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Draco-V9
2013-11-07, 04:54 PM
Death Knight
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e1/Nightmare03.png
Very few have the power over the dead, but the Death Knights put there Affinity with the undead with their might and skill with weaponry. The Death Knight deals massive damage in combat and command hordes of the undead as their underlining's into the fray of combat.

Role: The Role of a Death Knight is a hard hitter or a defensive tank who can send their minions to overwhelm their foes.

Alignment: Any Evil

Hit Die: d10
Class Skills:
Appraise(INT),Climb(STR), Craft(INT), Intimate(CHA), Knowledge, Religion(INT), Knowledge, Planes(INT), Swim(STR)

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2+INT Modifier
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+1|
+2|
+0|
+2|Detect Good, Channel Negative Energy, Aura Of Evil

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+1|
+3|

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+1|
+3|Aura of Fear

4th|
+4|
+4|
+1|
+4|

5th|
+5|
+4|
+2|
+4| Undead Minion

6th|
+6/+1|
+5|
+2|
+5|

7th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+2|
+5| Darkness Veil

8th|
+8/+3|
+6|
+3|
+6|Merciless

9th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+3|
+6| Raise Dead

10th|
+10/+5|
+7|
+3|
+7|

11th|
+11/+6/+1|
+7|
+4|
+7|

12th|
+12/+7/+2|
+8|
+4|
+8|Merciless

13th|
+13/+8/+3|
+8|
+4|
+8|

14th|
+14/+9/+4|
+9|
+5|
+9|

15th|
+15/+10/+5|
+9|
+5|
+9|

16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
+5|
+10|Merciless

17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+6|
+10|

18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+6|
+11|

19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+11|

20th|
+10/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+7|
+12|Merciless[/table]

Weapon And Armor Proficiency:
The Death Knight is proficient with all Simple and Martial Weapons . He is also proficient with light, medium and Heavy armor and all shields other than tower.

Detect Good: At will a Death Knight can detect good. A Death Knight can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is Good, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the Death Knight does not detect Good in any other object or individual within range.

Channel Negative Energy: A Death Knight gains the supernatural ability to channel Negative energy like a cleric. A Death Knight uses his level as her effective cleric level when channeling Negative energy. This is a Strength-based ability. This ability is the same as the Rebuke Undead that a Cleric gains

Aura of Evil: The power of a Death Knight's aura of Evil (see the detect Evil spell) is equal to his Death Knight level.

Aura of Fear: At 3rd level a Death Knight can inspire fear in creatures, this give creatures of a smaller size catergory and lower level the fear effect. Only applies if the Death Knight is conscious.

Undead Minion: A 1st-level Death Knight can create undead minion (a human warrior skeleton, as described on page 226 of the Monster Manual). Obtaining this minion takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. This creature is a loyal servant that follows the Death Knight's commands and accompanies her on adventures if desired. If the skeletal minion is destroyed, the necromancer suffers no ill effects and may replace it by performing a ceremony identical to the one that allowed her to obtain her first servant.
At 5th level, the skeleton is completely typical, but it gains power
as the Death Knight gains levels. The skeleton has a number of
Hit Dice equal to the Death Knight's class level. Add one-half the
Death Knight's class level to the skeletonís natural armor bonus.
Add one-third of the Death Knightís class level to the skeletonís
Strength and Dexterity scores.

Darkness Veil: At 7th level once per day a Death Knight can create magical darkness in a 10ft radius around him which only he and his minion may see throw it.

Merciless: At 8th level a Death Knight may gain one of the following abilities.
- Fatiguing Touch: Once per day + half your Death Knight level you may fatigue someone via a touch. DC is equal 10 + class level + STR Mod.
- Shaken up: Once per day + half your Death Knight level a Death Knight may give someone a the shaken effect for 1d4 rounds via touch. DC is equal 10 + class level + STR Mod.
- Dazing Blow: When performing a touch melee attack the Death Knight may take points of his attack roll before he rolls it and stun an enemy for the amount of rounds equal to the number of points they took off their attack roll. DC is equal 10 + class level + STR Mod.
- Dark Slash: A Death Knight may channel negative energy into an attack (which can be favoured to be from a weapon). This is the same as a normal channel negative energy but gains a 30ft range in one direction and also consumes one of his channel negative energies per day when used.
- Unlife: A Death Knight can become undead and keep it's sentient mentality with the bonus of being undead. They count as undead and previous race for saves related and gain +2 bonus on all saving throws made to resist sleep, stun, paralysis, poison, or disease.
- Umbra Armor: A Death Knight can cover them self in a dark shadow which is nearly impenetrable. This gives the +10 AC and can be performed once per day and lasts for 3 rounds. This armor bonus is magic armor.

