Note: This archetype makes use of rules from Path of War by Dreamscarred Press.
Knight Disciples are holy protectors who defend the innocent for the predations of evil creatures. Blessed with the martial might of heaven, they boldly charge into battle to defend their allies.
A knight disciple gains 2 additional skill ranks each level.
A knight disciple begins her career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to her are Golden Lion, Iron Tortoise, and Silver Crane. A knight disciple gains Bluff and Perception as class skills.
Once the knight disciple knows a maneuver, she must ready it before she can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by knight disciples is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in it or its discipline’s description. A knight disciple’s maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and she does not provoke attacks of opportunity when she initiates one.
The knight disciple learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as indicated on Table: Archetype Maneuver Progression. The maximum level of maneuvers gained through knight disciple levels is limited by those listed in that table as well, although this restriction does not apply to maneuvers added to his maneuvers known through other methods, such as prestige classes or the Advanced Study feat. A knight disciple must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it. See the Systems and Use chapter in Path of War for more details on how maneuvers are used.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even numbered initiator level thereafter (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), the knight disciple can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one she already knows. In effect, she loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. She can choose a new maneuver of any level she likes, as long as she observes the restriction on the highest-level maneuvers she knows; the knight disciple need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. She can swap only a single maneuver at any given level. A knight disciple’s initiation modifier is Charisma, and each knight disciple level is counted as a full initiator level.
A knight disciple can ready all three of her maneuvers known at 1st level, and as she advances in level and learns more maneuvers, she is able to ready more, but must still choose which maneuvers to ready. A knight disciple must always ready her maximum number of maneuvers readied. She readies her maneuvers by performing weapon drills or praying to her deity for ten minutes. The maneuvers she chooses remain readied until she decides to meditate again and change them. The knight disciple does not need to sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready her maneuvers; any time she spends ten minutes in prayer and practice, she can change her readied maneuvers.
A knight disciple begins an encounter with all her readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times she might have already used them since she chose them. When she initiates a maneuver, she expends it for the current encounter, so each of her readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless she recovers them, as described below).
In order for the knight disciple to recover maneuvers, she must project her power, protecting her allies from harm as a full-round action. When she does so, she recovers a number of expended maneuvers equal to her knight disciple initiation modifier (minimum 2) and each ally within 30 feet gains a sacred bonus equal to the knight disciple’s initiation modifier (minimum 1) to their AC and on saving throws for one round. Alternately, the knight disciple may focus inward and recover a single maneuver as a standard action.
A knight disciple begins play with knowledge of one stance from any discipline open to knight disciples. At 4th, 7th, 11th, and 13th levels, she can select an additional stance to learn. The maximum level of stances gained through knight disciple levels is limited by those listed in Table: Archetype Maneuver Progression. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended and the knight disciple does not have to ready them. All the stances she knows are available to her at all times, and she can change the stance she is currently maintaining as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance or discipline description.
Unlike with maneuvers, a knight disciple cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one she already knows.
This ability replaces spells.
At 1st level, a knight disciple begins to express her divine power through her initiating and with effects similar to the spells of other paladins. She selects one of the following abilities to learn at 1st level, and gains another ability at 4th level and every three levels thereafter.
This ability replaces divine bond.
At 1st level, a knight disciple learns to surround her allies in a field of holy protective energy. Whenever she initiates a strike, the knight disciple can apply a guardian’s shield to one ally (other than herself) within 60 feet as a free action. This shield lasts for a number of rounds equal to the knight disciple’s initiation modifier.
A guardian’s shield grants the affected ally a number of temporary hit points equal to twice the knight disciple’s initiator level. These temporary hit points do not stack with other temporary hit points, and vanish when the shield’s duration expires. The knight disciple can use her guardian’s shield ability a number of times per day equal to 1/2 her class level (minimum 1) + her knight disciple initiation modifier. This ability counts as the lay on hands class feature for the purposes of the Extra Lay on Hands feat.
This ability replaces lay on hands.
Starting at 1st level, a knight disciple can use spell completion and spell triggers items (such as scrolls and wands) as if she possessed the ability to cast paladin spells, using her initiator level as her effective caster level.
At 1st level, a knight disciple gains the ability to censure the actions of evil creatures, protecting her allies from the harm they cause. Once per day as a swift action, the knight disciple can apply a mark of censure to any evil creature she can see. The mark lasts for 24 hours or until the creature is slain. While the mark of censure is in effect, the knight disciple’s allies (other than herself) gain damage reduction/– equal to her knight disciple initiation modifier against attacks made by the marked creature. At 11th level, this damage reduction increases to equal twice her knight disciple initiation modifier. At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, the knight disciple can use this ability an additional time per day.
This ability replaces smite evil.
At 3rd level, a knight disciple’s guardian’s shield becomes potent enough to protect allies from debilitating effects. The knight disciple selects one condition from the list below that she meets the prerequisites for. Whenever an ally under the effects of her guardian’s shield would gain a condition she has selected, that condition is negated and the duration of the guardian’s shield affecting them is reduced by one round. This ability can remove a condition caused by a curse, disease, or poison without curing the affliction.
At 3rd level, the knight disciple can select from the following conditions:
At 6th level, the knight disciple adds the following conditions to the list of those that can be selected:
At 9th level, the knight disciple adds the following conditions to the list of those that can be selected.
At 12th level, the knight disciple adds the following conditions to the list of those that can be selected:
At 6th level and every three levels thereafter, the knight disciple selects an additional condition from the above lists. The effects of this ability stack; for example, a 12th level knight disciple’s guardian’s shield could provide 24 temporary hit points and protect against fatigue, exhaustion, diseases, and poisons. Once the knight disciple selects a condition to protect against, that choice cannot be changed.
This replaces the mercies ability.
At 4th level, a the knight disciple healing maneuvers become more potent. Any maneuver she initiates that heals hit point damage (to herself or others) heals an additional 50% points of damage (rounded down).
At 11th level, a knight disciple’s protective nature allows her to use her counters for the benefit of her allies instead of just herself. Whenever she initiates a counter, she can choose to have that counter affect an ally within 10 feet instead of herself. When determining if the counter can be initiated (for example, if the counter is initiated in response to an attack), she treats that ally as if they were herself. The counter still uses the knight disciple’s modifiers to determine its success or failure, and she still makes any rolls or checks for the counter.
This ability replaces aura of justice.
At 20th level, a knight disciple becomes a paragon of divine martial justice. She gains damage reduction 10/evil, and whenever a creature under the effect of her mark of censure deals damage to one of her allies (not including herself), that creature takes 1/2 the damage it dealt. This damage is the same type as the damage that was dealt to the knight disciple’s ally. In addition, the temporary hit points granted by the knight disciple’s guardian’s shield ability increase by 50% (rounded down).
Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.