Dark Knight, Variant (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Dark Knight

Dark Knight[edit]

A dark knight is a fighter that made a pact with darkness. With this power he can sacrifice his own life force to deal massive amounts of damage to surrounding enemies and even kill them. The Dark Knight can also drain the life force from others to gain additional power for his/her own use.

The dark knight also can take advantage of a new type of feat called a dark feat that requires the darkness class feature. These feats will improve the class features of the dark knight. These feats are located in the Dark Feats section.

Making a Dark Knight[edit]

The Dark Knight has the potential to deal massive amounts of damage to a large number of enemies. They also have the ability to kill enemies instantly or quickly with some of their abilities. They are also very resilient to most status ailments and harmful effects. This although does not make the Dark Knight invincible as they need hit points to use most of their abilities and thus suffer from low hit points more than most other classes. They also have a very limited weapon selection and can not use shields, usually resulting in a lower armor class than that of other fighter types. They also are very limited in skill selection. Dark Knights can help in a party by acting as a shield for the spellcaster or rogue type, but most some of their abilities being tied to darkness can hinder just as much as help. The Dark Knight will on most occasions have few hit points after or close to the end of an encounter and should stay in good regards to the party healer.

Abilities: Constitution is a very important ability for the dark knight as almost all of his/her abilities use some of his/her hit points to use. Intelligence is also important as it allows the dark knight to use his/her abilities more often.

Races: Any race can become a dark knight, although humans being drawn towards power will ofter do so more commonly.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: Any Evil
Base Attack Bonus: +7
Skills: Knowledge(Arcana) ranks 5

Knowledge(Religion) ranks 5

Feats: Toughness, Endurance
Special: Dark Knights were a special class that was kept secret to all but the Kaladonian Empire. To progress in the class, the character must become aware that they exist and recreate the power that allows their abilities, or have been trained by another Dark Knight who has already done so; Both are unlikely.

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), Search (Int), and Listen (Wis).
Table: The Dark Knight

Hit Die: d12

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Darkness, Improved Toughness
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Absorb, Endurance
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Second Wind 1/day
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Blood Blade, Diehard
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Improved Toughnes
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Dark Armor
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Blood Counter
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Vicious Blade
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Second Wind 2/day
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Improved Toughness, Black Sky
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Poisonproof, Diseaseproof, Seal Fate
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Mentalproof
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Improved Dark Armor
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Improved Toughness, Second Wind 3/day, Charon
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Curseproof
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Stoneproof
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Deathproof
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Death Pact, Improved Toughness

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the dark knight.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dark knights are proficient with long sword, great sword, scythe, bastard sword, and two bladed swords, with light and medium armors.

Darkness (Su): At 1st level a dark knight can sacrifice an amount of hit points, up to their dark knight level x their Constitution modifier, to deal an amount of negative energy damage equal to ½ the amount of hit points sacrificed to all enemies in a 20ft radius on the ground centered on the dark knight. A fortitude save (10 + ½ dark knight level + Intelligence modifier) can be made for half damage. This fortitude save increases to the dark knight's full level amount instead of half at level eight. The dark knight can maintain this area with the sacrifice of additional hit points. This effect lasts for 1 additional round for every dark knight level worth of hit points sacrificed and any enemy that remains inside the area takes the initial damage with no save. Using this ability is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Improved Toughness: Dark knights gain the improved toughness feat at 1st level and regain the improved toughness feat at 5th level and every five levels thereafter.

Absorb (Su): A number of times per day equal to the dark knight's Intelligence modifier the dark knights can absorb the life force of others with a melee touch attack as a standard action, dealing 1d6 points of negative energy damage for every two dark knight levels. The damage dealt in this way is absorbed as hit points and the user heals by an amount equal to the damage dealt, but not more than the subject’s current hit points + 10, which is enough to kill the subject. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Second Wind (Ex): As a move equivalent action a dark knights of 3rd level and higher gain the ability to restore a number of hit points equal to their dark knight level x their Constitution modifier once per day and one additional time per day at 9th level and every six levels thereafter. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Blood Blade (Su): At 4th level a dark knights can sacrifice an amount of hit points to gain a profane bonus on attack and damage rolls, the amount of hit points sacrificed is equal to double your dark knight level for each +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls.

Diehard: Dark knights gain the diehard feat at 4th level.

Dark Armor: At the 6th level, Dark Knights can imbue their armor with dark energy. This process takes one full day, and lasts until the Dark Knight decides to imbue a new set of armor. Armor imbued with dark energy gets a +1 to AC bonus, and a +1 to will saves.

Blood Counter (Ex): Dark knights of 7th level or higher can take a penalty to armor class to gain attacks of opportunity to the enemy that hits you during this time of weakness. As a free action once per round on your turn you can take a -6 to AC to gain an attack of opportunity on any enemy that strikes you within the next round. You may make a number of attacks of opportunity during this time equal to your Intelligence modifier and they do not count towards your normal allotted attacks of opportunity.

