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    Default Steel Mountain Discipline

    STEEL MOUNTAIN
    The steel mountain discipline makes heavy use of shields and defensive maneuvers. Many of its abilities rely on shields to negate effects, abilities and certain forms of attack, whilst protecting those who use the discipline and their allies.

    The style originated shortly after the original temple’s downfall. One young and promising initiate had left the temple to develop his skills on his own. After leaving, he met and dueled with another warrior. When he saw the warrior with a shield, he had thought to himself “What a waste”, activating his animated shield and charged at him.

    When he lost the fight, his rival had explained his error. “A shield is not simply a piece of metal used to protect you. In the right hands, it is far more…” The young initiate was inspired by these words, and together the two developed the Steel Mountain discipline.

    Favoured Weapons: Heavy Shields, Small Shields, Shield Spikes
    Key Skill: Balance
    Availability: Crusaders and Warblades
    Special: Unless stated otherwise, all manuevers/stances from this discipline require the initator to be weilding either a heavy shield, small shield or tower shield.

    Maneuver List
    Spoiler
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    1st Level
    Agile Block – Counter – Gain shield bonus based on Balance
    Intercept – Counter – Take foes attack in place of allies
    Iron Defense – Boost – Gain chance to negate extra damage
    Shield Wall – Stance – Add shield bonus to ally’s amour class

    2nd Level
    Battle Bash – Strike – Shield bash a foe and knock them prone
    Shield Shake – Counter – Gain a free disarm attempt after attack
    Stability – Counter – Gain a +4 bonus against bull-rush attempts

    3rd Level
    Agile Expertise – Stance – Add shield bonus to touch amour
    Greater Iron Defense – Boost – Gain chance to negate extra damage
    Blow-Block – Counter – Half Power Attack damage

    4th Level
    Elemental Shield – Boost – Gain energy resistance based on balance
    Resilient Defense – Counter – Block area of effect
    Stun Bash – Strike – Shield bash a foe and stun them

    5th Level
    Defensive Master – Stance – Gain miss-chance whilst using a shield
    Shield of Mirrors – Counter – Reflect ray attack

    6th Level
    Allied Elemental Shield – Boost – Grant allies energy resistance
    Throw Off-Guard – Strike – Knock foe prone

    7th Level
    Aggressive Defense – Counter – Cause foe to take extra attacks
    Steel Defense – Boost – Gain evasion

    8th Level
    Advancing Wall – Strike - Stagger foes
    Shield of Swords - Counter - Reflect damage taken

    9th Level
    Shield of Steel – Boost – Become immune to damage


    Feats
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    STEAL SHIELD MASTER
    You are no longer hampered by the weight of your shields
    Prerequisites: One Steel Mountain stance.
    Benefit: As long as you are in a Steel Mountain stance your check penalty for any shield you use is reduced to 0. Additionally, whilst in a Steel Mountain stance you may use a tower shield without taking the -2 penalty to attack rolls.


    SHINING STEEL GAUNTLET
    This tight-fitting single gauntlet is fitted for a warrior’s shield arm. When worn, warriors can use that shield arm more effectively. These gauntlets grant the use of Steel Mountain maneuvers. Scholar level gauntlets may feature traces of silver, whilst Master level gauntlets may have gold instead.

    As I only have limited experience with TOB, and that this is a particularly unusal discipline, I'm expecting quite a few potential balance problems. So don't be shy, if you think something is overpowering/underpowering or have an idea to make this or that part better, please do.
    Last edited by Nero24200; 2010-04-12 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Added Info

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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    1st Level Maneuvers
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    AGILE BLOCK
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You are able to react quickly, making better use of your shield to protect yourself. This maneuver may be to increase your shield bonus to amour class against a single attack. The bonus granted is dependent on your ranks in the Balance skill. The bonus is equal to +1 and increases by +1 for every 5 ranks.
    {table=head;width=25%]Balance Ranks|Total Bonus
    0-4|+1
    5-9|+2
    10-14|+3
    15-19|+4
    20+|+5[/Table]


    IRON DEFENSE
    Steel Mountain (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: 1 Round

    You skill with shields enable you to avoid precise blows more easily. This maneuver can be used in response to a foes attack being a threat or dealing precision damage. You gain a 25% chance to become immune to critical hits and precision damage until the end of the round the maneuver was initiated on.


