Shieldmarshal (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Shieldmarshals are gun-tooting law enforcement officials. The skill with which they wield their firearms makes them a force to be reckoned with, and their badges are enough to open virtually any door and to hold any citizen to account in the lands from which they hail.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype. Shieldmarshals are gun tooting lawmen.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Prestige Class: Shieldmarshal from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Paths of Prestige.

Build Classes: Gunslinger.

Role: The shieldmarshal investigates crimes and unrest and generally has to apprehend the guilty and enforce the law in person, often in cohorts with a posse. In a dedicated team the shieldmarshal is the face, investigator, and artillery of the group.

Alignment: Any. While most law agencies would prefer to employ only lawful agents, they are short of recruits, and all kinds of people join the corps. Often having to act as a peacemaker and intermediaries between all kinds of people, the shieldmarshal has to be flexible and act independently. This independence ends up with some evil shieldmarshals turning their districts into their personal fief.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The following are class features of the shieldmarshal.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Shieldmarshals are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with firearms. They are proficient with all light armor but not with shields of any kind.


Shieldmarshals spend grit points to accomplish deeds. Most deeds grant the shieldmarshal some momentary bonus or effect, but there are some that provide longer-lasting effects. Some deeds stay in effect as long as the shieldmarshal has at least 1 grit point. The following is the list of base shieldmarshal deeds. A shieldmarshal can only perform deeds of her level or lower. Unless otherwise noted, a deed can be performed multiple successive times, as long as the appropriate amount of grit is spent to perform the deed.

Deadeye (Ex): At 1st level, the shieldmarshal can resolve an attack against touch AC instead of normal AC when firing beyond her firearm’s first range increment. Performing this deed costs 1 grit point per range increment beyond the first. The shieldmarshal still takes the –2 penalty on attack rolls for each range increment beyond the first when she performs this deed.

Shieldmarshal’s Dodge (Ex): At 1st level, the shieldmarshal gains an uncanny knack for getting out of the way of ranged attacks. When a ranged attack is made against the shieldmarshal, she can spend 1 grit point to move 5 feet as an immediate action; doing so grants the shieldmarshal a +2 bonus to AC against the triggering attack. This movement is not a 5-foot step, and provokes attacks of opportunity. Alternatively, the shieldmarshal can drop prone to gain a +4 bonus to AC against the triggering attack. The shieldmarshal can only perform this deed while wearing light armor and carrying no more than a light load.

Quick Clear (Ex): At 1st level, as a standard action, the shieldmarshal can remove the broken condition from a single firearm she is currently wielding, as long as that condition was gained by a firearm misfire. The shieldmarshal must have at least 1 grit point to perform this deed. Alternatively, if the shieldmarshal spends 1 grit point to perform this deed, she can perform quick clear as a move action instead of a standard action.

Shieldmarshal's Initiative (Ex): At 3rd level, as long as the shieldmarshal has at least 1 grit point, she gains the following benefits. First, she gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks. Furthermore, if she has the Quick Draw feat, her hands are free and unrestrained, and the firearm is not hidden, she can draw a single firearm as part of the initiative check.

Pistol-Whip (Ex): At 3rd level, the shieldmarshal can make a surprise melee attack with the butt or handle of her firearm as a standard action. When she does, she is considered to be proficient with the firearm as a melee weapon and gains a bonus on the attack and damage rolls equal to the enhancement bonus of the firearm. The damage dealt by the pistol-whip is of the bludgeoning type, and is determined by the size of the firearm. One-handed firearms deal 1d6 points of damage (1d4 if wielded by Small creatures) and two-handed firearms deal 1d10 points of damage (1d8 if wielded by Small creatures). Regardless of the shieldmarshal’s size, the critical multiplier of this attack is 20/×2. The firearm does not take any damage from this use. If the attack hits, the shieldmarshal can make a combat maneuver check to knock the target prone as a free action without triggering an attack of opportunity. Performing this deed costs 1 grit point.

