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Illustration from page 246 of The Boy’s King Arthur: “Sir Mador’s spear brake all to pieces, but the other’s spear held.” 1922 The Boy’s King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory’s History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Edited for Boys by Sidney Lanier (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1922). Scanned by Dave Pape. 

Heroes of Fantasy

Author August Hahn, Tim Hitchcock, Joseph Miller, Ian Sturrock, John Thompson, Paul Tucker & Patrick Younts

Series Power Classes

Publisher Mongoose Publishing

Publish date 2005

The knight is one of the most highly trained combatants ever to enter the field of battle. Expert with a variety of weapons and particularly effective when astride his trusty charger, when under pressure he draws extra strength from his chivalric vows. He is perhaps the best protected of all character classes, typically wearing full plate armour but proficient with a variety of extra-heavy armours for special purposes. A knight’s noble birth often provides him with a far superior array of equipment than most characters have access to.

Though an armed and armoured knight on foot is a force to be feared, astride his horse he is perhaps the most dangerous character on the battlefield. Whether charging with his deadly lance, or striking down at footmen with a bastard sword or Battleaxe, his attacks are accurate and devastatingly effective. His expertise with horses does not end at combat – he can also pick out the finest and fiercest of warhorses, always getting the best of the bunch when buying a new charger.

The code of chivalry that every knight must swear to follow is perhaps both a knight’s greatest strength and greatest weakness. It gives him a solid structure, rigid rules by which to live his life, and a sheer faith in himself and his own righteousness that can keep him on the field of combat long after a lesser man would have fled, and yet if he fails to live up to his own strict standards, his life will simply come apart at the seams.

The Knight

Crécy Grandes Chroniques de France
The English fighting the French knights at the Battle of Crécy in 1346

Adventures: Knights tend to ‘adventure’ at the behest of their feudal overlord, rather than as part of a typical party of adventurers. In a knight-oriented campaign, the action will follow the overlord, with most of the Player Characters being knights along with the occasional fighter (as a man-at-arms), paladin and perhaps bard, ranger or cleric (the lord’s entertainer, forester or priest respectively). Adventures may consist of dealing with a traditional chivalric enemy such as an evil knight harassing travelers, a dragon laying waste to a nearby village, or an enemy lord or country attacking the land.

In a campaign which does not focus on the doings of one lord and his associated knights and retainers, a knight may still be appropriate – in this case, the knight will probably be a knight errant or questing knight, rather than a regular part of his lord’s retinue. Knights errant sometimes join parties of adventurers, particularly those focused on great deeds and heroism, although some knights errant prefer to ride alone in search of personal glory or specific goals.

Characteristics: Knights are among the most devoted combat specialists in the land, particularly when it comes to heavily armoured combat on horseback. They are well equipped, often far better than most starting characters, and sometimes have considerable wealth in addition. Their combat skills with masterwork weapons are unequaled, as they are well used to weapons of such quality; likewise they can get more benefit from the more expensive and heavy varieties of armour.

Alignment: Knights can be of any alignment, though most are lawful good, as few evil characters will manage to follow the code of chivalry for any great length of time. Likewise, most chaotic characters despise the idea of following any rules, and the dedication and training required to be a knight is anathema to them.

Religion: Most knights revere one of the main established religions of the land – gods of war, nobility, chivalry, justice, vengeance and general martial prowess are especially popular. Some knights join knightly orders devoted to the worship and service of a particular god, in which case they may live an almost monastic life of devotion tempered by occasional war. Knights tend to respect clerics of all religions except those specifically dedicated to enemy gods, who will be fought at every turn.

Background: Almost all knights are the sons of knights, either inheriting wealth and lands or set on their way as armigers or knights bachelor to find feudal overlords of their own. These knights knew all their lives that they were to be knights, training for the position from the age of seven years onwards and spending almost every waking minute devoted to the knightly and courtly skills. Occasionally a particularly plucky and heroic man-at-arms will be knighted on the battlefield in reward for an incredible deed or victory, though this is a rarity. Such men may come from a much more humble background, though they are respected as well as any knight born to the role.

