The 4e blackguard, introduced in Heroes of Shadow is one of my favourite classes to play. It’s nothing special as a striker, it deals minor amounts of damage compared to a slayer, scout or elementalist. I like it because of the concept, a heavily armoured paladin who has embraced evil and is empowered by the shadows. Again, like much 4e content, the blackguard has been abandoned by WotC, and I’m slowly making my way through vices vaguely based around the 7 deadly sins. The blackguard is also a remarkable easy class to write for in the heroic tier, requiring only 3 benefits…
Vice of Corruption
The shadows of this world hide many things, creatures of darkness and evil, secrets, and beings that should not be. Guided away from the light by the dark gods, these creatures are warped and changed by the energies of the shadowfell, secretive creatures turned into murderous monsters. Sometimes, adventurers find themselves lost within these shadows, whispered to by the dark gods, tempted by offers of power if they give in to their desires and embrace the anger in their heart. But not all are tempted, some are given no choice, selected by the gods for experimentation or torture, their bodies ripped apart and put back together, the necrotic magic corrupting their flesh so that their limbs are stunted and their wounds infected.
Alignment: Those who embrace corruption are willing to be altered by Evil itself, and often worship Torog.
Level 1: Spirit of Vice (Corruption)
Your body is warped and twisted by the gods you have dedicated your life to, your very flesh corrupted by their darkness. While your wounds heal, they never do so properly, leaving you with vicious scars, lumps of hard tissue, or weeping sores.
Benefit: When you use the spend your second wind, you can roll a d6:
On a 1-2, you gain temporary hit points equal to 1 + your constitution modifier.
On a 3-4, you gain a bonus to your Fortitude defense equal to your Constitution modifier the bonus lasts until the end of your next turn.
On a 5-6, adjacent creatures take a -2 penalty to attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn.
Level 1: Vice At-Will Power (Corruption)
A miasma of decay and disease surrounds you as you fight, and your often wild swings due to misshapen limbs re-open old and unhealed wounds, spilling your pestilence and corruption upon your foes.
Benefit: You gain the Corrupting strike power.
Corrupting Strike * Paladin Attack 1
“The corruption in your heart takes form as you strike at your foe, weakening it.”
At-Will * Divine, Necrotic, Weapon
Standard Action * Melee Weapon
Target: One Creature
Attack: Strength vs AC
Hit: 1W + Strength modifier necrotic damage. Roll a d6:
On a 1-2, you deal additional damage equal to 1 + your constitution modifier.
On a 3-4, the target takes a penalty to their Fortitude defense equal to your Constitution modifier, the bonus lasts until the end of your next turn.
On a 5-6, adjacent creatures take a -2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
Level 7: Improved Shroud of Shadow (Corruption)
The shadows that gather around you hide the true extent of your damaged and corrupted form.
Benefit: When you use your shroud of shadow power, you gain a +2 bonus to endurance checks and your Fortitude defence until the end of your next turn.