by Chris Gunning
[Writer’s note: I had a lot of fun coming up with the Vigilante. It is a cross between the Sleuth base class and the Street Fighter PrC – with a couple of extra fun abilities added in. While writing this class I pictured Shawn Vetter (from “A Man Apart) or the main character from Desperado in their traditional roles as desperate crime fighters who have abandoned the law, and while not necessarily appropriate for Spycraft, are easily translated to a super-spy game. In fact, I do not think it is all that difficult to think of a wronged cop or a betrayed spy as characters who would fit the Vigilante nicely. I will say that I am a bit concerned about the combat over-effectiveness of this PrC (Retribution and Sweet Vengeance, in particular) – and any feedback would be very welcome indeed.]
Sometimes people are on the receiving end of acts that horribly alter their life. While recovering they come to the slow realization that the only thing left in their life is to gain some sort of vengeance against the one who wronged them. These desperate and angry few take the law into their own hands, unwilling to let due process work to a slow resolution. The Vigilante is driven by a smoldering hatred, and if that desire is directed into a positive end, the end result is a powerful force for the Agency.
Abilities: For the Vigilante Wisdom and Dexterity are the most important and useful attributes. Life on the street demands a high level of dexterity, and a strong intuition helps drive the Vigilante. Beyond Dexterity and Wisdom, a good helping of Strength in order to punish wrong-doers is always welcome.
Vitality: 1d10 plus Constitution bonus per level.
To become a Vigilante, an agent must meet all of the following requirements:
Agent Level: 3+
Base Attack Bonus: 2+
Feats: Alertness, Unshakable
Special: The character must have undergone some significant traumatizing event in their past – an event they can blame (right or wrong) upon an NPC.
The Vigilante’s class skills are Balance, Bluff, Concentration, Climb, Driver, Escape Artist, First Aid, Gather Information, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Profession, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Sport, Spot, Surveillance, Tumble, Use Rope
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the Vigilante.
Class Feats: The Vigilante gains the following feats at 1st level.
Armor Proficiency (Light)
Weapon Group Proficiency (Melee)
Weapon Group Proficiency (Martial Arts)
Weapon Group Proficiency (Handguns)
Driven: The Vigilante is driven to their actions by a supreme force of will and nothing short of an Act of God can stray them from their course. Thus, the Vigilante gains a +2 competency bonus to all Will saves. This is the Vigilante core class ability.
Sources: This ability is found on p.48 of the Archer Foundation sourcebook.
Safe House: This is identical to the feat of the same name.
Uncanny Dodge: Beginning at 3rd level the Vigilante gains the Fixer ability found in the Spycraft Espionage Rulebook. If the character already has the Uncanny Dodge special ability, they are able to add an extra +1 to all appropriate rolls.
Retribution: At 4th level, the Vigilante gains the ability to use their motivation in order to quickly act in combat. To perform the retribution ability, the Vigilante must hold their action(s) until after all enemies have acted (ie: no matter how high the Vigilante’s initiative roll – they must go after those attacking him). After hit and damaged in melee combat, the Vigilante can immediately gain a bonus half-action to attack the character that just harmed them. At this level only one attack per round per attacker is allowed, no matter how many times the Vigilante is struck by the same attacker. For example, two thugs attack a character. In both cases the thugs hit and do damage to the character – so, after each hit the Vigilante is allowed a free attack against the thugs. However, if either one of those thugs gains two attacks and damages the character in the same round twice, the Vigilante only gets to retaliate against the first damaging attack.
Reckoning: At 5th level, the Vigilante has honed their anger and ability into a fine tuned weapon. As such, they can select a general NPC class (found in the various Shadowforce Archer sourcebooks) and gains a +1 critical threat range (thus, a crit of 20 is increased to 19-20).
Ambush Tactics: This ability is found on p.24 of the Soldier/Wheelman Class Guide.
Advanced Retribution: The Vigilante is quickly becoming a whiriling dervish of death and destruction to those who oppose their crusade. At 7th level, the Vigilante drives their emotions even further into their motivation for combat and is able to push their bodies beyond normal human limits. The result is that the Vigilante can now gain an attack of retribution for each and every attack that damages them. Thus, a thug that damages the Vigilante in two separate melee attacks on the same round can be attacked twice in retribution.
Bonus Feat: At 8th and 9th level the Vigilante is beginning to prepare for their final, fateful battle. Each enemy and each desire demands different things of different Vigilantes, and these bonus feats allow the character to “fine-tune” their abilities towards their goal of vengeance. The Vigilante may select a bonus feat at each level from the melee or unarmed feat trees.
Sweet Vengeance!: At the penultimate height of their power, the Vigilante is finally prepared to take the fight to the truly wicked. At this level the Vigilante selects a single npc. This npc must have a name and must be the head of some form of adversarial group that wronged the Vigilante in the past. This named npc is the final target of the Vigilante. The Vigilante must also select a specific handgun, melee weapon, or martial art form that they swear will destroy their foe. This weapon is now their signature weapon.
In any and all combat against the named npc with the specific weapon the Vigilante may choose to either automatically hit or automatically do the maximum amount of damage to their foe. The Vigilante may choose each round whether to auto hit or max damage – though they must select at the very beginning of the round – before any actions is taken.
Once their foe is killed this ability changes somewhat. All of the above abilities are tied to a specific NPC and upon that NPC’s death, and is no longer applicable. Instead, Sweet Vengeance grants a +1 bonus to hit and damage with the signature weapon (much less impressive, but still useful). Note: the +1 to hit and damage does not apply as long as the NPC lives (or at least as long as the Vigilante believes their foe is dead).
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