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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Ursus Spelaeus's Avatar

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    Default Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    So I had a thought.

    Magic of Incarnum includes a bunch of incarnum themed spells and psionic powers, and even some invocations.

    Why not incarnum themed maneuvers for initiatior classes?

    I'm picturing an incarnum-based discipline that used to be practiced by the ancient Mishtai.
    Maybe call it 'Azure Veil' or something.

    Azure Veil may be made available to all initiator classes either with an alternate class feature or a feat.
    The feat should confer some additional benefit. Maybe the additional benefit is variable according to the character's alignment?

    Key skill for the Azure Veil discipline is Concentration. Weapons associated with the Azure Veil include battleaxes, flails, warhammers, longswords, and all natural weapons.

    Stances from this discipline can be invested with essentia.

    Boosts from this discipline have to be weighed against the value of investing essentia as a swift action.
    Some variation on Psycharnum Infusion feat may be good for a maneuver. Extra care will be required to avoid degenerate interactions.
    Another boost for this discipline might temporarily increase the essentia capacity of a receptacle and and invest point of temporary essentia into it.

    There should be strikes that deal essentia damage, of course.

    Will chip away at this.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    Personally I'd say Knowledge (the planes) as skill instead of Concentration. Partially to avoid overlap, and partially because Knowledge (the planes) (or arcana) is the skill to know about/understand Incarnum.

    As for stances, the first one that comes to mind is a 1st level stance that gives you bonus essentia based on your Initiator Level (1 + 1/8 IL or some such) but that's not something you can invest essentia into. Special bonus that when you use a swift action to enter it you can reassign essentia as well.

    Increases the work but possibly go for some aligned maneuvers like Devoted Spirit.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Ursus Spelaeus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    I like the idea that incarnum stances let you reassign essentia when you enter them.

    The aligned maneuvers idea is also good one.

    I do also like the Knowledge (The Planes) idea. I was also thinking about making Spellcraft the key skill, but then I checked and realized that only Incarnates get that.

    Slate Infusion
    Azure Veil (Boost) [Incarnum]
    Level: Azure Veil 1
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: End of turn
    When you initiate this maneuver, choose one essentia receptacle such as a shaped soulmeld and fill it to capacity with bonus essentia until the end of this turn.

    Essence Spike
    Azure Veil (Boost) [Incarnum]
    Level: Azure Veil 2
    Prerequisite: Ability to shape 1 soulmeld
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: End of turn
    When you initiate this maneuver, select one incarnum receptacle such as a shaped soulmeld. Increase the selected receptacle's essentia capacity by 1 and invest one point of bonus essentia into it until the end of the turn.

    Cerulean Dance
    Azure Veil (Stance) [Incarnum] [Essentia]
    Level: Azure Veil 1
    Requirement: 1 essentia
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance
    This stance is an incarnum receptacle. When you enter this stance, you may reallocate essentia, and invest essentia into this stance.
    While you are in this stance, foes within 10 feet of you take a -2 penalty to Constitution checks. Increase this penalty by an additional -2 for every point of essentia invested in this stance.

    Soul Negation
    Azure Veil (Strike) [Incarnum] [Evil]
    Level: Azure Veil 1
    Requirement: 1 essentia
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee Attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous
    As part of this maneuver, you make a melee attack against an opponent. In addition to dealing normal weapon damage, you deal one point of essentia damage. If the target has 0 essentia, it takes one point of intelligence damage instead.

    *edit*

    Actually, how about this!

    Azure Veil Training [Incarnum]
    Requirement: Essentia 1, ability to learn maneuvers
    Benefit: Whenever you enter a stance or use a boost maneuver, you may reallocate essentia. In addition, maneuvers and stances from the Azure Veil discipline are now available to you when you gain new maneuvers. Furthermore, Knowledge (the Planes) is now a class skill for you.

    *edit 2*

    Further sketching out...

    Midnight Aura
    Azure Veil (Stance) [Incarnum] [Essentia] [Aura] [Chaos]
    Level: Azure Veil 1
    Requirement: 1 essentia
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance
    This stance is an incarnum receptacle. You may invest essentia into it when you enter the stance. The essentia is returned to your essentia pool when you leave the stance.
    Enemies within 30 feet of you suffer a penalty equal to Concentration checks equal to the invested essentia.

