Knight of the Divine Hammer
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
by Joe Mashuga & Chris Pierson
Until the reign of Kingpriest Beldinas, the Lightbringer, Istar was beholden to the Knights of Solamnia for its protection. While it boasted vast armies of Scatas – professional soldiers – it was the Solamnic orders that led those armies into battle, guarded the Great Temple, and provided order in the holy empire.
This changed soon after Beldinas's ascent to the throne. His friend, Cathan MarSevrin – who died protecting the new Kingpriest and was restored to life by Beldinas's touch – was to become a Knight of the Crown as reward for his actions. During his vigil, however, he received a vision from Paladine, of a great hammer wreathed in flame, falling upon Istar. Beldinas took this as a sign, and dubbed Cathan the first of a new order: the Comuro Ufib, or Divine Hammer. This was to be an Istaran knighthood, dedicated to eradicating evil within the empire.
The Divine Hammer grew quickly, supplanting the Solamnics. Led by a Lord Marshal who answered to none but the Kingpriest himself, its members spread out across Istar, hunting down the last vestiges of darkness: ogres and goblins, cults of the evil gods, and even mages who wore the Black Robes. For twenty years, it was an unstoppable force for good in the world.
The Hammer's greatest test came during what was known, in latter history, as the Lost Battles. Many of its greatest members perished during the war against wizardry, including Tavarre, the first Lord Marshal, and the renowned warrior Marto of Falthana. Its next Lord Marshal was Cathan himself, but he forsook his post and disappeared soon after the war's end.
Crippled by these events, the knighthood fell into decline. The need for new members led to an influx of knights of inferior quality, but it prospered enough to continue its struggle against evil. Though a shadow of its previous glory, the Divine Hammer regained its prominence, and persisted until the Kingpriest's pride brought down the gods' wrath and blasted Istar from the face of Krynn.
As with all things Istaran, the Hammer did not survive the Cataclysm. Most of its members perished when the burning mountain fell, and those few who lived found themselves reviled and hunted. Within a few years, all but a handful of the remaining knights had died at the hands of angry, frightened commoners. Those last few lived only because they put the order behind them, and never spoke of it again. So the Divine Hammer vanished forever.
To qualify to become a Knight of the Divine Hammer, a character must fulfill the following criteria:
Alignment: Lawful good (also neutral good after the Lost Battles).
The Knight of the Divine Hammer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Sense Motive (Wis).
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Knight of the Divine Hammer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and shields.
Istaran Charter (Ex): The Divine Hammer has lawful authority within the Holy Empire of Istar, and members of the knighthood can expect assistance when performing their duties. A Knight of the Divine Hammer gains a +1 circumstance bonus per class level to Diplomacy and Gather Information checks when acting on official Istaran business.
Logistics (Ex): A Knight of the Divine Hammer's equipment is not always enough to confront the evils of sorcery, foul monsters, and heretical priests. Once per class level, the knight may request supplies from the holy empire. The knight must make the request to his direct superior (if the knight's superior is unavailable, he must ask the highest-ranking knight in the region). The Knight of the Divine Hammer is also required to explain in detail why he needs the intended supplies. If the request is deemed worthy and appropriate, the knight will be allowed to gather supplies.
The maximum value of supplies assigned to the knight at any time is equal to 1,000gp times the character's Knight of the Divine Hammer class levels. These supplies are usually mundane but may include magical items that have been created by divine magic. The knight is honor-bound to return these supplies to the Divine Hammer upon completing the task in question, and must pay the full market price for items that are not returned. Failure to pay for unreturned supplies may result in penalties, described under Code of Conduct.
Smite Evil (Su): Once per day, a Knight of the Divine Hammer of 2nd level or higher may attempt to smite evil with a single melee attack. He adds his Charisma modifier (if positive) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per class level. At 6th and 10th level, the Knight of the Divine Hammer can smite evil an additional time per day. Only one smite ability may be used on a single attack.
If the knight can already smite evil, he can use the ability one extra time per day. The attack bonus does not change, but the damage bonus is based on the character's combined level of the classes that grant the ability.
Aura of Courage (Su): At 3rd level, a Knight of the Divine Hammer gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. Allies within 10 feet of the knight gain a similar bonus.
Coordination (Ex): When directing others in his command, a Knight of the Divine Hammer can produce great results. Whenever the knight leads a cooperative skill check (as described in Chapter 4 of the Player's Handbook), each helper contributes a +3 circumstance bonus instead of the usual +2 bonus. If the knight uses the aid another action (as described in Chapter 8 of the Player's Handbook), his ally gains a similar circumstance bonus (+3 instead of +2).
Bonus Feat: At 4th and 9th level, the Knight of the Divine Hammer gains a bonus feat. This bonus feat must be taken from the following list: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Expertise, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Ride-By Attack, Weapon Focus.
Intuition (Ex): At 5th level, the Knight of the Divine Hammer becomes very adept at discerning the true nature of his foes. The knight gains the Skill Focus (Sense Motive) feat for free.
Take Him Down (Ex): The Knight of the Divine Hammer is practiced in subduing his opponents in order to bring them to proper justice later. The knight can deal subdual damage instead of normal damage with no penalty to his attack roll. He must still announce his intent to cause subdual damage before rolling his attack.
Improved Coordination (Ex): At 7th level, the Knight of the Divine Hammer can supervise others to great effect. Whenever the knight leads a cooperative skill check, each helper contributes a +4 circumstance bonus. If the knight uses the aid another action, his ally gains a +4 circumstance bonus. These bonuses replace (do not stack with) the bonuses described under Coordination.
In addition, when two or more Knights of the Divine Hammer are attacking the same foe and at least one knight has improved coordination, that foe is considered flanked even if the knights are not on opposing sides of the foe.
Foe of Darkness (Ex): At 8th level, the Knight of the Divine Hammer has become so experienced in fighting the followers of evil that he gains a +2 bonus to Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against evilly-aligned spellcasters. Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against evil spellcasters.
This ability stacks with other favored enemy bonuses that the character may possess.
Code of Conduct: Knights of the Divine Hammer must pay homage to Paladine each day, seek out and vanquish evil wherever it may dwell, obey the orders of a superior knight, be honorable when fighting honorable foes, and be prepared to sacrifice one's life for the greater good. A Knight who grossly violates this Code (by refusing orders or letting evil go unpunished, for example) or who fails to return equipment borrowed by the logistics ability loses all Knight of the Divine Hammer abilities. He can no longer progress as a Knight of the Divine Hammer until he atones for his violations by seeking a cleric of Paladine (see the atonement spell description on page 176 in the Player's Handbook). The Grand Marshal or Kingpriest must also accept the ex-knight back into the Hammer.
Ex-Knights: A Knight of the Divine Hammer who ceases to be of the proper alignment, who willfully commits an evil act, or who violates the code of conduct loses all special abilities. The knight regains his abilities if he atones for his violations (as per the atonement spell in the Player's Handbook). A Knight of the Divine Hammer who takes a level in an arcane spellcasting class loses all special abilities and cannot regain them until he atones for his violations and also forsakes all abilities of the arcane spellcasting class.
Multiclass Note: Paladin characters who join the Divine Hammer are allowed to return to their paladin class after taking a Knight of the Divine Hammer class level. In other words, you can give your paladin PC a Knight of the Divine Hammer level, then return to the paladin class for your next level, take a Knight of the Divine Hammer level after that, and so on.
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