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Paladin - Oath of the Bone

OATH OF THE BONE

Bone knights are Karrn patriots, living protectors who fight alongside the undead legions of their land. During the Last War, they provided tactical expertise and fine control to the legions of undead Kaius raised to defend his people. In postwar Karrnath, they serve as elite knights who travel abroad to complete missions that serve the greater glory of their king. They wear suits of bonecrafted armor that they create themselves and learn to harness the power of necromancy, turning hordes of undead into disciplined, even cunning, troops.

Tenets of Bones

Bone knights train in the armies of Karrnath and must swear oaths to the nation’s king. A handful of others are taught by the Order of the Emerald Claw, who first proposed the idea of knights shepherding the undead.

For the Fallen. Countless lives have perished over a century of war. Yet here you stand to lead them once more into battle. They died for Karrnath, you live to honor their sacrifice. Your purpose is to ensure that their fall was not for nothing. Peace is only but a small silent pause before the armies of the dead rise again to battle.

For the King and the Land. King Kaius is the ruler and savior of your kingdom. Protect him at all cost. Enforce his command upon the Land. Protect Karrnath. Reclaim all lost territory.

No Death, No Dishonor. Your service will never end, your oaths will last forever until the end of ages. In battle there is no retreat, there is no mercy for your enemies. Once you become a Bone Knight there will be no turning back. No death awaits you from now on. As the Bone March echoes in the battlefield your enemies will learn true fear.

The Art of Bonecrafting

Paladins of this Oath gather the bones of their fallen comrades and attach them to their armor and weapons for two reasons: to honor the fallen and to bring fear to their enemies. The prosses requires specific skill, both mandane and necromatic, taught only by the knights themselves.

The Knight must gather a specific amount of bones, which he can then forge onto his armor and weapons. This process can be used on any physical weapon or armor and takes 8 hours of effort, or can be incorporated into the forging of new weapons or armor without any significant delay in the construction process. The resulting equipment has a particularly menacing visage, and those that use them in combat sow fear in their enemies. A Bone Knight leading a battalion of Karrnathi undead is a sight that haunts the dreams of any warrior.

You gain proficiency to Intimidation while wearing armor or wielding weapons treated with Bonecrafting. If you are already proficient, your proficiency bonus for it is doubled instead.

When using Divine Smite with a weapon treated with Bonecrafting, the extra damage of the Divine Smite is necrotic instead of radiant.

Credit: Piero Macgowan

Oath Spells

You gain oath spells at the paladin levels listed.

Oath of the Bone Spells
Paladin Level Spells
3rd False Life, Inflict wounds
5th Ray of Enfeeblement, Summon Skeletal Steed*
9th Animate Dead, Vampiric Touch
13th Animate Karrnathi Dead*, Death Ward
17th Raise Dead, Antilife Shell
*: Found in page 4 of this document.

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Paladin - Oath of the Bone

Channel Divinity

When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.

Bone March. You can use your Channel Divinity to rally undead to your command. As an action, choose one zombie or skeleton within 30 feet of you that you can see. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be Charmed by you for 24 hours. While Charmed, the creature must obey your commands to the best of its abilities. Using Bone March on a creature already affected by it refreshes its duration to the full 24 hours without requiring a new saving throw. Additionaly you can use this Channel Divinity on undead created with Animate Dead to expand the duration of your control without casting the Spell again. Creatures whose Challenge Rating is equal or greater than your Paladin level are immune to this effect.

Arms of the Grave. You can use your Channel Divinity to imbue your bonecrafted armor or weapon with necrotic energy. As a bonus action, you choose one bonecrafted weapon you are wielding or one suit of bonecrafter armor you are wearing. If you select a weapon, it deals an extra 1d4 necrotic damage to any target it hits, for one minute. If you select a suit of armor, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage you receive from non-magical weapons while wearing that suit of armor is reduced by an amount equal to half of your Charisma modifier (rounded up, minimum 1), for one minute.

