New Base Class: Crusader

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Julias Morgtensen, the iconic crusader.

Crusader

Heroes long forgotten, names lost to time; these great warriors never truly die or pass on, sometimes slivers of their personalities and honor remain in our realm to guide new great warriors. These are the crusaders, warriors chosen by a shade of an ancient hero. Entranced, the crusaders are guided in combat by their shades. Real or not, these shades are debated by many scholars. Are the crusaders truly being guided by a ghost of an ancient hero? Or are the crusaders just gifted both in combat prowess and insanity?

Role: A front line combatant, the crusader can serve as either a defender or a heavy damage dealer, as needed by the situation.

Alignment: Any

Hit Die: d10

Starting Wealth: 4d6 x 10 gp (160gp)

Class Skills:

A crusader’s class skills are: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (All) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (Wis) and Swim (Str).

Skill ranks per level: 4 + Int modifier

Level Base Attack bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Guided Combat 1/day, Guiding Shade
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Guided Eyes, Shared Memories
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Guided Knowledge 1/day, Uncanny Dodge
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Guided Combat 2/day, Guided Strike
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Guided Training 1
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Guided Knowledge 2/day, Guided Strike Ability
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Guided Combat 3/day
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Improved Uncanny Dodge, Guided Strike Ability
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Guided Knowledge 3/day
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Guided Combat 4/day, Guided Strike Ability
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Guided Training 2, Improved Guided Training
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Guided Knowledge 4/day, Guided Strike Ability
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Guided Combat 5/day
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Guided Senses, Guided Strike Ability
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Guided Knowledge 5/day
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Guided Combat 6/day, Guided Strike Ability
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Guided Training 3
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Guided Knowledge 6/day, Guided Strike Ability
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Guided Combat 7/day
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 We are one

Weapon and armor proficiency: A crusader is proficient with simple and martial weapons, he is also proficient with light armor, medium armor and shields (except tower shields).

Guiding Shade (Su): At 1st level, a crusader gains a spiritual master in the form of a shade, this being was once a great and hailed hero, whose name has been lost to the sands of time. He now serves the crusader with advice, training and tactical assistance. The guiding shade always has an agenda similar to the crusader’s own.

The shade has no physical form, but it may manifest itself in the dreams of the crusader it serves; it appears as a husk of its former self, usually as some sort of undead wearing the armor and weapons he wore when he lived. The shade can communicate through telepathy, but only with the crusader it serves. The shade however, can in dire situations manifest itself to talk to others, but doing so severs the link between the shade and the crusader, making the crusader lose all his class features, with the exception of weapon and armor proficiencies or 24 hours. When the shade manifests itself in this way it appears like he does in the crusader’s dreams and communicates through telepathy; the shade can only maintain this manifestation for one hour.

If the crusader is the target of a dream spell, the messenger that enters the crusader’s dream can see the shade. On the other hand, if the crusader is the target of a nightmare spell and fails his save, the link between him and his shade is severed, preventing the crusader to use guided combat for 24 hours.

Guided Combat (Su): The guiding shade can direct the crusader’s movements and stances in combat, allowing him to modify his tactics at a moment’s notice. At 1st level, a crusader may enter a trance as a move action called guided combat. During guided combat the shade guides the crusaders actions, the crusader may choose to assume a defensive stance or an offensive stance. If the crusader assumes a defensive stance, he gains a dodge bonus to AC and a bonus to Ref saves; if he assumes an offensive stance he gains a bonus to his CMB and to melee and ranged weapon damage rolls. These bonuses equal half the crusader’s class level (minimum 1). The crusader may change stances freely once per round, as a move action. Guided combat lasts until the combat encounter ends; he may use this ability once per day at 1st level and one additional time every three levels thereafter.

Guided Eyes (Su): Even from the beyond, the guiding shade protects his crusader, alerting him to danger. Starting at 2nd level, the crusader gains a bonus to his initiative equal to his Wisdom bonus.

Shared Memories (Su): A crusader adds ½ his class level on all Knowledge skill checks, and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, the guiding shade helps the crusader react to danger faster than he normally would. The crusader cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does he loose his Dexterity bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dex bonus to AC if immobilized. A crusader with this ability still loses his Dex bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against him.

If a crusader already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Guided Strike (Su): During guided combat, the shade can guide the crusader into dealing a devastating attack. Each shade has a different guided strike that the crusader can use starting at 4th level. As the crusader increases in level, his shade’s guided strike gains additional abilities, at 6th level and every two levels thereafter. Each guided strike is described under each guiding shade. Guided strike may be used a number of times per day equal to 3 plus the crusader’s Wisdom modifier.

Guided Training (Ex): Every nigh the guiding shade practices various combat scenarios with the crusader, utilizing a myriad of weapons. From 5th level and onward, every morning the crusader chooses one weapon he is proficient with, he gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage with that weapon. This bonus increases by +1 at level 11 and again at level 17.

