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    Default Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Defending the Weak: The Warder

    Brought to you by: The Path of War

    What is the Path of War?
    The Path of War is a new book series by Dreamscarred Press, a third party publisher that has released quality adaptations of the Psionics system for Pathfinder, among other great products. Their latest is the Path of War, which brings the Maneuver System first found in the Tome of Battle back to the limelight through three new classes and over 13 new disciplines.

    What is The Warder?
    The Warder is the final Base Class to be released in the Path of War's first Book/PDF set. It is also the first class I would willingly call a "tanking class" and it serves this role far better than any other, cavalier, fighter, paladin or any other class seen to date. What the Warder does is two-fold, firstly it has the most powerful Marking ability in the game, allowing the warder to protect allies and force foes to engage with the much more durable Warder instead of the squishy wizard he's protecting. The second ability I like to refer to as the "zone of nope," which enables the warder to make attacks of opportunity against enemies in an ever increasing area of terrain. This allows the warder to both control enemies and where they fight.

    Rating System:

    We'll be using the standard rating system popularized by treantmonk and others, using a colored scale and a star rating to indicate what class features, maneuvers, feats and skills are the best for the Warder. The Ratings are as follows:
    RED*: This is a generally poor choice and probably not worth taking except in specific instances.
    ORANGE**: This is not a great choice and should only be taken if the situations where it's useful come up frequently.
    GREEN***: A solid choice that you can depend on, although there might be better options out there.
    BLUE****: This is a great choice, something that you can expect to put to good use throughout your career.
    PURPLE*****: This color represents the absolute best there is. You should strongly consider taking advantage of this no matter your build.

    ABILITY SCORES

    The Warder, like other Path of War classes relies on Three physical stats and one mental stat (in this case intelligence), however the Warder probably has the least use for dexterity out of any of the three base classes, as his Intelligence quickly takes over nearly all the effects of Dexterity and his heavy armor makes up for the rest.

    STRENGTH****: This is probably going to be your go to stat for damage, allowing you to hit your enemies and hit them hard.
    CONSTITUTION*****: While you have the benefit of a D12 hit die, you're also going to be on the front lines and should expect to get smacked upside the head on a regular basis. So the more HP you have, the better you are at your Job.
    DEXTERITY**: As you level up, this becomes less and less useful. Since you'll probably be running around in heavy armor and using your Intelligence for Attacks of Opportunity, Reflex Saves and Initiative by as early as 4th level, you can easily let this go.
    INTELLIGENCE*****: This gives you nearly everything you need. You'll be using it for your maneuvers, your Initiative, your Reflex Saves, your bonus skill points and the number of Attacks of Opportunity you get. This is nearly as much of a god stat for you as it is for a Wizard.
    WISDOM**: You have a good Will Save, but that's not a reason to dump Wisdom totally. Keeping it at 10 is probably safe, just so that you don't lose anything to your Will Save and accidentally turn on your allies.
    CHARISMA*: The only thing this is good for is some minor utility in social Skills. Since two of the social skills are already Discipline Skills for you (and probably worth keeping maxed) you can safely dump this.

    A proper stat spread should probably prioritize something like this:
    INT>CON>STR>WIS>DEX>CHA

    Constitution and Strength can probably be kept roughly on par with each other in terms of numbers, as you still need to be able to hit your enemies in order to be a threat.

    Class Features

    Hit Dice- D12****: D12 hit die. Only a Barbarian can hope to match you in the HP department. And you will need all of the HP you can get.

    Good Fort****, Bad Reflex**, Good Will***** Saves: A good Fortitude Save is entirely expected, considering the nature of the class, and its certainly useful. The Reflex Save will suffer in the early levels until you can add your Intelligence modifier to it and shore it up. Your Will Save is really important though, as it's what keeps you from being charmed, enchanted or otherwise turned against your allies. So its a very good thing that you have a good Will Save.

    Skill Points- 4+INT per level***: 4 skill points a level are enough to play around with, but not do much else. But since your Initiation Modifier is Intelligence, you'll be getting plenty of extra skill points at each level, meaning you should have a few to play around with.

    Base Attack Bonus- Full****: A full base attack bonus gives you the basis to hit often and hit hard, something you definitely want to do in order to keep your allies safe.

    Maneuvers*****: You have access to four different disciplines, and all of them are useful. Golden Lion offers healing and action economy management, Primal Fury provides mobility and massive damage, Broken Blade offers still more damage and can be used with your shield bash, and the exclusive Iron Tortoise discipline offers powerful defensive abilities, ways to draw enemy attacks and some nifty Captain America style abilities.

    Maneuvers Known/Readied****: You start with fewer maneuvers known and readied than the other PoW classes, and you'll have less of them than other classes at the end of your progression, but you still have 5 known and 3 readied at the beginning, and 16 known and 10 readied at the end.

    Maneuver Recovery****: How does a Warder Recover Maneuvers? By activating his "Zone of Nope" (Defensive Focus) as a full round action, and letting his enemies trigger attacks of opportunity for everything. At first glance, taking a full round action to do nothing seems like a waste, but the more carefully you look at the ability, the better it gets.

    Defensive Focus*****: As I've said, I like to refer to this ability as the "Zone of Nope," because when its activated, you create a huge area in which nearly anything your opponents do provokes an Attack of Opportunity from you. The ability can seem really confusing at first read, but its really just a combination of 2 feats and 2 slightly more unique abilities that together make a very potent area denial effect. The first feat is Combat Reflexes, which is explicitly granted as a Bonus Feat and uses your Intelligence***** instead of your Dexterity** to determine the number of Attacks of Opportunity you get.

    The second feat this grants is Combat Patrol, although its not explicitly stated as such. Combat Patrol is what sets up the "Zone" you can move around in. At first, the zone is only a 5 ft. increase to your threatened area but it increases at 5th level and every 5 levels after, meaning that it adds a total of 25 ft. to your threatened area at level 20. Anyone within your Combat Patrol area is considered threatened by you, and you can move towards them within your Combat Patrol Zone to make your Attacks of Opportunity, provided you don't exceed your total movement. To give you an idea of how good this ability is, here is a list of all the things an enemy can do to provoke an attack of opportunity:

    Spoiler: Things You Nope While Combat Patrolling
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    1. Ranged Attacks
    2. Unarmed Strikes (unless the target has IUS)
    3. Sometimes Aid Another
    4. Casting a Spell
    5. Drinking a Potion
    6. Lighting a Torch
    7. Reading a Scroll
    8. Stabilizing another person
    9. Using most Skills
    10. Using A Spell-Like Ability
    11. Moving
    12. Controlling a Frightened Mount
    13. Loading a Crossbow
    14. Move a heavy object
    15. Picking up an item
    16. Sheathing a weapon
    17. Standing up from prone
    18. Retrieving a stored item
    19. Delivering a coup de grace
    20. Escaping from a net
    21. Lock or unlock weapon in locked gauntlet
    22. Etc....


    I think you get the point.


    Just like Combat Reflexes, this "feat" is improved by your defensive focus by eventually causing all the terrain in your "Zone" to become Difficult Terrain.

    The final two abilities you to add your Intelligence modifier to your CMD acrobatics checks made to avoid AoOs inside your Zone of Nope. This is later improved so that you no longer provoke AoOs yourself while in your Defensive Focus Zone. Altogether, these separate abilities combine to allow you to claim an area and stand your ground, declaring "NONE SHALL PASS! (Or cast spells, or attack other people, or move away from me, etc.)" and mean it.

    Aegis****: Your Aegis ability adds a slowly scaling shield bonus to your allies AC and Will Saves provided they are within a certain radius of you. The area grows larger as you level, as does the bonus, allowing you to shield your allies from afar.

