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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    If one were to examine the Prime through its history texts, its bard songs, and its many folk tales, one may come to the extremely erroneous conclusion that it is a just place to live. Terrible villains threaten the world, and valiant heroes rise up to vanquish them. Plagues threaten to wipe out whole kingdoms, only to be saved by the holy prophets of their Gods. For every dragon there is a dragon-slayer, and somehow it all ends up balanced.

    It is not so. Beneath these uplifting tales, the Prime knows anything but justice. While the special few heroes make themselves rich and powerful overthrowing the obvious threats, the peasants still suffer in anonymity from the Powers Without. For every Balor with ideas of world conquest, banished back to the pit whence it came, ten thousand Imps corrupt our daughters, our sons, our neighbors, and go unnoticed. We live in squalor, and they offer us a brief respite. We may be spared the dragon's flame, but our souls will feel the Flames Eternal.

    No, let those Heroes have their glory, and stand in the gleaming light atop the bones of their insipidly evil monsters. For every witch whose eyes I burn from their wretched sockets, for every demon I leave crucified and drowning in their own blood, for every innocent man, woman, and child I put to the sword before they can be corrupted, I save more souls than those knights in shining armor ever will. That's enough for me, but I suppose the ignorant masses need their Heroes.



    The skill for Ruthless Catechism is Knowledge (The Planes). A strong knowledge of evil outsiders will serve any Witchhunter well. Its associated weapons are the hand crossbow, light crossbow, repeating crossbow, rapier, scimitar, longsword, shortsword, and dagger.

    Such is the connection between the Ruthless Catechism fighting style and the crossbow, that any character that has at least one Ruthless Catechism maneuver Known may automatically reload a held crossbow at the end of any round in which they did not fire a crossbow but were still capable of taking actions, as a free action. Somehow, in the process of sword-swinging, potion-drinking, mad dashing, and so on, they found a spare instant to slide a bolt into their weapon.

    All Warblade, Swordsages, and Crusaders (and any homebrew initiating classes, at the DM's discretion) may learn the Ruthless Catechism discipline, in one of two ways. Both require the prospective character to have lost a loved one to the influence of an evil outsider. "Lost" could refer to death, but also to corruption, such as having their soul bought with a faustian bargain, entry into the Warlock class, or more mundane (and possibly more grisly) instances. Afterward, learning the discipline could include being taught by another Witchhunter, joining an official Order of Witchhunters, or simply one's natural development of the discipline through the trials of hunting and killing evil creatures.

    The first way requires you to forsake one Martial Discipline you would normally be allowed. You lose all maneuvers and stances of that discipline, and must replace them with others of the same level (preferably Ruthless Catechism ones). You may also, at your discretion, lose its associated skill as a class skill and gain Knowledge (The Planes) as a class skill, if you wish.

    The second is to purchase the discipline as a feat. You gain access to it in addition to all of your other known disciplines, as well as Knowledge (The Planes) as a class skill permanently, regardless of classes you choose in the future. As an extra bonus for using a feat slot, you may also treat one-handed and light weapons as two-handed for the purposes of strength modifiers to damage and the bonus added to damage from Power Attack.

    This discipline uses the concept of "Witches". When the text of this discipline refers to a "Witch", it means:
    Any evil-aligned outsider, or outsider with the evil subtype.
    Any undead with an intelligence score.
    Any humanoid or monstrous humanoid with access to spells or spell-like abilities.
    Any humanoid or monstrous humanoid who has committed, or conspired to commit, an act of evil within the past hour.
    Anything spiritually possessed by an undead or evil-outsider, or somehow under the control of an evil-aligned entity, such as through a Dominate Person spell, or the Ego of an evil intelligent magic item.

    This discipline uses the concept of "Acts of Penance". An Act of Penance is any severe debility or mutilation inflicted upon a Witch that, so far as you are aware, they cannot personally undo the harm of. For example, burning the eyes out of an evil cleric is pointless if they are high enough level to cast Regeneration. The Act must not instantly kill them (and you must not willingly allow them to die while they are in your presence), although they may die from related circumstances later (blood loss, infected wounds, etc).

