Master Arminas's Witchblade: A Pathfinder Hexblade Conversion (Complete)


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I want to thank everyone who helped me on the original thread where we discussed this conversion in full: Silent Saturn, LazarX, Kyrt-ryder, Cheapy, SmiloDan, Drogan Tome, and Robert Gomes. Without their advice and assistance, I doubt that this class would as effective or as fun as it has become. The original thread can be found here, if you are interested.

Once again, I would like to express my thanks to Paizo for developing, making available, and continuing to support the Pathfinder game system and community. You guys have exceeded all of my expectations, and I hope to remain a fervent supporter of your work for years to come.

Master Arminas

The Witchblade, A Revised and Updated Hexblade for the Pathfinder RPG

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 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 or medium armor 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 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 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.
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.

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): A Witchblade receives training in not only delivering spells while in combat, but in resisting them. 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, 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.

Spells per Day: (Class Level: 0/1/2/3/4 (Spell Level))
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: (Class Level: 0/1/2/3/4 (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.

[smaller]*Extra Blight is a feat that adds +2 points to his blight pool. This feat may be taken multiple times and its benefits 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 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 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.

Witchlord: At 20th level, the Witchblade’s ability to meld sword and sorcery becomes seamless. When the Witchblade scores a critical hit with a melee weapon on an opponent, he may (as a free action, but no more than once per round) cast any spell that he knows and has a spell slot available to cast at the opponent who suffered the critical hit. The Witchblade receives a competence bonus of +4 on the save DC (if any) of the spell that he casts when using this ability. He also gains a competence bonus of +4 on any caster level check made to overcome any spell resistance that his opponent might have.

WITCHBLADE SPELLS

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

1st-level Spells: Alarm; Bleed; 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


Two favorites, but not one comment. I am sad. lol

Master Arminas


I had a lot of love for the original hexblade. Well, thematically not mechanically.

Dark Archive

Was their not a PH II alternate class feature for the Hexblade, I like to see how that could be worked into PF conversion.

PHB II, Dark Companion, Hexblade alternate class feature, 4th lvl.
In lieu of Summon Familiar,it is vastly superior and makes Hex Curse, melee combat, all Save spells, etc. way way better. Basically, it's a figment (illusion) that has your move and everything, cannot be destroyed, but can be dispelled/etc (w/ no XP loss unlike a familiar). When it's adjacent (it's Med sized, 5ft) to an enemy they take a -2 on pretty much everything, like the Curse, save AC.


I actually prefer the familiar. Since a familiar shares the caster's BAB and has half the points of its master; a full BAB/d10 caster can make for a really formidable familiar.

Master Arminas

Dark Archive

master arminas wrote:

I actually prefer the familiar. Since a familiar shares the caster's BAB and has half the points of its master; a full BAB/d10 caster can make for a really formidable familiar.

Master Arminas

I understand, you done a great job. Just thought it would be nice to have the option converted to PF for people to see/use. I would love to play this class.

Silver Crusade

A long time ago I tried my hand at something like you did - that was even before they announced the magus. So I know that it's hard.

My first knee jerk reaction to Arcane Grace was ... well I stopped reading, but given the fact that you and others have spend a lot of time on this class I continued.

I was pleasantly surprised that, while the class gets a lot of class abilities, they are held in check rather nicely by the Blight Pool class feature.

It is a very nice class, though this could have been a Magus variant class (like the Antipaladin) with some changes. I am pretty sure this would have made it easier to promote, but it can stand alone just as well. As a product it would have to include some archetypes, feats and exclusive spells - but other that that you're good.


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This is really well done.
I also miss the Dark Companion feature. I understand the alternative of the traditional familiar but felt the original class almost required Imp. Familiar to work as intended.

I actually think this is a far better version than it's inspiration. I'd happily play this.


Now all I'd need to rewrite is Arcane Turmoil ......


This might just end up getting used by me.


Oh as soon as I can I'm using this.
Even if it's as an enemy NPC.

One nitpick, I'm wondering if Medium Armor is too much?


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Magi get heavy armor, along with spell-strike and 0-6 level spells. Albeit with a medium BAB and d8 hit die.

The witchblade gets only light and medium armor (no shields), 0-4 level spells, full BAB, and d10 hit die.

