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Dark Knight“Formed by negative emotions, every soul carries Darkness inside, but very few can access its potential. Such as those man and woman of arms that underwent an intense training to unlock the wicked power of the Abyss. Only a few succeed and most lose their mind trying, but those who endure it to its end are henceforth known as Dark Knights. With their abyssal power to vanquish foes and protect their allies, their service is often sought by powerful nobles, that want them to serve as merciless soldiers or terrifying bodyguards.

Role: In battle, dark knights use magicks to infuse their blades with the powers of darkness to strike down their enemies and defend their allies. Most of their abilities involve draining health from enemies.

Alignment: Any non-good alignment, most dark knights tend to gravitate to evil.

Hit Die: d10

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gil (average 175 gil.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gil or less.

Class Skills
The dark knight’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Stealth (Dex).

Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Class Main Ability Scores:
The dark knight mainly focuses on STR for martial combat and CHA for their class features and spells.

Table: Dark Knight

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialMPSpell Level
TypeFullGoodBadGood
1st+1+2+0+2Harm Touch (1d6), Grit Stance, Darkside (+1 ATK/+3 DMG), Limit Breaks
2nd+2+3+0+3Shared Offense, First Into Battle, Dark Knight Talents
3rd+3+3+1+3Darkside (+1 ATK/+4 DMG), Harm Touch (2d6), Defile, Dark Blessing, Dark Pool, Abyssal Arts
4th+4+4+1+4Dark Knight Talents, Aura of Obedience11st
5th+5+4+1+4Darkside (+2 ATK/+5 DMG), Harm Touch (3d6), Soul Eater21st
6th+6/+1+5+2+5Defile, Dark Knight Talents, Abyssal Arts31st
7th+7/+2+5+2+5Darkside (+2 ATK/+6 DMG), Harm Touch (4d6), Dark Resilience42nd
8th+8/+3+6+2+6Dark Knight Talents, Aura of Sin52nd
9th+9/+4+6+3+6Darkside (+3 ATK/+7 DMG), Harm Touch (5d6), Defile, Last Resort, Abyssal Arts62nd
10th+10/+5+7+3+7Dark Knight Talents, Feed on Fear, Abyssal Arts73rd
11th+11/+6/+1+7+3+7Darkside (+3 ATK/+8 DMG), Harm Touch (6d6), Aura of Cowardice83rd
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4+8Defile, Dark Knight Talents, Abyssal Arts103rd
13th+13/+8/+3+8+4+8Darkside (+4 ATK/+9 DMG), Harm Touch (7d6), Aura of Crushing Despair124th
14th+14/+9/+4+9+4+9Dark Knight Talents, Dark Emissary144th
15th+15/+10/+5+9+5+9Darkside (+4 ATK/+10 DMG), Harm Touch (8d6), Defile, Shadow Wall, Abyssal Arts164th
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+5+10Dark Knight Talents, Enervating Touch194th
17th+17/+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Darkside (+5 ATK/+11 DMG), Harm Touch (9d6), Aura of Quietus224th
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+6+11Defile, Abyssal Arts, Dark Knight Talents254th
19th+19/+14/+9/+4+11+6+11Darkside (+5 ATK/+12 DMG), Harm Touch (10d6), Aura of Rage294th
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6+12Dark Champion, Dark Knight Talents334th

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the dark knight.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Dark Knights are proficient with all simple, martial weapons, and knight swords and with all armor (light, medium, and heavy) and shields (including tower shields).

Limit Breaks (Su)

At 1st level, the dark knight receives the Limit Breaks (Dark Force and Living Dead).

Dark Force (Su): This Limit Break allows the dark knight to use his darkness to protect himself and his allies to reduce harm inflicted. The dark knight and all allies within a 30-ft.-radius of the dark knight take half damage from any source for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four dark knight levels after 1st. This limit break requires only a swift action.

Living Dead (Su): This Limit Break allows the dark knight’s darkness to consume him and become one with him, not allowing his death to pass. The dark knight may not be dropped below 0 HP unless subject to a critical hit, and is immune to the effects of nonlethal damage and being staggered. Even then the attack may only drop him to -1, at this point the dark knight is treated as having the Diehard feat, for as long as Living Dead lasts and cannot be hurt again unless subject to another critical attack, therefore finally killing him if the attack would deal enough damage to do so. If the dark knight is not at 0 HP or above when the effect ends, he falls unconscious immediately and must now try to stabilize. This limit break requires a swift action to activate and has a duration of 1 round + 1 round for every four dark knight levels after 1st. During this Limit Break, only damage by enemies is prevented, not by an ability or spell that would drop him to 0 or below 0 hit points.

Darkside (Su)

The dark knight conjures up the darkness from the abyss to fuel his power covering him with red malice.

At 1st level, the dark knight may activate Darkside as a free action, but loses an amount of hit points (temporary hit points do not qualify) equal to his dark knight level upon activation and at the start of each turn thereafter while in this state. While Darkside is in effect, the dark knight gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls and adds +3 points of damage to damage rolls made with a melee weapon. These bonuses increase in power as the dark knight levels up, with the attack bonus increasing by an additional +1 for every four dark knight levels attained after 1st, and the damage bonus increasing by an additional +1 for every two dark knight levels attained after 1st.

While succumbing to Darkside, the dark knight is immune to all healing effects other than from his own abilities or spells. Meaning only abyssal arts, spells, and class features may restore his hit points while in Darkside, as well as any other character abilities from his other classes.

Darkside persists until the dark knight ends it with a move action, or until he is rendered unconscious (whether by hit point damage, the Sleep status effect, or other means).

Harm Touch (Su)

At 1st level, a dark knight surrounds his hand with a dark power, causing terrible wounds to open on those he touches. Each day he can use this ability a number of times equal to half his dark knight level (minimum 1) + his Charisma modifier. Using this ability is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

As a melee touch attack, a dark knight can cause 1d6 points of shadow damage. This amount increases by 1d6 for every two dark knight levels beyond the 1st.

Alternatively, a dark knight can use this power to heal undead creatures, restoring 1d6 hit points + 1d6 for every two levels the dark knight possesses after 1st.

Grit Stance (Ex)

At 1st level, the dark knight adopts an aggressive stance which slows his enemies’ ability to advance or retreat and reduces the damage he takes while dealing less damage as well. While the dark knight maintains this stance, he takes a -2 penalty to all damage rolls and halves his total movement speed, but gains DR 2/-. This bonus and penalty increases by 1 per three dark knight levels after 1st. Entering and leaving grit stance is a move action.

At 5th level, any space he threatens is treated by hostile creatures as though it were difficult terrain for enemies. If a creature would not be affected by difficult terrain due to its movement type, the effects still apply. In addition, whenever the dark knight hits an opponent with an attack of opportunity, that opponent becomes flat-footed until the end of his next turn. If mounted or otherwise not on his feet, this stance ends automatically.

Shared Offense (Su)

At 2nd level, a dark knight can spend one use of his harm touch ability as a standard action to grant all adjacent allies (including other dark knights) a bonus. At 2nd level, adjacent allies receive a +1 profane bonus to their Attack and Damage rolls. These bonuses last for a number of rounds equal to the dark knight’s Charisma modifier. At 9th level and 16th level, this bonus increases by +1.

At 7th level, these bonuses are granted to all allies within 10 feet, and allies that are reduced to fewer than 0 hit points within this area become disabled instead of dying as in Diehard feat.

At 12th level, these bonuses are granted to all allies within 15 feet, and allies within this area deal an extra 1d6 points of damage.

At 17th level, these bonuses are granted to all allies within 20 feet. These bonuses are cumulative with each other. Allies only benefit from these bonuses while in the listed area.

First Into Battle (Su)

At 2nd level, a dark knight can spend 1 use of harm touch to act in the surprise round, even if he is surprised. When the dark knight makes an Initiative check, he gains a bonus to the check equal to his Charisma bonus.

Dark Knight Talents (Ex/Su)

At 2nd level and every two dark knight levels thereafter, a dark knight gains a talent that helps improved his class abilities. Unless specified otherwise, a dark knight cannot select an individual talent more than once.

Dark Pool (Su)

At 3rd level, the dark knight gains a reservoir of shadow energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers. This dark pool has a number of points equal to half his dark knight level (minimum 1) + his Charisma modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the dark knight rests for a full 8 hours.

