Bladesinger

Written by Martin K.

eladrin bladesinger by peachyco-d4ch31hBladesingers practice an ancient elven form of combat that combines the grace of their steps with maneuvers that weave magic. When Bladesingers enter combat, their movements start a melody that slowly increases in speed and ferocity.

The concept goes back all the way to the very first elf class in Original D&D. It has seen many incarnations, such as Fighter/Mage, Swordmage, Eldritch Knight... The first called Bladesinger was introduced as a Kit in the AD&D Complete Elf Handbook.

What sets this version apart is how it plays with the music theme. Your Bladesinger weaves different melodies with the movements of his sword, with each changing the bonus you gain from the escalation die in new and interesting ways.

Play Style: The Bladesinger is a melee combat class that combines elegant swordplay with spellcasting. Unlike the Fighter, who rolls with the flow of battle as represented by the attack roll, the Bladesinger shapes his fate anew in each turn. Different melodies that you create with your steps and sword movements create different effects that increase in power as the battle commences, as represented by the escalation die.

The Bladesinger also learns a number of spells from the list of a different class.

If you are looking to build a melee combatant with tactical control and magic tricks as backup, the Bladesinger is for you.

Ability Scores: Dexterity is your key ability score for melee attacks. Choose your secondary ability score between Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. This ability score is relevant for the Bladesong Style you choose as well as the source class for the spells you gain with the Blade Magic class feature.

The tactical Bladesong Style is based on Intelligence and works best with Wizard spells. Wisdom is the key ability for Intuitive Style and Cleric spells. If you would like to focus on Bard or Sorcerer magic, the Charisma-based Flourishing Style is for you.

Constitution is also important for you, as it will boost your hit points, recoveries and physical defense. Unless you have a high Wisdom, it will also determine your AC.

Bladesingers gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma, as long as it is not the same ability score you chose for your racial bonus.

Races: Historically, this class is tied to elven culture; this writeup assumes that you will pick any of the elven races. Feel free, however, to put your individual spin on the  class and choose any race you like.

Backgrounds: wandering blind master, court guard of the Elf Queen, licensed demon hunter, fencing teacher of Shadowport, gypsy bard, disgraced rune smith

Icons: The Elf Queen is the patron of the elven sword mastery school, and many Bladesingers consider it as the highest honor to serve at her court. As arcane spellcasters, it's never wrong to be on the Archmage's good side, but those following Sorcerer traditions likely depend on the favors of the Three or the Gold Wyrm. For a darker twist, consider the Lich King as your patron.

Gear

Every Bladesinger carries one precious weapon that he guards like a musician his instrument. The traditional image of the class is based on light blades. Bladesingers can tell the tradition a fellow bladesinger follows by subtle differences like the curvature of the blade and the form of the sword guard. It is easy to reflavor a school to use daggers, spears or axes instead if that is your preference.

Most traditions use a one-handed light or heavy weapon, with no weapon in the off-hand.

For clothing, most Bladesingers prefer light armor that allows maximum mobility for combat maneuvers. Bladesingers prefer light armors like breastplates or chain shirts.

In your pockets, you start with 25 gp, or 1d6 x 10 gp if you have been up and down on your luck lately.

Armor

Bladesinger Armor and AC
Type Base AC Attack Penalty
None 13 -
Light 14 -
Heavy 15 -2
Shield +1 -

 

Weapons

Bladesinger Melee Weapons
Size One-Handed Two-Handed
Small 1d6 knife 1d6 staff
Light or Simple 1d8 short sword 1d8 spear
Heavy or Martial 1d8 longsword, scimitar 1d10 greatsword

 

Bladesinger Ranged Weapons
Size Thrown Crossbow Bow
Small 1d4 dagger 1d4 hand crossbow  
Light or Simple 1d6 javelin, axe 1d6 light crossbow 1d6 shortbow
Heavy - 1d8 heavy crossbow 1d8 longbow

 

Basic Attacks

Melee Attack

At-Will

Target: One enemy

Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC

Hit: Weapon + Dexterity damage

Miss: Damage equal to your level

Ranged Attack

At-Will

Target: One enemy

Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC

Hit: Weapon + Dexterity damage

Miss: Damage equal to your level

Bladesinger Level Progression

Note: Although not listed on the table, Bladesingers get three talents. They do not gain more at higher levels.

