Demon Hunter Class - Comments Welcome

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clavis123
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Demon Hunter Class - Comments Welcome

Post by clavis123 »

DEMON HUNTERS

The night is filled with terrors. Vicious Lycanthropes hunt hapless travelers. Vampires and other undead rise from their graves to to feed on the innocent. Foul abominations from the dark corners of the world pursue their incomprehensible schemes. Even foul demons summoned from the depths of the Outer Darkness may appear to spread evil over the earth.Against it all stands the Demon Hunter, ready to put the foul things of darkness to the sword.

Although they are called Demon Hunters, these characters are also dedicated to eradicating lycanthropes, the undead, and abberations. The Demon Hunters fight their favored enemies without mercy. Whether they attack from stealth, or in open combat, the Demon Hunter's job is not finished until his quarry is exterminated.

Like Paladins, Demon Hunters are dedicated to the fight against the supernatural forces of evil and darkness. Unlike Paladins, Demon Hunters are not necessarily also dedicated to the cause of justice and goodness. Demons Hunters pursue their profession for reasons ranging from revenge to monetary gain. Many Demon Hunters are even evilly-aligned themselves, and are perfectly willing to endanger and kill innocent humans in their quest to destroy demons. Even good-aligned Demon Hunters can be quite willing to bend or break the law to apprehend their quarry.

Demon Hunters are proficient with all weapons, and are ready to use whatever is required to defeat a particular foe. Because they often need to benefit of speed, however, they only use the lighter kinds of armor.

The profession of Demon Hunter tends to draw all races to it equally. Dwarves and Half-Orcs in particular make excellent Demon-hunters; the former due to their familiarity with the subterranean abodes where evil lurks, the latter due to their often personal familiarity with evil itself.

Some Demon Hunter charge high fees for their services, and become quite rich as result. Others are little more than vagabonds, living by their wits and improvising what they need. Some Demon Hunters are members of wide-ranging fraternities, with oaths of hospitality and codes of conduct worthy of any Knight. Others are freelance slayers, who regard each other more as rivals than allies. It is not unknown for two or more demon hunters to fight each other over the right to slay monsters in a given territory!

Demon Hunters tend to view Clerics and Paladins as powerful allies. Fighters, Barbarians, Knights and Rangers are also valued for their fighting ability. They are indifferent to Druids, Bards and Illusionists. Wizards are often in conflict with Demon Hunters, however. Demon Hunters are often forced to cooperate with Rogues to obtain entrance into hidden or forbidden areas. Assassins are also sometimes allies of convenience for Demon Hunters. Monks tend to view Demon Hunters with suspicion, seeing their violently obsessive natures as little netter than the demons they claim to hunt.

ABILITIES

DEMONOLOGY (Intelligence): Upon encountering any demon, undead, lycanthrope, or aberration, a demon hunter can make an intelligence check. Success means that he knows the type of creature he is facing, knows the creature's name if it is famous, and also remembers some bit of information useful to defeating it.

TRUE STRIKE: Demon Hunters can use any weapon to harm (but not kill) creatures ordinarily hit only by special weapons. At first level, Demon Hunters can harm creatures ordinarily only hit by silver or iron weapons. At 4th, they can also hit creatures only affected by +1 magical weapons. This ability increases to include those affected by +2 weapons at 8th level, and +3 at 12th level. The Demon Hunter cannot kill these creatures using ordinary weapons, however; the death blow must still be brought by the right kind of material. Furthermore, a demon hunters weapons always deal their normal amount of damage, even if the creature is normally not fully affected by weapons of that type. Example: A Demon Hunter can strike at incorporeal undead with slashing weapons, for full normal damage.

FEAT OF STRENGTH (OR DEXTERITY): Starting at 2nd level, a demon hunter can increase his effective Strength or Dexterity by an amount equal to his level, once a day. This lasts for one round. The Demon Hunter gains all the bonuses applicable for their new Strength or Dexterity score. He can use this ability twice a day at 6th level, and 3 times a day at 10th level.

IRON WILL: Demon Hunters gain a saving throw bonus to resist illusions and mind control. This is equal to +1 at 3rd Level, +2 at 5th, +3 at 7th, +4 at 9th, and +5 at 11th.

TRACKING (Wisdom): With a successful Wisdom check, a Demon Hunter can find traces of its favored enemies and track them for 5 hours, similar to a Ranger's abilities. The Demon Hunter will know what type of creature they are tracking. Unlike a ranger, this ability functions in any environment. The Demon Hunter never gains any of the Ranger's other tracking related abilities, however. Demon Hunters can only track their favored enemies.

