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Guardians excel at tying down heavy hitting monsters and distracting their attention from more vulnerable party members. While they do not deal as much damage as fighters or barbarians and have no training in magic, they are very durable and can take in inordinate amounts of punishment while their comrades destroy the opposition.
Making a Guardian
"Eugene stepped into the path of the minotaur. Raising his shield high, he barely winced as its body connected with his barrel chest. Forcing it back, the minotaur reared to crush him underfoot. As the beast was engulfed in flames emnating from his companions, Eugene smiled. No dinner for you today, he chuckled."
Guardians focus on simply staying alive. If they can stay upright, alive and functional longer than their opponent, then they will have the victory. This leads to guardians being very self-confident and willing to take on any kind of endureance challenge to improve their toughness and stamina. Guardians can literally be guards, or they could be shock troops for the military, explorers who journey through dangerous regions and are likely to suffer several injuries, or professional gladiators who have learned to outlast the competition.
Abilities: Constitution is the primary choice for guardians as it keeps them on their feet longer. Dexterity can add to their defensive capability. Intelligence allows the guardian to exploit their opponents weaknesses to their advantage.
Races: All the common races can walk the path of the guardian. Dwarves and Half-orcs have the build required for the role. Gnomes can make effective guardians due to their hardiness. Elves have the grace to avoid blows, but lack the necessary toughness to be the center of a monster's attention for too long.
Starting Gold: 6d8×10 gp (150 gp).
Starting Age: As fighter.
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Sword and Board|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Improved Uncanny Dodge|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+10||+5||Improved Total Defense|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Guardian.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Guardians are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and all types of armour and shields (including tower shields).
Sword And Board: At 1st level, due to extensive training in blocking maneuvers, the Guardian gains an additional +1 to AC whenever he is using a sword and shield. This bonus increases to +2 at 5th level and by +1 every five levels thereafter (+3 at 10th, +4 at 15th, +5 at 20th)
Bonus Feat: A Guardian gains a bonus feat at 2nd level and every four levels thereafter. They must be chosen from the list of Guardian bonus feats below.
Bonus Feat list: Athletic, Combat Expertise (Improved Disarm, Improved Trip (Knock-Down)), Combat Reflexes (Hold The Line), Endurance (Diehard), Eyes In The Back Of Your Head, Stand Still, Toughness, Weapon Focus. (N.B: Guardian levels count as fighter levels for the purpose of the Weapon Specialisation, Greater Weapon Specialisation and Greater Weapon Focus feats.)
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 3nd level, a Guardian retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a Guardian already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
Defensive Roll (Ex): The Guardian can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than he otherwise would. Once per day, when he would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the Guardian can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the Guardian must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC=damage dealt). If the save succeeds, he takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, he takes full damage. He must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute his defensive roll—if he is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC, he can’t use this ability.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A Guardian of 7th level or higher can no longer be flanked.
This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target does.
If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.
|21st||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|22nd||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|23rd||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|24th||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|25th||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|26th||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|27th||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|28th||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|29th||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
|30th||<-any improvements to class features gained at this level, including any bonus feats->|
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
<-existing class feature->: <-how this class feature increases or accumulates at epic levels->
<-another existing class feature->: <-how this class feature increases or accumulates at epic levels->
Bonus Feats : The epic <-class name-> gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic <-class name-> bonus feats) every <-number of feats per level-> levels after 20th.
Epic Guardian Bonus Feat List: <-list of bonus epic feats->.
Human Guardian Starting Package
Weapons: Longsword (One-handed, Martial, 1d8 19-20x20).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.
|<-Skill name->||<-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills->||<-Abbrieviated key ability->||<-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->|
|<-Skill name->||<-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills->||<-Abbrieviated key ability->|| <-armor check penalty based on starting armor. If innapplicable put "—"->
<-copy and paste the rows as necessary.->
Bonus Feats: Toughness.
Gear: <-Starting armor and other equipment outside of weapons.->.
Gold: <-Starting gold using this package.->.
Playing a Guardian
Religion: <-description of how this class typically (but no exclusively) approaches religion including likely portfolios it would worship->.
Other Classes: Guardians excel in the defensive role. As such they are always values by wizards and sorcerors as a living barrier against all manner of creatures. Often they are appreciated, and appreciate, clerics who can augment their already impressive defensive capabilities. They are often undervalued by classes who emphasise mobility, such as rangers, rogues and monks. Barbarians and fighters often scorn guardians' lack of offensive capability while simultaeneously envying their staying power.
Combat: <-Typical role in combat->.
Advancement: <-Typical advancement options for characters with this class. Include desirable multiclass options->.
Guardians in the World
|“||<-Some quote from a character of this class->||”|
|—<-NPC name->, <-race-> <-class->|
<-Where characters of this class fit in a d20 world.->
Daily Life: <-day in the life of a character of this class->.
Notables: <-notable NPCs of this class->.
Organizations: <-info on what, where, when, and how characters of this class congregtate and assemble->.
NPC Reactions: <-How NPCs react to PCs of this class->.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) can research Guardians to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Guardians are strong defensive combatants that can take large amounts of damage.|
|10||Many train themselves to the limit of physical endurance.|
|15||Most Guardians have a ward they are assigned to protect.|
|20||If this is not the case, they generally travel the world to try and find an accepting ward.|
Guardians in the Game
<-How characters of this class fit in the game (PC and NPC) and what roles they play.->
Adaptation: <-Possible variant conceptions of this class.->.
Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.
EL whatever: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.