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What can a Blackblade be?


Rules Questions

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1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I know the relevant text, but what can really be a Blackblade? Can a dagger or Musket Axe be a Blackblade?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
I know the relevant text, but what can really be a Blackblade? Can a dagger or Musket Axe be a Blackblade?

Where is the relevant text, not sure what a blackblade is.

I did search the PRD for it.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/magus/archetypes/paizo---magus -archetypes/bladebound
See here.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Would a large-sized Rope gauntlet count?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Technically, a scorpion whip can be a black blade, as was discussed in a recent thread.


Rope gauntlet, nope. Light exotic...unless you were maybe a titan mauler maybe? And could use a weapon not sized for you.

How about a large hook hand? Same problem there...


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

And, since the weapon restriction seems more fluff than mechanics, I'd lift it (house rule) for sufficiently nifty replacement fluff. A bloodthirsty morning star or trident would be thematically reasonable.

And whatever happened to the scourge, namely the version with bits of metal or glass woven into the tails? I miss that thing.


What makes you feel it was fluff? Just curious, not trying to start a ruckus,,,


I don't think the weapon restrictions sound like fluff - they sound pretty straightforward to me. It is what it is. "A black blade is always a one-handed slashing weapon, a rapier, or a sword cane." Where is there any fluff here?


Seijiro wrote:
I don't think the weapon restrictions sound like fluff - they sound pretty straightforward to me. It is what it is. "A black blade is always a one-handed slashing weapon, a rapier, or a sword cane." Where is there any fluff here?

I think he means that a one-handed slashing weapon is not mechanically inferior to a one-handed piercing weapon. So why hinder your players?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My understanding is that one-handed is a specific category of weapon, and things like daggers, though wielded with one hand, are not one-handed weapons.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If anyone knows of RAW that conflicts with this opinion, please point it out to me. I just want to be sure. I also would also like some thoughts on the oversized light weapon/undersized two-handed weapon thing.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Knight Magenta wrote:
Seijiro wrote:
I don't think the weapon restrictions sound like fluff - they sound pretty straightforward to me. It is what it is. "A black blade is always a one-handed slashing weapon, a rapier, or a sword cane." Where is there any fluff here?
I think he means that a one-handed slashing weapon is not mechanically inferior to a one-handed piercing weapon. So why hinder your players?

That's all I meant. The slashing-only restriction appears to be in place to support a particular flavor of the character rather than for, e.g., game balance reasons. I could be mistaken in their intent.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:
My understanding is that one-handed is a specific category of weapon, and things like daggers, though wielded with one hand, are not one-handed weapons.

RAW, you are probably correct. I've seen the distinction matter in more places than not. But unless this is PFS, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Re: oversized/undersized weapons: I don't see any particular prohibition on it, but then one has to clarify whether the one-handed restriction refers to the weight class of the weapon at the sized designed or in the hands of the wielder. If the first was intended, an elf bladebound could bond with a Large longsword (there goes spell combat), but not a Small greataxe. If the second was intended, the opposite applies.

Dark Archive

A black blade is always a one-handed slashing weapon, a rapier, or a sword cane.

not fluff.

Im sure the RAI is one handed, for the intended size category of the weilder.

no over sized daggers, or undersized great sworda


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I agree Name Violation, I have just had some heated discussions on the subject, and hoped to clear things up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Name Violation wrote:

A black blade is always a one-handed slashing weapon, a rapier, or a sword cane.

not fluff.

Im sure the RAI is one handed, for the intended size category of the weilder.

no over sized daggers, or undersized great sworda

A bastard sword would qualify.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, a Klar can too, but that is not one of the questionable weapons.


+1 on RAW being a one-handed slashing weapon (or the exceptions).

You can of course houserule it to allow something other than the above. But those are the rules as they stand. It can't be a dagger. It can't be a shortspear. It can't be a two-handed sword, even one sized for a halfling. RAW would appear to allow large-sized weapons for Medium-sized characters, but I wouldn't allow that as a GM.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, I'd allow the undersized two-hander and the oversized light weapon. I mean that if they want a -2 to hit for a wrongly sized weapon who am I to stop them.


I'd allow a magus to find a black blade for a larger or smaller character. But there does appear to be an intent to have them be one handed weapons.

