General Prestige Class : Bloodhound
A bandit king is raiding caravans on the road. An ogre is pillaging the farms to the north. A sorcerer has kidnapped the mayor's son and hidden him somewhere in the marsh. And the soldiers of the king cannot seem to stem the tide. The terrified citizens have only one choice, and it isn't cheap. They call in a bloodhound.
The bloodhound tracks down wrongdoers and brings them to whatever justice awaits them. Low-level bloodhounds depend on their keen senses and careful training to hunt their targets. As they gain experience, their obsessive determination gives them supernatural abilities that make them nearly unstoppable.
Most bloodhounds work for money (usually a lot of it), but some accept jobs for justice, revenge, or enjoyment.
When a bloodhound accepts a job, he designates his target as a mark. Thereafter, he does not abandon the case until it is finished, which occurs when the mark is apprehended or when either the mark or the bloodhound dies.
Though some bloodhounds leave calling cards or even brands on their marks, most don't kill their targets if they can help it. They prefer instead to subdue their marks and bring them in. For those of good alignment, this practice satisfies some deeply held belief in the cause of justice. For neutral and evil bloodhounds, it ensures a steady stream of income from catching the same marks over and over when they break out of jail.
Rangers and barbarians make the best bloodhounds, but rogues, bards, druids, and fighters can also excel in this role. Occasionally a paladin shoulders the mantle, but never for money. Most bloodhounds are human, though elves and half-elves sometimes find this lifestyle satisfying. Some of the best bloodhounds are humanoids such as gnolls, hobgoblins, and bugbears.
To qualify to become a Bloodhound, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Gather Information 4 ranks, Move Silently 4 ranks, Survival 4 ranks.
- Feats: Run, Track.
- Base Attack Bonus: +4.
The bloodhound's class skills are Appraise, Bluff, Climb, Diplomacy, Disguise, Forgery, Gather Information, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Open lock, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Swim, and Use Rope.
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the bloodhound prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Bloodhounds are proficient with light armor, shields, and both simple and martial weapons.
Determination (Ex): At 1st level, the character gains an insight bonus equal to his bloodhound level on Gather Information, Spot, and Survival checks made to determine the whereabouts of a mark (see below).
Mark (Ex): At 1st level, the character can target, or mark, an individual humanoid foe. To do so, the bloodhound must focus on a foe who is present and visible or on the depiction or description of one who is not, for 10 minutes. Any interruption ruins the attempt and forces the bloodhound to start the process again. Once this study is complete, that target is called a mark, and the bloodhound receives a variety of advantages against him or her (see below). A bloodhound may have up to one mark per two bloodhound levels (rounded up) at once but only if all of them are within 30 feet of one another for the duration of the marking process. For example, a 6th-level bloodhound could mark three bugbears in such a group, but not a bugbear on one side of the kingdom and a troll on the other. If a bloodhound chooses a new mark before apprehending an existing one, the latter is unmarked, and the bloodhound loses XP equal to the amount he would have gotten for defeating that creature. The bloodhound can mark an individual once a week.
No Subdual Penalty (Ex): Also at 1st level, the bloodhound can use a melee weapon that deals normal damage to deal subdual damage instead without suffering the usual -4 penalty on his attack roll.
Dead or Alive (Ex): At 2nd level, the bloodhound learns to strike for subdual at just the right moment to avoid killing a mark. Immediately after striking a blow that would reduce a mark from positive to negative hit points, the bloodhound may convert the normal damage dealt by that blow to subdual damage before it takes effect. The bloodhound cannot use this ability while raging or after 1 round has passed.
Fast Tracking: At 2nd level, the bloodhound no longer suffers a -5 penalty on Survival checks for tracking while moving at normal speed.
Ready and Waiting (Ex): Also at 2nd level, the bloodhound may, as a free action, designate a particular move-equivalent, standard, or full-round action that a mark who is flat-footed might perform. If the mark actually performs this action within 10 minutes thereafter, the bloodhound can make an attack of opportunity against him or her with a drawn weapon, either melee or ranged. This counts against the bloodhound's attacks of opportunity for that round.
Pacekeeping (Ex): At 3rd level, a bloodhound tracking a mark can raise his own speed by up to +5 feet per bloodhound level, to a maximum value equal to the mark's speed.
Restlessness (Ex): When the bloodhound reaches 3rd level, he gains damage reduction 5/- against subdual damage from a forced march while in pursuit of a mark.
Improved Subdual (Ex): At 4th level, the bloodhound uses his Intelligence bonus on the damage roll for any attack that deals only subdual damage.
Move Like the Wind (Su): At 4th level, the bloodhound ignores armor check penalties on his Move Silently and Hide checks. In addition, he no longer suffers the -5 penalty on those checks when moving at speeds between half and full.
