View Full Version : "The Corpses seem Right Tonight..."[3.5, Base Class, PEACH]

2012-07-04, 02:08 AM
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I have seen the visions. I have heard the voices. They tell me to do things; I have been told to keep going, to go on, to leave this mortal realm...

But I'm not ready; not yet, anyhow.

The Corpse Knight

There are some warriors who seek to live fast, die young, and to leave an honorable corpse; on the other hand, there are some who would live forever.

So when someone offers them a little extension to their lives, they tend to jump at the offer...

Alignment: Any
Skill points per Level: 4+Int
Skill points at 1st Level: 4*(4+Int)

HD: d12

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Class Features|Corpsecraft Traits Known|Corpsecraft Traits Embodied
1|+0|+2|+0|+2|Warrior of the Damned I, Summon Allied Knight, Corpse Empathy|-|-
2|+1|+3|+0|+3|Panoply of Bone +1d6, Final Respite|-|-
3|+2|+3|+1|+3|The Heartbeat Ceases, Perpetual Knight, Corpsecraft Growth|3|3
4|+3|+4|+1|+4|Corpsecraft Brilliance, Panoply of Bone +1d6/+1|4|3
5|+3|+4|+1|+4|Warrior of the Damned II, Cursed Knight's Steed|4|3
6|+4|+5|+2|+5|Panoply of Bone +2d6/+1, Stance of the Damned Knight I, Elaborate Panoply|5|4
7|+5|+5|+2|+5|Weeping Knight Pact (Least), Mettle|5|4
8|+6/+1|+6|+2|+6|Panoply of Bone +2d6/+2, Chain of Command|6|4
9|+6/+1|+6|+3|+6|Warrior of the Damned III, Corpsecraft Specialization|6|4
10|+7/+2|+7|+3|+7|Panoply of Bone +3d6/+2, Elaborate Panoply|7|4
11|+8/+3|+7|+3|+7|Stance of the Damned Knight II|7|5
12|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|Panoply of Bone +3d6/+3, Uncanny Dodge|8|5
13|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|Warrior of the Damned IV, Weeping Knight Pact (Lesser)|8|5
14|+10/+5|+9|+4|+9|Panoply of Bone +4d6/+3, Elaborate Panoply|9|5
15|+11/+6/+1|+9|+5|+9|Corpsecraft Mastery, Improved Mettle|9|5
16|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Panoply of Bone +4d6/+4, Stance of the Damned Knight III|10|6
17|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Warrior of the Damned V, Improved Uncanny Dodge|10|6
18|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Panoply of Bone +5d6/+4, Elaborate Panoply|11|6
19|+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11|Weeping Knight Pact (Greater)|11|6
20|+15/10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Panoply of Bone +5d6/+5, Vizier of Corpses|12|6[/table]

A Corpse Knight's Class Skills are: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis)

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Corpse Knight is proficient in all Simple and Martial weapons, as well as light armor, medium armor, and all shields except for Tower Shields.

In addition, they are automatically proficient in any item they create through their Panoply of Bone class feature.

Warrior of the Damned (Ex): A Corpse Knight is fundamentally damned by their willingness to embrace Undeath for power; this manifests itself strongest through their access to damned forms of power.

A Corpse Knight may spend 5 minutes in solemn meditation upon death and their pact; if they do so, they may select a single maneuver as if through the Martial Study feat. For the purposes of the Void Messiah discipline (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10475949), the Narrow Bridge (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113982) discipline, and one additional discipline of their choice, chosen when they first gain this ability, treat the Corpse Knight's class level as if it were a Martial Initiator for the purpose of their IL and which Maneuvers may be selected. Each time they meditate, they lose access to the maneuvers they selected, and choose another maneuver of their choice.

At 5th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the Corpse Knight selects an additional maneuver each time they meditate for 5 minutes.

Summon Allied Knight (Su): In combat, it is sometimes better to be able to call for help than it is to fight alone; for this alone, a Corpse Knight is granted the ability to call a potent ally.

