Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bladesinger


The Queen's Wood is claimed to be the birthplace of the first bladesingers -- warriors who mix elven grace and fey magic into a deadly dance of grace and flourish.  Also known as swordmages, these secretive masters of arcane swordplay have jealously guarded their secrets for ages, to little avail: Arcane students who dabble in martial skill and warriors who wish to have an edge over their more mundane enemies eventually learn those secrets, one way or another...

Play style: A Bladesinger is a very complex class by default.  If you want to play it simple, try getting only one type of spell -- preferably Evocations -- but even then you might find it a little more complicated than Fighters or Avengers.

Backgrounds: Bladesingers come from various walks of life, but most can be found in the Queen's Wood as well as Horizon, and any place where magic is bountiful and martial trainers are never in short supply.  Favoring mobility and magic over heavy armor, these warriors tend to have skills that allow them to be somewhat well-rounded in both arts, although most prefer a more martial bent to their training.

Armor and Gear: Bladesingers tend to constantly protect themselves with a bit of magic, to a point where even when they're unconscious they're protected by it.  As a result, it's pretty easy for anyone who can detect magic to point out a Bladesinger in the middle of a crowd unless the Bladesinger willingly suppresses the magic as a free action (-1 to AC until magical protection re-enabled).  The table below shows the base AC of the Bladesinger while this magical protection is in effect:
Bladesinger Armor and AC
Type / Base AC
None / 11
Light / 13
Heavy / 12
Shield / +1

Bladesingers start with equipment appropriate to their background -- perhaps their longsword is of elven make and is both sleek and able to reflect light in an unusual manner, or their dagger is a ritual dagger taken from the corpse of a demon that was summoned by a group of occultists, or their greatsword was carved from the core of an oak tree and imbued with a ritual spell that made it as good as any steel blade.  Nothing really spectacular aside from their weapon.

Bladesinger Weapon Proficiencies
1d4
: Daggers, knives, batons
Useful for rituals, gutting food, or slitting sleeping necks open.
1d6: Clubs, handaxes, maces, short swords, big knives, short spears
Allows for easy handling and decent damage.
1d8: Axes, hammers, longswords, scimitars, longspears
Typical for bladesingers of all sorts, since it allows them for the best amount of damage while keeping their hand free for their spells (especially their wards).
1d10: Bastard Swords, Battleaxes, Halberds (2H), other polearms (2H), flails, morningstars
Most 1d10 weapons require two hands to use properly. Starting at 2nd level, you can take the 1-Hander feat and learn to use a particular 1d10 weapon one-handed (except for those marked 2H). If you use a 2H weapon one-handed you take a -4 attack penalty.

Bladesinger Ranged Weapon Proficiencies
1d4
: Thrown daggers, knives, clubs, throwing stars
1d6: Thrown javelins, spears; shortbow, light crossbow
1d8: Longbow, heavy crossbow

Bladesinger Starting Stats
Base AC
: 13
Base PD: 10
Base MD: 12
Backgrounds: 8 Points

Ability Scores
You can add +2 to your Intelligence or your Dexterity, so long as you have not added to that score with your racial bonus.

HP: 3 x (7+Con)
Recovery Dice: 1d8 per level + Con mod

Bladesinger Melee Attack
At-Will
Attack
: Intelligence + Level Modifier vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Strength damage (1 melee weapon die per level)
Miss: damage equal to your level

Bladesinger Ranged Attack
At-Will
Attack
: Intelligence + Level Modifier vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage (1 melee weapon die per level)
Miss: --

Bladesinger Talents

Single class Bladesinger: Choose 3 of the following Bladesinger talents.

Bonded Weapon
You can spend one hour meditating on your weapon of choice, bonding with it and imbuing it with magic.  As a standard action you can call it to your hand even if it is far away, and it will try its best to fly or teleport back to your hand in the quickest way possible.  You cannot bond with more than one weapon (successfully bonding with a new weapon immediately discards the previous binding).
In the event that the weapon is broken, as long as you have one piece of the weapon, you can call back all of its other fragments and re-forge the weapon after one hour of meditation (if there are fragments that are completely destroyed, the weapon will grow them back).
(Adventurer feat): Calling the weapon to your hand takes a quick action instead of a standard action.
(Champion feat): Attempts to disarm or destroy the weapon gain a +2 on the DC.
(Epic feat): You are so intimately bonded to your weapon that a bit of your soul is permanently embedded in it.  For purposes of resurrection the blade is considered a legitimate substitute for your body.  Additional benefits may depend on a variety of factors.

