(Excerpt from Sword and Fist, By Jason Carl)
© 2001 Wizards of the Coast
Corrected with official errata.

Devoted Defender

The devoted defender is a professional guardian. She is an individual who is skilled at protecting a designated client from harm, often by taking her charge's place as the target of the threats and attacks. In return for these services, the devoted defender usually receives compensation in the form of coin, room and board, and sometimes in resources such as access to magical healing, but the exact details of the agreement are between the individual devoted defender and her employer. It is not uncommon for a noble or other important personage to number at least one devoted defender among his personal retinue, and sometimes to make a devoted defender the chief of his security services.

Most devoted defenders are fighters, but any character who becomes a devoted defender benefits from the attack, save, and Armor Class bonuses. Monks sometimes become devoted defenders, as do clerics, when they are assigned to protect important individuals within their order or clergy. NPC devoted defenders are mostly fighters who either left military service and turned to security work to make a living.

Hit Die: d12


To qualify to become a devoted defender, a character must fulfill the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +5
Feats: Weapon Focus (any melee weapon), Alertness
Search: 4 ranks.
Sense Motive: 4 ranks.
Spot: 4 ranks.

Class Skills:
The devoted defender's class skills (and the key ability requirements for each skill) are Climb (Str), Innuendo (Wis), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Profession (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Search (Int), and Spot (Wis). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The devoted defender is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and shields.

Armor Class Bonus: The devoted defender is concentrates on defense, both for herself and her charge. She receives this dodge bonus to AC as a result of that focus.

Harm's Way (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, the devoted defender may elect to place herself in the path of danger in order to protect her single charge. Any time you are within 5 feet of your charge, and your charge suffers an attack, you may switch places with your charge and receive the attack in his place. You must declare this before the attack roll is made. You select your charge when you roll initiative, and it is a free action to do so. You may not change your charge for the duration of that combat.

Defensive Strike (Ex): You can make an attack of opportunity against any adjacent opponent who attacks your charge in melee. You gain a +1 bonus to this attack for every two levels after 2nd.

Deflect Attack (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, the devoted defender can attempt to parry a melee attack against her charge. She must be within 5 feet of her charge to attempt this and holding a melee weapon or shield to deflect the attack. Once per round when your charge is attacked, you may make an opposed attack roll. You gain a competence bonus to your attack roll as indicated on the table. If you beat the attacker, you deflect the blow. You must be aware of the attack beforehand and not flat-footed.

Table 2-2: The Devoted Defender

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save AC Bonus Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 +1 Harm's way
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 +1 Defensive Strike
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 +2 Deflect Attack +1
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 +2 Defensive Strike +1
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 +3 Deflect Attack +2
6th +6 +5 +5 +2 +3 Defensive Strike +2
7th +7 +5 +5 +2 +4 Deflect Attack +3
8th +8 +6 +6 +2 +4 Defensive Strike +3
9th +9 +6 +6 +3 +5 Deflect Attack +4
10th +10 +7 +7 +3 +5 Defensive Strike +4

AC Bonus: The defensive bonus to the character's Armor Class, added to the character's normal AC bonus. This bonus applies only when the devoted defender is actively engaged in protecting her client from an attack; otherwise, use the character's normal AC bonus.