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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    For a while now I've been playing around with homebrew for my final fantasy crystal chronicles campaign. I already have races for the world, but I've also worked a lot at classes and prestige classes. Before I implement one of them into the game (as the antagonist of the main story) I want to make sure it's properly balanced and fluffed.
    The class in question is the Dark Knight. The class is meant to feel like a spell-less paladin of tyranny, but it borrows from other classes (warlock, favored soul, DFA, hexblade, and samurai) and the fiendish / half-fiendish templates.

    Over the updates it's received, Dark Knight has gotten a lot of buffing (as all the early comments said it was far too weak). It now stands as a fiend-themed, fear-focused debuffer melee combatant.



    The Dark Knight
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special
    1st|+1|+2|+0|+0|Aura of evil, souleater 1d10, terror strike 1/day
    2nd|+2|+3|+0|+0|Frightful gaze, infernal toughness
    3rd|+3|+3|+1|+1|Aura of fear 5ft, mettle, souleater 2d10
    4th|+4|+4|+1|+1|Darkvision 30ft, terror strike 2/day
    5th|+5|+4|+1|+1|Fiendish presence, souleater 3d10
    6th|+6/+1|+5|+2|+2|Aura of fear 10ft, improved gaze
    7th|+7/+2|+5|+2|+2|Greater terror strike, souleater 4d10
    8th|+8/+3|+6|+2|+2|Terror strike 3/day, horrific wave
    9th|+9/+4|+6|+3|+3|Aura of fear 15ft, souleater 5d10
    10th|+10/+5|+7|+3|+3|Dark wave, fiendish resistance
    11th|+11/+6/+1|+7|+3|+3|Darkvision 60ft, souleater 6d10
    12th|+12/+7+2|+8|+4|+4|Aura of fear 20ft, terror strike 4/day
    13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+4|+4|Souleater 7d10
    14th|+14/+9/+4|+9|+4|+4|Greater gaze, debilitating wave
    15th|+15/+10/+5|+9|+5|+5|Aura of fear 25ft, fiendish resolve, souleater 8d10
    16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+5|+5|Terror strike 5/day
    17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+5|Souleater 9d10
    18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+6|Aura of fear 30ft, dire terror strike
    19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+6|Souleater 10d10, true darkvision
    20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+6|Devastating wave, fiendish champion, terror strike 6/day
    [/table]

    Alignment: Lawful Evil.
    Hit Die: d8.
    Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge(nobility and royalty), Knowledge (religion), Profession, Ride, Sense Motive, and Survival.
    Skill Points at 1st level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.

    Dark Knight Features:
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dark Knights are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor, and with shields (but not tower shields).

    Bonus Languages: A Dark Knight's bonus language options include Infernal.

    Aura of Evil (Ex): Your aura of evil is equal to your Dark Knight level, just like the aura of a cleric of an evil deity.
    Spoiler
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    Everything so far is more or less the same as a paladin of tyranny. Skills, proficiencies, aura of evil. Adding Infernal as a bonus language is mostly for fluff.


    Terror Strike (Su): Once per day, as a free action, a Dark Knight can unleash fear upon a foe they strike with a melee attack, giving them a -2 penalty on attacks, saves, ability checks and skill checks for 1 hour. A successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark Knight level + their Cha modifier) negates the effect.
    At 4th level, and at every four levels thereafter, you may use Terror Strike one additional time per day. Any effect that removes or dispels fear eliminates the effect of your Terror Strike.
    Spoiler
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    Terror Strike is meant to be similar to the Hexblade's Curse ability but thematically suited for a fear-based class instead of a curse based class. This means no damage penalty (so it reflects the Shaken step in fear). It also is an on-hit ability rather than a ranged point-at-it effect since Dark Knight is a melee class without Hexblade's flashy spells, and it gives them more reason to get into melee. This is purposefully NOT a regular fear effect so its penalties stack separately, essentially representing a deeper fear effect without escalating to higher levels.


    Souleater (Su): A Dark Knight is able to infuse their weapon with some of their own life-force to emit a deadly wave of energy. Souleater takes the form of a cone that deals 1d10 points of damage to all enemies within a range of 25 feet + 5 feet / 2 levels. A successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark Knight level + your Cha modifier) halves the damage. Creatures immune to death effects (such as constructs and undead) automatically succeed on this save. Whenever you use souleater, you take 1d3 points of damage.
    Souleater's area damage increases by 1d10 and the damage you take increases by 1d3 at each odd Dark Knight level. For example, a 15th level Dark Knight using souleater deals 8d10 damage to enemies in the area and takes 8d3 damage in doing so.
    Spoiler
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    The big fluff and flavor of the Dark Knight is Souleater (or Dark Wave depending on which translation of final fantasy you play). The idea is damaging everything on the field while taking damage yourself.
    The ability is like Dragonfire Adept's breath weapon or Warlock's blast. Damage is increased from a d6 progression to d10 since you're also taking a little damage and miss out on some of the flexibility of the other classes' abilities (as seen below with the Wave abilities). Since the class is meant to be tanking and melee based, the wave is not meant to be nearly as good as the others, but letting it deal more damage fits the theme fine.


