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Thread: Dark Knight NPC

  1. #1
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    Here`s an attempt at a powerful Dark Knight build. This character will be
    an NPC in my Birthright campaign.

    Background: Hruskgar Blackthorn hails from Hjorig, a Rjurik-populated
    country on the western borders of Vosgaard. Originally a warrior and skald
    (started out as Bard/Bbn) in the service of the Jarl of Hjorig, Hruskgar
    Ulldvim (as he was originally known) always harbored a burning interest in
    the occult (at level 1, 3 ranks K:arcana, 2 ranks K:religion, 3 ranks
    Alchemy, 4 ranks Spellcraft). On a minor hunting trip, Hruskgar encountered
    and slew a minor awnshegh, in the process unknowingly becoming a scion of
    Azrai`s blood.

    Azrai`s derivation subtly increased Hruskgar`s interest in occultism as
    well as further corrupting his already evil nature. When Hruskgar killed
    another of the Jarl`s lieutenants in a minor dispute, he was banished from
    the realm by the Jarl, who feared his growing ability and influence (again,
    fueled in part by his divine bloodline).

    Hruskgar, through his study of esoteric topics, knew that only with a
    divine bloodline could humans use true magic (as a skald, he already knew
    minor powers of illusion and divination). However, he still did not know
    that he possessed such a bloodline thanks to the act of bloodtheft against
    the awnshegh he killed. He travelled south to Khinasi lands, where there
    were many repositories of arcane knowledge.

    Believing that he had no ability to use true magic, Hruskgar turned to the
    study of alchemy and the creation of elixirs and potions. His study and
    experimentation led him to increasingly depraved rituals to create his
    potions, until the point where his actions were discovered by the locals
    and he was chased away from Khinasi lands.

    Now wholly committed to the practice of profane rituals, perhaps because of
    his dark blood, Hruskgar fled to Anuire, where he found a place to continue
    his study.

    Now a lieutenant of the Duke Jaison Raenech of Osoerde, Hruskgar Blackthorn
    (as he is now known) has expanded his study of occultism to include
    religious ritual, under the guidance of the True Church of Vosgaard hidden
    in Osoerde. It is unknown whether he possesses his paladin-like powers
    through supplication to Belinik and Kriesha or some darker, heretofore
    unknown power.

    Here`s the build:

    Hruskgar Blackthorn
    Male Rjurik human
    Neutral Evil
    Azrai, minor, 16 (Heightened Ability-Charisma, minor; Enhanced Sense, minor)

    Brd2/Bbn2/Ftr2/Blackguard3/Master of Shrouds1/Warrior of Darkness10

    S 16, D 10, C 14, I 13, W 13, Ch 17

    1. Brd1 Bardic Knowledge (occult knowledge), Bardic Music (unholy chants),
    Power Attack, Iron Will
    2. Bbn1 Rage, +10 speed
    3. Bbn2 Cleave, Uncanny Dodge 1
    4. Ftr1 Sunder, Cha +1
    5. Ftr2 Weapon Focus: Claymore
    6. Brd2 Vile Martial Strike: Claymore
    7. WoD1 Black Magic Oil (Ensorcelled Flesh)
    8. Blk1 Detect Good, Poison Use, Cha +1
    9. Blk2 Dark Blessing, Smite Good, Improved Critical: Claymore
    10 Blk3 Aura of Despair, Control Undead
    11 MoS1 Extra Turning, Death/Evil/Protection domains
    12 WoD2 Darkling Weapon, Divine Might, Cha +1
    13 WoD3 Black Magic Elixir (Violent Knowledge: Weapon Specialization:
    Claymore)
    14 WoD4 Black Magic Oil (Rapid Step +10 speed)
    15 WoD5 Scarred Flesh, Open Feat
    16 WoD6 Violent Knowledge (Open Feat), Wis +1
    17 WoD7 Black Magic Oil (Unholy Strike)
    18 WoD8 Repellent Flesh, Open Feat
    19 WoD9 Black Magic Elixir (Dark Senses: tremorsense)
    20 WoD10 Black Magic Oil (Malign Fury), Str +1

    Stats at level 20 without stats/items factored in:
    BAB +19;
    HP 2d6+2d12+16d10+Con;
    Saves +16 +7 +13 +Divine Grace and high ability scores;
    Skills - a good number of points in a variety of skills. Very well rounded,
    actually; this character would do very well in a solo campaign, with minor
    tweaking.

    What do you think the 3 open feats should go to? I was thinking about
    Improved Sunder, Expertise, and maybe something on the Expertise chain, but
    I`m not sure. An alternate possibility is to drop the claymore and go with
    sword and shield, and pick up some of the shield feats from DotF.
    Leadership is also a definite possibility, and Boost Spell Resistance or
    Dark Speech.

