Impediment (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Tahlir Dusk, an Elven Impediment


You won't get past me.
—Nuis Ysadal, Doppelganger Impediment

An Impediment is someone who has an iron will and does not bend to another’s wishes. They are strong minded individuals who block all in their path, protecting that which is dear to them. The Impediment rarely feels fear, their courage surmounting all else, though the emotion is not something that can escape them. When the Impediment does feel fear, they choose not to let it overcome them, preferring instead to hold their mind steady and face what is before them. The Impediment is the guardian of their world, never giving up and never backing down.

Becoming a Impediment[edit]

People who have something to protect usually are the most likely to become impediments, though it isn't unknown for a common warrior to become one. Impediments have the ability to stop any being that bears down upon them, no matter how large.

Entry Requirements
Base Attack Bonus: +6.
Feats: Diehard, Stand Still.
HP: The character must have at least 80 hit points.
Levels: The character must have at least 3 levels in a class with HD d10 or d12.
Table: The Impediment

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Damage Reduction 2/- (Ex), Fearless
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Body of Granite (Ex), Defender (Ex)
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Endure (Ex), Unnatural Force (Ex)
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Damage Reduction 4/- (Ex)
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Mettle (Ex)
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Improved Unnatural Force (Ex)
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Damage Reduction 6/- (Ex), Impassable (Ex)
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Improved Mettle (Ex)
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Greater Unnatural Force (Ex)
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Damage Reduction 8/- (Ex)

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level)
Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Jump (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Listen (Wis), Search (Int).

Table: The Epic Impediment
Level Special
13th Damage Reduction 10/-
15th Bonus Feat
16th Damage Reduction 12/-
19th Damage Reduction 14/-
20th Bonus Feat

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Impediment.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At first level, an impediment gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 2 from the damage the impediment takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At every three impediment levels thereafter (4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, etc.), this damage reduction rises by 2 points. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0. This damage reduction does not stack with any damage reduction gained from other classes, nor does it stack with racial damage reduction.

Fearless: At first level an impediment teaches himself to never back down, to face whatever comes before him without flinching, becoming immune to all fear effects.

Body of Granite (Ex): As an impediment grows to become a true defender, his body itself seems to grow hard and unyielding, turning the impediment into a stone-like guardian. At second level the impediment can add his Con bonus to his AC, this bonus applies to the impediments flat-footed AC, but not against his touch AC.

Defender (Ex): As an impediment becomes stronger and more resolute, protecting others becomes almost second nature to him. At second level any ally of the impediment that is adjacent to him gains a bonus to AC equal to half the impediments levels in impediment. This bonus applies to both the characters flat-footed AC and their touch AC.

Endure (Ex): As an impediment weathers even the most horrible storms to protect what is dear to them, his body grows tough and numb, allowing them to endure even further. At third level an impediment is considered always under the effect of an endure elements spell.

Unnatural Force (Ex): Impediments are men who have the ability to stop forces they shouldn’t be able to, such as a charging minotaur or a 200 pound mace. At third level an impediment is considered one size category larger for the purpose of opposed rolls on bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip checks and for qualifying against special attacks that can only be used against opponents of a certain size category (such as improved grab or trample). If this ability increases the threats effective size past colossal, then the threat gains an addition +4 to their opposed rolls on bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip checks for each size category larger than colossal he is considered.

Mettle (Ex): At fifth level, an impediment can resist magical or unusual attacks with great willpower of fortitude. If he makes a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as a spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), he instead completely negates the effect. An unconscious or sleeping impediment does not gain the benefit of mettle.

Improved Unnatural Force (Ex): As an impediment grows, they learn to stop even greater forces. At sixth level an impediment is considered two size categories larger for the purpose of opposed rolls on bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip checks and for qualifying against special attacks that can only be used against opponents of a certain size category (such as improved grab or trample). If this ability increases the threats effective size past colossal, then the threat gains an addition +4 to their opposed rolls on bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip checks for each size category larger than colossal he is considered.

