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sirpercival
2016-11-01, 06:51 AM
Heron-Marked: The Art of Bladecraft
This is primarily inspired by Blademasters from the Wheel of Time series, but there are also elements of Shardblade Stances from the Stormlight Archive, as well as the King's Blades series. The actual mechanics draw heavily on a similar framework to my Astronomer base class, and the Observing subsystem presented there.

Also note, this is very much a WIP.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance." - Confucius

Amateurs think that fighting is about passion, and strength. They roar defiance and charge into battle headlong, as if their enemies were grains of wheat waiting to be reaped. The farmer defending his land against goblins wields his father's rusty sword, and is a danger to himself as much as his opponent.

Veteran soldiers know that skill and cooler heads usually prevail. They see combat as a science, prescribing a set of rules by which one can cut down one's aggressors. They train new recruits and each other, and seek out battle less frequently - the bloodthirsty are usually the first to fall.

True masters of bladecraft understand that swordwork is an art, not a science. It is a dance, an ebb and flow, like sailing a ship through a razor-sharp reef on stormy seas. Each duel is different - a deadly game of feint and counterattack, parry and riposte. The interplay is as beautiful as it is (often) fatal.

The optional rules presented here give players and DMs a means of creating a master of the blade.

Table of Contents
Introduction, Mechanics, & Skills
Feats & Blade-bound Substitution Levels
Blade Styles & Techniques (Basic)
Blade Styles & Techniques (Moderate)
Blade Styles & Techniques (Advanced)
Blade Styles & Techniques (Expert)
Prestige Classes I
Prestige Classes II
Equipment & other materials


The Bladecraft Subsystem
Bladecraft is a subsystem for martial characters, designed to evoke the elaborate and complex dueling tactics used by famous swordsmen throughout history and literature. Examples from recent fiction include the Blademasters from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (which is the explicit inspiration for the thematics of Bladecraft), the swordsmen of Ironhall from Dave Duncan's King's Blades series, and the Ademre Ketan from Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles trilogy.

The core D&D mechanics for melee combat are built around combat feats, which produce relatively repetitive combat rounds for melee characters with few meaningful options. The Tome of Battle supplement worked to alleviate this problem by introducing Initiator mechanics, a martial analogue to Spellcasting comprised of discrete maneuvers with extraordinary effects, based around a core of combat. While the material described in the Book of Nine Swords is an interesting and well-designed subsystem, and opens up a wealth of new options for martial characters, many players disliked the "blade magic"/"wuxia" feeling of the system. It echoed too strongly of "spellcasting-for-fighters", and did little to improve the poor options for core classes, opting instead for replacement.

The Bladecraft system presented here, in contrast, is a direct amplification of the core classes. While Initiators can learn blade techniques just like any other martial characters, they rarely do so, since maneuvers and blade techniques compete for the limited resources in the action economy. Instead, the lowly Fighter is the consummate student of Bladecraft, and can still complement the blade techniques with combat feats which were its original strength.

Bladecraft is an expansion, not a replacement. It is accessible to every class: any character who wishes to participate in melee combat can learn blade techniques by investing skill points in the Bladecraft skill (detailed below). The tag sustem also provides a unique set of mechanics and options, turning each combat encounter from an endless stream of full attacks into an organic and fluid interplay between attacker and defender.

Blade Techniques
The primary components of Bladecraft are known as "blade techniques". A blade technique is some useful bit of combat prowess, which can be used to attack, defend, or simply carry oneself in day-to-day life. Note that while the word "blade" is incorporated heavily into the description and mechanics of Bladecraft, it is not restricted to swords or other bladed weapons - with some exceptions (see the section on Tags, below) any melee weapon can be wielded when using blade techniques (though some weapons will be more effective for certain techniques than others).

While blade techniques bear some similarities to martial maneuvers and stances, the philosophical approach to battle between Initiators and masters of Bladecraft is quite different. An initiator sees each round of combat as a discrete unit, and has a number of specific actions that they can take in a given situation. While it is relatively easy to change between different sets of maneuvers, in a given encounter an initiator has access to only a small subset of the maneuvers they know.

In contrast, a student of bladecraft views combat as a continuous progression, flowing from one to the next in an unbroken chain. The blademaster has access to every blade technique they know at all times, but the available techniques in any given instant are determined by the techniques used earlier in the encounter.

While some techniques are particularly effective or ineffective against an opponent who is also using blade techniques, all are quite effective against "unskilled" opponents (i.e., those not trained in Bladecraft). Techniques come in three types:
Forms, passive techniques which lead into others;
Assaults, offensive techniques which involve attacking your opponent; and
Parries, defensive techniques which counter an opponent's attacks and/or blade techniques.
Bladecraft in its entirety is as useful for defense as for offense. The skilled practitioner of Bladecraft will use a variety of Forms, Assaults, and Parries in combat, for to be predictable is to have a very short career as a Blademaster.

Learning Techniques & Complexity
Each blade technique has a certain "complexity", which is a measure of how difficult it is to learn and execute. Technique complexity comes in four categories. Basic techniques are the easiest and simplest, and are the first techniques that any student of Bladecraft learns. Techniques of Moderate complexity are more difficult; learning a Moderate technique requires a Base Attack Bonus of +6, 9 ranks in Bladecraft, and knowlede of at least eight Basic techniques.

Advanced techniques are the product of hundreds of hours of effort and training, and are the mark of a Blademaster - casual students of Bladecraft almost never master even a single Advanced technique. Learning one require a Base Attack Bonus of +11, 14 ranks in Bladecraft, and knowledge of at least eight Moderate techniques.

The true pinnacles of Bladecraft spend years of dedication to their art, training against groups of lesser Blademasters, armies of students, and even horrifying beasts to develop and comprehend Expert techniques. Each Expert technique requires a Base Attack Bonus of +16 or higher, 19 ranks in Bladecraft, and knowledge of at least eight Advanced techniques to learn.

To learn blade techniques, a character must have proficiency in at least one martial weapon, and must have at least 1 rank in Bladecraft. A character who wishes to study Bladecraft can learn 4 blade techniques with Basic complexity when their Base Attack Bonus is at least +1, and may learn another technique at every level at which their Base Attack Bonus increases. Additional techniques may be acquired through feats, substitution levels, or by gaining levels in prestige classes; these means are all described in the relevant sections below.

For the mathematically minded, you will notice that simply learning techniques at the base rate of 3 + BAB grants Advanced techniques at level 14, and never gives Expert techniques. True mastery of bladecraft requires a substantial investment of time, effort, and resources to achieve.
While anyone can become a student of Bladecraft regardless of age or experience, those who begin earlier in their career achieve greater heights than those who start later in life. A character who takes their first rank in Bladecraft when their Base Attack Bonus higher than +1 learns 4 Basic techniques, but does not retroactively learn techniques for previously-gained levels in which their Base Attack Bonus increased.

It is recommended that the first four techniques a student of Bladecraft learns include at least one Form, one Assault, and one Parry. However, the only absolute requirement is that one of the four must be a Form; otherwise, the student would not be able to use any other blade techniques, due to tag requirement(s) (see below for details).

Blade Styles
Blade techniques of a given complexity are grouped by theme and methodology into collections called Blade Styles. Initially developed as a learning tool, Blade Styles help shape a combatant's decision-making process during a battle, allowing a student to focus on a group of synergistic techniques. However, while these are somewhat similar in concept to Martial Disciplines, there are no restrictions other than complexity on the Blade Styles from which a character can learn techniques.

Blademasters can and usually do switch seamlessly between styles with little difficulty as combat evolves around them. While an outsider might expect each Blade Style to be a self-contained unit, this could not be further from the truth. Blade Styles are a grouping of convenience, and allow Bladecraft teachers to present related concepts as a coherent curriculum. However, each style is not meant to be learned in isolation, but rather to be part of an elegant whole. The ultimate Blademaster knows every blade technique, rather than mastering a particular style to the exclusion of all else. A Blademaster who is not versatile, who cannot change tactics on a moment's notice, soon becomes a dead Blademaster.

Bladecraft Tags
Every Blade technique (even a simple one) involves an intricate interplay of combat elements: the combatant's muscles, the weapon and how it is held, the direction and momentum of the body, limbs, and weapon, and how all of these relate to the same factors describing the opponent. Most of these interactions happen below the level of conscious thought, having been trained into a student's habits and instincts. Such training is the essence of Bladecraft: one must transform a slow decision-making process into a fast, evolving dance.

Most blade techniques can only be used when the combatant's combat elements satisfy certain conditions (for example, a powerful downward blow cannot be made when the tip of the combatant's sword is pointed at the opponent's ankle), and the process of using a technique changes the existing combat elements to some new configuration.

From a mechanics standpoint, these factors are encapsulated in a system called "tags". A tag is a description of some aspect of stance or action related to the use of a blade technique. Most techniques requires the user to have some number of tags ("required tags"), which are determined by the previous events in the encounter. Every technique also grants tags upon completion ("granted tags"), which reflect the type of actions (i.e., other techniques) that can follow organically, without disrupting the dance.

The only requirement for a known technique to be used is that the technique's required tags be currently granted to the combatant. Extra tags are never detrimental; however, some techniques have additional effects if the combatant has been granted specific tags beyond the required ones when using them. See the individual blade technique descriptions, below, for details. Note that tags are descriptive, not prescriptive - any specific requirements to use a technique, or specific mechanical effects of using a technique, are specified in the actual technique description.

Tags are divided into four types, based on what combat element they describe. A technique can require a maximum of one tag of each type; however, the number of total tags required or granted by the technique is determined by its complexity. Basic techniques require or grant a single tag, while Moderate, Advanced, and Expert techniques require or grant two, three, or four tags, respectively, at the same time. (Form techniques sometimes grant more or fewer tags; see the description of Forms below, and the individual technique descriptions, for details.)

Gesture tags (, [Slash], and ) describe the type of action that a technique will involve.
Techniques which require or grant the tag involve slamming the edge or flat of your weapon against your opponent with as much force as possible, to knock aside a shield or blast through a parry.
Techniques which require or grant the [Slash] tag swing the weapon in a wide arc, knocking aside a parry and often using the edge or point to cut deep gashes in an opponent.
Techniques which require or grant the [Thrust] tag use the point of the weapon to focus power in a small area, relying on control and precision to find the weak points in the opponent's defense.

Hand tags ([Cleave], [Rend], and [Sheath]) refer to the way the combatant grips the weapon.
Techniques which require or grant the [Cleave] tag are performed when wielding the weapon with two or more hands, for maximum power. A buckler can be used on the off-hand, subject to the normal rules for bucklers when wielding a weapon in two hands.
Techniques which require or grant the [Rend] tag are performed when wielding two weapons, a double weapon, or a weapon and shield. Bucklers are too small to be used effectively with this tag.
Techniques which require or grant the [Sheath] tag are performed by either drawing (if required) or sheathing (if granted) the weapon.

Motion tags ([Circle], [Spin], and [Stand]) designate how the combatant moves their entire body as part of the technique.
Techniques which require or grant the [Circle] tag usually attack a single opponent from multiple directions, forcing the target to follow the combatant's movement and confounding their attempts to dodge and defend.
Techniques which require or grant the [Spin] tag are used primarily against more than one opponent, allowing the combatant to attack or defend against enemies in multiple directions.
Techniques which require or grant the [Stand] tag keep the combatant's feet planted, for maximum balance and power through their entire body.

Finally, Position tags ([High], [Low], and[ Middle]) indicate the starting (for required tags) or ending (for granted tags) position of the weapon, with respect to the wielder, the target, or both.
Techniques which require or grant the [High] tag tend to focus on attacking with or defending against overhand blows, or strikes against the shoulder, head, face, or neck.
Techniques which require or grant the [Middle] tag initiate or defend against attacks to the chest, abdomen, arms, wrists, or hands.
Techniques which require or grant the [Low] tag attack or defend the waist, groin, legs, or feet, or originate from a crouching or kneeling position.

Using Blade Techniques in Combat
For a student or master of Bladecraft, combat is a far more complex beast than a common soldier. Attack, defense, stance, and movement all flow from one to the next, reacting to circumstance and optimizing advantage. While this can be complicated for someone new to Bladecraft to track and utilize, the graduated nature of technique complexity is designed to acclimate a combatant to the system slowly. Note: it is recommended that players new to Bladecraft begin at relatively low level, with Basic techniques, to get used to the system.

Unless otherwise specified, blade techniques are extraordinary abilities, which do not require particular concentration or patience to use (e.g., a barbarian can use blade techniques while raging). However, techniques cannot be used while a combatant is helpless or unconscious.

A student of Bladecraft generally enters a Form at the beginning of the day. Whenever you enter a Form (as a swift action), you remain in that Form until you choose to leave it (even once the encounter ends), or change to a new Form. Changing Forms requires a swift action, and you can change into any Form you know at any time. Each Form grants some benefit, as well as one or more tags. The granted tags determine which of the techniques you know are available to you at any given moment, by identifying Assaults and Parries with the required tags that you have been granted. Whenever you enter a new Form, you lose all previously granted tags and benefits in favor of those granted by the new Form.

When you use an Assault or Parry, all tags you had been granted by your current Form, or the previous techniques you had used, are replaced by a new set of tags granted by that technique, possibly with some overlap from the previous set. These new tags determine the techniques you can use after, and so forth. However, you retain the benefits of your most recent Form until changing to a new Form (or until you no longer qualify for that Form, as detailed in the individual Form descriptions below). If you haven't used any techniques since the end of your last turn, you return to your most recent Form at the end of your turn, replacing any existing tags with the tags granted by that Form.



While traveling, Durendal has been in Cat Crossing the Courtyard (a Basic Form from Wax style), carrying a shield on his arm. When his party is ambushed by an ogre, he begins the encounter in that Form, and so is granted the [Sheath] tag. His party is surprised, but during the surprise round, Durendal uses Unfolding the Fan (a Basic Assault from Wax style) to attack the ogre, and loses the [Sheath] tag, replaced by the granted tag of Unfolding the Fan, [Thrust]. When the ogre tries to attack him, Durendal uses The Falcon Stoops (a Basic Parry from Wood style) to damage the ogre, and replaces the [Thrust] tag with [Rend].

On Durendal's turn during the first full round, he has the [Rend] tag, and so uses The Serpent Strikes (a Basic Assault from Wood style), keeping the [Rend] tag and knocking the ogre out. The threat seems to be past, but he is wary, and switches to The Bear Sleeps in Winter (a Basic Form from Cloud style), losing [Rend] and gaining [Stand].

When the ogre's companions, a pair of wolves enraged by the loss of their protector, leap from the trees and surprise the party, Durendal uses Skipping Stones on the Shore (a Basic Parry from Cloud style) to raise his AC against the wolf that attacks him. He exchanges [Stand] for [Slash], and when it's his turn again, he uses Parting the Silk (a Basic Assault from Wax style) against his aggressor, losing [Slash] and gaining [Low]. If the combat continues, he could use Low Wind Rising to change his Form; or, if the wolves seemed likely to flee, he could make a Bladecraft check when using Parting the Silk to retain the [Slash] tag, so that he could use Twisting Weasel against the retreating animal.


The Bladecraft Skill

Bladecraft is a skill, as well as a subsystem. Many blade techniques grant bonus Bladecraft dice to attack rolls, damage rolls, or other situations; the size of a "Bladecraft die" (which may be more than one physical die) is determined by your ranks in the Bladecraft skill.

Bladecraft (Int; Trained Only)
You can learn blade techniques, and can use this skill to identify blade techniques as they are being used.

Whenever the effect of a blade technique you use depends on Bladecraft dice, the number of ranks you have in Bladecraft determine the type of dice you roll, as shown on the following table. Bladecraft dice gained as a bonus to damage are not multiplied on a critical hit. The progression of Bladecraft dice continues in the same way beyond 36 ranks. Multiple sources of Bladecraft dice on the same roll stack.

[th]
[B]Ranks
[B]Bladecraft Dice

1-4
1d4

5-8
1d6

9-12
1d8

13-16
1d4+1d6

17-20
1d6+1d6

21-24
1d8+1d6

25-28
1d4+2d6

29-32
1d6+2d6

33-36
1d8+2d6


Check: You can identify combat styles and sword techniques used by a combatant. Identifying a blade technique used by someone you can see requires no action, and the DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the user's base attack bonus (rounded down, minimum +0). Identifying the current form someone is in requires no action, and the DC is equal to 20 + 1/2 the user's base attack bonus (rounded down, minimum +0).

