Rose Knight

Rose Knight

  • Rose Knight replaces the Paladin class.

There was a time when the Rose Knights didn’t have to be a secret society, but that time is long past. Emperor Leder demanded on his ascension that the Knights would swear loyalty to him above to their code, and in response they splintered. Some genuinely believed that they could follow Leder and still embody the code they sought to live by; others were adamant that the Empire could never be a force for good; most simply refused out of principle to place anything above the Code.

So today the Rose Knights are scattered. They recruit those who they believe has what it takes and train them in the secret martial arts of the Rose Knights, including the ability to channel one’s life force as a healing power. The more religiously-inclined Knights (which isn’t all of them) consider this channelling an expression of the Divine within themselves; the Church are quick to squash this theory, as it raises the tricky question of why their own holy men can’t do it.

The Code that the Knights follow is as follows:

  • Honour: Lie if you must, but if you give your word you are bound by it.
  • Valour: Do good, do it now, and do it yourself.
  • Humility: The act of doing good is its own reward: to chase fame will bring you only ruin.
  • Charity: Protect those who cannot protect themselves; speak for those with no voice.
  • Mercy: An enemy in need is your enemy no more.
  • Autonomy: Lead by example; so that others may follow by choice.
  • Authority: Protect the secrets of the Rose from those who are unfit to bear them.

There is no metaphyiscal effect of failing to uphold the virtues because a Rose Knight’s powers are gained through training and meditation, not from a god. A straying paladin will, however, attract vengeance from other members of the Order seeking to uphold the virtue of Authority. Vengeful Knights tend to act to realign people to their path rather than to kill outright; so someone who has repeatedly broken the virtue of humility, for example, may be beaten and placed in stocks, but not killed.

Divine and Radiant keywords

In general, when reskinning Paladin powers to fit Rose Knights, powers should lose the Divine keyword. Rose Knight attacks will often have the Fear keyword rather than Radiant, and deal Psychic damage rather than Radiant damage: much of a Rose Knight’s power is based on careful mind games and trickery, rather than bolts of radiant light (though if you wish, Radiant damage can represent the life-force channeling that Rose Knights spend time training up.)

Channel Divinity and Lay On Hands

Rose Knights can use the Channel Divinity and Lay On Hands class features; however, this is merely an expression of their tireless meditation and mental training and the focus of their life-force.

Implement

Rose Knights take their name from the roses they use as a focus to their meditations. It’s difficult for a Knight to explain just what is so important about roses, but Knights have been seen to risk life and limb to protect them. A Knight wearing a rose can add its enhancement bonus to the attack rolls and damage rolls of his powers which have the Implement keyword in the same way as a Paladin wearing a holy symbol.

Divine Challenge

The Paladin class feature Divine Challenge is replaced by Knight’s Challenge. This has the same game-mechanical effect as Divine Challenge, except that (a) the damage it does is Psychic damage, not Radiant damage and (b) the attack has the Fear keywords, not Divine and Radiant.

The first trick every Rose Knight learns is how to draw attention towards her and away from the more vulnerable, making herself seem the most threatening target on the battlefield. An enemy turning his attention away from such an imposing figure finds himself so beset with paranoia and doubt that he risks losing the fight even before he has struck a single blow.

Linked fiction

You can read how a Rose Knight returned to service here, or how one didn’t here.

Rose Knight

Flintlocks & Fireballs JWyatt JWyatt