Abyssal Arts (Su)

At 3rd level, while under the effect of Darkside, the dark knight draws on the power of the abyss to utilize a new form of power. The dark knight gains an abyssal art ability at 3rd level and every three dark knight levels thereafter. Each abyssal art ability requires a dark pool point to activate.

  • A complete list of abyssal arts can be found here: Abyssal Arts

Dark Blessing (Su)

At 3rd level, a dark knight applies his Charisma modifier (if positive) (this bonus is halved if he has a level in another non-prestige class and this is not his favored class) as a bonus on all saving throws. If the character is ever able to add his Charisma modifier to his saves through use of another ability (for example, the holy knight’s holy grace) he may only add his Charisma modifier once to his saves.

Defile (Su)

At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, a dark knight can select one defile. Each defile adds an effect to the dark knight’s harm touch ability. Whenever the dark knight uses harm touch to deal damage to one target, the target also receives the additional effect from one of the defilements possessed by the dark knight. This choice is made when the touch is used. The target receives a Fortitude save to avoid this defile. If the save is successful, the target takes the damage as normal, but not the effects of the defile. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + half of the dark knight’s level + his Charisma modifier.

At 3rd level, the dark knight can select from the following initial defilements.

  • Blinded: The target receives the Blinded status effect for 1 round per level of the dark knight.
  • Fatigued: The target is Fatigued.
  • Poisoned: The target receives the Poisoned status effect for 1 round per level of the dark knight.
  • Shaken: The target is Shaken for 1 round per level of the dark knight.
  • Sickened: The target is Sickened for 1 round per level of the dark knight.

At 6th level, a dark knight adds the following defilements to the list of those that can be selected.

  • Dazed: The target is Dazed for 1 round.
  • Diseased: The target receives the Diseased status effect for 1 round per level of the dark knight.
  • Imperiled: The target receives the Imperil status effect (to shadow damage) for 1 round per level of the dark knight.
  • Silenced: The target receives the Silenced status effect for 1 round per two levels of the dark knight.
  • Staggered: The target is Staggered for 1 round per two levels of the dark knight.

At 9th level, a dark knight adds the following defilements to the list of those that can be selected.

  • Cursed: The target receives the Cursed status effect for 1 round per level of the dark knight.
  • Exhausted: The target is Exhausted. Prerequisite: The dark knight must have the fatigue defile before selecting this defile.
  • Frightened: The target is Frightened for 1 round per two levels of the dark knight. Prerequisite: The dark knight must have the shaken defile before selecting this defile.
  • Immobilized: The target receives the Immobilized status effect for 1 round per level of the dark knight.
  • Nauseated: The target is Nauseated for 1 round per three levels of the dark knight. Prerequisite: The dark knight must have the sickened defile before selecting this defile.
  • Sapped: The target receives the Sapped status effect for 1 round per level of the dark knight. Prerequisite: The dark knight must have the poisoned defile before selecting this defile.
  • Slowed: The target receives the Slow status effect for 1 round per two levels of the dark knight.

At 12th level, a dark knight adds the following defilements to the list of those that can be selected.

  • Berserk: The target receives the Berserk status effect for 1 round per two levels of the dark knight.
  • Deafened: The target is Deafened for 1 round per level of the dark knight.
  • Disabled: The target receives the Disabled status effect for 1 round per three levels of the dark knight.
  • Paralyzed: The target is Paralyzed for 1 round.
  • Stunned: The target is Stunned for 1 round.
  • Zombie: The target receives the Zombie status effect for 1 round per level of the dark knight.

These abilities are not cumulative. Once a defile is chosen, it can’t be changed.

Aura of Obedience (Su)

At 4th level, a dark knight radiates an aura that cows the weak into following his commands. He receives a +4 morale bonus on Intimidate checks made against living creatures within 10 feet.

In addition, if he demoralizes a living creature within 10 feet, and exceeds the DC by 10 or more, he may issue one command to the target, as per the spell. The target can resist this effect with successful Will save, with a DC of 10 + half the dark knight’s level + his Charisma modifier. A creature cannot be commanded in this way more than once per day.

