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  1. #1

    Roleplaying As A Death Knight

    I have a level 85 Kaldorei Death Knight, I know it's hard to pull off but I have an extremely good and detailed backstory for the character. As I play more on the DK though I am finding myself in more and more RP fights. I try my best to RP as a Death Knight properly but there's a few things I have begun to question if I'm doing properly. I'll list the points of being a DK that I know and the ones I question. I want to make sure I don't GMod:

    Facts About Death Knights:
    • They don't sleep
    • They don't need to eat (they may out of habit)
    • They don't breathe
    • They can't be affected by alcohol
    • They do not get tired or lose endurance
    • Their blood does not flow, unholy energy is what keeps their bodies going
    • They are in a constant state of rot, though good hygiene can stop the process
    • They do not feel any pain
    • They can fight even while severely damaged as their organs works differently

    Just not getting tired alone makes DK fighting literally tankish. They can just keep going non-stop. There's a few things I'm curious about though:

    1. Can DKs be affected by poison?
    2. Can they continue to move once damaged? (Like if a tendon is cut does their unholy energy keep them moving or do they stop.)
    3. Just how much stronger are Death Knights than they were while alive?

    As far as I would say, I see them as being immune to poisons since their blood does not flow to carry it around their bodies. It's literally unholy energy that keeps them alive. I imagine the same reasoning goes into damage.

  2. #2
    Stood in the Fire broflmao's Avatar
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    You can add that insanity could be part of ongoing issues of being a death knight, like the fact that you cant fall asleep and that your... well dead. And about the poison, its unlikely to do anything unless it is corrosive/acidic. or magical at that.

  3. #3
    Role-player Nonfictionless's Avatar
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    Well I'm about to fall asleep so I'll just answer your listed questions for now =D

    1. Yes. But not in the same way as others. You are right in the fact that their blood doesn't flow so, poisons have to be applied directly to the target area. For example a poison to slow the mind has to be applied to the eyes, mouth, dosed on the scalp. Their organs (mainly the skin) reacts much the same way it did in life. While the flesh is dead such acidic poisons will still kill flesh. Now this won't harm the Death Knight as much as a normal living person but still it effects them.

    2. Magic can only do so much and it doesn't continue to rise in power unless you Death Knight keeps siphoning power from some source like a soul or an arcane filled crystal. But things like that need to be detailed much more and usually require a whole other form of expertise. So once hurt, like a tendon cut, the Death Knight will lose some (not all) function of that arm or leg or what have you and will need attending too like any other undead.

    3. This heavily depends on the way they were reanimated and by who. They are definitely as strong as they were in life, and maybe a bit more with the whole necrotic energies, but again this depends on how strong the necromancer is/was. For example first generation death knights (and some one correct me if I am wrong) were meant as generals for the Lich King's army and therefore weren't mass produced like the second generation (ie: playable characters in wow). They were given more strength and intended to be much more powerful so they were given it.

    Basically a good rule of thumb is to remember that magic is not endless. It can and will give out.

  4. #4
    actually death knights CAN feel pain.

    Originally Posted by nyorloth
    The souls of the undead (Forsaken, PC death knights, ghouls, etc.) are imperfectly attached to their bodies; the dark magic that sustains them is a buffer that prevents their souls from properly joining with their bodies. This is why undead feel only faint sensations of pain or discomfort from most physical stimuli, and why the Light is so painful to their existence. The primary exception to this rule are liches, as liches bind their souls to a phylactery and then use the phylactery to generate a physical form; this process is why lich bodies look nothing like their mortal bodies, and also why you have to destroy a lich’s phylactery to truly kill them.
    As for your questions, They would not be immune to poisons. Instead of blood, undead have ichor, a thick greenish substance. I'm not sure whether it flows or not, but if it does that means that undead would be succeptible to poison. If not, then since poison does attack and destroy tissue, it would still work, but only in a localized area.

    Unlike their living counterparts, Undead are able to feel dulled pain, and thus are able to still attack and move even after they should have been unable to. However, the downside to this is that due to the fact that their bodies ARE damaged, they cannot attack as strongly nor move as fast as they could if they were healthy. If your achilles tendon is slashed, you can't move. Not because of pain, but because that tendon is necessary to be able to walk.