    Frightful Gaze (Ex): At 2nd level, you gain a +2 bonus on Intimidate checks and can demoralize an opponent within 30 feet as a standard action.
    Spoiler
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    Essentially stolen from Samurai, this is meant to help make using Intimidate and stacking fear effects a better option for the Dark Knight. It also provides a ranged option for the class that doesn't cost hit points.


    Infernal Toughness (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, you gain bonus hit points equal to your Cha modifier x your Dark Knight level.
    Spoiler
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    Pure and simple, this is a buffer for Souleater's hit point cost. If you never use Souleater, you have nice extra hit points, but what's the fun in that? It also encourages focusing on Cha even more, reducing the need for Con and giving the class a little less MAD. The trade-off is reducing the hit die from d10 (as a paladin) to d8 (as an outsider) so the hit points aren't quite as overwhelming and to keep with the theme even more.


    Aura of Fear (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, you area immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each enemy within 5 feet of you must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark Knight level + your Cha modifier) or become shaken. A creature who successfully saves cannot be affected by your fear aura for 24 hours.
    At 6th level and every three levels thereafter, your aura of fear's radius increases by 5 feet to a max of 30 feet at 18th level.
    This ability functions while you are conscious, but not while unconscious or dead.
    Spoiler
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    A scaling effect like that of the same name from Dread Necromancer, but still kept in short range to encourage getting in the middle of a fight. Any fear-based class deserves fear immunity, especially a paladin-themed one.
    This is still only the second fear effect the class receives, but combining a move action to get into range and a standard action to demoralize your target becomes a strong alternative to swinging your sword or using Souleater.


    Mettle (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, you can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude. If you make a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save, you instead completely negate the effect. You do not gain this benefit while unconscious or sleeping.
    Spoiler
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    Rather than gaining immunity to poisons or disease, giving Mettle as a Hexblade gets made more sense. More than anything else, this is just a strong boost to the class to give it an edge against casters.


    Darkvision (Ex): At 4th level, you gain darkvision out to 30 feet. At 11th level, this increases to 60 feet.
    Spoiler
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    Simply because baatezu have darkvision. This also progresses up to See in Darkness at 19th level.


    Fiendish Presence (Su): At 5th level, you begin to tap into the dark powers of Hell, gaining resistance to fire 5, +1 bonus to natural armor, and damage reduction 2/magic. Any melee weapon you wield is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For purposes of Intimidate checks, you are treated as one size-category larger than you actually are.
    Spoiler
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    Over the course of four abilities, the class is meant to give the character the aspects of a devil. Looking at the fiendish and half-fiend templates, this means things like damage reduction, natural armor, acid, cold, and fire resist, etc. I didn't want to give the SLA from the templates since this is meant to be a spell-less class.
    The DR and Natural Armor scales on a similar progression as various classes (Warlock, Dragonfire Adept, etc.). The overcoming-DR part is an ACF of paladin and fluffy. The size boost to Intimidate is part flavor, part making this level interesting; it's not meant to be extremely powerful since the templates' bonuses increase with HD, but looking more devilish before actually becoming so should still grant some benefit. Fire resist is due to baatezu getting fire immunity.


    Improved Gaze (Ex): At 6th level, you gain an additional +2 bonus on Intimidate checks and can demoralize a number of opponents up to your Cha modifier within 30 feet.
    Spoiler
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    Again, stolen from Samurai, but with another Intimidate bonus to solidify the option as well as make up for the low skill points and MAD; a Dark Knight doesn't need to be smart, so likely Int will a big dump stat. All the Intimidate bonuses allows a character to put their points in some other option if they really want or to optimize further if they really want.


    Greater Terror Strike (Su): At 7th level, the penalty on attacks, saves, ability checks, and skill checks incurred by your terror strike becomes -4 instead of -2.
    Spoiler
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    As with Hexblade's Curse, Terror Strike's penalties increase with level. This way the debuff options don't become obsolete at later levels. Nothing more to say.


