Sword Saint (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||I'll never forget the day I met Talein Fosler. Wandered into town by himself one day, stopped by the inn. Couple of local troublemakers tried to pick his pocket. He let em' take it, but as soon as they were out the door, he stood up and was after them, across the room in three great strides. Never saw him again, but the thieves...well, we were still finding chunks a month later.||”|
|—Garet Rawn, human bartender|
Sword Saints are individuals who have taken the mastery of the sword to such an extent that their skills could be considered divine, at least by mortals. Years of practice and gut-wrenching combat have honed the Sword Saint's skills to a razor edge and transformed their bodies. Their bodies become heavy, with muscles far denser than they appear, often resulting in a lanky appearance. Dwarves who become Sword Saints are often mistaken for a starving individual by their own kind. This densification allows the superhuman strength and speed with which the Sword Saint ends disputes.
Becoming a Sword Saint
Most individuals do not intentionally seek to become a Sword Saint, but rather grow into it over time. Those who do seek it, however, wish to become a true master of the blade, if not the greatest swordsman of all. To do this, a true master is normally sought out for training.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+10.|
|Skills:||Tumble 20, Intimidate 20.|
|Feats:||Weapon Focus(any sword), Greater Weapon Focus(any sword), Weapon Specialization(any sword), Greater Weapon Specialization(any sword).|
|Special:||Must receive training for one month from a master swordsman. At the end of the month, the transformation is complete, and the character must essentially be recreated(see Metamorphosis of Battle).|
|1st||+2||+3||+4||+3||Sword and Master, Superhuman Sprint, Epic Weapon Focus(any sword), Dense Body, Smite Evil 1/day|
|2nd||+3||+4||+5||+4||Epic Weapon Specialization(any sword), Perfected Body|
|3rd||+5||+5||+6||+4||Pressure of the Blade, Dense Body II, Holy Blade 1d6|
|4th||+6||+6||+6||+5||Dismembering Blades, Smite Evil 2/day|
|5th||+7||+7||+7||+5||Epic Cleave, Bond of Sword and Soul, Holy Blade 2d6|
|6th||+9||+8||+7||+6||Dense Body III, Evil Bane|
|7th||+10||+9||+8||+6||Shared Might, Bonus Feat, Smite Evil 3/day, Holy Blade 3d6|
|9th||+13||+11||+9||+7||Dense Body IV, Holy Blade 4d6|
|10th||+14||+12||+9||+8||Master's Fury, Smite Evil 4/day|
|13th||+18||+15||+11||+9||Smite Evil 5/day, Holy Blade 6d6|
|14th||+19||+16||+11||+10||Dense Body VI, +1 BAB|
|15th||+20||+17||+12||+10||Blade Revanant, Holy Blade 7d6, Hanauta Sanchou Yahazu giri|
|16th||+22||+18||+12||+11||Smite Evil 6/day|
|17th||+23||+19||+13||+11||bonus feat, Holy Blade 8d6|
|19th||+26||+21||+15||+12||Dense Body VII, Smite Evil 7/day, Holy Blade 9d6|
|20th||+30||+22||+15||+13||True Blademaster, Tyr's Judgement Blade|
All of the following are class features of the Sword Saint
Metamorphosis of Battle:: Remake your character. You roll 1d20 for every stat, discarding and re-rolling for numbers equal or bellow 14. All skills lose half of their current skill points, lose all feats not directly connected to melee combat and any shield feats. Only spells up to level 5 may be kept, and only one per level. Double your characters weight. Add +2 to your Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. Any armor or weapons other than your sword of choice is destroyed. Any languages are retained. You may retain a familiar, if you had one. Your level is returned to one, and your experience to 0. From this point on, no weapon other than a sword may be equipped by the character, and he may not use shields. Any armor can be used. You level up with a +3 level adjustment until you reach level 20, at which point you level normally.
Epic Weapon Focus(any sword):: Gain +2 to attack roles with the selected sword type.
Dense Body:: Gain Damage Reduction 20%. Every odd level, gain an additional Damage Reduction of 10%. This stacks with Damage reduction granted by class features, feats, and armor, but not temporary magical effects.
Superhuman Sprint:: Double your movement rate permanently. If you could move 40ft per turn, now move 80ft per turn. Apply this after any feats that effect movement, such as Epic Speed. Calculate speed by (base speed + any permanent increases or decreases) x 2.
Sword and Master:: Choose a specific type of sword(longsword, shortsword, greatsword etc.) and gain an extra point of damage using that sword type for every character level. Gain a +1 to hit for every 3 levels.
Epic Weapon Specialization(any sword):: gain +4 to all damage dealt with the selected sword type.
Perfect Body:: Sword Saints do not need to eat or sleep very much. Sleeping 2-4 hours a day is more than enough, and one pound of food will suffice for as much as 3 days without significant hunger side affects. Additionally, poisons have a 100% chance of failing, even if a fortitude saving throw against them fails.
Pressure of the Blade:: As a free action, you may halve your damage for that turn, but extend the range of your sword attack to 20ft. The damage dealt and sword range return to normal after one turn. This ability can be used as often as you like.
Dismembering Blades:: As an instant action, the Sword Saint may summon one 1d6 mystic blade per level to circle himself. Any enemy within melee range takes damage from these blades as a constant effect. The effect lasts 3 turns, and can be activated again one turn after that.
Path of Carnage:: If an attack kills a creature, the Sword Saint may attack again against every creature in range. If another creature is killed, once again another set of attacks commences, but with an additional 5ft radius. This effect is replicated with each subsequent death up to a maximum range of 30ft.(note: For DM purposes, it might be best to limit this to one 5ft extension only).
Bond of Sword and Soul:: Whenever the Sword Saint is using a sword, it does not deteriorate and he cannot be disarmed. The Sword cannot be broken via feats or spells.
