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Messages - Garryl

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1
Homebrew and House Rules (D&D) / Re: Move Action Maneuvers - Rushes
« on: July 08, 2024, 01:27:30 AM »
I know that Elves (pretty sure it was him) had an idea that chains of maneuvers should instead scale into each-other. Have you considered (not recommending either way, just making sure you are thinking through options) having maneuvers that are too similar auto-scale into each other instead of simply removing parts of the chain?

That concept leads to an interesting question about how maneuvers are designed with planned obsolescence. Maneuvers, like spells (more for damage spells, but there is an indirect element of that with other types of spells, too), only scale so much and will eventually fall behind the power curve and not be worth using compared to higher-level options. ToB already has a mechanism to address that issue to some extent in the ability to trade off low-level maneuvers for higher-level ones at even-numbered class levels. Additionally, part of ToB's balancing, without explicit level-by-level maneuver knowledge/preparation like spellcasters have is the fact that you only learn 1-3 maneuvers of the highest level (after 1st) and have to ready some lower-level maneuvers simply because that's all you have. Auto-scaling maneuvers are certainly a desirable idea, and I do doubt that they'd break the game or anything (the humble, 1st-level Burning Blade has this unlimited scaling and it's only considered good, not overpowered). I did play with some automatic numerical scaling, to a limited extent, in some proposed buffs to weaker maneuvers I wrote up in the 1001 homebrew ideas thread.

If I were to implement some sort of inherent scaling of maneuvers, it wouldn't be here. None of the maneuvers I particularly want to keep, aside from Formation March's line, are linked in a way that one is a natural superior version to a lower-level one. As for Formation March, its effect is entirely lacking in numerical modifiers, to the point that the additional of morale modifiers in Battle/Squad March feels sufficiently different that, were I to keep one or both of them, I can't really see Formation March evolving into one of them quite naturally enough (and I'm still not sure I even want to keep Battle/Squad March).

Probably not the place for this sort of discussion, but I think the question of how scaling maneuvers interact with the design and balance of ToB could be an interesting topic to explore in greater depth.

2
D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: Warlock powers in 3.5
« on: May 10, 2024, 08:59:23 PM »
Hello! Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e, warlocks works with magic the same way as other arcane casters - through touching the Weave. However, it is impossible not to notice the "dark" orientation of the warlock's invocations - all his magic refers to the Nine Hells or has a "dark" theme  :devil  . So, from lore's point of view, what is the source of the warlock's magic in the 3e? And how can a warlock with a good alignment have access to the dark magic of this class? Bring down all the power of lore and fluff on me, please, I need it right now! :P

The Weave is specific to the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Other settings have different magical mechanics that allow for spells to be cast. This may or may not even be relevant for warlocks, as their powers are spell-like abilities (SLAs) rather than spells. While they function much like spells, they are typically described as coming from an internal source, using the magical creature's own energies, rather than drawing on external magic such as ambient magical energy from the astral plane, the Weave, or whatever else the setting calls for. In the case of warlocks, they specifically get their powers from a powerful patron, typically a fiend or fey of some sort, although the fluff is not exclusive about that and I believe even mentions some that just have magic power inherently from some magical bloodline.

Warlocks must be evil or chaotic. Chaotic-aligned warlocks (which can be good-aligned) typically get their powers from a pact with a fey patron, rather than a demon, devil, or other evil outsider.

3
Soulborn as ToB/Incarnum hybrid class

HD: d10
Skills: 4 + Int
Skills: Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (the planes), Martial Lore, Profession, Ride, Spellcraft, Swim.
Alignment: Any non-neutral (LG, CG, LE, or CE)

Level   Maneuvera   Meldshaping   Class
      Kn   Rdy   Stn   Shp   Ess   Bnd   Features
1      3   2   1   0   0   0   Aura, Smite Opposition 1/day
2      3   2   1   0   1   0   Incarnum Defense, Soul of the Blade
3      4   2   1   0   1   0
4      4   3   1   1   2   0
5      5   3   1   1   2   0   Smite Opposition 2/day, Soul of the Blade (initiation investment)
6      5   3   2   1   3   0
7      6   3   2   1   4   0
8      6   3   2   2   5   1   Chakra binds (crown, feet, hands)
9      7   3   2   2   6   1   Share Incarnum Defense 1/day
10      7   3   2   2   7   1   Smite Opposition 3/day, Stance Bind
11      8   4   2   2   8   1
12      8   4   2   3   9   1
13      9   4   3   3   10   2   Share Incarnum Defense 2/day
14      9   4   3   3   11   2   Chakra binds (arms, brow, shoulders)
15      10   4   3   3   12   2   Smite Opposition 4/day
16      10   4   3   4   13   2
17      11   5   3   4   14   3   Share Incarnum Defense 3/day
18      11   5   3   4   16   3   Chakra binds (throat, waist)
19      12   5   3   4   18   3   Timeless Body
20      12   5   4   5   20   3   Share Incarnum Stance, Smite Opposition 5/day




Aura: Unchanged.
Smite Opposition: Unchanged.
Incanrum Defense: Similar, but different immunities (2nd level, immunity based on alignment. LG: Fear; CG: Stun and paralysis. LE: Fatigue and exhaustion. CE: Sickened and nauseated.)
Bonus Feats: Probably removed.
Share Incarnum Defense: Unchanged.
Timeless Body: Unchanged.

Meldshaping: As original, but with much faster essentia progression, starting from level 1 or 2.

Maneuvers: Learn maneuvers at Warblade progression, although slower readied and stances progression. As a full-round action, recover all expended maneuvers and divest any invested essentia from expended maneuvers recovered this way, returning it to your essentia pool. Has access to Devoted Spirit and Soul's Edge (new) and to a third discipline based on your alignment (LG: White Raven, CG: Diamond Mind, LE: Shadow Hand, CE: Tiger Claw).

Martial Meldshaping: When you gain a level in a PrC that can progress your Soulborn meldshaping, that level also counts full for Soulborn IL (even at levels where it doesn't progress meldshaping). Any martial adept PrC that counts full (instead of 1/2) towards your Soulborn IL also progresses your Soulborn meldshaper level (but not other meldshaping-related statistics, such as essentia and soulmelds) at each level, if it doesn't already.

Aura (Ex): (As normal.)

Smite Opposition (Su): (As normal.)

Incarnum Defense (Su): (As normal, except different immunities.)

Soul of the Blade: Starting at 2nd level, all of your known martial stances and readied martial maneuvers are essentia receptacles. This allows you to invest essentia in them like you would a soulmeld. You gain the listed benefit, based on the type of maneuver, while you have any essentia invested in it. Some martial maneuvers provide additional benefits with invested essentia.

  • Boost: After you initiate the boost, you can gain a +1 insight bonus per point of essentia invested in the boost on any one attack roll you make before the end of your turn.
  • Counter: You gain a +1 insight bonus per point of essentia invested in the counter to your Armor Class and/or on your saving throw against whatever triggering attack or effect you initiated the counter against. If the counter involves making a check or roll to protect yourself from the triggering attack or effect, the bonus applies to that, too.
  • Rush: You gain a +5-foot insight bonus per point of essentia invested in the rush to your movement speed for movement made as part of the rush.
  • Stance: While you are in a stance into which you have invested essentia, you gain a +2 insight bonus per point of essentia invested in the stance on all skill checks with the key skill of the martial discipline from which the stance belongs.
  • Strike: You gain a +2 insight bonus per point of essentia invested in the strike on damage rolls made as part of initiating it. This includes both weapon damage rolls and damage from non-weapon components (such as the Hatchling's Flame maneuver). The bonus damage does not apply beyond the initiation if the strike continues to deal damage after being initiated.
  • Other: You do not gain any additional benefit for investing essentia in maneuvers that do not have a listed type.
You can invest essentia in or remove essentia from your readied, unexpended martial maneuvers and known martial stances at any time, just like investing essentia in a soulmeld you have shaped. However, once you have expended a maneuver, the essentia remains locked in that maneuver until you recover it; you cannot invest essentia in or remove essentia from an expended maneuver, similar to an Incarnum feat.

Beginning at 5th level, as part of the action to initiate a maneuver or enter a martial stance, you can invest essentia into it. This essentia can come directly from your essentia pool or from other essentia receptacles whose investments you can freely modify, such as soulmelds and other unexpended maneuvers and stances. This functions like reallocating your essentia normally, except that you can only move essentia into the maneuver or stance you are initiating, not into other essentia receptacles or back into your essentia pool.

Share Incarnum Defense (Su): (As normal.)

Stance Bind: Beginning at 10th level, you gain a special way of binding soulmelds to chakras. Rather than binding a soulmeld directly to the chakra it occupies, you can bind it to one of the stances that you know. A soulmeld bound to a martial stance grants the benefits of its chakra bind, as though it was bound to the chakra it occupies, only while you are in that stance and only if you would otherwise be able to bind it to that chakra; you must have an available chakra bind within your limit, you must be able to bind soulmelds to that chakra, and you may not be under any effects that otherwise prevent you from binding a soulmeld to that chakra. In exchange, it does not interfere with your ability to use magic items in that chakra's associated body slot, and only counts towards your limit of bound soulmelds while you are in the stance to which it is bound.

Each of the stances you know can have only a single soulmeld bound to it this way, although each soulmeld can be bound to any number of stances at a time.

Timeless Body (Ex): (As normal.)

Share Incarnum Stance (Su): Once you reach 20th level, your ability to share your Incarnum Defense improves further. The beneficiary of your Share Incarnum Defense also enters the martial stance that you are in, using your initiator level. If they are already in a martial stance, this applies in addition to the stance or stances that they have adopted. The stance your ally gains counts as an essentia receptacle with essentia capacity and invested essentia matching your own stance's and it grants the same additional benefits for having essentia invested that your Soul of the Blade ability would grant you. Your ally does not have access to the stance as an essentia receptacle, however, and thus cannot invest or remove essentia to or from it.

When you change your martial stance, the stance granted to the subject of your Share Incarnum Defense ability changes to match your new stance. When the amount of essentia invested in your stance changes, the amount of essentia invested in the subject's stance likewise changes.

If you have the ability to maintain more than one martial stance, you must choose only a single stance to share when you activate Share Incarnum Defense or you change your stances.


Ex-Soulborns: If you change alignment, you lose most of your class abilities unless your new alignment is compatible with the soulborn class. If it is not, you lose your aura, smite opposition, incarnum defense, and meldshaping abilities. You may not progress any further in levels as a soulborn. You regain all your abilities and advancement potential if you return to your previous alignment and receive an atonement spell. If your alignment shift still qualifies you for the class - a change from lawful evil to lawful good, for example - you retain your soulborn levels and your class features change to match your new alignment. You retain knowledge of any maneuvers and stances from the martial discipline granted as a soulborn of your former alignment, but you learn maneuvers and stances from the new one instead at subsequent soulborn levels.


