Slayers are kind of a cool mix of stealth and combat skills, making the class ideal for playing as a stealth/infiltration-style hero. Personally I’ve always liked the idea of a stealth commando in computer games and movies. One of my favorite parts of those kinds of games is avoiding killing when possible, and usually these games give you a lot of options for doing so, whether it’s simply sneaking past enemies, persuading your way out of trouble, or opening up with the inevitably superior nonlethal takedown weapons. The slayer, however, is poorly equipped for the nonviolent approach, and so today’s new archetype is meant for the stealth infiltrators who would rather not leave a trail of bodies in their wake.
New Slayer Archetype
Shadow commandos are slayers (though they despise the term) who have dedicated their skills to accomplishing their goals with as few casualties as possible. Extremely gifted in stealth, coordination, and evasion, when all goes well, a shadow commando’s presence goes entirely unnoticed. That’s not to say shadow commandos are not exceptional combatants, and each is trained in special skills to subdue their foes, killing only when absolutely necessary.
Infiltration Specialist (Ex): A shadow commando adds 1/2 his level (minimum 1) to Stealth checks made while he is being observed.
This ability replaces the track class feature.
Stealth Coordination (Ex): At 2nd level, a shadow commando is able to direct his allies to follow his lead while attempting to go unseen. Allies within 30 feet of the shadow commando gain the benefit of the shadow commando’s infiltration specialist class feature.
This ability replaces the slayer talent gained at 2nd level.
Nonlethal Takedown (Ex): At 3rd level, a shadow commando can strike unseen in order to cripple or take down his foes. If the shadow commando attacks the target of his studied combat while unobserved by that target, he may choose to have the attack deal nonlethal damage. If he does, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the shadow commando’s level + the shadow commando’s Intelligence modifier) or be staggered for 1d6 rounds. At 6th level, the shadow commando may choose to have the target become dazed for 1d6 rounds, instead. At 9th level, the shadow commando may choose to have the target become stunned for 1d4 rounds, instead. At 12th level, the shadow commando may choose to have the target become paralyzed for 1 round, instead. At 15th level, the shadow commando may choose to have the target fall unconscious until awakened, instead. At 18th level, the shadow commando may choose to have the target suffer an additional amount of nonlethal damage equal to her maximum hit points, instead. Additionally, the shadow commando never suffers a penalty to attack rolls for choosing to deal nonlethal damage.
At 5th level, the shadow commando can attempt a nonlethal takedown against the target of his studied combat if she is denied her dexterity bonus to AC. He may only make one such attack against that creature each day. At 10th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, he may make an additional nonlethal take down against each target of his studied combat.
This ability replaces the sneak attack class feature.
Stealthy Armor (Ex): At 10th level, a shadow commando has mastered the art of altering armor to be less cumbersome for stealth. By spending 1 hour and 100 gp per point of armor check penalty a suit of armor possesses, a shadow commando can modify a suit of armor to be stealthier, eliminating its armor check penalty to Stealth checks. The armor’s armor check penalty still applies normally for all other skills. The armor loses this benefit if it ever gains the broken condition.
This ability replaces the slayer talent gained at 10th level.
Fast Stealth (Ex): At 11th level, a shadow commando suffers no penalty for moving at full speed while using the Stealth skill, and suffers only 1/2 the normal penalty for using Stealth while running (this effect is cumulative with other effects that reduce the penalty of Stealth for running, and is applied after any other effects, rounding down).
This ability replaces the swift tracker class feature.
Quarry (Ex): At 14th level, a shadow commando gains the quarry ability as normal; however, if his quarry is knocked unconscious or otherwise eliminated from an encounter, he may select a new quarry after a period of 1 minute has passed. At 17th level, he need can immediately designate a new quarry if his quarry is knocked unconscious or otherwise taken out of an encounter.
This ability modifies the quarry class feature.
Shadow Striker (Ex): At 20th level, a shadow commando can dispatch his foes with the greatest of ease, rendering them unconscious and helpless before his fury. Any attack a shadow commando makes against the target of his studied combat is considered a nonlethal takedown, even if the target is aware of him.
This ability replaces the master slayer class feature.