Vanguard

Hit Dice: 1d12

Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Survival (Wis).

Skill Points per Level: 4 + INT

Level Base Attack Fort Reflex Will Special
1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Bulwark
2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Vanguard Talent, Deflect
3 +2 +3 +1 +3 Defensive Maximization +1
4 +3 +4 +1 +4 Armored DR 1/-, Quick Strap
5 +3 +4 +1 +4 Vanguard Talent
6 +4 +5 +2 +5 Safeguard 1/day
7 +5 +5 +2 +5 Armored DR 2/-
8 +6 +6 +2 +6 Vanguard Talent
9 +6 +6 +3 +6 Defensive Maximization +2, Safeguard 2/day
10 +7 +7 +3 +7 Armored DR 3/-
11 +8 +7 +3 +7 Advanced Vanguard Talent
12 +9 +8 +4 +8 Safeguard 3/day
13 +9 +8 +4 +8 Armored DR 4/-
14 +10 +9 +4 +9 Advanced Vanguard Talent
15 +11 +9 +5 +9 Defensive Maximization +3, Safeguard 4/day
16 +12 +10 +5 +10 Armored DR 5/-
17 +12 +10 +5 +10 Advanced Vanguard Talent
18 +13 +11 +6 +11 Safeguard 5/day
19 +14 +11 +6 +11 Armored DR 6/-
20 +15 +12 +6 +12 Advanced Vanguard Talent, Shield Saint

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A vanguard is proficient with all simple weapons, martial melee weapons, heavy and light repeating crossbows, light, medium, and heavy armor, and all shields (Including Tower Shields).

Bulwark: The vanguard knows how to protect not just himself, but also how to help protect his allies. An vanguard grants soft cover to any ally adjacent to him, even against attacks the vanguard is not aware of and those that come from a direction that would not normally count the vanguard as cover. The vanguard does not count as cover for himself, though two vanguard standing next to each other both do gain this benefit.

An vanguard must be conscious and able to take actions in order to grant this benefit. He cannot do so if suffering under effects such as being flat-footed, unconscious, dead, paralyzed, or stunned.

Vanguard Talents: As a vanguard gains experience, he learns a number of talents that aid him in defending himself and his allies. Starting at 2nd level, a vanguard gains one vanguard talent. He gains an additional vanguard talent at 5th and 8th levels.

