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Death Knight, the Justiciar

A Death Knight is a warrior dedicated to a cause or organisation. He is zealous and unwavering in his purpose. While a Paladin devotes himself to a virtuous life, the protection of the innocent and the healing of the sick, a Death Knight focuses solely on the utter destruction of his enemies.

Typically, Death Knights of good and neutral alignment are vigilantes who see traditional law enforcement as feeble and ineffective. Hence, they are sometimes called Avenger, Justiciar or Enforcer. A Death Knight is committed to the ideas of justice, loyalty and retribution.

Death Knights of evil alignment are fiendish villains feared and hated by all. They consort with devils and demons and serve dark deities. They are often lieutenants in the service of demonic cult leaders. Other times, they operate alone, as hired killers.

Hit Dice, Proficiencies, Alignment

D10 Hit Die. Proficient with all armour and all shields. Starts with simple-weapons proficiency plus four selectable weapon-group proficiencies. Any alignment is possible.

Special Abilities

A Death Knight gains a small number of powers from his faith and determination:

Conviction: The Death Knight gains a bonus of +1 on all saving throws, as well as a bonus to his maximum Hit Points equal to (Intelligence-10), if his Intelligence exceeds 10.

Aura of Dread: All living enemies within 10' of a Death Knight take a penalty of 1 point to AC and all their Saving Throws. No save. If there are two Death Knights the penalty does not stack. The aura is a supernatural effect and it applies to all enemy creatures even mindless ones.

Greater Aura of Dread: The aura penalty changes from 1 point to 2 points.

Life Drain: You can perform a melee touch attack to transfer 1d6+1 Hit Points per two levels rounded up from a single living target to yourself. Fortitude save for half. This is a spell-like ability that requires a standard action. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to your charisma modifier (minimum 1). On a failed attack the ability is not used up. You do not need a free hand for this ability because you can touch the enemy with your weapon.

Smite: Activating this ability grants an attack bonus equal to the charisma modifier (if positive) on a single melee attack. The damage roll increases by the Death Knight's level. On a failed attack the ability is not used up. The activation is a free action. Supernatural.

Sneak Attack: Extra damage dealt in melee to an enemy who has lost his dexterity bonus to AC, or is being flanked. This ability only works if the enemy is not immune to critical hits. Further, a character cannot sneak attack creatures who have concealment (unless the character benefits from an effect such as True Seeing).

Uncanny Dodge: A character with uncanny dodge does not lose his dexterity bonus to AC when flat-footed or hit by an invisible creature.

Swiftness: The character gains a bonus to his base speed.

Death Knight Feats

Greater Dodge: A character with this feat benefits from another +1 dodge bonus to AC. Requires: Dodge, Dex 13, Level 3, Monk, Death Knight or Rogue.

Improved Life Drain: The character's Life Drain damage increases from 1d6+1 per two levels to 1d8+1 per two levels. Requires: Level 6 Death Knight.

Swift Life Drain: Your Life Drain ability now requires a move action, rather than a standard action. In addition, you can use Life Drain once per round as a swift combat manoeuvre. Requires: Level 6 Death Knight.

Enhanced Sneak Attack: Your sneak attack damage increases by 1d6 points. Requires: Level 12 Death Knight.

Powerful Smite: The damage bonus on smite attacks increases by two points. Requires: Death Knight or Paladin.

Greater Smite: The damage bonus on smite attacks increases by another two points. Requires: Powerful Smite, Level 9, Death Knight or Paladin.

Extra Smite: You can use Smite one additional time during every encounter.

Vicious Strike: Opponents damaged by the character's sneak attack bleed until the end of combat, or until cured. Bleeding is cumulative; each hit increases the bleeding amount by 1 point per round, up to a maximum of 10 points per round. Requires: Level 3 Death Knight.

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