As the title suggests, i am going to play a swordsage, and while i am not a big fan of multiclassing (many of the character optimisation builds i saw had from three to 5 classes, prestige or not), i really like the idea of a master of the sublime way that incorporates all the nince disciplines into a "formless" one (at least this will be my fluff for it).

So, what i am asking is if the Master of the Nine is a solid choise for a prestige class, on a strength based swordsage built to be a front line fighter. Also, if any one has a swordsage handbook that is complete, and does not have only two weapon fighting builds, he would be more than welcome to share it with me.


1 Answer 1


Not really, until high levels. As written, it's designed to blend classes and seems to have very steep requirements such that many dips are typically necessary to enter it in any reasonable timeframe. Take a look at the shadow sun ninja, as that seems to feature in many swordsage builds.

Examining links here, here, here, and here.

The only text on master of nine seems to be:

  • Hypothetical builds on the boards tend to time this class for late in the build so as to acquire high level maneuvers. But if you're not starting at a high level then entering early has its benefits (e.g. I'm a big fan of Dual Stance so would want it asap), and it gives you full progression of your likely ultiple Martial Adept classes ready to re-enter them for some higher level maneuver swaps. In practice I would compromise, take 2/3 MoN levels as early as I could manage and then leave the rest for high level maneuver acquisition and a high level stance of choice (nb: 8th level maneuvers are often better than the 9th level ones imho).
  • Counter Stance + Stance of Alacrity combo
  • Mastery of Nine: ready at start of day from as many disciplines as possible to maximize bonus, then spend 5 minutes changing them as desired.

Looking at the literature, there seem to be no builds that are strongly Swordsage and master of nine. If you're looking to be a frontline swordsage ... Here are some builds:

My suggestion, click through here and see what catches your eye.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the master of the nine bonuses for preparing maneuvers at the beginning of the day, couldn't you switch them out in say 6 seconds with the adaptive style feat? (It's a pre-req anyway) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 15, 2017 at 16:35

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