“Death is expecting you; allow me to bring you together.”
Role: Defender. You are able to endure the most punishing attacks because of your high hit points and heavy armor. Your powers enable you to pull your enemies towards you and strike them down with Death’s Powers. You lean towards the striker as a secondary role.
Power Source: Shadow. You receive you power by serving the dark hunger of Death itself.
Key Abilities: Strength, Constitution, Charisma
Armor Proficiency: Cloth, leather, hide, chainmail, scale, plate; light shield, heavy shield
Weapon Proficiency: Simple melee, military melee, simple ranged
Implements: Ki Focuses, Weapons in which you are proficient.
Bonus to Defense: +1 Fortitude, +1 Will, +1 Reflex
Hit Points at First Level: 15 + Constitution score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 6
Healing Surges per Day: 9 + Constitution Modifier
Trained Skills: From the class skills list below, choose four trained skills at first level.
Class Skills: Athletics (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Endurance (Con), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Religion (Int), Stealth (Dex)
Build Options: Reaper Blackguard, Shade Blackguard
Class Features: Death Count, Death’s Blessing, Reaper’s Foe
Blackguards are the imposing knights of Death. Unlike the Paladin, you don’t serve a God or Goddess, but the power that affects all things, Death. The Assassin bargains with Death for its power, but is ultimately as fleeting to it as those who Death consumes, while the Blackguard is Death’s chosen warrior.
Death grants his chosen with powerful hexes that enable its servants to utilize debilitating strikes and spells. With each enemy that a Blackguard kills, Death grants even more power to his black knight which increases your powers and allows you to shape you hexes in different ways.
However, Blackguards are not ravenous killers. A Blackguard’s primary job is to make sure no one escapes Death’s grasp. Blackguards ease the passage of the dying, and hunt down those who try to escape. Those who oppose a Blackguard only bring themselves closer to Death. Exceptions are those released back by the Raven Queen, be it by a resurrection spell or a Remnant she has sent back, for she is Death’s mistress, deciding those whose time has come.
No one knows why Death chooses those he does. While many may be Remnants sent back by the Raven Queen, most seem to be just random individuals. While some individuals may see Blackguards as anti-Paladins and forces of evil, they couldn’t be more wrong. While Blackguards may lack the more honorable ways of the Paladin, they are not strictly good or evil, as Death is accepting of all. In fact most are unaligned, as they see Death as a natural process of the world. There are temples in some secluded places of the world where some Blackguards gather to train initiates and as a point of operation to seek out Death’s enemies.
Blackguards rely on Strength, Charisma and Constitution for most of their key abilities, Strength bolstering their melee attacks and charisma bolstering their ranged attacks. High constitutions give Blackguards more hit points and increase the power of their debilitating attacks. Blackguards start with two common builds the Reaper Blackguard and the Shade Blackguard.
You symbolize the power of Death itself. You prefer to use your powers to augment your already punishing blows, preferring heavy blades for their ability to dish out a large amount of damage, but also symbolize your position as Death’s Reaper. Your main ability score should be Strength followed by a high constitution to empower your poisonous and debilitating attacks. Charisma should be third for it will aid in your ranged powers. Select powers that focus on Strength to make the most of this build.
Suggested Feat: Marked For Despair (Human Feat: Human Perseverance)
Suggested Skills: Athletics, Endurance, History, Intimidate
Suggested At-will powers: Death’s Blade, Reaper's Cull
Suggested Encounter Power: Deadly Precision
Suggested Daily Power: Call of the Dead
You are a shadow warrior. You shield yourself with the power of darkness, and drain the life energy from your foes with your attacks. A high charisma is a must, followed by strength for draining strikes. Constitution should be your third highest for more control of your enemies. Select powers that hinder your foes and protect your allies.
Suggested Feat: Vile Darkness (Human Feat: Toughness)
Suggested Skills: Diplomacy, Insight, Religion, Stealth
Suggested At-will powers: Life Leech, Draining Grasp
Suggested Encounter power: Dark Circle
Suggested Daily power: Bane Blade
Characteristics: Like other defenders you boast the ability to take a lot of the heat of battle. However, you also boast some ranged powers to help you reach fleeing enemies or to bring enemies that got past back to you.
Religion: Blackguards use the Shadow power they recieve from the power of Death itself, and most Blackguards are content in their own religion focused on Death, the ultimate end. However, some also worship the Raven Queen for she is the one who marks the end of mortal’s lives. Other religions can be found, like ones that focus on Death as relieving pain may worship Pelor, but such cases are rare.
Races: Tieflings take naturally to the dark path of the Shade blackguard. Half-orcs have the strength to pursue the Reaper build and often choose it for its seclusion. Dragonborn fit the classes primary scores perfectly, and humans are also ideal candidates.