View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other The Martial Monster Project (possible community project?)

2015-02-06, 05:23 AM
So. Tome of Battle was a good thing. Just to start with that, since if you don't agree with that, this is probably not your thread :smallwink:

Anyway. Tome of Battle came very late in 3.5 and as such, suffers a bit from not being very well integrated with a lot of other stuff. Or in other words: there's not enough of it. Most noticeably, it did feature some monsters with maneuvers, but not even remotely enough for my tastes. So I thought, why not make more?

For this thread, I thought I'd sit down and rewrite existing monsters so they have maneuvers. Because that makes them more interesting, especially creatures that really don't have a lot to do otherwise in combat. Since there's really far too many monsters out there to do them all on my own, I thought I'd leave this thread open: if you have good ideas, post your own.

For this thread, I'd thought I'd change the mechanics of monsters with maneuvers a bit. For my purposes, monsters:
-Use maneuvers and stances like warblades, unless otherwise noted. With redied maneuvers and a refresh mechanic. They can also have stances.
-Have an initiator level equal to 1/2 their racial HD, unless otherwise noted.

So, some examples of what I was thinking of:

Wolf, Pack Leader (Wolf, Advanced HD, added maneuvers)
Medium Animal
HD 3d8+6 (19HP)
Init: +2
Speed 50 ft. (10 squares)
AC 14 (+2 dex, +2 natural); touch 12; flat-footed 12
BAB +2; Grp +3
Attack Bite +4 melee (1d6+1)
Full-Attack Bite +4 melee (1d6+1)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Trip, Maneuvers
Special Qualities Low-light vision, scent
Saves Fort +6 Ref +6 Will +2
Abilities Str 13, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills Hide +2, Listen +3, Spot +4, Survival +1
Feats Track, Weapon Focus (bite), Evasive Reflexes
Environment Temperate Forests and Plains
Organization Pair (1 and 1 regular wolf) or pack (1 and 6-16 regular wolves)
Challenge Rating 2
Treasure None
Alignment Neutral
Advancement 4-6 HD (large)

Trip (Ex)
A wolf that hits with a bite attack can attempt to trip the opponent (+1 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the wolf.

Maneuvers (Ex)
Wolf pack leaders ready and use maneuvers like warblades, with an initiator level of 1. They have 2 maneuvers readied. They know the following maneuvers:
1-Leading the Attack (Strike, White Raven), Might Throw (Strike, Setting Sun)
Stances: Leading the Charge (White Raven)

Rabid Wolverine (Wolverine, Advanced HD, added maneuvers)
Large Animal
HD 4d8+28 (46 hp)
Init: +1
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares), burrow 10 ft., climb 10 ft.
AC 14 (+1 dex, +4 natural, -1 size); touch 10; flat-footed 13
BAB +3; Grp +13
Attack Claw +8 melee (1d4+6)
Full-Attack 2 claws +8 melee (1d4+6) and bite +2 melee (1d6+3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks Rage, Maneuvers
Special Qualities Low-light vision, scent
Saves Fort +11 Ref +6 Will +2
Abilities Str 22, Dex 15, Con 23, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills Climb 10, Listen 4, Spot 4, Jump +7
Feats Endurance, Diehard, Track (b)
Environment Cold Forests
Organization Solitary
Challenge Rating 3
Treasure None
Alignment Neutral
Advancement 5-6 HD (large)

Rage (Ex)

A wolverine that takes damage in combat flies into a berserk rage on its next turn, clawing and biting madly until either it or its opponent is dead. It gains +4 to Strength, +4 to Constitution, and -2 to Armor Class. The creature cannot end its rage voluntarily.

Wolverines have a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.

Maneuvers (Ex)
Wolf pack leaders ready and use maneuvers like warblades, with an initiator level of 2. They have 2 maneuvers readied and know the following maneuvers:
1-Steel Wind (Iron Heart Strike), Sudden Leap (Tiger Claw Boost)
Stances: Blood in the Water (Tiger Claw)

Obviously, these examples aren't terribly exciting. Later, I'll dig into homebrew disciplines and see what I can do with some higher level creatures.

2015-02-06, 07:41 AM
Bears need to totally have the Punishing Stance. It makes sense for them to raise their arms.

Give rhinos/elephants Mountain Hammer for cinematic wall breaks

Creatures with a shell should use the Stone Bones maneuver

Give Shifting Defense to Stirges.

2015-02-06, 07:44 AM
Yup. There's a lot of creatures that could use Mountain Hammer.

2015-02-09, 05:00 AM
Some outsiders, maybe? Yes.