Bladesinger
Level
Total Hit Points Total Feats Melodies known Heart melodies Blade magic spells known Blade magic spell level Level-up Ability Bonuses Damage Bonus from Ability Score
Level 1 multiclass Half of both classes As 1st level PC 1 - (1*) (1**) Not affected ability modifier
Level 1 (7 + CON mod) x 3 1 adventurer 2 1 (1) (1)    ability modifier
Level 2 (7 + CON mod) x 4 2 adventurer 3 1 (1) (3)   ability modifier
Level 3 (7 + CON mod) x 5 3 adventurer 4 1 1 (+1) (3)   ability modifier
Level 4 (7 + CON mod) x 6 4 adventurer 4 1 2 (+1) 1 (3) +1 to 3 abilities ability modifier
Level 5 (7 + CON mod) x 8 4 adventurer
1 champion
5 1 2 (+1) 3 (5)   2 x ability modifier
Level 6 (7 + CON mod) x 10 4 adventurer 2 champion 5 2 3 (+1) 3 (5)   2 x ability modifier
Level 7 (7 + CON mod) x 12 4 adventurer 3 champion 6 2 3 (+1) 5 (7) +1 to 3 abilities 2 x ability modifier
Level 8 (7 + CON mod) x 16 4 adventurer 3 champion 1 epic 6 2 4 (+1) 5 (7)   3 x ability modifier
Level 9 (7 + CON mod) x 20 4 adventurer 3 champion 2 epic 7 2 4 (+1) 7 (9)   3 x ability modifier
Level 10 (7 + CON mod) x 24 4 adventurer 3 champion 3 epic 7 3 5 (+1) 7 (9) +1 to 3 abilities 3 x ability modifier

(*) If you choose a spellcasting or maneuver class with the Multiclass Training talent, you gain a bonus slot at first level.
(**) The spell or maneuver gained through the Multiclass training talent is at your class level, while spells gained through blade magic are cast at your level -2.

Bladesinger Stats

Initiative, AC, PD, MD, hit points, recovery dice, feats, and some talents are level dependent.

Ability Bonus +2 Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma (different from racial bonus)
Initiative Dex mod + Level
Armor Class (light armor) 14 + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Physical Defense 11 + middle mod of Str/Con/Dex + Level
Mental Defense 11 + middle mod of Int/Wis/Cha + Level
Hit Points (7 + Con mod) x Level modifier (see level progression chart)
Recoveries (probably) 8
Recovery Dice (1d8 x Level) + Con mod
Backgrounds 8 points, max 5 in any one background
Icon Relationships 3 points
Talents 3
Feats 1 per level

Class features

Fencer

When you are wielding a one-handed melee weapon and no shield or off-hand weapon, increase your critical threat range by one (i.e. a natural 19+ is a critical hit).

Melodies

During combat, if the escalation die is 1 or higher at the start of your turn, choose a melody you know and activate it as a free action. You gain the melody's listed effect, which is tied to the escalation die.

If a melody grants an ongoing bonus, that bonus lasts until the start of your next turn. You can choose the same melody at the start of your next turn to create an ongoing effect.

Paths

You can improve melodies by unlocking abilities from a path. You can only choose one path per melody. Each path consists of an adventurer, champion and epic ability, which you can unlock in order by spending a feat of the corresponding tier.

Heart Melodies

If you choose a melody as your heart melody, you gain the abilities of one of its paths, without spending feats on it. You gain the adventurer ability at first level, the champion ability at 5th and the epic ability at 8th level.

To make your life easy as a player, write each melody your PC knows on a card, together with any unlocked path abilities. At the start of your turn, when activating a melody, just pick the corresponding card from your stack.

Blade Magic

Starting at third level, you learn a selection of spells. Choose one spellcasting class as the source of your spells, such as Bard, Cleric, Sorcerer and Wizard. You cast these spells as a member of that class, but at your Bladesinger class level minus two.

You use the ability score and spell-specific rules of the source class. This includes class features that describe how certain spells work, such as cyclic spells of wizards and breath weapon, chain spells and random energy of sorcerers.

However, you do not gain additional class features of that class. For example, even if you choose sorcerer spells, you cannot Gather Power. If you choose wizard, you can learn spells from the Wizard's utility list, but you do not gain the wizard's special utility spell slot.

Class Talents

Battle Drummer

The first time you use the rally action in a battle, increase the escalation die by 1.

