Hedge Knight (3.5e Class)
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From the greatest kings to ever walk the earth to the humblest peasants to roam the streets, each one relies on the service of the knight. Hedge Knights are the strongest of soldiers and leaders in the battle. They fight with great bravery and courage, however also appear in courts and at feasts. They are the masters of the battlefield but also of the nobles politics. Knights are in all of the great stories of old, they are always the hero come to save the day.
Making a Hedge Knight
A Hedge Knights strongest point is at the front lines of a battlefield. They strike with tremendous force and always have their shield ready to ward off attacks. Hedge Knights are the defenders on a battlefield. Working with their party members to take the front of the enemies attacks and allow their allies to destroy them from behind. Hedge Knights blend perfectly with classes such as the hunter or higher level mystic blades who have chosen to focus more so on their magical art rather than that of the blade.
Abilities: Hedge Knights rely an incredible amount on their constitution and strength. They utilize it in every battle situation and need them to survive. Knights, being the ones who take much of an enemies attacks need high health and good strength to be able to slay foes quickly. After that comes charisma. Knights often find themselves in the midst of political battles just as dangerous as the ones they fight with a sword. Charisma is a great aid in these such situations and therefore is vital for a knight to have. After that point every other attribute is secondary, dexterity, intelligence and wisdom all taking the back seat as they are not used much. Dexterity can be useful to increase their armor class but is generally negated by the amount of armor knights wear. Intelligence and Wisdom can be useful in the royal courts and affairs, however take second place to charisma.
Races: Any strong humaniod, a Hedge Knight is a knight with no place to go or no ones rules to follow.
Starting Gold: 5d6 × 10 gp (175 gp)
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Nomad's Knowledge, Hedge Knight Code|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+0||Bonus feat, Die Hard, Way of the Warrior|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||Inspire Courage +1, Iron Will,|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+1||Bonus feat, Way of the Warrior|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+2||+2||Immune Endurance ,Way of the Warrior|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+2||+2||Still Mind, Bonus feat, Die Hard +2|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+2||+2||Bonus feat,Way of the Warrior|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+3||+3||Inspire Courage +2|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+3||+3||Crucial Strike ,Way of the Warrior|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+4||Bonus feat,Way of the Warrior|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+4||+4||Bonus feat, Die Hard +4|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+4||+4||Devastating Strike ,Way of the Warrior|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+5||Inspire Courage +3|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+5||+5||Way of the Warrior|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+5||Strike of Judgement, Bonus feat|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+6||Diamond Soul ,Way of the Warrior, Die Hard +8|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+6||Way of the Warrior, Final Strike|
Class Skills (4 + Int ×4)
Class Features =
All of the following are class features of the Hedge Knight.
Bonus feat: Every set level a Hedge Knight gains a bonus feat. A knight also gains an additional Bonus feat at 1st level. At each such opportunity she can choose a combat oriented feat drawn from the fighters list of bonus feats if she so chooses. The Hedge Knight must still meet all prerequisites for the bonus feat including base attack bonus minimums. (See chapter 5 of the players handbook for descriptions of feats and their prerequisites.). These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets every three levels ( as given on Table 3-2: Experience and Level Dependent Benefits, page 22 of the players handbook). A Hedge Knight is not limited to the list of fighter feats when choosing these feats.
Nomadic Knowledge: Because a Hedge Knight is constantly on the move they go to far and exotic places learning all sorts of lore, secrets, and stories on the way as result they may add their class level to her knowledge (nobility, geography, and local) checks as a competence bonus.
Hedge Knight Code: There is a loose code that falls upon the Hedge Knight's shoulders while traveling this being. 1.) Never attack something that is not hostile or necessary to complete a goal from doing so. 2.) You must never break your word. A vigilante or not a knight's word is their honor and you mustn't ever break it. 3.) Pay all debts, if you are in debt to someone you must pay it, something small or a gift granted to you will not be counted as a debt seeing how they were given to you and insignificant.
Way of the Warrior: The Hedge Knight is a hired blade so they must have a reputation for their combat prowess. Every even level the Hedge Knight gains a plus 1 to attack and damage on ONE selected weapon type. (EX: Bastard Sword, Morning Star, Battle Axe)
Die Hard: At 2nd level a Hedge Knight gains die hard as a bonus feat even if she does not meet the prerequisites. However in addition to this, every 5 levels thereafter a knight will gain an additional amount of hit points that they may stay conscious to. As this number increases the amount of negative hit points you can have before dying increases with it.
