Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. - Top - End - #1

    Default Zen Blade. PEACH

    So, my first class was an absolute failure in both the fact that no one bothered replying to it, it was uninspired and was just a mesh class features with nothing to tie them strongly together. That, and I posted it up here incomplete and never really found the desire to work on it again.

    Recently however, I was introduced to T.G Oskar and his delightful homebrew creations. In particular, there was two things of note that really grabbed my attention and got me thinking about this new class. First, there was his... discussion on his second retooling of the monk. Specifically how he talked about the difference between a build and a class, which brought to my attention that my previous class was much more of a build than an actual class.

    Secondly, in his section of homebrew Martial Adept Feats, he had a selection of feats dubbed ‘Combat Form’. These feats introduced me to another feat and a semi-mechanic that I had never noticed before. Combat Focus. A feat that allowed fighters to achieve ‘perfect martial clarity’ to ‘attain superhuman levels of endurance, perception, and mental toughness’, if you excuse me for quoting the feat directly.

    This brought me back to my first class. Perhaps the only unique feature about them was how they could expand Psionic Focus to recover their expanded maneuvers, and I know I wanted to have greater focus and utilization on this mechanic as a well to further blend psionics and maneuvers together. However, with the discovery of Combat Focus, I realized that this wasn’t necessary, there was something else to work instead... something that would allow me to make a much more conscience, well-put together class.

    At least, that was what I thought, until I had a deeper look into homebrew classes and saw some of the amazing classes that had been created. The Legendary Warrior, the Worldrender, the Sanguine Knight and the Swiftblade all showed me just what a class could do. And compared to what I had up, I found myself lacking.

    So, I looked over my class again, and decided I could take the concept further. Instead of just being about combat-focus, I would turn this class into being of super-natural awareness that would use their insight to control the battlefield. This is the result.


    Zen Blade


    You might hide you body, you might hide your mind, but you cannot hide your very presence.

    MAKING A ZEN BLADE
    Spoiler
    Show
    Attributes: First and foremost, a Zen Blade requires Wisdom. All of their abilities use Wisdom, and they cannot work well without it. Being front-line fighters, Constitution is of course important, with Dexterity being a very distant third.
    Races: With focus on meditation and control, not many races are naturally inclined to become a Zen Blade. Humans with their unprecedented flexibility, make strong Zen Blade’s.
    Alignment: Any. Zen Blade’s may be similar to Monk’s with their meditation and Wisdom, they do not have the same focus on Ki and Law as the Monk does. This allows anyone of any alignment to become a Zen Blade.
    Starting Gold: As Paladin.
    Starting Age: As Paladin.


    Class Skills
    The Zen Blade’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Iaijutsu Focus (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str)
    Skill Points at first level: (4 + Int Modifier)x4
    Skill Points at each additional level: 4 + Int Modifier.

    Spoiler: ”Thoughts”
    Show
    Small and concise, the Zen Blade takes the fighter’s skill list as a base. Spot, Listen, Sense Motive due to their awareness, and concentration because of their focus.

    The most unusual skill on the list however, is Iaijutsu Focus. Not only is this skill a 3.0 skill that hasn’t got a 3.5 equivalent, but it is normally a Cha ability. For the Zen Blade, their focus and fighting spirit comes from Wisdom, hence the change. DM’s are allowed to remove it if their campaign won’t be using it through.


    Hit Die: d10

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features
    1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Combat Focus. Zen Strike. Insightful Combat
    2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Zone of Awareness. Focused Strike.
    3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Zen Reflexes
    4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Control the Zone (Terrain)
    5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Mettle
    6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Shared Insightful Combat
    7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Control the Zone (Immobilize)
    8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Sense Weakness (Harrier)
    9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Weaken Enemy
    10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Control the Zone (Threaten)
    11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Improved Insightful Combat
    12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Improved Mettle
    13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Sense Weakness (Attack)
    14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Daze Enemy
    15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Supreme Focus
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Greater Insightful Combat
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Greater Focused Strike
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Sense Weakness (Damage)
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Cripple Enemy
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Zen

    Spoiler
    Show
    d10 gives Zen Blade’s a solid amount of health, while not being full blown tanks like other classes. Being a front-line fighter, Zen Blade of course get good fortitude progression, whilst their ability of near super-natural focus gives them strong Will saves. Full BAB of course is obvious. Zen Blade’s are fighter’s first and foremost. Why wouldn’t they have full BAB?


    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the Zen Blade.
    Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Zen Blades are proficient with all simple weapons, and one light or one-handed martial or exotic weapon of choice. They are proficient with light and medium armour, and with all shields (except tower shields)

    Spoiler
    Show
    Through a martial class, Zen Blade’s do not have the time or training to learn a wide variety of martial weapons. However, their unique training allow them to become proficient in any one weapon, even exotic weaponry. Additionally, their fighting style doesn’t fit well with heavy armour, so they don’t have it.


    Combat Focus: At level one, Zen Blade’s get Combat Focus as a bonus feat. She does not need to meet the prerequisites of this feat to acquire it. In addition, a Zen Blade may enter Combat Focus as a swift action during their turn, instead of when they first hit an enemy. A Zen Blade’s Combat Focus lasts for a number of bonus rounds equal to their class level

    Spoiler
    Show
    Though it isn’t the sole focus of the class, the Combat Focus is still going to play a large part in the class, so you get it for free. The ability to enter into Combat Focus as a swift action instead of hitting someone, as well as the extended duration, suits the Zen Blade thematically, and mechanically gives them a small, but important boost. Especially later on


    Zen Strike (Ex): At 1st level, a Zen Blade may use his Strength or Wisdom modifier for her attack and damage rolls with any melee weapon he is proficient, whichever is the highest.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Simple, but effective. This ability, inspired by T.G Oskar’s Samurai Remake, allows you to become a strong warrior by reducing your MAD, and making Wisdom the sole stat you really need to boost.


    Insightful Combat (Ex): At level 1, whenever a Zen Blade fight a creature, you can make a special check, with a bonus equal to your class level + your Wisdom modifier, DC15. If you succeed, you gain a +1 Insight Bonus to attack and damage rolls against that creature until the end of the encounter. This Insight Bonus increases by one for each 5 points about the DC that you succeed in the check. You can only make this check once per creature type per combat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    I’m pretty sure some people will realize what this is based on right away, whilst others aren’t too sure. This is basically the Knowledge Devotion feat, but without the rather silly cap placed on it, and scaling with your class and wisdom instead of skill ranks and int. Fluff wise, this represents the Zen’s Blade awareness allowing them to find weaknesses in the enemy's defences


    Zone of Awareness (Ex): At 2nd level, a Zen Blade gets Blindsight extending out to 20ft. This extends an extra ten feet every time another level in Zen Blade is taken. Additionally, when combat focused, you can Touchsight equal to half the amount of your blindsight

    Spoiler
    Show
    Now this, this is what the Zen Blade is all about. Knowing your surroundings, no matter the circumstances, and being able to find your enemies, no matter how much they try to hide. Blindsight firstly makes darkness and concealment unnecessary, then Touchsight makes it impossible for anyone to hide from you. There is simply no way to avoid Touchsight. If you're close enough to a Zen Blade, they will know of your presence.


