Honestly, to think that a bunch of grown men would be afraid of a few ghosts
Spirit stalkers are agents of the white eye, a clerical order that exists to hunt down evil necromancers and priests and the abominations they create. The white eye was originally made up of followers of Heironeous and Pelor that decided the best way to fight evil was to study it and find ways to turn evil against itself. One method discovered was a forbidden ritual to summon a type of spirit from the negative energy plane that feed on negative energy, these spirits called the Xem are then bound to a willing host. Those that undertook this ritual gained powers that allowed them to fight back against undead with the very power that fueled them. Despite showing great success in the battle against evil the high priests of Pelor and Heironeous cast the order out calling them tainted and fallen. Free from the moral constraints of their former order the white eye gained power and influence by using methods to empower their agents that no priest of Pelor or Heironeous would even consider.
The most powerful of those that take on this ritual have developed their bond with the spirits to the point where they could manifest the spirits in a variety of ways that aided them in the battle against evil. Although their powers are intended to be used against the undead, the Xem's nature of feeding off negative energy makes several of the spirit stalkers abilities even more portent against negative energy beings.
The Xem are bizarre fish-like creatures that are native to the deepest parts of the negative energy plane. They looks quite similar to a skeletal piranha that measures 4 inches in length and their entire body is surrounded by a light blue glow. Although the Xem normally subsist on the negative energy the negative energy plane itself exudes, they will also feed on any source of energy they come across swarming it in a feeding frenzy akin to that of a school of real piranhas.
Becoming A Spirit Stalker
Although anyone who has sufficient strength of will and is sufficiently attuned to the realm of spirits may become a spirit stalker the majority of those who are chosen to undergo the training to become one are rogues as the white eye typically selects them for their ability to reach their targets undetected, gather information and to blend in to a society when they are not actively on a mission.
Gather Information 6 ranks, Hide 8 Ranks, Move Silently 8 Ranks
Willingly allow yourself to have negative energy eating spirits bound to you
The Spirit Stalker's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump(Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Dex), Tumble (Dex)
Skills Points at Each Level:
5 + int modifier
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|Sneak Attack+1d6, Incorporeal Harmonization, Surrounded by Spirits|
| Spectral Infusion, Speak with dead|
|Sneak Attack+2d6, Sphere of Anguish|
|Sneak Attack+3d6, Phantom Strike|
|Sneak Attack+4d6, Sphere of Sorrow|
|Sneak Attack+5d6, Greater Spirit Form|
|Negative Planar Rift|
: A Spirit Stalker gains proficiency with Light armor, but not shields.
The saving throw for any spirit stalker ability that allows one is (DC 10+ Class Level + Wisdom modifier) if they have spirit form active they may add half of their non spirit stalker class levels and may use all their class levels if greater spirit form is active. If the spirit stalker has any class levels that grant divine spell casting they may add those levels if they were spirit stalker class levels. The spirit stalkers effective caster level for any spirit stalker abilities is their spirit stalker class level plus their wisdom modifier.
Abandoned Spirit Stalker
Although being evil does not prevent one from becoming a spirit stalker a person that consistently commits evil acts upon good beings will find themselves abandoned by the Xem and unable either progress further as a spirit stalker or use any spirit stalker abilities. The Xem are not quick to forgive and a single atonement spell will not reverse this status. The Xem require that a spirit stalker they have abandoned seriously atone for their actions by either aiding spirits in need or killing those who use undead for evil purposes until the Xem are appeased.
Surrounded by Spirits (Ex)
The process of having the Xem bound to oneself opens up that person as a spiritual conduit which allows them to attach additional spirits to themselves in order to help transport them to where they may find peace and move on to the afterlife. The spirit stalker cannot be possessed by spirits who willingly follow the spirit stalker and may speak to any of these spirits by concentrating for a full round to focus on a particular spirit and must continue concentrating to maintain contact with them. These spirits may cause animals to become unnerved around the spirit stalker as they can sense something is unnatural with the spirit stalker.
Anyone viewing a spirit stalker with a detect undead spell sees the spirits that a spirit walker has with them. A first level spirit stalker would only show up with a few trailing glows, while a 10th level spirit stalker would almost be a nexus of spirits, surrounded by a whirlwind of glowing spirits.
