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Knight Hospitaller (Knight of the Holy Church)

Knight Hospitaller
The Siege of Acre. The Hospitalier Master Mathieu de Clermont defending the walls in 1291.

Originally on the Terra Viejo Website

Founded to care for sick pilgrims in the Levant, the Hospitallers quickly evolved into a fighting force to protect them as well. As a Knight of the Holy Church, the Hospitaller is both warrior and monk, following a strict Rule that requires both chivalry and strict adherence to the teachings of the Church. Hospitallers strive to uphold the demands of the Rule by living honorably, striking down evil, and seeking to further the interest of the Holy Church and its followers, whether as individuals or as part of a organized crusade. Staying true to their original mission, Hospitallers are expert healers and refuse to use edged weapons, but they are strong warriors nonetheless.

Hospitallers are normally Holy Church clerics and crusaders or paladins who have spent some time as a novice before becoming a full-fledged member of the order. The great majority are human, though half-elves may be allowed to join, and most are male. Woman join a closely affiliated sister order.

The Hospitallers maintain a presence in the Crusader Kingdom of Antioch and the islands of the eastern Mediterranean, their headquarters is on the island of Rhodes. They also have “houses”, a combination of fortress and monastery, scattered across Western Europa. Each Hospitaller belongs to a particular house, and while they are normally free to come and go as they choose, they remain at the service of the order. The symbol of the order is a black cross on white. Knights are required to display this prominently, and incorporate it into their coat of arms.


To qualify to become a Hospitaller, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
Alignment: Lawful Good or Neutral Good
Race: Human
Feats: Weapon Focus (heavy mace or Maul)
Skills: Heal 8 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks, Ride 3 ranks, Speak Language (Latin), Speak Language (Literate)
Weapons and Armor: Proficiency in Light Armor and Shields
Other: Member Holy Church, unmarried.

Hit Die: d8
Class Skills: The Hospitaller’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Knowledge (religion) (Intelligence), Knowledge (history) (Intelligence), Knowledge (Warfare) (Intelligence), Profession (Intelligence), Ride (Dexterity), Speak Language, Spellcraft (Intelligence), and Swim (Strength).

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2+Intelligence Modifier

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialCleric Spells per Day
1st+0+2+0+2Healing Mastery, Hospitallar Weapon, Rule
2nd+1+3+0+3Knowledgeable Curing, Turn undead+1 spellcasting level
3rd+2+3+1+3Greater Curing+1 spellcasting level
4th+3+4+1+4Hospitaller Weapon+1 spellcasting level
5th+3+4+1+4Masterful Curing+1 spellcasting level

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Hospitallers are proficient in all armor and shields. They are also proficient in simple weapons.

Healing Mastery: The Hospitaller can choose to take 10 on all Heal checks, regardless of the circumstances

Hospitaller Weapon: At 1st and 4th level the Hospitaller may take Greater Weapon Focus, Improved Critical, or Weapon Specialization with either the heavy mace or maul, if they have Weapon Focus with that weapon.

Rule: The Hospitaller must abide by the Rule of his Order. This is similar to the secular Knight’s Code of Chivalry, but loyalty must be given first and foremost to the Order and the Church. In addition the Hospitaller must normally display the symbol of the order—a black cross on white— and must give 10% of his income to the Order, but can expect commensurate support in return. The Hospitaller cannot marry.

Cleric Spells per Day and Domain Abilities: At 2nd level and each level thereafter, if the knight can cast cleric spells their caster level and spells per day increase as if their cleric level increased by one. Their cleric level is also treated as one higher with respect to any level dependent Domain abilities.

Turn undead: At 2nd level a Hospitallar who can turn undead adds their class level-1 to their cleric level (and or their paladin level –3) when making a turning check.

Knowledgeable Curing: At 2nd level, if the Hospitaller makes a successful Heal check, DC 20+(cure spell level), while casting a cure spell (any spell with ‘cure’ in the title), they heal an additional die of damage.

Greater Curing: At 3rd level, when a Hospitaller casts a cure spell d10s, instead of d8s, are used to determine how many hit points are healed.

Masterful Curing: At 5th level, if the Hospitaller makes a successful Heal check, DC 30+(cure spell level), while casting a cure spell, they heal two additional die of damage.

Hospitaller Paladins: A Hospitaller Paladin adds his Hospitaller level to his Paladin level when determining the properties of his special mount. A Paladin may take levels in Hospitaller, and then resume taking Paladin levels.

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