the hexblade’s handbook
by Dimitris Raviolos
Hexblades are fighters with a touch of arcane magic. As such they need high physical stats to be able to get through a fight and nice charisma to get the maximum of their abilities. Be warned that playing a hexblade in a competent campaign can prove to be quite a challenge. While they are proved to be better than most martial classes in the player’s handbook due to their magic abilities, their skills are quite limited. A hexblade however can prove to be a great asset to a party, helping your casters getting a spell through.
- Full base attack bonus
- d10 hit die
- good will saves
- 2+int skill points
Before moving on, it is more than obvious that hexblade is an underpowered class. This is because, in the early days of 3.5 (the hexblade class is from complete warrior, an early 3.5 supplement), the R&D thought that a class which could wear armor, grab martial feats and use magic would be potentially broken. Unfortunately, the contrary is true, but the hexblade still suffers from the punishment of early armored mages. For example compare the hexblade class with her sister class, the duskblade from player’s handbook II, a much more mature gish. Several years ago, one of the creators of the class, Mike Mearls, made some suggestions of boosting up the hexblade. His post is quoted below from here:
The hexblade suffers a little because he came on the scene relatively early in 3.5’s life. As R&D pushes the boundaries of the game, we learn that some things we thought were risky or potentially broken aren’t. Other times, we learn things that look fine don’t actually work in play. Armored mages fall into the first category. Them seem really powerful, but in the long run they aren’t. Spells and magic items allow an unarmored mage to build great defenses. The spell mage armor is as good as medium armor, and its duration allows most mages to keep it active at all times. If you compare the hexblade to the duskblade from PH 2, you can see how the thinking has changed. If you want to boost the hexblade, I’d try the following changes:
- Good Fortitude save
- Curse ability usable 1 + the hexblade’s Cha modifier per day
- Curse ability usable as a swift action
- Curse ability does not count as used if the target makes his saving throw
- Ability to cast in light or medium armor and while carrying a light shield or buckler
- At 6th level, the hexblade can cast one hexblade spell per day as a swift action, as long as its original casting time is a standard action or faster. He gains an additional use of this power at levels 8, 11, 14, and 18.
The key to the hexblade is his curse ability, but it’s a little un-fun to have it so limited in use. The hexblade also has trouble casting spells and using his melee attacks, so shifting spells to swift actions fits in with the idea of an armored mage. (These are by no means official. They’re just off the top of my head changes I’d consider making.)
It boosts your battle prowess. This attribute is of equal importance to dexterity, depending of the weapon you will choose to wield.
Same with strength, but with better secondary benefits. Bonus to AC and reflex saves help you since you lack in both areas.
Boosts your hit point total and constitution saves. This is top priority for any character. While hexblades have a good hit die (d10) they can use more because of their role in combat. Also it is a buff to a bad save and a great skill (concentration).
This is a low importance attribute. However you might consider using combat expertise or improved trip. If that’s the case you can’t really dump it. Moreover hexblades have a nice little list of skills, but they get only 2 bonus skill points per level, so intelligence could help in that area.
Dump stat. It only boosts your will save which is already good. The hexblade class doesn’t have wisdom based skills (except from profession).
This should be your best stat. It is a casting stat, boosts your saves against spells, is the base stat of many of your skills and determines the difficulty class of your hexes. It may not be that important at low levels, but in high level play, it makes a difference.
Any race that helps your combat ability will do for a hexblade. Look for races that grant bonus feats, because they are much needed. Same goes for skill points. Powerful races include those few with charisma and physical attributes boosts.
One of the best races, as usual. Gives skill points and a bonus feat, which are hard to come by. Free multiclassing is nice to have since hexblades are used in dips a lot.
And especially the Strongheart FRCS type. Huge save, skill and weapon bonuses. Bonus feat and small size which can be an advantage to an archer hexblade.
A very nice race. Bonus to charisma which is hard to come by without hits along with darkvision, keen senses, daylight. Outsider type is an asset since it can be used with alter self. Their level adjustment can be waved if you choose to be a lesser aasimar PGtF.
dragonborn lesser aasimar
Great racial attribute modifiers. With dragonborn you keep the most important part of the lesser aasimar race (their bonuses to charisma and wisdom) and get to choose an awesome draconic aspect.
Neraphims are LA 0 outsiders. They do have some additional minor benefits including natural armor and racial weapon proficiencies.
dragonborn desert half-orc
You can find desert half-orcs in unearthed arcana. I rarely use half-orcs, but these guys get +2 con -2 int, which is awesome when combined with the dragonborn pseudo-template, which will provide you with -2 dex +4 con -2 int, great stat mods if you absolutely need the constitution boost. Obviously worse than dragonborn lesser aasimars, but they can get the job done.
Draconic Creature Template
Only if you can buy off the level adjustment. The main point is that this template boosts your strength, constitution and charisma, your most important attributes. It has other minor useful traits, too.
This is the signature ability of the hexblade. Available at first level. It has 60ft range, scalling DC based on your hexblade class level, long duration, affects all creature types and is a free action. It requires a will save and lowers attack, saves, ability checks, skill checks and weapon damage rolls. It will basically hurt warriors (two weapon fighters, power attack chargers) and precision based builds (sneak attackers, mobility skirmishers) most. It doesn’t impede spellcasting except from touch attacks. Try to target low will-save opponents. They usually fall into the categories that have serious problems when hexed. It is a free action and you have unlimited (well according to the dungeon master’s approval) free actions at your disposal. However the errata states you can hex only once per round. That doesn’t make it a swift action however. Spell resistance doesn’t apply to your curse. It is a supernatural ability though and doesn’t function in an antimagic field and similar places. Don’t hex your targets immediately. Remember that curse is a free action and you can perform one whenever you want in your turn. Try to debuff your target first. There are many ways to reduce a target’s saves, which include: ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, sickened, shaken, frightened, panicked. They can be achieved through spells, feats, items and class abilities. It can be removed with any effect that dispel or remove a curse (e.g. remove curse spell). If a target resists your curse you can’t target him again for 24 hours with it.
Awesome ability. Essentially gives you divine grace for spells and spell-like abilities. Given your two low saves, it is very much needed.
A form of evasion for fortitude and will saves. It has synergy with arcane resistance against spells. You can use it with a ring of evasion to be able to negate any effect on a successful save instead of partial effect.
Hexblade familiars are powerful. The main reasons to this is because familiars have one half of their masters’ hit point totals. Hexblades have a d10 hit die which result to familiars with more hit points than any wizard or sorcerer’s. Familiars use their master’s base attack bonus. Hexblades have a good base attack so their familiars can be skilled warriors. Familiars provide benefits to the master.
