View Full Version : My First Hombrew (Death Knight

2008-11-09, 08:57 PM
Okay, Here Goes!


Erin lay on the ground, seeping blood as the assassin stood over him. "Thank the gods for a clean job" said the assassin "Im glad to have that problem done with" He dusted his hands and began to loot the corpse. He was almost finished when he stumbled upon an oddity, the corpse wouldn't let go of its blade. It was to fine a work of art to just leave. It was odd that rigor mortis would set on so early, but he knew what he had to do. Just as he was preparing to cut the hand off a vicelike grip clenched his kneck. The eerie chill of death was there but he could still feel a pulse. "DON'T TOUCH MY SWORD Bellowed an unearthly voice, and the blade rose to meet his face, gleaming black. A corpse was left in that room for sure, but it wasn't Erin's.

A death knight is a person gifted in physical combat who has died through some event or another and calls out to the gods for saving. Unfortunately, some of the darker gods choose to respond. They are raised with a sembalance of life and gain powers over many necrotic forces. Their soul is torn out of their body and put into their soul


BaB +5
Weapon focus- Any non ranged weapon
Power attack becomes or Sneak attack 2d6
Must have been killed either in battle or through a ritual while holding the weapon
Allignment: Lawful Nongood, that when becoming a death knight


{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special
1st | +1 | +0 | +0 | +1 | Weapon Specialization (Soul weapon), Lvl 1 Dark aura lvl1, Necrotic strike 1/encounter
2nd | +2 | +1 | +1 | +2 | Weapon Binding, Lvl 2 Dark aura
3rd | +3 | +2 | +2 | +3 | Greater Soul weapon
4th | +4 | +2 | +2 | +4 | Lvl 3 Dark aura
5th | +5 | +3 | +3 | +5 | Necrotic strike 2/encounter, deals 2d6
6th | +6 /+1| +4 | +4 | +6 | lvl 3 Dark aura, Energy neurtality
7th | +7/+2 | +4 | +4 | +7 | -
8th | +8/+3 | +5 | +5 | +8 | Lvl 4 Dark aura
9th | +9/+4 | +5 | +5 | +9 | Necrotic strike 3/encounter, deals 3d6
10th | +10/+5 | +6 | +6 | +10 | Lvl 5 Dark aura, Phylatric blade


Dark Aura-
Whenever the Death Knight gains a level of dark aura, he may choose one of the following auras, every aura is assumed to have a 15 foot range unless stated otherwise and is considered on for as long as the death knight is awake and has declaired it active. A Death Knight may spend a feat to act as though they have one extra level in Dark Aura and learn an extra dark aura spell
Name | DK lvl Required | Effect
Burning | 3 | Any Enemy that provokes an attack of oppourtunity takes 1d4 Negative energy/fire damage
Darkness | 1 | All enemies see a 5ft/Dark aura level area around the death knight as being in magical darkness
Evil | 2 | A death Knight may use their aura as a magic circle against good that follows them with level equal to their Dark Aura level
Fear Aura | 3 | Enemies within range and with equal HD to the death knight must make a saving throw against fear or flee out of aura(DC=DK level+Dark aura lvl+Wis mod+10)
Frost | 2 | Enemies consider terrain within the aura rough terrain and must make a dex check of 15 or fall prone
Ghoulish | 3 | Enemies that enter this field must make a check vs 10+DA lvl+ DK level or be paralized for 1d4 turns
Harmful Aura | 2 | Allies within this field add 1d4 negative energy damage to any attack they make and may choose to add 'evil' to any spell they cast. Enemies take 1d4 negative energy damage per turn. Allied undead may heal 1d4 per turn
Rust | 1 | Enemies add 2 to their ACP and remove one from their armor bonus if their armor is made of metal. They lose any masterwork bonus and take a -1 penalty to attack rolls for their weapon. This aura only affects weapons and armor made of simple metal or cold iron, not weapons or armor made of rare metals such as adamant, mithril or silver
Shielding | 2 | The Death knight and all allies may act as though they have DR 10/ Good when they are in this Aura, but all good spells that hit them do double damage
Undeath | 5 | All creatures within the aura are treated as 'undead' for the purposes of turn/rebuke undead, sneak attacks, negative hitpoints and resurection spells.
Vampirism | 4 | All creatures in the aura take 1d4 damage per turn and the Death knight gains that much hp
Energy neutrality-
The Death knight may as a full round action choose to have either Negative or Positive energy heal it, the opposite one deals damage
Greater Soul Weapon- When any other creature is holding or carrying the Soul Weapon, they must make a check against fear equal to 10+DK level+Weapon binding mod and suffer an attack bonus penalty equal to 1/2 Dk level while wielding it
Necrotic strike- The death knight may choose to make an attack into a necrotizing strike, if he does so he may add 1d6 damage to it. Increases at 5th and 9th levels
[B]Phylatric Blade
When the Death knight dies as long as his blade is intact he may resurrect 1d4 hours later unless his body is destroyed, in which case he may come back in 1d10 days. If the Death knight is not wielding the soul weapon it may move (fly perfect 40) and make attacks with its weapon binding bonus as its attack bonus. It has 15 ranks in hide and escape artist
Weapon Binding- A death knight may add 1/2 their level to their attack bonus and an attitional 1/2 in checks against being disarmed when wielding their soul weapon, when a death knight is disarmed, they lose all their death knight BaB and are considered undead untill they regain their weapon. When their soul weapon is sundered, they are disabled until it is repaired

