Blood knights are the damned souls of fierce warriors who died in a particularly bloody manner. Cursed to walk the earth until their warlike ways lead to their destruction, blood knights seek always to fight and conquer.
A blood knight wears the armor it died in, but its body is gone, wholly replaced by blood. This blood leaks from the armor in endless drips, runnels, and rivulets, cascading to the ground in a torrent that puddles around the creature’s feet. The blood knight’s blows leave wounds that do not close, and its own blood is poisonous. Most horrific of all, it can spray its blood out of its armor in great gouts that soak opponents in the poisonous fluid.
“Blood Knight” is an acquired template that can be applied to any living creature that is proficient with heavy armor, wears full plate armor, and has blood (hereafter referred to as the base creature). A blood knight uses all of the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: As base creature +2.
Alignment: Any evil.
Type: The creature’s type changes to undead with the appropriate augmented subtype. Do not recalculate base attack bonuses, saves, or skill points.
Armor Class: A blood knight gains an armor bonus to Armor Class based on the kind armor it wears (usually full plate; AC bonus +9). If the base creature has a natural armor bonus, it loses it and gains a deflection bonus equal to 1 + the base creature’s original natural armor bonus.
Defensive Abilities: A blood knight gains all the defensive abilities and immunities of the undead type plus fast healing 10, and DR 10/bludgeoning. If the base creature already has DR greater than 10, use the higher value. If the base creature’s DR already has a bypass, add bludgeoning as an “or” to the type of damage that can bypass its damage reduction. If the base creature’s DR has no damage bypass, change it to bludgeoning.
Attacks: The blood knight gains a primary slam attack if it has no other natural attacks. The damage for this slam attack depends on the base creature’s size as if the base creature was one size category larger. All of a dread blood knight’s natural attacks gain the grab universal monster ability and they deliver its blood drain special attack in addition to normal damage. All of a blood knight’s piercing or slashing attacks, both natural and manufactured, gain the bleed (2 hp/round) universal monster ability.
Special Attacks: A blood knight retains all the base creature’s special attacks and gains those described here. All DCs are Charisma-based unless otherwise specified.
Any living creature damaged by a blood knight’s natural attack takes 1 point of Constitution damage in addition to the normal damage. This Constitution damage is subject to the multiplier for a critical hit, just as normal damage would be. In a grapple, a blood knight deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage to a living foe each round that the grapple is maintained. For each point of Constitution damage caused, the blood knight gains 5 temporary hit points.
A blood knight constantly drips slippery blood in a 10-foot-radius spread around itself. Entering the area of a blood slick counts as difficult terrain and as it if were under the effects of a grease spell. The DC on the Reflex save to avoid falling is Charisma-based. Blood knights are immune to the slipperiness of any blood knight’s blood slick.
Once every 1d4 rounds, as a full-round action, a blood knight can spray blood from its armor in a great cascade. Each creature within a 15-foot radius is covered in blood and must succeed on a Fortitude save as though it had ingested the blood knight’s poisonous blood. The blood fills the area until the blood knight’s next turn. Creatures entering the spray while it persists are subject to its effects, but a creature can be affected only once per round.
The area covered by the blood spray becomes coated as though by a blood slick and remains slippery for 1 round per two Hit Dice the blood knight possesses. The blood remains until it is washed away with at least 5 gallons of water or other liquid, or burned away with normal or magical fire as a full-round action. Creatures and objects within the area that do not have total cover are coated with the blood, and a creature wishing to use, pick up, or cling to an item coated in the blood must succeed on a Reflex save (save DC is Charisma-based) to do so. Failure means the item is immediately dropped. A creature coated in blood gains a +10 bonus on Escape Artist checks. Blood knights are immune to the slipperiness of any blood knight’s fountain of blood.
Any opponent that strikes a blood knight with a bite attack is subject to this attack, as is any creature in the area of the fountain of blood attack.
Special Qualities: A blood knight retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described here.
Because its body is entirely composed of blood, a blood knight can store items within its form. It can retrieve any item stored in its body as a move action or as a free action that is part of a move. An item to be stored must be of a size and shape that fits within whatever portion of the blood knight’s armor it is placed. For example, an orc blood knight could store potion vials, crossbow quarrels, or daggers in its arm, but it could not store a longsword there. A stored item’s weight counts towards a blood knight’s encumbrance.
A blood knight always wears the suit of armor in which it died. It cannot remove this armor or exchange it for another suit. If the armor is destroyed, the blood knight is destroyed as well. The blood knight has a +5 bonus on saving throws made on behalf of its armor.
You can alter the blood knight template in many ways to make it suit your campaign.
Ignore the required proficiency with armor and change the name of the template to the blood gaunt. In this form, the template could be applied to the temple guardians of a god of murder.
Alternatively, blood knights could result from a curse that animates great quantities of spilled blood into a strange new form.
The blood knights could be unique or even mythic in nature. Perhaps a group of paladins that unwittingly participated in a highly evil act were cursed to become blood knights or agents of a powerful fiend.
Make the template self-propagating. Creatures killed by Constitution damage from a blood knight’s attacks rise as blood knights in 1d4 rounds.