Incorporeal Harmonization (Ex)
As the spirit stalker grows in strength they become increasingly attuned to the Xem that inhabit their body and strengthen their host against certain types of spells and grants them abilities that let them track down undead much easier than they could before becoming a spirit stalker.
At 1st level the spirit stalker gains the ability to detect undead as a paladin would detect evil, this ability is a spell-like ability.
At 3rd level the spirit stalker has learned how to track undead created through necromancy back to their creators. By touching the remains of an undead and giving up the use of their detect undead ability for an hour, the spirit stalker can sense the vague direction that the creator of the undead is in as long is within 1 mile of the spirit stalker per spirit stalker level. Any abilities or magical effects that blocks or misdirects divination spells affects this ability and the ability lasts 1 minute.
At 4th level the spirit stalker has become so attuned to the Xem that they have taken on some of their negative energy qualities and gain a +1 save bonus against any spell or ability that falls under the necromancy school or has the evil or death descriptor.
At 7th level the negative energy quality of a spirit stalker has strengthened and their save bonus has increased to +2
At 10th level the bonus increases to +3
Spectral Infusion (Ex)
Upon using this ability the Xem within a spirit stalker temporarily empower a single weapon (natural weapons included) the spirit stalker has on their person granting it the ability to strike incorporeal beings as if it was a ghost touch weapon. The Xem also have the ability to devour the negative energy of undead or a negative energy being causing 1d6 additional damage, this effect can occur a number of times per round equal to her wisdom modifier (minimum 1). While this ability is active the rogue may choose to forgo any extra damage on a successful sneak attack to instead deal 2 points of strength damage to an opponent as per the crippling strike ability (This ability does not stack with crippling strike should the spirit stalker possess it). This effect lasts 3 rounds plus the spirit stalkers wisdom modifier, although the spirit stalker may dismiss the effect earlier if she chooses. This ability may be used a number of times per day equal to half of the spirit stalkers class level plus her charisma modifier.
At 5th level a spirit stalker gains the ability to apply this effect to a second weapon (Or both hands) and the damage effect can occur an additional time per round, she also learns how to strike at more then flesh and may choose to deal charisma damage instead of strength damage. At 10th level this effect can occur an additional time per round and the additional damage is increased to 1d8.
Speak with dead (Sp)
At 2nd level the spirit stalker gains the ability to speak with dead as per the 3rd level spell with the exception of a 1 minute casting time, the spell may also be cast on the spirit of one who is deceased and not just a corpse and may affect any such target that has been dead for 1 week per spirit stalker level. She may use this ability 3 times per day plus her charisma modifier and the target receives a penalty to their will save (if applicable) equal to the spirit stalkers wisdom modifier (maximum -3).
Sphere of Anguish(Su)
At 3rd level a spirit stalker can focus the anguish of those slain by the undead into a small black sphere the size of an orange, the sphere can be combined with various materials to create certain effects. Once given an effect the sphere can then be thrown like a rock and as it strikes a creature or surface the effect the sphere was imbued with activates. This ability may be used three times per day plus the spirit stalkers charisma modifier
: a sphere that is imbued with a single drop of blood taken from either a vampire or anyone what has been bitten by a vampire becomes a deep crimson blood. Once activated this sphere swells to six inches in diameter and hovers five feet above the ground, once in the air the sphere splits apart and forms a set of floating jagged looking teeth made of blood. The teeth then launch themselves at a single creature within 30 feet and deal 1d6+1 points of damage per every 2 spirit stalker levels (Fort save for half damage), any damage dealt by these teeth to a living creature heals the spirit stalker the spirit stalker a like amount of hit points any hit points the spirit stalker is healed over their maximum hit points last an hour.
:By combining the sphere with a sliver of bone taken from a slain undead the sphere when activated expels a multitude of skulls over a 10 foot square area which explode on contact. Anyone caught in this area takes 1d4 damage per every 2 spirit stalker levels.
: a sphere created from ectoplasm left behind by a ghost bursts upon impact spraying a clear goo that glows in the dark and sticks to every living being, undead, construct and elemental in a 20 foot radius (supposing their form doesn't destroy the goo on contact i.e a fire elemental). Any creature struck by the goo is treated as if they were struck by a glitterdust spell except the goo does not blind those it strikes and the hide penalty only applies to creatures trying to hide in shadows or a low light (or darker)area, the unnatural glow of this goo can even be seen through magical darkness.
