S-Class Slayer

What Are S-Class Characters?

S-class characters are a request from Kenneth Zike. They are built using the summoner class, as originally presented, as the basis against which all other classes are balanced. The “S” in this case stands for both summoner and, as a more appropriate in-world reference, superior. If you have played—or GM’d for—a summoner and felt it was fine as is, you should have no problem running with an s-class character. S-class s-class slayers are cunning explorers, master thieves, and dangerous thugs. Their guilds are hard to find when you need their assistance, and impossible when you’re out to get them. Don’t worry, though, if they haven’t found you yet, chances are good that they will..

Note: The s-class slayer is an alternate, superior version of the slayer class. They retain all of the standard slayer progressions and options, and as such should qualify to select slayer archetypes without specific adjustments.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The s-class slayer’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: S-Class Slayer
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 S-class slayer guild, studied target, track
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Guild feature, slayer talent
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Guild talent, sneak attack +1d6
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Slayer talent
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 2nd studied target, guild talent
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Guild feature, slayer talent, sneak attack +2d6
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Guild talent, stalker
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Slayer talent
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Guild talent, sneak attack +3d6
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 3rd studied target, advanced talents, slayer talent
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Guild talent, swift tracker
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Slayer talent, sneak attack +4d6
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Guild talent, slayer’s advance 1/day
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Quarry, slayer talent
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 4th studied target, guild talent, sneak attack +5d6
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Slayer talent
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Guild talent, slayer’s advance 2/day
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Slayer talent, sneak attack +6d6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Guild talent, improved quarry
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 5th studied target, master slayer, slayer talent

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the s-class slayer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

S-class slayers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as with light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).


Every s-class slayer is a member of a guild with specific training practices and means of performing their duties. At 1st level, choose an s-class slayer’s guild. Once chosen, this cannot be changed. Guilds grant a combination of features and guild-specific talents at the listed levels.

The guilds available at the end of this section are the cutthroats, guerrillas, snipers, and vanguards.

Studied Target (Ex)

An s-class slayer can study an opponent she can see as a move action. The slayer then gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks attempted against that opponent, and a +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against it. The DCs of slayer class abilities against that opponent increase by +1.

An s-class slayer can only maintain these bonuses against one opponent at a time; these bonuses remain in effect until either the opponent is dead or the slayer studies a new target.

If an s-class slayer deals sneak attack damage to a target, she can study that target as an immediate action, allowing her to apply her studied target bonuses against that target (including to the normal weapon damage roll).

At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the bonuses on weapon attack rolls, damage rolls, and skill checks and to slayer DCs against a studied target increase by +1. In addition, at each such interval, the slayer is able to maintain these bonuses against an additional studied target at the same time. The slayer may discard this connection to a studied target as a free action, allowing her to study another target in its place.

At 7th level, an s-class slayer can study an opponent as a move or swift action.

Track (Ex)

An s-class slayer adds 1/2 her level (minimum 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow tracks.

Slayer Talents

As an s-class slayer gains experience, she learns a number of talents that aid her and confound her foes. Starting at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, an s-class slayer gains one slayer talent. Unless otherwise noted, an s-class slayer cannot select an individual talent more than once. Talents marked with an asterisk (*) add effects to an s-class slayer’s sneak attack. Only one of these talents can be applied to an individual attack, and the decision of which to use must be made before the attack roll is made.

Advanced Talents

At 10th level and every 2 levels thereafter, an s-class slayer can select an advanced slayer talent in place of a slayer talent.

A sample listing of slayer talents and advanced talents can be found at the end of this section, and an s-class slayer can select guild-specific talents and advanced talents from any guild if she meets the prerequisites otherwise.

Sneak Attack

At 3rd level, if an s-class slayer catches an opponent unable to defend itself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The slayer’s attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the slayer flanks her target. This additional damage is 1d6 at 3rd level, and increases by 1d6 every 3 levels thereafter. Should the slayer score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this additional damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or unarmed strike), an s-class slayer can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The slayer must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot.

An s-class slayer cannot use sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

Stalker (Ex)

At 7th level, an s-class slayer gains her studied target bonus on Disguise, Intimidate, and Stealth checks against her studied opponent.

