Champion of Khorne (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Champion of Khorne
|“||KILL! MAIM! BURN! KILL! MAIM! BURN! KILL! MAIM! BURN!||”|
|—Kharn the Betrayer, Lexicanum|
The Champion of Khorne is a truly maniacal character. While others kill for power, money, glory, or for a higher cause, a Champion of Khorne kills for the sheer sake of killing. For him, violence is a goal itself, rather than a means of achieving a goal. He has absolutely no interest in diplomacy or negotiations--in fact, he will often try to sabotage negotiations simply so he will have the chance to kill. A Champion of Khorne allows his emotions to drive his actions, and he generally only has one emotion: rage. On the battlefield, he becomes an unstoppable killing machine, slicing through all in his path in an effort to quench an unquenchable thirst for slaughter. Where there is no conflict, they will try to create one. Adventurers should be careful about allying themselves with a Champion of Khorne, as they do not care whether blood flows from friend or foe, as long it flows.
Becoming a Champion of Khorne
Worshippers of Khorne are constantly testing themselves in battle against all kinds of opponents. They will raid villages, assault armies, and pillage dragon lairs, all in an effort to pile skulls and blood at the foot of their murderous deity. When a warrior has proven himself against a sufficiently powerful foe, the Blood God himself will grant the warrior a blessing: a measure of his own rage and anger that will allow his new Champion to enter an unstoppable battle frenzy.
Most Champions of Khorne are Barbarians or Fighters that have dedicated themselves to the ways of the Blood God. Rogues and ex-Monks aren't uncommon either. Occasionally, a Fallen Paladin will turn to Khorne. Khorne distrusts and despises magic-users and will never grant them his blessing.
Strength and Constitution are by far the most important abilities for a Champion of Khorne. Decent Intelligence and Dexterity scores help him to qualify for powerful martial feats such as Whirlwind Attack.
|Alignment:||Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil.|
|Base Attack Bonus:||+7.|
|Skills:||Intimidate 10 ranks, Spot 4 ranks, Listen 4 ranks.|
|Feats:||Endurance, Diehard, Power Attack, Cleave.|
|Spellcasting:||May not have any spellcasting ability. You may, however, be an ex-member of a class that granted spellcasting ability, as long as the penalty for losing class membership includes losing that spellcasting ability. For instance, a Fallen Paladin could become a Champion of Khorne.|
|Patron:||Khorne (3.5e Deity).|
|Special:||Must have singlehandedly defeated a foe with a Challenge Rating at least equal to your ECL at the time.|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Berserk Fury 1/day, Cleave First Ask Questions Later, Mark of Khorne|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||Berserk Fury 2/day, Seething Anger +1|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||Berserk Fury 3/day, Greater Berserk Fury, Feel No Pain|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+2||Blood Frenzy, Seething Anger +2|
|7th||+7||+5||+2||+2||Berserk Fury 4/day|
|9th||+9||+6||+3||+3||Berserk Fury 5/day, Seething Anger +3|
|10th||+10||+7||+3||+3||Daemonic Berserk Fury,|
|11th||Berserk Fury 6/day|
|12th||Seething Anger +4|
|13th||Berserk Fury 7/day|
|15th||Berserk Fury 8/day, Seething Anger +5|
|17th||Berserk Fury 9/day|
|18th||Bonus Feat, Seething Anger +6|
|19th||Berserk Fury 10/day|
|20th||Blessing of The Blood God|
All of the following are class features of the Champion of Khorne.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Champion of Khorne gains proficiency with all simple and martial axe weapons (handaxe, throwing axe, battleaxe, and greataxe) plus the dwarven waraxe. He gains proficiency with all armor but not with shields.