Considering that nearly all of the witchblade's abilities are based on uses of his blight pool (a very finite source), I think it balances out well. But that is only my opinion.

Master Arminas


Heh. Cursed blade is wonderful when used by an NPC against the party. Talk about causing fear and loathing!

Fighter: "Now that the fighter is over, cleric-buddy, I need some healing, here. I'm down thirty hit points."

Cleric: casts cure serious. "Get back twenty-three."

DM (grinning like smilodan): "Ah, no. Your spell goes off and the wounds don't heal."

Fighter: "WHAT?"

Cleric: "WHAT?"

Master Arminas


Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

A long time ago I tried my hand at something like you did - that was even before they announced the magus. So I know that it's hard.

My first knee jerk reaction to Arcane Grace was ... well I stopped reading, but given the fact that you and others have spend a lot of time on this class I continued.

I was pleasantly surprised that, while the class gets a lot of class abilities, they are held in check rather nicely by the Blight Pool class feature.

It is a very nice class, though this could have been a Magus variant class (like the Antipaladin) with some changes. I am pretty sure this would have made it easier to promote, but it can stand alone just as well. As a product it would have to include some archetypes, feats and exclusive spells - but other that that you're good.

No, Sebastian, I am not promoting it for a third-party publisher. I am just a fan of Pathfinder and Paizo who wanted to have a hexblade to offer my players. And it was other posters here on the boards who provided help through their critiques and advice. Glad that you enjoyed it.

Master Arminas


Zagnabbit, Kelsey:

Any info on how well this class worked for you?

Master Arminas


It seems very solid and well balanced. Like a better version of a hexcrafter. I was halfway hoping for more aspects of he comic book of the same name lol. I think this boat floats! Well done!


So does cursed wound prevent all healing, or just the damage dealt by cursed wound? For example, if a Witchblade dealt 10 damage while cursed wounds was active, is all healing prevented after that, or can only the 10 damage from cursed wounds not be recovered (essentially reducing the creature's maximum hit points by 10)?


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Sellsword2587 wrote:
So does cursed wound prevent all healing, or just the damage dealt by cursed wound? For example, if a Witchblade dealt 10 damage while cursed wounds was active, is all healing prevented after that, or can only the 10 damage from cursed wounds not be recovered (essentially reducing the creature's maximum hit points by 10)?
Quote:
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.

Let's say you have a +2 longsword (1d8+2) and a Strength of 16 (+3). You hit with one attack after spending 2 blight points for 10 points of damage; your target makes a Will save and fails; that 10 points of damage becomes a cursed wound. Before the start of your next round, you also get an attack of opportunity against your target, which hits, but only for 6 points of damage. Once again, he fails his Will save (should have gotten Iron Will) and his cursed wound increases from 10 points to 16. Next round, you spend 2 more blight points and hit twice, for 12 points and then 9, but the fighter finally makes his saving throw against the second hit! That leaves him with a 28-hit point cursed wound.

Now, the battle is over, and your opponent tries to get healed. Those 28 points of damage that he took (from the cursed blade) cannot be healed (but other damage he took from other sources can) until he has the curse broken (through remove curse, break enchantment, or other similar means).

So, if your opponent was a 7th level figher, with a 14 Con, adding is favored class bonus to hit points, and the toughness feat, he has somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 hit points at full strength. But, until he has that cursed wound removed via magic, he has a maximum of 52 hit points (80 minus 28). AND a constantly oozing, bloody wound (no bleed damage, and no in game effect, but something that will definately draw attention).

Imagine if you had been using a scimitar instead of a longsword, or a battleaxe, and gotten a critical hit! That damage is also part of a cursed wound.

Cursed blade isn't an ability that I see most players use very often (some will, others won't), but for NPC Witchblades? Oh, baby, yes.

Master Arminas


To be honest, I didn't see the last sentence of the ability, which completely answers my question. Thank you for extrapolating though.


You are welcome.

MA


MA I'm lovin' your conversions more and more! Well done.


Well, thanks. I have links to all of them in my profile. Currently have four different monks, hexblade (witchblade), warlock, warmage, psion (mind mage, using a different mechanic with slots for powers instead of power points), assassin, soulknife (mystic knight), shadowcaster, healer, dragon shaman, and cavalier.

