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    Default [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Background- Got inspired to finally try my hand at making a Death Knight

    The Death Knight
    "Oh, yeah? You and what army?"
    -Nemps Talebo, halfling decimated by a Death Knight and his Undead army after a betrayal


    Not everyone can be a necromancer. Some attempt to learn, and fail. Others look at a way of life that combines necromancy and martial arts. After a while, these people meet a certain end: That of becoming a Death Knight. Searching out the secrets of the ancient necromancer-generals of the same ancient nations that created the art of Corpsecrafting, these individuals make use of such skills to become Death Knights. However, this has usually come at great cost. While common enough in ancient times, the techniques and teachers of Death Knights have been all but dead since the betrayal of the last famous Death Knight, Kas, until recently, with ancient fiends and necromantic entities awakening and teaching these methods to loyal servants. Thus, most Death Knights end up servants to cunning fiends, or unknowable necromantic entities in return for such secrets. Some are able to research the methods, but not without great personal, financial, or most importantly, mental cost. A rare few come across the abilties naturally, being descendants of the nations who created these techniques.

    Alignment: It is important to note that while most Death Knights are Evil, it is important to note that some Neutral or a meager few morally gray Good folk become Death Knights in service to Good, although no one knows with what aim in mind.

    HD:d10
    Skill Points: 2 + Int Skill Points(x4 at 1st)
    Skills:Bluff(Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration(Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy(Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge(Arcana)(Int), Knowledge(Planes)(Int), Knowledge(Religion)(Int), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft(Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device(Cha).

    Death Knight
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Necrotic Points|Maximum Spell Level

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +1
    |Necrotic Body, Death Coil 1d6, Fell Entourage(1 HD/Level)|3|1

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +1
    |Bonus Feat, Corpsecrafted Legion|6|1

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |Death Coil 2d6, Rebuke Undead|9|1

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |Dread Secret, Fell Entourage(2 HD/Level)|12|1

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Death Coil 3d6, Undead Mount|16|2

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |Bonus Feat|20|2

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +3
    |Death Coil 4d6, Fell Entourage(3 HD/Level)|24|3

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |Dread Secret|28|3

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +4
    |Death Coil 5d6|33|3

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Bonus Feat, Fell Entourage(4 HD/Level)|38|4

    11th|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Death Coil 6d6|43|4

    12th|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Dread Secret|48|5

    13th|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Death Coil 7d6|54|5

    14th|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |Bonus Feat|60|5

    15th|
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |Death Coil 8d6, Fell Mount|66|6

    16th|
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |Dread Secret|72|6

    17th|
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +8
    |Death Coil 9d6|79|7

    18th|
    +18
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |Bonus feat|86|7

    19th|
    +19
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Death Coil 10d6|93|7

    20th|
    +20
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +9
    |Dread Secret,General of Undeath|100|8[/table]

    Class Features:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Death Knight is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor and shields (excluding tower shields).

    Necrotic Body:The Death Knight is filled with necrotic energy,with it even permeating his flesh. Thus, he gains Necrotic Points. These can be used in two ways.The first way is to temporarily animate Undead, as per the spell Animate Dead except that it takes 1 round per HD of creature, and lasts for 1 minute/class level. These undead do not count against the Death Knight's limit of undead they may animate. Undead are animated this way at the cost of 1 Necrotic Point per 1 HD of creature to be raised. Secondly, Necrotic Points can be used to cast spells learned through this class feature at the rate of 1 Necrotic Point per level of spell to be cast. Spells learned through this class feature can be any of the Necromancy school. One such spell is learned per level, and must be the same or lower level as the Maximum Spell listed on the table above. You may only cast each one of your highest level spells once per day, regardless of how many Necrotic Points you have available, with the exception of 1st level spells. You may choose any mental ability score as your casting ability score. Caster level for these spells is equal to your Death Knight level.

