Nightmare Reaper (3.5e Class)

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Nightmare Reaper[edit]

A Nightmare Reaper is a high damage, high mobility close range based class with a unique resource called Heat managing his spell-like abilities. A Nightmare Reaper has limited options at range and is most at home creating havoc in melee.

Making a Nightmare Reaper[edit]

A Nightmare Reaper's damage potential is high if they manage their Heat supply effectively. Often times, especially at early levels a Nightmare Reaper without access to good Heat gain is in trouble without help from party members. A Nightmare Reaper has little protection from ranged attacks such as arrows and can be shot down without being able to charge any Heat to fight and have no healing spells or abilities themselves. Clerics and other healing classes work well to keep a Nightmare Reaper healthy enough to keep attacking and maintaining their Heat gain. Their health is not the best either so having another melee fighter such as a Paladin serving as the main frontline is better than having a Nightmare Reaper up front all the time.

Even if they aren't the bulkiest of fighters, a Nightmare Reaper has a good set of options to remove high priority threats through their high damage and mobility.

Abilities: Dexterity and Strength are the most important attributes for this class as their main damage tools scale on Strength or Dexterity and they are only proficient with light armour so a high Dex score will give them that extra bit of AC to survive with. Charisma is a third stat that helps in later levels but is not essential.

Races: Any race can become a Nightmare Reaper but the most likely ones are Humans, Elves or similar intelligent humanoids

Alignment: Due to their cruel and sadistic nature, only Evil alignments can be Nightmare Reapers.

Starting Gold:As Rogue

Starting Age: As Rogue

Table: The Nightmare Reaper

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Heat, Flurry of Stomps(2), Dexterous Trip
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Reckless Charge
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Gleaming Fang, Flurry of Stomps (3)
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Ouroboros, Retaliating Fang, Snakebite
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Divine Twin Blades, Overdrive, Flurry of Stomps (4)
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Serpent's Laceration, Heat Flurry, Outta My Way!
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Screeches of the Condemned, Flurry of Stomps (5)
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Barrier Burst!, Evasion, Venomous Bite
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Get Your Hands Off Me!, Obvious!, Flurry of Stomps (6)
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Serpent's Cursed Bite, Evil Stomps
11th +11/+6 +7 +7 +3 Spirit Form
12th +12/+7 +8 +8 +4 Mind Split, Heads and Tails
13th +13/+8 +8 +8 +4 Terrifying Aura, Improved Evasion
14th +14/+9 +9 +9 +4 Spirit Defence
15th +15/+10 +9 +9 +5 Nightmare Reaping
16th +16/+11 +10 +10 +5 Mind Contamination
17th +17/+12 +10 +10 +5 Guard Crush
18th +18/+13 +11 +11 +6 Life Link
19th +19/+14 +11 +11 +6 Binds of Hatred
20th +20/+15 +12 +12 +6 Ascension, Unholy Wrath of the Basilisk

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance(Dex), Climb(Dex), Escape Artist(Dex), Intimidate(Cha), Jump(Dex), Knowledge(Local), Knowledge(Dungeon), Sleight of Hand(Dex), Tumble(Dex), Use Rope(Dex).

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Nightmare Reaper can wear only light armour and is proficient only with unarmed combat and Ouroboros. At first level, a Nightmare Reaper has the feat Unarmed Strike as a Monk. A Nightmare Reaper becomes unable to use any class features if he wears any armour heavier than light armour, uses a shield or uses a weapon that is not a dagger or Ouroboros

Heat: A Nightmare Reaper uses a special resource in combat called Heat which is used to activate various special moves in combat. Heat is built in combat when the Nightmare Reaper has successfully hit an enemy or has himself been damaged by an enemy. Heat gain will halt once combat has ended and any short or long rest will reset the Heat Gauge entirely, the Heat Gauge can only store 100 charges of Heat at a time. As landing a basic attack roll will give only 2 points of Heat and taking a hit gives only 1 point of Heat, a Nightmare Reaper has several special attacks at his disposal to increase Heat gain.

