The Demon Hunter

witch_hunter_by_igorkieryluk-d7fk4i6By Darren W. Peace @ Icon Magazine Issue 1

Demon hunters are both cursed and blessed, powerful enemies of eldritch and nether forces. They are host and warden to a dangerous entity that is bonded to the hunter in such a way, both lives are tied together for eternity.

It’s a high calling, and a dangerous one. Those who walk the path of the demon hunter are destined for greatness, but the cost may well be too high to pay. That demon lord wants out and he knows that if the hunter dies, he dies too.

It does not mean that the demon lord can’t do his level best to make their relationship a conflicted one, full of potential incidents that harm and hinder the demon hunter’s friends and loved ones.

OVERVIEW

Play Style: The demon hunter is part fighter, part supernatural hunter and investigator battling the darkness made manifest as demon, or subtly hidden in the hearts of men. The demon hunter is designed to be simple enough to play with nothing to really keep track of. Their combat style is fairly acrobatic and they can use their bond with the demon to accomplish feats of incredible strength and prowess. Many of their talents draw from the demon within, or the weapon they use. Some demon hunters have a strong affinity with shadow animals, spirits bound to them (it could have been a beloved pet or a creature they hunted for food such as a stag), they can use this spirit to aid them in combat as well as gaining temporary backgrounds as long as the spirit is manifest.

Ability Scores: Dexterity is the order of the day here. Then Strength and finally Con or Intelligence. Demon hunters gain a +2 class bonus to either Dex or Strength as long as it isn’t the same ability you increase with your +2 racial bonus.

Races: Amarra is a world full of humans, there are no elves or dwarves in the setting. Of course since this has been designed to use elsewhere, humans, elves, dwarves and many other races often find work as a demon hunter for the mysterious Order Noctis.

Backgrounds: Lone survivor, dedicated hunter, escaped killer, redeemed mercenary, disillusioned nobility, errant villager, enamoured follower, shadow stalker, acrobatic warrior, demon repository, historian, arcane specialist, occultist.

Icons: The Crusader, the Archmage (since demon hunters know that magic exists) and any good aligned icon make solid bedfellows for the demon hunter. They definitely have a sour relationship with the Diabolist, unless of course by luck you’re playing in a game where she needs some errant followers put down.

GEAR

Demon hunters dress in light armour, they never take heavy armour since it impedes their mobility and that’s one key feature of the class. They tend to prefer short melee weapons, some ranged weapons like crossbows, bows and hand crossbows also find favour with the class. Your average demon hunter has a couple of melee options, at least one ranged and perhaps a brace of throwing knives. They also have a bone pendant given to them by the Order Noctis. They usually have 20-40gp in their pockets, or if you prefer 1d8x10gp for a randomised option representing a small sliver of their pay for dealing with rogue demons previously.

Basic Attacks

Melee Attack
At-Will
Target: One enemy
Attack: Dexterity or Strength + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage
Miss: Damage equal to your level

Ranged Attack
At-Will
Target: One enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage
Miss: Damage equal to your level

Armour
Demon hunters prefer leather armour, their mobility is not restricted and they use the demon’s other powers to augment their defences in combat.

Demon Hunter Armor and AC
Type                    Base AC              Atk Penalty

None                     11                           –
Light                     12                          
Heavy                   13                           -2
Shield                   +1                           -1

Weapons

Demon hunters are trained to use swords, crossbows, hand crossbows and if your world supports them, firearms too. They like short swords, long swords and stay away from two-handed weapons unless there’s no other weapon to hand. It’s the supernatural essence that makes them so deadly, since they can channel the demon’s own power into their weapons and cause terrible wounds to human and demon alike.

