The Crimson Blade

A long time ago, the grand masters of the Crimson Blade ruled a faraway empire as tyrants. They were eventually overthrown after a terrible war, and it was thought that all of the students and masters of the school were killed. This was not so; a handful of masters survived, and kept alive the ancient lore of their school. Each master is extremely careful in whom they select as students: not only is raw talent necessary, but they must also display the qualities of absolute loyalty, discretion and ruthlessness that have allowed the school to survive thus far.

To the extent that the Crimson Blade school has a philosophy, it would be that the will to power is everything. A great man is one who refuses to be shackled by the limited vision of the sheep around him; he forges a path for himself, leaving others in his wake. Meekness and humility are crutches that only the weak rely on, and prevent the strong from realizing their full potential. If this means people hate a master, or fear him, so be it; it’s their problem, not his.

Some might call a master of the Crimson Blade evil, because of this philosophy. He doesn’t care. He who would devote himself to the Crimson Blade has better things to do than waste his life kowtowing to the sheep around him; sheep who don’t even realise the extent of their benighted existence. He knows that the teachings of the school promise great power to those who have the strength of purpose to embrace them and put them into practice, and to hell with those who would hold him back.

In combat, a master of the Crimson Blade appears to be a frenzied whirlwind of destruction who hurls himself at his enemies, with seeming disregard for self-preservation. Only the most experienced characters will notice a method to the madness; those who assume the master is simply a brute tend to find it’s the last mistake they’ll ever make. It is a technique that can be applied successfully only by those with towering strength of will and force of personality. These qualities, even more so than raw combat skill, are the signature of the school’s fighting style.

Crimson Blade Mastery

Prerequisites: Evil alignment, Dodge, Martial Finesse (sword), Mobility, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (sword), Acrobatics class ability, 10 ranks in Intimidate, 10 ranks in Jump, 10 ranks in Tumble. The Martial Finesse and Weapon Focus feats must be taken with the same weapon, chosen from the following: longsword, bastard sword, scimitar, rapier, two-bladed sword. Must be chosen by an existing Crimson Blade master; they find you, you don’t find them.

Training benefit: Once per day, you can enter a frenzy that is terrifying and yet breathtaking to behold. You gain +2 to Strength and +2 to Dexterity, your speed increases by 10 feet, and you can make an extra attack at your highest attack bonus with a full attack action while suffering a –2 penalty on each attack roll. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity you might make before your next turn. You must be using your sword on all attacks to gain this extra attack.

While in a frenzy, you cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can you cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. You can use any feat you have except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A frenzy lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier, but you may prematurely end it. At the end of the frenzy, you lose the frenzy modifiers and restrictions and become fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter. Entering a frenzy takes no time in itself, but you can only do it on your action, not in response to somebody else’s action.

Social benefit: None, since almost nobody knows that the Crimson Blade still exists.


Master of the Crimson Blade

Prerequisites

Base attack bonus: +7.

Other: Must have achieved mastery of the Crimson Blade style.

Class Statistics

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Cha), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points/Level: 4.

Level

Base
Attack Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save

Special

1

+1

+0

+2

+0

Frenzy 2/day, AC bonus

2

+2

+0

+3

+0

Dark blessing, evasion

3

+3

+1

+3

+1

Acrobatics (+5), aura of fear

4

+4

+1

+4

+1

Wall of blades +2

5

+5

+1

+4

+1

Frenzy 3/day

6

+6

+2

+5

+2

Acrobatics (+10), Missile Evasion

7

+7

+2

+5

+2

Wall of blades +4

8

+8

+2

+6

+2

Sword of fire, soul of ice

9

+9

+3

+6

+3

Acrobatics (+15)

10

+10

+3

+7

+3

Frenzy 4/day, greater frenzy, wall of blades +6

Special Abilities

Weapon and armor proficiency: The master of the Crimson Blade gains no weapon or armor proficiencies beyond what he already has.

AC bonus: The master of the Crimson Blade can stack his prestige class levels with his martial artist levels for the purpose of determining his level-based dodge bonus to AC.

Frenzy (Ex): As he gains levels in this prestige class, the master of the Crimson Blade learns to better harness his internal fury. He can use his frenzy ability twice per day instead of just once, starting from 1st level. At 5th level he can use it 3 times per day, and at 10th level, 4 times per day. He can fly into a frenzy only once per encounter.

Dark Blessing (Ex): At 2nd level, the master of the Crimson Blade can add his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus to his saving throws.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level, the master of the Crimson Blade gains evasion. If exposed to any effect that allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, he takes no damage on a successful save. Evasion can only be used if the master is wearing light or no armor.

Aura of Fear (Su): From 3rd level, the master of the Crimson Blade radiates a malign aura that can terrify his enemies and cause them to flee from the battlefield. The aura is activated when he enters a frenzy, and potentially affects all creatures within 15 feet who have less than 5 HD and have hostile intent towards him. Such creatures must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + the master of the Crimson Blade's class level + his Charisma modifier) or be frightened for 2d4 rounds.

A frightened creature suffers a –2 morale penalty on attack and damage rolls and saving throws, and flees from the master of the Crimson Blade as well as it can. If unable to flee, the creature may fight. Creatures that make their save are immune to his aura of fear for one day. This is a mind-affecting, compulsion, fear-based effect.

Acrobatics (Su): At 3rd level, the master of the Crimson Blade gains a +5 competence bonus to Balance, Jump and Tumble checks. This bonus increases to +10 at 6th level, and to +15 at 9th level.

Missile Evasion (Ex): At 6th level, the master of the Crimson Blade gains this as a bonus feat, if he does not have it already. He can only use this feat when using his sword.

Wall of Blades (Ex): At 4th level, the master of the Crimson Blade gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC when in a frenzy. This bonus increases to +4 at 7th level, and to +6 at 10th level. He gains this benefit only when using his sword.

Sword of Fire, Soul of Ice (Ex): At 8th level, when in a frenzy the master of the Crimson Blade gains spell resistance equal to 20 + his levels in this prestige class. Furthermore, if the master is using his sword, he can choose to turn any rays or targeted spells (but not touch spells) that fail to penetrate his spell resistance back on their original caster. If he chooses to do this, he is limited to a move or standard action on his next turn.

Greater Frenzy (Ex): At 10th level, the master of the Crimson Blade's Strength and Dexterity bonuses in a frenzy increase to +4, the penalty he suffers when making an extra attack is reduced to –1, and his speed increases by 20 feet during his frenzy.

Ex-Masters

A master of the Crimson Blade who violates the alignment prerequisites loses his aura of fear, but retains his other special abilities from this class. However, he can no longer gain levels in this class.


Related Material


Back to D&D page