”You killed my brother Aramus. I find it fitting that when I cut out your eyes and make you eat them your brother will be here to watch. And you will eat them. Or I’ll send your family to Hell directly behind you.”
Occasionally someone is born with the ability to curse others. Perhaps from deals made with dark powers. Perhaps because he is simply so spiteful and hates the world enough that he can cause it no end of pain. And if that person is a Goblin, there is a very special group of people willing to recruit him…
BECOMING A BLACK KNIFE
Most Black Knives will multiclass between Rogue and Hexblade before becoming a Black Knife.
Class Abilities: Hexblade’s Curse, Sneak Attack +2d6, Mettle
Feats: Any Hex Feat, Telling Blow
Skills: Hide 6 ranks, Move Silently 6 ranks
Alignment: Cannot be Good.
Special: Must be sponsored by a member of the Black Knives, and pay the cost to have his own Black Knife made.
The Black Knife's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana, Local)(Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skills Points at Each Level : 6 + int
Hit Dice: d6
Weapon Proficiencies: Black Knives gain no new weapon or armor proficiencies.
BAB Fort Ref Will Abilities
1. +0 +0 +2 +2 Curse of the Black Knife, Powerful Curse
2. +1 +0 +3 +3 Curse of the Sharpened Blade
3. +2 +1 +3 +3 Cursed Portal
4. +3 +1 +4 +4 Curse of the Black Knife
5. +3 +1 +4 +4 Curse of Vulnerability
6. +4 +2 +5 +5 Extra Curse
7. +5 +2 +5 +5 Curse the Masses
8. +6 +2 +6 +6 Curse of the Black Knife
9. +6 +3 +6 +6 Empower Curse
10.+7 +3 +7 +7 Curse of Death
Curse of the Black Knife (Su): Victims affected by your hexblade’s Curse are more vulnerable to attacks with your Black Knife. At 1st level if your victim has been successfully cursed he does not get an attack of opportunity when you attempt a Disarm with your Black Knife.
At 4th level if your victim has been successfully cursed you automatically confirm critical hits against him with your Black Knife.
At 8th level if your victim has been successfully cursed he loses his Dexterity Bonus to AC against attacks made with your Black Knife.
Powerful Curse (Su): Your class levels stack for purposes of determinging the Save DC and number of times per day you may use your Hexblade's Curse.
Curse of The Sharpened Blade(Su): At 2nd level you get a new option when using your Hexbade's Curse. Instead of the usual penalty you may instead inflict the following effect: You may add half your Black Knife level as extra Sneak Attack damage against that particular foe. Example: you have +2d6 Sneak Attack, and 6 levels in Black Knife. Against your Cursed Foe you have +5d6 Sneak Attack.
Cursed Portal (Su): By expending one use of your Hexblade's Curse as a Standard action you may silently pass through any door or window as though you were incorporeal, and immediately disarm all traps on it without triggering them. This effect lasts for 1 minute, so you could tak a round to look inside the door, another to pass through, 1 to kill the target, etc.
Curse of Vulnerability (Su): At 5th level you get a new option when using your Hexbade's Curse. Instead of the usual penalty you may instead inflict the following effect: You may add half your Black Knife level as a Profane Bonus to your Saving Throws and Armor Class against your cursed opponent.
Extra Curse (Su): You gain 2 additional daily uses of your Hexblades Curse.
Curse The Masses (Su): At 7th level you get a new option when using your Hexbade's Curse. Instead of the usual penalty you may instead inflict the following effect: By casting the Curse as a Full Round Action you may cause all Enemies within 30' to take a -2 penalty to all rolls for 1 minute.
Empowered Curse (Su): 3 times per day as a Free Action you may increase the Save DC of your Hexblades Curse by 4. You must announce that you are doing this before using the Hexblades Curse.
Curse of Death (Su): Whenever you successfully critical an opponent using your Black Knife who has also failed to Save against your Hexblade's Curse (and is still under it's effects) he must make a Fortitude Save (DC is 10 plus 1/2 Hit Dice plus Charisma Modifier) or die.
PLAYING A BLACK KNIFE
You are not petty or hasteful. You take time to make decisions and plan accordingly to whatever needs done, despite what others may think of you. No ones opinion matters but yours or your superiors in the organization. You will always take revenge for any wrong done you. No mater what it costs you, or how long it takes. This does not mean you will foolishly throw your life away, but if it is the only way you will go gladly.
Combat: Most of your classes combat abilities revolve around your Curse, and your Black Knife. The idea being curse your victim as much as you can from a distance, and then close for the kill.
Advancement: Black Knives almost fanatically devote themselves to their assassination skills. Rarely does one walk any other path.
Resources: Black Knives may draw upon the help of their fellows at any time. And possibly upon many people in odd places who owe them favors (see below).
BLACK KNIVES IN THE WORLD
”Things were easier before the goblins came. I had a life then. I had legs too…”
Black Knives do not interact with the world, other than as assassins for hire. They can be approached by those who want revenge but are incapable of carrying it out. For example a peasant whose child has been ridden down by the Kings men has no recourse. But the Knives can and will help. The race and station of the one asking for their help does not matter. If they are incapable of paying, the Knives will tell them that they may pay in the future by carrying out one task or favor for the organization. And that if they fail to do so their life, and the lives of everyone they know are forfeit.