    Death Coil: The Death Knight knows how to unleash dreaded blasts of energy against their foes using a technique known as the Death Coil. This blast deals damage as listed on the table above, and is treated as a ranged touch attack, with a range of 40 ft. This attack deals half negative energy damage, and half of one of the following energy types, chosen at 1st level: Fire, Cold, Acid, Electricity. Lastly, this attack is a standard action.

    Fell Entourage:Death Knights are known for their animation of the fallen, and sometimes decide to add some fallen foes to their forces. Death Knights may animate dead foes as per the Animate Dead spell. At 1st level, a Death Knight may only animate 1 HD of undead per class level, but every three levels after, this limit increases by 1 HD per class level, until 10th level, at which the Death Knight may animate 4 HD of undead per class level. Undead are animated this way by expending two Necrotic Points per HD, and spending 5 minutes per HD of creature, forcing necrotic energy from your body into the corpse in order to animate it. Other sources of undead control pools that originate from spells, such as the Animate Dead spell, do not function for the Death Knight.

    Bonus Feat: For all the Death Knight's expertise in necromantic matters, he is still a warrior. At 2nd level, and every four levels after, the Death Knight may gain a bonus feat from the Fighter's bonus feat list. Should the Death Knight select the Martial Study or Martial Stance feats as bonus feats for maneuvers or stances of the Unquiet Twilight discipline, his initiator level for the maneuver is equal to his level.

    Corpsecrafted Legion:At 2nd level, the Death Knight has realized some improved methods of crafting undead. He may gain the knowledge of two Corpsecrafter traits. He may apply the first Corpsecrafter trait of any undead he animates for free, so long as it is selected from one of these two.

    Rebuke Undead: At 3rd level, the Death Knight gains greater command over undead, allowing him to rebuke undead as a cleric of two levels lower than his class level, except that he subsitutes his casting ability score for Charisma in determining how many rebuke attempts per day he gets.

    Dread Secret: At 4th level, and every 4 levels after, the Death Knight learns new, twisted, necromantic secrets that enhance his existing abilities, or grant him new ones, selecting one Dread Secret from the list below:
    Spoiler
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    As You Were: You gain the ability to help the undead creatures you animate retain some of the abilities they had in life. Undead you animate now retain the skill proficiencies and bonuses they had in life. By selecting this Secret an additional time, you may allow them to retain feats they once had. By selecting this Secret one last time, you may allow them to retain class levels, although they cannot retain more class levels than half your Death Knight class level.

    Corpsecrafter: You may gain any Corpsecrafter feat as a bonus feat, so long as you meet the prerequisites. Alternatively, you may choose to be able to apply the specialist benefit of one Corpsecrafter trait you know. You may select this Secret multiple times, each time choosing a different trait to specialize or different bunch of traits through the Corpsecrafter feats.

    New Creation: Providing that the Death Knight is at least 12th level when this Secret is selected, he may now animate creatures through his Fell Entourage class feature as per the Create Undead spell. This method of creation takes three times as long as the standard Fell Entourage animation process. This Secret may be selected an additional time in order to allow the Death Knight to create undead as per the Create Greater Undead spell. This takes twice as long as the Create Undead animation process granted by this secret.

    Terrorizing: You gain Frightful Prescence to a range of 5 ft per two class levels, which can affect creatures of your HD or lower. Also, people suffer -1 to rolls against being affected by your Frightful Prescence.You may select this Secret multiple times, each time increasing the limit of creatures that can be affected by your Frightful Prescence by 1 HD, and may increase the penalty to saves by 1.

    Tainted Energy
    : You may now select Abjuration and Evocation spells with the energy descriptor of the type of energy chosen for Death Coil instead of Necromancy spells at each level.

    Tomb-Tainted:
    You may gain any feat Tomb-Tainted Soul feat chain as a bonus feat, so long as you meet the prerequisites for it. You may select this Secret multiple times, each time selecting a new feat.

