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Blackguard/Divine Champion Build Guide by JaredTheTwitch

Version: Final | Updated: 01/18/07

Blackguard/Divine Champion Build (Final)                                       
0.0 Contents                                                                   
1.1 Introducton                                                                
2.2 Fighter                                                                    
3.3 BlackGuard                                                                 
4.4 Divine Champion                                                            
5.5 Levels 17-20                                                               
6.6 Races                                                                      
7.7 Attributes, Skills, & Feats                                                
8.8 Level Progression                                                          
9.9 Questions/Comments                                                         
1.1 Introduction                                                               
The following is  an awesome build  that is completely  superior to the average
fighter.  The only thing that a fighter has that this build doesn't, is that it
can  take Improved  Critical:  [weapon],  and  Weapon  Specialization: [weapon]
earlier.  This build can take those same feats, but by  delaying them will have
access to the divine feats Extra Smiting and Sacred Vengeance.                 
You must also  be evil.   But otherwise that's not  a problem.   The main skill
this  build uses is Intimidate  which will  help  (force)  you to act  evil and
allow you to play through the Official Campaign as an evil jackass.            
2.2 Fighter                                                                    
Your first few levels will have you  starting off as a Fighter establishing the
foundation for the  Blackguard  prestige class.   The Divine  Champion prestige
class is reached at the same time  as the Blackguard and you're welcome to take
it before the Blackguard  levels.  However, I recommend  Blackguard first as it
gives you some  interesting abilities and  seems to offer  more help than  what
Divine Champion can do.                                                        
The prestige classes, Blackguard and Divine Champion, both level up the same in
regards to hit points (+10)  and BAB (+1 per level;  high), just the  same as a
To achieve the basis of being able to  take Blackguard, you'll need to be evil,
attain  a BAB  of 6,  and Hide  5.  Since  Hide is  a cross-class  skill  for a
fighter, you won't  be able to  achieve 5 ranks  until you reach  level 7.   At
level 8 you can take Blackguard/Divine Champion  levels.  Being evil is easy to
achieve.  As long as you  take an evil alighnment at the start, you'll be fine.
As far as BAB is concerned  you'll have a BAB of 7  when you meet all the other
requirements for the Blackguard.  For Divine  Champion all you need is a Weapon
Focus and BAB 7.  Like a Blackguard, you'll have a BAB of 7 at level 7 and will
be able to access Divine  Champion at level 8.   The Weapon Focus feat will  be
taken at character creation.   The feats to be  taken for Blackguard are Cleave
and Power Attack which are attained by your 4th Fighter level.                 
This build's dump stat is Intelligence.  Your intelligence will suck which will
hurt your ability  to gain skill  points per level  (although Humans are fine).
It makes it very difficult to raise cross-class skills when you're only gaining
2 skill points a level.   Therefore, you'll want to  take the Able Learner feat
which reduces the  cost of raising a cross-class  skill to one point per skill.
You'll also want to save any  points dedicated to cross-class skills  until you
get the Able Learner feat in order to give you the greatest benefit.           
Once you have Able Learner achieving Hide 5 is easy.  Save enough points so you
achieve it at  Character Level 7.   Don't put more  than 5 points  into Hide as
you'll want to wear the heaviest armor.  You surely aren't going to be sneaking
up on your enemies in all that heavy  armor are you?  Therefore, don't take any
more than needed.                                                              
The remaining  skill  points can be  put into Intimidate.   Intimidate makes it
easier to be evil  and helps with the roleplaying  aspects as well.   You'll be
a bully with a sword  arm to  back up the verbal  abuse  that spews out of your
If you like, you can  take an additional level of  Fighter in order to get  the
Greater Weapon Focus feat or intersperse it with any Blackguard/Divine Champion
3.3 Blackguard                                                                 
At Character level 8 you'll  be able to take  levels in the Blackguard prestige
class.  I don't really  recommend more than 4  levels of Blackguard.  You don't
get bonus feats  as a Blackguard  which is the only  thing that makes it  worse
than a straight Fighter.  Everything else makes it superior.                   
