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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master



    As the Wizards of the Coast wound down their work on 3.5 and prepared the move to 4e, they released a few articles that gave some interesting mechanical transitions between the two games. One of the better conceived ideas was that of the Epic Destinies, which were ways for characters to progress from level 20 to level 30 towards a meaningful goal, and gaining more interesting powers than most Epic feats could offer.

    The problem, of course, is that they made very few Epic Destinies, and many people have taken it upon themselves to make new Destinies for types of characters that the WotC neglected; in my case, the Tome of Battle. Balance is often an issue in homebrew attempts such as these, so know that I did my best to keep the Sublime Master in line with the official Destinies. As a rule of thumb, the powers gained should be slightly stronger than a feat would be, at the cost of flexibility or deviation from the path.

    With no further ado:

    Sublime Master

    You are a legendary warrior, the type of person that doesn't just fight dragons and survive; you enjoy the challenge, and you're disappointed when the dragon doesn't put up enough of a fight. You have mastered the arts of the Sublime Way; through the steel of your blade, the fire in your heart, and your mind's razor edge you have surpassed all but the most powerful warriors and mages in sheer deadly potential and personal strength. You are a one man or woman army, a peerless combatant; but you seek something more. As you search for your true destiny, you become ever more comfortable and skilled with your stances and martial maneuvers, harder to kill or defeat with magic, and eventually you gain a truly enlightened understanding of the Path of the Nine Petal Lotus.

    Requirements: 21st level, must know at least one 9th level martial maneuver

    {table] Level | Benefit
    21st | Economy of Motion, Sagacious Learning
    24th | Iron and Fire
    27th | Consummate Skill
    30th | Master of the Path
    [/table]

    Economy of Motion (Ex): You have gained a level of familiarity and understanding of your martial stances such that it does not even take a token mental effort to enter them. You may enter or leave martial stances as a free action; however, this does not remove other restrictions on your stances, including the number you may be in at one time and when you may enter or leave them.

    Sagacious Learning (Ex): Your understanding of martial maneuvers has made the act of learning new techniques trivial at best, and your knowledge of the different disciplines continues to expand and develop. From now on whenever you gain a level that increases your initiator level you may learn either two new maneuvers or one stance that you meet the prerequisites for. Additionally, you gain access to a new discipline of your choice when you gain this ability and at levels 24, 27, and 30. Finally, you may prepare one additional maneuver at levels 24, 27, and 30.

    Iron and Fire (Ex): The constant training and combat your body undergoes has made it far more resilient than any normal mortal; in much the same way, your never-ending mental discipline and focus have honed your mind and granted you a measure of protection against harmful magic. You gain Fast Healing 5, become immune to all diseases and poisons, and gain spell resistance equal to your initiator level + 10. If you already have spell resistance, use whichever one is higher, but with a +3 bonus. Finally, you no longer gain penalties for aging, though you continue to accrue bonuses.

    Consummate Skill (Ex): You have begun to reach a great understanding, one that underlays all nine martial disciplines; the truth that Reshar himself sought to understand. You have begun to see that the Nine are but facets of the One; each is connected to all the others, irrevocably interwoven. Whenever you expend a martial maneuver you may ready another maneuver of the same type (strike, counter, boost) as a free action as long as the second maneuver is of a different school than the first.

    Master of the Path (Ex): You have reached the pinnacle of skill, and your maneuvers are ingrained in you as deeply as breathing. You do not expend martial maneuvers when you use them; instead, they remain readied. Additionally, due to Consummate Skill, you may ready another maneuver of a different school whenever you use a maneuver. All maneuvers readied above your normal limit are lost at the end of combat.

    Wandering Sage: With the complete mastery of the Sublime Way, you no longer have anything to prove, nor does furthering your skill hold any purpose. You lay down your arms and armor, and take up nothing more than a simple walking stick. Age holds no claim over you, and though your hair may be white your body is as powerful and hale as it ever was. You set out, not knowing where you will travel, but with one truth in your mind; long ago, the founder of the Nine set out on a similar journey. Perhaps you will meet Reshar himself along the way; or perhaps you will walk into myth and legend, as tales of your heroism and skill are told throughout the ages.

    Creator's Notes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I thought I'd take a moment to discuss each ability, to give my reasoning behind it. If you disagree, and have a suggestion, I would absolutely love to hear it.

    Economy of Motion is a simple, straightforward ability that makes bookkeeping at Epic levels a little bit easier. You have a lot of things that require Swift actions as an initiator, and freeing up your stances just gives you a little more flexibility, and a little more ability to show off all your neat powers.

    Sagacious Learning would be really powerful if you were a spellcaster; but as a martial initiator, the sad truth is that there are a limited number of powerful maneuvers. Most of what Sagacious Learning does is add to your versatility, and it gives you the room to pick up interesting maneuvers and stances that you would otherwise have to pass over.

    Iron and Fire isn't very ToB focused, but it gives you a few handy abilities that are pretty minor for a character of your level, but unavailable from other sources. Fast Healing reduces your reliance on items and other players, and it allows you to heal yourself outside of combat. The immunity to disease and poison are pretty standard, and will rarely come into play at such a high level. The spell resistance is the best part of this ability, but a spellcaster of your level with no caster level boosts and no Spell Penetration will still beat it half the time; it's to keep lots of lower-level casters from messing with you, not for foiling the Big Bad Evil Guy. And the no-aging clause is thematic and cool, but generally irrelevant to gameplay.

    Consummate Skill is like Sagacious Learning; on a spellcaster, it would be crazy powerful, but as an initiator there are a limited number of maneuvers that are powerful or useful in any given situation. This ability grants you greater flexibility, and it lets you show off your wide range of techniques without requiring you to prepare niche maneuvers.

    And finally, we have Master of the Path, an ability that I took quite while to come to terms with. At first read, it seems extraordinarily strong; after a fight of any length you may have more or less all of your maneuvers prepared and ready to use endlessly. The reason why this isn't overpowered is the simple fact that the vast majority of maneuvers do not scale to your level, and what is strong at level 20 is rather mediocre at level 30. For example, Strike of Perfect Clarity grants an additional 100 damage on a standard attack. At level 20, when an average PC may have around 200 hit points, this is a serious amount of damage. At level 30, when people are running around with piles of death-preventing spells, temporary hp buffers, and twice the hit points of a level 20 character, it just doesn't pack the same punch. The ability to use nearly all of their strikes, boosts, and counters fluidly and frequently gives the character the ability to really fight the kind of threats you face at level 30; and under the Epic Destiny system, 30 is about as high as you get before the character is meant to move on to greater things.


