Seiken 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

The Sword Saint[edit]

Sword Saints are individuals who have taken mastery of the sword to such an extent that their skills could be considered divine. Years of practice and gut-wrenching combat have honed the Sword Saint's skills to a razor edge and granted them access to skills and abilities far beyond those of other swordsmen. Sword Saints are constantly in the front lines of combat, facing down waves of enemies with confidence and a deadly precision.

To be a Sword Saint means to be fully committed and devoted to mastering both oneself and one's blade. These swordmasters have harnessed the true spirit and skill of their weapons and strike with such power and ferocity that those who see them unleash their skill describe them as incarnates of the Divine. Sword Saints are drawn from all martial backgrounds, but Fighters and Paladins in particular seem inclined to walk the path. 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, an aspiring Sword Saint must generally seek out a Master for instruction.

Entry Requirements
Race: Any
Base Attack Bonus: +9
Feats: Weapon Focus (Any Sword), Quick Draw, Mercurial Strike
Alignment: Any Good
Special: Must seek out a Master Swordsman for training.

Table: The Seiken Sword Saint

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Masterful Training, Iaijutsu Strike, Smite Evil 1/day
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Seiken
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Shirahadori
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Smite Evil 2/day
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Adaptive Smite
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Smite Evil 3/day
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Adaptive Smite
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Smite Evil 4/day
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Master's Retribution
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Lightning Blade

Seiken Sword Saint Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Sword Saint.

Skill Points Per Level: Sword Saints gain 6 + Intelligence modifier skill points per level.

Sword Saint Class Skills: The following skills are Class Skills for Sword Saints: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft (Any), Handle Animal, Iaijutsu Focus, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Nature), Listen, Ride, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble.

Masterful Training (Ex): Though devoting themselves to fully understanding the ways of the Divine Blade, Sword Saints hold great reverence for the path that led them to it. One must remember yesterday if they wish to improve tomorrow. Sword Saints continue progressing in their previous classes for the purposes of Class Level modifiers and Caster Levels (such as a Rogue's Sneak Attack bonus or a Wizard's Spell Progression).

Iaijutsu Strike (Ex): A Sword Saint can perform a lightning-quick attack against an enemy, oftentimes dispatching them before they have a chance to react. While their sword is sheathed the Sword Saint may, as a Standard Action, make an Attack Roll against any target they designate. That target is considered flat-footed against the Sword Saint for the remainder of the round. If the Sword Saint successfully hits with their Iaijutsu Strike, the attack deals an additional 1d6 points of damage per Class Level, to a maximum of 10d6. If the target of the Iaijutsu Strike is defeated by this attack, the Sword Saint may resheathe their weapon as Swift Action without provoking an Attack of Opportunity.

Smite Evil (Su): Once per day as a Swift Action, a Sword Saint may charge their weapon with radiant power. The Sword Saint chooses one target within weapon range to Smite. They may add their Charisma modifier as a bonus to their attack rolls against this target. If the attack hits and the target is Evil, it takes additional damage equal to their Class Level. The effect of Smite Evil remains active until the target of the Smite is defeated, until the end of combat, or until the Sword Saint designates a different target for the attack via an additional use of the ability. Regardless of the target, Smite Evil attacks automatically bypass any DR a creature might possess.

Seiken (Su): Through divine providence and extensive training the Sword Saint has learned to shape and empower their Smite attacks in different ways. By expending an additional use of the ability the Sword Saint may add the following alterations to their Smites:

2nd Level: Meteoric Smite

5th Level: Improved Smite

7th Level: Empowered Smite

Meteoric Smite: When the Sword Saint successfully strikes their Smite target, any other eligible hostile creatures within Close range (25ft + 5ft/two levels) are dealt damage equal to the Sword Saint's Class Level (Reflex halves, DC 10 + Class Level + Charisma Modifier). The original target must also succeed on a Reflex save or be knocked prone.

Improved Smite: The Sword Saint's Smite ability deals +1d6 holy damage for every three Class Levels. Example: A 5th level Sword Saint deals +1d6 damage, while a 10th level one deals +3d6.

Empowered Smite: The Sword Saint's Smite damage modifier increases to x1.5.

Shirahadori (Ex): Sword Saints train tirelessly not only in unleashing devastating attacks, but also in mastering the ability to defend themselves with naught but their blade to protect them. Forsaking traditional shields, these deadly warriors have learned to use their own weapons to turn away opponents' strikes. Sword Saints gain DR/-- equal to their Class Level as long as they are wielding a sword and do not have a shield equipped. This reduction can stack with any other DR the Sword Saint may have from other sources or abilities.

Adaptive Smite (Su): Sword Saints learn much in their time spent mastering their craft. One of the most important lessons is that of adaptability. To be truly great a warrior must be fluid, ready and able to move with the tide of battle and adjust to unseen factors. At 5th Level the Sword Saint chooses one additional Alignment descriptor to add to their Smite Evil ability (Neutral, Good). They receive the other at 7th Level.

Master's Retribution (Ex): Any Attacks of Opportunity the Sword Saint are considered Smite attacks. These Attacks of Opportunity do not expend Smite uses.

Lightning Blade (Ex): If a Sword Saint of 10th level begins combat within melee range of an opponent, they gain a free Surprise Round even if their opponents are aware of their presence. The only action the Sword Saint may take in this Surprise Round is an Attack Action.

Ex-Sword Saints[edit]

If a Sword Saint does not participate in a battle for more than two months they will lose the use of all of their Sword Saint Class Feats and Abilities. These abilities can only be regained by training with a Sword Master or another Sword Saint for the span of one month. If a Sword Saint ever shifts to an Evil alignment they lose access to all Class Feats and Abilities until they are able to atone.

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