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Hallack

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The Swiftblade Handbook
« on: November 06, 2009, 03:10:08 PM »
Originally by AEDAN on the WoTC site  

The Swiftblade Handbook


Index
About the Swiftblade Prestige Class
Prestige Class Features
Entry Classes
Attributes
Races
Skills / Skill Tricks
Spell Choices
Desirable Equipment
Sample Builds
Feats
ACF's
Reports from the Field
Specific Strategies

The Swiftblade Prestige Class can be found on the Wizards of the Coast Website.

Important links from other threads:
Character Build Spotlight: Gish  
Optimizing a Swiftblade
Swiftblade
The Swiftblade PrC
New Free Prc on the WOTC site, the Swiftblade
Swiftblade
Swiftblade!
Swiftblade (Reborn)
Tuning a Swiftblade
Critique My Swiftblade
Help with AbjChamp/Swifblade build - ArcherBroke Link
Kobold/Swiftblade Tweaks
Gestalt Swiftblade Build

Special Thanks To:
Authors Kolja Liquette and Brian Moran
Dictum Mortuum for the template
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 07:43:56 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2009, 03:10:55 PM »

About the Swiftblade Prestige Class

The Swiftblade PrC has undergone numerous evolutions from its initial conception as was first posted on the WoTC website. Due to an enormous amount of player feedback, the authors decided to change some key elements of the PrC in order to make it a more desirable option for players. The current model of the Swiftblade is very attractive to Gish "like" characters due to it's empowerment of the haste spell and movement like abilities. The Swiftblade PrC includes 10 levels with abilities at each level. It is my opinion that martial and caster classes can benefit from 3 or more levels of this PrC to significantly improve and optimize their abilities.

Entry Requirements

BAB: +3
Skills: Concentration 6 Ranks, Spellcraft 6 Ranks.
Spellcasting: Ability to cast haste.
Feats: Dodge, Mobility.
Weapon Proficiency: 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.

Note from the designer:
Quote
Sonofapreacherman wrote:

Speaking from an intent perspective (which I know counts for very little in the optimized forums) the idea is for the swiftblade candidate to use all spell slots (of the level in which haste is gained) to cast haste. The Dungeonscape book did not exist when Brian and I originally created the swiftblade, leaving us completely unaware of the trapsmith prestige class when it was finally released. If we had been aware, the special prerequisite would have read...

Special: Must have spent the entire previous level using all spell slots of the level in which haste is gained to exclusively cast haste.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 04:12:46 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 03:11:05 PM »


Prestige Class Features

The "Good"

1. "Good" - Full BAB progression over 10 levels.
2. "Good" Reflex and Will Saves.
3. Special abilities and feats at each level. Some are new abilities/feats and other abilities increase in power as you progress through the 10 levels.
4. Decent skill points per level (4 + Int modifier/level)
5. Decent selection of class skills that help both melee and caster classes. (This is expanded in the skill /skill tricks section)

The "Bad"
1. "Poor" Fort Save - Probably the most important save for melee characters, especially with save or die spell effects
2. "Moderate" Hit Die - Same as Rogues - d6, survivability becomes an issue without the hit points to survive hard hits. Although it is better than a standard wizard or sorcerer the low hit die is offset by some of the special abilities of the class to avoid melee and spell attacks.

The "Ugly"
1. Loss of 4 Caster Levels out of 10, -4/10 CL - probably the most significant drawback of the PrC. The lack of these caster levels makes it hard to justify a full progression of 10 levels for most optimized characters.

Class Special Abilities and Features
(Rankings on the class abilities and features per level are BLUE for super good/excellent, GREEN for good/average, and RED for poor/below average.)

Level 1 - You gain the Spring Attack feat - progressing your movement abilities from your prerequisite feats of DODGE and MOBILITY.

Level 1 - Swift Surge +1/+0 ft.(EX) - gain +1 to attack rolls and a dodge bonus to AC and reflex saves (+2 at 7th level). 4th level gain +10 enhancement to all movement modes and deal and additional 1d6 damage on your weapon in which you move at least 10 ft (+20 and 2d6 at 10th level).

Level 1 - First loss of caster level out of 10 (-1 CL/10)

Level 2 - Blurred Alacrity (EX) - gain 20% miss chance against melee and ranged attacks while under the haste spell that you cast. Increases by +10% at 3rd, 4th and 5th level. Fantastic ability. At 5th level you have essentially have a 50% miss chance all the time. (Go first in the round from Arcane Reflexes (around +2 to +8 Dependant on initiative), then cast haste as a free action, then do your regular standard action and move action)

Level 3
- Sudden Casting (EX) - Cast the HASTE spell as a free action once per round (as per quicken spell without using higher level slots)

Break Point #1

This is the first natural break point for dipping into this PrC. Due to the loss of a caster level at 4th level and three good abilities so far, some builds will take advantage of only three (3) levels of the Swiftblade class enhance their synergy from their melee feats. This break point is recommended for more martial characters due to the penalty of loss of a caster level and qualifying into the class with two non-caster feats.

Level 4 - Arcane Reflexes (EX) - Receive a competence bonus on initiative equal to your arcane spellcasting ability modifier. Eg. If your arcane spellcasting is Dependant on INT, and you have a 18 INT, then add +4 to your initiative rolls in addition to other bonuses. Amazing ability. Potentially more valuable that improved initiative feat.

Level 4 - Second loss of caster level out of 10. (-2 CL/10)

Level 5 - Evasive Celerity (EX) - While under the effect of a Haste spell you cast yourself, you gain a 20% miss chance against spells and spell like effects that specifically target you. This bonus increases by +10% at 6th, 7th, and 8th level. Amazing ability. Similar to Blurred Alacrity.

Level 6 - Fortified Hustle (EX) - Your Haste spell that you cast cannot be dispelled by any means. It is a unique ability, but in the large picture of game play it will rarely be taken into consideration. Arguments could be made that say this is an absolute godsend of an ability, but I personally think that this ability would be most advantageous at higher levels of play rather than the mid levels.

Break Point #2
This is the second natural break point of this PrC. A 6th level dip (Large Dip) into this Prc will net you with quite a few unique abilities with only the loss of two caster levels. This breakpoint may be desirable for characters who focus more on their martial skills and abilities. In addition, casters that stop here can ensure that they achieve 18th CL and have a good array of spells to power their class.

Level 7 - You gain the Bounding Assault feat. Make an extra attack on a spring attack. (PHB2, pg 75) Possibly rated as Red. If your character is more melee like, then this ability is decent. Otherwise, casters and gishlike characters could probably benefit from a better ability than this.

Level 7 - Third loss of caster level out of 10. (-3 CL/10)

Level 8 - Diligent Rapididy (EX) - Become immune to effects that impede movement (as Freedom of Movement pg 233 PHB) while under the effects of your own haste spell. Also you can move across placid water by expending two move actions. Freedom of movement abilities are really some of the most important abilities in the entire game. No grappling, no web, no hold person...etc.

Level 9
- Perpetual Options (EX) - Ability to sacrifice and extra attack at the highest BAB to make either one extra move action or one extra standard action. WOW! Truely and amazing ability. Cast two spells in a round without applying a metamagic feat!!!

Break Point #3
This is the last natural breakpoint of the PrC and is probably the most important decision that you will make regarding this class. Ultimately you will need to decide on whether you want the time stop ability (Innervated Speed) or 9th level spells. Some builds will be able to achieve +17 BAB/17 ACL and can get to 9th level spells if and only if you stop at 9th level of the Swiftblade PrC. If your character is designed more as a melee character, you could go for all 10 levels of the Swiftblade PrC. This would net you 8th level spells or less and an absolutely amazing 9th level ability (Time stop - Innervated Speed) as early as 16th level. The choice to take the final level in the Swiftblade PrC can seriously impact the playability of your character at high level play where the ability to use and cast 9th level arcane spells may the most powerful ability of any class (Shapechange, Time Stop, Wish ... to name a few).

Level 10 - Innervated Speed (EX) - Prepare or spontaneously cast Haste in a 6th level spell slot to mimic the effects of a modified TIME STOP spell to 1 round only. Increase the spell slot level to 7th (2 rounds), 8th (3 rounds) or 9th (4 rounds) and increase the duration of the TIME STOP. See above explanation as to why this is green.

