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Partysan
2010-11-01, 10:02 AM
The Intercepting Blade
"There is no move without risk, no attack without an opening. Just let them open the door for you and boldy enter." - Mrdmacr, an Intercepting Blade and Weaponmaster of the Scorpion Clan

The Way of the Intercepting Blade is a reactive, passively agressive fighting style emphasising counters and defensive stances. An Intercepting Blade lures his opponent into attacking and then steps into the opening, unbalancing the opponent and making him vulnerable to a decisive counterattack.

Becoming an Intercepting Blade
This prestige class is predominantly adopted by martial adepts, usually Warblades, sometimes Swordsages or even Fighters with the Martial Study feat. Adepts who like to use the Diamond Mind, Iron Heart and Setting Sun schools will be the most likely to be drawn to this way of fighting.
Entry Requirements:
Base Attack: +5
Feats: Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Improved Trip
Martial Maneuvers: at least 1 stance and 2 counters from two of the Diamond Mind, Iron Heart or Setting Sun schools

Intercepting Blade
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+1|
+2|
+0|
+2|Step In, Style Familiarity

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+0|
+3|Set Up

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+1|
+3|Follow Up

4th|
+4|
+4|
+1|
+4|Unbalance, Riposte

5th|
+5|
+4|
+1|
+4|Defensive Counterstance[/table]

Class Features
Class Skills (4+Int Modifier Skill Points per Level): Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Listen, Martial Lore, Sense Motive, Swim, Tumble
Hit Die: d10

Abilities:
Step In: As long as you are in a Diamond Mind, Iron Heart or Setting Sun stance, any time you initiate a counter against an enemy action involving an attack roll, you may immediately initiate a trip attempt against that opponent.
Style Familiarity: Whenever you fight someone in melee, you can make a Martial Lore check to analyse his fighting style. You then recieve an insight bonus to attack rolls and AC against that opponent for the rest of the encounter. The bonus is +1 for a check result of 15 or below and another +1 for every 10 point above.
Set Up: You can choose to remain inactive in combat to concentrate on counterattacking. You may sacrifice a standard or move action of your current round to gain an additional immediate action which can only be used for initiating a counter.
Follow Up: Once per round when you succeed on a trip attempt you may initiate a strike maneuver on the attack you get from your Improved Trip feat.
Riposte: As long as you are in a Diamond Mind, Iron Heart or Setting Sun stance, opponents missing you in melee provoke an attack of opportunity from you.
Unbalance: Before you try to trip an opponent, make a balance roll against DC (15+enemy size modifier). If you succeed, the enemy is treated as one size smaller than he is for the purpose of the trip attempt.
Defensive Counterstance: As long as you are in a Diamond Mind, Iron Heart or Setting Sun stance, the penalty on attack rolls inflicted by your Combat Expertise feat does not apply on counter maneuvers and attacks of opportunity. Furthermore, you may expend any martial maneuver you have readied to make an extra attack of opportunity this round.

Maneuver Progression:
An Intercepting Blade learns new Maneuvers according to the following table. They can choose from the Diamond Mind, Iron Heart and Setting Sun schools.
Levels in Intercepting Blade are added to your Initiator level in one Martial Adept class of your choice.

{table=head]Level|Maneuvers Known|Maneuvers Readied|Stances Known
1st|
1|
0|
0

2nd|
0|
0|
0

3rd|
1|
1|
0

4th|
0|
0|
0

5th|
1|
0|
1[/table]


Annotations:

Well, that's it for now. Might be a tad powerful but is also very specialized.
The maneuver selection of the class will probably very easy, since there are some obvious synergies like Pearl of Black Doubt or Rapid Counter.
And, Yes, I stole the name from Jeet Kune Do, since I didn't have any better idea.

Thoughts? Tips?

Mongoose87
2010-11-01, 10:57 AM
It might be a bit too good at lockdown. I mean, you're going to be able to make a buttload of counters, trip people very easily on them, and then initiate strikes, after you trip them. All this, on someone else's turn!

Milskidasith
2010-11-01, 11:11 AM
Follow up is far, far too powerful, especially when you consider the fact you could full attack for multiple trips and get multiple strikes off (and, with judicious use of time stands still or other attack boosting options, get more trips off from there). It needs to be toned down or outright removed.

This probably shouldn't have full BAB, since pretty much no ToB PrCs do, and this is very powerful.

The counteractions thing is a great way to save up move actions.

Step in, especially combined with Follow Up, is very strong, especially considering you could get free trips for, say, using Mind over Body.

Unbalance is kind of odd, since you making a balance roll has little to do with unbalancing the enemy.

Riposte is very good, especially so when combined with follow up.

