Author Topic: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)  (Read 5156 times)

Tim4488

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Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« on: March 24, 2013, 02:52:09 PM »
Over a year later, I finally came back to this.

Goals: Make a defensive, Con-based alternative to Rage and Dervish. Make it play nice with Destruction and Knight.

Old versions

Path of the Guardian 1.0
Your Key Offensive Modifier changes to Constitution, unless your Key Defensive Modifier is already Constitution. All bonuses from this track are fury bonuses, which stack with other fury bonuses from this track. At the beginning of your turn, you may choose not to benefit from fury bonuses to attack rolls, damage and save DCs until the beginning of your next turn. Attacks and abilities that benefit from a fury bonus to attack rolls, damage or save DCs cannot also deal [Precision] damage.

1st Circle – Defensive StanceEX: You can buckle down and enter a defensive stance, a state in which you gain increased endurance and resistance to enemy attacks. As a swift action, you can enter a defensive stance, gaining a +1 Deflection bonus to AC, Damage Reduction, and Vigor checks per circle you possess from this track (to a maximum of +7 with 7 circles). You also gain a +1 bonus to Fortitude and Will saves, and a +2 bonus on all saves against Combat Maneuvers. You can maintain this stance for a maximum number of [Rounds] equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier (if positive) at any one time, and you can always prematurely exit the stance as a free action.
When you exit the defensive stance, you are [Fatigued] for as many [Rounds] as you spent in it (minimum 1). You can begin the defensive stance whenever you wish, as long as you are not [Fatigued] or [Exhausted]. You are either in the defensive stance or not, so you cannot begin a new stance while already in one.

2nd Circle – Hold GroundEX: While in a defensive stance, enemies treat all squares within your [Melee] range as difficult terrain. In addition, all enemies within your [Melee] range take damage equal to your KOM at the end of your turn as long as you are in a defensive stance.

3rd Circle – You Shall Not PassEX: As a move action, you may make an Intimidate check against a foe. If this check succeeds, that foe may not target any of your allies (except you) with any ability for one round, in addition to the normal effect of Intimidate. Your foe is still capable of targeting you with an area-of-effect ability that may harm some of your allies, however.

4th Circle – Greater Defensive StanceEX: Your defensive stance increases in potency. Your bonus to Fortitude and Will saves increases to +2, and the bonus on saves against Combat Maneuvers increases to +4. Additionally, select one of the following abilities (this choice is permanent):
   Always Ready: You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls on attacks of opportunity for every circle of this track you possess (to a maximum of +7 with 7 circles).
   Living Wall: The effects of Hold Ground now extend to [Close] range.

5th Circle – RootedEX: While in a defensive stance, you gain [Immunity] to [Prone] and any effect that would move you from your current square against your will (this includes Bull Rush and Drag combat maneuvers).

6th Circle – Fortress StanceEX: The power of your defensive stance increases again. Your bonus to Fortitude and Will saves increases to +4, and the bonus on saves against combat maneuvers increases to +6. You also gain [Resistance] to physical damage while in your defensive stance.

7th Circle – Loyal ShieldEX: You are considered to always be in your defensive stance. Enemies within range of Hold Ground now take damage equal to twice your KOM at the end of your turn. You may now activate You Shall Not Pass as a swift action.

I know this thing needs some rebalancing. C2 may look better than Air Elemental C2, but keep in mind that Air Elemental is always on, this is only while in a Stance (and this doesn't auto-reveal Stealth). C3, the two options at C4, and C7 are the abilities I'm least confident on, the rest I actually feel is pretty well balanced.

I had trouble deciding if Attacks of Opportunity or close-range AoE should be the focus of the track, and so I tried to give some options for both. I'm not sure if that worked or if it just came out unfocused.

Anyway, any and all comments welcome. Thanks.

Path of the Guardian 1.5
Your Key Offensive Modifier changes to Constitution, unless your Key Defensive Modifier is already Constitution. All bonuses from this track are fury bonuses, which stack with other fury bonuses from this track. At the beginning of your turn, you may choose not to benefit from fury bonuses to attack rolls, damage and save DCs until the beginning of your next turn. Attacks and abilities that benefit from a fury bonus to attack rolls, damage or save DCs cannot also deal [Precision] damage.