    The purpose is to make them feel the pain they have caused others, so they can reflect on it, and hopefully make the choice to become better people and forsake their evil ways, so that perhaps when they bleed out, their soul has a chance at going to A Better Place. This almost never works, as the sad truth is that no matter how hard a Witchhunter shoves Salvation down a sinner's throat, they must still take that last little step - a step most are far too corrupt to take.

    All saving throws are calculated as DC (10 + 1/2 character level + highest ability modifier).

    Maneuver List
    Level 1
    Spurn the Occult (Boost) - Defend yourself from vile magics.
    Tools of the Trade (Strike) - Strike with a blade and crossbow.
    Witch Hunt (Stance) - Devote yourself fully to eradicating evil.

    Level 2
    Salt Ward (Boost) - Consecrate an area against evil.
    Undeniable Aggress (Counter) - Witches cannot ignore you.

    Level 3
    Deadeye Impulse (Stance) - Harry blasphemers with your crossbow.
    Nail in the Cross (Strike) - Stab your enemy in the hand.
    Righteous Inspiration (Boost) - Renew your faith.

    Level 4

    Level 5

    Level 6

    Level 7

    Level 8

    Level 9


    Level 1
    Spoiler
    Show

    Spurn the Occult
    Ruthless Catechism (Boost)
    Action: Swift
    Range: Line of Sight
    Target: One Enemy
    Duration: 5 rounds

    "Know the Witch. Kill the Witch."

    As part of this maneuver, make a Knowledge (The Planes) check with a DC of 10. If you succeed, and your target is a Witch, you learn one spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability currently available to the target (so not expended spells or spell-like abilities with no uses per day left in them). For every 5 points above 10 you rolled, you gain one additional piece of information. The abilities with the highest spell level, or effective spell level, are revealed first (consider abilities with no listed effective spell level to have an effective spell level of 1/2 the target's challenge rating, rounded down).

    Finally, you choose one revealed ability with a spell level or effective spell level equal to or less than (your character level / 2, rounded down). You become completely immune to the effects of the chosen ability for the duration of this maneuver. You see it coming, you know how to stop it, you have a plan in your mind, and there's nothing they can do about it.

    Tools of the Trade
    Ruthless Catechism (Strike)
    Action: Standard
    Range: Special (see text)
    Target: Up to two enemies

    "Yesterday, I would have said that there is no Witch deserving of fear, for none exist that are so fearsome and unknowable that they cannot be solved by simple decapitation by iron blade. Today, I realize the folly of my statement - I was entirely ignorant of the truth. Today, I am a wiser man. Today, I revise my statement such that there is no Witch to fear, for none exist that are so fearsome and unknowable that they cannot be solved by simple decapitation by iron blade followed by a swift bolt to the skull.

    ...Today was a learning experience."

    With one fluid motion, you bring your blade to bear while leveling your crossbow and firing a quick round into your foe.

    You must be holding a crossbow in one hand, and a slashing weapon in the other to use this maneuver. As part of this maneuver, you make a standard melee attack with a held slashing or piercing weapon. Immediately afterward, you make a standard ranged attack with a held crossbow, with the exception that you do not provoke attacks of opportunity for firing the crossbow while threatened, and you take no penalty for firing it into melee, or at melee range.

    Witch Hunt
    Ruthless Catechism (Stance)
    Action: Swift
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    "I do not concern myself with lives, constable, but afterlives. Better a thousand pure souls walk Celestia, than a thousand corrupt men walk this earth."

    A Witchhunter is entirely devoted to their duty, and they know that it is Righteous. If the Gods themselves declare him Evil, then it is the Gods who are corrupt, and they too shall be shown the error of their ways.

    Upon entering this stance, your "alignment" becomes meaningless. You choose a passive alignment that you are considered as when you are effected by something that you are not aware of, but for any effect that you are aware of, you are simply considered whichever alignment is best (or you can choose, if there is a "tie" on "best", or just because you want to).

    In addition, for each Act of Penance you have committed within the past week, you gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls against Witches and on Gather Information checks to locate Witches or items related to them. You can never benefit from more than (Character Level / 3, rounded up) points of this bonus at one time.