    Vampiric Blow: You may sap life-energy from enemies. For every two points of damage you deal to an enemy with a melee attack, you may gain 1 temporary hit point, which fades after 1 hour per class level. You may not gain more than 1 temporary hit point per class level this way. You may select this Secret multiple times, each time increasing the limit of temporary hit points you may have by one-quarter.(ex. a 4th level Death Knight with this Secret cannot gain more than 4 temporary hit points(1/level) this way. However, should he select it again at 8th, he is able to gain 10 temporary hit points(1.25 per level) this way).


    Undead Mount: At 5th level, the Death Knight gains the ability to summon a great and terrible undead mount. This mount acts as a skeletal warhorse(or skeletal warpony for Small Death Knights). This mount is summonable for up to 2 hours a day per class level, which need not all be used at once, but must be spent in 1-hour increments. This mount gains special abilities as per a Paladin's special mount, except that when it gains the ability to command others of its kind, it includes both those creatures a normal horse could command, and mindless undead.

    Fell Mount:
    At 15th level, the Death Knight's mount reveals its origins: Hell. The special mount now acts as a skeletal Nightmare, except that it retains all special attacks, its Darkvision, and special qualities, except that it may only make use of each of its special qualities other than Darkvision for 1 minute per day per class level.

    General of Undeath:
    At 20th level, the Death Knight becomes what he is meant to be: A leader of armies of undead ripe for combat. He gains Undead traits, but does not change his type. Once the Death Knight dies, should he not be revived for two weeks, he returns as an Undead creature, changing his type to Undead. Also, his undead control pool expands to be 5 HD/class level. Lastly, once per day, he may call the skeletons of those buried deep beneath the earth to attack. This ability summons 3 HD of Skeletons per class level, and lasts for 1 round per 2 class levels.

    Please Comment and PEACH. Also, if you could, say what tier you think it this would be in, and why, as I'm not entirely sure myself here. Thanks.
    Last edited by Pyromancer999; 2011-05-22 at 12:29 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Very interesting class and love the Necrotic Point system. I have three suggestions for the class though.

    First, spending Necrotic Points for temporarily animating undead seems pointless. Simply because it takes so long to animate them but they last for such a short time. I would suggest either taking a flat 1 full round action to animate or increase the duration to 10 min/level or an hour/level.

    Secondly, this class has no way of healing undead or itself once it hits 20th level. I would make it so that by choice he could only deal the negative energy portion of death coil to undead. Otherwise you are forced to make other clerics or dread necromancers maintain your undead.

    Thirdly, you may want to add some special modifications to death coil similar to Warlock Blast Shape Invocations.

    Oh and a question, with the dread secret where you animate based on create undead can are you able to animate bone creatures and corpse creatures from BoVD? Because that would be VERY strong, the ability to have up to 4 equal level creatures under your command is very very powerful.

    Overall a very fun class, I would believe it is probably mid to high tier 4. Its probably better than the warlock but worse than the dread necromancer
    Last edited by Silva Stormrage; 2011-04-18 at 08:43 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Silva Stormrage View Post

