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    Default [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior (Now with Feats!)

    I would very much appreciate it if you folks would take a look at this, my first homebrew base class. Please evaluate it and critique it honestly, and hopefully together we can make it campaign-ready. If you have ideas on how to improve it, or think of something that I've missed in my design, please speak up.


    A few design notes:
    I feel like melee doesn't get enough love, and shield fighting least of all. The feat tree is so extensive, and in the end you get a not-so-great boost to AC, can't use the best weapons, and gain some fun shield bash abilities.

    My intent was to change all of that.

    Now, this is definitely a boost from your standard fighter, and it's a definite step up from Swordsage (basically a Swordsage initiating chassis with a ton of shield abilities built onto it). Please consider that when evaluating its balance.

    So, without further ado...

    CHANGE LOG
    Spoiler
    Show
    Thanks for the help!

    Fixed tower shield dexterity AC penalty, reduced it to -2, rather than -4.
    Phalanx fighting only requires one Shield Warrior, rather than everyone having to be one.
    Rules re-written so that those who are in a formation that are not Shield Warriors gain bonuses to AC.
    Mettle gained earlier.
    Bonus to saves gained later, but half bonuses to saves granted early.
    Heavy Shield Coup de Grace changed to immediate/swift action and causes attack of opportunity, rather than a free action that did not.
    Shield Parry originally cost an attack from your full attack routine. Changed to attacks of opportunity, but a hard limit set to prevent epic feat from giving infinite shield parries.
    Modified rules for Shield Slam ability, making it effective against any size creature, negating half the size bonus on the opposed check, and reducing the DC a bit to prevent it from becoming utterly breakable.
    Added listen as a class skill. Why? Because of Darkstalker, everyone should have spot and listen as class skills.
    Wording of Faithful Defender clarified to define more clearly what a “cone” refers to. Also explicitly included that it works with Wall of Iron.
    Tried to flesh out further what Shield of the Unconquerable does, but I’ll be the first to admit that the language still needs work.
    Bumped to 4+int from 2+int.
    The tasty feats added.
    Added additional disciplines.
    Made it harder to wield two shields. Cleaned up some language here and there.


    SHIELD WARRIOR
    Spoiler
    Show


    ”Return with your shield or on it.”
    - Agis I, a shield warrior and king

    No military is more feared than one that is untouchable. The Hoplite or Centurian is an eternal image of warfare. In lockstep, their line moves across a battlefield, these Shield Warriors forming an impenetrable wall. Together, they strike fear into the hearts of their foes and stand firmly against tides of darkness.

    MAKING A SHIELD WARRIOR

    Abilities
    Shield Warriors are in the thick of things at the front lines, trading blows and enduring much for the sake of their allies. As such, Strength and Constitution are essential to their survival. In addition, Dexterity is helpful as it further increases their ability to dodge the blows of their enemies.

    Races
    Most Shield Warriors are humans or dwarves. Some half-orcs are, as well, but their chaotic nature tend to make them the exception, rather than the rule.

    Alignment
    In concept, individuals of any alignment may be trained as Shield Warriors. However, the machine-like coordination required of Shield Warriors to effectively fight together in formations and the military lifestyle associated with their training tend to appeal to those more lawfully aligned.

    Starting Gold
    4d4 x 10 gp (100 gp)

    Starting Age
    As the Fighter

    Hit Die
    d8

    The following are all class features of the Shield Warrior:
    {table=head]
    Level
    |
    BAB
    |
    Fort Save
    |
    Ref Save
    |
    Will Save
    |
    Special
    |
    Maneuvers<br />Known
    |
    Maneuvers<br />Readied
    |
    Stances<br />Known

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    | Favored Shield I, <br />Shield Mastery I|
    6
    |
    4
    |
    1
    |
    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Superior Shield Technique |
    7
    |
    4
    |
    2
    |
    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    | Shield Parry|
    8
    |
    5
    |
    2
    |
    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Shield Mastery II|
    9
    |
    5
    |
    2
    |
    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Favored Shield II, <br />Indomitable Shield<br />Bearer I|
    10
    |
    6
    |
    3
    |
    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Aegis of Adamant|
    11
    |
    6
    |
    3
    |
    7th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Shield Other|
    12
    |
    6
    |
    3
    |
    8th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Shield Mastery III|
    13
    |
    7
    |
    3
    |
    9th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Phalanx Fighting<br />Evasion|
    14
    |
    7
    |
    4
    |
    10th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Favored Shield III|
    15
    |
    8
    |
    4
    |
    11th|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Wall of Iron|
    16
    |
    8
    |
    4
    |
    12th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Shield Mastery IV|
    17
    |
    8
    |
    4
    |
    13th|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Bastion of Defense|
    18
    |
    9
    |
    4
    |
    14th|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Mettle|
    19
    |
    9
    |
    5
    |
    15th|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Favored Shield IV|
    20
    |
    10
    |
    5
    |
    16th|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Shield Mastery V|
    21
    |
    10
    |
    5
    |
    17th|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    | Indomitable Shield<br />Bearer II |
    22
    |
    10
    |
    5
    |
    18th|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Shield Slam|
    23
    |
    11
    |
    5
    |
    19th|
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Dual Stance|
    24
    |
    11
    |
    5
    |
    20th|
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Favored Shield V,<br />Shield Mastery VI|
    25
    |
    12
    |
    6
    |[/table]

    Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level; x4 at first level): The class skills of the Shield Warrior are Balance, Craft, Intimidate, Knowledge (History), Listen, Martial Lore, Profession, Spot


    CLASS FEATURES

    Armor and Weapon Proficiencies
    A Shield Warrior is proficient with all simple weapons, martial melee weapons and all martial throwing spears, light armor, and all shields, including tower shields.

    The shield of a Shield Warrior can be enchanted both as a weapon and as a piece of armor. The cost for each is calculated separately.

    Maneuvers
    A Shield Warrior learns and recovers maneuvers and stances as a Swordsage.

    A Shield Warrior may only select maneuvers from the Iron Heart, Endarire’s Stone Dragon Army of One and Iron Tortoise disciplines, with the following changes:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Army of One:
    • Driving Lance may be used as part of full attack, though only one strike is subject to bonus abilities granted by this maneuver.


    Iron Tortoise:
    • Shell Shock and Glorious Shell Shock are treated as swift-action boosts that apply to all attacks made during the round.
    • Snapping Strike, Angering Bite, Enraging Strike, Tortoise Trip, Greater Snapping Strike, and Smashing Shell may all be used as part of a full attack, though only one attack is subject to the bonus abilities granted by the maneuver.


    Additionally, choose one discipline. Add "Shields" to the list of chosen weapons of that discipline.



    Favored Shield
    Choose one type of shield at 1st level (buckler, light, heavy, or tower—all shields fall into one category, and shields that are not specifically labeled as such may be categorized at DM discretion). This shield type may be retrained, advancing one ability per day spent using a new type of shield. As a Shield Warrior advances, she gains special abilities when wielding her favored shield as follows:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Buckler
    • 1st: Buckler Training—You retain your shield bonus to AC while fighting with an off-hand weapon or two-handed weapon. You take no penalty for using a buckler in combat. Treat the buckler as a light shield for determining damage. You may use shield spikes on a buckler.
    • 5th: Buckler Feint—When wielding a buckler, your foe cannot defend himself as you conceal your weapon behind your shield. Each round, you gain a circumstance bonus to your first attack with a one-handed weapon held in your primary hand equal to your Shield Warrior level divided by 2 plus your remaining ECL divided by 4, rounded down.
    • 10th: Buckler Punch—When making a standard or full attack, you may make one additional punching attack with your buckler at a -5 penalty.
    • 15th: Create Vulnerability—If you make a successful strike with your buckler prior to making your other attacks, your foe takes a -2 penalty to AC from all of your attacks in that round.
    • 20th: Buckler Feint II—The circumstance bonus you gain on your first attack from Buckler Feint increases to your full Shield Warrior level, rather than ½.


    Light Shield
    • 1st: Shield Slash—Light shields you wield are treated as though they had the Keen enchantment. You shield is treated as both a bludgeoning and a slashing weapon.
    • 5th: Sword and Board I—You gain the benefits of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, even if you do not meet the requirements. Treat your shield as a light weapon.
    • 10th: One-Two—You may make a shield bash with a light shield at a -5 penalty in addition to your primary attack as part of a standard attack. You do not gain additional attacks when making a full attack.
    • 15th: Sword and Board II—You may make as many attacks with your shield as you can with your primary weapon, up to your BAB. You do not gain additional shield attacks from haste or similar effects.
    • 20th: Shield Slash II—A light shield you wield is treated as though it were a Vorpal weapon.


    Heavy Shield
    • 1st: Massive Shielding I—When wielding a heavy shield, gain a 5% miss chance.
    • 5th: Whenever you make a successful shield bash against an opponent, he loses his dexterity bonus to AC for the rest of the round. This ability is useable a number of times equal to your Shield Warrior level divided by 4 plus your remaining ECL divided by 8, rounded down per encounter.
    • 10th: Massive Shielding II—When wielding a heavy shield, gain a 10% miss chance.
    • 15th: Coup de grace—By dropping your shield onto the throat (or similarly injurious anatomy) of a helpless opponent, you may make a Coup De Grace attempt as a immediate or swift action during combat that provokes attacks of opportunity.
    • 20th: Massive Shielding II—When wielding a heavy shield, gain a 20% miss chance.