Guided Knowledge (Su): Having lived in a time long forgotten, the guided shade shares his knowledge with his crusader. At 6th level, when you are going to roll a skill check, you may activate this ability, doing so grants you a bonus to the roll equal to ½ your level plus your Wisdom modifier. You may use this ability once per day at level 6 and one additional time every 3 levels thereafter. The crusader does not need to be trained in the skill to use this ability.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 8th level and higher, a crusader can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the crusader by flanking him; unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels then the target has crusader levels.

If a character already has uncanny dodge from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.

Improved Guided Training (Su): The bond between shade and crusader grows stronger as they practice inside the crusader’s dreams. At 11th level, the crusader may change the weapon he chose for guided training as a swift action; he may use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier (minimum 1 time per day).

Guided Senses (Su): The shade has become the crusader’s eyes and guiding beacon.  At 14th level, a crusader may always act during a surprise round.

We are one (Su): The shade and his crusader have finally become a single entity, a paragon of combat. At 20th level, whenever the crusader attacks he is considered to be flanking his opponent (granting his the usual +2 bonus to attack rolls). In addition, whenever he activates guided combat, he gains both the defensive and offensive bonuses.

 

Guiding Shades

Following are many of the known guiding shades and the abilities they grant to their crusaders, including their guided strike. Although there are other guiding shades, these are the most common ones.

Ancestral Shade

These shades select their crusaders by linage; somehow they are connected to their crusader. Some crusaders even set out to find the genealogy that traces their family tree back to their shade. Because of the close bond these shades have to their crusaders they can manifest themselves temporarily to aid in their crusader’s attacks.

Guided Strike

Phantom Strike: The shade materializes for a few seconds aiding the crusader in his attacks. Whenever the crusader uses the full attack action the shade materializes and attacks the same foe the crusader attack, attacking right after the crusader does. The shade uses the crusader’s highest base attack bonus plus his Wisdom modifier as his attack bonus. This attack deals 1d6 points of damage plus the crusader’s Wisdom modifier. The shade is considered to be wielding the same weapon that the crusader is wielding for the purpose of determining damage type and enhancement bonuses to the attack roll and damage roll. This attack critically threats on a 20 and deals x2 damage on a successful critical hit.

Guided Strike Abilities: The ancestral shade’s guided strike abilities specialize in dishing out a slew of unrelenting attacks.

Additional Strike: At 6th level, when using ancestral strike, the shade may do a second attack at the crusader’s highest base attack bonus -5.

Rending Strike: At 8th level, if the crusader and the shade each hit the same opponent at least once, they rend apart their foe, dealing additional damage equal to the crusader’s Strength and Wisdom modifiers. The crusader can only deal this additional damage, once per turn.

Hammer the Gap: At 10th level, when using ancestral strike, the crusader gains the benefits of the hammer the gap feat.

Improved Additional Strike: At 12th level, when using ancestral strike, the shade may do a third attack at the crusader’s highest base attack bonus -10.

Pile Up: At 14th level, when using ancestral strike, all damage done to a creature during the ancestral strike is added all up before counting any damage reduction the target of the attack may possess.

Greater Additional Strike: At 16th level, when using ancestral strike, the shade may do a fourth attack at the crusader’s highest base attack bonus -15.

Ancestral Dance: At 18th level, when using ancestral strike the crusader and his shade count as if they were flanking the same opponent, gaining a +2 bonus to all their attack rolls. They get this bonus even if the creature is immune to flanking, or if otherwise the crusader’s position made flanking an impossibility.

Feral Shade

Perhaps they were animal worshiping savages, while others believe they might have been great beasts of legend. Regardless, feral shades aid their crusaders with animalistic abilities and even with the power to conjure up bestial weapons to wreak havoc on their foes.

Guided Strike:

Feral Strike: As a standard action the crusader may make a single attack at his highest base attack bonus that is then followed up by another attack by his feral shade. This second attack is made at the crusader’s highest base attack bonus plus his Wisdom modifier. This attack deals 1d8 points of damage plus the crusader’s Wisdom modifier, in addition, this attack threatens a critical hit on a natural 20 and has a x3 critical multiplier. The feral strike does not need to target the same creature the crusader attacked. This attack deals bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage at the crusaders discretion.

Guided Strike Abilities: The feral shade’s guided strike varies from shade to shade. Each shade grants a different natural attack that can confound the crusader’s foes.

Magical Ferocity 1: At 6th level, the feral strike gains a +1 enhancement bonus to its attack and damage rolls.

Feral Maneuvers: At 8th level, when the crusader uses feral strike he can choose to add any one of these effects to the attack.

Bleed: The creature hit by the crusader’s feral strike gains a bleeding effect that deals bleed damage equal to the crusader’s Wisdom modifier.

Increased damage: Add twice the crusader’s Wisdom modifier to the damage roll instead of just the Wisdom modifier.

