Blade Scribe (3.5e Prestige Class)

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This class was inspired by and based heavily on the [Sword Saint (3.5e Prestige Class)] I do not take credit for their work and heavily suggest any readers check that page as well.

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Sword Scribe[edit]

Some men become fighters, some men become thinkers. I choose to do both.
—Varrund of Direridge, the first Blade Scribe

Blade Scribes utilize a combination of masterful sword combat and weapon bound runes to defeat their opponents. They draw their power from a ceremony which has bound them to an outer plane, which one exactly varies greatly between Blade Scribes.

While the exact source of their power is greatly unknown, their impressive strength as well as utility make them able to fight in the front lines or support their allies. Few Blade Scribes grace the pages of history, but they are often the writers of those histories making it hard to accurately trace the effects they've had throughout time.

While usually preferring to travel alone, Blade Scribes do occasionally seek the help of allies in crises they cannot handle alone. It is from the accounts of those small groups one can begin to glimpse the vast influence Blade Scribes have on the lands they travel.

Because of their mysterious nature rumors and myths have swirled for generations in most towns, spread by the fanciful bards of the land. Most of these tales are false and there is only one thing that can be said for certain when a traveler encounters a Blade Scribe, important events are about to unfold.

Becoming a Blade Scribe[edit]

Becoming a Blade Scribe requires long months of travel, combat, and study. Few achieve it, and fewer still master the unique style of combat.

Entry Requirements
Race: Any Humanoid
Base Attack Bonus: +10.
  • Decipher Script 10
  • Spellcraft 10
  • Weapon Focus(any sword)
  • Greater Weapon Focus(any sword)
  • Weapon Specialization(any sword)
  • Greater Weapon Specialization(any sword)
  • Add More
  • Must have received training for one month from a master swordsman
  • Ability to cast spells

Table: The Blade Scribe

Hit Die: d12

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +2 +3 +4 +3 Awakened, Book of Runes, Activate Rune, Deactivate Rune, Inscribe Rune
2nd +3 +4 +5 +4 Awakened Fortitude, Awakened Speed
3rd +5 +5 +6 +4 Dual Terror, Studier of Weakness
4th +6 +6 +6 +5 Awakened Understanding, Runic Barrier
5th +7 +7 +7 +5 Shared Might, Path of Carnage
6th +9 +8 +7 +6 Strike of Scripture, Epilogue Strike
7th +10 +9 +8 +6 Unlock Runes, Battlescribe
8th +11 +10 +8 +7 Reflection Strike
9th +13 +11 +9 +7 Rewriting Destiny, Master's Fury
10th +14 +12 +9 +8
11th +15 +13 +10 +8
12th +16 +14 +10 +9
13th +18 +15 +11 +9
14th +19 +16 +11 +10
15th +20 +17 +12 +10
16th +22 +18 +12 +11
17th +23 +19 +13 +11
18th +24 +20 +14 +12
19th +26 +21 +15 +12
20th +30 +22 +15 +13

Class Features[edit]

This prestige class only grants the required knowledge to perform the Awakening Ceremony until the ceremony is complete. A player who has not undergone the Awakening Ceremony is not considered a Blade Scribe.

The Awakening Ceremony: The ceremony begins with the player inscribing runes in a the proper pattern on the ground in a circle during the night. Then the player must use silver ink to paint a rune on their forehead, a rune on their torso, and a series of runes up their arms. Symbolizing the connection of the mind which discovers, the heart which wills, and hands which create. These runes serve to connect the Blade Scribe to the power they are drawing from, an Outside Plane (although which one varies with the Blade Scribe). Standing in the circle as midnight approaches causes the runes to grow with more and more intensity. It is then at the stroke of midnight the player activates the runes and transforms into a full fledged Blade Scribe in a sudden beam of light that shoots down from the heavens. This activates the Awakened ability and the runes fade.

  • Silver Ink which can be crafted from silver and ink with a Craft Writing DC 15

Awakened: This ability only has an effect if the character has undergone the Awakening Ceremony.

  • Remake your character with the following instructions:
    • You roll 1d20 for every stat, discarding and re-rolling for numbers equal or below 14.
    • Add +2 Intelligence and Wisdom
    • All skills not granted by Blade Scribe lose half (round down) of their current skill points.
    • Skill points lost by Awakened ability are distributed to skills granted by Blade Scribe.
    • Double your characters weight, but they retain their appearance.
    • Any languages are retained, but gain the language Celestial
    • 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.
    • You level up with a +3 level adjustment until you reach level 20, at which point you level normally.

