Welcome to 20th-level week! It’s been a while since we devoted an entire week to 1st-level characters, but we’ve decided that now is the time to spend a week celebrating the cream of the crop, and the highest heights of the game. Whether you got there the hard way after a years-long epic super campaign, or decided to start at the top for a change of pace, being 20th-level is fun. Today’s three archetypes are all fairly short (by our standards), but they have one thing in common: alternate 20th-level endcap abilities. Exciting? We certainly think so.
New Fighter Archetype
These tough-as-nails fighters are truly unstoppable forces on the battlefield. Focused on defense, they can be counted on to hold the line for as long as it takes.
Durable (Ex): At 2nd level, a juggernaut’s maximum hit points increase by 5. At 4th level, and every 2 levels thereafter, they increase by an additional 5 (to a maximum of 50 additional hit points at 20th level).
This ability replaces the bravery class feature.
Improved Defense (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, as long as a juggernaut is wearing medium or heavy armor, he gains a +1 competence bonus to AC. Every four levels thereafter (9th, 13th, and 17th), this bonus increases by 1 (to a maximum of +4 at 17th level).
This ability replaces the weapon training class feature.
Unkillable (Ex): At 20th level, a juggernaut becomes practically indestructible. If reduced to 0 hit points or fewer, a juggernaut automatically stabilizes. A juggernaut that has been reduced to 0 or fewer hit points does not automatically fall unconscious, but is staggered for as long as he has 0 or fewer hit points. Each round in which he takes any action, he suffers 1 point of damage. The juggernaut does not die unless he has a number of negative hit points equal to 5 times his Constitution modifier. Finally, the juggernaut is immune to death effects.
New Monk Archetype
Monk of the Heavenly Mandate
While all monks demonstrate great discipline and determination, monks of the heavenly mandate devote themselves to using their art to protect the natural order of the multiverse, and they are powerful agents of law and order that fight chaos in all its forms.
Disciplined Stance (Ex): At 4th level, a monk of the heavenly mandate learns to take on a sure and steadfast stance that makes him difficult to assault. He gains a +1 bonus to his CMD. At 8th level, and every four levels thereafter, this bonus increases by 1 (to a maximum of +5 at 20th level).
This ability replaces the slow fall class feature.
Agent of the Heavenly Mandate (Ex): At 20th level, a monk of the heavenly mandate becomes a paragon of worldly and celestial order, and the bane of the forces of chaos. He gains a deflection bonus to AC against attacks made by chaotic creatures. This bonus is equal to 4 or his Wisdom modifier, whichever is higher. He gains a similar bonus on saving throws made to resist spells with the chaotic descriptor, as well as spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities originating from chaotic sources. Finally, he is immune to the confused condition, and gains a +4 bonus on saving throws made to resist charm and compulsion effects (this stacks with the bonus granted by the still mind class feature, when appropriate).
This ability replaces the perfect self class feature.
New Paladin Archetype
The Righteous Crusader
A righteous crusader’s purpose is to battle evil, and so the particular suite of abilities she receives are designed to better protect her from the kinds of dangers that such a warrior faces.
Protection from Poisons (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a righteous crusader need have no fear of underhanded assassins attempting to keep her from her work. She gains immunity to poisons of all kinds, including magical poisons. This protection does not apply to any poisons she uses, and she continues to risk accidentally poisoning herself if she chooses to use poisons, even if a class feature or other ability allows her to use poisons without breaking her paladin code of conduct.
Righteous Combatant (Su): Beginning at 20th level, a righteous crusader ignores the first 10 points of damage she would suffer from each attack, spell, spell-like ability, supernatural ability, or extraordinary ability originating from an evil creature. Additionally, whenever she uses smite evil, the first time that she successfully hits the target of her smite, if that creature is an evil dragon, evil undead, or outsider with the evil subtype, it must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the righteous crusader’s paladin level + the righteous crusader’s Charisma modifier) or become panicked for a number of rounds equal to the righteous crusader’s paladin level. Even on a successful saving throw, the creature is shaken for a number of rounds equal to the righteous crusader’s paladin level. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. It can affect creatures that are normally immune to fear effects, but such creatures gain a +4 bonus on their saving throw.