    Focused Strike (Ex):
    At 2nd level, as a standard action, a Zen Blade may perform a single attack at anyone in range as a touch attack. This ability cannot be used in conjunction with feats or abilities that apply a voluntary penalty to attack, such as Power Attack or Combat Expertise.

    Spoiler
    Show
    With their awareness and focus, the Zen Blade can ignore most armours and shields, striking in ways that it is difficult to bring them to bare. However. their focus means that they have to focus on accuracy first and foremost. Plus, Power Attack doesn’t exactly work thematically.


    Zen Reflexes (Ex): At 3rd level, a Zen Blade’s clarity of mind translates into clarity of movement. While combat focused, a Zen Blade gains extra attacks of opportunity equal to their Wisdom Modifier. This stacks with other extra attacks of opportunity, such as those gained by the Combat Reflexes feat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Zen Blade is primarily about control of the battlefield, not dealing damage. A traditional method of a melee fighter to control the battlefield is a lockdown build, and the Zen Blade shall do the same. To a degree.


    Control the Zone (Ex): At 4th level, a Zen Blade learns how to use his awareness to hamper his opponent’s movements. The area of a Zen Blade’s Touchsight becomes treated as difficult terrain by enemies.

    At 7th level, a Zen Blade control of his enemies movements extends to his attacks. Whenever you successfully hit an enemy with an attack of opportunity, they must make a Reflex Save a DC of 10 + 1/2 you class level + Wisdom, or DC 10+Damage roll, whichever is higher. IF the enemy fails the reflex roll, they immediately halt as if he had used up his move actions for the round.

    At 10th level, you awareness becomes sharp enough that you do not even seem to need to move in order to strike out at your enemies, even if they are beyond your range. The threat range of your melee weapons for attack of opportunities is equal to half your touchsight range.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Here we go, one of the most important abilities of the Zen Blade. The ability to restrict his enemies movement around them, even flat out stopping them. The level 4 ability is similar to the Knight’s Bulwark of defence, but stronger. The level 7 is a stronger version of the popular Stand Still feat, with a scaling DC and activating with AoO damage instead of replacing it. The level 10 ability, takes its inspiration once more from T.G Oskar’s Samuari Class. This time the ‘Maai’ ability, specifically the level 14 ability that extends you threat.

    All this combined together, gives the Zen Blade an incredible ability to control the movement of the enemies through the battlefield. However, this is just the start of what the Zen can do, in terms of battlefield control.



    Mettle (Ex):
    At 5th level, whenever a Zen Blade makes a successful Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that normally deals partial effect or half damage on a successful save, he instead does not suffer from the effect or takes no damage. A helpless Zen Blade does not gain the benefit of mettle.

    Spoiler
    Show
    What can I say about this ability? Zen Blade’s have super-will, and they have tough fortitude by being front-line fighters. So why shouldn’t they have this ability?


    Shared Insightful Combat (Ex): At 6th level, a Zen Blade’s powers of insight grow, allowing not just yourself to find the opponent’s weak spots, but also to share it with their allies.

    Whenever you successfully make a Insightful Combat check, all allies in 60ft of yourself, gain an insight bonus to attack and damage rolls against the creature equal to half the insight bonus you, yourself gain.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Hope this wasn’t too complicated... but yeah, basically, the thing with this is? ‘Well, I can perceive me enemies well enough to spot weaknesses in their defences. Why can’t I point them out to my allies?’ This lets you do that. But of course, as you're simply pointing the weakness out, and your allies can’t see them themselves, its a smaller bonus. Not the strongest of the Zen Blade’s abilities, but its a pretty solid boost. Not as strong as the bard’s inspire courage, but it does stack with pretty much everything.


    Sense Weakness (Ex):
    At 8th level. The Zen Blade’s awareness grows, allowing him to spot openings and weaknesses in the enemies concentration that offers do not. Allowing him extra chances to strike out without fear of retribution.

    Whenever an enemy makes a 5ft step, withdraws, or casts defensively while inside your threat range. If you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them, even though you would normally not be able to. Additionally, he can hit an opponent for moving out of a threatened square more than once per turn.

    At 13th level. The Zen Blade notices how at the moment an enemy attacks, their defences drop, allowing them to strike out in turn. Whenever you are attacked by an enemy inside your threat range, if you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them. This does not count towards your total number of attacks of opportunity per round.

    At 18th level, the Zen Blade now knows, that when an enemy is wounded, for a split-second, their defences falter. For others, this cannot be pressed. But for the Zen Blade, they can strike. Whenever an enemy inside your threat range takes damage from a source that is not yourself, if you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Another of the Zen Blade’s biggest abilities. Attack of opportunities, and the control a Zen Blade can perform through them has already been established. This ability builds off that, by granted the Zen Blade more options to strike out at their enemies. While combat focused off course. Small limitation, but its there.


    Weaken Enemy (Ex): At 9th’s level, the Zen Blade’s strikes grow more precise and controlled, allowing them weaken them, and make them easier to vanquish. Whenever a Zen Blade successfully damages an enemy, they take a penalty to AC, attack, damage and save rolls equal to the Zen Blade’s class level/4. This penalty lasts until the start of the Zen Blade’s next turn and does not stack.

    Spoiler
    Show
    I believe its about time that the Zen Blade starts getting a way to control the battlefield, that isn’t reliant on AoO’s, don’t you? And this is a solid start, debuffing the enemy. Making it easier to damage them - via saves or AC - and making them do less damage, or not even hit you at all. The penalty is small, -2 at this level. But at level 20, it’ll be a pretty hefty -5, and that’s a nasty penalty.


    Improved Insightful Combat (Ex): At level 11, the ability to see an enemy's strengths and weakness has become second nature to a Zen Blade. From now on, you may take 10 for any Insightful Combat check. In addition, the Zen Blade’s insight now allows them to make devastating blows more often, even against enemies when such blows are not possible. When combat focused, you may always be able to get critical hits against enemies, and the critical range of your weapons increases by your insight bonus/3 (rounded up)

    Spoiler
    Show
    Might of gone a bit overboard in this one. A Wisdom Score of 18 means that you’re guaranteed getting a check of 25, giving you a +3 Insight Bonus. Which isn’t that small. More importantly however, you can ALWAYS get a critical on any enemy. Even ones with fortification or critical hit immunity. That’s a pretty strong ability, as well as having a crit-range increase.

    Still, it just a reflection of the Zen Blade’s accuracy, and without Power Attack, they need a way of getting out a good amount of damage, even if their primary focus is control.


    Improved Mettle (Ex): At 12th level, a Zen Blade’s mettle ability improves. She still takes no effect on a successful Will or Fortitude save that has the “partial” or “half” descriptor, but henceforth she takes only the partial effect or half the damage on a failed save.

    Daze Enemy (Ex): At 14th level, a Zen Blade’s strikes now disorientate the enemy, instead of simply hurting them. When a Zen Blade successfully damages an enemy, they must make a fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 class level+Wisdom modifier) or be dazed for a round. On a successful save, they take a -2 penalty to the next attempt of this ability. This penalty stacks until the enemy fails their save.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Not sure if a single round daze is that effective, but it is a stun, that’s even harder to ignore than usual. So, until suggestions say otherwise. Its a single round. That being said, the Zen Blade is very good at make sure they do daze people. When combined with the Weaken Enemy effect, just one successful save gives them a huge -5 penalty to their next attempt. Which might be your second attack during the round.


