Order Of The Guard

Cavaliers who join the order of the guard dedicate themselves to the staunch and unyielding protection of a specific person or object—generally one they have been hired to protect. Members of the order of the guard are often mercenaries, offering their valuable services for a fee to those who wish to protect their investments. An order of the guard cavalier can offer his services to a cause in which he believes without accepting a monetary payment, though the cavalier's protection must come at some price, be it a favor, the release of knowledge, or other intangible trade. A tenet of the order is that the high level of protection the order strives for is only obtainable if the protector invests something of himself in the task and stands to lose something valuable should he fail.

Edicts: An order of the guard cavalier must strive to protect his ward to the best of his ability, even if doing so costs the cavalier his life. The cavalier must always receive some compensation for his services, be it money, a favor, or other payment. A member of the order of the guard must carry out the orders stipulated in his contract or dictated by his employer as long as doing so does not violate other elements of the order's code or a previously agreed upon contract.

Challenge: At the start of each day, an order of the guard cavalier must declare a person or object (including an easily defined group of objects, such as a series of chests or a collection of books) that he is dedicated to protecting that day, typically the subject he has been hired to protect; the selected item is known as the cavalier’s ward. Whenever the cavalier issues a challenge, he receives a +1 morale bonus to AC against the target of his challenge so long as the cavalier is physically located between his ward and the target. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels the cavalier possesses.

Skills: An order of the guard cavalier adds Knowledge (geography) and Perception to his list of class skills. Additionally, an order of the guard cavalier receives a bonus on Knowledge (nobility) checks equal to 1/2 his cavalier level (minimum +1).

Order Abilities: An order of the guard cavalier gains the following abilities as he increases in level.

  • Prepared for the Journey (Ex): At 2nd level, the cavalier can prepare for the terrain through which he will be traveling with 48 hours of study and customization of his equipment. He can select any terrain type from the list available to a ranger for his favored terrain class feature. While in the selected terrain, the cavalier gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and on Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks. At 8th level and every 6 levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1. Additionally, when calculating overland movement speed in the selected terrain, the cavalier and his mount treat trackless terrain as though it contains a road or trail, and terrain with a road or trail as though it were a highway. If traveling along a highway, the cavalier and his mount can travel for 10 hours before needing to attempt Constitution checks for a forced march.
  • Close at Hand (Ex): At 8th level, when the cavalier is within 30 feet of his ward, he gains a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws. If his ward is captured, stolen, or otherwise in the possession or control of the cavalier’s enemies, the cavalier loses these benefits. In their place, he gains the effects of a locate object or status spell (depending on the nature of his ward) targeting his ward and lasting 24 hours. When moving toward his ward, the cavalier and his mount increase their speed by 10 feet. At 12th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the bonus on attack and damage rolls and on saving throws increases by 1 and the bonus to speed increases by 5 feet.
  • Quick Retort (Ex): At 15th level, the cavalier can strike out at those who mean his ward harm. Whenever a creature attacks the cavalier’s ward, or attempts to steal, sunder, or otherwise wrest control of it from the cavalier or his allies, the attacking creature provokes an attack of opportunity from the cavalier. The cavalier receives a +2 bonus on attacks of opportunity he makes against such creatures.
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