Author Topic: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class  (Read 2140 times)

Offline Maat Mons

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Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« on: August 25, 2013, 12:59:54 PM »
Occult Blade
The path off an occult blade is to attain a true union between magical power and force of arms.  It is not enough to, at any given time, have the option to either cast an invocation or to swing a sword.  These skill cannot truly shine when the merely exist side by side.  They must be blended together into a seamless whole. 

Making an Occult Blade
Occult blades tend to be much more mobile that other melee characters.  They are less reliant on dealing large amounts of damage, since their channeled invocations give them another avenue to disable enemies.  Still, an occult blade is decidedly a physical combatant.  His invocations merely supplement this ability and give him some extra options. 

Abilities: Strength and charisma are your most important ability scores.  Strength determines how often you hit and how hard.  Charisma determines how hard your channeled invocations are to resist, as well as those few other invocations you have that allow a saving throw.  Constitution is also useful, since it helps you survive on the front lines. 

Races: Elves are often interested in mixing swordplay with magic, but most find invocations too primitive and limited.  Wild elves are more likely than their cousins to become occult blades.  Humans and half-elves are the most common occult blades, since they enjoy mixing skill sets and are not snobbish about magic. 

Alignment: Occult blades tend toward chaotic alignments.  Invocations tend to draw those without the patience for more studied form of magic. 

Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp (150 gp). 

Starting Age: As sorcerer. 

Class Features
All the following are class features of the occult blade. 

Hit Die: D8
Level   Base Attack Bonus   Fort Save   Ref Save   Will Save   Special   Invocations Known
1   +1   +2   +0   +2   Combat invoking, least invocations   1
2   +2   +3   +0   +3      2
3   +3   +3   +1   +3   Armored ease 1   2
4   +4   +4   +1   +4      3
5   +5   +4   +1   +4   Armored ease 2   3
6   +6   +5   +2   +5   Lesser invocations   4
7   +7   +5   +2   +5   Armored ease 3   4
8   +8   +6   +2   +6      5
9   +9   +6   +3   +6   Armored ease 4   5
10   +10   +7   +3   +7   Unimpeded movement   6
11   +11   +7   +3   +7   Greater invocations   7
12   +12   +8   +4   +8   Armored ease 5   7
13   +13   +8   +4   +8      8
14   +14   +9   +4   +9   Armored ease 6   8
15   +15   +9   +5   +9      9
16   +16   +10   +5   +10   Dark invocations   10
17   +17   +10   +5   +10   Armored ease 7   10
18   +18   +11   +6   +11      11
19   +19   +11   +6   +11   Armored ease 8   11
20   +20   +12   +6   +12   Superior defense   12

Class Skills (4 + int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level): balance, climb, concentration, craft, intimidate, jump, knowledge (arcana), listen, profession, ride, search, sense motive, spellcraft, spot, swim, tumble, use magic device

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
As an occult blade, you are proficient with simple weapons, martial weapons, light, medium, and heavy armor, and shields (including tower shields).  Your combat invoking ability removes the need for somatic components from your occult blade invocations, so you don't have to worry about spell failure chance from armor. 

Invocations:
[as warlock, but no somatic components]

Combat Invoking (Ex):
When you use an occult blade invocation, you don't provoke attacks of opportunity, as if you had succeeded on a concentration check to cast it defensively.  You don't need to supply somatic components for occult blade invocations you use.  These benefits don't apply to invocations you cast as a member of another class, such as warlock or dragonfire adept. 

Armored Ease (Ex):
Beginning at 3rd level, you reduce the armor check penalty of any armor you wear.  The reduction is initially 1 point, but increases at higher level as shown on the table.  This ability cannot reduce the armor's check penalty below 0. 

Unimpeded Movement (Ex):
At 10th level, you no longer reduce your movement speed for wearing medium or heavy armor.  This has no affect on the movement speed reduction for carrying a medium or heavy load. 

Superior Defense (Ex):
At 20th level, you gain damage reduction equal to your armor bonus, including any enhancement bonus.  Other bonuses to AC, such as a shield bonus or a natural armor bonus, have no added effect.  This damage reduction is overcome by adamantine weapons. 

