(Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords variant, p. 100)
Other martial adepts rightfully look with wonder upon those who learn the bloodstorm style.
4 + Int
Returning Attacks (Ex): You can hurl your weapon at a foe and command it to ricochet back to you. Any weapon you throw behaves as though it has the returning special ability (DMG 225). When you use returning attacks, you lose the use of one Iron Heart strike you have readied for the current encounter, just as if you had initiated the strike (except you do not also gain the strike's normal effect). Once you use this ability, you can recover the maneuver you expended and use it normally.
Throw Anything: As an initiate of the mysteries of the bloodstorm technique, you learn to throw swords as easily as others hurl daggers. You gain Throw Anything (see the sidebar) as a bonus feat.
Weapon Aptitude (Ex): Your training with a wide range of weaponry and tactics allows you the opportunity to gain great skill with particular weapons. You can qualify for feats requiring a minimum number of fighter levels (such as Weapon Specialization) as if you had a fighter level equal to your combined warblade and bloodstorm blade levels —2. Furthermore, you have the flexibility to adjust your weapon training. Each morning, you can spend 1 hour practicing and change the weapons selected for any feat you have that applies only to a single chosen weapon. For example, you could change your Weapon Focus (greataxe) feat so its benefit applies to longswords instead. You can adjust any number of your feats in this way, and you don't have to adjust them all in the same way. You can't change the weapon choices in such a way that you no longer meet a feat's prerequisite. For instance, you must be proficient with a weapon chosen for Weapon Focus; and if you have both Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization with the longsword, you couldn't change Weapon Focus without also changing Weapon Specialization to the same weapon. You must also have that weapon available during practice; if you don't have a longsword handy, you can't assign your feats to affect longswords.
Martial Throw (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, you can initiate a strike from the Iron Heart discipline with a thrown weapon. The strike must be one that has a target of one creature. A strike that targets multiple creatures or objects cannot be used with martial throw.
Thunderous Throw (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, you build up incredible tension as you ready yourself to throw your weapon, which becomes visible around you like heat waves. When you release your weapon, that power rushes out with your weapon. As a swift action, you can choose to treat your ranged attack rolls with thrown weapons as melee attacks for the rest of your turn. You use your melee attack bonus, including Strength bonus, feats, and so forth, to determine your attack bonus for each attack as normal, but you apply the standard modifiers for range penalties. Attacking into melee, through cover, and so forth incurs the standard penalties. In addition, you can apply 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus to damage if you wield the thrown weapon with two hands, and you can use Power Attack with your thrown weapon attacks (adding two times the number subtracted from attack rolls as a bonus on damage rolls when throwing a twohanded weapon).
Bonus Fighter Feat: Bloodstorm blades study all aspects of combat as they learn to rain blows down upon distant foes and enemies close at hand. At 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, you gain a bonus feat chosen from the list of fighter bonus feats. You must meet the prerequisite of the feat to take it.
Lightning Ricochet (Ex): From 4th level on, you can throw your weapon at a nearby foe and command it to immediately bounce back to your grasp. Any time you make a ranged attack with a thrown weapon on your turn, the weapon immediately returns to you, and you can catch it as a free action. This ability allows you to make a full attack entirely with thrown weapon attacks, or with a mix of thrown and melee attacks.
Blood Wind Ricochet (Ex): As a full-round action, at 5th level and higher, you can hurl a weapon at a foe and compel it to ricochet to other enemies before hurtling back to your waiting hand. The weapon you throw behaves as though it has the returning special ability (DMG 225), except that you determine the point during your turn when the weapon returns to you. When using this ability, you make a full attack with a thrown weapon, but each ranged attack must be resolved against a separate target. You can choose the order in which you attack your foes. Range and cover penalties are resolved for each attack after the first as though that attack originated from the space of the creature you last attacked. If a creature has total cover relative to you, you cannot attack it. When you use blood wind ricochet, you lose the use of one Iron Heart strike you have readied for the current encounter, just as if you had initiated the strike (except you do not also gain the strike's normal effect). Once you use this ability, you can recover the maneuver you expended and use it normally.
Eye of the Storm (Ex): At 7th level, you learn to center your being and adopt a mindset of calm readiness despite the furor of battle raging about you. While you are in an Iron Heart stance, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of eye of the storm. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the Iron Heart stance, or as described below. You can also stop using eye of the storm and resume gaining the normal benefit of the stance as a swift action. When you use this ability, you gain a +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against ranged attacks and a +2 competence bonus on Reflex saves. In addition, when a foe makes an attack of opportunity against you when you make a ranged attack while threatened, you can make a single melee attack against that foe as a swift action (assuming you're not unarmed and you threaten the foe). Such an attack does not count as an attack of opportunity. To retain this defensive posture, you can move no more than 10 feet on your turn.
Blood Rain (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, you can enter a state that enables you to inflict a terrible bleeding wound on any living creature you damage with a thrown weapon or a melee attack. While you are in an Iron Heart stance, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of blood rain. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the Iron Heart stance, or as described below. You can also stop using blood rain and resume gaining the normal benefit of the stance as a swift action. The creature you hit with your attack takes 3 points of damage due to blood loss at the beginning of your turn each round. This effect ends if you stop using the stance. An affected creature can end the effect by being the beneficiary of any healing (such as a cure spell) or a DC 15 Heal check. The bleeding effect of blood rain does not stack with itself or the blood rain ability of another bloodstorm blade.
Blade Storm (Ex): At 10th level, you can hurl your weapon as a full-round action to make it seem as if you are attacking a dozen foes at once. You become the center of a storm of steel as your thrown weapon flies out to strike a foe, returns to ricochet harmlessly off you, then flies out to attack another foe. You can make a ranged attack with a thrown weapon at your highest attack bonus against as many targets as you wish. You can attack each target just once with this attack, calculating range and cover penalties from your position on the battlefield. When you use blade storm, you lose the use of one Iron Heart strike you have readied for the current encounter, just as if you had initiated the strike (except you do not also gain the strike's normal effect). Once you use this ability, you can recover the maneuver you expended and use it normally.
STOPPING A RETURNING WEAPON
It might seem logical to ready an action to grab a weapon that flies about the battlefield or somehow strike it from the air, but a thrown weapon is no more vulnerable to such tactics than an arrow. Although a feat such as Deflect Arrows remains useful protection, a thrown weapon with the returning special ability must be treated like any other thrown weapon. Once thrown, it is in rapid constant motion and never hovers or hangs in the air. However, some of the tactics that work against arrows can be effective against a bloodstorm blade's thrown weapon attacks. For example, a creature could ready an action to close a door between itself and a bloodstorm blade when the blade throws a weapon. If the readied action was contingent on the weapon being thrown, the closed door would provide total cover against the attack. If the readied action was contingent on the weapon passing through the open door, the weapon would attack the bloodstorm blade's intended target, but would be prevented from returning and fall to the floor after making its attack (whether successful or not), since line of effect no longer exists between the weapon and its wielder.
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Returning attacks, Throw anything, weapon aptitude|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+0||Martial throw, thunderous throw|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+1||Bonus fighter feat|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||Blood wind ricochet|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+2||Bonus fighter feat|
|7th||+7||+5||+2||+2||Eye of the storm|
|9th||+9||+6||+3||+3||Bonus fighter feat|
|Skill name||Key ability||Trained only||Armor check penalty|