Master Arminas


Great-great-great work! I'm so excited to Witchblade the heck out of my players! Thank you for taking the time and effort to do this, Master; it has been a pleasure reading (and copy and pasting into my DM files) your conversions.

HH


Glad you enjoyed it Hellacious Huni. Have fun!

MA


So it looks like you took a Magus and just beefed him up to a Full BAB. The problem is that a Magus gets many of his abilities to make up for the fact that he is always behind a Fighter in his Hit bonus. Really you should be balancing this against a Paladin. Also remember that Arcane spells are usually more effective in combat than Divine Spells, so that should drop his over all power down a little too.

1) Blight Pool is too powerful. I can see you modeled it after the Magus Arana Pool, but in a Magus, that is designed to bring him up to a Full BAB to hit, where the Witchblade is already at Full BAB, so he just became the best fighter type in the game. He now has a greater to hit than the Fighter and he gets all the other bells and whistles on top of that. At level 1, WB takes Weapon Focus and gets +2 to hit, the Fighter only +1 to hit. At level 5, you have +3 to hit and Fighter +2, by level 9 it’s an even +3, but the WB doesn’t have to ever invest in a weapon property, so he’s more likely to have a strait up +2 or +3 weapon, where the Fighter will have a +1 flaming or keen. You either need to drop this ability completely, raise its minimum level or significantly slow down the progression

1a) He has less things to use his BP on than a Magus does, so he’ll use it more often for weapon enhancement.

2) Cursed Blight is also too strong. 60ft range is really long, especially because most Hexes only have a 30ft range, and in my opinion it should be touch range. This guy already has Full BAB and Medium armor, why isn’t he in Melee? Second, why a swift action? All Hexes and similar abilities are Standard actions. Third, the duration is WAY too long, one save and the effect is on them for an HOUR!! It should be no more than 1 round per level. I know I sound like a broken record, but this would be the most powerful Hex in the game by far. Fourth, as with many other similar abilities, it should be one try per 24 hours, and regardless of the save success/failure you can only affect a creature with this once per day.

3) Arcane Grace: he now has the best saves in the game, is this necessary? And I don’t feel like it fits with the overall feel of the class either. He a Curser a Blighter, why a bonus to saves?

4) I love the Harrier ability, this has great flavor and is sufficiently limited to not be overpowered. Great

5) Familiar wording is a little confusing. I would say “the witchblades effective Wizard level is Level -3” I understand that you want him to have access to Improved Familiar at the same time as a Wizard, but I feel that it would make it too powerful. You could probably drop the enhancement bonuses, it feels weak. Maybe switch it out for a bonus to Natural Armor? Since you’re in melee, your familiar may be targeted more often, and has a slower NA progression b/c of the low effective level

6) Ditch the bonus feats. The WB already gets enough abilities w/o needing extra feats on top of that. I know that you are basing this on the Magus Bonus feats, but like the AP, this is given to the Magus to help him keep up with the other Full BAB classes, something a WB doesn’t need.

7) Quickcast: at 5th level he can cast ANYSPELL as a swift action? A Magus doesn’t get this until level 15!!

8) Aura of Unluck: Don’t make it an immediate action OR make it last only one round, not both.

9) Don’t give him fighter training, he doesn’t need it.

10) Greater Blight is very strong. You can keep it, but bump it up to level 11 at least, more likely 13.

11) Gets a new ability at levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 20. He just gets too much. No other class gets a new ability every level, plus normal feat PLUS Spells.

12) for the powers from 16th-18th level, they seem a little strong, but at this level it’s hard to really compare.

13) you have bleed on as a 0 and 1st level spell. Spells look good, 4th level selection may be too strong, but looks good otherwise.

So in Summary: when looking at a new class, you should ask yourself- would I ever choose a Fighter/Wizard/Cleric/Rogue other this class. If the answer is yes then it is likely well balanced, if no then over balanced. My question is, with this class, why would I ever want to play a Fighter or Magus?


j b 200 said wrote:
So it looks like you took a Magus and just beefed him up to a Full BAB. The problem is that a Magus gets many of his abilities to make up for the fact that he is always behind a Fighter in his Hit bonus. Really you should be balancing this against a Paladin. Also remember that Arcane spells are usually more effective in combat than Divine Spells, so that should drop his over all power down a little too.

