"Arcane Striking" for Bladedancers

I don't really like the Bladedancer class; it seems too similar to the cleric to be all that interesting. Something that Alex mentioned in one of the threads here was that, were he to rewrite the Bladedancer, it would have some ability similar to the Ruinguard's Arcane Striking instead of turn undead. (If you don't remember, the Arcane Striking ability lets you sacrifice spell castings for extra melee damage.)

Something like that would make the Bladedancer feel a lot more distinct and battle-focused. But what would it look like? Arcane Striking costs one power if the class is Arcane 1 or 2, and two powers if the class is Arcane 3 or 4. The Bladedancer is Divine 2, and a Divine 2 character giving up turn undead yields them two special powers. However, Divine 2 characters actually get more spells per day than Arcane 4 characters do after level 7; before level 7, Arcane 4 characters get just one more spell per day. This potentially complicates matters a bit.

The cleanest adapation of Arcane Striking seems to be to treat "Divine Striking" as a special ability that costs two powers, swap out the Bladedancer's turn undead for Divine Striking, and call it a day.

At low levels, turn undead is pretty useful, so this maybe weakens the Bladedancer slightly, particularly at level 1 where they don't get any spellcasting. But at high levels, the Divine Striking Bladedancer is probably more powerful? So maybe that balances out, depending on your design philosophy.

A modification might be to limit the uses per day of Divine Striking for Bladedancers. I am not sure if this is necessary; if it is unnecessary, it just adds another layer of bookkeeping.

Does anyone have thoughts on this possibility? Have you made similar modifications to Bladedancers?


In my campaign I added religions for whom their version of the Bladedaner was the "Righteous Bladedancer" who made the exchange of Turn Undead for "Dive Striking".  Because of the relative weakness of Divine Spells relative to Arcane as well as the number of class build points it takes to get full arcane casting, I lowered the damage die from d6 to d4 and that seemed to work well enough.

Something to consider is that the Divine source factor for blast damage is x2.25 versus Arcane's x1 source factor. Dealing 1d6 damage costs 27 points; dividing that by 2.25 yields 12 points. 

The change in cost per die is about 8 points - e.g. d4 is 20 points, d6 is 27 points, d8 is 35 points, d10 is 44 points, and d12 is 52 points.

That suggests that Divine striking ought to do d2 damage.

HOWEVER, Divine striking would only cost 1 class power. 

Since its relative cost is being doubled to 2 class powers in Jard's suggestion, 1d4 damage seems appropriate.


Yeah, I started to consider the blast damage cost right after I posted. It is a good point, and 1d4/level seems an acceptable compromise. (Although now we have the issue that the d4 is the least satisfying die to roll, but whatever.)

I recommend getting the d12s that just have 1-4 on them. much more satisfying.