What is the ideal class for a Knight?


Advice


Hey all, starting a level 10 game shortly and I am interested in making a Knightly character. This GM is all about intrigue and politics with a mix of exotic enemies that no one has ever heard of.

I have a few major goals for this character though.
-Heavy or Heavier Medium armor
-Uses martial or exotic weapons
-Full or 3/4 BAB
-Charisma is NOT a dump stat
-Trained in Diplomacy and has the Leadership Feat

It sounds like cavalier or paladin to me but I'm unsure. I'm not a fan of Lawful Good stricture


If you're not a fan of Lawful Good, then Cavalier is hands-down the best option you've got for meeting those criteria. They can be any alignment, have heavy armor, full BAB, make use of Charisma, and have the best mounts in the game built-in unless you traded it out for something.


Cavalier for sure.
The Daring Champion I've been told is fantastic.


The Daring Champion Cavalier is basically made for this character concept, yes. The Order of the Lion is likely suitable to your needs.


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Cavalier.

This is exactly what it's for.

A lot of people will complain about the mount as a class feature, but A) it's not that bad, and B) that is literally what distinguishes a knight.

Sovereign Court

If you don't want to be as mount focused and/or don't want as much of a code - you could go for a Ronin Samurai. The Ronin's challenge ability is weak - but the level 2 & 8 abilities are great. And for Ronin - you make up your own code.

Also - I like Samurai because of the Resolve basically shoring up your will save. And it doesn't lose much when not mounted. (Though it does frustrate me that it has some abilities aimed at being an awesome horse archer - but Challenge doesn't work for ranged attacks - and Samurai can't pick up the cavalier archetype which lets it work at range.)


Kobold adept 2/warrior 1/sorcerer ?/Eldritch Knight. Adept plus warrior gives you trained in Diplomacy and you get a familiar. Make it a Mauler archetype, take Boon Companion as one of your feats, and then have it be a fox. At will after 3rd level it can transform into a medium size mount for you (battle form) which also gives it a +2 Str adjustment on top of going from Tiny to Small size.

Now you've got a kobold riding a bonded canine of medium size. Warrior gives you some of the BAB you want and the armor choices. I forget what spells you need to be able to cast as an Eldritch Knight but once you hit that PrC you've got the BAB back and the word Knight is is n the title. I don't know about the Leadership feat but you could just take the feat.

Grand Lodge

Mount reduces your Leadership score. They can also be a hassle to actually have around all the time, especially in an intrigue/politics game. Fortunately, Daring Champion trades it away for some face smashing.


What is a knight? The majority of my fictive reading on the age of chivalry comes from Malory's Le Morte d'Arther, but in that single expansive tomb, almost every character is a knight, and let me tell you that they run the entire spectrum of what could be considered a knight.

Obviously, the paladin represents the knightly ideal, and cavalier represents many others. However, You could play a rogue with a single level of fighter or ranger and call yourself a knight if you wanted to. Get yourself proficient in heavy armor and martial weapons, get some social skills as class skills, and make sure sure your Charisma modifier is positive. That covers what you require in your first post, correct? You could pick any classes you like that can keep up in melee combat.

Grand Lodge

Swashbuckler is my choice. Yes they are more Dex Based then the "normal" Tin Can warrior, however, there is no rule you must use it. Plus, CHA is for more then social skills for them.


I have a fighter/cavalier, that seldom uses a lance..and is plenty useful in RP heavy and non combat situations..and my mount never interferes with intrigue/diplomacy..she is safe in the stables..lol

Shadow Lodge

Knights of The Inner Sea has some great infomation in it including build concepts, check it out.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ciaran Barnes wrote:

What is a knight? The majority of my fictive reading on the age of chivalry comes from Malory's Le Morte d'Arther, but in that single expansive tomb, almost every character is a knight, and let me tell you that they run the entire spectrum of what could be considered a knight.

But only Lancelot and Galahad would be considered Paladins, and Lancelot loses his Paladinhood for his affair with the Lady Elaine. One might say that eventually he retrains his Ex-Paladin levels for Fighter, as he becomes even deadlier in warfare afterwards.

Silver Crusade

LazarX wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:

What is a knight? The majority of my fictive reading on the age of chivalry comes from Malory's Le Morte d'Arther, but in that single expansive tomb, almost every character is a knight, and let me tell you that they run the entire spectrum of what could be considered a knight.

But only Lancelot and Galahad would be considered Paladins, and Lancelot loses his Paladinhood for his affair with the Lady Elaine. One might say that eventually he retrains his Ex-Paladin levels for Fighter, as he becomes even deadlier in warfare afterwards.