    Horrific Wave (Su): At 8th level, your souleater strikes fear into the hearts of your enemies by taking the form of their worst nightmare. As a swift action, you can enhance your souleater to cause any creature it damages to become frightened for 1 round. On a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark Knight level + your Cha modifier) the creature is instead shaken for 1 round.
    Spoiler
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    The first debuffing-wave effect, similar to a Warlock's Essences or a Dragonfire Adept's Breath Effects. Wave effects are meant to be weaker debuffs since the damage is already boosted compared to those classes, but they still have a decent effect in combat. I kept the enhancement as a swift action since the class doesn't have any swift action abilities yet, and the effects have no real downside to the wave; any time you use Souleater, you'll be added a wave effect to it, so lowering the time down to a free action seems unnecessary.
    I debate on upping frightened to panicked since it's only for 1 round, but with all the options the class has for scaring the enemy, frightened should be fine, especially on an area effect.


    Dark Wave (Su): At 10th level, your souleater becomes virulent enough to able to obstruct view. As a swift action, you can enhance your souleater to cause any enemy it damages to become blind for 1 round. On a successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark Knight level + your Cha modifier) the creature is instead dazzled for 1 round.
    Spoiler
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    The second debuff-wave is meant to give you a non-fear option in combat. Whether it's because fear isn't going to work or because everything is feared already, a different combat-focused debuff is nice. Dark Wave is also an alternate name to Souleater in many of the games, so a class ability of the same name is thematic if nothing else.


    Fiendish Resistance (Su): At 10th level, your connection to the fiends strengthens. Your natural armor bonus increases to +2, and your damage reduction improves to DR 5/magic. You also gain resistance to acid and cold 5 and a profane bonus to all saves equal to half your Cha modifier.
    Spoiler
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    Step two in becoming a fiend buffs step one's armor and damage reduction and grants two energy resistances. The bonus to saves is to help make up for MAD without being quite as powerful as Divine Grace.


    Exhausting Wave (Su): At 14th level, your souleater becomes more potent, weakening your foes' defenses. As a swift action, you can enhance your souleater to cause any creature that it damages to become exhausted for 1 round. On a successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark Knight level + your Cha modifier) the creature instead becomes fatigued for 1 round.
    Spoiler
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    I chose for the third debuff-wave to be exhaust/fatigue since they target combat-heavy abilities (Str and Dex) which the Dark Knight would obviously care a lot about. It's also a great debuff for those pesky paladins that are immune to fear.


    Greater Gaze (Ex): At 14th level, you gain an additional +2 bonus on Intimidate checks and can demoralize opponents within 30 feet as a move action, not a standard action.
    Spoiler
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    Again, a Samurai ability plus an Intimidate bonus. Now that demoralizing an opponent is a move action, you can pull off three fear levels in a single round (assuming they're in range).'


    Fiendish Resolve (Su): At 15th level, you draw upon dark powers to make yourself more resilient against the forces of good. Your resistance to fire increases to 10, your natural armor bonus increases to +3, your damage reduction improves to DR 5/good, and any melee weapon you wield is treated as evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. You also gain spell resistance equal to 5 + your Dark Knight level.
    Spoiler
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    Step three in becoming a devil combines parts of the first two steps. Better fire resist, better armor, better damage reduction. Spell resistance since all baatezu in the monster manual except imps and lemures have SR.


    Dire Terror Strike (Su): At 18th level, the penalty on attacks, saves, ability checks, and skill checks incurred by your terror strike becomes -6 instead of -4.
    Spoiler
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    Hexblade's Curse maxes at -6 penalties, as does Terror Strike. 'Nuff said.


    True Darkvision (Su): At 19th level, you can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, even that created by a deeper darkness spell.
    Spoiler
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    As per the baatezu subtype's see in darkness. Seeing through even magic darkness is a supernatural ability all devils get.


    Devastating Wave (Su): At 20th level, your souleater becomes devastatingly powerful, overwhelming your foes. As a swift action, you can enhance your souleater to cause any creature that it damages to gain 1 negative level. On a successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark Knight level + your Cha modifier) the creature instead takes 1d4 ability damage to the ability of your choice. Multiple uses of Devastating Wave do not stack on the same subject.
    Spoiler
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    The last debuff-wave has always been tricky. It needs to be powerful, but the save-effect and duration become problematic. I played around with paralysis, stuns, slows, fear effects, saves and AC penalties... I finally decided on negative level or ability damage. It's a big effect, but it's a level 20 feature.


