Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any Warrior
- Ability Requirements: Stamina 15, Balance 15, Fitness 15, Knowledge 10, Intuition 10
- Alignments: Good
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: Jousting Lance (specialized)
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: Lance (any other), Sword (any)
- Allowed Weapons: By class
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Social
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Etiquette, Jousting, Land-based Riding
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Animal Training, Armorer, Blind-Fighting, Bureaucracy, Dancing, Endurance, Heraldry, Law, Literacy, Local History, Modern Languages, Musical Instrument, Oratory, Weaponsmithing
- Forbidden Proficiencies: Dirty Fighting, Natural Fighting, Street Fighting, Wild Fighting
Overview: The Cavalier is the ultimate mounted warrior of civilized cultures, especially those of Middle Ages technology and outlook. In a campaign, he’s the shining knight who leads his fellows on an eternal quest for truth, justice, and the elimination of evil. To the world at large, he’s a mighty hero. To his friends and allies, he’s a staunch friend, a tireless cheerleader, and often an overenthusiastic pain in the neck. The Cavalier resembles the Noble in that both are noblemen warriors, but the Noble is primarily interested in defending the rights and maintaining the status quo of his social class, while the Cavalier pursues loftier goals.
Description: The cavalier is every inch the shining knight. They were the best armor money can buy, maintain an immaculate appearance, are unfailingly courteous, and behave with dignity in all situations.
Role-Playing: In his own and similar cultures, the Cavalier is a mighty hero who has the respect of the majority of the population (the criminal classes and evil characters excepted). He has the good-will of the people (reflected as bonuses to his reaction rolls), but the people also make many demands of him: When there’s danger, when someone is in trouble, the people turn to the Cavalier for help. This character does not get much time for rest and relaxation.
A cavalier’s training begins at childhood and continues throughout his career. He acquires new duties and responsibilities as he rises through the ranks. Typically, a cavalier begins as an aide to a more experienced knight, undertakes missions for his liege as he grows in stature, and eventually aquires a stronghold of his own.
Because cavaliers of all ranks are considered part of the aristocracy, they command the respect afforded other members of the noble class. Tradition demands that cavalier remain apart from society; consequently, cavalier seldom socialize with anyone other than paladins or other cavaliers. Fully aware of their privileged status, cavalier carry themselves with pride. They maintain an immaculate appearance, are unfailingly courteous, and behave with dignity in all situations.
A cavalier of any level may join an adventuring party, assuming the party’s goals agree with those of the state. The cavalier’s companions will find him the consummate professional. As a friend, however, he may leave much to be desired; a cavalier often impresses others as vain and pretentious. More comfortable with taking orders than giving them, a cavalier rarely volunteers for leadership roles, though he dutifully assumes command if asked or assigned.
- The Cavalier starts play with a horse which he does not have to pay for. This will be either a heavy war horse, medium war horse, or light war horse (player’s choice). This horse will automatically be of Charger quality. If this horse dies, the Cavalier has to acquire himself another one through the usual means (buy one, be given one for noble deeds, etc.), but will not be content with any horse which is not a war horse of Charger quality.
- At 1st level, the cavalier gets a +1 to attack rolls with any lance for which he has proficiency, when using the lance from horseback. This improves +1 every six experience levels.
- At 3rd level, the cavalier gets a +1 to attack rolls with any one type of sword (his choice from among those he has proficiency with. This goes up +1 every six experience levels after third.
- At 5th level, he gets a +1 to attack rolls with either horseman’s mace, horseman’s flail, or horseman’s pick (his choice from among those he has proficiency with). This goes up +1 every six experience levels after fifth.
- The Cavalier is completely immune to fear effects and never checks morale. Because he is so brave, he inspires others to courage. All allies within a 10-ft. radius of the Cavalier never check morale (though they are still subject to magical fear).
- The Cavalier is +4 to save vs. all magic which would affect his mind (any spell listed under the immunities granted by an exceptional Wisdom score).
- The Cavalier receives a +3 reaction from anyone of his own culture (except criminals and characters of evil alignment, from whom he receives a –3).
- The Cavalier has the right to demand shelter. When he travels, he can demand shelter from anyone in his own nation who is of status lower than nobility. And most people of his own status or higher will be happy to offer him shelter when he is travelling.
- The Cavalier must spend his initial gold on at least two weapons, including one lance and one sword, and must then buy the most expensive set of armor he can still afford. After those expenditures, whatever remains of his gold can be spent on items of his choice.
- He must always have the highest-quality armor he can afford. As he goes through his early experience levels, if he has the money, he’ll constantly be selling his old armor and buying the next most protective set of armor. His goal is to have a set of full plate armor; the next step down from that is field plate, then plate mail, then bronze plate mail, then banded or splint, then chain, then scale or brigandine, then ring or studded. And to him, magic bonuses don’t mean as much as the type of armor: He prefers a suit of ordinary field plate to a set of banded mail +5. The DM must rigorously enforce this limitation on the character if the player is inclined to ignore it.
- The Cavalier cannot attack an opponent at range if he can instead charge ahead and attack him in melee or jousting combat. Therefore, he cannot snipe on enemies with a bow or crossbow; he cannot use a polearm from behind a shield wall. He has to be on the front line, meeting his foes face-to-face. (A Cavalier could conceivably shoot an opponent with an arrow to stop that opponent from killing an innocent person; that doesn’t constitute a violation of his code. But he couldn’t shoot the enemy to protect a friend if his friend is fighting that enemy honorably…even if his friend is losing.)
- In any combat, the Cavalier must attack the enemy who is the biggest and most powerful-looking. If he’s held up by lesser troops, he must dispatch them as quickly as possible and then get to his “real” opponent.
- The Cavalier must also follow the very strict Code of Chivalry. The first time he breaks his vows, the DM will warn the player that the Cavalier feels bad about violating his code. The second time he breaks his vows, the Cavalier loses all his special benefits until such time as he repents and undertakes a dangerous task to redeem himself. When performing this task, he must behave according to his code and his hindrances. Only when the task is successfully accomplished does he regain his benefits. If the Cavalier breaks his vow a third time without repenting and undertaking that task, he has abandoned his Cavalier kit. He permanently loses all the special benefits of the Kit. He no longer has to obey his knightly code. He receives a permanent –3 reaction adjustment from all members of his own culture (even those who do not know of his past will be put off by the air of treachery and faithlessness that now haunts the man).
His code includes these rules:
- He must cheerfully perform any noble service or quest asked of him.
- He must defend, to the death, any person or item placed in his charge.
- He must show courage and enterprise when obeying his rulers.
- He must show respect for all peers and equals
- He must honor all those above his station (his social class)
- He must demand respect and obedience from those below his station
- He must scorn those who are lowly and ignoble (he will not help the ill-mannered, the coarse, the crude).
- He will not use equipment which is badly-made or inferior (He will fight on foot before riding a nag, etc.)
- He must perform military service to his lord whenever asked.
- He must show courtesy to all ladies (if the Cavalier is male). The converse is not true for female cavaliers.
- He must regard war as the flowering of chivalry, and a noble enterprise.
- He must regard battle as the test of manhood, and combat as glory.
- He must achieve personal glory in battle.
- He must slay all those who oppose his cause.
- He must choose death before dishonor.
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