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Quellian-dyrae
2007-01-28, 05:31 PM
I don't know, there's some tickle in my brain that is connecting the term "nightrider" with "comic books". In any case, if there IS a comic book or other superhero called the nightrider, this class has absolutely nothing to do with it. It's actually inspired by the "fairy chess" piece the nightrider; a piece that combines the movement options of the knight and the rook. Well, that and I like the visual appeal of its abilities.


The Nightrider

Some say that the most horrifying sight on the field of battle is the cavalry charge. The thunderous power of tens, scores, even hundreds of mighty war horses launching themselves at full gallop across the field, a wall of deadly lances extended out before them. Skilled warriors have fled battle seeing that kind of force rushing their way.

Now consider the impact of such a charge made in eerie silence atop illusory steeds. Imagine seeing that tremendous force moving at such a blur that they vanish in the shadows. And think about what happens when, as the pikemen ready their spears, the shield bearers raise their defenses, the entire force suddenly vanishes—and completes its attack from behind.

This is the tactic of the nightrider. The nightrider is a diverse student, studying the fighting skills of a warrior, the stealth tactics of a rogue, and the arcane powers of a wizard. They lack the fighter's vast number of feats, the rogues defensive abilities and vast skill selection, and the variety of the mage's spells. However, they are swift, capable fighters who use illusion and teleportation magic drawn from the demiplane of shadows to confound, disorganize, and destroy their opponents.

Where many practitioners of the shadowy arts are loners, nightriders do their best work with a group. They are masters of sowing confusion among their enemies, striking from impossible angles, vanishing and reappearing seemingly at will, and shattering opposing formations by teleporting their opponents around the battlefield, allowing their allies to pick off the disorganized opposition easily.

Despite favoring darkness and stealth tactics, nightriders are not inherently disposed to evil. Good-aligned nightriders turn the shadows against evil foes, turning their nominal ally into their worst enemy. Evil nightriders are among the most feared of villains, able to charge from a shadow, slay their target, and vanish into the night with ease. Most nightriders serve as mercenaries, even adventurers, but many turn their skills to scouting and even assassination. Some nightriders even band together in companies, sowing havoc on the battlefield with massed charges that the enemy can barely perceive, let alone defend against.

Strength is important for nightriders due to its value in combat. Dexterity aids their stealth and defenses, and also their riding abilities. Charisma helps them use their supernatural powers.

HD: d8.
SP: 6.
Skills: Balance, Climb, Craft, Disguise, Handle Animal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Ride, Spot, Swim, Tumble.
Proficiencies: Martial weapons, heavy armor, shields.

The Nightrider
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+1|
+0|
+2|
+0|Nightride (Minor), Sneak Attack +1d6

2nd|
+2|
+0|
+3|
+0|Blurring Speed

3rd|
+3|
+1|
+3|
+1|Nightride (Close)

4th|
+4|
+1|
+4|
+1|Sneak Attack +2d6

5th|
+5|
+1|
+4|
+1|Nightride (Medium)

6th|
+6|
+2|
+5|
+2|Shadow Magic

7th|
+7|
+2|
+5|
+2|Nightride (Long)

8th|
+8|
+2|
+6|
+2|Sneak Attack +3d6

9th|
+9|
+3|
+6|
+3|Nightride (Miles)

10th|
+10|
+3|
+7|
+3|-

11th|
+11|
+3|
+7|
+3|Nightride (Improved Miles)

12th|
+12|
+4|
+8|
+4|Sneak Attack +4d6

13th|
+13|
+4|
+8|
+4|Nightride (Greater Miles)

14th|
+14|
+4|
+9|
+4|-

15th|
+15|
+5|
+9|
+5|Nightride (Infinite)

16th|
+16|
+5|
+10|
+5|Sneak Attack +5d6

17th|
+17|
+5|
+10|
+5|Nightride (Planar)

18th|
+18|
+6|
+11|
+6|-

19th|
+19|
+6|
+11|
+6|Nightride (Perfect Planar)

20th|
+20|
+6|
+12|
+6|Sneak Attack +6d6[/table]

Nightride (Sp): Nightriders command a degree of supernatural power, allowing them to pierce the barrier between the planes to some degree. Whenever a mounted nightrider takes the run or charge action, it may choose to nightride at any point during the move after a certain minimum movement (based on the ability used). Use of nightride is a swift action and does not disrupt the nightrider’s movement or count against its allowed movement for the round. The nightrider may nightride once per day per point of its Charisma modifier, plus one additional time per day per class level. If the nightrider is in a well-lit area, it must expend two uses of the ability to nightride.