Races: Humans are the most likely race to have the feudal system that supports knights. Though other races may have their equivalent Mounted Combat specialists, these tend to have quite a different focus – elves, for example, value the effective use of bowmanship and magic from the saddle, neither of which sit well with the usual codes of chivalry. However, all the races may join knightly orders or take service with a lord if living on human lands, so long as they can find an order or overlord to take them in. Elves, half-elves and half-orcs are perhaps the best suited to knighthood from a physical perspective, and the most readily accepted by human lords. Occasionally a particular baron or country will raise a company of knights from one of these races, especially if the lands border on or contain a settlement of the appropriate race such as an elven forest. Gnomes and Halflings on warponies occasionally train as knights, especially those who live among or near humans. These races are rare but often underestimated by their opponents. Almost all dwarves seem temperamentally unsuited for knighthood, disliking horses or other mounts and preferring a relentless attack on foot to the swift charge that typifies a knight. That said, the maverick dwarf who overcomes his distaste at the idea of fighting from horseback can make a tough and doughty knight.

Other Classes: Most knights have a strong mutual respect for other fighting character classes, including fighters, rangers and most especially paladins. A barbarian will need to work a good deal harder to convince a knight of his value, but once the knight sees him at work on the battlefield respect is sure to follow – though the two may never truly understand each other. Knights tend to revere clerics, both because many knights are deeply religious and out of simple chivalry, but unless the cleric is reasonably martial a knight is likely to regard him as a little unmanly. druids, sorcerers and wizards are generally perceived as essentially mysterious, rather unchivalrous and a little unnerving. Knights need bards as much as bards need knights – one performs the great deeds and the other chronicles them. Any knight who has his own court and castle, however basic, will tend to welcome a bard. Knights understand and respect religious devotion, but are confused by monks – why not be a cleric or paladin if you wish to serve your god?

Game Rule Information

Abilities: Sheer physical Strength is the most important ability for most knights, since their main function is to serve their lord in time of war. Although knights expect their armour to protect them from most dangers, a good Constitution is useful, since knights are frequently exposed to battles and other hazards – it can also be vital to allow them to wear their specialised extra-heavy armours for long periods of time. For knights particularly concerned with the courtly skills or with leading armies into battle, a high Charisma is crucial. Likewise, Intelligence is good for any knight wishing to learn a wide variety of different skills.

Alignment: Any, predominantly lawful good

Hit Die: d10

Class Skills

The knight’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Diplomacy (Charisma), Handle Animal (Charisma), Intimidate) (Charisma), Perform (Charisma), Ride (Dexterity)(Dexterity) and Survival (Wisdom).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Intelligence modifier) x 4

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier

The Knight
Class LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+1+2+0+0Accoutrements, code of chivalry, military service
2nd+2+3+0+0Born to the saddle (+1)
3rd+3+3+1+1Horse sense
4th+4+4+1+1Weapon mastery (no automatic failure)
5th+5+4+1+1Bonus feat
7th+7/+2+5+2+2A life in harness (x2)
8th+8/+3+6+2+2Pure heart
9th+9/+4+6+3+3Born to the saddle (+2)
10th+10/+5+7+3+3Bonus feat
11th+11/+6/+1+7+3+3Weapon mastery (+1 to damage)
+8+4+4A life in harness (x3)
15th+15/+10/+5+9+5+5Bonus feat
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+5+5Born to the saddle (+3)
17th+17/+12/+7/+2+10+5+5Weapon mastery (armour penetration)
19th+19/+14/+9/+4+11+6+6A life in harness (x4)
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6+6Bonus feat

Class Features

Cantigas battle
A battle of the Reconquista from the Cantigas de Santa Maria

All of the following are class features of the knight:

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A knight is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light, medium, heavy and extra-heavy armour, and shields. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every five pounds of armour and equipment carried.

Accoutrements: A 1st level knight begins the game with a suit of three-quarter plate, heavy warhorse, light horse, shortsword, Battleaxe, heavy mace and bastard sword. In addition, a knight will settle for no less than the finest of goods, be they food, drink, armour or a simple cloak. Any goods the knight purchases will cost 150% of the listed price, including any masterwork items. A knight must always wear the highest quality armour available to him, irrespective of any magical bonuses. For example, he will wear an ordinary suit of fluted plate armour rather than a suit of +5 chainmail.

Code of Chivalry: The conferral of knighthood involves the prospective knight swearing to uphold the principles of chivalry. These may vary a little from culture to culture, but most are based on the following rules:

A Perfect Gentle Knight should:

  • Live by honor and for glory.
  • Serve his liege lord or knightly order.
  • Obey the law.
  • Keep his word and speak the truth.
  • Be generous to widows, orphans and the poor.
  • Be hospitable to strangers.
  • Be merciful to prisoners and captives.
  • Protect the weak and defenseless.
  • Defend his god and the clerics of his god.

A Perfect Gentle Knight should not:

  • Practice deceit or unfairness.
  • Fight for monetary reward.
  • Give unnecessary offence.
  • Be wrathful or envious.

