When most of us think of cavaliers, we think of goodly and chivalrous knights, not far off from a paladin, their armor gleaming as brightly as their deeds. In truth, though, cavaliers aren’t always the nicest people in the world. This week, we take a look at two cavalier orders for cavaliers of this type, which also happen to have been inspired in large part by A Song of Ice and Fire, for all of you who’ve been waiting for an excuse to play a member of certain houses from that series.
New Cavalier Order
Order of the Pale Kraken
Cavaliers of the order of the pale kraken are a dour, mirthless lot, who see life as a crucible in which to harden and hone themselves like steel. They live lives devoid of joy and happiness, spurning luxury and comfort in order to better prepare themselves for the harsh realities of life.
Edicts: The cavalier must compose himself as a true warrior at all times. He must not toil in the fields, or take up any other profession besides soldier or sailor, for such work is beneath his station as a knight. He must also keep his heart hardened at all times, offering no mercy or compassion for his foes, and showing no fear. Anger and wrath, as emotions, are acceptable, but only if they do not cloud his tactical judgment. Although cavaliers of the order of the pale kraken are not forbidden from amassing wealth, it is considered better by members of the order for one to take what one wants by force, rather than to buy it with coin.
Challenge: Whenever an order of the pale kraken cavalier issues a challenge, he may make an Intimidate check to demoralize the target of his challenge as a free action. He gains a bonus on Intimidate checks made in this way equal to 1/2 his cavalier level.
Skills: An order of the pale kraken cavalier adds Perception (Wis) and Survival (Wis) to his list of class skills. Whenever he makes an Intimidate check, the cavalier may add his Strength bonus to the check in addition to his Charisma modifier.
Order Abilities: An order of the pale kraken cavalier gains the following abilities as he increases in level.
Clear-Headed (Ex): At 2nd level, an order of the pale kraken cavalier gains Iron Will as a bonus feat. Additionally, he gains a further +2 bonus on saving throws made to resist emotion and fear effects, as well as effects that cause the confused condition or otherwise relate to madness or insanity.
Ruthless Combatant (Ex): At 8th level, an order of the pale kraken cavalier is able to capitalize on the mistakes made by foes who allow their emotions to get the better of them. He gains a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls made against creatures currently affected by an emotion or fear effect, as well as against any creature that is shaken, frightened, or panicked.
Undying Resilience (Ex): At 15th level, an order of the pale kraken cavalier becomes highly resistant to death. He gains a +4 bonus on saving throws made to resist death effects. Additionally, he automatically stabilizes if reduced to less than 0 hit points, and he does not die until his negative hit points are equal to or greater than twice his Constitution modifier. Finally, if he ever does die, and is later brought back to life, he suffers 1 less negative level from being returned to life than he otherwise would (to a minimum of 0 negative levels).
New Cavalier Order
Order of the Flayed Man
Widely feared and hated, the order of the flayed man is a collection of cruel sadists, and those that know them generally consider being taken prisoner by them to be a fate worse than death.
Edicts: Cavaliers of this order are vindictive and cruel. It is expected that the cavalier will take prisoners when possible, and will show no mercy and give no quarter when interrogating such prisoners. The cavalier must remember any slights against him, nursing his grudge until the time is right, and then repaying the injury tenfold.
Challenge: Whenever an order of the flayed man cavalier issues a challenge, each attack that he makes against the target of his challenge inflicts 1 additional point of bleed damage. Bleed damage inflicted in this way stacks with itself, but not with other sources of bleed damage.
Skills: An order of the flayed man cavalier adds Heal (Wis) and Stealth (Dex) to his list of class skills. Whenever an order of the flayed man cavalier successfully uses the Heal skill to treat deadly wounds, if the creature he is healing is helpless or otherwise imprisoned, and the wounds were inflicted by the cavalier himself, he gains a bonus equal to his cavalier level on the next Intimidate check he makes against that creature to influence its attitude.
Order Abilities: An order of the flayed man cavalier gains the following abilities as he increases in level.
Flayer (Ex): At 2nd level, an order of the flayed man cavalier becomes an expert at fighting with implements of torture. He gains proficiency with whips and scorpion whips, can choose to have any whip he wields deal lethal damage instead of nonlethal damage without suffering a penalty on attack rolls for doing so, and ignores the usual restriction on whips that they deal no damage to creatures with an armor bonus of +1 or higher or a natural armor bonus of +3 or higher. Additionally, when wielding a dagger of any kind, the flayer deals 1 additional point of damage with each successful attack. At 12th level, he deals 2 additional points of damage with daggers, instead.
Sadomasochist (Ex): At 8th level, an order of the flayed man cavalier’s love of pain—both inflicting and receiving—sends him into a fervor in battle. He gains a +2 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls if either himself or the target of his attack currently has fewer than half their maximum hit points.
Grisly Trophy (Ex): At 15th level, an order of the flayed man cavalier can draw confidence and strength from wearing trophies from his fallen foes. Traditionally, such trophies take the form of a cloak or other article of clothing made from the skin of a slain foe, but much less elaborate trophies work just as well, provided that they still consist of body parts from an opponent the cavalier defeated in combat. As long as the cavalier is wearing such a trophy, he gains a +2 morale bonus on ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws.