12 August 2007

The Knights of Tîan

The Knights of Tîan
(aka the Knights of Justice)

Elite Character Class


The Knights of Justice are an elite order of warrior-mages dedicated to the service of the imprisoned Anari, Tîan. They combine the diplomacy and personal skills of bards with the skills of the most feared fighters and the ascetic dedication of monks, and wield a range of spell-like and extraordinary abilities to aid them in pursuit of their aims. In good lands, they are revered as the guardians of law and order; and because of their dedication, courage and ferocity in battle, they strike terror in the hearts of evildoers everywhere.

Knights are chosen by psychic testing in early childhood, and thus rarely learn a craft or profession; from their youth, all of their time is spent in training, resulting in highly skilled individuals. They are rarely found together, but if they are, the younger is invariably apprenticed to the elder. Due to the early selection of trainees and the lifelong demands of Knighthood, multiclassed Knights of Tîan are never found.


The Knights are natural leaders and mighty and versatile warriors; however, their code of personal honour is so rigid, and the requirements (and tasks) imposed upon them by their orders so inflexible, that they rarely have time to adventure – and when they do, they can be insufferable unless their comrades are pure and unblemished. The Knights do not condemn natural frailties, but neither do they consider it necessary to tolerate them.


The Knights of Tîan follow an austere path, subject to many restrictions; they never wear armour or use shields, and they consider missile weapons of any sort to be cowardly and beneath them. They revere the sword above all other weapons, and most Orders permit the use only of the longsword, the bastard sword (one or two-handed), the rapier or the short-sword (although some Orders permit, even focus on, other swords, e.g. greatsword, scimitar, saber, katana, etc.). More dextrous Knights will occasionally use a second weapon, but this will always be a second sword or dagger. Two-weapon fighting is encouraged.

In order to serve the cause of Law and Order, Knights are granted the ability to cast minor spells. They gain these spells through meditation and prayer. As they advance in skills and experience, Knights gain progressively more powerful special skills, granted by their divine masters and protectors.

A Knight will always fling him or herself into the forefront of battle, particularly if the weak or innocent are at risk. No Knight will ever turn his or her back on an evildoer, or shrink from a battle. A Knight may bluff an opponent or even shade the truth, but he will never lie, will never employ underhanded or perfidious tactics, and will never retreat from a struggle with evil, even to save his life. On occasions when a Knight is forced to retreat (for example, in order to protect the helpless or innocent), he or she is still dishonoured and must atone. This usually takes place before a Court of Honour convened by not less than seven Masters, none of which may be inferior in level to the accused. At least one of the members of the Court must be three or more levels superior to the accused (and preferably a Justicar).

A Knight is known as a Master once he reaches 7th level. At 13th level he may be appointed a Justicar by the Council of the Brethren (although there may never be more than 13 Justicars at once). The Grand Master of the Order is a unique individual, elected by the Council of the Brethren (which incorporates all Knights of 15th level or higher); he or she must be at least 17th (an Ascended Master), but may also be of higher level. The verdict of a Court is usually not less than some serious atonement, and may involve a Quest to regain one’s honour. For serious offences (e.g. pillage, rapine, unprovoked killing, blasphemy, treason and betrayal of the Brethren), however, the death penalty has on occasion been imposed.

Magic Use

Knights can cast simple spells, and have no qualms about using magical items to enhance their abilities. They are particularly fond of magical swords and items that improve their armour class and their ability to hide or move silently. Higher-level Knights also like items that allow them to scry, penetrate magical defences or enable them to resist magical spells and effects.

However, due to their focus on their special skills and their religious observations, they rely largely on “automatic” magic items (rings, potions, cloaks, boots, weapons, etc.), and tend not to employ those requiring the “Use Magic Device” skill.


Knights of Justice must be Lawful. The commonest alignment is of course Lawful Good. While many Lawful Neutral Knights have risen to high level, they tend not to be trusted as ranking officers of the Brethren; instead, they usually remain as wandering teachers, taking Apprentices and instructing them, or serving as high-level diplomats or even generals on behalf of the Brethren.