1st Circle – Defensive StanceEX: You can buckle down and enter a defensive stance, a state in which you gain increased endurance and resistance to enemy attacks. As a swift action, you can enter a defensive stance, gaining a +1 Deflection bonus to AC and Vigor checks per circle you possess from this track (to a maximum of +7 with 7 circles). You also gain a +1 bonus to Fortitude and Will saves, and a +2 bonus on all saves against Combat Maneuvers. Whenever you enter a defensive stance, you also gain 2 temporary HP per level. These temporary HP are lost when your defensive stance ends. You can maintain this stance for a maximum number of [Rounds] equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier (if positive) at any one time, and you can always prematurely exit the stance as a free action.
When you exit the defensive stance, you are [Fatigued] for as many [Rounds] as you spent in it (minimum 1). You can begin the defensive stance whenever you wish, as long as you are not [Fatigued] or [Exhausted]. You are either in the defensive stance or not, so you cannot begin a new stance while already in one.

2nd Circle – Hold GroundEX: While in a defensive stance, enemies treat all squares within your [Melee] range as difficult terrain. In addition, all enemies within your [Melee] range take damage equal to your KOM at the end of your turn as long as you are in a defensive stance.

3rd Circle – You Shall Not PassEX: As a move action, you may make an Intimidate check against a foe. If this check succeeds, that foe may not target any of your allies (except you) with any ability for one round, in addition to the normal effect of Intimidate. Your foe is still capable of targeting you with an area-of-effect ability that may harm some of your allies, however.

4th Circle – Greater Defensive StanceEX: Your defensive stance increases in potency. Your bonus to Fortitude and Will saves increases to +2, and you gain 4 temporary HP per level in your defensive stance instead of 2. Additionally, select one of the following abilities (this choice is permanent):
   Always Ready: Three times per [Encounter], as a non-action, you may make one additional attack of opportunity per round. However, you may never target the same opponent with an attack of opportunity more than once for the same action.
   Living Wall: The effects of Hold Ground now extend to [Close] range.

5th Circle – RootedEX: While in a defensive stance, you gain [Immunity] to [Prone] and any effect that would move you from your current square against your will (this includes Bull Rush and Drag combat maneuvers). Your bonus to saves against combat maneuvers in your defensive stance increases to +4.

6th Circle – Fortress StanceEX: The power of your defensive stance increases again. Your bonus to Fortitude and Will saves increases to +4, and you gain 6 temporary HP per level in your defensive stance instead of 4.

7th Circle – Loyal ShieldEX: You are considered to always be in your defensive stance. Enemies within range of Hold Ground now take damage equal to twice your KOM at the end of your turn. You may now activate You Shall Not Pass as a swift action.

I decided to take out Damage Reduction and put in Temporary HP. Adding to AC, Damage Reduction, Temporary HP, AND [Resistance] at C6 felt too powerful, so now it's just AC and Temporary HP, and C6 is identical to Rage's C6. Always Ready is now 3 additional attacks of opportunity per [Encounter]. The 3/[Encounter] limit is mainly to prevent this track's C4 from completely overshadowing Knight's C3, I'm not sure if it really works or not, but I wanted to make it work with Knight's C7.

Focused on [Damage reduction], no AC bonus any more.

Path of the Guardian 2.0
Your Key Offensive Modifier changes to Constitution, unless your Key Defensive Modifier is already Constitution. All bonuses from this track are fury bonuses, which stack with other fury bonuses from this track. At the beginning of your turn, you may choose not to benefit from fury bonuses to attack rolls, damage and save DCs until the beginning of your next turn. Attacks and abilities that benefit from a fury bonus to attack rolls, damage or save DCs cannot also deal [Precision] damage.