Basically, if you outright removed follow-up, this would still be a very powerful PrC, because it's insane at lockdown; basically anybody attempting to do anything to you is going to be chain tripped and hit with multiple strikes.

kryan
2010-11-01, 11:52 AM
Your maneuver progression is a lot better than that 5-level PrCs in Tome of Battle (with the obvious exception of the Master of the Nine); they all have maneuvers learned at 1st, 3rd, and 5th, and a maneuver readied at 3rd. Only one, that is, and no stances. Two maneuvers readied and two stances matches most of the 10-level PrCs in the book. I suggest copying the maneuver progression from the Bloodclaw Master or Deepstone Sentinel.

Also, you should just include the maneuvers table in the main table; at first it looks like the class doesn't get maneuvers a la Bloodstorm Blade.

I agree with Milski that Follow Up is way too strong. Make it a counter, I'd say.

Partysan
2010-11-01, 11:59 AM
First and foremost, thanks for the answers.
Now on to your points:


Follow up is far, far too powerful, especially when you consider the fact you could full attack for multiple trips and get multiple strikes off (and, with judicious use of time stands still or other attack boosting options, get more trips off from there). It needs to be toned down or outright removed.
It is powerful, I agree, but how are you getting multiple trips? You can't trip someone who is already prone, after all.


This probably shouldn't have full BAB, since pretty much no ToB PrCs do, and this is very powerful.
Well, Bloodstorm Blade, Eternal Blade and Jade Phoenix Mage all get full BAB and are, without Ruby Knight Vindicator, probably the more powerful PrCs in that book.


The counteractions thing is a great way to save up move actions.
That's the idea.


Step in, especially combined with Follow Up, is very strong, especially considering you could get free trips for, say, using Mind over Body.
This is why I specified counters against actions requiring attack rolls. Which is mostly attacks/strikes and touch spells. So no Step In in Mind over Body. And there are surprisingly few counters that qualify.


Unbalance is kind of odd, since you making a balance roll has little to do with unbalancing the enemy.
Well, that's are martial artist thing which has to do with body structure. I guess it's as hard to understand as it would be to explain. I just thought, for someone specializing in tripping there needs to be a way to trip nonhumans.


Riposte is very good, especially so when combined with follow up.
Well, I wanted the abilities to synergize. Maybe I overdid it a little.


Basically, if you outright removed follow-up, this would still be a very powerful PrC, because it's insane at lockdown; basically anybody attempting to do anything to you is going to be chain tripped and hit with multiple strikes.
I don't get the chain tripping thing, since you can't trip prone enemies. If it's just about lockdown a fighter with Robilar's Gambit and Hold the Line and maybe Martial Stance for Thicket of Blades can do it better, since for example Riposte is inferior to Robilar's Gambit in generating AoOs.
I just tried to translate lockdown to a more maneuver-ish way of doing it, and Follow Up is more or less the source of damage in that. I agree that it might be a bit too powerful, but I don't think it's as insane as you make it out to be. I just never got how in whole 3.5 there never was an ability that made attacking prone opponents better.
By the way, you'd burn your maneuvers like kerosine...

EDIT:

Your maneuver progression is a lot better than that 5-level PrCs in Tome of Battle (with the obvious exception of the Master of the Nine); they all have maneuvers learned at 1st, 3rd, and 5th, and a maneuver readied at 3rd. Only one, that is, and no stances. Two maneuvers readied and two stances matches most of the 10-level PrCs in the book. I suggest copying the maneuver progression from the Bloodclaw Master or Deepstone Sentinel.

Also, you should just include the maneuvers table in the main table; at first it looks like the class doesn't get maneuvers a la Bloodstorm Blade.
Well, half of the 10-levls get 2, half get 3.
True, I kinda used a toned down Mo9 progression instead of the lower ones. I could use the Bloodclaw master progression, but I'd give it at least one stance, since the class kinda needs stances very much.
I guess I'll reduce the Maneuvers readied and known. Which amounts to taking out one stance and one Maneuver readied.

Milskidasith
2010-11-01, 12:13 PM
It is powerful, I agree, but how are you getting multiple trips? You can't trip someone who is already prone, after all.

Actually, you can.


This is why I specified counters against actions requiring attack rolls. Which is mostly attacks/strikes and touch spells. So no Step In in Mind over Body. And there are surprisingly few counters that qualify.

Counters against actions requiring attack rolls still implies you can make trip attempts when using a counter that, is itself, not an attack.


Well, that's are martial artist thing which has to do with body structure. I guess it's as hard to understand as it would be to explain. I just thought, for someone specializing in tripping there needs to be a way to trip nonhumans.