2008-11-09, 09:00 PM

You might want to add a bit to it though.

Like ya know...a class.

Just a thought.:smalltongue:

Edit: Fixed!


Needs Fluff, class abilities, saves, etc.

Saint Nil
2008-11-09, 09:01 PM
ARe you looking for advice, or are you going to edit it later?

2008-11-09, 09:02 PM
I just posted the skeleton, Im editing it gradually

Dont be snarkey

2008-11-09, 09:04 PM
Just a heads up about the name, Death Knight is also a template for undead in Monster Manual II (and quite a few other places, actually). Merely a warning that confusion may be sewn.

2008-11-09, 09:05 PM
I know its a template, I just hate that template and Im using this for a campaign.

2008-11-09, 09:05 PM
What kind of feel are you going for?

Anti-Paladin, Necromancy-based, or something completly different?

2008-11-09, 09:08 PM
Sort of like a Rogue(or fighter)/Barbarian with different auras only rage is given a cold/necrotic features

2008-11-09, 09:08 PM
I know its a template, I just hate that template and Im using this for a campaign.

Hate's awfully strong... it's a pretty good template for a classic baddie. I understand that it doesn't suit your needs, but unfortunately if you say "death knight" in a D&D forum, that's the first thing that springs to mind.

I'll keep an eye on this one and offer suggestions where appropriate, if you'd like.

2008-11-09, 09:08 PM
Auras based on cold and necromancy... are you homebrewing the Death Knight from World of Warcraft perhaps?

2008-11-09, 09:10 PM
Lol @ ocato.

I wasn't going to say it. :smallbiggrin:

2008-11-09, 09:13 PM
It's nothing to be embarrassed about. I'm not accusing him of some vile crime. If he's trying to make his character a Death Knight from World of Warcraft, then a quick google of their powers and a perusing though some books is all it takes to hammer out a build that does exactly what he wants.

2008-11-09, 09:13 PM
Cold, disease and fear. Inspired a bit by the WoW DK but with more of a Rogue flavor and less DPS. I realise its a bit of a knock off but Im trying to make it different. What other element would you use anyway?

2008-11-09, 09:26 PM
That's fine. In fact, I think it's really neat.

I think a good suggestion would be to tweak the flavor of the Dragon Shaman. Go for a White Dragon Shaman (perhaps re flavored to draw from the icy embrace of death instead of a dragon). You get Move silently, hide, and swim as skills (rogue-like), Auras that buff you, decent fighting, and scaling powers (auras, natural armor, etc).

Here's how I'd change it for your purposes.

1. Nix the Breath Weapon. Instead, make it a pulse that deals the damage (with a reflex save) in an area around you. It's a little more powerful that way, but carries the risk of harming team mates. It's also a bit more your flavor. Your Energy resistance Aura will balance this out a little.