Grapple: Gain a free grapple combat maneuver check after the attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. This free combat maneuver is made against the target of the feral strike and gains a bonus equal to the feral strike’s enhancement bonus plus the crusader’s Wisdom modifier. While the shade is grappling an opponent the crusader cannot use his feral strike unless he succeeds at another grapple check against the CMD of the creature being grappled by the shade.

Trip: Gain a free trip combat maneuver check after the attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. This free combat maneuver is made against the target of the feral strike and gains a bonus equal to the feral strike’s enhancement bonus plus the crusader’s Wisdom modifier.

Magical Ferocity 2: At 10th level, the enhancement bonus of the feral strike increases to +2.

Improved Ferocity: At 12th level, the crusader may target up to two different creatures with his feral strike.

Magical Ferocity 3: At 14th level, the enhancement bonus of the feral strike increases to +3.

Area Attack: At 16th level, the crusader may use his feral strike as a full round action, attacking all creatures within 15 ft. of him. He must choose one effect of his feral maneuvers to affect all creatures hit by this ability.

Magical Ferocity 4: At 18th level, the enhancement bonus of the feral strike increases to +4.

Noble Shade

Lords, kings, and even queens, these shades lived in the lap of luxury in their lifetime. Now they seek to reward brave warriors with a semblance of their own greatness. Noble shades are known as duelist, as they prefer striking once where it counts, to a flurry of attacks.

Guided Strike

Perfect Strike: The shade can guide the crusader to deal a single perfect strike. As a standard action, the crusader may make a single attack roll, rolling twice and taking the higher result. If one of these rolls is a critical threat, use the other roll is used as your confirmation roll.

Guided Strike Abilities: The noble shade’s guided strike abilities specialize in creating a single strike that can down even the greatest foe.

Vital Strike: At level 6th, perfect strike gains an effect similar to that of the vital strike feat.

Penetrating Strike: At level 8th, perfect strike gains an effect similar to that of the greater penetrating strike feat.

Devastating Strike: At level 10th, the guided strike gains an effect similar to that of the devastating strike feat.

Improved Vital Strike: At level 12th, the guided strike gains an effect similar to that of the improved vital strike feat.

Improved Devastating Strike: At level 14th, the guided strike gains an effect similar to that of the improved devastating strike feat.

Greater Vital Strike: At level 16th, the guided strike gains an effect similar to that of the greater improved vital strike feat.

Greater Perfect Strike: At level 18th, the crusader rolls three dice instead of two when using guided strike, if he threatens with any of the rolls, he must use one of the other two rolls as his confirmation roll.

Stalwart Shade

Long forgotten heroes and martyrs, these shades once defended the meek or sacrificed themselves for the greater good. They are headfast in protecting their crusaders and those that the crusader cares about. They aid the crusader in combat providing them with greater defenses against all their foes, eventually teaching the crusader how to aid his own allies while staying on the offensive.

Guided Strike:

Defensive Strike: The crusader can unleash an attack that sets his shade as a defensive aura that bolsters the crusader’s defenses. As a standard action, the crusader can do a single melee attack, at the end of the attack, regardless it was successful or not, the crusader gains a +2 dodge bonus to his AC until the beginning of his next turn.

Guided Strike Abilities: The stalwart shade’s guided strike abilities specialize in bolstering the defenses of the crusader.

Guarding Shade: Starting at 6th level, the dodge bonus granted by defensive strike increases to +3. In addition, defensive strike can now be used as a full round attack, allowing the crusader to attack as many times allowed by his base attack bonus, however, using defensive strike in this manner lowers the dodge bonus granted to AC to +2.

Safeguard: Starting at 8th level, when using defensive strike, the crusader also gains a +2 morale bonus to all his saves until the beginning of his next turn. If he uses the full round version of defensive strike, he only gains a +1 morale bonus to all his saves.

Aiding Shade: Starting at 10th level, when using defensive strike, before or after the attack the crusader may use the aid another action as a swift action to aid an adjacent ally.

Improved Guarding Shade: At 12th level, the dodge bonus granted by defensive strike, and its full round version both increase by +1.

Greater Safeguard: At 14th level, the morale bonus to saves granted by defensive strike, and its full round version both increase by +1.

Greater Guarding Shade: At 16th level, the dodge bonus granted by defensive strike, and its full round version both increase by +1.

Greater Aiding Shade: At 18th level, the crusader can use his aiding shade ability to aid a number of allies equal to his Wisdom modifier. He may aid allies that are up to 20 ft. away from him in this manner.

New Feats:

Additional Guided Combat

Prerequisites: Guided Combat class feature.

Benefit: You gain an additional use of Guided Combat.

 

Additional Guided Strike

Prerequisites: Guided Strike class feature.

Benefit: You gain two additional uses of Guided Strike.


EDITS

  • 4/17/15: Changed class name to Crusader. Added new guiding shades. Various class features now use Wisdom instead of Intelligence.
  • 4/19/15: Added Shared memories class feature. Modified saves and skills

Special Thanks:


Art by: Shalia-Windterra


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