Vezanti Death Spiral Blademaster Prestige Class

Now known as the Lost City, the City of Devils, and even the Spires of Doom when it is spoken of at all, Vezanti was once the greatest of the Ten Cities. Their culture was unmatched, their accomplishments unequaled, their nobility unquestioned. Their downfall was therefore inevitable. The rulers of the other cities could never countenance such obvious superiority, even the Learned Sages of Veshanda and the Matriarch Mariner of Giulme, usually bastions of wisdom and acceptance respectively turned upon the city at the last. Set upon by their enemies and harrowed in their own halls, the royals of Vezanti unleashed a terrible blight upon the world which had so cruelly treated them for no crime greater than excellence. A dark pact was reached with powers infernal, opening a gate into the material plane, the duration indefinite so long as one of the line royale survives. The devils still make once-fair Vezanti, with its tall narrow spires their lair, so surely one of the line must abide still.

In times more fair the Vezanti supremacy extended to swordplay as in most else. The infamous Death Spiral style was feared and respected among students of the Steel Art across the Shard and its culminating maneuver, the Unstoppable Spiral Thrust the stuff of legends. Some students of the style survived, hiding in other cities, but in the days of Vezanti nihilism they hid their skill. It has since become a hidden art. Thought lost by the populace of the Shards, its practitioners long since hounded down in retribution for the infernal influence unleashed upon the Shards by the Vezanti ruling elite.

The style was popular amongst the elite of the Vezanti, professional duelists, and officers of the once mighty Vezanti naval forces; in short professional and highly trained Fighters of varying sort. It was known to be an extremely difficult style to learn and master, requiring years of dedication spent developing the basics of the style before even the first maneuver would be taught. It's most basic maneuvers were imitated by other fencing schools, but it's most difficult techniques defied such aping.

Base Attack Bonus +6
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Death Blow, Dodge, Expertise, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus: Rapier
Abilities: Dex 13+

Level    Attack    Fortitude    Reflex    Will    Abilities
1    +1    +0    +2    +0    Spiral Thrust
2    +2    +0    +3    +0    Fleet of Foot
3    +3    +1    +3    +1    Spiral Twist
4    +4    +1    +4    +1    Spiral Deflection
5    +5    +1    +4    +1    Spiral Step
6    +6    +2    +5    +2    Spiral Disarm
7    +7    +2    +5    +2    Quick Reflexes
8    +8    +2    +6    +2    Spiral Disengage
9    +9    +3    +5    +3    Spiral Dance
10    +10    +3    +7    +3    Spiral Strike

Hit Die D8
Skill PointsInt Bonus + 2 / level
Skill List: Balance, Bluff, Heal, Jump, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Tumble

Class Abilities
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: This prestige class grants no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Death Spiral style: All of the below abilities named with the Spiral moniker are usabale only when fighting with a Rapier in the primary hand.

Spiral Thrust: At 1st level the Death Spiral Blademaster has started to apply the basics of this styles defining element, the feared 'Unstoppable' Spiral Thrust. The purpose of this attack is to end a foes' existence with one looping spiral cut through the heart. The Blademaster may attempt such a manuever once per day per class level. As a melee full attack action, the practitioner announces his intention to initiate a Spiral Thrust prior to rolling to hit. If the attack hits successfully, it is a Death Attack and the opponent must make a Reflex save versus DC 10 + the practitioner's Intelligence bonus + the practitioner's class level or die instantly; should the opponent make the save the attack still hits and normal damage for the hit is inflicted. This ability is ineffective versus opponents with an armor or natural armor bonus of +5 or greater unless some means of bypassing armor is used, such as a Brilliant Energy or similar weapon; enhancement bonuses do count for this purpose, but are canceled 1 for 1 by any enhancement bonuses on the weapon the Blademaster uses to make the attack. Thus Leather armor with a +3 bonus could be pierced with a +1 or better weapon, but mundane Chainmail is always proof against this attack regardless of enhancement bonuses. This ability is also ineffective against creatures that are immune to Death Attacks such as Undead and Constructs. Additionally, this attack is ineffective versus opponents that lack a heart. The DM is the final arbiter of creatures that are not affected by the attack.

Fleet of Foot: At 2nd level the Death Spiral Blademaster has learned to move quickly in combat, gaining great advantage over slower foes. The Blademaster gains +10 bonus Movement only when in combat. The Blademaster cannot use this ability if wearing Medium or Heavy Armor, or while encumbered; note that he can use a shield however. For purposes of this ability Combat is defined as any period of game time administered in Initiative order.

Spiral Twist At 3rd level the Death Spiral Blademaster has mastered the art of twisting his blade when wounding foes. He gains Weapon Specialization: Rapier as a virtual feat. If the Blademaster already has or later acquires the Weapon Specialization: Rapier feat he inflicts an additional +2 bonus damage with a Rapier for a net total of +4 bonus damage.

