Shadowknight (3.5e Class)
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There are dark gods in this world, and just as the righteous gods have devout worshippers, so do their evil counterparts. In dark cults, ruthless armies, and many other places there exists those whose devotion to an evil god rises above all other needs. The warrior who sacrifices enemies in prayer to Hextor is a shadowknight. Much like a paladin, a shadowknight strives to do everything he can for his lord. He loves to crush the do-gooders of the land.
Making a Shadowknight
Shadowknights are leaders. They make decent fighters, especially against good-aligned foes. As well as fighting, a shadowknight is a good secondary healer, with a decent amount of healing spells in his arsenal. Curses and other destructive spells are available to the shadowknight too, keeping his choices balanced. Shadowknights get along with any adventurers of evil alignment, regardless of class, though clerics seem to mesh well with shadowknights, as long as they’re devoted to a deity that the shadowknight deems appropriate. Paladins, obviously, do not work well with shadowknights. In fact, cooperation is downright impossible. Even in a forced alliance, the two may try to cause ill to each other.
Abilities: Strength is needed for a shadowknight to hold himself in combat and carry his heavy armor. Wisdom is important for casting spells, 11 points is needed to be able to cast spells, 14 points is needed for some of the more powerful spells later on. A shadowknight shares the same advancement table for saving throws, base attack bonuses, and spells per day as a paladin.
Races: Humans, being very adaptable, make great shadowknights. They do not question their god or their duty as often as another race would. orcs, half-orcs, and other savage races tend to favor the shadowknight for its half-elves, being half human, will sometimes pursue to path of a shadowknight.
Alignment: Shadowknights must be evil, but cannot be chaotic, as a shadowknight must adhere to the code of a dark god. He must be somewhat lawful. Even if the god is chaotic evil himself.
Starting Gold: 6d4x10 gp (150gp).
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Aura of Evil, Detect Good, Smite Good 1/day||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+0||Dark Blessing, Dark Lay on Hands||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||Evil Negotiation, Rebuke Undead||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||Special Mount, Smite Good 2/day||0||—||—||—|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+2||+2||Tainted Blade 1/week +1d6||1||—||—||—|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+3||+3||Tainted Blade 2/week +1d6||1||0||—||—|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+3||+3||Smite Good 3/day||1||1||—||—|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+4||Tainted Blade 3/week +2d6||1||1||1||—|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+5||Smite Good 4/day, Tainted Blade 4/week +2d6||2||1||1||1|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+6||Tainted Blade 5/week +3d6||3||2||2||1|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+6||Smite Good 5/day||3||3||3||3|
Class Skills 2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the shadowknight.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shadowknights are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).
Aura of Evil: The power of a shadowknight’s aura of evil (see the detect evil spell) is equal to his shadowknight level, just like the aura of a cleric of an evil deity.
Smite Good (Su): Once per day, a shadowknight may attempt to smite good with one normal melee attack. He adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per shadowknight level. For example, a 13th-level shadowknight armed with a longsword would deal 1d8+13 points of damage, plus any additional bonuses for high Strength or magical effects that would normally apply. If the shadowknight accidentally smites a creature that is not good, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day. At 5th level, and at every five levels thereafter, the shadowknight may smite good one additional time per day, to a maximum of five times per day at 20th level.
Dark Blessing (Su): At 2nd level, a shadowknight applies his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus to all saving throws.
Dark Lay on Hands (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a shadowknight with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can heal wounds (his own or those of others) by touch. Each day he can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to his shadowknight level x his Charisma bonus. For example, a 7th-level shadowknight with a 16 Charisma (+3 Bonus) can heal 21 points of damage per day. A shadowknight may choose to divide his healing among multiple recipients, and he doesn’t have to use it all at once. Using lay on hands is a standard action. Good-aligned recipients receive ½ the healing points that that they would receive if they were neutral or evil. Alternatively, a shadowknight can use any or all of this healing power to deal damage to good-aligned beings. Using dark lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The shadowknight decides how many of his daily allotment points to use as damage after successfully touching an good-aligned being.
Aura of Fear (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a shadowknight is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Any being within 10 feet of the must make a will save (DC 10 + the shadowknight’s level) or be shaken with fear (suffer a -2 morale penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks) as long as they remain in the aura.
Evil Negotiation (Ex): At 3rd level, the shadowknight gains +2 on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks against evil-aligned creatures with an Int of 6 or higher.
Rebuke Undead (Su): When a shadowknight reaches 4th level, he gains the supernatural ability to rebuke undead. He may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + Charisma modifier. He rebukes undead as a cleric of three levels lower would. (See Turn or Rebuke Undead, page 159 of the Player’s Handbook)
Spells: Beginning at 4th level a shadowknight gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells which are drawn from the shadowknight spell list. A shadowknight must choose and prepare his spells in advance. To prepare or cast a spell, a shadowknight must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Wis 11 for 1st-level spells, Wis 12 for 2nd-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a shadowknights spell is 10 + the spell level + the shadowknights Wisdom modifier. A shadowknight can only cast a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is the same as a paladin (given in Table 3-12: The Paladin in the Player’s Handbook). In addition, he gains bonus spells per day if he has a high enough Wisdom score (See Table 1-1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells, see page 8 of the Player’s Handbook). A shadowknight prepares and casts spells the way a cleric does, though he can’t lose a prepared spell to spontaneously cast a cure spell in its place. A shadowknight may prepare and cast any spell on the shadowknight spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level, but he must choose which spells to prepare during his morning ritual or prayer. If a morning ritual/prayer was not completed then the shadowknight must make a small blood sacrifice before casting a spell. This does not have to be done more than once per day. Through 3rd level a shadowknight has no caster level. At 4th level and higher his caster level is one-half his shadowknight level.