    First, spending Necrotic Points for temporarily animating undead seems pointless. Simply because it takes so long to animate them but they last for such a short time. I would suggest either taking a flat 1 full round action to animate or increase the duration to 10 min/level or an hour/level.
    Eh, not sure about just 1 flat full round action. I sort of want the temporary animation to reflect how difficult it is to animate a creature, in HD. However, thinking about it, I can agree that the duration of temporary animation needs to be extended, but for just how long, I'm not sure yet. If I can't come up with anything, I might just go with 1 hour/level.
    Secondly, this class has no way of healing undead or itself once it hits 20th level. I would make it so that by choice he could only deal the negative energy portion of death coil to undead. Otherwise you are forced to make other clerics or dread necromancers maintain your undead.
    Hmm..... I can think of two ways to heal undead: The first would be to just deal the negative energy portion of death coil to undead, and the second would be to allow Necrotic Points to heal undead, probably at the rate of anywhere from 3-5 HP per Necrotic Point. I'm thinking about the pros and cons of each at the moment.
    Thirdly, you may want to add some special modifications to death coil similar to Warlock Blast Shape Invocations.
    Eh, perhaps. Still, the Death Coil of the Death Knight in Warcraft III, which the class feature is based upon, didn't really change its shape or types of damage, etc., that it did. It just kept increasing in damage. However, maybe a Dread Secret that allows you to apply a Warlock Blast Shape invocation once every 1d4-1d8(listing a die size range) rounds? Because I'm not entirely comftorable with letting Death Coil get shape modifications due to it being a bit of a different creature than the Warlock's Eldritch Blast.
    Oh and a question, with the dread secret where you animate based on create undead can are you able to animate bone creatures and corpse creatures from BoVD? Because that would be VERY strong, the ability to have up to 4 equal level creatures under your command is very very powerful.
    I'd presume so, providing that Create Undead can make those creatures. Still, I wouldn't worry about having 4 equal level creatures under your command, as most every character with the normal undead control pool(4 HD/level), is able to have 4 creatures of equal HD under their control.
    Overall a very fun class, I would believe it is probably mid to high tier 4. Its probably better than the warlock but worse than the dread necromancer
    Thanks. I was more aiming for a tier 3 sort of class, so it appears I can now implement a few ideas I've been having for this class since its creation, once I determine their balance. Just a preview of the ideas I'm entertaining:

    -Being able to add Death Coil damage to melee attacks
    -A sort of Undead Servant
    -Perhaps more of a buildup to being an Undead creature at 20th, although this would be a bit difficult for me to piece out
    -Being able to Corpsecraft one's self

    Please let me know what you all think of these ideas, and please feel free to comment and PEACH the class in general.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Eh, perhaps. Still, the Death Coil of the Death Knight in Warcraft III, which the class feature is based upon, didn't really change its shape or types of damage, etc., that it did. It just kept increasing in damage. However, maybe a Dread Secret that allows you to apply a Warlock Blast Shape invocation once every 1d4-1d8(listing a die size range) rounds? Because I'm not entirely comftorable with letting Death Coil get shape modifications due to it being a bit of a different creature than the Warlock's Eldritch Blast.

    I'd presume so, providing that Create Undead can make those creatures. Still, I wouldn't worry about having 4 equal level creatures under your command, as most every character with the normal undead control pool(4 HD/level), is able to have 4 creatures of equal HD under their control.

    Thanks. I was more aiming for a tier 3 sort of class, so it appears I can now implement a few ideas I've been having for this class since its creation, once I determine their balance. Just a preview of the ideas I'm entertaining:

    -Being able to add Death Coil damage to melee attacks
    -A sort of Undead Servant
    -Perhaps more of a buildup to being an Undead creature at 20th, although this would be a bit difficult for me to piece out
    -Being able to Corpsecraft one's self

    Please let me know what you all think of these ideas, and please feel free to comment and PEACH the class in general.
    I was just suggesting the blast shape invocations for death coil because this class seems to lack an aoe of any kind, not that there is anything wrong with not having one it just seemed like something thematic.


    The difference with bone creatures and corpse creatures than normal undead is that they KEEP class levels and abilities. That can cause a major headache for DM's especially because they can no longer send anything at you that has an ability that would be OP'ed for a player to have. Compare a Lvl 12 wizard with bonuses to a 6 headed hydra zombie. That is the difference between bone creatures and regular undead.

