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Sword Sorcerer

Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

Here is a class I created several years ago (when 2nd ed was in style). My original idea came as a form to have a human equivalent to the elven bladedancer. I have since modified it and tried to update it with newer stuff. Please be gentle with the criticism (first post here). Just in case I did not have room to put up the spell table and keep the format below. Also I think I am going to need a bit of help with the last part (Sharpen Blade) to create a better DC type method to show the capability of utilizing that ability.

The Sword-Sorcerer

Spells per Day
Lvl BAB Fort Ref Will 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 +1 +2 +0 +2 3 1 Weapon Focus Feat
2 +2 +3 +0 +3 4 2 Combat Expertise or Finesse Feat
3 +3 +3 +1 +3 4 2 1 Arcane Channeling
4 +4 +4 +1 +4 4 3 2 Bonus feat: Meta Magic; Damage +1*
5 +5 +4 +1 +4 4 3 2 1 Uncanny Dodge (Dex Bonus to AC)
6 +5 +5 +2 +5 4 3 3 2 Sharpen Blade
7 +6/ +1 +5 +2 +5 4 4 3 2 1
8 +7/ +2 +6 +2 +6 4 4 3 3 2 Bonus feat; Damage +2*
9 +8/ +3 +6 +3 +6 4 4 4 3 2 1 Craft Magical Blade
10 +9/ +4 +7 +3 +7 4 4 4 3 3 2 Uncanny Dodge (can’t be flanked)
11 +10/ +5 +7 +3 +7 4 5 4 4 3 2 1
12 +10/ +5 +8 +4 +8 4 5 4 4 3 3 2 Bonus feat: Meta Magic; Damage +3*
13 +11/ +6/ +1 +8 +4 +8 4 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
14 +12/ +7/ +2 +9 +4 +9 4 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
15 +13/ +8/ +3 +9 +5 +9 4 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
16 +14/ +9/ +4 +10 +5 +10 4 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 Bonus feat; Damage +4*
17 +15/ +10/ +5 +10 +5 +10 4 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
18 +15/ +10/ +5 +11 +6 +11 4 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
19 +16/ +11/ +6/ +1 +11 +6 +11 4 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3
20 +17/ +12/ +7/ +2 +12 +6 +12 4 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 Bonus feat; Damage +5*

* Applies to prepared blade only

Abilities: The Sword-Sorcerer is a fighter with the capabilities to cast spells from three schools of magic. Sword-Sorcerer’s can wear light armor, but they can’t use shields. Sword-Sorcerer’s can use any bladed weapon. They gain bonus feats every 4 levels (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, etc.), in addition to the standard character feat every three character levels. These feats can be derived from the fighter bonus list.
What makes the Sword-Sorcerer so potent is the fact that they can cast their spells while armored (the following penalties apply for armor, 5% for leather, 10% for Studded Leather, and 15% for Chain Shirt) and the spell effect originates through the weapons they wield, avoiding the need to have a free hand during combat. As Sword-Sorcerers gain levels, they also gain the ability to bypass damage reduction of creatures. Sword-Sorcerers gain a +1 every 4 levels for the purpose of determining what they can hit. This does not grant any bonuses to attack or damage, just what their weapon is treated like for those creatures that have damage reduction. This can only be done with their prepared blades. All spells cast by the Sword-Sorcerer are somatic, with the gestures being conducted through the swirling and movements of their weapons. Some noted disadvantages is that they cannot use missile type weapons (they can throw daggers if available) and can cast spells only through their prepared bladed weapons.
Sword-Sorcerers receive craft (sword making) as a bonus. They receive a +1 to their skills every two levels (+1 at 2nd, +2 at 4th, +3 at 6th, +4 at 8th, to a max of +10 at 20th). To maintain this bonus they are required to create a masterwork weapon every other level. This weapon should be given to the smithy of the shop he/she created the item at as gratitude for the use of the forge and materials. Most smiths have heard of people who create these works and leave them as gifts, so very few mind it when a Sword –Sorcerer graces their steps to create such an item. Part of a Sword-Sorcerers training include the study of historical weapons. Because of this the Sword-Sorcerers have the ability to discern the magical properties of weapons, but pertaining to bladed weapons only (and then only those with historical background). When employing magical weapons to cast spells, they add the bonus to damage, i.e. A 7th level Sword-Sorcerer casting a magic missile spell with a +2 weapon will do 4D4+4 for the Missiles plus an additional 2 points due to the weapon. Sword-Sorcerers can attempt to create magical blades when they attain 9th level. They follow the prerequisites for the item creation feat: create arms and armor. A noted exception is that the Sword-Sorcerer has to first use his craft skill to create the blade in question, then they can attempt to enchant the weapon. If a spell is required that they normally do not have, then they can use the spell from a scroll. During this process, they cannot have any help. This is something they must do on their own.
Abilities: Charisma determines how powerful a spell a Sword-Sorcerer can cast, how many spells per day, and how hard those spells are to resist. To cast a spell, a Sword-Sorcerer must have a Charisma score of 10+ the spells level. The Difficulty Class (DC) of a saving throw against a Sword-Sorcerer’s spell is 10+ the spell level+ Chirisma modifier. Strength is important to Sword-Sorcerers because of their role in combat.
Alignmet: Any
Hit Die: D8
Class Skills: Craft (Sword), Knowledge (arcane), Knowledge (Swords), Perception, Stealth, Profession, Spellcraft, Swim
Skill Points at 1st level: (6+ Int Mod) x 4
Skill Points at each additional level: 6 + Int Mod
Class Features:
Weapon and armor proficiency: Proficient in the use of any bladed weapon weapons. Proficient in light armor. May not use shields.
Spell use: A Sword-Sorcerer may cast cantrips (0 level spells) and universal spells, plus spells from any 3 schools of magic. Like Sorcerers, they do not need to study magic; it is intuitive within them. To learn new spells, a Sword-Sorcerer can use his/her spell craft check against a DC 10+lvl of spell to understand and incorporate the spell in his/her repertoire (as long as it is from the school of magic they chose). Because of the nature of the way they cast spells (with weapons) they do not incur an Attack of Opportunity when they cast spells in combat.

