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The Witchblade: A Hexblade conversion to Pathfinder


Conversions


2 people marked this as a favorite.

In the waning days of 3.5, I was among those who vowed never to give in to the abomination that was 4th Edition. I moved away from the game, kept all of my 3rd and 3.5 books and PDFs, but pretty much let D&D die away.

But recently, a friend of mine pointed to Pathfinder, and the heavens shone down on me from on high. I heard angelic choirs singing and trumpets blaring, and the world was GOOD.

I regret not finding Pathfinder earlier, but it is all that I ever wanted in 3.5, and I for one shall never return to Wizards of the Coast while Paizo and Pathfinder remain.

But on the real meat of this post. I have spent a few days looking over the website, reading my hastily purchased copies of various Pathfinder books as well as the open content, and I see that the Hexblade has been tried in many fan conversions, but always seems to come up a little short.

Well, I thought I would put my hand to it. The class has been renamed as the Witchblade (a fantastic idea that someone on the boards here suggested) and seeks to make a paladin-equse type warrior that wields arcane magic instead of divine. The Witchblade focuses on fettering his opponents with hexes, curses, and removing their magical buffs, making him an excellent (in my opinion) addition to the standard adventuring party.

Anyway, here it is. Let me know what you think about the class itself and if it needs changes to fit into the Pathfinder world. And it is good to be home again!

Witchblade
There are warriors who play at learning the mystical arts; there are arcanists who learn to swing a sword. But the true path of the arcane warrior is that of the Witchblade, an arcanist who uses curses and luck-stealing to cripple his opponents. Although not as versatile or as powerful as a sorcerer or wizard, the Witchblade is able to blend sword and sorcery into a seamless whole and has a variety of options at his fingertips that can confound and confuse his opponents. In a similar vein, while not able to use the heaviest armors or shields, and not quite as effective in pure melee combat as a paladin, barbarian, or fighter, the Witchblade remains more than able to hold his own and possesses abilities that can quickly cripple those who rely only on physical might.
Role: Witchblade’s are a front-line combatant, armed with decent array of tricks and hexes that can quickly turn the tide in favor of his adventuring companions. Although not a substitute for a full caster, the Witchblade offers a blend of magical and martial might that few other classes have available. As the Witchblade increases in level and power, he become a threat to even the most powerful spell-casters with his ability to dispel effects and disrupt their own casting.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d10.
Starting Wealth: 4d6 x 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills
The Witchblade’s class skills are Bluff (Cha); Climb (Str); Craft (Int); Fly (Dex); Intimidate (Cha); Knowledge (Arcana) (Int); Perception (Wis); Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex); Spellcraft (Int); Stealth (Dex); and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

BAB: Full
Good Saves: Fort; Will
Hit Die: d10

Special Abilities by Level
1st: Cursed Hex; Hex Pool
2nd: Arcane Grace
3rd: Harrier; Mettle
4th: Cantrips; Spellcasting
5th: Bonus Feat; Quickcast
6th: Aura of Unluck
7th: Cursed Blade; Witchblade's Familiar
8th: Fighter Training
9th: Greater Hex
10th: Bonus Feat; Dispelling Hex
11th: Mass Hex
12th: Improved Aura of Unluck
13th: Counter Hex
14th: Stolen Luck
15th: Bonus Feat
16th: Witch's Insight
17th: Dire Hex
18th: Great Aura of Unluck
19th: Greater Mass Hex
20th: Bonus Feat

Class Features
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Witchblades are proficient with all simple weapons and all martial weapons. They are proficient in light and medium armor, but not with shields. He can cast Witchblade spells while wearing light armor or medium without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a Witchblade wearing heavy armor, or a using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass Witchblade still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Hex Pool (Su): At 1st level, the Witchblade gains a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. This hex pool has a number of points equal to his Witchblade level (minimum 1) + his Charisma modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the Witchblade refreshes his spell slots.
At 1st level, the Witchblade can expend 1 point from his hex pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, speed, thundering, or vorpal. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the Witchblade uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the Witchblade.
A Witchblade can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.

Cursed Hex (Su): At 1st level, the Witchblade is able to bestow a curse on a person of his choice; this is known as a cursed hex. He may unleash a hex by spending 1 point of his hex pool on a target that the Witchblade can see and is within 60 feet of; this is a free action, but the Witchblade may only bestow a single hex each round. Spell resistance does not apply to hexes, but the target gets a Will save (DC 10 plus ½ the Witchblade’s level plus the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier) to partially negate the effect. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -2 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -1 and cuts the duration to just one minute. A cursed hex can by ended prematurely by any effect that can remove a curse.
The effects of cursed hex do not stack, but the duration can be extended through multiple uses.

Arcane Grace (Su): At 2nd level, the Witchblade gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

Harrier (Ex): A 3rd level Witchblade knows the tricks of casting a spell in combat so as to avoid attacks of opportunity—and the best ways to stop others from doing just that. Hostile spell-casters attempting to cast in an area threatened by the Witchblade add the Witchblade’s class level to their concentration check DC if they attempt to defensively cast a spell.

Mettle (Ex): A Witchblade receives training in not only delivering spells while in combat, but in resisting them. Similar to the evasion ability possessed by rogues, mettle allows a Witchblade to shrug off the effects of spells that have a Fortitude or Partial saving throw that have a reduced effect on a successful save (such as Will half or Fortitude partial). A successful saving throw by the Witchblade against these types of spells results in no effect to the Witchblade.

Cantrips (Sp): Witchblades learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on the table below, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.

Spellcasting: Beginning at 4th level, a Witchblade gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells which are drawn from Witchblade spell list. A Witchblade can cast any spell he knows without preparing ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a Witchblade must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Witchblade’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a Witchblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily allotment is given on the class table above. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.
A Witchblade selection of spells in extremely limited. At fourth level, a Witchblade gains knowledge of four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of his choice. At each new Witchblade level, he gains knowledge of one or more new spells from the Witchblade spell list, as indicated on the table below.

Spells per Day:
4th: 1; -; -; -
5th: 2; -; -; -
6th: 2; -; -; -
7th: 2; 1; -; -
8th: 2; 2; -; -
9th: 3; 2; -; -
10th: 3; 2; 1; -
11th: 3; 2; 2; -
12th: 3; 3; 2; -
13th: 4; 3; 2; 1
14th: 4; 3; 2; 2
15th: 4; 3; 3; 2
16th: 4; 4; 3; 2
17th: 5; 4; 3; 2
18th: 5; 4; 3; 3
19th: 5; 4; 4; 3
20th: 5; 5; 4; 4

Spells Known:

4th: 4; 2
5th: 5; 3
6th: 6; 4
7th: 6; 4; 2
8th: 6; 4; 3
9th: 6; 4; 4
10th: 6; 5; 4; 2
11th: 6; 5; 4; 3
12th: 6; 5; 4; 4
13th: 6; 5; 5; 4; 2
14th: 6; 6; 5; 4; 3
15th: 6; 6; 5; 4; 4
16th: 6; 6; 5; 5; 4
17th: 6; 6; 6; 5; 4
18th: 6; 6; 6; 5; 4
19th: 6; 6; 6; 5; 5
20th: 6; 6; 6; 6; 5

Upon reaching 7th level, and every three Witchblade levels gained thereafter (10th; 13th; 16th; and 19th), a Witchblade can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Witchblade 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 Witchblade may swap only a single spell at any given time, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.
Unlike a paladin or a ranger, a Witchblade need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. To regain his daily spell slots, a Witchblade must spend 1 hour each day in quiet meditation where he clears his mind and refreshes his arcane energies. Through 3rd level, a Witchblade has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his Witchblade level -3.

Bonus Feats: At 5th level, and every five Witchblade levels gained thereafter, a Witchblade gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats, as well as the feats Ability Focus (Cursed Hex); Extra Hex; Greater Spell Focus; Greater Spell Penetration; Spell Focus; and Spell Penetration. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.

Quickcast (Ex): At 5th level, a Witchblade gains the ability to quicken a limited number of his spells each day. By spending 2 points from his hex pool, any Witchblade spell cast by the Witchblade with a casting time of one standard action or less can instead be cast as a swift action. Unlike the quicken spell feat, the use of this ability does not require the Witchblade to use a higher level spell slot in order to cast this spell.

Aura of Unluck (Su): At 6th level, a Witchblade can spend 2 points from his hex pool to invoke an aura around himself that causes any melee or ranged attack (including spells) made against the Witchblade to suffer a 20% miss chance (similar to concealment) and any sneak attacks or critical hits inflicted on the Witchblade have a 20% chance to be negated (similar to fortification). The Witchblade can activate the aura of unluck as a free action, and the aura lasts for 3 rounds plus 1 round per point of the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

Cursed Blade (Su): At 7th level, a Witchblade can spend 2 points from his Hex pool as a swift action to curse his weapon for one round. Any creature injured by the weapon must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ the Witchblade’s level + the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier) or suffer a cursed wound. The cursed wound cannot be healed until the curse has removed via a remove curse, break enchantment, or similar effect. All creature’s injured by the weapon during the round the cursed blade is active must save versus this effect, and the cursed wound damage stacks.

Witchblade’s Familiar (Ex): At 7th level, the Witchblade forms a powerful bond with an animal, magical beast, outsider, or elemental that becomes his constant companion and partner. The Witchblade can choose any of the standard wizard familiars, or any of the familiars listed under the improved familiar feat; in the latter case, treat his Witchblade class level as his wizard level for this purpose only. The Witchblade’s familiar gains all of the standard familiar abilities, but the rate of progression is slower than that of a wizard or sorcerer. The Witchblade Familiar’s improves according to the chart in the wizard class as if the Witchblade were a wizard six levels lower than his Witchblade level.
In addition, the Witchblade’s familiar gains a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack and damage rolls. This enhancement bonus increases by +1 at 8th level, and every four Witchblade levels gained thereafter, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
In all other respects, treat the Witchblade’s Familiar as a normal familiar (either standard or improved).