    Death knights are imbued with the magics of the Lich King and thus their bodies are strengthened via that dark magic, so they are stronger, but it's not due to their musculature becoming stronger and more defined... it's due to magic, which is necessary because muscle deteriorates over time, though necromantic magic is able to "heal" it to an extent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nonfictionless View Post
    3. This heavily depends on the way they were reanimated and by who. They are definitely as strong as they were in life, and maybe a bit more with the whole necrotic energies, but again this depends on how strong the necromancer is/was. For example first generation death knights (and some one correct me if I am wrong) were meant as generals for the Lich King's army and therefore weren't mass produced like the second generation (ie: playable characters in wow). They were given more strength and intended to be much more powerful so they were given it.

    Basically a good rule of thumb is to remember that magic is not endless. It can and will give out.
    First generation were undead Stormwind knights who contained the souls of dead orcish warlocks and were used exclusively by the Horde in the Second War. Second generation were mostly ex-paladins who had lost their faith in the Light and who willingly became servants of the Lich king, so they are the people you were referring to.
    Last edited by The Mister Madgod; 2012-04-27 at 05:31 PM.

  5. #5
    Role-player Nonfictionless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    First generation were undead Stormwind knights who contained the souls of dead orcish warlocks and were used exclusively by the Horde in the Second War. Second generation were mostly ex-paladins who had lost their faith in the Light and who willingly became servants of the Lich king, so they are the people you were referring to.
    Ah yes. Those paladins....fallen so far from the glorious Light!!! I try to forget about them.

    *Shoves Aland in a box and hides him behind his back*

    Only upright Paladins here. *whistles innocently*

    Speaking of which I really do need to finish my latest paladin's bio.......Alas sleep truly calls now though.....

  6. #6
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    Odd as it sounds, I play a Draenei (Shaman) that exhibits much of the same qualities you listed as death knights.

    Notably, muscle/body damage still affects them imo, as the magic is what keeps them functional, but the body still needs to provide inertial power. Poisons, RP wise, are sometimes infused with magic power as well, and may also damage the physical body. DK's aren't just pure energy with a body along for the ride. I imagine DK's 'power' level to be on par with other 'heroes' regardless of their power before death. Maybe it just changes them, maybe it makes them more than what they were before.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the information. I'm trying very hard to RP a Death Knight as well as possible. I've run into so many horrible DK RPers and I want to make sure I stay as true to lore as I possibly could. Last thing I want to do is accidentally gmod in a fight.

    I'm very certain that the DKs still have blood in their veins however, just it doesn't flow. Instead there is an unholy energy that moves through their bodies and animates them. Also being that my Death Knight was raised by the Lich King himself (it's a long history as to why this happened but it's air tight) the runes on the DKs weapon (in the case of the secondary DKs) are what hold their soul. If they are separated from that weapon the soul link can be broken.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mortiegama View Post
    I'm very certain that the DKs still have blood in their veins however, just it doesn't flow. Instead there is an unholy energy that moves through their bodies and animates them. Also being that my Death Knight was raised by the Lich King himself (it's a long history as to why this happened but it's air tight) the runes on the DKs weapon (in the case of the secondary DKs) are what hold their soul. If they are separated from that weapon the soul link can be broken.

    As I have said, undead do not have blood, they have ichor. Actually, considering how ichor is thick and that it sprays out of an undead when it's cut open instead of oozing out (see Forsaken's "injured" animation), that means it's under pressure, and that means it's probably moving, which means poisons can circulate, though considering that it's a thick liquid, the poison would be slower to spread throughout the body.

  9. #9
    Mechagnome xMexyragosX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    As I have said, undead do not have blood, they have ichor. Actually, considering how ichor is thick and that it sprays out of an undead when it's cut open instead of oozing out (see Forsaken's "injured" animation), that means it's under pressure, and that means it's probably moving, which means poisons can circulate, though considering that it's a thick liquid, the poison would be slower to spread throughout the body.
    And, moving slower through the Death Knight's body, it means they are less susceptible to poisons than others, and can still fight much longer and harder. )

  10. #10

    Smile Not completely sure, but this is what i read.

