Boneblade (3.5e Class)
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Boneblades are created when the body becomes charged with necromantic energy and the rest adapts and learns to augment this inner power. Boneblades can be created by accident through strange birth, having their bodies attempted (and failing) to be animated as undead as they lay on the brink of death, or purposefully through dark magic. The end result is always the same, the skeleton of the body gains a disturbing power to change, grow, and shift in unnatural ways, piercing the skin to form weapons and armor, and granting the subject inherent necromantic abilities of their own.
Making a Boneblade
Abilities: Boneblades value a strong Constitution (or Charisma if construct or undead) as many of their abilities have powers based on one's inner durability and strength of animation. Which abilities are important after this is a matter of their goal... those who turn their bones into weapons may wade into melee with high Strength and nimble Dexterity. Those who focus more on the mystical aspects can stay with a closer tie to constitution or charisma. Intelligence helps with skill points, letting them make the most of their bone-crafting abilities, leaving Wisdom for the purpose of boosting certain skill checks.
Races: Any race with an internal skeletal structure can become a boneblade, which includes warforged, but not most other constructs. Oozes and creatures with exoskeletons or no inner framework that could be considered a skeleton do not apply.
Alignment: Any, though many of the abilities tend themselves to non-good aspects.
Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Boneblade, Rebuke Undead, Tomb-Tainted Soul|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||Animate Dead, Growth|
|4th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Bone Enhancement +1|
|5th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Necromantic Traits 1|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+2||+6||Bone Enhancement +2, Undead Legion|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+3||+7||Necromantic Traits 2|
|11th||+8/+3||+7||+3||+7||Vital Marrow 1|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||Bone Enhancement +3, Growth|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+5||+9||Growth, Necromantic Traits 3|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||Bone Enhancement +4|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||Vital Marrow 5|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+11||+6||+11||Vital Marrow (regeneration)|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||Bone Enhancement +5, Boneyard King|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the boneblade.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A boneblade is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).
Boneblade (Ex): Your skeleton is mobile, fluid, capable of changing shape, size, and even being able to pierce your own skin. While painful, this action does not harm you and allows you to shape your own expanded bones into any weapon you are proficient in. Forming weapons from your skeleton is the same as drawing a weapon, typically a move action. They form from your hands and arms and your hand is considered occupied when drawn.
You may form two-handed weapons on one hand, but it requires both hands to properly swing. You cannot form weapons with complex moving parts such crossbows and guns, or weapons with flexible parts such as whips or spiked chains. You may form a bow, using a bit of tendon as string, and free mundane bone arrows. You can also form throwing weapons, breaking shards of bone off in the process of releasing your weapon. Your bone weapon does not count as metal, and has hardness 8 and 10 hp + 1 hp per HD. You cannot be disarmed of your boneblade, and if your boneblade is sundered you take 2 Con damage and you may draw a new boneblade at your next opportunity.
You may get your boneblade enhanced as if it were a normal weapon. Magical effects applied on it only apply when in a valid form, such as a vorpal boneblade +1 only having vorpal functioning when duplicating a slashing weapon.
Tomb-Tainted Soul: You gain the Tomb-Tainted SoulLM feat.
Bone Armor (Ex): Your skeleton can be shaped into more than simply weapons. At 2nd level a bonsblade can shape armor out of his own bones, expanding his ribcage, skull, and other bones into an exoskeleton. It is considered non-armor so monks may function normally using it, has no maximum dex, no armor check penalty, and a 5% arcane spell failure chance. It provides an armor bonus of 2 + (1/2 your class level), or AC 3 when you first acquire it. You may get your bone armor enhanced as if it were normal armor. You may don or remove bone armor with the same action as drawing a boneblade (typically a move action).
Animate Dead (Sp): At 3rd level, a boneblade may use animate dead at will as a spell-like ability. Unlike normal spell-like abilities, he must still pay the material cost as normal. The caster level is equal to your character level.
Growth: At 3rd level and every three levels beyond, the boneblade learns to have more fine and precise control over his skeletal structure, allowing augmentations to your boneblade and bone armor abilities. Growth abilities are permenant changes unless listed otherwise.
Adamantine Frame (Ex): Your armor bonus granted by the bone armor class feature increases by 5 points and you gain DR 2/adamantine. Your weight doubles and you gain a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground). This stacks with other forms of stability. Your speed is reduced as if wearing heavy armor, you have a -4 armor check penalty, and a 25% arcane failure chance. You only benefit from this if you have the bone armor class feature. Your armor can only have one material at a time as normal.
