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Palladian Defender

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) Title: Pallas Athena Date 1898, Palladian Defender
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) Title: Pallas Athena Date 1898

The priestess who guards her temple during the sack of her city, the warrior who holds a gate against an oncoming horde, the champion who fights an army to buy his comrades time – all these exemplify the spirit of the Palladian defender. The Palladian defender blends the power of an exemplary defensive fighter with the sacred might of an Athenian priest, becoming a bulwark against invaders, and bolstering her allies in the face of danger.

Relics & Rituals: Olympus

© 2004 White Wolf Publishing, Inc. Distributed for Sword and Sorcery Studios by White Wolf Publishing, Inc.

By W. Jason Peck, Aaron Rosenberg, Christina Stiles and Relics & Rituals: Olympus team

Clerics of Athena or other civic gods stand to gain the most from taking levels in Palladian defender, although paladins with a strong sense of community may also find themselves drawn to the path.

NPC Palladian defenders are most common in areas where Athena is a popular local goddess, though even then they are relatively rare. They usually play some sort of role in the defense of a city, either serving in the military or in the Athenian priesthood. While player-controlled Palladian defenders are often sent on the offensive, to strike preemptively at the threats facing their communities, NPC Palladian defenders are more likely to remain within the territories they’re sworn to protect.

Hit Die: d10.


To qualify to become a Palladian defender, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Lawful good, lawful neutral or neutral good.
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Intimidate 4 ranks
Feats: Diehard, Weapon Focus (longspear)
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast shield other


The Palladian defender class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Handle Animal (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Intimidate (Charisma), Knowledge (history) (Intelligence), Knowledge (religion) (Intelligence), Knowledge (the planes) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom), Ride (Dexterity), and Spellcraft (Intelligence).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

The Palladian Defender
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialSpells per Day
1st+1+2+0+0War song
2nd+2+3+0+0Shield wall+1 level of spellcasting class
4th+4+4+1+1Elysian field+1 level of spellcasting class
5th+5+4+1+1Terrible cry
6th+6+5+2+2+1 level of spellcasting class
7th+7+5+2+2Shield specialist
8th+8+6+2+2Redoubtable phalanx+1 level of spellcasting class
10th+10+7+3+3dancing weapon+1 level of spellcasting class

Class Features

All of the following are features of the Palladian defender prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Palladian defender is proficient with simple and martial weapons, and with all forms of armor and shields.

Spells per Day: At 2nd level, and at every other level thereafter, a Palladian defender with levels in a divine spellcasting class gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in whatever divine spellcasting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (extra uses of remove disease as a spell-like ability, turning undead and so on). In effect, she divides her Palladian defender level by 2 and adds that to the level of whatever other divine spellcasting class the character may possess, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

If a character had more than one divine spellcasting class before she became a Palladian defender, she must decide to which class she adds each alternate level of Palladian defender for the purpose of determining spells per day.

War Song (Su): When they are accepted into the order, newly made Palladian defenders learn the art of the war song. Through the combination of inspiring verse and the character’s own personal faith, the Palladian defender may bolster the morale of her allies and grant them supernatural protections.

At 1st level, the Palladian defender’s war song grants a +1 morale bonus to Armor Class and saving throws for every ally within 60 feet of the character. For allies within 10 feet, this bonus increases to +2.

  • At 3rd level, all affected allies gain an additional +2 morale bonus to their saves against magical fear effects.
  • At 6th level, the bonus against magical fear increases to +4.
  • At 9th level, all affected allies become immune to magical fear effects.

The war song requires a standard action to begin, and cannot be disrupted, except for conditions (such as magical silence) that prevent the character’s allies from hearing it. The war song does not affect a deafened character. If the character ceases singing for any reason, that usage of the war song ends. The Palladian defender may maintain her war song by using either a standard action or a move-equivalent action each round. In effect, while she is singing her war song, she can either move or fight, but not both in the same round.

The Palladian defender may not cast any spells that require a verbal component while maintaining her war song, but she could (for example) cast silenced spells with her standard action. A Palladian defender may begin her war song a number of times per day equal to her Constitution modifier (with a minimum of 1 time per day).

Shield Wall (Ex): At 2nd level, the Palladian defender may use her longspear in one hand without any penalty.

Elysian Field (Ex): At 4th level, a Palladian defender’s dedication to her cause inspires her to acts of great hardiness. The character no longer dies at -10 hit points. Instead, she now dies when her hit point total is equal to or less than her negative Constitution score. If her Constitution score is less than 10, this ability has no effect.

Terrible Cry (Sp): At 5th level, the Palladian defender gains the ability to use her war song to dishearten her enemies. While her war song is in effect, all hostile creatures within 60 feet of the character must make a Willpower saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the character level + Constitution modifier) or suffer a -1 penalty on attacks, damage, saving throws, and skill checks. All enemies within 10 feet that fail their save take a -2 penalty on these checks, and are considered shaken.

The terrible cry ability affects creatures that are considered hostile (see the Diplomacy skill description for details), even if they are not engaged in combat.

Shield Specialist (Ex): By 7th level, the Palladian defender has mastered the use of her shield for defensive purposes. She can now protect any allies within five feet, allowing them to substitute the Palladian defender’s shield bonus to Armor Class for their own (if the Palladian defender’s bonus is greater). Allies who leave the 5-foot radius around the Palladian defender loose this bonus immediately (and do not, for example, retain it if they provoke an attack of opportunity).

Redoubtable Phalanx (Su): By 8th level, the Palladian defender’s war song is such a potent force that while the war song is active, all allies within ten feet of the character come under the effects of a shield other spell, as if cast by the Palladian defender. Unlike a normal application of the spell, the damage taken by the Palladian defender is considered nonlethal damage. The shield other effect provided by this ability continues only so long as the Palladian defender maintains her war song.

The Palladian defender may choose whether or not to lace her war song with the redoubtable phalanx ability, but she must make that choice when she begins the war song. Once she has added the redoubtable phalanx ability to her war song, she must end the song in order to suspend this effect.

Dancing Weapon (Sp): As a standard action, a 10th-level Palladian defender may release any melee weapon that she used to harm a foe the previous round (i.e., dealt hit point damage with) and cause it to dance in a manner similar to the dancing special magic weapon property. The weapon fights using the Palladian defender’s base attack bonus, and retains any enhancement bonuses and special qualities, but does not use the character’s Strength adjustment. The weapon dances for a number of rounds equal to the Palladian defender’s Constitution score.

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