User talk:Jota/Holy Knight

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Author's Note: I wanted to make this balanced and yet interesting and fun to play. The hardest part was trying to balance the sword skill enough that players might actually choose to attack physically rather than use a Holy Sword skill every turn, which happened in Final Fantasy Tactics. I'm still working on a few more abilities to make the interim levels without abilities more exciting. There are some mechanical things bothering me as well, such as the rating box. All in all, I just wanted to get this out there and see what people think. It hasn't been game-tested nor is it likely to be by me. I only hope it isn't too underwhelming. I'll add more as I keep updating it.


I'll watch this class with interest. If I may make a suggestion, why not put the Holy Sword abilities on a recharge time--say, being able to use one every 1d4 round, or something like that? but characters would still be limited in how often they could use them.

Also, a balance note: Thou shalt use this DC Formula: 10 + 1/2 character level + Relevant Ability Modifier. Class level is just too much, especially with the secondary effects you have. --Genowhirl 14:32, 6 January 2009 (MST)

The recharge idea, kind of like a dragon's breath weapon, was something that I considered, but I wanted to remain true to the game in a sense by offering the ability to use it each turn. Also, it was because of the secondary effects that I choose the formula I did. If Agrias, a first level Holy Knight, has 15 Charisma, the save DCs against her at levels 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 will be 3, 7, 12, 17, and 22. If you used the general formula, the saves are 12, 14, 17, 19, and 22. As you can see, my variants results in the same level of difficulty at level 20, but is significantly more enemy-friendly at lower levels, which was the intent, given the ability to use the skill every round and the nature of the effects. At epic levels it flips, 32 for my formula v 27 for the standard at level 30, but as a whole I thought what I did made it the most balanced. At the moment I'd rather stick with what I have, considering I tried to balance the abilities (DCs and damage) with the knowledge that they would be useable each round. Jota 15:41, 6 January 2009 (MST)

Getting close...[edit]

I'm getting close to what I think is the finished product. I would like to fill out more of the blank levels with abilities, even if they are primarily fillers as I don't want to munchkinize it. I'm conflicted between remaining true to the inspiration and what I now want to do. If the Counter Tackle ability is broken or anyone sees a problem with it I could change it (or you could if you've got an idea). I was struggling to find a suitable equivalent for it and in the end that was what I compromised on. I was thinking about making a Holy Swordsman Prestige Class instead of epic levels. That was actually how this whole thing started in my head (four separate prestige classes: Holy Knight, Dark Knight, and Divine Knight, each which had to be mastered before taking any levels in Holy Swordsman, the final class). I still need to do the hotlinking, sample encounter, and starting package as of this writing. Jota 23:24, 7 January 2009 (MST)

While I'm at it, since the Dwarven Defender is open content, can I copy the text for its ability straight here? Jota 00:11, 8 January 2009 (MST)
Yes, you can do this several ways, in fact. If you want the description in this page, just make a note in functionslike the Dwarven Defender ability and link to its using SRD:Dwarven Defender#Ability Name, or you can not copy the ability description and just link to it, mentioning that it works the same way for your class. -Valentine the Rogue 03:00, 8 January 2009 (MST)

Needs more templates[edit]

Would you be particularly upset if I removed all the "Needs more description" and "STUB" and whatnot templates from your article? They don't really apply anymore, I think. That's nor to say you can't do it yourself, though. -Valentine the Rogue 03:01, 8 January 2009 (MST)

No, I wasn't sure if that was something I should do or if a class needed to be finished and inspected before someone with more authority took them off. I just took of the description ones and I'm assuming the 'stub' and 'needs fuller description' can go. I'm a little new to this whole wiki thing so I don't know if there's more that needs to be done to make it 'wikified,' but if you don't think they apply you can get them or I'll get them tomorrow. It's sleep time now. Jota 03:22, 8 January 2009 (MST)
Personally, I think you've done an excellent job. As far as I know, this adheres to wiki standards; it also definitely has a full description and is not a stub. I'll remove the tags (and while I'm at it I'll modify the "Innuendo" skill to read "Bluff" since that is its 3.5 equivalent). Shoudl someone disagree with me on this, they can replace the tags and discuss it here. -Valentine the Rogue 03:30, 8 January 2009 (MST)


