Death Slayer (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Death slayers are assassins focused on destroying undead.


Death slayers are a branch of the Pale Mantis Assassins dedicated to destroying undead. Undead are particularly upsetting to the Pale Mantis, and death slayers are trained as specialized agents for missions where the target of an assassination is undead, or when an assassinated target returns from death as one of the undead. Undead mock the order all living things must submit to, and as such defy the sacred act of assassination.

Just as pale mantis assassins do not wantonly slaughter the living, death slayers don’t indiscriminately seek out undead to destroy. They focus instead on eliminating specific targets that have been marked for destruction, and they take special satisfaction in destroying those who were assassinated in life by one of their colleagues. Unlike a pale mantis assassin, a death slayer killing undead is not restrained by the laws of death. A creature that becomes undead—whether intentionally, via a curse, or by other means—is always a legal target.

Death Slayers on Porphyra

Death slayers are a holy order of Shankhil focused on destroying undead, part of the Pale Mantis Assassins. Death slayers have been used as a defense time and again when other cults try to persecute the pale mantis assassins, either those of Shankhil and other gods such as Gerana. The Pale Mantis point out death slayers and pale mantis assassins balance each other out. Still, there are far fewer death slayers than there are pale mantis assassins, and they are considered spooky and morbid even within their own order.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype built on the death slayer prestige class.

Alignment: A death slayer’s alignment must be within one step of her deity’s, along either the law/chaos axis or the good/evil axis. Deaths slayers generally serve a lawful neutral or lawful evil god of necessity and death. Few death slayers are of good alignment, but it is not unthinkable.

Hit Die: d8.

Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

A death slayer’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The following are all the class features of the death slayer prestige archetype.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A death slayer is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, longbow, repeating crossbow, sawtooth sable, and shortbow. She is also proficient with light armor, but not with any shields.


Table: Table: Death Slayer
Spells Known
Level Spells Known
Zero 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1 4 2
2 5 3
3 6 4
4 6 4 2
5 6 4 3
6 6 4 3
7 6 5 4 2
8 6 5 4 3
9 6 5 4 4
10 6 5 4 4 2
11 6 6 4 4 3
12 6 6 4 4 4
13 6 6 4 5 4 2
14 6 6 4 5 4 3
15 6 6 4 5 4 4
16 6 6 4 5 5 4 2
17 6 6 5 6 5 4 3
18 6 6 5 6 5 4 4
19 6 6 5 6 5 5 4
20 6 6 5 5 5 5 5

A death slayer casts divine spells drawn from the inquisitor spell list. She can cast any spell she knows at any time without preparing it ahead of time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

To learn or cast a spell, a death slayer must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a death slayer’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the death slayer’s Wisdom modifier.

A death slayer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level each day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Death Slayer. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). A death slayer’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A death slayer begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the death slayer’s choice. At each new death slayer level, she gains one or more new spells as indicated on Table: Death Slayer Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a death slayer knows is not affected by her Wisdom score. The numbers on Table: Death Slayer Spells Known are fixed.)

Certain spells in the inquisitor spell list affect class features the death slayer does not have, such as judgment. These spells are not available to the death slayer.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every third death slayer level thereafter (7th, 10th, and so on), a death slayer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the death slayer “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. The death slayer may swap out only a single spell at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

Channel Harm (Su)

Regardless of alignment, any death slayer can release a wave of harmful energy by channeling the power of her faith through any holy (or unholy) symbol. This is either positive energy that harms undead or negative energy that harms living creatures, as decided when the ability is used. Objects and creatures which are neither living or undead, such as constructs, are not affected by this ability.

Channel harm causes a burst that affects all creatures in a 30-foot radius centered on the death slayer. The amount of damage dealt is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two death slayer levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the death slayer's level + the death slayer's Wisdom modifier. A death slayer may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Wisdom modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

This is a variant of channel energy and works with channeling feats, but never to heal.

Channel Smite

A death slayer gains Channel Smite as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Sneak Channel

When a death slayer hits an opponent whom she flanks or who is denied it's Dexterity bonus to armor class against her, she can channel harm into the attack as a free action. Sneak channel works with ranged attacks, but only to a range of 30 ft. If this hits a living or undead creature, that creature takes an amount of additional damage equal to the damage dealt by the channel harm ability. The target can make a Will save to halve this additional damage. If the attack misses, there is no effect.

This has no effect against creatures that are neither living or dead, such as constructs. The additional damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. Using sneak channel is a free action that can be done with each attack and does not count against the daily uses of channel harm. Against improved uncanny dodge, this ability works the same way as sneak attack does.

