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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    I originally just uploaded a screenshot of the Word document to imgur for posting on reddit's DnD board, but if anyone would rather I can re-type it for this board's formatting so it's available inline.

    So this is almost a year old, but I still really like the flavor and mechanics of it - does it look balanced? [i.e. PEACH please ] I was looking back over it and it seems like the primal scream ability may be too powerful as written for a first level ability.



    Version 2 of the Soul Warrior follows. Also taking name suggestions - Gravitas Berserker?


    Soul Warrior

    The soul warrior is a warrior who impresses his will upon his enemies both in combat and with powerful shouts.

    GAME RULE INFORMATION
    Soul warriors have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Strength, Constitution, and lastly Charisma are the most important ability scores for a Soul Warrior, dictating his effectiveness in combat and the potency of his primal scream ability.
    Alignment: Any chaotic.
    Hit Die: d10
    Starting Age: As barbarian.
    Starting Gold: As barbarian.

    Class Skills
    The Soul Warrior's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex)

    Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

    The Soul Warrior
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Power Words
    1st
    +0
    +2
    +0
    +2
    Primal scream 1/day, stalwart soul
    2nd
    +1
    +3
    +0
    +3
    Two-handed combat style
    3rd
    +2
    +3
    +1
    +3
    Power words (same type only)
    Fatigue, Pain
    4th
    +3
    +4
    +1
    +4
    Two-handed destroyer (DR 1/-), voice of beasts
    5th
    +3
    +4
    +1
    +4
    -
    Sicken
    6th
    +4
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Flurry of blades (-1 penalty), power words (two more types)
    7th
    +5
    +5
    +2
    +5
    Primal scream 2/day
    Deafen, Maladroit, Weaken
    8th
    +6/+1
    +6
    +2
    +6
    Two-handed destroyer (DR 2/-, Strength bonus increase)
    9th
    +6/+1
    +6
    +3
    +6
    Power words (two more types), primal scream (90ft plus frighten 1rd/lvl)
    Distract
    10th
    +7/+2
    +7
    +3
    +7
    Flurry of blades (no penalty), stalwart soul (immunity)
    11th
    +8/+3
    +7
    +3
    +7
    Flurry of blades (bonus attack)
    Disable
    12th
    +9/+4
    +8
    +4
    +8
    Power words (any), two-handed destroyer (DR 3/-)
    13th
    +9/+4
    +8
    +4
    +8
    Primal scream (greater rage) 3/day, voice of beasts (no damage)
    Nauseate
    14th
    +10/+5
    +9
    +4
    +9
    -
    15th
    +11/+6/+1
    +9
    +5
    +9
    Power words (bypasses resistances), primal scream (tireless rage)
    Blind
    16th
    +12/+7/+2
    +10
    +5
    +10
    Two-handed destroyer (DR 4/-, Strength bonus increase)
    17th
    +12/+7/+2
    +10
    +5
    +10
    Primal scream (120ft plus panic 1rd/lvl)
    Petrify, Stun
    18th
    +13/+8/+3
    +11
    +6
    +11
    Power words (add Charisma to bypass SR)
    19th
    +14/+9/+4
    +11
    +6
    +11
    Primal scream 4/day
    Kill
    20th
    +15/+10/+5
    +12
    +6
    +12
    Rampage

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the Soul Warrior.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Soul warriors are proficient with all simple and martial melee weapons and bastard swords, and with light and medium armor, but not shields. None of the soul warrior's abilities are based on encumbrance or type of armor worn, so the character is free to choose the Armor Proficiency (heavy) and Shield Proficiency feats if desired.

