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Shadows veil what lurks within the dark, imposing armor of this figure, though two piercing eyes gaze from its closed visor.
Undying tyrants and eternal champions of the Undead, graveknights arise from the corpses of the most nefarious warlords and disgraced heroes—villains too merciless to submit to the shackles of death. They bear the same Weapons and regalia they did in life, though warped or empowered by their profane Resurrection. The legions they once held also flock to them in death, ready to serve their wicked ambitions once more. A graveknight's essence is fundamentally tied to its armor, the bloodstained trappings of its battle lust. This armor becomes an icon of its perverse natures, transforming into a monstrous second skin over the husk of desiccated flesh and scarred bone locked within.
“Graveknight” is an acquired template that can be added to any living Creature with 5 or more Hit Dice (referred to hereafter as the base creature). Most graveknights were once humanoids. A graveknight uses the base creature's statistics and abilities except as noted here.
CR: Same as base Creature +2.
Alignment: Any evil.
Senses: A graveknight gains Darkvision 60 ft.
Aura: A graveknight emanates the following aura.
Sacrilegious Aura (Su): A graveknight constantly exudes an aura of intense evil and negative energy in a 30-foot radius. This aura functions as the spell Desecrate and uses the graveknight's armor as an altar of sorts to double the effects granted. The graveknight constantly gains the benefits of this effect (including the bonus Hit Points, as this aura is part of the graveknight's creation). In addition, this miasma of fell energies hinders the channeling of positive energy. Any Creature that attempts to Summon positive energy in this area—such as through a cleric's channel energy ability, a paladin's lay on hands, or any spell with the Healing subtype—must make a Concentration Check with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the graveknight's Hit Dice + the graveknight's Charisma modifier. If the character fails, the effect is expended but does not function.
Armor Class: Natural armor improves by +4.
Defensive Abilities: A graveknight gains Channel Resistance +4; DR 10/magic; and Immunity to cold, electricity, and any additional energy type noted by its ruinous revivification special quality. A graveknight also gains Spell Resistance equal to its Augmented CR + 11.
The graveknight also gains the following ability.
A graveknight can control 5 Hit Dice of Undead creatures for every Hit Die it has. If the graveknight exceeds this number, the excess from earlier uses of the ability becomes uncontrolled, as per Animate Dead.
Special Qualities: A graveknight gains the following.
In death, the graveknight's life force lingers on in its armor, not its corpse, in much the same way that a lich's essence is bound within a phylactery. Unless every part of a graveknight's armor is ruined along with its body, a graveknight can rejuvenate after it is destroyed. A typical suit of Full Plate graveknight armor has hardness 10 and 45 Hit Points, though armor with enhancements or made of Special Materials proves more difficult to destroy. Merely breaking a graveknight's armor does not destroy it; it must be ruined, such as by being disintegrated, taken to the Positive Energy Plane, or thrown into the heart of a volcano.