I won’t make a secret of it, these classes are a bit silly.
It’s a little bit of Inigo Montoya, a little bit of Metal Gear Rising, and a little bit of Kill Six Billion Demons, all catalyzed by point fifteen of a hundred-point list by Throne of Salt, and stuffed into a system that only kind of exists.
Originally, I was just making one class, but when I asked folks at the OSR Discord for ability ideas, I got enough interesting and varied stuff that it turned into two. Thanks to Archon’s Court, diregrizzlybear, Amaril, and mtb-za for their help, and credit to Occultronic's GLOG Sword Saint and ASenseofImmerison's GLOG Swordcaster for being victims of larceny major influences on how this turned out.
I have no idea if these classes are balanced in the slightest. I have never tested them, and I am not particularly good at game balance. They're also designed with Against the Wicked City's significantly edited version of B/X in mind, but it shouldn't be too difficult to convert them to ordinary B/X.
“Sword-mastery is a field separate from normal combat.
Anyone can train to use a sword, but sword-mastery is magic.”
You gain 1d6 HP per level.
You may use only simple weapons and swords. You may not use any armor heavier than a chain shirt (+4 AC), and you may not use any shields.
You gain a bonus to all attack rolls with swords or sword-like objects equal to your level, and a bonus to all other attack rolls equal to half your level, rounded down.
While you are using them, all swords deal 1d10 damage. In addition, if you can convince your DM that a non-sword item is sufficiently sword-like, you may use it as a simple weapon dealing either 1d6 or 1d8 damage, at the DM’s discretion.
You treat your swords properly, and they are unwilling to break. If an effect would destroy or damage a sword that you are currently wielding or a sword that you have been keeping on your person for at least one day, roll a d20. On an eleven or higher, the sword resists and is not broken. The GM may impose modifiers on this roll due to exceptional circumstances - For instance, a bonus might be given to a tungsten sword to avoid melting, or a penalty to a wooden sword trying to resist the effects of acid.
Resisting breakage does not grant the sword immunity to the thing trying to break it - Even if a sword resists being snapped in half by a giant the first time, the giant can still try again.
If the sword would already be allowed a saving throw against breakage, it gains advantage.
You are really good at cutting things. You can perform any feat a human swordsman might actually be able to do automatically, without requiring a roll. To perform outright superhuman feats, choose either Strength or Dexterity, whichever is more appropriate, and roll a d20. If you roll equal to or under the selected ability score, you succeed. The GM may impose modifiers for exceptional circumstances. If you fail, your sword may be damaged or broken, at GM discretion.
Speak with your GM to determine the specifics of this ability. In one game, ‘superhuman feats’ might look like classic martial arts movies, but another’s might be slicing through solid steel with a toy sword, or even cutting abstract concepts like “Time” or “Language”. It is extremely important to make sure everyone is on the same page.
You are really good at cutting things. When you cut, you may cut objects in line of sight up to (Level x 10) feet away from the blade of your sword, although you may not attempt superhuman feats at range.
Saves and Experience per Level as Trickster, Thief, or any Thief-equivalent you’re using.
You gain 1d4 HP per level.
You may use only simple weapons and swords. You may not use any armor, although you may use shields.
You gain a bonus to all attack rolls with swords equal to your level, and a bonus to all other attack rolls equal to half your level, rounded down. Saves and Experience per Level as Scholar, or Magic User, or any Magic User-equivalent you’re using.
By concentrating, you can levitate a number of swords around you equal to (Your Level + 2). Doing this requires your hands to be empty, unrestrained, and in good health. In colder climates, this may mean you’ll need to wear gloves to stop your hands getting numb - So remember the pack for the weather!
For every sword that levitates around you in this way, you gain +1 to AC.
You may cause the swords levitating around you to attack as if they were ranged weapons, lashing out from their place at your side to impale enemies within 20 feet.. On a successful hit, you may cause the sword to embed in the target, dealing 1 damage at the start of that creature’s turns. Swords embedded in targets do not count towards your AC bonus.
You may use a turn to remove up to 3 embedded swords from targets, and return them to you. Alternatively, the embedded target may use its turn to pry a sword out of itself.
You know a number of Sword Tricks equal to your level. You may perform a number of Sword Tricks equal to your level before you exhaust yourself and must spend 4 hours resting your hands before being able to perform more. Pick them from the following list:
You cause a non-magical sword within your line of sight to explode into shards, destroying it and dealing (damage of the sword) to all creatures within five feet. This may be used upon magic swords at GM discretion, but they are generally at least allowed a saving throw.
You may swallow whole as many swords as you are capable of levitating, and draw them from inside yourself in an instant. Both swallowing and regurgitating count as part of the same Trick.
You may cause yourself to be impaled by however many of your own swords as are available. The injuries you take from this are also inflicted upon one other being of your choice that you can see. Also, you will probably die.
You may embed one of your swords into the body of a recently killed humanoid, causing it to reanimate as an undead minion under your control. This lasts as long as the body and the sword are in constant contact. You do not gain bonus AC from swords used to reanimate corpses. The reanimated beings do not decay naturally, and look no more unnerving than a normal reanimated corpse. You might be able to pass them off as foreign bodyguards, if you can hide the battle wounds.
Individuals who refused to use swords in life cannot be targets of this ability.
You may cause up to five non-magical swords to leap from their current positions and towards a nearby unoccupied site of your choice. If the swords are being actively carried, the wielders get a Reflex save to catch their own swords.
I’m going to be totally honest - I need to add more Sword Tricks, but at this point, I’m just out of ideas. I’ll add more to this list if I think of them, but I've just about worn myself out for the moment.