Commander (Apath)

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ApathApath Logo
Unofficial rules compendium
Shots ring out in the dead of night, the sergeant calls 'Stand up and fight!'
You're in the army now, oh-oo-oh you're in the army now
In The Army Now (1986), Status Quo, Ferdinand D. Bolland, Robert J. Bolland

The commander is a defensive cavalier archetype focused on group tactics and tight formations rather than on a solo charge. The commander is a front-line fighter, but also a support character somewhat similar to the bard in defensive abilities.

The healing-like and haste-like abilities of the commander may trouble some player's suspension of disbelief, but remember that the time scale in Pathfinder is arbitrary and hit points largely a question of morale.

Class Information

This is a cavalier archetype focused on leadership.

Publisher Trailseeker.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), and Knowledge (Nobility) (Int) Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str),

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The commander has all the cavalier's class features, except as noted.

Command Range (Ex)

The commander has several abilities that works on any target in his command radius. Command range begins at 30 ft. at level 1, and increases by 10 ft. at level 4 and every 4 levels thereafter, to a maximum of 80 ft. at level 20. Command range does nothing in itself, it only increases the range of other abilities.

Commander's Tactics (Ex)

At 1st level, a commander receives a teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. As a standard action, the commander can grant any tactical feat he knows to all allies within his command range. Allies do not need to meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. The gift lasts for 1 minute. The commander can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day at 5th level and for every 5 levels thereafter. This alters the cavalier's tactics ability and counts as the tactics ability for prerequisites and what abilities it works with.

Inspiring Leadership (Ex)

Once per day, an commander can use inspiring leadership on allies within his command range. This is a move action that does not trigger attacks of opportunity, or a free action taken during a round in which the commander charges an enemy. Targets must be able to see or hear the commander. A creature thus inspired gains 1 bonus Hit Dice (d10s) with 6 temporary hit points (apply the target’s Constitution modifier, if any, to these bonus Hit Dice) and a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls, damage, and Will saving throws against mind-affecting effects. The bonus Hit Dice count as regular Hit Dice for determining the effect of spells that are Hit Dice dependent. Inspiring leadership is a mind-affecting emotion effect and lasts for one minute.

The commander can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every three class levels beyond 1st, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level. (This is as many times as a regular chevalier can use challenge.) Bonuses from multiple uses do not stack, but temporary hit points overlap; use the better value if you gain temporary hit points from several different sources, including multiple uses of Inspiring Leadership.

At level 6, and every 6 levels thereafter the number of Hit Dice granted by inspiring leadership increases by 1, increasing bonus hit points by 6 + Con bonus and the attack, damage, and saving throw bonuses by one each, to a maximum of +4 at level 18.

This ability replaces the Challenge ability and all bonus feats.

Commander's Orders (Ex)

At 2nd level a commander can spend a standard action to give an order to an ally within his command radius that can hear the order. The targeted ally can choose one of the following benefits:

  • Make one attack at full base attack bonus.
  • Move up to his speed. This movement triggers attacks of opportunity normally.
  • Stand up from prone without triggering an attack of opportunity.

Commander's orders does not affect the target's or commander's initiative. The target of commander's orders cannot benefit from this ability again until two rounds have elapsed. At 11th level, using commander's orders becomes a move action.

Commander's Charge (Ex)

At 3rd level, the commander and anyone affected by the commander's inspiring leadership ability does not take a penalty to armor class when charging. This replaces the cavalier's charge ability.

Rousing Leadership (Ex)

At 8th level, inspiring leadership gains the ability to throw off lasting effects. Anyone who is under a lasting condition that initially allowed a saving throw to negate or reduce the effect gains a new saving throw against that ability when an commander of 8th level or higher uses inspiring leadership on them. This additional saving throw gains a morale bonus equal to the commander's Charisma modifier. If this saving throw succeeds, it has the same effect as if the initial saving throw was a success.

Greater Tactical Command (Ex)

At 9th level, the commander receives an additional teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. The commander can grant any two tactical feats he knows using the commander's tactics ability. Using the commander's tactics ability is now a swift action. In addition, the duration of commander's tactics and inspiring leadership increases to 2 minutes. This replaces greater tactician.

Surging Charge (Ex)

At 11th level, just after the commander makes a charge, allies under that commander's inspiring leadership ability (except the commander himself) can take an immediate action to charge. Each of them can choose a separate target for their charge. This replaces the Mighty Charge ability.

Battle Leadership (Ex)

At 12th level, the commander can use inspiring leadership as a swift action. This replaces the Demanding Challenge ability.

Battle Banner (Ex)

At 14th level, the commander’s banner becomes a rallying point for his allies. The saving throw bonus offered by the banner now applies to all saving throws. In addition the commander can spend a standard action to wave the banner in the air, which has the effects of inspiring leadership but does not count against the daily limits of that ability. This replaces great banner.

Bolstering Leadership (Ex)

At 15th level, when using the inspiring leadership ability, allies gain 12 temporary hit points (+ Constitution bonuses) per bonus Hit Die. This works out to 36 + 3 x Constitution modifier temporary hit points up to level 17, and 48 + 4 x Constitution modifier temporary hit points at level 18 and higher. In addition, the duration of commander's tactics and inspiring leadership increases to 5 minutes. This replaces the order ability gained at level 15.

Master Commander's Tactics (Ex)

At 17th level, the commander receives an additional teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. Whenever the commander uses the tactician ability, he grants any three teamwork feats that he knows. This replaces master tactician.

Redoubtable Leadership (Ex)

At 20th level, when using the inspiring leadership ability, allies gain 18 temporary hit points (+ Constitution bonuses) per bonus Hit Die. This works out to a total of 72 + 4 x Constitution modifier temporary hit points. In addition, the duration of commander's tactics and inspiring leadership increases to 10 minutes.

Seize The Initiative (Ex)

Once per day at level 20, the commander can use commander's orders as a swift action to affect all allies (including himself) within his command radius. This replaces the Supreme Charge ability.

Table: Commander

Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Command range 30 ft., commander's tactics, inspiring leadership 1/day, mount
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Commander's orders
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Commander's charge
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Command range 40 ft., inspiring leadership 2/day, expert trainer
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Banner
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Inspiring leadership +2
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Inspiring leadership 3/day
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Command range 50 ft., rousing leadership
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Greater tactical command
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Inspiring leadership 4/day
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Commander's orders (move action), surging charge
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Battle leadership, command range 60 ft., Inspiring leadership +3
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Inspiring leadership 5/day
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Battle banner
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Bolstering leadership
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Command range 70 ft., inspiring leadership 6/day
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Master commander's tactics
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Bonus feat, inspiring leadership +4
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Inspiring leadership 7/day
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Command range 80 ft., redoubtable leadership, seize the initiative

Variant: Infantry Commander

Most officers are mounted, but not all. An infantry commander replaces the Mount ability the fighter's armor training class feature. Any class feature that requires the commander to be mounted also works on foot for an infantry commander. This option can also works for the regular cavalier.

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Challenge
  • Tactician
  • Order
  • Cavalier's Charge
  • Greater Banner
  • Greater Tactician
  • Mighty Charge
  • Greater Charge
  • Demanding Challenge
  • Master Tactician
  • Supreme Charge
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