Defender of the City State (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Strewn across the harsh wilds of the desert like diamonds in the rough lay the few surviving pockets of civilization known as city-states. Here, in a land wasted nearly to ruin, these communities endeavor to eke out what lives they can, despite substantial threats from both the surrounding environment and, more often than not, the surrounding peoples as well.

A common saying in almost every tribal and/or desert tongue admonishes listeners to “pray, but ride for shelter.” In other words, the general consensus is that the powers that be help those who help themselves. The people of the various city-states are known to take this lesson to heart, but perhaps nowhere more seriously than in the noble path of the defender. Each of the major city-states has its share of these devoted souls; the specific style and dress vary from one city-state to another (as should be expected, given the broad scope of the class), but the general form and function is surprisingly uniform throughout. A defender of the city-state is a brave warrior for both patron and city, sworn to uphold and protect the both equally until her dying breath. She must swear a blood oath before taking her first step upon the path, and soon grows more and more attuned to both her city-state and city cult, making her a fierce protector.

In most desert locales, the glue that holds communities together is their common faith. Almost every city-state can claim a single patron entity who stands above the rest, and it is this deity to whom the populace turns most often in times of need. The patron and the city have a mutually beneficial relationship, the patron protects the city, which in turn provides spiritual devotion and a safe haven for the devotees of the entity when there is trouble in other places. Even chaotic and evil entities can become city patrons, such cities appear civilized on the surface but often have an underbelly of vice and corruption. Still, even these cities have defenders of the city-state who keep the city safe and who upholds the honor of the patron and city. No matter who is their city's patron, good or evil, defenders live by the credo "my city is always right" and side with their city and its cult.

Class Information

Defender of the city-state is an alternate class to the paladin. A defender of the city-state cannot take levels in paladin or another of the paladin's archetypes or alternate classes.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games based on the published works by Lion's Den Games.

Role A defender of the city-state is generally too busy to go on adventures, but her life is an adventure in itself. Always the first to step up to their city's defense, the defender's duties include everything from guarding the city's territory from monster, bandits, and armies to solving crimes and meeting out justice. A defender needs a reason to adventure outside of their city-state, but the intrigue of city-state politics are often reason enough. The defender might be a refugee on the losing side of a faction conflict, banished for taking the fall for some plot, or on an extended mission for their city. Defenders on such extended duties have a much greater degree of liberty, but must heed the call whenever their city needs them.

Hit Die: d10.

Religion A defender of the city state must worship the patron of her city-state, the sponsor of the city cult. The patron of a city-state can be any power capable of granting divine spells. Gods, elemental lords, arch-devils, demon lords, and hero cults are all possible. It is common for city cults to worship entities more or less forgotten in the outside world.

Table: Defender of the
City-State Alignment
Lawful good,
neutral good,
lawful neutral,
Lawful good
Chaotic good,
chaotic neutral
Neutral good
Lawful evil,
neutral evil
Lawful neutral
Chaotic evil Neutral

Alignment All defenders think of themselves as lawful and good, and generally act that way. But as outlined in the fealty ability below, they also have a patron to consider, and this means they cannot always live up to civilized ideals.

A defender must have specific non-chaotic and non-evil alignment, deepening on the alignment of their patron. A defender is normally lawful and good. A defender with a chaotic patron must be neutral with respect to law and chaos. A defender with an evil patron must be neutral with respect to good and evil. Table: Defender of the City-State Alignment lists the defender's exact alignment based on the specific alignment of her city's patron.

The defender's alignment is less a matter of personal choice and more a result of executing her duties. As long as the defender doesn't break her code of honor described below, she can fulfill all kinds of duties for her city and patron without affecting her alignment.

Starting Age: The defender is a self-taught class and begins play in the same age bracket as the fighter.

Class Skills

The defender of the city-state's class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

These are all the class features of the defender of the city state class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Defenders are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields, including tower shields.

Fealty (Su)

The defender of the city-state formally swears allegiance to her home city, its patron, and its people. While this oath has its drawbacks, it also has benefits.

The defender is lawful and good in her actions with regards to strangers in strange lands and with regards to citizens of her own city. But when the interests of her city is at stake, or when she is acting as the representative of her city against foreigners, her values change. Any act conductive to the interests of her city and its cult is an approved act to the defender.

Regardless of the actual alignment of her city's patron, the defender perceives the patron as just and good. Most of the time a city cult of any alignment operates as if it was lawful, good, just, and patriotic, as this is an efficient to run a small city-state where everybody knows everybody else. Still, such a cult can have practices that are far from lawful good, such as condoning slavery or human sacrifice. These are most often city traditions based on hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The defender always sees the practices of her own city cult as good, lawful, and conductive to the survival and prosperity of the city and faith. She has a duty to protect city and cult officials even when they perform evil acts. In doing so, it is inevitable that the defender's own credo is affected, as outlined under alignment above.