Level 10 - Fourth loss of caster level out of 10. (-4 CL/10)

« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 03:54:56 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 03:11:17 PM »

Entry Classes


There are many class options that may make entry into this PrC desirable. Some options are listed below and are indicated as standard, non-standard, and unique ways of getting into and optimizing the benefits of this PrC. Also, if characters are elven, this will qualify them for the martial weapon proficiency. (See Races below)

Standard Ways of Entry

Bard 7 (+5 BAB, 3rd Level Spells w/chr bonus spell - to cast haste, and martial weapon proficiency)
Bequiler 6 (+3 BAB, 3rd Level Spells - to cast haste, and proficiency with Rapiers and Short Swords)
Factotum 8 (+6/+1 BAB, arcane dilettante for 3rd Level Spells - to cast haste, and martial weapon proficiency)
Sorcerer 6 (+3 BAB, 3rd Level Spells - to cast haste)
  • Battle Sorcerer 6(+4 BAB, 3rd Level Spells - to cast haste, and martial weapon proficiency)
  • Stalwart Sorcerer 6 (CMage p35) (+3 BAB, 3rd Level Spells - to cast haste, martial weapon proficiency, plus weapon focus with a weapon and extra 2 hit points per sorcerer level)
Wizard 6 (+3 BAB, 3rd Level Spells - to cast haste)

Non-Standard Ways of Entry

Fighter 1/Wizard 5 (+3 BAB, 3rd Level Spells - to cast haste, and martial weapon proficiency)
Factotum 5/ Trapsmith 1 (+3 BAB, Cast haste off the Trapsmith spell list, and martial weapon proficiency)
Crusader 1 or Warblade 1 /Wizard 5 (+3 BAB, 3rd Level Spells - to cast haste, and martial weapon proficiency, qualifies for Jade Phoenix Mage) [/font]
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 04:36:48 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 03:11:52 PM »
Attributes
Blue = Best, Green = Needed, Red = Dump it

For Intelligence Based Arcane Casters

* Strength: Most melee Swiftblades will need a minimum of 13 here for power attack. Otherwise in between 10 and 12 is average for the caster swiftblades.
* Dexterity: Higher priority than strength due to dodge and mobility prerequisites to get into the Swiftblade class. Minimum of 13 here.
* Constitution: This boosts your hit point total and constitution saves. Absolute must for any character. Due to your low hit die, you need all the HP's you can in order to survive in melee combat.
* Intelligence: Number one priority, try to make this stat your max. Start with a minimum of 16 here. This also depends on your point buy methods. If you have a low point buy, make it 15.
* Wisdom: Dump stat. Leave it at 8 or put 2 points into it so that you don't have a penalty to your Will save.
* Charisma: Dump stat. Leave this at 8

For Charisma Based Arcane Casters
Switch Intelligence for Charisma and leave intelligence at a 10 so that you do not have a penalty to your skill points.

Special Note: Character builds that use minimal levels of arcane spellcasting may desire to increase their physical abilities more than their arcane spellcasting stat. This is particularly useful for minor dips into the Swiftblade PrC (3 levels). Martial builds may desire a higher strength score to effectively use power attack and increase their damage potential.


Samples


Sample Elite Array and 28 point buy for a 1st Level Gray Elven Wizard that would like to qualify for the Swiftblade later in his Career.
Elite Array
Str: 12(10 GE)
Dex: 13 (15 GE)
Con: 14 (12 GE)
Int: 15 (17 GE)
Wis: 10
Chr: 8

28 Point Buy
Str: 14 (12 GE)
Dex: 14 (16 GE)
Con: 14 (12 GE)
Int: 16 (18 GE)
Wis: 8
Chr: 8
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 04:45:11 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 03:12:02 PM »

Blue = Desirable Race, Green = Playable, Red = Please don't even go here!

Standard PHB Races
[spoiler]Dwarves: Dwarven Swiftblades are actually quite resilient. Due to their initial constitution bonus, they can be more martial in their abilities. This is a good choice for wizard "gish" blades. The penalty to charisma won't matter much. Dwarves are hands down one of the best races for racial abilities. Darkvision alone is worth a lot in itself. At lower levels, the ability to see in the dark is quite advantageous. At higher levels, this will not be an issue due to the availability of magic to over come darkness. The real issue here is whether you can justify the loss of a feat (if human) for all of the other racial abilities that a dwarf gets. One disadvantage is that of mobility. Dwarven Swiftblades will not move as fast due to their reduced movement. Under the effects of the haste spell, a dwarven Swiftblade will still be moving quite fast relative to that of other characters.

Elves: Really good race due to martial weapon prerequisites that are needed to gain entry into the Swiftblade PrC. Gray elves are the best choice due to the increase in Intelligence (+2) although the there is a penalty on strength (-2), in addition to the other adjustments. Fire elves may be an option due to their racial modifiers and fire "like" abilities. (+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Con, -2 Chr)

Gnomes: Wizards, Bards, or Beguilers, may wish to choose this race if they are specializing in illusionary magic or desire that all important bonus to constitution. As a martial character, the gnome's small size will hinder damage dealt unless under the effects a polymorph spell or similar magic ability.

Half-Elves: Not a very good choice. Lacks synergistic abilities and you will have enough skill points to get your max ranks in important skills. Gray elves are better.

Halflings:
Small size, reduced movement, and stealth like abilities really don't do much to make your Swiftblade optimized. Poor choice.

Half-orcs: The penalty to intelligence will really hurt the development of a character that chooses this race. Definitely not a good choice.

Humans:
Best race over all. Especially if you use the Battle Sorcerer variant to qualify for the Swiftblade PrC. Really no penalties here.[/spoiler]

NOTE:
If you desire, you can pay more experience to reduce the level adjustment on certain races. The link to this information can be found at d20SRD LA Buy Off.

Races of ... Books

Dragon Races
[spoiler]Dragonwrought Kobold: By ItaraKoturo : Venerable age, combined with Dragonwrought feat and the slippers of battledancing will provide excellent damage potential. Venerable stats will gain +3 Int, Wis, and Chr making this combination of race, feat, and magical slippers highly desirable for sorcerer base Swiftblades.[/spoiler]

Wild Races
[spoiler]Raptorians: Flying is a decent ability however the ability is really only useful from 5th level on for a Raptorian. Their favored class is cleric, which really won't help offset penalties in experience for multiple classes. They do have a useful ability that increases the CL of spells cast with the air descriptor. If can't justify giving up a good feat for flight then don't play this race. You can always cast the fly spell when you get 5th level spells.

Catfolk: LA+1 = really bad news for optimizing a Swiftblade that already looses 4 ACL's. Really not a good choice, although pouncing, and the bonus of +4 to dex could justify a small dip into the Swiftblade class.

Centaur:
4 racial Hit dice, +2 LA = 2 big reasons not to play a arcane caster with this race.

Gnoll: Str +4, Con +2 Int -2, Chr -2, 2 Racial Hit Dice, and a LA+1 = 3 reasons not to play a arcane caster with this race.

Killoren: This race is best reserved for druids and rangers, not arcane casters.[/spoiler]

Stone Races
[spoiler]Goliaths: Not a good race to choose. LA+1 and a penalty to dexterity will make it difficult to qualify early as a Swiftblade and to pick up the Dodge and Mobility feats.

Chaos Gnome: Swiftblades that qualify through the Sorcerer or Bard classs may wish to choose the Chaos gnome as their race. They have good racial attributes (+2 dex, +2 con, +2 Chr, -2 Str). They have a few unique abilities, such as: Spell Power - Chaos, and the luck of chaos is really decent for only a LA +1. If you can buy off the LA on this race, dips of three or six levels could really make good "gish" blade.

Dream Dwarf:
Nothing special to choose this race.

Feral Gargun: See Goliath above. 2 Racial Hit Dice, and LA +2, and a -2 penalty to intelligence make this race unattractive.

Stonechild: See Goliath above. 2 Racial Hit Dice, LA +4 make this race unattractive.

Whisper Gnome: Decent racial selection. +2 dex, +2 con, -2 str, -2 chr, plus spell like abilities (although you need at least a 10 in chr to use them) and decent bonuses to notice skills make this an attractive race for Swiftblades that qualify through the wizard class.[/spoiler]

Destiny Races

[spoiler]Illumians: Excellent choice when combining various sigils to increase the characters abilities (Krau, Naen, Naenaesh, Naenkrau etc..) Although they don't get skill points or an extra feat as humans, the power of the sigils can justify this race as a decent entry to the Swiftblade PrC.

Aasimar: Bonus to Wisdom and Charisma would be good for sorcerer and bard swiftblades but the LA+1 really hurt arcane spellcasting levels. Really not a good choice unless you use the variant rules but buy off the level adjustment or choose lesser Aasimar.

Doppelganger: 4 Racial Hit Dice and LA+4 make this a really bad racial choice.

Half-ogre: Penalties to Dexterity, and Intelligence and a LA +2 make this a really bad racial choice.

Mongrelfolk: Penalties to Intelligence and Charisma make this race a poor choice.

Sea Kin:
Human is the better choice. Use spells to augment your underwater capacity.

Sharakim:Can be a decent choice for "skill" blades although they have penalties to dexterity (-2). Wizards are their favorite class to offset experience penalties. They also get darkvision and a sensitivity to light. The biggest drawback is their LA +1. If using the buyback rules, this race becomes viable, but don't otherwise choose it.

Skulk: 2 Racial Hit Dice and LA+1 make this race unattractive.

