Dark Knight (5e Class)
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- 1 Dark Knight
- 1.1 Knights Without Leaders
- 1.2 Creating a Dark Knight
- 1.3 Class Features
- 1.3.1 Table: The Dark Knight
- 1.3.2 Detect Outsiders
- 1.3.3 Bloody Hands
- 1.3.4 Fighting Style
- 1.3.5 Spellcasting
- 1.3.6 Dark Bane
- 1.3.7 Infernal Health
- 1.3.8 Dark Path
- 1.3.9 Ability Score Increase
- 1.3.10 Extra Attack
- 1.3.11 Aura of Sorrow
- 1.3.12 Aura of Clarity
- 1.3.13 Abyssal Bane
- 1.3.14 Contaminating Touch
- 2 Dark Paths
A tiefling casually saunters into a tavern. A known hive of scum and villainy, he knows that this is where he will find his prey. He finds the inside filled to the brim with outlaws and scoundrels of all walks. Among them, there is contract at a table. They see one another. The tiefling grasps his sword. His contract readies his crossbow under the table. The bandit fires, and is shocked to see his bolt pass through the tiefling. Before he can shout, his head is slashed from his shoulders, and the tiefling appears like a shadow brought to light. None of the other villains in the tavern dare to attack, knowing they will meet the same fate if they try.
A human fights valiantly against a beholder in its lair. The monster is tenacious, but the human is as well. The human raises her shield and readies her sword. Every strike swirls with evil power. Every blow is meant to send the beholder to unfathomable darkness. The beholder parries every blow, and knocks the human back. The human raises her head, and sees the beholder ready its magic. It intends to end the battle there. The human must end it as well. She calls upon an evil power within herself. She charges the monster, and cleaves it cleanly in two. The power has eaten away at her, and the human's life is now dwindling. The only thing that saves her is the healing touch of her paladin sister.
A dwarf is locked in mortal combat against a fiend from the foulest depths. Blow after blow is traded between the two, but the devil proves itself stronger. With a mighty swing, the devil knocks the dwarf off his feet, and rolling to the floor. The battle seems lost. But, the dwarf knows that if he loses, those he loves shall be doomed to the fiend's rule. The fiend smiles, as it sees the dwarf call upon the evil power within him. That smile soon fades, when the dwarf charges forward with a strength and vigor as if their fight had just begun. Every blow staggers the fiend, every movement is blindingly fast. Soon, the devil is beaten into submission, and sealed in the depths of its infernal realm. His work done, the dwarf begins his journey back to his home, where his wife and children await him.
Everybody has evil within them, but it is dark knights who utilize that inner evil for their own every day purposes.
Knights Without Leaders
A dark knight is a knight without a master. They forge their own destiny through life, taking work where they can. Oftentimes, they rely on the power of darkness to meet their own ends. Whether or not they use that dark power for good or evil is entirely up to them.
Creating a Dark Knight
How did your character become a dark knight? Were they once a renowned warrior, who gave up their glory to wander the land? Were they once in service to a king, only to be deposed from service, whether or not by their own choice? Or, were they led astray from a once righteous path to follow the course of the darkness within themselves?
- Quick Build
You can make a Dark Knight quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the Soldier background. Third, choose the martial weapon and a shield, shortbow with 20 arrows, scale mail, and a dungeoneer's pack for your starting equipment.
As a Dark Knight you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: All Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
Skills: Choose 2 from Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion and Religion
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) A Martial Weapon and a Shield or (b) 2 Martial Weapons
- (a) Five Hand Axes or (b) A Shortbow with 20 arrows
- (a) A Chain Shirt or (b) Scale Mail
- (a) A Dungeoneer's Pack or (b) An Explorer's Pack
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10 gp in funds.
|Features||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Bloody Hands, Detect Outsiders||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||Fighting Style, Spellcasting, Dark Bane||2||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||Infernal Health, Dark Path||3||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||3||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Aura of Sorrow||4||2||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||Dark Path Feature||4||3||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||—||—||—|
|10th||+4||Aura of Clarity||4||3||2||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement, Fighting style||4||3||3||—||—|
|15th||+5||Dark Path Feature||4||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||2||—|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||3||2|
|20th||+6||Dark Path Feature||4||3||3||3||2|
Your senses are open to the presence of creatures not of your own plane of existence. As an action, you are able to sense the presence of any abberation, celestial, fey or fiend within 60 feet of you for 1 minute. You know the type (celestial, fiend, etc.) of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity (the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich, for instance). Within the same radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. You regain all expended uses upon finishing a long rest.