In a faction conflict within her city-state, the city's governing elite are seen as good and all other factions seen as enemies. However, the defender can decide to transfer her allegiance to another faction, that might have another creed, whereupon all other factions in the city become enemies. A defender can only transfer her allegiance on her own initiative once in a lifetime, this is always a formative event in the defenders life, and often in the history of the city as well. An atonement spell can be used to transfer the defender's allegiance to another faction, or even to another city and creed, but this is very unusual; both the defender and the caster of atonement need a very good reason to do so.

Enemies of the City The defender's patriotism is reflected in her view of evil. Any citizen of the city is seen as good and an ally. All potential troublemakers or threats to the city are enemies. If a creature is neither a citizen or a threat to her city, the defender has an attitude based on alignment and considers all evil creatures enemies.

When the defender casts a spells on herself or on her own gear that has an additional effect on evil enemies, such as bless weapon, she gains benefits that normally applies against evil creatures against all enemies of her city. This applies only to spells the defender casts on herself; spells cast by others on the defender and spells the defender casts on others work normally.

Home Ground (Ex)

When dressed as a representative of her city, the defender gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Diplomacy, Knowledge (geography, local, nobility), Perception, Sense Motive, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when in the territory of her city-state and when interacting with citizens of her city-state. This bonus increases to +4 at level 9 and +6 at level 18. This is a variant of the ranger's favored terrain ability and counts as that ability for fulfilling prerequisites.

She can use her Knowledge (nobility) skill as if it was Knowledge (religion) when dealing with the city cult of her own city, but not when dealing with other cults, not even cults dedicated to her city patron.

Smite Enemy (Su)

Once per day, a defender can call out to the power of her faith to aid her in her struggle against her enemies, as defined in enemies of the city, above. As a swift action, the defender chooses one target within sight to smite. If the defender targets a creature that is not an enemy, the smite is wasted with no effect. If the target is an enemy, the defender adds her Cha bonus (if any) to her attack rolls and adds her defender level to all damage rolls made against the target of her smite. Smite attacks automatically bypass any DR the enemy might possess. In addition, while smite enemy is in effect, the defender gains a deflection bonus equal to her Charisma modifier (if any) to her AC against attacks made by the target of the smite.

The smite enemy effect remains until the target of the smite is dead or the next time the defender rests and regains her uses of this ability. At 4th level, and at every three levels thereafter, the defender may smite one additional time per day, as indicated on Table: Defender of the City-State, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level.

Honor (Su)

At 2nd level, a defender gains a bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all Saving Throws.

Honor Guard (Ex)

At 2nd level, the defender is taken into the ranks of her city-state's honor guard. Each city-state has a honor guard where its most trusted and cherished warriors serve. The defender is a part of this guard and learns the fighting style of the guard. Choose one of the following benefits. This choice cannot be changed. These benefits continue to accrue as the defender advances in level.

The benefits are the same for all members of the honor guard of a city-state; if one defender of the city of Bubastis has a panther animal companion, they all do. A large city might have several honor guards, each offering a different choice.

Animal Companion: The defender gains an animal companion, as the companion version of the druid's nature's bond ability. At third level she can choose one of two benefits: When riding her animal companion and not wearing heavy armor, the defender ignores armor check penalties to the Ride skill, or the companion gains Master of Your Kind as a bonus feat, ignoring prerequisites.

Combat Style: The defender gains the ranger's combat style class feature. Every member of a honor guard must select the same fighting style, but each can select bonus feats of their own choice.

Fighting Companion: The defender can use shield other (sp) once per day, and the target of any shield other spell cast by the defender gains the use any tactical feats the defender knows. She also gains a tactical feat as a bonus feat at level 2, 6, and every 6 levels thereafter, but must fulfill the prerequisites of these feats and cannot use these feats in heavy armor. Different members of a honor guard can select different tactical feats.

Legionnaire: The defender gains proficiency with heavy armor. At level 3 she gains the fighter's armor training class feature, as a fighter of her defender level.

Scout: The defender gains Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str) as class skills, and gains 2 additional skill points per level. At 2nd level she gains 2 skill points retroactively to share among her new class skills.