Adventurer feat: In addition, all nearby allies regain hit points equal to the escalation die.

Champion feat: In addition, gain extra recovery dice equal to the escalation die.

Epic feat: In addition, one nearby ally can rally as a free action.

Bladesong Secrets

Choose one the following abilities: Tactical, intuitive or flourishing.

Tactical

Once per battle, after an ally makes an attack against an enemy you are engaged with, make a melee attack against that enemy as a free action.

Adventurer feat: Add your Intelligence modifier to the attack roll.

Champion feat: If the ally missed his attack, this ability grants him a reroll.

Epic feat: When you engage the same opponent as an ally, increase the critical hit range bonus from Fencer to +3.

Intuitive

Once per battle, when a enemy you are engaged with misses you with an attack, make a melee attack against that enemy as a free action.

Adventurer feat: Add your Wisdom modifier to the attack roll.

Champion feat: If your attack hits, the enemy is dazed until the end of its next turn.

Epic feat: If your attack hits, the enemy is stunned instead.

Flourishing

Once per battle, when you are engaged to one enemy and a second one moves in to engage you, pop free from the first enemy and make a melee attack against the second as a free action.

Adventurer feat: Add your Charisma modifier to the attack roll.

Champion feat: On an even hit with the attack, pop free again, engage a different nearby enemy and make another attack. You can keep attacking while you roll even hits, but you can only attack each enemy once.

Epic feat: Increased the critical threat range bonus from Fencer to +3 against enemies that you engaged in the same turn.

Defensive Aegis

Your tradition teaches a special spell to protect others. You can use this spell at-will as a quick action.

Defensive Aegis

Close-quarters spell

Target: One nearby enemy

Effect: You mark the target with either assault or shielding. This ends any previous marks on other enemies that you may have active. Once per round, when the target hits an ally with an attack, you can do the following as a free action.

Shielding: Reduce the damage to your ally to half

Assault: Teleport to engage the enemy and make a melee attack against him

When the target makes an attack against you, the aegis is deactivated until the end of that enemy's turn.

Champion feat: You can mark two nearby enemies with the Aegis.

Epic feat: Once per day, when an opponent hits an ally under the protection of your Aegis, increase the escalation die by 1.

Extra Blade Magic

Gain an additional spell through your Blade Magic class feature at 3rd level.

Champion feat: Gain an additional spell.

Epic feat: Gain an additional spell.

Extra Heart Melody

Increase your number of Heart Melodies by one. This increases the number of heart melodies at first level from zero to 1.

Grand Opening

When you roll 15+ on your initiative, set the escalation die at 1 at the start of battle.

Adventurer feat: When the effect triggers, also gain 3 temporary hit points per level.

Champion feat: When the effect triggers, make a free recharge roll for a spell or magic item ability.

Epic feat: The effect also triggers when you have the highest initiative of all combatants, regardless of your roll.

Multiclass Training

Choose one.

Bard Training

Requirement: To take this talent, you must choose Bard spells with your Blade Magic class feature.

You start learning bardic magic at first level. You gain one bard spell, song or warcry at your class level, and you can swap your blade magic spell slots for additional warcries. You also gain a 5-point bardic background at no cost. 

Cleric Training

Special: To take this talent, you must choose Cleric spells with your Blade Magic class feature.

You start learning Cleric spells at first level. You gain one Cleric spell at your class level. You can spend a second talent to gain a Cleric domain.

Fighter Training

Your tradition focuses on combat training over magic. You gain one Fighter maneuver at your class level. You can switch out spells gained through Blade Magic with additional Fighter maneuvers.

You start with 9 instead of 8 recoveries.

Rogue Training

Your tradition focuses on stealth. You gain one rogue power at your class level. You can switch out spell slots gained through Blade Magic for additional rogue powers. If you have at least one momentum power, you gain the rogue's Momentum class feature for free.

You can spend a second talent to gain one of the following rogue class features or talents: Sneak Attack, Cunning, Murderous, Shadow Walk, Smooth Talk, Swashbuckler, Thievery, Tumble. 

Sorcerer Training

Special: To take this talent, you must choose Sorcerer spells with your Blade Magic class feature.

