Wyrm Knight (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||"A war party of orcs thought they captured a dragon and its rider. A dragon and its rider thought it found new play toys."||”|
|—Semalf Tohyrev, Elf Fighter 6/Wyrm Knight 6, Amidst the Siege of Wyrm's Aerie.|
The Wyrm Knight has made a bond to serve a dragon, the most deadly creature of all the planes. The Wyrm Knight is gifted with the abilities of it's patron, and supports his master's cause.
Becoming a Wyrm Knight
|Alignment:||Must be one step within their Patron's Alignment. (As Cleric must.)|
|Base Attack Bonus:||+6|
|Feats:||Leadership, Dragon Cohort|
|Special:||Patron Allegiance: You must swear allegiance as a vassal to a true dragon, requiring either a willing patron or a Diplomacy Check (At a DC of 10 + HD + the Dragon's CHA modifier.) This counts as a Complex Skill Encounter, and 3 Successes must be attained before 2 Failures.|
|Special:||The character must offer wealth in the form of magic items, gems, artwork or coins, which should be appropriate to the dragon variety (such as pearls for a bronze dragon) to Patron dragon's hoard equal to 500 GP per dragon's Hit Dice. (Doing so before the diplomacy check for an Unfriendly or Neutral Dragon boosts the dragon's Relation category up to the next, reducing the DC by -2.) Both the swearing, and the gift to the Patron are a required ceremony before the character may become a Wyrm Knight. This ceremony takes one full day to complete.|
|Special:||A Dragon may ignore the Allegiance, and Hoard special requirements, but it's own Hoard must be worth 4000GP or more.|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||Dragon Mount, Gold Tithe|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+4||Gift of Breath|
|9th||+9||+6||+2||+6||Echoes of Draconic Power|
A Wyrm Knight gains it's powers from it's patron in the form of "Gifts". All of the following are class features of the Wyrm Knight. ((As a small note, each renewing Companion ability replaces the one before it.))
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Wyrm Knight has proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, one exotic weapon of his choice, all types of armor, but has no proficiency with shields.
Dragon Mount: At 1st Level, the Wyrm Knight gains a dragon cohort according to the leadership feat, to serve as his mount. The dragon cohort mount is from the Wyrm Knight's dragon patron's brood. If the dragon is normally too small to serve as a mount, the dragon will magically enlarge in size until it reaches the least size category necessary to be a mount. This size enhancement is permanent as long as the dragon serves wilfully as a mount, however any dragon mount that has increased in size this way takes a penalty on all damage rolls for natural attacks equal to -2 damage per size category increased (minimum 1 damage). A paladin who takes this class permanently dismisses his special mount, and the dragon becomes his special mount.
Gold Tithe (Su): At 1st Level, the Wyrm Knight must split half of all his treasure he gains with his Dragon cohort mount. This gold belongs to the dragon cohort and is theirs to do with as they please.
Gift of Breath (Su): At 5th Level, the Wyrm Knight learns the draconic secret of breath weapons. His breath weapon is a 30ft cone and deals damage equal to 1d8 per 2 Hit Dice, the damage is of the same energy type as it's patron. This ability requires a recharge time of 1d6 rounds. If the Wyrm Knight already has a breath weapon, he also gains a -1 modifier to the recharge roll of their innate Breath Weapon, to a minimum roll of 1 round. If the wyrm knight has more than one type of breath weapon, it still can breathe only once every so many rounds.
Frightful Presence (Ex): At 7th level, The Wyrm Knight gains the Frightful Presence ability. The Wyrm Knight can unsettle foes with his mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever the wyrm knight attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 30 feet are subject to the effect if they have fewer HD than the wyrm knight. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 10 + ½ wyrm knight’s HD + wyrm knight’s Cha modifier) remains immune to that wyrm knight’s frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds.
Echoes of Draconic Power (Ex): At 9th Level, The Wyrm Knight gains the Dragon Type, becoming immune to Sleep, Paralyze, and Charm Effects. The Wyrm Knight gains immunity to his Patron's Energy Type, but takes more damage from the opposing Energy Type. The Wyrm Knight manifests this change by growing scales along his arms and legs in the color of his Patron's Scales. The Wyrm Knight gains another -1 modifier to it's recharge roll for all his Breath Weapons.
Draconic Ascension (Ex): At 10th Level, once per day, a Wyrm Knight may transform as if by the shapechange spell into a dragon of the patron's variety (caster level equal to character level). While in this form the Wyrm Knight gains an additional +4 to Strength, his Breath Weapon increases to d12s. After Draconic Ascension ends, the wyrm knight becomes fatigued (-2 penalty to Strength, -2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter.
A Wyrm Knight who breaks his Patron's Pact, by commiting an act against his patron or multiclassing away from Wyrm Knight, or allows his dragon cohort to die must present at least 2000 x His Wyrm Knight Levels to his Patron's Hoard to atone, this is the only way to resume taking Wyrm Knight levels. Ex-Wyrm Knights may not summon their companion, but still benefit from their other abilities, armor, and weapon proficiencies.