    Armiger's Mark*****: Your Armiger's Mark is another disincentive for enemies to attack your allies that you provide. It has multiple daily uses, and you can have multiple marks active at a time. By attacking an enemy and dealing at least one point of damage, you can mark the enemy as a free action. Marked enemies take a -4 penalty to attack rolls against targets that aren't you. This penalty increases to -6 and eventually -8, and lasts for multiple rounds. The only downside is that Armiger's Mark cannot be used on your enemies' turns, which means it can't be directly combined with Defensive Focus's extra Attacks of Opportunity.

    Armiger's Mark is also used to as a resource to power some of your later abilities, such as its improved Grand Challenge**** version, which forces all enemies in 30 ft. to make a will save or become marked.

    Note that multiple marks do not stack.

    Bonus Feats***: You get several bonus feats throughout your career, and can spend them on combat or teamwork feats, making them more useful than fighter bonus feats, technically.

    Tactical Acumen****: This 4th level ability is what allows you to dump Dexterity. It lets you use the higher of your Dexterity or Intelligence to determine your Initiative and Reflex Saves. Sweet, simple and absolutely wonderful.

    Clad In Steel***: The better part of this ability is that you subtract your Aegis Bonus from your Armor Check Penalty, meaning that you can eventually get rid of 3 ACP. The second benefit is less useful, but it raises your maximum Dexterity by 2 so if you have some Dexterity, you can make use of it.

    Extended Defense****: This is the Warder's answer to the Warlord's Dual Boost/Stance and the Stalker's Dual Strike abilities. For a very few number of times per day, you can extend one of your counters so that it lasts the entire round. That's right, the entire round. Its too bad you get so few uses, because with the incredible counters found in your maneuver lists, you can make yourself basically invulnerable with relative ease.

    Adaptive Tactics**: Adaptive Tactics isn't especially potent. Its the same as the Tome of Battle feat that every Swordsage had to take so that they could recover maneuvers, except that you don't need it because you have an actually useful maneuver recovery system.

    Steel Defense***: If an attack would kill you, you can make a (potentially very difficult) Fortitude Save to divert the damage to your armor or shield. Although this could save your life, it could also break your very expensive equipment, which is bad.

    Born of Steel*: At 19th level, (read: way later than this would be useful) you can add your Intelligence modifier to your AC to resist a critical hit. Just buy Fortification Armor.

    Deathless Defense*****: For the low, low cost of two uses of your Armiger's Mark ability to activate, and one use per round to maintain, you can become unkillable by Hit Point Damage, use your Defensive Focus as a Move Action, and get your Aegis Bonus (which you normally don't have), making you the ultimate Tank. It's an amazing capstone ability if you ever get far enough in the game to use it.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Class Skills

    As a Warder you have 13 class (Actually 14, see note below) skills and 4 skill points per level. Because you don't use intelligence for much else it can be difficult to find a way to keep all your skills maxed, but with the right focuses it can be done.

    NOTE: The current Warder PDF does not count Acrobatics as a Class Skill for Warders. This is a known mistake (you're welcome) and will be fixed in future printings. Because of this, I've included Acrobatics as a Class Skill for Warders.

    Acrobatics (Dex)*****: This is a Martial Discipline Skill for Broken Blade, and a useful skill to have anyway. If you're Dex focused you definitely want this maxed.
    Bluff (Cha)*****: This is the Martial Discipline Skill for the Warder exclusive discipline Iron Tortoise, normally making it very useful just for that reason. Sadly there are no Iron Tortoise maneuvers that make use of Bluff so it has to stand on its own merits.
    Climb (Str)**: Its not a discipline skill and its not useful once you find a way to fly, so don't worry about it too much.
    Craft (Int)*: You don't need to worry too much about craft skills outside of arms and armor.
    Diplomacy (Cha)*****: A Discipline Skill for Golden Lion and a useful Social Skill to have if you're looking to be a party face. Similar to Bluff for Iron Tortoise, there is only one maneuver in Golden Lion that uses Diplomacy.
    Handle Animal (Cha)**: Really only useful if you have a mount. If you don't have a mount, leave it alone.
    Intimidate (Cha)***: Counterpart to diplomacy, and useful for similar reasons, however its not a discipline skill, so it takes a back seat.
    Knowledge (History) (Int)*: While it uses your favorite mental stat, Knowledge Skills that don't identify creatures aren't especially useful.
    Knowledge (Martial) (Int)*: This is only useful if Martial Initiators are a major part of the campaign.
    Knowledge (Nobility) (Int)*: You know who the king is already. It's the dude with the crown on his head.
    Ride (Dex)**: Only useful for mounted Warders.
    Survival (Wis)****: Being the Discipline skill for Primal Fury alone is enough to rate blue.
    Swim (Str)**: Situationally useful, unless you're in an aquatic campaign.

    Racial Choices


    I have bad news for you. There aren't any races that improve both your Strength and your Intelligence, and none in the core races that improve both Constitution and Intelligence. This makes picking a Warder's race much more difficult from an optimization standpoint. Here are your best choices among the standard Races:

    Dwarves**: Dwarves are poor Warders because they boost Wisdom and Constitution, giving you only one of the things you need. They have useful Racial Features and Proficiencies, but their stats aren't great.

    Elves*: Dex Bonus and Con Penalty, run. Not even the Int bonus can really make up for this.

    Gnome*: Small Size=bad, Charisma Bonus also bad, Strength Penalty? Even Worse. I wouldn't touch these guys if I were you.

    Half-Elf****: Finally something useful. Half-Elves make for pretty good Warders because they can pick their stat bonus and get some really good racial traits.

    Half-Orc****: Again, choose your stat bonus, and take advantage of Darkvision, Ferocity and some great alternate race traits.

    Halfling*: Increase to the Warder's two dump stats? Keep looking.

    Humans*****: Probably your best choice both in and out of core. The stat bonus goes exactly where you need it and the bonus feat gives you a leg up on your build.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Maneuvers Available

    Warders have access to 4 disciplines: Broken Blade, Primal Fury, Golden Lion, and their exclusive discipline Iron Tortoise. Iron Tortoise and Golden Lion offer more utility for Warders while Broken Blade and Primal Fury are much better at dealing damage. Altogether they offer a wide variety of options for the Warder to play with.

    Broken Blade

    Broken Blade is a discipline focused on unarmed strikes and close range weapons. Its associated skill is Acrobatics***, and its associated weapon groups are close, monk, and natural weapons. NOTE: Broken Blade maneuvers can only be initiated while wielding a Broken Blade Discipline Weapon or Unarmed Strike. This may affect your weapon/feat choices.

    Spoiler
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    1st
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    Brawler’s Attitude***: Boost. This boost gives you a bonus to your CMB when you use your unarmed strike or Discipline Weapon to make one of several maneuvers. Unfortunately you still provoke an AoO if you don't have the appropriate feat, but the boost is significant enough to make combat maneuvers viable.

    Flurry Strike****: Strike. Make two attacks as a standard action. This is great, because you can either hit the big guy twice, or hit two little guys at once to take them out. It wears out once your full attacks get better, but it's probably worth keeping just in case.

    Iron Hand Stance***: Stance. A scaling shield bonus to AC, that hits a maximum of +5 at level 18. It's a solid AC boost, which might be lacking at low levels.

    Pommel Bash****: Strike. Hit your opponent's flat-footed AC? Great. Do extra damage with an unarmed strike? Also Great. Do both of those together? Beautiful.

    Pugilist Stance*****: Stance. This stance is the best 1st level stance you can take if you're planning to stick to Broken Blade Discipline Weapons. A +1d6 damage with no drawback is a serious damage boost that will see use up through 10th level.

