Adventurers often lead a very difficult life, fraught with peril and danger that can strike out at any time. Deadly traps, harsh climates and hostile monsters are among the many dangers that plague those that follow a heroic adventuring lifestyle. Despite the high number of dangers though, most adventurers never reach the level of danger that a professional vampire hunter must contend with. While the average adventurer constantly risks his life, a vampire hunter constantly risks his very soul becoming, quite literally, the thing he hates the most.
Vampire hunters come from all walks of life. One is as likely to use arcane magic as the next is likely to use an axe. Clerics are the most likely candidates to become vampire hunters, followed by paladins. Both of these classes have the prime skill set for the job, though the lack of a spellcasting progression does limit the number of cleric or paladin vampire hunters considerably. With their high Will saves, sorcerers and wizards make good vampire hunters, as they can better resist the vampire’s dominate ability. Warriors such as fighters, barbarians and rangers also make fair vampire hunters, since their potent combat abilities help them to both stay alive and to destroy their foes. Rogues and many experts may make good vampire hunters due to the sheer number of skills they possess, many of which allow them to sneak into a vampire’s lair and attack before it even knows they’re there.
While the occasional lone slayer makes a name for himself, most vampire hunters see the value in working with others. Vampires are intelligent and tricky foes and having someone to watch your back is always a good idea. This is not to suggest that all vampire hunters share the same ethos, though. As they come from all manner of professions and walks of life, vampire hunters also have all manner of outlooks. Good vampire hunters are likely to be crusaders, hunting down vampires to protect innocent lives. On the reverse side of the coin, evil vampire hunters are likely to use innocent people as bait to draw out their hated foe so they can destroy it.
Hit Die: d8
Skills: Heal 4 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks
Feats: Iron Will
Special: The character must survive an encounter with a vampire or vampire spawn that has a higher CR than the character’s level.
The vampire hunter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis) and Spot (Wis). See Chapter 4 in the Player’s Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
|Level||BaB||Fort Save||Reflex Save||Will Save||Special|
|1||+0||+2||+0||+2||Hunter of the dead|
|2||+1||+3||+0||+3||Extra damage +1d6|
|3||+2||+3||+0||+3||Strong will, detect undead|
|4||+3||+4||+1||+4||Extra damage +2d6|
|5||+3||+4||+1||+4||Repellant, spurn undeath|
All the following are class features of the vampire hunter class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Vampire hunters are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor and gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency with the wooden stake.
Hunter of the Dead: A vampire hunter learns to ferret out information that helps him to track his foul prey. A vampire hunter gains a bonus equal to his class level on all Gather Information, Knowledge (history), Knowledge (religion) and Survival checks related to tracking or locating vampires.
Extra Damage: Through many encounters with vampires and their cursed spawn, the vampire hunter learns the best ways to make use of a simple wooden stake when fighting his enemies. If the vampire hunter waits for an opening in his opponent’s defenses, he can make sure his attack has the best chance of pushing through to the beast’s black heart. The vampire hunter may spend a full-round action to make a single attack against a vampire or vampire spawn with a wooden stake. If the attack is successful, the vampire hunter deals 1d6 extra damage. At 4th level this damage increases to 2d6. This damage does not stack with any extra damage granted by the sneak attack ability, nor does it allow the vampire hunter to make critical hits against the undead.
Strong Will: Vampire hunters have an almost fanatical desire to destroy their prey and would never willingly consider working with or for a vampire. At 4th level, the vampire hunter gains a +4 bonus on all Will saves against a vampire’s dominate ability.
Detect Undead (Su): A vampire hunter learns many of the tricks that the undead use to hide themselves from those who would hunt them. At 3rd level, a vampire hunter may use detect undead as a free action a number of times equal to his class level per day.
Repellent: At 5th level, a vampire hunter’s will has become so strong that he can prevent vampires and their spawn from attacking friends and comrades that remain close to him. When the vampire hunter proffers a mirror or holy symbol, the distance a vampire must stay from him increases to 15 feet. Encroaching within 15 feet of a recoiling vampire ends the effect.
Spurn Undeath: The vampire hunter has developed such an intolerable hatred of the undead that his very soul rebels against the thought of joining their ranks. At 5th level, the vampire hunter never need worry about becoming undead. He will not rise from his grave, even if killed by an attack or spell that would normally render him undead.