Fighter Training (Ex): At 8th level, a Witchblade counts ½ his total Witchblade level as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If he has levels in fighter, these levels stack.

Greater Hex (Su): At 9th level, the Witchblade’s hex ability improves. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -4 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -2 and cuts the duration to just one minute.

Dispelling Hex (Su): At 10th level, whenever the Witchblade hits an opponent in melee, and that opponent has one or more magical effects currently active on their person, the Witchblade can expend 2 points from his hex pool to trigger a targeted dispel magic on his opponent. Unlike the normal dispel magic spell, the dispelling hex does not have a cap on the Witchblade’s caster level.

Mass Hex (Su): At 11th level, the Witchblade can choose to affect all targets in a 20-foot radius burst with his hex ability (but not his greater hex ability). At 19th level, the Witchblade can choose to affect all targets in a 20-foot radius burst with his greater hex ability (but not his dire hex ability).

Improved Aura of Unluck (Su): At 12th level, when the Witchblade activates his Aura of Unluck ability, the miss chance is 35% and he gains a 35% to negate sneak attacks and critical hits.

Counter Hex (Su): At 13th level, the Witchblade can expend 3 points from his hex pool as an immediate action to force one opponent within 60 feet to reroll an attack roll or saving throw he has just made.

Stolen Luck (Ex): At 14th level, the Witchblade can, as a free action once per day, reroll any d20 roll that he has just made. The Witchblade must take the results of the second roll, even if they are worse than the previous roll. At 20th level, he may use this ability three times per day.

Witchblade’s Insight (Ex): At 16th level, the Witchblade gains arcane insight into the ways of magic. He can select eight new spells from the abjuration, enchantment, necromancy, or transmutation schools of the sorcerer/wizard spell list and add them to his spells known. He gains two spells each of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level.

Dire Hex (Su): At 17th level, the Witchblade’s hex ability improves again. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -6 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -3 and cuts the duration to just one minute.

Greater Aura of Unluck (Su): At 18th level, when the Witchblade activates his Aura of Unluck ability, the miss chance is 50% and he gains a 50% to negate sneak attacks and critical hits.

Witchblade Spells
0-level Spells: Arcane Mark; Bleed; Dancing Lights; Detect Magic; Detect Poison; Ghost Sound; Light; Mage Hand; Mending; Message; Open/Close; Prestidigitation; Read Magic; Resistance; Touch of Fatigue
1st-level Spells: Alarm; Cause Fear; Charm Person; Comprehend Languages; Disguise Self; ; Endure Elements; Expeditious Retreat; Feather Fall; Hideous Laughter; Hold Portal; Identify; Jump; Magic Aura; Mount; Obscuring Mist; Protection from Alignment; Sleep; Undetectable Alignment; Unseen Servant
2nd-level Spells: Alter Self; Arcane Lock; Bear’s Endurance; Blindness/Deafness; Bull’s Strength; Darkness; Darkvision; Eagle’s Splendor; Enthrall; False Life; Fog Cloud; Glitterdust; Invisibility; Knock; Levitate; Locate Object; Make Whole; Mirror Image; Obscure Object; Phantom Trap; Protection from Arrows; Pyrotechnics; Rage; Resist Energy; Scare; See Invisibility; Shatter; Spider Climb; Summon Swarm; Touch of Idiocy; Whispering Wind
3rd-level Spells: Arcane Sight; Beast Shape I; Clairaudience/Clairvoyance; Charm Monster; Confusion; Deep Slumber; Dispel Magic; Fly; Invisibility Sphere; Magic Circle against Alignment; Nondetection; Phantom Steed; Poison; Protection from Energy; Ray of Exhaustion; Repel Vermin; Slow; Stinking Cloud; Vampiric Touch; Wind Wall
4th-level Spells: Baleful Polymorph; Beast Shape II; Bestow Curse; Contact Other Plane; Crushing Despair; Detect Scrying; Dimension Door; Dominate Person; Elemental Body I; Enervation; Fear; Invisibility, Greater; Locate Creature; Phantasmal Killer; Rusting Grasp; Scrying; Sending; Solid Fog

Lantern Lodge

The Magus and the archetype Hexcrafter from Ultimate Magic kind of fills the role of the Hexblade. It may not be as defined but it works very similar.


Sgmendez wrote:
The Magus and the archetype Hexcrafter from Ultimate Magic kind of fills the role of the Hexblade. It may not be as defined but it works very similar.

Agreed, and I like the Magus--like it a lot. But sometimes, I'd rather have a d10 and full BAB than six levels of spells (seven if you count cantrips). I don't think I managed to step on the toes of the Magus too much . . . I left it as the successor to the Duskblade with that mix of magic and sword-play it's got going on, while I tried to make the Witchblade into a debuffer and combat nullifier, if that makes any sense.

MA

Sczarni

I think you did a wonderful job. As I recall, the Hexblade was fairly MAD, but still a fun class to play, and I think you hit all the important points capturing what a Hexblade is all about. Really, he's the philosophical opposite of a bard-- specializes in frontline fighting and debuffs the enemies. I'd be proud to play a Witchblade by these rules, and honored to be the DM for a player who played one.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I would remove the zero level spells and make it exactly like Paladin progression. The class has a bit too much spellcasting for a full BAB class.


LazarX wrote:
I would remove the zero level spells and make it exactly like Paladin progression. The class has a bit too much spellcasting for a full BAB class.

Clearly somebody wasn't a fan of the Duskblade or the Mystic Ranger.

I, on the other-hand, feel the spellcasting is just fine. I might even suggest adding a couple of self-buffs to the spell list.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Hey, if you want to stomp on the Magus, Ranger, and Paladin, that's your lookout.


Ditch the cantrips? They make THAT much of a difference? You could easily drop the spell slots per day back down the paladin/ranger level; I only bumped them by 1 because all of the spontaneous casters seem to have a few more daily uses than the prepared casters (except the magus, which has the same as the bard, if I am remembering right!).

But I will certainly consider it, LazarX.

Thanks for all the suggestion, critques, and criticisms--keep 'em coming.

Master Arminas


Magus, Ranger, and Paladin all have access to a lot more spells, some of which are certainly going to be better (some circumstantially, some reliably) than those given to the Witchblade.

Sczarni

I didn't see anything too impressive in the cantrip list; I wouldn't cry if they did get pulled but I don't think they need to be.

If anything, being more of a spellcaster than the average full BAB class just makes them more MAD. Especially since the Witchblade's list is full of spells that allow saving throws.

Witchblades are more inclined towards casting than Paladins or Rangers, I admit, but that just makes more tension as to whether you want to focus on spellcasting or weapon-wielding. Since most Paladins and Rangers are martial types first and casters second, I'd take combat feats off the list of Witchblade bonus feats instead and take away Fighter training. Make it clear that Witchblades are more casty but less fighty.

If I were convinced that they needed to be nerfed, which I'm not at the moment.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
master arminas wrote:

Ditch the cantrips? They make THAT much of a difference? You could easily drop the spell slots per day back down the paladin/ranger level; I only bumped them by 1 because all of the spontaneous casters seem to have a few more daily uses than the prepared casters (except the magus, which has the same as the bard, if I am remembering right!).

But I will certainly consider it, LazarX.

Thanks for all the suggestion, critques, and criticisms--keep 'em coming.

Master Arminas

They make a major difference in the character of spellcasting. Cantrips are casual magic, you cast them at whim. They're what separate a semi-caster from a full caster. For a D10 character, every spell cast should be an effort, should tick away a resource. With all the class features this still is a much more powerful character than the original HexBlade.

The limited spells known is a much lesser factor in a semi-caster, especially one like this who's still primarily a martial. He casts spells to supplement the fact that he's also splitting people apart with his Power Attacks. (Remember he's GOT the BAB to spare for that)


You do have a point there, and the original CW Hexblade that this was built on lacked cantrips as well (although the Duskblade had them, with his 0-5 progression, how screwed up was that!?). I'll have to think about it, LazarX, Silent Saturn, and Kyrt-ryder.

Thanks for the input!

MA


LazarX wrote:

With all the class features this still is a much more powerful character than the original HexBlade.

As it should be!

The original HexBlade, while somewhat playable (moreso than a Complete Warrior Samurai, at any rate) completely sucked! Such awesome flavor, such wasted potential. They finally did the martial caster right with the duskblade (and Paizo did a pretty good job with the Magus as well.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
LazarX wrote:

With all the class features this still is a much more powerful character than the original HexBlade.

As it should be!

The original HexBlade, while somewhat playable (moreso than a Complete Warrior Samurai, at any rate) completely sucked! Such awesome flavor, such wasted potential. They finally did the martial caster right with the duskblade (and Paizo did a pretty good job with the Magus as well.)

Most people who write up new classes do so only from the perspective of a player, they create them as wish-fulfillments of the class THEY want. The measure of a class however is how it balances with the other material you're going to use in a campaign.

The other thing I would lose from the class is the Familliar. It doesn't quite evoke the unique feeling the original Hexblade's companion had, and with so many other classes that get familliars and animal companions, I don't see the need for yet another class to get one. I find it rather problematic that this class gets Improved Familliar for free, something that every other class with this feature has to pay for. After all he already has the equivalent of the arcane bond with the ability to Hex his weapon.

As for the Cursed Blade feature? When was the last time you ever let a foe survive to worry about healing?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

LazarX, classes aren't meant to be PC only. Cursed Blade is great for npcs, or any campaign with recurring enemies.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
LazarX, classes aren't meant to be PC only. Cursed Blade is great for npcs, or any campaign with recurring enemies.