Invocations

Channeled Invocations
Unlike most other invocations, channeled invocations not cast.  Instead, they can be used as part of any standard or full-round action that involves making weapon attacks.  The invocation takes effect on each creature struck by one of the weapon attacks made as part of the action.  The invocation can affect a creature only once per action, regardless of how many times it was struck.  Critical hits do not provide any additional benefit to the invocation.  Only one channeled invocation can be used on any given action. 

Least
  • Clip Wings *: Target can't fly. 
  • Dark One's Own Luck CA: Gain a luck bonus on one type of saves. 
  • Devil's Sight CA: See normally in darkness and magical darkness. 
  • Entropic Warding CA: Deflect incoming ranged attack, leave no trail, and prevent being tracked by scent. 
  • Leaps and Bounds CA: Gain bonus on balance, jump, and tumble checks. 
  • Magic Insight DM: Detect magical auras; identify magic items. 
  • Noxious Blade * Ch: Targets must make fortitude save or be sickened. 
  • Scything Strike *: Attack two opponents at once. 
  • See the Unseen CA: Gain darkvision; gain see invisibility as the spell. 
  • Serpent's Tongue CM: Gain scent ability; +5 bonus on saves against poison. 
  • Soulreaving Aura CM: As reaving aura, plus gain temporary hit points if nearby creature dies. 
  • Spiderwalk CA: Gain spiderclimb as the spell and you are immune to webs. 
  • Swimming the Styx CM: Gain swim speed and ability to breathe water. 
  • Unbalancing Blade * Ch: Targets must make reflex save or fall prone. 

Lesser
  • Eldritch Boomerang *: Throw melee weapons without penalty; thrown weapons return immediately. 
  • Energy Resistance DM: Gain resistance 10 to acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic damage. 
  • Fell Flight CA: Gain a fly speed with good maneuverability. 
  • Flee the Scene CA: Use short-range dimension door as the spell, and leave behind a major image. 
  • Numbing Blade * Ch: Targets must make will save or be slowed. 
  • Relentless Dispelling CM: As targeted dispel magic, with additional dispel magic the next turn. 
  • Shrouding Blade * Ch: Targets must make fortitude save or be blinded for 1 round. 
  • Voidsense CA: Gain blindsense out to 30 feet. 
  • Voracious Dispelling CA: Use dispel magic as the spell, dealing damage to creatures whose effects are dispelled. 
  • Walk Unseen CA: Use invisibility (self only) as the spell. 
  • Whirlwind *: Attack all nearby enemies. 
  • Witchwood Step CM: Walk on water and move through some obstacles unimpeded. 

Greater
  • Aura of Flame DM: Aura deals fire damage to creatures that strike you. 
  • Befuddling Blade * Ch: Targets must make will save or be confused. 
  • Curse Wounds *: Wounds you inflict are hard to heal. 
  • Deadly Dance *: Move, attacking each foe you pass along the way. 
  • Disrupting Blade * Ch: Targets must make fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round. 
  • Draconic Toughness DM: Gain temporary hit points equal to your level. 
  • Enervating Shadow CA: Gain total concealment in dark areas and impose a strength penalty on adjacent living characters. 
  • Noxious Blade, Improved * Ch: Targets must make fortitude save or be nauseated. 
  • Pierce Defenses *: Ignore enemies' damage reduction. 

Dark
  • Energy Immunity DM: Gain immunity to acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic damage. 
  • Necrotizing Blade * Ch: Targets must make fortitude save or die; gain 2 negative levels on a successful save. 
  • Ossifying Blade * Ch: Targets must make fortitude save or be turned to stone; slowed on a successful save. 
  • Path of Shadow CA: Use shadow walk as the spell and speed up natural healing. 
  • Retributive Invisibility CA: Use greater invisibility (self only) as the spell that deals damage in a burst if dispelled. 
  • Stubborn Endurance *: Become hard to kill. 

* New invocation. 
Ch Channeled invocation. 
CA Invocation from Complete Arcane. 
CM Invocation from Complete Mage. 
DM Invocation from Dragon Magic. 

