Dragon slaying is a pretty common, and yet, at the same time, prestigious, thing for an adventurer to be able to claim. If there’s one class in the Advanced Class Guide that lends itself to a dedicated and professional dragonslayer, it seems to me like it’s the slayer, especially given that the ranger is one of its parent classes. As it turns out, that’s exactly what today’s Best in Class is all about.
New Slayer Archetype
Some slayers choose to specialize in the type of prey that they stalk, and the most daring and ambitious of these slayers choose to focus on the most dangerous types of creatures they can: dragons. A dragonslayer is more effective when fighting dragons, and learns special techniques to help him avoid some of the dragon’s most dangerous abilities, including dodging breath weapons and negating their ability to fly.
Targeted Focus (Ex): Unlike most slayers, a dragonslayer pours all of his focus into a single target. At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the bonuses on weapon attack and damage rolls, as well as the bonus to slayer ability DCs against a studied target increase by 1, as normal, but the slayer does not gain the ability to maintain his studied target bonuses against an additional target.
This ability modifies the studied target class feature.
Slayer Talents: A dragonslayer gains access to the following slayer talents, which can be taken instead of the slayer talents available to all slayers.
Dragonslayer’s Sneak Attack (Ex): The dragonslayer’s sneak attack is more effective against dragons. When the dragonslayer successfully uses sneak attack against a creature of the dragon type, he rolls d10s, instead of d6s, to determine his sneak attack damage (for example, an 18th-level dragonslayer would roll 6d10 instead of 6d6, while a 12th-level dragonslayer would roll 4d10 instead of 4d6, and so on.
Looks Like A Dragon To Me (Ex): The dragonslayer is able to apply the benefits that he gains against dragons to a variety of dragon-like creatures. This includes humanoids with the reptilian subtype, and, at the GM’s discretion, animals, magical beasts, and monstrous humanoids that are particularly reptilian or draconic in nature (such as giant lizards and hydras). The dragonslayer treats these creatures as dragons for the purposes of any class features, feats, or magic items that affect dragons differently than other creatures.
Enemy of Dragons (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, a dragonslayer becomes particularly skilled at fighting dragons. This functions as the ranger’s favored enemy class feature, except that the dragonslayer must choose dragon. At 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, the bonuses he gains against dragons increase by +2, but he does not select an additional type of creature as a favored enemy.
Evasion (Ex): Beginning at 10th level, a dragonslayer is adept at dodging magical and unusual attacks, such as the breath weapons of dragons. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the dragonslayer is wearing light armor, medium armor, or no armor. A helpless dragonslayer does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Advanced Slayer Talents: A dragonslayer gains access to the following advanced slayer talents, which can be taken instead of the advanced slayer talents available to all slayers.
Energy Resilience (Ex): The dragonslayer’s body is able to adapt to extremes of energy, granting him some resistance to ongoing and future sources of the same type of energy damage. Whenever the dragonslayer suffers 10 or more points of acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, he gains resist 5 to the type of energy that damaged him. If he suffers 10 or more points of the same type of energy while already benefitting from this energy resistance, the energy resistance doubles (to a maximum of resist 40 if he is damaged four separate times). If the dragonslayer goes for 1 minute without suffering energy damage of that type, he loses this energy resistance.
Grounding Strike (Ex): By 15th level, a dragonslayer is an expert at striking flying creatures in ways that temporarily cripple their wings, rendering them unable to fly. As a standard action, the dragonslayer can make a single attack against a creature that can fly. If the attack hits, it deals damage as normal, and the target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the dragonslayer’s level + the dragonslayer’s Intelligence modifier + 1 for every 10 points of damage dealt by the attack) or lose the ability to fly.
A creature that loses its ability to fly in this way that is currently in the air slowly descends to the ground at a rate of 60 feet per round. If it takes the creature more than one round to reach the ground in this way, it can glide on its turn as a move action, allowing it to move up to half its fly speed horizontally. It can also hasten its descent as a move action by moving downward up to its full fly speed. Once the creature reaches the ground, it does not suffer fall damage, and it loses its ability to fly completely, and cannot glide in this fashion: if it falls again while still affected by this ability, it falls at the normal speed and takes fall damage as appropriate.
The creature remains unable to fly for 1 hour. Creatures that fly via magical means, rather than with wings or similar appendages, are unaffected by this ability. The dragonslayer can use this ability 3 times per day.
Dragonslayer’s Taunt (Ex): By 20th level, a dragonslayer learns how to turn his foes’ vanity and pride against them with clever taunts. As a move action, the dragonslayer can direct a taunt at a single living creature within 60 feet. The target must succeed on a Will save (DC 20 + the dragonslayer’s Charisma modifier) or be compelled to move towards the dragonslayer and make melee attacks against him.
If there are dangerous obstacles between the dragonslayer and the target, the target is not forced to pass through them, but it must take reasonable steps to go around or otherwise reach the dragonslayer. The compulsion lasts for one minute, or until the creature successfully damages the dragonslayer with a melee attack, whichever comes first.
The dragonslayer can use this ability once per day.