You can also make a Bladecraft check when using a technique to retain a previously granted tag. If the technique would have granted a tag of the same type as the tag you are retaining, the retained tag replaces the tag you would have been granted. If the technique does not grant a tag of the same type, you retain the tag in addition to the new tags granted by the technique. The base DC for retaining a tag is 15, +3 for each tag the technique normally grants, -2 if the technique would have granted a tag of the same type. Note that, as this use of the Bladecraft skill is always in combat, you may not take 10 when attempting to retain a granted tag.

Action: None
Try Again: Yes
Special: You gain a +2 bonus on Bladecraft checks to identify a technique or form that you know.
Special: Any character with at least 1 rank in Bladecraft has the ability to learn blade techniques.
Synergy: You gain a +2 synergy bonus to Bladecraft checks for each of the following skills in which you have at least 5 ranks: Autohypnosis, Knowledge (History), or Martial Lore. If you have 5 or more ranks in Bladecraft, you gain a +2 synergy bonus to Concentration, Knowledge (History), and Martial Lore checks.
Note: Bladecraft is a class skill for any class which has full Base Attack Bonus progression.

Skill Tricks
The following skill tricks can be learned and used in the usual way; see Complete Scoundrel for in-depth rules on skill tricks.


Exotic Articulation [Manipulation]
"You didn't expect that attack, did you?"
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks.
Benefit: You can take 10 when making a Bladecraft check to retain a previously granted tag.

Focused Swordplay [Mental]
Your mental training lets you manage unusual tactics during combat.
Prerequisites: Autohypnosis 8 ranks, Bladecraft 8 ranks, ability to assume psionic focus.
Benefit: You can expend your psionic focus as a free action when using a blade technique. If you do so, you may substitute any granted tag for any tag of the same type which is required by the technique. For example, you could substitute the [High] granted tag for the [Diagonal] required tag, but not for the required tag.

[b]This is a Knife [Interaction]
"You call that a knife?"
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks.
Benefit: You can make a Bladecraft check in place of an Intimidate check to demoralize an opponent.


Bladecraft Resources
What follows is a variety of material which can be used to incorporate the Bladecraft subsystem into your D&D world. The next post contains a set of feats for students of Bladecraft, as well as substitution levels for many published classes which integrate Bladecraft into their existing mechanics.

The following four posts detail the 16 standard Blade Styles and their associated techniques. Several prestige classes for practitioners of Bladecraft take up the two successive posts, and the final post includes some equipment, magic items, and other materials which any student of Bladecraft may find useful.

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 06:53 AM
Feats & Blade-bound Substitution Levels

"When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation." - Alexander Hamilton

Bladecraft Feats
A fighter may select feats with their Fighter bonus feats; you must still meet the prerequisites of any feat you select.


Agile Bladeform [Bladecraft]
You've practiced your Bladecraft on the move. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Skirmish +1d6; Bladecraft 2 ranks; must know the Form The Creeper Embraces the Oak, and one Assault or Parry technique from Leaf style.
Benefit: Whenever you make a skirmish attack while in The Creeper Embraces the Oak, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the attack roll, and use Bladecraft dice in place of your normal skirmish dice.
Special: This feat counts as Favored Form (The Creeper Embraces the Oak) for the purposes of meeting prerequisites.

Arcane Assault [Bladecraft]
You may combine arcane power with your Bladecraft. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Arcane Bladeform, Bladecraft 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks, able to cast an arcane spell of at least 2nd level, must know at least three Assault techniques.
Benefit: Whenever you use an Assault technique, you may spend a free action to sacrifice a spell slot or prepared spell of at least 1st level. If you do, you gain a circumstance bonus equal to three times the level of the sacrificed spell or slot to all attack rolls you make as part of the Assault.

Arcane Bladeform [Bladecraft]
You can channel arcane energy to quickly change your Form. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, Spellcraft 3 ranks, able to cast an arcane spell of at least first level, must know at least 2 Form techniques.
Benefit: You may enter a new Form that you know as a free action. Doing so requires sacrificing a spell slot or a spell you have prepared. The level of the spell slot or prepared spell to be sacrificed depends on the complexity of the Form you are entering. It must be of at least 1st level to enter a Basic Form, at least 2nd level to enter a Moderate Form, at least 3rd level to enter an Advanced Form, and at least 4th level to enter an Expert Form.
Normal: Entering a new Form requires a swift action.

Blade Dance of the Forgotten One [Bladecraft]
You can combine your bladecraft with the skills of one of the most legendary of all blademasters, Paimon the Dancer. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Ability to bind the vestige Paimon, Bladecraft 4 ranks, 2 ranks in either Perform (Dance) or Tumble.
Benefit: This feat provides the following three benefits.
Whenever you are bound to the vestige Paimon, the benefit of your Paimon's Skills ability applies to Bladecraft, granting you a +4 bonus to Bladecraft checks.
Whenever you are bound to the vestige Paimon and use the Dance of Death ability, choose one tag at the start of the dance. That tag is granted to you, without altering any of the tags you already have. When you enter a new Form, or use an Assault or Parry technique, the tag you are granted changes as normal.
Whenever you make a binding check to bind Paimon, you may substitute a Bladecraft skill check for the regular binding check. Doing so requires you to draw out the seal of Paimon with your blade in a fluid but precise manner.
Special: This feat may be taken as a bonus feat granted by the Binder class. You must still meet its prerequisites.

Blade Focus [Bladecraft]
You have practiced with your weapon so much that it's like an extension of your body.
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus, Favored Form.
Benefit: Whenever you are in your favored Form and wielding a weapon with which you have the Weapon Focus feat, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon for each tag granted by the Form.

Blade Training [Bladecraft]
You have spent time and effort honing your Bladecraft, and have learned new techniques.
Prerequisites: BAB +1, Bladecraft 4 ranks, must know at least 4 blade techniques.
Benefit: You learn three additional blade techniques, of any complexity for which you qualify.
Special: You can select this feat multiple times; each time, you learn three more blade techniques.

Cavalier's Bladeform [Bladecraft]
You have learned to use Bladecraft while mounted, using your steed as an effective weapon. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 5 ranks, Ride 4 ranks, Mounted Combat, must know at least one Form technique.
Benefit: Whenever you are in a Form, you may make Bladecraft checks in place of Ride checks. In addition, whenever you use an Assault or Parry technique which requires the [High] tag, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to any attack rolls made as part of the technique.

Devious Bladeform [Bladecraft]
Some use Bladecraft in an honorable, open fashion. You use Bladecraft to get the job done. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Sneak attack +1d6; Bladecraft 2 ranks; must know the Form Cat Crossing the Courtyard, and one Assault technique from Wax style.
Benefit: Whenever you make a sneak attack while in Cat Crossing the Courtyard, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the attack roll, and use Bladecraft dice in place of your normal sneak attack dice.
Special: This feat counts as Favored Form (Cat Crossing the Courtyard) for the purposes of meeting prerequisites.

Esoteric Bladecraft [Bladecraft]
Your style of Bladecraft is particularly esoteric or involves extra flourishes that make it more difficult to determine your techniques. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks
Benefit: The DC to identity a blade technique you use, or to identify your current Form, is increased by 5.

Favored Assault [Bladecraft]
You've practiced a particular attack more than any other.
Prerequisites: BAB +3, Bladecraft 6 ranks, must know at least 1 Assault blade technique.
Benefit: Choose a single Assault you know. You can always use this technique, no matter what tags you have at any given time.
Special: Whenever you gain access to a higher complexity of blade style, you can exchange the chosen Assault for one you know from the new blade style.

Favored Form [Bladecraft]
You've practiced a particular stance more than any other.
Prerequisites: BAB +3, Bladecraft 6 ranks, must know at least 1 Form blade technique.
Benefit: Choose a single Form you know. Whenever you are in this Form, you gain a bonus to melee attack rolls equal to the number of tags the Form grants.
Special: Whenever you gain access to a higher complexity of blade style, you can exchange the chosen Form for one you know from the new blade style.

Favored Parry [Bladecraft]
You've practiced in a particular defense more than any other.
Prerequisites: BAB +3, Bladecraft 6 ranks, must know at least 1 Parry blade technique.
Benefit: Choose a single Parry you know. You can always use this technique, no matter what tags you have at any given time.
Special: Whenever you gain access to a higher complexity of blade style, you can exchange the chosen Parry for one you know from the new blade style.

Favor of Fortune [Bladecraft, Luck]
Even the most skilled masters of Bladecraft are vulnerable to the forces of luck, a sudden gust of wind, a bit of uneven ground, an opponent stumbling at just the wrong time. But you can always twist those events in your favor. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: One other Luck feat, Bladecraft 6 ranks; must know at least two Assault and two Parry techniques.
Benefit: Whenever you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll while using an Assault or Parry technique, you may spend two luck rerolls as a free action to instead treat the roll as if you had rolled a natural 20. You gain one luck reroll per day.

Honed Mind [Bladecraft, Psionic]
Your training in bladecraft has honed your mind far beyond that of other warriors. (By JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Psionic Body, one other [Bladecraft] feat.
Benefit: You count Bladecraft feats as psionic feats. This means you get additional hit points from Psionic Body and other similar feats that depend on your number of psionic feats. You also may take Bladecraft feats when you could take a psionic bonus feat (such as if you have levels in Psychic Warrior).

[b]Honed Power [Bladecraft, Psionic]
You have learned to synergize your blade training with your psionic training. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 9 ranks, Honed Mind, must know one Assault technique.
Benefit: Once per encounter, whenever you confirm a critical threat when using an Assault technique, you may choose to forego the usual effects of a critical hit to instead regain 1 Bladecraft die worth of power points. This ability may not bring your power point reserve above its normal maximum.
Special: You may select this feat multiple times. Each time, you may use this ability an additional time per encounter.

Hunter's Bladeform
You are the consummate martial hunter, having studied the fighting styles of your favored prey. (Definitely not edited from Amechra)
Prerequisites: Favored Enemy; Bladecraft 6 ranks; must know the Form The Swallow Glides to the Branch, and one Assault or Parry technique from Wood style.
Benefit: Whenever you are in The Swallow Glides to the Branch, your Favored Enemy bonus applies to Bladecraft checks, as well as the dodge bonus to AC granted by the Form. In addition, whenever you use an Assault or Parry technique against one of your favored enemies, you gain one Bladecraft die as an insight bonus to the attack roll.
Special: This feat counts as Favored Form (The Swallow Glides to the Branch) for the purposes of meeting prerequisites.

King Killer's Form [Bladecraft]
You may combine your mastery of Bladecraft with the brutal efficiency of an assassin. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Death Attack class feature; sneak attack +1d6; must know an Assault technique of at least Moderate complexity.
Benefit: You may use an Assault technique against an opponent to deliver a Death Attack. You must still satisfy all other requirements to make a Death Attack, and you cannot use any Assault technique which requires more than a standard action. If you do so, in addition to the effects of the Assault, the save DC to resist the Death Attack increases depending on the complexity of the Assault you use. The DC is increased by +1 for a Basic Assault, +2 for a Moderate Assault, +3 for an Advanced Assault, and +4 for an Expert Assault.
Special: A Binder who can bind the vestige Marchiosas may select this feat as a Binder bonus feat, substituting the Death Attack ability granted by the vestige for the Death Attack class feature requirement. All other prerequisites must be met as normal.

Melodic Bladeform [Bardic, Bladecraft]
For you, combat is a dance in the truest sense.
Prerequisites: Inspire Courage; Bladecraft 2 ranks, Bluff 4 ranks, Perform 4 ranks; must know the Form The Bear Sleeps in Winter, and one Assault or Parry technique from Cloud style.
Benefit: Whenever you are in The Bear Sleeps in Winter, your Inspire Courage ability grants a Bladecraft Die for each +1 it would normally have granted. In addition, whenever you successfully feint in combat, you can spend a daily use of Bardic Music as a free action to exchange one tag the technique grants for another tag of the same type.
Special: This feat counts as Favored Form (The Bear Sleeps in Winter) for the purposes of meeting prerequisites.

Monastic Bladestyle [Bladecraft]
Your monk training has focused on using the revered art of Bladecraft in combination with traditional monk weapons. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Flurry of blows class feature, 4 ranks in Bladecraft; must know use at least two Assault techniques.
Benefit: As long as you are wielding a special monk weapon, you may use your flurry of blows class feature when using any Assault technique which grants you at least two attacks. You suffer the -2 penalty to attack rolls as normal. You do not gain the benefit of this ability when using a technique which only grants you multiple attacks under certain conditions (and grants only a single attack when those conditions aren't met); the technique you use must always grant you at least two attacks.
Normal: You may only use the flurry of blows class feature when making a full attack action.
Special: A Monk may select this feat as a Monk bonus feat at 1st, 2nd, or 6th level.

Proactive Training [Bladecraft]
Though dangerous, in a pinch you can use a Bladecraft technique that you haven't fully mastered. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Int 13, Blade Training, knowledge of at least one Moderate technique.
Benefit: Choose a number of Assault or Parry technique that you do not know up to your Intelligence bonus (minimum 1). These techniques must be of a complexity at least one step lower than the maximum complexity of blade technique that you can learn. You may use each chosen technique once per day, as you would any other technique that you know; however, since you have not fully mastered it, you suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls made while using the technique, and any Bladecraft dice you roll as part of the technique automatically give you the minimum result.
Special: Whenever you gain a level, you may exchange the selected techniques for other techniques of a complexity at least one step lower than your maximum available complexity.
Note: The techniques you gain via this feat may not be used to satisfy prerequisites.

Raging Bladeform [Bladecraft]
For some, their skill with the blade is an oasis of intense calm; for you, it is the precise opposite. Your skill with the blade further inflames your emotions. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, Rage class feature, must know at least one Assault technique.
Benefit: You may enter a new Form as part of the same action whenever you use your Rage class feature. In addition, any round in which you deal damage to an opponent with an Assault technnique does not count against the duration of your rage.

Seize the Moment [Bladecraft]
The one who makes the first cut, often makes the last cut. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 5 ranks, BAB +3, Dex 13
Benefit: You gain 1 Bladecraft die as an insight bonus to initiative checks.
Special: This feat counts as Improved Initiative for the purposes of meeting prerequisites.

Trained Opportunist [Bladecraft]
You know how to take advantage of an opponent's mistakes in combat.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Combat Reflexes.
Benefit: You may make a number of additional attacks of opportunity equal to your ranks in Bladecraft. However, you may only make one of these additional attacks of opportunity when a blade technique you use directly causes your opponent to provoke an attack of opportunity from you.

Warrior's Soul [Bladecraft, Incarnum]
You have a true connection with the spirits of ancient warriors.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Incarnum-Fortified Body, one other [Bladecraft] feat.
Benefit: You count Bladecraft feats as Incarnum feats. This means you get additional hit points from Incarnum-Fortified Body, and any other similar effects that depend on your number of Incarnum feats. You also may take Bladecraft feats when you could take an Incarnum bonus feat (such as achieving 3rd level in Soulborn).

[b]Way of the Blade, Way of the Nine [Bladecraft]
You have learned both the way of the Nine Swords and the way of Bladecraft and can see how they complement each other. (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, Martial Lore 4 ranks, two Bladecraft Forms, a martial stance
Benefit: This feat provides the following three benefits.
You may make Martial Lore checks to recognize Bladecraft techniques and may make Bladecraft checks to recognize martial maneuvers.
Whenever you spend a swift action to enter a new Form (but not when you change Forms as part of a technique), you may change your martial stance as part of the same action. Similarly, whenever you spend a swift action to change your martial stance, you may enter a new Form as part of the same action.
Whenever you would learn a martial maneuver, you may instead learn a new Bladecraft technique of any complexity to which you have access.

Zealous Bladecraft [Bladecraft, Exalted]
You have trained in Bladecraft so that you may more effectively strike down evil, and defend good. (Definitely not edited from Amechra)
Prerequisites: Smite Evil 1/day; Bladecraft 6 ranks; must know at least one Assault technique.
Benefit: You gain 1 extra daily use of your Smite Evil ability. In addition, you may expend a daily use of your Smite Evil ability to use any Assault technique you know against an evil creature, regardless of your current tags or the Assault's required tags. If you do so, any bonus damage granted by the technique is good-aligned; however, if you use the Assault against a non-evil creature, it automatically fails with no effect.





Stay tuned for Blade-bound substitution levels!

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 06:54 AM
Blade Styles and Techniques (Basic)
The four Blade Styles described here are all of Basic complexity. Techniques from these styles can be learned by any character who can learn Bladecraft techniques. Required or granted tags are presented in the following order: Gesture, Hand, Motion, Position.

Cloud Style
The Cloud style has Basic complexity. Similar in philosophy to a number of training regimes developed for light infantry, Cloud style is often the first taste of Bladecraft to which veteran soldiers are introduced. Many of the techniques can be used with a spear as easily as a sword, and involve standing with feet planted, thrusting the weapon at an approaching opponent's vulnerable areas around the face and neck. Cloud style is especially useful when setting an ambush.


The Bear Sleeps in Winter
Basic Cloud Form
Required: None
Granted: Stand
Action: Swift
A deceptive guard stance in which the combatant holds perfectly still. Can be used to avoid notice from a predatory beast, or to lure in an overconfident enemy.

While in this Form, you can make a Bladecraft check in place of a Hide check. In addition, you gain a +2 insight bonus on checks to feint in combat.

The Fox and the Chicken
Basic Cloud Assault
Required: Cleave
Granted: Thrust
Action: Standard
An unusual and unexpected technique from Cloud style, to be used against an opponent wearing armor. Pounce with the weapon held in both hands, attempting to drive through the opponent's guard.

Wielding your weapon two-handed, make a single melee attack with your weapon against an opponent wearing armor. Before rolling the attack, make a Bladecraft check against a DC equal to your opponent's AC against your attack. If you succeed, your attack ignores the opponent's armor bonus to AC. Instead of an armored opponent, you may use this technique against an opponent with a natural armor bonus of +3 or greater; in this case, a successful Bladecraft check allows your attack to ignore any amount of your opponent's natural armor bonus to AC beyond +2.

Heron Wading in the Rushes
Basic Cloud Form
Required: None
Granted: Thrust, High
Action: Swift
A training stance where one balances on hand, holding the blade overhead in a reverse grip. It is possible to use this form in combat, but it is very dangerous, and likely you will receive your opponent's weapon in your chest at the same time that you try to take his head.

While in this Form, your attacks deal 1 Bladecraft die as bonus damage; however, you also suffer a -4 penalty to AC.

Low Wind Rising
Basic Cloud Assault
Required: Stand
Granted: High
Action: Standard
Can be done from almost any stance - even sitting. A vertical attack, beginning low and rising cleanly. May be used to return to a guard stance.

Make a normal melee attack with your weapon against your opponent; if you are prone when you use this technique, you suffer no penalty to attack roll from being prone, and return to your feet as part of the same action. Whether or not you are successful, you may enter a new Form as part of the same action. If you do so, you are granted the tags of the new Form; however, if the new Form does not grant a Position tag, you are granted the [High] tag by this technique as well.

Rain in High Wind
Basic Cloud Parry
Required: High
Granted: Stand
Action: Immediate
A horizontal high attack used to deflect an opponent’s blade.

Use this technique when your attacking opponent is at least one size category larger than you. When you use this technique, make an attack roll with your weapon against your opponent; if it is successful, your opponent takes a -5 penalty to its attack against you, and suffers damage equal to the base damage of your weapon (unmodified by Strength or other damage modifiers).

Red Hawk Takes a Dove
Basic Cloud Assault
Required: High
Granted: Any one Hand tag
Action: Standard
A vertical thrust intended to inflict a wound in the opponents arm. The desired result is to weaken the enemy through gashes.

Make a normal melee attack with your weapon against your opponent. If you are successful, your opponent suffers a -1 penalty to attack rolls for the rest of the encounter, or until it receives at least 1 point of magical healing or is the benefit of a successful Heal check against a DC of 15. Multiple uses of this technique against the same opponent stack, to a maximum penalty equal to half your Base Attack Bonus (rounded down, minimum 1). When you use this technique, you may choose to be granted any one Hand tag (Cleave, Rend, or Sheath).

Skipping Stones on the Shore
Basic Cloud Parry
Required: Stand
Granted: Slash
Action: Immediate
Whip your blade in a wide arc, keeping feet planted to remain balanced. This is used to fend off an unexpected attack.

Use this technique when you provoke an attack of opportunity from your opponent, or when your opponent attacks you during a surprise round. You gain one Bladecraft die as a circumstance bonus to AC against the attack. This technique can be used in a surprise round or when flat-footed, even if you would not normally be able to use an immediate action (i.e., before you have acted in combat).

Wolf Stalks Through the Mist
Basic Cloud Assault
Required: Thrust
Granted: Stand
Action: Full-round
Charge at your opponent from hiding, taking them by surprise.

Use this technique whenever your opponent cannot see you. Make a charge against the opponent; you may charge over squares of difficult terrain or that otherwise slow movement, though the movement cost through such squares remains the same. In addition, you need not have line of sight to the opponent to begin the charge. The attack bonus you receive on the charge attack increases by +2 (to +4 for a standard charge), and the AC penalty is decreased (to -0 for a standard charge) by the same amount.


Leaf Style
The Leaf style has Basic complexity. Leaf style is a relatively simple defensive style to be used against multiple enemies, especially when one has been ambushed. The combatant spins like a leaf on the wind, never attacking or defending in the same direction twice. Many students who specialize in Leaf style eventually develop the complex attack strategies of Wind style.


The Creeper Embraces the Oak
Basic Leaf Form
Required: None
Granted: Cleave, Middle
Action: Swift
A slow, turning stance with a sudden step inwards to the opponents attack range, so that they are unable to effectively use their weapons. One must be alert and look for an appropriate opportunity to used this form. This makes the enemy fight defensively instead of offensively.

While in this Form, you do not provoke attacks of opportunity for moving through threatened areas. In addition, any opponent who attacks you suffers a -2 penalty to the attack roll, but gains a +2 circumstance bonus to AC against attacks made by you until the beginning of your next turn.

Drifting Snow
Basic Leaf Assault
Required: Spin
Granted: Middle
Action: Full-round
Spinning in place, you rain a flurry of light blows against the opponent, seeking to wound and distract rather than kill or incapacitate.

Make a number of attack rolls equal to your Base Attack Bonus with your weapon. Each of these attacks is resolved against every creature you threaten, and each attack deals exactly 1 point of damage. Any damage modifiers you may have do not apply, no matter what their source; however, you may deal nonlethal damage with these attacks as normal. In addition, each creature you attack suffers a penalty to Listen and Spot checks equal to the damage they receive from this technique, which lasts until the beginning of your next turn.

The Falling Leaf
Basic Leaf Parry
Required: Spin
Granted: Cleave
Action: Immediate
Starting high, the blade sweeps back and forth before reaching its lowest point. Can be used to parry effectively against multiple opponents, or just one.

When you use this technique, make an attack roll each time you are attacked until the beginning of the next turn. Whenever your attack roll equals or exceeds the attack roll of your opponent, you gain a cumulative +1 circumstance bonus to AC against that attack and any more attacks made against you until the beginning of your next turn.

Kingfisher Circles the Pond
Basic Leaf Form
Required: None
Granted: Spin
Action: Swift
A defensive form designed to fend against an attack from any direction.

While in this Form, you can use the [Spin] tag in place of the [High], [Middle], or [Low] tag, but only when using a Parry blade technique.

Leaf Floating on the Breeze
Basic Leaf Parry
Required: Middle
Granted: Spin
Action: Immediate
To defend the body, the blade will move up and down according to the threat while moving horizontally to offer new threats.

When you use this technique, make an attack roll with your weapon; you may use the result of this roll in place of your AC against your opponent's attack. You gain a +2 bonus to your attack roll if your opponent has attacked with a [High] or [Low] assault.

The Maiden Dances
Basic Leaf Parry
Required: Bash
Granted: Middle
Action: Immediate
Twisting the body away from an attack, lash out with the haft of the weapon, striking a blow against the opponent's exposed midsection. The blow is weak because you are off-balance, but puts the opponent back on the defensive.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked by an opponent adjacent to you. Your opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, which is resolved after the attack against you, and deals bludgeoning damage instead of piercing or slashing. In addition, roll one Bladecraft die before resolving either attack; you gain a dodge bonus to AC against your opponent's attack, but the damage dealt by your attack (if successful) is reduced by the same amount, to a minimum of 1 point of damage.

The Robin Pecks at the Worm
Basic Leaf Parry
Required: Cleave
Granted: High
Action: Immediate
Swing your blade two-handed at your opponent's face, which usually distracts them.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked while wielding your weapon two-handed. Make an attack roll with your weapon against the attacking opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. Your opponent must make a Will save vs fear against a DC equal to the result of your attack roll, or be shaken until the end of your next turn.

The Wood Grouse Dances
Basic Leaf Assault
Required: Middle
Granted: Cleave
Action: Standard
From a stationary point, make a low sweep at the opponent's midsection, trying to throw them off balance. This is mostly used to feel out your opponent's skill.

Make a single melee attack with your weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus, while wielding your weapon two-handed. If you are successful, you may immediately initiate a trip attempt against that opponent without provoking attacks of opportunity (in this case, your attack takes the place of the normal required touch attack). Even if you have the Improved Trip feat or similar effects, you do not gain any additional attacks if the trip is successful. If the trip attempt is unsuccessful, the opponent may not attempt to trip you. Either way, you gain a +1 insight bonus to attack rolls against that opponent for the rest of the encounter.


Wax Style
The Wax style has Basic complexity. The beginning student of Bladecraft must be molded by their teacher, sculpted to establish the fundamental skills. Wax style is the most versatile of the Basic styles, containing techniques to be used in a variety of situations, including those which require a sheathed weapon.


Cat Crossing the Courtyard
Basic Wax Form
Required: None
Granted: Sheath
Action: Swift
This form is a method of movement that starts from a relaxed stance with a straight back, which maximizes alertness and reaction potential. Once the movement starts, your weight should be on the balls of the feet, with head held high and eyes constantly shifting, watching for threats. Your arms and hands should move freely, not stored in your pockets or holding items. Each step should be taken confidently, but not hurriedly resulting in you looking superior and overconfident. This can be used to unnerve the opponent.

While in this Form, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to initiative checks, Spot and Listen checks, and Intimidate checks made to demoralize your opponent. In any round in which you do not use a Parry or Assault blade technique, you must sheathe your weapon to gain the benefit of this Form.

Cat on Hot Sand
Basic Wax Parry
Required: Low
Granted: Spin
Action: Immediate
A fast maneuver with foot work that is used to evade a blow or strike that is hard to counter or parry. This is often used when facing multiple opponents.

Use this technique whenever you are flanked by at least 2 enemies. You cannot be flanked until the beginning of your next turn, and you gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC for each enemy which had been flanking you when you use this technique, which lasts until the end of your next turn.

Folding the Fan
Basic Wax Parry
Required: Any one Gesture
Granted: Sheath
Action: Immediate
The sheathing technique. The blade is smoothly swung around from guard stance and sheathed, all in one motion.

Use this technique when you are attacked by an opponent. To use this technique, you sheathe your weapon. This prevents any disarm attempts, and grants you a +1 dodge bonus to AC against a single attack as your opponent is thrown off guard. The dodge bonus to AC increases by +1 for every tag you have when using this technique. You may use this technique any time you have a Gesture tag (, [Slash], or [Thrust]) as a granted tag.

[b]The Millstone Grinds Flour
Basic Wax Assault
Required: Low
Granted: Circle
Action: Standard
Circle the opponent with the blade held low, attacking swiftly and decisively as soon as you find a weak point in their defense.

Make a single attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus. For this attack, you count as flanking your opponent, even if they would not normally be flanked by you. As part of the same action, you may move up to your speed to any space adjacent to the opponent, without provoking attacks of opportunity from that opponent for moving through their threatened area. You provoke attacks of opportunity from other enemies for this movement as normal.

The Ox Lowers His Horns
Basic Wax Form
Required: None
Granted: Slash, Low
Action: Swift
A stance where you hold the sword in such a way that your eyes are looking over the sword hilt with the sword point hanging down. This grants you defensive advantage against attacks made against your legs.

While in this Form, you may make an attack roll with your weapon in place of a Strength or Dexterity check to avoid a bull rush, grapple, or trip attempt.

Parting the Silk
Basic Wax Assault
Required: Slash
Granted: Low
Action: Standard
A controlled, precision slash, directed at the abdomen to draw first blood. It can also be used to displace high vertical slashes.

Make a melee attack with your weapon against your opponent. If you are successful, you deal damage as normal, and your opponent bleeds, suffering 1 point of bleeding damage for a number of rounds equal to your ranks in Bladecraft. Multiple uses of this technique against the same opponent do not stack, and opponents who are immune to precision damage take no bleeding damage.

In addition, the opponent suffers a -2 on all attack rolls made during [High] and/or [Slash] assaults until you use another technique or re-enter your Form.

Twisting Weasel
Basic Wax Parry
Required: Slash
Granted: Slash
Action: Immediate
A technique which looks far more complicated than it is, the blade is spun through the air to slash at the opponent's retreat.

Use this technique whenever an opponent leaves your threatened area for any reason. The opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, even if they would not normally provoke an attack of opportunity. This attack is in addition to any attacks of opportunity the opponent normally would have provoked, and does not count against your maximum number of attacks of opportunity in the round.

Unfolding the Fan
Basic Wax Assault
Required: Sheath
Granted: Thrust
Action: Standard
The sword is drawn in a powerful, fluid motion. Can be used as an opener, since this form can unsheathe the sword and strike at the same time. Can also be used if caught off guard or in an awkward position.

Use this technique when your weapon is sheathed. Draw your weapon as a standard action, and as part of the same action, make a normal melee attack with it against your opponent at your highest base attack bonus, dealing 1 Bladecraft die of extra damage if successful. This assault can be used in a surprise round, even if you would normally be surprised. If you use this technique, you cannot be caught flat-footed until the beginning of your next turn.


Wood Style
The Wood style has Basic complexity. Wood style is modeled after the traditional training techniques of dwarves and elves, and is used to introduce the principles of Bladecraft to students who have some experience wielding a weapon or shield in their off-hand.


Catch the Diving Hawk
Basic Wood Assault
Required: Circle
Granted: Bash
Action: Standard
While circling your opponent, you lash out with a simple overhand attack, trying to knock the enemy's weapon from their hands.

Make a single attack with your weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. If you are successful, after you deal damage, you may use that attack to initiate a disarm attempt against your opponent, without provoking an attack of opportunity. Use the same attack roll result for the disarm attempt's opposed roll, with a bonus of one Bladecraft die.

Dog Howling at Midnight
Basic Wood Form
Required: None
Granted: Bash
Action: Swift
A guard stance where the blade is held pointed toward the sky, away from the enemy. At the same time, other weapons (such as the haft, a shield, or unencumbered extremities) are used to strike when the enemy approaches.

While in this form, you deal one Bladecraft die of bonus damage whenever you make an attack which deals bludgeoning damage.

The Falcon Stoops
Basic Wood Parry
Required: Thrust
Granted: Rend
Action: Immediate
The primary blade is held above the head, point aimed at the enemy's heart. The secondary is held in a reverse grip across the body. When the enemy attacks, the secondary bats away the attack with a spin, allowing the primary blade to complete its thrust.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked by an enemy while wielding a weapon or shield in your off-hand. Make an attack roll with your off-hand weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus (if you are wielding a shield, this is a shield bash attack). If the attack is successful, you deal no damage, but your opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, which you make with your primary weapon.

Ice Shatters Stone
Basic Wood Parry
Required: Rend
Granted: Bash
Action: Immediate
A basic parry, using a shield or off-hand weapon to bat away the opponent's attack.

Use this technique whenever an attack targets your touch AC. You apply your shield bonus to your touch AC against the attack. If the attack misses you, but would have hit you had you not used this technique, roll 1 Bladecraft die; you gain the result as an insight bonus to saves for 1 round.

If you use this technique while wielding a weapon (and not a shield) in your off-hand, treat the weapon as having a base shield bonus of +1, modified by the weapon's enhancement bonus.

Pressing Apples to Cider
Basic Wood Parry
Required: Circle
Granted: Low
Action: Immediate
Avoid an attack by dropping to the ground, letting it pass over head.

Use this weapon whenever you are attacked by an opponent of your size or larger, or when you are attacked by an opponent of any size using a technique which grants or requires the [High] tag. You drop prone, avoiding the attack.

The Serpent Strikes
Basic Wood Assault
Required: Rend
Granted: Rend
Action: Standard
A straightforward attack with both blades, propelled at the opponent before they have time to react. Often used as an opener.

Make a single attack with your off-hand weapon (or shield, in which case this is a shield bash attack) against an opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. If your attack is successful, you gain 1 Bladecraft die as a damage bonus, and, as part of the same action, make an additional attack with your primary weapon against the same opponent at the same base attack bonus (with no bonus to damage).

