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Sword Saint

Sword saints are warriors who walk the path already taken by another, looking to achieve such legendary skill that they, too, will be remembered by history. The true sword saints of the past were figures who achieved a level of skill beyond mastery in their craft. Though modern practitioners call themselves sword saints, this is only to draw a parallel between themselves and these heroes. In practice, they would usually only call themselves warriors, fighters, samurai, or otherwise. It is unbecoming for them to address themselves as sword saints unless they are arrogant, but this does not always stop them. ‘Phantom saint’ is a term they commonly use, describing their emulation of an ancient swordmaster’s lifestyle, combat skills and practices until they come truly into their own.

Level Bonus Features Focus Points Max Per Turn
1st +2 Focus Channeling 3 2
2nd +2 Dragon Surge 4 3
3rd +2 Path of Devotion, Devotion Feature 5 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 6 4
5th +3 Extra Attack 7 4
6th +3 Devotion Feature 8 5
7th +3 9 5
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 10 6
9th +4 Spiritual Armor 11 6
10th +4 Soul of Luxus 12 7
11th +4 Devotion Feature 13 7
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 14 8
13th +5 Extra Attack 15 8
14th +5 Saint Weapon Bond, Devotion Feature 16 9
15th +5 17 9
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 18 10
17th +6 Devotion Feature 19 10
18th +6 Moment of Tranquility 20 11
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 21 11
20th +6 Unlock Potential 22 12

Contents

The Tools of the Swordsman

The sword saint relies on special techniques that involve converting mental acuity and focus into short feats of superhuman ability. They utilize their own spiritual energy – chakra – while performing this technique, enabling them to do everything from summoning elemental energy to conjuring up tools and poisons. These techniques are called focus techniques, and each ancient sword saint passed down theirs in their stories and teachings. Techniques outside these exist as esoteric techniques, mastered by individual practitioners and stored on scrolls, in temples, etc. Esoteric techniques are difficult to find and often incomplete compared to the mastered techniques passed down by sword saints.

Warriors by a Creed

The sword saints seek power for a reason, and not necessarily one based on good intentions. They want to create the perfect version of themselves and turn into a symbol for the people to fear, respect, vilify, or honor. Even those that wouldn’t admit this know it must be the result of their final goal since a sword saint must, by definition, be the paramount warrior of their generation. Most of them structure themselves as they see fit, setting rules and principles they will always follow: some never kill the innocent, some never draw their weapon first, some protect the weak. These tendencies help to give form to their personal sense of duty, but more importantly can be noted and used when others tell their story.

Despite their need for historic validation, there is one unifying principle that is always true: the stories told of them must be inspired, not fabricated. A sword saint will not embellish or brag of their accomplishments. Any significant deeds they do must be recorded honestly and passed down by those inspired to do so.

Creating a Sword Saint

When making a sword saint you should consider which weapon types you plan to focus on. The various paths of devotion focus on different weapon sets, with the fighting styles indicating which is which. Your character can live a variety of lives depending on what their focus might be: some want to be remembered, some look for strength to protect a community or person, and some have a bloodline legacy to live up to. You should consider why your character so deeply dedicates themselves to improving their skills and, if they ever achieve the prowess they seek, what they plan to do with it.

Perhaps they have a master they serve or served; a mentor may have charged them with aspiring to greatness or carrying on a legacy. The inciting incident for their goals could have been a personal introspective one, or just being inspired by a great warrior they saw or heard about.

Quick Build

You can quickly make a sword saint by following these suggestions: your highest ability score should be Strength or Dexterity depending on the type of weapon you plan to use when you take a path of devotion; your Wisdom determines your save DCs, so it should be your next highest; after this, you should focus on Constitution. Finally, take the Inheritor background with the inherited gift being something that helps you learn your path.

Class Features

As a sword saint you have the following features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per sword saint level
Hit Points At 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier.
Hit Points At Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per sword saint level after 1st.

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Wisdom
Skills: Choose three skills from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, History, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Perception, Survival

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) chain shirt or (b) studded leather, a longbow, 20 arrows
  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) 4 javelins
  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack

Focus Channeling

You have a certain number of focus points equal to 2 + your level as a sword saint. Focus can be spent on various abilities you gain as a sword saint, automatically gaining the abilities listed under sword saint focus techniques. You can only use a number of focus points each round equal to half your total focus point maximum + 1. You start counting for the purposes of this limit at the start of your turn each round.

The save DC for focus techniques = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier.

You regain your focus points whenever you complete a long rest.

Sword Saint Focus Techniques

Adept Moment

When you make a skill check with a skill you have proficiency in, you may spend 1 focus point as a bonus action to roll 1d4 and add it to the result.

Cunning Vertical

On your turn you may spend 1 focus point to take the Disengage action as a bonus action.