Impassable (Ex): Eventually an impediment grows to the point that he can stop things that few others could dream of. At seventh level any ranged attack that is targeted at one of the impediments allies and that passes through a space the impediment could occupy after taking a 5-foot free step, is stopped, as though the attack roll had been a natural 1. If the ranged attack is a spell or does not use an attack roll, the target of the ranged attack is changed to the impediment. The impediment does not need to take a 5-foot free step in order to use this ability. This ability can be used even if the impediment has already taken a 5-foot free step.

Improved Mettle (Ex): At eighth level, an impediment can resist magical or unusual attacks with even greater willpower of fortitude. Every time the impediment fails a Will or Fortitude save against an effect that has a reduced effect on a successful save, he instead takes the reduced effect as if he had made that save.

Greater Unnatural Force (Ex): As an impediment begins to reach his apex, his body becomes able to stop forces of ridiculous proportions. At ninth level an impediment is considered three size categories larger for the purpose of opposed rolls on bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip checks and for qualifying against special attacks that can only be used against opponents of a certain size category (such as improved grab or trample). If this ability increases the threats effective size past colossal, then the threat gains an addition +4 to their opposed rolls on bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip checks for each size category larger than colossal he is considered.

The epic impediment gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic impediment feats) every 5 levels after 10th level.

Epic Impediment Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Energy Resistance, Epic Endurance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Toughness, Extended Life Span, Fast Healing, Infinite Deflection, Perfect Health, Reflect Arrows

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Impediment[edit]

Combat: Impediments are guardians who stand at the front lines of a battlefield and take the brunt of the enemies attacks, holding them a bay. If a PC who has levels in impediment intends to protect the other members of their party, it is advisable for them to expend every effort to raise their AC and to draw the enemy to them if possible.

Advancement: Usually, fighters, paladins, and barbarians are the most likely to take levels in impediment, though it isn't uncommon for monks or rangers to seek levels in the class if they have proper motivation. After the impediment reaches epic levels, it isn't uncommon for them to take levels in legendary dreadnought or guardian paramount.

Resources: An impediment is someone who seeks strength alone, defending something for themselves, and therefore, organizations of impediments are exceedingly rare. Though if the impediment needs help, they usually have someone to turn to, such as a friend, or an old colleague, though sometimes, these people are the very things the impediment is trying to protect.

Impediments in the World[edit]

I'm sorry good sir, but this is as far as you go.
—Urmis Slate, Gnome Impediment

Impediments often find their place in the world as guardians, possibly learning to protect their masters tomb from loathsome thieves, or to keep tribal marauders out of their home towns. It also isn't uncommon to see an impediment standing sentinel outside a kings palace, or even in the middle of a battlefield, holding back a war elephant. Impediments sometimes do find another place in the world, though if they do, they usually have a strong loyalty to their life, and what they do, be it baking pies, or paving roads.

NPC Reactions: Others often do not realize someone is an impediment until they see them in battle, holding their enemies back no matter the cost. When a person does realize that someone is an impediment, they may react any number of ways, depending on the position they find themselves in. If the person is the impediments enemy, they may find themselves frustrated with the determination of the impediment, or fearful of the impediments power. If the person is the impediments friend, they may become impressed with the ability of their ally, or maybe even become awestruck by the forces they can hold back.

Impediment Lore[edit]

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

Gather Information
DC Result
11 Impediments are strongly loyal individuals.
16 Impediments can stop forces that other couldn't imagine to stop.
21 An impediment is usually someone who protects something or someone dear to them.
26 Characters who get this result can know the names and locations of specific impediments and items related to them.

Impediments in the Game[edit]

Impediments are the walls of the world. They hold back the destructive forces of this world, weathering all, just to simply spare something else from what they endure. Impediments can either choose to be a protector, or an obstruction, depending on their motivations. Impediments can be found wherever there is something for them to save from destruction.

Adaptation: Impediments can be incorporated into any campaign, all that is needed is an opening. An impediment could be the guardian of the kings throne room, or possibly the warden of a maximum security prison, protecting the outside world from imprisoned criminals. An impediment could perhaps be a iron-willed military outcast who still is determined to defend his home, no matter the cost, or an obstruction in the campaign, someone who refuses to yield to something the party wishes to be done.