:A sphere combined with a few petals from a nightshade spits out a 15 food cubed cloud of a mostly clear green gas that causes anyone in the area to make a fortitude save or suffer a -2 penalty to attack and damage rolls for 3 rounds, any mindless undead in this area of effect suffer the same penalties with no saving throw. This gas dissipates after a single round.
Spirit form (Ex)
Upon reaching 4th level the spirit stalker may spend a full round to partially take on a negative energy spirit form, upon taking this form the user appears similar to a shadow. While in this form the spirit stalker gains a +4 bonus to any move silently checks and in any area of low light gains a +4 bonus to hide checks The spirit stalker also gains 30 foot dark vision while this ability is active. This ability may be used twice per day at 4th level and gains an additional use at 6th and 9th level. This alternate form lasts 5 rounds plus the users wisdom modifier, the spirit stalker may extend the duration of spirit form by an additional use as a free action and without interruption to the effect.
At 6th level the spirit form is enhanced by activating Midnight Blade and the spirit stalkers dark vision can extend to 60 feet and ignores the darkness created by any spirit stalkers midnight blade ability.
Phantom Claws (Ex)
This ability allows a spirit stalker to concentrate the Xem into one of their arms causing a black haze to envelop her arm which quickly forms into a semi translucent armor ending in a set of wicked claws. This arm glows a faint indigo and can stretch out up to 25 feet and make a ranged attack at a opponent, even arching over or around obstacles if necessary to reach the target, striking at any creature that the spirit stalker does not have line of sight on incurs the standard concealment penalties. The arm can also grab something from up to 25 feet away weighing 10 pounds or less. The arm expends its energy when making contact with another being so any grapple attempt automatically fails and causes the arm to dematerialize. This attack deals half of any sneak attack damage die that the spirit stalker has in damage (if the spirit stalker has an odd number of sneak attack dice round down to an even number and add +2 to the damage). i.e a Rogue 5/Spirit Stalker 5 would do 3d6 damage with this attack, a Rogue 5/Spirit Stalker 7 would do 3d6+2 damage. A spirit stalker can call on this ability 5 times per day plus her charisma modifier.
Alternatively the spirit stalker may form the armor on both arms in which case only the elbow and down is affected, while these hands cannot stretch like the full arm version does they do function as climbing claws and give a +3 bonus to climb checks while climbing wood or stone and if used to attack last the spirit stalkers wisdom bonus in rounds (minimum 1 round duration). A spirit stalker may apply spectral infusion or Midnight Blade to this form of phantom claws.
Midnight Blade (Ex)
By focusing every Xem in their body for a single attack a spirit stalker can infuse a single weapon with a pack of ravenous Xem so that it becomes black as night with small incorporeal Xem partially coming out of the weapon and lashing out at any source of energy they can sense. These hungry Xem quickly devour the light around the weapon they are occupying causing a 5 foot cubed area around the weapon to become totally dark, this darkness expands by 5 feet around until either the spirit stalker uses the attack or until a 20 foot cube around the spirit stalker is dark.
This ability allows one to apply their full sneak attack bonus to any creature of the undead or ghost type, this attack requires the entirety of the spirit stalkers focus and is the only attack they may make in that round and may not use any spirit stalker abilities in the same round even if they are a free action. Activating Midnight Blade counts as a move action unless the spirit stalker has already used Spectral Infusion on the chosen weapon at which point Spectral Infusion's effect ends and activating midnight blade is a swift action. The darkness created by this effect immediately disappears upon striking a being, this ability can be used 5 times per day.
Sphere of Sorrow (Su)
At 7th level Spirit Stalkers gain the ability to focus the sorrow of the dead into a hovering sphere which appears to made entirely of incorporeal eyes and skeletal mouths flowing throughout it, the sphere measures 1 foot in diameter and the spirit stalker can cause it to materialize within 50 feet of herself. This sphere continues to groan,cry and gibber incoherently causing anyone within 20 feet of the sphere to receive a -5 to any concentration check, the sphere will continue to do this for 10 rounds or until given one of several commands (activating any command is considered a swift action.) The sphere and any effect that it emits is not considered magical although the sphere itself will react to a detect undead spell. The spirit stalker herself is immune to the effects of the sphere of sorrow with the exception of the damage effects of the weep and erupt commands and has no immunity to the scream command. The sphere of sorrow can be summoned twice per day plus her charisma modifier.