    Shards of Iron Strike*****: Hit your opponent and stun them for one round with no save. That's right, no save. Top that wizards.


    2nd
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    Bronze Knuckle: Boost. Increase the damage of your attack and let it ignore DR. The only downside is that you have to use discipline weapons, but really that isn't much of a downside.

    Cartwheel Axe Kick***: Strike. This is the first maneuver choice that requires the use of your Discipline skill. Your acrobatics check is low enough that you should easily make it, thus getting free movement and a powerful attack off in one standard action.

    Counter Step***: Counter. The first counter that Broken Blade offers, it's an acrobatics check to negate an attack. It's nice that they threw in a free five foot step too, but you have to have a safe square to move to.

    Knuckle to the Blade***: Strike. Combining a disarm and a melee attack is nice, but I don't know why the let you choose to use the weapon or not. Chances are it isn't a discipline weapon, and therefore it locks you out of using Broken Blade maneuvers until you drop it.

    Leg Sweeping Hilt**: Strike. Okay, so with this one, the CMB check comes first. It still doesn't provoke and you get a competence bonus to the check, but if you're fighting anything with more than two legs, trip attempts become very difficult. And if you can't trip them with this, you can't hurt them with it either.


    3rd
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    Broken Blade Stance****: Stance. A bonus to your discipline skill and an extra attack on a full attack are great to have. No wonder this is the eponymous stance for this Discipline.

    Flat Iron Riposte****: Counter. This maneuver brings a tear to my eye. You can finally throw your opponents around without following a flow chart and spending three feats. The opponent even has to make a Reflex Save or be rendered prone.

    Iron Dust***: Boost. I don't really like the Dirty Trick combat maneuver, but being able to sneak one in on a regular attack or martial strike is a definite boon to that combat maneuver.

    Steel Flurry Strike****: Strike. For a -2 to hit you get to make three attacks as a standard action and they gain a significant damage boost. This is a boss killer at mid levels and it's a much better trade off than even Power Attack.


    4th
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    Broken Blade Riposte**: Counter- Ok so the upside of this is that it's a powerful counter with a guaranteed push effect on the enemy. The downside is that you have to get hit to use it.

    Iron Axe Kick***: Strike- This powerful unarmed strike deals a lot of extra damage, and can daze the opponent for up to 4 rounds on a failed Fort save.

    Iron Knuckle***: Boost- Bronze knuckle's older brother, it's really just increased damage over its little brother, and not much of an increase.

    Iron Breaking Palm**: Strike- This is an improved sunder attempt against a foe's weapon, armor or shield. The bonus damage makes sundering more viable, but you're not killing your opponent with this attack which is unfortunate.



    5th
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    Iron Monger's Throw***: Strike- This beautifully simple maneuver reduces the grappling flowchart steps necessary to hurl your opponent down to one simple CMB check that doesn't provoke AoOs and offers a nice little bonus. If you want to throw your opponents around, this is the maneuver for you. Bonus points for the name reference.

    Shards of Steel Strike****: Strike- Shards of Steel has a lot going for it. Significant damage boost? Check. Bleed damage? 2d4 Checks. Ignore Damage Reduction? Maybe, the short description says it does, the detailed description leaves that part out. Until more clarity on the issue is reached, treat this as Green if your DM says no to the DR bit and Blue if they say yes to ignoring DR.

    Steel Grappler's Attitude***: Stance- If you like Combat Maneuvers, this stance gives some pretty hefty boosts to using a good number of them. If you don't use Combat Maneuvers, you won't want to touch this, but if you like them (especially grappling) then this will be great for you.

    Throw The Blade Down****: The classic sidestep counter in real world martial arts appears here in all its beauty. A simple acrobatics check (which at this level you should never fail) and you can move into an unoccupied square, leaving your opponent to stumble into your previously occupied square and forcing a Reflex Save to avoid falling prone.


    6th
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    Singing Steel Punch****: Strike- They should have named this attack "Suck it Casters." Deafening and silencing the opponent on a failed Fort Save makes this a great maneuver to use. Note that you still deafen the target for one round even if they succeed on the save.

    Steel Axe Kick***: Strike- The damage bonus is impressive, but the Fort Save dependent Daze only lasts a round and is a little disappointing, I guess.

    Finishing Kick****: Boost- Extra attacks are a thing of beauty, and extra attacks with extra damage are even better. For a swift action, your full attack gets one last devastating blow in to finish off that pesky boss.

    Pit Fighter’s Stance***: Stance- I didn't like this stance the first time I read it. But a swift action Dirty Trick attempt that doesn't provoke is actually pretty useful.


    7th
    Spoiler
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    Adamantine Knuckle***: Boost- Another Knuckle boost, this one adds ignoring DR/Hardness to your attacks, which is much appreciated.

    Shards of Adamantine Strike****: Strike- This comes with a huge damage boost, a great effect in ignoring DR/Hardness, and the ability to nauseate a foe on a failed Fort Save. Shards of Adamantine Strike has everything there is to love about Path of War wrapped up in one nice neat little package.

    Spinning Flurry Rush****: Strike- One of the consistent problems with Melee is a lack of AOE damage (Area Of Effect). This is Broken Blade's answer to that problem. Two unarmed strikes per opponent with bonus damage on each strike makes for a very effective mook killer Especially if you can get some extended reach.



    8th
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    Meteoric Throw*****: Strike- Is this the most powerful maneuver in Path of War? No. But its purple because it lets you do that one thing we've all wanted to do: Beat one opponent to death by throwing a different opponent at them.

    Spinning Adamantine Axe****: Strike- Broken blade's next AOE attack offers similar damage output to Spinning Flurry Rush, but has the added effect of knocking all your opponents prone, no save.

    Unbreakable Stride Stance****: Stance- This is a swift action freedom of movement that lasts as long as you remain in the stance and lets you ignore any AoOs. It's incredibly potent, but a little underwhelming to me for an 8th level stance.


    9th
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    Storm of Iron Fists Strike*****: Strike- This is it, the big finisher, the ultimate final secret technique, the thing Goku spends half the Namek Arc powering up to do. It doesn't disappoint. It opens with a Full Attack as a standard action, followed by an extra 4d6(5d6? the short text says 4, the detailed description says 5) damage per hit, the ability to ignore any Damage Reduction or Hardness, and finishes with an overwhelming Fortitude Save that if failed immediately reduces your poor opponent to -1 hit points. What makes the fortitude save so good? How about the +2 to the save DC for every attack you land? With a little luck, your opponent could be looking at a minimum DC 39 Fort Save. The Tarrasque only has a +31 to Fort Saves. Think about it.


    Primal Fury

    By tapping into the raw predatory hunger found in all of us, Disciples of Primal Fury unleash powerful attacks and rush across the battlefield to deliver bloody death to their foes. It specializes in high damage attacks, charging and huge flat bonuses to attack rolls. Its Discipline Skill is Survival**** and its associated weapon groups are Axes, Heavy Blades, and Hammers.

    Spoiler
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    1st

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    Crushing Blow***: Strike. The damage bonus is small and the save doesn't scale, so its good early on but falls off very quickly.

    Panthera on the Hunt***: Strike. The only reason this rates green is that you don't provoke AoOs when you charge.

    Primal Wrath**: Strike. Power Attack, the maneuver. The damage bonus is good, but you'll be swapping this one out quickly.

    Running Hunter's Stance***: Stance. A 10 ft. bonus to movement speed helps get you in range of your prey.

    Shoulder Rush***: Strike. This lets you make a bull rush attempt without provoking attacks of opportunity. The +4 bonus makes it much easier to pull off.

