Swordsman (5e Class)
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- 1 Swordsman
- 1.1 The Steely Limb
- 1.2 Dedicated Students
- 1.3 Creating a Swordsman
- 1.4 Class Features
- 1.4.1 Table: The Swordsman
- 1.4.2 Defensive Guard
- 1.4.3 Fighting Style
- 1.4.4 Drawing Technique
- 1.4.5 Sword Mastery
- 1.4.6 Combat Awareness
- 1.4.7 Swordplay
- 1.4.8 Swordsman Method
- 1.4.9 Ability Score Improvement
- 1.4.10 Extra Attack
- 1.4.11 Deep Wound
- 1.4.12 Evasion
- 1.4.13 Weak Spots
- 1.4.14 Fighting Surge
- 1.4.15 Second Chance
- 1.4.16 Unshakable Resolve
- 1.4.17 Disembowelment
- 1.5 Swordsman Path
- 1.6 Swordplay Techniques
- 1.7 Multiclassing
The rain fall slowly from the sky, muddying the ground beneath the warrior. An elf with a calm look on its eyes, long hairs dripping with water, gaze at the massive minotaur, and wait patiently with its hand on the handle of its sword. When the minotaur charges towards him, a quick sidestep and a cut behind its knee drops the humongous opponent to his knees.
Riding a horse, galloping trough the grassy fields, a human rider unsheathe its scimitar and dodges the warhammer strike of its orc opponent, before slicing his throat with a precise strike.
Careful and precise movements define the fighting style of a swordsman. They are diligent adepts of the training with melee weapons, spending their entire lives perfecting their techniques and becoming more refined and dangerous warriors. Swordsman are famous for being great murderers and duelists, trusting on their reflexes and honed instincts to thrive on battles.
The Steely Limb
The weapon of a swordsman is more than just a tool. Through consistent training and dedication, the sword becomes part of the wielders body, an extension of the swordsman own arm. Mastering the art of sword requires the understanding of the weapon as an expression of the inner self of the warrior in the world, and only those with discipline and respect for the art can reach the perfect understanding of its use. Swordsman are focused and determined, cold and inexpressive opponents in combat, frightening grim reapers with their weapon of choice in hand. Trained for duels, swordsman are cautious and observant, aware that the line that separates life and death on a fight is thinner than the edge of a blade.
The swordsman dangerous path makes them hungry for knowledge about new techniques and for combat improve their abilities, which is often the reason they become adventurers. Swordsman will often enter in combat just to test themselves, which make them feared and respected by enemies, but also annoyingly reckless. They are quick to make themselves noticed when there's the opportunity for fame by battling a powerful opponent.
Their combat prowess is valued, making swordsman excellent bodyguards, bounty hunters and a great fit for violent jobs. There's always enough blood to satiate a swords thirsty and fill pockets with gold.
Creating a Swordsman
When creating your swordsman, consider what type of swords or melee weapons fit the history and personality of your character. Light blades, like long knifes and scimitars can be indicative of a subtle and refined warrior, maybe a noble, or of someone who compensates the lack of brute strength with speed and grace. Longer and heavier blades can be indicative of a strong and brutish warrior, or maybe just a practical swordsman, who perfected its combat more by the constant use of the weapon than for dedicated training. A balanced blade, like the traditional longswords, can indicate a background as a knight or other military profession.
What motivated you to become a swordsman? Did you just enjoy the use of swords by the art itself? You have lived a violent life and needed to perfect the art for self defense? Maybe you have a family tradition or a master, and want to maintain the tradition of your style of sword fighting, as a martial artist? Maybe you perfected your ability with the sword to get revenge?
- Quick Build
As a Swordsman you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) two martial weapons or (b) a martial weapon and a shield or (c) chain mail
- leather armor, longbow, and 20 arrows
- two simple weapons
- (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10 gp in funds.
|1st||+2||Defensive Guard, Fighting Style|
|2nd||+2||Swordplay, Sword Mastery, Combat Awareness|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement|
|7th||+3||Evasion, Swordsman Method|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement|
|17th||+6||Sword Art Feature, Precise Strike|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement|
While keeping your sword in your hand, you become able to parry almost any attack. When you are wielding a melee weapon you are proficient with and not wielding a shield, you can use your bonus action to assume a defensive guard.