    Fiendish Champion (Su): At 20th level, you become a champion of the evil powers that empower you. Your type changes to Outsider (Native). You gain resistance to acid and cold 10, immunity to fire and poison, your natural armor bonus increases to +5, your damage reduction improves to DR 10/good, and your profane bonus to saves increases to your full Cha modifier. Finally, you gain batlike wings and can fly at a speed of 60 feet (average maneuverability). If you already have wings, you can choose whether these batlike wings replace your own.
    Spoiler
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    As a capstone of a class that drives you to be a devil, obviously it needs to be kind of big.
    Changing types is a capstone feature seen in a lot of classes (Monk, Dread Necromancer, etc.) and is an obvious final step in becoming a devil-like. Not actually gaining the baatezu subtype distinguishes you from real devils, since you can't summon other baatezu and don't get telepathy as they do. Keeping the subtype as Native prevents the troublesome no-resurrection-clause from killing the appeal. You're a devil-on-earth.
    Natural armor, acid and cold resist 10, fire and poison immunity, DR 10/good, and SR 25 are all abilities that fiends typically get in one way or another.
    Wings are kind of a throwaway benefit at level 20, but they certainly add to the effect.
    I've gone back and forth on the idea of giving the class divine grace. On the one hand, it's a pseudo-paladin, so it fits. On the other hand, it has mettle and infernal toughness, both which fit the theme better and make divine grace a little too good. I decided to give the ability as is (half at 10, full at 20) as part of the fiendish progression to make those abilities feel bigger.


    Ex-Dark Knights: A Dark Knight who ceases to be lawful evil loses all Dark Knight class features except weapon, armor, or shield proficiencies. They may not progress any farther in levels as a Dark Knight until they atone.

    Adaptation: A chaotic Dark Knight ("Demonic Knight" or "Abyssal Knight" or even just "Black Knight") is easily adapted from this class. The fiendish abilities would be modified to mimic the Tanar'ri subtype rather than the Baatezu subtype, such as getting the Abyssal language instead of Infernal, or gaining immunity to electricity instead of fire.
    Last edited by Rapidghoul; 2011-11-28 at 09:52 PM.
    "By 'for fun' do you mean 'to kill us?'" - Me, about the DM rolling a d20 several times for no known reason.

    "You have my sword." - the Fighter.
    "And my bow." - the Ranger.
    "And my acts!" - me, the Bard.

    My Final Fantasy Homebrew and Pathfinder Updating! PEACH always welcome.

    Current Homebrew:
    PF "Dragon Shaman" - Paladin Alternate Class

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    bobthe6th's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    this has a lot of dead levels....

    really, soul eater needs to be better. as abosed to the dragon fire adept, you take damage. also the cone is smaller. it would be better if it did 1d6/level and dealt to you 1d3/2levels, and had a cone of 15ft+5ft/level past 3rd. then at 20th you have a 100ft cone dealing 20d6 at damageing the knight 10d3(average 15 dmage). this way the knight can use the power often, but he becomes freainds with the party cleric.
    Avatar by Szilard, thank you sir for the fine work!

    my home brew. you should PEACH them...
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Keep in mind that, unlike DFA, Dark Knight has full BAB, heavy armor proficiency, and martial weapon proficiency. Also, it has the same range as a DFA's cone weapon and surpasses it at 20th level.

    You're right in that it quickly becomes subpar option in combat, but twice as damaging as DFA seems too good to tack onto it. Souleater needs to balance between being useless at higher levels compared to a full attack and being the only thing you'd ever use. I also want to keep the damage taken at about half of that given to encourage mixing it with regular attacks. Maybe increasing the damage die to a d8 instead of d6, or maybe even d10?

    EDIT: As for dead levels, I considered adding an ability like Smite, but I didn't think another damage based ability was necessary. I also thought about something like Hexblade's Curse that instead causes an enemy to become shaken when struck (called Frightful Strike). With all fear-theme, I considered using the Samurai's Staredown abilities. Plus, adding in Samurai powers isn't exactly overpowering.
    Throwing in Smite or Frightful Strike every 4th level and Staredown / Mass Staredown / Improved Staredown at 6th / 14th / 18th levels would get rid of any dead levels and add to the flavor. Would that keep within reasonable power levels?
    Last edited by Rapidghoul; 2011-11-25 at 08:46 PM.
    "By 'for fun' do you mean 'to kill us?'" - Me, about the DM rolling a d20 several times for no known reason.

    "You have my sword." - the Fighter.
    "And my bow." - the Ranger.
    "And my acts!" - me, the Bard.

