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Generic PC
2007-08-09, 02:45 PM
So. I know, USE THE SEARCH BUTTON!! right? my computer will not load search unless i hit it more than once, in which case i get the message Cannot use search more than once every 300 seconds. i do not know why this is, but i have tried it a few times. so, My question. Tome Of Battle is like The book everyone says you should see when someone goes " My _____ (Melee Class) Is doing really bad against monsters..." etc. So, i recently borrow a copy from my friend to see it lived up to its reputation. I didn't understand it. to point out something, take for instance that Many people think Monks Suck. one main complaint is 3/4 BAB advancement. The TOB alternative on these boards is an Unarmed Swordsage, but said Swordsage has a 3/4 BAB too. And, as far as i can see, still has MAD. (Wis/Dex/Str/Con) So, Why is TOB the best Splat since (Insert really good splat here...) Also, I am currently trying to build a Swordsage and Warblade, so any help with that?

Xefas
2007-08-09, 02:51 PM
Monks are poor because not only do they suffer from MAD and have poor BAB progression, but their abilities suck too bad to make up for this.

Swordsages, on the other hand, get maneuvers, which, while not as good as spellcasting, are endlessly better (not to mention, more fun, in my opinion) than the Monk's overall lame class features.

And, what exactly do you need help with?

Generic PC
2007-08-09, 02:54 PM
Choosing Maneuvers, Stances, Weapons/Armour/Other Gear. They will be level 9, if it is needed.Both are using the custom made stat Array of 14, 12, 14, 18, 13, 17. (the party had a TPK, but we want to continue, and said friend is the dm. needless to say he wants to use it. the other players are Cleric 9 (wanting Contemplative), Wizard(wanting Loremaster or Archmage, hasnt Decided), Rogue(just rogue).) The party is rather optimized, but has enough common sense that the Cleric wont be Uber Tank, and the Wizard does have some Direct Damage. The Warblade is a cohort via Backstory for my Swordsage because the DM plays sometimes, and last time we would have to introduce new characters because he kept losing the old ones. it got annoying, so i am making this one so we can always have mine as a back up. Houserules are rather varied, so ask if something comes up, and i will check.

EDIT: oh, They would both be preferred without LA, as there is no Buyoff.

Xefas
2007-08-09, 03:16 PM
Well, as far as gear goes, I think one would equip them just like any other martial character. There are not, to my knowledge, any special items that work better for people with maneuvers (i.e. nothing like Metamagic Rods are for magic). Even the martial scripts seem (to me) to be rather useless to someone who already knows maneuvers.

For maneuver choice, I've only ever played a Crusader before, so I can't give too much advice for Swordsage/Warblade, but I can say I found Stone Dragon to be a very rewarding discipline, which all three classes can take. Stone Bones, Bonecrusher, and Roots of the Mountain are all very entertaining at the low levels, Irresistible Mountain Strike makes BBEG's weep all throughout (if your DM likes throwing single, powerful baddies at you occasionally), and Ancient Mountain Hammer is fantastic once everyone and their brother has damage reduction.

As a Warblade, if you plan to go Sword/Shield, I imagine you should pick up Pearl of Black Doubt. Nothing says discouragement quite like getting harder and harder to hit with every attack.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 03:17 PM
Tome of Battle is overhyped. At levels 1-5 it won't make much difference whether you play a Fighter or a War Blade. Later on it makes a much bigger difference, primarily because of all the Manoeuvres available to these new Base Classes and the Manoeuvres really are where the guts of the system are.

Generic PC
2007-08-09, 03:31 PM
But we arent at levels 1-5, we are at level 9. AND, I was a Fighter through levels 1-8, so TOB should make a difference according to you.

Kioran
2007-08-09, 03:35 PM
Thatīs because Maneuvers are toned-down spellcasting with your weapon. You have limited uses, but effects much superior to simple attacks. Itīs spellcasting light, and the flavor doesnīt necessesarily agree with everyone.

Depending on the level of optimization and splatbooks present, I have to warn against ToB on other grounds as well - ToBlers come out of the box twinked and balanced for D&D 3.87(3.5 with gratuitios amounts of power creep), so they might upset party balance if your caster refrain from cheesing it up.

Fax Celestis
2007-08-09, 03:44 PM
Thatīs because Maneuvers are toned-down spellcasting with your weapon. You have limited uses, but effects much superior to simple attacks. Itīs spellcasting light, and the flavor doesnīt necessesarily agree with everyone.

Depending on the level of optimization and splatbooks present, I have to warn against ToB on other grounds as well - ToBlers come out of the box twinked and balanced for D&D 3.87(3.5 with gratuitios amounts of power creep), so they might upset party balance if your caster refrain from cheesing it up.

Kioran, he asked for help, not opinion. He's already set on using ToB. Starting arguments about ToB's "relative power level" or whining about "optimization" is only going to piss people off.

Generic PC
2007-08-09, 03:45 PM
Fax is correct. As is probably usual by now.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 04:16 PM
But we arent at levels 1-5, we are at level 9. AND, I was a Fighter through levels 1-8, so TOB should make a difference according to you.

That's right, it should, though the difference still may not be too great. So, care to post the comparative builds that are giving you trouble?

Starbuck_II
2007-08-09, 04:17 PM
So. I know, USE THE SEARCH BUTTON!! right?

my computer will not load search unless i hit it more than once, in which case i get the message Cannot use search more than once every 300 seconds.
I do not know why this is, but i have tried it a few times. so,


My question. Tome Of Battle is like The book everyone says you should see when someone goes " My _____ (Melee Class) Is doing really bad against monsters..." etc.
So, i recently borrow a copy from my friend to see it lived up to its reputation. I didn't understand it.

To point out something, take for instance that:
Many people think Monks Suck. one main complaint is 3/4 BAB advancement. The TOB alternative on these boards is an Unarmed Swordsage, but said Swordsage has a 3/4 BAB too.
And, as far as i can see, still has MAD. (Wis/Dex/Str/Con) So, Why is TOB the best Splat since (Insert really good splat here...) Also, I am currently trying to build a Swordsage and Warblade, so any help with that?

Monks need Wis and Dex because they can't wear armor. Swordsages can (except unarmed/unarmored variant one).

I'd just use Swordsge with Superior unarmed strike if I wanted light armored unarmed dude.

Either way, what does a monk get beyond that? Fast movement (move far) and flurry (multiple attacks when not moving).

What does swordsage get? Manuevers that work when he moves. See the synergy? That is the difference.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 04:23 PM
First, Kioran--what the heck? Unoptimized TOB is just fine compared to unoptimized casters. For the first, like, half the game it's fine against slightly-optimized melee types, too. What I'm about to describe is relatively impressive, sure--but it's also sure as hell no druid. (Summon a polar bear! Animal Growth! Dire Lion animal companion with +8 STR and summoned bear with +12 STR--hey, thanks, Augmented Summoning!--tear the enemy apart. On top of that YOU'RE a Dire Lion, too, and you and your companion have Greater Magic Fang and great grappling, plus you can pick a flying form or cast Air Walk, Flamestrike at range, or use Wall of Thorns or Control Winds to devastate enemies.

Anyway!

Okay, if you can't see why a Swordsage is better than a monk, You're Doing It Wrong.

