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Eldritch Blade (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Dracomortis (talk)
Date Created: May 12, 2010
Status: Nearly complete, just needs sample NPC
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!
Balance: Wizard

{{#set:Summary=Esoteric warriors who combine martial prowess with a warlock's invocations. |Length=10 |Minimum Level=6 |Base Attack Bonus Progression=Moderate |Fortitude Save Progression=Poor |Reflex Save Progression=Poor |Will Save Progression=Good |Class Ability=Arcane Spellcasting |Class Ability=Invocations |Class Ability=Spontaneous Spellcasting |Class Ability Progression=Other }} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Evil}}

Eldritch BladeEdit

Whether it is by the edge of my blade or from a whisper of arcane power, you will fall.
—Sir Alos Tash, human eldritch blade

All hexblades have some small degree of expertise when it comes to arcane magic, which they quickly learn to weave seamlessly into their martial abilities. For some, however, that small taste of magic is not enough. They begin dabbling into other areas of esoteric magic, some even darker than the powerful curses they already wield. For many, this search inevitably leads them to study the eldritch powers of the warlock. From there they begin to unlock increasingly powerful magic, but never do they lose touch with their roots; every bit of arcane lore they uncover is woven and remastered to fit with their existing powers, whether it be sword or spell. These individuals are known as eldritch blades, and their mastery of magic-fueled martial combat is unmatched.

Becoming an Eldritch BladeEdit

All eldritch blades have at least a few levels in both hexblade and warlock. Most favor the former slightly over the latter, since eldritch blades tend to focus more on physical combat than they do on invocations and magic. They aren't particularly common among any species, but races who tend to value personal freedom and individuality are far more likely to be drawn to becoming an eldritch blade. Because of the limited moral range that being both a hexblade and a warlock creates, the vast majority of eldritch blades are evil, though this is not a requirement.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Concentration 4 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 8 ranks
Invocations: Ability to use least invocations, must know hideous blow blast shape invocation
Special: Eldritch blast 2d6, hexblade's curse class feature

Table: The Eldritch Blade

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spellcasting
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Hexblade's Curse, Cursed Blast (least) +1 level of existing arcane-using class
2nd +1 +0 +1 +3 Malevolent Strike +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Eldritch Misfortune (+1) +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Cursed Blast (lesser) +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Hex of Inevitable Steel +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Eldritch Misfortune (+2) +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Cursed Blast (greater) +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class
8th +6 +2 +2 +6 Darkblade Jinx +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class
9th +6 +3 +3 +6 Eldritch Misfortune (+3) +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class
10th +7 +3 +3 +7 Amplify Curse, Cursed Blast (dark) +1 level of existing arcane-using class and +1 level of existing invocation-using class

Class Skills (Skill Points::2 + Int modifier per level.
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Class FeaturesEdit

All of the following are class features of the eldritch blade.

Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class (but not an invocation-using class) to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming an eldritch blade, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Invocations: At 2nd level and at each level thereafter, you gain new invocations known and an increase in caster level as if you had also gained a level in an invocation-using class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level (this includes eldritch blast). You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one invocation-using class before becoming an eldritch blade, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining caster level and invocations known.

Hexblade's Curse (Su): Your eldritch blade class levels stack with your hexblade class levels for the purpose of determining your daily uses of the hexblade's curse class ability and the penalty your curse imposes.

Cursed Blast (Sp): At 1st level, an eldritch blade learns the cursed blast essence invocation, which is described below and is in addition to any invocations he would normally be entitled to. Cursed blast is initially treated as a least invocation, but it increases in strength as you gain levels in eldritch blade: at 4th level, cursed blast is treated as a lesser invocation; at 7th level, it is treated as a greater invocation; and at 10th level, it is treated as a dark invocation.

