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Cavalier

While many warriors strive to perfect their art, spending all of their time honing their skill at martial arms, others spend as much effort dedicating themselves to a cause. These warriors, known as cavaliers, swear themselves to a purpose, serving it above all else. Cavaliers are skilled at fighting from horseback, and are often found charging across a battlefield, with the symbol of their order trailing on a long, fluttering banner. The cavalier’s true power comes from the conviction of his ideals, the oaths that he swears, and the challenges he makes.

Role: Cavaliers tend to marshal forces on the battlefield, using their mounted talents and challenges to control the flow of the fight. Outside of battle, cavaliers can be found advancing their cause through diplomacy and, if needed, subterfuge. The cavalier is no stranger to courtly intrigue and can hold his own in even the most delicate of social situations.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Points: 10 per level

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

Class Skills

The cavalier receives 1 rank in the following; Acrobatics, Artisan, Bluff, Diplomacy, Endurance, Feats of Strength, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (Local)*, Ride, and Survival.

* Knowledge (Local) is only gained if their Order does not give them Knowledge Local. If it does, they instead gain Knowledge (Nature)

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Cavalier
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Challenge, mount, order, tactician
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Order ability
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Cavalier’s charge
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Challenge technique, expert trainer
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Banner
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Bonus feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Challenge technique
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Order ability
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Greater tactician
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Challenge technique
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Mighty charge
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Bonus feat, demanding challenge
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Challenge technique
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Greater banner
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Order ability
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Challenge technique
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Master tactician
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Bonus feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Challenge technique
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Supreme tactician

Class Features

The following are the class features of the cavalier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Cavaliers receive proficiency with Simple weapons as well as Lances and any two weapon types (excluding Exotic) of their choice, and receive proficiency with all armor types (light, medium, heavy, and shields).

Challenge (Ex)

Cavalier can challenge a foe to combat as a swift action; the cavalier chooses one target within sight to challenge. The cavalier’s melee attacks deal extra damage whenever the attacks are made against the target of his challenge. This extra damage is equal to the cavalier’s level. Challenge can be used as many times per day as the cavalier wants, however it can only affect one target at a time, and a target cannot be affected by Challenge more than once per day.

Challenging a foe requires much of the cavalier’s concentration. The cavalier takes a –2 penalty to his Armor Class, except against attacks made by the target of his challenge.

The challenge remains in effect until the target is dead or unconscious or until the combat ends. Each cavalier’s challenge also includes another effect which is listed in the section describing the cavalier’s order.

Mount (Ex)

A cavalier gains the service of a loyal and trusty steed to carry him into battle. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using the cavalier’s level as his effective druid level. The creature must be one that he is capable of riding and is suitable as a mount.

A Medium cavalier can select an axebeak, camel, elk, giant seahorse, giant tortoise, horse, giraffe, or a zebra as a mount.

A Small cavalier can select an antelope, a capybara, giant weasel, lizard (giant gecko), kangaroo, pony, ram, reindeer, stag, wolf or wolfdog as a mount but can also select a boar or a dog if he is at least 4th level. The GM might approve other animals as suitable mounts.

The augmented companion, bodyguard, bully, daredevil, draconic, racer, and wrecker companion archetypes are all particularly appropriate for a cavalier’s mount.

A cavalier 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 Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. A cavalier’s mount does not gain the share spells special ability.

A cavalier’s bond with his mount is strong, with the pair learning to anticipate each other’s moods and moves. Should a cavalier’s mount die, the cavalier may find another mount to serve him after 1 week of mourning.

Order (Ex)

At 1st level, a cavalier must pledge himself to a specific order. The order grants the cavalier a number of bonuses, class skills, and special abilities. In addition, each order includes a number of edicts that the cavalier must follow. If he violates any of these edicts, he loses the benefits from his order’s challenge ability for 24 hours. The violation of an edict is subject to GM interpretation. A cavalier cannot change his order without undertaking a lengthy process to dedicate himself to a new cause. When this choice is made, he immediately loses all of the benefits from his old order. He must then follow the edicts of his new order for one entire level without gaining any benefits from that order. Once accomplished, he gains all of the bonuses from his new order. Note that the names of these orders might vary depending upon the campaign setting or GM’s preference.