The Swordsage picks up Shadow Blade and gets Dex to damage. He's also got WIS to damage on strikes of a certain school (I recommend Tiger Claw).
The Swordsage can wear light armor--even with the unarmed adaptation! Sure, he's not proficient, but MW Studded Leather and Mithral Chain Shirts have Armor Check Penalties of precisely ZERO, meaning they do absolutely nothing negative to you (you get -ACP as an AB penalty if you're not proficient with something.

At level 9, the Swordsage picks up Dancing Mongoose or Pouncing Charge, and so gets either two extra attacks or a full attack on a charge when he uses that.

Look, here's a level 9 Swordsage build, easy:

Human Swordsage, DEX>WIS>CON>INT>STR/CHA.

1 - Discipline Focus(pick Shadow Hand--free Weapon Focus with all Shadow Hand weapons, which you'll need to use for Shadow Blade). Feats: Adaptive Style, Shadow Blade; Maneuvers: Wolf Fang Strike (TC), Sudden Leap (TC), Moment of Perfect Mind (DM), Burning Blade (DW), Mighty Throw (SS), Counter Charge (SS). Stance: Child of Shadow
2 - WIS to AC in light (or no) armor. Maneuver: Stone Bones (SD). Stance: Island of Blades.
3 - Feat: Weapon Finesse; Maneuver: Rabid Wolf Strike (TC)
4 - Insightful Strike(pick Tiger Claw--WIS to damage with TC strikes). Swap out Stone Bones for Shadow Jaunt or Mountain Hammer.
5 - Maneuver: Fan the Flames. 6d6 fire damage as a 30' ranged touch attack. Stance: Assassin's Stance (2d6 sneak attack) or Dance of the Spider (Spider Climb) depending on whether you want ass-kicking or utility.
6 - Feat: Two-Weapon Fighting. Swap out, say, Mighty Throw for Mind Over Body.
7 - Maneuver: Searing Blade. Extra fire damage with your TWF.
8 - Defensive Stance(choose Shadow Hand, since that's what you'll be in all the time, for a constant +2 saves). Swap out Counter Charge for Soaring Raptor Strike or Death From Above (both TC). Take Hearing the Air stance (DM) for out of combat, since you don't get your dex-to-damage in it.
9 - Evasion. Feat: Improved TWF. Take Pouncing Charge.

At level 10, swap a maneuver out for Dancing Mongoose.

At that point, you'll have four attacks on a full attack, DEX to AB and damage, good AC (light armor, high dex, +WIS), and plenty of maneuvers.

Combat goes like this: you usually win initiative because you've been cranking DEX and you get an extra +3 (Quick to Act class feature) by level 10. You open combat by using the Pouncing Charge strike (full attack on a charge) with the Searing Blade boost. You charge, unload four attacks, all of which get +WIS to damage in addition to your usual DEX thanks to Insightful Strike(Tiger Claw), and another 2d6+10 points of fire damage each on top of that with each hit.

Next round, you move on to the next guy and use the Wolf Fang Strike (letting you get two attacks) and the Dancing Mongoose boost (+2 attacks), so you get four attacks with +WIS to damage on all of them, instead of just one like people normally get after moving.

And oh, yeah, guess what? If you're in Assassin's Stance you've been getting +2d6 sneak attack (on the first guy because you went first and he was flatfooted; on the second guy because you move into a flanking position) for extra damage... or if you were in Child of Shadow stance, you've been getting concealment, which means 20% miss chance for them, great with your already-good defenses.

(Against big boss types, you open up with Pouncing Charge + Dancing Mongoose for six attacks, and then stay in place and full attack with Searing Blade the next round; more efficient but less mobile.)

Sure, you're not really going to outdamage a barbarian with a greatsword and steroids or a regular basis. But you've got tons of other stuff going for you, and you look cooler, plus you're far more mobile and versatile, with better defenses: If someone forces a Will or Ref save on you, your saves are very high. If someone forces a Fort save on you, you use Mind Over Body as an immediate action to make a Concentration check (at least +15ish at this level) instead of using your Fort save. Child of Shadow's concealment applies to ranged touch attacks, too--and with +WIS to it and a high DEX, your touch AC is one of the best around.

In addition to this, if you've got Shadow Jaunt you can teleport 50' within line of sight as a standard action, great for out-of-combat--and then next round you recover the maneuver, and the round after that you do it again.
If you took Mountain Hammer, it gives +2d6 damage... and ignores hardness, which means that you can use it to cut through doors or solid rock or anything else. If it's thick it has tons of HP, so it might take you a while, but you can do it.


This is a typical effective Dex-based Swordsage build, too, not even hyper-optimized (that'd involve PsyWar or Fighter and Warblade dips).

Exarch
2007-08-09, 04:35 PM
I've played around a little bit with the ToB so far. Mostly with Warblades...

In my experiences, Stone Dragon is an entertaining little number that allows for all sort of smack down. Unfortunately, a lot of its Stances don't let one move very much. But since you can adopt Stances as a Swift action, that's no huge problem. I'd say that Stone Dragon lends itself better to two-handed weapons.

Diamond Mind is another fun little school. Unlike Stone Dragon, Diamond Mind works quite well with Sword and Board style, since many of its abilities don't care about weapon damage (a lot use Concentration checks, mmm).

That said, I'd say that Crusaders make better tanks than War Blades (though Stone Dragon can really let you soak some damage with your x/Adam DR).

I don't have too much experience with Sword Sages, but my friends have had great fun pissing off the DM with Setting Sun. And Shadow Hand looks like it could cause some pretty good hurt on the opponent.

The thing with Martial Adepts is that they're very adaptable for whatever type of character you want. Righteous warrior? Crusader. Berserker? Warblade with Tiger Claw (I think that's the one). Pop culture Samurai? Diamond Mind or even Iron Heart. Monk? Setting Sun. Assassin? Shadow Hand.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-08-09, 04:36 PM
That's rather nice, ROL... I've used a similar build myself, although I can never resist a couple of Psychic Warrior levels (you got your Swordsage in my Psychic Warrior! You got your Psychic Warrior in my Swordsage! Two great tastes that etcetera) when I have that option. Also, a pair of Bloodclaw Master levels would that build good, for better two-weapon fighting.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 06:18 PM
That's rather nice, ROL... I've used a similar build myself, although I can never resist a couple of Psychic Warrior levels (you got your Swordsage in my Psychic Warrior! You got your Psychic Warrior in my Swordsage! Two great tastes that etcetera) when I have that option. Also, a pair of Bloodclaw Master levels would that build good, for better two-weapon fighting.

It was a bare-bones straight Swordsage demonstration. Yeah, BCM's good--well, for two levels, then it's crap. PsyWar's tempting, but I don't like delaying new maneuver access.

MrNexx
2007-08-09, 06:23 PM
I think I know why I've been grumpy about ToB... it's trying to bring anime combat into D&D. That's my least favorite part of 3.x... the anime influences. I prefer to play more traditional fantasy, instead of anime.

Fax Celestis
2007-08-09, 06:24 PM
I think I know why I've been grumpy about ToB... it's trying to bring anime combat into D&D. That's my least favorite part of 3.x... the anime influences. I prefer to play more traditional fantasy, instead of anime.

You know, I hear everyone say that, and I always think: 'fluff distinction.' Fluff is the easiest part to change, and is completely doable on the fly. Have you looked at the mechanics? If you have, how do you feel about the mechanics, divorced from their "anime" placement?