    Change Log:
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    12/2/12-11:19: Added "...and your knowledge of the different disciplines expands. ... Additionally, you gain access to another martial discipline, if you do not already have access to all of them. Finally, as long as you know a single maneuver from a discipline you may ignore all other prerequisites for maneuvers of that discipline" to Sagacious Learning.

    12/3/12-12:24: Added "If you already have spell resistance, use whichever one is higher, but with a +3 bonus" to Iron and Fire.

    12/13/12-1:54: Changed Sagacious Learning from "Your understanding of martial maneuvers has made the act of learning new techniques trivial at best, and your knowledge of the different disciplines expands. From here on out, if you would learn a martial maneuver or stance you learn two instead. Additionally, you gain access to another martial discipline, if you do not already have access to all of them. Finally, as long as you know a single maneuver from a discipline you may ignore all other prerequisites for maneuvers of that discipline" to the current text.

    3/7/13-2:24: Clarified the action required to use Consummate Skill.
    Last edited by RaggedAngel; 2013-03-07 at 02:24 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    I love seeing Tome of Battle homebrew and I love seeing Epic Homebrew. Needless to say I love this Epic Destiny
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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master



    As the Wizards of the Coast wound down their work on 3.5 and prepared the move to 4e, they released a few articles that gave some interesting mechanical transitions between the two games. One of the better conceived ideas was that of the Epic Destinies, which were ways for characters to progress from level 20 to level 30 towards a meaningful goal, and gaining more interesting powers than most Epic feats could offer.

    The problem, of course, is that they made very few Epic Destinies, and many people have taken it upon themselves to make new Destinies for types of characters that the WotC neglected; in my case, the Tome of Battle. Balance is often an issue in homebrew attempts such as these, so know that I did my best to keep the Sublime Master in line with the official Destinies. As a rule of thumb, the powers gained should be slightly stronger than a feat would be, at the cost of flexibility or deviation from the path.
    Alright, Ragged!

    Let's see what we got here.
    With no further ado:

    Sublime Master

    You are a legendary warrior, the type of person that doesn't just fight dragons and survive; you enjoy the challenge, and you're disappointed when the dragon doesn't put up enough of a fight. You have mastered the arts of the Sublime Way; through the steel of your blade, the fire in your heart, and your mind's razor edge you have surpassed all but the most powerful warriors and mages in sheer deadly potential and personal strength. You are a one man or woman army, a peerless combatant; but you seek something more. As you search for your true destiny, you become ever more comfortable and skilled with your stances and martial maneuvers, harder to kill or defeat with magic, and eventually you gain a truly enlightened understanding of the Path of the Nine Petal Lotus.

    Requirements: 21st level, must know at least one 9th level martial maneuver

    {table] Level | Benefit
    21st | Economy of Motion, Sagacious Learning
    24th | Iron and Fire
    27th | Consummate Skill
    30th | Master of the Path
    [/table]

    Economy of Motion (Ex): You have gained a level of familiarity and understanding of your martial stances such that it does not even take a token mental effort to enter them. You may enter or leave martial stances as a free action; however, this does not remove other restrictions on your stances, including the number you may be in at one time and when you may enter or leave them.
    This seems a bit weak compared to other Epic Destinies of this level. Most appear to give various bonuses to different things, such as the Divine Spark from the Demigod. Also, most have two abilities at this level. Missed that the below ability is also gained with this.

    How about a small bonus based on what discipline's stance you're in? Something like:

    Footwork of the Master(Ex): Your mastery over the disciplines is most impressive. You take care to every single detail and form, making every move count to it's up most effectiveness. Whenever you are in a stance, you gain an additional bonus, depending on what discipline the stance is from.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Desert Wind: Only the weak one's flames can be stopped. Your flames are the strongest, for even the flames of the nine are burnt out by yours. All fire damage dealt by any Desert Wind maneuver or stance while you are in a Desert Wind stance halves fire resistance, or deals half damage on immunity, for your attacks.

    Diamond Mind: You focus is that of an infinitely sharp needle, unable to be stopped by any except your own. And with that focus, you strike, never yielding to a foe. You gain a +5 bonus to Concentration checks, and may take 10 on such checks, even if you would ordinarily not be able to.

    Devoted Spirit: As an outstanding champion of your beliefs, you are a light for all of your beliefs. None can stamp out your light as you surge forth, destroying all who dare assault your own beliefs. You gain the benefits of a Daylight spell, except it's level is treated as the level of the stance which you are in for the purposes of it's interaction with dark spells. In addition, those within 30ft feel the warmth of your light, gaining a +2 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls.

    Iron Heart: You are an unstoppable onslaught of war, whose carnage is unequal. No matter what a foe does, it's only a matter of time until your sword cuts through them. You gain a +5 bonus to one saving throws (Chosen when you enter the stance), and multiply your strength modifier by 1.5 for the purposes of weapon attack and damage rolls.

    Setting Sun: Foes are helpless at your feet, unable to do anything as you deny their every move. As you move throughout the battlefield, enemies fall, and yet you move as graceful as the waters, untouched by the carnage. You may treat foe's as one size larger or smaller for the purposes of your maneuvers, including trip attempts as part of the maneuver.

    Shadow Hand: Unseen by the foe, or perhaps the foe is too debilitated to notice you. In any case, none can match you. Those who might cannot find you, and find themselves weakened by your continued assault. Foe's struck by your attack Shadow Hand Strikes suffer a penalty to their attack rolls equal to the level of the maneuver, and half the level (rounded down) to saves vs your Shadow Hand maneuvers. These penalties last until the end of your next round. These penalties do not stack with themselves, only the highest one counts at any one time.

    Stone Dragon: As one with the earth, you blows are ferociously hard to defend oneself from. Most crumble under your attacks, their defenses shattered. And yet your defenses are impossibly tough, as none can get past. You no longer need to be on the ground to initiate Stone Dragon maneuver (as long as you remain in a Stone Dragon stance), and you may move at your normal speed and remain in Stone Dragon stances. In addition, whenever you would use a maneuver that ignores hardness and/or damage reduction, you leave the foe's defenses crippled. The foe suffers a penalty to hardness, damage reduction, and natural armor equal to the level of the maneuver. This can reduce any of the above below zero.

    Tiger Claw: The beast of battle. All fall under you assault, most cannot even make out your attacks, they are too numerous! You no longer suffer any penalties for fighting with two weapons. In addition, you whenever you are hit by a foe, you gain a +4 moral bonus to attack and damage rolls against that foe your next round.