: when the command to breathe is issued the mouths on the sphere will continuously emit in all directions a cloud of unnaturally disgusting orange gas that fills a 20 foot radius. This spell functions similar to a stinking cloud spell except it is so putrid in nature that it gives a -4 to the fort save. Any undead attempting to enter the cloud are instead affected as per the halt undead spell. This effect lasts 1 round per spirit stalker level.
: When commanded to Devour the mouths on the sphere open and spew out a swarm of Xem which cover a 25 foot cube area centered on the sphere and begin devouring any source of negative energy within that area and convert it to positive energy to heal the spirit stalker. Any undead or negative energy being in the area of effect takes 1d4+1 points of damage per spirit stalker level which heals the spirit stalker 1d6+1 hit points per creature damaged by this attack. Any hit points that heal the spirit stalker over her maximum hit points last for one hour. This effect is instantaneous.
: This command causes the sphere to emit a weak pulse of force damage causing 1 damage to everything within 30 feet of the sphere it also causes the sphere to turn invisible and incorporeal and shrink to 1 inch in diameter, any necromantic,evil or death spell used within 30 feet of the sphere causes it to grow an inch in diameter (Maximum 10 inches in diameter). After 3 rounds or sooner if the spirit stalker wills it the sphere erupts vertically splashing a 30 foot diameter with the same caustic black goo that the weep command creates. This eruption deals 1d6 points of acid damage per inch in diameter that the sphere was when it erupted, undead take 1d8 per inch in diameter any character within this area of effect may make a reflex save for half damage (if able to leave the area of effect.) The acid loses its potency upon striking a creature or surface and fades into nothingness 1 round later.
: once given this command eyes in the sphere to narrow always seeming to be staring at anyone who looks upon the sphere,the mouths all twist into a malicious grin. This command has 2 effects firstly any creature looking in the spheres direction must make a will save or be shaken for one round, anyone who succeeds on this will save is immune to this effect for 24 hours. The secondary effect is to dampen magic. Any spells from the necromantic school or possessing the evil or death descriptors that pass within or take effect within 30 feet of the sphere lose 4 effective caster levels, a spell cannot have its effective caster level reduced below 1 and cannot dampen a spell that is a higher level than the spirit stalkers class level -1. This effect lasts 1 round per 3 spirit stalker levels.
: This command causes the eyes on the sphere to glow and the mouths to being to laugh insanely at which it creates an illusionary effect that causes everything within 30 feet of the sphere seem to shift and ripple as if a wave was running through it. This effect is not visible from outside the affected area so only those inside or entering the area need make a will save. Anyone who fails their will save and attempts to move through the area must make a balance check with a -4 penalty or fall to the ground. Anyone who fails there save and remains in the area of effect for 2 or more full rounds must make a fort save or be nauseated until they leave the area of effect. This effect lasts 5 rounds, true sight works as it would against any illusion.
: This command causes the mouths on the sphere to simultaneously emit a deafening scream after which point it fades from existence, any creature within a 20 foot radius of the sphere takes 5d6 sonic damage and is deafened for 1d4+1 rounds. Anyone within 50 feet hears a ringing noise in their ears and takes a -6 penalty on any listen checks for 1d4+1 rounds, any mindless undead in the 50 foot radius must make a will save with a -1 penalty or have their energy disrupted causing them to go berserk for 3 rounds and attack the closest target, if there are multiple beings in range then choose a random target.
: upon giving this command a stream of pitch black tears will fall from the eyes covering sphere and expand to coat a 20 foot square area in a pool of bubbling black slime. These tears are not only incredibly caustic but sap the energy of any undead who step in it. and deal 1d6+4 acid damage per round to anyone standing in them. Undead or Negative energy beings take an additional 1d6 points of acid damage per round and move through the area at half speed and suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls until they have left the pool of tears, anyone initially standing in the area the acid will cover may make a reflex save to jump out of the way. The acid lasts 5 rounds before bubbling off into a fine black mist.
