Heavily armored and well armed, sitting astride a powerful charger, the cavalier is a battlefield marshal, capable of both directing troops and crashing into combat himself to disrupt the stratagems of his enemies. Not merely interested in battle for its own sake, the cavalier fights for a cause, whether it be to defend honor, serve his lord, uphold an ideal or intellectual principle, or protect something hidden and secret.
Where some cavaliers dedicate themselves to their comrades, the common folk around them, a lord, or even themselves, still others have found their calling in defending or advocating more abstract notions, such as peace, a particular place or relic, or even the preservation of written knowledge.
The cavaliers of the order of the blue rose dedicate themselves to promoting peace in the lands they roam. Skilled warriors and adept diplomats, these cavaliers counsel wisdom, patience, and understanding, but are ever mindful of the need to take up arms to strike down aggressors, tyrants, or evil usurpers. Although they believe wholeheartedly in peace as an aim and a final goal, cavaliers of the blue rose are warriors first, and embrace their role as guardians of those who cannot or will not take up arms to defend themselves.
Edicts: The cavalier must guard against needless violence, protecting both the land and its people from wars they neither started nor wish to fight. He must seek to stop conflict with a minimum of bloodshed, to encourage peaceful resolutions to disagreements between intelligent creatures, and to mend the wounds opened by battle. He must also honor quarter when he gives it, protecting captives who have surrendered from his own allies if need be.
Challenge: Whenever an order of the blue rose cavalier issues a challenge, he receives a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls made against the target of his challenge, if the target is an intelligent creature to whom the cavalier offered the chance to surrender (by taking a standard action to offer terms). This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the cavalier possesses (to a maximum of +5 at 17th level).
Skills: An order of the blue rose cavalier adds Knowledge (history) (Int) and Knowledge (nobility) (Int) to his list of class skills. Whenever an order of the blue rose cavalier uses Diplomacy to try to mediate a dispute between two parties that do not include him, he receives a bonus on the check equal to 1/2 his cavalier level (minimum +1).
Order Abilities: A cavalier belonging to the order of the blue rose gains the following abilities as he increases in level.
Flat of the Blade (Ex): At 2nd level, the cavalier of the order of the blue rose gains the ability to moderate his attacks in order to take an enemy alive. He no longer takes a –4 penalty when attacking with a lethal weapon to deal nonlethal damage. When dealing nonlethal damage, the cavalier receives a +2 bonus on damage rolls. When the cavalier makes use of this ability, he must attempt to subdue his target without killing it; dealing lethal damage after using this ability, or allowing his allies to kill the target, is considered a violation of his edicts.
Inner Peace (Ex): At 8th level, the cavalier has learned that while not all things in the world will go as he wishes, he must remain calm and centered. Once per day as an immediate action, the cavalier may ignore an amount of damage from a single source (one attack, spell, or effect) equal to his cavalier level plus his Charisma modifier. He can only ignore hit point damage in this fashion. The cavalier can use this ability one additional time per day at 12th level and every four levels thereafter (to a maximum of four times per day at 20th level).
Shield of Blades (Ex): At 15th level, the cavalier gains an expert sense of impending violence around him. When taking the total defense action, the cavalier can extend his protection to those around him, granting a +2 circumstance bonus to AC to all adjacent allies. In addition, while taking the total defense action, as an immediate action, the cavalier can attempt to deflect an attack by making an attack roll opposed by the attacker's original attack roll. If successful, the attack is deflected and deals no damage.
Cavaliers of the order of the seal are a secretive order, each charged with the protection of a specific object (such as a dangerous magic item), place (a lost temple), or secret (that a certain peasant is actually the last descendant of the royal line). Such cavaliers are the defenders of ancient traditions or the servants of rulers with important secrets to hide, sometimes having to search out such secrets in order to properly protect and preserve them.
Edicts: The cavalier must guard his sworn charge with all he has: his health, his honor, and his very life. If his charge is a place, he must keep intruders out. If it is a thing, he must keep it safe from thieves—and restore the item to its rightful place if taken.
Challenge: An order of the seal cavalier can make a free bull rush or trip combat maneuver anytime he takes the full-attack action against the target of his challenge. This free combat maneuver does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Skills: An order of the seal cavalier adds Disable Device (Dex) and Linguistics (Int) to his list of class skills. Whenever the cavalier uses Bluff to conceal information about his sworn charge, he receives a competence bonus equal to 1/2 his cavalier level (minimum +1).
Order Abilities: A cavalier belonging to the order of the seal gains the following abilities as he increases in level.
Keeper (Ex): At 2nd level, once per day the cavalier must select a location, or a secret that he has sworn to protect. If he chooses a location, he gains a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls when directly defending his charge. If he chooses a secret, he gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws and opposed checks to resist revealing information about his charge. He gains these bonuses until he picks a new object, location, or secret to protect.
I Shall Not Be Moved (Ex): At 8th level, the cavalier can draw on his dedication to overcome physical weakness. Whenever the cavalier does not move more than a 5-foot step, he receives a +2 dodge bonus to his CMD to resist bull rush, overrun, reposition, and trip combat maneuvers until his next turn.
Staggering Assault (Ex): At 15th level, the cavalier can drive opponents back without giving ground. As a full-round action, the cavalier can make a single attack at his highest attack bonus. If the attack hits, the attack does damage as normal, and the cavalier may attempt a bull rush against the target. The cavalier gains a bonus on the bull rush combat maneuver check equal to half the amount of damage dealt on the initial attack.
Knowledge is the stepping stone of both truth and power. The members of this order devote themselves to the preservation of knowledge. Most would protect written knowledge at all costs, but there are members that believe there is such thing as knowledge too dangerous to be allowed to exist, and seek to destroy it.
Edicts: An order of the tome cavalier must protect written knowledge (or at least approved knowledge) at all costs. Some are also devoted to the destruction of proscribed knowledge and are equally zealous in the pursuit of its destruction. Most of these cavaliers believe that the preservation of a written work is more important than a single life, even their own, as it ensures future generations benefit from its wisdom.
Challenge: Whenever an order of the tome cavalier issues a challenge, he receives a +2 bonus on all saving throws against spells or spell-like abilities cast by the subject of his challenge and a +2 bonus on all Bluff and Sense motive checks involving the subject of his challenge.
Skills: An order of the tome cavalier adds Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), and Linguistics to his list of class skills. Furthermore, he can use Linguistics untrained. If he has ranks in Linguistics, he receives a bonus on the check equal to 1/2 his cavalier level (minimum +1).
Order Abilities: A cavalier belonging to the order of the tome gains the following abilities as he increases in level.
Specialized Knowledge (Ex): At 2nd level, an order of the tome cavalier chooses either Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (religion). He can make the chosen skill checks untrained. He cannot change his chosen skill later. If he has ranks in his chosen skill, he receives a bonus on the check equal to 1/2 his cavalier level (minimum +1) as long as that check involves a book, tome, scroll, or any other form of written knowledge.
Powerful Knowledge (Ex): At 8th level, the cavalier gains the ability to read scrolls and cast arcane or divine spells from a scroll as if he had a caster level of his cavalier level –4. He can decipher all scrolls, using his Linguistics skill in place of Spellcraft, and does not need to cast read magic in order to decipher a scroll. Which type of spell the cavalier can cast is based on the Knowledge skill he chose for specialized knowledge. If he chose Knowledge (arcana), he can cast any arcane spells from a scroll. If he chose Knowledge (religion), he can cast any divine spells from a scroll. Furthermore, he gains a +1 bonus to an ability score for purposes of determining the level of spells he can cast from a scroll, and this bonus increases by +1 at 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter (to a maximum of +4 at 20th level). The ability score that gains the bonus is dependent on which skill the cavalier picked for his specialized knowledge ability. If the cavalier picked Knowledge (arcana), he gains the bonus to Intelligence. If he picked Knowledge (religion), he gains the bonus to Wisdom.