A Corpse Knight may, as a Standard action that provokes an Attack of Opportunity, expend a maneuver they selected through the Warrior of the Damned class feature to duplicate the effects of a Summon Undead spell of equivalent strength (so Summon Undead I at 1st level, Summon Undead II when they get access to Warrior of the Damned II, and so on and so forth.) Treat their caster level for this ability as if it were either equal to their class level or the minimum caster level required to cast that given spell, whichever is higher.

Corpse Empathy (Ex): Undead recognize the Corpse Knight as one of their own; it is no wonder, since they are damned to become one anyway.

The Corpse Knight gains the Lichloved feat(BoVD) as a bonus feat at 1st level. In addition, they may train mindless Undead as if they were Animals with an Intelligence of 1 if they have less than 10 HD, or as if they had an Intelligence of 2 if they have at least 10 HD.

Once a Corpse Knight begins to learn Corpsecrafting Traits, they may teach one to a Undead they are training. If they do so, this is treated as if they were training the Undead for a special purpose, and thus takes up 3 Tricks for a Basic Trait and 6 Tricks for a Specialist Trait (which includes the Basic version of that Trait as well). If you have Mastered a Basic Trait, however, all the Undead you train receive it for free.

A Corpse Knight may, over the course of an hour, erase all the tricks they taught to a given Undead.

Panoply of Bone (Ex): It would not be fitting for a knight of Undeath to wield a prosaic weapon, or to wear armor designed for the living! Instead, they craft their macabre gear from a more fitting substance.

At 2nd level, a Corpse Knight gains the ability to craft items from a corpse; this takes the normal amount of time, but reduces the material cost by the Corpse Knight's class level in GP (minimum 0 GP). They may create alchemical items through this class feature, even though they are not spellcasters.

Once they are done, the corpse has been mangled beyond belief; as such, only one item may be crafted from a corpse of a size equal to that of the Corpse Knight. A corpse one size larger counts as two corpses of their size, one 2 sizes larger counts as 4, and so on and so forth. In addition, the creature may not be resurrected by any form of magic that does not either completely regenerate the entire body or create a new body from scratch

In addition, if a Corpse Knight wields (or uses, in the case of splash, thrown, or ranged weapons) any weapon created through this class feature, their attacks ignores the damage reduction of Undead, can hit Incorporeal creatures as if they were magical, and deals an additional +1d6 Negative Energy damage to any living creatures that they hit. At 6th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the amount of damage dealt increases by +1d6.

Finally, if a Corpse Knight wears any armor or shields created by this class feature, they apply their armor or shield bonuses to their touch armor class against undead creatures. In addition, at 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the Armor and Shield bonuses of armor they create through this class feature increase by 1.

Final Respite (Su): Sometimes, it is required that a creature stays dead; after all, even Undeath does not want certain villains to enter their ranks, and sometimes, an Undead simply requires a path to their final rest.

At 2nd level, a Corpse Knight gains the ability to use Painless Death(Ghostwalk) as a spell-like ability at-will.

The Heartbeat Ceases: Their devotion has paid off! Corpse Knights revel is this diseased gift, for it is true power!

At 3rd level, a Corpse Knight gains one of the Vampire, Ghoul, Revenant, or Swordwraith (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Tome_of_Necromancy_%28DnD_Other%29/New_Rules) templates.

Perpetual Knight (Ex): Undeath defends it's champion like few others do; it would pointless to exalt a champion if they are unable to stand a single holy item, wouldn't it?

At 3rd level, a Corpse Knight adds half of their character level to their Turn Resistance.

Corpsecraft Growth (Su): A Corpse Knight has access to the little tweaks that necromancers use to toughen up their creations; of course, they use them a bit differently, but that comparison will do for now.

A Corpse Knight of at least 3rd level knows a number of Corpsecrafter Traits (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59582) as shown on the table above; however, they do not gain the benefits of all these traits at once.

Instead, each time they spend 5 minutes to change their maneuvers, they may select a number of Traits as shown on the table above, and gain their benefits until the next time they change their maneuvers.