Raise Dead: A Death Knight of 9th level gains the spell like ability to cast the Raise Dead spell once per day.

Alabenson
2013-11-07, 05:44 PM
Skills: The class skill list looks fairly weak.

Channel Negative Energy: The way this ability is worded suggests you meant Rebuke Undead, but you make no actual references to the ability or what this actually does.

Aura of Fear: There's no mention of the mechanical aspects of this ability, just that it's an "Aura of Fear".

Merciless: This ability is repeated several times on the class table, but the text indicates that it is only gained at 8th level.

Dazing Blow: The wording on here is fairly obtuse. I'd rewrite it so that it's easier to read.

Dark Slash: I honestly have no idea what this ability is supposed to do. You need to precisely indicate what the mechanical effects of the class's abilities are.

Umbra Armor: There's no mention of how long this ability lasts, or what kind of AC bonus it provides.

Raise Dead: This ability doesn't seem to mesh well thematically with the rest of the class.

All in all, this class has a huge number of dead levels, the Merciless abilities are all over the place in terms of power, utility, and thematic effect, and the class really lacks the tools to accomplish anything it's supposed to. It's supposed to be able to function as a hard hitting frontliner, but it lacks any substantial damage dealing abilities, it supposedly commands minions in combat, but it only gains one mediocre minion. Right now, I'd peg this class at high Tier-6, maybe very low Tier-5.

JoshuaZ
2013-11-07, 08:19 PM
Is unlife permanent or temporary?

I agree with most Alabenson's analysis. It might make sense if you want to either give them a small spell list or give them martial maneuvers. Obvious homebrew disciplines would be my own Narrow Bridge (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113982) and aortrscommander's Unquiet Twilight (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9254734&postcount=12).

Also, they really need some way to get more minions, and some way to shut down those meddlesome clerics of "good" deities.

Rebonack
2013-11-07, 08:42 PM
Oh goodness. Well, for flavor I'll give you four out of five ramin noodle packets. But flavor alone does not a viable class make.

In terms of straight capabilities this guy is pretty much a worse Paladin in every way that matters. And the Paladin isn't exactly a shining beacon of balance, if you know what I mean. There are dead levels everywhere and his class features aren't exactly inspiring. You could take this class and stick its features into the dead levels on the Fighter and you would still be left with a sort-of-okay class.

So where does this guy fall into the list?

Cheesecake All Over the Ceiling Tier: Able to do EVERYTHING amazingly well to the point of being game-breaking. Can switch up their game-breaking combo on a day to day basis.
(Not here)
Cheesecake All Over the Floor Tier: Able to do EVERYTHING amazingly well to the point of being game-breaking. However, they're limited by spell selection.
(Not here)
Shot For the Moon and Hit a Satellite Tier: Able to do a few things amazingly well with some potential for breaking the game.
(Not here)
Everyone Tries to Make These Tier: Able to do one thing amazingly well while being okay at other things OR able to do all things really well without being amazing.
(Not here)
You're Special Just the Way You Are Tier: Able to do one thing amazingly well and falling flat on everything else OR able to do all many competently, though not standing out in any real way.
(Not here)
Have You Tried Turning it Off and Back On? Tier: Not even good at doing the thing they're supposed to be good at OR they're so unfocused they have no idea what's going on.
==>(Right here!)<==
Samurai Tier: Samurai Samurai Samurai Samurai Samurai
(Not here)

SyfteStormcrow
2013-11-07, 11:11 PM
I believe that when our friend here refers to channeling negative energy, he's referring to the Pathfinder ability clerics have instead of turn/rebuke undead. They can issue forth a burst of positive energy to heal living or harm undead, or a burst of negative energy to heal undead and harm living, depending on what alignment their god is, or their own alignment.

This is a 1d6 at level 1, 2d6 at level 3, etc building thing, for the amount of damage it inflicts/heals, and it issues forth in either a 20 or 30 foot radius. I can never recall.