    Level 2
    Spoiler
    Show

    Salt Ward
    Ruthless Catechism (Boost)
    Action: 1 minute
    Range: Personal
    Area: 30 foot radius circle, or 50 foot line
    Target: All Non-Witches In The Area
    Duration: Until Broken (See Text)

    "Animosity is my sword; Contempt, my shield."

    The Witchhunter draws a trail of some earthen material native to the Prime, and by his will, no Witch may cross its borders.

    While this maneuver is active, no Witch may enter the warded area, attack into it, or extend the effects of one of its abilities into it. The warding of the drawn line extends infinitely upwards, so that it cannot be flown over, but it does not extend below the surface it is drawn upon, so burrowing is an easy way to circumvent it.

    Should a Witch attempt to force an attack or effect into the Warded area, they must make a Will save. If they fail, then their attempt is negated and they cannot try again until the ward is broken. If they succeed, the ward is broken and the maneuver ends. The ward is also broken if the Witchhunter that conjured it ever leaves the warded area, or if someone already inside the warded area takes a standard action to smudge the trail that was drawn to create it.

    Undeniable Aggress
    Ruthless Catechism (Counter)
    Action: Immediate
    Range: Threatened Area
    Target: One Creature

    "Suffer not the Witch if they fall within your gaze, and suffer no Witchcraft at the length of your sword."

    This maneuver must be activated in response to a Witch that you Threaten (typically by them being in your melee range) using a spell or spell-like ability. As part of this maneuver, you make an attack of opportunity. This uses up one attack of opportunity available to you this round as normal - however, even if the Witch was Casting Defensively, this maneuver may still be activated. Furthermore, if you hit and deal damage, the Witch adds (10 + your initiator level) to the DC of the Concentration check to avoid losing their spell due to injury.

    Level 3
    Spoiler
    Show

    Deadeye Impulse
    Ruthless Catechism (Stance)
    Prerequisite: One Ruthless Catechism Maneuver
    Action: Swift
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    "Witchhunter Tip #277: If someone in a bathrobe puts their hands together and the first word out of their mouth isn't in Common, shoot to kill."

    While in this stance, you are considered to Threaten any Witch that you could attack with a held crossbow. In addition, whenever you make an attack of opportunity, you also instantly reload a held crossbow as part of that same action.

    Nail in the Cross
    Ruthless Catechism (Strike)
    Prerequisite: One Ruthless Catechism Maneuver
    Action: Standard
    Range: Melee or Ranged
    Target: One Enemy

    "When a child is naughty, we take away their toys."

    As part of this maneuver, make a standard melee or ranged attack with either a slashing or piercing melee weapon or crossbow, respectively. If this attack hits, it deals only half the final damage it normally would, but you have succeeded in placing your blade or your bolt through the hand of the target. This is automatically considered an Act of Penance (although, typically, a simple stab through the hand would not qualify).

    A target whose hand has been struck this way takes a -2 penalty on any d20 rolls for actions involving that hand, and has a 25% arcane spell failure.

    A second application of this maneuver to the same hand before it has been healed (this can be achieved by bringing the target up to full hit points), ruins the hand entirely, making it incapable of being used, and increasing the spell failure to 50%.

    If a third and fourth application are applied to the target's other hand, this arcane spell failure stacks to 75% and finally 100% when the target has no hands left to cast.

    Righteous Inspiration
    Ruthless Catechism (Boost)
    Prerequisite: One Ruthless Catechism Maneuver
    Action: Swift
    Range: Personal
    Target: You

    "Some days, I admit, I question whether what I'm doing is right. I walk through a town I've visited in the past, and the people throw stones at me. Priests of the High Gods condemn me as a murderer and heretic. Not even the whores and the courtesans will flock to a man who reeks of death and sulfur.

    But, as I hold a Warlock's head in a bucket of holy water until the bubbles stop, and then start the CPR for round two, all that doubt just washes away with the screams. I know that I am Righteous."

    This maneuver must be activated as you commit an Act of Penance. You heal (your initiator level x 2) and gain the benefit of a Lesser Restoration spell (effective caster level equal to your initiator level). Your wounds don't knit and heal; rather, your faith in your own self-righteousness lets you transcend caring about such trivial, worldly concerns.
    Last edited by Xefas; 2011-04-03 at 04:45 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    For Witchhunter equipment, feats, alternate class features, etc.

