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[3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Game design for the d20 system

[3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby MammonAzrael » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:33 pm

Sword Saint

Image


"Long ago, I was taught to strike from behind and keep my back to the wall."

- “Thunder God” Cidolfus Orlandeau, a Sword Saint of the highest order


This article has a related thread on the Giant in the Playground forums that may contain more up-to-date information than what is provided here.
Deadly, focused, and relentless, the sword saint is a knight that believes in the strength of his blade and his arm, pouring his soul into his technique. Focused on improving his skill with a blade, he has awakened the essence of the sword he wields, striking forth with devastating effect. Mastering this unique understanding and power is an avenue of strength that greatly enhances their prowess in battle. Sword Saints have developed their own magical force, focused through their blades, a highly offensive outpouring of skill and soul. Magically resistant creatures have no protection against such techniques, and even in areas void of magic the Sword Saint is a dangerous opponent not to be underestimated.

Becoming a Sword Saint
To become a sword saint is to become one with the blade in your hand. Only a focused and dedicated swordsman will have a chance at understanding the soul of the weapon they use. Nearly all sword saints come from martial backgrounds of one type or another. Usually veterans of many battles, experienced fighters can gain the insight into starting down this path. Barbarians are uncommon, but not unheard of, as they typically prefer weapons with more brute force. Some Warblades follow the path of the sword saint, though most continue in the footsteps of their schools, powerful in their own right. Sword saints see a smattering of rangers, hexblades, and knights as well. Those that prefer stealth generally avoid such a bold and aggressive path. Few divine warriors will leave their god to follow the soul of the sword, and most arcanists scoff at such a crude use of power.

Entry Requirements
Base attack bonus: +5
Feats: Weapon Focus (any martial or exotic sword, including but not limited to: bastard sword, falchion, greatsword, long sword, rapier, scimitar, short sword, and two-bladed sword)
Skills: 8 ranks in Craft (weaponsmithing), 4 ranks in either Knowledge (Arcana) or Spellcraft
Special: Must have crafted a masterwork sword for which you have weapon focus.

Skill points gained per level: 4 + Int modifier
Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Martial Lore (Int), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex)

Hit Die: d10

LevelBABFortRefWillSpecialSwordskills
1+1+2+0+0Swordplay (basic forms)1
2+2+3+0+0First Blood, Vehemence +1d122
3+3+3+1+1Honed Intuition3
4+4+4+1+1Practiced Skill3
5+5+4+1+1Swordplay (advance forms)4
6+6+5+2+2Vehemence +2d125
7+7+5+2+2Mettle6
8+8+6+2+2Perfected Skill6
9+9+6+3+3Swordplay (master forms)7
10+10+7+3+3Last Blood, Vehemence +3d128


Weapon and armor proficiencies
A sword saint is proficient with all simple and martial swords, and gains no additional armor proficiencies.

Swordplay (Su)
The hallmark ability of sword saints, they pour a bit of their very soul into their weapons, unlocking powerful arcane techniques. These abilities, known as swordskills, can only be used while the sword saint is wielding a sword that he has Weapon Focus for and can wield without penalties. This sword is a material focus for all swordskills, though it doesn't need to be a sword crafted by the sword saint. A sword saint can use any swordskill he knows at will, provided he is wielding a sword. As long as he is wielding a sword he forged himself, increase the DCs of all his swordskills by 1.

The three forms of swordskills, in order of their relative power, are basic, advance, and master. A sword saint begins with knowledge of one swordskill, which must be of the basic form. As a swordsaint gains level, he learns new swordskills, as shown on Table: Sword Saint. At 5th level a swords saint can learn advance forms, and at 9th level he can learn master forms.

A sword saint’s swordskills are supernatural abilities; using a swordskill is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If a target makes a successful Reflex saving throw against a swordskill they take only half damage from the swordskill, and all other effects of the swordskill are negated. The save DC for a basic form is 10 + ½ the sword saint’s class level + the sword saint’s Wisdom modifier, the save DC for an advance form is 11 + ½ the sword saint’s class level + the sword saint’s Wisdom modifier, and the save DC for a master form is 12 + ½ the sword saint’s class level + the sword saint’s Wisdom modifier. If a sword saint reduces their base attack bonus before using a swordskill (by using combat expertise, power attack, or another ability) the DC of all forms are reduced by 1 for each 4 points of BAB lost for as long as the BAB penalty exists.


First Blood (Ex)
At 2nd level when a sword saint charges a flat-footed opponent he gains a +3 competence bonus to his attack roll and his attack ignores all damage reduction. If a sword saint can make more than one attack during a charge this ability applies only to the first attack.


Vehemence (Ex)
Whenever a sword saint of second level deals damage he may choose to deal an additional 1d12 of damage. If he does, each creature that damages him until the beginning of his next turn deals an extra 1d12 damage on the first attack that hits. Increase the damage dealt and received to 2d12 at 6th level and 3d12 at 10th level.


Honed Intuition (Ex)
At 3rd level a sword saint gains a competence bonus to their initiative and melee damage rolls equal to half their class level.


Practiced Skill (Ex)
When a sword saint reaches 4th level, they have become so proficient in the basic forms that they can add a bit of personal flair, truly making the skills they have learned their own. They may select one of the following options and that option is applied to all their basic forms. They may select an additional option at 8th level. You cannot select an ability multiple times unless the ability specifies otherwise.

  • Increase the DC of all basic forms by 1. This option may be selected multiple times.
  • Increase the range of all basic forms by 5 feet.
  • Add your Wisdom modifier to the damage rolls of all your basic forms.
  • Whenever you use a basic form you gain temporary HP equal to your Wisdom modifier.
  • Increase the duration of any effect of a basic form by 1 round.
  • Choose an energy type: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. Basic forms can now deal that damage type instead of their normal damage type. This option may be selected multiple times, though each selection must be a different energy type.


Mettle (Ex)
At 7th level a sword saint can resist magical attacks with greater effectiveness than other warriors. By focusing his mind of every detail of the battle, he can shrug off effects that would hinder even the toughest warrior. If he succeeds on a Fortitude or Will save against an attack that would normally produce a lesser effect on a successful save (such as a spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), he instead negates the effect. He does not gain the benefit of mettle when he is unconscious or sleeping.


