Fioran Iron Bastion Prestige Class


Fioré , the fabled Kingdom of Steel. A land at war with the forces of the Beneath and the evils of the Tleyzu. Armsmen shield those who toil the land from the travails of the dark and the Children of Madragat, the Mother of Monsters. A land of knights and chivalry, lords and peasants, wealth and danger.

Rich in metals lacking in the older Shards, Fioré supports a powerful warrior culture of heavily armored combatants. Fioré’s Skyknights and Grimshrouds are perhaps the most famous of warrior brotherhoods, but certainly not the only two in this embattled land. Another is the Order of the Iron Bastion. An informal organization composed of independent armsmen committed to a common goal, namely the defense of non-armsmen from the perils of the Beneath and the Children of Madragat. Their code of honor isn’t as stringent as other martial organizations, and focuses on personal bravery in the face of overwhelming odds to protect the defenseless. Composed primarily of lesser landless sons, the scions of poorer gentry and lesser nobility, and children of merchants wealthy enough to buy a coat of arms and press their claim as gentlemen, hoping for glory and eventual elevation in station. Most Bastions ply the outskirts of the Fiore, seeking out border skirmishes, while others seek service with a greater lord and defend their liege’s fief. A small few even take their personal battle against evil to other Shards. The Order is not as prestigious as many others, and some arrogant members of more elite organizations refer to the Bastions disparagingly, calling them epithets such as Shield Maids, Ground-bounders, and Flat Heels. Fortunately, the Order is generally well liked by the common folk, and a Bastion is typically well received by less lofty folks.

Would-be Bastions may seek out entry at any of several Orderhaüsen of the Bastions around the Shard, presenting themselves to be judged worthy or not worthy. The Order considers membership a great honor and are somewhat selective, but part of their appeal is an accessibility to the less monetarily favored armsmen of the land. Each applicant and member is expected to maintain their own kit in a respectable manner, to include a large metal shield bearing a registered personal coat of arms. Entry into the organization is somewhat stringent, requiring that the would-be Bastion have a personal coat of arms, either inherited, awarded, or purchased. Possession of a personal coat of arms registered with the Royal Office of Heraldry and Honors is the first and minimum criteria for being counted among the gentry, a cut above the common folk. Those who have such a coat of arms are properly addressed as ‘Sir’, but this honor is rarely observed or even claimed save by truly experienced and battle-honored Bastions. Beyond this requirement, the would-be Bastion must have basic martial skills and be particularly adept at using a Shield in battle; furthermore, the applicant must be particularly hardy, stout of arm, and demonstrate a sound moral depth. Once a member is accepted, he or she agrees to pay a annual membership fee equal to 10% of their total yearly earnings; in return they gain access to the Orderhaüsen of the Bastions, where they may seek shelter and supplication when in need, and are given an Iron Amulet imprinted with an image of a Bastion Tower on the front, and inscribed with their membership information on the back, which they are expected to wear as a badge of honor. Additionally, the new Bastion is taught the basics of the Orders distinctive shield-oriented fighting style, and may return for further training as experience is gained.

Prerequisites
Base Attack Bonus: +5
Feats: Martial Weapon Proficiency with any one-handed melee weapon, Shield Expert (S&F), Shield Proficiency
Abilities: Con 13+, Str 13+
Alignment: Non-Evil, Non-Chaotic
Membership Fee: 10% of annual income, paid at the end of 1 year.
Requirement: The would-be Bastion must inherit, be awarded, or purchase a personal coat of arms from the Fioran Royal Office of Heraldry and Honors. Such coats of arms are often awarded by the Overking and the lesser Kings of Fiore for demonstrated personal bravery, skill at arms, and acts of heroism; coats of arms awarded by a King must include a special device called the Marke Royale, which is essentially an Iron Cross. The color of the Iron Cross is Purpure (Purple) if awarded by the Overking himself, otherwise it is Gules (Red). Multiple royal favors result in additional Iron Crosses allowed. As mentioned previously, a personal coat of arms is purchasable from the Royal Office of Heraldry, for a lordly sum, typically around 2500-10000 gold depending on the current strength of the economy {and the economics of individual DM's}. A person bearing a coat of arms is considered to be a member of the gentry and warrants the title of ‘Sir’, but is expected to adhere to traditional protocols of behavior. A personal coat of arms may bear any elements of classical heraldry and additional elements with special permission, save certain elements reserved for the various noble and royal Houses and pendent upon the approval of the Office of Heraldry and Honors. A personal coat of arms may be abated (marked with a dishonorable sign) or stricken by any King of Fiore for conduct unbecoming a bearer of a coat of arms.

