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The Argent Blade (3.5; Base Class; ToB)Argent Blade
(image found here http://www.elfwood.com/~janet/Elric-...e.2830734.html
”When spirit and body are in unison, I will not fall.”
Trained in a mixture of sword art and mysticism, an argent blade is a spellsword with few peers. Founded long ago as the militant branch of a cult of moon-worshipping mages, the secret arts of the argent blade did not stay secret long. Argent blades learn a mixture of martial and magical arts. Their martial skill is somewhat less than that of warblades but still a potent tool in their arsenal, while their arcane powers tend towards either introverted self-enhancement or an understanding of the raw nature of magic.
As a general note in most of my games deities associated with the moon are also associated with magic and vice versa; in fact there’s a general association of arcane magic and the moon.
Adventures: An argent blade often adventures to gain mastery and knowledge. Every battle is a test of their skills, every spell they face a trial of their powers. Others are sent by their masters, or orders they are attached to, questing by another’s command.
Characteristics: An argent blade has a comprehension and understanding of magic possibly surpassing even a wizard’s. Their mastery of magic, though, is severely limited focused towards anti-magic and divination, though with access to magic to bolster oneself and to weave illusions. Their martial skill is similar to that of a warblade’s but more limited; while they have some mastery of the sublime way they are limited both in the breadth of their knowledge and extent. Their melding of magic and sublime arts is their true strength, gaining the ability to empower their combat with raw magical power and to meld their martial prowess into more magical directions.
Alignment: Argent blades can be of any alignment. That said few are chaotic, the self-discipline required to learn the dual arts of magic and the sublime way does not lend itself easily to the chaotic soul. Argent blades do not necessarily show any tendency towards good or evil, though those trained by certain orders may lean towards one side or the other.
Religion: Due to their origins as a religious order many argent blades are devout worshippers of their gods. Argent blades tend towards the worship of moon gods, and gods of magic. Warrior gods are a distant third. In the Three Worlds many worship Isis (in fact the original order served her priesthood) and her twin Hecate, though on Hondaro Tsukiyomi takes the place as most worshipped deity.
Background: Most argent blades have spent their lives in training. Their understanding of magic is not inborn like that of a sorcerer, but the result of years of teaching like a wizard’s, coupled with training of their physical body and prowess. Many argent blades are trained by select orders of arcane knights, though others
Races: Many argent blades are elven, their long lives and natural talent with swords and magic facilitating their training greatly. Half-elves are second most common, with humans as third. Dwarves lack the connection to the magics of the moon. Half-orcs lack the talent for arcane powers. Gnomes lack the talent for swordplay. Lastly Halflings lack both the talent and discipline. That is not to say these races never become argent blades, only that they do so rarely.
Other Classes: Argent blades respect those with arcane powers whether wizard or sorcerer. Their mixed talents leave them with a healthy respect for both power with sword and mystical sources; the religious roots still present in many of their orders leaves them with religious respect of those who have divinely gifted powers. They see those with martial skill as having a place on the front lines, holding back the enemy to allow the casters a safe place to use their powers. Meanwhile the sheer power and versatility of a mage makes them possibly an argent blade’s favorite ally.
When dealing with more exotically powered characters an argent blade’s reaction is more varied. Binders represent another, and possibly dangerous, avenue to power and many argent blades wonder why one would pursue it over the arcane arts. Incarnum represents a versatile resource, but one which argent blades cannot understand as readily as the arcane which leaves them with some distrust. Shadowcasting is seen by some as anathema to their powers, which come largely from the light of the moon, but others remember that the new moon is just as necessary as the full. Psionics is respected for its similarities to magic in use, but it is usually considered lesser only worth pursuing due to natural talent.
Role: Argent blades serve as primary melee combatants using their transmutation spells to buff themselves to make up for their reduced hp and maneuvers known, readied, and breadth of selection. They can also serve as magic removal with arcane sight, illusion removing melee attacks, and dispel magic effects. Their smattering of spells give them some delayed access to buffs, illusions, teleportation, and not so delayed access to abjuration effects.
Adaptation: Don’t like the connection to a religious order? Cut it. Want them to be naturally talented mages like sorcerers? Do it; this might make them more likely to be chaotic of course. Like fey? Link them to fey; maybe add some enchantments to their spell list since they’re lacking those. Realized I just used the template from the Base Class Challenge to present the fluff yet? Excellent you should check it out, there’s some nice stuff in it.
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Argent Blades have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Strength is important to an argent blade as it determines their melee power. Constitution bolsters their poor, for melee, hit points. Dexterity helps their AC, as they are limited to light armor without the advantage of a secondary stat to AC or strong AC boosting spells. Intelligence, of course, is important as it determines their arcane spells and abilities.