The following orders can be chosen by both cavaliers and samurai.

Members of these orders are not necessarily bound together, but some organizations do exist that are comprised of cavaliers that all belong to one specific order.

Tactician (Ex)

At 1st level, a cavalier receives a teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. As a standard action, the cavalier can grant this feat to all allies within 30 feet who can see and hear him. Allies retain the use of this bonus feat for 3 rounds plus 1 round for every two levels the cavalier possesses. Allies do not need to meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. The cavalier can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day at 5th level and for every 5 levels thereafter.

Cavalier’s Charge (Ex)

At 3rd level, a cavalier learns to make more accurate charge attacks while mounted. The cavalier receives a +4 bonus on melee attack rolls on a charge while mounted (instead of the normal +2). In addition, the cavalier does not suffer any penalty to his AC after making a charge attack while mounted.

Challenge Technique

At 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter the cavalier learns a technique they can bring into fights against those they choose to challenge. Challenge techniques cannot be selected more than once unless otherwise specified.

  • Mounted Fury (Ex): While mounted the cavalier and their mount both receive a +2 morale bonus to AC against their challenged target.
  • Hurling Dismount (Ex): As a standard action or as part of a charge the cavalier can hurl themselves at foes by cleverly directing their mount to buck them towards the foe. While midair the cavalier does not provoke attacks of opportunity and upon reaching their final destination they can choose to either make a single weapon attack or combat maneuver, adding their charge bonus as appropriate. The distance for this ability is 20 feet + 5 feet for every 2 levels the cavalier is.
  • Momentum (Ex): For every 5 feet the cavalier moves on a charge add a +1 bonus to the attack roll (maximum bonus is equal to their level).
  • Frightening Charge (Ex): After making a charge the cavalier can make an intimidate check against all opponents within 20 ft. able to see and/or hear them. On a successful intimidate check, opponents are shaken for 1d4 + 1 round per level.
  • Extra Push (Ex): By spending 1 stamina the cavalier can double their mount’s movement speed until the beginning of their next turn.
  • To The Rescue (Ex): By spending 1 stamina the cavalier can move at their movement speed as an immediate action, ending up adjacent to an ally who is about to be hit with an attack. After moving, the attack roll is counted as going against the cavalier instead of their ally. If the attack would otherwise be a critical hit, the critical hit must be rerolled to confirm against the cavalier if it was already rolled against the ally.
  • Stalwart (Ex): So long as the cavalier has at least 1 point of stamina and is riding their mount, the cavalier and their mount cannot be tripped, grappled, bull rushed, or affected by the reposition combat maneuver.
  • Barreling Charge (Ex): By spending 1 stamina the cavalier can make a free Overrun or Bull Rush attempt as part of their charge while mounted, this combat maneuver uses either the mount or the cavalier’s bonuses (whichever would be higher). After performing this they can end their charge immediately behind the opponent (but take a -2 to AC) or can continue their charge.

Expert Trainer (Ex)

At 4th level, a cavalier learns to train mounts with speed and unsurpassed expertise. The cavalier receives a bonus equal to 1/2 his cavalier level whenever he uses Handle Animal on an animal that serves as a mount. In addition, he can reduce the time needed to teach a mount a new trick or train a mount for a general purpose to 1 day per 1 week required by increasing the DC by +5. He can also train more than one mount at once, although each mount after the first adds +2 to the DC.

At 5th level, a cavalier’s banner becomes a symbol of inspiration to his allies and companions. As long as the cavalier’s banner is clearly visible, all allies within 60 feet receive a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear and a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls made as part of a charge. At 10th level, and every five levels thereafter, these bonuses increase by +1. The banner must be at least Small or larger and must be carried or displayed by the cavalier or his mount to function.

Cavaliers can choose to swap out their banner for a new one as a standard action, altering its benefits. The following alternate banners are available when switching.

