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Barrier Sentinel

Art by Satoshi Kamanaka (C) Samurai Sheepdog 2021, used with permission.

Important people often need protection. From merchant caravans and adventuring parties to princesses and kings, the need for a bodyguard is something that is in high demand. When a loyal, vigilant defender is needed, many turn to the protective expertise of barrier sentinels.

Role: Barrier sentinels are living walls that specialize in withstanding any type of offense. Well trained and disciplined, sentinels protect their party by drawing enemies’ attention and punishing them for going after their allies.


Note: The barrier sentinel is an alternate class for the unchained barbarian class.

Alignment: Any non-chaotic. A barrier sentinel who becomes chaotic loses the ability to focus and cannot gain more levels as a barrier sentinel. She retains all other benefits of the class.

Hit Die: d12.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The barrier sentinel’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Linguistics (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Veritus Champion
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Barrier focus, tactical initiative (+2)
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Focus power, vital reflexes
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Attentive mind +1, reflexive guardian
4th +4 +1 +4 +1 Armor training, tactical initiative +4
5th +5 +1 +4 +1 Improved focus, opportunist
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +2 Attentive mind +2, focus power
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +2 Damage reduction 1/–
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +2 Armor training, reflexive guardian
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +3 Attentive mind +3
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +3 Damage reduction 2/–, focus power
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +3 Greater focus, stalwart
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +4 Armor training, attentive mind +4
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +4 Damage reduction 3/–, tactical initiative +6
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +4 Focus power
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +5 Attentive mind +5
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +5 Armor training, damage reduction 4/–
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Tireless focus
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6 Attentive mind +6, focus power
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Damage reduction 5/–
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Bastion focus, tactical initiative +8

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the generational hero.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A barrier sentinel is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and shields (including tower shields).

Barrier Focus (Ex)

A barrier sentinel can call upon inner reserves of awareness and tenacity, granting her additional defensive prowess. Starting at 1st level, a barrier sentinel can enter a special stance known as barrier focus for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + her Constitution modifier. At each level after 1st, she can focus for 2 additional rounds. Temporary increases to Constitution, such as those gained from spells like bear’s endurance, do not increase the total number of rounds that a barrier sentinel can focus per day. A barrier sentinel can begin using barrier focus as a move action and maintain it each round as a free action. The total number of rounds of barrier focus per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Using barrier focus counts as fighting defensively, but functions differently. The barrier sentinel gains a +2 bonus to her Armor Class (as a deflection bonus) and Reflex saving throws, and a +4 bonus to her Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD). In addition, she takes a –2 penalty to weapon damage rolls. She also gains 2 temporary hit points per barrier sentinel Hit Die. These temporary hit points are lost first when a character takes damage, disappear when she breaks focus, and are not replenished if the barrier sentinel uses barrier focus again within 1 minute of her previous use.

A barrier sentinel can break her focus as a free action. Afterward, she is fatigued for a number of rounds equal to 2 times the number of rounds spent focused. A barrier sentinel cannot use focus while fatigued or exhausted but can otherwise use barrier focus multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If a barrier sentinel falls unconscious, her focus immediately breaks, placing her in peril of death.

Tactical Initiative (Ex)

At 1st level, a barrier sentinel gains a +2 bonus on Initiative checks that she can use for herself or grant to an ally she can see and that can see and hear her as a free action. The barrier sentinel can choose after initiative is rolled but before the beginning of the first round.

At 4th level, and again at 13th and 20th level, a barrier sentinel gains an additional +2 bonus she can use or distribute to her allies’ initiative. These bonuses stack with themselves, but not with similar bonuses granted by other barrier sentinels; nor do they stack with the Improved Initiative feat beyond the initial +2.

Focus Powers

As a barrier sentinel gains levels, her barrier focus teaches her new combat techniques. At 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter, the sentinel gains a focus power. A barrier sentinel gains the benefits of focus powers only while focused. Some of these powers are always active while the sentinel remains focused, and others require the sentinel to take an action to use them. Unless otherwise noted, a barrier sentinel cannot select an individual power more than once.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered barrier sentinel level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), the sentinel can choose to learn a new focus power in place of one she already knows. In effect, the sentinel loses the old focus power in exchange for the new one. A barrier sentinel may swap only a single focus power at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the focus power as soon as she gains the level.

A full list of focus powers can be found here.

Vital Reflexes (Ex)

At 2nd level, a barrier sentinel gains Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat. She can make a number of additional attacks of opportunity equal to her Dexterity modifier + half her barrier sentinel level (minimum 1).