Aegis
You gain the ability to impede a nearby enemy with an aegis -- an enemy-specific ward spell -- as a quick action.  The aegis lasts until you are knocked unconscious, you cast the ward on a different opponent, or the end of a battle.
Choose one of the following types of aegis:
Aegis of Assault: You can teleport to engage the enemy with your aegis as a move action, so long as he is in the battlefield (even if you can't see him, although if there isn't a space next to him where you can squeeze into, you are teleported to as close a spot to him as possible; just don't expect that the destination would be a safe place to be).
(Adventurer feat):  You add your Strength modifier to the miss damage of your melee attacks against the enemy with your aegis.
(Champion feat): Once per battle you can inflict 10 ongoing damage to the enemy with your aegis.  In addition, you can spend a recovery point to make the save hard (16+) instead of normal (11+).
Aegis of Ensnarement: At the end of each of your turns, you can spend a quick action to teleport that enemy next to you (forcing him to engage you), so long as he is nearby.
(Adventurer feat): Each time you activate the aegis, the enemy becomes constrained until the end of its next turn.
(Champion feat): Once per battle, when you activate the aegis, make an Dexterity check against the enemy's MD.  On a success, he is stunned (save ends).
Aegis of Shielding: When you choose to protect an ally with your Warding spell and the enemy making the attack is under your aegis, you can reduce the damage inflicted by the enemy by a number of points equal to your Constitution modifier + the current Escalation die.  At level 4, double the reduction granted by your Constitution modifier, and at level 7, triple the damage reduction granted by your Constitution modifier.
(Adventurer feat): Once per battle, reduce the damage further by an amount equal to your level.
(Champion feat): Once per battle, in addition to reducing the enemy's damage, you can choose to gain a number of temporary hit points equal to the amount of damage you subtracted from the attack.

Ghost Blade
Once per day, you can choose to gain Displacement for the next attack against you before the end of battle as a quick action.
After the battle roll a d20. 16+ you can use this ability again later in the day.
(Champion Feat): You can ignore creatures protected by the Displacement ability while you benefit from this talent.

Eldritch Speed
Once per battle at the start of each fight, you can take a move action before anyone's turn starts.
(Epic feat): Once per day, you can take a standard action as a quick action.

Learned Magic
Choose one of the Icons.  You can gain a +1 to your Relationship Die with them unless you already have a +3 to your relationship, and you can choose one spell from a class associated with them instead of a spell available to your class (see below).  At higher levels, you can choose to replace the spell you learned with a new spell but, that spell must be two levels lower than your current level.
Archmage: Wizard
Diabolist: Occultist
Elf Queen: Chaos Shaman
High Druid: Druid
Lich King: Necromancer
Priestess: Cleric
The Three: Sorcerer

Cantrips
You can cast the same cantrips as a Wizard, with the same limitation of three cantrips per day, but unlike the Wizard, your cantrips last half as long (5-30 minutes at adventurer tier, 30-180 minutes at champion tier, and 1-6 hours at epic tier).
(Champion feat): You gain one additional use of a cantrip.
(Epic feat): You can extend the cantrip for one more hour than normal, but only on a successful Intelligence check.


Living Blade
Once per day, you can spend standard action to allow your weapon to move on its own for the remainder of battle, but only while you are nearby and -- if your weapon is a true magic item -- if the magic item agrees to be wielded in such a manner.  If you are too far away, it drops on the floor. You can make an attack through it as a standard action.
 (GM Note: while I'm sure most weapons would love to have free reign on relentless carnage, if you think that this doesn't apply to the weapon, feel free to require an Intelligence check before this spell can be activated, with failure allowing the spell to work as written, but with penalties to attack [or even requiring a roll to keep the sword from attacking his allies!] as appropriate)
(Adventurer feat): You can activate this as a quick action instead of a standard action.
(Champion feat): Once per round you can mentally order the weapon to attack as a quick action.
(Epic feat): For the duration of the battle it gains complete sentience, able to take actions independent from you regardless of range (GMs, I suggest you treat the sword as a standard creature of the same level as the PC).  Mundane weapons can only understand simple orders, but at least they stick to them on a literal basis without question.  Magical weapons can understand complex orders, but well... let's just say that they might have their own agendas.