1st Circle – Defensive StanceEX: You can buckle down and enter a defensive stance, a state in which you gain increased endurance and resistance to enemy attacks. As a swift action, you can enter a defensive stance, gaining a +1 bonus to [Damage reduction] and Vigor checks per circle you possess from this track (to a maximum of +7 with 7 circles). You also gain a +1 bonus to Fortitude and Will saves, and a +2 bonus on all saves against Combat Maneuvers. Whenever you enter a defensive stance, you also gain 2 temporary HP per level. These temporary HP are lost when your defensive stance ends. You can maintain this stance for a maximum number of [Rounds] equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier (if positive) at any one time, and you can always prematurely exit the stance as a free action.
When you exit the defensive stance, you are [Fatigued] for as many [Rounds] as you spent in it (minimum 1). You can begin the defensive stance whenever you wish, as long as you are not [Fatigued] or [Exhausted]. You are either in the defensive stance or not, so you cannot begin a new stance while already in one.

2nd Circle – Hold GroundEX: While in a defensive stance, enemies treat all squares within your [Melee] range as difficult terrain. In addition, all enemies within your [Melee] range take damage equal to your KOM at the end of your turn as long as you are in a defensive stance.

3rd Circle – You Shall Not PassEX: As a move action, you may make an Intimidate check against a foe. If this check succeeds, that foe may not target any of your allies (except you) with any ability for one round, in addition to the normal effect of Intimidate. Your foe is still capable of targeting you with an area-of-effect ability that may harm some of your allies, however.

4th Circle – Greater Defensive StanceEX: Your defensive stance increases in potency. Your bonus to Fortitude and Will saves increases to +2, and you gain 4 temporary HP per level in your defensive stance instead of 2. Additionally, select one of the following abilities (this choice is permanent):
   Always Ready: Once per [Round], as a non-action, you may make one additional attack of opportunity per round. However, you may never target the same opponent with an attack of opportunity more than once for the same action.
   Living Wall: The effects of Hold Ground now extend to [Close] range. [Flying], [Swimming], and [Burrowing] opponents in these squares treat this difficult terrain as if they did not have those conditions.

5th Circle – RootedEX: While in a defensive stance, you gain [Immunity] to [Prone] and any effect that would move you from your current square against your will (this includes Bull Rush and Drag combat maneuvers). Your bonus to saves against combat maneuvers in your defensive stance increases to +4.

6th Circle – Fortress StanceEX: The power of your defensive stance increases again. Your bonus to Fortitude and Will saves increases to +4, and you gain 6 temporary HP per level in your defensive stance instead of 4.

7th Circle – Loyal ShieldEX: You are considered to always be in your defensive stance. Enemies within range of Hold Ground now take damage equal to twice your KOM at the end of your turn. You may now activate You Shall Not Pass as a swift action. If you chose Always Ready, you gain an +2 untyped (not Fury) bonus to attack and damage rolls with attacks of opportunity.


Switched to a damage mitigation mechanic, took out temporary HP.

Path of the Guardian 3.0
Your Key Offensive Modifier changes to Constitution, unless your Key Defensive Modifier is already Constitution. All bonuses from this track are fury bonuses, which stack with other fury bonuses from this track. At the beginning of your turn, you may choose not to benefit from fury bonuses to attack rolls, damage and save DCs until the beginning of your next turn. Attacks and abilities that benefit from a fury bonus to attack rolls, damage or save DCs cannot also deal [Precision] damage.

1st Circle – Defensive StanceEX: You can buckle down and enter a defensive stance, a state in which you gain increased endurance and resistance to enemy attacks. As a swift action, you can enter a defensive stance, gaining a +1 bonus to Vigor checks per circle you possess from this track (to a maximum of +7 with 7 circles). You also gain a +1 bonus to Fortitude and Will saves, and a +2 bonus on all saves against Combat Maneuvers. You can maintain this stance for a maximum number of [Rounds] equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier (if positive) at any one time, and you can always prematurely exit the stance as a free action.
When you exit the defensive stance, you are [Fatigued] for as many [Rounds] as you spent in it (minimum 1). You can begin the defensive stance whenever you wish, as long as you are not [Fatigued] or [Exhausted]. You are either in the defensive stance or not, so you cannot begin a new stance while already in one.
   Not This Time: Whenever you are in a defensive stance, you may reduce the damage taken from a single attack per [Round] by 5 per circle you possess from this track (to a maximum of 35 with 7 circles). This does not require an action. This ability cannot further reduce damage already reduced by this ability.

