The Nightcrawler
[D&D Prestige Class]

The Nightcrawler
Slinking across walls, secluded in shadows, and ever-ready to strike a deadly blow, nightcrawlers are creatures of shadow, often serving as scouts, spies, and assassins.

Ninja, rangers, and rogues can most easily qualify for nightcrawler, although bards, cultists, swashbucklers, and certain professionals and even strange have also been know to take this path. Nightcrawler is favored by drow and other nocturnal races.

To qualify to become a nightcrawler (Nghc), a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Feats: Two of the following: Alertness, Dodge, Quick, Skill Focus (Climb, Hide, Move Silently, or Spot), Sly, Stealthy, or Wily.
Skills: Climb 10, Hide 10, Move Silently 10, Spot 10.
Option: The character may substitute one required feat by being able to inflict Sneak Attack damage +3d6 or by being able to cast three of the following spells without preparation: cat's grace, darkness, darkvision, and spider climb.

Game Rule Information
Nightcrawlers have the following game statistics.

Base Attack Bonus: Average (as a shadowdancer).
Hit Die: d6.
Saves: Good Reflex / Poor Fortitude and Will.
Class Skills: The nightcrawler's class skills are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Spot (Wis). Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the nightcrawler prestige class.

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Nightcrawlers gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

  1. Darken, Mooneye
  2. Sneak Attack [+1d6]
  3. Spidery
  4. Darken Utterly, Sneak Attack [+1d6]
  5. Evasion
  6. Hide in Plain Sight, Sneak Attack [+1d6]
  7. Darken Deeply, Darkeye
  8. Slippery Mind, Sneak Attack [+1d6]
  9. Shadowstep
  10. Penumbral Dodge, Sneak Attack [+1d6]

The nightcrawler can evoke the cloak of shadow. A number of times per day equal to 1 + his Charisma modifier (minimum 1), he can create a form darkness as the spell cast by a sorcerer of his character level, except that creatures with darkvision can see through this darkness normally. This is a spell-like ability.

The moon is his sun. The nightcrawler receives low-light vision, which stacks with any existing low-light vision; if he can already see twice as far as a normal human in low light, for example, he now sees three times as far. This is extraordinary.

Sneak Attack [2nd/4th/6th/8th/10th level]
He knows how to take advantage of an enemy's momentary weaknesses with deadly effect. At the designated levels, he deals the indicated amount of Sneak Attack damage, which stacks with any existing Sneak Attack damage.

Spidery [3rd level]
Sneaking in shadows and creeping up walls becomes second nature to him. The nightcrawler may Take 10 on Climb, Hide, and Move Silently checks under any circumstances, and he suffers no penalties when attempting such skills while moving at his normal speed. This is an extraordinary ability.

Darken Utterly [4th level]
The nightcrawler can now create true darkness with his Darken class feature. In addition, he can use Darken one additional time per day.

Evasion [5th level]
He can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great ability. If the nightcrawler makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half-damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the nightcrawler is in light or no armor and not helpless. If he already has the Evasion ability, he now enjoys Improved Evasion. This is an extraordinary ability.

Hide in Plain Sight [6th level]
The nightcrawler can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as he iw whin 10 feet of some sort of shadow, he can hide himself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. He cannot, however, use his Spidery class feature when hiding in this manner.

Darken Deeply [6th level]
He can now create deeper darkness with his Darken class feature. In addition, the nightcrawler can use Darken one additional time per day.

Darkeye [6th level]
Shadows and darkness hide little from him. The nightcrawler receives 60-foot darkvision, which stacks with any existing darkvision. In addition, he can now see through magical darkness normally. This is a supernatural ability.

Slippery Mind [8th level]
Even his psyche takes on the ephemeral quality of shadow. When the nightcrawler fails a Will save against an Enchantment effect, 1 round later he is allowed a second save in an attempt to worm free from the magic. He only gains this single second chance once per effect, and if he fails the second save, he is affected by the Enchantment normally. This is an extraordinary ability.

Shadowstep [9th level]
The nightcrawler can inexplicably move from shadow to shadow. Twice per day, he may dimension door up to 60 feet within any area containing shadows, otherwise as the spell cast by a sorcerer of his nightcrawler level. This is a spell-like ability.

Penumbral Dodge [10th level]
He seems to blend with shadows, his edges blurring when in dim light. When in low light or darker conditions and in light or no armor, the nightcrawler adds half his nightcrawler level as a dodge bonus to AC. This is a supernatural ability.

Epic Nightcrawler: The epic-level nightcrawler continues his Hit Die, skill point, and Sneak Attack progressions. In addition, she receives bonus epic feats at 13th level and every three levels thereafter (13th, 16th, 19th, 25th, etc.).

History: Originally posted on the Wizards of the Coast message boards in September of 2003. In December of 2006, I made a few minor changes and gave the class several boosts, including adding the Darken Utterly, Hide in Plain Sight, and Darken Deeply class features.

Board Link: To feedback on this class posted on the Wizards of the Coast message boards.


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