Perfected Skill (Ex)
When a sword saint reaches 8th level, they have become so extraordinarily adept in the advance forms that they can add a bit of personal flair, like with the basic forms, leaving their personal mark on each of their attacks. They may select one of the following options and that option is applied to all their advance forms.

  • Increase the DC of all advance forms by 1.
  • Increase the range of all advance forms by 5 feet.
  • Add your Wisdom modifier to the damage rolls of all your advance forms.
  • Whenever you use an advance form you gain temporary HP equal to your Wisdom modifier.
  • Choose an energy type: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. Advance forms can now deal that damage type instead of their normal damage type.
  • A creature hit with an advance form that fails its save by 4 or more is knocked prone.


Last Blood (Ex)
At 10th level a sword saint is a fearsome foe, and becomes only more aggressive and dangerous when they are backed into a corner or they see victory in sight. If the sword saint is below half its HP it gains a +5 competence bonus to attack rolls and the DC of all his swordskills is increased by 2. Whenever a sword saint drops an enemy to -1 hit points or less he gains a morale bonus to all damage rolls equal to twice his Wisdom modifier for 1 round.



Swordskills

Basic Forms

Cleansing Strike
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 15 feet. That creature gains a cumulative -1 morale penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks, each round for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier. The penalty disappears at the end of the last round. A creature hit with this ability multiple times does not have the duration refreshed or extended.


Crush Accessory
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to a single creature within 15 feet. One non-weapon, non-armor object of your choice in the creature’s possession takes the same amount of damage.


Encroaching Darkness
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + twice your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 25 feet. That creature gains total concealment for 1 round and is blinded for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier.


Extending Strike
You may perform a single martial strike of 4th level or lower that makes a single melee attack against a single creature on a target within 20 ft. The attack requires no attack roll. The target can succeed on a Reflex save (basic form DC) to halve the damage and negate any effect other than bonus damage dice (which would be halved on a successful save). The maneuver is expended as if it had been used normally.


Infernal Strike
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to a single creature within 15 feet. That creature loses one prepared spell or spell slot at random and you gain spell resistance equal to 10 + half your class level + twice the level of the spell lost for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier (you still gain SR even if the target had no spell or slot to lose).


Lingering Edge
You deal damage equal to twice your Strength modifier to each creature in a 5 foot radius burst within 20 feet. A creature hit by lingering edge takes damage equal to your Strength modifier at the beginning of their turn for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier.


Magicsap
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 20 feet. That creature’s caster level is reduced by 3 for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier (multiple reductions stack) and that creature must make a successful Concentration check with a DC equal to 10 + the save DC when it casts it’s next spell or the spell is disrupted.


Powersap
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + twice your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 20 feet. That creature takes 4 strength damage if it failed the save.


Sanguine Sword
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to a single creature within 15 feet. You heal HP damage equal to the damage dealt.


Advance Forms

Abyssal Blade
You take 1d6 damage per two hit dice you have and deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + twice your Wisdom modifier to each creature within a 15 foot cone. A creature hit by Abyssal Blade within 10 feet take additional damage equal to the damage you took and creatures within 5 feet take additional damage equal to twice the damage you took.


Crush Weapon
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to a single creature within 15 feet. Deal the same amount of damage to one weapon in wielded by the target creature. If the creature isn’t holding a weapon the creature take extra damage equal to three times your wisdom modifier.


Encompassing Strike
You may perform a single martial strike of 3rd level or lower that makes a single melee attack against a single creature on each creature in a 5 foot radius burst within 15 feet. The attack requires no attack roll. The target can succeed on a Reflex save (advance form DC) to halve the damage and negate any effect other than bonus damage dice (which would be halved on a successful save). The maneuver is expended as if it had been used normally.


Judgement Blade
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to each creature in a 5 foot radius burst within 10 feet. A creature hit by Judgement Blade has all their modes of movement reduced to 0 ft. and standard actions require a full-round action to use for 1 round.


Mindsap
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + twice your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 20 feet. That creature takes your choice of 4 intelligence damage, 4 Wisdom damage, or 4 Charisma damage if it failed the save.


Northswain’s Strike
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + three times your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 15 feet. The creature is staggered for 1 round (this is regardless of the target's current HP relative to his nonlethal damage). If the creature rolled a 1 on their save the damage is multiplied by the focus sword’s critical multiplier.


Phantom Edge
You deal force damage equal to three times your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 30 feet. A creature hit by phantom edge takes force damage equal to your Wisdom modifier for a number of rounds equal to ½ your class level.


Speedsap
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + twice your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 20 feet. That creature under the effect of slow for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier.


Master Forms

Crushing Blow
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + four times your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 15 feet. That creature is stunned for 1 round.


Divine Ruination
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + twice your Wisdom modifier to each creature in a 5 foot wide 25 foot line. A creature hit by Divine Ruination is under the effect of confused for 1 round.


Hallowed Bolt
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + three times your Wisdom modifier to each creature in a 5 foot radius burst within 15 feet. A creature hit by Hallowed Bolt is unable to speak for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier and cannot cast any spells or spell-like abilities for 1 round.


Reaching Strike
You may perform a single martial strike of 8th level or lower that makes a single melee attack against a single creature on a target within 20 ft. The attack requires no attack roll. The target can succeed on a Reflex save (master form DC) to halve the damage and negate any effect other than bonus damage dice (which would be halved on a successful save). The maneuver is expended as if it had been used normally.


Unholy Sacrifice
You take 1d4 damage per hit die you have and deal that much damage + damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + twice your Wisdom modifier to each creature within 15 feet. A creature hit by Unholy Sacrifice is under the effect of slow for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier.



Playing a Sword Saint
As a sword saint you have tapped into the powerful soul of the weapon you wield. Swordplay is a powerful ability, but with its limited range you will still be found in the middle of the battle. Sword saints call upon their their unique abilities often, but have nothing against a simpler assault, or those that use them. You don’t have anything particular against warriors who have chosen other paths, but you do believe that yours is inherently better, as the deep understanding of your weapon has given you a sense of focus and pride.

