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Dancing Kensai Bladestorm Archetype

By using a magic energy referred to as “blade ki ”, dancing kensai focus the art of the bladestorm into using a single flying weapon to be used alongside their own armament. Delving deeper into the magical power that binds a flying blade to their will, they seek to further understand the connection. By mastering the binding magic, instead of relying on summoned blades they can imbue a weapon with powerful dancing magics; this creates an enchanted blade that responds to their merest thought or intent.

Comparing it to the qigong arts of martial monks, they seek to master a style of bladestorm combat that pairs their own focused martial talent with their powerful connection to a single flying blade.

Table 3-1: The Dancing Kensai
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 Combat prowess, greater dancing blade
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Flying blade technique, mageblade
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Dance, favored weapon +1
4th +4 +1 +4 +4
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 Dance
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +5 Favored weapon +2, flying blade technique
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +5 Dance
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +6
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +6 Dance, favored weapon +3
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +7 Blade ki, flying blade technique
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +7 Dance
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +8 Favored weapon +4
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +8 Dance
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +9 Flying blade technique
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +9 Dance, favored weapon +5
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +10
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Dance
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Favored weapon +6, flying blade technique
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Dance
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Grandmaster’s blade

Combat Prowess

Dancing kensai dedicate their lives to martial study and mastery over a single weapon. They are far less concerned with the coordination of multiple weapons, attack patterns, and the like- they are simple warriors with a dedicated dancing blade. The dancing kensai gains the BAB of a fighter of equal level, as shown on Table 3-1: Dancing Kensai, and their hit dice improves to a d10.

Greater Dancing Blade (Su)

At 1st level, the dancing kensai can perform a 1-hour ritual on a melee weapon in their possession to imbue it with magic, turning it into a greater dancing blade. The dancing kensai can only use this ritual on weapons they are proficient with, they own, and are designed to be wielded by creatures of their size. The dancing kensai can only maintain a single greater dancing blade at a time; if they perform the ritual on a new weapon, the magic holding the first weapon aloft fails and it falls to the ground. A greater dancing blade counts as a flying blade for the purpose of interaction with bladestorm class features.

Once per round as a free action, the dancing kensai can direct the greater dancing blade to either move or attack. If directed to move, the greater dancing blade has a fly speed of 30 feet with perfect maneuverability.

If directed to attack, the greater dancing blade strikes a foe of the dancing kensai’s choice within its reach, attacking at the dancing kensai’s highest BAB.

The dancing kensai can use flying blade techniques to direct their greater dancing blade outside of this initial free action. The greater dancing blade can function within a 30-foot radius of the bladestorm; if forced beyond this range, the greater dancing blade spends its free action to move back into range.

Outside of combat, the greater dancing blade floats behind the bladestorm and follows their movement.

The dancing kensai is able to control their greater dancing weapon purely through will and intent; they do not require a hand free to direct it. If they choose to physically wield a weapon, the greater dancing blade counts as an offhand weapon, even if all the bladestorm’s hands are occupied (such as when wielding a two-handed weapon).

This ability replaces Summon Flying Blade.

  • Deeper Rules: Greater Dancing vs. Flying Blades: Except where explicitly stated here or above, greater dancing blades follow the same rules as and count as a bladestorm’s flying blades.
  • Dancing Weapons: The greater dancing blade ritual creates a more powerful version of the traditional dancing magic weapon property, and thus the two do not stack.
  • Magic Weapon Properties: When used as a greater dancing blade, magic weapons retain their normal effects, and the dancing kensai can choose to activate on-hit effects when a greater dancing blade hits a foe despite not physically holding the weapon.

Destroying a Greater Dancing Blade: Unlike a flying blade, as a physical weapon a greater dancing blade can be sundered. When targeted, it uses the dancing kensai’s CMD, substituting their Intelligence modifier in place of their Strength modifier. If dispelled, the greater dancing blade loses its animating magic for 1d4 rounds before rising into the air again.

Favored Weapon (Ex)

At 3rd level, the dancing kensai selects a group of weapons from the fighter’s selection of weapon groups. Whenever the bladestorm makes an attack with a weapon from the chosen group, either physically or via a flying blade, they get a +1 bonus to their damage rolls. At 6th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, the bladestorm increases this bonus by an additional +1.

This ability modifies favored weapon.

Blade Ki (Ex)

At 10th level, the dancing kensai gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy they can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a dancing kensai’s ki pool is equal to 1/2 their class level + their Intelligence modifier. The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

As long as they have at least 1 point in their ki pool, they can make a ki blade strike. A ki blade strike has the following effects based on the dancing kensai’s level: At 10th level, ki blade strike allows attacks made using their greater dancing blade to be treated as cold iron and silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

At 16th level, their greater dancing blade attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

By spending 1 ki point, the dancing kensai can perform a flying blade technique that requires a standard action as a swift action. It still counts as a standard action for the purpose of interactions with feats and class features.

By spending 1 ki point as a swift action, they can charge either a held weapon or their greater dancing blade with arcane energies, altering its damage type.

Until the end of their turn, the chosen weapon has its weapon damage type changed to one of the following: acid, bludgeoning, cold, electricity, fire, piercing, or slashing.

If the dancing kensai possesses levels in another class that grants points to a ki pool, dancing kensai levels stack with the levels of that class to determine the total number of ki points in the combined pool, but only one ability score modifier is added to the total. The choice of which score to use is made when the second class ability is gained, and once made, the choice is set. The dancing kensai can now use ki points from this pool to power the abilities of every class they possess that grants a ki pool.

This ability replaces Flying Energy Blade

Grandmaster’s Blade (Ex)

At 20th level, the dancing kensai automatically confirms any critical hit they threaten with their greater dancing blade.

This ability replaces King’s Armory

Martial Dances (Su)

The dancing kensai cannot select the following dances; additional flying blade, emergency resupply, giant’s blade, rain of daggers, raw power blade, roaring banshee blade, runeblades, summon reinforcements, or wingman weapon.

Instead, the dancing kensai gains access to the following dances.

This ability modifies dances

Combat Feat

In place of a dance, the dancing kensai can gain a combat feat they meet the prerequisites for. When selecting a bonus feat from this dance, the dancing kensai counts as a fighter of their level -4 for the purpose of meeting prerequisites. This can be taken more than once; each time it grants a different combat feat.

Repair Bay

As a standard action, the dancing kensai can magically repair damage dealt to their greater dancing blade or their wielded weapon. The targeted weapon regains 1d6 hit points per 2 bladestorm levels (minimum 1d6).

As a full-round action, the dancing kensai can restore 1 hit point per 2 bladestorm levels (minimum 1) to all weapons within 30 feet.

Siege Dancer

A dancing kensai with this dance can use their greater dancing blade ritual on weapons designed for creatures larger than themselves. At 5th level, they can target weapons of up to one size category larger than themselves (to a maximum of colossal-sized weapons), and can target weapons of one size category larger every 4 levels after. Additionally, weapons bigger than medium have natural reach equal to that of creatures of the size category they are designed for.

The dancing kensai must be at least 5th level to select this dance.

Twin Flying Knives

If the dancing kensai uses their greater dancing blade ritual on a weapon from the light blades fighter weapon group, they summon an identical copy as a flying blade. This flying blade has all the properties of the greater dancing blade it is based off, including enhancement bonus and magic weapon properties.

When using a free action to direct their greater dancing blade, the dancing kensai can direct either the greater dancing blade or the flying blade. The dancing kensai must have the favored weapon (light blades) class feature to select this dance.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Bladestorm © 2020, Little Red Goblin Games LLC; Author; Ian Sisson, Scott Gladstein, and Christos Gurd