General Prestige Class : Darkwater Knight
by James Jacobs, Dragon #314
The darkwater knight serves as the greatest and holiest of the protectors of the Darkwater Guardians organization. Few Darkwater Guardians are accepted into this prestigious order. The darkwater knight visits the Darkwater Guardians enclave only rarely, spending most of her time patrolling the outlying regions. She constantly seeks out those who would despoil, pollute, or otherwise take advantage of the darkwaters. There are currently nearly as many darkwater knights serving the guardians as there are members dwelling in the enclave itself, but the knights are spread throughout the Underdark and even, in some cases, onto the surface world. Most darkwater knights prefer to operate alone, using their unique skills to assist others who wish to explore the darkwaters, or even acting as assassins against those who would profane these sacred places.
All darkwater knights are worshipers of the gods of nature. While the Guardians accept non-spellcasters into their enclaves or as bodyguards, only those with the ability to cast spells can qualify for the darkwater knight prestige class. Most darkwater knights are druids, rangers, or clerics with access to the water domain, simply because these classes are the most closely tied to nature. Yet many wizards and sorcerers have been joining the society recently - often initially seeking to add the Guardians' unique magic to their repertoires but staying with the group out of a sense of loyalty and kinship. Bards are perhaps the rarest darkwater knights, but their skills and strong leadership abilities are quite valued.
To qualify to become a Darkwater Knight, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Skills: Knowledge (nature) 8 ranks, Survival 6 ranks, Swim 6 ranks.
- Feats: Skill Focus (swim), Water Focus,
- Spells: Ability to cast at least three spells (one of which must be at least 2nd level) with the Water descriptor.
- Patron Deity: Any nature deity
- Language: Aquan.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the darkwater knight prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Darkwater knights are proficient with no additional weapons or armor.
Spells per Day: A darkwater knight continues training in magic as she gains levels. When a new darkwater knight level is gained, the character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If the character possessed levels in multiple spellcasting classes before becoming a darkwater knight, she must choose which class gains the benefit of each darkwater knight level.
Favored Enemy (Ex): At 1st level, a darkwater knight's extensive knowledge of aquatic creatures grants her bonuses in combat and other interactions with such creatures. She gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures with the Aquatic subtype. Likewise, she gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures. At 5th level, the bonus increases to +4, and at 9th level it increases to +6. If the darkwater knight has a favored enemy bonus from another class (such as ranger), her bonuses against Aquatic creatures stack with those from her other class, provided both bonuses apply to the target creature type. Darkwater knights generally bear no ill will toward aquatic creatures, and often ally with like-minded aquatic beings, but they feel no compunction against using their knowledge against their aquatic enemies.
Darkvision (Ex): At 2nd level, a darkwater knight gains darkvision to a range of 60 feet. If she already possesses darkvision, its range increases by +60 feet.
Bonus Feat: At 3rd level and 8th level, the darkwater knight gains a bonus feat. This bonus feat must be a metamagic feat or a feat selected from the following list: Flotation, Flow with the Current, Pressure Resistance, Sea Legs, Water Focus.
Adept Swimmer (Su): At 4th level, the darkwater knight gains a swim speed equal to her land speed. If she already possesses a natural swim speed that is higher than this, it increases by +10 feet. She gains a +8 racial bonus to all Swim checks, and may take 10 on Swim checks even when distracted or threatened. Finally, she can hold her breath for twice as long as normal.
Darkwater Prodigy (Ex): At 6th level, the darkwater knight's devotion and faith enhances her capacity to prepare spells with the water descriptor. As long as she prepares her daily allotment of spells while the majority of her body is immersed in a large body of water, she may prepare a bonus spell of each level that she can cast, providing that the bonus spell has the water descriptor.
Underwater Blindsense (Ex): At 6th level, a darkwater knight can locate creatures in a 30-foot radius underwater. This ability works like blindsense except it only works when the darkwater knight is underwater, and it only detects creatures in the same body of water.
Darkwater Scion (Su): At 10th level, the darkwater knight becomes amphibious and gains the aquatic subtype. She can now breathe water as well as air, and her swim speed increases by an additional +10 feet. While swimming, the darkwater knight gains a +2 morale bonus to initiative checks and all Dexterity-based skill checks. Finally, a darkwater knight casts all spells with the water descriptor at +1 caster level.
|Darkwater Knight||Hit Die: d6|
|CL||BAB||Fort||Ref||Will||Special||Spells per Day|
|1||+0||+0||+0||+2||Favored enemy (aquatic) +2||+1 level of existing class|
|2||+1||+0||+0||+3||Darkvision 60 ft.||+1 level of existing class|
|3||+2||+1||+1||+3||Bonus feat||+1 level of existing class|
|4||+3||+1||+1||+4||Adept swimmer||+1 level of existing class|
|5||+3||+1||+1||+4||Favored enemy (aquatic) +4||+1 level of existing class|
|6||+4||+2||+2||+5||Darkwater prodigy||+1 level of existing class|
|7||+5||+2||+2||+5||Underwater blindsense||+1 level of existing class|
|8||+5||+2||+2||+6||Bonus feat||+1 level of existing class|
|9||+6||+3||+3||+6||Favored enemy (aquatic) +6||+1 level of existing class|
|10||+7||+3||+3||+7||Darkwater scion||+1 level of existing class|
Source: Dragon #314