Swordmage, 2nd Variant (3.5e Class)

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A Swordmage is a being who is at one with the energies that flow through him and the very world around him. This mystical, ancient energy is known as the Arcana. A Swordmage taps into this energy, accepting it as a very part of his being and using it to aid in him battle. The might of his mind combined with the infinite power of the Arcana makes the Swordmage a masterful combatant and counts him among the highest in both the order of Fighters and of Sorcerers everywhere. Holding honor above all else, a Swordmage trains vigorously to master the power that he has earned.

Making a Swordmage[edit]

A Swordmage is a quick, forceful fighter who uses his mind instead of his strength to fight. His very being dictates how effective of a fighter he really is. Being neither a spellcaster or typical Fighter, nor that of a Rogue, a Swordmage is truly a unique character amongst the ranks of any adventuring group.

Abilities: Charisma is the most important ability for Swordmages; their force of personality dictates the efficacy and power of their Incantations. Wisdom is also important for a Swordmage because it determines how many bonus Incantations they get per day.

Races: A member of almost any race can become a Swordmage. All they need to do is be in-tuned with the magic energies that flow around them and allow the knowledge and power of the Arcana to flow through them.

Allignment: Any, though, no matter what alignment they are, a Swordmage always hold honor above all else in battle.

Starting Gold: 4d4 x10 gp (100 gp).

Table: The Swordmage

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Incantations per Day
Fort Ref Will 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Arcana's Arsenal 2
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Masterful Cant 3
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Fighters Embrace 3 2
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Reaching Arcana, Sharp Senses 3 3
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Natural Teleporter, Teleporter Defense 4 3 2
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Protective Personality 4 3 3
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Force of the Arcana 1/day 4 4 3 2
8th +6/+1 +2 +2 +6 Dual-Wielding Cant 4 4 3 3
9th +6/+1 +3 +3 +6 Varying Cants 4 4 4 3 2
10th +7/+2 +3 +3 +7 Force of the Arcana 2/day, Arcanized Weaponry 4 4 4 3 3
11th +8/+3 +3 +3 +7 Elemental Enchantments 5 4 4 4 3 2
12th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Allied Incantations 5 4 4 4 3 3
13th +9/+4 +4 +4 +8 Force of the Arcana 3/day, Mithril Weapons 5 5 4 4 4 3 2
14th +10/+5 +4 +4 +9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3
15th +11/+5/+1 +5 +5 +9 Reversed Incantations 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 2
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Force of the Arcana 4/day 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 3
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Adamantine Weapons 6 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 2
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 6 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Force of the Arcana 5/day 6 6 5 5 5 4 4 4 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Weapons of the True Arcana 6 6 6 5 5 5 4 4 4

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The class skills (and key ability modifier for each) of the Swordmage are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Swordmages are proficient with all simple and martial melee weapons. They may also use any melee weapon they are proficient with as a thrown weapon if that weapon can normally be thrown. They are proficient with light armor, but not shields.

Incantations (Su): Incantations are special, extremely short-lived abilities used as weapons by the Swordmage. Creating an Incantation is a standard action. Incantations are supernatural abilities, which means they ignore spell resistance, cannot be dispelled or countered, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity nor require concentration checks. A Swordmage may find himself in various situations where their surroundings and enemies may vary, so their Incantations vary, as well. The Swordmage has a wide variety of Incantations, much like any spellcaster, but many of their Incantations are only compatible with certain weapon types or specific weapons, whereas others don't require a weapon at all. Incantations of prefaced by a specific limiter. These limiters vary depending on the Incantation.

The DC of saving throws for Incantations is equal to 10 + the Incantation's level + the Swordmage's Charisma modifier. The Swordmage also has an Arcane Caster Level equal to his class level, which may be used by Incantations to determine various effects.

