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Prestige Class: Swiftblade -- Haste Personified
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By Kolja Liquette and Brian Moran
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This column aims to provide players with tips on creating effective and interesting characters of various types. Whether you're a beginning player creating your very first character or an experienced gamer looking to put some punch into an old standby, this column is for you. Kaavel stood quietly as the hunting party of orcs stormed past the tree he stood b ehind. They almost caught the swiftb lade b y surprise b efore he was ab le to call upon the one spell that b ore him through every challenge. In an instant, the entire world slowed as if mired in a thick morass. The orcs in front of him moved at a fraction of their normal speed. The swiftb lade unsheathed his elegant rapier and steeled himself for the grisly task that followed. In truth, Kaavel enjoyed this part more than he ever admitted. They were orcs, after all, and deserved to b e treated like vermin. While sorcerers and wizards consider haste one of many spells in their repertoire, swiftblades covet haste above all others. As a swiftblade, your arcaneassisted speed combined with melee skill can turn your first strike into a deadly assault. Swiftblades discover unconventional ways to utilize the haste spell, permanently augmenting their speed and fusing complimentary spell effects into each casting. In a very real sense, swiftblades bond to their chosen spell until the two become immutable. Becoming a Swiftblade Bards, sorcerers, and wizards are the three most obvious candidates for swiftblades. Bards can easily fulfill the martial weapon proficiency requirement, but sorcerers and wizards do not share their expertise. Elf candidates are naturally proficient with racial martial weapons and human candidates can take Martial Weapon Proficiency with their extra feat to avoid losing a level of spellcasting. A sorcerer or wizard might otherwise multiclass into a warrior class for one level. Besides their spellcasting ability score, Dexterity is the second most important attribute for swiftblades. It allows them to avoid blows and potentially strike first in combat. Strength and Constitution are also important to swiftblades, who are largely melee characters. Not having the resilience of pure warriors, Tumble is an ideal skill choice for swiftblades to avoid attacks of opportunity. Entry Requirements Base Attack Bonus: +3. Skills: Concentration 6 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks. Spellcasting: Ability to cast haste. Feats: Dodge, Mobility. Weapon Proficiency: Must be proficient with at least one martial weapon. Special: Must have spent the entire previous level using all 3rd level spell slots to exclusively cast haste. The Swiftblade Hit Die: D6 Base Attack Fort Ref Will Level Bonus Save Save Save Special 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +0 +0 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 Spring Attack, swift surge +1/+0 ft. Blurred alacrity Sudden casting Arcane reflexes, swift surge +1/+10 ft. Evasive celerity Fortified hustle Bounding Assault, swift surge +2/+10 ft. The following prestige class offers new material in conjunction with the release of Complete Mage. Please bear in mind, to quote the DMG pg. 176 -"Prestige classes are always under the purview of the DM. We encourage you, as the DM, to tightly limit the prestige classes available in your campaign." If you're a player, be sure to ask your DM whether a powerful prestige class such as the swiftblade and its incorporated use of the haste spell is fair and appropriate for your campaign.