Actually, it is based on the original 3.5 Hexblade from Complete Arcane. Now, I did compare it with the Paladin in my conversion, as both are 1-4 level casters (Paladin divine, Hexblade arcane) and I admit that the Blight Pool is drawn from reading the Magus.

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1) Blight Pool is too powerful. I can see you modeled it after the Magus Arana Pool, but in a Magus, that is designed to bring him up to a Full BAB to hit, where the Witchblade is already at Full BAB, so he just became the best figther type in the game. He now has a greater to hit than the Fighter and he gets all the other bells and whistles on top of that. At level 1, WB takes Weapon Focus and gets +2 to hit, the Fighter only +1 to hit. At level 5, you have +3 to hit and Fighter +3, by level 9 it's an even +3, but the WB doesn't have to ever invest in a weapon property, so he's more likely to have a strait up +2 or +3 weapon, where the Fighter will have a +1 flaming or keen. You either need to drop this ability completely, raise its minimum level or significantly slow down the progression

1a) he has less things to use his BP on than a Magus does, so he'll use it more often for weapon enhancement.

You did see that Blight Pool not only powers the weapon enhancement (for 1 minute), but also powers the Cursed Blight (including Greater and Dire), Quickcast, Aura of Unluck, Cursed Blade, Dispelling Blight, and Counter Blight . . . didn't you? That Blight Pool runs thin really, really quick, especially if you are spending points each and every minute to beef up your blade.

Published Full BAB classes (Anti-Paladin, Barbarian, Cavalier, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, and Samurai) all have something special that boosts their attacks and damage even higher. Fighters have Weapon Training (and gloves of dueling), while Paladins have Smite Evil and Rangers got their Favored Enemies. Barbarians have Rage, and Cavaliers have Challenges.

My Witchblade doesn't have those; but he does have the ability to make, for a short time, his weapon better.

Become the best fighter in the game? Hah! Surely, you jest.

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2) Cursed Blight is also too strong. 60ft range is really long, especially because most Hexes only have a 30ft range, and in my opinion it should be touch range. This guy already has Full BAB and Medium armor, why isn't he in Melee? Second, why a swift action? All Hexes and similar abilities are Standard actions. Third, the duration is WAY too long, one save and the effect is on them for an HOUR!! It should be no more than 1 round per level. I know I shound like a broken record, but this would be the most powerful Hex in the game by far. Fourth, as with many similar abilities, it should be one try per 24 hours, and regardless of the save success/failure you can only afffect a creature with this once per day.

Cursed Blight is based directly on the Hexes of the old Hexblade. Range stayed the same at 60ft; the original hexes were free actions, that he could perform no more than once per round. The duration of one hour is once again taken directly from the old WoTC class.

But, nostalgia aside, here are my reasons: 60 feet is fine. It is the same range that a rogue or ninja can sneak attack someone and it can be closed in a single charge by most Medium-sized opponents. It is a swift action, because I wanted to stay true to the original design, which mixed up spells, hexes, and swordplay wonderfully. Yes, it breaks the action economy: so sad, Mister Magus that you are not the only one to do that anymore. However, it is a very finite resource, powered off of the Blight Pool. Unlike a Witch's Hexes, which she can do all day long (or a Hexcrafter's Hexes), each Cursed Blight consumes 1 point from that Blight Pool.

The duration of one hour I think is fine. Combat doesn't last more than a few rounds . . . but if you fail a save against a Cursed Blight, you will be suffering for a while. And even if you make your save, you suffer a lesser penalty for 1 round. No, I didn't put on there that you can only affect 1 target in 24 hours with any 1 Cursed Blight . . . because the ability itself states that the penalties DO NOT STACK. The duration DOES NOT STACK, but it can be extended. -1/-2 to attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, CMB, CMD, and armor class is too powerful?

Best keep a bard handy with Break Enchantment, then.

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3) Arcane Grace: he now has the best saves in the game, is this necessary? And I don't feel like it fits with the overall feel of the class either. He a Curser a Blighter, why a bonus to saves?

Not quite. The Paladin still has the best saves in the game, although the Witchblade comes a close second. He got it because I see the Witchblade as the Arcane version of the Paladin. He is a Curser; he is a Blighter; and because of that he knows well how debilitating proper enchantments and curses can be . . . and he shores up his own defenses against them. Which is why he also gets Stalwart.

