“Welcome to the Tipsy Swordmaster. If you need aid in your study of the Ginta, I am more than willing to aid.” – Mengjaal, Swordmaster Guildmaster of Var Bandor

Artists of the blade, swordmasters are dedicated students of grace and perfection. Because of their dedication to a single sword, longer-lived and more broadly experienced swordmasters are able to vastly outclass swordsmen of other professions.


Introduction

Swordmasters are warriors who have devoted their lives to mastering one weapon – the blade. Learned in ancient meditative techniques, they practice the art of ak’anginta: “thought-to-form”, in which the sword becomes an extension of self, with each style an expression. Using these “ginta” or “forms”, a swordmaster becomes one of Avendar’s most formidable combatants, displaying a mastery of his weapon unparalleled by any other. The roots of ak’anginta are often claimed by the aelin, its graceful and aesthetically pleasing motions expressing the highest ideals of their storied culture. However, over time, other races have left their mark on the profession’s practice, be it in the cruel precision of the shuddeni or the brutal power of the srryn.

Individual swordmasters often find personal affinity to a single form early in training. However, swordplay is as flexible as it is unique, leading many to take great pride in mastering a variety of styles. Additionally, the trained ambidexterity offered by this path allows for greater diversity in sword selection than other warriors. Because of their dedication to a single sword, longer-lived and more broadly experienced swordmasters are able to vastly outclass swordsmen of other professions.

A deeply aesthetic art, aelin swordmasters of good alignment often favor Aeolis as a deity, while evil practitioners occasionally offer secret homage to Serachel. These affinities can also apply to other races as well, especially those whose study heightens their appreciation for aelin culture. However, the path of the ginta is often as deeply individual as its students, making common swordmasters of all faiths, or none.


Class Abilities

Click an ability name to see more details.

Skills

Level 1: Dagger
Syntax: Automatic

Small, bladed weapons, daggers are one of the simplest melee weapons, often
favoured by scholars for this reason, most other professions in Avendar also
receiving training in them. Rogues are more intimately trained in their usage,
learning techniques both flashy and subtle. Typically thrusting or slashing
weapons, due to their length, they are poor at warding off blows though it is
likewise difficult to parry against a dagger. Someone wielding a dagger will
have a harder time getting around a shield, a stone phalanx, or a fighter's
fending.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: PARRY
Level 1: Sword
Syntax: Automatic

One of the most commonly-produced and commonly-trained weapons in Avendar,
swords are simple to learn the basics of, but may take decades to master. The
only weapon with an entire profession dedicated solely to their usage, in the
hands of most others, swords are a particularly average weapon. Typically
slashing or piercing, they range from slender rapiers to massive two-handed
claymores.

Primary Attribute: Strength, Dexterity

See also: PARRY
Level 1: Parry
Syntax: Automatic

One of the few skills taught by almost all guilds of Avendar, parrying is the
art of fending off an opponent's blows with one's own weapon. It is easiest to
do so with a staff, though polearms and spears are well-suited to it as well.
Swords and exotic weapons are neither good nor poor to one attempting to
parry, though gladiators will parry better with an exotic and swords parry
more effectively when wielded with both hands. Maces, axes, flails, daggers
and whips are in turn less and less suited to parrying with.

Fighters, by virtue of their training in a variety of techniques, will be more
skilled at parrying no matter what the weapon.

Wielding a weapon other than a sword or a spear in one's offhand will inhibit
parrying with the main hand, though gladiators learn techniques to parry
better while offhanding a whip. It is typically easier to parry when skilled
with one's own weapon.

It is particularly difficult to parry against daggers and whips, and easier to
parry polearms.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: DUAL WIELD, individual weapon helpfiles
Level 1: Grace
Syntax: Automatic

Devoting so much of their life to the usage of the blade, swordmasters grow
adept with any sword they put their hand on. Even a poorly-crafted blade will
strike more fiercely in the hands of someone with this skill, causing direct
improvements to a sword's average damage. This will not be sufficient to
replace a true master's favoured weapon, or a sword meant to kill legends, but
it might help with attaining such a blade. Additionally, with this skill, a
swordmaster has a significantly reduced chance of causing damage to their
weapons through combat.

Finally, with this skill, at any point when damroll would be checked for melee
combat (including via forms or skills), hitroll will be used in its place.
This effect scales to the user's level, and sees sharply diminishing returns
above sixty hitroll.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: REPAIR, HITROLL, DAMROLL
Level 2: Enhanced Damage
Syntax: Automatic

Most of the non-scholarly guilds offer their students training in heightening
the force of their blows. A higher skill will see better results at these
techniques, as will a better weapon.

