Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns.
Yet by the blade of knights, mankind was given hope.
So, a while back I got most of my IRL gaming group interested in a live-action show called Garo and it’s sequels. The concept is basically modern fantasy – if an object becomes infused with enough negative karma, it can act as a gateway for demons from the Makai, which is basically an alternate plane of magic and evil. These demons then come through and possess or replace people to feed on humans. There is an ancient order of protectors that then fight them in secret to send them back where they came from: the Makai Knights, who fight them with sword and armor, and Makai Priests, who use magic and hand-to-hand combat.
If the explanation seems confusing, here’s a short music video done using footage from one of the movies and the original opening song, which should give an idea of what goes on:
Side note, the original series was recently licensed by Kraken Releasing so give it a buy when it finally comes out!
Anyways, they were interested in actually making a Makai Knight character and put a bug in my ear about a homebrew class for Pathfinder. Inspiration struck, and I sat down and worked out the mechanics for the Makai Knight, drawing on all the various series to attempt to cover all the capabilities they’ve shown, and break it down into a meaningful progression, and in an at least hopefully somewhat balanced way.
Like the Black Blade archetype for Magus, a lot of the class’s power are tied into the sword and armor that they essentially get for free – however, there is a time limit on usage of their full power. In-show, if they wore the armor for over 99.9 seconds, it would attempt to devour them, and I tried to simulate that in-game as well, as a limiter on the power of “free magic items.”
As the Makai Priest is tied so strongly i concept to the Knight, I then worked out a class to try and properly represent the priests as well, borrowing heavily from the Witch, which they were thematically close to already.
For purposes of this post, I’ve put them into PDF form, to preserve formatting and allow for printouts for use at the game table.