Death Knight, Variant (5e Class)

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Death Knight

A dim blue glow emanates from his eyes as he sits armored in heavy plate; great sword and unholy magic in hand. His honor binds him and holds him on the narrow path of maintaining his self. The death knight makes a fearsome enemy and a loyal teammate. Know that a deal struck with one will be completed without fear of being double-crossed.

The woman sits with a calm demeanor staring off in the distance. Despite the necrotic energy crackling around her, she displays a peak human physique. She stares off into the distance with brightly lit green eyes. ‘Death comes,’ she thinks. ‘Perhaps today I’ll finally meet my end again and take the final rest I’ve sought so long.’ Physical training combined with the incredible necrotic energy inside has bulked up her once lithe form. She stands taller and broader than most of her kind. When she looks in the mirror, some ghoulish stranger stares back. Despite her bleak presentation, she is still first and foremost...a Knight. The Orders of Death Knights are unbiased towards its recruitment. Some people join due to a fall from grace. Some people join for its philosophies and others merely for the power. All must join one of the Orders to realize their full power. Some have just learned how to channel the powers of Death on their own for their own uses, but without a Rune Weapon and access to a Runeforge they are severely limited. Some of the more radical death knights would include the cynics who beleive there is no purpose for life. They are often driven into exile or into heinous acts against all life. Because of the actions of these few, many have come to paint death knights with broad strokes through guilt of association.

The death knights presented here are inspired by the fictional characters Arthas Menethil of the Warcraft series and Talion from Shadows of Middle Earth.

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Arthas, legendary death knight


"Let them come... Frostmourne Hungers!" - Arthas Menethil, the Lich King

"You are mine!" - Celebrimbor, using Talion to dominate an orc

Creating a Death Knight

A death knight's word is paramount, once given it cannot be broken. As below, the consequences of leaving the narrow path of honor and integrity has dire consequences. By nature, death knights are Lawful in alignment. Most are Lawful Neutral and all follow a strict code of honor called the Death Pact. Death knights are commonly Lawful Evil. They summon the dead and execute extremes of action to bring order to a chaotic world. Lawful Evil death knights become quick targets for adventurers. This has led to a general mistrust of death knights. A Lawful Good death knight is extremely rare. Due to the dark energies filling the death knights, even Lawful Good death knights have a subtle dark aura about them, unnerving to those who get too close. Overall, they can get along with most folks, but the distrust and fear is always close at hand. Death knights do not suffer fools and avoid rogues and bards seeing them as deceitful and untrustworthy. A death knight's honor is everything: gain this as a personality trait. You may wish to go over with your DM and compile a Code of Conduct appropriate to your race, campaign setting and the like. (Starting Wealth: 5d4 x 10 gp)

Quick Build

You can make a death knight quickly by following these suggestions. Strength should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, take the Soldier background from the PHB, although other backgrounds are acceptable with adequate explanation.

Class Features

Class Features

As a Death Knight you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d12 per Death Knight level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d12 (or 7) + Constitution modifier per Death Knight level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light, Medium, and Heavy Armor. Shields
Weapons: Simple Melee Weapons, Martial Melee Weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Animal Handling, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, and Survival.

Languages: Necromonger

Equipment

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

  • (a) Any martial melee weapon and a Rune Weapon or (b) a Rune Weapon and a shield
  • (a) scale mail or (b) chain mail
  • (a) 4 javelins or (b) 2 handaxes
  • (a) Dungeoneer's pack or (b) Explorer's pack

Table: The Death Knight

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Profanities known Cantrips Known —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
1st +2 Rune Weapon, Death's Pack, Aura of Death 0 1
2nd +2 Necrostrike, Fighting Style 0 1 2
3rd +2 Profanities, Dark Order 2 1 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Death Awareness, Unholy Fortitude 2 1 3
5th +3 Extra Attack, Order Feature 2 1 4 2
6th +3 Unliving, Runeforging 2 1 4 2
7th +3 Necro Steed 3 2 4 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Bone Shield 3 2 4 3
9th +4 Necro Servant, Improved Runeforging 3 2 4 3 2
10th +4 Order feature, Balance The Scales 3 2 4 3 2
11th +4 Shadowmeld,Extra Attack (2) 3 2 4 3 3
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, Life from Death 3 2 4 3 3
13th +5 Exalted Runeforging 4 3 4 3 3 1
14th +5 Dark Command 4 3 4 3 3 1
15th +5 Order feature 4 3 4 3 3 2
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement, Sanguine Strike 4 3 4 3 3 2
17th +6 Death Strike 5 3 4 3 3 3 1
18th +6 Order Feature 5 3 4 3 3 3 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement, Obliterate 5 3 4 3 3 3 2
20th +6 Avatar of Death, Extra Attack (3) 5 3 4 3 3 3 2