Cursed Blast
Level::Warlock Least 1st; Level::Warlock Lesser 3rd; Level::Warlock Greater 5th; Level::Warlock Dark 7th; Eldritch Essence
{{#set:Summary=Eldritch essence invocation that infuses your hexblade's curse into eldritch blast.}}
This eldritch essence invocation allows you to weave your hexblade's curse into your eldritch blast, turning it into a cursed blast. Each target struck by a cursed blast must also make a Will save or be afflicted by your hexblade's curse. In order to use this invocation, you must expend a daily use of hexblade's curse. If you use a blast shape invocation that allows you to strike multiple targets in conjunction with cursed blast, you must expend one use of your hexblade's curse for each target you want to afflict; you may choose not to affect one or more targets, in which case they still take damage from cursed blast but are not affected by your hexblade's curse.

Malevolent Strike (Su): At 2nd level, you learn to weave your hexblade's curse into your weapon's strike and weaken the victim's body and soul, leaving them open to damage. When you hit with a melee attack, you may choose to immediately spend a daily use of your hexblade's curse. If you do so, all attacks you make against that creature gain a luck bonus to damage rolls equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum +1) for 1 hour. If you use your hideous blow invocation to deliver the attack, you can use malevolent strike even if the attack misses. This effect replaces the normal penalties imposed by your hexblade's curse.

Eldritch Misfortune (Su): At 3rd level, you learn to weave your eldritch blast to take advantage of those who are afflicted by ill fortune. When you use eldritch blast against a target afflicted by your hexblade's curse or malevolent strike abilities, you gain a +1 bonus on your attack roll to hit that target. At 6th level this bonus increases to +2, and at 9th level it increases to +3.

Hex of Inevitable Steel (Su): At 5th level, you increase the potency of your curses. Your hexblade's curse ability now also applies its penalty to the target's AC, and your malevolent strike ability applies a -2 penalty to the target's AC.

Darkblade Jinx (Su): At 8th level, the curses afflicting your foes become so powerful that they can cause damage whenever the target is in danger. Whenever you attack a target afflicted by your hexblade's curse or malevolent strike abilities using a melee weapon, that creature takes damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1), even if your attack misses.

Amplify Curse (Su): At 10th level, you can amplify the misfortune that you force upon others. Your hexblade's curse imposes an additional -2 penalty to your target's attacks, saves, AC, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls, and your malevolent strike grants you an additional +2 luck bonus to damage rolls.

Epic Eldritch BladeEdit

Class FeaturesEdit

Table: The Epic Eldritch Blade
Level Special
11th
12th Eldritch Misfortune (+4)
13th Bonus Feat
14th
15th Eldritch Misfortune (+5)
16th Bonus Feat
17th
18th Eldritch Misfortune (+6)
19th Bonus Feat
20th

Eldritch Misfortune (Su): The bonus of your eldritch misfortune ability continues to increase by 1 point every 3 levels.

Bonus Feat: The epic eldritch blade gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic eldritch blade bonus feats) at 13th level and every 3 levels thereafter.

Epic Eldritch Blade Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Energy Resistance, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Will, Familiar Spell, Fast Healing, Improved Combat Casting, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Spellcasting Harrier, Tenacious Magic.

Campaign InformationEdit

Playing an Eldritch BladeEdit

Combat: Your hexblade's curse is still a central part of your character, but remember that you also have the option of using malevolent strike if pure damage would be more useful than the penalties it normally imposes. Try to use your curse as early as possible to maximize the benefit you and your party can get from it. Keep in mind that you only have a few daily uses of it; if you're fighting multiple weaker opponents, it may not be worth using your curse at all. Because you dabble in both martial and arcane combat, your spells are probably not as powerful as those of a pure caster, so you might want to focus primarily on defensive spells that buff you or your allies.

Advancement: You have mastered several specialized arts, all of them dark and potentially dangerous. You have likely given much to obtain your power, and you are aware of the risk it entails, but still you strive for more. Your enemies will not hesitate to use any tool at their disposal to obtain victory, so neither will you.

