Stalwart Defender (Apath)
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.
This is a prestige archetype. The emotional opposite of barbarians, stalwart defenders go into a calm immobile rage.
Publisher: Purple Duck Games.
Prestige Class: Stalwart defender from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Player's Guide.
Build Classes: Barbarian.
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.
Alignment: Any. Anyone can be as stubborn as a rock and dedicated to holding one point no matter the cost, so stalwart defenders can be of any alignment. The dedication and practice required to learn the talents of a stalwart defender come more easily to characters with a strong respect for order and organization, however, so lawful stalwart defenders are much more common than chaotic ones.
Hit Die: d12.
Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), and Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
This is all the class features of the stalwart defender.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A stalwart defender is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and shields (including tower shields).
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 her 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 + her Constitution modifier. At each level after 1st, she can maintain the stance for 2 additional rounds per day. Temporary increases to Constitution, such as those gained from the 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, a stalwart defender gains a +2 bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, Will saving throws, and to Armor Class. She 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 defensive stance.
While in a defensive stance, a stalwart defender cannot willingly move from her current position through any means (including normal movement, riding a mount, teleportation, or allowing allies to carry her). If she enters a defensive stance while on a moving vehicle she does not control (such as a wagon or ship), she can maintain the stance even if the vehicle moves, as long as she remains stationary relative to the vehicle. If the stalwart defender moves under her own power, even if compelled to do so, her defensive stance ends.
The stalwart defender can end her defensive stance at any time; after ending the stance, she is fatigued for one minute. 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, her defensive stance immediately ends. A defensive stance requires a level of emotional calm, and it may not be maintained by a character in a rage (such as from the rage class feature or the rage spell).
Defensive Powers (Ex)
As a stalwart defender gains levels, she augments her defensive stance. Starting at 2nd level, the stalwart defender gains a defensive power. She 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, she cannot select an individual power more than once.
Bulwark (Ex): The defender adds her armor check penalty as a bonus to the DC of opponents attempting to Bluff her and Acrobatics checks to pass by her without provoking an attack of opportunity for moving through spaces she threatens.
Clear Mind (Ex): The stalwart defender may reroll a failed Will save. This power is used as an immediate action after the first save is attempted, but before the results are revealed by the GM. The stalwart defender must take the second result, even if it is worse. This power can only be used once per defensive stance.
Fearless Defense (Ex): While in a defensive stance, the stalwart defender is immune to the shaken and frightened conditions. She must be at least 10th level before selecting this power.
Halting Blow (Ex): When in a defensive stance, if a foe’s movement in the defender’s threatened area provokes an attack of opportunity and the stalwart defender successfully hits the foe with the attack, the foe’s movement ends immediately. The foe cannot move again until its next turn but can still take the rest of its action. A stalwart defender must have selected the bulwark power prior to selecting halting blow.
Hold the Line (Ex): When in a defensive stance, if a creature takes a 5-foot step out of an area both adjacent to and threatened by a stalwart defender, or if the creature withdraws out of that area, it provokes an attack of opportunity from her. The stalwart defender must be at least 10th level to select this power.
Immobile (Ex): While in a defensive stance, the stalwart defender adds her class level to her CMD against any bull rush, overrun, pull, and push combat maneuvers, as well as grapple attempts to move her. The stalwart defender must be at least 10th level to select this power.
Increased Damage Reduction (Ex): The stalwart defender’s damage reduction from this class increases by 1/—. This increase is only active while the stalwart defender is in a defensive stance. She can select this power up to two times. Its effects stack. The stalwart defender must be at least 12th level before selecting this defensive power.
Intercept (Ex): Once a round as an immediate action, when a melee or ranged weapon would successfully strike an adjacent ally, the stalwart defender can choose to have the weapon strike her instead of the intended target. The attack automatically hits the stalwart defender, regardless her AC or any miss chance in effect, and she suffers the normal consequences of the attack.
Internal Fortitude (Ex): While in a defensive stance, the stalwart defender is immune to the sickened and nauseated conditions.
Mighty Resilience (Ex): The stalwart defender automatically negates the additional damage of one successful critical hit or sneak attack, as well as other abilities or effects that rely on a successful critical hit or sneak attack (such as blinding from Blinding Critical or bleed from sneak attack). The stalwart defender takes only normal damage from the attack. This power may only be used once per defensive stance. The stalwart defender must be at least 12th level to select this power.
Renewed Defense (Ex): As a standard action, the stalwart defender heals 1d8 points of damage + her Constitution modifier. For every two levels the stalwart defender has attained above 2nd, this healing increases by 1d8, to a maximum of 10d8 at 20th level. This power can be used only once per day and only while in a defensive stance.
