Some antipaladins serve or ally themselves with villains who are bent on earthly conquest. They care nothing for the intricacies of divine spellcasting, but malevolent energy still surrounds them. Whether alone or at the head of a marauding host, these cruel warriors bring suffering and death—but their presence also heralds the coming of a greater evil.
Dread vanguards have the following class features.
A dread vanguard unleashes the powers of his vile masters to strengthen both himself and his allies.
At 4th level and every 4 level thereafter, a dread vanguard gains one additional use of his touch of corruption ability per day. As a standard action, he can spend a use of his touch of corruption ability to manifest the darkness in his soul as an area of flickering shadows with a 30-foot radius centered on him. These shadows don’t affect visibility. The antipaladin and all allies in the area gain a +1 morale bonus to AC and on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear, and also ignore the first 5 points of hardness when attacking unattended inanimate objects. This lasts for 1 minute, as long as the dread vanguard is conscious.
At 8th level, the aura grants fast healing 3 to the dread vanguard as well as to his allies while they remain within it. Additionally, while this aura is active, the antipaladin can use his touch of corruption ability against any targets within its radius by making a ranged touch attack.
At 12th level, when he activates this ability, a dread vanguard can choose to increase the radius of one antipaladin aura he possesses to 30 feet. Also, the morale bonus granted to AC and on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear increases to +2.
At 16th level, the fast healing granted by this ability increases to 5. Additionally, the antipaladin’s weapons and those of his allies within the aura’s radius are considered evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
At 20th level, the beacon of evil’s radius increases to 60 feet, and the morale bonus granted to AC and on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear increases to +4. Lastly, attacks made by the dread vanguard and his allies within the aura’s radius are infused with pure unholy power, and deal an additional 1d6 points of damage.
This ability replaces the spells class feature. A dread vanguard does not gain any spells or spellcasting abilities, cannot use spell trigger or spell completion magic items, and does not have a caster level from this class.
At 14th level, a dread vanguard becomes a true messenger of the forces of darkness he serves. Once per day, the dread vanguard can expend two uses of his touch of corruption ability to mark one location within 60 feet with the stain of evil. This location can be any point in space, but the ability works best if placed on an altar, shrine, or other site important to a community.
Creatures must save against each effect individually, and the effects stack. The caster level for all effects is equal to the dread vanguard’s class level. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the antipaladin’s level + his Charisma modifier.
A location remains marked in this way for up to 1 day per antipaladin level. During this time, the crushing despair and symbols are triggered when the first target enters each spell’s area. They remain active for 10 minutes, then can be triggered again if targets are within range. If the effects are disabled, they become inactive for 10 minutes, but then can be triggered again as normal. Dispel magic and similar spells suppress the effects, and all effects of dark emissary can be removed by a consecrate spell cast on the location by a cleric of a level equal to or higher than the dread vanguard.
Allies or evil creatures who serve the same power or organization as the dread vanguard are immune to the crushing despair and symbol effects, and automatically know that the location has been marked for their masters. They can treat this location as very familiar for the purpose of teleport and similar spells and can use scrying and related spells as though they were familiar with any subject within 20 feet of it. At 14th level, a dread vanguard can have one marked site active at a time. At 17th and 20th levels, he can add one additional site that is simultaneously active. Marking a new site beyond this limit ends all effects on the oldest active site.
This ability replaces aura of sin.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Player Companion: Champions of Corruption © 2014, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Paris Crenshaw, Jim Groves, Sean McGowen, and Philip Minchin.