Overlord
2007-08-09, 06:25 PM
By the way, Generic PC, if, for future reference, you need to search the forums you can do this:


Go to www.Google.com
Click on the little "advanced search" link next to the search form.
Scroll down to the line that says "Only show search results from this domain," or something like that.
Enter into that form, "www.Giantitp.com" (without the quotes).
Enter into the "Search for ALL words" field "tob" or whatever you're looking for (again, quotes aren't needed, although they are used as a search operating function-searching for an exact phrase).
Click "Search."
You have just searched the forum (as well as the archive, something I don't think the forum can easily do. What's more, I usually find a Google search to be more effective a getting what I'm looking for than a forum search.


I hope that helped.

Jack Mann
2007-08-09, 06:28 PM
Or just put in the search bar of google "site:http://www.giantitp.com/forums," with no quotes. Follow it with whatever word or phrase you're looking for.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 06:31 PM
I think I know why I've been grumpy about ToB... it's trying to bring anime combat into D&D. That's my least favorite part of 3.x... the anime influences. I prefer to play more traditional fantasy, instead of anime.

Oh come on.
Stone Dragon is HITTING THINGS while on the ground.
Iron Heart is HITTING THINGS really hard.
White Raven is HITTING THINGS better because of tactics.
Setting Sun is THROWING THINGS so they hit other things.
Diamond Mind is HITTING THINGS while concentrating so you do it right.
Tiger Claw is HITTING THINGS with sharp things while being angry and jumping.
Devoted Spirit is being a gritty action-movie-style hero who just doesn't fall down... while HITTING THINGS.

What's anime about that? It's not anime unless you're yelling out "FIVE SHADOW WHATEVER LONG NAME SHADOW HAND STRIKE!!!!!!!!!!11111one1".

Sure, I Make Fire and I Kill You From/With/In The Shadows are supernatural and flashy... but, hey, you could easily play them as Western mysticism rather than anime. There's nothing anime about most of the disciplines, and nothing that *has* to be anime about the rest.

For the record, I make more gritty, hardcore-badass type characters with ToB than without.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 06:56 PM
You know, I hear everyone say that, and I always think: 'fluff distinction.' Fluff is the easiest part to change, and is completely doable on the fly. Have you looked at the mechanics? If you have, how do you feel about the mechanics, divorced from their "anime" placement?

I have taken a look at the mechanics, and I have to say I don't think much of them. They're okay, but nothing amazing. It is basically the Spell Slot system with powered down Spontaeous Spells and a conditional recharge rate. I don't mind it as far as it goes, but I wouldn't have chosen this as a 'solution' to the shortcomings of Melee Combat Characters. What really gets on my nerves is the overhyping of it as some sort of miracle cure.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 06:59 PM
I have taken a look at the mechanics, and I have to say I don't think much of them. They're okay, but nothing amazing. It is basically the Spell Slot system with powered down Spontaeous Spells and a conditional recharge rate. I don't mind it as far as it goes, but I wouldn't have chosen this as a 'solution' to the shortcomings of Melee Combat Characters. What really gets on my nerves is the overhyping of it as some sort of miracle cure.

Miracle cure? Well, it makes melee guys good at high levels. Check. It makes them much more fun to play, both tactically and Awesome-wise. Check. It deals with melee characters' lack of mobility, versatility, and defense. Check.

Sure looks like a cure from here.

And oh, yeah--no, it's NOT the spell slot system with a recharge rate. You can ready one copy of each maneuver, there's not a recovery rate but a recovery mechanism--which can make things interesting tactically (take a Swordsage: do you want to waste a round recovering your maneuvers, or just fight on without them?) and the effects don't usually resemble spells (barring some Desert Wind and the Shadow Hand teleports). Boosts/Strikes/Counters also distinguish it.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 07:23 PM
Miracle cure? Well, it makes melee guys good at high levels. Check. It makes them much more fun to play, both tactically and Awesome-wise. Check. It deals with melee characters' lack of mobility, versatility, and defense. Check.

Sure looks like a cure from here.

OMGTOBFTW! Whatever. It doesn't do anything for me.


And oh, yeah--no, it's NOT the spell slot system with a recharge rate. You can ready one copy of each maneuver, there's not a recovery rate but a recovery mechanism--which can make things interesting tactically (take a Swordsage: do you want to waste a round recovering your maneuvers, or just fight on without them?) and the effects don't usually resemble spells (barring some Desert Wind and the Shadow Hand teleports). Boosts/Strikes/Counters also distinguish it.

Note that I did not say it's 'the spell slot system with a recharge rate', I said that 'it is basically the Spell Slot system with powered down Spontaeous Spells and a conditional recharge rate.' If you like it, that's fine. To me it's just more rules that I can do without.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 07:26 PM
OMGTOBFTW! Whatever. It doesn't do anything for me.
Okay, whatever, you just don't like it, great. That doesn't mean it's not a cure for what ailed melee, because it does take care of that pretty freaking well.


Note that I did not say it's 'the spell slot system with a recharge rate', I said that 'it is basically the Spell Slot system with powered down Spontaeous Spells and a conditional recharge rate.' If you like it, that's fine. To me it's just more rules that I can do without.
It's not that, either.
And, you're welcome to do without them, I guess... but it does do what none of the other rules don't, and it IS basically a miracle cure.

Fax Celestis
2007-08-09, 07:29 PM
OMGTOBFTW! Whatever. It doesn't do anything for me.

Note that I did not say it's 'the spell slot system with a recharge rate', I said that 'it is basically the Spell Slot system with powered down Spontaeous Spells and a conditional recharge rate.' If you like it, that's fine. To me it's just more rules that I can do without.

...which is a valid stance. I don't have a problem with people who don't like the system because it's 'not necessary,' or 'too complex,' or other complaints that basically boil down to 'I don't want it in my game because I don't like how it works.'

I do, however, have a problem with the 'wrong feel' type complaints. Why? Because flavor is the easiest thing to change. Most DMs do it all the time with basic things: making the elves from a specific nation or killing off all the gnomes. Changing the fluff is easy; changing the mechanics are hard.

Tokiko Mima
2007-08-09, 07:32 PM
OMGTOBFTW! Whatever. It doesn't do anything for me.

Note that I did not say it's 'the spell slot system with a recharge rate', I said that 'it is basically the Spell Slot system with powered down Spontaeous Spells and a conditional recharge rate.' If you like it, that's fine. To me it's just more rules that I can do without.

I wouldn't describe it as Spontaneous at all. You prepare your manuevers in advance of combat, and barring the Adaptive Style Feat, you're married to the ones you've selected. It's very much prepared, just like a Wizard.

The system more closely mirrors once per encounter Feats, but because of the level/action/tier restrictive structure, you eventually gain access to manuevers much more powerful than a Feat usually is.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 07:34 PM
Most DMs do it all the time with basic things: making the elves from a specific nation or killing off all the gnomes.

Hah, I don't even need to kill off all the gnomes. I don't even remember the last time someone wanted to play one.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 07:35 PM
Okay, whatever, you just don't like it, great. That doesn't mean it's not a cure for what ailed melee, because it does take care of that pretty freaking well.

No reread my original post. I neither like nor dislike ToB itself. It's 'okay', what I dislike is the attitude that has been fostered around it. It doesn't solve anything for other Melee Characters because it jsut creates new Melee Classes. If some of these Manoeuvres were available as Feats at reasonable levels with the same recharge rate or whatever, it might be a useful fix.


It's not that, either.
And, you're welcome to do without them, I guess... but it does do what none of the other rules don't, and it IS basically a miracle cure.

