Revising The Duskblade For Pathfinder

Shortly after the conversion to Pathfinder for my first Wilderlands game, I started to think about all the classes being played, and realized that only Steve saw no changes, due to playing a non-core class.

A few months into the game, Paizo released the Magus in Ultimate Magic, but ultimately, Steve decided that while similar, he felt the Magus wasn't exactly what he wanted with Jadazh. While the power scale didn't shift dramatically, there was a slight creep for all the republished classes, and now we had a similar class to compete with, so I decided to see what we could do with the Duskblade, with our revisions informed by the Pathfinder Conversion Guide and revisions made by other players on forums, etc.

Steve and I had worked out a little bit of background for the class before, and I continued to expand that, creating more division between the two classes so that each would be an interesting choice for a character.

Fluff, however, isn't what draws most players.

The first obvious mechanical changes are hit die and skills, but the rest is quite a lot more fiddly. The spell list, for instance, was kept intact to preserve a level of oddity in the campaign, setting the Duskblade apart from other spellcasters with magic unknown to the larger world.

The class is presented in the format used for classes in Pathfinder RPG products. Here's what I have so far, which is subject to change:

Duskblade (Pathfinder Revision) 

Enigmatic and powerful, the duskblades combine the hardy discipline of expert martial artists with the raw fury of arcane might.
Originally the saviors of the goblinoid races, granted their abilities by foul gods to preserve and protect, to lead and to teach the goblins. Treated as both prophets and pariahs within goblinoid society, the magical powers they wield making them distrusted among society even as their martial prowess exalts them, each goblin gifted this way walks a line ill-defined in their present culture, when such gifted beings are seldom born.
Some say the gods are once again looking upon the goblinoids once again, as the number of exalted births is slowly starting to creep upward, however detractors are quick to point out that the race has little hope since some of the new duskblades aren't even goblinoid.
Regardless, the duskblade is almost a match for both a fighter or a wizard, and those gifted with their abilities are well suited to the adventuring life, and a welcome addition to any party.
 Role: A duskblade's path is one of personal preference, as a paragon of war among goblinkind, they are given much leeway in that society as to their actions. Most goblinoids will remain with their kind, serving as spiritual and martial teachers and as protectors of their tribes or clans.
Duskblades who are not goblinoids generally spend most of their time travelling, selling their abilities or trading them in their quest to attain more knowledge of their granted abilities and how to access the power within themselves.
 Alignment: Any.
 Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills 

The duskblade's class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str).
 Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the duskblade.
 Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A duskblades is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with
all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and shields (excluding tower shields).
 Spells: A duskblade casts arcane spells drawn from the duskblade spell list presented below. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a duskblade must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a duskblade's spell is 10 + the spell level + the duskblade's Intelligence modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a duskblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given below. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score (see Table 1-3, Core Rulebook).
Arcane Attunement (Sp): The duskblade can use the spell-like powers dancing lights, detect magic, flare, ghost sound, and read magic any number of times per day, as the Cantrips ability of a Sorceror. These spell-like powers do not count against his total of spells per day.
In addition, a duskblade may cast acid splash, disrupt undead, ray of frost, and touch of fatigue a combined total of 3 + Intelligence modifier times per day.
 Armored Mage (Ex): Normally, armor of any type interferes with an arcane spellcaster’s gestures, which can cause spells to fail if those spells have a somatic component. A duskblade’s limited focus and specialized training, however, allows him to avoid arcane spell failure so long as he sticks to light armor and light shields. This training does not extend to medium or heavy armors, nor to heavy shields. This ability does not apply to spells gained from a different spellcasting class.
At 7th level, the duskblade learn to use medium armor with no chance of arcane spell failure.
At 13th level, the duskblade learn to use a heavy shield with no chance of arcane spell failure.
At 19th level, the duskblade learn to use heavy armor with no chance of arcane spell failure.
 Eschew Materials: The duskblade gains Eschew Materials as a bonus feat at 1st level.
 Combat Casting: A duskblade gains Combat Casting as a bonus feat at 2nd level.
 Somatic Weaponry: At 2nd level, when wielding a weapon (or holding an item of comparable size) in one or both hands, Duskblades can use that item to trace the somatic component of a spell, rather than using their fingers. This allows them to cast spells with somatic components even while their hands are full or occupied, as long as at least one hand is holding an item of proper size.
  Arcane Channeling (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, the duskblade can use a standard action to cast any touch spell he knows and deliver the spell through his weapon with a melee attack. Casting a spell in this manner does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The spell must have a casting time of 1 standard action or less. If the melee attack is successful, the attack deals damage normally; then the effect of the spell is resolved.
At 11th level, the duskblade can cast any touch spell he knows as part of a full attack action, and the spell affects each target he hits in melee combat that round. Doing so discharges the spell at the end of the round, in the case of a touch spell that would otherwise last longer than 1 round.
 Spell Power (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, the duskblade can more easily overcome the spell resistance of any opponent he successfully injures with a melee attack. If he has injured an opponent with a melee attack, the duskblade gains a +1 bonus on his caster level check to overcome spell resistance for the remainder of the encounter. This bonus increases by +1 at 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter.
 Quick Cast: Beginning at 4th level, a duskblade can cast one spell each day as a swift action, so long as the casting time of the spell is 1 standard action or less. He can use this ability and additional time per day for every four levels beyond 4th (twice at 8th, three times at 12th, etc.)
 Arcane Bond (Su): At 5th level, this ability grants the duskblade the choice to either gain a familiar as if a wizard equal to his duskblade level, or choose a weapon and gain a benefit that is identical to the weapon option of the divine bond ability of the paladin, except the is not limited to the listed weapon abilities, although he is limited to the level-based plus allotment.
 Supernatural Spell (Su): Beginning at 10th level, the duskblade can choose to cast one of his spells as a supernatural effect once per day. A spell converted into a supernatural ability automatically bypasses spell resistance, does not provoke attacks of opportunities, requires no components, and has a Saving Throw DC of 10 + ½ the duskblade’s class level + his Intelligence modifier.
At 14th level, he can use Supernatural Spell twice a day. At 17th level he can use it 3 times a day. At 20th level he can use it 4 times a day.
 Supernatural Critical (Su): At 20th level, when the duskblade scores a successful critical hit while using his Channel Spell ability, he can choose to convert it into a Supernatural Spell as an immediate free action. This use of a Supernatural Spell does not count against his daily allotment of them from his Supernatural Spell ability. Alternatively, if the duskblade scores a successful critical hit while not using his Channel Spell ability, he can cast any spell he knows as an immediate action as long as the opponent he scored the critical hit against is targeted by the spell or within its area of effect; this spell is automatically considered a Supernatural Spell and does not count against the duskblade’s daily allotment of Supernatural Spells.

