The knight errant, the veteran Templar, the Norman lord, and sometimes even the mercenary band captain—all are chevaliers. The icon of medieval warfare, the mounted knight is the central element of sweeping battles, fierce jousts, and even tales of courtly love. Chevaliers can be idealistic crusaders or petty tyrants, protectors of the weak or cruel marauders who use their power and strength to take what they want when they want it.

If you’ve been following Martin’s tale (and really, you should be), you might be familiar with a fellow named Stephan. Well, Stephan, along with elements of the novel’s plot and a couple of other characters, was inspired by my Magica campaign which I ran for three years in the UK (and hope to wrap up with my players as soon as we can all get together again). The campaign kitbashed OGL rules (this was before 4E) with the top-notch Ars Magica magic system, and all of the character classes were hand-built to reflect a realistic medieval European setting.

So herewith I present a peek behind Stephan’s curtain, at the chevalier, or European knight, character class.

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This is a pure fighting class optimized for a low-magic setting and designed to set apart nicely from the footsoldier, another class I wrote up for the setting. It also incorporates a few mechanics unique to my campaign, such as my status system. And, finally, it’s not the most inspiring class in the upper levels–my campaign was not intended to go beyond 12th or maybe 15th level, so I didn’t spend a lot of brain juice developing the classes beyond those lofty heights. All that said, though, with a few tweaks the class could easily find a home in nearly any low-to-moderate magic setting.

What do you think?