Death Knight (Psionic), Death Knight (4e Class Variant)
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|Image by reaper78|
|“||Members of the undead, these warriors continue to fight, renewed with unholy power.||”|
|Role: Defender, Striker. A melee and ranged striker, this class balances power with defense and control, blending elements of all three class types.|
|Power Source: Divine and Psionic. Empowered by both divine and psionic power, their ability to stay renaimated hinges on their own psychic will to stay alive.|
|Key Abilities: Strength, Wisdom|
|Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, leather, hide, chainmail, scale, plate; light shield, heavy shield|
|Weapon Proficiencies: Simple melee, military melee, simple ranged|
|Implements: Ki focus, Holy Symbol|
|Bonus to Defense: +1 Fortitude, +1 Will|
|Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution score|
|Hit Points per Level Gained: 5|
|Healing Surges per Day: 8 + Constitution modifier|
|Trained Skills: Religion. From the class skills list below, choose 4 more trained skills at 1st level.|
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Arcana (Int), Athletics (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Religion (Int), Thievery (Dex)
|Build Options: Blood Knight, Frost Knight, Scourge Knight|
|Class Features: Undead Body, Death's Embrace, Psionic Augmentation, Channel Divinity, Weapon Talents, Runic Presence, Runic Aura, Runic Challenge, Scourge|
- 1 Class Overview
- 2 Creating a Death Knight
- 3 Death Knight Class Features
- 4 Heroic Death Knights
- 5 Utility Powers
- 6 Daily Attack Powers
- 7 Level 11: Paragon Path
Name: Death Knight
Characteristics: The Death Knight is a divine and psionic-based class, following the traditional set-up of psionic clases. They use auras and stances to augment their powers, as well as power points. They are both a melee and ranged striker, using melee weapons and ranged magic attacks to damage their opponents. With a blend of controller, defender and striker like abilities, they serve as a jack-of-all trades, but can only exemplify elements of their roles at any given point in time.
Religion: Death Knight's are divinely inspired, so their religion is extremely important to them. Despite being divinely inspired however, many Death Knight's simply dedicated themselves to their Gods so as to gain the power in return, meaning that their commitment to them is quite often conditional. Death Knight's most often favor unaligned or evil Gods, however a blend of variously aligned gods is not uncommon. Many Good or Lawful Good Death Knights have forged a pact with bane, the God of War, in order to receive his dark blessing. Death Knight's who follow this route use their powers for good, rather than evil, but justify their actions as being a necessary evil.
Races: The Death Knight naturally favors races with high Strength and Wisdom. This includes the Goliath, Minotaur and Shifter. Any strength based race can benefit, and humans are particularly effective in the role. Dwarves, muls and humans are naturally inclined towards the role, as are Dragonbor. }}
Creating a Death Knight
- Ability Scores
Strength should be your primary ability. As almost all of your powers and attack rolls utilize strength for the attack and damage roll, strength should be the primary ability, and 20 strength at character creation is recommended for power characters or strikers. However, wisdom is extremely important, as well. Virtually all of your secondary powers use wisdom, and many of your secondary damage roles use Wisdom. Wisdom is almost as important as strength, although some builds can get away with lower wisdom levels. 20/16 or 18/18 is recommended. 20/14 or 18/16 are plausible, albeit weaker builds.
Death Knights emphasize durability and power. Feats which boost your defenses, such as toughness or improved defenses, will naturally augment your high defenses. Damage feats, such as weapon proficiency or expertise feats, should not be neglected, especially if you are going a more striker oriented route. Feats built for the Death Knight should be considered, as should racial feats that are particularly powerful, such as Dwarven Weapon Training.
As you are a heavy armor dependent class with secondary abilities that do not boost lightly armored defenses (such as dexterity or intelligence), you should start with the highest armor you can, or plate. Choosing heavy shields or two-handed weapons will be your biggest choice; if you want to do more damage, you should go with two-handed weapons, which also can receive additional benefits with certain powers. As all of your melee attacks can substitute your enhancement with your implement bonus instead, it is wise to choose a Ki Focus or Holy symbol. Otherwise, standard adventuring gear is suggested.
- Implement Bonus
When you wear or hold your holy symbol, you can add its enhancement bonus to the attack rolls and the damage rolls of powers that have the implement keyword. You can also add its enhancement bonus to the attack rolls and the damage rolls of weapon attacks you make using a weapon with which you have proficiency.