Befuddling Blade
Greater; 5th; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a will save or be confused for 1 minute.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Clip Wings
Least; 2nd
As earthbind (see Spell Compendium, page 76), except effective against all effects that grant airborne movement. 

Curse Wounds
Greater; 4th
For the next 24 hours, every weapon you wield gains the benefits of the cursed blade spell (see Spell Compendium, page 57) for as long as you wield it. 

Deadly Dance
Greater; 6th
As part of this invocation, you move up to your speed and make a single melee attack against each opponent that is within reach at some point during the movement.  This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.  You can choose to cast deadly dance as a full-round action instead of as a standard action.  If you do the distance you can move increases to double your speed. 

Disrupting Blade
Greater; 6th; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a fortitude save or be stunned for 1 minute.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Eldritch Boomerang
Lesser; 3rd
You can throw any melee weapon with a range increment of 10 feet if you are proficient with its normal use.  Whenever you attack with a thrown weapon, it flies back to you immediately after the attack is resolved.  The weapon returns to you in time to be used for your next attack.  These benefits apply to all your attacks for the next 24 hours. 

Necrotizing Blade
Dark; 8th; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a fortitude save or die.  This aspect of necrotizing blade is a death effect.  If a creature makes its saving throw (or otherwise survives), it instead gains 2 negative levels.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Noxious Blade
Least; 2nd; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a fortitude save or be sickened for 1 minute.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Noxious Blade, Improved
Greater; 6th; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 minute.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Numbing Blade
Lesser; 4th; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a will save or be slowed for 1 minute.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Ossifying Blade
Dark; 6th; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a fortitude save or be turned to stone, as the spell flesh to stone.  If a creature makes its saving throw (or otherwise avoids being turned to stone), it instead is slowed for 1 minute.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Pierce Defenses
Greater; 5th
For the next 24 hours, you weapon attacks bypass all forms of damage reduction and hardness. 

Scything Strike
Least; 1st
As part of this invocation, make a single melee attack each against two different opponents. 

Shrouding Blade
Lesser; 4th; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a fortitude save or be blinded for 1 round.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Stubborn Endurance
Dark; 8th
As delay death (see Spell Compendium, page 63) except as noted here.  The range is personal and the duration is 24 hours.  Additionally, you gain fast healing equal to your hit dice, and you heal one point of damage to each ability score every round. 

Whirlwind
Lesser; 4th
As part of this invocation, you make a single melee attack against each opponent within reach. 

Unbalancing Blade
Least; 1st; Channeled
This channeled invocation is used as part of another standard or full-round action.  Each creature struck by a weapon as part of that action must make a reflex save or fall prone.  Only one channeled invocation can be used as part of any given action. 

Offline Unbeliever

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 03:50:47 PM »
I am a homebrew neophyte.  I think this is pretty cool.  A couple of comments, fwiw. 

First, I am concerned about how it stacks up against a melee-focused Warlock, which is the natural comparison.  It has no scaling damage like Eldritch Blast, nor does it have the Power Attack exploitation that is possible from Eldritch Glaive.  So, in a lot of ways it looks less melee capable than either a melee-'lock or other reasonably competently-built melee characters.

Second, I'm underwhelmed by its class features.  Except for the invocations, it essentially gains abilities to use armor more easily.  Those are available as feats, and are generally not super exciting when things like Greater Mage Armor, etc. are in play.  I'd prefer more diverse abilities, especially those that cater to a melee/duelist type of focus.  Hellfire Warlock has a couple that I've always thought were neat.

Offline Garryl

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 07:36:32 PM »
It's missing a lot. You have AoO-less, ASF-less invoking at level 1, no speed reduction from armor at level 10, and 10-15 points of DR/adamantine at level 20. Of the remaining 17 levels, half of them are blank and the other half are negligible (lowering ACP by 1 is a very small thing, ACP itself is rarely an issue due to the limited skills it influences, and the few it does can be heavily offset or completely obsoleted by invocations anyways). The invocation list seems a bit bland, as it lacks any really cool and potent effects, other than maybe Stubborn Endurance for being effectively unkillable without dispels or 24 hours of corpse-camping. The channeled invocations are all variants on save or suck/lose/die.