  • Fleet Standard (Ex): An ally who benefits from this standard increases her land speed by 5 feet and gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC during any round in which she moved at least 10 feet. This increase to land speed is an enhancement bonus. At 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the bonus to speed increases by 5 feet. At 14th level, an ally benefiting from the banner gains a +2 morale bonus on Reflex saving throws against effects that target an area, such as fireball or breath weapons. When the cavalier waves this standard, each ally within 60 feet can move up to her speed as an immediate action.
  • Jinx Standard (Ex): These grim fetishes are common among some cavaliers. An ally who benefits from this standard gains a +1 bonus on caster level checks to bypass spell resistance and a +1 bonus to the DC of her hexes and necromancy or enchantment spell she casts. At 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the bonus on caster level checks increases by 1. At 14th level, an ally benefiting from the banner gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against spells or effects that deal hit point damage. When the cavalier waves this standard, a number of allies equal to the cavalier Charisma modifier (minimum 1) within 60 feet can attempt an Intimidate check to demoralize a foe as an immediate action.
  • Knave Standard (Ex): An ally who benefits from this standard gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity provoked by movement and a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls that benefit from flanking. At 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the bonus to AC increases by 1. At 14th level, an ally benefiting from the banner gains sneak attack +1d6; this stacks with other sources of sneak attack. When the cavalier waves this standard, a number of allies equal to the cavalier’s Charisma modifier (minimum 1) within 60 feet can each attempt a feint against a foe she threatens as an immediate action.
  • Stalwart Standard (Ex): An ally who benefits from this standard gains a +2 morale bonus to CMD and a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls to creatures threatening an ally. At 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the bonus to CMD increases by +1. At 14th level, an ally benefiting from the banner is treated as one size category larger for the purposes of determining which creatures can affect him with combat maneuvers. When the cavalier waves this standard, each ally within 60 feet can move up to 10 feet without provoking attacks of opportunities and ignoring difficult terrain as an immediate action.

Bonus Feat

At 6th level, and at every six levels thereafter, a cavalier gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat feats or teamwork feats. The cavalier must meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats.

Greater Tactician (Ex)

At 9th level, the cavalier receives an additional teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. The cavalier can grant this feat to his allies using the tactician ability. Using the tactician ability is a swift action.

Mighty Charge (Ex)

At 11th level, a cavalier learns to make devastating charge attacks while mounted. Double the threat range of any weapons wielded during a charge while mounted. This increase does not stack with other effects that increase the threat range of the weapon. In addition, the cavalier can make a free bull rush, disarm, sunder, or trip combat maneuver if his charge attack is successful. This free combat maneuver does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Demanding Challenge (Ex)

At 12th level, whenever a cavalier declares a challenge, his target must pay attention to the threat he poses. As long as the target is within the threatened area of the cavalier, it takes a –5 penalty to its AC from attacks made by anyone other than the cavalier.

In addition to this, the Cavalier takes no penalty to AC and has DR/Adamantine against foes who are not the subject of their challenge.

Greater Banner (Ex)

At 14th level, the cavalier’s banner becomes a rallying call to his allies. All allies within 60 feet receive a +2 morale bonus on saving throws. In addition, while his banner is displayed, the cavalier can spend a standard action to wave the banner through the air, granting all allies within 60 feet an additional saving throw against any one spell or effect that is targeting them. This save is made at the original DC minus the Cavalier’s Charisma modifier. Spells and effects that do not allow saving throws are unaffected by this ability. An ally cannot benefit from this ability more than once per day.

Master Tactician (Ex)

At 17th level, the cavalier receives an additional teamwork feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. The cavalier can grant this feat to his allies using the tactician ability. Whenever the cavalier uses the tactician ability, he grants any two teamwork feats that he knows. He can select from any of his teamwork feats, not just his bonus feats.

Supreme Tactician (Ex)

At 20th level, whenever the cavalier makes a charge attack while mounted, he deals double the normal amount of damage (or triple if using a lance). In addition, if the cavalier confirms a critical hit on a charge attack while mounted, the target is stunned for 1d4 rounds. A Will save reduces this to staggered for 1d4 rounds. The DC is equal to 10 + the cavalier’s base attack bonus.

The cavalier gains a bonus teamwork feat, can grant up to three bonus feats with tactician, and increases the range of tactician by 90 feet.