Master of the White Banner

At 7th level, all undead under your control have advantage on saving throws against being turned, and those within 10 feet of you gain a bonus to melee weapon damage rolls equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

Exoskeleton of Undeath

At 15th level, you learn how to expand the necromantic energies that dwell within bonecrafted armor to affect yourself. You can take one hour to perform a ritual that allows you to fuse a suit of bonecrafted armor on your body. This fused suit cannot be removed except by your death or the same ritual, but otherwise retains its traits. While fused with bonecrafted armor, you gain immunity the poisoned condition and resistance to poison and necrotic damage. Additionally you do not need to eat or drink.

Aspect of Death

At 20th level, you can assume the mantle of death and become a veritable Reaper on the Material Plane. Using your action, you slip away from the grasp of life to enter death's embrace. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

• Death Strike. When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a Bonecraft Weapon, you can reroll that die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2.

• Lord of the Dead. Undead creatures under your command are immune to effects that turn undead. Each undead creature that you can see within 60 feet of you at the beginning of your turn is subjected to the effects of Bone March.

• Death Denial. If damage reduces you to 0 hit points, you must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to the damage taken. On a success, you drop to 1 hit point instead.

Credit: Conor Burke

PLAYING A BONE KNIGHT

You stood shoulder to shoulder with undead soldiers, defending your homeland from the depredations of Thrane knights, Cyran artillery, Brelish cavalry, Talenta marauders, and other foes. You rode deep into enemy territory to break their will and burn their crops. Now the war has ended, and you do not rise each day to lead troops into battle. Some bone knights miss the call of glory, some savor the sweet taste of peace, but at least you have the freedom to choose, unlike the walking dead.

In times of peace, your king and country rely on you to complete important missions abroad. Your orders might be to hunt down traitors and fugitives in foreign lands, scour the Mournland for mighty artifacts, or ensure your nation’s future prosperity by destroying those who would threaten the delicate peace. Most bone knights are either loyal servants of the crown or minions of the Emerald Claw. A few have forsaken their allegiance to Karrnath altogether to become masters of their own destiny.

Combat: Toe to toe, you’re as strong a combatant as any paladin. Your place is in the front of any battle, riding your undead mount and striking terror into the hearts of your enemies.

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Paladin - Oath of the Bone

You can craft and wear special bonecraft armor that gives you defensive benefits akin to those of undead creatures, as well craft and wield weapons that severely punish the living. You should never be without an undead retinue, for Karrnathi undead make formidable companions and excellent scouts and bodyguards, being both loyal and durable. While some necromancers might derive perverse satisfaction from sending undead minions forward to check for traps in a dungeon, you should show more interest in using your undead servitors in melee combat.

Advancement: Bone knights are an elite corps of soldiers in Karrnath’s armies. Many who wish to join are turned away year after year, but you have been accepted. You demonstrated the right mix of combat prowess, divine dedication, and — perhaps most importantly — loyalty to Karrnath, to Kaius, or to Vol, depending on who recruited you.

Although you are (or were) a member of Karrnath’s army, you have great personal latitude in the aftermath of the Last War. Many bone knights have been placed on detached duty — reducing the strain on the treasury — and may travel freely so long as they are prepared to assemble as quickly as possible upon the king’s command. In theory, their oaths to the king ensure that they can be trusted to act in the nation’s best interests, but Kaius III is finding that some knights have a distinctly different vision of Karrnath’s best interests from his own. The rare bone knights trained by the Order of the Emerald Claw are kept on a much shorter leash, directly serving a powerful priest. At least until such time as they are able to seize control of their cell themselves.

Resources: Bone knights that were not already nobles before taking up the calling are granted minor nobility and can expect hospitality anywhere in Karrnath. The distinctive bonecraft armor of the class is the only equipment typically associated with bone knights, and they are expected to craft such themselves soon after joining the order.

Organization: Karrnath turned to the power of necromancy in the Last War in an effort to offset losses. While the undead provided a critical boost to troop strength, it became clear that the numbers required to shift the balance were far greater than could be controlled by loyal clerics. Further, the hordes were too easily dispersed by rival priests or outwitted by living captains. The king’s shadowy allies proposed to create a new kind of champion to lead the growing undead legions, a warrior with Rekkenmark Academy training who holds power over the undead.