Swift Tracker (Ex)

At 11th level, an s-class slayer can move at her normal speed while using Survival to follow tracks without taking the normal –5 penalty. When moving at up to twice her normal speed while tracking, she takes only a –10 penalty instead of the normal –20.

Slayer’s Advance (Ex)

At 13th level, an s-class slayer can once per day move up to twice her base speed as a move action. She may use Stealth as part of this movement, but takes a –10 penalty to her check for doing so. At 17th level, she can do this twice per day.

Quarry (Ex)

At 14th level, an s-class slayer can as a standard action denote one target within her line of sight as her quarry. Whenever she is following the tracks of her quarry, an s-class slayer can take 10 on her Survival skill checks while moving at normal speed, without penalty. In addition, she gains a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls made against her quarry, and all critical threats against her quarry are automatically confirmed. An s-class slayer can have no more than one quarry at a time, and the target must be selected as a studied target. She can dismiss this effect at any time as a free action, but she cannot select a new quarry target for 24 hours. If the slayer sees proof that her quarry is dead, she can select a new quarry target after 1 hour.

Improved Quarry (Ex)

At 19th level, the slayer’s ability to hunt her quarry improves. She can now select a quarry as a free action, and can now take 20 while using Survival to track her quarry, while moving at normal speed without penalty. Her insight bonus to attack her quarry increases to +4. If her quarry is killed or dismissed, she can select a new one after 10 minutes have passed.

Master Slayer (Ex)

At 20th level, the slayer becomes a master at capturing or killing her studied targets. As a standard action, she can make a single attack against a studied target at her full attack bonus, choosing one of the following effects: kill, knock unconscious for 1d4 hours, or paralyze for 2d6 rounds. If the attack succeeds, the target takes damage normally and must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw or suffer the additional effect. The DC for this save is 10 + 1/2 the slayer’s level + the slayer’s Intelligence modifier.

Whether or not the target succeeds, it cannot be targeted by this ability again (by any slayer) for 24 hours.

Slayer’s Guilds

Slayer’s guilds typically grant a combination of features and guild-specific talents as the slayer gains experience. If the slayer selects any talents that are later granted by her guild, she can select another talent in their place.

S-Class Slayer Talents

In addition to the talents presented here, an s-class slayer can select any guild-specific talent for which she meets the prerequisites.

Alchemical Application (Ex)

Benefit(s): You can draw alchemical bombs, vials (such as acid flasks, alchemist’s fire, and holy water), and poison as if they were weapons. As a swift action, you can pour the contents of an alchemical vial or poison onto a held or adjacent melee weapon. Until the weapon leaves its current wielder, or the end of your next turn, if the weapon is used to successfully hit a creature, that creature is affected as if it took a direct hit from the alchemical vial or poison, in addition to the damage from the weapon itself, if any.

Arcane Perception (Ex)

Benefit(s): You add half your slayer level (minimum +1) on Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks to identify, recognize, or track arcane spellcasters and creatures with spell-like abilities not directly gained from a divine source.

You can also use your arcane perception to recognize whether someone within 30 feet of you is using magic to hide their true form (such as with alter self or disguise self).

To do this, you must succeed at a Perception check against a DC equal to 15 + the target’s CR; success indicates the presence of a magical disguise or transformation, but it does not reveal the creature’s true form.

Cliff Jumper (Ex)

Benefit(s): You add half your level on Acrobatics checks to jump or soften a fall. Whenever you attempt an Acrobatics check to soften an intentional fall, reduce the falling damage you take by an additional 1d6 for every increment of 10 by which your Acrobatics check result exceeds the DC (a 2d6 reduction at DC 25, 3d6 at DC 35, and so on).

Determined Zeal (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Must worship a deity whose alignment is within at least one step of your own and follow that deity’s code of conduct.

Benefit(s): On any round in which you attack an opponent whose alignment is at least two steps away from your own, you gain a +2 bonus on Will saving throws against that opponent’s abilities, as well as the benefit of the Diehard feat until the end of your next turn.

Special: If you violate your deity’s code of conduct, you lose all benefits granted by this talent and talents that use it as a prerequisite until you atone for your deeds, per the atonement spell.

Disrupt Teamwork (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Group Study.

