This Handbook is a work in progress: Last Update Oct 2, 2007
The Swiftblade HandbookIndexAbout the Swiftblade Prestige Class
Prestige Class Features
Skills / Skill Tricks
Reports from the Field
The Swiftblade Prestige Class can be found on the Wizards of the Coast Website.Important links from other threads:Character Build Spotlight: GishOptimizing a SwiftbladeSwiftbladeThe Swiftblade PrCNew Free Prc on the WOTC site, the SwiftbladeSwiftbladeSwiftblade!Swiftblade (Reborn)Tuning a SwiftbladeCritique My SwiftbladeHelp with AbjChamp/Swifblade build - ArcherKobold/Swiftblade TweaksGestalt Swiftblade BuildSpecial Thanks To:
Authors Kolja Liquette and Brian MoranPicture
Dictum Mortuum for the template
Speaking from an intent perspective (which I know counts for very little in the optimized forums) the idea is for the swiftblade candidate to use all spell slots (of the level in which haste is gained) to cast haste. The Dungeonscape book did not exist when Brian and I originally created the swiftblade, leaving us completely unaware of the trapsmith prestige class when it was finally released. If we had been aware, the special prerequisite would have read...Special: Must have spent the entire previous level using all spell slots of the level in which haste is gained to exclusively cast haste.
I just played in a level 26 game and con was *quite* important. Before enhancement bonuses to hp my hp was around 250. After my epic buff that gave 26 enhancement to con my hp jumped to around 550. My build was Barbarian 1 (lion totem)/ Wiz 2/ elf paragon 3/ spellsword 1/ Swiftblade 10/ Abjurant champion 2/ exotic weapon master 1/ swiftblade +6. The first round I charged and attempted to pounce and was promptly shut down my AoOs. After miss chance I had taken about 300 points of damage (just from AoOs with no PA). My immunities were more important than my dismal saves. Con is important at every level.
Alright, I started playing in a campaign today (starting at level 1) with my Skitter build. My predictions were accurate. It's awful at 1st level when it comes to combat. I had some amazing stats (especially after the venerable bonuses: Str 8, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 18, Wis 16, Cha 20) and plenty of skill ranks to play around with. This was great for searching and getting around the battlefield, but as far as dealing damage I accomplished very little. The Kobold's natural attacks are nice, but with the strength penalty canceling out the size bonus I can't expect to hit often. And when I do, it's for a tiny amount of damage.
Things will start to turn around next level when I take sorcerer.
A couple observations:Expeditious Dodge isn't that great right now. It'll be wonderful when I start casting Haste, but I'm rarely getting any benefit at low levels.Dragonwrought is fantastic. The final encounter of the adventure involved an orc wererat. Three or four of us got hit by the thing, myself included. As a Dragon, though, I'm immune to lycanthropy! It's one of those things you don't think about when taking the feat but your realize in the course of play.It's not hard to convince your party to fund the 100g cost of Draconic Rite of Passage. Just tell them they'll never have to pay for Identify again and they'll practically fall over themselves handing you the gold.
Chr: 6W/6SwScenario: We invaded the Frost Giants in their lair.Buffs: Haste, greater invisibility, False life, Familiar Pocket, greater mage armor
What happened: Our party is completely outnumbered and our tanks are fighting down one tunnel while the Warlock and myself decide to take on the 8 frosties coming at us through the tunnels.
With greater invisibility and haste on board, I was able to intercept them and cast Sudden Maximize Fireball, duck dive and tumble out of the way as they try to catch me. Invisible and blurred alacrity allowed me to negate the hits (miss chance 50% + not sure where to attack in the square) and prevent the giants from engaging the warlock. Warlock kept on blasting and I even threw another empowered fireball into the lot. End result, neither the warlock and myself took any damage and and we absolutely had the giants confused, and killed in three rounds. Note 1: the fight was in a tunnel with a larger common area where the giants congregated. Note 2: This is regularly very common in the battles that we have. Combined with greater invisibility or mirror image, Blurred Alacrity and the other Swiftblade abilites really make the difference when avoiding attacks, and AOO, and targeted spells. (Evasive Celerity). Over the course of the last 4 gaming sessions, I have only taken a total of 60 damage. 19 of that was from the Warlock who decided center the fireball on me. (Reflex Save of 14 negated half of the damage from 38)
I am very happy that this character is combining elements of arcane spellcasting and melee to really contribute to varied roles in the party. On another note, I believe that a sorcerer based Swiftblade would have many more spells in which to channel his spells into arcane strike. As it is, being a wizard base class, I find that I run out spells very quickly. Also, I chose not to go the power attack route and be more of a primary spellcaster. I have tried to max out my intelligence (DC's are hard for the monsters to make), pump up the constitution (85 hps - 12th level), and focus on raising dexterity for defense, initiative (+20 currently), and reflex saves (dam those warlock fireballs). This character excels in the field both from a design and playtest experience.
