Prestige Classes


Where there are laws, there are those who defy them, and where citizens live in fear of these lawbreakers, brave souls hunt them down. These are the justiciars. They don’t do it for money; they don’t do it for glory. They do it because it’s a thankless job that needs to be done. It also happens to be a satisfying vocation to make a living by kicking the daylights out of a criminal who desperately deserves it. Justiciars are generally solitary, relying on their own wits and skills. They are fearless and single-minded in pursuit of their prey and ruthlessly effective in combat. Innocence and alibi can be argued in front of a court, but pretty words don’t change the facts of the case or absolve a criminal of guilt. A justiciar is not necessarily judge, jury, or executioner; often he simply sees to it that those people get the chance to do their jobs. When it is impractical to bring a miscreant to the hands of the law, or if the criminal resists, a justiciar doesn’t hesitate to bring final justice to someone who deserves it. Some evil justiciars prefer torturing their prisoners into confessing before turning them in.

When faced with a difficult challenge, justiciars may team up with each other or with a posse of other characters to hunt those wanted by the law. The presence of one or more justiciars in a posse might come as a rude surprise to a group of individuals that have been robbing from the rich to give to the poor...

Most justiciars begin as rangers. Some paladins also find being a justiciar in line with their ideology. Fighters often find enough reward in killing; bringing people back alive is typically more effort than they consider worthwhile. Conversely, many clerics are too forgiving to be justiciars; obvious exceptions include clerics of St. Cuthbert, as well as those of Hextor and certain other lawful evil deities. Rogues and bards, with their stealth-oriented skills, can be very effective in this class. Even the occasional druid, sorcerer, or wizard (especially diviners) enters the field, wielding spells as their weapons instead of steel.

Hit Die: d10.


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

Alignment: Any lawful.

Base Attack Bonus: +6.

Skills: Gather Information 5 ranks, Search 5 ranks, Survival 5 ranks.

Feats: Skill Focus (Gather Information), Track.

Class Skills

The justiciar's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Justiciar

Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +1 +0 +0 +2 Bring ’em back alive, nonlethal strike +1d6
2nd +2 +0 +0 +3 Improved grapple, crippling strike
3rd +3 +1 +1 +3 Exotic Weapon Proficiency (manacles), street savvy +2
4th +4 +1 +1 +4 Nonlethal strike +2d6
5th +5 +1 +1 +4 Hog-tie
6th +6 +2 +2 +5 Street savvy +4
7th +7 +2 +2 +5 Nonlethal strike +3d6
8th +8 +2 +2 +6 Improved hog-tie
9th +9 +3 +3 +6 Street savvy +6
10th +10 +3 +3 +7 Intuition, nonlethal strike +4d6
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the justiciar prestige class.

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

Bring ’em Back Alive (Ex): Whenever a justiciar attacks with a melee weapon, he can deal nonlethal damage with the weapon instead of lethal damage with no penalty on the attack roll. Normally, attempting to deal nonlethal damage with a weapon in this way incurs a –4 penalty on the attack roll.

Nonlethal Strike (Ex): A justiciar can make nonlethal strikes. Any time the character uses the bring ’em back alive ability and his target would be denied her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (whether she actually has a Dexterity bonus or not) or when the justiciar flanks the target, the justiciar’s attack deals an extra 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. This extra damage increases to 2d6 at 4th level, 3d6 at 7th level, and 4d6 at 10th level. Should the justiciar score a critical hit with a nonlethal strike, this extra damage is not multiplied.

A justiciar can use nonlethal strike only on a living creature with discernible anatomy - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures are not subject to this extra damage. Also, creatures immune to nonlethal damage are immune to nonlethal strike damage. The justiciar cannot make a nonlethal strike against a creature with concealment.

Improved Grapple (Ex): At 2nd level, a justiciar receives Improved Grapple as a bonus feat even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

Crippling Strike (Ex): A justiciar of 2nd level or higher can make a nonlethal strike against an opponent with such precision that his blow weakens and hampers the opponent. When a justiciar damages an opponent with a nonlethal strike, that character also takes 1 point of Strength damage.

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Manacles): Intimately familiar with the capture of criminals, justiciars have learned to do more with a pair of manacles than restrain a lawbreaker. A justiciar of 3rd level or higher can swing a pair of metal manacles in one hand as if they were a club without taking a penalty for using an improvised weapon. Masterwork manacles can be wielded as if they were a masterwork light flail.

Street Savvy (Ex): A justiciar of 3rd level or higher gains a circumstance bonus on Gather Information checks he attempts while in pursuit of a criminal. This bonus is initially +2 at 3rd level, and increases by an extra +2 every third level thereafter.

Hog-Tie (Ex): When a justiciar of 5th level or higher successfully pins an opponent while grappling, he can attempt to hog-tie the opponent (in addition to his other options; see If You’re Pinning an Opponent on page 156 of the Player’s Handbook). A justiciar must have a rope, chain, or manacles in one hand to use this ability.

A justiciar can use this ability on an opponent of up to one size category larger than he is (for example, a halfling justiciar can attempt to hog-tie a Medium or smaller opponent). He can use the ability only against humanoid-shaped creatures (thus, most humanoids, monstrous humanoids, outsiders, and giants would qualify).

An attempt to hog-tie is resolved with an opposed check. The justiciar can make a Use Rope check instead of a normal grapple check, while the opponent makes either a grapple check or an Escape Artist check. If the justiciar succeeds, the opponent is hog-tied. If the opponent succeeds, the hogtie attempt fails and the grapple continues.

If a justiciar successfully hog-ties an opponent, that person is considered bound and helpless. A bound opponent can attempt to escape by making an Escape Artist check opposed by the justiciar’s Use Rope check (including his +10 bonus; see Bind a Character on page 86 of the Player’s Handbook) or a Strength check (DC 23 for rope, DC 26 for chain or manacles, DC 28 for masterwork manacles) to break free.

Improved Hog-tie (Ex): A justiciar of 8th level or higher can make a hog-tie attempt without first pinning his opponent. Whenever a grapple is established, the justiciar can use an attack action to make a hog-tie attempt. Also, if the justiciar has the Quick Draw feat, he does not need to be holding the rope, chain, or manacles in his hand before making the attempt.

Intuition (Su): When hunting a specific person, a 10th-level justiciar can use a Survival check to determine in which direction the culprit might be found if the criminal is within 1 mile of the justiciar (DC 15 + target’s HD). A justiciar can use this ability to determine the direction of anyone he has previously faced in combat if he or she is within range.

The DM should make this check secretly for the justiciar, since the character should not know if he failed the check because of the die roll or because the target is too far away. A justiciar can make this check once per day for any single target.

Multiclass Note: A paladin who becomes a justiciar may continue advancing as a paladin.