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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Elves's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Tome of Battle Skill Tricks

    WIP, Tiger Claw tricks added soon.

    For anyone who doesn't know, skill tricks are from Complete Scoundrel. They're special uses of skills. Learning one costs 2 skill points, you can only learn one per level, and canít know more in total than 1/2 your HD.

    "Once per encounter" mean once per 5 minutes out of combat.

    Skill Tricks For Martial Adepts

    The point here is to give some utility to the initiator classes or people who dip them.

    Many Age of Warriors disciplines have secondary utility functions baked into some of their maneuvers, so they donít need skill tricks, fortunately. But skill tricks do have the advantage of being able to have usage limitations, whereas maneuvers are locked to the effectively at-will refresh mechanic.

    Maneuver Requirements
    Stances count as maneuvers for fulfilling the maneuver requirements, just as they do when qualifying to learn new maneuvers.

    Spell Mimicking Effects
    When a skill trick lets you to mimic the effect of a spell, that doesn't actually count as being able to cast spells or cast spells of a certain level.

    Balance Note
    Many of these just copy spell effects, and are usually weaker. The point here is not balancing casters with martials, just to round out the TOB classes so that they can contribute more out of combat.

    Spoiler: Desert Wind
    Fire Lore
    Prereq: Knowledge (History) 5 ranks, 3 Desert Wind maneuvers, language: Ignan

    You can tease small fires or individual flames into the vague fiery shapes of creatures or objects. This functions as a visual prestidigitation, and your skill at sculpting fire increases the more skilled you are in Desert Wind. But thereís a deeper use here. Once per day you can ask the fire a question, either vocally or mentally. You make a Knowledge (History) check at a +2 bonus; for this check you can also treat events on the Plane of Fire as covered by Knowledge (History) rather than Knowledge (The Planes). If the check succeeds, the fire acts out the result. This re-enactment is schematic and general, like a stylized infodump in a movie, rather than faithful footage of what actually transpired -- details may be omitted or inaccurate -- but it might be useful as a visual aid.

    With at least 11 ranks in Knowledge (History), instead of making a Knowledge check you may mimic a legend lore spellís 1d4x10 minutes function. With 13 ranks you may also mimic the 1d10 days function, requiring a central hearth or large campfire. With 15 ranks you may also mimic the 2d6 weeks function, requiring a vast pyre or sacrificial flame into which offerings are periodically cast. The fire must be kept continuously burning while the spell is cast.

    Magic Sand
    Prereq: Craft (Alchemy) 5 ranks, 2 Desert Wind maneuvers

    Once per day as a full-round action you can create a volume of shapesand equal to what your Wisdom score allows you to control.

    Wind Lore
    Prereq: Knowledge (Local) 8 ranks, 2 Desert Wind maneuvers, language: Auran

    If you are in an area of at least light wind, you can send a message into the air as with a whispering wind spell, CL=IL.

    In addition, a natural environmental wind can tell you rumors or information about the places it came from or has traveled through. You can immediately make a Knowledge (Local) check pertaining to these regions, even if youíve never been there. You may instead make a Knowledge check pertaining to events on or connected to the Plane of Air, using your ranks in Knowledge (Local) rather than Knowledge (The Planes).

    Both abilities are usable once per day.

    Spoiler: Devoted Spirit
    Special: Devoted Spirit skill tricks only cost 1 skill point to learn.

    Faith Healing
    Prereq: Heal 8 ranks, 3 Devoted Spirit maneuvers

    This skill trick has two benefits.

    1. A number of times per day equal to your Cha mod, you may spontaneously convert a Devoted Spirit maneuver you have readied and unexpended to the maneuver below.

    Faith Healing
    Skill Trick (Utility) [Su]
    Level 0 through 9
    Action: Full round action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    If you make a successful Heal check, the target is healed 1d8 per maneuver level+chamod. The DC for the check is 10+3*the level of the maneuver.

