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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    ...for the Martial classes on need of some "Adeptness"...

    As I mentioned a few...weeks? Yeah, a few weeks ago, this is part of a tentative first chapter on a homebrew project to offer options to those characters who wish to use Tome of Battle material (as if it weren't [ab]used at all...)

    The following is a series of alternative class features for the Core martial classes in the Player's Handbook. The idea is to rework or replace some of their class abilities with maneuvers, or work the maneuvers into those class abilities, so that the classes keep their own flavor while having a much-needed boost.

    Also, to stop the unwanted comparisons of Warblade and Fighter, Crusader and Paladin, (unarmed) Swordsage and Monk. I find that you can work pretty well with the earlier classes without eagerly depending on ToB, and that they can co-exist with one another. But, if you're not eager to work with this, then this may be the homebrew for you!

    Or, in case you want to spice the classes a bit...

    Please provide assistance, critique, playtesting, overhaul, or even the "wow, I can't believe this could suck! And yet, he excels at sucking!" kind of critique. I find that granting alternate class features works better as a homebrew solution to the pleas of most classes, as they are options rather than solid fixes. I place it upon you to determine whether these are valid solutions, or if the Big 3 Martial Adept classes are still the one and only replacements for all things martial.

    Remember, the Barbarian, the Fighter, the Monk, the Paladin, the Ranger and even the less distressed Rogue are valid options too!!

    --

    ALTERNATIVE CLASS FEATURES


    The nine disciplines that comprise the Sublime Way were designed to provide a new and unique system to enhance martial combat, through the use of a series of maneuvers and stances that expanded the options beyond the choice of feats, without overshadowing the utility of feats and/or other classes, such as spellcasting classes. With the introduction of this mechanic, most of the earlier martial classes might feel out of tune with the classes presented in the Tome of Battle, most specifically the classes from the Player’s Handbook. This section provides a retinue of alternative class features inspired on the maneuvers of the disciplines of the Sublime Way, as a form of adaptation of earlier class features and forms of integrating the acquisition of maneuvers and stances.

    BARBARIAN
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    Alternative Class Feature: Wrath of the Tiger
    You aren’t like the other barbarians. You have tapped into a combat style unlike others used by your tribe, a feral style that heightens your senses and inspires you to unleash potentially destructive blows to your opponents.

    Level: 1st.
    Replaces: Rage class ability, greater rage, indomitable will, tireless rage, mighty rage
    Benefit: Once per day, you are capable of entering a variant form of rage which allows you to draw from the maneuvers of the Tiger Claw discipline. When activating this ability, you are considered as having temporarily activated a Tiger Claw stance of your choice, receiving its benefit. While under the effects of this ability, you cannot use any Charisma- or Intelligence-based skills (except for Intimidate), the Concentration skill, nor can you cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function, except for any non-Diamond Mind maneuvers you know. You can use any feat you have except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier. At the end of the effect, you become fatigued for the duration of the current encounter. At any moment during the duration of this stance, you can execute a Tiger Claw maneuver as if readied. The maneuver can be any of the 1st level accessible maneuvers of the Tiger Claw discipline, be it a strike or a boost. The “expenditure” of this maneuver immediately ends the effect. Your barbarian levels are considered as initiator levels for purposes of executing maneuvers with this effect, to learn maneuvers and stances (such as from multiclassing or through the Martial Study/Martial Stance feats), and for maneuvers or stances with an effect depending on initiator level. You are considered to know one Tiger Claw maneuver for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites, regardless of whether the effect is active or not.
    At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, you can activate this effect one more time per day. At 11th level, and every three levels thereafter, you may use one extra maneuver (strike or boost) without ending the effect, and each of these extra maneuvers are considered as known for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites. At 14th level, you gain a +4 bonus on the save DC for Tiger Claw maneuvers (known or expended through the effect), and at 17th level you no longer get fatigued at the end of the effect.
    Special: If you gain access to a prestige class that grants access to rage, you may instead replace the rage class ability for the ability to use an extra maneuver without expending the duration of the stance. This exchange does not apply for prestige classes that grant rage-equivalent properties, such as frenzy. If the class grants indomitable will or tireless rage as well, you may replace these for their equivalent alternate class features


    FIGHTER
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    Alternative Class Feature: Martial Aptitude
    You have acquired some basic knowledge of a discipline of the Sublime Way. You focus your initial training to learn some maneuvers and stances, and develop a unique method of recovery.

    Level: 1st
    Replaces: Bonus feat
    Benefit: You must choose one of the disciplines of the Sublime Way. You are considered to be proficient with all of the discipline’s preferred weapons, and the discipline’s class skill is always considered a class skill for all purposes. As well, you may learn one maneuver and one 1st-level stance of the discipline. This maneuver is always readied, and can be used only once per encounter. To recover this expended maneuver (and any expended maneuvers learned through Martial Study, any maneuvers learned through the alternative class feature Advanced Study [see below], or acquired through prestige classes), you may, as a full round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, deal a melee touch attack in exchange for a melee attack per each maneuver you wish to recover, up to the maximum amount of melee attacks allowed, including those acquired by magical means or feats (except Snap Kick). This melee touch attack deals no damage.
    Special: if you have the tactical feat Stormguard Warrior, or any feat or magic item that requires a melee touch attack to have an effect, you may activate it as part of the full-round action, but you do not recover a maneuver with any melee touch attack intended to activate the effect of the feat or the magic item. For example, if you take this alternate class feature and have the feat Stormguard Warrior and two attacks, you can use the melee touch attacks to recover two maneuvers, or gain the benefit of the feat's tactical maneuver Channel the Storm, or divide the melee touch attacks to recover one maneuver and gain the benefit of the tactical maneuver with the other.

    Alternative Class Feature: Advanced Study
    You have acquired some basic knowledge of a discipline of the Sublime Way. You acquire knowledge of one extra pair of maneuvers.

    Level: any even level
    Replaces: Bonus feat
    Benefit: You must choose one of the disciplines of the Sublime Way. You can learn up to two maneuvers of the chosen discipline. Your fighter levels are considered initiator levels for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites, and for effects that require initiator level. Each maneuver can be used only once per encounter.
    Special: if you chose the Martial Aptitude alternative class feature, you still learn two new maneuvers of the discipline chosen by this alternative class feature, but you can only ready one of the two maneuvers. Effectively, you can ready one extra maneuver per each time you take this alternative class feature.

    Alternative Class Feature: Stance Study
    You have acquired some basic knowledge of a discipline of the Sublime Way. You acquire knowledge of one stance.

    Level: 4th, 8th, 12th, or 16th level.
    Replaces: Bonus feat
    Benefit: You must choose one of the disciplines of the Sublime Way. You can learn up to one stance of the chosen discipline. Your fighter levels are considered initiator levels for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites, and for effects that require initiator level.
    Special: if you chose this alternative class feature, you cannot choose the alternative class feature Advanced Study for this level.

