Songblade (3.5e Class)
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Making a Songblade
A songblade has been called many things, warriors, fighters, ninjas, mad men, murderers, even fools. But what a songblade truly is, is a believer, a believer in the philosophy that he who gains the first word usually gets the last laugh, that it is better to strike true than to strike strong, and that even though it is they who are called fools, it is even more foolish to get hit and soldier on, than not get hit at all.
Abilities: Dexterity and Intelligence are of utter importance to a songblade. As the songblade has no armor available to them, and are penalized for wearing it, they must be adept at not being hit, thus the need for a high dexterity and intelligence bonus, both of which are applied to their AC. Dexterity also serves the purpose of being added to their melee attack and damage rolls.
Races: Any race that can respect art and war can be a songblade, elves being good candidates. Dwarves with their respect to fighting and valor can respect the ways of the songblade.
Starting Gold: starting gold; 3d6 X 10 gp (95 gp).
Starting Age: Moderate
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||+0||Battle Focus 1/day, Tactical Grounding, Proactivity (+1d6), Muscle Memory, Strike True|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+1||+10||Improved Tactical Grounding, Battle Focus 2/day,Proactivity (+ 2d6, +1 AC)|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+2||+20||Improved Uncanny Dodge|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+3||+30||Superior Tactical Grounding, Horrid Song, Proactivity (+3d6, +1 AC), Contingency +2|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+3||+30||Battle Focus 3/day, Blindsense 30 ft, Proactivity (+3d6, +2 AC)|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+4||+40||Wicked Song, Proactivity (+4d6 +2 AC)|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+5||+50||Battle Focus 4/day, Proactivity (+4d6, +3 AC), Sonic Step, Contingency +3|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+5||+50||Improved Blade Dance|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+5||+50||Proactivity (+5d6, +3 AC)|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+6||+60||Battle Focus 5/day, Blindsight 30 ft, Proactivity (+5d6, +4 AC), Contingency +4|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Songblade.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A songblade is proficient with all types of swords. Songblades are not proficient with any type of armor or shield
Battle Focus (Ex): At 1st level, a songblade uses his superior knowledge of tactics to analyze the battlefield, the soldiers, and the tactics being used by the enemy to formulate an effective strategy he then shuts out all other distractions and focuses intensely on his enemies. If the Songblade succeeds a DC 10 Sense Motive, Concentration, Gather Information, Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History) or Search check he gains a +4 bonus to Intelligence and Dexterity. If a Songblade fails their check they do not expend a daily use of there Battle Focus, they need only try the check again with another skill. The Battle Focus lasts for 3 rounds + the Songblades newly improved Intelligence score. A Songblade may prematurely end his Battle Focus. At the end of the Battle Focus the Songblade loses the increased modifiers and becomes mentally exhausted and can no longer perform any skill checks until the end of the current encounter. Battle Focus can be used once per encounter, regardless of the number of uses are left for that day. If a Songblade is struck during his Battle Focus, he must make a DC 15 Concentration check to maintain his focus. This ability can only be used when unarmored and unencumbered
Proactivity: A Songblade depends on proactivity in battle to deal and avoid damage. At 1st level when a Songblade attacks in the same round he draws his sword he deals an extra d6 of damage. This extra damage only applies to damage dealt in the Songblade's turn. This bonus increases by 1d6 every 4 levels thereafeter (2d6 at 5th level, 3d6 at 9th level, etc...) At 3rd level when a songblade draws his sword he gains a +1 shield bonus to his AC. This bonus applies as soon as he draws his sword and lasts until the end of his next turn. This bonus increases by 1 every 5 levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level). These bonuses only apply when the songblade is unarmored and unencumbered
AC Bonus (Ex): It has long been said that knowledge is power, a practicioner of the songblade martial art has taken this to a new extreme. When unarmored and unencumbered a Songblade can apply his intelligence modifier (if any) to his AC, this bonus reflects a knowledge of tactics and human behavior that leads to knowing where an enemy will strike before they do so themselves. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the songblade is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield (Not counting the sheild bonus to his AC granted by the Proactivity ability, see above), or when he carries a medium or heavy load.
Tactical Grounding: At 1st level, a Songblade has become adept at preparing for a battle, and is treated as if he has the Quick Draw feat, even if he does not meet the normal prerequisites for that feat.
Muscle Memory: Even at 1st level, the songblade is well-trained with the art of the blade and therefore is agile and efficient with all weapons classified as swords. Therefore the songblade gains the weapon finesse feat with a sword even if it does not qualify for the feat (i.e. Greatsword, Bastard Sword, etc...). This ability only applies when the songblade is unarmored, unencumbered, and wielding a sword.
