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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Default Strike a pose/Walk this way (TOB PrC, PEACH)

    Stance Master
    "I between the darkness and the light, between the water and the fire, between the earth and the air. I stand between and with the power of all."- A a mantra popularized by Deanear Thornstar, an elven Stance Master.

    Many martial adepts focus on developing the most effective strikes or counters. A Stance Master as the name suggests instead focuses on controlling exactly how they stand and walk. They know more martial stances than other adepts, and they also develop personal stances.

    The first Stance Masters were a group of young swordsages who developed the skills in the last days of the Temple of Nine Swords. Two of those swordsages survived the battle and spread their teachings, and now Stance Masters can be found in most locations where the Nine are taught.

    Becoming a Stance Master

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Feats: Weapon Focus in at least one weapon associated to a discipline from which you know a stance. (The discipline focus ability of a Swordsage can be used to qualify for this requirement.)
    Skills: Martial lore 8 ranks
    Maneuvers: Able to use one martial maneuver from The Broken Blade that is of at least second level. Know martial stances from at least three different disciplines.


    Class Skills
    The Stance Master's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration(Con), Hide(Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Knowledge(history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Martial Lore(Int), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex)

    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int

    Hit Dice: d8

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Easy Learning, See the Walker, Skillful Stance

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Quick Assumption, Strike a Pose +2

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Unique Stance

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Counterstance

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Stance Mastery, Strike a Pose +4

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Unique Stance, Knowledge of All Stances

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Stance Recovery

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Strike a Pose +6

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Unique Stance

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Supreme Stance Mastery, Discipline Power[/table]

    Maneuvers: A Stance Master may take maneuvers from Broken Blade, Diamond Mind, Setting Sun and Tiger Claws, disciplines. They may also take maneuvers from any discipline from which they know at least one stance. Levels in Stance Master count full for calculating your initiator level.

    {table="head"]Level|Maneuvers Known|Maneuvers Readied|Stances Known
    1st|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    1

    2nd|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    1

    3rd|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    1

    4th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    1

    5th|
    0
    |
    1
    |
    1

    6th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    1

    7th|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    1

    8th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    1

    9th|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    1

    10th|
    1
    |
    1
    |
    1
    [/table]

    Weapon Proficiencies: A Stance Master Swords is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. Additionally, they are proficient with any weapon which is associated to a discipline in which they know at least one stance.

    Easy Learning(ex): A Stance Master learns how to learn stances more easily than others and use that knowledge to complement his other martial studies. Starting at first level, a Stance Master treats the required number of maneuvers needed to learn a stance as one less. For example, the Diamond Mind stance Hearing the Air normally has a prerequisite of 2 Diamond Mind maneuvers. Instead you would only need to know a single Diamond Mind maneuver. This may reduce the required number of maneuvers to zero. Additionally, whenever you learn a stance you may choose to learn a stance from any discipline even if it is not normally on your discipline class list. Finally, you count stances as maneuvers for purposes of any prerequisites that require a number of maneuvers known from a specific discipline.

    See the Walker(ex): Even early in their training, a Stance Master's intimate familiarity with how people stand and walk lets them able to spot martial adepts nearly effortlessly. You instantly recognize when someone is in a martial stance (and if they are simultaneously in multiple stances
    you recognize that and how many they are in, and you may make a martial lore check to recognize what stance someone is in, just as you would if they had initiated a maneuver of the same level. For any such attempt to recognize a stance you add your class level to your martial lore check.

    Skillful Stance(ex): If a Stance Master is in a stance from a given discipline, they add the level of the stance to any skill check made with the skill associated to that discipline. If the Stance Master has some ability to be in multiple stances simultaneously then multiple bonuses of this sort do not stack even if they are from different disciplines with the same associated skill.

    Quick Assumption(ex): At second level, a Stance Master learns to quickly assume far faster than other martial adepts can. On your turn, once a turn you may change what stance or stances you are in as a free action. When it is not not your turn, once a round you may change what stance or stances you are in as an immediate action.