    Primal Scream (Ex): Once per day, a soul warrior can loose a bestial and ferocious scream, inspiring fear in your enemeis and bolstering your resolve and combat prowess. Activating this ability is a free action which does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A primal scream has two effects: Rage and Fear Aura. For every six levels beyond first, the soul warrior can use his primal scream one additional time per day (but no more than once per encounter).
    Rage: Upon unleashing his primal scream, the soul warrior enters into a state of rage identical to that of a barbarian. He gains a +4 bonus to Strength and Constitution, a +2 morale bonus to Will saves, and a -2 penalty to AC, for a number of rounds equal to his Constitution modifier +3. He is limited in all the same ways as a barbarian (regarding skill use, spellcasting, etc.) except that he can use his Power Words ability while enraged and that he can end the rage prematurely if desired. After a rage, a soul warrior is fatigued for the remainder of the encounter. At 13th level, the soul warrior's bonuses to Strength and Constitution increase to +6 and the morale bonus to Will saves improves to +3. At 15th level and beyond, the soul warrior is no longer fatigued at the end of a rage.
    Fear Aura: The sheer, unbridled fury released in a soul warrior's primal scream strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies. Creatures within 60ft of the soul warrior at the time of the scream who have fewer HD than the soul warrior and who are not allied with him must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 soul warrior level + the soul warrior's Charisma modifier) or be shaken for a number of minutes equal to his Charisma modifier. At 9th level, this fear aura affects creatures in a 90ft radius, and those who fail their saves are frightened for 1 round per soul warrior level, and shaken for the remainder of the 1 minute/level duration. At 17th level, the fear aura affects a 120ft radius, and creatures who fail their saves are panicked for 1 round per soul warrior level, then shaken for the remainder of the duration.

    Stalwart Soul (Ex): A soul warrior is resistant to the deception and attempted control of his mind. He gains a bonus on saves made to resist mind-affecting effects equal to his soul warrior level. At 10th level, the soul warrior gains immunity to mind-affecting effects instead.

    [b]Two-Handed Combat Style:/b] At 2nd level, a soul warrior must select one of two paths: that of fighting with two lighter weapons, or of fighting with one great weapon, wielded in both hands. Once made, this decision cannot be changed; he advances in abilities according to the path selected from the options presented below.
    Flurry of Blades (Ex): A soul warrior only benefits from flurry of blades when wielding two weapons of the same type. They need not possess identical properties, but must be the same size and type of weapon. For instance, a soul warrior could wield a +1 flaming shortsword in one hand and an ordinary shortsword in the other. A soul warrior who chooses this option may not receive any benefit from the Two-Weapon Fighting feat or its Improved or Greater versions; this ability supersedes them. The character is considered to possess these feats for the purposes of selecting other feats (such as Two-Weapon Defense).
    When a soul warrior makes a full-round attack with flurry of blades, he make make one additional attack with either weapon at his highest base attack bonus, but all attacks (including this bonus attack) suffer a -2 penalty on the attack rolls. This penalty persists until the beginning of his next turn, and so applies to any attacks of opportunity or other attack rolls made before then. At 6th level, this penalty is reduced to -1, and at 10th level, the soul warrior can make a flurry of blades attack without penalty. Additionally, upon gaining 11th level, a soul warrior making a full attack with flurry of blades receives two bonus attacks at his highest base attack bonus, rather than just one. All attacks made by a soul warrior with flurry of blades add his full normal Strength bonus to the off-hand weapon damage rolls.
    Two-Handed Destroyer (Ex and Su): A soul warrior only benefits from two-handed destroyer when wielding a non-light melee weapon two-handed. He is considered to have the Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization feats for any weapon wielded this way, and may select Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization featas as though he possessed fighter levels equal to his soul warrior levels.
    Beginning at 4th level, the soul warrior wielding a weapon in this way gains DR 1/-. This damage reduction is supernatural. At 8th level, and every four levels thereafter, this damage reduction improves by 1/-, to a maximum of DR 5/- at 20th level.
    A soul warrior of 8th level or higher who makes a full attack gives up the attack that would be made at the lowest base attack bonus (so a character with only levels in soul warrior upon gaining this ability would make a single attack at +6 base attack, rather than two at +6/+1). Instead, rather than adding one and one-half his Strength bonus on damage rolls, he adds twice his Strength bonus, and adds one and one-half his Strength bonus to attack rolls. (If using Power Attack, add three times the strength bonus to damage rolls instead, in addition to the normal benefits of that feat.) At 16th level, the soul warrior adds two and a half times his Strength bonus on damage rolls, and twice his Strength bonus on attack rolls (four times Strength bonus to damage with Power Attack). These bonuses only apply to full attack actions made by the soul warrior, and can be voluntarily foregone to make multiple weaker attacks, as normal.