Vicious Blade (Su): Dark knights weapons are infused with a negative energy, at 8th level the dark knights weapons have the vicious magical property applied to them. The dark knight can suppress and activate this effect as a swift action.

Black Sky (Su): At 10th level a dark knight can sacrifice an amount of hit points, up to their dark knight level x their Constitution modifier, to deal an amount of negative energy damage equal to the amount of hit points sacrificed to all creatures in a 30ft radius in all directions centered on the dark knight, fortitude save (10 + ½ dark knight level + Intelligence modifier) for half damage. This save is increased at level eighteen to include the full amount of a dark knight's levels, not just half. This effect creates an area of magical darkness, with the same dimensions as the original ability that lasts for 1d4 additional round for every dark knight level worth of hit points sacrificed. Using this ability is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Poisonproof (Ex): Dark knights of 11th level become immune to all poisons.

Diseaseproof (Ex): Dark knights of 11th level become immune to all diseases, including supernatural and magical.

Seal Fate (Su): The dark knight learns to drain the life force of an enemy with a critical strike. At 11th level when the dark knight scores a critical he/she can choose to gain an amount of hit points equal to ½ the damage dealt.

Mentalproof (Ex): Dark knights of 13th level become immune to all mind affecting spells and abilities.


Improved Dark Armor: At the 14th level, Dark Knights can imbue their armor with more powerful dark energy. This process takes one full day, and lasts until the Dark Knight decides to imbue a new set of armor. Doing this also makes the dark knight fatigued for the next two following days. Armor imbued with improved dark energy gets a +3 to AC bonus, and +3 to will saves.

Charon (Su): As a standard action, that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, a dark knight of 15th level can sacrifice an amount of hit points equal to your current hit points to force a single foe within 30ft to make a Fortitude save or die (10 + ½ dark knight level + Intelligence modifier + 1 for every 20 hit points sacrificed) to negate death. If death is negated the enemy automatically takes 1d8 points of damage per 20 hit points sacrificed.

Curseproof (Ex): Dark knights of 16th level become immune to all curses.

Stoneproof (Ex): Dark knights of 17th level become immune to spells that turn flesh to stone.

Deathproof (Ex): Dark knights of 19th level become immune to all death effects.

Death Pact (Su): Once per day, as a swift action, a dark knight of 20th level, for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution modifier + their Intelligence modifier, suffers no penalty, including death, for dropping to -10 or lower hit points. If the dark knight is at -10 or lower hit points at the end of this duration the dark knight suffers all penalties for being at or below this amount, including death.

Epic Dark Knight[edit]

Table: The Epic Dark Knight

Hit Die: d12

Level Special
21st Second Wind 4/day
22nd
23rd Bonus Feat
24th Epic Toughness
25th
26th Bonus Feat
27th Second Wind 5/day
28th
29th Bonus Feat
30th Epic Toughness

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Second Wind (Ex): The dark knight can use his/her second wind 4 times per day at 21st level and every six levels thereafter.

Epic Toughness: Dark knights gain the epic toughness feat at 24th level and 30th level and every six levels thereafter.

Bonus Feats: The epic Dark Knight gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Dark Knight bonus feats) every 3 levels after 20th.

Epic Dark Knight Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Energy Resistance, Epic Endurance, Epic Leadership, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Extra Death Pact, Extended Life Span, Fast Healing, Lasting Death Pact, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Seal Soul, or any feat that has the dark subtype.

Human Dark Knight Starting Package[edit]

Humans being drawn to power tend to turn to darkness for this power, and the Dark Knight is no exception.

Weapons: Bastard Sword.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty
Heal 4 Wis "—"
Intimidate 4 Cha "—"
Knowledge (arcana) 4 Int "—"
Sense Motive 4 Wis "—"

Feat: Power Attack.

Bonus Feats: Toughness (Dark Knight), Improved Toughness (Human).

Gear: Chainmail.

Gold: 100.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Dark Knight[edit]

Religion: Considering the Dark Knight's penchant for self destructive tendencies it's no surprise that many of them pray to gods of death; both for the power to kill their enemies and so that death will turn a blind eye to them. Other Dark Knights will adopt gods of strength, or war, or luck for good fortune in battle. The more health concerned Knight will want a god or goddess of healing. For course this is just a rule of thumb. Dark Knights vary greatly depending on region, race, and alignment and may worship something not described here, or even nothing at all.

Other Classes: Due to their penchant for darkness and negative energy Druids, Paladins, and Rangers shun the company of Dark Knights. Due to their inability to harm undead with their abilities many good Clerics dislike their presence while evil Clerics and Necromancers do not mind working with them. Bards find the company of Dark Knights worth their time since they are popular as villains and sad heroes in song. Barbarians and Monks are often unnerved by the unnaturalness of a Dark Knight's powers but they can respect their prowess in battle. Fighters, wizards, sorcerers, and rogues tend to be more neutral and can function in the presence of a Dark Knight with few problems arising.