Combat
Close and melee combat is the name of the game. Sword saints often have a sense of honor when it comes to combat, but that doesn’t mean they’ll hold anything back when they meet an opponent on the field. If a sword saint draws his weapon, he is expecting to kill someone, and nearly always does. You should usually focus your skills on weaker or more cumbersome enemies, relying on their inability to dodge your attacks to bring them low. However, a sword saint can easily transition into a more traditional fighting style and deal large amounts of damage to creatures with extraordinary reflexes. First blood gives you an excellent way to start the battle, putting your enemy on the defensive from the start. And last blood will help you finish an enemy decisively. Despite their belief that the best defense is a good offense, most sword sages are wise enough to know that sometimes they must pull back. Luck is ever a factor in battle and sometimes one must retreat for another day.

Advancement
Having devoted yourself to the path of the blade, it is extremely rare for a sword saint to follow any other path. Many will explore the path of the sublime way, often exploring the school of the Iron Heart the most, though some take a wider view and explore the options of a swordsage. Nearly all sword saints will focus on their offense capabilities, no matter what path they take. Some choose to focus on their pure melee skills, while others will continue to polish their unique arcane abilities. While uncommon, some choose to take a defensive approach, utilizing the knight’s protective skills.

Resources
Most sword saints have discovered their connection to the sword on their own, though usually in the service to some kingdom or lord. And through them a sword saint has some resources he can call upon in an emergency. However, there is a small organization called the Order of the Southern Sky devoted to the perfection of swordplay forms. Members of this organization can find sure support from fellow members, and will avoid fighting against one another if at all possible. A member of the Order will always try to recruit a person that has discovered the way of the sword saint on their own, both to bolster their numbers and because it is the most common way to discover new techniques.

Sword Saints in the World
”He stood apart from his enemy and just swung his sword...and the guy just fell, without the sword ever touching him!”

- Tellid Garr, a bystander to an escalated bar fight


As long as swords exist in the world the path of the sword saint will never truly disappear. Sword saints and the Order of the Southern Sky fit well into any campaign or world where the martial and the mystic can blend together. If swords are not a prominent feature in your game the class can work with other weapons, though it should remain dedicated to a single style.

Organizations
The Order of the Southern Sky is the largest collection sword saints in the world. A military organization, the Order believes in a firm hand to guide society to a prosperous future. While they accept people with a variety of skills, they always require complete allegiance, never initiating people who have loyalties elsewhere. The Order is dominated by more martially inclined minds, with a great number of the higher ranks having at least some training in the ways of Swordplay. There used to be a sister Order, of the Northern Sky, but it fell to an evil corruption long ago and the Southern Sky had to wipe out the remaining remnants. There are rumors that small cults of the Norther Sky still exist, teaching swordskills to any depraved swordsman deadly enough to learn the destructive art.

NPC Reactions
At first glance most common people see the sword saint as a simple fighter. Armored men wielding swords with deadly skill is a fairly common thing to encounter. upon seeing their swordplay, most revise there opinion only slightly, attributing the magic to a Deity, believing the sword saint is a paladin of some remote godling. Among the more faithful, sword saints are known here and there, as people with misplaced faith in a mortal weapon, a faith that sadly was not turned to the path of righteousness soon enough, instead lost to the violence of man. Arcane casters typically view swordplay as a crude expression of their craft, and take an arrogant tone when dealing with a practitioner. However among the powerful rulers and militias of the world, sword saints are regarded as deadly fighters, focused on victory in battle, and always a powerful tool to have.

Sword Saints in the game
Sword saints are nearly always mistaken for fighters or warblades when first encountered. And many that do not know the Sublime way continue in their misinformed beliefs. But for any creature with a decent understanding of swords or magic, a sword saint’s unique nature is quickly apparent. Sword saints work best for aggressive characters that prefer a strong offense over battlefield control or utility options. They can function well in social settings, and their abilities often lend a bit of prestige in more formal settings, but they are only truly at home on the battlefield.

Adaptation
Faerûn: I don’t have a large amount of experience or knowledge of the world of Faerûn, so if anyone is and can suggestion a good adaptation I’d love to hear it. I’ll be going over the campaign setting later if I don’t hear anything, to see if I can find something fitting and give the class some adaptation for this setting.

Eberron: I don’t have a large amount of experience or knowledge of the world of Eberron, so if anyone is and can suggestion a good adaptation I’d love to hear it. I’ll be going over the campaign setting later if I don’t hear anything, to see if I can find something fitting and to give the class some adaptation for this setting.

Hourglass of Zihaja: Sword saints in Siraaj have only a single collective sanctuary. Just south of Dajajah, near Lawaq, you can find the fortress of the Order of the Southern Sky. A small mercenary army that is often in the employ sheik, providing protection for their various ships, and the occasional caravan that heads out into the Dunes of Hazaliqabazad. Most of the members are human or hawasabi, and often following the path of a swordsage before discovering the mystic art of swordplay.

Encounters
Most sword saints will lean towards the good and lawful alignments, with a solid infusion of neutrals. As such most interactions will be as mercenaries and guards. Once they gain influence sword saints can often be found as heads of elite strike forces, part of a kings personal guard, or even army generals, and are usually handled in a diplomatic way. Sword saints that are pushed to violence (or are hired in the case of evil sword saints) are a class that will often surprise players. Not because they’re sneaky, but because their most common tactic, taking advantage of First Blood and charging into combat the first round, will certainly give the impression of a standard fighter. But one he is in the thick of things he can begin letting loose with his swordskills, which the players shouldn’t be prepared for.

Sample Encounter
Sword saints are rarely fought alone. They know the value of a supportive team, to follow through the hole a sword saint can carve into a front line. That being said, even alone they can be fearsome enemies as they can dish out a dangerous amount of damage, and are often quick to act.