Dark power threatens to overwhelm you, and drives you to kill in the most horrific, violent way possible. As an action, you are able to attack with damage equal to 2 x your dark knight level. When you use this feature, you lose HP equal to half of the total damage you deal upon landing a successful hit, rounded down. If you miss with this feature, you and the targeted creature take no damage.
Alternatively, you can expend 5 of your own HP to make your next regular attack ignore all damage resistances against the next creature you attack.
If this feature were to expend any amount of HP that would reduce your own HP to 0, then this feature will automatically fail.
Starting at 2nd level, choose one of the following options. You can't choose the same style twice, even if you later get to choose again.
When wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC. When you are wielding a shield, you may use your reaction to impose disadvantage on an attack roll targeting another ally within 5 feet of you.
When wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
- Great Weapon Fighting
When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a weapon held in two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if it is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.
- Two Weapon Fighting
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second Attack.
Starting at 2nd level, you can cast dark knight spells.
- Preparing and Casting Spells
The Dark Knight table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells. To cast one of your dark knight spells of 1st level or higher, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
You prepare the list of dark knight spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the dark knight spell-list. When you do so, choose a number of dark knight spells equal to your Charisma modifier + half your dark knight level, rounded down (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
Casting the spell doesn't remove it from your list of prepared spells. You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of dark knight spells requires time spent in personal reflection, or quiet meditation: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.
- Spellcasting Ability
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your dark knight spells. You use your Charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a dark knight spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your charisma modifier
Staring at 2nd level, when you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one spell slot as a bonus action to deal necrotic damage to the target, in addition to the weapon's damage. The extra damage is 2d8 for a 1st-level spell slot, plus 1d8 for each spell-level higher than 1st, to a maximum of 5d8.
Starting at 3rd level, the dark power flowing through you bolsters your fortitude, and makes you immune to disease.
Starting at 3rd level, you choose a Dark Path to follow. Choose between the Path of Violence, the Path of Devilry, or the Path of Deception, all of which are detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at the 3rd level, and again at 7th, 15th and 20th level.
- Path Spells
Each path has a list of associated spells. You gain access to these spells at the levels specified in the path description. Once you gain access to a path spell, you always have it prepared. Path spells don't count against the number of spells you can prepare each day. If you gain an path spell that doesn't appear on the dark knight spell list, the spell is nonetheless a dark knight spell for you.
- Dark Arts
Your dark path allows you to channel infernal power to fuel magical effects. Each Dark Arts option provided by your path explains how to use it. When you use your Dark Arts, you choose which option to use. You must then finish a short or long rest to use your Dark Arts again. Some Dark Arts require saving throws. When you use such a feature from this class, the DC equals your Dark Knight spell save DC.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Starting at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Aura of Sorrow
Starting at 6th level, whenever a hostile creature within 10 feet of you must make a saving throw, the hostile creature gains a disadvantage to the saving throw equal to your Charisma modifier (with a minimum disadvantage of -1). You must be conscious to inflict this feature. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.
Aura of Clarity
Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can't be blinded or deafened while you are conscious. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet
Starting at 11th level, you are so suffused with dark power that all your melee weapon strikes carry an evil power with them. Whenever you successfully hit a creature with a melee weapon, the creature takes an extra 1d8 necrotic damage and increases by 1d8 per dark knight level. If you also use your Dark Bane with an attack, you add this damage to the extra damage of your Dark Bane.
Starting at 14th level, you can use your action to extend the duration of one spell on yourself or on one creature that you touch for one turn. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Path of Violence
Those who follow the Path of Violence are those who let their might overtake them. Those on this path are able to crush their enemies with a single blow.