    Alternative Class Feature: Weapon Aptitude
    You develop your training on weapons to the point that you can change your focus, or your specialization, to a different weapon with only a modicum of exercise.

    Level: 6th
    Replaces: Bonus feat
    Benefit: You acquire the flexibility to adjust your weapon training. Each morning, you can spend 1 hour in weapon practice to change the designated weapon for any feat that applies to a single weapon (such as Weapon Focus). You must have the newly designated weapon available during your practice session to make this change.
    You can adjust the number of your feats in this way, and you don’t have to adjust them all in the same way. However, you can’t change the weapon choices in such a way that you no longer meet the prerequisites for some other feat you possess.


    MONK
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    Alternative Class Feature: Armored Insight
    Unlike other monks, you favor the use of some armor. While your peers consider your affront to the use of restrictive clothing and the bizarre drive of your training, you understand that, sometimes, a layer of protection in your body is the difference between life and death.

    Level: 1st
    Replaces: AC bonus class feature, weapon proficiencies.
    Benefit: You acquire proficiency with the use of light armor, at the cost of the use of certain weapons (kama, nunchaku, sai, shuriken and siangham) As well, you add your Wisdom modifier as a bonus to Armor Class when you wield light armor or no armor, and when you wield a light load. The maximum Dexterity penalty of the worn light armor also limits the maximum amount of your Wisdom modifier applied to your Armor Class. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when you are flat-footed. You lose these bonuses when you are immobilized or helpless, when you wear medium or heavy armor, when you carry a shield, or when you carry a medium or heavy load.
    At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter, this bonus to Armor Class increments by +1; this bonus is not limited by the maximum Dexterity penalty of the worn armor.
    You can use your fast movement and flurry of blows (or alternative class features that replace flurry of blows) abilities when you wear light armor, as well.

    Alternative Class Feature: Flurry of Counters
    You eschew the tactic of dealing multiple hits in a single action. Instead, you counter your enemies’ attacks with martial moves drawn from the mastery of the discipline of the Setting Sun

    Level: 1st
    Replaces: flurry of blows class feature
    Benefit: As a swift action, you may enter a state in which you gain a potent insight into the movements of other creatures, allowing to block their attacks and counter their movements. Each morning, you “ready” one counter maneuver from the list of maneuvers from the Setting Sun discipline. You must comply with the prerequisites to ready this maneuver. Your monk levels are considered initiator levels for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites, and for effects that require initiator level; as well, you are considered to know already one maneuver for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites. While on this state, and as a full-round action, you may deal only one melee attack at a -2 penalty. For the remainder of the round, if an enemy attacks you, you may initiate the readied counter as a free action outside your turn. The use of this counter does not count as a use of an immediate action.
    Whenever you acquire an extra attack (such as from base attack bonus, or from spells such as haste), you can forego these attacks as part of the full-round action; you can use your readied counter one extra time per each attack you didn’t use. At 5th level, the penalty on the melee attack diminishes by one, and by 9th level you have no attack penalty. At 11th level, you can ready one extra counter, and you can use any of the counters one extra time.


    PALADIN
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    Alternative Class Feature: Sublime Smite
    You have received inspiration from your deity or cause to execute maneuvers of the Devoted Spirit discipline to devastating effect.

    Level: 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th
    Replaces: Smite evil class feature
    Benefit: At first level, you may learn one maneuver from the Devoted Spirit discipline. The maneuver is considered readied, and can only be used once per encounter. Your paladin levels are considered initiator levels for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and for abilities that require initiator levels. Once per day as a swift action, you can ready all expended Devoted Spirit maneuvers (including those acquired by means of Martial Study, prestige classes or other means).
    At fifth level, and every other five levels afterwards, you learn an extra maneuver from the Devoted Spirit discipline, and you may recharge all your expended maneuvers one more time per day.

    Alternative Class Feature: Devoted Warrior
    Your devotion to your cause and the power of your faith allow you to receive the inspiration to learn powerful maneuvers, at the cost of some of your spellcasting prowess.

    Level: 6th, 10th, 12th, and 15th
    Replaces: One prepared spell
    Benefit: At 6th level, you may prepare a combination of spells and maneuvers per day. A paladin using this alternative class feature may prepare spells or maneuvers as a cleric does, but the maneuvers do not gain any benefit from feats or magic items that benefit spells (such as Spell Focus or a lesser rod of metamagic). Each of the maneuvers can be executed once per encounter, and the knowledge of these maneuvers last for 24 hours or until the paladin prepares spells. The level of the maneuver that can be prepared is twice the level of the spell that would have been prepared. Spell slots acquired through a high Wisdom score may be used to prepare maneuvers, as well. Your paladin levels (minus four) are considered initiator levels for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and for abilities that require initiator levels.
    At 10th, and then at 12th and 15th level, you may prepare maneuvers of higher level using spell slots from higher spell levels. All features and restrictions apply as usual.

    Special: if you have access to the Sublime Smite alternative class feature, you can only prepare maneuvers acquired through it. You may use the maneuver a number of times equal to 1 + the number of times the maneuver has been prepared per encounter. The limitations on maneuver preparation are exactly the same, except that you may prepare 9th level maneuvers with a 4th level spell slot.

    Alternative Class Feature: Divine Inspiration
    A number of paladins forge a bond with a special mount from the heavens. Others prefer to enhance their combat prowess on foot. Through intense training and devotion, a former follower of the Devoted Spirit maneuver that once followed your cause becomes a spiritual guide, and provides you special inspiration.

    Level: 5th, 8th, 11th, and 15th
    Replaces: Special mount class feature.
    Benefit: Once per day, you can enter a state in which you assume a stance from the Devoted Spirit discipline. You decide the level of the stance to be learned, but you must comply with the prerequisites of the stance as usual. Your paladin levels are considered initiator levels for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and for abilities that require initiator levels. You remain in this stance a number of hours equal to twice your paladin level, or until you dismiss the effect.
    At 8th, and then at 11th and 15th level, you may “learn” one extra stance of the Devoted Spirit discipline, and each of these learned stance count as maneuvers for the purpose of learning a new stance only. As a swift action, for the duration of the stance, you may change your stance into any of the other stances you know.


    RANGER
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    Alternative Class Feature: Hunter’s Insight
    You gain a unique insight into the weaknesses of specific enemies. You can prepare yourself early with the ingrained knowledge of such enemies, and you become better at hunting them down.

    Level: 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th.
    Replaces: Favored enemy class feature.
    Benefit: You enter a state of mind in which you gain incredible knowledge of a specific set of enemies, to which you gain a special set of properties. Each morning, you choose one type of creature in the table shown below. If the choice of creature was humanoid or outsider, you must choose an associated subtype as well. As a swift action, once per encounter, you recall the knowledge of this specific creature you chose. You gain a +2 insight bonus on Knowledge checks to identify the creature, and you are considered to have 1 rank in the required skill for purposes of identification, but only on the type of creature selected. As well, you gain a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls against creatures of your chosen type. The effect lasts until the end of the encounter.
    At 5th level, and then every five levels thereafter, your bonuses on Knowledge checks, attack and damage rolls increase by 2. At 10th level, and then at 20th level, you may increase the number of creatures upon which to apply these benefits, and you gain an extra use of this ability per encounter.