The bone knights form a loose order consisting of some hundred or so members. The knight-marshal of the order, Prothan ir’Vemel, is one of the more powerful and influential warlords of Karrnath. Unlike his colleagues Charl ir’Loran and Renn ir’Tanar, Prothan genuinely supports Kaius in his efforts toward peacemaking — the better for Karrnath to raise a truly gigantic undead horde to conquer their enemies when war finally does resume.

When Kaius outlawed the Order of the Emerald Claw, several bone knights fled Karrnath to maintain their affiliation with the order. The headquarters of this estranged order of bone knights remains unknown, although Karrnathi spies continue to search for its location and its presumed leader, Dessarin ir’Savathar. It is entirely possible that these bone knights no longer form a cohesive order at all, but have dispersed to pursue their own aims or serve the Emerald Claw independently of each other.

Reactions: The bone knights are legendary in their service to Karrnath, fighting on the front lines against all invaders. While terrifying to their enemies, they are well loved by those they protect, so most Karrns have a friendly initial attitude toward those wearing the distinctive bonecraft armor. Knights of other lands are often greatly distressed by the extremes to which bone knights go in carrying out their orders, and rarely have an initial attitude better than hostile. Paladins in particular have a hard time disguising their hostility toward bone knights, who are at once so similar to paladins and so very different. The knights conducted many raids outside Karrnath during the Last War, and most non- Karrns fear and respect their reputation but hold no strong position toward them individually.

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Paladin - Oath of the Bone

Bone Knight Options

Spells

Summon Skeletal Steed

2nd-level conjuration


  • Casting Time: 10 minutes
  • Range: 30 feet
  • Components: V, S
  • Duration: Instantaneous

As Find Steed but instead you summon a Warhorse Skeleton. A skeletal steed cannot be turned while its bone knight master rides it.

Animate Karrnathi Dead

4th-level necromancy


  • Casting Time: 1 minute
  • Range: 10 feet
  • Components: V, S, M (a Karnnathi soldier corpse).
  • Duration: Instantaneous

As Animate Dead but instead the spells creates a more powerful undead with enough intellect to understand commands and use armor and weapons more efficiently than their normal counterparts.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, you animate or reassert control over two additional undead creatures for each slot level above 4rd. Each of the creatures must come from a different corpse or pile of bones.

Monsters


Karrnathi Skeleton

medium undead, lawful evil


  • Armor Class 16 (Scale male)
  • Hit Points 24 (4d8 + 4)
  • Speed 30ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
12 (+1) 16 (+3) 13 (+1) 10 (+0) 11 (+0) 5 (-3)

  • Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning
  • Damage Immunities poison
  • Condition Immunities exhaustion, poisoned
  • Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 10
  • Languages Speaks Common in an airy whisper
  • Challenge 1(200 XP)

Actions

Multiattack.The karrnathi skeleton makes two scimitar attacks.

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 6 (1d6 + 3)


Karrnathi Zombie

medium undead, lawful evil


  • Armor Class 16 (Chain Mail)
  • Hit Points 26 (4d8 + 8)
  • Speed 20ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 10 (+0) 11 (+0) 5 (-3)

  • Damage Immunities poison
  • Condition Immunities poisoned
  • Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 10
  • Languages Speaks Common in a deep, scratchy, and guttural voice.
  • Challenge 1(200 XP)

Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the zombie to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the zombie drops to 1 hit point in stead.

Actions

Greatsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 10 (2d6 + 3)

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Paladin - Oath of the Bone

Credits

The Bone Knight is a property of Wizards of The Coast. It appeared at the sourcebook of Five Nations for the world of Eberron in 2005. Eberron is created by Keith Baker. Five Nations was written by Bill Slavicsek, David Noonman and Christopher Perkins. The conversion to 5th Edition Rules was made by Makis Klaoudatos. Special thanks to Thanos Chatzisavvas.

Disclaimer: None can truly rise from the dead... unless you are Jesus, Osiris or Krishna.

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