    Stance of Aggression***: Stance. This will wear out quickly, but the extra damage helps end low level encounters early.



    2nd

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    Bloody Riposte**: Counter. I don't like counters that require you to get hurt in order to use them, and this one doesn't even give you a damage bonus to boot.

    Crippling Strike****: Strike. A damage boost and an ongoing bleed effect. The bleed damage is small, but it'll add up over time.

    Devastating Rush***: Strike. Charge a target and do extra damage and ignore DR a very solid strike.

    Momentum Crash****: Boost. A hefty damage bonus on your charge attack that can be paired with a charging strike for maximum effect.

    Raging Hunter Pounce*****: Strike. A charge with a full attack, the goal of any melee character. This will continue to age gracefully the more attacks you get.



    3rd

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    Blade-Breaking Counter***: Counter. If your opponent is wielding a weapon you can easily destroy, you can potentially negate their attack. Otherwise you're out of luck, especially against monsters lacking manufactured weapons.

    Disparity Blow**: Strike. If this were a first or second level maneuver it'd rate much higher. It's a free trip attempt, which is nice, but it doesn't bring much else to the table.

    Frenzy Strike****: Strike. Better the more weapons you have to attack with (both manufactured and natural), each attack gets a good damage bonus.

    Primal Warrior Stance****: Stance. A stance that increases your size and weapon damage and stacks with effects like Enlarge Person. This is a great stance to have.



    4th

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    Furious Primal Wrath****: Strike. The attack penalty might be steep, but it greatly outpaces Power Attack at this level, especially if wielding your weapon two handed.

    Impaling Strike****: Strike. A decent damage bonus and CON damage. Solid, if a bit unoriginal.

    Momentum Crush****: Boost. Doubling the damage output of its predecessor and ignoring DR/Hardness to boot. Still a very good choice.

    Shrug It Off****: Counter. A Survival check in place of AC, giving you a good chance to negate an attack against you. This is the way counters should work.


    5th

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    Cornered Frenzy Strike*****: Strike. Area of Effect attacks are something that Melee has trouble making so this maneuver fulfills a much needed niche. The huge damage bonus on each attack just makes it all the sweeter.

    Dizzying Blow****: Strike. A nauseated foe is a dead foe. There's a good chance that your target won't even get to make the save though, because the damage bonus on this maneuver is the same as some 8th level maneuvers.

    Lightning Step****: Boost. There's a very common tactic to stop chargers, the use of difficult terrain. Any ability that helps you overcome that is useful, and the ability to change direction during your charge is equally useful.

    Meteoric Crash*: Strike. Bull Rushing is only occasionally useful, and the fact that you deal barely more than half the bonus damage of a strike of the same level in the same discipline just doesn't bode well for this Strike.


    6th

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    Blade of Fury*****: Boost. Someone tried to tell me that this maneuver was broken, and they're not entirely wrong. This boost adds such a massive to-hit bonus to your attacks on a charge that even your worst iterative attack now has a better than even chance of hitting. The extra damage only ensures that your target will be reduced to a fine mist of negative hit points so low they can only be expressed in scientific notation. You could seriously build an entire character around capitalizing on this maneuver.

    Charge of the Battle Panthera***: Strike. Just like Dizzying Blow, this charge attack sticks such a huge damage bonus on the end of your charge that the chances of your opponent living long enough to make the save are pretty slim. That being said the damage increase from Dizzying Blow isn't significant and Prone isn't as good a debuff as nauseated.

    Shield-Breaking Strike**: Strike. I suppose this could be situationally useful, but why on earth would you want to break your opponent's stuff when this Discipline is so chalk full of maneuvers that let you brutally eviscerate your opponents without damaging their highly valuable equipment?

    Skirmisher's Stance****: Stance. Since you'll be moving around so much anyway, what with needing at least 10 ft. to charge, this is a nice little damage bonus and the extra accuracy doesn't hurt.


    7th

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    Blood-Spray Strike***: Strike. An aptly named strike, with a good damage bonus and lots of CON damage. But you can probably outdamage this maneuver with some of your lower level charge maneuvers, so its only average.

    Devastating Momentum****: Boost. Double the damage of Momentum Crush, also ignores DR/Hardness, and now adds a chance to stun. That's all folks, pack it in.

    Primal Frenzy****: Strike. Another maneuver to hit everyone in reach with every weapon you have, this one comes with more damage and an AC penalty the following round, so make sure all your targets are dead.



    8th

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    Iron Hide Stance****: Stance. The DR is nice, the boost to CMB/CMD is also nice, but its the increased Strength bonus to damage that sells this stance. I would give it a pass if you're dexterity based, but definitely consider it if you're running around with high strength.

    Meteoric Crash*: Strike. Really this is just sad. There's a 5th level maneuver with equal damage and a better rider effect, pass on this.

    Unbreakable Panthera Guard*****: Counter. Survival check vs. attack roll to not only negate an attack but also gain temporary hit points. A top of the line counter.



    9th

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    Wrath of the Primal Hunter*****: Strike. The ultimate charge attack, gain a huge bonus to your attack rolls the further you are from your target when you start the charge, then get off a full attack, and unload more dice in bonus damage than there are in most gaming shops. You think I'm joking? I might be hyperbolizing a bit but 90 d6's are hard to come by.



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    Maneuvers Continued

    Golden Lion

    Golden Lion is a leadership focused Discipline, and provides many effects to aid your allies with increased attack rolls, damage rolls, extra actions, and healing. Overall it's a powerful discipline that works better the better you work with your team. Its Discipline Skill is Diplomacy***** and its associated weapon groups are Heavy Blades, Hammers and Polearms.

    Spoiler
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    1st

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    Demoralizing Roar**: Boost. Shaken is a useful debuff, but at low levels you'll be lucky to get two enemies to have to make the save, and at mid to high levels, everything is going to succeed on the save.

    Encouraging Roar***: Boost. Demoralizing Roar's twin brother, a simple boost to attack and damage rolls for all allies for one round. Good for making sure those low level hits land.

    Hunting Party****: Strike. Only at its best if you have an ally who can make the Attack of Opportunity, but at low levels two attacks will almost always lay the target low.

    Pride Leader's Stance***: Stance. A morale bonus to saves vs. demoralization and fear effects that doesn't stack with your Presences isn't going to see use for very long.

    Pride Movement****: Boost. Grant an adjacent ally an immediate move action, if it can be used on yourself (it specifies adjacent ally, you're your own ally, but are you adjacent to yourself?) upgrade this to purple.

    Tactical Strike****: Strike. Your first "move an ally" strike, it has a short range and a short maximum distance, but its enough to get an ally where they need to be.



    2nd

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    Call to Action****: Strike. A nice repositioning maneuver for an ally, too bad they have to be adjacent to you.

    Defending the Pride***: Boost. A decent AC boost at low levels, but sadly doesn't scale. Still, a wide area of effect makes this dependable. I wonder why it isn't a counter though.

    Distracting Strike***: Strike. While you may not have many ways to capitalize on flat-footing your opponent, your allies probably do. Still this feels a little out of place as there are other disciplines (and other initiators) that do the flat-footing thing much better.

    Pyrite Strike***: Strike. This doubles as both offensive and defensive, used properly it can keep your opponent from full attacking you or allow you to retreat without provoking an Attack of Opportunity. On the offensive side it can get your enemy into position to be flanked, or if you're very lucky, knocked off a cliff.

    Warning Roar*****: Counter. Golden Lion is a little light on counters, but this one is only second level and its amazing. A Diplomacy vs. Attack roll will probably go in your favor, and since it has a range of 60 ft. you'll be able to use it to aid your allies from across the battlefield.



