Vigilante

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.27 (15 Votes)
The vigilante is the ultimate urban avenger. He lives to hunt down those that prey on the weak and defenseless of his city. Many vigilantes have experienced crime personally, having lost a loved one to the violence. He has no sympathy for thieves, murderers, and others who victimize people. Many vigilantes become so obsessed with avenging victims of crime that if consumes their entire lives, alienating them from normal social interactions. A vigilante considers such a sacrifice worthwhile and might not even notice his increasing emotional isolation. Others, however, may become adrenal junkies, seeking greater thrills as they put their lives in increasingly dangerous situations.

Vigilantes often start their careers a rogues, learning many of the same skills thieves employ in order to counter them. Others start out as rangers, learning to hunt in the wilds of an urban environment. Monks are particularly attracted to becoming vigilantes, honing their skills on the streets. Paladins serving gods of justice or vengeance could be interested in the vigilante path, as are thrill-seeking bards. Barbarians, clerics, and fighters rarely become vigilantes while wizards and sorcerers have little to gain from this prestige class. Of the classes in the Advanced Players Guide, inquisitors are the most likely to become vigilantes, especially if they find a covert need to seek out enemies of their faith. Alchemists are the least likely to take up this class.

Hit Die: d8

Requirements

  • Alignment: Any non-evil
  • Skills: Diplomacy 3 ranks, Disable Device 1 rank, Disguise 3 ranks, Intimidate 3 ranks, Knowledge (local) 5 ranks, Perception 1 rank, Sense Motive 5 ranks.
  • Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Class Skills

Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Dex), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level
: 6 + Int modifier.

Level Base Attack Fort Ref Will Special Abilities
1st +0 +0 +1 +1 Alter Ego, AC +1, Monk Damage
2nd +1 +1 +1 +1 Streetwise
3rd +2 +1 +2 +2 Smite Evil 1/day, First Contact
4th +3 +1 +2 +2 Abundant Step 1/day, AC +2
5th +3 +2 +3 +3 Sidekick
6th +4 +2 +3 +3 Smite Evil 2/day, AC +3
7th +5 +2 +4 +4 Aura of Courage
8th +6 +3 +4 +4 Abundant Step 3/day, AC +4
9th +6 +3 +5 +5 Second Contact
10th +7 +3 +5 +5 Avenging Terror, Abundant Step 4/day, AC +5

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Vigilantes gain no new proficiencies in weapons or armor.

Spells: A vigilante has the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells. To cast a vigilante spell, a vigilante must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + the spell’s level, so if he has a Charisma of 10 or lower, he cannot cast these spells. Bonus spells are based on Charisma, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the vigilante’s Cha modifier.

A vigilante’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A vigilante begins play knowing two 1st-level spells of his choice. At most new vigilante levels, he gains one or more new spells known as indicated on the table below. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a vigilante knows is not affected by his Charisma score.) Upon reaching 6th level, and at every even-numbered level after that, a vigilante can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. A vigilante doesn't have to prepare his spells in advance the way that a wizard does.

Spells Per DaySpells Known
Level1st2nd3rd4th1st2nd3rd4th
1st 1
- - - 2 - - -
2nd 2
-
- - 3 - - -
3rd 3
1
-
- 3 2 - -
4th 3
2
-
- 4 3 - -
5th 3
2
1
- 4 3 2 -
6th 3
3
1
-
4 4 3 -
7th 3
3
2
1
4 4 3 2
8th 3
3
3
1
4 4 4 3
9th 3
3
3
2
4 4 4 3
10th 3
3
3
3
4 4 4 4

Alter Ego (Ex): At 1st level, a vigilante adopts and alternative persona through which he operates. This persona usually involves wearing different clothing and possibly a mask which he can use to hide his identity. In many cases, the vigilante's alter ego may even pretend to have a radically different personality or mannerisms than his original identity. Speaking in a deep, raspy voice, however, is purely optional. While posing as his alter ego, the vigilante adds his class level to all Disguise and Intimidate checks. Furthermore, his alter ego grants the vigilante a level of confidence he may not normally possess, giving him a competence equal to ½ his class level on all Will saves while operating as his alter ego.

The vigilante many continue to adventure in his original identity. He may use any of his class abilities, except for the bonuses above, while operating in his original identity. However, using abilities associated with his alter ego carries a risk that his secret identity may be exposed. If the vigilante's true identity becomes known to another creature, he loses his Intimidate bonus against that creature.

AC Bonus (Ex): At the indicated levels, a vigilant gains the above dodge bonus to his armor class. He loses this dodge bonus if he wear heavy or medium armor or carries a heavy or medium load.

Monk Damage: When a vigilante makes an unarmed attack, he does an amount of damage as if he had a number of levels in the monk class equal to his class level. If the vigilante has levels in the monk class, the levels stack to determine the amount of damage his strikes make. The levels do not stack, however, for any other monk class ability such as flurry of blows.