2nd Circle – Hold GroundEX: While in a defensive stance, enemies treat all squares within your [Melee] range as difficult terrain. In addition, all enemies within your [Melee] range take damage equal to your KOM at the end of your turn as long as you are in a defensive stance.

3rd Circle – You Shall Not PassEX: As a move action, you may make an Intimidate check against a foe. If this check succeeds, that foe may not target any of your allies (except you) with any ability for one round, in addition to the normal effect of Intimidate. Your foe is still capable of targeting you with an area-of-effect ability that may harm some of your allies, however.

4th Circle – Greater Defensive StanceEX: Your defensive stance increases in potency. Your bonus to Fortitude and Will saves increases to +2, and you may activate Not This Time twice per [Round]. Additionally, select one of the following abilities (this choice is permanent):
   Always Ready: Once per [Round], as a non-action, you may make one additional attack of opportunity per round. However, you may never target the same opponent with an attack of opportunity more than once for the same action.
   Living Wall: The effects of Hold Ground now extend to [Close] range. [Flying], [Swimming], and [Burrowing] opponents in these squares treat this difficult terrain as if they did not have those conditions.

5th Circle – RootedEX: While in a defensive stance, you gain [Immunity] to [Prone] and any effect that would move you from your current square against your will (this includes Bull Rush and Drag combat maneuvers). Your bonus to saves against combat maneuvers in your defensive stance increases to +4.

6th Circle – Fortress StanceEX: The power of your defensive stance increases again. Your bonus to Fortitude and Will saves increases to +4, and you gain [Resistance] to physical damage while in your defensive stance.

7th Circle – Loyal ShieldEX: You are considered to always be in your defensive stance. You may activate Not This Time three times per [Round]. Enemies within range of Hold Ground now take damage equal to twice your KOM at the end of your turn. You may now activate You Shall Not Pass as a swift action. If you chose Always Ready, you gain an +2 untyped (not Fury) bonus to attack and damage rolls with attacks of opportunity.

Damage mitigation replaced the [Damage reduction] bonus, and temporary HP was removed. C6 now grants [Resistance] to physical again, given that the temp HP is gone.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 09:57:08 AM by Tim4488 »
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Mystify

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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 06:30:25 PM »
that +1 AC/circle really needs to be typed. That is way, way too much AC to be untyped

being only active while in a stance is a fairly minor disadvantage, esp. when its con-based and

3rd circle is really expensive.

Always ready I'm not sure of. As its only on AoO its probably fine, but that is a very significant bonus to be untyped.
living wall is probably pointless by that level, as flight is extremely common.

5th circle is unfinished cathedral without prone immunity. True symbol is a relic ability which is replicated at 4th circle. So, this may actually be a tad weak.

6th circle  - Kinda underwhelming. 6th circle rage may be kidna underwhelming too, but its granting a significant boost in temp hp. This, in contrast, is giving a bonus to saves vs. CMs, which are probably only going to be used by specialists at this level. So, much, much more circumstantial than rage 6.

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Tim4488

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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 06:38:17 PM »
In response to your typing concerns, note the text at the very top: "All bonuses from this track are fury bonuses,"
That applies to the AC and the AoO bonuses. I will grant that Fury bonuses to AC are uncommon, and if you think C1 should count as a Fury/Item bonus the same way Utter Brute does, I can do that.

Would 3rd Circle be better as a Move, or just leave it as part of a Move like a normal Intimidate?

Living Wall would make the KOM damage extend to [Close] though, which could affect [Flying] creatures. Though, you're probably still correct. I'll think about it.

Is there anything specific you'd recommend to buff C6?

Water Elemental C5 can make even [Flying] opponents deal with difficult terrain. Perhaps if I made Hold Ground work like that at C6, that would bring that circle up a bit and also make Living Wall more relevant at higher levels?

EDIT: If anything, actually, a Fury and Deflection bonus might work best for the AC, now that I think about it.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 06:50:47 PM by Tim4488 »
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 06:56:12 PM »
right, I forgot it was fury for the AoO one. In which case, the obvious pairing of knight works well until knight 7, when it should be doing combat maneuvers on the AoOs, and hence get its precision damage.
For the AC bonus, a fury bonus to AC alone is not meaningful. Its the item/deflection typing that is important.