Hexing Mage is a useful feat to pick up once you have access to arcane spells. While obviously aimed more at multiclass hexblade/wizard characters, you can use it to sacrifice your hexblade spells for a short boost to your hexblade's curse ability. Ability Focus (eldritch blast) is useful to ensure that you are regularly hitting your enemies, particularly once you start relying on various eldritch essence invocations to inflict additional penalties or status effects on your enemies. You also want to grab anything that can increases the effectiveness of your melee attacks, like Weapon Focus or Power Attack. You need a decent Charisma score in order to cast your hexblade spells, and Charisma also determines the save DC for your hexblade's curse and your invocations. Don't neglect stats like Strength or Dexterity, however, since you'll be spending a lot of time in close-range combat.

Resources: Eldritch blades are typically loners — if not by choice then because they have been outcast from society at large. As such, they have no special access to resources beyond what they or their companion can muster on their own.

Eldritch Blades in the WorldEdit

With so many dark and powerful forces contained in a single mortal shell, it is only a matter of time before they succumb to corruption. And when they do, I will be waiting.
—Kurt Daidalus, half-elf paladin of Heironeous

The path of an eldritch blade is an incredibly focused one that requires a very specific set of dark skills and abilities. Respected by few and reviled by many (perhaps with good reason), they have few allies in the world. Organizations that count eldritch blades among their ranks are few and far between, and oftentimes such groups are evil or at the very least of questionable morality. Eldritch blades of non-evil intent might seek to prove the world wrong and make a name for themselves, or they might shut society out, discounting the masses as blind fools who have no understanding of the powers the eldritch blade has mastered.

NPC Reactions: Because their magical powers are so unusual and lack many of the distinguishing features of typical spells, not many can readily identify an eldritch blade for what they are; most assume them to be oddly-dressed warriors. Of course, this blissful ignorance last only until the eldritch blade enters combat, at which point the dark powers he wields become painstakingly obvious to even the most uninformed viewer. Those who know of an eldritch blade's nature are typically cold or even outright hostile to them, fearing the power they wield and what it could do to them. Eldritch blades will find acceptance only among the most open-minded of individuals, or possibly among others of their own kind.

Eldritch Blade LoreEdit

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research eldritch blades to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (arcana)
DC Result
11 An eldritch blade is a warrior who has mixed the esoteric arts of both the hexblade and warlock into a deadly mix of spell and steel.
16 An eldritch blade can fuse martial prowess, arcane spells, and eldritch invocations into a seamless barrage of power. They channel many of their powers through their weapons, but can also unleash some abilities through a modified eldritch blast.
21 Eldritch blades can place a variety of terrible curses upon their enemies, weakening the victim's defenses or leaving them open to horrific eldritch damage. The most powerful among their ranks are equally comfortable in both melee and ranged combat, able to conjure up invocations for any situation.
26 This level of success allows a character to learn about specific eldritch blades in the world, and can potentially gain information that would help them track down such individuals.

Eldritch Blades in the GameEdit

The PCs might mistake an eldritch blade for an esoteric warrior, or a wizard who has picked up a bit of martial skill. If they see the eldritch blade in battle, however, it will quickly become apparent that there is much more to this strange warrior than meets the eyes. Any eldritch blade they encounter is likely to be a loner operating on his own, but he might also be a member of some cult or organization whose agenda is less than friendly towards the characters. Eldritch blades are a good way to introduce opponents who are skilled at both magic and weaponry.

The eldritch blade class is a good choice for players who like to dabble in darker powers without being outright evil, players who like to utilize magic without giving up their ability to be viable melee combatants, or players who like to play as the misunderstood outcast that wields unusual abilities.

Adaptation: An easy way to alter the class is to drop the invocation requirement and reflavor the class to draw its magic power from more traditional arcane classes. While this removes some of the flavor from the eldritch blade, it also opens it up to a wider range of characters, including hexblade/wizards, hexblade/bards, or even pure hexblades. Cursed blast would be removed completely. Eldritch Misfortune becomes "Arcane Misfortune" and applies to arcane spells instead of eldritch blast.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPC of this class->

EL <- whatever ->: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter->



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