Dark Knight (5e Class)

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Dark Knight

Despite what the name suggests, dark knights are not always despicable in nature. Although they follow a path contrary to orthodox orders of knights, they are still bound by a code of honor and walk a path of righteousness—whether or not that path is self-defined is another matter entirely. They break away from tradition to distance themselves from the corrupting stigma of long-standing institution, and hold themselves to a standard above their fellow man. Though he calls no place home, a dark knight seeks to bring order wherever he goes.

Creating a Dark Knight

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Image source

You can make a dark knight quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength or Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma and Constitution. Second, choose the soldier background.

Class Features

As a Dark Knight you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Dark Knight level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Dark Knight level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: All armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, and Religion.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

Table: The Dark Knight

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Bloody Hands, Detect Outsiders
2nd +2 Fighting Style, Spellcasting, Dark Bane 2
3rd +2 Purge Microbes, Dark Path 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 4 2
6th +3 Protective Shroud 4 2
7th +3 Dark Path feature 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4 3
9th +4 4 3 2
10th +4 Dauntless 4 3 2
11th +4 Black Bane 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3
13th +5 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Dispelling Touch 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Dark Path feature 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 2
17th +6 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Protective Shroud and Dauntless improvements 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Dark Path feature 4 3 3 3 2

Bloody Hands

Your soul yearns to kill. You have a pool of murderous power that replenishes when you take a long rest. With that pool, you can deal extra damage equal to your dark knight level times 5. Whenever you deal or expend damage from this pool, you also take half that much damage.
When you hit a creature and deal damage, you can draw power from the pool to deal extra damage to that creature, up to the maximum amount remaining in your pool. You can apply this extra damage after you see your damage roll result.
Alternatively, you can expend 5 extra damage from your pool to wreath your weapon in murderous energy, allowing your next weapon attack to ignore its target’s damage resistances and immunities.

Detect Outsiders

You have the ability to detect creatures not native to the material plane. As an action, you can open your awareness to such creatures. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any aberration, celestial, fey, or fiend within 60 feet of you. You know the type (aberration, celestial, fey, or fiend) of any such being you sense, but not its identity (the archangel Gabriel, for instance). Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.

This sense can penetrate most barriers, but is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt. You can use this class feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

Fighting Style

At 2nd level, you adopt a style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

Defense

While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.

Dueling

When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

Great Weapon Fighting

When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Protection

When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wielding a shield.

Two-Weapon Fighting

When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Spellcasting

By 2nd level, you have learned to draw on divine magic through meditation and prayer to cast spells as a cleric does.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Dark Knight table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells. To cast one of your dark knight spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of dark knight spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the dark knight spell list. When you do so, choose a number of dark knight spells equal to your Charisma modifier + half your dark knight level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 5th-level dark knight, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With a Charisma of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of dark knight spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your dark knight spells, since their power derives from the strength of your convictions. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a dark knight spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier

Spellcasting Focus

You can use a holy symbol as a spellcasting focus for your dark knight spells.

Dark Bane

Starting at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot to deal additional necrotic damage to the target. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8.

Purge Microbes

At 3rd level, the dark magic flowing through you makes you immune to disease.

Dark Path

At 3rd level, you must choose which path to walk as a dark knight. This page includes three such paths: the path of the conqueror, the path of the death knight, or the path of the trickster.

Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 15th, and 20th level. Those features include path spells and the Dark Arts feature. For the purposes of multiclassing, Dark arts counts as Channel Divinity.

Path Spells

Each path has a list of associated spells. You gain access to these spells at the levels specified in the path description. Once you gain access to a path spell, you always have it prepared. Path spells don't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.

If you gain a path spell that doesn't appear on the dark knight spell list, the spell is nonetheless a dark knight spell for you.

Dark Arts

Your path allows you to channel dark energy to fuel magical effects. Each Dark Arts option provided by your oath explains how to use it.

When you use your Dark Arts, you choose which option to use. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Dark Arts again.

Some Dark Arts effects require saving throws. When you use such an effect from this class, the DC equals your dark knight spell save DC.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Protective Shroud

Starting at 6th level, whenever you or a friendly creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw while you are conscious, the creature gains a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Charisma modifier (with a minimum bonus of +1).

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Dauntless

Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be frightened while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Black Bane

By 11th level, you are so suffused with dark energy that all your melee weapon strikes carry grim power with them. Whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon, the creature takes an extra 1d8 necrotic damage.

Dispelling Touch

Beginning at 14th level, you can use your action to end one spell on yourself or on one willing creature that you touch.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Dark Paths

Path of the Conqueror

The path of the conqueror calls to those who seek glory in battle and the subjugation of their enemies. It isn’t enough for these knights to establish order. They must crush the forces of chaos.

Path Spells

You gain path spells at the dark knight levels listed.

Path of the Conqueror Spells
Dark Knight Level Spells
3rd command, elemental armor
5th hold person, spiritual weapon
9th bestow curse, fear
13th blight, dominate beast
17th dominate person, insect plague
Dark Arts

When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the following two Dark Arts options:

      Conquering Presence. You can use your Dark Arts to break your foes' will. As an action, you can force each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you to make a Wisdom saving throw, becoming frightened for 1 minute on a failed save. A creature frightened by this effect can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect early on a success.
      Guided Strike. You can use your Dark Arts to strike with supernatural accuracy. When you make an attack roll, you can use your Dark Arts to gain a +10 bonus to the roll. You make this choice after you see the roll, but before the GM says whether the attack hits or misses.

