Blademaster, Stance and Combo (5e Class)

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Blademaster[edit]

Introduction[edit]

The man appears to dance through the battlefield, each strike leading into the next, climaxing in brilliant decapitations 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.

Blademasters are diligent artists with the blade, working years at mastering combinations of attacks and footwork accumulating in stances and strikes for all situations. Though not magically imbued themselves, the bond between master and blade can manifest itself in seemingly arcane effects. This bond allows blademasters to fight alongside the most potent spellcasters with equal prowess.

Creating a Blademaster[edit]

Why did they become a Blademaster? Why did he decide to travel? Do they fight for anyone? Why or why not? What happened to their master? 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 should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the folk hero or hermit background. Third, choose a longsword, scale mail, 5 javelins, and an explorer's pack.

Class Features

As a Blademaster you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Blademaster level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 1d10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Blademaster level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light and Medium armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) Scale mail or (b) leather armor
  • (a) a weapon you are proficient with lacking the light property or (b) two light weapons you are proficient in
  • (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10gp in funds.

Table: The Blademaster

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features
1st +2 Stance, Combo Points, Maneuvers
2nd +2 Fighting Style
3rd +2 Blade's Path
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Extra Attack
6th +3 Additional Maneuvers
7th +3 Advanced Stances
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 Style Feature
10th +4 Discipline and Flow
11th +4 Footwork Stances
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Master Maneuvers
14th +5 Style Feature
15th +5 Rapid Strike
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Style Feature
18th +6 Hybrid Stances
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Unlimited Combo

Stance[edit]

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 these three stances, 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.
  • Serpent Stance: When you make a melee weapon attack, you can increase your reach for that attack by 5 feet.

Combo Points[edit]

Starting at 1st level, you learn to fluidly connect your attacks. Each time you hit with a melee weapon, you gain one combo point. You may have multiple combo points at one time, up to a maximum of 3 + your Blademaster level. If you would gain a combo point while you are at the maximum number of combo points, nothing happens. When combat ends, you lose all gained combo points.

Maneuvers[edit]

Starting at 1st level, every time you make an attack, you may add the effects of a maneuver to the attack. You may not add more than one maneuver to a single attack. Each maneuver is categorized as an Opener, Flourish, or Finisher.

  • An opener you may only use when you have no combo points.
  • A flourish you may use anytime you have one 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 may cast one of each per turn.

If a maneuver would require a saving throw, the DC is: 8 + your proficiency modifier + your choice of Strength or Dexterity modifier.

You learn the following maneuvers:

  • Battojutsu (Opener): If you hit with this attack, you gain 2 combo points instead of 1.
  • Parry (Opener): Until the end of your next turn, when a creature you can see or hear misses an attack against you, you can use your reaction to make one melee attack against that creature.
  • Mutilate (Flourish): If you hit with this attack, you gain a +1 bonus to the damage roll.
  • Precision Strike (Finisher 3): When you make this attack, you gain a bonus to the attack roll equal to the number of combo points you have.
  • Rupture: (Finisher 3): If you hit with this attack, you gain a bonus to the damage roll equal to the number of combo points you have.

Fighting Style[edit]

Starting at 2nd level, you may choose one of the following Fighting Styles. You can't take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.

  • Dueling: When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
  • Great Weapon Fighting: When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage dice for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.
  • Two-Weapon Fighting: When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

Blade's Path[edit]

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 Mithral, 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[edit]

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.

Extra Attack[edit]

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Adept Maneuvers[edit]

At 6th level, you master the following maneuvers:

  • Riposte (Opener): When you make this attack, you gain advantage on saving throws until the start of your next turn.
  • Hamstring (Flourish): If you hit with this attack, the target’s speed is reduced by 10 feet.
  • Cleave (Flourish): When you make this attack you deal damage to an enemy adjacent to the target equal to the ability score modifier you add to damage rolls.
  • Kick (Flourish), If you hit with this attack, if the target of this attack was concentrating on a spell, the target rolls the saving throw to maintain concentration with a minimum DC of your maneuver saving throw instead of 10.
  • Chakra Puncture (Finisher 8): If you hit with this attack, target must also succeed on a constitution saving throw or else it is stunned until the end of your next turn

Advanced Stances[edit]

At 7th level, you master these more advanced stances:

  • Wolf Stance: You and 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 AC and a +1 bonus to damage rolls.
  • Crane Stance: You gain a +1 bonus to saving throws and a +1 bonus to attack rolls.