    As far as levels go, I could drop the Master of Shrouds level and 1-2
    levels of Warrior of Darkness in favor of Blackguard 4 and 5. That gives
    +1d6 SA and fiendish companion.

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  2. #2
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    Lord Shade wrote:

    >Here`s an attempt at a powerful Dark Knight build. This character will be
    >an NPC in my Birthright campaign.
    >
    >Background: Hruskgar Blackthorn hails from Hjorig, a Rjurik-populated
    >country on the western borders of Vosgaard. Originally a warrior and skald
    >(started out as Bard/Bbn)
    >
    A Rjurik Skald must be lawful, a Barbarian may never be. How did you
    solve that?
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  3. #3
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    >A Rjurik Skald must be lawful, a Barbarian may never be. How did you
    >solve that?
    >bye
    >Michael Romes

    I thought skald = bard, and bard = any non-lawful. Where does it say a
    Rjurik skald has to be lawful? Such a character is not even legal in 3e.

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 11:56 AM 3/15/2003 -0600, Lord Shade wrote:

    > >A Rjurik Skald must be lawful, a Barbarian may never be. How did you
    > >solve that?
    >
    >I thought skald = bard, and bard = any non-lawful. Where does it say a
    >Rjurik skald has to be lawful? Such a character is not even legal in 3e.

    Skald does equal bard, but like much setting material it changes the core
    rules to reflect a campaign theme.

    The Rjurik Highlands p16 under The Bards. "Skalds are often hired as
    heralds and messengers, since they are of neutral political alignment and
    are sworn to truthfulness in all their dealings. Rjurik bards are all of
    lawful alignment for this reason."

    Gary

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  5. #5
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    Lord Shade wrote:

    >>A Rjurik Skald must be lawful, a Barbarian may never be. How did you
    >>solve that?
    >>bye
    >>Michael Romes
    >>
    >
    >I thought skald = bard, and bard = any non-lawful. Where does it say a
    >Rjurik skald has to be lawful? Such a character is not even legal in 3e.
    >
    p. 16 of the 2E "Rjurik Highlands" book for the Rjurik region of Cerilia:
    "The Bards: The Bardic tradition is strong in Rjurik lands. Singing
    skalds - wandering bards - travel the land, bringing news and
    entertainment to distant nomadic tribes or isolated villages. Among the
    Rjurik, bards are untouchable, and to purposely harm a skald is a grave
    offense against the druids and erik, as well as the bard himself. Skalds
    are often hired as heralds and messengers, since they are of neutral
    political alingment and are sworn to trughfulness in all their dealings.
    Rjurik bards ARE ALL OF LAWFUL ALIGNMENT FOR THIS REASON."

    on p. 8/9 is a nice short story how a faithful bard fulfilled his
    mission despite any hindrance set in his way because simply he had to
    fulfill the mission - a VERY strict code of honour to follow.
    bye
    Michael Romes

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    My suggestion for the Dark Knight`s 3 open feats:
    Note, I`m refering to a Claymore as a Greatsword, if you distinguish between
    them, substitute.

    Kraftig Greatword [General]
    You have learned to use your strength to even greater effect with your
    greatsword
    Prerequisites: Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword), +8 BAB
    Benefits: When using a greatsword, you get an +2 competance bonus to your
    Strength, and the weapon does 2d8 instead of the normal 2d6 damage.

    Example: Hruskgar has a 16 Str, so when wielding his Claymore two-handed, he
    gets a +3 attack bonus and a +4 damage bonus and does 2d6 damage with his
    weapon. With Kraftig Greatsword, his Str is effectivly an 18, so he gets a
    +4 attack bonus and a +6 damage bonus, and does 2d8 damage.

    Superior Sunder [General]
    You have learned how to break your opponant`s weapons
    Prerequisites: Sunder
    Benefits: When you attack an opponent`s weapon, your damage is doubled.

    Superior Critical [General]
    Choose one type of weapon, with that weapon your most deadly attacks are
    more potent.
    Prerequisites: Cleave, Improved Critical, BAB +12
    Benefits: You weapon`s damage multiplier is increased by 1.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  7. #7
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 03:44 PM 3/15/2003 -0600, Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    >Kraftig Greatword [General]
    >You have learned to use your strength to even greater effect with your
    >greatsword
    >Prerequisites: Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword), +8 BAB
    >Benefits: When using a greatsword, you get an +2 competance bonus to your
    >Strength, and the weapon does 2d8 instead of the normal 2d6 damage.
    >
    >Example: Hruskgar has a 16 Str, so when wielding his Claymore two-handed, he
    >gets a +3 attack bonus and a +4 damage bonus and does 2d6 damage with his
    >weapon. With Kraftig Greatsword, his Str is effectivly an 18, so he gets a
    >+4 attack bonus and a +6 damage bonus, and does 2d8 damage.

