I have (or think I have) a concept for a class. However, I'm no longer convinced it will work to homebrew as a class. Since I only have access to the SRD, and I'm not really as familiar with the system and its options as a homebrewer probably should be, I don't know if this concept can be done using existing material. It has been suggested that I look at some existing materials, but I don't really know where to begin looking. Can someone help me?
If this is the wrong place to ask for help with this, please point me to where I can get some help.
Specific questions/issues to be addressed:
- This concept may be too narrow or too broad. Suggestions on how to refine or improve it? Questions about aspects I've neglected may be a good start.
- Can this concept, or something similar, be done using existing material?
Blademaster Concept, v. 3.0
(Concentrate more here - If I can get a good, well-defined concept, the mechanics will follow more easily)
A blademaster focuses on her chosen blades to the exclusion of all other weapons (exception: she is proficient with one ranged weapon, although not nearly as good as with her blades). As a result, she has bonuses to both attack rolls and damage rolls with her blades.
A blademaster prefers armor which does not significantly impede her movement, while at the same time gives her a better-than-usual bonus to AC.
A blademaster is good at sneaking around (hide, move silently), and slightly better at perception (spot, search, listen; sense motive?). Her real (non-combat) skills, however, are her encyclopedic knowledge of many things. She cannot always make use of the knowledge's practical side (cast spells, build buildings, craft and repair items, etc.), but she can often instruct others by rote (if they're competent but need a refresher, or are doing something they’ve rarely done, etc.).
A blademaster has a highly-tuned sense of right and wrong; a strong sense of justice. While not always Lawful or Good, a blademaster is very rarely evil. She does not so much "uphold the law" as "see justice done" – when the law is just (as she sees it), she will uphold it. As soon as the law deviates from her sense of justice, she will no longer enforce the law. Often, she will seek to change or bend the law before actually defying it. Justice is more important than Law, but the spirit of the law is more important than arbitrarily breaking the law in pursuit of Justice. Because of her willingness to break the law at times, Lawful characters (such as paladins) sometimes have trouble with how a blademaster deals with situations.
Blademasters are constantly learning. Whether it is a new technique with her blades or an obscure bit of trivia from a rarely-used academic subject, she loves to learn. While highly trained and skilled with her weapons, she does not always thing of combat as the first solution to a problem (a close second, perhaps, but not always the first).
Blademasters develop near-eidetic memories. Anything she hears, sees, or otherwise experiences, she is very likely to remember. Some are better at remembering what they hear; others are good at recalling things they have read; a few use other senses to focus and trigger their memories. Much of what they know (and remember) can fall in the category of "random or obscure trivia that we don't care to hear about until that rare situation when it actually becomes relevant and immediately useful", though most try not to become the party member who annoys all the others by spouting random, barely-relevant facts.
Mechanics-Related Concepts, to fit with Flavor
(These can and will change based on changes made to the flavor, and possible adaptations of existing classes/feats/abilities. Concentrate more on the Flavor (fluff) than here.)
From the categories of Light and Heavy blades (including exotics), pick up to one weapon for each hand. You are proficient in these weapons. A single two-handed or double weapon counts as a weapon for each hand.
From the category of ranged weapons (including exotics), pick one. This can be anything with an edge (so something which deals Bludgeoning damage is not allowed. Neither is a firearm). You are proficient with this weapon. (Throwing knives, with a range increment of 20', counts as a ranged weapon. Throwing a melee dagger [range increment of 10'] does not count as a ranged weapon.)
Choose up to 3 suits/types of armor ("light", "medium", and "heavy" do not count as types. "Leather", "Chain Shirt", and "Plate" are examples of valid choices). You are proficient with these armors, and no others.
You are not automatically proficient with shields. It does not usually mesh well with two-handed fighting.
Important Skills (in no particular order): Knowledge (all), Gather Information, Decipher Script, Read Magic (wait, that's a spell, isn't it? NM, then), Spellcraft, (psionic equivalent of Spellcraft, if it's a separate skill), Speak Language, Stealth (Hide, Move Silently), Perception (Listen, Sense Motive, Search, Spot).
Alignment: Any non-Evil (for PCs). Tend toward Lawful and Good, but not strictly. A True Neutral blademaster is not that unusual. Even Chaotic Neutral happens.
Important Abilities: Dex or Str (depending on whether the weapons chosen are finesse-able or not) for melee combat; Con for added hit points; Int to boost the knowledge skills. Which is most important depends on the player's preferred focus: stealth-based melee, damage-dealing melee, damage-absorbing melee, or non-combat. Close-range Ranged combat is also an option, but much rarer than melee as a focus.