I finished the initial version of this class remix almost exactly one month ago, but I held it back because I knew it was missing something that was difficult to quantify. That something I recently quantified with the “Tier System for Roles” concept.

Here’s the Heroic Stalker class:
Download: Essentials Stalker (Ranger) v.1

The Stalker is a Ranger remix, one who focuses a bit more on the stalking-and-killing aspect of the Ranger class — one which isn’t quite so prevalent in Fourth Edition as Third, what with the Favored Enemy, Camouflage, and Hide in Plain Sight features.

Hidden Blade was the very first class feature I wrote, with the intent of making it dagger-only. I don’t like restricting character builds so much normally, but here it felt appropriate. The dagger is already +3 proficiency, and having permanent Combat Advantage means the Stalker is super-accurate at all times.

I had intentions of making the Stalker more versatile, allowing the class options in a variety of throwing weapons. In particular, I liked imagining hurling a javelin and then charging and say, kicking the selfsame javelin further into the target’s chest — but it’s harder than it sounds to make Strength-based ranged-weapon rangers.

The nature of today’s update was really me biting the bullet and making the class Dexterity/Wisdom instead of Strength or Dexterity and Wisdom. Once that decision was made, the rest of the class fell into place. It can be like that at times.

The Stalker functions in many ways similar to the Scout, in that its striker damage comes not from a static bonus, nor extra damage dice, but rather from a secondary attack — the Stalker likes to follow a thrown weapon attack with a charge attack.

It’s important to note however, the Stalker can make use of its striker advantage during any turn — not just their own. Hurling Charge is a once-per-round power, which only requires a hit with a thrown weapon attack. The attack could be on the Stalker’s own turn, or it could be from an attack granted by another character.

Bloodhound is a somewhat unconventional for a striker feature, a damage bonus based on take-downs encourages the Stalker to finish enemies.

The other two features you may recognize from other designs — Primal Stalker is identical to the Hellraiser’s “Shroud of Shadows” feature, and I originally wrote the Weapon Finesse feature for the Poisoner and decided to share it.

Movement is a big deal for the Stalker, and beginning at 2nd level, the Stalker receives an extra save against the slowed, immobilized, and restrained conditions at the start of their turn, very much similar to the Warden’s “Font of Life” feature.