    Tower Shield
    • 1st: Brutal Slam—You may make shield bash attacks with a tower shield. Treat this as a heavy shield that does 2d4 damage. You do not take the normal -2 penalty for wielding a Tower Shield in combat. You may use shield spikes on a tower shield.
    • 5th: Nimble Defender—You may treat a Tower Shield as having a maximum dexterity bonus to AC of 2 (as normal) or take a -2 penalty to your dexterity bonus to AC, whichever is more beneficial.
    • 10th: Faithful Defender—As an immediate action, you may move to interpose yourself between an ally within reach and an enemy. Any attacks directed at your ally during this turn from any foes in a cone (a 90 degree angle drawn with its center in a line from the ally behind you through your position) are instead made against you. You may use this ability a number of times equal to your Shield Warrior level divided by 4 plus your remaining ECL divided by 8, rounded down per encounter. This interacts with Wall of Iron below, so that—on a successfully saving against an area of effect—your ally is considered to be “in a straight line behind you.”
    • 15th: Duck and Cover—As an immediate action, you may duck behind your shield, entirely negating any single attack. If your shield has at least a +3 enhancement bonus, this will even block targeted magic (but not area of effect spells). You may use this ability a number of times per encounter equal to your Shield Warrior level divided by 5 plus your remaining ECL divided by 10, rounded down per encounter.
    • 20th: Iron Fortress—Whenever you enter Total Defense, you become completely immune to any harmful attacks by an enemy, and you may do so as an immediate action that continues at a minimum through your next turn once per encounter. You may not make any attack actions while taking total defense, even if given a class specifies otherwise, or else you forfeit this additional benefit.



    Superior Shield Technique
    Starting at 2nd level, you can add your levels in Shield Warrior divided by 2, rounded down, as an untyped bonus to your Shield AC, while wielding a shield in your hand.

    Shield Parry
    Beginning at 3rd level, if you are capable of making attacks with a shield, you may parry the attacks of your enemies instead. Whenever you would be struck by an enemy weapon, you may make an opposed attack roll with your shield. If you win this opposed roll, the attack is completely negated. Take a cumulative -5 penalty (as per BAB) on any parries made after the first. You may not make more parries than your BAB would normally allow (four at level 20, for example).

    Shield Mastery
    A Shield Warrior is a master of the shield, and as her training advances she becomes nigh untouchable on the battlefield with her chosen shield. This manifests itself in the following ways:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Ruinous: At 1st level, you are treated as having both Improved Shield Bash and Shield Specialization with any shield, even if you would normally be unable to make a shield bash with this type of shield. Apply your full strength bonus to attacks made with a shield.

    Shield Ward: At 4th level, you gain the Shield Ward feat, applying your shield bonus to Touch AC, as well as on checks to resist bull rush, disarm, trip, overrun, and grapple attempts.

    Steadfast Shield: At 8th level, you can overcome any non-magical effect that would deny you your shield bonus to AC, including the Pin Shield feat. You also gain the benefits of the Block Arrows feat. You may take the epic feats Infinite Deflection and Exceptional Deflection at epic levels, even if you do not meet the requirements to take these feats.

    Active Shield Defense: At 12th level, you gain the benefits of the Active Shield Defense feat.

    Shield Charge: At 16th level, you gain the benefits of the feats Shield Charge and Shield Slam.

    Shield of the Unconquerable: At the pinnacle of your training in the use of a shield in combat, you are virtually untouchable. If you wield a magic shield in your hand, it becomes impassable to any effect and exists on all planes at once. No weapon or magic may pass through it, though you should note that this does not mean that you yourself are completely untouchable—your shield AC still represents the skill required to get around your shield. Your shield is effective against, and immune to, incorporeal and ethereal creatures (and gains the ghost touch enhancement for the purpose of striking incorporeal creatures), [Force] damage, and the like. This manifests itself in a number of ways. The shield, while held, is completely indestructible. Disintegrate spells, dispel magic/mage's disjunction and its derivatives, spheres of annihilation, and other similar effects have absolutely no effect on your shield. (For instance, holding a shield between yourself and a sphere of annihilation may protect you from its effects, so long as you yourself do not touch it. A disintegrate spell targeted on your shield does nothing, but you yourself must still save against a disintegrate targeted on you.) In addition, you are never denied your shield bonus to AC; this includes effects such as from a brilliant energy weapon. This is not a comprehensive list, but merely serve as examples. To summarize: short of DM fiat, you will never lose your shield or its bonus, ever.


    Indomitable Shield Bearer I
    Upon reaching 5th level, add ¼ your total shield AC to saves.

    Aegis of Adamant
    You are a master of redirecting the force of blows that strike your shield. Any shield held in your hand cannot be sundered when you reach 6th level, nor can you be disarmed of a shield.