Overdrive: From level 5 onward, a Nightmare Reaper may choose to activate Overdrive once per day as a free action for 1d4 turns to enhance his special moves and Distortion Drives. If he is under 25% HP when Overdrive is activated, then the duration increases to 1d6 turns.

Flurry of Stomps: As Flurry of Blows, a Nightmare Reaper can use a standard action to rapidly stomp on a prone enemy, dealing lethal or non-lethal damage. A 1st level Nightmare Reaper begins with 2 attacks in this Flurry and will gain one extra attack in the Flurry every 2 levels onward until it caps at 6 stomps. For each stomp landed, 5 points of Heat will be gained. This will be doubled to 10 points of Heat per hit if lethal damage is used. You must declare lethal or non lethal damage before making the attack roll. The damage inflicted by a stomp attack per level is identical to the Monk unarmed strike damage table.

Dexterous Trip: as the Improved Trip feat but the Nightmare Reaper's Dex modifier is used in place of the usual Str modifier in the trip check. Upon successfully tripping the target, 5 Heat is gained. At level 5 and onwards, if a successful Trip is made, as a free action once per turn you may use Flurry of Stomps immediately on that target, if they're within 5ft of the Reaper. The usual Heat gain still applies.

Reckless Charge: A Nightmare Reaper can attempt a more devastating attack than a regular charge. Upon a successful charge hit, you may roll damage one die increment higher than usual (d8 instead of a d6 for example.) If the attack fails, the Nightmare Reaper is counted as flatfooted alongside the usual penalties for charging until his next turn.

Ouroboros: At level 4, a Nightmare Reaper gains access to a long chain whip with a pointed tip, as a standard action he can attack with it within a 10ft range of himself using a ranged touch attack. A successful hit will automatically trip the opponent on the spot and deals the same damage die as a stomp + Dex modifier then gives 10 Heat. The reach of Ouroboros' standard attack increases by 5ft every 3 levels up to a cap of 30ft.

Retaliating Fang: A Nightmare Reaper can use Ouroboros as a short to mid range grapple attack. As a standard action, A Reaper can use Ouroboros' chains to grapple an enemy within 15ft of himself. If successful, the enemy is grappled by the living Ouroboros itself, dealing 1d6 + Dex modifier + half class level piercing damage per turn and escalating by a d6 every turn up to a maximum of 3d6 + Dex modifier + half class level. The escape DC is DC 15 Escape Artist or DC 20 Strength. If the grapple attempt fails, the target cannot attempt to initiate a counter grapple unless he was already in attack range to begin with. A successful grapple gains 10 Heat. The Nightmare Reaper can act, move and attack independently from Ouroboros during this grapple, but is unable to use any special moves that requires the use of Ouroboros.

If under the effects of Overdrive, the escape DC increases to DC 20 Escape Artist or DC 25 Strength.

Snakebite: Once per turn as a standard action, a Nightmare Reaper can transform Ouroboros into a crude short range dagger and make a regular attack roll. If the target is successfully damaged, half of the damage inflicted is instead transferred directly into the Heat Gauge. For example: If Snakebite would deal 10 damage, the target instead takes 5 damage and the Nightmare Reaper gains 5 Heat. Alternatively, he can choose to forgo dealing the damage entirely and take the entire damage roll as Heat. A successful Snakebite will also put the enemy into a prone position directly at the Nightmare Reaper's feet.

When under the effect of Overdrive, a successful Snakebite will give double the Heat gain it would have usually given. Additionally during Overdrive, Snakebite can be used as a move action instead of a standard action

Heat Flurry: From level 6 onward, as a standard action a Nightmare Reaper can make a standard attack roll and if successful, the Nightmare Reaper will land a roundhouse kick to stun the target briefly then make 4 rapid strikes of energy enhanced attacks then kick the target away by 10ft. Once the first attack is successfully landed, all other attacks in this chain are guaranteed hits and only have to roll damage. The Nightmare Reaper will gain 40 Heat from a successful Heat Flurry. The damage die for this attack is the same as the current level of the stomp damage die

During Overdrive, these attacks are doubled to 8 strikes and the Heat gain is increased to 60.

