Prestige Classes


Elves and orcs are ancient foes, their enmity dating back to times before humans walked the land. Some elves train as elite hunters of the hated orcs. These hunters, called darkwood stalkers among the elves, pursue their age-old enemies with grim determination.

Darkwood stalkers usually come from the ranks of elf (or half-elf) rangers or rogues, although the rare elf barbarian can follow this path as well. Fighters and paladins make poor darkwood stalkers without gaining at least one level in ranger or rogue. Spellcasters rarely take up the mantle of the darkwood stalker, although druids willing to forego spellcasting can fit well into the order.

Most darkwood stalkers are affiliated with elven military units, although some are lone scouts or field agents.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a darkwood stalker, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Race: Elf or half-elf.

Base Attack Bonus: +5.

Skills: Hide 5 ranks, Listen 5 ranks, Move Silently 5 ranks, Speak Language (Orc), Spot 5 ranks, Survival 5 ranks.

Feats: Dodge, Track.

Class Skills

The darkwood stalker's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Darkwood Stalker

Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Ancient foe +2
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Uncanny dodge
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Sneak attack +1d6
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Ancient foe +4, darkvision 30 ft.
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Improved uncanny dodge
6th +6 +5 +5 +2 Sneak attack +2d6
7th +7 +5 +5 +2 Ancient foe +6, darkvision 60 ft.
8th +8 +6 +6 +2 Dodge critical
9th +9 +6 +6 +3 Sneak attack +3d6
10th +10 +7 +7 +3 Ancient foe +8, death attack
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the darkwood stalker prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Darkwood stalkers gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Ancient Foe (Ex): Due to his extensive study of orcs and training in the proper techniques for combating them, a darkwood stalker gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against orcs. He gets the same bonus on weapon damage rolls against these creatures. A darkwood stalker also gets the bonus on damage with ranged weapons, but only against targets within 30 feet (the darkwood stalker cannot strike with deadly accuracy beyond that range). The bonus on damage does not apply against creatures that are immune to critical hits. At 4th, 7th, and 10th level, the darkwood stalker’s bonus goes up by +2.

This bonus stacks with a favored enemy bonus (if any) acquired through ranger levels.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a darkwood stalker gains the ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

If a darkwood stalker already had the uncanny dodge ability from another class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Sneak Attack (Ex): If a darkwood stalker can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for an extra 1d6 points of damage. For complete details on the sneak attack ability, see the description of the dark hunter earlier in this chapter.

Darkvision (Ex): Although stealthy and keen-eyed, the darkwood stalker is often at a disadvantage against orcs when fighting in the darkness. Long ago, elven sages developed a ritual to allow the most dedicated stalkers to overcome this disadvantage. Now, as they grow in experience, their night vision continually improves, eventually matching the darkvision of their hated foes. At 4th level, a darkwood stalker gains darkvision out to 30 feet, and at 7th level, the range increases to 60 feet. If the darkwood stalker already has darkvision as a racial ability, this ability does not increase it.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a darkwood stalker can no longer be flanked, since he can react to opponents on opposite sides of him as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies other characters the ability to use flank attacks to sneak attack him. The exception to this defense is that a rogue of at least four levels higher than the character can flank him (and thus sneak attack him).

If a darkwood stalker gains the uncanny dodge ability from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Dodge Critical (Ex): Although often more skilled than their orc foes, darkwood stalkers have seen too many battles won by one lucky blow from a falchion. At 8th level, a darkwood stalker becomes able to turn even the luckiest blow into a grazing strike. Once per day, a darkwood stalker can make a Reflex saving throw (DC 20 + the enhancement bonus, if any, possessed by the weapon) to turn a critical hit dealt upon him into a normal hit. The darkwood stalker must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed, and he must declare his attempt to reduce the effect of the critical hit before the damage from the hit is rolled.

Death Attack (Ex): If a 10th-level darkwood stalker studies a particular orc for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly killing the target. While studying the orc, the darkwood hunter can undertake other actions as long as his attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the darkwood stalker or recognize the darkwood stalker as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the darkwood stalker’s class level + the darkwood stalker’s Wis modifier), he dies. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the darkwood stalker has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds. If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes his save) or if the darkwood stalker does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.