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Hell Knight

Somewhere in your family’s history, a relative made a deal with Hades, and that pact has influenced your family line ever since. In you, it manifests in direct and obvious ways, granting you powers and abilities. While your fate is still your own, you can’t help but wonder if your ultimate reward is bound to the Pit.

The hell knight is an archetype of the dark knight class.


Must be evil-aligned and worship Hades.

Limit Break (Su)

At 1st level, the hell knight receives the Limit Break (Fire and Brimstone).

Fire and Brimstone (Su): This Limit Break allows the hell knight to conjure meteors to fall from the sky, blasting an area within 100 feet of the hell knight in a 20-ft.-radius. Enemies within the area of effect take 1d6 points of earth/fire damage (half and half) plus an additional 1d6 points of damage per dark knight level after 1st. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + half of the dark knight’s level + his Charisma modifier) reduces the damage by half. Those who fail the save are also knocked prone.

This ability replaces the Limit Break (Living Dead).


Beginning at 1st level, a hell knight gains the ability to cast black magic and necromancy spells, which are drawn from the black mage and necromancer spell list. A hell knight begins play with 3 1st level black mage or necromancy spells of his choice. The hell knight also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to his Charisma modifier to add to his list of spells. Each time a character attains a new dark knight level, he gains two spells of his choice to add to his list of spells. The two free spells must be of spell levels he can cast. Like most spellcasters, a hell knight can find or purchase scrolls with spells to add to his repertoire.

To learn or cast a spell, the hell 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 hell knight’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the hell knight’s Charisma modifier. In addition, a hell knight gains additional MP for having a high attribute (Charisma).

Table: 3/4th MP Progression

LevelBase MPSpell Level

This ability replaces defile and the dark knight’s spellcasting ability.

Hell’s Corruption (Su)

At 1st level, the hell knight can cause a creature to become more susceptible to corruption as a melee touch attack. Creatures touched take a –2 penalty on all saving throws and must roll all opposed skill checks twice, taking the worse result. This penalty increases by -2 for every four dark knight levels attained after 1st. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to half the dark knight level’s (minimum 1). Each day he can use this ability a number of times equal to half his dark knight level + his Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces harm touch.

Imp Familiar (Ex)

A hell knight forms a close bond with a particular imp, gaining one as a familiar. The imp is loyal to the hell knight (though ultimately loyal to Hell). If a hell knight has class levels in another class that grants a familiar, levels in that class and his dark knight class levels stack for determining the overall abilities of his imp familiar. The imp familiar can communicate with its master via telepathy as long as the imp is in physical contact with him. If the imp is slain or the hell knight release it from his service, he may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring a 24-hour ritual to conjure and bind the new imp to himself.

Familiar Basics

Use the basic statistics for an imp, but with the following changes.

Hit Dice: For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master’s character level or the familiar’s normal HD total, whichever is higher.

Hit Points: The familiar has half the master’s total hit points (not including temporary hit points), rounded down, regardless of its actual Hit Dice.

Attacks: Use the master’s base attack bonus, as calculated from all his classes. Use the familiar’s Dexterity or Strength modifier, whichever is greater, to calculate the familiar’s melee attack bonus with natural weapons.

Saving Throws: For each saving throw, use either the familiar’s base save bonus (Fortitude +0, Reflex +2, Will +2) or the master’s (as calculated from all his classes), whichever is better. The familiar uses its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesn’t share any of the other bonuses that the master might have on saves.

Skills: For each skill in which either the master or the familiar has ranks, use either the normal skill ranks for an imp or the master’s skill ranks, whichever is better. In either case, the familiar uses its own ability modifiers. Regardless of a familiar’s total skill modifiers, some skills may remain beyond the familiar’s ability to use. Familiars treat Acrobatics, Climb, Fly, Perception, Stealth, and Swim as class skills.

Familiar Ability Descriptions

All familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending on the master’s combined level in classes that grant familiars, as shown on the table below. The abilities are cumulative.

