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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Blackguard [4e PP]

    Blackguard
    I am the fire that burns, the wraith that drains, the sword in the dark. I shall strike you down like the fool you are.



    Prerequisites: Paladin Class

    You represent everything that a Paladin is not. While a Paladin represents love, peace, honour, and justice, you embody anger, greed, lust, and hatred. You are an evil warrior, blessed by a dark god with horrific powers so that you may serve as his hand in the world. You lead the charge of Hell’s armies, and soldiers below you follow your orders not out of respect, but out of fear. Wherever you go, you are surrounded by a grim shroud. Every creature who lays eyes upon you can sense a dark presence, and even the mightiest warriors quake in your footsteps.

    Some of the most infamous Blackguards were fallen Paladins, warriors who had turned their back on their god, and followed the path of darkness. Those who have seen the light of good and rejected it can become the most terrifying servants of evil.

    Blackguard Path Features

    Dark Blessing (11th level): When you deal radiant damage with a Paladin prayer, you can choose to make the damage necrotic instead.

    Tyrannical Rally (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action, allies that you can see gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls until the start of your next turn.

    Deadly Challenge (11th level): When an enemy who you have marked with your Divine Challenge power makes an attack that does not include you as a target, it takes extra damage equal to your Strength modifier.

    Spiteful Backlash (16th level): An enemy who hits you with an attack takes damage equal to your Wisdom modifier. You must be able to make opportunity attacks to deal this damage.

    Blackguard Prayers

    Draining Blow – Blackguard Attack 11
    Your dark master bestows upon your enemy a deadly gift.
    Encounter * Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action – Melee Weapon
    Target: One Creature
    Attack: Strength vs. Fortitude
    Hit: 2 [W] + Strength modifier damage, and the target is dazed and weakened until the end of your next turn.
    Miss: The target is dazed and weakened until the end of your next turn.

    Hellfire Armour – Blackguard Utility 12
    Your armor takes on a faint red glow, a small betrayal of the power within.
    Daily * Divine, Fire, Stance
    Minor Action – Personal
    Effect: You gain a +1 bonus to all defenses. When you are hit by an attack, the creature that hit you takes 5 fire damage.

    Dark Fury – Blackguard Attack 20
    You unleash the hatred of your master upon your enemies, immolating their very souls.
    Daily * Divine, Fire, Necrotic, Weapon
    Standard Action – Close Burst 1
    Target: Each creature in burst
    Attack: Strength vs. AC
    Hit: 2 [W] + Strength modifier fire and necrotic damage, and ongoing 5 fire and necrotic damage (save ends).
    Miss: Ongoing 5 fire and necrotic damage (save ends).
    Effect: All targets are marked for as long as they are taking ongoing damage from this attack.

    I've always liked the idea of a fallen Paladin becoming an evil warrior, and 4e didn't have any Blackguards, so...here we are. I was concerned during creation that this was a little overpowered. I couldn't pin down one thing in particular, it just seemed that everything was a bit too good. Please tell me if this is true.
    Last edited by Alteran; 2008-12-21 at 02:48 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Blackguard [4e PP]

    I...I really like this.

    A lot.

    Although I find the idea of the requisite not requiring Evil kinda amusing, and the level 11 power is kind of really, really good. Until end of next turn as opposed to save ends, maybe?
    Last edited by KKL; 2008-12-21 at 01:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Blackguard [4e PP]

    I think your suspicion was well-placed. This is, indeed, overpowered. Let's break it down:

    Tyrannical Rally (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action, allies that you can see gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls until the start of your next turn.
    This is just fine. It doesn't synergize particularly well with the rest of the PP, but it works well in combination with the paladin's other features + powers. so let's keep this.

    Deadly Challenge (11th level): When an enemy who you have marked with your Divine Challenge power makes an attack that does not include you as a target, it takes extra damage equal to your Strength modifier.
    I would let them use the highest of either their Charisma or Strength. I have a suggestion at the bottom.

    Vengeful Riposte (16th level): An enemy who hits you with an attack takes damage equal to your Wisdom modifier.
    Okay, too good. First, let's make it melee attacks only, since you can't riposte the elf that just shot you in the face from on top of a cliff. Next, add a clause that you must be able to make opportunity attacks in order to take advantage of this feature.