Hexblades gain a selection of bonus feats from a very tight list. I would choose combat casting, spell penetration and one school of greater spell focus (probably enchantment). These feats are welcome for the feat-starved hexblade, even if the benefit is minor.
aura of unluck
This ability gives you a 20% miss chance against melee and ranged attacks. It comes into play very late, when spells are more powerful than just attacks. However this aura gives you a -20% to any damage you will take from weapons. It can be activated also as a free action and lasts 3+charisma modifier rounds, so you can full attack, hex and activate aura all in your first turn.
alternative class features
skilled city dweller
If you have the skill points to spend, in the cityscape web enhancement you can find this alternative class feature that lets you swap your ride skill for tumble. Tumble is a lot more useful than ride, especially for a low armored frontliner with no shield proficiency.
An alternative to familiars from
Gain a familiar that doesn’t deliver touch spells but has a breath weapon. This is bad because if you pick it you won’t be able to take the awesome dark companion alternative class feature.
character class: dead levels
This is an online article, which you can find here.
Complete Warrior, pg. 5
The hexblade has five dead levels, the first of which occurs at 6th level. Their hexblade’s curse and aura of unluck abilities both follow a logical progression (one every four levels) as do their bonus feats (one every five levels). Hexblades consistently gain new spells per day during all of their dead levels, and so their dead level ability simply embellishes what is normally a 0-level spell to sorcerers and wizards.
Forced Omens (Ex): At 6th level, a foreboding sense of doom travels with the hexblade, as candle lights flicker, fresh food turns green, or the air becomes stale. A hexblade adds prestidigitation to their list of spells known. See the spell description on pg. 264 of the Player’s Handbook. If a hexblade already knows this spell, the character may choose a different 1st level spell. As a bonus spell, prestidigitation cannot be traded for another 1st level spell.
At 8th level, a hexblade may cast prestidigitation as if augmented by the Silent Spell feat without using up a higher-level spell slot. At 11th level, a hexblade may cast prestidigitation as a spell-like ability, lacking both somatic and verbal components, but is still limited to their spell slots per day. At 14th level, a hexblade may cast prestidigitation a number of additional times per day equal to 3 + their Charisma modifier. At 18th level, a hexblade can cast prestidigitation at will. The prestidigitation spell disappears from their list of spells known at this level.
Prestidigitation is an awesome spell, but hexblades have to pick it as a 1st level spell known, which is kinda bad. This ability gives you a chance to acquire it, at no cost. It’s not game-breaking, but it’ll give you with loads of flavor, plus it’s awesome: you can even cast it without using verbal components, later you get it as a spell-like ability and eventually you get to cast it at will.
If your charisma isn’t high enough, this is a solid way to increase your curse’s difficulty class.
If you have the role of the warrior in your party, take this to protect your teammates. It is a 1⁄2 + class level + charisma modifier will save. Because hexblades are more fragile than other warriors have someone ready to heal you though. Share pain/shield other effects can help.
Use this to follow up with a curse. Shaken characters get a penalty to their saving throws.
Awesome feat. Create an aura of fear each time you cast a spell, full-attack or charge. Charisma based difficulty class. It is regional so it can only be taken at first level.
Gives you a caster level boost. Very nice feat to have.
Imperious command is an absolute must for hexblades, making people you demoralize cower the first round and shaken the next.
In case you need a bonus spell known, this is a quick way to get it. Remember though that your feat selection is limited.
Might mode provides a bit of damage. Mobility gives you a bonus on useful skills that are not on your list. Speed mode can be helpful in many situations and also boost your dark companion’s speed. Last but not least vigor is just perfect. Moreover most of your abilities are free actions, so your swift action can be used each turn.
This feat can be used in conjunction with debuffing and cursing an opponent. Reduced armor class means that you can take a small attack penalty and still be able to hit an opponent, while he has a penalty to attack from curse and bonus armor from this feat to overcome.
Again best used with hex. You will have a +4 bonus to the check while your opponent has a penalty.
As with combat expertise, you can take a hit to attack that you can handle (due to target’s reduced armor class) and transform it to damage. If using a two handed weapon it is translated into double power attack damage.
Gives you notable maneuvers and most importantly momentum swing. If you are taking attack penalty equal to your target’s armor class penalty from your curse, you get 3:1 returns to damage without hurting your attack.
Another multiplier for power attack damage on charge.
This feat can be used in two ways. First, pre-hex, to debuff a target so that you then curse him and after the hex to capitalize curse effects and take advantage of the lessened armor class (bigger difficulty class for this feat’s effect).
netherese battle curse
Expend a slot and gain a bonus to attack and a charisma based debuff effect. This is not as good as Brutal strike, but it has lower requirements and serves better if you have a high charisma.
Your charisma is already high and you have lots of diplomatic skills. Hexblades can be great leaders.
There are lots of useful choices to this and your familiar’s abilities are already powerful compared to that of spellcasters. The best known choice is the imp familiar. You can find more information on the imp and their uses later in the guide. Other good options include Howlers and Winter Wolves, which you can also ride. Salt mephits are excellent in combat and they also have glitterdust 1/hour and a debuffing breath weapon which lowers AC and attack rolls, great if you want to capitalize power attack damage, both for you and your familiar.
This is a way to gain both a familiar and dark companion.
shadow weave magic
Only if your patron deity is Shar. This feat benefits illusion, enchantment and necromancy spells, while making your evocations and transmutations worse by one caster level. You really care about transmutations basicaly, but it’s not that bad actually. This feat is mentioned because you can one level dip into shadow adept, at any level after 11th as a hexblade, which will grant you three feats for free that make your spells more difficult to dispel, grant you a fat (+4) bonus to defeat the spell resistance and a chance to resist divinations casted on you, all bonuses against a weave user. Plus, it’s thematically an awesome prestige class for a hexblade.
master of poisons
You can use this feat to coat your weapon in poison as a swift action, without risking to poison yourself while doing so. With lower saves, thanks to your curses and skills, poisons will have a greater chance to go through. However, the craft skill is cross-class for a hexblade and you’ll have to use either purchased or crafted-by-a-teammate poisons. If you have a poison crafter in the team, this would be a nice addition. Here you can find a guide on poisons by Akalsaris!
feats to avoid
Hexblades don’t have the necessary amount of spells per day required to make this work. It is a poor choice.
These are bad feats. They affect only creatures with less hit dice than you have and are usable limited times per day.
Used to access spells not on your list. It is just bad due to your already tight spells known and your wisdom as a dump stat.
Your spells aren’t there to blast people but to augment your battle prowess and versatility. If you want more spells per day you are better off with items like rings of wizardy and cloak of charisma.
You’ll want at least 5 ranks in this one to get the synergy bonuses. Bluff gives synergy bonuses to 4 different skills. Hexblades being non good may want to act differently and be convincing.
If you plan casting in melee this is a must have.
This is the skill i would max out. Changing non player character attributes is very nice.
The first priority for a hexblade. While it has its social uses, it is the cheapest way to debuff an opponent so that you make sure that your curse will succeed.