Table: Hell Knight's Familiar

Master Class LevelNatural Armor AdjustmentIntelligenceSpecial
1st–2nd+18Alertness, improved evasion, telepathy
5th–6th+310Spell-like ability
9th–10th+512Spell-like ability
13th–14th+714Spell Resistance

Natural Armor Adjustment: The number noted here is in addition to the familiar’s existing natural armor bonus.

Intelligence: The familiar’s Intelligence score.

Alertness (Ex): While a familiar is within arm’s reach, the master gains the Alertness feat.

Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, a familiar takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.

Telepathy (Ex): The imp gains telepathy with a range of 50 feet, allowing it to communicate with any intelligent creature. At 5th level and every five dark knight levels, the range of this ability increases by 50 feet.

Spell-Like Ability: At 5th level, the hell knight’s imp familiar can choose any of the following spells to add to its list of at-will spell-like abilities: bleed, daze, elemental orb, grab, ignite, message, penumbra or touch of torment. The imp can also add any of the following spells to its list of 1/day spell-like abilities: blind, dark, detonate, dread, enfeeblement, fear, fire, obscure, or ray of sickening.

At 10th level and every five dark knight levels thereafter, the imp can choose one more at-will spell-like ability from the corresponding list above, and it can choose one more 1/day spell-like ability from the corresponding list above.

Spell Resistance (Ex): If the master is 13th level or higher, a familiar gains spell resistance equal to the master’s level + 5. To affect the familiar with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the familiar’s spell resistance.

This ability replaces grit stance.

Hellfire Strike (Su)

At 2nd level, as a swift action, the hell knight can infuse his attacks with hellfire. When he does, his melee attacks gain the flaming weapon special ability for 1 minute. At 11th level, the hell knight infuses his attacks as flaming burst instead. The hell knight can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces first into battle.

Infernal Resistance (Ex)

At 2nd level, the hell knight gains fire resistance 5, as well as a +2 bonus on saving throws against poison. At 6th level and every four dark knight levels thereafter, his fire resistance increases by 5, and the bonus on saving throws against poison increases by +2.

This ability replaces an abyssal art gained at 2nd level.

Armored Mage (Ex)

At 3rd level, normally, wearing armor of any kind interferes with a spell-caster’s gestures, which can cause spells to fail if those spells have a somatic component. A hell knight‘s limited focus and specialized training, however, allows him to avoid spell failure so long as he sticks to light armor and light shields. This training does not extend to medium armor or to heavy shields. This ability does not apply to spells gained from a different spell-casting class. At 6th level, a hell knight learns to use medium armor and heavy shields with no chance of spell failure. At 9th level, a hell knight learns to use heavy armor with no chance of spell failure.

This ability replaces shared offense.

Diabolical Arrogance (Su)

At 7th level, the hell knight gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against enfeebling and fear spells and effects.

This ability replaces dark resilience.

Hellfire (Su)

At 9th level, the hell knight can call down a column of hellfire. This 10-foot-radius burst does 1d6 points of fire damage per dark knight level. Those caught in the area of effect receive a Reflex save for half damage. Good creatures that fail their saves are shaken for a number of rounds equal to his dark knight level. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + half of the dark knight’s level + his Charisma modifier. At 9th level, the hell knight can use this ability once per day. At 14th level, he can use this ability twice per day. At 19th level, he can use this ability three times per day. This ability has a range of 60 feet.

This ability replaces last resort.

Dark Wings (Su)

At 15th level, the hell knight can grow fearsome bat wings as a standard action, giving him a fly speed of 60 feet with average maneuverability. The wings can be dismissed as a free action.

This ability replaces shadow wall.

Hellfire Charge (Su)

At 17th level, when the hell knight charges, the attack he makes at the end of the charge gains the benefit of his hellfire strike without expending a use of it. If he already has hellfire strike active, the fire damage ignores fire resistance of 10 or lower.

This ability replaces aura of quietus.

Fiend of the Pit (Su)

At 20th level, the hell knight’s form becomes infused with vile power. He gains immunity to fire and poison. He also gains resistance to shadow 10, earth 10 and ice 10, and the ability to see perfectly in darkness of any kind to a range of 60 feet.

This ability replaces dark champion.