Primary Attribute: Strength

See also: BRUTAL DAMAGE, PROWESS
Level 3: Dual Wield
Dual wielding is the ability to use an additional weapon in the character's
offhand. Weapons being dual wielded will suffer a slight penalty in the amount
of damage and have a lesser chance of iterative attacks. Weapon weight must be
considered with this skill, as only weapons lighter then the one being wielded
in the main hand are capable of being dual wielded. Swordmasters are exempt
from this restriction, and can dual wield nearly any two swords they can hold.
Certain unwieldy combinations of weapons will be more awkward to defend
oneself with.

Large-sized races, such as the chaja or alatharya, are able to hold certain
kinds of two-handed weapons with one hand, and dual wield them. The balance of
spears, staves, and polearms are such that this is not possible for these
weapons.

The ambidextrous trait, available upon creation and given to gladiators and
swordmasters automatically, reduces but does not remove the weight
restrictions (though swordmasters have none in either case).

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: PARRY, AMBIDEXTROUS
Level 4: Dodge
Syntax: Automatic

Dodge is a melee defense skill focused on the avoidance of blows. It is
particularly difficult to dodge flails and polearms, and easier to dodge
whips. Dodge is the favored defense of rogues, but it is taught in many other
schools as well.

All aelin receive a bonus to this skill.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity
Level 5: Rescue
Range    : Target PC or Mobile

Syntax: Rescue <target>

Rescue allows the user intercede in combat for another. This will direct the
melee blows of the target's foe at the user, removing them from combat. If the
target is being targeted by multiple opponents, they will need to be rescued
from each one in turn. It is not possible to rescue someone who is not being
targeted by any enemies. A character who is autoassisting will immediately
rejoin combat after being rescued.

Primary Attribute: Charisma, Dexterity

See also: AUTOASSIST, AUTOATTACK
Level 6: Fast Healing
Syntax: Automatic

Fast healing is a skill taught by most guilds, that their students might apply
their knowledge to quicker recovery of bodily injuries, increasing the rate at
which they gain hit points.

Primary Attribute: Constitution

See also: HIT POINTS
Level 7: Meditation
Syntax: Automatic

A basic technique for focusing one's thoughts, meditation is a skill taught by
all guilds that their students may recover mana more quickly.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Wisdom

See also: TRANCE, MANA
Level 8: Offhand Parry
Syntax: Automatic

Unimpressed by the phalanx-shields of fighters, swordmasters have mastered
the art of parrying with their secondary weapons. While slightly less
effective than parry, this skill allows a dual-wielding swordmaster to defend
with his offhand weapon; this skill is most effective against polearms, and
least against daggers and whips.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: PARRY, DUAL WIELD
Level 9: Second Attack
Syntax: Automatic

Characters with proficiency in this skill will attempt a second attack each
round with both their main and any offhanded weapons. Mastery of this skill
does not guarantee the attack will be attempted every round, but it does make
it very likely.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity, Strength

See also: DUAL WIELD
Level 10: Meditative Strike
Duration : Instantaneous                           Weapon: Sword
Range    : Current Opponent
  
Syntax: Meditativestrike
  
Effectively fighting in meditative trances, swordmasters may make a quick
strike at their enemies while in combat, dealing damage. Because their
meditative state is enhanced while in form, they will recover more quickly
when using this skill, incurring less lag than while out of form.
  
Primary Attribute: Wisdom, Dexterity
Level 12: Stunning Blow
Duration : Instantaneous
Range    : Single PC or Mob

Syntax: Stunningblow <target>

With this skill a swordmaster may attempt to stun their opponent, causing them
to be lagged.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: LAG
Level 14: Disarm
Duration : Instantaneous
Range    : Current Weapon-Wielding Opponent

Syntax: Disarm

Combat-oriented classes can use this skill to knock a weapon from their foe's
hands. Two-handed weapons are more difficult to disarm, while certain other
weapons such as whips and flails are easier to use to disarm others.

Most weapons will fall to the ground when disarmed, though those that bear the
nodrop or inventory flags remain in the character's inventory. Items with the
noremove and nodisarm flags cannot be disarmed with this skill. Mobiles who
are able to see at the time they are disarmed will immediately pick up their
weapon.

This skill must be used while already in combat, and only against the person
the user is currently fighting.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity
Level 15: Third Attack
Syntax: Automatic

Characters with proficiency in this skill will attempt a second attack each
round with both their main and any offhanded weapons. Mastery of this skill
does not guarantee the attack will be attempted every round, but it does make
it very likely.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity, Strength

See also: DUAL WIELD
Level 17: Trance
Syntax: Automatic

A further refinement upon the more widely taught basic technique of
meditation, trance is taught by the spellworking guilds and those focused on
more meditative studies, in order to better recover their mana.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Wisdom

See also: MEDITATION, MANA
Level 20: Offhand Disarm
Duration : Instantaneous
Range    : Current Item-Holding Opponent

Syntax: Offhand

This skill is used by swordmasters to strip items in their opponent's offhand.
This can be a dual wielded weapon, a held object, or a shield, causing it to
fall to the ground. Items bearing the noremove or nodisarm flags cannot be
disarmed with this skill.