    Equipment

    "Holy" "Water"
    The creation of this substance is both an honored tradition and sacred formula among various Orders of Witchhunters. Although, really, the basic gist of it is bound to occur to anyone pursuing the path of the Ruthless Catechism.

    Making a single vial of "Holy" "Water" requires 25gp of "reagents". At its most basic, it's about equal parts Acid and Bleach, though some Witchhunters get creative with demon bile, raw sewage, broken glass, and similar.

    Afterward, the creator says a prayer, which he is fairly certain wards the "Holy" "Water" from harming any innocent people (it doesn't), so that he can be assured only evil creatures will recoil from it.

    Contact with "Holy" "Water" deals 2d4 damage to anything and everything, and if used as a thrown weapon, a flask of it has a range increment of 10 feet, and also splashes from the point of impact, dealing 1 damage to everything within 5 feet.

    Alternate Class Features

    Swordsage - Blackcoat

    This class feature must be taken by a 1st level character. Their first level must be in Swordsage, and they must start with at least one maneuver or stance from the Ruthless Catechism discipline. For that character, the Swordsage class loses its Starting Gold, proficiency in two-handed martial weapons, and the entirety of its Discipline Focus class feature. In exchange, it gains:

    Witchhunter Trappings: You begin play with a (longsword, rapier, or scimitar), a (light crossbow or hand crossbow), a dagger, 50 crossbow bolts, a backpack, a bedroll, 50ft of rope, 5 pieces of chalk, a crowbar, 2 flasks of oil, a waterskin, 10 days of rations, flint&steel, a wooden holy symbol, a traveler's tunic/pants/boots/etc, and a Witchhunter's Hat, and Witchhunter's Coat (see below).

    A Witchhunter's Hat is a wide-brimmed black hat, and a Witchhunter's Coat is a black leather trenchcoat full of pockets, pouches, and secret compartments.

    Both pieces of equipment bestow no benefits to begin with. However, by performing a one-hour rite involving the burning of Witch-related items (spellbooks, scrolls, unholy magic items, robes worn by a Witch, etc), you can invest the gold piece value of the burned items into a Witchhunter's Hat or Coat, immediately "spending" the accrued value to add magical item properties to the item itself.

    Even when a coat or hat has magic item properties, it is never considered magical, but only confers its benefits to someone who has at least one maneuver or stance from the Ruthless Catechism discipline. A Witchhunter's Hat takes up the Head-Slot for equipment, and the Coat takes up the Shoulder-Slot (the same as cloaks and mantles).

    Crossbow Training: You are proficient with all crossbows.

    Witch Slayer:
    At 1st level, you gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls against Witches.
    At 4th level, you add your Wisdom modifier to the damage dealt by any Ruthless Catechism Strikes you execute against a Witch. (At 12th level, this extends to all martial strikes aimed at Witches, regardless of discipline.)
    At 8th level, you gain a +2 saving throw bonus against the efforts of Witches while you are in a Ruthless Catechism stance. (At 16th level, this bonus applies towards Witches at all times, even when outside of a stance.)
    Last edited by Xefas; 2011-04-03 at 05:33 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    To say this is perfect for my current PC is an understatement; please please please continue and complete this.


    The fluff is fantastic, very interested in more crunch

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilbourne View Post
    To say this is perfect for my current PC is an understatement; please please please continue and complete this.

    The fluff is fantastic, very interested in more crunch
    Glad someone likes it.

    I've added the 2nd and 3rd levels of maneuvers, as well as a piece of equipment, and an alternate class feature (which itself has two pieces of equipment hidden in it).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    I'm just wondering, where did the DC = 10 + 1/2 HD + Cha thing come from? I can't find it anywhere in ToB, where they're all calculated based on manoeuvre level and included in the text and this is not the first place i've seen it...

    I love the ideas here and will be shamelessly pilfering aspects of this at a later date.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    I'm just wondering, where did the DC = 10 + 1/2 HD + Cha thing come from? I can't find it anywhere in ToB, where they're all calculated based on manoeuvre level and included in the text and this is not the first place i've seen it...
    Well, actually, mine says "highest ability modifier" rather than charisma. I dunno if other people do this, but I've had all my disciplines set up like this for two reasons.