I don't see where that's relevant. If the class is meant to be used by PC's AT ALL, it still needs to be balanced. And generally NPC only classes are supposed to be weaker than PC classes. If a particular character needs buffing up that's what magic items and individual exceptions like demonic pacts are for.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
LazarX, classes aren't meant to be PC only. Cursed Blade is great for npcs, or any campaign with recurring enemies.
I don't see where that's relevant. If the class is meant to be used by PC's AT ALL, it still needs to be balanced. And generally NPC only classes are supposed to be weaker than PC classes. If a particular character needs buffing up that's what magic items and individual exceptions like demonic pacts are for.

I was simply saying that Cursed Blade can be useful, especially if an NPC has levels in this class. Your comment on it implied that you saw this class as only for PCs.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
LazarX, classes aren't meant to be PC only. Cursed Blade is great for npcs, or any campaign with recurring enemies.
I don't see where that's relevant. If the class is meant to be used by PC's AT ALL, it still needs to be balanced. And generally NPC only classes are supposed to be weaker than PC classes. If a particular character needs buffing up that's what magic items and individual exceptions like demonic pacts are for.
I was simply saying that Cursed Blade can be useful, especially if an NPC has levels in this class. Your comment on it implied that you saw this class as only for PCs.

It's not of much use either way. If it's used on a PC that effect is gone as soon as the party cleric sees to it. If it's used on the Big Bad, he'll have it taken care of likewise if he survives the combat.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
LazarX, classes aren't meant to be PC only. Cursed Blade is great for npcs, or any campaign with recurring enemies.
I don't see where that's relevant. If the class is meant to be used by PC's AT ALL, it still needs to be balanced. And generally NPC only classes are supposed to be weaker than PC classes. If a particular character needs buffing up that's what magic items and individual exceptions like demonic pacts are for.
I was simply saying that Cursed Blade can be useful, especially if an NPC has levels in this class. Your comment on it implied that you saw this class as only for PCs.
It's not of much use either way. If it's used on a PC that effect is gone as soon as the party cleric sees to it. If it's used on the Big Bad, he'll have it taken care of likewise if he survives the combat.

Good point. Extending the logic just slightly, damage can be healed as soon as a cleric sees it, so may as well never try to do any damage.


LazarX wrote:

Most people who write up new classes do so only from the perspective of a player, they create them as wish-fulfillments of the class THEY want. The measure of a class however is how it balances with the other material you're going to use in a campaign.

The other thing I would lose from the class is the Familliar. It doesn't quite evoke the unique feeling the original Hexblade's companion had, and with so many other classes that get familliars and animal companions, I don't see the need for yet another class to get one. I find it rather problematic that this class gets Improved Familliar for free, something that every other class with this feature has to pay for. After all he already has the equivalent of the arcane bond with the ability to Hex his weapon.

As for the Cursed Blade feature? When was the last time you ever let a foe survive to worry about healing?

And here I was trying to make a conversion of the same power level as the new Pathfinder Core and Base classes. Did I miss the mark by THAT much?

Uh, the original Hexblade just got a familiar. If you are talking about the Dark Companion, that was an option from PHB II, I believe. An option for an unkillable, spectral entity that was a mobile 'hex spot' that applied penalties to anyone near it. And if it was dispelled? The hexblade could just bring it back.

Now, don't get me wrong; as a player, I LOVED the Dark Companion. But I wouldn't dream of putting it into a class I was writing.

Pathfinder's improved familiar feat isn't quite the same as the old 3.5 one--for instance, you ain't getting Winter Wolves and Worgs anymore (which a 7th level Hexblade qualifyed for in 3.5 with Imp. Familiar). Sure, the Witchblade's familiar is a bit tougher and can do more damage (thanks to d10 hit die and full BAB), but it is still pretty vulnerable and a lot of people consider a familiar more of a liability than an advantage.

So, you're saying that players won't ever need to use Cursed Blade, so I should remove the option so that a witchblade won't waste his precious few hex points on it? Sure, you know--and I know--that PCs seldom let any opponent run away to fight another day, but it fits the character archtype.

Master Arminas


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Comments on the class proper.

Harrier seems a bit too good. There's an archetype that gets an ability like this. It's probably worth it to base Harrier off of that.

Further, there is a disconnect between what the flavor text says, and what the crunch is. This ability gives no bonus to casting without provoking AoOs.

Mettle: Switch Partial to Will :)

I agree with LazarX that Cantrips should probably go. Most cantrips are utility-based, something which doesn't mesh with the idea of this class. Or, what I feel the idea is. Although, that's also a general comment about the spell-list in particular, I guess. I don't recall the class being so utility focused. The class isn't too mad, since it just needs 12 Cha starting out, and the spell list isn't offensively oriented, so high DCs aren't necessary. By the time you could get 3rd level spells, you should be able to get a +Cha item easily.

Point Costs: A lot of these are 2 points to activate. I do see that they get lvl+mCha points (which is better than the Magus) but it still makes me feel a bit uneasy.

Familiar also doesn't fit what my idea of the class is. Possible replacements would be some access to Witch patrons and their spells. Perhaps they can change the patron every so often. Or maybe something akin to the Spirit Guide ranger archetype's Bond.

...I think I need to re-read the original Hexblade. I think all the stabracadabras are bleeding into each other in my mind.


So which spells would you suggest getting off the list? MOST of the spell list is the original hex-blade list as written by WoC in CW. I have added a few (such as Bestow Curse and Rusting Grasp) that fit the theme of the character, as well as a couple of seldom used utility spells, but I pretty much kept it the same, just removing the unique spells that CW introduced for the class.

Yeah, I pictured the hex pool being like the monk's ki pool--and I've always thought the magus pool was a little too small. Keep the 2 and 3 point hex abilities and drop the pool to 1/2 + Charisma?

Change Harrier to just a straight 2 point penalty? Or a penalty that begins at 2 points and advances, just like the hex penalty, to 4 and 6 as the witchblade goes up in levels. And I probably could've written the text better, but it isn't meant to give any bonus on the witchblade's own casting--he just knows what casters normally do to avoid AOO and disrupts that.

Cheapy said wrote:
Mettle: Switch Partial to Will :)

OOPS! Missed that; which is why I need an editor!

On the contrary, I think a familiar is a core part of the class. The original got theirs at 4th level, but I delayed it until 7th in order to allow the Improved Familiar option for free. The familiar's abilities advanced at witchblade class level -6, which still gives it all of the normal familiar abilities, just not as much Int and natural armor as a standard familiar. In this case, I see the familiar as a combat companion, similar to the ranger's animal companion, but different. Damage is less than the animal companion, and few familiars get over medium in size (most are small or smaller), but since they have the master's BAB, base saves, base skill ranks, and half his hit points, strangely enough for this class, the familiar is often just as tough and hits easier. Plus the familiar is highly intelligent (compared to an animal companion) which means that you can do all sorts of just evil-things with this feature. I mean, picture a 12th-level witchblade's Imp familiar. An IMP--with a base attack bonus of +12 (before size and stats) and somewhere around 50-60 hit points? And a +3 enhancement bonus on his attack and damage rolls? Or a pseudo-dragon? Or a mephit? Or a . . . well, you get the idea. It takes the concept of an 'arcane familiar' and twists it hard into something that most players (and NPCs) aren't expecting--or prepared for.

Anyway, that's my thoughts.

MA

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I like it, but would suggest giving the cantrips at 1st level, and the familiar at 4th....and maybe provide an alternative for those that don't want it, like the wizard's arcane bond ability.

Also, your witchblade's hex lasts 1 MINUTE on a SUCCESSFUL save! That's how long most battles last, so there is no big difference between a failed save and a successful save. Maybe reduce the duration to 1 round for a successful save.

Also, you may want to change some of the terminology a bit. Hexes are abilities that witches get, having a different, but similar, ability with the same name could lead to confusion. Maybe call it witchblade's curse or witchblade's blight?

I really like how you handle Quick Cast; it grants a bit of a resource management dilemma, which is always fun: Curse or Quick Cast? Or at higher levels, gain aura of unluck?

Sczarni

On the Familar issue-- instead of making the Witchblade wait until 7th level to get a familiar just to give him Improved Familiar for free, why not just add Improved Familiar to the list of bonus feats he can choose from? That way those who like familars don't have to wait, and those who don't can just ignore it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Silent Saturn wrote:

On the Familar issue-- instead of making the Witchblade wait until 7th level to get a familiar just to give him Improved Familiar for free, why not just add Improved Familiar to the list of bonus feats he can choose from? That way those who like familars don't have to wait, and those who don't can just ignore it.

+1!!!!


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Excellent suggestions, everyone. I have incorporated a number of them, including ditching the cantrips, changing the name of the hexes to blights, making a Cursed Blight a swift action so that the character has to make a choice in what he is going to do, . . . well, there are a lot of them. So without further ado here is the Witchblade, Take 2.

Witchblade, Take 2

There are warriors who play at learning the mystical arts; there are arcanists who learn to swing a sword. But the true path of the arcane warrior is that of the Witchblade, an arcanist who uses curses and luck-stealing to cripple his opponents. Although not as versatile or as powerful as a sorcerer or wizard, the Witchblade is able to blend sword and sorcery into a seamless whole and has a variety of options at his fingertips that can confound and confuse his opponents. In a similar vein, while not able to use the heaviest armors or shields, and not quite as effective in pure melee combat as a paladin, barbarian, or fighter, the Witchblade remains more than able to hold his own and possesses abilities that can quickly cripple those who rely only on physical might.

Role: Witchblade’s are a front-line combatant, armed with decent array of tricks and blights that can quickly turn the tide in favor of his adventuring companions. Although not a substitute for a full caster, the Witchblade offers a blend of magical and martial might that few other classes have available. As the Witchblade increases in level and power, he become a threat to even the most powerful spell-casters with his ability to dispel effects and disrupt their own casting.