Tiefling: Decent race when using the lesser tiefling rules or the buyback LA. +2 dex, +2 int, -2 chr, darkvision, and darkness make this race viable for wizard Swiftblades. Otherwise don't choose this race as the LA+1 will really set your ACL behind.

Underfolk:
Not desirable. Chose human instead.[/spoiler]

Forgotten Realms Races
[spoiler]Gold Dwarves: If you want a dwarf race, choose the standard shield dwarf as the gold dwarf has a -2 penalty to dexterity. Not a good choice

Gray Dwarves (Duergar): LA +2 is a huge drawback. Not a good choice unless you can buy the LA off.

Drow: LA +2 is a huge drawback. Their special abilities are nice though. Not a good choice unless you can buy the LA off.

Sun Elves (Gold elves): Bonus to Intelligence (+2) and penalty to Constitution (-2). The penalty to Constitution is a huge drawback, but the Sun elf can qualify with a martial weapons so you don not have to take a dip into fighter or take a feat.

Wild Elves: Not a good choice due to the penalty to Intelligence (-2).

Deep Gnomes (Svirfneblin): LA +3. Sorry, no. Don't be a caster if you want a Deep Gnome.

Ghostwise Halflings: Better than the standard Halfling race due to the Speak without Sound ability but really is not a good race choice for the Swiftblade. See above under Halfling.

Gensai: All the Gensai races have an LA +1. These races are really not optimized choices due to the loss in spell casting levels, but deserve mention due to their specialized abilities. All of the Gensai races have strong attribute scores for the Swiftblade PrC. Notably, both the Air and Fire Gensai have bonuses to Intelligence. I list these as red due to the LA +1, but they can be green choices if you buy off the LA and/or design your character around specialized elemental spells.

Air Gensai: (Dex +2, Int +2, Wiz -2, Chr -2 = Wizard base/Caster "gish" Blade)
Earth Gensai: (Str +2, Con +2, Wis -2, Chr -2 = Wizard base/Melee "gish" Blade)
Fire Gensai: (Int +2, Chr - 2 = Wizard base/Caster "gish" Blade)
Water Gensai: (Con +2, Chr -2 = Wizard base/Melee "gish" Blade)[/spoiler]

Eberron Races
[spoiler]Changelings: Only advantage is the Minor Shape Change Ability, but does not justify choosing this race as a prime candidate.

Kalashtar: this race is better suited to Psions

Shifters: Penalties to both Intelligence (-2) and Charisma (-2) make this race a poor choice.

Warforged: Warforged Wizard? Possibly. Optimized? Probably not. Although Warforged races have numerous racial advantages in specific circumstances, this is not a tier one choice. They also have a base 5% arcane spell failure.[/spoiler]

Other Races
Place Holder for additional races

Racial Substitution Levels
[spoiler]Elf Wizard:
1st Level: Generalist Wizardry (Prepare one spell of maximum level per day and gain one additional spell in spell book), loose ability to specialize in a school.
3rd Level: Natural Link (Familiar bonuses double), loose familiars ability to deliver touch spells and speak with animals ability. If you have a hummingbird familiar (Dragon magazine) you would gain a +8 bonus to your initiative.
5th Level: Bonus Feat: Choosing a feat off a specialized list does not compare with choosing a metamagic feat.


Kobold Paragon:


Good Reflex and Will saves and medium BAB.
4+int modifier for skills.

Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Search, Spellcraft, Spot, and Swim.

The kobold paragon is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the heavy pick and light pick. Kobold paragons are also proficient with light armor. Kobold paragons treat the dire pick (1) as a martial weapon that can be wielded two-handed as a simple weapon and may treat greatpicks (see Kobolds: Playing to Their Strengths) as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.


1st Level: Manual Manual expertise, tunnel defense: Loss of 1 caster level really hurts the spellcasting ability. the other two abilities really don't offer much to the Swiftblade PrC.
2nd Level: Improved darkvision (+30 ft.), no light sensitivity. Very useful abilities. Addition of +1 level of Sorcerer casting.
3rd Level: Ability boost (Cha +2) and addition of +1 level of Sorcerer casting. Very useful to increase arcane casting stat.

Greater Draconic Rite of Passage negates the skipped casting progression on the first level.[/spoiler]

Racial Summary

Best Races are: Human, Elf (Gray), Illumians, and Dragonwrought Kobold
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 08:01:41 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 03:12:13 PM »
Skills / Skill Tricks

Blue = Best, Green = Useful, Red = No Ranks here please.

Standard Swiftblade Prestige Class Skills:

Skill points = 4 + Int modifier per level

By the time you enter into the Swiftblade PrC, you will be 7th level in most instances. Assuming you start with a 16 Intelligence and put your 4th level and 8th level ability point into intelligence you will have a modifier of +4 to your skill points. This will give you approximately 8 total skill points per level in which to purchase ranks. If you choose human as your starting race, add one more per level for a total of 9 skill points in which to purchase ranks. Most optimized Swiftblades will finish with the Abjurant Champion PrC. There is no skill rank pre-requisite for it.

If you choose the Sorcerer entry for the Swiftblade PrC, you will have less skill points over all and will really need to specialize your training for skill points. Assuming that you have a 10 intelligence and are human, you will only have about 5 points to train your ranks for skills during the Swiftblade levels. You will have only about 3 skill points during your entry levels.


Swiftblade PrC Skills

  • Balance: Put at least 5 ranks into this skill.
  • Craft: Not necessary for this PrC, unless Artificer/Swiftblades. Alternatively, you may be able to max out a craft skill due to your excess of skill points. If you do, you can make exceptional items that you can sell to enchanters (Arcane/Divine casters) who have specific item creation feats, or use yourself if you have those feats. Craft wonderous item feat could be exploited.
  • Concentration: Max this skill out, as you are primarily a arcane caster.
  • Gather Information: Why do you need this when you have magical spells that are far more superior.
  • Jump: Put a minimum of 5 ranks in this skill to add a synergy bonus to the tumble skill.
  • Knowledge (Arcana): Put a minimum of 5 ranks in this skill to add a synergy bonus to the Spellcraft skill.
  • Listen: A decent skill to have, but not necessary if you are low on skill points.
  • Profession: Not necessary.
  • Spot: A good skill to have for determining surprise and specific information about the area you are in. Max ranks here.
  • Spellcraft: Max this skill out.
  • Swim: Not necessary, use magic to augment your swimming abilites.
  • Tumble: Movement on and through the battlefield is very important for adequate positioning. Max this skill out.

Summary: Minimum of 4 max ranked skills: Concentration, Spot, Spellcraft, and Tumble. Put the other skill points into your minimums and/or use them in cross class skills. If you have the able learner feat this opens up more options for you.

Use Magical Device may be important to have ranks in if you want to use divine items.



The Swiftblade PrC has a total of 12 skills in which to purchase ranks on a one-to-one basis. Of the available skills, they share the following with:
[spoiler]Abjurant Champion: Concentration, Craft, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Spellcraft, and Swim.

Bard: Balance, Concentration, Craft, Gather Information, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Listen, Profession, Spellcraft, Swim, and Tumble.

Beguiler:
Balance, Concentration, Craft, Gather Information, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Listen, Profession, Spellcraft, Spot, Swim, and Tumble.

Factotum: Share all skills as class skills. All 12.

Enlightened Fist:
Balance, Concentration, Craft, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Listen, Profession, Spellcraft, Spot, Swim, and Tumble.

Jade Phoenix Mage:
Concentration, Jump, and Tumble.

Sorcerer:
Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (Arcana), Profession, and Spellcraft.

Suel Arcanamach: Concentration, Craft, Jump, Knowledge (Arcana), Listen, Profession, Spellcraft, Spot, Swim, and Tumble.

Unseen Seer: Concentration, Gather Information, Knowledge (Arcana), Listen, Profession, Spellcraft, and Spot.

Wizard: Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (Arcana), Profession, and Spellcraft.[/spoiler]

Skill Tricks  Complete Scoundrel
Learning a skill trick costs 2 skill points.
[spoiler]Spot the Weak Point - Spot 12 ranks - Make your next attack a touch attack. Great synergy with your special abilities.

Swift Concentration - Concentration 12 ranks - Maintain concentration on spell as a swift action.

Acrobatic Backstab - Tumble 12 ranks - Move through foes's space to render it flat-footed. Denying your opponents Dex to AC is advantageous.

Nimble Stand
- Tumble 8 ranks - Stand from prone safely. Unlikely you will be in this position, but if you have the extra skill points this could prove useful.