    Strike a Pose(ex): People in martial stances are surprisingly vulnerable to attacks if one knows just where to strike. A Master's intimate study of stances shows them just how to take advantage of their pose. Starting at second level, you get a +2 bonus to attack rolls against beings in martial stances, and they take a -2 penalty to any save against one of your martial maneuvers. These bonuses become 4 at 5th level and 6 at 8th level.

    Unique Stance: At third level you can invent a new stance geared to your own personal combat style. You may take one boost (which you may or may not know) of first level. You can make a stance out of that boost. The stance functions like a normal stance, but duplicates the effects of the boost. You get another Unique Stance at sixth level and at ninth level.

    At sixth level, the boost used must be 2nd level or lower. At 9th level, the selected boost must third level or lower. The stance in question is treated as a distinct source from the boost in question for purposes such as whether untyped bonuses stack. For all purposes, the stance is treated as a stance from the same discipline as the boost and of level twice that of the boost. So for example, a 2nd level boost would become a fourth level stance. The stance is treated as having prerequisites identical to the boost (and you may apply your Easy Learning class feature to reduce the prerequisites).

    When you do this, you may choose if you know the boost in question to swap it out for another maneuver of level no higher than the boost converted. Note: Any that decision of what boost is chosen should be approved by the DM, since a handful of boosts would not be reasonably appropriate as stances, and the stance version may require some adjudication or modifications for balance.

    Counterstance(ex): Starting at fourth level, whenever you initiate a counter you may change your stance or stances as part of the action, even if is not your turn. This ability functions identically to the Master of Nine ability of the same name.

    Stance Mastery (ex): You can have two stances simultaneously. When you enter or change your stance, you can enter or change one or more stances. This ability stacks with the Warblade Stance Mastery, the Dual Stance class feature from Master of Nine and similar features.

    Knowledge of All Stances(ex): A true Master can adopt stances that they have not even been trained in, although this takes great strain. At sixth level, a stance master gains the ability to temporarily enter into stances that they do not actually know. Doing so takes a swift action, and you pick one stance that you meet the prerequisites for (counting your Easy Learning to reduce the prerequisites). You enter the stance for all purposes. Using this ability takes up one of your normal stance slots. When you use this ability you cannot alter other stances you are in. You cannot use this ability to be in more than one stance at a time that you do not know. You may use be in such a stance no more than your class level + your dexterity modifier rounds daily, but you may break them as up.

    Stance Recovery(ex):Starting at seventh level, when you use a swift action to enter a stance you may also recover one expended maneuver of your choice. If you use granted maneuvers, that maneuver is automatically granted to you.

    Supreme Stance Mastery(ex): At tenth level, you gain the ability to be in an additional stance simultaneously, so you now have three stances you can be in. This ability stacks with the Warblade Stance Mastery, the Dual Stance class feature from Master of Nine and similar features. Additionally, whenever you would be able to learn a maneuver you may instead choose to learn a stance.

    Discipline Power(ex): You learn to combine the power of your stances to aid your maneuvers from that discipline as well as managing to more effectively defend yourself from maneuvers from that discipline. Whenever you are in a stance from a given discipline, you get a +2 bonus to the save DC to any maneuvers from that discipline, a +2 bonus to attack rolls made as part of maneuvers from that discipline, and you get a +2 bonus to saves against maneuvers from that discipline, and a +2 bonus to AC against attacks made as part of maneuvers from that discipline.

    Stance Master in the world
    "He's was almost impossible to fight. You think you know what they are about, and he'd smile and move slightly and then come at you from a completely different angle." Tindarsin, a dwarven fighter describing combat with a Stance Master

    Daily Life: Stance Masters like other martial adepts can be found in a variety of walks of life. Some work as bodyguards while others work as mercenaries or adventurers. Some go out of their way to adventure in pursuit of stories about particularly powerful martial stances they wish to learn.