    Supreme Focus (Ex): At 15th level, the Zen Blade’s ability to focus in battle reaches new heights, granting them a variety of new effects. As mind and body become one, the bonus to Will Saves from the combat focus feat also applies to fortitude and reflex saves. Additionally, when combat focused, a Zen Blade gains a competence bonus to spot, listen and sense motive equal to half their class level, and any penalty to attack is reduced by 1. This includes iterative attacks from high BAB

    Spoiler
    Show
    Have to admit, I’m not too sure on this one. The increase to fortitude and reflex saves is small, and spot and listen don’t come up too often in combat. The last ability I’m worried about, as I’m honestly not sure reducing it by 1 is big enough... but if its -2, you can do something crazy like, chain Monkey’s Grip and TWFing to have two 1hd weapons, 1 of them large, and have the penalty only be -2/-2 instead of -6/-4, that’s a significant boost.


    Greater Insightful Combat (Ex): At 16th level, a Zen Blade’s insight grows even more. Allowing them to not just see ways of striking the enemy down, but also defending against their blows. Additionally, they become more skilled at sharing their insights with their allies. Whenever you use Insightful Combat against an enemy, all allies in 60ft gain the effects of insightful combat as well. Additionally, you gain an insight bonus to AC and saves against that creature equal to the bonus to attack and damage rolls.

    Spoiler
    Show
    This is a pretty powerful ability now. Not only do you get a bonus to attack, damage, AC, saves and critical range. But your allies do as well. Again, if you have Wisdom 18, which is pretty much always gonna happen at this level, you’re guaranteed a check of 30. Giving you and your allies a +4 Insight Bonus, and a increase to crit range by 2. That’s a pretty hefty boost. Maybe a bit too powerful, though it is level 16...


    Greater Focused Strike (Ex): At 17th level, a Zen Blade’s ability to focus their strikes into the weakest areas of an enemies defence has become second nature to them. Now, when combat focused, any attack a Zen Blade makes that does not have a voluntary penalty to attack rolls is treated as a touch attack.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Simple boost, but pretty damn effective. Makes the Zen Blade’s the master of accuracy that they are, and makes EVERY single attack a touch attack. With the bonus to attacks from Insightful Combat, and full BAB. I doubt a Zen Blade will EVER miss.


    Cripple Enemy (Ex): At 19th level, a Zen Blade’s strikes now cut at the enemies very strength as they strike. Whenever a Zen Blade deals damage to an enemy. They take 1 Strength or Dexterity damage.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Ouch. Now this ability HURTS. 1 point per strike doesn’t seem like much, but it does accumulate. If it made it higher, say... 2. A full-attack action could reduce an enemy's’ strength or dexterity by 8, add on a single extra attack, say from... Haste or the speed enhancement. And that’s a potential 10 dex damage. On a creature like a dragon, which most likely have low 10, it’ll lower them to zero in an instant. So, keeping it at 1 is more than strong enough.


    Zen (Ex): At 20th level, a Zen Blade has reached the pinnacle of focus and understanding. Allowing them to transcend their limits and enter into a state like no other. A Zen Blade is always considered to be combat focused, and all bonuses granted by being in combat focus is doubled. Additionally, they may take 10 with all skill checks, regardless of the situation, and may take 20 for insightful combat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Now this... this is a capstone. Taking all the benefits from being combat focused before, and doubling them. Including your class features. You gain a +20 bonus to spot, listen and sense motive, all penalties to attack are reduced by 2. (If it was 4, you’ll be able to use pretty much any weapon you wanted to). You gain a +4 bonus to all saves, (+8 if you have 3 or more combat focus feats), your touchsight becomes equal to your blindsight, meaning its a 200ft aura. Your allowed number of AoO’s become twice your wisdom modifier, on top of other bonuses. And that’s what I can think of from the top of my head.

    For Insightful Combat, well if you have a Wisdom score of 20, you’ll always get a check of 45. Giving you a +7 Insight bonus to attack, damage, AC and save rolls, and a +3 to critical range. And all your allies get that as well! All in all, I am confident that Zen is indeed, a capstone ability worth getting.
    Last edited by Tempestfury; 2015-01-21 at 06:46 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Reserved for Epic Progression and Feats.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Zen Strike (Ex): At 1st level, a Zen Blade may use his Strength or Wisdom modifier for her attack and damage rolls with any weapon he is proficient, whichever is the highest.
    This is nice, reduces MAD and fits nicely with the fluff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Insightful Combat (Ex): At level 1, whenever a Zen Blade fight a creature, you can make a special check, with a bonus equal to your class level + your Wisdom modifier, DC15. If you succeed, you gain a +1 Insight Bonus to attack and damage rolls against that creature until the end of the encounter. This Insight Bonus increases by one for each 5 points about the DC that you succeed in the check. You can only make this check once per creature type per combat.
    Wording problem in bold.
    I'm fighting against two orcs, Orc A and Orc B. I succeed in my insight check against Orc A and gain the bonus. But because "You can only make this check once per creature type per combat, i cannot make a insight check against Orc B.
    Consider rewording it to "you can only make this check once per enemy per encounter".

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Zone of Awareness (Ex): At 2nd level, a Zen Blade gets Blindsight extending out to 20ft. This extends an extra ten feet every time another level in Zen Blade is taken. Additionally, when combat focused, you can Touchsight equal to half the amount of your blindsight
    200ft of Blindsight is abit much IMO, and Touchsight for 100ft at lv20 is another problem.. Even the psionic power Touchsight (i'm assuming thats where you got Touchsight from) extends only to 60ft..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Focused Strike (Ex): At 2nd level, as a standard action, a Zen Blade may perform a single attack at anyone in range as a touch attack. This ability cannot be used in conjunction with feats or abilities that apply a voluntary penalty to attack, such as Power Attack or Combat Expertise.
    what about Shocktrooper (heedless charge)? It becomes a voluntary penalty to AC and not attack..

    What happens when a Zen Blade dual-wield? Does dual-wielding be considered feats or abilities that apply a voluntary penalty to attack? if not, does he get both attacks as touch attack? or just one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Control the Zone (Ex): At 4th level, a Zen Blade learns how to use his awareness to hamper his opponent’s movements. The area of a Zen Blade’s Touchsight becomes treated as difficult terrain by enemies.

    At 7th level, a Zen Blade control of his enemies movements extends to his attacks. Whenever you successfully hit an enemy with an attack of opportunity, they must make a Reflex Save a DC of 10 + 1/2 you class level + damage roll, or immediately halt as if he had used up his move actions for the round.

    At 10th level, you awareness becomes sharp enough that you do not even seem to need to move in order to strike out at your enemies, even if they are beyond your range. The threat range of your melee weapons is equal to your touchsight range.
    At lv 20, a Zen's Touchsight would be 100ft. How does that incorporate into your melle weapon's threat range? You mean threat range as in Critical chance and not threatened area right? If a melee threatens 100ft around himself, its way too powerful..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Sense Weakness (Ex): At 8th level. The Zen Blade’s awareness grows, allowing him to spot openings and weaknesses in the enemies concentration that offers do not. Allowing him extra chances to strike out without fear of retribution.