Walk the Walls - Climb 12 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks - Run straight up wall for 1 round. 20feet (80/4) in a round is a lot of ground to cover if you are going vertical. Pretty good when you combine haste with your movement. [/spoiler]
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 08:02:46 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 03:12:22 PM »
Spell Choices

Most desirable spells/per level:

[spoiler]
0 Level Spells
Arcane Mark (PHB)
Mage Hand (PHB)
Prestidigitation (PHB)

1st Level Spells:
Familiar Pocket (SC)
Grease (PHB)
Mage Armor (PHB)
Nerverskitter (SC)
Ray of Enfeeblement (PHB)
Ray of Clumsiness (SC)
Shield (PHB)


2nd Level Spells:
Bear's Endurance (PHB)
Blade Weave (SC)
Bull's Strength (PHB)
Heroics (SC)
Luminous Armor (BoED)
Mirror Image (PHB)
Scorching Ray (PHB)
Wraithstrike (SC)

3rd Level Spells:
Haste (PHB)
Dispel Magic (PHB)
Fly (PHB)
Greater Mage Armor (SC)
Greater Magic Weapon (PHB)
Heroism (PHB)
Slow (PHB)

4th Level Spells:
Assay Spell Resistance (SC)
Black Tentacles (PHB)
Dimension Door (PHB)
Dimensional Anchor
Heart of Earth(CM)
Greater Invisibility (PHB)
Greater Luminous Armor (BoED)
Polymorph (PHB)

5th Level Spells:
Acid Sheath (SC)
Baleful Polymorph(PHB)
Dominate Person (PHB)
Fabricate (PHB)
Greater Blink (SC)
Teleport (PHB)
Wall of Force (PHB)

6th Level Spells:

Disintegrate (PHB)
Chain Lightning (PHB)
Contingency (PHB)
Greater Dispel Magic (SC)
Greater Heroism (PHB)
Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability (SC)
True Seeing (PHB)

7th Level Spells:
Energy Absorption (SC)
Force Cage (PHB)
Limited Wish (PHB)
Prismatic Spray (PHB)
Reverse Gravity (PHB)


8th Level Spells:
Irresistible Dance (PHB)
Maze (PHB)
Mind Blank (PHB)
Polar Ray (SC)
Power Word Stun (PHB)
Polymorph Any Object (PHB)

9th Level Spells:
Time Stop (PHB)
Gate (PHB)
Shapechange (PHB)
Wish (PHB) [/spoiler]
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 05:32:01 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009, 03:12:31 PM »
Desirable Equipment

For All Swiftblades
[spoiler]
Arms
Bracers of Armor +8 (DMG p250): If you have this item (+6 even) you will not need to cast the Greater Mage Armor daily to increase your AC bonus. A good investment of 64000 gp and you can add additional magic to them if needed.

Belts
Belt of Battle (MIC p73): +2 competence bonus to initiative and expend 1-3 charges per day to grant extra actions (1 charge=1 move action, 2 charges=1 standard action, 3 charges=1 full-round action) This item is truly amazing and is a must have for any class.

Boots
Winged Boots (DMG p250): 3/day fly for 5 minutes each. Very useful due to the fact that the Fly spell takes up a 3rd level spell slot in which you would normally take the haste spell. Having the ability to fly around the battlefield and position yourself to cast rays and AoE spells can be very useful. Only 16000 gp too.

Neck
Amulet of Natural Armor X + Health X (MIC): Combining these two useful properties into one item will be very useful for a Swiftblade character. Your low hit die, and relatively lower armor class needs special attention. If you have a choice, choose Amulet of Health +6. Later on you can get both. This is a must have at all times unless you really want or desire to use the Hand of Glory for an additional ring slot or have another item that can boost your hit points.

Hand of Glory (DMG p258): Mummified hand takes up a necklace spot and allows you to place a magical ring on its digit and it functions in addition to your other two rings. Does not count against your two-ring limit. It can only wear one ring at a time. In addition it allows the wearer use "daylight" and "see invisibility" once each day. This is a fantastic item for all Swiftblades.

Rings
Ring of Arcane Might (MIC p121): +1 bonus to your arcane caster level for spell penetration, caster level checks, and all level-based variables of any arcane spells you cast. Amazing ring for a Swiftblade.

Ring of Evasion (DMG p232): As a Swiftblade, you will have a decent Reflex Save. Take advantage of this by negating the damage dealt by area of effect spells through the use of a ring of evasion. If you make your save, you will take no damage. Fireballs, cone of cold, etc... will not hurt you if you wear one of these. With your low hit points, why take the chance.

Ring of Protection +5 (DMG p232): Offers deflection bonus to Armor Class. As a Swiftblade this ring will be particularly useful for you.

Ring of Wizardry II and/or III
(DMG p233): Especially useful for doubling your second level and third level spells to cast wraithstrike and haste. These two spells need more slots to prepare so that you can use other spells of those levels.

Shoulders

Cloak of Resistance +5 (DMG p253): The rules of the game dictate that characters with low saving throws will be incapacitated and/or die if their saves are low. As a rule of thumb, make sure your Fortification save is very high to resist many save or die spells, feats and abilities that will get through your Haste defenses (Evasive Celerity). In my opinion, I believe that Fort and Will saves need to have special boosts through class and item abilities if you want your character to survive in the D&D game.

Tools
Tome(s) of ... +5 (DMG p268): In this order: Clear thought or Leadership, Bodily Health, Gainful Exercise, Quickness of Action. Highly useful to increase your base attributes. Focus on tomes that increase the caster level attributes first and then the ones that increase your physical abilities (Dependant on your type of build).

Weapons
Note: Swiftblades that have martial weapon proficiency and power attack can take full advantage of two handed weapons that can be used in combination with wraithstrike and arcane strike. If you qualified to the Swiftblade through elven racial proficiencies, your weapon selection will be limited. Idealy, chose minimal magical bonuses on your magic weapons. (ie. +1 to +3) and add special weapon properties to the weapon in question.

A good starting point is to have weapons made out of the following:
  • Adamantine - 3000 gp
  • Cold Iron - 2000 gp + magic enchantments cost 2x more
  • Silver - 180 gp and -1 on damage

Cheap and magical properties to add include;
  • Illumination - 500 gp, Bright illumination to 20ft, often better than wasting a cantrip
  • Everbright - 2000 gp, 2 day blinding effect and immune to acid and rusting, Very nice ability!!!!
  • Slowburst - 5000 gp, On a critical hit target is slowed for 3 rounds. Very useful for battlefield control and you will not have to use the Slow spell from your 3rd level slots. As a higher level character, this is pretty cheap of an enchantment, although the DC (14 Will) is pretty low against higher level NPC's and monsters. However, on the odd chance that it does go off, you will not regret it.

Standard Weapon Enchantments:
  • Elemental damage +1: various forms, usable mostly for lower level Swiftblades to increase damage output from elemental type.
  • Holy +2: Most creatures that you face will be evil if your characters are good or neutrally aligned.
  • Unholy +2: Vise Versa
  • Greater Dispelling +2: With your multiple attacks, and hit and run tactics, this ability is a very powerful to weaken an enemies magical defenses.
  • Warning +1: It is important that you always go first so that you can get your haste spell off, buff up and move into position to attack or cast spells.

[/spoiler]


For Intelligence Based Swiftblades.

[spoiler]
Head
Headband of Intellect +6 and Conscious Effort (MIC 109): For a price of 38000 gp, this item will give you the maximum enchantment bonus to your intelligence and a 1/day save based on your concentration check in place of a required fortification save. Because most Swiftblades will have a lower Fort save, this small and seemingly cheap ability (2000gp) can allow the Swiftblade to overcome a save or die spell/effect and then move away from the effect on your next action (Dimension door, teleport, hasted movement, etc...).

Tools
Pearl of Power (DMG p263): Very useful for recalling prepared spells. Get as many as you can.[/spoiler]

For Charisma based Swiftblades.
[spoiler]Boots
Slippers of Battledancing (DMG2): Chr damage instead of Str when moving 10'. Amazing synergy with arcane casting, damage, and movement abilities.[/spoiler]


For Specialized Swiftblades
[spoiler]Belt
Monks Belt (DMG p248): If you have a "Spring" Blade that has more levels of Monk, this item may be of use to you. It is hard to justify not using the Belt of Battle though. [/spoiler]
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 06:26:48 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2009, 03:12:41 PM »
Sample Builds

"Gish" Blades
[spoiler]
Gray Elven Wizard 6/Swiftblade 9-10/Abjurant Champion 4-5 by AEDAN
[/color]
[spoiler]
Gray Elf

28 Point Buy
Str: 14 (12 GE) (12th = 13)
Dex: 14 (16 GE)
Con: 14 (12 GE)
Int: 16 (18 GE) (4th, 8th, 16th, 20th = 22)
Wis: 8
Chr: 8

1: Wizard 1: Summon Familiar, Generalist Wizardry (ESL 1), Scribe Scroll, Dodge
2. Wizard 2:
3: Wizard 3: Natural Link (ESL 3), Mobility
4: Wizard 4:
5: Wizard 5: MM: Empower Spell or Extend Spell
6: Wizard 6: Practiced Spellcaster
7: Swiftblade 1: Spring Attack, Swift Surge +1/0ft.
8: Swiftblade 2: Blurred Alacrity
9: Swiftblade 3: Sudden Casting, Arcane Strike
10: Swiftblade 4: Arcane Reflexes, Swift Surge +1/10ft.
11: Swiftblade 5: Evasive Celerity
12: Swiftblade 6: Fortified Hustle, Power Attack
13: Swiftblade 7: Bounding Assault
14: Swiftblade 8: Diligent Rapidity
15: Swiftblade 9: Perpetual options, Combat Casting
16: Abjurant Champion 1: Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration
17: Abjurant Champion 2: Swift Abjuration
18: Abjurant Champion 3: MM: Quicken or Twin Spell
19: Abjurant Champion 4: Arcane Boost
20: Abjurant Champion 5: Martial Arcanist

Initiative: +17 (Dex +3, +6 Arcane Reflexes, Hummingbird Familiar +4 (+8 Natural Link))

BAB: +17/+12/+7

Average Hit Points: 96
(4, 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 6, 5, 6, 5, 6 + 20 Con) You will definitely need a CON boosting magic item here.