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4) I love the Harrier ability, this has great flavor and is sufficiently limited to not be overpowered. Great

Glad you actually liked something.

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5) Familiar wording is a little confusing. I would say "the witchblades effective Wizard level is level-3" I understand that you want him to have access to Improved Familiar at the same time as a Wizard, but I feel that it would make it too powerful. You could probably drop the enhancement bonuses, it feels weak. Maybe switch it out for a bonus to Natural Armor? Since you're in melee, your familiar may be targeted more often, and has a slower NA progression b/c of the low effective level

He can pick any familar available to a 4th level Wizard when he gets this ability. His familiars special features are those of a 1st level wizard. Improved familiar is based on caster level, so he can't get an improved familiar at 4th level anyway. I wll clean up the wording, however.

You think the enhancement bonuses on the familiars attacks/damage is weak? Remember that the Witchblade is no frail low-BAB, d6 Wizard, but a full-BAB, d10 hit die swordsman! That familiar shares the BAB of the Witchblade and has half his total hit points. Sure, the damage is low, but they are more likely to hit than a normal familiar--and tougher.

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6) Ditch the bonus feats. The WB already gets enough abilities w/o needing extra feats on that of that. I know that you basing this on the Magus bonus feats, but like the AP, this is given to the Magus to help him keep up with other Full BAB classes, something a WB doesn't need.

And you are wrong in your assumptions. The bonus feats are a straight port from the 3.5 Hexblade. Thank you for playing.

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7) Quickcast: at 5th level he can cast ANYSPELL as a swift action? A Magus doesn't get this until level 15!!

Hey! I believe you are finally getting it! A Witchblade isn't a Magus. He isn't a Magus Archetype. He isn't based on Paizo's class what so ever. Yes, he can cast a spell as a swift action, at the cost of 1 point from his Blight Pool (you know, that thing that enchants his weapon, powers his Cursed Blights, and all of the other things that you originally said he didn't have to spend his points on).

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8) Aura of Unluck: Don't make it an immediate action OR make it last only one round, not both.

Wait, what?

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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).

You want it to last one round as an immediate action, or 3 rounds +1 per point of Charisma for a standard? Is that what you are trying to say?

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9) Don't give him fighter training, he doesn't need it.

No, he doesn't. And it gives him access to just a handful of fighter-only feats since a 20th level Witchblade only counts as a 10th level fighter for this purpose. Still, it gives people options.

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10) Greater Blight is very strong. You can keep it, but bump it up to level 11 at least, more likely 13.

It follows the progression of the HEXBLADE, whose hexes improved at the same level (and again for Dire Blight, which comes later).

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11) Gets a new ability at [every level except 15 & 19]. he just gets too much. No other class gets a new ability every level, plus normal feat PLUS Spells.

Really? I must have imagined the Bard in the Core Rulebook then; he gets quite a bit of stuff as well with just three levels where he doesn't gain a special ability . . . he doubles up on a lot of the levels, and some of his new abilities are just improvement of the old ones (like say, Improved or Greater Aura of Unluck, or Greater or Dire Blight.

Or the monk, who doesn't have a single dead level where he doesn't gain something new. Or the Paladin. Or the Ranger.

But, maybe I am just remembering wrong and there is simply TOO MUCH STUFF here for my Witchblade.

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12) for the powers from 16th-18th level, they seem a little strong, but at this level it's hard to really compare.

No, no it's not.

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13) you have bleed on as a 0 and 1st level spell. Spells look good, 4th level selection may be too strong, but looks good otherwise.

Yes, I cannot go in and edit to remove the typo that has bleed on the 1st level spells anymore. Thank you.

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So in Summary: when looking at a new class, you should ask yourself- would I ever choose a Fighter/Wizard/Cleric/Rogue other this class. If the answer is yes then it is likely well balanced, if no then over balanced. My question is, with this class, why would I ever want to play a Fighter or Magus?

A fighter does more damage faster, with a higher armor class, without being slowed while wearing heavier armor. A Magus gets 5th and 6th level spells, the ability to deliver a touch spell while taking a full-attack (and without a finite number of times per day, as my Witchblade using quickcast), and can wear heavy armor. So, the answer to your question is . . . yes.