OBSESSIVE: A demon hunter must always fight and defeat any threatening demon, unread, lycanthrope, or aberration that he encounters and stands a chance of defeating. This means any creature with HD equal to or less than his own, and that he has the means to kill. The Demon Hunter does not have to kill a creature that is not threatening him or others nearby. It does not matter if the Demon Hunter kills the creature himself, or with help. If a Demon Hunter does not defeat his enemy or runs away, he becomes overcome with doubt and fear, losing all his special abilities. The loss of abilities lasts until the creature that made him lose the abilities is destroyed. Example: A 1st level Demon Hunter armed with a club can run away from a Vampire without consequences, because he stands no reasonable chance of defeating the monster. A 5th Level Demon Hunter with a silver sword cannot run away from a Wererat, or let it escape.

PRIME ATTRIBUTE: Strength

HIT DICE: d8

ALIGNMENT : Any

WEAPONS: Any

ARMOR: Breastplates, Chain Shirt, Mail Hauberk, Coat of Plates, Cuir Bouille Leather, Leather Coat, Studded Leather, Lamellar, Brigandine, Padded Armor

ABILITES: Demonology, True Strike, Feat of Strength (or Dexterity), Iron Will, Tracking

Level | Hit Dice | Basic To-Hit Bonus | Experience Points

1 | d8 | +0 | 0

2 | d8 | +1 | 2,251

3 | d8 | +2 | 5,001

4 | d8 | +3 | 9,001

5 | d8 | +4 | 18,001

6 | d8 | +5 | 35,001

7 | d8 | +6 | 70,001

8 | d8 | +7 | 140,001

9 | d8 | +8 | 300,001

10 | d8 | +9 | 425,001

11 | +3 HP |+10 | 650,001

12 | +3 HP |+11 | 900,001

13+ | | | +250,000 per level
Daniel James Hanley
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johns
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Post by johns »

Nice, simple and straight forward. I like it. I'm a little curious as to why it only has a d8 for hit dice, though, since it appears to be a warrior class.

serleran
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Post by serleran »

Feat of Strength (or Dexterity) is way too powerful. Replace it with "treat this like the enhance attribute spell" and it would be more in line. The way it is now, a 12th level demon hunter gets a +12 Strength...

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Post by Treebore »

Looks good. I think I would allow the Feat of STR to have a duration of one round per level and I think I would have the Iron Will apply to mind control and saves versus lycanthropy, energy drain, and other "special attacks" of his enemies, rather than illusions.

I think I'll offer this as a class for my Ravenloft game.
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Harry Joy
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Post by Harry Joy »

I agree with Treebore, and want to add that this is one of the coolest alt character classes I've seen. So cool that when I read it, I opened my mouth and actually said "Wow. Cool."

I know that sounds stupid, but I don't talk to my computer too often.

Moorcrys
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Post by Moorcrys »

I like it as well. I do think Serl is right though -- what if feat of x added a bonus of 1/2 the character's level (rounded down) to the attribute check? A 12th level demon hunter gaining a +6 bonus to the attribute seems more sane. Although I haven't seen it in play.
Really great class though!
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Treebore
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Post by Treebore »

I agree the STR bonus can get a bit high. Serl's suggestion is a solid way to go.
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The Ruby Lord, Earl of the Society

Next Con I am attending: http://www.neoncon.com/

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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

boxcornersdiety
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Post by boxcornersdiety »

Overall, this seems like a fun class to play (especially in a Ravenloft type setting). I would only recommend toning down some of the 'supernatural' powers to levels similar to the Ranger or Monk (as opposed to the Paladin).

1. I think True Strike would be simpler if it were more like Ki strike but applicable to weapons. The "creatures only hit by silver or iron" and other stipulations make the class archetype pretty narrow, better to keep things simple to cover the largest range of possibilities. I would expect most demon hunters to carry the tools appropriate to kill whatever they are hunting anyway.

2. I don't really understand the armor restriction. Obviously it would be stupid to track a fast moving vampire while heavily encumbered. But it might make sense to don heavier armor when defending a village from a horde of zombies. I would just have Armor = Any.

3. I would bump up the hit die to d10 and have them advance at the Paladin rate.

4. Obsessive could be expanded into a code of honor, similar to the knight but with different specifics.

4. Feat of strength seems a bit munchkin and too useful. Perhaps adapting combat marauder would make more sense.

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Post by Fiffergrund »

I like the class, except for the Obsessive trait.

It's one thing to require the class to follow a specific code, or match an alignment. It's another thing to require something so potentially self-defeating. I know the description says that the character must only fight if he or she stands a chance of winning, but how does the player know that?

If the player guesses, and the character dies, that sucks...especially when a smart player might have escaped to fight another day. And if a smart player guesses wrong (and there's no way to know how the dice are going to fall), then the CK can strip his abilities, when he was simply trying to be careful.