Bonus Feats

At 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter, a death slayer gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from the following: Extra Channel, Great Fortitude, Greater Channel Smite, Guided Hand, Improved Channel, Life Lure, Quick Channel, Shatter Control, Thanatopic Spell, Threnodic Spell, Turn Undead, Two-Weapon Fighting, or Weapon Focus (sawtooth saber), The death slayer must meet the prerequisites of the selected bonus feat.

Cunning Initiative (Ex)

At 2nd level, a death slayer adds her Wisdom modifier on initiative checks, in addition to her Dexterity modifier.

Mantis' Prayer (Ex)

At second and higher level, the death slayer's spellcasting does not break Stealth. She can use material components, foci, gestures, and speech quietly and discreetly to cast spells while in Stealth. All other restrictions on using components still apply. The effect of a spell still attracts attention as normal, and a death slayer casting a spell on an unwilling target is still automatically spotted.

Dead Aura (Su)

At 3rd level, a death slayer can control her aura as a standard action. This lasts until she dies or changes her aura again. She can appear either as a living, dead, or undead creature to spells and abilities like deathwatch that detect undead, discern between the living and dead, or determine a creature's health.

Evasion (Ex)

At 3rd level, a death slayer can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she succeeds at a Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the death slayer is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless death slayer does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Favored Enemy (Ex)

At 4th level, a death slayer gains undead as a favored enemy. She gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of her selected type. Likewise, she gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A death slayer may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify undead. This ability stacks with similar bonuses from other classes. (This doesn’t increase existing favored enemy bonuses against any other creature types.) At 14th level, the death slayer’s favored enemy bonus against undead increases to +4.

Gravegaze (Su)

A 4th level death slayer gains the benefits of deathwatch at all times.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 6th level, a death slayer can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A death slayer with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.

Undead Bane (Su)

At 8th level, any sawtooth saber a death slayer wields functions as a bane weapon against undead creatures. At 16th level amount of bonus damage dealt by the weapon against undead increases to 4d6.

Deadly Conviction (Su)

At 9th level, a death slayer adds her favored enemy bonus on saving throws against spells and effects created by undead creatures. When she gains a temporary negative level, she can make an immediate saving throw to remove that negative level. This is in addition to the normal saving throw to remove a negative level.

Infuse Saber (Su)

At 12th level, a death slayer can infuse one or more wielded sawtooth sabers with positive energy as a swift action. This infusion of energy lasts for 3 rounds. When brandishing an infused saber, a death slayer’s channel harm damage increases by half (+50%), and undead take a –2 penalty on all saving throws against her channeled harm and against any spell she casts. Each weapon infused using this ability costs one use of channel harm.

Stalwart (Ex)

At 12th level, a death slayer can use mental and physical resiliency to avoid certain attacks. If she makes a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, she instead avoids the effect entirely. This ability can only be used if the death slayer is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless death slayer does not gain the benefit of the stalwart ability.

Aura of Life (Su)

At 20th level, as a free action at the beginning of her turn, the death slayer can emit a 10-foot aura of positive energy until the end of her turn that weakens undead creatures. Aura of life creates a pale glow around the death slayer. Each undead creature within the aura at any time during the death slayer's turn takes the death slayer's channel harm damage. The death slayer gains fast healing 10 and the benefits of infuse saber while aura of life is active. Each use consumes one use of channel harm.

Table: Death Slayer

Special Spells per Day
1 2 3 4 5 6
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Channel harm 1d6, channel smite, orisons, sneak channel 1
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Bonus feat, cunning initiative, mantis' prayer 2
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Channel harm 2d6, dead aura, evasion 3
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Favored enemy (undead) +2, gravegaze 3 1
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Channel harm 3d6 4 2
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Bonus feat, uncanny dodge 4 3
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Channel harm 4d6 4 3 1
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 Undead bane 4 4 2
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 Channel harm 5d6, deadly conviction 5 4 3
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3 Bonus feat 5 4 3 1
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3 Channel harm 6d6 5 4 4 2
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Infuse saber, stalwart 5 5 4 3
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Channel harm 7d6 5 5 4 3 1
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +4 Bonus feat, favored enemy (undead) +4 5 5 4 4 2
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +5 Channel harm 8d6 5 5 5 4 3
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Undead bane (4d6) 5 5 5 4 3 1
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Channel harm 9d6 5 5 5 4 4 2
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Bonus feat 5 5 5 5 4 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Channel harm 10d6 5 5 5 5 5 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Aura of life 5 5 5 5 5 5

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to each listed race. Unless otherwise stated the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward. All these choices are available from level 1, even if they enhance an ability you only gain at a higher level. A favored race bonus that helps you qualify for a certain class ability means you get that particular class ability at an earlier level.