Alignment: Any

Base Attack Bonus: Full

Good Saves: Fort; Will

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth: 4d6 x 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills: The Witchblade’s class skills are Bluff (Cha); Climb (Str); Craft (Int); Fly (Dex); Intimidate (Cha); Knowledge (Arcana) (Int); Perception (Wis); Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex); Spellcraft (Int); Stealth (Dex); and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Witchblades are proficient with all simple weapons and all martial weapons. They are proficient in light and medium armor, but not with shields. He can cast Witchblade spells while wearing light armor or medium without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a Witchblade wearing heavy armor, or a using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass Witchblade still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Blight Pool (Su): At 1st level, the Witchblade gains a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. This Blight pool has a number of points equal to his Witchblade level (minimum 1) + his Charisma modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the Witchblade refreshes his spell slots.
At 1st level, the Witchblade can expend 1 point from his Blight pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, speed, thundering, or vorpal. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the Witchblade uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the Witchblade.
A Witchblade can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.

Cursed Blight (Su): At 1st level, the Witchblade is able to bestow a curse on a person of his choice; this is known as a Cursed Blight. He may unleash a Cursed Blight by spending 1 point of his Blight pool on a target that the Witchblade can see and is within 60 feet of; this is a swift action, but the Witchblade may only bestow a single Blight each round. Spell resistance does not apply to Blights, but the target gets a Will save (DC 10 plus ½ the Witchblade’s level plus the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier) to partially negate the effect. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -2 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -1 and cuts the duration to just one round. A Cursed Blight can by ended prematurely by any effect that can remove a curse.
The effects of Cursed Blights do not stack, but the duration can be extended through multiple uses.

Arcane Grace (Su): At 2nd level, the Witchblade gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

Harrier (Ex): At 3rd level, when an opponent tries to cast an arcane spell within a Witchblade's threatened area, the DC for that caster to cast defensively increases by 2. At 10th level, and again at 17th level, the DC to cast defensively increases by an additional 2, to a maximum DC increase of 6 at 17th level.

Mettle (Ex): A Witchblade receives training in not only delivering spells while in combat, but in resisting them. Similar to the evasion ability possessed by rogues, mettle allows a Witchblade to shrug off the effects of spells that have a Fortitude or Will saving throw that have a reduced effect on a successful save (such as Will half or Fortitude partial). A successful saving throw by the Witchblade against these types of spells results in no effect to the Witchblade.

Witchblade’s Familiar (Ex): At 4th level, the Witchblade forms a powerful bond with an animal, magical beast, outsider, or elemental that becomes his constant companion and partner. The Witchblade can choose any of the standard wizard familiars, treating his Witchblade class level as his wizard level for this purpose only. The Witchblade’s familiar gains all of the standard familiar abilities, but the rate of progression is slower than that of a wizard or sorcerer. The Witchblade Familiar’s improves according to the chart in the wizard class as if the Witchblade were a wizard three levels lower than his Witchblade level.
In addition, the Witchblade’s familiar gains a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack and damage rolls. This enhancement bonus increases by +1 at 8th level, and every four Witchblade levels gained thereafter, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
In all other respects, treat the Witchblade’s Familiar as a normal familiar.

Spellcasting: Beginning at 4th level, a Witchblade gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells which are drawn from Witchblade spell list. A Witchblade can cast any spell he knows without preparing ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a Witchblade must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Witchblade’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a Witchblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily allotment is given on the class table above. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.
A Witchblade selection of spells in extremely limited. At fourth level, a Witchblade gains knowledge of three 1st-level spells of his choice. At each new Witchblade level, he gains knowledge of one or more new spells from the Witchblade spell list, as indicated on the table below.

Spells per Day:
4th: 1; -; -; -
5th: 2; -; -; -
6th: 2; -; -; -
7th: 2; 1; -; -
8th: 2; 2; -; -
9th: 3; 2; -; -
10th: 3; 2; 1; -
11th: 3; 2; 2; -
12th: 3; 3; 2; -
13th: 4; 3; 2; 1
14th: 4; 3; 2; 2
15th: 4; 3; 3; 2
16th: 4; 4; 3; 2
17th: 5; 4; 3; 2
18th: 5; 4; 3; 3
19th: 5; 4; 4; 3
20th: 5; 5; 4; 4

Spells Known:
4th Level: 3/0/0/0
5th Level: 4/0/0/0
6th Level: 5/0/0/0
7th Level: 5/2/0/0
8th Level: 5/3/0/0
9th Level: 5/4/0/0
10th Level: 6/4/2/0
11th Level: 6/4/3/0
12th Level: 6/4/4/0
13th Level: 6/5/4/2
14th Level: 7/5/4/3
15th Level: 7/5/5/4
16th Level: 7/5/5/4
17th Level: 7/6/5/4
18th Level: 7/6/5/4
19th Level: 7/6/5/5
20th Level: 7/6/6/5

Upon reaching 7th level, and every three Witchblade levels gained thereafter (10th; 13th; 16th; and 19th), a Witchblade can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Witchblade 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 Witchblade may swap only a single spell at any given time, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.
Unlike a paladin or a ranger, a Witchblade need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. To regain his daily spell slots, a Witchblade must spend 1 hour each day in quiet meditation where he clears his mind and refreshes his arcane energies. Through 3rd level, a Witchblade has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his Witchblade level -3.

Bonus Feats: At 5th level, and every five Witchblade levels gained thereafter, a Witchblade gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats, as well as the feats Ability Focus (Cursed Blight); Extra Blight; Greater Spell Focus; Greater Spell Penetration; Improved Familiar; Spell Focus; and Spell Penetration. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.

Quickcast (Ex): At 5th level, a Witchblade gains the ability to quicken a limited number of his spells each day. By spending 1 point from his Blight pool, any Witchblade spell cast by the Witchblade with a casting time of one standard action or less can instead be cast as a swift action. Unlike the quicken spell feat, the use of this ability does not require the Witchblade to use a higher level spell slot in order to cast this spell.

Aura of Unluck (Su): At 6th level, a Witchblade can spend 1 point from his Blight pool to invoke an aura around himself that causes any melee or ranged attack (including spells) made against the Witchblade to suffer a 20% miss chance (similar to concealment) and any sneak attacks or critical hits inflicted on the Witchblade have a 20% chance to be negated (similar to fortification). The Witchblade can activate this aura in an instant as a reaction to an attack upon them. Activating the aura of unluck is an immediate action, and the aura lasts for 3 rounds plus 1 round per point of the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

Cursed Blade (Su): At 7th level, a Witchblade can spend 2 points from his Blight pool as a swift action to curse the wounds inflicted by his attacks for one round. Any creature injured by the Witchblade must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ the Witchblade’s level + the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier) or suffer a cursed wound. The cursed wound cannot be healed until the curse has removed via a remove curse, break enchantment, or similar effect. All creature’s injured by the Witchblade during the round the cursed blade is active must save versus this effect, and the cursed wound damage stacks.

Fighter Training (Ex): At 8th level, a Witchblade counts ½ his total Witchblade level as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If he has levels in fighter, these levels stack.

Greater Blight (Su): At 9th level, the Witchblade’s Blight ability improves. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -4 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -2 and cuts the duration to just one round.

Dispelling Blight (Su): At 10th level, whenever the Witchblade hits an opponent in melee, and that opponent has one or more magical effects currently active on their person, the Witchblade can expend 2 points from his Blight pool to trigger a targeted dispel magic on his opponent. Unlike the normal dispel magic spell, the dispelling Blight does not have a cap on the Witchblade’s caster level.

Mass Blight (Su): At 11th level, the Witchblade can choose to affect all targets in a 20-foot radius burst with his Blight ability (but not his greater Blight ability). At 19th level, the Witchblade can choose to affect all targets in a 20-foot radius burst with his Greater Blight ability (but not his Dire Blight ability).

Improved Aura of Unluck (Su): At 12th level, when the Witchblade activates his Aura of Unluck ability, the miss chance is 35% and he gains a 35% to negate sneak attacks and critical hits.

Counter Blight (Su): At 13th level, the Witchblade can expend 2 points from his Blight pool as an immediate action to force one opponent within 60 feet to reroll an attack roll or saving throw he has just made.

Stolen Luck (Ex): At 14th level, the Witchblade can, as a free action once per day, reroll any d20 roll that he has just made. The Witchblade must take the results of the second roll, even if they are worse than the previous roll. At 20th level, he may use this ability three times per day.

Witchblade’s Insight (Ex): At 16th level, the Witchblade gains arcane insight into the ways of magic. He can select eight new spells from the abjuration, enchantment, necromancy, or transmutation schools of the sorcerer/wizard spell list and add them to his spells known. He gains two spells each of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level.

Dire Blight (Su): At 17th level, the Witchblade’s Blight ability improves again. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -6 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -3 and cuts the duration to just one round.

Greater Aura of Unluck (Su): At 18th level, when the Witchblade activates his Aura of Unluck ability, the miss chance is 50% and he gains a 50% to negate sneak attacks and critical hits.

Witchblade Spells

1st-level Spells: Alarm; Bleed; Dancing Lights; Cause Fear; Charm Person; Comprehend Languages; Detect Magic; Detect Poison; Disguise Self; Endure Elements; Expeditious Retreat; Feather Fall; Hideous Laughter; Hold Portal; Identify; Jump; Light; Mage Hand; Magic Aura; Mending; Mount; Obscuring Mist; Open/Close; Prestidigitation; Protection from Alignment; Read Magic; Sleep; Undetectable Alignment; Unseen Servant

2nd-level Spells: Alter Self; Arcane Lock; Bear’s Endurance; Blindness/Deafness; Bull’s Strength; Darkness; Darkvision; Eagle’s Splendor; Enthrall; False Life; Fog Cloud; Glitterdust; Invisibility; Knock; Levitate; Locate Object; Make Whole; Mirror Image; Obscure Object; Phantom Trap; Protection from Arrows; Pyrotechnics; Rage; Resist Energy; Scare; See Invisibility; Shatter; Spider Climb; Summon Swarm; Touch of Idiocy; Whispering Wind

3rd-level Spells: Arcane Sight; Beast Shape I; Clairaudience/Clairvoyance; Charm Monster; Confusion; Deep Slumber; Dispel Magic; Fly; Invisibility Sphere; Magic Circle against Alignment; Nondetection; Phantom Steed; Poison; Protection from Energy; Ray of Exhaustion; Repel Vermin; Slow; Stinking Cloud; Vampiric Touch; Wind Wall

4th-level Spells: Baleful Polymorph; Beast Shape II; Bestow Curse; Contact Other Plane; Crushing Despair; Detect Scrying; Dimension Door; Dominate Person; Elemental Body I; Enervation; Fear; Invisibility, Greater; Locate Creature; Phantasmal Killer; Rusting Grasp; Scrying; Sending; Solid Fog


Hexblade

Role: Hexblades excel at weakening their foes with their curse, crippling both their offensive and defensive abilities. Their martial skill makes them effective front line warriors, while their potent defenses against magic protect them from harm.

