Windblade Hybrid Class (PFRPG) PDF

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The Windblade is a druid-sorcerer hybrid with deep connections to the sky. She harnesses the power of the currents to wield a weapon of pure energy. At higher levels she takes on the form of air, soaring through the clouds, fighting any foe who threatens the world below.

Written by Robert Gresham

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

2/5

The windblade hybrid class clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Windblades gain d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with clubs, daggers, darts, quarterstaffs, scimitars, scythes, sickles, shortspears, slings and spears as well as light and medium armor and shields, excluding tower shields). Windblades get ¾ BAB-progression as well as good Fort- and Will-saves and they gain spontaneous spellcasting of divine spells drawn from the druid spell-list, with Wisdom as a slightly odd governing attribute choice for spontaneous spellcasting. The spells per day cap at a base per spell level and the class gains access to all full 9 levels of spellcasting.

They also begin play with a +2 bonus to Knowledge (planes) and Survival as well as the Eschew Materials feat. More importantly, windblades begin play with skybond – basically a bloodline-ish progression that nets Knowledge (planes) as a bonus class skill and bonus spells at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, which are gained from a linear list. 7th level and every 6 levels thereafter, the windblade gets to choose a bonus feat from the list presented by the skybond, two of which are new, but we’ll get to these later. Additionally, they treat their caster level as 1 higher for the purpose of casting spells with the [air] descriptor and gain a linear ability progression: 1st level lets the fire a 30 ft. ranged touch attack arc of electricity, which, oddly, RAW deals untyped damage – pretty sure that should have been electricity damage. At 3rd level, the windblade gets DR 1/- and takes ¼ damage from falls. 9th level nets you the ability to fly, as the spell, 3 + Cha-mod times per day; you may grant the ability to another creature, but that takes two uses. Why isn’t this SP? It’s textbook SP and since the ability doesn’t tweak anything like activation action, I can literally see no reason this is Su. And yes, most annoyingly, spell reference instances where they’re not italicized can be found here.

At 15th level, the class can transform into lightning and blast forth…which sounds cool, but creatures in the path are affected by “your thunderbolt power” – guess what the class does not have? Bingo, a thunderbolt power. How did this happen? Well, the ability was cut copy pasted from the APG’s stormborn bloodline, which DOES have a thunderbolt power. Pretty sad that it hasn’t even been adjusted for the class after copying. RAW, this one is thus not operational. The 20th level capstone of the skybond is cool: You summon a whirlwind as a free action – this behaves as a 10-ft.-platform with a flying speed of 60 ft. The ability does not state a maneuverability class, only that the platform is as solid as ground – which can be problematic when used in conjunction with effects that decrease maneuverability. Cool: When using (non-italicized) spells to create objects, they may be weightless and float, but crumble when leaving your presence – I love this in-game justification for floating castles etc.

The class also gets to form a weapon of wind as a swift action. The weapon can be maintained for a total number of rounds equal to Wisdom and Charisma modifiers +6 and the weapon’s damage scales with your levels – columns for Small and Large windblades are included – kudos there! Starting at 4th level, you get to choose a bonus damage type to add to the weapon, which also scales over the levels. Slightly problematic: RAW the weapon’s damage is not noted: Fluff calls it electricity, though. The pdf also does not specify how sheathing/dismissing the blade should be handled. It does note, though, that the blade is treated as a light weapon. 2nd level provides woodland stride with another name (why rename it?) and 4th level provides a +4 untyped bonus on saving throws versus the SPs and SUs of elementals. 6th level provides the option to turn into an air elemental, akin to elemental body I, which increases in potency to II, III and IV, respectively, every 2 levels thereafter. Annoying: While this is obviously a modification of wildshape, the final paragraph still refers to wildshape instead of airbody, the ability’s proper name.

I mentioned feats. One increases the DR granted to DR 2/-. RAW, tehre’s a small conflict here: It may be taken multiple times, but since the feat specifically mentions the total DR gained in the end, subsequent feats don’t do a thing – it’s clear that the benefits, should stack, but still. The second feat, Enduring Weapon, interacts with the windblade’s ephemeral weapon and nets…a whopping +3 rounds of use. Yay? Worse, the text that notes the “Normal:” duration differs from the class ability’s text, stating “3+your wis and cha modifier”[sic!] *sigh*

The pdf also contains spells: Airblast, beneficent breeze, gale scythe, tempest hammer, trade wind and cyclone barrier from the Genius Guide to Air Magic by Rogue Genius Games. Wind churn from 101 1st level spells (without cleaning up the annoying “air damage” glitch the spell has – there is no such thing!)…and it reprints winds of vengeance from the APG. Why? What PFRPG group that uses 3pp material doesn’t at least have that book? So no, not one of the spells herein is new and none of them will have an influence on the final verdict.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting, particularly the latter, are not good. When even cut-copy-pasted material has hiccups…well. Yeah. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf’s artwork is solid, color stock art that fits the theme. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a comfort detriment. Speaking of which: It is patently ironic that a pdf that reprints material copied from other sources has disabled the ability to highlight text or copy from it, which makes creating a character with this annoying, to say the least.