Bone Spurs (Ex): You gain many spikes over your body, and may treat these as armor spikes. In addition those striking you with a non-reach weapon get clipped by these spines, dealing 1 point of piercing damage plus an additional point every five levels (5th, 10th, 15th, etc). Bone spurs are enhanced seperately from the boneblade weapon.
Cold Iron Frame (Ex): Your armor bonus granted by the bone armor class feature increases by 3 points. You gain a +4 bonus to AC on attacks from fey, and spell resistance 11 + your class level. Enhancing a cold iron skeleton has a 2000 gp surcharge which only needs to be paid once. Your speed is reduced as if wearing medium armor, you have a -2 armor check penalty, and a 20% arcane failure chance. You only benefit from this if you have the bone armor class feature. Your armor can only have one material at a time as normal.
Complex Blade (Ex): You warp flesh and tendons with your bone, enabling you to form complex and flexible objects such as crossbows, guns, spiked chains, whips, and such. Mundane bone ammunition is provided as normal.
Ethereal Bone (Ex): Ectoplasm vibrates inside of your bones. Your boneblade weapons and your bone armor are both considered to possess the Ghost Touch enhancement.
Hardened Frame (Ex): The armor bonus provided by your bone armor increases by 1 point. You may take this ability multiple times, each time increasing by 1 point.
Ivory Carving (Su): As a standard action you can encase yourself in a thin layer of living bone with the general texture of a marble or ivory statue. You are rendered immobile and are treated as an object with hardness 8 which quarters damage from cold and electric, takes normal damage from acid and sonic, and halves fire and force damage. You can see and hear as normal, and gain a +20 on your disguise check to appear as a statue. Your biological processes cease, and you do not need to eat, drink, breath, or even age. Your eyes appear hollow when this occurs.
Material Boneblade (Ex): You bond a material into your bone cells, allowing your boneblade weapons to act as a weapon made from that material. Gaining this growth requires the cost of the material being bonded. For example an adamantine boneblade costs 3000 gp. Your boneblade can only have one material at a time, as is normal for weapons.
Mithril Frame (Ex): Your armor bonus granted by the bone armor class feature increases by 1 point. Your weight is halved and your lighter frame gives you a +10 bonus on all your movement forms and a +2 bonus on Reflex saves. You have a -1 armor check penalty, and a 10% arcane failure chance. You only benefit from this if you have the bone armor class feature. Your armor can only have one material at a time as normal.
Sharpened Blade (Ex): The damage your boneblade deals increases by 2 points. You may take this ability multiple times, each time increasing by 2 points.
Whirlwind Boneblade (Ex): Bone weapons burst from all over your body striking all your enemies at the same time. You may make a whirlwind attack with your boneblade as per the feat, but as a standard action.
Bone Enhancement (Su): At 4th level your bones become magically enhanced, enabling you to strike harder or survive heavier blows. You gain a +1 enhancement bonus which you may apply either to your boneblade or your bone armor, but not both at the same time. You may toggle which is applies to as a swift action each round. At 8th level and every four levels beyond, the bonus to enhancement rises by 1.
Once your bone possesses at least a +1 enhancement, you may enhance it with special abilities if you wish. You do not add the cost of any enhancement bonuses gained from this class feature to the effective "plus" of the weapon.
Necromantic Traits (Ex): A 5th level boneblade gains several necromantic traits from the actively animated skeletal structure. They gain immunity to disease and sleep, a +2 bonus on saves against death, and 25% fortification. Boneblades no longer need to sleep, but must still breath and eat as normal.
At 10th level they gain immunity to stunning and poison, a +4 bonus on saves against death, and 50% fortification. Boneblades no longer need to eat or drink.
At 15th level they gain immunity to ability drain and paralysis, a +6 bonus on saves against death, and 75% fortification. Boneblades no longer need to breathe.
Bonecrusher (Ex): Your knowledge of the skeleton allows you to aim for weak points in others. At 7th level you gain a +6 bonus to attack rolls made to confirm critical hits. This does not function on creatures without a skeleton.
Undead Legion: At 8th level a boneblade's ability to control undead through rebuking improves. He may control up to 4 total HD of undead per level.
Vital Marrow (Ex): At 11th level, the amount of negative energy flowing in their body grants them a constant source of healing both to mend their ever-shifting bone structure and to patch up their flesh and blood. They gain fast healing 1.
At 17th level, the fast healing rises to 5. At 19th level, the fast healing becomes regeneration, which is bypassed by bludgeoning weapons and by positive energy. If you lack a Constitution score, you simply retain fast healing 5.