You start learning sorcerer magic at first level. You gain one sorcerer spell at your class level. In addition, gain one Sorcerer Heritage talent of your choice (Arcane Heritage, Chromatic Destroyer Heritage, Fey Heritage, Infernal Heritage, Metallic Protector Heritage, Undead Remnant Heritage)

Wizard Training

Special: To take this talent, you must choose Wizard spells with your Blade Magic class feature.

You start learning wizard magic at first level. You gain one wizard spell at your level or lower. In addition, you know a number of cantrips equal to your Intelligence modifier.

You can spend a second talent to gain one of the following wizard class features or talents: Ritual Magic, Familiar.

Melodies

Battle Drums

Add the escalation die to PD.

Beat of the Heart

Adventurer: Grant all nearby allies a +1 bonus to PD.

Champion feat: Remove all ongoing damage as well as the dazed and hampered conditions from yourself and all nearby allies.

Epic: You or one nearby ally can rally as a free action.

Drums of the Last Stand

Adventurer: Gain temporary hit points equal to twice the escalation die.

Champion: Gain triple the escalation die instead.

Epic: Gain five times the escalation die instead.

Circle of Life

Grant nearby allies a bonus to death saves equal to the escalation die.

Eye of the Tiger

Adventurer: You also benefit from the bonus, and it lasts until the end of the encounter.

Champion: The ally can roll the first missed save again.

Epic: If the first save succeeds, the ally can spend a recovery and act the next turn.

Death shall have its prize

Adventurer: If you hit with a melee attack and the target has less than 10 hit points left, it dies.

Champion: Increase to 20 hit points left.

Epic: Increase to 40 hit points left.

Coward's Ditty

Add the escalation die to disengage checks.

Bravely fought Sir Robin

Adventurer: Grant the bonus to all nearby allies.

Champion: Reroll the first disengage check that fails.

Epic: Add the escalation die to all defenses. You lose this bonus if you make an attack.

Shoot over the Shoulder

Adventurer: Nearby allies who successfully disengage gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls until the end of their turns.

Champion: In addition, they gain a +1 bonus to all defenses.

Epic: Increase the attack bonus to +2.

Dancing Flames

At the end of your turn, deal fire damage to all enemies engaged with you equal to the escalation die. Double the damage at 5th level, triple it at 8th.

Great Balls of Fire

Adventurer: Deal an extra 1d6 fire damage.

Champion: Increase to 3d6.

Epic: Increase to 5d6.

Sacre du Printemps

Adventurer: Gain resist fire 10+. Add the escalation die to this number.

Champion: Increase resist to 12+.

Epic: Increase resist to 14+.

Lift the Spirit

Add the escalation die to saves.

The Boys are back in Town

Adventurer: Reroll the first missed save.

Champion:  Roll twice for saves and take the better result.

Epic:  Make a save at the start of your turn.

Ode to Joy

Adventurer: Grant a +1 bonus to saves to all nearby allies.

Champion: Increase to +2.

Epic: Increase to +3.

March of the Guard

Add the escalation die to AC.

Light of Dawn

Adventurer: Grant all nearby allies a +1 bonus to AC.

Champion: Also grant the bonus to PD.

Epic: Grant the bonus to all defenses.

Eye of the Tiger

Adventurer: Also grant the bonus to one ally engaged to the same enemy.

Champion:  You are immune to critical hits.

Epic: The first time you take damage this turn, half the damage.  

Notes of Clarity

Add the escalation die to MD.

Strawberry Fields

Adventurer:  Grant all nearby allies a +1 bonus to MD.

Champion:  Increase the bonus to +2.

Epic:  Increase the bonus to +3.

Lucy in the Sky

Adventurer: Make a saving throw against an effect that a save can end at the start of your turn.

Champion: You are immune to daze and stun.

Epic: You are immune to daze, stun and confusion.

Fortissimo

Reroll all damage dice that are lower than the escalation die. Take the reroll.

Fire and Steel

Adventurer:  Add an extra WEAPON damage die.

Champion: Increase to two extra WEAPON damage dice.

Epic:  Increase to three extra WEAPON damage dice.

Ice and Diamond

Adventurer:  You opponent cannot use abilities like resistance to reduce the damage.

Champion:  Nearby allies can reroll damage dice that are natural 1.

Epic: Deal half damage on a miss.

Ominous Chanting

One nearby enemy cannot benefit from the escalation die and takes a penalty to saving throws equal to it.

