Compendium - Classes and Races - Knight
From World of Dungeons - Enzykloplaedia
Who needs to bother with magic when a strong blade and a tactical mind can win the day as well? That is the working ethos of the knight. Equipped with heavy armor and devastating weapons, the knights of Nemea belong to the finest warriors there are. Always found there where the melee is thickest, the knight can be much more than a mere warrior: an experienced knight can turn the tide of the most desperate battle, directing others to the place where they are needed the most. Being men of valor themselves, they can inspire the wavering soldier, put a purpose in his heart, and even turn a peasant with a pitchfork into a fearless warrior! With their commanding appearance on the battlefield, they instill fear in the heart of any mortal enemy, and turn certain defeat into glorious victory!
Level of difficulty
One of the good things about the knight is that the player can make playing as challenging as he or she wants. Therefore, the class is suitable to the beginner, and can still be fun to play for the more experienced WoD-ling.
There are basically four playing styles, all with a distinct level of difficulty, advantages and disadvantages. There is the warrior knight, the blocker knight, the leadership knight and the debuffing knight.
The warrior knight
Equipped with the heaviest armor and the biggest swords and maces, the warrior knight will bring more to the field of battle than just a pile of metal. A knight is as proficient in battle as any other good attacker, and is well protected against enemy attacks by his shield and armor. An advantage of the warrior knight is that he is easy to play (thus easy for beginners), yet very rewarding. Consider this playing style when your group is low on melee warriors, and is in need of a hero to convince the enemy that standing between you and the treasure is a very bad idea.
A disadvantage of the pure warrior knight is that he lacks the ability to strike more than two enemies in one blow (such as the barbarian's Roundhouse or the juggler's cutthroat, which will result in being outdamaged by these classes. Furthermore, carrying heavy armor in battle means that the knight will be very slow, which is a hazard in itself when facing fast enemies such as archers.
However, a well skilled warrior knight is a very dangerous opponent in a one on one duel, and is feared even by the gladiator!
The blocking knight
What good is a victory when there is nobody left to celebrate it? In contrast to the warrior knight, the blocking knight focuses less on attacking enemies and more on preventing damage to his comrades. That way, his companions can focus on dealing damage and win the day for the group. Standing in the front, the knight will keep the enemy at bay with his shield. The knight class is very good in this roll, because he can get a lot of hit points and prevent most damage with his heavy armor. Also, the most important defensive skill (use shield or dodge blow, which you will need to defend against melee attacks, are primary skills. However, the knight class is a little vulnerable to magic damage (resist magic is an exceptional skill, thus harder to get to high levels) and will have to rely on the group for support in this aspect. Also, he will not be able to support the group that well because he needs to put all his experience points into defending skills.
Choose this playing style when your group needs someone to protect the front. Note that someone has to do this job if your group wants to have any chance of success! In most groups, the role of the blocker is fulfilled by a paladin, because that class is less vulnerable against magic and has some skills that are really useful to a blocker. But it can also be done by a Knight.
The leadership knight
One could say that this playing style is the most lazy of all: instead of running around looking like an idiot in a suit of metal and waving sticky things around, the leadership knight hangs back and directs others where they have to hit. This playing style is not for those who want to do a lot of damage themselves. However, the leadership knight is a great teamplayer! Using the skills Skill - Captain and its big brother Skill - Field Marshall, they can make any melee or ranged attacker much faster, and hit a lot harder. Barbarians buffed by these skills have been known to deal twice (or even more) the amount of damage they could have dealt otherwise. Especially in the higher levels, when the enemies are faster, harder to hit and have more armor, this is a vital advantage, which can elevate the performance of the entire group!
However, the leadership knight is more versatile than meets the eye. He can do much more than just making his comrades hit harder. He can also protect his group against social and psychological attacks with vassals loyalty.
The thing that makes the leadership knight perhaps the most powerful playing style for the knight, is that all the skills he uses are of the skill class 'leadership'. There are a lot of items available that raise all skills of this class, meaning that a leadership knight increases ALL of his skills by equipping these items! Thus, he can get his skills to a very high level without investing that much experience points as he otherwise should have.
There is also a social attack skill which is a leadership skill: Commanding presence. Having equipped a lot of leadership items, the knight can increase this skill to very high levels without investing too much gold and experience points.
A very good race to choose when considering to create a leadership knight is the Borderlander. The Borderlander has two very nice skills available involving banners, one of which (heraldry) raises all leadership skills. The other (banner carrier) is a very powerful buff when used with the right banner, and it is a leadership skill itself, meaning that it can be raised to a very high rank! The combination leadership knight - Borderlander is a very succesful one, that has led many groups to victory.
The leadership knight has two disadvantages. The first is that, when he reaches the higher levels, the mana cost of the leadership skills will increase a lot. The knight has a heavy penalty of -30% to his mana points, making it difficult to use the skills every round. To counteract this problem, the knight has to carry premium equipment, or rely heavily on support from his group. Otherwise he has to be very careful with his settings which brings us to the second problem: the leadership knight is relatively difficult settingswise. He doesn't want to cast his buffs to the wrong people (for example: the melee warriors in a level where the enemy can only be attacked by ranged attacks), and safe his mana for the more difficult levels, like those involving boss fights. The borderlander knight faces more difficulties (although it is still manageble), because he has to switch banners between dungeons as well.