Alignment: Any non-good.

Hit Dice: d10

Class Skills: The hexblade's class skills are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Mag), Swim (Str), Use Magic Device (Mag)

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier

BaB= Good
Fort, Will= Good
Ref= Poor

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A hexblade is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light armor and shields (except tower shields). A hexblade can cast hexblade spells while wearing light armor and use a light shield or buckler without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance however the hexblade must have at least one hand free to cast spells with somatic components. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a hexblade wearing medium or heavy armor or using a heavy shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass hexblade still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Detect Magic (Sp): At will, a hexblade can use detect magic, as the spell. A hexblade can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it has any magical properties, learning the strength of its auras as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the hexblade does not detect magic in any other object or individual within range.

Hexblade’s Curse (Su): Once per day, as a free action, a hexblade can unleash a curse upon a foe. The target must be visible to the hexblade and within 60 feet. The target of a hexblade's curse takes a -2 penalty to on attacks and damage rolls for 1 hour thereafter. A successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 hexblade's class level + Mag modifier) instead restricts the effect to rolls opposed to the hexblade alone. At every three levels beyond 1st (4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th) a hexblade gains the ability to use his curse one additional time per day, as indicated on the above table. Multiple hexblade's curses don't stack, and any foe that succeeds on their saving throw against the effect cannot be affected again by the same hexblade's curse for 24 hours. Any effect that removes or dispels a curse eliminates the effect of a hexblade's curse. A hexblade can remove his own curse from the target as a free action, regardless of distance or visibility.

Arcane Resistance (Su): At 2nd level, a hexblade gains a bonus equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum +1) on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects. This does not stack with similar abilities, such as Divine Grace.

Mettle (Ex): At 3rd level, a hexblade can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude. If he makes a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save, he instead completely negates the effect. An unconscious or sleeping hexblade does not gain the benefit of mettle.

Scourge (Su): At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 18th) a hexblade can choose one additional penalty or condition to apply to a target of his curse, chosen from the following list: ability and skill checks, armor class, fatigued, movement (reduced by 5ft. for each point of curse penalty), shaken, sickened. Targets that pass their save against a hexblade's curse still suffer scourge conditions when engaging the hexblade; the condition immediately fades when engaging targets other than the hexblade.

At 9th level the hexblade adds the following scourges to the list of those that can selected: bleed (equal to twice curse penalty), caster level, confused, damage reduction, DC of the target’s special abilities, energy resistances (applies to all), exhausted, frightened, nauseated, saving throws.

At 15th level the hexblade adds the following scourges to the list of those that can be selected: blinded, deafened, paralyzed, spell save DC, stunned (1d4 rounds, then staggered for the curses duration).

Arcane Bond (Su): At 4th level, a hexblade gains an arcane bond, just as a wizard. His effective wizard level for the arcane bond is equal to his hexblade level -3.

Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a hexblade gains the ability to cast arcane spells drawn from the hexblade spell list presented in Complete Warrior. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a hexblade must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a hexblade's spell is 10 + the spell level + the hexblade's Magic modifier.

Spells Per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
0 -- -- --
1 -- -- --
1 -- -- --
1 0 -- --
2 1 -- --
2 1 -- --
2 1 0 --
3 2 1 --
3 2 1 --
3 2 1 0
4 3 2 1
4 3 2 1
4 3 2 1
5 4 3 2
5 4 3 2
5 4 3 2
6 5 4 3

Like other spellcasters, a hexblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on table above. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Magic score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

The hexblade's selection of spells is extremely limited. A hexblade at 4th level begins play knowing two 1st-level spells of the hexblade's choice. At each new hexblade level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on table above. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a hexblade knows is not affected by his Magic score. The numbers on the table below are fixed.)

Level Spells Known
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1st -- -- -- --
2nd -- -- -- --
3rd -- -- -- --
4th 2 -- -- --
5th 3 -- -- --
6th 3 -- -- --
7th 4 2 -- --
8th 4 3 -- --
9th 5 3 -- --
10th 5 4 2 --
11th 6 4 3 --
12th 6 5 3 --
13th 7 5 3 2
14th 7 6 4 3
15th 8 6 4 3
16th 8 7 4 3
17th 9 7 5 4
18th 9 8 5 4
19th 10 8 5 4
20th 10 8 6 5

Upon reaching 8th level, and at every third hexblade level after that (11th, 14th, and so on), a hexblade can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the hexblade “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, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level hexblade spell the hexblade can cast. A hexblade 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 he gains new spells known for the level.

A hexblade need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell's level.

Through 3rd level, a hexblade has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his hexblade level – 3.

Bonus Feat: At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and so on), a hexblade gains a bonus feat, which must be selected from the following list: Ability focus (hexblade's curse), Combat Casting, Extra Scourge, Extra Curse, Greater Spell Focus, Greater Spell Penetration, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, or any Combat Feat; the hexblade must qualify for the selected feat.

Greater Hexblade’s Curse (Su): When a hexblade attains 6th level, the penalty incurred by a target of Hexblade’s curse becomes -4 instead of -2 and the hexblade can select a target at a range of 120 feet.

Emanation of Misfortune (Su): Starting at 8th level, a hexblade can create a baleful aura of calamity. Any melee or ranged attack made against the hexblade while this aura is active has a 20% miss chance. Activating this emanation is a free action and he can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his Magic modifier. At each level after 8th a hexblade can use emanation of misfortune for 1 additional round per day.

Supernatural Resistance: At 11th level, a hexblade's arcane resistance applies to all Supernatural effects as well.

Two-Fold Bane (Su): At 11th level a hexblade can apply two scourges when using the hexblade's curse ability.

Dire Hexblade’s Curse (Su): When a hexblade attains 12th level, the penalty incurred by a target of Hexblade’s curse becomes -6 instead of -4, and the hexblade can select a target at a range of 240 ft. Additionally, remove curse is no longer effective against the hexblade’s curse.

Unerring Hexblade’s Curse (Su): Starting at 14th level, whenever a target of Hexblade’s curse succeeds on their saving throw against the effect, they suffer half the normal penalty for 1 hour (and still suffer full penalties with respect to the hexblade as normal)

Dread Hexblade’s Curse (Su): When a hexblade attains 18th level, the penalty incurred by a target of Hexblade’s curse becomes -8 instead of -6, and the hexblade can select a target at a range of 480 ft. Additionally, break enchantment is no longer effective against the hexblade’s curse, only limited wish, miracle, or wish can remove the effect.

Relentless Hexblade’s Curse (Su): At 17th level when a target successfully saves against a hexblade's curse the target must make another save on subsequent rounds or be cursed. For a number of rounds equal to half your Charisma modifier the intended target must pass a will save or suffer the full effects of the hexblade's curse. This only counts as one use of a hexblade's curse regardless of how many saves a target must make.

Unending Curse (Su): At 20th level, when the target fails their will save against the hexblade's curse, the hexblade can choose for it to last until dispelled or removed, either by himself or an effect that dispels or removes curses. A hexblade can have a number of unending curses equal to his magic modifier active at a time, with any additional curses last 1 hour as normal. If a hexblade creates another relentless curse while one is active, the previous relentless curse’s duration returns to one hour; if one hour has already passed, the curse immediately ends as normal.

Master of Misfortune (Su): At 20th level the hexblade has become a master of curses. The hexblade can use his emanation of misfortune at will with an unlimited duration and the miss chance granted by that ability increases to 40%. Furthermore the DC for hexblade's curse increases by +2. finally as a full round action you can trigger one of your active curses to become a deadly curse. Doing so immediately ends the hexblade's curse on the target and forces them to make a fortitude save (DC 10+ 1/2 hexblade's level +Mag modifier) or die. If a target successfully saves it cannot be affected by deadly curse for 24 hours.

This class was modified from a conversion build I found at http://dicefreaks.superforums.org/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2385>

Hexblade Spell List:
Spell List

1st-Level Hexblade Spells
Alarm: Wards an area for 2 hours/level.
Ant Haul APG: Triples carrying capacity of a creature.
Beguiling Gift APG: Subject immediately accepts an offered item and uses it.
Beast Shape I: You take the form and some of the powers of a Small or Medium animal.
Cause Fear: One creature of 5 HD or less flees for 1d4rounds.
Bungle UM: Target takes a –20 penalty on its next attack roll or check.
Charm Person: Makes one person your friend.
Crafter's Curse APG: Subject takes –5 on Craft skill checks.
Delusional Pride UM: Target is penalized on attacks and checks but gains bonus against charms and compulsions.
Disguise Self: Changes your appearance.
Disfiguring Touch UM: Target becomes disfigured.
Entropic Shield: Ranged attacks against you have 20% miss chance.
Expeditious Retreat: Your speed increases by 30 ft.
Feast of Ashes APG: A target starves with an insatiable hunger.
Fester APG: Gives subject SR 12 + your level vs. healing effects.
Forbid Action UM: Target obeys your command to not do something.
Fumbletongue UM: Target cannot speak intelligently.
Glide APG: You take no falling damage and move 60 ft./round while falling.
Gravity Bow APG: Arrows do damage as though one size category bigger.
Hideous Laughter: Subject loses actions for 1 round/level.
Identify: Determines properties of magic item.
Ill Omen APG: Target rolls twice for checks and attacks and uses worst roll.
Lead Blades APG: Melee weapons damage as if one size bigger.
Magic Aura: Alters object’s magic aura.
Magic Weapon: Weapon gains +1 bonus.
Mount: Summons riding horse for 2 hours/level.
Murderous Command UM: Target is compelled to kill its ally.
Pain Strike APG: Inflicts 1d6 nonlethal damage 1 round/level.
Protection from Chaos/Evil/Good/Law: +2 to AC and saves, counter mind control, hedge out elementals and outsiders.
Sleep: Puts 4 HD of creatures into magical slumber.
Steal Voice UM: Target gains the croaking spellblight.
Undead Anatomy I UM: Take the form and some of the powers of a Small or Medium undead.
Undetectable Alignment: Conceals alignment for 24 hours.
Unseen Servant: Invisible force obeys your commands.
Wartrain Mount UM: Animal gains the combat training general purpose.