Rune Weapon

Long ago the Necromonger created an unliving weapon to do their bidding: the death knights. The process is steeped in secrecy, but the key is the Rune Weapons they armed the death knights with. A death knight's Rune Weapon acts as his fulcrum between life and death. The death knight starts off with a clean slate Rune Weapon. The material, shape, form, and function of the Rune Weapon should be worked out with the GM before the creation of the death knight. Each death knight takes Death's Oath as below. Part of this Oath is to not reveal the true nature of their existence. The Rune Weapon is central to the death knights abilities; without it, the death knight can not use any of his class abilities nor progress in levels (with the exception of Runeforging). You can have only one Rune Weapon at any given time.

A death knight's Rune Weapon is a bonded weapon which can be engraved with runes through a process known as Runeforging. The Runes run along the weapon lengthwise. These Runes are written in Necromonger. These Runes disrupt and manipulate the world around them, tapping into Necrotic energies to do so. These Runes are a representation of the death knights soul and, effectively, are the death knight. The death knight's weapon is as sacred as his honor. In addition, a Rune Weapon acts as your holy/unholy Symbol and Spell Focus.

Honor bound, Death's Pact

Death has made a pact with you to allow your Necro existence between undeath and life. This pact binds you to service and allows you access to the class abilities. A side effect of this pact is slower aging: for every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year.

Death's Pact:

1. The First Allegiance is to Death, not Life. The death knight is expected to protect the secrets of the Necromonger's and their origins. When able the death knight is obligated to protect sites where the dead are laid to rest from desecration. The death knight must ensure that all slain allies and enemies receive proper rites for their passage to the afterlife.

2. The Second Allegiance is to revere Death, not Undeath. The Undead try to cheat the natural cycle of life, and the death knight must use every available means to stop them and restore the natural order. The death knight is expected to treat the spirits of the dead with respect above all else. If the undead are rampaging, he is to take command or quell them regardless of personal vendetta or mood. Refusal to honor the spirit, or to use magic that traps or otherwise damages the soul to any degree is a slight against Death.

3. The Third Allegiance is to Honor for all of Eternity. The third allegiance demands that a death knight keep the faith. In this, his word is his bond, once sworn he shall uphold it so long as his trust is not broken, even against his convenience. His word is to stand until his own death. Death knights are expected to repay kindness with kindness and slights with retribution.

Breaking Death's Pact

The Pact and its consequences are at the GM's discretion. The death knight is a powerful class and should have major drawbacks and weaknesses as a consequence. Young death knights often run afoul of their pact and lose their abilities, sometimes at the most inopportune of moments. If you break an oath, agreement or contract, or grossly violate the Death's Pact you lose your class abilities, and may not progress any farther in levels as a death knight until you perform a task (GM's discretion) in repentance for your actions.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Death Knight table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your Death Knight spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, 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 Death Knight spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the Death Knight spell list. When you do so, choose a number of Death Knight spells equal to your Charisma modifier + your Death Knight level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 3rd-level Death Knight, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With a Charisma of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell Inflict Wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or 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 Death Knight spells requires time spent in prayer and meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

You can choose your spells from the Cleric and Warlock spell list as long as they are from School of Necromancy.

Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your Spells and Spell-like abilities since their power derives from your Strength of Will. 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 spell or ability 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 your Rune Weapon as a spellcasting focus for your Spells.

Cantrips: you can choose from:

Chill Touch: as per PHB

Spare the Dying: as per PHB

Necro Blast:

Necromancy Cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

A beam of Necrotic energy streaks toward a creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 2d10 necrotic damage.

