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Saintguard
The Order of the Saintguard is an elite sect of paladins trained exclusively in the Cathedral of Meyne on Lados. Led by Cestynian, this holy order is charged with the protection of Saint Thera, from which the name of the order is derived. However, on occasion the order may designate a saintguard to defend some other worthy person.

The saintguard is one who protects the weak from the depredations of the strong, one who fights off the forces of evil when they assault the good, and who defends the ideals of goodness and truth from evil deception and lies. While other paladinal orders take the fight against evil onto evil's home ground, the saintguard remain at home, guarding against evil's counterassault.

Most saintguard are paladins, fighters, and rangers. Occasionally clerics or monks adopt the class as well, and even more rarely, fighter/rogues take up the Order's cause. Arcane spellcasters rarely find the class appealing.

The wandering life of an adventurer does not easily suit most saintguards, who prefer to stay in the Cathedral to protect its people. Sometimes, however, a saintguard takes on the role of a bodyguard for an important or holy person, and travels with that person wherever necessity leads. Player character saintguards could easily fall into that category, or feature prominently in a campaign that revolves around the defense of a city or citadel.

RequirementsEdit

To qualify to become a saintguard, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Lawful good.

Base Attack Bonus: +7.

Skills: Diplomacy 5 ranks, Listen 5 ranks OR Spot 5 ranks.

Feats: Block, Servant of the Heavens, Share Shield.

Patron: Meyne.

Special: Initiate of the Order: The hopeful saintguard must swear fealty to the Cathedral of Meyne and pledge his life and soul to the protection of Saint Thera, or his charge if not the Saint. He must swear to follow and uphold the Code of the Saintguard at all times.

Game Rule InformationEdit

Hit Die: d12.

Class Skills: The following are the class skills (and the key ability for each) for the saintguard prestige class: Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (nobility & royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).

Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The SaintguardEdit

Level

Base Attack

Fort

Ref

Will

Special

1

+1 +2 +0 +2 Faith Points, Defensive Stance, In Harm's Way, Shining Beacon, Code of the Saintguard

2

+2 +3 +0 +3 Magic Circle, Shield of Faith, Best Effort +3, Iron Will

3

+3 +3 +1 +3 Cleaving Attacks, Shield Other

4

+4 +4 +1 +4 Sudden Action, Blood of the Martyr

5

+5 +4 +1 +4 Best Effort +4, Bastion of Defense

6

+6 +5 +2 +5 Protective Aura

7

+7 +5 +2 +5 Defensive Strike

8

+8 +6 +2 +6 Best Effort +5, Glory of the Martyr

9

+9 +6 +3 +6

10

+10 +7 +3 +7 Blanket Protection, Retributive Attack, Unbreakable Defense

Class FeaturesEdit

The following are the class features of the saintguard class:

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

Saintguards gain proficiency with tower shields.

Faith Points

If a saintguard has the faith points class feature from another class, his levels in saintguard stack with that class for the purpose of determining how many faith points per day he receives. If he does not have the faith points class feature already, he gains 1 faith point per day at 1st level, and an additional faith point at level 5 and every 5 levels thereafter. The saintguard with no source of other faith points may only expend his faith points as described below or to power feats. Saintguards with preexisting faith points may spend their faith points normally, including to power saintguard abilities.

Faith points are regained each morning.

Defensive Stance (Ex)Edit

When he needs to, a saintguard can become a stalwart bastion of defense. In this defensive stance, a saintguard gains phenomenal strength and durability, but he cannot move from the spot he is defending. He gains +2 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, a +2 resistance bonus to all saves, and a +4 dodge bonus to AC. Using defensive stance costs the saintguard 1 faith point.

The increase in Constitution increases the saintguard's hit points by 2 per character level, but these hit points go away at the end of the defensive stance when his Constitution score drops back 4 points. While in a defensive stance, a saintguard cannot use skills or abilities that would require him to shift his position, such as Move Silently or Jump. A defensive stance lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character's (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A saintguard may end his defensive stance voluntarily prior to this limit. At the end of the defensive stance, the saintguard is winded and takes a -2 penalty to Strength for the duration of the encounter. Using the defensive stance takes no time itself, but a saintguard can only do so during his action. (A saintguard can't, for example, use the stance when struck down by an arrow in order to get the extra hit points from the increased Constitution.)

