"Run away, little squire!" shouted the demon warrior as he drew his sword. It and its abyssal minions had set upon the Company of the Black Shield mere moments before, and already things looked grim for the heroes. Groanthar the Wild had been bound with magical force he could not overcome, while Riella the White had been knocked unconscious. The squire's master, Sir Thiritan, fought valiantly to drive back the demon, but it seemed the squire had little faith, for he turned and fled down the dark dungeon corridor. The fiend laughed at his apparent cowardice.
Once out of sight, however, the young squire stopped and quickly began chanting the Holy Intonation of Light. He felt the power rising in him until he literally began glowing with unearthly energy. His flesh transformed into pure gold, and his body became that of powerful man rather than a scrawny boy. With white light surrounding him in a heavenly aura, he drew his mighty greatsword and charged back to the battle.
"Good thing the squire fetched me," he boomed in a deep voice, careful to cover his secret, "Looks like you could use a hand, Sir Thiritan!"
"Aha! The Golden Champion!" cried the wounded knight. "Your days are numbered, evil fiend."
The demon cursed as the Champion charged him, cutting deeply into his supernatural flesh that had healed so quickly from the wounds inflicted by the others. It was pushed back by blow after vicious blow from the Champion's greatsword, until it backed up and, with a sneer, spat, "You win this time, Golden Champion!" In a puff of acrid smoke, it vanished back to whatever plane had spawned it.
Turning to the Champion, Thiritan growled sarcastically, "Geez, could you cut it any closer next time? Or maybe make it a little MORE obvious than running down the hall and coming back, like, two seconds later?"
The mighty Golden Champion looked down at his feet. "Um, sorry, Sir. I was, uh.."
"Whatever. Listen, change back and clean this sword, I've got to get Riella back on her feet."
The all-mighty Golden Champion spoke the reversal chant and returned back to his normal form. Once again the lowly squire, he began cleaning demon brains off of his master's blade.
The champion is a common man able to call upon the persona of a mighty avatar of divine power in times of need. This avatar does not come to the champion's side, however; he takes over the champion's body, transforming it into an obvious being of power to smite evildoers. The sight of the unleashed avatar is a either beautiful or terrifying, but few would suspect that such power erupts from the otherwise nondescript champion.
Adventures: Champions adventure to right wrongs and help others, usually by defeating powerful evil creatures that threaten civilization. While the champion might also have an interest in such worldly affairs as money, the champion's avatar form cares only for its divine mission. Often, the champion finds himself in the middle of situations far beyond his meager battle skills and must call on the avatar just to survive. The champion is really just the link on this mortal plane for the avatar, and is frequently swept up into events over which he has no control.
Characteristics: The power of the avatar can leap forth from the champion with a single word, transmogrifying his mortal flesh into the immortal power of the avatar. With this power, the champion can wreak terrible destruction on his foes for a short time before the champion's mundane form reasserts itself and he returns to normal. As the avatar becomes more closely bonded with the champion, it becomes more powerful when summoned and can be summoned more often. The champion and his avatar are ultimately separate people, though they share memories; they may have differences of opinion on a situation, and sometimes the champion will summon the avatar only to find that the avatar has different ideas on how to handle a situation.
Alignment: The forces of Good, either divine or abstract, power the champion's abilities and give birth to the avatar. Should the champion stray from the path of righteousness, the avatar will abandon him in favor of a new host.
Religion: Most champions gain their powers through devotion to a good-aligned deity, but it is not the only method. A powerful good-aligned outsider could offer the champion the opportunity to serve as his or her vessel on the mortal plane, or even a very powerful cleric or wizard could bind the champion to the avatar. More likely, the champion is of borderline observance to the deity's mandates; if the champion were truly devout, the god would choose him as a cleric or paladin instead. The path of the champion is generally less taxing for the wayward layperson, since the avatar itself is unswervingly loyal.
Background: Unlike paladins, champions are rarely called from birth or raised to their destiny. Becoming a champion is often a case of being in the right place at the right time-or even the wrong place at the wrong time. A champion might stumble across a holy relic that finds him "worthy enough" to serve as the avatar's link, or perhaps a dying outsider agrees to merge his essence with that of the champion out of necessity. The champion might enjoy the new relationship or they might resent losing control of their body periodically.
