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Bonded Allies: The Guardian Angel forms special bonds with her friends, and almost all of her class abilities are based around helping those to whom she is bonded. To form the bond, she must spend a minute speaking with a willing, intelligent creature with a friendly disposition towards her. She does not need to share a language with the creature, but it must agree to the bond. She may bond with an animal if it is capable of learning tricks, and the bond counts as a trick. Thereafter, she may communicate with them telepathically at an unlimited range as long as they are on the same plane. The limit to the number of bonds she can form is given under the ďBonded AlliesĒ heading on the table. She may not change her bonds unless one of her bonded allies dies or betrays her (causes damage to her or targets her with a harmful spell, generally, though other forms of betrayal are allowable by the DM). If she is betrayed, she takes a -4 penalty to her saves and AC against her former bonded ally, and a -4 penalty to attacks made against them until the end of the encounter. She may never form a bond with that creature again. If one of her bonded allies dies, she may choose to form a new bond with another creature, but she also may choose to keep the bond. She can always sense the locations of her bonded allies if they are on the same plane. She can sense if her bonded ally is on another plane, but not which plane it is. She always knows when a bonded ally is damaged or dies. She cannot willingly attack a bonded ally or target them with a harmful spell, and if she is under a mind control or compulsion that causes her to attempt to attack a bonded ally, she immediately gets another save to resist the enchantment or compulsion.
This is cool. A few suggestions though:

  • Maybe add an ability modifier to your number of bonded allies. It'll be a drop in the bucket at high levels, but it lets you bond to the whole party at 1st.
  • I'd remove the set definition of betrayal. As written it looks like, say, if the party's wizard catches the Guardian Angel in a fireball, it's a permanent removal of the bond. Betrayal should be defined by the Guardian Angel in the situation...and perhaps should not permanently remove the bond. It seems like forgiveness should be possible for this class.
  • I'd also maybe loosen up the restriction about not being able to attack bonded allies, probably to disallowing lethal damage, ability damage or drain, negative levels, or other forms of lasting harm. As it stands, it could be interpreted as not allowing you to, say, grapple an ally to prevent it from setting off a trap, or something.


Swift Aid: The Guardian Angel may aid another as a swift action instead of a standard action.
Nothing to add here.

Summoned (Su): A Guardian Angelís bonded allies may summon her to their sides with a swift or immediate action. The Guardian Angel must be conscious and willing to answer their call. She is made aware of her allyís situation when they attempt to summon her. She appears in any open square of her choosing adjacent to the bonded ally who made the call. She cannot be called if there isnít room. Answering the call is an immediate action on the part of the Guardian Angel. Eventually, she gains the ability to answer more than one summons in a round at levels 8, 13, and 18 (effectively, she gains an additional immediate action which can only be used to answer a summons). She may bring along any gear and equipment she can carry. She can even bring a mount along with her if her mount is also a bonded ally.
This ability is really cool, useful and flavorful. An idea would be for a higher-level ability to expand upon the ability to bring a bonded mount, letting you bring along multiple bonded allies in contact. In most cases, I'd say limit it to a small set, so you can bring the party along, but given the contest theme, allowing you to bring any bonded allies would make the Guardian Angel an awesome unit-teleporter, which is not a common niche in D&D.

Path: Guardian Angels have different methods to achieve the goal of protecting their friends. They may choose the paths of melee, ranged, defense, stealth, and magic. They gain a new path ability at levels 3, 7, and 11, then they may choose a second path at level 15 and gain a new path ability in their second path at level 19
I notice that most of these involve offensive improvements. That's fine, but maybe adjust the description of the ability to account for that.

Melee:
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1st ability: the Guardian Angel gains Power Attack as a feat if they do not already have it. She may choose any feat she meets the prerequisites for if she already has Power Attack. Any time they hit an enemy while using Power Attack, any bonded allies who attack the same opponent before the Guardian Angelís next action may add the same bonus to their damage rolls without taking a penalty.

2nd ability: When performing a Power Attack against a foe that has successfully damaged one of the Guardian Angelís bonded allies in the previous round, the Guardian Angel may subtract a number from her melee attack rolls and add twice that number to her damage rolls. If she is using a weapon in two hands, she adds three times the penalty. As per her first melee path ability, any bonded allies who attack the same opponent may also add that number to their damage rolls until the Guardian Angelís next action without taking a penalty, provided that the Guardian Angel successfully hits that opponent.