A Corpse Knight only may learn Basic Traits at this point in time; at 5th level, and every 2 levels thereafter, they may forget a single trait, and replace it with any other that they could possibly learn.

If a Corpse Knight has any traits that supply an ability that can be used a limited number of times per day, they may only use that ability that many times a day, regardless of how many times they replace that trait; their number of uses reset whenever they spend at least 8 hours without using any of the maneuvers granted by Warrior of the Damned.

Corpselord's Calling (Su): It really is amazing how the flow of undeath through one's body is enough to cause others to rise up too.

At 4th level, a Corpse Knight gains the Animator (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=194514) feat as a bonus feat. In addition, the restriction on the HD of the creature you are animating only applies to Undead created through this feat.

Cursed Knight's Steed (Su): What is a knight without a steed?

At 5th level, as a ritual that takes 1 minute and requires the Corpse Knight to be standing on unworked earth, they may call forth an Undead horse to serve them. Their steed has all the statistics of a Heavy Warhorse with one of the Revenant, Ghoul, Swordwraith, or Vampire (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Tome_of_Necromancy_%28DnD_Other%29/New_Rules) templates.

In addition, as long as the Corpse Knight is mounted on their steed, their steed gains the benefits of their Perpetual Knight and any Corpsecraft traits the Corpse Knight is benefiting from due to their Corpsecraft Growth class feature. Finally, the steed always applies its Natural Armor class bonus to their Touch Armor class against undead creatures, and treats its natural attacks as if they were magical for the purpose of hitting incorporeal creatures.

A Corpse Knight may dismiss their steed as a Full-Round action, and do not have to call forth the same steed each time. However, if they do not dismiss their steed, their steed lasts until it would be destroyed.

Stance of the Damned Knight (Ex): A knight must always stand with the proper bearing, lest their enemies thing them weak.

At 6th, 11th, and 16th levels, a Corpse Knight gains the Martial Stance feat as a bonus feat, even if they would not normally qualify for it.

They completely ignore the prerequisite number of maneuvers each stance requires to be learned. In addition, for the purpose of selecting stances from any of the three disciplines outlined in the Warrior of the Damned class feature, treat their Initiator level as being equal to their class level plus half their levels in other classes.

Elaborate Panoply (Ex): A warrior cannot rely on the strength of their arms for all of eternity; sometimes, they need a little helping hand.

At 6th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a Corpse Knight learns any Item Creation feat that they qualify for, treating them as if they had a cast level equal to their class level for this purpose.

For the purpose of crafting items, they know all of the spells on the Dread Necromancer list. However, they may only enchant items that they create through their Panoply of Bone class feature.

Weeping Knight Pact (Ex) Once you sold your life to Undeath, it sometimes leaks energy back from... other pacts.

At 7th level, a Corpse Knight may learn Least Warlock Invocations as Corpsecraft Traits; their caster level is equal to their class level, and they may apply Eldritch Essences to any attacks they make with a weapon created through Panoply of Bone, treating the extra damage as if were Eldritch Blast damage for this purpose. They cannot learn Blast Shapes.

At 13th level, they may learn Lesser Invocations as Traits. At 19th level, they may learn Greater Invocations as Traits. Even though Invocations learned through this ability as Corpsecraft Traits, they still count as if they were Invocations for the purpose of prerequisites.

Invocations learned through this ability are treated as if they were Basic traits for all purposes.

Mettle (Ex): A knight should be durable, able to withstand any force that wishes to strike them down!

At 7th level, any time a knight succeeds on a Fortitude or Will save that has a partial effect on a successful save, they treat that ability as if it were instead Fort/Will Negates.

Chain of Command (Ex): No matter who they are, Undead must bow before your might!

At 8th level, a Corpse Knight treats any Undead that they encounter as if they were Mindless for the purpose of their Corpse Empathy ability as long as that creature has less HD than 1/2 the Corpse Knight's class level plus their Turn Resistance.

Corpsecraft Specialization (Ex): Anyone who wields power eventually learns to apply it with finesse.

