Bladesinger

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Overview

The elves of Arlyrion extend their love of magic and beauty even to their training in melee combat. The bladesinger is the ultimate expression of this philosophy, a fusion of three arts — martial, magical, and dance.

Elves wishing to join the Bladesingers' Guild must first enroll in an intensive training program at an early age. These "initiates" must survive twelve years of study in swordplay, arcane arts, and dance. If they pass this program, they become "candidates", cast out of their forest homeland to experience the world. When they believe they are ready to graduate from this program, they return to Arlyrion, to take their graduation test at the Tower of the Fallen Star. Only after passing this test can a candidate become a full-fledged bladesinger.

The bladesinger's role is similar to that of the paladin, except that they are champions not of a particular religion or deity, but of the elven race. This does not at all imply a prejudice against other races; indeed, bladesingers often see it as part of their duties to represent elvenkind well in relations with other races. They are emissaries of their home nation, either as diplomats themselves, or as part of a diplomat's entourage.

Party Role: Bladesingers focus on melee combat, standing at the forefront of the battle in defense of their comrades.

Restrictions: Only elves of Arlyrion may become bladesingers. A bladesinger's alignment must be non-evil.

This topic is specific to the Dungeons & Dragons d20 system. D&D v3.5 Class Definition

Hit Die: d8; SP/Level: +2+mINT
Level Base Attack Saving Throws Class Features Spells Known / Ready
Fort Ref Will 0 1 2 3
1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Bladesong Style 1 / 1
2 +1 +0 +3 +3 Dance with No Leader 2 / 1 0 / 0
3 +2 +1 +3 +3 Accelerando 3 / 1 0 / 0
4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Quickdraw 3 / 2 1 / 1
5 +3 +1 +4 +4   3 / 2 1 / 1 0 / 0
6 +4 +2 +5 +5 Off-Hand Parry 3 / 2 2 / 1 0 / 0
7 +5 +2 +5 +5   3 / 3 2 / 1 0 / 0
8 +6 / +1 +2 +6 +6 Molto Accelerando 3 / 3 2 / 2 1 / 1
9 +6 / +1 +3 +6 +6 Spell Fugue 4 / 3 3 / 2 1 / 1
10 +7 / +2 +3 +7 +7   4 / 3 3 / 2 1 / 1
11 +8 / +3 +3 +7 +7   4 / 3 3 / 2 1 / 1
12 +9 / +4 +4 +8 +8 (bonus feat) 4 / 3 3 / 2 1 / 1 0 / 0
13 +9 / +4 +4 +8 +8   4 / 3 3 / 2 1 / 1 0 / 0
14 +10 / +5 +4 +9 +9   4 / 4 3 / 2 1 / 1 0 / 0
15 +11 / +6 / +1 +5 +9 +9 Presto 4 / 4 3 / 2 2 / 1 0 / 0
16 +12 / +7 / +2 +5 +10 +10 (bonus feat) 4 / 4 3 / 2 2 / 1 0 / 0
17 +12 / +7 / +2 +5 +10 +10   5 / 4 4 / 3 3 / 1 1 / 1
18 +13 / +8 / +3 +6 +11 +11   5 / 4 4 / 3 3 / 2 1 / 1
19 +14 / +9 / +4 +6 +11 +11   5 / 4 4 / 3 3 / 2 1 / 1
20 +15 / +10 / +5 +6 +12 +12 (bonus feat) 5 / 4 4 / 3 3 / 2 2 / 1
Class Skills
Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge(history) (Int), Knowledge(nature) (Int), Knowledge(tactics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Search (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex).
Armor Proficiency
Bladesingers are proficient with light armor only, and have no proficiency with shields.
Spell List
Bladesingers gain access to the following spells:
  • 0: arcane mark, daze, detect magic, flare, light, mage hand, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic, resistance, virtue
  • 1: alarm, comprehend languages, cure light wounds, expeditious retreat, featherfall, identify, mage armor, magic weapon, message, protection from evil, shield, sleep
  • 2: aid, blur, cat's grace, cure moderate wounds, darkness, daylight, delay poison, endurance, enthrall, hold person, invisibility, levitate, locate object, mirror image, see invisibility, shield other, silence, tongues, whispering wind
  • 3: augury, blink, bull's strength, clairaudience, clairvoyance, confusion, detect evil, dispel magic, greater magic weapon, haste, keen edge, magic circle against evil, phantom steed, sculpt sound
