I’m a big fan of the vigilante class and the dual identity mechanic, which, if you read a lot of our articles here at Necromancers of the Northwest, is probably not a very big secret. Well, one of the things that I thought when I was looking at the class was that a dual identity would be perfect for a socialite vampire—the kind that many players using our free book Liber Vampyr: Secrets of the Blood are likely to want to play. It seems only natural, then, that we should try to bring this vigilante technology to a new vampire base class, which is exactly what I did today. Without further ado, here is the night stalker.
New Base Class
Most assume that once one becomes a vampire, the transformation is instantaneous and permanent. But for some, vampirism is a recurring curse, which visits them each night, even though during the day they can walk amongst us, completely undetectable as any form of undead. These fiends live out dual lives, and may be active members of a community during the day, but drain the blood of the living at night. Some fight against the vampiric curse, while others embrace it, and others still attempt to harness it to do good in the world, aiming their night-time predations towards monsters whose loss can only strengthen the community. However they handle the vampiric curse that has been afflicted on them, they are known as night stalkers.
Role: Night stalkers are versatile combatants who gain access to a large number of vampiric powers and abilities, but also gain the ability to circumvent many vampiric weaknesses by transitioning between mortal and vampiric forms.
Hit Die: d8.
Starting Wealth: 5d6 x 10 (average 175 gp).
A night stalker’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
The following are the class features of the night stalker.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Night stalkers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields). Each night stalker is also proficient with a single exotic weapon of her choice.
Cruomancy (Su): For each level of night stalker that a character gains, her cruomancer level increases by 1. Additionally, as she gains additional levels of night stalker, the maximum number of blood points that she can have in her blood point pool increases, as indicated on Table: The Night Stalker.
Social Talent: Starting at 1st level, and every 2 levels thereafter, a night stalker gains a social talent. This functions identically to the vigilante class feature of the same name, and the night stalker has access to all of the vigilante class’s social talents, except for those that affect how he changes identities, or which give him new identities to change into (such as many guises or quick change). Additionally, the night stalker gains access to the following special social talents:
Blend Identities (Su): As an immediate action, by spending 1 blood point, the night stalker can choose to alter the way she is perceived by certain divination spells. She can cause any aspect of herself that changes from one identity to the other, which can be detected with divination spells, to reflect her other identity, instead of her current one (for example, a night stalker whose vampiric identity was lawful evil and whose mortal identity was lawful good could use this ability to appear to be undead to detect undead while in her mortal identity, or to appear to be good to detect good while in her vampiric identity).
Free Drinks (Ex): The night stalker’s celebrity grants her a +5 bonus on Diplomacy checks made to convince others to allow her to feed on them. If she has the great renown social talent, she can arrange to have 1 blood point’s worth of blood delivered to her discretely each day. If she has the incredible renown social talent, she can arrange to have 2 blood points’ worth of blood delivered to her discretely each day. A night stalker must be at least 5th level and have the celebrity perks social talent to select this talent.
Unrecognizable (Su): Despite the fact that the physical changes from the night stalker’s mortal form to her vampiric form are slight, it is supernaturally difficult to identify that the two are nearly identical. A creature that has seen the night stalker in each of her identities does not notice any similarities between them unless he succeeds on a Perception check (DC 25 + the night stalker’s class level + the night stalker’s Charisma modifier). The night stalker does not need to take any action to prevent herself from being recognized in this way. However, if a creature is presented with a reason to suspect that the two identities are both the same person, that creature gains a +10 bonus on Perception checks made to make this realization.
Vampiric Curse (Su): Each night stalker is afflicted with a vampiric curse, although some would consider it a gift. During the day, the night stalker is a fully normal, living, breathing member of her race, but once the sun goes down, she transforms into a horrific revenant. These two identities are referred to as her mortal and vampiric identities.
The night stalker begins each day at dawn in her mortal identity, and remains in that identity until nightfall. As nightfall occurs, the night stalker physically and mentally transforms into her vampiric identity over the course of 1 minute. This transformation costs the night stalker one blood point, and if she does not have any blood points in her blood point pool, she falls into a coma-like state until sunrise, gains no benefits for resting that day, and suffers 1 point of damage per class level she possesses. A night stalker who wishes to hide her vampiric curse must take pains to avoid scrutiny during the minute after night falls, when this transformation takes place.