Eh, of course it is. Is there a Slot system? Check. Do you recharge your Slots under certain conditions? Check. Are Manoeuvres low powered Spell like effects whose use is called Blade Magic? Check. Okay, it's not Spontaneous in all aspects, but Stances are and the tight Manoeuvre limit is really what put me in mind of that.

[Edited for clarity]

Tengu
2007-08-09, 07:40 PM
I think I know why I've been grumpy about ToB... it's trying to bring anime combat into D&D. That's my least favorite part of 3.x... the anime influences. I prefer to play more traditional fantasy, instead of anime.

So mythical heros like Cuchulain or Heracles, and movies like 300, are anime?

Matthew
2007-08-09, 07:43 PM
So mythical heros like Cuchulain or Heracles, and movies like 300, are anime?

Well, 300 is a kind of anime, as far as being inspired by a comic book.

The deeds of Cuchlain I'm not familiar with, but it's worth noting that Hercules is the son of Zeus, which lends a certain leeway to what he is capable of. It's not anime, for sure, it's mythology, which is itself slightly different from the D&D paradigm (though only slightly).


I wouldn't describe it as Spontaneous at all. You prepare your manuevers in advance of combat, and barring the Adaptive Style Feat, you're married to the ones you've selected. It's very much prepared, just like a Wizard.

The system more closely mirrors once per encounter Feats, but because of the level/action/tier restrictive structure, you eventually gain access to manuevers much more powerful than a Feat usually is.

Yeah, you're right about that. I was thinking of Stances and the limited Manoeuvres Known mechanics.


...which is a valid stance. I don't have a problem with people who don't like the system because it's 'not necessary,' or 'too complex,' or other complaints that basically boil down to 'I don't want it in my game because I don't like how it works.'

I do, however, have a problem with the 'wrong feel' type complaints. Why? Because flavor is the easiest thing to change. Most DMs do it all the time with basic things: making the elves from a specific nation or killing off all the gnomes. Changing the fluff is easy; changing the mechanics are hard.
Of course, that creates an interesting dichotomoy. Someone can dislike the anime feel of ToB (if that's what they perceive) and still quite like the mechanics or vice versa. Viewing ToB as essentially a mechanical book (which is probably valid) will lead to the conclusion you arrived at.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 07:48 PM
No reread my original post. I neither like nor dislike ToB itself. It's 'okay', what I dislike is the attitude that has been fostered around it. It doesn't solve anything for other Melee Characters because it jsut creates new Melee Classes. If some of these Manoeuvres were available as Feats at reasonable levels with the same recharge rate or whatever, it might be a useful fix.

Normal melee guys already need their feats. Errataing them into usefulness is out of the bloody question, of course, and suddenly adding more feats won't help enough--especially since maneuvers are a lot more flexible in which ones you prepare and currently ready than feats.

It's not supposed to solve anything for Fighters--it does solve things for melee characters, by creating melee characters (and no, they're not spellcasters; "slots" are the only real similarity--they have more in common with Binders than with spellcasters, but only a few things are supernatural) that aren't broken.

LotharBot
2007-08-09, 07:54 PM
It doesn't solve anything for other Melee Characters because it jsut creates new Melee Classes.

Fighter fix: write "fighter" at the top of the warblade page.
Paladin fix: write "paladin" at the top of the crusader page.
Monk fix: write "monk" at the top of the swordsage page.
Ranger fix: write "ranger" at the top of the warblade page, and convince your DM to let you swap out some class skills and schools to fit the ranger archetype better.

ToB fixes melee by replacing the whole system, not by adding new feats or abilities to the current system. If you want to fix any existing class, just rebuild it in the ToB style.

EDITED TO ADD: when I first read through ToB, I hated the "feel" of it -- the eastern mysticism type fluff. I felt the fluff was overly restrictive, while the crunch was a great fix for what ails melee. But, as others have said, fluff is easy to change, so I did. And now I <3 ToB.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 07:56 PM
Normal melee guys already need their feats. Errataing them into usefulness is out of the bloody question, of course, and suddenly adding more feats won't help enough--especially since maneuvers are a lot more flexible in which ones you prepare and currently ready than feats.

It's not supposed to solve anything for Fighters--it does solve things for melee characters, by creating melee characters (and no, they're not spellcasters; "slots" are the only real similarity--they have more in common with Binders than with spellcasters, but only a few things are supernatural) that aren't broken.

Which is one of the core problems with Melee Classes in the game, the Feat System sucks. Wizards don't seem to worry about making past Feats obsolete too much. ToB presents Feats that allow Melee Classes to acquire Manoeuvres, why not a Feat that allows you to acquire two or three at once and use them as a War Blade? ToB made some effort to address the regular Melee Classes, but it was a poor one.

Again, I didn't say they were Spell Casters, I was describing the similarities of the mechanics.

Fighter fix: write "fighter" at the top of the warblade page.
Paladin fix: write "paladin" at the top of the crusader page.
Monk fix: write "monk" at the top of the swordsage page.
Ranger fix: write "ranger" at the top of the warblade page, and convince your DM to let you swap out some class skills and schools to fit the ranger archetype better.

Exactly the attitude that rubs me up the wrong way.


ToB fixes melee by replacing the whole system, not by adding new feats or abilities to the current system. If you want to fix any existing class, just rebuild it in the ToB style.

Which was uneccesary. The ToB could have been about powering up the other Melee Classes, but instead of doing that and being accused of Power Creep, they back doored it in. These Classes weren't intended to replace the current ones, they were intended to present additional options. I have no problem with that, I just wish they had done a better job of it.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 08:01 PM
Which is one of the core problems with Melee Classes in the game, the Feat System sucks. Wizards don't seem to worry about making past Feats obsolete too much. ToB presents Feats that allow Melee Classes to acquire Manoeuvres, why not a Feat that allows you to acquire two or three at once and use them as a War Blade? ToB made some effort to address the regular Melee Classes, but it was a poor one.


Because if you could use several maneuvers at once with a feat, those feats would be too good for Martial Adepts? And explicitly prohibiting Martial Adepts to take them makes little sense and is just, well, tacky. (Plus, the Martial Study feats are intended for regular martial adepts too.)

And like Lothar said--play a Warblade. Take maneuvers that are "I hit it harder", "I shrug it off", and "I cut it up real good". There's plenty of'em. Call it a "fighter".

Neon Knight
2007-08-09, 08:06 PM
Although the feat system is one of the fighter's ails, I always thought and had read that the bigger problem was a dependence on the full attack action, which is easily denied. ToB removes this since most strikes and boosts are standard and swift actions, thus leading to a more mobile and consistent application of combat power.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 08:06 PM
Because if you could use several maneuvers at once with a feat, those feats would be too good for Martial Adepts? And explicitly prohibiting Martial Adepts to take them makes little sense and is just, well, tacky. (Plus, the Martial Study feats are intended for regular martial adepts too.)

And like Lothar said--play a Warblade. Take maneuvers that are "I hit it harder", "I shrug it off", and "I cut it up real good". There's plenty of'em. Call it a "fighter".

Whose talking about being able to use several Manoeuvres at once? I'm talking about making them available to the other Classes. It would fit the flavour fine if normal Martial Characters could go and study under a master and learn secret techniques.

War Blades weren't intended to replace Fighters, as far as I can tell from the book. They were supposed to provide an alternative Class. Why not produce a book that powers up Fighters and other Martial base Classes, rather than create new Classes?