MA


Here are some comments from the original designer and developer of the Hexblade class that Roberto Gnomes found (posted in the development thread of my Witchblade, refer to the first post for a link). He talks about how, in 3.5, the Hexblade suffered from being too weak because it was one of the first (I believe, the first) new classes that featured casting in armor (other than the 3.5 bard).

Roberto Gomes wrote:

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.)

As you can see, I incorporated much of what the actual designer/developer talked about to make it work within the framework of 3.5. Along a few things from Core and subsequent canon Pathfinder to make it fit into the PFRPG.

MA


I appologize if my first post came off as a little harsh. I do really like the class. I think the concept is really good. Most of my criticism wasn't of you or the class design in general, I was trying to be constructive to help you convert this class to pathfinder while not being overpowered.

As far as all the abilities being tied to the Blight Pool, the magus has almost as many abilities tied to his Arcane Pool, which isn't much bigger.

As far as the 60ft range and the quickened spell, I would say that I understand that that was in the original class build, but the problem is that in Pathfinder there are already similar abilities that this can be easily compared to to see if they are overpowered or not. Clearly the designers feel that 30ft range as opposed to 60ft is much better balanced and that Quickened spells are very powerful, so free quickened spells are restricted to higher levels.

Of course this is just my opinion.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
master arminas wrote:

I actually prefer the familiar. Since a familiar shares the caster's BAB and has half the points of its master; a full BAB/d10 caster can make for a really formidable familiar.

Master Arminas

I'd still prefer a different mechanic. I have a bit of a problem with a familiar of a semi-caster being that much more durable than that of a full caster. The Dark Companion was also more definitive. Instead of being Yet Another Class With A Familiar, it added a particular menacing tone. A Hexblade's companion should be more on the order of that of a Ranger's type, also a much more limited and focused list. A Hexblade with a pesudo-dragon or brownie completely ruins the zeitgeist.

And an earlier point made by someone else bears repeating... If from a gaming standpoint, you could not see anyone picking a Magus or a Fighter over this class, than it's time to step back a bit and take a look at some pruning.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
master arminas wrote:
Not quite. The Paladin still has the best saves in the game, although the Witchblade comes a close second. He got it because I see the Witchblade as the Arcane version of the Paladin. He is a Curser; he is a Blighter; and because of that he knows well how debilitating proper enchantments and curses can be . . . and he shores up his own defenses against them. Which is why he also gets Stalwart.

Keep in mind however, that the Paladin's saves and other abilities come with a steep price attached to it. A very restrictive code.


Hey, I like what you did with your class. Very interesting take on the melee/spellcasting hybrid with a 4 level progression. Very nice.

If you would, have a look at my own update of Hexblade
Hexblade for Pathfinder


LazarX wrote:
master arminas wrote:
Not quite. The Paladin still has the best saves in the game, although the Witchblade comes a close second. He got it because I see the Witchblade as the Arcane version of the Paladin. He is a Curser; he is a Blighter; and because of that he knows well how debilitating proper enchantments and curses can be . . . and he shores up his own defenses against them. Which is why he also gets Stalwart.

Keep in mind however, that the Paladin's saves and other abilities come with a steep price attached to it. A very restrictive code.

The code either isn't a hindrance at all in most games or makes the class unusable because you have a DM that specifically hates the class because of said code. So I don't really agree with this.

I like it Arminas,

I would say the only thing I would change is the range to 30. Everything else seems great.


Glad ya'll enjoyed it.

MA

Shadow Lodge

This thread needs more Sara Pezzini.


I'd settle for Yancy Butler making an appearance. LOL

MA


I like it! Nice conversion.


Thank you, Undead Viking.

MA


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WITCHBLADE II, THE RETURN

Heh, okay, so that is a bit over the top. But it is accurate. Here is the what should be the final update, with the spell list fixed and minor corrections. As per your suggestions, I have cut the range of the cursed blight back to 30 feet. Also, I have taken to heart that some of you think arcane grace is a bit too strong. Therefore, I have . . . well, I will let you read it. But I think you will like what I have done with it.

Now, I have also made one major change in the class: the witchblade's familiar class ability. Many of you were not happy with it, and to tell the truth neither was I. So what I have done is to keep the familiar, but make it available for a select few size Small (and one size Medium) animal companions.