    2. If you have at least 12 ranks in Heal, when you make a successful check to treat someone with the Heal skillís ďLong-Term CareĒ option, you may grant the patient an effect similar to a lesser, default, or greater restoration spell. You must be able to use maneuvers of the same level as the spell you are imitating. You can do this only once per month.

    Pray for Guidance
    Prereq: Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks, 1 Devoted Spirit maneuver

    Roughly once per week you can mimic an augury spell. With 12 ranks in Knowledge (religion), you can instead attempt to mimic a commune spell (if you donít serve a deity, you may try to commune with a deity or powerful outsider whoís at least partly sympathetic to your aims, though they may not share all of your opinions). However, this commune request will only be answered in urgent and exceptional cases, since as an adept of Devoted Spirit, your job is to serve based on faith and inner conviction, not based on a clericís direct bond. If the deity fails to respond, your weekly use of this trick is still used up.

    Your effective CL for these effects equals your IL.

    Spiritual Ally
    Prereq: Knowledge (The Planes) 4 ranks, Knowledge (Religion) 10 ranks, 3 Devoted Spirit maneuvers of which one must be 4th level or higher

    You summon an outsider, either a servant of your god or a being sympathetic to your chosen cause, as with the lesser planar ally spell, CL=IL. This ability is usable once per month. As this calling is based off of cause rather than alignment for crusaders who arenít primarily religious, there is more room for leeway in what kind of being might appear; however, it only calls outsiders who want to make a deal according to the rates laid out in the spell, AND who are genuinely interested in seeing your cause succeeding. So you might get a devil who believes that the utopia you strive for will fail and descend into chaos, but not one who is going to undercut you. And such unexpected summons are the exception.

    At IL 11th and 15th, you may instead mimic the medium and greater versions of planar ally, respectively.

    This skill trick counts as knowing lesser planar ally for the sake of thaumaturgist, but does not count as being able to cast a divine spell or an xth-level spell: it fulfills only requirements to know, specifically, a planar ally spell.

    Spoiler: Diamond Mind
    Cached Thoughts
    Prereq: Autohypnosis 12 ranks, Concentrate 12 ranks, 4 Diamond Mind maneuvers

    With preternaturally lucid self-examination, you freeze a certain state of mind and can mnemonically reconjure it. You can use this trick to perfectly remember something, such as a password or someoneís appearance. You can even store a certain set of beliefs; when you use the trick this way, then when you activate the mnemonic, you become, for the purposes of intent, the alignment you were when you used the trick. This doesnít necessarily change your alignment, which is based mostly on actions, but it changes your will to act as that alignment from then on.

    With at least 18 ranks in both Autohypnosis and Concentrate, once per day you can use this trick as a Thought Bottle, but it canít reset more than 2000xp.

    Usable once per encounter. You can only hold one cached thought at a time. A cached thought can be held indefinitely.

    Prereq: Concentrate 5 ranks, 2 Diamond Mind maneuvers

    You gain Autohypnosis as a class skill. With a DC 20+1/2 IL Autohypnosis check, you may change your readied maneuvers as a standard action, except that expended maneuvers remain expended; you simply swap another maneuver into that expended slot, and it can be refreshed as normal.

    In other words, this serves as a faster but inferior version of the Adaptive Style feat.

    If you have more than one initiator class, choose which pool of maneuvers to change. Only classes that grant Diamond Mind are eligible.

    Usable once per encounter.

    Meditation of Clarity
    Prereq: Concentrate 6 ranks, 4 Diamond Mind maneuvers


    Meditation of Worldflow
    Prereq: Concentrate 8 ranks, 4 Diamond Mind maneuvers

    You enter a meditation that allows you to perceive the flow of subtle forces. After meditating for 1 hour you detect all auras within 60ft. With IL 15 you can instead mimic the effect of an analyze dweomer spell, CL=IL.

    Prereq: Concentrate 6 ranks, 4 Diamond Mind maneuvers

    You gain this stance:

    Skill Trick (Stance)

    While in this stance you can perform two actions that require concentration simultaneously. This does not give you extra actions. An interruption threatens to disrupt both activities.

