The few, the proud, the knights are martial characters dedicated to restoring the ideals of knightly chivalry before they fade forever. The knights see moral decay everywhere they look in the world around them, brought on by a lapse in ethical behavior. Knights adhere to a rigid code of behavior that embraces such values as honor, honesty, chivalry, and courage. The first duty of knights is to this code and the ideals for which it stands, rather to a holy order. A knight is expected to display these ideals in all aspects of his behavior throughout all his actions and deeds, however arduous they may be.
Role: Knights are frontline combatants. Within the adventuring party, the knight plays a front-
Alignment: Any Lawful
Hit Die: d12
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 knight’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier
All of the following are class features of the knight.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A knight is proficient with all simple and martial weapons (including knight swords) and with all armor (light, medium, and heavy) and shields (including tower shields).
Limit Breaks (Su)
At 1st level, the knight receives the Limit Breaks (A Knight’s Blessing and A Knight’s Protection).
A Knight’s Blessing (Su): This Limit Break allows the knight to protect not only himself but his allies. For a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four knight levels after 1st, the knight and any allies within 30 feet gain the effects of Protect, Shell, and Regen. At 5th level, these increase to the II versions, at 9th level, the III versions, at 13th level, the IV versions, and at 17th level, the V versions. This limit break requires only a swift action.
A Knight’s Protection (Su): This Limit Break covers both the knight and his allies in a protective bubble. For a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four knight levels after 1st, this Limit Break grants the knight and any allies within 30 feet a protective bubble that grants damage reduction 1/- as well as spell resistance 5. Damage reduction increases by 1 and spell resistance increases by 5 per four knight levels after 1st. This DR and SR stacks with any granted by the knight’s class features and knight talent. This limit break requires only a swift action.
Defensive Stance (Ex)
Starting at 1st level, a knight can enter a defensive stance, a position of readiness and trance-like determination. A knight can maintain this stance for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his Constitution modifier. At each level after 1st, he can maintain the stance for 2 additional rounds per day. Temporary increases to Constitution, such as those gained from spells like dwarf’s endurance, do not increase the total number of rounds that the knight can maintain a defensive stance per day. The knight can enter a defensive stance as a free action. The total number of rounds of defensive stance per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive.
While in a defensive stance, the knight gains a +2 bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, and Will saving throws. In addition, he gains a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class. He also gains 2 temporary hit points per Hit Die. These temporary hit points are lost first when a character takes damage, disappear when the defensive stance ends, and are not replenished if the knight enters a defensive stance again within 1 minute of his previous defensive stance. While in a defensive stance, a knight cannot move more than half of his movement speed or his stance ends.
A knight can end his defensive stance as a free action, and is fatigued for 1 minute after a defensive stance ends. This fatigue cannot be reduced or mitigated in any way and applies even to normally fatigue-immune characters but can be cured as normal. A knight can’t enter a new defensive stance while fatigued or exhausted, but can otherwise enter a defensive stance multiple times per day. If a knight falls unconscious, his defensive stance immediately ends. Defensive stance does not stack with rage.
Threat Control (Ex)
At 1st level, the knight gains the Antagonize feat as a bonus feat. Additionally, for every 5 the knight beats the DC, he antagonizes the target for 1 additional round. The antagonize condition does not end after 1 attack, only ends when the duration ends.
Defend Ally (Ex)
Also at 1st level, at the start of the knight’s turn, when he is within 5 feet of an ally, the knight can transfer up to 2 points of Armor Class to the ally (making his own Armor Class worse by the same number). The maximum number of points he can transfer increases by 1 for every three levels beyond 1st.
Stand Firm (Ex)
At 2nd level, a knight gains a +1 bonus to his combat maneuver defense against bull rush, overrun, and trip. This bonus also applies on saves against trample attacks. The bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.
Defensive Training (Ex)
Starting at 2nd level, a knight counts his total knight level as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for any armor or shield-related feats. If he has levels in fighter, these levels stack.