The Swallow Glides to the Branch
Basic Wood Form
Required: None
Granted: Rend, Circle
Action: Swift
A guard stance to be used while moving, using the blade or shield in the off-hand to defend against attack.

While in this Form, as long as you wield a weapon or a shield in your off-hand, you gain a +3 dodge bonus to AC.

The Viper Flicks its Tongue
Basic Wood Assault
Required: Bash
Granted: Circle
Action: Standard
This technique can be used alone, but is more effective when used with an ally. The ally's body is hidden behind you, and you lash out with your blade when an opening presents itself.

Make a single melee attack with your weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. If you are wielding a shield in your off-hand, you gain your shield's equipment bonus to AC as a circumstance bonus to the attack roll; otherwise, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus instead. If you are adjacent to an ally when you use this technique, the ally gains a circumstance bonus to AC of the same amount, which applies vs the next attack made against them before the beginning of your next turn.

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 06:55 AM
Blade Styles and Techniques (Moderate)
The four Blade Styles described here are all of Moderate complexity. Techniques from these styles can be learned by any character who has at least 9 ranks in Bladecraft, a Base Attack Bonus of +6 or higher, and who knows at least 8 Basic techniques. Required or granted tags are presented in the following order: Gesture, Hand, Motion, Position.

Bone Style
The Bone style has Moderate complexity. Practitioners of Bone style often begin their training by learning Wood style; however, Bone style is far more aggressive, and favors punishing attacks, relying on the advantage of armor, a shield, or a second blade for defense rather than care. You slam through your opponent's defense, crushing their joints, and leaving them scattered for the vultures and the bleaching sun. However, a skilled enemy, especially one with their own second blade, can bypass the rudimentary defense of Bone style and cause major damage to a practitioner as well.


The Bargeman at the Dock
Moderate Bone Assault
Required: Bash, Stand
Granted: Rend, Middle
Action: Standard
Follow through on an attack to ram the opponent with your shoulder, bowling them backward. The feet are initially planted to grant weight and power to the blow.

Make a single attack with your weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. If you deal damage, you immediately initiate a bull rush attempt against your opponent, without provoking an attack of opportunity from the defender. You may use Bladecraft in place of Strength for the opposed Strength check.

If you are wielding a shield in your off-hand, you gain the shield's equipment bonus as a circumstance bonus to the opposed bull rush check. If instead you are wielding a weapon in your off-hand, you may make an attack roll against your opponent with that weapon at the same base attack bonus, dealing no damage but gaining a +2 bonus on the opposed bull rush check if you are successful.

Grandmother Weaves a Basket
Moderate Bone Form
Required: None
Granted: Rend, Low
Action: Swift
The quintessential Bone style guard stance, holding the shield or secondary weapon raised in front of the body while the primary weapon sweeps to attack the hips or knees.

While in this Form, no more than once per round, you may use a melee attack that you make with your primary weapon to initiate a trip attempt against the target (in place of the usual touch attack). This trip attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity. You may use this ability during any round in which you do not make any attacks with your shield or off-hand weapon.

Holding Rain in Open Hands
Moderate Bone Parry
Required: Rend, Low
Granted: Bash, Spin
Action: Immediate
Crouching low, catch the opponent's weapon on both of yours, then rise quickly, shoving the caught weapon upward. This throws the opponent off balance, allowing you to focus on other approaching dangers.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked while wielding two weapons, or a weapon and a shield. Make an attack roll with each weapon you hold against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus; you may use the better result in place of your AC against the opponent's attack. If your opponent's attack against you misses, they are flat-footed until the beginning of your next turn.

The Lizard Snaps the Cricket
Moderate Bone Assault
Required: Bash, Rend
Granted: Thrust, Rend
Action: Standard
Attack the opponent with both weapons simultaneously, from both sides. The opponent will likely only be able to defend against one, and may be caught in indecision entirely.

Make a single attack with each weapon against the same opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. If you are wielding a shield in either hand, this is a shield bash attack. If either attack hits, both hit, and you gain 1 Bladecraft die as bonus damage on each attack.

Salmon Leaping Upstream
Moderate Bone Parry
Required: Any Motion, Low
Granted: Bash, High
Action: Immediate
Avoid multiple attacks by ducking, then leaping.

Use this technique when it is not your turn. You may use a Reflex save in place of your AC against the next attack made against you before the beginning of your next turn. Then, you may use a Jump check in place of your AC against the next attack before the beginning of your next turn. If you are wielding a shield in your off-hand, you gain the shield's equipment bonus as a circumstance bonus to the Reflex save and Jump check. If instead you are wielding a weapon in your off-hand, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on the Reflex save and Jump check.

Six Wolves Among the Trees
Moderate Bone Assault
Required: Rend, Middle
Granted: Rend, Middle
Action: Full-Round
Attack with both weapons in a sequence, at several different points on the opponent's body. Optimally, this technique will cause at least one wound which seriously hampers the enemy's ability to continue fighting.

Make three melee attacks against the same opponent with your primary weapon, all at your highest base attack bonus. You may also roll an attack with your off-hand weapon (or shield, in which case this is a shield bash attack) for each attack with the primary weapon. These off-hand attacks suffer a -4 penalty, and deal no damage; however, for each successful off-hand attack, the associated primary attack gains two Bladecraft dice as bonus damage. The wounds you inflict bleed for 1 round, causing the opponent to suffer additional damage at the beginning of your next turn. The bleeding damage is equal to the total bonus damage from Bladecraft dice that the opponent took.

The Stone Remembers
Moderate Bone Form
Required: None
Granted: Bash, Stand, Middle
Action: Swift
A defensive guard stance, unusual for Bone style, where you allow an opponent to attack you, defending without retaliating. Once you have fully analyzed your opponent's combat abilities, you finally strike back with devastating effectiveness.

While in this Form, you may select an opponent you threaten each round as a free action. You may not attack the selected target until the beginning of your next turn (even as a result of using an Assault or Parry), but the target suffers a -5 penalty to damage rolls it makes against you. In addition, you gain a cumulative +1 bonus to attack and +2 bonus to damage rolls for each consecutive round (to a maximum of 5 rounds) that you have selected a particular creature as a target, which applies to attack and damage rolls against that creature during the first round that you select a different target. For example, if you select the same target on three consecutive rounds, then switch to a new target on the fourth round, you gain a +3 bonus to attack and +6 bonus to damage against the first target during the fourth round.

Sunflower Turning to the Dawn
Moderate Bone Form
Required: None
Granted: Rend, Spin
Action: Swift
An offensive guard stance where you focus your attention on the greatest threat.

While in this Form, whenever a creature deals damage to you, you gain a cumulative +1 insight bonus to all attack and damage rolls against that creature for as long as you remain in this Form, to a maximum bonus equal to your half your Base Attack Bonus (rounded down, minimum +1). If you enter a new Form, and at the end of the current encounter, all bonuses reset to +0.


Flame Style
The Flame style has Moderate complexity. The aggressive blade techniques in this style focus on a constant barrage of attacks with few parries, keeping the opponent on the defensive. You aim to consume your opponent's stamina like the flame consumes the branch. However, practitioners of Flame style often wield their weapon one-handed, and are therefore somewhat more vulnerable to being disarmed.


The Flame Flickers
Moderate Flame Form
Required: None
Granted: Thrust, Middle
Action: Swift
This form is means of ignoring distractions, to stay razor-focused on one's purpose. It is difficult to mislead a combatant in this Form.

While in this Form, you gain a +2 insight bonus to saves, and a +4 insight bonus to Bladecraft and Concentration checks. You also gain an insight bonus to Sense Motive checks to defeat feint attempts, and Spot checks versus Sleight of Hand checks, equal to your Base Attack Bonus.

Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose
Moderate Flame Parry
Required: Cleave, Middle
Granted: Slash, High
Action: Immediate
A quick strike to the face, to deter an advancing opponent. It will usually kill a charging opponent outright. The blade should be aimed upward from a middle guard, though it may be performed from any position less quickly.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked by an opponent who has moved at least 10 feet during its turn. The opponent provokes an attack of opportunity against you, which is resolved before the opponent's attack. You must be wielding your weapon in two hands for this attack of opportunity. If your attack of opportunity is successful, it deals 1 Bladecraft die of extra precision damage for every 10 feet your opponent moved in excess of 10 feet during its turn.

You may use the [High] or [Low] tag in place of the [Middle] required tag to use this technique; however, if you do so, you suffer a -2 penalty to your attack roll for the attack of opportunity.

Kissing the Adder
Moderate Flame Assault
Required: Thrust, Middle
Granted: Circle, Middle
Action: Full-round
A fast series of thrusts that is only to be used when the opponent is overwhelmed and leaves and opening. Often aimed at the opponents heart and is meant to be used to finishing off the battle.

Make a full attack against an opponent who is flat-footed, or whom you are flanking. As part of the full attack, you make an additional attack at your highest base attack bonus. You automatically confirm any critical threats rolled during this Assault.

Lightning of Three Prongs
Moderate Flame Parry
Required: Slash, Spin
Granted: Thrust, Spin
Action: Immediate
Begin with a slashing parry, binding your blade with that of the opponent. This is followed by stepping around the opponent and sliding the blade off the cross of his sword, and simultaneously tripping the opponent with your back hand. Once the opponent is on the ground it is finished with a downwards stab.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked by an opponent. Make a trip attempt against your opponent with your weapon, but initiate with a normal melee attack roll instead of a touch attack. If the trip is successful, you may immediately make an attack against the tripped opponent, as if you had the Improved Trip feat (this does not stack with the Improved Trip feat).

Lion on the Hill
Moderate Flame Form
Required: None
Granted: Slash, Circle, High
Action: Swift
A guard stance where you stand confident and upright, with a straight back. The blade is resting on or just above the shoulder. This can be used to move into a variety of other techniques.

While in this Form, you can use the [High] tag in place of the [Middle] or [Low] tag, but only when using an Assault blade technique. If the Assault actually requires the [High] technique, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls and deal 2 Bladecraft dice extra damage while using the Assault.

Ribbon in the Air
Moderate Flame Assault
Required: Circle, High
Granted: Slash, Circle
Action: Swift
An attack which can be used to regain poise after an errant swing. The blade does not stop, but instead continues in one fluid motion with the sword finishing behind your back. Afterwards the sword comes in a slash from above the head and directed down on the enemy.

Use this technique during a round in which you missed with an attack roll. Make a single attack with your weapon against the opponent you missed, at your highest base attack bonus.

Striking the Spark
Moderate Flame Assault
Required: Slash, High
Granted: Thrust, Low
Action: Full-round
A rapid series of powerful overhand slashes, best begun on the return swing of a rising attack like Low Wind Rising. If you've got stamina this can win a battle for you.

Make a single attack against your opponent with your weapon at your highest attack bonus. If you are successful, continue making attacks against the same opponent, with a cumulative -3 penalty to the attack roll, until you miss, to a maximum number of extra attacks equal to your Constitution bonus (minimum 1). Once all your attacks have been completed, you are fatigued for 1 round for each attack you made after the first. You cannot use this technique if you are immune to fatigue.

Threading the Needle
Moderate Flame Assault
Required: Thrust, Circle
Granted: Cleave, Middle
Action: Standard
A sudden and very quick two-handed thrust at the opponents shoulder. Can be used in succession to keep the opponent on guard.

Make a single two-handed attack against your opponent with your weapon at your highest attack bonus. You gain your initiative bonus (minimum +0) as an insight bonus to the attack and damage roll. If you use this technique more than once on successive turns, each time after the first, your opponent must fight defensively when making attacks on their following turn.


Iron Style
The Iron style has Moderate complexity. This balanced style emphasizes single strong downward blows, wielding a weapon in a two-handed grip for added power. You fall upon your opponent like the hammer upon the anvil, shaping them to your will and battering aside defenses. However, practitioners of Iron style must keep their feet planted for balance and strength, and are susceptible to dodging.


Arc of the Moon
Moderate Iron Assault
Required: Bash, High
Granted: Cleave, Circle
Action: Standard
A straightforward attack, meant to sever an opponent's head. It is a downward and circular strike that starts above the opponents head and ends with the tip of the blade at the opponents thigh. This finishing move ends back in a guard stance.

Make a single two-handed attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus. If you succeed, your attack is automatically a critical threat (though you must confirm the critical). You can switch to a new Form as part of the same action; if you do, the [Cleave] tag is replaced with any tags granted by the new Form, but you keep the [Circle] tag, replacing any Motion tag granted by the new Form.

The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain
Moderate Iron Assault
Required: Cleave, Stand
Granted: Bash, Stand
Action: Standard
A powerful diagonal blow, starting behind the right shoulder, which smooths out into a horizontal cut. This technique is used to deceive enemies by altering course in mid-swing quickly.

Make a single two-handed attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus. If you have more ranks in Bladecraft than your opponent's Base Attack Bonus, treat the target as flat-footed for the attack; if you have more ranks in Bladecraft than your opponent does, you gain an additional +2 competence bonus to the attack roll. In either case, if the attack is successful, you deal 3 Bladecraft dice in extra damage.

Cutting the Clouds
Moderate Iron Parry
Required: Rend, Low
Granted: Stand, Middle
Action: Immediate
An upward strike at the opponent's wrist with flat of the blade, intending to disrupt (and possibly disarm) the opponent.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked by an opponent while wielding a weapon or shield in your off-hand. Before resolving your opponent's attack, make a single melee attack with your off-hand weapon (or a shield bash with your shield) against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. If you are successful, you deal nonlethal damage to your opponent equal to the amount of damage you would normally have dealt. You then have two options:
You may cause your opponent to suffer a penalty to all attack rolls against you (including the attack which triggered this technique) equal to one quarter of the nonlethal damage amount (rounded down, minimum -1). This penalty applies even if the opponent is immune to the nonlethal damage, and lasts until the beginning of your next turn.
You may instead choose to immediately make an attempt to disarm your opponent with your primary weapon, without provoking an attack of opportunity, and you gain a bonus on the opposed roll equal to one third of the nonlethal damage amount (rounded down, minimum +1). This bonus applies even if the opponent is immune to the nonlethal damage. If you fail at the opposed roll, your opponent may not attempt to disarm you in return.

Emptiness
Moderate Iron Form
Required: None
Granted: Any Hand tag, Stand
Action: Swift
A type of movement where every step, you are in perfect balance. It is meant to be used at the start of a battle, and to gain advantage over the opponent. Each step is silent and unhurried, rolling precisely from heel to toe. It gives one the look of a living weapon, as one is prepared to strike from the balance at any moment.

When you enter this Form, choose one Hand tag; you are granted this tag whenever you return to the Form, until you change to a new Form. While in this Form, your base land speed is reduced by 10 feet, to a minimum of 5 feet. However, you gain a +4 insight bonus to Balance checks and initiative checks. In any round in which you do not move more than 5 feet, you may make a Bladecraft check (DC 15) as a free action to gain a +4 competence bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Lion Springs
Moderate Iron Parry
Required: Sheath, Spin
Granted: Bash, Low
Action: Immediate
An unexpected vertical strike at the opponent's thigh from a sheathed blade, to throw the opponent off balance.

Use this technique whenever your weapon is sheathed, and when an opponent moves into or through a square adjacent to you, even if they do not provoke an attack of opportunity for doing so. As part of using this maneuver, draw your weapon, and then make an attack roll with that weapon at your highest base attack bonus against the opponent. If you are successful, you deal no damage; however, your opponent suffers a -10 penalty to speed in all movement modes and a -2 penalty to attack and damage rolls for the rest of the encounter, or until they make a DC 15 Balance check as a move action. The penalty to attack and damage rolls increases to -4 when the opponent is attacking you. Multiple uses of this technique against the same opponent stack the speed penalty (to a minimum of 5 feet), but not the penalty to attack and damage.

The Moon on the Water
Moderate Iron Assault
Required: Bash, Low
Granted: Bash, High
Action: Standard
This is an offensive strike that is carried out from a defensive position, consisting of a swing into the opponents chest, and then returning to the previous guard stance.

Make a single attack against your opponent with your weapon at your highest base attack bonus. If you are successful, roll 1 Bladecraft die; you may divide the result up however you wish between a circumstance bonus to your damage roll on the attack, or a circumstance bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn. Any amount of the result you apply as a damage bonus is doubled. You must be wielding your weapon in two hands to use this technique, and cannot move more than 5 feet in the same turn you use it.