In Harm's Way (Ex)Edit

Once per round, if the saintguard is adjacent to an ally who is targeted by a direct melee or ranged attack (but not an area effect), the saintguard can subject him or herself to the attack in the ally’s stead. If the attack hits the saintguard, he or she takes damage normally. If it misses, it also misses the ally. Using this ability does not disrupt the saintguard's defensive stance.

The saintguard must declare his intention to place himself in harm’s way before the attack roll is made. The saintguard selects which ally will be the target of this effect either prior to combat or immediately after the saintguard makes his initiative check. The saintguard can’t change his targeted ally for the duration of the encounter.

Shining Beacon (Ex)Edit

A saintguard is the physical and spiritual embodiment of high ideals. All of his allies gain a +4 morale bonus on saves against fear effects when they stand within 10 feet of the character. If the saintguard is paralyzed, unconcious, or otherwise rendered helpless, his allies lose this bonus.

'Magic' Circle (Su)Edit

A saintguard who is 2nd level or higher is constantly surrounded by an effect that duplicates the magic circle against evil spell as cast by a cleric of his saintguard level.

Shield of Faith (Sp)Edit

A saintguard who is 2nd level or higher can use shield of faith, as the spell, three times per day. His effective caster level is equal to any existing divine caster level plus his saintguard class level.

Best Effort (Ex)Edit

The daunting nature of the saintguard's goals often requires special focus of effort. Beginning at 2nd level, a saintguard gains a bonus on any one skill check he makes, once per day. The character must declare that he is using this ability before he makes the skill check. This bonus begins at +3 and increases by 1 for every 3 levels beyond 2nd.

Iron Will (Ex)Edit

At 2nd level, a saintguard gains Iron Will as a bonus feat.

Cleaving Attacks (Ex)Edit

At 3rd level, a saintguard gains the Cleave feat as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. If he already has Cleave, he gains Great Cleave. If he has both of these feats, he gains no bonus feat.

A saintguard with both the Cleave and Great Cleave feats may take a 5 foot step between attacks when using the Cleave or Great Cleave feat. Doing so does not disrupt his defensive stance. If he does not have these feats when he gains the Cleaving Attacks feature, he gains access to this benefit of the feature as soon as he does have both feats.

Shield Other (Sp)Edit

A saintguard who is 3rd level or higher can use shield other, as the spell, once per day. His effective caster level is equal to any existing divine caster level plus his saintguard class level.

Sudden Action (Ex)Edit

Once per day, a saintguard of 4th level or higher can focus his effort to burst into sudden action when the situation calls for it. The saintguard can change his place in the initiative order, moving higher in the count by a number less than or equal to his class level, as the saintguard sees fit. The saintguard must declare the use of this ability at the start of any round, before anyone else takes an action.

Blood of the Martyr (Su)Edit

A saintguard of 4th level can spend 1 faith point to transfer his own hit points directly to a target creature within line of sight, up to 100 feet away as a standard action. The recipient creature must be willing or this ability has no effect and the faith point is wasted. He must transfer at least 20 points, and all transferred points are treated as physical damage to the saintguard. The creature taking his hit points is treated as if receiving a cure wounds spell and cannot gain more hit points than its maximum allows; any excess points are lost. This ability can only transfer actual hit points, not temporary hit points. An unconcious creature is considered a willing target for the purposes of this ability.

Bastion of Defense (Ex)Edit

A saintguard of 5th level or higher can transfer up to 6 points of his Armor Class to any ally adjacent to him (making his own Armor Class worse by the same number). The transferred amount can never exceed the saintguard's dodge bonus to AC.

Additionally, his defensive stance benefits increase at 5th level. He gains a +4 bonus to Strength, a +6 to Constitution, a +4 resistance bonus to all saves, and a +6 dodge bonus to AC.