Swordmages pull their Incantations specifically from the Swordmage Incantation list. Like a Cleric, a Swordmage knows all of the Incantations on his list, and may cast them spontaneously. Swordmages may also create weapons they are proficient with using 0th Level Incantations, or Cantrips. A Swordmage is not limited in the number of times he may use a Cantrip in a day. These Cantrips create normal versions of weapons the Swordmage is proficient with, but they are not considered magical. These weapons may be blocked, parried, deflected, and sundered as if they were normal weapons, so they do not grant bonuses to overcoming damage reduction or AC bonuses. Creating a weapon using a Cantrip is considered a free action, but the Swordmage may only create one weapon per iteration available to them.

Any weapons a Swordmage uses with their Incantations causes the them to float next to them (still occupying the same space as the Swordmage), rather than the Swordmage actually wielding them. This allows for the Swordmage to use weapons without incurring any penalties that would normally apply in those circumstances.

Incantations last only long enough for one round of attacks, so the Swordmage's Incantations last long enough for a full round attack action to be completed. Incantations follow a specific "Limiter". These limiters are categorized by either a specific weapon, type of weapon, self, or any (any weapon). Any Incantation that is labeled with the "Self" limiter uses up the Swordmage's entire turn. A Swordmage cannot use any Incantations labeled with the "Self" limiter in the same turn that he uses an Incantation to cant his weapon.

"Self" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used on the Swordmage.
"Any" Limiter: This Incantation may be used with any weapon or weapon type.
"Slashing" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used with weapons that have the "slashing" damage type.
"Bludgeoning" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used with weapons that have the "bludgeoning" damage type.
"Piercing" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used with weapons that have the "piercing" damage type.
"Universal Sword" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used with Greatswords, Bastard Swords, Longswords, Short Swords, Scimitars, Rapiers, or any other Universal Sword.
"Universal Axe" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used with Greataxes, Battleaxes, Dwarven Waraxes, Handaxes, or any other Universal Axe.
"Spear, Trident, Lance" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used with Spears, Tridents, and Lances.
"Reach" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used with weapons that have the "reach" special property label.
"(Specific Weapon)" Limiter: This Incantation may only be used with whatever weapon it specifies.
"None" Limiter: This Incantation uses no weapon nor is cast on the Swordmage, but is instead the Arcana, itself, causing an effect.

Arcana's Arsenal (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a Swordmage may choose to use his Charisma modifier instead of his Strength or Dexterity modifiers on all attack and damage rolls.

Masterful Cant (Su): Starting at 2nd level, the Swordmage has learned to channel the Arcana of his weapons into a more powerful form. Any weapons he creates now acts as Masterwork versions of the same weapons. Any benefits granted from being a Masterwork weapon are added to his attacks and Incantation.

Arcana's Embrace (Su): Starting at 3rd level, The Swordmage gains an aura reflecting his alignment (Aura of Good if Good, Aura of Evil if Evil, Aura of Law if Lawful, Aura of Chaos if Chaotic, or a combination of two if the Swordmage's alignment is a combination of two).

Reaching Arcana (Su): Starting at 4th level, the Swordmage may create a weapon at a distance. This weapon may be created no more than 10ft. away from him. The Swordmage may cant this weapon normally, even at a range.

Sharp Senses (Ex): Also starting at 4th level, the Swordmage refines his senses to the point of near perfection and gains a +2 competence bonus to all Listen, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks. The Swordmage continues to heighten his senses through his enhancement and at levels 10, 15, 20 the bonus is increased by an additional +2 each time.

Natural Teleporter (Su): Starting at 5th level, you have another movement type, Teleportation with the same distance as your normal movement speed. With teleportation, you can travel to any point that you can see within your movement range without provoking opportunity attacks. You may only teleport once per turn and doing so is considered a swift action. You may use this ability before or after moving, but not after taking a standard action. You may not use this ability if you cannot take your normal move action or are prone.

Teleporter Defense (Su): Also starting at 5th level, as an immediate action, you may teleport to an open adjacent area next to an ally you can see who is hit by an enemy and grant them a +2 deflection bonus to their AC until your next turn. This bonus disappears at the start of your turn. You may only use this ability once per round and may not use it if you cannot use your Natural Teleporter ability.

