The Blackguard

“I was once like you. So full of hope. But the world doesn’t reward hope, pup.” - Torgar, human Blackguard

A Blackguard is usually a Paladin who has not only fallen from grace, but become what he once fought. Whether they made a conscious choice to turn from the path of good or were slowly corrupted, Blackguards are some of the most vile foes a mortal will face.

Table: The Blackguard
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Spellcasting
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Aura of Evil, Dark Blessing +1 level of Paladin
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Unholy Gift +1 level of Paladin
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 +1 level of Paladin
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 +1 level of Paladin
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Unholy Gift +1 level of Paladin
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 +1 level of Paladin
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 +1 level of Paladin
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 Unholy Gift +1 level of Paladin
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 +1 level of Paladin
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 +1 level of Paladin
11th +11 +7 +3 +3 Unholy Gift +1 level of Paladin
12th +12 +8 +4 +4 +1 level of Paladin
13th +13 +8 +4 +4 +1 level of Paladin
14th +14 +9 +4 +4 Unholy Gift +1 level of Paladin

Hit Die: d10

Requirements: To qualify to become a Blackguard, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any evil.

Base Attack Bonus: +6

Skills: Intimidate 9 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks.

Feat: Power Attack

Class Skills The Blackguard’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at each additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are Class Features of the Blackguard prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Blackguards are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor, and with shields.

Spellcasting: When a new Blackguard level is gained, the character gains spell points per day, an increase in caster level, spells known and maximum available spell level as if he had also gained a level in the Paladin class. However, instead of using the Paladin spell list, a Blackguard uses the Blackguard spell list, and does not receive the Cure Minor Wounds spell as a bonus spell known. A character with no Paladin levels starts gaining spellcasting as a 1st level Paladin (but again, using the Blackguard spell list, and without the Cure Minor Wounds spell as a bonus spell known). See also the Dark Blessing class feature, below.

Aura of Evil At will, as a free action, a Blackguard can project an unholy aura. While the aura is active, the Blackguard gains a +4 profane bonus on Intimidate checks, and a -4 penalty on Diplomacy checks. All sapient creatures become instinctively aware of the Blackguard’s evil alignment while the aura is active. The Blackguard can project this aura indefinitely, or until he dismisses it (another free action).

Dark BlessingThe alignment requirements of the Blackguard class are incompatible with those of the Paladin class, requiring a Paladin entrant to become an Ex-Paladin. However, the malignant powers that support Blackguards are fully capable of restoring a fallen Paladin’s prowess. This has the following consequences:

  • All spells a Paladin entrant knows as a Paladin must be switched out for Blackguard spells of the same level, except for those spells that appear on both the Paladin and Blackguard lists. The Cure Minor Wounds spell is lost, with no replacement.

  • All Holy Gifts other than Additional Feats selected by a Paladin entrant must be switched out for Unholy Gifts (see below).

  • A Paladin entrant’s Smite and Divine Grace abilities are re-activated, using a sum of the character’s Blackguard and Ex-Paladin levels to calculate the appropriate bonuses. A Blackguard’s Divine Grace is usually referred to as Dark Grace.

Unholy GiftAt 2nd level, and at every third level beyond that (5th, 8th, 11th, and 14th), the dark powers the Blackguard serves reward him with a gift of new abilities. Unless otherwise noted, a gift can only be selected once. Some gifts have specific prerequisites.

Additional Feat: You gain a bonus feat from the list of feats noted as Fighter bonus feats. This gift may be selected more than once.

Aura of Despair (Su): A Blackguard with this gift radiates a malign aura that causes enemies within 10 feet of him to take a -2 penalty on all saving throws. This is a supernatural ability that functions continuously. You must be a 2nd-level Blackguard to select this gift.

Brutal Smite (Su): Your contempt toward the weak augments your smites against them with dark power, making them especially horrifying. When you perform a smite attack against a good creature, it must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1 / 2 your HD + your Charisma modifier) or be nauseated by pain for 1 round. You must have the Smite ability and be a 2nd-level Blackguard to select this gift.