Although the feat system is one of the fighter's ails, I always thought and had read that the bigger problem was a dependence on the full attack action, which is easily denied. ToB removes this since most strikes and boosts are standard and swift actions, thus leading to a more mobile and consistent application of combat power.

Absolutely, the Fighter's problems are more than just Feats. Iterative Attacks, in my opinion, were a terrible idea.

MrNexx
2007-08-09, 08:08 PM
You know, I hear everyone say that, and I always think: 'fluff distinction.' Fluff is the easiest part to change, and is completely doable on the fly. Have you looked at the mechanics? If you have, how do you feel about the mechanics, divorced from their "anime" placement?

It's not merely fluff that places them with anime; their style and effects are quite similar. I'm reading several Desert Wind maneuvers and attributing them to Makoto Shishio, from Rurouni Kenshin. Stone Dragon? Sagara Sanosuke. Diamond Mind? Not too bad for Kenshin. I have trouble seeing these outside of a comic book/anime context.

For mechanics, they're not horrible... their mechanical basis doesn't seem out of line with magic of a similar level, bringing warriors up to par with wizards. But, quite frankly, they're not the game I want to play; I prefer to avoid wuxia in my games.

Tengu
2007-08-09, 08:08 PM
Fighter fix: write "fighter" at the top of the warblade page.
Paladin fix: write "paladin" at the top of the crusader page.
Monk fix: write "monk" at the top of the swordsage page.
Ranger fix: write "ranger" at the top of the warblade page, and convince your DM to let you swap out some class skills and schools to fit the ranger archetype better.


Good attitude if you ask me. With ToB, old melee classes become NPC classes.

One more thing about anime - anime is not a genre, it's a style of drawing cartoons. Shonen anime like DB, Naruto or Bleach (all three of which, I admit, I used to like and in case of Bleach still do) is just a grain of sand in the desert - I can easily give you at least half a dozen anime I've watched that didn't have ANY elements that most people mean when they say "anime feel".
Just a nitpick.

Reel On, Love
2007-08-09, 08:17 PM
It's not merely fluff that places them with anime; their style and effects are quite similar. I'm reading several Desert Wind maneuvers and attributing them to Makoto Shishio, from Rurouni Kenshin. Stone Dragon? Sagara Sanosuke. Diamond Mind? Not too bad for Kenshin. I have trouble seeing these outside of a comic book/anime context.
Man, what? Desert Wind is mystical, but "make fire, durr" isn't limited to anime. I mean, c'mon--Stone Dragon is just hitting things really hard and being tough! Diamond Mind is just discipline and focus.


For mechanics, they're not horrible... their mechanical basis doesn't seem out of line with magic of a similar level, bringing warriors up to par with wizards. But, quite frankly, they're not the game I want to play; I prefer to avoid wuxia in my games.
Shadow Hand and Desert Wind have like all or all but one or two of the (Su) maneuvers. What wuxia? Look at what the maneuvers bloody well DO: Tiger Claw is pouncing on people and cutting them, Iron Heart and Stone Dragon are hitting them real hard and being tough, Devoted Spirit is Don't Fall Down. You CAN make them Wuxia, yeah--but it's definitely not the default.

LotharBot
2007-08-09, 08:18 PM
ToB could have been about powering up the other Melee Classes, but instead of doing that and being accused of Power Creep, they back doored it in. These Classes weren't intended to replace the current ones, they were intended to present additional options.

IMO they wrote the ToB classes with the intent of having them replace the standard classes, and the only mistake they made was not saying so explicitly (because, as you mentioned, they'd be accused of "power creep" and such.) What's wrong with me and many others recognizing and acknowledging that? As you said, they back-doored in the fix to the melee classes, they just didn't name them as such.


Why not produce a book that powers up Fighters and other Martial base Classes, rather than create new Classes?

Look at the problems with the standard melee classes... you can't fix them by simply "powering them up"; they needed a complete rewrite. Wizards had two options: rewrite them under the existing names and have people whine about how the ToB fighter and the PHB fighter are nothing alike, or rewrite them under new names and assume people are smart enough to figure out that Warblade is the Fighter replacement. They chose the latter. I think it was a good choice, though I think they should've made a statement along these lines:

"these classes can be played alongside the PHB melee classes, but they're intended as replacements as follows: Paladin=Crusader, Monk=Swordsage, Fighter=Warblade, [they should've included enough to make Ranger and Barbarian fit too.]"

That was their biggest mistake -- not stating explicitly that ToB is a complete melee replacement, and that it's best used that way instead of as a supplement.

MrNexx
2007-08-09, 08:21 PM
One more thing about anime - anime is not a genre, it's a style of drawing cartoons. Shonen anime like DB, Naruto or Bleach (all three of which, I admit, I used to like and in case of Bleach still do) is just a grain of sand in the desert - I can easily give you at least half a dozen anime I've watched that didn't have ANY elements that most people mean when they say "anime feel".
Just a nitpick.

You're right. "Anime" in this case is a shorthand for "shonen anime with a significant fighting focus", but shonen anime is a genre in and of itself; it has certain genre conventions which influence the story-telling and action depicted, much like fantasy novels do. In such animes (and in the broader genre), it's not uncommon to have the strong idiot, the former adversary who is almost equal to the hero, but more ruthless, and the main hero, who is simply more awesome than anyone else.

It would be highly unusual to see an anime where people fight competently, but without secret maneuvers or tricks that depend on their school. Sure, there's other kinds of anime... but the style of ToB is very distinctly influenced by the shonen fighting anime.

Tengu
2007-08-09, 08:26 PM
It would be highly unusual to see an anime where people fight competently, but without secret maneuvers or tricks that depend on their school.

Hmm... maybe Twelve Kingdoms? Many of the characters are good fighters, but in combat they rely on swordplay (or brute strength in some rare cases), not super-duper flashy special techniques. Granted, this anime is not about action, but it's more a social-political one (though it begins with the extremely used-up "schoolgirl ends up in another world" cliche).

Rachel Lorelei
2007-08-09, 08:32 PM
It would be highly unusual to see an anime where people fight competently, but without secret maneuvers or tricks that depend on their school. Sure, there's other kinds of anime... but the style of ToB is very distinctly influenced by the shonen fighting anime.

I recently saw something called Tsukikage Ran--fansubbed, about a wandering samurai. the fights were short and without any kind of "special moves" on the samurai's part--just Iai swordsmanship... which, you'll note, has technique just like any kind of swordsmanship, but is fundamentally just cutting people.

As for maneuvers and tricks, well... those are widespread to Western swordsmanship of most periods, Renaissance duelling schools, and modern martial arts. I agree with ROL; hitting things is hitting things, whether you call it Mountain Hammer or not.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 08:32 PM
*stuff*

I think that Wizards could have 'fixed' the other Classes easily enough. They often print Class Feature Variants and the Fighter isn't very different from the War Blade (though there are differences). Certainly, they could have just replaced the Fighter's Class Features with the War Blades.


What's wrong with me and many others recognizing and acknowledging that? As you said, they back-doored in the fix to the melee classes, they just didn't name them as such.

Absolutely nothing is wrong with you and other's recognising that a Tome of Battle Class is more powerful at higher levels than a regular Martial Class. I have no problem with that. What annoys me is the 'ZOMG, it's so amazing, it's what Melee Classes should always have been and you guys should totally replace all your other Melee Classes with these guys ASAP!'