    Whenever an enemy makes a 5ft step, withdraws, or casts defensively while inside your threat range. If you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them, even though you would normally not be able to.

    At 13th level. The Zen Blade notices how at the moment an enemy attacks, their defences drop, allowing them to strike out in turn. Whenever you are attacked by an enemy inside your threat range, if you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them. This does not count towards your total number of attacks of opportunity per round.

    At 18th level, the Zen Blade now knows, that when an enemy is wounded, for a split-second, their defences falter. For others, this cannot be pressed. But for the Zen Blade, they can strike. Whenever an enemy inside your threat range takes damage from a source that is not yourself, if you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them.
    Typo, other
    by saying "Threat range", you mean threatened area right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Improved Insightful Combat (Ex): At level 11, the ability to see an enemy's strengths and weakness has become second nature to a Zen Blade. From now on, you may take 10 for any Insightful Combat check. In addition, the Zen Blade’s insight now allows them to make devastating blows more often, even against enemies when such blows are not possible. When combat focused, you may always be able to get critical hits against enemies, and the critical range of your weapons increases by your insight bonus/3 (rounded up)
    Could be worded better. Sounds like it could get a bonus to confirm a critical as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Greater Insightful Combat (Ex): At 16th level, a Zen Blade’s insight grows even more. Allowing them to not just see ways of striking the enemy down, but also defending against their blows. Additionally, they become more skilled at sharing their insights with their allies. Whenever you use Insightful Combat against an enemy, all allies in 60ft gain the effects of insightful combat as well. Additionally, you gain an insight bonus to AC and saves against that creature equal to the bonus to attack and damage rolls.

    Spoiler
    Show
    This is a pretty powerful ability now. Not only do you get a bonus to attack, damage, AC, saves and critical range. But your allies do as well. Again, if you have Wisdom 18, which is pretty much always gonna happen at this level, you’re guaranteed a check of 30. Giving you and your allies a +4 Insight Bonus, and a increase to crit range by 2. That’s a pretty hefty boost. Maybe a bit too powerful, though it is level 16...
    A wisdom of 30 is easily doable.. start with wis 18, pick a race with +2 wis, +4 from level up and a +6 item.

    So at lv 20, I would have a bonus of 20 (class levels), 10 (wis modifier).
    I take 10, and the result will be 40, beating the DC15 by 25. So I gain +6 bonus to attack, damage, AC, saves and +2 to critical range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Greater Focused Strike (Ex): At 17th level, a Zen Blade’s ability to focus their strikes into the weakest areas of an enemies defence has become second nature to them. Now, when combat focused, any attack a Zen Blade makes that does not have a voluntary penalty to attack rolls is treated as a touch attack.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Simple boost, but pretty damn effective. Makes the Zen Blade’s the master of accuracy that they are, and makes EVERY single attack a touch attack. With the bonus to attacks from Insightful Combat, and full BAB. I doubt a Zen Blade will EVER miss.
    I would make it useable once every 1d4 rounds to nerf this..

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Zen (Ex): At 20th level, a Zen Blade has reached the pinnacle of focus and understanding. Allowing them to transcend their limits and enter into a state like no other. A Zen Blade is always considered to be combat focused, and all bonuses granted by being in combat focus is doubled. Additionally, they may take 10 with all skill checks, regardless of the situation, and may take 20 for insightful combat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Now this... this is a capstone. Taking all the benefits from being combat focused before, and doubling them. Including your class features. You gain a +20 bonus to spot, listen and sense motive, all penalties to attack are reduced by 2. (If it was 4, you’ll be able to use pretty much any weapon you wanted to). You gain a +4 bonus to all saves, (+8 if you have 3 or more combat focus feats), your touchsight becomes equal to your blindsight, meaning its a 200ft aura. Your allowed number of AoO’s become twice your wisdom modifier, on top of other bonuses. And that’s what I can think of from the top of my head.

    For Insightful Combat, well if you have a Wisdom score of 20, you’ll always get a check of 45. Giving you a +7 Insight bonus to attack, damage, AC and save rolls, and a +3 to critical range. And all your allies get that as well! All in all, I am confident that Zen is indeed, a capstone ability worth getting.
    See what I wrote earlier on Greater Insightful Combat

    All in all, its a great class with alot of flavour..
    Just need to work on the mechanics abit.

    I could see myself playing a blind Zen Blade wielding a katana
    Last edited by Mavakith; 2014-03-18 at 03:57 AM.
    Homebrew:
    [3.5] Warframe: Parkour Ninjas from the Ethereal Plane (WiP, PEACH)

    78% of DMs started their campaign in a Tavern. However, 90% of internet statistics are made up.

    This is how i start:
    Me: You're all in jail. Tell me why when I'm back from my cigarette.

  4. - Top - End - #4

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Awesome! And actual review! Thank you very much!

    Now then... Lets see...

    First off all. Insightful Combat. I guess I didn't make it clear, but the insight bonus is against ALL creatures of that type. Its not a typo. If say, you fight against two orcs, Orc A and Orc B. You get the insight check against Orc A. You get the bonus against Orc B as well.

    200ft of Blindsight might seem like a lot, but its not like Mindsight in that it DOES require line of effect. Same with Touchsight. Plus, as this class focus IS awareness. Besides. The Touchsight field can be agumented to extend to any radius. And its only a level 3 power, compared to it being a main focus of this class.

    Personally, I would rule that Power Attack first takes a penalty away from attack, then Shocktrooper kicks in, so the effect doesn't work. And no, TWF does not count, as its a constant penalty to attack. Not one that you grant yourself. So if you CAN attack with both weapons as a standard action. Yes. It would count.

    Whenever I say 'threat range', I meant threatened area. Yes. Melee threatening 100, or due to the capstone, 200ft around himself, is an incrediable ability. But firstly, it can only be taken adventedge of through AoO's, which through you have a lot of, is limited. Secondally, is a big focus of the class. Martial adepts tend to have a wide variety of abilities through their manuveres, but they still have a primary role. Like damage dealer, tank etc. And the Zen Blade's primary role is battlefield control. Hence the super-large threatened area. Besides, isn't it kinda awesome imagining the character moving so fast, they zip across the battlefield, stike, then zip back before the enemy can react?

    Hmmm... good point about Improved Insightful Combat. Any suggestions?

    Yes. If you have 30 wisodom by level 16. You can take ten, and get those bonuses, as well as granted those bonuses to your allies. It IS a powerful ability, but buffing is a form of battlefield control, and why should clerics and such have all the fun with buffing?

    Nerf Greater Focused Strike? I hardly see why that is necessary. It IS a level 17 ability, and to compare. The Indigo Trickster has an invocation that allows them to make all their attacks a touch attack for a swift action. And this class has built in TWF AND the ability to gain extra swift actions!

    I'm not exactly sure how to apply the comment on Greater Insightful Combat to my capstone.

