View Full Version : (3.5) (ToB) New Tiger Claw Stance and Strike

2010-01-30, 03:07 PM
Stance of the Puffer-Fish
Tiger Claw (Stance)
Level: Swordsage 1, Warblade 1 (plus homebrew classes that get Tiger Claw of course)
Prerequisite: None
Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Stance

"EAT! ME!!" - Agent K

A minor benefit of this stance is that you gain Acid Resistance equal to your initiator level while in it.

When a creature with the "Swallow Whole" (or equivalent) ability attempts an attack which could activate that ability, you may elect to go with it (usually leaping down its throat). You forgo all miss chances, to hit rolls and all other means of avoiding the attack. In exchange you may make a Jump check opposed by its attack roll. If you succeed you take no ill effects from the attack, OTHER than being swallowed (so no bite damage, no associated fang venoms, no energy drain from a bite attack, etc). You are still subject to the effects of the stomach/craw/whatever as usual.

When attacking a creature that currently has you swallowed whole you may attack with any weapons you have (natural or manufactured) rather than being limited in which weapons you can attack with, although bludgeoning damage does not count towards the amount to cut your way out of the stomach (in either direction). In addition select one of three options, the option must be picked as soon as you are swallowed(or alternatively as soon as you change to this stance if it wasn't active when you were swallowed):

"Gaping Hole": Your exit wound is especially messy. If you succeed in cutting your way out your way out, the creature must make a fortitude save against 10+ the amount of damage you dealt in the last round of attacks to cut yourself out (you may elect to finish a full attack rather than exit immediately if you select this option, in which case you exit at the start of your next turn). If they fail the fortitude save, the hole does NOT close behind you until the next time the creature is returned to full hitpoints, and any creature swallowed whole may use it to escape from the larger creature as a swift action.
"Thrashing Puffer-Fish Technique": Your attacks from inside the creature gain +5 to hit, and when making a full attack, you take advantage of the fact that you are literally surrounded by your foe to hit on your back-swings as well. You get an additional attack with every weapon you attack with, HOWEVER the damage from these extra attacks does NOT count towards the amount needed to cut yourself free. You may elect to remain within a creature you have been swallowed whole by to continue dealing damage to it. You make this decision at that start of each of your turns. However if you elect to stay, rather than exit when you could have, the creature receives a fortitude save against 10 + 1/2 your IL + your Strength modifier to vomit you out each round right before your turn. This save may be voluntarily failed as usual.
"From the Depths of Thee I Stab at Thee!": You may elect to tunnel towards a vital organ, rather than trying to cut your way free of the creature. First you must deal an amount of non-bludgeoning damage equal to the amount needed to cut your way out. After this you may continue to attack, but if you do, the creature gets a Fortitude save at the start of each of its turns against 10 + 1/2 your IL + your Strength modifier for the internal pressure of its organs to force you back into the stomach where you are immediately vomited forth. It receives a bonus to its fortitude save equal to 1/10 the damage that you dealt it last turn. In exchange, all your attacks after escaping the stomach to the intra-organ space have their critical threat range doubled (This DOES stack with Improved Critical, Keen, Etc, and, in fact, in such cases Quadruples, rather than triples the threat range) and receive +5 to hit.

Belly Slasher
Tiger Claw (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 1, Warblade 1 (plus homebrew classes that get Tiger Claw of course)
Prerequisite: None
Initiation Action: 1 Standard or Full-Round Action
Range: Melee
Target: One creature

"Give him BACK!"

As part of this maneuver make either a standard attack (as a standard action) or a full-attack (as a full round action) against a creature. The damage you inflict with with the attack or attacks counts toward the damage necessary for one randomly selected creature your target has swallowed needs to inflict to cut its way free. If you exceed the amount necessary to free a creature and have attacks left, that creature exits immediately. You then continue your full-attack, and may elect to apply your damage to another creatures escape efforts (chosen randomly from those that remain), or just be damage to the creature in the usual way.

EDIT 2012: Consider making the Strike a continuous effect while in the stance instead of something taken separately. This reduces the situationalness of it. For something that doesn't let other Strikes be combined with Belly Slasher, allow unlimited use of the Strike while in the Stance.

2010-01-30, 03:32 PM
What is the fort save for in option 1?

2010-01-30, 03:40 PM
Oops! If they make it, the hole closes behind you. If they don't, then anyone they swallow whole can exit immediately. Let me go fix that oversight (was typing in the list making box... easy to miss stuff.)

2010-01-30, 04:37 PM
Compared to other stances/maneuvers these seem incredibly situational, i.e. the kind of thing I'm not sure I'd spend a stance or maneuver on (except perhaps if I'm a swordsage, and maybe even then). Given ToB's emphasis on skill checks, I feel you could allow it to be bought for a given number of skill points, a la a skill trick (though not necessarily two), and it would still be a trade off, but an acceptable loss for those who it's really valuable for and it also might merit more consideration from other classes who otherwise cannot afford to waste their maneuver and stance selections.