----------------------------------------

Stance Bind seems like a great idea, but I'm not sure there are enough soulmelds available to bind for it. To maximize its utility, you would need soulmelds equal to or greater than stances + binds - 1. That occurs at levels 8-12 and again at 16 only.
- Part of the issue with the current version is that since each soulmeld can only bind to a single stance, if you have more stances than you need for soulmelds, any extra stances don't have a soulmeld bound to them and thus lose out on a chakra bind when using them.
- If the soulmeld progression increases to (lvl-1)/3, it caps out 6 at 19th, so only one more in total. This also results in having at least as many soulmelds as (stances + binds - 1) at all levels where you have binds available.
- Probably a better solution would be to drop the 1:1 association. Associate each soulmeld with any number of stances, but still only one soulmeld per stance, similar to how I planned to have tactical auras associated with plans for the tactician class. That way, regardless of your soulmeld and stance count, you always get that one bind reserved for Stance Bind in every stance.


Possible other abilities?

Double Stance Bind: Once you reach 20th level, your ability to bind soulmelds to your stances improves. You can bind each of your soulmelds to up to two of your stances, and each of your stances can have up to two soulmelds bound to it at a time.



----------------------------------------

Soul's Edge Martial Discipline
Key skill: Spellcraft
Discipline weapons: ...

Essentia: Soul's Edge maneuvers you have readied and stances you know are essentia receptacles. You can invest essentia in any such maneuver or stance at any time, just like investing essentia in a soulmeld you have shaped. However, once you have expended a maneuver, the essentia remains locked in that maneuver until you recover it; you cannot invest essentia in or remove essentia from an expended maneuver, similar to an Incarnum feat.

Many Soul's Edge maneuvers have improved effects or grant additional bonuses for having essentia invested in them. Some provide benefits only during the initiation of the maneuver, but others provide bonuses simply for having essentia invested in them while they are readied.

1
Aligned Strike - Strike: Attack deals +1d4 damage and is aligned with all non-neutral components of your alignment. If opponent has any alignment component opposed to at least one non-neutral component of your own alignment, bonus damage is +1d6 and you get a +2 bonus on your attack roll. If both are opposed, instead bonus damage is +1d8 and you get a +4 bonus on your attack roll. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Sense Motive checks equal to invested essentia.
Burst of Purelight - Boost: Burst of light illuminates a 40-foot radius (shadowy 80-ft. radius) for 1 round and dispels up to 1st-level darkness spells. Invisible, hidden, and concealed creatures in the area are revealed. Enemies are dazzled while within 10 feet and they can see the light. Essentia increases the duration and maximum level of darkness spells dispelled. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Spot checks equal to invested essentia.
Incarnum Focus - Stance: Gain +2 insight on saves vs. spells and spell-like effects. If essentia is invested, also affects allies within 10 ft./essentia.
Soulspark Distraction - Boost: Summon a Least Soulspark to flank with you until end of turn. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Bluff checks equal to invested essentia.

2
Bluesteel Defense - Counter: When attacked, make an opposed initiative check against your attacker. If you win, the attack misses. Gain +2/essentia invested on the initiative check (doesn't stack with Soul of the Blade's insight bonus for essentia investment on counters). If you win the check, your initiative count moves up by 2/essentia in the following round (see Moment of Alacrity for wording). While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on attack rolls made to resist disarm and sunder attempts equal to invested essentia.
Incarnum Surge - Boost: As part of this maneuver, you can reallocate your essentia investments. Until the end of your turn, you have +1 essentia capacity and you gain 1 temporary point of essentia. For every point of essentia invested in this maneuver, you gain an additional 2 temporary points of essentia for the turn. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Spellcraft checks equal to invested essentia.
Thunderstep Charge - Strike: Make a charge. No AoOs for movement. Deal +2d4 sonic damage. Creature struck must Fort save or be deafened for 1 minute. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Balance checks equal to invested essentia.

3
Bluesteel Strike - Strike: Attack deals +3d6 damage. If target was flat-footed, deals +7d6 damage instead. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Bluff checks equal to invested essentia.
Forge of Souls - Stance: Any weapon you wield and any armor or shield you wear gains a +1 enhancement bonus. This enhancement bonus increases by the amount of essentia invested in this stance.
Impulse Surge - Rush: Move up to your speed. Can move through occupied spaces. Gain a dodge bonus to AC equal to invested essentia for 1 round. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Tumble checks equal to invested essentia. This bonus also applies during the movement from initiating this maneuver.
Seeking Blade - Boost: Attacks ignore miss chances and automatically confirm critical hits until end of turn. If you attempt to attack a target whose presence you are aware of but you are unable to locate (including such things as targeting an empty space when attacking an invisible foe, targeting an illusion such as a mirror image, and targeting the wrong creature when facing a shapeshifter mimicking another creature's form), if you actually threaten the creature you are trying to attack, you will automatically select the correct target. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Spot checks based on essentia invested.
Soul of the Hunt - Stance: Gain low-light vision, scent, and the Track feat. Gain scent, darkvision, blindsense, and blindsight based on essentia invested.

4
Chakra Lock - Strike: Choose a chakra. Attack deals +3d6 damage and causes a special effect based on the chakra chosen. Creature struck must Fort save or lose access to soulmelds shaped to that chakra and magic items worn on the chakra's associated body slot for 1 minute. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on saves against effects produced by soulmelds equal to invested essentia.
Crystalized Will: Iron Heart Surge-type effect. Get a deflection bonus to AC and an insight bonus to saves vs. mind-affecting for 1 round equal to invested essentia. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on saves vs. mind-affecting equal to invested essentia.
Enigmatic Moment - Boost: Become invisible and become undetectable by special senses and Divination effects for 1 round. While any essentia is invested in this maneuver and it is unexpended, gain a Nondetection-type effect (DC 5 + IL + essentia invested).

5
+1 maneuver
Bladed Gale Flurry - Strike: Full attack with -2 on attack rolls. Make one extra attack. Reach is doubled. Wind swirls through the area you threatened with these attacks for 1 round, the strength of which depends on the essentia invested. You are not affected by it. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on saves against wind and gases.

6
+1 maneuver
Friend of the Dice - Stance: 1/round, when making a d20 roll, roll it twice and take the better result. Must choose whether or not to do so before you roll. Gain an insight bonus on the roll equal to the essentia invested.
Warded Heart - Counter: Counterspell a spell being cast targeting you or with you in its area of effect, like with Dispel Magic, but using an initiator level check on your part (no maximum, still opposed by caster level check). If you succeed, gain 2 temp hp/level of spell for 1 minute. While any essentia is invested in this maneuver and it is unexpended, gain SR (equal to IL + 2 + essentia invested). This SR also applies against the spell if you fail to counter it.

7
Cerulean Step - Boost: Move up to half your speed as a swift action. No AoOs for movement. Can move across any surface. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus to AC vs. AoOs equal to invested essentia.
Thunderstep Crash - Strike: As Thunderstep Charge, but +10d4 sonic damage, and if the attack hits, deals 10d4 sonic damage to all other enemies within 30 ft. of target, who are also at risk of deafening. Fort save by secondary creatures halves the sonic damage, in addition to negating the deafness. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on saves against sonic or language-dependent effects equal to invested essentia and gain sonic resistance equal to twice the invested essentia.

8
+1 maneuver
+1 maneuver
Soulspark Twin - Stance: Summon an incarnum duplicate of yourself.

9
Incarnate Strike - Strike: Attack deals +50 damage and is aligned with all non-neutral components of your alignment. If you have any essentia invested, this has additional effects based on your non-neutral alignment components, which last for 1 round per point of essentia invested. Good: You gain a +5 sacred bonus to your Armor Class and on all saving throws. Evil: You gain temporary hit points equal to the damage dealt. Lawful: Creature struck must Will save or be dazed. Chaotic: Creature struck must Will save or act as though confused (not mind-affecting). While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on saves against alignment-dependent effects and to your effective HD/level against effects that depend on your level equal to invested essentia.

Names/ideas:
Soulwell Presence - Stance: ...
Bluesteel Riposte - Counter: Opposed attack roll to negate attack. If attack against you misses, attacker provokes an AoO. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on weapon damage rolls with AoOs equal to invested essentia. This bonus also applies on the AoO provoked by this maneuver's successful usage.
Open Soul Assault - Strike: Attack deals +4d6 damage. If it hits, the creature also takes penalty equal to the amount of invested essentia to AC and saves against soulmeld-produced effects for 1 round. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on saves vs. death effects, positive energy, and negative energy equal to invested essentia.
Mauling Surge - Strike: Charging bull rush also knocks target prone at end of movement. Bonus on crit confirm rolls per essentia while unexpended.
Strongheart Recovery - Heals ability damage, ability drain, and negative levels, and heals some HP is below half. Bonus on saves vs. death effects and Necromancy per essentia while unexpended.
Dismantled Therapy - Strike: Melee attack deals up to 25 extra damage and heals you for that amount. The extra damage can't exceed the amount of hit points the target gained from healing in the last round. While unexpended, any effect that heals a creature you threaten also heals you for the amount of essentia invested, up to half that amount of hit points restored. This healing to you applies only if the healing effect is of a form that can heal you; this does not allow you to be healed by negative energy if you are a living creature, for example. An effect that heals multiple creatures you threaten at once only heals you once this way, based on the largest amount of healing provided to any of the creature you threaten. An effect that heals both you and a creature you threaten does not heal you a second time, but the amount of hit points you recover are the greater of the amount the effect would normally heal you for and the amount that this essentia investment effect would cause it to heal you for.
Mauling Crash - Strike: Charge. If attack hits, also knock target prone. While unexpended, ....
Mauling Leap - Strike: Melee attack with +xd6 damage. Make a Jump check with DC equal to target's AC. If successful, .... While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Jump checks based on essentia invested.
Mauling Flurry - Strike: Full attack against a single target with a -2 penalty on the attack roll. If you hit with at least 2 attacks, make one extra attack at the end (at full BAB, but still with the -2 penalty) that deals +2d6 damage per attack that hit from the full attack (max +16d6). While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on critical confirmation rolls based on essentia invested.
Purelight Surge - Strike: Melee attack deals +8d6 damage, or +8d8 against undead and creatures that are particularly vulnerable to light. The creature is also blinded for 1 round on a failed Fort save. If the attack hits, a burst of searing light fills the area, dispelling lower-level darkness effects, dealing 8d6 or 8d8 damage to creatures in the area other than yourself, and also blinding them for 1 round on a failed save. While unexpended, gain a 2% insight bonus on percentile miss chance rolls per point of essentia invested as long as you can see the space you are attacking.
Soulspeaker's Insight - Boost: Choose a creature and understand all of its minor tells, vulnerabilities, and intentions for 1 round. You gain a +2 insight bonus on attacks rolls, saving throws, and to your Armor Class against the subject and effects it produces. You can't be caught flat-footed or denied Dex to AC against that creature. While unexpended, gain an insight bonus on Sense Motive checks.

----------------------------------------

Maneuvers by soulmeld that inspired them:
Arcane Focus - Incarnum Focus
Armguards of Disruption - ...
Bluesteel Bracers - Bluesteel Defense, Bluesteel Strike
Cerulean Sandals - Cerulean Step
Crystal Helm - Crystalized Will
Diadem of Purelight - Burst of Purelight
Enigma Helm - Enigmatic Moment
Fearsome Mask - ...
Flame Cincture - ...
Gloves of the Poisoned Soul - ...
Hunter's Circlet - Soul of the Hunt
Illusion Veil - ...
Impulse Boots - Impulse Surge
Lucky Dice - Friend of the Dice
Mauling Gauntlets - ...
Necrocarnum Circlet - ...
Necrocarnum Mantle - ...
Necrocarnum Shroud - ...
Necrocarnum Touch - ...
Necrocarnum Vestments - ...
Necrocarnum Weapon - ...
Pauldrons of Health - ...
Riding Bracers - ...
Sailor's Bracers - ...
Sighting Gloves - ...
Silvertongue Mask - ...
Soulspark Familiar - Soulspark Distraction, Soulspark Twin
Soulspeaker's Circlet - ...
Spellward Shirt - Warded Heart
Strongheart Vest - ...
Therapeutic Mantle - ...
Thunderstep Boots - Thunderstep Charge, Thunderstep Crash
Truthseeker Goggles - Seeking Blade
Wind Cloak - Bladed Gale Flurry

4
Daunting Will [General]
Prerequisite: Intimidate 4 ranks or Concentration 4 ranks and Unnerving Calm.
Benefit: If you instigate a duel of wills and drop the target of it during the same encounter, you can instigate a new duel of wills with another creature as a free action at the beginning of your next turn. There is no limit to the number of times you can instigate new duels of wills this way in an encounter.



Steely-Eyed Stare [General]
Prerequisite: Intimidate 4 ranks or Concentration 4 ranks and Unnerving Calm.
Benefit: If you instigate a duel of wills, you can choose to force the target of the duel to participate. If you win the duel, you also gain a +2 morale bonus on Will saves against effects the target produces for the duration of the encounter.
Normal: The target of a duel of wills can choose to submit, ignore the challenge, or participate.



Piercing Stare [General]
Prerequisite: Intimidate 4 ranks or Concentration 4 ranks and Unnerving Calm.
Benefit: If you instigate a duel of wills, you can choose to force the target of the duel to participate. If you win the duel, your morale bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls against the target is increased to +2 (instead of the normal +1) and the target takes a -2 penalty on its initiative check.
Normal: The target of a duel of wills can choose to submit, ignore the challenge, or participate.



Threatening Stare [General]
Prerequisite: Intimidate 4 ranks or Concentration 4 ranks and Unnerving Calm.
Benefit: If you instigate a duel of wills, you can choose to force the target of the duel to participate. If you win the duel, for 1 round the target also takes a -4 morale penalty on attack rolls against creatures other than yourself and cannot cast defensively.
Normal: The target of a duel of wills can choose to submit, ignore the challenge, or participate.



Terrifying Stare [General]
Prerequisite: Intimidate 4 ranks or Concentration 4 ranks and Unnerving Calm.
Benefit: If you instigate a duel of wills, you can choose to force the target of the duel to participate. If you win the duel, the target is also shaken for 1 round, plus 1 round for every 5 points by which you won the opposed check.
Normal: The target of a duel of wills can choose to submit, ignore the challenge, or participate.



Pinning Stare [General]
Prerequisite: Intimidate 4 ranks or Concentration 4 ranks and Unnerving Calm.
Benefit: If you instigate a duel of wills, you can choose to force the target of the duel to participate. If you win the duel, the target's movement speed is halved for 1 round.
Normal: The target of a duel of wills can choose to submit, ignore the challenge, or participate.



If Looks Could Kill [General]
Prerequisite: Intimidate 8 ranks or Concentration 8 ranks and Unnerving Calm.
Benefit: If you instigate a duel of wills, you can choose to force the target of the duel to participate. If you win the duel, the target also takes an amount of nonlethal damage equal to your ranks in Intimidate (or Concentration, if you have the Unnerving Calm feat).
Normal: The target of a duel of wills can choose to submit, ignore the challenge, or participate.




5
Solid State [General]
Prerequisite: Con 15, one Stone Dragon stance.
Benefit: You can initiate Stone Dragon stances even if you aren't in contact with the ground. While you are in a Stone Dragon stance, you gain a +1 dodge bonus to your Armor Class and you can initiate Stone Dragon maneuvers even if you aren't in contact with the ground. If you move at least 10 feet from your original position, you lose the benefit of this feat until the start of your next turn.
Normal: Stone Dragon maneuvers can only be initiated if you are in contact with the ground.
Special: You can use Solid State and your Constitution score - 2 in place of Dodge and your Dexterity score to qualify for a feat, prestige class, or other special ability.

6
Adapting an idea from Shadowrun Returns for a way to provide limited at-will healing. This would be an alternative mechanism for limiting free healing separate from the commonly used limit of up to half max hp used by things like the Dragon Shaman's Vigor aura and the Iron Heart Endurance maneuver.



Recent Wounds: When a creature loses hit points from taking damage, it is considered recently wounded. A recent wound lasts only until it is healed. If a creature loses hit points form damage while still recently wounded, its recent wound is the largest of the two. Essentially, a recent wound records the largest amount of unhealed damage taken damage sources the creature received. Some effects heal only part of a recent wound. When a creature receives healing from any source, the damage amount of its recent wound is reduced by the number of hp regained by the healing.

Notes:
- Since the recent wound only tracks unhealed damage, there is never any need to track it for any character at full hp.
- Healing is limited to the size of the largest singular hit received. Any time multiple hits come in before healing can be applied, they still apply damage that can't be freely healed.
- Current wording/implementation detracts all healing from the recent wounds, which encourages players to use as much free healing as possible before applying any resource-based healing in order to maximize the total healing, since any resource-based healing still reduces the recent wound size and thus the amount of free healing available. This should probably be changed so you can apply them in any order without losing out on the total free healing you can provide (aside from doing so much resource-based healing that the subject is healed up to full already). Would probably need to change it so that the wound size decreases only when the healing is tied to the recent wound, but also that as hp changes separately from that, the wound size gets decreased if it's ever larger than the character's missing hp at any given time.
- How would this work with delayed damage pools? Probably want to count the damage only when it gets taken from the pool to apply hp loss. Delayed damage pools would be weird, then, as they could group up multiple small hits into a single, larger recent wound, but they might also split a single large attack into two, resulting in smaller recent wounds. Hmm... maybe do it the other way, then, where the recent wound is created when the hit occurs even if it is partially or fully absorbed into the delayed damage pool. In that case, the size limit on the recent wound would be missing hp + total damage in delayed damage pools.
- Might want to have natural healing still reduce the size of recent wounds.



Heal skill: You can treat a recent wound as a full-round action. This use of the skill requires a healer's kit. A DC 20 Heal check heals the target for 1d6 hit points, +1 for every 2 points by which your Heal check exceeds the DC. The healing provided cannot exceed the damage value of the target's recent wounds.



Vital Surge martial discipline
Manipulates bodily energy flows to heal and empower allies or disorient and disable enemies. Might have a minor subtheme of channeling vital energy, sacrificing hp to deal electricity damage.
Has a variety of healing maneuvers. Some in-combat hybrid attack/healing maneuvers like Devoted Spirit. Some maneuvers that directly provide strong healing (in or out of combat) based on recent wounds.
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7
Homebrew and House Rules (D&D) / Re: Move Action Maneuvers - Rushes
« on: April 15, 2024, 12:11:17 AM »
I recently took the time to review and reevaluate the initial set of rush maneuvers posted for the original nine disciplines. Some still hold but, but there are plenty that I'm not as fond of any more. Several of them feel like they should be boosts instead of rushes. Some are fine in principle but need a balance adjustment, particularly where avoiding AoOs is concerned (I think I undervalued it somewhat in the original writeups, and it's almost certainly too prevalent in general). However, my issue with some of them is a dislike of the core design, whether in the effect used or how so many rushes are just more powerful versions of lower-level ones.

Notes and analyses:
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New ideas to replace or augment some of the rushes to be removed:
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Tentative new rush writeups
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Tentative strike/boost rewrites of original rushes
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8
For posterity, and in case anyone is still using them, here are the maneuvers in this discipline from before this most recent big rework.

Discipline Description
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Maneuver Descriptions
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Feats
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9
Tactician base class

Martial adept with a bit of Marshal in it.

Initial notes. Many ideas have since been changed, including such basics as how the core mechanic, plans, even works.
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Disciplines: Setting Sun, Diamond Mind, White Raven, Revealing Light, ...
Recovery: Full-round action to abandon any of your implemented plans and recover all maneuvers not in any of your plans that are still implemented.
Auras: Project tactical auras, which are like major auras that also link in with plans. No minor auras, since you have stances as a martial adept. Aura bonus progression is slow, like the paladin, since you've got full martial adept goodness.
- Dilate Aura, as standard.
- Doesn't need Aura Shift. Gets aura changing through plans changing.

Possible abilities:
- All According to Keikaku* (Keikaku Means Plan): Gain bonuses when you have initiated two or more maneuvers from the same plan without abandoning it. Maybe increase the aura bonus of the plan's tactical auras by 1?
- Secondary Objectives: Implement two plans at once and project a tactical aura from each of them. Possibly require expending a maneuver from each of them when you implement the second plan?
- Backup Plan: Prepare a smaller plan (fewer maneuvers, only one tactical aura). You can abandon a plan to implement the backup plan as an immediate action at any time.
- Thanatos Gambit: When you die, continue to project your tactical auras for a few rounds. Possibly based on the number of unexpended maneuvers in your implemented plan(s)? Alternatively, maybe one of your allies affected by the tactical aura can use your remaining maneuvers from its plan.


Tactician base class

Hit Die: d10



Level
Base
Attack
Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save


Special

Maneuvers
Known

Maneuvers
Readied

Stances
Known

Auras Known
Tactical
1+0+2+0+266 (2)1--
2+1+3+0+376 (2)2--
3+2+3+1+387 (2)22
4+3+4+1+487 (2)22
5+3+4+1+497 (2)23
6+4+5+2+598 (2)23
7+5+5+2+5Dilate Aura (90 feet)108 (3)23
8+6/+1+6+2+6108 (3)33
9+6/+1+6+3+6119 (3)33
10+7/+2+7+3+7119 (3)34
11+8/+3+7+3+7129 (3)34
12+9/+4+8+4+8Dilate Aura (120 feet), Side Objectives1210 (3)34
13+9/+4+8+4+81310 (3)34
14+10/+5+9+4+91310 (3)44
15+11/+6/+1+9+5+91411 (3)45
16+12/+7/+2+10+5+101411 (3)45
17+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Dilate Aura (150 feet)1511 (3)45
18+13/+8/+3+11+6+111512 (4)45
19+14/+9/+4+11+6+111612 (4)45
20+15/+10/+5+12+6+121612 (4)46

Class skills (4 + Int modifier per level): ..., and ....

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As a tactician, you are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light and medium armor, and with shields (except tower shields).

Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of six martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are ..., and ....

Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by a tactician is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one.

You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the table above. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. See Table 3-1: Highest-Level Maneuvers Known (TOB 39), to determine the highest-level maneuvers you can learn.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered tactician level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. You can choose a new maneuver of any level you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the highest-level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, you could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.