This is also an issue with the pdf as a whole: 4 pages and a paragraph are devoted to the class; the rest are reprinted spells from other sources. In the class itself, we have obvious cut-copy-pastes as well. Even if we disregard that, the class has some issues: One, it tries to do the godblade and isn’t particularly good at it, compared with other options out there; two, it is INCREDIBLY linear. The class offers literally no choice beyond spells and feats – windblades will be very much alike. And three, it is an example of squandered potential: The bloodline-y fighter is a cool concept and it is my firm conviction that the visuals and base engine of the weapon itself deserve better. Why lock the class into this one bloodline? Why not open it properly? Now, granted, if you can look past the rules-hiccups, there is some fun to be had here. And yes, the base chassis can be used. But this falls woefully short of what it could have done. With more options. Some sort of player agenda. Some actual editing to eliminate the problems. If someone sent me this as a draft, inquiring for feedback, I’d encourage them and tell them to keep working at it – I’d even be somewhat excited by it.

But this is not a draft. This is a published class. And whether I compare it to ethermagus, kineticist-options or one of the gazillion other classes out there, it falls woefully flat. Add to that the glitches, the reprinted material, and my final verdict cannot go higher than 2 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


Riders on the storm

4/5

Huh, that's a somewhat familiar looking cover...nah, just my imagination.

What I liked

-The nonstandard weapon proficiencies were pretty interesting, it seems like theme was heavily involved here.

-Spontaneous druid casting is a unique way to go here.

-They skybond bloodline is very cool, and I feel it mixes well with the other class features.

-Air Body is another class feature that feels very fluid in design despite being simple.

-I actually liked Armor of Air and its caveat about selection, it was an interesting balancing mechanic.

-Windchurn is both really good and flavorful, great spell. Same with Airblast, although Windchurn is easily the cooler of the two. Gale Scythe is pretty useful too, but I do love tripping. Tempest Hammer is another exciting spell that's great for breaking up mobs. Really, the spells are a big part of what make this class so cool.

What I didn't like

-I feel like this could have been a 4 skill point class.

-The BAB chart just kind of cuts off the third attack, I assume that's a formatting issue.

-The skybond being the only bloodline does feel limiting.

-While weapon of wind is interesting, the short duration makes it feel less vital despite how much space is dedicated to it. Enduring Blade also feels like it should have increased the duration further.

-No sample character, it's become a sticking point for me, sorry.

Final Thoughts

The base class itself is actually pretty interesting, although the theme does restrict it a bit. With a lack of ways to alter the character, it's going to be hard to tell two windblades apart, which isn't the best case scenario.

But the class works well and the spells from the stormbond bloodline are seriously awesome, and being honest here, I'd probably consider them worth the purchase alone. It feels like a lot of care was put into making them, and I really enjoyed reading over them.

As a whole, I'd give this a slightly shaky 4/5, but I do feel like there's still quite a lot of fun to be had here.


Community & Digital Content Director

Now available!

Sovereign Court

Thank you Chris!
Want a free copy?

The first 5 customers to leave a comment here will get a free copy of this book!


Well this is an interesting concept


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would certainly enjoy a free copy. Wayward books have proven to be a great and inspirational resource for my games.

Cheers
Volf


Great idea for a hybrid class! I could definitely use a windblade npc in my campaign. Should go well with sylph characters.

Silver Crusade

Count me in, it'd be cool to check this out.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Sounds interesting, count me in.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ah, drat! Am I too late!? I'm playing a Sylph cleric of Gozreh (wind domain and storm subdomain) right now because I love wind stuff. Would love to check this out!


Yeah, I just missed it myself. XD But hey, it's only $3 to begin with, and that's pretty easy to fit into a budget...

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Agreed! $3 is a great price point for a full 20-level character class.

Sovereign Court

Checking in to make sure folks got their free copies. Would anyone be willing to leave a review on the Windblade?

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

Did all the review copies go out already?