Only the first  4 levels of  Blackguard are worth it.  The  4 levels afterwards
really aren't  that helpful in my  opinion and the lack  of feats don't make up
for what  you get  (a Fighter  type character  needs his  feats).  However, the
build is complete at level  16 and the final four  levels (levels 17-20) can be
dedicated to Blackguard levels if you  like.  Although I don't recommend taking
levels 5-8 for a Blackguard, a discription is included for your reference.     
Your first level level of Blackguard allows  you to "Use Poison" if that's your
thing.  At level 2  you get Bull's Strength, an awesome  Fighter buff.  This is
probably  the best  part of being a Blackguard.   In  addition,  you  get  Dark
Blessing  which is  the  same  as the  Paladin's  Divine Grace.  It  adds  your
Charisma bonus to all your saves, including your lackluster Will save.  Level 2
also  gives you  Smite Good  which could be  helpful seeing  as you're an evil,
intimidating bastard and you'll probably make some good-aligned enemies.       
At the third level of Blackguard, you can  create an undead ally to help absorb
hits.  In fact,  most people think the skeleton you create is pretty good.  You
also gain  the ability  to turn  undead (which  is affected  by your Charisma).
Undead  turning  is  pretty  useless  unless  your  party  consists  of  ranged
characters.  Then you can scare them away  and have your warlocks / sorcerers /
Arcane Archers unleash hell on them 1 by 1  while your Blackguard takes care of
any undead with the balls to resist  your turning attempts.  Level 3 also gives
your Blackguard the Aura of Despair which  causes any enemies within 10 feet of
you to get -2 to their saves.                                                  
Level 4 gives  you Sneak Attack +1d6.   You can only sneak  attack enemies that
can't see you, that are attacking someone else, or are caught flat-footed.  The
only time Sneak Attack is good is  when you catch the enemy flat-footed.  Since
you're a  Fighter class  character,  you want  the enemies  attacking you,  not
someone else.   The benefit of  more damage is  nice, but it's  at the  cost of
enemies attacking your weak  rear-line mages.  And don't  think about trying to
attack an enemy that  can't see you.  The  only way to do  that is to  use your
Hide skill  and the only way you'll  be able to  sneak up on an  enemy with all
that heavy  armor on is if the  enemy is deaf and even then he'll probably hear
you.  If you do decide to put more levels into Blackguard you get an extra +1d6
at level 7 and level 10.                                                       
Level 5  allows you to  summon a  Fiendish Dire Rat  which becomes  stronger at
level 10.   It also  shakes the  screen when  you cast  it.   You  can't have a
skeleton from the  Create Undead  skill at the same time as your  Fiendish Dire
Rat.   Level 5  allows you to  take the feat  Divine Might  which allows you to
increase your weapon damage  based on your Charisma.  You lose one of your turn
undead feats, however.  This is probably the one thing that would make you want
to continue  on as a Blackguard.   It's up to you as you have 4 extra levels at
the end to do with what you want.                                              
Level 6 lets you cast  Inflict Serious Wounds  which is useless against undead.
You'll be smiting  good-aligned enemies so  there's not many  other  enemies to
use it  against.   Level 7  allows you to cast  Contagion which just gives your
enemy a random disease (which acts like the opposite of a buff spell).  Level 7
also gives you  extra sneak attack damage so you do  +2d6 Sneak Attack  damage.
Level 8 gives you  Inflict Serious Wounds which is the same as  Inflict Serious
Wounds with an additional +1d8 damage.  Useless level.                         
Level 9 doesn't give you anything and  Level 10 makes your  Sneak Attack damage
+3d6.  You can't go past 10 levels of  Blackguard.  I'll say it again,  I don't
recommend more than 4 levels.                                                  
4.4 Divine Champion                                                            
After taking 7 levels of fighter and 4 of  Blackguard, you can start working on
Divine Champion.   You need some type of  Weapon Focus to  start taking  Divine
Champion levels, but you should have picked that at level 1.                   