Maneuvers Readied: You can ready all six of the maneuvers you know at 1st level, and as you advance in level and learn more maneuvers, you are able to ready more, but you must choose which maneuvers to ready. You ready your maneuvers by practicing for 5 minutes, going through the motions of the maneuvers over and over in order. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to exercise again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend 5 minutes in practice, you can change your readied maneuvers.

You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (until you recover them, as described below).

Tacticians are unique among martial adepts, relying on prepared plans to inform their next actions what maneuvers are best to be used in any given situation. When you ready your tactician maneuvers, you must assign them to plans. Each readied maneuver must be assigned to a single plan. Those plans remain fixed until you once again ready your maneuvers. You can prepare any number of plans at once, as long as each plan has at least one maneuver assigned to it, but each plan can have a maximum of two assigned maneuvers assigned.

Maneuvers assigned to unimplemented plans are withheld and inaccessible. When you implement a plan, the maneuvers assigned to that plan are granted to you, but the maneuvers assigned to your other plans remain withheld. Thus, you can only initiate the maneuvers assigned to your current implemented plan. Once implemented, a plan remains implemented until you abandon it, you recovery all of your maneuvers, or you ready your maneuvers and prepare new plans. You can implement a plan as a free action during your turn as long as you have fewer implemented plans than your maximum (typically one).

As a tactician, you can spend a full-round action to reevaluate your tactical situation. When you do, you can abandon any of your implemented plans, rendering the maneuvers assigned to them withheld again. Then, you recover all of your maneuvers not assigned to any still-implemented plans.

When preparing plans, you can assign an additional maneuver to each of them at 7th level (bringing your total to three), and again at 18th level (bringing your total to four).

Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of one stance from any discipline open to tacticians. At *th, *th, and *th level, you can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.

Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one you already know.



Auras (Ex): As a tactician, your presence and leadership exerts an effect on creatures in your vicinity. You can learn to produce different effects, or auras, over the course of your career. You may project one minor aura and one major aura at a time. If you possess the ability to project auras from multiple sources, the number of auras of any given type that you can project at once does not stack.

Activating an aura is a swift action. The aura remains in effect until you use a free action to dismiss it or you activate another aura of the same kind (major or minor). You can have an aura active continually; thus, an aura can be in effect at the start of a combat encounter even before you take your first turn.

As a tactician, activating an aura is a purely mental action. Unless otherwise noted, your auras affect all creatures within 60 feet (including yourself) that you can communicate with, even if you don't share a language. A creature must have an Intelligence score to be subjected to an aura (mindless creatures cannot be directly affected by your auras). Your aura is dismissed and you cannot project an aura while you are dazed, unconscious, stunned, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to communicate.

Some auras affect your enemies instead of, or in addition to, your allies. Unless otherwise stated, the save DC of your aura is equal to 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Charisma modifier.

Except where otherwise noted, all modifiers granted by your auras are morale bonuses (or penalties) with a magnitude equal to your aura bonus (bonuses add your aura bonus, penalties subtract it). These morale bonuses and penalties still affect targets immune to mind-affecting effects that are otherwise subject to your aura.

Tactical Aura: Beginning at 3rd level, you can project a tactical aura. A tactical aura grants allies bonuses or harms enemies. The magnitude of the bonus granted by your tactical auras is initially +1, and it improves by 1 at 8th level and every 5 levels thereafter. You learn two tactical auras of your choice at 3rd level. As your tactician level increases, you gain access to new auras, as indicated on the table above.

Unlike other auras, you cannot project tactical auras freely. When you prepare a plan, you can assign up to two of your tactical auras to it, although some abilities allow you to assign more auras at a time to the same plan. Unlike maneuvers, you can assign a given tactical aura to any number of plans at once. When you activate a plan, you can begin projecting any of its tactical auras as a free action. You can only project a tactical aura while a plan it is assigned to is active. Each tactical aura can only be assigned to a single plan at a time.

In addition to its standard effect for projecting it, each tactical aura lists a tactical condition. If a tactical aura is assigned to a plan and you witness the listed condition as it occurs, you can abandon one of your current plans as an immediate action to implement the associated plan. When a tactical condition refers to "a nearby ally", it means you or an ally that would be within the are of the aura if you were projecting it. Similarly, when a tactical condition refers to "a nearby opponent", it means an opponent that would be within the are of the aura if you were projecting it.

Some tactical auras also list one or more plan requirements. A plan must meet those criteria in order to have the aura assigned to it.

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Dilate Aura (Ex): Starting at 7th level, the range of your auras increases by 30 feet (to a total of 90 feet). Their range increases by 30 feet again at each of 12th and 17th level.

Secondary Objectives (Ex): Beginning at 12th level, you can have an additional plan implemented at once. Additionally, you gain Extra Aura (tactical aura) as a bonus feat, allowing you to project one more tactical aura at once than normal (for a total of 2 tactical auras). You must activate or dismiss your auras separately. You need not meet the prerequisites of this feat.

Backup Plan (Ex): Beginning at xth level, when you prepare your plans, you can designate one of them as a backup plan. You can assign one fewer maneuver and tactical aura than normal to this plan. You can abandon a plan to implement the backup plan as though it was assigned an aura with a tactical condition of "any time".


10
The Hilt

The Hilt is a broken sword blade, honed down to be usable as a short-bladed weapon in its damaged form.

Nonlegacy Game Statistics: +1 punching dagger; Cost 2302 gp.

Omen: When wielded while in a martial stance or used to perform a martial strike, The Hilt's balance shifts, feeling as though it was another melee weapon from among that maneuver's discipline's favored weapons. This does not impose any penalties, and in fact feels more natural to the maneuver than wielding the broken weapon should.

History
 
The Hilt's origins have been lost to myth and legend. There are a great many stories about how the blade came to be, broken as it is, most of which are mutually exclusive. The majority, however, have at least one thread in common: The Hilt was once a fine and functional sword, destroyed as the result of allies and fellow followers of the Sublime Way turning upon each other. (DC 15)

One of the many stories told about The Hilt is that it was broken when the Shadow Tiger horde attacked the Temple of the Nine Swords. This version of the tale purports it to be a new sword forged to replace the missing Supernatural Clarity and restore balance and unity to the Temple. At the time of the horde's attack, the blade had only just finished being forged, and had yet to be imbued with the magical enchantments that would make it a worthy blade to embody the Diamond Mind discipline. Seeing that the battle was lost, some of the Temple's students sought to protect and escape with the remaining swords. The unfinished blade that would become The Hilt was used by those escaping students during their retreat, passed from one to the next as each fell in battle. Many hands wielded The Hilt in this, its first battle, each wielder using it with his or her own preferred style. Such was the ferocity of the fighting that each skirmish left a scar upon the blade, with the accumulated damage causing it to shatter in the final exchange of the students' escape. Yet, in its destruction, The Hilt was tempered in battle and imbued with a fragment of the warrior's will from each of its wielders. Rather than become a replacement blade to represent Diamond Mind, it was instead invested with a mixture of all nine disciplines of the Sublime Way. (DC 20; From Hand to Hand)

Another story claims that The Hilt was created by the same hobgoblin chieftain who forged Kamate, the first sword. With weapons of such power in their hands, the chief and his tribe spread out, conquering all those who would stand before them. As their victories grew, the hobgoblin warriors grew brash. They had the power of death itself. Why should they pay tribute to their chieftain and not keep all they could take? In the aftermath of yet another victory, a group of these warriors turned upon their still loyal fellows. The battle was fierce and bloody, more so than any before it, as it was the first time that deadly iron fought against itself. The Hilt was but one of the many swords wielded that day to clash upon the edge of its brothers, but it was the first to shatter, leaving only fragments of the broken blade behind. (DC 25; Infighting's Price)

A third such tale claims that The Hilt was Reshar's sword, which he used in his travels after leaving the Temple of the Nine Swords. When he left the Temple, Reshar gifted the nine swords, brimming with magic and honed by decades in the hands of masters, to his nine greatest disciples. For himself, Reshar took only a simple sword, forged for novices of the Sublime Way to use when first training with live steel. A lifetime later, the very same blade at his side, Reshar returned to the Temple, now a ruined husk after the Shadow Tiger horde had sacked it. Understanding at a glance the battle that had taken place, the disunity that had lead to it, and the death of his dreams for the Sublime Way, he went to the rubble-strewn hall where he had once gifted the nine swords. There, without a word, Reshar shattered the simple blade he had wielded ever since leaving the Temple's grounds decades prior. (DC 31; Reshar's Last Blade)


Legacy Rituals

The following three rituals are required to unlock all the abilities of The Hilt.

From Hand to Hand: You must survive an encounter with an EL equal to or greater than your character level + 1. During this the course of this encounter, you must initiate at least 4 maneuvers, but no two consecutive maneuvers may be from the same martial discipline. Cost: 1500gp. Feat Granted: Least Legacy (The Hilt).

Infighting's Price: You must fight and defeat a martial adept with CR equal to or greater than your character level - 2. Your allies can assist you as long as you do not outnumber the opposing martial adept and his or her allies. After the battle, you must spend one night in meditation. Cost: 13,000gp. Feat Granted: Lesser Legacy (The Hilt).

Reshar's Last Blade: You must return to the place in which you learned your first martial maneuver or stance, or a location at which you received a formative revelation or understanding of the Sublime Way that shaped your development along it. There, you must plunge The Hilt into the ground and meditate uninterrupted for 24 hours. During your meditation, you will be confronted by visions of your greatest failures. To complete the ritual, you must neither shy away from nor succumb to despair at these visions. Cost: 39,000gp. Feat Granted: Greater Legacy (The Hilt).


Wielder Requirements
Base attack bonus +3
Martial Lore 4 ranks
Knowledge of martial maneuvers or stances from at least 3 different disciplines

Legacy Item Abilities
All of the following are legacy abilities of The Hilt.

Shifting Discipline (Ex): When you first unlock the least legacy of The Hilt at 5th level, you find that the weapon's weak form somehow makes it surprisingly easy to flow between disparate maneuvers. When you initiate a martial strike maneuver, you gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls with The Hilt as part of the next strike you initiate. This bonus only applies if the strike is from a different discipline from the first maneuver. A strike that benefits from this bonus can still trigger it for a subsequent one, so you effectively gain this bonus continuously as long as you don't use two consecutive strikes from the same discipline.

When you have unlock the lesser legacy of The Hilt at 11th level, the bonus granted by this ability improves to +2. When you have unlock the greater legacy of The Hilt at 17th level, the bonus granted by this ability improves to +3.

Morphic Stance (Su): Beginning at 6th level, whenever you enter a martial stance, you can will The Hilt to take on the form of one of that stance's discipline's discipline weapons. You can select from any of the manufactured melee or thrown weapons you are proficient with from among the discipline weapons of that stance's martial discipline. The Hilt's statistics change in nearly all ways to match its new form, such as damage type, critical threat range, reach, and other properties inherent to the type of weapon it becomes. The only exceptions are that its weight, material, and hit points do not change. The Hilt retains this new form for as long as you wield it, even if you leave the stance used to transform it. If you throw The Hilt, it remains in this form for the duration of the attack, reverting to its normal form only after the attack is resolved.