(So a magus that wants to wield a black blade as a light weapon could find a small sized short sword and for the reverse they could find a large sized short sword)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think the comment about it being 'fluff' is the restriction to slashing weapons, given the comment on morningstars. In other words, there's really nothing about the archetype that really should require it to be a slashing weapon other than the name of the archetype ability (black blade). Of course, the way it was written, as pointed out, a scorpion whip counts as a black blade.

I honestly don't see any reason why it couldn't just be 'any one handed or light weapon' regardless of damage type. So basically, no two-handed weapons. In my own home games, I usually don't bother with the slashing requirement. I just don't let anyone use a two-handed weapon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The discussion started when someone with tiger style wanted to make his unarmed strike his Blackblade.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That one I'd probably disallow. Although I guess I might allow something like a cestus that slides over his claws and acts like a natural attack (kind of like the claw-sheath from Thundercats that Lion-o uses).


mdt wrote:
In other words, there's really nothing about the archetype that really should require it to be a slashing weapon other than the name of the archetype ability (black blade).

And the literary inspiration for the archtype.

Major Elric of Melniboné spoiler:
The countless sibling swords of Elric's Stormbringer

mdt wrote:
That one I'd probably disallow. Although I guess I might allow something like a cestus that slides over his claws and acts like a natural attack (kind of like the claw-sheath from Thundercats that Lion-o uses).

By raw, wouldn't work...BUT, in a home game, I would probably let someone use any sort of onehanded, truly manufactured (as opposed to "acts like a manufactured") weapon.

As to the oversized/undersized weapons, they might find it that way, but the next time they slept, there would be all sorts of fingers running thru their brains and when they woke up, the black blade would be sized for them and would be whatever type of weapon they are focussed in. Intelligent weapons...gotta love how they can wander around in your head and judge what they should be. :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:
If anyone knows of RAW that conflicts with this opinion, please point it out to me. I just want to be sure. I also would also like some thoughts on the oversized light weapon/undersized two-handed weapon thing.

If you're determined to ignore the RAW in the blackblade text which specifically states the forms that the blade can take, then there's no further info anyone can give you.

As with any raw text, you can ask your GM for a variance, unless the GM in question is PFS.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
I know the relevant text, but what can really be a Blackblade? Can a dagger or Musket Axe be a Blackblade?

Black Blades: "A black blade is always a one-handed slashing weapon, a rapier, or a sword cane."

Light, One-Handed, and Two-Handed Melee Weapons: "This designation is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield a weapon in combat. It indicates whether a melee weapon, when wielded by a character of the weapon's size category, is considered a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon."

A dagger is a light weapon. No black blade.

A Musket, Axe is considered a double weapon with one end being a battleaxe. While a battleaxe is a one-handed slashing weapon, the Axe Musket itself is a Two-Handed Firearm. No black blade.

Re Oversized:
Inappropriately Sized Weapons: "The measure of how much effort it takes to use a weapon (whether the weapon is designated as a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon for a particular wielder) is altered by one step for each size category of difference between the wielder's size and the size of the creature for which the weapon was designed. For example, a Small creature would wield a Medium one-handed weapon as a two-handed weapon."

A Large Scimitar is a one-handed weapon, a medium creature can wield it as a two-handed weapon.


mdt wrote:
That one I'd probably disallow. Although I guess I might allow something like a cestus that slides over his claws and acts like a natural attack (kind of like the claw-sheath from Thundercats that Lion-o uses).

"A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons."

Black Blade is an effect. The fact that it's not actually a manufactured weapon wouldn't change anything.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
My understanding is that one-handed is a specific category of weapon, and things like daggers, though wielded with one hand, are not one-handed weapons.

"A light weapon is used in one hand."

Personally, i think light weapons should count as one-handed weapons for this. Also, if it makes a different, only ONE of my character's hands would be the black blade, so it would not be two weapons or be two-handed.

EDIT: in any case, i'd have to see if my DM would let me do this, he should be the judge of this.


*insert-name-here* wrote:
Black Blade is an effect.

It's not an effect, it's an item. An Intelligent item.


Grick wrote:
*insert-name-here* wrote:
Black Blade is an effect.

It's not an effect, it's an item. An Intelligent item.