You can also use a weapon with which you have proficiency as an implement. When wielding the weapon as an implement, the weapon's characteristics-proficiency bonus, damage die, and weapon properties like defensive or high crit-are irrelevant to your implement powers.
If you have both an implement and a magic weapon, you choose before you use an attack power whether to draw on the magic of the implement or the weapon. Your choice determines which enhancement bonus, critical hit effects, and magic item properties and powers you can apply to that power. You can't, for example, use the enhancement bonus of implement and the critical hit effect of your magic weapon with the same attack.
Death Knight Class Features
Death Knights use psionic at-will powers that are enhanced with power points, as well as utilities and dailies, forgoing the traditional encounter powers. Being able to use both melee and ranged attack powers, they are unique in that they excel in both types of attacks. Death Knights do not excel in any particular area, but do well in all areas except for healing. They as a result make a good general class, and with specialization can go a number of different ways.
Like all psionic classes, you gain two at-will powers at level 1, one more at-will at level 3, and can replace your at-wills at every level you would ordinarily gain an encounter power instead, except for level 21. You also gain 2 power points at the same level intervals.
Level 1: Choose Two - Gain 2
Level 3: Choose One - Gain 2 (4 Total)
Level 7: Replace One - Gain 2 (6 Total)
Level 13: Replace One - Gain 1 (7 Total)
Level 17: Replace One - Gain 2 (9 Total)
Level 21: - Gain 2 (11 Total)
Level 23: Replace One - Gain 2 (13 Total)
Level 27: Replace One - Gain 2 (15 Total)
Power Points: You start with 2 power points. You gain 2 additional power points at 3rd and 7th level, 1 additional power point at 13th level, and 2 additional power points at 17th. 21st, 23rd, and 27th level. If you gain power points from another source (such as your paragon path), add them to your power point total. You can use your power points to augment any augmentable power you have, regardless of how you gained the power.
You regain all your power points when you take a short or an extended rest.
The class is considered an undead creature for the purpose of effects that relate to the undead keyword. You are also considered a living creature. You do not need to eat, drink, breathe or sleep. You never have to make Endurance checks to resist the effects of starvation, thirst, or suffocation.
A Death Knight either wields a weapon two-handed, or wields two one-handed weapons, favoring offense over defense. Further, Death Knights wielding a weapon do not provoke an opportunity attack when making ranged or area attacks. At character creation, you choose either two-handed or two-weapon, and you gain the appropriate benefit.
Two-handed: While wielding a two-hand weapon, you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and a +1 bonus Reflex.
Two Weapon: You gain Two-weapon Fighting and Two-weapon defense as a bonus feats, even if you don't meet the prerequisites. You may also use a one-handed weapon in your offhand as if it's an offhanded weapon.
Your presence powers inherently effect your character's attacks and abilities, influencing them subtly in many ways. You gain access to three presences, the Frost presence, Blood presence, and Unholy presence. None of the presences can be activated at the same time, although they can be activated at the same time as other powers. The three Presences are related to Defense, Offense, and dealing additional effects, which roughly correlates to Striker, Defender, and Controller abilities. At the start of the encounter when you roll for initiative, you may enter one of these presences as a free action. Presences otherwise require a minor action to change.
Frost Presence: You enter the "Frost Presence". When you target an enemy with an attack, the target is marked until the end of your next turn. In addition, if you successfully hit the target, you gain temporary hitpoints equal to your wisdom modifier.
Blood Presence: You enter the "Blood Presence". When you successfully hit an enemy with an attack, you can add your wisdom modifier as extra damage to the attack. This increases to double your wisdom modifier damage by level 11.
Unholy Presence: You enter the "Unholy Presence". When you successfully hit a target with an attack, it either takes a -1 penalty to it's attack roll or defense until the end of your next turn. In addition, if an ally target the same creature with an attack, they can regain hitpoints equal to your wisdom modifier damage.
You gain access to three Auras, the Frost Aura, Blood Aura, and Unholy Aura. All of these Auras have a ranged of 2, none of the stances can be activated at the same time, although they can be activated at the same time as other aruas. The Auras are related to Defense, Offense, and healing, which roughly correlates to Striker, Defender, and Leader abilities.
Frost Aura: You gain the "Frost Aura". When enemies are within the Aura, they take a -1 penalty to attack rolls.