Dallia Redson
Neutral Evil/Female/Human /Fighter 5, Sword Saint 6
Init +8, Senses: Listen +2, Spot +16
Languages Common
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AC 24, touch 11, flat-footed 23 (+10 Armor, +3 Shield, +1 Dex)
hp 76 (11 HD)
Fort +11, Ref +5, Will +8
------------------------------------------------
Speed 20 ft. in full plate; base speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 longsword +17/12/7 (1d8 + 10/19-20)
Base Atk +11, Grp +13
Atk Options Power Attack, Vehemence +2d12
Combat Gear potion of owl’s wisdom, potion of shield of faith +4
Supernatural Abilities Basic forms - magicsap, powersap, sanguine sword (DC 18); Advance forms - abyssal blade, speedsap (DC 19). The save DCs are Wisdom-based.
-----------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 17, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8
SQ first blood, honed intuition, practiced skill (+5 ft. range to basic forms)
Feats Power Attack, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (longsword), Improved Initiative, Quick Draw, Weapon Specialization (longsword), Ability Focus (swordplay), Blind-Fight
Skills Balance +2, Craft (weaponsmithing) +8, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Spellcraft +7, Spot +16, Tumble +0
Possessions combat gear plus +2 longsword (forged by Dallia), +2 full plate armor, +1 heavy steel shield, gauntlets of ogre power, cloak of resistance +1




EDITS
1/26/2011
  • Clarified what is considered an acceptable sword
  • Changed Last blood from activating on at an enemy at ½ HP to a dropped enemy
  • Clarified Cleansing Strike’s duration
  • Clarified Infernal Strike’s SR gain
  • Changed Hallowed Bolt from a “silence effect” to being unable to speak
  • Added a DC reducing clause to swordplay for things like power attack
  • Reduced Magicsap’s CL penalty from 5 to 3, and removed a Wis mod to damage
  • Changed Magicsap’s DC from damage dealt to 10 + the save DC
  • Replaced Judgement Blade’s daze with a movement reduction and standard to full-round action penalty
  • Clarified Northswain’s Strike’s staggered effect and added 3x Wis mod to damage
  • Changed Northswain’s Strike from reducing to 0 HP to getting a critical hit
  • Removed the mundane requirement of Crush Accessory, and clarified targeting
  • Added Encompassing Strike, Encroaching Darkness, Extended Strike, Lingering Edge, Phantom Edge, Reaching Strike

1/23/2011
  • Updated Swordplay to require a sword you have Weapon Focus for
  • Updated Vehemence to fix odd English goof
  • Clarified Practiced Skill to specify you can only select an ability once unless otherwise noted
  • Clarified that all swordskills require a Reflex save
  • Increased the base DC of advance forms by 1 and master forms by 2
  • Removed the fail by 3 or more condition for daze on Judgement Blade
  • Changed Crushing Blow to a Master form and increased its damage
  • Changed Speedsap to an Advance form
  • Reduced the damage of Divine Ruination
  • Added a staggered rider to Northswain’s Strike
  • Added a Concentration check rider to Magicsap
  • Added a cannot cast spells or SLAs rider to Hallowed Bolt
  • Changed the extra damage on Abyssal Blade from ½|1 to 1|2
  • Added a DC boost to swordskills while wielding a self-made sword
  • Added sample sword saint
  • Changed honed technique to honed intuition
  • Added adaptation for the Hourglass of Zihaja
Last edited by MammonAzrael on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby Proven Paradox » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:46 pm

Mmm, I quite like this. There are a few minor things that need clarification and minor issues, but this is quite close to something I would actually use in one of my games.

So, bit by bit.

Feats: Weapon Focus (any martial or exotic sword)

I suggest specifying a specific set of weapons that qualify. For example, would a kukri qualify, or is it too dagger-ish to count as a sword? My intuition is that you did not intend it to, but I could be convinced otherwise (and would personally allow a player wanting to take this class with a kukri to do so). Making this a list is just clearer. Weapon Focus(short sword, longsword, rapier, scimitar, falchion, greatsword, bastard sword, or two-bladed sword) is longer, but I personally appreciate the greater clarity. Include a note that the DM may allow other similar weapons (as done with the Invisible Blade) if you think it would be a good idea.


Swordplay (Su)
[snip]
Every single one of the swordskills has something along the lines of "deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword" in it. You could condense the swordskill descriptions by moving that bit out of the individual descriptions and putting them here. You could add a lot of clarifications too. Is this just the sword's damage dice, or do you add your strength modifier? What about Power Attack and Combat Expertise? I see you've added Martial Lore to this one's class list, so I presume that means you're familiar with the Tome of Battle. Can he deliver martial strikes with his swordskills as well? I personally think there should be a way to allow strikes on top of these.

Vehemence (Ex)
Whenever a sword saint of second level deals damage he may choose to deal an additional 1d12 of damage. If he does, each creature that damages him until the beginning of his next turn deals an extra 1d12 damage on the first attack that hits. Increase the damage dealt and received to 2d12 at 6th level and 3d12 at 10th level.
I don't think the damage recieved should scale up as this levels personally. As-is, you could easily re-name this ability 'suicide' as it scales up, especially since most of the time, this class is only going to be making single attacks.

Practiced Skill (Ex)
When a sword saint reaches 4th level, they have become so proficient in the basic forms that they can add a bit of personal flair, truly making the skills they have learned their own. They may select one of the following options and that option is applied to all their basic forms. They may select an additional option at 8th level. You cannot select an ability multiple times unless the ability specifies otherwise.
Why should these only apply to basic skills? By the time you get this class feature, you're a mere one level away from advanced forms, and your use of basic forms is going to decrease significantly. I see no reason not to allow these to apply to all of your swordskills.

Last Blood (Ex)
At 10th level a sword saint is a fearsome foe, and becomes only more aggressive and dangerous when they are backed into a corner or they see victory in sight. If the sword saint is below half its HP it gains a +5 competence bonus to attack rolls and the DC of all his swordskills is increased by 2. Whenever a sword saint attacks an enemy that has less than half its health with a swordskill or a melee attack with a sword he deals extra damage equal to twice his Wisdom modifier.
The bonus when weakened is fine, but adding a bonus when your foe is at half HP adds some annoying bookkeeping. Every time the Swordsaint attacks an injured foe, he has to ask the DM if they're at half HP or not. I see that getting old quickly. I would suggest a bonus gained after dropping a foe instead.