If a knight breaks the code of chivalry, he loses the benefits of his Born to the Saddle, Horse Sense, Pure Heart, Weapon Mastery and A Life in Harness class features (if he has them) until such time as he can make amends (Games Master’s discretion). Typically, this involves a quest, pilgrimage or some form of religious service or penance. In the case of an extreme breach of the code, the Games Master may rule that the knight can no longer gain levels in the knight class.

Knightly Orders

Throughout this character class description, it is assumed that the knight is a part of the feudal system – a retainer with a military obligation to his liege-lord. Another option for Player Character knights is to be a member of a knightly order, an almost monastic group devoted to following the code of chivalry in the service of a particular god or religion. In most cases, the standard d20 system paladin makes a more realistic representative of a member of a knightly order. However, it is quite easy to alter the knight description so as to represent a knight who is in service to an order rather than a feudal overlord. Other than the arms and armour he can carry on his person or horse, a member of a knightly order is expected to give all his worldly goods to his order. For more detailed information on knightly orders, see Crusades of Valour by Mongoose Publishing.  

Military Service: All knights are expected to provide military service for their feudal overlord. For an armiger or knight bachelor, this is a more or less continuous process, though he may apply for a leave of absence to rush about questing and the like. Most of the time an armiger or knight bachelor will serve his lord directly, attending and protecting him, enforcing his decrees. When commanded by his lord (or his lord’s lord), he will go to war.

Born to the Saddle: Most knights began riding horses soon after they learnt to walk. They are as comfortable in the saddle, whether fighting from it or sitting in it all day, as in a favourite armchair. At 2nd level, the knight gains a +1 competence bonus to all Ride checks, melee attack rolls and damage rolls when on horseback. Note that for small characters, these bonuses apply to ponies and pony combat.

At 9th level, these bonuses rise to +2, and at 17th level to +3.

Horse Sense: Knights devote an enormous amount of time to racing, studying, caring for and going to war with horses. They are able to select the finest steeds, horses with just the right blend of fierceness, speed and strength to be a perfect mount for battle. If a knight of 3rd level or higher makes a successful Handle Animal check (DC 15), he can discern the precise number of Hit Dice and hit points of any horse or pony. With a similar skill check at DC 20, he can also determine the horse or pony’s precise ability scores (Strength, Dexterity and so forth).

Weapon Mastery: Most knights were trained in weapons combat from the age of seven and practise daily for several hours, since they have little need to learn skills other than combat. They begin their training with wooden swords but by the time they are 12 (or soon after) they are gifted with masterwork weaponry. A knight’s love for, and ability with, a masterwork weapon is unequalled. From 4th level onwards, a knight wielding a masterwork knightly weapon (knightly weapons include all swords, picks, lances and maces; plus the dagger, battleaxe, warhammer,
light flail, heavy flail, greataxe, glaive, guisarme, ranseur and halberd) no longer automatically fails if he rolls a one on his attack roll.

At 11th level, the knight’s expertise gained from years of training and participation in many battles gives him a +1 competence bonus to the damage he inflicts whenever he wields a masterwork knightly weapon.

At 17th level, the knight’s long expertise with knightly weapons allows him to better penetrate the extra-heavy armour his opponents so often wear. So long as he wields a masterwork knightly weapon, he may ignore the damage reduction provided by non-magical foot combat armour, tilting armour and plate garnitures, as well as fluted versions of the above armours.

Bonus Feat: Knights gain renown through deeds of arms, stoicism and gallantry, and spend long hours perfecting their prowess so as to achieve such deeds. At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, 20th) a knight gains a bonus feat chosen from the following list.

Knight Bonus Feats: Cleave, Endurance, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword) Great Cleave, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Leadership, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Ride-By Attack, Toughness, Trample, Spirited charge, Weapon Focus (knightly weapon only), Weapon Specialisation (knightly weapon only).

A Life in Harness : At 7th level, the knight’s long years of regularly wearing extra-heavy armour allow him to wear it for two turns per point of Constitution before becoming fatigued.

At 13th level, this increases to three turns per point of Constitution and at 19th level, to four turns per point of Constitution.

Pure Heart: From 8th level onwards, a knight’s courage and strength of will give him extra strength when others would quail in terror. He receives a +2 morale bonus to all Willpower saves against fear effects (magical or nonmagical).