Because a Knight’s first duty is the Law, the Order cannot prevent the emergence of Lawful Evil Knights of Justice. It is said that the first Lawful Evil Knight of Justice was instructed by Vilyacarkin, Lady of Lies, one of the Servants of Zaman, in order to sow dissension among the Brethren. Lawful Evil Knights are extremely rare; they have no masters to learn their skills from and no temples to study in (as Tîan and her Servants are all good). However, there are always a few Lawful Evil Masters wandering the Earth (and perhaps, it is rumoured, a Lawful Evil Ascended Master), and those who wish to follow this path can usually find someone to teach them if they look hard enough. The Brethren have joined to hunt down and destroy their Evil colleagues on more than one occasion in the past, although they never managed to eradicate them entirely.

Whatever his alignment, any Knight who strays but a little from the true path of Order and Lawfulness will lose his Knighthood and all Special Skills and Spellcasting powers, until such a time as he is able to make atonement for his misdeeds (see above).


The Knights are wholeheartedly dedicated to the worship of Tîan. They observe the same rites and rituals as the rare clerics of Tîan, but are not strictly bound to obey them. Indeed, some Knights are sufficiently observant that they consider themselves “more holy than the clerics” (and having no taste for empty observances, some exceptionally rigid Knights condemn clerics for their crowd-pleasing antics and pulpit-politicking).

Often a Knight will revere, and carry a secondary talisman for, either Chamdran or Iarwain, depending upon his or her gender; but the Knight’s primary allegiance is always to Tîan. Extremely devout Knights tend to have a symbol of Tîan (a vertical, cross-hilted sword embedded in a stone) tattooed in the centre of their chests.

Lawful Evil Knights obviously do not maintain allegiance to Tîan or any of her servants. In the beginning they likely looked to Vilyacarkin for their powers. However, since the closing of the Dome of the Firmament, evil Knights are more likely to serve Ekhalra the Witherer, paying homage to her as Queen of the World. Such Knights could also revere her Servant Breacha, Lady of Death; or possibly one of her Avatars (most likely either Zylurz, the Avatar of Fury; or Lycenyllona, the Avatar of Pain).


Abilities: Charisma is vital, as many of a Knight’s abilities depend upon it one way or another. Dexterity is vital, as the Knights are forbidden to use armour or shields. Wisdom is important for the rest of their skill set. Intelligence helps them gain more skills, and adds languages, which is vital for their role as teachers, messengers, questors and diplomats. Strength and Constitution are always useful in combat.

Alignment: Lawful (Any). Note that Lawful Neutral Knights are almost never appointed to high positions by the Brethren, but tend to be itinerant wanderers, diplomats, messengers, “trouble-shooters” and teachers. Lawful Evil Knights are extremely rare.

Hit Die: d10

Class Skills: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Hide, Innuendo, Intimidate, Intuit Direction, Jump, Knowledge (History, Religion, The Planes), Listen, Move Silently, Read Lips, Scry, Search, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble.

Cross-Class Skills: Appraise, Decipher Script, Disable Device, Disguise, Heal, Knowledge (Any), Open Lock, Perform, Ride, Sleight-of-Hand, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device, Use Rope.

Prohibited Skills: Alchemy, Craft, Forgery, Profession.

Skill points at 1st level: (6+Int modifier) * 4

Mandatory 1st-level skills: At first level, a Knight must take a minimum of 2 ranks in each of the following: Concentration, Diplomacy, Sense Motive

Skill points at subsequent levels: 6+Int modifier per level

Class Features

Knights may not wear armour of any sort.

Knights may not use shields of any sort.

Knights may not use ranged weapons of any sort (although they are permitted to throw their sword or secondary weapon).

The only permissible weapons for a Knight are long blades. The commonest are the bastard sword, longsword, shortsword, rapier and dagger. The Order also permits greatsword, scimitar, katana, saber, cutlass, two-bladed sword, kukri, etc. Knights begin at first level with proficiency in any sword, dagger, or object sharing the general properties of a sword or dagger. Two-weapon fighting is encouraged.

Because they are selected in childhood for training, Knights of Tîan never come with any other class experience, nor with craft or professional skills. Furthermore, the regimen of study, meditation and duty is so strict that Knights of Tîan may not multiclass without losing all of their special skills. A Knight who decides to move on to another class retains his fighting abilities, feats and skills, but loses all of his Special Skills and Spellcasting abilities.