Protective Personality (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a Swordmage's constant use of Incantations has created a residual effect on him, and he can effortlessly surround himself in swirls of arcana to protect himself. He gains a Dodge bonus to AC equal to his Charisma modifier.

Force of the Arcana (Ex): Starting at 7th level, the Swordmage may use his power of the Arcana to knock foes back away from him. Everyone within 5ft. of the Swordmage is pushed back 5ft. If the area where a person is to be knocked back is occupied, they are unaffected by this ability. The Swordmage begins being able to use this ability once per day plus their Wisdom modifier. This is increased by one every three levels and is considered a swift action.

Dual-Wielding Cant (Su): Starting at 8th level, the Swordmage can create a duplicate of a weapon created using a Cantrip. The Swordmage may cant each weapon differently per round of attacks. This is counted as a free action and may only be used once per round.

Varying Cants (Su): Starting at 9th level, the Swordmage can create two different weapons when using his Dual-Wielding Cant ability. The Swordmage may cant each weapon differently per iteration. This is also counted as a free action and may only be used once per iteration.

Arcanized Weaponry (Su): Starting at 10th level, a Swordmage may use an Incantation on a weapon that they already possess. Doing this gives the canted weapon a +1 bonus (but does not make it masterwork). The canted weapon's enhancement bonus cannot exceed +5, nor can its total equivalent enhancement bonus exceed +10. This effect lasts until the end of your turn, to which it then returns to your hand. Ammunition may never be used for Arcanized Weaponry.

Elemental Enchantments (Su): Starting at 11th level, the Swordmage may add an energy type with the descriptor of fire, electricity, cold, acid, or sonic to their canted weapon. In addition to dealing normal damage, this adds an additional 2d6 points of damage for that specific energy type. This ability is considered a free action and may only be used once per turn. If the Swordmage creates weapons using their Dual-Wielded Cant ability, this effect applies to both weapons and with the same energy type.

Allied Incantations (Su): Starting at 12th level, the Swordmage may choose to cant an ally's weapon. This version of an Incantation has the same effects as if it were used on the Swordmage's own weapon, except that his ally's weapon does not leave their hand. The Incantation lasts until the end of the owner of the weapon's turn, after which is dissipates from the weapon as if it were the Swordmage's own weapon. The ally whose weapon is canted may attack with it normally and adds whatever benefits the Incantations grants to their attack. This ability may only be used with Incantations that affect weapons and not the Swordmage, himself.

Mithril Weapons (Su): Starting at 13th level, the Swordmage has learned to channel the Arcana of his weapons into an even greater form. Any weapons he creates now acts as Mithril versions of the same weapons. Any benefits granted from being a Mithril weapon are added to his attacks and Incantation. This ability may be used with Arcanized Weaponry, but the weapon he uses this ability on returns to its normal state after it has been used. The effect on a weapon the Swordmage possesses using this ability will only last until the end of the Swordmage's turn.

Reversed Incantations (Su): Starting at 15th level, the Swordmage begins to feel the power of his Arcana surround the weapons of his enemies. He may choose to use his Incantations on his enemy's weapons with a revered effect. The Incantations he may use, however, are very limited. Only Incantations with the limiter of "Any", "Slashing", "Piercing", and "Bludgeoning" may be used in this manner and must match the weapon type of the enemy's weapon. Using an Incantation this way incurs different penalties depending on the limiter of the Incantation.

"Any" Limiter: The weapon becomes weakened and the attacker takes a -2 plus an additional -1 x the Incantation's level to all attack and damage rolls with that weapon.
"Slashing" Limiter: The weapon becomes brittle and cracked. If the weapon's wielder hits a target while the weapon is canted, the weapon breaks after damage is dealt.
"Piercing" Limiter: The weapon loses its edge, causing the wielder's accuracy with it to become faulty. Any attacks made with the weapon while it is canted causes the wielder to have a 20% miss chance.
"Bludgeoning" Limiter: The weapon becomes difficult to wield and causes its wielder to attack slower with it. Any attacks made with the weapon while canted provokes attack of opportunity.