Demon Hunter Melee Weapons

One-Handed Two-Handed
Small 1d8 knife or dagger 1d6 club or hammer
Light or Simple 1d8 shortsword or long knife 1d4 polearm or spear
Heavy or Martial 1d8 longsword, scimitar 1d10 (-2 attack) greatsword

Demon Hunter Ranged Weapons

One-Handed Crossbow Bow
Small 1d8 knife or dagger 1d4 hand crossbow ––
Light or Simple 1d6 short sword or long knife 1d6 light crossbow 1d6 shortbow
Heavy Martial 1d8 heavy crossbow 1d8 longbow

DEMON HUNTER STATS

Ability Bonus +2 Dexterity or Strength (different from racial bonus)
Initiative DEX mod + Level
Armor Class (light armor) 12 + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Physical Defense 12 + middle mod of Str/Con/Dex + Level
Mental Defense 11 + middle mod of Int/Wis/Cha + Level
Hit Points (7 + Con mod) x Level modifier (see level progression chart)
Recoveries 8
Recovery Dice 1d8 x level + Con mod
Backgrounds 8 points, max 5 in any one background
Icon Relationships 3 points
Talents 3
Feat 1 per level

DEMON HUNTER LEVEL PROGRESSION

Demon Hunter Level Total Hit Points Total Number of Feats Number of Talents Known Level-up Ability Bonuses Damage bonus from Ability Score
Level 1 (7 + CON mod) x 3 1 adventurer 3 Ability modifier
Level 2 (7 + CON mod) x 4 2 adventurer 3 Ability modifier
Level 3 (7 + CON mod) x 5 3 adventurer 3 Ability modifier
Level 4 (7 + CON mod) x 6 4 adventurer 3 +1 to 3 abilities Ability modifier
Level 5 (7 + CON mod) x 8 4 adventurer

1 champion

4 2 x ability modifier
Level 6 (7 + CON mod) x 10 4 adventurer

2 champion

4 2 x ability modifier
Level 7 (7 + CON mod) x 12 4 adventurer

3 champion

4 +1 to 3 abilities 2 x ability modifier
Level 8 (7 + CON mod) x 16 4 adventurer

3 champion

1 epic

5 3 x ability modifier
Level 9 (7 + CON mod) x 20 4 adventurer

3 champion

1 epic

5 3 x ability modifier
Level 10 (7 + CON mod) x 24 4 adventurer

3 champion

1 epic

5 +1 to 3 abilities 3 x ability modifier

CLASS FEATURES

DEMON BOUND

Through arcane processes and ritual, the demon hunter is bound to a demon. This demon becomes their reluctant ally and tries its level best to keep them alive. A demon hunter that’s reduced to 0HP is KO’d. A demon hunter that’s reduced to below 0HP only needs to roll 6+ to survive a death save. If they fail, then obviously the demon’s had enough of life too and just wants to die along with their warden/keeper.

The demon bond also allows the demon hunter to call upon the demon to imbue their weapon with magical energies, this grows in power with the demon hunter’s level.

2nd to 4th level        +1d4 damage
5th to 8th level        +1d8 damage
9th to 10th level       +1d10 damage

DEMON EYES

The bond with the demon gives the demon hunter the power to see the real world for what it is, a feeble attempt to conceal the true world below it. With their altered eyesight (manifesting as a physical change to their eyes – be creative with this) they can perceive demons hidden in plain sight, possessed people and other secrets of the demon world.

Adventurer Feat: You gain +1 to any roll used to determine demonic influences in the mortal world using one of your backgrounds.
Champion Feat: You gain the power to reveal a demon in their true form for the world to see, just by looking at it and concentrating for a round.
Epic Feat: Once per battle you can use your own demonic prisoner to inflict damage to another demon, you just look that sucker in the eye and whisper its true name. Don’t know the true name, well, the eyes are the windows to the soul…and your prisoner is happy to share. The offending targeted demon takes 1d10 damage just from your glare.

DEMONIC FURY

The demon inside you is a powerful force, it tries to exert its influence over you time and time again. This manifests in combat as a demonic fury, the more you take damage, the angrier that demon inside you gets. How dare petty things hurt the prison and try and kill both of you. It won’t stand for it, so it begins to imbue the demon hunter with more rage. When your demon hunter is staggered the crit range expands by 2 points.

Adventurer Feat: Your crit range is now expanded by 3 points.
Champion Feat: You gain a +1d4 damage.
Epic Feat: You gain a free recovery once per battle and can regenerate HP.