It is often in the champion's best interest to keep the fact that he and the avatar are one person a secret. If the avatar becomes well-known for its strikes against the forces of evil, it might court enemies that the champion, in his normal form, cannot best. Since the champion is limited as to how often he may take avatar form, it is likely that evildoers would eventually ambush him. Thus many champions keep their dual identity secret from all but their closest friends and fellow adventurers.
Races: Members of any of the common races are likely to find the role of champion thrust upon them; indeed, the informal nature of the champion's service makes it actually more likely that races like half-orcs or halflings find their way to the ranks of champions than one might expect. However, humans still make up the bulk of champions, if only because they are more likely to agree to share their body with the avatar than the longer-lived dwarves or elves.
Other Classes: Ironically, champions get along poorly with paladins and clerics. Those more formal members of the church hierarchy see the champions, with their part-time commitment, as amateurs and interlopers. Champions get along well with rogues, bards, and fighters, as they have the most in common with these everyman classes (at least until they say their magic word). The champion is not usually a leader in his normal form, preferring to let others take the responsibility. Unfortunately, the avatar is often far more interested in command, which can cause conflicts.
Champions have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Charisma is important to the champion's ability to hold avatar form as long as possible, as well as to allay suspicion if the champion wishes to keep his identity secret. Wisdom is useful for the small amount of divine spells that champion learns to cast. Strength and Constitution are most important for the champion's avatar form, which is likely to be interested primarily in combat.
Alignment: Any good.
Starting Gold: 6d4 x 10 (150 gp)
Hit Dice: d8
The champion's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
The champion's avatar form has a separate list of class skills. The avatar form's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The champion (and his avatar form) is proficient in all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).
Avatar (Su): Granted the imbued power of his patron, the Champion can transform himself from his normal shape into the shape of an avatar of holy might. Taking avatar form is a free action, but is always a spectacular affair; the champion appears to be struck by lightning, or engulfed in flames, or glow with otherworldly energy. The display is sufficient to immediately ruin any attempt to Hide, and grants a +10 circumstance bonus to the Spot checks of anyone who simply hasn't noticed the champion's presence. Transforming to or from avatar form requires a magic word to be spoken, so that a gag or a silence effect can prevent it from occurring.
The avatar is a Medium-size native outsider with the Good subtype (even if the champion himself is a different size), and looks only slightly like the champion's normal form. It is always in the prime of life, even if the champion is younger or older, and is obviously virile and powerful. The avatar displays an obvious magical nature, the exact details of which depend on the deity or power that created the avatar; the champion may crackle with an aura of electricity, or have eyes of flame and skin of steel, or any other mystic appearance (subject to DM approval). The avatar is different enough from the champion's normal countenance that it counts as a disguise, even granting a +10 circumstance bonus to the Disguise skill check if someone might recognize him. As an outsider, the avatar has darkvision out to 60 feet.
The avatar is almost like a separate character, with its own ability scores, hit points, feats, and skills. At 1st level, the avatar's ability scores are based on those of the champion, although the scores may be rearranged as desired for the avatar. Apply the ability score adjustments for the champion's race after arranging them. The avatar may then increase his ability scores 4 times, as if the avatar had gained a level divisible by four. Every champion class level gained thereafter, the avatar may increase one of his ability scores further; the standard increase to ability scores gained every four levels applies only to the champion's normal form.
The avatar also has gains skill points for every champion level (but not for levels in other classes) and has a different set of class skills than the champion's regular form. The avatar has one feat for every 3 character levels the champion has (regardless of the class). These may be feats he has in his normal form or they may be any feat he qualifies for by virtue of the avatar's ability scores; the avatar gains another feat whenever the champion reaches a character level divisible by three. The avatar has its own base attack bonus and base saving throws, based solely on the champion's class level (that is, attack and save bonuses from other classes or monster Hit Dice do not add to the avatar's values).
The avatar cannot access any class abilities from any class other than champion, such as spellcasting, fighter bonus feats, smite evil, turn undead, or wild shape. The avatar loses all racial traits as well, with the sole exception of racial adjustments to ability scores. Familiars, animal companions, and paladin mounts continue to serve the avatar as they would the champion, as do cohorts and followers gained from the Leadership feat. The champion cannot use any of his normal feats or skills when in avatar form (except for the bonus feat gained at 2nd level; see below). All equipment carried by the champion changes appearance slightly to match the avatar's overall image (and new size, if the avatar form is larger or smaller), but is otherwise unaffected.