MrNexx
2007-08-09, 08:37 PM
Shadow Hand and Desert Wind have like all or all but one or two of the (Su) maneuvers. What wuxia? Look at what the maneuvers bloody well DO: Tiger Claw is pouncing on people and cutting them, Iron Heart and Stone Dragon are hitting them real hard and being tough, Devoted Spirit is Don't Fall Down. You CAN make them Wuxia, yeah--but it's definitely not the default.

I do look at what they do. I also look at the broader mechanical context, which is heavily influenced by anime.* Maneuvers which are only usable once per encounter? Not that dissimilar from the various special attacks used in anime, from Kenshin's special strikes to DBZ's constipation-manuevers. How many times an encounter can Yusuke use his Rei Gun? About once per encounter, right? Anytime he's used it more than once in the same fight, there's usually a significant pause in the action... long enough for him to, say, take a full-round action to recharge his abilities.

I find it difficult to translate these into traditional Western literature; modern interpretations of them, certainly, but Beowulf didn't beat Grendel with "Ancient Mountain Hammer", he overcame it with strength and wrestling skill... things that anyone in Geatland had, but he was simply better at.

*To save Tengu time, when I say "anime", I'm referring to "shonen anime with a significant focus on combat", such as Dragonball Z, YuYu Hakusho, or Rurouni Kenshin. Yes, I know there are other types of anime.

Tengu
2007-08-09, 08:37 PM
Absolutely nothing is wrong with you and other's recognising that a Tome of Battle Class is more powerful at higher levels than a regular Martial Class. I have no problem with that. What annoys me is the 'ZOMG, it's so amazing, it's what Melee Classes should always have been and you guys should totally replace all your other Melee Classes with these guys ASAP!'

And I say - why not? I'm sure you are aware of the problem with casters overshadowing melee-ers at levels 7+, and ToB classes fix that (to a certain extent at least).



*To save Tengu time, when I say "anime", I'm referring to "shonen anime with a significant focus on combat", such as Dragonball Z, YuYu Hakusho, or Rurouni Kenshin. Yes, I know there are other types of anime.

Don't worry, I'm not that annoying to nitpick the same thing twice in one thread. Which does not say a lot, though.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 08:39 PM
And I say - why not? I'm sure you are aware of the problem with casters overshadowing melee-ers at levels 7+, and ToB classes fix that (to a certain extent at least).

It's not like people encourage others to buy ToM and use those Classes over Wizards and Sorcerers because they are too powerful, so why encourage others to dump the standard Martial Classes and buy ToB because they are too weak? Surely, we should encourage people to buy ToM and ToB, dump all the other Classes and play a more balanced game?

In short, there are balance issues in D&D (both between the Base Classes and with regard to CR), but ToB doesn't solve them by itself.

Xefas
2007-08-09, 08:52 PM
Ummm...I don't wish to get swept up in this arguement/debate/whatever (actually, I think there are 2 seperate ones going on at once), but I'd like to note that this thread was actually originally about helping someone with creating a Swordsage and/or Warblade. I don't think it's very fair to that person for others to be derailing their thread with essentially meaningless back n' forth about whose way of playing D&D is correct.

Tengu
2007-08-09, 08:55 PM
It's not like people encourage others to buy ToM and use those Classes over Wizards and Sorcerers because they are too powerful, so why encourage others to dump the standard Martial Classes and buy ToB because they are too weak? Surely, we should encourage people to buy ToM and ToB, dump all the other Classes and play a more balanced game?


I think it's because of those two mentalities:

1. Buffing is better than nerfing (forgive the MMO terms).
2. If it's core, it should be allowed.

I doubt if people who play ToB in order to balance the game forbid you to play one of the core melee classes if you want to. However, if you play ToM in order to balance the game, you should forbid the usage of most core casters. Which is against both of those mentalities.


Ummm...I don't wish to get swept up in this arguement/debate/whatever (actually, I think there are 2 seperate ones going on at once), but I'd like to note that this thread was actually originally about helping someone with creating a Swordsage and/or Warblade. I don't think it's very fair to that person for others to be derailing their thread with essentially meaningless back n' forth about whose way of playing D&D is correct.

A fair point.

LotharBot
2007-08-09, 09:03 PM
I think that Wizards could have 'fixed' the other Classes easily enough.

I think if they could've, they would've already; IMO a fix would've been extremely difficult, as we've seen in the homebrew section here. Maybe you're right, though -- maybe they could have easily fixed the classes. They just didn't. They chose to do an entire mechanical rewrite. I'm OK with that; I think it was a good choice.


What annoys me is the 'ZOMG, it's so amazing, it's what Melee Classes should always have been and you guys should totally replace all your other Melee Classes with these guys ASAP!'

Well, then, you're going to find yourself annoyed when you converse with me. Sorry.

ToB puts melee classes on the same sort of power curve as caster classes. It gives melee classes the same sort of interesting choices during combat as caster classes. It gives melee classes the same ability to change capabilities over time as caster classes. In short, it fixes what was wrong with melee classes at higher levels... not just in terms of power, but in terms of having options and interesting capabilities rather than just "I hit it really hard" or "I use improved [trip/disarm/bull rush] on it."

I don't see a lot of reason to try to salvage the other melee classes. I see the ToB system as a superior framework for building melee characters (not because it's "more powerful", but because it's more interesting and scales better), and I plan to use it whenever I play such characters, even if I have to homebrew my own maneuvers and schools.

EDIT: I like ToM, and I'd definitely consider playing either ToM or XPH as a replacement for core spellcasters... but neither of those fix the not-balance-related problems with melee. ToB does. ToB provides interesting choices between different maneuvers, stances, etc. during each individual combat. It's a huge upgrade over "I power attack it for... 7!"

ClericofPhwarrr
2007-08-09, 09:03 PM
It's not like people encourage others to buy ToM and use those Classes over Wizards and Sorcerers because they are too powerful, so why encourage others to dump the standard Martial Classes and buy ToB because they are too weak? Surely, we should encourage people to buy ToM and ToB, dump all the other Classes and play a more balanced game?

In short, there are balance issues in D&D (both between the Base Classes and with regard to CR), but ToB doesn't solve them by itself.

Actually, some of us do. I push ToM and Psionics over traditional casters for balance, and I know a couple other people who do the same.

The reason ToB is more encouraged than ToM or Psionics is that people will frequently take the more powerful option, if it's offered. Since ToM and Psionics can't match the Vancian casters, numerous people are less inclined to learn their rules and use those classes. Since ToB is a boost to melee, it's easier to convince people to try it out.

Bassetking
2007-08-09, 09:07 PM
I think it's because of those two mentalities:

1. Buffing is better than nerfing (forgive the MMO terms).
2. If it's core, it should be allowed.

I doubt if people who play ToB in order to balance the game forbid you to play one of the core melee classes if you want to. However, if you play ToM in order to balance the game, you should forbid the usage of most core casters. Which is against both of those mentalities.


And replace them with what's found inside "Tome of Magic"

Seriously.

Tome of Magic presents core-comparatively scaled down casting classes on par performance-wise with the Core-comparatively up-scaled melee classes available in Tome of Battle.

A game played with these classes rather than core-classes, while mechanically heavy, lends itself to a far greater degree of internal balance within the characters played.

Ah. I can already hear the baying of "Proof, King, we need facts to support this opinion you espouse!"

With which, I present this as proof.

The Wizards of the Coast Theoretical Optimization boards aggregation thread: Campaign Smashers (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=897351)

Of classes presented in both ToB and ToM, only ONE has been used to enough effect to warrant a space in these hallowed halls.

