Animated Blade (5e Class)
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A man is shaken down in the dark alley of Waterdeep, several ruffians surrounding him while they laugh and jeer. The man's warnings are met with a punch, and several bottles of glass begin to rise from the ground around him.
A kindly old lady suspends a teapot in midair, a saucer and cup floating beneath it as it pours. She asks what brings her guest through her village, as she sets down the floating cup on her tablecloth while levitating another cup upwards.
A shrill scream sounds out in the cold night as a kobold meets his demise, speared against the ground with a sword. A lantern's light crests a hill, revealing the glittering display of several other weapons suspended in the cool air, hungry for their turn.
Creating an Animated Blade
|An Animated Blade rushing through a cathedral, Bo Chen, https://www.artstation.com/artwork/D5Dy0R
How did your character find and develop their skills with levitating weapons? Were they inspired by legendary tales, or did they discover their talent through happenstance? What motivates your character to use many floating weapons instead of just one? Think about what kind of preconceptions a character might have while looking at your levitated weapons.
- Quick Build
You can make an Animated Blade quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength and Dexterity should be your highest ability scores, followed by Constitution. Second, decide whether you would like to use a lot of small-hitting attacks or whether you would prefer larger, more impactful attacks. For the prior, choose the daggers and padded armor in equipment; For the latter, choose the greatclub and hide armor
- Animated Blade Class Variant
Due to the potentially arcane nature of the Animated Blade, you may replace all instances of Strength in this class document with Intelligence instead. This does not alter skills, proficiency, or ability scores.
As a Animated Blade you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor, Medium armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: Smith's Tools
Saving Throws: Wisdom and Dexterity
Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Athletics, Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Religion, Stealth
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) 2 Daggers or (b) a Shortsword and a shield or (c) a Greatclub
- (a) Padded Armor or (b) Hide Armor
- (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
- Smith's Tools
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 1d8 x 10 + 1d10 gp in funds.
|Animated Weapon Points
|Ability Score Improvement
|Extra Attack, Running with Scissors
|Deft and Dangerous, Blade Study Feature
|Ability Score Improvement
|Running with Scissors improvement
|Lust for Life
|Better Bladesurge Deft and Dangerous improvement
|Ability Score Improvement
|Blade Study Feature
|Lust for Life improvement
|Fighting Style, Deft and Dangerous improvement
|Ability Score Improvement
|Lust for Life improvement
|Ability Score Improvement
Beginning at 1st level, you have developed the ability to wield weapons that levitate at your side, and fight alongside you. You are limited in this skill by your experience, shown by the “Animated Weapon Points” in the Animated Blade table.
These Animated weapons differ from normal weapons in several ways; Due to their levitation you do not need to hold them, they do not receive any bonuses to hit or to damage based on your ability modifiers, they are always treated as melee weapons and do not have the ranged property, they can not be used as an arcane focus, and their damage is not dependent on the weapons themselves. Instead, the damage is determined by their characteristics and by your proficiency.
Using Smith’s tools or through a suitable analog (Such as a weaponsmith, and at your DM’s discretion), you may spend a long rest attuning to weapons with which you have proficiency. Different weapons with different characteristics cost a different amount of Animated Weapon Points, as listed below;
- Weapons with the ‘Light’ property cost 1 Animated Weapon Point, and invariably deal 1d4 points of their respective damage type. Examples of such weapons include Sickles, Daggers or Light Hammers. Light weapons do not add their proficiency bonus to damage on a hit (An example is provided below).
- Weapons without any property (except range or finesse) cost 2 Animated Weapon Points, and invariably deal 1d6+1 of their respective damage type. Examples of such weapons include Shortswords, Rapier, or a Morningstar.
- Weapons with the two-handed or versatile property cost 3 Animated Weapon Points, and invariably deal 2d6+2 points of their respective damage type. Examples of such weapons include Longswords, Battleaxes, and Mauls. Any attack roll made with these weapons suffers a -1 penalty.
- Shields cost 1 Animated Weapon Point, and grant you +2 AC but can not be used to attack (You do not have to hold the shield for this benefit). You can only gain this benefit once.
- Weapons with the Reach property require an additional (1) Animated Weapon Point to attune to. Examples of such weapons include Whips, Lances and Halberds.
