Archives of Nethys

Prestige Classes

Hellknight Signifer

Source Adventurer's Guide pg. 92, Paths of Prestige pg. 28 (Amazon)
Hellknight signifers form the spellcasting arm of the Hellknight orders. They serve as faceless enforcers of order and use their magical powers to relentlessly root out and punish criminals to the letter of the law. They wear masks— often featureless—to mark themselves as impersonal agents of order, unswayed by empathy, detached from emotion, and dedicated to passing impartial judgment upon all lawbreakers. A signifer’s distinctive mask is a symbol of his devotion to the precepts of law and exacting justice, and it serves as the focus for several of his signifer powers. Traditionally, signifers are arcane or divine spellcasters. As a signifer must be lawful, clerics who take this prestige class generally worship lawful deities, with the majority being worshipers of Abadar or Asmodeus. Despite trends toward diabolism, overall a signifer’s views of good and evil are defined by his Hellknight order first and everything else second. While it’s certainly possible for a psychic spellcaster to become a Hellknight signifer, to date, such examples are relatively rare among the various Hellknight orders. Yet in time, as such magic spreads and gains acceptance, psychic Hellknight signifers may well grow more common.


To qualify to become a Hellknight signifer, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any lawful.
Armor Proficiency: Proficient with medium armor.
Feats: Arcane Armor Training or Warrior PriestUM.
Skills: Intimidate 2 ranks, Knowledge (planes) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks.
Spells: Able to cast 3rd-level spells.
Special: The character must slay a devil with Hit Dice greater than his character level. This victory must be witnessed by a Hellknight.

Class Skills

The Hellknight Signifer's class skills are Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Linguistics (Int), Knowledge (all) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int)..

Skill Points at each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Hit Die: d8.

Class Features

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialSpells Per Day
1st+0+0+0+1Aura of law, catechesis, order, signifer mask+1 level of spellcasting class
2nd+1+1+1+1Arcane armor expertise+1 level of spellcasting class
3rd+2+1+1+2Signifer armor training 1+1 level of spellcasting class
4th+3+1+1+2Assiduous gaze+1 level of spellcasting class
5th+3+2+2+3Arcane armor expertise (immediate action)+1 level of spellcasting class
6th+4+2+2+3Discern lies+1 level of spellcasting class
7th+5+2+2+4Assiduous gaze+1 level of spellcasting class
8th+6+3+3+4Signifer armor training 2+1 level of spellcasting class
9th+6+3+3+5Infernal resilience+1 level of spellcasting class
10th+7+3+3+5Diabolic harbinger+1 level of spellcasting class

The following are class features of the Hellknight signifer prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Hellknight signifer gains proficiency with heavy armor and with one of his order’s favored weapons (see Order on page 93).

Aura of Law (Ex): A Hellknight signifer’s lawful aura (see the detect law spell) functions as that of a cleric whose level is equal to the Hellknight signifer’s character level.

Catechesis (Ex): If a Hellknight signifer has the Warrior Priest feat, his class level stacks with other divine spellcasting classes for determining the effects of those classes’ domain powers, inquisitions, and mysteries. This doesn’t grant any new powers or abilities. In addition, a Hellknight signifer with the Warrior Priest feat gains Alignment Channel (chaos) as a bonus feat, and treats his Hellknight signifer levels as cleric levels when determining the amount of damage healed or dealt and saving throw DCs of his channeled energy.

Order: A Hellknight signifer chooses a Hellknight order to join at 1st level. The most common Hellknight orders (and their favored weapon or weapons) are: Chain (flail), Gate (dagger), Godclaw (morningstar), Nail (halberd or lance), Pyre (glaive), Rack (longsword or whip), and Scourge (heavy mace or whip).

Signifer Mask (Su): Upon initiation, a Hellknight signifer receives a mask, often devoid of eyeholes or other personal features. This mask doesn’t obscure the Hellknight signifer’s vision, and while wearing it he gains a +2 competence bonus on Sense Motive checks and on saving throws against spells and abilities that rely on visual effects.

A Hellknight signifer with a bonded object from the arcane bond class feature can perform a special ritual that costs 500 gp and takes 8 hours to complete. This ritual converts the Hellknight signifer’s mask into his new bonded object, which takes up the head slot. In this case, his Hellknight signifer levels stack with levels from the class that grants the arcane bond for determining what additional magical abilities can be added to the bonded object.

Arcane Armor Expertise (Ex): At 2nd level, if a Hellknight signifer has the Arcane Armor Training feat, he gains Arcane Armor Mastery as a bonus feat. At 5th level, the action required to use this feat changes from a swift action to a free action.

Signifer Armor Training (Ex): At 3rd level, while a Hellknight signifer wears Hellknight armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0), and reduces the arcane spell failure chance by 5%. At 8th level, he reduces his armor check penalty by an additional 1, and reduces his arcane spell failure by an additional 5%. Additionally, at 8th level, when a Hellknight signifer’s speed is reduced by wearing medium or heavy armor, his unique training decreases the speed reduction by 5 feet.

Assiduous Gaze: At 4th level and again at 7th level, a Hellknight signifer gains an assiduous gaze ability chosen from the list below. A Hellknight signifer can use each assiduous gaze ability he has for a number of rounds per day equal to half his class level. These rounds need not be consecutive. A Hellknight signifer can activate an assiduous gaze ability as a swift action to examine a single creature, object, or 5-foot square within 30 feet. A Hellknight signifer must be wearing his signifer mask to use these abilities, and his caster level while using the ability is equal to his character level.

Elucidation (Su): The Hellknight signifer can discern each active spell on the target, including the spell’s effect and caster level.

Morality (Sp): The Hellknight signifer can determine whether the target is chaotic, evil, good, or lawful, as well as the strength of its aura as if he had studied it for 3 rounds using detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, and detect law.

Scrutiny (Su): The Hellknight signifer can discern whether the target has spell-like abilities or spellcasting abilities; whether any spellcasting abilities are arcane, divine, or psychic; and the strength (see detect magic) of the most powerful spell or spell-like ability the target currently has available.

Veracity (Sp): The Hellknight signifer can observe the target as if using true seeing. A Hellknight signifer must be 7th level to select this ability.

Vigilance (Su): The Hellknight signifer can see through up to 5 feet of stone, wood, or similar barriers as if they didn’t exist. This effect cannot penetrate metal of any kind.

Discern Lies (Sp): At 6th level, a Hellknight signifer can use discern lies as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. His caster level is equal to his total character level.

Infernal Resilience (Ex): At 9th level, a Hellknight signifer gains DR 5/chaotic and becomes immune to poison.

Diabolic Harbinger (Su): At 10th level, as long as a Hellknight signifer wears his signifer mask, he gains telepathy with a range of 100 feet and can see perfectly in both magical and mundane darkness. While wearing his signifer mask, he is immune to blindness and dazzling effects, and gains a +2 bonus on all Charisma-based checks when interacting with lawful creatures. This bonus increases to +4 if the creature is also an outsider.