Spells

Beginning at 4th level, a dark knight gains the ability to cast dark knight spells, which are drawn from the dark knight spell list. A dark knight begins play with 1 1st level dark knight spell of his choice. Each time a character attains a new dark knight level, he gains one spell of his choice to add to his list of spells. The free spell must be of spell levels he can cast. Like most spellcasters, a dark knight can find or purchase scrolls with spells to add to his repertoire. Unlike other spellcasters, a dark knight wearing armor does not affect his spellcasting ability.

To learn or cast a spell, the dark knight must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Cha 11 for 1st-level spells, Cha 12 for 2nd-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a dark knight’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the dark knight’s Charisma modifier. In addition, a dark knight gains additional MP for having a high attribute (Charisma—see Table: Bonus MP per Day (by Spell Level) on the MP System page).

Through 3rd level, a dark knight has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his dark knight level –3.

Soul Eater (Su)

At 5th level, as a free action once per round, a dark knight can empower his next blow by giving up some of his life force to win the battle. The dark knight’s first melee attack each round for the duration of this ability deals an extra 5d6 points of shadow damage if it hits, and he takes 10 points of damage each time he makes such an attack, whether or not the attack is successful. While this ability is active, the dark knight is immune to all healing effects other than from his own abilities or spells. This extra damage is not multiplied upon a critical hit. If this ability would drop the dark knight to 0 hit points or below, this ability shuts off immediately after. If the dark knight has a feat or class feature that would allow him to stay conscious below 0 hit points, he can make a Will save (DC 15) to have Soul Eater stay on. This ability lasts for 1 minute and can be canceled as a free action. The dark knight can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.

Dark Resilience (Ex)

At 7th level, a dark knight gains immunity to Poison, Sap, and Disease status effects as well as normal poisons and diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Aura of Sin (Su)

At 8th level, a dark knight’s weapons are treated as evil-aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. Any attack made against an enemy within 10 feet of him is treated as evil-aligned for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This ability functions only while the dark knight is conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Last Resort (Ex)

At 9th level, a dark knight reaches for the dark power within himself to imbue himself with greater strength at a cost of defense. While under Last Resort, he gains a +6 morale bonus to Strength and, if he makes a full attack action, gains a single extra attack each round at his highest bonus. (This latter effect is not cumulative with haste or other effects that grant additional attacks.) However, he also takes a –4 penalty to Armor Class. Using this ability requires a swift action and consumes two uses of the dark knight’s harm touch ability. The effects last for 3 rounds plus a number of rounds equal to his Charisma bonus (if any).

Feed on Fear (Su)

At 10th level, the first time in a round a creature fails a saving throw against a fear effect created by a dark knight’s spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability (including any ability that causes a creature to be shaken, frightened, or panicked), the dark knight is healed of 1 point of damage per two dark knight levels.

If the dark knight is at full hit points when this ability is activated, he instead gains an equal number of temporary hit points. These temporary hit points last for 1 minute. Temporary hit points gained through multiple successful uses of this ability do not stack; the duration increases instead.

The dark knight can use this ability a number of times per day equal to half his dark knight level plus his Charisma modifier.

Aura of Cowardice (Su)

At 11th level, a dark knight radiates a palpably daunting aura that causes all enemies within 10 feet to take a –4 penalty on saving throws against fear effects. Creatures that are normally immune to fear lose that immunity while within 10 feet of a dark knight with this ability. This ability functions only while the dark knight remains conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Aura of Crushing Despair (Su)

At 13th level, enemies within 10 feet of a dark knight take a –2 penalty on all saving throws. This penalty does not stack with the penalty from aura of cowardice. This ability functions only while the dark knight is conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Dark Emissary (Su)

At 14th level, a dark knight becomes a true messenger of the forces of darkness he serves. Once per day, the dark knight can expend two uses of his harm touch ability to mark one location within 60 feet with the stain of evil. This location can be any point in space, but the ability works best if placed on an altar, shrine, or other site important to a community.

The location is affected as if by a desecrate spell. Creatures approaching within 30 feet of the site must succeed at a Will save or suffer the effects of crushing despair.

Creatures must save against each effect individually, and the effects stack. The caster level for all effects is equal to the dark knight’s level. The save DC is equal to 10 + half the dark knight’s level + his Charisma modifier.

