Ripper, Variant (5e Class)
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A woman runs frantically down a winding way between tightly crowded brick buildings. There are people walking here, but none seem to notice or pay her any mind. She runs like a wounded deer, fear wild in her eyes. She turns to no one for help, tells no one of her plight. They keep their eyes averted as a suave singularity stalks after her. No matter how quick her steps paced, that pursuer never seemed to be lost. At last, weary and cornered behind the local bakery, the woman collapses at the rear entrance step and calls out feebly for help. The owner locks the door in response. The cat closes in on the mouse. She gazes in horror at her executioner: a tall man in a simple trenchcoat and a dark mask. Scream as she may, no voice comes out. He plunges his weapon of choice, a dagger, into her diaphragm, tearing to the side. Crimson splatters all over the walls of the enclosure as he brutally shreds the life from her body. A few moments later, a man in dark clothing emerges from the alley with his prize in his pocket. His magic dark clothing conceals the blood staining his body as well as its stench as he melds seamlessly back into the crowd, looking for a new target.
A Killer in Plain Sight
There's something about a Ripper that defies all logic. They cause death and fear so brazenly, indiscriminately, yet are never really caught. When pursued by the law, their presence washes away in the rain, like they never existed in the first place. People will often pass them over on the street and not think a second thought about the bloodied hands they just shook. A dark magic lies at the core of Rippers, allowing them to cause acts of great brutality in highly populated areas without so much as a shrug from the populace. It is a power rumoredly granted by Death himself. The nature of Ripper crimes are bloody, with the occasional act of thievery, though it is often a trophy that means nothing to everyone but the Ripper themselves; perhaps an organ or a body part.
Creating a Ripper
You ought to consult your DM about the nature of the extreme secrecy surrounding a Ripper and their elusiveness. If you've committed crimes time and time again, what did you do in intervals of calm and hiding? What is the reason that drives your Ripper, a reason that no one will ever understand? If possible, does your Ripper have a different persona to throw off the authorities? What kind of trophy does your Ripper take from their victims?
- Quick Build
You can make a Ripper quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Intelligence. Second, choose the Charlatan background or something else that can provide cover for your Ripper's activities.
As a Ripper you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial ranged weapons, shortswords
Tools: Thieve's tools, one gaming set of your choice
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills: Choose three from Stealth, Acrobatics, Persuasion, Perception, Investigation, Insight, Sleight of Hand, and Deception
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) A forgery kit or (b) an entertainer's pack
- (a) 3 daggers or (b) a shortsword
- a hand crossbow and 20 bolts
- leather armor
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 3d8 gp in funds.
|Features||Spells Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Sneak Attack, Cloak of Darkness||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||Nimble Flight, Spellcasting Ability||2||2||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||Jekyll, Unseen Strike||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Fleet of Foot, Mitigation||6||4||2||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||8||4||3||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||12||4||3||3||—||—|
|14th||+5||False Feint and Strike||13||4||3||3||1||—|
|15th||+5||Eye of the Trophy Hunter||14||4||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||14||4||3||3||2||—|
|18th||+6||Jugular and Disembowelment||15||4||3||3||3||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||15||4||3||3||3||2|
|20th||+6||Soul Slice, One of the Shadows||15||4||3||3||3||2|
Getting the drop on a target is the number one tactic of Rippers. At 1st Level, you can take advantage of foes that are incapacitated, prone, stunned, blinded, unconscious or otherwise unaware of your presence, to do an extra 2d6 damage on an attack, once per turn. The first attack coming out of stealth will also be a sneak attack. Attacks must be executed with a finesse or ranged weapon.
This feature's damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (3d6), 10th level (4d6), and 15th level (5d6).
A Ripper has to be able to flee the scene quickly and quietly with as little commotion as possible so as not to arouse retaliation. Starting at 2nd level, you may use your bonus action to dash. Additionally after an enemy is reduced to 0 hit points while within 5 feet of you, you can use the hide or disengage action as a bonus action. If an enemy is reduced to 0 on a turn other than yours, you may take those actions as a bonus action at the beginning of your next turn.
Rippers, as they progress in their killings, gain a strange affinity for magic to aid them in their shrouded ways. This results from the exchanges they perform with Death, which blur their existence as a being shrouded in that of the stuff of the supernatural, altering their being to that of one able to use magic. Beginning at 2nd Level, you gain the ability to cast spells.
- Spellcasting ability
Spell save DC = 8 + Proficiency bonus + Intelligence Modifier
Spell attack modifier = Proficiency bonus + Intelligence Modifier
- Spellcasting slots
The Ripper table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a spell slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
Beginning at 3rd level, your elusiveness and boundless guile are present in how you present yourself as a persona separate that of a killer. You gain proficiency in one Charisma skill of your choice.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Fleet of Foot
Your pace quickens, aiding you in escape from the guards or pursuit of a new victim. Starting 6th level, your movement speed increases by 5 ft. At 12th level, your movement speed increases by 10 ft.