CLASS TALENTS

(Note: You can only use one talent per round, because combining talents would be extremely bad for balance)

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FLURRY OF BOLTS/ARROWS

The demon hunter can load/reload and fire their ranged weapon with supernatural speed, with this talent. They unleash a torrent of ranged attacks that allows them to continue to fire the bow/crossbow or throw a throwing axe/dagger until they either run out of ammo or they fail to roll a natural 16+ – this powerful attack can be triggered once per battle.

Adventurer Feat: Once per battle gain a single re-roll of a missed attack.
Champion Feat: Flurry no longer consumes ammunition as the demon provides magical bolts/arrows.
Epic Feat: The number required to extend the flurry is now 15+

POWER OF THE DEMON

Once per battle you gain extra Hit Points as the demon’s power surges within you, these Hit Points are further bolstered by the following feats. Feel free to describe this power in whatever cool way you want. You gain d4 + CON mod HP, these Hit Points are lost after

Adventurer Feat: The dice becomes a d6.
Champion Feat: The dice becomes a d8
Epic Feat: The dice becomes a d10

STORM OF POWER

The power of the demon surges from you, pick a target, make a basic ranged attack +2 and let rip with demonic energies unleashed. The attack affects 1d3 targets including the original target of the attack – roll vs. AC: Damage is 2d8 + Level.

Adventurer Feat: Damage becomes 3d8 + Level
Champion Feat: Area effect becomes 1d6 targets
Epic Feat: Roll vs. MD

ONE WITH THE SHADOWS

The demon hunter becomes like a shadow, hard to detect and even harder to stop. The demon hunter can enter any shadow close to you, as a move action, and appear from another on the same elevation at far range and line of sight, like a vengeful wraith. The demon hunter has to move into and out of the shadow in the same round. To enter the shadow the demon hunter needs to roll vs. MD of the target if it’s a living creature’s shadow, if not, they can enter/exit normally.

Adventurer Feat: The demon hunter can perform a basic melee attack as a free action when emerging from a creature’s shadow.
Champion Feat: The demon hunter gains a bonus of +2 AC for the duration of the combat, as they are now protected by shadow energies.
Epic Feat: The demon hunter can now enter/exit shadows on different elevations.

EYE OF MIDNIGHT

The demon hunter’s gaze acts like a ranged attack, she can project a beam of demonic energy from her eyes that lances from creature to creature like Lightning Fork. Roll vs. PD, doing 2d6 + Level damage, the effect chains from creature to creature if the roll is a natural 16+

Adventurer Feat: Once per battle you can re-roll one of your Eye of Midnight attack rolls.
Champion Feat: Eye of Midnight now incurs 5 ongoing damage.
Epic Feat: Damage is now 3d6 + Level.

WINGS OF FURY

With a surge of power the demon hunter transforms into a winged demonic visage, beautiful and terrible to behold. She soars upwards on a torrent of demonic power and then comes crashing down like the wrath of the gods themselves. Roll vs. PD, targets are automatically knocked down, affects 1d4 targets in immediate area. Targets take 1d4 damage + Level. This power is used once per battle.

Adventurer Feat: Targets now take 1d6 damage + Level
Champion Feat: Targets are caught in a demonic energy burst, taking 5 ongoing damage from demonic fire.
Epic Feat: Roll vs. MD unless AC or PD is worse. In that case, the demon hunter gains a +3 bonus to hit AC or PD.

EXPLOSIVE ARROW/BOLT

The demon hunter picks a target, rolls vs. AC and unleashes a missile attack that thunks into the affected creature. A few moments later the bolt explodes and does 1d8 + Dexterity mod + Level damage.

Adventurer Feat: You can pick a better mod, from Int, Dex, or Str as you learn more control of this power.
Champion Feat: The damage becomes 1d10 and deals 3 ongoing fire.
Epic Feat: The bolt’s explosion now affects 1d3 targets and does 5 ongoing fire damage.

TRANSFERENCE

With the help of your prisoner you can pour forth elemental effects into your hunter’s weapons, they twist and transform taking on new powers and new effects. Some ideas for various demonic weapon effects follow.

Fire: the weapon deals 1d6 fire damage extra, dealing 5 ongoing damage with each strike.

Ice: the weapon can now fire a 1d8 bolt of ice, roll vs. AC.

Storm: the weapon crackles with lightning, gains +2 to hit and deals an extra 1d6 damage. On a natural even hit it causes an arc to snap to a nearby target inflicting 1d4 damage.