    3rd

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    Circling the Prey*****: Boost. With a 60 ft. range, this boost should allow nearly all your allies the ability to 5 ft. step into a better position. Get the Wizard out of melee, get the fighter into melee, and the best part is that it's a boost, so you still get to attack.

    Golden Commander Stance*****: Stance. An improved version of the ToB stance Island of Blades. All allies within 30 feet of the Golden Lion Disciple gain the benefits of flanking an opponent as long as there is another ally adjacent to the opponent, even if not in flanking position. Rogues will love this.

    Kill the Wounded*****: Strike. A low level boss killer, the more attacks your allies can get on the target the better this will be.

    Pack Pounce**: Strike. If this were a boost it might rate green, but as a strike that requires adjacent allies and has a low bonus damage cap, it just leaves something to be desired.



    4th

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    Charge of the Battle Cat***: Strike. Charge your opponent and potentially knock them prone. A solid all around maneuver.

    Direct the Pride*****: Boost. Allows your adjacent ally to act immediately after you do, which has a great many potential uses. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like you can use it on yourself. We'll miss you White Raven Tactics.

    Golden Lion Charger***: Stance. Increase the accuracy of your Charge attacks and never risk an Attack of Opportunity for charging. Useful if you're not already using a maneuver that doesn't provoke AoO's for charging.

    Golden Swipe***: Strike. 10 feet of movement is better than 5, at least you can guarantee that they won't be getting a full attack off next round. But you probably won't get more than two or three Attacks of Opportunity out of this maneuver.



    5th

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    Discipline of the Pride*****: Boost. Grant any allies within 30 feet use of a feat you possess for 3 rounds. Give the BSF some ranged feats so he can actually hit the dragon when its in the air, Give the rogue Outflank, Give the Wizard Power Attack for a laugh. Give your allies Martial Training so they can have fun with maneuvers too!

    Guard the Pride**: Counter. It only affects one adjacent ally and while the AC bonus is hefty (up to +10), it raises some rules questions like: Do you count as adjacent to yourself? I'd personally prefer a smaller bonus that affects more allies so that I could actually guard the pride, not just one member.

    Strategic Blow*****: Strike. Not only does it have a hefty damage bonus but you grant a nearby ally an extra move action. Use it to get your BSF lined up for a charge or full attack, allow your Squishy Wizard to get out of melee, or get the Rogue into flanking position. And don't forget, you are your own ally.

    Roar of Battle*****: Strike. Boss killing, teamwork edition. Your attack gets a damage bonus and your allies all receive a damage bonus on attacks against the target of this maneuver for 1 round. Unload the full attacks and watch the target get sliced and diced into itty bitty bits.



    6th

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    Endurance of the Strong*****: Counter. An Immediate Action ranged heal, name a spell that does that. I dare ya.

    Golden General's Attitude**: Stance. A maximum of a +3 bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls and saves vs. Fear effects isn't that impressive. Especially given that these are all morale bonuses and thus don't stack with the other (higher) morale bonuses you can be sending out.

    Harry the Prey*****: Strike. You get an attack! And you get an attack! and you get an attack! It's a strange form of AoE, but you can use it to spread the hurt around to all your enemies or make a focused attack on the big guy.

    Lion's Feast***: Boost. Every enemy you and your allies kill for a round grants you temporary hit points, this can lead to a potentially massive amount of HP, or it can be completely worthless. Use only against big groups of fairly weak enemies.



    7th

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    Golden General's Victory****: Boost. Kill a foe and heal all allies within a large area up to 20 hit points each. The healing strikes me as a bit low, but the wide area and swift action more than make up for it. Note that this boost is initiated after you slay the foe, so no worries about failing if you roll low damage.

    Orichalcum Swipe***: Strike. The damage boost is hefty, and the ability to send your foe running in a direction of your choosing is great, but it requires a bit of forethought and teamwork to line up enough Attacks of Opportunity, so the full benefit may be lost.

    War Lion's Charge*****: Strike. Charge your foe without provoking Attacks of Opportunity and deal massive damage with a chance to stun the target.



    8th

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    Alpha's Roar****: Boost. A +4 bonus toall saves and to DCs for all allies within 30 ft. for 1 round is a good solid boost, if a little boring.

    Lion Lord's Agony**: Strike. This maneuver could be one of the most damaging maneuvers you have, but since it requires you to run around with low Hit Points, I'm recommending you stay away from it.

    Triumphant Lion's Leadership****: Stance. You and allies within 10 ft. gain a bonus to damage while in this stance based on the number of enemies you've killed. The duration of the bonus is the same duration as the stance, so its ripe for "bag of chickens" shenanigans.


    9th

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    Lord of the Pridelands*****: Boost. The only boost in the game that costs a standard action, but its worth it. All your allies gain a +2 morale bonus to Attack, Damage, AC and all Saves for each ally within 60 ft. for 1 round. It caps at +10, so as long as you have 4 buddies (remember, you count as your own ally) you're golden. Pun intended.


    Iron Tortoise

    Iron Tortoise is the "Defensive Discipline." While all disciplines offer counters to protect you from enemy attacks, Iron Tortoise specializes in this. In addition, it has several "aggro" abilities to borrow from MMO terminology, this makes it a great discipline for tanking, which is what the Warder does best. Its Discipline Skill is Bluff***** and its associated weapon groups are Axes, Heavy Blades, and Close Weapons.

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    1st

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    Snapping Strike***: Strike. A basic attack that does extra damage. Pretty standard for 1st level maneuvers.

    Angering Smash**: Strike. This specifies that you need to make a shield bash, which means you need a shield. Since Warders specialize in tanking, they probably have a shield, but shield bashing is harder to improve damage wise than regular attacks. But the benefit to your allies will be noticed. At low levels, a -4 to attack is almost a guaranteed miss.

    Stance of the Defending Shell***: Stance. A scaling untyped bonus to your shield AC is pretty good for a shield focused tank, but as with any shield focused maneuver, if you aren't using a shield, you aren't using this.

    Iron Shell****: Counter. Right from the start, Iron Tortoise offers you great counters at a discounted price. Because of the warder's full BAB and their presumably high AC this is pretty much a nope to a single attack.

    Snapping Turtle Stance****: Stance. This grants you the equivalent of a feat (improved shield bash) and increases your damage when you shield bash. Stuff like this makes the hilarious concept of a dual shield wielder not only possible, but powerful.

    Throwing Shell***: Strike. Did you know Captain America was a Warder? That's what this maneuver turns you into. A ranged shield bash (with a better range increment than most thrown weapons) that returns to your hand as a free action? Yes please.



    2nd

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    Enraging Strike***: Strike. Firstly, this either does +5 or +10 damage depending on whether you read the short text or the long text, but in either case it gives you a chance to force your opponent to attack you. They need to succeed on a Will Save or their next round must be spent trying to attack you. There are several downsides to this maneuver though: 1st, it requires a Will Save; 2nd, The target must have an Int Score of 1 or higher (so no use against the party barbarian ); 3rd, the opponent gets a bonus to hit you; 4th, the nature of the attack made against you is up to your opponent. So this maneuver does what it advertises, but doesn't give you the means to capitalize on forcing your opponent to target you.

    Tactical Snap***: Strike. This is pretty straightforward. Attack your opponent and get a free trip attempt with a bonus and no AoOs. While in 3.5 tripping was king, in Pathfinder its much less amazing.