    Shield Other
    At 7th level, as an immediate action, you may interpose your shield between any ally within reach and a single attack, completely negating the attack. If you have selected Favored Shield: Tower Shield, and are at least 15th level, you may block targeted magical effects, as well, as the class ability, and this would count towards one of your per encounter uses.

    Phalanx Fighting
    You have mastered the art of fighting in a formation. Beginning at 9th level, whenever you are within reach of an ally who wields a shield, you may fight in formation by overlapping shields. All those within the formation take an additional -1 penalty on attack rolls per other persons in the formation, to a maximum of -5.

    You gain a circumstance bonus to your shield AC equal to their Shield AC. In addition, for every ally adjacent to you after the first, you gain an additional circumstance bonus to your shield AC equal to half their own, with a cumulative 50% decrease for additional allies after that (so 100% of first ally, 50% of second, 25% of third...).

    Any ally who is adjacent to you that does not have levels in Shield Warrior gains a bonus to their own Shield AC equal to one-half of your own, and any Shield Warriors below 9th level gain a bonus to their Shield AC equal to yours. The bonus gained from additional Shield Warriors after the first follows the cumulative 50% decrease rule.

    All of these bonuses are calculated based on Shield ACs unmodified by Phalanx Fighting (and thus, do not grant infinite loops).

    When at least five characters wielding shields, one of which must be a Shield Warrior, fill a tightly packed circle (a testudo), they gain additional benefits. While fighting defensively or taking the total defense option, all characters within the formation become immune to ranged weapon attacks (with the exception of any attack that is rolled as a natural 20), up to and including those of one size category larger than themselves. They also cannot be moved in any way, except by an enemy or object at least two size categories larger than themselves. (If a formation of characters are of varying size, calculate the average size and round down). A formation acts on the same initiative count, an average of all those in formation, and can move as one unit at a maximum speed of 5’ and maintain the formation. Forming a testudo requires a swift action expenditure from all those involved, though leaving a testudo and filling an empty gap in an already formed testudo are nonactions.

    Evasion
    At 9th level, you can use your shield to avoid even magical and unusual attacks. If you make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals damage on a successful save, you instead take no damage. Evasion can only be used while holding a shield. If you are helpless, you do not gain the benefit of evasion.

    Wall of Iron
    Beginning at 11th, if you save against an area effect, you block the line of effect in a straight line behind you. [Thanks go to Nero24200 for this idea]

    Bastion of Defense
    At 13th level, a Shield Warrior can no longer be flanked. This denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the Shield Warrior by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has Shield Warrior levels.

    Mettle
    While holding a shield, you gain the benefits of Mettle beginning at 14th level.

    Indomitable Shield Bearer II
    Upon reaching 17th level, add ½ your total shield AC to saves.

    Shield Slam
    Beginning at 18th level, you may choose to knock an opponent off his feet with your shield bashes. If your attack hits, deal damage normally. Make opposed strength checks, as per the rules for a bull rush, that do not provoke attacks of opportunity. For every 5 points that you beat your opponent’s check, he is flung back 5’. He also must make a DC BAB+Str+ ¼ Shield AC Reflex Save or fall prone. If he strikes an object or another creature in flight, both take damage according to the rules for falling damage. There is no limit on the size of a creature that you can Shield Slam, as opposed to the normal rules for bull rush. Whereas for a normal bull rush, your foe gains a +4 size bonus for every size he is larger than you, your foe only receives ½ his size bonus for every size he is larger than you.

    Spoiler
    Show
    There are already a few maneuvers that the Shield Warrior has access to from Iron Tortoise that provide for shield bash/knock backs at earlier levels. This gives it as a permanent ability that can be used on any shield bash. Obviously, you’ll only be able to successfully make one of these, since it will disrupt your full attack routine to knock your opponent out of reach. I expect players to use this as their last strike in a full attack routine, and if it hits it will limit your opponent to a standard attack against you on his next turn, because he’ll have to waste a move action to get to you. It is for these reasons that I’m granting it at such a late level.

    Some explanation on the size bonus thing: Say you’re a large Shield Warrior, and you are bashing a colossal enemy. You gain a +4 size bonus on the check, as normal. Your opponent gains a +4 size bonus for large, and then gains (½ * 12 =) 6 bonus for huge, gargantual, and colossal. Therefore, your opponent only gets a +10, rather than a +16, for being four size categories larger than medium. I know that’s complicated, but I wanted to cut it down a notch, without completely negating it.