    First Generation Death Knight's...they werent many as they were mostly made to be Generals and whatnot..Souls of Warlocks and so on, (Mostly Orc Warlock's)

    Second Generation Death Knight's was not mass produced, as they were fallen soldiers ( Mostly Paladins that either fell or went insane ) but they are yet stronger then Third generation Death Knight's.

    Third Generation Death Knight's was mass produced, as they were fallen soldiers..only made to be shock troops.

    I know it is a while ago, but i had to say it :)

  11. #11
    Pandaren Monk Zethras's Avatar
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    Actually, regarding the blood topic, look at the tooltip for Icebound Fortitude, it says "The death knight freezes his blood." So death knights do in fact have blood, not ichor.
    Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Zethras View Post
    Actually, regarding the blood topic, look at the tooltip for Icebound Fortitude, it says "The death knight freezes his blood." So death knights do in fact have blood, not ichor.
    Because "The death knight freezes the ichor in his veins" sounds so much better. Tooltips for abilities does not lore make.

    Besides, freezing your blood on the inside wouldn't do anything but lock you up. You'd be even MORE vulnerable. A good six percent of your body's water is composed of blood. If it froze, you would stiffen pretty significantly, considering that every cell in your body is connected to your cardiovascular system. There's not much of a positive spin on this, since when you freeze something, unless you strengthen it, you make yourself more vulnerable to concussive attacks.

    You'd also die, if you actually had blood, since that means you're living. If you freeze your blood, then the lower temperature permeating every cell in your body would sap the heat from your body resulting in a very quick death from hypothermia, assuming you didn't already die from your heart being forcibly stopped due to the liquids inside having been turned solid.

    There's a hundred reasons as to why looking at tooltips as credible sources of lore is one of the worst things you can do.

  13. #13
    Mechagnome Mengucekli's Avatar
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    But what you say is only true for living beings. Deathknights are dead. That does not turn their blood into ichor. If what you say would be true lorewise, than as they are dead they must rot away in a mere few days. Dead flesh can not stay together more than a few days. So, giving real life medical references to a game does not make sense.

    What i think about deathknights is that they have blood in their veins as there is an entire spec based on "Blood". They have many abilities connected with blood like vampiric blood, blood tap and icebound fortitude, etc. But as their bodies are animated by unholy magic, it is not vital to keep that blood running on. Remember, Arthas removed his very own heart and it was still itching when Fordring impaled it with his sword in that long quest chain at Icecrown. So i guess heart still keeps its function in Deathknights, but it is not as vital as it was when the said person was alive. Unholy magic keeps things going, as close as to the living functions, but that does not make those said functions critical.

    Deathknights can move their body with the unholy magic that keeps them together, which means they can just freeze their blood and make their bodies much stronger and harder than a fluid state (at least for a while), and still would not be affected by hypothermia because hypothermia is a case in which your tissues are at a lower temperature than their normal living temperature, in which case deathknights are dead and their body does not produce heat which means their tissues are equal (or close to equal) to whatever temperature their environment is. If they are at the sunny beaches of Booty Bay their blood may be 30 degrees celcius, but if they are at the frozen hills of Stormpeaks then it would be below zero, already freezing their blood in their veins. That may make them harder and tougher, but i agree that it would also greatly slow them down, limiting any sort of movement (despite the fact that unholy magic can move them by itself, it would still be slower than their average). Nevertheless, there could be no hypothermia for deathknights.

    So i would say a deathknight that does RP should take weather conditions into consideration, like a lizard, cold weather makes you slower and hot climate more close to normal. But also cold makes you harder.

    (I don't know if any one of you guys encountered a frozen snake in real life, while i was digging my backyard last winter i encountered one and i thought i should kill it so it would not wake up for spring, but i was almost impossible for me to kill it, because none of my knives, axes and shovels could cut the beast, not even penetrate its skin because it was hard as a rock. I had to use a chopping block and a woodcutting axe to chop its head off. I just wanted to tell you an experience here hehe
    Last edited by Mengucekli; 2013-02-22 at 09:15 AM.

  14. #14
    Two big points: undead flesh's unnatural decay rate is due to the fact that it is undead (dead flesh attempting to mimic living flesh), while flesh's reaction to the elements is uniform (therefore using real life medical references is absolutely valid), and the general theme of blood death knights is the blood of their ENEMIES being used, not themselves.

