Hell Knight Charger (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Hell knight chargers are the vanguard of the hell knights, elite warriors in the service of ultimate law. They are perhaps less spiritual than their brother knights, challenging all enemies of the order and not just the devotees and spirits of chaos.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype, a cavalier out to defeat chaos. It is closely related to the Hell Knight prestige archetype.

Prestige Class: Hellknight from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide.

Build Classes: Cavalier.

Role: Hell knights chargers take to the front of any battle, rushing chaotic opponents and seeking to crush them in one fell charge.

Alignment: Lawful neutral or lawful evil only. Hell knights are not all evil, in fact these orders strive very hard to protect society and be of service to all who obey its rules. But their inspiration comes from the rigid hierarchies of hell, and many find evil methods most effective.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The Hellknight’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The hell knight charger has all the class features of the cavalier, except as noted.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Hell knights are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (but not tower shields). They also gain proficiency with the favored weapon of their order if that is an exotic weapon.

Aura of Law (Ex)

The power of a hell knight’s aura of law (see the detect law spell) is equal to his total character level.

Bonus Languages

A hell knight adept adds Infernal (the language of lawful evil outsiders) to their list of bonus languages. This is an addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.

Challenge (Ex)

This is the same as the cavalier's challenge ability, except the hell knight charger does not suffer an armor class penalty when challenging a chaotic opponent.

Detect Chaos (Sp)

This ability functions like a paladin's detect evil ability, save that it detects chaos. This replaces tactician.

Hell Knight Order

A character must choose one hell knight order. As the hell knight charger gains levels, his order grants him weapon focus and access to disciplines.

The charger serves the order, must follow order policy, and must obey orders from superiors within the order. Player character hell knights often serve semi-independently, acting as agents of the order in the world or on some special task or quest, but must still follow the rules. Failure to do so results in becoming wanted by the order and put on trial. If found wanting, the hell knight is put on probation, under the direct supervision of other hell knights, which usually spells the end for a hell knight's adventuring career or makes him a fugitive, hunted by all hell knights worldwide.

Details for each order are found here. This replaces the cavalier's order ability

Weapon Focus

At second level, the hell knight gains Weapon Focus in his hell knight order's preferred weapon(s) as bonus feats. This replaces the order ability normally gained at level 2.

Hell Knight Armor (Ex)

At 3rd level, a hell knight charger earns the right to wear hell knight armor. While wearing this armor, the hell knight reduces the armor check penalty by 1, increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by 1, and does not suffer a movement reduction from his armor. This replaces cavalier's charge.

Hell knight armor is distinctively adorned masterwork full plate armor costing 2,000 gp. Decorations are specific for each order.

Force of Will (Ex)

At 4th level, a hell knight gains a +2 bonus on Will saves against spells with one of the following descriptors: charm, compulsion, glamer, fear, figment, pattern, or phantasm. This replaces expert trainer.

At 9th level, the hell knight chooses another subschool or descriptor to gain a +2 bonus on his Will save against, and the bonus provided by his first selection increases to +4. This replaces greater tactician.

At 14th level, he chooses from the list again, and both previous selections increase by +2, so that he has a +6, a +4, and a +2 bonus, respectively, against the three different effects. This replaces greater banner.

At 19th level, he chooses from the list again, and all previous selections increase by +2, so that he has a +8, a +6, a +4, and a +2 bonus, respectively, against four different effects.

Hell Banner (Ex)

At 5th level, a charger's banner becomes a symbol of inspiration to his allies and companions. As long as the chargers's banner is clearly visible, all allies within 60 feet gains half of his force of will save bonuses. The banner must be at least Small or larger and must be carried or displayed by the cavalier or his mount to function.

Discern Lies (Sp)

At 6th level, a hell knight can use discern lies as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to 3 plus his Charisma modifier. His caster level equals his total character level. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 6th level.

Disciplines

At 8th-level hell knight gains access to his first discipline, the one that is associated with his specific hell knight order. This replaces the order ability gained at level 8.

At 13th and 18th level, the hell knight gains a second and third discipline, chosen from any , with the exception of Pentamic Faith. This replaces the bonus feats gained at 12th and 18th level.