As a knight gains experience, he learns a number of talents that aid him in defending himself and his allies. Starting at 2nd level, a knight gains one knight talent. He gains an additional knight talent for every 2 levels of knight attained after 2nd level. Unless specified otherwise, a knight cannot select an individual talent more than once.
- A complete list of knight talents can be found here: Knight Talents
Shield Block (Ex)
Starting at 3rd level, the knight excels in using his armor and shield to frustrate his enemy’s attacks. As a free action, he can designate a single opponent as the target of this ability. His shield bonus to AC against that foe increases by 1, as he moves his shield to deflect an incoming blow, possibly providing just enough protection to turn a telling swing into a near miss. This shield bonus increases to +2 at 9th level, and +3 at 15th level.
Armor Training (Ex)
Starting at 3rd level, a knight learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, 15th and 19th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –5 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +5 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed. In addition, a knight can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 7th level, a knight can move at his normal speed while wearing heavy armor.
Active Defense (Ex)
At 4th level, a knight gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC when wielding a shield and fighting defensively, using Combat Expertise, or using total defense. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 4th. As a swift action, he may share this bonus with one adjacent ally or half of the bonus (minimum + 0) with all adjacent allies, until the beginning of his next turn.
At 4th level, when a knight is using a heavy or tower shield, he can, as a move action, provide partial cover (+2 cover bonus to AC, +1 bonus on Reflex saves) to himself and all adjacent allies until the beginning of his next turn.
At 11th level, he can instead provide cover (+4 cover bonus to AC, +2 bonus on Reflex saves) and evasion (as a thief) to one adjacent ally until the beginning of his next turn. This cover does not allow Stealth checks.
At 18th level, he can provide cover to himself and all adjacent allies, or he can provide improved cover (+8 cover bonus to AC, +4 bonus on Reflex saves, improved evasion) to a single adjacent ally. The knight ignores the armor limitation of evasion for himself.
Deft Shield (Ex)
At 5th level, the armor check penalty from a shield is reduced by –1 for a knight. If the shield is also a tower shield, the attack roll penalty is also reduced by –1. At 10th level, these penalties are reduced by –2.
Armored Defense (Ex)
At 5th level, a knight gains DR 1/— when wearing light armor, DR 2/— when wearing medium armor, and DR 3/— when wearing heavy armor. At 10th level and every five knight levels thereafter, this damage reduction increases by 1 (light), 2 (medium), 3 (heavy). This damage reduction stacks with that provided by adamantine armor and the Armor Specialization feat, but not with other forms of damage reduction.
Fortress of Defense (Ex)
At 6th level, the knight’s strict vigilance and active defensive maneuvers force his opponents to move with care. 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 knight hits an opponent with an attack of opportunity, that opponent becomes flat-footed until the end of his next turn.
Shield Ally (Ex)
At 7th level, as an immediate action, once per round, the knight can intercept an attack on an adjacent ally, effectively moving the target out of the way, trading places with him or her and forcing the enemy to make the Attack roll on the knight’s armor class instead. This movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity for either the knight or the target nor does it remove the knight from being in Defensive Stance. He can only intercept physical melee attacks and ranged attacks, such as an incoming arrow or a blow from a sword, not from spells and other effects. This action may only be taken before the result of the attack roll is determined.
Shield Buffet (Ex)
At 8th level, as a move action, a knight may make a combat maneuver check to use his shield to impede an adjacent enemy. If successful, the target suffers a –2 penalty on its attack rolls against the knight and a –2 penalty to AC on attacks made by the knight until the beginning of his next turn. At 13th level, a knight may use this ability as a swift action.
At 9th level, a knight can use his armor to shield critical areas from injury. He treats any armor he wears as if it had the light fortification special ability. At 15th level, his armor gains the moderate fortification special ability. This fortification does not stack in any way with armor that has these special abilities. In these cases, the knight takes the better of the two fortifications.