The spell  benefits of being a Divine Champion  stop at level 5 but you'll want
the sixth Divine Champion level  for the extra feat. The Divine Champion  gains
feats every even level  in addition to whatever would have been gained normally
(every 3rd level).                                                             
The first level of Divine Champion  gets you Lay on Hands  which gives you some
basic healing.  Level 2 gets you Sacred Defense  which gives you +1 to all your
saves  per every 2 levels of Divine Champion you take.  With Dark Blessing from
the  Blackguard levels  you'll have good bonuses  to all saves,  your will save
probably being the most important  (your Fortitude is naturally high,  you  can
let your  Rogue  deal with anything  that requires a  high reflex save  such as
triggering traps).  Level 2 grants you your first bonus feat.  However, you can
only choose a combat related feat.                                             
Level 3 allows you to Smite Infidel.   Smite Infidel gives you a bonus to  your
attack  based  off your Charisma and  adds extra  damage equal to  your  Divine
Champion  levels.   It only works against  enemies of differing  alignment than
you.   As long as you're  evil, Smite  Infidel is completely  superior to Smite
Good as Smite Good only adds +1 damage.   If you some how are able to make your
evil character good, you'll be able to Smite  Evil (Infidel) and Good.   In the
official  campaign,  there are  lots of  undead  which  a good  aligned  Divine
Champion can easily handle with Smite Infidel.                                 
There's nothing special at Level 4.   Just an extra  bonus combat feat.   These
combat feats are where you'll start taking all the weapon feats that you had to
pass up on level  9 and 12  as those are the levels you'll want to start taking
Divine Feats.   If you take the combat feats earlier (at every 3rd level), then
you'll have nothing left to choose from  when you get the Divine Champion bonus
feats.   The bonus feats are combat only;  you  don't get to choose from a full
list like with your normal character feats.                                    
Level 5 gives you Divine Might  which is a pretty awesome buff affected by your
Charisma.  Level 6 gives you another bonus combat feat.  I'd recommend stopping
at  this  point.   Further  levels of  Divine Champion  give  you  nothing  but
additional combat feats at even levels.                                        
5.5 Levels 18-20                                                               
At this point  you'll be level 17  with 13 chosen feats (14  if human). You can
either take 3 more levels of fighter  to get a full 16 feats (17 if  you picked
human).   Taking the  8th level of Fighter will get you Greater  Weapon  Focus.
You can also snag Iron Will for your normal character feat which will make your
Will save greater than your Reflex save.                                       
At this point you have 2 levels to do  whatever you like.  I've mentioned above
what you get by taking additional levels of Blackguard and Divine  Champion.  2
extra levels of fighter gets you the same thing as 2 levels of Divine Champion.
Your character  will also  only be able to select one additional class, if any,
as you can't multiclass more than 4 classes.                                   
That said, if  you're able to  multiclass easily to a second base class you can
do some fun  things.   If you enjoy  sneak  attacking, you can take 2 levels of
Rogue to  get an  extra +1d6 Sneak  Attack and  Evasion at  the second level of
Taking a level of Ranger lets you take Favored Enemy: Undead.   If you do this,
take the 5th level of Blackguard and Divine Might for your character feat  (you
have to take the feat at character level 15 or 18).                            
If you're able to convert your  evil Blackguard  into  a  Lawful Good character
(good luck), you can take 2 levels of  Paladin which  grants you Smite  Evil at
first level (although if  you're good, Smite  Infidel  does the same thing  and
does it  better).  At second level  Paladin you get Divine Grace for even  more
universal saves based on your  Charisma.  You also get a second instance of Lay
On Hands (which is useless due to lack of enough pertinent class levels).      
A level of Neverwinter 9 gives you an additional aura that benefits your allies
It also increases your  Reflex and  Will saves.  Your  Fortitude save should be
high enough to handle not getting it from the Neverwinter 9.                   
6.6 Races                                                                      
In order to take any of the above base multiclasses, you'll need to take either
Human, Half-Elf,  a class that  has Fighter as its preferred class, or a  class
that has the  multiclass  choice as its  favored  class.   Those  races are any
dwarf, Wood Elf for Ranger  multiclassing  or  Aasimar.   A discussion of  each
For  Dwarves,  a Gold Dwarf  is probably  the  best  and it  also  allows  some
interesting  possibilities with Dwarven  Defender or  using a  Dwarven  Waraxe.