    INTERCEPT
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You are able to move between your foes and allies, ready to take an attack in their place. You can initiate this maneuver when an ally adjacent to you is targeted by a melee or ranged attack. As a free action, you switch positions with the creature. In addition, the melee or ranged attack's target changes to you. You do not require a shield to use this manuever.


    SHIELD WALL
    Steel Mountain (Stance)
    Level: Crusader 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Stance

    You know the basics of fighting in a formation, able to shield not just yourself, but allies close to you. Whilst in this stance allies within 5ft of you gain your shield bonus to their amour class. If your allies already have a higher shield bonus to their amour class then they instead gain a +1 bonus to their amour class.


    2nd Level Maneuvers
    Spoiler
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    BATTLE BASH
    Steel Mountain (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: Full-Round Action
    Range: Melee Attack
    Target: Any one creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    Your may attack a single foe with a shield bash. If successful, in addition to the normal damage dealt the target must pass a reflex saving throw (DC 10 + half your initiator level + your strength modifier) or fall prone. Bonuses gained against bull rush attempts (such as a dwarf’s stability) also apply to this check.


    SHIELD SHAKE
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: 5ft
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You hold yourself steady with such strength that foes striking you risk having their weapons bouncing off of your shield hard. This maneuver can be used whenever a foe attempts to strike you but misses. The creature becomes shaken for 1D3 rounds.


    STABILITY
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Instantaneous

    Your balance enables you to keep your footing. You gain a bonus to resist any bull-rush, trip attempts, or any other attempt to move you or knock your prone. This bonus is equal to half the number of ranks in balance you have. You do not require a shield to use this manuever.


    3rd Level Maneuvers
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    AGILE EXPERTISE
    Steel Mountain (Stance)
    Level: Crusader 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisites: 1 Steel Mountain Maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Stance

    Your skill with shields allows you to utilize them against rays and other unusual attacks. Whilst in this stance you may add your shield bonus to your touch amour.


    BLOW-BLOCK
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisites: 1 Steel Mountain Maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You are better able to spot reckless but more powerful blows, reacting better to ease their damage. You can use this maneuver in response to an attack against you. Against only that attack you gain Damage Reduction 10/-. For every two ranks you have in balance, the damage reduction bestowed by this ability increases by +1 point.


    GREATER IRON DEFENSE
    Steel Mountain (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisites: 1 Steel Mountain Maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: 1 Round

    You ability to blow precise strikes and lucky blows improves. This ability functions just like Iron Defense, except that you gain a 50% chance of negating the additional damage.


    4th Level Maneuvers
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    ELEMENTAL SHIELD
    Steel Mountain (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisites: 2 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: 1 Round

    You are able to shield yourself from unusual forms of attacks and energy. You gain Energy Resistance 5 against acid cold, electricity and fire energy. If you have 10 or more ranks in balance, this increases to Energy Resistance 10. If you have 15 or more ranks in balance, this increases to Energy Resistance 15. If you have 20 or more ranks in balance you gain immunity to acid, cold, electricity and fire energy.
    {table=head;width=35%]Balance Ranks|Energy Resistance
    0-9|5
    10-14|10
    15-19|15
    20+|Immunity[/Table]

    RESILIANT DEFENSE
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisites: 2 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Instantaneous

    When engulfed in flames or other similar effects, you are able to hold your shield strong. This maneuver may be used whenever you are affected by an area-of-effect spell or ability. As long as you pass any save required by the spell/ability you block line of effect. The spell still affects you unless passing the save would prevent it (for instance, if you used this ability against a dragons breath weapon and passed the saving throw, this maneuver would still work, but you would still take half the damage unless you had evasion).