I’d leave the knowledge skills to the spellcasters and skill-monkeys. However many feats have a rank requirement of this knowledge. Spent just one point in this skill and then forget about it.
I’d dump it unless i had mounted combat.
As with knowledge (arcana) don’t get this far, but you may want to spend some ranks to qualify for a feat or two. Practiced spellcaster requires four ranks of spellcraft.
(through the alternative class feature skilled city dweller - replaces ride) Not worth to max out with hexblade, but moving without provoking attacks of opportunity is a nice way to get into strategical positions and getting away from danger. Get enough ranks to safely reach a tumble check of 15.
use magic device
This is a cross-class skill for you, but you can spent a couple of skill points to be able to make a check. Hopefully your charisma will help to boost your check further.
Ideally use it when you want to curse multiple foes in a given round.
Avoid attacks of opportunity.
Stand up from prone without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Hexblades gain a very limited amount of spells. Try not to get spells that are subject to spell resistance. Hexblades have a nice spell list, but remember that you must choose those that you will use a lot. Don’t get spells that can be used in specific situations only. For those use wands/eternal wands and runestaffs.
Alarm PHB: Well while i can see situations that this would come in handy, you better cast it off a wand, as it will hardly be needed more than once or twice a day. Arcane Mark PHB: A bad spell. If you want a permanent arcane mark get a scroll of it and cast it. Note that it’s normally a cantrip spell for wizards/sorcerers. Cause Fear PHB: Mediocre. At low levels it might come handy to stack fear effects. Later swap it as soon as you can though, as you generally don’t want spells with spell resistance. It only affects creatures with 5 and less hit dice. Charm Person PHB: Long duration, charisma synergy and usable at all levels. While it has its uses in combat, it really shines in social interaction. Detect Magic PHB: Just get a wand of this. It may be handy to be able to distinguish magical auras, but it is a waste if you take it. Also normally a 0 level spell. Disguise Self PHB: Not a combat spell, but its uses can be endless. Remember that a hat of disguise is dirt cheap with never ending uses per day. Entropic Shield PHB: Interesting spell if you consider using both entropic shield and aura of unluck to get a better miss chance. Note that these miss chances stack diminishingly (not 40%) since a ranged attacker has to succeed to both miss chances, you get only 36% miss change (for ranged attacks only). Expeditious Retreat PHB: This is a good spell. It helps your movement modes while boosting your dark companion’s speed. You might consider taking the swift version on an eternal wand though. Identify PHB: Come on. You are a hexblade. Leave these boring activities to wizards (or anyone who lacks martial weapon proficiency ) Light PHB: I just wouldn’t take a cantrip as one of my five 1st level spells known. Magic Weapon PHB: This isn’t half bad. A quick way to buff your weapon at low levels without having to spend gold. Swap it out at higher levels though, because it will become useless. Mount PHB: You’re better off buying a mount or taking a improved familiar you can ride. Nystul’s Magic Aura PHB: Unfortunately it alters only the weapon’s aura and not its appearance. It can be used in various ways, i just feel that there are better spells to choose over this. Prestidigitation PHB: You can make nice tricks with this one, but again, there are better choices. Protection from Chaos/Law/Good/Evil PHB: Take one of these feats with the alignment subtype you will be probably fighting against. It is useful at all levels, since it blocks mind control and prevents summoned creatures to harm you. Read Magic PHB: Poor choice. It is better to let the party’s main spellcasters to have this readied. Sleep PHB: It is an enchantment spell so i would choose between this and cause fear at low levels. Later swap it out. Tasha’s Hideous Laughter PHB: It requires a spell resistance check, but it makes people helpless. However, remember that it is a mind affecting spell and many creature types are immune to those effects. Undetectable Alignment PHB: Good if you are trying to conceal your alignment, but not for your list. An eternal wand of this will still have 24 hours duration and be usable two times per day. Unseen Servant PHB: This has its uses. Unseen servants can be used in various ways. Again, wands can do miracles. Augment Familiar SC: Huge bonuses for a first level spell to your already powerful familiar. If you go the improved familiar route, get this. Unfortunately it has a concentration + 1 round/level duration, so it would not be optimal for a wand. Backbiter SC: Useful against big dump opponents with huge attack power. Only for one shot though. Still it can make a difference. Distract Assailant SC: Unlike phantom threat this isn’t bad. It’s a swift action and makes opponents flat-footed. However it is a mind affecting ability and is subject to spell resistance. Your party’s rogue will love you. Phantom Threat SC: It appears to be nice at first glance, but it is a mind affecting ability, it has spell resistance and many creatures/classes can’t be flanked (improved uncanny dodge). Bloodletting CM: Makes target bleed for 3 turns. Worthless. Catsfeet CM: Reroll a balance, move silently, climb or jump check you just rolled. You gain a +5 insight bonus to the roll. Mediocre to bad. Death’s Call CM: Damages swarms. Too specific to be useful. Karmic Aura CM: Requires save and spell resistance and has 20ft range, so it only protects you from melee in most cases. Reaving Aura CM: If you want to kill a dying creature, just hit it. If you need to kill many dying creatures have your spellcaster fireball (yeah yeah ) them.