Marilith, Blade Goddess
Large Outsider (Chaotic, Extraplanar, Evil)
HD16d8+144 (216 hp)
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares)
Init: +4
AC 29 (-1 size, +4 Dex, +16 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 25
BAB +X; Grp +X
Attack Longsword +25 melee (2d6+9/19-20) or slam +24 melee (1d8+9) or tail slap +24 melee (4d6+9)
Full-Attack Primary longsword +25/+20/+15/+10 melee (2d6+9/19-20) and 5 longswords +25 melee (2d6+4/19-20) and tail slap +22 melee (4d6+4); or 6 slams +24 melee (1d8+9) and tail slap +22 melee (4d6+4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks Constrict 4d6+13, improved grab, spell-like abilities, summon demon, maneuvers
Special Qualities Damage reduction 10/good and cold iron, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to electricity and poison, resistance to acid 10, cold 10, and fire 10, spell resistance 25, telepathy 100 ft.
Saves Fort +19, Ref +14, Will +14
Abilities Str 29, Dex 19, Con 29, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 24
Skills Bluff +26, Balance +23, Concentration +28, Diplomacy +30, Disguise +7 (+9 acting), Hide +19, Intimidate +28, Listen +31, Move Silently +23, Perform: Dance, Search +23, Sense Motive +23, , Spot +31, Survival +4 (+6 following tracks)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Evasive Reflexes, Multiattack, Multiweapon Fighting, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Environment The Abyss, rarely Carceri, Hades, Gehenna, Pandemonium
Organization Solitary
Challenge Rating 18
Treasure Standard coins; double goods; standard items, plus 1d4 magic weapons
Alignment Always chaotic evil
Advancement 17-20 HD (Large); 21-48 HD (Huge), Favoured Class: Warblade
Level Adjustment --

Veritable terrors on the abyssal battlefields, the Blade Goddesses all share a single-minded pursuit of martial perfection. Each of them has mastered a thousand lifetimes of skills with their blades. Each of them can effortlessly take on small armies of lesser combatants without breaking a sweat.

Differences to a normal Marilith: lost project image, telekinesis and unholy aura spell-like abilities. Gained 8th level warblade maneuvers

A marilith’s natural weapons, as well as any weapons it wields, are treated as chaotic-aligned and evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Constrict (Ex)
A marilith deals 4d6+13 points of damage with a successful grapple check. The constricted creature must succeed on a DC 27 Fortitude save or lose consciousness for as long as it remains in the coils and for 2d4 rounds thereafter. The save DC is Strength-based.

Improved Grab (Ex)
To use this ability, a marilith must hit with its tail slap attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it succeeds on the grapple check, it can constrict.

Spell-Like Abilities
At will—align weapon, blade barrier (DC 23), magic weapon, see invisibility, greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), Caster level 16th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

Summon Demon (Sp) Once per day a marilith can attempt to summon 4d10 dretches, 1d4 hezrou, or one nalfeshnee with a 50% chance of success, or one glabrezu or another marilith with a 20% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a 5th-level spell.

True Seeing (Su)
Mariliths continuously use this ability, as the spell (caster level 16th).

Skills Mariliths have a +8 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks.

Feats: In combination with its natural abilities, a marilith’s Multiweapon Fighting feat allows it to attack with all its arms at no penalty.

Infinite Experience: From their many thousand years of battle experience, Mariliths know many more martial skills than a mortal could hope to easily match. Though they manifest as 8th level warblades, they know twice as many maneuvers as a warblade of that level normally would. If they take levels in a manifesting class, do not double the amount of maneuvers gained there.

Marilith Blade Goddesses use maneuvers as 8th level warblades, which gives them an initiator level of 8, as well as 14 maneuvers and 2 stances known and 4 maneuvers readied (see infinite experience above). If they take levels in the warblade class, those levels stack for number of maneuvers readied and known, number of stances known as well as initiator level.
From Tome of Battle, they usually specialize in the Iron Heart discipline. Apart from it, they often have mastered some of the Dancing Goddess (http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Dancing_Goddess_%283.5e_Martial_Discipline%29), Army of One (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?103406-Army-of-One-Discipline&p=5710173#post5710173) or Infinite Torment (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?102215-ToB-Discipline-Infinite-Torment) disciplines.

Variant: Battle Queen Marilith
Marilith Battle Queens are the finest generals of demonkind. Though still formidable, they focus more on commanding their troops over personal prowess. Change them as follows: Abilities: -4 STR, +4 Int. Skills: Knowledge (The Planes) + 25, Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) +25
Preferred disciplines: White Raven, Scarlet Bravura. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?101008-Just-Who-The-Hell-Do-You-Think-We-Are!-Discipline&p=5569037#post5569037)

2015-02-09, 09:27 AM
By the way, I'd be very happy about comments. Because I'm pretty much totally lost as far as balance is concerned in these.

On the one hand, I'm giving essentially the most valuable features of eight class levels to a monster. On the other hand, I'm giving low-level maneuvers in exchange for high level spells. And of course, the CR system is a confusing mess anyway.

Before I continue to sink a lot more time into this (next would be a Shadow Hand Bone Devil Assassin and a Desert Wind Ghaele Eladrin Dervish), I'd quite like to know how far off I am.