Benefit(s): Your studied targets never count as an ally to their allies for the purpose of flanking you or using teamwork feats or the aid another action against you.

Dirty Trick (Ex)

Benefit(s): Anytime you are able to deal sneak attack damage to a studied target, you can instead attempt to hamper the target. You must declare that you’re using this ability before the attack roll is made. If the attack hits, it deals damage normally, but instead of rolling sneak attack damage, you can attempt a dirty trick combat maneuver against the studied target as a free action, adding 1 to the combat maneuver check for each die of your sneak attack damage. This combat maneuver does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Expert Trapmaker (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 6th level.

Benefit(s): You gain the Learn Ranger Trap feat as summarized here, benefiting from it as if you were a ranger.

Select one ranger trap. You may use that trap a number of times per day equal to your 1/2 your slayer level + your Intelligence bonus (minimum 1). If you’re a member of the Explorer’s League, add this trap to the total you know with the trap guild feature instead.

In addition, you can expend two uses of your traps ability to add your sneak attack damage to the trap’s damage; any slayer talents or rogue talents you have that modify sneak attack damage, such as bleeding attack, also apply to sneak attack damage dealt by your ranger traps.

Falling Dodge (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Falling Strike.

Benefit(s): Add your Falling Strike bonus to your AC when you fall or jump through a threatened square. When a creature attacks you with a melee weapon and you aren’t flat-footed, you can fall prone as an immediate action, gaining your Falling Strike bonus to your AC against that attack.

Falling Strike (Ex)

Benefit(s): You gain a +1 bonus on Stealth checks and attack and damage rolls when you fall at least 10 feet before attacking an opponent. This bonus stacks with any bonuses you receive for charging or attacking from higher ground. At 5th level, this bonus becomes +2.

Giant Slayer (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 6th level, Single-Minded Slayer.

Benefit(s): If your single studied target is Large or larger, your studied target bonuses increase by an additional 1. At 10th level, if the target is Huge or larger, the bonuses increase by an additional 2 (4 total).

Group Stalker (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Group Study.

Benefit(s): You can target any creature from your studied group with discern next of kin (with a caster level equal to your slayer level) at will as a spell-like ability. The save DC is Intelligence-based and is modified by your studied target bonus. A creature that successfully saves against this effect is immune to this ability for 24 hours.

Group Study (Ex)

Benefit(s): You can designate a specific group as your studied target by studying any single member, such as members of the same guild or coven. The group must have specific, similar methods of training or governance; thieves from the same cabal count, but not two disparate rogues, nor two ogres with nothing linking them besides creature type. If unsure, the GM makes the final determination. Studying a group always requires a move action, even if you could normally study a target with a swift or immediate action

You apply your studied target bonus against all members of the studied creature’s group, and all members of that group count as one target for the purposes of determining the maximum number of studied targets you can maintain. This bonus remains even if one or more members of the group die after you study them. Beginning at 7th level, you can designate other magically linked creatures, such as those bound by a hivemind or a telepathic bond spell, as a group, but you can target only three members of such a link.

Guild Mastery (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): S-class slayer.

Benefit(s): Increase the DC of effects you create with a guild feature or guild-specific talent by +1. You can select this talent again at 10th-level or higher and increase the DC by 2 total.

Gunslayer (Ex)

Benefit(s): You gain the Gunsmithing feat, a battered gun identical to that gained by a 1st-level gunslinger, and the ability to restore your battered gun as if you were a gunslinger.

Horseback Archer (Ex)

Benefit(s): The penalties you take for making ranged attacks while mounted are decreased by 2, or by 4 at 7th level and higher.

Hunter’s Mind (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Monster Hunter.

Benefit(s): Even without the protection of a magical cloak, you can resist the powers of the monsters you hunt. You gain a +2 resistance bonus on saving throws against mindaffecting spells and effects that increases to +4 at 12th level and +6 at 16th level.

In addition, once per day as a standard action, you can shed a magical effect placed on you by a creature whose type or subtype you chose with Monster Hunter. This functions as break enchantment, and uses your slayer level as your caster level. You can use this ability twice per day at 12th level and three times per day at 16th level.

Lingering Strike (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Arcane Perception, Group Stalker, or Monster Hunter.