    White Raven: The Voice of the Lion, or so they call you. You voice inspires others, encouraging them to continue even after most would of given up. You change the tides of battle by simply being there. All allies within 30ft can continue to act when below zero hp, are automatically stabilized, and can perform strenuous activities without and detrimental effects. In addition, all allies within 30ft do not die when they reach -10hp; instead, they may continue to fight until reach -(10 + IL) hp. If they move from beyond 30ft of you, however, they die if they are below -10hp, as per normal. They also start to suffer the effects of strenuous activities if they move beyond 30ft of you.


    Sagacious Learning (Ex): Your understanding of martial maneuvers has made the act of learning new techniques trivial at best. From here on out, if you would learn a martial maneuver or stance you learn two instead.
    The only problem I have with this is for someone who has already learned a majority of the highest level maneuvers that they have access to..... Perhaps also giving them access to one other discipline? (although it doesn't help Masters of Nine).
    Iron and Fire (Ex): The constant training and combat your body undergoes has made it far more resilient than any normal mortal; in much the same way, your never-ending mental discipline and focus have honed your mind and granted you a measure of protection against harmful magic. You gain Fast Healing 5, become immune to all diseases and poisons, and gain spell resistance equal to your initiator level + 10. Finally, you no longer gain penalties for aging, though you continue to accrue bonuses.
    Seems good to me. It seems to me that some of the bonuses granted by the other Epic Destinies are pretty specific at this level though..... Although that's more with them than you.
    Consummate Skill (Ex): You have begun to reach a great understanding, one that underlays all nine martial disciplines; the truth that Reshar himself sought to understand. You have begun to see that the Nine are but facets of the One; each is connected to all the others, irrevocably interwoven. Whenever you expend a martial maneuver you may immediately ready another maneuver of the same type (strike, counter, boost) as long as the second maneuver is of a different school than the first.
    Interesting! Encourages the use of multiple disciplines, especially with the 21st level ability to help you learn more.
    Master of the Path (Ex): You have reached the pinnacle of skill, and your maneuvers are ingrained in you as deeply as breathing. You do not expend martial maneuvers when you use them; instead, they remain readied. Additionally, due to Consummate Skill, you may ready another maneuver of a different school whenever you use a maneuver. All maneuvers readied above your normal limit are lost at the end of combat.
    Hmmm...... So if a combat lasts long enough, you'll be able to use all of your maneuvers at will? Interesting.....

    I do have one problem though, although it's more with maneuvers in general than with this. Most of the maneuvers of lower levels are near useless at higher levels (or simply have a higher level counterpart), which can mean the addition readied maneuver granted by this (in combination with the previous ability) could become useless. It'd be hard to fix this problem though.
    Wandering Sage: With the complete mastery of the Sublime Way, you no longer have anything to prove, nor does furthering your skill hold any purpose. You lay down your arms and armor, and take up nothing more than a simple walking stick. Age holds no claim over you, and though your hair may be white your body is as powerful and hale as it ever was. You set out, not knowing where might go, but with one truth in you mind; long ago, the founder of the Nine set out on a similar journey. Perhaps you will meet Reshar himself along the way; or perhaps you will walk into myth and legend, as tales of your heroism and skill are told throughout the ages.
    Fluff. Always good!

    Creator's Notes:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I thought I'd take a moment to discuss each ability, to give my reasoning behind it. If you disagree, and have a suggestion, I would absolutely love to hear it.

    Economy of Motion is a simple, straightforward ability that makes bookkeeping at Epic levels a little bit easier. You have a lot of things that require Swift actions as an initiator, and freeing up your stances just gives you a little more flexibility, and a little more ability to show off all your neat powers.
    Spoiler
    Show

    It's true that this does give you a little bit more flexibility, although there are some who remain in one or a select few stances *cough*ShadowBlade*cough* and will gain very little from this.
    Sagacious Learning would be really powerful if you were a spellcaster; but as a martial initiator, the sad truth is that there are a limited number of powerful maneuvers. Most of what Sagacious Learning does is add to your versatility, and it gives you the room to pick up interesting maneuvers and stances that you would otherwise have to pass over.
    Couldn't say this any better. Although as above, it'd be neat to gain access to another discipline with this.
    Iron and Fire isn't very ToB focused, but it gives you a few handy abilities that are pretty minor for a character of your level, but unavailable from other sources. Fast Healing reduces your reliance on items and other players, and it allows you to heal yourself outside of combat. The immunity to disease and poison are pretty standard, and will rarely come into play at such a high level. The spell resistance is the best part of this ability, but a spellcaster of your level with no caster level boosts and no Spell Penetration will still beat it half the time; it's to keep lots of lower-level casters from messing with you, not for foiling the Big Bad Evil Guy. And the no-aging clause is thematic and cool, but generally irrelevant to gameplay.
    I support this ability; as is (as you have said), it gives you a set of different abilities, some minor at this point of the game, but can still be useful.

    +1 Thumbs up for being able to make a thousands of years old character with this
    Consummate Skill is like Sagacious Learning; on a spellcaster, it would be crazy powerful, but as an initiator there are a limited number of maneuvers that are powerful or useful in any given situation. This ability grants you greater flexibility, and it lets you show off your wide range of techniques without requiring you to prepare niche maneuvers.
    As said above, the main problem is if you already have most of the maneuvers, and/or a lot readied (AKA Swordsage/Master of Nine already has quite a number of maneuvers readied).

    Although this does allow you to gain niche maneuvers later in on in combat. But with the few number of times that would happen in combat (again, depending on your build), this may or may not be useful.

    And finally, we have Master of the Path, an ability that I took quite while to come to terms with. At first read, it seems extraordinarily strong; after a fight of any length you may have more or less all of your maneuvers prepared and ready to use endlessly. The reason why this isn't overpowered is the simple fact that the vast majority of maneuvers do not scale to your level, and what is strong at level 20 is rather mediocre at level 30. For example, Strike of Perfect Clarity grants an additional 100 damage on a standard attack. At level 20, when an average PC may have around 200 hit points, this is a serious amount of damage. At level 30, when people are running around with piles of death-preventing spells, temporary hp buffers, and twice the hit points of a level 20 character, it just doesn't pack the same punch. The ability to use nearly all of their strikes, boosts, and counters fluidly and frequently gives the character the ability to really fight the kind of threats you face at level 30; and under the Epic Destiny system, 30 is about as high as you get before the character is meant to move on to greater things.
    I actually like this ability as it.

    Closing thoughts: Overall, I like it. But for someone who say, already has a high pool of maneuvers known and readied, this is less useful than for say, a straight Warblade.

    One thing I'd like to see is a boost to lower level maneuvers, AKA metamagic for lower level maneuver (increasing your flexability even more, and allowing for lower level maneuvers to compete with higher ones). But I don't know how'd you feel about this.