  • Dwarf: Increase the bonus from the dwarf's stonecunning by +1/2.
  • Elf: Increase the favored enemy bonus on Knowledge, Perception, and Survival checks by 1/4.
  • Gnome: Increase the favored enemy bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, and Perception checks by 1/4.
  • Half-Elf: Increase the favored enemy bonus on Bluff, Perception, and Sense motive checks by 1/4.
  • Half-Orc: Gain a +1/2 bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls made when using sneak channel. When the bonus reaches +5, the half-orc can continue to spend points, gaining a bonus on confirmation rolls with all proficient melee weapons. This bonus does not stack with those gained through Critical Focus and similar effects.
  • Halfling : Add a +1/4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against undead.
  • Human: Gain 1/6 bonus feat the human fulfills the prerequisites for.

  • Aasimar: Add 3 ft. to the range of the aasimar's darkvision. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Anpur: Gain a +1/2 bonus on Climb, Perception, and Stealth checks when it a graveyard, temple, or tomb.
  • Avoodim: Add 1/4 d6 to sneak channel damage dealt to creatures with the outsider type.
  • Catfolk: Increase the studied target bonus on Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks by 1/4.
  • Changeling: Add +1/2 ft. to the changelings natural reach against studied targets. Always round this down to the nearest multiple of 5 ft.
  • Dhamphir: Add a +1/2 bonus on Stealth checks and Perception checks made in dim light or darkness.
  • Dhosari: Add +1 to Disguise checks when disguised as a slave or servant.
  • Dragonblood: Gain blindsense with a range of 1 ft. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Drow: Add a +1/2 bonus on Bluff checks to feint and pass secret messages.
  • Erkunae: Gain a +1/2 bonus on Use Magic Device.
  • Eventual: Gain a +1 bonus on Sense Motive checks against undead.
  • Hobgoblin: Add +1/2 to Perception and Stealth checks as long as the hobgoblin does not move or attack.
  • Kitsune: Add +1 to Acrobatics checks to move through an opponent's space or out of a threatened space.
  • Nagaji: Gain either climb speed 1 ft. or swim speed 1 ft. in any combination. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Orc: Gain +1 bonus to damage when at 0 or fewer current hit points.
  • Orcam: Add 1 ft. to the range of orcam ecolocation and gain blindsense 1 ft. even when not using echolocation. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Qit'ar: The Qit'ar can charge up to 3 ft. and make a pounce attack. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 10 ft.
  • Ratfolk: Gain either climb speed 1 ft. or swim speed 1 ft. in any combination. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Samsaran: Increase the favored enemy bonus on Knowledge, Perception, and Sense Motive checks by 1/4.
  • Shibaten: When the shibaten succeeds at a Reflex save and takes no damage from the attack, the shibaten can spend an immediate action to move 2 ft. This movement does not trigger attacks of opportunity. Always round this movement down to the nearest multiple of 5 ft.
  • Strix: Add a +3 ft. to the range of the strix's darkvision. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Tengu: Gain a +1/2 bonus on critical hit confirmation rolls made with a with a sawtooth saber (maximum bonus of +5). When the bonus reaches +5, the tengu can continue to spend points, gaining a bonus on confirmation rolls with all melee weapon listed under the tengu’s swordtrained ability. This bonus does not stack with those gained through Critical Focus and similar effects.
  • Tiefling: Add 1/3 d6 to sneak channel damage against creatures with the good subtype.
  • Vanara: Add +1 ft. to climb speed and +1/2 on Stealth checks when climbing. Always round the speed bonus down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Vishkanya: Add 1/2 additional daily use of the vishkanya's toxic racial ability.
  • Wayang: Add 3 ft. to the range of the wayang's darkvision. Always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft.
  • Xesa: Add +1/2 to Stealth checks against creatures with scent.
  • Zendiqi: Add 1/3 d6 to sneak channel damage against creatures detected by the zendiqi's smell of the muhartik racial ability.
  • Zif: Gain 1 ft of climb speed, always round this down to the nearest increment of 5 ft. The zif can climb absolutely smooth surfaces like a wall of force with a DC of 40.


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  • System Reference Document © 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors: Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
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  • Lands of Porphyra © 2015, Purple Duck Games; Authors: Ken Austin, Thomas Baumbach, Carl Cramér, Daniel Denehy, Perry Fehr, Mark Gedak, August Hahn, Noble Hays, John Hazen, Sam Hing, Sean Holland, N. Jolly, Christopher Kaiser, James H. Lewis, Chris Longhurst, Liz Mackie, Josh McCrowell, Christopher Mennell, Scott Messer, Angel “ARMR” Miranda, Julian Neale, Daniel M. Perez, David Pryzbyla, Marc Radle, David N. Ross, Treyson Sanders, Justin Sluder, Todd Stewart, Stefen Styrsky, Mike Welham, Jeremy Whelan, Patricia Willenborg.