Base Saves:
Fort: 8 (7 Base (2W, 3S, AC1), +1 Con)
Reflex: 12 (9 Base (2W, 6S, AC1), +3 Dex)
Will: 14 (15 Base (5W, 6S, AC4), -1 Wis)

ACL: As 17th level wizard: 9th Level Spells (-3 CL from Swiftblade)

CL: 20 (Practiced Spellcaster)

Spells/Day:
4///6, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5, 3, 2, 1

Base Movement: 40ft.

Skill Points: 170
(W1=24, W2-6=30, S1=8, S2-9=72, AC1-4=28, AC5=8)

Ranks
1: Wizard 1: Concentration 4, Craft (X) 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Spellcraft 4, Spot 2 (4), Tumble 2 (4)
2: Wizard 2: Concentration 5, Craft (X) 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Spellcraft 5, Spot 2.5 (5), Tumble 2.5 (5)
3: Wizard 3: Concentration 6, Craft (X) 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 6, Spellcraft 6, Spot 3 (6), Tumble 3 (6),
4: Wizard 4: Concentration 7, Craft (X) 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 7, Spellcraft 7, Spot 3.5 (7), Tumble 3.5 (7)
5: Wizard 5: Concentration 8, Craft (X) 8, Knowledge (Arcana) 8, Spellcraft 8, Spot 4 (8), Tumble 4 (8)
6: Wizard 6: Concentration 9, Craft (X) 9, Knowledge (Arcana) 9, Spellcraft 9, Spot 4.5 (9), Tumble 4.5 (9)
7: Swiftblade 1: Concentration 10, Craft (X) 10, Jump 1, Knowledge (Arcana) 10, Listen 1, Spot 5.5 (10), Spellcraft 10, Tumble 5.5 (10)
8: Swiftblade 2: Balance 1, Concentration 11, Craft (X) 11, Jump 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 11, Listen 2, Spot 6.5 (11), Spellcraft 11, Tumble 6.5 (11)
9: Swiftblade 3: Balance 2, Concentration 12, Craft (X) 12, Jump 3, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Listen 3, Spot 7.5 (12), Spellcraft 12, Tumble 7.5 (12)
10: Swiftblade 4: Balance 3, Concentration 13, Craft (X) 13, Jump 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 13, Listen 4, Spot 8.5 (13), Spellcraft 13, Tumble 8.5 (13)
11: Swiftblade 5: Balance 4, Concentration 14, Craft (X) 14, Jump 5, Knowledge (Arcana) 14, Listen 5, Spot 9.5 (14), Spellcraft 14, Tumble 9.5 (14)
12: Swiftblade 6: Balance 5, Concentration 15, Craft (X) 15, Jump 6, Knowledge (Arcana) 15, Listen 6, Spot 10.5 (15), Spellcraft 15, Tumble 10.5 (15)
13: Swiftblade 7: Balance 6, Concentration 16, Craft (X) 16, Jump 7, Knowledge (Arcana) 16, Listen 7, Spot 11.5 (16), Spellcraft 16, Tumble 11.5 (16)
14: Swiftblade 8: Balance 7, Concentration 17, Craft (X) 17, Jump 8, Knowledge (Arcana) 17, Listen 8, Spot 12.5 (17), Spellcraft 17, Tumble 12.5 (17)
15: Swiftblade 9: Balance 8, Concentration 18, Craft (X) 18, Jump 9, Knowledge (Arcana) 18, Listen 9, Spot 13.5 (18), Spellcraft 18, Tumble 13.5 (18)
16: Abjurant Champion 1: Concentration 19, Craft (X) 19, Jump 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 19, Spellcraft 19, Spot 14 (19) Tumble 14 (19)
17: Abjurant Champion 2: Concentration 20, Craft (X) 20, Jump 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 20, Spellcraft 20, Spot 14.5 (20) Tumble 14.5 (20)
18: Abjurant Champion 3: Concentration 21, Craft (X) 21, Jump 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 21, Spellcraft 21, Spot 15 (21) Tumble 15 (21)
19: Abjurant Champion 4: Concentration 22, Craft (X) 22, Jump 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 22, Spellcraft 22, Spot 15.5 (22) Tumble 15.5 (22)
20: Abjurant Champion 5: Concentration 23, Craft (X) 23, Jump 14, Knowledge (Arcana) 23, Spellcraft 23, Spot 16 (23) Swim 1, Tumble 16 (23)

Summary of Ranks

Balance 8
Concentration 23
Craft (X) 23
Jump 14
Knowledge (Arcana) 23
Listen 9
Spellcraft 23
Spot 16
Swim 1
Tumble 16

Racial Abilities:
Gray Elf
+2 Intelligence, -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution
Medium Size
30ft base speed
Immunity to magic sleep effects, +2 racial saves to enchantment spells and effects
Low-Light Vision: Twice as far as human
Weapon Proficiency: Longsword, rapier, longbow, and shortbow
+2 Listen, Search, and Spot checks
Search for secret or concealed doors within passing of 5ft
Languages: Common and Elven
Favored Class: Wizard
[/spoiler]

Gray Elven Sorcerer 6/Swiftblade 9-10/Abjurant Champion 4-5 by AEDAN

Dragonwrought Kobold Paragon 3 / Sorcerer 3/Swiftblade 10/Unseen Seer 4 by ItaraKoturo

[spoiler]
1 - Kobold Paragon 1 - Shaky (flaw), Dragonwrought, Expeditious Dodge
2 - Sorcerer (Stalwart, Divine Companion) 1
3 - Kobold Paragon 2 - Mobility
4 - Kobold Paragon 3
5 - Sorcerer 2
6 - Sorcerer 3 - Draconic Reservoir *
7 - Swiftblade 1
8 - Swiftblade 2
9 - Swiftblade 3 - Minor Shapeshift
10 - Swiftblade 4
11 - Swiftblade 5
12 - Swiftblade 6 - Arcane Strike
13 - Swiftblade 7
14 - Swiftblade 8
15 - Swiftblade 9 - Combat Expertise
16 - Swiftblade 10
17 - Unseen Seer 1
18 - Unseen Seer 2 - Practiced Spellcaster
19 - Unseen Seer 3
20 - Unseen Seer 4

* - Draconic Reservoir is that mediocre feat required for Greater Draconic Rite of Passage.

That's the build, folks. Now, this doesn't work, of course. You can't enter Swiftblade with only five levels of Sorcerer (which includes two from Kobold Paragon)! But wait! You can, with the Greater Draconic Rite of Passage! And when can you take that? As soon as you reach 6 HD! This character hits 6th-level, immediately performs the rite, and gains a sixth level of sorcerer. By the time he's ready to level up, he's satisfied the requirements for Swiftblade! Also, we begin this character at the Venerable age category. As a Dragonwrought character he suffers no penalties to his physical stats for aging, so we get a free +3 int, wis and cha out of this. Give him the Slippers of Battledancing and a Belt of Battle.

In the morning, after performing his 15 minute kobold meditation, Skitter casts Greater Mage Armor and Heart of Earth on himself. Each lasts 20 hours. He then pulls out one of his wands of Magic Missile (1st) and casts from it twenty times into his Divine Companion, fully charging it. And heck, why not, how about Nondetection, too? Everyone loves Nondetection.

Combat goes something like this:

Round 1 - Skitter wins Initiative. He subsumes a Haste (as a free action) in an 8th-level slot to enter a 3-round Time Stop.

Time Stop Round 1 - Free action, Haste. Standard action, True Seeing. Standard action, Greater Blink. Move action to get in range as appropriate. Swift action, consume Divine Companion's 20 stored spell levels for a +20 deflection bonus to AC and +20 resistance bonus to saves for 21 rounds.

Time Stop Round 2 - Standard action, Greater Invisibility. Standard Action, Greater Heroism. Move action to get in range of target if still required. Swift action, activate Heart of Earth to gain Stoneskin for 21 rounds.