A location remains marked in this way for up to 1 day per dark knight level. During this time, the crushing despair is triggered when the first target enters the spell’s area. They remain active for 10 minutes, then can be triggered again if targets are within range. If the effects are disabled, they become inactive for 10 minutes, but then can be triggered again as normal. Dispel and similar spells suppress the effects, and all effects of dark emissary can be removed by a consecrate spell cast on the location by a holy knight or white mage of a level equal to or higher than the dark knight.

Allies or evil creatures who serve the same power or organization as the dark knight are immune to the crushing despair, and automatically know that the location has been marked for their masters. They can treat this location as very familiar for the purpose of bend space and time and similar spells and can use scrying and related spells as though they were familiar with any subject within 20 feet of it. At 14th level, a dark knight can have one marked site active at a time. At 17th and 20th levels, he can add one additional site that is simultaneously active. Marking a new site beyond this limit ends all effects on the oldest active site.

Shadow Wall (Su)

At 15th level, as a swift action, if under the Grit Stance, the dark knight can double the damage reduction and damage penalties for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier up to 3 times per day.

Enervating Touch (Su)

At 16th level, when the dark knight damages a creature with his harm touch, he can suppress the vital force of his target for 1 round per dark knight level. While affected, when the target regains hit points, it regains only half the number of hit points it would otherwise receive, and it can’t gain temporary hit points. The target can attempt a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half the dark knight’s level + his Charisma modifier) to negate this effect.

Aura of Quietus (Su)

At 17th level, a dark knight radiates an aura that causes the failure of healing spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities used to restore enemies within 10 feet of him. This is not an antimagic field, however, and ongoing or passive effects are not affected. Casters can overcome this ability with a successful caster level check versus the dark knight’s level + 11. This ability functions only while the dark knight remains conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Aura of Rage (Su)

At 19th level, a dark knight radiates an aura of anger and rage, causing all enemies within 10 feet to be inflicted with the Berserk status for 1 minute unless they make a Will save (DC 10 + half of dark knight’s level + his Charisma modifier) to negate. Enemies succeeding the saving throw makes them immune to this aura’s effects for 24 hours. This ability functions only while the dark knight remains conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.

Dark Champion (Su)

At 20th level, the dark knight becomes a conduit for the abyss. When he uses an abyssal art or harm touch to damage a creature, he deals the maximum amount possible.

Code of Conduct

A dark knight must be of non-good alignment and cannot level further into this class if he ever shifts to a good alignment.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have dark knight as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

  • Au Ra: Add +1/6 on attack and damage rolls for Darkside.
  • Dwarf: Add +1/2 hit point to the dark knight’s harm touch ability (whether using it to heal or harm).
  • Elvaan: Add +1/4 to the number of harm touches the dark knight can inflict.
  • Galka: Add +1/6 on attack and damage rolls for Darkside.
  • Gnath: Add +1/2 hit point to the dark knight’s harm touch ability (whether using it to heal or harm).
  • Guado: The dark knight restores +1 hit point on undead targets when using harm touch.
  • Half-Breed: Add +1 to the dark knight’s holy element resistance (maximum +10).
  • Hume: Add +1 to the dark knight’s holy element resistance (maximum +10).
  • Kindred: Add +1 to the dark knight’s holy element resistance (maximum +10).
  • Mithra: Add +1/2 hit point to the dark knight’s harm touch ability (whether using it to heal or harm).
  • Moogle: Add +1/2 hit point to the dark knight’s harm touch ability (whether using it to heal or harm).
  • Orc: Add +1/4 to the number of harm touches the dark knight can inflict.
  • Quadav: Add +1 to the dark knight’s holy element resistance (maximum +10).
  • Roegadyn: Add +1/6 on attack and damage rolls for Darkside.
  • Ronso: Add +1 to the dark knight’s holy element resistance (maximum +10).
  • Seeq: Add +1/4 to the number of harm touches the dark knight can inflict.
  • Tarutaru: Add +1/4 to the number of harm touches the dark knight can inflict.
  • Tonkin: Add +1 to the dark knight’s holy element resistance (maximum +10).

Archetypes

Dark Knight