Falcon Wing Deflection

You may spend 2 focus points as a reaction to a melee weapon attack being made against you to gain a bonus to your Armor Class equal to your proficiency bonus, which applies before resolving the triggering attack. This bonus lasts until the start of your next turn. You must be wielding a weapon you have proficiency with to use this reaction. If you are restrained or knocked prone you lose the bonus from this effect.

Falter Fleeting

On your turn you can spend 1 focus point as a bonus action to move an additional number of feet equal to your proficiency bonus multiplied by five.

Overwhelming Advance

When you miss a creature with a weapon attack you can spend 2 focus points to roll a d20 and must use the result in place of the d20 of your attack roll, possibly changing the outcome of the attack.

Dragon Surge

Starting at 2nd level, you can expend 2 focus points on your turn to use a dragon surge. When you do this you can take an additional action and possible bonus action (if you still have it). This feature cannot be used twice on the same turn or during the same turn when you use another feature that allows you to take another action (such as a fighter‘s action surge).

When you use your dragon surge feature you gain an additional 15 feet of movement that can be taken immediately. If it is not used you lose this movement at the end of your turn.

Each time you use it the amount of focus points it costs increases by 1 until you spend at least 1 minute without making an attack roll, cause another creature to take damage, or take damage from a hostile creature.

Path of Devotion

At 3rd level you choose a path of devotion. You pledge yourself to a style of combat and lifestyle from the paths of devotion listed, and gain the 3rd-level features listed.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can take one feat you meet the conditions for, increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, when you take the Attack action on your turn. The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 13th level in this class.

Spiritual Armor

Starting at 9th level, you can transform your resolve and tenacity into a type of energy that protects you from harm. As an action, you may expend any number of focus points to gain temporary hit points equal to your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier per focus point expended.

The total number of points you can expend as part of this feature is limited to the amount you normally are limited to using in one turn, even if you have another feature that allows you to ignore that limit (such as your saint weapon bond).

Once you have used this feature you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Soul of Luxus

Starting at 10th level, you regain expended focus points when you complete a short or long rest.

Saint Weapon Bond

Starting at 14th level, you can attune yourself to a specific weapon of your choice and allow your spirit to connect to it.

To do so you must perform a ritual over the course of a short rest, requiring sacred incense and other materials unique to your traditions that are collectively worth 500 gold pieces.

Mixing these materials with a drop of your own blood, you imbue the weapon with a connection to your spirit that marks it as yours. Its hue may change, and the weapon may gain new aesthetic characteristics in response to your spirit. This weapon is now considered to be your saint weapon.

You must be attuned to this saint weapon as if it were a magical item. If it is a weapon that requires ammunition, it can now create unremarkable ammunition magically when used (if it must reload, creating new ammunition takes the same action you would take to reload it normally). If it is a thrown weapon, you can use a bonus action to recall it if it is within 100 feet of you, causing it to fly into your hands as long as there is an unobstructed path it can take to travel to you.

You gain a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls made with your saint weapon as long as you are attuned to it. This weapon and its attacks are considered magical for the purposes of overcoming damage resistance if it wasn’t already magical. When attuned to a saint weapon, you no longer have a limit to the number of focus points you can spend each round as long as you still have focus points to spend. If the focus points being used involve an attack roll, the saint weapon must be used for the weapon attack.

If you lose this weapon you always know which direction it’s in and the condition of the weapon.

Moment of Tranquility

Starting at 18th level, if you end an encounter with 2 or fewer remaining focus points, you immediately regain enough focus points to have 3 total. These points cannot be used for your dragon surge feature.

Unlock Potential

When you reach 20th level, you learn any three focus techniques that you do not already know. Whenever you complete a long rest you can meditate and adapt to other means of combat, switching out one of your known focus techniques for one that you don’t currently know.

Paths of Devotion

The sword saint walks a path of devotion. They study the teachings of a famous sword saint who defined a generation, trying to emulate their style and skills while putting their own twist on them. The paths teach various lifestyles, mentalities, and practices that support the skills of those individuals.

A sword saint will usually gravitate to the teachings that best suit their outlook on life. The methods by which they learn their path can be from scrolls, books, stories passed down, a teacher, or other sources of information. To some rare sword saints, these skills come to them in visions or through meditation.

Way of Musashi

A notorious figure in the history of sword saints, Musashi was a rambunctious and disloyal swordsman who bounced from master to master. He was an innately skilled individual however, developing a style of two-weapon swordplay that remains unmatched. His belief was that no action should ever be wasted, and so should be in service to making an attack, even when defending.

Those who follow in their footsteps learn defensive techniques that give them durability and staying power in combat. They seek creative ways to defeat their opponents rather than overpowering them directly. Musashi’s brilliance has not been replicated, but their approach and style have been co-opted into techniques that allow others to exploit opponents by quickly pin-pointing weaknesses in their defenses and overwhelming them simultaneously.