Two Hares Leaping
Moderate Iron Form
Required: None
Granted: Bash, Cleave, High
Action: Swift
A ready guard stance. By holding the blade in a vertical defensive position, it is easy to counter opponents' attacks against the head.

While in this Form, you gain a +2 insight bonus to attack rolls whenever you wield your weapon in two hands. The bonus increases to +4 when using Parry blade techniques, and to +8 when using a Parry which requires or grants the [High] tag, or if your opponent uses an Assault which requires or grants the [High] tag against you.

Watered Silk
Moderate Iron Parry
Required: Stand, High
Granted: Cleave, Stand
Action: Immediate
A technique to defend against downward blows. Lift the blade with both hands horizontally over the head, and catch the falling blade to diffuse the momentum of the slash. This move is often followed by an attack to the opponents face.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you while you are wielding your weapon two-handed. Make an attack roll with your weapon against the opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. If you succeed, your opponent cannot apply its Strength bonus to the attack or damage roll against you, and automatically fails to confirm a critical threat on the attack, if any. In addition, you gain a bonus equal to your opponent's Strength bonus (minimum +0) on your next Assault against that opponent before the end of your next turn.


Vine Style
The Vine style has Moderate complexity. This defensive style emphasizes footwork and technique, tiring out the opponent before striking with an unexpected lunge. You lie in wait like the forest in winter, before exploding into the sudden growth of a new sapling. This style can be used against multiple unskilled enemies, redirecting their attacks against each other. However, a skilled opponent with an offensive style can cause serious damage to a practitioner of Vine style who makes even a single mistake.


The Grapevine Twines
Moderate Vine Parry
Required: Cleave, Spin
Granted: Thrust, Circle
Action: Immediate
A circular motion when blades are locked, used to disarm an opponent.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you when you are wielding your weapon two-handed. Make an attack roll with your weapon, opposed by your opponent's attack roll against you. You gain 1 Bladecraft die as a bonus on your attack roll. If you succeed, your opponent is automatically disarmed. Even if you fail, your opponent suffers a penalty to damage against you for the remainder of the encounter equal to the result of your Bladecraft die roll (minimum 1 damage per successful attack), or until they sheathe (or drop) and redraw their weapon. Multiple uses of this ability against the same opponent do not stack.

Leopard in High Grass
Moderate Vine Form
Required: None
Granted: Slash, Cleave, Spin
Action: Swift
A guard stance used when you are outnumbered and expecting multiple attacks. You attempt to intimidate one or more enemies to keep them at bay, while keeping constant vigilance of the opponents' movements.

While in this Form, you gain a +2 insight bonus to Bladecraft checks for each opponent you threaten or that threatens you. In addition, at will as a move action, you can make an Intimidate check to demoralize an opponent, gaining 1 Bladecraft die as a bonus to the check. You cannot demoralize the same opponent more than once in the same encounter with this ability. You gain the benefit of this Form whenever you wield your weapon two-handed.

Leopard in the Tree
Moderate Vine Form
Required: None
Granted: Thrust, Sheath
Action: Swift
A preliminary stance that puts you on the verge of drawing your sword. It is begun with both hands on the hilt of the sword, knees bent, and leaning forward in a ready position. This form is used to prepare for Unfolding the Fan or another such drawing technique.

While in this Form, you can use the [Sheath] tag in place of any one Position tag that an Assault or Parry blade technique requires, and can draw your weapon as part of the same action when using that Assault or Parry. If instead you use an Assault or Parry technique which already requires the [Sheath] tag, you gain 1 Bladecraft die as a bonus to the first attack roll you make when using that technique.

Leopard's Caress
Moderate Vine Parry
Required: Thrust, Circle
Granted: Slash, Cleave
Action: Immediate
A quick and sudden lunge at an opponent's thigh, aiming to distract, wound, and possibly cripple. In any event, an opponent struck by this technique will likely move gingerly around you in the future.

Use this technique whenever an opponent comes within 5 feet of your threatened area. The opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, and your reach increases by 5 feet for the purposes of this attack. If the attack is successful, roll 2 Bladecraft dice; your opponent suffers a penalty to speed (to a minimum of 5 feet) in all of their movement modes equal to the result of your roll, rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5 feet. If your attack of opportunity is a critical hit, you also deal Dexterity damage to the opponent equal to the result of your Bladecraft dice.

Lizard in the Thornbush
Moderate Vine Assault
Required: Thrust, Circle
Granted: Slash, Low
Action: Standard
Consists of two attacks, each aimed at a different opponent. One strike to the chest, then you pivot and kneel with a second attack.

Roll 2 Bladecraft dice. Make an attack against each of two opponents you threaten, both at your highest base attack bonus, and resolve each attack separately. You can divide the result of your Bladecraft dice roll as a circumstance bonus among both attack rolls and both damage rolls, but you must decide how to allocate the bonuses before you make either attack roll. Any amount of the bonus that you apply to a damage roll is doubled, but if the attack against an opponent misses, you lose any bonus you applied to the damage roll against that opponent.

Plucking the Low-Hanging Apple
Moderate Vine Assault
Required: Slash, Cleave
Granted: Spin, High
Action: Standard
A sudden and unexpected slash at an opponent's throat or face, intended to end an opponent quickly.

Make a single two-handed attack against your opponent's touch AC, at your highest base attack bonus. You gain 2 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on the attack.

The River Undercuts the Bank
Moderate Vine Parry
Required: Slash, any Position
Granted: Stand, Low
Action: Immediate
Can be done to dodge an attack by dropping into a kneeling position, spinning in place to set up a riposte from an unexpected direction.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you. You can use the result of a Reflex save in place of your AC against any attacks that opponent makes against you until the beginning of your next turn. You gain 1 Bladecraft die as a bonus to the Reflex save.

Twisting the Wind
Moderate Vine Form
Required: None
Granted: Circle, Low
Action: Swift
For use in a tight situation, when one is outnumbered. A quick, continual rotation of the body, using strikes at the legs to counter or attack as the situation dictates.

The first time you enter this Form during an encounter, you gain a pool of Bladecraft dice equal to your Base Attack Bonus. While in this Form, you can roll a die from this pool as a free action whenever you threaten more than one opponent, gaining the result as a circumstance bonus to AC against a single attack, or to an attack roll as part of an Assault or Parry which requires the [Low] tag. You cannot use more than one Bladecraft die from the pool on a given attack roll (yours or your enemy's). Whenever you enter this form in a new encounter, you gain a new pool of Bladecraft dice.

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 06:56 AM
Blade Styles and Techniques (Advanced)
The four Blade Styles described here are all of Advanced complexity. Techniques from these styles can be learned by any character who has at least 14 ranks in Bladecraft, a Base Attack Bonus of +11 or higher, and who knows at least 8 Moderate techniques. Required or granted tags are presented in the following order: Gesture, Hand, Motion, Position.

Blood Style
The Blood style has Advanced complexity. Almost every advanced student learns techniques from Blood style, the pulsing heart of superior Bladecraft. As the techniques a practitioner learns become more and more complex, it becomes similarly complicated to chain them together into a smooth, continuous dance. Blood style emphasizes control and fluidity, allowing the combatant to adapt to an evolving battle. While few of its techniques are particularly deadly in isolation, it should be noted that every sequence of blows exchanged by the best Blademasters includes at least one technique from the Blood style.


The Albatross Glides with the Wind
Advanced Blood Assault
Required: Cleave, Stand, High
Granted: Thrust, Spin, Middle
Action: Full-round
Plant your feet and extend the blade in a high, arcing attack at one enemy, using your maximum reach. Then, continue the motion to pivot and strike at another with an extended thrust. An excellent technique for changing momentum.

Make a single two-handed attack with your weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. Your melee reach increases by 5 feet for this attack, and you gain 2 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage. Whether or not this attack is successful, you may then select another enemy whom you threaten, and choose another Assault technique you know, which requires at most a single tag which is not granted by this technique, and which takes no more than a standard action to use. You may use that Assault technique against the newly selected enemy as part of the same action. At the completion of the chosen Assault, you gain the granted tags of that Assault instead of the tags granted by this technique.

Driftwood on the Tide
Advanced Blood Assault
Required: Bash, Circle, Middle
Granted: Slash, Cleave, Stand
Action: Standard
You follow the ebb and flow of battle, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

When you use this technique, you ready a standard action to make a melee attack. You may choose the trigger for your readied action as normal; when the readied action is triggered, you make a single attack at your highest base attack bonus against your target, gaining 1 Bladecraft die as a circumstance bonus to the attack roll, and 2 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage. Until your readied action triggers, you may not use any other techniques or enter a new Form; similarly, you may not ready a different Assault as part of using this technique, only a single attack (as a standard action). However, your initiative count does not change as a result of the readied action being triggered. If you begin your next turn without triggering the readied action, the readied action is lost with no effect, but you may begin using other techniques and changing Forms once more.

Falcon Rising
Advanced Blood Parry
Required: Slash, Cleave, Spin
Granted: Bash, Spin, High
Action: Immediate
Whirl your blade over your head in a vortex of steel, sheltering yourself from ranged attacks. This is an effective defense, but can be exhausting if kept up for too long.

Use this technique when you are attacked with a ranged weapon. Roll two Bladecraft checks, keeping the better result; until the beginning of your next turn, any ranged attacks or ranged touch attacks made against you must beat your Bladecraft result instead of your AC. Starting at the beginning of your next turn, you are fatigued for 1 round for each ranged attack beyond the first made against you since you used this technique, whether or not the ranged attack was successful. You cannot be immune to fatigue, and must be wielding your weapon in two hands, to use this technique.

The Field Opens to the Plow
Advanced Blood Parry
Required: Sheath, Stand, Low
Granted: Slash, Cleave, Circle
Action: Swift
The most common opening technique used by practitioners of Blood Style. Starting from a sheathed blade, you draw with two hands and bring the blade around with all your strength to knock the weapon from your opponent's hand.

Use this technique when you are attacked by an opponent while your weapon is sheathed. Draw your weapon, and make a Bladecraft check opposed by your opponent's Strength check. If you are successful, your opponent is automatically disarmed. After using this technique, you immediately return to your Form, but may exchange any one Gesture, Hand, or Motion tag granted by your Form with the Gesture, Hand, or Motion tag granted by this technique.

Fingers Dance on Lute Strings
Advanced Blood Form
Required: None
Granted: Thrust, Spin, Middle
Action: Swift
A delicate and exacting guard stance, relying on agility and skill to defend against superior brute strength and momentum. Each limb and joint must be kept in perfect alignment, with tiny motions and pivots to avoid blows without disrupting your control over the battle. Occasionally, you may allow the enemy to strike a glancing blow if the end result is worthwhile.

While in this Form, whenever you are attacked, you may make a Bladecraft check (DC equal to the attack roll) as a free action. If you succeed, the creature attacking you may not apply its Strength bonus to the attack or damage roll against you. If the attack hits and deals damage to you anyway, you may change one of your current granted tags to another tag of the same type.

The Tide Climbs the Shore
Advanced Blood Form
Required: None
Granted: Slash, Sheath, Stand
Action: Swift
You remain at rest with your blade sheathed, seemingly unconcerned with your opponents' approach. However, the body is taught and ready for action.

While you are in this Form, you can make a Bladecraft check in place of an initiative check, and you can always act during surprise rounds. When you are in a surprise round, you may use the [Slash] or [Stand] tag in place of another Gesture or Motion tag, as appropriate, when using an Assault technique (you may only replace one tag at a time). You must have your weapon sheathed to gain the benefit of this Form.

The Vultures Feast on the Dead
Advanced Blood Parry
Required: Slash, Stand, Low
Granted: Thrust, Stand, Middle
Action: Immediate
To be used when the enemy is on the ground - either by their choice or your design. Deliver a swift, powerful slash to the body, capitalizing on the opponent's poor leverage.

Use this technique whenever an enemy you threaten is prone. The opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, and you gain 3 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on the attack. If your attack of opportunity is successful, you gain an additional immediate action, which you can only spend to use another Parry technique. You still lose your swift action on your following turn, even if you do not spend the additional immediate action.

Waxing Moon, Waning Moon
Advanced Blood Parry
Required: Thrust, Spin, Middle
Granted: Sheath, Stand, any Position
Action: Immediate
After the enemy missteps, you take the chance to regain your balance and composure.

Use this technique whenever an opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you. After resolving the attack of opportunity, you sheath your weapon, and convert some lethal damage you have received into nonlethal damage. You convert a number of hit points of lethal damage equal to the damage you dealt to the opponent with your attack of opportunity into nonlethal damage.


Smoke Style
The Smoke style has Advanced complexity. This style is characterized by blades in constant motion, with the wielder melting away from attacks, twisting, and returning again to thrust steel into flesh. Most Smoke techniques involve the use of two weapons. While Smoke style is extremely effective against undisciplined, even bestial opponents, a well-trained cadre of soldiers wielding spears and shields can trap and skewer a practitioner as easily as any other combatant.


Black Pebbles on Snow
Advanced Smoke Parry
Required: Thrust, Stand, Middle
Granted: Thrust, Circle, Low
Action: Immediate
A difficult countering strike at the opponent's ribs. The technique is to catch the opponent's blade with the false edge, and use the momentum to thrust with the weapon's true edge.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you. Make an attack roll against your opponent with each weapon you hold, at your highest base attack bonus. If any of your attack rolls are successful, your opponent's attack is negated. If all are successful, you deal damage equal to the combined base damage of all of the weapons you wield (without your Strength modifier or any other damage bonuses) to the opponent. If none of the attacks are successful, but your opponent's attack against you is, your opponent suffers a penalty to damage with that attack equal to the damage you would have dealt if all had been successful (to a minimum of 0).

Bundling Straw
Advanced Smoke Assault
Required: Thrust, Rend, High
Granted: Rend, Stand, High
Action: Standard
A sudden and unexpected thrust with both blades at an opponent's throat or face, intended to end an opponent quickly.

While you are wielding at least two weapons, make a single attack against your opponent with each weapon you hold, at your highest base attack bonus. You may voluntarily apply a penalty to all attack rolls (the same penalty is applied to each roll), up to a maximum penalty equal to half your base attack bonus (rounded down, minimum 0). For each successful attack, you gain Bladecraft dice as a bonus to damage equal to the attack roll penalty.

Cutting the Wind
Advanced Smoke Parry
Required: Rend, Circle, High
Granted: Thrust, Circle, Middle
Action: Immediate
Use against a charging opponent. Feint with your off-hand weapon, then sidestep and twist your wrist to deliver a thrust in the opponents open stomach area. This is meant to be a surprise, and must only be performed simultaneously with the charging opponent.

Use this technique whenever a charging opponent attacks you while you are wielding at least two weapons. Make a feint attempt as part of the same action, using Bladecraft in place of Bluff for the roll. If you are successful, the opponent's attack provokes an attack of opportunity from you with your primary weapon, and the opponent is flat-footed against your attack.

The Dove Takes Flight
Advanced Smoke Form
Required: None
Granted: Thrust, Rend, High
Action: Swift
You stand in a guard stance, with the knees slightly bent. The sword is held at the hip, with the point upwards. When the attacker comes at you, you are able to thrust the sword at the enemy's chest or throat with good punch and power.

While in this Form, whenever you wield at least two weapons, you gain a dodge bonus to AC equal to your ranks in Bladecraft against opponents at least one size category larger than you, or who use an Assault which requires the [High] tag against you.

The Kingfisher Takes a Silverback
Advanced Smoke Form
Required: None
Granted: Rend, Circle, Low
Action: Swift
Starts with the primary blade in a guard stance, held at shoulder height or higher, with the secondary held lower across the body. Allows for downward stab for the abdomen with the primary, or a downward stab meant to cripple a leg or the groin with the secondary.

While in this Form and wielding at least two weapons, whenever you use an Assault technique which involves making a single attack with one or more weapons, and requires no more than a standard action to use, you can instead use the Assault as part of a full attack action. Only one attack (with each weapon, if applicable) in the full attack sequence gains the benefit of the Assault; the remainder are normal attacks with your weapons. You must choose which attacks to make as part of the Assault before you roll them.

Rat Gnawing the Grain
Advanced Smoke Assault
Required: Thrust, Spin, Low
Granted: Bash, Circle, Low
Action: Full-round
Lash out with your weapon in several unexpected directions, catching approaching enemies off guard with your fluid movements.

Make an attack with each weapon you wield against every opponent you threaten, resolving each attack separately. You gain 1 Bladecraft die as bonus damage to all attacks for each opponent beyond the first (i.e., if you threaten 4 opponents, you gain 3 Bladecraft dice of bonus damage).