    Power Words (Sp): Starting at 3rd level, a soul warrior learns to control the spiritual power he projects through his voice more precisely. He gains the ability to use power word spells as spell-like abilities, as cast by a sorcerer whose level equals his class levels. When a power word is first learned, it is useable once per day; additional uses per day are gained for every four class levels beyond the level at which the power was originally learned. The specific words learned at each level is given on Table: The Soul Warrior and their per-day uses detailed in Table: Power Words.
    Initially, the soul warrior can only affect other creatures with whom he shares a creature type (typically humanoids). At 6th level, and again at 9th, he chooses two additional creature types to be affected by his power words, and at 12th level, he can affect any creature with his power words. A soul warrior of at least 15th level can affect even creatures with resistance or immunity to mind-affecting effects, ignoring any such resistances/immunities (though he is still unable to affect mindless creatures), and at 18th level, he adds his Charisma modifier to caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of the power words' targets.

    Power Words
    Word 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    Fatigue
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    3
    3
    4
    4
    4
    4
    5
    5
    Pain
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    3
    3
    4
    4
    4
    4
    5
    5
    Sicken
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    3
    3
    4
    4
    4
    4
    Deafen
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    3
    3
    4
    4
    Maladroit
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    3
    3
    4
    4
    Weaken
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    3
    3
    4
    4
    Distract
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    3
    3
    Disable
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    3
    3
    Nauseate
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    2
    2
    Blind
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    2
    2
    Petrify
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    Stun
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1
    1
    1
    Kill
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    1
    1

    Voice of Beasts (Ex): At 4th level, the soul warrior learns to change the tonality of his voice to match that of any creature he has heard vocalize before. When doing so, he gains a bonus equal to one-half his soul warrior level on all Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Intimidate checks made to interact with a creature of the kind he imitates, as well as on Disguise checks made to disguise himself as a creature of that kind. This bonus increases by +4 if communicating in a native language that creature possesses other than Common. However, speaking with this inflection is draining; each round after the first minute of talking using this ability deals 1 point of nonlethal damage to the soul warrior. At 13th level, the soul warrior is acclimated to using his voice this way and no longer takes damage from doing so, even for extended periods of time.

    Rampage (Su): A 20th level soul warrior unlocks the most powerful secrets of unleashing his soul upon the world. Once per day, as an immediate action, the soul warrior can enter into a rampage, which lasts for 10 rounds. During this time, he is immune to weapon damage, gains resistance to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic 20 and spell resistance 30, he bypasses damage reduction as though any weapon he wields is adamantine, anarchic, and epic, and whenever he makes an attack or damage roll (including rolls made to confirm critical hits), he rolls twice and takes the better result. Once the rampage is over, the soul warrior is fatigued for the remainder of the encounter.

