Lich Knight

Lich Knights are divine warriors of extreme evil who have discovered an alternate route to lichdom, becoming something similar to a lich – less powerful in terms of magical might, but moreso in martial prowess. They always serve as the champions of dark and evil gods, often those whose portfolio includes the undead. In exchange for their devotion to their god, they are granted eternal unlife and great power. Many go on to become full-blown death knights.

Lich Knights are fairly rare; undead can't take levels in this class, since they have no soul to bond to a weapon, and most living beings willing to become undead either choose the path to lichdom or become lesser undead, like vampires or mummies.

Lich Knights are usually cleric/fighters or, more often, cleric/paladins; straight clerics can go this route, but they are fairly rare.

Hit Die: d10.

Requirements

To qualify to become a Lich Knight (LKn), the character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any evil.

Base Attack Bonus: +8

Skills: Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks

Feats: Mounted Combat, Weapon Focus

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd level divine spells.

Special: Must be granted the god's favor through selfless devotion and long service.

Class Skills

The Lich Knight's class skills are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (comabt and tactics, religion)(Int), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Stealth (Dex).

Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier



Table 1: The Lich Knight
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Spells Per Day
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Aura of evil, bonded weapon
2nd +2 +3 +1 +3 Darkvision, lord of the dead +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Aura of despair, smite good
4th +4 +4 +2 +4 Dark mind +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
5th +5 +4 +2 +4 Vampiric weapon
6th +6 +5 +2 +5 Unholy constitution, smite good +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
7th +7 +5 +3 +5 Undead mount
8th +8 +6 +3 +6 Mummification +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class
9th +9 +6 +3 +6 Rebuke the living, smite good
10th +10 +7 +4 +7 Undying service +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class


Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Lich Knight.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Lich Knights gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Aura of Evil (Ex): The power of a Lich Knight's aura of evil (see the detect alignment spell) is equal to his class level plus his cleric and/or paladin levels, if any.

Bonded Weapon (Ex): As part of the training to become a Lich Knight, the character must choose one weapon, which he has owned for at least three months, is magical, and for which he has the Weapon Focus feat. Anytime after becoming a Lich Knight, he can undergo an hour-long ritual to bind his life force to the weapon; most do it as soon as possible, since they cannot advance further until this step is taken. Thereafter, the Knight gains the Weapon Specialization feat (applied to that weapon only) and can sense the weapon's presence (including distance and direction) anywhere on the same plane with a full round of concentration. If the weapon is ever destroyed, the Knight cannot gain more levels in this class until such time as he has bonded a new weapon (he must fulfill all the requirements noted above).

Spells Per Day: At the indicated levels, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic feats, etc.), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Lich Knight, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Darkvision (Ex): The Lich Knight gains darkvision.

Lord of the Dead (Ex): A Lich Knight's class level stacks with his cleric and paladin levels for determining the total number of undead (and the maximum ECL for said undead) he can control.

Aura of Despair (Su): A Lich Knight radiates a malign aura that inflicts a -2 morale penalty to the saving throws of all enemies within 10 feet.

Smite Good (Su): 1 + Cha bonus times per day, a Lich Knight of 3rd level or higher can attempt to smite good with one normal melee attack. He adds his Charisma modifier (if positive) to his attack roll and deals 2 extra points of damage per class level. If a Lich Knight accidentally smites a creature that is not good, the smite has no effect but it is still used up for that day.

At 6th and 9th levels, a Lich Knight can smite good one additional time per day. If he already has this ability from another class, he gains one extra use per day at 3rd, 6th, and 9th levels and his class levels in Lich Knight stack to determine the total class level.

Dark Mind (Ex): A Lich Knight's mind becomes twisted by the ongoing transformation process and the constant infusion of negative energy, granting him some degree of immunity from effects that would affect other living beings; he gains a +4 bonus to saves vs. mind-affecting effects.

Vampiric Weapon (Su): A Lich Knight's bonded weapon can act as a conduit to draw life force from other living beings to the Knight, sustaining his own. In effect, it becomes a vampiric weapon – each successful hit it deals to a living being grants the Knight 1 hit point. He cannot exceed his maximum hit point total in this manner; any hit points gained while at maximum are lost. The weapon does not work in this manner for any other being, living or undead.

Unholy Constitution (Ex): A Lich Knight gains immunity to poisons and diseases of all types and permanently gains 2 hit points +1 hit point per class level, as if he had taken the Toughness feat.

Undead Mount (Ex): The Lich Knight gains the services of an undead mount. This is most often a warhorse, but can be any rideable creature commensurate with the Knight's power level (see Minions. The mount is treated as a mummy form of the normal creature, though it doesn't have the ability to inflict mummy rot. It obeys the Knight's commands, but does not count against the number of undead the Knight controls; if it is slain, the Knight cannot replace it for a full year, though he can create an undead normally and use it as a mount (this one counts against his total number of undead controlled, however).

Mummification (Ex): A Lich Knight's body becomes partially mummified as the negative energy continues to suck away his life force. At this point, he gains lesser resistance to critical hits and sneak attacks, is immune to stunning and nonlethal damage, and takes -1 point per die from negative energy attacks, but he takes +1 point per die from positive energy damage.

Rebuke the Living (Su): A Lich Knight can turn or rebuke non-evil clerics or paladins. A normal turning result works the same as for undead – the affected cleric or paladin is struck with fear and flees – but if the Knight's level is double that of the target's, it takes 1d8 points of divine damage per point of the Knight's Charisma bonus (no save).

Undying Service (Ex): Any time after reaching 10th level, a Lich Knight can undergo the final step to fully cross the line between living being and undead. The ritual itself is very simple – he must undergo an hour of meditation and prayer, then have another living being kill him with his bonded weapon (effectively, perform a successful coup de grace). By doing so, his soul escapes the body and is trapped in the weapon by the bonds of blood. The Knight cannot complete the ritual by killing himself with own weapon, because his soul must be drawn toward another source of life energy via the weapon – if he does so, he dies and his soul goes on to the afterlife normally.

If the ritual is performed properly, the Lich Knight rises 24 hours later as a fully-formed undead with the lich knight template. His bonded weapon gains intelligence, if it didn't already have it, and one plus of enhancement bonus.

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