Prestige Classes


The Knights of Holy Shielding are an order of knights residing in the Restored Holy Realm of the Faithful of the Shield Lands devoted to the Shield Lands' War of Reclamation. They represent the ideals of their patron god Heironeous, seeking to uphold goodness, law, justice and valor and act as shining examples to their fellow countrymen. As warriors of the Shield Lands, they serve as the core of the Holy Realm's armies and fight to defend their homeland from evil.

More important than appearances, actions convey the sincerity of a Shield Knight's vows. Chivalry, honor, justice, and valor are more than just words. They form the code on which Shield Knights base their beliefs, actions, and faith. Failure to live up to the code of the Order is unthinkable to a Shield Knight.

Shield Knights have an important duty to the Shield Lands, and upon joining the Order must sacrifice a portion of freedom to serve. As a result, a Shield Knight should never deny an honorable request for aid from a noble of the Shield Lands or a fellow Shield Knight. It is considered dishonorable to request payment for any aid provided.

As sworn protectors of the Shield Lands, Shield Knights must devote a great deal of time to their duties. While doing so, they are encouraged to travel the Shield Lands performing good deeds and protecting the people, but are generally free to do as they please unless under orders from their liege lord, a superior in the Order of the Holy Shield, or the Council of Lords.

Most Knights of Holy Shielding are fighters, clerics, or paladins, but a few remarkable rangers have been honored with membership in the past. Barbarians, bards, druids, and rogues usually lack the devotion to law and justice that Knights of Holy Shielding hold sacred, and monks, wizards, and sorcerers are usually too encumbered by the heavy armor and weapons typically employed by the Order. Humans are by far the most common Knights of Holy Shielding, but an occasional dwarf, elf, half-elf, or even halfling has gained membership through loyal and exceptional service to the Shield Lands and Heironeous.

NPC Shield Knights are usually noble lords of the Shield Lands, crusading knights, or elite mounted soldiers in the service of the Shield Lands army. As symbols of honor, Knights of Holy Shielding always make their presence known to help bolster the morale of the common soldier and intimidate the cowardly minions of evil.

Hit Die: d10.


To qualify to become a Knight of Holy Shielding, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Must be lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good.

Base Attack Bonus: +6.

Skills: Diplomacy 2 ranks, Knowledge (local) 4 ranks, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 2 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks, Ride 9 ranks.

Feats: Cleave, Great Cleave, Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (battleaxe, heavy lance, or longsword).

Special: Additionally, a Shield Knight must gain the sponsorship of a current Knight of Holy Shielding and complete a dangerous quest in the service of the Shield Lands. In most cases, sponsorship is something a prospective knight is offered, as few truly deserving individuals presume to ask for such support.

Class Skills

The Knight of Holy Shielding's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Ride (Dex), and Sense Motive (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Knight of Holy Shielding

Level Base
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Holy realm hero +1, spit on the Old One +2
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Armor of the Invincible, divine advancement
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Aura of courage, holy realm hero +2
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Divine advancement, righteous advance
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Holy realm hero +3, spit on the Old One +4
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 Divine advancement, strength of the Shield Lands
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 Holy realm hero +4, ruinous advance
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 Divine advancement, shield of the Invincible
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 Holy realm hero +5, spit on the Old One +6
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 Divine advancement, words of valor
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Knight of Holy Shielding prestige class.

Holy Realm Hero (Ex): At 1st level, your reputation as a protector of the people germinates. This grants you a +1 morale bonus on the following skill checks: Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Intimidate. The bonus increases by +1 each odd-numbered Knight of Holy Shielding level you gain. When you use one of these skills against a citizen of the Shield Lands, the bonus is doubled. As a general rule, a citizen of the Shield Lands starts any encounter with a Knight of Holy Shielding with a friendly attitude. Many knights use this ability to befriend locals and secure hospitality.

