Author Topic: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft  (Read 8562 times)

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2016, 11:12:10 AM »
OK so, after a VERY long time, I've resurrected this project. I started it up again over on GitP, but I have enough of it done (from what I've planned so far) that I figured it'd be a good idea to bring it back to MMX for some good old-fashioned feedback.

I have one more Advanced style (Wind style) planned, then three Expert styles as well (kudos if you can guess the names correctly).

I'd love some more fluff & backstory, if anyone would like to contribute some. Honestly, contributions of any type would be welcome (with some editing & adapting by me, as necessary).

Let me know what you think!

EDIT: Also, I'm thinking that Wax style might need a few more techniques - dedicated styles for TWF and S&B don't come online until Advanced, so it would nice to have a bit of Basic support for those. Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 11:15:41 AM by sirpercival »
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2016, 11:28:51 AM »
What do you want feedback on first?

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2016, 11:32:37 AM »
What do you want feedback on first?
Anything and everything, so take your pick :) This isn't in a contest, so I don't have any deadlines.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2016, 12:02:54 PM »
I'll just go through the first post then.


What classes is Bladecraft a class skill for?

Learning and Using Blade Techniques
 - What happens if I don't take ranks in Bladecraft until BAB +3?  Do I get the 3 basic techniques but lose out on the extra technique from BAB +2?
 - Are forms encounter only as opposed to always on?  IIRC ToB stances are always on.
 - Do you have to be in a form of a style to use techniques of that style?  If I'm in a Wax Style form can I use a techinque from Vine Style as long as the tags match up?  (I'm assuming yes, just wanting to confirm.)

The tags are slightly confusing, hopefully they'll explain themselves later.

How many blade styles do you think you'll end up with?



Before I get into styles I want to make sure that I understand the system.

I'm level one and know three techniques.  I choose The Ox Lowers His Horns (Form), The Wood Grouse Dances (Assault), and Leaf Floating on the Breeze (Parry).

I start in my form and have the Low tag.  On my turn I use The Wood Grouse Dances (requires Low tag) and then lose the Low tag and gain the Middle and Bash tags.  On my opponent's turn I parry with Leaf Floating in the Breeze (requires Middle), and then lose the Bash tag and gain the Circle tag (ending with Middle and Circle).  On my turn I can't use The Wood Grouse Dances because I don't have the required low tag so I don't use any technique and just do a normal attack.  Because I didn't use a technique, I lose the Middle and Circle tags and gain the Low tag (the default for my form).  Is this right?

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2016, 04:44:33 AM »
I'll just go through the first post then.


What classes is Bladecraft a class skill for?
Wh-where did that go??? I USED to have it..... EDIT: Oh, it was moved to the Bladecraft Mechanics header. But either way I added it back into the skill description.

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Learning and Using Blade Techniques
 - What happens if I don't take ranks in Bladecraft until BAB +3?  Do I get the 3 basic techniques but lose out on the extra technique from BAB +2?
Correct.
Quote
- Are forms encounter only as opposed to always on?  IIRC ToB stances are always on.
Always on.
Quote
- Do you have to be in a form of a style to use techniques of that style?  If I'm in a Wax Style form can I use a techinque from Vine Style as long as the tags match up?  (I'm assuming yes, just wanting to confirm.)
Correct, you can use any technique whose tags (and other requirements, like using two weapons for Smoke style) are covered.

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The tags are slightly confusing, hopefully they'll explain themselves later.
I hope so too!

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How many blade styles do you think you'll end up with?
I have 10 planned (Wax, Fire/Iron/Vine, Smoke/Stone/Wind, 3 Expert), but there's no reason that we can't add more if we want to.



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Before I get into styles I want to make sure that I understand the system.

I'm level one and know three techniques.  I choose The Ox Lowers His Horns (Form), The Wood Grouse Dances (Assault), and Leaf Floating on the Breeze (Parry).