Iron Will: At 3rd level a Hedge Knight gains iron will as a bonus feat.
Inspire Courage: This ability, gained at 3rd level, has the same effect as the bard ability of the same name. The Hedge Knight makes an inspiration speech, bolstering her allies against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be effected the ally must be able to hear the Hedge Knight speak. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the Hedge Knight speak and for 5 rounds thereafter. While speaking the night can fight but cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), or activate magic items by magic word (such as wands). An effected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 9th level and every six Hedge Knight levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1 ( +2 at 9th, +3 at 15th, +4 at 21st, etc.). Inspire courage is a mind-effecting ability.
Immune Endurance: Since the Hedge Knight is constantly wandering the wilderness and sleeping in foreign places they gain an immunity to all diseases both magical and natural.
Still Mind: A Hedge Knight of 7th level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment, since her meditation and training improve his resistance to mind-effecting attacks.
Crucial Strike: When in direly grave times and it seems all hope is loss there's no one better to turn things around than a Hedge Knight. When under 1/3 of your maximum health or an ally is unconscious or dead you may make an attack that is an automatic critical strike.
Devastating Strike: Whenever a Hedge Knight is using a slashing or piercing weapon that he has selected to be the type used by Way of the Warrior, he may add 1d6 of bleed damage per round to a target he has stricken. This bleed damage will not heal until magically healed. Potions will not heal this.
Strike of Judgement: At 17th level this ability is gained. While fighting any opponents of the opposite alignment as the Hedge Knight, he will be able to make a powerful strike upon them, judging their souls as to what they truly are. When making a strike of judgement a Hedge Knight will gain a bonus to damage of +1d6 per level of his opponent. This ability can be used as many times each day as the Hedge Knight wills, it simply can’t be used more than once on each individual.
Diamond Soul: At 18th level a Hedge Knight gains spell resistance equal to his current knight level +10. In order to affect the Hedge Knight with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level; see spell resistance, page 177 of the players handbook.).
Final Strike: At 20th level a Hedge Knight gains the final strike ability. The Hedge Knight focuses all of her energy into a single powerful strike on his opponent. When a final strike is used you make an attack roll as always, if it hits the Hedge Knight's opponent will be forced to make a fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ Hedge Knight's current level or dm discretion). If the fortitude save fails the strike will overcome her opponent and kill it instantly. If the fortitude save is made successfully it is simply rolled as a normal attack, still doing damage as if the Hedge Knight had attack normally. This ability can be used as many times per day as the Hedge Knight wills, however for 5 rounds after the attack she will have a -2 on attack and damage rolls due to the exertion of energy required to use this ability. The Hedge Knight must also wait for 5 rounds to make another Final Strike.
Epic Hedge Knight
|21st||Inspire Courage +7|
|24th||Inspire Courage +8, Bonus feat|
|25th||Die Hard +16|
|27th||Inspire Courage +9|
|30th||Inspire Courage +10, Die Hard +32, Bonus feat|
Inspire Courage: Inspire courage continues to accumulate and function as normal after 20th level.
Die Hard: Die Hard continues to accumulate and function as normal after 20th level. However once 30th level is obtained Die Hard no longer advances anymore.
Bonus Feats: The epic Hedge Knight gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Knight bonus feats) every 2 levels after 20th.
Epic Hedge Knight Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Combat Archery, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Distant Shot, Energy Resistance, Epic Endurance, Epic Leadership, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Weapon Specialization, Exceptional Deflection, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Manyshot, Improved Stunning Fist, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Infinite Deflection, Instant Reload, Legendary Commander, Legendary Rider, Legendary Wrestler, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Reflect Arrows, Spellcasting Harrier, Storm of Throws, Superior Initiative, Swarm of Arrows, Two-Weapon Rend, Uncanny Accuracy, Exotic Weapon Proficiency..
Human Knight Starting Package
Armor: Scale Mail (+4 AC, armor check penalty -3, speed 20 ft., 30 lb.), Large Steel Shield (+2 AC, armor check penalty -2, 15 lb.)
Weapons: Longbow (1d8, crit 20/x3, range inc. 100 ft., 3 lb, Piercing), Longsword (1d8, crit 19-20/x2, 4 lb., One-handed, Slashing)
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
|<-Skill name->||<-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills->||<-Abbreviated key ability->||<-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If inapplicable put "—"->|
|<-Skill name->||<-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills->||<-Abbreviated key ability->||<-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If inapplicable put "—"->
<-copy and paste the rows as necessary.->
Feat: Skill Focus (Diplomacy).
