This pdf is 11 pages long 2/3 of a page front cover, 1 page editorial & SRD and 1 page of advertisement, leaving 8 1/3 pages for the Armiger-class, so let’s check out this defensive bullwark!
The new Armiger base-class is an interesting concept, as it’s a primary melee-class with ¾ BAB, 4+Int skills per level, good fort and ref saves and a unique rule regarding hitpoints: They get d12, but if they roll less than 6, they treat the result as 6. Interesting concept, as it ensures that the Armiger has a lot of hitpoints, conceivably more than all other characters. A variant rule for groups that use other means to determine hit points is also presented. This concept of being tougher than everyone else is continued in the Armiger’s abilities, granting him both improving DR while in armor as well as the ability to count as cover for his allies as well as changing places with allies to absorb incoming attacks.
Of course, as with almost any halfway-decent class, the armiger has choices for the player – he gets a selection of talents (10) and advanced talents (6) – from counting as hard cover, gaining more defensive feats to bracing crossbows on shields, gaining elemental resistance.
I have a little concern with regards to the spellguard advanced talents that enable the armiger to cast some abjuration spells from either cleric or wizard lists. Unfortunately, we don’t get any information which key ability modifier he uses.
I’m a bit wary of the second level-ability Reflect, too: It lets the Armiger, sans save, halve any damage from a source that enables a reflex save, essentially making the Armiger’s one bad save not too important. I have some balance concerns here. The same goes for the follow-up advanced talent.
The capstone ability sees the Armiger become immune to critical and several other attack-forms.
The pdf also offers extensive advice on how to use the Armiger in your game and offers 5 new feats centering on improving shield attacks and even halve armor penalty to movement.
The pdf closes by providing information on 5 new exotic shields to complement your defensive bulwark.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the three-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks. I like the idea of the Armiger, but I don’t like its execution: Reflect is simply too strong and gained too early and players being players, my DM-experience is screaming to me, in capital letters, that this class is prone to munchkinism, combined with enough magic items this will become problematic. The fact, that two of the advanced talents lack necessary information does not improve the pdf, either. The ability to become hard cover for allies is cool, but healing them as well feels like not really belonging to the class -healing others is usually the providence of divine characters. In the end, I will settle for a final verdict of 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 as the class has potential, but could become problematic fast, scaling the AC so high that either the Armiger gets rarely hit and everyone else always, or having the Armiger practically as an unhittable brute. Both are not necessarily viable options in my book.