    One, I can't really make a good judgment on what class is going to be using this discipline because it's a homebrew discipline that I want to be accessible to anyone who wants to plug it into a game willy nilly with as little work on their end as possible. Because of this, I dunno if they'll be using a Wisdom based class, a Charisma based class, some kind of homebrewed Comeliness-based 2nd-edition retrofit Oriental Adventures martial adept class, or whatever. Just making it "highest ability" lets anyone plug it in and play, and have it scale well.

    Replacing the "scaling by maneuver level" aspect with the "scaling by character level" aspect was a deliberate departure from the official Tome of Battle way of doing things.

    The way I see it, spellcasters have saves scale by spell level because they get all of their spells at once. They don't have to choose between Ray of Frost and Meteor Swarm - they can have both at once. If saves scaled by character level for them, then it'd be pretty crazy.

    Martial Adepts, on the other hand, do have to choose between the equivalent of Ray of Frost and Meteor Swarm. They have a small number of maneuvers that they replace as they level up. This rewards players for sacrificing maneuvers they thought were cool, or became intrinsic to their character, because they out-level them, in favor of maneuvers they don't like as much but have better saves. There's no interesting choice there. Not to mention, if a spellcaster really likes, say, Ray of Frost, he can research a 9th level version if he wants. Not so for the Martial Adept.

    What would make an interesting choice (and games are all about interesting choices) is if all maneuvers scaled their effects, and their saving throws. Then you actually have a choice, rather than the illusion of choice. Getting higher initiator level still matters because it broadens the number of choices you have to pick from, maneuvers known/readied/stances, gives class features, and so on.

    If I could go back and rewrite the canon disciplines, I'd also include this saving throw formula, as well as some aspect of the maneuvers that scales or stays significant at most levels.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Very cool.

    A couple comments:

    -Just to shut down rules-laywers, you might specify that Deadeye Impulse actually lets you perform an AoO with a crossbow (and only a crossbow if the creature is outside of your normal threatened area).

    -Undeniable Aggress needs to also let you follow a caster who 5' steps away from you. A lot of people don't play with that rule, but if they do the maneuver is useless without Deadeye Impulse.

    -When you go to write other maneuvers, I think this discipline needs a stance to specifically buff attacks with a single one-handed weapon. Using a longsword in this stance needs to be as good as using a greatsword in Punishing Stance or something. Otherwise the blade mainhand, crossbow offhand style is a big liability whenever Tools of the Trade isn't readied. (And Tools of the Trade will get traded out at level 6-8.)
    Last edited by stainboy; 2011-04-03 at 11:40 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    One idea I've used while writing the Libram of Battle was maneuver chains; similar style maneuvers that advance in power as your level. The idea is that at levels 1-3 you have this one strike or boost, then at 4-6 you get another one that's similar but more potent so you trade out the lower level one. Same goes for 7-9. The theory was that your skills get stronger and particular moves get better as you level, giving you similar but greater effects.

    Anyhow, this has neat fluff and I'm interested in seeing it finished. I'll likely comment on it more thoroughly when you've filled it in more.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Also, why do witch hunters use crossbows? I mean, I agree with you, witch hunters do use crossbows. When I try to picture a witch hunter it's a dude in a wide-brimmed hat who has a crossbow trained on a witch at all times. But where did we learn this trope?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Quote Originally Posted by stainboy View Post
    Also, why do witch hunters use crossbows? I mean, I agree with you, witch hunters do use crossbows. When I try to picture a witch hunter it's a dude in a wide-brimmed hat who has a crossbow trained on a witch at all times. But where did we learn this trope?
    It just... seems... right?

    Oh god, is this one of those universal truths they keep telling me about?

    I think it comes from Clint Eastwood/John Woo style movies, where the hard-ass no nonsense hunter of bad guys is a perennial pistol wielder. The closest representation we have for that is a hand crossbow.

    Well, two of them.

    Or one really big one.