Spiral Deflection: At 4th level the Death Spiral Blademaster gains the extraordinary ability to frustrate his opponents efforts to strike him. The Blademaster gains a Deflection bonus to AC equal to his class level divided by 2 whenever wielding a Rapier and not wearing Medium or Heavy armor, not using a shield, and not encumbered. The Blademaster does not get this bonus when caught flat-footed or denied his Dexterity bonus to AC. Deflection bonuses do not stack.

Spiral Step: At 5th level the Death Spiral Blademaster has learned to whirl about in combat, diminishing the ability of flankers to catch him off guard. The practitioner gains Defensive Manueverings as a virtual Feat (listed below) when fighting with a Rapier in his primary hand.



New Feat by Ed Hastings aka Killer Shrike
Defensive Maneuverings [General]
You are skilled at protecting your flanks in melee.
Prerequisite: Dodge, Combat Reflexes
Benefit: You gain a +1 Dodge bonus versus all opponents flanking you unless caught flat-footed. Note that Dodge bonuses stack.

Spiral Disarm: At 6th level the Death Spiral Blademaster has learned a difficult disarm maneuver that allows him to spin opponents weapons out their hands and toss them away with a sickening ease. The practitioner gains Masterful Disarm as a virtual Feat (listed below) when fighting with a Rapier in his primary hand.



New Feat by Ed Hastings aka Killer Shrike
Masterful Disarm [General]
You are greatly skilled at divesting others of their weapons.
Prerequisites: Expertise, Improved Disarm
Benefit: The user gains a +4 competence bonus on any attempt to Disarm a foe. If the Disarm is successful the opponents weapon does not land at her feet, but instead is knocked to the floor up to 15 feet away in the direction of your choice, as permitted by terrain and obstacles.

Quick Reflexes: At 7th level the Death Spiral Blademaster Initiative is never worse than 5 + his class level. Should the Blademaster's total Initiative value counting all modifiers fall below this value, the Blademaster defaults to the higher total. This is an extraordinary ability.
Example: Yano the 7th level Blademaster has a +3 Dex bonus and Improved Initiative; rolling for Initiative he rolls a 2. 3+4+2=9. However, thanks to this ability Yano's Initiative is never below a 12 (5+7), therefore his Initiative defaults to 12.

Spiral Disengage: At 8th level the Death Spiral Blademaster has learned to protect their own blade, as without it they are not nearly so deadly. The practitioner gains Deflect and Disengage as a virtual Feat (listed below) when fighting with a Rapier in his primary hand.



New Feat by Ed Hastings aka Killer Shrike
Deflect and Disengage [Fighting Style]
You are greatly skilled at protecting your weapon in melee.
Prerequisites: Improved Disarm
Benefit: The practitioner gains a +4 bonus to opposed attack rolls when opponents attempt to Sunder or Strike his weapon, and vs. Disarm attempts.

Spiral Dance: At 9th level the Death Spiral Blademaster has mastered the art of turning multiple opponents against themselves. The practitioner gains Melee Mastery as a virtual Feat (listed below) when fighting with a Rapier in his primary hand.



New Feat by Ed Hastings aka Killer Shrike
Melee Mastery [General]
You are skilled at using multiple melee opponents against themselves.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Combat Reflexes, Defensive Maneuverings, Improved Initiative, Base Attack 10+
Benefit: If you are in melee with more than one opponent, then on your initiative you may choose to maneuver so as to cause your opponents to work against themselves as a full round action. While doing this you gain a +1 Dodge bonus to your AC for each opponent you are currently in melee with. If the number of foes decreases or increases, so does the AC bonus. Note that Dodge bonuses stack.

Example: Ularo Santeos is waylaid by 5 attackers while traversing an alley. Ularo spots them and is not surprised; he wins initiative. Unsure of his attackers capabilities, Ularo decides to play it safe and engages his Melee Mastery feat rather than attacking. All 5 of the attackers charge him in initiative order and Ularo moves into action ducking, rolling, and skillfully nudging his opponents into each others way; Ularo gains a +1 Dodge bonus versus the first, a +2 versus the second, and so on up to a +5 versus the fifth and final attacker. In the following round, Ularo decides to continue to use his Melee Mastery rather than attack; the first 2 opponents press their attack and Ularo gains a +5 Dodge bonus versus each of them, but the 3rd opponent has had enough and moves away. When the 4th and 5th opponents attack him Ularo gains a +4 Dodge bonus because he is now only engaged with 4 melee opponents.

Spiral Strike: At 10th level the Death Spiral Blademaster has mastered the art of striking acurately for maximum effect. He gains Improved Critical: Rapier as a virtual feat. If the Blademaster already has or later acquires the Improved Critical: Rapier feat his critical threat range with a Rapier is extended an additional 2 points.