2. Your Auras are already pretty good for the class. +X to your damage, +some energy resistance (cold), +damage to those who attack you in melee. I'd Invent an aura or two to fit the debuffer role you want to take. Aura of despair: Enemies within 30' take -X (your aura bonus) to attack rolls or Aura of Uncertainty: Enemies within' 30' take -X to saving throws. Slap a will save (based on Charisma, probably) on it and you're good.

3. Take the Touch of Vitality power and flip it. Instead of healing, it does damage. Instead of removing conditions, it causes them. Make it a touch attack and require a will save for the conditions and you're golden.

That's just a quick look, I'm sure more could be done.

2008-11-09, 09:38 PM
Hate's awfully strong... it's a pretty good template for a classic baddie. I understand that it doesn't suit your needs, but unfortunately if you say "death knight" in a D&D forum, that's the first thing that springs to mind.

I'll keep an eye on this one and offer suggestions where appropriate, if you'd like.

Thanks much. I see what you mean by hate, but I dislike all the brokenness associated with evil characters in the words of the giant regarding hobgoblins "+1 LA?"

2008-11-09, 09:47 PM
That LA needs to be employed, seeing as how that template grants power word kill.

As to your current work: Make the final Necrotic Strike a flat 7/day instead of that paragraph you have.

You need to clarify the Undeath aura. If it imparts the Undead type, then it's a terrible idea. If it just qualifies them for turn/rebuke, that's another story.

Fear aura DC is unclear. For such a low-level aura, I would reccommend that only creatures with fewer HD than the Death Knight be forced to save.

What is Necrotic Strike? I don't see the information.

Also, as a warrior, shouldn't he have a good Fort save? Also, your Fort and Ref are off-balance with one another, and Ref ends with % for some odd reason. Was it to be 5?

2008-11-09, 09:56 PM
His fort and ref are low because a death knight (in my opinion) is a person carrying a sembalance of undeath, he should consider himself lucky to even keep a Con modifier. Not to mention Rogues and fighters each get good boosts in their respective modifiers and should be able to coast for the most part off of that.

EDIT- I still changed them cause I'm a hopeless conformist:smalltongue:

2008-11-09, 10:01 PM
His fort and ref are low because a death knight (in my opinion) is a person carrying a sembalance of undeath, he should consider himself lucky to even keep a Con modifier.

All the more reason to have a good Fort save from his class. He should be able to endure the powers of undeath better, if he can stave off becoming one of them. If you're going for direct undead semblance, though, you're on track.

Not to mention Rogues and fighters each get good boosts in their respective modifiers and should be able to coast for the most part off of that.

Not the function of a PrC. Any class can access this PrC. It must stand thematically on its own.

And again, the numbers don't match up between Fort and Ref, which they must do.

2008-11-09, 10:08 PM
Wait, are you saying fort and ref have to be equal? 'cause im pretty sure thats not true...

2008-11-09, 10:11 PM
Not the function of a PrC. Any class can access this PrC. It must stand thematically on its own.

Logically though, a caster who chooses this class, which focuses on passive bonuses and burst damage, wouldn't be expecting a good save anyway. Because the death knight has a near undead body, they would be even worse off than a rogue and fighter naturally. Not to mention a rogue/Dk has better than pure rogue saves and only slightly worse ones than a single class fighter

2008-11-09, 10:21 PM
What I was stating is that you cannot base the Death Knight's abilities on an assumption of what the prior class was filling in.

Fort and Ref do not have to be equal always, but saves have to be either strong or weak. There is no middle ground. Since Will is strong and Frot/Ref are not, their values are both on the weak scale and must therefore be equivalent.

2008-11-09, 10:28 PM
Okay, I edited it so that Fort and Ref are roughly similar, with fort staying just ahead. That seems pretty okay and logical aswell

2008-11-09, 10:35 PM
Sorry, but not kosher. You can give the class an ability that imparts a Fort bonus if you really want it to take the lead, but base save values always follow either the strong or weak progression.

2008-11-09, 11:08 PM
whadda you think of the fluff?

2008-11-09, 11:19 PM
The fluff embodies the concept but needs... touching up.

Necrotic strike is yet another slew of abilities. Two in one class is pushing it.

I don't understand the undeath aura's "Undead for the purpose of Con modifier." What does that mean?