Alter Self PHB: A solid spell even without the outsider subtype. You can find forms to change into in this thread. Blindness/Deafness: It is subject to spell resistance and requires a save while it’s not an enchantment. Blindness and deafness are nice conditions though. Still not the best choice. Bull’s Strength PHB: Not a good choice. Until you reach the level that will get you 2nd level spells 9th you will probably already have an item that grants enchantment bonus to your strength, and you are better off enhancing your familiar with augment familiar. If other members of your party need it, try to get it, but only if it is absolutely necessary. After all both arcane and divine spellcasters can use it. Darkness PHB: This is a poor choice. Not as good as the 3.0 version. Eagle’s Splendor PHB: As with bull’s strength, but even worse. Charisma bonuses should be your top priority. Enthrall PHB: This is nice to have. Your already high charisma helps very much. A mediocre pick however. False Life PHB: Bonus hit points can save lives especially with lack of medium/heavy armor proficiency. This isn’t top priority but it helps at low levels. Once you get minor shapeshift swap it though. Glitterdust PHB: A solid spell. Reveals invisible creatures, prevents creatures from hiding and blinds. No spell resistance and a will save to negate only the blinding effect. Almost always get this. Invisibility PHB: Great tactical, combat and utility spell. Also a must pick. Mirror Image PHB: This may seem as a poor choice, but it gives you tremendous miss chance against weapon attacks combined with aura of unluck. Great for melee characters. Protection from Arrows PHB: A bad choice. The damage reduction is /magic and you already have better ways to protect yourself from weapon attacks. Pyrotechnics PHB: Useful spell. Particularly the smoke effect which isn’t subject on spell resistance. Remember that it gives ability penalties, not drain or damage. You can use it to blind targets, too. Rage PHB: Morale bonuses to ability scores are nice because they stack with enchantment ones. Maybe you can get this to buff your familiar further along with a teammate. Resist Energy PHB: Choose between this and protection from energy. If you need more protection against elemental damage, spellcasters and wands can provide it. See Invisibility PHB: Sure it’s nice, but you already have glitterdust which is awesome. Spider Climb PHB: This is useful until you gain a way to fly. Get it until a flying speed is available to you. Then swap it for a more useful spell. Suggestion PHB: Enter the power of suggestion. As with charm person it is very nice to make people your puppets. It comes with a spell resistance cost however. Don’t choose both this and charm person. Summon Swarm PHB: You get it pretty late for this to be effective and it requires you to concentrate. Not the best out there. Touch of Idiocy PHB: It is subject to spell resistance. But otherwise no saving throw. So it isn’t that good for you. Also it gives ability score penalty. Mediocre. Crisis of Confidence HoB: Too specific to be useful. Critical Strike SC: It increases your weapon’s threat range and damage, against specific targets flat footed or flanked. Horrible. Invisibility, Swift SC: Not as useful as the non swift version. This one is only usable on you. Phantasmal Assailants SC: While it deals ability damage to wisdom and dexterity, the drawbacks are many. It requires two saving throws, it is subject to spell resistance and it’s both fear and mind affecting. Whirling Blade SC: Great spell. It is not subject to spell resistance or any saving throw, and you get to attack with your weapon all creatures in a 60ft line, substituting your strength modifier with charisma for attack and damage rolls. It is a great damaging and crowd control spell. Animate Weapon CM: This is bad. It requires concentration to work and only gets your charisma to attack. Also you can’t use feats like power attack with an animated weapon. Whirling blade is so much better. Arcane Turmoil CM: This is dispel magic lite that lets you remove some spells from your target. It requires a spell resistance check however. Dispel magic doesn’t. Bothersome Babble CM: It requires a spell resistance check and a will save. If you are successful your target is “silenced” for 3 rounds. But there are also nonverbal spells, silent spell metamagic feat and trying to overcome the concentration DC. Not good and low duration. Karmic Backlash CM: As with Karmic Aura
Arcane Sight PHB: Not so useful if you don’t take spellcraft. Otherwise it’s ok. Charm Monster PHB: As with charm person, but wider range of creatures. Confusion PHB: Bad spell. It’s mind affecting and requires both spell resistance and saving throw. Deep Slumber PHB: You get 3rd level spells late for this to be effective. Dispel Magic PHB: Your caster level may not be the best, but you can’t skip this. A powerful spell. Invisibility Sphere PHB: Nice tactical spell. It has many uses and is considered a good pick. Magic Weapon, Greater PHB: This is a nice way to buff your weapon without having to spend money on enchantment bonus, saving it for extra abilities or miscellaneous equipment. Nondetection PHB: While the abilities it offers are nice, your caster level is lacking. Phantom Steed PHB: This is a very nice spell. However to use the best of the mount’s abilities you must increase your caster level somehow e.g. practiced spellcaster. It essentially gives you water walk or fly at higher levels for hours/caster level. Poison PHB: It’s a high damage constitution spell. In its description however it states that the difficulty class to negate the poison is based on wisdom, so it is useless for you. Protection from Energy PHB: I prefer protection from energy over this. Chose to your liking, but not both since they don’t stack. Repel Vermin PHB: Not only bad, but too specific too. Slow PHB: Great tactical spell. It’s only drawback is that it is subject to spell resistance. Stinking Cloud PHB: This is a great crowd control spell. It is not subject to spell resistance, but affects only living creatures. Can serve as a debuff to follow up with a curse. Vampiric Touch PHB: Generally this is a great damaging spell, because not only damages your opponent, but nets you more hit points. However it is subject to spell resistance. Wind Wall PHB: This has tactical uses, but it is better to leave it to spellcasters. Either way it’s not bad to have it. Hound of Doom CW: One of the best offensive spells of the hexblade’s list, this summons a wolf that will probably be stronger than you when you acquire the spell. Don’t neglect this. Spectral Weapon SC: Very low duration and you make touch attacks. There is a chance for the weapon to deal only half damage and 50% chance that special attacks will work on your target. Not worth a 3rd level slot. Hood of the Cobra CM: Requires two saving throws and spell resistance. Also fear and mind affecting subtypes. You get the picture. Nightmare Terrain CM: No spell resistance. Entangles all creatures within area that fail their will save and grants creatures concealment. It’s a nice alternative tactical spell, but not that powerful as others. Phantasmal Strangler CM: This spell has everything that make bad spells for hexblades. Save, spell resistance, fear, mind affecting, low duration.
Baleful Polymorph PHB: Nice spell, but not suitable for you. Two saves and spell resistance can be a real pain for high levels. Break Enchantment PHB: Usable in many situations, but let other spellcasters grab it, since it requires caster level checks. Contact Other Plane PHB: While a powerful ability, it must be used with caution since it can decrease your intelligence and charisma scores for weeks. You must make intelligence checks against the difficulty classes listed to negate the loss. Power comes with a cost. Detect Scrying PHB: It requires caster level checks in which you don’t excel. Dimension Door PHB: The best movement related spell you will get, this serves you to move people tactically around the battlefield, escaping, chasing and much more. Dominate Person PHB: This isn’t good as its charm counterparts. At high level play you lack the power to affect targets with spells that require saves. This also is mind affecting, affects only humanoids and is subject to spell resistance. Don’t get it. Enervation PHB: While it requires a spell resistance check, it has no saving throw and is a huge debuff to big monsters. Fear PHB: Again, it is a fear and requires a spell resistance check. The good part is that it makes people shaken even on a successful save. Not the best choice though. Invisibility, Greater PHB: You already have invisibility so you don’t actually need this. Even if you have a sneak attacker in your party, let arcane casters buff him. The cost isn’t much for them. Phantasmal Killer PHB: This is the worst spell of this level to get. It is a trap and i greatly advise you not to get it. It is a fear effect, mind affecting, requires spell resistance and two saving throws. That’s an awful lot of to overcome to just kill a target. Polymorph PHB: However this one is a gem. There is great power to the polymorph spell and moreover it grants you access to minor shapeshift. Get this as soon as you can. Scrying PHB: Very nice spell. It’s subject to spell resistance but there are various modifiers to lessen it. Unless you are a bounty hunter type however, it isn’t that useful to you and it requires a 1.000 gp mirror for focus. Sending PHB: Probably the best spell for contacting allies. Don’t neglect it. It hoes many uses and works even if you are on different planes. Solid Fog PHB: Not subject to spell resistance makes it nice for you. It’s also a great tactical spell. You can use it in conjuction with an arcane blaster to trap enemies while damaging them. Assay Resistance SC: It’s better to not take spells that require spell resistance at all rather than waste a high level spell to make a spell work. Cursed Blade SC: This is actually good, but because it is effective on specific creatures like regenerating ones i wouldn’t take it. However it is a swift action and lasts 1 minute per caster level. Also it isn’t subject to spell resistance. Early Twilight HoB: Again, too specific to work. Shadow Form SC: To make this work you have to get cross class skill ranks in escape artist. Otherwise it’s just a bonus to a bunch of skills and concealment you already possess. Skip it. Unluck SC: While it can affect most creatures, it requires a saving throw and is subject to spell resistance. And all this just to make that single opponent roll twice and take the worst result. It is useful against opponents that roll a lot of dice (mostly martial characters like those using two weapons, flurry, many sneak attack dice, etc). Finger of Agony CM: Each round for 3 rounds make an opponent nauseated and deal 3d6 points of damage. It is better to disable opponents with stacking fear effects rather that a 4th level spell. It also requires a saving throw and is subject to spell resistance. Horrid Sickness CM: This isn’t that bad because even if they succeed their saving throws they become sickened. Mass debuff but is subject to spell resistance. Karmic Retribution CM: As with Karmic Aura. Unseen Strike CM: You can use invisibility if you want to stay invisible. It has its uses but it would be better not to spend a 4th level slot for just invisibility.
