Roles: Why You Walk the Way
SpoilerMobility – You’re a very mobile combatant, and you can often best utilize your talents by skirmishing and darting around the battlefield.
Secondary Melee – As a swordsage, you’re a prime choice for a melee support role. You can aid more hulk-like characters with a variety of status effects, debuffs, and plain old damage.
Burst Damage – Specializing in Desert Wind can give you a formidable arsenal of area attacks. Still, this is usually best left to the party caster.
Primary Melee – If you’re forced to, you can do a fine job out on the front lines. But a d8 hit die and medium BAB mean you’re no substitute for a barbarian or warblade.
Debuffs – These shouldn’t become too much of a focus, but you have quite an array of status effects and ability damage at your disposal. It’s usually wise to pick up at least a couple of these maneuvers.
Tank – You’re simply not a tank, with a low hit die, light armor proficiency, and class features that reward mobility.Apparently with VoP someone on the forum made a swordsage with 34 AC, higher than anyone else in the party even a fighter.
Class Features: How You Walk the Way
D8 hit die - I'll be honest: this isn't terribly fantastic, as hit points are valuable. But it should usually be enough for your needs, seeing as you aren't a front-line combatant.
Medium BAB - Not great, but not at all a problem. Because many strikes allow only one attack, losing that fourth shouldn't be more than a minor annoyance.
Good Reflex and Will saves - Quite awesome. You'll have strong defenses against the warrior's eternal weakness, Will save-or-lose spells, and likely won't need to give a thought to Reflex saves.
Bad Fortitude save - On the flip side, though, you're lack one of the melee combatant's prototypical strengths, Fortitude. This can be a bit of a hurdle to come, as there are a number of nasty spells with a Fortitude save - consider taking the Diamond Mind counter Mind Over Body. I wouldn't worry too much, though.
6 Skill Points/level - Excellent. Way more than most warriors get, and it should be plenty to cover your needs.
SpoilerManeuvers - Without maneuvers, you're simply not a swordsage.
Stances - Stances are, without a doubt, one of your defining abilities.
Quick to Act - Eventually becomes better than free Improved Initiative. Initiative, especially at high levels, is extremely important: can't say no to a bonus.
Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus) - Meh. A nice boost at low levels, but not great.
AC Bonus - A passive ability that helps make up for your lack of heavy armor, is hard to say no to. Sure, keying it off Wisdom makes you a bit MAD, but it's nothing too essential.
Discipline Focus (Insightful Strike) - You'll be making a strike nearly every round, so this is a great bonus. Choose strike-heavy disciplines like Diamond Mind and Tiger Claw.
Sense Magic - At-will, 10-minute identify? The party caster probably has this taken care of already, but still...free stuff.
Discipline Focus (Defensive Stance) - Basically three bonus feats. Three crappy bonus feats, yeah, but are you going to turn it down?
Evasion - Nice; when paired with your high Reflex saves, it means you have little to fear from most area of effect attacks.
Improved Evasion - Not that good. By now, if you fail a Reflex save, something has gone wrong.
Dual Boost - Very awesome. Perhaps not as spectacular as Stance Mastery, due to the 3/day limit, but nonetheless extremely potent when used correctly.
Skills: The Other Way
SpoilerBalance - Be sure to take 5 ranks in it so that you're immune to grease spells and other effects that would otherwise screw you - but beyond that, much less appealing.
Climb - Even with your large number of skill points, you can't afford to waste any on Climb.
Concentration - Extremely important if you're taking Diamond Mind maneuvers (and why wouldn't you be?). Lots of them - most famously, the save-replacing and and Insightful Strike lines - key off Concentration checks.
Craft - If you have your heart set on being a master smith or forging warheart weapons, well, indulge yourself. Otherwise, give it a miss.
Heal - This is something you take when you have no healer, and are playing strictly low levels and nothing else.
Hide - You don't have as much hit points as a fighter, and you get sneak attack, so you should make use of it.
Knowledge (History) -
Knowledge (Local) -
Knowledge (Nature) -
Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) -
Martial Lore -
Move Silently -
Sense Motive -