Outta My Way!: From 6th level onward, a Nightmare Reaper is immune to all attacks of opportunity when performing a charge action.

Barrier Burst!: At level 8 and onward, when a Nightmare Reaper takes damage he may immediately choose to use Barrier Burst! All units that are within 5ft of him will be knocked away by 10ft. This ability can only be used once per day and cannot be used during Overdrive.

Evasion:At 8th level and higher, a Nightmare Reaper can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the Nightmare Reaper is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless Nightmare Reaper does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Get Your Hands Off Me!: At level 9 onwards, once per turn a Nightmare Reaper may choose to automatically break a grapple attempt against him, unless the opponent is 5 class levels above him.

Obvious!: At level 9 onwards, a Nightmare Reaper can no longer be caught by a Sneak Attack unless the target is 5 Rogue levels higher than him. In addition, the moment a Sneak Attack is attempted on the Nightmare Reaper he may immediately make a regular melee attack roll against the person attempting the Sneak Attack.

Evil Stomps: From level 10 onwards, any stomp attack is counted as Evil damage in terms of Damage Reduction. In addition, from level 10, any stomp attack in Flurry of Stomps or Serpent's Laceration can cast Smite Good once + his Charisma Modifier per day. He may choose to use all casts of Smite Good in one stomp chain or use them over several stomps.

Spirit Form: At level 11 and onward, a Nightmare Reaper may choose to temporarily leave his body and move around in a spirit form as a full round action. He may not use any of his usual combat abilities and his body is counted as helpless as the body is practically "empty" until the consciousness returns. The spirit is incorporeal but will be seen as a menacing looking ghost and cannot be affected by regular attacks or spells, including mind afflicting spells. If the body dies while the Nightmare Reaper is in spirit form, he has 7 days to find a new willing host for his consciousness before dying for good. The new host body is treated as though it was the original body so no powers or abilities are lost in the transition. Magical items and such will not transfer over in this manner however. If a Nightmare Reaper's body is put to -5 HP or otherwise killed, he may still "emergency eject" from the body in spirit form. He may then attempt to escape the situation and to find a new host within those 7 days.

At this point, a Nightmare Reaper's soul has become so twisted with malicious power he cannot be brought back to life if dead via normal means (Raise Dead, Resurrect etc) the exceptions being a Wish spell or a Miracle spell from an Evil god who would want to bring back such a strange and evil spirit. If this happens, he reappears in his spirit form and must find a host within the usual 7 days or die once more.

Mind Split: At level 12 and onward, A Nightmare Reaper may give his body a second consciousness. This second consciousness will pilot the body as normal if the Nightmare Reaper leaves the body in Spirit Form. This includes fighting in combat, the body and the spirit will act on the same initiative roll when they are separated in combat. The new consciousness will be friendly towards the Reaper and the two may switch control of the body at will.

Heads and Tails: As there are two separate consciousnesses inside the body, this gives the Nightmare Reaper a unique defence against mind affecting spells. If one consciousness comes under the effect of mind control, the consciousness currently not in control may swap, replacing the mind controlled consciousness entirely.

Terrifying Aura: At level 13 and above, once per day as a full round action a Nightmare Reaper can unleash an aura of fear that terrifies all enemies within 40ft of the Reaper who have line of sight of him. All enemies who see him become panicked and flee from him for 1d4 turns unless they succeed a DC 15+ Cha modifer + half class level Will save. The Nightmare Reaper can use this ability while in Spirit Form also.

Improved Evasion: At level 13 and above, a Nightmare Reaper gains Improved Evasion. This ability works like Evasion, except that while the Nightmare Reaper still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless Nightmare Reaper does not gain the benefit of Improved Evasion.

