The Dragon Knight
"Between me and Silverscale, we shall vanquish all of Tiamat's Vile spawn from the land!" ~Dame Lythalla Moonchild, Elven Dragon Knight
The image of a knight in shining armor riding out to slay the evil dragon is a popular one in fantasy, but what if the knight was riding on another dragon? In a world with the diametrically opposed forces between the good metallic dragons and the evil chromatic dragons, it would certainly be likely that some of those dragons would pair up with humanoid riders.
Adventures: A knight adventures for many reasons, and a Dragon Knight is no different. Whether it be to serve a lord, to help the people, to slay other dragons, or just for personal wealth and power, a Dragon Knight had no shortage of opportunities for adventure.
Characteristics: Behind her dragon compsnion, a Dragon Knight is a martial character and is capable of doing just about anything that other martial characters can do.
Alignment: Dragon Knights are always on the extreme ends of the morality pool, whether that's Good or Evil. They are champions of their alignment in much the way a paladin is. Her position on the ethical axis depends upon the alignment of her dragon companion.
Religion: Almost all Dragon Knights at least pay homage to, if not serve, either Bahamut or Tiamat. They often pay respect to like-aligned gods, but few worship those other deities.
Background: Many Dragon Knights are trained by some sort of dragonic or dragon-serving order, but others are simply lucky enough to stumble upon an abandoned dragon egg. Whatever the case, all Dragon Knight's spend years training with and becoming friends with their dragon companions.
Races: Long-lived races, such as elves, are often chosen to be Dragon Knights to maximize the time shared between Knight and Dragon.
Other Classes: Dragon Knights have much respect for martial classes, especially the paladin, though they tend to look down on the barbarian's brutish ways. They are definitely not a fan of stealth based classes or any classes that seek to trick or exploit others as even the evil Dragon Knights prefer an honest battle. They value the tactical powers of spellcasters, but the two don't have much in common.
Role: The Dragon Knight is entirely a martial character. At higher levels, the dragons start acquiring spell-like abilities, but none of them are particularly relevant.
Adaptation: Any setting that has dragons can have dragon knights, though it could be possible to change the dragon into a different, but similar, creature.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Dragon Knights have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Strength is important for dealing damage, and constitution helps survive damage. Dexterity is also useful for ranged attacks.
Alignment: Any Good or Evil
Hit Die: d8
Starting Age: As Bard
Starting Gold: As Fighter
The Dragon Knight's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex), and Swim (Str)
Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
||Dragon Age Category
||Dragon Companion, Mounted Combat
||Energy Resistance 10
||Mettle, Steadfast Courage
||Mounted Full Attack
||Energy Resistance 20
||Energy Resistance 30
||Fighter Bonus Feat
||Fighter Bonus Feat
||Fighter Bonus Feat
The following are class features of the Dragon Knight.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All simple and martial weapons and all armor and shields (except tower shields).
Dragon Companion: At the beginning of her training, a Dragon Knight received an egg that hatched under her care. Raised and trained together, the Knight and dragon are now inseparable friends and allies. The dragon can be any metallic or chromatic dragon, and the Dragon Knight must match the alignment of her dragon. The dragon begins as a Wyrmling at level one and advances in age categories as per the table. Upon becoming an adult, the dragon advances one age category every four levels.
The dragon does not gain normal XP and only advances in Hit Dice based on the level of the Dragon Knight. The dragon gains feats and skill points as normal for its hit dice at each age category which the player can choose and assign. In addition to all traits and abilities the dragon normally acquires at each age category, it also begins with Improved Evasion and an Empathic Link as a Wizard's Familiar.
The color of the dragon chosen grants the Dragon Knight an additional class skill. Black: Hide, Blue: Listen, Brass: Gather Information, Bronze: Survival, Copper: Hide, Gold: Heal, Green: Move Sielntly, Red: Intimidate, Silver: Disguise, or White: Balance. The Dragon Knight also gains a competence bonus on Ride checks when riding her dragon equal to one half her level, and she can always take 10 on Ride checks, even when threatened.
While the Dragon Knight is mounted on her dragon, treat them as having the same initiative and acting on the same turn. They both roll initiative and use whichever result is higher.
Bonus Feats: The Dragon Knight acquires a variety of bonus feats as she levels. She gains Mounted Combat at level one, Mounted Archery at level two, Spirited Charge at level eight, and Trample at level eleven. At level fourteen and every three levels after, she gains a Fighter Bonus Feat for which she qualifies.
Energy Resistance (Su): A Dragon Knight becomes naturally resilient to her dragon's energy as they spend more time together. At level three, she gains 10 points of resistance against the energy type of the dragon's breath weapons. This improves to 20 at level seven and 30 at level ten. At level fifteen, she becomes immune to that energy type.
Steadfast Courage (Ex): Fighting side-by-side with a dragon can be a very inspiring experience. A fourth level Dragon Knight is always immune to the Frightful Presence of her own dragon as well as that of any dragon smaller in size than her own. In addition, both she and her dragon receive a +4 morale bonus on Will saves vs. Fear as long as they are within 30 feet of each other.
Flyby Attack: Upon reaching level five, the Dragon Knight's dragon receives Flyby Attack as a bonus feat. The Knight can make attacks during the dragon's Flyby Attack.
Mounted Full Attack (Ex): A sixth level Dragon Knight can make full attacks while mounted and use the dragon's move actions to move. She can also full attack on a mounted charge.
Mounted Defense (Ex): By level nine, rider and mount have become as one. Whenever the Dragon Knight is attacked while mounted, she can redirect that attack to the dragon. In addition, when she is mounted and both she and the dragon are affected by an effect that allows a Reflex save, she can use the dragon's save result if it is higher. Lastly, while mounted on her dragon, she is treated as having Improved Evasion as long as the dragon does.
Deadly Charge (Ex): Upon reaching level thirteen, a Dragon Knight learns to use the force of her dragon's change to better effect. When using Spirited Charge, she deals ×3 damage or ×4 damage with a lance.
Fear Immunity (Ex): By level fifteen, a Dragon Knight has become so confident in herself that she becomes immune to all fear effects.
Ageless Body (Ex): Upon reaching level eighteen, a Dragon Knight has been with her dragon long enough that she becomes resilient to the passage of time just like dragons do. She no longer suffers aging penalties (though she retains any that she already gained), and her maximum life span increases to that of whatever species her dragon is.
Unstoppable Charge (Ex): At level ninteen, a Dragon Knight can charge even more effectively than before. When using Spirited Charge, she deals ×4 damage or ×5 damage with a lance.