Bladesong
The characteristic fighting style of the bladesinger, the bladesong is a special martial art combining bladed weapon skill with dance. The bladesinger must choose from one of the following weapon pairs, consisting of light weapons:
  • rapier and dagger
  • two shortswords
  • two katars
  • two daggers
  • two kukri
  • two elven kukri
  • two kamas
The bladesinger has no proficiency with any other weapon; this limitation represents the years of specialized training required to learn the bladesong fighting style. At the beginning of any round of combat, as a move action, he may make a Perform(dance) check against DC 10. If he succeeds, he begins the bladesong, which allows him to apply his CHA modifier to his AC for the duration of the song, and reduces the penalty for fighting with two weapons by 2. (The attack roll bonus stacks with other feats like Ambidexterity and Two-Weapon Fighting. Since the bladesinger always uses a light off-hand weapon, the penalties for attacking at first level during the bladesong are only -2/-6.) If the bladesinger takes damage during the bladesong, he must make either a Concentration or Perform(dance) check to maintain it. The DC for the check equals 5 plus the damage taken in the attack. On failure, the bladesinger may not resume the bladesong until he succeeds at the same DC in a later round; these re-checks may be made every round. Note that the armor check penalty applies to all these checks as well, since the bladesong is a sort of dance. If the character is not using one of the four pairs of weapons listed above, or if he is wearing medium or heavy armor, he cannot perform the bladesong.
Dance with No Leader
At 2nd level, the bladesinger gains a limited form of the Ambidexterity feat applicable only during the bladesong. This reduces the bladesinger's two-weapon fighting penalties to -2/-2.
Accelerando
At 3rd level, the bladesinger gains a limited form of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat applicable only during the bladesong. The bladesinger may now use his off-hand weapon without penalty to either hand.
Quickdraw
At 4th level, the bladesinger gains the Quickdraw feat.
Off-Hand Parry
At 6th level, the bladesinger gains the Off-Hand Parry feat. In a full-round attack action, the bladesinger may sacrifice all secondary attacks to instead gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by the bladesong.
Molto Accelerando
At 8th level, the bladesinger gains a limited form of the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat applicable only during the bladesong. This grants the bladesinger an additional attack with the off-hand weapon.
Spell Fugue
The Spell Fugue is a special song that enhances mental focus. At 9th level, the bladesinger may sing the Spell Fugue in combat. If already performing the bladesong, he may cast a spell while in melee combat, using his Perform skill modifier instead of Concentration in order to cast on the defensive. This ability does not end the bladesong, but if the character is damaged in the same round, he must still make a Perform check in the next round to maintain it.
Bonus Feats
At 12th, 16th, and 20th level, the bladesinger may choose a bonus feat from the following list: any metamagic feat; Acrobatic Attack; Blade Rhythm; Combat Casting; Combat Instincts; Combat Reflexes; Dodge; Endurance; Expertise; Improved Dodge; Mobility; Pressing Attack; Reckless Attack; Spring Attack; Weapon Finesse (chosen style only); Weapon Focus (chosen style only); Weapon Specialization (chosen style only); Whirlwind Attack. All prerequisites for the feat must be met.
Presto
At 15th level, the bladesong has been developed to an astounding whirlwind of dancing blades. During a full attack action, the bladesinger may make a third attack with his off-hand weapon.

