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Enix18
2010-06-18, 10:55 PM
So, I've been trying to get a friend of mine to try D&D, and while they finally agreed they happened to decide that Swordsage was the class that most appealed to them. I've been trying to make the game seem as simple as possible for their first time playing, but this class choice has raised a minor issue. They don't quite to like the idea of having a whole list of special powers but only being able to chose a handful of them to actually use, and so I want to find a way to fix that. The easiest and most sensible solution I can think of: the Spontaneous Swordsage.

You know... Wizard is to Sorcerer as Swordsage is to Spontaneous Swordsage!

Basically, the idea is to eliminate the preparatory element. The Spontaneous Swordsage would have a specific list of martial maneuvers that are all prepared automatically, and it would use these just as a normal Swordsage does. I was thinking that such a character should have a smaller number of maneuvers know, but also a larger number of maneuvers readied to make up for the lack of flexibility.

Right now, at level 1, I'm giving the player 5 maneuvers. Normally, a Swordsage of 1st level has 6 known and 4 readied, so this seems like a fairly easy and not too unbalancing solution. However, I'm unsure of how to continue from this point onward. As a normal Swordsage levels up, the gaps between maneuvers known and readied widens, making attempts to find the right number increasingly more difficult. I was hoping you folks might have some suggestions on how best to balance this.

Here's what I was thinking for the first few levels: (I don't actually expect this campaign to go beyond level 6 or 8, though it might...)

{table]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th
Normal Known|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13
Normal Readied|4|4|5|5|6|6|6|7
New Maneuvers|5|5|6|7|7|8|8|9[/table]

So... any thoughts? Am I on the right track, or am I overpowering this class?

Enix18

PId6
2010-06-18, 11:00 PM
I think the way you're doing it now is fine. However, in order to avoid underpowering the class, I'd suggest allowing them to switch maneuvers at each level that they don't gain a new maneuver (in addition to the normal switch every even level past 3). This would allow them to get higher level maneuvers at the same rate (though prereqs become more of a problem).

AmberVael
2010-06-18, 11:04 PM
My initial impression is that it will be less powerful than the normal Swordsage. They might be able to choose from their entire repertoire at once, but they'll know less... which means less high level maneuvers, which means they'll mostly be relying on lower level maneuvers than normal. Maneuvers don't really scale as much in terms of individual- the system scales, the individual maneuver does not.

So your standard Swordsage will be tossing around all of his readied, high level maneuvers, while this Swordsage, while capable of drawing on any one he wants... well, that will mostly just mean that he can draw on all of his low level maneuvers, if he has the urge.

Frankly? My suggestion is that you forget Spontaneous and just point your player towards the Adaptive Style feat. One full round action to ready any maneuvers they want pretty much renders this homebrew obsolete.

Enix18
2010-06-19, 11:27 PM
What if I were to allow the Spontaneous Swordsage to switch one maneuver known every level? Perhaps even loosen the requirements for higher-level maneuvers? (i.e. You must have two maneuvers of a certain level from any school to gain maneuvers of the next level.)

Would this be alright in terms of power for an E6 or E8 campaign? (I understand that it would probably become over- or under-powered beyond that, but it's really only the first quartile or two of the game that I'm interested in...)

PId6
2010-06-20, 12:46 AM
For E6/8? Switching every level should be fine. Maybe even allow maneuver switches whenever you'd gain a bonus feat (and extend the same benefit for sorcerer spells). It doesn't seem particularly over/underpowered to me. Maybe allow an epic feat to learn/ready a new maneuver.

HunterOfJello
2010-06-20, 12:59 AM
One of the problems with this that could easily occur is that all of the ToB classes are designed with refreshing mechanisms so that they don't spam their favorite maneuver repeatedly in a battle for every turn.

A spontaneous swordsage with a two handed sword using mountain hammer non-stop could definitely be more powerful that a normal Swordsage who could only do so at most every other turn and realistically only does so every 5th turn or so since they use their other maneuvers.

PId6
2010-06-20, 01:05 AM
A spontaneous swordsage with a two handed sword using mountain hammer non-stop could definitely be more powerful that a normal Swordsage who could only do so at most every other turn and realistically only does so every 5th turn or so since they use their other maneuvers.
:smallconfused:

I don't think this would change the recovery system at all. If you use a maneuver, it would still be expended until it's recovered. This just changes what maneuvers you have readied at the start of the encounter.

Sliver
2010-06-20, 01:51 AM
Isn't Spontaneous Swordsage is like a Warblade with a different style?

Enix18
2010-06-20, 06:52 AM
One of the problems with this that could easily occur is that all of the ToB classes are designed with refreshing mechanisms so that they don't spam their favorite maneuver repeatedly in a battle for every turn.

A spontaneous swordsage with a two handed sword using mountain hammer non-stop could definitely be more powerful that a normal Swordsage who could only do so at most every other turn and realistically only does so every 5th turn or so since they use their other maneuvers.

Perhaps the word spontaneous was a little misleading... I only meant that, rather than preparing maneuvers at the beginning of the day, a Swordsage would simply have a set list. While experienced players probably wouldn't like this loss of flexibility, it seems ideal for a new player.