Benefit(s): When an attack you make hits and forces a studied target that meets one of the prerequisites above to make a concentration check, you add 1/2 your slayer level to the check’s DC. If such an attack deals sneak attack damage to the target, up to 1 point of sneak attack damage per slayer level counts as ongoing damage for the purpose of forcing the creature to attempt concentration checks (you don’t add half your slayer level to this DC). The target doesn’t actually continue to take the damage, but it must concentrate as if it did.

Monster Hunter (Ex)

Benefit(s): Choose a creature type or subtype from the ranger’s favored enemy list. If you deal damage to a creature of that type or subtype, you can study it as an immediate action, even if you didn’t deal sneak attack damage to it. You also can attempt monster lore checks to identify creatures of that type or subtype even if you’re untrained.

Special: You can select this talent more than once. Choose a different creature type or subtype each time. Starting at 10th level, if you have selected this talent at least three times, you gain its benefits against all creatures. For each creature type you’ve specifically chosen, you can study those creatures as a free action when you identify them with monster lore, adding your studied target bonuses to that check.

Narrow Escape (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Shadowclan guild, s-class slayer.

Benefit(s): When you are wearing light armor or no armor, you can move at full speed while traveling across the tops of narrow surfaces (between 1-foot and 4-feet wide), and you take no penalties on any Dexterity-based Skill checks or Reflex saves you might incur from moving about on those surfaces.

Prescient Hunter (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Monster Hunter.

Benefit(s): As a standard action, you can detect one creature type or subtype you chose with Monster Hunter at a time.

This works like detect undead, except it detects the chosen creature type or subtype instead.

Regional Training (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Terrain Mastery rogue talent or favored terrain class feature.

Benefit(s): Choose one of your favored terrains. You have adapted to spending long durations in those regions.

You can exist comfortably in extreme weather conditions created by your chosen terrain (such as extreme heat or cold, or getting a full night’s sleep in torrential rain, and so on). This extends to your equipment as well. You also ignore concealment (but not total concealment) within 30 feet of you and any penalties to Perception caused by the environment.

Rundown (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): The Vanguard guild, s-class slayer.

Benefit(s): When you make a charge, your attack deals sneak attack damage as if the target were flat-footed. If you select this as an advanced slayer talent, you can use rundown any time you move at least 10 feet in one round, but only with one attack.

Foes with uncanny dodge are immune to rundown.

Single-Minded Slayer (Ex)

Benefit(s): You are trained to do battle with more impressive opponents by giving your full attention to them. When you use a move action to study a single creature (not a group) and you have no other studied targets (or choose to end all others as part of the action), your studied target bonuses against that one creature increase by +1. You also ignore size restrictions against that studied target when attempting combat maneuvers if it is larger than you.

Submission Hold (Ex)

Benefit(s): When you attempt a grapple combat maneuver check to deal damage, you can take a –5 penalty on the check and add your sneak attack damage to the grapple damage for that attack. This sneak attack damage is nonlethal damage, unless you’re able to deal normal damage with a grapple and choose to do so.

Swift Death (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 14th level, Assassinate.

Benefit(s): Once per day, you can attempt to assassinate a foe without studying it beforehand. You must still succeed at a sneak attack against the target. At 19th level, you can make two such attacks per day.

True Believer (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 6th level, Determined Zeal.

Benefit(s): While benefiting from the Diehard feat gained with Determined Zeal, you aren’t staggered from having negative hit points, nor do you automatically lose 1 hit point per round.

Unseen Stalker (Ex)

Benefit(s): You can cast invisibility once per day, using your slayer level as your caster level. You use your Intelligence modifier for concentration checks when using this ability.

Special: You can select this talent twice. If you do, at 10th level, you can spend two uses to cast improved invisibility once per day instead.

Without a Trace (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): Explorer’s League guild.

Benefit(s): You are able to study a location, conceal evidence, and hide in or extricate yourself quickly from that location. Studying a location takes 1 minute for each 10-foot square. Once you have studied an area, you can attempt a Disguise check to alter evidence or a Stealth check to conceal evidence (by doing things such as cleaning up bloodstains, obscuring footprints, moving a dead body, and so on). Altering an area takes 1d3 x 10 minutes of work per 10-foot square.

