Blade Master, Variant (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||Your stance is unstable, your grip is weak, and your form is simply pathetic. Here, let me show you how it's done. If you survive, maybe I'll give you a few pointers.||”|
|—Draev Sulnen,Half-Dragon Weapon Master|
Many warriors favor a certain weapon over others, and some hone their skills with that particular weapon beyond that of the average soldier. But none can match the sheer prowess of the Blade Master. Though not as versatile as some warriors, Blade Masters are Gods among those who wield their chosen instrument. Warriors who seek to increase their skill and effectiveness in combat often seek out blade masters whose style is congruent with their own, hoping to gain even a portion of their knowledge and skill. Among those of martial bent, Blade Masters are held in the highest regard. Many find themselves able only to look on in awe as they artfully, and brutally, decimate their enemies with a skill and precision that most cannot even dream of matching.
Becoming a Blade Master
Fighters are by far the most likely class to pursue Blade Master. With their high attack bonus and slew of feats, they find meeting the requirements for this prestige class much easier than other classes. However, they are not the only characters who seek mastery of a particular weapon. Rangers, Barbarians, Paladins, and even some Rogues have been known to take this class.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+15.|
|Feats:||Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Ambidexterity, Improved Critical.|
|Ability Scores:||24 Dexterity, 20 Constitution, 18 Strength|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||1st Mastery, Bonus Feat, Superior Weapon Focus|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||2nd Mastery, Bonus Feat, true strike (Sp)|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Superior Weapon Specialization|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||3rd Mastery, Bonus Feat,|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||4th Mastery, Superior Critical|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Blade Master.
Superior Weapon Focus: The Blade Master gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls and a +5 bonus to damage rolls made with a weapon for which he has all this classes prerequisite feats. All Blade Master abilities apply ONLY to this weapon (hereafter referred to as 'the favored weapon'). This bonus stacks with all other bonuses on attack rolls and damage rolls, including those granted by Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Focus.
Mastery: At every level except 3rd, the Blade Master chooses a Mastery, the benefits of which he may gain while wielding his favored weapon. Masteries:
Strike Once, Wound Twice The Blade Master's strikes are so quick that he leaves two cuts for every attack. Roll the damage for your attacks, normal and critical, twice. This ability can only be used with slashing weapons.
Parry Master The Blade Master is well trained in the art of using his weapon to turn aside incoming attacks. While wielding his favored weapon, the Blade Master gains a +4 shield bonus to AC. This bonus stacks with any other shield bonus to AC, including those granted by Two-Weapon Defense. A Blade Master dual-wielding his favored weapon does not gain this bonus twice. If the Blade Master's favored weapon is ranged, this AC bonus is instead a dodge bonus.
Riposte If a melee attack misses the Blade Master by an amount equal to or less than his shield bonus to AC, he may make an immediate counterattack at his highest attack bonus. This attack MUST be performed with his favored weapon. Using Riposte incurs a -2 penalty to AC until the beginning of the Blade Master's next turn. Riposte attacks count as attacks of opportunity, the AC penalty is cumulative and cannot exceed the Blade Master's base attack bonus. If the Blade Master's favored weapon is ranged, he may Riposte any melee attack that misses by an amount equal to or less than his Parry Master bonus plus his Dex bonus to AC. Prerequisites: Parry Master
Deadly Precision The Blade Master has such great control over his weapon that his attack have become devastatingly precise. He now adds his Dexterity modifier into his attack damage, as well as Strength. However, the way in which the bonus is added differs from the method used for Strength. If the Blade Master's favored weapon is one-handed and he either wields it in two hands, alone, or with a shield, he adds 1.5x his his Dex modifier. If he dual wields his favored weapon he adds half his Dex modifier (round down) to attacks made with both. If his favored weapon is two-handed or ranged, add the Blade Master's Dexterity bonus x2 to damage.
Excessive Force The Blade Master has learned how to put extra force behind attacks using his favored weapon. When wielding a weapon in both hands, he does 2x Strength modifier damage rather than 1.5x. When wielding one of his favored weapon in each hand, he now adds his full Strength modifier to his off hand damage rather than half. If wielding his favored weapon in one hand and either a shield, or nothing in his off hand, the Blade Master adds 1.5x Strength. Prerequisites: Power Attack
Superior Cleave When using his favored weapon, the Blade Master may take a 5-foot step before performing an attack granted by Great Cleave. The Blade Master may only take enough 5-foot steps to move up to his base speed while using this ability. Prerequisites: Cleave, Great Cleave
Dead Eye Blade Masters who's favored weapon is ranged are often the deadliest sharpshooters of their time. The attack bonus, damage bonus, and range of Point Blank Shot are all doubled. Also, when using Rapid Shot, the Blade Master is granted an additional attack at his second highest attack bonus. Prerequisites: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot
Barrage The Blade Master is able to attack so quickly that his opponent is caught off guard, but sacrifices defense for this speed. The Blade Master must attack only one opponent while using this ability. The target is considered flat-footed from the time the Weapon Master's first strike lands until the beginning of his next turn. However, this burst of speed is reckless, and the Weapon Master is also Flat-footed for the duration. Only works once per encounter per enemy. Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +18
Superior Weapon Specialization: The Blade Master's damage with his favored weapon increases 1 die step. This ability stacks with any other abilities which increase the weapon's damage die.
Superior Critical: The critical strike multiplier of the Blade Master's favored weapon is increased by +1x (ie. a crit of x2 is now x3, x3 is x4, & x4 is x5).
Playing a Blade Master
Combat: Blade Master's are combat monsters. They specialize in doing large amounts of damage in a short time. Melee Blade Masters' primary purpose is to draw attention away from softer targets (i.e. casters) by staying in the front line and posing too much of a threat to ignore. Ranged Blade Masters often stay in back and pepper targets with a hail of projectiles, whittling them away before they can get within melee range.
Advancement: Blade Masters typically continue in whatever martial class they were before taking this prestige class, thus maximizing their combat potential. Many Elven Blade Masters specialize in ranged combat, and after a few levels in a spellcasting class, often become Arcane Archers. Dwarven Blade Masters often become Dwarven Defenders and apply their skills to the defense of their people. Other Blade Masters may take levels in Barbarian if they did not already have them, using the Rage ability to further enhance their destructive power.
Resources: Though they have no formal organization, most Blade Masters are aware of each others existence. This may be simply from rumors and hearsay, witnessing a fellow Blade Master in a tournament or the field of battle and recognizing their skill, or from other Blade Masters. Blade Masters who meet for the first time will always duel each other in an effort to prove the superiority of their chosen weapon. While these duels are almost always very heated and ruthless, once the fight is over the Masters almost always become fast friends. A Blade Master will almost always willingly help another who has shown his devotion to their specialized ways, but the favor is expected to be returned.
Blade Masters in the World
|“||some may say a slingshot isn't a damadging weapon, I agree, its a deadly one||”|
|—Meepo, Cobbold Weapon master|
NPC Reactions: bluuurghhhh! *has weapon through heart*
Blade Master Lore
Characters with ranks in can research to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Blade Masters in the Game