View Full Version : Sublime Sorcerer [Arcane Swordsage Variant turned PrC]

2010-01-09, 03:01 AM
I started trying to come up with something for the current PrC contest, but it quickly spiraled out of control into this, which is definitely not a physical combat class. So instead, I'm posting it here!


"The best thing about being me... there's so many of me! Mirror Image!" - Sir Smith, an illusion-focused sublime sorcerer

The Sublime Way is a very nice way for some people; swords spinning rapidly through monsters of every type, leaping over hordes of enemies to reach the BBEG even faster, and in some cases, semi-magically teleporting, flying, and even throwing balls of fire around. Others, though, get a taste of the more supernatural side of things, and begin to wish they had a few more options in that arena.

Enter the sublime sorcerer.

The typical method of entry is swordsage, but there is the occasional sorcerer or bard who gets tired of running out of spells per day.

BAB: +4
Skills: 9 ranks in either Martial Lore or Spellcraft
In addition, potential sublime sorcerers must meet one of the following two requirements:
Martial Maneuvers: Must know at least three supernatural martial manuevers.
- OR -
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 2nd level Arcane spells.

Class Skills
The sublime sorcerer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

Hit Dice: d6

{table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
Maneuvers Known|
Maneuvers Readied|
Stances Known

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Expanded knowledge, spellgrace +1|

2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Spelleating stance|


4th|+3|+1|+1|+4|Spelleating strike|


6th|+4|+2|+2|+5|Swallow spell|


8th|+6|+2|+2|+6|Spellgrace +2|


10th|+7|+3|+3|+7|Fountain of energy stance|


Weapon Proficiencies: Sublime sorcerers are proficient with all simple and martial melee weapons and with light armor, but not with shields.

Maneuvers (Su): At every level, a sublime sorcerer learns at least one new maneuver. Unlike most martial adepts, he chooses a spell from the sublime sorcerer spell list (see below) to learn as a martial maneuver, as detailed under "Sublime Sorcerer Maneuvers" below.

The sublime sorcerer add his full class levels to his initiator level. He also adds half his caster level (rounded up) to his initiator level for purposes of this class and its maneuvers alone, to a maximum of his ECL. If higher than his caster level, he may use this modified initiator level instead of his caster level for any other arcane casting class.

Upon reaching any even character level, he can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows, as standard for martial adepts. If the level is divisible by four, he can instead swap out a stance known for a new one.

Unlike most martial prestige classes, the sublime sorcerer has a completely separate maneuver list and cannot use any other class's method of maneuver recovery. The Adaptive Style feat allows sublime sorcerers to change readied maneuvers as usual, but it does not allow any expended maneuvers to be changed. As normal, sublime sorcerers can regain and change readied maneuvers outside of combat with five minutes of exercise and meditation.

Stances Known: At 1st, 3rd, 6th and 8th level, you gain a new stance, also chosen from a specialized list of spells.

Expanded Knowledge: Sublime sorcerers are experienced in two different worlds. You can make Spellcraft checks using your ranks in Martial Lore, and vice-versa.

Spellgrace (Su): Sublime sorcerers can use their mental capacities to aid in their reflexes. You gain a +1 bonus to Reflex saves and Initiative checks, and may add your Intelligence or Charisma modifier to Initiative checks instead of your Dexterity modifier, if higher. At 8th level, the bonus increases to +2, and you may add your Intelligence or Charisma modifier to Reflex saves instead of your Dexterity modifier, if higher.

Spelleating Stance (Su): Sublime sorcerers have a unique method of regaining maneuvers - taking the power they need from their opponent's spells. Whenever in a martial stance gained by this class, you may forgo the normal benefits of the stance to gain the effect of a spelleating stance. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the stance normally. You may voluntarily end the stance's effects and resume the benefits of your previous stance as a swift action.

While you use this ability, you gain a spelleating score equal to your character level plus your class level. Whenever you would be affected by a spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability, the creature wishing to affect you must make a caster level check (for spells or spell-like abilities) or another check that would be appropriate (for supernatural abilities; initiator level for maneuvers, binder level for binders, HD for monsters, etc.). If the result of the check is less than your spelleating score, you suffer only half the normal effects (half damage, half duration, etc.), and may immediately recover one expended maneuver.

