Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Dwarf, Gnome, Halfling, Goblin, Kobold, Hobgoblin, Xvart
- Sub-Classes: Any Rogue
- Ability Requirements: Stamina 14, Aim 14, Fitness 13
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: Light Crossbow
- Allowed Weapons: By class, plus hand axe, blowgun, short bow, and warhammer
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Craft Proficiencies
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Animal Lore, Blacksmithing, Herbalism, Trap Setting
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Alertness, Animal Noise, Blind-Fighting, Close-Quarters Fighting, Direction Sense, Disguise, Endurance, Fire-building, Fungi Recognition, Gaming, Hunting, Intimidation, Set Snares, Sign Languages, Slow Respiration, Survival, Swimming, Tracking, Underground Navigation, Ventriloquism
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
Overview: Pestkillers have been employed in large cities across Faerûn for centuries, though they rarely attract any attention until they are needed to deal with a huge outbreak of rats or other vermin. Pestkillers are usually well employed, if under rough conditions, and have no interest in adventuring. However, some get caught up in the excitement of the adventuring life and moonlight as helpers with adventuring groups heading into vermin-filled dungeons, or else act as guides for groups heading into subterranean areas under the city in which they live. Few people are aware of (or have any respect for) the vast knowledge that pestkillers have of the myriad passages beneath their cities, or their detailed knowledge of the habits of their foes and how those foes can be ultimately destroyed.
Pestkillers are employed from Neverwinter to Calimport and beyond, and in cities along the Sea of Fallen Stars, as such cities pick up thousands of vermin from ships. Dwarf and gnome strongholds get vermin from the Underdark or in their food stores or trade goods. Pestkilling is not a seasonal job; it continues throughout the year.
Description: A pestkiller wears light armor to retain freedom of movement. He has a filthy, smelly, ragged appearance, but he is careful to tuck in all straps or loose objects that could get caught on projections while crawling through narrow passages. (This is the reason that pestkillers do not wear belts with weapons and pouches on the outside of their clothing.) Dwarf and gnome pestkillers often trim their beards very short, giving them very low status in the eyes of their own kind. Clothing is dirty but made of durable material, with extra padding in the elbows and knees (for crawling). Gloves or hand wrappings are common; boots are required. If armor is worn, a loose tunic is often worn over it to prevent snagging and muffle noise. A thick leather helmet is tied down over the head, sometimes with a metal plate in it to protect the head from attacks in a crawlspace.
Role-Playing: The pestkiller is an interesting character: a little-known, dirty, and gritty explorer of urban dungeons and destroyer of unwanted vermin. He has quite likely seen astonishing and horrifying sights no one else would even dream of (especially not taking place right below the city streets). His normal priorities on any mission are to identify a pest, then eliminate it. He can develop a peculiar empathy and understanding of a particular pest after studying it, but this does not keep him from destroying it. Most pestkillers are loners, but they welcome companions for a short time. (Given the foul body odor and diseases most pestkillers have, few people ever want to be close to them for long.)
- A new pestkiller character receives a light crossbow, 10 bolts, and a quiver free of charge.
- Pestkillers receive a -1 initiative bonus anytime they are fighting in a restricted tunnel or passage.
- The pestkiller can make a poison powder good against a particular type of vermin if he can study a live specimen, then make an Herbalism check and Animal Lore check at a -2 penalty on the roll. The process of making this poison takes 3d4 days and costs 10d10 gp in supplies, easily gathered in any large city. This poison powder is good against any non-humanoid “cleanup crew” monsters the DM allows, from rot grubs to green slime. The powder made covers an area 10 feet by 10 feet if used all at once (killing any appropriate monster if it fails a saving throw vs. poison), or it can be used against 10 creatures of the appropriate type.
- The pestkiller makes himself resistant to the poisons and venoms used by vermin. Over time, his studies of vermin grant him bonuses to saving throws vs. any monster or animal venom. He gets a +1 bonus on saving throws against poisons for every three levels that he possesses (round down).
- Because of long exposure to filthy environments and their acquisition of resistance to many common infections, pestkillers have a +4 bonus to all saving throws against nonmagical diseases or parasites. No special resistance to magical diseases is so gained.
- Though pestkillers are resistant to diseases and parasites, they are also carriers of the same, and their companions should use great caution around them. (A cure disease spell, fresh clothing, and a bath before adventuring are highly recommended.) Unless a pestkiller is magically cured of all diseases, anyone coming within 5 feet of him has a 10% noncumulative chance per day of catching a normal but highly infectious disease or parasite; this chance jumps to 50% if the pestkiller is physically touched, the chance rolled per touch, and jumps to 99% if the person has an open wound. (Obviously, anyone fighting the pestkiller is in serious trouble.)
- Because he spends so much time fighting little creatures, the pestkiller is not very good at fighting larger creatures. Giants, Ogres, Titans, and similar large humanoids gain a +2 bonus to hit the pestkiller (though a dwarf or gnome pestkiller still gains their normal AC bonus against such creatures).
- A pestkiller—not to put too fine a point on it—looks bad and smells far worse. He knows it, but his job is like that, and he doesn’t care much about cleanliness. The pestkiller suffers a -2 penalty on all NPC reaction rolls.
- A pestkiller, regardless of class, may not use any written magic items (neither spell scrolls, nor protection scrolls, nor magical tomes).
- A pestkiller gains no followers.
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