    Also if you want to make it seem that you slowly become undead over the course of the levels take a look at the Dread Necromancer class (Heroes of Horror) and the Pale Master class (Libris Mortis).
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Silva Stormrage View Post
    I was just suggesting the blast shape invocations for death coil because this class seems to lack an aoe of any kind, not that there is anything wrong with not having one it just seemed like something thematic.
    I can see where you're coming from. Still, there are a few AoE Necromancy spells. In any case, I'll think about it.
    The difference with bone creatures and corpse creatures than normal undead is that they KEEP class levels and abilities. That can cause a major headache for DM's especially because they can no longer send anything at you that has an ability that would be OP'ed for a player to have. Compare a Lvl 12 wizard with bonuses to a 6 headed hydra zombie. That is the difference between bone creatures and regular undead.
    Um....wow. I didn't know about that. That'd also render one of the Dread Secrets useless. I'm thinking I should probably ban those creatures, but with luck, perhaps I can keep the ability to create those creatures, but with limits. Maybe combine the class-level Dread Secret and the Create Undead one somehow?
    Also if you want to make it seem that you slowly become undead over the course of the levels take a look at the Dread Necromancer class (Heroes of Horror) and the Pale Master class (Libris Mortis).
    I've seen those, but I'm sort of looking to try and make my own progression, as I like to stick with mostly original, creative material.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    another type of undead like the bone creature is the mummified creature from Libris Mortis. I don't have my copy on hand right now but how my gaming group interprets the entry is that a mummified creature can be created instead of a mummy with appropriate create undead spells, but that is just our interpretation not sure if it is actually right.

    On another note I love this class and will definitely play or npc one of these guys soon.
    Last edited by Parasyn; 2011-04-21 at 12:14 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Parasyn View Post
    another type of undead like the bone creature is the mummified creature from Libris Mortis. I don't have my copy on hand right now but how my gaming group interprets the entry is that a mummified creature can be created instead of a mummy with appropriate create undead spells, but that is just our interpretation not sure if it is actually right.
    I suppose it could be feasibly house-ruled that you could create a mummified creature with Create Undead or Create Greater Undead, but yeah, there's no explicit statement that that is the case. Still, thanks for pointing that out. I'll make sure that Mummified creatures are covered in the class-level-retaining Undead problem.
    On another note I love this class and will definitely play or npc one of these guys soon.
    Thanks It's always good to hear when someone likes my homebrews.

    Also, on the subject of adding on some things to the class to power it up a little, when looking at Libris Mortis, I saw something that I had forgotten about: Undead Monster Classes. I'm thinking that allowing a few levels of undead monster classes to be taken(probably as a Dread Secret, or during the Bonus Feat levels, or both), and thus reflect the Death Knight's growing personal connection to the Undead, without having to worry about giving out
    small parcels of Undead traits. Also, I could maybe add Tomb-Tainted onto the bonus feat list, as these reflect a growing connection and change into Undead. Thoughts on this?
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Anyone want to comment/PEACH on this class and the ideas I have for adding to it?
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Anyone want to comment/PEACH on this class and the ideas I have for adding to it?
    -well I agree that it should have an aoe of some kind.
    -at higher levels being able to channel through a weapon would be cool
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Parasyn View Post
    -well I agree that it should have an aoe of some kind.
    I'm thinking about just giving them shape invocations for that. Not exactly sure how often, but it does the job.
    -at higher levels being able to channel through a weapon would be cool
    Yeah. Actually, I was thinking about giving them that around 4th, 5th, or 6th level, but I'm not too sure if that's pushing it.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    I may have missed it but I didn't see a caster level listed for the spells.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    If I had a running game at the moment I would like to try this class. A couple of things I would like to mention though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Fell Entourage:Death Knights are known for their animation of the fallen, and sometimes decide to add some fallen foes to their forces. Death Knights may animate dead foes as per the Animate Dead spell. At 1st level, a Death Knight may only animate 1 HD of undead per class level, but every three levels after, this limit increases by 1 HD per class level, until 10th level, at which the Death Knight may animate 4 HD of undead per class level. Undead are animated this way by expending two Necrotic Points per HD, and spending 5 minutes per HD of creature, forcing necrotic energy from your body into the corpse in order to animate it. Other sources of undead control pools that originate from spells, such as the Animate Dead spell, do not function for the Death Knight.
    How does the interaction with this ability and items/feats/abilities that increase the undead limit work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Bonus Feat: For all the Death Knight's expertise in necromantic matters, he is still a warrior. At 2nd level, and every four levels after, the Death Knight may gain a bonus feat from the Fighter's bonus feat list. Should the Death Knight select the Martial Study or Martial Stance feats as bonus feats for maneuvers or stances of the Unquiet Twilight discipline, his initiator level for the maneuver is equal to his level.