This topic is specific to the Pathfinder d20 system. Pathfinder Class Definition

Hit Die: d8; SP/Level: +2+mINT
Level Base Attack Saving Throws Class Features Spells Known / Ready
Fort Ref Will 0 1 2 3
1 +1 +0 +2 +2 bladesong +1, Two-Weapon Fighting, detect magic
2 +2 +0 +3 +3 Weapon Finesse, bonus feat
3 +3 +1 +3 +3 grace note, distracting flourish
4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Combat Casting 4 / 0
5 +4 +1 +4 +4 bladesong +2 5 / 1
6 +5 +2 +5 +5 Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, bonus feat 6 / 1
7 +6 / +1 +2 +5 +5 Spell Fugue 6 / 1 2 / 0
8 +6 / +1 +2 +6 +6 arcane etude, desperate flourish 6 / 1 3 / 1
9 +7 / +2 +3 +6 +6 Deflect Arrows 6 / 2 4 / 1
10 +8 / +3 +3 +7 +7 bladesong +3, bonus feat 6 / 2 4 / 1 2 / 0
11 +9 / +4 +3 +7 +7 foe elegy 6 / 2 4 / 1 3 / 1
12 +9 / +4 +4 +8 +8 arcane shield 6 / 2 4 / 2 4 / 1
13 +10 / +5 +4 +8 +8 climactic flourish 6 / 3 5 / 2 4 / 1 2 / 0
14 +11 / +6 / +1 +4 +9 +9 bonus feat 6 / 3 5 / 2 4 / 1 3 / 1
15 +12 / +7 / +2 +5 +9 +9 bladesong +4 6 / 3 5 / 2 4 / 2 4 / 1
16 +12 / +7 / +2 +5 +10 +10 evasion 6 / 3 5 / 3 5 / 2 4 / 1
17 +13 / +8 / +3 +5 +10 +10 devastating flourish 6 / 4 6 / 3 5 / 2 4 / 1
18 +14 / +9 / +4 +6 +11 +11 bonus feat 6 / 4 6 / 3 5 / 2 4 / 2
19 +15 / +10 / +5 +6 +11 +11 foe requiem 6 / 4 6 / 3 5 / 3 5 / 2
20 +15 / +10 / +5 +6 +12 +12 bladesong +5, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, master blade bard 6 / 4 6 / 4 6 / 3 5 / 3
Class Skills
Acrobatics (DEX), Bluff (CHA), Craft (INT), Diplomacy (CHA), Heal (WIS), Knowledge: Arcana (INT), Perception (WIS), Perform (CHA), Sense Motive (WIS), Spellcraft (INT), Stealth (DEX), Survival (WIS)
Armor Proficiency
Bladesingers are proficient with light armor only, and have no proficiency with shields.
Bladesong
The characteristic fighting style of the bladesinger, the bladesong is a special martial art combining bladed weapon skill with dance. The bladesinger must choose exactly one fighting style from the following weapon pairs, consisting of light weapons:
  • rapier and dagger
  • two shortswords
  • two katars
  • two daggers
  • two kukri
  • two elven kukri
  • two kamas

The bladesinger gains no proficiency with any other melee weapon; this limitation represents the years of specialized training required to learn the bladesong fighting style. (This limitation does not apply to ranged weapon proficiencies granted by race.) As a move action, or part of an ongoing move action, the bladesinger may initiate the bladesong, a dance-like martial art which improves his attack and defense. The effect grants the bladesinger a +1 cumulative dodge bonus to AC and CMD, and a +1 cumulative competence bonus to attacks made during full-round actions in which both weapons are used. Both bonuses scale one point for every five bladesinger levels, up to +5 at 20th level.
If the bladesinger takes damage during the bladesong, or during a move action in which the bladesong would be initiated, he must make a Perform(dance) check to maintain it. The DC for the check equals 10 plus the damage taken in the attack. On failure, the effect ends immediately (losing the AC and attack bonus) and cannot be restarted until the bladesinger's next turn. If the bladesinger's armor imposes a check penalty, then it applies to this Perform(dance) check. If the bladesinger is not using one of the pairs of weapons listed above, or if he is wearing medium or heavy armor, he cannot perform the bladesong.
The following feats, if used, end the bladesong: Power Attack (and derivative feats), Vital Strike (and derivative feats)
While the bladesong is in effect, the bladesinger's movement speed is halved, accounting for the extra movement required to maintain the whirling dance of his combat style.
Two-Weapon Fighting
The bladesinger gains the Two-Weapon Fighting feat at 1st level.
Detect Magic
At 1st level, the bladesinger may use detect magic as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.
Weapon Finesse
At 2nd level, the bladesinger gains the Weapon Finesse feat with the weapon(s) associated with his bladesong style.
Bonus Feats
As part of his training, the bladesinger gains access to bonus feats that enhance the bladesong fighting style. All prerequisites shown below (which may differ from standard rules) must be met when a feat is chosen. Bonus feats are gained at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level.