Time Stop Round 3 - Swift action, Minor Shapeshift to gain 20 temporary HP for 4 rounds. Standard action, Shield. Standard action, Greater Mirror Image. Move action, retrieve Rod of Lesser Extend Spell. Time Stop ends.

Continuing Round 1 - Move action, move towards target enemy you wish to totally own, drawing one-handed weapon of choice on the way (and gaining +2d6 damage, +2 dodge AC and +charisma bonus to damage and attack just for moving 40 feet). Swift action, Extended Hunter's Eye. Free action, Arcane Strike (8th-level slot). Full-round action, full-attack (five attacks total).

Round 2 - Assuming your target is a very dumb melee character, wait for him to finish uselessly trying to get the percentile dice to roll in his favor. On your turn: Swift action, use 1 charge from the Belt of Battle to grant a move action. Free action, Arcane Strike (8th-level slot). Move action + Standard action, Spring Attack and Bounding Assault, around the target, and then back, making sure to move a total of at least 40 feet in the process. Full-round action, full-attack (seven attacks total this round).

The end result after two rounds?

Your target has taken 132d6 of precision damage (from sneak attack or skirmish-like abilities), 96d4 of arcane strike damage, weapon damage (and any relevant enchantments) x 12, Charisma-bonus to damage x 12, and any other bits of damage you might have picked up along the way due to equipment or buffs.

This works out to an average of (assuming a weapon with a d6 damage die for small creatures and a +5 enhancement bonus, as well as a reasonable +10 Charisma bonus) 924 damage in two rounds. Stack a few more weapon enchantments on there and you can easily boost that over 1,000.

One of the best aspects of this build is that it isn't a late-bloomer. It has fantastic pick-ups all along its progression, especially if you know some nifty tricks. For instance, because the Dragonwrought feat gives you the Dragon type, you can use Alter Self to turn into a Shadow Dragon Wyrmling at character level 5! This gives you an 60 ft. land speed, 120 ft. fly speed (average), Tiny size, and a +7 natural armor bonus, and you can still cast spells! You also get two claw attacks and a bite, but those aren't a huge deal. (Credit goes to Molot for the idea) And what better theme for a speedy kobold than one of the speediest dragons around? Heck, why not make it our Dragonwrought draconic heritage? So what if the skill bonus is to Escape Artist.

So there you have it. Skitter, the haste-junkie kobold - hours of fun and a demon in combat. Suggestions and criticisms are welcomed and appreciated.

Defining Characteristics / Dirty Tricks:

* BAB of 16 for 4 attacks per full-attack (5 while under haste)
* CL of 21 for Divinations, 19 for all others (23/21 with equipment), and 8th-level spells
* Identify (or whatever) 3/day as a spell-like ability
* 90-foot move speed while under Haste (65-foot move speed while under Haste and Greater Blink)
* A huge initiative bonus (at least +18). He goes first.
* 50% miss, 50% spell target failure, freedom of movement, haste as an extraordinary ability and free action, etc.
* Can cast two spells per round, or full-attack and a spell, or full-attack and standard attack
* Time Stop as a free action in a 6th-, 7th- or 8th-level slot
* Immune to magical sleep and paralysis, 90 ft. darkvision and superior low-light vision, no aging penalties despite being venerable, ER Cold 10, no light sensitivity
* Like eight different bonuses just from moving around a lot each round, which he can always do
* The ability to spring attack and then ready an action to blink away from his opponent's next attack, making him basically untouchable against another melee character without his own dirty trick
* With the Hunter's Eye spell stolen from the Ranger spell list (using Unseen Seer's Advanced Learning), deals 11d6 precision damage on each attack (better than a level-20 rogue!)
* Go ahead, dispel his combat buffs! One free-action Time Stop later, they'll all be back again!
* Find yourself running out of spells too quickly? Buy a Wand of Hunter's Eye. You can get by in combat just fine as long as you've got some way of Haste-ing yourself. Use that extra standard action each round to add an extra 7d6 to each swing of your full-attack!
* Use Combat Expertise and your extra standard action on a full defense to grant yourself a total of +19 dodge bonus to AC while full-attacking! Use your swift action that round to activate your weapon's Defensive Surge and make that +25!
* Has the Dark Creature template from the Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis, granting Skitter the Hide in Plain Sight ability in addition to some rather nifty un-typed skill bonuses.
* All those totally awesome Kobold Paragon class features that are really just icing on the cake! Check out the class at http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060127a


Preliminary Equipment Load-out:

* Small Eager, Brilliant Energy, Sudden Stunning, Defensive Surge Longsword +4
* Ring of Wizardry III
* Ring of Arcane Might
* Ring of Evasion
* Hand of Glory
* Metamagic Rod of Lesser Extend x 3
* Wand of Extended Haste (14 rounds)
* Cloak of Charisma +6 (addition to cloak)
* Tome of Leadership and Influence +5
* Cloak of Resistance +5 (addition to cloak)
* Amulet of Natural Armor +5 (addition to collar)
* Belt of Battle
* Slippers of Battledancing
* Amulet of Health +6 (addition to collar)
* Cloak of Stone
* Continuous Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis
* Personal Oasis
* Infinite Scrollcase
* Scroll of Haste (5th) x 20
* Bag of Holding, Type IV
* Orange Ioun Stone
* Wand of Magic Missile (1st) x 4
* Shadow Dragon Frightful Crest Graft
* Total: 754,460 gp


Skill Rank Assignment:

* Concentration - 23
* Diplomacy - 3
* Hide - 12
* Knowledge (arcana) - 5
* Listen - 7
* Move Silently - 10
* Perform (dance) - 5
* Search - 12
* Sense Motive - 5
* Spellcraft - 23
* Spot - 12
* Tumble - 10

Yes, this is a rather spread-out skill list, but that's okay. Like most spellcasters, skill bonuses aren't a huge concern. I do recommend picking up some skill-boosting items (I chose the Cloak of Stone and Continuous Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis, myself) to make up for the sparse skill point allotment. Bear in mind that some of these ranks are cross-classed to qualify for Unseen Seer and meet the 5-rank Perform (dance) requirement that the Slippers of Battledancing have. The skills have been improved to make caster skills (Spellcraft, Concentration) more competitive with the addition of Kobold Paragon to the mix.

Suggested Spells Known:

* 0th - Pick any, you get tons and they're not that important.
* 1st - Shield, True Casting (*), Benign Transposition (*), Protection from Evil (*), Greater Mage Hand (*)
* 2nd - Alter Self, Cat's Grace, Heroics, Heart of Air (*), Surefooted Stride (*), Hunter's Eye
* 3rd - Haste, Greater Mage Armor, Nondetection, Slow (*)
* 4th - Heart of Earth, Greater Invisibility, Polymorph (*), Greater Mirror Image
* 5th - Greater Blink, Teleport (*), Dominate Person (*), Arcane Fusion (*)
* 6th - Greater Heroism, True Seeing, Ruby Ray of Reversal (*)
* 7th - Limited Wish (*)
* 8th - Greater Arcane Fusion (*)

(*) denotes a spell that is not critical to the build. Such spells can be replaced at personal discretion without severely impacting playability.[/spoiler]

Human Fighter 1/Wizard 6/Spellsword 1/Swiftblade 6/Abjurant Champion 5/Dragonslayer 1 by ninjarabbit

Human Fighter 1/Sorcerer 6/Spellsword 1/Abjurant Champion 5/Swiftblade 3/ Sacredexorcist4 by ninjarabbit
[/spoiler]

"Skirmish" Blades
[spoiler]
Scout 1 / Wizard 4 / Unseen Seen 2 / Swiftblade 10 / Unseen Seer +3 by DaveTheMagicWeasel
[/spoiler]
"Paladin" Blades
[spoiler]
Paladin 2 / Bard 4 / Fighter (or Swashbuckler) 1 / Suel Arcanamach 4 / Swiftblade 9 by DaveTheMagicWeasel

Paladin 4 / Cobra Strike Monk 2 / Fighter (or Swashbuckler) 1 / Suel Arcanamach 4 / Swiftblade 9 by DaveTheMagicWeasel


Human Paladin 2/Sorcerer 4/Spellsword 1/Abjurant champion 3/Swiftblade 10 by ninjarabbit
[spoiler]
18 BAB, 14 CL

1-paladin1-power attack, dodge
2-paladin2
3-sorcerer1-combat casting
4-sorcerer2
5-sorcerer3
6-sorcerer4-mobility
7-spellsword1
8-abjurantchampion1
9-swiftblade1-arcane strike
10-swiftblade2
11-swiftblade3
12-abjurantchampion2-minor shapeshift
13-swiftblade4
14-swiftblade5
15-swiftblade6-practiced spellcaster
16-swiftblade7
17-swiftblade8
18-swiftblade9- open feat
19-swiftblade10
20-abjurantchampion3
[/spoiler]