Traceless Track (Su): At 5th level, the bloodhound can track a creature moving under the influence of pass without trace or a similar effect, though he suffers a -10 circumstance penalty on his Survival checks.
Shatter (Su): At 5th level, the bloodhound can destroy an object that stands between himself and his mark when the latter is within 100 feet. This ability functions like a shatter spell cast by a sorcerer of the character's bloodhound level.
Ignore Scrying (Ex): At 6th level, the bloodhound gains spell resistance equal to 10 + his bloodhound level against divination spells. This stacks with any other spell resistance he has that includes spells of that school.
Locate Creature (Sp): Once per day, the bloodhound can produce an effect identical to that of a locate creature spell cast by a sorcerer of the bloodhound's character level.
Fracture (Su): At 7th level, the character can use his shatter ability to destroy weight-equivalent portions of larger objects, such as doors and walls, regardless of their construction.
See Invisibility (Su): This ability, gained at 7th level, functions like a see invisibility spell, except that it is constantly in effect and it reveals only marks.
Subdual Resistance: At 8th level, the bloodhound gains damage reduction 20/+3 against subdual damage.
Ignore Magical Barriers (Ex): At 9th level, the bloodhound gains spell resistance equal to 15 + his bloodhound level against magical barriers (wall of force, entangle, prismatic wall, and so forth).
Find the Path (Sp): At 10th level, the bloodhound can produce an effect like a find the path spell cast by a druid of the bloodhound's character level. It is usable three times per day.
|Bloodhound||Hit Die: d10|
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+0||Determination, mark, no subdual penalty|
|2nd||+2||+0||+3||+0||Dead or alive, fast tracking, ready and waiting|
|4th||+4||+1||+4||+1||Improved subdual, move like the wind|
|5th||+5||+1||+4||+1||Shatter, traceless track|
|6th||+6||+2||+5||+2||Ignore scrying, locate creature|
|7th||+7||+2||+5||+2||Fracture, see invisibility|
|9th||+9||+3||+6||+3||Ignore magical barriers|
|10th||+10||+3||+7||+3||Find the path|
Organization: The Bloodhounds
"Eyes... I saw his eyes before he pounced. That was all. He had no body until he was upon me. If he had meant to kill me, I would have been as helpless as a babe."
- Tordek, on meeting a Bloodhound
The organization known as the Bloodhounds is dedicated to finding people and bringing them to justice (or whatever fate awaits them). Some Bloodhounds limit themselves to tracking down criminals; others are willing to hunt anyone for a client who can pay the price. The group's leaders don't concern themselves with such issues, only with maintaining the organization's reputation as the place to go to find someone.
Membership in the Bloodhounds is by invitation only. Members report on capable trackers they encounter in their travels, and from these reports the organization's leaders select candidates for membership. A member of the organization tracks each candidate surreptitiously for a while. If the Bloodhound reports that the candidate had the necessary fervor and talents, the leaders offer him or her a chance to try our for membership. A candidate who actually noticed the Bloodhound following is almost guaranteed an offer.
To be accepted for membership, the candidate must track a Bloodhound considerably more experienced than himself. The Bloodhound makes the job difficult by leaving false trails, telling locals deceitful stories, and even hiring brigands to ambush the candidate along the way. The Bloodhound must not assist the candidate in this task; otherwise the test is void. A candidate who succeeds in finding the target passes the test and may join the organization.
Bloodhounds can take any assignments they choose. Some jobs come directly from clients who contact individual Bloodhounds. Others come through the grapevine, since members pass word to each other. Individual bloodhounds are fiercely competitive, and should one succeed where another has failed, the winner gloats over the victory. In fact, Bloodhounds often tell each other about the assignments they've taken, in effect challenging their compatriots to beat them to the quarry. Members may work together, but most work alone or with nonmembers so that word spreads of their personal fame. Thus, whenever several Bloodhounds form a posse to catch a particularly elusive foe, word spreads far and wide.
Despite this rivalry, when a mark is too important to go free, a Bloodhound can spread the word of a "free" bounty among the membership. This means that any member who brings in the mark can claim the prize. Members who spread free bounties lose no face in the organization for doing so.
Bloodhounds resent the concept of giving their earnings to anyone. Thus, the organization does nor demand a piece of its members' earnings. No Bloodhounds guildhalls or strongholds exist because no self-respecting Bloodhound would limit himself to one base of operations.
Since so many of the Bloodhounds' marks are human, ranger Bloodhounds who have taken humans as favored enemies have an advantage in assignments. Thus, a large percentage of the membership is nonhuman, and differing alignments are rarely an impediment to teaming up. In fact, rumor has it that a good elven Bloodhound and an evil gnoll Bloodhound regularly work together, since between them they can function in any society. The gulf between their alignments is simply not as wide as the bridge of their common goals.