    My Final Fantasy Homebrew and Pathfinder Updating! PEACH always welcome.

    Current Homebrew:
    PF "Dragon Shaman" - Paladin Alternate Class

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    bobthe6th's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    perhaps tack it onto an attack. make it 1 damage a die, up to 1/2level, and let it add the damage to its normal attack. if you drop the foe it becomes a cone, dealing 1d8 damage for each d6 it dealt. boom, its part of your attack routine, and it helps the melee do crowd control, but still makes you notice the damage so it won't be spammed to hard.
    Avatar by Szilard, thank you sir for the fine work!

    my home brew. you should PEACH them...
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Unholy toughness seems really strong... Starting with 18 Cha + 4 over levels + 6 item, gives 28 Cha for a +9 modifier. That's 180 bonus HP at 20th level.
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    • It doesn't get much in the way of class features. I mean, you get Souleater, but compare to a dragonfire adept or warlock and they get class features at the same time.
    • Unholy Toughness is unclear. Why not say "With every level you take in the class, you gain bonus hitpoints equal to your Charisma modifier"?
    • Aura of Fear doesn't really scale well. Low area of effect and it never seems to advance to frightened or more serious conditions, even at later levels when the penalties from shaken are barely a drop in the bucket.
    • Then you only get DR, but it, again, doesn't scale very well. The speed at which it advances doesn't keep up with the amount of damage enemies get per level.
    • Souleater Blast is your main schtick, but it's... not that good. Damage doesn't keep up with how fast enemies get HP, and the fact that it costs you HP means you can't even rely on it.
    • Dead levels are bad, bad, bad. (Dead level: A level with no class features)
    • And the class is MAD, MAD, MAD. (MAD: When a class depends on too many stats, so you have to spread vital stats around & wind up with lower/insufficient scores in several departments; this class needs Str for damage, Dex for AC/Reflex, Con for HP/Fort and Cha for class features, not counting WIS for will saves and INT for skills - something's going to have to give)


    The class doesn't do much. You attack like anyone else (even commoners) and you occasionally throw down a souleater blast, but you can't even afford to do that that often... I always say a good class has active options. That means stuff you can choose to do or not do in the course of an adventure/encounter/combat round. This class doesn't have much versatility or choice.

    It's very underwhelming, which is sad, because there's promise for a good Dark Knight class.

    I wouldn't let someone use this in one of my games, as I feel they'd be doing themselves a disservice, and other classes could do the same thing better.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeriah View Post
    Unholy toughness seems really strong... Starting with 18 Cha + 4 over levels + 6 item, gives 28 Cha for a +9 modifier. That's 180 bonus HP at 20th level.
    Unholy Toughness is just an ability taken from a bunch of creatures in MMIII. It's also there to buffer the HP drain Souleater imposes, and when looking at a normal paladin it's replacing Divine Grace, which is really powerful and doesn't need levels to scale.
    One thing I didn't take into account is that every creature that has Unholy Toughness is undead, meaning they wouldn't get the normal Con HP like a Dark Knight does. I've changed it to half Cha x Dark Knight level to make it a little less powerful.
    "By 'for fun' do you mean 'to kill us?'" - Me, about the DM rolling a d20 several times for no known reason.

    "You have my sword." - the Fighter.
    "And my bow." - the Ranger.
    "And my acts!" - me, the Bard.

    My Final Fantasy Homebrew and Pathfinder Updating! PEACH always welcome.

    Current Homebrew:
    PF "Dragon Shaman" - Paladin Alternate Class

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Alignment: Lawful Evil.
    Hit Die: d10.
    Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge(nobility and royalty), Knowledge (religion), Profession, Ride, Sense Motive, and Survival.
    Skill Points at 1st level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.
    Basic stats, proficiencies, etc. seem reasonable enough, nothing shocking. Lots of dead levels, though, like "past 3 has almost nothing" dead.

    Aura of Evil (Ex): Your aura of evil is equal to your Dark knight level, just like the aura of a cleric of an evil deity.
    Fairly minor.

    Souleater (Su): A Dark Knight is able to infuse their weapon with some of their own life-force to emit a deadly wave of energy. Souleater takes the form of a 15-foot cone that deals 1d6 points of damage to all enemies within the area. A successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark Knight level + your Cha modifier) halves the damage. Creatures immune to death effects (such as constructs and undead) are immune to this damage. Whenever you use souleater, you take 1d3 points of damage.
    Souleater's area damage increases by 1d6 and the damage you take increases by 1d3 at each odd Dark Knight level. For example, a 15th level Dark Knight using souleater deals 8d6 damage to enemies in the area and takes 8d3 damage in doing so.
    At 10th level, your souleater's range increases to a 30-foot cone, and again at 20th level to a 60-foot cone.
    This is weak at level 1 and stays weak the entire game. The fact you're hitting yourself while doing it doesn't help, though you don't really deal much self damage (or much of any damage), and the save for half and inability to hit 90% of things you'll fight later on just sucks.