No, i meant that the ABILITY 'black blade' was an effect, as in the ability that all bladebound magi get at level 3.


*insert-name-here* wrote:
No, i meant that the ABILITY 'black blade' was an effect, as in the ability that all bladebound magi get at level 3.

Black Blade (Ex): "At 3rd level, the bladebound magus' gains a powerful sentient weapon called a black blade, whose weapon type is chosen by the magus."

The ability grants you a black blade. The black blade itself is an intelligent weapon. It is not an effect that that enhances or improves a weapon, so monk unarmed strike does not apply.


*insert-name-here* wrote:
Grick wrote:
*insert-name-here* wrote:
Black Blade is an effect.

It's not an effect, it's an item. An Intelligent item.

No, i meant that the ABILITY 'black blade' was an effect, as in the ability that all bladebound magi get at level 3.

No, Grick had the right of it here I think - it is an intelligent ITEM, not an 'effect'.


Grick wrote:
*insert-name-here* wrote:
No, i meant that the ABILITY 'black blade' was an effect, as in the ability that all bladebound magi get at level 3.

Black Blade (Ex): "At 3rd level, the bladebound magus' gains a powerful sentient weapon called a black blade, whose weapon type is chosen by the magus."

The ability grants you a black blade. The black blade itself is an intelligent weapon. It is not an effect that that enhances or improves a weapon, so monk unarmed strike does not apply.

so i could just cut off my hand and get a new one as a black blade with tiger style..right?


*insert-name-here* wrote:
so i could just cut off my hand and get a new one as a black blade with tiger style..right?

Your hand is not an intelligent one-handed slashing weapon, nor is it a a rapier or a sword cane.


Grick wrote:
*insert-name-here* wrote:
so i could just cut off my hand and get a new one as a black blade with tiger style..right?

Your hand is not an intelligent one-handed slashing weapon, nor is it a a rapier or a sword cane.

So basically now this is just about the unarmed strike being one-handed, which i think doesn't matter because of how a light weapon is used in one hand and cannot be used in 2 hands.

I mean, just think about it. One handed weapons Vs. weapons that you use in one hand. big difference? i don't think so.


*insert-name-here* wrote:
So basically now this is just about the unarmed strike being one-handed

Incorrect. Your hand is not an intelligent item. It's also not a weapon for these purposes, as shown upthread. In addition, it's not a one-handed weapon.

*insert-name-here* wrote:
One handed weapons Vs. weapons that you use in one hand. big difference?

Light, One-Handed, and Two-Handed Melee Weapons: "This designation is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield a weapon in combat. It indicates whether a melee weapon, when wielded by a character of the weapon's size category, is considered a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon."

Even if you create house rules that (inexplicably) remove the category of light weapons from the game, your hand is still not an intelligent item.

If you want to come up with a reasonable house rule to propose to your DM, the Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew section of the forums may be able to help you with that.


Agreed with Grick, barring extreme unusual circumstances, your own hand should not have(or gain) a mind of its own...

Furthermore...
UAS is not just fists, Tiger Style allows any UAS to be slashing, so it's not just like saying your fist has a mind of it's own, but your body :/

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archaeik wrote:
UAS is not just fists, Tiger Style allows any UAS to be slashing

damn boney knees and elbows... and foreheads...and backs...


Grick wrote:
*insert-name-here* wrote:
So basically now this is just about the unarmed strike being one-handed

Incorrect. Your hand is not an intelligent item. It's also not a weapon for these purposes, as shown upthread. In addition, it's not a one-handed weapon.

*insert-name-here* wrote:
One handed weapons Vs. weapons that you use in one hand. big difference?

Light, One-Handed, and Two-Handed Melee Weapons: "This designation is a measure of how much effort it takes to wield a weapon in combat. It indicates whether a melee weapon, when wielded by a character of the weapon's size category, is considered a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon."

Even if you create house rules that (inexplicably) remove the category of light weapons from the game, your hand is still not an intelligent item.

If you want to come up with a reasonable house rule to propose to your DM, the Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew section of the forums may be able to help you with that.

I probably will need to see if my GM will house rule this one anyway.

Oh, and my hand doesn't need to be already intelligent for it to become a black blade.


Archaeik wrote:

Agreed with Grick, barring extreme unusual circumstances, your own hand should not have(or gain) a mind of its own...