Anyone attempting to determine what actually happened in the altered area must succeed at an opposed Perception check against the result of your Disguise or Stealth check (your choice) or accept the altered scene as truth. You gain a +4 bonus on this check, on Sleight of Hand checks to hide objects from that location on your person, and on Stealth checks to hide within or escape from the altered location.

This lasts as long as the scene remains unaltered (except by you).

Advanced Slayer Talents

Debilitating Injury (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 10th level, the Vanguard guild, s-class slayer.

Benefit(s): Whenever you deal sneak attack damage to a foe, you can also debilitate the target of your attack, causing it to take a penalty for 1 round (this is in addition to any penalty caused by an s-class slayer talent or other special ability). You can choose to apply any one of the following penalties when the damage is dealt.

  • Bewildered—The target becomes bewildered, taking a –2 penalty to AC. The target takes an additional –2 penalty to AC against all attacks made by the slayer. At 10th level and 16th level, the penalty to AC against attacks made by the slayer increases by –2 (to a total maximum of –8).
  • Disoriented—The target takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls. In addition, the target takes an additional –2 penalty on all attack rolls it makes against the slayer. At 10th level and 16th level, the penalty on attack rolls made against the slayer increases by –2 (to a total maximum of –8).
  • Hampered—All of the target’s speeds are reduced by half (to a minimum of 5 feet). In addition, the target cannot take a 5-foot step.

These penalties do not stack with themselves, but additional attacks that deal sneak attack damage extend the duration by 1 round. A creature cannot suffer from more than one penalty from this ability at a time. If a new penalty is applied, the old penalty immediately ends. Any form of healing applied to a target suffering from one of these penalties also removes the penalty.

Divine Anathema (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 10th level, Determined Zeal.

Benefit(s): As a free action, you can declare a studied target to be your divine anathema. The studied target’s alignment must be at least two steps away from your own. Against this target, your attacks deal an additional 2d6 points of damage; this damage is directly from divine power and does not stack with the bonus damage from a holy or unholy weapon, or a weapon with a similar weapon special ability or effect. You can have only one divine anathema at a time.

Fall-By Attack (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 10th level, Falling Strike.

Benefit(s): If you make a single jump of at least 20 feet in any direction and land at an elevation at least 10 feet lower than you began, you can make ranged or melee attacks during your fall as if you were making a full-round attack.

You can make any number of attacks in any combination of squares along your single jump, up to your maximum number of attacks, but you can attack a given creature once at most. If your jump attempt fails, you can make no attacks, and you suffer the consequences of the failed jump normally.

At 19th level, you can add your extra damage from sneak attack against each creature you hit while using this talent, even if the targets have acted in combat or retain their Dexterity bonuses to AC.

Improved Falling Strike (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 10th level, Falling Strike.

Benefit(s): Increase your Falling Strike bonus by +1, or +2 at 15th level.

Monster Lore Master (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 10th level, quarry.

Benefit(s): You can take 10 on monster lore checks to identify a creature you have selected as your quarry. At 19th level, you can take 20 on these checks without spending extra time to do so. You must be trained in the appropriate Knowledge skill to use this ability, unless you have the Monster Hunter talent for creatures of that type or subtype.

Precision Application (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 10th level, Alchemical Application or poison use class feature.

Benefit(s): When a weapon you coated in poison with Alchemical Application hits a creature and you would deal sneak attack damage, you can forego that bonus damage to increase the poison’s saving throw DC by +1 for every 2d6 of sneak attack damage you forego in this way.

Tree Stride (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 10th level.

You can move with supernatural ease among the trees once per day, as if using tree stride with a caster level equal to your slayer level.

Vexing Movement (Ex)

Prerequisite(s): 10th level, Ruffian guild, s-class slayer.

Benefit(s): You can move through the space of a creature two size categories larger than you without needing to attempt an Acrobatics check, and you ignore the first 5 feet of that creature’s threatened area when moving through its space. Additionally, whenever you hit a larger foe with a melee sneak attack, you can choose to forgo the sneak attack bonus damage and instead attempt a dirty trick combat maneuver as a swift action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

S-Class Characters: The Slayer. Copyright 2023, Samurai Sheepdog. Author: Kevin Glusing

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