Percival probably qualifies, and an argument can certainly be made for Gawain too.

But yeah, cavalier is from the same etymology as Chevalier and Caballero - words in French and English for knight...


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Cavalier: Mounted Knight
-Think Knights of King Arthur's Court

War Priest: Religious Knight
-Think of Knights charged to protect Holy Orders

Paladin: Holy Knight
-Think of Crusaders like the Knights Templar and other such orders

Fighter: Knight Knight
-Your Standard Warrior of a Knight

Ranger: Forest Knight
-The Knight that helps people through the forests/Sands/other terrain

Magus: Magic Knight
-The Knight that uses magic

Hunter: Animal Knight
-The Knight that fights together with his/her steed

Swashbuckler: Fancy Knight
-The Knight that fights fancily, think the three musketeers

Honestly, the Knight is merely a concept that many classes can fulfill. You have to decide what kind of knight you want to play as, and what fits your character best. Are they a Mounted force that challenges and charges enemies? Do they fight against Evil? Do they fight with their Mount? Do they help travelers on their way?

etc etc etc


Every Cavalier archetype works well as a knight.

Mount ONLY affects your ability to attract a Cohort, not followers; and you can always choose not to have a mount, and get a Cohort mount instead without the level penalty.

Mounted combat was traditionally the specialty of knights all over the world throughout history, and there's a reason—a level 10 cavalier can charge for hundreds of damage per round, while giving your allies massive bonuses to hit on charges as well (with the Human favored class bonus, you and all your allies get +4 to hit on every charge).

I've heard Daring Champion talked up to death, and it's okay if you plan to be on foot all the time. But some of the other orders are not bad, and Beast Rider is amazing if you have the opportunity to stay mounted most of the time (you can ride a rhinoceros, or a giant elk like Thranduil in the Hobbit films), etc.

Order of the Sword and Order of the Shield are also appropriately knightly orders... but really, they're all nightly.

A Fighter isn't your standard night; they get a lot less social skills and training in tactics, but might be appropriate as a sort of highly-skilled Man-of-Arms who has risen to a position of power.


Uncle Ook wrote:


Percival probably qualifies, and an argument can certainly be made for Gawain too.

That depends on which Gawain we are talking about! Malory's Gawain was loyal to his family (Arthur's family), but was hardly a good guy. He did some some pretty terrible things in the name of righting percieved wrongs. Troubled but not evil, brave but not heroic. He might have had a redemption towards the end though.

Of course, he is quite heroic in other sources.


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Think about what makes a knight a knight. Is it the armor? The courtly knowledge and intrigue? Is it a simple title like modern Britain? It is the classic sword and board, or should a knight be well versed in many a weapon as well as fisticuffs?

Many classes can fill the role of a knight; dont let the current pathfinder fluff sway the type of character you want, but look at the mechanics different classes have to offer and see if they can help you fill the role in fun and unique ways. A ranger could easily be sword and board, with a battle horse as a special friend for the classic knight on a horse.

With armor casting feats, you could even make a wizard a knight! High knowledge skills for the court, arcane armor for spell casting while in full plate (high enough for mithril armor to reduce those penalties); and plenty of spells and buffs to up your melee combat. Imagine the surprise on your enemy's face when they find you even more powerful out of armor than in it!

Now I'm thinking of creating an illusionist who uses illusion spells to make him look like he's in armor, but he really isn't (for that courtly respect).

Or how about a character who plays the squire? The knight is your cohort (and kind of dumb; you're the real leader) and the one who dresses up in armor, meanwhile you have complete access to the servant class who have the real knowledge and all the behind the scene access. Also, "higher" class people often forget that they're in the presence of servants and freely talk in from of them.


Here're basically what you could say some of the Knights of the Round Table are; it's a little tricky in some cases, since they generally are very bland in their descriptions if they aren't one of the Big Four of Arthur, Gawain, Lancelot, and Galahad, but this should give you an idea of how varied a "Knight" can be:

Arthur: Strategist Cavalier + Exemplar Brawler + Battle Herald
Gawain: Invulnerable Rager Barbarian
Lancelot: Holy Tactician Divine Defender Warrior of the Holy Light Paladin
Galahad: Empyreal Knight Paladin
Bedivere: Honor Guard Cavalier
Kay: Martial Master Fighter
Dinadan: Daring Champion Cavalier
Tristan: Hooded Champion Trapper Ranger (lv2) + Luring Cavalier (due in large part to his bow, Fail-Not)
Ector: Cavalier
Percival: Holy Guide Temple Champion Paladin
Bors the Younger: Warrior of Holy Light Paladin
Gaheris: Skirmisher Ranger (Weapon and Shield)
Gareth: Divine Tracker Trapper Ranger
Agravain: Fighter
Gingalain: Guide Skirmisher Ranger (Weapon and Shield)


Thanks everyone for your opinions!