    Unholy Toughness (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, you gain bonus hit pints equal to your half your Cha modifier x your Dark Knight level.
    Not great, but a decent small bonus.

    Aura of Fear (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, you area immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each enemy within 10 feet of you must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your Dark knight level + your Cha modifier) or become shaken. A creature who successfully saves cannot be affected by your fear aura for 24 hours.
    This ability functions while you are conscious, but not while unconscious or dead.
    A fear aura. It's OK, but not really amazing.

    Mettle (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, you can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude. If you make a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save, you instead completely negate the effect. You do not gain this benefit while unconscious or sleeping.
    Mettle is always nice.

    Fiendish Power (Su): At 5th level, you begin to tap into the dark powers of the fiends, gaining damage reduction 2/magic. Any melee weapon you wield is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
    This is incredibly lame. DR 2 and the ability to have a weapon you should easily have by WBL isn't really a great power.

    Fiendish Resistance (Su): At 10th level, your connection to the fiends strengthens. You gain resistance to cold and fire 5, and your damage reduction improves to DR 5/magic.
    This is similarly weak.

    Fiendish Resolve (Su): At 15th level, you draw upon dark powers to make yourself more resilient against the forces of good. Your damage reduction improves to DR 5/good, and any melee weapon you wield is treated as evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
    This is similarly weak.

    Fiendish Champion (Su): At 20th level, you become a champion of the evil powers that empower you. You gain resistance to cold and fire 10, your damage reduction improves to DR 10/good, and you gain a bonus equal to your Cha modifier to weapon damage against good-aligned creatures.
    Well, at 20 you get permanent smite evil, but this is still pretty sub-par.

    Overall, this is just exceedingly weak. You get a few incredibly minor features, mettle, and a bad cone nuke over the course of 20 levels. It needs a lot more to be usable in anything that isn't exceedingly low-OP game; it's probably a pretty solidly low tier-5 class, if not tier 6.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Perhaps you could add something like the essence and blast envocations of Warlocks.

    Change the shape/range of your Souleater, as well as slap some status effects on it.
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Alright, I'm really glad I'm getting such good feedback. I didn't realize just how underpowered it was on the whole. I'll update the class right after this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    [list][*]It doesn't get much in the way of class features. I mean, you get Souleater, but compare to a dragonfire adept or warlock and they get class features at the same time.
    ...[*]Dead levels are bad, bad, bad. (Dead level: A level with no class features)
    Alright, that's fair. I've posted about my ideas on the dead levels, and I'm going to include those in the update.

    [*]Unholy Toughness is unclear. Why not say "With every level you take in the class, you gain bonus hitpoints equal to your Charisma modifier"?
    The text is copied right from MMIII. I can reword it if it really is that confusing.

    [*]Aura of Fear doesn't really scale well. Low area of effect and it never seems to advance to frightened or more serious conditions, even at later levels when the penalties from shaken are barely a drop in the bucket.
    Another fair point. What about scaling area of effect, and increasing it to Frightful Presence as part of the capstone? The idea is that the multiple fear effects will stack into each other if used properly to be effective.

    [*]Souleater Blast is your main schtick, but it's... not that good. Damage doesn't keep up with how fast enemies get HP, and the fact that it costs you HP means you can't even rely on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by PEACH View Post
    This is weak at level 1 and stays weak the entire game. The fact you're hitting yourself while doing it doesn't help, though you don't really deal much self damage (or much of any damage), and the save for half and inability to hit 90% of things you'll fight later on just sucks.
    Again, I agree here, but I'm not sure how to improve it without having it just outshine warlock / DFA at higher levels and being way too good at low levels. Would making it d10's be balanced? Souleater is meant to reflect this ability from final fantasy. Maybe changing it to "Creatures immune to death effects take half damage" instead of no damage?

    [*]Then you only get DR, but it, again, doesn't scale very well. The speed at which it advances doesn't keep up with the amount of damage enemies get per level.
    This is incredibly lame. DR 2 and the ability to have a weapon you should easily have by WBL isn't really a great power.
    ...
    This is similarly weak.
    ...
    This is similarly weak.
    ...
    Well, at 20 you get permanent smite evil, but this is still pretty sub-par.
    The DR and cold/fire resistance is supposed to scale like favored soul's, warlock's, dragonfire adept's, and a fiendish creature. The fiendish abilities are supposed to gradually push the character into the fiendish creature template. If it needs a bigger punch, how would I go about that with that?

