Church Hunter (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Drawn from faithful ranks of rangers and paladins, these hunters strike down the enemies of the church and other monstrous ilk. 6 5 Good Poor Good Good Prepared Divine Spellcasting Full
|“||Ah kick arse for da' Lord!||”|
|—Father McGruder, Human Church Hunter, Invasion of the Braindead Detail Report|
Drawn from the ranks of faithful rangers and focused paladins, these warriors of the gods are not here to act as a shining beacon of heroism, nor are they mere hunters. They are hunters specifically for those their patron would call their enemies. Undead and demon, aberration and man, no matter the threat they are there to match strength. They are hunters of monsters.
Becoming a Church Hunter
|Skills:||Any of the following Knowledges (Arcana, Dungeoneering, Local, Nature, Psionics, Religion, or The Planes) 8 ranks.|
|Special:||Either Favored Enemy or Smite Evil.|
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+2||Dual Casting, Smite Enemy, Specialized Class Progression, Weaponized Relic||+1 level of existing class|
|2nd||+2||+0||+3||+3||Aura of Purity, Quick Switch, Weaponized Relic||+1 level of existing class|
|3rd||+3||+1||+3||+3||Purify Weapon, Weaponized Relic||+1 level of existing class|
|4th||+4||+1||+4||+4||Divine Attunement, True Believer, Weaponized Relic||+1 level of existing class|
|5th||+5||+1||+4||+4||Sanctified Vestments, Weaponized Relic||+1 level of existing class|
|6th||+6||+2||+5||+5||Binding Defeat, Extend Progression, Hero Reborn, Weaponized Relic||+1 level of existing class|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level.)
All of the following are class features of the church hunter.
Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (but see Specialized Class Progression). If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Church Hunter, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Dual Casting: The church hunter often enters as a ranger or paladin (or both). When they enter this class they gain an effective ranger or paladin level of 4 + their church hunter class level. They may also choose to have both this and their original ranger or paladin casting and class abilities run off either Wisdom or Charisma. For example a paladin 5/church hunter 3 has the spellcasting of paladin 8 (from the class's normal spell progression) and the spellcasting of ranger 7.
Smite Enemy (Su): The church hunter smites not just evil, but of beings they have chosen to hunt. If they enters with Smite Evil, they gain the Favored Enemy class feature of a ranger of their smite-granting class level + their prestige class level. If they enter with Favored Enemy, they gain the Smite Evil class feature of a paladin of favored enemy-granting class level + their prestige class level.
Beyond the normal benefits of possessing both class features, your smite evil attempts now may apply to your favored enemies. Other class features also work off which enemies are your favored enemies.
Specialized Class Progression: The church hunter increases your effective level in both paladin and ranger for the purpose of determining caster level and the strength of class features. It does not grant any new class features.
Weaponized Relic: The church hunter is often found carrying all manner of trinkets, tools, and other useful gear blessed by the gods to aid them in their quest. During their preparation of spells, they may bless any one of their tools shown below with one of the following properties. For consumables such as holy water, up to 50 such consumables may be blessed. However the blessed items only have their enhanced effect when used by the church hunter. While blessed, the item is effectively a minor artifact and cannot be destroyed (with exception to consumables, which are consumed normally) nor can they be easily suppressed. However the supernatural uses listed below are still suppressed in an antimagic field. This blessing lasts until you next prepare spells. You can only bless one item to start, but each level you can bless another item with another function up to a maximum of 6 at 6th level. The saving throw for any abilities is 10 + 1/2 HD + your Wisdom or Charisma modifier, depending on what you chose for Dual Casting.
- Exorcist's Inscription (Su): Requires holy text or magical text. As a standard action with a range of touch you can grant a creature another save (if applicable) against any mind-affecting effect or possession. If it is the result of any of your favored enemies, they gain a +2 bonus on the saving throw. You may use this at will. You may also touch an extraplanar creature and banish them as per dismissal, but if they succeed on the saving throw they are immune to further attempts for 24 hours.
- Faithful Inscription (Su): Requires holy text or magical text. As a standard action you set the holy text in question orbiting your body. You gain a sanctuary effect against your favored enemies, and the effect is renewed against a favored enemy after 1 round as long as have not yet attacked them. For example when facing against a zombie and a skeleton, both favored enemies, you can attack the skeleton and still retain sanctuary against the zombie up until the point you attack the zombie. You may use this ability 3/day.