    Shell Defense**: Counter. Shell Defense (or Defensive Shell, as its referred to in the short text) offers your adjacent ally your Shield Bonus to AC +2 or a +2 bonus to their shield AC whichever is higher. I'm not a fan of this maneuver, its good at protecting an ally, but only one such ally and only if they're taking an attack that targets AC. It really becomes a problem in that it doesn't specify a duration for how long they get the shield bonus (one attack, one round, forever?).

    Taunting Turtle***: Boost. A ranged taunt as a swift action ought to rate at least a blue right? Sadly, it requires a Will Save and requires your target to have an int score of either 2+ or 3+, which is a big deal, since it determines whether or not this can be used on most animals.

    Enduring Shell****: Counter. Your shield bonus, should you choose to use it, will be pretty hefty, and adding it to a saving throw is a great way to make sure you don't get mind controlled or turned into jello. I could see this being used all the way to level 20.



    3rd

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    Greater Snapping Strike***: Strike. Standard damage increase for this level, but the ability to ignore DR is a nice bonus.

    Tortoise Defense*: Boost. You can reduce your movement speed to increase your AC. Your AC is going to be huge, your movement speed? Less so. You need to be able to move so that you can get to where your allies need you.

    Burnished Shell****: Counter. This is a limited counterspell (it only affects spells that target you directly) but its an almost guaranteed success since your BAB should very nearly match your opponent's CL, and your shield bonus helps too.

    Iron Tortoise Stance*****: Stance. Threatened area is the big thing for tanking in Pathfinder, so any increase you can get is going to greatly increase your effectiveness as a tank. The boost to CMD helps keep you where you need to be, on your feet and between your allies and your enemies. The extra Attack of Opportunity isn't great, but I wouldn't turn it away.



    4th

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    Smashing Shell***: Strike. The short text seems to imply that this attack should be made against your opponent's Flat Footed AC, but the long text makes no mention of this. Without the reduction in your foe's AC this is really just an average maneuver. The chance to Daze saves it somewhat.

    Snapping Riposte*: Counter. This is the exact opposite of what a counter should be. It doesn't actually help you avoid an attack or spell, it just gives you a chance to counterattack with a pitifully small bonus to the roll. And if your opponent attacked you at range? Oh well.

    Aggravated Wounds****: Boost. This is the kind of thing that you want to do as a tank. Any attacks you make for the round impose a hefty penalty to your targets' attack rolls. Assuming they survuve, they'll have to come after you or they'll never be able to hit anything.

    Ricochet Shell***: Strike. If your targets are close enough together, you can shield bash four enemies in one go. They take extra damage, although each subsequent foe takes less damage.



    5th

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    Vicious Snapping Strike****: Strike. The damage is average for this maneuver, but the no save rider is great. Its tough for your foes to get anywhere if you halve their speed.

    Turtle Knight’s Stance*: Stance, In the Book of Nine Swords, there was a discipline called Stone Dragon. It was a good defensive discipline, but had one major drawback: you lost the benefit of most stances if you moved more than 5 ft in a round. This is even worse. You get great benefits, but if you move, say goodbye to your Improved Uncanny Dodge and AC/CMB bonus.

    Shell Shock**: Strike. I want to like this maneuver more. It does some really nice things, namely sending your opponent flying, but the damage is sub par and reflex saves are easily avoided. I'd still use it just for the times it does work though.

    Quick Snap**: Counter. Yet another counter that requires you to get hit, at least this one makes sure you'll get a chance to counter attack, because it can only be triggered by a melee attack.



    6th

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    Mithral Tortoise Stance**: Stance. This reduces your armor's weight by one stage (from heavy to medium, medium to light) and stacks with the mithral property. It grants you a +2 bonus to AC and CMD and halves your armor's ACP. This stance is almost better out of combat, because it lets you move more freely in your armor and most skill checks are made outside of combat.

    Throwing Shell Cyclone***: Strike. An AOE centered on yourself that does as much as a fireball. A 20 ft radius is going to hit a lot of foes, but you just don't have the ability spellcasters do to increase damage or spread for their AOEs.

    Snapping Turtle Rush**: Strike. A charge attack is usually the purview of Primal Fury, and this has all the hallmarks. Its solid for its level, but if you want damage look outside this discipline.

    Steel Shell****: Counter. This is where counters should be. Even if you fail to negate the attack (unlikely), you still reduce the incoming damage. Less good against magic attacks though, so it doesn't quite pull a purple rating.



    7th

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    Cyclonic Shell Crush**: Strike. Melee AOE usually gets a bump from me because its something that melee needs. Sadly, this one just doesn't pack the punch of other such abilities. Its damage bonus is low and while dazing multiple enemies is great, I just never see it being that successful. Better to kill your opponents right out.

    Iron Defender’s Riposte*****: Counter. There are almost no counters that can be used to protect an ally, making Iron Defender's Riposte a very useful maneuver. The fact that its actually good is even better.

    Unlimited Aggression****: Boost. I'd rate this purple if it could affect any enemy with an Intelligence score, but forcing everything within 60 ft to target you makes for a powerful aggro effect. Its a swift action too, which is even better.



    8th

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    Glorious Shell Shock***: Strike. Again, Iron Tortoise falls short on the damage dealing potential, but this scores big on its ability to target multiple opponents at once and send them flying.

    Adamantine Shell*****: Counter. Standard fare for counters in Iron Tortoise, negating an attack easily. Even if you fail, gaining DR 50/- against the attack might just negate it anyway.

    Turtle General’s Stance****: Stance. Its like having a persistent counter against any line or cone effect and getting a shield bonus on top of this. The problem of halving your movements speed rears its ugly head again, but at least you can move, unlike turtle knight stance.



    9th

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    Invulnerable Shell of the Iron Tortoise*****: Counter. While certainly an apt and descriptive name for the ultimate counter, I prefer to call this "nope." Automatically negating any harmful effect against you and any adjacent allies is just too cool for school. Just make sure you're not caught flat footed.




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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    New Feats From PoW

