Flowing Blade (5e Class)

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Flowing Blade Swordsman[edit]

A young woman approaches, and bows. She unsheathes her sword in a fluid and confident motion. A slice, and then silence. A blade being sheathed. With a gentle and careful slice of her sword, her enemy was felled. She whistles a tune, as she walks away, with a gentle pep in her step

Creating a Flowing Blade[edit]

How did your character come upon a teacher for this rare art? How do they plan to wield it? Are they chaotic in want, or tame in use? Depending on personality, the sword design can also change.

Quick Build

You can make an Flowing Blade quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be your highest ability score, followed by Dexterity or Constitution.

Class Features

As a Flowing Blade you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Flowing Blade level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Flowing Blade level after 1st


Armor: Light armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial bladed weapons
Tools: choose one instrument or kit or gaming set of your choice
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose three from Athletics, History, Acrobatics, Persuasion, Perception, Intimidation, Insight, Survival, Performance


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

  • A katana (flowing strike weapon of your design), a kimono of your design (travelers clothes), one explorer's pack, a long bow with a quiver of 20 arrows

Table: The Flowing Blade

Level Proficiency
Features Flowing Strike
1st +2 Blade Path, Flowing Strike 1d6
2nd +2 Speed Up 1d6
3rd +2 Blade Path Feature 2d6
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2d6
5th +3 Combat Trance, Extra Attack 3d6
6th +3 Blade Path Feature 3d6
7th +3 Song For The Road 4d6
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4d6
9th +4 Combat Trance improvement 5d6
10th +4 Blade Path Feature 5d6
11th +4 Magic Edge 6d6
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 6d6
13th +5 Enchantment 7d6
14th +5 Blade Path Feature 7d6
15th +5 Utmost Respect 8d6
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 8d6
17th +6 Blade Path Feature 9d6
18th +6 Supernova 9d6
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 10d6
20th +6 Blade Path Feature 10d6

Blade Path[edit]

At 1st level, you choose a path of the flowing blade and gain the equipment and proficiencies of that subclass. Choose between Iaido and Haidong Gumdo, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features starting 3rd level and again at 6th, 10th, 14th, 17th and 20th level.

Flowing Strike[edit]

The trademark technique of the flowing blade is the power to channel the blade's power to explode force from the wielder's soul, which you learn when you first take up this art. Your sword given by the blade path you chose has the power starting at 1st level to deal a flowing strike in addition to the mundane damage dealt by the blade type. This damage is force damage. The damage die of the flowing strike is shown on the Flowing Swordsman table, dealing 1d6 force damage from level 1, and increasing as shown.

This sword which channels your flowing strikes is bonded to you from when you receive it. It cannot be stolen from you and you can expend a bonus action to always find the exact location and surroundings of the weapon, regardless of planar shifts.

This strike manifests as wind bursting out from the blade as it slices through your enemies. You can use this feature twice per long rest. You gain additional uses at 6th, 11th, and 18th level.

Speed Up[edit]

Starting 2nd level, your footwork gets daintier to match up with your technique. Your movement speed is increased by 10 feet.

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.

Combat Trance[edit]

Starting 5th level, you can use a bonus action on your turn to enter a combat trance. This trance lasts until the start of your next turn, but you can extend it by continuing to use your bonus action. While in a combat trance, you focus your energy into knowing your surroundings and staying calm. While in this state you cannot be charmed or frightened, and you have truesight out to 30 feet. You gain advantage on one attack roll per turn while in your combat trance.

Extra Attack[edit]

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

Utmost Respect[edit]

Starting 7th level, if you take one hour to properly bury or lay to rest an enemy you vanquished, you regain one use of Flowing Strike.

Combat Trance Improvement[edit]

Starting 9th level, while in combat trance you gain the following additional benefits:

-Your weapon scores a critical hit on 19-20

-You gain +1 to AC

-You can choose to forgo the advantage granted to you by combat trance and instead gain an extra attack. However, you cannot use or have used Flowing Strike that turn if you choose this.

Magic Edge[edit]

Starting 11th level, your bond with your blade not only allows massive damage, but has minorly affected the weapon itself. Your weapon's damage now is considered magic for the sake of non-magic resistance, and it’s base damage dice are doubled (not your flowing strike dice).


Starting 13th level, your honed blade resonates with a magic energy as you have gained much experience through your battles. As it draws energy from your soul, it matures with you. The damage caused by your flowing strikes weapon can now be doubled at will, but if you choose to double it you are stunned for two rounds, and take 8d10 force damage.

Shout From The Soul[edit]

The free soul of the flowing blade channels into a powerful battle cry. Starting 15th level, pick one condition. You can remove a condition from one creature within 30 feet of you, provided the creature is not deafened, by using a bonus action. You cannot remove more than one condition with a single use of this ability.


Starting 18 level, after you have just used a flowing strike, you may choose to deal this damage to all other creatures within 15 feet of your target. However, you take this damage as well.


The flowing sword art may be rare, but those who have honed it before have developed it in many different ways that are diverse and suit many fight styles.


The flowing way of the sword has too often been tainted by needless madness and misuse of this great power. Practitioners of Iaido are capable of concentrating all the energies in their flowing blade into one stroke that destroys even a large boss enemy with ease.

Blade of Wind

Any blade of yours lacking the heavy property can be treated as if it has the finesse property

Iaijutsu Strike

Starting 3rd level, you chose the path of Iaido, which allows you concentrate your attacks with your flowing strikes much more intensely. When you successfully attack and use your flowing strike on a creature, you may expend your bonus action to quickly sheathe your weapon. The next turn, you may expend your action to draw your weapon and strike at a creature in a fast blur of a slash. This technique adds an extra damage die to your flowing strike and advantage on the attack roll.