In addition to the underwhelming abilities, the class and its invocations have no underlying theme other than "hit it with a stick". There's nothing in there to excite me, the player, or to stimulate my ideas of characters I would wish to use this for.

You may find some ideas in the works of other homebrewers who have also tackled the magical combatant concept. DonQuixote's Spellshape Champion is an excellent starting place when considering the chassis and baseline class features of a heavily armored caster-warrior type (if you're not familiar with spellshaping, just replace formula with invocation and spellshape attack with eldritch blast to get the gist of it). Dralnu's Indigo Trickster has some interesting ideas, too, to look at, although it's geared more for a skirmisher than a heavily armored warrior. You're welcome to get invocation ideas from my own Divine Champion Paladin and Invoking Soulknife (or use some of their invocations directly if you wish; just link back to them). You can also peruse Sirpercival's Nullblade and Thaumurai for more ideas.

Edit: Don't forget that reducing armor ACP does nothing for shield and encumbrance ACP.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 01:49:24 AM by Garryl »

Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 06:03:10 PM »
Sorry for taking so long to respond. 

While I'm apologizing for things, I'm sorry about posting this class with such slipshod class features.  I was relatively excited that I had come up with a way of handling save-based rider effects for melee attacks that I liked, and I was drawing a blank on special abilities. 

As far as boosting the class's damage dealing ability, I'd like to avoid just giving bonus damage.  Making melee attacks as melee touch attacks, like eldritch glaive, is an option.  Also, what about something in the vein of overpowering attack (Player's Handbook II, p45) and decisive strike (Player's Handbook II, p51), giving multiplied damage but limiting number of attacks.  Should I build that into the invocations based on attacking several enemies once each? 

I've been thinking about what sort of theme I could work in beyond just being a gish.  I'm leaning toward shadows.  Here are some ideas I've put together. 

Class Feature Ideas:
(click to show/hide)

Invocation Ideas:
(click to show/hide)

Thanks for the feedback. 

Offline xaotiq1

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2013, 01:05:51 AM »
I see nothing wrong with using existing Warlock features like Fiendish Resilience.

As far as invocations go; may I humbly suggest a few of these: http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=3657.0
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Offline VennDygrem

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 07:49:05 PM »
I'd like to see the class play up the Occult part of the class's name more than simply being an invocation user. Occult refers to hidden or forbidden knowledge, often of paranormal things. That said, maybe try looking up paranormal stories for inspiration. Something like turning invisible, moving up to an enemy, and a successful attack makes the target frightened for 1d4 or so rounds, and a failed attack still leaves them shaken for 1 round. A high level attack could leave enemies confused or insane, or cause a heart attack or something. Just spit-balling here, though.

Most of all, Occult implies studying forbidden techniques or knowledge, so characters of this class should probably not just be brute beatsticks, but should be intelligent (if a bit impertinent or brash). I imagine that they're be utilizing the dark techniques they've uncovered to make themselves more deadly combatants, rather than just inheriting their techniques from a patron the way a Warlock tends to. Of course, it's your class, go about it however you want.

I think you've got a good start, though. I like most of those new invocation ideas you cooked up.

Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2013, 08:52:43 PM »
Sorry again.  It looks like taking a long time to respond is going to be a habit in this thread. 

I like the idea of playing up the occult angle, though I've had some trouble coming up with invocation ideas along those lines.  Here's what I've written so far:
(click to show/hide)

I'm considering something based on extract water elemental (Spell Compendium, p89) and blood elemental, but I'm not sure how to handle an invocation that grants a minion. 

Offline midnight_v

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2013, 05:54:52 PM »
  I really like where the class is going Maat Mons.
One of the biggest complaints I see is that melee classes lack the ability to "advance the story under their own power.
  I think giving it a "Plane shift" invocation of some kind would really smooth that out.