You are a resourceful hunter, able to twist out of the way to deny a full hit to land. Starting 6th level, when hit by a melee attack, you may use your reaction to make a Dexterity saving throw, with the DC being (8 + attacking creature's Strength modifier). On a successful roll, you take half damage.
You can better take advantage of the situations in your favor. Beginning at 7th level, you have Advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn’t taken a turn in combat yet. In addition, any attack you make against a creature that is surprised is a critical hit.
Nobody's perfect. Chances are you will end up at the sharp end of some swords, despite your stealthiest efforts. Don't worry, you have the means to strike back. Beginning at 10th level, if you are attacked by an enemy by melee means, you can choose to move half of your movement in any direction without provoking opportunity attacks. In addition, if a creature misses trying to attack you, you may attack that creature as an opportunity attack. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your Dexterity modifier, regaining all uses when you finish a long rest.
Cloak of Darkness
The dark magics that conceal your deeds and aid you in your campaign for blood congeal onto your clothing, turning them black and making the appearance of a cloak around you. The cloak has the following properties while you are wearing no other armor:
Starting at 1st level, you can bring about your Cloak of Darkness as a bonus action or as a reaction, and you can cause it to cease through the same actions. The Cloak's armor bonus is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. In addition, the cloak itself does not draw unwanted attention. It seems absolutely normal.
- Hidden Pockets
Starting 3rd level, you can conceal daggers and shortswords in your clothes, giving them the hidden property. When you make an attack with these weapons on a target unaware of their existence on your persons, they deal an extra damage dice.
- Double Coat
Starting at 5th level, the cloak has become thicker, like a protective mantle. You gain +2 to AC
- Hide in Plain Sight
Starting at 11th level, you can hide when you are only lightly obscured. When you are hidden from a creature and miss it with a ranged attack, making the attack doesn't reveal your position.
- Hit and Run
Starting at 15th level, you can hide or dash immediately after making a melee weapon attack, even if you have no bonus actions or actions left to do so. You may perform this maneuver the number of times equal to your Dexterity modifier, regaining all uses after you complete a long rest.
Starting at 19th level, the dark magic imbued in your cloak now fans out like a wide aura invisible to the naked eye, used to quell the screams of your prey in their last moments. Using an action, you activate the aura's silencing ability. All creatures, not including yourself, within 10 feet of you are under the effects of the silence spell. You can dispel the aura with a bonus action.
False Feint and Strike
Not a movement of yours is unnecessary, even those that miss. They make new openings for you to strike at. Beginning at 14th level, if you would miss with a melee weapon attack, you can choose to have it succeed instead. Also, if an attack would hit you, you may use your reaction to cause the attack to miss instead. Using this feature also forces the creature who would have hit you to end their turn. You may use this feature a number of times equal to your dexterity modifier, regaining all uses at the end of a long rest.
Eye of the Trophy Hunter
Rippers usually take a little momento directly from the anatomy of their victims. They have good eyes for the vitals and vessels which they may crave. Starting at 15th level, you gain proficiency in Investigation. If you already have proficiency in this skill, you may double your proficiency.
Jugular and Disembowelment
The familiar motion of slitting throats and bellies and all the soft, critical spots of bodies comes naturally to you. Now they become even more powerful. Starting at 18th level, you add an extra damage die to all your melee attacks. Your attacks now critical hit on a 19-20 roll. When you roll a critical hit, you may reroll any damage dice that result in a 1.
At 20th level, you are a well-feared, stealthy killing machine. Death is glad to do business with you so often. He has given you his recognition as a reaper among the people, and it comes with a great bonus, one guaranteed to spill more guts and blood. You are granted the magical power to rend souls like Death would, no longer restricted to just murdering flesh. You gain Soul Slice as a bonus spell which you may cast, expending a level 5 spell slot. For purposes of Counterspell etc, this spell's level is equal to your proficiency bonus.
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 90 feet
Components: Vocal, Somatic
You extend your mystical powers and aim at the soul of your enemy. You cut, seemingly at their body but instead cleave the soul in two, the culmination of a killer able to destroy body and spirit. When you cast this spell, a creature of your choice within the range of the spell must take a Constitution saving throw, with the DC being (12 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency bonus). If it fails, the target loses half of its current hit points, and cannot regain hit points above half its maximum until it next finishes a long rest. If it succeeds, the target takes 4d6 magical slashing damage. Since the soul of a creature is destroyed by this spell, if it is reduced to 0 hitpoints additionally, the creature is unable to be revived in any way other than the wish spell.
One with the Shadows
Beginning at 20th Level, you become one with the shadows, and can remain in stealth, virtually undetectable, for 2d4 rounds. You can now cast invisibility at will.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Ripper class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dexterity 15, Intelligence 13