Guardian (3.5e Class)

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The guardian is exactly what it sounds like. A guardian of those who cannot normally defend themselves. Slight spell casting abilities make the guardian a wonderful alternative to playing a paladin or cleric.

Making a Guardian[edit]

The guardian can act as a tank or a healer; occasionally at the same time. The guardian can go into a ward stance, which boosts the guardian's AC. This ability comes at the price of movement and attack. The guardian can also cast a few spells. The spell list is limited, and the guardian can cast a very small number per day. This is a perfect addition to any party.

Abilities: Intelligence is required for the guardian's ward ability, as well as the power and number of spells he may cast. Dexterity is important for increasing the guardian's armor class.

Races: Humans and dwarves are natural guardians. Elves and half elves will rarely take the guardian class, as their bodies are frail. Half orcs typically lack the intelligence required be an effective guardian.

Alignment: Any non-evil

Starting Gold: As fighter.

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Guardian

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Uncanny Dodge, Ward 1/day 3 1
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Protect Self 4 2 -
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Trap Sense +1 4 2 1
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Ward 2/day 4 3 2
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Improved Uncanny Dodge 4 3 2 1
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Trap Sense +2 4 3 3 2
7th +7/+1 +5 +2 +5 Damage Reduction 1/- 4 4 3 2 1
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Ward 3/day, Wholeness of Body 4 4 3 3 2
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Trap Sense +3 4 4 4 3 2 1
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Damage Reduction 2/- 4 4 4 3 3 2
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Greater Ward 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Ward 4/day, Trap Sense +4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Damage Reduction 3/- 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Remove Disease 1/week 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 -
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Trap Sense +5 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Ward 5/day, Damage Reduction 4/- 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Fleet Ward 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Trap Sense +6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Damage Reduction 5/- 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Ward 6/day 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge [Local] (Int), Knowledge [History] (Int), Knowledge [Geography] (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Guardian.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Guardians are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, so long as they are light or one-handed; they are proficient with all armors and shields, including tower shields.

Spells: The guardian casts divine spells. Unlike most divine casters, the guardian uses his intelligence to cast them. The guardian knows spells in the fashion that a bard or sorcerer does; he need not prepare certain spells per day, but may instead cast any of the spells he knows spontaneously, so long as he does not go over his daily limit. The DC save, bonus spells, and highest spell level for guardian spells are all based upon Intelligence. Upon reaching level 4 and every even level afterwards, a guardian may choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows, so long as the spell is two levels lower than the highest spell the guardian can cast. Guardians may not cast spells from scrolls.

Guardians choose their spells from the following list:

0—Create Water, Cure Minor Wounds, Daze, Detect Poison, Endure Elements, Flare, Guidance, Know Direction, Light, Mending, Purify Food and Drink, Resistance, Virtue

1st—Bane, Bless, Cause Fear, Cure Light Wounds, Deathwatch, Detect C/E/G/L, Entropic Shield, Obscuring Mist, Protection from C/E/G/L, Remove Fear, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith

2nd—Aid, Align Weapon, Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Poison, Fog Cloud, Make Whole, Remove Paralysis, Restoration (Lesser), Shield Other, Status

3rd—Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Daylight, Dispel Magic, Glyph of Warding, Invisibility Purge, Magic Circle Against C/E/G/L, Magic Vestment, Prayer, Stone Shape, Wind Wall

4th—Cure Critical Wounds, Death Ward, Dismissal, Freedom of Movement, Neutralize Poison, Restoration, Sending, Spell Immunity

5th—Baleful Polymorph, Break Enchantment, Cure Light Wounds (Mass) , Dispel C/E/G/L, Plane Shift, Righteous Might, Spell Resistance, Stoneskin, Symbol of Pain, Symbol of Sleep, True Seeing, Wall of Stone

6th—Antilife Shell, Banishment, Blade Barrier, Cure Moderate Wounds (Mass), Dispel Magic (Greater), Find the Path, Glyph of Warding (Greater), Word of Recall

7th—Cure Serious Wounds (Mass), Ethereal Jaunt, Refuge, Repulsion, Restoration (Greater), Resurrection, Symbol of Stunning, Symbol of Weakness

8th—Antimagic Field, Cure Critical Wounds (Mass), Discern Location, Spell Immunity (Greater), Symbol of Death, Symbol of Insanity

9th—Antipathy, Foresight, Heal (Mass), Regenerate, True Resurrection

Table: Guardian Spells Known
Level Spells Known
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 4 2
2nd 5 2
3rd 5 3 1
4th 6 3 1
5th 6 4 2 1
6th 7 4 2 1
7th 7 5 3 2 1
8th 8 5 3 2 1
9th 8 5 4 3 2 1
10th 9 5 4 3 2 1
11th 9 5 5 4 3 2 1
12th 9 5 5 4 3 2 1
13th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
14th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
15th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 1
16th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 1
17th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 1
18th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2 1
19th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 2
20th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 3

