3e SRD:Blackguard

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This material is published under the OGL 1.0a.


Hit Die: d10.


To qualify to become a blackguard, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

  • Alignment: Any evil.
  • Special: The blackguard must have made peaceful contact with an evil outsider who was summoned by him or someone else to have contracted the taint of true evil.

Class Skills

The blackguard’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Ride (Dex).

Table: The Blackguard
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special — Spells per Day —
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Detect good, poison use 0
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Dark blessing, smite good 1
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Command undead, aura of despair 1 0
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Sneak attack +1d6 1 1
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Fiendish servant 1 1 0
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 1 1 1
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 Sneak attack +2d6 2 1 1 0
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 2 1 1 1
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 2 2 1 1
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 Sneak attack +3d6 2 2 2 1

Class Features

All of the following are Class Features of the blackguard prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Blackguards are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor, and with shields.

Detect Good: At will, the blackguard can detect good as a spell-like ability. This ability duplicates the effects of the spell detect good.

Poison Use: Blackguards are skilled in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.

Dark Blessing: A blackguard applies his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus to all saving throws.

Spells: Beginning at 1st level, a blackguard gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells. To cast a spell, the blackguard must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell’s level, so a blackguard with a Wisdom of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Blackguard bonus spells are based on Wisdom, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the blackguard’s Wisdom modifier. When the blackguard gets 0 spells of a given level, such as 0 1st-level spells at 1st level, he gets only bonus spells. (A blackguard without a bonus spell for that level cannot yet cast a spell of that level.) The blackguard’s spell list appears below. A blackguard has access to any spell on the list and can freely choose which to prepare, just like a cleric. A blackguard prepares and casts spells just as a cleric does (though the blackguard cannot spontaneously cast cure or inflict spells).

Smite Good: Once a day, a blackguard of 2nd level or higher may attempt to smite good with one normal melee attack. He adds his Charisma modifier (if positive) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per class level. For example, a 9th-level blackguard armed with a longsword would deal 1d8+9 points of damage, plus any additional bonuses from high Strength or magical effects that normally apply. If the blackguard accidentally smites a creature that is not good, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day. Smite good is a supernatural ability.

Aura of Despair: Beginning at 3rd level, the blackguard radiates a malign aura that causes enemies within 10 feet of him to suffer a –2 morale penalty on all saving throws. Aura of despair is a supernatural ability.

Command Undead: When a blackguard reaches 3rd level, he gains the supernatural ability to command and rebuke undead. He commands undead as would a cleric of two levels lower.

Sneak Attack: If a blackguard can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Basically, any time the blackguard’s target would be denied her Dexterity bonus to AC (whether she actually has a Dexterity bonus or not) or when the blackguard flanks the target, the blackguard’s attack deals +1d6 points of damage at 4th level and an additional +1d6 points for every three levels thereafter (+2d6 at 7th level, +3d6 at 10th level, and so on). Should the blackguard score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Ranged attacks only count as sneak attacks if the target is 30 feet away or less. A blackguard cannot make a sneak attack to deal subdual damage. The blackguard must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach a vital spot. He cannot sneak attack while striking at a creature with concealment or by striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

A blackguard can only sneak attack living creatures with discernible anatomies. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Additionally, any creature immune to critical hits is not subject to sneak attacks.

If a blackguard gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as rogue levels), the bonuses to damage stack.

Blackguard Spell List

Blackguards choose their spells from the following list:

1st Level — cause fear, cure light wounds, doom, inflict light wounds, magic weapon, summon monster I*.

2nd Level — bull’s strength, cure moderate wounds, darkness, death knell, inflict moderate wounds, shatter, summon monster II*.

3rd Level — contagion, cure serious wounds, deeper darkness, inflict serious wounds, protection from elements, summon monster III*.

4th Level — cure critical wounds, freedom of movement, inflict critical wounds, poison, summon monster IV*.

* Evil creatures only.

Fallen Paladins

Blackguards who possess levels of paladin (that is to say, are now ex-paladins) gain extra abilities the more levels of paladin they possess. Those who have tasted the light of goodness and justice and turned away make the foulest villains.

Table:Fallen Paladin Blackguard Abilities
Paladin Levels Extra Ability
1-2: Smite good once per day. (This is in addition to the ability granted to all blackguards at 2nd level, so that a fallen paladin blackguard can smite good a total of twice per day.)
3-4: Lay on hands. Once per day, the blackguard can cure himself of damage equal to his Charisma bonus times his level. The blackguard can only cure himself or his fiendish servant with this spell-like ability.
5-6: Sneak attack damage increased by +1d6.
7-8: Fiendish summoning. Once per day, the blackguard can use a summon monster I spell to call forth an evil creature. For this spell, the caster level is double the blackguard’s class level.
9-10: Undead companion. In addition to the fiendish servant, the blackguard gains (at 5th level) a Medium-size skeleton or zombie as a companion. This companion cannot be turned or rebuked by another and gains all special bonuses as a fiendish servant when the blackguard gains levels.
11+ Favored of the dark deities. Evil deities like nothing more than to see a pure heart corrupted, and thus a fallen paladin of this stature immediately gains a blackguard level for each level of paladin he trades in. For example, a character who has twelve levels of paladin can immediately become a 10th-level blackguard with all abilities if he chooses to lose ten levels of paladin. The character level of the character does not change. This, of course, is in every way a profitable trade for the evil character, since he has already lost most of the benefits he gained from having those paladin levels. However, with the loss of paladin levels, the character no longer gains extra abilities found on this table. Thus, a fallen paladin of 15th level could become a 10th-level blackguard/5th-level paladin with the first three extra abilities on this chart because of those five levels of paladin.

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