    Advanced Study [Combat]****: Advanced Study is the kind of feat that gets better the later you take it. It's great because it allows you to grab two extra maneuvers or an extra stance. If you take it at 17th or 19th level it means you can grab an extra 8th level stance or TWO 9th level maneuvers. And that is a lot of power folks.
    Discipline Focus [Combat]***: The benefits of this feat are pretty nice, but they feel like small numbers. If you rely on DCs for your maneuvers or make a lot of attacks the extra points can be useful.
    Deadly Agility [Combat]**: Unlike most other martial characters, being a Warder rewards you for dumping Dex. Its not that you can't pull off a Dex focused build, but its not the best build.
    Double Weapon Finesse [Combat]**: This is a very niche feat. If you want to use a double weapon, this is the feat for you. Otherwise you won't even want to touch this.
    Extended Mark [Combat]***: I would like to rate this maneuver higher, but considering your Marks already last for your Intelligence Modifier in rounds, and you should be pumping INT through the roof, this isn't a must have feat. However, if you have room for it, Extended Mark is a good feat to pick up.
    Extra Marks [Combat]****: Unlike Extended Mark, this feat is very nearly must have. You get a lot of marks, but since you spend your marks to power multiple different class abilities, having more of them is a good thing.
    Extra Readied Maneuver [Combat]***: You have fewer readied maneuvers than other martial Initiators, but you still have plenty to work with. Take this if you have room, but you're perfectly viable without this feat.
    Fuse Styles [Combat, Style]**: There are a few good style feats to be had, but since they require IUS, the best builds for them will be Broken Blade focused. If that's the way you want to go then I won't stop you.
    Guard’s Glare [Combat]****: Combined with intimidate effects (or a friendly witch) you can really lock down your enemies, forcing them to focus on you when they have little to no chance of actually succeeding. Combine this with Dazzling Display to lock down a multitude of enemies at once.
    Greater Unarmed Strike [Combat]**: If you want to focus on Unarmed Strikes and don't want to dip Monk, this is going to help keep your damage comparable to others.
    Lightning Recovery [Combat]**: You can only recover the maneuver once per day, making this a lot less useful than other feats.
    Martial Power [Combat]****: This alternative to Combat Expertise doesn't make you harder to hit but it does make you harder to kill. Since you don't want to become untouchable for fear of your enemies just avoiding you altogether, this is a good alternative. At 20th level, this effectively negates 30 points of damage per round.
    Martial Training I-VI [Combat]******: Some people will say that as a martial initiator you have no use for these feats. But considering the sheer number of maneuvers available across the still expanding list of disciplines, there are simply too many possible combinations that you can pull off not to consider this a great feat chain. This is especially good if you're playing a non initiator class.
    Buckler Bash [Combat]****: If you are using a two handed weapon, you can still wear a buckler. This feat allows you to take advantage of the many Iron Tortoise maneuvers that require a shield while still having the damage boost from a two handed weapon.
    Defensive Expertise [Combat]*****: The one thing you don't get from Intelligence is Touch AC. Guess what this feat does? Gives you a big ol' boost to Touch AC. Oh, and Relflex Saves too. This feat is a must have for anyone with a shield.
    Defensive Web [Combat]*****: There aren't many feats that I would actually consider overpowered, but this one comes very close. Defensive Web stops enemies from leaving your Defensive Focus Zone. Full stop, no save, they can't leave at all.
    Discipline Expertise [General]*: Bleh. A small skill boost, I expect better.
    Discipline Mastery [General]***: Taking 10 on discipline skills depends a lot on which skill you choose. If you have a discipline that provides a good choice, its worth considering.
    Martial Charge [Combat]****: The ability to use a Martial Strike at the end of a charge is a huge power boost to charge attacks. However, there are so many maneuvers with extra effects that provide movement or other strange effects that this will require arbitration from your DM.
    Ricochet Weapon [Combat]**: I give this Feat points for trying to do the right thing, but the returning property isn't that good for thrown weapons, especially if you move around a lot.
    Victorious Recovery [Combat]***: Another feat that's good to have if you can find a place for it, but not necessary on any build. You can take it multiple times if you somehow (miraculously) have the room to do so.
    Tactical Rush [Combat]****: A free swift action movement is basically pounce once per encounter. You can use this to get the drop on a group of enemies and set up a Defensive Expertise Zone or get a full attack on the boss. This can be taken up to three times.
    Weapon Group Adaptation [Combat]****: This is a good feat to take to make sure you always have a discipline weapon. The +2 to maneuver DCs and other minor benefits that come from having a Discipline Weapon are numerous and worth considering in your build.

    Useful Old Feats

    The Plethora of feats available in Pathfinder makes it a bit of a chore to list and rate all of them. So I'm only going to focus on those that rate Green*** and above, barring a couple exceptions for posterity's sake.

    Combat Reflexes*: Although its the core of any AoO based build, you can't actually take it. You receive it as a bonus feat at 1st level, and its keyed off your intelligence. While some builds might appreciate the opportunity to pick this up and get some extra Attacks of Opportunity, its sadly off limits unless you have a permissive DM. I bring this up because I wish that they had given you Combat Patrol as the bonus feat and just given Warders extra Attacks of Opportunity equal to their Intelligence modifier, so that if you had the Dexterity you could still capitalize on it somewhat.

    Additional Traits***: While difficult to fit into a build, if there is room for it, there are some good traits available that Warders can take advantage of. A few good options: Clever Wordplay, Student of Philosophy, Armor Expert, Threatening Defender, and Tactician.

    Antagonize**: This feat used to be so good, but it got nerfed to hell and back. Its here mostly to demonstrate what Paizo considers "tanking."

    Blind Fight***: There are ways to avoid having to take this feat and the rest of its chain, but its hard to argue that its good to have for the one time you really need it.

    Combat Expertise****: The prerequisite feat for so many other feats, although it becomes a toss up between this and Martial Power which counts as Combat Expertise for prerequisites. The choice between the two of them comes down to whether or not you want to avoid attacks altogether or absorb the incoming blows. Also note that you can take both this and Martial Power.

    Improved Trip****: Arguments will ensue as to whether or not this is really a blue rating. In my opinion its the best of the combat maneuvers to take. It has the most feat support, is useful against the highest number of opponents and offers the best benefit if you're planning on making attacks of opportunity. The downside is that it doesn't work on flying enemies, or anything with too many legs.
    Greater Trip****: Whenever you successfully trip an enemy, they provoke an attack of opportunity from you. That's why you took improved trip in the first place.

    Bodyguard***: A decent feat for protecting your allies, although your AoOs are often better spent killing things before they get to your allies. What this is actually good for is:
    In Harm's Way****: Now you can just take the attack for your ally. You've got better hit points, making this a good way to keep your allies alive.

    Stand Still***: You don't get any bonuses to this combat maneuver, making it harder to pull off. Alternatively your enemies don't get any bonuses against it so I guess that makes it a wash. Its an ok alternative to tripping, and it can force your enemies to stay where you put them, but its going to cut into your Damage if you use it.

    Cornugon Smash***: Free Demoralize attempts on an attack are nice. You should have the points to keep your Intimidate up, so grabbing power attack and this can add some nice debuff ability to your attacks.

    More Feats to Come

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Guess what this is for? Reserved.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Still working on it but finally serviceable. Feel free to Post.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    While you don't mention traits in either previous guide, Clever Wordplay (or Student of Philosophy if you don't care about the two maneuvers based on the skills) lets you make your diplomacy or bluff based on your intelligence.

    Advanced Study x2 for Fading Strike+Formless Dance is very nice. If people are going to be attacking you a lot, 20% miss chance (and see invisible) is huge (plus it negates sneak attacks against you because its concealment, handy because you'll be getting flanked a lot), and teleporting from the prerequisite is nice (Neither actually depends on stealth, so you can just leave it at 0)

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    I'd like to give Hobgoblins an honorable mention to the warder race selection; +2 Dex and +2 Con, no stat negative, and darkvision with medium size with some decent alternate race abilities. They'd make great dervish defenders.

    EDIT: Other races that could make good warders (from Ultimate Psionics)

    Elan - +2 to an attribute of their choosing, naturally psionic with a small power point reserve, and they don't sleep hardly at all. Natural elan abilities for boosts to saves or negating damage as well.

    Half-Giant - +2 Str/Wis, -2 Dex (oh noes), POWERFUL BUILD, and stomp as a psi-like ability. Naturally psionic, so access to some cool feats. +4 to survival checks makes them natural Primal Fury users.

    Maenads get an honorable mention here as well. +2 to any stat, some ragey stuff that might be useful if you multiclass between Warder and Barbarian perhaps, but still naturally psionic with a sonic-energy attack 1/day. Plus Outburst if they need a little Strength booster.

    -X
    Last edited by ErrantX; 2014-05-14 at 12:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by ErrantX View Post
    I'd like to give Hobgoblins an honorable mention to the warder race selection; +2 Dex and +2 Con, no stat negative, and darkvision with medium size with some decent alternate race abilities.

    -X
    They make a solid choice for any martial class really. Role-playing it can be tough depending on your setting.
    It's very difficult sometimes to discuss logic in a world where sulfur and bat poop can make a 40 foot circle of fiery death.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by ErrantX View Post
    EDIT: Other races that could make good warders (from Ultimate Psionics)

    Elan - +2 to an attribute of their choosing, naturally psionic with a small power point reserve, and they don't sleep hardly at all. Natural elan abilities for boosts to saves or negating damage as well.