Ward (Ex): The guardian can turn himself into a mobile wall; he can add +6 AC to himself. This comes at the sacrifice of half of his movement, as well as a -2 all attack rolls. The ward lasts 3 + Int modifier rounds; the guardian may end the ward early. After the ward ends, the guardian continues with a half movement rate and -1 to attack rolls. The “fatigue” lasts for 3 + Int modifier rounds. The guardian may only use ward once per encounter. The ward takes no time to start, but may only be started on the guardian’s turn. This ability is in addition to fighting defensively: While warding, the guardian is considered fighting defensively, except he takes no additional penalties. Combat Expertise stacks with warding. The guardian may fight defensively without warding, but takes -4 to attack and +2 dodge bonus, as normal.

Uncanny Dodge: The guardian, through extensive training, is never caught off guard. He retains his Dexterity bonus even if he is flat-footed or attacked by an invisible assailant. Dexterity bonus is still neutralized if he is immobile. If the guardian already has Uncanny Dodge, he gains Improved Uncanny Dodge instead.

Protect Self: The guardian can now add half his Intelligence modifier (round down with fractions) to all Fortitude and Reflex saving throws.

Trap Sense (Ex): Guardians are trained to know where traps are. This training gives him a +1 bonus to Reflex saves to avoid traps and a +1 AC dodge bonus against attacks made by traps. Trap sense from multiple classes stack.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: The guardian can no longer be flanked; he can react to attackers on both sides as easily as a single attacker. This defense denies a rogue the sneak attack ability, unless the rogue has four more levels of rogue than the target has guardian levels.

Damage Reduction (Ex): Guardians are tough cookies, and they can shrug off some damage from each blow or attack. Subtract damage (based upon level, see chart) from each attack the guardian receives. Damage Reduction can reduce damage to zero, but never below zero.

Wholeness of Body (Su): A guardian may heal his wounds equal to his guardian level per day. This may be spread over multiple uses.

Greater Ward (Ex): The guardian’s ward increases his armor to +8, his movement rate is increased from ½ of movement to ¾ of movement. Attack penalty remains at -2.

Fleet Ward (Ex): At 17th level and higher, the guardian no longer has movement and attack penalties after his ward ends.


A Guardian who becomes an evil-aligned character loses his ability to ward, cast guardian spells, and heal himself using Wholeness of Body. He retains all other abilities.

Epic Guardian[edit]

Table: The Epic Guardian

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
21st Trap Sense +7
22nd Damage Reduction 6/-
23rd Bless 1/day as a Supernatural Ability
24th Ward 7/day, Trap Sense +8, Bonus Feat
25th Damage Reduction 7/-
26th Bless 2/day as a Supernatural Ability
27th Trap Sense +9
28th Damage Reduction 8/-, Ward 8/day, Bonus Feat
29th Holy Aura 1/day as Supernatural Ability
30th Trap Sense +10

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Ward: The Epic guardian gains one additional ward every four levels after 20th.

Trap Sense: The Epic guardian's bonus increases by +1 every three levels after 18th.

Damage Reduction: The Epic guardian's damage reduction increases by 1 point every third level after 19th.

Bless: The Epic guardian gains Bless as a supernatural ability at level 23. This may be used once per day, or twice per day on and after level 26.

Holy Aura: The Epic guardian gains Holy Aura as a supernatural ability at level 29.

Bonus Feats: The Epic guardian gains a bonus feat every fourth level after 20. He may choose from the following list: Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Epic Endurance, Epic Prowess, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Fast Healing, Overwhelming Critical, Devastating Critical, Bulwark of Defense, Epic Spellcasting, Great Intelligence, Great Constitution

Spells: The Epic guardian does not gain any new spells per day with leveling past 20. The epic guardian does gain more spells known, one new spell of any spell level per level past 20. The spell may be of any spell level the epic guardian can cast.

Human Guardian Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Bastard Sword

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 Con "—"
Craft 4 Int "—"
Heal 4 Wis "—"
Intimidate 4 Cha "—"
Knowledge 4 Int "—"
Listen 4 Wis "—"
Profession 4 Wis "—"
Sense Motive 4 Wis "—"
Spellcraft 4 Int "—"
Spot 4 Wis "—"
Survival 4 Wis "—"

Feat: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword)

Bonus Feats: Weapon Focus (Bastard Sword)

Gear: Armor: Scale Mail, Spiked Heavy Wooden Shield. Other: Backpack, Bedroll, Belt Pouch, Flint and Steel, Torches x5, Waterskin, Trail Rations x4, Healers Kit

Gold: 50 gold

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Guardian[edit]

Religion: Guardians will typically worship either a god of valor or a god of protection. Heironeous is a very common guardian deity. Pelor is another common deity for guardians, as they have decent healing capabilities.

