1 at each level thereafter.
Courage (Ex): At 2nd level, you gain the Courage feat. If you already have Courage, you gain the benefit of Dead Man Walking upon making a successful Fear check.
Turn Undead (Su): At 1st level, a ghost-hunter gains the Turn Undead feat. The DC for the Will save is 10 + 1/2 your monster hunter level + 1/2 your ghost-hunter level + your Charisma modifier. The ghost-hunter can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.
Ghostsight (Su): At 2nd level, ghost-hunter gains the Ghostsight feat.
Turn Undead (Su): Same as Ghost-hunter (see above).
Drain Resistant (Su): at 2nd level, the vampire-hunter makes a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 attacker’s HD + attacker’s Cha modifier) when he suffers an energy drain attack from undead. A successful save negates the drain attack, including any negative levels and related penalties that he would have suffered. (This does not apply to negative levels caused by a spell or similar effect.) On a failed save, the vampire-hunter suffers the energy drain and must recover from the negative level as normal. Similarly, the creature attempting the drain attack does not gain anything from the attack if the save is successful.
Scent Arcane (Su): At 1st level, the witch-hunter can smell arcane taint (DC 15 Perception check if within 10 feet); this functions as detect magic but cannot pinpoint the source and is expressed as sneeze or foul odor or other appropriate effect. As the witch0hunter’s level increases, this ability functions at a higher level, with the range increasing by 5 feet per level to a maximum of 30 feet. The hunter receives a +1 insight bonus for each level above the 1st as a witch-hunter added to his Perception check for scenting arcane.
Hexbreaker (Su): At 2nd level, the witch-hunter becomes skilled at unweaving the blasphemous fabric of the black arts. He receives a +2 insight bonus to Spellcraft checks to identify a spell being cast if the spell in question requires a powers check. The witch-hunter also receives a +2 bonus to his dispel check when using dispel magic against a spell that requires a powers check, regardless of whether it is a targeted dispel, an area dispel, or a counterspell.
Scent Infernal (Su): At 1st level, the demon-hunter can smell extraplanar taint (DC 15 Perception check if with 10 feet); this functions as detect evil but only for creatures or items with the “extraplanar” descriptor; it cannot pinpoint and is expressed as a sneeze or foul odor or other appropriate effect. As the demon-hunter’s level increases, this ability functions at a higher level, with the range increasing by 5 feet per level to a maximum of 30 feet. The hunter receives a +1 insight bonus for each level above the 1st as a demon-hunter added to his Perception check for scenting the infernal.
Censure Demons (Su): At 2nd level, a demon-hunter can censure demons much like the Turn Undead feat (see Turn Undead in the Ghost-hunter above). Instead of being turned however, a censured demon is stunned by the demon-hunter’s divinely inspired power. If the demon-hunter’s character level is at least twice the demons’ Hit Dice, he banishes the demons back to their home plane.
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+2||Studied foe; see specialty class||2||1||1||0||-|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||See specialty class||2||2||1||1||-|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Studied foe; improved critical||2||2||1||1||1|
Expanded Monster Hunter Spell List
The spells below are only available to monster hunters once they chose a specialty.
4th level – break enchantment; detect scrying; heroism; locate creature; remove curse; suppress lycanthropy
5th level – dispel magic, greater; hold monster; replusion