Wordsworn Defender

Role: Wordsworn defenders are frontline fighters who are also capable of fairly potent truemagic. This gives them a distinct advantage against other martial specialists.

Alignment: Wordsworn defenders can be of any alignment; however, mastering both the use of martial techniques and truenaming tends to attract only the most disciplined, and usually Lawful, personalities.

Hit Die: d10

Requirements: To qualify to become a wordsworn defender, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

  • Skills: Linguistics 5 ranks.
  • Spells: Able to recite from the Codex of Far-Flung Spheres.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Proficient with all martial weapons and tower shields.

Class Skills: The speaker of the word's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Ride (Str), Spellcraft (Int), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier.

Class Features

Table: The Wordsworn Defender
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Reflex Save Will Save Special Recitations per Day
1st +1 +1 +0 +0 Encumbered recitation specialization +1 level of existing reciting class
2nd +2 +1 +1 +1 Rapid setup, scribbled notes - 1 codex -
3rd +3 +2 +1 +1 Bonus combat feat +1 level of existing reciting class
4th +4 +2 +1 +1 Tower shield specialization +1 level of existing reciting class
5th +5 +3 +2 +2 Scribbled notes - 2 codices -
6th +6 +3 +2 +2 Bonus combat feat +1 level of existing reciting class
7th +7 +4 +2 +2 Scribbled notes - focus +1 level of existing reciting class
8th +8 +4 +3 +3 Tower shield specialization -
9th +9 +5 +3 +3 Bonus combat feat +1 level of existing reciting class
10th +10 +5 +3 +3 Favorite word, scribbled notes - +2 +1 level of existing reciting class

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Wordsworn defenders gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Recitations per Day

At the indicated levels, a wordsworn defender gains new recitations as if he had also gained a level in a reciting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, except for recitations known, access to the various codices, and an increased effective level of reciting. If a character had more than one reciting class before becoming a wordsworn defender, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for the purpose of determining recitation progression.

Encumbered Recitation Specialization (Ex)

At 1st level, a wordsworn defender's extensive training with tower shields has made him particularly adept in their use while simultaneously reciting. The armor check penalty of any tower shield he wields is halved, rounded down, for the purpose of determining truenaming DCs.

Rapid Setup (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, a wordsworn defender can use a tower shield to grant himself total cover as a move action rather than as a standard action.

Scribbled Notes

Starting at 2nd level, a wordsworn defender begins to affix random notes on proper pronunciation and the like to the back of his tower shield. Whenever he spends an hour apologizing to the universe each day to reset the Law of Finite Malleability, the wordsworn defender can also scribe various notes on the back of a single tower shield. As which notes are most pertinent to his needs are always changing, a wordsworn defender only receives benefit from the most recent set of notes he produces. As such, producing a new set of notes renders previous sets of notes obsolete. Whenever the wordsworn defender is granted total cover by his scribed tower shield, he gains the benefits of the notes placed upon it.

At 2nd level, the wordsworn defender's notes grant him a +1 bonus to truenaming checks made when reciting from a single codex. This codex must be one from which he can recite, must be different from the codex chosen for any other set of notes, and can change each time he scribes notes on a tower shield.

At 5th level, the wordsworn defender's notes grant him a +1 bonus to truenaming checks made when reciting from a single codex. This codex must be one from which he can recite, must be different from the codex chosen for any other set of notes, and can change each time he scribes notes on a tower shield.

At 7th level, the wordsworn defender's notes grant him a +1 bonus to the Difficulty Class of all saving throws called for by his recitations, as well as +2 to caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance when reciting.

At 10th level, notes that grant a +1 bonus to truenaming checks grant a +2 bonus instead.

Bonus Combat Feat

At 3rd level, a wordsworn defender may choose a bonus combat feat. This is in addition to the feats that a character of any class normally gets from advancing levels. The character must still meet any prerequisites for these bonus feats.

A wordsworn defender gains an additional bonus combat feat at 6th level and 9th level.

Tower Shield Specialization (Ex)

At 4th level, the wordsworn defender's penalty to attack rolls while wielding a tower shield is reduced by -1. He also receives a +1 bonus to truenaming checks made while wielding a tower shield.

At 8th level, the penalty is reduced by a further -1 and his bonus to truenaming checks is increased by a further +1.

Favorite Word (Sp)

At 10th level, whenever a wordsworn defender recites a recitation from the Codex of Artifice, he may target his scribed tower shield in addition to the recitation's normal targets. His tower shield must be a legal target; however, when using this ability, a scribed tower shield may count as any piece of non-weapon, non-armor equipment in addition to being a shield.

A Brute in the Truenamers' Court

The wordsworn defender, being the only martial prestige class available to practitioners of truename magic, is also the best candidate for highlighting the relationship between the truemages and warriors of your campaign world.

Relationship 1: Honored Colleagues

The most positive relationship possible between truemages and wordsworn defenders is that of the colleague in equal standing. Though wordsworn defenders may not have the sheer truenaming capacity that a truenamer or scion of discordia enjoys, they have still taken the time to learn a significant portion of the First Language, and their particular insight into the nuances of combat makes it so they may very well be the authorities when it comes to the syllabic stressing of recitations involving weapons and battlegrounds. Though it may be a fairly narrow specialty, even among a bunch of scholars prone to hyperspecialization, the trade's tendency to hyperspecialize leads them to value and respect the talents of their peers, no matter how narrow.

Relationship 2: The Guards

Less positive than the relationship described above, wordsworn defenders may simply be thought of as the guardians, individuals to protect the primary practitioners as they go about their daytoday business. This does not mean they're not respected, but rather there is a distinct role that these individuals are meant to fulfill, and it is this role that defines them.

Relationship 3: The Hierarchy

If the relationship between primary truemages and martial truemages is meant to be a primary plot point, then it's a good idea to make conflict. Easily the least positive relationship presented here, truemages believe that the First Language is all that matters, as perfect control over it would create an individual who can handily defeat the gods at their own game. To spend a moment doing anything else is insanity, thus making everyone from wordsworn defenders to speakers of the word second-class citizens in the eyes of the truemages.

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