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Dark Knight

“As I bear this darkness into battle, my suffering becomes my strength.”

Leon Z. Gaffgarion

“If Light is the absence of Darkness, and in turn, Darkness is the absence of Light, what is the Light without the Darkness and the Darkness without the Light? This is a fundamental nature of the world as much as Life and Death. Mortal creatures, and even some beyond mortality gravitate towards the Light; why wouldn’t they? The Light breaths warmth, safety, and security, and from these things the Light has been come to be called “good”. The Darkness, on the other hand, is a place of peace and solitude and even its own breed of security, offering secrecy among its void. However, just as the Light has been called “good”, the Darkness has come to be considered its opposite, as the forces of evil have exploited and tainted what the Darkness exists to be. The Darkness is part of the natural world and not something to be feared. It’s those that lurk in the Darkness that are to be feared, and as the chosen champions of the Darkness, we strive to purify it of evil’s presence.”

Arthur C. Harvey, instructing new dark knights


Dark Knights are firm believers in the concept that the “darkness” of the universe isn’t something to be feared or shunned, but something to be embraced as much as the “light” of the universe. However, while most see this argument as something wholly philosophical, dark knights have given a more tangible side to the argument, possessing the unique ability to wield darkness in its most basic form in a means similar to how Wizards and Sorcerers turn the Arcane into magic. However, the physical strain of wielding such a pure cosmic force is not to be taken lightly, and dark knights are chosen from the ranks of mortals not just by their similar beliefs, but by their ability to withstand the strain of wielding the Darkness.

Role: Dark Knights are front-line combatants that sacrifice their own life force to augment their fighting capabilities, while also possessing powers that drain the life of their enemies. Constitution is the dark knight’s most important stat, increasing the amount of HP they have, which increases how much HP they can spend empowering their abilities without endangering their own existences. Strength is beneficial to improving their melee damage, which dark knights primarily rely on, especially when spending HP becomes too risky. Dexterity is marginally supportive for improving initiative and DEX-based skills, while Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma only provide bonuses to their appropriate skills.

Hit Die: d12

Requirements

To qualify to become a dark knight, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any non-evil

Base Attack Bonus: +6

Feats: Endurance, Diehard, Fast Healer

Special: To become a dark knight, a senior dark knight must perform a 24 hour long ritual wherein the recipient is saturated in the darkness that empowers all dark knights. After the full 24 hours have passed, the recipient must succeed a DC 20 Fortitude save or be stricken with one negative level that lasts for 24 hours, after which the recipient can attempt the ritual again.

Class Skills

The dark knight’s class skills are Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Perception (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Class Name

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +1
+0 +0 Darkness Power
2nd +2 +1 +0 +0 Darkness Power
3rd +3 +2 +1 +1 Darkness Power
4th +4 +2 +1 +1 Darkness Power
5th +5 +3 +1 +1 Darkness Power
6th +6/+1 +3 +2 +2 Darkness Power
7th +7/+2 +4 +2 +2 Darkness Power
8th +8/+3 +4 +2 +2 Darkness Power
9th +9/+4 +5 +3 +3 Darkness Power
10th +10/+5 +5 +3 +3 Outflow of the Darkness

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the dark knight.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A dark knight gains no proficiency with any weapons or armor.

Class Specific Feats

The following dark knight specific feats are available to a character who meets the prerequisites.

Darkness Powers

The pure darkness residing inside each dark knight can be molded and shaped in a variety of ways to suit their needs. Many Darkness Powers require the dark knight to pay an amount of Hit Points to use and generally get stronger as more Hit Points are paid while others allow them to recover spent Hit Points by stealing the life from their enemies. Dark Knights gain one Darkness Power at 1st level, and at every level thereafter to 9th level. Darkness Powers that have a limited number of uses per day can be selected a second time to double the amount of available uses, unless otherwise noted. The DC to resist any Darkness Power that allows a saving throw is 10 + Dark Knight Level + Con modifier.

Blood Weapon(Su)

When a dark knight confirms a critical hit, they receive an amount of temporary hit points equal to their character level plus the dark knight’s Con modifier, or less if the amount of damage dealt is less than that number, before applying the critical hit multiplier. The total amount of temporary hit points the dark knight possesses cannot bring their total hit points above their maximum hit points. This ability still activates to recover HP even if the target is immune to the bonus damage from critical hits. Temporary hit points gained from this ability last for one minute before expiring, and the duration is reset whenever new temporary hit points are gained.

Bolt Darkness(Su)

As a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity, the dark knight may fire a barrage of dark energy bolts at an opponent within 60 ft. for 1d6 + Con modifier as damage. The dark knight must pay 10 hit points to use this ability and can fire an additional Dark Missile for 10 more hit points, up to a maximum of 5 Dark Missiles. This damage can only be blocked by an effect that also blocks Magic Missile.

Dark Seal(Su)

Once per day as a swift action, the dark knight can mark a single opponent with a black, smoking sigil that persists for 24 hours and cannot be removed by an outside source. The dark knight gains a circumstance bonus to all attack and damage rolls against the target of Dark Seal equal to half the user’s dark knight level (minimum +1). In addition, the DC for Darkness Powers that allow for a saving throw increases from 10 + dark knight level + Con modifier to 10 + twice dark knight level + Con modifier. This ability can be used once per day at 1st level, twice per day at 5th level, and three times per day at 10th level.