    Spoiler: Iron Heart
    I Made It Myself
    Craft (Armorsmithing) or Craft (Weaponsmithing) 5 ranks, 3 Iron Heart maneuvers

    You can infuse a metal weapon you have personally smithed with one strike known to you, a suit of metal armor you have personally smithed with one stance known to you, or a metal shield you have personally smithed with one counter known to you. The maximum level of maneuver you can infuse is the second highest level of maneuver known to you, minimum 1st. You may infuse 9ths if you know an epic discipline.

    The infused maneuver works like a martial script: anyone wielding or wearing the item can use the maneuver, provided they have a high enough initiator level to do so (see errata). Activating a stance from a suit of armor is a free action; the stance benefit lasts until the start of the wearerís next turn, replacing one stance they currently have active, if applicable.

    You may perform one infusion per day. At 15 and then 20 ranks in the relevant skill, you gain 1 more infusion per day. A single item can still hold only one infusion.

    Iron Heart Smithcraft
    Prereq: Any smithing-related Craft skill 12 ranks, 3 Iron Heart maneuvers

    With the strength of an Iron Heart practicioner, you launch into a fable-worthy marathon of metalwork. This trick allows you to process metal with smithcraft as if with a fabricate spell, except that it takes 1 hour per cubic foot of material affected instead of 1 round per 10 cubic feet. You donít need to break to rest.

    With 20 ranks in the relevant Craft skill, you may simply channel the power of the Plane of Swords to immediately transform metal into finished products. The casting time becomes the same as with fabricate, and the produced items simply melt out of the metal into choation.

    Once you finish this trick, you are exhausted in a way not even Iron Heart Surge can remove and must rest. You canít use this trick again for at least another month, probably more.

    Weapons Buff
    Prereq: Martial Lore 8 ranks, 4 Iron Heart maneuvers

    You may use an [ex] effect similar to the legend lore spell once per week, but only pertaining to weapons, armor and armaments. If you have such an item at hand you may instead inquire about one of its past wielders.

    If you have at least 12 ranks in Martial Lore, instead of the legend lore effect you may use:

    Supernatural Sword Sense - As locate object, CL=IL, but only works on magical weapons and armor.

    Spoiler: Setting Sun
    Underestimate Me
    Prereq: Bluff 3 ranks, Sense Motive 8 ranks, 3 Setting Sun maneuvers

    You gain a +2 bonus to resist Intimidate checks by creatures larger than you. When someone tries unsuccessfully to Intimidate you, you count as having successfully Feinted against them.

    Canny Monkey
    Prereq: Sense Motive 5 ranks, 3 Setting Sun maneuvers

    As a student of Setting Sun, youíre very good at taking the measure of your opponent, and itís necessary to do so quickly in order to use their strengths against them and exploit their weaknesses. When you target a creature with a Setting Sun maneuver, you can make a Sense Motive check on them as a free action.

    Usable once per encounter.

    Gloaming Speech
    Prereq: Bluff 3 ranks, Diplomacy 3 ranks, 4 Setting Sun maneuvers

    Setting Sun is the discipline that teaches how to turn strength into weakness and weakness to strength. Words are a wonderful vehicle for this transformation. When using this trick, you adopt the subtle, elusive, beguiling manner of speech used on the Isles Beyond the Dawn.

    Whenever you successfully change a creatureís attitude using the Diplomacy skill, you may slip in a free-action Bluff made at a +2 bonus. This does not work with rushed Diplomacy checks.

    If you have 6 ranks in Diplomacy and IL 9, then once per day you may replace this extra Bluff check with an [ex] effect similar to the suggestion spell, CL=IL. It remains mind-affecting, and does not count as knowing or being able to cast spells.