Spit on the Old One (Su): A 1st level, a Knight of Holy Shielding's zeal fills him with holy wrath against the minions of Iuz the Old. He gains a +2 bonus on lntimidate, Listen, Sense Motive, and Spot checks when using these skills against agents of Iuz (including all chaotic evil outsiders). Likewise, he gets a +2 bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, and Will saves against such creatures.

At 5th level, these bonuses increase to +4. At 9th level, the bonuses increase to +6.

Although this ability is similar to the ranger's favored enemy ability (and should be treated as a favored enemy ability for the purposes of qualifying for other prestige classes or feats), the bonuses granted by this ability do not stack with similar bonuses granted from favored enemy.

Prior to the Greyhawk Wars, this ability was called "Death to the Hierarchs," with various names before that as the order's primary enemy changed over the years. As time wears on, the primary enemy shall doubtless change again, at which time the name changes and the targets to which the bonuses apply change as well.

Armor of the Invincible (Su): At 2nd level, a Knight of Holy Shielding gains the ability to infuse his armor or clothing once a day with divinity as a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. This duplicates the effects of magic vestment at a caster level equal to twice his Knight of Holy Shielding level.

Divine Advancement: At every other level starting at 2nd level, a Knight of Holy Shielding may select to advance either his divine spellcasting abilities or his bonded mount. At each level the player must choose which of the two types of advancements he wishes to receive:

Bonded Mount: You may add one to your effective paladin level for purposes of determining the abilities of a special mount. If you don't have any paladin levels, you can gain the special mount ability at 10th level if you apply this ability each time, since by this point your effective paladin level is 5th.

Spellcasting: You continue to train in divine magic. You gain new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class you belonged to before you added this prestige class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you have more than one divine spellcasting class, you must decide which class to assign this ability for the purpose of determining spells per day.

Aura of Courage (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a Knight of Holy Shielding is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Allies within 10 feet of the knight gain a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. If the Knight already has this ability from another class, the radius of the morale bonus gained by allies increases by +10 feet.

Righteous Advance (Ex): At 4th level, a Knight of Holy Shielding may take a five-foot move between bonus attacks gained from the Cleave or Great Cleave feats. The attacking Shield Knight may take a total number of five-foot moves between Cleave attacks equal to his Dexterity modifier per round. This ability may be used both on foot and mounted, but a successful DC 20 Ride check is required when mounted; a failed check ends the Righteous Advance for that round. These five-foot moves are part of the knight's total movement for the round; the total distance the Knight can move during a righteous advance cannot exceed his current speed, including any moves the knight made earlier in the round. For example, a knight with a speed of 20 feet moves 10 feet to close with a clot of goblins. He drops one, moves five more feet and drops a second goblin, then moves five more feet and drops a third goblin. Although his Dexterity modifier is +4, he cannot make any more five-foot moves since he has moved a total of 20 feet in the round.

Taking a five-foot move in this manner provokes attacks of opportunity normally, it is not the same as a 5-foot step. Likewise, you cannot take a 5-foot step in a round in which you use righteous advance, since righteous advance is considered moving.

Strength of the Shield Lands (Su): At 6th level, a Knight of Holy Shielding gains the ability to infuse his body once a day with holy power. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, and duplicates the effects of divine power at a caster level equal to twice his Knight of Holy Shielding level.

Ruinous Advance (Ex): At 7th level, a Knight of Holy Shielding gains an insight bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum of +1) on attack rolls, melee weapon damage rolls, and to Armor Class against attacks of opportunity when he uses his righteous advance ability.

Shield of the Invincible (Su): At 8th level, a Knight of Holy Shielding gains the supernatural ability to create a shield of law once per day as a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The shield of law functions at a caster level equal to twice the knight's class level.

Words of Valor (Su): At 10th level, a Knight of Holy Shielding can utter the words of valor once per day as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Uttering the words of valor duplicates the effect of holy word cast at caster level 20th.

Paladin Knights: Knights of Holy Shielding may multiclass freely as paladins.