    Ex-Soul Warriors: A soul warrior whose alignment shifts away from chaotic loses the use of his primal scream ability and may not advance further in the class, but retains all other class features.
    Last edited by ezkajii; 2015-04-17 at 12:27 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    This isn't a bad class, especially if you're measuring yourself up to rangers, paladins, and their ilk. I do have some comments:
    • The class feels very conflicted. You have a d8 hit die and spell-like abilities, which makes me think backline. But you also have limited str/con bonuses and two melee weapon fighting styles, which makes me think melee. This means your melee soul warriors are going to be squishy, but your mage soul warriors are going to have class features that aren't very useful.
    • What attribute are the power word save DCs keyed off of? Wizards use Int, Druids use Wis, etc.
    • Primal Scream isn't OP at low levels (though the barbarian will note that your ability is stronger than his, and he might complain), but if you're adventuring with any allies suffering from negative levels or level adjustment, you might hurt them. In addition, Improved Fear is basically always better than Improved Range.
    • Two-Handed Destroyer's damage reduction is definitely underwhelming. DR 1/- at level 5 is pretty paltry, and DR 2/- by 12th level is more-or-less ignorable. I'm not sure if you've tested this, but THD looks like it can rip people apart, especially with more power attack multipliers.
    • I don't like the restrictions on creature types for power word. If you play an all-dragon campaign, that ability is crap until level 12. If you really want to restrict creature types, have the soul warrior select a number of types at each level: maybe 2 at level 3, 2 at level 6, 3 at level 9, 3 at level 12, all at level 15. I would prefer getting rid of the thing entirely, because the power word effects will already feel weak in the hands of a player because of their HP restriction.
    • Voice of the Beasts is an awesome ability from a flavor standpoint, but it's benefits seem pretty weak and its cost is pretty small. I'd recommend something like +4 to skills (+8 if using a native language), but have it hurt more and more often. 1d6/minute, up to 1min/lvl, and then 3d6/minute. This is less for game balance, but more to add a stronger thematic tie to the class. You also may want to add in something to stop targets immune to nonlethal damage from using this all day every day (I'm OK with that, but some DMs don't like it), and you might want to define how long a soul warrior must listen to a voice before getting the bonus.
    • Aside from voice of the beast, the soul warrior seems to be lacking quite a bit in terms of out-of-combat stuff. A soul warrior can cripple, stun, stab, kill, terrify in combat, but his best trick outside a fight comes from only one class feature and a meager 2 + Int skill points (Int will not be his strong stat). I recommend increasing skill points to 4 + Int and adding Perform, Concentration, Swim, and some Knowledge skills. Consider adding some sort of magical scholarly ability, letting him identify and use wands of power word spells.
    Last edited by Just to Browse; 2015-02-11 at 04:02 PM.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    The spell-like abilities are meant to supplement (acknowledging that they're pretty good supplements), with melee being the main focus. Would it make more sense as a d10?
    Power Words should be Cha-based.
    If increased fear aura range was increased to doubling (60/120/240) instead of just +30 each time, would that make it more even? Or should I just combine both, so that it improves in both ways each time?
    What would you recommend as a DR progression? Maybe DR 2/-- at 5th level and increasing by 1 every three levels?
    I'll admit Voice of the Beast was significantly more for flavor than mechanics. I can definitely see the drawback needing to be upped if I change the benefit to a +4/+8 instead. which also seems reasonable. A +1 is basically nothing, anyway.
    As for the power word race restrictions, I suppose the 'stronger' creature types are also going to tend to have more hp in general, a fact which i did not consider when I first drafted the class. With regard to using wands, the power word ability is supposed to be less magicky and more, channeling the soul warrior's inner spiritual strength to have powerful immediate effects on the world. Again, it is primarily intended to be basically a melee with some tricks up its sleeve. Definitely need to up the skills and skill points/level though.

    Thanks for the input!
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    • A d10 would be nicer. I'm sure future players would appreciate you for it.
    • You probably want to put the Cha dependency in the class, and how it interacts with things like minimum power word level and power word save DCs.
    • I think it would be better to give range and fear simultaneously. Most people are going to pick stronger fear unless you make the range obscene (like several hundred feet in the first upgrade).
    • If you want to keep the 3-tier upgrade like you have right now, something like 3/6/9 is probably best. I believe it should be higher at later levels, but DR makes people edgy for whatever reason so 10 is probably the max. Remember that your average opponent's weapon damage (nothing else) is about 3.5 on its own, so having DR 3/- is the minimum if you want it to mean something against goblin hordes.
    • It's good that you recognize that flavor should be included -- it's one of the biggest motivators for prospective players. That's why I recommend big flavor abilities, because the player is more likely to remember them.
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    Default Re: My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    I'd just like to note that Power Words don't allow saving throws in the first place they only care about hit points (and being Mind-Affecting).