I'd put 3rd as a move. That will leave you free to vigor, which a con-based track should be free to. Keep in mind you will need to adjust c7 to compensate

For 6th, I'd give [Resistance] to physical damage as well.

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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 07:04:11 PM »
Added in Deflection. The Track as a whole still works with Knight, so long as you choose Living Wall. Also, frankly, not all campaigns will make it to C7 of any track. Made C3 a Move, had C7 turn it into a Swift, which I don't think is unbalanced at that point. Added [Resistance] to 6th.

With Earth Elemental, you could see DR up around 13 or 14 before any items or other abilities, plus [Resistance] to Physical damage. Granted, at that point the enemy should have more than a few options for magical or energy damage, but still, it would be impressive.
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 07:08:09 PM »
Also, frankly, not all campaigns will make it to C7 of any track.
doesn't doesn't mean you don't have to consider your options. I really dislike options which are only good for a band of levels. You have to choose between long-term gain(which you may or may not actually get to) and immediate optimization. For an item, thats not a big deal, as you can swap them out. For a track, that is more relevant.
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 07:49:01 PM »
That's a valid point. I considered also having that circle grant 1 additional attack of opportunity per round instead of the fury bonus, but I'm afraid that might be too good. (It would have a caveat making clear that you can't target the same opponent with both).
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2013, 09:02:58 AM »
This is a neat spin on the Rage/Dervish idea. Always Ready is pretty interesting, and it's nice to have an ability like Rooted.
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Tim4488

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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 02:00:51 PM »
I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to get Always Ready to work with Knight. One option is to change it to simply an extra attack of opportunity/round with no bonus, which I still fear is too much. I suppose I could also halve the bonus to +1/2 circles and make it untyped, though that sounds too weak.

Given Mystify's earlier point about Unfinished Cathedral, I'm going to add [Prone] immunity to C5.

Would it be too much if Living Wall made squares within [Close] count as difficult terrain even for [Flying] opponents?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 02:08:19 PM by Tim4488 »
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 02:48:40 AM »
I was surprised to see a lack of temporary HP and damage redirection in this track honestly.
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 02:12:30 PM »
You should be getting a chunk of temporary HP from the Vigor bonus, and in terms of damage redirection, it adds directly to your [Damage Reduction] (which will already be high due to your high Con). That said, I mostly ignored temporary HP to keep it from overlapping directly with Rage.
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 02:17:02 PM »
He does have a point though- I think Rage actually will make you harder to kill than this will.
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish)
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 02:36:06 PM »
Hrm. That's possibly true. Cut the bonus on saves against Combat Maneuvers and cut C6's [Resistance] and add in temporary HP at the same rate as Rage, would that be balanced?
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish) (revision in progress)
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2014, 05:21:43 PM »
Updated, much much later.
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Re: Path of the Guardian (Con-Based Rage/Dervish) (revision in progress)
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2014, 06:56:24 PM »
ok, new thoughts from looking at this again

1. I feel like dropping out of this is a bigger disadvantage than dropping out of rage. if you have a +x deflection bonus from your track, then you won't get a shield, so dropping out doesn't put you at normal AC levels, it puts you are subpar AC. a rager/dervish dropping out should still end up at typical attack bonus levels. This should be a rare occurrence, but it hurts them more. Also, since you have to activate it, you are very vulnerable to having a low initiative. a rager doesn't need their attack bonus until their turn, a guardian will end up missing their deflection bonus /and/ be flat footed at the start of combat.

4. by this level, flight is common/expected, so difficult terrain doesn't work very often. You may consider shifting this away from literal difficult terrain and do an alternative way to hinder movement.

7. the hold ground boost will vary greatly in strength based on whether you took living wall. This should be mitigated somehow, perhaps by adding a bonus that will help with always ready.

You could also consider including an effect similar to Lucky Cigarette Case. Rather than adding direct resistance, have an ability to negate a certain amount of damage each round.
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