I also disagree with the guys who want to do more than "hit it with a stick" I think that "IF" its a melee class gish and not a traditional gish that is basically a buff-master, then being a class that uses magic for utility and the ability to get there should be sufficient.
Just needs a little tweaking.
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Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2015, 10:23:33 PM »
Blood Knight
"You do not frighten me.  Perhaps this will be my doom.  It changes nothing.  This is what must happen." 
- Crayce the Unyielding, a Blood Knight

In the distant past there was a kingdom called of Vaga, therein arose an order of elite warriors, the Circulus Sanguinum.  The order considered blood to be one of the primal elements, and the one responsible for endowing otherwise inert matter with life and volition.  They enacted all manner of ritual that would seem the provenance of infernal cults and maniacs, but they held no malice toward mankind.  In time, they learned to tap the innate power surging through their veins.  They brought forth a hitherto unknown form of magic, and blended it with their martial prowess.  They became the first Blood Knights. 
   The Circulus Sanguinum disappeared long ago when the kingdom they served fell to invaders, but scattered texts survived the destruction.  A few short centuries ago Crayce the Unyielding happened upon a translation of a tablet that had once instructed neophytes of the order.  Sensing the deep wisdom of these teachings, he committed himself to becoming the first Blood Knight in millennia, and scoured the land to recover all traces of the knowledge of the Circulus Sanguinum that had survived the ages.  His great gift to history was to compile and translate the remaining knowledge of the Circulus Sanguinum.  A prospective student can now track down a copy of Crayce's book, if he has the dedication, and can set himself to the arduous task of unlocking the power of blood. 

Making a Blood Knight
A Blood Knight is the true fusion of martial prowess and arcane might.  Not merely a warrior at one moment and a caster the next, he combines these two disparate studies into a unified whole, greater than the sum of its parts.  His greatest strength lies in channeled invocations, which allow him to deliver a magical assault simultaneously with a physical one. 
   Over time, a Blood Knight's body becomes infused with magical energies.  He becomes able to shrug off injuries that would cripple lesser men.  Gaping wounds seal themselves, shattered bones realign themselves and knit together, and new blood fills his veins to replace what was spilled. 
   Abilities: Strength and charisma are vital to a Blood Knight.  Strength governs the effectiveness of his melee attacks.  High strength allows him to hit more reliably and increases the power behind each swing.  Charisma determines the save DC his invocations.  Many of the most powerful channeled invocations allow a saving throw. 
   As with any character that will see the front lines of battle, constitution is very helpful.  A Blood Knight eventually gains the ability to heal any damage he sustains, but he must still survive long enough for the healing to occur.  A larger hit point pool helps by acting as a buffer. 
   Dexterity, intelligence, and wisdom are not very important to a Blood Knight.  A Blood Knight gains the ability to use heavy armor at later levels, which allows him to achieve a decent armor class without a good score in dexterity.  Intelligence give the Blood Knight more skill points, but his invocations and his martial prowess allow him to navigate most challenges without recourse to skills.  Wisdom improves a Blood Knight's will save, but the base save bonus offered by the class is high, so he can make due without a substantial addition from wisdom. 
   Races: Humans make up the majority of Blood Knights.  This has more to do with the large number of humans who thirst for true strength than any suitability of the race itself.  Dwarves make excellent Blood Knights.  Their innate obstinance and dour constancy are exactly the traits needed to endure this path.  Even those orcs that are literate rarely discover the teachings of the Circulus Sanguinum.  The very few who are aware of Blood Knights generally lack the patience to pursue proper training.  Elves, gnome, and halflings generally lack the bleak stoicism and single-minded obstinacy necessary to excel as Blood Knights. 
   Alignment: Few Blood Knights are good.  They tend to have a very harsh and uncompromising outlook.  The few Blood Knights who do take up the mantle of virtue have no patience for doubters and sinners.  The righteous path is clear, they say, and any who lack the conviction to commit to it fully will be forever damned.  Many Blood Knights are evil.  The harsh regiments they force themselves through to gain strength often erode the capacity for pity and leave them bitter at those with easier lives.  Most Blood Knight, though, are neutral and have no real desire to become involved in the affairs of others. 
   The majority of Blood Knights are lawful.  The teachings of the Circulus Sanguinum place a heavy emphasis on discipline and regimented training.  The few chaotic Blood Knights are heretics, disdaining practice rooms as a feeble imitation of real battlefields and plunging themselves immediately into action.  Only a small fraction of those who set out on this heretical path survive long enough to become true Blood Knights, but those that do are a force to be reckoned with. 
   Starting Gold:: 6d4×10 gp (150 gp). 
   Starting Age:: As fighter. 