Combat: Dark Knights are typically front line fighters and are best supported by those with access to powerful healing spells.

Advancement: Dark Knights that multiclass as Rogues can combine their sneak attacks with their Dark Knight abilities to create lethal ambush attacks. Cleric/Dark Knights are also common among evil preisthoods, taking advantage of their healing spells to recoup quickly during battle. Monk/Dark Knights are uncommon but can be surprisingly effective combatants. Most Evil Dark Knights opt for the Blackguard prestige class but Shadow Dancers are also good choices for more mobile Dark Knights.

Specialties: Since a Dark Knight is already willing to inflict damage onto themselves to deal damage to their enemies, they are often maochistic. A masochistic Dark Knight gains an extra plus one to every thing dealing with masochism.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Dark Knight[edit]

Religion: Considering the Dark Knight's penchant for self destructive tendencies it's no surprise that many of them pray to gods of death; both for the power to kill their enemies and so that death will turn a blind eye to them. Other Dark Knights will adopt gods of strength, or war, or luck for good fortune in battle. The more health concerned Knight will want a god or goddess of healing. Of course, this is just a rule of thumb. Dark Knights vary greatly depending on region, race, and alignment and may worship something not described here, or even nothing at all.

Other Classes: Due to their penchant for darkness and negative energy Druids, Paladins, and Rangers shun the company of Dark Knights. Due to their inability to harm undead with their abilities, many good Clerics dislike their presence while evil Clerics and Necromancers do not mind working with them. Bards find the company of Dark Knights worth their time since they are popular as villains and sad heroes in song. Barbarians and Monks are often unnerved by the unnaturalness of a Dark Knight's powers but they can respect their prowess in battle. Fighters, wizards, sorcerers, and rogues tend to be more neutral and can function in the presence of a Dark Knight with few problems arising.

Combat: Dark Knights are typically front line fighters and are best supported by those with access to powerful healing spells.

Advancement: Dark Knights that multiclass as Rouges can combine their sneak attacks with their Dark Knight abilities to create lethal ambush attacks. Cleric/Dark Knights are also common among evil priesthoods, taking advantage of their healing spells to recoup quickly during battle. Monk/Dark Knights are uncommon but can be surprisingly effective combatants. Most Evil Dark Knights opt for the Blackguard prestige class but Dancers are also good choices for more mobile Dark Knights.

Dark Knights in the World[edit]

All men, kin, and even gods are made of the same blood, forged long ago. The difference is only that Gods knew how to use it, until our kind appeared.
—Telmeth, Elven Dark Knight

Dark Knights, in present day Tirr, are unheard of. Largely the case in all regions, they are known only as a small order of knights under the Kaladonian banner, who appeared in documents just before the great cataclysm that destroyed the empire. Since Kaladon mostly kept the methodology to creating Dark Knights within the Empire's upper echelons, it is highly unlikely that anyone else might ever take up their mantle.

Daily Life: Dark Knights are not so much different than normal characters. They are not the dreaded warlords that people see them as, but rather a brand of knight that taps into the powers locked inside their mortal vessels, whereas Holy Knights and Fell Knights tap into powers divine. Still, this does cause them to be somewhat ostracized, barely understood, and unapproachable, and many Dark Knights have to develop insensitivity to others in order to make Daily Life bearable.

Notables: Desolo Kane, a Dark Knight from Kaladonian times, was somehow preserved beyond his normal lifespan by Benjamin Grimms, a man turned Lich, and used as an experiment to somehow provide a cure to an ancient, deadly disease.

NPC Reactions: Other characters typically see the Dark Knight as one would typically see the name: A type of mysterious, malevolent force that appears in the shape of charred armor, and uses profane arts to destroy would-be foes. This, while not true in most cases, is highly accepted among the common people. This is because the Dark Knight has not been relevant in reality for thousands of years, and all that is known of them is the name, alongside their fallen nations' penchant for war with other nations.

Dark Knight Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) can research Dark Knights to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (History)
DC Result
5 Dark Knights were a regiment of Knights under the Kaladonian rule, and they served until the end of the empire, just a few decades after they appeared.
10 Dark Knights were an attempt by the Kaladonian Empire to seize the powers of Holy Knights and Fell Knights, without having to turn to the gods.
15 A Dark Knight is not, as the name implies, a force of evil or darkness that persecutes the good and just. The name comes from the fact that the powers the Knight wields draw upon the latent energies of the mortal vessel, often damaging the vessel in return for results.
20 The existence of the Dark Knight proved, once and for all, that the same divine energies that are blessings unto Holy and Fell Knights exist naturally within man and kin, but latently.



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