Protective Aura (Su)Edit

A saintguard of 6th level or higher is able to better protect multiple allies. His Shield Other class feature can now affect up to all allies within 30 ft. of the saintguard, and all damage transferred to him via this effect is applied to the saintguard as nonlethal damage. The saintguard may specify which allies within range are affected by his Shield Other ability.

Defensive Strike (Ex)Edit

At 7th level, if an opponent makes a melee attack against the saintguard, or any ally adjacent to him that is gaining a bonus to AC from the saintguard, and misses while the saintguard is in defensive stance, the saintguard can make an immediate attack of opportunity against that opponent with a +4 insight bonus on his attack roll. This ability does not increase the amount of attacks of opportunity per round or per opponent that the saintguard can make.

Glory of the Martyr (Su)Edit

At 8th level, whenever the saintguard is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points while his Shield Other or Protective Aura ability is active, the effect ends in a burst of holy energy that restores 1d8 + saintguard's class level hit points to all allies within 30 ft. of him.

Blanket Protection (Ex)Edit

At 10th level, the saintguard can use his expertise to help his allies better protect themselves. As a standard action, he may spend 1 faith point to grant all of his allies within line of sight a deflection bonus to AC equal to his Charisma modifier. This bonus lasts for 3 rounds.

Retributive Attack (Su)Edit

If an ally of a 10th level saintguard is rendered helpless or unconcious, the saintguard can make a retributive attack against the creatured that felled his ally. When making a retributive attack, the saintguard adds his Charisma modifier (if positive) to his attack roll and his saintguard class level to his damage on a successful hit.

A saintguard can make a number of retributive attacks per day equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1), but never more than one per round. He may make more than one retributive attack against the same foe. A retributive attack  must be declared before the saintguard makes his attack roll, and must be part of an attack or full attack action.

Unbreakable Defense (Ex)Edit

At 10th level, the saintguard's defensive stance improves to grant a +6 bonus to Strength, a +8 bonus to Constitution, a +6 resistance bonus to all saves, and a +8 dodge bonus to AC. He may transfer up to 8 points of his Armor Class to any adjacent ally (per the Bastion of Defense ability, see above).

Additionally, he gains a circumstance bonus to rolls made to oppose an opponent's bull rush, overrun, grapple, or trip attacks equal to his saintguard class level while in defensive stance.

Code of the SaintguardEdit

A saintguard supports and defends Good and opposes Evil.

A saintguard is a Leader in righteous combat. When it is necessary to fight, the saintguard will seek to guide and inspire his comrades, taking a forward position in the battle and facing the foe boldly. A saintguard does not hide from his foe or sneak about.

A saintguard is a Protector. He will seek to prevent harm to the innocent and will place himself at risk in order to accomplish this if need be.

A saintguard is Just and works to promote and enforce Justice and the Law. If a saintguard does not agree with a law, he must still respect it and should work to change it rather than disregarding it. The only exception to this is if the saintguard believes the law to be truly evil. In this instance, the saintguard must follow the dictates of his conscience.

A saintguard is Honest. He will not lie or otherwise seek to deceive a person. A saintguard does not cheat or seek to take unfair advantage in his dealings with others.

A saintguard is Loyal. He does not betray his god, his liege-lord, his guild, his family, or his friends.

A saintguard is Holy. He seeks to do that which pleases his god in all manners of the Code, and knows that the purity of his soul has a profound impact on the abilities the gods bless him with.

A saintguard is Devout. He worships the Heavenly Father Meyne above all other gods, and the Saint Thera Dawnwing is His holy vessel and is to be afforded the respect and devotion she deserves.

Ex-SaintguardsEdit

Should a saintguard ever knowingly and willingly violate the Code of the Saintguard, he is immediately stripped of all class features of his saintguard class and may not take further levels in saintguard. The only way for an ex-saintguard to regain his abilities and be allowed to take levels in the class again is by receiving an atonement spell cast by Thera herself.

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