The avatar has 12-sided Hit Dice equal to the champion's class levels and its own pool of hit points, modified by the avatar form's Constitution. Damage the champion takes when in avatar form comes from this set of hit points, rather than the champion's own hit points. Likewise, damage suffered while in normal form does not affect the avatar's health. The hit point total for each form "freezes" when the champion switches forms, so that if the avatar is wounded, it will still be wounded the next time the champion calls on it. If the avatar is reduced to negative hit points, the champion immediately reverts to normal form (complete with whatever hit point total he had before changing.) If the avatar is outright killed, the champion loses the ability to take avatar form (see below).
The champion and his avatar must each be healed separately, but the champion can choose to mentally direct any healing spell or effect to which he is subject to heal his avatar rather than his normal self. If either form is subject to a healing effect that would heal more hit points than that form has suffered in damage, the leftover healing may be transferred to the other form.
The avatar is immune to ability drain, ability damage, disease, energy drain, poison, or polymorph; any of these effects that have taken hold on the champion are suppressed while in avatar form. Any other spell or ability affecting the champion also affects the avatar when it is taken. The avatar is affected by spells that specifically target or affect native outsiders, and is immune to spells that target humanoids only. An anti-magic field suppresses the avatar form as long as the champion remains within, but the avatar form returns if the champion leaves the area.
The champion may take avatar form once per day at 1st level, and may maintain it for 3 minutes + 1 minute per point of the champion's Charisma bonus (not that of the avatar). At the end of this period, he reverts back to his normal shape, and is fatigued for an amount of time equal to the length of time he held avatar form. The champion can also return to normal form voluntarily, which will naturally shorten the duration of his exhaustion.
Spells: As the champion continues to serve as the vessel for his deity's will, he gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells drawn from the champion spell list. A champion must choose and prepare his spells in advance, and may not cast them while in avatar form. To prepare or cast a spell, the champion must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The DC for a saving throw against a champion's spell is 10 + the spell level + the champion's Wisdom modifier.
A champion can only cast a limited number of spells, as indicated on the accompanying table. The champion also gains bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. When the table indicates that the champion gets 0 spells of a particular spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to for high Wisdom. A champion prepares and casts spells as a paladin does, and his caster level is equal to half his champion class level.
Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, the champion learns a single bonus feat that he may use in both of his two forms. The feat must come from the following list: Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Diligent, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Investigator, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Magical Aptitude, Negotiator, Nimble Fingers, Persuasive, Self-Sufficient, Skill Focus, Stealthy, or Toughness.
Domain: As the servant of a deity, the champion gains access to one of his god's domains at 4th level. He may add the domain spells to the champion spell list, though he does not gain an additional domain slot per day in which to prepare them. He also gains the domain's granted power, which he may use in either his normal form or his avatar form. If the domain power is based on any ability score, such as the uses per day being based on Charisma, use the champion's relevant ability score, not the avatar's. At 12th level, the champion may select a second domain.
Energy Resistance (Su): As the champion becomes more powerful, his avatar becomes resistant to various forms of energy. At 3rd level, the champion chooses one energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic); his avatar gains resistance 5 to that energy type. Every 4 levels thereafter (7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th), the champion may choose another energy type to gain resistance 5 against OR increase his existing resistance to one energy type by 5. Alternately, if the avatar already possesses resistance 20 for any energy type, he may exchange it for complete immunity from that energy rather than raising it to resistance 25.
Fly (Su): At 6th level and above, the avatar can fly with perfect maneuverability. His fly speed starts out at 30 feet per round, and increases at 12th and 18th levels.
Damage Reduction (Su): Starting at 9th level, the champion's avatar form gains damage reduction 5/evil or silver (if lawful good) or cold iron (if chaotic good). If neutral good, the DM chooses which type of metal overcomes the avatar form's damage reduction. At 17th level, this increases to damage reduction 10/evil or silver/cold iron.
Perfect Transformation: At 20th level, the unity between the champion and the avatar has been perfected. The avatar increases his resistance to all five types of energy by 5; if any resistance would become 25, the avatar instead gains immunity to that energy type. From this point on, whenever the champion assumes avatar form, the avatar always begins fully healed, even if damaged in a previous manifestation.
Restrictions: The champion must maintain a good alignment at all times. If his alignment strays to neutral, he finds that taking avatar form becomes very difficult. He must make a Charisma check (DC equals 10 + champion level) in order to transform to the avatar, with failure expending one of his daily transformations to no effect. The champion must atone for his transgressions (often through a quest given to him by the avatar itself) and regain a good alignment or else it will eventually abandon him-as it will a champion who becomes evil.