The current party consists of:
Cleric of Pelor
Hammer of Moradin
Our DM is very very good and extremely proficient of the rules and tactical abilities of NPC/monsters to give us comparable challenges. All of the characters are optimized to to some degree. Especially the Cleric, Dwarf, Warlock, and the Swiftblade.
For those that have arcane strike and power attack (this means everyone):
Hydras make silly good attack forms.
All the heads are treated as one handed weapons (makes bite of the werebear do more damage)
Attack with all heads as a standard action (perpetual options much?)
Arcane strike applies to all natural weapons that round.
As a 12 headed hydra I can charge, PA, AS, and get 24 attacks on a charge for 24(1d4
Does it only advance Arcane casting? And would the abilities of the class work on the Swift Haste spell? Because if it's open to divine and the class abilities work with Swift Haste, Archivists can cast Swift Haste and persist it with DMM, which could be a lot of fun.
I'm not sure if Swift Haste is available to arcane casters, but if so, it's persistable very nicely via Anima Mage. If that works, then Wizard 5/Anima Mage 6/Swiftblade 9 could be a lot of fun.
My personal favorite build for a Swiftblade that goes all 10 is Stalwart Sorceror (Complete Mage) for entry, equipped with the absolutely fantastic Slippers of Battledancing (DMG2). The Slippers let you use Cha instead of Str for melee combat as long as you move at least 10' each round. Gee.. if only I had a bonus move action every round somehow..
The result is that you full-attack each round, applying your Cha bonus and skirmish damage to every strike. You use the Time Stop at the beginning of each fight to throw up all your favorite buffs; other than that, it's not totally necessary. I'm fond of TWF, but it's probably better to go Power Attack with a Greater Mighty Walloping two-handed weapon. Putting Greater Blink in your prebattle buffs, combined with all the Wraithstrike you can eat, means you're making flatfooted touch attacks and can pile on all the Power Attack you want.
I built a variant of this character in this thread, but that one isn't perfectly optimized even by the end of the thread due to personal preferences and plot requirements.
Special: Must have spent the entire previous level using all 3rd level spell slots to exclusively cast haste.
Hmm, I've been wondering about a way to get Knight of the Weave (CoV) to qualify for Swiftblade. Just need to get Haste on the spell list somehow, and you could have something like XYZ 5/KotW 5/Swiftblade 10 in its simplest incarnation.
Wasn't there some domain that grants the haste spell? Could a little Arcane Disciple action make this work?
i just have one question :
how can a 6th sorcerer qualify for swiftblade when
minimum lvl for sorcerer should be 7th as they got 3rd lvl spells at 6th.
Well, one could argue that the sorc used all of the 3rd lvl spell slots they had, which was 0. They fit all the other requirements.
About the original post, I have to wonder about your valuation on the stats. I tend to see a swiftblade as a Gish build, and a gish build is a melee build. Yes, you need Int so you can get more spells and cast your higher level spells, but I don't see how it's more important then strength. Most of the time you are going to be using your spells for buffs or channeling them into arcane strike. So having a huge Int isnt as useful.
Time domain (PGtF and SC)
The problem with that one is that you can only cast domain spells of each level once per day, whereas the weave knight has two 3rd level slots.
Beguilers also have haste on their spell list and are proficent with rapiers and short swords so a beguiler6 can also get into swiftblade.
The beguiler's 9th level spells are kinda meh so he wouldn't be losing too much by going 10 levels of swiftblade.
A beguiler10/swiftblade10 is perfectly acceptable
A beguiler8/swiftblade6/abjurantchampion5/dragonslayer1 gives you a decent triple threat build (trapfinding with a decent set of skill points and class skills, 16 BAB, 18 CL for 9th level spells). Throw in arcane disciple once or twice to add some different kinds of spells to your spell list for extra flexibility, for example with the healing domain you become a kinda-sorta quadruple threat.
trapsmith 1 gets you haste.
I thought the same thing too, but you need to be at least 5th to qualify for Trapsmith.
There was an interesting discussion in another thread of Factotum 5/Trapsmith 1/Swiftblade 9 as a versatile melee-capable skillmonkey - trapsmith casting isn't much to write home about, but Swiftblade's abilities are focused mainly away from casting, and you get bonus trapsmith spells based on Int, which is a factotum's primary stat anyway. This is particularly nice with the new online Font of Inspiration feat making it possible to stock up Inspiration points for a multiclassed factotum; Inspiration shortage was one of the major disadvantages to multiclassing a Factotum previously. Obviously, you take only 9 levels of Swiftblade because Trapsmith casting never gets slots high enough for Innervated Speed. If Perpetual Options stacks with Cunning Surge, this build becomes truly spectacular with another three levels of Factotum stacked on. Not sure what else to do with it, though.
I'm sorry to ask such a dumb question, but where is the trapsmith class?