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A select group of sword saints are called to carry a rakshasa blade—a sentient weapon of often unknown and possibly unknowable purpose. These weapons become valuable tools and allies, as both the sword saint and weapon typically crave power, but as a rakshasa blade becomes more aware, its true motivations manifest, and as does its ability to influence its wielder with its ever-increasing ego.

The blade adept is an archetype of the sword saint class.

Sword Saint Talents

A blade adept gains access to the following talents:

Abomination’s Anathema (Ex): The blade adept’s rakshasa blade can ignore 1 point of a creature’s damage reduction for every sword saint level the blade adept possesses. So, at 15th-level, his rakshasa blade ignores 15 points of damage reduction. This ability does not apply to object hardness unless that object is also a creature such as a construct. Prerequisite: The blade adept must be at least 6th level to select this talent.

Bladebound Defense (Ex): While the blade adept hold the his rakshasa blade, the blade adept cannot be flanked. His rakshasa blade guides his defenses, which allows the blade adept to hold off opponents though they attack from both sides. Prerequisite: The blade adept must be at least 4th level to select this talent.

Born to the Rakshasa Blade (Su): The blade adept’s rakshasa blade is always ready for a battle, and he can sense its keening thirst as combat draws near. In addition, his deep connection to the weapon also allows the blade adept to enhance his swordskills with greater ability than normal; he gains a +2 bonus on initiative and a +1 bonus on the DC with his swordskills. Prerequisite: The blade adept must be at least 8th level to select this talent.

Rakshasa Blade Riposte (Su): The blade adept’s rakshasa blade slashes out of its own accord, striking opponents who menace him even while he cannot defend himself. If he provokes an attack of opportunity for any reason and he has his rakshasa blade in hand, anyone who attacks him immediately provokes an attack of opportunity in turn. Resolve his attack after his opponent resolves his own attack of opportunity. His rakshasa blade strikes with his full base attack bonus. It receives any enhancement bonuses it normally provides him, but it does not gain any other bonuses to its attack or damage, such as from his Strength score, spells, or feats. The rakshasa blade uses one of his attacks of opportunity for the round as normal. Prerequisite: The blade adept must be at least 6th level to select this talent.

Student of the Blade: A blade adept can choose from any of the following bonus feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Weapon Finesse or Weapon Focus (in the weapon he is bonded to). This talent can be taken multiple times. Each time it is taken, it applies to a different feat. Prerequisite: The blade adept must be at least 4th level to select this talent.

Vampiric Thirst (Su): The blade adept can expend 1 readied swordskill as a free action so that the damage dealt by his rakshasa bkade grants him temporary hit points equal to the damage he deals with his rakshasa blade. He can’t gain more than his sword saint level + his Constitution score. The temporary hit points disappear 1 hour later. These temporary hit points stack from Life Drinker. Prerequisite: The blade adept must be at least 8th level to select this talent.

Weapon Specialization: The blade adept gains Weapon Specialization with his chosen weapon as a bonus feat. The blade adept does not need to meet the prerequisites for this feat, but must have the Weapon Focus feat with his chosen weapon to select this talent. Prerequisite: The blade adept must be at least 6th level to select this talent.

These abilities modify sword saint talents.

Rakshasa Blade (Ex)

At 3rd level, the blade adept gains a powerful sentient weapon called a rakshasa blade, whose weapon is chosen by the sword saint (a weapon from the light blades or heavy blades weapon group). A sword saint with this class feature cannot have a familiar of any kind, even from another class.

This ability replaces warleader, improved warleader, and master warleader.

Rakshasa Blade Basics

A rakshasa blade is bonded to a particular blade adept, much like a familiar, but in more of a partnership than a master-servant relationship. A rakshasa blade is independently conscious but features some personality traits reflecting its wielder. A rakshasa blade always has the same alignment as its wielder and even changes its alignment if its wielder does. The blade typically works toward its wielder’s goals, but not always without argument or backlash. Each rakshasa blade has a mission, and while sometimes two or more rakshasa blades will work in concert, each mission is singular in purpose (the rakshasa blade’s mission is usually up to the GM and the needs of the campaign or the adventure, or a GM can determine the weapon’s purpose randomly using Table: Intelligent Item Purpose). Some rakshasa blades are very open about their missions, but most are secretive. Certain sages have speculated that an invisible hand or arcane purpose moves these weapons. The blade adept can’t enchant his rakshasa blade further, nor can he uses the Craft Magical Arms and Armor feat to add other properties (such as flaming) to the rakshasa blade.

 

Table: Rakshasa Blade Progression

Blade Adept
Class Level

Enhancement
Bonus

Int Wis/Cha Ego Special

3rd–4th

+1

11

7

5

Alertness, rakshasa blade strike, telepathy, unbreakable

5th–6th

+2

12

8

8

7th–8th

+2

13

9

10

Energy attunement

9th–10th

+3

14

10

12

Teleport blade

11th–12th

+3

15

11

14

13th–14th

+4

16

12

16

15th–16th

+4

17

13

18

17th–18th

+5

18

14

22

Spell defense

19th–20th

+5

19

15

24

Life drinker

 

  • Intelligence: This is the intelligence score of the rakshasa blade. It starts at 10 and increases by 1 for every two sword saint levels after 1st.
  • Wisdom and Charisma: As the blade adept increases in level, so do the Wisdom and Charisma of the rakshasa blade. These abilities start at 6 and increase by 1 for every two sword saint levels after 1st.
  • Ego: A rakshasa blade starts with an ego of 5, and that ego increases as the blade becomes more powerful, as per Table: Rakshasa Blade Progression below. In cases where a wielder and the rakshasa blade come into conflict, like any intelligent item, a rakshasa blade can attempt to exert its dominance (see Intelligent Items). Due to its flexible and powerful nature, a rakshasa blade has a nonstandard ego progression.
  • Languages and Skills: A rakshasa blade starts with Common as a language. As the rakshasa blade increases in Intelligence, it manifests knowledge of languages and arcane lore. Upon reaching an Intelligence of 12, it gains a bonus language of the GM’s choice, and gains 1 rank in Knowledge (arcana). Each time the sword gains a bonus to Intelligence, it gains another language and another rank in Knowledge (arcana).
  • Senses: A rakshasa blade is aware of everything around it like a creature that can see and hear. It can be blinded and deafened as if it were a creature. It uses the saving throws of its blade adept, even if the blade adept is not currently wielding the rakshasa blade.

Rakshasa Blade Ability Descriptions

A rakshasa blade has special abilities (or imparts abilities to its wielder) depending on the wielder’s sword saint level. The abilities are cumulative. A rakshasa blade normally refuses to use any of its abilities when wielded by anyone other than its blade adept, and acts as a masterwork weapon of its type.

  • Alertness (Ex): While a blade adept is wielding his rakshasa blade, he gains the Alertness
  • Rakshasa Blade Strike (Su): As a free action, the blade adept can expend a readied swordskill to grant the rakshasa blade a +1 bonus on damage rolls for 1 minute. For every four sword saint levels beyond 1st, this ability gives the rakshasa blade another +1 on damage rolls.
  • Telepathy (Su): While a blade adept is wielding or carrying his rakshasa blade, he can communicate telepathically with the blade in a language that the blade adept and the rakshasa blade share.
  • Unbreakable (Ex): A rakshasa weapon is unable to have the broken status or be destroyed as long as the blade adept is alive. If broken, the rakshasa blade is unconscious and powerless until repaired. If destroyed, the rakshasa blade can be reforged 1 week later through a special ritual that costs 200 gil per sword saint level. The ritual takes 24 hours to complete.
  • Energy Attunement (Su): At 7th level, as a free action, a blade adept can expend 1 readied swordskill to have it deal one of the following types of damage instead of weapon damage: earth, fire, ice, lightning, water, or wind. This effect lasts until the start of the blade adept’s next turn.
  • Teleport Blade (Su): As a standard action, a blade adept of 9th level or higher can expend 1 readied swordskill, and can call his rakshasa blade from as far as 1 mile away, causing it to instantaneously teleport to his hand.
  • Spell Defense (Su): A blade adept of 17th level or higher can expend 1 readied swordskill as a free action; he then gains SR equal to 8 + his rakshasa blade’s ego until the start of his next turn.
  • Life Drinker (Su): At 19th level, each time the blade adept kills a living creature with the rakshasa blade, he can pick one of the two effects: the blade adept readies a swordskill ot the blade adept gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the rakshasa blade’s ego (these temporary hit points last until spent or 1 minute, whichever is shorter). The creature killed must have a number of Hit Dice equal to half the sword saint’s level for this to occur. These temporary hit points stack from the vampiric thirst talent.