At 9th level, a Corpse Knight gains the ability to learn the Specialist versions of any Traits they know the Basic version of; however, if they do so, they cannot choose to replace the Basic version of that Trait, and they must prepare both the Basic and Specialist versions of a Trait to gain their benefits (or teach both of them, in the case of Corpse Empathy.)

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): The dead are ever staring, ever watchful. As you are a corpse, this is extremely helpful.

At 12th level, a Corpse Knight retains their Dexterity Bonus to armor class even when they are Flat-Footed or attacked by an invisible creature.

Corpsecraft Mastery (Ex): Sometimes, you come across a breakthrough, and gain powers you never dreamed of.

At 15th level, a Corpse Knight may select a single Basic Trait that they know; when they do so, they permanently gain the benefit of that Trait. In addition, they no longer need to prepare it to use the related Specialist Trait, and they may apply the related Specialist Trait to any Undead that they train through Corpse Empathy as if it were a Basic Trait.

Improved Mettle (Ex): Death is undefeatable, eternal; and so shall you be.

At 15th level, whenever a Corpse Knight fails a Fortitude or Will save for partial effect, they take the partial affect as if they had succeeded on their save.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Death cannot be caught,and neither can you.

At 17th level, a Corpse Knight cannot be flanked unless they are being flanked by a Rogue whose class level is at least 4 higher than their own.

Vizier of Corpses (Su): You have an unimpeachable mastery over death; you have become Undeath, Ruler of Empty Worlds.

At 20th level, a Corpse Knight lose the [Dark Mind] and [Unliving] subtypes if they had them, and instead gains the [Void] subtype.

In addition, they may now use their Corpse Empathy on any Undead, regardless of their HD, and all Undead are treated as if they had an Intelligence of 2 for the purpose of how many tricks they can learn.

Finally, a Corpse Knight emanates a permanent Unhallow and Desecrate effect out to a range of 100'; a Corpse Knight may attach any Trait that they know to the Unhallow effect, granting its benefits to all Undead within the radius, and may change which Trait is attached whenever they change their readied Traits. They may only attach a Basic Trait or the Specialist Trait whose equivalent Basic Trait was chosen through Corpsecraft Mastery


So, what does everyone think?

2012-07-04, 11:42 AM
Necrotic Soul-Knight
Levels: 1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20
Replaces: Warrior of the Damned, Stance of the Damned Knight, Elaborate Panoply
Alters: The Heartbeat Ceases, Vizier of Corpses
Gains: At 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level, the Corpse Knight gains Shape Soulmeld as a bonus feat. However, for the purpose of any soulmelds with the [Necrocarnum] descriptor, the Corpse Knight's meldshaper level is equal to their class level plus half their levels in other classes. They still must meditate for 5 minutes to change their Corpsecraft Traits, however.

At 3rd level, regardless of which template they select, they gain the [Unliving] subtype, and gain Bonus Essentia as a bonus feat, regardless of whether or not they qualify for it.

At 6th level, they gain the Open Least Chakra feat as a bonus feat; at 11th level, they gain Open Lesser Chakra, and at 16th level, they gain the Open Greater Chakra feat. They may change which option they chose for each feat as part of their 5 minute meditation, and have no restriction on how often they can bind their soulmelds (however, if the chakra the soulmeld is bound to is ever not open due to opening a different chakra, any soulmeld bound to it is automatically unshaped.)

At 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th levels, they may select any [Essentia] feat that they qualify for as a Bonus Feat.

At 20th level, they do not lose their [Unliving] subtype; however, the Essentia Capacity of any soulmelds they have with the [Necrocarnum] descriptor increases by 1.

Stealth-Born Panoply
Your time spent skulking in shadow allows you great benefits when wielding a weapon you crafted.
Prerequisites: Sneak Attack 2d6, Panoply of Bone +1d6
Benefits: Your sneak attack dice and your bonus dice from Panoply of Bone stack for the purpose of qualifying for Ambush feats and you may sacrifice Panoply of Bone dice to use Ambush feats in place of sneak attack dice.

In addition, as long as you are wielding a weapon created through your Panoply of Bone class feature, you may perform sneak attacks on Undead creatures.