On a different note, the stance also feels sort of like a tactical feat, though again, the investment of a feat in such a situational tool seems wasteful unless you're trying to fill a very specific niche. You might offer it as either, if you felt energetic.

On second review, the stance, at least, might have more use than I originally thought. Still not sure about maneuver. There's no denying both have a place, I just feel they're just incredibly slim in scope given the number of monsters that have Swallow Whole, the need for the successful use of said ability, the fact that by the time monsters start getting Swallow Whole you're looking at freedom of movement in all likelihood, and a few other factors. Most of that applies more to the maneuver than the stance, but the maneuver seems lacking even further when following the logic of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. If your party doesn't get eaten, you can use a better maneuver and don't have to waste time swapping out to get it (assuming you hadn't prepared it). Win-win for everyone.

2010-02-01, 07:39 PM
First level stance then? Or third level?

I could probably turn the stance into a tactical feat as well... not sure if I know all the pitfalls of skill tricks (don't have that book, never known a character that used them)... not even sure which skill it would be a trick OF? Or do you just buy skill tricks without them counting against ranks in a given skill?

I suppose since it is so weak, I could make the strike first level? I agree it would be a pretty situational Sword-sage maneuver and most other classes would never take it (except maybe via a martial script or two you keep around for when you know you are going to be going up against such a monster, one of those items that gives you a maneuver).

2010-02-01, 08:26 PM
Be wary that Tiger Claw is actually balanced partly by having no "entry" maneuvers at Level 1, except Wolf Fang Strike (which is utterly useless to anyone who doesn't ever two-weapon fight). If you make your maneuver Level 1 and with no prerequisite, you will be changing this balance situation.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially given that anti-swallowing tactics are so situational as to not necessarily be any more appealing than Wolf Fang Strike to most characters. Just know what you're doing.

2010-02-02, 12:53 AM
Draz: Yeah, I am aware of that, not SURE of the balance, but since it ISN'T likely to come up at low levels... I don't THINK it would be a problem... but I don't really know. Actually, I COULD make it level 1 and have a 1 maneuver pre-requisite... but I am THINKING no pre-requisite would be better.

EDIT: Ok, made them both level 1, with (for now) the stance having a pre-requisite, but the Strike not.

2010-02-02, 01:00 AM
Have you ever seen an appropiately challenging encounter try to swallow a member of an ECL1 party before?

I sincerely doubt it'll have an affect at all at the beginning, and it's situational later on when it may come up.

2010-02-02, 01:02 AM
Have you ever seen an appropiately challenging encounter try to swallow a member of an ECL1 party before?

I sincerely doubt it'll have an affect at all at the beginning, and it's situational later on when it may come up.

Exactly. But who says that a swordsage wouldn't wait until level 6 or something to start branching out into Tiger Claw? (I don't know either way how valid that would be...)

EDIT: Gave the second two techniques names.

2010-02-02, 01:08 AM
Exactly. But who says that a swordsage wouldn't wait until level 6 or something to start branching out into Tiger Claw?

For a highly situational ability? let them, i honestly doubt it'll make any significant balance difference.

Unless the campaign is about conquering T.Rex isle or something

2010-02-02, 01:22 AM
Ok, you convinced me... no pre-requisites for either until and unless someone says something convincing the other way.

Also, which of the three options for the stance do you think will prove the most popular? Personally I think "From the Depths of Thee I Stab at Thee!" is usually going to be the best option, unless it is an Remorhaz or something....

2010-02-02, 06:09 AM
Depending on the weapon thrashing puffer fish may actually turn out the be the best way of dealing damage to creatures.

2010-02-02, 06:14 AM
This is highly humorous! I can just picture a tribe of small or smaller humanoids developing this technique to "hunt" much larger predators in their native lands.

As such, I feel this could be nailed to a racial alternative class feature or even just a free racial instead of actually needing to take them normally (although allowing them to sync in if they do pick a ToB class). As it stands (with level 1 prereq only) however it works fine as the favoured class for the hunters of the race to pick up and still fits perfectly.

The scope of the maneuver/stance are so small that these are in no way overpowered or destabilising to the rest of the Tiger Claw progression, although they are a little mad and might look a little out of place at times. Either way, I love these and ill be sure to have an overly cute race of critters with em in my game as soon as possible :smallbiggrin:.

2010-02-02, 06:21 AM
Awakened fiendish monkeys!

2010-02-02, 11:45 AM
Why Fiendish? I guess doing it INTENTIONALLY might be seen as a bit cruel to the prey...