For some, the technique of blending both the skills of the warrior with the arts of the magic-user is an impossible task, the mind or the body lacking in the strengths needed for such an arduous undertaking. Those rare few who are both strong of arm and quick of mind have to the potential to blend these two differing schools and create a new whole. Using techniques gained from the champions of the fey worlds and taken from their pupils, the elves, the techniques of the bladecaster have spread amongst the races.
By fortifying the body with arcane might, the bladecaster can force his magic to augment his physical abilities and increase his martial capabilities to supernatural levels. These practices have been mastered by many races, and each race has added something new to the pursuit of martial and arcane supremacy, and the bladecaster in the world today uses techniques that have spread for hundreds of years amongst all civilized races. In the modern day, one can find bladecasters where their talents are most desired: on battlefields and in hot spots where great armies clash. Bladecasters stride as lords of war, arcane energies rippling about them as they sunder the strength of their foes.
Most bladecasters are warder/wizards, warder/magus, or warlord/sorcerers, though some warder/witches are known who traffic with the fey realms. Few stalkers pursue this route, and those that do often are multiclassed with magus.
Hit Die: d10
To qualify to become a bladecaster, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
- Base Attack Bonus: +4
- Skills: Knowledge (martial) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks
- Feats: Combat Casting, Improved Counterspell
- Spellcasting: Ability to cast 2nd level arcane spells.
- Maneuvers: Ability to use 1st level maneuvers including at least one stance.
The bladecaster’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Craft (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (martial) (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Stealth (Dex).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spellcasting|
|1st||+1||+1||+0||+0||Martial caster (light), stance of arcane steel||–|
|2nd||+2||+1||+1||+1||Arcane steel||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|3rd||+3||+2||+1||+1||Arcane recovery||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|4th||+4||+2||+1||+1||Battlecaster’s strike||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|5th||+5||+3||+2||+2||Arcane ruination||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|6th||+6||+3||+2||+2||–||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|7th||+7||+4||+2||+2||Martial counterspell||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|8th||+8||+4||+3||+3||–||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|9th||+9||+5||+3||+3||Improved battlecasting||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
All of the following are class features of the bladecaster.
The bladecaster gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies
At every even-numbered level, a bladecaster gains new maneuvers known, chosen from the Elemental Flux and Shattered Mirror disciplines and any discipline he previously had access to (either from a martial disciple class or from the Martial Training feat). He must meet a maneuver’s prerequisites to learn it. The character adds his full bladecaster levels to his initiator level to determine his total initiator level and his highest-level maneuvers known.
At 3rd, 6th, and 9th levels, he gains additional maneuvers readied per day.
At 4th level and again at 6th level and 10th level, a bladecaster learns a new stance from any of the disciplines available to him as a bladecaster. He must meet the stance’s prerequisites to learn it.
At each level except 1st level and 10th level, the bladecaster gains new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class level. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If the character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming an bladecaster, he must decide which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
At 1st level, the blending of arcane magic and martial maneuvers begins to flower into an effective and unique fighting style. The bladecaster may select one arcane spellcasting class that he possesses; he may now cast its spells in light armor without suffering interference from arcane spell failure chance.
Beginning at 1st level, the bladecaster learns how to channel his arcane energies to assist his physical abilities in the theater of war. As a swift action, the bladecaster may forgo the use of any stance he is in to assume the stance of arcane steel. This stance is equivalent to a 3rd level stance of no particular discipline. The bladecaster gains the ability to burn his arcane energy to empower his martial abilities. As a free action, the bladecaster may sacrifice uncast spells or spell slots to grant himself one of the following bonuses for one round. At 5th level, these bonuses persist for two rounds, and these bonuses persist for three rounds at 9th level.
Eldritch Smite: The bladecaster adds 1d6 points of extra damage per level of the spell. If the weapon possesses an enhancement that inflicts elemental damage (such as flaming) or if the spell possesses an elemental type (such as wall of fire possessing the [fire] descriptor), then this bonus damage may use that energy type; otherwise it is force damage.
Defensive Field: The bladecaster gains a bonus to AC equal to the spell’s level.
Energy Shield: The bladecaster gains resistance to acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic equal to 5 × the spell’s level.
At 2nd level a bladecaster can fortify his body with its very own magic. Whenever a bladecaster casts an arcane spell, he gains a defense field of energy that protects him from harm. The bladecaster gains temporary hit points equal to twice the spell’s level. These defensive field hit points stack with those gained from further casting of other spells using this ability and last until the end of the encounter or until depleted by attacks.
At 3rd level, a bladecaster knows how to expend his magic to enhance his fighting and his arcane ability simultaneously. As a free action, the character may expend a prepared spell or spell slot to recover an expended maneuver. The bladecaster sacrifices a prepared arcane spell or spell slot of a level equal to or great than the maneuver level to be recovered, and the maneuver is instantly recovered. While suffused with arcane energies for maneuver recovery, the bladecaster gains a +2 circumstance bonus to his caster level on the next arcane spell he casts (within one minute of using arcane recovery; multiple recoveries do not stack or accrue multiple uses).
At 4th level, the bladecaster learns techniques that allow him to unleash his offensive magic through the medium of his weapon, delivering magic at melee or range with equal potency. When the bladecaster initiates a martial strike, as a swift action he may cast an arcane spell (with a range of touch and a level equal to or less than the level of the strike initiated) against the same target as the strike. These spells must have a range of touch. If the bladecaster would provoke an attack of opportunity for casting a spell within a threatened square, he may attempt to cast defensively as normal. He may utilize this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + the bladecaster’s initiator modifier (minimum of 1).
At 5th level, the bladecaster brings ruin to his foes with every stroke of his blade and opens their defenses to the power of his arcane magic. A foe damaged by his martial strikes find that it suffers increased difficulties resisting the bladecaster’s magic, suffering a -2 penalty to its Armor Class and saving throws against the bladecaster’s arcane spells on subsequent rounds for the remainder of the encounter, or until the bladecaster recovers his maneuvers.
At 7th level, the bladecaster learns to be able to use a readied counter and his own arcane energies to counter an enemy spellcaster’s magic. If the bladecaster is targeted by or subjected to a spell or spell-like ability, he may as an immediate action expend a readied counter and steel himself against it with a bold act of martial prowess (the expended counter’s effects are lost in the use of this ability) and make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + the spell’s level) as a free action to identify the spell being used. He may then make an initiator level check (1d20 + the bladecaster’s initiator level) against a DC equal to 11 + the spell’s caster level; if successful, the spell is successfully countered. If he is unsuccessful, the spell functions as normal.
At 9th level, the bladecaster has become so accomplished at blending his arcane magic with his martial prowess that he may now utilize ranged touch spells against foes with as if they were melee touch spells when utilizing his battlecaster’s strike.
At 10th level, the bladecaster is capable of fully blending his arcane abilities with his martial talent. The bladecaster is capable of sculpting his very magic into the implements of war, enabling it to deliver his martial maneuvers. The bladecaster may activate this ability as a free action when he casts a spell that requires an attack roll. He may initiate a strike as a free part of casting that spell, using the spell in place of his normal ranged or melee attack, as appropriate (the spell effectively delivers the maneuver’s effects in place of the bladecaster’s weapon). The spell’s range is reduced to 30-ft or closer (if the spell’s range is smaller, then use that), and spell resistance or a successful saving throw against the spell effect negates the maneuver being used. Spells that create multiple attacks or that target multiple creatures only have the strike added to the first such attack. This ability may be used a number of times equal to 1 + initiator modifier per day.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Path of War, © 2014, Dreamscarred Press.
Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.