    Dusk Aura
    Azure Veil (Stance) [Incarnum] [Essentia] [Aura] [Evil]
    Level: Azure Veil 1
    Requirement: 1 essentia
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You, and all allies within 30 feet of you
    Duration: Stance
    This stance is an incarnum receptacle. You may invest essentia into it when you enter the stance. The essentia is returned to your essentia pool when you leave the stance.
    You and all allies within 30 feet of you gain a morale bonus equal to the invested essentia to Listen, Spot, and Search checks.

    Zenith Aura
    Azure Veil (Stance) [Incarnum] [Essentia] [Aura] [Law]
    Level: Azure Veil 1
    Requirement: 1 essentia
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You, and all allies within 30 feet of you
    Duration: Stance
    This stance is an incarnum receptacle. You may invest essentia into it when you enter the stance. The essentia is returned to your essentia pool when you leave the stance.
    You and all allies within 30 feet of you gain a morale bonus equal to the invested essentia to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks.

    Dawn Aura
    Azure Veil (Stance) [Incarnum] [Essentia] [Aura] [Good]
    Level: Azure Veil 1
    Requirement: 1 essentia
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You, and all allies within 30 feet of you
    Duration: Stance
    This stance is an incarnum receptacle. You may invest essentia into it when you enter the stance. The essentia is returned to your essentia pool when you leave the stance.
    You and all allies within 30 feet of you have fast healing 1 for every point of invested essentia, but only affects characters at or below one-half their full normal hit points.


    (I swiped some inspiration from the Dragon Shaman's draconic auras for these.)

    Alternate Class Feature: Soulborn Stance
    The Soulborn may trade their Aura class feature at level 1 for the Soulborn Stance class feature. If they do so, they gain one point of essentia and gain one level 1 stance of their choice from the Azure Veil discipline. The chosen stance's descriptor must match at least one part of their alignment.
    Last edited by Ursus Spelaeus; 2016-09-25 at 11:54 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    Looks good but i thing giving global word to stances like initators of azure veil disipline can alocate essence in discipline manuvers to gain aditional effects allocated essence returns end of the turn

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    I really like this idea. You may want to think on the name, as it may cause some confusion with DSP's Veilweaving.

    I'm on mobile right now, mostly posting so this is easier to find and edit when I get to a computer.

    Cerulean Dance seems impactful if you can make it work, but useless most of the time. I like the flavor, but maybe the penalty could be halved and applied to all physical ability checks?

    The chaos aura I like, but it seems weak, I'd either make it -2 per essentia or (if you don't want it to scale as well) -1, -1 more per essentia.

    I think that the evil aura seems lawful, and the lawful aura seems evil. If you keep the lawful effect lawful, I'd replace bluff with sense motive.

    I really like this, and think I'll use it in my games when it's more complete. Anything I can do to help, whether that's writing maneuvers, making a Crusader Archetype, or just critiquing, I'd love to do.

    Edit:

    I'd have the go-to alternative to Essentia damage for those without Essentia be Wis damage, as in Drain Incarnum, rather than Int damage (like in your Soul Negation). I think it fits better. I like the idea of a chain of maneuvers based on Soul Negation. A 5th level one that does 1d6 points, and a 9th level one that does equal to the weapon's base damage dice?

    Another concern is how to get sufficient essentia on an initiator. They're either using an Incarnum race, feat, or dip to qualify, but what after that?
    I'd go with Zaydos' idea, but make it 3rd level and add another effect on investment. Perhaps a bonus on attack rolls against creatures with an opposing alignment component equal to the invested essentia. If they multiclass into Incarnum stuff, they won't need it, but it'd allow for Azure Veil Crusaders, rather than Soulborn Crusaders, Incarnate Warblades, or Totemist Swordsages.

    Favored weapons for the discipline would almost have to include Skarn spines. I'd suggest all natural weapons as well as the Longsword, Battleaxe, Flail, and Warhammer, for each iteration of the Incarnum Weapon.

    Strikes could have bind effects. Maybe Soul Negation (and its potential higher level versions) binds to the brow to give a penalty on fort saves equal to twice the essentia damage dealt for a round (will negates); or to the soul to gain temporary essentia equal to the essentia damage dealt.

