View Full Version : Pathfinder Shieldmaster Class

2017-09-03, 05:55 PM
First real pathfinder homebrew class, I need some help filling dead levels and balancing abilities, I'd quite enjoy if you'd be willing to help oh mighty giantitp folk. Thank ye for your consideration.

Bonuses table
Lv Fort Wis Ref BAB DR

1 0 0 2 0 -1 Fortify, Pommel
2 1 0 2 0 -1
3 1 1 3 1 -1 Shield Mastery
4 2 2 3 2 -2 Shield Toss
5 3 2 4 2 -2
6 3 3 4 3 -2
7 4 3 5 3 -3 Unatural Fervor, Never Fall
8 5 4 5 4 -3
9 5 4 6 4 -3 Encroaching Tremors, Crushing Blow
10 6 5 6 5 -4 Impenetrability
11 7 5 7 5 -4
12 7 6 7 6 -4 Steely Will, Soulbound Shield, 2nd Crushing blow and Encroaching Tremors
13 7/1 6 8 6 -5
14 7/2 7 8 7 -5
15 7/2 7 9 7 -5 Unfaltering, Armor Training, 3rd Crushing Blow and Encroaching Tremors
16 7/3 8 9 8 -6
17 7/4 8 10 8 -6 Unstoppable Force
18 7/4 9 10 9 -6
19 7 / 4 / 1 9 11 9 -7 Shield Versatility
20 7 / 5 / 2 10 12 10 -7 Asceticism

Actual Class


These hulking men can march into battle and take blow upon blow without faltering, specializing in taking hits, these beasts of the battlefield crush skulls as easily as flour with their weapons, when the clanking of metal and the slam of the tower shield hitting the ground rings out, you’d best be ready to flee or face the wrath of his shield.

Skills: Climb(Str), Craft(Int), Intimidate(Cha), Knowledge (Dungeoneering)(Int), Ride(Dex), Survival(Wis), Swim(Str)