Level    Attack    Fortitude    Reflex    Will    Abilities
1    +1    +2    +0    +0    Mighty Bashing
2    +2    +3    +0    +0    Stand Firm, Shield Push
3    +3    +3    +1    +1    Aegis of Iron
4    +4    +4    +1    +1    Arrowbane, Shield Rush
5    +5    +4    +1    +1    Break Charge

Hit Die: D10
Skill Points: Int Bonus + 2 / level
Skill List: Balance, Intimidate, Listen, Ride(horse), Spot
Class Abilities
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: This prestige class grants no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Iron Bastion: This style does not rely on the use of any specific type of weapon. However, the style is intended to be used in conjunction with large metal shields. Thus, all of the below abilities are usable with any melee weapon that the practitioner may employ one handed and is proficient with, including bare-handed (assuming the practitioner also has Improved Unarmed Combat) so long as he is currently employing a large metal shield.

Mighty Bashing: At 1st level the Fioran Iron Bastion trains to use his large shield to great effect in combat. When wielding a large metal shield in the off-hand, the practitioner gains a competence bonus to hit and damage equal to his class level when performing a Shield Bash. This is an extraordinary ability.

Stand Firm: At 2nd level the Fioran Iron Bastion has learned to absorb impact upon his shield. The practitioner receives a competence bonus equal to his class level to resist being knocked down versus opponents using Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Knock-Down, or Overrun against him. The practitioner must be standing and have a large metal shield readied; the practitioner may not use this ability if flat-footed or denied his Dexterity bonus to AC. This is an extraordinary ability.

Shield Push: At 2nd level the Fioran Iron Bastion has trained to shove opponents around using his shield. When using a large metal shield the Bastion may use Improved Bull Rush as a virtual feat even if lacking the prerequisites. This is an extraordinary ability.

Aegis of Iron: At 3rd level the Fioran Iron Bastion has trained to catch blows upon his shield to greater effect. When using a large metal shield the Bastion gains a greater AC bonus from a large metal shield than normal. At 3rd level, the Bastion gains a total of +3 AC from using a large metal shield instead of +2 AC, at 4th level this increases to +4 AC, and finally at 5th level this reaches +5 AC. This ability is stackable with enhancement bonuses. This is an extraordinary ability.

Arrowbane: At 4th level the Fioran Iron Bastion has trained to field projectiles upon his shield. He may use the Deflect Arrows feat as described on page 81 of the PHB even if lacking the prerequisites. The practitioner uses his shield to deflect the arrows. This is an extraordinary ability.

Shield Rush: At 4th level the Fioran Iron Bastion has trained to bowl opponents over using his shield. When using a large metal shield the Bastion may use Improved Overun as a virtual feat even if lacking the prerequisites. This is an extraordinary ability.

Break Charge: At 5th level the Fioran Iron Bastion has further developed the practice of taking blows upon his shield, even strikes from the mighty lance. When an opponent charges and successfully strikes a Bastion that is standing and has a large metal shield readied the practitioner may attempt to break the opponents charge as a free action. To do this, the Bastion must announce his intent and then immediately make an opposed attack roll using his shield against the charging opponents attack roll result. If the Bastions attack roll equals or exceeds the opponents attack roll, he has managed to absorb the attack upon his shield rather than on his person. The charging opponents attack is resolved as a successful Weapon Strike (PHB pg 136) against the practitioner’s shield following all normal rules for such a strike, regardless of the weapons type; however bludgeoning and piercing weapons only do half damage. This ability may only be used once per round regardless of circumstance. The practitioner may not use this ability if caught flat-footed or denied his Dexterity bonus to AC. This is an extraordinary ability.