    For your consideration:

    Essentia Funnel
    Azure Veil (Strike) [Incarnum]
    Level: Azure Veil 2
    Initiation action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous; see text
    When you initiate this maneuver, choose one essentia receptacle such as a soulmeld or incarnum stance. Until the beginning of your next turn, that receptacle is treated as having no essentia invested in it, and you may not remove essentia from it.
    As a part of this maneuver, you make a melee attack against an opponent. In addition to dealing normal damage, you deal 5 points of damage per essentia that was invested in the receptacle chosen. If no essentia was invested in the chosen receptacle, you gain no benefit.

    Great Essentia Funnel
    Azure Veil (Strike) [Incarnum]
    Level: Azure Veil 7
    Initiation action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: 1 round
    When you initiate this maneuver, choose one essentia receptacle such as a soulmeld or incarnum stance. Until the beginning of your next turn, that receptacle is treated as having no essentia invested in it, and you may not remove essentia from it.
    As a part of this maneuver, you make a melee attack against an opponent. In addition to dealing normal damage, you deal an additional amount of damage equal to your Initiator level multiplied by the amount of essentia that was invested in the chosen receptacle. If no essentia was invested in the chosen receptacle, you gain no benefit.
    Last edited by Maxrim; 2016-09-28 at 11:07 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Ursus Spelaeus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    Thanks! I still have a ways to go on this if I'm going to write up a full list of maneuvers. I still need to hammer out a coherent theme beyond "uses essentia" so any advice you can give me in that department would certainly help.

    I definitely agree that the lawful and evil auras should be swapped. Zenith, the sun at its height, sheds light upon situations (thus granting a bonus to spot and search checks.)

    Since I'm feeling ambitious, what I might do is plot out four different subthemes for the discipline, each keyed to a different alignment. The trick will be in making them all fit together and still feel coherent.

    Synergy with existing meldshaper classes is a must.

    There ought to be synergy with the Totemist class and the Skarn race, so there need to be maneuvers that can make effective use of multiple attacks. There may be some Tiger Claw overlap here.

    There ought to be maneuvers that make use of the discipline's key skill. It looks like I'm going with Knowledge (the Planes) on this. This can give the Rilkan race and the Incarnate class something to do with their impressive skill bonuses.

    Maneuvers with the [Evil] descriptor should provide tools for necrocarnum-based characters.

    There should also be maneuvers that synergize well with charge-and-smite tactics for Soulborn (they need all the help they can get.)

    Okay, so that looks like four basic paths then.

    Also, perhaps I can change the name of the discipline to Sapphire Mask?

    Skarn are described as usually lawful, so I could feature strikes with the [Law] descriptor that let you make multiple attacks.

    Rilkan are described as usually chaotic, so I could feature strikes with the [Chaos] descriptor that let you make Knowledge (the Planes) skill checks for various effects.

    Strikes with the [Evil] descriptor should utilize negative energy damage, ability damage, and incarnum damage, and there should be strikes that give you temporary bonus essentia.

    Strikes with the [Good] descriptor should heal or buff.

    It is important that the discipline is sparing with boosts and counters, since meldshapers want to use their swift actions to reallocate essentia. Boosts and counters associated with this discipline should focus on giving players new ways to shuffle their essentia around.
    I already mentioned a boost to increase essentia capacity (while giving bonus essentia) and a boost to fill a receptacle to capacity for one round.
    I could feature counters that allow you to move your essentia around reactively, pouring essentia into saving throws or AC as situations require in response to your enemy's actions. That's easy to spread out:
    A counter that lets you reallocate essentia when you make a Fortitude save.
    A counter that lets you reallocate essentia when you make a Reflex save.
    A counter that lets you reallocate essentia when you make a Will save.
    A counter that lets you reallocate essentia when you are attacked.

    Those counters could be a little weak, so I might throw in some kind of rider effect that counts the number of soulmelds you have shaped. That's another effect to consider for other maneuvers as well.

    *EDIT*

    I just saw your edit right after I posted this.

    I like your ideas!

    I agree on draining Wisdom. I was thinking Intelligence because it relates to the Lost template, but maybe that's just a little too punishing.

    *EDIT2*

    Also, I love the idea of bind effects on maneuvers!
    Maybe you can bind [Incarnum] maneuvers to chakras as you ready them?

    As for getting more essentia on initiators, we might accomplish that with more maneuvers that grant temporary bonus essentia. Hmmm...