    And that's all I can thing of at the moment!
    homebrew

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  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by bindin garoth View Post
    This seems a bit weak compared to other Epic Destinies of this level. Most appear to give various bonuses to different things, such as the Divine Spark from the Demigod. Also, most have two abilities at this level. Missed that the below ability is also gained with this.
    It may seem a tad weak, but trust me, when you play an Epic ToB character you're spending a tremendous amount of Swift actions; for a Warblade or Master of Nine, this ability saves you a ton of hassle.

    How about a small bonus based on what discipline's stance you're in? Something like:

    Footwork of the Master(Ex): Your mastery over the disciplines is most impressive. You take care to every single detail and form, making every move count to it's up most effectiveness. Whenever you are in a stance, you gain an additional bonus, depending on what discipline the stance is from.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Desert Wind: Only the weak one's flames can be stopped. Your flames are the strongest, for even the flames of the nine are burnt out by yours. All fire damage dealt by any Desert Wind maneuver or stance while you are in a Desert Wind stance halves fire resistance, or deals half damage on immunity, for your attacks.

    Diamond Mind: You focus is that of an infinitely sharp needle, unable to be stopped by any except your own. And with that focus, you strike, never yielding to a foe. You gain a +5 bonus to Concentration checks, and may take 10 on such checks, even if you would ordinarily not be able to.

    Devoted Spirit: As an outstanding champion of your beliefs, you are a light for all of your beliefs. None can stamp out your light as you surge forth, destroying all who dare assault your own beliefs. You gain the benefits of a Daylight spell, except it's level is treated as the level of the stance which you are in for the purposes of it's interaction with dark spells. In addition, those within 30ft feel the warmth of your light, gaining a +2 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls.

    Iron Heart: You are an unstoppable onslaught of war, whose carnage is unequal. No matter what a foe does, it's only a matter of time until your sword cuts through them. You gain a +5 bonus to one saving throws (Chosen when you enter the stance), and multiply your strength modifier by 1.5 for the purposes of weapon attack and damage rolls.

    Setting Sun: Foes are helpless at your feet, unable to do anything as you deny their every move. As you move throughout the battlefield, enemies fall, and yet you move as graceful as the waters, untouched by the carnage. You may treat foe's as one size larger or smaller for the purposes of your maneuvers, including trip attempts as part of the maneuver.

    Shadow Hand: Unseen by the foe, or perhaps the foe is too debilitated to notice you. In any case, none can match you. Those who might cannot find you, and find themselves weakened by your continued assault. Foe's struck by your attack Shadow Hand Strikes suffer a penalty to their attack rolls equal to the level of the maneuver, and half the level (rounded down) to saves vs your Shadow Hand maneuvers. These penalties last until the end of your next round. These penalties do not stack with themselves, only the highest one counts at any one time.

    Stone Dragon: As one with the earth, you blows are ferociously hard to defend oneself from. Most crumble under your attacks, their defenses shattered. And yet your defenses are impossibly tough, as none can get past. You no longer need to be on the ground to initiate Stone Dragon maneuver (as long as you remain in a Stone Dragon stance), and you may move at your normal speed and remain in Stone Dragon stances. In addition, whenever you would use a maneuver that ignores hardness and/or damage reduction, you leave the foe's defenses crippled. The foe suffers a penalty to hardness, damage reduction, and natural armor equal to the level of the maneuver. This can reduce any of the above below zero.

    Tiger Claw: The beast of battle. All fall under you assault, most cannot even make out your attacks, they are too numerous! You no longer suffer any penalties for fighting with two weapons. In addition, you whenever you are hit by a foe, you gain a +4 moral bonus to attack and damage rolls against that foe your next round.

    White Raven: The Voice of the Lion, or so they call you. You voice inspires others, encouraging them to continue even after most would of given up. You change the tides of battle by simply being there. All allies within 30ft can continue to act when below zero hp, are automatically stabilized, and can perform strenuous activities without and detrimental effects. In addition, all allies within 30ft do not die when they reach -10hp; instead, they may continue to fight until reach -(10 + IL) hp. If they move from beyond 30ft of you, however, they die if they are below -10hp, as per normal. They also start to suffer the effects of strenuous activities if they move beyond 30ft of you.
    This right here is an impressive bit of homebrew, though I would certainly tweak a few of these. Honestly, though, I feel that these abilities would be a bit too much, compared to the official Epic Destinies; especially when you consider the fact that many high level character can be in multiple stances.

    The only problem I have with this is for someone who has already learned a majority of the highest level maneuvers that they have access to..... Perhaps also giving them access to one other discipline? (although it doesn't help Masters of Nine).
    That sounds like a grand idea; and I'll also put in something about removing restrictions, so they can select from their new discipline more freely.

    I do have one problem though, although it's more with maneuvers in general than with this. Most of the maneuvers of lower levels are near useless at higher levels (or simply have a higher level counterpart), which can mean the addition readied maneuver granted by this (in combination with the previous ability) could become useless. It'd be hard to fix this problem though.
    This is true, but that's definitely more of an issue with the system than the ability. I still feel like there are enough maneuvers that scale to make this a strong and useful ability.
    Fluff. Always good!
    Just keeping to my source material.
    Closing thoughts: Overall, I like it. But for someone who say, already has a high pool of maneuvers known and readied, this is less useful than for say, a straight Warblade.

    One thing I'd like to see is a boost to lower level maneuvers, AKA metamagic for lower level maneuver (increasing your flexability even more, and allowing for lower level maneuvers to compete with higher ones). But I don't know how'd you feel about this.
    This is certainly skewed towards Swordsages and Masters of Nine; I almost made a requirement be "knowledge of maneuvers from six or more disciplines", but I decided against it. I'm trying to reward for versatility here, so I'm glad you got that vibe.

    And as for maneuver metamagic, I'm working on a tenth discipline that is the Stem of the Nine Petal Lotus, so to speak. Wait and see what I have in store, and thank you so much for the advice!
    Last edited by RaggedAngel; 2012-12-02 at 11:18 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    It may seem a tad weak, but trust me, when you play an Epic ToB character you're spending a tremendous amount of Swift actions; for a Warblade or Master of Nine, this ability saves you a ton of hassle.
    I guess that's true, considering how many counters those get (or the number of boosts a swordsage gets).

    This right here is an impressive bit of homebrew, though I would certainly tweak a few of these. Honestly, though, I feel that these abilities would be a bit too much, compared to the official Epic Destinies; especially when you consider the fact that many high level character can be in multiple stances.
    Could always put in a clause that states you only can benefit from any one of these at any time. Changing the benefit if in multiple stances would be a 1/round free action, as part of changing stances.

