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Syne
2009-02-27, 01:06 PM
For your viewing pleasure.


Spectral Palm
The Spectral Palm discipline is an ancient martial art that nurtures the spirit rather than the body. Far older than most other martial arts and practiced since the concept of death was discovered, it teaches how to contact the spiritual and become it, drawing power in various forms. Disciples of the Spectral Palm may deeply respect the slain or harbor contempt towards them, begging their favor, manipulating them, or drawing their power by force.
Key Skill: Concentration
Favorite Weapons: Unarmed Strike, Kukri, Scimitar, Falchion, Scythe.

Note that this discipline introduces a new damage type: spiritual. Spiritual damage can only harm living creatures.
1st Level
Channel Lost Souls (Boost): Deal initiator level + wisdom modifier bonus spiritual damage.
Distance of the Beyond (Stance): Apply a +6 bonus on all saving throws against emotion effects.
Guidance (Stance): Apply wisdom modifier to attack instead of Strength.
Otherworldly Channel (Strike): Deal +1d4 spiritual damage and opponent becomes shaken for 1 round.
2nd Level
Drain Spirit (Strike): Attack deals 2d4 extra spiritual damage, gain as many temporary hit points.
Pale Phantom of Steel (Strike): Incorporeal touch attack deals spiritual damage.
Phantom Shroud (Boost): Gain concealment for 1 round.
3rd Level
Heart Sight (Boost): Become deaf and blind but gain Blindsight against living creatures for duration.
Grim Shadow (Strike): Make normal and incorporeal attack. Incorporeal attack deals 2d6 + wisdom damage.
Spiritual Armament (Stance): Half of all physical damage dealt is converted into spiritual.
Whisperings of the Beyond (Boost): Ready a 1st level maneuver of any discipline for free.
4th Level
Deep Spiritual Exertion (Boost): Apply +5 to attack rolls and armor class but cannot initiate maneuvers this round or the next.
Phantom Barrier (Boost): Semi-physical barrier manifests in 1d4+1 squares, provides cover.
Sweeping Ghost Blade (Strike): Make attack and deal 3d6 points of spiritual damage in a cone.
5th Level
Chaotic Possession (Strike): Attack confuses enemy for 1 round.
Echoes of Steel (Boost): Make up to 3 extra incorporeal attacks that deal 2d6 + wisdom.
Flee the Physical (Counter): Become incorporeal against one attack/ability/spell.
Spirit Raiment (Stance): Apply shield and armor bonuses against touch attacks.
6th Level
Cruel Phantom Dance (Strike): Make incorporeal touch attacks as a full attack.
Ghost Charge (Strike): Become incorporeal, charge, and make incorporeal attack.
Sacrifice of Self (Counter): Resist hit point damage but take wisdom damage instead.
7th Level
Eternal Listener (Counter): You stop being flat-footed and gain a +8 insight bonus to initiative.
Ethereal Calling (Strike): 1d4 ghostly duplicates attack with you.
Spiritual Hammer (Strike): Attack stuns target for 1d4 rounds.
8th Level
Call Forgotten Master (Strike): You and ghost duplicate initiate 3rd level maneuver or lower.
Incandescent Paragon (Stance): You are almost incorporeal.
Wraithheart Dance (Boost): Attacks deal spiritual damage and cause 1 negative level.
9th Level
Charge of Fallen Armies (Strike): Charge and 1d4 ghost duplicates follow.

Level 1
Channel Lost Souls
Spectral Palm (Boost)
Level: Swordsage 1
Prerequisites: None
Initiation Action: Swift action
Range: Self
Target: Self
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: None

You act as a host to the vengeful souls of the slain that drift aimlessly across the ethereal plane. You let their rage manifest in your attacks, granting them a second, spiritual edge.
For 1 round, your melee attacks deal initiator level + wisdom modifier points of extra spiritual damage.
This is an extraordinary stance.