- Holy Firebomb (Ex): Requires alchemist's fire. When using alchemist fire, it now has a range increment of 30 ft and against your favored enemies it ignores fire resistance, and deals half damage to fire immune creatures. Add your highest mental ability modifier to the damage and splash damage (this does not stack with similar effects). It also leaves a burning puddle in its wake that deals the alchemist fire damage again 1 round after.
- Holy Water Storm (Su): Requires five (5) holy water. As a full attack action you can consume 5 vials of holy water and cause it to rain holy water in the area. For 1 minute in a 100 ft diameter cylinder 100 ft tall centered on you, it rains holy water dealing the holy water damage once each round, with a Reflex save for half. Rain reduces visibility ranges by half, resulting in a -4 penalty on Spot and Search checks. It has the same effect on flames, ranged weapon attacks, and Listen checks as severe wind.
- Project Holy Symbol (Su): Requires holy symbol. You can throw your holy symbol as a light throwing weapon with a range increment of 20 ft. It deals 1d8 points of divine damage with a 20/x2 critical, and you may choose to use your highest mental ability modifier for attack and damage. The holy symbol counts as magic and one alignment you possess, and deals double damage against creatures with the opposing subtype. It automatically benefits from the Returning enhancement. You may enhance your holy symbol as if it were a masterwork weapon.
- Purifying Torch (Ex): Requires torch. You can use a normal torch as a war torch, or improve a War Torch so that its fire damage ignores resistance and immunity only halves damage. You do not need a flammable liquid to use the Flame Breath function.
- Radiant Holy Symbol (Su): Requires holy symbol. Lifting your holy symbol in the air, you project a cone of light which illuminates a 60 ft cone in light and 120 ft in shadowy illumination. Any creatures listed as enemies (see Smite Enemy) are automatically shaken though this does not stack with other fear effects and must make a Will save. Each creature within the cone is affected according to its CR compared to your own on a failed save.
- Your CR −1 or above: The creature is unable to approach the church hunter, but may otherwise act normally.
- Your CR −2 to −3: The creature is staggered for 1 round, and is unable to approach the church hunter.
- Your CR −4 or less: The creature is Frightened for 1 round, and is staggered for 1 round and unable to approach the church hunter. This bypasses normal immunities.
- The cone lasts as long as you concentrate, and you can change its direction each round.
- Rosarius Protect (Su): Requires a rosary or other necklace worth 5 gp. As a standard action you can duplicate protective aura, or you can expend all of its energy at once as an immediate action against a single attack, but it collapses immediately after. You may use this 3/day.
- Sealing Strip (Su): Requires one (1) parchment. By inscribing words of sealing and placing it on the head of pinned or helpless favored enemies as a standard action you can render them inert and immobile. A creature subject to this must make a Will save or be rendered into a constant daze until the strip of paper is removed, or the creature takes at least 1 point of damage which destroys the strip. The strip loses power after 24 hours and must be renewed, provoking a new saving throw to break free.
- Sealing Wall (Su): Requires ten (10) parchment. As a standard action, sealing strips fly out and form a barrier which injures creatures with divine power. Treat this as wall of fire which deals divine damage instead of fire damage and only damages your favored enemies. In addition those that fail their saving throws are unable to move through the wall as it forms a solid passage. Fire damage disrupts the wall instead of cold damage, and the erase spell instantly dispels it. You may use this 3/day.
- Silver Rain of Heaven (Su): Requires silver dagger. You bless a silver dagger to produce copies of itself with the same action as drawing it, allowing you to throw endless phantom copies of the dagger in question. Copies of the dagger vanish after 1 round. As a full attack action you may throw up to 1d4+1 knives at your highest attack bonus, but they must all be targeted at different creatures.
- Sparkling Holy Water (Ex): Requires one (1) holy water. When using holy water, it now has a range increment of 30 ft, you add your highest mental ability modifier to damage and splash damage (this does not stack with similar effects), and holy water may now apply to any of your Favored Enemies. If the enemy normally would be affected by holy water, the damage is doubled.
- Stake Mastery (Ex): Requires stake or piton. You can use stakes as a throwing weapon with a range increment of 30 ft. You may also coup de grace at precision range (usually also 30 ft) and can coup de grace creatures normally immune to sneak attacks and critical hits. You can also use stakes in a pin to maintain a pin after you release by making a successful pin attempt and leaving the stake in the body. The stake can be removed with a successful grapple attempt against your previous pin result.