Level 1 Abilities[edit]

Book of Runes A Blade Scribe can always be found carrying a book of their notes, histories, and known runes.

  • A Blade Scribe can choose a book to become their Book of Runes. (Any book will do since it is the runes themselves that are magical.)
    • Blade Scribes reduce the DC of Craft: Writing, Inscribe Rune, and Knowledge: Weakness by 5 while holding a Book of Runes.

Activate Rune

  • The caster selects 1 target (potentially themselves) per 2 caster levels as a swift action and activates a single rune on a weapon they possess.
    • A target cannot have more that one rune activated with this ability per weapon.

Deactivate Rune

  • The caster selects any number of targets as a free action and deactivates any number of runes on those targets' weapon(s.)

Inscribe Rune

  • The caster may choose to inscribe a known rune on a weapon they are holding with a the Skill: Inscribe Rune.
    • If caster is in combat make a concentration check equal to (10 + number of enemies within 10 ft)

Level 2 Abilites[edit]

Awakened Fortitude As the Blade Scribe grows accustomed to their new body they begin to understand its new strengths and limits.

  • Blade Scribes do not need only 2-4 hours of sleep a day
  • Blade Scribes only need one pound of food every 3 days

Awakened Speed Their newly discovered agility grants the Blade Scribe amazing mobility and speed.

  • Double your movement rate permanently. If you could move 40ft per turn, now move 80ft per turn. Calculate speed by (Base Speed + any permanent increases or decreases) x 2.
  • Add +2 Strength and Constitution.

Level 3 Abilites[edit]

Dual Terror

    • The Blade Scribe 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.

Studier of Weakness Once Awakened a Blade Scribe uncovers the ability to study an enemies weakness and it doesn't take long for them to use this to their advantage.

    • Make a swift action to attempt a Knowledge: Weakness check on an opponent DC(Target AC + Target Hit Dice) If successful add +2 to attacks and damage dealt anytime the caster is attacking creatures of the same name/type.

Level 4 Abilites[edit]

Awakened Understanding Once having thought to be a master of their favorite weapon, after the Awakening they begin to notice untapped potential in their sword play.

  • 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.

Runic BarrierThe Blade Scribes summon forth runes in an impressive display to protect themselves or their allies.

  • As an immediate action the Blade Scribe may summon a swirling barrier of glowing runes that circle a target (potentially himself.)
  • Lasts (1d4 + caster level turns) and can be cancelled by caster at any time.
    • Any enemy within 10 ft. takes Radiant damage equal to (1d6 + caster level) per turn.
    • The caster cannot use the ability Activate Rune while this ability is active.

Level 5 Abilites[edit]

Shared Might Though often travelling alone the Blade Scribe recognizes the value of companions and using the might of secret runs strengthens them.

  • Once per day as an immediate action, the Blade Scribe can raise a single allies within line of sight Reflex, Fortitude, and Will saves by half his own, and their attack bonus by half his own.
  • The target has their movement extended by 30ft.
  • This effect persists until they are rendered unconscious or until ten turns have passed.

Path of Carnage Fearsome knowledge of the battlefield allows the Blade Scribe to carve through his enemies like the warriors of legend.

  • If an attack kills a creature, the Blade Scribe 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.

Level 6 Abilites[edit]

Strike of Scripture With a surge of energy the Blade Scribe can force of innumerous runes.

  • Once per day as a swift action activate any number runes on a target's weapon(s.)

Epilogue Strike

  • When you deal the finishing blow you may gain knowledge of target's last 24 hours as if you had lived them.

Level 7 Abilites[edit]

Unlock Runes When facing death a Blade Scribe can unleash the stored power of their runes in a dazzling display.

  • When you take lethal damage instead of taking that damage you may purge your wielded weapon(s) of all runes to knock back all enemies within 10ft.
  • Hit enemies are knocked by 10ft and deal them 1d4 radiant damage.
  • Enemies hit this way are Dazzled for 1d4 rounds.

Battlescribe The Blade Scribe is able to draw strength and speed from each rune on their weapons.

  • Gain +1 AC for each rune active on a single weapon you possess.