  • Arcane Strike (arcane spells)
  • Blade Rhythm (STR≥14, atk+6)
  • Combat Expertise (INT≥13)
    • Improved Disarm
    • Improved Feint
    • Improved Trip
  • Combat Reflexes
  • Disruptive (atk+6)
  • Dodge (DEX≥13)
    • Mobility
      • Landing Roll
    • Sidestep
      • Improved Sidestep (DEX≥15)
    • Wind Stance (DEX≥15, atk+6)
      • Lightning Stance (DEX≥17, atk+11)
  • Lunge (atk+6)
  • Quickdraw
  • Step Up (atk+1)
    • Following Step (DEX≥13)
      • Step Up and Strike (atk+6)
  • Two-Weapon Fighting (DEX≥15 or bladesinger 2+)
    • Double Slice (DEX≥15)
    • Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (DEX≥17, atk+6 or bladesinger 6+)
      • Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (DEX≥19, atk+11 or bladesinger 20+)
      • Two-Weapon Rend (DEX≥17, atk+11, Double Slice)
    • Two-Weapon Defense
  • Weapon Focus (atk+1, applies during bladesong only)
    • Greater Weapon Focus (atk+8, applies during bladesong only)
    • Penetrating Strike (atk+12, applies during bladesong only)
      • Greater Penetrating Strike (atk+16, applies during bladesong only)
    • Weapon Specialization (atk+4, applies during bladesong only)
      • Greater Weapon Specialization (atk+12, applies during bladesong only)

Grace Note
At 3rd level, the bladesinger may trade an attack of opportunity for an attempt to avoid non-lethal damage. Whenever an attack succeeds which would deal non-lethal damage, roll a Perform(dance) check against 15 plus the damage dealt. If successful, the damage is avoided.
Distracting Flourish
At 3rd level, the bladesinger may feint in combat as part of a move action. This is a class ability; while identical in benefit to Improved Feint, it does not require Combat Expertise, nor does it serve as a prerequisite for Greater Feint.
Spells
At 4th level, the bladesinger gains access to a select list of arcane spells. The bladesinger's caster level is always his bladesinger level -3. The save DC for the bladesinger's spells is based on Charisma, as is the number of bonus spells that the bladesinger may cast per day. Spells noted as requiring a "bardic performance" instead require the caster to be performing the bladesong at the time the spell is cast.

  1. create instrument, daze, detect magic, flare, ghost sound, know direction, light, lullaby, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, read magic, resistance, sift, unwitting ally
  2. adoration, alarm, animate rope, anticipate peril, beguiling gift, borrow skill, charm person, chord of shards, compel hostility, comprehend languages, cure light wounds, dancing lantern, deadeye's lore, detect secret doors, ear-piercing scream, expeditious retreat, featherfall, feather step, flare burst, forced quiet, horn of pursuit, identify, invigorate, know the enemy, lead blades, liberating command, lock gaze, magic mouth, moment of greatness, play instrument, remove fear, restful sleep, returning weapon, saving finale, see alignment, share language, sleep, solid note, timely inspiration, touch of gracelessness, unprepared combatant, windy escape
  3. acute senses, allegro, blistering invective, blur, calm emotions, cat's grace, compassionate ally, cure moderate wounds, delay pain, delay poison, detect thoughts, discovery torch, distracting cacophony, distressing tone, eagle's splendor, enthrall, gallant inspiration, ghostbane dirge, glitterdust, heroism, hold person, honeyed tongue, invisibility, locate object, mirror image, piercing shriek, qualm, share memory, shatter, silk to steel, sound burst, suggestion, tactical acumen, tireless pursuit, tongues, versatile weapon, wartrain mount, whispering wind
  4. aid, blink, clairaudience/clairvoyence, coordinated effort, cure serious wounds, daylight, deep slumber, delay poison (communal), dispel magic, displacement, fly (self only), good hope, haste, illusory script, invigorate (mass), litany of defense, purging finale, returning weapon (communal), reviving finale, sculpt sound, see invisibility, seek thoughts, slow, terrible remorse, thundering drums, tongues (communal)