Shadow Lodge

A Cleric can make a really good knight as well. That's actually what the class was partially based on, the holy warrior.


Here is a LINK to a thread where a forum member wrote out a bunch of Arthurian knights. They're probably higher level than you had in mind, but it may be helpful.


Cavalier is the go to build for the knight concept but I think that starting at level 10 you might be better served for the mounted knight concept with a ranger using the mounted combat style in a purely mechanical sense. There are thing like earlier mounted skirmisher (level 14 for a cavalier, level 10 for a ranger) which makes the ranger a better choice. It might also be worthwhile to take a look at the cavalier alternate class, the samurai.


I suspect the best answer is "That depends"

If you want to be the group's "The Knight" cavalier, paladin or antipaladin is the way to go.

If combat isn't that heavy, and you want to subvert the theme a little, something like a first-level dip of a class with knight-appropriate skills and proficiencies followed by whatever class you darn well like can work out just fine.

Cavalier 1/Rogue or Slayer X works out for someone who fights dirty.

Fighter 1/Cleric X, or just Warpriest, will give your character a divine bent to him.

Cavalier/Barbarian could also work out just fine.

Monks get diplomacy, Sohei adds mount goodies and the ability to flurry in all kinds of armor, and eventually with other kinds of weapons, so Fighter or Cavalier 1/Sohei Monk X can be pretty fun. Also good for an unarmed brawl, if pressed.

Daring Champion Cavalier X has been mentioned before, but may not be to your taste. I personally find dex-based fighting a little too 'fancy' for my knights. Of course, the 'rapier, high strength and full plate' swashbuckler has been a thing since the playtest, and you can use Daring Champion to make that work quite well indeed.

What else is there? Ranger has been mentioned, and I quite agree, even though it's probably not what you're after here.

Maybe your knight has an interest in alchemy? I'm grasping at straws here, but Cavalier 1/Alchemist X.

Eldritch scion magus with diplomacy from a trait is a way to do it, too.

Which reminds me, don't forget that you can get class skills from traits, if your campaign uses those.

The Exchange

Haveatya wrote:

...starting a level 10 game shortly and I am interested in making a Knightly character. This GM is all about intrigue and politics with a mix of exotic enemies that no one has ever heard of.

I have a few major goals for this character though.
-Heavy or Heavier Medium armor
-Uses martial or exotic weapons
-Full or 3/4 BAB
-Charisma is NOT a dump stat
-Trained in Diplomacy and has the Leadership Feat

It sounds like cavalier or paladin to me but I'm unsure. I'm not a fan of Lawful Good stricture

I'm a cavalier fan, but they've already been talked to death, so I'll suggest a couple alternatives. For a crusader-type, I recommend Fighter 3 / Inquisitor 7: for a gallant, reverse that to Fighter 7 / Bard 3.

That crusading knight build boosts your Will save and puts you in line for the too-good-to-miss Armor Training and Bane abilities. The gallant knight build focuses more on martial abilities and puts Weapon Training, Versatile Performance and the lower-level Bardic Performance abilities in one package. Not much point in going higher with Bard - arcane spell failure is an issue. In either case you end up easily able to invest in Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Stealth, and the Knowledge skills that seem likely to turn up a lot in the campaign you describe.

Shadow Lodge

Personally, I find that Cavaliers make particularly terrible knights, but it really depends on exactly what you mean by knight. Cavaliers are good at mounted warrior, but not terribly effective outside of that. Not terrible, just not better enough to make it worthwhile, in my opinion.

A Fighter with a decent Cha tends to do a better job, if they can take a Trait or two for Diplomacy+. Heavy armor mobility I find better than most Mounted Combat perks combined, just because the Cavalier's mounted specialty is not particularly a common circumstance for many fights.