Moving on to individual forms...

Cleansing Strike
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 15 feet. That creature gains a cumulative -1 morale penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks, each round for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier. The penalty disappears at the end of the last round.
Does using this skill again refresh the duration? If so, I would suggest a cap to the cumulative penalties (wisdom mod sounds good).

Crush Accessory
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to a single creature within 15 feet. One mundane object in the creature’s possession takes the same amount of damage.
Does the Swordsaint choose this possession? Does hardness apply? Overall I don't think this is a good idea. I know you're trying to channel the badassedness of Thunder God Cid for this class, but I don't think this particular ability converts well to tabletop--it's a lot harder and more costly to replace broken gear in DnD than it was in Final Fantasy Tactics. You're also destroying your own loot in DnD, while in FFT you generally didn't get the enemies' items, theif skills notwithstanding.

Infernal Strike
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to a single creature within 15 feet. That creature loses one prepared spell or spell slot at random and you gain spell resistance equal to 10 + half your class level + twice the level of the spell lost for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier.
If your target doesn't have spell slots, do you still gain the spell resistance?

Magicsap
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + twice your Wisdom modifier to a single creature within 20 feet. That creature’s caster level is reduced by 5 for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier (multiple reductions stack) and that creature must make a successful Concentration check with a DC equal to the damage dealt when it casts it’s next spell or the spell is disrupted.
I do not think multiple uses of this one should stack. It's a bit too easy to use this to reduce any given mage to CL 0.

Judgement Blade
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to each creature in a 5 foot radius burst within 10 feet. A creature hit by Judgement Blade is dazed for 1 round.
An AoE stun (even this rather small AoE) seems a bit strong for this level. I'd make this single target.

Northswain’s Strike
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword to a single creature within 15 feet. The creature is staggered for 1 round. If the creature rolled a 1 on their save they are reduced to 0 HP.
Rather overshadowed by Judgement Blade, even if it's reduced to a single target attack. I would suggest making THIS the AoE and removing the natural one effect.

Hallowed Bolt
You deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword + three times your Wisdom modifier to each creature in a 5 foot radius burst within 15 feet. A creature hit by Hallowed Bolt is under the effect of silence for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier and cannot cast any spells or spell-like abilities for 1 round.
The silence effect is a magical field that negates all sound within its borders. I think what you're looking for is rendering the targets incapable of speech. This would just make spells with verbal components fail (and thus allow spells affected by Silent Spell to function normally, as is usual for such effects).

Overall, this is good stuff. I don't actually use a whole lot of other people's homebrew, but I may put this into my games.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby DragoonWraith » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:00 pm

Proven Paradox wrote:
Feats: Weapon Focus (any martial or exotic sword)

I suggest specifying a specific set of weapons that qualify. For example, would a kukri qualify, or is it too dagger-ish to count as a sword? My intuition is that you did not intend it to, but I could be convinced otherwise (and would personally allow a player wanting to take this class with a kukri to do so). Making this a list is just clearer. Weapon Focus(short sword, longsword, rapier, scimitar, falchion, greatsword, bastard sword, or two-bladed sword) is longer, but I personally appreciate the greater clarity. Include a note that the DM may allow other similar weapons (as done with the Invisible Blade) if you think it would be a good idea.

I disagree completely - I think the current wording makes the idea clear enough while still being open to some DM interpretation - I think that's a good thing. You would find a Kukri fine - there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, either in your ruling or in his rules text.

I think giving an explicit list is a bad idea because you're bound to miss one, and there are some really anal DMs out there who will consider the list immutable.

Otherwise, I more-or-less agree with Proven Paradox on this. The only one I'm unsure of is Vehemence - I think there may be opportunities to use that to good effect. But when I mentioned in chat that it could be used repeatedly in one round, I wasn't suggesting that you change that - gaining bonus damage once per round and giving all of your enemies the same damage each does seem like an awful trade. But if you can use it repeatedly, it does allow you to go "all in", so to speak, which strikes me as an interesting feature.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby MammonAzrael » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:52 am

Proven Paradox wrote:I suggest specifying a specific set of weapons that qualify. For example, would a kukri qualify, or is it too dagger-ish to count as a sword? My intuition is that you did not intend it to, but I could be convinced otherwise (and would personally allow a player wanting to take this class with a kukri to do so). Making this a list is just clearer. Weapon Focus(short sword, longsword, rapier, scimitar, falchion, greatsword, bastard sword, or two-bladed sword) is longer, but I personally appreciate the greater clarity. Include a note that the DM may allow other similar weapons (as done with the Invisible Blade) if you think it would be a good idea.


Fair enough, more clarification can never hurt.

Every single one of the swordskills has something along the lines of "deal damage equal to a melee attack using the focus sword" in it. You could condense the swordskill descriptions by moving that bit out of the individual descriptions and putting them here. You could add a lot of clarifications too. Is this just the sword's damage dice, or do you add your strength modifier? What about Power Attack and Combat Expertise? I see you've added Martial Lore to this one's class list, so I presume that means you're familiar with the Tome of Battle. Can he deliver martial strikes with his swordskills as well? I personally think there should be a way to allow strikes on top of these.


Its true that I could pull it out to condense the swordskill descriptions. I left them in specifically so the forms could be added to, so they aren't forced to deal that damage. There can be random select forms that deal a different base damage, which wouldn't be possible if the melee attack was included in the basic description of Swordplay.

I could add some clarification. The intent is that you deal whatever damage you would deal if you were making a normal melee attack. This means weapon damage + Str mod + random mods like Honed Intuition. The only reason I'm ok applying Power Attack to them is because you can't get any of the extra ridiculous mods to it like Leap Attack.

I am familiar with ToB, I quite love the book. The class isn't a maneuver-using class only because it is based on the FFT class. That said, you cannot you strike with swordskills. Swordskills are supernatural abilities that require a standard action that just happen to deal damage based on your weaponry. They are not attacks. There may be some boosts that affect them, but most won't.

I don't think the damage recieved should scale up as this levels personally. As-is, you could easily re-name this ability 'suicide' as it scales up, especially since most of the time, this class is only going to be making single attacks.