I start in my form and have the Low tag.  On my turn I use The Wood Grouse Dances (requires Low tag) and then lose the Low tag and gain the Middle and Bash tags.  On my opponent's turn I parry with Leaf Floating in the Breeze (requires Middle), and then lose the Bash tag and gain the Circle tag (ending with Middle and Circle).  On my turn I can't use The Wood Grouse Dances because I don't have the required low tag so I don't use any technique and just do a normal attack.  Because I didn't use a technique, I lose the Middle and Circle tags and gain the Low tag (the default for my form).  Is this right?
Perfect :)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 04:46:53 AM by sirpercival »
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2016, 12:50:45 PM »
Learning and Using Blade Techniques
 - What happens if I don't take ranks in Bladecraft until BAB +3?  Do I get the 3 basic techniques but lose out on the extra technique from BAB +2?
Correct.
And ranks in the skill are just to get you more dice, correct?

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Quote
- Are forms encounter only as opposed to always on?  IIRC ToB stances are always on.
Always on.

"You begin each encounter in your most recent Form" should be rephrased in that case.
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Quote
Before I get into styles I want to make sure that I understand the system.

I'm level one and know three techniques.  I choose The Ox Lowers His Horns (Form), The Wood Grouse Dances (Assault), and Leaf Floating on the Breeze (Parry).

I start in my form and have the Low tag.  On my turn I use The Wood Grouse Dances (requires Low tag) and then lose the Low tag and gain the Middle and Bash tags.  On my opponent's turn I parry with Leaf Floating in the Breeze (requires Middle), and then lose the Bash tag and gain the Circle tag (ending with Middle and Circle).  On my turn I can't use The Wood Grouse Dances because I don't have the required low tag so I don't use any technique and just do a normal attack.  Because I didn't use a technique, I lose the Middle and Circle tags and gain the Low tag (the default for my form).  Is this right?
Perfect :)

Obviously the tag system sorted itself out in my head.

Before I get into the syles (I'll do feats last because they're all style based and I want to see the system before looking at feat balance), I have one suggestion.  I have a tendancy to skim over fluff and didn't realize that your style fluff includes rules elements.  I'd suggest you add a rules elements sentence to the style descriptions.

Example (only the italicized text is new, nothing else is changed):

Smoke Style
The Smoke style has Advanced complexity. This style is characterized by two blades in constant motion, with the wielder melting away from attacks, twisting, and returning again to thrust steel into flesh. While Smoke style is extremely effective against undisciplined, even bestial opponents, a well-trained cadre of soldiers wielding spears and shields can trap and skewer a practitioner as easily as any other combatant.

All Smoke style techniques require the practitioner to be wielding two weapons, or a double weapon, in order to use them.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2016, 01:06:40 PM »
Learning and Using Blade Techniques
 - What happens if I don't take ranks in Bladecraft until BAB +3?  Do I get the 3 basic techniques but lose out on the extra technique from BAB +2?
Correct.
And ranks in the skill are just to get you more dice, correct?
And to be able to learn higher-complexity maneuvers.

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Quote
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- Are forms encounter only as opposed to always on?  IIRC ToB stances are always on.
Always on.

"You begin each encounter in your most recent Form" should be rephrased in that case.
Yeah, I agree -- I had been going back and forth about how Forms would work, and that bit of ambiguity is a relic of then.

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Quote
Quote
Before I get into styles I want to make sure that I understand the system.

I'm level one and know three techniques.  I choose The Ox Lowers His Horns (Form), The Wood Grouse Dances (Assault), and Leaf Floating on the Breeze (Parry).

I start in my form and have the Low tag.  On my turn I use The Wood Grouse Dances (requires Low tag) and then lose the Low tag and gain the Middle and Bash tags.  On my opponent's turn I parry with Leaf Floating in the Breeze (requires Middle), and then lose the Bash tag and gain the Circle tag (ending with Middle and Circle).  On my turn I can't use The Wood Grouse Dances because I don't have the required low tag so I don't use any technique and just do a normal attack.  Because I didn't use a technique, I lose the Middle and Circle tags and gain the Low tag (the default for my form).  Is this right?
Perfect :)

Obviously the tag system sorted itself out in my head.

Before I get into the syles (I'll do feats last because they're all style based and I want to see the system before looking at feat balance), I have one suggestion.  I have a tendancy to skim over fluff and didn't realize that your style fluff includes rules elements.  I'd suggest you add a rules elements sentence to the style descriptions.

