Sylvan Defender

In the depths of ancient forests can be found the communities of the wood elves. The elves mostly live in small, scattered bands, made up of a few families. They would be easy prey for monsters and rapacious humanoids, but the elves have learned how to defend themselves. In the forefront of their defenses are the sylvan defenders, an order of elf knights charged with protecting the forests and the fair folk living therein. The order includes many of the greatest scions of the ruling houses of the elves in its ranks, and can make a strong claim to being the oldest surviving knightly order in the world.

Sylvan defenders are usually multiclassed ranger/knights.  It is possible for other character classes to take this prestige class (druid/knights or fighter/knights are the most likely to do this) but the entry requirements make this rare. While wood elves make up the majority of sylvan defenders, elves of other subraces can also join their ranks. Some of the larger wood elf communities are led by high elves, and their warriors often take this prestige class. It's even said that one or two drow have become sylvan defenders, but whether there's any truth to this is hard to ascertain.


Requirements

Race: Elf or half-elf.

Alignment: Lawful good or neutral good.

Base Attack Bonus: +6.

Skills: Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 5 ranks, Survival 9 ranks.

Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Endurance, Mobility, Track, Weapon Focus (bow or sword).

Special: Must follow the elf knight's code of honour, and be part of a wood elf community.

Class Statistics

Hit Die: d10

Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str).

Skill Points/Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Level

Base
Attack Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save


Special

1

+1

+2

+0

+2

Woodland stride

2

+2

+3

+0

+3

Aura of courage

3

+3

+3

+1

+3

Trackless step

4

+4

+4

+1

+4

Speak with animals

5

+5

+4

+1

+4

Tree stride 1/day

6

+6

+5

+2

+5

Speak with plants

7

+7

+5

+2

+5

Nature's fury

8

+8

+6

+2

+6

Tree stride 3/day

9

+9

+6

+3

+6

Stone tell

10

+10

+7

+3

+7

Swiftness of the wind

Special Abilities

All the following are class abilities for the sylvan defender.

Weapon and armour proficiency: The sylvan defender is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, shields and all types of armour.

Woodland Stride (Ex): The sylvan defender may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her.

Aura of Courage (Su): At 2nd level, the sylvan defender becomes immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This ability functions while the sylvan defender is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.

Trackless Step (Ex): At 3rd level, the sylvan defender leaves no trail in natural surroundings, and cannot be tracked. She can choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Speak With Animals (Sp): At 4th level, the sylvan defender gains this as a spell-like ability, usable once per day.

Tree Stride (Sp): At 5th level, the sylvan defender can move magically through a forest, as if via the tree stride spell. She can use this ability once per day. At 8th level, she can use this ability three times per day.

Speak With Plants (Sp): At 6th level, the sylvan defender gains this as a spell-like ability, usable once per day.

Nature's Fury (Ex): At 7th level, the sylvan defender can act as if under the effects of a haste spell for a total of 1 round per class level per day. These rounds need not be consecutive.

Stone Tell (Sp): At 9th level, the sylvan defender gains this as a spell-like ability, usable once per day.

Swiftness of the Wind (Ex): At 10th level, the sylvan defender gains Improved Rapid Strike as a bonus feat. She can make an extra attack roll at her highest bonus as part of the attack action, but that attack roll and all other attack rolls for 1 round suffer a 2 penalty. This does not give the sylvan defender extra attacks as part of a full attack action.


Sample Sylvan Defender

A lithe woman in green and wielding a composite longbow, Velenya Silverthorn is the one of the younger daughters of an ancient wood elf noble house. Bored of living a (relatively) luxurious life with her family, and desiring to make a name for herself to match the elven heroines of legend, she joined the sylvan defenders. After many years fighting against marauding packs of orcs, she's lost some of her initial brashness, but not her stubbornness or resolve.

Velenya Silverthorn: Wood elf female kgt4/rgr3/sylvan defender 5; CR 12; Medium Humanoid (elf); HD 3d8+9d10+36 (108 hp); Init +4; Spd 30 ft; AC 21 (touch 14, flat-footed 17); BAB +12; Grap +15; Atk +17/+12/+7 melee (1d8+4/1920, +1 longsword), or +20/+15/+10 ranged (1d8+5/x3 plus 1d6 cold, +2 frost composite longbow), or +18/+18/+13/+8 ranged (1d8+5/x3 plus 1d6 cold, +2 frost composite longbow); SA Spells, spell-like abilities; SQ Aura of courage, combat style, favored enemy orcs +2, wild empathy, trackless step, woodland stride, wood elf traits; AL NG; SV Fort +16, Ref +11, Will +13; Str 17, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 13.

Skills and Feats: Balance +8, Diplomacy +8, Heal +6, Hide +15, Jump +10, Knowledge (nature) +7, Knowledge (nobility) +5, Listen +8, Move Silently +15, Search +4, Spot +8, Survival +11, Tumble +11, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Endurance, Mobility, Point-Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Shot on the Run, Track, Weapon Focus (longbow), Weapon Focus (longsword).

Ranger Spells Prepared (1; save DC 12 + spell level): 1st endure elements.

Device of Honour: Velenya wears the symbol of her house, a white rose and thorn, displayed prominently on her tunic.

Combat Style (Ex): Velenya has selected archery. She gains the Rapid Shot feat without having to meet the normal prerequisites.

Favored Enemy (Ex): Velenya gains a +2 bonus on her Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot and Survival checks when using these skills against orcs. She gets the same bonus on weapon damage rolls against orcs.

Wild Empathy (Ex): Velenya can improve the attitude of an animal in the same way a Diplomacy check can improve the attitude of a sentient being. She rolls 1d20+4, or 1d20 if attempting to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2.

Woodland Stride (Ex): Velenya may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect her.

Aura of Courage (Ex): Velenya is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This ability functions while she is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.

Trackless Step (Ex): Velenya leaves no trail in natural surroundings, and cannot be tracked. She can choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day speak with animals, tree stride. Caster level 5th.

Wood Elf Traits (Ex): Immunity to magic sleep spells and effects; +2 racial bonus on saves against enchantments; entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door.

Equipment: +2 frost composite longbow (+3 Strength bonus), +1 longsword, +2 mithral breastplate, lesser bracers of archery, gloves of Dexterity +4, amulet of Constitution +2, ring of resistance +2, 20 arrows.


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