Fiendish Mount You gain the service of a hellish animal. See the Fiendish Mount creature description. You must be a 5th-level Blackguard to select this gift.

Having this Gift counts as having a .

Frightful Presence (Ex): The very presence of a Blackguard with this gift is unsettling to his foes. It takes effect automatically when you charge, make a full attack, or cast a spell. Opponents within 30 feet who witness the action are shaken for 1 minute. This ability affects only opponents with fewer Hit Dice or levels than you have. An affected opponent can resist the effects with a successful Will save (DC 10 + 1 / 2 your HD + your Charisma modifier). An opponent that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to your frightful presence for 24 hours.

Master of Fear (Su): A Blackguard with this gift is a master in every form of intimidation, capable of shaking even creatures to whom the feeling is alien. Your Fear spells and demoralize attempts can affect creatures normally immune to fear. The creatures’ other defenses (such as saving throws) work normally. This is a supernatural ability activated as part of the activity in question. You must be a 5th-level Blackguard to select this gift.

No Mercy (Ex): You know how to strike when your opponent is at his most vulnerable. You may add your sneak attack damage when attacking a target that is prone, even if the attack would not otherwise qualify for sneak attack. You must have the sneak attack ability to select this gift.

Pale Knight (Ex): Though associating with the forces of darkness has taken a toll on your body, it has numbed you to some of their most debilitating attacks. A Blackguard with this gift gains immunity to energy drain and negative levels.

Insect Plague (Sp): You are the dark powers’ chosen instrument of doom. Once per day, you can use Insect Plague as a spell-like ability. Caster level equals the sum of your Blackguard level and your Ex-Paladin level. You must be a 11th-level Blackguard to select this gift.

Poison Use (Ex): A Blackguard with this gift never risks accidentally poisoning himself when applying poison to a weapon or using a poisoned weapon.

Sneak Attack: This gift functions as the Rogue class feature of the same name. The extra damage is +2d6. This qualifies as the Sneak Attack class feature for the purposes of meeting prerequisites. If a Blackguard gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack. This gift may be selected a total number of times equal to your character level divided by four, increasing the damage by +2d6 each additional time it is taken.

Unholy Toughness (Ex): Being constantly suffused with dark energies has forced your body to develop unusual resilience. You gain damage reduction equal to one-half your Blackguard level, minimum 1 (if you have Ex-Paladin levels, use the sum of your Blackguard levels and Ex-Paladin levels instead). This damage reduction is overcome by good-aligned weapons.


A Blackguard who changes to a nonevil alignment cannot advance further as a Blackguard, although he retains all Blackguard class features.

Blackguard Spell List

1st-Level Blackguard Spells

2nd-Level Blackguard Spells

  • Align Water*: Vial of water is imbued with the power of an alignment.

  • Blindness: Negates one of the subject’s senses.

  • Command Undead: Undead creature obeys your commands.

  • Darkvision: See 30 ft. in total darkness.

  • False Life: Gain 1d10 temporary hp.

  • Death Knell: Kill dying creature and gain 1d8 temporary hp, and +2 to Str and your key ability score.

  • Ghoul Touch: Paralyzes one subject, which exudes stench that makes those nearby sickened.

  • Lion’s Charge*: You can make full attack in same round you charge.

  • Mask Alignment: Protects subject’s alignment from being revealed via divinations.

  • Resistance: Grants a Resistance bonus on saving throws.

  • Resist Energy: Ignores first 10 (or more) points of damage/attack from specified energy type.

  • Strike of Pain*: Attack deals additional damage, and sneak attack damage if you have it.

  • Wombat’s Boost: Subject gains +4 to an ability score for 1 min./level.

3rd-Level Blackguard Spells

4th-Level Blackguard Spells

5th-Level Blackguard Spells

6th-Level Blackguard Spells