Hungry Spirits (Ex)
At 8th level the spirit stalker's bond with the Xem has increased to the point where they can allow the spirits to lash out and unleash their insatiable hunger on external sources of negative energy and convert it into positive energy for their host. Any spells,effects or abilities that would inflict negative levels upon the spirit stalker instead heal her 1d4+5 hit points per negative level. If they would heal the spirit stalker over her maximum these temporary hit points last for 1 hour, any undead/negative energy creature striking the spirit stalker with a natural or physical touch attack are set upon by the negative energy spirits and suffer 1d4+2 damage. Should the spirit stalker find themselves on the negative energy plane this ability allows them to be considered a native of the plane while they are there and gain Fast Healing 1. This effect can occur at most three times per round and only twice if the spectral blade ability is active.
Greater Spirit Form (Ex)
At 9th level the spirit stalker is able to call on a more powerful combat focused spirit form instead of her normal form. While in this form the spirit stalker is made up of almost entirely negative energy and has no discernible internal anatomy making them immune to both critical hits and non lethal damage as well as removing the need to breathe and temporarily removing the effects of any hunger,dehydration or fatigue for as long as the spirit stalker stays in this form. This form looks like a tall genderless mannequin displaying neither male or female characteristics and it's skin is a swirling and shifting mass of black energy, a jagged glowing white line appears where its mouth should be and 2 frayed glowing white circles in place of actual eyes. The form has long arms with the tips of its claws extending down just past its knees and the hands themselves end in jagged 6 inch claws.
Being in this form grants the spirit stalker 60 foot dark vision, and the form is so agile and flexible that the spirit stalker gains a +4 Dexterity bonus and is treated as having uncanny dodge, or improved uncanny dodge if she already has uncanny dodge and as long as she attacks with this forms natural weapons she is considered to have both weapon finesse and improved unarmed strike. As this form is almost pure negative energy the spirit stalker is healed any spells that would heal the undead and any positive energy healing spells cast on the spirit stalker in this form heal 3 less hit points per die (minimum of 1 hit point healed per die.) This forms natural weapons deal 1d6+3 damage per hit and may be enhanced by any spirit stalker abilities.
Negative Planar Rift
By the time a spirit stalker has reached the pinnacle of their power she gains the ability to once a day become a gateway to the negative energy plane and temporarily merge the area around her with a Xem infested piece of that plane. Activating this ability is a full round action and causes the spirit stalker to begin to levitate 5 feet off the ground, once in the air she and anything on her person look like they are made of black ink and a dark grey mist begins to erupt from her along with a swarm of ravenous Xem. Within seconds this mist fills a 20 foot cube and becomes a semi solid inky black mass and movement through this area is done at half speed as walking through the cube is akin to walking through solid fog. Dark vision will not extend beyond 5 feet in this area and the only thing that can be seen from outside the sphere is the swarm of glowing Xem flying through it. While this ability is active she cannot move and may only be harmed by abilities/spells and creatures that use or channel positive energy, force attacks and ghost touch weapons(any such spell that grants a save against its effects is made at -4 while the spirit stalker is in this state and she automatically fails all reflex saves)any spell that deals negative energy damage such as harm or inflict serious wounds instead heals the spirit stalker in this state.
This ability deals 7d8 damage to any non undead creature and 10d8 to any undead creature within the sphere(The spirit stalker herself takes no damage and anyone one in range makes a Reflex save for half damage as long as they are able to move out of the cubes radius). This ability persists until the spirit stalkers turn in the next round of combat or sooner should she be slain before then, anyone entering the sphere before it dissipates takes full damage. Upon the abilities end the cube dissipates into a black gas that seeps into the ground and corrupts the area within 30 feet around the spirit stalker, this area is treated as being part of the negative energy plane for the next 5 rounds after which the area reverts to normal. This lingering connection to another plane is incredibly draining on the spirit stalker and attempting to use any spirit stalker ability while the corruption remains causes her to become fatigued, if she is already fatigued she becomes exhausted, if already exhausted she must make a DC 15 constitution check or pass out for 2d6 rounds, if using greater spirit form to circumvent this any fatigue, exhaustion or constitution checks that would have occurred immediately does so upon leaving the form.