Human Paladin 4/Sorcerer 2/Abjurant champion 5/Swiftblade 9 by ninjarabbit
[/color]
[spoiler]
19 BAB, 13 CL (19 with Abjurant champion's martial arcanist ability)

1-paladin1- power attack, dodge
2-paladin2
3-paladin3-combat casting
4-paladin4
5-sorcerer1
6-sorcerer2- divine might
7-abjurant champion1
8-abjurant champion2
9-abjurant champion3-mobility
10-abjurant champion4
11-swiftblade1
12-swiftblade2- arcane strike
13-swiftblade3
14-abjurant champion5
15-swiftblade4- minor shapeshift
16-swiftblade5
17-swiftblade6
18-swiftblade7- open feat
19-swiftblade8
20-swiftblade9[/spoiler]

Human Paladin 4/Sorcerer 2/Abjurant champion 5/Swiftblade 9 by ninjarabbit

[spoiler]
17 BAB, 16 BAB (17 with abjurant champion)

1-paladin1-dodge
2-paladin2
3-sorcerer1-combat casting
4-sorcerer2
5-sorcerer3
6-sorcerer4-mobility
7-spellsword1
8-abjurant champion1
9-swiftblade1-power attack
10-swiftblade2
11-swiftblade3
12-abjurant champion2- arcane strike
13-abjurant champion3
14-abjurant champion4
15-sacred exorcist1-divine might
16-abjurant champion5
17-swiftblade4
18-swiftblade5-minor shapeshift
19-swiftblade6
20-sacred exorcist2[/spoiler][/spoiler]

"Sing" Blades
[spoiler]
Fighter 1/Wizard 5/Swiftblade1-3/Bladesinger 3/Swiftblade 4-6/Abjurant Champion 5 by Derrylrandallin


Bard 7/Swiftblade 9/SublimeChord 1-2/SacredExorcist 2-3 by MikeN

    9th level spells, +16 BAB, Turn Undead, 9 Swiftblade levels
[/spoiler]

"Skill" Blades
[spoiler]
Factotum 8/ Wizard or Wu Jen 1/ Swiftblade 9/ Dragonslayer1/ Spellsword 1 by LordKhaos


Beguiler 6/Swiftblade 10/Abjurant Champion 4 by ninjarabbit
[spoiler]
The Basic Beguiler/Swiftblade

17 BAB, 16 CL

1-beguiler1- dodge, able learner if human
2-beguiler2
3-beguiler3-mobility
4-beguiler4
5-beguiler5
6-beguiler6- open feat
7-swiftblade1
8-swiftblade2
9-swiftblade3-arcane strike
10-swiftblade4
11-swiftblade5
12-swiftblade6- open feat
13-swiftblade7
14-swiftblade8
15-swiftblade9- combat casting
16-swiftblade10
17-abjurant champion1
18-abjurant champion2- open feat
19-abjurant champion3
20-abjurant champion4

Nothing fancy here, just a straight forward build that ends up being a natural triple threat. You do lose 9th levels spells but you aren't losing really great spells like shapechange and gate like a wizard or sorcerer would.[/spoiler]

Beguiler 8/swiftblade 6/Abjurantchampion 5/dragonslayer 1 by ninjarabbit
[spoiler]
The Quadruple Threat

16 BAB, 18 CL

1-beguiler1-able learner, dodge
2-beguiler2
3-beguiler3-arcane disciple: healing
4-beguiler4
5-beguiler5
6-beguiler6-mobility
7-swiftblade1
8-swiftblade2
9-swiftblade3-combat casting
10-abjurantchampion1
11-abjurant champion2
12-abjurant champion3-arcane strike
13-abjurant champion4
14-abjurant champion5
15-swiftblade4-arcane disciple: alignment domain
16-swiftblade5
17-swiftblade6
18-beguiler7-iron will
19-dragonslayer1
20-beguiler8


With this build I am pretty much a one man party, haveing 16 BAB with arcane strike, trapfinding with a fair number of class skills and skill points, and 9th level arcane and healing spells.[/spoiler]

Human beguiler 7/mageofthearcaneorder 7/swiftblade 6 by ninjarabbit
[/color]
[spoiler]
The Beguileblade of the Arcane Order

12 BAB, 18 CL

1-beguiler1-able learner, co-operative spell
2-beguiler2
3-beguiler3-arcane preparation
4-beguiler4
5-beguiler5- silent spell (free from beguiler and needed for MotAO)
6-mageofthearcaneorder1-dodge
7-MotAO2
8-MotAO3-quicken spell
9-MotAO4-mobility
10-swiftblade1
11-swiftblade2
12-swiftblade3-open feat
13-swiftblade4
14-swiftblade5
15-swiftblade6-open feat
16-MotAO5
17-MotAO6
18-MotAO7-open feat
19-beguiler6
20-beguiler7

This build trades combat ability for spellcasting flexibility. MotAO puts every wizard spell from the PHB at your fingertips and arcane preparation opens up quicken spell for your non-haste spell. As a bonus you get to delay advanced learning until you reach 18 CL for a 9th level spell.[/spoiler]

Human beguiler 4/fighter 1/mage of the arcane order 4/swiftblade 10/spellsword 1 by ninjarabbit
[spoiler]
Beguileblade of the Arcane Order Part II
16 BAB, 15 CL

1-beguiler1-arcane preparation, co-operative spell
2-beguiler2
3-beguiler3- metamagic feat
4-beguiler4
5-fighter1-dodge
6-MotAO1-able learner
7-MotAO2
8-MotAO3-quicken spell
9-MotAO4- mobility
10-swiftblade1
11-swiftblade2
12-swiftblade3-arcane strike
13-swiftblade4
14-swiftblade5
15-swiftblade6-open feat
16-swiftblade7
17-swiftblade8
18-swiftblade9-open feat
19-swiftblade10
20-spellsword1

A more melee focused Beguileblade of the Arcane Order at the expense of spellcasting[/spoiler]

Beguiler 10/Swiftblade 10 by ninjarabbit[/spoiler]

"Spring" Blades
[spoiler]
monk1/sorcerer4/enlightededfist3/swiftblade10/abjurantchampion2 by ninjarabbit
[/color]
[spoiler]
Human

28 Point Buy
Str: 14 (15, +1 Level)
Dex: 14
Con:14
Int:8
Wis: 8
Chr: 16 (20, +4 Levels)

1: Monk 1: Flurry of Blows, Unarmed Strike Dodge, Mobility
2. Sorcerer 1: Summon Familiar
3: Sorcerer 2: Combat Casting
4: Sorcerer 3:
5: Sorcerer 4:
6: Enlightened Fist 1: Ki Strike, Monk Abilities Ascetic Mage
7: Enlightened Fist 2: Fist of Energy
8: Enlightened Fist 3: Arcane Fist
9: Swiftblade 1: Spring Attack, Swift Surge +1/0ft. Arcane Strike
10: Swiftblade 2: Blurred Alacrity
11: Swiftblade 3: Sudden Casting,
12: Swiftblade 4: Arcane Reflexes, Swift Surge +1/10ft. Snap Kick
13: Swiftblade 5: Evasive Celerity
14: Swiftblade 6: Fortified Hustle,
15: Swiftblade 7: Bounding Assault, Swift Surge +2/+10 ft. Practiced Spellcaster
16: Swiftblade 8: Diligent Rapidity
17: Swiftblade 9: Perpetual Options,
18: Swiftblade 10: Innervated Speed, Swift Surge +2/+20 ft. Minor Shapeshift or Multiattack – Open Feat
19: Abjurant Champion 1: Abjurant Armor, Extended Abjuration
20: Abjurant Champion 2: Swift Abjuration

Initiative: +7 (Dex +2, +5 Arcane Reflexes,)

BAB: +16/+11/+6

Average Hit Points: 115
(5, 3, 2, 3, 2, 5, 4, 5, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 6, 5) + 40 Con

Base Saves:
Fort: 9 (7 Base (2M, 1So, EF1, Sw3, AC0), +2 Con)
Reflex: 15 (13 Base (2M, 1So, EF3, Sw7, AC0), +2 Dex)
Will: 18 (19 Base (2M, 4So, EF3, Sw7, AC3), -1 Wis)

ACL: As 15th level Sorcerer: 7th Level Spells (-1, CL from Monk and EF, -4 CL from Swiftblade)

CL: 18 (Practiced Spellcaster)

Spells/Day:
6///8, 7, 7, 7, 7, 6, 3

Base Movement: 50ft.

