Dwarven Defender

Dwarves bear many of the same characteristics of the stone and metals they work, including its strength and toughness. Dwarven fighters are among the best in any world, but among the dwarves, even a dwarven warrior bows to a Dwarven Defender. Defenders are tasked with the protection of the clanhold, the last line of defense before the hold falls to invaders. Their motto is "Never give up, never give in," and it shows – many Defenders have been known to remain standing in place even after they die.

Most Dwarven Defenders are fighters, paladins, clerics, rangers, or barbarians (more or less in that order). Rogues, monks (with the notable exception of those trained in the Mountain Style), and bards rely too much on mobility to become Defenders, and sorcerers and wizards are generally considered too weak to take levels in this class.

Hit Die: d12.


To qualify to become a Dwarven Defender (DDe), a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Race: Dwarf

Alignment: Any lawful

Base Attack Bonus: +7

Feats: Endurance, Indomitable, Toughness

Class Skills

The Dwarven Defender's class skills are Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Wis), Knowledge (combat and tactics)(Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (wis).

Skill Points Per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Table 1: The Dwarven Defender
Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Defensive stance
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Vigilant defense
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Damage reduction 2/-
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Bulwark of defense
5th +5 +4 +2 +4 Repulse attack
6th +6 +5 +2 +5 Damage reduction 4/-
7th +7 +5 +2 +5 Mobile defense
8th +8 +6 +3 +6 Rooted to the earth
9th +9 +6 +3 +6 Damage reduction 6/-
10th +10 +7 +4 +7 Empowered defense

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Dwarven Defender.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dwarven Defenders gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Defensive Stance: When he adopts a defensive stance, a Defender gains phenomenal strength and durability, but he cannot move from the spot he is defending. He gains +2 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, and a +2 resistance bonus on all saves. 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 to normal. These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are.

While in a defensive stance, a Defender cannot use skills or abilities that would require him to shift his position. A defensive stance lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character's (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A Defender may end his defensive stance voluntarily prior to this limit. At the end of the defensive stance, the Defender is winded and takes a -2 penalty to Strength for the duration of that encounter. A Defender can use his defensive stance once per encounter. Using the defensive stance takes no time itself, but a Defender can only do so during his action.

Vigilant Defense (Ex): While in a defensive stance, a Defender can make attacks of opportunity against any opponents that enter an area he threatens, as well as those leaving it.

Damage Reduction (Ex): A Dwarven Defender gains damage reduction while in a defensive stance. Subtract 2 points from the damage the Defender takes each time he is dealt damage. At 6th level, this damage reduction increases to 4/–, and at 9th level, it increases to 6/-.

Bulwark of Defense (Ex): The Defender's bonuses while in a defensive stance increase to +4 Strength, +6 Constitution, and +4 resistance bonus on all saves.

Repulse Attack (Ex): If an opponent attempts to bull rush, trip, or otherwise move the Defender against his will and fails (even by 5 or less), the Defender pushes it back and it falls prone. This ability obviates feats like Improved Finesse.

Mobile Defense (Ex): A Dwarven Defender can adjust his position while maintaining a defensive stance. While in a defensive stance, he can make a combat stride each round without losing the benefit of the stance.

Rooted to the Earth (Ex): Once he has assumed a defensive stance, a Dwarven Defender is not susceptible to conditions that would normally knock him down – grease spells, ice, high winds, etc. – assuming he is on a flat surface. He also gains a +4 competence bonus to Strength checks to resist being tripped, pushed/pulled, or thrown (this stacks with the dwarven racial bonus).

Empowered Defense (Ex): At 10th level, a Dwarven Defender is no longer winded after assuming a defensive stance.

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