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    Default [Base Class] The Spellblade

    Spellblade

    Spellblades are people who were born with sorcery in their soul but did not seek to force that magic away from them; instead, they internalized it and found a new way to utilize their power. Through discipline or force of will, the spellblade finds a way to shape his arcane energies into a coherent blade of magic. While the manifested blade varies from spellblade to spellblade, the effect is the same: devastating.

    Adventures: Spellblades adventure to test their mettle and prove their skill, to show the versatility of arcane magic, and often times to see the world. Many do not understand the strange sorcerous power of the spellblade, seeing them perhaps as wielders of powers of the mind. While a cursory look can see similarities between spellblades and the soulknife, and if one were to ask a spellblade, the totality of the soulknife’s power is in his blade; the spellblade just smiles and pushes his power even farther. Some spellblades go on quests to find ways to help them understand the strange talent they possess, seeking out arcane grimoires and forgotten libraries to find others of their kind.

    Characteristics: Spellblades cast arcane magic like the sorcerer they may have become. Most spellblades tend to focus their powers in ways to augment their combat capabilities and do battle better. In addition to spells, spellblades gain mystical infusions that augment their already formidable capabilities.

    Alignment: Spellblades have no tendencies towards specific alignments, running the gamut of the spectrum. Lawful spellblades practice their art with dedication rivaling monks while chaotic spellblades simply do what comes naturally to them.

    Religion: Spellblades are inclined to follow deities either of magic or of warfare, depending on their philosophical bend. Some are disinclined to follow gods at all, and simply follow their own path through life.

    Background: Spellblades develop rudimentary powers at around the same time that budding sorcerers do, but instead of following the path of expressing these newfound powers freely, he instead tries to harness them and hold them inside of himself. When the power does free itself, he tries to make it as manageable as possible while expressing his more martial inclinations as well.

    Occasionally, a spellblade is lucky enough to meet another spellblade to mentor under, or if there is an academy of war and magic nearby, a school to be taught how to properly harness this power and use it responsibly.

    Races: Humans make up the largest population of spellblades, with half-elves being a close second. Elves prefer a more a rigid form of magic, but when sorcery sings in the blood of a young elven warrior, a spellblade is born. Gnomish spellblades are very rare and dwarven ones are almost unheard of. Of the monstrous races, only the kobold race shows any inclination towards such a path, due to their racial tendency for sorcery presumably.

    Other Classes: Spellblades find that they have much in common with fighters and sorcerers, being a sort of bridge between the two. Sorcerers tend to be wary or even jealous of them however, so their relationships tend to be strained from time to time. They also tend to have a good relationship with the party’s scout (if they are not the scout themselves) and work well with rogues and bards as a result.

    Role: A spellblade’s role is defined by his comrades for the most part. If the party is lacking a scout, he can fulfill that role. If they need a combat oriented character of either the spell casting or martial nature, he can fill that role as well. However, as with many jacks-of-all-trades, the spellblade is a master of none. Rogues and rangers are more stealthy, sorcerers and wizards can cast more and bigger spells and fighters can outstrip them in a one on one. The goal of playing a successful spellblade is to fill the role the party needs most when it is needed by being available to either assist the main scout or blast spells at the enemy with the spellcasters.

    GAME RULE INFORMATION:
    Abilities: Charisma dictates how powerful a spell a spellblade can cast, how many spells he can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist. As a combat class, Strength and Dexterity help in combat as well with many of his skills. Constitution will make him tougher and harder to take down.
    Hit Die: d8

    Skills: Spellblades have access to the following skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

    The Spellblade
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0th|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Manifest Mageblade|2

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Infusion|3|0

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Form Mageblade, Fast Blade|3|1

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Infuse Mageblade +1|3|2|0

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    -
    |3|3|1

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Infusion|3|3|2

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    -
    |3|3|2|0

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Infuse Mageblade +2|3|3|3|1

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    -
    |3|3|3|2

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Infusion|3|3|3|2|0

    11th|
    +8
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    -
    |3|3|3|3|1

    12th|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Infuse Mageblade +3|3|3|3|3|2

    13th|
    +9
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    -
    |3|3|3|3|2|0

    14th|
    +10
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |Infusion|4|3|3|3|3|1