    As well, in-game spells should be taken with a large grain of salt... like I mentioned with icebound fortitude, there's a lot more negatives than positives and freezing your entire body would just make you a sitting duck.

    Ichor is pretty well known to be the replacement of blood in undead, which includes third generation death knights.
    Last edited by The Mister Madgod; 2013-02-22 at 09:33 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    Because "The death knight freezes the ichor in his veins" sounds so much better. Tooltips for abilities does not lore make.

    Besides, freezing your blood on the inside wouldn't do anything but lock you up. You'd be even MORE vulnerable. A good six percent of your body's water is composed of blood. If it froze, you would stiffen pretty significantly, considering that every cell in your body is connected to your cardiovascular system. There's not much of a positive spin on this, since when you freeze something, unless you strengthen it, you make yourself more vulnerable to concussive attacks.

    You'd also die, if you actually had blood, since that means you're living. If you freeze your blood, then the lower temperature permeating every cell in your body would sap the heat from your body resulting in a very quick death from hypothermia, assuming you didn't already die from your heart being forcibly stopped due to the liquids inside having been turned solid.

    There's a hundred reasons as to why looking at tooltips as credible sources of lore is one of the worst things you can do.

    breathe :P


    to OP, there isnt anything better than roleplaying with a DK, quite fun and interesting sometimes
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  16. #16
    If you're playing as a Blood DK, you can treat them sort of like a vampiric entity (but if you choose Twilight I will hunt you down and feed you to the spiders.)

    Frost can be played like a melée version of a Lich, with a frozen heart powering their energies; similarly, Unholy could be played like someone who was corrupted into becoming a Death Knight, and has a minion as a result.

  17. #17
    Mechagnome Mengucekli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Madgod View Post
    freezing your entire body would just make you a sitting duck.
    Where does that leave mages using iceblock? They must be suicidal to use that then. Also, in-game animation does not agree with you as obviously my orcish deathknight still bleeds blood when hit.
    Last edited by Mengucekli; 2013-02-22 at 11:45 AM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Mengucekli View Post
    Where does that leave mages using iceblock? They must be suicidal to use that then. Also, in-game animation does not agree with you as obviously my orcish deathknight still bleeds blood when hit.
    In-game means fuck all in roleplay. You should know that.

    A mage would never freeze himself in ice in the first place unless they were in fact suicidal, and you bleed blood as an ORC death knight because you're an orc. It's an animation. Blizzard's not going to change it to be lore accurate... it's not worth their time to change an animation that people barely notice in the first place and one that's correct on every class except one for some of the races.
    Last edited by The Mister Madgod; 2013-02-22 at 02:04 PM.

  19. #19
    Mechagnome Mengucekli's Avatar
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    But you have just gave an in-game example to prove that ichor must be pressurized in veins. Who knows maybe the arts team just colored the standard blood into yellow for forsaken animations and left it at that rather than fixing its splash to a drip, 8 years ago? Anyways, does not matter for me.

    So in mage case it seems a "frost armor" is not an option neither, and neither is "molten armor". Good to know.

    Meanwhile, since we are talking about this subject, i always wondered what http://www.wowhead.com/spell=49039/lichborne#. is for. I mean, were not death knights already undead? That always boggles my mind, an explanation will be most appreciated.
    Last edited by Mengucekli; 2013-02-22 at 02:13 PM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Mengucekli View Post
    Then it seems a "frost armor" is not an option neither, and neither is "molten armor". Good to know.

    Meanwhile, since we are talking about this subject, i always wondered what http://www.wowhead.com/spell=49039/lichborne#. is for. I mean, were not death knights already undead? That always boggles my mind, an explanation will be most appreciated.
    Medivh made fire that could give light but gave off no heat, so there's some potential for those abilities, but you can't really think of them like they are in-game.

    You're better off having temporary amnesia about the abilities of each class when roleplaying. For one thing, many of the abilities would have a different or even contradictory effect in a purely lore setting, and for another, other abilities, such as Lighborne, are purely gameplay abilities.

    ((As to the reason of why death knights aren't considered undead, we look to why the Forsaken aren't considered undead, i.e.: Gameplay balance!))
    Last edited by The Mister Madgod; 2013-02-22 at 02:20 PM.

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