Consider the pure leadership knight when your group has three or more pure melee warriors, such as barbarians, jugglers and gladiators. Also, there should be heroes present who can support you with mana to counter your mana problem, which is sure to come. Options are the paladin or the scholar.
The pen is mightier than the sword... Instead of focussing on attacking skills like swordsmanship, the social knight will, what's in a name, focus on social attack skills that debuff his opponents, making them weaker and easier to beat for the other group members. The skills that he will use most are commanding presence and impressive appearance. The social knight is weak on his own but he is a great team player.
A disadvantage of the social knight is the fact that social attacks only work on 'humanoid' opponents, such as elves, dwarves etc. A large percentage of the enemies you will face are animals, undead or other 'non-humanoid'-class opponents that are immune to social attacks. Still, debuffing an opponent so that a teammate can swoop in and make a kill, that he otherwise couldn't, is satisfying.
Of course there are more ways to Rome, such as there are more ways than just those described above towards building a succesful knight. The different playing styles can be mixed, often to very powerful results. Especially at the higher levels, the knight will have gathered enough experience points to be effective in more area's than one. Only a few of the possible combinations are mentioned here.
When considering a hybrid build, keep in mind that it is better to be excellent in one area than to be mediocre in two!
The Leadership-offensive Knight
A very popular choice among first-time players and veterans, the leadership-offensive knight will first encourage his comrades with the excellent captain and field marshall buffs, and then swoop in and make a few kills for himself. His attack skills might be mediocre, but he can do a reasonable amount of damage because he also buffs himself with his own skills. Note that banners have to be carried in a hand, so a borderlander knight can only use a one-handed weapon if he also wants to carry a banner, and no shield.
A blocking knight can use his inround actions not just to attack with low attack rolls, but also to debuff those enemies standing before him. This will make them attack with lower attack rolls and thus helping himself to survive. Debuffing the opponents is a nice 'secondary' function for the blocking knight.
There are not that many pure social knights out ther. A lot of people will try to create a leadership knight that, when having cast field marshall and captain, will attack the enemy with commanding presence, which is of the leadership-class as well. This build is very powerful, because it works two ways: on one hand, this knight makes his comrades much stronger and on the other hand, he weakens the enemies considerably. The disadvantage is that the mana problem of the leadership knight returns here with a vengeance. Often these knights have to stand next to the scholars and mages in battle, to profit from their mana-regenerating support.
Whenever a hero reaches level 21, he or she is allowed to choose a Talent Path. This allows him to choose a package of three additional special skills, called Talents, to augment his current build. After paying a steep fine, the knight has the possibility to enter one of three Orders, which are listed below.
the Order of Lion
Knights of the Order of Lion are born diplomats. Their manners and charm awe both friend and foe alike. On one hand, they are rock-steady in combat and difficult to unnerve. On the other hand, they are good speakers. Blocking knights and social knights can be made a lot more powerful when they enter this order.
The Order of Noran
Knights from the Order of Noran are usually found on the most dangerous battlefields. They are masters of battle and ready to prove this at any time. As veterans, they have a few tricks for avoiding sickness. As can be expected, the Talents they gain boost their prowess in battle.
Order of Aves
Knights from the Order of Aves are powerful defenders. The hero seems to be able to block steel and word with their shield and steady hand. They are also very good leaders, making this path very attractive to both blocker knights and leadership knights.
Of course, nobody can slay dragons wearing nothing but their bare skin. There are many great items out there, and carrying them in battle will make all the difference.
Inherent to the knight class, most of these items are oriented on great weapons and heavy armor, but there are a lot of exeptions to this rule. A lot of items are quite common and should be easily obtainable by any well organised group (or bought at the market place of course). Beside that, there are some special legendary items that only the bravest and strongest of adventurers can find. A few of those are mentioned here.
The legacy of Allric
Allric was a very well known prince who lived a few hunderd years ago. His father sired a small kingdom at the edge of the world, and ruled his land with skill and compassion, making it one of the most thriving countries of its time. Jealous of this prosperity, a necromancer whose name is lost in time summoned a vast army of undead, causing death and destruction all around and killing the benevolent king. It was Allric who rallied a ragtag army of soldiers, townsfolk and farmers and, showing great leadership, was able to drive the necromancer and his army back to the edges of the country. There, a great battle took place, which was won by Allric. At the end of the battle though, a stray arrow took Allric through the eye, killing him on the spot. He was buried with great honor. Court mages protected his tomb with some powerful wards, which is why he has been left undisturbed until now.
Look for Allric's legendary spear and helmet in those places where the dead are buried. However, those wards, although ancient, might still be in place...
The hero who plays a hero of the class Knight can be a powerful and versatile member of any group. He is handled quite easily and can be played by beginners, but offers enough challenge to be interesting to WoD-veterans as well.
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