Guardian, Dwarven Defender Class (3.5e Class)

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The guardian is a stalwart and defensive fighter, specializing in disabling his enemy and controlling his movement in battle. A guardian is often found as a commander in combat, or as a bodyguard. Good Guardians are usually protectors and defenders of those weaker than them, while Evil ones are moving walls of destruction.

It's a little like the reverse Barbarian. Dwarven Defender as a base class with extra stuff.

Making a Guardian[edit]

Guardians have and always will be known as front-line fighters. Their heavy armor combined with access to shields along with damaging weaponry makes them well suited to stand in the thick of it. Their defensive stance feature does make it difficult to be anywhere else than in their enemies faces as they gain no abilities which aren't strictly used in melee combat. This is until higher levels that they gain the ability to move freely around the battlefield whilst in use of their Defensive Stance class feature. Guardians play the role of tanks becuase of their ability to simply avoid damage from the high bonuses granted from both armor and shield bonuses due to their access to both and the Defensive Stance granting a stackable dodge bonus to AC along with a larger Hit Die which helps soak up the damage nicely.

Abilities: Strength is an essential component of the guardian as it improves his ability to deal damage and also improves his accuracy in melee combat. Constitution will allow him to also absorb damage from his opponents and still stay standing, also benefiting from the high Hit Die this is very opporunistic.

Races: Not all are suited to the role of the guardian as it involves a good amount of patience mixed with a healthy batch of paranoia. Long living races such as dwarves and elves are more inclined to walk the path of the guardian whilst races with shorter life spans such as humans find it difficult to uphold the devoted duty of the guardian.

Alignment: Guardians are known to be of any alignment but usually they lean towards the side of law and order if they have the are devoted to the cause of a city or state or country. The more private members tend to be neutral in all aspects, the actions of their employer are not known to in any way impact on the behaviors of any guardian, seeing as they are so stalwart in beliefs and spirit.

Starting Gold: 5d4 × 10 gp (125 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate, as fighter.

Table: The Guardian

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Defensive Stance 1/day, Reaching Intimidate
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Uncanny Dodge, Mobile Defense
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Break 1/day
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Defensive Stance 2/day
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Improved Uncanny Dodge
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Break 2/day
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Manipulate
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Defensive Stance 3/day
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Break 3/day
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Frightful Presence 10'
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Manipulate, Improved Mobile Defense
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Defensive Stance 4/day, Break 4/day
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 -
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 -
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Break 5/day, Frightful Presence 20'
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Defensive Stance 5/day
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Restless Defense
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Break 6/day
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 -
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Defensive Stance 6/day, Frightful Presence 30'

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the guardian:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A guardian is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with all armor and shields, except tower.

Defensive Stance (Ex): When he adopts a defensive stance, a guardian gains phenomenal strength and durability, but he cannot move from the spot he is defending. He gains +2 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, a +2 resistance bonus on all saves, and a +4 dodge bonus to AC. The increase in Constitution increases the guardian's hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the defensive stance when the Constitution score drops back 4 points. These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are. While in a defensive stance, a guardian cannot use skills or abilities that would require him to shift his position, and he cannot take a move action. A defensive stance lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A guardian may end his defensive stance voluntarily prior to this limit. At the end of the defensive stance, the guardian is winded and takes a –2 penalty to Strength for the duration of that encounter. A guardian can only use his defensive stance a certain number of times per day as determined by his level. Using the defensive stance takes no time itself, but a guardian can only do so during his action.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd 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.

Mobile Defense (Ex): The guardian may take one 5’ step every round while in Defensive Stance.

Breaks (Ex): An attack made by the guardian meant to disable his opponent. These attacks can only be made by a weapon that he is proficient in, and this weapon must do at least 1d8 non-nonlethal damage. If his fists qualify, he may use them. These attacks are made at -4 to hit, and they are unable to critical. If the attack hits, the effect lasts until the opponent struck is healed for 10+ (the guardian's STR mod) HP.

Power: Deals 1d6 Strength damage.

Defense: This disables worn armor, halving its effectiveness and doubling the Maximum Dex Bonus. Instead of using healing to fix this, it must be repaired at a blacksmith for 1/10 of the market price, or have a Repair spell cast on it to heal it for the noted amount. If the target has natural armor instead, halve its effectiveness and reduce its speed by 1/4 until healed as noted.

Magic: Adds 50% to the target's arcane spell failure, even if there is no Somatic/Verbal component. This arcane spell failure chance also works on spell-like abilities, and certain Special Abilities that are magic-based.

Speed: Deals 1d6 Dexterity damage.

Reaching Intimidate (Ex): A Guardian may make his Intimidate checks in battle to any opponent that can see and hear the guardian. He does not need to be in melee combat nor does he need to threaten his space. The effects are unchanged.

Manipulate (Ex): The guardian is a master of manipulating his enemies. At level 7, choose one of the following abilities, and at level 11, gain the other. These abilities can be used once per round, as a move action. If the target succeeds on the roll to resist the ability, the target is immune to both forms of Manipulations for 24 hours.

Threaten: the Guardian may, instead of making the usual Intimidate check, choose to Threaten his target. The DC and other rolls are the same, but the affected target is frightened for two rounds instead.

Taunt: the Guardian may, instead of making a usual Intimidate check, choose to Taunt his target. The DC and rolls are the same, but the target, if affected, flies into a rage, identical to the barbarian ability. This rage lasts for two rounds.

Frightful Presence (Ex): A guardian can unsettle foes with his mere presence. The ability can be used as a free action once per round. Creatures within a radius of 10 feet plus ten feet per five levels after gaining the ability are subject to its affects. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a Will save (DC 20 + the guardian’s Cha modifier) remains immune to that Guardian's frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5-19 HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Creatures with more than 20 HD are not affected.

Improved Mobile Defense (Ex): The guardian may move at half his normal movement rate if he takes a move action while in Defensive Stance.

Restless Defense (Ex): At the end of his Defensive stance, he is no longer fatigued.

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