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Diffan
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USA
4217 Posts

Posted - 23 Mar 2021 :  14:49:55  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So I've been on a sort of "Elf" kick lately, making homebrewed options in 3.5 for the Bladesong Champion and re-working the Bladesinger prestige class from Races of Faerûn, paying respects to older supplements like the Complete Book of Elves. But I think 3.5 has those elements covered fairly well. With additional supplements from Mongoose Publishing like The Quintessential Elf and BadAxe Games's Heroes of High Favor: Elves they're set.

4E, on the other hand, doesn't really have any such Elf/Fey-specific supplements. Sure, Heroes of the Feywild help in some ways but these are ALL creatures and concepts found there, not exaclty Elven-Exclusive. Not only that, but nothing 4E has currently does a decent job of recreating some of these more elven-ideal concepts. We have the Bladesinger class Neverwinter Campaign Setting and the Eldritch Knight from Dragon Magazine. A few feats here and there and some paragon paths. Well enough, I guess, but I feel things were missing.

So, I took it upon myself to do some homebrewing of concepts and styles drawn from older supplements. Here they are:

BLADESONG WARRIOR (‘querimhinue’) THEME
The bladesong is a legendary style taught only to elite elven warriors. None may learn it who cannot trance their lineage to the fey or who is suspected of disloyalty to the elven people. The style relies on speed and agility, with a special emphasis on slashing attacks dealt with dizzying accuracy. The style receives its name because of the particular sound the warrior makes when whirling the sword in wide arcs, and because of his disquieting tendency to sing to the rhythm of his thrusts and parries.

Ordinary practitioners of the bladesong style do not receive the name of ‘bladesinger’, as this title is reserved for the arcane practitioners who combine steel and magic to deadly effect. Bladesong Warriors are elite shock troops or body guards for elven nobility, but also function as wandering trouble-shooters. While not bound by the arcane practitioner’s oath to defend elven ideals, they nonetheless feel obliged to champion their kin no matter where or when.

Prerequisite: Must be an eladrin, elf, or half-elf and must be proficient with heavy blades or light blades.

Bladesong Warrior (1st level): You gain the Bladesong Focus power.
Bladesong Warrior (5th level): You gain a +2 power bonus to Acrobatics and Bluff checks.
Bladesong Warrior (10th level): Once per encounter, when you use bladesong focus, you can choose a second benefit at the s tart of one of your turns. Both benefits last until the start of your next turn.

STARTING FEATURE
Initiates of the bladesong learn early how to emphasize beauty and economy of movement over sheer destructive power. This dedication to training takes decades to master, creating a uniquely elven fighting style. Unlike the martial arts of other races, the elven fighting style, also known as bladesong, is deceptively dangers, for all its seeming gentleness and apparent grace. This is named so for several reasons. The first and most obvious is because of the whistling of the blade as it slices through the air when this style of fighting is used. The second is for the haunting, wordless tune many of its practitioners sing as they fight.

Those who practice the bladesong appear as if they are dancing when they fight. Their movements seem misleadingly slow and elegant, deflecting opponents’ blades while lazily drifting back to score hits themselves. The technique requires, above all, misdirection and subtlety. The bladesong warriors do not believe in smashing blows or strong and crushing offense, but rather in guiding their opponents to anticipate a different attack entirely, thus overbalancing the foe and making him seem clumsy.
Benefit: You gain the bladesong focus power.

Bladesong Focus; Bladesong Warrior
Your training allows you to tap into the martial prowess of elves called bladesong.
At-Will * Martial, Stance
Minor Action * Personal

Effect: You enter the bladesong focus stance. Until the stance ends, at the start of each of your turns, you can choose one of the following benefts. The benefits last until the start of your next turn.
Offense: You gain a +1 power bonus to melee basic attack rolls.
Defense: Whenever you hit an enemy with a melee basic attack, you gain a +1 power bonus to all defenses until the start of your next turn.
Tactics: After you hit an enemy with a melee basic attack, you can shift 1 square as a free action.

(Creators Note:) I admit, this is 100% the same power as the Purple Dragon Knight's theme power Disciplined Focus. But I feel this is 1) balanced well and 2) perfectly captures that old 2E Bladesong Fighting Style where you could put slots into it for a bonus to AC or Attack.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES
Level 5 Feature

Bladesong Warriors hone t heir skills at deceptive tactics and misdirection, focusing an intricate balance that exits between the bladesong's beauty and deadly effect. This requires both exceptional balance, grace, and elegance.
Benefit: You gain a +2 power bonus to your Acrobatics and Bluff skills.

Level 10 Feature
As a master bladesong warrior, you can seemingly blend the benefits of your bladesong focus. Your exceptional prowess rival those that other can only must once in a while. The final test Bladesong Warriors must endure is a quest to help the elven community.
Benefit: Once per encounter, when you use bladesong focus, you can choose a second benefit at the start of one of your turns. Both benefits last until the start of your next turn.

OPTIONAL POWERS
Bladesong Warriors often travel in solitude, preferring to keep the secrets of their Art from the eyes of those who are not of the People or ‘N-tel-Quess’. Because of their reluctance to travel with adventuring parties, they often rely on their own wits and abilities to keep them alive in the wild. Also, their training is never truly complete, and they continue to strive to perfect their style to their full capability.

Level 2 Utilty Power
As a Bladesong Warrior, you're constantly using your wits to keep enemies at bay. This provides you with a seemingly uncanny ability to defend yourself with guile, anticipating your opponent's next attack.

Singing Blade; Bladesong Warrior Utility 2
You trace arcs with your blade as you spin and move in intricate steps, singing as you enter the bladesong dance.
Encounter * Martial
Immediate Interrupt * Close Burst
5
Trigger: An enemy within the burst make an attack against you.
Effect: You gain a +2 power bonus to your defenses until the start of your next turn.
- Bladesong: If you are wielding a weapon in your primary hand and your off-hand is free, the bonus equals 1 + your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier.

Level 6 Utility Power
As a practitioner of the bladesong, you’ve learned to sing to the rhythm of your fighting, not fight to the rhythm of your singing. This gives you a significant advantage against your foes who hear the words of your song.

Discordant Note; Bladesong Warrior Utility 6
Your constant humming can lull an enemy into complacency, leading them to expect a thrust when singing a certain note.
Encounter * Martial
Minor Action * Ranged
5
Target: One creature
Effect You make a Bluff check opposed by the target's passive insight check. If the check succeeds, you gain combat advantage against the target until the start of your next turn.
- Bladesong: If you are wielding a weapon in your primary hand and your off-hand is free, gain a power bonus to your Bluff check equal to your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier.

Level 10 Utility Power
The rhythm of the bladesong warrior's blade as it flashes around is a dizzying spectacle that, once it strike's enemies find it hard to avoid again.

Sustained Tempo; Bladesong Warrior Utility 10
You dance in a way that the sword appears to move in a dazzling display, seemingly able to hit your opponents in vital areas.
Daily * Martial
No Action * Personal
Requirement:
The power Bladesong Focus must be active in order to use this power.
Effect: Until the end of your next turn, any melee basic attack you make can score a critical hit on a roll of 19-20.
- Sustain Minor: The effect persists until the end of your next turn.




Next, I'll have the Bladesong Style features for the Fighter class.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 25 Mar 2021 15:30:07

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4217 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2021 :  14:45:33  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FIGHTER OPTONS

BLADESONG STYLE
This class feature replaces the Fighter Weapon Talent class feature.
Prerequisite: You must be an eladrin, elf, or half-elf to take these features.

Bladesong Style: While you wield a weapon in your primary hand and your off-hand is free, you gain a +1 bonus to AC and a +2 bonus to Reflex.
When wearing light armor or chainmail, you gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls with melee and close-weapon attacks when you are wielding a weapon in your primary hand and your off-hand is free. This bonus increases to +2 with heavy blade and light blade weapons.

STEEL RHYTHM
This class feature replaces the Combat Superiority class feature.
Steel Rhythm: You gain the following power.

Steel Rhythm; Fighter Utility
Your movements synchronize perfectly with your enemy's attacks, absorbing some of an enemy's stike as part of the Song.
At-Will * Martial
Opportunity Action * Close Burst 5
Trigger: An enemy you can see within the burst successfully hits an adjacent ally.
Effect: After the triggering enemy hits, you may reduce the damage done by an amount equal to 1 + your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier.
- Level 21: Reduce the damage done by 5 + your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier.

(*Designer's Note:) So both of these are options any Eladrin, Elf, or Half-elf Fighter can take, but they're not a package deal. If an eladrin Fighter likes the Bladesong Style feature, they can take that and keep Combat Superiority or take Combat Agility instead. Or if an Elf Fighter wants to keep his One-handed Weapon Fighter talent, he can also take Steel Rhythm.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4217 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2021 :  15:23:38  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WEAPON STYLES

BLADESONG STYLE
Longsword, rapier, or shorts word; must be eladrin, elf, or half-elf

Named so because of the particular sound the warrior makes when whirling the sword in wide arcs, and because of his disquieting tendency to sing to the rhythm of his thrusts and parries. Not to be confused with bladesingers, practitioners of the magical arts, these warriors blend their harmonious singing with a deadly dance of steel.

BLADESONG INITIATE [LESSER STYLE]
Prerequisite:
Eladrin, elf, or half-elf; Fighter, Rogue, or Warlord; proficiency with longsword, rapier, or short sword.
Benefit: You gain a +2 feat bonus to Acrobatics checks.
Benefit: When you are attacking with a longsword, a rapier, or a short sword in your primary hand and you have proficiency with that weapon, and your off-hand is free, you also gain the following benefits.
When you use a power associated with this feat to attack an enemy granting combat advantage to you, you gain a +1 bonus to AC and Reflex until the start of your next turn.
Associated At-Will Powers: inevitable wave (warlord, PH:Heroes), preparatory strike (rogue, MP2) sure strike (fighter, PH)

BLADESONG CAPTAIN [GREATER STYLE]
Prerequisite:
Fighter, Bladesong Initiate feat
Benefit: When You are attacking with a longsword, a rapier, or a short sword in your primary hand and you have proficiency with that weapon, and your off-hand is free, you also gain the following benefits.
Whenever you use an exploit that allows an ally to make a melee basic attack, they can score a critical hit on a roll of 19-20.

You can use a power associated with this feat in place of a melee basic attack when making an opportunity attack.

Level   Associated Encounter Power    Source
3rd     Devestating Offensive         Dragon #382, pg 32
7th     On My Mark                    MP2, pg 88
13th    Beat Them into the Ground     PH, pg 149
17th    Forced Respect                MP2, pg 92
23rd    Shutdown Smite                MP, pg. 115
27th    Warlord's Doom                PH, pg. 152



BLADESONG DUELIST [GREATER STYLE]
Prerequisite:
Fighter, Bladesong Initiate feat
Benefit: When you are attacking with a longsword, a rapier, or a short sword in your primary hand and you have proficiency with that weapon, and your off-hand is free, you also gain the following benefits.
When you score a critical hit against an enemy, that enemy takes additional damage equal to your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier.

When you hit an enemy with a power associated with this feat, that enemy grants combat advantage to you until the end of your next turn.

Level   Associated Encounter Power   Source
3rd     Maneuvering Strike           MP2, pg 61
7th     Double Fall                  MP2, pg 62
13th    Fool's Opportunity           PH, pg 122
17th    Tumbling Strike              Dragon #381, pg. 80
23rd    Killer's Retreat             MP2, pg. 69
27th    Safe Bet                     MP, pg. 86


BLADESONG WARRIOR [GREATER STYLE]
Prerequisite:
Fighter, Bladesong Initiate feat
Benefit: When you are attacking with a longsword, a rapier, or a short sword in your primary hand and you have proficiency with that weapon, and your off-hand is free, you also gain the following benefit.

When attacking with a power associated with this feat, you can score a critical hit on a roll of 19-20.

Level   Associated Encounter Power   Source
3rd     Hesitation Slash             Dragon #366, pg. 14
7th     Griffon's Wrath              PH, pg 80
13th    Storm of Blows               PH, pg 82
17th    Driving Flurry               MP, pg 17
23rd    Fang's of Steel              PH, pg 84
27th    Cruel Reaper                 PH, pg. 85



(*Designer's Note) In my last part here, these were originally the only thing I was going to add because they're pretty inclusive of quite a few classes (and even ore so with Hybrid Classes) and also fits the aesthetic of a Fighting Style from editions past.

So what do all of these features mean? What I attempted to do with give a wide variety of flavor and options for characters who want to either dabble in the style while retaining as much of their other features as possible, while also allowing someone to go FULL-BORE into the aesthetic of Bladesong reminiscent of years past.

This means that a player could take an Elf Warlord|Fighter hybrid character, and blend in that harmonious style by selecting the Weapon Style feats and maybe the Theme. Another player might just choose the theme for their Elven Rogue while another might make an Eladrin with the Bladeong Warrior theme, blend it with the Bladesinger class, take the Multiclass Fighter feats to take the Bladesong style Weapon Talent. There's really a TON of options here to go with and mix up.

I hope people enjoy it, even if you're not a fan of 4th Edition, maybe it'll inspire something to add to your own games. As always, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 24 Mar 2021 15:24:20
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Zeromaru X
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Colombia
2104 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  03:07:28  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for sharing. I do agree that 4e lacked a few racial themes and will be a good addition to my campaing.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 25 Mar 2021 03:08:36
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4217 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  03:25:39  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Thanks for sharing. I do agree that 4e lacked a few racial themes and will be a good addition to my campaing.



Thank you sir, I appreciate that. I had worried that things weren't well balanced but I think these options are fairly well done.I

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2104 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  05:03:19  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I care not too much about balance in my 4e games. IMO, 4e is balanced enough from its "core" that you really have to go over the top to create an imbalanced homebrewed stuff.

I find the theme in line with stuff like the themes from the NCS. I have to check the feats, but I guess is ok as well.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4217 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  15:31:32  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quick revision:

Discordant Note was originally a power with Personal as it's origin. That's been changed to Ranged 5. Thus, a Bladesong Warrior that activates Discordant Note can choose one creature within 25-ft. of him to be Bluffed.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4217 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  15:40:43  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

I care not too much about balance in my 4e games. IMO, 4e is balanced enough from its "core" that you really have to go over the top to create an imbalanced homebrewed stuff.

I find the theme in line with stuff like the themes from the NCS. I have to check the feats, but I guess is ok as well.



Agreed. The system is largely balanced, with corner cases taking it up/down a rung or two. I tend to look at relative elements of similar concepts and adapt the flavor accordingly. The Bladesong Warrior theme is largely the Purple Dragon Knight theme from Dragon #407 and sprinkled with some Roguish-like escapes and evades.

When designing the Steel Rhythm power, I'll admit I stole a page from 5th Edition's Fighting Style called Interception. This is a Reaction ability that lets you soak damage from an adjacent ally (or yourself) for 1d10 + your proficiency bonus. Since 4E has something like this for Swordmages, I didn't want to step on their toes TOO much. Hence that it only affects an adjacent ally (vs. the Swordmage's ageis distance) and only does a fraction of the amount.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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