Gravewyrm Servant
You have patterned your apotheosis around the might of the Gravewyrm, whose callous consumption of zombies brings them delight.
Prerequisites: At least one Breath Effect, Panoply of Bone +1d6
Benefits: As long as you are wearing armor made through your Panoply of Bone class feature, your breath weapon benefits from your Panoply of Bone class feature as if it were a weapon you crafted.

In addition, once you gain the Weeping Knight Pact class feature, you may choose to gain Invocations from the Dragonfire Adept list as well as the Warlock list.

2012-07-04, 11:45 AM
Posting may begin!

Here, I tried to make a necromantic warrior who really doesn't raise them corpses on his own, though he can if he truly feels the need.

Instead, he augments the Undead and himself. Sweet, I know.

About the Warrior of the Damned class feature: Yes, it might seem kinda weak, compared to an actual initiator, but remember, they aren't restricted as to which maneuvers they can prepare. I might make an ACF that allows them to actually qualify for stuff that requires maneuvers...

2012-07-04, 01:17 PM
With regards to Warrior of the Damned, you need to say how long the access to the chosen maneuver last for, because otherwise as written, you can just keep meditating over and over for maneuver after maneuver.
Also, i'm glad i'm not the only one who knows what a Gravewyrm is. :smallbiggrin:

2012-07-04, 03:21 PM
Did I forget to note that you only keep them until the next time you meditate?

Huh. I'll fix that.

And Gravewyrms are cool. To bad they're epic, and my group refuses to start at a level higher than 1st...

Reminds me of a little project I've been meaning to propose...

But do you like it? What works/does not work for you?

2012-07-05, 02:13 AM
Hmm... I really like this class. I'm thinking of running a quick solo campaign for a level 3 character, and if I do, I'll use this class. Thank you for your hard work. :smallbiggrin:

2012-07-05, 02:17 AM
Thanks! Anything you like in particular?

2012-07-05, 03:29 AM
Thanks! Anything you like in particular?

Yes, I do. The 3rd level template gain. Really makes the character as a whole.
Decides ability focus, alignment growth, and really the fluff of the choices.

2012-07-05, 11:29 AM
But do you like it? What works/does not work for you?

I actually like it very much. I love Panoply of Bone and the whole "Corpse Sword" ability going on. I also like the way it gains Undeath from a low level, rather than wait for ages and wonder why it didn't just become a Necropolitan. There is one thing though - could you possibly add more options for the Cursed Knight's Steed for a higher level Corpse Knight?

2012-07-05, 11:46 AM
Sure! I could have just gone with Necropolitan, but some people don't own Libris Mortis...

And I'll go through and add more options; at one point, I was thinking Nightmare, but...

Yeah, low level Astral Projection is not a good thing.

2012-07-05, 12:58 PM
Warrior of the Damned is a bit weird. Why not give them just a standard maneuver progression? Is there some balance or flavor issue here?

2012-07-05, 03:12 PM
Well, I'm balancing "can grab whatever maneuvers they feel they need" with "can't refresh in a battle".

Besides, this guy isn't an Initiator, flavor-wise; he has some fighting knowledge, but that is more gifted by his rotting frame than anything else.

Plus, mechanically, I wanted something I could easily switch out for Incarnum.

2012-07-05, 03:39 PM
I'll have to give this a more thorough review at some point, but at first glance it looks like a really interesting take on the "undead warrior" archetype.

2012-07-05, 04:58 PM
Well, I'm balancing "can grab whatever maneuvers they feel they need" with "can't refresh in a battle".

If you take a single level in any initiating class, you can recover them. Since it's the Martial Study feat, it piggy-backs by default on any existing progression you have. Unfortunately, that includes maneuvers readied limits. Good or bad, I doubt this interaction was intended.

2012-07-05, 08:24 PM
Hmm, I hadn't recalled that.

Oh well, it works for me; after all, since they don't have ALL THE MANEUVERS, ALL THE TIME, it should be relatively balanced.

Unless someone has an argument against it?