    Dual Stance
    Upon reaching 19th level, you are capable of using two martial stances simultaneously, or if you have a class feature that gives you this benefit (such as the warblade or master of nine) you are instead capable of using three. You are also capable of taking two swift actions a round, so long as one of them is used to go into a martial stance. [Thanks Krimm]


    FEATS

    Double Shield Bearer
    Prerequisite: Shield Warrior level 7
    Benefit: You may wield two shields at once, one in each hand (or a buckler on each arm). The AC bonus you gain from each shield is cumulative, as is the enhancement bonus from magical shields. The AC bonus gained from Superior Shield Technique is ¾ your class level, rather than ½. Benefits gained from Favored Shield are not cumulative, so a Shield Warrior wielding two Heavy Shields would not benefit from a 40% miss chance.
    Normal: The AC bonuses from wielding two shields do not normally stack.

    Versatile Training
    Prerequisite: Double Shield Bearer, Shield Warrior level 15
    Benefit: Gain the benefits of an additional Favored Shield. This must be a different type of shield than you have already chosen, as benefits gained from the same Favored Shield are not cumulative. In addition, while wielding two shields, a Shield Warrior may Parry a number of times equal to the attacks you can make during a round.

    Shield Throwing
    Prerequisite: Shield Warrior level 1
    Benefit: As part of an attack or a full attack, you may throw your light shield. It has a range increment of 30 feet. Apply your strength modifier to damage and calculate criticals as normal for the shield, rather than per normal thrown weapon rules. The shield, for whatever reason, returns to your hand immediately after it strikes the target, and is ready for use again during the same round that it is thrown. In addition, you may choose to bank your shield between targets, with a total number of attacks per round limited by your BAB, and taking a cumulative -5 penalty for additional attacks after the first, as normal. Each target must be within 30’ of the next, and, in order to return to your hand, must be within 5 range increments of you at the end of its journey. While it is not required that you ululate when throwing your shield, it is highly recommended.
    Normal: Normally, you are not a Warrior Princess.

    [Epic Progression]

    {table]Level|Abilites
    21|Improved Evasion or Mettle
    22|Epic Shield Parry
    23|Favored Shield VI
    24|Shield Mastery VII
    25|Nigh Untouchable[/table]

    Maneuvers: The Shield Warrior's initiator level is equal to his or her class level. The Shield Warriors's maneuvers readied does not increase after 20th level. The Shield Warrior learns an additional maneuver known at every odd level(21st, 23rd, 25th etc.). [Following Krimm's lead]

    Improved Evasion or Improved Mettle
    At level 21, the Shield Warrior gains either Improved Evasion or Improved Mettle while holding a shield. This choice cannot be changed.

    Epic Shield Parry
    As Shield Parry, but can deflect magic. DC to parry magic is 20+Spell DC. If no spell DC, calculate one and add additional 20 to parry DC, for total of 40+Spell DC. The number of uses is still limited by BAB per round.

    Favored Shield VI
    -Buckler: Pending
    -Light: While utilizing two-weapon fighting, you take no penalties to your attack rolls.
    -Heavy: The miss chance increases to 40%.
    -Tower: You may Duck and Cover as free action instead of an immediate action, and you may now use the ability once per 3 levels instead of once per 5.

    Shield Mastery VII
    Gain the benefits of Infinite Deflection and Exceptional Deflection while wielding shield.

    Nigh untouchable
    At Level 25, the Shield Warrior is immune to ability damage or drain while wielding shield. The Shield Warrior also gains Heavy Fortification.

    (More may eventually come)




    ******************

    Finally, a big thanks to all those who have helped brainstorm ideas and those who have helped critique this build (Mesidoomstalker, Tacitus, Deadjester, and wayfare). I really appreciate the help and the encouragement, and I’m looking forward to having a fully-balanced class that most DMs will accept as written.
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2012-04-24 at 05:49 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Dead_Jester's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Thanks for fixing the table. I'd recommend giving them at least another discipline, something like Iron Heart or Stone Dragon (or both, for that matter), as 2 is simply not enough (heck, you'd have trouble finding 25 maneuvers worth taking from only 2 disciplines). You might also want to alter the stance progression so it meshes with the actual levels at which stances become available (usually levels 1, 3, 6 and 8).

    Favored shield, and especially Nimble Defense (it shouldn't give a penalty to a stat), is very poorly written, and is at times confusing.

    I believe Shield Parry has a little too much overlap with counters. Also, as written, unless you can scrap an AoO to use one, it would rarely be used, as killing stuff has been proven to be the best way to reduce damage taken.

    Phalanx Fighting is incredibly situational, and should probably be made usable by any one wielding a shield as long as one of them is a shield warrior.

    Does indomitable shield bearer use the standard shield bonus, or the one modified by superior shield technique (which would give this guy ridiculous saves, and is probably too strong)?

    Mettle should probably be gained at a level were it is still effective, preferable at or before 13th level.