At 10th level, a knight can use mental and physical resiliency to avoid certain attacks. If he makes a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, he instead avoids the effect entirely. A helpless knight does not gain the benefit of the stalwart ability.
Improved Defensive Stance (Ex)
At 11th level, a knight’s bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, Will saves, dodge bonus to AC while in a defensive stance increases to +3. Also, the amount of temporary hit points gained when entering a defensive stance increases to 3 per Hit Die. In addition, while in a defensive stance, he may move up to his normal movement without losing the benefit of the stance.
Advanced Knight Talents
At 12th level, and every two levels thereafter, a knight can choose one of the following knight advanced talents in place of a knight talent.
- A complete list of advanced knight talents can be found here: Advanced Knight Talents
At 13th level, a knight can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who hits an adjacent ally with a melee attack, so long as the attacking creature is within the knight’s reach.
Improved Shield Ally (Ex)
At 14th level, the knight’s ability to intercept attacks improves. The knight can now intercept spells with a touch or ranged touch on an adjacent ally.
Steel Defense (Ex)
At 15th level, the knight is capable of turning an otherwise lethal blow and continue the fight. When an attack that inflicts hit point damage from a natural attack, melee weapon, or ranged weapon would reduce the knight to 0 or fewer hit points, he can make a Fortitude save (DC the attacker’s attack roll) to deflect the attack to his armor or shield (light, heavy, or tower shields only), causing it to suffer the damage in his place (apply item hardness as normal). If this would break the character’s armor, it gains the broken condition until it is repaired. The knight cannot use this ability with broken armor or a broken shield. The knight must be wearing armor or a shield to use this ability.
Tireless Stance (Ex)
At 17th level and higher, a knight no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his defensive stance. If he enters a defensive stance again within 1 minute of ending his defensive stance, he doesn’t gain any temporary hit points from his defensive stance.
Shield Ward (Ex)
At 19th level, a knight gains evasion (as a thief) while wielding a shield, and adds his shield bonus to his AC (not including enhancement bonuses) on Reflex saves and to his touch AC. In addition, his shield cannot be disarmed or sundered. The knight ignores the armor limitation of evasion.
Superior Defensive Stance (Ex)
At 20th level, a knight’s bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, Will saves, dodge bonus to AC while in a defensive stance increases to +4. In addition, the amount of temporary hit points gained when entering a defensive stance increases to 4 per Hit Die.
At 20th level, a knight gains complete immunity to critical hits and sneak attacks while he is wearing armor. In addition, unless his armor has the fragile armor quality, it cannot be sundered while he is wearing it.
A knight who is no longer his appropriate alignment loses all supernatural class features and may no longer advance in levels as a knight.
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 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 to gain a new knight talent.
- Bangaa: Add +1 to the knight’s total number of defensive stance rounds per day.
- Dwarf: Add +1 to the knight’s total number of defensive stance rounds per day.
- Elvaan: Add +1/6 shield bonus to armor class while the knight uses any shield.
- Galka: Add +1 to the knight’s total number of defensive stance rounds per day.
- Garlean: Add +1/6 to gain a new knight talent.
- Gria: Add +1 to the knight’s total number of defensive stance rounds per day.
- Half-Breed: Add +1/6 to gain a new knight talent.
- Hume: Add +1/6 to gain a new knight talent.
- Immortal: Add +1/6 to gain a new knight talent.
- Mithra: Add +1/4 to the dodge bonus to AC while in a defensive stance.
- Moogle: Add +1/6 to gain a new knight talent.
- Orc: Add +1/6 shield bonus to armor class while the knight uses any shield.
- Quadav: Add +1 to the knight’s total number of defensive stance rounds per day.
- Roegadyn: Add +1 to the knight’s total number of defensive stance rounds per day.
- Ronso: Add +1 to the knight’s total number of defensive stance rounds per day.
- Shindroid: Add +1/6 to gain a new knight talent.
- Tarutaru: Add +1/6 shield bonus to armor class while the knight uses any shield.
- A complete list of knight archetypes can be found here: Knight Archetypes