Skirmisher: The defender gains a 10 ft. increase in speed when wearing light or no armor. At level 3 she gains Dodge as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she gains Mobility and Spring Attack as bonus feats. At 12th level, she can use Spring Attack when adjacent to an enemy and take a double move instead of a normal move as part of the full-round action to use Spring Attack.

Way of Life Defense: When wearing light or no armor, the defender adds her Charisma bonus (if positive) as a dodge modifier to armor class and CMD. She loses this bonus when she wears medium or heavy armor, when she carries a medium or heavy load, or when she is denied her Dexterity bonus to armor class. The defender can use her way of life armor bonus with light armor and a shield. At 6th level, the defender gains the ability to react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A defender with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized or an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her. This makes her a martial artist of the way of life as classified in Unarmored and Dangerous, also by Purple Duck Games. All information needed to use this ability is given here.

Bastion of Courage (Su)

At 3rd level, a defender is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This ability functions only while the defender is conscious, not if she is unconscious or dead.

Bastion of Fortitude (Su)

At 3rd level, a defender is immune to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases like mummy rot.


At 3rd level a defender gains the warpriest's blessing class feature. Select two domains among those available to her patron. A defender can only select an alignment domain if both she and her patron both share that alignment. At level 3 she gains the minor blessing of one of the selected domains. At level 6, she gains the minor blessing of the other selected domain. At 12 level, she gains the major blessing of one of her selected domains, and at 15th level she gains the major blessing of the other selected domain. Count defender levels as warpriest levels when using blessings, but any effect based on Wisdom for a warpriest is based on Charisma for a defender.


Beginning at 4th level, a defender gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells which are drawn from the paladin spell list. A defender must choose and prepare her spells in advance. Not that the enemies of the city class feature modifies how the defender's spells work with respect to alignment.

To prepare or cast a spell, a defender must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a defender's spell is 10 + the spell level + the defender's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a defender can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Defender of the City-State. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). When Table: Defender of the City-State indicates that the defender gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, she gains only the bonus spells she would be entitled to based on her Charisma score for that spell level.

A defender must spend 1 hour each day in quiet prayer and meditation to regain her daily allotment of spells. A defender may prepare and cast any spell on the paladin spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during her daily meditation.

Through 3rd level, a defender has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, her caster level is equal to her defender level -3.

Domain Spells

At 5th level the defender gains limited access to the domain spells of the domain she selected for her level 3 blessing. If subdomains are in use, she can select an appropriate subdomain instead. Add the level 1-4 cleric domain spells of that domain to the defender's spell list. Unlike a cleric, a defender has no domain slots. She prepares and casts these spells just like any other spell on her spell list. At 14th level, add the level 1-4 spells of the second domain selected for blessings to the defender's spell list.

Bastion of Resolve (Su)

At 8th level, a defender is immune to charm spells and spell-like abilities. Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against charm effects. This ability functions only while the defender is conscious, not if she is unconscious or dead.

Bastion of Justice (Su)

At 11th level, a defender can expend two uses of her smite enemy ability to grant the ability to smite enemy to all allies within 10 feet, using her bonuses. Allies can smite any enemy of the defender's and must use this smite ability by the start of the defender's next turn and the bonuses last for 1 minute. Using this ability is a free action.

Bastion of Righteousness (Su)

At 17th level, a defender gains DR 5/evil and immunity to compulsion spells and spell-like abilities. Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against compulsion effects. This ability functions only while the defender is conscious, not if she is unconscious or dead.

Divine Ward (Su)

At 20th level, the defender has become a pillar of her community in a very real sense—part of the spiritual backbone of her home city. At this level, the patron of her city cult has blessed the defender with the ability to stand against almost anything that would taint or destroy her home. She gains DR 10/evil and is immune to death effects and to disarm and sunder attempts.

While on the territory of her city-state, the defender also gains the benefits of the Diehard feat and can take an additional number of negative hit points equal to her class level before dying.

Code of Honor

A defender must uphold both the interests of her city-state and her city cult, and must balance these interests against each other. She loses all class features except proficiencies if she ever willingly commits an act that harms her city-state or its interests. Additionally, a defender's code requires that she respect legitimate authority, uphold the honor of her city-state (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), and punish those who harm or threaten her city or its interests.

The defender has a duty to protect allies even when they perform what foreigners see as evil acts in service to her city. She normally does not take part in such activities, but can serve as an accessory.

A defender can never make a permanent alliance with an enemy, as defined in the enemies of the city ability above. She need not attack such enemies, and can use diplomacy against enemies. If necessary for the well-being of her city, she can temporarily cooperate with enemies if there is a common interest, but she is never considered allied with them for the purpose of abilities that affect allies.