Sample Encounter: Eur Tareh was once a dark being, he preyed upon the fragile and the weak, he never showed even the slightest shred of mercy, he truly was a monster. Until, one night, he came across an ancient human, he was sitting in one of the dark corners of the tunnels that Eur prowled, shivering in the cold. As Eur approached this pathetic sight, he grinned, a low, bestial snicker permeating the air. At this point the man rose his head calmly, and asked a simple question, "Who's there?" in a tone that could've been used to ask the time. To answer him, Eur laughed, and said, "Your death old man." At this, the decrepit man laughed, he actually laughed, and before he knew what was happening, Eur had been thrown across the room and his shoulder had been cut with an enormous sword. Blood dripped from the wound in his rock-like flesh, and the tiny man continued to laugh, pausing only to say, "You're the fourteenth thing to use that line on me." With that the man set down his blade, and curled back up into a warmer position. Eur shakily regained his footing and looked around to the ancient man, but quickly turned and fled. Over the next few weeks, Eur followed that man, wondering, why did he let him live, when he had been so ready to kill the man, not being able to think about anything else. After three weeks, the man stopped and made camp a few miles from a city, after the man had ate and sat for a few hours, he spoke in a loud, clear voice, "I'm going into the city tomorrow, you might want to turn back now." Eur seemed to be in constant shock by this human, so, he said the first thing that came to mind, "Not until you teach me how to do what you did to me." The man laughed at this, but agreed, and told him to be in that same place at noon the day after next, and that in order to learn what he sought, he would have to change his ways of living. So Eur was taught by the man, four years went by, and every day, the man and Eur met, the man taught Eur how to hold a blade, and told him the ways of living that had made the man who he was, and Eur listened with eager ears. Until one day, the man did not come, nor did he the next day, or the next. Eur had begun to become worried, and so he risked going into the town, but he did it quietly, flying from rooftop to rooftop, until he found the place that the man had said he had lived, and he watched the place, remaining as still as possible as he perched on that roof. He eventually learned that the ancient human had died, and that he had been placed in the catacombs in the graveyard of the cities church, and so he went there, and stole into the catacombs. He mourned the death of the man for a week in silence, hiding in the shadows whenever someone entered, until, 3 men came, and they talked about the ancient man, and how he must have been buried with something valuable, and how they would make so much money off of whatever it was. Eur killed them. So it has come to be known that something ill tempered lurks in the shadows of the catacombs of that town, killing only tomb robbers, but without mercy.

EL whatever:

Eur Tareh

CR 19

Male Gargoyle Fighter 8, Impediment 2
LN Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Earth)
Init/Senses +5/Listen +14, Spot +12
Languages Common, Terran
AC 45, touch 16, flat-footed 40; +1 dodge bonus against designated opponent, +4 dodge bonus against attacks of opportunity
(+8 armor, +13 Con, +5 Dex, +1 insight, +4 natural, +4 shield)
hp 210 (14 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +20/+13/+10
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 60 ft. (12 squares) (average)
Melee +3 Adamantine Battleaxe +25/+20/+15 (1d8+11/19-20 ×3), bite +17 (1d6), and gore +17 (1d6); or 2 claws +20 (1d4), bite +17 (1d6), and gore +17 (1d6).
Base Atk/Grp +14/+20
Special Actions Freeze
Abilities Str 22, Dex 20, Con 36, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 10
SQ Body of Granite, Damage Reduction 10/magic, Darkvision 60 ft., Defender, Fearless
Feats Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Greater Weapon Focus (Battleaxe), Improved Critical (Battleaxe), Mobility, Spring Attack, Stand Still, Weapon Focus (Battleaxe), Weapon Specialization (Battleaxe)
Skills Hide +14 (+22 against background of stone), Intimidate +13, Jump +16, Listen +14, Search +6, Spot +12
Possessions +3 Adamantine Battleaxe, +3 Mithral Breastplate of Heavy Fortification, +3 Reflecting Adamantine Buckler, Amulet of Health +6, Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone, Iridescent Spindle Ioun Stone, Pink Rhomboid Ioun Stone

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