Example (only the italicized text is new, nothing else is changed):

Smoke Style
The Smoke style has Advanced complexity. This style is characterized by two blades in constant motion, with the wielder melting away from attacks, twisting, and returning again to thrust steel into flesh. While Smoke style is extremely effective against undisciplined, even bestial opponents, a well-trained cadre of soldiers wielding spears and shields can trap and skewer a practitioner as easily as any other combatant.

All Smoke style techniques require the practitioner to be wielding two weapons, or a double weapon, in order to use them.
[/quote] Whenever there's actual rules stuff, it's duplicated in the technique rules text, other than the italics note for Stone style. Since the techniques are basically independent of their styles (other than thematic association), I wanted to make sure that the techniques had everything relevant.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2016, 06:44:12 PM »
Ohh, I didn't notice that the techniques themselves had the restrictions listed.  Good call.

Ready for me to move onto the techniques?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 06:46:09 PM by Nanshork »

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2016, 07:09:46 PM »
Ohh, I didn't notice that the techniques themselves had the restrictions listed.  Good call.

Ready for me to move onto the techniques?
Absolutely!
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Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2016, 01:22:14 PM »
Okie doke, posted all the remaining styles! Next up is the PrC.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2016, 04:17:36 PM »
Reminder to self: Basic = lvl 1, Moderate = lvl 6, Advanced = lvl 11, Expert = lvl 16

Anything that I don't mention is okay in my opinion.  As of right now I'm not looking at tags, I'll do a tags analysis later (not in terms of if it's appropriate but just seeing how many tags there are and making sure that there aren't any weird outliers).


Wax Style
 - The Wood Grouse Dances - do you only gain the insight bonus is the trip attempt fails?  That's currently how it reads.

Flame Style
 - Are there any restrictions on what can be in your off-hand?

Iron Style
 - Emptiness - What's to prevent someone from exiting and re-entering the form when not in combat until they get the highest bonus they can?

Vine Style
 - Leopard in High Grass - What does gaining a bonus on Bladecraft checks actually do besides letting you identify techniques?
 - Plucking the Low-Hanging Apple - Damage could become ridiculous very easily.
 - Twisting the Wind - The record keeping on this one could get complicated, especially if switching back and forth between another form.

Smoke Style
 - The fluff implies that shield bashes could count as a weapon for the purposes of meeting the requirements, is that intentional?
 - Black Pebbles on Snow - I assume the penalty is based on the damage you would have dealt if you succeeded with both attacks?
 - Bundling Straw - Again I see ridiculous damage happening.


I need a break, I'll look at the rest later.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2016, 09:17:33 PM »
Reminder to self: Basic = lvl 1, Moderate = lvl 6, Advanced = lvl 11, Expert = lvl 16

Anything that I don't mention is okay in my opinion.  As of right now I'm not looking at tags, I'll do a tags analysis later (not in terms of if it's appropriate but just seeing how many tags there are and making sure that there aren't any weird outliers).


Wax Style
 - The Wood Grouse Dances - do you only gain the insight bonus is the trip attempt fails?  That's currently how it reads.
I don't remember what I originally intended, but either way I'm just going to give the bonus.

Quote
Flame Style
 - Are there any restrictions on what can be in your off-hand?
Nope. :)

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Iron Style
 - Emptiness - What's to prevent someone from exiting and re-entering the form when not in combat until they get the highest bonus they can?
Edited to make it not abusable, and to use Bladecraft instead of Balance.

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Vine Style
 - Leopard in High Grass - What does gaining a bonus on Bladecraft checks actually do besides letting you identify techniques?
You make Bladecraft checks in a few of the advanced/expert techniques. Also I'm going to be adding a handful of Wax techniques, a couple of which will require Bladecraft checks.
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- Plucking the Low-Hanging Apple - Damage could become ridiculous very easily.
Oh jeez, I forgot about this. I think I gave that same effect in an advanced or expert technique. That needs to be seriously edited.
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- Twisting the Wind - The record keeping on this one could get complicated, especially if switching back and forth between another form.
Really? You only get a new pool with each encounter. If you switch out of it, you just set the dice aside until you come back to it. I can change the effect, if you really think it's a problem.

