Faerûnian Prestige Class : Arvoreen's Keepers
Throughout the Forgotten Realms, the deity Arvoreen watches over halfling communities and individuals, wherever they may wander. Stern and practical for a halfling deity, Arvoreen has instructed his like-minded flock to protect and look after others as he does them. Thus, the religious orders of Arvoreen's keepers and Arvoreen's warders were born, road and village marshals of the halfling god of vigilance.
Arvoreen's keepers, also known as Keepers of the Vigilant Guardian, are halflings of that rare breed that crave action. They are the defenders of their communities. They believe in an active defense, much like their patron god, Arvoreen the Defender, who promises them a glorious afterlife at his side. Consequently, keepers aggressively prepare for incursions into halfling lands and are always ready to repulse hostile invaders at the first sign of trouble. They construct defensive barriers, signaling systems, beacons, and traps to protect their charges. They patrol the community and surrounding areas, driving away or killing monsters and intruders. They also keep the peace and lead village militias when invaders attack.
Arvoreen's keepers are dogged and determined to give a good account of themselves, but they are also - like most halflings - extremely practical. They follow a code of ethics, but understand that it is only a set of guidelines that cannot cover every situation. Keepers might make questionable alliances, even steal at times, if such extremes are required to defend their charges. Similarly, they might ignore a petty theft if no one was injured.
Most of Arvoreen's keepers are clerics or ranger/paladins, although almost all single-class or multiclass combinations of paladin, ranger, and cleric are known. Very few barbarians or arcane spellcasters opt to become Arvoreen's keepers. Those keepers without any divine supernatural or spellcasting abilities are commonly known as warders.
In times of war, Arvoreen's keepers are commanders of halfling soldiers, elite warriors, and scouts. In times of peace, they are sentinels and troubleshooters, often serving as local constables, sheriffs, wardens, magistrates, or marshals, being politely nosy, maintaining order, and enforcing the law. However, even when they do not hold these positions, the local sheriff and halfling clergy know they can always call on keepers for assistance. For these reasons, keepers command the fidelity and respect of halflings everywhere, who love the keepers for keeping them safe. Keepers are common in many halfling communities, notably the fallen halfling realm of Meiritin (now part of Amn), the Purple Hills of Tethyr, and the halfling nation of Luiren, as well as among many of Arvoreen's military orders, notably Arvoreen's Marchers of Tethyr. A few keepers choose to wander, becoming deputy-rangers or road sheriffs - law officers given authority by local officials to wander afar in search of those who commit crimes against halfling communities.
To qualify to become an Arvoreen's Keeper, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Race: Halfling
- Alignment: Lawful good, neutral good, or lawful neutral
- Skills: Craft (trapmaking) 4 ranks, Listen 4 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks, Spot 4 ranks, Survival 4 ranks.
- Feats: Alertness, Martial Weapon Proficiency (short sword), Simple Weapon Proficiency (sling) or Martial Weapon Proficiency (shortbow), Track.
- Base Attack Bonus: +4.
- Spells: Must be able to cast divine spells.
- Religion: Arvoreen.
- Special: Must be accepted for training and be judged worthy by a cleric of Arvoreen.
The keeper's class skills are Appraise, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (religion), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, and Use Rope.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the Arvoreen's keeper prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Arvoreen's keepers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and shields.
Spells per Day: Arvoreen's keepers continue their devotion to Arvoreen. Thus, whenever the keeper gains a new level, he may gain new spells per day as if he had gained a level in a divine spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (increased turning abilities, animal companions, and so on). This means he adds his new level of Arvoreen's keeper to the level of some other spellcasting class he has, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly. (If the character had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming an Arvoreen's keeper, he must decide to which class he adds each level of Arvoreen's keeper for purposes of spells per day).
Trapfinding: Arvoreen's keepers have the trapfinding skill just as rogues do. With this ability, keepers can use the Search skill to locate magic traps and mundane traps with DCs higher than 20.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 3rd level, an Arvoreen's keeper gains uncanny dodge, just as a 4th-level rogue. This ability allows the character to retain his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker.
Defensive Parry (Ex): At 5th level, Arvoreen's keepers have truly mastered the defensive maneuvers of combat. When executing the fight defensively standard or full-round action, the keeper gains an additional +1 dodge bonus to his Armor Class. In addition, when executing the total defense standard action, the keeper gains an additional +2 dodge bonus to his Armor Class.
Subduing Strikes (Ex): Arvoreen's keepers often serve as local sheriffs charged with capturing criminals. At 7th level, the keeper can deal nonlethal damage with a weapon that deals normal damage without suffering a -4 penalty on the attack.
Team Player (Ex): Arvoreen's keepers support, as well as lead, their communities. At 9th level, a keeper has learned how to pool his prowess most effectively with his allies. When using the aid another action, the keeper grants a +4 bonus instead of the usual +2 bonus.
Defensive Roll (Ex): At 10th level, Arvoreen's keepers can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it. Once per day, when a keeper would be reduced to 0 hit points or less by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), he can attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC equals the damage dealt) to take only half damage from the blow.
Code of Conduct: Arvoreen's keepers must be lawful good, neutral good, or lawful neutral. Additionally, the keepers' code requires they never attack first (although preemptive strikes against known raiders or invaders - who are considered to have attacked first - are generally acceptable), aid and protect those in their charge or their community, never flee from an enemy unless all those under their protection have safely escaped (even if it means the keeper's own death), defend the honor of their god and race, and respect and obey the clergy of the halfling gods.
Multiclass Arvoreen's Keepers: Arvoreen's keepers are allowed to multiclass freely as paladins.
|Arvoreen's Keeper||Hit Die: d8|
|CL||BAB||Fort||Ref||Will||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Trapfinding||+1 level of existing class|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||-||+1 level of existing class|
|3rd||+2||+i||+3||+3||Uncanny dodge||+1 level of existing class|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||-||+1 level of existing class|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Defensive parry||+1 level of existing class|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||-||+1 level of existing class|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Subduing strikes||+1 level of existing class|
|8th||+6||+2||+6||+6||-||+1 level of existing class|
|9th||+6||+3||+6||+6||Team player||+1 level of existing class|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+7||Defensive roll||+1 level of existing class|
Ex-Keepers: Arvoreen's keepers who cease to be lawful good, neutral good, or lawful neutral, or who grossly violate their codes of conduct, lose spellcasting granted by Arvoreen's keeper levels and the ability to progress as Arvoreen's keepers. An offending keeper regains his abilities and his ability to progress as an Arvoreen's keeper if he atones for his violations (see the atonement spell description).
Source: Dragon #321