    Half-Giant - +2 Str/Wis, -2 Dex (oh noes), POWERFUL BUILD, and stomp as a psi-like ability. Naturally psionic, so access to some cool feats. +4 to survival checks makes them natural Primal Fury users.

    Maenads get an honorable mention here as well. +2 to any stat, some ragey stuff that might be useful if you multiclass between Warder and Barbarian perhaps, but still naturally psionic with a sonic-energy attack 1/day. Plus Outburst if they need a little Strength booster.

    -X
    If you're going to include Ultimate Psionics, I'm surprised you didn't mention the Forgeborn, which are +2 STR/INT, -4 CHA.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    They kinda squick me out, actually *laughs*

    They would also mechanically make great Warders too.

    +2 Str / Int, -4 Cha, the benefits of the half-construct subtype (short of the whole dying thing, its a great subtype that would be super awesome for a warder and forgeborn overcome this weakness anyhow), never caring about armor speeds, bonuses to AC and vs fear, and naturally psionic. They're kinda awesome mechanically.

    Picture wise? They trigger a nerve in me; really give me the wiggins.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Can't wait to see how the new feats will be incorporated here/in the previous guides.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Can't wait to see how the new feats will be incorporated here/in the previous guides.
    That is what I plan to post next and edit into the other two guides. However its going to have to wait til the weekend because I'm in the process of moving.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    You have all the Maneuvers nicely sorted and labeled, but missed the Type (Boost/Strike...) on Iron Tortoise.

    So far so good otherwise.
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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    You have all the Maneuvers nicely sorted and labeled, but missed the Type (Boost/Strike...) on Iron Tortoise.

    So far so good otherwise.
    Thank you for catching that. Fixed.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Under skills
    Because you don't use intelligence for much else
    I assume this is a copy paste error.

    Also acrobatics says you'll want if dex focused. WHy would you be dex focused as a warder?
    Last edited by deuxhero; 2014-05-15 at 10:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post

    Also acrobatics says you'll want if dex focused. WHy would you be dex focused as a warder?
    I'm working on a dex based warder right now to test it out. My instincts tell me that the better touch AC and Regular AC will help increase survivability at low levels, the biggest downside comes from damage loss, but you don't lose anything except some efficiency. Tactical Acumen doesn't punish you for having a high Dex compared to Intelligence, it just rewards you for choosing Int.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    I'm really looking forward to path of war being finished and released. I really liked the Tome of Battle stuff and a few of my players really like those kind of classes.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Oh hey feats have appeared here!


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    A brief note for TWF warders - Two-Weapon Defense provides a shield bonus, which Defensive Focus will augment for you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Can't believe I've totally missed this thread, seems I've really been away from these forums for too long. So, third PoW guide's the charm, right? Awesome work Elric! Looking forward to see more content being added. I'll add my thoughts when I'm done reading.

    In the meantime, please check out and help me improve my cheesy dual shield warder build - the Iron Maiden!

    ...

    Hmm... Looking at the advice in this guide and my Iron Maiden build so far, it seems my thoughts on the warder are eerily similar to Elric's...

    Mindrape? *shudders*

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    War Lion's Charge mentions gambits, which you don't have (and "Because you don't use intelligence for much else it can be difficult to find a way to keep all your skills maxed" is still there).

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    @Elricaltovilla: Just in case you aren't already aware: the 12th level Stalwart feature description has gone missing from the warder pdf. According to a reply from Chris Bennett on the DSP forum thread, this is unintentional, meaning the class progression table including it is correct. So, Stalwart should naturally also be included and rated in the guide! (In case you've forgotten, it lets you ignore any bad stuff you would otherwise suffer on a successful Fort or Will save, similar to Evasion but not limited to damage.)

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Are you planning on talking about any of the Archetypes?

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    ACG's new Fortuitous property is mandatory for Warders. Doubling down on AoOs is awesome alone, but an extra AoO is the cherry on top.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    On races:
    There aren't any races that improve both your Strength and your Intelligence
    Unfortunately yeah, everything that give strength/int is a variant of a secondary race or a tertiary race.

    To be specific: Male Lashunta, which are just a sample race in the ARG. You get a wisdom penalty, which sucks, but +2 to any knowledge skill is nice, at-will daze, 1/day detect thoughts and limited telepathy are mostly fluffy but might get some use.

    Jiang-Shi Dhampir, a variant from a semi-obscure splat. Dex penalty is surprisingly not terrible considering that you get basically everything Dex does moved to int except skills.. and the class comes with a +2 to acrobatics to compensate. A +2 to knowledge(engineering) isn't anything to write home about and a penalty to saves against Sonic can suck. Much better if you start after level 4, but the fact that you'll lose the benefits of Clad in Steel because of it still sucks

    Scaleheart Skinwalkers again we're looking at a variant race from a little-used splatbook. These are basically dhampir for werewolves instead of vampires... only crocodiles. +2 Str/+2 Int. Awesome. -2 Wisdom... not so awesome. +2 to stealth and wild empathy... even less awesome (why does a race with a wisdom penalty get a bonus to a druid feature in the first place?). Then you get your pick of darkvision, a swim speed, a bite attack or ferocity. Of course, as Skinwalkers aren't even a third-grade race, you have no alternate racial features to trade out any of the crap for.

    This list leaves a lot to be desired...

    Of course, both Aasimar and Tieflings have access to +2 int as an SLA replacement in their variant heritage table, so an angelblood aasimar who gives up alter self/day becomes +2 str +2 int +2 cha and an oni-spawn tiefling could get +2 str +2 wis +2 int -2 cha

    and none in the core races that improve both Constitution and Intelligence.
    Worse, not just core, but there are no Con/Int races in any Paizo material that I've been able to find, minus a Devil or Kyton-spawn Tiefling or an Agathion or Archon aasimar doing the same thing I just mentioned.
    Last edited by Anlashok; 2014-10-10 at 01:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    I don't remember exactly where I saw it, but there is a feat that lets you trip a flying enemy, and it makes them fall to the ground. I'll go hunting for it tomorrow after work, but I figured it would be a good thing to mention just in case anyone randomly remembers what it's called.
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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayaz View Post
    I don't remember exactly where I saw it, but there is a feat that lets you trip a flying enemy, and it makes them fall to the ground. I'll go hunting for it tomorrow after work, but I figured it would be a good thing to mention just in case anyone randomly remembers what it's called.
    The closest I can remember is Soulknife's Wing Clip.

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    Default Re: Defending the Weak: A Guide to the PoW Warder [WIP]

    Quote Originally Posted by upho View Post
    Can't believe I've totally missed this thread, seems I've really been away from these forums for too long. So, third PoW guide's the charm, right? Awesome work Elric! Looking forward to see more content being added. I'll add my thoughts when I'm done reading.

    In the meantime, please check out and help me improve my cheesy dual shield warder build - the Iron Maiden!

    ...

    Hmm... Looking at the advice in this guide and my Iron Maiden build so far, it seems my thoughts on the warder are eerily similar to Elric's...

    Mindrape? *shudders*
    Nice post. I was wondering about the two stances: Pugilist and Snapping Turtle Stance. The way it reads they both grant you a 1d6 bonus to damage. If you are making the Iron Maiden who uses shields...Pugilist would add 1d6 to it because shields are considered close weapons aka Discipline weapons. If you are already taking Improved Shield Bash....doesn't that make Snapping Turtle Stance redundant...and with the versatility on Pugilist stance I think that wins hands down on the better of the two to pick. I would almost make Snapping Turtle green. What do you think?
    Last edited by Xaragos; 2014-12-13 at 09:57 PM.

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