This skill must be used while already in combat, and only against the person
the user is currently fighting.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: DISARM
Level 25: Fourth Attack
Syntax: Automatic

Characters with proficiency in this skill will attempt a fourth attack each
round with both their main and any offhanded weapons. Mastery of this skill
does not guarantee the attack will be attempted every round, but it does make
it very likely.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: DUAL WIELD, THIRD ATTACK
Level 30: Feint
Duration : Instantaneous                 Minimum cost: 5
Range    : All currently fighting the user
  
Syntax: Feint
  
This skill may be used to make a quick feint at one's enemies, distracting
them and causing them to lose an attack in the next round of combat.
  
Primary Attribute: Charisma, Dexterity
Level 35: Reversal of Fortune
Syntax: Automatic

Experienced swordmasters, wise to the common tricks of combat, may use a trick
of their own to counter attempts to disarm them. The unwise opponent who
decides to disarm a swordmaster may find themself disarmed instead.

Should one wish to not disarm the enemy, the autoreverse toggle will prevent
this.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: SETTINGS
Level 40: Versatility
Syntax: Automatic

Swordmasters, with their intense focus on one particular type of weapon, can
become equally versatile with both hands. If a swordmaster is disarmed once he
knows this skill, there is a chance that he will be able to remain holding his
sword-form, so long as he is dual wielding another sword.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: DUAL WIELD
Level 46: Favored Blade
Syntax: Automatic

Swordmasters, who spend their entire lives in the use of swords, are in a
unique position to appreciate the pecularities of an individual weapon.
Favoured blade allows a swordmaster to go beyond one hundred percent with his
weapon skill, typically a sword. He will gain improvements with it as any
other weapon, though greater peaks of mastery will grow harder and harder as
he grows closer to the weapon. While there is in theory no limit to how much
there is to learn about an individual weapon, practical considerations
usually prevent this from being a reality. Of course, it is difficult to learn
more of a blade against an inadequate opponent; no gains will be seen unless
the opponent is of equal or greater level to the swordmaster.

The swordmaster's bonus percentage is per-weapon; he can have more than one
favoured blade at any given time, but unless he is meticulous, they will all
have different bonuses. He may view his progress with his chosen at any time
that he is wielding it by using the skills command.

A swordmaster wielding his favoured blade will have a chance to be fully
capable in combat even while blinded, proportionally to his skill with this
weapon.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence

See also: DEVOTION, BLINDFIGHTING

Forms

Level 8: Form of the Bull
                                                    Cost per Round: 10 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Bull'

The first offensive form that a swordmaster learns, the form of the bull
provides a substantial bonus to all damage they deal with a sword. However,
they will far more frequently miss due to armour class, unless they are
intimately familiar with their weapon.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Strength

See also: ARMOR CLASS
Level 10: Form of the Serpent
                                                    Cost per Round: 5 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Serpent'

The form of the serpent allows a swordmaster to move with the sinuous
swiftness of the serpent, significantly increasing their chance to dodge
attacks, as well as kicks; furthermore, they will never miss an attack due to
the opponent's armour class. However, the heightened precision will cause a
reduction in all outgoing melee damage.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: ARMOR CLASS, DODGE
Level 12: Form of the Hawk
                                                    Cost per Round: 20 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Hawk'

Dancing through the opponents blows like a nimble hawk, a swordmaster in the
form of the hawk finds that their ability to protect himself increases: their
dexterity increases and they gains a bonus to his armour class proportional to
their level. In this form, there is also a chance that they will evade
attempts to trip them, legsweep them, cross, ensnare, or surprise attack them,
punishing those who try with a full round of attacks.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: ARMOR CLASS, TRIP, SWEEP, LEGSWEEP, other listed skills
Level 14: Form of the Mongoose
                                                    Cost per Round: 20 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Mongoose'

Imitating the exotic mongoose, this notoriously stylish form allows a
swordmaster to strike successively in combat, for each blow he attempts to
land. These attacks may miss or be blocked as with any other.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity
Level 16: Form of the Monkey
                                                    Cost per Round: 5 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Monkey'

A less-extreme variant of the form of the reed, form of the monkey is also
used to enhance a swordmaster's defensive capability. Less pronounced in all
regards, the swordmaster will still see a marked increase in his ability to
parry and offhand parry, and he will be unable to attempt to make a fourth
attack in a combat round.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: PARRY, OFFHAND PARRY, FORM OF THE REED
Level 18: Form of the Spider
                                                    Cost per Round: 20 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Spider'

Drawing their opponents into a complicated series of strikes, a swordmaster in
the form of the spider may tire his opponent considerably, dealing substantial
damage to his move points, striking and withdrawing, pulling the unwitting
opponent into his trap.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: MOVE
Level 20: Form of the Panther
                                                    Cost per Round: 20 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Panther'

