(Complete Adventurer variant, p. 28)
A bloodhound tracks down wrongdoers and brings them to whatever justice awaits them. Low-level bloodhounds depend on their keen senses and careful training to hunt their targets. As they gain experience, their obsessive determination gives them supernatural abilities that make them nearly unstoppable.
Though some bloodhounds leave calling cards or even brands on their targets, most don’t kill their quarry if they can help it. They prefer instead to subdue their targets and bring them in. For those of good alignment, this practice satisﬁes some deeply held belief in the cause of justice. For neutral and evil bloodhounds, it ensures a steady stream of income from catching the same targets
over and over when they break out of jail.
Rangers and barbarians make the best bloodhounds, but rogues, bards, druids, and ﬁghters can also excel in this role. Occasionally, a paladin shoulders the mantle, but never for money. Most bloodhounds are human, though elves and half-elves sometimes ﬁnd this lifestyle satisfying. Some of the best bloodhounds are humanoids such as gnolls, hobgoblins, and bugbears.
6 + Int
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Bloodhounds are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor.
Mark (Ex): A bloodhound can target, or mark, an individual humanoid or monstrous humanoid foe to better hunt that enemy. To do so, the bloodhound must focus on a foe who is present and visible, or on the depiction or description of one who is not, for 10 minutes. Any interruption ruins the attempt and forces the bloodhound to start the process again. Once this study is complete, that target is called a mark.
A bloodhound adds his bloodhound level as an insight bonus on all Gather Information, Listen, Search, Spot, and Survival checks made to determine the whereabouts of a mark. As a bloodhound gains levels, he gains additional abilities that can be used against a mark.
If a bloodhound chooses a new mark before apprehending an existing one, the latter becomes unmarked, and the bloodhound loses experience points equal to the amount he would have earned for defeating that creature. A bloodhound can choose a mark only once a week.
Initially, a bloodhound can have only one mark at a time. For every three bloodhound levels gained beyond 1st, a bloodhound can have one additional mark, but only if all the marks are chosen during the same process (see above). For example, a 4th-level bloodhound could mark two bugbears in the same group of prisoners, or the depictions of a bugbear and a hobgoblin if both were studied at the same time. If a bloodhound gives up on apprehending any of his marks, all remaining marked creatures become unmarked as described above.
Swift Tracker (Ex): A bloodhound can move at his normal speed while following tracks. See the ranger class feature, page 48 of the Player's Handbook.
Nonlethal Force (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a bloodhound can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead without taking the usual —4 penalty on his attack roll.
Ready and Waiting (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, a bloodhound is ready for trickery at all times. He can ready an action against his mark, even outside of the initiative sequence. If the mark triggers the bloodhound's readied action at any point within the next 10 minutes, the bloodhound can carry out his readied action as if the two were engaged in combat (as long as the bloodhound is capable of carrying out that action). If the bloodhound is incapable of carrying out the action—for instance, if he is too far away to strike the mark with a readied melee attack—the readied action is lost.
Bring 'em Back Alive (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, a bloodhound can turn a potentially killing blow into an incapacitating one—all the better to bring a mark back for punishment. At the bloodhound's option, any melee attack that would reduce a foe to —2 or fewer hit points reduces the foe to —1 hit points instead. A bloodhound must choose to use this ability immediately upon reducing his foe to —2 or fewer hit points, and before making any other action (or even continuing a full attack). A raging bloodhound can't use this ability.
Tenacious Pursuit (Ex): At 3rd level and above, a bloodhound tracking a mark gains a +4 bonus on Constitution checks made to resist nonlethal damage from a forced march (see page 164 of the Player's Handbook). In addition, a bloodhound tracking a mark can increase his own speed by 10 feet, up to a maximum value equal to the mark's speed. This bonus stacks with all other speed increases. At 6th level, the speed increase improves to 20 feet, and it goes up to 30 feet at 9th level.
Hunter's Dedication (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, a bloodhound adds his Constitution bonus (if any) to Will saves made to resist the special attacks or spells of his mark.
Move Like the Wind (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a bloodhound can move stealthily even at a quick pace. He no longer takes a —5 penalty on Hide and Move Silently checks when moving at any speed up to his normal speed, and he takes only a —10 penalty (instead of a —20 penalty) on Hide and Move Silently checks when running. (He takes the normal —20 penalty when attacking or charging.)
Crippling Strike (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a bloodhound can deliver strikes against his mark with such precision that each successful attack also deals 2 points of Strength damage to the mark. A bloodhound can deliver a crippling strike with a melee attack, or with a ranged wind attack from a distance of up to 30 feet. See the rogue class feature, page 51 of the Player's Handbook.
Track the Trackless (Su): Starting at 5th level, a bloodhound can track a creature moving under the
influence of pass without trace or a similar effect, though he takes a —20 penalty on his Survival checks when doing so.
See Invisibility (Su): This ability, gained at 6th level, functions like a see invisibility spell, except that it is constantly in effect and it reveals only invisible marks.
Shielded Mind (Su): At 6th level, a bloodhound gains spell resistance against divination spells equal to 15 + his bloodhound level. This benefit does not stack with other forms of spell resistance.
Locate Creature (Sp): Once per day, a bloodhound of 7th level or higher can produce an effect identical to that of a locate creature spell with a caster level equal to the bloodhound's character level.
Freedom of Movement (Su): Starting at 8th level, a bloodhound can act normally regardless of magical effects that impede movement, as if he were affected by a freedom of movement spell. The effect lasts for a total time per day of 1 round per point of Wisdom bonus he possesses (minimum 1 round). The effect occurs automatically as soon as it is applied, lasts until it runs out or is no longer needed, and can be used multiple times per day (up to the total daily limit of rounds). The character's caster level is equal to his bloodhound level.
Scent (Ex): At 9th level, a bloodhound gains the scent ability (see page 314 of the Monster Manual).
Find the Path (Sp): A 10th-level bloodhound can use find the path twice per day as the spell. His caster level is to his bloodhound level.
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Mark (1), swift tracker|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Nonlethal force, ready and waiting|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Bring 'em back alive, tenacious pursuit (speed +10 ft.)|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Hunter's dedication, mark (2), move like the wind|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Crippling strike, track the trackless|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+2||See invisibility, shielded mind, tenacious pursuit (speed +20ft.)|
|7th||+7||+5||+5||+2||Locate creature, mark (3)|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+2||Freedom of movement|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+3||Scent, tenacious pursuit (speed +30ft.)|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+3||Find the path, mark (4)|
|Skill name||Key ability||Trained only||Armor check penalty|