by Casey Peavler and Ryven Cedrylle
Art by Kaitlynn Peavler
A moment of concentration brought a shadow into Tullie’s hand, the misty substance hardening into a stiletto dagger as light as a feather and harder than dragon bones. Her prey was currently occupied with the entertainment he had paid for tonight, and judging by the noises from behind the closed door he was getting his money’s worth.
Good for him, even a slaver deserved a good memory before he died. His blood was needed to open the Rose Gate, but a drop would have sufficed. How sad for him that the last descendant of the Flower Czar was a waste of flesh and bone. Her senses were focused on the room before her, waiting for the indication that it was time to strike. Hopefully it would be soon, he sounded like a braying donkey in there.
Whether they are heroic or villainous, all Lurkers are thoroughly in touch with their predatory nature. Lurkers operate best when striking from the dark after spending time observing the behavior of their target, but even without time to prepare they are dangerous foes. Misdirection and deceit serve them as thoroughly as a Paladin’s shield and armor, and the dark powers they call upon bolster them like the powers of a Cleric.
Dexterity and Lurkers go together like a knife and a kidney. Your attacks are based off Dexterity, and it augments your ability to stalk and hunt silently. Charisma is a close second, several of your Class Features have feats which grant you bonuses based off your Charisma score. Your recoveries are a precious commodity, so make certain you don’t neglect your Constitution score.
Lurkers get a +2 class bonus to Dexterity or Charisma, whichever you don’t get from your race
Demontouched and Dark Elves have an innate bond to the dark energies that make them superb candidates for this class. The innate vitality of Dwarves and Steelborn provide a boon of health and stamina which can make a large difference if a Lurker ends up in the worst imaginable situation: a fair fight.
The backgrounds of Lurkers tend to be headed in the same direction as the Rogue, but coming from a more supernatural background. Whereas rogues gain their stealth and cunning from pure physical and mental perfection, Lurkers have taken a dark and (some might say) easier path to power. Easy power often comes with a price however, consider painting your backgrounds with hints of ancient curses and faustian bargains gone wrong.
Revived by the Prince of Shadows, Killed the Emperor’s Heir, Son of the Diabolist, Graduate of the Shadow Academy, Cursed by the Midnight Serpent, Nightmare Refugee, Half-turned Vampire, Vengeful Revenant, Rode With the Wild Hunt.
The Prince of Shadows seems at first glance to be an ideal candidate for a positive relationship, but he seems to disdain Lurkers for some reason. Perhaps he sees a little too much of himself in them? Your dark power could easily draw the attention of the Diabolist or the Lich King, whether you like it or not. A particularly crafty Lurker might secure the allegiance of the Crusader or the Great Gold Wyrm, using her dark power to hunt down demons that have managed to manifest within the mortal world.
At 1st level Lurkers start with one or two melee weapons, a ranged weapon if preferred, light armor, and any nonmagical gear that would be appropriate. Some Lurkers prefer to wield a light shield or buckler as well. Lurkers who are frugal with their money start with 25 gp, while those who lead a riskier start with 1d6 x 10 gp in their pockets.
Anything beyond minimal armor is little more than a hindrance to Lurkers. Heavy armor restricts movement and creates noise, both of which are less than beneficial to a warrior that favors stealth and speed above all else.
Type Base AC
Heavy 15 (-2 Attacks)
To a Lurker a weapon isn’t nearly as important as the creative and deadly ways it can be used. Still, there is something to be said for comfort and familiarity. Most are comfortable with light weapons; cudgels, daggers, hatchets, even the rapier. Most find that larger battlefield weapons inhibit their deceitful fighting style, but some tap into their dark legacy to wield bastard swords, battle axes, or even their bare hands with unparalleled efficiency. Their preference is for melee weapons almost exclusively, but if a crossbow is needed they’re comfortable enough with them to wield them effectively.
One Handed Two Handed
Light or Simple
Heavy or Martial
1d8 (-2 to attack) 1d10 (-2 to attack)
Thrown Crossbow Bow
1d4 1d4 –
Light or Simple
1d6 1d6 1d6
Heavy or Martial
– 1d8 (-1 attack) 1d8 (-2 attack)
Melee Attack Ranged Attack
Target: One enemy Target: One enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs AC Attack: Dexterity + Level vs AC
Hit: Weapon + Dexterity Damage Hit: Weapon + Dexterity Damage
Miss: Damage equal to your level Miss: –
Lurker Level Progression
|Lurker Level||Total Hit Points||Total Feats||Lurker Talents||Level-up Ability Bonuses||Damage Bonus From Ability Scores|
|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, 2 Epic||5||—||3 x ability modifier|
|Level 10||(7+CON mod) x 24||4 Adventurer, 3 Champion, 3 Epic||5||+1 to 3 Abilities||3 x ability modifier|
Initiative, AC, PD, MD, Hit Points, Recovery Dice, Feats, and some Talents are level dependent.