Enemies have no particular reason to assume they should gang attack a higher level sword saint, unless your DM is trying to kill you. In which case he doesn't need Vehemence's help. Given that, do you still think it needs to be changed?

Why should these only apply to basic skills? By the time you get this class feature, you're a mere one level away from advanced forms, and your use of basic forms is going to decrease significantly. I see no reason not to allow these to apply to all of your swordskills.


Because you don't learn a 4th basic form at 4th level. And you don't learn a 4th advance form at 8th level. Practiced and Perfected Skill represent the fact that instead of learning a new form the sword saint has spent the level honing the swordskills he already knows. And given the various unique riders, lower forms should never be completely obsolete. These abilities also help the lower forms stay relevant at higher levels. So at 15th level there is actually still some choice between using a Master form or a Basic form.

The bonus when weakened is fine, but adding a bonus when your foe is at half HP adds some annoying bookkeeping. Every time the Swordsaint attacks an injured foe, he has to ask the DM if they're at half HP or not. I see that getting old quickly. I would suggest a bonus gained after dropping a foe instead.


Fair enough. The original idea was based on the Iron Heart strike Finishing Move. But you raise a good point that this would be checked far more often, potentially to a very annoying degree. Getting a bonus for dropped foes works just fine.

Does using this skill again refresh the duration? If so, I would suggest a cap to the cumulative penalties (wisdom mod sounds good).


The duration wasn't intended to refresh. If it was the cap would be good. I'll clarify the non-refreshing.

Does the Swordsaint choose this possession? Does hardness apply? Overall I don't think this is a good idea. I know you're trying to channel the badassedness of Thunder God Cid for this class, but I don't think this particular ability converts well to tabletop--it's a lot harder and more costly to replace broken gear in DnD than it was in Final Fantasy Tactics. You're also destroying your own loot in DnD, while in FFT you generally didn't get the enemies' items, theif skills notwithstanding.


This is the biggest point I've been wrestling with. I wanted to have 6 basic and 6 advance forms (twice the number you learn, for choice). And the two Crush skills were the last I added. I've heard nothing but negative feedback on them, as no one likes to sunder things. I think I'm just going to remove them and have 5 basic and advance forms.

If your target doesn't have spell slots, do you still gain the spell resistance?


Yes, assuming the target failed it's save. It just happens to be a really low save (just like if they lost a 0th level spell).

I do not think multiple uses of this one should stack. It's a bit too easy to use this to reduce any given mage to CL 0.


After a bunch of failed saves as a spell caster I'd be more worried about the amount of damage I have taken than my caster level, especially since some spells don't care about CL. Though I could see reducing the penalty to 3 or 4. And possibly reducing the Concentration check DC. The general numbers just need to be run.

An AoE stun (even this rather small AoE) seems a bit strong for this level. I'd make this single target.


Daze isn't nearly as good as stun, and the chances of both targets failing their save is pretty low. The damage and range are both quite low in comparison. That said, it is strong and something other daze might be better.

Rather overshadowed by Judgement Blade, even if it's reduced to a single target attack. I would suggest making THIS the AoE and removing the natural one effect.


The natural one effect is the replication of the game's ability. I'm thinking of adding some damage to it to make it a little more competitive, as staggered is good but amazing.

The silence effect is a magical field that negates all sound within its borders. I think what you're looking for is rendering the targets incapable of speech. This would just make spells with verbal components fail (and thus allow spells affected by Silent Spell to function normally, as is usual for such effects).


Just muting them works better. I like it.

Overall, this is good stuff. I don't actually use a whole lot of other people's homebrew, but I may put this into my games.


Thanks! I'm glad you like it, and if you do use it I hope it adds to the game! :)


That said, the updates will be happening tomorrow. For tonight...sleep is the order!
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby Proven Paradox » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:23 pm

MammonAzrael wrote:Its true that I could pull it out to condense the swordskill descriptions. I left them in specifically so the forms could be added to, so they aren't forced to deal that damage. There can be random select forms that deal a different base damage, which wouldn't be possible if the melee attack was included in the basic description of Swordplay.
Hm. I hadn't thought of that. Fair enough. But if you want to leave that option open, I think it would be helpful for you to add a few such swordskills yourself, so others who might build on what you've done would have a guideline.

I could add some clarification. The intent is that you deal whatever damage you would deal if you were making a normal melee attack. This means weapon damage + Str mod + random mods like Honed Intuition. The only reason I'm ok applying Power Attack to them is because you can't get any of the extra ridiculous mods to it like Leap Attack.
I see. That makes sense, but since there's no attack roll involved, what is the exchange when using Power Attack and Expertise? I think there needs to be one; otherwise you're looking at an additional free damage boost of 2xBAB and +5 AC every round. It's not super abusable since, as you said, no Leap Attack and other similar Power Attack abuses, but that combined with Honed Intuition and the various wis-to-damage abilities of this class, and you're plopping down a lot of free damage.

I am familiar with ToB, I quite love the book. The class isn't a maneuver-using class only because it is based on the FFT class. That said, you cannot you strike with swordskills. Swordskills are supernatural abilities that require a standard action that just happen to deal damage based on your weaponry. They are not attacks. There may be some boosts that affect them, but most won't.
Hm. I would suggest a swordplay that allows delivery of strikes at a distance then. Just give some extra incentive for martial adepts to get into this class. Maybe an advance form, so it can't be picked up just as a dip.

Enemies have no particular reason to assume they should gang attack a higher level sword saint, unless your DM is trying to kill you. In which case he doesn't need Vehemence's help. Given that, do you still think it needs to be changed?
"Oh shit, this guy is tearing us apart, EVERYONE PILE ON HIM!" That's an entirely justified response. I still think the damage received shouldn't scale. But I can see the other side of this argument. I recommend getting more opinions on this one.

Because you don't learn a 4th basic form at 4th level. And you don't learn a 4th advance form at 8th level. Practiced and Perfected Skill represent the fact that instead of learning a new form the sword saint has spent the level honing the swordskills he already knows. And given the various unique riders, lower forms should never be completely obsolete. These abilities also help the lower forms stay relevant at higher levels. So at 15th level there is actually still some choice between using a Master form or a Basic form.
Okay, I can see that I suppose. It still seems like there should be options to differentiate all of your swordskills from those of other Swordsaints, not just those of a lower level. Maybe some feats are in order?