While in her vampiric identity, the night stalker gains the revenant template (see Liber Vampyr: Secrets of the Blood, available for free in our downloads page). Because her revenant status is only temporary, she does not gain the blood dependence weakness, and because she transforms into her vampiric identity only at night, she effectively does not gain the sunlight vulnerability weakness, either. She determines her revenant weaknesses the first time she transforms, and retains the same weaknesses for each subsequent transformation. She may not choose grave dirt or greater sunlight vulnerability when determining her revenant weaknesses.
The transformation to her vampiric identity lasts until sunrise, at which point she returns to her mortal form over the course of one minute (and must again be careful to avoid being observed, if she wishes to maintain her secret). The transformation can also be interrupted prematurely if the night stalker is the subject of a remove curse spell (the caster level of the effect is equal to the night stalker’s class level + 5). Effects that could normally remove a curse without a caster level check fail to affect the night stalker’s transformation unless the caster succeeds on a caster level check. If the night stalker’s curse is successfully dispelled, she instantaneously reverts to her mortal identity, and does not return to her vampiric identity until the next sunset.
While in her mortal identity, the night stalker loses the revenant template, but still has access to her blood point pool and any cruomancy abilities she may possess, other than the bonus feats granted by the revenant template. However, any time she spends one or more blood points while in her mortal identity, she must spend one additional blood point, as her powers are more difficult to access in mortal form.
If the night stalker is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points while in her vampiric identity, she enters a deathlike state, as normal for a revenant. If she is not returned to consciousness before she returns to her mortal identity, then when she returns to her mortal identity she is unconscious but stable. If the night stalker dies in either identity and is later resurrected, she returns in her mortal identity, and resumes her normal schedule of transforming at the next sunset.
Despite being a single person, a night stalker’s dual nature allows her to have two alignments, one for each of her identities. When in an identity, she is treated as having that identity’s alignment for all spells, magic items, and abilities that rely on alignment. For the purpose of meeting a qualification for a feat, class, or any ability, she is eligible if either of her alignments meet the prerequisites, but if one of her identities does not qualify, she loses the benefits of that feat, class, or ability as long as she is in that identity. A night stalker’s vampiric identity usually has an evil alignment, although each identity can be any alignment. If a night stalker is the target of an effect that would change her alignment, it changes only the alignment of her current identity.
Any attempts to scry on or otherwise locate the night stalker work only if the night stalker is currently in the identity the creature is attempting to locate (or if the creature knows that the two identities are the same individual). Otherwise, the spell or effect has no effect, revealing nothing but darkness, as if the target were invalid or did not exist. Knowledge checks about one of the night stalker’s identities do not reveal information about the other, unless her true identity is revealed to the world at large.
Accomplished Grappler (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a night stalker treats her base attack bonus as being equal to her night stalker level for the purposes of determining her CMB and CMD during a grapple. Additionally, she never provokes attacks of opportunity for initiating a grapple.
Bonus Feats: At 2nd level, and every even-numbered level thereafter, a night stalker gains any one vampire feat of her choice. If she qualifies for the feat in one of her identities (typically her vampiric identity) but not the other, she can still take the feat, but only gains the benefits while in the identity that qualifies for it.
Sleepless (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a night stalker adapts to getting little, if any, sleep. The night stalker needs to sleep for only two hours each day in order to be fully rested, and gains a +4 racial bonus on saving throws made to resist sleep effects.
Blood Bond (Su): At 5th level, a night stalker learns to use the mystical link between a creature and its blood to gain greater power over creatures that she has fed upon recently, whose blood still flows in her veins. The night stalker gains a +4 bonus on Bluff, Intimidate, and Diplomacy checks made against any creature from whom she has gained at least 1 blood point in the last 24 hours. This bonus applies regardless of which identity the night stalker is currently in, and increases by 1 for each blood point she consumed from that creature beyond the first, to a maximum bonus of +8. This bonus is lost if the blood points gained from the creature are spent.