Utility Shot (Ex): At 3rd level, if the shieldmarshal has at least 1 grit point, she can perform all of the following utility shots. Each utility shot can be applied to any single attack with a firearm, but the shieldmarshal must declare the utility shot she is using before firing the shot.

  • Blast Lock: The shieldmarshal makes an attack roll against a lock within the first range increment of her firearm. A Diminutive lock usually has AC 7, and larger locks have a lower AC. The lock gains a bonus to its AC against this attack based on its quality. A simple lock has a +10 bonus to AC, an average lock has a +15 bonus to AC, a good lock has a +20 bonus to AC, and a superior lock has a +30 bonus to AC. Arcane lock grants a +10 bonus to the AC of a lock against this attack. On a hit, the lock is destroyed, and the object can be opened as if it were unlocked. On a miss, the lock is destroyed, but the object is jammed and still considered locked. It can still be unlocked by successfully performing this deed, by using the Disable Device skill, or with the break DC, though the DC for Disable Device or the AC increases by 10. A key, combination, or similar mechanical method of unlocking the lock no longer works, though knock can still be employed to bypass the lock, and the creator of an arcane lock can still bypass the wards of that spell.
  • Scoot Unattended Object: The shieldmarshal makes an attack roll against a Tiny or smaller unattended object within the first range increment of her firearm. A Tiny unattended object has an AC of 5, a Diminutive unattended object has an AC of 7, and a Fine unattended object has an AC of 11. On a hit, the shieldmarshal does not damage the object with the shot, but can move it up to 15 feet farther away from the shot’s origin.
  • Stop Bleeding: The shieldmarshal makes a firearm attack and then presses the hot barrel against herself or an adjacent creature to staunch a bleeding wound. Instead of dealing damage, the shot ends a single bleed condition affecting the creature. The shieldmarshal does not have to make an attack roll when performing the deed in this way; she can instead shoot the firearm into the air, but that shot still uses up ammunition normally.

Dead Shot (Ex): At 7th level, as a full-round action, the shieldmarshal can take careful aim and pool all of her attack potential into a single, deadly shot. When she does this, she shoots the firearm at a single target, but makes as many attack rolls as she can, based on her base attack bonus. She makes the attack rolls in order from highest bonus to lowest, as if she were making a full attack. If any of the attack rolls hit the target, the shieldmarshal’s single attack is considered to have hit. For each additional successful attack roll beyond the first, the shieldmarshal increases the damage of the shot by the base damage dice of the firearm. For instance, if a 7th-level shieldmarshal firing a musket hits with both attacks, she does 2d12 points of damage with the shot, instead of 1d12 points of damage, before adding any damage modifiers. Precision damage and extra damage from weapon special abilities (such as flaming) are added with damage modifiers and are not increased by this deed. If one or more rolls are critical threats, she confirms the critical once using her highest base attack bonus –5. For each critical threat beyond the first, she reduces this penalty by 1 (to a maximum of 0). The shieldmarshal only misfires on a dead shot if all the attack rolls are misfires. She cannot perform this deed with a blunderbuss or other scatter weapon when attacking creatures in a cone. The shieldmarshal must spend 1 grit point to perform this deed.

Startling Shot (Ex): At 7th level, a shieldmarshal with least 1 grit point can spend a standard action to purposely miss a creature that she could normally hit with a firearm attack. When she does, that creature becomes flat-footed until the start of its next turn.

Targeting (Ex): At 7th level, as a full-round action, the shieldmarshal can make a single firearm attack and choose part of the body to target. She gains the following effects depending on the part of the body targeted. If a creature does not have one of the listed body locations, that part cannot be targeted. This deed costs 1 grit point to perform no matter which part of the creature she targets. Creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are immune to these effects.