    Spoiler: Shadow Hand
    Shadow Fog
    Prereq: Craft (Alchemy) 5 ranks, 4 Shadow Hand maneuvers

    You turn a vapor or aerosol dark and shadowy, increasing its ability to conceal. It also becomes clingy and harder to disperse.

    The miss chance provided by the affected vapor increases by 10%, as per the Varying Degrees of Concealment clause, and it takes twice as long for wind to disperse.

    Usable once per encounter.

    Shadow Grasp
    Prereq: Sleight of Hand 3 ranks, 3 Shadow Hand maneuvers

    Your shadow reaches out to grip something, its arm elongating. As mage hand, but you must be casting a shadow and the range is limited to 20 feet, plus or minus 5 feet per size category away from medium. You can extend the range by 5 feet if you stretch, taking a standard action.

    You may combine this trick with Shadow Servant (see below).

    Usable once per encounter.

    Shadow Servant
    Prereq: Move Silently 5 ranks, Perform (Puppetry) 3 ranks, 4 Shadow Hand maneuvers

    Your shadow becomes half alive, and separates from your body, acting as an unseen servant except that it isnít invisible and its duration is 1 minute per four character levels. You cease to cast a shadow; it is your shadow, just separated.

    You must be casting a shadow to use this skill trick. Your shadow servant is only present on surfaces upon which its print is cast, not in the air, and the surface on which it falls must be within the trickís range in order to animate it.

    By default the servant is the same size category as you, but depending on the shape of shadow you are currently casting, the servant may become up to 2 size categories larger, or 3 size categories with IL 15. It usually has the ďlongĒ body shape for a given size category. Its size and force capability do not increase with size. A shadow servant larger than the limits listed above is too dispersed to control; its Strength and lifting capability are 0 and it cannot move, i.e. itís just a normal shadow.

    Your shadow servant cannot enter an area of magically created bright light such as a daylight spell. In magical darkness such as a darkness spell, its Strength and force exertion capability are doubled.

    [Insert mechanic for shadow servant breaking free, you suffer 1 negative level until you put it down, it has the stats of a shadow with the same number of HD as you did when it broke free.]

    Usable once per encounter.

    Umbral Insinuation
    Prereq: Bluff 3 ranks, 1 Shadow Hand stance

    When you make a social skill check while in a Shadow Hand stance, you may make an umbral insinuation. Your tongue (or other relevant communicatory appendage; in the case of telepathy it could manifest as a dark mental tendril the other person senses) turns black and shadowy, and you gain a +4 bonus on the check. The person with whom you are communicating may make a DC 15 Spot check, penalized as normal for distance or distraction, to notice the shadowy tell and negate this bonus, in which case they may become hostile or alarmed.

    Every 3 additional ranks in Bluff raise the Spot DC by 1.

    Usable once per day.

    Note: This trick is supposed to be good at early levels, but later retain use mainly for when you can engineer a circumstance with penalties. Rogues with the Sublime Rogue ACF may find it slightly more amenable.

    Spoiler: Stone Dragon
    Earthshaping Meditation
    Prereq: Balance 12 ranks, Knowledge (Architecture&Engineering) 5 ranks, 3 Stone Dragon maneuvers

    You sit on the ground and meditate, focusing on the earth, then psychokinetically sculpt it.

    x cubic volume of earth or x cubic volume of stone per hour of meditation

    - Make craft checks to create skilled/intricate stuff

    Stone Dragon Laborer
    Prereq: Any Craft or Profession skill 8 ranks, 3 Stone Dragon maneuvers including 1 stance

    Invoking the strength of stone, you work like a madman, accomplishing tasks impossibly fast.

    This trick allows you to do the work of ten men for a day, or four men for a week. You do not need to eat or sleep. At the end of this you are fatigued in a way that only rest can remove; if your species doesnít rest you are fatigued until you spend a day relaxing and inactive.

    After you use the trick you must wait a month to use it again. Each Craft or Profession in which you have at least 8 ranks has its own separate cooldown.