Spells per Day -+1 level of arcane spellcasting class +1 level of arcane spellcasting class -+1 level of arcane spellcasting class +1 level of arcane spellcasting class -1/5
if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327 2/5 . your mastery of the haste spell can bring the world around you to a standstill. your knowledge of the haste spell makes you difficult to target with spells. displacement. you can subsume the spell at the moment of casting instead. You can cast haste as a free action once per round. a full attack action and a standard action. individually targeted spells have a 20% chance of failing against you. You immediately sink any time you make a single move action in a round or come to a complete stop while traversing water. you learn how to intuitively absorb the haste spell into your body. swift surge +2/+20 ft. as if augmented by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat. While under the effect of a haste spell that you cast yourself. 4th. At 7th level. they must decide which class gains each level for the purpose of determining spells per day. If you already have Bounding Assault.com/default. You gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls and a +1 dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves. swiftblades gain increased spellcasting abilities.Balance. Class Features As they advance in level. The effect of this ability does not stack with b lur. even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement. and 8th level. you infuse the energy of previous haste castings into your natural reaction time. 7th. two move actions and one standard action. Spellcasting: At each level indicated on the swiftblade table. or similar spell effects. your understanding of the haste spell makes you difficult to target with melee and ranged attacks. or a full round action and a standard action. Sudden Casting (Ex): At 3rd level. as the time stop spell. you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known.Haste Personified swift surge +2/+10 ft. caster level. Swim.20/05/12 Prestige Class: Swiftblade -. Spellcraft. These bonuses stack with the bonuses gained from the haste spell and skirmish ability. Swift Surge (Ex): Your body is augmented with the residual energy of previous haste castings. Evasive Celerity (Ex): At 5th level. Concentration. by making two move actions in a round. Fortified Hustle (Ex): At 6th level. you gain concealment (20% miss chance). As an additional effect. See the spell description on page 294 of the Player's www. and therefore cannot be dispelled by any means. this bonus increases to +20 feet and an extra 2d6 points of damage during any round in which you move at least 20 feet. 8th 9th 10th +8 +9 +10 +2 +3 +3 +6 +6 +7 +6 +6 +7 Diligent rapidity Perpetual options Innervated speed. The effect of this ability does not stack with b link or similar spell effects. you could make three consecutive move actions with this ability. Perpetual Options (Ex): At 9th level. Craft. you automatically overcome magic and mundane obstacles with the haste spell. you learn how to seamlessly cast the haste spell. Diligent Rapidity (Ex): At 8th level. and spells known. If you already have Spring Attack. however. gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. At 4th level. Spot. For example. You need not have the prerequisites normally required for Bounding Assault to gain this feat. Bounding Assault: At 7th level. Innervated Speed (Ex): At 10th level. is expended normally. a full round action and a move action. you gain Bounding Assault (see page 75 of Player's Handb ook II) as a bonus feat. Knowledge (arcana). Arcane Reflexes (Ex): At 4th level. you can move and attack normally. and 5th level. but not whitewater rapids or stormy water. Instead of making one extra attack at your highest base attack bonus while under the effect of a haste spell that you cast yourself. While under the effect of a haste spell that you cast yourself. +1 level of arcane spellcasting class +1 level of arcane spellcasting class -- Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level) -. Listen. increasing your speed so greatly that other creatures seem frozen in time. you gain a +10 foot enhancement bonus to all of your modes of movement and deal an extra 1d6 points of damage during any round in which you move at least 10 feet. Jump. Spring Attack: Beginning at 1st level. This spell failure chance increases by +10% at 6th. but for one round. Any time you prepare or spontaneously cast haste in a 6th level spell slot. heightened speed.wizards. choose a different feat for which you do meet the prerequisites. Tumble. Blurred Alacrity (Ex): At 2nd level. They eventually learn how to subsume the haste spell in higher level spell slots to powerful effect. you can also move across the surface of placid or flowing water. You receive a competence bonus on initiative rolls equal to your arcane spellcasting ability modifier. choose a different feat for which you do meet the prerequisites. a full attack action and a move action. but without using up higher-level spell slots. and can be countered as a spell at the moment of casting. At 10th level. Gather Information. See the spell description on page 233 of the Player's Handb ook. you gain Spring Attack (see page 100 of the Player's Handb ook) as a bonus feat. While under the effect of a haste spell that you cast yourself. The haste spell otherwise functions as it normally would. you now have the choice of making one extra move action or one extra standard action. This miss chance increases by +10% at 3rd. these bonuses increase to +2. you can perform even more actions with the haste spell. as the freedom of movement spell. and unparalleled understanding of the haste spell. the effect becomes extraordinary rather than a continuous spell effect. If you had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a swiftblade. While under the effect of a haste spell that you cast yourself. Profession. one move action and two standard actions.