Nomine Satanis

Adventurer: If you hit the target, you deal extra unholy damage equal to the escalation die.

Champion: If you hit the target, you deal extra unholy damage equal to twice the escalation die.

Epic: If you hit the target, you deal extra unholy damage equal to triple the escalation die.

Bells of Doom

Adventurer: The target takes a penalty to MD equal to the escalation die.

Champion: The target also takes a penalty to attack rolls equal to the escalation die.

Epic: If the target misses with an attack, it takes unholy damage equal to five times the escalation die.

Hymn of the Undefeated

When you spend a recovery, reroll all recovery dice that are equal to the escalation die or lower. Take the second result.

Final Countdown

Adventurer: When you spend a recovery, all nearby allies heal hit points equal to your level.

Champion: When you spend a recovery, a nearby ally can also spend a recovery.

Epic: When you spend a recovery, all nearby allies can also spend a recovery.

Who wants to live forever

Adventurer: If you need to make a save to use a recovery, add the escalation die to that roll.

Champion: If your save to spend an additional recovery this combat is a natural 16+, spend the recovery as a quick action.

Epic: If your save to spend an additional recovery this combat is a natural 16+, the recovery is free.

Thunderslash

If you hit with a melee attack, deal extra thunder damage equal to the escalation die. Double at 5th level, triple at 8th.

Thunder rolling

Adventurer: All nearby allies deal extra thunder damage equal to the escalation die if they hit with a melee attack. Double at 5th level, triple at 8th.

Champion: Add 1d6 to the extra damage.

Epic: Add 2d6 instead.

Thunderstruck

Adventurer: On an even hit, the target is dazed until the end of its next turn.

Champion: On any hit, the target is dazed until the end of its next turn.

Epic: On an even hit, the target is stunned until the end of its next turn. 

Wardance

Add the escalation die to your critical threat range.

Slave to the Rhythm

Adventurer: Reroll any natural 2 on melee attack rolls and take the second result.

Champion: Roll twice for melee attack rolls and take the better result.

Epic: Do not roll for attack. Instead, choose the desired die roll. Your target can choose to set the attack roll to the same number for its next attack against you.

Brothers of Metal

Adventurer: Grant all allies engaged to the same enemy a +1 bonus to their critical threat range.

Champion: Grant the bonus to all nearby allies.

Epic: Increase the bonus to +2.

Sanctus

If you hit with a melee attack, deal extra holy damage equal to the escalation die. Double at 5th level, triple at 8th.

Cleansing Harmony

Adventurer: If you hit a demon or an undead, they are vulnerable to attacks until the end of your next turn.

Champion: If you score a critical hit against a demons or an undead, deal ongoing holy damage equal to 10 times the escalation die.

Epic: Against demons and undead, increase your critical threat range by 4.

Shield of the Spirit 

Adventurer: Reduce all damage you take from demons or undead by the escalation die.

Champion: Gain a bonus to all defenses against demons and undead equal to the escalation die.

Epic: Gain a bonus to saving throws equal to the escalation die against effects caused by demons and undead.

 


  

Status: Version 1.01 - 21 Nov, 2016

Change log: Reduced base PD to 11

Image credit: Peachyco - Eladrin Bladesinger

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  • I really like what you have here so far.

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  • Shield of the Spirit

    Adventurer: Against demons and undead, reduce all damage by the escalation die.

    Champion: Against demons and undead, gain a bonus to all defenses equal to the escalation die.

    Epic: Against demons and undead, reduce all damage by the escalation die.

    Epic is the same as Adventurer, typo?

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  • Thanks for spotting! Fixed.

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  • Question: For the Bard Multiclass talent it says that you can choose 1 Spell, Song or Warcry at your level starting at level one. Does this mean that if you take this talent you can give up a spell slot for another song or warcry once you obtain a blade-magic slot? Or is it only 1 song or Warcry?

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  • Hi Jesse, sorry for the late reply. Yes, the intention was that you can swap out more songs for warcries if you like. I added that wording.

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  • I simplified the class for version 1.00:

    - Now benefits from the escalation die bonus to attack normally. No more special snowflake.

    - Changed the Wardance melody to no longer grant a bonus to attack rolls.

    - Simplified some of the melodies so that they only have two path choices.

    - No more Paladin multiclass. This class was written before the multiclass rules. Now that multiclassing exists, a few things are redundant.

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