View Full Version : Blackguard makeover for custom campaign world

2007-04-03, 12:24 PM
I am helping a friend who is making a custom campaign world by adapting/improving prestige classes and was wondering what you guys all thought of the blackguard overhaul I did.

Just so you know, he's using the allegiance and class AC systems/variants from d20 modern. Plus the armor as DR, as well as developing a damage save system for use instead of hitpoints. Plus, in this world, the only magic is Pact magic, and there are plenty of classes with maneuvers, though not the classes from ToB. Pretty much custom classes.

He asked me to redo the blackguard in a way that would allow to stand toe to toe with other melee types and also make them an anti-allegiance type, with abilities that could turn others away from their loyalties or use those loyalties against them.

I realize that with so homebrewed content, asking you to judge versus stuff you haven't seen is kind of dumb, so I'm just asking if it looks like a class that you would like to play from your perspective and the quick rules/variants summary I've outlined. Does it seem over/underpowered? I would really appreciate feedback.


To become a blackguard, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +6.
Skills: Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks, Knowledge (planar) 2 ranks.
Special: The blackguard must have forsaken at least one allegiance.

Haven't discovered the secret of tables yet so I'll summarize for the time being.

Full BAB, Good Fort and Will saves. Equivalent of d12 HD and fullplate. 10 levels of progression.

Class Features

Aura of Allegiance (Ex): The power of a blackguard’s aura of allegiance(if he has one) is equal to his blackguard level.

Detect Allegiance (Sp): At will, a blackguard can use detect allegiance, as the spell.

Command Undead (Su): A blackguard gains the supernatural ability to command and rebuke undead. He uses his blackguard levels for these checks.

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

Smite (Su): Once a day, a blackguard of 2nd level or higher may attempt to smite with one normal melee attack. He adds his Charisma bonus (if any) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per blackguard level.This increases to 2/day at level 5 and 3/day at level 8.

Aura of Despair (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, the blackguard radiates a malign aura that causes enemies within 10 feet of him to take a –2 penalty on all saving throws. This ability grows to encompass attack rolls at level 6, damage rolls at level 9, and increases the penalty to –6 at level 10.

Aura of Obedience (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, the blackguard radiates a compelling aura that causes allies within 10 feet of him to take a +2 bonus on all saving throws. This ability grows to encompass attack rolls at level 6, damage rolls at level 9, and increases the bonus to +6 at level 10.

Forceful Strikes (Ex): At fourth level, the blackguard gains the ability to focus his hatred and his will on smashing through a foe’s defenses. He gains a bonus equal to his Cha modifier (if positive) on all attack rolls. This ability expands to include damage rolls at level 7. Forceful Strikes stacks with the bonuses from any smite ability.

Blasphemer (Su): A blackguard gains the supernatural ability to turn those with an allegiance as a cleric turns undead. Turned opponents cannot be destroyed. He uses his blackguard levels for these checks.

Fiendish Cohort (Su): Upon reaching 5th level, a blackguard gains the ability to summon servants of Mephistopheles. He can summon any demon or devil who’s HD are not greater than his own and he must be able to either force it to submit to his will (have a higher CHA) or manipulate it into doing his bidding (have a higher INT). The summoning takes 1min and lasts for a number hours equal to one half of the blackguard’s levels. The fiend obeys the blackguard unquestioningly for the duration of the ability. At level 10, the blackguard can force the fiend to remain with him until dismissed.

Dominate (Sp): At level 10 a blackguard may use as a spell-like ability the spell Dominate Person 1/day. The save DC is equal to (10 + blackguard level + Cha bonus).

2007-04-03, 01:29 PM
Aura of Despair: needs a saving throw or any melee opponents immediately get toasted by the blackguard's wizard friend.

Forceful Strikes: Broken. All of the Blackguard's abilities center around Charisma, so you can bet that it's going to be at least +4 at high levels. This is what Smite is for. Speaking of which...

Smite: Be specific. The Paladin's Smite Evil ability isn't the only kind of smite out there. Specify its effects.

Blasphemer: Broken. Anyone with an allegiance is subject to being turned? Even more so, you've made the ultimate killer of everything here. Undead are cannon fodder to a cleric because of Turn Undead. Everything is cannon fodder to a blackguard with Blasphemer now. Make them choose an allegiance to affect with this ability, then make it work as a cleric of half his level and it should be okay. Specify that you cannot destroy with this, only turn.

2007-04-03, 03:34 PM
Alright, specified Smite effects and that Blasphemer cannot destroy opponents.

I believe Aura of despair is fine because there are no wizards/sorcerers/typical magic types; there is only pact magic which does not lend itself that well to death and destruction as it does cool helpfulness and buffs.

I think Forceful Strikes is ok, because he has to stand up to Rage, more feats, and initiators; this is also a low/no magic campaign, so no magic items and it uses a set array for stat generation.

The problem with making them choose a specific allegiance to turn is that they are player-created/defined (obviously with DM approval). And not every character has to have an allegiance. Now as this is a prestige class that only goes to 10 levels, wouldn't only letting him turn as a level 5 cleric be a little underpowered rather than turning as a level 10?

On a side note, I cannot seem to get a table from word to copy correctly into here; is there perhaps some setting I have missed or is there a different way to add tables?

2007-04-03, 03:40 PM
To place an image, such as a table, from any source you're have to place it up on the internet as a pdf file (I think) and then use the image button on the post. Or you could simply make a table. If you need help with that, I'm pretty good at the table format used here on GitP.

2007-04-03, 03:46 PM
Having to use a pdf seems a little strange, but if you wouldn't mind pointing me towards the table tool, I'd be very grateful. I better not have just overlooked it somewhere.

Oh, and the Aura of Despair has no saving throw also because the precedent set by the normal blackguard class' Aura of Despair. Same thing, I just had it increase in power and scope as the blackguard gains blackguard levels.

2007-04-04, 11:56 AM
You might also want to look at my Anti-Paladin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36834&highlight=Blackguard) for ideas, as it is a LE PrC based on the Blackguard and the Prestige Paladin from the D20 SRD variants page.

2007-04-04, 01:30 PM
The table formats are all here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313). As for Aura of Despair, a -4 or -6 to saves is a big deal. If an arrow trap in a dungeon has a Reflex save DC of 25 and the party's trap-disabler Rogue has a base Reflex save of +9 with a +5 Dexterity modifier (including items), he needs to roll an eleven to avoid being shot through the skill. In an aura of despair that increases to fifteen or seventeen; a significantly lower chance of success. Now think about the effects of this when combined with poisons. Not a pretty picture.
If there's low/no magic, then you need to be twice as careful as to what is or s not broken, since every class will suffer in power. Leave it at a solid -2, but allow it to expand with blackguard levels.