Smoke: your weapon becomes ethereal and passes through armour easily, turning back again at the moment of impact with soft sticky flesh. It gains +2 to hit and you can re-roll 1 missed attack.

Thunder: your weapon booms with the laughter of a storm demon, it causes struck enemies to reel backwards and take 1d6 extra damage. The enemy must roll a Hard save or be knocked flat on their ass (prone).

Adventurer Feat: Automatically gain +1 to hit
Champion Feat: Crit range is expanded by 1 point
Epic Feat: On a crit pick 2 effects as your power cycles between them

SPLIT THE ARROW/BOLT

The demon hunter learns to harness power from all sorts of places, placing a portion of it into an arrow or bolt, they can accomplish great feats of archery. In this case, the bolt splits into 1d3 bolts that can seek additional (different) targets or hit the same enemy. Damage is WEAPON + Dex damage.

Adventurer Feat: Gain +1 to hit
Champion Feat: Gain +2 to hit
Epic Feat: Bolt/Arrow now splits into 1d4+1 bolts/arrows.

HUNTER’S ARROW/BOLT

This bolt or arrow glows with the power of hellfire and damnation, it ignores cover and can seek a target even if they run away, down a flight of stairs, climb aboard a wagon or try and ride off into the sunset. It’s the ultimate in personal defence and often wins archery contests. Roll vs. MD or PD, whichever is lower. The bolt or arrow will seek the target even if they try and escape the area, as long as they can outrun a flying arrow. Some demons can do this, so the hunter’s developed a power that could counter their speed. Damage is WEAPON + DEX + Level

Adventurer Feat: Gain +2 to hit
Champion Feat: Arrow or bolt now deals d8 ongoing damage
Epic Feat: Arrow or bolt gains additional damage based on chart from Demon Bound.

SEEKING BLADE

The demon hunter that likes to get up close and personal (most of them) tends to be one that favours quick strikes, fast moves and vicious action. In this case they become adept at delivering nasty blows to their enemies with a sword. The seeking blade always attacks PD rather than AC and does double damage on a miss.

Adventurer Feat: Gain increased crit, crit range expands by 2points.
Champion Feat: Pick PD or MD, whichever is lower.
Epic Feat: Triple damage on a miss.

FEAR THE DEMON

You don’t see the eyes of the demon until he comes calling, or so they say. To be the ultimate hunter and predator of demon kind, you need to be able to cause fear in the supernatural. This talent represents the demon hunter’s innate creepiness that extends from mortals to the immortal, demonic and even in some cases – the undead. Roll vs. MD and if successful that target is forced to disengage from you, must make a save to do so, if it fails you get the usual attack of opportunity. Note: some powerful beings ignore this particular talent, they’ve been scaring things a lot longer than you have.

Adventurer Feat: The creature cannot engage you again in that battle.
Champion Feat: Gain +3 to hit when a creature is forced to disengage.
Epic Feat: Creature takes 3 ongoing psychic damage.

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COMPANION OF SHADOW

Demon hunters can draw on the powers of shadow, they pull in spirits of animals that are either close to them or they have an affinity with. Thus they bring into being a shadow spirit to aid them in mundane life as well as fighting their enemies. In combat the creature can assist the demon hunter in a variety of listed ways, in mundane life, they offer a temporary Background that the demon hunter may use. Once the spirit is summoned that choice is locked in for the rest of the day and can only be changed at moon-rise. The animal spirit cannot be targeted by enemy attacks, making it extremely dangerous indeed.

Animals: Wolf, Raven, Magpie, Stag, Fox, Hunting cat.

Wolf: The wolf spirit is aggressive, but also cunning. The demon hunter gains Pack Mentality +3 as a background and this can be used to coordinate their allies before a fight starts. The demon hunter rolls vs. Target Number 15 and if successful Pack Mentality triggers, giving the demon hunter and all allies a +1 to hit during a battle. The demon hunter can make a second attack as a free action with the wolf, as a basic melee attack dealing WEAPON + WIS Damage since this is a supernatural attack. The wolf may attack once per battle.