    That fires anti-witch bolts, or if you're willing to spend, witches. That are on fire.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Quote Originally Posted by stainboy View Post
    Also, why do witch hunters use crossbows? I mean, I agree with you, witch hunters do use crossbows. When I try to picture a witch hunter it's a dude in a wide-brimmed hat who has a crossbow trained on a witch at all times. But where did we learn this trope?
    Van Helsing perhaps?

    -X
    Chris Bennett
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    I love the fluff.

    I probably wouldn't use your departures from Tome of Battle's usual rules for saving throws. One of the balancing features of maneuvers is that they do not scale themselves (usually), but rather scale by the fact that you're using higher level ones. I do like ErrantX's idea, though.

    The side-benefits for learning a Ruthless Catechism maneuver also seem out of place, especially the one-handed weapon as two-handed thing. That's a rather potent ability to gain for free like that.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Very nice idea. I like it. Of course, it would be even more interesting to see a paladin hunter discipline. The opposite, but against good.

    Regardless, I can't wait for levels 4-9

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Firstly, I'm glad everyone likes the fluff. That seems to be the general consensus . How do the various quotations at the beginning of the maneuvers work for adding flavor? It was a deliberate attempt at invoking kind of a personal note, as if either the character might be thinking/saying these things, or as if this is what they might have been taught by another Witchhunter while learning the discipline. Kind of a window into the mindset.

    Quote Originally Posted by Veyr View Post
    I probably wouldn't use your departures from Tome of Battle's usual rules for saving throws. One of the balancing features of maneuvers is that they do not scale themselves (usually), but rather scale by the fact that you're using higher level ones. I do like ErrantX's idea, though.
    Obviously, I have my own rationale for doing it the way I did. If you think it would be better another way, it's not like I can stop you.
    The side-benefits for learning a Ruthless Catechism maneuver also seem out of place, especially the one-handed weapon as two-handed thing. That's a rather potent ability to gain for free like that.
    You get that for buying the discipline with a feat (it's not free). And it's only "potent" in that it makes a certain fighting style "not pointless". Once again, if I were overhauling a huge chunk of the system, this wouldn't be necessary. It's an inelegant stopgap because this is homebrew, and the only thing I can reliably assume is that the person using it has the Core Books and Tome of Battle. I want to make it as easy to plug in to any game as possible. Requiring someone to jump through whatever are the normal hoops for making one-handed as good as two-handed (if there are any) would not meet this design goal.

    So, inelegant stopgap.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    I like the quotes, they are really awesome. And let us know what you were thinking when you made the manouver.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    OK, I'll buy the "inelegant stopgap" approach, but then I'd not include it in this, I'd just make it part of my houserules.

    Plus, I'm not sure it's necessary at all. With only Core combat rules, sure, but now that you have maneuvers you should provide enough ability to fight that way, ne?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    I reckon the 1-1/2 Strength mod thing is probably unnecessary but the +2 damage per -1 to hit thing is probably practical enough for a two weapon enabling item [or one handed, which is usually even more left out cold than two weapon]
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    So, inelegant stopgap.
    Oh, hey, I missed that, and I commented above that you needed something like that. Sorry.

    You might tack on the rule that if the character chooses to treat a one-handed or light weapon as a two-handed weapon, she can attack with no other melee weapon during that action. Or that the bonus doesn't work with offhand weapons or natural weapons, or something.

    I still disagree on assuming the 1h buff as a house rule though. Homebrew that's only good because another house rule makes it good is hard to port into someone else's campaign.
    Last edited by stainboy; 2011-04-05 at 06:57 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Oh my god. This is awesome.
    I'm never playing a Paladin again. I'm never playing a Gray Guard again either, because this is like Gray Guard: the Discipline, after he stopped taking anti-depressants.

    I like how you integrate crossbows into melee.
    For Nail in the Cross, could you specify whether your weapon stays lodged in their hand, or if you just cause a grievous wound?