Hit Die: D10
Level   Base Attack Bonus   Fort Save   Ref Save   Will Save   Special   Max Invocation Grade   Invocations known
1   1   2   0   2   Diehard   Least   1
2   2   3   0   3   Multi-channeling   Least   2
3   3   3   1   3   Dispassion   Least   2
4   4   4   1   4   Armored invoker (medium), stanch   Least   3
5   5   4   1   4   Vitality (5% per round, up to 50%)   Least   3
6   6   5   2   5   Full-attack channeling   Lesser   4
7   7   5   2   5   Armored invoker (heavy), sufferance   Lesser   4
8   8   6   2   6      Lesser   5
9   9   6   3   6   Bodily renewal (1 per round)   Lesser   5
10   10   7   3   7   Vitality (5% per round, up to 75%)   Lesser   6
11   11   7   3   7      Greater   7
12   12   8   4   8   Unrelenting stamina   Greater   7
13   13   8   4   8      Greater   8
14   14   9   4   9   Bodily renewal (2 per round)   Greater   8
15   15   9   5   9   Vitality (10% per round, up to 75%)   Greater   9
16   16   10   5   10      Dark   10
17   17   10   5   10   Tenacious essence   Dark   10
18   18   11   6   11      Dark   11
19   19   11   6   11   Bodily renewal (3 per round)   Dark   11
20   20   12   6   12   Vitality (10% per round, up to 100%)   Dark   12
Class Skills (4 + int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level): Balance, bluff, climb, concentration, craft, intimidate, jump, knowledge (arcana), knowledge (the planes), profession, spellcraft, swim, tumble, and use magic device. 

Class Features
You study dark secrets buried in ancient tomes.  You steel your mind against the worming influences of psychic assault.  You practice endlessly with your sword until it moves as an extension of your body.  You toughen your body with unrelenting exercise.  You are well versed in the twin fields of physical and magical combat. 
   Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You are proficient with simple and martial weapons.  You are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.  You gain additional proficiencies at higher levels. 
   Because the somatic components for invocations are simple, you may cast any of them in light armor without incurring the normal spell failure chance.  At higher levels, you gain the ability to ignore the spell failure chance from heavier armor and ultimately shields as well. 
   Invocations: [This will mostly be a copy/paste job from Warlock.] 
   Diehard (Ex): When your flesh proves weak, you do not coddle it.  You gain Diehard as a bonus feat, even if you don't meet the prerequisite.  If you already have diehard, you instead choose any other feat for which you meet the prerequisites. 
   Multi-Channeling (Ex): You have grow adept at intermingling fell energies in your blade.  At 2nd level, you gain Multi-Channeling as a bonus feat, even if you don't meet the prerequisite.  If you already have multi-channeling, you instead choose any other feat for which you meet the prerequisites. 
   Dispassion (Ex): You have learned to stare into the face of horror without flinching.  At 3rd level, you gain immunity to fear effects. 
   Armored Invoker (Ex): Plate and mail interfere with the gestures that call forth eldritch powers, but adjustments can be made.  At 4th level, you gain proficiency with medium armor, and you invocations no longer suffer a spell failure chance from medium armor.  At 7th level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor and with shields (but not tower shields), and your invocations no longer suffer a spell failure chance from heavy armor or shields. 
   Stanch (Su): You have spent much time communing with blood in your body.  You can now direct its flow away from cuts and punctures in your flesh with no conscious effort.  At 4th level, you gain immunity to ongoing damage from bleed effects.  Additionally, when you are at zero or fewer hit points, strenuous actions no longer cause you to lose additional hit points. 
   Vitality (Su): Magic invigorates you whole being.  Your tissues grow and mend themselves at an impossible rate, quickly ameliorating the ravages of blade and bludgeon.  Beginning at 5th level, you gain limited regenerative abilities.  So long as you are below half of your maximum hit points, you gain fast healing with a magnitude equal to one-twentieth of your maximum hit points.  This healing cannot place you above half your maximum hit points.  At 10th level, your fast healing improves.  It now functions whenever you are below three-fourth of your maximum health, and the healing can take you up to three-fourths of your maximum hit points.  At 15th level, your fast healing again improves.  The magnitude is now equal to one-tenth of your maximum hit points.  At 20th level, your fast healing improves for the final time.  It now functions continuously, and the healing can take you up to your full maximum hit points. 
   Full-Attack Channeling (Ex): The stroke of your blade has grown swift, swift enough to allow you to strike once more before the energies you augment your blows with have faded.  At 6th level, you gain Full-Attack Channeling as a bonus feat, even if you don't meet the prerequisites.  If you already have full-attack channeling, you instead choose any other feat for which you meet the prerequisites. 
   Sufferance (Ex): Pain is in the mind.  At 7th level you gain immunity to nonlethal damage and pain-based effects. 
   Bodily Renewal (Su): Your regenerative abilities have improved markedly.  Even fundamental corruption of your body is but a transitory nuisance.  At 9th level, you heal one point of damage or drain in each of your physical ability scores each round, at the start of your turn.  At 14th level, the healing increases to two points, and at 19th level, three. 
   Unrelenting Stamina (Ex):  Weariness is a luxury you cannot afford.  At 12th level, you gain immunity to fatigue and exhaustion.[/i] 
   Tenacious Essence (Su): Your life force is far too potent to subdue for long.  Beginning at 17th level, you remove one negative level afflicting you each round at the start of your turn. 

