In civilization, a butcher is a noble profession. Handling the cutting and sorting of animal body parts lets the squeamish and less skilled with anatomy still enjoy a nice cut of meat. Visiting the town butcher can be a very pleasant afternoon outing. However, in the ruthless lands of the deep jungle or dank dungeon, there is nothing pleasant or noble about anyone going by the name “butcher”. Out where it is lawless, a butcher severs limbs to do away with opponents, sometimes leaving a foe alive to fend for itself, armless and legless.
Butchers are particularly scary people because of the intelligence they possess. Anyone can swing a blade in another’s direction and cut off a few fingers and maybe a hand. A butcher studies how bodies work, how they hold together. They know how to take a body apart.
Butchers are all at least part rogue in order to qualify for the class. Most are fighter/rogues. As brutal as the butcher prestige class may seem, its qualifications are not easy to meet. Rogues have the skill points and fighters have the base attack bonus to meet the prerequisite. Some clerics/rogues and paladin/rogues consider systematically amputating opponents more merciful than killing them, particularly those with access to regenerate spells.
Role: Butchers thrive within striking distance of the limbs of their foes. However, their understanding of how the body works also makes them reliable secondary healers.
Alignment: Although most adventurers would sever a foe’s limb if they had to, choosing to specialize in the amputation of one’s enemies requires a devoted mind to justify. Very few butchers are neutral, with a significant portion favoring lawful evil.
Hit Die: d8
To qualify to become a butcher, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria:
Base Attack Bonus: +6.
Skills: Heal 5 ranks.
Feats: Improved Sever Limb
Special: Sneak attack +1d6.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the butcher prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Butchers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and light armor.
Even with his sharpened dismemberment skills, a butcher is not above making mistakes. He does, however, learn from them. Beginning at 2nd level, whenever a butcher successfully hits a target but fails to sever that target’s limb, the DC to resist his next sever limb attack against the same limb of the same target increases by +2, stacking with each failed attempt.
With a flick of the wrist at just the right moment, a butcher can spray a stream of arterial blood into his target’s face. Beginning at 3rd level, whenever a butcher successfully severs a limb, his target is sickened for 1d4 rounds by the spray of its own blood.
Shock cannot protect this victim. Beginning at 4th level, a butcher gains Painful Severing as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the requirements. If he already has Painful Severing, he may pick another feat.
No one ever accuses a butcher of having no sense of humor. A sick sense of humor, maybe. Beginning at 5th level, whenever a butcher severs an arm or a hand wielding a weapon, he can take that weapon in his off hand as a swift action. A butcher may take the weapon even if he wielded a one-handed weapon in two hands to sever the limb, but not if he is wielding a two-handed weapon, or his off hand is already occupied.
A butcher knows everything about the way a body works, including where the nerves are. Beginning at 7th level, whenever a butcher successfully severs a limb, his target is dazed for 1 round (Will save DC 10 + ½ butcher’s class level + butcher’s Int modifier to resist).
Beginning at 8th level, a butcher may choose to sever an artery rather than a limb. A sever artery attack works exactly like a sever hand attack, except on a success the target takes 1 point of Constitution damage from blood loss. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to the Constitution damage dealt by this attack.
A skilled butcher’s quickness with a blade is only matched by his intuit understanding of how to lop off arms and legs. Beginning at 9th level, once per day a butcher may declare a multi-sever. On the round multi-sever is declared, a butcher may attempt to sever all of a target’s limbs, up to his class level. A butcher may not sever artery or sever cleave on the same turn it multi-severs.