Raven: The raven spirit is able to glide above the battle, flying high enough to give the demon hunter an advantage. Whilst the raven spirit is active, the demon hunter gains the raven’s legendary wisdom and insight. Quoth the Raven +3 is a background that can be used when the demon hunter needs to test against some curious and forgotten lore. In combat the raven lets the demon hunter gain a +3 to hit and damage when the Escalation Die reaches 3.

Magpie: The magpie’s spirit is a curious thing, it’s not the best in battle, but it’s a glorious little spirit bird for causing enemies to lose their focus. Outside of battle it confers the background: Oooh, Shiny! +3 On the demon hunter. This is akin to pickpocket but can be used at range, the spirit bird flies at the target and the demon hunter makes a background roll vs. The target’s MD. If successful the demon hunter can steal one small shiny thing from that victim. It could be a pendant that prevents the characters from succeeding, or a specific token needed to get into a private party. In combat the magpie is more a distraction, so any enemy targeting the demon hunter takes a -2 to hit.

Stag: Ah, the most noble stag, the beast spirit that confers Heart of Might +3 upon the demon hunter outside of combat. Heart of Might is a background that covers all things related to supernatural endurance, with it the demon hunter can trek long distances and has excellent awareness especially in forest areas. In combat the demon hunter gains one extra recovery, and the stag can perform a charge attack once per battle that does 3d6 + Level damage to one creature, regardless of distance and cover.

Fox: Little fox, tricky fox, foxy fox. The fox spirit is more cunning than the wolf, devious as they come. So the demon hunter gains Foxy Loxy +3 as a background and this covers any roll that needs to be based on intelligence, puzzles and the like, as well as spotting traps and tricks in the environment. In combat the fox is always getting under the enemies feet, so the demon hunter’s AC is increased by +2. If the Escalation Die reaches 4 the demon hunter can, once per battle, call the fox to cause a single target’s attack to miss on a successful Foxy Loxy +3 roll vs. The target’s MD.

Hunting cat: Not a house cat, these big cat spirits are proud and confer upon the demon hunter: Feline Awareness +3. This supernatural background can be used to preempt danger. Just before something bad happens the demon hunter rolls this background and tests against a GM target number, the GM should tell you the number beforehand. It’s always based on the type of danger and severity. If successful, the demon hunter avoids the surprise attack, trap, explosion, danger completely in an acrobatic and showy manner. The demon hunter can negate all fall damage once per day and always lands on their feet. In combat the hunting cat spirit can attack enemies as a free action, designate one enemy and the hunting cat will attack them as a basic melee attack and a free action. If the hunting cat gets a natural 20 it can attack another enemy in the same battle. The cat deals WEAPON + DEX damage. Like the wolf, this can be triggered once per battle.

Adventurer Feat: The demon hunter can now roll a save (TN:15) to change their spirit during an 8 hour rest.
Champion Feat: +1 added to the active background of the spirit companion
Epic Feat: The demon hunter can now change their spirit companion during any short rest period, no roll required.

DIVORCE THE SHADOW

This talent is one that most demon hunters are wary of, for they must disconnect the one thing that’s most important to them – their shadow. Their shadow becomes a separate entity and this confers great power on the hunter, but comes at a cost. Mundane healing no longer works, only magical and the demon hunter loses 2 from AC, MD and PD due to the removal of their shadow. To balance this they gain an extra basic melee attack as a free action per round of combat using their shadow. The shadow attack rises to a third melee attack when the Escalation Die reaches 4. Demon hunters also take a -2 to all interactions with NPCs due to the creepy factor. What, you have no shadow? Err, let me talk to you from OVER THERE!

Adventurer Feat: The demon hunter can cause their shadow to attack the target’s shadow, once per battle. Dealing an ongoing 3 psychic damage as long as they can hit their target’s MD with a basic melee attack.
Champion Feat: Psychic damage increases to 5 ongoing
Epic Feat: The demon hunter is able to mitigate the penalty from the loss of their shadow. They only take -1 now from AC, MD and PD

EXPLOSIVE ADVENTURE TIME

The demon hunter has learnt to use small elemental forces, pockets of magic, to create delayed action elemental effects akin to bombs. These bombs can be placed eventually and run on a timer, later they can be triggered by proximity and various types of elemental energy. Different forces can be combined to craft the perfect trap for the right situation.

