An attractive half-elf raises her sword as she disputes in a tournament, confident and graceful, she unsheathes her sword. She doesn't falter, her eyes are fixed on his target, a bell rings in the distance, and just as briefly as an eye can blink, her rapier reaches its target throat without the slightiest wound performed, she then laughs carefreely as he is declared victor.
A tough, battle-hardened half-orc gladiator in an arena, demanding the favor of the people, the round begins, three warriors are freed simultaneously and surround him soonly after, the half-orc is now focused and silent, he just waits for the right moment. A clean sweep, then another, and another one. His sword is coathed in blood, three clean cuts, three dead enemies.
A retired human swordsman and an infant elf urchin who he had adopted after the war. Master and disciple, throughout the years the man ensures that his experiences transcend through the child, who grows up listening the stories of his teacher, his awe and curiosity for the world grow incesantly. The day of the man's death, the elf takes his sword and proceeds to start his own journey, following the legacy and tradition, just as he had done with his own father, and as every ascendant from him had done.
Swordmasters are specialized combatants who wield their blades with surgical presicion. Renowned for their admirable dedication, not every mercenary or knight with a sword can become a swordmaster, unlike most warriors, swordmasters are rarely soldiers serving a liege or a cause. Instead, they are mostly travelers with no particular interest in politics or riches, but in the perfection of their art as well as the seeking for a higher purpose in life, thirsting for experience and wisdom about the ways of the world.
Disciplined and Commited
Creating a Swordmaster
As you make your swordmaster character, think about the event that connected you with the swordsmanship. How and why it influenced your character into devoting itself into this art. Were you or your family acquainted with some master of the blade? Were you an adventurer or mercenary looking to forge its own path?
A true swordsman's life is harsh and sacrificed. Utmost discipline is requiered and even then, few ever become true swordsmasters. Consider why you are into this journey of self-discovery and improvement. Perhaps you lived as an adventurer until a moment of self-realization and are now seeking to understand the world and life first-handedly. Consider your departure. What did you left behind? Is there something you hope to accomplish outside the life of a warrior? Are you seeking to explore the world or was leaving more important than the destination? Are you eager to return to your home once your journey is accomplished?
One thing is for sure, you are now on a perilous yet exciting journey. Your sword will be your most trusted partner, it will accompany you in the coldest nights and beyond any adversity.
You can make a swordmaster quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Dexterity your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. Second, choose the Outlander background.
|Level||Proficiency Bonus||Features||Battle Stances Known|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||2|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||3|
|9th||+4||Martial Discipline Feature||3|
|10th||+4||Keen Eye - Vantage||3|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||3|
|13th||+5||Martial Discipline Feature||3|
|14th||+5||Extra Attack (2)||3|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||4|
|17th||+6||Martial Discipline Feature||4|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||4|
As a Swordmaster, you gain the following class features
- Hit Dice: 1d8 per Swordmaster level
- Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
- Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per Swordmaster level after 1st
- Armor: Light Armor
- Weapons: Simple melee weapons, Scimitars, Shortswords, Longswords, Rapiers and Greatswords.
- Tools: None.
- Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
- Skills: Choose two from Athletics, Acrobatics, Stealth, Insight, Perception, Survival or Intimidation.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) two scimitars or (b) a longsword
- (a) an explorer's pack or (b) a dungeoneer's pack
- a rapier
- leather armor and two daggers
You adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options. You can’t take a Fighting Style option more than once, even if you later get to choose again.
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
All swordmaster weapons gain the finesse property while you are wielding them.
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
Great Weapon Fighting
When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an Attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the Two-Handed or Versatile property for you to gain this benefit.
Upon reaching 2nd level, you learn two battle stances from the list below, you learn new stances as you gain levels in this class; consult the Battle Stances collumn of the Swordmaster table. You adopt a battle stance during combat, gaining passive bonuses depending on the chosen stance. At the start of your turn, you may switch to a different stance, replacing the stance's effects with the new stance's.
Each stance has an additional Adrenaline Rush effect, which you can use while in that stance for as long as you aren't wearing heavy armor. You can use this feature an amount of times equal to your wisdom modifier (minimum of one), but only once per round. You regain all your expended adrenaline rush when you finish a short or long rest.
You gain +1 AC for as long as you remain in this stance and you aren't wielding a shield, increased to +2 AC if you're only wielding a single weapon without the two-handed property
Adrenaline Rush: You may spend your reaction to add your wisdom modifier to your AC for that attack, potentially causing it to miss you.
When you take the Attack action, you may use your bonus action to disengage or attempt to shove a creature 5 ft.
Adrenaline Rush: On a successful hit, you may spend adrenaline rush, the target must roll a dexterity saving throw, falling prone if failed. The DC is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your dexterity modifier. You may only attempt this against large or smaller creatures.
The first time you land an attack while you are wielding a swordmaster weapon, you deal bonus damage equal to your swordmaster level. The damage is the same type as your currently equipped weapon.