Ex-knights retain all class features, so long as they continue to abide by the codes of chivalry. An ex-knight who gains one or more levels in the Blackguard class (or an equivalent ‘black knight’ style class) may retain all his class features irrespective of whether or not he continues to abide by the code of chivalry.

Starting Gold: 3d10 gp.

Knightly Feats

Armour Proficiency (extra-heavy) (General)

Extra-heavy armour includes special armour designed for tournament and siege use, and is always extremely tiring to wear for anything other than the briefest period of time.

Prerequisites: Armour Proficiency (heavy).

Benefit: When you wear a type of armour with which you are proficient, the armour check penalty applies only to Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble checks.

In addition, a character wearing extra-heavy armour will become fatigued (-2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity, cannot run or charge) after a number of turns equal to his Constitution score. The penalties remain in effect until he has a chance to rest, unarmoured, for at least 30 minutes.

Normal: A character who is wearing armour with which he is not proficient suffers its armour check penalty on attack rolls and all skill checks that involve moving, including Ride. Furthermore, a character wearing heavy armour without being proficient in its use will become fatigued (-2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity, cannot run or charge) after a number of turns equal to one plus his Constitution modifier. The penalties remain in effect until he has a chance to rest, unarmoured, for at least 30 minutes.

Special: If a character does become fatigued through wearing extra-heavy armour for too long, whether or not he is proficient in it, he may become exhausted if he continues to wear it. He will become exhausted (-6 effective penalty to Strength and Dexterity, move at half normal speed) after the same amount of time elapses again, until he gets a chance to rest for an hour (at which time he becomes fatigued again).

Knightly Armour

A new class of armour, extra-heavy armour, is introduced here to represent the enormous weights of armour knights occasionally wear during tournaments. None of these armours are intended for use for more than a few turns at a time, as they are so heavy that even an experienced knight rapidly becomes fatigued under their immense weight. Although the rules for it add a new layer of complexity to the standard d20 armour rules, it will likely be worn so rarely that this will not create any significant delays.

Knightly Armour
Spell Failure
(30 ft.)
(20 ft.)
Weight ***
Heavy Armour
Three-quarter plate1,200 gp+7+1-745%20
Fluted full plate3,000
Extra-Heavy Armour
Foot combat plate4,000
combat plate, fluted
Siege plate2,250
Tilting plate5,000
Tilting plate, fluted10,000
Plate garnitures8,000
Plate garnitures, fluted16,000
Embossed armour+2,000
* When running in heavy armour, you move only triple your speed, not quadruple. When running in extra-heavy armour, you move only double your speed, not quadruple.
** See the description of this armour for special rules.
*** Armour fitted for Small characters weighs half as much.

Armour Descriptions

Wenceslaus I. of Bohemia

Embossed Armour: Any plate armour (that is, any armour whose name includes the word ‘plate’) may be embossed. This is essentially sculpture in steel, the creation of fearsome or beautiful armour crafted to resemble an animal or grotesque human, or simply embossed with scenes from the owner’s life or family history. Embossed armour is the pinnacle of the armourer’s art, with only the finest armoursmiths able to achieve the fine balance between the decorative quality of the armour and its protective value. A character who has his Holy symbol embossed on to the breastplate of his armour is always considered to be presenting it for purposes of turning undead or using it as a spell focus.

Etched Armour: Any plate armour (that is, any armour whose name includes the word ‘plate’) may be etched. This is a method of decoration that allows finely detailed pictures or patterns to be applied to the armour in permanent black or gold, whether religious symbols, coats of arms or simply fancy scrollwork. A character who has his Holy symbol etched on to the breastplate of his armour is always considered to be presenting it for purposes of turning undead or using it as a spell focus.

Fluted Full Plate: This form of full plate armour is stronger because of regular flutes and ridges all over its surface, giving it the protection of thicker armour without greatly adding weight. Fluted full plate is always a masterwork item (the cost and benefit of masterwork are already included in its statistics). Like full plate, each suit must be fitted to its owner by a master armoursmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 400 to 1,600 (2d4 x 200) gp.

Foot Combat Plate: Foot combat plate is a much heavier version of full plate, primarily intended for use in tournament events that take place on foot, such as the grand melee, the lists and single combat. In construction it is much like a standard suit of full plate but with far thicker plates on the areas most likely to be struck in melee combat. The shoulders and head are particularly heavily armoured, with the great helm being worn over a smaller steel cap while the torso and arms are also given extra protection. The leg armour is no thicker than on standard full plate – most tournaments ban hits below the belt and so these areas need only be protected from the occasional glancing blow. Foot combat armour offers significant resistance to most melee weapons, and the most commonly available variety is sold as ‘proofed against swords and maces’. This form of armour gives the wearer Damage Reduction 5 against all melee and thrown weapons (but not missile weapons) except those with a critical multiplier of x3 or higher. If you are using the Called Shots rules from Mongoose Publishing’s The Quintessential Fighter, an unscrupulous opponent can deliberately aim for the leg or groin and, on a successful called shot to one of those areas, bypass the damage
reduction completely. Like full plate, each suit must be fitted to its owner by a master armoursmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 500 to 2,000 (5d4 x 100) gp.

