1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.43 (21 Votes)
Masters of the front line, dedicated to protecting those who follow, the vanguard never shrink from a fight. These brave few don armor and shields to wade into battle, bringing the fight to the enemy. The vanguard protects his allies and himself through skillful use of his shield and armor.

Role: Vanguards are front line fighters who can support close allies in several different ways. When forced to move in a tight group, there is no better ally than a vanguard, who can protect those who stay close to him. Vanguards are also often signed to perform escort or bodyguard services for people of high standing or import.

Alignment: Any

Hit Die: d12

Class Skills

Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Engineering) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), and Sense Motive (Wis)

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Level Base Attack Fort Ref Will Special Abilities
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Shield expertise
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Uncanny dodge
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Shield Allies
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Armor Training 1, Blood Brothers
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Vanguard Protection
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Shield Expertise
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Under My Protection
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Armor Training 2
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Improved Uncanny Dodge
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Vanguard Protection 2
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Shield Expertise
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Armor Training 3
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Advanced Armor Training
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Vanguard Protection 3
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Armor Training 4
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Shield Expertise
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Improved Shield Allies
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Armor Mastery
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Vanguard Protection 4

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A vanguard is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and with shields (not including tower shields.)

Shield Expertise: Vanguards train heavily in the use of shields, both for defense and offense. At first level, a vanguard gains Improved Shield Bash and Shield Focus as bonus feats. At 6th level, she gains Shield Slam and may make a shield bash as an extra attack as if with the two-weapon fighting feat. At 11th level, she gains Shield Master, and may make two shield bash attempts as if with the improved two-weapon fighting feat. At 17th level, she may make three shield bashes as if with the greater two-weapon fighting feat. She does not need to meet the prerequisites for these feats.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, the vanguard gains the ability to react to danger before she would normally be able to. She cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. She still looses her Dex bonus if immobilized or if her opponent successfully uses the feint action against her. If a vanguard already has uncanny dodge from another class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Shield Allies (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, when wearing a shield, the Vanguard can protect adjacent allies, giving them a shield bonus to their AC equal to half of the Vanguard's shield bonus. This ability does not function if the Vanguard is denied his Dex bonus.

Armor Training (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a vanguard begins to master maneuvering in armor. The vanguard reduces the armor check penalty of armor she is wearing by 1 (minimum 0) and increases the maximum Dex bonus allowed by the armor by 1. Every 4 levels, these benefits increase, to a maximum penalty reduction and Dex bonus increase of 4 at 16th level.

Blood Brothers (Sp): Beginning at 4th level, a vanguard can perform a ritual with a willing ally as a full round action that causes 1 point of nonlethal damage to both the vanguard and his ally. The ally is then protected as if by an extended shield other spell cast at the vanguard's level. A vanguard may perform this ritual once per day per 4 levels.

Vanguard Protection (Ex): The Vanguard can shield adjacent allies from an area affect spell or ability, taking the brunt of the damage herself. The Vanguard automatically fails her save when using this ability. At 5th level, one ally may be shielded. At 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter, a Vanguard may shield an additional adjacent ally. Allies protected take half damage on a failed save and no damage if they make their save. This ability is an immediate action, which must be declared before any saving throws are rolled.

Under My Protection (Su): Starting at 7th level, as a standard action, a Vanguard can declare a willing target within 30’ to be under her protection. This forms a supernatural bond between the Vanguard and the target. Anyone attempting to attack the target must succeed in a Will save (DC= 10+ ½ Vanguard Level + Con modifier) or attack the Vanguard instead. This is a mind-affecting supernatural effect. A Vanguard may have only one target under her protection at any given time. The effect is dispelled if the Vanguard and the target are more than 30' from each other.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Beginning at 9th level, the vanguard cannot be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack by flanking unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has levels in this class. If a character already has uncanny dodge from another class, those class levels stack with this one to determine the minimum rogue levels needed to flank the character.

Advanced Armor Training (Ex): At 14th level, a vanguard’s armor training allows him to move freely in armor. The vanguard’s speed is not reduced by armor. A vanguard’s speed may still be reduced by encumbrance.

Improved Shield Allies (Ex): At 18th level and higher, when wearing a shield, the vanguard can protect adjacent allies, giving them a shield bonus to their AC equal to the vanguard's shield bonus. This ability does not function if the vanguard is denied his Dex bonus.

Armor Master (Ex): At 19th level, a vanguard gains DR 5/- whenever he is wearing armor or using a shield.

Additional Ratings
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.05 (19 Votes)
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.38 (16 Votes)
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.71 (17 Votes)