Level 8 Abilites[edit]

Reflection Strike As much a master of the blade as a master of the word a Blade Scribe wields their weapon with the precision and skill to launch an attack back at their foe.

  • When a ranged attack is made against you, you may use an attack of opportunity to reflect the projectile back at the source if you succeed in beating their attack roll with yours.

Level 9 Abilites[edit]

Rewriting Destiny With enough mastery of the runes a Blade Scribe can alter the words of fate enough to save individuals from the clutches death itself.

  • Once per month as a full round action the Blade Scribe may resurrect a target(potentially himself.)
    • The resurrected character is returned to full health with all spells, stats, skills and abilities restored.
    • This must be done within a number of rounds equal to the target's hit dice if in combat or 1 hour outside of combat.
    • For 2 turns the resurrected ally cannot be harmed and is covered in hundreds of silver glowing unidentifiable runes.

Master's Fury Rage, power, and knowledge consume the Blade Scribe and in that single instant he unleashes his pain on his enemies.

  • When an ally of the Blade Scribe is rendered unconscious or dead by an enemy action activate any amount of runes on your wielded weapon(s) then target any number of enemies within 15 ft.
  • Targeted enemies must make a reflex save vs the (Blade Scribe's attack + number of enemies targeted) to hit or is instantly hit by the damage of a full attack action at max weapon damage from the Blade Scribe.
  • Any enemies killed by Master's Fury are reduced to small minced chunks and all non-key items on them are destroyed.

Rune List[edit]

Level 1 Runes

  • Swordsman’s Bond:

The inscribed sword cannot deteriorate and the wielder cannot be disarmed. The sword cannot be broken via feats or spells. The caster cannot inscribe this rune on more than one weapon at a time. If they inscribe it on a new weapon the previous Swordsman’s Bond rune breaks the previous sword it was inscribed on.

  • Evil’s Bane:

Add 1d6 Holy Damage per caster level on inscribed weapon if rune is active.

Level 2 Runes

  • Lengthen:

The inscribed weapon has half damage but double the weapon's threat range once the rune is activated.

  • River of Light:

Once the rune is activated the wielder of the inscribed weapon take a standard action to fire a 15 ft. cone attack of holy damage for 1d6, and an additional 1d6 per 2 levels of the Blade Scribe that placed the rune from the inscribed weapon.

Level 3 Runes

  • Smite Evil:

Inscribed weapon Smites Evil for the next 1d4 rounds. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per Total Level of the wielder. If the Blade Scribe accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.

Level 4 Runes

Level 5 Runes

Level 6 Runes

Level 7 Runes

Level 8 Runes

Level 9 Runes

Level 10 Runes

  • Judgement Blade:

Temporarily transform the inscribed weapon to a weapon of holy light which dazzles all enemies within 15ft and persists for 1d4 rounds. Increase weapon damage by 1d6 If the wielder gets a critical, it instantly kills any evil aligned creature. The weapon’s damage is now radiant damage.

Ex-Blade Scribe[edit]

If a Sword Scribe 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.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Blade Scribe[edit]

Combat: Blade Scribe'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: Blade Scribes 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.

Blade Scribe in the World[edit]

If you ever have the pleasure - or pain - of meeting a Blade Scribe, 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

Blade Scribes 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: Blade Scribes 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 Blade Scribe is adventuring with a rogue. The rogue steals from someone, so the Blade Scribe forces him to give it back, resulting in a commotion that may or may not land them in jail. As a result lawful Blade Scribes tend to dislike rogues and chaotic individuals, and good Blade Scribes tend to kill necromancers on sight. Blade Scribe'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 Blade Scribe'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 Blade Scribe 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. Blade Scribes will commonly spend many weeks or months away from other humans, so it is somewhat understandable that they find other people irritating at best.

Blade Scribe Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge can research Blade Scribe's to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
11 Blade Scribes are known to fight each other to the death on sight.
16 Blade Scribes do not need to eat or sleep very much at all, and can live much longer than normal for their race.
21 Blade Scribes 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 Blade Scribe is their incredible weight; gravity abilities or falls from height are very dangerous for them.

Blade Scribes in the Game[edit]

Blade Scribes 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: Blade Scribes 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 Blade Scribe near any large, dangerous predator's lair as the character prepares to deal with the threat - the Blade Scribe may aid them or have simple dealt with the problem themselves. Blade Scribes 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 Blade Scribe 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.

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