Spirit Defence: At level 14 and above, a Nightmare Reaper can use the aura of his Spirit Form in combat to provide passive defence from magic attacks. The Reaper's body permanently has spell resistance equal to his class level.

Nightmare Reaping: At level 15 and above, if a Nightmare Reaper fights a target who truly hates him on a personal level due to whatever reason, the Nightmare Reaper receives a +10 to all of his combat rolls towards that target and receives +10 AC against attacks made on him by that target. The number of targets that can be affected by this ability is unlimited. At level 17 this bonus increases to +15.

Mind Contamination: At level 16 and above, a Nightmare Reaper in Spirit Form may attempt to force his way into another being's consciousness and take their body as a host. There is a Will save DC 20 + Cha modifier to resist the control. If the Nightmare Reaper succeeds, the original consciousness must make another Will save DC 15 + Cha modifier or be wiped away completely. Otherwise the original consciousness will serve as the second half of a standard Mind Split but will not automatically be friendly towards the Nightmare Reaper. If the new body had any class levels, they are removed and replaced as long as the Nightmare Reaper is inhabiting that host.

If the Nightmare Reaper fails to control the body, he cannot use Mind Contamination until 24 hours have passed and that target is immune to Mind Contamination entirely. However that same target can still be used as a host if successfully talked into it as a willing host.

Guard Crush: At level 17 and above, a Nightmare Reaper may choose a target in melee range and as a free action reduce its AC by half for 1d4 turns. During Overdrive, Guard Crush will reduce AC for 1d6 turns instead. Guard Crush can only be used once per day.

Life Link: At level 18, a Nightmare Reaper may attempt a complex ritual to bind another intelligent being's life to himself. That being must be one of those who hates him on a personal level and intimately knows him as a person (for example a person Nightmare Reaping would apply to). Using 10,000 gold worth of diamonds and 10,000 EXP a Nightmare Reaper may spend a full 24 hours to attempt to link a being of similar intelligence (human to human for example, this cannot work on a mindless creature) to his own life, making it so that as long as that person is alive, he cannot die. If the person in question is unwilling, there is a Will save DC 30 + Cha modifier to reject the ritual. If the person resists the attempt, the gold and EXP used are still expended but the ritual does not work. That person must be within 20ft of the Nightmare Reaper throughout the entire 24 hours or the ritual fails.

Binds of Hatred: At level 19, as long as at least one person in the world hates the Nightmare Reaper on a deep personal level, that Nightmare Reaper's Spirit Form cannot be killed, even if the 7 day limit expires. This stacks with Life Link.

Ascension: At level 20, a Nightmare Reaper is forevermore treated as an Outsider and no longer ages.

Distortion Drives[edit]

Gleaming Fang: Cost: 50 Heat: The Nightmare Reaper surrounds himself with his strange magic to charge 100ft along the ground in a straight horizontal line 10 ft in width, ignoring all usual bad terrain penalties such as swampy or overgrown terrain during this movement (terrain impediments immediately begin working as usual once this movement is over) dealing 4d6 + half class level + Dex modifier damage to all enemies along that path. There is a Reflex save DC 15+ Dex modifier to halve the damage. This movement cannot pass through walls or other high solid objects. Gleaming Fang is immune to attacks of opportunity aside from attacks that come from 5ft or closer from the Nightmare Reaper's starting location

If used under the effect of Overdrive, a Nightmare Reaper can choose to immediately reverse his course back along the exact same line he attacked through, arriving in his first starting position. This deals another 4d6+ half class level + Dex modifier damage as though it was a completely new use of Gleaming Fang, including re-rolling the Reflex saves.

Divine Twin Blades: Cost: 50 Heat: A Nightmare Reaper can use to use the power of two divine blades to strike with two upward kicks in a 10ft cone in front of himself. Roll two separate attack rolls, one for each kick and for each unit hit at least one kick they take 2d6 damage + half class level + Str modifier per kick landed on them and are launched 20ft directly away from the Reaper and on landing are stunned. The Fortitude save for the stun is DC 15 + Str modifier.