Defensive Knowledge (Ex): At 15th level, an order of the tome cavalier can grant nearby allies some of the boons of his cavalier challenge. While allies are adjacent to the cavalier, they gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws against spells or spell-like abilities cast by the subject of the cavalier's challenge. In addition, as an immediate action, a number of times per day equal to the cavalier's Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) or Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), the cavalier can allow an ally adjacent to him to reroll a single failed saving throw against a spell or spell-like ability from the target of his challenge. The ally must be able to see and hear the cavalier in order to gain this reroll. The ability score that determines how many times per day a cavalier can use this ability depends on which Knowledge skill the cavalier picked for specialized knowledge. If the cavalier picked Knowledge (arcana), the number of times per day this ability can be used is based on Intelligence. If he picked Knowledge (religion) it is based on Wisdom.
The following are new cavalier archetypes. Unless stated otherwise, cavaliers of any order can take these archetypes.
The cavalier is defined not only by his dedication to his order or his skill on the battlefield, but also by the special relationship he maintains with his mount. Where some cavaliers are simply skilled with horses or well-trained knights, the beast rider spends his life in constant pursuit of the most perfect mount, forming bonds with greater, more powerful, and more exotic creatures.
Armor Proficiency: A beast rider is proficient with light and medium armor, and with shields (with the exception of tower shields).
Exotic Mount (Ex): At 1st level, a beast rider forms a bond with a strong, loyal companion that permits him to ride it as a mount. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the beast rider's level as his effective druid level. The animal chosen as a mount must be large enough to carry the beast rider (Medium or Large for a Small character; Large or Huge for a Medium character).
The beast rider does not take an armor check penalty on Ride checks while riding his mount. The mount is always considered combat trained, and begins play with Endurance as a bonus feat. A beast rider's mount does not gain the share spells special ability.
Each time the beast rider increases in level, he can choose to select a new, more impressive mount better suited to his increased power.
Small-sized beast riders can choose a pony or wolf mount at 1st level. At 4th level, a Small beast rider can also choose an allosaurus, ankylosaurus, arsinoitherium, aurochs, bison, boar, brachiosaurus, elephant, glyptodon, hippopotamus, mastodon, megaloceros, riding dog, snapping turtle (giant), triceratops, or tyrannosaurus. At 7th level, he can also choose a dinosaur (deinonychus or velociraptor).
Medium beast riders can choose a camel or horse mount at 1st level. At 4th level, a Medium beast rider can also choose an allosaurus, ankylosaurus, arsinoitherium, aurochs, bison, brachiosaurus, elephant, glyptodon, hippopotamus, lion, mastodon, megaloceros, snapping turtle (giant), tiger, triceratops, or tyrannosaurus as his mount. Additional mounts might be available with GM approval.
In addition, a 7th-level or higher Medium beast rider can select any creature whose natural size is Large or Huge, provided that creature is normally available as a Medium-sized animal companion at 7th level (like a bear). To generate statistics for such a mount, apply the following modifications: Size Large; Ability Scores Str +2, Dex –2, Con +2. Increase the damage of each of the mount's natural attacks by one die size. A beast rider cannot choose a mount that is not capable of bearing his weight, that has fewer than four legs, or that has a fly speed (although the GM may allow mounts with a swim speed in certain environments).
Anytime a feat or ability allows a mount to make a hoof attack, it can make a claw, slam, or other analogous attack instead.
This ability replaces the standard cavalier's mount and expert trainer abilities.
Cavaliers serve many roles on the battlefield, from bold leaders and shock troops to dashing knights and mounted juggernauts. Some cavaliers, however, focus more on speed and mobility than they do on the raw power of the mounted charge. On foot or in the saddle, the emissary is usually first to meet the enemy, with a pointed lance, a drawn sword, or terms for surrender.
Armor Proficiency: An emissary does not gain proficiency with heavy armor.