To follow this path is to hold a blade in each hand, unrelentingly seeking out joy and purpose to a fault. They live fully and pursue what they feel is right for them. Musashi discovered a certain pure truth through this way of living and became unbeatable. Others reaching the same place is not outside the realm of possibility.

Fighting Style: Two-Weapon Fighting

Beginning when you take this path of devotion at 3rd level, when you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

If another feature gives you the option of taking another fighting option you cannot take the two-weapon fighting option again.

Focus Techniques (Musashi)

Whenever you take this path of devotion at 3rd level you learn the following focus techniques:

Exemplary Deflection

As a reaction to a weapon attack you can see hitting you, you may spend 1 focus point to reduce the damage from the attack to half.

Reposition

When a creature makes a melee attack against you and misses, you may spend 2 focus points to move immediately up to 20 feet without provoking opportunity attacks.

Scatter Petals

After you take an attack on your turn and use your bonus action to make an additional attack with an off-hand weapon, you may expend 1 focus point each time you make another weapon attack with your primary weapon to take an additional off-hand attack.

Point Zero

Beginning at 6th level, you learn how to defend against critical situations with expert proficiency. When a creature scores a critical hit against you, you can use your reaction to negate the extra damage caused by the critical hit. As part of the same reaction, you can make two weapon attacks against a creature within reach (one with your primary weapon and one with your off-hand weapon).

Additionally, creatures that gain bonuses (such as sneak attack, or flanking from surrounding an enemy, or benefit from other creatures being adjacent to them or their target) cannot gain those benefits or use those features against you.

If those features have other triggers that cause them to work, such as advantage for sneak attack, they still work as normal under those conditions.

Way of Five Souls

Starting at 11th level, you gain proficiency in all saving throws you don’t already have proficiency in.

The Undeniable Path

Starting at 14th level, you can bond to a second weapon as your saint weapon, gaining all the same benefits as the first.

You can attune to both as if they were a single magic item, gaining access to all of the features you would normally gain from attuning to both individually.

Heartless Dragon Sweep

Starting at 17th level, as an action you can spend 6 focus points and make a sweeping strike against all creatures within 10 feet of you. You make an individual weapon attack with one of your saint weapons against each one, resolving the attacks as you normally would.

Every creature you hit must make a Constitution saving throw against you focus technique DC. Any creature that fails takes an additional 2d12 damage of your weapon’s damage type and is stunned until the end of your next turn.

You cannot use this technique and dragon surge in the same turn.

Way of Tomoe

This path of devotion follows after a legendary swordsman who refined their skills as a bowman to a point past perfection. Their prevailing myth is of challenging a god of lightning and succeeding in impressing them, and was thus granted the power of the storm. Those who follow their path learn to manifest this lightning and train their eyes to a point past perfection. At a range these swordsmen are unmatched.

Stories of the legendary swordsman Tomoe speak of them as a tragic figure who always conquered the battlefield, but lost out on love and fulfillment in return. In exchange for the power of lightning, those who take on this path solemnly accept that they accept Tomoe’s karma onto themselves as well.

Fighting Style: Archery

Starting at 3rd level, when you take this path of devotion, you gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.

If another feature gives you the option of taking another fighting option you cannot take the archery option again.

You ignore the loading quality of weapons with which you are proficient, and drawing a weapon with the thrown property is a free action as long as you immediately throw that weapon as part of an attack.

Focus Techniques (Tomoe)

Whenever you take this path of devotion at 3rd level, you learn the following focus techniques:

Majestic

On your turn, you may spend 2 focus points as a bonus action to have all attacks made against you be made with disadvantage until the start of your next turn.

Rise Up, Soar Far

You can spend 1 focus point to be able to make high jumps and long jumps on that turn without having to move beforehand. You gain an additional 10 feet of movement that can only be used for these jumps.

Wind Chain

When you make a melee weapon attack, you may spend 1 focus point to extend the range of the attack to 30 feet. All weapon attacks with the same weapon may benefit from this effect until the end of your turn. These attacks are treated as melee attacks.

Thunder Lotus

Beginning at 6th level, whenever you hit with an attack using a weapon you are proficient with, you may spend 2 or more focus points to charge the attack with lightning, unleashing a blast of it against the creature. You can only use focus points past the 2nd equal to half your proficiency bonus (rounded up).

The target creature must make a Dexterity saving throw against your focus technique DC. If they fail, they take 2d8 lightning damage plus 1d8 lightning damage for each focus point you spend past the 2nd. If the creature is wearing metal armor they have disadvantage on the Dexterity saving throw.

If the weapon you used is your attuned saint weapon, it deals an additional 1d12 lightning damage when you use this feature.

Eyes of the Saint

Beginning at 6th level, whenever you make a ranged attack you do not suffer disadvantage from hostile creatures being within 5 feet of you or from firing at the weapon’s long range.