Daily Life: A Black Knife either practices to refine his abilities, or pursues jobs given to him by his superior. He has no time for family or friends, nor does he wish any. His will be a life of blood and murder, and a thankless, demeaning end. And he doesn’t even know why. Unless he can climb to the top of his organization.
Notables: Haggard (NE Male Goblin Hexblade 3/Rogue 3/Black Knife 6) is so named for his appearance. People who see him always claim he looks “like one damned”. He is infamous in the Black Knives for taking 5 silver pieces for any assassination, regardless of what the target is. When asked why he has always said “Because that’s all that any of us is worth.”
Organizations: The Black Knives themselves are an organization. Their members include goblins from all strata of society, and their purpose is largely unknown, even to the majority of their members. It is known they will perform acts of revenge or murder for hire in order to raise funds (and it is said, to give their members something to do). They are spectacularly vengeful, and will go to any length, any extreme, any sacrifice to destroy someone who has wronged them. If it means that the entire world must die, and they must lose their souls, the Black Knives would willingly do it if it meant their enemy suffered as well. It is for this reason they are left well enough alone.
Few organizations are more feared than the Knives. It has long been said of them that the only way to really sleep peacefully once they have decided to come after you is to kill them all. Needless to say no one’s been successful yet. But in an odd way they are also accepted. If you truly need help of the sort they can provide, and no one else will help you, the Knives will. And may the Gods help you if you accept.
BLACK KNIVES IN THE GAME
This PrC tends to make Goblins a bit darker, and less likely to be token mooks. If you don’t want Goblins taken seriously, it’s best to not introduce it. It also gives the impression that as a last resort, you can go to them for help, which gives them an awkward place in any society.
Adaptation: The Black Knives are meant for a pretty serious campaign. They’re about as dark a class as you can get. Not to mention possibly suicidally insane.
Encounters: PC’s will generally encounter the Knives only if they or someone they know has been targeted by them. Most players generally seek revenge on their own rather than having someone do it for them.
Give an example of how one might encounter a member of this PrC.
EL 12: The PC’s have been hired to guard a noble who has been informed that he will be killed that evening. As they stand guard late that night they are given a message by a frightened maid telling them to look outside. When gazing out into the courtyard, the PC’s see dozens of dead guards and palace staff dead. Some of them hanging from spikes. And a lone goblin in a black cloak. The maid says “He says you can just leave now, and it’ll all be over with. The man you were protecting was a monster anyway. Or he’ll kill us all. But he’ll kill our families first. Your choice.”
NE Male Goblin Hexblade 3/Rogue 3/Black Knife 6
Init +3, Senses: Listen +9, Spot +9, Dark Vision 60’
Languages Common, Goblin
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+1 Size, +3 Dex, +5 Armor)
hp 60 (12 HD)
Fort +7, Ref +12, Will +8
Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Arcane Resistance +3, Mettle
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 Black Knife +13/+8 (1d3-1)
Ranged +1 Heavy Crossbow +13 (1d8+1/19-20)
Base Atk +9, Grp +7
Atk Options Sneak Attack +2d6, Hexblade’s Curse 5/day (DC: 21), Curse of the Black Knife, Curse of the Sharpened Blade, Curse of Vulnerability
Combat Gear 2 Potions of Bulls Strength, 2 Potions of Cats Grace, 1 Potion of Protection from Arrows 15, 2 Potions of Haste
Spells1st Level (DC 14, 2/day) Bloodletting, Karmic Aura, Reaving Aura
Abilities Str 6, Dex 16 , Con 12, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 16
SQ Trapfinding, Trap Sense +1, Cursed Portal
Feats Ability Focus (Hexblade's Curse), Extra Curse, Telling Blow, Weapon Finesse
Skills Balance +9, Climb +4, Escape Artist +9, Gather Information +6, Hide +9, Intimidate +11, Jump +4, Knowledge (Arcana) +6, Knowledge (Local) +6, Listen +9, Move Silently +15, Ride +7, Search +5, Sense Motive +6, Spot +9, Tumble +8, Use Magic Device +8
Possessions Black Knife, +1 Precise Slow Burst Quick-Loading Heavy Crossbow, Bag of Holding I, +5 Bracers of Armor, 2 Potions of Bulls Strength, 2 Potions of Cats Grace, 1 Potion of Protection from Arrows 15, 2 Potions of Haste, 648 GP
Black Knife: A Goblin Black Knife appears to be a jagged, rather nasty looking dagger made of some sort of unreflective black material. It is a +1 Dagger in the hands of anyone, other than someone who is a member of this PrC. In the Hands of a Goblin Blacknife it is a +1 Bloodfeeding Deadly Precision Maiming Dagger.
Price (Item Level): 32302 GP (16th)
Body Slot: - (held)
Caster Level: 5th
Aura: Faint; (DC 17) Necromancy/Transmutation
Weight: 2 lbs.
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Keen Edge, Vampiric Touch
Cost to Create: 16151 GP, 646 xp, 16 days
EPIC BLACK KNIFE
Hit Die: d6
Skills Points at Each Level : 6 + int
Hexblade's Curse You gain an additional use of your Hexblade's Curse at level 21, and every 4 levels thereafter. The Save DC continues to increase by +1 every 2 levels.
Bonus Feats: The Epic Black Knife gains a Bonus Feat every 3 levels higher than 20th