All nightride effects are conjuration (teleportation) effects that bring the nightrider through the demiplane of shadows.

If a nightrider attacks a foe immediately after reappearing from a nightride, that foe is treated as being flat-footed against the nightrider’s attack. This only applies immediately upon returning. In general, this means it applies for the nightrider’s first attack, but if the nightrider can make multiple attacks simultaneously (when fighting with two weapons, for example, or using whirlwind attack) the benefit can apply to them all.

When the nightrider reappears from a nightride, it can change its orientation (and, thus, the direction of its movement).

A nightride affects the nightrider and its mount. The nightrider can also bring a single target along for the ride, but to do so it must deal lethal damage to the target with a charge attack immediately before activating the nightride. As a result, this tactic is usually used on opponents. The target receives a Will save (DC: 10 + nightrider level + nightrider Cha modifier) to resist the effect, and Spell Resistance applies. The nightrider may not strand its target in the demiplane of shadows during transit, and may not teleport the target into an inherently dangerous location (such as high in mid-air or above a pool of lava). However, it can teleport the target into a threatening position, such as flanked by the nightrider’s allies or—the nightrider’s personal favorite—alone on an open plain with no one but the nightrider to hear its screams.

A nightrider of less than 7th level has an impartial connection to the demiplane of shadows. As a result, it cannot teleport to a location to which it does not have line of effect. This restriction ends upon reaching 7th level.

A beginning nightrider can teleport only 5’ per point of its Charisma modifier (minimum 5’), and as such, usually only uses this ability to catch foes flat footed or to get past obstacles to its charge, or change the angle of its charge. The nightrider must gallop at least 10’ before nightriding.

Starting at 3rd level the nightrider can teleport up to close range (25’ plus 5’ per nightrider level). This extends to medium range at 5th level, and long range at 7th. The nightrider must gallop at least 20’ before executing this sort of nightride.

Beginning at 9th level, the nightrider may spend twice as many daily uses of nightride (2 in darkness, 4 in light) to teleport a much greater distance. This also requires that the nightrider gallop at least 30’ before teleporting. The nightrider teleports up to one mile per level. This changes to ten miles per level at 11th, and 100 miles per level at 13th.

Beginning at 15th level, the nightrider can spend triple the normal nightride uses in conjunction with a 40’ gallop to teleport any distance. At 17th level, it may teleport to another plane as if using any of the following spells: plane shift, etherealness, astral projection (except that it travels to the astral plane physically), or shadow walk. At 19th level, when using plane shift, it always appears exactly where it intends.

Sneak Attack (Ex): As the rogue class feature.

Blurring Speed (Ex): A nightrider’s runs and charges are so quick, that they are literally blurs of motion, making them very difficult to target with attacks. Starting at second level, the nightrider gains concealment in any round where it takes the run or charge action while mounted. If the nightrider would already have concealment, it instead receives total concealment. If the nightrider already has total concealment, it counts as invisible.

Shadow Magic (Sp): Starting at 6th level, a nightrider becomes able to channel energy from the demiplane of shadows. Performing a feat of shadow magic costs one daily use of nightride, and can have any of the following effects:

Sensory Imbue: The nightrider infuses its senses with shadow magic, attuning them to darkness. The nightrider receives Darkvision of 10’ per class level for one hour per class level. This stacks with existing darkvision.

Stealth Imbue: The nightrider imbues its body with shadow magic, making itself stealthier. For ten minutes per class level, it subtracts its class level from the penalty to Hide and Move Silently checks due to movement. For example, a 5th level nightrider would ignore the penalty for moving at normal speed, and reduce the penalty for running or charging to -15. This ability also applies to the nightrider’s mount, when mounted.