    I don`t have an encyclopedic knowledge of feats, but it seems like either
    one of those benefits would be enough bang for the buck for a typical feat,
    aren`t they? The strength bonus gives a +1 and +1 or +2 damage bonus,
    which is on par with most feats. The increased damage dice is,
    effectively, +2 to damage on average (excluding critical multipliers, of
    course) also on par with a typical feat. Using both it is effectively a +1
    attack and +3 or +4 damage, which seems a little high.

    Gary

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  8. #8
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    >The Rjurik Highlands p16 under The Bards. "Skalds are often hired as
    >heralds and messengers, since they are of neutral political alignment and
    >are sworn to truthfulness in all their dealings. Rjurik bards are all of
    >lawful alignment for this reason."

    Hmm. For my campaign I`ll just step in as the DM to waive that restriction
    in this case. I`d just say that the "skalds" in Hjorig, being so close to
    Vosgaard, are not quite as honorable.

    A good point though, I probably need to reread the Rjurik Highlands set. In
    any case, if you have a problem with the build, you can either 1) use DM
    fiat since this is an NPC or 2) drop the barb levels and make him a
    fighter4, or fighter2/ranger2. The barb levels are not integral to the
    concept, but do make him more powerful.

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  9. #9
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    At 09:30 PM 3/15/2003 +0100, you wrote:
    >Lord Shade wrote:
    >
    >>>A Rjurik Skald must be lawful, a Barbarian may never be. How did you
    >>>solve that?
    >>>bye
    >>>Michael Romes
    >>>
    >>
    >>I thought skald = bard, and bard = any non-lawful. Where does it say a
    >>Rjurik skald has to be lawful? Such a character is not even legal in 3e.
    >>
    >p. 16 of the 2E "Rjurik Highlands" book for the Rjurik region of Cerilia:
    >"The Bards: The Bardic tradition is strong in Rjurik lands. Singing
    >skalds - wandering bards - travel the land, bringing news and
    >entertainment to distant nomadic tribes or isolated villages. Among the
    >Rjurik, bards are untouchable, and to purposely harm a skald is a grave
    >offense against the druids and erik, as well as the bard himself. Skalds
    >are often hired as heralds and messengers, since they are of neutral
    >political alingment and are sworn to trughfulness in all their dealings.
    >Rjurik bards ARE ALL OF LAWFUL ALIGNMENT FOR THIS REASON."

    Hmm. So how would a Rjurik bard work in 3e? The setting and core rules are
    directly contradictory.

    As for the NPC, it is not essential that he is Rjurik. He just needs to be
    from a culture that can produce both bards and barbarians of evil alignment.

    I originally had him as a Vos, but I figured that they don`t have bards.
    Right?

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  10. #10
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    Where are these feats from, Kenneth? I recognize Superior Sunder = Improved
    Sunder (which I was already considering). What are the other 2 from?

    Kraftig Greatsword seems a bit overpowered to me.

    At 03:44 PM 3/15/2003 -0600, you wrote:
    >My suggestion for the Dark Knight`s 3 open feats:
    >Note, I`m refering to a Claymore as a Greatsword, if you distinguish between
    >them, substitute.
    >
    >Kraftig Greatword [General]
    >You have learned to use your strength to even greater effect with your
    >greatsword
    >Prerequisites: Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword), +8 BAB
    >Benefits: When using a greatsword, you get an +2 competance bonus to your
    >Strength, and the weapon does 2d8 instead of the normal 2d6 damage.
    >
    >Example: Hruskgar has a 16 Str, so when wielding his Claymore two-handed, he
    >gets a +3 attack bonus and a +4 damage bonus and does 2d6 damage with his
    >weapon. With Kraftig Greatsword, his Str is effectivly an 18, so he gets a
    >+4 attack bonus and a +6 damage bonus, and does 2d8 damage.
    >
    >Superior Sunder [General]
    >You have learned how to break your opponant`s weapons
    >Prerequisites: Sunder
    >Benefits: When you attack an opponent`s weapon, your damage is doubled.
    >
    >Superior Critical [General]
    >Choose one type of weapon, with that weapon your most deadly attacks are
    >more potent.
    >Prerequisites: Cleave, Improved Critical, BAB +12
    >Benefits: You weapon`s damage multiplier is increased by 1.
    >
    >Kenneth Gauck
    >kgauck@mchsi.com
    >
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    >

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