    Draining Blow – Blackguard Attack 11
    Your dark master bestows upon your enemy a deadly gift.
    Encounter * Divine, Weapon
    Standard Action – Melee Weapon
    Target: One Creature
    Attack: Strength vs. Fortitude
    Hit: 2 [W] + Strength modifier damage, and the target is dazed and weakened (save ends both).
    Miss: The target is dazed and weakened (save ends both).
    Too good. Make the dazed and weakened effect until the end of your next turn, or drop one. Also, make it target AC, since you're getting a +2-3 proficiency bonus added on here.

    Hellfire Armour – Blackguard Utility 12
    Your armor takes on a faint red glow, a small betrayal of the power within.
    Daily * Divine, Fire, Stance
    Minor Action – Personal
    Effect: You gain a +2 bonus to all defenses. When you are hit by an attack, the creature that hit you takes 5 fire damage.
    Make it a +1 power bonus to all defences, and I think this one is good. Also, make it fire + necrotic damage, for a little increased versatility.

    Infernal Maelstrom – Blackguard Attack 20
    You unleash the fury of hell upon your enemies, scorching them until they are merely a burnt husk of their former selves.
    Daily * Divine, Fire, Necrotic, Weapon
    Standard Action – Close Burst 1
    Target: Each creature in burst
    Attack: Strength vs. AC
    Hit: 2 [W] + Strength modifier fire and necrotic damage, and ongoing 5 fire and necrotic damage (save ends).
    Aftereffect: Ongoing 5 fire and necrotic damage (save ends).
    Effect: All targets are marked until the end of your next turn. If they are hit by the attack, then they are marked for as long as they take ongoing damage from the attack.
    This is a little too good. Let's make the ongoing damage equal to the higher of your Strength or Charisma modifier, then drop the Aftereffect. So its a little more damage, but you aren't forcing them to save twice against the ongoing damage. It might be safe to give this half damage and no ongoing on a miss, not sure.

    Okay, so that was my 2cp on the existing stuff. If you make these changes, I think you can add another level 11 feature:
    Dark Blessing: Any powers you have with the radiant keyword are replaced with the necrotic keyword.

    Next, I think you should rename the Dailies, since the vast majority of Evil Gods don't live in the Nine Hells, and would actually rather see it explode then use devils, IMHO. But that's just a matter of taste.

    Finally, you should add an alignment prerequisite of Any Evil, and Must Worship a god of Any Evil alignment.
    Last edited by Shadow_Elf; 2008-12-21 at 01:40 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Blackguard [4e PP]

    I like it too. Just gotta remember that evil paladins are core in 4E. This class could just be an specialization of normal evil paladins, not necessarily a good paladin that fell.
    I think that Shadow_Elf's suggestions help balance it, but all in all, he really looks like a very evil guys. Great to use as a BBeG, with it's ability to give bonus to allies, and being hard to hit without taking damage, what synergises greatly with the divine challenge. Don't hit him, take damage. Hit him, take damage.

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    Default Re: Blackguard [4e PP]

    Evil is not a prerequisite because I strongly believe that alignment should have no effect on mechanics. I figure the DM will have the discretion to decide whether it is inappropriate when a character wants to take this path, but I don't want it to devolve into arguments about alignment.

    I agree, Draining Blow is too good. I'm kind of surprised I let that by as an encounter power. The (save ends) is gone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_Elf View Post

    Okay, too good. First, let's make it melee attacks only, since you can't riposte the elf that just shot you in the face from on top of a cliff. Next, add a clause that you must be able to make opportunity attacks in order to take advantage of this feature.
    I got this from the Pit Fighter path, where the level 16 feature adds damage equal to your wisdom modifier on any attack using a weapon. Your changes are reasonable, but make it less powerful, relatively. I can change the effects, fluff, or both. I shall decide later.

    Too good. Make the dazed and weakened effect until the end of your next turn, or drop one. Also, make it target AC, since you're getting a +2-3 proficiency bonus added on here.
    As stated, (save ends) is gone. Many paladin powers target secondary defenses, so I think that part is fair.