    15th|
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    -
    |4|4|3|3|3|2

    16th|
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Infuse Mageblade +4|4|4|4|3|3|2|0

    17th|
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    -
    |4|4|4|4|3|3|1

    18th|
    +13
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |Infusion|4|4|4|4|4|3|2

    19th|
    +14
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    -
    |4|4|4|4|4|4|3

    20th|
    +15
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Infuse Mageblade +5|4|4|4|4|4|4|4[/table]

    Spellblade Spells Known
    {table=head]Level|0th|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th

    1st|4

    2nd|5|2

    3rd|6|3

    4th|6|3|2

    5th|6|4|3

    6th|6|4|3

    7th|6|4|4|2

    8th|6|4|4|3

    9th|6|4|4|3

    10th|6|4|4|4|2

    11th|6|4|4|4|3

    12th|6|4|4|4|3

    13th|6|4|4|4|4|2

    14th|6|4|4|4|4|3

    15th|6|4|4|4|4|3

    16th|6|5|4|4|4|4|2

    17th|6|5|5|4|4|4|3

    18th|6|5|5|5|4|4|3

    19th|6|5|5|5|5|4|4

    20th|6|5|5|5|5|5|4
    [/table]

    CLASS FEATURES:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A spellblade is proficient in all simple weapons and their mageblade, and with light armor. A spellblade can cast spellblade spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance.

    Spells: A spellblade casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the wizard/sorcerer spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a spellblade must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a spellblade’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the spellblade’s Charisma modifier.

    Like other spellcasters, a spellblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Spellblade. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When Table: The Spellblade indicates that the spellblade gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.

    The spellblade’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A spellblade begins play knowing four 0-level spells of your choice. At most new spellblade levels, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: The Spellblade. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a spellblade knows is not affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table: The Spellblade are fixed.)

    Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third spellblade level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a spellblade can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the spellblade "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level spellblade spell the spellblade can cast. A spellblade may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

    As noted above, a spellblade need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

    Manifest Mageblade (Su): By expending spell energy and channeling arcane power through his body, as a move action a spellblade can create a semisolid blade composed of arcane energy. The blade is identical in all ways (except visually) to a short sword of a size appropriate for its wielder. For instance, a Medium spellblade materializes a Medium mageblade that he can wield as a light weapon, and the blade deals 1d6 points of damage (crit 19-20/×2). Spellblades who are smaller or larger than Medium create mageblades identical to short swords appropriate for their size, with a corresponding change to the blade’s damage. The wielder of a mageblade gains the usual benefits to his attack roll and damage roll from a high Strength bonus.

    The blade can be broken (it has hardness 10 and 10 hit points); however, a spellblade can simply create another on his next move action. The moment he relinquishes his grip on his blade, it dissipates.

    A mageblade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. A spellblade can use feats such as Power Attack or Combat Expertise in conjunction with the mageblade just as if it were a normal weapon. He can also choose mageblade for feats requiring a specific weapon choice, such as Weapon Specialization. Powers or spells that upgrade weapons can be used on a spellblade.

    Even in places where magical effects do not normally function (such as within a anti-magic field), a spellblade can attempt to sustain his mageblade by making a DC 20 Concentration check. On a successful check, the spellblade maintains his mageblade for a number of rounds equal to his class level before he needs to check again. On an unsuccessful attempt, the mageblade vanishes. As a move action on his turn, the spellblade can attempt a new Concentration check to rematerialize his mageblade while he remains within the magic negating effect.

