Stalwart Defender

Stalwart Defender
Stalwart defenders are masters of claiming an area and refusing to relinquish it. This behavior is more than a tactical decision for stalwart defenders; it’s an obsessive, stubborn expression of the need to be undefeated. When stalwart defenders set themselves in a defensive stance, they place their whole effort into weathering whatever foe, conflict, or threat comes their way.


Role: Stalwart defenders are masters of melee combat, striving to prove that the best offense is a good defense. Stalwart defenders are normally found on the front lines of battle, holding a position to cover their allies, leaping into breaches of opposing formations and holding them open for others, and guarding more vulnerable allies by acting as mobile fortifications, stable points in the ever-changing chaos of battle.


Hit Die: d12.
Starting Gold: 175 gp.


Class Skills
The stalwart defender’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Athletics (Str), Intimidate (Str/Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Sap (Str), and Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.


Table: Stalwart Defender
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Damage reduction 1/—, defensive stance
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Defensive power, uncanny dodge
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 AC bonus +1
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Damage reduction 2/—, defensive power
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Improved uncanny dodge
6th +6 +5 +2 +5 AC bonus +2, defensive power
7th +7 +5 +2 +5 Damage reduction 3/—
8th +8 +6 +2 +6 Defensive power, mobile defense
9th +9 +6 +3 +6 AC bonus +3
10th +10 +7 +3 +7 Damage reduction 4/—, defensive power
11th +11 +7 +3 +7 Greater defensive stance
12th +12 +8 +4 +8 AC bonus +4, defensive power
13th +13 +8 +4 +8 Damage reduction 5/—
14th +14 +9 +4 +9 Defensive power, tireless defensive stance
15th +15 +9 +5 +9 AC bonus +5
16th +16 +10 +5 +10 Damage reduction 6/—, defensive power
17th +17 +10 +5 +10 Last word
18th +18 +11 +6 +11 AC bonus +6, defensive power
19th +19 +11 +6 +11 Damage reduction 7/—
20th +20 +12 +6 +12 Defensive power, mighty defensive stance

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the stalwart defender.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A stalwart defender is proficient with weapons (unarmed, simple, martial), armors (all), and shields (all).

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 1st level, a stalwart defender gains DR 1/—. At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, this DR increases by one. Damage reduction from different sources does not stack; however, a stalwart defender of 5th or higher level that gains DR from armor (but not from any other source) increases his class-based DR by the value of the armor’s DR. Thus a 7th-level stalwart defender wearing adamantine full plate (DR 3/—) has DR 6/—.

Defensive Stance (Ex): At 1st level, a stalwart defender can enter a defensive stance, a position of readiness and trance-like determination. A stalwart defender can maintain this stance for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his Constitution modifier. At each level after 1st, he can maintain the stance for 2 additional rounds per day. Temporary increases to Constitution, such as those gained from the defensive stance and spells like bear’s endurance, do not increase the total number of rounds that the stalwart defender can maintain a defensive stance per day. The stalwart defender can enter a defensive stance as a free action. The total number of rounds of defensive stance per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive. While in a defensive stance, the stalwart defender gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC, and a +3 bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, and Will saving throws. He also gains 2 temporary hit points per Hit Die. These temporary hit points are lost first when a character takes damage, disappear when the defensive stance ends, and are not replenished if the stalwart defender enters a defensive stance again within 1 minute of her previous stance. While in a defensive stance, a stalwart defender cannot willingly move from his current position through any means (including normal movement, riding a mount, teleportation, or willingly allowing allies to carry her). If he enters a defensive stance while on a moving vehicle he does not control (such as a wagon or ship), he can maintain the stance even if the vehicle moves, as long as he remains stationary relative to the vehicle. If the stalwart defender moves under his own power, even if compelled to do so, his defensive stance ends.

The stalwart defender can end his defensive stance as a free action; after ending the stance, he is fatigued for a number of rounds equal to 2 times the number of rounds spent in the stance. A stalwart defender cannot enter a new defensive stance while fatigued or exhausted but can otherwise enter a stance multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If a stalwart defender falls unconscious, his defensive stance immediately ends. A defensive stance requires a level of emotional control, and it may not be maintained by a character under the effects of an effect with the emotion descriptor.

Defensive Powers (Ex): As a stalwart defender gains levels, he augments his defensive stance. Starting at 2nd level, the stalwart defender gains a defensive power. He gains another defensive power for every two levels of stalwart defender attained after 2nd level. The stalwart defender gains the benefits of defensive powers only while in a defensive stance. Unless otherwise noted, he cannot select an individual power more than once.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a stalwart defender gains the ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He cannot be caught flatfooted, even if the attacker is invisible. He still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A stalwart defender with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her. If the character gains uncanny dodge from a second class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below).

AC Bonus (Ex): At 3rd level, a stalwart defender receives a +1 competence bonus to AC. This bonus increases by +1 every three stalwart defender levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level).

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level, a stalwart defender can no longer be flanked. The exception to this defense is that a character with at least four levels higher, that possesses a precision damage attack, than the stalwart defender can flank her.

Mobile Defense (Ex): At 8th level, a stalwart defender can adjust his position while maintaining a defensive stance. While in a defensive stance, he can take one 5-foot step each round without losing the benefit of the stance.

Greater Defensive Stance (Ex): At 11th level, when a stalwart defender enters defensive stance, he gains a +3 dodge bonus to AC, and a +3 bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, and Will saving throws. He also gains 3 temporary hit points per Hit Die. These temporary hit points are lost first when a character takes damage, disappear when the defensive stance ends, and are not replenished if the stalwart defender enters a defensive stance again within 1 minute of her previous stance.

Tireless Defensive Stance (Ex): Starting at 14th level, a stalwart defender no longer becomes fatigued at the end of her defensive stance.

Last Word (Ex): A stalwart defender learns the last word ability at level 17. Once per day, while in a defensive stance, a stalwart defender can make one melee attack against an opponent within reach in response to an attack that would reduce her to negative hit points, knock her unconscious, or kill her. For example, a stalwart defender has 1 hit point left when a red dragon bites her; the defender may use this ability even if the dragon’s bite would otherwise kill him instantly. If the attack hits, roll the damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together, but do not multiply damage bonuses from Strength, weapon special abilities, or precision damage. This bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. Once the defender’s attack is resolved, he suffers the normal effect of the attack that provoked this ability.

Mighty Defensive Stance (Ex): At 20th level, when a stalwart defender enters defensive stance, he gains a +4 dodge bonus to AC, and a +4 bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, and Will saving throws. She also gains 4 temporary hit points per Hit Die. These temporary hit points are lost first when a character takes damage, disappear when the defensive stance ends, and are not replenished if the stalwart defender enters a defensive stance again within 1 minute of his previous stance.

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