Combat Casting
At 4th level, the bladesinger gains the Combat Casting feat.
Spell Fugue
At 7th level, the bladesong enhances mental focus. If already performing the bladesong, the bladesinger may cast a spell while in melee combat, adding his Perform(dance) skill bonus to his concentration check for casting on the defensive. This ability does not end the bladesong, but if the character is damaged in the same round, he must still make a Perform check in the next round to maintain it.
A touch spell cast using the Spell Fugue may be held in reserve rather than being discharged immediately. The bladesinger may then use a standard action in a subsequent round to discharge the spell through a single melee weapon attack. This ability may not be used with a full-attack action.
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
By 6th level, the bladesinger's training has given him superior two-handed combat skills. The bladesinger gains the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat without consideration for the feat's prerequisites.
Arcane Etude
At 8th level, the bladesinger may use detect magic as a spell-like ability at will. This replaces the spell-like ability granted at 1st level.
Desperate Flourish
At 8th level, the bladesinger may replace the first attack of a full attack action with a feint attempt. This is a class ability; while identical in benefit to Two-Weapon Feint, the prerequisites for that feat need not be met before 8th level.
Deflect Arrows
At 9th level, the bladesinger gains the ability to deflect projectile attacks directed against him, as with the Deflect Arrows feat. This is a class ability; it does not require the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, nor does it satisfy the prerequisite for the Snatch Arrows feat.
Foe Elegy
At 11th level, the bladesinger may denote one foe in combat as a sworn enemy. The bladesinger gains a +2 cumulative morale bonus to attacks against this target, and gains an extra attack of opportunity per round usable only against this target. This ability may be used only once per combat encounter.
Arcane Shield
At 12th level, the bladesinger gains the ability to sacrifice a prepared spell to gain a cumulative deflection bonus to AC equal to the spell's level. This is a class ability; it does not require caster level 10 (which would not occur until 14th level).
Climactic Flourish
At 13th level, the bladesinger may deal additional damage with a precise strike. If an opponent is flat-footed, has been successfully feinted, or is otherwise denied a Dexterity bonus to AC, then the bladesinger's next successful melee attack against that target deals an additional +1d6 points of damage. This additional damage scales to +2d6 at 17th level and +3d6 at 20th level. This ability may be used for only one attack per round.
Evasion
At 16th level, the bladesinger gains the Evasion class feature.
Devastating Flourish
At 17th level, the bladesinger may replace the first two attacks of a full attack action with a Perform(dance) check opposed by a target creature's Will save. If successful, the target is stunned and helpless for one round.
Foe Requiem
At 19th level, the bladesinger's may denote one foe in combat as a sworn enemy. The bladesinger gains a +4 cumulative morale bonus to attacks against this target, and gains an extra attack of opportunity per round usable only against this target. Further, the bladesinger's defense against all of his sworn enemy's attacks gains a cumulative +2 morale bonus. This ability may be used only once per combat encounter, and replaces Foe Elegy.
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
At 20th level, if the bladesinger has not already trained for the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat, then the feat is gained at 20th level, regardless of prerequisites. If the bladesinger's Dexterity is not 19 or higher, however, then this feat may be used only during the bladesong.
Master Blade Bard
At 20th level the bladesinger reaches the pinnacle of martial, magical, and artistic perfection. The bladesinger no longer needs to make Perform checks to restart an interrupted bladesong, and may move his full movement speed each round. The bladesinger may also use an attack of opportunity, at his highest attack bonus, against any opponent who attacks an ally in an adjacent space, before the opponent's attack is made.