Distance of the Beyond
Spectral Palm (Stance)
Level: Swordsage 1
Prerequisites: None
Initiation Action: Swift action
Range: Self
Target: Self
Duration: Stance
Saving Throw: None

Being so often in contact with the other side, you have adopted a cold, detached demeanor that renders you resistant to affects that manipulate emotions, those that bestow fear, cause rage, or grant morale bonuses. You gain a +5 bonus on saving throws against such effects.

Guidance
Spectral Palm (Stance)
Level: Swordsage 1
Prerequisites: None
Initiation Action: Swift action
Range: Self
Target: Self
Duration: Stance
Saving Throw: None

You let your spirit and the whispers of twin spirits from beyond the dark veil steady your hand and guide your weapon rather than relying on pure physical strength. While in this stance, you may apply your wisdom modifier to melee attack rolls instead of your strength modifier.

Otherworldly Channel
Spectral Palm (Strike) [Fear]
Level: Swordsage 1
Prerequisites: None
Initiation Action: Standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: Will negates

Your weapon drinks in the pain of the dead like a sponge. Your attack unleashes that pain upon your opponent, causing 1d4 points of extra spiritual damage. The visions your attack inspires cause emotional turmoil and shock that make your opponent shaken for 1 round.
Those who succeed on a Will save do not suffer the extra damage or the fear effect, but still take normal damage from your attack.

Level 2
Drain Spirit
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 2
Prerequisites: One Spectral Palm maneuver
Initiation Action: Standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One living creature
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: None

You create a spiritual vacuum deep within yourself and channel this vacuum through your weapon, draining the target of your attack of spiritual energy by dealing 2d4 points of spiritual damage. You gain the damage dealt as temporary hit points that last for the 1 round.

Pale Phantom of Steel
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 2
Prerequisites: None
Initiation Action: Standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

You turn your weapon into a frozen, translucent mist through an ancient invocation of soul and spirit. It glows with an unearthly glow and its edges scorn all forms of matter. If it touches a victim, it strikes directly at its soul (if it has one), inflicting damage invisible upon the flesh but lethal nonetheless.
As part of this maneuver you make a single melee attack. It is treated as an incorporeal touch attack (it ignores armor and shield bonuses to armor class unless they come from a force effect) and all the damage it deals is spiritual damage that only affects living creatures.

Phantom Shroud
Spectral Palm (Counter)
Level: Swordsage 1
Prerequisites: None
Initiation Action: Swift action
Target: Self
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: None

You twist the material and the ethereal in your immediate surroundings, creating an obscuring mist-like effect that grants you concealment from all enemies for the duration. Your attacks do not suffer from this concealment, however.
Level 3
Grim Shadow
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 3
Prerequisites: None
Initiation Action: Standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

You bind one of the spirits of the beyond to your cause, letting it inhabit your body for a split second to get a brief taste of life. In return, it reaches into the material plane to rake a single creature, the target of your own melee attack, with its incandescent claws.
Your attack deals normal damage. The spiritís attack is an incorporeal touch attack that deals 2d6 + your wisdom modifier points of spiritual damage. Its attack bonus equals your initiator level + your wisdom modifier. The spiritual damage this attack deals does not affect non-living creatures.

Heart Sight
Spectral Palm (Boost)
Level: Swordsage 3
Prerequisites: One Spectral Palm maneuver
Initiation Action: Swift action
Range: 30 feet
Target: Self
Duration: Up to 3 rounds
Saving Throw: None

Rather than seeing through your eyes and hearing through your ears, you open your heart to the subtle spiritual vibrations that accompany the movement of every living creature.
As part of this maneuver, you must voluntarily become deaf and blind. In return, you gain blindsense out to 30 feet and can ignore miss chance due to concealment against living creatures.
Although this maneuver can last up to 3 rounds, you can choose to end its effects 1 or more rounds after having initiated it. Doing so requires a free action.
This is an extraordinary maneuver.

Spiritual Armament
Spectral Palm (Stance)
Level: Swordsage 3
Prerequisites: One Spectral Palm maneuver
Initiation Action: Swift action
Target: Self
Duration: Stance
Saving Throw: None

You project your spirit outward and weave it into your melee attacks, granting them an unseen edge. This second edge cuts through the bodies of your victims to strike directly at their souls.
While in this stance, all the physical damage your melee attacks deal is converted into spiritual damage. Spiritual damage of this sort ignores damage reduction (being supernatural in nature) but only affects living creatures.

Whisperings of the Beyond
Spectral Palm (Boost)
Level: Swordsage 3
Prerequisites: One Spectral Palm maneuver
Initiation Action: Swift action
Target: Self
Duration: End of encounter
Saving Throw: None

Opening your ears to the incessant whisperings of the dead, you manage to retrieve a secret technique. This technique manifests itself in an additional readied maneuver from any discipline. The maneuver must be of 1st level. You may initiate it normally, but you cannot recover it in any way. You cannot recover this maneuver while your new maneuver remains readied as well.
Level 4
Deep Spiritual Exertion
Spectral Palm (Boost)
Level: Swordsage 4
Prerequisites: One Spectral Palm maneuver
Initiation Action: Swift action
Target: Self
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: None

You rake the last remnants of spiritual energy and invest it in your combat ability. You gain a +5 competence bonus to attack rolls and armor class for 1 round but you cannot initiate or recover any maneuvers this round or the next. You cannot use this maneuver if you have already initiated or recovered a maneuver this round either.

Phantom Barrier
Spectral Palm (Boost)
Level: Swordsage 4
Prerequisites: One Spectral Palm maneuver
Initiation Action: Swift action
Range: 5 feet
Target: 1d4+1 squares
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: None

You create a web of spirit and will given form. The web surrounds you from 1d4+1 sides, each side facing an adjacent square an enemy could attack from. You may choose which squares the web faces when initiating this maneuver.
The web is treated as a force effect that grants you cover from enemies attacking from the other side of the web (whether through melee attacks or ranged attacks, including ranged touch attacks). Your attacks remain unaffected by it, however. Enemies on the other side of the web cannot flank you as well.

Sweeping Ghost Blade
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 4
Prerequisites: One Spectral Palm maneuver
Initiation Action: Standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will halves

You make a single melee attack, invested with spiritual energy. The attack causes powerful vibrations in the border between the material and ethereal planes. These vibrations are deadly to living creatures.
Whether or not your melee attack hits, it is followed by a destructive wave that causes 3d6 points of spiritual damage in a 15-foot cone centered on the target and facing directly away from you. Non-living creatures do not suffer this damage. Creatures caught in the effect can attempt a Will saving throw to take half damage.
Level 5
Chaotic Possession
Spectral Palm (Strike) [Mind-affecting]
Level: Swordsage 5
Prerequisites: Two Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: Will negates

Your attack creates a wound in the victimís spiritual defenses and mental shielding, creating a weakness through which drifting spirits can enter his mind. The target must make a Will save to retain control of his body while incomprehensible whispers fill his mind and strange desires his heart. Upon failure, he becomes confused for 1 round.

Echoes of Steel
Spectral Palm (Boost)
Level: Swordsage 5
Prerequisites: Two Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Swift action
Target: Self
Duration: End of turn
Saving Throw: None

You bind a drifting warrior spirit, coaxing it to attack alongside you through diplomacy, trade, or manipulation. The spirit can attack up to 3 times this turn. Every attack must follow a physical attack on your part and is made against the same target. The attacks are made as incorporeal touch attacks at the attack bonus of your initiator level + your wisdom modifier. They deal 2d6 + wisdom modifier points of spiritual damage.

Flee the Physical
Spectral Palm (Counter)
Level: Swordsage 5
Prerequisites: Two Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Immediate action
Target: Self
Duration: One attack/ability/spell
Saving Throw: None

You step halfway into the ethereal plane to evade a single spell, ability, or attack. The maneuver renders you incorporeal against the effect. When the effect ends you return to the material plane without moving from your space. If that space is occupied, you appear in the closest free space and suffer 1d6 points of damage for every 5 feet displaced.