Streetwise (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a vigilante becomes one with the urban environment. He gains a +2 bonus on Initiative checks as well as a +2 on all Knowledge (local), Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks while in an urban environment. He can also move through a city without level any identifiable trail, though he may leave one if he so chooses. If a vigilante has selected urban as a favored terrain in another class such as Ranger, the bonuses stack.

Smite Evil (Su): Starting at 3rd level, a vigilante gains the ability to smite evil as a paladin. He can use this ability once per day. He adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to his melee attack roll and deals an extra 1 point of damage per vigilante level.  A vigilante can use this ability twice per day at 6th level and three times per day at 9th level.

Contact: At 3rd level, a vigilante gains a contact who can provide one favor each week for the vigilante. A contact is an NPC that may be a mid to high ranking government official, a guild master, high priest, or a member of some other organization that is capable providing material support to the vigilante's cause. The contact will never do anything that will put his or her life or position within the organization a risk, but the favor could be any of the following:
  • Casting of a spell (arcane or divine) of up to 4th level.
  • Loan of equipment (including magic items) of a value of up to 1,000 gp per vigilante class level.
  • Loaning the service of hirelings with a total number of hit dice equal to the vigilante's total hit dice.
  • Providing information. Treat as if the contact made a roll of 20 on a single Knowledge check.
The player should work with the GM to create the exact nature of favors a particular contact can give the vigilante. For example, if the contact is a cleric of a local church, he would not be able to cast arcane spells. An aristocrat, on the other hand, may have more access to information, hirelings, and equipment, but would not be able to cast any spells. Also, a contact cannot make any Knowledge checks untrained. The contact will always have three fewer hit dice than the vigilante.

At 9th level, the vigilante gain an additional contact.

Abundant Step (Su)
: At 4th level, a vigilante can slip between dimensions as if using the spell dimension door with a caster level equal to his class level. Using this ability is a move action. He can use this ability 1/day. At 6th, 8th, and 10th level, he gains an additional use per day.

Sidekick: At 5th level, the vigilante gains a cohort as if he had the Leadership feat. A sidekick, however, is even better at supporting the vigilante than an ordinary cohort. If the sidekick uses the aid another action to assist the vigilante in a skill check or combat action, the vigilante receives a +4 bonus instead of the normal +2 bonus. If the vigilante and the sidekick are flanking the same enemy, both receive a +4 bonus on attack rolls instead of the normal +2. If the vigilante already has a cohort, he may designate that cohort his sidekick and gain the above bonuses.

Aura of Courage (Su): At 7th level, a vigilante is immune to all fear effects, magical or otherwise. All allies within 10 feet of the vigilante gain a +4 bonus on saves vs. fear effects. If the vigilante is unconscious or dead, however, his allies lose this benefit.

Avenging Terror (Su)
: At 10th level, the vigilante gains the ability to strike terror into the superstitious and cowardly hearts of criminals. While in his alter ego, he produces an aura of fear with a radius of 60 feet. Any enemy within this radius must make a Will save of a DC equal to 20 + the vigilante's Charisma modifier or become panicked for 1d6 rounds. If an enemy makes a successful save, he is immune to this ability for the next 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting, fear ability.

Vigilante Spell List

1st Level

Alarm
Animate Rope
Cause Fear
Comprehend Languages
Detect Evil
Detect Magic
Detect Secret Doors
Disguise Self
Expeditious Retreat
Feather Fall
Ghost Sound
Grease
Identify
Jump
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Magic Weapons
Obscure Object
Read Magic
Remove Fear
Resistance
Shield
Silent Image
Spider Climb
Undetectable Alignment
Ventriloquism

2nd Level

Alter Self
Blindness/Deafness
Blur
Cat’s Grace
Darkness
Detect Thoughts
Eagle’s Splendor
Fog Cloud
Fox’s Cunning
Hypnotic Pattern
Invisibility
Levitate
Locate Object
Minor Image
Mirror Image
Misdirection
Pyrotechnics
Rope Trick
Scare
See Invisibility
Silence
Tongues
Whispering Wind

3rd Level

Blink
Clairaudience/Clairvoyance
Dispel Magic
Displacement
Fear
Gaseous Form
Glibness
Greater Magic Weapon
Haste
Invisibility Sphere
Keen Edge
Major Image
Remove Curse
Scrying
Sculpt Sound
Shrink Item
Slow

4th Level

Arcane Eye
Break Enchantment
Detect Scrying
Dimensional Anchor
Fear
Freedom of Movement
Greater Invisibility
Hallucinatory Terrain
Legend Lore
Locate Creature
Rainbow Pattern
Scrying
Zone of Silence

Author's Note: Wizards of the Coast created a vigilante prestige class for Complete Adventurer. The concept was basically Batman for D&D. I thought it was an interesting concept but poorly executed. So, I thoought I'd try my hand at one. This class is obviously intended for an urban campaign, particularly one focused on battling criminals. So, if you've thought a fantasy version of Batman or Zorro, let me know what you think.

Additional Ratings
Balance:
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.38 (13 Votes)
Utility:
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.46 (13 Votes)
Clarity:
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.83 (12 Votes)