Smoke Blows Over the Wall
Advanced Smoke Assault
Required: Rend, Circle, Middle
Granted: Rend, Stand, any Position
Action: Standard
Pivot and strike at the opponent's wrist before thrusting at their chest. Useful to disarm an opponent wielding a weapon in one hand, leaving them open to your attacks.

Make a disarm attempt against your opponent with your off-hand weapon, without provoking an attack of opportunity. Then, make a single attack against the same opponent with your primary weapon at your highest base attack bonus. If the disarm attempt was successful, your opponent is flat-footed against your attack, and you gain 4 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on the attack. You must be wielding two weapons to use this technique.

The Wolf Lunges
Advanced Smoke Assault
Required: Thrust, Circle, High
Granted: Thrust, Rend, High
Action: Full-round
A combination strike, intended for close quarters. In very rapid succession, you move around your enemy, striking with edge or pommel as the occasion warrants.

Make a full attack against a single opponent. If you are wielding two weapons, you may include both in the attack sequence, as normal. You may choose to deal nonlethal damage (at no penalty) with any of your successful attacks; each time you do so, you gain a cumulative +4 on attack rolls and 2 Bladecraft dice of bonus damage on each subsequent attack in the sequence. You may take a 5-foot step as a free action between each attack of the sequence if you wish, as long as you continue to threaten the same opponent; however, such movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal from opponents other than the one you are attacking.


Stone Style
The Stone style has Advanced complexity. Intended for heavily armored, shield-bearing combatants, practitioners of Stone style are boulders upon which the tide of battle breaks and shatters. You will be immobile as a mountain, withstanding anything your opponent throws against you, and crush your opponent beneath your powerful, cross-body swings. However, just as mountains can be ground to sand with time, a tireless and very fluid opponent can erode a Stone practitioner's stamina bit by bit.


The Boar Rushes Downhill
Advanced Stone Assault
Required: Bash, Rend, High
Granted: Bash, Stand, Middle
Action: Standard
Swing your blade in a powerful overhand blow, slamming the opponent into your shield.

To use this technique, you must be wielding a shield in your off-hand. Make a single attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest attack bonus. Whether or not your attack succeeds, you then make an opposed Strength check against that opponent, gaining 1 Bladecraft die as a bonus to your roll. If you are successful, immediately make a shield bash attack against your opponent with your shield, suffering no penalties for two-weapon fighting. If you deal damage to your opponent with your shield, the opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC equal to the damage dealt) or be stunned for 1 round.

The Cyclone Rages
Advanced Stone Form
Required: None
Granted: Rend, Spin, Low
Action: Swift
You rotate your torso and shield to block any incoming blows, or crash your shield against your opponents.

While in this Form, whenever you are wielding a shield in your off-hand, you cannot be flanked, and your shield bonus to AC increases by +5. In addition, in any round in which you do not move, as a move action you can make a shield bash attack at your highest base attack bonus against an opponent you threaten.

The Hawk Surveys the Plain
Advanced Stone Form
Required: None
Granted: Bash, Stand, High
Action: Swift
The blade is held above the head, point up, allowing for powerful downward blows. This leaves the body completely open to attack, and so the shield is used to defend.

While in this Form, you gain 2 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage when using any Assault or Parry technique which deals damage and requires the [High] tag. In addition, if you are wielding a shield in your off-hand, any AC bonus from your shield applies to melee and ranged touch attacks.

Reaping the Barley
Advanced Stone Assault
Required: Bash, Cleave, Stand
Granted: Cleave, Spin, High
Action: Standard
Using both hands, make a very quick and powerful swing that is meant to end deep beneath the opponents ribcage. This move costs a lot of energy if one hopes to be successful.

Make a single two-handed attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus. If you are wielding a shield, you retain your shield bonus to AC after this attack. You may voluntarily reduce your AC until the beginning of your next turn by an amount up to half your base attack bonus (rounded down, minimum 1); if you do so, you gain a bonus to the attack roll and Bladecraft dice as bonus damage equal to the amount by which you reduced your AC. After using this technique, you must make a Fortitude save (DC equal to the result of your attack roll) or be fatigued for 1 round.

The Sapling Trembles
Advanced Stone Parry
Required: Bash, Stand, Middle
Granted: Slash, Sheath, Low
Action: Immediate
In the process of sheathing your blade, make a downward strike at your opponent's wrist to damage and disarm. An unexpected move, best used when your opponent has overextended a thrust or swing.

Use this technique whenever an opponent misses an attack against you. Make a single attack with your weapon against that opponent, at your highest base attack bonus; you gain a bonus to your attack rolls equal to the amount by which your opponent missed your AC (minimum +0), and 1 Bladecraft die as bonus damage. If you succeed, you may immediately initiate a disarm attempt against that opponent, which does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If you fail the disarm attempt, your opponent may not attempt to disarm you in return. Once this is complete, you sheathe your weapon as part of the same action.

Stone Falls from the Mountain
Advanced Stone Parry
Required: Bash, Rend, Low
Granted: Bash, Rend, Circle
Action: Immediate
An inward sidestep, then twist the body and strike with the shield across the back of a charging opponent to knock them off balance. The opponent is taken by surprise by movement when none was expected.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you after moving at least 10 feet in the same round, while you are wielding a shield in your off-hand. Take a 5-foot step in any direction (possibly taking you out of range of the opponent's attack). If, after moving, you remain in the opponent's threatened area, you may make a trip attempt with your shield against the opponent as a free action. If your attempt fails, the opponent may not attempt to trip you in return. If it succeeds, you may make an attack of opportunity with your weapon against the tripped opponent (even if you have the Improved Trip feat, you may only make one such attack against the tripped opponent).

Stones Falling from the Cliff
Advanced Stone Form
Required: None
Granted: Bash, Cleave, Middle
Action: Swift
A mainstay of battle, useful for both parrying and attacking, but can be tiring if kept up for long. The blade and shield are kept in motion for constant momentum.

While in this Form, in any round in which you use an Assault technique, you may spend both your swift and move actions to use a second Assault technique. If you do so, you become fatigued until the beginning of your next turn. Alternatively, in any round in which you use a Parry technique, you may sacrifice your standard action on your next turn to gain a second immediate action, which you may only spend to use a second Parry technique. If you do so, you become fatigued until the end of your next turn. You must be wielding your weapon in two hands to gain this benefit.

Stones Rolling Down the Mountain
Advanced Stone Assault
Required: Rend, Stand, High
Granted: Any Gesture, Rend, Low
Action: Full-round
You make an all-out offensive attack against your opponent, crashing upon them like a landslide.

Make a full attack against a single opponent with your primary weapon. Each time you succeed on an attack in the sequence, you may make a single shield bash at the same base attack bonus against the opponent (successful shield bash attacks do not themselves trigger more shield bash attacks). You do not suffer penalties for wielding two weapons when using this technique, and gain 2 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on your shield bash attacks. You must be wielding a shield in your off-hand to use this technique.


Wind Style
The Wind style has Advanced complexity. This primarily two-handed offensive style emphasizes broad slashes and constant rotation, tearing apart your opponents like a tornado through a wheat field. Wind style is ideal for facing multiple enemies, but is somewhat weak defensively, being very poor at parrying.


The Cat Dances on the Wall
Advanced Wind Assault
Required: Slash, Cleave, Low
Granted: Slash, Spin, Low
Action: Standard
A low sweep, followed by a low slash meant to take out an advancing opponent's legs. The combatant must have good wrists and quick feet for this to be effective; it is useful for buying time.

Make a single two-handed melee attack against each of two different opponents with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus. Resolve each attack separately. If either attack hits, you may immediately attempt to trip that opponent, without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. You gain 1 Bladecraft die as a circumstance bonus on the opposed check. You may only attempt to trip one of the two targets; if both attacks hit, you must choose which to trip.

The Cyclone on the Plain
Advanced Wind Assault
Required: Slash, Spin, Middle
Granted: Cleave, Spin, High
Action: Standard
A technique best used against multiple opponents to open space around the combatant and take initiative. The blade is brought around in a windmill fashion, striking at each opponent in a single motion, with the blade extended out and brought around quickly in a full circle before returning to guard stance.

Make a single melee attack at your highest base attack bonus against every creature you threaten. Use the same attack roll for every creature, and gain 1 Bladecraft die as bonus damage. Any creature to whom you deal damage must make a Strength check (DC equal to the damage dealt) or be automatically bull-rushed backward 5 feet, in a line directly away from you. Any creature which cannot move backward (due to an object or another creature occupying the square behind it) instead falls prone in their current space, and takes 1 Bladecraft die of damage.

Eel Among the Lily Pads
Advanced Wind Assault
Required: Sheath, Circle, Low
Granted: Slash, any Hand, Circle
Action: Swift
From a sheathed blade, surprise the opponent with a fast draw into a horizontal figure-eight strike, aimed against the enemies thighs and legs to reduce mobility. A good opener, used to hamper the enemy for the rest of the battle.

Drawing your weapon as part of the same action, make a single melee attack at your highest base attack bonus against your opponent. If you deal damage, your opponent must make a Reflex save (DC equal to damage dealt) or be flat-footed until the beginning of your next turn. In addition, roll 2 Bladecraft dice; whether or not your attack was successful, the target suffers a penalty to base speed equal to the result, rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5 (to a minimum speed of 5 feet).

The Kingfisher Watches the Sky
Advanced Wind Form
Required: None
Granted: Slash, Spin, Middle
Action: Swift
A defensive form, with the blade in a middle guard, held horizontally before the body. The grip is held on the strong side of the body - that is to say, the side of the dominant hand - to give greater leverage and control. This allows the weapon to threaten a greater area, without leaving oneself open to attack.

While in this Form, your melee reach increases by 5 feet. This ability does not affect whether or not you threaten squares adjacent to you.

The Ribbon Dances on the Breeze
Advanced Wind Form
Required: None
Granted: Cleave, Circle, High
Action: Swift
The quintessential Wind Form, keeping the blade in constant motion. Capitalize on errant swings by continuing the momentum, either returning to a guard stance or attacking another enemy on the follow-through. The blade is kept at shoulder height.

While in this Form, whenever you miss on an attack against an opponent, you may make a single two-handed attack at the same base attack bonus against another enemy adjacent to the first target. This second attack is a normal melee attack with your weapon; even if the first attack was made as part of an Assault or Parry technique, you receive no benefit of the Assault or Parry on the attack against the secondary target. If the second attack misses as well, it does not trigger its own secondary attack.

Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind
Advanced Wind Assault
Required: Slash, Cleave, Spin
Granted: Bash, Cleave, Middle
Action: Standard
A short-range jumping spin-swipe, attempting to behead the enemy. Best if done by surprise, and usually used as an opening. The primary force is provided by the spin of the body, not the motion of the blade. The blade should not extend too far out from the body, and be approximately chest high.

Use this technique against a flat-footed opponent. Make a single two-handed melee attack at your highest base attack bonus against your opponent, with 5 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage. If your attack is a critical hit, you deal 8 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage instead.

Two Lovers
Advanced Wind Parry
Required: Cleave, Spin, High
Granted: Thrust, Cleave, Spin
Action: Immediate
A horizontal high strike used to deflect an opponent’s blade into another enemy.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked by an opponent who is adjacent to another enemy. Make an attack roll with your weapon at your highest base attack bonus, with a bonus of 1 Bladecraft die; if your attack roll exceeds your opponent's attack roll, your opponent's attack is redirected and resolved against the other enemy instead of you. You must be wielding your weapon in two hands to use this technique.

Wind and Rain
Advanced Wind Form
Required: None
Granted: Slash, Cleave, Low
Action: Swift
A continuous full-body rotation, the blade held low and swept through your enemies.

While in this Form, whenever you make a single (standard action) attack, or use an Assault technique which involves making a single attack with your weapon and requires no more than a standard action to use, you can instead use it as a full-round action. If you do so, you can designate three adjacent enemies whom you threaten as targets for the attack. You use the same attack roll for each target. If you use this ability as part of an Assault, each target whom you strike is affected by the Assault individually. You must be wielding your weapon in two hands to gain this benefit.

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 06:57 AM
Blade Styles and Techniques (Expert)
The four Blade Styles described here are all of Expert complexity. Techniques from these styles can be learned by any character who has at least 19 ranks in Bladecraft, a Base Attack Bonus of +16 or higher, and who knows at least 8 Advanced techniques. Required or granted tags are presented in the following order: Gesture, Hand, Motion, Position.

Clay Style
The Clay style has Expert complexity. Clay yields to the sculptor's touch, then becomes hard as stone, but brittle, in the fire. This form emphasizes misdirection, risk, and reward; it is usually referred to as the most difficult style to master. A practitioner of Clay style might make minimal movements, possibly taking small (or large) wounds, to maneuver the enemy into position, then execute the overconfident opponent with stunning precision; or, the blademaster might end a fight quickly and decisively with an unexpected gamble, coming a hairsbreadth from death in the process.


Black Lance's Last Strike
Expert Clay Parry
Required: Thrust, Sheath, Stand, High
Granted: Thrust, Cleave, Stand, High
Action: Immediate
A simple technique, depending entirely upon speed to draw a sword from the scabbard and thrust it into the enemy's neck. It is, however, an all-or-nothing move; if it fails, the combatant usually dies.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you while your weapon is sheathed. You draw your weapon, and your opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, which is resolved before your opponent's attack. You may choose any amount of Bladecraft dice, up to a total equal to your initiative modifier. You gain the Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on your attack; however, your opponent receives the same number of Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on the attack against you. Both your attack and your enemy's attack against you, if successful, are automatic critical threats.

Dandelion in the Wind
Expert Clay Parry
Required: Slash, Cleave, Spin, Middle
Granted: Any Gesture, Rend, Spin, Low
Action: Immediate
A horizontal wild swing, aimed at the opponent's throat, with the intent to startle. Used to bring an attacker up short, positioning them where you want, for the next attack.

Use this technique during an opponent's turn. The targeted opponent must be within 5 feet of your threatened area. Make an attack roll with your weapon against the opponent, at your highest base attack bonus, with 1 Bladecraft die as a competence bonus to the roll. Your opponent must make a Reflex save (DC equal to the result of your attack roll) or halt all movement, and lose the rest of its actions for the remainder of its turn. On a successful save, the opponent retains its actions, but cannot move under its own power from the space it occupied when you used this technique until the beginning of your next turn.

The Mongoose Strikes the Serpent
Expert Clay Assault
Required: Bash, Cleave, Stand, Low
Granted: Bash, Cleave, Circle, High
Action: Swift
This technique is used best when the blade tip is bound below low guard. The attack comes to the opponent's neck with the haft, brought up with the full power of the hand as if you were striking the opponent with your fist. It is a good reminder that the edge and point are not the only part of a weapon in combat.

Use this technique when you have missed on an attack against an opponent during your turn. You make another attack against that opponent, wielding your weapon in two hands, at your highest base attack bonus. You gain 2 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage, and the attack deals bludgeoning instead of piercing or slashing damage. If your attack is successful, the opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC equal to damage dealt) or be stunned for 1 round; on a successful save, or if the opponent is immune to being stunned, the opponent is dazed for 1 round instead.

The Rose Unfolds
Expert Clay Form
Required: None
Granted: Bash, Cleave, any Motion, Middle
Action: Swift
An advanced, dangerous Form which begins with leaving an opening, inviting an opponent to attack. When the bait is taken, the opponent is surprised when you attack their overextended limbs.

While in this Form, you may provoke an attack of opportunity from an opponent who threatens you as a free action. If you do so, you can change any two tags granted by this Form to new tags of the same types. You may also choose to use an Assault technique (provided that it is your turn and you have the required actions remaining) against that opponent; if you do, roll initiative with the target. If you win the initiative roll, your Assault technique is resolved before the opponent's attack of opportunity, and the opponent is flat-footed against your Assault.

Sheathing the Sword
Expert Clay Form
Required: None
Granted: Thrust, Sheath, Stand, any Position
Action: Swift
More a concept than a Form, this refers to an action which is detrimental (possibly even deadly) to oneself, but for which the gain is much greater than the price, even if that price is the blademaster's life.

While in this Form, all attacks made against you, as well as all melee attacks that you make, automatically hit. You gain 5 Bladecraft dice of bonus damage on all attacks made while in this form. Once you are in this form, you cannot leave it (even if another blade technique would normally allow you to) until the beginning of your next turn.

Soft Rain at Sunset
Expert Clay Assault
Required: Bash, Rend, Circle, High
Granted: Slash, Rend, Circle, High
Action: Standard
A half-blade strike at the opponent's face, holding the blade with your fist. Once the blow is made, the blade is swept across the enemy's face to scar, and possibly blind the enemy. If the move fails there is a great chance that you will take a lethal strike.

