When nation-states, governments and kingdoms communicate, the imparting of vital directives, messages and treaties is paramount in maintaining the security, clarity and success of such communications. The guarded emissary fulfills this role through his reliance upon and understanding of his elect bodyguard–a formidable warrior of unswerving loyalty willing to lay down his life if need be for his charge. The successful conclusion of the guarded emissary's journey is achieved through a mix of guile and studied bearing, eloquence and lore. But beware, those who cross this envoy are at the risk of raising both his disdain, and the ire of his faithful protector. (Original Concept by Oceanshieldwolf)
Primary Class: Bard.
Secondary Class: Ranger.
Hit Dice: d8.
Bonus Skills and Ranks: The guarded emissary may select three ranger skills to add to his class skills in addition to the normal bard class skills. The guarded emissary gains a number of ranks at each level equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The guarded emissary is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow, and whip. The guarded emissary is also proficient with light armor and shields (except tower shields). A guarded emissary can cast arcane spells while wearing light armor and using a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance.
Spellcasting: The guarded emissary casts arcane spells drawn from the bard spell lists, but uses the spell progression as shown on Table: Guarded Emissary and Table: Guarded Emissary Spells Known. He also receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. The guarded emissary otherwise learns and casts spells as a bard equal to his guarded emissary level.
Bardic Performance: The guarded emissary's bardic performance makes changes to the following performances.
Inspire Greatness (Su): This is exactly like the bard ability of the same name, except that it only affects the bodyguard or himself.
Inspire Heroics (Su): This is exactly like the bard ability of the same name, except that it only affects the bodyguard or himself.
Guard Bond (Ex): At 1st level, a guarded emissary forms a close bond with a bodyguard. A bonded emissary shares a number of the bonuses of his class features with his bodyguard. This ability is similar to the ranger’s animal companion ability (which is part of the Hunter’s Bond class feature), but many changes have bee made, as described in the Bodyguard entry below. If the guarded emissary’s bodyguard is released from service or perishes, it can be replaced by making a request to his superiors that costs 200 gp per guarded emissary level plus the cost of the message spell to send it. The new bodyguard appears after 1d3 +1 days after and assumes his role as normal. This ability replaces dirge of doom and frightening tune.
Sentinel (Ex): A 2nd level, a guarded emissary’s bodyguard is ever watchful for attacks against his charge. Whenever the bodyguard is adjacent to his guarded emissary, any attacks made against the guarded emissary take a –1 penalty. In addition, the bodyguard treats any creature that threatens and is within 30 feet of his charge as an enemy of the guarded emissary, granting him a +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against the creature. These increase by 1 at 8th level and again at 16th level to a maximum of –3 and +3 respectively. This ability replaces inspire courage.
Interceptor (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a guarded emissary’s bodyguard is an expert at protecting him from harm. As a swift action, if the bodyguard is adjacent to his guarded emissary, he can transfer half the damage that would be dealt to the guarded emissary to him. Damage transferred in this manner bypasses any defensive abilities (such as immunity or damage reduction) the bodyguard may possess. Also, while the bodyguard is adjacent to his guarded emissary, the guarded emissary treats the area within 30 feet of him as secure, granting the guarded emissary a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks. This bonus increases to +3 at 7th level and every four levels thereafter, to a maximum of +6 at 19th level.
At 7th level, the bodyguard can transfer damage from an attack directed against the guarded emissary as an immediate action.
At 11th level, if the bodyguard is adjacent to his guarded emissary, he can intercept a successful attack against the guarded emissary, taking full damage from that attack and any associated effects (bleed, poison, etc.).
At 15th level, the body guard can intercept two successful attacks against the guarded emissary. This ability replaces inspire competence.
Silver Tongue (Ex): At 2nd level, the guarded emissary gains a +2 bonus on all Bluff and Diplomacy checks, and increases by +1 every six levels thereafter to a maximum of +5 at 18th level. At 14th level, the guarded emissary can take 10 on any Bluff or Diplomacy check, even if it is not normally allowed. This ability replaces jack-of-all trades.
Guarded Quarry (Ex): At 12th level, as a standard action, the guarded emissary can denote one target within his line of sight as his bodyguard’s quarry. This ability otherwise functions as the ranger’s quarry ability, but applies to the guarded emissary’s bodyguard instead. This ability replaces soothing performance.
Deadly Guardian (Ex): At 20th level, a guarded emissary’s bodyguard becomes the ultimate protector. As an immediate action, if the bodyguard is adjacent to the guarded emissary, he can intercept three successful attacks against the guarded emissary. If the combined damage of these attacks would drop the guarded emissary to –1 or fewer hit points, or kill him outright, the bodyguard must make a DC 15 Fortitude save. If this saving throw fails, the bodyguard dies regardless of his current hit points. If successful, the bodyguard transfers the full damage from all three attacks to himself, and his current hit point total drops to exactly 0, even if the amount of damage transferred is greater than his current hit points. The bodyguard is now considered to be disabled (see Disabled on p.189 of the Core Rulebook). If the bodyguard uses this ability again, prior to regaining at least half his maximum hit points, he is killed outright. Damage taken through this ability cannot be healed through cure light wounds or similar healing magic, only through natural healing (see Healing on p.191 of the Core Rulebook).
Alternatively, if the bodyguard is adjacent to the guarded emissary, he can make a single attack at his full attack bonus against any foe that is within the 30-foot secure area around the guarded emissary, even if the targets are out of reach and if doing so exceeds the 5–foot step restriction. The bodyguard a +5 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls, and rolls made to confirm critical hits while making these attacks. He also gains DR 5/– during these attacks and for 3 rounds thereafter. This otherwise functions like the Great Cleave feat, except that the bodyguard takes no penalty to his Armor Class. This ability replaces deadly performance.
A bodyguard who has been dismissed, whose master has died, or who has violated his sworn oath to protect his charge loses all bodyguard abilities and features. He may not progress any further in levels as a bodyguard, and is thereafter considered a warrior (NPC class) of a level equal to his Hit Dice.
Table: Guarded Emissary
Table: Guarded Emissary Spells Known