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Banshee Knight (Drow PK)

Banshee Knight

 This prestige class describes members of an elite order of fighters for the cause of the Drow goddess of Death and Vengeance, Kiaransalee. They are the sword arm of the Revenancer in her fight against the abyssal lord Orcus and his minions across many planes and are known as the Banshee Knights. Those devotees are charged to trace and destroy every little bit of the memory of Orcus on Faerun, hunt down all followers of the Cult of the Goat's Head as well as defending the Realms' largest temple of Kiaransalee, the Acropolis of Thanatos. Single Banshee Knights may have very different assignments though and may be found anywhere within the Underdark or on the planes.

Fighters and rangers are the most likely character classes to adopt the way of a Banshee Knight, gaining much respect from other followers of Kiaransalee. Monks are also likely to find their fulfilment among the "Banshees", and as long as they keep more monk levels than Banshee Knight levels, they may freely multi-class with this prestige class. Clerics may, during the later stages of their careers or because of need, also join the order and strengthen the small forces the Revenancer can muster. Barbarians are rare among the Drow and only a reckless sort of a fighter who has adopted certain barbarian aspects in his or her fighting tactics may become a Banshee Knight. Mages in the service of Kiaransalee are more often than not required as necromancers and rarely join the armed forces of the cult, sorcerers will do likewise unless they are fighter / sorcerers of some pedigree.

As with most of Kiaransalee's worshippers, undead are frequently encountered and Banshee Knights are often rewarded with undead status if they have been slain or have shown enough courage to deserve this boon. Vampires, ghosts, bone creatures*, silveraiths** and Kiaranshees (i.e., banshees+ or keening spirits**) are the most likely types of undead to be encountered. In some cases, strongholds of the Revenancer might be commanded by a high level Banshee Knight - Death Knight+.

While these fighters for Kiaransalee's cause may be found in any world where the Revenancer has followers, all Banshee Knights on Faerun a based in Kiaransalee's temple city V'elddrinnsshar at the Acropolis of Thanatos. Missions may see the members of the order appear anywhere in the Underdark, but very rarely on the surface.

Unless they are heavily outnumbered, the crusaders will try to kill any follower of another Drow deity on sight.

(Author's note: the Banshee Knights are mentioned in Demihuman Deities as being an order of crusaders dedicated to Kiaransalee. This prestige class reflects more the martial part of the former crusader class (as described in Faiths & Avatars) than their divine abilities.)

(*see The Book of Vile Darkness, ** City of the Spider Queen or + Monster Manual II for details).



Hit Dice: d8.



To qualify to become a Banshee Knight, a character must fulfil all of the following criteria:


Alignment: Any evil.

Race: Living and undead Drow (usually female)

Patron Deity: Kiaransalee

Base Attack Bonus: +7.

Skills: Knowledge (religion): 5 ranks, Knowledge (the planes): 5 ranks

Special: To become a Banshee Knight, a character must have survived a hostile encounter with a follower of Orcus, and sworn vengeance in the name of the Vengeful Banshee. The encounter need not have been victorious.



The Banshee Knight?s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intuit Direction (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (religion)(Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Wilderness Lore (Wis).


Skill points at each level: 4 + Int modifier.



All the following are class features of the Banshee Knight prestige class.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Banshee Knights are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields.



Beginning at 1st level, a Banshee Knight gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells. To cast a spell, the Banshee Knight must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell's level, so a Banshee Knight with a Wisdom score of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Banshee Knight bonus spells are based on Wisdom, and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + Wisdom modifier. When the Banshee Knight gets "0" spells of a given level, such as 0 1st-level spells at 1st level, the Banshee Knight gets only bonus spells. A Banshee Knight without a bonus spell for that level cannot yet cast a spell of that level. The Banshee Knight's spell list appears above; a Banshee Knight has access to all spells on the list and must prepare those spells. A Banshee Knight casts spells just as a cleric does.