When you do so, your AC equals 10 + twice your proficiency bonus until the start of your next turn.
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.
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
- Great Weapon Fighting
When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die 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.
While you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand, and nothing in the other hand, if you make a weapon attack and exceed the target's AC by 5 or more, you deal an additional die of weapon damage. You can only use this ability once in each round.
You can add your proficiency bonus to your initiative rolls. Additionally, you can draw or stow up to two melee weapons when you roll initiative and whenever you take an action on your turn.
At 2nd level, you can perform devastating attacks with your sword. Your attacks while wielding melee weapons with one hand score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
Starting at 9th level, your melee weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 18 to 20, and at 17th your attacks with melee weapons score a critical hit on a roll of 17 to 20.
Starting at 2nd level, you have advantage on Wisdom checks made to perceive the intentions or detect the position of enemies. In addition, you have advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects targeting you that you can see.
At 2nd level, you learn swordplay techniques that are fueled by special dice called technique dice.
Preparing a Technique. To prepare your techniques, you must spend some moments each day practicing movements with your weapon and visualizing combats. During a long rest, you must spend at least 10 minutes for each technique you want to prepare, and you can have a total of techniques prepared equal to your proficiency bonus (rounded down). This training is considered light activity.
Technique Dice. You have four technique dice, which are d8s. You gain additional technique dice, and your technique dice change as you gain levels, gaining one additional die at 10th (and all become d10s) and one at 18th levels (all become d12s). You regain all expended technique dice when you take a long rest.
Using Technique Dice. Once on each of your turns, you can expend a technique die to perform a Technique of your choice. Your technique options are detailed at the end of the class description.
Saving Throws. Some of your technique require your target to make a saving throw to resist the technique’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:
Swordplay save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice)
When you reach 3rd level, you choose a method of wielding the sword, shaping your fighting style. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 10th, and 14th level.
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.
Starting at 6th level, whenever you score a critical hit on a creature using a melee weapon, the target is unable to move and have disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks and saving throws until the end of your next turn.
Beginning at 7th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or an ice storm spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
At 11th level, when you take the Attack action on your turn, you can add your proficiency bonus to the damage rolls of your attacks with melee weapons.
Starting at 13th level, you gain the ability to replenish your vigor in battle when performing perfect strikes. Whenever you score a critical hit, you regain one expended technique die.
At 15th level, you can use your will to keep fighting through pain and even lethal wounds. When you would be reduced to 0 hit points, you can use your reaction and expend one technique die to avoid being incapacitated and instead be reduced to a number of hit points equal to the number rolled on the die.
Once you use this ability, you must finish a short or long rest before using it again.
When you reach the 18th level, your mind becomes sharp as your blade. You have advantage on Wisdom checks and saving throws.
At 20th level, you can shatter or remove the limbs of your opponents with precise strikes. When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon, you deal 4d6 additional damage and the creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against your swordplay save DC or you lop off one of the target’s limbs, with the Effect of such loss determined by the GM. If the creature has no limb to sever, you lop off a portion of its body instead.
On a roll of 20 on the d20, you deal 6d6 additional damage and a failed saving throw removes the head of the creature (if it has one).
Once you use this ability, you must finish a short or long rest before using it again.
Each swordsman walk a particular path, developing their techniques on a specific direction, following a method. The chosen method inform a swordsman fighting style.
Blade dancers are a sight on the battlefield, moving their blades with extreme quickness, making multiple attacks in what appear to be a single movement.
- Spinning Blade
Starting at 3rd level, you can impress and intimidate the crowd with your sword. You can add your Dexterity modifier to all your Charisma (Performance) and (Intimidation) checks when wielding your sword.
- Thousand Cuts
At 3rd level, when you take the Attack action on your turn to attack with a melee weapon without the heavy or two-handed property, you can use your bonus action to make two additional attacks with a melee weapon with disadvantage. These additional attacks always have disadvantage, regardless of circumstance.
The number of bonus attacks you can make with disadvantage increases as you gain levels in this class. At 10th level, you can make 3 additional attacks and at 14th level you can make 4 additional attacks.
- Careful Step
Starting at 7th level, you have mastered the art of attacking and defending with your weapon in one fluid movement. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can take the Disengage action as a bonus action.
