Black Knight

The black knight fills much the same role as the blackguard prestige class in the DMG. If a campaign is to feature a “champion of evil”, it should thus include either black knights or blackguards, but not both.

Black knights are corrupted knights, who serve the forces of darkness with the same relish as they once dealt justice to evildoers. NPC black knights can be found leading the armies of evil overlords or fiends, or in loose bands ravaging isolated villages and hamlets. While they scorn all who profess to be virtuous or law-abiding, their greatest hatred is reserved for those who were once their cousins in arms. The greatest and most infamous black knights are sometimes known as anti-paladins.


Requirements

Base Attack Bonus: +6.

Alignment: Any evil.

Skills: Intimidate 8 ranks.

Feats: Power Attack, Cleave.

Special: Must have been a knight and violated the knight’s code.

Class statistics

Hit die: d12

Class skills: As knight class.

Skill points/level: 4 + Int modifier.

Level

Base
Attack Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save


Special

1

+1

+2

+0

+0

Rage 2/day

2

+2

+3

+0

+0

Damage reduction 1/–, Smite 1/day

3

+3

+3

+1

+1

Evasion

4

+4

+4

+1

+1

Rage 3/day

5

+5

+4

+1

+1

Aura of fear, Smite 2/day

6

+6

+5

+2

+2

Damage reduction 3/–

7

+7

+5

+2

+2

Rage 4/day

8

+8

+6

+2

+2

Indomitable will

9

+9

+6

+3

+3

Tireless rage

10

+10

+7

+3

+3

Rage 5/day, Damage reduction 5/–, Smite 3/day

Special abilities

Weapon and armour proficiency: As a former knight, the black knight is proficient with simple and martial weapons, shields, and all types of armour.

Rage (Ex): When he needs to, a black knight can fly into a murderous rage, gaining terrifying strength and stamina but becoming reckless and less able to defend himself. In a rage, he temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but he takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the black knight’s hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are.)

While raging, the black knight cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. The black knight may prematurely end his rage. At the end of the rage, he loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter (unless he is 9th level, at which point this limitation no longer applies; see below).

A black knight can fly into a rage only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his rage ability twice per day. At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of five times per day at 10th level). Entering a rage takes no time itself, but the black knight can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 2th level, the black knight gains the extraordinary ability to shrug off some amount of injury from each blow or attack. Subtract 1 from the damage the black knight is dealt each time he is dealt damage. At 6th level, his DR rises to 3, and at 10th level, to 5.

Smite (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, the black knight can make a single melee attack at a +4 attack bonus and a damage bonus equal to his black knight level (if he hits). This ability is usable once per day. Starting at 5th level the black knight can smite twice per day, and at 10th level, three times per day.

Evasion (Ex): At 3rd level, the black knight gains evasion. If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex save for half damage (such as a fireball), he takes no damage with a successful saving throw. Unlike a rogue’s evasion, this ability functions even if the black knight is wearing heavy armour or carrying a heavy load.

Aura of Fear (Su): From 5th level, the black knight radiates a malign aura that can terrify his enemies and cause them to flee from the battlefield. The aura potentially affects all creatures within 15 feet who have less than 5 HD and have hostile intent towards him. Such creatures must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + the black knight’s class level + his Charisma modifier) or be frightened for 2d4 rounds.

A frightened creature suffers a –2 morale penalty on attack and damage rolls and saving throws, and flees from the black knight as well as it can. If unable to flee, the creature may fight. Creatures that make their save are immune to the black knight’s aura of fear for one day. This is a mind-affecting, compulsion, fear-based effect.

Indomitable Will (Ex): While in a rage, a black knight of 8th level or higher gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, including the morale bonus on Will saves he also receives during his rage.

Tireless Rage (Ex): At 9th level or higher, the black knight no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his rage.


3E version of this prestige class

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