Martial Foil (Ex): Beginning at 12th level, while wielding The Hilt, you gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws against martial maneuvers. Additionally, once per day when you witness a creature that you threaten with The Hilt initiate a martial maneuver and you successfully identify the maneuver being initiated, you can expend an unexpended maneuver that is not withheld as an immediate action. If you do, you and the creature make an opposed initiator level check. If you succeed, you use The Hilt to spoil the creature's maneuver, causing it to fail and have no effect, wasting both the expenditure of the maneuver and the action used to initiate it. If the maneuver you expended was from the same discipline as the maneuver you attempted to spoil, you gain a +10 bonus on your opposed check. If the maneuver you expended was the same maneuver as the one you attempted to spoil, you instead gain a +20 bonus on your opposed check.

Reactive Style (Ex): Beginning at 14th level, once per day, you can change your readied maneuvers as a free action. Your new selection of maneuvers become readied and unexpended (and possibly granted or withheld) as though you had just readied your maneuvers normally (and as though you had just begun an encounter, if you use this ability in the middle of an encounter).

Shattered Yet Whole (Ex): Beginning at 18th level, The Hilt becomes immune to rusting effects and gains a +4 bonus on its saving throws and to its hardness while in your possession. If damaged, The Hilt repairs itself at a rate of 1 hit point per hour when not being wielded in combat.

Share Stance (Ex): Beginning at 20th level, once per day as swift action, you can share your current stance with nearby allies, instructing them in its intricacies and allowing them to mimic it under your expert mentorship even without dedicated knowledge and training. Each creature within 10 feet of you can enter your current martial stance as an immediate action. If you have multiple stances active, you must choose only one of them to share. Each ally can maintain this stance for up to 1 minute.

Table: The Hilt
LevelAbilities
5Shifting Discipline +1
6Morphic Stance
7+1 aptitude punching dagger
8--
9+1 aptitude Sublime Tapestry punching dagger
10--
11Shifting Discipline +2
12Martial Foil
13+2 aptitude Sublime Tapestry punching dagger
14Reactive Style
15--
16--
17Shifting Discipline +3
18Shattered Yet Whole
19+4 aptitude Sublime Tapestry punching dagger
20Share Stance



Change Log
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Notes
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11
ToB maneuvers to buff:
- Trying to buff up the maneuvers that are generally considered the weakest of the bunch and either don't have any practical use cases or are just so weak as to be traps to use.
- Not trying to make them as powerful as the strongest maneuvers. Just trying to bring them up to a level where they feel like they should be okay to use.
- Not trying to buff up maneuvers that are great for certain builds but poor for others. We're not trying for mass appeal.
- Not trying to buff up maneuvers that are highly situational, but very good in their situation. Depending on how specific the situation is, I might try to expand the range of situations a maneuver is useful in, but I'll try not to increase its power in situations it's already good in.


Desert Wind
1
- Blistering Flourish: Initiating this maneuver also grants you concealment for 1 round as lingering sparks and embers dance around you. You can't use this concealment to hide.
- Wind Stride: Also removes the -5 penalty on Tumble checks to move at full speed.
2
- Fire Riposte: Base damage reduced to 3d6. Add +1 damage per initiator level.
- Hatchling's Flame: Add +1 damage per initiator level.
3
- Fan the Flames: Base damage reduced to 5d6. Add +1 damage per initiator level. Range increased to 60 ft.
- Holocaust Cloak: Instead deals 3 damage + 1/2 IL to attacker. Also renders you and your equipment immune to damage from being set on fire.
4
- Firesnake: Add +1 damage per initiator level.
- Searing Blade: On crit, set target on fire if they're not already, making them take an extra 1d6 fire damage immediately and again every round until they put themself out.
5
- Dragon's Flame: Add +1 damage per initiator level.
- Lingering Inferno: The lingering flames amplify damage taken from fire. The creature takes +2d6 damage from other sources of fire damage, up to a maximum of 100% of the source's original fire damage.
6
- Ring of Fire: Base damage reduced to 10d6. Add +1 damage per initiator level. Your movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity for leaving threatened spaces. If you don't close the area, project a line with a length up to your movement speed in any direction. If that would close the area, the flames still ignite, albeit with reduced intensity, dealing half damage (Reflex negates).
- Fiery Assault: Add +1/2 damage per initiator level.
7
- Inferno Blade: On crit, set target on fire if they're not already, making them take an extra 1d6 fire damage immediately and again every round until they put themself out. If they're already on fire, fan the flames, dealing an extra 1d6 fire damage immediately, increasing the fire damage they take each round by 1d6, and increasing the Reflex DC to put themself out by 1 (up to a maximum of 17 + Wis modifier + any modifiers to this maneuver's save DC if it had one).
- Salamander Charge: Add +1/2 damage per initiator level to the damage for crossing or starting a turn in the wall of fire.
8
- Wyrm's Flame: Add +1 damage per initiator level.
- Rising Phoenix: Can fly at any altitude without ending the stance. At more than 10 feet above the ground, maneuverability drops to poor and the fire damage doesn't trigger from a full attack.
9
- Inferno Blast: Base damage reduced to 90. Add +1 damage per initiator level. Creatures that fail their Reflex saves must also make a Fortitude save or be knocked prone due to the concussive force of the blast wave. Save DC is 19 + Wis modifier (previously unlisted). The nature of this maneuver is to release a hellish blast of wild, uncontrolled flames, but you can exert some influence on it; if you wish, you may choose a cone in which the burst does not apply.
Rationale
- The community agrees that most Desert Wind maneuvers are subpar. A lot of them are pure blasting with no scaling, which is already a poor strategy. The theme of relying purely on fire damage, the most resisted damage type, makes them inflexible and often weaker than they look. I can't do anything about the fire lock without sweeping changes, but scaling up the damage to match what blasters can pull off when the maneuvers are first accessible and tapering off more slowly should help a bit.
- Blistering Flourish does basically nothing. It's a Bane spell, but with point blank range a worse save type, and no penalty on saves vs. fear. Even if it works, it only has a 1/20 chance of making a given attack miss. It probably still needs a buff, but at least the round of concealment gives a little more viable momentary defense and makes it less bad.
- Wind Stride is at the edge of fine, but poor, depending on who you ask.
- Hatchling's Flame compares poorly to Burning Hands, itself a poor blasting spell. It's behind by 0.5 damage at the level you get it and falls further behind as you go.
- Fan the Flames is actually okay, but it's mostly just outdone by Shadow Garrote in Shadow Hand, which trades 1d6 damage for double range, a minor debuff, and an unresistible damage type.
- Searing Blade and Inferno Blade aren't bad, they just don't add enough over the 1st-level Burning Blade to ever be worth trading up for.
- Lingering Inferno SUCKS. It adds 8d6 damage at best which is barely par for a pure damage 5th-level strike. You have to wait 3 rounds to get that damage, and any amount of fire resistance just neuters it due to being split over 4 instances. Hopefully, making it a debuff that amplifies other fire damage works.
- Dragon's Flame tries to pretend than a CL 6 Fireball's damage is relevant at level 9. At least it's a CL 9's worth of damage at level 9 now.
- Fiery Assault is 1d6 extra damage. Punishing Stance has been doing that since level 1, albeit with a -2 AC penalty, but also in a form that doesn't stack up against an entirely new defense (fire resistance). Burning Blade added 1d6 fire damage since level 1, and also added your IL, all at the cost of being a boost; by level 11 when you can get Fiery Assault, it's adding 1d6+11, more than four times what Fiery Assault gives. With these numbers, it's now a permanent half-strength Searing Blade, which doesn't seem too out of line for a stance.
- Ring of Fire does decent damage, it's just implausible to use. A base 30-foot movement speed covers an area barely larger than a 15-foot diameter, so this is really a single-target attack masquerading as an AoE. It's even smaller if you're moving at a lower speed (hitting a single 5-foot square requires at least 30 feet of movement), or have to take a strange path to move around creatures or obstacles. Also, any creature standing by a wall is basically not a viable target unless you can hit the DC 25 Tumble check reliably (not unreasonable at this level, but still worth mentioning as a further inconvenience). The extra bit of extended path lets you increase the area a bit, and gives you a better failure state if your movement is interrupted or blocked. Avoiding AoEs is vital to not taking more damage yourself than you deal to your enemies, and I don't know how the writers didn't think to put that in originally.
- Salamander Charge: Honestly, this one's pretty okay and I mostly felt the need to add more damage just because I was doing it for everything else. The fire wall has similar limitations to Lingering Inferno's damage, but the damage is in larger chunks and cover an area instead of a single target.
- Wyrm's Flame brings it up to just about the 1d6/level benchmark when you get it. It's still underperforming, but I can't be arsed to tweak the numbers even more.
- Rising Phoenix gives you flight but only where you don't need it. You're at least 15th level. Just take the damn flight!
- Inferno Blast does really good damage. That's all it does. It also has an annoying tendency of friendly fire. It didn't need the damage scaling buff, but everything else got it so why not.

Devoted Spirit
1
2
3
4
5
6
- Aura of Tyranny: You can also deal this damage to unwilling creatures that you dealt damage to with a melee attack within the last round. If you deal damage to at least 2 willing allies, you get a +2 bonus on attack rolls and saving throws for 1 round. If you deal damage to at least 2 unwilling creatures, you get a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls and to AC for 1 round.
7
- Castigating Strike
8
9
Rationale
- Devoted Spirit is pretty good, overall. Very few maneuvers are off curve.
- Aura of Tyranny just doesn't do much unless you're cheesing a million summons for tons of free healing or something.

Diamond Mind
1
- Stance of Clarity
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Rationale
- Diamond Mind is pretty good, overall.

Iron Heart
1
2
3
4
5
6
- Manticore Parry: You can also choose to deflect the attack harmlessly instead of into another creature.
7
- Scything Blade: Dropped to a level 6 maneuver. Initiate after you hit with a melee attack to make another melee attack at the same attack bonus against a different creature you threaten. (This lets you trigger it off of more than just your first attack in the round, and doesn't force you to commit expending the maneuver preemptively before you even know if the normal attack will hit to trigger the extra one.)
8
- Supreme Blade Parry
9
Rationale
- Iron Heart is pretty good, overall.
- Scything Blade is a strictly worse Dancing Mongoose, but Dancing Mongoose is very good so just closing the gap might be okay.

