Blademaster, 2nd Variant (5e Class)
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Blademaster, Variant 2
The man appears to dance through the battlefield with his rapier, each strike leading into the next, climaxing in brillant thrusts and vital point blows. The warrior's deft hands and feet never out of place and always a blur, striking swiftly at any advantage given. A woman steps forward, a greatsword in her hand and coated in scale armor. She stands against an ocean of foes as an invincible bulwark. Her defense impregnable, and her blade a devastating and sweeping arc of death.
Blademasters are diligent artists with the blade, working years at mastering combinations of attacks and footwork accumulating in stances and strikes for all situations.
Mechanically, the blademaster uses stances and successive attacks to build combos to unleash stronger and stronger attacks.
Creating a Blademaster
The path of the Blademaster is a difficult one. Those who walk it choose to dedicate their lives to the sword, gaining mystic powers similar to magic. The reason they chose this path is the core of their character. Why did they become a blade master? Do they fight for anyone? Why or why not? What happened to their master? Or did they learn their abilities on their own without any teacher other than the foes they faced? Are they avenging someone or are they simply trying to find the pinnacle of blade artistry?
- Quick Build
You can make a Blademaster quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength or Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the folk hero or hermit background. Third, choose a greatsword or a rapier, scale mail, 5 javelins, and an explorer's pack.
As a Blademaster you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor, medium armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial melee weapons
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) scale mail or (b) leather armor
- A martial weapon you are proficient with
- (a) five javelins or (b) two handaxes or (c) two daggers
- (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10gp in funds.
|1st||+2||Stance, Combo Points, Maneuvers||-|
|3rd||+2||Blade's Path, Secret Art: Estus||2|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||2|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||4|
|10th||+4||Secret Art: Form Breathing, Combo Point Improvement||5|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||6|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||8|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||10|
Starting at 1st level, when you begin your turn you may choose to shift to a stance you know. You may not change stances if your speed is 0, but you retain the effects of the previous stance. You begin by knowing three stances, Panther, Crab, and Road Runner and learn more as you gain levels in the blademaster Class.
- Panther Stance: You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls.
- Crab Stance: You gain a +1 bonus to your Armor Class and saving throws.
- Road Runner Stance: Your walking speed increases by 10 feet.
Starting at 1st level, you learn to fluidly connect your attacks. Each attack you make against a hostile creature generates one combo point. You may have a maximum of (3 + your level in this class) number of Combo Points. If you would gain a combo point while you are at the maximum number of combo points instead nothing happens. When you roll initiative, you lose all combo points.
Starting at 10th level, when you roll initiative, you may maintain a number of combo points equal to (your level in this class - 5). Any combo points above this amount are lost.
Starting at 1st level, every time you make an attack, you may add the effects of a maneuver to the attack. You learn these basic maneuvers to include in your combo. Each maneuver is categorized as an Opener, Flourish, or Finisher.
- An opener you may only use when you have no (0) combo points.
- A flourish you may use anytime you have one (1) or more combo points.
- A finisher does not generate a combo point and instead consumes all of your combo points. You may only use a finisher when you have the minimum number of combo points required. This number is listed after “finisher” in the description of the technique. You can only use one finisher each turn.
If a maneuver would require a saving throw, the DC is: 8 + your proficiency modifier + your choice of strength or dexterity modifier.
You start off knowing the following maneuvers:
- Battojutsu(Quick Draw): Opener, You gain 2 combo points instead of 1 on this attack.
- Parry: Opener, you gain +1 to AC until the start of your next turn.
- Lunge: Flourish, the reach of your attack increases by 5 feet.
- Mutilate: Flourish, if the attack hits, you gain +1 to the damage roll
- Shove: Flourish, if the attack hits a creature size Large or smaller, you also push the creature 5 feet away from you.
- Precision Strike: Finisher 3, you gain +1 to the attack roll for each combo point you have.
- Rupture: Finisher 3, on a hit you gain +1 to the damage roll for each combo point you have.
Starting at 2nd level, while wielding a weapon you are proficient with and no shield:
- If you took the attack action this turn, you can make an additional attack as a bonus action.
- You add a +1 bonus to your Armor Class.
Secret Art: Estus
At 3th level, You have learned that your training was not only meant for the blade, you gain power from a secret passed down generation by generation, teacher to student. You gain proficiency with the medicine skill and herbalism kits, as part of intensive training with the natural world. As part of a long rest, you have learned to gather natural energy everywhere known as estus, and encase it in a small bottle that you craft by spending 8 hours collecting natural materials for it and crafting it by hand and blade. Such a bottle or flask is known as an Estus Flask.