- Path Spells
- 3rd: Hunter's Mark, Compelled Duel
- 5th: Ray of Enfeeblement, Magic Weapon
- 9th: Vampiric Touch, Slow
- 13th: Banishment, Locate Creature
- 17th: Hold Monster, Wall of Force
- Dark Arts
When you choose this Path at the 3rd level, your power already begins to increase exponentially.
- Evil Reach: No enemy is beyond your reach. As an action, you are able to increase the reach of your melee attacks by 5 feet for 1 minute. Additionally, the normal and long range your ranged weapon attacks increase by 20 feet.
- No Escape: Your wrath follows quickly. As an action, you are able to increase your base walking speed by 10 feet for 1 minute. For every dark knight level you gain upon learning this feature, your base walking speed increases an additional 5 feet when this feature is activated.
- Aura of Brutality
Starting at 7th level, you exude an aura of pure, unchained wrath. Your attacks, and the attacks of all friendly creatures within 10 feet of yourself now count as magical for the sake of overcoming resistance. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.
- Accursed Hands
Starting at 15th level, you become even more in tune with your violent nature. Whenever you use the Bloody Hands feature, you may make a constitution saving throw. On a successful save, you take no damage from this feature. On a failed save, you take half damage as normal from using your Bloody Hands feature, rounded down.
- Idol of Violence
Starting at 20th level, you become an avatar of malice and destruction. As an action, you gain the following benefits for 1 minute:
- You gain temporary HP equal to 2d12 + your dark knight level + your proficiency bonus.
- You gain advantage on all strength, dexterity and constitution saving throws and skill checks.
- Your attack action now deals extra damage equal to your weapon's damage type + attack bonus + your dexterity bonus.
Path of Devilry
Those who follow the Path of Devilry are those who are not afraid to let their inner evil flow. These knights walk a fine line between hero and villain.
- Path Spells
- 3rd: Armor of Agathys, Charm Person
- 5th: Darkness, Detect Thoughts
- 9th: Animate Dead, Haste
- 13th: Fire Shield, Phantasmal Killer
- 17th: Cone of Cold, Dream
- Dark Arts
When you choose this Path at the 3rd level, evil flows forth from you and starts to affect the world around you.
- Hellfire: Devilish power is at work here. As a bonus action, you are able to surround yourself with an aura of red hot flames. All creatures within 5 feet of yourself who attack you suffer fire damage equal to 2d6 + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).
- Evil Eye: All gaze upon you in fear. As an action, you are able to force every hostile creature within 30 feet of yourself the targeted creatures become frightened of you. When a creature becomes frightened of you upon using this feature, every successful attack that you inflict upon them does extra damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1). Can be used as a reaction.
- Aura of Apparition
Starting at 7th level, no attack seems to land on you. As an action you are able to activate a ghoulish aura around yourself. As long as you are conscious, all hostile creatures within 10 feet of yourself have disadvantage on any attack made against you, and any friendly creatures within range of your aura. The effects of this aura last for 1 minute. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet. You are able to use this feature 3 times, and regain expended uses upon finishing a long rest.
- Blood Weapon
Starting at the 15th level, the dark magic within you allows you to siphon just a little bit of your enemies' souls. Whenever you land a hit on any targeted creature, you gain temporary HP equal to half the damage you have inflicted rounded down, plus your constitution modifier (minimum of 1).
- Idol of Devilry
Starting at 20th level, you allow yourself to be swallowed by your own inner evil. As an action, you gain the following benefits:
- You surround yourself in an aura of hellfire. All hostile creatures within 30 feet of yourself suffer fire damage equal to 2d12 + your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1). Celestials will suffer twice as much damage from this feature.
- Wings of hellish shadows grow from your back, granting you flight speed equal to 50 feet.
- As an action, you are able to summon spiked chains to restrain any creature of your choosing. You may restrain up 8 creatures that are sized tiny, small or medium, up to 3 creatures sized large, 2 creature sized huge and 1 creature sized gargantuan. Any creature caught in these chains has their speed reduced by half, and takes damage equal to 5d8 piercing and 2d12 fire damage.
