Prestige Classes


The hunter of the dead is the hated enemy of all undead. She spends each restless night tracking undead to their lairs and cleansing the land of their foul presence.

The hunter of the dead has many tools with which to fight such creatures. Her skill with arms is the match of any fighter’s, but, to aid her in the hunt, she also possesses spells and special abilities that draw upon her connection with positive energy. Most hunters of the dead are clerics or paladins. Fighters, rangers, monks, druids, and barbarians also make excellent hunters of the dead, while rogues and bards add their subterfuge skills to create a foe that the undead never see coming. Sorcerers and wizards —especially those with a few levels of cleric or paladin—have many advantages when fighting undead, so they should never be discounted as potential hunters of the dead.

As NPCs, hunters of the dead are quiet loners, driven to think of little but their cause. They usually have some traumatic tale about what brought them to hate the undead, but few are willing to share it with those they meet as they wander from town to town. In places where spirits are particularly restless and the dead walk in numbers, hunters of the dead gather in secretive orders such as the House of Death to pool their strength and attack their foes together.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a hunter of the dead, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nonevil.

Base Attack Bonus: +5.

Skills: Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks.

Special: Able to turn undead.

Special: Scar of Unlife: The character must have lost one level or had an ability score point drained by an undead creature. Even if the loss is later offset by magic, this is the scar of unlife that all hunters of the dead carry.

Class Skills

The hunter of the dead's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Search (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Hunter of the Dead

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Spells per day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Detect undead 0
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Smite undead 1
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Spurn death’s touch 1 0
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 1 1
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 True death 1 1 0
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 Extra Turning, Smite undead 2/day 1 1 1
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 2 1 1 0
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 Positive energy burst 2 1 1 1
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 2 2 1 1
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 Sealed life, Smite undead 3/day 2 2 2 1
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the hunter of the dead prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Hunters of the dead gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells: Beginning at 1st level, a hunter of the dead gains the ability to cast a number of divine spells. To cast a spell, a hunter of the dead must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell’s level, so a hunter of the dead with a Wisdom of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Hunter of the dead bonus spells are based on Wisdom, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the hunter of the dead’s Wisdom bonus (if any). When the hunter of the dead gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level (for instance, 1st-level spells for a 1st-level hunter of the dead), she gains only the bonus spells she would be entitled to based on her Wisdom score for that spell level.

The hunter of the dead’s spell list appears below; she has access to any spell on the list and can freely choose which to prepare. A hunter of the dead prepares and casts spells just as a cleric does (though a hunter of the dead cannot lose a spell to cast a cure spell in its place).

Detect Undead (Sp): At will, a hunter of the dead can use detect undead as if casting the spell of the same name.

Smite Undead (Su): Once per day, a hunter of the dead of 2nd level or higher can attempt to smite undead with one normal melee attack. She adds her Wisdom modifier (if positive) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per level. For example, an 8th-level hunter of the dead armed with a longsword would deal 1d8+8 points of damage, plus any additional bonuses for Strength and magical effects that normally apply. If a hunter of the dead accidentally smites a creature that is not undead, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day.

Note: A paladin/hunter of the dead can both smite evil and smite undead in the same day, potentially against the same target (if it’s an evil undead).

Spurn Death’s Touch (Ex): A hunter of the dead of 3rd level or higher applies her Wisdom modifier (if positive) as an additional bonus on all saving throws against effects and spells used by undead. This bonus stacks with the Wisdom modifier already applied to Will saves.

True Death (Su): Undead slain by a hunter of the dead of 5th level or higher, either by melee attacks or spells, can never rise again as undead. They are forever destroyed.

Extra Turning: At 6th level, a hunter of the dead receives Extra Turning as a bonus feat. This benefit allows the hunter to turn undead four more times per day than normal. It stacks with any turning ability the character has from another class.

Positive Energy Burst (Su): At the cost of two normal turning attempts, a hunter of the dead of at least 8th level can use a standard action to create a positive energy burst that deals 1d6 points of damage per class level to all undead creatures within 20 feet. Undead are allowed a Reflex save (DC 10 + the hunter’s class level + the hunter’s Cha modifier) for half damage.

Sealed Life (Su): A 10th-level hunter of the dead cannot lose levels due to energy drain effects (although death still results in level loss, as do other level- or experience-draining effects).

Hunter of the Dead Spell List

Hunters of the dead choose their spells from the following list:

1st Level: magic stone, magic weapon, cure light wounds, hide from undead, remove fear.

2nd Level: bull’s strength, cure moderate wounds, continual flame, darkvision, lesser restoration, remove paralysis.

3rd Level: cure serious wounds, daylight, halt undead, protection from elements, searing light, speak with dead.

4th Level: cure critical wounds, death ward, disrupting weapon, freedom of movement, restoration.