That... didn't answer anything.


I don't get the chain tripping thing, since you can't trip prone enemies. If it's just about lockdown a fighter with Robilar's Gambit and Hold the Line and maybe Martial Stance for Thicket of Blades can do it better, since for example Riposte is inferior to Robilar's Gambit in generating AoOs.
I just tried to translate lockdown to a more maneuver-ish way of doing it, and Follow Up is more or less the source of damage in that. I agree that it might be a bit too powerful, but I don't think it's as insane as you make it out to be. I just never got how in whole 3.5 there never was an ability that made attacking prone opponents better.
By the way, you'd burn your maneuvers like kerosine...

Recovering manuevers is easy, and you *can* trip enemies who are prone. It's just usually pointless because usually, rather than a free strike, you just get an attack you could make anyway.

kryan
2010-11-01, 12:25 PM
Actually, you can. [...] you *can* trip enemies who are prone. It's just usually pointless because usually, rather than a free strike, you just get an attack you could make anyway.
At least according to the FAQ (yeah, I know), no, you can't.

Milskidasith
2010-11-01, 12:31 PM
FAQ is not RAW. RAW's has no requirement your opponent isn't prone when tripping them.

Partysan
2010-11-01, 12:32 PM
Actually, you can.
In that case, the ability is indeed a lot more powerful than intended. Are you really sure about that? It doesn't really make sense to me.
If it wouldn't be possible to trip prone opponents, would the ability be acceptable?


Counters against actions requiring attack rolls still implies you can make trip attempts when using a counter that, is itself, not an attack.


That... didn't answer anything.

I'll try. People usually have some kind of "body structure", meaning the way they hold themselves, where their center of gravity lies, how their feet are planted and how they generally are balanced. It also affects how they generate momentum and energy for attacks, but lets not dive in too far.
If you try to trip someone you disrupt that structure, making them loose their balance. One way this can be done, is by stepping into their structure with your own and asserting your own structure in theirs, essentially occupying their space and squeezing them out.
That's what Step In is supposed to represent. While parrying their attack, which usually is done together with a step in your direction, you too step forward and push them out with your body. Maybe I'll try to find a youtube link to illustrate this.

DracoDei
2010-11-01, 01:35 PM
Just say in the class itself that you can't trip people who are already prone? That should resolve any ambiguities.

kryan
2010-11-01, 02:04 PM
Follow Up will still be extremely good, and the class as a whole quite powerful (as in, more so than the PrCs in the book), but the way to word it would be "when you successfully use a Trip to knock prone a target who was not previously prone, " etc.

Partysan
2010-11-01, 02:08 PM
Well, what about just adding a once-per-round clause?

Ziegander
2010-11-01, 04:00 PM
I'm sorry if this comes across as rude, but what the heck does Set Up do? Counteraction is a meaningless term as far as DnD and/or Tome of Battle is concerned and the rest of the description,


Forgoing a move action gives 1, forgoing a standart action 2 additional times you may use a counter until the beginning of your next round.

well, just isn't saying anything that makes any sense. Gives 1 what? Now that I re-read it for the fourth or fifth time I think I understand what you're trying to do here, but if I'm right I think it's much too powerful. You mean that Forgoing a move will give you an extra immediate action that you can only use to initiate Counter maneuvers, yes? And Forgoing a standard will give you two of those special immediate actions? If that's what you mean you need to word it like Stance of Alacrity (Diamond Mind, 8th). Compared to Stance of Alacrity this is probably a more powerful effect, which is unnecessary in my opinion. Also, can you use the same Counter multiple times? Stance of Alacrity expressly forbids this (as do the rules on expending maneuvers, really), so if you allow it you're really getting powerful here. Of course, if you don't allow it you'll almost never have a turn in which you'd need or want to use three or more Counters.

Partysan
2010-11-01, 06:05 PM
You are right in guessing what it does, though it does not allow to use the same counter multiple times, since it is still expended by using.
Now, indeed Stance of Alacrity does gove a similar effect, but it does not require the user to sacrifice actions, it just gives one more, so it naturally has to be a higher level effect.

Partysan
2010-11-02, 10:52 AM
Clarified the wording of Set Up, removed the option of getting 2 counters, added once per round clause to Follow Up.
Does anyone have an idea how to change Unbalance, since the current ability is hard to understand?

Ziegander
2010-11-02, 02:48 PM
I would word Unbalance like so:

"Once per round, before rolling to make a Trip attempt you may make a special Balance check against DC 15+Opponent's Size modifiers to Trip. If you succeed treat the opponent as one size category smaller and an additional size category smaller for every 5 points you exceed the DC for the purposes of resolving your Trip attempt."