This is the biggest point I've been wrestling with. I wanted to have 6 basic and 6 advance forms (twice the number you learn, for choice). And the two Crush skills were the last I added. I've heard nothing but negative feedback on them, as no one likes to sunder things. I think I'm just going to remove them and have 5 basic and advance forms.
Twice your number of options is a good benchmark: why not try to come up with a sixth one for each to replace the Crush forms?

Let's see... off the top of my head, for a replacement basic form. Perhaps something that moves the Swordsaint as he strikes. Perhaps one that causes a bleeding wound for damage over time. Possibly one that grants his allies advantages against a target he struck for a round, ala Leading the Attack. Keeping in line with the standard 'do damage, add a condition' format, maybe one that deafens your target. For a replacement master form, scaling either of the first two basic form suggestions up to an appropriate level could work. Blinding works good too.

After a bunch of failed saves as a spell caster I'd be more worried about the amount of damage I have taken than my caster level, especially since some spells don't care about CL. Though I could see reducing the penalty to 3 or 4. And possibly reducing the Concentration check DC. The general numbers just need to be run.
'A bunch?' That's only two or three hits for most of the game. Still, I agree, there are a lot of ways to fix this; I think it needs to be reigned in, but there are several ways to do it. Lemme know what you come up with after some number crunching.

Daze isn't nearly as good as stun, and the chances of both targets failing their save is pretty low. The damage and range are both quite low in comparison. That said, it is strong and something other daze might be better.
Daze isn't as good as stun, but it's still REALLY DAMNED GOOD. Too good to be put into an at-will AoE at this point. Make it staggered (or better yet, 'lose their move action,' since staggered has implications about their nonlethal damage) and you're good here.

The natural one effect is the replication of the game's ability. I'm thinking of adding some damage to it to make it a little more competitive, as staggered is good but amazing.
Certain things don't translate well from video game to tabletop. Going to 0 HP in FFT isn't nearly as big a deal as going to zero HP in DnD. In the former, someone will get to you with a Phoenix Down or other revival ability eventually, there's no rush. Once back on one's feet, the white mage will tend to one's other wounds shortly. In DnD, if someone doesn't get to you with a powerful heal RIGHT NOW you are going to DIE FOR REALS. Save or dies DO happen in DnD, and there's nothing wrong with that, but they need to be handled with a lot more care than in an average console game.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby DragoonWraith » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:22 am

Also, on Daze vs. Stun - many, many, many monsters are immune to Stun. Very few are immune to Daze. A lot of optimizers consider Daze the more powerful effect for that reason.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby MammonAzrael » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:15 pm

Proven Paradox wrote:Hm. I hadn't thought of that. Fair enough. But if you want to leave that option open, I think it would be helpful for you to add a few such swordskills yourself, so others who might build on what you've done would have a guideline.


Yes...I think this can be combined with the replacement of the Crush forms and possibly the maneuver forms.

I see. That makes sense, but since there's no attack roll involved, what is the exchange when using Power Attack and Expertise? I think there needs to be one; otherwise you're looking at an additional free damage boost of 2xBAB and +5 AC every round. It's not super abusable since, as you said, no Leap Attack and other similar Power Attack abuses, but that combined with Honed Intuition and the various wis-to-damage abilities of this class, and you're plopping down a lot of free damage.


Hmm....very true. Perhaps reducing the DC of the skill depending on how much of a penalty to receive on your BAB? -1 to DC for each -4 penalty to your BAB?

Hm. I would suggest a swordplay that allows delivery of strikes at a distance then. Just give some extra incentive for martial adepts to get into this class. Maybe an advance form, so it can't be picked up just as a dip.


Mentioned earlier in the post. Liking the idea.

"Oh shit, this guy is tearing us apart, EVERYONE PILE ON HIM!" That's an entirely justified response. I still think the damage received shouldn't scale. But I can see the other side of this argument. I recommend getting more opinions on this one.


Fair enough. Hopefully the folks on GitP will bring in some more opinions.

Okay, I can see that I suppose. It still seems like there should be options to differentiate all of your swordskills from those of other Swordsaints, not just those of a lower level. Maybe some feats are in order?


I think some feats would fit nicely. I agree that having some more personalization options would be nice, especially since it won't see to much expansion.

Twice your number of options is a good benchmark: why not try to come up with a sixth one for each to replace the Crush forms?

Let's see... off the top of my head, for a replacement basic form. Perhaps something that moves the Swordsaint as he strikes. Perhaps one that causes a bleeding wound for damage over time. Possibly one that grants his allies advantages against a target he struck for a round, ala Leading the Attack. Keeping in line with the standard 'do damage, add a condition' format, maybe one that deafens your target. For a replacement master form, scaling either of the first two basic form suggestions up to an appropriate level could work. Blinding works good too.


Mentioned earlier in the post.

'A bunch?' That's only two or three hits for most of the game. Still, I agree, there are a lot of ways to fix this; I think it needs to be reigned in, but there are several ways to do it. Lemme know what you come up with after some number crunching.


Taking Magicsap at 6th level does make it pretty powerful, as it only really takes a single hit to take nearly all the oomph out of a lot of spells. And the damage still leaves it a threat to non-casters. I think I'm going to reduce it to 3 caster levels instead of 6, and reduce the Wisdom damage bonus by 1. The Concentration DC is so variable when based off damage dealt that I think I'm going to change that altogether.

Daze isn't as good as stun, but it's still REALLY DAMNED GOOD. Too good to be put into an at-will AoE at this point. Make it staggered (or better yet, 'lose their move action,' since staggered has implications about their nonlethal damage) and you're good here.


DragoonWraith wrote:Also, on Daze vs. Stun - many, many, many monsters are immune to Stun. Very few are immune to Daze. A lot of optimizers consider Daze the more powerful effect for that reason.


Hmm...I like the loss of movement...what if it reduced all forms of movement to 0 and any standard action required a full-round action to perform?