Supremacy Aura

Starting at 7th level, you emanate a menacing aura while you’re not incapacitated. The aura includes your space, extends 10 feet from you in every direction, and is blocked by total cover. Any enemy in the aura has disadvantage on saving throws against being frightened.
At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Scornful Rebuke

Starting from when you reach 15th level, when a creature hits you with an attack, that creature takes psychic damage equal to your Charisma modifier.

Invincible Conqueror

At 20th level, you gain the ability to harness extraordinary martial prowess. As an action, you can magically become an avatar of conquest, gaining the following benefits for 1 minute:

  • You have resistance to all damage.
  • When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can make one additional attack as part of that action.
  • Your melee weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

Path of the Death Knight

You pursue some dark ambition or serve some evil power.

Path Spells

You gain path spells at the dark knight levels listed.

Path of the Death Knight Spells
Dark Knight Level Spells
3rd hellish rebuke, inflict wounds
5th darkness, suggestion
9th animate dead, bestow curse
13th blight, confusion
17th contagion, dominate person
Dark Arts

When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the following two Dark Arts options:

      Aspect of Dread. As an action, you channel your darkest emotions and focus them into a burst of magical menace. Each creature of the your choice within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw if it can see you. On a failed save, the target becomes frightened by you for 1 minute. If a creature frightened by this effect ends its turn more than 30 feet away from you, it can attempt another Wisdom saving throw to end the effect on it.
      Control Undead. As an action, you can target one undead creature you can see within 30 feet of you. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target must obey the your commands for the next 24 hours, or until you use this Dark Art again. An undead whose challenge rating is equal to or greater than your dark knight level is immune to this effect.

Malicious Aura

Starting at 7th level, you, as well any fiends and undead within 10 feet of you, gains a bonus to melee weapon damage rolls equal to the your Charisma modifier (minimum of +1). A creature can benefit from this feature from only one dark knight at a time.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Supernatural Resistance

Starting at 15th level, you have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.

Deadlord

At 20th-level, you can, as an action, surround yourself with an aura of gloom that lasts for 1 minute. The aura reduces any bright light in a 30-foot radius around you to dim light. Whenever an enemy that is frightened by you starts its turn in the aura, it takes 4d10 psychic damage. Additionally, you and any creatures you choose in the aura are draped in deeper shadow. Creatures that rely on sight have disadvantage on attack rolls against creatures draped in this shadow.
While the aura lasts, you can use a bonus action on your turn to cause the shadows in the aura to attack one creature. Make a melee spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the target takes necrotic damage equal to 3d10 + your Charisma modifier.

Once you use this class feature, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest.

Path of the Trickster

You owe allegiance to no one, and care only for your own power and survival.

Path of the Trickster Spells
Dark Knight Level Spells
3rd charm person, expeditious retreat
5th invisibility, mirror image
9th gaseous form, haste
13th confusion, greater invisibility
17th dominate person, passwall
Dark Arts

When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain the following two Dark Arts options:

      Grisly Wound. You can use your Dark Arts to make a weapon deadlier. As a bonus action, you touch one weapon or piece of ammunition and conjure a special poison on it. This poison lasts for 1 minute. The next time you hit a target with an attack using that weapon or ammunition, the target takes poison damage immediately after the attack. The poison damage equals 2d10 + your dark knight level.
      Invoke Duplicity. As an action, you create an illusory double of yourself that lasts for 1 minute, or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell). The illusion appears in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you. The illusion looks exactly like you; it is silent; it is your size, is insubstantial, and doesn’t occupy its space; and it is unaffected by attacks and damage. As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the illusion up to 30 feet to a space you can see, but the illusion must remain within 120 feet of you.
      For the duration, you can cast spells as though you were in the illusion’s space, but you must use your own senses. Additionally, when both you and your illusion are within 5 feet of a creature that can see the illusion, you have advantage on attack rolls against that creature, given how uncanny the illusion is.

Discordant Aura

Starting at 7th level, you emanate an aura of chaos, which gives you the following benefits:

      Cull the Herd. You have advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that has one or more of its allies within 5 feet of it.
      Treacherous Strike. If a creature within 5 feet of you misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to force the attacker to reroll that attack against a creature of your choice that is also within 5 feet of the attacker. This class feature fails and is wasted if the attacker is immune to being charmed. You can use this class feature three times. You regain expended uses of it when you finish a short or long rest.

Maleficent Escape

At 15th level, you have the ability to slip away from your foes. Immediately after you are hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to turn invisible and teleport up to 60 feet to a spot you can see. You remain invisible until the end of your next turn or until you attack, deal damage, or force a creature to make a saving throw. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Idol of Deceit

At 20th level, you gain the ability to emanate feelings of treachery. As an action, you can magically become an avatar of deceit, gaining the following benefits for 1 minute:

  • You are invisible.
  • If a creature damages you on its turn, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw with a DC equal to your spell save DC, or allow you to control its next action, provided that you aren’t incapacitated when it takes the action. A creature automatically succeeds on the save if the creature is immune to being charmed.
  • If you have advantage on an attack roll, you gain a bonus to its damage roll equal to your dark knight level.

Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until after you finish a long rest.

Spell List

You know all of the spells on the basic spell list and additional spells based on your Dark Path.

1st Level
2nd Level
3rd Level
4th Level
5th Level

Multiclassing

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the dark knight class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 Strength or 13 Dexterity and 13 Charisma.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the dark knight class, you gain the following proficiencies: simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and shields.


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