Spelleating Strike (Su): Sublime sorcerers are even capable of taking spell energy right from their opponents. As a standard action, you may make a standard melee attack against an opponent, modified by your Intelligence or Charisma modifier instead of your Strength modifier if either is higher. If you hit, you may immediately make a dispel check against the target as a targeted greater dispel magic, using your initiator level as your caster level. For every effect you dispel, you may regain the use of one expended maneuver.

When you use spelleating strike, you lose the use of one class maneuver for the encounter, just as if you had initiated it (but without the maneuver's normal effects). Once you have used this ability, you can recover the maneuver expended and use it normally.

Swallow Spell (Su): Sublime sorcerers can even take their opponents' spell energy just at the moment of their inception. As an immediate action you may attempt to counterspell, as with the spell greater dispel magic, using your initiator level for your caster level. You may even target supernatural martial maneuvers with this ability, but you take a -5 penalty to your check. If you successfully dispel the spell or maneuver, you regain the use of one expended maneuver; if you were able to properly identify the spell or maneuver, you regain two.

After this ability is used, you lose the use of it for the rest of the encounter; however, you may substitute the ability to regain an expended maneuver to regain the use of this ability.

Fountain of Energy Stance (Su): Masters of the way of the sublime sorcerer find they have all the energy they need emanating right off of their own powers. Whenever in a martial stance gained by this class, you may forgo the normal benefits of the stance to gain the effect of a fountain of energy stance. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the stance normally. You may voluntarily end the stance's effects and resume the benefits of your previous stance as a swift action.

While you use this ability, any maneuver gained by this class that you initiate is initiated at half initiator level. However, whenever you initiate a maneuver gained by this class, you may regain the use of one expended maneuver of equal or lower level.


The spells listed below, though they function as the spells detailed in the Player's Handbook, are learned and implemented exactly as standard martial maneuvers, with the following exceptions: Any spell listed as a "boost" has a casting time of 1 swift action, a duration of 1 round, and a range of personal; any spell listed as a "counter" has a casting time of 1 immediate action, and a duration of "until the beginning of your next turn." In either case, if the spell's original duration would be shorter, use that instead. For any spell listed as a "stance", the casting time is changed to 1 swift action, the duration is changed to stance, and the range is changed to personal. A spell listed as a "strike" takes effect as normal, but can never be used while a previous usage's duration is still running, unless it has a duration of permanent (or similar, such as "permanent until triggered").

The key ability for each school of magic is as follows:


Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law: Counter - +2 to AC and saves, counter mind control, hedge out elementals and outsiders.
Shield: Counter - Invisible disc gives +4 to AC, blocks magic missiles.

Grease: Strike - Makes 10-ft. square or one object slippery.
Mage Armor: Counter - Gives subject +4 armor bonus.
Summon Monster I: Stance* - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.
*Unlike most stances, the Summon Monster stances retain their original range.

Comprehend Languages: Stance - You understand all spoken and written languages.
Detect Secret Doors: Stance - Reveals hidden doors within 60 ft.
Detect Undead: Stance - Reveals undead within 60 ft.

Charm Person: Strike - Makes one person your friend.
Hypnotism: Strike - Fascinates 2d4 HD of creatures.
Sleep: Strike - Puts 4 HD of creatures into magical slumber.

Burning Hands: Strike - 1d4/level fire damage (max 5d4).
Magic Missile: Strike - 1d4+1 damage; +1 missile per two levels above 1st (max 5).
Shocking Grasp: Strike - Touch delivers 1d6/level electricity damage (max 5d6).

Color Spray: Strike - Knocks unconscious, blinds, and/or stuns weak creatures.
Disguise Self: Stance - Changes your appearance.
Silent Image: Strike - Creates minor illusion of your design.

Cause Fear: Strike - One creature of 5 HD or less flees for 1d4 rounds.
Ray of Enfeeblement: Strike - Ray deals 1d6 +1 per two levels Str damage.