If the avatar is killed, the champion cannot take avatar form until it is returned to life. The champion must be the recipient of a raise dead, resurrection, or true resurrection spell, which will return the avatar to life, although neither the avatar nor the champion loses a level as a result. The death and raising of the champion, however, will result in such a loss as normal.
Champion Spell List:
- 1st-Level: bless, bless weapon, cure light wounds, detect evil, divine favor, endure elements, magic weapon, protection from evil, remove fear, shield of faith
- 2nd-Level: bear's endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, cure moderate wounds, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, owl's wisdom, resist energy, shield other
- 3rd-Level: cure serious wounds, fly, heroism, magic circle against evil, prayer, protection from energy
- 4th-Level: cure critical wounds, death ward, dispel evil, divine power, freedom of movement, holy sword
SpoilerGrinorm Lighthammer, a.k.a. The Silver Centurion
Grinorm Lighthammer is the latest champion to emerge from his family. In ages past, the spirit of the Silver Centurion had chosen a worthy dwarf of young age to serve as its vessel. No one was more surprised than Grinorm himself when the spirit of the Centurion possessed him. He was a mediocre warrior and less than devout in the worship of Moradrin. Clearly, though, the Silver Centurion saw something in this young dwarf, and has led him out into the world outside his home tunnels in search of adventure and evil to battle.
Notes: This low level champion is slightly subpar in his normal form and quite powerful in his champion form. He has focused his feats in both forms to use the same style: fighting with a two-handed weapon in a straight-up engagement. Also, since he will only be in avatar form for a few minutes at a time, he was free to place his low stats into his avatar's Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
Lawful Good male dwarf
1st level Champion
Str 11, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10
HD 1d8+4, Hit Points: 12
Initiative +0, Speed: 20 feet/round
AC 14 (Touch 10, Flat-footed 14)
Base Attack Bonus: +0
Attack: Greataxe +1 melee (1d12) or heavy crossbow +0 (1d10)
Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +4 (+2 vs. spells, poisons)
Feats: Weapon Focus (greataxe)
Skills: Climb +4, Diplomacy +4, Listen +6, Sense Motive +6, Spot +6
Special Attacks: Avatar (1/day, 3 minutes), +1 attack vs. orcs and goblinoids
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 feet, stability, stonecunning, +4 dodge vs. giants
Avatar: The Silver Centurion (1/day, 3 minutes)
Appearance: A dwarf seemingly made entirely of shiny metal, the Silver Centurion looks almost like a construct but with a glint of holy light in his eyes.
Lawful Good male outsider (good, native)
Str 20, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 8
HD 1d12+3, Hit Points: 15
Initiative +0, Speed: 30 feet/round
AC 15 (Touch 11, Flat-footed 14)
Base Attack Bonus: +1
Attack: Greataxe +6 melee (1d12+7)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +0
Feats: Power Attack
Skills: Listen +4, Spot +4
Special Attacks: None
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 feet, outsider traits
Equipment: Greataxe, scale mail, heavy crossbow, 40 bolts, 28 gp
Sindee the Black, a.k.a. The Forest Guardian
Sindee the Black was simply an elven ranger, patrolling the great unspoiled forest from the depredations of human loggers and poachers. When she came across a dying elder dryad that had been ravaged by evil humans, she swore to wreak revenge on them. Hearing her pledge, the dryad transferred some of her life energy to the elven girl. Now, Sinde can transform herself into the dreaded Forest Guardian, but takes pains to keep her identity secret: only those who harm the woods face her unbridled wrath.
Notes: This champion focuses on different combat styles for each of her two forms. With a few levels of ranger, her normal form is an expert archer, but when threatened in melee, she can transform to her avatar form, which has selected solely melee feats. This gives her a greater versatility; Quick Draw allows the avatar to quickly switch from bow to sword and shield when called upon. Also note that by multiclassing, her regular and avatar forms are much closer in power; while both have about the same chance to hit, the avatar does more damage and has more hit points.
