Defense is the best Offense! [Contest]

Human Brawler 1/Paladin (Sacred Shield) 4

LG Medium humanoid (human)

Init +3; Senses detect evil; Perception +5

Aura aura of courage (+4, 10 ft.), moderate good, moderate law


AC 26, touch 14, flat-footed 22 (+8 armor +3 shield +3 Dex +1 dodge +1 natural)

hp 50 (5d10 + 14)

Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +11; +1 vs. mind-affecting effects, drugs, and poisons

Immune disease, fear

Defensive Abilities bastion of good (2/day, +6 AC, 10 ft.), holy shield (8 rounds, costs 2 uses of lay on hands)


Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)

Melee unarmed strike +5 (1d6)

Special Attacks martial flexibility (4/day, move action)

Paladin Spells Prepared (CL 1st; concentration +6) --1st (prepare 2/day)—challenge evil (DC 16), stunning barrier (DC 16)


Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 12, Cha 20

Base Atk +5; CMB +4; CMD 17

Feats Improved Unarmed Strike, Dodge, Combat Expertise, Archon Style, Archon Diversion

Skills Acrobatics (3 ranks +3 class skill +3 Dex -6 ACP = +3)

Diplomacy (5 ranks +3 class skill +5 Cha = +13)

Heal (1 rank +3 class skill +1 Wis = +5)

Perception (1 rank +3 class skill +1 Wis = +5)

Sense Motive (1 rank +3 class skill +1 Wis = +5)

Languages Common

Traits indomitable faith, resolute

SQ skilled, brawler’s cunning, martial training, divine grace, lay on hands (7/day, 2d6), mercy (fatigued)


Gear +1 tatami-do armor, +1 heavy steel shield, amulet of natural armor (+1), +2 headband of alluring charisma (+2), muleback cords, divine scroll of bless (CL 1st)[x4], divine scroll of bless water (CL 1st), divine scroll of cure light wounds (CL 1st)[x4], divine scroll of horn of pursuit (CL 1st), divine scroll of magic weapon (CL 1st)[x4], divine scroll of shield of fortification (CL 1st)[x4], 5 gp


What's a fella to do when he's super-charismatic, but doesn't have an ounce of sorcerer blood in him? Why, become the most defensible defender that ever did defend, of course! Hailing from a region where his favourite god may not have been all too welcomed, this chap was forced to start his career as a Brawler rather than in the sort of divine class he would have favoured (basically he came from evil-town, and you don't go training to be a paladin in evil-town). His traits reflect this, both his faith, and how he'd trained himself to avoid letting slip any such information about himself.

His first level is rough; the brawler doesn't hit too hard, and lacks pretty much all of his neat tricks. Starting as a brawler is necessary for him (mostly so that he can use his Brawler's Cunning to get Combat Expertise in spite of his low Int, which will allow him to qualify for his style feats later), but it's not an easy start. Fortunately 1st level enemies aren't too tough, and with any luck, he has dependable allies.

After getting started as a brawler (and presumably out of wherever he couldn't make it as a paladin), this fella starts taking levels in his favoured class. He's not very strong, so he chooses to defend rather than charge in, fists flying. The Sacred Shield Paladin archetype reflects that, and lets him focus not only on his own defenses, but also on his allies. Those allies will want to stick close to their paladin friend here, because he's got a bunch of neat bonuses to make the whole party a defensive juggernaut.

From his Aura of Courage protecting them against fear, Bastion of Good (basically the Sacred Shield's defensive version of Smite Evil) cutting damage against the paladin's allies by a whopping HALF, Holy Shield giving everyone some nice additional AC bonuses, a couple of neat Paladin spells like Challenge Evil and Stunning Barrier, which increase his defenses and both punish enemies for attacking him AND for not attacking him, and the Archon Style feats, which both boost allies' AC and allow this guy to pull attacks away from his allies so that they bounce harmlessly off his massive AC instead, this is someone who others will be happy to let watch their back.

...So what about that massive AC? Base 26 is good, but it's not amazing, right? Well, don't forget that that's his base AC. Bastion of Good adds a nice +6 deflection to that, and can be used twice per day, for those nasty boss monsters, and 3 ranks in the Acrobatics skill means that this guy takes total defense actions (a standard action) for another +6 dodge bonus to AC, which means in important fights, this guy can rock a AC/touch AC/ff AC of 38/26/28. Archon Diversion imposes a -1 penalty on that, but it's worth it for the benefit of letting you redirect attacks, and also for letting you use Archon Style as a move action, which means the user can use their style feat, take a total defense, and then laugh as the attack bounces off him and the ally he protected gets a free AoO. Hopefully this paladin teamed up with a big strong Barbarian to make up for his own lack of hitting power.

And as the icing on the already delicious cake, a high charisma score works well not only with Bastion of Good, but also with Divine Grace to contribute to some really nice saves, and with Lay on Hands, to provide some useful healing power. Also: if you're in a tight spot, Martial Flexibility can provide you with an extra feat to suit your needs a couple of times per day.

His equipment is there mostly to stack different types of bonuses (armor, shield, natural) onto his AC atop those he's already getting from his build and tactics (Dex, dodge, deflection). Scrolls fill out utility using any cash he had left, and all of his scrolls were chosen to be compatable with his caster level (so that he can handle them without needing focus in spellcraft or UMD), and to not be reliant on saving throws (since they're scrolls).

...For further levels, this guy is going to want to stick to being a Paladin so that he can scale his class abilities. Finishing the Archon Style path is a must of course, and he'll probably want to start picking up shield-focused feats as well. Look into the In Harm's Way feat while you're at it. You might consider a 1-level dip of Fighter too (not only for the bonus feat, but also for the free tower shield proficiency).

/r/Pathfinder_RPG Thread