Hit Die: d8
Starting Age: As cleric.
Starting Gold: 5d4 x 10 GP.
The Argent Blade's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Jump (Str), Knowledge (each skill taken individually) (Int), Martial Lore (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Maneuvers Known Maneuvers Readied Stances Known 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 1st+1+2+0+2 Spellstrike Channel, Somatic Weaponry220 4 1 - - - - - 2nd+2+3+0+3 Lunar Halo321 4 2 - - - - - 3rd+3+3+1+3 Low-Light Vision421 5 2 - - - - - 4th+4+4+1+4 See Invisibility431 5 3 1 - - - - 5th+5+4+1+4 Moonsilver Cloak531 5 3 2 - - - - 6th+6+5+2+5 Moonsilver Sword532 5 3 2 - - - - 7th+7+5+2+5 Spellburn Boost632 6 4 2 - - - - 8th+8+6+2+6 Dispelling Channel642 6 4 3 1 - - - 9th+9+6+3+6742 6 4 3 2 - - - 10th+10+7+3+7 Argent Empowering742 6 4 3 2 - - - 11th+11+7+3+7 Step through the Veil843 7 4 4 2 - - - 12th+12+8+4+8853 7 5 4 3 1 - - 13th+13+8+4+8 Argent Parry953 7 5 4 3 2 - - 14th+14+9+4+9 Argent Stance953 7 5 4 3 2 - - 15th+15+9+5+9 Argent Eyes1053 8 5 4 4 2 - - 16th+16+10+5+10 Form Twisting Channel1064 8 5 5 4 3 1 - 17th+17+10+5+101164 8 5 5 4 3 2 - 18th+18+11+6+11 Argent Swiftness1164 8 5 5 4 3 2 - 19th+19+11+6+111264 8 5 5 4 4 2 - 20th+20+12+6+12 Argent Counter1274 9 5 5 5 4 3 1
All of the following are class features of the Argent Blade.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: An Argent Blade is proficient in all simple weapons and martial melee weapons. They are also proficient in light armor and shield (except tower shields).
Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of two martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Diamond Mind, Lunar Spirit, and Stone Dragon.
Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by argent blades is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description (note all Bewitching Soul maneuvers are Supernatural). Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one.
You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the table above. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. See Tome of Battle page 39, Table 3-1, to determine the highest-level maneuvers you can learn.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered argent soul level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. You can choose a new maneuver of any level you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the highest-level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, you could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.
Maneuvers Readied: You can ready both of the maneuvers you know at 1st level. As you gain levels you will eventually have more maneuvers known than readied and must choose certain maneuvers to ready. You ready your maneuvers by exercising for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to exercise again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend 5 minutes in practice, you can change your readied maneuvers.
You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (until you recover them, as described below).
You can recover all of your maneuvers by spending a swift action to do so and casting an arcane or divine spell.
Stances Known: You begin play with no knowledge of any stances. At 2nd level you gain one stance known from those disciplines available to an argent blade. At 6th, 11th, and 16th level, you can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description (note all Bewitching Soul stances are Supernatural).
Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one you already know.
Spells: An argent blade casts arcane spells. Their maximum spell level, spells per day, and spell save DCs (if any) are based off of Intelligence. The somatic components of their spells are simplified and do not suffer arcane spell failure for light armor. An argent blade spontaneously casts their spells and knows 4 0-level spells and 1 1st level spell at 1st level. At each new level an argent blade learns 1 spell of any level available to them.
Spellstrike Channel (Su): As part of initiating a strike an Argent Blade may sacrifice a single prepared arcane spell or arcane spell slot. If they do so they gain a bonus to hit equal to the sacrificed slot or spell’s level, and +1d8 damage per level of sacrificed spell (+1d4 if they sacrifice a 0 level spell); if the strike hits a single target more than once then these bonuses only apply to the first attack on that opponent made as part of the strike. If the strike’s level is no higher than the sacrificed spell’s level +1 then the strike is also not expended.
Somatic Weaponry: An argent blade gains the Somatic Weaponry (Complete Warrior) feat as a bonus feat.
Lunar Halo (Su): Starting at 2nd level an argent blade may call upon a halo of silvery light to protect them from attacks. To do so is an immediate action and requires expending a readied maneuver and grants a Deflection bonus to AC equal to the level of the expended maneuver until the start of your next turn.
Low-Light Vision (Ex): Starting at 3rd level an argent blade gains Low-light vision if they did not already have it. If they already possess Low-light Vision they gain Superior low-light vision instead.
