Fighters are not all created equally. Some just like to fight and become really good at it. Others specialise and become a one-man war machine. And then there are those who want more. Usually, individuals who saw the brutality of the world, blessed with enough intellect to see hidden patterns. These are the rare Occult Knights.
One does not actively choose to become an Occult Knight. No, that would draw too many forsaken souls to their madness filled doom. The Occult Knight can’t be bread either, as the horrors known can’t be taught. One has to experience and survive with an eager will to know more.
“The heart of a Warrior and the mind of a Wizard.”, are the prerequisite for anybody who wants to experience both martial and arcane power. But only few can truly see through the lies and the misguided ways. Only few combine the brutal tenacity of warriors and the obsession for knowledge of wizards.
A dangerous combination really. Once a knight touches these hidden arts, there’s no turning back. As the dark and volatile knowledge slowly seeping into their minds and souls change them. The Occult Knight becomes able to cast and shape spells. Uncannily, almost as if a higher being would be its patron. The deep dark secret that lies in places fiends could never see. Places where time and space are but suggestions.
Their powers are not bestowed upon them from a higher force. No ceremony, no ritual. It takes only a touch of a book containing knowledge from nowhere. If their hearts and minds withstand the secrets they change. Once emerging as Occult Knight, it’s up to them to turn their blessing into curse or salvation.
Bound only to their weapons and the lust for knowledge leads the Occult Knight to either help understand the deep secrets of magic and the world. Or as some prefer to draw more power to subjugate those who are deemed too feeble.
When you reach 3rd level you can venture on a quest to retrieve a Book from Nowhere. It is at the GM’s discretion to define that or to incorporate that book into your adventures. Alternatively, you can ask me to create a short quest to get to the book.
Once you touch the book you learn the hidden cosmic knowledge that is too convoluted to explain out loud. Flashing visions, sounds and beings you have never seen before, alter the mind of your Fighter. Slowly, you get accustomed to the effects of being an Occult Knight.
Cantrips. You learn two cantrips, Occult Strike and Occult Peek.
Spell Slots. Instead of regular spell slots, you have Occult Insights which you can use to amplify the effects of your spells and attacks. You start with 5 OI and gain one every new level you progress. When casting spells you expend the amount of OI needed for it. You can choose to amplify the effects with expending more points at once. Once you run out of OI you can still choose to cast spells and take progressively 1d10 immunity piercing psychic damage for every OI needed for casting the spell. If you cast spells without OI you will exhaust more with every third cast.
OI replenish after a long rest.
Spellcasting ability. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for all your spells. Tempering your mind with ancient secrets shaped it into a well of knowledge. The more you know the better you can cast your spells.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your intelligence modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your intelligence modifier
One with the Weapon
At 3rd level, you can attune weapons of a weapon-style of your choice (one-handed sword, double dagger, Bow and arrow, etc.). In a ritual, you attune the weapon(s) to be part of yourself. You can only attune one set. When the weapon is attuned, you can summon it at will into your hands. Weapons can only be summoned if it’s not obstructed when materialising.
A Weapon bound to you makes +1d6 for every OI expended for it. You have to expend OI before you roll the damage of your weapon.
At 7th level, you learn to temper with the secret knowledge within you how to shield against physical and force damage. As a reaction, you can expend one OI to cast the Dark Hand that shrouds your non-weapon hand in darkness. This reinforces your Hand and you gain +2 AC. You get the AC bonus only when you’re not wearing a shield. When active, Dark Hand gives you advantage on Saving Throws against physical damage and force projectiles. When you succeed on a Saving Through against improvised or melee weapon as well as projectiles, you can try to hold on to them like grappling. Your hand will not take damage if you manage to hold on to the weapon.
Dark Hand lasts for 10 minutes. At 15th level, it lasts for 1 hour. Dark Hand can be cancelled anytime.
At 10th level, you learn to draw power from places of space that can’t be guessed. You can expend three OI to cast Cosmic Tentacles on a surface you can see within 60ft. On a successful cast, a portal of 5 feet radius opens and a tentacle appears that flails violently around. The tentacle extends to a maximum of 20ft. and attacks anything within its reach. Creatures in reach must make a Dexterity saving throw or be hit by 12d6 damage. Halve the damage on a successful save. Flailing lasts for 1 round and then disappears with the portal. If the tentacles would be cut off by any means, portal included, it will immediately disintegrate with leaving only a foul stench.