    Am I to understand that the Witchhunter suffers no penalties for killing / subjecting to Penance a non-witch that he believes is a witch?
    How about if he knows they're not a witch, and does it anyway?
    I'm betting that there isn't really a possibility of a witchhunter "falling", am I right?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shark Uppercut View Post
    For Nail in the Cross, could you specify whether your weapon stays lodged in their hand, or if you just cause a grievous wound?
    In the case of utilizing a melee weapon, it certainly does not stay in their hand. In the case of using a ranged weapon, I'm not sure if there's a mechanical difference, but if there is, then it just goes through and causes a grievous wound. If there isn't, then describe it in the most awesome way you can think of at the time.
    Am I to understand that the Witchhunter suffers no penalties for killing / subjecting to Penance a non-witch that he believes is a witch?
    No penalty, although it doesn't count as an Act of Penance for the purposes of maneuvers. My advice to GMs and Players using this discipline would be for the GM to explicitly tell the player whether or not it counted as Penance, although their character doesn't actually specifically know unless they were attempting to utilize something like Righteous Inspiration. In that case, they'll definitely feel something is wrong in-character. Whether they choose to feel guilty, or to rationalize it somehow is up to the character's personality.

    But yeah, I wanted to encourage behavior like just crucifying an entire village because one of them is a Witch and you don't have the time to figure out which one it is. After all, if Good people die, they just go to Heaven - no big loss. If they were Evil, served 'em right anyway. Heh.

    Giving out a penalty would quash that sort of play. Though, on that note, I'd suggest checking with your GM before playing a Witchhunter. I'm building mechanics with the notion that the PCs are special badasses, and that past a certain point, normal people just can't touch you. If you play with a GM who does the whole "The Town Guards are always Level X + 5, where X is the party's current level", then some things might not work as intended.

    How about if he knows they're not a witch, and does it anyway?
    I'm betting that there isn't really a possibility of a witchhunter "falling", am I right?
    Nope, the Witchhunter can never fall. Everything is justified - any means is worth the end. And I mean any means.

    To divulge something I specifically intended for the mechanics to allow: the Witchhunter can even become a Witch in his pursuit of witch-hunting (multiclassing into a spellcasting class, for instance). And if he does so, mutilating himself counts as an Act of Penance. So long as you know that you're incapable of healing it in the near future.

    This allows several things, all of which are kind of spooky and off-putting, and some of which may become slightly more obvious as I write more maneuvers.

    ---

    For those posts that I don't specifically quote and reply to: I'm not ignoring you. I'm reading and re-reading every post and taking time to think on them. I just...if I don't directly respond, it's probably because I either don't have a good answer yet, or I simply disagree as a matter of personal opinion, or I just don't have anything interesting to say in response. But in all cases, I very much appreciate the feedback. Feedback, positive, negative, or otherwise, is what keeps homebrewing rewarding.

    To make it clear, in a way, I've specifically intended to make my homebrewed disciplines a little bit better than the Tome of Battle ones. Not in straight power, like having a maneuver that just straight up does 2d6 more damage at the same level, or something like that. More, I'm trying to explore things that I feel, if the discipline were 100% "balanced", the irregularities in the rest of the system would end up skewing them in the opposite direction (or worse, making them uninteresting or annoying to play).

    To give an example, my Infernal Monster discipline, on top of being a full discipline, attempting to balance it with the canon disciplines, it also gives you a free, passive, substantial bonus for using improvised weapons - none of the canon disciplines really have an answer to that. However, using improvised weapons typically sucks. It needs the extra boost so that someone can grab the discipline, plug it in, and have it work at the desired power level.

    Would it be better if the whole system just worked so that every fighting style was just as good as another and the disciplines just stacked perfectly and neatly on top of that? Yeah, but that's outside the scope of my little dinky homebrew discipline. Same thing with the bonus to 1-handed weapons. We may disagree on the scope of the bonus, and that's fine, but know that I'm doing what I think is necessary to meet the design goals of my homebrew. My goal is not to directly balance the discipline as if it were official - I want it to quickly and messily fit into anyone's one-shot where they just grab a Warblade with a few core feats and just go, and be awesome.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Can't wait for other levels

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)



    This looks so eerily familiar and downright useful, if I ever get my hands on ToB. All that is necessary is a simple alteration: priests/favored souls of [anyone in (pantheon of 7) except the death god(dess?)] do not count as witches. Due to worshipping the 'true' pantheon and all. The sun god, for reference, would sponsor an order of crusaders, who all would likely take this instead of Stone Dragon or else take it as their 1st level feat. Yes, the Ruthless Catechism crusaders would in fact be an accepted, trusted, if somewhat singleminded, part of society. Due to the way magic works (basically off willpower of some sort or other), their holy water might actually be holy water created with the bless water spell, and might actually not hurt 'innocents'.