You score a critical hit with a ranged weapon on attack rolls of 19 or 20, and when you score a critical hit you roll one of the weapon’s damage dice and add it to the damage roll.

Raikou Bombardment

Beginning at 11th level, as an action on your turn you can spend 3 focus points while wielding a ranged weapon to arm it with spiritual lightning, firing bolts of lightning from it instead of ammunition.

As part of this action, you choose a space within the normal range of your weapon. All creatures in a 15-foot sphere centered on the space must attempt a Dexterity saving throw against your focus technique DC. Any creature that fails takes lightning damage equal to 1d10 + the weapon’s damage dice. On a successful save creatures take half as much damage.

Any creature that fails their saving throw by 5 points or more is stunned until the end of their next turn.

Lightning Blossom Stance

Beginning at 14th level, you have resistance to lightning damage. The first time you hit a creature with your saint weapon, each round after you deal extra lightning damage equal to 1d8 + half your sword saint level.

Arrows of the End

Beginning at 17th level, you acquire a keen eye with ranged weapons that allows you to more easily score critical hits.

Whenever you hit a creature with a ranged weapon attack you score a critical hit on a roll of 18, 19, or 20, and when you do score a critical hit, you roll three more of the weapon’s damage dice and add them to the result.

As a bonus action on your turn you can designate a creature within your weapon’s reach to protect from harm as long as you’re wielding a ranged weapon you’re proficient with. If any creature attacks your protected target before the start of your next turn, you may use your reaction to make an attack against them, which resolves first. If you hit, you deal weapon damage as normal and the creature has disadvantage on any more attacks they make until the start of their next turn.

Way of Tadakatsu

The Way of Tadakatsu takes lessons from a powerful, bombastic military general who never received a single wound during his career. A sword saint who threw himself into battle after battle in a long, perilous war in service to his lord; he is a paragon of endurance and might. Those who follow in his path study stories about his legendary spear, which he would raise high into the air while charging forward on his trusted mount.

His teachings grant skills necessary to support allies, fight against large groups of soldiers, wield large powerful weapons with ease, and survive killing blows. By the time a warrior masters this path, they can reduce their opponents defenses and shrug off weapon strikes as long as they know they’re coming. These warriors will more than likely find themselves seeking glory and adoration, enjoying the roar of a crowd and the thrill of combat.

Fighting Style: Great Weapon Fighting

Starting when you take this path at 3rd level, 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 re-roll 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.

If another feature gives you the option of taking another fighting option you cannot take the great weapon fighting option again.

Focus Techniques (Tadakatsu)

Whenever you take this path of devotion at 3rd level, you learn the following focus techniques:

Blasting Spear

When you make a melee attack with a weapon that deals piercing damage, you may spend 2 focus points to forgo the attack roll. Instead, all creatures in a 30-foot-long, 5-foot-wide line originating from you make a Dexterity saving throw, taking the weapon’s damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one.

Majestic

On your turn, you may spend 2 focus points as a bonus action to have all attacks made against you be made with disadvantage until the start of your next turn.

Thunder Joust

When you move 10 or more feet toward a creature in a straight line, you can spend 1 focus point to gain advantage on the next weapon attack you make against them this turn. If you hit with this attack, and the target is no more than one size category larger than you, the target must make a Strength saving throw. On a failure the creature is knocked prone.

Rally and Conquer

Beginning at 6th level, whenever you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you knock them off-center somewhat, stealing their attention and covering for those around you using aggressive tactics.

As long as that creature stays within your attack range with that weapon, your allies can roll 1d4 and add it to the result of any attack rolls they make against them.

Your allies do not benefit from this effect if you are incapacitated or blinded.

Enduring Bulwark

Beginning at 11th level, whenever you would be reduced to 0 hit points by damage you can spend 1 or more focus points to instead drop to 1 hit point. You gain temporary hit points equal to 1d6 per focus point you spend.

You can use this feature once, regaining your use of it when you complete a short or long rest.

Rising Dragonfly

Beginning at 14th level, your saint weapon is imbued with a powerful bond to you that allows you to strike with it at length. For one attack each round you can treat your saint weapon as if it has the thrown property. Its normal range is 50 feet and its long range is 150 feet.

When you make this attack, you cause the weapon to transform magically into a spear while it is thrown, though it keeps its properties, damage dice, damage types, and magical effects.

Whenever the weapon is thrown and hits its target it deals an extra 1d12 damage, then quickly snaps back to you to transform into its regular form. You can make more than one attack this way a turn if you spend 1 focus point each time you do.

The creature this weapon hits is struck by a cutting wave of energy that weakens them momentarily, forcing them to make a Constitution saving throw against your focus technique DC. If the creature fails, its Armor Class is reduced by 1d4 + 1 until the start of your next turn. During this period it cannot be reduced further this way.