Discipline and Flow[edit]

At 10th level, you have become disciplined enough to adapt to the ebb and flow of battle. You do not loose combo points until 1 in-game minute has passed after you gained your last combo point.

Footwork Stances[edit]

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 double your speed.
  • Elephant Stance: While in this stance, you cannot be moved against your will.

Master Maneuvers[edit]

At 13th level, you learn the most advanced basic maneuvers for your combos:

  • Shunpo: Opener, teleport 10 feet in any direction before or after you make this attack.
  • Pommel Strike: Flourish, 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. Add 2 damage for each combo point you have over 10.

Rapid Strike[edit]

Starting at 15th level, you learn to trade accuracy for swift strikes. If you take the Attack action on your turn and have advantage on an attack roll against one of the targets, you can forgo the advantage for that roll to make an additional weapon attack against that target, as part of the same action. You can do so no more than once per turn.

Hybrid Stance[edit]

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.

Unlimited Combo[edit]

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[edit]

Heavy Footed

At 3rd level, you gain an additional +1 bonus AC 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 +4 bonus to AC and saving throws. You also gain 2 combo points.

End Strike

At 14th level, you have learned to plant yourself and strike with vigor. While in Crab stance, Hippo stance, or Elephant stance, you may use the Pommel Strike flourish as if it were a finisher with a 10 combo point minimum requirement. If Pommel Strike is used as a finisher in this way, instead it consuming all of your combo points, it only consumes 10.

Turtle Technique

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 regular maneuvers, you must take an action to use this finisher. Once you use this finisher, you may not use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

  • Turtle Technique: Finisher 16, you shift into a defensive stance, waiting for the right opportunity to strike. You use your Steel Scale Defense feature, but do not gain combo points from it. Any time until the feature ends, you may use your reaction to take the Attack action against a creature that misses an attack on you. When you do so, your Steel Scale Defense ends.

Path of Mithral[edit]

Swift Footed

At 3rd level, while in Serpent, Crane stance, or Hummingbird stance you have an additional +1 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 on every enemy within 5 feet of you. Do not add your ability score modifier to the damage rolls of these attacks. 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 2 combo points regardless of how many attacks you made.

Flash Step

At 14th level, while in Serpent 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, instead it consuming all of your combo points, it only consumes 6.

True-Silver Technique

At 17th level, you learn the very essence of the Mithral Path in the form of a finisher. You must be in Serpent stance, Crane Stance, or Hummingbird stance in order to use this finisher. Unlike regular maneuvers, you must take an action to use this finisher. Once you use this finisher, you may not use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

  • True-Silver Technique: Finisher 16, You gain temporary hit points equal to your current number of combo points. In addition, you don't provoke opportunity attacks and have resistance to all damage until the end of your next turn.

Path of Iron[edit]

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, you add an additional +1 to the attack and damage roll.

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 dice but its base damage dice are replaced with 4d8. You gain 2 combo points instead of 1 for this attack. Once you use this feature, you may not use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Critical Finishers

At 14th level, when you use a finisher in Panther stance, Wolf stance or Stallion stance, 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.

Crescent Claw Technique

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. Unlike regular maneuvers, you must take an action to use this finisher. Once you use this finisher, you may not use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

  • Crescent Claw Technique: Finisher 16, make one attack on a creature within range. If your attack hits, they suffer a distinct crescent-shaped wound. Until the creature restores a number of hit points equal to the damage you dealt it, all hits scored against the creature are automatically critical hits.

Multiclassing[edit]

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, Bladed Martial Weapons


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