  • Armor Training: Vanguards often learn to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. A vanguard with this talent improves the armor check penalty (to a maximum of 0) and maximum Dexterity bonus to AC by +1 for any armor he is wearing. This talent may be taken more than once. Its effects stack.
  • Citadel: This talent allows a vanguard to count as hard cover for all adjacent allies, rather than only being soft cover (as described in the bulwark class ability). The vanguard must be conscious and able to take actions to grant this benefit. In addition, as a move action, the vanguard can grant an adjacent ally temporary hit points. The ally gains 1d8 temporary hit points + 1 per 2 class levels. The vanguard must remain conscious, able to move, and adjacent to the ally or the temporary hit points end. A vanguard may do this a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Wisdom modifier (minimum 3/day).
  • Crossbow Brace: This talent allows a vanguard to brace a crossbow on an equipped shield. Even when the vanguard is using a shield that prevents his hand from being free, that stability of his bracing allows him to use his shield-arm to hold, fire, and reload a crossbow with which he is proficient. It also gives the vanguard a +1 bonus to attack rolls made with a crossbow with which he is proficient. He gains this bonus only while he has a shield equipped. This bonus increases to +2 at 6th level, +3 at 12th level, and +4 at 18th level.
  • Defensive Training: A vanguard may take this talent to gain one of the following feats as a bonus feat: Alertness, Armored Hustle, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Defensive Combat Training, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Greater Shield Focus, Improved Shield Bash, Mobility, Shield Block, Shield Focus, and Stand Still. This talent may be taken more than once. Each time, a different feat much be selected. The vanguard must still meet the prerequisites of the feat chosen.
  • Picket: A vanguard with this talent gains a bonus to attack rolls and damage for attacks the vanguard makes with a readied action. The attacks must be made with a weapon with the brace quality, and the target must be a charging foe. The bonus is equal to half the vanguard’s class level.
  • Resist: A vanguard can learn to maximize his armor’s effectiveness against unusual attack types. The vanguard selects one of the following damage types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic. When wearing medium or heavy armor, the vanguard gains resist 5 against the selected damage type. If the vanguard is 10th level or higher, this resistance increases to 10. This talent may be taken up to five times. Its effects do not stack. Each time it is taken, a different damage type must be selected.
  • Shelter of Steel: This talent allows a vanguard to use his armor to absorb some of the inevitable punishment of battle. As a move action, a vanguard in medium or heavy armor can gain 1d8 temporary hit points +1 per 2 class levels. The vanguard may do this a number of times per day equal to his Constitution bonus (minimum 1/day).
  • Slam: A vanguard with this talent throws himself bodily into foes and barriers, trusting his armor to protect him. The vanguard gains a bonus to all CMB checks made to bull rush or overrun foes, and to Strength checks made to break open doors and gates. This bonus is equal to his total armor bonus plus shield bonus, to a maximum of his class level.
  • Spear Brace: This vanguard talent allows a vanguard to brace a pole arm or spear on an equipped shield, to aid in handling and fighting with it. His increased stability gives the vanguard a +1 bonus to attack rolls made with a pole arm or spear with which he is proficient. He gains this bonus only while he has a shield equipped. This bonus increases to +2 at 6th level, +3 at 12th level, and +4 at 18th level. Additionally, even when the vanguard is using a shield that prevents his hand from being free, he can use his shield-arm to hold (and fight with) a pole arm or spear with which he is proficient.
  • Uncanny Block: With uncanny block, a vanguard can interpose a shield between himself and danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. When the vanguard has a shield equipped, he cannot be caught flat-footed even if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized or if a foe successfully makes a Bluff check to feint against him.

Deflect: A 2nd level a vanguard can maximize the protection his armor gives him to reduce the damage area attacks deal him. A vanguard in heavy armor takes only half damage from any attack, spell, or ability that allows a Reflex saving throw. The vanguard is still allowed a normal saving throw, he simply takes half of whatever damage he normally would based on the result of that saving throw. If the attack, spell, or ability has a non-damaging effect, the vanguard suffers the appropriate effect based on his saving throw result.

Defensive Maximization: At 3rd level, a vanguard learns to get more out of his armor, increasing the armor bonus to AC he receives from medium or heavy armor by +1. This bonus increases to +2 at 9th level, and +3 at 15th level.

Armored DR: At 4th level a vanguard can use his armor to absorb some of the damage he suffers from physical attacks, and can prevent attacks from striking weak points in his armor. The vanguard gains DR 1/— when wearing medium or heavy armor. This DR also applies to the hardness of the vanguard’s armor or shield if either suffers a direct attack. This DR increases to 2/— at 7th level, 3/— at 10th level, 4/— at 13th level, 5/— at 16th level, and 6/— at 19th level. Thus a 7th-level vanguard, with armored DR 2/— , increases the hardness of any armor or shield he is wearing by +2.

A vanguard in medium or heavy adamantine armor adds the value of his armored DR to the value of the armored DR total. For example, a 10th-level vanguard (with armored DR 3/—) wearing an adamantine breastplate (with DR 2/—) combines the two values and has DR 5/—.

Quick Strap: At 4th level, a vanguard can don and remove his own armor more quickly and aid others to do the same. The vanguard can strap on a shield as a swift action. The vanguard can don or remove his own armor in 1/3 the normal time, and can don half-plate or full plate without having someone help. This time reduction also applies if the vanguard opts to don hastily. Having an assistant does not help an vanguard don armor any more quickly.

A vanguard can also grant these time reductions for donning, hastily donning, and removing armor to up to two adjacent allies. The vanguard must take full-round actions to assist these allies. Unlike most characters, an vanguard can don his own armor at the same time he assists others in doing so.