Chaotic Good female elf
6th level champion/3rd level ranger
Str 14, Dex 19, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 13
HD 9d8, Hit Points 44
Initiative +4, Speed 30 ft/rnd
AC 22 (Touch 14, Flat-footed 18)
Base Attack Bonus: +7/+2
Attacks: Longsword +11/+6 melee (1d8+2/17-20) or composite longbow +12/+7 (1d8+2)
Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +7 (+2 vs. enchantments)
Feats: Dodge, Endurance (B), Improved Initiative (B), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot (V), Stealthy, Track (B)
Skills: Concentration +3, Disguise +7, Handle Animal +4, Hide +17, Knowledge (nature) +6, Listen +9, Move Silently +17, Search +8, Sense Motive +7, Spot +9, Survival +7
Special Attacks: Avatar (2/day, 4 minutes), Favored Enemy (humans +2)
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 feet, immune to sleep, low-light vision, outsider traits, plant domain (rebuke/command plants 4/day).
Spellcasting: Caster level 3rd, Spells per Day: 1st: 2
Typical Spells: 1st: cure light wounds, entangle
Avatar: The Forest Guardian (2/day, 4 minutes)
Appearance: The Forest Guardian looks like a fey woman surrounded in a mass of writhing plant vines. Her hair is green and her voice is that of a creature of the woods.
Chaotic Good female outsider (native, good)
Str 18, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 10
HD 6d12+12, Hit Points 64
Initiative +5, Speed 30 ft/rnd, Fly 30 ft/rnd
AC 23 (Touch 15, Flat-footed 18)
Base Attack Bonus: +6/+1
Attacks: Longsword +11/+6 (1d8+5/17-20) or composite longbow +13/+8 (1d8+2)
Fort +7, Ref +10, Will +2
Feats: Combat Expertise, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative (B), Improved Trip, Quick Draw
Skills: Hide +12, Intimidate +4, Move Silently +12, Listen +8, Spot +7
Special Attacks: None
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 feet, fire resistance 5, outsider traits, plant domain (rebuke/command plants 4/day).
Equipment: +2 studded leather armor, +2 buckler, +2 composite longbow (mighty +2), +1 keen longsword, boots of elvinkind, cloak of elvinkind, wand of cure moderate wounds, 1585 gp
Siegel Blacksmith, a.k.a. Olympion the Mighty
A learned man with some adventurous tendencies, Siegel Blacksmith accidentally uncovered a holy artifact of the celestials that fused him with the power of the mighty Olympion, planetar of good. Siegel wants only to continue his studies, but the spirit of Olympion pushes him to wander the world in search of wrongs to right.
Notes: This is your basic single-class champion taken all the way to 16th level. In avatar form, he does massive damage, although still potentially less than a 16th level single-class barbarian might. Where the champion shines is his superior defenses (energy resistance and damage reduction 5/evil or silver) and mobility (fly at 60 ft/round). Compared to a barbarian, one can see the real paradigm of the champion: the avatar is slightly better than a barbarian in a rage, while the normal form is far worse than a barbarian out of a rage. The versatility of having two sets of stats and feats is the key to building a good champion.
Neutral Good male human
16th level champion
Str 10 (16), Dex 14 (16), Con 10, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 18
HD 16d8, Hit Points 76
Initiative +0, Speed 30 ft/rnd, Fly 30 ft/rnd
AC 29 (Touch 17, Flat-footed 26)
Base Attack Bonus: +12/+7/+2
Attacks: Greatsword +19/+14/+9 melee (2d6+7, plus 1d6 electricity, 2d6 holy) or longbow +16/+11/+6 ranged (1d8+4)
Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +15
Feats: Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Initiative (B), Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword) (B), Whirlwind Attack
Skills: Bluff +16, Concentration +4, Diplomacy +16, Disguise +14, Hide +7, Knowledge (religion) +13, Knowledge (the planes) +5, Listen +18, Move Silently +6, Sense Motive +14, Spellcraft +5, Spot +18
Special Attacks: Avatar (4/day, 7 minutes)
Special Qualities: Strength domain (+16 Strength, 1 round per day), War domain
Spellcasting: Caster level 8th, Spells per Day: 1st: 3, 2nd: 3, 3rd: 1, 4th: 1
Typical spells: 1st: divine favor, enlarge person, shield of faith. 2nd: bear's endurance, cure moderate wounds, eagle's splendor. 3rd: magic circle against evil. 4th: cure critical wounds.
Avatar: Olympion the Mighty (4/day, 7 minutes)
Appearance: Olympion appears as a 7-foot-tall muscular green-skinned man in white toga with immense angelic wings and white glowing eyes.