The attribute adjustment is probably the killing factor for this race though as
you want  13 Dexterity and anything  past 12 cost 2 attribute points.   You can
have a higher constitution though.                                             
A Wood Elf can make you a strong  fighter (+2  Strength/Dexterity)  with a weak
constitution (-2  Con).  A Half-Elf  isn't too special, it just gives you a few
benefits which aren't good (but aren't bad either). A  Half-Elf will also allow
you  to  multiclass like a  human and  ignore  your  fighter levels.   This  is
probably the third best race to pick for this build.                           
A Half-Orc is a little bit pitiful.  You're getting 2 strength at the cost of 2
Intelligence  and 2  Charisma.  This will  hurt  you more than  you can  think.
You'll be an awesome fighter,  but you'll need to sacrifice your Wisdom and you
don't want to weaken your Will saves.   However, if you keep your Wisdom  at 8,
your Will save will be the same as your Reflex save if you follow this build.  
Aasimar is pretty nice and would be the second best race to pick. You'll be one
level behind all your fellow  adventurers,  but you'll be able to increase your
Charisma (and make all your Charisma related abilites awesome) or increase your
Constitution (tranfer the Charisma  points to Constitution) to allow you to net
1 more HP per level  (just  like  taking Toughness).   You  can't pick any base
classes  besides  fighter,  however.   An  Aasimar can multiclass to Paladin if
you're interested;  of course you got to figure out  a  way to take  your  evil
Blackguard and make him Lawful Good.                                           
A human is probably the best race.   A human  gives you an  additional  feat at
birth  along  with  lots of extra skill points.   It  also  makes it  easier to
multi-class with more base classes than fighter.  Humans don't  get the 2 extra
points  in  Wisdom  and  Charisma.   In  most  builds  these  4  points will be
allocated to bringing your  14  Constitution to 16.   A human can't do this but
can negate  the  drawback  by  using their  extra feat  and  taking  Toughness.
However, if you want to put the points into  Charisma,  Aasimar is best as that
allows you to maximize your attribute points.                                  
7.7 Attributes, Skills, & Feats                                                
Your character attributes should look like:                                    
Strength: 17                                                                   
Dexterity: 13                                                                  
Constitution: 16 (14 as human, take Toughness feat)                            
Intelligence: 8                                                                
Wisdom: 10                                                                     
Charisma: 14                                                                   
If you want to take a backround feat, take only:  Bully,  Devout,  Ladies' Man,
or Tale Teller.  Put your starting skill points into  Intimidate, and don't put
any points into Hide until you're able to take  Able Learner.   You'll  need to
save some skills but you should have Hide 5 at Level 7.                        
If you wish to eschew  taking  Blackguard (why???)  then you can put your  Hide
points into Tumble,  Appraise,  or Craft Armor (let Khelgar craft the weapons).
None of the other skills are really needed.                                    
If you chosen race is  human, you can put  your extra skill points wherever you
like.   I put 10  points into Tumble (for the  AC  bonus) and the remaining  in
Appraise.   You'll  want  to  max  out  Intimidate  first  before  going  after
additional skills.                                                             
As a fighter you get your starting feat and a bonus feat (combat only). For the
combat feat,  I took  Weapon Focus:  Longsword  (but you can take  anything you
want,  even  Weapon  Proficiency:  Exotic).   For the starter feat, I'd suggest
taking something under the Backround Traits. You can't take the backround trait
during  any other  time except  at  character  creation.   I'd  take one of the
following:  Bull Headed,  Luck of Heroes, Snake Blood, or Strong Soul.  I chose
Luck of Heroes.                                                                
8.8 Level Progression                                                          
Below  is  how  I  leveled my character as an  Aasimar.   As a human,  you  can
multiclass  earlier while an Aasimar will have to wait  until level 20 in order
to avoid the experience  penalties.   For the  bonus feat at birth for a human,
take  Able  Learner  to allow you to use all those extra skill points.   In the
Level Progression below,  take  Toughness  where it says to take  Able Learner.