Strike True: At 1st level, a songblade uses his agility and speed to fight opponents, rather than raw strength. With this ability the songblade applies his dexterity modifier to his melee damage rolls as opposed to his strength modifier. He may only use this ability when he is unarmored, unencumbered and wielding a sword.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a Songblade retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a Songblade already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
Improvised Weapon Proficiency : At 2nd level songblade is adept at using the enviroment to their advantage in a fight, and never being unarmed, thus being able to use improvised weapons without incurring the usual -4 penalty.
Contingency: Evasive as a songblade is, they are ever aware of the possibility of a well placed arrow, or a lucky sword, and have contingent reserves of endurance. A songblade thus gain a +1 bonus to fortitude saves. This bonus increases to +2 at 9th level, +3 at 15th level and +4 at 18th level
Sword Mastery: At 4th level, a songblade has become so adept with the use of his sword that whenever he uses any part of the sword other than the blade (i.e. the hilt, the handle, the flat end etc...) as a weapon he does not incur the usual -4 penalty.
Improved tactical Grounding: At 5th level a Songblade has become adept at being the first to attack in any situation, and is treated as having the Improved Initiative feat, even if he doesn’t meet the normal prerequisites for that feat.
Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Scabbard) : At 5th level, a songblade may use a sword sheathe made out of any rigid material (Not cloth, leather, and the like) as is it were the weapon that it held, capable of dealing only non-lethal damage.
Deathly Song (Ex): At 6th level, for a number of times equal to the songblade's charisma modifier per encounter when the songblade makes the full attack action, he may opt to create an eerie song produced from the various movements of his blade, this causes all sentient creatures within earshot (30 feet) (This includes allies) to then roll a DC (Songblade Level + Int modifier) Will save or become Shaken for a number of rounds equal to the songblade's charisma modifier. A Bard/Songblade with this ability may use his sword as an instrument for his bardic music. This ability can only be used when unarmored, unencumbered and using a sword.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 7th level and higher, a Songblade can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the Songblade by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has Songblade levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.
Superior Tactical Grounding: At 9th level a Songblade has near perfected the art of moving and striking, delivering blows from all distances around the battlefield. He then gains the Spring Attack feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites for that feat.
Blade Dance: at 11th level for a number of times equal to half the Songblade's dexterity modifier (rounded down) per day, a songblade may combat mulltiple foes in one round. When a Songblade attacks an opponent, he may make a 5 foot jump (One square) to another target and attack him as if he were attacking the same opponent a second time (I.E. The first attack has a base attack bonus of 20, the next would have a base attack bonus of 15 etc...) He may do this for as many attacks as he is permitted per round. In order to make the 5 foot jump a songblade must at least attempt an attack, it need not hit however. The 5 foot jump provokes attacks of oppurtunity. A songblade may only use this ability while unarmored, unencumbered and using a sword
Sonic Step (Su): At 15th level, a songblade has mastered the art form of moving quickly through any terrain, to the point where it becomes superhuman. A songblade, as a move action, may teleport a number of feet equal to his songblade level x 10. He need not teleport this entire distance all at once, and distance not teleported does not carry over to the next day.
Improved Blade Dance : At 16th level when a songblade uses his blade dance ability, he may jump 10 feet (2 squares)between strikes. This jump still provokes attacks of oppurtunity.
|21st||Proactivity (+6d6, +4 AC)|
|25th||Proactivity (+7d6, +5 AC) Battle Focus 6/day, Contingency +5|
|29th||Proactivity (+8d6, +5 AC)|
|30th||Proactivity (+8d4, +6 AC) Battle Focus 7/day, Contingency +6|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Battle Focus: The songblade gains an extra use of Battle Focus once every four levels
Proactivity: The songblade gains extra damage and AC bonuses from his Proactivity ability.
Bonus Feats: The epic songblade gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic songblade bonus feats) every four levels after 20th.
Epic Songblade Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Blinding Speed, Dexterous Fortitude, Dexterous Will, Epic Reflexes, Epic Speed, Fast Healing, Great Dexterity, Great Intelligence, Great Strength, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Keen Strike, Vorpal Strike, Legendary Climber, Legendary Leaper, Legendary Wrestler, Multiweapon Rend, Overwhelming Critical, Devastating Critical, Penetrating Damage Reduction, Reflect Arrows, Superior Initiative.
Songblade Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Bonus Feats: .
Playing a Songblade
Religion: Songblades usually vow themselves to no god, believing in only their sword to give them strength. However few songblades pledge themselves to Kord, Farlaghn or Erythnul, believing that life exists only to challenge them further.
Other Classes: Songblades have the most respect for fighters and monks, fighters being men of discipline and valor, and monks sharing many a similarity to their own training. However songblades look down on fighters who use heavy armor, seeing it as a sign of a lack of skill and respect for the profession of being a soldier. Songblades also have much respect for wizards, observing their hard hours of study to become the best mages they can be. On the reverse they have little respect for sorcerers, who simply inherited their powers as opposed to working for it. Songblades also relate to bards who use their flutes and lyres as they use swords.