Make two attacks with any weapon or weapons you hold against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus, gaining 3 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage to each attack. The first attack deals bludgeoning damage instead of piercing or slashing. If you hit with the second attack, your opponent must make a Reflex save (DC equal to damage dealt) or become permanently blinded. If you miss with either attack, each miss provokes an attack of opportunity from the target.

The Storm on the Mountain
Expert Clay Parry
Required: Thrust, any Hand, Stand, Middle
Granted: Thrust, Rend, Stand, Middle
Action: Immediate
An extremely complex move done at high speed. A momentary feint is followed by a strike at the opponent's wrist in an attempt to disarm, then a shove to overbalance the opponent.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked by an opponent. Make a feint attempt against that opponent, using Bladecraft in place of Bluff for the roll. If you are successful, as part of the same action, make a disarm attempt against the same opponent; you do not provoke an attack of opportunity for initiating the attempt. Whether or not the disarm attempt is successful, you may also make a trip attempt against the opponent as part of the same action; you do not provoke an attack of opportunity for initiating the attempt.

Tower of Morning
Expert Clay Assault
Required: Thrust, Cleave, Stand, Low
Granted: Slash, Cleave, Stand, High
Action: Standard
Starting with knees bent, make a vertical lunge at the opponent's groin, then continue upward with all your strength to slice through the opponent.

Make a single two-handed attack against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus, with a -4 penalty to the attack roll. If successful, the attack is automatically a critical threat, and you gain 3 Bladecraft dice as a bonus to damage. You may roll to confirm the critical as many times as you like, suffering a cumulative -3 penalty to each successive roll, until you fail. You gain 2 additional Bladecraft dice as bonus damage for each successful confirmation. Effects which automatically confirm critical hits (such as the Blessed weapon property) only automatically confirm the first roll you make; each successive roll cannot be automatically confirmed.


Glass Style
The Glass style has Expert complexity. Often used by wizened, arthritic blademasters to teach their young prodigies humility, Glass style is the ultimate defensive style. Practitioners of Glass style understand the fragility of the body, the brevity and mortality of the soldier's plight, and seek to avoid deadly contact at nearly any cost.


The Branch in the Storm
Expert Glass Parry
Required: Slash, Rend, Circle, Middle
Granted: Slash, Rend, Circle, Middle
Action: Immediate
A horizontal slash, designed to deflect the opponent's attack with the flat of the blade.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you. Make an attack roll with your weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. You gain an insight bonus to your attack roll equal to the number of consecutive times you have already used this technique in the same round (not including the current use); this count resets whenever you use a different technique or enter a new Form. If your attack roll equals or exceeds your opponent's attack roll, the opponent's attack misses. Whenever you successfully use this technique to deflect an attack, you gain an additional immediate action, which you can only spend to use another Parry technique. You still lose your swift action on your following turn, even if you do not spend the additional immediate action.

The Courtier Taps His Fan
Expert Glass Parry
Required: Bash, Cleave, Spin, High
Granted: Bash, any Hand, Stand, High
Action: Immediate
A quick, powerful overhand horizontal blow, aimed at the opponents head. This is often a move used if you must quickly disengage from a fight.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you. Make a single two-handed attack with your weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. If you succeed, deal damage as normal, and you gain 3 Bladecraft dice as a dodge bonus to AC, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity for moving through threatened spaces, until the end of your next turn.

Folding the Air
Expert Glass Parry
Required: Thrust, Sheath, Circle, any Position
Granted: Thrust, Cleave, Circle, Low
Action: Immediate
A technique similar to “Unfolding the Fan”, however this is purely defensive. The arms are close to the body, with one hand on the blade in order to give more control and power.

Use this technique whenever your weapon is sheathed, and an opponent attacks you during a surprise round or when you are caught flat-footed. Draw your weapon as an immediate action, and make an attack roll with it against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus, gaining 2 Bladecraft dice as a circumstance bonus to the roll. You may use the result of the attack roll as your AC against your opponent's attack. This technique can be used in a surprise round, even if you would normally be surprised. If you use this technique, you cannot be caught flat-footed until the beginning of your next turn.

Lotus Closes its Blossom
Expert Glass Assault
Required: Slash, Cleave, Spin, Low
Granted: Bash, Sheath, Spin, any Position
Action: Standard
One of the few offensive techniques in Glass style, the blade is whipped through the opponent's lower torso, intended to disembowel. In the same motion, blood is cleaned off with a flick of the blade, which is then sheathed with a flourish.

Make a single attack with your weapon against your opponent's touch AC, at your highest base attack bonus. If you hit, you gain 3 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage. After completing this attack, you sheath your weapon as part of the same action.

Oak Shakes its Branches
Expert Glass Form
Required: None
Granted: Any Gesture, Rend, Circle, Middle
Action: Swift
Often used by masters when training students, this Form deals non-lethal blows, and is effective against a large number of opponents wielding different types of weapons.

While in this Form, all attacks you make deal nonlethal damage (at no penalty); however, you gain a dodge bonus to AC equal to half your ranks in Bladecraft (rounded down, minimum +1).

River of Light
Expert Glass Assault
Required: Slash, Cleave, Stand, Middle
Granted: Thrust, Cleave, Stand, Middle
Action: Full-round
One of the few offensive techniques in Glass style, a vertical slash designed to remove an opponent's arm.

Make a single two-handed attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus, with a -4 penalty. The attack is automatically a critical threat, and deals 5 Bladecraft dice of extra damage. If the attack deals at least one quarter of the target's maximum hp (including any temporary hp the target has), one of the target's limbs is severed. (This technique cannot be used against a target with no discernable anatomy, or that has no limbs to remove.)

If you choose to target the opponent's arms or forelimbs, one of these is removed. The opponent cannot use that limb to hold equipment or make attacks. If you choose to target the opponent's wings, one of the wings is removed, and the opponent cannot use its wings to fly or glide, and cannot use the severed wing to make wing attacks. Otherwise, you can choose to target one of the opponent's legs, and one of these is removed, halving the opponent's base land speed. If the opponent was bipedal, it falls prone. Only limbs that fall under one of these categories (arms/forelimbs, wings, or legs) can be targeted by this technique.

The Swallow Rides the Air
Expert Glass Parry
Required: Thrust, Rend, Spin, Low
Granted: Thrust, Rend, Circle, Low
Action: Immediate
A technique intended to disrupt an opponent who attacks someone else.

Use this technique whenever an opponent you threaten attacks a target other than you. Until the beginning of your next turn, whenever that opponent attacks a target other than you, it provokes an attack of opportunity from you. You gain 1 Bladecraft die as a circumstance bonus to the attack roll, and 3 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage, when making these attacks of opportunity.

The Swallow Takes Flight
Expert Glass Parry
Required: Any Gesture, Rend, Circle, Middle
Granted: Thrust, Sheath, any Motion, High
Action: Immediate
A feinted slash to guard, then a strike to drive back the opponent. An excellent counter against attacks from below your guard.

Use this technique whenever an opponent attacks you. Make an attack roll with your weapon against your opponent, at your highest base attack bonus. Roll damage as normal; however, instead of taking damage, the opponent suffers a penalty to all attack rolls until the beginning of your next turn equal to half the damage you would have dealt (rounded down, minimum 0). You may sheathe your weapon as part of the same action.


Sun Style
The Sun style has Expert complexity. Flashy and exciting, practitioners of Sun style are often master duelists or gladiators - warriors who know how to work a crowd, or leave a potential patron in awe. The techniques of Sun style are not substantially more complicated or difficult than those of other Expert styles, but they are as fancy as they are effective, and can sometimes cause a Blademaster to be over- or underestimated by their opponent.


The Creeper Climbs the Cliff
Expert Sun Form
Required: None
Granted: Any Gesture, Cleave, Stand, Low
Action: Immediate
Balance on the balls of your feet, blade held in both hands with the point lowered and to the dominant side. From this position, you can whip the point of the blade with incredible torque, lashing out in complicated patterns with lightning-fast strikes.

While in this Form, whenever you make a full attack and wield your weapon in two hands, you can make Bladecraft checks in place of attack rolls.

Dawn Breaches the Horizon
Expert Sun Assault
Required: Thrust, Cleave, Circle, Middle
Granted: Thrust, Sheath, Spin, High
Action: Full-round
You reflect light from your blade into your opponent's eyes, then attack while they are momentarily blinded, sheathing your blade with supreme nonchalance as they recover.

Make a Bladecraft check, opposed by your opponent's Fortitude save. Then, perform a two-handed full attack against your opponent, dealing two Bladecraft dice as extra damage. If your Bladecraft check was successful, resolve all attacks in the full attack sequence against the lower of your opponent's touch and flat-footed AC. Once the full attack sequence is complete, you sheath your weapon as part of the same action.

Meltwater Flooding the Banks
Expert Sun Parry
Required: Slash, Sheath, Stand, High
Granted: Slash, Rend, Stand, Low
Action: Immediate
Taunt your opponent into reckless anger and overconfidence, then draw your blade and strike when they come into range.

Use this technique whenever your weapon is sheathed, against an opponent who does not threaten you. Draw your weapon and make a Bladecraft check. Until the beginning of their next turn, the opponent must make a Will save (DC equal to your Bladecraft check result) to be able to attack anyone other than you. Until the beginning of your next turn, whenever the target attacks you, they provoke an opportunity from you.

The Petal Falls from the Flower
Expert Sun Assault
Required: Bash, Rend, Spin, High
Granted: Bash, Rend, Spin, Low
Action: Standard
Toss your off-hand weapon into the air, drawing your opponents' attention upward, then attack the exposed throats with the primary weapon, before catching the falling weapon again. Requires excellent timing and agility.

Make a Bladecraft check, and a single attack with your primary weapon against each opponent you threaten, at your highest base attack bonus. You deal 2 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on the attacks. Each opponent to whom you deal damage must make a Reflex save (DC equal to your Bladecraft check result) or be stunned until the beginning of your next turn.

Sand in the Hourglass
Expert Sun Form
Required: None
Granted: Slash, Sheath, any Motion, Low
Action: Swift
You begin with slow, sure movements, then gradually increase your pace, forcing the enemy to keep to your tempo. An excellent Form for building tension in front of an audience, but it has practical value as well - unprepared opponents often fall behind, and can be destroyed with little effort.

While in this Form, your initiative count increases by 2 each round. In any round in which you do not use an Assault or Parry technique, you must sheathe your weapon to gain this benefit on the following round.

Scuttling Crab
Expert Sun Parry
Required: Slash, Rend, Circle, Low
Granted: Slash, Cleave, Spin, Low
Action: Immediate
You slash both blades at the opponent like the pincers, then dance away before they can retaliate.

Use this technique whenever you threaten an opponent while wielding at least two weapons. Your opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, during which you can make a single attack with each weapon you wield. As long as at least one of your attacks dealt damage to your opponent, you may then take a 5-foot step away from the opponent in any direction.

Thunder Behind Clouds
Expert Sun Assault
Required: Bash, Sheath, Spin, High
Granted: Bash, Rend, any Motion, Middle
Action: Full-round
Attack the opponent with your blade still in the sheath. While this rarely causes serious injury, it tends to enrage the opponent beyond reason or effective action.

Use this technique when your weapon is sheathed. Make a full attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus, without drawing it. This deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal; however, each successful attack against your opponent inflicts upon them a cumulative -2 penalty to attack rolls and skill checks, and a -1 penalty to Will saves, until the beginning of your next turn. Creatures immune to nonlethal damage still suffer the penalty.

The Whetstone Grinds the Knife
Expert Sun Form
Required: None
Granted: Bash, any Hand, Spin, Middle
Action: Immediate
An aggressive stance, from which one can begin many attacks meant to bruise or wound instead of kill. Intended to draw out a contest, chipping away at the opponent's stamina, control, and resolve.

While in this form, whenever you deal damage to an opponent, they must make a Will save or become fatigued until the beginning of your next turn. The DC begins at 10 for each opponent, but increases by 2 for a given opponent each time you deal damage to them while in this Form. This has no effect on a creature who is already fatigued.


Water Style
The Water style has Expert complexity. Water style is the most versatile of all styles, granting its practitioners a means of adapting to their opponents' strengths and weaknesses. As water flows, it courses around obstacles and through barriers, cutting a channel through mountains, or flooding a rolling plain. Water style is perhaps the most utilized style by blademasters of sufficient skill and experience, as it is balanced for every situation, and attempts to turn weakness into strength.


Apple Blossoms in the Wind
Expert Water Form
Required: None
Granted: Slash, Cleave, Spin, Any
Action: Swift
A versatile Form, intended for use against an ambush by multiple opponents. The blade is held low, but ready for use in a number of strike techniques. Attacks usually start from above the waist - from here, you can move the blade diagonally down and to the right, with a pivot and thrust to the far left; or, a feint up and left, a short pivot right and finish with a strong vertical slash downwards. The key is to keep loose and move slowly. This Form is considered to be very difficult.

While in this Form, whenever you attack multiple opponents in the same action (such as with an Assault, or as a full attack action), you may roll all of your attacks before resolving any of them. If you do so, as long as any of your attack rolls hits the AC of any of your opponents, all of your attacks made during the sequence hit. However, you cannot confirm any critical threats while using this ability, and you cannot make more than one attack against each opponent.

The Heron Spreads its Wings
Expert Water Assault
Required: Slash, Cleave, Circle, Middle
Granted: Slash, Cleave, Circle, High
Action: Standard
The weapon is swung in an upward and circular slash to the flanks of the opponent. This is effectively used against an opponent who is not expecting an attack, and can be used to destroy an opponent's ability to retaliate.

Use this technique against an opponent who is flat-footed. Make a single two-handed attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus. You gain 2 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on the attack. If you are successful, your opponent must make a Reflex save (DC equal to damage dealt) or become seriously hampered. An affected creature cannot make attacks of opportunity, or do anything which requires a swift or immediate action, until the end of your next turn.

The Moon Rises Over the Lakes
Expert Water Parry
Required: Thrust, Sheath, Circle, High
Granted: Thrust, Cleave, Circle, High
Action: Immediate
Designed to take an overconfident opponent off guard. Executed from a sheathed blade, you feint at the opponent's midsection before veering up in a lunging arc, burying your blade in their throat. Dangerous if it fails, as it tends to throw off your timing for much of the rest of the fight.

Use this technique whenever you are attacked by an opponent while flat-footed. Draw your weapon, and your opponent's attack provokes an attack of opportunity from you. On the attack, you may voluntarily lower your initiative count by any amount up to your base attack bonus. If you do, you gain Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on the attack equal to the amount by which you lowered your initiative. You remain flat-footed until the beginning of your turn (at the lowered initiative count). This technique can be used when you are flat-footed, or in a surprise round, even if you would normally be surprised.

Moon Rises Over the Water
Expert Water Parry
Required: Bash, Rend, Spin, Any
Granted: Bash, Rend, Circle, Middle
Action: Immediate
A vertical strike towards the eyes after a tentative, horizontal feint with the off-hand, not intended to make contact. The blade should begin and end near the waist. Used to distract an opponent who has the advantage over you.

Use this technique whenever an opponent's action forces you to make a save. You may make a Bladecraft check in place of your normal save. If you succeed on the save, you gain an additional immediate action, which you can only spend to use this technique. You still lose your swift action on your following turn, even if you do not spend the additional immediate action. This technique can be used when you are flat-footed, or in a surprise round, even if you would normally be surprised.

Shake Dew from the Branch
Expert Water Assault
Required: Thrust, Cleave, Spin, Middle
Granted: Slash, Rend, Spin, Middle
Action: Full-round
An attack used to deliver a flurry of sharp blows, which can be divided among multiple opponents.

Make a full attack action against any number of opponents. On the first attack of the sequence, and whenever you switch to a new opponent whom you have not yet attacked during the sequence, you make an extra attack against that opponent at the same attack bonus.

Water Flows Downhill
Expert Water Assault
Required: Bash, Cleave, Stand, High
Granted: Bash, Cleave, Stand, Middle
Action: Standard
The more complex version of The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain. A powerful diagonal blow, starting behind the right shoulder, which changes direction mid-swing to avoid the opponent's defenses, finding the easiest route from high to low. Only used by the most skilled combatants.