Berserk Fury (Ex): A Champion of Khorne can surrender himself to raw emotional anger, entering a state of mind where primal fury overtakes humanoid intellect. Entering a Berserk Fury is a free action and can be done the indicated number of times per day. A Berserk Fury lasts a number of rounds equal to 2 + the Champion's (newly improved) Constitution modifier. While in this state, a Champion of Khorne gains a +6 bonus to Strength, a +2 bonus to Constitution, a -2 penalty to AC, and immunity to all Mind-Affecting effects. All damage dealt to the Champion in this state is treated as nonlethal, with the exception of negative energy damage. Whenever a Champion of Khorne damages a creature while in this state, he may make a free Demoralize Opponent check (see the Intimidate skill).
While in a Berserk Fury, a Champion of Khorne is practically mindless, his actions driven by nothing more than pure rage. The character cannot be controlled by the player. Instead, the Champion of Khorne will always charge uncontrollably towards the nearest creature--be it friend or foe. If multiple creatures are tied for which is the nearest, randomly determine which the Champion of Khorne will attack. The Champion of Khorne always uses the maximum possible number of attacks against this creature, and he will always spend at least 3 points on the Power Attack feat for each attack (the player may choose the exact number beyond this). The Champion of Khorne will not pursue any action that is obviously suicidal (such as running off a cliff to chase an opponent), but aside from that he is uncontrollable during a berserk fury. If a suicidal action would be necessary to attack the nearest creature, he instead attacks the next nearest creature, and so forth. If there are no eligible creatures in sight, the Champion of Khorne can be controlled by the player as normal.
A Berserk Fury can never be ended prematurely. It ends only when the duration expires or if the Champion is knocked out or killed. If all enemies are defeated before the duration expires, the Champion's allies had best run away or else find some way to restrain him for the remainder of the duration!
Berserk Fury is considered in all other respects to be identical to a Barbarian's Rage ability. Berserk Fury is considered the equivalent of a Barbarian's Rage for the purposes of feats, feat prerequisites, spells, abilities, and prestige class prerequisites.
Cleave First Ask Questions Later: A Champion of Khorne can never use the Diplomacy skill. If anything would force a Diplomacy check, he automatically fails. Furthermore, his mere presence causes all nearby allies to take a -4 circumstance penalty on Diplomacy checks.
Mark of Khorne(Su): A Champion of Khorne bears a divine sigil of Khorne on his body, usually the forehead. Any character, including NPCs, can identify this mark with a DC 24 Knowledge(Religion) check. The Mark of Khorne gives off an aura of evil (as an evil cleric). The mark temporarily fades in the presence of an antimagic field.
Sweeping Advance(Ex): At 2nd level, a Champion of Khorne gains the ability to make a lightning-quick advance upon enemies who attempt to escape his wrath. Whenever a Champion of Khorne succeeds on an attack of opportunity against an opponent that moves out of one of his threatened squares, he may follow that opponent as an immediate action for a distance of up to his land speed. If the Champion is still adjacent to the opponent at the end of this move, he gets another attack of opportunity for free. Additionally, opponents attempting to tumble past a Champion of Khorne have +5 added to the Tumble DC.
Seething Anger(Ex): Injuries that would make most people fall back and call for healing simply fuel the Champion of Khorne's murderous rage. At 3rd level, whenever a Champion of Khorne is at or below 25% of his maximum Hit Points, he gains a +1 bonus on all attack rolls, skill checks, ability checks, and saving throws. This bonus increases by an additional +1 every three levels.
Fearless(Ex): During battle, a Champion of Khorne's anger and bloodlust eventually build to the point where they completely shut out every other emotion. At 4th level, a Champion of Khorne gains immunity to all Fear effects and all Charm effects. Not even a Phantasmal Killer will faze him (though he might try to swing at it if he believes it's real, or sometimes even if he doesn't).
Greater Berserk Fury(Ex): At 5th level, the bonuses granted by the Berserk Fury ability increase to +8 (for Strength) and +4 (for Constitution). The ability otherwise remains the same.
Feel No Pain(Ex): At 5th level, a Champion of Khorne is able to focus his rage to the point where nothing short of total obliteration will stop his rampage. He may attempt to ignore all damage from a single spell or attack. He must succeed a Fortitude save (DC 25). If he succeeds, he takes no damage. He may only use this ability once per round.