Safeguard: At 6th level, a vanguard’s defensive instincts become so great that he can intercept attacks aimed at his allies. Once a day, as an immediate action, the vanguard can swap places with an adjacent ally who has been struck by an attack. The vanguard can make this decision after seeing the damage dealt by the attack to his ally. This prevents the original target from suffering any damage or effect from the attack. The vanguard instead becomes the target of the attack, and is automatically hit by it. This is true even if the original attack roll would not have hit the vanguard—the act of intercepting the attack requires the vanguard to lower his own defenses and leaves him vulnerable to the attack. The vanguard does gain the benefit of his own saving throws, DR, and resistance against effects that allow such defenses. The vanguard and the original target actually trade positions as a result of this power.

The vanguard must be conscious and able to move, and cannot be flat footed, to use this ability. Only attacks and effects that require attack rolls can be intercepted with safeguard (a vanguard can’t prevent an ally from being hit by magic missiles, for example). The vanguard can use this ability on allies up to one size larger than himself, but it must be possible for the ally to stand in the space originally occupied by the vanguard. (A human vanguard can use this ability on a Large bear ally, for example, but only if there is a space the bear can stand in that includes the space originally occupied by the vanguard).

The vanguard gains an addition use of this ability per day at 9th level, and again at 12th, 15th, and 18th level.

Advanced Vanguard Talents: Beginning at 11th level, a vanguard’s selection of talents increases. Whenever a vanguard gains an advanced vanguard talent he may choose one of the following abilities or choose one of the vanguard talents described earlier. He gains additional advanced armiger talents every three levels.

  • Aegis: This talent doubles a vanguard’s DR against successful critical hits and sneak attacks. It also grants the vanguard a bonus to AC against attack rolls made to confirm critical hits. This bonus is equal to 1/2 the vanguard’s class level.
  • Elemental Shield: Some vanguards access mystic powers of protection as they become paragons of defensive techniques. With this talent, as a swift action a vanguard with a shield equipped gains resistance 10 against acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic damage. This resistance lasts for one round per class level. The vanguard may use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Constitution modifier (minimum 1/day). If the vanguard also has the resist talent, that resistance stacks with the elemental shield.
  • Improved Uncanny Block: A vanguard must have taken the uncanny block talent to take improved uncanny block. When the vanguard has a shield equipped, he cannot be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the vanguard by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has vanguard levels.
  • Spellguard, Lesser: A few vanguards seek to master all arts of protection, including spells normally reserved for clerics and wizards. With this talent, the vanguard selects three 1st-level spells and one 2nd-level spell. These must be abjuration spells from the cleric or sorcerer/wizard spell lists. The vanguard can cast each of these spells once per day, using his vanguard level as his caster level. The vanguard focuses these spells through his armor. Thus they ignore any somatic requirements, but the vanguard can only cast them when wearing medium or heavy armor.
  • Spellguard, Greater: A vanguard must take the lesser spellguard talent prior to taking this talent. The vanguard selects one 2nd-level spell and one 3rd-level spell. These must be abjuration spells from the cleric or sorcerer/wizard spell lists. The vanguard can cast each of these spells once per day, using his vanguard level as his caster level. The vanguard focuses these spells through his armor. Thus they ignore any somatic requirements, but the vanguard can only cast them when wearing medium or heavy armor.
  • Unkillable: The vanguard gains a number of hit points equal to 10 plus his Constitution score.

Shield Saint: At 20th level, the vanguard becomes a perfect paragon of defensive skill. The vanguard is immune to all critical hits and sneak attacks. Once per round, if the vanguard is subject to an effect (other than the consequences of standard damage) that would reduce his AC (including such effects as being stunned, falling asleep or unconscious, and even dying), the vanguard is allowed a special Fortitude save to ignore the effect. The DC of this save is 10 + 1/2 the level or hit dice of the attacker, plus the attacker’s Con, Int, Wis, or Cha modifier (whichever modifier is highest). The vanguard may use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom bonus (minimum 1/day).

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