Welcome to Alien Week! For those of you who aren’t aware, we recently released a new book, called Cosmic Threats: A Bestiary of Alien Creatures. This tome contains 20 strange and bizarre creatures from throughout the stars, and serves as an aid in bringing a bit of the unusual to your game. You’ll get a much more detailed preview in this week’s Exotic Encounters, but right now, I have a new archetype for you.
You may have noticed that we’ve been pretty big on the classes from the Advanced Class Guide recently, and so it should come as no surprise that today’s archetype is also for one such class. Some, when faced with a book of 20 strange and unearthly life forms, would want to study them, and see what we can learn about them, and from them. Others would just want to make sure that they bag one of each. And that’s what today’s archetype for the slayer is all about: the trophy killer.
New Slayer Archetype
The Trophy Killer
Some enjoy nothing more than the thrill of the hunt, and the cat-and-mouse game of predator and prey. But for others, in order to continue getting enjoyment from the hunt, there must always be a new and exotic target. The trophy killer focuses on a single target at a time, and what he lacks in versatility, he more than makes up for in his ability to overcome the anatomical defenses of his exotic and otherworldly prey.
Zoologist (Ex): A trophy killer adds 1/2 his level (minimum 1) on all Knowledge checks made to identify monsters. Additionally, whenever he successfully identifies a monster, he learns one additional special ability, defense, or weakness that monster possesses than he normally would.
This ability replaces the track class feature. If desired, the trophy killer can gain the track class feature at a later time, instead of one of his normal slayer talents.
Focused Target (Ex): As a trophy killer gains levels, the bonuses that he gains from his studied target class feature increase normally. However, he does not gain the ability to maintain that class feature for multiple targets, as he normally would at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels.
This ability modifies the studied target class feature.
Study Tracks (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a trophy killer can study the tracks of a creature in order to gain the benefits of his studied target class feature against that creature, instead of having to study the creature directly. At the GM’s discretion, a trophy killer may be able to study something else related to the creature, such as its droppings, its nest, the site of one of its kills, and so on.
This ability replaces the slayer talent gained at 2nd level.
Overcome Defenses (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, if the trophy killer makes an attack against a creature for which he is currently gaining the benefits of his studied target class feature, if the target of the attack has damage reduction, that damage reduction is treated as 3 lower than it actually is (minimum 0). This applies even to damage reduction that normally cannot be overcome (such as DR/—). At 15th level, it is treated as 6 lower than it actually is, instead.
No Recovery (Ex): Beginning at 10th level, if the trophy killer damages a creature for which he is currently gaining the benefits of his studied target class feature, if the target of the attack has regeneration that can be overcome by any type of energy damage, damage of a certain alignment, or damage from a source made of a specific material, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the trophy killer’s slayer level + the trophy killer’s Intelligence modifier) or that regeneration ceases to function for 1 round. This ability has no effect on regeneration that cannot normally be overcome, or which must be overcome through exceptionally obscure means.
Anatomical Expert (Ex): At 20th level, the trophy killer is such an expert at unusual anatomy that, as long as he has studied a target, he can identify a weak spot to exploit, even where others claim it is impossible. For the purposes of any creature he is currently gaining his studied target class feature benefits against, the trophy killer can score critical hits and inflict precision-based damage, even if that creature would otherwise be immune to such things (such as because it has the fortification ability, or because it is an elemental).