  • Arms: On a hit, the target takes no damage from the hit but drops one carried item of the shieldmarshal’s choice, even if the item is wielded with two hands. Items held in a locked gauntlet are not dropped on a hit.
  • Head: On a hit, the target is damaged normally, and is also confused for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting effect.
  • Legs: On a hit, the target is damaged normally and knocked prone. Creatures that have four or more legs or that are immune to trip attacks are immune to this effect.
  • Torso: Targeting the torso threatens a critical on a 19–20.
  • Wings: On a hit, the target is damaged normally, and must make a DC 20 Fly check or fall 20 ft.

Expert Loading (Ex): At 11th level, whenever the shieldmarshal rolls a misfire with a gun that has the broken condition, she can spend 1 grit point to keep the gun from exploding, though it retains the broken condition.

Lightning Reload (Ex): At 11th level, as long as the shieldmarshal has at least 1 grit point, she can reload a single barrel of a one-handed or two-handed firearm as a swift action once per round. If she has the Rapid Reload feat or is using an alchemical cartridge (or both), she can reload a single barrel of the weapon as a free action each round instead. Furthermore, using this deed does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Menacing Shot (Ex): At 11th level, the shieldmarshal can spend 1 grit point, shoot a firearm into the air, and affect all living creatures within a 30-foot-radius burst as if they were subject to the fear spell. The DC of this effect is equal to 10 + 1/2 the shieldmarshal’s level + the shieldmarshal’s Wisdom modifier.

Bleeding Wound (Ex): At 15th level, when the shieldmarshal hits a living creature with a firearm attack, she can spend 1 grit point as a free action to have that attack deal extra bleed damage. The amount of bleed damage is equal to the shieldmarshal’s Dexterity modifier. Alternatively, the shieldmarshal can spend 2 grit points to deal 1 point of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution bleed damage (shieldmarshal’s choice) instead. Creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to these types of bleed damage.

Evasive (Ex): At 15th level, when the shieldmarshal has at least 1 grit point, she gains the benefit of the evasion, uncanny dodge, and improved uncanny dodge rogue class features. She uses her shieldmarshal level as her rogue level for improved uncanny dodge.

Slinger’s Luck (Ex): At 15th level, the shieldmarshal can spend grit to reroll a saving throw or a skill check. It costs 2 grit points to reroll a saving throw, and 1 grit point to reroll a skill check. The shieldmarshal must take the result of the second roll, even if it is lower. The deed’s cost cannot be reduced by the true grit class ability, the Signature Deed feat, or any other effect that reduces the amount of grit a deed costs.

Cheat Death (Ex): At 19th level, whenever the shieldmarshal is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, she can spend all of her remaining grit points (minimum 1) to instead be reduced to 1 hit point.

Death’s Shot (Ex): At 19th level, when the shieldmarshal scores a critical hit, she can spend 1 grit point to deal normal damage, and the target must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the shieldmarshal’s level + the shieldmarshal’s Dexterity modifier. On a failed saving throw, the target dies. This is a death attack. Performing this deed does not allow the shieldmarshal to regain grit from confirming a critical hit or making a killing blow.

Stunning Shot (Ex): At 19th level, when a shieldmarshal hits a creature, she can spend 2 grit points to stun the creature for 1 round. The creature must make a Fortitude saving throw (the DC = 10 + 1/2 the shieldmarshal’s level + the shieldmarshal’s Wisdom modifier). If the creature fails, it is stunned for 1 round. Creatures that are immune to critical hits are also immune to this effect.

Grit (Ex)

A shieldmarshal makes her mark upon the world with daring deeds. Some shieldmarshals claim they belong to a mystical way of the gun, but it’s more likely that the volatile nature of firearms simply prunes the unlucky and careless from their ranks. Whatever the reason, all shieldmarshals have grit. In game terms, grit is a fluctuating measure of a shieldmarshal’s ability to perform amazing actions in combat. At the start of each day, a shieldmarshal gains a number of grit points equal to her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). Her grit goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), though some feats and magic items may affect this maximum. A shieldmarshal spends grit to accomplish deeds (see below), and regains grit in the following ways.