Arcane Channeling (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, you can use a standard action to cast any touch spell you know and deliver the spell through your weapon with a melee attack. Casting a spell in this manner does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less. If the melee attack is successful, the attack deals damage normally; then the effect of the spell is resolved.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered sorcerer level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), the sword sorcerer can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the sword sorcerer loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. A sword sorcerer may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.

Uncanny Dodge: Starting at 5th level the Sword-Sorcerers gains the extraordinary ability to react to danger before their senses would allow them to react to it. At 5th level and above they retain their Dex bonus to AC (if any) regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by invisible creatures.
At 10th level they can’t be flanked; they react to opponents on either side of them as easy as a single opponent. This denies the rogues the use of their sneak attack ability. The exception to this defense is a rogue at least four levels higher then the character can flank them, therefore being able to sneak attack.

Prepare Blade (Alteration) <this is not a spell, but an ability of the class>

This ability will allow the Sword-Sorcerer to prepare a weapon to cast spells. This is a personal thing, so each Sword-Sorcerer would have to this for their own weapon. The spell takes the form of a ritual in which the caster will meditate for two hours, with a 15-minute weapons work every hour. As you can see this requires an area where the caster can have enough room to move around in. Once the blade is prepared that individual Sword-Sorcerer can use it to cast spells. This blade will not function as a spell focus for any other individual. If the blade goes for more then 3 months without it being used to cast spell, its ability to do so will fade.
If the blade is magical, then an additional half-hour is required for each additional + or ability of the weapon.

This spell can only be cast on a weapon the caster is proficient in. The material components for this spell are, three drops of the caster’s blood (which are dropped on the blade) and the blade being prepared. The blade is not consumed in the process.

Sharpen Blade (Transmutation) <this is not a spell, but an ability of the class>

When a Sword-Sorcerer reaches 6th level, they can take one (and only one) prepared blade and alter it into a sharpened blade. This makes the weapon for all practical purposes a keen weapon (doubling the threat range of the weapon). This can be applied to any bladed weapon, magical or otherwise. There is a base 10 chance of success with an additional +1 every level above 6th. The following modifiers for the weapon also apply:

Masterwork/Elven +1
Mithral/Adamantite +2
Enchanted -1 plus an additional -1 for each +1 (i.e. -2 for a +1, -3 for a +2, -4 for a +3, etc)
Special abilities -2 for each ability (i.e. a fiery weapon and detect magic would be -4, -2 for fiery and -2 for detect)

This penalties and bonuses stack. If the weapon was magical and an attempt to sharpen failed, the weapon will loose its magical properties and remain as a masterwork weapon. The +1 for a masterwork weapon does not reduce the -1 for a magical weapon. On the other hand the material does, so a +1 mithral sword would balance out to 0 mod (-2 for a +1 enchantment and a +2 for mitheral material)

was just wondering if anyone looked at this.