    STUNNING BASH
    Steel Mountain (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisites: 2 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Melee Attack
    Target: Any one creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You are able to strike foes hard with your shield, using its sheer strength to stun them. You may only use a shield bash attack with this maneuver. If the target is struck, he/she/it must pass a fortitude save (DC 10 + half your initiator level + your strength modifier) or become stunned for 1D4+1 rounds. This cannot affect foes whose HD are higher than your initiator level.


    5th Level Maneuvers
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    DEFENSIVE MASTER
    Steel Mountain (Stance)
    Level: Crusader 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisites: 2 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Stance

    Whilst defending with a shield, you are able to utilize it in different ways, learning to block attacks that would otherwise hit. Whilst in this stance you gain Total Concealment (50% miss-chance). Additionally, adjacent allies gain Concealment (20% miss-chance).


    SHIELD OF MIRRORS
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisites: 2 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Instantaneous

    When foes fire rays and similar effects at you, you can not only block, but reflect the attack. Whenever a foe strikes you with a ray spell or spell-like effect, you may use this maneuver to reflect the attack back on them. You are not affected by the spell. Additionally, you must then make a ranged touch attack against the foe. If successful, he/she is also affected by the spell instead.


    6th Level Maneuvers
    Spoiler
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    ALLIED ELEMENTAL SHIELD
    Steel Mountain (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 6, Warblade 6
    Prerequisites: 2 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: 1 Round

    You are able to shield yourself and allies from unusual forms of attacks and energy. This boost works just like Elemental shield, except that adjacent allies also gain the benefit of this maneuver as well.


    THROW OFF-GUARD
    Steel Mountain (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 6, Warblade 6
    Prerequisites: 2 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Melee Attack
    Target: Any one creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You bash your shield into your foe, pushing them hard enough to knock them off-balance. This strike must be performed using a Shield Bash. If you attack is successful, you deal the shield bash damage as normal and your target must pass a reflex saving throw (DC10 + half your initiator level + strength modifier) or fall prone and be denied their dexterity bonus to armor class for 1 round.


    7th Level Maneuvers
    Spoiler
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    AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 7, Warblade 7
    Prerequisites: 3 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Creature striking you
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You push hard against foes striking you, making it harder for enemies to stand strong after attacking you. You must use this maneuver after a foe attempts to strike you in melee combat and misses. The foe attempting to strike you instantly provokes attacks of opportunity from yourself and anyone else who threatens the foe.


    STEAL DEFENSE
    Steel Mountain (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 7, Warblade 7
    Prerequisites: 3 Steel Mountain Maneuvers,
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: 1 Round

    You are able to react quickly enough to avoid certain perils. As long as this maneuver is active you may add half of your shield bonus to your reflex saving throw and gain the benefits of the Evasion ability.


    8th Level Maneuvers
    Spoiler
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    ADVANCING WALL
    Steel Mountain (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 8, Warblade 8
    Prerequisites: 3 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Melee Attack
    Target: Any one creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    Your ability to bash with your shield is able to knock the wind right out of foes. This strike can only be used with a shield bash. If the foe is struck, in addition to the shield bash damage they are automatically staggered.


    SHIELD OF SWORDS
    Steel Mountain (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 8, Warblade 8
    Prerequisites: 3 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You are able to angle your shield, causing the strength of your foes attack to harm them as well. This maneuver must be used when a foe has struck you in melee combat. The foe takes damage equal to the damage you received from that single attack. Additionally, any effects bestowed by the attack itself (for instance, a stunning effect bestowed by a maneuver) also applies to the foe.


    9th Level Maneuvers
    Spoiler
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    SHIELD OF STEEL
    Steel Mountain (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 9, Warblade 9
    Prerequisites: 4 Steel Mountain Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: Self
    Duration: 1 Round

    You skill with shields has reached its peak, allowing you to completely negate attacks and abilities which would cause you harm. Whilst this maneuver is active you become immune to hit point damage and energy damage. Other offensive actions however (such as ability damage or conditions such as Fatigue) can still affect you. After using this maneuver you must wait at least 2 rounds before using this maneuver again, even if you ready it again.
    Last edited by Nero24200; 2009-12-11 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Updated Manuevers

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    Looks good. I don't know if I like that it has no favored weapons. You could always add the Shield Spike or something :P.