When applicable, the save DC to resist a discipline’s effect is equal to DC 10 + ½ the Hellknight’s level + the Hellknight’s Charisma modifier. The Hellknight can use any one discipline a number of times per day equal to the total number of disciplines he has access to, so at 8th level he may use his discipline once per day. At 13th level, he may use both disciplines twice per day each. At 18th level, he may use all three of his disciplines three times per day, and so on.

Disciplines are described in the section on hell knight orders.

Lawbringer (Ex)

At 15th level, a hell knight’s attacks are treated as lawful for overcoming damage reduction. This replaces the order ability gained at level 15.

Infernal Armor (Su)

As long as he wears hell knight armor, a 17th-level hell knight gains a +2 bonus on all Charisma-related checks made while interacting with nongood lawful creatures. In addition, he gains the ability to see perfectly in darkness of any kind, resistance to fire 30, and resistance to acid 10 and cold 10 as long as he is wearing hell knight armor. This replaces master tactician.

Table: Hell Knight Charger

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Aura of law, challenge 1/day, detect chaos, mount, order
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Weapon Focus
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Hell knight armor
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Challenge 2/day, force of will
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Hell banner
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Discern lies
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Challenge 3/day
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Discipline 1
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Force of will
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Challenge 4/day
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Mighty charge
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Bonus feat, demanding challenge
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Challenge 5/day, discipline 2
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Force of will
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Lawbringer
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Challenge 6/day
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Infernal armor
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Discipline 3
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Challenge 7/day, force of will
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Supreme charge

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Class Skills
  • Tactician
  • Order abilities (all)
  • Expert Trainer
  • Banner
  • Bonus Feat (all)
  • Mighty Charge
  • Greater Banner
  • Master Tactician

Hell Knight Orders

Hell knights are organized in orders. Each order is an independent organization, but they share many ideals and often cooperate. At other times they are at war, sometimes over what to outsiders seem trivial matters of doctrine.

There are numerous orders of hell knights. Each has its own agenda, distinctive style of hell knight armor, one or more weapons that it favors over others, and a discipline that it regards as most important and teaches first. Only hell knight chargers and hell knight paragons have access to disciplines.

Each hell knight begins in one order and most stay with that order for all of their life. A hell knight cannot change his order without undertaking a lengthy process to dedicate himself to a new cause. When this choice is made, he immediately loses all of the benefits from his old order. He must then follow the edicts of his new order for one entire level without gaining any benefits from that order. He must also find acceptance by the new order. Once accomplished, he gains all of the bonuses from his new order.

The hell knight serves the order, must follow order policy, and must obey orders from superiors within the order. Player character hell knights often serve semi-independently, acting as agents of the order in the world or on some special task or quest, but must still follow the rules. Failure to do so results in becoming wanted by the order and put on trial. If found wanting, the hell knight is on probation, and put under the direct supervision of other hell knights, which usually spells the end of the hell knight's adventuring career or makes him a fugitive, hunted by all hell knights worldwide.

The Order of the Chain

“All men lift themselves up upon the backs of others.”

The Order of the Chain enforces the natural order of master and servant, dually punishing rebellious or escaped slaves as well as criminal slave-owners.

Favored weapon: Flail.

Shackle (Su; Order of the Chain): When the hell knight uses smite chaos on a creature, he can impede its mobility. The creature can negate this effect with a Will save; otherwise, it is affected as if by a slow spell for 1d4 rounds.

The Order of the Gate

“Judgment in the face of depravity.”

Renowned for the unparalleled number of signifers among its members, the Order of the Gate also specializes in dealing and bargaining with devils and other fiends.

Favored weapon: Dagger.

Summon Devil (Sp; Order of the Gate): The hell knight may use summon monster V as a spell-like ability to summon 1 bearded devil.

At 11th level, this spell-like ability is replaced by summon monster VI, allowing him to summon 1d3 bearded devils, or 1 erinyes.

At 14th level, this spell-like ability is replaced by summon monster VII, allowing him to summon 1d4+1 bearded devils, 1d3 erinyes, or 1 bone devil.