Schools of Magic
Some information on the number of total spells in the hexblade list based on school:
abjuration: 15 transmutation: 15 enchantment: 13 illusion: 13 divination: 11 necromancy: 9 conjuration: 8 evocation: 6
You can gain spell focus (and the greater version) with your bonus feats on necromancy, transmutation or echantment. Transmutation doesn’t really have many spells that will benefit from spell focus. Necromancy has two biggies: cause fear and backbitter, which are mediocre at least. On the other hand the enchantment school has a lot better spells that you’ll be able to use at all levels (charm person, charm monster, dominate person, suggestion).
Spell resistance is bad for the usual hexblade (except if you choose the abjurant champion route). Below is a list with the spells that are subject to spell resistance. The entries in bold are the most important offensive spells. If you find yourself using those spells often, you should instead pick the spell penetration and greater spell penetration.
Armor Lock Augment Familiar Backbiter (F) Baleful Polymorph Blindness/Deafness Bull’s Strength Cause Fear Charm Monster Charm Person Confusion Deep Slumber Dimension Door Distract Assailant Dominate Person Eagle’s Splendor Enervation Enthrall Fear Hideous Laughter Invisibility Invisibility Sphere Greater Invisibility Mage Burr Magic Weapon Greater Magic Weapon Nondetection (M) Phantasmal Assailants Phantasmal Killer Phantom Threat Poison Protection from Arrows Protection from Energy Pyrotechnics Rage Repel Vermin Resist Energy Scrying (F) Sleep Slow Spectral Weapon Spider Climb Suggestion Touch of Idiocy Undetectable Alignment Unluck Vampiric Touch Wind Wall
You can already demoralize people with your intimidate skill if they can be affected by mind-affecting or fear effects. It’s a good idea to choose some spells that do not have the same descriptors, so you can improve your usefulness in the party. Below is a list with all the spells that appear on the hexblade’s spell list that have the mind-affecting and/or the fear descriptor. Spells in bold are some of the best picks.
Cause Fear Charm Monster Charm Person Confusion Crisis of Confidence Deep Slumber Distract Assailant Dominate Person Enthrall Fear Hideous Laughter Phantasmal Assailants Phantasmal Killer Phantom Threat Rage Sleep Suggestion Touch of Idiocy
You will have no trouble of getting a spell through if you concentrate your debuffs on a target. Assuming spell resistance is a problem, the best spells that only allow a saving throw are: glitterdust (will only), pyrotechnics (will or fortitude) and stinking cloud (fortitude). Unfortunately no good spells target reflex.
If you are going the melee route, choose a two handed weapon to get the max out of power attack. If you also want to use brutal strike and improved trip, heavy flail should be the weapon of your choice.
Sudden Stunning DMG II: Is a very good gp enhancement that costs only 2000. Very solid. Spell Storing DMG: In case you want to use a damaging spell with your attack. Bloodstone MIC: As spell storing but only for vampiric touch. It also empowers it for free. Domineering MIC: Don’t get this. The fear effect it creates doesn’t stack with others. And it’s a +2 enchantment. Impedance MIC: This enchantment transforms your curse into a spellcaster bane, since to cast spells or spell-like abilities they must make ability or skill checks, which you are adept to reducing. Mindcrusher MIC: When this hits creatures without power points left, it deals wisdom damage if the target fails a will 17 save. Average ability, but it is wisdom damage. +2 bonus. Shattermantle MIC: Nice ability, but unfortunately, unless the spell you want to cast is a swift or immediate action, you won’t benefit from it. Maybe the party’s fighter can get it though. It gives you a spell penetration feat for every hit, with one round duration. Stunning Surge MIC: It’s nice, but there’s sudden stunning, so there is no reason to get this.
Crystal of Life Drinking MIC: Heal some damage after hitting a living creature. It’s good because it creates an even bigger gap between your hit point total and your opponent’s. Revelation Crystal MIC: The greater crystal even suppresses displacement and blur effects.
A plain mithral breastplate should do its job. It is considered a light armor and has minimal armor check penalty -1. Most hexblade builds will use this kind of armor.
Fortification DMG: gives you one out of four times immunity to sneak attacks and criticals. You need the extra protection you can get. Glamered DMG: It is only 2.700 gp enchantment that can prove useful to social interactions. Not your first priority though. Agility MIC: If you can’t take a vest or cloak of resistance, this on your armor is cheap and gives some resistance bonus to your reflex saves. Death Ward MIC: 1/day ignore death attacks for only a +1 bonus. A lifesaver. Easy Travel MIC: Nice if you are going to travel. And it’s 1500 so nearly free. Fearsome MIC: Great to stack fear effects. Swift action. If you have Dreadful Wrath, you can attack, create fear aura from your feat, hex, and activate this ability. 15.000 gp cost but 3/day. Healing MIC: This ability automatically heals you when you get under -1 to -9 hit points. Great because it saves a turn for your healer and gives you the chance to get out of harm’s way. 8.000 Magic Eating MIC: Interesting in a spellcaster heavy campaign. You have nice saves versus spells and this ability can be used unlimited times per day. Menacing MIC: As fearsome, this is great to stack fear effects. The best part of this is that the save difficulty class is based off your charisma. It is pricy though and affects only one creature. It is also a standard action. Quickness MIC: Extra speed is always nice and this can benefit your dark companion, too, in case you have one. It’s enchantment bonus however to speed and they don’t stack. 5000 Speed MIC: Cheap way to gain some extra attacks and haste bonuses. 3/day and 6000. Stamina MIC: As Agility. Fearsome DotU: Great! Enhancement bonus to your intimidate skill and demoralize as a move action.