    Corpsecrafted Legion:At 2nd level, the Death Knight has realized some improved methods of crafting undead. He may gain the knowledge of two Corpsecrafter traits. He may apply the first Corpsecrafter trait of any undead he animates for free, so long as it is selected from one of these two.
    It might be beneficial for those who are reading this if you included links to other homebrew that is used as a foundation. I don't have my books available at the moment, so please excuse me if one of these are official material.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    General of Undeath:[/B]At 20th level, the Death Knight becomes what he is meant to be: A leader of armies of undead ripe for combat. He gains Undead traits, but does not change his type. Once the Death Knight dies, should he not be revived for two weeks, he returns as an Undead creature, changing his type to Undead. Also, his undead control pool expands to be 5 HD/class level. Lastly, once per day, he may call the skeletons of those buried deep beneath the earth to attack. This ability summons 3 HD of Skeletons per class level, and lasts for 1 round per 2 class levels.
    In the current order, as written, it is open to interpretation if these abilities are gained upon death and reanimation or are a continuation of the ability "General of Undeath" and are immediately available upon gaining level 20. I am inclined to believe that they are gained upon death and reanimation solely because the undead hd cap is included rather than being separate and part of that abilities progression.

    It looks like an interesting class that I would like to give a go with if I get a game going again anytime soon that would allow it. I would like to see some feats tailored to this class' ability set.

    On the AoE blast invocation side, you don't have to copy them directly but instead could cause them to drop damage to gain the AoE effects.
    IE: Line drops 1d6, cone drops 2d6, blast drops 3d6, Enlarge the area for an additional 1d6 etc.
    One thing to keep in mind while balancing the blast invocation stuff vs the warlock as a benchmark is that this class isn't as squishy as the warlock, and should be able to do decently in melee which makes pretty much any blast invocation easier to pull off with greater effect.

    Well, it is 7:26 AM and my insomnia is wearing off, Hope that made sense and sorry for the run on sentences. I honestly don't know what tier I would put it at without playing but my gut feeling is that it could do with a little bit of increasing in the 9-13 level range, but that could be me underestimating the spell utility of this system.

    Take it easy.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Fighter chassis but higher Will save than normal, Fighter bonus feats but less, better base Eldritch Blast (also way better than Charnel Touch) but less versatile, high level spells though specialized and use same resource as the animated dead, mount, rebuke undead qualifies him for some nasty things, and some cool extra abilities on top. Love the capstone too. "You may strike me down, but I shall come back stronger than ever before!" I love it. I'd say... high tier 4? On par with an optimized, splatbook paladin maybe?

    Then comes all the undead army abilities. Can't really comment on that because I don't know much about those rules and every summoner in my RL games was hideously overpowered (in my group, mind you) and slowed combat to a crawl. I will say, though, that if he commands the undead better than a Dread Necromancer, who most people I've heard say is a solid upper tier 3 class, then you're probably stepping into the overpowered mark.

    Last nitpick:
    Death Coil: The Death Knight knows how to unleash dreaded blasts of energy against their foes using a technique known as the Death Coil. This blast deals damage as listed on the table above, and is treated as a ranged touch attack, with a range of 40 ft. This attack deals half negative energy damage, and half of one of the following energy types, chosen at 1st level: Fire, Cold, Acid, Electricity. Lastly, this attack is a standard action.