While in her city-state, the defender is expected to work for her city for a minimum of 6 hours each day. She must undertake any missions given by a legitimate authority of her city. The city provides her room and board as befits her station. While away from her city, she must represent the city's interest and act as a loyal agent of the city and might have a long-term mission or quest, but is otherwise free to spend her time.

Table: Defender of the City-state

Special Spells per Day
1 2 3 4
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Fealty, home ground +2, smite enemy 1/day
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Honor, honor guard
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Bastion of courage, bastion of fortitude, blessing (minor)
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Smite enemy 2/day 0
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Domain spells 1
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Blessing (minor) 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Smite enemy 3/day 1 0
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Bastion of resolve 1 1
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Home ground +4 2 1
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Smite enemy 4/day 2 1 0
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Bastion of justice 2 1 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Blessing (major) 2 2 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Smite enemy 5/day 3 2 1 0
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Domain spells 3 2 1 1
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Blessing (major) 3 2 2 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Smite enemy 6/day 3 3 2 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Bastion of righteousness 4 3 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Home ground +6 4 3 2 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Smite enemy 7/day 4 3 3 2
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Divine ward 4 4 3 3


A defender that changes to any alignment except her approved alignment or who works against the interests of her city or city cult loses all defender spells and class features (not weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). She may not progress any further in levels as a defender. She regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see atonement).


City-states can exist in any area that is not fully tamed, but especially in terrain that is hostile but holds verdant pockets of safety. This is typical in mountains, hills, marshes, and the deepest of forests. With magic almost any place can sustain a small pocket of civilization; volcanic oases in the arctic, cave cities living on fungi, floating cloud cities, or even a city in a dungeon, the remnants of bygone glories.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to each listed race. Unless otherwise stated the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward. All these choices are available from level 1, even if they enhance an ability you only gain at a higher level. A favored race bonus that helps you qualify for a certain class ability means you get that particular class ability at an earlier level.

  • Dwarf: Subtract 1/3 from your total armor check penalty.
  • Elf: Add a +1 bonus on concentration checks when casting defender spells.
  • Gnome: +1/5 CMB and CMD. When this bonus reaches +1, you no longer trigger attacks of opportunity when using combat maneuvers.
  • Half-Elf: Add +1 foot to the size of all the defender's aura class features. This option has no effect unless the defender has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); an aura of 14 feet is effectively the same as a 10-foot aura, for example.
  • Half-Orc: Gain 1/6 of a combat feat you fulfill the prerequisites for.
  • Halfling: Your honor class feature applies to allies within 1 foot, using your Charisma modifier. This option has no effect unless the defender has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); an aura of 14 feet is effectively the same as a 10-foot aura, for example.
  • Human: Select one specific type of monster, such as red dragons. This type of monster is always considered an enemy for the smite enemy ability.

  • Aasimar: Add +1/5 to the morale bonus on saving throws provided by the defender's auras.
  • Anpur: Add 1/4 of a spell from the following list to your spell list, in order. 1st level spell: deathwatch. 2nd level spell: gentle repose, 3rd level spell: speak with dead, 4th level spell: divination, 4th level spell: wall of stone.
  • Avodim: Gain 1/5 daily use of the paladin's lay on hands ability.
  • Dhamphir: Select one type of undead creature. This type of undead is always considered an enemy for the smite enemy ability.
  • Drow: Gain 1/6 of a feat, as the fighting style tradition of the city.
  • Erkunae: Add 1/5 spell from the magus spell list to your spell list, beginning with first-level spells and working up one spell level each time.
  • Fetchling: Add 1% to the miss chance for concealment.
  • Ifrit: As the Erkunae favored class bonus, except the spell must have the fire descriptor.
  • Kobold: Choose acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage. You gain 1 resistance to the chosen type of damage. You keep adding to the same resistance when selecting this again.
  • Oread: As the Erkunae favored class bonus, except the spell must have the acid or earth descriptor .
  • Ratfolk: Subtract 1/2 from your armor check penalty, but only when using the Acrobatics, Climb and Stealth skills.
  • Samsaran: Reduce the spell slot required to apply a metamagic feat by 1/10 (to a minimum of +0).
  • Sylph: As the Erkunae favored class bonus, except the spell must have the air or electricity descriptor.
  • Tengu: Add +⅓ to critical confirmation checks when using your smite enemy ability. This bonus does not stack with Critcal Focus.
  • Undine: As the Erkunae favored class bonus, except the spell must have the cold or water descriptor.
  • Zendiqi: As the Erkunae favored class bonus, except the spell must have the acid, air, cold, electricity, fire, or water descriptor.
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