    [*]And the class is MAD, MAD, MAD.
    I agree it has a bit of MAD. In designing it, the class was meant to be strongly reliant on Str for combat and Cha for abilities, letting the rest slide off from other features (heavy armor and shield for AC instead of dex, unholy toughness and high fort save instead of con). Maybe putting a Divine Grace ability back in would help, reducing the need for dex, con, and wis even more, or giving the class all strong saves like Fiends get.
    Last edited by Rapidghoul; 2011-11-25 at 09:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    EDIT: Double post.
    Last edited by Rapidghoul; 2011-11-25 at 09:23 PM.
    "By 'for fun' do you mean 'to kill us?'" - Me, about the DM rolling a d20 several times for no known reason.

    "You have my sword." - the Fighter.
    "And my bow." - the Ranger.
    "And my acts!" - me, the Bard.

    My Final Fantasy Homebrew and Pathfinder Updating! PEACH always welcome.

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Instead of unholy toughness, you could give it an ability that grants it temporary fast healing should an enemy fail its save on the souleater attack.
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Well, for Souleater, perhaps you could have it do a 1d6 damage without causing self-damage, then allow to take self-damage in order to boost it.

    Like..

    Souleater would do 1d6 damage normally, however, if the character decides to take a 1d3 damage, then the Souleater does an additional 1d6.

    Or something. I am horrible at balancing so..
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Update:
    • Increased the damage die of "Souleater" from d6 to d10 and improved the range from 15ft/30ft/60ft to that of a 'close' spell's range.
    • Added "Terror Strike" as a scaling per day ability, "Greater Terror Strike" at 7, and "Dire Terror Strike" at 18 (similar to a melee, fear effect version of Hexblade's Curse).
    • Added "Frightful Gaze" at 2, "Improved Gaze" at 6, and "Greater Gaze" at 14 (similar to a Samurai's Staredown abilities).
    • Increased the radius of "Aura of Fear" to 10ft/3 levels.
    • Added "Unholy Grace" at 4 (as Divine Grace).
    • Improved "Fiendish Champion" to change the Dark Knight's type to native outsider (as monk's "Perfect Self") and changed the Cha bonus to damage to a Cha bonus to AC to represent the natural armor fiends.


    Not sure if I should keep Mettle in with the addition of Unholy Grace. A big boost to saves and an evasion-like ability might be too good in one package. Another option would be to remove Unholy Grace and instead give all strong bonuses to match that of an Outsider's hit dice, since the class is meant to emulate the fiends. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Rapidghoul; 2011-11-25 at 11:34 PM.
    "By 'for fun' do you mean 'to kill us?'" - Me, about the DM rolling a d20 several times for no known reason.

    "You have my sword." - the Fighter.
    "And my bow." - the Ranger.
    "And my acts!" - me, the Bard.

    My Final Fantasy Homebrew and Pathfinder Updating! PEACH always welcome.

    Current Homebrew:
    PF "Dragon Shaman" - Paladin Alternate Class

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Becoming an outsider is almost a class penalty, since it means you can't, RAW, be raised from the dead after you're offed. Without a wish, at least.

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Or a rather specific spell from the spell compendium...
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Well, yes, except:
    Quote Originally Posted by Monster Manual I, pg. 313
    "An outsider with the native subtype can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be."
    so you don't lose the ability to be raised when you get Fiendish Champion.
    Last edited by Rapidghoul; 2011-11-26 at 09:12 PM.
    "By 'for fun' do you mean 'to kill us?'" - Me, about the DM rolling a d20 several times for no known reason.

    "You have my sword." - the Fighter.
    "And my bow." - the Ranger.
    "And my acts!" - me, the Bard.

    My Final Fantasy Homebrew and Pathfinder Updating! PEACH always welcome.