Neon Knight
2007-08-09, 09:14 PM
Of classes presented in both ToB and ToM, only ONE has been used to enough effect to warrant a space in these hallowed halls.

You will do anything to further promote the 1d2 crusader, won't you?

Bassetking
2007-08-09, 09:19 PM
You will do anything to further promote the 1d2 crusader, won't you?

Promotion actually hinders my arguement in this case... You know, the whole "ToB and ToM is more internally balanced." thing...

Matthew
2007-08-09, 09:20 PM
I think it's because of those two mentalities:

1. Buffing is better than nerfing (forgive the MMO terms).
2. If it's core, it should be allowed.

I think that's a reasonably accurate assessment and I think it exposes the essential contradiction of an RPG as a 'balanced game' through mechanical changes. The desire to 'power up' seems to be much stronger than the desire to play a balanced game, which puts all the responsibility on the DM to build encounters suitable for Party X. (and I sometimes wonder whether Martial Characters would have a better run of things at high levels if encounters were with hundreds of Orcs)


I doubt if people who play ToB in order to balance the game forbid you to play one of the core melee classes if you want to.

True indeed, though they seem quite vocal about how much better it is to be a ToB Character. It's just as annoying as a Player using a Wizard or Cleric telling you it's stupid to play anything else.


However, if you play ToM in order to balance the game, you should forbid the usage of most core casters. Which is against both of those mentalities.

I agree, but I think we always have to keep in mind how this impacts CR. If you lower the power of Spell Casters, you either have to adjust CR or increase the power of Non Spell Casters.

I think if they could've, they would've already; IMO a fix would've been extremely difficult, as we've seen in the homebrew section here. Maybe you're right, though -- maybe they could have easily fixed the classes. They just didn't. They chose to do an entire mechanical rewrite. I'm OK with that; I think it was a good choice.

Erm, what about just replacing all the Fighter Bonus Feats with the War Blade's progression?


Well, then, you're going to find yourself annoyed when you converse with me. Sorry.

No you're not. :smallwink:


ToB puts melee classes on the same sort of power curve as caster classes.

It really doesn't though. Spell Casters are still far more powerful.


It gives melee classes the same sort of interesting choices during combat as caster classes. It gives melee classes the same ability to change capabilities over time as caster classes. In short, it fixes what was wrong with melee classes at higher levels... not just in terms of power, but in terms of having options and interesting capabilities rather than just "I hit it really hard" or "I use improved [trip/disarm/bull rush] on it."

I don't see a lot of reason to try to salvage the other melee classes. I see the ToB system as a superior framework for building melee characters (not because it's "more powerful", but because it's more interesting and scales better), and I plan to use it whenever I play such characters, even if I have to homebrew my own maneuvers and schools.

EDIT: I like ToM, and I'd definitely consider playing either ToM or XPH as a replacement for core spellcasters... but neither of those fix the not-balance-related problems with melee. ToB does. ToB provides interesting choices between different maneuvers, stances, etc. during each individual combat. It's a huge upgrade over "I power attack it for... 7!"

I have no problem with people wanting to use different rules because they like them better. That's fine with me, but why try to indicate that introducing ToB solves all our D&D Martial Character woes? ToB can be part of a solution, but it isn't the solution in and of itself.


Actually, some of us do. I push ToM and Psionics over traditional casters for balance, and I know a couple other people who do the same.

Good for you. I think that's entirely reasonable.


The reason ToB is more encouraged than ToM or Psionics is that people will frequently take the more powerful option, if it's offered. Since ToM and Psionics can't match the Vancian casters, numerous people are less inclined to learn their rules and use those classes. Since ToB is a boost to melee, it's easier to convince people to try it out.

I think that is exactly the reason, but simply introducing ToB doesn't create Game Balance in and of itself, it increases the overall power of the party and that of Martial Characters at later levels.

Neon Knight
2007-08-09, 09:22 PM
I think that is exactly the reason, but simply introducing ToB doesn't create Game Balance in and of itself, it increases the overall power of the party and that of Martial Characters at later levels.

It does, however, close the gap between the two quite a bit, thus making it easier for the Dm to challenge everyone without condemning the melee characters to a swift, painful, embarrassing, and needless death.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 09:24 PM
It does, however, close the gap between the two quite a bit, thus making it easier for the Dm to challenge everyone without condemning the melee characters to a swift, painful, embarrassing, and needless death.

As would introducing ToM and banning all Full Casters (or indeed placing any other limitation on the Spell Casting Classes).

LotharBot
2007-08-09, 09:24 PM
Spell Casters are still far more powerful.

I didn't say it gives them the same amount of power, especially not compared to optimized casters. I said it puts them on the same SORT of power curve... over the period of time a caster gains 20% power, a warblade also gains about 20% power, instead of gaining 3% power like a fighter.

If your casters don't optimize too much, you actually do end up with a reasonable balance with ToB and core magic, though I suspect it'd be much better with ToB and ToM or ToB and XPH (I just haven't had the time to read/play through ToM or XPH yet.)


why try to indicate that introducing ToB solves all our D&D Martial Character woes?

It solved the vast majority of them for me. Maybe others are running into woes I'm not aware of, but for me personally, ToB pretty solidly fixed the melee woes I'd run into. (I have played a 1-20 game with 2 very competent casters, so I think I've got a fair idea of what woes melee runs into, but maybe I'm missing something.)

Neon Knight
2007-08-09, 09:28 PM
As would introducing ToM and banning all Full Casters.

True. I suppose the earlier "buff is better than a nerf" mentality comes into play. ToB's popularity also has something to do with the versatility it lends to melee characters. Traditional melee characters are very much tied to their builds in terms of what they can do. For instance, you will rarely see someone attempting to disarm someone else unless they are a dedicated disarmer fighter (Not that you see those anyway, tripping being a massively superior option).

However, any warblade can select Disarming Strike, which can allow him to reliably disarm an opponent even if he hasn't focused his entire build around. He can then follow it up with another maneuver next turn, either a pure damage one or one with another tasty effect, like one of those juicy con damaging strikes from Stone dragon.

Matthew
2007-08-09, 09:31 PM
I didn't say it gives them the same amount of power, especially not compared to optimized casters. I said it puts them on the same SORT of power curve... over the period of time a caster gains 20% power, a warblade also gains about 20% power, instead of gaining 3% power like a fighter.

That's a parallel power curve, I would imagine you're describing. If they're still not as powerful as Full Casters, though, it doesn't really matter.


If your casters don't optimize too much, you actually do end up with a reasonable balance with ToB and core magic, though I suspect it'd be much better with ToB and ToM or ToB and XPH (I just haven't had the time to read/play through ToM or XPH yet.)

As do you if you nerf Casters against Fighters through Variant Rules or removing certain Spells/Feats.


It solved the vast majority of them for me. Maybe others are running into woes I'm not aware of, but for me personally, ToB pretty solidly fixed the melee woes I'd run into. (I have played a 1-20 game with 2 very competent casters, so I think I've got a fair idea of what woes melee runs into, but maybe I'm missing something.)

Which is all fine, but similarly people are capable of playing D&D without ToB and having the same experience.


True. I suppose the earlier "buff is better than a nerf" mentality comes into play. ToB's popularity also has something to do with the versatility it lends to melee characters. Traditional melee characters are very much tied to their builds in terms of what they can do. For instance, you will rarely see someone attempting to disarm someone else unless they are a dedicated disarmer fighter (Not that you see those anyway, tripping being a massively superior option).