    Shield Slam is gained way to late to actually be effective (at those levels, your fighting things that are 90% of the time bigger than you, and often much stronger too).

    Apart from that, the class looks pretty good, and it's always nice to see the homebrewed disciplines get some love.
    The Age of Warrior, a ToB expansion.

    Credits to Ninjaman for old Death Jester avatar.
    Homebrew (feel free to PEACH)
    Base Classes:
    Fighter Fix, The Sublime Matador

    Disciplines:
    The Endless Play

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Barbarian MD's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Thanks for commenting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    Thanks for fixing the table. I'd recommend giving them at least another discipline, something like Iron Heart or Stone Dragon (or both, for that matter), as 2 is simply not enough (heck, you'd have trouble finding 25 maneuvers worth taking from only 2 disciplines). You might also want to alter the stance progression so it meshes with the actual levels at which stances become available (usually levels 1, 3, 6 and 8).
    Hmmm, I thought I had ripped it straight from the Swordsage. Let me double check that. I wanted to limit it to only two disciplines because I felt that otherwise people will say it's overpowered, as it has so many feats and abilities already. I'll wait for a few more comments on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    Favored shield, and especially Nimble Defense (it shouldn't give a penalty to a stat), is very poorly written, and is at times confusing.
    Sorry. I meant penalty to AC from Dex, rather than Dex! I'll be sure to change that. How would you suggest cleaning up the writing?

    EDIT: New wording
    Nimble Defender—You may treat a Tower Shield as having a maximum dexterity bonus to AC of 2 (as normal) or take a -4 penalty to your dexterity bonus to AC, whichever is more beneficial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    I believe Shield Parry has a little too much overlap with counters. Also, as written, unless you can scrap an AoO to use one, it would rarely be used, as killing stuff has been proven to be the best way to reduce damage taken.
    I wanted to avoid using AoOs, as otherwise people who reach epic levels will pick up infinite AoOs... Other thoughts on this ability?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    Phalanx Fighting is incredibly situational, and should probably be made usable by any one wielding a shield as long as one of them is a shield warrior.
    Yeah, it probably wouldn't get much use in a normal game. Do you think it would be too powerful if it was applicable to any shield user?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    Does indomitable shield bearer use the standard shield bonus, or the one modified by superior shield technique (which would give this guy ridiculous saves, and is probably too strong)?
    This would only give +6-7 to saves to a Level 20 character with an otherwise poor save progression. The danger, of course, is gestalt, but is it really that overpowered?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    Mettle should probably be gained at a level were it is still effective, preferable at or before 13th level.
    Swap it with Indomitable Shield Bearer, perhaps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    Shield Slam is gained way to late to actually be effective (at those levels, your fighting things that are 90% of the time bigger than you, and often much stronger too).
    What if I made it effective against creatures 1-2 sizes larger than you and negated bonuses for size on the opposed check? There are already a few maneuvers that do similar things accessible at lower levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dead_Jester View Post
    Apart from that, the class looks pretty good, and it's always nice to see the homebrewed disciplines get some love.
    Thanks!

    EDIT: One other question I had. I wasn't sure whether to base a few of the Favored Shield abilities off of ECL vs Class Level (and I realized just now that I wasn't consistent in writing them). Suggestions?
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2011-03-26 at 05:22 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    A +5 Tower Shield with Shield Specialization and the +10 bonus from class levels at 20th level is +20 Shield to AC when used in that manner. That is +10 to all saves. For a class that is all about being a tank, I don't see that as too much of a problem, as that is Tower Shield specific and requires a 25,000gp+ investment. I can see a Paladin getting about the same save bonus if they try hard enough.

    I don't have a lot of comments on the rest quite yet, but I really like the idea. I take shield ward on about half my characters. XD

    On the subject of maneuvers, your links are messed up pretty hard, first of all. I also agree that only having two disciplines is a little slim. Army of One and Iron Tortoise each have 27 maneuvers, stances included. You could potentially go with all the maneuvers in a single discipline, or mix it up some, but thats a very, very narrow focus.

    For Shield parry, stat that it uses AoOs but that you can never make more than X number of parries a round? Where X is based on something, but I don't know what. Maybe base the number of parries on some fraction of IL?
    Last edited by Tacitus; 2011-03-26 at 06:14 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by mhvaughan View Post
    think of something that I've missed in my design
    I think you missed something very important. Credit. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=191355
    Here is the thread you made before asking for ideas for this class. I along with a few others came up with ideas that you did not give credit for here. I admit that I did not make any rules and you should get credit for making the rules for how these ideas will work in-game but some credit should be given to those who had the original ideas.