Furthermore...
UAS is not just fists, Tiger Style allows any UAS to be slashing, so it's not just like saying your fist has a mind of it's own, but your body :/

It would only be one fist or unarmed strike that would become the black blade though. there can only be one black blade for every person. also, only monks get to use body parts other than their feet to make unarmed strikes.


No, but a black blade, as any other intelligent item, has it's own will and agenda... it's highly unusual for a body part to not be fully in your control.

Another point I thought of is that Tiger Style
A) takes a swift action to activate (so your uas isn't always a slashing weapon)
B)assuming you hand wave that portion, you should only ever be able to deal slashing damage with your uas after that point (and/or even only uas with the fist that is the intelligent weapon after you gain it)


Archaeik wrote:

No, but a black blade, as any other intelligent item, has it's own will and agenda... it's highly unusual for a body part to not be fully in your control.

Another point I thought of is that Tiger Style
A) takes a swift action to activate (so your uas isn't always a slashing weapon)
B)assuming you hand wave that portion, you should only ever be able to deal slashing damage with your uas after that point (and/or even only uas with the fist that is the intelligent weapon after you gain it)

"Although you cannot use a style feat before combat begins, the style you are in persists until you spend a swift action to switch to a different combat style."

Tiger Style basically becomes permanent once i use it, id only lose it if i shut it off as a swift action.

"A black blade is independently conscious but features some personality traits reflecting its wielder. A black blade always has the same alignment as its wielder and even changes its alignment if its wielder does. The blade typically works toward its wielder’s goals"

The black blade would probably be friendly towards me, in any case, and as a weapon i control, would probably let me use it in combat. So i lose a hand...BFD, the black blade REPLACES my hand.


So as an overview, the current reasons i can't have a black blade hand are:

A) Tiger Style isn't (technically) permanent
B) UAS not a One-Handed Weapon
C) Having a body part that isn't FULLY under my control(i think this doesn't matter very much, though)

If this won't work, are there other ways to get an intelligent fist?


Create an intelligent item that takes the form of a mechanical gauntlet a la Army of Darkness. Graft this to your character's wrist after cutting off hir hand.


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Create an intelligent item that takes the form of a mechanical gauntlet a la Army of Darkness. Graft this to your character's wrist after cutting off hir hand.

That's kinda what i said before, but would this still be considered an UNARMED strike?

EDIT: yes, it would make me classified as a cyborg, making mechanical body attachments 'natural weapons'. at least that's what i would decide if i were the DM.

ANOTHER EDIT: cyborg monk 8D .


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
Create an intelligent item that takes the form of a mechanical gauntlet a la Army of Darkness. Graft this to your character's wrist after cutting off hir hand.

However, unless you use a custom rule, this weapon would not be an UAS (or rather, would not use monk uas progression).

Further, it would explicitly need the ki focus weapon property to function with certain abilities.


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Only by FM fiat which would be required for this thing to even e ist. I would say no, it's a weapon equivalent to a brass knuckles or a cestus.

A Magus black blade cannot be a monk's unarmed strike, period, unless your DM just decides it can.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
*insert-name-here* wrote:
Archaeik wrote:

No, but a black blade, as any other intelligent item, has it's own will and agenda... it's highly unusual for a body part to not be fully in your control.

Another point I thought of is that Tiger Style
A) takes a swift action to activate (so your uas isn't always a slashing weapon)
B)assuming you hand wave that portion, you should only ever be able to deal slashing damage with your uas after that point (and/or even only uas with the fist that is the intelligent weapon after you gain it)

"Although you cannot use a style feat before combat begins, the style you are in persists until you spend a swift action to switch to a different combat style."

Tiger Style basically becomes permanent once i use it, id only lose it if i shut it off as a swift action.

"A black blade is independently conscious but features some personality traits reflecting its wielder. A black blade always has the same alignment as its wielder and even changes its alignment if its wielder does. The blade typically works toward its wielder’s goals"

The black blade would probably be friendly towards me, in any case, and as a weapon i control, would probably let me use it in combat. So i lose a hand...BFD, the black blade REPLACES my hand.

No, it doesn't become permanent. It is only active during combat according to RAW, as you do indeed have to reactivate as a swift action at the start of each combat.

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