    Spoiler: Tiger Claw
    Tiger Claw Huntcraft
    Prereq: Profession (Hunter) 5 ranks, 3 Tiger Claw maneuvers

    - More TBA; have to go out atm.

    Spoiler: White Raven
    Bread for Valhalla
    Prereq: Crusader level 5th, 3 White Raven or Devoted Spirit maneuvers

    As heroesí feast, usable once per month. At IL 11, usable once per week. At IL 17, usable once per day. If you qualify with Devoted Spirit, you instead call this Bread for the Faithful.

    Special: Learning this trick only costs one skill point.

    Troupe of Retainers
    Prereq: Diplomacy 8 ranks, Martial Lore 4 ranks, 3 White Raven maneuvers

    Your reputation as an effective warleader draws squires and retainers to your service. You gain x low-level warriors as followers. [level/number details TBA]

    Their builds need not be identical but they are all generic and donít stray far from the NPC warrior builds listed in the Dungeon Masterís Guide.

    Trumpeting Speech
    Prereq: Perform (Oratory) 3 ranks, Diplomacy 5 ranks, 2 White Raven maneuvers

    You use special breath techniques to unleash a trumpeting blast of speech. For the length of a single spell, cry, or continuous conversation or oration lasting up to 5 minutes, your voice is much louder and travels twice as far. Afterwards you are fatigued for 1 hour, or exhausted if already fatigued.

    While this is active, sonic energy effects that make your voice deal damage (for example, a Shout spell but not a sonic Dragonfire Inspiration) gain 2 additional damage dice and +2 to their DC.

    This is physically taxing so you can only do it conmod/day (minimum 1).

    Self Comes Second
    Prereq: Diplomacy 12 ranks, 3 White Raven maneuvers

    While in a White Raven stance your Aid Another action grants a +4 bonus instead of +2.

    PEACH. Ideas for additional ones are also very welcome.
    Last edited by Elves; 2019-05-10 at 05:17 PM.

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

    Default Re: Tome of Battle Skill Tricks

    I like these a lot. The idea is great, and I'm always in favor of content which connects systems together.

    Two thoughts: It might make sense that each skill trick also gives a +1 bonus to all skill checks with the skill associated to that martial discipline. The reasoning behind this is that martial adepts generally have few skill points: whereas skill tricks for rogues are great because they sometimes almost have more points than they know what to do with, that's a rare status for a martial adept. So, the skill tricks should have a teeny bit more oomph.

    Second, if this is going to be part of the revived Age of Warriors, then it might make sense to do some skill tricks for some of the new disciplines from there. I don't have a lot of time right now, so I'm going to throw out a few ideas and hopefully you or someone else can turn them into functioning ideas: For Narrow Bridge a skill trick that makes identifying undead easier, and another one which allows tracking undead easier. For Broken Blade a skill trick which allows once an encounter to automatically identify any martial maneuver one sees.
    My homebrew:


    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish

    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Elves's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Tome of Battle Skill Tricks

    martial adepts generally have few skill points: whereas skill tricks for rogues are great because they sometimes almost have more points than they know what to do with
    Swordsages get an okay # of points and warblades are already incentivized to invest in int, so this synergizes with that.

    Crusaders are a problem since int is their dump stat, so they may not be able to afford any at all. I'll bump some of the crusader tricks down to only costing 1 skill point.

    Added "Special: Devoted Spirit skill tricks only cost 1 skill point to learn." Also changed the heroes' feast WR one to be crusader only and cost 1 skill point, which solves the problem of that one being ridiculous if it wasn't a crusader miracle.

    Second, if this is going to be part of the revived Age of Warriors, then it might make sense to do some skill tricks for some of the new disciplines from there.
    I mentioned this in the other thread, but for the new disciplines I'd rather bake utility into the maneuvers (of course this will take some editing in some places). Tricks for the new disciplines would take too much space up. And this way it becomes a nice nod to the venerability that the original 9 do still enjoy.
    Last edited by Elves; 2019-04-28 at 04:05 PM.

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