Postfest V: The Knights of Furyondy
Date: Tue, July 12, 2005
Topic: Power Groups & Organizations
Furyondy is a land of chivalry and knighthood. There are many individual knights and orders of knighthood. Not every knight, however, belongs to an order of knighthood. This article looks at the basics of what it means to be a knight in Furyondy. "In days of Old, when knights were bold . . .
The Knights of Furyondy
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Furyondy is a land of chivalry and knighthood. There are many individual knights and orders of knighthood. Not every knight, however, belongs to an order of knighthood. This article looks at the basics of what it means to be a knight in Furyondy.
Knighthood is the lowest rank of nobility in Furyondy. It is open to both men and women equally, but men tend to predominate. Becoming a knight is the easiest way for a commoner to become a member of the nobility.
While great deeds will tend to help qualify someone, and knighthood may be given purely as a reward for service, it is more usual for a person to first be made a squire, a knight in training, who will then become a full knight after further proving himself. Established knights often vie for the best candidates for squires, for the squire’s deeds, both while a squire and later as a knight, reflect on the knight who initially trained the squire. The squiring of commoners usually occurs after great deeds by the commoner. The squiring of the sons or daughters of a noble will usually occur without such deeds; it is a perquisite of noble birth. Both common and noble squires will have to prove themselves before being made a knight, however. Knighthood is almost never given as a hollow honorific. It is earned, usually on the field of battle.
Almost all higher-ranking nobles have been knighted. Knighthood may be conferred only by one of the five dukes of Furyondy, the king, the queen or the dauphin, after he or she has been invested as Baron of Willip.
The King (or Queen) as sovereign and prior to the investiture of a royal heir, the dauphin, carries three titles - King of Furyondy, Count of Crystalreach, Baron of Willip. As such, the king may create a knight in any of these capacities. A knight would then be styled - Knight of Furyondy, Knight of Crystalreach or Knight of Willip.
The Queen (or King), if she derives her title through marriage and not by investiture as sovereign, is also referred to as the Royal Consort. Knights created by the Queen are thus known as Consort Knights. The Queen usually grants purely honorific knighthoods, rare as they are. It is not unusual for Furyondians to see all Consort Knights as a type of “second class” knighthood and Consort Knights often seek out a second knighting or advancement within an Order of Knighthood to avoid this inaccurate perception.
The Dauphin, once he or she is invested as royal heir and Baron of Willip, may also create knights. These knights are Knights of Willip. They are accorded as much honor as Knights of Willip created by the king.
The four dukes of Furyondy - Littleberg, Reach, Gold Country and Kalinstren - are the only others who may create knights. The knights so created will be knights of the duchy where they were created. They are considered full peers of any knight created by the king, dauphin or queen.
Once a knight is created, he or she owes feudal service to the noble who performed the knighting ceremony. This service usually entails military support. A knighthood may or may not carry with it a grant of land. If a grant of land is given, the landed knight additionally owes his or her liege taxes and a feudal levy from the peasantry or yeomen in times of war. Lastly, only knights and superior ranks of nobles may have coats of arms, also called armorial bearings, that may be displayed on their shields.
A grant of knighthood, also known as a simple patent of arms, does not automatically confer admittance to an Order of Knighthood. Orders of Knighthood are open to knights but not all knights choose to belong to, or are accepted by, an Order of Knighthood. Knights not belonging to an Order of Knighthood are called Knights of the Company of the noble who created them a knight. Thus, a knight not belonging to any order might be Knight of the Company of the King, or Knight of the Company of the Duke of the Reach or so forth.
Orders of Knighthood will be discussed in separate articles.
The prestige class presented below describes the basic or standard knight who has yet to join an Order of Knighthood. This prestige class is unusual in that once it is taken the character must take the first three levels in the prestige class before they can gain levels in any other class or prestige class. Knighthood is a commitment, not just a hollow honor, and accepting the accolade carries with it responsibilities - three levels of the Knight of Furyondy prestige class in responsibility, to be precise. The first level of the prestige class is gained when the PC is knighted, whether or not the character would otherwise level at that time. Of course, DMs may arrange things so that the character would level upon being knighted, if they prefer.
If a character, once knighted, absolutely refuses to complete the second and third levels in the prestige class, the DM has several choices. The character can be immediately retired. The character may be declared a Knight Errant and will have to complete a quest to atone for their errant behavior before being allowed to take another level of the Knight of Furyondy prestige class, before being allowed to join an Order of Knighthood and before being allowed to take a level in any other martial class or prestige class (Fighter, Paladin, Ranger etc.), except Barbarian or a specifically “evil” class or prestige class. Finally, the PC might be declared an outlaw and hunted throughout Furyondy.
Any knight who breaks her vows of knighthood will be declared an outlaw and will hunted throughout Furyondy.
KNIGHT OF FURYONDY
The Knight of Furyondy is the lowest rank of nobility within the Kingdom of Furyondy. This rank can be attained by a commoner through deeds or by a noble through birthright. All knights owe their liege feudal duties of military service and land management, if given a grant of land. Only the king, queen, dauphin and the four dukes of Furyondy can create Knights of Furyondy.
The Knight of Furyondy is an honorable, armored combatant, who fights best from horseback.