Other Classes: Guardians will get along with the other divine casters better than anyone. Guardians are also quite friendly towards fighters, as they share a common purpose (meat shield). Guardians tend to find the brutish tactics of a barbarian, well, brutish.

Combat: Guardians tend to be in the front line, denying enemies access to the casters and healers. In a worst case scenario, a guardian could be the rear guard, while also healing the group.

Advancement: Guardians quite often advance into other means of defense. Guardian/Paladins are not too hard to come by, as the guardian has much to gain with paladin abilities.

Guardian in the World[edit]

Your defense is my order.
—Clock, Warforged Guardian

Whenever a merchant or other traveler needs protection to get from city to city, said person will most often hire a mercenary. Nine times out of ten, that mercenary is a guardian. That being stated, guardians are not only hired guards, but can also be protectors from evil crime syndicates or a malevolent dictatorship. Guardians will one of the first to lay down their own life for the safety of others.

Notables: Clock, Warforged Guardian: Once a normal warforged, he gained much notoriety by single handedly defending a city from an invasion of gnolls, he is now revered as a lesser deity among the warforged.

Organizations: Guardians are tied by no set organization, however they are commonly found in chivalric orders, city guards, armies, and monastic orders.

NPC Reactions: Commoners will quite often give a sigh of relief when a well known guardian is visible; the commonfolk know that they are safe for the time being. Nobles give a similar reaction, except nobles know when guardians are around or not (nobles pay guardians for their service).

Guardian Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Local) or (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.

Knowledge (Local) or (History)
DC Result
5 Guardians make excellent body guards, and have a knack for doing it.
10 Guardians can provide additional defenses not just for themselves, but for others as well, via magic or other ways.
15 That (Insert Royalty Figure Here) has X number of guardians on his detail, or other local knowledge about guardians in the area, but nothing too specific.
20 Specific information about a particular guardian, e.g., his last known location, a favored weapon, family traits, etc.

Guardians in the Game[edit]

Guardians could be found anywhere; from the inner sanctum of a noble king, to a caravan of a travelling merchant, or just walking about the streets protecting the innocent. Guardians are most of the time in it for the bettering of mankind (or whatever the racial equivalent would be). The Guardian truly is a beacon of hope for the downtrodden, and a figure that must be crushed for the tyrannical leader.

Adaptation: Guardians can fit nearly any role they are handed, except maybe a thieves role. Guardians can serve as a meatshield for the party. With certain feats, the guardian can become the party's main attack force as well. In times of crisis, the guardian is able to heal and cast basic protection spells, albeit not to the ability of a cleric.

Sample Encounter: Belven Tosprasa was not born into poverty or extreme wealth, however his family was never hungry. While his father, Alro, was out doing his monthly service for the town milita, his home was attacked. The town militia never arrived, but a guardian did. Belven and his mother were saved by this kind soul, and Belven's mother asked him to stay for dinner, which he obliged. Over dinner, Belven asked if he could join the guardian, and become his apprentice. After a day of contemplation, the guardian agreed, but he would never tell Belven his name; Belven learned his ways. The then elderly guardian passed one day, and Belven returned home to find his old house destroyed, and his mother and father killed. Belven then joined the towns army to right the wrong of his family's untimely death.

Belven Tosprasa[edit]

Human Male, Guardian 5, True Neutral
Medium Humanoid
Init=+2 Listen=4 Spot=4
Languages: Common, Dwarven, Gnoll

AC 21, Touch = 12, Flat = 19
+2 Dex, +6 armor, +3 shield
55 HP, 5HD
Fort = +7 Ref = +3 Will = +4
20 ft. (4 squares)
Melee = +1 Mithral Bastard Sword, d20+8 (1d10+3/19-20)
BAB=+5 Grapple=+7
Arms and Armor: +1 Light Fortification Chain Mail, +1 Blinding Heavy Spiked Shield, +1 Mithral Bastard Sword

CL 5
Level 0 = Cure Minor Wounds, Detect Poison, Endure Elements, Guidance, Mending, Resistance
Level 1 = Bless, Cure Light Wounds, Deathwatch, Sanctuary
Level 2 = Cure Moderate Wounds, Shield Other
Level 3 = Magic Circle Against Evil

STR 15 DEX 14 CON 16
INT 17 WIS 10 CHA 10
Special Abilities: Improved Uncanny Dodge, Ward 2/day, Protect Self, Trap Sense +1 Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Power Attack, Quick Draw Skills: Concentration 6,Craft (Woodwork) 6, Heal 4, Intimidate 4, Knowledge (Local) 6, Listen 4, Profession (Body Guard) 4, Sense Motive 4, Spellcraft 6, Spot 4, Survival 4 Possessions Armor and Weapons noted, Belt Pouch, Gray Bag of Tricks

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