You may only use Incantations in this manner on normal or Masterwork weapons. Any enchanted weapons are immune to your Incantations. Incantations used in this manner only last until the end of the canted weapon's wielder's turn. The wielder of a canted weapon canted in this manner is aware of the weapon's enchantment and may choose not to attack.

Adamantine Weapons (Su): Starting at 17th level, the Swordmage has learned to channel the Arcana of his weapons into the most powerful form it can take. Any weapons he creates now acts as Adamantine versions of the same weapons. Any benefits granted from being an Adamantine weapon are added to his attacks and Incantation. This ability may be used with Arcanized Weaponry, but the weapon he uses this ability on returns to its normal state after it has been used. The effect on a weapon the Swordmage possesses using this ability will only last until the end of the Swordmage's turn.

Weapons of the True Arcana (Su): Starting at 20th level, the Swordmage has unlocked the power of the True Arcana. The Swordmage can spend three turns to focus on this power to create seven copies of a specific weapon. If the Swordmage takes damage, suffers ill effects, or takes another action, his focus is broken and he is stunned for one turn. If the Swordmage is successful in his focus, the weapons spawn around him. The Swordmage may then cant each of the weapons on the same turn, either with similar Incantations or different ones, and attack with each of them on that turn. The Swordmage may choose not to cant one or more of the weapons, in which case they just remain Adamantine versions. The targets do not have to be the same and all of the weapons can attack the same target. After using this ability, the Swordmage must rest, being unable to take any actions for one round.

Epic Swordmage[edit]

Table: The Epic Swordmage

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
22nd Force of the Arcana 6/day
25th Force of the Arcana 7/day
28th Force of the Arcana 8/day

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Human Swordmage Starting Package[edit]

Sheena, Female Human, Level 1 Swordmage


  • Strength: 11 (0)
  • Dexterity: 14 (+2)
  • Constitution: 13 (+1)
  • Intelligence: 15 (+2)
  • Wisdom: 16 (+3)
  • Charisma: 18 (+4)
  • HP: 9

Weapons: Longsword.

Skill Selection: Level 1 Skill Points: (4 + Int modifier x 4) (1st level) + 4 (Human bonus skill points).

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Gather Information 4 Cha
Knowledge (Arcana) 4 Int
Knowledge (Local) 4 Int
Listen 4 Wis
Sense Motive 4 Wis
Spot 4 Wis

Feat: Glamorous.

Bonus Feats: Weapon Focus (Longsword).

Gear: Leather Armor, Bedroll, Flint and Steel, Mess Kit, Cooking Pot, Waterskin, Firewood (Per Day)x3, Meal (Common)x9.

Gold: 80 gp. (Starting Gold: 4d4 x10 gp).

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Swordmage[edit]

When playing as a Swordmage, it is crucial to remember to remember where your power came from and to give thanks for it. Such is an honorable feat learned at some point by all Swordmages. Mystra, the great governor of magic, is responsible for the ancient, mystical energy known as the Arcana--the energy in which your power comes from. As a Swordmage, you fight with honor, not deceit or trickery. Whether you're good or evil, lawful or chaotic, honor is still something embedded upon you. Without honor, then having a power as great as your own has no real meaning. In addition, it is crucial to remember that your weapon is only an extension of your mind. Without your mind, your weapon is useless.

When fighting as a Swordmage, it is crucial to remember how short your abilities are. You have no magical defenses, no proficiencies in heavy defenses, no abilities to ward off attacks, no masterful reflexes to dodge blows, and no threats that would hesitate your opponent from striking at you. It's best for you to stay away from direct confrontation for too long and make use of your crowd-controlling abilities to stay in the fray longer. You only get one shot each round--make it worth your while.