Grand Lodge Having 17 BAB breaks core character building...and really it amounts to I wanna have full BAB with this full caster class without really saying so. And lets give them skill monkey skill points too boot. Why not just give them all skills as class skills while your at it? Not to mention use of 3.x skill rules an not PG skill rules. Your missing spell known...but unless that list becomes one spell per level, this class is a I wanna be a uber homebrewed cheese monkey class...aka, HELL NO.

Dark Archive

more harsh than I would have put it, but i agree with Cold Napalm

don't make up a bab. use one of the existing 3 types. looks like you want "medium" or same as cleric or rogue.

look at 3.5's battle sorcer varient. i'd say model it after that a little more.

Grand Lodge

Oh just noticed that this class doesn't even have the sorcerer spell level lag. So I'm gonna upgrade from HELL NO to *explatives* HELL NO with a cherry on top.

If you want to bump up your hell no even further, their spells known per level are unlimited (albeit drawn from three schools plus universal only), so long as they make the spellcraft checks to recognise the spells they want.

Well, you could make _something_ like this and have it be nice:

- give it medium BAB and light armor proficiency.
- Make it proficient with all simple, martial blades ,plus one exotic bladed weapon of your choice.
- Give it access to a spell list consisting of spells from Transmutation, Abjuration and... some odds and ends from Conjuration. Mainly buffing and the types of BFC or blast you might want to cast at the first round of combat. They'd know all the spells on their list, and there'd be... tennish spells per level. Check out dread necro and beguiler lists.

- Skill points being 4+INT is cool.

Frankly, you can get a pretty good model of the full-casting + goodies + limited list pattern if you look at Dread Necro, Beguiler and Warmage.

Although, in PF I suggest a Bard spell progression with perhaps some higher level spells dropped to lower level for this class. IIRC, 9th had practically nothing that a Gish archetype really needs. Maybe Iron Body, Ethereal Jaunt at top level, and some strong abjurations.

I guess I deserve the hell no with a cherry, but if you make it two I won't get upset :-)

Yes I have had this thing brewing since second edition of AD&D. I agree that the BAB should be medium. I wanted to use the Bard spell progression and spells know to make it more in tune with core understanding. I do not like the idea of having it take one or two specific class of spells (conjuration, evocation, transmutation, etc) as I want this class to be a bit more customizable by the user. This way you can have one that likes to blast its enemies to dust, or maybe you want to be the stealthy type, or maybe you are inquisitive and want your spells to help you uncover things. By letting the player choose the three schools, he/she can play the spell casting part as they would like. Also by letting them choose an exisisting school instead of creating spells specific to the clas (like swordmage, duskblade, ect), whenever new material (spells) come out, you don't have to see which would fit in or not. . . if it goes into the school, then you can use it (GM choice).

As far as a skill monkey, it has less then the rogue and on par with a bard, and not a lot of skills to boot.

BTW I still expect the other cherry


Liberty's Edge

Last night before bed I composed a detailed examination of this class, and the Paizo Messageboard Golem ate it.

What it basically boiled down to is that the concept is good, but the execution is flawed. With as specialized around blades as the class is, I think it would make a better prestige class, but that kind of prestige class already exists in the form of the Eldritch Knight. Also, once Ultimate Magic releases (whenever that may be) the Magus class should fill this role as well.

The 5/6 BAB progression caught my eye right off the bat. Just drop it to 3/4.

Too many skill points, not enough class skills.

I like Arcane Channeling, but there should be a usages per day mechanic involved.

REALLY needs to have limited spells known (preferrably capping at 6th level spells).

Prepared/Sharpened Blade could use some looking at. Maybe use the Wizard's Bonded Item rules for inspiration.

I like the bonus to Craft, as it is both flavorful and marginally useful, but the requisite MW item at every other level kind of oversteps the bounds of a normal class ability (Bards don't have to pen reference books to keep their Bardic Knowledge bonus). Also, Enhancement bonus already apply to both attack and damage.

Just give them a blanket "can cast in light armor without penalty" line instead of the specific failure values for specific armors.