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Smoke Style
 - The fluff implies that shield bashes could count as a weapon for the purposes of meeting the requirements, is that intentional?
While it's not exactly what I had in mind, I don't have a problem with it. People adapt what they learn to make their own fighting style.
Quote
- Black Pebbles on Snow - I assume the penalty is based on the damage you would have dealt if you succeeded with both attacks?
Correct. I'll clarify.
Quote
- Bundling Straw - Again I see ridiculous damage happening.
Halved the number of dice. Hopefully that smooths it out a little more.

Quote
I need a break, I'll look at the rest later.
  :cheers

I'll post new versions, and have the new Wax techniques up, tonight or tomorrow.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2016, 10:47:43 PM »
Twisting the Wind - The record keeping on this one could get complicated, especially if switching back and forth between another form.
Really? You only get a new pool with each encounter. If you switch out of it, you just set the dice aside until you come back to it. I can change the effect, if you really think it's a problem.

I'm looking at it from a play-by-post perspective where you can't just put dice aside.  It's not a bad technique, if it being maybe complicated is my worst critique then it's not bad.

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Smoke Style - The fluff implies that shield bashes could count as a weapon for the purposes of meeting the requirements, is that intentional?
While it's not exactly what I had in mind, I don't have a problem with it. People adapt what they learn to make their own fighting style.

It's not what you had in mind?  You wrote "a well-trained cadre of soldiers wielding spears and shields can trap and skewer a practitioner as easily as any other combatant." :p

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I'll post new versions, and have the new Wax techniques up, tonight or tomorrow.

Okay, I'll wait to review the rest until you've made the changes and added the new Wax techniques.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2016, 02:11:44 AM »
Twisting the Wind - The record keeping on this one could get complicated, especially if switching back and forth between another form.
Really? You only get a new pool with each encounter. If you switch out of it, you just set the dice aside until you come back to it. I can change the effect, if you really think it's a problem.

I'm looking at it from a play-by-post perspective where you can't just put dice aside.  It's not a bad technique, if it being maybe complicated is my worst critique then it's not bad.
Okie doke!

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Quote
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Smoke Style - The fluff implies that shield bashes could count as a weapon for the purposes of meeting the requirements, is that intentional?
While it's not exactly what I had in mind, I don't have a problem with it. People adapt what they learn to make their own fighting style.

It's not what you had in mind?  You wrote "a well-trained cadre of soldiers wielding spears and shields can trap and skewer a practitioner as easily as any other combatant." :p
The cadre of soldiers aren't using Smoke style, the practitioner is. The point being that if you're using Smoke style, but you get hemmed in by disciplined, armored opponents w/ reach, you're gonna have a bad time.

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I'll post new versions, and have the new Wax techniques up, tonight or tomorrow.

Okay, I'll wait to review the rest until you've made the changes and added the new Wax techniques.
Sweet.

EDIT: Posted updated versions, including 5 new Wax techniques.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2016, 02:58:30 AM by sirpercival »
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2016, 01:05:55 PM »
New versions all seem fine.

New Wax Techniques
 - The Falcon Stoops looks fine.
 - Ice Shatters Stone looks very good.
 - The Serpent Strikes looks fine.
 - The Swallow Glides to the Branch - why does this one require lots of movement when Stone Style requires not moving much?
 - The Viper Flicks its Tongue - do you lose the shield bonus to ac when the ally gains it?

Stone Style
 - The Cyclone Rages - again, what stops you from exiting and entering the form to get the best bonus?
 - Stone Falls from the Mountain has a typo. "tripepd"

Wind Style
 - The Cat Dances on the Wall doesn't have the text about not getting a free attack even if you have the Improved Trip feat.  Intentional?


I'll finish up later.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2016, 10:45:37 PM »
New versions all seem fine.

New Wax Techniques
 - The Falcon Stoops looks fine.
 - Ice Shatters Stone looks very good.
 - The Serpent Strikes looks fine.
Awesome. :D
Quote
- The Swallow Glides to the Branch - why does this one require lots of movement when Stone Style requires not moving much?
Who cares? It's not in Stone style. Also, moving 5 feet per round qualifies you for both. But if it really bothers you, I can take that requirement out.
Quote
- The Viper Flicks its Tongue - do you lose the shield bonus to ac when the ally gains it?
I don't think so. Does it seem like you would? If so, I can clarify.