    {table=head]Creature Type|Knowledge skill
    Aberration|Dungeoneering
    Animal|Nature
    Construct|Arcana
    Dragon|Arcana
    Elemental|The Planes
    Fey|Nature
    Giant|Nature
    Humanoid (any)|Local
    Magical beast|Arcana
    Monstrous Humanoid|Nature
    Ooze|Dungeoneering
    Outsider (any)|The Planes
    Plant|Nature
    Undead|Religion[/table]

    Alternative Class Feature: Martial Style
    You have forgone the usual combat style of most rangers, instead seeking to learn maneuvers from one of the disciplines of the Sublime Way.

    Level: 2nd, 6th, and 11th level
    Replaces: Combat style, improved combat style and combat style mastery class features.
    Benefit: Choose from the following disciplines: Diamond Mind, Stone Dragon, or Tiger Claw. At 2nd level, you are considered proficient with all of the discipline’s preferred weapons (even though you have proficiency with all martial weapons, this applies mostly to exotic weapons), and you are considered to have Weapon Focus with each of the weapons of the discipline. Furthermore, the discipline’s class skill becomes a class skill for all further character levels. As well, you may learn one maneuver from your chosen discipline, so as long as you comply with the prerequisites. This maneuver can only be used once per day. Your ranger levels are considered initiator levels for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and for abilities that require initiator levels.
    At 6th level, you acquire the feat Blade Meditation regarding your chosen discipline, even if you don’t comply with the prerequisites. As well, you learn one extra maneuver or stance, whichever you prefer, although you must comply with the prerequisites.
    At 11th level, you are considered to have the feat Greater Weapon Focus for each of the preferred weapons of your discipline. As well, you may learn one extra maneuver, although you must comply with the prerequisites.
    The benefits of the chosen discipline apply only if you are wearing light armor or no armor.

    Alternative Class Feature: Nature’s Hunter
    Your martial training and your communion with nature blend into a single concept. You sacrifice some of the spellcasting talent granted to you by nature to enhance your martial knowledge.

    Level: 6th, 10th, 12th, and 15th
    Replaces: One prepared spell
    Benefit: At 6th level, you may prepare a combination of spells and maneuvers per day, from the following disciplines: Diamond Mind, Stone Dragon, or Tiger Claw. A ranger using this alternative class feature may prepare spells or maneuvers as a druid does, but the maneuvers do not gain any benefit from feats or magic items that benefit spells (such as Spell Focus or a lesser rod of metamagic). Each of the maneuvers can be executed once per encounter, and the knowledge of these maneuvers last for 24 hours or until the ranger prepares spells. The level of the maneuver that can be prepared is twice the level of the spell that would have been prepared. Spell slots acquired through a high Wisdom score may be used to prepare maneuvers, as well. Your ranger levels (minus four) are considered initiator levels for the purpose of qualifying for prerequisites and for abilities that require initiator levels.
    At 10th, and then at 12th and 15th level, you may prepare maneuvers of higher level using spell slots from higher spell levels. All features and restrictions apply as usual.

    Special: if you have access to the Martial Style alternative class feature, you may prepare maneuvers of your chosen discipline as if your full ranger levels were your initiator levels. You may use the maneuver a number of times equal to 1 + the number of times the maneuver has been prepared per encounter. The limitations on maneuver preparation are exactly the same, except that you may prepare 9th level maneuvers with a 4th level spell slot.


    ROGUE
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    Alternative Class Feature: Shadow Stalker
    You decide to learn the fighting styles of martial adepts to complement your fighting style.

    Level: any odd level.
    Replaces: Sneak attack class feature.
    Benefit: You must choose one of the following disciplines of the Sublime Way: Diamond Mind, Setting Sun or Shadow Hand. You can learn one maneuver of the chosen discipline. Your rogue levels are considered initiator levels for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites, and for effects that require initiator level. Each maneuver can be used only once per encounter. You cannot execute these maneuvers upon creatures that have the ability Improved Uncanny Dodge, unless your rogue levels are four more than the number of Hit Dice of the creature.

    Special: if you gain access to a prestige class that grants sneak attack progression, you can instead use this replacement. The sum of your known maneuvers through this class feature and your sneak attack dice (if any) allow you to qualify for feats or prestige classes that have a sneak attack prerequisite as if you had the required amount of sneak attack dice. You cannot replace other forms of attack similar to sneak attack (such as the sudden strike and skirmish class abilities)

    Alternative Class Feature: Mastery of Stealth
    Unlike other rogues, you eschew the ability to evade perfectly such things as explosions or area spells; you believe that, if you were caught, you deserve to take these hits anyways. Instead, you make sure these events never come to happen.

    Level: 2nd
    Replaces: Evasion class feature.
    Benefit: When you are in a source of shadowy illumination or darkness, or covered by shadows, you may use the Hide skill, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment. You may use the Hide skill even while being observed by a creature with darkvision, or through blindsense or blindsight.

    Special: if you acquire a feat, class feature, or ability that would have granted you improved evasion, you instead are considered invisible at any moment after you use the Hide skill, but only if you are under shadows, shadowy illumination, or darkness, as if under the invisibility spell, except that for an unlimited duration (or when you come in contact with a light source or affected by spells that reveal invisibility). You are considered as having the evasion class feature for any feat or prestige class prerequisite.

    Alternative Class Feature: Martial Ability
    You replace the talents acquired for being a high level rogue for maneuvers or stances of a specific discipline.

    Level: 6th, 10th, 12th, and 15th
    Replaces: Special ability class feature.
    Benefit: Choose between one of the following disciplines: Diamond Mind, Setting Sun, or Shadow Hand. You can learn two maneuvers or one stance of the chosen discipline. Your rogue levels are considered initiator levels for purposes of qualifying for prerequisites, and for effects that require initiator level. Each maneuver you choose can be used only once per encounter.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2013-02-04 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Modifying Paladin's Sublime Smite
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 (and 5e/Next) content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder. Also available for 5th Edition
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    This is very interesting. Anyway, these ACFs really need playtesting (because they look really good, and need to see if they play as well as they look). The fighter one, really makes it a more versatile class if you ask me. Good idea and look forward to the rest of your work.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Most of these seem... underwhelming. Especially the Paladin's initial ACF. Why not just give them progression in a single school with swordsage recovery mechanics and end with about three stances and ten strikes known/five or six readied. I don't think this would break anything and taking away the very few features these classes get for gimped maneuver progression doesn't really seem to solve the problem you want it too. Consider the other reasons the Martial adepts are good classes, they get actual class features in addition to their maneuver progression. Your ACF seem to just gimp the classes.