    Very flavorful and good job!
    Last edited by Dralnu; 2011-05-22 at 11:49 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    This class is strong, toying in the tier 2 to upper tier 3 range. And that's mostly due to the insane number of HD of undead you can control. I'd honestly search around the monster class homebrew, and put something in saying "you get 1-2 undead cohorts with a monster level equal to your level - 2" and then linking to possible classes one could take. Then I'd recommend a full-round action to summon undead with necrotic points, since that seems like it will be used as a last-ditch attempt to save yourself.

    Necrotic points could heal 10 hp/point, but only for creatures who heal with negative energy, and could require a touch attack. At some later point, you can have it work as an AoE, healing all in the area for 5hp/point.

    Also, concerning spells, I recommend removing the restriction of "Death Knights can only cast 1 spell of the highest level they know per day" at around level 3-4, because the spellcasting gets behind at level 3, and then REALLY far behind at level 9, and the restriction on casting makes his spellcasting godawful. Heck, you could just not offer spellcasting until level 3, and when you do, offer it without the restriction.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by YouLostMe View Post
    This class is strong, toying in the tier 2 to upper tier 3 range. And that's mostly due to the insane number of HD of undead you can control. I'd honestly search around the monster class homebrew, and put something in saying "you get 1-2 undead cohorts with a monster level equal to your level - 2" and then linking to possible classes one could take. Then I'd recommend a full-round action to summon undead with necrotic points, since that seems like it will be used as a last-ditch attempt to save yourself.
    Not really an insane number. They don't even get the normal amount of undead controlled until tenth level, a few levels after most wizards, sorcerers, and the like get it.
    Necrotic points could heal 10 hp/point, but only for creatures who heal with negative energy, and could require a touch attack. At some later point, you can have it work as an AoE, healing all in the area for 5hp/point.
    Eh....Bad idea.
    Also, concerning spells, I recommend removing the restriction of "Death Knights can only cast 1 spell of the highest level they know per day" at around level 3-4, because the spellcasting gets behind at level 3, and then REALLY far behind at level 9, and the restriction on casting makes his spellcasting godawful. Heck, you could just not offer spellcasting until level 3, and when you do, offer it without the restriction.
    I'll include an exception for level 1 spells. Otherwise, yeah, keeping it as-is.

    Quote Originally Posted by kupan View Post
    If I had a running game at the moment I would like to try this class. A couple of things I would like to mention though.


    How does the interaction with this ability and items/feats/abilities that increase the undead limit work?
    It'd probably work normally.
    It might be beneficial for those who are reading this if you included links to other homebrew that is used as a foundation. I don't have my books available at the moment, so please excuse me if one of these are official material.
    Hmm....Well, Corpsecrafter traits are pretty well-known, or at least so I've been lead to believe. You can find them here.

    In the current order, as written, it is open to interpretation if these abilities are gained upon death and reanimation or are a continuation of the ability "General of Undeath" and are immediately available upon gaining level 20. I am inclined to believe that they are gained upon death and reanimation solely because the undead hd cap is included rather than being separate and part of that abilities progression.
    They're separate. Not really sure how I can make that more clear.
    It looks like an interesting class that I would like to give a go with if I get a game going again anytime soon that would allow it. I would like to see some feats tailored to this class' ability set.
    I think I might be able to think some things up. Feel free to make suggestions if there's something you want to see.
    On the AoE blast invocation side, you don't have to copy them directly but instead could cause them to drop damage to gain the AoE effects.
    IE: Line drops 1d6, cone drops 2d6, blast drops 3d6, Enlarge the area for an additional 1d6 etc.
    One thing to keep in mind while balancing the blast invocation stuff vs the warlock as a benchmark is that this class isn't as squishy as the warlock, and should be able to do decently in melee which makes pretty much any blast invocation easier to pull off with greater effect.
    Perhaps just a 1d6 reduction for each grade of the shape invocation would do it. Just have to think about how I'd incorporate that now.
    Last edited by Pyromancer999; 2011-05-22 at 12:28 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    General of Undeath:At 20th level, the Death Knight becomes what he is meant to be: A leader of armies of undead ripe for combat. He gains Undead traits, but does not change his type. Once the Death Knight dies, should he not be revived for two weeks, he returns as an Undead creature, changing his type to Undead. Also, his undead control pool expands to be 5 HD/class level. Lastly, once per day, he may call the skeletons of those buried deep beneath the earth to attack. This ability summons 3 HD of Skeletons per class level, and lasts for 1 round per 2 class levels.
    Maybe Reword it more like :
    General of Undeath:At 20th level, the Death Knight becomes what he is meant to be: A leader of armies of undead ripe for combat. He gains Undead traits, but does not change his type. His undead control pool is now capped at 5 HD / class level. Once per day, he may call the skeletons of those buried deep beneath the earth to attack. This ability summons 3 HD of Skeletons per class level, and lasts for 1 round per 2 class levels. If the Death Knight isn't revived for two weeks after death he revives with the undead type.