The spell intensifies as you reach higher levels: 5th level, 3d10 necrotic damage, 11th level 4d10 necrotic damage, 17th level necrotic damage 5d10.

Your hands glow with the unnatural color of coldfire, you channel this through your blade and release a burst of necrotic energy that eats away at the essence of your enemies.

Ritual Casting

You can cast a spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell prepared.

Aura Of Death

At first level, you can use an action to activate an aura and make your eyes glow blue when you do this the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you.

The frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns this has no effect on undead or constructs. You also gain advantage against being frightened.

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

Fighting Style

Starting at 2nd level, you adopt a particular fighting style as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take a Fighting Style more than once, even if you later get to choose again. At level 5, choose another fighting style. At level 10, choose your final fighting style.

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.

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

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.

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, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the Two-Handed or Versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Necrostrike

Also at 2nd level, once per long rest, you can channel a Necrostrike using a bonus action. For the duration of your turn, you deal an extra 1d6 necrotic damage per successful hit. You gain an additional use per long rest at 4th, 9th, 15th, and 18th level. The necrotic damage increases by 1d6 at 4th, 9th, 15th and 18th level. You regain all charges after a long rest.

Dark Order

At 3rd level, you choose a Dark Order that shapes your combat styles and techniques. Choose the Order of Dark Cavaliers, Order of Unholy Death, or Order of Ebony Blades, all detailed at the end of the class description. The Order you choose grants you features at 3rd level and again at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level.

Profanities

Starting at 3rd level, you learn a number of profanities as listed in the table below and those you get from your dark order, choose from the list below. You can use an action to activate or deactivate one profanity, activating a profanity while you have one already active will automatically deactivate the previous one, you can only benefit from one profanity at a time.


Grave Armor. Gain +1 to your Armor Class.

Aura of the Damned. Any enemy creature within 30 feet, make constitution saving throws with a -2 modifier for the duration.

Deathwind. When you or a creature within 30 feet of you takes fire, poison, thunder, necrotic or cold damage, you can use your reaction to give that creature resistance against that damage type until the start of your next turn.

Gravemist. Grant friendly Undead creatures within 30 feet of you have advantage on saving throws.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 14th, 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.

Death Awareness

When you reach the 4th level, you gain the ability to occasionally sense the presence of the undead, whose existence is an insult to the natural cycle of life. As an action, you can open your awareness to magically detect undead. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any undead within 60 feet of you that isn't behind total cover and that isn't protected from divination magic. This sense doesn't tell you anything about a creature's capabilities or identity. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Unholy Fortitude

When you reach 4th level, you have learned to use your necrotic aura to enhance the strength of your Armour, you may add your charisma modifier to your AC when you are not surprised or unconscious.


Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 11th level in this class and to four when you reach 20th level in this class.


Unliving

Beginning at the 6th level, you fully assume to the mantle of Death Knight; you no longer require food, water, or sleep. You may still gain the benefits of a long rest if you spend 8 hours undertaking light activities such as reading or keeping watch.

Runeforging

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Rune Forge

Starting at 6th level, you gain the ability to Runeforge your Rune Weapon. This requires access to your Order's Runeforge. It takes 1 hour to Runeforge a Rune weapon inscribing one Rune upon it. Runed Weapons are infused with magic and act as a magical weapon allowing you to damage spirits, elementals, or beings otherwise incorporeal.

Starting at level 6, you can inscribe 3 Runes onto you Rune Weapon. This process takes 1 hour per Rune. and you can have no more than 3 Runes on a Rune Weapon. Starting at level 9, you can inscribe four Runes onto you Rune Weapon. This process takes 2 hours per Rune. and you can have no more than 4 Runes on a Rune Weapon. Starting at level 13, you can inscribe 5 Runes onto you Rune Weapon. This process takes 3 hours per Rune. You can have no more than 5 Runes on a Rune Weapon.

Only a death knight can safely wield a Rune Weapon inscribed with Runes. All others take 3d6 necrotic damage per round while wielding the weapon.

•Rune of Razorice: once inscribed onto the Rune Weapon it gains +1 to hit and damage.

•Rune of the Fallen Crusader: once inscribed onto the Rune Weapon the death knight can expend a spell slot to heal himself for 1d6 per spell slot level plus charisma modifier.

•Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle: once inscribed onto the Rune Weapon the death knight gains +1 to Strength and +1 constitution while wielding the Rune Weapon

•Rune of Cinderglacier: once inscribed onto the Rune Weapon the death knight can: Channel Necrostrike one additional time per long rest.

•Rune of Lichbane: once inscribed onto the Rune Weapon the death knight gains advantage on all attacks against undead creatures.

•Rune of Spellbreaking: once inscribed onto a single-handed Rune Weapon the death knight gains a benefit of +1 to all spell saves. This effect can't stack.

•Rune of Swordbreaking: once inscribed onto a single-handed Rune Weapon the death knight gains a riposte benefit adding +1 bonus to his armor class. This effect can't stack.

•Rune of Spellshattering: once inscribed onto a two-handed Rune Weapon the death knight gains a benefit of +1 to all spell saves. This effect can't stack.

•Rune of Swordshattering: once inscribed onto a two-handed Rune Weapon the death knight gains a parry benefit adding +1 bonus to his armor class. This effect can't stack.

Necrosteed

At level 7, The death knight gains the ability to summon and banish a Necrosteed by using a bonus action (this uses the Warhorse stats). Summoning it opens a portal within 5 feet from the death knight. The creature will then take an exclusively ebony physical appearance and glow a sickly green and black aura. If killed, the creature is simply banished and can be re-summoned. Necrosteeds are also subject to the Turn Undead ability. You gain proficiency in riding your Necrosteed with this ability.

Bone Shield

At level 8, When you take slashing, bludgeoning, or piercing damage; as a reaction, you may expend a spell slot to create 4 bones that spin and float around you. While at least one bone remains, you have resistance against slashing, bludgeoning and piercing damage. Whenever an attack deals one of those types of damage, one bone is destroyed. Duration 10 minutes or one battle whichever is shorter.

Necro Servant

At level 9, your Death Aura has become so strong that you are used to seeing through magic darkness, you can see 120 feet through magical darkness and if your race doesn't have it you gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet you have advantage roll on saving throws against necrotic damage.

Improved Runeforging

Starting at level 9, you can inscribe four Runes onto you Rune Weapon. This process takes 2 hours per Rune. and you can have no more than 4 Runes on a Rune Weapon.

Balance The Scales

At level 10 you gain the ability to change your magic spells from necrotic damage to radiant damage as long as you say which one before the attack because of this you also gain resistance to necrotic damage and radiant damage at the 16th level they become immunities.

Extra Attack (2)

At 11th level, you can attack three times whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Shadow Meld

At level 11, as an action, you may expend a third level spell slot or greater and teleport to a point you can see within 30 +(Cha mod x 10) feet into or out of a shadow. You may take one other creature with you (creature must be within 5 feet of death knight). If the creature is not willing, it must succeed on a Charisma saving throw to evade you, with DC equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Life From Death

At 12th level, Necro energy affects your vitality. Your maximum hit points increase by 10 and increase by an additional 4 every level after.

Exalted Runeforging

Starting at level 13, you can inscribe 5 Runes onto you Rune Weapon. This process takes 3 hours per Rune. You can have no more than 5 Runes on a Rune Weapon.

Dark Command

Starting at level 14, You can expend a spell slot and speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn. Duration one round. The spell has no effect if it doesn’t understand your language.

Some typical commands and their effects follow. You might issue a command other than one described here. If you do so, the DM determines how the target behaves. If the target can’t follow your command, the spell ends.

Approach. The target moves toward you by the shortest and most direct route, ending its turn if it moves within 5 feet of you.

Drop. The target drops whatever it is holding and then ends its turn.

Flee. The target spends its turn moving away from you by the fastest available means.

Grovel. The target falls prone and then ends its turn.

Halt. The target doesn’t move and takes no actions. A flying creature stays aloft, provided that it is able to do so. If it must move to stay aloft, it flies the minimum distance needed to remain in the air.

Die. The target makes a Charisma save against your spell DC. If they fail, they must begin making death saves at the end of their turns. At the start of their turn, they may remake this save, ending the effect on a success.

When you use this ability by expending a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can affect one additional creature for each slot level above 1st. The creatures must be within 30 feet of each other when you target them.