A Knight can cast spells from the 0-level lists for clerics (Orisons) and Sorcerers or Wizards (Cantrips). The number of these minor spells that can be cast per day is equal to the Knight’s Level x 2 + his charisma bonus. Knights cast spells like Clerics, using the special rules for the Anuru campaign (prayer is required, but spells may be cast spontaneously without prior preparation). The DC of a Knight’s spell is equal to 10 + ½ Knight’s Level + Knight’s Charisma Bonus. Aligned spells must reflect the Knight’s alignment.

Special Abilities

Knights who study, meditate and train under a Master receive one or more Special Abilities every time they advance in level. Any Knight who advances a level but is not apprenticed to and traveling with a Master at the time must return to a Temple of Tîan (or of one of her Servants) and study, meditate and pray in order to gain the Special Skill for that level (for every day of prayer and meditation, the Knight can make a Will save against DC 20+Knight's level; once the save succeeds, the new Special Ability has been attained. The modifier for this Will save is Charisma). No additional Special Skills can be gained until all of the previous ones have been learned.

At level 1, 2, 5 and 10 there are more than one Special Skills. A Knight with Charisma less than 15 may select one of these; with Charisma 15 to 18 may select 2; with Charisma 19 or higher may select 3.

Knights receive a bonus feat at every odd-numbered level, including 1st level. These are in addition to the three bonus feats granted 1st-level Knights and the bonus feat received by humans at 1st level. The first five bonus feats are automatic; after 9th level, a Knight may choose his own bonus feats (the Knight may of course select any eligible feat he gains due to the NORMAL feat allotment for class level advancement). Note that if the Knight selects one of these feats at an earlier level (e.g. a human selecting his bonus feat at first level), the other “obligatory feats” are advanced in order. For example, if a human Knight takes Combat Reflexes as his 1st level human bonus feat, then his 3rd level Knight bonus feat will be Deflect Arrows; his 5th level Knight bonus feat will be Blindfight; and so on.

Note also that Knights begin first level with Great Fortitude, Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes taken together as a single bonus "Triple Feat" under the Special Skills rules.

Bonus Feat Summary

1st level: Weapon Focus (chosen sword); “3 Feats” (Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes)
3rd level: Combat Reflexes
5th level: Deflect Arrows
7th level: Blindfight
9th level: Leadership
Every odd level after 9th: Select a bonus feat

Knight Feats

In addition to the feats gained by Knights at 1st level and those granted automatically through advancing in level, Knights may take the following feats: Alertness, Combat Casting, Dodge (Mobility, Spring Attack), Endurance, Expertise (Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Whirlwind Attack), Great Fortitude, Improved Critical, Improved Initiative, Power Attack (Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Sunder, Great Cleave), Quick Draw, Run, Skill Focus, Toughness, Track, Two-Weapon Fighting (Improved Two-Weapon Fighting), Weapon Finesse, Weapon Specialization (as Fighter)

Prohibited Feats

Armour Proficiency (light, medium, heavy), Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Mounted Combat (Mounted Archery, Tramble, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge), Point-Blank Shot (Far Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run), Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Item Creation Feats, Metamagic Feats, Extra Turning, Spell Mastery

(Any feat not listed as prohibited and not expressly chaotic in nature is generally considered permissible.)

Weapon Specialization

Knights automatically gain Weapon Focus in their sword of choice at 1st level. They may take Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization (as Fighter) in any permitted sword or similar weapon.

Base Attack Bonus

Knights of Tîan use the Fighter progression for base attack bonus.


Knights of Tîan have Good Will, Reflex and Fortitude saves.


A) Knights use their Charisma bonus (on top of their Wisdom bonus) on “Sense Motive” checks. (EX)
B) Knights automatically gain the “Great Fortitude”, “Iron Will”, and “Lightning Reflexes” feats at 1st level. (EX) – THIS SPECIAL SKILL IS OBLIGATORY
C) Beginning at 1st level, Knights can use a psychic ability known as the “Fist of Tîan” (charisma bonus+level) times per day. It operates as a Mage Hand spell, with a capacity of 20 pounds per caster level, and a range of 50’ + 10’ percaster level. (SP)