    Compare a Paladin who trades out their Smite evil for the limited progression given. Part of the Paladin's weakness is the times/day it is limited in doing something. Maneuvers should be able to be used every combat, its why they are effective in the first place. If Strikes and boosts had times/day they were limited to it would gimp them pretty hard considering they are already gimped spells (to make up for ability to spam over time) that require pretty intensive selection to get the best maneuvers.

    I also don't get why a lot of the clss features being replaced transfer their limits to the maneuvers, like the rouge's inability to use them against things with improved uncanny dodge. Sneak attack by itself kinda sucks because of all the limitations on it and to apply those same limitations to a resource that is even more scarce than sneak attack is as they can be used 1/encounter?

    It just feels too gimped, removing most of the reasons maneuvers are useful and the Crusader, Swordsage and Warblade are well designed classes. Core classes need a real boost anyways, why not give them one?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zore View Post
    Most of these seem... underwhelming. Especially the Paladin's initial ACF. Why not just give them progression in a single school with swordsage recovery mechanics and end with about three stances and ten strikes known/five or six readied. I don't think this would break anything and taking away the very few features these classes get for gimped maneuver progression doesn't really seem to solve the problem you want it too. Consider the other reasons the Martial adepts are good classes, they get actual class features in addition to their maneuver progression. Your ACF seem to just gimp the classes.
    As far as I can see it, aside from the Crusader's Steely Resolve/Furious Counterstrike ability, the rest of the martial adept classes don't get memorable class abilities, those akin to a Rogue's sneak attack, or a Paladin's Smite Evil ability, or a Barbarian's Rage. Those are nearly iconic abilities. The rest are mostly secondary class abilities, which is what most of the Warblade/Swordsage "class abilities" really feel like.

    I particularly don't feel well limiting them to a template-like ACF without a reason. To give them a streamlined maneuver similar to a Warblade but on a single school might actually limit them, or at the very best prove that those classes are replaceable. The Barbarian has more abilities than just a Rage, they can recover their Rage ability through different means, or gain advanced forms of their signature ability. These ACFs are mostly designed with the original purpose in mind: to give them flavorful alternate class features, geared towards a theme but still roughly similar to the original source.

    Of course, this is mostly the idea to post them: getting the opinions of people and work around it. If I were to say that those abilities are similar to the original for purposes of feats that enhance them, or PrCs that enhance the original progression, or spells that enhance the original class feature, would it be less gimped? For example:

    Compare a Paladin who trades out their Smite evil for the limited progression given. Part of the Paladin's weakness is the times/day it is limited in doing something. Maneuvers should be able to be used every combat, its why they are effective in the first place. If Strikes and boosts had times/day they were limited to it would gimp them pretty hard considering they are already gimped spells (to make up for ability to spam over time) that require pretty intensive selection to get the best maneuvers.

    I also don't get why a lot of the clss features being replaced transfer their limits to the maneuvers, like the rouge's inability to use them against things with improved uncanny dodge. Sneak attack by itself kinda sucks because of all the limitations on it and to apply those same limitations to a resource that is even more scarce than sneak attack is as they can be used 1/encounter?
    Would it work better if I were, for example, to allow Extra Rage or Extra Smite to enhance them? That way, you could get extra uses per day.

    In the Paladin case: consider that Smite Evil itself isn't extremely powerful, compared to the maneuvers as they progress. By around 15th level, where you get 7th level maneuvers, the ability to replace a Smite Evil attempt, which doesn't have the restriction of striking merely evil creatures, with a much stronger maneuver might as well make it worthwhile.

    In the Rogue's case, as well as the Fighter's case, it's a level-by-level basis. You can end up with a single Shadow Hand maneuver, and 9d6 of Sneak Attack, or 5 maneuvers and 5d6 of Sneak Attack, or a combination of the two. Also, it does not mean you can't use it against constructs, or undead; only against those with Improved Uncanny Dodge, and if you get more Rogue levels, that becomes pointless since you're expected to beat them.

    In case of Fighters, it's like getting two feats for one (but both feats are Martial Study), or one without prereqs (Martial Stance), but you still can choose to get bonus feats. It's not meant to replace the Warblade, nor have the Warblade constantly replace it, but a decent in-between. I also wished to work with different recovery maneuvers, not just the four presented in the first book (swift action -> all, full round -> one, full round ->ready new maneuvers, Crusader's) To give them the worst recovery method (not just for the Fighter who has a roughly better recovery method, but to all and their bizarre recovery methods) may seem as a downgrade, or a lack of originality; even so more when the problem can be fixed through different means.

    Another thing to point out is what exactly will be replaced in order to be fair. Paladins and Rangers can replace their spellcasting abilities, but I consider them easily as part of their key class abilities as their Smite; hence, why I worked an in-between. That could allow a decent progression, but by that moment the other classes will already have a reason why to replace them, so the idea of making an ACF specifically for them gets a bit lost. And if that's the classes with limited spellcasting, what about the classes that don't? A Barbarian may replace its Rage, but the Monk becomes a serious liability, so much that it would make sense to merely scrap the idea and say "use unarmed Swordsage instead".

    It just feels too gimped, removing most of the reasons maneuvers are useful and the Crusader, Swordsage and Warblade are well designed classes. Core classes need a real boost anyways, why not give them one?
    If your complain is that the ACFs are "gimped", they can be boosted. That's something I can deal and agree with. Just consider that it's a bit tricky to deal with ACFs, in comparison to class "fixes" which mostly are rewrites of the class that keep some of the old abilities while adding what people believe are fixes. It's much easier to work with ACFs as they are not really fixes, but rather patches: however, the point is how to make it something that feels unique. Otherwise, it would be pointless to make them as it would mostly be "why take these ACFs when I can take the martial adept classes and save myself the trouble of it?"

    That doesn't mean it can't be worked. Perhaps the Sublime Smite abilities are best reworked as a pool, where you can use the abilities you've learned so far a set of times per encounter or per day based on a pool. Shadow Stalker may imply that you can always use the maneuvers, but only if you comply with the requisites placed. There's still some work to be done, but I prefer to base it upon the opinion of more people (no offense, though).
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    As far as I can see it, aside from the Crusader's Steely Resolve/Furious Counterstrike ability, the rest of the martial adept classes don't get memorable class abilities, those akin to a Rogue's sneak attack, or a Paladin's Smite Evil ability, or a Barbarian's Rage. Those are nearly iconic abilities. The rest are mostly secondary class abilities, which is what most of the Warblade/Swordsage "class abilities" really feel like.
    Fair enough, I feel however many of those secondary abilities are more potent than the iconic abilities of other classes particularly the Paladin's smite.
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Would it work better if I were, for example, to allow Extra Rage or Extra Smite to enhance them? That way, you could get extra uses per day.
    That would be a start, though it doesn't really rectify many of the problems I see with the system. Part of which being that Smite/Rage/Maneuvers are not really anywhere near each other in power. Smite kinda sucks, even if it was at-will it wouldn't be a very big deal considering some of its limitations. Rage is far better an ability, and one that actually works on per/day mechanics. I just don't feel maneuvers work in that same way unless you multiplied the numbers of maneuvers granted. Say 2 or 3 for every advancement in smite or Rage.
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post