    Also one reason people are wary about DR is that sans Power Attack a Balor (CR 20) deals 15/15/15/15/10 (3.5 fire)/10 (3.5 fire) damage or 12.5/12.5 with slams. Pit Fiend (CR 20) deals 22/22/13/13/20/15, wyrm black dragon (CR 20) deals (base) 21/21/20/13/13/27. Of these the only one which can reasonably hit a character with the basic AC boosting items (which cost a ton) and Power Attack is the black dragon. DR 10 reduces damage from a balor to 27 (instead of 80), a pit fiend to 45 (instead of 105), and a wyrm black dragon to 55 (instead of 115). In short it's because MM creatures at high CR tend towards high number of attacks per round over raw damage (with the exception of tarrasques and giants). So DR 10 will reduce dpr by half or more, and DR 20 will drop it to 0 in many cases, in both cases causing a DM to find some way to render it useless (which is not what you want to design).
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    Default Re: My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    Oh darn I need to learn to distinguish fixes from real life.

    Most high-CR opponents have non-damage ways of hurting you, which is why they're dangerous. A balor that doesn't use dominated minions or explode you with blasphemy is 2-3 CR lower than listed. On top of that, its multi-attacks are used for crit-fishing so it can auto-kill you. The pit fiend focuses on kiting you with SLAs and undead minions, then power word stuning you into a poisonous death attack. Dragon have sorcerer casting, breath weapons, terrifying grapple checks, and probably twice your HP. Most reasonable values of DR are basically just for ignoring low-level opposition, and even their use in that department starts falling off around level 15.
    Last edited by Just to Browse; 2015-02-12 at 12:19 AM.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    Okay so definitely the fear aura upgrades need to be combined. As far as DR goes, considering what Zaydos said and re-checking against the barbarian's progression (which is what I based it off of), I think I'll keep it roughly the same, maybe up grade a little but I don't want the class to end up Strictly BetterSM than the barbarian.
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    Default Re: My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    Quote Originally Posted by ezkajii View Post
    Okay so definitely the fear aura upgrades need to be combined. As far as DR goes, considering what Zaydos said and re-checking against the barbarian's progression (which is what I based it off of), I think I'll keep it roughly the same, maybe up grade a little but I don't want the class to end up Strictly BetterSM than the barbarian.
    I'd actually up it to DR 5 at least by the end; DR 10 is a good defense against physical attack and anything that or less tends to be mostly acceptable, DR 10+ tends to force new tactics on the monsters (which you don't want since it tends to make DR useless).

    Though of course there always remains what you're balancing it against. Warblades get DR 5 as an 8th level stance, for instance, and barbarian get DR 5/-, though if you're balancing it against barbarian that becomes time to look at trade-offs. Question: With 2 handed destroyer do I still get the bonuses if I am just making a standard attack and can I choose to forgo the bonuses to full attack normally?
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: My first homebrew class, the Soul Warrior (loosely based on heavy metal concepts)

    Yeah DR 5/- wouldn't be excessive, I don't think, though yeah I guess a lot of it is balanced against the barbarian. As for the THD questions, those aren't things that I had considered, but looking it over again I'd rule (i.e. will clarify when I rewrite the class) that the strength multiplier bonuses always apply, even for standard attack actions, and... I'm kinda split on whether to allow forgoing the bonus to full attack normally. I suppose if you were to wield a weapon one-handed or use a simple weapon two-handed it wouldn't apply, so I'll probably just leave it as is, and the player/character can switch weapons to have alternate attack patterns, basically. That makes sense to me.
    Behold! The Monster Compendium

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