Combat:In party combat a songblade usually fights along with the tank, teaming up to maximize the damage on an opponent, but the songblade will also be around the secondary damage dealers such as spellcasters and rangers to fight off the enemies around them that the tank failed to entice. A songblade will also have a tendency to fight alone, with their ability to dodge efficiently and combat multiple opponents at a time. However, their weakness to spellcasters makes them more prone to be near others than alone.
Advancement:Due to their on average high intellignece scores, and lack of necessity for spell hindering armor, a popular multiclassing option would be a wizard. Songblades more focused on being evasive often become monks, using the bonus of dexterity, intelligence, and wisdom to their armor class, to make them nigh unhittable. Songblades trying to balance out their lack of distance fighting will multiclass into a class just as skilled with a bow as they are with a sword, namely the scout or ranger class.
Songblades in the World
|“||"Why would I wear armor when I do not plan to be struck?"||”|
|—Honden Tyiadantha, Half-Elf Songblade/15|
Notables:There are two particular notables in the history of the Songblade martial art, who happen to be the founders of it. Though their true names are a mystery to the communities of those actually interested in the knowledge, they are known today as Iaido and Dementia. Knowing nothing but racism and oppression from the day they were born Iaido and Dementia sought a way to end their subjugation. Being half elves in a repressive human community Iaido and Dementia were second class citizens, and thus were subject to backbreaking work, abuse, and the loss of rights. Including the restriction of all weapons and armor. After being bereaved of their respective mothers Iaido and Dementia sought to rebel against their opressors. Hearing tales of evasive, graceful monks, who could fight in no armor whatsoever they decided that in order to effectively rebel against their oppressors they would need to be as evasive as these monks, but without their training. In order to do this they began to study. As one would entice the guards into a mercilessly beating, the other would look on and study, study how the guards acted in a fight. They studied every single aspect of the human psyche in a fight and eventually created a map of instincts and tactics. From there they would begin to practice against one another using table legs as swords and diguising there martial art as a dance. After their insurgency they traveled, spreading their martial art to those in similiar situations as they, and eventually gaining a following. This is the origin of the songblade. However when Iaido and Dementia aged they grew apart in their beleifs, Iaido beleived that people were fundamentally good, and that the sword should only be used for defense, Dementia beleived the opposite, that people were fundamentally evil, and if given the chance they would turn on them in the batting of an eyelash. This dispute boiled down to a duel in which both swordsmen lost their eyes. They parted ways after this duel and Iaido has since ascended to godhood, Dementia stil wanders, slaying those unlucky enough to cross his path.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) can research Songblades to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Songblades in the Game
Songblades are only truly limited by the ignorance of others. While songblades are sometimes accepted as town guards or soldiers, they are often scoffed at for their supposed foolheartedness in wearing no armor. An experienced songblade will eventually get used to the phrase "Fine don't wear armor, it's your funeral."
Adaptation: Though usually equipped with light and versatile weapons, songblades have been known to wield greatswords and such heavy weapons, being equally effective against their opponents as their light counterparts.
Sample Encounter: While passing through deeper portions of the jungles of Brem'Veril the party will find themselves inadvertatly trudging through a warzone. Honden Tyiadantha a 15th level songblade happens to be a guerilla trudging through the very same war zone. Roll a percentile, 0-49% Honden assumes you hostile, 50-100% he informs you of exactly where you are and offers to assist you in leaving.
EL 10: Whether Honden has deemed you a threat or not, he will follow you stealthily for a distance until he decides to make an action. If he considers you a threat he will begin by tailing the party 50 feet, sonic step to directly behind the party member closest to the back, draw his two short swords and strike, Initiating combat. If he does not consider the party a threat he will sonic step to the front of the party and demand your names, warning you against making him draw his swords.
|Male Songblade 15|
|LN M Humanoid|
|Init/Senses||+14/Listen +8, Spot +8|
|AC||29, touch 28, flat-footed 28|
(+8 Dexterity, +7 Intelligence, +3 dodge, +1 Shield)
|hp||78 (12d8+24 HD)|
|Speed||80 feet (16 squares)|
|Melee||+1 Shortsword (1d6) (19-20 x2) or|
|Melee||+1 Shortsword (1d6) (19-20 x2)|
|Atk Options||Blade Dance|
|Abilities||Str 16, Dex 26, Con 15, Int 24, Wis 10, Cha 12|
|SQ||Improved Uncanny Dodge, Battle Focus,Blindsight, Sonic Step, Wicked Song|
|Possessions||Gloves of dexterity +6, Headband of Intellect +6 mundane equipment|
|Battle Focus||Honden can make a DC 45 Sense Motive, Concentration, Gather Information, Knowledge (Geography), Knowledge (History) or Search check to formulate an effective strategy and add +4 to his Intellect and Dexterity score for 12 rounds.|
|Proactivity||When Honden attacks in the same round he draws his swords he deals an extra 4d6 damage and and gets a +3 shield bonus to his AC.|