However, any warblade can select Disarming Strike, which can allow him to reliably disarm an opponent even if he hasn't focused his entire build around. He can then follow it up with another maneuver next turn, either a pure damage one or one with another tasty effect, like one of those juicy con damaging strikes from Stone dragon.

I think that is indeed the main reason. People like shiny things. That's pretty much the business model behind 'expanding the system'. It's definitely true that ToB supports a greater degree of variety as well, but eventually people will get bored of that too and look for the next 'power up' or shiny thing.

Dausuul
2007-08-09, 10:23 PM
I find it difficult to translate these into traditional Western literature; modern interpretations of them, certainly, but Beowulf didn't beat Grendel with "Ancient Mountain Hammer", he overcame it with strength and wrestling skill... things that anyone in Geatland had, but he was simply better at.

Bastard Cross.
High Serpent.
Guard of the Arrow.
Iron Door.

These are the names of several stances from a Western martial arts manual used by 14th-century knights. Sound a lot like Tome of Battle maneuver and stance names, don't they? Many of the techniques in said manual even look like something you'd expect to see in a dojo... well, if you discount the fact that the combatants are in full plate and wielding longswords.

Thrawn183
2007-08-09, 10:30 PM
I think I have something of a middle ground thanks to my amazing perceptual abilities:

Most people (sorry about the surprise broadside Tengu) don't seem to be saying ZOMG replace all your old [email protected][email protected]!. I seem to be hearing something more along the line of ZOMG why won't you at least allow them as an option.

If none of your players like the martial adepts, they won't get played. If your other melee'rs feel like they are being overshadowed... then what kind of casters do you have and why hasn't it already been a problem?

At the same time though, I agree with Fax, if its something you don't feel like learning, fine. I certainly don't want to ram something down somebody's throat.
-------
To the OP, Diamond Mind has some amazing defensive abilites. They can be problematic in terms of using up to many of your actions if you depend on them, but they are certainly very nice.

White Raven has alway struck me as the same (in principle, not in effect) as blaster casters. They do much better in large groups that face multiple enemies. White Raven works far better with more allies (quite a bit like Haste if you think about it). This could be a sumoner druid or just parties with many pc's.

I've never made a swordsage, so I can't help you there.

namo
2007-08-09, 10:57 PM
@Matthew : out of curisosity, have you tried playing a martial adept ? Are they not simply more fun than the Fighter/Monk ? You're welcome to disagree ; it's my opinion that the 'increased fun' side does more for the ToB's reputation than the 'increased power' one.


White Raven has alway struck me as the same (in principle, not in effect) as blaster casters. They do much better in large groups that face multiple enemies. White Raven works far better with more allies (quite a bit like Haste if you think about it). This could be a sumoner druid or just parties with many pc's.

I agree with Haste, not really with blasters ?! I like White Raven because it emphasizes cooperation between the characters like only few other abilities (Haste, bardic music...) do. And tactics too.

To the OP: it always helps if you mention what kind of character you want. Sneaky (Shadow Hand ?), feral (Tiger Claw ?)...

Generic PC
2007-08-09, 11:21 PM
Ummm...I don't wish to get swept up in this arguement/debate/whatever (actually, I think there are 2 seperate ones going on at once), but I'd like to note that this thread was actually originally about helping someone with creating a Swordsage and/or Warblade. I don't think it's very fair to that person for others to be derailing their thread with essentially meaningless back n' forth about whose way of playing D&D is correct.

Thank You. However, we are sort of getting back on track.

To Namo.

The Swordsage? I dont care. something that is useful. Optimization will be happening, but i dont know how to optimize the TOB... However, I like the Idea of Shadow Hand, Stone Dragon, Tiger Claw and to a lesser extent, the other Swordsage ones. (Setting Sun, Desert Wind) Iron Heart looks good, but Is Warblade only. I havent read the actual effects of most of them yet, because till yesterday, i wasnt making characters, and i just havent had the time...
The Warblade? Even less stringent. make it useful, and throw in some manuevers and things. you know, the basic honda civic type of thing. It will only be used 1/6 sessions or so, so being a little weak wont matter muich. being terrible... will. then i will be blamed.

MrNexx
2007-08-10, 01:02 AM
Bastard Cross.
High Serpent.
Guard of the Arrow.
Iron Door.

These are the names of several stances from a Western martial arts manual used by 14th-century knights. Sound a lot like Tome of Battle maneuver and stance names, don't they? Many of the techniques in said manual even look like something you'd expect to see in a dojo... well, if you discount the fact that the combatants are in full plate and wielding longswords.

14th century? Bloody modernists.

To develop on my point, however. Yes, those are fancily named maneuvers. Did any of them, say Resist Fire? Heal yourself of wounds? Attack two people at once? Walk in any kind of terrain, more effectively than you do on a flat sparring-room floor? Damage people with cold? Ignore damage? Smell things well enough to pinpoint anything within 5'? Because that's 1st level maneuvers from 7 of the 9 schools.

namo
2007-08-10, 03:59 AM
I'm not completely sure whether you're in the camp that wants to "uphold the honor of the PHB classes" :smallwink: , but just in case :


To develop on my point, however. Yes, those are fancily named maneuvers. Did any of them, say Resist Fire? Heal yourself of wounds?
Combat Vigor feat (PHB2)


Attack two people at once? Walk in any kind of terrain, more effectively than you do on a flat sparring-room floor? Damage people with cold? Ignore damage?
The Barbarian gets DR.


Smell things well enough to pinpoint anything within 5'?
Combat Awareness feat (PHB2)

I suspect all the rest can be gained from items.

And about comparing D&D/the real world/wushu... well, one of the usual example is the use of skills, even physical ones. Jump & Balance can easily be considered to have an "anime feel" (whatever that means).


Maneuvers which are only usable once per encounter?
Maneuvers are almost always usable more than once per encounter (the only exception is a Swordsage that doesn't take Adaptive Style nor any other feat allowing recovery).

---
You could have the Warblade concentrate on White Raven (boosting the party), then on Iron Heart for damage and versatility. Since you won't have access to those schools, it will give you an occasion to see them in play. That said, don't hesitate to cherry-pick good Tiger Claw/Stone Dragon/Diamond Mind maneuvers for him.

Thrawn183
2007-08-10, 07:41 AM
I shall expand upon why I used blasters as an example:

I play in large groups. That means large numbers of enemies. While your standard single target destructive spell is essentially the same in such conditions, AoE's can suddenly become far more useful than they normally would. When your casters can reliably hit 3-4 guys with a fireball, it quickly becomes pretty nice in combat. Especially if you have a Cleave/Great Cleave Fighter around.

Matthew
2007-08-10, 08:20 AM
Since Generic_PC indicates in Post #64 that we were getting off the topic of his original question, I opened another Thread to continue discussing Tome of Battle here: Tome of Battle (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3013216#post3013216).

Generic PC
2007-08-10, 11:51 AM
So. I have a Swordsage Build. any gear ideas? i have 20000 to spend (gp)

carborundum
2007-09-08, 01:04 PM
I was looking at that build and think I must have missed something basic. After swapping maneuvers out etc. I end up with 11 maneuvers, while level 9 gives you 14. Do the swapped out maneuvers still count towards your total, or should there just be a few more in there?
Be kind if it's a stupid question, I only bought the book today!