If used during the effect of Overdrive, a Nightmare Reaper can choose to jump up and attempt to deal a final blow to an enemy knocked airborne by at least one of the kicks, dealing an additional 2d6+ Str modifier + half class level damage. This followup can only hit one enemy even if the initial hits of Divine Twin Blades hit multiple targets.

Serpent's Laceration: Cost: 50 Heat: As a standard action, a Nightmare Reaper can make a melee touch attack and if successful, he automatically knocks the target prone and begins to use Flurry of Stomps. For each stomp landed during this ability he may make another stomp attack up to a cap of 10 stomps and at least 6 stomps are attempted before missing a stomp ends the ability. Once the sixth stomp is reached, further stomps are taken at a -1 attack roll, increasing by 1 after each stomp (8th stomp takes a -2, 9th stomp takes a -3 etc etc)

Once the 10 stomp cap is reached or when he misses a stomp after the sixth stomp, he may choose to kick his target away by 30ft dealing another stomp of damage and if the target hits a wall or similar solid object (a large tree for example) that target takes another 2d8+ Str modifier damage. The target will still be prone after Serpent's Laceration until he chooses to get up on his next turn.

During Overdrive, the 10 stomp cap is removed entirely. The -1 penalty per stomp after the 6th stomp will continue stacking per stomp however.

Venomous Bite: Cost: 50 Heat: When an enemy declares a melee attack on a Nightmare Reaper, he may choose to use Venomous Bite if he has the required level of Heat. Using Ouroboros to automatically parry the attack, he appears 5ft behind the target and yanks Ouroboros' chains into the target dealing 4d6 + Str modifier + half class level piercing damage. Before this counter goes off, make a Bluff check between the Nightmare Reaper and the target, if successful, the target will continue the attack as normal but if the Bluff check fails, the target will realise that the Reaper is planning something on his attack and may choose (but is not obligated) to stop the attack. The target may not redirect his attack onto a different unit and the Heat spent on Venomous Bite is consumed regardless of whether the counter succeeded or not.

During Overdrive, the piercing damage is increased by one die increment and the Nightmare Reaper gets a +5 bonus to his Bluff check.

Screeches of the Condemned: Cost: 100 Heat: Extending Ouroboros to its maximum range, a Nightmare Reaper can throw out a chain to up to 150ft long in a straight line to a target he can see on a ranged touch attack. If this connects, the target is forcibly pulled back towards the the Nightmare Reaper's position as long as the target is no more than one size category larger than the Nightmare Reaper. He may then choose to intercept the target as it is being pulled backwards, using Ouroboros to propel himself towards them and meeting the target halfway as it travels back with several rapid slashing attacks empowered by his magical energy. This deals 8d12 + Dex modifier damage.

During Overdrive, The power of Ouroboros grows, removing the size category restriction.

Serpent's Cursed Bite: Cost: 50 Heat: As a full round action, after a successful melee touch attack, a Nightmare Reaper will transform Ouroboros into two elongated daggers and lift his victim up into the air with them, he then channels all of the Heat he has stored in his Heat Gauge into negative energy he pumps directly into his target. If only 50 to 74 Heat was stored in the Gauge, he will deal 4d8 + half class level damage and then kick the target away by 10ft. If 75 to 99 Heat was stored, he will deal 8d8 + half class level damage to the target then launch them up into the air to land prone at his feet. If 100 Heat was stored, the amount of energy unleashed into the target is so powerful that if the target's hit die is equal to or lower than the Nightmare Reaper's level, they are instantly killed unless they make a Fortitude save DC 18. Otherwise the target takes 10d8 + half class level damage and is kicked 50ft away from the Nightmare Reaper taking an additional 2d8+ half class level + Str modifier of damage

During Overdrive, the damage die of Serpent's Cursed Bite is increased by one increment.