    My main confusion was that the second ability was just listed like the first but the third and forth ability were prefaced with "also" and "lastly", which made them sound like additions to the resurrection ability. Just switching the order to have the resurrection ability to be listed last would clear that confusion up.

    How does the General of Undeath work if you already have the undead type or are killed a second time? Does it require a body to be revived?Is this intended to be a lich like mechanic of auto resurrection but without a weakness or only usable once?

    As for the healing mechanic. Why not make it a feat that lets you once every 1d4 rounds change the elemental damage of your Death Coil into pure negative energy. Or make it a "Meta Death" feat that takes necrotic points to activate and changes the Death Coil.
    You could instead make a special ability or feat that lets you put up a resist 5 ability that matches the type of your Death Coil that has a special exception that it negates all of your Death Coil's elemental damage. This has the added benefit of being like the DragonFire Adept in letting you use your AoE around allies without them being hurt as well.

    Some off the top of my head feat types:
    Darkness Flickers : 1/round as part of a full attack can replace one attack with an unmodified Death Coil.
    Followed Through Hell : Choose one Undead under your control from the use of Fell Entourage. This undead cannot be permanently destroyed. When destroyed this undead reforms 1d6 minutes later with one hp. Any equipment is not reformed. If the body lies on Consecrated ground then it will not rise until it is removed from the Consecrated area.
    Returning Unlife : Uses of the Vampiric Blow secret against undead created by you return the full amount of the damage as temp hitpoints rather than the normal half.
    Steeped in Death : When you kill a creature gain 1 necrotic point per 3 HD the creature had (Minimum 0). If the creature was a spell caster instead gain 1 necrotic point per 2 hd.

    Maybe have some class specific template of greater skeletons/zombies and/or some hand selected other monsters available through the secret or feats or a combination rather than giving create undead and create greater undead specifically. This could cut down on some of the abuse they could be used for.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Base Class]Death Knight-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Not really an insane number. They don't even get the normal amount of undead controlled until tenth level, a few levels after most wizards, sorcerers, and the like get it.
    I'm not saying that wizards, sorcerers, and the like have anywhere near a sensible number of HD of undead to control. Having 1 cohort is cool. Having 2 is ridiculous, and having 4 floods the battlefield.

    Eh....Bad idea.
    As you please. Right now, players won't be using their necrotic points for summoning undead, because it takes a long time, and not a lot of their points will be used for spells, since the spellcasting is so far behind. Giving healing to necrotic points at high values means players will want to use their necrotic points in combat (after they've cast all the buff spells they can with their casting, of course).

    I'll include an exception for level 1 spells. Otherwise, yeah, keeping it as-is.
    Go for it, but that spellcasting really needs some more love. I mean, we're talking necromancy spells, which are all basically offensive. Having them 1-2 levels behind the curve means the Dread Necro and Beguiler and all those ToB classes are tossing out useful effects while the Death Knight is stuck with lesser abilities. Spellcasting right now will probably be used for buffing and utility, and there really aren't that many necromancy buffs around...

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