Hit die : 1d10

Shieldmasters are proficient with all medium and heavy armors, shields, simple weapons and martial one handed weapons (As well as tower shields)
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Fortify (Ex)
Upon first level, once per day the shieldmaster may use a move action to prepare themselves for oncoming attacks, they lose 10 ft of movement, this state lasts 1d6 rounds + Con modifier. The shieldmaster gains DR equal to their Con modifier as well.
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Pommel (Ex)
At 1st level the shieldmaster lifts their shield and beats an opponent over the head with it of similar size (One larger or two size categories lower, if you are level with a much larger creature you may pommel it) If a tower shield is used it is instead slammed against the ground and creates a 5 ft cone in front of the shieldmaster catching the opponent flat-footed and creating difficult terrain, increasing by 5 feet every 3 levels, if using a normal shield it is instead a touch attack. If the shieldmaster uses a tower shield to create the shockwave they are fatigued 1d4 rounds. The damage dealt is equivalent to Shield, Heavy damage of 1d3 + your constitution mod. This attack may knock an enemy prone and they must roll a fortitude check of DC 15. If done on an unsuspecting person they must make a DC equal to your strength modifier + 10 Fortitude throw or be knocked unconscious.
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Shield Mastery (Ex)
At 3rd level the shieldmaster can use shields as martial bludgeoning weapons in combat, dealing 2d6 damage and 3d6 if masterwork.
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Improved Fortify (Ex)
At 4th level the shieldmaster can perform a fortify multiple times per day equal to your level divided by 3, rounded down.
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Shield Toss (Ex)
At 4th level the shieldmaster can throw his shield as if it were a discus up to 20 ft, +5 ft per 2 levels, (Excluding tower shields) dealing damage equal to your pommel damage, knocking an enemy prone. If the attack does critical damage the enemy must make a DC equal to your strength bonus + 10, fortitude throw to not fall unconscious.
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Tight Grip (Ex)
At 5th level the shieldmaster may wield two-handed weapons as if they were one handed weapons.
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Unnatural Fervor (Su)
At 7th level the shieldmaster would much rather die than let his allies suffer. Upon hitting 0 HP the shieldmaster makes a DC equal to his base fortitude save, if he fails the save he falls unconscious, if he succeeds he is returned to 1 hitpoint he stays upright and gains an extra move action and standard action which the shieldmaster doesn’t have to make saving throws on to stay conscious, whenever an enemy moves into the attack range of the shieldmaster it suffers an AoO, if it deals critical damage then the enemy is knocked prone and the enemy cannot perform further actions for the rest of it’s turn. This effect lasts 1d8 rounds past the first round, upon the end of these rounds the shieldmaster is unconscious and is fatigued for the next 1d2 days
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Never Fall (Ex)
At 7th level if the shieldmaster is equipped with a tower shield and falls unconscious they stay upright behind the shield.
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Encroaching Tremors (Ex)
At level 9 if the shieldmaster is equipped with a tower shield, once per day if they perform a pommel they may choose to create a much larger shockwave, reaching up to 25 ft + 5 per 2 levels. If the enemy fails their normal falling prone checks they must roll a DC 18 Fort throw to not become staggered for 1d4 rounds. The Shieldmaster still must roll for the number of rounds fatigued, he can perform it twice on 12th level and 3 times per day upon 15th level at a maximum of 3 times per day.
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Crushing Blow (Ex)
At 9th level the shieldmaster may perform a pommel once per day with a normal shield that deals touch damage and sunders a piece of armor of your choice upon impact, you get a +4 CMB on this attack for the sunder. If it deals critical damage within 18-20 range the armor gains the broken condition. This attack knocks the enemy prone without a roll, following the rules of the initial pommel ability. If the attack is performed on an unsuspecting person who is unarmored they must make a DC 12 Fortitude check or die, if they survive they are helpless, unconscious, and take 1d4 bleeding damage for 2d6 rounds. Upon 12th level the shieldmaster can perform it twice and 3 times upon 15th level at a maximum of 3 times per day.
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Impenetrability (Ex)
At 10th level once per day when the shield master performs fortify, the first attack upon it is nullified completely, and the enemy must take a DC 20 reflex check to not provoke an Attack of Opportunity from all allies within attack range. The enemy is staggered for 1d6 + your dexterity bonus by the sheer toughness of his body.
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Steely Will (Su)
At 12th level the shieldmaster gains the ability to shrug off certain magics, they gain a 10% spell failure chance +5% for every 1 of his con mod. (Example: +5 con = 25% + 10% spell failure)
To enchantment, illusion, and evocation schools of magic, as well as the ability to make 1 DC 20 fortitude throw to wake up from the unconscious condition once per day if stabilized and take 1d6 temporary dex and con damage. (Until Rest)
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Soulbound Shield (Su)
At 13th level when the shieldmaster performs shield toss he may make a DC 16 will check to have your shield return to you upon hitting an enemy, and a DC dex modifier +10 to catch the shield upon it’s return. Him and his shield have grown very close, as if it were an extension of himself. If his shield is lost or destroyed he must survive 3 battles with a new shield for it to re-bond. If you are equipped with a tower shield you gain +2 + Con mod to your CMD against Disarms and sunders against it. And if it is successfully sundered you may perform a DC wis modifier + 12 to have it return to your hand
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Unfaltering (Ex) At 15th level the shieldmaster can no longer be caught flat-footed and an opponent trying to knock him prone or perform a sneak attack must make a DC = to the base con save of the shieldmaster to succeed or be hit with an Attack of Opportunity.
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Armor Training (Ex)
At 15th level the shield master has worn heavy armor so long it appears to be nothing to him, the weight on him is decreased by 20 lb per item of heavy armor, this includes tower shield, this effect does not affect others who wear the Shieldmaster’s armor.
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Unstoppable Force (Ex)
At 17th level once per day the shieldmaster becomes a nigh unstoppable force akin to a moving wall if equipped with a tower shield, any speed debuffs from encumberment or spells for 2d6 rounds, even able to run over opponent's under his massive shield.
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Shield Versatility (Ex)
At 19th level the shieldmaster can carry shields as if they were nothing and carry tower shields as if they were normal shields. They can even perform shield toss with their tower shield, however their range is reduced by 30 ft. If the tower shield hits an opponent must make a DC 18 Reflex throw or be pinned underneath it. Soulbound shield does not affect throwing the tower shield.
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Asceticism (Su)
At 20th level the shieldmaster can become completely numb from the world, for 1d6 rounds the shieldmaster becomes completely invulnerable and cannot attack, and every enemy becomes extremely angry towards the enemy, as if drawn in by magic. Every attack towards the shieldmaster deals no damage, upon the end of these turns the shieldmaster explodes into a violent rage, attacking every enemy around him within attacking range 1d8 + 2 times. For any enemy killed by this attack the shieldmaster gains an extra standard or move action upon his next turn of the shieldmaster’s choice.

2017-09-03, 11:36 PM
My first thought on seeing this is "Why is this a separate class instead of a Fighter Archetype?:, but I'll try to analyse it as it is.

This class NEEDS full BAB, and can probably safely have strong Fort and Reflex. No class this dependent on his weapons should have half BAB. Your DR also needs rule text. I'm assuming you want to give this class DR/-, but I'm not sure.

Skills- How many skill points per level does he get? The class skill list also looks awful, and seems to be borrowing the fighter's problem with out of combat capability.

Proficiencies: It's really unusual to skip Light Armor, and I can't think of anything that justifies it.

Fortify: I like the idea, although I don't like the uses/day for this. I'd want to consider a different way to limit it, maybe borrowing a mechanic like the Crusader's delayed damage pool. Improved Fortify should be moved to level 6 if you keep the uses/day, since that is when it would first have an effect. If you keep Fortify as is, you need to give a DR type, and you need to explain how it stacks with your innate DR.