2nd-Level Hexblade Spells
Alter Self: Assume form of a similar creature.
Animate Dead, Lesser UM: Create one skeleton or zombie.
Beast Shape II: You take the form and some of the powers of a Tiny or Large animal.
Bestow Curse: –6 to an ability score; –4 on attack rolls, saves, and checks; or 50% chance of losing each action.
Blindness/Deafness: Makes subject blind or deaf.
Bull’s Strength: Subject gains +4 to Str for 1 min./level.
Coward's Lament APG: If subject doesn’t attack you it receives a penalty.
Cup of Dust APG: Causes a creature to become dehydrated.
Darkness: 20-ft. radius of supernatural shadow.
Eagle’s Splendor: Subject gains +4 to Cha for 1 min./level.
Eldritch Fever UM: Target gains the eldritch ague spellblight.
Enthrall: Captivates all within 100 ft. + 10 ft./level.
False Life: Gain 1d10 temporary hp +1/level (max. +10).
Glitterdust: Blinds creatures, outlines invisible creatures.
Invisibility: Subject is invisible for 1 min./level or until it attacks.
Mirror Image: Creates decoy duplicates of you (1d4 +1 per three levels, max 8).
Monstrous Physique I UM: Take the form and some of the powers of a Small or Medium monstrous humanoid.
Protection from Arrows: Subject immune to most ranged attacks.
Pyrotechnics: Turns fi re into blinding light or choking smoke.
Rage: Gives +2 to Str and Con, +1 on Will saves, –2 to AC.
Resist Energy: Ignores first 10 (or more) points of damage/ attack from specified energy type.
See Invisibility: Reveals invisible creatures or objects.
Spider Climb: Grants ability to walk on walls and ceilings.
Suggestion: Compels subject to follow stated course of action.
Summon Swarm: Summons swarm of bats, rats, or spiders.
Touch of Idiocy: Subject takes 1d6 points of Int, Wis, and Cha damage.
Undead Anatomy II UM: Take the form and some of the powers of a Tiny or Large undead.
Vomit Swarm APG: Produces a spider swarm that fights for you.

3rd-Level Hexblade Spells
Arcane Sight: Magical auras become visible to you.
Beast Shape III: You take the form of a Diminutive or Huge animal, or Small or Medium magical beast.
Charm Monster: Makes monster believe it is your ally.
Calcific Touch APG: Touch attack slows target, 1d4 Dex damage.
Confusion: Subjects behave oddly for 1 round/level.
Curse of Magic Negation UM: Target gains the negated spellblight.
Deep Slumber: Puts 10 HD of creatures to sleep.
Deeper Darkness: Object sheds supernatural shadow in 60-ft. radius.
Dispel Magic: Cancels magical spells and effects.
Excruciating Deformation UM: Target takes Dex and Con damage.
Fleshworm Infestation UM: Worms deal hp and Dex damage.
Forbid Action, Greater UM: As forbid action, but 1 creature/level.
Invisibility Sphere: Makes everyone within 10 ft. invisible.
Magic Weapon, Greater: +1/four levels (max. +5).
Malfunction UM: Construct behaves oddly for 1 round/level.
Malicious Spite UM: Target is compelled to plot against another.
Moonstruck APG: Subject is enraged and confused.
Monstrous Physique II UM: Take the form and some of the powers of a Tiny or Large monstrous humanoid.
Nondetection: Hides subject from divination, scrying.
Phantom Steed: Magic horse appears for 1 hour/level.
Poison: Touch deals 1d3 points of Con damage, repeats in 1 min.
Protection from Energy: Absorb 12 points/level of damage from one kind of energy.
Repel Vermin: Insects, spiders, and other vermin stay 10 ft. away.
Shadow Projection APG: Temporarily become a shadow.
Slow: One subject/level takes only one action/round, –2 to AC and attack rolls.
Stinking Cloud: Nauseating vapors, 1 round/level.
Undead Anatomy III UM: Take the form and some of the powers of a Diminutive or Huge undead.
Vampiric Touch: Touch deals 1d6 points of damage/two levels; caster gains damage as hp.
Wind Wall: Deflects arrows, smaller creatures, and gases.

4th-Level Hexblade Spells
Animate Dead: Creates undead skeletons and zombies.
Baleful Polymorph: Transforms subject into harmless animal.
Beast Shape IV: You take the form of a Diminutive to Huge animal or a Tiny to Large magical beast.
Break Enchantment: Frees subjects from enchantments, alterations, curses, and petrification.
Contact Other Plane: Lets you ask question of extraplanar entity.
Curse of Disgust UM: Target is sickened when viewing a trigger.
Detect Scrying: Alerts you of magical eavesdropping.
Dimension Door: Teleports you short distance.
Dominate Person: Controls humanoid telepathically.
Enervation: Subject gains 1d4 negative levels.
Envious Urge UM: Targets steal from or disarm others.
Fear: Subjects within cone flee for 1 round/level.
Foe to Friend APG: Redirect an enemy creature's attack.
Invisibility, Greater: As invisibility, but subject can attack and stay invisible.
Monstrous Physique III UM: Take the form and some of the powers of a Diminutive or Huge monstrous humanoid.
Pain Strike, Mass APG: As pain, but affects multiple creatures.
Phantasmal Killer: Fearsome illusion kills subject or deals 3d6 points of damage.
Polymorph: Gives one willing subject a new form.
Scrying: Spies on subject from a distance.
Sending: Delivers short message anywhere, instantly.
Solid Fog: Blocks vision and slows movement.
Suffocation APG: Target quickly suffocates to death.


Also you will notice that some abilities reference a Magic (Mag) modifier. This is a new game mechanic that I have in my games. It replaces casters main stats when determining spell save DC's and bonus spells. It is also used for spellcraft and use magic device skills.


Not bad at all, Drogan. Not bad. I see that you kept the 'per day' uses where I wanted to explore more of the 'pool' type stuff we saw with the monk and magus. I have to do a deep read, but I am liking what I see on the surface.

Master Arminas


master arminas wrote:

Not bad at all, Drogan. Not bad. I see that you kept the 'per day' uses where I wanted to explore more of the 'pool' type stuff we saw with the monk and magus. I have to do a deep read, but I am liking what I see on the surface.

Master Arminas

Thank you! This class uses the pathfinder paladin as a frame work which is why the curse has uses per day. The hex pool is a fine idea for the class though.

There are also feats for this class that grant an extra 2 uses of the curse ability and a feat to learn one extra scourges.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
master arminas wrote:


So, you're saying that players won't ever need to use Cursed Blade, so I should remove the...

No, I would never say what you should do. I'm only offering my thoughts and what you do with them is up to you.


LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:


So, you're saying that players won't ever need to use Cursed Blade, so I should remove the...
No, I would never say what you should do. I'm only offering my thoughts and what you do with them is up to you.

I did decide to follow your advice on the cantrips, but in the end kept the cursed blade. I also changed the familiar and he no longer gets improved familiar for free. Thank you for the critique; I do very much appreciate it.

And I followed Cheapy's suggestion about altering harrier as well. I do think it works better this way. Thanks again to all of you who commented.

Master Arminas

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Looks good. You might want to change the name of Mettle to Stalwart, as that is what the Inquisitor ability of the same function is called.


I really need to read the 'base' classes. I have mainly stuck with the 'core' since I found Pathfinder.

Ok, then, Mettle now becomes . . . (wait for it) . . . STALWART!

And the peasants rejoice! lol

Master Arminas

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

master arminas wrote:

I really need to read the 'base' classes. I have mainly stuck with the 'core' since I found Pathfinder.

Ok, then, Mettle now becomes . . . (wait for it) . . . STALWART!

And the peasants rejoice! lol

Master Arminas

Yay! I've been promoted from serf to peasant! ;-)


Oh, I wasn't thinking about you! LOL

I was watching Home Improvement with Tim Allen; the episode where Jill makes Tim take one of the kids to the ballet--and they sneak out to go to the basketball game instead. I love Home Improvement!

Master Arminas


I Think that both of you make a good job. But I have some questions.
If you take the concept of Complete Warrior + the author revew + another efects to the hex and a great hability in level 20, the hexblade gonna be balanced.

I try to base the changes of the hexblade like the changes of paladin, making some changes of the hex hability and increasing the hex per day.

Puting the hex hability for the witch on hexblade make the class so much powerfull.

What everybody think about it?

Suggestions?

Author revew (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19547530/Contacting_Wiza rds_of_the_Coast_about_Hex_Blades?post_id=332210466#332210466 .

Bob Gomes


RG, that link doesn't seem to want to work; you might check and make sure it is not corrupted. Since I have not seen the author review, I can't really comment on that.