    Could reduce some of the benefits if you'd like. (Desert Wind could really use the help at these levels!)
    That sounds like a grand idea; and I'll also put in something about removing restrictions, so they can select from their new discipline more freely.

    This is certainly skewed towards Swordsages and Masters of Nine; I almost made a requirement be "knowledge of maneuvers from six or more disciplines", but I decided against it. I'm trying to reward for versatility here, so I'm glad you got that vibe.
    Sure did get that vibe! I could also see a Warblade 20 (with a few martial studies perhaps) taking Master of Nine his first few levels with this epic destiny. I'd actually almost argue that this (or Crusader), with Master of Nine's access to every discipline, would benefit most from this epic destiny. Not that I'm complaining though.
    And as for maneuver metamagic, I'm working on a tenth discipline that is the Stem of the Nine Petal Lotus, so to speak. Wait and see what I have in store, and thank you so much for the advice!
    No problem! Always happy to lend a hand.

    And I will! If I (somehow) miss it, just PM me and I'll take a look at it!
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Interesting. Overall, I think I like it. My main qualm is not about balance, but rather utility. This ability -
    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    Sagacious Learning (Ex): Your understanding of martial maneuvers has made the act of learning new techniques trivial at best. From here on out, if you would learn a martial maneuver or stance you learn two instead.
    - would be excellent if it were acquired earlier in the character's career, or if it applied retroactively, or something. But epic progressions of base classes normally don't grant more spells known, or psionic powers known, or equivalent pseudo-magical abilities. Epic incarnates don't get more soulmelds or chakra binds. Epic warlocks don't get more invocations. And so on. There's no official epic progression for the martial adept classes, but the homebrew epic progressions I'm familiar with follow the same principle.

    In short: by default, a single-classed martial adept doesn't get anything from this feature.

    It's possible to get more spells/powers/whatevers through epic feats, usually, and the same is presumably true of maneuvers (Krimm's version has an epic feat that gives you two maneuvers and a stance). But all this ability will do is enhance those feats a little.

    If you took a prestige class and can finish your base class in epic levels, then this feature will give you quite a bit. Multiclass martial adepts who manage to qualify for this destiny will benefit too. But the fact that it provides a single-classed martial adept so little bugs me. It's not quite useless, but you have to go out of your way to make it work and it favors certain types of character much more than others.

    Gaining more maneuvers known is not a bad idea for a destiny feature, but this mechanism doesn't seem like a good one. Perhaps you should just grant a certain number of maneuvers/stances known instead? Have it grant 1 maneuver or stance (your choice) at each level, or a certain number at 21st/24th/27th/30th, or something like that.

    Edit - just saw the revision. Granting an extra discipline helps, but I would still change the feature so as not to favor prestige classed adepts over single-classed.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    What about other homebrewed disciplines (there are something like 70 out there; sirpercival has the catalog linked from his sig, iirc.)?

    Wait, strike that, I was aiming that at bindin garoth's bit of 'brew, but I just saw that you aren't going with that.

    If you want a quick boost to lower level maneuvers, check my sig for the Touched Warrior; it modifies maneuvers with eldritch essences.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    What about other homebrewed disciplines (there are something like 70 out there; sirpercival has the catalog linked from his sig, iirc.)?

    Wait, strike that, I was aiming that at bindin garoth's bit of 'brew, but I just saw that you aren't going with that.
    Yeah, odd though it may seem this isn't really meant to be used with other homebrew, though it certainly can be. It's more intended to fill a missing gap than replace any printed material; and even if I were to include Bindin's idea for a feature, I would be hard-pressed to expand it to include every single homebrew'd discipline. They are both numerous and occasionally rather complicated.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Well well.

    First off it really does feel like its focused towards Swordsages and Master of Nine goers. Swordsages have, at least to me, always been about the Path and the Way. They see the paths as steps and they learn the way that people typically interpret Reshar: As a wandering, battling Sage. While this could apply to Warblades and Crusaders, they've almost always been about either A: The glory of the fight and the victory that comes with it, by always testing their raw physical prowess against bigger and greater challenges, or B: Proving oneself to one's cause/deity, to further an ideal or to embody that ideal itself. I can't see either one of these typically becoming the Wandering Sage. Maybe, sure, but not typically. Perhaps modify this to slightly synergize with Swordsage/Mo9 more, and make two new Destinies, one for Warblades, and one for Crusaders? Legendary Warlord and Truest Leader or something.

    Second, whenever using Homebrew Disciplines, I always kept my things to nine. In TD1's work, he references swapping disciplines in several instances, and that has always kept me with a safe number to work with, rather than a whole menagerie of Disciplines to be using.

    Economy of Motion: A lot of Epic Destiny abilities gave simple things, sure, but if they did, they'd give more than one simple thing at a time. Free Action for Stances itself sounds like a nifty Epic Feat.

    Sagacious Learning: Even with the granted access to a new discipline you haven't taken things from, this only really benefits someone if they take a feat to learn new Maneuvers (Krimm's Epic Martial Study comes to mind, but seeing as you're taking an Epic Destiny, you only get them if you get them from Epic Class Progressions) or take a PrC to get new Maneuvers into levels 20+ (Which would interefere with an Epic Class Progression to get Epic Bonus Feats somewhat).

    Iron and Fire: I often find myself lacking these things when playing normal Epic games, so this is useful. Only thing I'd add is something about stacking; like, if you already have a source of Spell Resistance, take which one is higher, and add an additional +2 or +3 to it.

    Consummate Skill and Master of the Path: I'm giggling madly and I love these abilities quite a lot. They're definitely good at the levels they're at.

    I like it overall.

    ... probably going to ask to use it for Jarian's game.
    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    Yeah, odd though it may seem this isn't really meant to be used with other homebrew, though it certainly can be. It's more intended to fill a missing gap than replace any printed material; and even if I were to include Bindin's idea for a feature, I would be hard-pressed to expand it to include every single homebrew'd discipline. They are both numerous and occasionally rather complicated.
    Honestly, I'd leave tailoring it to homebrew disciplines to individual players with their respective DMs. I generally only stick to homebrew disciplines by TD1 and Pair O' Dice, but that's just me, and that' still more than nine more new disciplines to have to deal with all at once.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardea View Post
    Well well.

