Cavalier

While many warriors strive to perfect their art, spending all of their time honing their skill at martial arms, others spend as much effort dedicating themselves to a cause. These warriors, known as cavaliers, swear themselves to a purpose, serving it above all else. Cavaliers are skilled at fighting from horseback, and are often found charging across a battlefield, with the symbol of their order trailing on a long, fluttering banner. The cavalier's true power comes from the conviction of his ideals, the oaths that he swears, and the challenges he makes.

Role: Cavaliers tend to marshal forces on the battlefield, using their mounted talents and challenges to control the flow of the fight. Outside of battle, cavaliers can be found advancing their cause through diplomacy and, if needed, subterfuge. The cavalier is no stranger to courtly intrigue and can hold his own in even the most delicate of social situations.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Dice: d10.

Class Skills

The cavalier's class skills are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Reflex Save Will Save Special
1 +1 +2 +0 +2 Challenge 1/day, Courtly Etiquette, Mounted Combat, Special mount, Order
2 +2 +3 +0 +3 Order ability, Lance Expertise +1
3 +3 +3 +1 +3 Spirited Charge, Sword Expertise +1
4 +4 +4 +1 +4 Challenge 2/day, Armor Familiarity, Mace Expertise +1
5 +5 +4 +1 +4 Shield Block +1
6 +6 +5 +2 +5 Bonus Feat, Lance Expertise +2
7 +7 +5 +2 +5 Challenge 3/day, Sword Expertise +2
8 +8 +6 +2 +6 Order ability, Mace Expertise +2
9 +9 +6 +3 +6 Shield Block +2
10 +10 +7 +3 +7 Challenge 4/day, Lance Expertise +3, Deadly Charge
11 +11 +7 +3 +7 Sword Expertise +3
12 +12 +8 +4 +8 Bonus feat, Mace Expertise +3
13 +13 +8 +4 +9 Challenge 5/day, Shield Block +3
14 +14 +9 +4 +9 Lance Expertise +4
15 +15 +9 +5 +9 Order ability, Sword Expertise +4
16 +16 +10 +5 +10 Challenge 6/day, Mace Expertise +4
17 +17 +10 +5 +10 Shield Block +4
18 +18 +11 +6 +11 Bonus Feat, Lance Expertise +5
19 +19 +11 +6 +11 Challenge 7/day, Sword Expertise +5
20 +20 +12 +6 +12 Unstoppable Charge, Mace Expertise +5

Class Features

The following are the class features of the cavalier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cavaliers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, light, and medium) and with shields (except tower shields).

Challenge (Ex): Once per day, a cavalier can challenge a foe to combat. As a swift action, the cavalier chooses one target within sight to challenge. The cavalier's melee attacks deal extra damage whenever the attacks are made against the target of his challenge. This extra damage is equal to the cavalier's level. The cavalier can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every three levels beyond 1st, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level.

Challenging a foe requires much of the cavalier's concentration. The cavalier takes a –2 penalty to his Armor Class, except against attacks made by the target of his challenge.

The challenge remains in effect until the target is dead or unconscious or until the combat ends. Each cavalier's challenge also includes another effect which is listed in the section describing the cavalier's order.

Courtly Etiquette (Ex): A Cavalier gains a competence bonus equal to one-half his Cavalier level (minimum 1) on all Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Knowledge (Nobility) skill checks.

Mounted Combat: A Cavalier gains Mounted Combat as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Special Mount (Ex): A cavalier gains the service of a loyal and trusty steed to carry him into battle. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the cavalier's level as his effective druid level. The creature must be one that he is capable of riding and is suitable as a mount. A Medium cavalier can select a camel or a horse. A Small cavalier can select a pony or wolf, but can also select a boar or a dog if he is at least 4th level. The GM might approve other animals as suitable mounts.

A cavalier does not take an armor check penalty on Ride checks while riding his mount. The mount is always considered combat trained and begins play with Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. A cavalier's mount does not gain the share spells special ability.

A cavalier's mount gains the same bonus on it's attack rolls as the cavalier gains from his Lance Expertise ability.

A cavalier's bond with his mount is strong, with the pair learning to anticipate each other's moods and moves. Should a cavalier's mount die, the cavalier may find another mount to serve him after 1 week of mourning. This new mount does not gain the link, evasion, devotion, or improved evasion special abilities until the next time the cavalier gains a level.

Order (Ex): At 1st level, a cavalier must pledge himself to a specific order. The order grants the cavalier a number of bonuses, class skills, and special abilities. In addition, each order includes a number of edicts that the cavalier must follow. If he violates any of these edicts, he loses the benefits from his order's challenge ability for 24 hours. The violation of an edict is subject to GM interpretation.

A cavalier cannot change his order without undertaking a lengthy process to dedicate himself to a new cause. When this choice is made, he immediately loses all of the benefits from his old order. He must then follow the edicts of his new order for one entire level without gaining any benefits from that order. Once accomplished, he gains all of the bonuses from his new order. Note that the names of these orders might vary depending upon the campaign setting or GM's preference.

Cavalier Orders

Lance Expertise (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a Cavalier gains a +1 competence bonus on all attack rolls when using a lance (either mounted or dismounted). At 6th level, and every four levels gained thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum competence bonus of +5 at 18th level.

Spirited Charge: At 3rd level, a cavalier gains Spirited Charge as a bonus feat.

Sword Expertise (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a Cavalier gains a +1 competence bonus on all attack rolls when using a one-handed slashing blade, including scimitars and bastard swords if the Cavalier is proficient (either mounted or dismounted). At 7th level, and every four levels gained thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum competence bonus of +5 at 19th level.

Armor Familiarity (Ex): Cavaliers learn to wear their armor like a second skin, ignoring the discomfort posed by medium and heavy armor and negating some of the penalties they normally bestowed. Starting at 4th level, the cavalier is no longer slowed when wearing medium armor. At 8th level, the Cavalier is no longer slowed by heavy armor.

Mace Expertise: (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a Cavalier gains a +1 competence bonus on all attack rolls when using any of the following weapons: flail, light mace, heavy mace, or morning star (either mounted or dismounted). At 8th level, and every four levels gained thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum competence bonus of +5 at 20th level.

Shield Block (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a Cavalier can use a shield to deflect blows most fighters would find impossible to stop. The Cavalier gains a +1 competence bonus on his Shield bonus. At 9th level, and every four levels gained thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to maximum competence bonus of +4 at 17th level. This bonus stacks with that granted by the feats Shield Focus and Greater Shield Focus.

Bonus Feat: At 6th level, and at every six levels thereafter, a cavalier gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat feats. The cavalier must meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats.

Deadly Charge: At 10th level, a Cavalier can perform exceptionally deadly charge attacks. The Cavalier deals triple damage on a mounted charge (quadruple with a lance). This replaces (does not stack with) the bonuses granted by the Spirited Charge Feat.

Unstoppable Charge: A 20th level Cavalier can almost move mountains with his mounted charge. The Cavalier deals quadruple damage on a mounted charge (quintuple with a lance). This replaces (does not stack with) the bonuses granted by the Spirited Charge feat and the Deadly Charge ability.

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