Crystal of Lifekeeping MIC: Provides competence bonus against death attacks and the similar. Epsecially nice since you have mettle. Restful Crystal MIC: Handy if adventuring. Iron Ward Diamond MIC: Gives you some damage reduction which stack with similar. Only blocks a certain amount of damage per day.
Ring of Evasion DMG: Combined with mettle you have an evasion effect against all effects. Ring of Wizardry DMG: Nice rings to wear if you want to spam spells of a certain level. Ring of Arcane Might MIC: +1 bonus to spell penetration checks, caster level checks and all level-based variables. Nice. Metamagic Rods, lesser: They can be used with most of your spells. Rods like extend, maximize or empower can be handy and cheap. Quicken however is useless for you. Remember than to enhance a spell with a rod, you will have to use a full-round action. Circlet of Persuasion DMG: +3 competence bonus to all charisma checks. Hand of Glory DMG: In case you want more than 2 rings. Pale Green Ioun Stone DMG: +1 competence bonus to nearly everything, this creates a bigger gap between you and debuffed opponents. Orange Ioun Stone DMG: +1 caster level. Helps in the area you lack most. Luckstone DMG: +1 luck bonus on saving throws, ability and skill checks. Arcanist’s Gloves MIC: A +2 unnamed bonus to your caster level for 1st level spells only. These come handy and are cheap. Usable 2/day. Belt of Growth MIC: Enlarge person is very nice because it provides you with additional reach and strength. You also get a bonus to your demoralize check due to your size. Armbands of Might MIC: A bonus to strength checks, power attack damage. Really worth it. 4100 Casting Glove MIC: This is great. You can store inside it wands and use them as they were in your hands. However retrieving and storing an item is a free action. So this is useful over the normal glove of storing only is special occasions. Circlet of Rapid Casting MIC: Gives you the ability to quicken a few spells per day. Only added because it is relatively cheap and it is difficult to find ways to quicken your spells effectively. Dispelling Chord MIC: Gives a bonus to dispel checks. Nice if you are using dispel magic to get back the lost caster levels. Veil of Allure MIC: A +2 bonus to charisma difficulty classes and enchantment spells. Only 14.000 Hexbands MIC: Add your charisma bonus to damage for 1 round 5 times per day. Also get a +1 boost on your curse’s difficulty class. Headband of Conscious effort MIC: Useful early game item, when your concentration check will most likely be higher than you fortitude save. Cheap 2000. Mesmerism’s Gloves MIC: A free mini-chain spell for your enchantment spells. Great!. Note that it is a free action. Robe of Arcane might MIC: +4 armor bonus to armor class and +1 caster level for a specific school enchantment maybe?. Eternal Wands MIC: This is a very nice item. It gives you two uses of an arcane spell per day. You can cast it even if not on your spell list. The drawback is that you can store spells up to 3rd level and at a fixed caster level 1 for 0 and 1st level, 3 for 2nd level and 5 for 3rd level. Memento Magica MIC: Regain a spell of a particular level. Nice since you will only need the cheap ones.
Abjuration: 32.000 for dispel magic and resist energy. 3/day. Assassin: 10.000 for improved invisibility and poison. 2/day. Charming: 8.000 for charm monster and charm person. 3/day. Conjuration: 25.000 for stinking cloud, summon swarm and unseen servant. 2/day. Enchantment: 32.000 for sleep, suggestion and tasha’s hideous laughter. 3/day. Eyes: 11.000 for see invisibility. 3/day. Fiendish Darkness: 48.000 for dispel magic and darkness. 3/day. Forced Happiness: 18.000 for tasha’s hideous laughter. 2/day. Illusion: 19.000 for disguise self and mirror image. 1/day. Insanity: 46.000 confusion. 2/day. Necromancy: 32.000 for enervation and cause fear. 3/day. Passage: 75.000 for dimension door. 3/day. Time: 35.000 for expeditious retreat. 1/day. Transmutation: 25.000 for alter self, baleful polymorph and expeditious retreat. 2/day. Transportation: 19.000 for dimension door. 3/day. Seeing: 16.000 for see invisibility. 3/day.
You can create a custom runestaff. The spells it contains must be thematically linked some way. Since you actually cast the spells, you can create something like: Runestaff of Familiars: Hound of Doom 3/day, Phantom Steed 1/day, Augment Familiar 3/day, 3.800.
Lawful Evil Human Hexblade 20 (32 point buy, no flaws - traits)
Medium Humanoid Hit Dice: 20d10 + 100 Initiative: +7 Speed: 30ft Armor Class: 18 Touch: 12 Flat-footed: 16 Base Attack: 20 Attack: 20 BAB + 5 str + 1 weapon Space/Reach: 5ft/10ft Saves: +11/+8/+12, mettle, arcane resistance. Abilities: str 20 (+6 enchantment), dex 14, con 20 (+6 enchantment), int 12, wis 10, cha 26 (+6 enchantment, +5 levels). Skills: bluff +16, concentration +28, diplomacy +36, intimidate +36, knowledge (arcana) +2, spellcraft +5, tumble +11, use magic device +12, never outnumbered trick. Feats: Power Attack 1st, Dreadful Wrath Human, Practiced Spellcaster 3rd, Spell Focus (enchantment) 5th, bonus, Imperious Command 6th, Obtain Familiar 9th, Spell Penetration 10th, bonus, Improved Familiar (Imp) 12th, Minor Shapeshift 15th, Greater Spell Penetration 15th, bonus, Leadership 18th, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment) 20th, bonus. Languages Spoken: Common, Infernal. Level Adjustment: +0.
Notable Possessions: +1 Mithral Fearsome Breastplate, +1 Warning gauntlet, +1 sudden stunning bloodstone guisarme, circlet of persuation, veil of allure, hexbands, eternal wand (heroics), armbands of might.
Notable Spells Known
1st Level: Charm Person, Protection from Good, Augment Familiar 2nd Level: Alter Self, Glitterdust, Mirror Image, Whirling Blade 3rd Level: Hound of Doom, Vampiric Touch, Greater Magic Weapon, Dispel Magic 4th Level: Dimension Door, Polymorph, Enervation, Solid Fog
Spells Per Day: 5/5/5/5 (CL: 14, alter self, polymorph CL: 15).
Move your dark companion next to enemy, demoralize as a move action, attack with power attack to activate dreadful wrath, buff yourself with minor shapeshift or use vampiric touch in your bloodstone weapon, hex someone, all in a single round! Have your familiar flank opponents and remember it has your skill points! Intimidate them to stack fear effects. Using psionics you can use psychic reformation to give it imperious command too, or other useful feats. Your opponents are immune to fear? No problem! Just cast hound of doom and smack them with curses and dark companion. The iconic hexblade has low AC and attack bonus. Get items and use spells to cover your weaknesses! Remember that fear effects lower an opponent’s AC and attack rolls and curses lower attack rolls. Use the eternal wand of heroics to gain a fighter feat, like goad, improved initiative, brutal strike, daunting presence.