Fear aura's DC needs to be rephrased. "Gains a level of dark aura" is a very Blizzard way of putting it, and is confusing in D&D terms.

Where are the saving throws for the Rage necrotic strike? It strikes me as needing one, especially if it's a compulsion effect. Freeze is also preposterously strong. Slowing from a hit even on a successful save? Not to mention losing a turn.

2008-11-09, 11:36 PM
Hmm... I need higher level spells for the Knight, perhaps freeze should be one of them.

Undead for purposes of Con Mod means that they effectively have no con mod, which is a blessing for low con monsters but a curse for high con ones

Sorry bout the Rage and Fear problems

What do you propose we do about Necrotic strike advantages, I think its pretty balanced because they effecively learn one spell each level, albeit a moderately high level spell. I really just need to get the spells balanced for minimum DK level

2008-11-09, 11:42 PM
See, that aura is too brain-meltingly powerful. A creature like a balor with over 30 Con would be losing 200 HP instantaneously. Which is over 2/3 of its total HP.

Warrior types should not have access to high-level spell effects, especially not seven times a day.

The loss of a turn really can't be "loss of a turn." It has to be some effect that would justify loss of actions, such as paralysis.

The overarching problem is that your class is able to run amok without regard to most protections, saves, resistances etc.; by 15th level, he can undo anything with built-in protections because his abilities are lacking the checks and balancs that make other classes competitive.

2008-11-09, 11:46 PM
I see what you mean with the balor, ill kill the con bit.

Paralysis works for me, also maybe the higher level the necrotizing strike the more damage the Death knight must suffer to cast it. How much should that be 1d6 per level of necrotizing strike? 1d8? 1d100?

Also keep in mind im trying to hash out the abilities here, its quantity not quality. I can weed out broken stuff when need be.

2008-11-09, 11:51 PM
Honestly, what I would reccomend is this:

Necrotic Strike (Su) Once per encounter the death knight may channel negative energy through a successful melee attack. The death knight deals an additional 1d6 negative energy damage per class level. Creatures immune to energy draining are unaffected by this ability. The death knight may instead use this power to restore 1d6 hit points per class level to an undead ally. At 5th level, the death knight gains an additional use per encounter, and a third at 9th level.

Or something similar. Swallows all the problems right away. Synergistic with a rogue's sneak attack, or a fighter's power attack, especially against foes with DR or fast healing.

2008-11-09, 11:57 PM
Curse you and your logic. Perhaps I will be forced to do that, But i like the idea of a death knight sacraficing health to empower his blade. Maybe he could induce negative stat effects for sacraficing hp (Like 1 str damage per 1d10 hp sacraficed?)

2008-11-10, 12:05 AM
Also its negative energy damage, not necrotic, you left that in in a few places. As for copying the death knight from Warcraft/World of Warcraft, keep in mind that the games(WoW and D&D) are drastically different, and what is a balanced, reasonable ability in one (for example the 6 man ressurection ability of the Warcraft 3 paladin, or prismastic sphere in D&D) could be broken in the other.

2008-11-10, 12:47 AM
Speaking of which, whats the difference between negative energy and necrotic energy?

2008-11-10, 12:52 AM
Necrotic energy, as far as I am aware, does not exist.

Negative energy harms the living and heals the undead, and is what is normally used in D&D.

2008-11-10, 12:56 AM
Why am i thinking necrotic energy then....
....must just be the crazy pills

2008-11-10, 01:19 PM
I think Necrotic is (shudder) the 4th Edition term (shudder).

2008-11-10, 03:31 PM
Ah, I've been reading 4e sourcebooks so that makes a bit of sense

2008-11-10, 07:36 PM
It is. That said Radiant actually sounds way better than Positive Energy, and it is also a 4e term, although Necrotic doesn't have the same ring to it.

2008-11-10, 07:39 PM
Necrotic sounds like an incoming lower bowel removal.

2008-11-10, 07:43 PM
Necrotic reminds me of that one flesh eating bacteria... Google says its Necrotizing Fasciitis. We appear to have gotten off topic a bit. How about we focus on the death knight. What sort of auras would you recommend and how do you think I should have the level of each aura work?