The crippler prestige class is no longer used in my games, Rogue talents themed along the lines of crippler abilities may be admisable.
The Crippler is a master of the knife in the back. He has carefully studied the art of ambushing an opponent. His goal is to ensure that the heartbeat before retaliation is his opponent's last.
To qualify to be a crippler, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base attack bonus: +5
Skills: Move Silently 10 ranks, Hide 10 ranks, Heal 5 ranks
Feats: Improved Initiative, Alertness, Combat Reflexes
The crippler's class skills are:
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Chr), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Chr), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Innuendo (Wis), Intimidate (Chr), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Pick Pocket (Dex), Profession (Wis), Read Lips (Int), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Chr), Use Rope (Dex)
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int Modifier.
|Class Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Sneak attack +1d6, arterial strike|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+0||Heightened reflexes +1|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Sneak attack +2d6, Opportunist|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Heightened reflexes +2, crippling blow 1d4 str|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Sneak attack +3d6, hamstring|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+2||Heightened reflexes +3, improved sneak attack (d8)|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+2||Sneak attack +4d8, crippling blow 1d4 dex|
|8th||+6||+2||+6||+2||Heightened reflexes +4, ambush master|
|9th||+6||+3||+6||+3||Sneak attack +5d8|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+3||Heightened reflexes +5, crippling blow 1d4 con|
All of the following are class features of the crippler prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cripplers are proficient in all simple and martial weapons, Cripplers gain no proficiencies with armor or shields. Note that armor check penalties still apply for armor heavier than leather.
Sneak Attack: If a crippler can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, striking a vital spot for extra damage. Basically any time the crippler’s target is denied her dexterity bonus to AC (weather she has a dexterity bonus or not), The crippler's attack deals +1d6 points of damage. This extra damage increases by +1d6 points every other level. Should the crippler score a critical hit with a sneak attack this extra damage is not multiplied. It takes precision and penetration to hit a venerable spot so ranged attacks can only count as sneak attacks if the target is 30 feet away or less.
With a sap or unarmed attack the crippler can make a sneak attack that deals non-lethal damage instead of normal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals normal damage to deal non-lethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty, Because he must make optimal use of his weapon in order to execute a sneak attack. A crippler can only sneak attack living creatures with discernible anatomies - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Additionally the crippler must also be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach a vital spot. The crippler cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or by striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach. If the crippler gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as rogue levels), the bonuses to damage stack.
Opportunist: At third level the rogue gains the opportunist feat (see 3.2 feats) as a class ability.
Improved Sneak Attack: At level six the crippler gains an innate knowledge of anatomy allowing his sneak attack to deal d8 per damage die instead of d6. This is retroactive with Rogue sneak attack die.
Arterial Strike: At 1st level the crippler gains the arterial strike feat from the Complete Warrior sourcebook.
Heightened Reflexes: starting at second level the crippler may add half his crippler level to his initiative check.
Hamstring: At 3rd level the crippler gains the hamstring feat from the Complete Warrior sourcebook.
Crippling Blow: At 4th level the crippler gains the ability to physically weaken an opponent by striking a specific portion of his anatomy. If the crippler hit with a sneak attack he may chose to forgo +2d6 points of sneak attack damage to deal 1d4 temporary ability damage to his opponent. At 4th level he may inflict only strength damage, at 7th he may strike for dexterity damage, and at 10th level he may strike for constitution damage.
Ambush Master: Beginning at 8th level, the cripplers agility has reached an point where he can do significant damage before his opponent is even aware of his presence. The crippler may make a full round action instead of a partial action if he is able to act in the surprise round.
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