Playing a Blood Knight
???

Religion
???

Other Classes
???

Combat
???

Advancement
???

Blood Knights in the World
???

Daily Life
???

Notables
???

Organizations
???

NPC Reactions
???

Blood Knight Lore
???
   DC 10: The Circulus Sanguinum was a bizarre cadre of warrior-priests who drank blood and even bathed in it. 
   DC 15: Despite the gruesome origins of the ideology, only a few very fanatical Blood Knights now perform human sacrifice, and they are denounced by the remainder. 
   DC 20: ???
   DC 30: The Circulus Sanguinum had some martial skill, but were actually rather decadent.  It was Crayce's own exacting personality and passion for physical excellence that caused him to perceive those traits in the ancient writings.  Nevertheless, all modern practitioners consider skill at arms to be an integral part of the doctrine of the Blood Knights. 

Blood Knights in the Game
???

Adaptation
???

Feats
[I guess there should be text here too.] 

Multi-Channeling
[Sorry, I'll put some flavor text in here later.] 
   Prerequisite: Able to cast invocations, including at least two channeled invocations. 
   Benefit: You can cast multiple channeled invocations simultaneously, but no more than one of any given type (attack, damage, rider).  This takes only a single standard action, and you make only a single melee attack, which gains the combined benefits of all the invocations cast.  If you also utilize full attack channeling, the invocations are all cast as a single full-round action, and all benefits apply to all attacks made as part of casting. 

Full-Attack Channeling
[Sorry, I'll put some flavor text in here later.] 
   Prerequisite: Able to cast invocations, including at least one channeled invocation; base attack bonus 6+
   Benefit: When using a channeled invocation, you can increase the casting time to a full-round action.  If you do so, you can make a full attack or charge as part of the invocation.  Note that a rider invocation can still affect any given enemy only once per casting. 

Extend Channeling
[Sorry, I'll put some flavor text in here later.] 
   Prerequisite: Able to use invocations, including at least one channeled invocation
   Benefit: The benefits of any channeled invocation you use persists until the start of your next turn, granting its benefits to any attacks of opportunity you make in that time.  Note that a rider invocation can still affect any given enemy only once per casting. 

Invocations
???