Unholy Wrath of the Basilisk: Cost: 100 Heat: A Nightmare Reaper briefly transforms into his most powerful form and, on a successful melee attack, attempts to slice one target out of existence. If this attack connects, any target with 100 HP or lower is immediately killed, their body and soul completely destroyed. No resurrection spell or ability can bring the target back, including Wish and Miracle. That target has been removed from existence, their soul lost forever, beyond the reach of even the greater gods. There is no save to resist this attack once it has been landed.

If the target does not have HP below 100 (150 in Overdrive) then Unholy Wrath of the Basilisk cannot be attempted. A Nightmare Reaper will instinctively know if it is possible for it to be performed on a target.

Ex-Nightmare Reapers[edit]

If a Nightmare Reaper becomes of good alignment, they lose all levels of Nightmare Reaper until they become Evil again.

Epic Nightmare Reaper[edit]

Table: The Epic Nightmare Reaper

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
22nd Bonus Feat
24th Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
28th Bonus Feat
30th Bonus Feat

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: a Nightmare Reaper gains a bonus feat every two levels past 20th

Human Nightmare Reaper Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Their fists and steel capped boots

Skill Selection:

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Escape Artist 4 Dex "—"
Intimidate 4 Cha "—"

Feat: Improved Initiative

Bonus Feats: Dodge

Gear: Basic light armour, adventuring kit, rope

Gold: 100

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Nightmare Reaper[edit]

Religion: Most Nightmare Reapers would feel indifferent or with contempt about most religions, they may respect Evil gods or even worship them on occasion but in most cases there are very few truly devout religious Nightmare Reapers.

Other Classes: A Nightmare Reaper would probably butt heads with a Good aligned Paladin or Cleric who would be obligated to take action about his sadistic nature and cruel methods of fighting. He may get along with more unsavoury types such as a Rogue.

Combat: A Nightmare Reaper is a good assassin type class who can gain Heat through his special moves and use his Distortion Drives such as Gleaming Fang to move in on the backline healers or wizards. When under pressure in melee he can defend himself through Divine Twin Blades, but he can be pressured by ranged enemies as his only response is to get in their faces or use his less damaging Ouroboros attacks.

Advancement: It is best to not multiclass from Nightmare Reaper as he needs all of his Distortion Drives and special moves to be effective and his later levels give some uniquely powerful survival skills.

Nightmare Reapers in the World[edit]

Dance! Weep! Suffer! Let me hear you sing, you little bitch! The party's just getting started! Hyahahahaha!
—Yuuki Terumi, Human Nightmare Reaper

Daily Life: An average Nightmare Reaper would likely be unable to settle in one place for long and would prefer adventuring around various places, picking fights whenever the mood strikes them.

Organizations: Most Nightmare Reapers would rather not join a proper organisation, at least not for an elongated period of time. A Nightmare Reaper would only join an organisation if it heavily benefited him and he could leave it whenever he wanted.

NPC Reactions: Most Good or Neutral aligned NPCs would not react favourably if they saw the sadistic nature of how a Nightmare Reaper fights but some of the more barbaric races and Evil aligned NPCs may appreciate the brutality of the combat style.

Nightmare Reaper Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research Nightmare Reapers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
5 A Nightmare Reaper uses overly cruel and sadistic attacks when fighting but their general reach is poor.
10 A Nightmare Reaper can use devastating Distortion Drives if a fight isn't over quickly
15 A high level Nightmare Reaper can split their mind into two consciousnesses and the original consciousness can exit the body in an incorporeal spirit form
20 A very high level Nightmare Reaper is very difficult to kill if they have managed to amass enough hatred from people and have successfully completed a Life Link

Nightmare Reapers in the Game[edit]

A high level Nightmare Reaper may make a good villain for a campaign, especially if he can quietly escape once or twice in spirit form and come back more powerful than before.

Adaptation: It may be possible to create a Good aligned Nightmare Reaper if enough was tweaked, Binds of Hatred could become Binds of Love for example. It would take some effort but it could work.

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