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Steel Guard

A Base Class for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Steelguard

Steel guards, so-called for their heavy armor, abundance of weapons, and steely continence are taught to always draw closer to their opponents, cornering them, doggedly employ pursuit predation, punishing any mistake, exploiting any weakness, and favoring the long-game over a quick victory. They eventually exhaust, frustrate, and overwhelm their opponents.


Often employed as shock troops or expert military bounty hunters many are trained to stand perfectly still for hours at a time while holding heavy weapons, taught to stand still even while a master thrusts inches from their eyes, and remain unbowed even while taking a beating. There are many different disciplines that teach the ways of the steel guard but all are styles that stress slow but inevitable victory though self-defense.


When their opponent’s break- even a chink in their armor, a small hole in their line, or a missed step a steel guard is taught to spring into action and widen that gap. Give them an inch and they are trained to take a mile tactically while guarding themselves in a safe, conservative, defensive, posture.


Steel guards are almost always career soldiers from civilized and dogmatic societies. Many are from proud warrior cultures, logic obsessed ones, or once chaotic societies that are making efforts to become lawful.

Hit Dice: D12.


Role: Steel guards are heavily armored warriors who are slow and steady. They are defensive but don’t necessarily extend that to their allies. They are slow-marching and need to place themselves in a target-rich environment to shine. Their steel march class feature makes sure they get there, but drops their speed while they do it.

Alignment: Lawful

Steel guards are highly disciplined, stoic, rigid warriors whose “inevitable” combat doctrine  frustrates chaotic characters. Few steel guards are good aligned, their harsh battle tactics that  often seem unchivalrous or exploitive are at odds with a heroic mindset, though some manage to accept it as a necessary part of their job- a means to an end.


A non-lawful steel guard cannot progress in the steel guard class until they return to a lawful alignment but lose no class features.


Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.


Class SkillsEdit

The steel guard’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int),  Knowledge (nature) (Int), Profession (Wis), Perception (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.


Table #-1: The Steel Guard

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort Save

Ref Save

Will Save

Special

1st

+1

+2

+0

+2

Endurance, steel march, slow and inevitable, track

2nd

+2

+3

+0

+3

Juggernaut, discipline, steel punishment (1/2)

3rd

+3

+3

+1

+3

Diehard

4th

+4

+4

+1

+4

Attrition, statue

5th

+5

+4

+1

+4

Damage reduction 1/-

6th

+6/+1

+5

+2

+5

Juggernaut, oncoming storm, discipline

7th

+7/+2

+5

+2

+5

Attrition

8th

+8/+3

+6

+2

+6

Damage reduction 2/-

9th

+9/+4

+6

+3

+6

Endurance eternal

10th

+10/+5

+7

+3

+7

Attrition, discipline

11th

+11/+6/+1

+7

+3

+7

Damage reduction 3/-

12th

+12/+7/+2

+8

+4

+8

Steel punishment (x1)

13th

+13/+8/+3

+8

+4

+8

Attrition

14th

+14/+9/+4

+9

+4

+9

Damage reduction 4/-, discipline

15th

+15/+10/+5

+9

+5

+9

Unstoppable

16th

+16/+11/+6/+1

+10

+5

+10

Attrition

17th

+17/+12/+7/+2

+10

+5

+10

Damage reduction 5/-

18th

+18/+13/+8/+3

+11

+6

+11

Discipline

19th

+19/+14/+9/+4

+11

+6

+11

Attrition

20th

+20/+15/+10/+5

+12

+6

+12

Damage reduction 6/-, unstoppable

Class Features:Edit

The following are the class features of the steel guard.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:Edit

The steel guard is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and shields (including tower shields).

Endurance (Ex):Edit

A steel guard gains Endurance as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Steel March (Ex):Edit

A steel guard may “march”. Marching is a special type of move action. While marching, the steel guard must move at least 10 feet (2 squares) and must always move in a straight line towards enemies and end as close to them as possible. A marching character moves at half their speed (minimum 10 feet). A march can be made towards an enemy even if the steel guard does not have line of sight to the creature so long as he is aware of their presence (Example: A steel guard could march to a door he just saw his foes flee behind. He, however, could not march over a ridge if he hears noises that could possibly be the bandits he thinks are lying in wait for his party).


While marching a steel guard can also draw a weapon. If a march is made through difficult terrain, the steel guard suffers no additional reduction in movement speed (though he is still subject to other environmental hazards). A march may not be made through obstacles that prevent the steel guard physically moving forward (a wall, a table, etc) nor though squares that contain creatures (other than helpless creatures).


A steel guard cannot take a 5-foot step or another move action on the same turn he has marched. A steel guard may take a full round action to “double march” which allows him to march up to his normal movement speed.