    When you have nonstandard cultural values, morality is subjective, all magic works off belief, and sorcerers can (and have) cause an arcane winter by sneezing too hard in the right(wrong?) place at the right time, the amount of stuff in this discipline that looks sane (if mildly over-the-top) is rather astounding.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Hmmm... has there been any more work on this?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    I'd certainly like to see more work on this. It's an extremely strong anti-caster discipline, for one.

    As far as Salt Ward is concerned, I think that it's a little strong to prevent all abilities from crossing the line, even if it allows a will save. It's definitely a good idea, but I think it may need to work via scaling.
    (Can't cross or destroy the line, then can't use abilities over the line with a later maneuver? I'm not 100% sure how you want to handle scaling, but what I mean is a sort of 'Greater Salt Ward' in a higher level.)

    Personally, in a game world more focused upon lower levels, I could easily believe this discipline only having the three levels. But, of course, not all worlds are like that.

    Is it possible for a witch-hunter to willingly declare that they have fallen, or to renounce the abilities? Are there mechanics for that, or is it a case where the GM has to decide? What I mean is someone deciding that the ends didn't justify all the means, and that they need to take another path.

    And the flip side: Do you have any recommendations for, say, a Paladin who decides his code is restricting him, and the ends DO justify the means, any means, to crush the head of evil?

    Final note: no other maneuver stuck out as problematic except for Salt Ward. The rest seem pretty good, though I'm sure enough effort could cause problems. It's possible to cause problems with a halfling level 1 Warlord/level 3 commoner, though, if I recall right. (Problems like 'I can tame 3 tyrannosaurus rex type dinosaurs and ride around eating towns.')

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Further on Salt Ward: what counts as "inside" the ward if you draw it as a line?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    So far the fluff sounds good. I don't know if there are enough mechanics yet to comment on that in detail.

    A few minor issues:

    Any humanoid or monstrous humanoid with access to spells or spell-like abilities.
    So if they only have supernatural abilities they are fine? This surprises me slightly.

    All saving throws are calculated as DC (10 + 1/2 character level + highest ability modifier).
    Normally one uses a specific ability modifier for that discipline and the maneuver level. I don't think that this by itself will create any balance issues, but I'm curious as to why you choose it (it certainly has the advantage of allowing more flexible character design).

    Salt Ward- What happens if the ward is smudged by someone who is not a witch but is outside it?

    Regarding all the crossbow related stuff- should it maybe apply at DM's discretion to other mechanically similar objects? In particularly, the drow mini crossbow (I know that is statted out somewhere)?

    Nail in the Cross - I think being subject to any magical healing should be sufficient to remove the penalty, otherwise this may be too severe (oh, I still can't heal my hand, because I need to heal the cut on my leg first...?). But it is probably balanced this way. Also, I think it should only count as an act of penance at most twice on the same entity in a week long period. Otherwise, one can use this maneuver repeatedly on a being with fast healing or regeneration to drastically increase the number of Acts of Penance one has performed.

    Righteous Inspiration - CPR is a very modern notion. Also, the last part about knowing one is Righteous seems a bit too heavy handed. maybe just end it as "But, as I hold a Warlock's head in a bucket of holy water until the bubbles stop, and then revive him for round two, all that doubt just washes away with the screams."
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2011-06-20 at 10:04 PM.
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
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    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ruthless Catechism Discipline (Witchhunters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Veyr View Post
    Further on Salt Ward: what counts as "inside" the ward if you draw it as a line?
    One direction is 'outside', the other is 'inside'. As it's a physical barrier to witches, and everyone else can be on either side as they desire, it makes sense to me.

    If there is no 'inside'... then we have a problem, yeah.



    As for the Righteous Inspiration/CPR stuff: I totally didn't realize about the CPR thing. It's a good point, though, as it does break the flavor a bit now that it's been pointed out.

    Oh, also, heavy-handedness seems appropriate. The whole discipline strikes me as for one who's gone a bit crazy in the fighting-evil department. Obsessive, extreme, and very heavy-handed.

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