Making a Warblade
A warblade is a front-line melee combatant, much like a barbarian or fi ghter. He engages his enemies toe to toe and defeats them through skill at arms
Abilities: Pure physical perfection is a warblade’s ideal, so Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are all vital to him. Because mastering a bewildering variety of martial maneuvers is difficult, Intelligence is also important to a warblade, because he appreciates the bonus skill points, and many of his class features reward a high Intelligence bonus. Given the choice between Wisdom and Charisma, a warblade is more likely to boost the latter—the better to wear the mantle of glory he hopes to win with his deeds on the battlefield.
Races:The warrior cultures that give rise to warblades are most often found in human, elf, and hobgoblin lands. Admiration for athletic prowess, the martial ideal, and sheer physical daring is common among these races. The githyanki also take great pride in their martial skill, and a number of warblades can be found among this race. Dwarves appreciate a warblade’s martial prowess but might shy away from over- weening praise. Halfl ings generally admire athletic prowess, but most fi nd the stringent requirements of this class too challenging. Half-orcs and savage humanoid races generally do not appreciate beauty in motion in quite the same way that their more civilized counterparts do; they fi ght to destroy their enemies, not to cover themselves in glory. Gnomes feel no particular need to try themselves in battle; they are happy with their normal pursuits.
Alignment: warblade can choose any alignment, though many prefer chaotic over lawful. After all, a warblade seeks to win glory through individual deeds of prowess, so he is unlikely to adopt a personal code emphasizing obedience over freedom to improvise. Good warblades are champions of the weak and downtrodden; evil ones are vicious warlords who exult in the defeat and humiliation of their foes.
Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp). Starting Age: As barbarian.
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Battle clarity (Reflex saves), weapon aptitude||3||3||1|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||Battle ardor (critical confirmation)||5||3||1|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+2||+2||Improved uncanny dodge||6||4||2|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+2||+2||Battle cunning (damage)||7||4||2|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+3||+3||Battle skill (opposed checks)||9||5||3|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+5||+5||Battle mastery (attacks of opportunity)||11||6||3|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
When fighting, you rely on an ever-increasing repertoire of spectacular martial maneuvers. Depending on which disciplines you choose to study, you might be a mongoose-swift skirmisher who uses speed as your sword and shield, a fi erce master of blades, or a bold commander who leads your allies into battle. Your maneuvers are the signature moves that serve to define your character.
Regardless of the path you choose, you acquire a modest number of bonus feats that make you quicker, more agile, and more athletic than most other warriors.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You are profi cient with simple and martial melee weapons (including those that can be used as thrown weapons), light and medium armor, and all shields except tower shields.
Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, Stone Dragon, Tiger Claw, and White Raven.
Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by warblades is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one.
You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on Table 1–3. You must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it. See Table 3–1, page 39, to determine the highest-level maneuvers you can learn.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered warblade level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. You can choose a new maneuver of any level you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the highest-level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, you could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.
Maneuvers Readied: You can ready all three of the maneuvers you know at 1st level, but as you advance in level and learn more maneuvers, you must choose which maneuvers to ready. You ready your maneuvers by exercising for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to exercise again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend 5 minutes in practice, you can change your readied maneuvers.
You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (until you recover them, as described below). You can recover all expended maneuvers with a single swift action, which must be immediately followed in the same round with a melee attack or using a standard action to do nothing else in the round (such as executing a quick, harmless flourish with your weapon). You cannot initiate a maneuver or change your stance while you are recovering your expended maneuvers, but you can remain in a stance in which you began your turn.
Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of one 1stlevel stance from any discipline open to warblades. At 4th, 10th, and 16th level, you can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.
Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one you already know.
Battle Clarity (Ex)
You can enter a state of almost mystical awareness of the battlefield around you. As long as you are not flat-footed, you gain an insight bonus equal to your Intelligence bonus (maximum equals your warblade level) on your Reflex saves.
Weapon Aptitude (Ex)
Your training with a wide range of weaponry and tactics gives you great skill with particular weapons. You qualify for feats that usually require a minimum number of fi ghter levels (such as Weapon Specialization) as if you had a fighter level equal to your warblade level –2. For example, as a 6th-level warblade, you could take Weapon Specialization, since you’re treated as being a 4th-level fi ghter for this purpose. These effective fi ghter levels stack with any actual fi ghter levels you have. Thus, a fi ghter 2/warblade 4 would also qualify for Weapon Specialization.
You also have the fl exibility to adjust your weapon training. Each morning, you can spend 1 hour in weapon practice to change the designated weapon for any feat you have that applies only to a single weapon (such as Weapon Focus). You must have the newly designated weapon available during your practice session to make this change. For example, if you wish to change the designated weapon for your Weapon Focus feat from greatsword to longsword, you must have a longsword available to practice with during your practice session.
You can adjust any number of your feats in this way, and you don’t have to adjust them all in the same way. However, you can’t change the weapon choices in such a way that you no longer meet the prerequisite for some other feat you possess. For instance, if you have both Weapon Focus (longsword) and Weapon Specialization (longsword), you can’t change the designated weapon for Weapon Focus unless you also change the weapon for Weapon Specialization in the same way.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
At 2nd level, you gain the ability to react to danger before your senses would normally allow you to do so. You retain your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if you are caught fl at-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, you still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if you are immobilized.
If you already have uncanny dodge from a different class (barbarian or rogue, for example), you automatically gain improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
Battle Ardor (Ex)
The sheer love of battle lends uncanny strength to your blows. Starting at 3rd level, you gain an insight bonus equal to your Intelligence bonus on rolls made to confirm critical hits.
At 5th level, you gain a bonus feat from the list given below. You must meet the prerequisite for the feat you select. Every four levels thereafter (at 9th, 13th, and 17th level), you choose another bonus feat from the list.
Bonus Feat List: Acrobatic, Agile, Athletic, Blade Meditation*, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Diehard, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Ironheart*, Lightning Refl exes, Quick Draw, Run, Stone Power*, Tiger Blooded*, Unnerving Calm*, White Raven Defense*.
Battle Cunning (Ex)
Your instinct for seizing the moment gives you a significant advantage over foes unprepared for your attack. At 7th level, you gain an insight bonus equal to your Intelligence bonus on melee damage rolls against flat-footed or flanked opponents.
Battle Skill (Ex)
You anticipate your enemies’ ploys and tactics. At 11th level, you gain an insight bonus equal to your Intelligence bonus on any check made to oppose an enemy’s bull rush, disarm, feint, overrun, sunder, or trip attempt.
Battle Mastery (Ex)
You notice the most subtle openings and cues offered by your opponents. At 15th level, you gain an insight bonus equal to your Intelligence bonus on melee attack rolls and melee damage rolls made whenever you make an attack of opportunity.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
At 6th level and higher, you can no longer be flanked; you can react to opponents on opposite sides of you as easily as you can react to a single attacker. See the barbarian class feature (PH 26) for more information.
Stance Mastery (Ex)
At 20th level, you can have two stances active simultaneously. When you use a swift action to initiate or change your stance, you can initiate or change one or both stances.