Unslayable

Beginning at 17th level, you become almost untouchable, shrugging off blows with vigor and strength. As long as you aren’t incapacitated, whenever you take bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage you take 10 fewer points of damage from that attack or effect. This reduction does not stack with other effects granting a similar reduction in damage.

Additionally, you gain proficiency on Constitution saving throws.

Way of Yamato

The wielder of the legendary katana, Yamato was a swordsman obsessed with power and status. They honed their fighting style so that their opponents would be cut down by a flurry of strikes before they could realize they had even been struck. Those who follow the teachings left behind by this swordsman are devoted to becoming killing machines, focused on delivering instant killing blows and striking with every movement they make.

Fighting Style: Dueling

Starting at 3rd level, when you take this path of devotion and you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

If another feature gives you the option of taking another fighting option you cannot take the dueling option again.

Focus Techniques (Yamato)

Whenever you take this path of devotion at 3rd level, you learn the following focus techniques:

Blue Crescent

When you make a melee weapon attack with a weapon that deals slashing damage, you may spend 2 focus points to instead attack all creatures within range with the same weapon.

You roll a separate attack and damage roll for each creature within range. Effects that trigger on attack rolls such as smites, sneak attack, etc must be applied to each attack made this way separately.

Iaijutsu

If you are surprised on your turn, you may spend 2 focus points to no longer be surprised and take your turn normally.

Wind Chain

When you make a melee weapon attack, you may spend 1 focus point to extend the range of the attack to 30 feet. All weapon attacks with the same weapon may benefit from this effect until the end of your turn. These attacks are treated as melee attacks.

Improved Critical

Starting at 6th level, your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

Mirage Dash

Beginning at 6th level, whenever you take the Dash action you can quickly strike a creature you pass, making a single melee weapon attack as part of the action as long as you move at least 10 feet beforehand.

If a creature you hit with this weapon attack attempts to hit you with an opportunity attack on the same turn, they have disadvantage on the attack.

Angelus Vortex

Beginning at 11th level, whenever you hit a creature with a critical hit you also quickly unleash a flurry of small slashes, assaulting every opening you can see in the blink of an eye.

The creature suffers from these wounds for 1 minute, during which time they take an amount of damage at the start of each of their turns equal to one of the damage dice of the weapon you hit them with.

At the end of each of the creature’s turns, they make a Constitution saving throw, ending the effect on a success.

The effect also ends if the creature receives magical healing, but the amount they heal is halved.

To use this feature, the weapon used must be your saint weapon or be able to benefit from the dueling fighting style.

Judgement Cut

Beginning at 14th level, the first time on your turn you hit any given creature with a weapon attack using your saint weapon, you can teleport in a hasty ghost-like manner to any unoccupied space within 15 feet of them. This movement does not count against your movement speed on this turn.

Each time you use this feature, then hit another creature that you haven’t hit on this turn, your saint weapon deals an additional one of its weapon die of damage. Only attacks that are part of the same Attack action benefit from this extra damage.

One Thousand Cuts

Starting at 17th level, when you make a weapon attack with a melee weapon on your turn you can momentarily enter an accelerated state of mind and body. You may expend 6 focus points and immediately replace that attack with a number of weapon attacks with that weapon against a single creature equal to your Dexterity modifier + 1.

These attacks all deal damage as if they were one weapon attack after rolling them all to see which ones hit and which miss. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a successful save they only take half the combined damage of these attacks.

You cannot use this feature on the same round as dragon surge or action surge. To use this feature you must use your saint weapon or a weapon that can benefit from your dueling fighting style.

Way of Blue Metal

The Way of Blue Metal is an ancient tradition forged by an elven swordsman who sought out inner peace. Among all of the ways of devotion, it is the most attuned to the chakra that is employed when focusing on the superhuman feats sword saints are capable of.

The swordsmen who follow the Way of Blue Metal are capable of learning the various skills of many different paths, incorporating them into their own style of swordsmanship. In critical moments in battle, they find peace that can restore their focus and let them keep fighting.

Defined by versatility, one of the key features of these swordsmen is traced back to legends that it was taught to its original practitioner by a series of dragons who each contributed their knowledge to its form. That practitioner learned to harness the elements, drawing out the power of their own chakra and forcing it to manifest as elemental energy representing their soul’s nature.

Focus Mastery

Beginning at 3rd level, when you take this path of devotion, whenever you score a critical hit you regain focus points equal to your proficiency bonus.

Focus Techniques (Blue Metal)

Whenever you take this path of devotion at 3rd level, you learn any three focus techniques.

Central Aura

Whenever you reach 6th level, you choose one of the following energy types: cold, fire, lightning, or poison. You learn to attune your internal energy to that element and bend it into a protective shroud. Any time you would take damage of that type, you may spend 2 focus points as a reaction to negate the damage from that effect, gain temporary hit points equal to the damage roll, and gain resistance to that type of damage for as long as you have those temporary hit points.