Force Transformation (Su): Beginning at 6th level, a night stalker can force herself to transform briefly from one identity to the other. As a swift action, by expending 1 blood point, she can transform from either her mortal identity to her vampiric identity, or vice versa. She can remain in the other identity for up to 10 minutes, but can end the effect at any time as a swift action. Note that if she is in her vampiric identity during the day, she is subject to the revenant’s sunlight weakness, as normal. The night stalker can use this ability once per day at 6th level, plus one additional time per day at 12th level and 18th level.
Vampiric Power (Su): Beginning at 7th level, the night stalker is more powerful while in her vampiric identity. She must choose a single physical ability score (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution). Once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. As long as she is in her vampiric identity, the chosen ability score increases by +2.
Bloody Possession (Su): At 11th level, a night stalker can use the bond of blood between herself and a creature she has recently fed upon in order to transfer her consciousness to that creature for a night. Whenever she changes to her vampiric identity, she may spend 5 blood points and mentally visualize a single humanoid creature that she gained at least 1 blood point from in the past 24 hours. If she does, her vampiric consciousness seeks out that individual, attempting to transform and control that creature’s body for that night, rather than the night stalker’s own body. This functions as possessionOA, except that its range increases to 1 mile per night stalker level, the duration lasts until the next time the night stalker leaves her vampiric identity, and the saving throw DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the night stalker’s class level + the night stalker’s Charisma modifier. Unlike possession, the night stalker cannot dismiss this effect.A dispel magic spell cast on the target can end this effect, as can any effect that would forcibly return the night stalker to her mortal identity. If the effect ends early, the night stalker awakens in her own body immediately, in her vampiric identity.
While affected by this ability, the target gains the revenant template and all the relevant powers and weaknesses, as though the target’s body were the night stalker’s normal body undergoing a transformation into her vampiric identity. Meanwhile, the night stalker’s actual body remains unaltered, although unconscious. While possessing a creature in this way, the night stalker does not have access to any blood in her body’s blood point pool, and must gain blood points in the target’s body if she wishes to spend any blood points. The maximum number of blood points she can have at any one time while in the target’s body is not changed from the amount she can have in her normal body. Any blood points remaining in her blood point pool when she returns to her normal body are lost, but she then regains access to the blood points in her body’s blood point pool.
The night stalker can use her force transformation class feature while using this ability. If she does, she remains in control of the target, but the target loses the revenant template for the duration of the ability.
Greater Vampiric Power (Su): At 15th level, the night stalker’s vampiric power grows. The bonus granted by her vampiric power class feature increases to +4. Additionally, she must choose one of the two remaining physical ability scores, which is increased by +2 as long as she is in her vampiric identity.
Bloody Revival (Su): Beginning at 17th level, if the night stalker dies, her consciousness can attempt to inhabit the body of a creature whose blood she recently consumed. The following sunset, she can choose a single creature whose blood she consumed in the past 24 hours, and attempt to possess that creature, as the bloody possession class feature, but without needing to spend blood points. If the possession is successful, it does not necessarily end at the next sunrise. Instead, the target is entitled to a secondary Will save at sunrise to attempt to end the effect. If he fails, the night stalker transforms into her mortal identity, but remains in the body of the possessed creature. Each sunrise and sunset, the target is entitled to a new Will save to end the effect. If the creature fails this saving throw a total of six times (three sunsets and three sunrises, including the initial save), their mind is completely subsumed by the night stalker, and their body physically transforms into a perfect replica of the night stalker’s. Effectively, the target dies and is replaced by the night stalker.
If the target succeeds on any of the Will saves to resist this effect, the night stalker’s spirit is cast out into the ether, moving on to the afterlife. The night stalker’s body can be returned to life while she is using this ability, but in order for the resurrection to function, she must willingly choose to abandon the target’s body and return to her own (in the same way that any target of a raise dead or similar spell must be willing to return).
Willful Transformation (Su): At 20th level, the night stalker can transform between her mortal and vampiric identities at will. She must spend 1 blood point each time she transforms, but can remain in each identity indefinitely. If she remains in her vampiric identity for 24 hours consecutively, she is subject to the revenant’s blood dependency weakness.