    And yes. A blind, katana wielding Zen Blade would be awesome.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ArchangelAzrael's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Yey an awesome class I quite like it. I will try to provide a review as well if that ok with you but since i am at work it will take a while. For now I present you with some pics that i think fit the class They are from DiviantArt and the artist is el-grimlock

    Feat:
    Spoiler
    Show


    Blind Swordman

    Prerequisite: Must be taken on level 1, Zen Blade 1

    Benefit
    The character cannot see. All checks and activities that rely on vision (such as reading and Spot checks) automatically fail. The character has Blindsight 30ft. This stacks with Zone of awareness class feature.

    Special Should the character ever restores his vision he loses the benefit of this feat but may choose another to replace it when that happens. The player can always choose to not have the character's sight restored when the situation arises


    Now I think zone of awareness is too good a feature at level 2 making this class a good dip. I would lower it to 10ft at level 2 and scale it 5 ft per level. Perhaps have a feat or class feature at higher level that doubles it or something if you want to reach the original size.
    Last edited by ArchangelAzrael; 2014-03-20 at 04:15 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Pictures are good, but he's a bit too burly for my tastes.

    Blind Swordsman feat is a bit... well, too cliche... you already got blindsight, so you can just close your eyes.

    As for Zone of Awareness? Its not exactly powerful at level 2. Only 20ft of blindsight. That's not exactly difficult to get on. Yes it gets more powerful as you level up, but then you are going up the levels.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    iTookUrNick's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Italy
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    The idea is solid, but i feel you went overboard in a few places. The fundamental concept of game design and balance is that there should not be an option that is clearly and in every way better than the others. This is clearly not the case, unless you are planning to play with equally boosted classes. What is the power level you are aiming for? Cleric and Wizards? Some homebrew class?

    My thoughts, in order:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Class Skills
    The Zen Blade’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Iaijutsu Focus (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str)
    Skill Points at first level: (4 + Int Modifier)x4
    Skill Points at each additional level: 4 + Int Modifier.

    Spoiler: ”Thoughts”
    Show
    Small and concise, the Zen Blade takes the fighter’s skill list as a base. Spot, Listen, Sense Motive due to their awareness, and concentration because of their focus.

    The most unusual skill on the list however, is Iaijutsu Focus. Not only is this skill a 3.0 skill that hasn’t got a 3.5 equivalent, but it is normally a Cha ability. For the Zen Blade, their focus and fighting spirit comes from Wisdom, hence the change. DM’s are allowed to remove it if their campaign won’t be using it through.


    Hit Die: d10

    Spoiler
    Show
    d10 gives Zen Blade’s a solid amount of health, while not being full blown tanks like other classes. Being a front-line fighter, Zen Blade of course get good fortitude progression, whilst their ability of near super-natural focus gives them strong Will saves. Full BAB of course is obvious. Zen Blade’s are fighter’s first and foremost. Why wouldn’t they have full BAB?


    Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Zen Blades are proficient with all simple weapons, and one light or one-handed martial or exotic weapon of choice. They are proficient with light and medium armour, and with all shields (except tower shields)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Through a martial class, Zen Blade’s do not have the time or training to learn a wide variety of martial weapons. However, their unique training allow them to become proficient in any one weapon, even exotic weaponry. Additionally, their fighting style doesn’t fit well with heavy armour, so they don’t have it.
    A combat oriented class needs a suitable chassis, as you say. This one is on par with the ranger (better dice, lower skills). I only wish to point that the d10 is considered a tanky dice (fighters and paladins have it).

    Side note: DMs do not need your permission to remove Iaijutsu Focus from their games

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the Zen Blade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Combat Focus: At level one, Zen Blade’s get Combat Focus as a bonus feat. She does not need to meet the prerequisites of this feat to acquire it. In addition, a Zen Blade may enter Combat Focus as a swift action during their turn, instead of when they first hit an enemy. A Zen Blade’s Combat Focus lasts for a number of bonus rounds equal to their class level

    Spoiler
    Show
    Though it isn’t the sole focus of the class, the Combat Focus is still going to play a large part in the class, so you get it for free. The ability to enter into Combat Focus as a swift action instead of hitting someone, as well as the extended duration, suits the Zen Blade thematically, and mechanically gives them a small, but important boost. Especially later on


    Zen Strike (Ex): At 1st level, a Zen Blade may use his Strength or Wisdom modifier for her attack and damage rolls with any weapon he is proficient, whichever is the highest.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Simple, but effective. This ability, inspired by T.G Oskar’s Samurai Remake, allows you to become a strong warrior by reducing your MAD, and making Wisdom the sole stat you really need to boost.
    Add something along the lines of "when combat focused", and possibly something else as well. How does this work with 2H weapons? Are there any other limitations?

    I do not know what your point of reference is, but mine is Dervish Dance, which has much steeper restrictions in its usage. A blanket swap Str-Wis like this could certainly be worth it as a dip for a combat oriented cleric. My opinion: too much too soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Insightful Combat (Ex): At level 1, whenever a Zen Blade fight a creature, you can make a special check, with a bonus equal to your class level + your Wisdom modifier, DC15. If you succeed, you gain a +1 Insight Bonus to attack and damage rolls against that creature until the end of the encounter. This Insight Bonus increases by one for each 5 points about the DC that you succeed in the check. You can only make this check once per creature type per combat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    I’m pretty sure some people will realize what this is based on right away, whilst others aren’t too sure. This is basically the Knowledge Devotion feat, but without the rather silly cap placed on it, and scaling with your class and wisdom instead of skill ranks and int. Fluff wise, this represents the Zen’s Blade awareness allowing them to find weaknesses in the enemy's defences
    I noticed the similarity with the feat. I also noticed you halved the steps (every 5 instead of the official 10) for the bonus increase. Is there a reason for this improvement on a full bab class, considering you are also removing the MAD and the skill investment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Zone of Awareness (Ex): At 2nd level, a Zen Blade gets Blindsight extending out to 20ft. This extends an extra ten feet every time another level in Zen Blade is taken. Additionally, when combat focused, you can Touchsight equal to half the amount of your blindsight

    Spoiler
    Show
    Now this, this is what the Zen Blade is all about. Knowing your surroundings, no matter the circumstances, and being able to find your enemies, no matter how much they try to hide. Blindsight firstly makes darkness and concealment unnecessary, then Touchsight makes it impossible for anyone to hide from you. There is simply no way to avoid Touchsight. If you're close enough to a Zen Blade, they will know of your presence.
    At the cost of repeating myself, this feels like too much, too early. A class could be made to focus on this level of awareness alone. Compare to a ranger or fighter: what do they get at level two: a bonus feat. A cleric: more level-1 spells. That is the kind of comparisons you need o be making.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Focused Strike (Ex): At 2nd level, as a standard action, a Zen Blade may perform a single attack at anyone in range as a touch attack. This ability cannot be used in conjunction with feats or abilities that apply a voluntary penalty to attack, such as Power Attack or Combat Expertise.

    Spoiler
    Show
    With their awareness and focus, the Zen Blade can ignore most armours and shields, striking in ways that it is difficult to bring them to bare. However. their focus means that they have to focus on accuracy first and foremost. Plus, Power Attack doesn’t exactly work thematically.


    Zen Reflexes (Ex): At 3rd level, a Zen Blade’s clarity of mind translates into clarity of movement. While combat focused, a Zen Blade gains extra attacks of opportunity equal to their Wisdom Modifier. This stacks with other extra attacks of opportunity, such as those gained by the Combat Reflexes feat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Zen Blade is primarily about control of the battlefield, not dealing damage. A traditional method of a melee fighter to control the battlefield is a lockdown build, and the Zen Blade shall do the same. To a degree.


    Control the Zone (Ex): At 4th level, a Zen Blade learns how to use his awareness to hamper his opponent’s movements. The area of a Zen Blade’s Touchsight becomes treated as difficult terrain by enemies.

    At 7th level, a Zen Blade control of his enemies movements extends to his attacks. Whenever you successfully hit an enemy with an attack of opportunity, they must make a Reflex Save a DC of 10 + 1/2 you class level + damage roll, or immediately halt as if he had used up his move actions for the round.

    At 10th level, you awareness becomes sharp enough that you do not even seem to need to move in order to strike out at your enemies, even if they are beyond your range. The threat range of your melee weapons is equal to your touchsight range.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Here we go, one of the most important abilities of the Zen Blade. The ability to restrict his enemies movement around them, even flat out stopping them. The level 4 ability is similar to the Knight’s Bulwark of defence, but stronger. The level 7 is a stronger version of the popular Stand Still feat, with a scaling DC and activating with AoO damage instead of replacing it. The level 10 ability, takes its inspiration once more from T.G Oskar’s Samuari Class. This time the ‘Maai’ ability, specifically the level 14 ability that extends you threat.

    All this combined together, gives the Zen Blade an incredible ability to control the movement of the enemies through the battlefield. However, this is just the start of what the Zen can do, in terms of battlefield control.


    Mettle (Ex):
    At 5th level, whenever a Zen Blade makes a successful Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that normally deals partial effect or half damage on a successful save, he instead does not suffer from the effect or takes no damage. A helpless Zen Blade does not gain the benefit of mettle.

    Spoiler
    Show
    What can I say about this ability? Zen Blade’s have super-will, and they have tough fortitude by being front-line fighters. So why shouldn’t they have this ability?


    Shared Insightful Combat (Ex): At 6th level, a Zen Blade’s powers of insight grow, allowing not just yourself to find the opponent’s weak spots, but also to share it with their allies.

    Whenever you successfully make a Insightful Combat check, all allies in 60ft of yourself, gain an insight bonus to attack and damage rolls against the creature equal to half the insight bonus you, yourself gain.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Hope this wasn’t too complicated... but yeah, basically, the thing with this is? ‘Well, I can perceive me enemies well enough to spot weaknesses in their defences. Why can’t I point them out to my allies?’ This lets you do that. But of course, as you're simply pointing the weakness out, and your allies can’t see them themselves, its a smaller bonus. Not the strongest of the Zen Blade’s abilities, but its a pretty solid boost. Not as strong as the bard’s inspire courage, but it does stack with pretty much everything.


    Sense Weakness (Ex):
    At 8th level. The Zen Blade’s awareness grows, allowing him to spot openings and weaknesses in the enemies concentration that offers do not. Allowing him extra chances to strike out without fear of retribution.

    Whenever an enemy makes a 5ft step, withdraws, or casts defensively while inside your threat range. If you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them, even though you would normally not be able to.

    At 13th level. The Zen Blade notices how at the moment an enemy attacks, their defences drop, allowing them to strike out in turn. Whenever you are attacked by an enemy inside your threat range, if you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them. This does not count towards your total number of attacks of opportunity per round.

    At 18th level, the Zen Blade now knows, that when an enemy is wounded, for a split-second, their defences falter. For others, this cannot be pressed. But for the Zen Blade, they can strike. Whenever an enemy inside your threat range takes damage from a source that is not yourself, if you are combat focused, you may make an attack of opportunity against them.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Another of the Zen Blade’s biggest abilities. Attack of opportunities, and the control a Zen Blade can perform through them has already been established. This ability builds off that, by granted the Zen Blade more options to strike out at their enemies. While combat focused off course. Small limitation, but its there.


    Weaken Enemy (Ex): At 9th’s level, the Zen Blade’s strikes grow more precise and controlled, allowing them weaken them, and make them easier to vanquish. Whenever a Zen Blade successfully damages an enemy, they take a penalty to AC, attack, damage and save rolls equal to the Zen Blade’s class level/4. This penalty lasts until the start of the Zen Blade’s next turn and does not stack.

    Spoiler
    Show
    I believe its about time that the Zen Blade starts getting a way to control the battlefield, that isn’t reliant on AoO’s, don’t you? And this is a solid start, debuffing the enemy. Making it easier to damage them - via saves or AC - and making them do less damage, or not even hit you at all. The penalty is small, -2 at this level. But at level 20, it’ll be a pretty hefty -5, and that’s a nasty penalty.


    Improved Insightful Combat (Ex): At level 11, the ability to see an enemy's strengths and weakness has become second nature to a Zen Blade. From now on, you may take 10 for any Insightful Combat check. In addition, the Zen Blade’s insight now allows them to make devastating blows more often, even against enemies when such blows are not possible. When combat focused, you may always be able to get critical hits against enemies, and the critical range of your weapons increases by your insight bonus/3 (rounded up)

    Spoiler
    Show
    Might of gone a bit overboard in this one. A Wisdom Score of 18 means that you’re guaranteed getting a check of 25, giving you a +3 Insight Bonus. Which isn’t that small. More importantly however, you can ALWAYS get a critical on any enemy. Even ones with fortification or critical hit immunity. That’s a pretty strong ability, as well as having a crit-range increase.

    Still, it just a reflection of the Zen Blade’s accuracy, and without Power Attack, they need a way of getting out a good amount of damage, even if their primary focus is control.


    Improved Mettle (Ex): At 12th level, a Zen Blade’s mettle ability improves. She still takes no effect on a successful Will or Fortitude save that has the “partial” or “half” descriptor, but henceforth she takes only the partial effect or half the damage on a failed save.

    Daze Enemy (Ex): At 14th level, a Zen Blade’s strikes now disorientate the enemy, instead of simply hurting them. When a Zen Blade successfully damages an enemy, they must make a fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 class level+Wisdom modifier) or be dazed for a round. On a successful save, they take a -2 penalty to the next attempt of this ability. This penalty stacks until the enemy fails their save.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Not sure if a single round daze is that effective, but it is a stun, that’s even harder to ignore than usual. So, until suggestions say otherwise. Its a single round. That being said, the Zen Blade is very good at make sure they do daze people. When combined with the Weaken Enemy effect, just one successful save gives them a huge -5 penalty to their next attempt. Which might be your second attack during the round.


    Supreme Focus (Ex): At 15th level, the Zen Blade’s ability to focus in battle reaches new heights, granting them a variety of new effects. As mind and body become one, the bonus to Will Saves from the combat focus feat also applies to fortitude and reflex saves. Additionally, when combat focused, a Zen Blade gains a competence bonus to spot, listen and sense motive equal to half their class level, and any penalty to attack is reduced by 1. This includes iterative attacks from high BAB

    Spoiler
    Show
    Have to admit, I’m not too sure on this one. The increase to fortitude and reflex saves is small, and spot and listen don’t come up too often in combat. The last ability I’m worried about, as I’m honestly not sure reducing it by 1 is big enough... but if its -2, you can do something crazy like, chain Monkey’s Grip and TWFing to have two 1hd weapons, 1 of them large, and have the penalty only be -2/-2 instead of -6/-4, that’s a significant boost.