In or Out of the Saddle (Ex): At 1st level, an emissary gains Mounted Combat as a bonus feat. In addition, he can move at normal speed when wearing medium armor. This ability replaces tactician.
Battlefield Agility (Ex): At 5th level, an emissary learns to be more aware of the threats that surround him in combat, and shares this awareness with his loyal steed. Both the emissary and his mount gain Mobility as a bonus feat. This ability replaces banner.
Mounted Acrobatics (Ex): At 9th level, an emissary is even more adept at hopping on and off his steed, and even dropping alongside its flanks mid-gallop. He gains Trick Riding as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. The emissary can employ this feat even when wearing medium armor. This ability replaces greater tactician.
Mounted Dervish (Ex): At 14th level, an emissary becomes a fearsome, mobile foe on the battlefield. He gains Mounted Skirmisher as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. In addition, whenever the emissary is mounted and takes the charge action, he adds 10 feet to his mount's speed. This ability replaces greater banner.
Erratic Charge (Ex): At 20th level, an emissary learns to ride through the thick of combat, striking and then moving away with blinding speed. Whenever the emissary is mounted and takes the charge action, he can first move 10 feet and make a melee attack. This first attack is not a charge, but a regular melee attack, and the movement counts toward the total allowed movement for the round. After making this attack, the emissary must still move in a straight line to reach the target of his charge, and he takes a –5 penalty on the attack roll for the attack at the end of his charge. This ability replaces supreme charge.
The gendarme cares less for the finer points of tactical precision than he does for the exhilaration of the charge: the rush of wind through the visor of his helmet, the feel of his couched lance, the satisfying shriek of armor giving way before his weapon's force as the point drives past metal into his foes.
Bonus Feats: A gendarme trains to be a mounted terror, almost to the exclusion of all other abilities. He gains bonus feats at 1st level, 5th level, and then every three levels thereafter, but must select these bonus feats from the following list: Improved Bull Rush, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, Spring Attack, and Unseat. If the gendarme has already selected all of the listed feats, then he may select his bonus feats from those feats listed as combat feats. This ability replaces tactician, greater tactician, master tactician, and the standard cavalier's selection of bonus feats.
Transfixing Charge (Ex): At 20th level, a gendarme represents the epitome of mounted combat. Whenever he makes a charge attack while mounted, he deals triple the normal damage (quadruple if using a lance); this damage includes all increases from the Spirited Charge feat and from the use of a lance. In addition, if the gendarme confirms a critical hit on a charge attack while mounted, the attack deals maximum damage for the weapon wielded. Additional damage from weapon properties, magic effects, precision-based bonuses, or other increases are rolled normally. This ability replaces supreme charge.
Certain cavaliers are trained not as advance combatants, but as loyal guards, standing as firm defenders in the face of threats to their chosen charge. These honor guards are sometimes merely ornamental, performing their functions on a ceremonial basis, but a surprising number are capable, deadly opponents, able to take down a threat long before their liege knows of the danger. To be an honor guard is to constantly place one's self in harm's way, and to always be willing to lay down one's life at a moment's notice.
Sworn Defense (Ex): At 1st level, whenever an honor guard issues a challenge, he can select one ally as his ward for the duration of the challenge. Whenever the honor guard is adjacent to his ward, he takes a –1 penalty to Armor Class, and the ward receives a +1 dodge bonus to AC. This modifies the challenge ability
Intercept (Ex): At 3rd level, an honor guard learns to better disrupt the attacks of his enemies. He gains Bodyguard (Advanced Player's Guide 151) as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisite. In addition, whenever the honor guard uses the aid another action to increase an ally's Armor Class, the bonus to Armor Class granted by the aid another action increases by +1. This ability replaces cavalier's charge.
Warding Charge (Ex): At 11th level, an honor guard can flash across the battlefield to protect his ward against the target of his challenge. Whenever the target of the honor guard's challenge makes an attack against his ward, the honor guard can move up to his speed and make a single melee attack against the target of his challenge as an immediate action. This movement and attack can be made as a charge if the movement qualifies. This ability replaces mighty charge.