Adrenaline Rush: You may add your wisdom modifier to the attack roll. You may apply this bonus after the roll is made but before the outcome is announced.
When a creature you see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the roll.
Adrenaline Rush: If the target ally is hit by the attack, reduce the damage received by your ally by a d6 + half your swordmaster level.
At 3rd level, you choose a martial discipline that represents your combat style and training. Choose either the Trueblade, or the Duelist, both detailed at the end of the class description. The discipline chosen grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 9th, 13th and 17th level.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, when you take the attack action. The number of attacks increases to three at 14th level.
Upon reaching level 6, you are so accustomed to traveling that have learned to adapt quickly to your environments. Other creatures have disadvantage trying to track you through non-magical means. If you are traveling through an area that you are familiar with or have studied it in a map for at least ten minutes, your group can’t become lost except by magical means. Lastly, whenever you are travelling, you can walk stealthily at normal pace and remain alert to danger even if you are engaged in another activity while traveling.
Beginning at 7th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects. such as a red dragon's fiery breath, or an ice storm spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
By 10th level, you are well-versed on the history and lore of bladed weapons. You can tell their damage dice, weight, range, nonmagical properties and whether they are magical at a glance, and you have advantage on any Intelligence (History) skill checks made to recall lore relating to bladed weapons. You can also cast the Identify spell at will without material components, but only to identify bladed weapons.
Starting at 10th level, when you are below half your hit point maximum and a hostile creature makes an attack roll against you within 5 ft. range, you may use your reaction to make an opportunity attack against that creature before they make their attack roll.
At 11th level, your mastery of the blade allows you to strike your opponent with maximum effectiveness. Your weapon attacks with swordmaster weapons score a critical hit on a 19 or 20.
Starting at 18th level, When you roll for initiative and have no remaining uses of adrenaline rush, you regain one use.
At 20th level, you have reached the paragon in the art of the sword and learned to unleash a barrage of flashingly fast strikes. Once per long rest, you may take a special attack action, for as long as all attacks are directed towards the same creature, you may perform up to five attacks during that action. For the remainder of your turn, you can move without performing opportunity attacks.
When a swordmaster comes to mind, there are two main styles in practice: the Trueblade, and the Duelist. Your martial discipline reflects your approach to fighting and conflict in general.
The way of the so known trueblades is more a phylosophy and a lifestyle as a whole than just a fighting style. Only those who seek for the perfection in the art of the sword and are ultimately determined to commit themselves to this philosophy can ever become trueblades.
Starting at 3rd level, if you are wielding a swordmaster weapon that doesn't have the Two-handed property, after taking the attack action on your turn, you may as a bonus action perform another attack with your currently equipped weapon, you can use this feature an amount of times equal to your Wisdom modifier. You regain all your expended uses after a long rest.
Upon reaching level 9, your will has become still and unshakable. You gain proficiency in wisdom saving throws and you get advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Beggining at level 13th, your training has enhanced your physical capacities and insight to perceive what most people would not. If you are able to hear, you gain blindsense around 10 feet of you (You know the creature's location but if you can't see it you still have disadvantage). Additionally, you gain proficiency in perception, if you are already proficient you can double your proficiency bonus.
At level 17. A swordmaster's resolution burns as they hold onto life with their blood bumping with adrenaline. For as long as your hit points are equal or below half its maximum, you may become resolute, allowing you to add your wisdom modifier to your saving throws. Furthermore, whenever you are resolute, you may use the Vantage feature without spending your reaction. This feature can only be used once per long rest. Your resolution lasts up to a minute, and will end immediately if your hit points rise above half your maximum hitpoints or if you fall unconscious. You receive a level of exhaustion upon finishing combat.
Those who practice the art of fencing and combine their martial prowess with fancy tactics to outplay their opponents are known as duelists. Renowned as elusive fighters with a trained eye for exploiting openings on their opponents.
Upon choosing this discipline, your movement speed is increased by 10 ft. Additionally, you can take the dash action as a bonus action and difficult terrain doesn't cost extra movement while you are dashing.
Upon reaching level 9, Whenever a hostile creature misses you on a melee attack, you may use your reaction to perform an opportunity attack against that same creature. Finally, whenever you perform an opportunity attack against a target who has no other creature hostile to you within 5 ft. distance, you can roll your attack with advantage.
Once you reach 13th level, you gain proficiency in acrobatics, if you are already proficient in this skill you may double your proficiency bonus. Furthermore, whenever you make a strength check or saving throw, you gain a bonus to the roll equal to your dexterity modifier. Finally, whenever you may roll for a strength (athletics) check, you can instead roll with your dexterity (acrobatics) bonus instead.
Starting at 17th level, you are an expert at finding your opponents' weaknesses to exploit them in your advantage. As a bonus action you can choose a creature within 30 feet that you can see. You have advantage in your attack rolls against that creature until the end of your turn. Against humanoid creatures you also may roll a Wisdom (Insight) check against the Target's AC, if you succeed, you know the target's AC and its weaknesses, resistances and immunities to damage. You can use this feature again after a short or long rest.