Channeled Invocations
Channeled invocations direct energies through a melee weapon.  They always direct you to make a single melee attack as part of the invocation.  This attack gains some benefit, as described in the invocation description.  Channeled invocations fall into three main categories, described below.  The invocation description will tell you which category it falls into. 
   Attack: The melee attack made as part of this channeled invocation has its attack roll modified in some way.  Spell resistance does not apply against channeled (attack) invocations. 
   Damage: The melee attack made as part of this channeled invocation has its damage roll modified in some way.  Spell resistance does not apply against channeled (damage) invocations. 
   Rider: The melee attack made as part of this channeled invocation, if it hits, carries some additional effect.  This effect can apply before or after the attack's normal damage, at your option.  The extra effect takes place even if damage reduction reduces the attack's damage to 0.  Spell resistance applies against channeled (rider) invocations unless otherwise noted. 

Channeled Invocations and Extra Attacks
Some effects, such as the Full-Attack channeling feat, allow you to make more than one attack as part of a channeled invocation.  A channeled (attack) or channeled (damage) invocation bestows its full benefits on all these attacks. 
   A channeled (rider) invocation inflicts its effect only once per target per invocation.  If you hit multiple enemies with attacks as part of a such an invocation, each one suffers the full effects.  The effect can be resolved between attacks, and even at different times for different enemies, at your option.  The earliest an enemy can be affected is immediately before the damage roll of the first attack that hit him.  The latest is after resolving the last attack (regardless of who it was directed at and if it was successful). 

Channeled Invocations and Attacks of Opportunity
Casting a channeled invocation does not provoke an attack of opportunity.  This is an exception to the general rule that casting a spell-like ability provokes an attack of opportunity unless you succeeds in making a concentration check to cast it defensively. 

Channeled Invocations and Somatic Components
Unlike other invocations, channeled invocations do not require a free hand to provide the somatic components.  Instead, the somatic components are provided via flourishes of a weapon. 

Channeled Invocations and Previous Material
Hideous blow, described in Complete Arcane, becomes a channeled (rider) invocation in addition to a blast shape invocation. 

Blood Knight Invocations

Least
   [Probably the ones from above, and some others.]

Lesser
   [Probably the ones from above, and some others.]

Greater
   [Probably the ones from above, and some others.]

Dark
   [Probably the ones from above, and some others.]

New Dragonfire Adept Invocations

Least
   ???

Lesser
   ???

Greater
   ???

Dark
   ???

New Warlock Invocations

Least
   ???

Lesser
   ???

Greater
   ???

Dark
   ???

Invocation Descriptions
[Yeah, a lot of work ahead.] 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 10:42:54 PM by Maat Mons »

Offline Maat Mons

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Re: Occult Blade: A Melee-Focused, Invocation-Using Base Class
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2015, 10:24:14 PM »
I'm picking up where I left off so long ago.  I think I'll make a handful of classes.  I tried many times to design a single class that could cover the full gamut of melee styles, but it kept turning out bland. 

The blood knight here is geared towards the heavily armored, tough archetype.  You may notice I decided to turn the whole channeled invocations thing into an offshoot of hideous blow.  I hope this doesn't result in things blowing hideously.  I'd like to add a few channeled invocations to the warlock and dragonfire adept lists too.  That's why  the class features that improve use of channeled invocations are actually feats. 

I've also got the beginnings of a stealth, skillful class brewing.  I'm planning to give it a bit of sneak attack and a shadow theme.  I'd like to have some invocations that synergize with sneak attack.  Invisibility comes to mind, but I can't think of any others that create opportunities to sneak attack off hand.  Should I include channeled invocations that have special effects on a sneak attack?  Right now all I can think of on that front is ripping off ambush feats. 

I'm considering a rage based one too.  After a while, he'd get the ability to use invocations while raging.  After that, he'd start getting extra benefits for his invocations while raging.  No significant ideas on this front though. 

I might even take up the challenge of an unarmed class.  Since the class would be based on both magic and fists, it would make sense to give it magic fists.  On the other hand, I'd be woried about accidentally combining the worst elements of monk and soulknife.