Foot Combat Plate, Fluted: Fluted foot combat plate is simply a heavier version of foot combat plate (see above) that grants its wearer increased protection. Fluted foot combat plate is always a masterwork item (the cost and benefit of masterwork are already included in its statistics). Like full plate, each suit must be fitted to its owner by a master armoursmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 1,000 to 4,000 (5d4 x 200) gp.

Siege Plate: Siege plate is basically a standard suit of full plate with additional thick armour plates bolted evenly on to the front to give extra protection against missile weapons. It is used by lookouts, artillerists and siege engineers during sieges, since it enables the wearer to keep working even when the enemy has skilled archers or other missile users available to target him specifically. The wearer receives Damage Reduction 5 against all ranged weapons, including black powder weapons if available. Like full plate, each suit must be fitted to its owner by a master armoursmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 300 to 1,200 (3d4 x 100) gp.

Three-Quarter Plate: Three-quarter plate is designed for use by horsemen on the battlefield, or by both horsemen and footmen at tournaments. It is simply a suit of full plate with the lower leg armour replaced by high, sturdy leather boots. It offers a similar level of protection to Half-plate but is easier to wear.

Tilting Plate: This armour is full plate that has been specifically designed to protect the wearer from lance attacks. The areas most vulnerable to an enemy lance are defended with enormously thick plates, particularly the head and left shoulder but also the torso, hips and arms. It is designed for use by a mounted knight with a lance and shield, combating a similarly armed knight. The left shoulder and upper left torso are protected by what is, in effect, a triangular shield bolted into place in case the enemy’s lance deflects upwards off the carried shield. The helmet is actually screwed into place on the breast and back plates, giving it solid protection against the lance but drastically reducing the wearer’s chance to see anything which is not directly in front of him (-8 circumstance penalty to Spot checks). Tilting plate grants the wearer damage reduction 5 against lances and spears but this protection is lost if the wearer is flanked. Like full plate, each suit must be fitted to its owner by a master armoursmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 500 to 3,000 (5d6 x 100) gp.

Tilting Plate, Fluted: Fluted tilting plate armour is simply a heavier version of tilting plate (see above) that grants its wearer increased protection. Fluted tilting plate is always a masterwork item (the cost and benefit of masterwork are already included in its statistics). Like full plate, each suit must be fitted to its owner by a master armoursmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 1,000 to 6,000 (5d6 x 200) gp.

Plate Garnitures: Plate garnitures is a standard suit of full plate that comes with interchangeable replacements and additions to the upper body armour, allowing it to be converted to either tilting plate or foot combat plate. Altering the configuration between any of the three possible types of armour takes four minutes (1d4+1 if the character has some help). The weight given in the armour table is the combined weight of the individual armour segments, though of course they are never all worn at once. The weight of the armour worn is always the same as the weight for the chosen configuration, that is, 50 pounds for full plate and 100 pounds for foot combat plate or tilting plate. Likewise, all the other statistics of the chosen configuration apply. Like full plate, each suit must be fitted to their owner by a master armoursmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 1,000 to 4,000 (10d4 x 100) gp.

Plate Garnitures, Fluted: Fluted plate garnitures is a heavier version of plate garnitures (see above), which allows the wearer to choose between the fluted versions of full plate, foot combat plate or tilting plate. Fluted plate garnitures are always a masterwork item (the cost and benefit of masterwork are already included in their statistics). Like full plate, each suit must be fitted to its owner by a master armoursmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 2,000 to 8,000 (10d4 x 200) gp.

Donning Armour

The following table lists the times (in minutes) required to don the armour presented here, and is an extension of the table in the SRD.

Donning Armour
Armour TypeDonDon
Fluted full plate or three-quarter plate44*1d4+1*
Any extra-heavy88*1d6+2*
*If you have some help, cut this time in half. A single character doing nothing else can help one or two adjacent characters. Two characters can’t help each other don armour at the same time.
**A character must have help to don this armour. Without help, you can only don it hastily.
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