"My magic is a weapon, a keen edge brought to bear against the greatest of foes, and none shall best me in combat." --Nothoreon Kilnarok, Swordmage

The Swordmage is, at their essence, a fighter; they simply use magic as their weapon instead of steel. While they may carry a mundane or magically enhanced weapon, their true weapon of choice are the constructs of arcana they can call upon at a moment's notice, to suit the situation at hand.

Unlike true spellcasters, the Swordmage is not limited in how many times per day they may use their powers, but unlike mundane warriors, they cannot rely on a single, reliable weapon at all times. Their weapons are intensely ephemeral and temporary, and they must call upon new ones constantly, and in a lengthy battle they may find themselves bereft of the weapons they needs most. Despite the name, the sword is only one of many weapons a Swordmage will employ in any given battle.

Becoming a Swordmage

A Swordmage is typically one with sorcerous or otherwise innate arcane talent, but more of a penchant for physical combat than magical. Though hardier than true mages, the Swordmage must rely on their arcane arms and armor in order to stand toe to toe with more solid fighters.


Charisma is the most important ability for Swordmages; their force of personality dictates the efficacy of their Incantations, the reality of the blades the conjure and the weapons the evoke, as well as their martial skill with said weapons. Intelligence is useful for their Protective Focus, and for the additional skill points. Like everyone they benefit from the hardiness a high Constitution provides.


Often Chaotic. Swordmages are not in any way constricted by alignment, but their fighting style appeals to those who are willing to change their strategy at a moment's notice.


Given their penchant for magic and graceful combat, Elves are unsurprisingly often drawn to Swordmagic. Gnomes, as a naturally arcane race, and Halflings, enjoying as they do a bit of chaos, often favor the path of the Swordmage over the mundane warrior, as their small size is less of a hindrance when using Incantations. Humanity, of course, with its large population and adaptable nature, makes up not a small share of Swordmages.

Class Features of the Swordmage

Hit Die



Class Skills The class skills (and key ability modifier for each) of the Swordmage are Acrobatics(Dex), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Martial) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).

Skills per Level 4 + Int modifier.

Table 1: The Swordmage

Level Base Attack
Special Incantations Readied
0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +1 +0 +0 +2 Weaponized Arcana 4 2 - - - - - - - -
2nd +2 +0 +0 +3 Masterful Cant 4 3 - - - - - - - -
3rd +3 +1 +1 +3 5 3 2 - - - - - - -
4th +4 +1 +1 +4 Enhanced Cant +1 5 3 3 - - - - - - -
5th +5 +1 +1 +4 Bonus Feat 6 3 3 2 - - - - - -
6th +6/+1 +2 +2 +5 Protective Focus 6 3 3 3 - - - - - -
7th +7/+2 +2 +2 +5 7 3 3 3 2 - - - - -
8th +8/+3 +2 +2 +6 Enhanced Cant +2 7 3 3 3 3 - - - - -
9th +9/+4 +3 +3 +6 8 3 3 3 3 2 - - - -
10th +10/+5 +3 +3 +7 Arcanized Weaponry, Bonus Feat 8 3 3 3 3 3 - - - -
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +3 +7 9 3 3 3 3 3 2 - - -
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +4 +8 Enhanced Cant +3 9 3 3 3 3 3 3 - - -
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +4 +8 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 - -
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +4 +9 Supercharging 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 - -
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +5 +9 Bonus Feat 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 -
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +10 Enhanced Cant +4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 -
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 Bonus Feat 3 3 3 3 3 3 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Enhanced Cant +5 3 3 3 3 3 3
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Avatar of True Arcana, 3 3 3 3 3

Armor and Weapon Proficiencies

Swordmages are considered proficient in all of the weapons and armor they can conjure with their Incantations, and with all simple weapons as well. Swordmages are proficient with Light Armor, but not with Shields.


Incantations are special, extremely short-lived arcane spells used as weapons by the Swordmage. In general, an Incantation takes an attack action to use, that is they may be used as many times during a full attack action as the Swordmage has iteratives due to base attack bonus, and they may be used for attacks of opportunity. Unless specifically noted in the effect, effects that grant additional attacks may not be made with Incantations stronger than Cantrips (action points are an exception to this).

Extraordinary Supernatural Spell-like Spells Incantations
Components No No No Yes No
Dispel No No Yes Yes Yes
Spell Resistance No No Yes Yes Yes
Attack of Opportunity No No Yes Yes No
Concentration No No Yes Yes No
Antimagic Field No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Incantations are not supernatural abilities, spell-like abilities, or spells, but they are similar to these. Like spells and spell-like abilities, they are generally subject to spell resistance, and can be dispelled, but unlike spells, they cannot be counterspelled. Like supernatural abilities, incantations neither provoke attacks of opportunity nor require concentration checks, but as mentioned they are subject to spell resistance and dispelling, unlike supernatural abilities. Like both spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities, incantations do not require any components per se, but enough freedom of movement is required to actually make the attack in order to use them. These features are summarized in the table to the right.

The DC of saving throws for Incantations is equal to 10 + the Incantation's level + the Swordmage's Charisma modifier. The Swordmage also has an Arcane Caster Level equal to their class level, which may be used by Incantations to determine various effects.

A Swordmage knows all of the Incantations on their list. In addition to the Incantations specifically listed, they know a Cantrip, or 0th level Incantation, for each weapon in which they are proficient: this Cantrip simply creates a copy of a perfectly average weapon, and makes a single attack with it. They may also know Cantrips in weapons with which they are not proficient; they are proficient with the "canted" version, but would not be with a physical specimen of the same weapon.

Unlike spellcasters, Swordmages may end up using any number of Incantations in a given day. However, they can only have a certain, small number of them, as listed in the table above, ready at any given time; readying these requires a mere five minutes of concentration, similar to a martial adept. A Swordmage may ready their Incantations whenever they like and as often as they like, but no Incantation may be readied more than once.

An Incantation's effect is typically to create a "canted weapon" from pure arcana, and attack once with it. This attack typically has side-effects and other benefits associated with it. The weapon is considered magical for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction, but is otherwise identical to a perfectly average weapon of the specified type unless otherwise indicated by the Incantation's description. Normally a Swordmage's incantation weapon damage does not increase when the Swordmage increases in size, but it does suffer reduced damage from smaller Swordmages, unless the Incantation specifies a specifically-sized weapon. A Swordmage never suffers penalties due to wielding an inappropriately-sized canted weapon.

If an Incantation specifies an area of effect, this is usually centered on a corner of the Swordmage's or the target's square, as appropriate. If neither the Swordmage or target is specified as the center, the Swordmage may choose which one.

A Swordmage threatens any squares they would threaten as if wielding any of the weapons offered by their readied but unexpended Incantations.

Recovery: In combat, they may cast their Incantations, at which point they are expended. Recovering expended Incantations is a standard action, which they make at any time; in doing so, they provoke attacks of opportunity, and may be forced to make a Concentration check to avoid wasting their action, as if they were casting a spell. They may also recover their Incantations defensively, with the same rules as if they were casting a spell defensively (the DC is based on the highest level Incantation they are recovering). Upon successfully completing this action, all of their expended Cantrips are again readied as well as a number of Incantations equal to their Charisma modifier, but they may not change which Incantations they have readied.

Beginning at 13th, the Swordmage gains the ability to cast lower-level Incantations without readying them. Instead all Incantations of that level are available to use as desired, but they are still expended as normal until the Swordmage recovers them. These Incantations are indicated by a '∞' in the table above. Beginning at 16th level when the Swordmage recovers Incantations, any marked with the '∞' are recovered automatically just like Cantrips are.

Weaponized Arcana

In place of the usual Strength or Dexterity modifiers on attack and damage rolls, a Swordmage uses their Charisma modifier when using Incantations. If a weapon uses a multiplier on either the Strength or Dexterity modifier (exempli gratia, 1.5x Strength on a two-handed weapon, 0.5x Strength on an off-hand weapon), the same multiplier applies to their Charisma modifier.

Masterful Cant

At 2nd level, the Swordmage gains knowledge of a Cantrip for each martial weapon, and may use these even if not proficient with the actual weapons.

In addition, all weapons created with Incantations are considered at least Masterwork.

Enhanced Cant

Starting at 4th level, all weapons from Incantations gain a +1 enhancement bonus. This bonus increases by +1 at these levels thereafter (+2 at 8th, +3 at 12th, +4 at 16th, and +5 at 19th). This bonus is not reduced like Automatic Bonus Progression, but ABP does not apply to canted weapons unless through Arcanized Weaponry (see below).

Protective Focus

At 6th level, a Swordmage's constant use of Incantations creates a residual effect on them, and with focus they can surround themselves in swirls of protective arcana. The Swordmage gains a dodge bonus to AC and CMD equal to their Intelligence modifier. This bonus can not exceed the maximum Dexterity bonus of their armor.

Bonus Feat

At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 18th levels, the Swordmage gains a bonus feat from the following list. they must meet all requirements for a feat in order to select it.

Adamantine Incantations*, Align Incantations*, Arcane Mastery1, 2, Blind Fight, Cloudy Conjuration1, 3, Combat Expertise, Combat Intuition1, Combat Reflexes, Danger Sense1, Dazzling Illusion1, 3, Defensive Strike1, Dodge, Energy Abjuration1, 3, Evasive Reflexes1, Expert Tactician1, Eyes in the Back of Your Head1, Exotic Incantations*, Favored Incantation*, Fearsome Necromancy1, 3, Fleet of Foot, Force of Personality, Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Combat Expertise1, Improved Initiative, Incantation Focus*, Incantation Specialization*, Insightful Divination1, 3, Iron Incantations*, Martial Training, Metacantation*, Mobility, Piercing Evocation1, 3, Prone Attack1, Run, Sidestep Charge, Silver Incantations*, Spell Penetration, Spring Attack, Superior Expertise, Toughening Transmutation1,3, Toughness, Weapon Focus
1D&D 3.5 feat
2 Arcane Mastery may be qualified for with the ability to cast Incantations as well as the ability to cast spells.
3 Cloudy Conjuration, Dazzling Illusion, Energy Abjuration, Fearsome Necromancy, Insightful Divination, Piercing Evocation, and Toughening Transmutation may be triggered by casting Incantations from the appropriate school, in addition to spells.
* New Feat.

The new feats designed for the Swordmage may be found at Swordmage Feats.

Arcanized Weaponry

Starting at 10th level, a Swordmage may, while casting an Incantation, apply any enhancement bonuses or special abilities found on any actual weapon they are wielding, to the weapon granted by the Incantation. The canted weapon's enhancement bonus cannot exceed +7, nor can its total equivalent enhancement bonus exceed +12. The weapon is considered as if it does not have these bonuses or abilities until the beginning of the Swordmage's next turn. During the Incantation, the physical weapon is absorbed into the canted weapon, and returned to the Swordmage's hand afterwards. Ammunition may never be used for Arcanized Weaponry.

If an Incantation creates more than one weapon, only one may receive the effects of any given weapon. The Swordmage may transfer the effects of other weapons, if they have them in hand, to additional canted weapons, if they desire. However, any single target can only be affected by a Special Ability added through Arcanized Weaponry once in a single Incantation, even if that Incantation would attack the target repeatedly.


Beginning at 14th level, when a Swordmage recovers their Incantations, they gain a bonus on checks to pierce spell resistance equal to their Charisma bonus for three rounds.

Avatar of True Arcana (Ex)

At 20th level, a Swordmage becomes a living, breathing being of pure magical force. Their type changes to Outsider, and they are considered native to every plane that has magic (so they may only gain the Extraplanar subtype if they are on a plane with the Dead Magic trait, they otherwise have the Native subtype). Unlike most Outsiders, the Swordmage may be affected by life restoring magic such as Raise Dead, is immune to being affected by spells of the Conjuration (Calling) subschool, and cannot be banished from any plane except those with the Dead Magic trait.

In addition, twice per day but no more than once per encounter, a 20th level Swordmage may, as a Free Action, channel enormous amounts of Arcana through their body, supercharging all of their Incantations. For one round, all of their Incantations are considered Extraordinary Abilities, that is, are unaffected by Spell Resistance, cannot be Dispelled, and may be used within Antimagic Fields and Dead Magic Zones. Incantations with a duration lasting longer than 1 round are Extraordinary during this round of Arcana channeling (even if originally canted before the Swordmage used this ability), and revert to Spell-like (i.e. immediately end if in an Anti-Magic Field or Dead Magic Zone, and are vulnerable to dispelling otherwise) once the round is over.

Multiclass Swordmages

Swordmagic is at the crossroads between true arcane spellcasting and mundane martial maneuvers. As such, Swordmages are known to be excellent at both pursuits: one adds ¾ of their Swordmage level to all their Initiator Levels, instead of ½, and one also adds ½ their Swordmage level to any other Arcane Caster Levels (unless the Caster Level in question is already adding more than ½; this would not stack, for example, with a bonus akin to the Ur-Priest's). Note that this is considered to be a part of the base Initiator and Caster Levels, not bonuses, and so they are always added before any bonuses and penalties (most notably Practiced Spellcaster).

Swordmages can also qualify for any Prestige Class that requires a Caster Level or the ability to cast Spells of a particular level, by having the appropriate Caster Level or being able to cast Incantations of the same level. they do not, however, have Spell Slots, so they cannot cast any spells that they might gain as Spells Known through Prestige Classes.


Unless otherwise noted, all Incantations have a duration of Instantaneous. Incantations do not have components of any kind, do not provoke attacks of opportunity, are affected by spell resistance, can be dispelled, cannot be counterspelled, do not require Concentration checks, and do not work in antimagic fields or dead magic zones.

Spell resistance, in particular, behaves uniquely with many Incantations. Unless the Incantation specifies "Spell Resistance: Yes" (in which case it does nothing if it fails to breach spell resistance) or "No" (in which case spell resistance has no effect), an Incantation that fails against spell resistance does not gain any of its special properties, except any feats the Swordmage is said to have for the Incantation, and is instead treated as a completely normal attack with the specified weapon (including its magic properties, from the Incantation itself or from feats or class features that add to them).

Swordmage Arts

Some Incantations have the [Art] descriptor. Incantations with this descriptor synergize with other Incantations that have the descriptor: if the Swordmage uses any two Swordmage Arts in a single round, all additional Arts they use in that round gain extra features, as described in their entry.

0th Level Incantations

1st Level Incantations

2nd Level Incantations

3rd Level Incantations

4th Level Incantations

5th Level Incantations

6th Level Incantations

7th Level Incantations

8th Level Incantations

9th Level Incantations