Sanguine Strike

At 16th level, you may expend a second level or higher spell slot to infuse your weapon with death energy in conjunction with an attack action. This causes the next strike to seek out vital points and weaknesses in your foes. The next time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack before this spell ends, that attack becomes a critical hit and ignores any resistance or damage reduction (but not immunity) that the target has. You are healed for the final amount of damage inflicted up to your maximum hit points.

Obliterate

Starting at 19th level, you may expend a second level or higher spell slot to fill your weapon with Necrotic energy in conjunction with an attack action. Until the end of your turn, any successful attack with your Rune Weapon will deal an additional 2d6 Necrotic damage. When you expend a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 2nd.

Extra Attack (3)

At 20th level, you can attack four times whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Avatar Of Death

At 20th level, Once per long rest, you may become an Avatar of Death for one hour. In this form, you gain immunity to non-magical weapons, resistance to all damage, the ability to have two profanities active at once and every enemy that can see and sense you in a 120 feet radius must make a Wisdom saving throw of a 20 on a failed save they become frightened of you for 10 minutes.

Dark Order

At 3rd level, choosing a Dark Order means choosing which practical preference the death knight has for usage of his/her dark powers.

Order of Dark Cavaliers

The Order of the Dark Cavaliers use their bound mounts to the greatest effect. You become a dark wind of death upon the battle field, striking fear and dread in to your enemy's

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Profanities

As a member of the Order of Dark Cavaliers you gain access to the following profanities:

Etherfloat. You (and your Necro Steed) hover few inches from the ground. You do not trigger pressure plates or the like; you can cross liquid surfaces if they are still; and you descend to the ground harmlessly as if under the effect of the 'Feather Fall' spell.

Pale Horse. Your Necrosteed and friendly mount creatures within 30 feet of you increase their movement speed by 10 feet.

Dark Rider

When you choose this order at 3rd level, you gain the Dark Rider ability: You are a dangerous foe to face while mounted. While you are mounted and aren’t incapacitated, you gain the following benefits:

  1. You have advantage on melee attack rolls against any unmounted creature that is smaller than your mount.
  2. You can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead.
  3. If your mount is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, it instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.

Charge Foe

Beginning at 5th level, You are able to charge your steed directly at your foe with a movement of 100 feet, dealing 1d6 damage for every 10ft you traverse on your way to them, max of 10d6. The target must succeed a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, on a successful save, the target takes half damage and does not fall, on a failed save, the target takes full damage and is knocked prone.

Ebony Instincts

Upon reaching 11th level, your mount has become just as much of a force on the battlefield as you have. Your mounts instincts are so honed that you have advantage on initiative rolls atop your mount. Additionally, if you are surprised at the beginning of combat and aren’t incapacitated, you can act normally on your first turn, but only if you are mounted.

Towering Presence

Starting at 15th level, the sight of you on top of your mount is all that is needed to send creatures fleeing. let your steed stand and raise your weapon high to terrify the worthless vermin before you. Each creature of your choice that is within 60 feet of you and aware of you must succeed on a DC [8 + proficiency bonus + strength modifier] Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the Towering Presence for the next 24 hours you must finish a long rest before you can use towering Presence again.

Gift Of The Nazgul

At 20th level, you have achieved the most elite status of the Dark Cavalier's and the power to commence the Bound Mount ritual upon a Young Gold Dragon. The Young Gold Dragon obeys your commands with unwavering loyalty. It takes its turn on your initiative, though it doesn’t take an action unless you command it to. On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help action. having the Extra Attack feature, you can make one weapon attack yourself when you command the beast to take the Attack action. all effects of the Necro Mount still apply

Order of Unholy Death

Death knights of the Unholy Death devote more of their energies into developing the exotic powers of Death. They can use their enhanced abilities to innately learn magical spells as well as gain special benefits for following the path the follow. These death knights focus on a deeper understanding of Necromancy and magic.

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Profanities

(You can use one of these plus the one you already had) As a member of the Order of Unholy Death you gain access to the following profanities:

Unholy Vigor. You gain plus 10 to you maximum hp. In battle you and friendly creatures within 30ft of you get plus 10 temporary hp and this number increases to 20 at level 10, to 30 at 15 and 50 at level 20. You can use this again after a short or long rest.