Enlarge Person: Stance - Humanoid creature doubles in size.
Feather Fall: Counter - Objects or creatures fall slowly.
Jump: Boost - Subject gets bonus on Jump checks.
Reduce Person: Stance - Humanoid creature halves in size.


Protection from Arrows: Stance - Subject immune to most ranged attacks.
Resist Energy: Counter - Ignores first 10 (or more) points of damage/attack from specified energy type.

Acid Arrow: Strike - Ranged touch attack; 2d4 damage for 1 round +1 round/three levels.
Summon Monster II: Stance - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.
Summon Swarm: Strike - Summons swarm of bats, rats, or spiders.
Web: Strike - Fills 20-ft.-radius spread with sticky spiderwebs.

Detect Thoughts: Stance - Allows “listening” to surface thoughts.
See Invisibility: Stance - Reveals invisible creatures or objects.

Daze Monster: Counter - Living creature of 6 HD or less loses next action.
Hideous Laughter: Strike - Subject loses actions for 1 round/level.
Touch of Idiocy: Strike - Subject takes 1d6 points of Int, Wis, and Cha damage.

Darkness: Stance - 20-ft. radius of supernatural shadow.
Gust of Wind: Strike - Blows away or knocks down smaller creatures.
Scorching Ray: Strike - Ranged touch attack deals 4d6 fire damage, +1 ray/four levels (max 3).
Shatter: Strike - Sonic vibration damages objects or crystalline creatures.

Hypnotic Pattern: Strike - Fascinates (2d4 + level) HD of creatures.
Invisibility: Counter - Subject is invisible for 1 min./level or until it attacks.
Minor Image: Strike - As silent image, plus some sound.
Mirror Image: Stance - Creates decoy duplicates of you (1d4 +1 per three levels, max 8).

Command Undead: Strike - Undead creature obeys your commands.
Ghoul Touch: Strike - Paralyzes one subject, which exudes stench that makes those nearby sickened.
Scare: Strike - Panics creatures of less than 6 HD.
Spectral Hand: Stance - Creates disembodied glowing hand to deliver touch attacks.

Alter Self: Stance - Assume form of a similar creature.
Darkvision: Stance - See 60 ft. in total darkness.
Pyrotechnics: Strike - Turns fire into blinding light or choking smoke.
Spider Climb: Stance - Grants ability to walk on walls and ceilings.


Dispel Magic: Strike - Cancels magical spells and effects.
Magic Circle against Chaos/Evil/Good/Law: Stance - As protection spells, but 10-ft. radius and 10 min./level.
Protection from Energy: Counter - Absorb 12 points/level of damage from one kind of energy.

Sleet Storm: Strike - Hampers vision and movement.
Stinking Cloud: Strike - Nauseating vapors, 1 round/level.
Summon Monster III: Stance - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.

Arcane Sight: Stance - Magical auras become visible to you.
Tongues: Stance - Speak any language.

Deep Slumber: Strike - Puts 10 HD of creatures to sleep.
Hold Person: Strike - Paralyzes one humanoid for 1 round/level.
Rage: Stance - Subjects gains +2 to Str and Con, +1 on Will saves, -2 to AC.
Suggestion: Strike - Compels subject to follow stated course of action.

Daylight: Stance - 60-ft. radius of bright light.
Fireball: Strike - 1d6 damage per level, 20-ft. radius.
Lightning Bolt: Strike - Electricity deals 1d6/level damage.

Displacement: Counter - Attacks miss subject 50%.
Invisibility Sphere: Stance - Makes everyone within 10 ft. invisible.
Major Image: Strike - As silent image, plus sound, smell and thermal effects.

Halt Undead: Strike - Immobilizes undead for 1 round/level.
Ray of Exhaustion: Strike - Ray makes subject exhausted.
Vampiric Touch: Strike - Touch deals 1d6/two levels damage; caster gains damage as hp.

Blink: Boost - You randomly vanish and reappear for 1 round/level.
Fly: Boost - Subject flies at speed of 60 ft.
Gaseous Form: Boost - Subject becomes insubstantial and can fly slowly.
Haste: Boost - One creature/level moves faster, +1 on attack rolls, AC, and Reflex saves.
Water Breathing: Stance - Subjects can breathe underwater.