Not entirely clear what the whole source/license thing is, but I think what I've done is okay. If not, leaving it up the imagination wouldn't hurt either. There's also some Youtube clips of the skills which I could do instead, if that would be acceptable. I also updated some formatting things and changed the Counter Tackle ability. I hope to finish the class in its entirety within the week and then move on to the Holy Swordsman or Dark Knight/Divine Knight class. -- Jota 14:30, 21 January 2009 (MST)

Rate me![edit]

Okay, I think everything is done in the appropriate fashion. I cannot test it myself (all by my lonesome) but I would love any and all feedback. -- Jota 11:56, 23 January 2009 (MST)


Some of the ranges should be decreased, especially if trying to stay true to Final Fantasy Tactics. As it is, at first level, a Holy Knight can stand away from melee for the duration of combat and take out a pile of enemies without a scratch. I'd change it to make some of the ranges closer to the user for the chance to take some damage, particularly according to FFT.

Stasis Sword: 10 ft.

Split Punch: 15 ft.

Crush Punch: 15 ft.

Lightning Stab: 15 ft.

Holy Explosion: 25 ft.

I also would like to question the phrase, "Holy Knight levels can be considered as Blackguard, Paladin, or Anti-Paladin levels for the purposes of determining the strengths and save difficulties of abilities from those classes, such as lay on hands or smite evil. This has no impact on spellcasting." What exactly does that entail? Do they receive unmentioned Paladin abilities?

Otherwise, great job converting the class to d20!--Dsurion 15:21, 25 January 2009 (MST)

I increased the range increments to make the Holy Sword Skills a viable ranged weapon (given that the class has no ranged weapon proficiencies). If you think about FFT, bows have ranges not that much bigger than Holy Sword Skill; I just wanted the Holy Sword Skill to be comparable. Also, at those distances, you might as well close to melee combat and start swinging, especially at higher levels. I will consider doing some kind of mathematical conversion and seeing what it comes out to, which would most likely be less (I kind of just did it arbitrarily).
As far as the other clause, it may need re-wording. It is not supposed to grant any abilities, just strengthen abilities that are granted by those other classes (for example, a Holy Knight 4/Paladin 3 with 14 Charisma could normally heal 6 hit points of damage per day (3 Paladin levels times 2 Charisma modifier), but the Holy Knight levels count as Paladin levels for determining the ability's strength, so this character could heal 14 hit points per day ((4 HK levels + 3 Paladin levels) times 2 Charisma modifier) rather than 6. -- Jota 17:13, 25 January 2009 (MST)
Ah, forgive my misunderstanding on the Paladin/etc. relation. Perhaps it could be reworded to explicitly state that to avoid confusion.
I guess the Holy Sword ranges don't really translate well, since crossbows were a range of 4 panels, and longbows were 5, with Holy Sword ranging from 2 to 5. Maybe it is better to leave alone then. I probably shouldn't have compared them in a vacuum. --Dsurion 17:34, 25 January 2009 (MST)
I'll make adjustments to the Dedicated Warrior ability, but I was reviewing the HSS and this is what I found. Bows and crossbows can shoot beyond their prescribed ranges of 4 and 5 squares, respectively. HSS cannot miss, if I remember correctly, which obviously wouldn't work, hence the ranged touch attack, which still makes it relatively easy to hit (way too many commas in that sentence). If you take the average range increment of a bow (short and long) in DnD and consider that the range of bows in FFT, you get 30 (Stasis Sword), 50 (Split Punch, Crush Punch, Lightning Stab), and 80 (Holy Explosion) as the ranges of the abilities, which makes a bit of sense, so I will adjust. -- Jota 18:27, 25 January 2009 (MST)
All right, with the changes, there are no longer range increments, since ranged touch attacks don't have them anyway (found that out while researching), just maximum ranges. I also adjusted the wording and included two examples for clarification. Let me know what you think. -- Jota 18:42, 25 January 2009 (MST)

I like the changes you've got so far! I also noticed you wanted to add some abilities to the dead levels, too, though, so maybe (and this would be stretching out from Holy Knight proper, though you did add Weapon Guard) you could add a few standard Squire abilities, or those of a regular Knight, such as some sort of Strength buff for Accumulate, removal of blindness and poison for the Heal ability, or Improved Sunder for the Knight's equipment breaks. --Dsurion 05:29, 26 July 2009 (MDT)

Various Comments[edit]

