The blade is a performer of weapon tricks - they are knife throwers, sword swallowers, blade-dancers, and masters of grace with a weapon. They spin swords, staves, and sickles, clearly masters of their chosen implements. More performers than warriors, blades know how to use their acrobatic flourishes to inspire emotions in their audience - awe, dread, and laughter are drawn out at the flick of their wrist.
The Complete Bard's Handbook presents a character kit for the blade.
Ability Score Requirements: Dexterity 13, Intelligence 13, Charisma 15
Secondary Skills Allowed: Armorer, Bowyer/Fletcher, Gambler, Weaponsmith
Weapon Proficiencies Allowed: At least half of a blade's weapon proficiencies must be spent on learning the dagger, the knife, or any sword. Blades can only learn one weapon that cannot be used in melee combat.
- Defensive Spin: While a blade uses this ability, they may not attack. Their AC is improved by half their level during this maneuver (round fractions up). In addition, any creature that strikes the blade with an attack must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation or take damage equal to half the blade's level (round fractions up; this damage is capped at the weapon's maximum damage). A blade can continue a defensive spin for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution. If the blade is hit, the defensive spin ends.
- Handle Weapons: When attacking with two weapons, blades suffer no penalty on their main weapon, and only a -2 penalty on their off-hand weapon. Blades are considered ambidextrous. Additionally, when a blade tries to catch a small weapon thrown at them with the Juggling proficiency, the attack roll gains a bonus equal to their level.
- Offensive Spin: When a blade takes this action, they must spend one round making a threatening display without attacking. On the next round, the blade must make a normal attack roll, and on a hit, the victim makes a morale check. On a failed morale check, the creature will not voluntarily move to within 10 feet of the blade. Once this is successful, a creature cannot be affected again, and the offensive spin is ineffective on a creature that has damaged the blade. The target must also be of Low (5) or higher Intelligence, to understand the threat. If the blade is hit while performing the offensive spin, it ends.
- Trick Throw: A blade can perform called shots. The usual -4 penalty is reduced by 1 per 5 levels of the blade (round fractions up). Additionally, the benefits of the Blind-Fighting proficiency apply to ranged attacks to a maximum range of 30 feet.
- Weapon Display: A display of skill, precision, and grace takes a full round to take effect. It can't be done in an area that doesn't have enough space for the blade to fully extend their arm in any direction with the weapon out. Once in effect, it lowers the opponents' morale by 2 (if they have an Intelligence of 5 or more and can us weapons), and grants allies a +1 bonus to attack rolls. These effects last for one round per level. A weapon display can be used only once per encounter.
Recommended Proficiencies: Blacksmithing, Bowyer/Fletcher, Disguise, Poetry, Weaponsmithing
Special Hindrances: Blades do not gain the usual 10th-level bard ability to use written magical items. They study weapons, not words.