 The Duskblade

Attack   Fort      Ref       Will
Level    Bonus  Save     Save     Save     Special                                     1st    2nd    3rd    4th    5th
1st         +1        +2        +0        +2        Arcane attunement,                         2
                                                            armored mage (light),
                                                            Eschew Materials
2nd        +2       +3        +0        +3        Combat Casting,                              3
                                                            Somatic weaponry
3rd         +3        +3        +1        +3        Arcane channeling,                         4
                                                            Spell power +1
4th         +4        +4        +1        +4        Quick cast 1/day                            5
5th         +5        +4        +1        +4        Arcane Bond                                  5     2
6th         +6        +5        +2        +5        Spell Power +2                               6     3
7th         +7        +5        +2        +5        Armored mage (medium)                 6     5
8th         +8        +6        +2        +5        Quick cast 2/day                            7     6
9th         +9        +6        +3        +6        Spell power +3                               7     6
10th       +10       +7        +3        +7        Supernatural spell 1/day                 8     7      2
11th       +11       +7        +3        +7        Arcane channeling (full attack)         8     7      3
12th       +12       +8        +4        +8        Quick cast 3/day,                           8     8      5
Spell power +4
13th       +13       +8        +4        +8        Armored mage (shields)                  9     8      6
14th       +14       +9        +4        +9        Supernatural spell 2/day                 9     8      6      2
15th       +15       +9        +5        +9        Spell power +5                               9     8      7      3
16th       +16       +10       +5        +10       Quick cast 4/day                          9     9      8      5
17th       +17       +10       +5        +10       Supernatural spell 3/day                10   9      8      6     2
18th       +18       +11       +6        +11       Spell power +6                             10   9      8      7     3
19th       +19       +11       +6        +11       Armored Mage (heavy)                  10   10    9      7     5
20th       +20       +12       +6        +12       Quick cast 5/day,                         10   10    10    8     6
                                                            Supernatural spell 4/day,
                                                            Supernatural critical

 Duskblade Spell List

 1st Level - Bigby's tripping hand*, blade of blood*, burning hands, cause fear, chill touch, color spray, jump, Kelgore's fire bolt, lesser deflect, magic weapon, obscuring mist, ray of enfeeblement, resist energy, rouse, shocking grasp, stand, swift expeditious retreat, true strike.
 2nd Level - animilistic power*, bear's endurance, Bigby's striking fist*, bull's strength, cat's grace, darkvision, deflect*, dimension hop*, ghoul touch, Melf's acid arrow, scorching ray, see invisibility, seeking ray*, spider climb, stretch weapon*, sure strike*, swift fly, swift invisibility, touch of idiocy.
 3rd level - crown of might*, crown of protection*, dispelling touch*, doom scarabs*, energy aegis*, energy surge*, greater magic weapon, halt*, keen edge, protection from energy, ray of exhaustion, regroup*, vampiric touch.
 4th Level - Bigby's interposing hand, channeled pyroburst*, dimension door, dispel magic, enervate, fire shield, phantasmal killer, shout, toxic weapon*.
 5th Level - Bigby's clenched fist, chain lightning, disintegrate, hold monster, polar ray, slashing dispel*, sonic shield*, waves of fatigue.

Spells marked with an asterisk can be found in the 3.5 Players Handbook II.

Edit: Sorry for any formatting issues, I'm trying to resolve them. My ability with tables in html is severly lacking!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Overall, the class looks pretty good, but I've got a couple of slight complaints.

One, Duskblades used to have Jump as a class skill, with this revision they don't, and that makes me sad panda. Please give them Acrobatics as a class skill. (It's bad enough for Duskblades that PF converted Jump into a dex skill, please don't take away the class-skill bonus too.)

Two- Duskblades have always been feat-starved, and in PF a lot of the feats they would have taken (for example, Improved Trip) have been watered down or split into multiple feats. Therefore it is my strong suggestion that you add a few bonus feats to the progression. Perhaps a bonus combat feat at 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafer?