Combining the dynamic powers of martial prowess and arcane might, the hexblade presents a deadly challenge to opponents unused to such a foe.

Adventures: Hexblades adventure for personal gain, whether that gain is power, prestige, wealth, or all the above.

Characteristics: The hexblade balances talents in combat and arcane spellcasting. At lower levels, the hexblade relies on melee ability augmented by his special power to curse his enemies. As he gains experience, he becomes capable of casting a limited number of spells while his curse ability becomes more potent and he gains the ability to warp the normal laws of probability. He can also draw upon the service of a familiar to further augment his abilities.

Alignment: The style of the hexblade tends to be selfish, sometimes even cruel, though it is by no means limited to evil characters. Still, even the friendliest hexblade is at best neutral. Hexblades may be tyrannical or free-minded, disciplined or creative, and thus have no particular bent toward law or chaos.

Religion: Most hexblades aren't very pious, relying on their own talents rather than counting on a deity to protect them. Those who revere a deity often choose Wee Jas (deity of death and magic) or Boccob the Uncaring (deity of magic). Some particularly evil hexblades venerate Nerull (deity of death) or Vecna (deity of secrets).

Background: Like that of the sorcerer, the power of the hexblade often displays itself at an early age, frequently in the form of unexplained accidents or other incidents of bad luck experienced by those around the budding hexblade. Though the hexblade is ultimately a self-taught character, many receive rudimentary training from another arcane spellcaster, such as an older hexblade, sorcerer, wizard, or bard, before setting off on their own.

Unlike sorcerers, hexblades share a unique bond. Though two hexblades who meet in a tavern or apothecary won't necessarily strike up a lasting friendship, it is rare for two hexblades to oppose one another unless great personal gain is on the line.

Races: As with sorcerers, most hexblades are humans or half-elves. Those few gnomes who enjoy a cruel twist to their levity may take up the tradition. Elves wishing to mix magic and warfare more often become fighter/wizards. Dwarves and halflings rarely exhibit the self-centered behavior common among hexblades.

Among the savage humanoids, hexblades may be found as leaders or advisors.

Other Classes: Hexblades tend to get along best with other classes whose members look out for themselves before others, including rogues, rangers, and barbarians. They avoid paladins and other characters dedicated to the service of good or other high-minded ideals. Hexblades sometimes feel jealous of the sorcerer's superior arcane talents, and they shun wizards as weak book-learners.

Role: Though a capable melee combatant, the hexblade relies on opportunistic use of his spells and special abilities to augment this role in the group. A hexblade with the proper skill selection can make a fine leader for a group comfortable with his style.

Game Rule Information

Hexblades have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Charisma controls many of the hexblade's special powers, including his spellcasting. Strength is important for him because of its role in combat. Dexterity and Constitution both contribute to the hexblade's long-term survival.

Alignment: Any non-good.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills: The hexblade's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Profession (Int/Wis), Ride (Dex), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) × 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the hexblade.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Hexblades are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor but not with shields. Because the somatic components required for hexblade spells are simple, a hexblade can cast hexblade spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a hexblade wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (and most do). A multiclass hexblade still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells derived from other classes.

Hexblade's Curse (Su): Once per day, as a free action, a hexblade can unleash a curse upon a foe. The target must be visible to the hexblade and within 60 feet. The target of a hexblade's curse takes a –2 penalty on attacks, saves, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls for 1 hour thereafter. A successful Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 hexblade's class level + hexblade's Cha modifier) negates the effect. At every four levels beyond 1st (5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th) a hexblade gains the ability to use his curse one additional time per day. Multiple hexblade's curses don't stack, and any foe that successfully resists the effect cannot be affected again by the same hexblade's curse for 24 hours.

Any effect that removes or dispels a curse eliminates the effect of a hexblade's curse.

Arcane Resistance (Su): At 2nd level, a hexblade gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum +1) on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.

Mettle (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, a hexblade can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude. If he makes a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as any spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), he instead completely negates the effect. An unconscious or sleeping hexblade does not gain the benefit of mettle.

Familiar: Beginning at 4th level, a hexblade can obtain a familiar. Doing so takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant. The hexblade chooses the kind of familiar he gets. As the hexblade advances in level, his familiar also increases in power. Treat the hexblade as a sorcerer of three levels lower for determining the familiar's powers and abilities.

If the familiar dies or is dismissed by the hexblade, the latter must attempt a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw. Failure means he loses 200 experience points per hexblade level; success reduces the loss to one-half that amount. However, a hexblade's experience point total can never go below 0 as the result of a familiar's demise or dismissal. A slain or dismissed familiar cannot be replaced for a year and day. A slain familiar can be raised from the dead just as a character can be, but it does not lose a level or a point of Constitution when this happy event occurs.

A character with more than one class that grants a familiar may have only one familiar at a time.

Spells: Beginning at 4th level, a hexblade gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells, which are drawn from the hexblade spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, just as a sorcerer can.

To learn or cast a spell, a hexblade must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Cha 11 for 1st-level spells, Cha 12 for 2nd-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a hexblade's spell is 10 + the spell level + the hexblade's Cha modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a hexblade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on the accompanying table. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When the table indicates that the hexblade gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level (for instance, 1st-level spells for a 4th-level hexblade), he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.

The hexblade's selection of spells is extremely limited. A hexblade begins play knowing no spells, but gains one or more new spells at certain levels. (Unlike spells per day, his Charisma score does not affect the number of spells a hexblade knows; the numbers on the table are fixed.)

Upon reaching 12th level, and at every third hexblade level after that (15th and 18th), a hexblade can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the hexblade "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell's level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level hexblade spell the hexblade can cast. For instance, upon reaching 12th level, a hexblade could trade in a single 1stlevel spell (two spell levels below the highest-level hexblade spell he can cast, which is 3rd) for a different 1st-level spell. At 15th level, he could trade in a single 1st-level or 2nd-level spell (since he now can cast 4th-level hexblade spells) for a different spell of the same level. A hexblade may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

Through 3rd level, a hexblade has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is one-half his hexblade level.

Bonus Feat: At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th), a hexblade gains a bonus feat, which must be selected from the following list: Combat Casting, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment, necromancy, or transmutation only), Greater Spell Penetration, Spell Focus (enchantment, necromancy, or transmutation only), Spell Penetration.

Greater Hexblade's Curse (Su): When a hexblade attains 7th level, the penalty on attacks, saves, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls incurred by a target of the hexblade's curse becomes –4 instead of –2.

Aura of Unluck (Su): Once per day, a hexblade of 12th level or higher can create a baleful aura of misfortune. Any melee or ranged attack made against the hexblade while this aura of unluck is active has a 20% miss chance (similar to the effect of concealment). Activating the aura is a free action, and the aura lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the hexblade's Charisma bonus (if any).

At 16th level and higher, a hexblade can use his aura of unluck twice per day. A 20th-level hexblade can activate this aura three times per day.

Dire Hexblade's Curse (Su): When a hexblade attains 19th level, the penalty on attacks, saves, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls incurred by a target of the hexblade's curse becomes –6 instead of –4.


A hexblade who becomes good-aligned loses all hexblade spells and all supernatural class abilities. His familiar becomes a normal animal and leaves the hexblade's service as soon as possible. He may not progress any farther in levels as a hexblade. He retains all the other benefits of the class (weapon and armor proficiencies and bonus feats).

Level Progression

Level Base Attack Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1 +1 +0 +0 +2 Hexblade's curse 1/day
2 +2 +0 +0 +3 Arcane resistance
3 +3 +1 +1 +3 Mettle
4 +4 +1 +1 +4 Summon familiar
5 +5 +1 +1 +4 Bonus feat, hexblade's curse 2/day
6 +6/+1 +2 +2 +5
7 +7/+2 +2 +2 +5 Greater hexblade's curse
8 +8/+3 +2 +2 +6
9 +9/+4 +3 +3 +6 Hexblade's curse 3/day
10 +10/+5 +3 +3 +7 Bonus feat
11 +11/+6/+1 +3 +3 +7
12 +12/+7/+2 +4 +4 +8 Aura of unluck 1/day
13 +13/+8/+3 +4 +4 +8 Hexblade's curse 4/day
14 +14/+9/+4 +4 +4 +9
15 +15/+10/+5 +5 +5 +9 Bonus feat
16 +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +10 Aura of unluck 2/day
17 +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 Hexblade's curse 5/day
18 +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11
19 +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Dire hexblade's curse
20 +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Aura of unluck 3/day, bonus feat

Spells Per Day

Level 1 2 3 4
4 0
5 0
6 1
7 1
8 1 0
9 1 0
10 1 1
11 1 1 0
12 1 1 1
13 1 1 1
14 2 1 1 0
15 2 1 1 1
16 2 2 1 1
17 2 2 2 1
18 3 2 2 1
19 3 3 3 2
20 3 3 3 3

Starting Packages

Race: Human.
Armor: Studded leather (+3 AC, armor check penalty –1, speed 30 ft., 20 lb.).
Weapons: Longsword (1d8, crit 19–20/×2, 4 lb., one-handed, slashing).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 3 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor Check Penalty
Bluff 4 Cha
Ride 4 Dex
Knowledge (arcana) 4 Int
Intimidate 4 Cha
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Spellcraft 4 Int
Spot (cc) 2 Wis
Listen (cc) 2 Wis

Feat: Weapon Focus (longsword).
Bonus Feat: Improved Initiative.
Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day's trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel. Hooded lantern, 3 pints of oil. Quiver with 20 arrows.
Gold: 6d4 gp.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License