Imperial Blackguard (Dragonstar)
| Base Attack
|Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||
|Spells Per Day|
|1||+1||+2||+0||+0||Detect good, dark blessing, poison use, profane spellware||-||-||-||-|
|2||+2||+3||+0||+0||Aura of despair, smite good||-||-||-||-|
|4||+4||+4||+1||+1||Sneak attack +1d6||-||-||-|
|5||+5||+4||+1||+1||Smite good 2/day||-||-||-|
|7||+7/+2||+5||+2||+2||Sneak attack +2d6||1||-||-||-|
|10||+10/+5||+7||+3||+3||Sneak attack +3d6, smite good 3/day||1||1||-||-|
|13||+13/+8/+3||+8||+4||+4||Sneak attack +4d6||1||1||1||-|
|15||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+5||Smite good 4/day||2||1||1||1|
|16||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+5||+5||Sneak attack +5d6||2||2||1||1|
|19||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+6||+6||Sneak attack +6d6||3||3||3||2|
|20||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+6||Smite good 5/day||3||3||3||3|
In the Dragon Empire, the blackguard (pronounced blagg'rd) is a core class. A blackguard has been chosen to be a champion of the forces of darkness. Some achieve this only after a long life of dark deeds and villainy; others are chosen even before they are born and strive mightily but furtively to escape their dark fate. But ultimately, they are all slaves to their dark gods.
Hit Die: d10.
Alignment: Any evil.
Class Skills: The blackguard's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Demolitions (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Freefall (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nobility & royalty, religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Pilot (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill points per level: 4
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Blackguards are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (including power armor), and with shields (including tower shields).
Detect Good: At will, the blackguard can detect good as a spell-like ability. This ability duplicates the effects of the spell detect good.
Poison Use: Blackguards are skilled in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a blade.
Dark Blessing: A blackguard applies his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus to all saving throws.
Profane Spellware: As outlined on page 58 of the Starfarer's Handbook, blackguards can get profane spellware just as paladins can get divine spellware, though the dark churches tend to be somewhat more short of resources. Blackguards serving Emperor Mezzenbone can usually rely on a steady stream of profane spellware.
Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a blackguard gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells. To cast a spell, the blackguard must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell's level, so a blackguard with a Wisdom of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Blackguard bonus spells are based on Wisdom, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the blackguard's Wisdom modifier. When the blackguard gets 0 spells of a given level, such as 0 1st-level spells at 1st level, he gets only bonus spells. (A blackguard without a bonus spell for that level cannot yet cast a spell of that level.) The blackguard's spell list appears below. A blackguard has access to any spell on the list and can freely choose which to prepare, just like a cleric. A blackguard prepares and casts spells just as a cleric does (though the blackguard cannot spontaneously cast cure or inflict spells).
Blackguards choose their spells from the following list:
1st level - cause fear, corrupt weapon*, cure light wounds, curse water, detect poison, detect undead. divine favor, doom, endure elements, inflict light wounds, magic weapon, misdirection, protection from good, read magic, summon monster I* .
2nd level - bull's strength, darkness, death knell, eagle's splendor, hold person, resist energy, shatter, owl's wisdom, summon monster II*, undetectable alignment .
3rd level - bestow curse, contagion, cure moderate wounds, deeper darkness, dispel magic, inflict moderate wounds, magic circle against good, magic weapon, greater, prayer, protection from elements, summon monster III*, .
4th level - break enchantment, cure serious wounds, dispel good, freedom of movement, inflict serious wounds, mark of justice, poison, summon monster IV*, unholy sword* .
- Asterixed spells are all evil. Summon monster spells summon only evil creatures. Corrupt weapon and unholy sword are similar to bless weapon and holy sword respectively, but offer benefits against good creatures instead of evil ones.
Smite Good: Once a day, a blackguard may attempt to smite good with one normal melee attack. He adds his Charisma modifier (if positive) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per class level. For example, a 9th-level blackguard armed with a longsword would deal 1d8+9 points of damage, plus any additional bonuses from high Strength or magical effects that normally apply. If the blackguard accidentally smites a creature that is not good, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day. Smite good is a supernatural ability.
At 5th level and every five levels thereafter, the blackguard may smite good one additional time per day, as indicated in the table above, to a maximum of five times per day at level 20.
Aura of Despair: Beginning at 3rd level, the blackguard emanates a malign aura that causes enemies within 10 feet per level to suffer a -2 morale penalty on all saving throws. Aura of despair is a supernatural ability.
Command Undead: When a blackguard reaches 4th level, he gains the supernatural ability to command and rebuke undead. He commands undead as would a cleric of three levels lower. This stacks with any other undead-rebuking abilities the blackguard may have, for example from previous experience as an evil cleric.
Sneak Attack: If a blackguard can catch an opponent when she is unable to defend herself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Basically, any time the blackguard's target would be denied her Dexterity bonus to AC (whether she actually has a Dexterity bonus or not) or when the blackguard flanks the target, the blackguard's gains a damage bonus depening on level. Should the blackguard score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
Ranged attacks only count as sneak attacks if the target is 30 feet away or less. A blackguard cannot make a sneak attack to deal subdual damage. The blackguard must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach a vital spot. He cannot sneak attack while striking at a creature with concealment or by striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.
A blackguard can only sneak attack living creatures with discernible anatomies. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Additionally, any creature immune to critical hits is not subject to sneak attacks.
If a blackguard gets a sneak attack bonus from another source (such as rogue levels), the bonuses to damage stack.
Code of Villainy: A blackguard must serve his evil patrons with the same zeal that a paladin serves good. The blackguard's masters will not accept excuses, but demand a constant stream of evil from their servant. The blackguard can work undercover for limited periods of time, pretending to be good, but if more than a week elapses without some heinous crime, the blackguard is lapsing and should reform.
A blackguard that willingly performs a noble act without ulterior motives or who abstains from doing evil for more than a month loses all class abilities and must atone to regain them.
Blackguards who possess levels of paladin (that is to say, are now ex-paladins) gain extra abilities the more levels of paladin they possess. Those who have tasted the light of goodness and justice and turned away make the foulest villains. All blackguard and fallen paladin abilities are used at the character's total levels in these classes.
Table: Fallen Paladin Blackguard Abilities
|Paladin Levels||Extra Ability|
|1-2||Smite good once per day. (This is in addition to the ability granted to all blackguards at 2nd level, so that a fallen paladin blackguard can smite good an additional time per day.)|
|3-4||Lay on hands. Once per day, the blackguard can cure himself of damage equal to his Charisma bonus times his level. The blackguard can only cure himself with this spell-like ability.|
|5+||Favored of the dark deities. Evil deities like nothing more than to see a pure heart corrupted, and thus a fallen paladin of this stature immediately gains a blackguard level for each level of paladin he trades in. For example, a character who has twelve levels of paladin can immediately become a 10th-level blackguard with all abilities if he chooses to lose ten levels of paladin. The character level of the character does not change. This, of course, is in every way a profitable trade for the evil character, since he has already lost most of the benefits he gained from having those paladin levels. However, with the loss of paladin levels, the character no longer gains extra abilities found on this table. Thus, a fallen paladin of 15th level could become a 12th-level blackguard/3rd-level paladin with the first two extra abilities on this chart because of those three levels of paladin.|
It is possible for blackguards to be redeemed and become paladins under truly exceptional circumstances. Such a character functions in every way as a paladin of her blackguard level. But before the end of any adventure in which such redemption is granted, the blackguard irrevocably dies. Her soul is purged of all evil and accepted into a higher plane, and refuses to be resurrected by any means.