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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    Okay, now then I'm back from class, I'll give your work a real critique :).

    Agile Block: I think per 7 Ranks might be a little much. That requires you to put a pretty heavy investment into Balance to get the most out of the maneuver, which in turn subtracts from how well you can improve your other Discipline's key skills. I'd lower it to per 5 ranks, capping out at +5 (since you can't put more than 23 into a skill by 20th level) to AC, which sounds reasonable.

    Iron Defense: Love the concept, but it might need some rewording. Try something like "You can initiate this maneuver when a creature threatens you with a critical hit or with precision damage. You gain a 25% chance to become immune to critical hits and precision damage until the end of the round the maneuver was initiated on."

    Intercept: Looks good. I'd reword it to "You can initiate this maneuver when an ally within your reach is targeted by a melee or ranged attack. As a free action, you switch positions with the creature. In addition, the melee or ranged attack's target changes to you."

    Shield Wall: Looks good.

    Battle Bash: Make sure you add that the attack does damage as if you had used a shield bash attack.

    Shield Lock: The mechanics of this one look a little awkward, to be honest. If an attack was strong enough to get the weapon stuck into your shield, wouldn't that mean your shield was sundered? And how does that work with bludgeoning weapons. I'd change it to something like "If an attack misses you, the creature becomes shaken." Give it better wording, but in my mind, their weapon bounces off your shield and their arm gets all wobbly.

    Stability: Looks good.

    Agile Expertise: Interesting bonus. I like it.

    Blow-Block: I think this maneuver needs a little more clarification, and DR 30/- might be a bit much.

    Greater Iron Defense: Typically Boosts don't get new upgrade maneuvers as you level, but this works.

    Elemental Shield: This maneuver feels weak. You see, every 5 Energy Resistance gives you a +1 on the save against the energy effect. So with this maneuver, you get a base of +1 and a maximum of Energy Resistance of 12 (half of 23), which adds another +2 to your chance to avoid the ability. +3 to an energy attack is kinda weak. I'd recommend increasing the scaling to something like this:

    {table=header] Ranks in Balance | Energy Resistance
    5 | 5
    10 | 10
    15 | 15
    20 | Immune to Energy Attacks[/table]

    Resilient Defense: So essentially, if you get hit by a Line effect, you'd block the effect from continuing past you? That's really cool!

    Stun Bash: I'd change the name to Stunning Bash, and up the Stun Effect to 1d4+1. There's like 1st level spelsl that use that Stun Duration. Change it so that creatures with more Hit Dice then you are immune to the stun and you're good to go.

    Defensive Master: This stance is weak. Child of Shadow, a 1st level Shadow Hand Stance, provides 20% Concealment.

    Reflective Shield: I'd change it so that the ray doesn't affect the initiator, but the attack is made against the caster using their own attack roll. Other then that, it looks cool.

    Allied Elemental Shield: Interesting.

    Mighty Bash: So it stuns for a shorter amount of time, but does bonus damage? Eh, I don't think it's a good trade off. Not for 3d6 damage. I'd keep the duration, add the "only stuns creatures with equal or less Hit Dice then you" to the effect, and make change the "push back 5 feet" to either knocked prone or become flat-footed. Both conditions are less messy.

    Greater Blow-Block: See my original comments on Blow-Block for my opinion on this one.

    Steel Defense: Feels redundant since you already have the ability in another boost.

    Shield of Steel: Interesting.

    Overall Opinion
    You have some really great ideas, but in my opinion, the biggest flaw in your Discipline is that virtually every maneuver you have gets upgraded. You only get one upgrade every 2 levels (8 total) and the way you built this Discipline makes a martial adept need to focus almost all of their skills and all of their martial swaps on this discipline, which is a big flaw in my opinion.

