Spartan Phalanx

Spartan Phalanx, from 300.

The shielded fighter, or shield bearer, was usually a lightly armored soldier who often accompanied a soldier of a higher rank with a protective shield. Thus commanders were often protected by several shield bearers. A shielded fighter focuses on both offense and defense, blending weapon and shield in perfect balance to impede his enemies while delivering deadly blows, and even turning the shield itself into a formidable weapon. These fighting school benefits apply when wielding a weapon and a shield simultaneously.[1]

Active Defense (Ex): At 3rd level, a shielded fighter gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC when wielding a shield and fighting defensively, using Combat Expertise, or using total defense. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 3rd. As a swift action, he may share this bonus with one adjacent ally, or half of the bonus (minimum +0) with all adjacent allies, until the beginning of his next turn. This ability replaces armor training 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Shield Fighter (Ex): At 5th level, a shielded fighter gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when making a shield bash. These bonuses increase by +1 every four levels beyond 5th. With a full attack action, a shielded fighter may alternate between using his weapon or his shield for each attack. This action does not grant additional attacks or incur penalties as two-weapon fighting does. This ability replaces weapon training 1.

Shield Buffet (Ex): At 9th level, as a move action, a shielded fighter may make a combat maneuver check to use his shield to impede an adjacent enemy. If successful, the target suffers a –2 penalty on its attack rolls against the shielded fighter and a –2 penalty to AC on attacks made by the shielded fighter until the beginning of his next turn.

At 13th level, a shielded fighter may use this ability as a swift action. This ability replaces weapon training 2 and 3.

Shield Guard (Ex): At 17th level, as a swift action, a shielded fighter may designate one square adjacent to him. He may designate two squares if using a heavy shield or three squares if using a tower shield, but these squares must be contiguous. Enemies in these squares cannot flank the shielded fighter and do not count for flanking with other creatures. This effect lasts until he moves from his position or uses another swift action to change the affected squares. This ability replaces weapon training 4.

Shield Mastery (Ex): At 19th level, a shielded fighter gains DR 5/— when wielding a shield. This ability replaces armor mastery.

Shield Ward (Ex): At 20th level, a shielded fighter gains evasion (as a rogue) while wielding a shield, and adds his shield bonus to his AC (not including enhancement bonuses) on Reflex saves and to his touch AC. In addition, his shield cannot be disarmed or sundered. This ability replaces weapon mastery.


  1. Jason Bulmahn (2010). Advanced Player's Guide, p. 108. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-246-3.
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