    First off it really does feel like its focused towards Swordsages and Master of Nine goers. Swordsages have, at least to me, always been about the Path and the Way. They see the paths as steps and they learn the way that people typically interpret Reshar: As a wandering, battling Sage. While this could apply to Warblades and Crusaders, they've almost always been about either A: The glory of the fight and the victory that comes with it, by always testing their raw physical prowess against bigger and greater challenges, or B: Proving oneself to one's cause/deity, to further an ideal or to embody that ideal itself. I can't see either one of these typically becoming the Wandering Sage. Maybe, sure, but not typically. Perhaps modify this to slightly synergize with Swordsage/Mo9 more, and make two new Destinies, one for Warblades, and one for Crusaders? Legendary Warlord and Truest Leader or something.
    This is definitely intended to be primarily for Swordsages and Masters of Nine; while a Warblade or Crusader could potentially benefit from this Destiny, they would usually be better off picking Epic feats that suit their fighting style. I could certainly be convinced to making two more Destinies for the other two classes/playstyles, however.

    Economy of Motion: A lot of Epic Destiny abilities gave simple things, sure, but if they did, they'd give more than one simple thing at a time. Free Action for Stances itself sounds like a nifty Epic Feat.
    Do you find this ability too weak? I was concerned with it being too strong when I wrote it.
    Sagacious Learning: Even with the granted access to a new discipline you haven't taken things from, this only really benefits someone if they take a feat to learn new Maneuvers (Krimm's Epic Martial Study comes to mind, but seeing as you're taking an Epic Destiny, you only get them if you get them from Epic Class Progressions) or take a PrC to get new Maneuvers into levels 20+ (Which would interefere with an Epic Class Progression to get Epic Bonus Feats somewhat).
    I was imagining that they would be taking levels in a PrC, or that they would be finishing levels in their base class. I am, however, considering changing the way Sagacious Learning gives you extra maneuvers; perhaps just an extra two maneuvers or one stance each level from 21-30?

    Iron and Fire: I often find myself lacking these things when playing normal Epic games, so this is useful. Only thing I'd add is something about stacking; like, if you already have a source of Spell Resistance, take which one is higher, and add an additional +2 or +3 to it.
    "Useful" is the point of this ability, so I'm glad you think so. And yeah, the Spell Resistance should have a clause in there about stacking; thank you for pointing that out.

    Consummate Skill and Master of the Path: I'm giggling madly and I love these abilities quite a lot. They're definitely good at the levels they're at.
    I happen to agree.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    This is definitely intended to be primarily for Swordsages and Masters of Nine; while a Warblade or Crusader could potentially benefit from this Destiny, they would usually be better off picking Epic feats that suit their fighting style. I could certainly be convinced to making two more Destinies for the other two classes/playstyles, however.
    As an avid Warblade-user, let me help?
    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    Do you find this ability too weak? I was concerned with it being too strong when I wrote it.
    It only helps alleviate one part of the Action Economy that a ToB-user would use. If you're going to help out Swordsages/Mo9s moreso with this, put in something about Boosts. Maybe be able to use it again next round, for free? Thereby extending its effects to two rounds, but still freeing up their action economy a bit? Don't know how to properly make it interact with their Dual Boost thing, though, so hey. Get creative.
    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    I was imagining that they would be taking levels in a PrC, or that they would be finishing levels in their base class. I am, however, considering changing the way Sagacious Learning gives you extra maneuvers; perhaps just an extra two maneuvers or one stance each level from 21-30?
    Sure, but that seems like giving someone an orange when they asked for an apple: There's still a problem, and this... sorta fixes it? I guess?

    Breaking it down, you have something for using Stances, and something for Expending and Readying Maneuvers indefinitely.

    Giving them more maneuvers would be the equivalent of just letting them get a bunch of feats for free. A Fighter gets those, and we all know how much the Fighter sucks. Maybe give it something regarding a mastery of the sublime way. Maybe let them have their own set that they've built up, but let them copy or counteract what other ToB-users do? It'd be really specific, and dependent on what the DM does for the Campaign, but I'd be more interested in something regarding Maneuver knowledge and mastery, rather than a bunch of feats.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardea View Post
    Sure, but that seems like giving someone an orange when they asked for an apple: There's still a problem, and this... sorta fixes it? I guess?

    Breaking it down, you have something for using Stances, and something for Expending and Readying Maneuvers indefinitely.

    Giving them more maneuvers would be the equivalent of just letting them get a bunch of feats for free. A Fighter gets those, and we all know how much the Fighter sucks. Maybe give it something regarding a mastery of the sublime way. Maybe let them have their own set that they've built up, but let them copy or counteract what other ToB-users do? It'd be really specific, and dependent on what the DM does for the Campaign, but I'd be more interested in something regarding Maneuver knowledge and mastery, rather than a bunch of feats.
    I think I see what you're saying here. Sagacious Learning, at the level you get it, just doesn't provide much of a benefit. You already have a metric ton of maneuvers, and you likely already have the strongest ones that you'll be preparing. So why not give a different bonus or ability that deals with a different aspect of the Sublime Way?

    I will think about a good replacement, because I believe that I agree with you.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    What about other homebrewed disciplines (there are something like 70 out there; sirpercival has the catalog linked from his sig, iirc.)?
    Try add at least a hundred to that. I catalogued about a hundred a few days before sirpercival began his effort, though a third of what I had overlapped with what he had catalogued when I first saw his thread. At least a dozen have since been added and I'm still seeing more disciplines pop up every week.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    Try add at least a hundred to that. I catalogued about a hundred a few days before sirpercival began his effort, though a third of what I had overlapped with what he had catalogued when I first saw his thread. At least a dozen have since been added and I'm still seeing more disciplines pop up every week.
    Which is why I feel like referencing any other homebrew in my homebrew is a bad idea. Who do I pick? Where do I stop? I feel that it's better to leave things mostly open ended.
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    I think I see what you're saying here. Sagacious Learning, at the level you get it, just doesn't provide much of a benefit. You already have a metric ton of maneuvers, and you likely already have the strongest ones that you'll be preparing. So why not give a different bonus or ability that deals with a different aspect of the Sublime Way?

    I will think about a good replacement, because I believe that I agree with you.
    *waves hands* Look at my stance bonuses from my previous post! Perhaps only benefiting from one of the abilities listed (most of them give two bonuses). And also insert a clause stating if you can enter in multiple stances, you still only gain the benefits of one of these. The benefit can be switched with the same action as switching stances (or changed as part of actually switching stances).

    For Example:

    Desert Wind: Hales Resistance/Half on Immunity. I wouldn't change it due to to many foes having resistance and immunity at this level. Although I guess you could just change half of the damage to pure divine damage that cannot be resisted (almost the same thing, not quite though).