See Invisibility (Su): Starting at 4th level an argent blade can see invisible and ethereal creatures freely as if under the effects of a See Invisibility spell.
Moonsilver Cloak (Su): Starting at 5th level an argent blade can displace their position as a swift action by expending a 2nd level or higher maneuver. This functions as a displacement spell but only lasts until the start of your next turn.
Moonsilver Sword (Su): Starting at 6th level an argent blade’s weapon glows with a faint silver aura (producing light as a torch). This causes their melee attacks to dispel any illusion which they hit the visual manifestation of with a melee attack, their melee attacks may strike incorporeal and ethereal creatures as if they were Ghost Touch weapons, and their melee attacks regardless of weapon overcome damage reduction as if they were made of alchemical silver in addition to whatever material they are actually made from. You may suppress or reactivate this ability as a standard action.
Spellburn Boost (Su): Starting at 7th level an argent blade may initiate a boost as a free action, to do so requires the expenditure of an arcane spell or spell slot of a level no lower than the boost’s.
Dispelling Channel (Su): Starting at 8th level an argent blade may forgo 3d8 damage granted from the use of Spellstrike Channel to cause any creature struck by their strike to be targeted by a dispel affect as from a Greater Dispel Magic cast by a character with a caster level equal to the argent blade’s initiator level.
Argent Empowering (Su): Starting at 10th level an argent blade may, as part of casting an argent blade spell, expend a readied maneuver to empower that spell. The maneuver must be of a level equal to the spell’s level +1 or higher.
Step through the Veil (Sp): Starting at 11th level an argent blade may, as a standard action, expend a 6th level or higher maneuver they have readied to use Dimension Door as a spell-like ability (CL = IL).
Argent Parry (Su): Starting at 13th level an argent blade may initiate a counter as a free action usable during another player’s turn, to do so requires the expenditure of an arcane spell or spell slot of at least 1 level higher than the counter.
Argent Stance (Su): Starting at 14th level an argent blade may when casting a non-instantaneous argent blade spell targeting only themselves may give up the normal benefits of their current stance. If they do so the spell’s duration changes to be as long as they remain in their current stance.
Argent Eyes (Su): Starting at 15th level an argent blade is continuously affected as if by a True Seeing spell. In addition they can detect magical auras by concentrating as if under the effects of a Detect Magic effect.
Form Twisting Channel (Su): Starting at 16th level an argent blade may forgo 5d8 damage granted from the use of Spellstrike Channel to cause any creature struck by their strike to be affected as if by a Baleful Polymorph spell cast by a character with a caster level equal to the argent blade’s initiator level. The Fort save DC to resist this effect is 10 + higher of spell slot expended or strike performed + argent blade’s Int. Despite being an Su ability the effects of this spell can be dispelled.
Argent Swiftness (Su): Starting at 18th level an argent blade may, as part of casting an argent blade spell, expend a readied maneuver to quicken that spell (as the Quickened Spell feat). The maneuver must be of a level equal to the spell’s level +3 or higher.
Argent Counter (Su): Starting at 20th level an argent blade may 3/day expend a 9th level maneuver as an immediate action to counterspell any spell or spell-like ability which includes them amongst its targets or its area of effect.
Detect Secret Doors
Expeditious Retreat, Swift
Net of Shadows
Resist Planar Alignment
Chain of Eyes
Speak to Allies
Wings of Air
Insight of Good Fortune
Magic Weapon, Greater
Protection from Energy
Avoid Planar Effects
Cone of Dimness
Telepathic Bond, Lesser
Wall of Light
Ferocity of Sanguine Rage
Vision of the Omniscient Eye
Mask of the Ideal
Pall of Twilight
Shape of the Hellspawn Stalker
Dispel Magic, Greater
Globe of Invulnerability, Lesser
Bite of the Wereboar
Flight of the Dragon
Wings of Air, Greater
Form of the Desert Hunter
Aspect of the Icy Hunter
Form of the Threefold Beast
Otiluke’s Suppressing Sphere
Rebirth of Iron
Call of Stone
Field of Resistance
Contact Other Plane
Globe of Invulnerability
Anticipate Teleport, Greater
Bite of the Weretiger
Dimension Door, Greater
Enlarge Person, Greater
Reduce Person, Greater
Eyes of the Oracle
Lord of the Sky
Friend to Foe
Arcane Sight, Greater
Flesh to Stone
Stone to Flesh
Bite of the Werebear
Telepathic Bond, Interplanar
Kiss of Draconic Defiance.
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