Red Bear
2013-11-08, 07:08 AM
he should have the ride skill.

~Corvus~
2013-11-08, 09:58 AM
Skills: The class skill list looks fairly weak.

Yep. This class would benefit from Ride, Handle Animal, maybe even Bluff and Disguise, and 4+Int skills at least. YOu call him a knight but don't give him a horse?!? *confused*



Channel Negative Energy: The way this ability is worded suggests you meant Rebuke Undead, but you make no actual references to the ability or what this actually does.

Aura of Fear: There's no mention of the mechanical aspects of this ability, just that it's an "Aura of Fear".

Merciless: This ability is repeated several times on the class table, but the text indicates that it is only gained at 8th level.

Indeed. Any time you write something, you must make it clear enough that there can be as little discrepancy as possible between RAW and RAI (Rules as Written and Rules as Intended).

You may be referring to the Pathfinder version of Channel energy (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/cleric#TOC-Channel-Energy-Su-), but since you don't state it, how are we to know??

Dark Slash: Okay, so he can make an attack and channel negative energy, but he can also attack people with his sword 30 feet away? Is it a line effect?

Umbra Armor: I'd suggest a scaling bonus to AC, not just 1/day +10 to AC for a few rounds. Honestly, a 1/day ability is yucky, even though the bonus is awesome. Do something like "Umbral Armor grants a bonus to AC equal to half the DK's level, rounded down + Str mod, and lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Str modifier" and you have a more balanced (and awesome) ability that will actually last. Makes him less MAD, too! Usable 1/day per 4 levels of the class (min of 2/day at 8th, etc).

Maybe even have an upgrade to the Armor that gives him a Death Ward (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/deathWard.htm)-like ability, and maybe even a resistance to Negative energy.

But then the Unlife ability ostensibly makes this unnecessary. If you become undead, "sleep, stun, paralysis, poison," and "disease" are only a FEW of the things that won't affect you!! It makes me wonder if Draco really understands the effects of gaining the Undead type. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#undeadType)

Raise Dead: I think this is just fine. Make sure you state that Raise Dead can be cast without Material Components because otherwise he's going to be Onyx Mine Raider for the rest of his (un?)life.



All in all, this class has a huge number of dead levels, the Merciless abilities are all over the place in terms of power, utility, and thematic effect, and the class really lacks the tools to accomplish anything it's supposed to. It's supposed to be able to function as a hard hitting frontliner, but it lacks any substantial damage dealing abilities, it supposedly commands minions in combat, but it only gains one mediocre minion. Right now, I'd peg this class at high Tier-6, maybe very low Tier-5.

Maybe slightly higher since Alabenson's critique, but it's true. The class lacks in mobility (where's his ability for Umbral Movement, allowing him to move from Shadows to Shadows?), it still lacks in power (although Daze is a potent effect, and almost nothing can protect against it save a good Will), the 1/day armor is the least of the DK's worries as a front-liner.

Alabenson
2013-11-08, 12:00 PM
But then the Unlife ability ostensibly makes this unnecessary. If you become undead, "sleep, stun, paralysis, poison," and "disease" are only a FEW of the things that won't affect you!! It makes me wonder if Draco really understands the effects of gaining the Undead type. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubtypes.htm#undeadType)\

The issue with the Unlife ability is that, as written, they count as being both undead and whatever their previous type was, which could mean that all of the benefits of being undead are cancelled out, a stance which is bolstered by the fact that the ability gives you a +2 to saves against things that undead would normally be immune to.

CinuzIta
2013-11-08, 12:49 PM
The issue with the Unlife ability is that, as written, they count as being both undead and whatever their previous type was, which could mean that all of the benefits of being undead are cancelled out, a stance which is bolstered by the fact that the ability gives you a +2 to saves against things that undead would normally be immune to.

But then, what the advantage of being undead is supposed to be? Immunity to criticals and precision damages in exchange of no Con bonus to hp and vulnerability to clerics' turning ability?

~Corvus~
2013-11-08, 12:52 PM
But then, what the advantage of being undead is supposed to be? Immunity to criticals and precision damages in exchange of no Con bonus to hp and vulnerability to clerics' turning ability?

Immunities up the wazoo, and worth a level adjustment at the very least, even with the Cons.

Alabenson
2013-11-08, 01:29 PM
Immunities up the wazoo, and worth a level adjustment at the very least, even with the Cons.