Path of Deception
Those who follow the Path of Deception are those who live by their wits. Those who practice deception are errant tricksters, who appear and disappear at a whim.
- Path Spells
3rd: Comprehend Languages, Guiding Bolt 5th: Invisibility, Find Traps 9th: Counterspell, Nondetection 13th: Greater Invisibility, Arcane Eye 17th: Mislead, Modify Memory
- Dark Arts
When you choose this Path at the 3rd level, you are able to sow confusion, and kill others over a period of time.
- Grisly Wound: As a bonus action, you touch one weapon or piece of ammunition and conjure a special poison on it. The poison lasts for 1 minute. The next time you successfully attack a creature with an attack using the poisoned weapon or ammunition, the target takes poison damage immediately after the attack. The poison damage equals 2d8 + your dark knight level. Upon a successful hit, the creature must make a saving throw of DC10 + your charisma modifier. On a failed save, the creature receives the poisoned condition.
- Invoke Duplicity: As an action, you create a visual illusion of yourself that lasts for 1 minute, or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell). The illusion appears in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you. The illusion looks exactly like you; it is silent; it is your size, is insubstantial, and doesn't occupy its space; and it is unaffected by attacks and damage. As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the illusion up to 30 feet to a space you can see, but the illusion must remain within 120 feet of you. For the duration, you can cast spells as though you were in the illusion's space, but you must use your own senses. Additionally, when both you and your illusion are within 5 feet of a creature that can see the illusion, you have advantage on attack rolls against that creature, given how uncanny the illusion is.
- Aura of Confusion
Starting at 7th level, when the odds are seemingly against you, it is exactly the opposite. As an action, you may command a creature within 10 feet of you to perform an action of your choosing. The targeted creature must make a charisma saving throw of DC10 + your charisma modifier. On a failed save, the creature completes one action that you command it to do. Once the action is completed, the creature is no longer under your control, until you use this feature on it again. Upon a successful save, the targeted creature is not put under your control. The effects of this feature are wasted if the targeted creature is immune to being charmed. At the 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet. You are able to use this feature 3 times, and regain expended uses upon finishing a long rest.
- Devilish Escape
Starting at 15th level, you are able to pull yourself from seemingly any situation. As an action, you are able to turn invisible for 1 minute. Additionally, you may use an action to teleport up to 120 feet away from where you are standing into an unoccupied space that you can see. The moment you use the teleport action, you become visible. You are able to use this feature 1 time, and may not use it again until you complete a short or a long rest.
- Idol of Deception
Starting at 20th level, you become an avatar of all things underhanded and duplicitous. As an action, you gain the following attributes for one minute:
- You become invisible.
- Your base speed doubles.
- You are able to use an action to control the actions of another creature within 30 feet of yourself, regardless of immunities to being charmed.
- Your first attack upon activating this feature has advantage, and a successful hit deals twice the normal damage. All subsequent attacks deal normal damage
Dark Knight Spell List
You know all of the spells on the basic Dark Knight spell list and additional spells based on your subclass.
- 1st Level
Arms of Hadar, Bane, Burning Hands, Cure Wounds, Detect Good and Evil, Detect Magic, Detect Poison and Disease, Dissonant Whispers, False Life, Hex, Magic Armor, Protection from Good and Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Ray of Sickness, Witch Bolt
- 2nd Level
Blindness/Deafness, Blur, Cloud of Daggers, Crown of Madness, Lesser Restoration, Locate Object, Magic Weapon, Spike Growth
- 3rd Level
Bestow Curse, Call Lightning, Create Food and Water, Dispel Magic, Elemental Weapon, Fear, Hunger of Hadar, Phantom Steed, Revivify, Sleet Storm
- 4th Level
Blight, Control Water, Evard's Black Tentacles, Locate Creature, Wall of Fire
- 5th Level
Antilife Shell, Bigby's Hand, Contagion, Conjure Volley, Dispel Evil and Good, Raise Dead
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Dark Knight class, you must meet these prerequisites: Strength 14, Charisma 12
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Dark Knight class, you gain the following proficiencies: Medium Armor, Martial Weapons