Globe of Invulnerability, Lesser: Stance - Stops 1st- through 3rd-level spell effects.
Stoneskin: Counter - Ignore 10 points of damage per attack.

Dimension Door: Strike - Teleports you short distance.
Solid Fog: Strike - Blocks vision and slows movement.
Summon Monster IV: Stance - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.

Arcane Eye: Stance - Invisible floating eye moves 30 ft./round.
Detect Scrying: Stance - Alerts you of magical eavesdropping.

Charm Monster: Strike - Makes monster believe it is your ally.
Confusion: Strike - Subjects behave oddly for 1 round/level.

Fire Shield: Stance - Creatures attacking you take fire damage; you’re protected from heat or cold.
Ice Storm: Strike - Hail deals 5d6 damage in cylinder 40 ft. across.
Shout: Strike - Deafens all within cone and deals 5d6 sonic damage.

Illusory Wall: Strike - Wall, floor, or ceiling looks real, but anything can pass through.
Invisibility, Greater: Boost - As invisibility, but subject can attack and stay invisible.
Phantasmal Killer: Strike - Fearsome illusion kills subject or deals 3d6 damage.
Rainbow Pattern: Strike - Lights fascinate 24 HD of creatures.
Shadow Conjuration: Strike - Mimics conjuration below 4th level, but only 20% real.

Contagion: Strike - Infects subject with chosen disease.
Enervation: Strike - Subject gains 1d4 negative levels.
Fear: Strike - Subjects within cone flee for 1 round/level.

Polymorph: Stance - Gives one willing subject a new form.
Stone Shape: Strike - Sculpts stone into any shape.


Break Enchantment: Strike - Frees subjects from enchantments, alterations, curses, and petrification.
Dismissal: Strike - Forces a creature to return to native plane.

Cloudkill: Strike - Kills 3 HD or less; 4-6 HD save or die, 6+ HD take Con damage.
Summon Monster V: Stance - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.
Teleport: Strike - Instantly transports you as far as 100 miles/level.
Wall of Stone: Strike - Creates a stone wall that can be shaped.

Prying Eyes: Strike - 1d4 +1/level floating eyes scout for you.
Telepathic Bond: Stance - Link lets allies communicate.

Dominate Person: Strike - Controls humanoid telepathically.
Feeblemind: Strike - Subject’s Int and Cha drop to 1.
Hold Monster: Strike - As hold person, but any creature.

Cone of Cold: Strike - 1d6/level cold damage.
Interposing Hand: Strike - Hand provides cover against one opponent.
Wall of Force: Strike - Wall is immune to damage.

Persistent Image: Strike - As major image, but no concentration required.
Seeming: Stance - Changes appearance of one person per two levels.
Shadow Evocation: Strike - Mimics evocation below 5th level, but only 20% real.

Blight: Strike - Withers one plant or deals 1d6/level damage to plant creature.
Waves of Fatigue: Strike - Several targets become fatigued.

Overland Flight: Stance - You fly at a speed of 40 ft. and can hustle over long distances.
Passwall: Creates passage through wood or stone wall.
Telekinesis: Strike - Moves object, attacks creature, or hurls object or creature.
Transmute Mud to Rock: Strike - Transforms two 10-ft. cubes per level.
Transmute Rock to Mud: Strike - Transforms two 10-ft. cubes per level.


Dispel Magic, Greater: Strike - As dispel magic, but +20 on check.
Globe of Invulnerability: Stance - As lesser globe of invulnerability, plus 4th-level spell effects.

Acid Fog: Strike - Fog deals acid damage.
Summon Monster VI: Stance - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.
Wall of Iron: Strike - 30 hp/four levels; can topple onto foes.

True Seeing: Boost - Lets you see all things as they really are.

Heroism, Greater: Boost - Gives +4 bonus on attack rolls, saves, skill checks; immunity to fear; temporary hp.
Suggestion, Mass: Strike - As suggestion, plus one subject/level.