    In the Paladin case: consider that Smite Evil itself isn't extremely powerful, compared to the maneuvers as they progress. By around 15th level, where you get 7th level maneuvers, the ability to replace a Smite Evil attempt, which doesn't have the restriction of striking merely evil creatures, with a much stronger maneuver might as well make it worthwhile.
    Yeah the seventh level maneuver is stronger, but consider what other classes have at this level. Smite is not a good metric to judge by powerwise. At level fifteen as a Warblade you could have several maneuvers, some of which the same level, and be able to use them near continuously not once per day.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    In the Rogue's case, as well as the Fighter's case, it's a level-by-level basis. You can end up with a single Shadow Hand maneuver, and 9d6 of Sneak Attack, or 5 maneuvers and 5d6 of Sneak Attack, or a combination of the two. Also, it does not mean you can't use it against constructs, or undead; only against those with Improved Uncanny Dodge, and if you get more Rogue levels, that becomes pointless since you're expected to beat them.
    But a lot of the good maneuvers, especially in Swordsage-only schools require many other maneuvers as prerequisites. And I geuss I just don;t see the point in adding a restriction to something thats already rather restrictive. It exasperates problems rouges already have and I just don't see what it adds. Besides in a heavy humanoid campaign it is not unreasonable to run into rouges of your own level, and then the rouge is back to being as useless as it normally is.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Another thing to point out is what exactly will be replaced in order to be fair. Paladins and Rangers can replace their spellcasting abilities, but I consider them easily as part of their key class abilities as their Smite; hence, why I worked an in-between. That could allow a decent progression, but by that moment the other classes will already have a reason why to replace them, so the idea of making an ACF specifically for them gets a bit lost. And if that's the classes with limited spellcasting, what about the classes that don't? A Barbarian may replace its Rage, but the Monk becomes a serious liability, so much that it would make sense to merely scrap the idea and say "use unarmed Swordsage instead".
    Part of this problem is these classes suck. Really suck. Slapping an ACF thats designed to keep them at the same power level is only going to keep them sucking. Thats fine if its what you are shooting for, but I see no reason to ever use a monk anyways even with this ACF. I don't get why fluff and mechanics are so closely tied in so many peoples minds, why calling the Warblade a Fighter or the Swordsage a monk is such a big deal. However I do respect your efforts here, I'm just not sure if your goals as stated are not contradictory. Which is more important, keeping the classes at the same power level or improving them to be viable alternatives to the Crusader, Warblade and Swordsage?


    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    If your complain is that the ACFs are "gimped", they can be boosted. That's something I can deal and agree with. Just consider that it's a bit tricky to deal with ACFs, in comparison to class "fixes" which mostly are rewrites of the class that keep some of the old abilities while adding what people believe are fixes. It's much easier to work with ACFs as they are not really fixes, but rather patches: however, the point is how to make it something that feels unique. Otherwise, it would be pointless to make them as it would mostly be "why take these ACFs when I can take the martial adept classes and save myself the trouble of it?"

    That doesn't mean it can't be worked. Perhaps the Sublime Smite abilities are best reworked as a pool, where you can use the abilities you've learned so far a set of times per encounter or per day based on a pool. Shadow Stalker may imply that you can always use the maneuvers, but only if you comply with the requisites placed. There's still some work to be done, but I prefer to base it upon the opinion of more people (no offense, though).
    And hey no offense taken, I totally get where you are coming from. I might try testing some of these out in a one shot with friends later this week, maybe a party of a Fighter, Warblade, Rouge, Ranger and Barbarian with an NPC healbot. See how they stand up in different scenarios, from the 15 minute workday to a marathon of 7-8 encounters. I'll let you know how it goes.

    And thank you for your detailed reply.
    Last edited by Zore; 2009-08-19 at 02:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zore View Post
    Fair enough, I feel however many of those secondary abilities are more potent than the iconic abilities of other classes particularly the Paladin's smite.
    That, I'd say, would be relative. You can make Smite a pretty powerful ability with the right choices, even though at least one of those choices is an ACF. Rage doesn't need that much of a workout (it grows in utility as time passes), but it can still be improved. While a Paladin's Smite Evil ability may be at times eclipsed by, say, Divine Grace (which is considered one of the best stat additions to defenses), it's not as eclipsed as others such as, say, the Special Mount (because the Mount was designed with a specific build in mind, and it becomes at times worthless when exploring dungeons, or the Underdark) Barbarian has it worse; Rage is much better than most of the secondary class abilities, such as DR (as I was explained before), fast movement (good, but eventually you can live without it), Indomitable Will and whatnot.

    That would be a start, though it doesn't really rectify many of the problems I see with the system. Part of which being that Smite/Rage/Maneuvers are not really anywhere near each other in power. Smite kinda sucks, even if it was at-will it wouldn't be a very big deal considering some of its limitations. Rage is far better an ability, and one that actually works on per/day mechanics. I just don't feel maneuvers work in that same way unless you multiplied the numbers of maneuvers granted. Say 2 or 3 for every advancement in smite or Rage.
    Actually, it depends. Smite would be the equivalent of a 1st level maneuver, while Rage may be the equivalent of a stance that begins at 3rd-4th level, then grows as a 6th level stance, and then exceeds the maneuver level for stances, with the main restriction of time.

    But that's something I've noticed. When I mentioned the Extra Smite and Extra Rage to affect the ACFs, it was in order to be quite conservative. I often incline towards keeping close to the rules and being conservative about changes (compared to my first attempts at homebrewing which are somewhat larger experimentations with the rules, as well as being less knowledgeable about them), which is why they may seem a bit limited. Since I mostly worked them on a theoretical mainframe and haven't truly run the gauntlet on them, I can't say if they are truly balanced or not, a reason why I submit to analysis instead of merely keeping it as the final product.

    As a final point, I have a way to work around those restrictions you speak of, but I'd like a bit more of opinion before working on it.

    Yeah the seventh level maneuver is stronger, but consider what other classes have at this level. Smite is not a good metric to judge by powerwise. At level fifteen as a Warblade you could have several maneuvers, some of which the same level, and be able to use them near continuously not once per day.
    Well...IIRC, at that level a base class would have something along these lines: 7th level spells (which are even beyond the reach of maneuvers as 7th level maneuvers are around the degree of power of, say, 4th or 5th level spells), or 8d6 of Sneak Attack, or an extra bonus feat. By itself, it is pretty difficult to measure a decent ACF that has a distinct flavor, that boosts a bit the power output of the Core classes but without eclipsing the martial adept class at its level, considering the other abilities at its disposal.

    As an example: the Barbarian has a limited stance/maneuver sort of "Rage" going on. Compared to a regular Warblade, it may seem as a bad trade-off, not entirely offset by the fact that you'd technically would have the entire school of Tiger Claw at your disposal, both stances and maneuvers. I could work with that, improve a bit, add some more diversity.

