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I'm playing a Barbarian and considering dipping into Furious Guardian mostly for flavor reasons. Before I do that, I have a few questions on the more finicky details of it and how exacly it meshes with my barbarian levels.

  1. The Chosen Ally ability states that the Guardian can confer bonuses to their ally by accepting a similar, but not identical penalty. It then further states that the bonus increases as you progress in Furious Guardian levels. Does the penalty increase at the same rate as the bonuses?

    The ability description does not state so. Simply asking to be safe, seeing as other similar abilities like Power Attack or Reckless Abandon do increase both the penalty and the bonus with progression.

  2. In Guard Dedications, in the Rage Powers section it states that when the character uses it to pick a new Barbarian Rage Power, she can add her furious guardian levels to her barbarian levels when checking for eligibility. This is clear. However, let us say that after getting some levels in furious guardian I choose to continue my progression as a barbarian. When I gain a new Rage Power through that progression, can I still add the furious guardian levels to check for eligibility? It does not say so at least in the Guard Dedications entry.

  3. Again in Guard Dedications, this time in the Uncanny Dodge section it states that you can use the guard's class level plus her barbarian levels to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank them. Does this apply even if I never pick this Guard Dedication?

    To clarify, were I to be a level 6 barbarian, level 5 furious guardian thus having Improved Uncanny Dodge from the barbarian levels but never having picked the Uncanny Dodge Guard Dedication, would my level for the purposes of Improved Uncanny dodge be 6 or 11?

    The same question applies to a degree with the Rage Power dedication. If the answer to the second point of guardian and barbarian levels stacking in barbarian progression is in affirmative, does that still apply if you never picked the Rage Power dedication? Basically does the text of the dedication still apply if you never actually chose it.

  4. On the Guarded Thoughts it states that the guardian immediately receives an additional save against charms and compulsions if the effect would compel her to attack her chosen ally. Does this mean that the second save would happen immediately if the charm effect could force the guardian to attack their ally even if it does not yet do so.

    For simplicity's sake, the following scenario: Guardian stands between two of his allies, the left one being her chosen ally. Guardian is hit by a spell, fails the save and the spell compels her to first hit the right ally and then the left one.

    At which point would the extra save happen?

    A. When she fails the save, as the effect could compel her to attack her chosen ally.

    B. When the spell tells her to hit both of her allies, as the chosen ally is included in the command, even if it's not the next action.

    C. When she's about to attack her chosen ally.

  5. Finally advice on house ruling: The Greater Rage Guard Dedication states that it can be chosen when she has seven levels of guardian. Barbarians get this ability at level 11. Would it be unreasonable to allow a character to pick this Guard Dedication if their combined guardian and barbarian level were over 11? This would be mostly to make it easier for those coming into the prestige class already far into their barbarian progression.

That's a lot of questions for a single entry, but I felt that they were sufficiently related to ask as one. If this is not the case, let me know and I'll split them up into multiple individual entries.

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1) Chosen Ally does not increase your penalty- if it doesn't say it does, then it doesn't. It's not written similar to scaling abilities; there are many Class Abilities that function with increasing benefits but static penalties.

2/3) Because Guard Dedications - Rage Power specifies that it uses both level pools, I would say Furious Guardian levels don't count for Rage Powers RAW. I could easily see a GM homeruling that they stack, though. Also RAW, you don't receive the benefits of Guard Dedication- Uncanny Dodge unless its selected, so your levels don't apply toward countering Sneak Attacks unless you take it. Essentially it's not a Class Feature unless you select it, then you get full benefits. (Side note, the version it grants when you would gain Improved UD is pretty awesome.) In your example, your effective UD level would be 6.

4)Special secondary saves are performed at the same time as initial save. Emphasis mine:

if the furious guardian fails a saving throw against a charm or compulsion effect, she immediately receives...

This would apply to any charm/compulsion that would cause you to attack your Chosen Ally. In your example, it would be option A.

  • Note that some (few) effects allow the caster to alter the 'command' given into one that would threaten your Chosen Ally; in these cases you usually receive a new save that would qualify for Guarded Thoughts if you hadn't already used it for that charm/compulsion.

I personally agree with the homerule allowing you to take Greater Rage with a combined level of 11, but you may want to consider what happens if they then reach level 11 Barbarian; do they simply not get anything to replace it? Do they get an additional rage power or guard dedication? Just a thought.

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  1. The formulation is similar to the one of Power Attack, which makes the penalty increase with the bonus. Here "this bonus" seems to refer to the whole thing: "loose 1AC to make your ally gain 1AC and 1Reflex".

  2. If your levels in Furious Guardian counted as Barbarian levels, it would be indicated (like it is for the Rage Prophet for example). You only add Barbarian and Furious Guardian levels when you gain a rage power through the dedication.

  3. No. You have to take the dedication if you want to benefit from it.

  4. B. The rules says:

    she immediately receives an additional save with a +5 circumstance bonus if the effect would compel her to attack her chosen ally

It means the second save happens immediately if the charm effect is going to force the Guardian to attack his ally. In your example, just after the Guardian fails its first save the one who casted the spell decide who he will attack. As there is the ally among these targets, the Guardian can immediately have the second save.

  1. Usually, prestige class add new features but make features from the core class come later, or not at all. Here the "have seven levels of guardian" condition asks for at least 12 characters levels, so it would be an empowerment to make all Guardian levels counting for this feature. Asking for 12 levels of Barbarian+Guardian seems fair.
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