You have 2 swigs that heal those able to drink from it, which are restored when you finish a long rest. You gain one additional swig every 2 levels after you gain this feature. As an action, you or any creature you're able to see within 5ft of you that you choose can drink a number of swigs equal to their constitution modifier, each swig healing the target for 1d6+4 hit points. Alternatively, you can use your action and expend 1 swig to stabilize a creature with 0 hit points, healing them 1d4+1 hit points instead. At level 18th, any healing done by the flask is doubled after the rolls.
If you were to lose this flask, you can spend 8 hours crafting one out of natural materials found in the wild during a long rest.
At 3rd level, you choose a path to modify your movement and blade techniques. These paths are schools of training that emphasize certain aspects of blademaster techniques. Choose from the Path of Adamantine, Path of Mithril, or Path of Iron, all detailed at the end of the class description. The path you choose grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 9th, 14th, and 17th level.
Ability Score Increase
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.
At 6th level, you master the following maneuvers:
- Riposte: Opener, whenever a target would miss you with a melee attack before your next turn, you may use your reaction to make an opportunity attack against that target.
- Cleave: Flourish, if you hit with this attack, you deal damage to an enemy within your reach and within 5 feet of the original target equal to half of the damage dealt to the original target.
- Hamstring: Flourish, if you hit with this attack, the target’s walking speed is reduced by 10 feet on hit for its next 2 turns.
- Kick: Flourish, if this attack hits and the target of this attack was concentrating on a spell, their concentration immediately ends.
- Reckless Slash: Flourish, you gain advantage on the attack roll for this attack, if the attack hits you gain a +2 bonus to the damage roll. Regardless of whether your attack hits, the target of the attack has advantage on the next attack roll made they make against you.
- Chakra Puncture: Finisher 8, if this attack hits, the target must also succeed on a Constitution saving throw or else it is stunned until the end of your next turn. Increase the DC of this saving throw by 1 for each additional combo point you have over 8.
- Charging Lunge: Finisher 6, before making this attack you may move up to 10 feet in a straight line towards your intended target. If the attack hits you deal an additional 1d4 damage for each 5 feet you moved. You may increase the distance of this initial movement by 5 feet for every 2 combo points you have over 6.
- Shockwave: Finisher 8, if this attack hits, each hostile creature within 10 feet of the original target takes damage equal to half the damage dealt to the original target.
At 7th level, you master these more advanced stances:
- Wolf Stance: Your allies have advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature within 5 feet of you that is hostile to you.
- Hippo Stance: You gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class and a +1 bonus to damage rolls.
- Crane Stance: You gain a +1 bonus to saving throws and a +1 bonus to attack rolls.
Secret Art: Form Breathing
At 10th level, you gain a unique sense of breathing that strengthens your resolve and ability to commit to an act, be it in or out of battle. This is a result of your hardships and thorough nights of concentration and self-improvement. You’re now able to breathe twice as long underwater and have full speed climbing and swimming, as long as you don’t wear heavy armor. Through such expenses, you also gain the ability to embrace the nature around you and imbue your weapon with natural energy like Estus. With such, as a bonus action, you can gather your breath until the start of your next turn. When doing so, you take 3 points of damage less from damaging effects of magic, you gain a +1 on saves against magical effects or hazards that you can see, and your weapon attacks deal additional 1d6 force damage. While these effects are active, any benefits from any stance are nullified until the start of your next turn.
At 20th level, as long as you’re not incapacitated, you permanently gain these effects (no activation required) as a feature and do not lose the benefits of your stances. Furthermore you can use a bonus action to instead gain resistance to damaging effects of spells and a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. Also your weapon attacks deal additional 1d6 force damage (adding to the 1d6 that always applies, for a total of 2d6) until the start of your next. While this effect is active, any benefits from any stance are nullified until the start of your next turn.
At 11th level, you learn these stances that enable you to move and respond faster:
- Hummingbird Stance: While in this stance, you may make an additional attack as part of your attack action. (3 total)
- Stallion Stance: While in this stance, your movement does not provoke opportunity attacks. Additionally, you may use a bonus action to take the Dash action.
- Elephant Stance: While in this stance, you gain a +1 bonus to your Armor Class, you cannot be moved against your will, and you cannot be knocked prone.
At 13th level, you learn the most advanced basic maneuvers for your combos:
- Shunpo: Opener, you may teleport up to 10 feet in any direction before or after you make this attack.
- Air Sickle: Opener, the attack has its reach increased by 10 feet, and the weapon’s damage type changes to force damage.
- Bloody Cut: Flourish, if you have less than half of your hit point maximum remaining, you gain +1 bonus to the attack roll of this attack, and if the attack hits you gain a +3 bonus to the damage roll.