    Diamond Mind: Perhaps just the ability to take 10? It's strong, sure (considering the number of maneuvers require a concentration check), although I don't know if I'd consider it too strong. After all, a Warblade with the right feats can become psionically focused every round as a move action and then take 15 on the check.

    Devoted Spirit: Only keep the morale bonus. Besides, the daylight spell ability doesn't fit those who are champions of the darkness.

    Iron Heart: Honestly, I feel that keeping either one of these would fit the discipline.

    Setting Sun: Perhaps just the ability to trip ones larger than oneself? Considering the number of larger creatures (especially in epic), I don't know that this needs changed (except for those who would still insist on optimizing size, though then they may be getting a DM thrown at their head anyways )

    Shadow Hand: Perhaps just a penalty to saving throws? Since Shadow Hand is about disability and gaining the upper hand on foes, it'd make sense they'd figure out ways to make it easier to do so. If you still don't like it, the penalty could only apply for maneuvers initiated by yourself.

    Stone Dragon: Keep the ignore requirement on being on ground: Many foes fly at this level, rendering this discipline useless. Perhaps only a penalty to DR?

    White Raven: Perhaps instead, to simplify things, grant temp hp that allies can benefit from once/encounter? 1/2 IL?

    As for the homebrew disciplines: considering how many there are, I'd have to agree with Ragged. If someone wants to use it with this destiny, it wouldn't be hard to convert, especially considering none of the abilities are discipline specific (unless she uses the above, even then it'd be easy to make a minor bonus).
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Hm. I may have more comments later, but I think I'll let this homebrew sit on my mind a bit before I analyze it further. For now though, I want to comment on this:

    Quote Originally Posted by RaggedAngel View Post
    Sagacious Learning (Ex): Your understanding of martial maneuvers has made the act of learning new techniques trivial at best, and your knowledge of the different disciplines expands. From here on out, if you would learn a martial maneuver or stance you learn two instead. Additionally, you gain access to another martial discipline, if you do not already have access to all of them. Finally, as long as you know a single maneuver from a discipline you may ignore all other prerequisites for maneuvers of that discipline.
    I don't think this is very well designed. I'm also not agreeing with the others who are calling it too weak- what I'm thinking is that it is simply too uncontrolled, too much potential to go one way or the other.

    On one hand, if you're a straight warblade, this is entirely useless. You don't learn more maneuvers by the time you get it, so it doesn't benefit you at all. On the other hand, if you go straight warblade until you get this, then pick up a level of swordsage... doesn't that just instantly net you 12 maneuvers? And since you can ignore prereqs after learning one maneuver... picking up a level of swordsage or some Master of Nine levels could become really crazy. I dunno, I'd tone things down a bit and work it out in a different way.

    I think it could use reworking. I agree with your idea to have it simply give you a steady number of extra maneuvers- perhaps one per level or one every other level. It might be a little bland, but I think it is still useful and helpful, while remaining true to the original idea. And if you want it to be a little more interesting, you can keep the original idea you had there, but specify it and narrow it down a little (and tack it on to a more reliable maneuver progression). If someone takes a feat to learn new maneuvers, have it grant them one additional maneuver, for example. (I'd definitely have it grant a specified number rather than doubling though).

    Edit: If you want to spice it up a little, since you do have the whole 'harmony between disciplines' thing going on here, perhaps this feature could let you learn maneuvers from all disciplines you can't normally learn from (perhaps add other disciplines in one by one, in a scaling manner)? That would make it more useful and appealing to all the different martial adepts, fit with the theme, and the original intention of the feature.
    Last edited by AmberVael; 2012-12-09 at 10:23 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Vael View Post
    I don't think this is very well designed. I'm also not agreeing with the others who are calling it too weak- what I'm thinking is that it is simply too uncontrolled, too much potential to go one way or the other.

    On one hand, if you're a straight warblade, this is entirely useless. You don't learn more maneuvers by the time you get it, so it doesn't benefit you at all. On the other hand, if you go straight warblade until you get this, then pick up a level of swordsage... doesn't that just instantly net you 12 maneuvers? And since you can ignore prereqs after learning one maneuver... picking up a level of swordsage or some Master of Nine levels could become really crazy. I dunno, I'd tone things down a bit and work it out in a different way.

    I think it could use reworking. I agree with your idea to have it simply give you a steady number of extra maneuvers- perhaps one per level or one every other level. It might be a little bland, but I think it is still useful and helpful, while remaining true to the original idea. And if you want it to be a little more interesting, you can keep the original idea you had there, but specify it and narrow it down a little (and tack it on to a more reliable maneuver progression). If someone takes a feat to learn new maneuvers, have it grant them one additional maneuver, for example. (I'd definitely have it grant a specified number rather than doubling though).

    Edit: If you want to spice it up a little, since you do have the whole 'harmony between disciplines' thing going on here, perhaps this feature could let you learn maneuvers from all disciplines you can't normally learn from (perhaps add other disciplines in one by one, in a scaling manner)? That would make it more useful and appealing to all the different martial adepts, fit with the theme, and the original intention of the feature.
    I completely agree with you (and others) that Sagacious Learning is most poorly designed feature here; it's the only one that I'm not happy with. At the same time, I agree that just granting an extra maneuver/level is very bland and a little weak for an Epic Destiny ability.

    How about this?

    Sagacious Learning (Ex): Your understanding of martial maneuvers has made the act of learning new techniques trivial at best, and your knowledge of the different disciplines continues to expand and develop. From now on whenever you gain a level that increases your initiator level you may learn either two new maneuvers or one stance that you meet the prerequisites for. Additionally, you gain access to a new discipline of your choice when you gain this ability and at levels 24, 27, and 30. Finally, you may prepare one additional maneuver at levels 24, 27, and 30.
    It's a bit wordier, but I feel like this does a better job at being balanced for anyone that qualifies for this discipline, as well as being a reasonably strong ability. The new discipline access will obviously not aid Masters of Nine, but they have such a massive maneuver base in Epic play that it hardly matters.

    Thoughts?
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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Well, seeing as you asked so nicely, I’ll take a crack at this. Before I begin though, a couple of disclaimers: I don’t have much experience with ToB (I’ve built a few initiator characters but haven’t had much chance to play around with them) and I have only a bit more experience of epic level play, so my observations may be off-base.

    With that out of the way...

    Economy of Motion

    Love it. Even with my limited knowledge of ToB, this is clearly awesome.

    Sagacious Learning

    More maneuvers. Seems sensible. That said with the feat you already picked up from Jarian’s epic discipline it won’t be long before you run out of maneuvers.

    Getting access to new disciplines is pretty nice too, that I can definitely get behind.

    Iron and Fire

    Compared to the defensive abilities of some other epic destinies, this feels a little bland. All the abilities are nice to have to be sure, but it doesn't scream "EPIC!" in my ear at an aggravating volume.

    I really liked the ability from the Artifact Lord destiny that lets you just NOPE disjunction; it’s really nice to have and fits perfectly with the destiny itself (also, yes NOPE is now a verb). I’m wracking my brains trying to think of a similarly awesome defensive ability that would be iconic for martial characters, but am having some difficulty. The best I’ve come up with so far is having some sort of buff to counters, but they’re so varied that I’m having difficulty figuring it out.

    Having one counter that is “always on” is likely over the top and would massively slow down play for some counters. Making the effects of counters last for longer than normal might be interesting: 1 attack up to 1 round, 1 round up to 1 encounter perhaps?

    Alternatively, would making all counters into free actions that can be taken out of turn (to free up swift actions for boosts) be ridiculously overpowered? It would remove any problems of wanting to counter but also wanting to stomp face next turn. Plus as every schoolboy knows: action economy wins wars.

    Oh, if you wanted to keep the Timeless Body ability (and I can see why you would) you might want to add this standard clause, “The Sublime Master still dies of old age when their time is up.” Granted they become immortal at level 30 anyway, but might be worth mentioning for the sake of form.

    Consummate Skill
    Love it. Fantastic. Especially the stipulation about the readied maneuver having to be a different school than the expended one, encourages variety.

    Master of the Path
    This is the one I’m most torn over. On the one hand, I don’t imagine that this will be overpowered at level 30 and if I was an initiator I’d be drooling over this ability. My reservation comes from the niggling doubt that it might take us back to the old school of “I full attack.” as the only thing that melee combatants do, just replacing “full attack” with “initiate Time Stands Still” or similar. While the situation can change the optimal maneuver, I do worry about removing the variety that ToB introduced to melee combat.

    Unfortunately, I’m again short on other possible ideas. I’d originally thought of something that would allow initiation of multiple maneuvers/stances at once, but I see Jarian already has that covered in her discipline (shameless plug). Since you’re taking that, it seems a shame to duplicate abilities.

    Wanders off and ponders for a day or so...

    Hang on, what about this:

    Master of Martial Shenanigans
    [Insert fluff here] You no longer need to ready maneuvers in order to use them; rather you can initiate any maneuver you know by expending a readied maneuver slot (much like a sorcerer casts spells). You may not initiate the same maneuver more than once until you recover your maneuvers.

    That’s probably very poorly worded, but I’m pretty sure you get the idea. You get total flexibility in your maneuver usage, but still need to recover maneuvers before you can use the same one again. Also, I'm not sure if it should come before Consummate Skill or not. If you got this at level 27, you get 3 levels of playing a spontaneous initiator before getting auto-recovering maneuvers at level 30.

    Also it might have to be renamed.

    My two pennies, for what they're worth.

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    Default Re: [3.5, ToB] Epic Destiny: The Sublime Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Jojomo View Post
    Iron and Fire

    Compared to the defensive abilities of some other epic destinies, this feels a little bland. All the abilities are nice to have to be sure, but it doesn't scream "EPIC!" in my ear at an aggravating volume.
    To be honest, this feature was mostly meant to shore up big defensive holes that the martial adept classes leave. Swordsages have no native way to heal, and in any case Fast Healing is universally useful. Healing 5 per round is enough to be useful, but not enough to seriously affect high level combat. The no-aging, poison, and disease part is mostly for flavor, as those will not come up in most games. And the Spell Resistance is the real boon here, since martial adepts have no other native way to get it; and at higher levels, magic is king.

    Having one counter that is “always on” is likely over the top and would massively slow down play for some counters. Making the effects of counters last for longer than normal might be interesting: 1 attack up to 1 round, 1 round up to 1 encounter perhaps?

    Alternatively, would making all counters into free actions that can be taken out of turn (to free up swift actions for boosts) be ridiculously overpowered? It would remove any problems of wanting to counter but also wanting to stomp face next turn. Plus as every schoolboy knows: action economy wins wars.
    Having a counter be "always on" just doesn't work for some of them, and would be astoundingly broken for others. Either way, not a good idea. And I think that making all counters be free actions is a good idea, but it would be very strong while obviating Stance of Alacrity. I'd rather not make a strong high-level stance worthless, especially by introducing an even stronger ability. I do, however, agree that action economy is king, and I'm going to think about other action-economy alterations I could use.

    Oh, if you wanted to keep the Timeless Body ability (and I can see why you would) you might want to add this standard clause, “The Sublime Master still dies of old age when their time is up.” Granted they become immortal at level 30 anyway, but might be worth mentioning for the sake of form.
    I'll be honest, once you get to level 24, I'm not concerned about you dying of old age. I left that part out for brevity and clarity, but I suppose I could add it back on.

    Master of the Path
    This is the one I’m most torn over. On the one hand, I don’t imagine that this will be overpowered at level 30 and if I was an initiator I’d be drooling over this ability. My reservation comes from the niggling doubt that it might take us back to the old school of “I full attack.” as the only thing that melee combatants do, just replacing “full attack” with “initiate Time Stands Still” or similar. While the situation can change the optimal maneuver, I do worry about removing the variety that ToB introduced to melee combat.
    I agree that this is the single biggest problem with Master of the Path; however, at this level an initiator is reaching the culmination of their career, the final steps along a journey they've been walking their entire lives. They are supreme combatants, battling gods and devils as near-equals. In that respect, I don't granting them a much greater degree of consistency is unreasonable, or unfun. Part of the reason maneuvers are so excellent is that there are usually several 'correct' choices.

    Master of Martial Shenanigans
    [Insert fluff here] You no longer need to ready maneuvers in order to use them; rather you can initiate any maneuver you know by expending a readied maneuver slot (much like a sorcerer casts spells). You may not initiate the same maneuver more than once until you recover your maneuvers.

    That’s probably very poorly worded, but I’m pretty sure you get the idea. You get total flexibility in your maneuver usage, but still need to recover maneuvers before you can use the same one again. Also, I'm not sure if it should come before Consummate Skill or not. If you got this at level 27, you get 3 levels of playing a spontaneous initiator before getting auto-recovering maneuvers at level 30.
    This interacts strangely with Consummate Skill as written, though that's a fixable problem. My only issue here is that the initiator begins the fight with every single maneuver at their disposal, meaning that proper planning becomes pointless; and part of the fun of higher level combat is planning which maneuvers to begin the fight with. Master of the Path gives access to everything slowly, but it's something you have to work towards in each and every fight.

    Thank you for the analysis! It's nice to hear another person's opinions.
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