Here’s the Heroic Guardian class:
Download: Essentials Guardian (Paladin) v.1

So, here’s the Paladin I said I was working on — I finished it last night and wanted to give it a little time to marinate before I posted it today. As I said, I dropped a lot of the really flashy powers in favor of a balanced, quasi-natural approach.

Here’s all you need to know about this class as a defender:

Devoted Bodyguard [Martial]
Opportunity action * At-will * Personal
Requirement: You must be using a shield.
Trigger: An enemy hits an ally adjacent to you with an attack that doesn’t include you as a target.
Effect: The triggering attack hits you instead.

That’s what you wanted to know, right? The Guardian takes hits for the team — the Guardian takes all of the hits. The first thing you might notice, this is an at-will opportunity power. If you’re standing next to your Wizard buddy and four guys attack him, you can take all four hits — well, as long as they aren’t multi-target attacks.

The Guardian just takes the hits. There are no marking shenanigans, and the Guardian has limited punishing capability. You may note Divine Sanction has no attack roll or damage type (not radiant!). It’s just ranged damage once per round.

Devoted Bodyguard is how the Guardian “charges up” his Righteous Smite encounter power (must be bloodied to use). Well, unless he’s getting hit a lot. The Guardian shouldn’t get hit if he’s hauling around a heavy shield and plate armor.

With Strength and Charisma being primary attributes, and the shield to help shore up his Reflex — not to mention a class defense bonus to all three NADs — the Guardian should be a really tough customer. Hit points might be a little lacking compared to a defender like say, the Warden, but I think the Guardian makes up for it.

Bolstering Strike empowers the Guardian when he’s swinging with a basic attack — those temporary hit points might not be much, but taking 2-3 less damage per round can add up pretty quickly over a couple rounds. Better, if he gets granted attacks.

The Guardian sports a version of the Aura of Courage feature I created for the Hospitaler back at the end of May — this one includes a handy rules reminder (clarification) that helps explain what immunity to Fear actually does for you.

The Hospitaler (May 25, 2013)

Pillar of Strength is based on “Second Wind,” with a defender twist. Timely Rescue is inspired by a Warlord power with a similar name (which escapes me at the moment). Awaken Guardian is inspired by the “Maiden’s Waking” Sorcerer utility.

Really, making this class has been an encouraging process — well, the Templar and Scoundrel helped too — I feel a lot more confident about creating utility powers, which you may have noticed have been full powers for the last several classes.

Next up, I’m thinking about a class that will satisfy both my hunger for another “class rewrite” and this month’s Mythos theme. Have fun, and play at your own risk!