Whoa. Sounds interesting, eh? Well, here's the thing. Unlike actual animal companions, these guys don't gain more hit die, skills, feats, BAB, or get any larger. They DO get all the abilities (Int, share spells, spell resistance, natural armor increase) of a standard familar. AND, like all familiars, they use either their OWN BAB and base saves, or that of the Witchblade. Plus, they share the Witchblade's own skill ranks (using their attribute modifiers, as normal).

Anyway, we will see if it works. Hope you enjoy it.

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 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 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 or medium armor 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, in the same manner that a Sorcerer 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 30 feet of; this is a swift action and the Witchblade may only 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 (ending at the start of the witchblades next turn). A cursed blight can by ended prematurely by any effect that can remove a curse.
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 can spend 1 point (as a swift action) from his blight pool to gain a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws for the next ten minutes.

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): A Witchblade receives training in not only delivering spells while in combat, but in resisting them. 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 animal gains a measure of intelligence and willingly serves his master (as an intelligent creature, the familiar does not need to be taught tricks nor does the Handle Animal skill apply to the familiar).
The Witchblade can choose any of the following animals to serve as his familiar: badger (or wolverine), bear, bird (eagle/hawk/owl), cat (cheetah, leopard), dog, snake (constrictor or viper), or wolf. 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. Unlike a Druid or a Ranger’s animal companion, a Witchblade’s familiar does undergo an increase in size as he gains levels, nor does it ever gain feats. The familiar does, however, share the Witchblades BAB, base saves, and skill ranks, as normal for familiars.
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.
A Witchblade may take the Improved Familiar feat; doing so, however, provides a different benefit for Witchblades than for other classes. When a Witchblade with a familiar selects the Improved Familiar feat, he may conduct a small ritual in which he anoints his familiar with oils infused with eldritch energy; at the conclusion of the ritual, the Improved Familiar increases in size to Medium (as per the Druid’s animal companion when the Druid reaches 4th or 7th level).
A Witchblade may NOT select the Boon Companion feat; although his familiar is based on the animal companions of a Druid or Ranger, they are not actual animal companions, but are familiars.
In all other respects, treat the Witchblade’s Familiar as a normal familiar, including the consequences for a familiar's death. If a witchblade's familiar is lost or dies, it can be replaced 1 week later through a specialized ritual that cost 200 gp per Witchblade level. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete. Alternatively, a slain familiar can be raised by a cleric, as though it were the same racial type as the witchblade, through the spell raise dead. A witchblade's familar raised in such a fashion does not suffer from permanent negative levels or Constitution drain, nor does the Witchblade need to conduct a ritual: however, the cleric must still expend 2,500 gp worth of ritual materials in order to cast the spell (half that of a normal casting of the spell). To be raised, the witchblade must be present and assist the cleric during the ritual. A witchblade's familiar is always considered to be willing to return.

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 (0/1st/2nd/3rd/4th):
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 (0/1st/2nd/3rd/4th):
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 (see below); 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 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 four 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 one spell 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.

Witchlord: At 20th level, the Witchblade’s ability to meld sword and sorcery becomes seamless. When the Witchblade scores a critical hit with a melee weapon on an opponent, he may (as a free action, but no more than once per round) cast any spell that he knows and has a spell slot available to cast at the opponent who suffered the critical hit. The Witchblade receives a competence bonus of +4 on the save DC (if any) of the spell that he casts when using this ability. He also gains a competence bonus of +4 on any caster level check made to overcome any spell resistance that his opponent might have.

WITCHBLADE SPELLS

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

1st-level Spells: 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; Protection from Arrows; Pyrotechnics; Rage; Resist Energy; Scare; See Invisibility; Shatter; Spider Climb; Summon Swarm; Touch of Idiocy; Whispering Wind

3rd-level Spells: Beast Shape I; 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

WITCHBLADE FEATS

Extra Blight

Prerequisites: Blight pool class feature.
Benefit: Your blight pool increases by 2.
Special: You can gain Extra Blight multiple times. Its effects stack.


This is still looking like a solid conversion. The hexblade was always an interesting class, its good to see it getting a decent pathfinderization.

I always felt it somewhat filled the gap for those that wanted to play something like an antipaladin, just not requiring the CE alignment. I'm all for more options and this should fill some roles nicely.