Spirit Raiment
Spectral Palm (Stance)
Level: Swordsage 5
Prerequisites: Two Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Swift action
Target: Self
Duration: Stance
Saving Throw: None

As soon as armor, even mundane armor, touches you it is filled with stray spiritual energy. It surface gains an unearthly glow and, at some points, it becomes almost translucent Ė as if some sort unseen light shining off your body is powerful enough to penetrate even unbroken metal.
While in this stance, the bonuses a worn armor and shield provide to armor class (they have to be in contact with your body; animated shields are not affected by this stance) apply against touch attacks, including incorporeal touch attacks.
Level 6
Cruel Phantom Dance
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 6
Prerequisites: Two Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Full round action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One or more creatures
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

You weave between the material and the ethereal, performing a deadly dance and stepping through the barrier as easily as through an open door. Your body vanishes, appears, and reappears along with your weapon. Enemies are unable to defend from your attacks, which breach the barrier between the planes like a hot knife through butter.
As part of initiating this maneuver, perform a full attack action. Every melee attack you make as part of that full attack action is treated as an incorporeal touch attack, though it deals normal damage.

Ghost Charge
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 6
Prerequisites: Two Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Full round action
Range: Charge
Target: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

As part of this maneuver, you become incorporeal and perform a charge attack. Being incorporeal, you can pass through material obstacles with ease Ė including other creatures, though you must still end your movement in an empty space. In addition, attacks of opportunity may prove ineffectual against you. The attack you perform at the end of the charge is treated as an incorporeal touch attacks that deals normal damage. As soon as it is completed, you regain physical quality and occupy the space in which you ended your movement.

Sacrifice of Self
Spectral Palm (Counter)
Level: Swordsage 6
Prerequisites: Two Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Immediate action
Target: Self
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

You reflect physical damage upon your spirit, hoping it can withstand it.
You can use this maneuver whenever you suffer damage from any effect. You can reduce the damage by 10, plus 10 more per point of wisdom damage you voluntarily take. Note that you cannot reduce the damage by more than 10 * your current wisdom bonus.
Level 7
Eternal Listener
Spectral Palm (Counter)
Level: Swordsage 7
Prerequisites: Three Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Immediate action
Target: Self
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

You constantly listen to the chatter of otherworldly spirits. Through their wisdom, you gain a kind of foresight against future battles and disasters.
You can use this maneuver even while flat-footed, before rolling initiative in an encounter. You are no longer flat-footed and gain a +8 insight bonus on your initiative roll.

Ethereal Calling
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 7
Prerequisites: Three Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Full round action
Range: 5 feet
Target: One or more creatures
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

You call the countless spirits drifting the ethereal to manifest and make their drive for vengeance plain upon the world of the living, under your direction. When you initiate this maneuver 1d4 spectral duplicates of you appear in the adjacent spaces you designate. As these beings are incorporeal, they may assume occupied squares.
Every image is armed with a non-magical version of your equipment and possesses the same feats and abilities. They persist long enough to make a single, normal melee attack at their full attack bonus. They cannot replace this attack with a trip, disarm, or any other combat maneuver.
The images use your initiator level as their base attack bonus and treat your wisdom score as their strength score for all purposes. They attack with the same weapon as you and deal standard damage, but their attacks are made as incorporeal touch attacks. They cannot be harmed.
The duplicates may take advantage of feats or abilities, as long as they do not require any action to use (such as Power Attack or Weapon Specialization), and if the abilities can be used freely (they are not limited to uses per day or have some sort of cool-down period). If there is a choice to be made nonetheless, you may make it for every image separately.
You attack alongside your duplicates. Your attack is made as a normal attack.