    *EDIT3*

    Okay, so here are some slots we can fill on the maneuver roster:

    1) Essentia receptacle stance at every level
    2) Soul Negation chain
    3) +Essentia capacity boost
    4) Fill receptacle boost
    5) Reactive essentia allocation counter
    6) [Evil] strikes that deal negative energy damage (and give you bonus essentia)
    7) Maneuvers that utilize the key skill Knowledge (the Planes)
    8) Maneuvers that utilize natural weapons, such as Skarn spines
    9) Strikes that deal extra damage against targets of opposing alignment

    That kinda helps to give us a road map. We can edit it down later if it gets too busy.
    Last edited by Ursus Spelaeus; 2016-09-28 at 11:52 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    I like Sapphire Mask. It feels very mystical, which I think fits very well. Here are some ideas for counters:

    Energy Confluence
    Sapphire Mask (Counter) [Incarnum]
    Level: Sapphire Mask 4
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: 1 round (or until discharged)
    Make a Knowledge (The Planes) check. The next time this round a source would deal damage to you that damage reduction could not apply to (such as energy damage or the damage from one half of a Flame Strike spell, not merely damage that bypasses your damage reduction), you take an amount less equal to your check result. Instead, you take 1 point of essentia damage.
    Bind Effect:
    Hands: You may, as a standard action on your next turn, make a touch attack to discharge the damage prevented, dealing the same amount prevented, of the same type, to a touched target.
    Totem: You do not take a point of essentia damage when using this counter.

    Soul Shift
    Sapphire Mask (Counter) [Incarnum]
    Level: Sapphire Mask 2
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Instantaneous
    You may use this counter when you fail a saving throw, after determining failure, but before determining the full consequences. All Essentia you possess becomes uninvested, as if you had used a swift action to empty all your essentia receptacles. You may recollection your failed save, with a bonus equal to the essentia moved in this way.
    Bind Effects:
    Shoulders: You do not reroll your save, instead, you are treated as if you had rolled a 20, not automatically succeeding, but adding 20 to the essentia moved and your normal bonus to determine your result.

    Essence Everlasting
    Sapphire Mask (Counter) [Incarnum]
    Level: Sapphire Mask 8
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: 1 Round
    You step away from yourself, your Chakras aligning perfectly. You are immune to death effects and hit point damage until your next turn. Instead, anytime this round that you take any essentia damage, you lose 1/2 of your hit points, rounded up. If you are reduced to 0 essentia, you die, and may only be resurrected through the use of a True Resurrection, or similarly powerful effect.
    At the beginning of your next turn, you become fatigued, if you are already fatigued, you become exhausted. If you are immune to fatigue or exhaustion, or are already exhausted, you are staggered on your next turn.
    Bind Effects:
    Heart: You do not become fatigued, exhausted, or staggered through the use of this ability. So long as this maneuver is readied, you take no penalties from the staggered condition.

    Edit:
    Stances!

    Lives Yet To Be Lived
    Sapphire Mask (Stance) [Incarnum, Good]
    Level: Sapphire Mask 7
    Whenever you deal damage to a single target while in this stance, you heal a number of hit points equal to the essentia invested in this stance. You gain a bonus on Fortitude saves equal to the essentia invested in this stance.
    Bind Effect:
    Soul: The amount of healing provided by this stance is doubled.
    Hands: You may heal an adjacent ally with this stance, rather than healing yourself.

    Stories Yet To Be Sung
    Sapphire Mask (Stance) [Incarnum, Chaos]
    Level: Sapphire Mask 7
    Whenever you deal damage to a single target while in this stance, you may, as a free action, move up to 5ft per 2 essentia invested in this stance. You gain a bonus on Reflex saves equal to the essentia invested in this stance.
    Bind Effects:
    Soul: You benefit from an Air Walk effect in any round in which you deal damage and for 1 round afterward. Your movement with this stance may be in any direction.
    Feet: When you move using this stance, you may move up to 5ft per essentia invested.

    Death Yet To Be Done
    Sapphire Mask (Stance) [Incarnum, Evil]
    Level: Sapphire Mask 7
    Whenever you deal damage to a single target while in this stance, your victim takes a stacking -1 penalty to AC and on Will Saves until the beginning of your next turn. You gain a bonus on Will Saves equal to the essentia invested in this stance.
    Bind Effects:
    Soul: The penalty doled out by this stance applies to AC, all saves, and skill checks.
    Throat: The first time each round that you apply a penalty to a given victim with this stance, replace that penalty with an amount equal to the essentia invested in this stance.