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Foe Hunter +1, Dedication +1 0 - - -
2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Ghostform 1 - - -
3 +2 +3 +1 +3 Dedication +2 1 0 - -
4 +3 +4 +1 +4 Foe Hunter +2 1 1 - -
5 +3 +4 +1 +4 - 1 1 0 -
6 +4 +5 +2 +5 Dedication +3 2 1 1 -
7 +5 +5 +2 +5 Clutches of Vengeance 2 2 1 1
8 +6 +6 +2 +6 Foe Hunter +3 2 2 1 1
9 +6 +6 +3 +6 Dedication +4 2 2 2 1
10 +7 +7 +3 +7 Wail of the Banshee 2 2 2 2

 Banshee Knight Spells:

1st-level spells: Alarm, Detect Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, Endure Elements, Pass without Trace, Portal Beacon*, Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law

2nd-level spells: Cure Light Wounds, Resist Elements, Safety*, Undetectable Alignment, Vampiric Touch

3rd-level spells: Attune Form*, Dispel Magic, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Elements, Remove Disease

4th-level spells: Death Ward, Freedom of Movement, Nondetection, Zone of Respite*


*Manual of the Planes


Foe Hunter (Ex):

At 1st level, a Banshee Knight gains a morale bonus against followers of Orcus (including all faithful, servants, and minions of the Undying One). The Banshee Knight gains a +1 bonus to Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Wilderness Lore checks when using these skills against followers of Orcus. Likewise, she gets the same bonus to weapon damage rolls against these beings. A Banshee Knight also gets the damage bonus with ranged weapons, but only against targets within 30 feet (the Banshee Knight cannot strike with deadly accuracy beyond that range). This bonus applies even against creatures that are immune to critical hits. At 4th and 8th level, the foe hunter bonus increases by +1. The bonus from this extraordinary ability stacks with a ranger's favored enemy bonus.


Dedication (Ex):

A Banshee Knight gains a morale bonus on all saving throws against spells and special attacks, mundane or magical, used by followers of Orcus. This bonus is +1 at first Banshee Knight level, increasing by an additional +1 every three levels thereafter.


Ghostform (Su)

Starting at 2nd level, the Banshee Knight may turn into a ghost-like creature for one minute per Banshee Knight level per week. The character may assume the ghostform at will as long as the total duration doesn?t exceed the limit. The time spent in ghostform counts against the limit every minute the Banshee Knight is in ghostform, a fraction of a minute spent in ghostform still counts as full. Activating or deactivating this ability is a standard action. When in ghostform, the Banshee Knight effectively becomes a ghost, except for the following changes:


- The Banshee Knight retains her normal type and Hit Die. She does not gain any undead traits (except as noted below), but becomes ethereal and incorporeal, just as normal ghosts do.

- The Banshee Knight gains the Manifestation special ability of a ghost, plus two special abilities from the following list: Corrupting Touch, Deathsong*, Frightful Moan, and Magical Radiance*. Once selected, these abilities can not be changed. A Banshee Knight in either form is immune to the Corrupting Touch, Deathsong, and Frightful Moan abilities used by another Banshee Knight, but she is still subject to those abilities used by true ghosts.

- The Banshee Knight does not have the rejuvenation special quality.

- When in ghostform, a Banshee Knight is subject to turning or rebuking. A successful attempt forces the Banshee Knight in her normal form and leaves her staggered for 1 round (no save). The Banshee Knight has a +4 turn resistance when in ghostform.


*Monsters of Faerun: Ghost Template (p. 88)


Clutches of Vengeance (Su):

Once per day, a 7th-level Banshee Knight can negate the SR and damage reduction of one follower of Orcus for 1 round per prestige class level with a successful melee touch attack. This is a supernatural ability.


Wail of the Banshee (Sp):

Once a week, a 10th-level Banshee Knight can let out a terrifying wail, similar to the spell of the same name. The wail has a DC equal to 17 + Wisdom modifier. This is a spell-like ability, but the Banshee Knight must be able to use a verbal component in order to activate it.


NB: Bone creatures (Template, BoVD) are essentially skeletons who keep all their former abilities, gain +4 Dex, the Weapon Finesse feat on one weapon of choice and undead traits. Keening Spirits and banshees complement each other, the only difference is that keening spirits are the Elven variety of these kind of undead templates.

© P. Basedau & T. Tyrmi