www. you have embraced a highly specialized branch of arcane study. Moreover. With such spells active. This allows the members of this prestige class to fill multiple rolls within an adventuring party. of course. Your survivability is greatly improved by taking a level or two of a martial class. Playing a Swiftblade As a swiftblade. Attaining higher levels of swiftblade expertise eventually grants you the ability to make one extra move or standard action while under the effects of your own haste spell. Resources Following this prestige class quickly leads one to realize that there are few resources available to help you. On the few occasions when a formal school has been established. the physical world around you appears to slow down. Short of making contact with another swiftblade. At best. This versatility is further augmented with Spring Attack and Bounding Assault as bonus feats. it does empower the character with the ability to switch between melee and spell combat. especially in conjunction with the combat benefits and extra damage offered by swift surge. both of which improve your overall effectiveness. Because you can fight well in melee. they slander the schools publicly and outlaw their expansion privately. Swiftblades in the World The swiftblade is an excellent choice for martially-orientated arcane spellcasters. You cannot subsume a new haste spell until the original innervated speed duration expires and your turn ends. you are virtually assured to react first in every encounter.wizards. Without turning swiftblades into an alluring. a master and apprentice might be encountered traveling together. Your speed lets you to close or widen melee distance to suit your needs on a round-by-round basis. Traditional arcane spellcasters will scoff at your techniques. but for one round. There is. as your single-minded devotion unlocks a host of new applications for the haste spell. This ability progresses until spells that are specifically designed to hamper your movement automatically fail while under the effects of your own haste spell. you can extend innervated speed by 1 additional round. As your familiarity with the haste spell grows. This grants you a wide range of weapon proficiencies as well as combat-oriented feats from which to choose. Swiftblades are thus a wildcard that threatens to destroy those standards. as they are well suited to skirmish warfare. a sorcerer could subsume haste in an 8th level spell slot to create three rounds of innervated speed. you are acutely aware of how quickly sustained combat can end your life. While most swiftblades are resolved to lives of danger and excitement.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327 3/5 . For each spell slot level higher than 6th level. As another option. Organization The wandering nature of swiftblades makes it hard for this prestige class to centralize its teachings. swiftblades are better able to survive encounters after all their spells have been used for the day. arcane lore.com/default. They could not be both more right and wrong at the same time. This is one of the main reasons why swiftblades are wanderers at heart. Constantly moving around will serve you more than making continuous attacks. As a natural skirmisher. The monetary reward of treasure hunting is often what fuels swiftblades most. as your dedicated focus to one spell is highly irregular among spellcasters. When reaction time plays an important role in combat. you become an even more formidable and untouchable foe. Taking advantage of this perception. Not surprisingly. forbidden practice. The reason behind such attacks is both edifying and surprising. Being a swiftblade requires more discrimination than being a generic spellcaster. It's also not uncommon to find swiftblades among rangers and scouts. at which point you can caste haste in higher level spell slots to make time seemingly stand still. considering your spellcasting methods to be cutthroat and stunted. your ability to caste haste as a free action allows you to activate your abilities quickly in combat. this revelation has inspired many swiftblades to embrace a nomadic lifestyle in search of obscure. When compared to more studious arcane practitioners. you must forge ahead largely alone. Another aspect of advancement to keep in mind is multiclassing. Advancement Speed and mobility are your best assets at lower levels.20/05/12 Prestige Class: Swiftblade -. your incredible speed causes attacks and targeted spells to outright miss. Although the swiftblade requires spellcasting compromises. you cannot subsume a metamagic version of haste. members of this prestige class have more options than most arcane spellcasters. devoted arcane spellcasters have gone out of their way to discredit such institutions and discourage students from embracing their teachings. Powerful spellcasters quickly realize how effective swiftblades could be in combat without ever mastering the higher-level spells. Most importantly. See the spell description on page 294 of the Player's Handb ook. as the time stop spell. For example. Moreover. Combat Few creatures are faster than you. no advantage greater than completing the swiftblade prestige class. you are at a definite advantage. This allows you to benefit from buffing spells such as b ull's strength and shield. constantly seeking new adventurous challenges against which to measure their emerging abilities. you can hold yourself back and punish enemies with area effect spells before closing in for the kill. some darker members of this prestige class resort to working as assassins.Haste Personified time.