Setting Sun
1
2
- Clever Positioning: Neither you nor the target provoke attacks of opportunity for this movement.
3
- Giant Killing Style: (Errata) Remove that nonsensical final sentence about it applying to all attacks for the rest of the turn. I think that's an editing fail from it possibly having been a boost instead of a stance in an earlier draft.
4
5
- Stalking Shadow: Dropped to a level 4 maneuver. Initiation action is 1 free action instead of 1 immediate action.
- Shifting Defense: (Errata) As per the table's description and the first non-italicized paragraph's flavor-like text, this only triggers on missed attacks, not all attacks.
6
- Scorpion Parry: You can also choose to deflect the attack harmlessly instead of into another creature.
7
- Hydra Slaying Strike: Add +4d6 damage. Effect changed to match what I think the designers were trying to accomplish, and so that it actually works against its namesake: The creature cannot make more than one attack during its next turn.
8
- Ghostly Defense: Also triggers when you make an attack miss due to a counter.
9
Rationale
- Setting Sun is a little weak and many of its maneuvers really want to be used by a dedicated tripper, but for the most part it's perfectly serviceable. Most of the changes listed here are just adjusting inconsistencies in the text and quirks of operation that feel unintended. Strictly speaking, those should be in a separate document.
- Stalking Shadow is strictly worse than Mirrored Pursuit in the same discipline at the same level. Since it only gives you a 5-foot step, maybe being a free action counter might be alright.
- Hydra Slaying Strike just doesn't do anything against most opponents. It's okay against random beatstick monsters, but even then you're just trading your attacks beyond the first (or other more useful maneuver effects) for their attacks beyond the first. Any spellcaster or martial adept doesn't care at all. White Raven Hammer is only one level higher and offers a stronger no save disable, and has bonus damage to boot.
- Ghostly Defense is just too narrow. The effect is good, but there are a whopping two maneuvers that let you get concealment or otherwise force miss chances on your own, and they're both in Shadow Hand. Child of Shadow would be a third, but it's a stance and so is mutually exclusive with this. Setting Sun, however, is the counter discipline, so why not lean into that?

Shadow Hand
1
2
3
- Shadow Garrote: Base damage reduced to 4d6. Add +1 damage per initiator level.
4
5
- Step of the Dancing Moth
6
- Ghost Blade: In addition to rendering the target flat-footed (as normal), roll two attacks and choose one (as Shadow Blade Technique). Taking the lower roll adds an extra 5d6 cold damage.
- Shadow Noose: Base damage reduced to 6d6. Add +1 damage per initiator level. Does not require target to be flat-footed, but if it isn't, a failed save renders it flat-footed until its next turn (as Shadow Garrote) instead of stunned for 1 round.
7
- Death in the Dark: In addition to functioning against a flat-footed opponent, also functions if the foe is denied Dex to AC and you have concealment from it.
8
9
Rationale
- Shadow Garrote is fine. Just giving it the same scaling I did for Fan the Flames in Desert Wind.
- Shadow Noose should be Shadow Garrote's older brother, but requiring a flat-footed foe makes it far more situational. This change makes it into that better, higher-level Shadow Garrote, since it now does the same thing with +2d6 damage against non-flat-footed creatures.
- Ghost Blade just doesn't do enough. Sapphire Nightmare Blade has been doing the same thing with an extra 1d6 damage since level 1, albeit with less reliability. The fluff describes it similarly to Shadow Blade Technique, so now it's Shadow Blade Technique's older brother.
- Death in the Dark is perfectly fine, just a little too narrow.


Stone Dragon
General
- Maneuvers can be initiated if you were in contact with the ground at any point since the beginning of your last turn. (This allows you to, for example, leap up and bat a flying foe down to the ground.)
- Stances that end when you move more than 5 feet are instead suppressed until your next turn (so you don't need to spend the swift action to reenter it). You can still reinitiate them while they're suppressed this way to get them back immediately.
1
- Charging Minotaur: This damage bypasses damage reduction and other defenses as though it was dealt through your unarmed strike (for example, if you wore an amulet of mighty fists +1, it would bypass DR/magic and would potentially be able to damage incorporeal creatures, if you could somehow bull rush them). Movement with this maneuver does not disable your Stone Dragon stances.
- Stonefoot Stance: Stance is suppressed until your next turn if you move more than 5 feet instead of ending (so you don't need to spend the swift action to reenter it).
2
- Stone Vice: Fort save is tagged object. If you hit a creature not on the ground, it must make the Fort save or be knocked to the ground, falling up to 30 feet (no AoO for this movement). If this causes it to land on the ground, it is affected by the speed reduction effect.
3
- Stone Dragon's Fury: Deals bonus damage to all creatures, not just constructs. If it hits a construct or object, it must make a Fortitude save (object, DC 13 + your Str modifier) or have any damage reduction or hardness reduced to half its normal value (rounded down) for 1 round.
- Roots of the Mountain: Stance is suppressed until your next turn if you move more than 5 feet instead of ending (so you don't need to spend the swift action to reenter it). Also causes non-teleportation forced movement to which you are unwilling to move you half the distance.
4
- Boulder Roll: Is a strike instead of a boost. Effect is instead: You move up to your speed. During this movement, you can make any number of overrun attacks, as a free action, once per target. If a target chooses to avoid you, you still make an opposed Strength check to knock it prone as though it had not, and you can continue your movement even if you fail to knock it prone. If a target blocks you, you gain a +4 bonus on your Strength check made to overrun, and if you fail your check, your target can't knock you prone. You simply stop moving in the last legal space you occupied. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity for the movement or the overrun attempts. Movement with this maneuver does not disable your Stone Dragon stances.
- Overwhelming Mountain Strike: Fort save is tagged object. Effect changed to match what I think the designers were trying to accomplish. On a failed save, the creature's normal allotment of actions during its turn is reduced. Instead of being allowed a standard action and a move action, two move actions, or one full-round action, the creature is allowed only a single standard or move action. The creature can otherwise act normally; this does not impact its swift action or free actions, nor does it affect any extra actions it may gain (such as from the quicksilver motion maneuver).
5
- Mountain Avalanche: Replace text with that of Crushing Advance, except with a base damage of 6d6. Movement with this maneuver does not disable your Stone Dragon stances. (I would've just written up the differences, except that the original version is a mess. It contradicts itself about whether you deal damage to any creature whose space you fully occupy (first paragraph) or if covering only part of its space is good enough (second paragraph). It's also even more vulnerable to AoOs than the basic trample monster ability. Not worth the effort when I already have some perfectly valid text to reference.)
- Giant's Stance: Stance is suppressed until your next turn if you move more than 5 feet instead of ending (so you don't need to spend the swift action to reenter it). Instead of increasing your effective weapon size, adds 1d6 damage and lets you add an additional 1/2 your Str bonus to weapon damage rolls that already add your Str bonus.
6
- Crushing Vice: If you hit a creature not on the ground, it must make a Fort save (object, DC 16 + Str) or be knocked to the ground, falling up to 30 feet (no AoO for this movement). If this causes it to land on the ground, it is affected by the speed reduction effect.
- Iron Bones: Add +4d6 damage.
- Irresistible Mountain Strike: Fort save is tagged object. Effect changed to match what I think the designers were trying to accomplish. On a failed save, the creature's normal allotment of actions during its turn is reduced. Instead of being allowed a standard action and a move action, two move actions, or one full-round action, the creature is allowed only a single move action. The creature can otherwise act normally; this does not impact its swift action or free actions, nor does it affect any extra actions it may gain (such as from the quicksilver motion maneuver).
7
- Colossus Strike: Can also target and affect objects. If an obstacle prevents the completion of the target's move, the obstacle takes 6d6 points of damage.
8
- Adamantine Bones: Add +8d6 damage.
- Earthstrike Quake: Duration 5 rounds. The ground continues to shake and rumble, forcing creatures that attempt to move through it to make a Balance check (DC 20 + your Str modifier). Each of the subsequent rounds after you initiate the maneuver, you can trigger an aftershock around the same point, forcing a Reflex save and Concentration check.
- Strength of Stone: Stance is suppressed until your next turn if you move more than 5 feet instead of ending (so you don't need to spend the swift action to reenter it). Also grants immunity to any effect that allows a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless).
9
Rationale
- Oh boy, Stone Dragon. There's a lot of variance here. The Mountain Hammer maneuvers are ToB staples, but so much else is so flawed.
- Being usable only on the ground is thematic, but overly restrictive at higher levels. At least now you can jump up and swat someone out of the sky to bring them down to the ground where you want to fight them.
- Most of the Stone Dragon Stances end if you move more than 5 feet. I'm not going to try for a sweeping change that just edits that out, but at least this way (suppression for 1 round instead of ending), movement and Stone Dragon stances play better with boosts and counters. That said, most of them are on the weak side even without that limitation, although not horrendously so, so most of them got buffs.
- Charging Minotaur got the ability to bypass DR in a limited way, like I wrote into similar maneuvers for my Crushing Juggernaut homebrew discipline. It's less of an intended buff and more of a basic effect that I feel should be there in some manner, and I'm doing the same thing along the way as part of Mountain Avalanche's changes.
- For Stone Vice and Crushing Vice, these changes go hand in hand with the "jump up and swat someone out of the sky" thing I mentioned above.
- Stone Dragon's Fury is just too narrow, and the effect when it is applicable isn't enough.
- Roots of the Mountain is probably fine, but if it's going to protect you from the more "normal" forced movement, why not the special stuff as well?
- Boulder Roll was poorly written from day one. Even assuming the full-round action initiation for a boost is a typo, it just doesn't do much of anything. Overrun has two purposes for which you're spending your standard action: knock a foe prone, and move past the space the foe is occupying. Without preventing the target from avoiding you, which Improved Overrun does but Boulder Roll doesn't, the opponent chooses which of those two is more important to them and thus how to contest you. I would be hesitant to select that original Boulder Roll as even a 1st- or 2nd-level boost. This is basically a complete rework of the maneuver, which I don't want to do much of if I don't have to, but I feel like this trample-style multiple overrun fits the original theme much better.
- For Overwhelming and Irresistible Mountain Strike, I just made them work the way I think the designers intended (removing some of the target's actions, like the staggered or nauseated conditions). Also tagged them for objects so they can affect constructs and undead.
- Mountain Avalanche is a bad version of the trample monster ability, and its damage does not keep up with what is expected at this level. It was like Firesnake, but weaker, and with making you provoke AoOs, and with movement (which could be good, but could also disable your Stone Dragon stances).
- The Bones line of maneuvers provide a reasonable enough defense with their DR/adamantine to deal with the smaller hitters, although they don't scale up quite well enough to deal with big threats. A little extra damage on the higher-level ones lets you keep up that mix of offense and defense at higher levels.
- Giant's Stance's absolute best-case scenario is a +4 average damage bonus with a medium greataxe (going from 1d12 to 3d6). Punishing Stance has been doing +3.5 since level 1, albeit with a -2 AC penalty. Most of the rationale for the need for a buff is similar to what I wrote for Fiery Assault in Desert Wind. The implementation should wind up comparable, if a bit weaker.
- Colossus Strike is one of those maneuvers that feels like it should be good but doesn't quite stand up. The damage to the impactee is basically copying Setting Sun's Comet Throw and Ballista Throw. Also, now you can hit baseballs (and constructs and undead) with it. Batter up!
- Earthstrike Quake is most comparable to a Grease spell with a larger area and a scaled up save DC, but lots of downsides. It has no duration, hitting only once and not even obstructing the area. It's point-blank, not ranged, although honestly that's par for the course for spell-comparable maneuvers just from the basic paradigm. Hitting through walls is cool. Hitting creatures on the ground only it shares with Grease, but it's a limitation that doesn't hold up as well at 15th level as it did at 1st. It probably still needs a buff beyond this, but that would require a more substantial rework to it.
- Strength of Stone is heavy fortification. It's great against crit fishers and sneak attackers, but most monsters only have a 20/x2 crit, which means in terms of average damage taken, it's less effective than +1 AC against them. One can't knock the benefits of smoothing out damage spikes, but at this level things are throwing out multiple attacks and hp pools are large enough to absorb an extra singular hit now and again, so it's not as important as at lower levels. Plus, anyone can get this for 36000 gp and a -1 attack roll penalty by strapping a +1 Heavy Fortification buckler to your arm if you really want crit protection, which seems a bit cheaper than what I'd hope the equivalent value of an 8th-level stance would be.