However, as I pointed out in my above post, the ability as written does not appear to actually give you the immunities from being undead.
If it did it would be a fairly powerful ability, but, as written, all you appear to get are a few bonuses to saving throws and a vulnerability to being turned.

~Corvus~
2013-11-08, 01:50 PM
However, as I pointed out in my above post, the ability as written does not appear to actually give you the immunities from being undead.
If it did it would be a fairly powerful ability, but, as written, all you appear to get are a few bonuses to saving throws and a vulnerability to being turned.

As Cinuz said, before me, what's the advantage of being undead if you only have a minor resistance to some effects?

Clarity, wording, and clear delineations need to be made here. Otherwise your players are going to be doing the I don't understand dance. I quote, "A Death Knight can become undead" CAN become, so it's like a choice??

"and keep it's sentient mentality with the bonus of being undead." - Okay, so it's definitely undead, and keeps its MIND intact. So no Int score wipe, cool. Like many potent undead creatures, that's cool.

"They count as undead and previous race" Awesome, so even though they're undead they can't be turned or rebuked? Getting better and better!!

"for saves related" ...related to what? Oh, you mean the part about "and gain +2 bonus on all saving throws made to resist sleep, stun, paralysis, poison, or disease." But undead are IMMUNE to those things!! And you already stated that the DK "count as undead and previous race" So you either do, or you don't. He already made clear that you turn undead (at least partially) and get to keep your mind intact.

Alabenson
2013-11-08, 02:01 PM
As Cinuz said, before me, what's the advantage of being undead if you only have a minor resistance to some effects?

Clarity, wording, and clear delineations need to be made here. Otherwise your players are going to be doing the I don't understand dance. I quote, "A Death Knight can become undead" CAN become, so it's like a choice??

"and keep it's sentient mentality with the bonus of being undead." - Okay, so it's definitely undead, and keeps its MIND intact. So no Int score wipe, cool. Like many potent undead creatures, that's cool.

"They count as undead and previous race" Awesome, so even though they're undead they can't be turned or rebuked? Getting better and better!!

"for saves related" ...related to what? Oh, you mean the part about "and gain +2 bonus on all saving throws made to resist sleep, stun, paralysis, poison, or disease." But undead are IMMUNE to those things!! And you already stated that the DK "count as undead and previous race" So you either do, or you don't. He already made clear that you turn undead (at least partially) and get to keep your mind intact.

I think the conclusion we can both agree to here is that the ability requires a substantial amount of clarification before we can conclusively determine whether or not it's underpowered, overpowered, or fine the way it is.

This also raises another issue, however, which is the fact that the options for Merciless vary wildly in terms of power. Compare your interpretation of Unlife to the Fatiguing Touch, which allows you to fatigue someone, an extremely weak debuff, a few times a day. There's an unacceptable disparity here in terms of power between the two abilities.

~Corvus~
2013-11-08, 02:08 PM
I think the conclusion we can both agree to here is that the ability requires a substantial amount of clarification before we can conclusively determine whether or not it's underpowered, overpowered, or fine the way it is.

This also raises another issue, however, which is the fact that the options for Merciless vary wildly in terms of power. Compare your interpretation of Unlife to the Fatiguing Touch, which allows you to fatigue someone, an extremely weak debuff, a few times a day. There's an unacceptable disparity here in terms of power between the two abilities.

Agreed, very much agreed. Adding onto your ideas, Daze for Str bonus rounds is much better than Fatigue.

CinuzIta
2013-11-08, 02:45 PM
Well, as for it is now, I think we should wait for Draco to return so that he can solve our doubts...:smallconfused:

~Corvus~
2013-11-08, 03:06 PM
Nah, keep it up with the ruthless compassion :smalltongue:

CinuzIta
2013-11-08, 04:00 PM
Nah, keep it up with the ruthless compassion :smalltongue:

Alright then: too many dead levels and merciless abilities need some balancing..fluff wise, however, the class rocks..it just need some more abilities and rewording!:smallbiggrin:

Alabenson
2013-11-08, 05:16 PM
On the Merciless abilities; assuming the table is correct and you're supposed to pick a new ability at each of the noted levels, then I think the class would require a much wider assortment of abilities to choose from. For something like this, I generally use a rule of thumb that there should be twice as many abilities available as an average lvl 20 build could select.