The way of Iaido is based on meditation and preparation for the decisive moments of battle, honing one's mind to a sharp edge, and focusing on the right time to attack. Starting 6th level, you gain proficiency in Insight and Perception. If you already have these proficiencies, you can double your bonus.


You stand still. Yet when your opponent moves to strike, you vanish into barely an afterimage, leaving nothing. Starting 10th level, if you should be targeted by any perceived attack, mundane or magical, you may expend your reaction to make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 10+Enemy’s Attack modifier+Enemy’s proficiency bonus). Upon failure, you take the hit. Upon success, the attack does not affect or hit you and you may choose instead to move to a new location within 30 feet of you in a flash. You may use this feature the number of times equal your Dexterity modifier, regaining all use after you complete a long rest.

Dancing Leaves

Like the illusion of the shadows of many dancing leaves, you are very hard to pinpoint. Starting 14th level, no attacks on you have advantage so long as you are not incapacitated or stunned. You also add 2 to your Dexterity ability score. This can exceed 20


Your calm mind of tranquility can perceive the heavens and all around you, allowing you to act faster. Starting at 17th level, when in combat trance, the first two attacks per turn that target you suffer disadvantage.

True Slash

Your honed sweeping Iaijutsu strike is so fast and sharp even the explosion is delayed. Starting 20th level, you may expend one action to move towards one creature and make a single slash, appearing 10 feet again behind them and eliciting no attack of opportunity or reaction. If the creature was under 120 hit points, The creature's hit points reduce to 0 and the creature is eviscerated. All creatures within 5 feet of the creature take 5d6 force damage from the explosion.

Haidong Gumdo[edit]

Practitioners of the Haidong Gumdo method spend years of their life training with their flowing blade, learning beautiful and intricate patterns with their swords, and repeating them to perfection. Haidong Gumdo masters are fully in touch with their body and their mind, being totally aware of every movement they make.

Kibon Dongjak

Starting 3rd level, you chose the Haidong Gumdo path, a path focusing on mastery of patterns and repeated movements. The basic stances and cuts are called Kibon Dongjak. At 3rd level, you learn the following stances and cuts. You may only be in one stance at a time, and you may only benefit from one cut per turn. You choose a stance at the beginning of combat, and can choose to change your stance after you finish all the attacks in your attack action.


  • Choch’ôn-se (Sky Stance) - When in sky stance, you raise your blade above your head, preparing to defend yourself from oncoming attacks. You can add +2 to your AC while in this stance.
  • Sodo-se (Low Stance) - When in low stance, you lower your blade and your body towards the ground, preparing to lunge further distances. Your range is increased by 5 ft while in this stance.
  • Taedo-se (Great Stance) - When in great stance, you keep your blade in front of you, preparing to make extra powerful attacks. You can add 1d8 damage to one attack per turn.


  • Tae san baegi (Mountain Cut) - When you make a mountain cut, you swing your blade in a curve resembling a mountain, damaging their equipment or natural armor and reducing their protection. The enemy takes -2 to their AC until the end of your next turn. This increases to -3 at level 9, -4 at level 14, and -5 at level 20.
  • Yu song baegi (Shooting Star Cut) - When you make a shooting star cut, you use the tip of your blade to slice along the entirety of your enemies body, creating a deep and large slice wound. The enemy takes 1d4 bleed damage each round on its turn for the next three rounds. This increases to 1d6 at level 9, 1d8 at level 14, and 1d10 at level 20.
  • Kwekôm baegi (Maximum Speed Cut) - When you make a maximum speed cut, you must extend 10 ft of movement to focus on a better attack. You may add +2 to your attack and damage roll. This increases to +3 at level 9, +4 at level 14, and +5 at level 20.


The way of Haidong Gumbo is based on practice and development of battle maneuvers, perfected movements, and reinforced attacks. Starting 6th level, you gain proficiency in Acrobatics and Athletics. If you already have these proficiencies, you can double your bonus.

Sword Defense

You’ve become proficient in quickly maneuvering your sword to defend yourself. Starting 10th level, You gain an additional reaction per turn. You can also use your reaction when an attack is made against you to add +5 to your AC until the end of your next turn. However, you cannot do this more than once per turn.

Intimidating Blow

You are a fearsome and dangerous blade master, whose practice and skill inspire terror. Starting 14th level, if you are in your combat trance, you can make an intimidation check with advantage against a creature who can see you (DC 10+Proficiency Bonus+Choose Strength or Dexterity). The creature must make a wisdom save. If they succeed, nothing happens. If they fail, the next attack you hit them with is automatically a critical hit and they gain the frightened condition unless immune. This ability is only consumed on a failed save, and can be regained after a long rest.

Maneuver Mastery

You have become very practiced with your cuts and stances. Starting at 17th level, any attack you use a cut on has advantage, and your stance benefits also apply to allies within 5ft of you.

Perfect Cuts

You have completely perfected your movements and stances. Starting 20th level, you now have no limit on the amounts of cuts you can use per turn, and you can use two different cuts per attack. Your stances also affect your enemies within 5ft of you in the opposite way, giving them the following detrimental effects:

  • Sky Stance - Subtract 2 from their AC
  • Low Stance - Decrease their range by 5 (their range can’t be less than 5 ft)
  • Great Stance - Subtract 1d8 from any damage rolls they make


You cannot multiclass into this class.

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