Taking  Toughness at level 1 and  Able Learner  at level 3 doesn't allow you to
maximize  your  skill points and  Toughness  only gives you  1  hit point.   My
Aasimar/human character is as follows:                                         
Level 1:  Fighter,  +2 Intimidate,  Weapon Focus:  Longsword,  Luck  of  Heroes
          (+2 Intimidate, +Able Learner if Human)                              
Level 2:  Fighter, +1 Intimidate, Power Attack                                 
Level 3:  Fighter, Save skill point, Able Learner (+Toughness if human)        
Level 4:  Fighter, +1 Strength, +2 Hide, Cleave                                
Level 5:  Fighter, +1 Hide                                                     
Level 6:  Fighter, +1 Hide, Power Critical: Longsword, Great Cleave            
Level 7:  Fighter, +1 Hide                                                     
Level 8:  Blackguard, +1 Strength, +1 Intimidate                               
Level 9:  Blackguard, +1 Intimidate, Extra Smiting                             
Level 10: Blackguard, +1 Intimidate                                            
Level 11: Blackguard, +1 Intimidate                                            
Level 12: Divine Champion, +1 Strength, +1 Intimidate, Sacred Vengeance        
Level 13: Divine Champion, +1 Intimidate, Improved Critical: Longsword         
Level 14: Divine Champion, +1 Intimidate                                       
Level 15: Divine Champion, +1 Intimidate, Dodge, Weapon Specialization:        
Level 16: Divine Champion, +1 Strength, +1 Intimidate                          
Level 17: Divine Champion, +1 Intimidate, Extra Turning (or Blind Fight)       
Level 18: Fighter, +1 Intimidate , Greater Weapon Focus, Iron Will (yes!)      
Level 19: Fighter, +1 Intimidate,                                              
Level 20: Fighter  or  (Ranger),  +1 Strength,  +1 Intimidate,  Blind Fight  or
          Mobility if Fighter, (Favored Enemy: Undead if Ranger)               
Humans  will probably want to take the  Ranger  level earlier to handle all the
undead in the Official Campaign.                                               
You should take the feats as stated above in the order listed.   Some feats are
only offered at specific times.                                                
Also you'll  need  to take the  Divine  feats at a specified level when you are
leveling the  Divine  Champion  and Blackguard.   If you don't take them at the
proper level (level 9 and 12), you'll never be able to take them.              
If you are interested in taking a fifth level  of  Blackguard, take it at level
15 and choose Divine  Might for the feat.   Then take Dodge at Fighter level 10
if you don't take Ranger (although a favored enemy is pretty nice.)            
9.9 Questions/Comments                                                         
If you have any questions or comments you may email me at:                     
                    9.91 Contributions                                         
                    The following people have contributed some interesting     
Taking one level of ranger early (preferably level 1) offers 2 benefits.  First
Hide is a class skill for Ranger allowing you to achieve Hide 5 at level 2.  If
you don't take Able Learner,  you'll waste a skill point getting the fifth Hide
point.   However, a  Ranger  gets 4 more skill points than a  Fighter,  and  by
taking Ranger at level 1, you get four times as many extra skill points, easily
negating any loss you take.   [However,  you'll need to take the  Able  Learner
feat eventually, if you want to get Tumble 20.]                                
The second benefit is that you can take the Blackguard prestige class one level
earlier.  [You'll be Fighter 5 rather than Fighter 7 and therefore not have the
Fighter 6 feat].  You also get the Favored Enemy a whole lot earlier.          
[Voxen goes on to explain possibly taking up to 6 levels in Ranger over Fighter
levels.  I disagree.   A second level of Ranger gets you a combat style.   This
is useless as you have to wear light or no armor.  You also get improved reflex
saves and 4 extra skill points per Ranger level at the cost of 2 hit points and
Fighter feats.  Level 3 gets the Toughness feat.  Level 4 gets a useless Animal
Companion and spells based on your Wisdom,  and  Level 6 gets you the  Improved
combat style, only useful in light or no armor.]                               

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