Every Knight of Furyondy must adhere to the Furyondian Code of Chivalry -
(1) I will serve my liege, my King and my country in all things, acting as their true representative and knowing that my acts will reflect their judgment and honor.
(2) I will provide military service when asked and levies and taxes as lands granted me allow.
(3) I will be honorable in all my dealings, treating my superiors with courtesy and my inferiors with dignity.
(4) I will defend all from injustice and always see that justice and right prevail.
(5) My word is my bond. I will keep my word unto death and shall not fail to accomplish that which I have promised.
(6) I will have no truck with Iuz or his kind and shall oppose him and his like at every turn.
(7) I will bring harm unto no one who has not sought to first do the innocent, myself, my liege, my King, or my country harm.
(8) I will conduct myself with nobility, grace and intelligence that I shall always set the example.
(9) I shall not turn away from my duties for convenience or personal gain or desire until my duties are complete.
(10) I shall atone for any wrongs I commit, misjudgments or failures to uphold my duty and this Code of Chivalry lest I be declared outlaw and scourged.
Hit Die: d10
To qualify to become a Knight of Furyondy, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +8
Feats: Mounted Combat, Armor Proficiency, Martial Weapon
All classes may take all skills equally. The limitation of skills to particular classes as described in the D&D rules is an example of poor game design by designers attempting to create complexity and “difference” between classes in an artificial way. The justification for the limitation fails to recognize the practical effect of poor skill selection and the limitation on skills points per class. It is unnecessary and will not be followed. Individual DMs may choose to add class skills if they choose to do so, of course.
Skill Points: 3 + Int Modifier
All of the following are class features of the Knight of Furyondy prestige class.
Armor Tolerance (Ex): When in their liege’s service beyond the manor, castle or city walls, the Knight of Furyondy practically lives in his or her armor. Over time, the knight develops greater ease and comfort in his or her armor. The Knight of Furyondy adds the listed Armor Tolerance bonus to the armor penalty and maximum Dexterity modifier of any armor he or she wears. Armor tolerance increases by a single point each level. See the table below for a listing.
Aura of Knighthood (Ex): Knights are members of the nobility, carry the mandate of their liege and are renowned and respected for their deeds. This is reflected in an Aura of Knighthood. Knights of Furyondy apply the listed bonus at 1st, 3rd and 5th Level to all Intimidation checks, all checks to avoid being intimidated and all Will saves.
Unhorse (Ex): The bread and butter attack of a knight is the mounted charge with a lance. At 1st-level and thereafter, when a Knight of Furyondy charges on horseback and successfully hits a mounted opponent with his or her lance, in addition to taking damage, that opponent is immediately unhorsed, taken off his or her mount and rendered prone for that round and the following round, unless the opponent makes a successful Ride check (DC 20).
Shield of Valor (Ex): A knight learns to use his or her shield to maximum effect. At 2nd-level and thereafter, when employing any shield, a Knight of Furyondy adds +1 to the Armor Bonus of the shield and adds +1 to any Reflex save to avoid or reduce physical damage from directed spells, spell-like abilities and breath weapons. Damage from gaseous attacks and mental attacks do not trigger the bonus to Reflex save.
Power Charge (Ex): Once per day, the Knight of Furyondy when charging on horseback with a lance may initiate a Power Charge, pushing himself and his mount to the utmost of their ability. All damage from the charge attack with the lance is doubled. If a critical hit is scored, that damage is also doubled. If a Power Charge fails to hit, its use is lost for the day.
Single Combat (Ex): The essence of honorable combat is a single knight against a single opponent in a test of martial prowess. At 4th-level and thereafter, a Knight of Furyondy engaged in combat with an opponent who is another knight, Fighter, Barbarian, Paladin or Ranger, or any other fighter-type may declare a Single Combat. Once Single Combat is declared, the Knight of Furyondy and his opponent are immune from all spell effects cast by others for the duration of the combat, until either the Knight of Furyondy or his opponent dies, is rendered incapable of continuing to fight or yields. Other combatants may not physically assist either the Knight of Furyondy or his opponent (e.g. firing arrows into melee or physically attacking with a melee weapon). The effects of Single Combat stack with the effects of the Duel feat. The Knight of Furyondy must accept any offer to yield once Single Combat has been declared. An opponent who yields will allow himself to be taken immediate prisoner or, at the Knight of Furyondy’s discretion, will quit the field of battle. These same effects apply if the Knight of Furyondy yields.
Terrifying Charge (Ex): At 5th-level, a Knight of Furyondy can declare a Power Charge twice each day, rather than once. In addition, once each day, the Knight of Furyondy can declare a Terrifying Charge that strikes fear into his opponents. A Terrifying Charge functions exactly like a Power Charge but effects all those who oppose the Knight of Furyondy as per a Fear spell cast by a 20th-level Wizard.
Knight of Furyondy
Aura of Knighthood +1,
Armor of Tolerance +1
|2nd||+2||+2||+0||+0||Shield of Valor,|
Armor Tolerance +2
|3rd||+3||+2||+1||+1||Power Charge 1/day,|
Aura of Knighthood +2,
Armor Tolerance +3
Armor Tolerance +4
Aura of Knighthood +3,
Armor Tolerance +5
This article uses aspects of the Furyondy Reforged background submitted to Canonfire by myself.