Lawful Neutral Human Hexblade 15/Abjurant Champion 5 (32 point buy, no flaws - traits)
You can qualify for the abjurant champion class easily at 6th level, if you take combat casting as your bonus feat at 5th level. It might be a good idea to delay until after you have acquired the greater hexblade’s curse for greater benefits. If you take all five levels of the prestige class, you will easily max your caster level, without the need of practiced spellcaster. Thus you will be able to pick spells that are subject to spell resistance and be a lot more reliable. Abjurant champion’s most important ability is probably swift abjuration. Thankfully, the hexblade has a few abjurations.
The abjurant armor ability is useless. No abjuration spell in the hexblade’s list provides an armor or shield bonus. By taking five levels in a prestige class you’re hurting your curse’s DC and you will never have access to the dire hexblade’s curse. You can sort of make up for the DC loss with ability focus. Abjurant champions don’t have diplomacy as a class skill, although they do have intimidate. It is minor, but you’re also loosing one bonus feat and two uses of aura of unluck.
Medium Humanoid Hit Dice: 20d10 + 100 Initiative: +7 Speed: 30ft Armor Class: 18 Touch: 12 Flat-footed: 16 Base Attack: 20 Attack: 20 BAB + 5 str + 1 weapon Space/Reach: 5ft/10ft Saves: +11/+8/+13, mettle, arcane resistance. Abilities: str 20 (+6 enchantment), dex 14, con 20 (+6 enchantment), int 12, wis 10, cha 26 (+6 enchantment, +5 levels). Skills: bluff +16, concentration +28, diplomacy +31, intimidate +36, knowledge (arcana) +6, spellcraft +2, tumble +14, use magic device +12, handle animal +13, never outnumbered trick. Feats: Power Attack 1st, Dreadful Wrath Human, Practiced Spellcaster retrained to Ability Focus (Hexblade’s Curse) 3rd, Combat Casting 5th, bonus, Imperious Command 6th, Obtain Familiar 9th, Spell Penetration 10th, bonus, Improved Familiar (Imp) 12th, Minor Shapeshift 15th, Greater Spell Penetration 15th, bonus, Leadership 18th. Languages Spoken: Common, Infernal. Level Adjustment: +0.
Notable Possessions: +1 Mithral Fearsome Breastplate, +1 Warning gauntlet, +1 sudden stunning bloodstone guisarme, circlet of persuation, veil of allure, hexbands, eternal wand (heroics), armbands of might.
Notable Abjurations Known
1st Level: Protection from Good, Entropic Shield, Undetectable Alignment 2nd Level: - 3rd Level: Dispel Magic, Protection from Energy 4th Level: Spell Theft
Spells Per Day: 5/5/5/5 (CL: 20, alter self, polymorph CL: 21).
Lawful Neutral Human Human Paragon 3/Hexblade 17 (32 point buy, no flaws - traits)
Human paragon gives any ten skills as class skills. This can expand the otherwise limited hexblade skill list. Able Learner can also be used to keep them as class skills. The bonus feat human paragons receive at second level can be used to acquire improved familiar earlier. If you take the bonus two points to your charisma (where else?), you can sort of make up the loss to your curse’s DC.
By taking three levels in the human paragon class you’re hurting your curse’s DC and you will never have access to the dire hexblade’s curse. You can sort of make up for the DC loss with ability focus and by choosing to take the two bonus points to charisma. It is minor, but you’re also loosing one bonus feat and one use of aura of unluck. Human paragon loses on level of spellcasting at first level. Which translates into one less 4th level spell per day, one less 4th level spell known and lower caster level.
Medium Humanoid Hit Dice: 17d10 + 3d8 + 100 Initiative: +7 Speed: 30ft Armor Class: 18 Touch: 12 Flat-footed: 16 Base Attack: 19 Attack: 19 BAB + 5 str + 1 weapon Space/Reach: 5ft/10ft Saves: +11/+8/+13, mettle, arcane resistance. Abilities: str 20 (+6 enchantment), dex 14, con 20 (+6 enchantment), int 12, wis 10, cha 28 (+6 enchantment, +5 levels, +2 human paragon). Skills: autohypnosis +9, bluff +17, concentration +28, diplomacy +22, intimidate +37, spellcraft +5, knowledge (arcana) +2, iaijutsu focus +35, use magic device +19, use psionic device +13, never outnumbered trick. Feats: Power Attack 1st, Dreadful Wrath Human, Practiced Spellcaster3rd, Spell Focus (enchantment)6th, bonus, Imperious Command 6th, Obtain Familiar 9th, Improved Familiar (Imp) 9th, human paragon bonus, Spell Penetration 13th, bonus, Brutal Strike 12th, Minor Shapeshift 15th, Greater Spell Penetration 18th, bonus, Leadership 18th. Languages Spoken: Common, Infernal. Level Adjustment: +0.
Notable Possessions: +1 Mithral Fearsome Breastplate, +1 Warning gauntlet, +1 sudden stunning bloodstone heavy flail, circlet of persuation, veil of allure, hexbands, eternal wand (heroics), armbands of might.
Spells Per Day: 6/5/5/4 (CL: 13, alter self, polymorph CL: 14).
Cleric Dip Hexblade
Lawful Neutral Human Cloistered Cleric or Gargauth 1/Hexblade 19 (32 point buy, two flaws)
You get the ability to use shields from cleric, which will boost your AC a lot. Cleric will give you turn undead, which can power notable divine feats, such as divine vigor and divine might. Plus, you get additional turn attempts with your high charisma. Cleric will boost your fortitude and will saves. Cloistered cleric has 6+int skill points, so at first level you will boost your total skill points significantly. You gain two domains of your choosing plus knowledge domain. Spending a skill point for each monster identifying knowledge will provide you with a +1 bonus to attack and damage, if you swap the knowledge domain for the appropriate devotion feat. The best cleric domains include: charm, luck, magic, travel, pride, time, pleasure and undeath. Strength is also good for enlarge person. You will be able to use some cleric spells which are really good, regardless of caster level. Examples include sign, omen of peril, resurgence, enlarge person, obscuring mist.
The cleric skill list is a little caster-based. It might be a little difficult to establish your intimidate in the beggining, but you’ll get there. You’re loosing one casting level, which means one lower 4th spell per day, one lower 4th level spell known and less caster level for your spells. Your curse is going to be a little weaker, one DC less. You’re going to need a wis of at least 11 to cast cleric spells.