Upon casting Cosmic Tentacles you can expend two more OI for additional portals to appear. A maximum of 3 tentacles can be active at all times.
Alternatively, you can cast Cosmic Tentacles from your hand, reducing its casting expenses, reach and damage by half, rounded up. When casting it like this the tentacle becomes somewhat controllable. It’ll lash out in a straight line and flail in a cone of 10ft radius, from your hand.
At 15th level, the insight you got from the cosmic visions allows you to harness the power of the occult. Spend 6 OI to invoke the occult from places beyond reality. By incanting unspeakable verses, you put yourself in a trance-like state where you gain +2 to STR, CON and INT for the duration of the incantation. You suffer -4 to CHA, DEX and WIS for the duration of the incantation.
Under the effect of Concentrated Dread your eyes turn into the night sky. Seemingly, creating and vanishing the formation of galaxies within seconds. You gain Nightvision. Creatures other than your allies must make a DC 8 + your proficiency + Intelligence modifier if they look directly into your eyes. If they fail they are drawn to you and lower their weapon (if drawn). They will not attack unless they take damage, which ends the spell on them.
For its duration, you can only speak in the cosmic tongue not understandable by anybody. Trying to decipher it’s meaning deals 3d6 psychic damage to any sentient being with Intelligence of 8 or more. You can still understand what other people say and do.
During the effect of Concentrated Dread all Occult spells cost one OI less to cast and Cantrips are automatically amplified as if you’d use one OI.
Concentrated Dread lasts for 1 minute. You can spend one OI per minute to keep the effect going.
At 18th level, you mastered the occult and learned the most heinous secrets within your visions. Once a day you can expend 10 OI to:
- Invade the mind of a creature. The affected creature must make a DC 8 + your proficiency + Intelligence modifier saving throw. The creature has disadvantage if you are in Concentrated Dread. Once the creature is affected, you see through the creature’s eyes and control it completely. The control lasts for at least 1 turn. The creature can make a DC 20 WIS saving throw to break the control. This saving throw gets progressively easier with every turn by factor 2.
- Reach out and remodel what happened. By reaching out you can alter reality to your needs. Ladders, passages or bridges might appear. Monsters might change into something harmless. Your occult powers twist and bend reality in unexpected ways.
In a cone of 20ft. you can change what happened during the last turn. Creatures affected will have no memories of what happened really. They take the situation as given.
- Infuse your weapon with Occult power. Your weapon makes automatically 6d6 additional damage and strikes every enemy as if it is under the effect of Occult Strike. You gain your Intelligence modifier as additional AC. For the duration of the infusion, you also exert an aura of terror that frightens enemies that are too close to you. You yourself gain immunity against being frightened and charmed. This infusion lasts for 1 minute.
This cantrip infuses the attuned weapon with an aura of occult power. If an enemy is hit by that weapon it is glowing faintly purple with an eerie humming. This enemy has disadvantage against your successive attacks.
You can spend one OI to increase the attack on the enemy already affected by Occult Strike by +1d8.
By casting Occult Peek you shape the power within you into actual form. You can create small illusions of seemingly no effect like making a door look opened slightly, a lock opened or closed and so forth. It can also be used to create false sensations on creatures, making them hear or see things that are not there. Rats under the floor or bugs crawling over the creature’s skin. It takes a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw to detect the illusion.
By spending one OI you can make the illusion so disgruntling that it overwhelms the creature’s senses dealing +1d12 psychic damage. If the creature manages a saving throw against the illusion it becomes immune to the illusionary effect. This does not apply to effects that are not affecting the creature’s body directly.
In battle, you can fake-out movements by using Occult Peek. An enemy in battle will perceive your illusion instead of your actual motion if it fails a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw.
Alternatively, you can also use one OI to enhance the difficulty to detect the illusion by +5.
This is the first version of the Occult Knight. Heavily focussed on using the madness of magic instead of spells from the wizards. Needs a little tweaking. I’m really curious what you’ll say to it. Your feedback is always much appreciated! Thank you for reading and if you like this class I would love to have you subscribed to the newsletter!