Weapon Imbue: The nightrider empowers its weapon with shadow magic. For one minute per class level, the nightrider’s weapon functions as a ghost touch weapon. This ability only works when the weapon is wielded by the nightrider.

Armor Imbue: The nightrider transforms some of the metal in its armor to quasi-real shadow energy. This lasts for one hour per class level. During this time, the armor’s armor check penalty is lowered by one per three nightrider levels (minimum 0), and its maximum dexterity bonus increases by the same amount (maximum +8). This ability only works when the armor is worn by the nightrider.

Summon Mount: The nightrider summons a phantom steed, as the spell (caster level equals class level), except that the phantom steed summoned is tougher and more mobile, at the expense of pure speed. The phantom steed has the nightrider’s full hit point total, and uses the nightrider’s skill ranks in Balance, Climb, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Swim, and Tumble checks (its Str is 18 and Dex is 20). However, its speed is only 10’ per level, rather than 20’. Only the nightrider may ride the phantom steed; it may not create one for an ally.

Invoke Illusion: The nightrider casts a major image as a sorcerer of its class level.

Fredderf
2007-01-28, 06:38 PM
Dang, this is overpowered. Intersting idea, but with full BAB, some sneak attack, decent skill points, and cool abilities, something has to go.

Quellian-dyrae
2007-01-28, 06:48 PM
Heh heh, you should've seen the rough draft::grin::. Actually, even now, I think Shadow Magic may be a bit out of hand. I kinda figured stepping the attack bonus up to slow the sneak attack progression would suffice (gain five points BAB, lose 4d6 SA). I dunno, though, I run high-power games, so I'm biased. Honestly, I think the tactical options are more overpowered than the stats. Well...the tactical options and the fact that they have all the incentive anyone ever needs to take the spirited charge feat.

I wonder if it would work better as a PrC...

Icewalker
2007-01-29, 05:04 AM
I love the idea, this sounds like a really intimidating force.
I dunno, at first I though it might even have been underpowered, but with full BAB and that sneak attack I'm not sure. I say lower a sneak attack by maybe 1/2, and it is definitely even, if not underpowered.

knightsaline
2007-01-29, 05:52 AM
This class seems to remind me of ghost rider

Quellian-dyrae
2007-01-29, 03:45 PM
Hmm...you know, the shadow magic was kind of a conceit, the summon steed aside, and while I put in Sneak Attack since they are a stealth class, I wonder if perhaps there is a better option. I had wanted to give these guys some fear abilities, but hadn't thought there was room. What about replacing Shadow Magic with just the steed function, and replacing sneak attack with the following:

Fearsome Charge (Ex or Su): The sight of a nightrider leaping from the shadows or appearing from thin air to spear you with a lance is a horrifying sight. Nightriders are adept at using this to their advantage, terrifying their opponents.

Starting at 4th level, whenever the nightrider hits a flat-footed opponent with a mounted charge attack the target must make a Will save (DC: 10 + 1/2 nightrider level + the nightrider's Cha modifier) or become shaken for one round per class level.

Starting at 8th level, the nightrider can use its connection to the demiplane of shadow to intensify its fearsome charges. If it spends one daily use of nightride in conjunction with a fearsome charge, a target who fails a Will save is frightened, rather than shaken, for the same duration. At 12th level it instead becomes panicked. At 16th level the target becomes paralyzed with fear. At 20th level it faints with fear, rendered unconscious, and must make a Fortitude save (same DC) or die of fright.

At 8th level or higher, if the nightrider wishes, it may spend one additional daily use of nightride in conjunction with a successful fearsome charge. If it does so, all enemies within thirty feet with HD equal to or less than the nightrider's target must make Will saves or suffer the fear effect of a nightrider four levels lower. For example, if a 12th level nightrider successfully uses a fearsome charge against a 10th level opponent (causing that foe to panic), and spends an additional nightride, all foes of 10th level or lower within 30' must roll saving throws or become frightened.

Once a target succeeds its saving throw against this effect, it becomes immune to the frightful charge ability of that nightrider for twenty-four hours (this immunity applies even if the character succeeds a radius save, despite the reduced impact of that effect). Fightful charge is an extraordinary mind-affecting fear ability (if not spending a nightride) or a supernatural mind-affecting fear ability (if spending one).