    Infusion (Su): By routinely channeling arcane spell energy to manifest a mageblade, this power leaves a residual magic that changes the spellblade’s body. Starting at 2nd level and every four levels after that (6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th), the spellblade may choose an ability from the list below for the power arcane magic has infused him with. Only one infusion may be used per round and do not provoke attacks of opportunity unless otherwise stated.
    Fleetness: The spellblade gains the spell expeditious retreat as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier, with a caster level equal to his spellblade level.
    Spell Channel: The spellblade may deliver a touch spell through his manifest mageblade as part of an attack action. The spellblade casts the spell normally (i.e. the same as if he were casting the spell into his empty hand, but into the sword itself instead) and the blade becomes charged with it, using the spellblade’s attack as the delivery method. Treat the ensorcelled mageblade as a charged empty hand for purposes of all aspects of the spell, except to attack as touch attack, attacking with the spellblade instead.
    Enhance Mageblade: The spellblade may add a special weapon quality to his mageblade while it is manifested by spending a spell slot upon weapon manifestation. The weapon quality’s bonus may not exceed the level of the spell sacrificed. (Ex: If a 4th level slot was spent, a combination of qualities equal to or less than +4 could be added to the blade, but cannot exceed +4). This ability is used as part of the manifestation of the mageblade. This must be used in combination with manifest mageblade and cannot be used once a blade has been made manifest without it, nor can the decision be changed once manifested without remanifesting the blade entirely.
    Arcane Smite: The spellblade may sacrifice a spell to add a bonus to his attack equal to his Charisma modifier and damage equal to three times the level of the spell sacrificed. (Ex. 3rd level spell sacrificed, Charisma 16, would be +3 to hit and +9 to damage.) This attack must be made with his mageblade. (Part of an attack action).
    Arcane Awareness: By sacrificing a spell slot, the spellblade may increase his awareness to supernatural levels, gaining the Improved Uncanny Dodge ability for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell spent times two, as a rogue equal to his spellblade level. (Move equivalent action)
    Arcane Defense: Gain an insight bonus to saving throws and AC equal to the level of the spell sacrificed for one minute per level of the spell sacrificed. (Standard action)
    Blade Storm: By channeling spell energy through his form, the spellblade may burst into a flurry of movement, striking all nearby foes with deadly precision. Sacrifice a spell slot to use the feat Whirlwind Attack with an insight bonus to both attack and damage equal to the level of the spell sacrificed. This ability can only be used with a manifested mageblade. (10th level) (Full round action)
    Battle Meditation: The spellblade channels arcane energies through his form, opening pathways to his body that improve upon his already formidable abilities. The spellblade sacrifices a spell of at least 3rd level to add a +2 enhancement bonus to both Strength and Constitution and a +1 dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves for one minute. The use of higher level spell slots yield a more powerful meditation. Thus, a spellblade sacrificing 4th level spells grant a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and Constitution and +2 dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves, 5th level spells grant a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength and Constitution and +3 dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves, and 6th level spells grant a +8 enhancement bonus to both Strength and Constitution and a +4 dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves. While in Battle Meditation, the spellblade must focus all of his attention to combat and cannot cast spells while in this state. (Move action).
    Blade Beam: This ability allows the spellblade to take the energy pent up into his mageblade and cause it to explode out in a blast of magical force. By burning up all of the energy of his mageblade, the spellblade bursts out into a beam of coherent force. This beam is a 60’ long line of force damage dealing 1d6 force damage per two spellblade levels at a caster level equal to the spellblade’s class level and with a Reflex save equal to 15 + Charisma modifier. Spell resistance applies, and using this ability provokes attacks of opportunity as if the spellblade were casting a 5th level spell. Use of this ability uses up the spellblade's ability to manifest his mageblade, knocking out its use for 1d4 rounds. Once this period has passed, he may re-manifest the weapon. (10th level, arcane smite and spell channel) (Standard action)

    Form Mageblade (Su): The spellblade gains the ability to form his mageblade into a tree of additional forms. Select from the listed tree what forms the spellblade may change into. Once selected, the spellblade may not change this decision.
    1) Shortsword, Longsword, Bastard Sword, Paired Shortswords.
    2) Shortsword, Scimitar, Falchion, Paired Kukris.
    3) Shortsword, Battleaxe, Greataxe, Paired Handaxes.

    Fast Blade (Su): The spellblade may now manifest his mageblade as a free action instead of as a move action.

    Infuse Mageblade (Su): The magic permeating the spellblade enhances his manifested blade’s power, granting it the listed magical bonus. This magical bonus also applies to the weapon’s hardness and hit points, making it harder to break.

    ----

    Thoughts, critiques, etc appreciated. This is intended to be a new base class in a campaign setting I'm developing.