Ability Bonus +2 Dexterity or Charisma (different from racial bonus)
Initiative Dex mod + level
Armor Class (light or no armor) 12 + middle of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Armor Class (light or no with shield) 13 + middle of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Physical Defense 11 + middle of Str/Con/Dex + Level
Mental Defense 10 + middle of Int/Wis/Cha + Level
Hit Points See Level Progression Chart
Recovery Dice (1d8 x Level) + Con mod
Backgrounds 8 points, max 5 in any one background
Icon Relationships 3
Talents See Level Progression Chart
Feats 1 Per Level
All Lurkers start at Level 1 with the following Class Features.
Place of Power
At the start of each session designate one location to be a Place of Power, a location that has special significance to you or has an abundance of the same dark energies that fuel your unnatural might. It could be a town’s cemetery, your home, your coffin, the site of a nearby murder. Given the dark nature of this class it should usually be something sinister, creepy, or dark.
You have only three recoveries. Perhaps your dark magick has drained your vitality or you hunger for sentient life. You monstrously heal all of your HP without spending any recoveries OR regain all of your recoveries during a short rest. During the rest, you may also roll a normal save. If you succeed, regain both your recoveries and your HP. If you ever have 0 HP and no recoveries, you must take on a shadowy form and retreat to a place of personal power else you crumble to dust and your soul is lost. You return from your place of power at the end of the next short rest with full HP and recoveries.
As a standard action, you can Mark one creature you can see and sustain it for subsequent rounds as a quick action. The target’s vulnerable points and the gaps in their defense glow red to your terrible sight. While the creature is Marked, increase its vulnerability to your attacks by 2. Marked creatures are not aware that they are Marked.
Heroic Feat: On an even hit, a Marked target takes extra damage equal to your charisma modifier if you are the only creature engaged with it.
Champion Feat: Increase vulnerability by 4 instead of 2.
Epic Feat: You no longer need to be the only creature engaged with the target to gain your bonus damage.
When you deal damage that reduces a creature to 5hp, you execute a finishing move. The target is reduced to 0hp. Describe a second attack that ends your enemy in a grisly fashion. Increase to 10hp at champion, 20hp at epic.
Adventurer Feat: When the Escalation Die is 5 or higher, double the HP needed to trigger.
Champion Feat: When the Escalation Die is 4 or higher, double the HP needed to trigger.
Epic Feat: If you execute a Finishing Move on a Critical Hit, increase the Escalation Dice by 1.
Choose three talents at level 1. Gain an extra talent at levels 5 and 8.
Whenever you have a free hand you may attack nearby enemies with a shadowy noose with a dice size of d6, other than the range extension this is considered a melee attack for all intents and purposes. You may expend a recovery to force your target to become engaged with you. Your noose disappears after this attack is concluded.
Adventurer Feat: The noose no longer dissipates at the end of your attack. Instead it lasts until you dismiss it as a free action. The rope can be up to fifteen feet in length and is as strong as the strongest nonmagical rope.
Champion Feat: If you pull a creature to you with this power, it is considered grabbed by you.
Epic Feat: While you have a creature grabbed with your noose you can shank them as a standard action. You do not need to roll an attack, and instead automatically deal half the normal damage you would do with a one-handed melee attack.
You and only you can reach into a shadowy pocket dimension and store or retrieve nonliving objects in it as a standard action. This pocket dimension can safely hold up to 250 pounds until the next sunrise. At sunrise roll a d6, on a 1 all objects inside the Dark Hideaway return to where you were when they were put into it.
Heroic Feat: Once per day you can reach through your Dark Hideaway into your Place of Power and retrieve a single object.
Champion Feat: Once per day you can reach into solid objects and open them the same way you reach into your Dark Hideaway. Doing hole creates a hole two feet wide and six feet deep for ten minutes. Move quickly.
Epic Feat: Remove the “nonliving” restriction and increase the weight limit to 4,000 pounds. Remove the d6 risk dice at sunrise.
GM Note: “Sunrise is in one hour. You’ve gotta ditch that dead body you stored in there fast.”
Dark energy strengthens your body, eliminating the usefulness of weapons altogether. Your hands, feet, and any other useful appendage now do qualify as one-handed melee Heavy Weapons, and you no longer take the penalty for wielding a heavy weapon. You cannot take this if you have taken Ebon Smithing.
On a natural odd hit you gain temporary hit points equal to twice your level. You can also use Dexterity in place of Strength for any skill checks that would call for it.