Blood Aura: You gain the "Blood Aura". When enemies are within the Aura, they take a -1 penalty to all defenses.
Unholy Aura: You gain the "Unholy Aura". When allies are within the Aura, they gain regeneration 1. This increases to regeneration 2 at level 11, and regeneration 3 at level 21.
You gain a bonus to opportunity attacks equal to your Wisdom modifier. An enemy struck by your opportunity attack stops moving, if a move provoked the attack. If it still has actions remaining, it can use them to resume moving.
Instead of modifying an attack with your power points, you can expend a power point to instead cause an ongoing effect. The effect you inflict upon your opponent depends on the choice of power you make. In addition, certain powers allow you to inflict an ongoing scourge effect, particularly daily powers. Multiple scourge effects can be going on at the same time, however only one at the same time.
Blood Plague: Ongoing psychic damage equal to your wisdom modifier and -1 penalty to all defenses. (Save Ends both)
Frost Fever: Ongoing psychic damage equal to your wisdom modifier and -1 penalty to all attack rolls (Save Ends both)
Crimson Scourge: -1 penalty to all defenses and attack rolls (Save Ends both)
Ebon Plague: Doubles the effectiveness of all other scourges (Save Ends)
White plague: The creature is either slowed, blinded, weakened, or dazed. While ebon plague is active, you can choose to apply two of these effects. (Save Ends)
The Scourge: While active, the creature takes a -3 penalty to all saving throws (save ends). In addition, if the creature dies while the scourge is active, a ghoul minion is summoned in it's square. (Save Ends)
Heroic Death Knights
Death Knights gain access to Auras, Stances, and At-will attacks.
Level 1: At-Will Auras
Benefit: You gain all of the following powers at level 1. You may only have 1 of the following auras active at a time, but can have more than one aura active from other powers. At the beginning of an encounter, you may activate an aura for free, or when you roll an initiative check.
Level 1: At-Will Presence
Benefit: You gain all of the following powers at level 1. You gain access to three presences, the Frost presence, Blood presence, and Unholy presence. None of these presences may be active at the same time. The three presences are related to Defense, Offense, and dealing additional effects, which roughly correlates to Striker, Defender, and Controller abilities. At the beginning of an encounter, you may activate a presence as a free action, or when you roll an initiative check.
Level 1: At-Will Powers
Benefit: You gain two of the following powers at level 1, and three at level 3. At level 7, 13, 17, 23, and 27 you can change your at-will.
Level 3: At-Will Powers
List of powers: Plague Strike, Chains of Ice, Heart Strike, Blood Boil, Mind Freeze
Level 7: At-Will Powers
List of powers: Scourge Strike, Cold hand of Death, Rune Tap, Death Grip, Horn of Winter
Level 13: At-Will Powers
List of powers: Cripple, Unholy Strike, Reaping Strike, Piercing Strike, Pestilence
Level 17: At-Will Powers
List of powers: Necrotic Strike, Strangulate, Death and Decay, Empower Weapon, Dark Succor
Level 23: At-Will Powers
List of powers: Blight, Festering Strike, Diabolic Grasp, Hellfire Wrath, Inferno
Level 27: At-Will Powers
List of powers: Obliteration, Dual Strike, Enfeebling Strike, Unholy Challenge
You gain access to all of the Death Knight Utility powers, including any of the following listed powers below.
Daily Attack Powers
You gain access to all of the Death Knight Daily Attack powers, including the following listed powers below.
Level 11: Paragon Path
|Image by ChaoyuanXu|
Unholy Divinity (Level 11): When you spend an action point, you can on your next attack also cause an additional ongoing plague effect.
Hellfire's Wrath (Level 11): You gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls.
Growing Scourge (Level 16): Targets of ongoing effects inflicted by you also suffer a -4 penalty to all saving throws.
|The Scourge||Death Knight Utility 12|
|'All life is inevitably brought to an end, by the way of the scourge'|
|Encounter Divine, Psychic|
|Minor Action||Ranged 10|
|Target: One Creature|
|Effect: The creature is subject to one of your ongoing plague effects.|
|Obliteration||Death Knight Attack 20|
|Daily Divine, Psychic|
|Target: One Creature|
|Attack: Strength Vs. AC|
|Hit: 5[W] + Strength. The targets takes 5 ongoing damage in addition to one of your ongoing plague effects.|