    Wars Yet To Be Won
    Sapphire Mask (Stance) [Incarnum, Law]
    Level: Sapphire Mask 7
    Whenever you deal damage to a single target while in this stance, your target gains a mark. These marks stack, if you damage an opponent 4 times in the same round, they'll have 4 marks. These marks last until the end of the encounter if they aren't removed before then.
    Whenever an ally deals damage to a marked target, remove all marks from that target, and they take damage equal to the essentia invested in this stance for each mark removed. This damage bypasses all damage reduction, and possesses no type.
    You gain a Deflection bonus to AC equal to the essentia invested in this stance.
    Bind Effects:
    Soul: When an ally deals damage to a marked target, they deal additional damage per mark equal to any circumstance bonuses they get due to positioning (such as from flanking or high ground).
    Arms: You get a bonus to hit marked targets equal to the number of marks they possess.

    Let me know what you think.
    Last edited by Maxrim; 2016-09-30 at 11:55 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Ursus Spelaeus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    Nice!

    I think am a little confused by the wording on Energy Confluence. So you subtract your Knowledge check result from the damage?
    I do like the idea of converting damage into essentia damage, or taking essentia damage as a cost to use maneuvers.

    I like the 'uninvest essentia' drawback on Soul Shift. For the sake of elegance, we might consider 'keywording' it (just like in Magic: the Gathering). Example:

    Exhale (To exhale, uninvest all essentia you possessed as though you had used a swift action to empty all your essentia receptacles.)

    Also, I think incarnum maneuvers should list an amount of essentia as a requirement.

    Essence Everlasting is an interesting idea, but it's anti-synergistic with Energy Confluence. We should try to avoid anti-synergistic maneuvers (at least within the same discipline)

    The stances are pretty cool!

    I am warming up to the idea of bind effects for maneuvers.
    So, you bind maneuvers at the time that you ready them, right? And using the maneuver unbinds it?

    We could use a maneuver that allows you to unbind a chakra in order to free it up for something else.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Brainstorming Incarnum Maneuvers

    You do understand Energy Confluence correctly, how about this to clear it up:

    Energy Confluence
    Sapphire Mask (Counter) [Incarnum]
    Level: Sapphire Mask 4
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: 1 round (or until discharged)
    Make a Knowledge (The Planes) check. The next time this round a source would deal damage to you that damage reduction could not apply to (such as energy damage or the damage from one half of a Flame Strike spell, not merely damage that bypasses your damage reduction), you take an amount less equal to your check result; as if you had energy resistance against it, even if no energy resistance applies. Instead, you take 1 point of essentia damage.

    For example, Mair the Incarnate/Swordsage has an intelligence of 14 (+2) and 12 ranks in Knowledge (The Planes)
    He has a Major Ring of Fire Resistance (Resistance 20). His opponent casts a Flame Strike on him for 44 points of damage, 22 fire, 22 untyped. That's reduced by the ring to 2 fire, 22 untyped. Mair uses this counter and rolls a 9, +14 is 23, he winds up taking 1 point of fire damage and 1 point of essentia damage.

    Bind Effect:
    Hands: You may, as a standard action on your next turn, make a touch attack to discharge the damage prevented, dealing the same amount prevented, of the same type, to a touched target.
    Totem: You do not take a point of essentia damage when using this counter.


    I'm not sure about an essentia requirement, that'd make any stance that grants essentia, or even a boost like Slate Infusion, somewhat confusing.

    You would bind a maneuver to a chakra when you ready it, but it wouldn't unbind unless an effect unbound it or you re-readied maneuvers, just like a soulmeld.

    Exhale seems like a good idea. I also think we could use Marks on other Law maneuvers. Most maneuvers would have both a way to get marks and a way to use them, but some would be better at the former, some the latter. Kinda like Energy in Kaladesh.

    I don't see how Energy Confluence and Essence Everlasting are more anti-synergistic than any other pair of counters. They serve a similar purpose, but Essence Everlasting makes Energy Confluence unnecessary that round. They also couldn't be used together because you only get 1 immediate action per round. There are similar redundancies in other disciplines, much like there's an energy resistance spell and an energy immunity spell. Am I missing something?

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