Adventurer Feat: Once per day you can gain temporary hit points from this talent with an even hit.
Champion: Once per encounter you can gain temporary hit points from this talent with an even hit.
Epic: Once combat per day add the level of the creature you hit to the amount of temporary hit points gained with this talent.
You can craft weapons out of raw shadow and have no need to carry a dedicated weapon on your person. You no longer take the penalty for wielding a Heavy Weapon when wielding an Ebon Weapon. You cannot take this if you have taken Vampiric Might.
Adventurer Feat: Once per day when you reduce an enemy to less than 0hp, apply the surplus damage to another engaged creature.
Champion: One encounter per day, your shadow weapon deals d12 damage. It also looks way cooler for this encounter.
Epic: Once per encounter when you reduce an enemy to less than 0hp, apply the surplus damage to another engaged creature.
Poison condensed into solid form from the maddening energies of a mortal nightmare. Roll 1d6 at the start of each turn, if you roll equal to or lower than the Escalation Dice you snag a recent nightmare off a nearby enemy, and cannot grab another nightmare until the next encounter. The next time you hit the creature you snagged a nightmare from it takes ongoing 5 damage per tier until the end of the encounter (no save). You can apply the venom to a different creature on a hit instead, but the damage becomes save ends.
Adventurer Feat: Targets under the effect of Nightmare Venom are also Dazed (Save Ends). If the Venom’s effect is already a Save Ends, one save ends all related effects.
Champion Feat: Gain one additional use of Nightmare Venom per day. This additional use pulls a random memory from the target rather than a nightmare, fully removing the memory from the target’s mind. To pull a specific memory you must pass a skill check determined by the tier of the target.
Epic Feat:Targets under the effect of Nightmare Venom are confused (save ends). If the Venom’s effect is already a Save Ends, one save ends all related effects.
GM Note: The Champion Tier feat here seems like a really powerful option, and it is. It’s also your best friend for railroading ignorant players who are not following your finely crafted narrative.
You can summon a Deadman’s Lantern at-will. While holding a Deadman’s Lantern it provides light that only you can see, functioning the same as if you had Darkvision. While holding it, you also deal an extra 1d4 fire damage per tier while holding it.
Heroic Tier: Increase the bonus damage to 1d6.
Champion Tier: Your allies now benefit from the Deadman Lantern’s light.
Epic Tier: Increase the bonus damage to 1d8.
The Evil Eye
Apply curse when you hit with odd or when a nearby creature rolls a 13 on an attack. While cursed, the target creature subtracts the escalation dice from its attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
Adventurer Feat: Once per day you can force a cursed creature to reroll an attack and take the lower result.
Champion Feat: Curse becomes Save Ends.
Epic Feat: Once per day force a cursed creature to apply its attack to a target of your designation.
When you are not engaged with an enemy you can teleport to being engaged with any creature physically involved in the encounter (i.e. they’re on the map) as a move action.
Adventurer Feat: Once per day when you teleport, you can make a basic attack as a quick action.
Champion Feat: The next basic attack you make after you teleport can hit vs. PD instead of AC.
Epic Feat: Once per encounter when you teleport, you can make a basic attack as a quick action.
Once per day when you rally you become immune to attacks versus AC or PD and cannot make attacks against AC or PD until the start of your next turn.
Adventurer Feat:You also gain resistance 16+ to attacks vs. MD.
Champion Feat: Once per day you can make an attack Cha vs PD as a Standard Action, on a hit the target acts as if they had gone into Mist Form without regaining any hit points. This does not count as your use of Mist Form for the day. The Escalation Die does not increase at the start of the next round.
Epic Feat: You can choose to exude traces of your mist form at-will. When you do, you and all enemies engaged with you can’t make opportunity attacks.
Create a dark copy of a spell from another class.
Pick a spellcasting class, you may take one spell of your level or lower from that class. Rename the power to reflect the dark taint that your power places upon it. Cure Light Wounds could be Necromantic Healing, reflecting you funneling the life energy of a slain foe into an ally. Burning Hands could be Skeletal Hands, where the attack takes the form of skeletal burning digits that lash out at your foes. If the spell has feats available, you may take those feats as well.
Adventurer Tier: The spell you’ve taken uses your Charisma score for both attack and damage.
Champion Tier: You gain the Ritual Caster feat, and also gain the ability to sacrifice one of your Recoveries (or perhaps the recovery of a willing ally) in place of a daily spell.
Epic Tier: Write a second spell from the same class as your first down in your Necronomicon. You gain a dark copy of that spell in addition to the first spell.
You gain a small minion, mechanically identical to the Wizard’s Familiar talent. The minion should be suitably twisted or macabre in description. A spider is good. A spider with a human face is better. A spider with a human child’s face is best.