Champion of the Deep

To Prestige Classes

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The Quintessential Paladin
Author Alejandro Melchor
Series Quintessential Series
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002
Pages 128
ISBN 1-903980-79-8
OGL Section 15 qpal
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Many evils lurk beneath the surface of the earth. Luckily, the forces of good have a foothold down there as well. Dwarven kingdoms and gnomish settlements have encountered many a strange and terrible creature in their underground expansion, not to mention the evil subterranean races that hide from the light in their deep caverns. Besieged by unknown enemies and with no chance to receive help, dwarves and Gnomes have developed unique tactics to defend their homes, and their champions are no exception. The champion of the deep is not limited in his manoeuvres by the confines of a subterranean passage. Cavalry is not something any cavern-bound force is noted for, and the champion of the deep uses this as an advantage. He and his mount are trained to move about with ease, even in close quarters, bringing the advantages of Mounted Combat into a medium where a mount is usually a great hindrance.

Champions of the deep are mostly found among dwarves, but many Gnomes have been known to ride into battle to protect their communities. While these warriors’ mounts range from warponies to dire animals, they have in common the uncanny ability to move in cramped conditions and still be an effective fighting force. Champions of the deep are naturally attracted to this specialisation, for they learn to exploit the benefits of their special mount to their fullest.

Hit Die: d10.

Requirements

Alignment: Lawful good.
Base Attack Bonus: +5 or higher.
Skills: Ride (Dexterity) 8 ranks, Listen 5 ranks.
Feats: Mounted Combat.
Special: Darkvision or Low-Light Vision. The character must also have the Special Mount class feature or an animal companion serving as a mount.

Class Skills

The champion of the deep’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dexterity), Climb (Strength), Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Handle Animal (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Intuit Direction (Wisdom), Jump (Strength), Listen (Wisdom), Profession (Wisdom), and Ride (Dexterity).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

The Champion of the Deep
Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Blindsight 5ft.
2 +2 +3 +0 +0 Close Quarters Charge
3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Wall Charge
4 +4 +4 +1 +1 Blindsight 10ft.
5 +5 +4 +1 +1 Mount Burrow

Class Features

Armour and Weapon Proficiency: Champions of the deep are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are proficient with all types of armour and with shields. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, , Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a –1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armour, equipment, or loot carried.

Blindsight (Ex): The first thing a champion of the deep learns is to be effective even in magical darkness or when deprived of his senses. Through a combination of hearing and sheer battle senses, the character can perceive his surroundings without the need of sight up to 5 feet away at 1st level, and up to 10 feet away at 4th level. He is not subject to gaze attacks and suffers no penalty from blinding attacks, although deafening attacks work normally. The champion of the deep can share his Blindsight ability with an animal companion with whom he shares an empathic link, like a paladin’s special mount or a wizard or sorcerer’s familiar.

Close Quarters Charge (Ex): When performing a mounted charge, the champion of the deep does not need to move in a straight line, as long as he does not turn more than 90 degrees nor backs up.

Wall Charge (Su): When performing a mounted charge, the champion of the deep can move up and down a straight wall as if his mount was under the effects of the Spider Climbspell, but moving at its full speed. He must start and end his movement on a horizontal surface. If his round’s movement ends while he and his mount are still on a vertical surface, he starts falling.

Mount Burrow (Su): At this level, the champion of the deep becomes a true subterranean denizen, whenever he and his special mount are together, the mount gains a burrowing speed equal to half his walk speed. The rider must specify a destination and, while burrowing, he can sense the direction he must go at all times. Whether the destination is a few feet or several miles away is of no relevance.

Multiclass Note: paladins can gain levels in the champion of the deep class and still be able to advance as paladins.

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