Blood Frenzy(Ex): At 6th level, a Champion of Khorne's bloodlust grants him the ability to make a deadly flurry of attacks. When he performs a full-round attack, he may make one additional attack. This extra attack is made with a -5 penalty that is cumulative with the penalties for all other attacks made as part of a full-round attack. For instance, a Champion of Khorne who had this ability and a Base Attack Bonus of 15 would be able to make a 4-swing full-round attack at +15/+10/+5/+0 (instead of the usual 3-swing attack at +15/+10/+5).
Daemonic Berserk Fury: At 10th level, daemonic spirits of rage temporarily possess the Champion of Khorne's body whenever he enters a Beserk Fury. The bonuses from Berserk Fury increase to +10 (for Strength) and +6 (for Constitution). Additionally, the Champion of Khorne is treated as an Outsider with the Native, Chaotic, and Evil subtypes for the duration of the Berserk Fury. The ability otherwise remains the same.
Epic Bonus Feats: The Epic Champion of Khorne gains a bonus feat selected from the list of Epic Barbarian bonus feats every 4 levels after 10.
Ex-Champion of Khorne
If a Champion of Khorne ceases to worship Khorne, changes his alignment to anything other than Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil, or takes a level in any spellcasting class, he loses all Champion of Khorne class features and can no longer gain levels as a Champion of Khorne. He regains his abilities and advancement potential if he undoes these changes and uses an Atonement spell.
Playing a Champion of Khorne
Combat: The Champion of Khorne is a melee DPS class. He has excellent staying power, and fights even harder when low on health. The Beserk Fury ability must be used with caution: it will quickly eat up your enemies, but you can just as easily harm your allies with it. Since his fighting style is very reckless, a party with a Champion of Khorne should consider also including a more traditional martial character, such as a straight-up fighter or paladin, to serve as the "tank".
Advancement: The Berserk Fury ability is ill-suited to work with classes that rely on stealth or agility, and the Champion of Khorne can't advance in any spellcasting classes. The best multiclass options are classes with very similar abilities, such as the Barbarian and the Frenzied Berserker (Complete Warrior, page 34). The Rogue's Sneak Attack, Evasion, and Uncanny Dodge abilities might come in handy, however, if you can use them properly.
Resources: There aren't many rituals a Cult of Khorne can practice without breaking the law. Such cults will thus be difficult to find. A cult can provide bloodthirsty warriors whom will often be lead by a Champion as a warband. They will raid whatever targets they can find and kill anyone in their way. Cultists even fight each other.
Champions of Khorne in the World
Champions of Khorne often lead rampages against towns and villages in the name of the Blood God. Such raids have only one purpose: to kill as many people as possible. Cultists will often erect monuments to Khorne at the sites of major battles. The monuments are generally rather simple, consisting of a single large pillar in the center of a pile of bloodied skulls. The lifestyle of a worshipper of Khorne is equally simple, as Khorne does not demand any of the fancy rituals or prayers of most religions, but only that his followers spill blood in his name.
NPC Reactions: Commoners who recognize the Mark of Khorne for what it is are likely to flee in terror and/or call for soldiers. Paladins and city guards will likely be hostile towards the one who bears the Mark. Players should be wary of this fact.
Champion of Khorne Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(Religion) can research Champions of Khorne to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Champions of Khorne are bloodthirsty killers who see violence as an end in itself.|
|16||Champions of Khorne have been chosen by the Blood God himself to slaughter in his name.|
|21||A Champion of Khorne's rage is legendary. It is said that his relentless anger is a blessing from the Blood God, and he can use it to quickly slay entire armies.|
|26||The mightiest Champions of Khorne can become literally possessed by daemonic spirits of rage.|
Champions of Khorne in the Game
Adaptation: You will obviously have to have a cosmology that heavily features the Chaos Pantheon (Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch). Once you have this, it becomes pretty easy to fit them into the game world, as the Champions will be anywhere where there are Chaos worshippers.
Sample Encounter: A Champion of Khorne is leading a raid against a small town, and the party must protect the women and children.