General Prestige Class : Dwarven Defender
The defender is a sponsored champion of a dwarven cause, a dwarven aristocrat, a dwarven deity, or the dwarven way of life. As the name might imply, this character is a skilled combatant trained in the arts of defense. A line of dwarven defenders is a far better defense than a 10-foot-thick wall of stone, and much more dangerous.
Most dwarven defenders are fighters, paladins, rangers, or clerics, although ex-barbarians, sorcerers, wizards, and druids can certainly all benefit from the defensive capabilities of this prestige class. Rogues, bards, and monks usually depend too heavily on mobility to really use the abilities of the dwarven defender class to their fullest.
NPC dwarven defenders are usually soldiers in a dwarven citadel, segregated into their own units separate from regular warriors or fighters. Occasionally a lone, wandering dwarven defender can be encountered on some mission, although he usually guards his words so closely that it's difficult to learn what his quest actually entails.
To qualify to become a Dwarven Defender, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the dwarven defender prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The dwarven defender is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and shields. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble.
Defensive Stance: When he needs to, the defender can become a stalwart bastion of defense. In this defensive stance, a defender gains phenomenal strength and durability but he cannot move from the spot he is defending. He gains the following benefits:
- +2 Strength
- +4 Constitution
- +2 resistance bonus on all saves
- +4 dodge bonus to AC
The increase in Constitution increases the defender's hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the defensive stance when the Constitution score drops back 4 points. These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are. While defending, a defender cannot use skills or abilities that would require him to shift his position, such as Move Silently or Jump. A defensive stance lasts for 3 rounds, plus the character's (newly improved) Constitution modifier. The defender may end the defense voluntarily prior to this limit. At the end of the defense, the defender is winded and suffers a -2 penalty to Strength for the duration of that encounter. The defender can only take his defensive stance a certain number of times per day as determined by his level (see below). Taking the stance takes no time itself, but the defender can only do so during his action. (A defender can't, for example, take the stance when struck down by an arrow in order to get the extra hit points from the increased Constitution.)
Defensive Awareness: Starting at 2nd level, the dwarven defender gains the extraordinary ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to even be aware of it. At 2nd level, and above, he retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. (He still loses any Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.)
At 5th level, the dwarven defender can no longer be flanked, since he can react to opponents on opposite sides of him as easily as he can react to a single attacker. This defense denies rogues the ability to use flank attacks to sneak attack the dwarven defender, The exception to this defense is that a rogue at least 4 levels higher than the dwarven defender can flank him (and thus sneak attack him).
At 10th level, the dwarven defender gains an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, giving him a +1 bonus to Reflex saves made to avoid traps.
Defensive awareness is cumulative with uncanny dodge. If the dwarven defender has another class that grants the uncanny dodge ability, add together all the class levels of the classes that grant these two abilities and determine the character's defensive awareness ability on that basis.
Damage Reduction: At 6th level, the dwarven defender gains the extraordinary ability to shrug off some amount of injury from each blow or attack. Subtract 3 from the damage the dwarven defender takes each time he is dealt damage. At 10th level, this damage reduction rises to 6. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but nor below 0. (That is, the defender cannot actually gain hit points in this manner.)
|Dwarven Defender||Hit Die: d12|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||+1||Defensive stance 1/day|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+3||+1||Defensive awareness (Dex bonus to AC)|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+3||+1||Defensive stance 2/day|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+4||+2||Defensive stance 3/day|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+5||+2||Damage reduction (3), defensive awareness (can't be flanked)|
|7th||+7||+5||+2||+5||+3||Defensive stance 4/day|
|9th||+9||+6||+3||+6||+3||Defensive stance 5/day|
|10th||+10||+7||+3||+7||+4||Damage reduction (6), defensive awareness (+1 vs. traps)|
Source: Dungeon Master's Guide v.3.5