- Witching Hour (Su): Requires hourglass. As a standard action you can cause all favored enemies within 30 ft of yourself with CR equal or less than your character level to make a Will save, or be stuck in time as per temporal stasis for 1d4 rounds. This effect is powerful, and breaks the hourglass. Even with spares, you can only use this one 1/day.
Aura of Purity (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a church hunter is immune to charm, compulsion, and possession effects from any of their favored enemies. They are also immune to any spawn attempts from any creature, not merely their favored enemies, such as being turned into a wight. Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against them instead.
This ability functions while the church hunter is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.
Quick Switch: A 2nd level church hunter must juggle a great many items and tools. They gain Weapon Cycler as a bonus feat and it applies to any item, not merely weapons.
Purify Weapon (Su): As a standard action the 3rd level church hunter chooses one alignment not opposed to their own. They can then bless a weapon and have it count as bless weapon for the alignment of their choice. The effect lasts for 1 minute. They may also use this on items of opposing alignment and on cursed items or creatures. Opposed alignment items are suppressed for 1 minute as if in an antimagic field, and curses are also suppressed. Powerful curses, such as those that can only be healed by break enchantment or stronger, cannot be suppressed by this ability.
Divine Attunement: The 4th level church hunter is so accustomed to using items in their battle, they no longer need to worry about items of divine nature. They count as being a member of any divine spellcasting caster of their level for the purpose of class spell lists and magic item requirements. For example, they may cast from a staff with druid spells even if they are not a druid without a Use Magic Device check.
True Believer: A 4th level church hunter gains True BelieverCD as a bonus feat.
Binding Defeat (Su): Once per day, the 6th level church hunter can seal away an evil instead of killing it. Upon a finishing blow which would render the creature dead they instead banish them to a prison dimension in which they cannot move or act. Choose a non-magical item within Close range, and this item becomes the anchor. As long as this item is not destroyed, the creature remains bound but if the item is broken the creature will be released where they were defeated with at least 1 hp and minimum 1 in any ability scores they possessed (or the closest safe area it can appear).
These anchor items glow with abjuration magic with a caster level equal to the bound creature's CR.
Extend Progression: The progression of the church hunter's Dual Casting ability changes at 6th level, with their chosen ranger or paladin effective spellcasting level equaling each other. Thus if they cast as a 15th level paladin, they also cast as a 15th level ranger and vice versa.
Hero Reborn: The church hunter is nothing if not persistent. If the church hunter is slain they may curse their attacker, pronouncing that they shall return to defeat them. At that point the church hunter is subject to reincarnate 24 hours later, appearing randomly within 100 miles. They will continue to reincarnate until they defeat their killer or they are otherwise bound and unable to actually die. Church hunters reserve this ability for only the most important targets, for it may only be used one a year.
Playing a Church Hunter
Combat: The church hunter is a persistent attacker for those they have chosen to hunt, and their accuracy is unmatched. With two spellcasting progressions they have a great deal of minor utility.
Advancement: Paladin or ranger friendly classes are a must for the church hunter, or simply leveling more in paladin or ranger.
Resources: Often employed by churches as their secret assassins, the church hunter does the jobs paladins are often unable to do.
Church Hunters in the World
|“||Serve the lord with fear and rejoice with trembling! Kiss the son lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way when his wrath is kindled by a little!||”|
|—Anderson, Half-Troll Church Hunter|
NPC Reactions: Church hunters may be associated with religions that may be favorable, but their presence usually means nothing but trouble.
Church Hunter Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Religion can research church hunters to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Church hunters are either rangers with a love for smiting, or paladins with a love for hunting. And hunt and smite they do in unison.|
|15||Church hunters use a number of blessed tools, temporary minor artifacts which they can employ their cause and the ability to switch between these items at a moment's notice.|
|20||Strong church hunters can purify corruption from their favored enemies and seal away creatures into eternal solitude. And their persistence is sometimes so great they simply refuse to stay dead.|
|30||Those that reach this level of success can research specific church hunters, who they serve, why they serve, and what they hunt.|
|Article Balance||High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Good +|
|Class Ability||Prepared Divine Spellcasting +|
|Class Ability Progression||Full +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Poor +|
|Identifier||3.5e Prestige Class +|
|Minimum Level||5 +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Balance +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disable Device +, Escape Artist +, Gather Information +, Heal +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Open Lock +, Perform +, Profession +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Spellcraft +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble +, Use Magic Device + and Use Rope +|
|Skill Points||6 +|
|Summary||Drawn from faithful ranks of rangers and paladins, these hunters strike down the enemies of the church and other monstrous ilk. +|
|Title||Church Hunter +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|