Spiritual Hammer
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 7
Prerequisites: Three Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One living creature
Duration: 1d4 rounds
Saving Throw: Will negates; see text

You perform a single melee attack. Charged with spiritual energy and intent as it is, it deals spiritual damage and may wound the victimís soul, leaving her an empty shell.
If your attack deals any damage, the target must make a Will save or become stunned for 1d4 rounds.
Level 8
Call Forgotten Master
Spectral Palm (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 8
Prerequisites: Three Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Full round action
Range: 5 feet
Target: One or more creatures
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

You call the spirit of a fellow Spectral Palm master from beyond the veil of death. The spirit heeds your call and condenses into a semi-physical existence, appearing in an adjacent space of your choice. It takes the form of your ghostly duplicate, as summoned using the Ethereal Calling maneuver.
Immediately upon manifesting, you and the duplicate can initiate a single strike maneuver of 3rd level or lower. The maneuver may be of any discipline, but must not require more than a single standard action to initiate. You must know the maneuver but you do not have to have it readied. If you do have it readied, it is not expended (though this one is).
As soon as the maneuver is initiated, the duplicate disappears.

Incandescent Paragon
Spectral Palm (Stance)
Level: Swordsage 8
Prerequisites: Three Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Swift action
Range: Self
Duration: Stance
Saving Throw: None

Your body is always covered with an unearthly glow that seems to pierce nearby matter. Although you are not as immaterial as the spirits you control, some attacks and effects seem to nevertheless pass through you, leaving you unharmed.
While in this stance, you are considered incorporeal to limited extent. Although you are incapable of actually passing through solid matter, attacks and effects (with the exception of force effects and other effects that influence incorporeal creatures) have a 10% chance of failing to affect you.

Wraithheart Dance
Spectral Palm (Boost)
Level: Swordsage 8
Prerequisites: Three Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Swift action
Range: Self
Duration: 1 round and encounter
Saving Throw: Will negates (others)

You turn your attacks into deadly spiritual talons that rip directly into the soul of whoever they strike. For 1 round all your melee attacks deal spiritual damage and inflict 1 negative level. A successful Will save negates this negative level. You cannot inflict more than 1 negative level on any single creature per use of this maneuver.
For every negative level you cause, you gain 5 temporary hit points. These stack from multiple negative levels. Temporary hit points last for the encounter.
Level 9
Charge of Fallen Armies
Spectral Palm Strike)
Level: Swordsage 9
Prerequisites: Four Spectral Palm maneuvers
Initiation Action: Full round action
Target: One or more creatures
Range: Charge/10 feet
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None

You charge across the battlefield, projecting such a fierce battle aura that the war hungry spirits of slain soldiers flock to you, seeking a final glorious charge before returning to their bleak, gray existence. The unseen host at your flanks forms into 1d4 incorporeal duplicates of you, exactly as called by the Ethereal Calling spell. The duplicates appear in the squares you specify, though none of the duplicates can be more than 10 feet away from you and all duplicates must be adjacent to you or another duplicate.
The duplicates then move in a straight line at a target designated by you. You may designate targets independently for yourself and your duplicates. Note that because they are incorporeal, they can pass through most obstacles.
Having reached the requisite position, you and every duplicate perform a single attack (as detailed in the Ethereal Calling maneuver) against your targets, gaining all the benefits of the charge. Note that every duplicate may also take advantage of your feats (as long as they do not require an action to be used). Any choices involving the usage of said feats can be made independently for you and every duplicate.

ErrantX
2009-02-27, 04:49 PM
Very neat work, I have two comments:

1) What is the associated skill for this Discipline and who gets it in the first place? I'm almost thinking Heal for the skill, and swordsages.

2) What are the associated weapons with this Discipline? I'm seeing unarmed strike, nunchaku, light mace, heavy mace, and flail for some reason.

Otherwise, very neat. I get a lot of images of ghostly echoes fighting side by side with the martial adept. Its got some strong attacks, but its limits due to spiritual damage give it some unique restrictions.

Good show,
-X

Syne
2009-02-27, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the comment.

I've added some favorite weapons and a key skill, not that they really matter. As for eligibility, as you can see from checking the maneuvers, only Swordsages gain access to this discipline.