- Wrist Movement
At 10th level, you can correct the trajectory of your attacks, transforming a failure in a success. When you make a attack with a melee weapon that lacks the heavy or two-handed property on your turn, you can use your bonus action to reroll a missed attack. This re-roll can be against the same target or against another one within reach.
Once you use this ability, you must complete a short or long rest before using it again.
- Counter Strike
At 14th level, when you take damage from a creature within reach, you can use your reaction to make a attack with a melee weapon targeting that creature.
The executioner path focus in deciding combats with just one perfect cut. Followers of the precise strike method are analytic fighters, only moving when the perfect moment arrives. These powerful slices hit weak spots, pressure points and vital targets on the opponents body, resolving the conflict with deadly timing.
- Careful Strike
Starting at 3rd level, as a bonus action on your turn, you can take the wait for the right moment to make a perfect strike against a chosen creature. When you do this, if the target moves to a space within reach or makes an attack against you, you can make an opportunity attack as a reaction.
- Reading Intentions
At 3rd level, you can read your opponent's intentions. You gain proficiency in in the Insight skill, if you did not have it already, and you can add twice your proficiency modifier to Wisdom (Insight) checks you make during combat.
In addition, you can use your bonus action to make Wisdom (Insight) checks on your turn.
- Environmental Awareness
By 7th level, you’ve learned to meditate, focusing your attentino to your surroundings. You need to spend one minute meditating. While you are still within 60 feet of the place you have meditated, you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing and related to notice changes in the environment.
- Cutting Technique
At 10th level, you know the right angles to cut even trough iron. As an action, you can make an attack with a melee weapon targeting an object. You have advantage on this attack and it is a automatic critical on a hit.
- Perfect Strike
Starting at 14th level, you have trained your cutting technique against objects, and can now finally use it against living creatures. You can choose to use your bonus action an take the Attack action to perform a single attack. This attack is made with advantage and deals critical damage on a hit.
- Huntsman Training
When you choose this path at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in Stealth, Survival and Deception. You can apply double of your proficiency bonus to any check you make that uses one of these skills.
- Quick Blade
At 3rd level, whenever you take the Dash or Hide action on your turn, you can make a single attack with a melee weapon as a bonus action.
At 7th level, you can use your bonus action to make a contested Dexterity (Stealth) check with advantage. In addition, if you spend 1 hour gathering information about a creature, you gain advantage on all Wisdom (Survival) and Intelligence checks to track this creature.
- Technical Killer
At 10th level, you can use up to two swordplay techniques at the same turn.
- Murdering Strike
Starting at 14th level, whenever you hit a creature using a melee weapon, you can spend one technique die and add the result to the damage.
The soldier's skill was forged in the heat of battle. Members of organized troops, from arms-man from the realm or a member of mercenary troops, the soldier is an adept of tactical combat.
- Coordinated Attack
At 3rd level, whenever you make a melee attack against a creature that has been attacked since the end of your last turn, you gain advantage on your attack.
- Bonus Proficiencies
At 3rd level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor and shields.
- Take Cover
At 7th level, you can rerrol a saving throw to avoid a spell from the evocation school and non-magical area effects.
- Officer Rank
At 10th level, you have climbed the military hierarchy. You can spend a technique die and add to the result of any Charisma check you make against an humanoid.
- Shield Wall
At 14th level, whenever you are within 5 feet of an ally, you can grant half cover to him.
In addition, if both you and your ally are wielding a shield, both gain the benefits of a three-quarters cover.
Big and strong warriors, brutes overcome their enemies in combat by the sheer amount of strength they have. You are a behemoth in the battlefield, swinging large blades in battle and steamrolling any creature that dares to oppose you.
Only characters with a Strength score of 15 or higher can choose the brute path. Your DM can lift this restriction to better suit the campaign. The restriction reflects the theme of this class as a warrior who uses brute strength instead of refined skill in combat, but it might not apply to your DM's setting.
- Heavy Swordsman
At 3rd level, you ignore the heavy property of weapons if you have small or lower size. In addition, you can add your Strength, instead of Dexterity, to your AC.
- Thick Skinned
At 3rd level, when you finish a long rest, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your level in this class.
- Brave Warrior
At 7th level, you have advantage on saving throws against the frightened condition.
- Powerful Build
At 10th level, you count as two sizes larger for the purposes of carrying and lifting objects. In addition, you have advantage on Strength checks an Saving throws.
Also, you ignore the two-handed property of weapons.
