Vanguard Commander

Leading the front of the assault, some warlords opt for heavier armor and the protection of a shield to lead their troops to battle. These warlords are often referred to as vanguards due to their bravery in the theater of war, marching in first and waving the flag to victory.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The vanguard commander is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all armor and shields (except tower shields).

This ability replaces the warlord’s standard weapon and armor proficiencies.


The vanguard commander gains access to Iron Tortoise and loses access to Solar Wind. Instead of adding either Piercing Thunder or Tempest Gale to his list of available disciplines, a bannerman adds Eternal Guardian. If he does not have a discipline’s associated skill as a class skill, he gains it as a class skill.

This alters the warlord’s maneuvers.

Improved Shield Bash

The vanguard commander gains the Improved Shield Bash feat as a bonus feat at 1st level.

This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level, and bonus feats resume as normal at 6th level and on.

Warlord’s Gambit (Ex)

The vanguard commander gains access to a new gambit, the Guardian’s Gambit, and gains this as one of his two initial gambits known.

Guardian’s Gambit

Risk: The warlord attempts a successful charging shield bash attack against an opponent.

Reward: If the shield bash attempt is successful, the warlord and all allies within 30-ft. may make a free 5-ft. step, even if they have already made one this turn.

Daring Defense (Ex)

The vanguard commander rushes the enemy lines, heedless of personal danger, with bold charges and bolder personality. This headstrong determination gives rise to vanguard commanders having an almost uncanny luck at avoiding dangers. The vanguard commander may add his warlord initiation modifier to his Dexterity modifier to determine his Reflex save bonus. If the character is ever able to add his warlord initiation modifier to his Reflex save through use of another ability (for example. the paladin’s divine grace) he may only add his warlord initiation modifier once to his Reflex save.

This ability replaces force of personality.

Defensive Prowess (Ex)

The vanguard commander lives to inspire his troops, and by training diligently to best defend himself in the midst of heavy combat he has developed techniques for higher survivability. While in a Golden Lion or Iron Tortoise stance, the vanguard commander reduces his armor check penalty by 1, gains a +1 competence bonus to his existing shield bonus to his Armor Class, and adds a +1 competence bonus to his CMD. This improves by +1 at 12th level, and again at 19th level.

This ability replaces the battle prowess class feature.

Heightened Defenses (Ex)

The vanguard commander is a capable warrior who can blend both defense and offense together with precision. A number of times per day equal to 1 + his warlord initiation modifier (minimum 1), the vanguard defender can initiate a counter without using an immediate action (even if he’s flat-footed). He can only use this ability once per round.

This ability replaces the dual boost class feature.

Vanguard’s Shield (Ex)

The vanguard commander is lightning fast with his shield for both defense and offense. Whenever the vanguard initiates a melee strike or uses a counter to defend against an attack from an adjacent foe, he may make a shield bash attempt as free action at his full base attack bonus against that creature.

This ability replaces the tactical assistance class feature.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Path of War, © 2014, Dreamscarred Press.

Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.

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