Shadowknights choose their spells from the following list:
1st— Cause Fear, Cure Light Wounds, Curse Water, Detect Poison, Disguise Self, Doom, Endure Elements, Inflict Light Wounds, Magic Weapon, Protection from Good, Read Magic, Lesser Restoration, Sanctuary, Summon Monster I
3rd— Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Contagion, Cure Moderate Wounds, Deeper Darkness, Inflict Serious Wounds Magic Circle against Good, Magic Vestment, Greater Magic Weapon, Prayer, Speak with Dead, Summon Monster III
Special Mount (Sp): Upon reaching 5th level, a shadowknight gains a mount from the Abyssal plane as a paladin gains her mount from the Celestial plane. (See pages 44-45 of the Player’s Handbook for rules on creating and using the Special Mount)
Tainted Blade (Sp): Upon reaching 6th level a shadowknight can taint his blade with evil to deal +1d6 damage to non-evil creatures, once per week. This spell remains on the sword for 1d4 hours until it wears off. He can use this ability one additional time per week for every three levels after 6th (twice per week at 9th, three times per week at 12th, etc.). The extra damage increases by 1d6 for every 6 levels after 6th level (+2d6 at 12th level, +3d6 at 18th level, etc.).
Dark Code: A shadowknight must remain of evil alignment or he loses all class abilities. In addition, a shadowknight who violates a value or moral of his chosen deity must sacrifice something of his own flesh or take a -2 penalty on attack roles and saving throws (sacrifice some blood, dismember a limb, scar himself, etc.). The severity of the violation increases the severity of the sacrifice.
A shadowknight who ceases to be evil, becomes chaotic, or violates the Dark Code without a sacrifice, loses all shadowknight spells and abilities (including his Special Mount, but not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). He can not progress any farther in levels as a shadowknight. He regains his abilities and advancement privileges if he commits an act of great evil in honor of the evil deity he is/was devoted to. A shadowknight, unlike a paladin, can multiclass. As long as he continues to adhere to all of his duties as a shadowknight, he may multiclass. In fact, many shadowknights choose to muiticlass as a cleric and become even more devoted to their deity.
Playing a shadowknight
Religion: A shadowknight usually devotes himself to one god, adhering to that deity’s particular will over other gods. Though a shadowknight may also agree with other evil gods, and may even pray to them if the situation grants itself. (ex. praying to Grummsh for a safe passage through Orc lands.)
Other Classes: Shadowknights get along with any adventurers of evil alignment, regardless of class, though clerics seem to mesh well with shadowknights, as long as they’re devoted to a deity that the shadowknight deems appropriate. Paladins, obviously, do not work well with shadowknights. In fact, cooperation is downright impossible. Even in a forced alliance, the two may try to cause ill to each other.
Combat: Shadowknights are leaders. They make decent fighters, especially against good-aligned foes. As well as fighting, a shadowknight is a good secondary healer, with a decent amount of healing spells in his arsenal. Curses and other destructive spells are available to the shadowknight too, keeping his choices balanced.
Advancement: Shadowknights do well when multiclassing as a cleric. They have also been known to advance on to being blackguards. The fighter class is another easy choice, as any shadowknight can find a use for more combat options.
Shadowknights are almost always raised to be evil as a child. Cults and evil religious groups kidnap children and train them to be devoted to the dark god of that particular circle. This is the source of their devotion. They don’t know any other way than to be evil, most of the time. This is not true for all, as some may feel a connection to a dark deity and devote themselves later in life to become a shadowknight. Some do not accept the shadowknight way of life. As soon as they reach adult age and can leave the place they were held and trained in, they devote themselves to a good-aligned deity and repent. They become some of the strongest and most righteous paladins and clerics, striving to correct the evil things they may have done while being brainwashed into evil. Shadowknights usually get along, sharing a common feeling towards evil. Though two may cross if their deities have a conflict, almost always a shadowknight will aid another shadowknight if it does not obstruct his duties or mission.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research shadowknights to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||You know shadowknights are evil warriors who carry out evil things.|
|10||You know shadowknights are cultists trained in comabt who work to destroy good in all the lands. They worship evil deities and associate with demons and devils.|
|15||You know all about the how shadowknights are trained and what types of activities they partake in.|
|20||You know the location of the nearest shadowknight cult and the whereabouts of their place of worship.|
|25||You know information about shadowknights of interest.|
|30||You know information about a specific shadowknight.|