Blood Knight (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||Battle doesn't need a purpose; the battle is its own purpose. You don't ask why a plague spreads or a field burns. Don't ask why I fight.||”|
|—Unknown Blood Knight Armored in Black|
Most people who fight have a certain cause that drives them. This cause may be many things, Virtuous or Sinful, Orderly or Randomized, but they are all causes, external reasons to take up arms. The Blood Knight however, is different. To the Blood Knight, the only drive to fight is the act of fighting itself. No more, no less.
Becoming a Blood Knight
Characters pursue this class for one reason: To live and die for the sake of battle itself. Typically a Blood Knight will value her physical stats above her mental, though it is not unheard of one fighting with her mental prowess. It is difficult, but not impossible, for anyone not already devoted to combat to join the ranks of the Blood Knight, so while a Rogue is not unheard of joining, it is more likely that Fighters, Barbarians, and especially Knights would pursue such a career, with the occasional Ranger cropping up.
|Alignment:||While the idea of a Blood Knight might sound Chaotic and Evil, there is no reason that one has to be. The Purest of Blood Knights are True Neutral, existing for Battle and nothing else. A Blood Knight generally views her own Alignment as a guideline for which team to be on in a fight, and not very much else.|
|Base Attack Bonus:||10+|
|Special:||A Knight of appropriate Knightly Order may waive any requirements.|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+2||All Fighting, All The Time||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Life of Combat||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+3||Bonus Feat||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+4||Eye on the Prize 1/day||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+4||I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+5||Bonus Feat||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|7th||+7||+5||+5||+5||I Declare War.||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+6||Eye on the Prize 2/day||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+6||Bonus Feat||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+7||Life May Cease, Battle Does Not||+1 Level in Existing Martial-Initiator Class|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level.)
|11th||Truly Epic BAB|
|12th||Epic Bonus Feat, Eye on the Prize 3/day|
|15th||Epic Bonus Feat|
|16th||Eye on the Prize 4/day|
|18th||Epic Bonus Feat|
|20th||Eye on the Prize 5/day|
All of the following are class features of the Blood Knight.
Maneuvers: Every level in Blood Knight, you gain new Maneuvers or Stances as if you took a level in a class that already grants such an ability. If you did not already have such an ability, you may choose any three Disciplines and gain Maneuvers as a Warblade of your levels in Blood Knight using the Warblade's recovery method for your Maneuvers. If any of your chosen Disciplines' skills is not on the Blood Knight skill list, it is added to your list of Class Skills.
All Fighting, All The Time (Ex): At 1st level, you are considered to be in Combat whenever it would be advantageous for you. As a side effect, any time new creatures enter a situation, you are allowed to consider it a new encounter for any effects that can be used a limited number of times per encounter or which refresh at the start of an encounter.
Life of Combat (Ex): At 2nd level, you are never considered Flat-Footed for any reason and you act in any surprise round, taking actions as if it were a full round instead. In addition, the amount of time away from a fight to be considered out of the fight is only one round for you, instead of ten.
Bonus Feats: At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, you may choose a bonus Combat Feat. If you are not using Tome, you may choose a Fighter Bonus Feat that you qualify for, and levels in Blood Knight stack with levels of Fighter to determine if you qualify for a feat.
Eye on the Prize (Ex): At 4th level, a roll of a 1 on an Attack Roll or Saving Throw is no longer an automatic failure and is instead treated as a 1. Once per day, you may elect to treat the roll of 1 as a roll of 21 instead. You gain an additional use of this ability per day for every four more levels you have. (8th, 12th, 16th...)
I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight! (Ex): At 5th level, a Blood Knight is Immune to any status effects that would cause her to stop fighting, aside from dying. This does not make her immune to a compulsion that would order her to fight her allies, but it would stop a compulsion with an order to stand down.
