Monday, August 10, 2009


Knights are a subclass of fighter that I intend to use since I intend to have a fairly Euro-Medieval feel to the campaign. I wrote this class myself, but it has not been worked into an 'official' BFRPG supplement.

Knight (fighter subclass)

Knights use Experience table of Magic-Users, while utilizing the HD progression of standard Fighters (please forgive my lack of experience putting good looking tables into the blog).

Knights are a subclass of standard Fighters, renown for bravery, codes of honor, and riding into battle upon great steeds. Usually born to nobility or the aristocracy, Knights are usually found in the service of a lord, liege, church, or some worthy organization, although the exact nature of this service can vary with region or culture.

The Prime Requisite for Knights is Strength; a Knight character must have a Strength score of 13 or higher. In addition, Knights often are found in command positions, and require a Charisma score of 13 as well. Knights use the Fighter's attack and saving throw tables, but get a few specific benefits.

Knights are fully capable of using shields and any sort of armor, although in general, a Knight would rather go without armor than to wear something beneath their station. This rule can vary with culture or region, but only low level Knights would be found in something like chain mail; plate mail being the rule of thumb for acceptable armor. Knights even go so far as to prefer non-magical plate armor over magical varieties of lesser types.

Knights tend to use one-handed melee weapons that can be utilized with a shield, and of course they use lances. The standard weapon choices are longsword, maces, battle axes, and lances, although there can be some cultural or regional differences. Most knightly orders disdain the use of missile weapons for personal use, but they understand the benefits of such weaponry upon the battlefield by the appropriate troops. Although they are not skilled in the ways of magic, Knights can nonetheless use many magic items, including but not limited to magical weapons and armor, and can be treated as standard Fighters otherwise in most situations.

Knight Abilities: Knights are masters of mounted combat, receiving a +2 bonus to hit and on damage rolls while mounted. In addition, the Knight's mount, if able to make attacks, receives this bonus as well. Knights have keen understanding of parrying tactics and the defensive qualities of their armor, getting an additional +1 Armor Class bonus while wearing medium or heavier armor and wielding a one-handed melee weapon; the bonus increasing to +2 at level 10, then ultimately +3 at level 20. A Knight is completely immune to fear effects, whether magical or otherwise. When placed into a position of command, any troops within 60 feet of the Knight gets a bonus on their morale equivalent to the Knight's Charisma bonus.

Non-Human Knights: Other races maintain Knights, each with minor variations in both code and ability. Dwarven Knights tend to use hammers and picks, ride war-ponies or even great boars, but are otherwise quite similar to Human Knights. Elven Knights favor very ornate armors, but lighter weaponry such as rapiers and sabre type weapons. Similar to the standard Fighter/Magic-User combination, Elves may combine Knights with Magic-Users, abiding by all the combined requirements, however, magical spell choice becomes more limited because of ranged attacks being distasteful for personal use. Halfling communities do not normally sponsor knightly orders, but on occasion, a Halfling might be knighted and inducted into a Human order (or even more rarely into a Dwarfish or Elvish order). For other races, the GM has the final say in whether a race has knightly traditions.

Knightly Codes (chivalry): Knight characters must abide by rigid codes of honor. Although the exact nature of these codes may vary by region or culture, the core values usually include brave service to liege and religion, upholding the laws of the land, protection of the weak and innocent, honesty and adherence to one's word, and of course courage on the battlefield. In addition to the basic code associated with chivalry, a Knight must abide by any specific edicts of his lord or knightly order. Some examples include specific choices in weaponry, mounts, required display of heraldic pennants, or enemies to be fought on sight. A Knight should be able to count on limited support from the organization or members, such as food and lodging.

Knights who do not abide by their codes can be stripped of their titles and banished from their organization. Such a dishonored Knight must find a new sponsor (often difficult), atone for misdeeds, and embark on a quest of great peril in order to regain honor. Failure or refusal to do so results in being stripped of the benefits of the class, becoming a standard fighter in all respects (at same level, adjust experience points accordingly).

A Game Master may make a Knightly Code as simple or complex as is necessary for the campaign. Extremely burdensome codes should provide some worthy benefit, usually on the role-play side (such as reactions) rather than any specific reward or combat bonus. The following examples may assist the Game Master (and player) in forming a specific code for their game.

Example Code:
Knights value their code of honor above everything else. This means Knights can never undertake cowardly actions of any kind, including the personal use of ranged weapons. They always have to attack the most powerful opponent in battle, can never retreat, or make use of subterfuge. They must be completely honest and truthful, and honor an enemy's offer to surrender. A Knight may not attire himself beneath his station and must display openly both his personal pennant as well as that of his lord. A Knight that breaks the code of honor is stripped of all benefits (becoming a fighter of equal level). His reputation will be known to all honorable men and women, and he will be shunned by them.

Another Example Code:
A Knight must respect the tenets of his religion and serve his liege lord in valor and faith. He must protect the weak and defenseless and give succor to widows and orphans. A knight must refrain from the wanton giving of offense, live by honor and for glory, and must fight for the welfare of all. A Knight should despise pecuniary rewards. A Knight must obey those placed in authority and guard the honor of fellow knights. Knights eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit, and rather keep faith, speaking truthfully and always keeping their word. A Knight must persevere to the end in any enterprise begun, never refuse a challenge from an equal, and never turn the back upon a foe.

And yet another Example Code based upon individual terms describing the virtues of a Knight:
Faith, Charity, Justice, Sagacity, Prudence, Temperance, Resolution, Truth, Liberality, Diligence, Hope, Valor

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