    Current Homebrew:
    PF "Dragon Shaman" - Paladin Alternate Class

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    After sleeping on it and looking at everything again, I've made a few more changes and have a few thoughts:

    • Souleater now damages enemies immune to death effects, but those enemies automatically pass the save for half.
    • Souleater's damage die has been reduced to d8 and the self damage die has been reduced to d3 since it can now be augmented by a series of swift actions to debuff enemies damaged by it. Each debuff lasts for 2 rounds, or 1 round on a successful save.
    • Terror Strike no longer reduces damage rolls to reflect the 'Shaken' status.
    • Added natural armor bonuses to the Fiendish abilities (+1 to power, +2 to resistance, +3 to resolve, and +5 to champion) to represent fiends' natural armor.
    • Added Horrific Wave at 8, which adds a shaken effect to Souleater.
    • Added Dark Wave at 10, which adds a blind effect to Souleater.
    • Added Debilitating Wave at 14, which adds a -2 penalty to AC and saving throws to Souleater.
    • Added Devastating Wave at 20, which adds a paralysis effect to Souleater.
    • Replaced Fiendish Champion's Cha bonus to natural armor with a bonus to attack against good-aligned creatures.

    I'm contemplating adding bat wings to Fiendish Champion (as Favored Soul or Draconic Shaman) for fluff. I know wings don't do much at 20th level, but it would hammer in the capstone effect of truly becoming a fiend.

    Also, I understand the need to reduce MAD, but with all the abilities it has now, Unholy Grace and Mettle by level 4 might be a little too good. Between armor / shield proficiencies, natural armor, and Unholy Toughness, Dex and Con become all but unnecessary. Maybe allowing Cha to replace a save's ability modifier rather than stacking on top of it?
    Last edited by Rapidghoul; 2011-11-26 at 09:13 PM.
    "By 'for fun' do you mean 'to kill us?'" - Me, about the DM rolling a d20 several times for no known reason.

    "You have my sword." - the Fighter.
    "And my bow." - the Ranger.
    "And my acts!" - me, the Bard.

    My Final Fantasy Homebrew and Pathfinder Updating! PEACH always welcome.

    Current Homebrew:
    PF "Dragon Shaman" - Paladin Alternate Class

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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    I think that instead of taking your swift action, it should just be a free action (that you can only do once per round) to add the effect to your souleater. I also think you can afford to crank the power up a bit and maybe just cause it to have a lesser effect on a save, rather than just a lesser duration (that way you can give it some real crowd control; until 20, all it has is minor stuff, and at 20, it gets free paralysis, which is pretty nutty and may need a bit of a reduction).

    As for bat wings: Give 'em wings at 10 or so, flight is something every class needs anyway. It won't make them overpowered; they'd just be tanky and mobile, but their damage output shouldn't be especially problematic.
    Last edited by PEACH; 2011-11-26 at 11:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Dark Knight (3.5 base class)

    Another big update, probably the last one. I've added spoilers for the logic and design thoughts.
    • Added bonus Infernal language for fluff.
    • Infernal Toughness (renamed Unholy Toughness) now gives full Cha per class level in bonus hit points rather than half.
    • Hit die lowered to d8. Between the Outsider type having d8's and Infernal Toughness now giving full Cha to hit points, a d10 didn't fit the class anymore. Overall this increases the total hit points if the character prioritizes their Cha, and it decreases MAD a little.
    • Reduced Aura of Fear's area by half. 60 feet of fear is too wide a range for a melee class. Not only does it reduce the need to get up close and personal, it might actually prevent you from doing so by panicking the opponents before you get there.
    • Removed Unholy Grace from level 4.
    • Added Darkvision 30ft at 4, Darkvision 60ft at 11, and True Darkvision (as see in darkness) at 19.
    • Added fire resist 5 and the following effect to Fiendish Presence (renamed Fiendish Power): "For purposes of Intimidate checks, you are treated as one size-category larger than you actually are."
    • Added a profane bonus to all saves equal to half Cha modifier to Fiendish Resistance to make up for losing Unholy Grace. Changed fire resist 5 to acid resist 5.
    • Added fire resist 10 and spell resistance 5+class level.
    • Changed Devastating Wave's effects to one negative level or 1d4 ability damage on a successful Fort save.
    • Altered Fiendish Champion capstone. Changed fire resist 10 to acid resist 10. Added fire and poison immunity, full cha bonus to saves, and batwings.

    I think this makes the class fit the themes I want. It now more accurately depicts turning into a devil, and the fear effects and debuffs fit the warrior arch-type. If you have any thoughts on the class's balance, or if anything seems particularly bad / good / interesting, let me know.
    "By 'for fun' do you mean 'to kill us?'" - Me, about the DM rolling a d20 several times for no known reason.

    "You have my sword." - the Fighter.
    "And my bow." - the Ranger.
    "And my acts!" - me, the Bard.

    My Final Fantasy Homebrew and Pathfinder Updating! PEACH always welcome.

    Current Homebrew:
    PF "Dragon Shaman" - Paladin Alternate Class

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