Diabolic Eye(Su)

As a full-round action, the dark knight may make an Intimidate check against a single opponent within 30ft and add his full character level as an enhancement bonus to that check. If the check is successful, the target of this ability is paralyzed. At the beginning of his next turn, the dark knight may make an additional Intimidate check as a full-round action to prolong the effect, but the dark knight suffers an accumulating -2 penalty to these checks for each round after the first. If the target of this effect has more Hit Dice than the dark knight, the penalty increases from -2 to -5 for each attempt. If the target or the dark knight is the target of any successful attack or harmful spell cast, the effect ends immediately. Once the effect ends, the dark knight cannot designate the same target for Diabolic Eye for 24 hours. This does not affect targets immune to fear and targets paralyzed by this ability cannot be the target of a coup de grace.

Drain(Su)

As a standard action, the dark knight may deal damage equal to their character level plus Con modifier to a single opponent within 30 ft. to recover HP equal to twice the damage dealt. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to half the player’s dark knight level (minimum of 1/day). Any recovered HP that exceeds the dark knight’s maximum hit points is granted as temporary hit points. Drain cannot reduce an opponent to lower than 1 HP, but the amount of HP recovered remains the same. A Fortitude Save can be made to half the amount of damage dealt to the target; this affects the amount of hit points healed.

Dread Armor(Su)

As an immediate action, the dark knight may coat their body in darkness for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 their dark knight level (minimum of 1) per day; these rounds do not need to be consecutive. The dark knight gains a +1 dodge bonus to armor class that increases by +1 for every 2 dark knight levels the player possesses. Enemies that make successful melee attacks against the dark knight during this time take the dark knight’s Con Modifier in damage, and the dark knight is healed for the same amount. Any recovered hit points that exceed the dark knight’s max hit points are granted as temporary hit points. Dread Armor cannot reduce an opponent to lower than 1 hit point, but the amount of hit points recovered remains the same. Dread Armor can be dismissed as a free action.

Guarding Darkness(Su)

As a swift action, the dark knight may pay an amount of hit points equal to 10 times the highest penalty to armor class the dark knight may have to negate all armor class penalties until the start of the dark knight’s next turn.

Keen Darkness(Su)

As a swift action, the dark knight may pay an amount of hit points equal to 10 times the highest penalty to attack rolls the dark knight may have to negate all attack roll penalties until the start of the dark knight’s next turn.

Lashing Darkness(Su)

As a swift action, the dark knight may pay 10 or 20 hit points to increase the effectiveness of any trip, disarm, or grapple attempts. If the dark knight pays 10 hit points, the dark knight may make a trip, disarm, or grapple combat maneuver against a target as if they had the Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, or Improved Grapple feats. If the dark knight pays 20 hit points, the dark knight may act as if they had both the Improved and Greater Trip, Improved and Greater Disarm, or Improved and Greater Grapple feats. If the dark knight is grappling an opponent, the effect of Lashing Darkness lasts until the dark knight is no longer grappling the opponent.

Mending Shadows(Su)

As a swift action, the dark knight can put his darkness to work mending any injuries the dark knight has sustained. Using this ability heals the dark knight for 1d6 points of damage for every dark knight level obtained and can be used a number of times equal to the user’s dark knight level plus Con modifier. This ability cannot be used to deal damage and cannot be used on others. If this ability is taken a second time, the amount of times it can be used does not double. Instead, the amount of times it can be used increases from once per dark knight level plus Con modifier to twice per dark knight level plus Con modifier.

Pulsing Shadows(Su)

As a standard action, the dark knight can sacrifice a number of hit points equal to their character level to deal an equal amount of damage to every enemy within a 10 ft. radius around the dark knight for an amount equal to the hit points spent and render enemies in a 5ft radius prone. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to half the player’s dark knight level (minimum of 1/day and up to 5/day at 10th level). A Fortitude Save can be made to resist being knocked prone and half the damage dealt.

Resisting Darkness(Su)

As an immediate action, the dark Knight can sacrifice a number of hit points equal to half their dark knight level (minimum of 1) to gain a circumstance bonus to one of their saving throws for one round equal to the amount of hit points spent. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to half the player’s dark knight level (minimum of 1/day).

Rushing Darkness(Su)

As a swift action, the dark knight may pay 10 or 20 hit points to increase the effectiveness of any bull rush or overrun attempts. If the dark knight pays 10 hit points, the dark knight may make a bull rush or overrun combat maneuver against a target as if they had the Improved Bull Rush or Improved Overrun feats. If the dark knight pays 20 hit points, the dark knight may act as if they had both the Improved and Greater Bull Rush or Improved and Greater Overrun feats.

True Darkness(Su)

As a standard action, the dark knight can sacrifice their hit points equal to their full level to deal damage to a single opponent within 60 ft. for twice the amount of hit points spent, plus their Con modifier. A Fortitude Save can be made for half damage.

Outflow of the Darkness (Su)

The vast well of darkness inside the dark knight swells to the brink with energy, greatly empowering the dark knight beyond what others are capable of. With enough focus, the dark knight can condense this darkness into a single all-consuming blast. At 10th level as a full-round action, the dark knight can sacrifice 100 to 200 hit points (in increments of 10) to fire a blast of darkness at a single creature up to 60 ft. away. The designated target must make a successful Fortitude Save (DC 10 + Dark Knight level + Con modifier) or suffer instant death. If the target succeeds, the target suffers 1d10 points of damage for every 10 hit points spent over 100. Outflow of the Darkness cannot be used again on that target for 24 hours. The DC of this ability can be increased with the Dark Seal Darkness Power.

Ex Dark Knights

A dark knight who willfully commits an evil act loses all dark knight class features and may not progress any further in levels as a dark knight. He regains his abilities and advancement potential if he atones for his violations (see atonement), as appropriate.

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