Soulreaver. Expend a spell slot to give an extra 1d8 to attack rolls and damage rolls, and you also get + 6 on attack and damage rolls against all creatures undead.

Magic Knowledge

When you choose this order at 3rd level, you learn the chill touch cantrip. In addition, you gain access to not only Cleric spells of Necromancy school, but Abjuration as well. You may cast these spells as per normal utilizing the spell slots available once per long rest. You regain expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

Rune Magic

Beginning at 5th level, you learn the art of Rune Magic. Drawing on the Necro energy of your Rune Weapon, each rune on your blade allows you to regain a spell slot of your choice once per long rest.

Death's Sight

At 10th level, the overflowing necrotic energy within you attunes you to the energies of life and death, helping you sense creatures you can’t see. When you attack a non-visible creature, your inability to see it does not impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it. You can also sense of the location of any invisible or hidden creature within 30 feet of you, provided that the creature isn’t magically hidden from you. You only gain these benefits against organic or undead creatures, not constructs or inanimates you also gain immunity to being frightened.

Bound Servant

At 14th level, you can summon another 2 creatures with Necrosteed and take permanent command of those creatures (CR 6 or less) turned undead. To bind to one creature, it must qualify for the following: organic and dead. The binding ritual takes 1 minute to perform unless it is killed by your Rune Weapon. If killed by your Rune Weapon, it comes under your command after 12 seconds (2 rounds). The creature maintains the same ability scores and features. If the creature was found as mere bones, then it will take on an appearance such that a black mist will surround its floating bones as a blueish white hue glows everlasting within its center. If the creature was bound while having mostly flesh, then there would be no black aura and instead have a blue hue shining from the body's crevices such as eyes and mouth.

As an action, you may summon your servant and cause it to appear within 10 feet of you, or banish your servant at any range. As a bonus action, you may telepathically command your servant to perform a specific action; it otherwise acts as intelligently as it can. The creature will maintain its original stats. If the creature dies, it will be sent back from where it came from and you must finish a long rest before you can summon it again.

Wraithshift

At 18th level, in darkness, you gain the Wraithshift ability granting a fly speed of 60 feet. When you fly, your appearance is cloaked in a shadowy haze, resembling a wraith. You gain advantage on stealth checks in this form.

Order Of The Ebony Blades

Death Knights of the Ebony Blades use their knowledge of the dark arts to supplement their physical and mental capabilities, allowing them to perform superhuman feats. With their expertise in martial training, they are recognized among the most effective dealers of death. Hordes upon hordes will charge the death knight only to fall to his blade, one by one.

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Profanities

As a member of the Order of the Ebony Blades you gain access to the following profanities:

Terrorize. You gain an advantage on all intimidation checks.

Soulflay. Force enemy creatures within 30 feet make Dexterity saving throws with a -2 modifier.


Necro Wind

At 3rd level, on your turn, you can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d12 + your Death Knight level. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Overwhelming Strength

By 5th level, the Ebony Blade's training bequeaths the ability to use your armor to deflect strikes that would kill others. You gain the following benefits: Increase your Strength score by 1, to a maximum of 20. While you are wearing heavy armor, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage that you take from non-magical weapons is reduced by 3.

Relentless Fortitude

Starting at 10th level, once per long rest, you gain the advantage on a saving throw of your choice. Once you use this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can use it again, also because of the hardened fortitude you gain immunity to being frightened.

Certainty Of Death

Starting at 15th level, your training within the order has granted you improved mastery over the boundless necro energies you tap. Channeling this energy grants Improved criticals: your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 to 20.

Unholy Weapon Flourish

Starting at 18th level, you may channel Necro Energy through your Rune Weapon up to three times per long rest. The bond between the Knight and his Rune Weapon has intensified allowing this feat. There are few an Enhanced Rune Weapon cannot harm. When making an attack with your Rune Weapon, you may add your twice your proficiency bonus to the attack roll.

Multiclassing

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the death knight class, you must meet these prerequisites: Strength 13, Dexterity 12, Charisma 13

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

Credit

Thanks to original creators of the Death Knight 5E classes. I borrowed heavily from their work. This version is significantly toned down from the originals, but I hope you find it more functional and easier to play both from a player's and a GM's standpoint.

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