Neutral Good male outsider (native, good)
Str 26 (32), Dex 14 (16), Con 20, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 13
HD 16d12+80, Hit Points 190
Initiative +7, Speed 30 ft/rnd, Fly 60 ft/rnd
AC 29 (Touch 17, Flat-footed 26)
Base Attack Bonus: +16/+11/+6/+1
Attacks: Greatsword +31/+26/+21/+16 melee (2d6+19, plus 1d6 electricity, 2d6 holy/17-20) or longbow +20/+15/+10/+5 ranged (1d8+4)
Fort +18, Ref +16, Will +9
Feats: Cleave, Flyby Attack, Improved Critical (greatsword), Improved Initiative (B), Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword) (B)
Skills: Listen +20, Spot +20
Special Attacks: None
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/evil or silver, darkvision 60 feet, electricity resistance 10, outsider traits, plant domain (rebuke/command plants 4/day), sonic resistance 10, Strength domain (+16 Strength, 1 round per day), War domain
Equipment: +3 holy shocking burst greatsword (cold iron), +1 longbow (mighty +3), +4 mithral breastplate, ring of protection +4, ring of greater fire resistance, belt of giant strength +6, gloves of dexterity +2, amulet of natural armor +3, cloak of resistance +3, wand of cure serious wounds, 1250 gp
Mourn the champion, for he is the victim of power creep. At the time that I designed the class, permanent flight, energy resistance, and damage reduction were not available as class features for any but the most difficult-to-achieve prestige classes. As a result, a class that gained access to these sought-after defensive powers for short periods of time was entirely reasonable. Unfortunately, then came the Complete line of supplements. The warlock started off the assault, gaining permanent energy resistance and damage reduction naturally and the ability to select nearly-permanent flight capabilities. The favored soul struck next, granting better energy resistance at a lower level than the champion without the restriction on the number of uses per day, then tacked on flight and damage reduction at high levels, too. Many more prestige classes also came out that offered these once hard-to-find powers. Now, the champion's limited access to his powers makes him a far less appealing choice, especially in a high-level game where other classes will have already earned their bells and whistles. To remedy this, add the following to the champion's abilities:
Energy Resistance (Su): As listed above, but the avatar's energy resistance also makes the champion more resilient. The champion gains energy resistance 5 to any energy form that the avatar has 10 or more points of resistance.
Damage Reduction (Su): As above, but the avatar's invulnerability makes the champion harder to kill. The champion gains damage reduction 1/evil or silver (if lawful good) or cold iron (if chaotic good) at 9th level, which increases to 5/evil or silver/cold iron at 17th level. At 17th level, the avatar's damage reduction also increases to 10/evil AND silver/cold iron.
The champion also suffers from the potential need for multiple sets of equipment. If you want to have your avatar form be a bruiser and your champion stand in the back and shoot arrows, you need to invest in different two magic weapons. Luckily, there are two gaps in the champion's class ability list, so I can remedy that one right now:
Avatar Weapon (Su): Starting at 8th level, the champion can cause one of his magical weapons to change shape along with him when he takes his avatar form. The weapon changes to any one other simple or martial weapon, but keeps all enchantments and is crafted from the same special materials (if possible). The champion chooses a weapon to be his avatar weapon by meditating on it for 8 hours and deciding what its alternate form will be; once chosen, the weapon can only transform to that single shape. The champion can meditate again to switch the ability to a different weapon or to change the alternate form to that of a different weapon.
Greater Avatar Weapon (Su): At 16th level, the avatar learns to channel a portion of his power into his avatar weapon. When in avatar form, his current avatar weapon gains additional magical abilities equal to a +3 enchantment. This ability can either be a single +3 ability (e.g. a weapon of speed), a +2 and a +1 ability (a holy keen weapon), or three +1 abilities (a shocking flaming frost weapon), as the champion prefers. These abilities can increase the weapon's total number of enchantments above the normal limits of how many special abilities can be present on a weapon. You may not choose an enhancement bonus as a special ability. The champion chooses what abilities are gained using the same meditation process for switching his avatar weapon; the abilities gained remain the same until they are switched.
Finally, the last problem I see with the avatar is lack of support. Other classes have gotten dozens of supplemental artifacts, from feats to spells to magic items, to support the way they operate. The champion has zilch. If anything, he actually hampers other classes with which he might multiclass. So I took a little bit of time and came up with some feats that should help the prospective champion make the best use of his unique abilities; due to length, they're presented in the next post.
Hopefully, with these additions, the champion can once more compete with some of the later additions to the game.