Faerûnian Prestige Class : Great Rift Deep Defender

The Great Rift deep defender has a keen understanding of the importance of making a stand. He knows he must remain vigilant against the possibility of attack from the ancient enemies of the gold dwarves, and he has taken it upon himself to become an immovable bastion of protection at the edges of his subterranean home. He acts as a dam against the enemies that could invade his beloved Rift, and such a dwarf refuses to give way to any attacks, no matter how formidable.

Most Great Rift deep defenders are first fighters, paladins, rangers, or clerics. Rogues, bards, and monks depend too heavily on mobility to effectively use the abilities of the Great Rift deep defender, and the gold dwarves don't count many barbarians among their number. While sorcerers and druids might find the defensive capabilities of the Great Rift deep defender beneficial, such individuals usually have other goals.

Great Rift deep defenders serve as the main line of defense along the perimeter of the Deep Realm, that portion of the Great Rift below the surface and adjacent to the Underdark. They work well in units, guarding passages that lead deeper into uncontrolled territory. Occasionally, a Great Rift deep defender can be found on some special mission elsewhere in the Underdark or, more rarely, on the surface.


To qualify to become a Great Rift Deep Defender, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The Great Rift deep defender's class skills are Craft, Listen, Sense Motive, and Spot.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Great Rift deep defender.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Great Rift deep defender is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light, medium, and heavy armor, and shields (including tower shields).

AC Bonus (Ex): The Great Rift deep defender receives a dodge bonus to Armor Class that starts at +1 and improves as the defender gains levels to a maximum of +3 at 5th level.

Hold the Line: The Great Rift deep defender gains Hold the Line as a bonus feat.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a Great Rift deep defender gains the extraordinary ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to even be aware of it. He retains his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. (He still loses any Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized). If the character gains uncanny dodge from a second class (such as rogue), he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below).

Uncanny Stability (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a Great Rift deep defender improves his racial resistance to being moved from his position. He gains an additional +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bullrushed or tripped while standing in a narrow or low space (+8 total, counting the dwarf racial trait). See Subterranean Bulwark below for definitions of narrow and low spaces.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level and above, a Great Rift deep 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 flanking to sneak attack the deep defender. The exception to this defense is that a rogue at least four levels higher than the deep defender can flank him (and thus sneak attack him).

If the character gains uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class (such as rogue), the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge, and the levels from those classes stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the Great Rift deep defender.

Subterranean Bulwark (Ex): When he is in an enclosed area, the Great Rift deep defender can become a stalwart bastion of defense. In a narrow or a low space, he gains DR 3/-, as well as a +1 bonus on attack rolls and a +2 bonus on damage rolls. (A narrow space is an area no wider than 5 feet, while a low area is shorter than the deep defender, but at least half of his height.) He cannot move from the spot he is defending without losing the benefits of this ability.

The deep defender ignores the penalty for hampered melee when fighting in a narrow or low space with light or one-handed melee weapons, and takes only a -4 circumstance penalty on attack rolls when using a two-handed weapon in such conditions. In a space both narrow and low, the deep defender functions as if only one of those conditions applied. In addition, when fighting in cramped quarters the deep defender does not lose his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class.

Great Rift Deep DefenderHit Die: d12
CLBABFortRefWillAC BonusSpecial
1st+1+2+0+2+1Hold the line
2nd+2+3+0+3+1Uncanny dodge
3rd+3+3+1+3+2Uncanny stability
4th+4+4+1+4+2Improved uncanny dodge
5th+5+4+1+4+3Subterranean bulwark

Source: Shining South

Realms Prestige Classes