I know what you're getting at here, but personality traits like obsession should not be class features.
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clavis123
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Post by clavis123 »

Thank everybody for your comments, praise, and constructive criticism. Upon reflection, I think that the Feat of Strength (and Dexterity) probably is overpowered, and the Iron Will power a little too narrow. I was really trying to evoke Buffy The Vampire Slayer with the Feat of Strength, but I can see how it might be a little too much. So I'm taking Serl's advice and revising the Feat of Srength to be essentially similar to Enhance Attribute. I am also revising the Iron Will ability as suggested by Treebore. To balance out the increased utility of Iron Will, I'm spreading out the bonuses over a wider range of Levels.

The new text for the two abilities is:

FEAT OF STRENGTH (OR DEXTERITY): Starting at 2nd level, a demon hunter can increase his effective Strength or Dexterity once a day. This lasts for one round per Level of the Demon Hunter. The amount of the increase is the same as the effect of an Enhance Attribute spell: 1d4+1 for a Prime Attribute, 1d2+1 for a Non-Prime Attribute. A Demon Hunter can use this ability twice a day at 6th level, and 3 times a day at 10th level.

IRON WILL: Starting at 3rd Level, Demon Hunters gain a saving throw bonus to resist mind control, energy drain, lycanthropy, spells, and spell-like powers used by their favored enemies. This bonus is equal to +1 at 3rd Level, +2 at 6th, +3 at 9th, and +4 at 12th.

I've decided to keep the d8 Hit Dice and the armor restrictions, partially for Gamist reasons: I don't want Demon Slayers stepping on the Fighter's toes. I'm of the opinion that no class should upstage the Fighter in a regular, stand-up fight, except in certain limited circumstances. Also, the armor restriction is somewhat thematic. Dr. Van Helsing, Buffy Summers, Ash from the Evil Dead, Anita Blake, etc, are always depicted in fiction as wearing little to no armor. Even in Army of Darkness, Ash doesn't wear much armor. I'm sorely tempted to up the hit dice to d10, but I really think it would make the class too powerful.
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clavis123
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Post by clavis123 »

Fiffergrund wrote:
I like the class, except for the Obsessive trait.

It's one thing to require the class to follow a specific code, or match an alignment. It's another thing to require something so potentially self-defeating. I know the description says that the character must only fight if he or she stands a chance of winning, but how does the player know that?

If the player guesses, and the character dies, that sucks...especially when a smart player might have escaped to fight another day. And if a smart player guesses wrong (and there's no way to know how the dice are going to fall), then the CK can strip his abilities, when he was simply trying to be careful.

I know what you're getting at here, but personality traits like obsession should not be class features.

You're right, the Obsessive trait probably could be abused by a CK. Right now, I lean towards keeping it beacuse it's consistent with archetype of the Demon or Vampire Hunter in fiction. Van Helsing throws aside the practice of regular medicine to chase a Vampire. Faith Lehane got a sexual thrill from killing Vampires. Ash is a total screw-up at almost everything, but is a single-minded killing machine when it comes to Deadites. Almost never is the Demon Hunter a psychologically healthy, well-balanced person!
Daniel James Hanley
Creator of Ghastly Affair, "The Gothic Game of Romantic Horror".
Player's Manual Now Available on DriveThruRPG and Amazon
Reader discretion is advised.

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Post by Fiffergrund »

Maybe require a Wisdom check to resist the impulse if the player *really* thinks attacking would be a bad idea?

Just a thought.
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Post by serleran »

Or it could be the suicidal tendencies of the AD&D UA cavalier. Yeah!

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clavis123
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Post by clavis123 »

Fiffergrund wrote:
Maybe require a Wisdom check to resist the impulse if the player *really* thinks attacking would be a bad idea?

Just a thought.

Not a bad idea. It would keep the flavorful drawback, but avoid the player's feeling like they're are being railroaded.
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Post by Treebore »

Its easy, "The PC will fight to the death except when the player gives the CK a good reasoned explanation as to why they should run, when facing their "favored enemies".

Thats a quick write up, but it keeps the flavor, and tells the player they better have good reasons to give when they want their character to run. You may want to add some examples of what the CK would likely consider "good reasons" to run.

I think it covers all the bases.
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The Ruby Lord, Earl of the Society

Next Con I am attending: http://www.neoncon.com/

My House Rules: http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/viewtopic ... llordgames
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

Zebulon
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Post by Zebulon »

I would remove True Strike, Feat of Strength, and Iron will.

I would replace them with two abilities:

1) Detect Evil as a paladin, but focused on supernatural evil.

2) Demon-Slayer ability would give a +1 bonus to hit, damage, AC, and saves against undead, fiends, etc. This bonus would improve at 4th, 8th, and 12th level (for a total of +4). This bonus would also allow to strike creatures immune to non-magical weapons, and in this case, it would stack with an actual magical weapon. That is, if a 5th level demon-hunter can hit with a normal weapon a creature requiring +2 magic weapons to hit, thus, in using a +1 magic weapon he can hit a creature requiring +3 magic weapons to hit.

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