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Death Knight, the Justiciar

A Death Knight is a warrior dedicated to a cause or organisation. He is zealous and unwavering in his purpose. While a Paladin devotes himself to a virtuous life, the protection of the innocent and the healing of the sick, a Death Knight focuses solely on the utter destruction of his enemies.

Typically, Death Knights of good and neutral alignment are vigilantes who see traditional law enforcement as feeble and ineffective. Hence, they are sometimes called Avenger, Justiciar or Enforcer. A Death Knight is committed to the ideas of justice, loyalty and retribution.

Death Knights of evil alignment are fiendish villains feared and hated by all. They consort with devils and demons and serve dark deities. They are often lieutenants in the service of demonic cult leaders. Other times, they operate alone, as hired killers.

Hit Dice, Proficiencies, Alignment

D10 Hit Die. Proficient with all armour and all shields. Starts with simple-weapons proficiency plus four selectable weapon-group proficiencies. Any alignment is possible.

Special Abilities

A Death Knight gains a number of powers from his faith and determination:

Conviction: The Death Knight gains a bonus of +1 on all saving throws. In addition, the Death Knight receives a one-time bonus to his maximum Hit Points equal to (Base Intelligence - 10), if his base Intelligence score exceeds 10.

Aura of Dread: All enemies within 10' of a Death Knight take a penalty of 1 point to AC and all their Saving Throws. No save. If there are two Death Knights, the penalty does not stack. The aura is a supernatural effect and it applies to all enemy creatures even undead or mindless ones.

Greater Aura of Dread: The aura penalty increases by one point.

Life Drain: You can perform a melee touch attack to transfer 1d6+1 Hit Points per two levels rounded up from a single living target to yourself. Fortitude save for half. The Difficulty Class is 10 + half of level + charisma modifier. This is a supernatural ability that requires a standard action. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to your base charisma modifier (minimum 1). On a failed attack the ability is not used up. You do not need a free hand for this ability because you can touch the enemy with your weapon.

Smite: Activating this ability grants an attack bonus equal to the charisma modifier (if positive) on a single melee attack. The damage roll increases by the Death Knight's level. On a failed attack the ability is not used up. The activation is a free action. Supernatural.

Sneak Attack: Extra damage dealt in melee to an enemy who has lost his dexterity bonus to AC, or is being flanked. This ability only works if the enemy is not immune to critical hits. Further, a character cannot sneak attack creatures who have concealment (unless the character benefits from an effect such as True Seeing).

Uncanny Dodge: A character with uncanny dodge does not lose his dexterity bonus to AC when flat-footed or hit by an invisible creature.

Swiftness: The character gains a bonus to his base speed.

Death Knight Feats

Greater Dodge: A character with this feat benefits from another +1 dodge bonus to AC. Requires: Dodge, Dex 13, Level 3, Monk, Death Knight or Rogue.

Extra Life Drain: You can use Life Drain two more times per day. Requires: Level 1 Death Knight.

Improved Life Drain: The character's Life Drain damage increases from 1d6+1 per two levels to 1d8+1 per two levels. In addition, you can use Life Drain one more time per day. Requires: Level 3 Death Knight.

Swift Life Drain: You can now activate Life Drain as a free action. If you use this ability several times in the same round, the second and third activations require a move action. In addition, you can use Life Drain one more time per day. Requires: Level 6 Death Knight.

Improved Phasing Weapon: Your weapons with the Phasing enchantment bypass 10 points of Damage Reduction instead of six. Your weapons with the Greater Phasing enchantment bypass 20 points of Damage Reduction instead of 15.

Improved Coup De Grace Weapon: The difficulty class of your Coup de Grace weapon enchantments increases by one point and the duration of the effect increases by one round.

Aura of Terror: The range of your Aura of Dread increases from 10' to 15' and the penalty inflicted to enemies increases by one point. Requires: Level 6 Death Knight.

Powerful Smite: The damage bonus on smite attacks increases by two points. Requires: Death Knight or Paladin.

Greater Smite: The damage bonus on smite attacks increases by another two points. Requires: Powerful Smite, Level 9, Death Knight or Paladin.

Mystical Smite: When wielding a manufactured magic weapon, the damage bonus on smite attacks with that weapon increases by a number of points equal to the weapon's enhancement bonus.

Extra Smite: You can use Smite one additional time during every encounter.

Lightning Speed: The character's speed increases by five feet.

Enhanced Sneak Attack: Your sneak attack damage increases by 1d6 points. Requires: Level 12 Death Knight.

Vicious Strike: Opponents damaged by the character's sneak attack bleed until the end of combat, or until cured. Bleeding is cumulative; each hit increases the bleeding amount by 1 point per round, up to a maximum of 10 points per round. Requires: Level 3 Death Knight.

March 2011-2021. Last Update 20 December 2022. All rights reserved.