Additionally you may, as an action, spend 2 focus points to imbue a weapon you’re wielding with the same element you selected for your central aura. For 10 minutes your weapon attacks deals extra damage of that damage type equal to half your sword saint level (rounded down).

Extra Focus

Whenever you reach 11th level, you learn additional 3 focus techniques, choosing any you wish to. Your focus point maximum increases by an amount equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Purity of Form

Beginning at 14th level, as long as you are wielding your sword saint weapon, all of your focus techniques cost 1 fewer points (minimum 1).

Roaring Dragon Surge

Starting at 17th level, you gain the ability to use an advanced version of the dragon surge technique. Your regular use of dragon surge no longer causes it to cost extra focus points on subsequent uses.

Whenever you use your dragon surge, you can spend an additional focus point to use a roaring dragon surge, gaining advantage on weapon attacks you make with your saint weapon until the start of your next turn. Those attacks deal an additional 1d10 damage of your weapon’s type on a successful hit.

The amount of extra movement you gain from your dragon surge is increased to 30 feet when using a roaring dragon surge.

Way of Rust

Not known for one particular individual, the Way of Rust is a heretical school of combat that begins with conjuring up or hunting down a rust spirit, trapping it within a weapon, and plunging it into one’s body. This binds the spirit, a yokai that feasts off metal, into the body and creates a symbiotic relationship that turns both into a living weapon.

This rust spirit inhabits the blood and muscles of its host, hungering constantly for metal. It acts to preserve itself and its host as best it can, but neither the wielder nor the spirit can force the other into action. It hungers not only for metal, but for the iron in the blood of other creatures.

The longer a creature lives bound to this spirit, the more mechanical and jaded they become until their sense of self seems to almost evaporate entirely.

Eroding Attribute

Beginning when you take this path of devotion at 3rd level, your melee weapons are empowered by creatures they bring close to death. Whenever you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points on your turn with a weapon attack you can immediately make another attack with the same weapon against another creature within reach.

That attack and all other attacks you make with that weapon until the start of your next turn gain a +1 bonus to their attack and damage rolls. You can gain this bonus to attack and damage rolls a number of times per round up to your proficiency bonus.

Focus Techniques (Rust)

Whenever you take this path of devotion at 3rd level, you learn the following focus techniques:

Detoxify

You use your control over your ki to clear your mind and body.

On your turn you may spend 1 focus point to immediately end an effect causing you to be paralyzed, charmed, poisoned, frightened, or stunned.

Exemplary Deflection

As a reaction to a weapon attack you can see hitting you, you may spend 1 focus point to reduce the damage from the attack to half.

Fearful Surge

Whenever you use your dragon surge, you may spend an additional focus point to emanate an aura of fear as well. All creatures within 20 feet of you who can see or hear you must attempt a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure they are frightened of you for 1 minute. Creatures frightened this way reattempt the Wisdom save at the end of their turn, ending the effect on a success. If a creature succeeds on either saving throw they become immune to your fearful surge for 24 hours.

Cellular Rust

Starting at 6th level, your body has become affected by the rust merged with it. It becomes partially metallic, your skin developing rusty patches. After this point you gain resistance to necrotic and poison damage, have advantage on saving throws against being poisoned, and you add your proficiency bonus to any Strength-based Ability check you make. If you have proficiency in any Strength-based skill check you instead double your proficiency bonus for that check.

Body of Steel

Starting at 11th level, you are always armed as the rust spirit within you allows you to conjure up weapons made of rusty metal with a blood-like tinge. At will, you can create these magic weapons in your hands, creating new ones that shatter quickly after being used to make an attack. If they leave your possession, they immediately crumble to dust or break apart.

You can summon up any type of melee weapon you are proficient with as long as they have a metal component, and these versions have the same damage die and properties of a regular version of that weapon, with the following exceptions:

These weapons are considered magical and have a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls. You cannot create weapons that emulate the magical effects of any other weapons or items you know.

When you deal damage with these weapons, you roll one more of the weapon’s damage die again and add that much necrotic damage to the result.

If a creature attempts to cast a spell or uses a feature that damages or affects weapons (such as heat metal), you can immediately destroy the rust weapon before the effect takes hold, in which case the feature or spell is still considered spent.

If you create a weapon with the thrown property and use it to make a ranged weapon attack, the weapon can only be thrown up to its normal range, and if thrown up to its long range it will crumble to dust before reaching the target.

Overedge Erosion

Starting at 14th level, the rust within your body has taken hold and become a parasitic entity that hungers for yet more metal to feast upon. You gain the ability to perform one of the following two actions whenever you make a weapon attack:

Eroded Power Strike. Once per turn, when wielding a nonmagical weapon made of metal, you can allow the rust within you to devour part of it or all of it in exchange for a burst of strength. When you make this weapon attack, you roll 1d6 and add it to the attack roll. After the attack resolves that weapon is rusted, and suffers a permanent -1 penalty to attack rolls. Once a weapon has suffered this penalty an amount of times equal to half the maximum result of its highest damage die, it crumbles or shatters and is destroyed.

