There are a lot of people who benefit from having two identities. While the vigilante class was obviously intended largely for superheroes and other vigilantes that we would consider to be, for the most part, good guys, there are other types of vigilantes, too, which sometimes remind us why vigilantism is frowned on outside of comic books and movies.
Today’s archetype presents a vigilante drawn from slasher films, cutting a bloody streak of vengeance with a knife, extracting the ultimate price from those who find themselves on his short list, regardless of whether their crimes truly deserve death or not. While similar in some ways to the serial killer archetype, slashers focus more on immediate and bloody frenzies of death than on long cat-and-mouse games with detectives.
New Vigilante Archetype
Just like other vigilantes, a slasher dons his vigilante identity in order to allow him to lash out at those he perceives as corrupt, and who he feels deserve a punishment that society has spared them from. But whereas most vigilantes turn against oppressive tyrants or unscrupulous criminals, slashers often focus on more personal slights, and the bloody vengeance they wreak is often considered, by the complacent sheep that make up society at large, to be too violent a response to the often petty failings of their victims. To slashers, however, their victims are at least as deserving of their particular brand of bloody retribution as anyone else.
Malice (Ex): More than just donning a mask, a slasher in his vigilante identity is an instrument of malice and vengeance, which he uses to fuel his brutal and deadly attacks. At the start of each day, a slasher gains a number of malice points equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1). His malice goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than his Charisma modifier (minimum 1). A slasher can spend malice to use a variety of class features, and regains malice in the following ways.
Killing Blow with a Light Piercing or Slashing Melee Weapon: When the slasher reduces an intelligent creature (one with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher) to 0 or fewer hit points with a light piercing or slashing melee weapon attack while in combat, he regains 1 malice point. Destroying an unattended object, reducing a helpless or unaware creature to 0 or fewer hit points, or reducing a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the slasher’s character level to 0 or fewer hit points doesn’t restore any malice.
Panic an Intelligent Creature: When the slasher causes an intelligent creature (one with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher) to become panicked, or suffer a more severe fear effect, he regains 1 malice point. If the creature has fewer Hit Dice than half the slasher’s character level, or is a willing accomplice in being frightened in this way, no malice is restored.
Beginning at 1st level, a slasher can accomplish any of the following effects by spending malice points.
Slasher’s Grace: As an immediate action, a slasher can spend one malice point in order to gain his choice of a dodge bonus to AC or a competence bonus on saving throws. In either case, the bonus is equal to his Charisma modifier, and lasts until the beginning of his next turn.
Slasher’s Speed: As a swift action, a slasher can spend one malice point in order to increase his movement speed by 30 feet until the beginning of his next turn.
Slasher’s Strike: As a swift action, a slasher can spend one malice point in order to cause all melee attacks he makes against foes who are unaware of his presence, who consider him an ally, or who are made flat-footed by his startling appearance class feature to deal an extra 1d8 points of precision damage. This extra damage increases by 1d8 at 3rd level and every 2 vigilante levels thereafter. This damage also applies to targets that the slasher is flanking, or that are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC, but in these cases the damage dice are reduced to d6s. This bonus damage applies to all attacks the slasher makes until the beginning of his next turn.
This ability replaces the vigilante specialization class feature. However, a slasher counts as having the stalker specialization for the purposes of qualifying for vigilante talents and feats. A character can have both the slasher and serial killer archetypes, even though the serial killer archetype alters the vigilante specialization class feature. In this case, the alterations to that class feature granted by the serial killer archetype are also replaced by this ability.
Social Talents: A slasher can select from any of the following social talents, in addition to general social talents.
Bestow Identity: By performing a 10 minute ritual, the slasher can bestow his vigilante identity on another creature. That creature then gains the slasher’s vigilante identity, and can change between her normal identity and the slasher’s vigilante identity as though she had the dual identity class feature. The slasher can revoke his identity from that creature as a full-round action, regardless of range, and cannot switch to his vigilante identity until he has done so. Note that if the vigilante identity requires a particular appearance (such as a mask, hood, or other identifying or face-concealing feature), an appropriate copy of the necessary clothing must be provided to the creature gaining the identity, and that creature may still be able to pose as the slasher’s vigilante identity using those items even after the identity has been revoked (however, the creature will not gain the benefits of the dual identity class feature, such as the protections against scrying).
Confidant (Ex): The slasher can use his social identity to learn important facts about a potential victim before returning later in his vigilante identity. If he spends at least 1 hour interacting with a character in a social setting, he can attempt a DC 20 Sense Motive check. If he succeeds, he gains the ability to later reroll any one failed skill check made against the target (including, but not limited to, a Bluff check to deceive or feint the target, an Intimidate check to demoralize them, a Sleight of Hand or Stealth check to avoid their notice, and so on), or a failed attack roll made against the target. For every 10 by which the check exceeds 20, the slasher gains an additional reroll. If the slasher fails to use these rerolls before 1 week has passed, the rerolls are lost and he must make a new Sense Motive check to gain a new set of rerolls. A slasher can’t gain information about a person in this way more than once per week.
Lethal Weapon (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a slasher is an expert at wielding light slashing and piercing melee weapons. While wielding such a weapon, he may choose to have it deal 1d6 points of damage, instead of the normal damage dice for a weapon of its type (he still adds his Strength bonus, and any other bonuses to his damage roll, as normal). At 5th level, he may choose to have it deal 1d8 points of damage; at 10th level, he may choose to have it deal 1d10 points of damage; at 15th level, he may choose to have it deal 2d6 points of damage; and at 20th level, he may choose to have it deal 2d8 points of damage.
This ability replaces the vigilante talent gained at 2nd level.
Slasher Talents: A slasher can select from any of the following vigilante talents, in addition to general vigilante talents.
Right Behind You (Sp): As a swift action, the slasher can expend 1 malice point to teleport to an unoccupied square within 200 feet. The slasher must have line of sight and line of effect to the destination, and the destination must be adjacent to an intelligent creature that has the shaken, frightened, or panicked condition, or is under the effects of another fear effect. Additionally, if the slasher travels at least 40 feet when using this ability, if he also uses his slasher’s strike against the shaken, frightened, or panicked creature he arrived next to on the same turn, that creature is considered to be unaware of the slasher for the purposes of determining the damage dealt by the slasher’s strike ability.
True Death (Su): Whenever the slasher kills a creature, he can spend 3 rounds violently stabbing and slashing that creature’s corpse. This not only renders the body unsuitable for spells such as raise dead and speak with dead, but also damages the creature’s soul, and makes it difficult for them to be returned to life by other means. Any attempt to resurrect the slain creature (including reincarnate) fails unless the caster succeeds on a caster level check (DC 15 + the slasher’s vigilante level).
Bleeding Slash (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, whenever a slasher hits a creature with a melee attack made with a light piercing or slashing weapon, he can spend 1 malice point in order to inflict 1d6 points of bleed damage to the target. Additionally, the target suffers a −4 penalty on saving throws made to resist fear effects (and the DC to demoralize the creature with Intimidate is reduced by 4) for as long as she continues to bleed. At 12th level, and every four levels thereafter, the amount of bleed damage increases by 1d6 (to a maximum of 4d6 at 20th level).
This ability replaces the vigilante talent gained at 8th level.