What I can comment on is what my intentions were for this conversion. I like the Hexblade; the problem is when comparing it to the paladin (the closest WoC class) it appears woefully underpowered. I wanted the class to be able to stand on its own in Pathfinder as a true front-line combatent (ala the Fighter, Ranger, Barbarian, and Paladin) while keeping that creepy flavor of the original hexblade's hexes.

Originally, I was planning to base the class off of the Paladin, but then I read the Magus class and its Arcane Pool. That concept seemed to better fit the Hexblade, especially since nearly all of its abilities are powered by the pool. You can throw out Cursed Blights like there is no tomorrow in one encounter, but then your pool is exhausted and you can't throw anymore, or protect yourself with Aura of Unluck, or stop an attacker with Counter Blight, or wound an opponent so that he doesn't naturally head with Cursed Blade.

I didn't give them heavy armor or shields for a reason--I picture the hexblade as a fast moving character who doesn't like being weighed down by huge amounts of armor (and shields would make it very difficult to cast their spells in combat). This gives them the same armor options as the Ranger and Barbarian, plus the ability to cast a handful of 1st-4th level arcane spells.

The final result--with the help of these fine people on the boards who have given me advice and critiqued my work--is a class that I feel fits into the Pathfinder motiff and finds that 'just right' spot: not too hot and not too cold. Of course, like all porridge it is a matter of personal taste and some will not care for the flavor of my Witchblade.

I hope that explains my thought process behind this class, RG, and if you could post a working link, that would be great.

Master Arminas


I Agree and understand your arguments. I also think that the hexpool or blightpool fit well in a warrior/mage class. My concern, is about the balance of this with the other core classes. But you have done a good job.

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19547530/Contacting_Wiza% 20rds_of_the_Coast_about_Hex_Blades?post_id=332210466#332210466


This should be the final revision of my Witchblade class. I have incorporated many of your suggestions and made a few other subtle changes. This includes limiting how many magical properties a Witchblade can place on a magical weapon when using their blight pool and the reintroduction of 0-level spells (cantrips). The superfluous test from Dispelling Blight has been removed. I decided to go with giving the Witchblade cantrips again, but not to use the at-will casting of more powerful spellcasting classes. That way, the character still gets access to these spells (without having to spend a vital 1st level spells known slot) but also has to husband his limited resources to cast them. The spell list has also been tightened up, eliminating spells that perhaps the Witchblade shouldn’t have to start with. I have also changed (slightly) arcane grace to not be quite so overpowering at lower levels. Plus, I clarified cursed blade to only work on melee attacks. Overall, I think this version has nailed the concept.

Witchblade, Final Cut

There are warriors who play at learning the mystical arts; there are arcanists who learn to swing a sword. But the true path of the arcane warrior is that of the Witchblade, an arcanist who uses curses and luck-stealing to cripple his opponents. Although not as versatile or as powerful as a sorcerer or wizard, the Witchblade is able to blend sword and sorcery into a seamless whole and has a variety of options at his fingertips that can confound and confuse his opponents. In a similar vein, while not able to use the heaviest armors or shields, and not quite as effective in pure melee combat as a paladin, barbarian, or fighter, the Witchblade remains more than able to hold his own and possesses abilities that can quickly cripple those who rely only on physical might.

Role: Witchblade’s are front-line combatants, armed with decent array of tricks and blights that can quickly turn the tide in favor of his adventuring companions. Although not a substitute for a full caster, the Witchblade offers a blend of magical and martial might that few other classes have available. As the Witchblade increases in level and power, he becomes a threat to even the most powerful spell-casters with his ability to dispel effects and disrupt their own spellcasting efforts.

Alignment: Any

Base Attack Bonus: Full

Good Saves: Fort; Will

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth: 4d6 x 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills: The Witchblade’s class skills are Bluff (Cha); Climb (Str); Craft (Int); Fly (Dex); Intimidate (Cha); Knowledge (Arcana) (Int); Perception (Wis); Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex); Spellcraft (Int); Stealth (Dex); and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

CLASS FEATURES

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Witchblades are proficient with all simple weapons and all martial weapons. They are proficient in light and medium armor, but not with shields. He can cast Witchblade spells while wearing light armor or medium armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a Witchblade wearing heavy armor, or using a shield, incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass Witchblade still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Blight Pool (Su): At 1st level, the Witchblade gains a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. This Blight pool has a number of points equal to his Witchblade level + his Charisma modifier (if any), with a minimum of 1 point. The pool refreshes once per day when the Witchblade refreshes his spell slots.
At 1st level, the Witchblade can expend 1 point from his Blight pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any one of the following weapon properties: flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, or thundering. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. The Witchblade can add only a single magical property to his weapon at any one time, regardless of the Witchblade’s class level. Adding a second property while another is still in effect immediately ends the first property. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the blight pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the Witchblade uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the Witchblade.
A Witchblade can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.

Cursed Blight (Su): At 1st level, the Witchblade is able to bestow a curse on a person of his choice; this is known as a Cursed Blight. He may unleash a Cursed Blight by spending 1 point of his Blight pool on a target that the Witchblade can see and is within 60 feet of; this is a swift action and the Witchblade may only attempt to bestow a single Cursed Blight each round. Spell resistance does not apply to a Cursed Blight, but the target gets a Will save (DC 10 plus ½ the Witchblade’s level plus the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier) to partially negate the effect. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -2 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -1 and cuts the duration to just one round. A Cursed Blight can by ended prematurely by any effect that can remove a curse, such as remove curse or break enchantment.
The effect of a Cursed Blight does not stack, but the duration can be extended through multiple uses.

Arcane Grace (Su): At 2nd level, the Witchblade gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws, to a maximum bonus equal to the character’s class level in the Witchblade class.

Harrier (Ex): At 3rd level, when an opponent tries to cast an arcane spell within a Witchblade's threatened area, the DC for that caster to cast defensively increases by 2. At 10th level, and again at 17th level, the DC to cast defensively increases by an additional 2, to a maximum DC increase of 6 at 17th level.

Stalwart (Ex): By 3rd level, a Witchblade understands the nature of arcane magical energy to such a degree that he can withstand magical attacks on his body and spirit that would cripple other men. Similar to the evasion ability possessed by rogues, stalwart allows a Witchblade to shrug off the effects of spells that have a Fortitude or Will saving throw that have a reduced effect on a successful save (such as Will half or Fortitude partial). A successful saving throw by the Witchblade against these types of spells results in no effect to the Witchblade.

Witchblade’s Familiar (Ex): At 4th level, the Witchblade forms a powerful bond with an animal that becomes his constant companion and partner. The Witchblade can choose any of the standard wizard familiars. The Witchblade’s familiar gains all of the standard familiar abilities, but the rate of progression is slower than that of a wizard or sorcerer. The Witchblade Familiar’s improves according to the chart in the wizard class as if the Witchblade were a wizard three levels lower than his Witchblade level.
In addition, the Witchblade’s familiar gains a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack and damage rolls. This enhancement bonus increases by +1 at 8th level, and every four Witchblade levels gained thereafter, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
In all other respects, treat the Witchblade’s Familiar as a normal familiar.

Spellcasting: Beginning at 4th level, a Witchblade gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells which are drawn from Witchblade spell list. A Witchblade can cast any spell he knows without preparing ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a Witchblade must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Witchblade’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a Witchblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily allotment is given on the class table above. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

Spells per Day:
4th Level: 1/1/-/-/-
5th Level: 2/2/-/-/-
6th Level: 2/2/-/-/-
7th Level: 2/2/1/-/-
8th Level: 2/2/2/-/-
9th Level: 3/3/2/-/-
10th Level: 3/3/2/1/-
11th Level: 3/3/2/2/-
12th Level: 3/3/3/2/-
13th Level: 4/4/3/2/1
14th Level: 4/4/3/2/2
15th Level: 4/4/3/3/2
16th Level: 4/4/4/3/2
17th Level: 5/5/4/3/2
18th Level: 5/5/4/3/3
19th Level: 5/5/4/4/3
20th Level: 5/5/5/4/4

A Witchblade’s selection of spells in extremely limited. At fourth level, a Witchblade gains knowledge of two 0- and two 1st-level spells of his choice. At each new Witchblade level, he gains knowledge of one or more new spells from the Witchblade spell list, as indicated on the table below. Unlike bards, clerics, druids, magi, sorcerers, witches, and wizards, a Witchblade must expend a daily spell slot to use 0-level spells (also known as cantrips).

Spells Known:
4th Level: 2/2/0/0/0
5th Level: 2/2/0/0/0
6th Level: 3/3/0/0/0
7th Level: 3/3/2/0/0
8th Level: 4/4/2/0/0
9th Level: 4/4/3/0/0
10th Level: 5/5/3/2/0
11th Level: 5/5/4/2/0
12th Level: 6/6/4/3/0
13th Level: 6/6/5/3/2
14th Level: 6/6/5/4/2
15th Level: 6/6/6/4/3
16th Level: 6/6/6/5/3
17th Level: 6/6/6/5/4
18th Level: 6/6/6/6/4
19th Level: 6/6/6/6/5
20th Level: 6/6/6/6/5

Upon reaching 7th level, and every three Witchblade levels gained thereafter (10th; 13th; 16th; and 19th), a Witchblade can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the Witchblade 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 Witchblade may swap only a single spell at any given time, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.
Unlike a paladin or a ranger, a Witchblade need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. To regain his daily spell slots, a Witchblade must spend 1 hour each day in quiet meditation where he clears his mind and refreshes his arcane energies. Through 3rd level, a Witchblade has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is equal to his Witchblade level -3.

Bonus Feats: At 5th level, and every five Witchblade levels gained thereafter, a Witchblade gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats, as well as the feats Ability Focus (Cursed Blight); Extra Blight; Greater Spell Focus; Greater Spell Penetration; Improved Familiar; Spell Focus; and Spell Penetration. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal. If the Witchblade selects Ability Focus (Cursed Blight), the DC increase also applies to his Mass Blight, Greater Blight, and Dire Blight abilities (see below). Extra Blight adds +2 points to a Witchblade's Blight pool when this feat is selected. It can be selected multiply times and its effects stack.