Alternatively, if the weapon has not suffered from this penalty at all you can choose to destroy it entirely on the first use, in which case the bonus to the attack roll is 1d10 instead. If the weapon used for this feature is made of adamantine you have advantage on the attack roll.

If you use this feature with a piece of non-magical ammunition the bonus is only 1d4, and the ammunition is destroyed after the first use. You cannot use a weapon created using your body of steel feature for this effect.

Steel Devourer. If you are attacking a creature that is wielding a non-magical weapon or armor, and you deal damage with the attack, you can have the rust within you attempt to consume their equipment. Choose one piece of armor, a shield, or a weapon they possess that is made of metal. If that equipment is non-magical and not made of adamantine they must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC equal to 8 + your Constitution Modifier + your proficiency bonus) to avoid the effect.

If they fail, any Armor Class bonus the item grants is reduced by 1 and damage rolls with the weapon suffer a -1 penalty. If the armor’s Armor Class bonus is reduced to 0 or the weapon’s damage penalty equals half or more of the weapon’s damage die (for example, 4 or higher for a weapon that deals 1d6) the equipment is destroyed entirely.

Withering Despoliation

Starting at 17th level, your skills sharpen and your weapons leave a rust-like residue upon all things they strike. This rust enters into their skin and blood, rotting it away instantly as it tries to consume them. At the end of each of your turns when you made at least one weapon attack that hit a creature, you may spend 2 focus points to use your bonus action to aggravate rust particles left behind by your attack.

All creatures that you hit during your turn must make a Constitution saving throw against your focus technique DC.

On a failed save they each take 1d10 necrotic damage for each time you hit them this turn. A creature that fails is also poisoned until the end of your next turn as their body fights off remaining rust in their body.

Way of the Ghost

The Way of the Ghost is a style of combat taken from a legendary assassin who liberated their homeland from an invading army. Though they had fewer numbers, the swordsman relied on tactics unbecoming one who valued honor, but successfully drove off their enemies. They use stealth, assassination, poison, and fear to strike down their foes.

Their name was lost but stories of their war live on, inspiring talented swordsmen to turn to the path of stealth and necessity to achieve their goals. One who takes on the Way of the Ghost forsakes their name when they fight, becoming a symbol like their progenitor.

Stealth Slayer

Starting at 3rd level, when you take this path of devotion you do not suffer disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks from wearing medium armor.

Whenever you hit a surprised creature in combat, you automatically score a critical hit, and when you score a critical hit this way you roll the weapon’s damage die an additional two times and add it to the damage roll.

Focus Techniques (Ghost)

Whenever you take this path of devotion at 3rd level, you learn the following focus techniques:

Heel Cut

When you hit a creature that is large or smaller with a melee weapon attack, you may spend 1 focus point to force them to make a Strength saving throw. On a failure the creature is knocked prone.

Scorpion Mark

When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may spend 2 focus points to mark them as your primary target, analyzing their movements and gaining a supernatural awareness of their intentions. For up to 1 hour you cannot be surprised by the creature, they cannot gain advantage on any attack against you, and you have advantage on all Wisdom (Perception) or Wisdom (Survival) checks you make to track or follow them. If you hit them with a weapon attack during this time you deal an additional 1d8 damage. You must concentrate on this effect as if it were a spell.

Severance

When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may spend 2 focus points to force them to roll a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the target is dealt a wound that causes them to suffer disadvantage on all of their attack rolls for the rest of the encounter. At the end of each of their turns they repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on a success.

Phantom Smoke

Starting at 6th level, you can use your bonus action to detonate a ki-infused smoke bomb centered on yourself. The ghostly white smoke from the bomb fills a 20-foot-radius sphere and acts identically to the fog cloud spell (requiring no concentration).

While within this cloud you have blindsight that extends to the edges of it, and you are considered invisible to other creatures inside it.

You can use this feature twice, regaining expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Vanquisher’s Toxin

Starting at 11th level, you can expend a focus point to use your bonus action to coat a light weapon with a hallucinatory toxin that remains in effect for 1 minute.

The next time you deal damage to a creature, it is infected by the toxin for 1 minute, during which time they see multiple ghostly images of creatures they focus on. When hallucinating this way, they must roll 1d20 when they make an attack roll against a creature, missing automatically on a result of 11 or higher.

At the end of each of the creature’s turns it makes a Constitution saving throw, ending the hallucinatory effects on a success. If the creature ends the effect this way it becomes immune to the same toxins for 24 hours.

This feature has no effect on undead, constructs, or creatures that don’t rely on sight.

