Guardian, Variant (3.5e Class)

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Guardians excel at tying down heavy hitting monsters and distracting their attention from more vulnerable party members. While they do not deal as much damage as fighters or barbarians and have no training in magic, they are very durable and can take in inordinate amounts of punishment while their comrades destroy the opposition.

Making a Guardian[edit]

Eugene stepped into the path of the minotaur. Raising his shield high, he barely winced as its body connected with his barrel chest. Forcing it back, the minotaur reared to crush him underfoot. As the beast was engulfed in flames emnating from his companions, Eugene smiled. No dinner for you today, he chuckled.

Guardians focus on simply staying alive. If they can stay upright, alive and functional longer than their opponent, then they will have the victory. This leads to guardians being very self-confident and willing to take on any kind of endurance challenge to improve their toughness and stamina. Guardians can literally be guards, or they could be shock troops for the military, explorers who journey through dangerous regions and are likely to suffer several injuries, or professional gladiators who have learned to outlast the competition.

Abilities: Constitution is the primary choice for guardians as it keeps them on their feet longer. Dexterity can add to their defensive capability. Intelligence allows the guardian to exploit their opponents weaknesses to their advantage.

Races: All the common races can walk the path of the guardian. Dwarves and Half-orcs have the build required for the role. Gnomes can make effective guardians due to their hardiness. Elves have the grace to avoid blows, but lack the necessary toughness to be the center of a monster's attention for too long.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: starting gold; 6d8×10 gp (150 gp).

Starting Age: As fighter.

Table: The Guardian

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Sword And Board (+1)
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 DR 1/-
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Defensive Roll, Sword And Board (+2)
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Knockback
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Sentinel 1/day
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Improved Shield Bash
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 DR 2/-
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Sword And Board (+3), Sentinel 2/day
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Pressure
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Provoke
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Sentinel 3/day
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 DR 3/-
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Sword And Board (+4)
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Vigour, Sentinel 4/day
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Sentinel 5/day, DR 4/-
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Sword And Board (+5)

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Climb (Str), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the guardian.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Guardians are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and all types of armour and shields (including tower shields).

Sword And Board(Ex): Gain a +1 to AC when using a one-handed weapon and shield. This bonus gets +1 every 5 levels.

Damage Reduction(Ex): Gain Damage reduction 1/-. Goes up by 1 every 5 levels.

Defensive Roll(Ex): As the rogue ability.

Knockback(Ex): After dealing at least 10% of the opponent’s max HP damage in melee, the Guardian may push the opponent back 5 feet if he so chooses.

Sentinel(Ex): As a move action that provokes an attack of opportunity the Guardian can ground himself and take up a more solid fighting stance. The Guardian gains an extra +4 to AC and any enemy movement within 5ft of him requires a full round action. He has unlimited attacks of opportunity while in this stance and gains 2 temporary HP/level. It lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3+Con modifier, and the Guardian cannot move during this time, nor can he end the Stance voluntarily. Can be used an extra 1 time per day every 3 levels.

Improved Shield Bash: Bonus Feat

Pressure(Ex): Any square the Guardian could threaten with a 5-foot step becomes difficult terrain for the purpose of enemy movement.

Provoke(Ex): As a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, the Guardian goads opponents into striking him rather than his allies. All opponents who can see and hear him make a Will save (DC10+½ Guardian level +Str modifier) or cannot attack anyone other than the Guardian for 2+Str modifier rounds.

Vigour(Ex): The Guardian gains temporary HP if he inflicts a critical hit equal to the damage dealt (ignoring damage caused by enchantments e.g. flaming, vicious etc.). They last for 10 rounds. These temporary HP can never take him beyond 150% of his max HP.



Epic Guardian[edit]

Table: The Epic Guardian

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
22nd Sentinel 6/day
24th DR 5/-
25th Sentinel 7/day, Sword and Board (+6)
28th Sentinel 8/day
29th DR 6/-
30th Sword and Board (+7)

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Sword and Board This continues to increase by 1 every 5 levels above 20th (25th, 30th etc.)

Sentinel This continues to increase by 1 use per day every 3 levels after 19th (22nd, 25th etc.)

Damage Reduction This continues to increase by 1 every 5 levels after 19th (24th, 29th etc.)

Bonus Feats: The epic guardian gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic guardian bonus feats) every three levels after 20th.

Epic Guardian Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Epic Fortitude, Epic Toughness, Fast Healing, Great Constitution, Great Strength, Perfect Health.

Human Guardian Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Longsword (One-handed, Martial, 1d8 19-20x20), Shortbow (Ranged, Martial, 1d6 x3).

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Climb 4 Str -4
Jump 4 Str -4

Feat: Toughness.

Bonus Feats: Toughness.

Gear: Scale Mail, Heavy Steel Shield, Backpack, Bedroll, Flint and Steel, 40 arrows.

Gold: 29gp 9sp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Guardian[edit]

Religion: Guardians tend not to be overly devout, as the strenuous nature of the job requires a lot of faith in yourself, never mind some 'face in the sky' as some of them would put it. As such, when they are pious, they tend to worship the more martial deities or those who bring good fortune.

Other Classes: Guardians excel in the defensive role. As such they are always values by wizards and sorcerers as a living barrier against all manner of creatures. Often they are appreciated, and appreciate, clerics who can augment their already impressive defensive capabilities. They are often undervalued by classes who emphasise mobility, such as rangers, rogues and monks. Barbarians and fighters often scorn guardians' lack of offensive capability while simultaeneously envying their staying power.

Combat: Guardians offer one major advantage in combat; any opponent can focus all their efforts on destroying a guardian to no avail, especially more bestial foes who will instantly target the one with the biggest armour.

Advancement: Guardians tend to stick to what they know best. In line with this, they tend to advance in ways which augment their staying power. Many are enticed by the healing powers of the cleric or the sheer staying power of barbarians.

Guardians in the World[edit]

You think I'm going down easy? I've outlasted orcs five times your size!
—Belvar Hartellen, Dwarven Guardian, last words.

Guardians are generally found enforcing something, whether it be the law, the barman's word in a tavern, or that people really should pay him 50 silver not to break their legs. They are never short of a job, as there is always an unpopular politician or merchant looking for a meat shield when the mob comes around.

Daily Life: Most days simply consist of wake up, eat, get the job done, eat, sleep. Occasionally binge drinking might find its way into the routine, however. A guardian's life is made of the stories that come from looking after people and places, and these get bigger every year.

Notables: Not many guardians are well known, as theirs is a job not suited to notoriety. However, the most famous guardian in history is Leopold Armand, a human guardian who protected a corrupt lord from over 250 local militia, only to have the satisfaction of killing their target himself. Needless to say, he soon found himself out of a job.

Organizations: Guardians have no official meeting halls, and rarely do they ever congregate. The most a guardian will ever see from his peers is when the people they are looking after meet up, then so will their guardians.

NPC Reactions: NPC reaction vary depending on who or what the guardian is looking after. Thus, the same guardian could receive two very different welcomes from the same townspeople.

Guardian Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) can research Guardians to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (History)
DC Result
5 Guardians are strong defensive combatants that can take large amounts of damage.
10 Many train themselves to the limit of physical endurance.
15 Most Guardians have a ward they are assigned to protect.
20 If this is not the case, they generally travel the world to try and find an accepting ward.

Guardians in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: .

Sample Encounter: .

EL : .

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