At 17th level, this spell-like ability is replaced by summon monster VIII, allowing him to summon 1d4+1 erinyes, 1d3 bone devils, or 1 barbed devil.

At 20th level, this spell-like ability is replaced by summon monster IX, allowing him to summon 1d4+1 bone devils, 1d3 barbed devils, or one ice devil.

The Order of the Godclaw

“Righteousness by obedience.”

The leaders of the Order of the Godclaw preach the unique doctrine of the most lawful deities.

Favored weapon: Morningstar.

Pentamic Faith (Ex; Order of the God Claw only): This ability allows the hell knight to select one of the following domains: Artifice, Glory, Knowledge, Law, Magic, Nobility, Protection, Rune, Strength, Travel, and War. The hell knight gains all of the granted powers (but not domain spells) of that domain, treating his hell knight levels as Cleric levels -7 to determine what domain abilities he has access to. This ability is only available to hell knights of the order of the godclaw.

The Order of the Nail

“Savagery must be quelled, in the land, home, and mind.”

Hellknights of the Order of the Nail focus their efforts on crushing savages and brigands.

Favored weapon: Lance or halberd.

Onslaught (Su; Order of the Nail): Once per day as a free action, a hell knight increases his base speed by +10 feet and gains a +4 bonus to his Strength for 1 round. If the hell knight is mounted, these bonuses also apply to his mount.

The Order of the Pyre

“Reason's flame consumes the shadow of corruption.”

The members of the Order of the Pyre zealously hunt heathen worshipers of false gods.

Favored weapon: Glaive.

Brand (Sp; Order of the Pyre): The hell knight can use mark of justice as a spell-like ability.

The Order of the Rack

“The venoms of the mind poison the body.”

Hellknights of the Order of the Rack seek to eradicate revolutionary idealisms.

Favored weapon: Longsword or whip.

Censor (Su; Order of the Rack): When the hell knight uses challenge or smite chaos on a creature, he can strike the creature mute for 1d4 rounds unless it makes a successful Will save. A mute creature cannot speak, nor can it cast spells that have verbal components or use language-dependent effects

The Order of the Scourge

“Without culpability, chaos reigns.”

The ever-watchful Order of the Scourge seeks to ensure no crime goes unpunished, especially premeditated or more far-reaching acts of organized lawbreaking.

Favored weapon: Heavy mace or whip.

Vigilance (Su; Order of the Scourge): The hell knight gains low-light vision (this effect is constant). In addition, as a full-round action, the hell knight can see through up to 5 feet of stone, wood, or similar barriers as if they didn’t exist. Metal or denser barriers block this effect. Each use of this ability lasts as long as the hell knight concentrates, up to a number of rounds equal to the hell knight’s level.

Common Abilities

These abilities can be taken by any hell knight at level 11 and above.

Fearsomeness (Ex; any order): A hell knight who uses the Intimidate skill to cause a creature within 10 feet to become shaken can instead cause that creature to become frightened. .

Tracker (Sp; any order): The hell knight can summon a creature to aid him, either in battle or to track an enemy, as if using a summon monster spell, save that the summoned creature lingers for 1 hour before vanishing. All animals summoned this way have the fiendish template.

An 8th-level hell knight can summon either an eagle, a riding dog, a wolf, or a leopard.

An 11th-level hell knight can summon either a dire wolf or a hell hound.

A 14th-level hell knight can instead opt to summon a pack of 1d4+1 riding dogs or wolves or a single cerberus or dire bat.

A 17th-level hell knight can summon either a pack of 1d4+1 dire wolves or hell hounds, or a single dire lion or shadow mastif.

A 20th-level hell knight can instead opt to summon a pack of 1d4+1 cerberi or dire bats, or a single dire tiger or invisible stalker.

Wrack (Su; any order): The hell knight may make a touch attack as a standard action to cause a creature to suffer incredible pain. The creature touched takes 1d6 points of damage + the hell knight’s Charisma modifier, and must make a Will save to avoid being staggered for 1d4 rounds.


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