Desert Warblade

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Desert Warblade Substitution Levels

"Their arrows came out of nowhere, swift as a desert storm. My men fell one by one to the deadly hail, and I had no recourse but to run. I caught only glimpses of them as I fled, but those glimpses now haunt me in my dreams. They were merciless and deadly, their stone cold expressions never wavering as they released arrow after arrow. Were I never to meet another one in this lifetime, it would be too soon." - Phinerous Rayan, former bandit leader.

Though warblades typically rely on their melee prowess to defeat foes, the desert elves have mastered a different style of martial combat, merging their extensive knowledge of archery along with their mastery of the sublime way. Such "warbows," as they're often called colloquially, are deadly fighters who single-mindedly guard their clans within the desert wastes. Over time, other races of the desert have learned these arts from the elves, through few outside the wastes have mastered these techniques.

Hit Die: d10. Desert warblades are less resilient than their melee-focused peers, preferring instead to keep their distance from foes and fire arrows from afar.


To take a desert warblade substitution level, a character must be of a desert race (new races presented in Sandstorm also qualify) about to take her 1st, 5th, or 7th level of warblade.

Class Skills

Desert warblade substitution levels grant the same class skills as the standard warblade class, minus Craft and Swim, plus Handle Animal, Knowledge (Nature), Ride, Spot, and Survival.

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier (or four times this number as a beginning character). Warriors need a variety of skills to survive the harshness of the wastes.

Class Features


Desert Warblade Substitution Levels
LevelBABFortRefWillSpecialManeuvers KnownManeuvers ReadiedStances Known
1st+1+2+0+0Battle Clarity (Reflex saves), Weapon Aptitude, Adept of the Bow331
5th+5+4+1+1Bonus Feat642
7th+7/+2+5+2+2Close Combat Shot742

All the following are features of the desert warblade's racial substitution levels:

Weapon Proficiencies: A warblade that takes the 1st level desert warblade substitution level gains martial weapon proficiencies with all ranged martial weapons. In exchange, she does not gain the normal warblade proficiencies with two-handed melee martial weapons.

Maneuvers: A warblade that takes the 1st level desert warblade substitution level loses access to Stone Dragon as a warblade discipline forever (she may still learn Stone Dragon maneuvers via multiclassing or through the Martial Study/Martial Stance feats). In exchange, she gains the ability to select maneuvers from the Desert Wind discipline.

Adept of the Bow (Ex): A warblade who takes the 1st level desert warblade substitution level undergoes extensive training with ranged weapons, gaining the ability to use certain martial maneuvers with a bow instead of melee weapons (see below for which maneuvers are affected and how this works). In addition, she now recovers warblade maneuvers with a swift action followed by a ranged attack with a bow, rather than a melee attack.

Bonus Feat: A warblade taking the 5th level desert warblade substitution level gains access to additional bonus feat choices outside of the standard warblade list. A warblade that has taken this substitution level chooses from the expanded list at 9th, 13th, and 17th levels as well.

Extra Bonus Feat List: Alertness, Animal Affinity, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Greatbow or Composite Greatbow) [CWar], Far Shot, Improved Mounted Archery [CWar], Mounted Archery, Ranged Disarm [CWar], Ranged Pin [CWar], Ranged Sunder [CWar], Self-Sufficient, Shot on the Run.

Close Combat Shot (Ex): A warblade taking the 7th level desert warblade substitution level learns to fire a bow carefully even in the rigors of melee combat. She no longer provokes attacks of opportunity for firing a bow. In addition, when wielding a bow, the warblade threatens every square within her natural reach, and may fire her bow at enemies that provoke attacks of opportunity from her within that area. This ability replaces the standard warblade's Battle Cunning (damage) class feature.

Ranged Maneuvers List

Through her Adept of the Bow class feature, a desert warblade gains the ability to use martial maneuvers with ranged weapons. Here is a list of all maneuvers and stances from the Desert Wind, Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, and Tiger Claw disciplines that can be used when the desert warblade is wielding a bow.

Some of these maneuvers are changed to accommodate a ranged adept. A warblade with Adept of the Bow may not use these maneuvers with melee weapons. A maneuver marked as "standard replacement" simply needs to replace all instances of "melee" with "ranged." If such a maneuver has "Range: Melee attack," change the range to "Range: Maximum weapon range." Other maneuvers require more changes than standard replacement to work with ranged attacks, while some require no changes at all (maneuvers that received no changes may still be used with melee weapons as normal). A maneuver within these disciplines not listed here cannot be used while wielding a bow.

Desert Wind

1st Level
Blistering Flourish: No changes.
Burning Blade: Standard replacement.
Flame's Blessing: No changes.
Wind Stride: No changes.
2nd Level
Fire Riposte: No changes.
Flashing Sun: Standard replacement.
Hatchling's Flame: No changes.
3rd Level
Death Mark: Standard replacement.
Fan the Flames: No changes.
Holocaust Cloak: No changes.
Zephyr Dance: No changes.
4th Level
Firesnake: No changes.
Searing Blade: Standard replacement.
5th Level
Dragon's Flame: No changes.
Leaping Flame: No changes.
Lingering Inferno: Standard replacement.
6th Level
Fiery Assault: Standard replacement.
Ring of Fire: No changes.
7th Level
Inferno Blade: Standard replacement.
8th Level
Rising Phoenix: No changes.
Wyrm's Flame: No changes.
9th Level
Inferno Blast: No changes.

Diamond Mind

1st Level
Moment of Perfect Mind - No changes.
Sapphire Nightmare Blade - Standard replacement.
Stance of Clarity - No changes.
2nd Level
Action Before Thought - No changes.
Emerald Razor - Standard replacement.
3rd Level
Insightful Strike - Standard replacement.
Mind Over Body - No changes.
Pearl of Black Doubt - No changes.
4th Level
Mind Strike - Standard replacement.
Ruby Nightmare Blade - Standard replacement.
5th Level
Disrupting Blow - Standard replacement.
Hearing the Air - No changes.
Rapid Counter - Standard replacement.
6th Level
Insightful Strike, Greater - Standard replacment.
Moment of Alacrity - No changes.
7th Level
Avalanche of Blades - Standard replacement.
Quicksilver Motion - No changes.
8th Level
Diamond Defense - No changes.
Diamond Nightmare Blade - Standard replacement.
Stance of Alacrity - No changes.
9th Level
Time Stands Still - No changes.

Iron Heart

1st Level
Punishing Stance - Standard replacement.
Steel Wind - Special changes.
Steel Wind
Iron Heart (Strike)
Level: Desert Warblade 1
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Maximum weapon range
Target: Two creatures
Through a combination of sheer accuracy and unmatched talent, you fire two arrows at once, aiming at multiple opponents. As you initiate this strike, you make two ranged attacks, each against a different foe within range. Resolve each attack separately.
Steely Strike - Standard replacement.
2nd Level
Disarming Strike - Standard replacement.
Wall of Blades - Special changes.
Wall of Blades
Iron Heart (Counter)
Level: Desert Warblade 2
Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Your weapon mastery transforms your arrow into an extension of your body, allowing you to fire it with the accuracy and timing needed to make a precise block. When an enemy makes a ranged or ranged touch attack against you, you can initiate this counter to oppose that attack by making an attack roll with a bow. Use the higher of your AC (or touch AC for ranged touch) or your attack roll as your effective AC against the incoming attack. You can't use this maneuver if you are denied your Dexterity bonus to AC against your attacker. You can decide to use this ability after you learn the result of your opponent's attack.
3rd Level
Absolute Steel - No changes.
Exorcism of Steel - Standard replacement.
Iron Heart Surge - No changes.
4th Level
Lightning Recovery - Standard replacement.
Mithral Tornado - Special changes.
Mithral Tornado
Iron Heart (Strike)
Level: Desert Warblade 4
Prerequisites: Two Iron Heart maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Half a range increment
Target: All opponents within half a range increment
When you initiate this strike, you make a ranged attack against every opponent within half a range increment. Resolve each attack separately. You gain a +2 bonus on each of these attacks, which are otherwise made at your highest attack bonus.
5th Level
Dazing Strike - Standard replacement.
Iron Heart Focus - No changes.
6th Level
Iron Heart Endurance - No changes.
7th Level
Finishing Move - Standard replacement.
Scything Blade - Standard replacement.
8th Level
Adamantine Hurricane - Special changes.
Adamantine Hurricane
Iron Heart (Strike)
Level: Desert Warblade 8
Prerequisite: Three Iron Heart maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Half a range increment
Targets: All opponents within half a range increment
You fire your bow in a circle around you, striking out at nearby enemies. You fire with the speed and ferocity of a lightning bolt, forcing your enemies on their reflexes for protection rather than their armor and shields.
You make two ranged attacks against each opponent within half a range increment of you when you initiate this maneuver. You receive a +4 bonus on each of these attacks, which are otherwise made with your highest attack bonus.
Supreme Blade Parry - No changes.
9th Level
Strike of Perfect Clarity - Standard replacement.