    Part of this comes from the fact that you have upgradeable boosts and counters, which is explicitly a "no-no" according to the Tome of Battle. Strikes are supposed to be upgraded over time. Boosts, Counters, and Stances are supposed to scale with your level.

    I think you need to reevaluate your discipline. Remember, no martial adept wants to focus on only one discipline (which Steel Mountain all but requires) and your discipline is extremely defensive, so your players are going to want to be able to take other maneuvers from other disciplines so they can do more then just block. There's a lot you can do with a shield beyond just blocking and stunning :).

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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    Your 9th level maneuver needs a clause stating that "once you have used this maneuver, you must wait (2-3) rounds before you may use it again."

    Otherwise a Warblade can spam it each round and become immune to damage. Also, there's precedent for such a clause in the Immortal Fortitude stance.

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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    Not quite each round, more like every other round, still definitely needs a cool down added.

    Oh and I think I'm jealous, I'm working on a pole-arm discipline and here you are doing sword and board which is pretty much my favorite fighting style EVAR!
    I'm thinking lawful warblade PrCing to dwarven defender would be awesome with this discipline. I'm nerd-gasming like mad at the prospects of martial arts with shields! So cool!

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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    Going to start making some of the changes based on feedback, though events suddenly got a little hectic here since last night, so it'll be slow. I'm gonna to nip some of the bigger problems in the bud first (such as giving a cool-down time for the level 9 maneuver).

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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    Look really flavorfull and fun. A fex thing that other havent already said.

    Prerequisites: "Must be wielding a shield"

    Remove that part and just add at the start that you can only use maneuvre from this discipline while wielding a shield. Like stone dragon that require you to be on the ground.

    Elemental Shield: Why not acid too ?

    Various: When a maneuvre add a bonus to AC to an allie do you count the user as an allie ? The question frequently come up for other discipline so you might want to clarify that.

    Iron defense and variante: I see these maneuvre as more counter than boost, but it might be personal.

    Resilient Defense: I really like the idea but you could be clearer on what's the effect on the other creature that should have take damage from the effect. I assume none but line of effect can be a little unclear.

    An idea if you want to add maneuvre:
    A stance that remove armor check penality from shield when you make skill check perhaps ?
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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    Just wanted to say thanks to all the critque so far. It's been helpful in trying to balance out this discipline. Got pretty swamped here so I've been slow to make changes, but they're there. Up to the 4th level manuevers should be updated, and a feat is added now.

    Quote Originally Posted by zagan View Post
    Prerequisites: "Must be wielding a shield"

    Remove that part and just add at the start that you can only use maneuvre from this discipline while wielding a shield. Like stone dragon that require you to be on the ground.
    I'll be honest, at first I considered that. But then again, there are one or two manuevers that don't require a shield (such as intercept). Though I'm considering just adding that in and stating in such entries that they're the exception (since there is pretty much only one or two exceptions anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by zagan View Post
    Various: When a maneuvre add a bonus to AC to an allie do you count the user as an allie ? The question frequently come up for other discipline so you might want to clarify that.
    I'll try to clarify, though it doesn't strike me as an immediate problem. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any manuevers here where it pays to be the ally rather than the initiator (since any bonuses granted to allies are gained by the initator anyway, or the allies only gain a lesser benifit). I'll have a good look again though and clarify in any manuevers where this is not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by zagan View Post
    An idea if you want to add maneuvre:
    A stance that remove armor check penality from shield when you make skill check perhaps ?
    Seems a little weak compared to the stances already there, though I've added such an effect as a "Steel Mountain" feat instead.

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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    The feat is nice, your right it work better like that.
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    Default Re: Steel Mountain Discipline

    Dammit, I was going to finish up my S&B discipline and post it tomorrow, but it looks like we have quite a few maneuver ideas in common so I'll have to tweak mine a bit more. Ah, well. I do like what you've done with this, though; nice work.
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