Pommel: Instead of all of the complicated items you add, at least for the Light/Heavy Shield, I would allow them a free trip or reposition attack on a successful shield bash. As far as tower shields, I don't think the small earthquake ability makes sense as a level 1 ability, and would instead let them bash with a tower shield without it's attack penalty.

Shield Mastery: Masterwork weapons should not add extra base damage (normally). It's also confusing that it doesn't benefit tower shields, and is the same for a light vs heavy shield. I would probably step it down to 1d8/1d10 (light/heavy), which spikes would bring it back to 1d10/2d6 (as compared to 4d6 for a masterwork shield in your case).

Shield Toss: I think you can simplify it to "You gain the Throw Anything feat, and when you throw your shield, it has a range increment of 20 feet, and acts like a shield bash in every respect." If you don't want a Tower Shield thrown, maybe add an ability forcing an enemy you shield bash (with pommel) to treat you and your allies as they had cover.

Never Fall: This is such a minor fluff ability that you could give it at level 1 safely. If this was the spot for a tower shield ability, I'd like for at least "When you wield a tower shield, you gain +20 to your CMD vs trip, drag, bull rush, and reposition attacks. If a spell would force you to move, you roll twice for any saving throw that the spell provides and take the better roll." The thought here is borrowing the idea of a locked gauntlet except against you getting moved instead of being disarmed.

Encroaching Tremors: This seems like a more fitting place to introduce the ability to cause tremors in the first place. Flat saving throws, however, mean that the ability scales into worthlessness really quickly. The default saving throws are either 10 + Strength + 1/2 BAB or 10 + BAB.

Crushing blow is an awful mess as it is. It relies on an enemy having actual armor (which is much less the case at this level), and it also gets a save or die. I do really like the idea of bashing someone so hard that their armor crumples under them, though. What if it got this ability:
When you successfully do a shield bash, you may make a sunder attempt instead of a trip attempt. If it is successful, reduce your opponent's armor or natural armor by your Strength modifier. The creature must also make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + BAB), or your further attacks against it have a critical range of 18-20. The creature cannot remove this effect or their armor without a successful heal check DC 15 + BAB, or with Lesser Restoration, Regeneration, or a similar spell.

Impenetrability looks like an ability that would be fair as a 1/encounter, possibly a 1/enemy without the random staggered effect. If you want to keep the stagger and keep it 1/day, Constitution modifier makes much more sense than Dexterity modifier.

Steely Will: Spell Resistance is the more common way of adding the effect that you want. For something that you want to fail 35% of the time, I'd probably look at 11 + Constitution modifier + Shieldmaster Level, with some way to allow a spell as a free action. I do like the

Soulbound: Just giving every shield that he has returning, even in a way that allows a full attack, is a weak effect at this level, let alone all of these conditions on top of it. At 13th level, the shield should be able to help him no sell spells even worse. I don't think a Spell Turning effect would be completely inappropriate here.

Armor Training: Look at the basic fighter. He gets a much better version of this ability at 5th level. I'd probably start from Armor Training on the fighter, and put something like Fortification instead of the AC bonuses.

Unfaltering: This looks pretty much like Improved Uncanny Dodge, other than the semi-automatic AoO. It's still too late for this ability, but I'd like to see a way for the shieldmaster to make himself seem vulnerable to get to smack some fool upside the head for free. Maybe a special use of feint, letting him get his shield's AC bonus as a bonus to the check?

Unstoppable force: As is this ability makes no sense. Let me try something:
The shieldmaster with his trusty shield knows how to make himself an unstoppable wall of death. As a swift action, he can grant himself Freedom of Movement and ignore the fatigued and exhausted conditions for 1 minute. While in this focus, when he moves or charges, he may make Overrun attempts against any number of creatures, and he is treated as 2 sizes larger for all overrun checks. If he has a tower shield, he is instead treated as 4 sizes larger. Once this effect has expired, the shield master becomes fatigued. If the shield master does this while he is exhausted, he is staggered for 1 hour.

Shield Versatility: At 19th level, this ability is too little, too late. The ability itself is a really fun ability, though, although you get most of the combat benefit of this at 5th level. However, I truly have no idea what direction to take this ability instead.

Asceticism: Automatically having enemies get angry at the shieldmaster and ignoring everything else when its typical that things are immune to mind-affecting effects really doesn't work.

How about this: As a swift action, the shield master can take on the ultimate defensive stance, guarding everything that he cares about. While doing this, he cannot attack. However, he automatically negates all effects of any ability that does less than 1/2 of his health as a single source of damage. If any of his allies are being attacked, he can move up to twice his movement to intercept the attack, taking the attack himself instead of the ally up to a number of times equal to his Constitution modifier. If he takes any damage during this effect, he cannot use this ability his next turn, instead he can do a full attack as a move action or at the end of a charge.

2017-09-04, 11:25 AM
I would like to thank you for your input Kamai, I really realize where I messed up here, I Think I might be able to present this now