Medium Humanoid Hit Dice: 19d10 + 1d6 + 100 Initiative: +7 Speed: 30ft Armor Class: 20 Touch: 11 Flat-footed: 18 Base Attack: 19 Attack: 19 BAB + 5 str + 1 weapon Space/Reach: 5ft/10ft Saves: +13/+8/+14, mettle, arcane resistance. Abilities: str 20 (+6 enchantment), dex 12, con 20 (+6 enchantment), int 12, wis 12, cha 26 (+6 enchantment, +5 levels). Skills: autohypnosis +4, bluff +16, craft (poison-making) +5, craft (alchemy) +2, concentration +28, diplomacy +36, intimidate +36, knowledge (arcana) +2, knowledge (the planes) +2, knowledge (religion) +2, spellcraft +2, tumble +11, use magic device +12, use psionic device +12, iaijutsu focus +12, never outnumbered trick. Domains: Pride (Reroll 1’s on saves), Charm (+4 unnamed cha bonus as a free action). Feats: Power Attack 1st, Dreadful Wrath Human, Divine Vigor retrained to Sacred Vitality (after minor shapeshift) Flaw, Divine Might Flaw, Practiced Spellcaster 3rd, Spell Focus (enchantment) 6th, bonus, Imperious Command 6th, Obtain Familiar 9th, Spell Penetration 11th, bonus, Improved Familiar (Imp) 12th, Minor Shapeshift 15th, Greater Spell Penetration 16th, bonus, Leadership 18th. Languages Spoken: Common, Infernal. Level Adjustment: +0.
Notable Possessions: +1 Mithral Fearsome Breastplate, +1 animated shield, +1 Warning gauntlet, +1 sudden stunning bloodstone guisarme, circlet of persuation, veil of allure, hexbands, eternal wand (heroics), armbands of might, reliquary holy symbol.
Spells Per Day: Hexblade: 5/5/5/4 (CL: 13, alter self, polymorph CL: 14), Cleric: 3⁄2+1 (CL: 1).
Shadow Adept Hexblade
Lawful Evil Human Hexblade 19/Shadow Adept 1 (32 point buy, two flaws)
Medium Humanoid Hit Dice: 19d10 + 1d4 + 100 Initiative: +7 Speed: 30ft Armor Class: 18 Touch: 12 Flat-footed: 16 Base Attack: 19 Attack: 19 BAB + 5 str + 1 weapon Space/Reach: 5ft/10ft Saves: +11/+8/+13, mettle, arcane resistance. Abilities: str 20 (+6 enchantment), dex 14, con 20 (+6 enchantment), int 12, wis 10, cha 26 (+6 enchantment, +5 levels). Skills: bluff +16, concentration +28, diplomacy +26, intimidate +35, knowledge (arcana) +9, spellcraft +11, tumble +11, use magic device +12, never outnumbered trick. Feats: Power Attack 1st, Dreadful Wrath Human, Shadow Weave Magic Flaw, Sudden Extend Flaw, Practiced Spellcaster 3rd, Spell Focus (enchantment) 5th, bonus, Imperious Command 6th, Obtain Familiar 9th, Spell Penetration 10th, bonus, Insidious Magic 11th, bonus, Pernicious Magic 11th, bonus, Tenacious Magic 11th, bonus, Improved Familiar (Imp) 12th, Minor Shapeshift 15th, Greater Spell Penetration 15th, bonus, Leadership 18th. Languages Spoken: Common, Infernal. Level Adjustment: +0.
Notable Possessions: +1 Mithral Fearsome Breastplate, +1 Warning gauntlet, +1 sudden stunning bloodstone guisarme, circlet of persuation, veil of allure, hexbands, eternal wand (heroics), armbands of might.
Spells Per Day: 5/5/5/5 (CL: 14, transmutations & evocations CL: 13, alter self, polymorph CL: 14).
Male Akutsukai Human Hexblade 3 Size/Type: Medium Undead (Shadowlands) Hit Dice: 3d12 (26 hp) Initiative: +2 Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); fly 80ft. (poor maneuvrability) Armor Class: 22 (+5 armor, +2 Dex, +5 natural armor), 12 touch, 20 flat-footed Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+5 Attack: +5 melee (1d8+3/x3; battleaxe) Full Attack: +3 melee (1d8+2/x3; battleaxe) and +3/+3/+3/+3/+3/+3/+3 (1d6+1/x2; 10ft.; off-hand; throwing axe) Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. Special Qualities: Hexblade’s Curse (1/day; DC 14), Fear Aura (DC 14; shaken; 30ft.) Resistances: Arcane Resistance, Mettle, Undead Traits, Fast Healing 3 (can’t heal damage dealt by jade, diamond or obsidian weapons), and Damage Reduction 5/+1. Saves: Fort -2 (+1 against spells & spell-like abilities), Ref +3 (+6 against spells & spell-like abilities), and Will +3 (+6 against spells & spell-like abilities) Abilities: Str 14, Dex 14, Con –, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 16 Skills: Bluff +8, Intimidate +11 and Knowledge (Arcana) +5 Skill Tricks: Never Outnumbered Feats: Quick Draw [1st], Dreadful Wrath [Human], Lifesense [3rd] and Multiweapon Fighting [Akutsukai] Languages: Common Possessions: Battleaxe, 7 Throwing Axes, and Mithral Breastplate. Challenge Rating: 4 Books used: Cityscape Web Enhancement, Complete Scoundrel, Complete Warrior, Libris Mortis, Oriental Adventures, and Player’s Guide to Faerun.
Courtesy of dark_samurai @BrilliantGameologists
As I was coming home, in company with Mr. Andrews, within two fields of the new road that is by the gate-house of Lord Baltimore, we were met by two men; they attacked us both: the man who attacked me I have never seen since. He clapped a bayonet to my breast, and said, with an oath, Your money, or your life! He had on a soldier's waistcoat and breeches. I put the bayonet aside, and gave him my silver, about three or four shillings.
The highway robbers is a CR 10 encounter for those DMs that want to spice up a game while their players are undergoing a boring trip. The highwaymen ambush the party by charging, trying to stack fear effects with their Dreadful Wraths, demoralizing, cursing, casting Glitterdust or Tasha’s Hideous Laughter and/or applying roach pastes if able.
Lawful Evil Human Hexblade 8 (32 point buy, 1 flaw)
Medium Humanoid Hit Dice: 8d10 Initiative: +2 Speed: 30ft Armor Class: 18 Touch: 12 Flat-footed: 16 Base Attack: 8 Attack: 8 BAB + 3 str + 1 weapon Space/Reach: 5ft/10ft Saves: +4/+4/+6, mettle, arcane resistance. Abilities: str 14, dex 14, con 14, int 12, wis 10, cha 17 (+2 levels). Skills: bluff +8, concentration +13, diplomacy +16, intimidate +16, spellcraft +5, never outnumbered trick. Feats: Power Attack 1st, Dreadful Wrath Human, Master of Poisons Flaw, Practiced Spellcaster 3rd, Spell Focus (enchantment) 5th, bonus, Imperious Command 6th. Languages Spoken: Common, Infernal. Level Adjustment: +0.
Notable Possessions: +1 Mithral Breastplate, +1 guisarme, hexbands, some doses of roach paste!