Bonus Feats: Toughness.
Gear: Backpack, Bedroll, Waterskin, Flint & Steel, 3×Torches, Sewing Needle, Belt Pouch, Sack, Traveler's Outfit.
Gold: 3d4 gp.
Playing a Hedge Knight
Other Classes: Knights work well in groups and fighting with other classes whether they be front line warriors and conscripts in the knights army, or hunters and beastfighters who adventure with the knight as equals. Knights absorb damage and allow for others to optimize their fighting style. In this way Hedge Knights are one of the few classes who work very well with almost any class except for other Hedge Knights.
Combat: In combat a Hedge Knight is at the front line fighting off the enemies with everything she has. They act as barriers and tanks allowing for other party members to utilize best their abilities without being crushed by enemy blows. However knights in an army can also often be found near the back as commanders. They can direct armies and be very good tacticians.
Advancement: Almost all Hedge Knights strictly cohere to the class that they start with. This is because there are no other classes in the world that will fit them well, Hedge Knights being the only class of their type. If a Hedge Knight is found branching off it will likely be to a beastfighter that can easily utilize their powerful martial abilities without the need to concentrate on dexterity or spells.
Hedge Knights in the World
|“||My honor is my life.||”|
|—Septim, Human Knight|
Hedge Knights fit into the world as the elite warriors that take pay for services of from noble. However they are also often found as nobles themselves, being adept in the difficult games of polotics that nobles play and many owning land themselves as rewards for their heroism. Most knights currently in the world of Orion exist as soldiers in the returning armies of yotstrung. Championing the causes of the elitest nation and acting as powerful fighters in their service.
Daily Life: A Hedge Knight will most days be found out saving the world and adventuring off on some distant land.
NPC Reactions: Hedge Knights are often viewed with reverence by others. They are seen as the elite, the disciplined guardians of all things that will pay they for services or give them a place to rest. They are greeted by peasants with open arms and smiles. Shop owners will smile when they have a knight shopping at their store. Knights are respected and loved, being charismatic and powerful fighters everybody wants to be one. However the more educated will often see through the looks of a Hedge Knight and know. They will know that what the knight really stands for is not justice, but the lord he serves under. They will know that through the facade knights put up, behind the mask is the same schemeing deceptive politician that you see everyday in the streets and hate. The only difference is that this one can kill you faster.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nobility) can research Knights to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Hedge Knight are glowing beacons of hope and power on the battlefield.|
|10||Many Hedge Knights spend more time fighting battles for gold rather than ones with a sword.|
|15||Hedge Knights, while they may be well liked, are often scheming and planning their own plots for domination in secret.|
|20||Information on a specific Hedge Knight.|
Knights in the Game
Knights fit into the world as the elite soldiers for a greta king or the specialist troops in the service of a noble. However they are also often found as nobles themselves, being adept in the difficult games of polotics that nobles play and many owning land themselves as rewards for their heroism. Most knights currently in the world of Orion exist as soldiers in the returning armies of yotstrung. Championing the causes of the elitest nation and acting as powerful fighters in their service.
Adaptation: If you wish to adapt the knight for another world their are a few adjustments that can be easily made. One of which is changing him from a knight to simply a variation on the fighter and removing the lawful requirement. Another idea for adaption is to possibly take away his courtly abilities and make him completely a martial class. Knights are generic and fun to play, being easily adapted into almost any campaign world.
Sample Encounter: Everybody in the great hall sat fidgeting, waiting for the arrival that they all dreaded. Quickly, it happened. The door to the hall burst open and the great and honorable king of yotstrung marched swiftly into the room and came to sit on his throne. The meeting went down hill from there. The king was drawing up plans that were clearly impossible to complete without the loss of thousands of good men in battle to take small areas. However nobody dared to oppose him. If anybody challenged his athority they would be swiftly put to death. But then something unexpected happened. Septim stood and looking directly at the king said "You are a fool! This cannot be accomplished, now shut your bloody mouth and let me draw the plans!". The king for a second was stunned, then just as he was about to call his gaurds on the knight, he noticed the relieved faces of all those around him and knew it would be pointless. Then, just as swiftly as he entered, he left. He lef to draw another set of plans, this time to kill the knight who he so feared. The only other man who stood in his way of ultimate victory. The one man who could undermine his athority.
EL N/A: An encounter level and sample enemy is not needed for this encounter because it was non-combatative.