Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Chevalier [New Class]

Whether knights in shining armor or blackguards, chevaliers are the mailed fist of the feudal order, serving their suzerain in war and peace. At the heart of a chevalier’s pride (or arrogance), is his coat of arms, a symbol of his puissance at arms and place in the great chain of being. From a chevalier’s armorial, he draws powers beyond the simple hack and slash of the average fighter.

The chevalier is a sub-class of fighter who gains special abilities from the invocation of his coat of arms, in particular from his the tincture of the field (or main tincture of the field, since some are divided) and from the charge.

Strength of 9 or higher and Charisma of 13 or higher. A character that does not have a Charisma of 13 or higher can still enter the chevalier class, but does so as a 0-level character called a squire (see below)

Any armor except padded, leather, studded, ring (i.e. scale or better), and bucklers and shields

All weapons


As fighter

Before we cover the special abilities of a chevalier, we must address the concept of a 0-level chevalier, the squire. Some men are not born as wealthy or well-connected as others, yet they still have the drive to become knights. These poor souls (i.e. folks with low charisma) can still enter the service of a suzerain, holding the rank of “squire”.

A squire earns experience points just as any other character, but can only spend them to increase his or her charisma. One point of charisma can be purchased by the squire for 200 XP. When the squire achieves a charisma of 13, he or she becomes a 1st level chevalier and their experience points are reset to 0.

The first step to becoming a chevalier is to draw up a coat of arms. A perusal of the internet can assist in this, and your Treasure Keeper can make sure you haven’t copied the arms of an existing NPC or PC in the game world. The tincture and charge of a chevalier’s arms determine their special abilities, so read the entire description of the class before designing your arms.

A 1st level chevalier (armiger) can invoke their tincture once per day. The special ability associated with the tincture lasts for one hour. If a chevalier has more than one tincture on his arms (i.e. he has divisions), they must choose which tincture is their “main tincture” at 1st level. At 5th level, the chevalier can invoke their tincture three times per day.

Argent (Silver/White): The chevalier gains use of feat Fast.
Azure (Blue): The chevalier gains the use of the feat Expertise.
Ermine/Vair (Furs): The chevalier gains the use of the feat Alertness.
Gules (Red): The chevalier gains the use of the feat Power Attack.
Or (Gold/Yellow): The chevalier gains the use of the feat Iron Will.
Purpure (Purple): The chevalier gains the use of the feat Great Fortitude.
Sable (Black): The chevalier gains the Trickery skill.
Vert (Green): The chevalier gains the Tracking skill.

A 3rd level chevalier (cavalier) can invoke the charge on his coat of arms to gain a special attack or defense, most of them the equivalent of a spell. A 3rd level chevalier can invoke his charge once per day. A 10th level chevalier can invoke his charge three times per day.

Angel: Cure serious wounds (per the spell)
Arm: Strength (per the spell)
Bear: Chevalier can grapple (as though he has the Improved Grapple feat) for 1d8 points of damage
Bee: Chevalier can summon a giant bee (per summon monster IV)
Boar: Chevalier can continue to fight for 1d6 rounds after reaching 0 hit points, as a boar
Bull: Forceful hand (as the spell, though the attack bonus is only +8)
Castle: Stoneskin (per the spell)
Cross: Holy smite (per the spell)
Deer: Haste (per the spell)
Devil: Inflict serious wounds (per the spell)
Dolphin: Chevalier can swim at a speed of 80, as a dolphin, even when armored
Dragon: The dragon charge on his shield releases a breath weapon in a 15-ft. cone that deals 3d6 points of damage of an energy type associated with the color of the chevalier’s dragon charge
Eagle: Fly (per the spell)
Estoile/Mullet: Psionic blast (per the spell)
Fleur-de-lis: Magic vestment (per the spell)
Fox: Charm monster (per the spell)
Griffin: Magic circle against evil (per the spell)
Harp: Fascinate as a bard of the chevalier’s level
Harpy: Can captivate per the special attack of the harpy
Heart: Immune to fear
Leopard: Invisibility (per the spell)
Lion: Heroism (per the spell)
Mermaid: Water breathing (per the spell), and can swim without penalty in armor
Owl: Dispel magic (per the spell)
Phoenix: Continual flame (per the spell)
Raven: Deeper darkness (per the spell)
Rose: Suggestion (per the spell)
Salamander: Protection from energy (fire) (per the spell)
Serpent: Sticks to snakes (per the spell)
Sphinx: Confusion (per the spell)
Spur: Phantom steed (per the spell)
Sun: Searing light (per the spell)
Sword/Axe: Keen edge on a weapon of the same general type as the charge (per the spell)
Tree: Barkskin (per the spell)
Wolf: Chevalier can summon 1d4 wolves (per summon monster IV)
Wyvern: Poison (per the spell)

A 4th level chevalier (knight errant) can inspire courage in his henchmen and retainers, giving them a +2 bonus to save vs. fear effects as long as they are within the sound of his voice.

An 8th level chevalier (worthy) earns the right to build a castle and either start an order of chivalry (becoming a “knight commander”) or swear fealty to a royal personage (becoming a “baronet”). A chevalier with a castle attracts 1d6 men-at-arms per level, 1d6 first level chevaliers who wish to train under him and one 3rd level chevalier to serve as his castellan. These chevaliers should be generated as characters under control of the player.


  1. I like it...particularly the charisma/X.P. exchange at the start. Cool twist.

  2. Nice...really excellent. Still focused on the core concept, but an entirely new & different take. Awesome.

  3. That's very clever, tying in the powers to the heraldry.

    But I think it might work better from a bookkeeping point of view if the tincture powers were just on all the time. But I'm lazy about things like that.

  4. Dang, this is probably my favorite bonus class. The whole coat-of-arms thing is very clever.


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