You really ought to give the Holy Knight some sort of simple weapon proficiency, too. These guys can't use Clubs or Crossbows - seriously? First level really needs an ability. At first level, you're weaker than a fighter, and that's just not fun. It's also not clear what happens with Natural Skill when you multiclass into the class. Just give them 4 skill points per level and a useful first level ability and be done with it. Holy Sword states that it is the "equivalent of a standard action". That's poor wording - it's not "equivalent", it takes a standard action to use. Does the Holy Knight get to use weapon enhancements as bonuses to their Holy Sword skills? What is the caster level to oppose SR with? And instantaneous effects CAN be dispelled, by means of counterspell! How this works with the Holy Knight isn't entirely clear.

First, just let me ask if you have played Final Fantasy Tactics? This is an attempt to remain true to the game, hence to lack of ranged weapon proficiencies. You have a point regarding Gained JP Up, but the class has a number of dead levels as it is; do you have an alternative suggestion? Stasis Sword can be moved to first level if that would help. In FFT the strength of the character's sword impacted damage; in my revision the Holy Sword skill is purely spell-like ability and as such is not impacted be weapon strength. Caster level is HK level (I'll add that) and the wording can be modified to deal with that last bit. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
  • Moving onto the actual Holy Sword powers, there are problems. Statis Sword deals an average of 2 damage at level 2, and the enemy is practically guaranteed to make the reflex save (see below), reducing the damage to 1. That's so low, it may as well not exist. It NEVER reaches a useful point - dealing 20 damage at level 20, I just plain don't care. It really needs to deal more damage to be useful. The half-damage types are also a complete headache to use in practice, especially when you're referencing an elemental type that doesn't exist. The save DC is also entirely wrong, as it's much too small - a save DC of, say, 5 at second level? Next to nothing will ever fail against it. The save DC should be (10 + 1/2 Holy Knight's level + Holy Knight's charisma modifier). You really want to remove the bit about it paralyzing undead and such, as there is no listed "Immune to paralysis for physical reasons". If it works or not is just plain not clear, and that's bad - let monsters immune to paralysis be immune to it, or not include it. Also, remove the bit about it being similar to Hold Person. That is entirely unnecessary! People know what paralysis means, there are rules for it, you're over complicating things and bringing up much more questions.
  • Stasis Sword is also an automatic hit. Magic Missile averages 3.5 at level two. Stasis Sword also affects an area. It can also be used every round without limit with a chance of paralysis (and actually, if you're looking at a decent Charisma score (say 14) and typical level one monster (goblins, orcs, kobolds), then the chance of paralysis is 15%, which is small but not totally negligible). The paralysis is actually based on the Stop effect of FF, which is effectively freezing the character in time, hence the ability to affect undead. The DC is designed to reflect the rarity of these effects in the video game. The DC could be 5 + whatever if that would make it better. Also to clarify, Stasis Sword, Lightning Stab, and Holy Explosion have normal Reflex saves (10 + 1/2 HK level + Cha mod) for half damage. The modified saves are only for the side effects. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
  • Split punch has two DCs. Again, both are wrong - one is an always pass, one is an always fail. An attack roll and two saves for the same effect is also a bit excessive. And it should be a death effect.
  • It was difficult to replicate the in-game effect of Death Sentence within the framework of 3.5e. If you have a better suggestion I'd be open to it. I considered poison or Constitution damage but ultimately went with what I did. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
  • Crush Punch has a bad line at the end. Why not just make Crush Punch a x4 critting ability, or make it require a fort save? It should also be a death effect, and there's no real point in ushing it, as a 5% chance IF you make your attack roll to kill someone is too low.
  • Crush Punch offers the ability to target a single square (different from Stasis Sword) with the potential for an instant death effect (different from Split Punch). Granted 5% is small, but it also offers no save. And is usable every round. And hits by ranged touch attack. And does holy damage. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
  • Lightning Stab also has bad DCs. They all need to be fixed.
  • See Stasis Sword. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
  • Holy Explosion, note that "Confusion" is an actual bad status that has rules. You don't have to reference the confusion spell, and doing so only makes things more complicated.
  • You have a point here. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
  • Counter Tackle - oh boy, here it gets bad. He may counter with any weapon other than his main one? What if he's not using his weapon in a round, and then gets attacked. What if he carries a cheap, useless sword in his offhand that he channels Holy Sword through, and then uses an enchanted sword in his main hand to counter with?
  • His main weapon is the one in his main hand. If he's not using his weapon to attack, he still cannot counterattack with his main hand weapon. If he's not holding a weapon, his unarmed offhand attack is the alternate. As far as the last point, if the good sword is in his main hand, he cannot use it to counter. If he keeps the good sword in his offhand then he will suffer when actually attacking with the sword in melee. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
  • Equip Axes - Just give this to the Holy Knight to begin with. Honestly, why not just give them all Martial Weapon proficiency, and allow them to use Holy Sword powers with whatever weapons they wish?
  • No. It's staying true to the game and offering a counterpoint to the ability to use Holy Sword skill at any time without any use restrictions aside from needing a sword in hand. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)

Overall, this class has a lot of editing problems that need fixed (namely DCs and clarity) and a lot of major problems. The major ones are namely what does this class DO at first level to distinguish them from a Warrior, an NPC class? The damage on all the Holy Sword abilities need to be improved, as right now they're so weak to not be worth using. Even the most powerful, Holy Explosion, only deals 36 damage at level 16 when you first get it! That's a pathetically weak amount. Dragon Child 13:55, 3 May 2009 (MDT)

I will say that I did tone down all of the damages (they were originally, in order: d4, d6, d4, d8, d10. I thought that was too powerful (the ability to deal 16d10/round, at will, will no save to hit, even if it does get cut in half). It is 72 damage on average at level 16, but the Reflex save is still 10 + 1/2 HK + Cha mod and it also affects an area, so the Reflex save won't always be made and it could target two or more people per round, dealing a lot more than 36. -- Jota 15:15, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
It might be easier to list the comments in a row, in the same order. Even if you re-paste mine, and bold them. I didn't even notice your other comments until I had reread. Yes, I have played FFT... and beaten it several times. :P My current wallpaper is the PSP version cover. So I am familiar with the source material. I would highly suggest making Stasis Sword a first level power, or adding in something else, I'm not sure what.
  • Statis Sword: You brought up Magic Missile. There's a problem with that - magic missile is not a particularly good first level spell. Indeed, very few wizards prepare it at second level, instead preferring Color Spray or Sleep. You should instead be comparing to a fighter/ranger with a composite bow or a rogue with acid flasks, or similar, in which case it really doesn't look that good. If you want it to effect undead, just say "Creatures normally immune to paralysis are still effected". It's the physical thing that's the problem, it's really not all that clear what that means, and what qualifies. And 5 + 1/2 class level + mod is much, much better. It scales much more smoothly.
  • Split Punch, this might be better. When the character is first effected, he makes one save at a normal DC. If he fails, he becomes (fatigued? shaken?) and takes some minor penalty for 3 rounds. At the end of those rounds, if the penalty is still there, the character must make another save. Failure results in death. The penalty part is new, but not only does it add a little more use and flavor, it fits the ability and helps the player keep track of it.
  • Crush Punch still needs something else. I think "High damage, good damage (or good chance to) crit" helps keep the "instant death" flavor, while still making it useful and unique. If Crush Punch is the highest single target damage out of all the abilities, it, Lightning Stab, and Holy Explosion will all see use in different situations.
  • Lightning Stab, at this point, we're talking level 11. There's really no problem with offering the full DC, especially on a will save. Casters will still be mostly OK against it, and if they fail... well, they still have some options, as opposed to the crazy save or dies being thrown around at this level.
  • Holy Explosion - no further comments.
  • Counter Tackle: What if he takes two weapon fighting and has no "main hand" ? The best way to do this is just make it a tackle. Make it worth 1dX+str mod damage, and it'll be fine.
The damage really needs to be boosted to get some real punch out of the abilities. At the very least, remove the 1/2 level bit, and maybe up the low dice a tiny bit. You you can modify the powers such that different ones are worth using at different times - Crush Punch as single target, Lightning Stab vs Casters, Holy Explosion to screw people over who got in a line, Split Punch vs bosses who you want to weaken, Stasis Sword for... dunno? maybe make it do one round of Slow on a successful save, letting it help harass and weaken people. That way, there will be more tactics and decisions made by the player. Dragon Child 16:06, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
I'd forgotten that I made the Holy Sword skill roll a number of dice equal to HK Level/2, which were why the dice were bigger. Anyway, I made adjustments to Stasis Sword, Lightning Stab, and Holy Explosion, so those should be fine, I hope, as well as Counter Tackle. I'm still thinking about what to do for Split Punch, Crush Punch, and Gained JP Up. -- Jota 16:28, 3 May 2009 (MDT)

My suggestions. Anything I don't comment on here that you changed looks good.
  • Make all attacks deal XdY damage, where X is the Holy Knight level. Change all "An opponent hit by..." effects to "An opponent who takes damage from..." (same difference, but is clearer.)
  • Stasis Sword damage remains d4s. 1d4/level, ref half, in an AOE is fine.
  • Lightning Stab becomes d6s. Holy Explosion becomes d8s.
  • Make Split Punch deal 1d10s or 1d8s. The initial fort save should be (10 + 1/2 character level + cha mod). If the target fails, they are then Shaken for 3 rounds. If the shaken duration is allowed to run its course, the target must make a fort save (5 + 1/2 char level + cha mod) or die instantly from a Death effect.
  • Make Crush Punch deal d10s or 1d12s (one higher than whatever yo set Split Punch at). In addition, it has a x3 crit mod. Crush Punch is what you use when you want to kill a single something through damage. It's enough to pack a punch, but not so much it's overpowered. Remember, this is the character's BIGGEST damage burst, and it's all damage. It needs to be impressive.
  • Remove the fact that it's an attack of opportunity from counter tackle. Remember you only get one per turn, unless you have Combat Reflexes and high dex. As written it's unlikely to hit that much, but is still useful as hey, free damage. Making it require an AoO is a bit much.
  • Remove the bit about equip axes giving a fighter bonus feat if you're already proficient. That's a bit much. Maybe just replace it with one exotic weapon proficiency.
  • Remove Gained JP Up, and just give the class 4 + int mod skill points per level. Yeah, it'd be nice to include the name in, but there's not much you can really do with it.
  • Clarify if weapon enhancement bonuses help Holy Sword powers.
  • I just noticed this, Holy Sword attack rolls are based off of dex mod. That's... not quite right. Make it strength based instead, so you actually get strong Holy Knights?
That came out kind of long and critical, but it's really looking quite good. Dragon Child 16:55, 3 May 2009 (MDT)
  • I can't in good faith go with your first suggestion, as I think it would break the class. You'd be looking at touch attacks (one of the other changes) for 20d8 damage at level 20 every round, and even at level 3 you'd have touch attacks for 3d8 (13 damage) when most enemies don't have nearly double that.
  • I have made adjustments to the damage even though it isn't in line with canon. Split Punch now offers the same damage as Holy Explosion but is single targeting. Crush Punch is the sure damage dealer at 2d4.
  • Split Punch is a Will Save to reflect the battle with the devil for your soul that other FF games depict Death Sentence as, but then deals Constitution damage to balance it out (wizards should make saves but have low Con, fighter might not make saves but have higher Con). I hope the wording isn't too convoluted and it is balanced with the d8s. I do like your variant but I don't know if it isn't too strong.
  • Crush Punch now does 2d4, effectively making it 1d4/level. The effect is more or less equivalent to a vorpal sword, so I'm keeping it.
  • I don't really get the whole mechanics of AoO's and whatnot, so I'm going with what you said and hoping no one has any problems with it.
  • Axes adjusted.
  • Gained JP Up is now three bonus feats placed throughout the class.
  • Added bit about magical weapons.
  • Holy Sword now requires touch attacks.
  • I'm thinking about doing Strength for the save DCs, but I don't want to make everything but Strength a dump stat. All in all I appreciate the feedback. -- Jota 18:03, 5 May 2009 (MDT)


Power - 2/5 I give this class a 2 out of 5 because of issues with being overpowered. A full attack bonus, amazing abilities - some of which seem to come entirely too early. --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   21:48, 11 September 2009 (MDT)

Wording - 4/5 I give this class a 4 out of 5 because, other than minor grammar issues in just a couple of places, everything is well stated, clear, and easy for users to understand. --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   21:48, 11 September 2009 (MDT)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it follows standard wiki formatting and does a wonderful job of it. --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   21:48, 11 September 2009 (MDT)

Flavor - 3/5 I give this class a 3 out of 5 because it gets the basic concept across, but never goes too into any flavor or unique points. --  Hooper   talk    contribs    email   21:48, 11 September 2009 (MDT)

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