Quote
Stone Style
 - The Cyclone Rages - again, what stops you from exiting and entering the form to get the best bonus?
Good call. I switched it to a flat bonus.
Quote
- Stone Falls from the Mountain has a typo. "tripepd"
:shakefist

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Wind Style
 - The Cat Dances on the Wall doesn't have the text about not getting a free attack even if you have the Improved Trip feat.  Intentional?
Yes - the techniques which have that text already grant you a free attack after the trip (i.e., Improved Trip replacements). This one doesn't, so I don't have to prevent someone from getting 2 free attacks on a trip.


Quote
I'll finish up later.
:plotting

Based on GitP comments, I've edited the Blade Training feat, added 4 new feats, and edited several techniques.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2016, 01:47:52 PM »
- The Swallow Glides to the Branch - why does this one require lots of movement when Stone Style requires not moving much?
Who cares? It's not in Stone style. Also, moving 5 feet per round qualifies you for both. But if it really bothers you, I can take that requirement out.

It's not in Stone Style, but the intent as I read it is for someone who's planning on going shield user (and thus will eventually be taking a lot of Stone Style techniques) to be using it.  The disparity is odd.

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- The Viper Flicks its Tongue - do you lose the shield bonus to ac when the ally gains it?
I don't think so. Does it seem like you would? If so, I can clarify.

Nope, it's fine as is.  I was just checking.

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Stone Style
 - The Cyclone Rages - again, what stops you from exiting and entering the form to get the best bonus?
Good call. I switched it to a flat bonus.
+5 is a lot but it's level 11 so it's probably fine.

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- Stone Falls from the Mountain has a typo. "tripepd"
:shakefist

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Wind Style
 - The Cat Dances on the Wall doesn't have the text about not getting a free attack even if you have the Improved Trip feat.  Intentional?
Yes - the techniques which have that text already grant you a free attack after the trip (i.e., Improved Trip replacements). This one doesn't, so I don't have to prevent someone from getting 2 free attacks on a trip.
Okay, just checking.

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I'll finish up later.
:plotting

Based on GitP comments, I've edited the Blade Training feat, added 4 new feats, and edited several techniques.

Want me to re-go over the edited techniques?

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #37 on: November 14, 2016, 02:55:20 PM »
- The Swallow Glides to the Branch - why does this one require lots of movement when Stone Style requires not moving much?
Who cares? It's not in Stone style. Also, moving 5 feet per round qualifies you for both. But if it really bothers you, I can take that requirement out.

It's not in Stone Style, but the intent as I read it is for someone who's planning on going shield user (and thus will eventually be taking a lot of Stone Style techniques) to be using it.  The disparity is odd.
Yeah... I get that. I think I was marrying mechanics to fluff too heavily. I'll see what I can do.


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Based on GitP comments, I've edited the Blade Training feat, added 4 new feats, and edited several techniques.

Want me to re-go over the edited techniques?
I don't think you HAVE to (mostly I was reining in the balance excesses), but if you'd LIKE to, I edited The Creeper Embraces the Oak, The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain, Emptiness, The Branch in the Storm, Apple Blossoms in the Wind, and Tower of Morning.

EDIT: I also was asked to extend the Bladecraft die progression past 21 ranks so people could play this epic. I'm considering changing the progression to make it a little less smooth, but more intuitive and extensible: 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d10+1d4, 1d10+1d6, 1d10+1d8, 2d10, etc. Thoughts?

EDIT2: Oh right, the other problem is that Swallow Glides is for either Stone or Smoke (you can have a weapon in your off-hand, too, remember?), and Smoke requires movement. So I'm going to just take the movement requirement out.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 02:58:24 PM by sirpercival »
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2016, 03:24:34 PM »
Making Swallow Glides generic and removing the movement seems like the best bet.

The changes to techniques I've already looked at are fine.

Epic progression of bladecraft seems like a good idea (it's not that much work).  From a logical perspective your proposal looks fine, I don't know about balance wise (but I didn't look at balance wise for the current progression either).

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Re: Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2016, 06:53:01 PM »
Like I said on the other thread - the progression I gave you is perfectly extensible.

(After 1d6+1d8, go 2d6+1d4 → 3d6 → 2d6+1d8 → 3d6+1d4...)
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