An attack with a bomb is a basic ranged attack, the base damage for the bomb is WEAPON + DEX. The demon hunter can throw one bomb a round, unless they take the feat to increase this to two. Various bombs change the base damage and add special effects to the attack.

Detonation of all base bombs is instantaneous.

The demon hunter that takes this talent gains a Bomb Counter. This counter begins at 3 and allows the demon hunter to use any bomb types during a battle. Once that counter hits zero the demon hunter needs to take a full rest to restock their Bomb Counter to full.

BOMB TYPES

Smoke: A thick cloying smog rises from the elemental plane of smoke, it bursts forth at the site of impact and obscures vision. A ten foot sphere of smoke is created and ranged attacks have an 80% chance of completely missing the target within. Melee attacks have a 50% chance to miss completely. Even damage on a miss fails to harm the creature(s) inside the sphere. The smoke lasts for 1d3 rounds before it vanishes.

Explosive: The area of effect master explosive, the best kind of bang for the demon hunter’s coin. A powerful explosive force rips forth in the area doing WEAPON + INT damage and targets 2d4 creatures nearby each other against their PD. There’s no need to roll vs. All the creatures, just pick one PD and apply the damage to  x-creatures based on the amount rolled unless the GM uses a different method.

Tornado: The demon hunter hurls a miniature tornado as a ball of concentrated magical energy. It explodes upon one target and then hurls itself around the battlefield. It ignores friendlies passing through them like smoke. The effect targets 1d6 creatures in the battle, hurling them upwards and causing them to take 2d6 damage from the fall back to the ground. If they have wings, they can make a Hard save to avoid landing like a brick. In this case they can negate all damage from the attack, so demon hunters tend to employ it against things they know can’t fly. The tornado vanishes at the end of the demon hunter’s turn.

Animosity: The demon hunter draws on their demonic prisoner, pulling from it the demon’s natural hatred and miasma. This concentrated evil is then unleashed against sentient foes, causing them to perceive each other as enemies. It targets 1d3 creatures vs their PD. If they are hit they fly into a rage and attack each other. Even a single creature affected like this is dangerous. After 1d4 rounds the creatures can make a save (11) to shake off the effect and return to normal, if they’re still alive of course.

Lightning: The demon hunter hurls a bomb composed of pure elemental lightning, when it goes off it works just like the Sorcerer spell: Lightning Fork. The bonus for the demon hunter is that if they take the right feat, they can turn it into a timed or proximity based version and leave traps around the area for unsuspecting enemies to find.

Fire: This is a great bomb type for the demon hunter to use as a trap, as well as a way to seal off an area. It can be hurled at a group of enemies and hits 1d6 of them against their PD. If it is successful they take 2d6 fire damage and 6 ongoing. If it fails they manage to escape from the area in time, jumping clear and so on. They do however get caught and take 3 ongoing fire for their trouble.

Adventurer Feat: The demon hunter gains a mastery in this talent, they can now place a timer or proximity effect on the bomb. The timer is based on the current state of the Escalation Die (at the start of combat) or 1-6 rounds (whichever makes the most sense at the time)
Champion Feat: The demon hunter can now trigger the bomb with a mental command, negating the need for timers or proximity effects.
Epic Feat: The demon hunter’s Bomb Counter is now incremented to 4.

BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS ME

The demon hunter gathers their primal internal demonic energy, focuses it with the realm of shadow and launches into combat with terrifying speed. They move across the battle designating 3 targets, picking the one with the lower MD and using that as their base from which to strike. The first target takes WEAPON + DEX damage as the demon hunter enters and exits the shadow realm, then the second target takes WEAPON + STR damage, the third target gets hit as the demon hunter pops out behind them and delivers WEAPON + INT damage plus 3 ongoing before they return to their point of origin. This whole attack happens in the blink of an eye. This talent can be used once per battle.

Adventurer Feat: The demon hunter can now use the talent twice per battle.
Champion Feat: Ongoing damage increases to 6 and is applied to all 3 targets.
Epic Feat: The demon hunter can now designate a 4th target and apply WEAPON + Best Modifier out of Dex/Str/Int to all targets.