I haven't received my copy as of yet.:(

Cheers
Volf

Silver Crusade

Yeah, haven't seen a copy of this myself. Was this being sent through Paizo or OBS, because if it's an option, I'd rather go through OBS (not a fan of the way paizo does files, plus it'd let me review it over there too), email address for it is n.jolly@ymail.com

Community Manager

I just dropped these in your Downloads—enjoy!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you so much Liz! I hope everyone enjoys the class and finds something they can add to their games from it.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Malikjoker wrote:
Thank you so much Liz! I hope everyone enjoys the class and finds something they can add to their games from it.

Tell whomever wrote the spells for this that they have a gift, just reviewed it, and the spells were MVP for me. They really...

...

...

...

BLEW ME AWAY!

...I'm funny...


A few things need to be addressed:

1-BAB progression.
2-Hit Die.
3-What's air damage?
4-Only one "bloodline" is limiting. Maybe include one or two other themed choices.
5-Weapon of winds is to limited. Also why the bonus elemental damage. Why not allow them to change the damage type to something else.

Right now I feel the product is hovering a about 2-3 stars but with a little work could easily be 4.

Cheers
Volf


Disagree. I like when the BAB and HD are divorced. The air damage thing is weird, though.
The only thing I saw was at the bottom of the class chart...there was a note about air domain spells, but I didn't see anything in the spells section about domain access...


I can understand if bab and hit die are different when it makes sense. But a d10 hit die makes absolutely no sense for this hybrid class. It's certainly not part fighter or other d10 hit die melee class. When a class diverges from the norm there should be a reason. In this case that reason most certainly doesn't exist.


"This battle sorcerer..." Reason enough.

Sovereign Court

Looks like there were a couple of errors I didn't catch.

I could take another look at the d10 hit die for the class. I think in the original design notes it's 1d8 hit die. Skills could probably be increased as suggested to 4 + Int mod./level.

Air Damage...That should read as bludgeoning. We were tinkering with Air damage as being half bludgeoning, half electricity, but it looks like that didn't make it into the layout. Oops.

Finally, the mention of the air domain. Bonus Spells from the cleric's air domain are added to the windblade's spell list as per her skybond power. These should be applied exactly how a cleric of the windblades level receives her domain spells.


Kryzbyn wrote:
"This battle sorcerer..." Reason enough.

No it is not. especially when there has been precedent for the chassis which is associated with certain types of themes. Also, d10 hit die, 9th level spells, cleric bab, just to name a few things, would make the class to powerful.


If its a mistake, then it's moot to discuss it.


Malikjoker wrote:

Looks like there were a couple of errors I didn't catch.

I could take another look at the d10 hit die for the class. I think in the original design notes it's 1d8 hit die. Skills could probably be increased as suggested to 4 + Int mod./level.

Air Damage...That should read as bludgeoning. We were tinkering with Air damage as being half bludgeoning, half electricity, but it looks like that didn't make it into the layout. Oops.

Finally, the mention of the air domain. Bonus Spells from the cleric's air domain are added to the windblade's spell list as per her skybond power. These should be applied exactly how a cleric of the windblades level receives her domain spells.

Any chance of a change to the sword of winds duration? It seems like an iconic ability of the class but is extremely limited in duration (even though you add two modifiers to the abilities duration.) Something like 1/2 level plus xxxx modifier. It would make the ability more accessible while still maintaining balance. Also the addition of the different elemental damage bonuses seems a bit clunky. Why not simply allow them to choose another elemental damage type every 4 levels. This way they could simply change their weapon of winds elemental damage type based on which types of elemental damage they have previously chosen.

You can disregard my previous post as my tablet is a bit nutty at times and failed to load the entirety of the thread

Silver Crusade

Volvogg wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
"This battle sorcerer..." Reason enough.
No it is not. especially when there has been precedent for the chassis which is associated with certain types of themes. Also, d10 hit die, 9th level spells, cleric bab, just to name a few things, would make the class to powerful.

I'll admit I didn't notice the d10 hit die. That would probably drop my rating to a 3, but I'm willing to keep it where it is on the assumption that it'll be edited. I think another edit run with some of the suggestions here could really help make this a much better class.

Sovereign Court

I think based on the suggestions here, that I will be extending the duration of the Weapon of Winds, allowing the user to choose another elemental type of damage every 4 levels. The d10 hit die will be lowered to d8. Skill pts/level will become 4+ int modifier.

Thank you for all of your input!

EDIT: The Revised version of the class has been uploaded.


looks good :)


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.

Endzeitgeist out.

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