Defensive Challenge (Ex): At 12th level, whenever an honor guard declares a challenge, his target must pay particular attention to him and his ability to intercept attacks. As long as the target is within the threatened area of the cavalier, it takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls against anyone other than the honor guard. This ability replaces demanding challenge.
Those who study the perfection of strategy and tactics know that picking the battlefield can grant advantages that only overwhelming numbers of allies can eclipse. The luring cavalier is a special type of cavalier that helps accomplish that goal. Typically, he uses a bow or other ranged weapon to lure opponents toward him, and then makes strategic retreats to position his enemies exactly where he wants them.
Far Challenge (Ex): Once per day, a luring cavalier can use his far challenge ability as a swift action. When he does, the luring cavalier chooses one target within sight to challenge. The luring cavalier's ranged attacks deal extra damage whenever the attacks are made against the target of his challenge. This extra damage is equal to the luring cavalier's level. The luring cavalier can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every three levels beyond 1st, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level. Furthermore, once per day, the luring cavalier may spend a use of his far challenge ability to double the potential extra damage of his ranged attack. Before making the attack roll, he can choose to spend a use of his challenge to deal twice his cavalier level in extra damage on a successful hit instead of just his cavalier level in extra damage. If the attack misses, the use of the challenge is wasted.
Challenging a foe requires subtle deceits and strategies. The cavalier must make it look like he is a soft target. The subject of the far challenge gains a +4 bonus on attack rolls made against him.
This challenge remains in effect until the target is dead or unconscious, until the target hits the luring cavalier with a melee attack, or until the combat ends. If this challenge ends because the target hits the luring cavalier with a melee attack, this challenge changes to the effects of the normal cavalier challenge, and gains any order benefit the luring cavalier has. Far challenge replaces the challenge ability.
Careful Aim (Ex): At 3rd level, when a luring cavalier makes a ranged attack with his highest base attack bonus, he can ignore the penalties for firing up to three range increments away. If he is using a firearm, he can target touch AC up to two range increments away. This effect stacks with effects that allow the cavalier to make ranged attacks farther without penalty or that allow him to target touch AC with a firearm beyond the first range increment. This ability replaces cavalier's charge.
Infuriating Aim (Ex): At 11th level, when a luring cavalier confirms a critical hit with a ranged attack made at his highest base attack bonus against the target of a far challenge, the target becomes infuriated for 1 round. While infuriated, the target must spend its turn moving closer to the cavalier, making move, run, or charge actions only (challenged creature's choice). This is a mind-affecting effect. This ability replaces mighty charge.
Versatile Challenge (Ex): At 12th level, a luring cavalier can expend a use of his challenge to gain the benefit of far challenge or the normal cavalier challenge. He can even change the type of challenge an opponent is under the effects of as a swift action, as long as the target of the challenge is within line of sight. This ability replaces demanding challenge.
Supreme Aim (Ex): At 20th level, the luring cavalier gains the careful aim bonus and the effect of infuriating aim on all ranged attacks. This ability replaces supreme charge.
Some cavaliers are entrusted by their masters with the care and use of expensive and powerful oddities—firearms. Capable of inflicting shocking amounts of destruction without the aid of magic, these musketeers lead the advance of their troops, firing devastating fusillades long before the enemy can prepare for the armed charge that follows.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A musketeer does not gain proficiency in heavy armor. Musketeers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with firearms. A cavalier's levels stack with any fighter levels he possesses for the purpose of meeting the level prerequisite for feats that specifically select a firearm, such as Weapon Specialization.
Gifted Firearm (Ex): At 1st level, a musketeer is gifted by his order with a firearm (either a pistol or a musket). This weapon is both a symbol of the cavalier's duty and a focus for much of his talent. He cannot sell this weapon. He also gains the Gunsmithing feat.