3rd ability: The Guardian Angel gains the Pounce ability when making a summoned charge.
This is pretty potent. My gut tells me it probably outclasses most of the other options.

Ranged:
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1st ability: The Guardian Angel never takes a penalty for shooting into a melee or grapple that one of her bonded allies is involved in, nor can she ever hit them accidentally. Likewise, her bonded allies will never hit her if they shoot into a melee or grapple that she is involved in or hit her accidentally. Her bonded allies are not protected by this ability if they shoot into each othersí melees or grapples, however.

2nd ability: The Guardian Angel may coordinate any adjacent bonded allies to attack a single target with ranged weapons. They must all make full attacks with ranged weapons, and act on the Guardian Angelís turn (only bonded allies behind the Guardian Angel in initiative order can participate). Everyone involved gains a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls per bonded ally involved, to a maximum of +16 for 8 bonded allies (This is the maximum even if the Guardian Angel is size large or larger and can be adjacent to more than 8 bonded allies). All bonded allies take the same range increment penalty as the Guardian Angel, even if they are not using weapons with the same range increment. Only bonded allies who can actually attack the intended enemy count.

3rd ability: Adjacent bonded allies gain the benefits of any feat related to ranged combat that the Guardian Angel has.
This looks good. The first ability mentions allies hitting each other...I don't recall if there are rules for that in grapples, but in melee is always just a penalty (which is mentioned for the Guardian Angel but not its allies). So that should probably be tweaked. I think applying the benefits of the first ability to and for all bonded allies (so, none take penalties for the others) would be nice to add to one of the improvements, particularly for war-scale play. Maybe also a capability for bonded allies to not treat each other as cover?

Defense:
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1st ability: When a Guardian Angel fights defensively or takes the total defense action, all adjacent bonded allies gain the same bonus to their armor class. At 10th level, the bonus to AC for fighting defensively or taking the total defense action doubles. At 17th level, it triples.

2nd ability: When an adjacent bonded ally is struck in melee, a Guardian Angel may use an immediate action to redirect the damage to herself. She may choose to either take half damage, or pin the opponentís weapon/limb for a moment, allowing all adjacent bonded allies to make an attack of opportunity on that opponent. To use this ability, she must be in a space threatened by the opponent who attacks her bonded ally.

3rd ability: A Guardian Angel may occupy the same space as a bonded ally without any penalties. Using the second defense path ability is a free action if a bonded ally in the same space as her is attacked. You may now be summoned into a bonded allyís space with the summoned ability.
Can't think of anything to change.

Stealth:
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1st ability:
The Guardian Angel gains 2d6 sneak attack. She may now be summoned into a space anywhere within 30 ft of a bonded ally.

2nd ability: The Guardian Angelís sneak attack increases to 4d6, and if she and a bonded ally are flanking an opponent, her and her bonded allyís sneak attack dice increase to d8ís, including any sneak attack dice she may have from multiclassing.

3rd ability: The Guardian Angelís sneak attack increases to 6d6, and if she and a bonded ally are flanking an opponent, her bonded ally adds four dice to their sneak attack damage, even if they do not have the sneak attack ability.
My instinct is that this one is somewhat weaker than the others. Maybe adding something like the Island of Blades stance and letting flanking bonuses be improved by the various Improved Aid abilities would help.

Magic:
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1st ability: The Guardian Angel may share spells and deliver touch spells for any bonded ally who can cast spells, as if she were their familiar (even if the bonded ally is a divine caster), as long as the spell doesnít have the Evil descriptor. She grants a +2 bonus to caster level checks to overcome Spell Resistance to any adjacent bonded ally.

2nd ability: If the Guardian Angel uses her Swift Aid ability to help a bonded ally who casts a spell before the Guardian Angelís next action, the spellcaster casts her next spell at +2 caster level, unless it has the Evil descriptor, in which case the spell is cast at -1 caster level. When a bonded ally casts a beneficial spell which can affect multiple targets, the Guardian Angel does not count against the total number of targets.