    Greater Insightful Combat (Ex): At 16th level, a Zen Blade’s insight grows even more. Allowing them to not just see ways of striking the enemy down, but also defending against their blows. Additionally, they become more skilled at sharing their insights with their allies. Whenever you use Insightful Combat against an enemy, all allies in 60ft gain the effects of insightful combat as well. Additionally, you gain an insight bonus to AC and saves against that creature equal to the bonus to attack and damage rolls.

    Spoiler
    Show
    This is a pretty powerful ability now. Not only do you get a bonus to attack, damage, AC, saves and critical range. But your allies do as well. Again, if you have Wisdom 18, which is pretty much always gonna happen at this level, you’re guaranteed a check of 30. Giving you and your allies a +4 Insight Bonus, and a increase to crit range by 2. That’s a pretty hefty boost. Maybe a bit too powerful, though it is level 16...


    Greater Focused Strike (Ex): At 17th level, a Zen Blade’s ability to focus their strikes into the weakest areas of an enemies defence has become second nature to them. Now, when combat focused, any attack a Zen Blade makes that does not have a voluntary penalty to attack rolls is treated as a touch attack.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Simple boost, but pretty damn effective. Makes the Zen Blade’s the master of accuracy that they are, and makes EVERY single attack a touch attack. With the bonus to attacks from Insightful Combat, and full BAB. I doubt a Zen Blade will EVER miss.


    Cripple Enemy (Ex): At 19th level, a Zen Blade’s strikes now cut at the enemies very strength as they strike. Whenever a Zen Blade deals damage to an enemy. They take 1 Strength or Dexterity damage.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Ouch. Now this ability HURTS. 1 point per strike doesn’t seem like much, but it does accumulate. If it made it higher, say... 2. A full-attack action could reduce an enemy's’ strength or dexterity by 8, add on a single extra attack, say from... Haste or the speed enhancement. And that’s a potential 10 dex damage. On a creature like a dragon, which most likely have low 10, it’ll lower them to zero in an instant. So, keeping it at 1 is more than strong enough.


    Zen (Ex): At 20th level, a Zen Blade has reached the pinnacle of focus and understanding. Allowing them to transcend their limits and enter into a state like no other. A Zen Blade is always considered to be combat focused, and all bonuses granted by being in combat focus is doubled. Additionally, they may take 10 with all skill checks, regardless of the situation, and may take 20 for insightful combat.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Now this... this is a capstone. Taking all the benefits from being combat focused before, and doubling them. Including your class features. You gain a +20 bonus to spot, listen and sense motive, all penalties to attack are reduced by 2. (If it was 4, you’ll be able to use pretty much any weapon you wanted to). You gain a +4 bonus to all saves, (+8 if you have 3 or more combat focus feats), your touchsight becomes equal to your blindsight, meaning its a 200ft aura. Your allowed number of AoO’s become twice your wisdom modifier, on top of other bonuses. And that’s what I can think of from the top of my head.

    For Insightful Combat, well if you have a Wisdom score of 20, you’ll always get a check of 45. Giving you a +7 Insight bonus to attack, damage, AC and save rolls, and a +3 to critical range. And all your allies get that as well! All in all, I am confident that Zen is indeed, a capstone ability worth getting.
    I was going to do a step-by step comemntary, but in the end my only comment seems to be "tone it down a notch or two".

    The easiest way to keep things level without getting caught in the power rush is to do modify an existing design instead of invent it outright. Like in this example here. I wish you luck in you luck in your homebrewing endeavours, and i hope you will take kindly to my suggestions, without frustration nor discouragement.
    Last edited by iTookUrNick; 2014-03-20 at 08:32 AM.
    My day job is killing me. But I will rise again, more powerful than ever!

    PbP: Sky Captain (IC|OOC) - The Warlock of Monte Cristo (IC|OOC)
    Homebrew|Avatar by Ceika

  8. - Top - End - #8

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    The idea is solid, but i feel you went overboard in a few places. The fundamental concept of game design and balance is that there should not be an option that is clearly and in every way better than the others. This is clearly not the case, unless you are planning to play with equally boosted classes. What is the power level you are aiming for? Cleric and Wizards? Some homebrew class?
    The problem here, is that you are completely off the mark. This class is NOT, in every way. Better than the others. Yes it is more powerful than vanilla classes, but this class shouldn't be compared to them.

    The classes this should be compared to are other, melee focused. Tier 3 classes. The Legendary Warrior and Legend Class make good comparison, especially as their classified as 'High Tier 3' instead of just Tier 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    A combat oriented class needs a suitable chassis, as you say. This one is on par with the ranger (better dice, lower skills). I only wish to point that the d10 is considered a tanky dice (fighters and paladins have it).
    T.G Oskar's remakes are a strong reference and inspiration point, and he an important rule when it comes to dice. : Tanks MUST have d12. So a d10 dice, means your tough, but not a tank.

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    Add something along the lines of "when combat focused", and possibly something else as well. How does this work with 2H weapons? Are there any other limitations?
    There isn't any relevant limitations I can add that don't get in the way of the class's mechanics and fluff. And why are you asking 'How does this work with 2H weapons'? There's nothing about it not worknig with 2H weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    I do not know what your point of reference is, but mine is Dervish Dance, which has much steeper restrictions in its usage. A blanket swap Str-Wis like this could certainly be worth it as a dip for a combat oriented cleric. My opinion: too much too soon.
    If you had read the 'thoughts'. You would of known EXACTLY what my point of reference is.

    There's already classes that are acclaimed to be extremely well-balanced, and it has this feature practically word-for-word. It is a lot for level 1 yes. But it is a fundamental part of the class.

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    I noticed the similarity with the feat. I also noticed you halved the steps (every 5 instead of the official 10) for the bonus increase. Is there a reason for this improvement on a full bab class, considering you are also removing the MAD and the skill investment?
    -_-

    Make sure your right before making claims like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    At the cost of repeating myself, this feels like too much, too early. A class could be made to focus on this level of awareness alone. Compare to a ranger or fighter: what do they get at level two: a bonus feat. A cleric: more level-1 spells. That is the kind of comparisons you need o be making.
    And the class pretty much DOES focus on that level of awareness alone! At level 2, Blindsight 20ft is HARDLY 'too much, too early'. I admit, it is more than what the fighters and ranger's get. But this is more powerful than them. Compare the Legendary Warrior to this! It gets a Bonus Feat, Evasion AND a Bonus to five skills!

    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    I was going to do a step-by step comemntary, but in the end my only comment seems to be "tone it down a notch or two".

    The easiest way to keep things level without getting caught in the power rush is to do modify an existing design instead of invent it outright. Like in this example here. I wish you luck in you luck in your homebrewing endeavours, and i hope you will take kindly to my suggestions, without frustration nor discouragement.
    The problem here is, that your comparing the Zen Blade to fighters, rangers and the like. When quite simply, that is an unfair comparasion. You need to compare the Zen Blade to classes that it is designed to be around the same level of power.