Thalu Orthson is a Wyrm Knight under the "Queen of the Marsh" Neknelivenia, a Black Elder. He is a Human with an ambitious heart, and an apathetic view of what the law and it's equivalent nemesis is. He delights in causing mayhem, and destruction, and is wanted throughout much of the territory his Mistress holds, though through bribes and threats of death, few dare to challenge his Championship on his Mistress' home turf. Where once he was a fair, fine warrior and rogue, his heart was tainted by the promise of power that came to sit in his lap when he unsuccessfully tried to steal from the Elder Black's hoard. He made the pact to champion Her cause, and has since begun the descent into evil.
Thalu is depicted in the example encounter with his companion, Kennelvalukeis. The adventurer may encounter him through the bounty on his head, or may run into him while he and his companion fight off or kill another dragonkind threatening his Mistress' home and hearth. No matter how they encounter him, the party is bound to learn what happens when one gains Power, that that Power Corrupts Absolutely.
Thalu and his Companion are likely to be fought before facing his Patron, Neknelivenia, in a given Marsh or Swampy region.
Playing a Wyrm Knight
Combat: Melee Combat Focus
Advancement: Wyrm Knights do not tend to advance from their class into others, as this breaks their Patron's Pact.
Resources: Among the few Wyrm Knights, there is an organization for both the Chromatic, and Metallic Dragons. Neutral Wyrm Knights may bind themselves to either one. Tiamat's Calling, the Chromatic's cult, is a shadowed organization which deals in the calling of their namesake. Bahamut's Platinum-guard, the Metallic's Order, is a more open organization with a small temple amidst the humanoid races of the Natural Plane.
Wyrm Knights in the World
|“||"We adventure, for the power of ourselves. For the salvation of our Patrons. For the unification of our natural world!"||”|
Wyrm Knights adventure for their Patrons, or their own power. Wyrm Knights of a Lawful Good alignment often function similarly to Paladins, or Clerics, while Wyrm Knights of Chaotic Evil function as agents of their Master or Mistress' vile whims. Much like their patrons, it is rare for Wyrm Knights to not come to blows over opposing sides, and philosophies.. Or, just territory.
NPC Reactions: Most commonfolk regard the Wyrm Knight as a champion of it's cause, similar to a Paladin. Wyrm Knights of Lawful/Chaotic/Neutral Good Dragons are hailed as heroes and champions of the Dragon who attends to their protection, while Wyrm Knights of Lawful/Chaotic/Neutral Evil Dragons are regarded with suspicion, if not outright hostility. But, the strength of these wayward champions often removes their ability to be vocal about it. As long as a Wyrm Knight causes no destruction, or mayhem, they may be treated with Tolerance. For Dragons, much the same can be said when they stand amidst people.
Wyrm Knight Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nature), or Knowledge (Arcana) can research Wyrm Knights to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Wyrm Knights are the Champions of a Patron, a Dragon who has chosen to give them minor powers like their own.|
|16||Wyrm Knights gain the scales and strength of a Dragon the more blessed by their Patron they are.|
|21||A Wyrm Knight has the ability to transform into a Gran Wyrm when they become powerful enough, wrecking havoc and death across many a warzone.|
|26||Any Relevant Groups or Organizations, their Leaders, and the important pieces of the groups and organizations edicts are revealed to the player who makes this roll.|
Wyrm Knights in the Game
The Wyrm Knight makes for an enjoyable melee-battler in the epic levels. Giving the player the option to join one of the most favored of beasts ranks while enjoying the martial prowess of a real frontline warrior.
Adaptation: The Wyrm Knight is only as adaptable as their patrons are. Dragons have a place in most campaigns, so too do their champions, the Wyrm Knights.
Sample Encounter: ECL15
EL 13: Thalu Orthson HP 76 Medium Humanoid (Human) Neutral Evil Fighter4/Rogue4/Wyrm Knight3 +4 Full Plate Armor +2 Flaming Silver Greatsword +3 Elven Double-Bow. (With Arrowx40 covered in Drakeborne Plague, DC23 to Apply, deals 3d6 for 1d4 turns, Fortitude save is 25.) STR 19 DEX 16 CON 13 INT 14 WIS 12 CHA 14 AC: 18 Base Attack Bonus: 10, +2 from Weapon = +12 to Rolls without miscellaneous additions. Defenses: Fort 8, Reflex 7, Will 5 Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Improved Intiative, Combat Expertise, Athletic, Blind Fight, Mobility Gift of Adult, Gift of Breath, Harmony of Naturalism and Humanism, Sneak Attack +2d6, Trapfinding, Trapsense +1, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge
Kennelvalukeis HP 62 Huge Dragon (Water) Chaotic Evil Black Dragon 9 STR 20 DEX 14 CON 16 INT 12 WIS 12 CHA 8 AC: 17 Base Attack Bonus: +7 Defenses: Fort 8, Reflex 3, Will 8 Claws 1d8+2, Bite 2d8+5, Breath Attack (Acid) 9d8 Immunity to Sleep, Paralyze, and Charm. Immunity to Acid, Weakness to Electricity.