Faerûnian Prestige Class : Maquar Crusader
The Maquar are the noble class of warriors in the nation of Estagund that exist for one purpose - devoted service to the rajah of that land. A Maquar crusader follows a strict code of conduct that not only limits what he can own or where he can live, but also limits the ways in which merchants can influence him. Traditionally, Maquar crusaders are charged with protection of the royal house and family, defense of the nation, and consultation on battle tactics. They are both powerful champions, capable of impressive combat prowess with the falchion, and renowned defenders, skilled at protecting those who cannot defend themselves.
Fighters and paladins make up the bulk of recruits to the ranks of the Maquar, though rangers and clerics sometimes hear the call to serve the rajah. Members of few other classes have the combination of dedication, military skill, and discipline to succeed as Maquar crusaders.
Maquar crusaders usually operate in groups, though these can be small elite units tasked with specific jobs - such as security for the rajah's daughter - or in larger forces during times of war. A lone Maquar crusader might be sent on a serious mission in the service of his rajah, perhaps as a guardian for diplomats. At these times, the crusader might welcome the companionship of adventurers, though some find the Maquar's strict code of conduct inconvenient at times.
To qualify to become a Maquar Crusader, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Alignment: Lawful good or lawful neutral
- Skills: Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 4 ranks.
- Feats: Alertness, Combat Expertise, Weapon Focus (falchion),
- Base Attack Bonus: +4
- Patron Deity: The Adama
- Region: The Golden Water.
Special: The character must have a reputation as an honorable and dedicated person. He must spend one full month living by the standards of the Maquar crusader's code of conduct before being admitted into the Maquar.
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Maquar crusaders are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and shields.
Uncanny Loyalty (Ex): The Maquar crusader's unswerving dedication and loyalty to his duty makes him difficult to corrupt or influence. Beginning at 1st level, he gains a +1 resistance bonus on Will saves against all mind-affecting spells and spell-like abilities; this bonus increases as the crusader gains levels, until it reaches +4 at 10th level.
Harm's Way (Ex): A Maquar crusader can elect to place himself in the path of danger to protect a single ally, called his charge. Anytime the crusader is within 5 feet of his charge, and the charge is subject to an attack, the crusader can elect to switch places with her and take the attack in her place (the two physically switch spaces). The crusader must declare his intent to switch places with his charge before the attack roll is made. A charge can be selected as a free action when the crusader rolls initiative at the beginning of a combat and cannot be changed for the duration of that combat. The Maquar crusader can only use this ability if his charge is one size category larger than he is or smaller.
Greater Weapon Focus: Maquar crusaders receive Greater Weapon Focus (falchion) as a bonus feat.
Smite (Su): Once per day, a Maquar crusader of 2nd level or higher can make a single melee attack with a +4 attack bonus and a damage bonus equal to his Maquar crusader level. The crusader must declare the smite before making the attack roll, and that smite use is used for the day if he misses. At 6th level, the smite is usable two times per day, increasing to three times per day at 9th level.
Allied Defense: A 3rd-level Maquar crusader gains Allied Defense as a bonus feat.
Defensive Strike (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a Maquar crusader can make an attack of opportunity against an adjacent opponent who attacks his charge in melee to one attack of opportunity per round, unless he has the Combat Reflexes feat. He gains a +1 bonus on this attack for every three levels above 4th.
Deflect Attack (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, the Maquar crusader can attempt to parry melee attack against his charge. To attempt this, he must be within 5 feet of his charge, aware of the impending attack, not flat-footed, and holding a melee weapon or shield capable of deflecting the attack. Once per round when his charge would normally be hit with a melee weapon, the crusader can make a Reflex save (DC 20+ attacking weapon's magic bonus [if any]). If he succeeds, he deflects the blow as a free action, rendering it harmless. At 8th level, the Maquar crusader gains a +1 competence bonus on this Reflex save.
Code of Conduct: The Maquar crusader must adhere to a strict code of conduct at all times or risk being expelled from the Maquar and losing his honored status within society. A Maquar cannot own anything other than the clothes he wears, his armor, his sword, and a small amount of personal effects that he can carry himself (Maquar crusaders hailing from the paladin class can keep their special mounts and the gear required for riding.) He has no home other than the one his rajah supplies him. It is the rajah's responsibility to provide for a Maquar crusader (one cannot hold a job other than as a crusader), but he is expected to assist the public in a time of need, whether that means defending the rajah from assassins or helping to build a new public building in a small village. A Maquar crusader cannot take payment for his service, whether in coin or other material goods, but he can ask for a single night's hospitality from any citizen when he is away from his usual quarters. The Maquar are expected to obey the rajah (or a leader he appoints to operate on his behalf) unquestioningly.
Multiclass Note: A character who was a paladin before joining the Maquar crusader prestige class can freely add levels of Maquar crusader without losing the ability to advance as a paladin, so long as he continues to meet all other requirements for maintaining paladin status. This is an exception to the rule in the Ex-Paladins. Violating this expanded limit by multiclassing into a class other than Maquar crusader ends the character's development as a paladin, as described in the standard rides. Such multiclassing does not end the character's development as a Maquar crusader.
|Maquar Crusader||Hit Die: d8|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Greater Weapon Focus (falchion), harm's way, uncanny loyalty +1|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Allied Defense, uncanny loyalty +2|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+2||Smite 2/day, uncanny loyalty +3|
|7th||+7||+5||+5||+2||Defensive strike (+1)|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+2||Deflect attack (+1)|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+3||Smite 3/day, uncanny loyalty +4|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+3||Defensive strike (+2)|
Source: Shining South