    However, when you go with the Paladin...the closest thing of such magnitude that would be the sensible replacement would be the spellcasting, and in the end, replacing all your spellcasting for maneuvers ends up doing nothing, except perhaps showing why Crusader ends up as a better option. Sublime Smite perhaps isn't the best way to deal with it, but it replaces an iconic ability (Smite Evil) with a roughly better ability. However, there's still a reason why the Paladin can exist: it offers spellcasting (not the best one, granted, but it still has its uses) and maneuvers in one single package, without the need to multiclass. Replacing the mount with maneuvers may be another reasonable choice, but that would delay the development of the maneuvers, and it has a bit more difficulty working it on.

    Perhaps it's not the best way to explain, but it gives an idea of what I tried to work out. I'm pleased with the Fighter, as it ends up doing what I intended (drawing from the Warblade, have an original feel, without either eclipsing the Warblade or eclipsing itself) The rest can surely have a workout, but I can't work this without a good point of reference.

    But a lot of the good maneuvers, especially in Swordsage-only schools require many other maneuvers as prerequisites. And I geuss I just don;t see the point in adding a restriction to something thats already rather restrictive. It exasperates problems rouges already have and I just don't see what it adds. Besides in a heavy humanoid campaign it is not unreasonable to run into rouges of your own level, and then the rouge is back to being as useless as it normally is.
    As a bare minimum, you need 1 extra maneuver for 3rd level or higher maneuvers, 2 for most 4th and 5th level maneuvers, 3 maneuvers for the 6th, 7th and 8th maneuvers and 4 for the 9th level exclusive maneuvers, at times five (or even zero, if you notice Mountain Tombstone Strike). Fighter works with two maneuvers per feat sacrificed, except levels 1 and 6 which have different ACFs that apply; in that case, there's little problem. Other classes will have some difficulty, but that adds to the challenge: focus on one discipline, or focus on several and distribute the potential of the maneuvers? Making each replacement allow for two or three maneuvers per ability replaced sounds reasonable enough, but if not replaced carefully, it may end up allowing even more choices than those offered by the original martial adept classes, even if at the end they seem more restrictive.

    To point it out: a Rogue has, in its growth, at least 10d6 Sneak Attack dice. You may choose to replace that with 10 different maneuvers that can be used only once per encounter, but that are always ready (mostly like having 10 free feats, all in Martial Study, but without the free class skill that comes with it). This may not seem that potent, but notice what happens when the clause "any class/PrC that offers Sneak Attack benefits from this replacement". A decent optimizer can reach upwards of 14-15 maneuvers by replacing all of their sneak attack dice, give or take. By allowing two maneuvers per dice of sneak attack replaced, you can end up with 20 maneuvers with a simple Rogue progression, all ready, all once per encounter. A decent optimizer can turn this into nearly 28-30 readied maneuvers with the same progression; not only does this eclipse the Warblade or the Crusader, it essentially beats the Swordsage in their own game (loads of maneuvers). The main difference would be the 1/encounter clause, and the slight restriction. Which is mostly having Improved Uncanny Dodge, an ability only classes have, and causes any PrC level to hinder the progression. It's not the same restriction as Sneak Attack, as it allows the Rogue with the ACF to strike constructs, undead, oozes, plants, people with only Uncanny Dodge, and quite probably even incorporeal creatures given the chance.

    And that's if you don't replace your special abilities as well. That ends up adding stances and twice the amount of maneuvers to the list, so someone who replaces their sneak attack progression and their special abilities has, as a maximum, about 18 maneuvers, or 10 maneuvers and 4 stances, or a combination of both (or even a combination of those plus dice of sneak attack and one or two special abilities)

    At least, that's what I thought when I worked that out. I don't find anything wrong with the particular sneak attack restriction, since the chances of a creature that specifically has your amount of Hit Dice -3 as minimum and Improved Uncanny Dodge are lower than the chances of finding a creature plain immune to Sneak Attack by other means. Doesn't mean it can't be worked, but bear in mind that a simple fix can be quite unbalancing in the long run.

    Part of this problem is these classes suck. Really suck. Slapping an ACF thats designed to keep them at the same power level is only going to keep them sucking. Thats fine if its what you are shooting for, but I see no reason to ever use a monk anyways even with this ACF. I don't get why fluff and mechanics are so closely tied in so many peoples minds, why calling the Warblade a Fighter or the Swordsage a monk is such a big deal. However I do respect your efforts here, I'm just not sure if your goals as stated are not contradictory. Which is more important, keeping the classes at the same power level or improving them to be viable alternatives to the Crusader, Warblade and Swordsage?
    I'll admit: Monk was a trouble to work with. Their progression is a bit alien, not straightforward compared to most classes. I found that I could apply the Swordsage's ability to apply their Wis with light armor as a decent choice, since it mostly expands their capabilities, and it loses little in exchange (you lose the monk's special weapons, but aside from perhaps Shurikens and the Scorpion Kama it's usually better to keep using unarmed strikes) As an advantage, it allows the fast movement (which is one of the few worthwhile class abilities of a Monk, or one that can be enhanced) and flurry of blows (and I might add, any other ACF that replaces it); something you can't do as a Swordsage with a Monk's Belt/Tattoo. The Flurry of Counters ACF is mostly for a counter build, an ACF that mostly devotes to standing still, and countering as many attacks as possible.

    I might work with replacing the Fast Movement with the much-needed mobility tactics Monks need to be useful, but that might require some assistance.

    As for fluff/mechanic ties, it's mostly because of a variety of factors, the most important being baggage. Fighters are always getting new feats for them, Paladins and Rangers get a share of the spells most spellcasters get. Replacing these classes essentially nulls a large bit of content of the game just to redefine a class in a more limited concept. Another factor is closely tied to the first one: class abilities. A Paladin isn't just a Fighter/Cleric with some things tacked in so that it looks different: as more books piled in, the Paladin grew to be a bit different. Certainly, mechanically speaking, this means the Paladin isn't as effective as piling Fighter levels to a Cleric and slapping the label: replacing the Fighter levels for Crusader levels won't make a difference to that. As odd as it may sound, it's that Lay on Hands, that Smite Evil that eventually gets a bit lost in translation, that Divine Grace which may sound as one of the few saving graces of the class, those unique spells that Clerics won't get unless for some reason the prestige Paladin enters play, and even the mount make the class something that a Fighter 10/Cleric 10 can't replicate quite easily. Finally, there's the silliest factor ever: seeing a class with the legacy name. I can attest to that, since I can honestly say I ignore games that have class systems and have no Paladins either as a main class choice or an advanced class choice, or heck, even as a unique character you eventually control. Mostly, because it's my favorite class. Just like that, there's an indeterminate amount of the population who may not feel well having to force the feel of their favorite class or archetype with alternate options just because their main option isn't available. And, everybody has a different take on that archetype: I at first liked Paladins with special techniques, and I might have just embraced Crusader as my kind of Paladin; later, I grew a bit fond of divine spellcasting, and I find a bit shaky that I must take X class and try to work something with Y class and think that's a Paladin, when quite evidently it happens to look, feel and act like X class. Yes, it sounds silly, but it doesn't mean it's not a valuable insight.