3rd ability: The Guardian Angel may be the point of origin for any of her bonded alliesí spells, as long as they do not have the Evil descriptor. She must be conscious, willing, and able to perform the somatic or verbal components of the spell. This does not count as an action for her. Rays or touch spells use her base attack bonus to determine whether or not they hit. In any round in which the Guardian Angel has been used to cast a spell, she adds a +nd6 bonus to her damage rolls with melee or ranged attacks, where n equals the level of the most powerful spell she channeled that round.
This is cool and tactical, but I'd limit the third ability to once per round, and/or put a range limit on it. Otherwise, you can have as many mages as you can bond with sitting safe in their towers, with the Guardian Angel waltzing into battle and unloading scores of spells per round (telepathically telling them when and what to cast, of course). To keep it viable in the war scale, probably just require that the caster have LoS and LoE to the Guardian Angel.

Summoned Attack (Su): When the Guardian Angel is summoned by a bonded ally, she may make a free attack at her highest base attack bonus against any opponent she threatens in her new location.
Nice.

Vengeance: If a bonded ally of the Guardian Angel dies or is dropped to negative hitpoints, she is immediately summoned to the space they last occupied, unless she perceives the situation to be suicidal (such as if they died in a pool of lava, or were killed by an overwhelming foe). This does not count against her per-round limit on the Summoned ability. She may attempt to use the Heal skill on them as a swift action. When attacking a creature that killed or dropped one of her bonded allies, every successful attack by the Guardian Angel is treated as a critical threat.
This is potent, and darn good melee protection for low-level allies; drop one, and you're facing immediate Guardian Angel wrath. Solid if for common adventuring, too.

Commune (Su): The Guardian Angel may communicate with any of her bonded allies who have died. They can provide her any information they had in life. What they might be able to report about the afterlife is up to the DM.
Nice flavor ability.


Summoned Charge (Su)
: When the Guardian Angel uses her Summoned Attack ability, she may now count it as a charge. Most feats or abilities that affect charging apply, but certain ones, such as Leap Attack, do not, since it requires them to jump a certain horizontal distance.
Hmm...I see a combo here that might be too strong. Melee Path 3 turns this into Pounce, so now we're saying that 1-4 times per round depending on level, an ally can give the Guardian Angel a full attack against an adjacent foe as a swift or immediate action. With a single attack, that's solidly strong. A full attack may be a bit much.

Improved Aid: When using the aid another action, the Guardian Angel grants a +4 bonus instead of a +2 bonus.
Nice.

Phase (Su): After being constantly summoned to help her friends, the Guardian Angel eventually finds a way to remain in the place between places for an indefinite amount of time. As a free action, she disappears to a place that is not part of any plane and cannot be found by non-epic magic. She cannot return on her own, however, and must be summoned by one of her bonded allies. She does not age or need food or air while she is phased, nor does any time pass for her while she is phased. Thus, any spells or status ailments that affected her when she phases do not affect her until she returns, and their durations are halted. She may not take any actions while phased except for communicating with her bonded allies.
This is really cool, excellent flavor.

Greater Aid: The Guardian Angel now grants a +6 bonus when using the aid another action.
Nice.

Vengeance II: When attacking a foe who killed or dropped one of her bonded allies, the Guardian Angel treats any successful hit as a confirmed critical. Against opponents who are normally immune to critical hits, she still treats successful hits as a critical threat, and they are affected as normal.
Yeah, ouch. If engaging a Guardian Angel's unit, drop the Guardian Angel first. OR ELSE. Still, in general use, the fact that they have to drop an ally makes this niche enough that it isn't overpowered, I don't think. Really, this whole ability line is a very good, subtle way to "draw aggro".

Superior Aid: The Guardian Angel now grants a +8 bonus when using the aid another action.
Still nice.

Vengeance III: The Guardian Angel gains 2 additional multipliers to her critical hits when attacking an opponent who killed or dropped one of her bonded allies, and her weapons gain the vorpal special ability against them, even if they are not slashing weapons.
You would have to be a fool to go after the Guardian Angel's allies first.

General Impressions:

This class looks excellent. I love the flavor of the mechanics, although a bit more descriptive flavor might be useful. As a general point of formatting, it's nice to include what level the abilities are gained at in their entries. I think the big theme in several of my suggestions is to make it so higher-level Guardian Angels are more like...the commanders of a unit, so some of the benefits they gain with bonded allies are shared among the bonded allies. Mainly just to strengthen the class's theme for the contest. Of course, that's all just opinion and ideas, not sure how it would really work in practice.

Anyway, great job!