A) Beginning at 2nd level, a Knight can fall up to 60’ + 10’ per level with no damage. For the next 10’ per level he can make a reflex save for ½ damage (DC 10+1 per 10’). For a fall beyond that limit, damage is normal. Example: Urgar, a 7th level Knight, falls off a 200’ cliff. He falls 60+(7x10) or 130’ with no damage. For the last 70’, he would normally take 7d6 damage. The DM rolls 21 points. Urgar rolls a Reflex save against a DC of 17, makes his roll, and takes ½ damage, or 11 points. Garth, a 7th level fighter who falls with him, takes 20d6 or 98 points of damage, and is killed instantly. There is no requirement to be near a wall; this can be a freefall. (EX)
B) Beginning at 2nd level, a Knight can throw his sword as a ranged weapon. Melee Attack numbers are used with dexterity instead of strength modifiers (although strength modifier damage is applied). The range increment is 10’. This ability applies to weapons of any size, from daggers to greatswords (a two-bladed sword is thrown like a spear).

Beginning at 3rd level, a Knight can run at half again normal speed, for half again as long, (once+charisma bonus) per day. (EX)

Beginning at 4th level, Knights add their Charisma bonus (on top of the normal bonuses) to their Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, Jump and Tumble checks. (EX)

A) Beginning at 5th level, a Knight can cast Charm Person as a caster of his level (once per 3 levels + charisma bonus) per day. (SP)
B) Beginning at 5th level, a Knight can attempt to Turn an Agent of Chaos (e.g. an Outsider of chaotic alignment) as a Cleric of four levels below his own. (SU)

Beginning at 6th level, Knights apply their Charisma bonus on top of their Wisdom bonus to all saves against “Sleep” and “Fear” effects.(EX)

Beginning at 7th level, a Knight can cast Hold Person as a caster of his level (once per 3 levels + charisma bonus) per day.

Beginning at 8th level a Knight can cast (SP) Suggestion as a caster of his level (once per 3 levels + charisma bonus) per day. (SP)

Beginning at 9th level, Knights apply their Charisma bonus (on top of their Wisdom bonus) to all saves against all enchantments, including “Charm” effects, “Suggestion”, “Quest”, etc. (EX)

A) At 10th level, a Knight can run twice as fast, for twice as long, as normal, (once+charisma bonus) per day.(EX)
B) At 10th level, a Knight can, at will, move across water at a top speed of charisma bonus x 10’ per round (in combat) or at maximum movement speed (out of combat). (EX)

Beginning at 11th level, a Knight can cast Hold Monster as a caster of his level (once per 3 levels + charisma bonus) per day. (SP)

Beginning at 12th level, a Knight can Levitate as a caster of his level (once per 3 levels + charisma bonus) per day. (EX, not SP)

Beginning at 13th level, a Knight can travel ethereally for up to (1/level+charisma bonus) minutes, once per day +1 per three additional levels. (EX)

At 14th level, a Knight can run three times as fast, for three times as long, as normal, (once+charisma bonus) per day.(EX)

Beginning at 15th level, a Knight can cast Bigby’s Clenched First as a caster of his level (once per day, +1 for each additional 3 levels). (SP)

Beginning at 16th level, once per week a Knight can Commune with Tîan or one of her Lawful Servants (Chamdran or Iarwain) or Avatars, asking no more than one question, with no ill effects. The chance of reaching Tîan herself is equal to (10+level+charisma bonus)%; failure to reach Tîan automatically grants access to one of her Servants or Avatars.

Beginning at 17th level, Knights cannot be held against their will. They are immune to possession, soul trapping, magical jarring, and other mental or spiritual imprisonment effects regardless of type or source. They are also immune to paralysis, petrification and Temporal Stasis.

Beginning at 18th level, a Knight can Fly as a caster of his level (once per day, +1 for each additional 3 levels). (EX, not SP)

Beginning at 19th level, a Knight can deliberately break his sword in battle as a Retributive Strike. This creates an explosion of positive energy doing damage equal to (d8 per (Knight’s level+ Sword bonuses) + the Knight’s remaining HP) in a 30’ radius (Fort Save for half). The Knight has a (level+charisma bonus)% chance of traveling to the Stone of Tîan with 1 HP left. He or she may be sent back to Anuru, or retained and transformed into a Minion of Tîan. Otherwise he is destroyed by the blast.

Beginning at 20th level, a Knight who dies in battle is automatically plane-shifted to the Stone of Tîan, where he will be judged by Tioreth. If found worthy, he or she will be retained as a Minion of Tîan; otherwise he will follow the Wyrd of Man or the Blessing of Braea, as appropriate.