Ossification (Ex): At 13th level, whenever you score a natural 20 with your boneblade the enemy must make a Fortitude saving throw DC 10 + 1/2 HD + your main attack modifier (usually Strength) or be turned to solid bone. This is identical to flesh to stone in all ways except composition.
You can also make a touch attack as a standard action to de-petrify creatures into flesh, blood, and bone as if using stone to flesh. You do not need to roll a 20 for this effect.
Revenant (Su): At 14th level, a boneblade is supersaturated with negative energy. If the boneblade dies and their body remains mostly intact, they immediately animate on the moment of death. They gain the Undead type with its resultant immunities, gaining d12 for HD, and retain all their abilities. They use their old Constitution score or their Charisma for class abilities as needed. This undead state lasts until they are destroyed, or 1 minute/level passes. After the duration is up, they fall and die again. Once this ability is used they cannot use it again for at least 1 week after they are revived back to life.
Boneyard King: At 20th level, boneblades master their skeleton and become something not quite human. They gain immunity to death effects, 100% fortification, immunity to nonlethal damage, fatigue, and exhaustion. They are also immune to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless). Your bones harden, granting you DR 10/adamantine. They show up as undead when detected by spells and abilities but their type does not change. Unintelligent undead see them as undead and ignore them until attacked. Intelligent undead also see the boneblade as undead but are smart enough to question this if you appear obviously alive.
|24th||Bone Enhancement +6|
|28th||Bone Enhancement +7|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Bone Enhancement: The bonus to bone enhancement continues to increase at 24th and every four levels byeond.
Bonus Feat: At 21st and every two levels beyond, the epic boneblade gains an epic bonus feat.
Human Boneblade Starting Package
Weapons: Boneblade (Scimitar)
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 5 + Int modifier.
Feat: Combat Reflexes.
Bonus Feats: Weapon Focus (boneblade)
Gear: Chain Shirt.
Gold: 25 gp.
Playing a Boneblade
Religion: Boneblades which were born or forced into this life often seek help in gods which oppose undead, but they rarely find acceptance there. In gods which accept undead they find aid, including those who used dark magic to purposefully provoke the change.
Other Classes: Boneblades are similar to soulknives, a fighter with supernatural abilities. Unlike soulknives, they don't fail at everything they do forever.
Combat: Boneblades are typically combat gishes, using their necrotic magic to debuff and attack helpless foes. They also prove to be good martial minded necromancers who animate hoardes of undead.
Advancement: Classes which advance arcane spellcasting do advance the necrotic magic ability in both caster level and spell-like abilities known.
Boneblades in the World
|“||Yeah, it hurts every time I extend them. You get used to the pain after a while...||”|
|—Logan, Shifter Boneblade|
Daily Life: Cursed souls, boneblades must learn to master their skeletons quickly or end up horrifying others in short order. If they manage to keep their powers hidden, they can operate in daily life. Most find nomadic lives, for when the gig is up they will need to move before they are mistaken for some type of advanced undead.
Notables: A shifter boneblade named Logan with an adamantine skeleton is a well known hero who is said to be immortal.
Organizations: Boneblades born of chance do not congregate, but certain undead-heavy cults purposefully create boneblades as part of their rituals. They thus find organization amongst these cults.
NPC Reactions: "Oh god what's wrong with you!? Jesus, how horrifying!"
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Religion can research boneblades to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Boneblades have an unliving skeleton which can extend their skeleton outside their bodies as weapons and armor.|
|15||Boneblades are bevvy to a host of spell-like abilities and gain a few undead traits.|
|20||Powerful boneblades can remain fighting after they die, and gain many talents which make them durable.|
|30||Those which make this result can learn about specific boneblades, their location, motives, lore about them, and recent activities.|
Boneblades in the Game
Adaptation: Perhaps boneblades are entirely evil, or maybe their "skeleton" is a creature all its own, giving it an aberration twist.
Sample Encounter: A boneblade has awakened and the young girl is unable to control its wild growths. Stop her before she kills everyone!
EL 8: PENDING.
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +|
|Article Balance||High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Moderate +|
|Class Ability||Other +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Good +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Minimum Level||0 +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Poor +|
|Skill||Balance +, Climb +, Concentration +, Control Shape +, Craft +, Escape Artist +, Heal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Move Silently +, Perform +, Profession +, Sleight of Hand +, Spellcraft +, Swim + and Tumble +|
|Skill Points||4 +|
|Summary||Through inherent necromatic aberrations or bizaare magic, you are able to weaponize your own skeleton, and the bones of others. +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|