Friday, April 3, 2020

[Class] Childcatcher

Childcatchers are an uncommon profession. They are usually employed by evil witches, tyrannical governments, or cruel authorities looking to prosecute the youth. Dark ritualists may also keep a Childcatcher around to keep up the fresh sacrifices. It should also be said that Childcatchers don't necessarily have to hunt all children, just the bad ones- races suffer from prejudice or half-breeds may be rooted out from certain societies. Regardless of the reason; they are infamous and are not likely to make many friends, even among the morally dubious "adventurer" types.

The main powers of the Childcatcher revolve around children. In this case, “Children” are considered too young to be their own people, but older then a helpless infant. Old enough to run away, either on their own or with assistance, but not old enough to be an adult. If you want to catch a runaway adult slave, you call a slave hunter. If you want to catch a runaway child slave, then you call the Childcatcher. The age range for your abilities work on children between the ages of 4 to 12 years old. You can stretch a little into ages outside this range depending on your level, but your abilities are weakened or lost entirely once the child gets too old.

The Childcatcher @MGM Pictures
HD- d8
Max AC- 14 / Minimum Hit-Points- 3

You are a Childcatcher. You hunt runaway brats, or add these abilities to the arsenal of a team of very diverse and morally duplicitous people. Rarely, childish monsters can be the subject of your abilities- this does not apply to monster children, only monsters who act and take the forms of children, like a zombie kid or evil midget.

You're quite fast. Your minimum Dexterity score is equal to your level. This bonus starts as inconsequential but will eventually mean that high level Childcatchers will be around average Dexterity even if they aren't the type for it; simply to get your hands and feet to the places the little ones try to run and hide.

Your main tools are the net, cage, traps, and leather bolas. You do not use clubs to beat and incapacitate, as these are too harsh for small childish bodies to endure. You're also skilled in trickery- Childcatchers often catch children with promises of candy or games. You gain a bonus of +1 to reaction checks with children who you are trying to catch, and this ability also grants you a reaction check even with children who are trying to avoid or are smart enough to know you're hunting them. This bonus to reaction checks increases at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level.

Childcatchers gain bonuses with the above weapons even against adults; though they tend to be inappropriately sized and not as easy to contain as a trapped kid. You gain +1 to hit with ranged weapons at 2nd and 8th level, and enemies get a -1 to saves to break free from any trap, cage, or net you've got them in. This negative gets worse for them every odd level past the first, maxing out at a -5 at 9th level.

Finally; you can detect Children. You can trace sticky fingered little brats by the nose at 5th level, giving you a range of smelling a Child up to 30 ft and through permeable barriers. At 10th level this bonus increases to 50 ft and gets even more precise- you can tell the stink of where a child has been or the smell of children of different races, as well as more esoteric aromas, such as a child who is an orphan or one that has a fairy godmother and the like.

At 10th level, you become a Childcatching Master. Beyond the abilities awarded to you from your other moves, you have advanced to a point where you are educating other Childcatchers and will almost certainly have opportunities to serve the most powerful beings of the realm who wish to use your services. Along with this, up to 1d4+1 Childcatcher apprentices will join you- your normal hirelings can also advance into the career if you so wish it, but most lose their other class levels first, only keeping their HD if it was higher. You also gain the power to squeeze your head and chest into places where an adult normally can't fit- letting you access hideouts for little sprouts.

Finally; your abilities as a Childcatcher make you an infamous boogeyman for children everywhere. As long as a child is scared of you, you can bypass any magical protections or wards that protect them, though not if the adult who cast them is present. However this ability is a double edged sword; attacks done by children who are fighting back normally deal 1 damage or less to adults of other classes, but to you these attacks deal 1d4 damage from the fighting spirit of any resistant brat who tries to stop you; an uprising of child slaves or a jailbreak could mean your death.


  1. At first glance, there arent too many things in this mock-up that are directly linked to children and their behaviors per se (outside of their love of candy and games haha); it should work decently well as a generic X-Hunter, where X could be any number of different prey.

    If talking purely about kid hunters though, outside of slugworth (who is sort of childhunter-adjacent), many of the childrencatchers im aware of in fiction seem to have a deep hatred for children in general (think miss trunchbull from matilda, even if its a bit of a stretched example); maybe some sort of Hatred system would work here as well: lots of abilities/powers related to catching children for your patrons, but you are constantly fighting your base nature of just beating/killing/improsining/eating your prey outright before delivery

    Lots to think on, good post

    1. Yeah, that's fair. It may be a bit too specific. I was also somewhat inspired by both the movie character and also my old favorite Pathfinder Witch hex which just let you sniff children passively. Terrible ability in a mechanics-focused game like that, but extremely flavorful.