I Declare War. (Ex): At 7th level, a Blood Knight can force open hostilities in all surrounding creatures. All creatures within 60' have their attitudes shifted to hostile towards whomever the Blood Knight designates. A Will save (DC = 10 + 1/2 Blood Knight's ECL + STR) negates the effect. However, avoiding mob mentality is tough. If more than half the creatures in range fail their saves, the ones that didn't must make another save with the same DC +2 per each creature that originally failed.
Life May Cease, Battle Does Not (Ex): At 10th level, the Blood Knight stops aging and is never completely killed by any effect.
A week after being killed, the Blood Knight is brought back to life within 30' of her killer and must defeat the killer one on one, taking no actions counter to this objective. If the Blood Knight wins, she is free to act as she wishes. If slain in this battle, the Blood Knight returns again in one month to repeat the challenge.
Should her losing streak continue, she will return again in a year, then a decade, then finally once a century. If the killer dies in the intervening time, the Blood Knight challenges the closest living relative instead. When raised in this manner, the Blood Knight takes no penalty for the death(s).
The only other ways a Blood Knight may be revived are with a Wish or Miracle spell, or if the killer is subject to a Remove Curse, Break Enchantment, or Limited Wish to remove the need to be challenged. In this case, the killer and his family are freed from being challenged; the Blood Knight is still revived on the next time she is scheduled, but may act according to her own wishes.
The epic Blood Knight gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Blood Knight feats) starting at 12th and continuing every three levels from then on. (15th, 18th, 21st...)
Truly Epic BAB: Unlike other classes taking on Epic levels, the Blood Knight is so focused upon fighting that her BAB continues to rise by 1 each level, though she does not obtain 5 or more iterative attacks by going beyond +20. This is in addition to the +1 Epic bonus for every odd level past ECL 20.
Epic Blood Knight Bonus Feat List: The Blood Knight may choose from the Epic Bonus Feat list of any class she has, adding her levels in Blood Knight to levels in that class to determine qualifications for these feats. She must meet the prerequisites for these Epic Bonus Feats.
Playing a Blood Knight
Combat: In combat, you want to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and your opponents took all the gum. Go get your gum back.
Advancement: Anything that makes you kick more ass is a desirable way to advance, including more levels of Blood Knight.
Resources: Blood Knights are equally likely to fight each other as they are to fight alongside one another, and these situations are not mutually exclusive.
Blood Knights in the World
|“||Round One. Fight!||”|
Wherever there is Battle, there are Blood Knights, with almost no exceptions. (Most of said exceptions are pitifully small-scale skirmishes.)
NPC Reactions: NPCs that know what a Blood Knight is will generally attempt to convince the Blood Knight that there is something worth beating up far away from where they are right now. Usually, the NPC is right.
Blood Knight Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) or Knowledge (Warfare) can research Blood Knights to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||There are those in this world who fight for the sake of fighting.|
|16||Those people are called Blood Knights. They live for battle and can be found wherever there is a good fight.|
|21||It is said that if a war is not happening right now, a Blood Knight is getting one started.|
|26||Some Legendary Blood Knights do not stay dead, returning to face their killer in a duel to the death for the right to return to life.|
Blood Knights in the Game
Blood Knights fit an Attacker and Striker role in Combat, and if they are not currently doing this, they find a fight and jump in so that they can.
Adaptation: If you can't find a place for guys and gals who go around starting fights because they want to find a good fight, nothing I can write here can really help you.
Sample Encounter: A very archetypal Random Encounter if there was one, just have an unnamed Blood Knight challenge the most visually imposing member of your party to a one on one fight.
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +|
|Article Balance||Very High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Good +|
|Class Ability||Martial Maneuvers +|
|Class Ability Progression||Full +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Good +|
|Identifier||3.5e Prestige Class +|
|Minimum Level||10 +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Good +|
|Skill||Autohypnosis +, Balance +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Escape Artist +, Gather Information +, Handle Animal +, Heal +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Psicraft +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Speak Language +, Spellcraft +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble + and Use Rope +|
|Skill Points||6 +|
|Summary||Fighting. Fighting all the time. +|
|Title||Blood Knight +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|