View Full Version : Skull Knight

2008-09-20, 11:17 PM
Skull Knight

"If you can't kill it, re-strategize. If you can, make something useful out of it. What? Don't give me that look." ~Delrol Ithen

Skull Knights are an elite organization of holy or unholy warriors who pursue an existence that draws energy from undeath. Good knights tend to utilize the power to halt the spread of undeath while evil ones try to embrace it for personal power. Most skull knights serve the side of the light despite their uneasy sources of power. Skull knights are best suited to combating the undead, but their self-enhancements for the glory of the hunt find uses beyond the crypts and vaults of undeath.

Paladins make the most obvious choice for this prestige class, though an adequate hatred of the undead can enlist a multiclassed ranger.

HD: d10

Base attack bonus +7
Any lawful alignment
Special Mount class ability or Favored Enemy (Undead) twice
Able to turn or rebuke undead
Graft Undead feat (Libris Mortis)
<<Intended: ECL 7, LG Paladin or LE Paladin or Paladin/Ranger>>

Class Skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (arcane), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).
Skill Points: 2 + Int

Class Abilities:
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Skull Knights gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Detect Undead: A skull knight may detect undead as a paladin detects evil.

Skeletal Carapace: Whenever a Skull Knight slays a corporeal undead creature, he may liberate essential pieces of that creature to weave a defensive mesh and augment his armor; this is the namesake to all Skull Knights. For 1 day per 2 HD of the undead creature (minimum 1), he can add the listed bonus to his armor bonus from a suit of armor he wears. It adds 5 pounds per additional point to the total weight. Anyone but a Skull Knight wearing this grim armor has their speed reduced by half and is non-proficient with the armor.

Ghastly Power: At every even level, the skull knight acquires a new way to manipulate the ambient energies of the undead. He may use each of these powers once per encounter, unless otherwise noted. The caster level of effects is equal to his character level and the DC is equal to 10 + spell level + Cha. He may use any ability despite his alignment, but it may only be used against creatures of an opposing alignment (LE affects good, LN affects chaotic, LG affects evil).

2nd level: Death knell
4th level: Vampiric touch
6th level: Eyebite
8th level: Finger of death

Deathly Companion: An experienced skull knight can bestow the rituals and powers of his art into his closest ally. His special mount or animal companion gains the following changes:

+10 foot bonus to movement speed
Gains the Diehard feat
+3 to saves against necromancy or [evil] effects and spells, or the special attacks of undead
Immunity to death effects

Smite Undead: When a skull knight attacks a creature, he may choose to make a powerful strike on the creature if it is actually undead. If it isn't, the attempt is wasted. Otherwise, the attack roll is increased by the knight's Charisma bonus and the undead creature must succeed on a Will save if the attack hits, DC 10 + class level + Cha, or become paralyzed for 2d6 rounds. The knight adds his class level to the damage of the attack as well. A skull knight who has smite uses from another class may convert them into smite undead uses.

Necrotic Adaptation: A skull knight can draw in the power of death to full his own life. Once per day per class level, or by spending a turning or rebuking attempt, as an immediate action he may choose to:

Heal from negative energy rather than take damage from it.
Maximize a necromancy or evil spell or effect that affects himself.
Turn an ability drain or negative energy effect into one which undoes an equal yet opposite amount of damage or drain.

He must succeed on his save against such an effect, if the origin is not an ally.

Favored Enemy (Undead): The skull knight gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against undead creatures. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures. This stacks with that of the ranger class ability.

Shared Carapace: The skeletal mesh of a skull knight can also be integrated into the barding of an animal companion or mount. As he would with Skeletal Carapace, he can improve his animal companion's or mount's armor.

Pragmatic Channeling: A seasoned skull knight can channel both positive and negative energy with equal skill. A 10th level skull knight can both turn and rebuke undead despite his alignment; he may also spontaneously convert spells into cure and inflict spells of an equal or lower spell level. The lay of hands class feature may be used to inflict harm, and vice versa in the case of the paladin of tyranny.

Shadow of Death: As an immediate action, a skull knight may expend two daily turning attempts to reroll his saving throw against necromancy, evil, or negative energy effects and spells, or the special attacks of undead (before the outcome is known; once per instance of an effect). As a secondary effect, the skull knight is immune to rising as the spawn of an undead creature if slain.

Graft Apotheosis: The DC of any effect of a skull knight's undead grafts are increased by 2. He gains a bonus to his saves equal to the number of undead grafts he has. A skull knight can also draw out some of the power of those grafts, as long as he has at least one, to grant himself immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects.

Skull Knight
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+2|Skeletal Carapace +1; Detect Undead

+3|Deathly Companion; Ghastly Power (Death Knell)

+3|Skeletal Carapace +2; Smite Undead 1/day

+4|Necrotic Adaptation; Ghastly Power (Vampiric Touch)

+4|Skeletal Carapace +3; Favored Enemy (Undead)

+5|Shared Carapace; Ghastly Power (Eyebite)

+5|Skeletal Carapace +4; Smite Enemy 2/day

+6|Pragmatic Channeling; Ghastly Power (Finger of Death)

+6|Skeletal Carapace +5; Favored Enemy (Undead)

+7|Shadow of Death; Graft Apotheosis


2008-09-20, 11:22 PM
Very interesting if a little unorthodox. I'm confused though. The only way to get in as a non-paladin is through favored enemy (undead) yet evil ones would work with undead no? Perhaps it's just because I'm sleep deprived.

2008-09-20, 11:32 PM
Favored Enemy is an optional requirement (it's what qualifies rangers). Someone with Favored Enemy will probably be good, or at least not employing undead if they are evil. In that case, they want to become the beast they are hunting to fight it on its own level (when you look into the abyss, it looks back into you).

And I'm all about unorthodox. :smallbiggrin: