Warriors rely on their sword arm to solve whatever conflict they may face, though there are some who have been gifted with a keen mind and propensity for greater learning. These knowledgeable warriors can often be found serving as councilors of war, tacticians, even a battle mages, in an attempt to nurture their malnourished intellectual capacities. However, even among these, there are those with a predisposition for what is seen as the forbidden arts–the powers of soothsaying, foretelling, and witchcraft. Viewed as pariahs among their peers, these witch blades give their life in service to fell powers in the service of a great witch and her coven. Witch blades offer their loyalty to a particular patron, sacrificing a portion of his martial training. In turn, they gain mystical powers that allow them to cast a small number of spells and enhance their prowess in battle. It is only a warrior with nothing to lose, or one with a powerful sense of self that seeks the path of a witch blade, for it brands them ever after as a pariah, an outcast of normal society. (Original Concept by Elghinn Lightbringer)

Primary Class: Fighter.

Secondary Class: Witch.

Hit Dice: d8.

Bonus Skills and Ranks: The witch blade may select three witch skills to add to his class skills in addition to the normal fighter class skills. The witch blade gains a number of ranks at each level equal to 2 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The witch blade is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light armor, medium armor, and with shields (except for tower shields).

Blade Bond (Sp): At 1st level, a witch blade forms a close bond with his weapon instead of a familiar. This bonded weapon is semi-sentient and functions like a witch’s familiar, serving as a vessel for the witch blade’s eldritch arcanum spells and a conduit for communication with his patron. Just as a witch must commune with his familiar to learn her spells, a witch blade must commune with his bonded weapon. The bonded weapon stores all of his eldritch arcanum spells that the witch blade knows and cannot cast any spell that is not stored within it. If a witch blade fails to commune with his bonded weapon, he may not cast any spells until he has done so. A witch blade starts with only his eldritch arcanum spells (see Eldritch Arcanum), and adds his patron spells at the indicated level, as shown on Table: Witch Blade. A witch blade cannot learn spells from another bonded weapon.

A bonded weapon has equivalent Intelligence score as familiar of a witch equal to the witch blade’s level, and starts with Common as its language. As its intelligence increases, it gains bonus languages as normal. The primary purpose of the weapon’s sentience is to allow communion between the witch blade and his weapon. The bonded weapon also has the Alertness, empathic link, store spells, deliver touch spells, speak with master, and the speak with animals of its kind special abilities, though this only applies to other sentient weapons. It does not have the natural armor adjustment, spell resistance, or the scry on familiar abilities.

If a bonded weapon is damaged, it is restored to full hit points the next time the witch blade prepares his spells. If the bonded weapon is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced after 1 week in a special ritual that costs 500 gp per witch blade level plus the cost of the masterwork item. This ritual takes 8 hours to complete. Weapons replaced in this way do not possess any of the additional enchantments of the previous bonded weapon. A witch blade can designate an existing magic weapon as his bonded weapon. This functions in the same way as replacing a lost or destroyed item except that the new magic weapon retains its abilities while gaining the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a bonded weapon. This ability and athame replace bonus feat gained at 1st level and weapon training.

Eldritch Arcanum (Sp): Beginning at 1st level, a witch blade can cast a small number of arcane spells as a spell-like ability. A witch blade’s selection of eldritch arcanum spells is limited to those from the witches spell list, and his patron spells. A witch blade casts arcane spells drawn from his eldritch arcanum spells, with a caster level equal to his witch blade level. To cast a spell, a witch blade must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The save DC against a witch blade’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the witch blade’s Intelligence modifier. A witch blade gains no bonus spells per day for a high Intelligence score.

At 1st level, a witch blade gains one spell slot with which to cast his 1st–level eldritch arcanum spells. Each day, a witch blade can cast one of the spells from his eldritch arcanum in that slot. At 5th level and every four levels thereafter, the witch blade gains one spell slot with which to cast each subsequent level of spells, up to his 5th-level arcanum at 17th level.

A witch blade’s selection of eldritch arcanum spells is extremely limited. At 1st level, a witch blade may select one 1st–level spell from the witch’s spell list as his 1st–level arcanum, and adds detect magic, read magic, and stabilize to his list of 1st–level arcanum. At 5th level, a witch blade may select one 2nd–level spell from the witch’s spell list as his 2nd–level arcanum. At 9th level, a witch blade may select one 3rd–level spell from the witch’s spell list as his 3rd level arcanum. At 13th level, a witch blade may select one 4th–level spell from the witch’s spell list as his 4th level arcanum. At 17th level, a witch blade may select one 5th–level spell from the witch’s spell list as his 5th level arcanum.

Upon reaching 5th level, and at every level he gains his next level of eldritch arcanum spells (9th, 13th, and 17th level), a witch blade can choose to learn a new witch spell in place of an eldritch arcanum spell already stored in his bonded weapon. In effect, the witch blade loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged. A witch blade may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new eldritch arcanum spells for the level.

In addition, a witch blade of 13th level or higher gains one additional spell slot of 1st to 3rd level, allowing him to cast two spells of those levels per day.
This ability replaces armor training and armor mastery.

Patron: At 1st level, a witch blade gains the witch’s patron ability and must select a patron, and adds his patron spells to his list of eldritch arcanum as shown on Table: Witch Blade.

Hex: At 2nd level, the witch blade gains the witch’s hex ability and can choose a hex at 2nd level and every four levels thereafter. At 10th level, whenever the witch blade could choose a hex, he can choose a major hex instead. This ability replaces bonus feats gained at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level.
Bonus Feats: This is exactly like the fighter ability of the same name, except that the witch blade gains a bonus feat at 3rd level and every four levels thereafter. In addition, a witch blade may select the Extra Hex feat, or a Metamagic or Item Creation feat that he qualifies for in place of a bonus feat.

Athame (Su): Starting at 4th level, the witch blade’s bonded weapon becomes imbued with eldritch energy through the power of his patron and is thereafter considered a +1 weapon (+1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls). For every four levels beyond 4th, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, up to +4 at 16th level. These bonuses can be added to the bonded weapon, stacking with existing weapon bonuses to a maximum of +5.These bonuses apply to only one end of a double weapon. The bonded weapon imparts no bonuses if the weapon is held by anyone other than the witch blade but resumes giving bonuses if returned to the witch blade. A witch blade cannot have more than one bonded weaponat a time.

A witch blade can add additional magic abilities to his bonded weapon as if he has the required Item Creation Feats and if he meets the level prerequisites of the feat. For example, a witch blade with a bonded longsword must be at least 5th level to add magic abilities to the longsword (see Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat). The magic properties of a bonded weapon, including any magic abilities added to the weapon, only function for the witch blade who owns it. If a bonded weapon’s owner dies, or the weapon is replaced, the weapon reverts to being an ordinary masterwork weapon of the appropriate type.

Athame Tactics (Su): Starting at 6th level, a witch blade can, as an immediate action, sacrifice the enhancement bonus from his bonded weapon to gain a tactical advantage. The witch blade can sacrifice 1 point of enhancement bonus to gain a +1 competence bonus to a single combat maneuver, gain a +1 deflection bonus to his Armor Class, or increase the save DC of a single hex until the end of his next turn by 1. The witch blade can sacrifice any portion of his enhancement bonus up to a maximum of +5. This ability replaces bravery.

Athame Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, the enhancement bonus of the witch blade’s bonded weapon increases to +5, and gains a +4 bonus to rolls to confirm a critical hit with that weapon. In addition, a witch blade can, as a standard action, make a single attack at his highest full attack bonus. If the attack hits, the target takes damage normally and must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the witch blade’s level + the witch blade’s Intelligence modifier). If the save fails, the target takes 2d6 points of temporary ability damage to his Strength and gains the fatigued condition. A successful Will save negates half this damage and the fatigue effect. Once a creature has been the target of athame mastery, regardless of whether or not the save is made, that creature is immune to that witch blade’s athame mastery for 24 hours. Creatures that are immune to ability damage or fatigue are also immune to this ability. This ability replaces weapon mastery.


Table: Witch Blade
Class
Base
Fort
Ref
Will

Level
Attack Bonus
Save
Save
Save
Special
1st
+0
+2
+0
+2
Blade bond, eldritch arcanum (1st), patron
2nd
+1
+3
+0
+3
Hex, patron spell
3rd
+2
+3
+1
+3
Bonus feat
4th
+3
+4
+1
+4
Athame 1
5th
+3
+4
+1
+4
Eldritch arcanum (2nd)
6th
+4
+5
+2
+5
Athame tactics, hex, patron spell
7th
+5
+5
+2
+5
Bonus feat
8th
+6/+1
+6
+2
+6
Athame 2
9th
+6/+1
+6
+3
+6
Eldritch arcanum (3rd)
10th
+7/+2
+7
+3
+7
Hex, major hex, patron spell
11th
+8/+3
+7
+3
+7
Bonus feat
12th
+9/+4
+8
+4
+8
Athame 3
13th
+9/+4
+8
+4
+8
Eldritch arcanum (4th)
14th
+10/+5
+9
+4
+9
Hex, patron spell
15th
+11/+6/+1
+9
+5
+9
Bonus feat
16th
+12/+7/+2
+10
+5
+10
Athame 4
17th
+12/+7/+2
+10
+5
+10
Eldritch arcanum (5th)
18th
+13/+8/+3
+11
+6
+11
Hex, patron spell
19th
+14/+9/+4
+11
+6
+11
Bonus feat
20th
+15/+10/+5
+12
+6
+12
Athame mastery