View Full Version : Changing how the Crusader gets Maneuvers (3.5)

2011-05-01, 08:52 PM
I like Tome of Battle. However, I've never been a huge fan of how the Crusader gets access to his maneuvers. The whole cards thing just prompts a huge "eh?" from me. Plus, card decks are just too easy to stack when you're running a combat involving 10+combatants.

I wrote up this alternative as a way to keep the random feel but make the process purely dicebased. It should be noted that this process (named the Winds of Fate) was pioneered over at The Gaming Den.

Also, this refers to the Crusader as the Knight because that's what I've renamed them in my games.

The Knight

Monks and fighters rely on training to use and pull off their special maneuvers. Knights, on the other hand, draw upon the strange, semidivine “Winds of Fate” to determine when they have access to their abilities.
Here’s how it works. At first level, the Knight knows 6 maneuvers. These are the six Strikes from the three disciplines the Knight has access to: Devoted Spirit, Stone Dragon, and White Raven. These abilities are placed in a matrix that looks like this:

{table=head]1d4 Roll|Maneuver|Maneuver
1: Devoted Spirit|Crusader's Strike|Vanguard Strike
2: Stone Dragon|Charing Minotaur Strike|Stone Bones
3: White Raven|Douse the Flames|Leading the Attack
4: Wildcard!|Any Maneuver[/table]

In a combat situation, at the end of the Knight’s turn, he rolls 1d4. The result determines what maneuvers he will have available his next turn. The d4 is rolled at the end of his turn so that his player will be able to examine his options as they pertain to the battlefield and make the best and quickest choice when his turn rolls around.

If a Knight ever takes the Extra Maneuver, whatever maneuver is learned is only available on a roll of 4.

At 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level, the Knight learns three new maneuvers: One from Devoted Spirit, one from Stone Dragon, and one from White Raven. He adds a new column to his matrix and puts the new maneuvers there in their respective rows.

At 4th level, and every two levels afterward, the Knight may replace any maneuver he knows with a maneuver of the same discipline of a level that he has access to. The new maneuver takes the old one’s space in the matrix. For example, at 8th level, a Knight could replace his knowledge of crusader’s strike (a 1st level Devoted Spirit strike) with shield block (a 2nd level Devoted Spirit Counter).

Counters and Boosts: If a Knight gains access to a row that contains a counter or boost, he may choose to activate it instead of using a maneuver from that row. Activating a boost or counter is Not an Action. Once a maneuver has been activated, the Knight may use it whenever he wishes to during that current encounter, including the turn in which it was activated. A Knight may only have two maneuvers activated at any one time.

Revisions to Specific Maneuvers:
Order Forged From Chaos is a Strike that takes a standard action to initiate. The initiator’s allies may move regardless of whether or not he hits his foe; they choose to move after the attack has been resolved.
Boulder Roll is a Strike with a fullround action initiation time.
The four 5th level Devoted Spirit alignment related strikes may be taken by any crusader, regardless of alignment.

Just some general thoughts:

My games only go until around 10th level at the longest.
Obviously this vastly increases the overall number of maneuvers a Crusader knows. However, a 10th level Crusader only has 5 maneuvers to choose from in any given round. This should decrease option paralysis to the extent that a Crusader's turn doesn't take a significantly longer or shorter period of time than that of other characters.

That being said, extending this class feature to later levels would probably call for some shifts in the feature's mechanisms.

So does anyone else think this would make for an interesting character?