Depends on what you depict as a "knight"
Protect of the throne? Bringer of peace? Protector of the People? Leader? Valiant Sword?
The way I see a knight is much like the real-life, non-fantastical ones, such as from Game of Thrones. Noble mostly, but not always. Chivalry is what defines a "knight" but even such a code can change definition.
If you want a Chivalrous and Religious warrior, you don't need to be a paladin (makes no sense since knights aren't usually known for casting any kind of spell). You only need to be good-aligned and pick a deity to worship.
I constantly see people saying Cavalier make the best knights. This is rather inaccurate. A Cavalier is what it is. Cavalry. Yes Knights are in the cavalry but those are knight who specialize in mounted combat, not every knight is skilled at mounted combat. Any class CAN fight while mounted, just some are better than others, as well there are feats you can take to reduce the penalties.
IMHO the best and most suitable class for the generic and popularized knight is the Fighter class. It's the only class that improves both weapon and armor use, as well as opens up availability for feats that really evolve the combat prowess and specialization they have with their weapon groups.


If you don't want a mount, and are willing to settle with medium armor, and you are okay with a knight that's a bit off-beat, Huntmaster Cavalier gets you a full-level dog or bird Animal Companion (you can split up your Animal Companion levels to get more later, or stick with one), and also gives you proficiency with the whip and net.

As for Ronin (that somebody suggested above), you can also use this with a non-Samurai Cavalier, but the name changes to Knight Errant.

Magus and a couple of Bard archetypes (Eldritch Knight replacements that are usually more interesting) also eventually get heavy armor, although you have to go up many levels before getting that.

Prestige classes offer a more, uh, prestigious type of knight:

Depending upon your alignment and more specific inclinations, let's not forget Hellknights (2 varieties of them -- 1 full martial and 1 spellcaster). Other knightly prestige classes are Chevalier (this one's inherently a 3 level dip), Knight of Ozem (unfortunately, no Wizard of Ozem to go with this), and 2 divisions of Eagle Knight (Golden Legionnaire and Steel Falcon -- Eagle Knights actually have 3 divisions, but one of them doesn't correspond to a currently released prestige class].


You know, surprisingly little of the fantasy 'knight' art I've seen involves full plates. Stuff like this isn't really popular for some reason.

It isn't full plate if you aren't wearing a helmet.

In most cases, people probably imagine their characters in breastplate, I'd think.


I actually found this in my archives.


"Devil's Advocate" wrote:

Personally, I find that Cavaliers make particularly terrible knights, but it really depends on exactly what you mean by knight. Cavaliers are good at mounted warrior, but not terribly effective outside of that. Not terrible, just not better enough to make it worthwhile, in my opinion.

A Fighter with a decent Cha tends to do a better job, if they can take a Trait or two for Diplomacy+. Heavy armor mobility I find better than most Mounted Combat perks combined, just because the Cavalier's mounted specialty is not particularly a common circumstance for many fights.

While one could argue that much of what makes an archetypal medieval knight is his mount, the Daring Champion is plenty suitable for people who want to play without one.

The Dragon wrote:

You know, surprisingly little of the fantasy 'knight' art I've seen involves full plates. Stuff like this isn't really popular for some reason.

It isn't full plate if you aren't wearing a helmet.

In most cases, people probably imagine their characters in breastplate, I'd think.

From what I've seen, full plate wearers in popular media are usually villains. I think it's partly a David vs. Goliath thing, and partly a "what's the point in having a sexy hero if the viewers can't see his sexy face" thing.


When I think of a knight, I think of a person who dedicates them self to a cause, ideal, or person. All of this requires great discipline and determination to stick by it.

In pathfinder, this is usually represented by the lawful alignment, Cavaliers and their orders, and Paladins and their convictions.

However, I do like this mentality when it comes to it:

ShroudedInLight wrote:

Cavalier: Mounted Knight

-Think Knights of King Arthur's Court

War Priest: Religious Knight
-Think of Knights charged to protect Holy Orders

Paladin: Holy Knight
-Think of Crusaders like the Knights Templar and other such orders

Fighter: Knight Knight
-Your Standard Warrior of a Knight

Ranger: Forest Knight
-The Knight that helps people through the forests/Sands/other terrain

Magus: Magic Knight
-The Knight that uses magic

Hunter: Animal Knight
-The Knight that fights together with his/her steed

Swashbuckler: Fancy Knight
-The Knight that fights fancily, think the three musketeers

Honestly, the Knight is merely a concept that many classes can fulfill. You have to decide what kind of knight you want to play as, and what fits your character best. Are they a Mounted force that challenges and charges enemies? Do they fight against Evil? Do they fight with their Mount? Do they help travelers on their way?

etc etc etc

My Favorite "Knight" is one that represents Law to its fullest extent. A Fighter (or Cavalier) and Hell knight combo.

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