- Pommel Strike: Flourish, if this attack hits, the target has disadvantage on the next weapon attack roll it makes before the end of its next turn.
- Deliberate Strike: Finisher 16, this attack has a +10 bonus to the attack and damage rolls. Add +1 to the attack and damage roll for each combo point you have over 16.
- Eviscerate: Finisher 10, if this attack hits, it becomes a critical hit. In addition, Add 1d6 damage for each combo point you have over 10. This bonus damage is not affected by critical hit effects
Starting at 15th level, you learn to trade accuracy for swift strikes. You can only use feature if you have advantage on an attack roll against a target. You can forgo the advantage on that attack, and in exchange, you can make an additional attack against that target. This feature may be used to make a number of additional attacks on your turn up to your Dexterity modifier, in addition to any added additional attacks by other features or effects. This maneuver may only be used while wielding a weapon you are proficient with.
Starting at 18th level, you have learned to combine your stances. You may be in two different stances at the same time. At the beginning of your turn, you may switch one or both stances.
Starting at 20th level, you no longer have a combo point maximum and finishers consume a maximum of half of your combo points or the number of combo points required to activate the finisher, whichever is greater. Finishers that have an increased effect dependent on the number of combo points you have still have the full effect. You may now use an opener when you have no combo points or anytime the last attack you made was a finisher. For example, if you use Rupture with 10 combo points, the attack gets +10 damage and you go down to 5 combo points. If you use Deliberate Strike, which requires 16 combo points, with 18 combo points, you gain +12 to the attack and damage rolls and have 2 combo points remaining.
Path of Adamantine
This path focuses on defensive techniques and on slowly wearing out an opponent rather than on attacking aggressively. Practitioners often show great patience and tact, knowing to wait for the perfect moment to land a decisive blow.
- Heavy Footed
At 3rd level, you gain an additional +2 bonus to your Armor Class while you are in crab stance, hippo stance, or elephant stance. Additionally, when you flourish, you may choose to not gain combo points from that attack and instead add an additional +2 to the damage roll.
- Steel Scale Defense
At 9th level, you may use your action to shore up your defense. Until the start of your next turn, you gain a +5 bonus to your Armor Class and saving throws. You also gain 3 combo points.
- Long Reach
At 14th level, you have learned to plant yourself and strike from afar. While in Crab stance, Hippo stance, or Elephant stance, you may use the Air Sickle opener as if it were a flourish, and you instead add 20 feet to your reach. You may also use Air Sickle as a Finisher with a 6 Combo Point requirement. When used as a Finisher in this way, Air Sickle deals an additional 2d10 force damage on a hit. Also instead of consuming all your combo points as a Finisher, it consumes only 6.
- Turtle Destruction Wave
At 17th level, you learn the very essence of the Adamantine Path in the form of a finisher. You must be in crab stance, hippo stance, or elephant stance in order to use this finisher. Unlike other maneuvers, you use your action to make this special maneuver, expending a swig of your Estus Flask. Once you use this finisher, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.
Turtle Destruction Wave: Finisher 16, You unleash a beam of energy in a 15 foot wide, 40 foot long line. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a target takes 8d6+40 force damage and is pushed 20 feet away from you. On a successful save, a target takes half as much damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you. Any building or object in this area takes double damage, regardless of size.
Path of Mithril
The path of Mithril focuses on speed and maneuverability over sheer force or invincible defense. They use this quickness to overwhelm their foes with a flurry of slashes and thrusts faster than the eye can see.
- Swift Footed
At 3rd level, while in Road Runner stance, Crane stance, or Hummingbird stance you have an additional +2 bonus to attack rolls and you may use Battojutsu as a flourish as well as an opener.
- Swift Strikes
At 9th level, you may use an action to make a whirlwind attack. Make a melee weapon attack against every hostile creature within 5 feet of you. You may only use flourishes for these attacks, even if you have no combo points. You gain no combo points until the entire action is finished at which point you gain 3 combo points regardless of how many attacks you made.
- Flash Step
At 14th level, while in Road Runner stance, Crane Stance, or Hummingbird stance, you may use Shunpo as a finisher with a 6 combo point minimum requirement. If shunpo is used as a finisher in this way, you may teleport up to 15 feet. If you attack after teleporting rather than before, and the attack hits, the target takes an additional 2d12 damage from the attack. Also, instead of it consuming all of your combo points as a finisher, it only consumes 6.
- Judgement’s Strike
At 17th level, you learn the very essence of the Mithral Path in the form of a finisher. You must be in Road Runner stance, Crane Stance, or Hummingbird stance in order to use this finisher. Unlike other maneuvers, you use your action to make this special maneuver, expending a swig of your Estus Flask. Once you use this finisher, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.
Judgement’s Strike: Finisher 14, Choose a number of creatures within 120 feet of you. As part of this special attack action, make one attack against each creature that you choose or an object within a 5 foot range of said creature, up to maximum to a number of targets equal to your current combo point total. Each creature that you hit with the attack takes the weapon’s damage type and any other relevant modifiers and damage bonuses, but replacing the base damage dice of the weapon with 8d8 damage. Regardless whether the attacks hit or not, at the end of your turn, every creature or object affected by this finisher takes 2d10 thunder damage, buildings and objects take double damage. If you so choose, you can target only one creature with this finisher, and if you do, double any damage done to it by this finisher.
Path of Iron
This path focuses on channeling raw offensive force to overwhelm an opponent. Practitioners are often bold and vigorous individuals who rely on their strength to see them through danger and believe that the best defense is a good offense.
- Claw Footed
At 3rd level, when you are in Panther stance, Wolf stance, or Stallion stance, you gain an additional +1 bonus to damage rolls. When you use the Mutilate flourish in one of those stances, the manuever adds +2 to the damage roll instead of +1.
- Heavy Strike
At 9th level, you may use an action to make a melee weapon attack against one target within your range. You may use maneuvers as normal with this weapon attack. Make this attack using the weapon’s normal modifiers for attack and damage bonuses but replace its base damage dice with 4d8. You gain 2 combo points instead of 1 for this attack.
- Critical Finishers
At 14th level, when you use a finisher in Panther stance, Wolf stance or Stallion stance, and you hit with the attack, you may expending a swig of your Estus Flask, to make that attack a critical hit, and treat the finisher as if you had 2 additional combo points. You are still required to have the minimum number of combo points to activate the finisher without including these combo points. If the attack was already a critical hit, you instead deal the maximum amount of damage (including the extra dice added by a critical hit).
- Crescent Moon Claw
At 17th level, you learn the very essence of the Iron Path in the form of a finisher. You must be in Panther Stance, Wolf Stance, or Stallion Stance in order to use this finisher. This maneuver does not benefit from the Critical Finishers feature. Unlike other maneuvers, you use your action to make this special maneuver, expending a swig of your Estus Flask. Once you use this finisher, you may not use it again until you finish a long rest.
Crescent Moon Claw: Finisher 12, your blade extends and swipes every enemy in a 20 foot x 20 foot square in front of you, originating from the left. Make an attack roll for each enemy in the area using the weapons normal modifiers for attack and damage rolls but its base damage dice are replaced with 8d10 and it deals radiant damage, the attack with this finisher allows a higher chance for a critical strike, lowering the threshold from 20 to 18. If a creature dies, their soul is instantly shattered across the ethereal and the astral plane, leaving them no way of returning back to life.
Path of Bronze
The path of bronze takes a path of generalization, using a wide variety of styles, stances, and techniques. They adapt to their situation, choosing the fighting style that best suits the circumstances.
- Broad Footed
At 3rd level, in addition to being able to change your stance at the beginning of your turn, you may also change it once during your turn. Doing so does not require your action or bonus action, and can be done at any time, including between attacks. Additionally, once per turn you may use any opener as if it were a flourish.
- Recovery Strike
At 9th level you may use your action to make a single melee weapon attack. If the attack hits you regain two uses of your Estus Flask and you recover a number of hit points equal to half the damage you dealt. You gain 2 combo points instead of 1 for this attack.
- Twinned Strike
At 14th level, when you hit with a melee weapon attack, you may expend 2 combo points to apply the effects of two different flourishes to this attack, or the effects of one opener and one flourish. You do not gain any combo points from this attack.
- Blade Flurry
At 17th level you learn the very essence of the Bronze Path in the form of a finisher. Unlike other maneuvers, you use your action to make this special maneuver, expending a swig of your Estus Flask. Once you use this finisher, you may not use it again until you finish a long rest.
Blade Flurry: Finisher 12, you make four attacks with this finisher. For each attack keep all relevant modifiers to the attack roll and damage bonus but replace the base damage of the weapon with 3d8. For the first attack you may add the effects of any opener. For the second and third attack you may add the effects of any flourish. For the fourth attack you may add the effects of any finisher, as if you had the minimum number of combo points required to use it.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the blademaster class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 in Dexterity or Strength.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the blademaster class, you gain the following proficiencies: light armor, medium armor, simple weapons, Battleaxe, Glaive, Greatsword, Halberd, Longsword, Rapier, Scimitar, and Shortsword