Your most important boon is speed. DC 10: "Swiftblades are a radical style of spellcasting whereby the practitioner focuses on enhancing their martial speed. are also effective choices. Little does Kaavel realize that a rival competitor plans to ambush him with hired thugs before the race. in recognition of their martial talents. For this reason. An elf by the name of Kaavel Blackstone already sits at this table. They could be adventuring for gold or traveling in the hope of broadening their arcane understanding.a yearly event which tests the resolve and speed of all contestants. having never really heard of them before.Haste Personified schools publicly and outlaw their expansion privately. including notable accomplishments and mentors from whom they studied. You can hold your own in the fray of battle but must be wary of so doing. a swiftblade might also be encountered as the personal guard to an important dignitary or among a group of elite warriors who pledged their services to a specific kingdom. keep in mind that although your companions cannot benefit from haste as you do. he asks if the group is here to enjoy or participate in the local marathon -. Weakening the enemy with area effect spells such as cone of cold or fireb all is always a good opening tactic. Swiftblades are proud of their abilities and invite challenges to test their mettle. Spells that hamper your opponents. the enemy is already softened up.com/default. If the player characters are searching for a swiftblade among soldier garrisons. As well. swiftblades most naturally fit into campaigns where many disciplines and schools of magic already exist. along with the ability to cast haste as a free action. including the information from lower DCs.20/05/12 Prestige Class: Swiftblade -. read or paraphrase the following. Warriors have a starting attitude of indifferent to friendly towards swiftblades. experts tend to keep their guard up around swiftblades and remain mindful of their business. which typically resembles an adventureseeking roustabout (probably up to no good). Then. Commoners have a starting attitude of indifferent toward swiftblades. Player characters trying to locate swiftblades must make a DC 20 Gather Information check to discover the necessary intermediaries and protocols for contacting one. NPC Reactions Adepts have a starting attitude of unfriendly toward swiftblades. After introductions are made. Swiftblades in the Game Balance is key to playing an effective swiftblade." DC 15: "Swiftblades focus on the haste spell to such an extent that their appearance blurs and no spell effect can impede them.wizards. When a character makes a skill check. Encounters Swiftblades can be encountered anywhere. having heard distant rumblings of trouble caused by their kind. As a result. when you move into close combat with your haste spell active." DC 30: Characters who achieve this level of success can learn important details about specific swiftblades. Warriors respect swiftblades for being willing to get their hands dirty in combat and lacking the pretensions that are normally associated with arcane spellcasters. As a hybrid spellcaster/warrior. and he suggests that the characters place a wager on him (if they hope to increase the weight of their pouches). In campaigns where arcane spellcasting is less common. They are more likely to judge swiftblades by appearance. deciding which role to pursue more actively depends entirely on the encountered situation. Experts have a starting attitude of indifferent to unfriendly toward swiftblades. EL 12: The player characters enter an inn and are directed to the only available seats by the tavern wench. it is crucial to properly prepare for combat with the appropriate spells. Adaptation Swiftblades can easily be incorporated into highly developed magical societies. The first wave of this www. You will face difficulty deciding what equipment to purchase. they will nonetheless appreciate the regular bonuses of that spell. Regardless of the setting. Aristocrats have a starting attitude of indifferent to friendly toward swiftblades." DC 20: "Swiftblades trade spellcasting ability for specialized applications of the haste spell and the ability to make time stand still. Young aristocrats in particular are fatalistically attracted to the excitement and speed that seems to govern the lives of swiftblades. Few adepts ever take the time to understand why swiftblades are so preoccupied with a single spell. swiftblades become highly irregular.asp?x=dnd/prc/20070327 4/5 . being more acquainted with the disrepute heaped onto their kind by higher-level spellcasters. As practitioners of an exceedingly focused type of spellcasting. Kaavel is a participant in the race with high hopes of winning. Swiftblade Lore Characters with Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (history) can research swiftblades to learn more about them. give them a +2 circumstance bonus on the check. such as slow.
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