- Improvised weapons cost 1 Animated Weapon Point to attune to, and invariably deal 1 damage of a suitable damage type.
You are proficient in these Animated Weapons and they float vertically within a 5ft³ amount of space you occupy. It takes an action to stow or sheathe all of your Animated Weapons at once. When you take the Attack action on your turn, each of your Animated weapons rolls to hit (Roll separately for each weapon, though this does count as one single attack roll for any features or effects) adding the lower of your Strength or Dexterity modifiers to the hit roll, and your proficiency bonus to the hit roll and to overall damage (except for light weapons). As an example, if you hit a creature with a Rapier at first level, the damage roll would be 1d6 + 1 + proficiency, but if you had three Daggers it would instead be 3d4, and a single Greatclub would roll 2d6 + 2 + proficiency. When making an attack of opportunity, you may only roll for one weapon.
If you obtain a magical weapon that you are proficient in, you may attune to it. If it usually has more than one damage die, it uses only one as in the table above (It still gains the magical enhancement to damage and to hit, however), but you may choose between any of its damage types listed. Additionally, if the weapon counts as magical for the purposes of damage, it deals magical damage when you hit with it. All other magical effects upon the weapon still apply, such as the 20 effect on Vorpal Sword.
You may not use this feature while wielding a weapon, arcane focus, or while wearing a shield. The attack made with this feature can not be used with Sneak Attack, and you can not perform unarmed strikes on the same turn an Animated weapon hits.
Beginning at 2nd level, and again at 15th level you adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can't take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.
- Blind Fighting; You have blindsight with a range of 10 feet. Within that range, you can effectively see anything that isn't behind total cover, even if you're blinded or in darkness. Moreover, you can see an invisible creature within that range, unless the creature successfully hides from you.
- Defense; While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC
- Dueling; While using half or less of your Animated Weapon Points, you gain a +1 bonus to all damage rolls with your Animated weapons.
- Great Weapon Fighting; When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with an Animated Weapon that has the Two-Handed or Versatile properties, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2
- Interception; When a creature you can see hits a target, other than you, within 5 feet of you with an attack, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage the target takes by 1d10 + your proficiency bonus (to a minimum of 0 damage). You must have a shield as an Animated weapon to use this reaction.
- Multiple-Weapon Fighting; You may add your Strength or Dexterity modifier (whichever is lower) to the damage dealt by one of your Animated weapons after taking the Attack action.
- Protection; When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must have a shield as an Animated weapon to use this reaction.
At 3rd level, you choose a discipline that shapes the nature of your Animated weapons. Choose between the Ranger, Dancer, or the Fortress, each detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th and 13th levels.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. You may strike with an amount of your Animated weapons on this second attack up to your Strength modifier.
Running with Scissors
By 5th level, you’ve learned how to move effectively with the assistance of your Animated weapons; your movement speed is increased by 5 feet while your Animated weapons are not stowed. This bonus increases by 5 feet at 9th level. Additionally, when you make an Athletics check you may add a bonus to the roll equal to your Dexterity modifier.
At 6th level you have become more comfortable with the idea of large weapons floating in your vicinity, and have learned some deadly tricks as a result. As a Bonus Action, you may move up to half of your movement speed (rounded up) directly towards a creature before attacking it with an amount of Animated weapons up to your Strength modifier. This does not use your action.
If this attack incapacitates a creature, you may repeat the attack on another target up to the same distance away at the cost of one level of exhaustion. If a creature is not reachable within half of your movement speed, or is already within 5ft of you, you may not use this feature.
When you reach 11th level, you may instead move up to your full movement speed directly towards a creature instead of half, and do not take the exhaustion penalty.
You may use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus before needing to complete a long rest, and you can only ever use Bladesurge on two or fewer targets.
Deft and Dangerous
Beginning at 7th level, you can reroll a saving throw that you fail. If you do so, you must use the new roll, and you can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest. You can use this feature twice between long rests starting at 11th level and three times between long rests starting at 15th level.
Lust for Life
When you reach 10th level, you uncover ways to push yourself and learn how to force your way through difficult endeavors. As a bonus action, you may expend one (1) hit die and heal for the number rolled, as well as gaining temporary hitpoints equal to the combination of your Strength and Dexterity modifiers. The amount of dice you can expend increases by one at 14th level and again at 18th level.