    That being said I have a few suggestions:
    Quote Originally Posted by mhvaughan View Post
    15th: Coup de grace—By dropping your shield onto the throat (or similarly injurious anatomy) of a helpless opponent, you may make a Coup De Grace attempt as a free action during combat that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
    I would say that such a Coupe De Grace wouldn't be a free action. Move equivalent sounds more realistic. And I would say provokes attacks of opportunity but that would lessen the abilities effectivness. So make it move-equavelent that doesn't provoke attack of opportunity.

    Quote Originally Posted by mhvaughan View Post
    Please point out to me anything that it should explicitly stop.]
    Disintegrate? Or at least a bonus to the save. It would really suck if the item thats the entire focus of your class is turned to dust.

    Otherwise, this class seems really awesome as a tank. It fills the role of a tank perfectly while giving you some new attack options.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Ach! Yes, thank you. It had been a few days and I sort of forgot about that thread since it hadn't been posted in since.

    Let's see... I don't think I actually used anything from that, but I'll go through and double check. A quick perusal reveals a few ideas that I might yet include in the class abilities before calling this thing finished--I seem to remember you having a few really clever ones that I ought to incorporate.

    All in all, though, I do thank you for taking the time to suggest things, and for pointing out the omission.

    Okay, notes to self:
    I think mesi originally gave idea for using vorpal
    Wayfare suggested bonus to saves

    Stuck weapons might be interesting to include, and would give reason to use wooden weapons. Perhaps if opponent rolls a natural 1?
    Double wielding shields with both AC bonuses might work, but might be tricky.
    Still haven't included any throwing of shields. Perhaps an option with a light shield?
    Disintegrate
    Tacitus' comments on shield parry
    Shield bash larger creatures
    Indomitable - mettle swap
    ECL vs. Class Level for abilities
    Disciplines?
    Formatio fighting - only one SW required vs. all
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2011-03-26 at 09:52 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by mhvaughan View Post
    [*]5th: Nimble Defender—You may treat a Tower Shield as having a maximum dexterity bonus to AC of 2 (as normal) or take a -4 penalty to your dexterity bonus to AC, whichever is more beneficial.
    I meant to question this earlier, but how would a -4 Dex penalty to AC be more beneficial than a max Dex bonus to AC of 2? Am I missing something?

    Also, you don't have to incorporate all ideas I came up with. If you don't think it will fit right, isn't right, etc. don't add it. Just give credit where credit is due.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    If you have a +9 dexterity modifier your max dex is treated as +5 instead of +2 that is normally found on tower shields. How often will it come up? Well, probably almost never outside of 18+ and/or gestalt. But its a useful feature nonetheless.

    Also, Spot but no Listen?
    Last edited by Tacitus; 2011-03-27 at 12:11 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus View Post
    If you have a +9 dexterity modifier your max dex is treated as +5 instead of +2 that is normally found on tower shields. How often will it come up? Well, probably almost never outside of 18+ and/or gestalt. But its a useful feature nonetheless.

    Also, Spot but no Listen?
    Why would they need to listen? And for that matter, why would they need spot? If you're going to pick one I'd pick listen over spot.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    *shrug* Its something I'm always curious about when I see a class that has one and not the other.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Updates are posted (see change log).

    I answered my own question about whether to base abilities on ECL or class level. I split the difference, counting non-class levels as 1/2 class levels for the purpose of determining how often per encounter certain abilities were usable.

    A double-shield feat is coming that will grant both shield ACs, and an additional 50% Super Shield bonus.

    A shield throwing feat is coming, just to complete the trope. Probably with light shields. Yes, it will emulate the returning enchantment. You'll be able to bank it off of enemies up to your BAB with that weapon before it comes back to you, Xena style.

    I have a couple of remaining questions:

    • Which martial discipline would you suggest adding? I'm currently kicking around the idea of granting Stone Dragons maneuvers, but changing all the places where it requires you to be touching the ground to instead requiring you to be holding a shield. Other option might be Diamind Mind, but I shudder to think what Pearl of Black Doubt could do in the hands of this guy. Tiger Claw is also an option, what with the inherent Two Weapon Fighting involved with shield bashing synergizing nicely with Blood in the Water. If someone has a good homebrew discipline suggestion that would fit thematically, I'd love to hear it.
    • See anything else that needs work or clarification?
    • What Tier would you guys say this is currently?
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2011-03-28 at 07:18 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Looks cool!
    10th: Faithful Defender—As an immediate action, you may interpose yourself between an ally within reach and an enemy. Any attacks directed at your ally during this turn from any foes in a cone are instead made against you.
    I don't quite get that. What do you mean?

    Shield Parry
    Beginning at 3rd level, if you are capable of making attacks with a shield, you may parry the attacks of your enemies instead. Whenever you would be struck by an enemy weapon, you may make an opposed attack roll with your shield. If you win this opposed roll, the attack is completely negated. Take a cumulative -5 penalty (as per BAB) on any parries made after the first. These count as attacks of opportunity, but you may not make more parries than your BAB would normally allow (four at level 20, for example).
    I'd suggest limit them by BAB OR make them use attacks of oppurtunity. Seems a bit harsh to do both.