Tiger Claw
1
2
- Claw at the Moon: If Jump check succeeds and attack hits, target must make a Will save (DC 12 + Str) or flinch, taking a -2 penalty on attack rolls for 1 round.
3
- Flesh Ripper: Add +2d6 damage. A successful save negates the attack roll penalty, but not the AC penalty.
- Wolverine Stance: You do not suffer the normal -4 penalties on attack rolls and to AC while prone or squeezing. When you hit a creature grappling you with a melee attack, you can make a grapple check as a free action to escape the grapple.
4
- Fountain of Blood: Can use after you reduce a living opponent's hp with a melee attack during your turn, regardless of the creature's hp. If it has more than half its hp, you only deal the extra 1d6 damage. If it has half its hp or less, it still deals the 1d6 damage but only the creature struck makes the Will save to avoid being shaken. If it has -1 or fewer hp, the maneuver functions as originally written.
5
6
7
- Prey on the Weak
8
- Wolf Pack Tactics
9
Rationale
- Claw at the Moon is basically Sapphire Nightmare Blade, but with an extra 1d6 damage and better crit confirmation in exchange for 1 higher level and not making foes flat-footed. Also, the Jump skill is harder to get to comfortable levels for hitting DC 20 or so (what lower-level enemies usually have) reliably compared to Concentration; Strength won't be meaningfully higher than Constitution, Jump is hit by your ACP, and it often eats a massive -6 penalty for having 20 ft. speed.
- Flesh Ripper's AC penalty is matched by Leading the Attack, a 1st-level White Raven maneuver with no save.
- Fountain of Blood is useless against single foes, and doesn't really do enough even against larger groups. By the time you start dropping foes, often it's after the party's spellcasters have already thrown down a bunch of disabling effects, so adding one more weak-ish debuff isn't going to add much.

White Raven
1
2
3
- Lion's Roar: Can use after you reduce an opponent's hp, regardless of the creature's hp. If it has more than half its hp, you only grant a +1 damage bonus. If it has half its hp or less, you only grant a +3 damage bonus. If it has -1 or fewer hp, the maneuver functions as originally written.
4
5
6
7
8
9
Rationale
- Lion's Roar is useless against single foes. Now it at least has a lesser effect.

12
Homebrew and House Rules (D&D) / Re: New NPC Classes
« on: March 12, 2024, 12:30:05 AM »
Sublime Adept NPC class
A simple NPC martial adept class. Uses the maneuvers from a single discipline moderately well.

Hit Die: d8



Level
Base
Attack
Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save


Special

Maneuvers
Known

Maneuvers
Readied

Stances
Known
1+0+0+2+0Chosen Discipline220
2+1+0+3+0--221
3+2+1+3+1--221
4+3+1+4+1--321
5+3+1+4+1--321
6+4+2+5+2--321
7+5+2+5+2--421
8+6/+1+2+6+2--431
9+6/+1+3+6+3--431
10+7/+2+3+7+3--531
11+8/+3+3+7+3--532
12+9/+4+4+8+4--532
13+9/+4+4+8+4--632
14+10/+5+4+9+4--642
15+11/+6/+1+5+9+5--642
16+12/+7/+2+5+10+5--742
17+12/+7/+2+5+10+5--742
18+13/+8/+3+6+11+6--742
19+14/+9/+4+6+11+6--842
20+15/+10/+5+6+12+6--853

Class skills (2 + Int modifier per level): Climb, Concentration, Craft, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (local), Martial Lore, Profession, and Swim. A sublime adept also adds the key skill of his chosen discipline to his class skill.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sublime adepts are proficient with all simple weapons and with all martial weapons from among his chosen discipline's associated weapons. Sublime adepts are also proficient with light armor and with shields (other than tower shields).

Chosen Discipline: A sublime adept chooses a single martial discipline from among all of the martial disciplines. He studies this martial discipline alone, learning its maneuvers and training with its favored weapons and key skill.

Initiator Level: Unlike other martial adepts, a sublime adept does not always count full class level towards his sublime adept initiator level. A sublime adept's initiator level equal to 2/3 his class level, rounded up, rather than his full class level. As with all characters, he still adds 1/2 his total level in other classes to his sublime adept initiator level. Consequently, a single-classed sublime adept's maximum maneuver level learned is 1st at 1st level, increasing by 1 maneuver level every 3 class levels thereafter.

Maneuvers: A sublime adept begins his career with knowledge of two martial maneuvers. Only his single chosen martial discipline is available to him.

Once a sublime adept knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by a sublime adept is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. His maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and he does not provoke attacks of opportunity when he initiates one.

A sublime adept learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the table above. He must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. See Table 3-1: Highest-Level Maneuvers Known (TOB 39), to determine the highest-level maneuvers he can learn.

Maneuvers Readied: A sublime adept can ready both of the maneuvers he knows at 1st level, and as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he is able to ready more, but he must choose which maneuvers to ready. The sublime adept readies his maneuvers by exercising, practicing, or meditating for 5 minutes. The maneuvers he chooses remain readied until he decides to exercise again and change them. He need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready his maneuvers; any time he spends 5 minutes in practice, he can change his readied maneuvers.

The sublime adept begins an encounter with all his readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he might have already used them since he chose them. When he initiates a maneuver, he expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter.

Stances Known: At 2nd level, the sublime adept acquires knowledge of one stance from his chosen discipline. At 11th and 20th level, he can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and he does not have to ready them. All the stances the sublime adept knows are available to him at all times, and he can change the stance he is currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.



Change Log
(click to show/hide)

13
I think Divine Retribution isn't bad as a general idea, it just needs a curated spell list. The Adept might make for a better starting point, as it has a bigger focus on divine damage spells like Scorching Ray and Lightning Bolt. The Warmage spell list and evocation-heavy cleric domains like the Fire Domain could be used to pad out spells above level 5. Or you could hand out a pseudo-Quicken Spell, so that weak low-level evocations stay relevant and work better with the action economy of mid-levels onward.

I concur. I love the idea of the ability and a curated spell list is exactly what it needs. I just don't feel like searching for spells for it at all right now. Well, actually, that's not quite right. I spent a bit of time looking through the SRD, and came up with the following (in the spoiler). Couldn't find anything at 6th level that fit, 2nd and 4th level were a little light, and I don't love how many of the 5th level spells were just save-or-lose.
(click to show/hide)

The original version in 1001 homebrew ideas actually had the quicken aspect; the spells were cast as a swift action by default.

Iron Body Training is a little weird.

It's a bit of a design-by-committee ability, which is really weird to say given that it was only me working on it. There were a few different thought processes that went into it.
  • 1) Make an ACF that is associated with Iron Heart. At one point, I was trying to do this for all nine disciplines, but Devoted Spirit (Divine Retribution), Desert Wanderer (Desert Wind), Battlefield Commander (White Raven), and Iron Body Training (Iron Heart) were the only ones I could come up with anything decent for.
  • 2) Trade away something that doesn't overlap with the other warblade ACFs. Warblades don't actually have many class features at low levels, and I'd already written two for each of Uncanny Dodge and Battle Clarity, and I don't want an ACF that exchanges Weapon Aptitude, which doesn't give direct combat effects, for an ability that does. That basically leaves skills and proficiencies.
  • 3) How about armor proficiency? And 5E's barbarian has that cool (but impractical) Con-to-AC instead of armor thing. How about something like that? Maybe do a monk's AC bonus-type ability, but based on Int, since it's already a warblade secondary stat? Just switch it to an armor bonus instead of untyped, so it can avoid stacking with armor without needing that pesky no-armor-worn clause explicitly spelled out, fit the barbarian-inspired theme of just blocking hits with your mighty thews rather than dodging them, and match the paradigm I tried out with my pressure strikes monk. And you can still use a shield, as intended, which is why that proficiency wasn't removed.
  • 4) It's got to scale, since it's replacing armor, and I still want to tie it a bit more directly to Iron Heart. How about based on your Iron Heart maneuvers? Scaling with the level of maneuvers known keeps the numbers around the right place in napkin math land, although if it's a little high then the fact that it fluctuates up and down a bit based on whether or not you've actually used an Iron Heart maneuver might balance that out.
  • 5) Uh, oh. It's a 1st-level class feature that gives an attribute to AC. We don't want Int to AC to be overly easily accessible with a 1-level dip for non-warblades. I know! Cap it by Strength, too, so that those wizards and jade phoenix mages can get something but not too much out of it. It won't affect pure warblades, since what kind of melee warblade won't have a higher Strength and Intelligence already?

So, yeah, a little weird. But I kind of like it, you know? If I get to doing another pass on it, I might tweak the numbers a bit, and the bit about needing to initiate Iron Heart maneuvers to keep the full benefit might get axed, no matter how much I appreciate its quirkiness. Even without that, its physical defensiveness fits Iron Heart better than I thought. Despite the aggressiveness associated with the discipline from Punishing Stance at level 1 and Strike of Perfect Clarity at level 9, more than half of its maneuvers and stances are about crowd control, defense, and damage mitigation (11/21). I'm pretty sure only Devoted Spirit and Setting Sun beat it on that front.

14
Minor nitpick:
Crusader => Divine Retribution:
"and can only target an opponent who have dealt damage that was delayed by your delayed damage pool."
(insert part in bold for a complete sentence)

Spells known/prepared are undefined. So Divine Retribution Crusaders can spontaneously pick any Cleric spell as needed?

The original intent was effectively spontaneous from the whole cleric list, albeit with those rather significant restrictions. You're right, though, that it's probably better not to be so wide. I might make it prepared, or rather retrieved like Spirit Shaman where you pick the spells in advance but can freely and repeatedly cast each of them without the spell-by-spell limits of prepared spells and their finite spell slots.

On second thought, I'm probably going to just nix Divine Retribution. The more I think about it, the more loopholes I see with its possible usage vs. my intentions (ex: have you ally punch you in the face so you can cast Restoration on him), and there are fewer offensive spells than I thought that actually do fit the direct concept. I can't see any easy way around that short of writing up a dedicated spell list for it with only the offensive spells and extending it somewhat.

15
Miscellaneous Tome of Battle Alternative Class Features
On a whim (about a decade ago), I jotted up three ACFs for each of the three ToB base classes in the 1001 homebrew ideas thread. I got inspired again and added another three per class this week.