Beginning at 8th level, the musketeer can focus himself when wielding his gifted weapon. As a standard action, he can focus himself to gain a number of benefits for 1 minute per cavalier level. The musketeer can use this ability twice per day, plus one additional time per day for every four levels beyond 8th, to a total of five times per day at 20th level.
At 8th level, the cavalier gains the benefit of the Improved Critical feat. At 11th level, he can reduce the misfire chance of his weapon by 1 (to a minimum of 1), and at 17th level, the musketeer can double the range increment of his weapon. The reduction of the weapon's misfire chance and the doubled range increment abilities don't stack with the similar benefits of the reliable and distance magic weapon special abilities.
Finally, at 20th level, during a period of such focus, the musketeer can engage in a flurry of gunfire. The cavalier can expend one of his daily challenges to make a full attack with his firearm. The musketeer ignores the normal load times for his weapon, but must still expend enough doses of powder and enough bullets to complete each attack.
If the musketeer's gifted firearm is destroyed, the cavalier loses this ability for 30 days while a replacement weapon is crafted for him. During this 30-day period, the musketeer takes a –1 penalty on weapon and damage rolls. This ability replaces the standard cavalier's mount ability.
Swift Powder (Ex): At 4th level, the musketeer gains Rapid Reload (musket) or Rapid Reload (pistol) as a bonus feat. At 14th level, each time the musketeer issues a challenge, he may reload a wielded firearm as a free action. This ability replaces expert trainer.
Not all cavaliers are content to ride at the head of a charge, leading from the front and facing down their enemies directly. Some prefer to stand away from the fray, their banners a beacon shining brightly over the battlefield, rallying their troops to victory. The standard bearer employs the banner of his order, his lord, or his own house to raise the spirits of his allies and warns enemies of impending doom.
Mount (Ex): At 5th level, a standard bearer gains the service of a loyal and trusted mount. This mount is identical in all ways to the standard cavalier's mount. This ability replaces the standard cavalier's banner ability.
Awesome Pennon (Ex): At 20th level, a standard bearer's banner has become a powerful rallying point to his allies, and a bane to his foes. Whenever his banner is visible, allies of the standard bearer within 60 feet gain a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls, immunity to fear effects, and a +3 morale bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects. This ability replaces supreme charge.
Some cavaliers make a lifelong mission out of their exceptional ability to direct troops on the battlefield, combining tactical insight with a preternatural skill at improving the teamwork of their allies in order to win the day. Such strategists are masters at learning the strengths and weaknesses of those they fight alongside, and at employing those observations at the most opportune moments. The best of them are also skilled at determining the strengths and weaknesses of their enemies, as well as at countering some of those strengths with their own formidable abilities.
Tactician (Ex): As the cavalier class feature, except that a strategist can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day at 5th level and for every four levels thereafter (to a maximum of five times per day at 17th level).
Drill Instructor (Ex): At 4th level, a strategist learns to train his fellow adventurers in the nuances of squad combat. By spending 10 minutes and expending 1 use of his challenge ability, the strategist can grant the use of a teamwork feat that he knows to up to four of his allies, similar to the tactician ability. As with tactician, allies need not meet the prerequisites of the granted feat, but they retain the use of this feat for 10 minutes plus 1 minute for every two levels the cavalier possesses, as long as the cavalier is visible and can be heard by his allies. If the cavalier falls unconscious or cannot be both seen and heard, his allies lose the benefit of the granted feat until the condition is remedied. This ability replaces expert trainer.
Tactical Advantage (Ex): At 14th level, whenever a strategist uses his tactician ability to grant the use of a teamwork feat to his allies, he can move up to his speed as a free action either before or after granting the feat. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity normally. This ability replaces greater banner.
Strategic Supremacy (Ex): At 18th level, a strategist gains the ability not only to improve his allies' abilities, but also to disrupt the teamwork of his enemies. Whenever the strategist uses the tactician ability, he can choose to cancel out the effects of one teamwork feat employed by any of his opponents within 30 feet instead of granting the use of a teamwork feat to his allies. This ability replaces the cavalier's 18th-level bonus feat.