Critical Hit with a Firearm: Each time the shieldmarshal confirms a critical hit with a firearm attack while in the heat of combat, she regains 1 grit point. Confirming a critical hit on a helpless or unaware creature or on a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the shieldmarshal’s character level does not restore grit.

Killing Blow with a Firearm: When the shieldmarshal reduces a creature to 0 or fewer hit points with a firearm attack while in the heat of combat, she regains 1 grit point. Destroying an unattended object, reducing a helpless or unaware creature to 0 or fewer hit points, or reducing a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the shieldmarshal’s character level to 0 or fewer hit points does not restore any grit.

Optional Rule: Daring Act

The following method for regaining grit points requires a measure of GM judgment, so it is an optional rule.

Each time a shieldmarshal performs a daring act, she can regain grit. As a general guideline, a daring act should be risky and dramatic. It should take a good deal of guts, and its outcome should have a low probability of success. If it is successful, the shieldmarshal regains 1 grit point.

Before attempting a daring act, the player should ask the GM whether the act qualifies. The GM is the final arbiter of what’s considered a daring act, and can grant a regained grit point for a daring act even if the player does not ask beforehand whether the act qualifies.


At 1st level, a shieldmarshal gains one of the following firearms of her choice: blunderbuss, musket, or pistol. Her starting weapon is battered, and only she knows how to use it properly. All other creatures treat her gun as if it had the broken condition. If the weapon already has the broken condition, it does not work at all for anyone else trying to use it. This starting weapon can only be sold for scrap (it’s worth 4d10 gp when sold). The shieldmarshal also gains Gunsmithing as a bonus feat.

Eye for Detail (Ex)

A shieldmarshal adds his Intelligence bonus as well as his Wisdom bonus on Perception and Sense Motive checks. In addition, he gains a bonus equal to ¼ his level on Perception checks opposed by another creature's Disguise or Sleight of Hand checks.

Legal Judgment (Ex)

A shieldmarshal can pronounce legal judgment upon his foes as a swift action, providing a bonus or ability based on the type of judgment made. Once activated, the ability lasts until the combat ends. If the shieldmarshal is dazed, frightened, panicked, paralyzed, stunned, unconscious, or otherwise unable to participate in combat, the effect does not end but provides no benefit until he is again able to participate in combat. As a swift action, the shieldmarshal can change his legal judgment to another type.

This ability can be used once per day per four class levels. It is equivalent to an inquisitor's judgment ability for the purpose of feats, magic items, or other game effects that affect the judgment ability; however, levels in the two classes do not stack.

Bulletproof: A shieldmarshal gains DR equal to ¼ the shieldmarshal's class level. A shieldmarshal must be wearing armor or using a shield to use this judgment.

Destruction: A shieldmarshal gains a competence bonus on attack rolls with firearms or light blades equal to ¼ his class level. This bonus is doubled on critical hit confirmation rolls.

Evasive: A shieldmarshal gains the evasion, uncanny dodge, and improved uncanny dodge abilities as a rogue of her class level. If he possesses rogue levels, these levels stack.

Justice: A shieldmarshal gains a bonus on damage rolls with firearms or light blades equal to ¼ the shieldmarshal's class level.

Lucky Dodge: A shieldmarshal gains a dodge bonus on Armor Class equal to ¼ his class level. This bonus is doubled against attack rolls made to confirm critical hits against him.

Quick Recovery: A shieldmarshal recovers quickly from injury, gaining fast healing equal to ¼ his class level.

Sharpshooter: A shieldmarshal ignores 1 point of any AC bonus granted by cover per two shieldmarshal levels.

Sure Shot: A shieldmarshal reduces his miss chance with firearms due to concealment, blink, blur, or similar effects by 10% per four shieldmarshal levels (to a maximum reduction of 50% at 20th level). He must still target the correct square to hit a creature with concealment. This judgment can't decrease his miss chance to lower than 0%.

Danger Sense (Ex)

At 4th level, a shieldmarshal gains a bonus on initiative checks equal to ¼ his level, and can always act during a surprise round even if unaware of opponents.

