Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Knight, the Cavalier, the Chevalier, and the Faris.

The knight is a honorable but hardened warrior who seeks out the strongest opponents in melee for single combat.

Hit Dice: 1d6+2 (+3 hp per level after 9th level.)
Armor: Any armor, any shield.
Weapons: Any weapons.
Skills: A knight is skilled in feats of might and endurance, battle lore, noble lore, and riding.
Alignment: Knights may be of any alignment, but most are Lawful or Neutral.  Lawful knights always owe fealty to a noble; Chaotic ones never do.

Class Features
Challenge (1st): Knights thrive in single combat. Once per day, a knight can challenge a foe to single combat.  The knight must challenge the most powerful, or apparently powerful, martial foe visible.  The knight receives a +1 bonus to hit and a +2 bonus to damage against her foe, but suffers a -1 penalty to AC versus all other opponents in the meantime.  At 5th level two challenges can be issued and the bonuses increase to +2/+4.  At 9th level three challenges can be issued, and the bonuses increase to +3/+8.

If the knight’s opponent commands, exhorts, or otherwise blatantly encourages other opponents to attack the knight, she receives an additional +1 bonus to hit and damage her challenged foe, and does not suffer a penalty to her AC against the secondary attackers.
The challenge continues until the target is dead or unconscious, or the combat ends.  If the target escapes without the challenge being resolved, the knight may renew the challenge at any point in the future, even if she has used up her challenges for the day.

Close the Gap (1st): A knight can charge after challenging an opponent, moving up to twice her movement rate in a straight line towards her target.  She can make a single attack at each foe along her route as she passes, at her normal chances to hit.  If an enemy actively tries to impede or block her charge, the knight can make the attack using her challenge bonuses, even if the enemy is not her challenged opponent.  The enemy must also make a save or be forced out of her path.

Honorable (1st): Knights are defined by their code of honor.  The exact nature of the code varies from knight to knight, but even Chaotic knights have their own twisted sense of right and wrong.  A knight must determine their own code, with at least four edicts.  As long as the knight keeps these edicts, she receives a +1 bonus to all saving throws.  For every three additional edicts the knight adopts, the bonus increases by 1. 
Sample edicts include:
  • ·         defend the innocent from anyone who would harm them;
  • ·         honor and obey your liege in all things and at all times;
  • ·         show no mercy to your opponents;
  • ·         always grant quarter to those who ask for it;
  • ·         never surrender;
  • ·         be generous and charitable to those with less;
  • ·         defend your faith against those who would harm it;
  • ·         protect the realm;
  • ·         always tell the truth;
  • ·         defend your honor and the honor of your patron at all times;
  • ·         defend your allies, and avenge their deaths without hesitation if they are slain
  • ·         do not quarrel or speak in anger.    

Valiant (1st): The knight has advantage on saving throws against fear.

Hospitality (3rd): A knight is respected in all civilized lands, even if she does not serve the lord or country in question.  The knight can call upon the hospitality of a noble household for a number of days equal to her level.  All of her basic needs and those of her companions will be met for that evening.  Hospitality cannot be invoked if the hosting household is at war with the knight, her lord, or her country. 

Stand and Fight (3rd): At 3rd level, a knight can keep her challenged foe from retreating.  She gets a free attack anytime her foe attempts to move out of melee range.  If the attack is successful and inflicts damage, the foe must stop moving.

Rally (7th): By rallying, a knight can attempt to recover from grievous wounds.  Twice per day she can recover 2d6 hit points by rolling a successful saving throw.

Squire (7th): At 7th level, the knight gains a 2nd-level knight henchman.  If the squire dies, another will replace him the next time the knight gains a level, depending on the circumstances surrounding the death of the previous squire(s).  Frequent or suspicious deaths are likely to incur repercussions, particularly if the squire is from a powerful household.

Establish Manor (9th): At 9th level the knight may establish (or have conferred upon her) a manor (a fortified structure and lands) and with it a body of loyal men-at-arms who will swear fealty to her.

Still Standing (11th): Once per day the knight can partially negate an attack that reduces her to 0 hit points or less, and instead stabilizes at 1 hit point.  Subsequent attacks have their normal effect.

Cavalier (Knight variant)
The cavalier is a specialized mounted combatant capable of wreaking devastation on an open battlefield.  He has all the features of the knight except as follows:

Mounted Combat (1st): A cavalier loses the Challenge class feature and gains Mounted Combat instead.  This confers the same bonuses as Challenge, but only while the cavalier is mounted on a warhorse and using a melee weapon.  The cavalier does not have to issue a challenge, there is no duration or limits to use on this feature, and the cavalier does not take a penalty to his Armor Class.  The bonuses for Mounted Combat are halved if the cavalier is not riding a warhorse or similar (battle-trained) steed.

A Fiery Horse (3rd): This feature replaces Stand and Fight.  The cavalier must have a favored steed for this feature to work.  The steed gains 1 HD every time the cavalier gains a level.  The steed also becomes smarter, and is able to perform minor tricks and tasks on command.  If the cavalier loses his steed, he can select another, but not more often than once per level.

Stay Up (7th): This feature functions as Rally, except the steed recovers hit points, not the cavalier.  The cavalier does not have the Rally feature.

Chevalier (Knight variant)
Noble elven warriors do not follow exactly the same traditions as their human counterparts.  Chevaliers are mounted elven knights, but with greater emphasis on speed and agility.  She has all the features of the cavalier except as follows:

Skills: The chevalier is skilled in feats of agility instead of might.

Swift Combat (1st): A chevalier loses the Mounted Combat class feature and gains Swift Combat instead.  This works as Mounted Combat, except the chevalier has no attack bonus at first level and only a +1 bonus to damage.  Instead the chevalier gains a +1 bonus to the Armor Classes of both her and her mount, and the bonuses apply to both ranged and melee weapons. The bonuses become +1 attack/+2 damage/+2 Armor Class at 5th level, and +2 attack/ +4 damage/ +3 Armor Class at 9th level.

A Silver Steed (3rd): This feature acts as A Fiery Horse, but instead the mount gains only 1d6 hit points per level instead of 1d8 (this is treated as a normal HD advancement in every other respect).

Speed of Light (3rd): The chevalier's mount's speed increases by 3 (or 10', depending on your system.)

Faris (Knight variant)
The faris is an elite and noble warrior dedicated to mastering furusiyya: a martial tradition espousing horsemanship, archery, swordsmanship, and lancework, as well as the skills and virtues appropriate to a well-educated noble.  A faris has all the features of the chevalier except as follows:

Skills: The faris is skilled in feats of endurance, battle lore, diplomacy, noble lore, and riding.

(The terms advantageknack, and skilled are defined on the Game Design page above.  The license for this entry is located in the Legal page above.)


  1. Interesting and thoughtful variations for the Knight class. Never heard of the "Faris" until now. Will have to look into this variant.


    1. You're welcome, and thank you! I hadn't heard of the faris either until I looked up "knight" on Wikipedia. I'm not sure if it's obvious, but the word "furusiyya" above is a link to Wikipedia.

    2. Yes, the link works. A type of Mamluk (Muslim) knight. Very interesting. A knight class for . . . the enemy! :O

      But that's just me. ;)

      Mwahahahahahahahaha! ROFL

    3. I was going to say that faris and cavaliers come from different traditions and are normally inimical, but then I decided against it. I do like the idea of them being from different fantasy cultures, and despite their differences, honoring the Hospitality part of their code. Nice role-playing material there, if the party has to ask a (normal) enemy for shelter.