    Shield of the Unconquerable-does it work on a Sphere of Annihilation?

    Also, why is that non-magical? If you want to block a meteor swarm with a mundane shield, more power to you!

    I might suggest Iron Heart as a discipline. I'm sure there's a homebrew spear based one too, but the name slips my mind.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    I'd suggest bumping the skills per level up to 4 to be in line with the Crusader and the Warblade - the way Disciplines have key skills is essentially a Skill Tax, which should be compensated for in the class base by increasing the skill allowance.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    A cone is defined as a quarter-circle, or 90 degrees. The intent is that you can get between your ally and a bunch of enemies and block all attacks against your ally from all enemies in a cone ahead of you. I'm specifically picturing saving a downed ally, giving him enough time to heal or drink a potion or something.

    It's my intent for Shield Parry that it costs an attack of opportunity, but there is a hard limit on the number of attacks of opportunity that you can take equal to your BAB (It had originally required attacks deducted from you BAB, without being AOOs, but that's been changed). I'll go back through the language and make sure it's clear.

    Shield of the Unconquerable is intended to 1) make your shield indestructible (as from disintegrate), and 2) make it effective against cheap tricks like Brilliant Energy that would completely negate your whole build (in thinking about it, the incorporeal thing is redundant because of the shield to touch AC feature. I'll make it act as a ghost touch weapon, instead). Meteor Shower doesn't target your shield, it targets you, and is therefore already subject to your defensive abilities--anything I add to Shield of the Unconquerable would be redundant.

    I am, however, intrigued by the sphere of annihilation idea...
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior - PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by mhvaughan View Post
    A cone is defined as a quarter-circle, or 90 degrees. The intent is that you can get between your ally and a bunch of enemies and block all attacks against your ally from all enemies in a cone ahead of you. I'm specifically picturing saving a downed ally, giving him enough time to heal or drink a potion or something.
    Might want to make it clearer. Also, give it a range limit maybe?
    'Any attacks directed by your ally by an enemy within a cone of length 10ft/class level, measured from you, instead effect you.'
    Also, how does it interact with area of effect?

    It's my intent for Shield Parry that it costs an attack of opportunity, but there is a hard limit on the number of attacks of opportunity that you can take equal to your BAB (It had originally required attacks deducted from you BAB, without being AOOs, but that's been changed). I'll go back through the language and make sure it's clear.
    I didn't mean it was unclear; just that it didn't seem that strong. I really think you should give it a hard limit OR make it cost AoOs.

    Shield of the Unconquerable is intended to 1) make your shield indestructible (as from disintegrate), and 2) make it effective against cheap tricks like Brilliant Energy that would completely negate your whole build (in thinking about it, the incorporeal thing is redundant because of the shield to touch AC feature. I'll make it act as a ghost touch weapon, instead). Meteor Shower doesn't target your shield, it targets you, and is therefore already subject to your defensive abilities--anything I add to Shield of the Unconquerable would be redundant.

    I am, however, intrigued by the sphere of annihilation idea...
    Oh, I see. But I still think it should be usable with mundane shields.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior (Now with Feats!)

    Some additional changes made, including three new feats.

    Biggest changes: rewording Faithful Defender and Shield of the Unconquerable. I know that the wording of Shield of the Unconquerable currently sucks right now and needs to be cleaned up.

    Lix, I think I want to continue to require a magical shield. I want to avoid making the class too inherently magical, and I like the flavor of being able to do magical things with a magical shield, as opposed to magical things because there's magic in his fingertips. It's a small detail, I think, but one that I want to keep for flavor reasons.

    I also don't want to put a range limit on Faithful Defender. If anything, it seems like it would be easier to defend against ranged attacks that were coming from a great distance, as opposed to harder. I tried to clean up the language, defining more clearly what a "cone" meant, so maybe that will help.

    Kudako, I'm fine with 4+Int. I had initially limited it to help balance it, but I guess that's really not an issue. 4 it is!


    Currently torn right now on additional discipline. Iron Heart vs. Stone Dragon v2 that's currently being discussed on this board.
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2011-03-29 at 03:11 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Base Class: Shield Warrior (Now with Feats!)

    Alright, asking for final input. Finalized discipline choices. I suppose it's pretty much finished at this point, though if anyone spots anything that the capstone needs to specifically include, I'd be much obliged.

    At this point, I'm asking for two things:
    1) Do you spot anything that needs changing, and
    2) a quick "yeah, I'd allow that in my campaigns," or a "no, that's overpowered/underpowered."

    Thanks again, everyone.
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