    Make it a +1 power bonus to all defences, and I think this one is good. Also, make it fire + necrotic damage, for a little increased versatility.
    Agreed on the first part, not on the second. This isn't really a necrotic power to me, and not all of them are.

    This is a little too good. Let's make the ongoing damage equal to the higher of your Strength or Charisma modifier, then drop the Aftereffect. So its a little more damage, but you aren't forcing them to save twice against the ongoing damage. It might be safe to give this half damage and no ongoing on a miss, not sure.
    Seems reasonable enough, but I don't think everything in this should revolve around a modifier. Keeping straight ongoing 5 is a bit simpler. In exchange, it gets some effect on a miss. I was considering letting them use strength or charisma, but this is really a strength-paladin path. All Paladin paths go one way, and it makes sense to me.

    Dark Blessing: Any powers you have with the radiant keyword are replaced with the necrotic keyword.
    I was considering this, I believe I talked it over with you. I ended up not including it, but I think it could work without giving any significant power. If anything it makes you less powerful (fewer vulnerabilities, more resistances), and that's what I'm worried about.

    Next, I think you should rename the Daily, since the vast majority of Evil Gods don't live in the Nine Hells, and would actually rather see it explode then use devils, IMHO.
    Sure, name change incoming.

    Finally, you should add an alignment prerequisite of Any Evil, and Must Worship a god of Any Evil alignment.
    See above.

    Thanks for the input, both of you!
    Last edited by Alteran; 2008-12-21 at 01:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Blackguard [4e PP]

    Well, as far as fluff goes...the major change in the paladin is that not all paladins have to be good anymore, and aren't really required to have a code of conduct, even. Thus, evil paladins are allowed, which makes the concept of an anti-paladin sort of misleading. If you want to keep the whole 'fallen hero' angle, perhaps you could have a prereq that states 'Must have gone from Good to Evil in alignment' or some such.

    I can see how some of the effects can come together to be a problem...Such as Wisdom modifier damage and Hellfire armor, in particular. Nothing on that end looks too bad, though Strength to Divine Challenge might be pushing it (9+Charisma+Strength can get kind of high for a minor action; I'm just not sure it's as bad as I think).

    The big thing I would point out is the continual mark that targets have placed on them from Infernal Maelstrom. I'm not sure any power actually does anything like this...there are powers that mark multiple opponents, but not ones that keep them going. I'd look very carefully at including something like that. The fact that's it's tied in with the ongoing damage, though, might make it workable.

    EDIT: Ignore the Alignment thing, just read the post.
    Last edited by Belobog; 2008-12-21 at 01:44 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: Blackguard [4e PP]

    This path was not designed as a way for Paladins to be evil, but more of a specialized path for those who decide to do so.

    I think adding strength modifier damage to a power that is already intended to be a deterrent is fair, but it depends on how a DM roleplays an enemy. I can tell you, they'll be much less likely to ignore your marks.

    Infernal Malestrom (now Dark Fury) has been changed. The marking mechanic is new, but I think it should work. The aftereffect is gone as well, so it shouldn't last quite as long.

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    Default Re: Blackguard [4e PP]

    I just thought of something, if you can be an evil paladin now, then you could become a blackguard who serves a good deity. An Anti-Anti-Paladin.

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    Default Re: Blackguard [4e PP]

    Quote Originally Posted by Limos View Post
    I just thought of something, if you can be an evil paladin now, then you could become a blackguard who serves a good deity. An Anti-Anti-Paladin.
    As fervent crusaders in their chosen cause, paladins
    must choose a deity. Paladins choose a specific faith
    to serve, as well as an alignment. You must choose an
    alignment identical to the alignment of your patron
    deity
    ; a paladin of a good deity must be good, a paladin
    of a lawful good deity must be lawful good, and a paladin
    of an unaligned deity must be unaligned. Evil and
    chaotic evil paladins do exist in the world
    , but they are
    almost always villains, not player characters.
    So no, you can't.
    Last edited by KKL; 2008-12-21 at 08:09 PM.

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