Mortal Blood Coil

Beginning at 14th level, whenever you kill a creature with your attuned saint weapon you roll 1d20. On a result of 16 or higher, you rip a great deal of blood from your target, which swirls around your weapon as a bloody aura. When this happens you gain 1d4+1 temporary focus points that disappear at the end of your next turn.

While you have these temporary points, whenever you hit any creature with your saint weapon for the first time since the start of your last turn that creature must make a wisdom saving throw, becoming frightened of you for 1 minute on a failed save. The creature may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the effect on a success.

If a creature succeeds either save to end this effect, they cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours.

This feature has no effect against a creature that is undead, a construct, or has no blood.

Phantom Replacement

Beginning at 17th level, whenever a creature misses you with a weapon attack you may spend 3 focus points as a reaction to have your body peel away into a ghostlike mist while you become invisible until the end of your next turn. As part of the reaction you can move up to half your movement speed immediately.

While you are invisible by this or any other effect, your saint weapon deals an additional 2d8 psychic damage when you hit with it, as long as the creature you attack cannot see.

Devotion Focus Techniques

Blasting Spear

When you make a melee attack with a weapon that deals piercing damage, you may spend 2 focus points to forgo the attack roll. Instead all creatures in a 30-foot-long, 5-foot-wide line originating from you make a Dexterity saving throw, taking the weapon’s damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. (Path: Tadakatsu)

Blue Crescent

When you make a melee weapon attack with a weapon that deals slashing damage, you may spend 2 focus points to instead attack all creatures within range with the same weapon.

You roll a separate attack and damage roll for each creature within range. Effects that trigger on attack rolls such as smites, sneak attack, etc must be applied to each attack made this way separately. (Path: Yamato)

Detoxify

You use your control over your ki to clear your mind and body.

On your turn, you may spend 1 focus point to immediately end an effect causing you to be paralyzed, charmed, poisoned, frightened, or stunned. (Path: Rust)

Exemplary Deflection

As a reaction to a weapon attack you can see hitting you, you may spend 1 focus point to reduce the damage from the attack to half. (Paths: Musashi, Rust)

Fearful Surge

Whenever you use your dragon surge, you may spend an additional focus point to emanate an aura of fear as well. All creatures within 20 feet of you who can see or hear you must attempt a Wisdom saving throw. On a failure they are frightened of you for 1 minute. Creatures frightened this way reattempt the Wisdom save at the end of their turn, ending the effect on a success. If a creature succeeds on either saving throw they become immune to your fearful surge for 24 hours. (Path: Rust)

Heel Cut

When you hit a creature that is large or smaller with a melee weapon attack, you may spend 1 focus point to force them to make a Strength saving throw. On a failure the creature is knocked prone. (Paths: Ghost)

Iaijutsu

If you are surprised on your turn, you may spend 2 focus points to no longer be surprised and take your turn normally. (Path: Yamato)

Majestic

On your turn, you may spend 2 focus points as a bonus action to have all attacks made against you be made with disadvantage until the start of your next turn. (Paths: Tadakatsu, Tomoe)

Reposition

When a creature makes a melee attack against you and misses, you may spend 2 focus points to move immediately up to 20 feet without provoking opportunity attacks. (Path: Musashi)

Rise Up, Soar Far

You can spend 1 focus point to be able to make high jumps and long jumps on that turn without having to move beforehand. You gain an additional 10 feet of movement that can only be used for these jumps (Path: Tomoe)

Scatter Petals

After you take an attack on your turn and use your bonus action to make an additional attack with an off-hand weapon, you may expend 1 focus point each time you make another weapon attack with your primary weapon to take an additional off-hand attack. (Path: Musashi)

Scorpion Mark

When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may spend 2 focus points to mark them as your primary target, analyzing their movements and gaining a supernatural awareness of their intentions. For up to 1 hour you cannot be surprised by the creature, they cannot gain advantage on any attack against you, and you have advantage on all Wisdom (Perception) or Wisdom (Survival) checks you make to track or follow them. If you hit them with a weapon attack during this time you deal an additional 1d8 damage. You must concentrate on this effect as if it were a spell. (Paths: Ghost)

Severance

When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may spend 2 focus points to force them to roll a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the target is dealt a wound that causes them to suffer disadvantage on all of their attack rolls for the rest of the encounter. At the end of each of their turns they repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on a success. (Path: Ghost)

Thunder Joust

When you move 10 or more feet toward a creature in a straight line you can spend 1 focus point to gain advantage on the attack roll. If you hit, and the target is no more than one size category larger than you, the target must make a Strength saving throw. On a failure the creature is knocked prone. (Path: Tadakatsu)

Wind Chain

When you make a melee weapon attack, you may spend 1 focus point to extend the range of the attack to 30 feet. All weapon attacks with the same weapon may benefit from this effect until the end of your turn. These attacks are treated as melee attacks. (Paths: Tomoe, Yamato)

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Sword Saint Copyright 2020 Logan Laidlaw.