Some stalkers learn that through the practice of more esoteric ki arts, that they are able to track the very essence of a foe, see through the fog of reality and hunt the soul of their targets. These stalkers, known as soul hunters, are well-versed in the methods of hunting and killing their intended targets. By honing their senses farther than any other stalker could, and emulating the hunting methods of hungry spirits and dragons, the soul hunter becomes a foe that is nigh- inescapable.
Instead of adding either Riven Hourglass or Tempest Gale to his list of available disciplines, a soul hunter adds Cursed Razor. If he does not have a discipline’s associated skill as a class skill, he gains it as a class skill.
This alters a stalker’s maneuvers.
A soul hunter stalker readies his maneuvers as a normal stalker would, but his recovery methods are different. In order for a soul hunter to recover maneuvers, he must either focus on the hunt of his prey or on the memories of past kills as a standard action and recover one expended maneuver. Alternately, the soul hunter may tap into the escaping energy of a soul by using his Soul Claiming ability, and recover a number of expended maneuvers equal to his stalker initiation modifier.
This ability alters maneuvers readied.
A soul hunter is more in-tune with his own native rhythms so he may better hunt his chosen prey. The soul hunter stalker’s base ki pool is increased by 2 additional points of ki at first level. Additionally, the use of his ki pool affords him several other abilities.
At 5th level, the soul hunter may use his soulburning on Claimed targets within 30 ft. of his position. The stalker spends 1 point of ki as a move action and all Claimed targets suffer his soulburning damage.
At 9th level, the stalker can delve into his subconscious in battle and remember key lessons from his training. The stalker envisions potential scenarios where martial abilities he has not readied come into play and gains a momentary burst of martial insight. A number of times per day equal to his stalker initiation modifier, the character spends one ki point as a swift action to trade an unexpended readied maneuver for a maneuver known of the same level or lower and have it immediately readied and accessible for his use. The character may initiate this maneuver and recover it as if he had prepared at the beginning of the day (or whenever the stalker readied his maneuvers last).
This alters the ki pool class feature of the soul hunter, which otherwise functions identically to a normal stalker.
A soul hunter is capable of attuning his own ki to a foe’s vital energies, making it difficult for quarry to elude or escape him. As a swift action, the soul hunter stalker may Claim a target creature that he has inflicted damage upon. A Claimed target’s position is known to the soul hunter, even if they have total concealment against him (though he still suffers the normal miss chance if his target is concealed, and is denied his Dexterity bonus if the Claimed target attacks him). Additionally, the target of his Claiming provokes attacks of opportunity from the soul hunter when using the withdraw action to escape him. A soul hunter may not Claim more than his stalker initiation modifier in creatures at any given time; a creature remains Claimed until the soul hunter withdraws his Claim (a free action) or until the target is slain. If the Claimed target is slain (reduced to 0 or fewer hit points) by the Claiming soul hunter, then he may recover his stalker initiation modifier in expended maneuvers. A soul hunter may not Claim a target creature with fewer than 1/2 HD.
This ability replaces the stalker’s standard recovery method.
When combating his target, the soul hunter can use his ki to cause disharmony within a Claimed creature’s very life energy, causing the foe’s own ki to erupt into life-destroying energy. Some describe the pain experienced as being the worst that any could endure, like something was inside their very spirit and devouring it whole. When making an attack or initiating a martial maneuver against his claimed target, the soul hunter may force this subtle disharmony to become a geyser of agony, as the soul hunter’s ki causes the target’s life energies to ignite. This inflicts an additional 1d6 points of damage at 1st level upon a successful attack, and this damage increases by an additional 1d6 points of damage every four soul hunter levels. Stalker arts that utilize deadly strikes use soulburning instead, and function as written with the following caveat: Soulburning cannot be done against targets that do not have vital forces (this includes constructs, oozes, and undead with an Intelligence score of 0.)
This ability replaces the stalker’s deadly strikes ability.
The soul hunter’s combat insight differs from a more traditionally trained stalker in the following ways:
At 12th level, whenever he reduces a Claimed target to 0 hit points or less, he may recover an expended maneuver.
These replace the abilities gained through combat insight at 2nd and 12th level.
The soul hunter learns ways to be able to hunt his prey with his extrasensory abilities. At 6th level, the soul hunter may spend 1 ki and use the spell clairaudience/clairvoyance (clairvoyance only) as a spell-like ability, using his stalker level as his caster level for the effect. He may spend an additional ki point to Claim a target seen in such a way. At 16th level, he may spend a ki point to use scrying and locate creature as spell-like abilities, and Claim targets spied upon in such a manner. The soul hunter must have either visited the location first, or have a clear picture of the target within his mind to use these abilities (as per the spells specific requirements).