Chain Lightning: Strike - 1d6/level damage; 1 secondary bolt/level each deals half damage.
Forceful Hand: Strike - Hand pushes creatures away.
Freezing Sphere: Strike - Freezes water or deals cold damage.

Mislead: Boost - Turns you invisible and creates illusory double.
Permanent Image: Strike - Includes sight, sound, and smell.
Programmed Image: Strike - As major image, plus triggered by event.
Shadow Walk: Stance - Step into shadow to travel rapidly.

Eyebite: Strike - Target becomes panicked, sickened, and comatose.
Undeath to Death: Strike - Destroys 1d4/level HD of undead (max 20d4).

Disintegrate: Strike - Makes one creature or object vanish.
Stone to Flesh: Strike - Restores petrified creature.
Transformation: Stance - You gain combat bonuses.*
*While under the effects of Transformation, you lose access to all maneuvers granted by this class.


Banishment: Strike - Banishes 2 HD/level of extraplanar creatures.
Spell Turning: Counter - Reflect 1d4+6 spell levels back at caster.

Plane Shift: Strike - As many as eight subjects travel to another plane.
Summon Monster VII: Stance - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.
Teleport, Greater: Strike - As teleport, but no range limit and no off-target arrival.
Teleport Object: Strike - As teleport, but affects a touched object.

Arcane Sight, Greater: Stance - As arcane sight, but also reveals magic effects on creatures and objects.

Hold Person, Mass: Strike - As hold person, but all within 30 ft.
Power Word Blind: Strike - Blinds creature with 100 hp or less.*
*Note the change to 100 hp from 200.

Grasping Hand: Strike - Hand provides cover, pushes, or grapples.
Mage’s Sword: Stance - Floating magic blade strikes opponents.
Prismatic Spray: Strike - Rays hit subjects with variety of effects.

Project Image: Stance - Illusory double can talk and cast spells.*
Shadow Conjuration, Greater: Strike - As shadow conjuration, but up to 6th level and 60% real.
*Illusory double can use maneuvers granted by this class.

Waves of Exhaustion: Strike - Several targets become exhausted.

Ethereal Jaunt: Boost - You become ethereal for 1 round/level.
Reverse Gravity: Strike - Objects and creatures fall upward.
Statue: Stance - Subject can become a statue at will.


Mind Blank: Stance - Subject is immune to mental/emotional magic and scrying.
Protection from Spells: Counter - Confers +8 resistance bonus.

Maze: Strike - Traps subject in extradimensional maze.
Summon Monster VIII: Stance - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.

Moment of Prescience: Boost - You gain insight bonus on single attack roll, check, or save.
Prying Eyes, Greater: Strike - As prying eyes, but eyes have true seeing.

Irresistible Dance: Strike - Forces subject to dance.
Power Word Stun: Strike - Stuns creature with 75 hp or less.
*Note the change to 75 hp from 150.

Clenched Fist: Strike - Large hand provides cover, pushes, or attacks your foes.
Polar Ray: Strike - Ranged touch attack deals 1d6/level cold damage.
Shout, Greater: Strike - Devastating yell deals 10d6 sonic damage; stuns creatures, damages objects.
Sunburst: Strike - Blinds all within 10 ft., deals 6d6 damage.

Scintillating Pattern: Strike - Twisting colors confuse, stun, or render unconscious.
Shadow Evocation, Greater: Strike - As shadow evocation, but up to 7th level and 60% real.

Horrid Wilting: Strike - Deals 1d6/level damage within 30 ft.

Iron Body: Stance - Your body becomes living iron.
Polymorph Any Object: Stance - Changes any subject into anything else.


Mage’s Disjunction: Strike - Dispels magic, disenchants magic items.

Gate: Strike - Connects two planes for travel or summoning.
Summon Monster IX: Stance - Calls extraplanar creature to fight for you.

Foresight: “Sixth sense” warns of impending danger.

Dominate Monster: Strike - As dominate person, but any creature.

Meteor Swarm: Strike - Four exploding spheres each deal 6d6 fire damage.

Shades: Strike - As shadow conjuration, but up to 8th level and 80% real.