Hmmm. No thoughts on the change of the familiar from a more traditional wizard type familiar to something akin to a druid/ranger animal companion? Is it too much? Or does it fit the class?

MA


1st, let me say I really like this class. I love the Hexcrafter Magus and High-Charisma characters. This one combines both, so, yeah, I really like it.

That said, I like it more with a Familiar than an Animal Companion. Seems more suitable its arcane background. Besides, it'll make him a bit too similar to Paladins for my taste.

Let Pallys have their horses and Druids have their tigers! This guy walks around with a Cacodaemon on his shoulders! Both of them slinging curses over their fleeing enemies!


Fair enough. I am glad that you enjoyed the class and I kind of had a feeling that was just an ability too far. LOL

MA


Well, TBH, it was not so much about its power, but about its fluff.

I don't think would make it OP, (Hell, both Sorcerers and Clerics can have Animal Companions nowadays!) but IMO, it just doesn't fit arcane characters, or at least, not as the default option.

But I'd like to see it as part of an archetype, if you ever decide to create some of those.


I would leave out the familiar. As a CHA based classed, Eldritch Heritage is easily accquired.
Regarding the spell list:
By level 4, Sleep will not be usable much, maybe just drop it?
The spells should probably be more focussed on enchantment and illusion and not have all the nice utility spells. Second level e.g.
has basically every utility spell I would want for a wizard (levitate, invisibility, glitterdust, spider-climb,...) so I would recommend cutting some of the out.


KutuluKultist wrote:

I would leave out the familiar. As a CHA based classed, Eldritch Heritage is easily accquired.

Regarding the spell list:
By level 4, Sleep will not be usable much, maybe just drop it?
The spells should probably be more focussed on enchantment and illusion and not have all the nice utility spells. Second level e.g.
has basically every utility spell I would want for a wizard (levitate, invisibility, glitterdust, spider-climb,...) so I would recommend cutting some of the out.

I disagree.

1st: A familiar suits the arcane fluff quite well. Just because you can get it with a feat or two doesn't mean the class shouldn't have it. It's like saying paladins shouldn't have a mount because as a Cha-focused class, Eldritch Heritage can easily give them an Animal Companion. Besides, familiars are useful, but not game-breaking.

2nd: He does have some nice utility spells, but as an spontaneous caster, he'll never have access to all of them. And having a somewhat varied list is great to make it less one-dimensional. I do agree that Sleep could be left out, though, as by that level, it's more of a trap option. Especially for someone with limited spells known.

Dark Archive

Masrer Arminas my hat goes off to you for all your amazing conversion work. I love this witchblade and will be working it into my home setting at some point. You have also inspired me to upload one of my own classes that I've been working on for awhile but just can't seem to get right. Maybe the community will be able to help me out. Be on the look out for it I would love to hear your feedback on it, it's called the Cardmaster.


Clean, updated, and edited google doc version is now up. Master Arminas's Witchblade: A Hexblade Conversion for Pathfinder

MA


I think I am in love with this class! The concealment abilities really have me salivating.

I haven't played D&D for decades and truthfully, the amount of feats is intimidating to me. Would anyone be willing to give a suggested feat progression for this class, level by level?

Also, is this class better suited with a one-handed weapon, or would a two-handed weapon be ok?


Cogwheel wrote:

I think I am in love with this class! The concealment abilities really have me salivating.

I haven't played D&D for decades and truthfully, the amount of feats is intimidating to me. Would anyone be willing to give a suggested feat progression for this class, level by level?

Also, is this class better suited with a one-handed weapon, or would a two-handed weapon be ok?

I will let others do the feats since it all depends on what you want. Ability focus (cursed blight) is always a good one, though . . . you get a +2 on your save DC. And so is Combat Casting if you are planning on being in combat and casting spells.

On the weapon, well, it depends. :) If you are planning on mixing up sword-play (or whatever) with spell-casting, then you want to have a free hand. If not, the two-hand weapon will give you a bit more damage, at the cost of not being able to take AoOs if you remove a hand to cast a spell on your turn. Check with you DM, by the way; some people play it as a free action to re-grip your THW after casting . . . others don't.

Glad you liked the class, Cogwheel.

MA


I like this, the only thing I would try to balance into it was arcane bound: Weapon that also allows for semantic components done with the weapon; just like the Arcane Dualist.

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