: Once per day, the Sword Saint can raise a single allies Reflex and Fortitude saves by half his own, and their attack bonus by half his own. The target also has their movement extended by 30ft. This effect persists until they are rendered unconscious or until ten turns have passed.
Dual Terror:: The Sword Saint can use two swords, as long as they are identical. They suffer no penalties for doing so, but only gain a single extra attack without the two-weapon fighting feat progression.
Master's Fury:: When an ally of the Sword Saint is rendered unconscious or dead by an enemy or enemy action, they may use this ability. All enemies within 15ft must make a reflex save vs the Sword Saint's attack +2 to hit, or instantly receive damage equal to the Sword Saint's ( (max weapon damage) + all damage bonuses ) x5. Any enemies killed by master's Fury are reduced to small minced chunks( all non-key items on them are destroyed ).
Blade Revanant:: Once per day the Sword Saint may resurrect any ally(including himself) to full health, with all spells, stats, skills and abilities restored, and for five turns the resurrected ally cannot be harmed, but can only perform a single melee attack.
True Blademaster:: All attacks performed have a 20% chance of killing an opponent instantly. If an enemy is immune to instant death, they instead take critical damage for that attack. If they are also immune to critical hits, they instead lose their move action next turn and take max normal damage.
Smite Evil:: Once per day, a Sword Saint may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per Total level. If the Sword Saint accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.
Evil Bane:: The Sword Saint Can Bestow A Mark of Holy Damage 2d6 on any Weapon for 1 hour
Holy Blade:: At 3rd Level the Sword Saint can do a 30 ft. coned wave attack of holy damage for 1d6, and a additional 1d6 per 2 levels. At level 19 she can make the cone a circle.
Hanauto Sanchau Yahazu giri:: At 15th level the Sword Saint can run in a line as far as base land speed cutting all who are in range.
Tyr's Judgement Blade:: At 20th level if she gets a critical instantly kills any evil aligned creature.
bonus feats:: Choose from the following: Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Epic Endurance, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Great Constitution, Great Strength, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Perfect Health, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Superior Initiative, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-weapon Fighting
If a Sword Saint does not participate in battle for 6 months, they will lose the use of all their class feats and abilities, lose 2 from each basic ability, and have their Base Attack Bonus reduced to 5(if higher). They must train with a sword master for one month to regain their abilities.
Playing a Sword Saint
Combat: Sword Saint's are in-your-face melee fighters designed to chew through large numbers of enemies with ease. Their only weakness is their (initially) low hit points.
Advancement: Each fifth level, you get an extra hit point die roll. You may not multi-class except at level 20, and then only into a non-melee class.
Resources: Sword Saints do not get along. They feel compelled to compete against each other strongly, and will as soon kill each other in a duel as join a party together. However, once a year a number of them will meet at a pre-arranged location for a tournament with only honor on the line.
Sword Saints in the World
|“||If you ever have the pleasure - or pain - of meeting a Sword Saint, remember one thing: Never, EVER, do anything to make him mad. They don't forget grudges...mainly because whoever they've got the grudge with isn't going to be alive very long. If you can get one of them on your side, though, it'll take a thousand man army to stop you.||”|
|—Gerudian, Paladin of Khane|
Sword Saints are rather rare due to the great effort required to become one. They tend to be single minded in the pursuit of increasing their fighting abilities, and as such are usually alone, but when they do join a group, their devotion to duty and combat will make them powerful, loyal companions.
PC Interaction: Sword Saints do not especially discriminate based on profession, gender, race, age or religion, but they do tend to force their own alignment on others. For example, a Lawful Good Sword Saint is adventuring with a rogue. The rogue steals from someone, so the Sword Saint forces him to give it back, resulting in a commotion that may or may not land them in jail. As a result lawful Sword Saints tend to dislike rogues and chaotic individuals, and good Sword Saints tend to kill necromancers on sight. Sword Saint's will often indulge in romance, and often become extremely attached to any long-standing companions.
NPC Reactions: NPC's that are not aware of the Sword Saint's class will merely feel uneasy around them, like if they were near a large predator. Individuals who do know their nature will stay out of their way unless they have some pressing concern to address that the Sword Saint can help with, such as slaying a dragon or ten. Individuals who know their nature and are forced to interact with them will treat them with the utmost respect, more out of fear of being dismembered than anything else. Sword Saints will commonly spend many weeks or months away from other humans, so it is somewhat understandable that they find other people irritating at best.
Sword Saint Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge can research Sword Saint's to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Sword Saints are known to fight each other to the death on sight.|
|16||Sword Saints do not need to eat or sleep very much at all, and can live much longer than normal for their race.|
|21||Sword Saints often have a strong bond with their blade, and some will mentally deteriorate if it is broken or lost.|
|26||The greatest weakness of a Sword Saint is their incredible weight; gravity abilities or falls from height are very dangerous for them.|
Sword Saints in the Game
Sword Saints are peerless melee combatants, but are rather susceptible to ranged attacks and magic. They are not bad at stealth, but prefer to come at an opponent head on, an approach made possible by their great speed.
Adaptation: Sword Saints can be used as a positive element, or protective influence to make an area safe for characters, or as a dangerous character. They are certainly ideal as a central villain, as their abilities make wiping out even a decent sized party easy.
Sample Encounter: PCs might encounter a Sword Saint near any large, dangerous predator's lair as the character prepares to deal with the threat - the Sword Saint may aid them or have simple dealt with the problem themselves. Sword Saints can come from any walk of life, any alignment, and can be followers of any deity, though Khane is the most common. A good use of them is as a deterrent to characters, as a Sword Saint is very hard to get past alive. You might also encounter them at any stadium, even a ruined one, where they may be holding a tournament between local swordsmen.