Energy Drain: Strike - Subject gains 2d4 negative levels.

Shapechange: Stance - Transforms you into any creature, and change forms once per round.

You're a brutal combination of sword and spell, but you're far more than the sum of two halves. As someone experienced with both magical and martial techniques, expect to be a student of many arts, and a teacher of more than a few. Consider "mentoring" a fellow party member in an area where you feel they are weak, or encouraging them in their strengths.
Combat: You have a greater variety of stances than most martial adepts, so you should be able to begin combat by choosing a stance best suited for the conditions. Your individual choice of maneuvers greatly affects your strategy, but in general, despite your above-average hit die and armor class, you probably shouldn't be on the front lines.
Advancement: You have two primary options with regards to other class levels, which will greatly affect your combat style: arcane caster, or initiator. Initiator is the more like, probably stronger option, but given your ability to use your initiator level instead of your caster level, taking some levels of a casting class is not a poor option by any definition, and can give you a bit more breadth.
Resources: Most sublime sorcerers work on their own, and expect and receive no external support. Some, however, have been known to join wizards' cabals and similar circles, and receive the standard support a normal spellcaster could expect.

Oh, don't worry about that guy in the chain shirt, he's just a rogue. No, focus on the mage, the one in the robes; he's the dangerous one. - A bandit leader, shortly before leading a spectacular failure of an ambush.

Daily Life: You'll often be looking for new experiences to broaden your horizons. You've already gotten plenty of knowledge from two vastly different spheres of life; what else new can you learn?
Notables: Some say the first sublime sorcerer was the dread lord Pythos, but warlocks are also quick to boast him as their own, and more than a few swordsages have claimed he was a master of the shadow hand style. There's also the fallen blackguard Sir Walter, who once championed darkness, but eventually abandoned his undead legions to further his study of necromancy and illusions.
Organizations: Sublime sorcerers are few and far between, but somehow virtually every single one of them has read, in some form or fashion, a small treatise on arcane magic and martial maneuvers by the enigmatic "Master of Sword and Spell." A small group of sublime sorcerers, dubbing themselves the Masters of Sword and Spell after the writer of this document, have begun efforts to search out the one they believe to be the originator of their styles, but most simply accept the coincidence and move on with their lives.

NPC Reaction
Among the general, uninformed populace, you'll often be grouped together with either arcane casters, or martial adepts. Among the informed, though, expect to be viewed with a mixture of respect and curiousity; spellcasters will appreciate your endurance, but bemoan your lack of variety, while martial adepts are likely to be more respectful of your unique exploits.

You'll function mostly as a gish; how much focus is on spell and how much is on sword is up to you and your spell choice. You could focus mostly on buffs and touch attacks, and take part in melee, or go more for the ranged effects and function closer to a mage, with the capability of melee.
Adaptation: The easiest way to adjust the sublime sorcerer is to change their maneuver list. Add in spells from other books, or for a reverse twist, change it so they gain their maneuvers from a selection of the standard nine disciplines - though you might want to bump up their hit die, and maybe armor proficiency if you go this route.

Dante & Vergil
2010-01-18, 04:59 PM
I don't know what to say other than nice!!

2010-01-18, 05:30 PM
Very cool. I'm taking this one.:smallbiggrin:

2010-01-19, 10:35 PM
Awesome! Thanks, both of you, I'm glad you like it!

Dante & Vergil
2010-01-20, 04:53 PM
I noticed some of your schools seem a little lacking as I think there are some spells that could be added to that list without too many problems. Some of the schools only get a couple of spells each level.

2010-02-21, 11:27 PM
Yeah, I'd planned on perhaps going through Spell Compendium and adding to the lists, but, I'm lazy and move on quickly. :-P Still might happen, I've been putting more effort into going over older projects that I'd planned on adding to. As is evidenced by this post a month after it'd been posted in, rather than letting it get past the expiration date. :smalltongue:

Another thing. I realized with this class, there's a definite advantage to taking it later rather than sooner, in that if you take it too soon, you can't get access to 9th level spells. How could I fix that without expanding it beyond 10 levels, which I don't want to do?