Slow and Inevitable (Ex):Edit

Due to careful stepping, an increased awareness due to his slower speed, a solid sense of balanced, and the special training he has received, the steel guard is becomes more difficult to deter. While marching the steel guard gains a bonus on all Reflex saves equal to his Constitution modifier and an equal bonus to his AC against attacks of opportunity. In addition, after making a steel march a steel guard gains a +1/4 bonus on attack roll until the start of his next turn.

Track (Ex):Edit

A steel guard adds half his level (minimum 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow tracks.

Juggernaut (Ex):Edit

Starting at 2nd level, whenever he is wearing armor, the steel guards reduces the armor check penalty by 1/2 his steel guard level (to a minimum of 0). In addition the steel guard also reduces penalties to his movement speed due to armor by 5 feet for every 2 levels of steel guard he possesses (Example: While wear wearing full plate, a creature with 30 foot movement speed normally has his speed reduces to 20 feet. A 2nd level steel guard would only be reduced to 25 feet, a 4th level steel guard would be able to move his normal speed.).

Steel Punishment (Ex):Edit

A steel guard uses his armor like a weapon, integrating it into its attacks. At 2nd level a steel guard who is wearing heavy armor can add 1/2 his armor bonus to his AC (this does not include enhancement bonus to the armor) as a bonus on melee damage rolls. At 12th level he adds his full armor bonus to AC to his damage rolls with melee weapons.

Disciplines (Ex):Edit

At 2nd level and every 4 level thereafter a steel guard may select a discipline from the list below.

  • Armor Fiend: A steel guard counts his armor bonus to AC as being 4 higher for the purpose of the steel punishment class feature.

  • Double Time: A number of times per day equal to his Constitution modifier, a steel guard with this discipline can move at up to his normal movement speed while marching (not half). If he does this with a double march, he may move up to twice his movement speed.

  • Fast Healer: The steel guard gains Fast Healer as a bonus feat. When using this feat, the steel guard gains 1.5x his Constitution modifier in addition healing (rather than an amount equal to his Constitution modifier).

  • Harshness: After landing the killing blow on a creature the steel guard can activate 2 attrition abilities. If an effect triggers on the steel guard’s next melee attack- only one may trigger at a time. The second attrition triggered is applied to the next attack that qualifies for it.

  • Impending Doom: After marching a steel guard gains a bonus equal to 1/2 his steel guard level on Intimidate checks until the end of his next turn.

  • Imposing: While all of a steel guard’s arms are wielding weapons (or a shield) he gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls.

  • My Armor Is My Home: A steel guard gains a +10 bonus to his land speed while wearing heavy armor and may sleep in heavy armor without penalty.

  • Pursuit Predation: After marching, the steel guard counts as having Step Up, Following Step, and Step Up and Strike as bonus feats until the start of his next turn.

  • Run Down: The steel guard gains Improved Overrun as a bonus feat.

  • Seal the Gaps: While wearing heavy armor the steel guard cannot be critically hit if he has marched this turn.

  • Shield Fiend: A steel guard counts his armor bonus to AC as being higher by an amount equal to his shield bonus to AC purpose of the steel punishment class feature.

  • Steely Eyes: Any creature who is demoralized as a result of an Intimidate check from the steel guard cannot flee. At the start of their turn the creature must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 steel guard level + Constitution modifier) or be unable to take any action that would move the creature further from the steel guard (even magic or supernatural means such as dimension door or earth glide). This is a mind-affecting effect.

  • Trampling March: While charging or marching the steel guard may make an overrun attempt against every enemy creature who is in the straight line he must travel in. He must declare his end point before moving. Any creatures that he fails to overrun end his movement. While making overrun attempt a steel guard’s target may not chose to avoid him. In addition, a creature knocked prone by this provokes an attack of opportunity from the steel guard.

Diehard (Ex):Edit

A steel guard gains Diehard as a bonus feat at 3rd level.


Attrition (Ex):Edit

A steel guard can feel the tide of battle turning, gaining more and more mentium with every victory. At 4th level, each time an enemy creature deemed a reasonable threat by the GM* is defeated or an ally is rendered unconscious or dead, the steel guard can use his sense of the inevitable and activate an attrition ability. These represent him tactically taking advantage of a lossed enemy, a weakened line, or a gap in his opponent's plans- allowing him to rub salt in the wound and sow fear and confusion.

*These are typically creature suitable for an encounter that would yield EXP.


At 4th level he knows one attrition ability and at 7th level and every 3 levels thereafter he learns a new one. Only one attrition ability activates per death of a creature.

  • Break Spirit: All creatures within line of sight to the steel guard and the killed creature take a -2 penalty on all Will saves until the end of the steel guard’s next turn.

  • Catch Breath: The steel guard can make an Immediate save against once ongoing condition that is affecting him.