    If you don't want to compare the Zen Blade with homebrew, you need to look at the martial adept classes and compare what they get and what the Zen Blade gets. And you got to keep in mind that SELECTION of choices that these other classes get, while for Zen Blade, you don't get ANY choices at all.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    iTookUrNick's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Italy
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Let me rephrase: I did know what your stated point of reference was. I was simply dazzled by the idea that one should not be making comparisons with the official material. All further disagreement comes from that, and it would be useless to keep it up.

    Comparing to the Swordsage (good Tier3) is probably the better idea, or at least something I (and most other people) can do more easily. From that point of view, I cannot help but reiterate my belief that this class is a straight upgrade.

    Btw, Tiers do not correlate directly with power. One could have a +20 to hit and damage at level 1 and still be a Tier-3 because of his focus (i.e. very good at one thing). And it would still be a design flaw, imho.

    Even if i am not intimately familiar with Mr. T.G Oskar's production, I gave it a quick glance and I would say to him the very same things I said to you. On the plus side, I believe the his work and yours are on par with each others and could be played very well together. Good job on that!

    Last, as a side note: knowledge devotion first increment is different from the others. in my hurry, and the notion that it was similar to the Archivist class feature, I did not check further.

    Again, i hope this helps. Accepting criticism is neither fun nor easy, especially if this is the result of miscomunication or misinterpretation, but it is usually helpful to at least consider other points of view. Cheers.
    My day job is killing me. But I will rise again, more powerful than ever!

    PbP: Sky Captain (IC|OOC) - The Warlock of Monte Cristo (IC|OOC)
    Homebrew|Avatar by Ceika

  10. - Top - End - #10

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    ... Absolutely fail to see how this class can be considered an upgrade compared to say... the Swordsage.

    Let us compare, shall we?

    This class gives you a zone of awareness, which gives you a big threatened area, and your Ao0's can make opponent's stop moving. Additionally, your attacks debuff your enemy, potentials dazes them, and you can grant yourself and allies a bonus to attack, damage, AC, saves & crit-range.

    Now, that is quite a lot. Hence why this class would be around Tier 3. However. The Swordsage can do much more.

    It can extremely easily make an enemy count as flanked or flat-footed. It can cover its weak saves with the ability to replace it with Concentration, or at higher levels, boost all its saves by its level. Through only once per turn. It lets you trip and throw enemies without needing high strength, and deal damage with the throw, even AoE damage!

    It allows you to move as a swift action (at level 1!), can grant you extra attacks. Has teleportation and invisibility. Allows you to replace any AC roll with Sense Motive, extend your reach, ignore DR & Hardness, replaces damage with 2x Concentration, or QUADRUPLES your damage. You can damage their Con, Dex or Str. Has moves that let you move and attack at the same time, or move twice your speed AND have an attack.

    You can use your attack to make your opponent's attack adjacent enemies, use Jump to Stun your opponent, deny the opponent the option to use a full-attack for a turn, become incorporeal , do two full-attack options in one turn, move and perform multiple throws in a single turn.

    Admittedly a Swordsage might not be able to do ALL of those. But it should be noted that they have the OPTION to do all of those.

    So please. Tell me. HOW is the Zen Blade an 'UPGRADE' to the Swordsage?!

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Moselle, France
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Well, for some time i was fearing "Oh, beginning seems nice, it will probably suffer from the insanely interresting dip issue" but not really. Yeah, Combat Focus enhanced with a 1 level dip is strong, but... not THAT strong. Blindsight for 2 level is good too, especially because it means no concealment with 2 levels, making it insanely interresting for a backstabber build, because it then bypasses a lot of the defenses used against sneak attack... but that flaw of sneak was already insanely stupid.

    Globally speaking, it seems a nice one, finely balanced, fluffy, and awesome. In short : what a frontliner should be, as long as it's not using ToB.
    I just moved with my gf, and might need some time to find the perfect spot for my cpu. Still trying to keep up with my games.


  12. - Top - End - #12

    Default Re: Zen Blade. 3.5 Base Class. PEACH

    Glad you like the class sir. Especially that you enjoy both the fluff and mechanics.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    i like how balanced this is
    Reality is my clay, Imagination my tools.

    Always have an idea on hand.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    I like it. I'm too tired (and generally poor at estimating balance without seeing something in play) to give you a full critique, but just skimming through I noticed something odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempestfury View Post
    Zen Strike (Ex): At 1st level, a Zen Blade may use his Strength or Wisdom modifier for her attack and damage rolls with any weapon he is proficient, whichever is the highest.
    If he was for some reason compelled to do so, a player could take Martial Weapon Proficiency (Longbow) or something similar and get Wisdom (or Strength) to his attack and damage rolls with a ranged weapon. This class is obviously meant for melee, so it seems to me that this isn't how the feature is meant to work, and if left in this fashion it could potentially be exploited by, say...Archery Rangers who want to become SAD. Maybe you like the sound of that, and if you do, great. But if not, maybe add in a word to specify that the feature is for melee weapons?

  15. - Top - End - #15

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    Small, but important. Thanks.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    This is a really cool concept. I intend to use it in a campaign, or at least give the players the option, pretty soon. As such i would greatly appreciate it if you would correct the table thing. It makes it hard to read, and I'd like to be able to copy and paste it to a Google doc to print out for my players.

  17. - Top - End - #17

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    The table was absolutely fine... until the stupid reworks completely changed it up and made maknig tables infinitly more complicated... I really don't think I'll be able to sort the table out...

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    What about the table button? Right below the Bold button?

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    Spoiler: Table
    Show
    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features
    1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Combat Focus. Zen Strike. Insightful Combat
    2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Zone of Awareness. Focused Strike.
    3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Zen Reflexes
    4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Control the Zone (Terrain)
    5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Mettle
    6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Shared Insightful Combat
    7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Control the Zone (Immobilize)
    8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Sense Weakness (Harrier)
    9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Weaken Enemy
    10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Control the Zone (Threaten)
    11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Improved Insightful Combat
    12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Improved Mettle
    13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Sense Weakness (Attack)
    14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Daze Enemy
    15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Supreme Focus
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Greater Insightful Combat
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Greater Focused Strike
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Sense Weakness (Damage)
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Cripple Enemy
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Zen


    You can also use What You See is What You Get mode for the tables, which is accessed with the button right above the bold button.

  20. - Top - End - #20

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    ... Huh, never knew what that button did, I'll have to remember it. Thanks for the table Kazyan

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Question Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    Where can I find the Combat Focus feat?
    If it is not on the SRD, I suggest putting it in the original post.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Zen Blade. PEACH

    Mettle at level 5 is a bit early.
    I agree that this class is quite attractive as a dip, and less so as a sustained class.
    I think the concept works better as a d8 class with more options than a d8 class.
    To be fair, Swordsage does have less hp, but yes, the comparison does make it very difficult to justify choosing this over a Swordsage.
    Capstone... Gives so much. Maybe distribte across levels?
    Last edited by Jirachi; 2017-02-26 at 06:34 PM.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •