Many deities of goodly persuasion draw clerics and paladins to serve in their cause. However, those among the ranks of the common soldiers, elite guards, or kindhearted mercenaries who heed the call of the divine and enter into service of such powers. Granted a portion of divine insight and power, the zealous myrmidon is slowly emerging from obscurity. As these martial champions of light have increased in number, the churches’ hierarchies have come to utilize these devout and skillful warriors in small companies with the sole purpose of defending the faith against their enemies. With his martial training and divine powers, the zealous myrmidon is a strong proponent for the cause of good and can hold his own against the wicked and foul denizens arrayed against the forces of righteousness. (Original Concept by Elghinn Lightbringer)
Primary Class: Fighter.
Secondary Class: Paladin.
Alignment: Any good.
Hit Dice: d10.
Bonus Skills and Ranks: The zealous myrmidon may select three paladin skills to add to his class skills in addition to the normal fighter class skills. The zealous myrmidon gains a number of ranks at each level equal to 2 + Int modifier.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The zealous myrmidon is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, his deity’s favored weapon, all types of armor (heavy, light, and medium), and with shields (including tower shields).
Zealous Surge (Ex): A zealous myrmidon can call upon inner reserves of religious devotion and fanaticism, granting him additional combat prowess. Starting at 1st level, a zealous myrmidon can enter a zealous surge, in some ways similar to a barbarian's rage, for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his Charisma modifier. At each level after 1st, he can surge for 2 additional rounds. Temporary increases to Charisma rolls, such as those gained from spells like eagle’s splendor, do not increase the total number of rounds that a zealous myrmidon can surge per day. A zealous myrmidon can enter his zealous surge as a free action. The total number of rounds of surge per day is renewed after resting for 8 hours, although these hours do not need to be consecutive.
While in zealous surge, a zealous myrmidon gains a +1 morale bonus to his attack roll, a +2 morale bonus to his damage rolls, as well as a number of temporary hit points equal to 5 + his zealous myrmidon level. In addition, he takes a –2 penalty to Reflex saves. While in zealous surge, a zealous myrmidon cannot use any Dexterity-, Intelligence-, or Wisdom-based skills (except Acrobatics, Fly, Intimidate, and Ride) or any ability that requires patience or concentration. A zealous myrmidon can end his surge as free action and is fatigued for a number of rounds equal to the number of rounds spent in the surge.
Alternatively, a zealous myrmidon can choose to end his zealous surge as a standard action. In doing so, the zealous myrmidon can channel positive energy to heal himself and his allies as a paladin of his level. If the zealous myrmidon chooses to end his zealous surge in this way, he is exhausted for a number of rounds equal to the number of rounds spent in the surge, and then fatigued for the same number of additional rounds. A zealous myrmidon cannot enter a new surge while fatigued but can otherwise enter surge multiple times during a single encounter or combat. If a zealous myrmidon falls unconscious, his surge immediately ends, placing him in peril of death. This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level.
Insightful Strike (Ex): At 2nd level, when a zealous myrmidon makes an Initiative check, he gains an insight bonus equal to his Charisma modifier during the first round of an encounter. If his first round Initiative check is 10 or more than all those of his opponents, he gains a surprise round, even if he is surprised. This ability replaces armor training 1.
Zealous Powers (Ex): As a zealous myrmidon gains levels, he learns to use his zealous surge in new ways. Starting at 2nd level, a zealous myrmidon gains a zealous power and an additional zealous power for every two zealous myrmidon levels after 2nd level. A zealous myrmidon gains the benefits of the zealous power only while in a zealous surge, and some of these maneuvers require the zealous myrmidon to take an action first. Unless otherwise noted, a zealous myrmidon cannot select an individual power more than once. Alternatively, a zealous myrmidon may choose any combat feat which he qualifies for when he could normally choose a zealous power, with his effective fighter level for the requirements of any feat equal to his zealous myrmidon level. This ability otherwise functions as and replaces the fighter’s bonus feats.
Heaven’s Blessing (Su): At 3rd level, a zealous myrmidon gains a +1 sacred bonus to a single saving throw a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier. The zealous myrmidon must choose to add this bonus before making his saving throw roll. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 3rd. This ability replaces bravery.
Discerning Blow (Ex): At 5th level, a zealous myrmidon’s divine insight allows him to aim his blows at the weakest point in a foe’s defense, ignoring an amount of damage reduction equal to his Charisma modifier. This does not apply to damage reduction without a type (such as DR 10/—). This ability cannot be used against creatures that are immune to critical hits or otherwise lack discernible weak points. This ability stacks with the Penetrating Strike feat. This ability replaces weapon training 1.
Ardent Defense (Ex): At 6th level, a zealous myrmidon’s indomitable fervor allows him to absorb some of the damage he suffers from physical attacks, and can prevent attacks from striking weak points in his armor. He gains DR 1/— when wearing light armor, DR 2/— when wearing medium armor, and DR 3/— when wearing heavy armor. At 12th level, this damage reduction increases to DR 2/— when wearing light armor, DR 4/— when wearing medium armor, and DR 6/— when wearing heavy armor. At 18th level, this damage reduction increases to DR 3/— when wearing light armor, DR 6/— when wearing medium armor, and DR 9/— when wearing heavy armor. This damage reduction stacks with that provided by adamantine armor, but not with other forms of damage reduction. This damage reduction does not apply if the zealous myrmidon is stunned, unconscious, or helpless. This ability replaces armor training 2 and 4, and armor mastery.
Judicious Rally (Su): At 9th level a zealous myrmidon can use his unyielding faith and devotion to rally allied forces, giving them renewed hope and endurance to carry on and win victory. A rally affects all allies in a 10-foot radius burst. Those allies gain 2d6 temporary hit points, +1d6 for every four zealous myrmidon levels beyond 9th (3d6 at 13th, and 4d6 at 17th). Each ally may also make one saving throw against any one effect it currently suffers which could have been prevented with a successful saving throw (with the same save DC as the original saving throw), gaining a an insight bonus equal to the zealous myrmidon’s Charisma modifier to this roll. If the save succeeds, the effect ends. A zealous myrmidon may use judicious rally once per day. This ability replaces weapon training 2.
Greater Surge (Ex): At 11th level, whenever the zealous myrmidon enters a zealous surge, the morale bonus to attack rolls increases to +2 and the morale bonus to damage rolls increases to +4. This ability replaces armor training 3.
Enemy of the Faith (Su): At 13th level, a zealous myrmidon can focus upon a held weapon as a swift action, rendering it anathema to a chosen creature. The weapon gains the bane property against the creature for 1 minute. A zealous myrmidon may use enemy of the faith once per day. This ability replaces weapon training 3.
Deadly Insight (Su): At 17th level, the zealous myrmidon’s divine insight and awareness of his foes allows him to find weak spots where none should exist. A zealous myrmidon must make a Knowledge check appropriate to the creature’s type (DC 10 + the target’s HD) and gains an insight bonus equal to his Charisma modifier to the check. If successful, he may ignore the target’s natural damage reduction and immunity to critical hits and sneak attacks, and adds his Charisma modifier to his damage roll. This does not apply to immunities granted by spells, environmental effects, or equipment. This ability replaces weapon training 4.
Mighty Surge (Ex): At 20th level, whenever the zealous myrmidon enters a zealous surge, the morale bonus to attack rolls increases to +3 and the morale bonus to damage rolls increases to +6. In addition, if the zealous myrmidon makes a successful critical hit while using zeal surge, the morale bonus to damage is doubled. This ability replaces weapon mastery.
Table: Zealous Myrmidon