Swordmages in the World[edit]

"Even the smallest of creatures are imbued with the power of the Arcana. Once you learn how to grasp it, your mind becomes as deadly as your blade." --Lant, Bladesprite Swordmage

Swordmages can fit in just about anywhere. Whether it be using their abilities on the fields of battle with their fellow knights, assassinating a leader in their own shadows, or teaching others to hone their abilities and use their knowledge and skills for peace, Swordmages have always had a knack for influencing whatever environment they find themselves in.

Daily Life: Typically the daily life of a Swordmage, aside from whatever responsibilities he or she has in society, consists of spending the time necessary to focus his or her mind on the mind on the special, ancient energies they refer to as Arcana. Afterwards, they spend a portion of the day honing their abilities and praying to their patron, Mystra, thanking her for the privilege to use their abilities. Of course, not all Swordmages worship Mystra. Some prefer to worships one who is more closer to their beliefs. In any case, all Swordmages do recognize that Mystra is who they have to thank for their abilities, as she, being the governor of all magic, made it possible for the abilities of the Swordmage to exist.

Notables: Swordmages, while being as big of an influence as they are, have never really done much to gain notability.

Organizations: Most of the time, Swordmages tend to act alone or in small groups. If the need arises, they will work with larger groups to achieve a common goal. Usually, though, in any group you may find, only one Swordmage will be amongst their ranks. For whatever reason, Swordmages prefer to stay away from others of their kind. Perhaps it is because they have the power to manipulate the Arcana much as they do that brings them fear? Perhaps they fear that a more powerful Swordmage could take away their abilities?

NPC Reactions: Usually NPCs treat player Swordmages indifferently, but their reactions can vary. While they may take note and comment on the unique abilities Swordmages have, it does not come as much of a shock to most people, given what other classes there are in existence. Usually what defines how an NPC treats a player Swordmage is by what the player's character does outside of their class.

Swordmages in the Game[edit]

Swordmages tend to be quick, condition-based combatants. Since they have no abilities that do massive out-right damage, much as a normal spellcaster would (thank you, Fireball), they rely on enhancing their attacks with various effects, be it being able to attack various enemies at one time, to weakening their enemies, to applying crowd-control effects, such as knocking enemies prone, stunning them, or blinding or deafening them. In addition, they have strong adaptability within combat, having many different Incantations that allow them to both defend themselves and defeat their opponents on almost any battlefield. The way their Incantations work, however, usually prevents any Swordmages from being able to specialize in any one weapon, or even one weapon-type for that matter. In the right hands, however, this does not present an issue to Swordmages, as most Fighters would be more than glad to do the kind of damage a Swordmage could with any weapon. With their low proficiencies with armor and no proficiencies with shields, however, Swordmages are very vulnerable to attack. While they have some Incantations that can temporarily increase their defenses, these buffs are just that--temporary. Most of them only last one turn and are typically used more for a quick escape than anything else. Because of this, Swordmages do not really make good tanks. Instead, they can be looked upon more similarly to the Rogue in that regard. With this limitation, and the fact that they can't heal anyone in any manner whatsoever, save for one Incantation that they don't get until a much later level, which only effects themselves, they are typically more used amongst groups for damage purposes, rather than tank, healer, or support purposes. Their natural ability to teleport, along with the adaptability of their weapons and other abilities makes them a formidable foe on any battlefield, allowing them to move quickly in and out of danger, dealing damage while still keeping themselves in a safe environment behind the one(s) who will be taking the most hits and letting the others do their things. Swordmages, much like Rogues, are also good as making scouts. Even though they can't be as stealthy as most Rogues, their ability to teleport in and out of an area quickly gives a bit of trouble to anyone who spots them and attempts to hunt them down. This allows the Battlemage to infiltrate an area, mock his enemies, and get out before any trouble manages to get to him. In any case, because of the adaptability of a Swordmage, a damage role, crowd-controlling role, or information-gatherer role usually suffices for their liking.

Adaptation: Take a look at what you see and make changes as you think would benefit the class. (Make those changes on a separate variant page, of course.)

Sample Encounter: It's a bit hard to make a specific scenario without actually knowing a bit more information about what was going on to begin with. Heh heh.

EL : Et al.

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