Tiger Claw

1st Level
Blood in the Water - No changes.
Hunter's Sense - No changes.
Sudden Leap - No changes.
3rd Level
Flesh Ripper - Standard replacement.
Leaping Dragon Stance - No changes.
5th Level
Dancing Mongoose - No changes.
7th Level
Hamstring Attack - Standard replacement.
Prey on the Weak - No changes.
8th Level
Raging Mongoose - No changes.

White Raven

1st Level
Bolstering Voice - No changes.
Douse the Flames - Standard replacement.
Leading the Attack - Standard replacement.
2nd Level
Tactical Strike - Standard replacement.
3rd Level
Lion's Roar - No changes.
Tactics of the Wolf - Special changes.
Tactics of the Wolf
White Raven (Stance)
Level: Desert Warblade 3
Prerequisite: One White Raven maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: 60 ft
Target: You
Duration: Stance
This stance allows you and your allies to gain additional benefits against a flanked opponent. Under your direction, your allies coordinate their actions to a much greater degree than normal. Your advice and shouted orders make them an unstoppable team. Like a wolf pack, your allies fight together to devastating effect.
When allies within 60 ft flank a foe, they gain a bonus to damage rolls against that opponent equal to 1/2 your initiator level (if you flank the foe as well, you also gain the bonus).[/spoiler]White Raven Tactics - No changes.
4th Level
Covering Strike - Standard replacement.
White Raven Strike - Standard replacement.
5th Level
Flanking Maneuver - Special changes.
Flanking Maneuver
White Raven (Strike)
Level: Desert Warblade 5
Prerequisites: Two White Raven maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Maximum weapon range
Target: One creature
When an enemy is flanked by your allies, all of you form a potent combination. Your attacks complement each other, leaving the flanked opponent in a tenuous position.
You can use this strike when any number of allies are flanking an opponent you designate. As part of this maneuver, you make a ranged attack against the flanked opponent. If your attack hits, any ally flanking your foe can immediately make an attack against that creature. These extra attacks are not attacks of opportunity.
Your allies must be able to see you to gain the benefit. The coordination needed between you and your companions demands that you watch each other's attacks, though you do not need to hear each other.
Press the Advantage - No changes.
6th Level
Order Forged from Chaos - No changes.
7th Level
Clarion Call - Special changes.
Clarion Call
White Raven (Boost)
Level: Desert Warblade 7
Prerequisite: Three White Raven maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: 60 ft.
Area: 60-ft.-radius burst centered on you
You are an inspiring figure on the battlefield. Your personal victories are shared by your allies, allowing them to draw courage and vigor from your actions.
If during your turn a ranged attack you make reduces an opponent to fewer than 0 hit points, you can initiate this maneuver. Once it is initiated, all allies within range can immediately either make one attack at their highest attack bonus or take a single move action. These allies must be able to see and hear you. These extra attacks are not attacks of opportunity.
Swarming Assault - Standard replacement.
8th Level
Swarm Tactics - No changes.
White Raven Hammer - Standard replacement.
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