Mimicking the stealthy motions of the great jungle panthers, swordmasters in
this form move silently through combat, granting unparalleled protection
against bashes and shield bashes. Should he flee from combat, the direction in
which he flees will be obscured, as well.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: BASH
Level 22: Form of the Boar
                                                    Cost per Round: 5 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Boar'

A general purpose offensive form, swordmasters modelling their attacks after
the charging boar, increasing damage dealt with their melee atacks, but
penalizing their armour class. As the swordmaster gains in level, this
malus will increase.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Strength

See also: ARMOR CLASS
Level 24: Form of the Reed
                                                    Cost per Round: 20 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Reed'

In the form of the reed, the swordmaster focuses all of abilities on using his
weapon to beat back his opponents attack. Bending like a reed in the wind, his
ability to both parry and offhand parry is doubled. However, this level of
focus means that he is then unable to attempt second, third, or fourth
attacks.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: PARRY, OFFHAND PARRY
Level 26: Form of the Eagle
                                                    Cost per Round: 35 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Eagle'

In the form of the eagle, the swordmaster mimicks the diving attacks of the
great bald eagle, attempting to make a successive attack in a round of combat.
This attack can never be blocked, but it may miss due to armour class.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: ARMOUR CLASS
Level 28: Form of the Crab
                                                    Cost per Round: 30 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Crab'

When a swordmaster assumes the form of the crab, he imitates the motion of the
blue shelled beach crab, sidling his way toward his foe, then delivering a
pincer strike, using his weapons to attempt to disarm his opponent's weapon,
more efficiently than the skill itself would be. A swordmaster must be dual
wielding in order to see the effects of this form.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: DISARM, DUAL WIELD
Level 30: Form of the Mockingbird
                                                    Cost per Round: 5 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Mockingbird'

The form of the mockingbird is used for the purposes of countering other
warriors' attack skills. The majority of those used by fighters, gladiators,
and barbarians may all be negated by the use of this form, its distracting
motions pulling opponents up short.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Wisdom
Level 32: Form of the Viper
                                                    Cost per Round: 20 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Viper'

Using their already precise striking ability, swordmasters can use the form of
the viper to inflict strategic hits against an opponent, dealing damage to
both strength and dexterity. The pinprick nature of the wounds means they
cannot be healed except simply by waiting. The effects of this form are
cumulative.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity
Level 34: Form of the Dragon
                                                    Cost per Round: 20 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Dragon'

Modelling this offensive form after the legendary dragons, a swordmaster in
this form sacrifices much of his ability to both parry and offhand parry in
order to even more greatly penalize his opponent's ability to parry or 
manipulate a warding weapon.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Strength
Level 36: Form of the Rose
                                                    Cost per Round: 15 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Rose'

The form of the rose is one of the most visually evocative forms taught to
swordmasters. Each time they parry or offhand parry an attack, there is a
chance they will turn the blow back against his opponent in a riposte.
Mainhand parries will result in more damaging ripostes than those delivered
from an offhand parry. Ripostes are always more effective against enemies who
are not wearing a shield.

Greater mastery of this form will produce more pronounced results.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity
Level 38: Form of the Cat
                                                   Cost per Round: 30 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Asp'

Delving into the meditative fighting styles of the swordmasters and melding it
with the magics of their sphere, Void templars have formulated the form of the
asp, a variant on both the form of the wasp and the viper, empowered by their
negative magics. Each round of combat while in this form, the templar may
deliver an asp strike, dealing strength and dexterity damage, and causing the
target to bleed. All of these effects are cumulative with each successive
strike.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

See also: FORMS, FORM OF THE WASP, FORM OF THE VIPER
Level 40: Form of the Bear
                                                    Cost per Round: 35 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Bear'

Like the great bears, a swordmaster in this form strikes with increased
ferocity, mauling their foes. They will receive a massive bonus to melee
damage, but will also lose all ability to either parry or offhand parry.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Strength

See also: PARRY, OFFHAND PARRY
Level 42: Form of the Wasp
                                                    Cost per Round: 25 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Wasp'

This form is characterized by its sharp, piercing strikes deep into an
opponent's bodies. Each such blow will cause his opponent to bleed profusely.
These bleeding wounds may be cured. Additional strikes do not extend the
duration.

Primary Attribute: Dexterity

See also: MEND WOUNDS, REGENERATION
Level 44: Form of the Whirlwind
                                                    Cost per Round: 60 mana

Syntax: Assume 'Form of the Whirlwind'

Moving like a whirlwind amongst his foes, a swordmaster in this form will
attempt a full round's worth of attacks against all PCs or mobiles with whom
he is in combat.

Primary Attribute: Intelligence, Dexterity

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