While using barrier focus, a barrier sentinel can trade her additional attacks of opportunity for greater damage against the creatures that provoke them. At 2nd level, she can trade 1 attack to roll her weapon’s damage dice twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

At 6th level, she can trade up to 2 attacks to roll three times. At 11th level, she can trade up to 3 attacks to roll four times.

Attentive Mind (Ex)

At 3rd level, a barrier sentinel gains a +1 bonus on Will saves and a +1 bonus on Perception checks to avoid being surprised by a foe. These bonuses increase by 1 every 3 levels thereafter (to a maximum of +6 at 18th level). This ability counts as trap sense for any feat or class prerequisite, and can be replaced by any archetype class feature that replaces trap sense. The bonuses gained from this ability stack with those gained from trap sense (if the barrier sentinel has trap sense from another class).

Reflexive Guardian (Ex)

At 3rd level, a barrier sentinel can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who attacks an ally adjacent to the barrier sentinel while she threatens the creature. A creature can only draw one attack of opportunity in this way each round.

Beginning at 8th level, the sentinel’s ally no longer has to be adjacent to the sentinel for an opponent to trigger reflexive guardian.

Armor Training (Ex)

Starting at 4th level, a barrier sentinel learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever she is wearing armor, she reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by her armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –4 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +4 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed.

In addition, a barrier sentinel can also move at her normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 8th level, a barrier sentinel can move at her normal speed while in heavy armor.

Advanced Armor Training: Beginning at 8th level, instead of increasing the benefits provided by armor training (reducing her armor’s check penalty by 1 and increasing its maximum Dexterity bonus by 1), a barrier sentinel can choose an advanced armor training option. If the sentinel does so, she still gains the ability to move at her normal speed while wearing medium armor at 4th level, and while wearing heavy armor at 8th level.

Improved Focus (Ex)

At 5th level, a barrier sentinel can use barrier focus as a free action. She must still activate focus power stances as a move action.

Opportunist (Ex)

At 5th level, a barrier sentinel can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. The barrier sentinel can only use opportunist once per round, even if she has attacks of opportunity remaining.

Damage Reduction (Ex)

At 7th level, a barrier sentinel gains damage reduction. Each time the sentinel takes damage from a weapon or natural attack, subtract 1 from the damage taken. At 10th level and every 3 levels thereafter, this damage reduction rises by 1 point (up to 5 points at 19th level). Damage Reduction can reduce damage to 0, but not below 0.

Greater Focus (Ex)

At 11th level, a barrier sentinel’s bonus to Armor Class and Reflex saving throws while focused increases to +3, and her bonus to CMD increases to +6. In addition, the amount of temporary hit points gained when using barrier focus increases to 3 per Hit Die.

Stalwart (Ex)

At 11th level, a barrier sentinel can use mental and physical resiliency to avoid certain attacks. If she makes a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, she instead avoids the effect entirely. A helpless barrier sentinel does not gain the benefit of the stalwart ability.

Tireless Focus (Ex)

At 17th level, a barrier sentinel is no longer fatigued when she breaks her focus. If she uses barrier focus again within 1 minute of breaking her focus, she doesn’t gain any temporary hit points from her focus.

Bastion Focus (Ex)

At 20th level, a barrier sentinel’s bonus to Armor Class and Reflex saving throws while focused increases to +4, and her bonus to CMD increases to +8. In addition, the amount of temporary hit points gained when using barrier focus increases to 4 per Hit Die.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have fighters as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

Table: Alternate Favored Class Bonuses
Race Bonus Source
Dwarf Add 1 to the sentinel’s total number of barrier focus rounds per day. SSD: LoT
Elf Add +1/4 the the points of initiative the sentinel may grant with her Tactical Initiative ability (to a maximum of +4). SSD: LoT
Gnome Add a +1/2 bonus on Perception checks. SSD: LoT
Gnoll Deal +1/4 damage when using accurate stance. SSD: LoT
Half-Elf Deal +1/3 damage with attacks of opportunity. SSD: LoT
Half-Orc Add +1/4 to the competence bonuses granted by strength stance. SSD: LoT
Halfling Add +1/2 to the barrier sentinel’s bonus to AC with the danger sense focus power. SSD: LoT
Human Gain 1/6 of a focus power. SSD: LoT


Section 15: Copyright Notice

Lands of Theia, © 2021,Samurai Sheepdog; authors Steven Rasheed James, Kevin Glusing.