Jurisdiction (Ex)

Starting at 6th level, a shieldmarshal assumes responsibility for a certain region. This is generally a small city and surrounding towns, villages and outlying lands. In a wilderness, this can be an entire region while it can be as small as a certain quarter in a metropolis. In this area, the shieldmarshal has the right and duty to uphold the law. His word carries great authority and he has the right to make arrests, inspections, and demand cooperation. As the shield marshal travels and tales of his deeds spread, so does his effective jurisdiction. As long as he or the authority of his office is known, he gains a bonus on all Charisma-based skill checks equal to ¼ his shieldmarshal level as long as he openly displays his shieldmarshal's badge.

Labyrinthine Cunning (Ex)

At 8th level, a shieldmarshal never takes penalties to movement for poor visibility, even while temporarily blinded. A shieldmarshal can open or close doors as a swift action instead of a move action and can move through crowds without speed reduction.

Favored Terrain (Ex)

Table: Ranger Favored Terrains

Cold (ice, glaciers, snow, and tundra)
Desert (sand and wastelands)
Forest (coniferous and deciduous)
Mountain (including hills)
Planes (pick one, other than Material Plane)
Underground (caves and dungeons)
Urban (buildings, streets, and sewers)
Water (above and below the surface)

At 9th level, a shieldmarshal gains the a favored terrain, as the ranger class feature. This is generally the predominant terrain in his jurisdiction (see above). The shieldmarshal gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks in his favored terrain. A shieldmarshal traveling through such terrain area normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses).

At 17th level, his favored terrain bonus increases to +4 but he does not gain a second favored terrain. If he already has a favored terrain bonus from another class, these bonuses stack but do not affect bonuses in other terrain types.

Gunhunter (Ex)

A shieldmarshal is well versed in covert operations, especially in his his favored terrain.

At 12th level, the shieldmarshal can move through difficult ground without impediment in his favored terrain. He can use Stealth to hide in his favored terrain even without cover or concealment; if he has cover or concealment, he gains a bonus on Stealth checks equal to ¼ his class level.

Double Jeopardy (Ex)

At 14th level, whenever a shieldmarshal uses his legal judgment ability, he selects two different judgments, instead of one. This consumes only one use of his legal judgment ability. As a swift action, he can change one of these effects to another type.

Quarry (Ex)

At 18th level, a shieldmarshal can, as a standard action, denote one target within his line of sight as his quarry. Whenever he is following the tracks of his quarry, a shieldmarshal can take 10 on his Survival skill checks while moving at normal speed, without penalty. In addition, he receives a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls made against his quarry, and all critical threats are automatically confirmed. A shieldmarshal can have no more than one quarry at a time. He can dismiss this effect at any time as a free action, but he cannot select a new quarry for 24 hours. If the shieldmarshal sees proof that his quarry is dead, he can select a new quarry after waiting 1 hour.

High Shieldmarshal (Ex)

At 20th level, a shieldmarshal attains legendary rank among his order. He can expend one use of his legal judgment ability to create a non-magical effect equivalent to discern lies (caster level equal to his class level; Save DC = 20 + the shieldmarshal's Wisdom modifier). Using either is a free action that lasts one round. The shieldmarshal can use this ability up to 10 minutes each day, or expend one minute of this as part of an initiative check or Charisma-based skill check to take 20 on that check.

Table: Shieldmarshal

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 Deeds, grit, gunsmith
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Eye for detail
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Deeds
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 Legal judgment 1/day
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 Danger sense
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +5 Jurisdiction
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +5 Deeds, legal judgment 2/day
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +6 Labyrinthine cunning
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +6 Favored terrain (+2)
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +7 Legal judgment 3/day
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +7 Deeds
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +8 Gunhunter
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +8 Legal judgment 4/day
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +9 Double jeopardy
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +9 Deeds
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +10 Legal judgment 5/day
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Favored terrain (+4)
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Quarry
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Deeds, legal judgment 6/day
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 High shieldmarshal
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