    -X
    Last edited by ErrantX; 2008-01-24 at 04:06 PM. Reason: Fixed tables and clarified some rules
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Base Class] The Spellblade

    Alright, let's hit up the bad parts -

    The class is all-around lackluster. The flavor starts out nifty enough, aye, but the stats fail to pay off your expectations. They want to melee, but lack that ability, and if they have the time to buff themselves, the fight's over. Which brings out another consideration - any spells they choose are going to force them into one role or the other.

    The problem with trying to make a generalist class, I've found, is that they tend to blow at everything without a trick to call their own.

    In all honesty, I'd take Soulknife over this. The stats deliver on the flavor, there's less dead levels, and the Psionic feats are vastly superior to your Infusions. And if I really wanna, I can even wear heavier armor.

    It's got potential, but it needs differentation.


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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: [Base Class] The Spellblade

    Hmm. It has the spell power of a psychicwarrior (that is, max 6th level spells/powers), but spells, and especially sor/wiz spells are not as well suited to this role as the psychic warrior. It Also has a nerfed mind blade, and some other powers outside of it's spellcasting, called infusions. The infusions are generally not as good as an extra spell known or bonus feat would be, and force the spellblade into using fairly specific abilities. The mind blade enhancements can be changed as fast as you can re-draw the weapon, but also cost a spell slot of your highest level for each draw, greatly reducing your power for the day in other ways.

    I'd say drop the infusions, give them a bonus feat progression equal to the psy warrior's, and a full strength mind blade. Make sure to provide plenty of splatbooks to rummage through for the spells and feats that will give it a shot against the psy war. (Arcane Strike and Minor Shapeshift are good feats, Heroics is a spell that'll give you a fighter feat for 10 min/level, Bite of the WearX are great for stat bonuses, etc).
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    Default Re: [Base Class] The Spellblade

    As a fan of the Soulknife, despite it being somewhat underpowered in my opinion (it needs full BAB, stat! ><), I think this class of yours makes a fairly decent stab at making the arcane version but falls a little short. It has actual spell ability, which justifies 3/4 BAB, unlike the Soulknife, though its utilization leaves a little to be desired.

    If you access to the PHB2, I'd look at the Duskblade, as that makes a decent attempt at what you're going for, plus some ideas of what spells the class should have to make it what you want. I also agree that the spellblade is a little weak compared to the mindblade, since a Soulknife doesn't have to spend anything to manifest special abilities in their weapon. If you put in a similar system to that w/o the spell slot cost, that would do much to improving your class. The other infusions i think work fairly well and are fairly flavorful and also good crunch and should stay. If you consider some of these things, I think you'll be well on your way to improving your base class to viability rather than obscurity.
    Last edited by Cieyrin; 2008-01-23 at 01:58 AM.
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    Default Re: [Base Class] The Spellblade

    I kinda like the infusions, I'd drop the spell casting abilities all together and refine those. Sort of like a warlock that gets a magic sword thingy instead of an eldritch blast.
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    Default Re: [Base Class] The Spellblade

    All good suggestions, and I appreciate the honest critiquing. Better to have you work dash to bits and know why then to have sycophants saying it's great.

    Expect to see some revisions in the near future. One thing I was considering doing was renaming the Infusions to "Blade Invocations". While I know I blatantly ripped off the mindblade from the soulknife, I did so from the point of view that soulknife really falls flat on what I think it's trying to deliver. My objective here was to address where I think it does fall flat. Since it seems everyone is pretty against it having spells (Lord_Gareth and I having talked for over an hour about spells giving it a lack of staying power, unlike the soulknife), I think I will focus on the infusions/blade invocations.

    One thing to ask then, if we're looking at really focusing this character's arcane abilities inward, should I remove the manifestation of a mageblade entirely and pull a sorta Kensai and allow the spellblade to just enhance an existing weapon?

    -X
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    Default Re: [Base Class] The Spellblade

    I really like the manifestation of a magic blade, in my mind it kind of looks like a shaped lightsaber that shoots from the character's hand. I also like the idea of focusing on different ways to alter the kind of energy it creates and different things that can be done with it. besides, if it's all based on ways to magically manipulate an existing weapon, it's no different than a possibly multi-classed spell casting character with a bunch of transmutation and abjuration spells that already exist to power up weapons.
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