Game: Power Classes: Knight
Publisher: Mongoose Publishing
Review Dated: 26th, February 2003
Reviewer’s Rating: 5/10 [ Perfectly acceptable ]
Total Score: 5
Average Score: 5.00
Mongoose’s Power Classes are, I think, one of last year’s surprise hits. The books are tiny, too small really to be called books and I’m surprised they’re allowed to claim an ISBN. They’re booklets, 16 thin pages between a card stock cover and stapled together. They’re actually rather robust. The idea behind the power class is value for money. US$2.95 gets you a single new core class, a little crunch dressing in the form of new feats or equipment and nothing else. In other words, just what you need to use the class.
The Knight is the fifth book in the series and the first of the second batch. The Knight makes a good choice of player character class insofar as Knights really do go on adventures. In fact, Knights make excellent adventuring characters since they’ll have a home base, a boss, their lord, who will send them out on missions.
The Knight is a specialised fighter, specialised in fighting from horseback and sometimes in extra heavy armour. This power class’ bonus offering is the extra-heavy armour category which offers up ridiculous amounts of protection to the wearer but drains their fatigue at a frightful rate. Extra heavy armour is deigned so that it is only worn for a few minutes, during a joust at a tournament or a key phase in a siege. The Knight, of course, has the growing special character ability that allows him to wear the armour for a little longer than formal. The Knight’s other main shtick, his mastery of horses and mounted combat, manifests in another growing character ability. There are lots of character abilities for Knights, there are only a few levels where the player will not get to scribble something new on his character sheet and I think this will help to keep the class interesting even if the game starts to turn bland.
I think the Knight class is likely to be overshadowed by the Paladin. This will certainly be true in games that have been using the Paladin class as a knight ever since the core rules came out. Both classes have to follow a code of ethics and both are acutely associated to their mounts. The Knight doesn’t have any of the magic or supernatural abilities and perhaps that will keep the two distinct. The Knight does have the Pure Heart class ability though. Pure Heart grants a willpower save bonus against non-magical fear that kicks in at 8th level. It’s not a supernatural ability, at the 8th level the knight’s courage and strength of mind is such that he receives this bonus. Hmm. So 7th level knights are less brave than 8th level knights? I know will saves grow as character levels advance but I’ll always whine when something new comes along to poke another hole in that already weak suspension of disbelief.
The last pages in the booklet are filled with stats and descriptions for knightly armour and an extension of the donning armour table as to include the extra-heavy set.
The game mechanics here are balanced and I don’t think the class will present any problems to the player. GMs will have to watch though; the Knight is a fish out of water unless he is able to enjoy mounted combat and situations for heavy armour. If there are plenty of occasions for mounted combat and the need for extra heavy armour then there’s the risk the Knight in the party will have the game wrapped around him at the expense of the other characters. On the other hand, the Knight is a natural adventuring class. All this, I think, draws the pros and cons level.