    Notables: Arant the Quick was a former mercenary and adventure who has now settled down to a more quiet life as the chief bodyguard for a powerful Duke. He is currently keeping an eye out for a worthy individual to pass his knowledge and skill onto.

    Lasa Etol is a half-elf swordsage is an adventurer who is at this point one of the most well-known Stance Masters. She has made a name not just for her accomplishments in adventuring but also for her hot-headed nature. Her willingness to challenge people to duels over apparently minor insults as well as her apparently facility with winning such duels has spread far. So far, she's generally careful to not kill her opponents in such duels, but this is more out of practical concern than anything ethical mandate.

    Nawear the Betrayer is a Stance Master who was a powerful soldier who gained his name for betraying the small kingdom of Te'en in which he served, taking on the royal family's bodyguards almost single-handedly and then slaughtering most of the royal family. He now works for the sorcerer who took over the kingdom in the ensuing confusion. Nawear regards himself as the perfect martial adept, but he is not at all above using his martial skills to amuse himself, and unfortunately for the people of Te'en, that amusement often involves practicing his martial prowess on helpless folk, or loyalists to the old regime.

    Organization: Stance Masters are not organized in any particular way, although some specific stance masters may train together to learn stances and tips on certain stances from each other. Stance Masters can likely be found in many elite military groups and certainly in groups that have a variety of martial adepts.

    NPC Reaction
    A Stance Masters will likely be treated as other martial adepts would be treated. NPCs will treat them as they would treat any other powerful warrior although NPC adepts may have a special interest in the strange nature of the Stance Master's skills.

    Stance Masters in the game
    A Stance Master will generally have fewer maneuvers readied than a swordsage of the same level, but their ability to pick almost any stance will in practice often give them more flexibility than most martial adepts. The ability to adjust their stances on the fly, as well as the ability to be in multiple stances at once makes them formidable opponents in combat. Their large number of stances also may give them more out of combat options than many warblades or swordages but not by that much. Challenging a Stance Master thus will be similar to challenging a warblade or swordsage. The degree of flexibility will also connect to how much the DM allows homebrew martial disciplines.

    Adaptation: Stance Masters fit naturally in any setting with martial adepts. Depending on the campaign setting, the could be closely connected to a specific military tradition. In the Eberron campaign setting, Stance Masters would most naturally be connected to House Deneith, in which case adding a Mark of the Sentinel as a requirement for the class would make sense.
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2013-01-19 at 01:39 PM.
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
    Show


    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

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Default Re: Strike a pose/Walk this way (TOB PrC, PEACH)

    Thoughts? I'm a little concerned about some balance issues. In particular, I wonder if I should reduce the number of maneuvers readied so that they only get a new readied maneuver slot at level 10 (or maybe not at all).

    Also, it might be nice to have another ability at level 8, but I'm not sure what it should be. Suggestions/ideas welcome.
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
    Show


    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

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Banned
     
    Jormengand's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    In the Playground, duh.

    Default Re: Strike a pose/Walk this way (TOB PrC, PEACH)

    Hmm... don't know much about stances/manouevres, but...

    What makes me want to play this class? How is it unique or different from any other class which uses manouevres? How did this class come to be; who "invented" it? What kind of person takes this class?

    Balance... well, lots of manoeuvres and lots of class features may tip it over, I don't know.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Default Re: Strike a pose/Walk this way (TOB PrC, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Hmm... don't know much about stances/manouevres, but...

    What makes me want to play this class? How is it unique or different from any other class which uses manouevres? How did this class come to be; who "invented" it? What kind of person takes this class?

    Balance... well, lots of manoeuvres and lots of class features may tip it over, I don't know.
    Well, the basic idea was an emphasis on stances rather than maneuvers. Most martial classes that use the ToB system have a lot of maneuvers but few stances, so this sort of reverses it and emphasizes the stances more. The idea is that someone in the class can always choose just the right stance to help any given situation. I'm not sure really how to say that or make it more explicit than how the class features function.
    My homebrew:

    Spoiler
    Show


    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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