At 14th level, you can use your bonus action to become resistant to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage. Also, for the duration, once in each of your turns, you deal additional damage equal to half your level in this class when you hit a creature with an attack using your Strength. This lasts 1 minute.
Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or a long rest.
The path of the rider is for those swordsman specialized in mounted combat. On ancient battles, the ability to combat on horseback was a powerful tool, and as such, warriors able to use well the sword on horseback were feared and respected.
- Riding Mastery
Starting when you choose this path at 3rd level, you can add the double of your proficiency bonus in Animal Handling checks. Also, you have advantage on saving throws made to avoid falling off your mount. If you fall off your mount and descend no more than 10 feet, you can land on your feet if you’re not incapacitated.
Finally, mounting or dismounting a creature costs you only 5 feet of movement, rather than half your speed.
- Mounted Warrior
At 3rd level, whenever you are mounted, you deal 1 additional point of damage for each damage die that you roll
- Control the Mount
At 7th level, you can use your bonus action to command a controlled mount to take the Dash, Dodge or Disengage actions.
At 10th level, whenever you move at least 15 feet in a straight line in your turn when mounted, you can use your bonus action to make one additional attack with a melee weapon.
- Horse Master
Starting at 14th level, whenever your mount is within 5 feet of you and it is attacked, you can use your reaction to make an attack against the attacker.
In addition, whenever you are within 5 feet of your mount, you can use your bonus action to command it to make one attack.
You have been trained on a ancient and legendary way of fighting. Through meditation and mindfulness, you learned how to control the flow of chi within your body to generate incredible superhuman feats. Usually, swordsman from the wuxia path are trained on monasteries, or learn their style by themselves, watching the natural elements and mimicking animal movements in fight.
- Fluid Movement
At 3rd level, when you are wearing light or no armor and not wielding a shield, you can become lighter than air, and move fluidly through the space. You don't spend any movement when you lift from the prone position. In addition, you ignore the effects of difficult terrain.
At 10th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move.
Finally, at 14th level, you have a flying speed equal to your current walking speed. This benefit works only in short bursts; you fall if you end your turn in the air and nothing else is holding you aloft.
- Quick Footwork
At 3rd level, you can move 15 feet before each attack you make on your turn, in addition to your regular movement speed. This attack doesn't provoke opportunity attacks.
In addition, when you make an attack with a melee weapon, you can use your bonus action to make an unarmed strike. This unarmed strike deal 1d6 damage if you are wielding a weapon with both hands, or 1d8 if you are wielding only one handed weapons. You can choose to add either your Dexterity or Strength modifier to the damage of this attack.
- Disarming Movement
Starting at 7th level, when a creature within 5 feet of you is wielding a melee weapon, you can use your bonus action and spend one technique die to try disarming it. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw against your swordplay save DC. On a failed save, you take the weapon from its hand, and catch it with you free hand. You must have at least one empty hand to use this ability.
- Missile Deflection
At 7th level, you can use your reaction to deflect a projectile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage taken is reduced by your technique die + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier.
- Duel Challenge
At 10th level, when you are within 5 feet of a creature and there's no enemy within 5 feet of you, you can use your bonus action to challenge it. You gain the benefits of the Dodge action against the target's melee attacks until the beginning of your next turn. You lose this benefit if you take damage form the target.
At 14th level, you can use your bonus action to make three attacks against three distinct opponents within 15 feet. These attacks don't provoke opportunity attacks. The attacks must be made with one handed weapons.
Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a short or a long rest.
Arcane swords are warriors specialized in the use of spells in melee combat. These swordsman manipulate spells like a fencer wield a sword, with deadly precision. You combine steel and magic, alternating between one and the other and often charging your weapon attacks with spells.
|—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
When you reach 3rd level, you augment your martial prowess with the ability to cast spells.
Cantrips You learn shillelagh and other cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list. You learn an additional wizard cantrip of your choice at 10th level.
- Spell Slots
The Arcane Sword Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
For example, if you know the 1st-level spell Shield and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast Shield using either slot.
- Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know three 1st-level wizard spells of your choice, two of which you must choose from the abjuration and evocation spells on the wizard spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Arcane Sword Spellcasting table shows when you learn more wizard spells of 1st level or higher. Each of these spells must be an abjuration or evocation spell of your choice, and must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
The spells you learn at 8th, 14th, and 20th level can come from any school of magic.
Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the wizard spells you know with another spell of your choice from the wizard spell list. The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots, and it must be an abjuration or evocation spell, unless you're replacing the spell you gained at 3rd, 8th, 14th, or 20th level from any school of magic.
- Spellcasting Ability
Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your wizard spells, since you learn your spells through study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a wizard spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
- Arcane Blade
At 3rd level, you can target a sword with the shillelagh spell doing so increases its damage in one size. This does not affect the versatile damage of weapons or weapons with the two-handed property.
In addition, when you make an attack with an arcane blade, once in each of your turns you deal additional 1d8 damage.
- Magic Sword
At 7th level, when you use your action to cast a cantrip, you can make one melee weapon attack with your bonus action.
In addition, your attacks with melee weapons count as magical for the purposes of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
- Channeled Strike
Starting at 10th level, you can use your action to channel a spell through your strike. Roll the attack roll, and on a success, you deal the damage of the spell automatically, if the spell requires an attack roll. Saving throws for spells still need to be rolled.
Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
- Magic Sword
At 14th level, when you use your action to cast a spell, you can spend one technique die to make one melee weapon attack with your bonus action. You add the technique die to the attack and damage roll of the weapon attack.
Future Knight Path
On the future, the noble tradition of swordfighting is kept alive by the advanced technology that created energy swords. As a future knight, you learn how to craft and repair your own energy sword, and carefully improved your technique with this dangerous weapon.
- Energy Sword
Beginning at 3rd level, you learned how to craft an sword with a blade made of pure energy. This is considered a martial weapon you are proficient with, deals 1d8 damage and it has the light and the versatile property (1d10). The damage is fire.
The energy sword is considered magical for the purposes of overcoming resistance to nonmagical attacks and damage.
- Slashing Arch
Starting at 3rd level, once in each of your turns, you can spend one technique die to swing your sword in an arch around you. Doing so allow you to make one attack against each creature within range.
You can add your technique die to the attack and damage of these attacks.
- Radiant Heat
At 7th level, whenever you attack with the energy sword, the damage is considered both fire and radiant. If a creature is resistant or immune to one of these damage types but not to the other, the creature still takes damage. If a creature is vulnerable to one of these damage types but not to another, the creature takes double damage.
- Versatile Combatant
At 7th level, you can use your energy sword in multiple ways. Your sword gains the thrown property (20/60) and the finesse property when used by you.
- Reflect Attacks
At 10th level, you can use the energy blade to deflect energetic attacks. Whenever you are the target of an effect that deals fire, cold, lighting, radiant, or force damage, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage by an amount equal to your technique die size + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier.
If you reduce the damage to 0 using this ability, you can spend 1 technique die to reflect towards a target within 30 feet. If the reflected ability requires an attack roll, you must make a ranged weapon attack; if it requires a saving throw, use the original saving throw.
- Spinning Throw
At 14th level, you can use your action to make a powerful throw with your laser sword. The sword spins towards the desired target, cutting anything in its path in a straight line, dealing 4d10 damage. The maximum range of this throw is 30 feet.
Once you throw your sword, it comes back to your hand at the end of your next turn.
As a reaction against an attack on your turn, you can expend one technique die to reduce the damage taken by a number equal the number rolled on the die + your Dexterity or Constitution modifier.
On your turn, you can use a bonus action and expend one risk die to move up to four times your movement speed before the next attack you make. You add the die to the damage.
When an attacker you can see makes an attack roll against you, you can expend a technique die as a reaction to raise your blade, deflecting the attack. You add the technique die to your AC against this attack, potentially causing it to miss.
You can expend one technique die as a bonus action to take the Dodge action and move up to 15 feet. This movement does not provoke Opportunity Attacks, ignores difficult terrain, and can move you through hostile creature’s spaces, as long as you do not end your movement there.
When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one technique die as a bonus action to intercept the attack of that creature. Roll the die and subtract it from the next melee attack roll the creature makes before the start of your next turn.
When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend technique risk die as a bonus action and for one object the creature is holding. The target must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it drops the object you choose. The object lands on your free hand, or on the ground in front of you if you don't have a free hand.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the swordsman class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 Strength or 13 Dexterity
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the swordsman class, you gain the following proficiencies: light armor, simple weapons, martial weapons.