Spells

Bladesingers use three types of spells: Evocations, incantations, and power words.  Evocations are spells that are easily performed (take only a quick action) and often enhance either the warrior, or the weapon's attacks.  Incantations are spells that require extensive maneuvers and verbal chanting to perform (take a standard action), and allow the bladesinger to fully delve into magic almost as proficiently as any other caster.  Power words are special in that they need to be prepared ahead of time by inscribing or imbuing the spells' powers into the weapon -- or if he really wants to risk it, into his armor or body -- and then saying the single word that activates the spell he wishes to call forth.

Power words in particular are the hardest to take full advantage of, because there are a number of things going on with this type of spell.  First off, they are all daily spells (no exception).  If there are more power words in a single object than your character level, the object gains a tiny bit of sentience (personality is based on the power words currently in the object, GMs feel free to be creative on this).  If there are more power words in a single object than twice your character level OR if the object is a true magic item and you have more power words in it than your character level, you are considered over-attuned regardless of the number of magic items you currently have (due to the battle of wills between the caster, the spells, and the sentient item).

Level 1 Evocations
All Bladesingers have the Warding evocation:

Warding
At-Will
Requirement: One hand must be free
Effect: You gain a +2 to AC while you fulfill the requirement for this evocation.  When a nearby enemy attacks a nearby ally, you can choose to transfer this AC bonus to the ally as an interrupt, but only if the ally did not Challenge the attacking enemy (see: Paladin talent).
(Champion feat): A number of times per day equal to your Constitution modifier, you can choose to gain resistance to one of the following damage types whenever you cast your Warding spell: fire, cold, lightning, thunder.  The value of this resistance equals your Constitution modifier + the current Escalation die, and can be transferred along with the AC bonus when interrupting an attack.
Author's Note: The resistance lasts only as long as the ward is active.  The moment you transfer the ward to an ally, after the attack you interrupted is resolved, you'll need to activate your ward again to be able to regain the resistance.
(Epic feat): The Warding spell grants a +3 to AC instead of +2

Heart of the Blade
Once per battle
Requirement: One hand must be free
Effect: Your attacks deal extra damage equal to your level + the current Escalation Die until the end of your next turn.  The benefit also ends if you stop fulfilling the requirements of this spell
(Adventurer feat): You can spend a quick action to add 1d4 per level to the damage of your next attack before the spell ends, but only if it hits.  If you are using a two-handed weapon, add 1d6 per level instead.
(Champion feat): Enemies you hit with melee attacks while this spell is in effect are dazed for their next attack.
(Epic feat): When this spell is about to end, roll a d20.  On a 11+ you can use this spell again later in the battle.



Level 1 Power Words

Spark
Melee Flexible Attack
Triggering Roll: Any even miss
At-Will
Effect: One nearby enemy takes lightning damage equal to your Intelligence modifier + level.
(Adventurer Feat): If the enemy damaged by this power word takes a move action before the start of your next turn, it takes damage equal to your Intelligence modifier + level.

Chill
Melee Flexible Attack
Triggering Roll: Any even hit
At-Will
Effect
: One nearby creature of your choosing loses its next move action.

Burn
Melee Flexible Attack
Triggering Roll: Any odd hit.
Once per battle
Effect: Make an Intelligence attack vs. PD against 1d3 nearby enemies.  They take 1d8 per level fire damage.

Glitter
Melee Flexible Attack
Triggering Roll: 16+
At-Will
Effect:  One nearby creature of your choosing takes a -2 penalty to hit until the end of its turn, which does not stack with daze.

Level 1 Incantations
Sword Burst
Melee Spell; At-Will
Targets
: Each engaged enemy
Attack: Intelligence + Spell level vs. PD
Hit: 1d6 force damage.
Level 3: 3d6 force damage.
Level 5: 5d8 force damage.
Level 7: 7d8 force damage.
Level 9: 9d10 force damage.
(Champion feat): Once per battle, after using this spell you can make an Intelligence check vs. PD against each engaged enemy as a quick action.  On a hit, they become constrained until the end of their next turn, but if they got hit by this spell, they also take ongoing 10 damage.

Level 3 Power Words

Shine
Melee Flexible Attack
Triggering Roll: 16+
Once per Battle
Effect: The target is dazed until the end of its next turn. Make an Intelligence attack against each nearby creature's PD.  Each creature hit is also dazed until the end of its next turn.