    And hey no offense taken, I totally get where you are coming from. I might try testing some of these out in a one shot with friends later this week, maybe a party of a Fighter, Warblade, Rouge, Ranger and Barbarian with an NPC healbot. See how they stand up in different scenarios, from the 15 minute workday to a marathon of 7-8 encounters. I'll let you know how it goes.

    And thank you for your detailed reply.
    Well, I mostly say that since I can sound quite offensive at times; I don't seem to have measures on how I express to people, and end up sounding elitist or the like. And yeah, I tend to be detailed and articulate; oddly enough, I feel comfortable being detailed and articulate than trying to respond as quick as possible.

    Also, thanks for offering to playtest. I could, but the closest thing to a group that I can gather is a group of newbies, and I don't want to deal with homebrews until the party is well acquainted with the main system. Otherwise, in case of partings, I might end up being irresponsible enough for placing homebrews over the official content.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    I was thinking of a Fighter fix that started something like this:

    Full initiator levels
    Adds intelligence modifier to initiator level for determining prerequisites.
    May ready class level/2 maneuvers at a time.
    Has no 'innate' recovery method, but may take Adaptive Style to gain one.
    Does not learn maneuvers at level up.
    May only 'remember' class level maneuvers at a time.
    Keeps an 'art of war' manuscript, in which he stores additional maneuvers.

    Haven't hashed the specifics out, but it shouldn't be too bad compared to standard ToB classes, especially since he has no innate learning mechanism.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Quote Originally Posted by Godskook View Post
    I was thinking of a Fighter fix that started something like this:

    Full initiator levels
    Adds intelligence modifier to initiator level for determining prerequisites.
    May ready class level/2 maneuvers at a time.
    Has no 'innate' recovery method, but may take Adaptive Style to gain one.
    Does not learn maneuvers at level up.
    May only 'remember' class level maneuvers at a time.
    Keeps an 'art of war' manuscript, in which he stores additional maneuvers.

    Haven't hashed the specifics out, but it shouldn't be too bad compared to standard ToB classes, especially since he has no innate learning mechanism.
    Hmm, it's a tad confusing. Mostly because of this:
    --Full initiator levels are a must. It's mostly the basis of any martial adept adaptation, class, prestige class and so forth.
    --I was reminded of something by a fellow friend and DM: there's no Practiced Initiator, and for a good reason. That would allow you to, given a good starting Int, allow you to have 9th level spells at 14th level, which makes it automatically better than anything in the ToB books.
    --Basically, you'd have a maximum limit of 10 maneuvers, unless you go Epic and thus ready more than 12 maneuvers at a time. By level 24, you have outpaced an Epic Swordsage on its own game.
    --This makes it a bit more balanced, since it means all maneuvers are done 1/encounter. However, since Adaptive Style practically has no requirements other than (Martial Adept class) 1st, and you're defining the Fighter as a valuable class for that feat, it becomes less of an option and more of a "class feature", much like how Natural Spell works for a Druid.
    --I'll combine the last three to explain the following: the concept of "readied" maneuvers serves as a mid-point between the Sorcerer's known spells and the Wizard's method of preparing spells. You know a large list of maneuvers, but you "prepare" only a few. In this case, you have quite potentially a large list of maneuvers, but you can only remember a few of them, and from those you can ready only a smaller few to use 1/encounter. I won't quit that it's original, but it's a tad more complex than the usual.

    In the end, with Adaptive Style, you end up with a class that does quite better than the originals. That last bit is the confusing one, since it implies you can learn a huge load of maneuvers, probably from every class, and keep them in a single book, but you can only remember a few and from that ready an even smaller few, when it would be a bit more cost-efficient to simply ready them from the book, and limit the access of maneuvers from the book.

    It also reminds me of the Blade Scholar...have you seen it before?
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    --Full initiator levels are a must. It's mostly the basis of any martial adept adaptation, class, prestige class and so forth.
    Yeah, but if you don't say it, someone will always complain that you didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    --I was reminded of something by a fellow friend and DM: there's no Practiced Initiator, and for a good reason. That would allow you to, given a good starting Int, allow you to have 9th level spells at 14th level, which makes it automatically better than anything in the ToB books.
    Here, I'm relying on the same balancing medium that Archivists use. Sure, a high int fighter might get some really powerful abilities a few levels earlier, but only if the DM gives them to him. I didn't give them any innate learning mechanism. So either (a) the DM is giving them the scripts, or (b) he's feeding off other adepts in the party. In (a), the DM has full control and in (b), he's learning only as fast as the other adepts do.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    --Basically, you'd have a maximum limit of 10 maneuvers, unless you go Epic and thus ready more than 12 maneuvers at a time. By level 24, you have outpaced an Epic Swordsage on its own game.
    In my defense, a lot of class features stop scaling at L20, so lets pretend that this one does too, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    --This makes it a bit more balanced, since it means all maneuvers are done 1/encounter. However, since Adaptive Style practically has no requirements other than (Martial Adept class) 1st, and you're defining the Fighter as a valuable class for that feat, it becomes less of an option and more of a "class feature", much like how Natural Spell works for a Druid.
    Kinda like swordsage has adaptive style as a "class feature"? Really, swordsages got screwed in the recovery system schtick, and adaptive style fixes that.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    --I'll combine the last three to explain the following: the concept of "readied" maneuvers serves as a mid-point between the Sorcerer's known spells and the Wizard's method of preparing spells. You know a large list of maneuvers, but you "prepare" only a few. In this case, you have quite potentially a large list of maneuvers, but you can only remember a few of them, and from those you can ready only a smaller few to use 1/encounter. I won't quit that it's original, but it's a tad more complex than the usual.
    Yeah, I was thinking of wizard's scroll learning technique. Basically, requiring the book means that DMs can solve the "he knows too many maneuvers" issue by just destroying it, but at the same time, the class won't feel crippled by the DM's efforts.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    In the end, with Adaptive Style, you end up with a class that does quite better than the originals.
    Hmm, maybe I did give it too much, but I don't think its that overpowering compared to the originals. Besides, even if its completely as bad as you're making it sound, that still sounds like it puts fighter decidedly in tier 3, which I would say is the goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    It also reminds me of the Blade Scholar...have you seen it before?
    Maybe? I'm not sure. Sounds like something I read briefly, link pls?
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Quote Originally Posted by Godskook View Post
    Here, I'm relying on the same balancing medium that Archivists use. Sure, a high int fighter might get some really powerful abilities a few levels earlier, but only if the DM gives them to him. I didn't give them any innate learning mechanism. So either (a) the DM is giving them the scripts, or (b) he's feeding off other adepts in the party. In (a), the DM has full control and in (b), he's learning only as fast as the other adepts do.
    That's mostly implying the DM will react in that method. There's nothing that prevents the player of a less restrictive DM to almost literally buy the scripts, regardless of the steep price, much like it may happen to those DMs who aren't stingy with the scrolls. It's a well-thought safeguard, but it still depends on a precedent where a DM that allows everything and anything may find itself with a character that can deal 2d6 Con damage, or outright kill with a strong, if not insane, Fort save at 14th level. Only a spellcaster would beat that, but by that moment a spellcaster isn't thinking on killing stuff, it's thinking on taking over the world or screwing the deities. And the rest will feel a bit weak, even the martial adepts.