At 17th level, your mastery over your Animated weapons allows you to perform extraordinarily flashy feats. If you use your Bladesurge feature without incapacitating the targeted creature, you may use your Action to attack. This attack can be done with advantage, and incorporates all of your Animated weapons. If this attack incapacitates the creature, you may proceed with Bladesurge as normal. If you performed the attack with advantage, you can not do so again until you complete a long rest.
Additionally, you cannot be surprised.
At 20th level your blades seem possessed, moving and swinging in time with your thoughts. Your Animated weapons now add your Strength or Dexterity modifier (Your choice) to their hit and damage rolls, with some restrictions;
- Weapons with the ‘Light’ property can not add more than 1 to their damage rolls,
- Weapons without a property other than range can not add more than 2 to their damage rolls
Modifiers on hit rolls are applied to each individual attack.
You've found yourself at odds with enemies just out of harm's reach. In an effort to overcome your unique shortcoming, you have learned how to attack with your Animated weapons at range.
- Distance Strike
When you take this subclass at 3rd level, you have learned how to strike target from afar using your unique skillset. When making the Attack action, by forfeiting your Bonus Action you may strike with an amount of Animated weapons equal to your Dexterity modifier with a range of 30/60. At 7th level, this no longer requires the forfeiting of your Bonus Action.
- Duck and Dive
At 7th level, you feel more comfortable attacking at range than you do attacking in close quarters, and deftly evade enemy capture. Moving away from an enemy does not trigger an Attack of Opportunity, unless you had already moved at least 5ft towards it on your turn. Additionally, you gain proficiency in Acrobatics if you do not have it already.
- Focused Blast
At 13th level, your blades beg to hit enemies outside your range. As a Bonus Action, you can target a creature you can see within 60ft; your next attack on that creature on this turn has advantage, and deals extra overall damage equal to your proficiency. This feature may be used once per long rest.
You find yourself thriving in close-quarters combat, and your Animated weapons begin reacting to your movements.
When you take this subclass at 3rd level, your Animated weapons' movements ebb and flow with your own. If you move at least 15ft in a straight line towards an enemy on your turn and hit it with an Animated weapon, until the start of your next turn all attacks have disadvantage to hit you, and you gain advantage on Dexterity saving throws as if you had performed the Dodge action.
- An Opening!
At 7th level, you've learned how take advantage of your opponent's over-eagerness. When you are hit while under the effect of Bladedance you may use your reaction to counter the enemy as if you had used the Attack action. This feature may be used once per long rest.
- And Another!
At 13th level, you've found a comforting familiarity in the ways your weapons ebb and flow with your movements. If your Animated weapons deal exclusively 1d4 or 1d6+1 damage, then you may attune to an additional weapon that doesn't contain a property other than range (such as a dagger or sickle)
You have an intrinsic need to protect your fellows, manifesting in your abilities. Your confidence inspires your allies, and you always make sure to smile.
- Impeccable Defense
When you take this subclass at 3rd level, you dedicate your methods to protection. You are able to spend each of your Animated Weapon Points on small, purely defensive Animated armaments. They give +1AC each and count both as improvised weapons and as shields for the purposes of other features, and you are able to attune to other weapons as normal. You are also able to personally equip and attack (without this class's limitations) with a one-handed weapon that lacks the finesse quality. You must keep one hand free to direct the shields as necessary.
- The Best Offense...
At 7th level, your devotion to defense has opened up many attack opportunities. After an attack roll targeted at you misses your AC, you may use your Reaction to send each of your Animated weapons that do not have a damage die down on the creature. These hit automatically and each deal 1 point of bludegoning damage. This feature cannot be used on the same creature more than once.
- The Tank
At 13th level, your true defensive and protective capabilities are revealed to you. If you have not moved more than 5 feet, you may use an action on your turn to enter a Guard form, dropping your walking speed to 5ft. Each of your Animated weapons that are shields automatically intercept attacks against creatures you consider allies within 60ft, with the attacks being rolled against your shields instead. Your shields have an AC of 8 and Hit Points equal to your Strength and Dexterity modifiers combined. Your shields can be destroyed, and you can end the Guard form as a reaction to any damage dealt to a creature you consider an ally. This feature may be used once per long rest.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Animated Blade class, you gain the following proficiencies: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons, and Light armor