Class Variant: Fighter - Warblade

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Class Variant: Fighter - Warblade

Post  DragoneyeIIVX on Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:23 am

The Tome of Battle – Melee Rethought, the Warblade

As many suggestions, this first started in Arelith a long, long while ago. It was way too script intensive for anything that the devs wanted to do, but all the same I think it's a very neat potential mechanic change for Fighters that adds more to combat. That said, the discussion that happened there happened over a few threads with various explanations, and it's very possible that I haven't explained something here that I did over there - as I more or less just copy-pasted this (tweaking a little as necessary). As always, feedback is lush.

The idea comes straight out of the book for 3.0, Tome of Battle. Feel free to reference it if some of this doesn't make sense, or just ask me!

General Intentions -
1) Giving melee classes a chance to 'focus' their fighting style towards their particular character, in a way that gives them unique abilities.
2) Looking to make combat a more interesting and dynamic environment – rather than point -> click – and not in the same vein as simply casting spells. Adding something unique to the melee repertoire.
3) Not to balance the classes by making them able to do the same things, but rather make the differences that make the various classes and fighting styles unique, more prominent.

What it is -
1) Abilities are given to the class at various levels that are usable in combat, in place of attacking. Generally these come in two forms - “Strikes” and “Boosts” - the first empowering your attacks in an instant-payoff move, the second giving you a short-term benefit to aid your combat prowess. The major difference is that strikes would take up your entire six second turn, and boosts would be a free action that enhanced you for that six seconds.
2) The abilities would come in various 'styles' that act much like spell schools in their approach to combat. Seen below:

Diamond Mind - “True quickness lies in the mind, not the body. A student of the Diamond Mind discipline seeks to hone his perceptions and discipline his thoughts so that he can act in slivers of time so narrow that others cannot even perceive them. A corollary of his speed of thought and action is the concept of the mind as the battleground. AN enemy defeated in his mind must inevitably be defeated in the realm of the physical as well.” (ToB, pg 41)

Iron Heart – “Absolute mastery of the sword is the goal of the Iron Heart discipline. Through unending practice and study, the Iron Heart adept achieves superhuman skill with her weapons. Iron heart maneuvers are demonstrations of uncanny martial skill – weaving patters of steel that dizzy, confuse, and ultimately kill with no recourse. “ (ToB, pg 41)

Stone Dragon – “The strength and endurance of the mountains epitomize the Stone Dragon discipline. The methodical and relentless application of force allow a student of this philosophy to defeat any foe. Strikes of superhuman power and manifestations of perfect, idealized force make up the stone Dragon maneuvers. (ToB, pg 42)

Tiger Claw – “Consciousness is the enemy of instinct. The Tiger Claw discipline teaches that martial superiority can be achieved by discarding the veneer of civilization, along with the higher thoughts that fetter a warrior's actions. Tiger Claw maneuvers emulate the strikes, leaps, and pounces of animals. When infused with ki power, some Tiger Claw maneuvers also allow a martial adept to take on animalistic characteristics, speed and bloodlust.” (ToB, 42)

White Raven – “No warrior fights in isolation. Cooperation, teamwork, and leadership can give two warriors the strength of five, and five warriors the strength of twenty. The student of the White Raven master maneuvers that combine the strengths of two more more allies against a common foe. Shouts and battlecries infused with Ki are the signature maneuvers of the White Raven Discipline” (ToB, pg 42)

Technically, there are other disciplines in the original book, Tome of Battle. I've found them a bit too flashy, showy, and generally 'weird' to put in here. For ease of implementation, going with less magical abilities is probably our best bet. To give an example, the “Desert Wind” discipline has a boost that leaves a trail of flame (that acts as a wall of fire) in your footsteps for the round you activate it. As awesome as it would be, I would like to keep this as minimalistic as possible. Future additions to the general functions can be added in time.

3) This is where things get a bit tricky, it seemed best to just have one ability from each “Level” of technique. Each time a progression was gained (as a wizard would gain new spells), the ability of the next level would be unlocked. Thus, fighter 3 would have access to a level 2 tier style ability. The most appropriate techniques we found are as follows:

Edited to include flavor texts where I've 'nwn-ized' the effect.
(F) – Free/instantaneous action. A “Boost” effect.
Effects last 1 round unless otherwise stated.
Unless otherwise mentioned (in the case of (F) attacks, for example), these effects are coupled with a single melee attack that must hit to have any effect. If using an ability, only one attack may be made in a round that a martial ability is used.
Diamond Mind -
1 – Sapphire Nightmare Blade: +1d6 damage with a successful Conc check (DC: opponent's AC)
This one is exactly the same
2 - Emerald Razor: Melee touch attack to deal damage
The same
3 – Insightful Strike: If you hit, make a Conc check. Damage = Conc check result
The same
4 – Ruby Nightmare Blade: As SNB, but 2x damage.
The same
5 – Disrupting Blow: Sap attack
As part of this maneuver, you make a melee attack. If this attack hits, your target takes normal melee damage and must make a will save (DC 15+ str mod) or be unable to take any actions for 1 round. No other penalties
6 – Greater Insightful Strike: As Insightful Strike, but damage = 2 x conc check.
7 – Quicksilver Motion: Haste (F)
Use swift action to complete a move action (basically a free move action)
8 – Diamond Nightmare Blade: As RNB, but 4x damage.
9 – Time Stands Still: Time Stop (F) – Alternatively, EffectModifyAttacks (X)
Take full attack action 2 times

Iron Heart -
1 - Steely Strike: +4 AB, -4 AC (self effect)
+4 on one attack, enemies get +4 against you
2 – Disarming Strike: Improved Disarm on strike
With a successful attack, attempt to disarm foe
3 – Exorcism of Steel: -4 damage to opp for 1 minute. Fort DC 13+str mod for -2
Strike opponents weapon, it deals -4 damage
4 – Mithral Tornado: Whirlwind attack, +2 AB
Strike against each adjacent foe at +2 bonus
5 – Dazing Strike: Sap
Melee attack dazes foe
6 – Iron Heart Endurance: Wholeness of body (F)
Heal hit points equal to 2 times your level
7 – Finishing Blow: If opp 100%, then +4d6 damage, if 50+%, +6d6, if <50%, +14d6
Gain extra damage against a weakened foe
8 – Adamantine Hurricane: +4 ab, Improved Whirlwind attack
Two attacks against each adjacent foe at +4 bonus
9 – Strike of Perfect Clarity: +100 damage
Deal +100 damage on a single attack

Stone Dragon -
1 – Charging Minotaur: Spring Attack, Expeditious Retreat (F)
Charing bull rush deals damage, avoids attacks of opp
2 – Stone Vise: Sap, +1d6 damage, Opponent Speed reduced to 0
Deal +1d6 damage, attack immobilizes creature
3 – Bonecrusher: +4d6 damage, Fort DC 13+str mod or -10 AC on crit confirmations
4 – Bonesplitting Strike: 2 con damage (no save)
5 – Elder Mountain Hammer: +6d6 damage, goes through DR
6 – Crushing Vise: +4d6 damage, Opponent Speed reduced to 0
Same as Stone Vice, more damage
7 – Colossus Strike: +6d6 damage, Fort DC 17 + str or be displaced 10 ft back
Strike deals +6d6 damage, knocks opponent backwards
8 – Earthstrike Quake: Balagarns (improved, if possible, to reflect users Str)
Local quake knocks enemies prone
9 – Mountain Tombstone Strike: 2d6 con damage on hit (no save)

Tiger Claw -
1 – Sudden Leap: Exp retreat (F)
Jump as a swift action
2 – Rabid Wolf Strike: +4 ab, +2d6 damage, -4 ac
3 – Flesh Ripper: Attack, foe -4 AB/AC. Fort DC 13+str to negate.
4 – Death from Above: +4d6 damage
Leap into air, attack deals 4d6 damage (this should require a jump check like Diamond Mind requires a Conc check, possibility there?)
5 – Dancing Mongoose: EffectModifyAttacks1 (F) or 2 (if twf)
Make one extra attack with each weapon
6 – Rabid Bear Strike: +4 ab, +10d6 damage, -4 ac
7 – Hamstring Attack: 1d8 dex damage on attack, called shot: leg. Fort DC 17+str mod halves. '
Attack deals 1d8 dex, foe takes -10 speed penalty
8 – Raging Mongoose: EffectModifyAttacks 2 (F) or 4 (if twf)
Make 2 extra attacks with each weapon carried
9 – Feral Death Blow: Fort save DC 19+str mod or die. If success, still +20d6 damage.
Leap upon foe, slay him with a single strike

Possible White Raven Stuff – All (F) – These moves are all very slip-shod, but gesture towards the general point of the move at that level. Help here appreciated. (!!!)
1 – Free action Taunt
2 – Bless
3 – Bane
4 – Prayer
5 – Hammer of the Gods
6 – Battletide
7 – Protection from Spells
8 – Mass Haste
9 – Mass Heal (can only be used during combat, like so many other abilities here)

4) Execution – Two ideas. Calculated vs. Wild
1. Calculated – Combat begins with all abilities available for use. Abilities can be regained by spending a round in 'meditation' or by being out of combat for a minute. This gives characters a very dangerous ability to 'burst' all their high-powered moves in consecutive rounds. However, it also gives them a chance to be more tactical with their moves. The mage starts casting their best spell and the fighter can instantly react with their best combat move.
2. Wild – Combat begins with no abilities available for use, but each round there is a possibility of a new ability becoming available to use. Once a move is used, it is cycled back into the possible moves to 'come up' again. This makes combat a bit more suspenseful and long-lasting, but gives the problematic issue of having old moves becoming utterly useless and wasting time.

Both are valuable, but whatever one is chosen (or both!) is more or less entirely up to Dev opinions. If you want to add something to that section, make it a point similar to the above one's so I can include it for them to see.

5) Points that need help - (!!!)
1. How these abilities can be put into the module. Automatic on gained Warblade levels? An NPC? An NPC each time you want to progress? Other requirements?

Posting Knave

Number of posts : 10
Registration date : 2012-01-15

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