Uncanny Dodge is fine, but I feel like Evasion would better suit the feel of the class.

Proficiency with ALL bladed weapons has potential to be too good. Take a look at how many Exotic Weapons are bladed, and think about all the others that will assuredly be published. Maybe give them something akin to the Fighter's Weapon Training applying only to bladed weapons to reinforce that archetype.

All in all, it's decent, but needs a lot of work to bring it in line with Paizo's classes.

Sharpen Blade (Su)[Transmutation]:
When a Sword-Sorcerer reaches 6th level, he/she can take a single prepared blade and alter it into a sharpened blade as part of a ritual which requires 1 day of preparation and 1 day of work with a special Caster Level check against a set creation DC. A Sword-Sorcerer can only have a single such sharpened blade at a time, and a Sword-Sorcerer can made another sharpened blade when the last one is either destroyed or the prepared blade effect has worn away. A sharpened blade must be applied to only a prepared blade (meaning that only bladed weapons can be used).

Making a sharpened blade in this fashion gives the weapon the keen ability (doubling the threat range of the weapon) without raising the magical point bonus. The DC to create such a sharpened blade is equivalent to 10 + Construction Mod + Material Mod + Enchantment Mod.

Construction Mod: +1 if masterwork or elven craft
Material Mod: +1 if mithral, +2 if Cold iron or Silver, +3 if Adamantine
Enchantment Mod: +1 for every magical point bonus

Intent: Sharpen blade is only to exist on one single prepared blade at a time granting a "free" keen effect. The DC should rise as the weapon materials, construction, or enchantments increase, meaning that a weapon which is powerful should be harder to get this additional "free" ability attached.

As for PF or 3.Xe balancing, take a look at the PHBII class Duskblade as a basis for what types of skills / spell progression / saves / BAB / and other abilities should be considered to be included or taken out from this class. Be sure to note that Duskblade needs to be converted to PF before you do the comparison if you are looking for PF balance.

As shown in DB, it is possible to be almost fully armored, have a high BAB and have spell progression like a bard.

Dark Archive

Liporteryu wrote:

As shown in DB, it is possible to be almost fully armored, have a high BAB and have spell progression like a bard.

that depends on your view of duskblade

Grand Lodge

Name Violation wrote:
Liporteryu wrote:

As shown in DB, it is possible to be almost fully armored, have a high BAB and have spell progression like a bard.

that depends on your view of duskblade

I´m okay with the duskblade...but that is because of their extremely limited spell list and spells known.

Dark Archive

Cold Napalm wrote:
Name Violation wrote:
Liporteryu wrote:

As shown in DB, it is possible to be almost fully armored, have a high BAB and have spell progression like a bard.

that depends on your view of duskblade
I´m okay with the duskblade...but that is because of their extremely limited spell list and spells known.

the only time i see duskblades is when the groups other DM throws Gestalt duskblad/monks with quickcast disintegrate as a touch spell on all attacks thrown at us. Thats a normal town guard some places in his game.

but I was never a big fan of them before that.

Grand Lodge

Name Violation wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
Name Violation wrote:
Liporteryu wrote:

As shown in DB, it is possible to be almost fully armored, have a high BAB and have spell progression like a bard.

that depends on your view of duskblade
I´m okay with the duskblade...but that is because of their extremely limited spell list and spells known.

the only time i see duskblades is when the groups other DM throws Gestalt duskblad/monks with quickcast disintegrate as a touch spell on all attacks thrown at us. Thats a normal town guard some places in his game.

but I was never a big fan of them before that.

That´s because due to the limited spell list and spells known, the duskblade was really weak vs using PrC methods in 3.5. It´s just that they didn´t have to suck it up for 8-10 levels.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is a 'Battle Sorcerer' in Unearthed Arcana, that is a simple variation on the existing sorcerer - lose 1 spell per day at each spell-level. Gain d8 hit die, 3/4 BAB and one martial weapon proficiency.

That's about it.

And it actually works pretty well.

Alternatively, replace the Bard's special performance abilities with a few combat oriented ones and use the bard spell progression with the sorcerer spell-lists.

Liberty's Edge

You might also want to take a look at the

Vanguard from Super Genius Games.

It has some of the Duskblade feel (and I guess maybe a little of the battle sorcerer even) but is very balanced and fun to play. I've been playing one in out weekly Council of Thieves game for the past few months (of course, I'm also admittedly a little biased :)

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