Retaliate (Ex): Once per round when in a defensive stance, if a creature threatened by a stalwart defender attacks and hits an adjacent ally, she may make an attack of opportunity against that creature. The stalwart defender must be at least 14th level to select this power.
Roused Defense (Ex): The stalwart defender may enter a defensive stance even if fatigued. While maintaining a defensive stance after using this ability, she is immune to the fatigued condition. Once this stance ends, she is exhausted for 10 minutes.
Smash (Ex): While in a defensive stance, the stalwart defender may make an extra attack per round that is either a shield bash or a slam (even if she doesn’t normally have a slam attack). If used as part of a full attack action, the extra attack is made at the stalwart defender’s full base attack bonus –5. The smash deals 1d4 points of damage if the stalwart defender is Medium (1d3 if she is Small) plus half the character’s Strength modifier. The character can make this attack as part of the action to maintain or break free from a grapple; this attack is resolved before the grapple check is made. If the attack hits, any grapple checks made by the stalwart defender against the target this round are at a +2 bonus.
Stalwart Opportunity (Ex): The stalwart defender improves her ability to respond to enemy action and protect her allies when in a defensive stance. She may make a number of additional attacks of opportunity per round equal to her Constitution bonus.
Unexpected Strike (Ex): The stalwart defender can make an attack of opportunity against a foe that moves into any square threatened by the stalwart defender, regardless of whether or not that movement would normally provoke an attack of opportunity. This power can only be used once per stance. A stalwart defender must be at least 16th level before selecting this power.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
At 2nd level, a stalwart defender gains the ability to react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flatfooted, even if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A stalwart defender with this ability can still lose her 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 dodge bonus to AC. This bonus increase 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. This defense denies rogues the ability to use flank attacks to sneak attack the stalwart defender. The exception to this defense is that a rogue at least four levels higher than the stalwart defender can flank her (and thus sneak attack her).
If the character gains uncanny dodge from a second class (see above), she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge, and the levels from those classes stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.
Mobile Defense (Ex)
At 8th level, a stalwart defender can adjust her position while maintaining a defensive stance. While in a defensive stance, she can take one 5-foot step each round without losing the benefit of the stance.
Greater Defensive Stance (Ex)
At 11th level, a stalwart defender's bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, Armor Class and Will saves while in a defensive stance increases to +3. In addition, the amount of temporary hit points gained when entering a defensive stance increases to 3 per Hit Die.
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 her instantly. If the attack hits, it inflicts double damage. Once the defender’s attack is resolved, she suffers the normal effect of the attack that provoked this ability.
Mighty Defensive Stance (Ex)
At 20th level, a stalwart defender's bonus on melee attack rolls, melee damage rolls, thrown weapon damage rolls, Armor Class, and Will saves while in a defensive stance increases to +4. In addition, the amount of temporary hit points gained when entering a defensive stance increases to 4 per Hit Die.
Favored Class Bonuses
Instead of receiving an additional hit point or skill rank when she gains a level of stalwart defender, the following races have the option of choosing an alternate bonus as defined below.
Dragonblood: Reduce the armor check penalty of armor worn (not shield) by 1/3 point, but not below 0.
Dwarf: Add +1/3 to your Combat Maneuver Defense against bull rush, drag, reposition, and trip combat maneuver attempts.
Elf: Gain +1/4 dodge bonus to Armor Class while wielding a longbow (including composite), longsword, rapier, shortbow (including composite), or any weapon with “elven” in the name.
Gnome: Add +1/3 on saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities.
Half-Elf: The stalwart defender gains +1/6 of a new defensive power.
Half-Orc: The stalwart defender gains +1/6 of a new defensive power.
Halfling: Add +1 to the stalwart defender’s CMD when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt.
Human: Add +1 to the stalwart defender’s total number of defensive stance rounds per day.
Table: Stalwart Defender
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||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/+1||+5||+2||+5||AC bonus +2, defensive power|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+2||+5||Damage reduction 3/—|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+2||+6||Defensive power, mobile defense|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+3||+6||AC bonus +3|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+3||+7||Damage reduction 4/—, defensive power|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+3||+7||Greater defensive stance|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+8||AC bonus +4, defensive power|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+4||+8||Damage reduction 5/—|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+4||+9||Defensive power, tireless defensive stance|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+9||AC bonus +5|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+5||+10||Damage reduction 6/—, defensive power|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||AC bonus +6, defensive power|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+6||+11||Damage reduction 7/—|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||Defensive power, mighty defensive stance|
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