5e SRD >Classes >Rogue >Rogue Archetypes >

Death’s Reaper

Death’s reapers intrinsically deal in the art of death and death dealing in all its macabre forms. Death’s reapers, more than any other class profession understand the complications which divine magic have placed upon their benighted career path. As the death’s reaper grows in power, they know that the quality of their targets also increases, meaning that their VIP targets have the opportunity to purchase powerful healing magic, enchantments and charms against death, and of course the rituals of raise dead, reincarnation, and resurrection that thwart the death’s reaper at every turn. Thus, in this ever growing enchanted arms race, the death’s reaper looks to supernatural means to circumvent the inevitable resurrection of his target and guarantee to his contractors that his mark stays dead!

As many death’s reapers are themselves trained by cults dedicated to ultimate and true death and thus worship of death gods, and veneration of the angel of death are not uncommon among practitioners of the death’s reapers’ trade. Many are the hit-men who can attest to the presence of the reaper when true death is visited upon a target. Contract killers speak in hushed voices amongst one another of the spirit that they feel enter the chamber of their mark just as the life whispers from their victims’ lips. They talk of the culling of the spirit, when the soul leaves the body and know better than most of the entity which whispers past their chin to claim that intangible prize from the dying eyes of their contracted mark. Death’s reapers know this spirit as the reaper, and some among their deadly orders have learned the trick of trapping one of these nebulous beings, that they may be bound to a death’s reaper’s blade and summoned to insure the completion of an assignment.

The Reaper Familiar

When you choose this archetype at level 3, you gain a Reaper familiar. The process for calling and binding this familiar, and the abilities it gains and grants, are listed below.

Bonus Proficiencies

Also, at 3rd level when you choose this archetype, you gain proficiency with the poisoner’s kit and the disguise kit.

So long as the reaper remains loyal, it will battle alongside its master, attacking unfailingly and viciously against any foe the master faces even unto the death. If the reaper is destroyed the assassin suffers an immediate and permanent loss of 2d6 points of Constitution, though the assassin may attempt to summon another reaper at a future time, paying the extended costs associated with ensnaring a new reaper.

A reaper that escapes its master’s control, be it from being released or through defeating its master in a challenge, retains all of its enhanced abilities and familiar abilities, making it a far more formidable foe than a normal reaper.

It is possible for a master to attempt to re-summon and bind the same reaper at a later date, though defeating it as part of the summoning ritual will naturally be more difficult once it has gained powers. Otherwise, a new reaper that is summoned will always begin at base power (treat the new reaper as though the rogue’s class level was 3 and progress from there).

Statistics for a standard Reaper can be found in Appendix B, new creatures.

Reaper Progression

As the death’s reaper gains power and infamy in their chosen line of work so too does the reaper bound to their service gain advancement in hit dice and deadliness. The following chart lists the Hit Dice advancement of the Reaper based on the level advancement of the death’s reaper character. The list of special Familiar Abilities available to a bound reaper is the same as those available to the Shadow Familiar, above.

Table 10-16: Reaper Progression
Rogue Class Level HD Int, Wis, Cha Special
3rd 12 Empathic link, danger sense, shadow traits, Stealth, Sneak Attack
5th +1d8 12
7th +1d8 13
9th +1d8 13 Standard Familiar Ability
11th +1d8 14
13th +1d8 14
15th +1d8 15 Greater Familiar Ability
17th +1d8 15
19th +1d8 16
20th +1d8 16 Supreme Familiar Ability

Deadly Assault

Beginning at level 9, you always add an additional 1d6 damage to a successful sneak attack.

Brutal Attack

Beginning at level 13, whenever you make a successful attack on an opponent against whom you have advantage, you can choose to deal maximum damage for your weapon. Additional damage, such as that from sneak attack, is not maximized; only the damage from your weapon code. You must declare the use of this ability before the results of your attack roll are revealed.

Should you score a critical hit, you deal double your maximum damage for your weapon. After you use this ability, you must finish a short rest before using it again.

Improved Blindsense

Starting at 17th level, if you do not already have darkvision, you gain darkvision 60 ft. If you already have darkvision, its range is extended to 120 ft. In addition, you are immune to the blinded condition and can operate normally even in magical darkness so long as you have either a sense of hearing, smell or touch. You also gain advantage on Perception checks tied to hearing and smell.

Summoning The Reaper

To summon a reaper, the rogue completes a ritual that requires them to perform an assassination of a marked target, and upon completion, capture the reaper called to collect the target’s soul within a ring of powdered silver worth 1,000 gp.

The assassin must then defeat the reaper in single combat within the ring. Upon success, the assassin binds the reaper to his shadow and a phylactery made from one of the assassin’s weapons, whose value is at least 2000 gp. If the assassin fails to defeat the reaper, he is of course slain, and cannot be raised or resurrected by any means.

The Cost of A Reaper Familiar

Once the reaper is bound, it will serve as a loyal companion and familiar, though it demands that its master permit it to feast on at least one soul per week. This cost increases to an additional soul at levels 9, 13 and 17. Should the master fail to allow the reaper to meet its quota of souls, it will engage in a test of wills against the master. This test of wills is the reaper’s charisma against the master’s wisdom. If the reaper wins, it will issue an ultimatum: the master can let it go free (in which case the master suffers penalties as though the reaper was killed, as described below), or the master must engage the reaper in combat to the death, his soul being penance for those the reaper has failed to collect.