PLAYING A SPIRIT STALKER
While the spirit stalker's focus is combating undead they have several abilities that allow them to fight any opponent at mid range before closing in on their opponents or just for when their target is out of range or melee combat itself is impossible.
Combat for a spirit stalker can be played similar to that of a rogue, however the various abilities a spirit stalker gains allows them to be a threat at mid ranged combat as well as close ranged combat.
Any class or prestige class levels that add new abilities that aid a rogue will work well with spirit stalker levels.
In addition to any resources and contacts a rogue might have, a spirit stalker has access to the information network that the white eye maintains, this network specializes in information useful to those hunting rampaging undead and their masters or seeking out places that have been infested with the undead.
SPIRIT STALKER IN THE WORLD
A spirit stalker? yeah back in his adventuring days my grandfather traveled with one, said she spooked him more than any ghost ever did.
Hunting down undead and their masters is what they know and what they do, to those besieged by the undead the arrival of a spirit stalker is a welcome sight.
The daily life of a spirit stalker isn't much different than that of an individual of their base class, while the white eye may at times task their agents with dealing with specific individuals using undead for malevolent purposes or to investigate undead attacks, they do not launch large scale crusades against evil and are generally content to allow their agents to deal with evil as they come across it in their travels.
Of all the spirit stalkers the most powerful one to ever exist is a human woman who goes by the name of Nerezza. Unlike most spirit stalkers who are bound to the Xem by a magical ritual, Nerezza as a child was able to call the Xem to herself through a planar rift she found, she is so thoroughly attuned to the Xem it has effectively caused her to become a half negative energy being. Her power as a spirit stalker became legendary after she summoned a gigantic sphere of sorrow and used it to reduce an entire army of undead to a puddle of goo. Abhorring the mainly bureaucratic and scholarly duties of an elder member of the white eye, she serves as a wandering recruiter for the organization, seeking out those with the potential to become a spirit stalker.
Few evil spirit stalkers ever reach the pinnacle of a spirit stalkers power and none are more revered than Jakob Blackclaw. Raised in a corrupt magistocracy where the magic wielding nobility commanded armies of the undead to wage war against their neighbors and each other, Jakob used his training as a spirit stalker and an assassin to murder every noble that got in the way of his rise to power. Ironically by murdering evil nobles to become king, Jakob and his followers became heroes to the people and the day he ascended the throne is still celebrated as a holy day in the kingdom even 600 years after his death.
Although the white eye's methods of combating evil typically put them at odds most orders of clerics and paladins they readily work with magic institutions who share like interests and share information networks with thieves guilds that might have information such as ruins infested with undead or large quantities of necromantic magical items being purchased by on the black market. The white eye also has ties with wealthy individuals and nobility who are unable to afford the donations a clerical order might ask to purge an undead infestation, or would prefer the discretion the white eye employs in its duties as opposed to a group of paladins crusading through their lands.
Although the existence of the white eye and its agents is not as secretive as they might wish it to be, it is not exactly common knowledge and spirit stalkers generally do not carry anything on them that would reveal their true nature, as such they have little trouble blending in to society. Of those who know about spirit stalkers the opinions vary, the general outlook on spirit stalkers tends to be positive as they do fight against undead. More specifically paladins and some priests would see the spirit stalkers as tainted or an abomination they will generally tolerate their company to work for the greater good. Wizards and Sorcerers often find spirit stalkers fascinating to observe, necromancers, even good ones tend to be distrusting at best, other classes generally wouldn't see them as much different than a rogue of the same alignment.
SPIRIT STALKER IN THE GAME
The powers that the spirit stalker possesses grant a rogue more versatility in combat, especially against undead whom normally are immune to their sneak attack damage.
Settings where the negative energy plane does not exist can easily have the source of a spirit stalkers power changed to creatures from whatever spirit realm exists or even apply have an elemental twist to the class.
NPC spirit stalkers are most likely to be either recruiters looking for potential recruits for the white eye, investigators/scouts checking out an area for potential undead threats or field agents dispatched to deal with those threats investigators uncover.