Crusader
(click to show/hide)



Swordsage
(click to show/hide)



Warblade
(click to show/hide)



Change Log
(click to show/hide)

In Progress, Deprecated, and Removed
(click to show/hide)

16
Proxy Pact Warlock ACF
The multilevel marketing warlock variant

Lose invocations gained at 2nd, 8th, 13th, and 18th level.

Proxy Pact: At 2nd level, you can make temporary deals with other mortals on behalf of your patron. 1/day, you can perform a ritual taking 10 minutes with a willing participant that is not already a Warlock. For the rest of the day, that creature has a proxy pact. They count as being a Warlock for effects that depend on class, such as magic items that can only be used by members of a specific class. The subject's effective Warlock level is equal to your Warlock level - 1 or their character level, whichever is lower. The subject gains the Warlock's Eldritch Blast ability. Beginning at 8th level, they also gain the ability to use your Warlock Least invocations, lesser invocations at 13th level, and greater invocations at 18th level. The subject can use your Charisma score - 4 if that would be better than their own when determining the save DCs of invocations granted this way.

A creature that dies with an active proxy pact must make a Will save (DC 10 + your Warlock level) or be sent to your patron's afterlife instead of their normal afterlife. The creature can still be resurrected as normal.

Abilities granted by a proxy pact cannot be used to qualify for feats, prestige classes, or other permanent choices.

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Spheromancer base class
"Hi! Lea! Bye!"

Spheromancers harness the inherent power of points, circles, spheres, and higher-dimensional hyper-spheres to defeat their foes. They conjure instant matter, a simple and easily-manipulated magical material, to produce weapons and armor in combat.

The Spheromancer is a Warlock-like class, focused more heavily on combat and less on magical utility.

HD: d8
BAB: Good (+1/level)
Saves: Poor Fort, Good Ref, Good Will
Skills: 4+Int/level

Circuits (Su): Circuits allow you to channel elemental energies to manipulate instant matter in different ways. Initially, you only have access to the neutral circuit. At levels 4, 7, 10, and 13, you can choose another circuit to gain access to. You can only have up to one circuit activate at a time, and you must have a circuit active to use most Spheromancer abilities. You can activate a new circuit (or deactivate your current circuit) as a swift action. Each circuit provides various benefits while active and is associated with a specific form of damage.
- Neutral: A balanced, general purpose circuit that does not excel in any particular field. Useful for dissipating excess circuit load. +2 bonus to maximum load with this circuit, and you dissipate 1 additional load per round from each of your circuits. Whenever you generate neutral circuit load while it is active, you also dissipate an equal amount from all of your other circuits. Damage: Untyped damage from a force effect.
- Cold: A defensive circuit that is effective at disrupting enemy attacks, but struggles to inflict great damage itself. +2 bonus to AC and all saves. Damage: Cold.
- Fire: An aggressive circuit that excels at inflicting injury upon foes, but does so recklessly with lesser regard to personal wellbeing. +2 bonus on attack rolls. Damage: Fire.
- Shock: A studious and contemplative circuit that provides a number of utility effects, but struggles with direct combat. +2 bonus on caster level checks and to save DCs of circuit abilities. Damage: Electricity.
- Wave: A strange and poorly understood circuit that generally just does its own thing (healing and HP manipulation) without any care for what everyone thinks it should do. +2 bonus to HP per Spheromancer level and +1 fast healing per 5 levels that can't bring you above 50% of max HP. Damage: Sonic.

Load: Spheromancer abilities generate load on your active circuit. Load for each circuit is tracked separately. You can safely generate load in a circuit up to your load limit. If your load for any circuit exceeds your load threshold, you enter a state of overload in that circuit. Overload does not clear until the overloaded circuit's load drops back all the way to 0. When you overload a circuit, immediately after resolving the action that caused it to become overloaded, you deactivate it and activate the neutral circuit (or remain with no circuit active, if you overloaded the neutral circuit). You cannot activate an overloaded circuit. Load in inactive circuits dissipates at a rate of 1 load per round. Load in a circuit can never be less than 0.
- Note: You never need to overload. It's just a cost that you can pay if you want to use abilities that would bring you over your load limit.

Instant Matter Armaments (Sp): You can conjure instant matter and shape it into one of the following forms. Conjuring instant matter generates 1 load, although various circuit abilities can modify this. Instant matter weapons deal damage of the type of your active circuit. You are proficient with all instant matter weapons you conjure, and they count as magical weapons for purposes such as bypassing damage reduction and striking incorporeal creatures. This spell-like ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity, has a caster level equal to your Spheromancer level, and an effective spell level equal to its load generation, to a maximum of 9th-level. Except where noted, you can use this ability only once per round and only during your turn.
Instant matter itself is a very weak material, having 1 hp and a hardness of 0. It dissipates into nothingness immediately when destroyed.
- Chakram: You form instant matter into a sharp circle. This functions as a light melee weapon, dealing a base damage of 1d8 for Medium size. You can conjure multiple chakrams during your turn as part of the same use of this ability. Conjured chakrams last for 1 round, allowing you to threaten nearby spaces and perform attacks of opportunity with them outside of your turn. Conjuring chakrams is a free action.
- Ball: You form instant matter into a dense point. This functions as a light thrown weapon with a range increment of 30 feet, dealing a base damage of 1d6 for medium. You can conjure multiple balls during your turn as part of the same use of this ability, allowing you to perform multiple attacks with them. Conjured balls last until the end of your turn. Conjuring balls is a free action.
- Orb: You form instant matter into a large sphere. This functions as a two-handed thrown weapon with a range increment of 100 feet, dealing a base damage of 2d6 for medium. Unlike other instant matter weapons, you can only conjure a single orb with each use of this ability. A conjured orb lasts until the end of your turn. Conjuring an orb is a full-round action, but you can make a single attack with the orb as part of conjuring it.
- Bubble: You form instant matter into a multi-layered hypersphere. This surrounds you in layers of ablative instant matter, providing protection against attacks. You gain the benefits of taking the total defense action, and you gain an energy shield with absorption equal to triple your Spheromancer level and recovery 1 for 1 round. Damage of your active circuit's type only removes HP equal to half the damage absorbed by the energy shield, rounded up (although it can still only block an amount equal to its remaining HP). Track the energy shield's remaining HP and its recovery even while this ability is not active; you passively accumulate instant matter in higher dimensions even when not using this ability, and conjuring it is actually only rotating it into covering your position in three-dimensional space. Conjuring a bubble is a full-round action.

Instant Matter Focus: You gain Weapon Focus with each weapon form of your instant matter armaments.

Instant Matter Enhancement: At 3rd level, your instant matter weapons gain a +1 enhancement bonus, increasing by 1 every 3 levels therefter, to a maximum of +6 at 18th level. Each time, your orb also deals an additional +1d6 damage, and the recovery of your bubble's energy shield increases by 1.

Circuit Abilities: At 1st level, 3rd level, and every 5 levels beyond 1st and 3rd, you learn a new circuit ability for each of your circuits. When you acquire a new circuit, you retroactively learn circuit abilities for that circuit from previous level. Most circuit abilities require you to have their circuit active to use them, and are suppressed otherwise. Some circuit abilities are marked as "free circuit" and can be used with any circuit (although not while you have no circuit active). Initially, you can only learn basic circuit abilities. From 6th-level onwards, you can learn advanced circuit abilities. From 11th-level onwards, you can learn expert circuit abilities. From 16th-level onwards, you can learn master circuit abilities.
- Note: Circuit abilities are sort of like invocations, except that they aren't fully at will. The active ones all generate load. The passive ones instead reduce your load limit with their circuit, or possibly all circuits for free circuit passives. Most of these are blast shape/essence type abilities that modify a usage of one or more of your instant matter armaments, but some are abilities usable on their own, and some are passive effects that are always in effect as long as you have their circuit active.


18
Homebrew and House Rules (D&D) / Re: It's a Monk
« on: January 05, 2024, 02:24:17 AM »
Just added the discussed changes, plus a WHOLE lot of new pressure strikes and a lot of cleanup and polish to various features and abilities. Check the change logs if you're curious. There are 20 new pressure strikes, plus one new release to fill the gap in student releases due to moving wave of life up to master.

19
Homebrew and House Rules (D&D) / Re: It's a Monk
« on: December 29, 2023, 05:05:44 AM »
I really like it. This is a very flavourful rework that greatly expands the things a monk can do - and the healing/buffing options also bring the reworked monks more in line with the things divine spellcasters can do, but in a different way.

Thanks for the feedback... Egads, it's over a decade since I first posted this here!

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I think you should be able to do pressure strikes and build up resonance through ranged attacks with special monk weapons (i.e. shuriken, thrown sai) - that would greatly improve versatility and give something relevant to do in rounds where the monk can't get into melee range.

That was part of what the Martial Strikes feat was for, if you were to take Weapon Focus with a ranged weapon. That said, I think I'm going to change it to apply to all monk weapons regardless of whether or not you have Weapon Focus with them.

Note that resonance already generates regardless of what you use to make the attacks. You can even use Scorching Ray to generate it.

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Double Mantra and Triple Mantra have a table entries, but not feature description.

The functionality is in the Mantras description, although I think I'm going to separate them out into their own dedicated abilities. It'll be clearer that way, and it will also keep using multiple mantras as a specific monk class feature in case of any future PrCs that advance a monk's mantras like spellcaster PrCs do.

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Healing Hands
Grade: Student Pressure Strike
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will half (harmless)
If your attack hits, roll for damage normally. Instead of taking damage, the subject heals that amount of damage.
Unlimited out-of-combat HP healing for free may be a bit much. Other cheap options for that either cost money (wands) or have a limit for how much HP they can heal (Dragon Shaman Vigor Aura). Maybe a percentage cap like Vigor Aura, or a daily HP pool like Lay On Hands?

Seems reasonable. I don't want to tie it to a limited resource, since part of this revamped monk design is that there aren't any of those, just the build-up and release of resonance. Tying it to the usual limit of 50% seems like the way to go, although I think it might merit being a little stronger than that, since it's single-target, non-passive healing, unlike the Vigor aura and similar effects, and shows up at level 6 instead of level 1. A couple of possibilities jump to mind:
- Heal up to 50% + some limit (ex: 50% + Monk level).
- Healing above 50% is converted to temporary hit points, which can't bring the subject's effective HP up to above their normal maximum, and which last for 1 hour. Any healing received that generates HP while these temp HP remain also removes a like amount of them. As per normal temporary hit points, multiple uses of this ability don't stack and only the highest temp HP total applies.

Also, speaking of healing pressure strikes and any others that turn the damage into a beneficial effect on the subject, I also had a though that a coup de grace on a willing subject should not risk death, but instead maximize the damage (and thus healing/temp HP) roll. This would just be to minimize the amount of rolling at the table, especially for the proposed temp HP generation version of Healing Hands, which provides maximum benefit from a max roll crit.

Edit: Note that a similar change will be required for the Wave of Life release, unless it just gets pushed up to Master grade.

20
D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Re: Skill tricks & familiars
« on: October 14, 2023, 04:20:23 AM »
No? Unless there's something in skill trick description saying that it counts as ranks in a skill, it wouldn't be transferred to the familiar. The section you quoted only lets skill ranks transfer over to the familiar.

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