    In my defense, a lot of class features stop scaling at L20, so lets pretend that this one does too, eh?
    Well...it has a level-based progression, where your levels are used as part of a mathematical formula to determine the amount of readied maneuvers, and it doesn't specify that it stops at X level, or "to a maximum of X at X level". This may imply that it's meant to grow forward, and per Epic rules, it will allow to grow as specified.

    So it's a bit more of limiting that growth from starters than finding yourself with a character that can ready more maneuvers than a Swordsage will ever ready.

    Kinda like swordsage has adaptive style as a "class feature"? Really, swordsages got screwed in the recovery system schtick, and adaptive style fixes that.
    Adaptive Style is a large error of the devs that turned into a huge advantage for Martial Adepts. Mostly, it was meant to use a full-round action to ready new maneuvers instead of the 5-minute rule, but because of how the ready-maneuver procedure works, it also meant the new readied maneuvers were unexpended. I can't say it was or wasn't intended by the developers, but it gives the impression that it does.

    In fact, it's not just a fix for Swordsages. The fact that Warblades, with a better recovery system, still gain a benefit from that makes it all the more impressive.

    Yeah, I was thinking of wizard's scroll learning technique. Basically, requiring the book means that DMs can solve the "he knows too many maneuvers" issue by just destroying it, but at the same time, the class won't feel crippled by the DM's efforts.
    Destroying an item isn't more of a fix rather than a bad move on the DM's part. Destroying an item can be seen as a balancing point on the DM's side, but it's generally considered foul play because it destroys loot and because it shows that the DM wasn't careful in monitoring the character, which let to the event. There's a good reason why optimizers don't even go near Sundering, and why a sundering-focused build is perhaps one of the big noes of optimizing.

    Hmm, maybe I did give it too much, but I don't think its that overpowering compared to the originals. Besides, even if its completely as bad as you're making it sound, that still sounds like it puts fighter decidedly in tier 3, which I would say is the goal.
    More like lower tier 3, since it doesn't say anything about stances. But the Adaptive Style, the extra maneuvers, the access to virtually all maneuvers and whatnot would make another class go actually tier 2, given that the reason why martial adepts don't reach tier 2 is because of the scope of maneuvers themselves. In spirit, this would lead the Fighter to a higher tier, balanced only because of the basis of maneuvers themselves and the lack of stances, which would raise the tier to upper tier 3.

    Maybe? I'm not sure. Sounds like something I read briefly, link pls?
    I could, but the Gleemax forums are down. Just in case, Google "Blade Scholar" or "Martial Compendium" when the forums are back up and check the class. It has a feel much like your fix, as it allows you to keep martial maneuvers in a book, but you ready them as usual.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Fighter ACF is broken. Make it so the 1st level stance must be level 1 (like all the martial classes.) Specify that the touch attack for recovery has to hit, and does not allow touch spells. Also specify that you cannot use it to channel the storm with the iron heart tactical feat. Also, the touch attacks cannot be made with a maneuver. As it is, you could use avalanche of blades to recover all your maneuvers (including avalanche of blades), and channel the storm for the next round of avalanche of blades.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Quote Originally Posted by quick_comment View Post
    Fighter ACF is broken. Make it so the 1st level stance must be level 1 (like all the martial classes.) Specify that the touch attack for recovery has to hit, and does not allow touch spells. Also specify that you cannot use it to channel the storm with the iron heart tactical feat. Also, the touch attacks cannot be made with a maneuver. As it is, you could use avalanche of blades to recover all your maneuvers (including avalanche of blades), and channel the storm for the next round of avalanche of blades.
    Hmm, good point. I intended it to be a successful melee touch attack (a la Channel the Storm, actually) that granted the maneuver, which shouldn't be so hard. Also, I wonder why it passed that the stance should be limited to level 1...that was clearly what I intended, but somehow it ran off to specify that. I wasn't particularly wary about those specific maneuvers that allowed touch attacks, since most rely on quite specific melee attacks with a weapon, but it's still good to specify.

    In the case of Channel the Storm, I must dissent only slightly. I'd allow the use of the feat, but each attack either adds the +5 to damage or allows the recovery of one maneuver, not both. That way, you can either do one thing or the other, and allows for decent synergy with the feats.

    Also, it reminds me that it practically allows recovery of maneuvers through attacks of opportunity, which is cheesy enough.
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    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder. Also available for 5th Edition
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - Alternate Class Features...

    Just a heads up. I've been working (as always) on some 'brew, and that made me think a bit about this project, and how to do some improvements. So, here's the deal:

    I'm reopening the thread for ideas on how to improve these options a bit more. So far, I managed to work a bit with the Sublime Smite ability of the Paladin, making it more usable per day. I'll revise the thread again to see if this new spark of insight allows me to fix some of the problems with the other abilities, probably allowing me to change them to something much more worthwhile. You, of course, can help on it. I'll see if at any moment before Sunday I can post the fix to the Sublime Smite ACF, which will be explained in this same post.

    --

    UPDATE: As promised, Sublime Smite got a very subtle, yet strong, benefit (better late than never!). In essence, you sacrifice your daily use of smite for the ability to use Devoted Spirit maneuvers per encounter, and you can recharge those abilities only once, or twice, or up to five times per day. This makes the shift much more powerful than before, to the extent that you might want to change Smite Evil for Devoted Spirit maneuvers ASAP. You don't lose your spells, on the other hand.

    Since most homebrew (and PF) uses Smite Evil, you can use this ACF to replace those iterations of Smite. Some versions will gain a very strong benefit (any smite based off 3.5), some might have a strong benefit but not that much (say, changing Project Heretica Paladin smites for Devoted Spirit maneuvers) and some will cause a crisis of faith (probably shifting PF Smite Evil for Devoted Spirit maneuvers). The effect is potent enough to recharge ALL maneuvers, including those you learn from class levels or through Martial Study, which makes the recharges increasingly worthwhile panic buttons.

    Again, I'll be revising the abilities and the thread for ways on how to handle the others, probably with the new focus through extensive retoolings of the classes.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2013-02-04 at 07:15 PM.
    Retooler of D&D 3.5 (and 5e/Next) content. See here for more.
    Now with a comprehensive guide for 3.5 Paladin players porting to Pathfinder. Also available for 5th Edition
    On Lawful Good:
    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
    T.G. Oskar profile by Specter.

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