  • Exploit Weakness: One enemy adjacent to the steel guard must make an immediate Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 steel guard level + Constitution modifier) or become flat-footed until the start of its next turn.

  • Hunker Down: The steel guard improves his armor bonus to his AC by the number of enemy creatures adjacent to him until the end of his next turn.

  • Into the Breach: The steel guard’s movement speed improves by 30 feet on his next turn.

  • Punish: The next successful melee attack delivered by the steel guard before the end of his next turn deals and additional 1d6 damage per 3 levels of steel guard.

  • Rush the Weak Point: The steel guard may immediately make an attack of opportunity against an adjacent enemy. This may only be done once per turn.

  • Seize the Momentum: The steel guard gains a bonus on attack rolls equal to 1/4th his steel guard level until the end of his next turn.

  • Sow Confusion: One enemy adjacent to the steel guard must make an immediate Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 steel guard level + Constitution modifier) or become confused (as per confusion) until the end of its next turn.

  • Sow Fear: The steel guard may make an Intimidate check against all enemies who can see both him and witnessed the death of the creature.

Statue (Ex):Edit

At 4th level, the steel guard retains 1/4th of the sum total of his shield, armor, and enhancement bonuses provided by his shield and armor (all added together) against attacks that target the steel guard’s touch AC (minimum +0).

Damage Reduction (Ex):Edit

At 5th level, a steel guard gains damage reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the steel guard takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 8th level, and every 3 steel guard levels thereafter (11th, 14th, 17th, and 20th level), this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Oncoming Storm (Ex):Edit

At 6th level, after marching, a steel guard can make a full attack action as a standard action so long as it is his next action immediately after marching.

Endurance Eternal (Ex):Edit

At 9th level a steel guard needs only to sleep 2 hours to gain the benefit of 8 hours of rest. In addition he always passes Constitution checks made to continue running. In addition the bonuses provided to him by the Endurance feat are doubled (+8).

Unstoppable (Ex):Edit

At 20th level, the steel guard is immune to nonlethal damage, ability drain, and energy drain. Additionally, he becomes immune to damage to his physical ability scores (Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength), as well as to exhaustion and fatigue effects. In addition, while marching a steel guard may move up to twice his movement speed (rather than 1/2) and 4x if he does a double march. If he uses the double time discipline this values improve to x3 (normal march) and x6 (double march).



Table 1-2: Steel Guard Alternate Favored Class Bonuses

Race

Bonus

Source

Human

+1/6 of a new discipline.

CRB

Dwarf

+1/3rd bonus on CMD on the turn after you have marched.

CRB

Elf

+1/3rd bonus on Survival checks to track foes who have fled during combat.

CRB

Hobgoblin

+1/3 bonus on Intimidate checks on the turn after you have marched.

ARG

Oread

+1/6th to your DR/- provided by steel guard class features.

ARG

Cuills

+1/4th shield bonus provided by the bone shield racial trait.

RG4

Gaoth

+1/3rd bonus on CMB checks on the turn after you have marched.

RG4

Wayfarer

+1/2 Knowledge (religion) checks.

RG4

Eulebar

+1/4th damage to objects on the turn after you have marched.

RG5

Taraqsquling

+1/6 of a new attrition.

RG4

New FeatsEdit

Extra Discipline:Edit

Prerequisite(s): Discipline class feature

Benefit: You gain an additional discipline. You must meet all the prerequisites for the discipline.

Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time you gain an additional discipline.


Extra Attrition:Edit

Prerequisite(s): Attrition class feature

Benefit: You gain an additional attrition.



Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Each time you gain an additional attrition.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the

Coast, Inc. • System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. • Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Inc.; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams. • The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved. • Tome of Horrors. Copyright 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors: Scott Greene, with Clark Peterson, Erica Balsley, Kevin Baase, Casey Christofferson, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Patrick Lawinger, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Paizo Publishing, LLC. • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams. • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Player’s Guide. © 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Combat. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Brian J. Cortijo, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Richard A. Hunt, Colin McComb, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Patrick Renie, Sean K Reynolds, and Russ Taylor. • Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Race Guide. © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Hal MacLean, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor. • Little Red Goblin Games Racial Guide 4: Nontradational Races © 2014, Little Red Goblin Games LLC; Author: Scott Gladstein, Christos Gurd, Ian Sisson, and Dayton Johnson. • Little Red Goblin Games Racial Guide 5: Tradational Races © 2016, Little Red Goblin Games LLC; Author: Scott Gladstein, Ian Sisson, and Dayton Johnson. • Steel Guard © 2016, Little Red Goblin Games LLC; Authors: Scott Gladstein, Dayton Johnson, Ian Sisson, and Christos Gurd.

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