Skill Points: 80
(M1=16, So4=8, EF3=12, S1-10=40, AC2=4)

Ranks
1: Monk 1: Concentration 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 4, Spot 4, Tumble 4
2: Sorcerer 1: Concentration 5, Spellcraft 1
3: Sorcerer 2: Concentration 6, Spellcraft 2
4: Sorcerer 3: Concentration 7, Spellcraft 3
5: Sorcerer 4: Concentration 8, Spellcraft 4
6: Enlightened Fist 1: Concentration 9, Knowledge (Arcana) 5, Spellcraft 5, Tumble 5
7: Enlightened Fist 2: Balance 1, Concentration 10, Spellcraft 6, Tumble 6
8: Enlightened Fist 3: Balance 2, Concentration 11, Spellcraft 7, Tumble 7
9: Swiftblade 1: Balance 3, Concentration 12, Jump 1, Tumble 8
10: Swiftblade 2: Balance 4, Concentration 13, Jump 2, Tumble 9
11: Swiftblade 3: Balance 5, Concentration 14, Jump 3, Tumble 10
12: Swiftblade 4: Concentration 15, Jump 4, Spellcraft 8, Tumble 11
13: Swiftblade 5: Concentration 16, Jump 5, Spellcraft 9, Tumble 12
14: Swiftblade 6: Concentration 17, Spellcraft 10, Spot 5, Tumble 13
15: Swiftblade 7: Concentration 18, Spellcraft 11, Spot 6, Tumble 14
16: Swiftblade 8: Concentration 19, Spellcraft 12, Spot 7, Tumble 15
17: Swiftblade 9: Concentration 20, Spellcraft 13, Spot 8, Tumble 16
18: Swiftblade 10: Concentration 21, Spellcraft 14, Spot 9, Tumble 17
19: Abjurant Champion 1: Concentration 22, Tumble 18
20: Abjurant Champion 2: Concentration 23, Tumble 19

Summary of Ranks

Balance 5
Concentration 23
Jump 5
Knowledge (Arcana) 5
Spellcraft 14
Spot 9
Tumble 19[/spoiler]


monk2/wizard4/enlightenedfist4/swiftblade10 by ninjarabbit

monk1/sorcerer4/enlightenedfist7/swiftblade8 by ninjarabbit


monk1/sorcerer4/enlightenedfist4/swiftblade6/abjurantchampion5 by ninjarabbit

[/spoiler]

"Battle" Blades Tome of Battle Builds

[spoiler]Wizard 6/Swiftblade 3/Abjurant Champion 5/Crusader 1/Jade Phoenix Mage 5 by Chimaera2000

Wizard 5/Crusader 1/Swiftblade 9/Jade Phoenix Mage 5 by Chimaera2000


Wizard 6/Swiftblade 9/Crusader 1/Jade Phoenix Mage 4 by Chimaera2000

Wizard 6/Swiftblade 10/Crusader 1/Jade Phoenix Mage 3 by Chimaera2000

Wizard 6/Warblade 1/Spellsword 1/Dragon Slayer 1/Abjurant Champion 5/Swiftblade 6 by Edea
[/font][/spoiler]
« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 08:11:43 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2009, 03:12:50 PM »
Feats

In order to qualify for the Swiftblade Prc, you need to have martial weapon proficiency, Dodge, and Mobility. Combat Casting is needed for the Abjurant Champion PrC. A typical Elven "Gish" Blade will have a total of 7 feats. Some builds could get as high as 10 feats. Here are some other feat suggestions.

Standard Players Handbook Feats

Combat Casting: Pre-requisite for Abjurant Champion

Combat Expertise: Useful for improving your AC while you get into a better position. Your higher BAB will enable you to make expertise attacks with some degree of accuracy. Not a tier one choice, but an option if you have a martial build.

Dodge: Pre-requisite for Swiftblade

Mobility: Pre-requisite for Swiftblade

Improved Initiative: Important for many reasons, notably going first, casting haste, and then doing what you do best.

Leadership: Important for Sorcerer or bard Swiftblades due to their higher charisma score.

Martial Weapon Proficiency: Important to have if you do not have a martial class in your build in order to qualify for the Swiftblade PrC.

Power Attack: Important for "melee" Blades with wraithstrike and arcane strike. 13 Strength pre-requisite.

Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus: Very good for Swiftblades that focus on a particular school of magic. Illusion/Enchantment schools can benefit from this feat and are important for increasing the DC of your spells.

Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration: More for higher level campaigns where every other monster or NPC needs to have their spell resistance overcome. Also useful for beguiler swiftblades who don't get their 20th level ability: Cloaked Casting.

TWF: Feat intensive tree but "Melee" Blades could make this work with their bonus feats from the fighter
ToB classes.

Metamagic: Empower: Very useful if your Swiftblade is designed on dealing more damage through spells.

Metamagic: Extend: Very useful if your Swiftblade is designed on having longer buff durations.

Metamagic: Maximize: If you have feats to burn and you are a primary damage dealer, use this feat to maximize your spells effectiveness (fireballs etc...) or rays (enfeeblement etc...) The drawback is increase slot prep. Sorcerers may pull this off better due to their increased amount of spells usable per day.

Metamagic: Quicken:
+ 4 increase means that you will can still get off a 5th level spell as a quick action. Usually you will win initiative. If you do not desire to cast haste as a free action, cast your quickened spell (increased damage, buff, escape, etc..) and then follow up with another spell. Sample spells could be to decrease a subjects saves and then cast a save or die spell. Highly useful.


Feats from other sources:


Able Learner (RoDes p150): Makes it easier to keep certain class skills maxed out like disable device and use magic device (For Human Beguiler/Swiftblades)

Arcane Disciple (CDiv p79): One of the best ways to expand on your spell list in addition to allow to use wands and arcane scrolls of those spells. However it only allows you to cast each spell once a day and requires a decent wisdom score, a stat you'd normally dump, and a wisdom boosting item.

Arcane Strike (CWar p96): Amazing feat to convert a spell into physical damage. A must have feat.

Dragonwrought (RotDragon): Very useful when combining Venerable Kobalds with the sorcerer base class to increase ability scores. You need the Slippers of Battledancing to pull off this combination though as your physical abilities will be quite weak (-4 Str).

Expeditious Dodge (RotWild pg 150): A tier one choice. chose this over the PHB dodge. At higher levels with spring attack you will regularly be moving more than 40 ft. in a single turn. The +2 bonus will really make a difference. Best of all, you can substitute this feat for the dodge feat for meeting the requirements of the Swiftblade PrC.

Practiced Spellcaster (CDiv p82): Raise CL by +4. really good due to the loss of CL's that a 10th level Swiftblade endures.

Snap Kick (ToB p32): Combine with bounding assault to gain 3 attacks (-2 attack this round). Especially useful with arcane strike on spring attacks. Only drawback is that it also requires Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 07:05:18 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2009, 03:13:06 PM »
Alternative Class Features

For Sorcerer Swiftblades

Divine Champion (CChamp p51): Taken at 1st level. Replaces your familiar to provide an intangible and invisible creature. You can cast a spell into the creature to store the energy to be used later on at your command. It provides you with the following:
Healing (Su): Convert stored energy into 1d6 points of healing per stored spell level
Shielding (Su): As a swift action, you can order the creature to protect you. It will provide a deflection bonus and a resistance bonus on saves equal to the number of stored spell levels, or as many levels as you designate (up to the maximum currently stored). It lasts 1 round per arcane caster level you possess.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 07:04:46 PM by Hallack »
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Hallack

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2009, 03:13:17 PM »
Hope some find this helpful.  I possibly may come back and update, reformat, and make my own notes as noticed things I might would add or change.

Cheers
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 07:10:55 PM by Hallack »
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BowenSilverclaw

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2009, 02:23:13 PM »
Awesome, thanks :)
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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2009, 07:37:01 PM »
I don't have Complete Champion at hand right now, so I'll ask here: Does the Divine Champion ACF have a cap? If not, I have a sudden urge of do some serious TO shenanigans with that.
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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2009, 08:02:12 PM »
I don't have Complete Champion at hand right now, so I'll ask here: Does the Divine Champion ACF have a cap? If not, I have a sudden urge of do some serious TO shenanigans with that.
The amount of spell levels stored is capped by your arcane CL. Ater you rest and regain spells, the stored levels are lost.
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snakeman830

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2009, 01:15:23 AM »
Nitpick: Cold Iron adds 2,000 gp to the price of enchantments, not doubling them.
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Quotes:[spoiler]
By yes, she means no.
That explains so much about my life.
hiicantcomeupwithacharacterthatisntaghostwhyisthatamijustretardedorsomething
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[/spoiler]

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johnboy069

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2009, 04:57:25 AM »
I have a question: Can artificers become swiftblades by taking a level in the trapsmith prc?
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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2009, 08:33:47 AM »
I have a question: Can artificers become swiftblades by taking a level in the trapsmith prc?

I think anyone can qualify for swiftblade with a level of trapsmith and the dodge/mobility feats.

deuxhero

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Re: The Swiftblade Handbook
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2009, 02:26:49 AM »
Hmm, if NWN2's use of Haste as a lesser evocation were for some (very unlikely) reason allowed. Warlocks could qualify going by the Rules as Word of God and all but the 10th level ability would actually work.