Certain things don't translate well from video game to tabletop. Going to 0 HP in FFT isn't nearly as big a deal as going to zero HP in DnD. In the former, someone will get to you with a Phoenix Down or other revival ability eventually, there's no rush. Once back on one's feet, the white mage will tend to one's other wounds shortly. In DnD, if someone doesn't get to you with a powerful heal RIGHT NOW you are going to DIE FOR REALS. Save or dies DO happen in DnD, and there's nothing wrong with that, but they need to be handled with a lot more care than in an average console game.


True some things just don't translate well. Fun fact though, being reduced to 0 HP just makes you disabled. Which means that while serious, you can still try to flee or heal yourself. It could also just be a huge damage boost on a natural 1, giving some more DnD friendliness and precedent.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby DragoonWraith » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:46 pm

The Stagger effect is excellent, I think; it should see more use. Unfortunately, it has that annoying line about it being when something's nonlethal damage equals its current HP; you'd want just Stagger. See the wording I used on Megaton Hammer for ways around that though.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby Proven Paradox » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:22 am

MammonAzrael wrote:Hmm....very true. Perhaps reducing the DC of the skill depending on how much of a penalty to receive on your BAB? -1 to DC for each -4 penalty to your BAB?
I was thinking -1 DC/-5 BAB, but that's just off the top of my head. Probably best to set up some test scenarios and actually get some concrete numbers on the matter.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby MammonAzrael » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:55 pm

Well, I edited quite a bit. You can see them easily in the EDITS section at the bottom of the first post. I also added 6 new swordskills.

I went with a -4 instead of -5 penalty so at level 20 it could be a nice -5 instead of -4, and to reduce the power a little more...only 6 free damage or 3 AC instead of 8/4.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby Proven Paradox » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:21 pm

The only bit I'm not sold on is Encroaching Darkness. I don't think a multi-round blinding is appropriate for basic maneuver. Blinded is a pretty serious condition to be throwing around at will. For one round? Completely fair, even without the concealment effect. For <wisdom> rounds? I think that should be an advanced strike.

Other than that, this is hella solid. Well done.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby MammonAzrael » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:05 am

Good point, extended blindness is...well, really good. Not sure if I'm going to bump it up to advanced, or just reduce the duration.

And thanks, I'm glad you like it! I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. (my first attempt, years ago and as a base class, was a pretty big mess)
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby DragoonWraith » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:46 am

The issue on blindness is Glitterdust. I mean, if you're allowing Wizards to have Glitterdust at 3rd level, then the Sword Saint should be able to get Encroaching Darkness at 1st (read: 6th total). If you're nerfing Glitterdust or assuming that it goes unused for the sake of a more balanced game, you probably shouldn't add a new one (but it's also worth noting that this is still twice the total character level of Glitterdust).

Frankly, so long as it is single-target, Encroaching Darkness seems OK to me. Again, it depends somewhat on the power you want this class to have, but if this is intended to be giving fighters nice things, that's a pretty nice thing. I don't think it's any more powerful than say, Infernal Strike, Magicsap, or Powersap...

For comparison: Glitterdust has secondary uses (revealing invisible targets), affects an area, and lasts CL rounds, which by 6th level is almost guaranteed to be larger than the Wis modifier of a character for whom Wis is probably a tertiary ability. Glitterdust is far too good, no doubt, but it's something to keep in mind.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby Proven Paradox » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:26 am

The thing is, Glitterdust costs a spell slot. This means your arcanist isn't going to be able to just toss it around all day every day. There are plenty of other good second level spells one could conceivably want those slots for. Since these swordskills are at will with no cost (excluding those that deal damage to himself), the Swordsaint can (and should) spam Encroaching Darkness all day every day. He could easily keep multiple foes locked down for entire battles with a multi-round blind.

I'd also put Wisdom as this class's PRIMARY ability. He won't be making many attack rolls, and he adds wisdom to damage with almost all of his swordskills, so what need does he have for strength? For this guy, Wisdom>Constitution>Strength>everything else. A wis mod of +5 is entirely in the cards at sixth level (18 base, +2 item). I don't know of any LA +0 races that give a wisdom boost off the top of my head, but that puts it up to 22, which allows the duration to match that CL 6 Glitterdust.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby MammonAzrael » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:54 pm

I think I'm going to reduce the duration to half your Wis mod (min 1). That way it doesn't stick around for too long, but it can still make for a decent blinding effect. I'm also going to reduce it to normal concealment. I may make a higher level version later. I do want to give melee nice things, but Glitterdust is one of those stupidly good spells, and not what things should be balanced on.

And I'm agreeing with Proven Paradox on the importance of Wisdom to Sword Saints. I can see it as a secondary stat, but I doubt it will often be see as tertiary, given just how much keys off it.
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Re: [3.5 PrC] Wielding the soul of the sword

Postby DragoonWraith » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:20 pm

OK, but as a PrC that requires BAB +5, you're talking about a full-BAB class entry, and none of those make terribly much use of Wisdom (Paladin and Ranger, I suppose, but those are about it), which is where I was coming from with the Wisdom being tertiary. But still, you're right.

As for Glitterdust costing a spell slot... that doesn't matter very much. Spell slots are plentiful enough for what you can do with them - especially by leveled six. A 6th level Conjurer has at least 5, if not 6, 2nd level spell slots. And there is frighteningly little competition for those 2nd level spell slots - a Mirror Image or Blur, maybe Invisibility, and possibly Web, but there are a lot of situations where a Wizard would not go wrong preparing Glitterdust 6 times. Also, Glitterdust is full-well capable of ending an encounter by itself.

With Encroaching Darkness, you can spam it every round - either to keep everyone blind (but it takes N rounds to blind everyone, where N are the number of enemies, and N must be less than or equal to your Wis modifier, plus you're spreading your damage around), or you keep one guy blind while you take him down (but then everyone else can see). Being able to use the ability at-will is not as significant as you might think (see the Warlock for an excellent example of how weaker but at-will spells just don't keep up).

I should clarify though that I'm just playing Devil's advocate there. I don't know for sure how the best way to balance it is. I do recommend playtesting. These are just some thoughts I've had.
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