Quickcast (Ex): At 5th level, a Witchblade gains the ability to quicken a limited number of his spells each day. By spending 1 point from his Blight pool, any Witchblade spell cast by the Witchblade with a casting time of one standard action or less can instead be cast as a swift action. Unlike the quicken spell feat, the use of this ability does not require the Witchblade to use a higher level spell slot in order to cast this spell.

Aura of Unluck (Su): At 6th level, a Witchblade can spend 1 point from his Blight pool to invoke an aura around himself that causes any melee or ranged attack (including spells) made against the Witchblade to suffer a 20% miss chance (similar to concealment) and any sneak attacks or critical hits inflicted on the Witchblade have a 20% chance to be negated (similar to fortification). The Witchblade can activate this aura in an instant as a reaction to an attack upon them. Activating the Aura of Unluck is an immediate action, and the aura lasts for 3 rounds plus 1 round per point of the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

Cursed Blade (Su): At 7th level, a Witchblade can spend 2 points from his Blight pool as a swift action to curse the wounds inflicted by his melee attacks for one round. Any creature injured by a melee weapon wielded by the Witchblade must make a Will save (DC 10 + ½ the Witchblade’s level + the Witchblade’s Charisma modifier) or suffer a cursed wound. The cursed wound cannot be healed until the curse has removed via a remove curse, break enchantment, or similar effect. All creature’s injured by the Witchblade during the round the cursed blade is active must save versus this effect. Like all damage, the damage inflicted by a cursed blade stacks with itself. Targets of this effect need to keep a running tab of the total damage inflicted on them by the cursed blade, as damage taken from other sources can be healed normally.

Fighter Training (Ex): At 8th level, a Witchblade counts one-half his total Witchblade level as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If he has levels in fighter, these levels stack.

Greater Blight (Su): At 9th level, the Witchblade’s Cursed Blight ability improves. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -4 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -2 and cuts the duration to just one round.

Dispelling Blight (Su): At 10th level, whenever the Witchblade hits an opponent in melee, and that opponent has one or more magical effects currently active on their person, the Witchblade can expend 2 points from his Blight pool to trigger a targeted dispel magic on his opponent.

Mass Blight (Su): At 11th level, the Witchblade can choose to affect all targets in a 20-foot radius burst with his Cursed Blight ability (but not his Greater Blight ability). At 19th level, the Witchblade can choose to affect all targets in a 20-foot radius burst with his Greater Blight ability (but not his Dire Blight ability).

Improved Aura of Unluck (Su): At 12th level, when the Witchblade activates his Aura of Unluck ability, the miss chance is 35% and he gains a 35% to negate sneak attacks and critical hits.

Counter Blight (Su): At 13th level, the Witchblade can expend 2 points from his Blight pool as an immediate action to force one opponent within 60 feet to reroll an attack roll or saving throw he has just made.

Stolen Luck (Ex): At 14th level, the Witchblade can, as a free action once per day, reroll any d20 roll that he has just made. The Witchblade must take the results of the second roll, even if they are worse than the previous roll. At 20th level, he may use this ability three times per day.

Witchblade’s Insight (Ex): At 16th level, the Witchblade gains arcane insight into the ways of magic. He can select eight new spells from the abjuration, enchantment, necromancy, or transmutation schools of the sorcerer/wizard spell list and add them to his spells known. He gains two spells each of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level.

Dire Blight (Su): At 17th level, the Witchblade’s Cursed Blight ability once again grows more potent. If the target fails his saving throw, he suffers a penalty of -6 on all attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class for the next hour. A successful save by the target reduces the penalties to -3 and cuts the duration to just one round.

Greater Aura of Unluck (Su): At 18th level, when the Witchblade activates his Aura of Unluck ability, the miss chance is 50% and he gains a 50% to negate sneak attacks and critical hits.

WITCHBLADE SPELLS

0-level Spells: Arcane Mark; Bleed; Dancing Lights; Detect Magic; Detect Poison; Light; Mage Hand; Mending; Open/Close; Prestidigitation; Read Magic; Touch of Fatigue

1st-level Spells: Alarm; Cause Fear; Charm Person; Comprehend Languages; Disguise Self; Endure Elements; Expeditious Retreat; Feather Fall; Hideous Laughter; Hold Portal; Identify; Jump; Magic Aura; Mount; Obscuring Mist; Protection from Alignment; Sleep; Undetectable Alignment; Unseen Servant

2nd-level Spells: Alter Self; Arcane Lock; Bear’s Endurance; Blindness/Deafness; Bull’s Strength; Darkness; Darkvision; Eagle’s Splendor; False Life; Fog Cloud; Glitterdust; Invisibility; Knock; Levitate; Make Whole; Mirror Image; Protection from Arrows; Pyrotechnics; Resist Energy; Scare; See Invisibility; Shatter; Spider Climb; Summon Swarm; Touch of Idiocy

3rd-level Spells: Beast Shape I; Charm Monster; Confusion; Deep Slumber; Dispel Magic; Fly; Nondetection; Phantom Steed; Poison; Protection from Energy; Ray of Exhaustion; Repel Vermin; Slow; Stinking Cloud; Vampiric Touch

4th-level Spells: Baleful Polymorph; Beast Shape II; Bestow Curse; Crushing Despair; Dimension Door; Dominate Person; Elemental Body I; Enervation; Fear; Invisibility, Greater; Phantasmal Killer; Rusting Grasp; Sending; Solid Fog


Roberto Gomes wrote:

I Agree and understand your arguments. I also think that the hexpool or blightpool fit well in a warrior/mage class. My concern, is about the balance of this with the other core classes. But you have done a good job.

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19547530/Contacting_Wiza% 20rds_of_the_Coast_about_Hex_Blades?post_id=332210466#332210466

It is still showing this page doesn't exist. Try putting it in URL end-caps (click on the SHOW button at the bottom to learn how) and test it; maybe there is something up with Wizards boards today that is not letting it through.

But back on topic; I do understand your concerns. I think the class is pretty much on par with the Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, and Barbarian as presented in Pathfinder. I could well be wrong, however, which is why I do appreciate any critiques, criticisms, advice, and helpful suggestions. But just in comparing the Paladin and the Witchblade side-by-side (the Pathfinder, not the 3.5 classes), I think they are fairly well balanced against each other. Same with the Ranger and Barbarian. The Witchblade might be a little more powerful than the fighter, but can't hold a candle to that class in dealing damage--which is one of the major points of playing a fighter.

It seems to fit in with how Pathfinder has made these classes more attractive to players, but . . . maybe I missed something.

Master Arminas


Comments of the author of the hexblade class:

Hello, I was wondering how I would get a hold of the proper people to ask for a re-write of a specific class, such as the Hex Blade. The Hex Blade is a great class concept but has been given little in the long run.

The hexblade suffers a little because he came on the scene relatively early in 3.5's life. As R&D pushes the boundaries of the game, we learn that some things we thought were risky or potentially broken aren't. Other times, we learn things that look fine don't actually work in play.

Armored mages fall into the first category. Them seem really powerful, but in the long run they aren't. Spells and magic items allow an unarmored mage to build great defenses. The spell mage armor is as good as medium armor, and its duration allows most mages to keep it active at all times. If you compare the hexblade to the duskblade from PH 2, you can see how the thinking has changed.

If you want to boost the hexblade, I'd try the following changes:

* Good Fortitude save
* Curse ability usable 1 + the hexblade's Cha modifier per day
* Curse ability usable as a swift action
* Curse ability does not count as used if the target makes his saving throw
* Ability to cast in light or medium armor and while carrying a light shield or buckler
* At 6th level, the hexblade can cast one hexblade spell per day as a swift action, as long as its original casting time is a standard action or faster. He gains an additional use of this power at levels 8, 11, 14, and 18.

The key to the hexblade is his curse ability, but it's a little un-fun to have it so limited in use. The hexblade also has trouble casting spells and using his melee attacks, so shifting spells to swift actions fits in with the idea of an armored mage.

(These are by no means official. They're just off the top of my head changes I'd consider making.)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe a class feature that increases the Save DC of the hexblade's curse if he has already struck that opponent in melee?

And maybe an option to use his Hexblade's Curse as an immediate action?

I think the main "role" of the hexblade is a melee de-buffer. He should be able to function quite well in melee (on par with a non-smiting paladin or ranger fighting a non-favored enemy), while still capable of de-buffing, possibly interrupting enemy spellcasters, siphoning enemy healing, possibly interrupting a fighter's charge or barbarian's rage, maybe even disrupting a monk or rogue's evasion, etc. etc.


Roberto, thanks for posting that! I think that is exactly what we have managed to accomplish here. I had a long post that went over each point in detail, but the Internet ate it. LOL

Suffice to say that I believe we have acheived a balance between the witchblade and Pathfinder's core classes.

Smilodan, that is what the feat Ability Focus (cursed blight) is for: a +2 bonus on a save DC that is already self-scaling with levels gained. You think it needs another boost? I am iffy about using blights as immediate or free actions. On the one hand, the original 3.5 hexblade could hex as a free action, but on the other hand it would also allow him to quickcast or throw up an aura of unluck on the same turn. Plus, to me at least, the abilities don't seem reactive but deliberate and proactive, if that makes any sense. LOL

I am in full agreement with your appraisal of the role of this class, and I think we have managed to lock it down to where it can actually fufill that role.

Once again, everyone, thank you for your responses, your advice, your excellent suggestions, and your support.

Master Arminas


I am pretty happy with where we took this class, ladies and gentlemen. I have post the final version here. The text has been cleaned up, spelling errors corrected, and your final thoughts were implemented. I also added a 20th level capstone ability. Anyway, thank you all for your critiques and support.

Master Arminas

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