Make a single two-handed attack against an opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus. If the attack is successful, roll a Bladecraft check, opposed by your opponent's Bladecraft check (or an Intelligence check if your opponent has no ranks in Bladecraft). You gain a number of Bladecraft dice as bonus damage on the attack equal to the amount by which you succeeded at the Bladecraft roll (minimum 0 Bladecraft dice if the opponent's result is higher), to a maximum equal to your Base Attack Bonus.

Whirlwind on the Mountain
Expert Water Assault
Required: Slash, any Hand, Spin, Low
Granted: Slash, Rend, Spin, Low
Action: Standard
The more complex version of The Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind. Crouching, the body rotates in place, spinning to add power to the slash, with the arms held low and extending out from the body. Can be used to disembowel, or to fend off multiple attackers. Particularly effective against armored opponents with longer reach than you (such as a squad of pikemen).

Use this technique against an opponent wielding a reach weapon, or who is at least one size category larger than you. Make a single attack against your opponent with your weapon, at your highest base attack bonus, even if you would not normally threaten them. If you are threatened by multiple such opponents, you may attack each of them as part of the same action, using the same attack roll; however, all attacks deal half damage. Any successful attacks you make as part of this technique gain 3 Bladecraft dice as bonus damage (before the damage is halved, if applicable). In addition, any creature you strike that is wearing armor, wielding a shield, or that has a natural armor bonus has their armor, shield, or natural armor bonus reduced by 2 (to a minimum of 0) for the remainder of the encounter. A creature with more than one of those bonuses to AC has all such bonuses reduced by 2.

Willow Embracing the Breeze
Expert Water Form
Required: None
Granted: Thrust, any Hand, Circle, High
Action: Swift
This form emphasizes movement, and is used to increase or decrease the distance to your opponent.

While in this Form, you may take one extra 5-foot step as a free action towards an opponent before using an Assault technique against them. You may also take one extra 5-foot step as a free action away from an opponent after using a Parry technique against them. Each time you make such a movement, you may change one of the tags granted by this Form to another tag, which you are granted when you return to the Form. All such modifications to the granted tags remain until you change to another Form.

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 06:58 AM
Reserved just in case 1/3

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 07:01 AM
Reserved just in case 2/3

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 07:02 AM
Bladecraft Extras
Every student of Bladecraft needs weapons, armor, and shields with which to fight. Even then, they cannot function alone, and need allies to support and protect. Presented here are magic items, spells, and other supplemental materials to make a practitioner of Bladecraft into a well-rounded, complementary member of any party.

Bladecraft Items
In campaigns where Bladecraft is relatively common, these items should be available anywhere standard magic items are sold. For a limited time only! Get them while they last!


Weapon Property: Studied (Edited from JoshuaZ)
Price: +1 bonus
Property: Weapon
Caster level: 7th
Aura: Moderate; (DC 18) transmutation
Activation: --

This weapon is sturdy and worn, but still quite sharp. It is clearly the veteran of many battles, and is all the better for them.

Studied is a weapon property that can be applied to any melee weapon of mastercraft quality. The wielder of a studied weapon gains a +2 insight bonus on Bladecraft checks, and can use the Bladecraft skill untrained.

However, a studied weapon reveals its true power whenever the wielder is in a Form. The enhancement bonus of a studied weapon increases based on the complexity of the Form that the wielder is in: +1 for a Basic Form, +2 for a Moderate Form, +3 for an Advanced form, and +4 for an Expert form. This effect cannot increase the enhancement bonus of the weapon above +10.

Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms & Armor, Bladecraft 6 ranks.
Cost to create: Varies.

Oaken Rampart
Price: 7,317 gp
Body Slot: -- (held)
Caster Level: 3rd
Aura: Faint; abjuration
Activation: See text.
Weight: 7.5 lbs

This heavy darkwood shield is scarred from the impact of many blows, but feels as solid and unyielding as an oak tree.

Oaken Rampart is a +1 heavy darkwood shield with +1 shield spikes, which grants the wielder a +5 competence bonus to make or resist bull rush attempts.

In addition, as long as the wielder has at least 6 ranks in Bladecraft, she may activate Oaken Rampart as a free action to aid her use of Bladecraft. When activated, the shield grants the wielder the [Rend] tag; if she had already been granted a different Hand tag, it is replaced by [Rend]. Oaken Rampart can be activated up to 3 times per day.



Calculus Spike (minor artifact)
(Edited from JoshuaZ)

At least three of these necromantic horrors exist: a dagger, a shortsword, and a bastard sword. No one is sure where they come from, but some speculate that they are formed when a particularly powerful Blademaster is killed by an Animatrix of War, who rends some of the Blademaster's soul and imparts it into the blade. Each calculus spike is a +1 vicious weapon, which also has the bane property against creatures with a higher Base Attack Bonus than the wielder.

If a calculus spike is wielded by a creature with ranks in Bladecraft and used to kill a living being which also has ranks in Bladecraft, the wielder immediately learns one blade technique that the slain creature knew, of any complexity that the wielder can learn. The slain creature cannot then be resurrected or reincarnated except by divine intervention.

Some say that using a calculus spike will slowly turn the wielder insane, as fragments of the victims' personalities intrude on the wielder's mind... but these stories may be fabrications, hoping to warn impressionable creatures away from these weapons.

Ruby Destiny (major artifact)
(Edited from JoshuaZ)

The Ruby Destiny is an ancient relic, sacred to Wee Jas. It is a short sword with a hilt of dull black material, a curved silver crossguard, and a blade of deep crimson. The Ruby Destiny is said to have been given as a gift from the goddess herself to a brave young paladin, but what that paladin did to deserve the gift the legends do not say.

For anyone who is not a worshipper Wee Jas, the Ruby Destiny functions as a +2 short sword, which also grants the wielder a +2 bonus to saves against any spell-like or supernatural abilities of undead, and a +1 competence bonus to Bladecraft checks (and the ability to make Bladecraft checks untrained).

When the Ruby Destiny is wielded by a worshipper of Wee Jas, however, in addition the normal effects, the wielder is treated as having maximum ranks in Bladecraft, and may use any technique in Cloud style as if they had learned it normally. If the wielder has a Base Attack Bonus of +6 or greater, they may similarly use any technique in Bone style.

If a creature ever uses uses the Ruby Destiny in knowing opposition to the goals of Wee Jas, they must make a Fortitude save (DC 25), or die instantly as their body shrivels, and their soul is drawn screaming into the weapon. Any being who dies in this way cannot be resurrected by any means, unless Wee Jas herself specifically allows it.

It is said that the Ruby Destiny can only be destroyed by the will of Wee Jas, or if it is used to successfully kill a high priest or priestess of Wee Jas, taking the life of the wielder (with no save) in the process.

The Rusted Blade (Major Artifact)
(Edited from JoshuaZ)

Few creatures remember the Rusted Blade, though in some legends it is called the Sword of Paimon, or the Blade of the Forgotten God. The Rusted Blade has taken different forms over the centuries, and some have even questioned if the legends indeed refer to a single artifact. The only constants in every legend refer to the appearance: some sort of bladed weapon whose blade looks pitted and rusted, in sharp contrast to a hilt of smooth, unblemished morion.

The origin of the Rusted Blade is uncertain, with each conflicting legend positing a different beginning. Some claim it was the blade of Paimon, and that the Blade absorbed some of its powers when that being was thrust beyond the bounds of reality. Others acknowledge that it was Paimon's sword, but believe that it predates him. Yet others believe that the sword was the sacred relic of a now forgotten god of war, and still others point to the crystal hilt, as evidence of a powerful warrior with great telepathic ability, who imbued some of his knowledge and abilities into his own blade with his dying breath. Whatever the true history, many a Blademaster has searched for the blade, and of those who found it, many regret their successful search.

The Rusted Blade is a heron-marked weapon, and can appear as any bladed melee weapon, though most commonly a short sword, longsword, or bastard sword. Whatever its form, it functions as a +2 keen studied weapon. It also grants the wielder a +2 competence bonus to Bladecraft, Perform (Dance), and Tumble checks, which doubles if the wielder has ranks in Bladecraft.

However, the true power of the Blade emerges only rarely. Whenever the wielder of the Rusted Blade uses an Assault technique, there is a small probability that their mind will be briefly drawn into communion with the Blade. The chance of this occurring depends on the complexity of the Assault technique, with a 1% chance for a Basic Assault, 2% for a Moderate assault, 3% for an Advanced assault, and 4% for an Expert Assault.

When the communion occurs, it is so powerful that it overrides even immunity to mind-affecting effects. From the standpoint of anyone watching, the communion takes but a moment, but from the perspective of the wielder, it seems as if weeks or months have passed. The wielder finds themselves in a mental realm which reflects their own memories and experiences. A blademaster who trained at a temple might find themselves in a reflection of that temple, accompanied by the ancient warrior-priest who originally trained them. A druidic warrior who was taught by elves at the foot of a great tree might believe they had been transported across time and space back to the same gnarled roots.

In this alternate realm of the mind, the wielder is trained mercilessly in the art of Bladecraft, by tutors more than willing to inflict wounds that appear fatal. There are no breaks for food, water, sleep, or casual conversation, only continuous, brutal training. When the wielder's wounds are too grievous and they succumb to the sweet mercy of death, they are immediately resurrected, only to be thrown back into the grueling regiment.

The constant training and many repeated deaths can be extremely traumatic, and legends tell of at least one blademaster who, upon waking from the communion, threw down the Blade and walked off the battlefield, never to pick up a weapon again. However, the murderous experience has its benefits: upon completing their training, the wielder gains a permanent +1 inherent bonus to Bladecraft checks, and a Bladecraft feat of their choice for which they meet the prerequisites. The wielder also learns a blade technique of their choice, of any complexity for which they qualify.

The Rusted Blade will only commune with a single wielder, and only once, until it disappears and reappears in a different time, place, and shape. However, it continues to its other functions as an excellent weapon for the wielder after the communion has occurred. Most often, the Blade disappears 3d6 months after the communion, even if it has been secured in a vault or Bag of Holding. It tends to reappear a decade or two later, in a locked armory, a dragon's hoard, an ancient tomb, or the ditch beside a peasant's hovel.

There are legends of two Blademasters who have communed with the Rusted Blade more than once. Krevaric the Undying is a powerful undead Reaver who has allegedly sought out the Blade three times, and successfully found it and gained its benefits. On the other hand, the mythical Blade-bound paladin and dancer known as Lemat of the Flashing Swords, after having communed with the Rusted Blade in her youth, apparently took it up again when it appeared in her dungeon cell. As soon as she touched it, the communion began, and when it was complete, she used the Blade to destroy every creature in the dungeon, including the powerful necromancer who had imprisoned her. However, few people have the will (or lack the sanity) to experience the communion more than once, and even fewer have the opportunity.

While no surefire way of destroying the Rusted Blade is known, some bards claim that a true master of bladecraft, who carries the Rusted Blade for a year and a day without using it in combat, can render it permanently inert.


New Spells & Powers
These new spells and powers are for the arcane, divine, or psionic student of Bladecraft.


Blademaster's Endowment
Evocation
Level: Bard 6, Clr 7, Paladin 4, Ranger 4, Sor/Wiz 6

(Edited from JoshuaZ)

As student's endowment, but the target also gains one Assault technique, one Parry technique, and one Form technique that you know, of Moderate complexity.

Student's Endowment
Evocation
Level: Bard 3, Clr 4, Paladin 2, Ranger 2, Sor/Wiz 3
Components: V, S, F/DF
Casting time: 1 round
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 min/level
Target: 1 willing creature with Intelligence 6 or greater
Saving throw: None (harmless)
Spell resistance: No (harmless)

(Edited from JoshuaZ)

Choose one Assault technique, one Parry technique, and one Form technique that you know, of Basic complexity. For the duration of the spell, the target can use the chosen techniques as if they had learned them normally. If the target has fewer than 1 rank in Bladecraft, they also gain 1 temporary rank.

Arcane Focus: A melee weapon of masterwork quality.

Trainer's Endowment
Evocation
Level: Bard 5, Clr 6, Paladin 3, Ranger 3, Sor/Wiz 5
Target: 1 willing creature with Intelligence 6 or greater per 3 caster levels

(Edited from JoshuaZ)

As student's endowment, except as noted here. All targets receive the same 3 techniques.



Share Training
Telepathy [mind-affecting]
Level: Psion/Wilder 4, Psychic Warrior 4
Display: Mental, visual; see text
Manifesting time: 1 standard action
Targets: Self + 1 willing creature with Intelligence 6 or greater per 4 manifester levels
Duration: 1 min/level
Range: Close
Saving throw: None, or Will negates; see text
Power resistance: Yes (harmless)
Power points: 7

(Edited from JoshuaZ)

For the duration of this power, the target with the most skill in Bladecraft (determined by ranks in the Bladecraft skill, henceforth referred to as the "trainer") shares some of its training with the other targets (henceforth referred to as the "students"). Each student is treated as having ranks in Bladecraft equal to half of the trainer's ranks, if doing so would be beneficial. In addition, each student may use any blade techniques that the trainer knows, of any complexity which is available to them based on their (modified) ranks in Bladecraft.

For example, if the trainer has 12 ranks in Bladecraft and knows 8 Basic techniques, 8 Moderate techniques, and 2 Advanced techniques, the students each have a minimum of 6 ranks in Bladecraft, and can use any Basic or Moderate techniques the trainer knows.

Augment
You can augment this power in one or both of the following ways:
For each additional power point you spend, all targets get a +1 insight bonus to Bladecraft checks.
You may spend 4 additional power points to remove the [Mind-Affecting] descriptor.

khadgar567
2016-11-01, 09:52 AM
looks awesome any goodies for magus or blade mage type casters

sirpercival
2016-11-01, 11:00 AM
looks awesome any goodies for magus or blade mage type casters

Well, here's the thing. There are two ways to go about being a gish. First is using magic to buff yourself, and then going out to rock face. Then there's Duskblade-style, where you use attacks to deliver damaging spells, and increase your damage output that way.

The first way is doable in all the usual ways - the best (base class) Bladecraft characters are Fighters, and you can make a buff-gish out of a Fighter in whatever way you want. And Bladecraft is designed to be accessible to any martial character, so you can honestly do whatever you want.

The second way doesn't mesh very well with Bladecraft, just like it doesn't mesh very well with ToB, since you're going to be using your actions in combat to use your blade techniques.

So the answer is, I may include a feat (or short PrC) to explore the options, but it doesn't really need it. You can either do it already, or it's going to be very difficult to make use of the action economy.

Amechra
2016-11-01, 05:33 PM
Low Wind Rising says that if you enter a Form from it, the tag you gain replaces the [Middle] tag, but leaves the [Slash] tag alone.

Except it gives you the [High] and [Slash] tags...

Edit: Also, do you change the tags before or after you use a technique? I'm mostly asking because I'm looking at a Fighter with Blade Focus and Unfolding the Fan, and wondering if you'd have a +1 or a +2 to attack rolls on that melee attack.

And to clarify:

If I start in Cat Crossing the Courtyard, use Unfolding the Fan, and finish up with Folding the Fan, the only tag I have is Sheathed, right? Also, you technically don't need a Form right now - you can get away with Folding the Fan/Unfolding the Fan, allowing you to use Low Wind Rising or The Falling Leaf.

• Folding the Fan gives you Sheathed without any required tags.
• Unfolding the Fan gives you Diagonal and Thrust.
• Low Wind Rising gives you High and Slash.
• The Falling Leaf gives you Low.

Sure, it's roundabout, but you can get Middle, Bash, and Lunge from there (from The Wood Grouse Dances and The Red Hawk Takes The Dove, respectively), and from there can get your hands on Circle (via Leaf Floating On The Breeze).

I mean, it takes going FtF → UtF → TFL → TWGD → FOTB to get to Circle, but it's the principle of the thing.

sirpercival
2016-11-02, 05:00 AM
Low Wind Rising says that if you enter a Form from it, the tag you gain replaces the [Middle] tag, but leaves the [Slash] tag alone.

Except it gives you the [High] and [Slash] tags... Ooh, good catch! I will fix [Middle] -> [High].


Edit: Also, do you change the tags before or after you use a technique? I'm mostly asking because I'm looking at a Fighter with Blade Focus and Unfolding the Fan, and wondering if you'd have a +1 or a +2 to attack rolls on that melee attack. You're granted the tags after you use a technique. But that's besides the point; I need to clarify that Blade Focus gives you a bonus based on the tags you're granted by the Form.


And to clarify:

If I start in Cat Crossing the Courtyard, use Unfolding the Fan, and finish up with Folding the Fan, the only tag I have is Sheathed, right? Correct.


Also, you technically don't need a Form right now - you can get away with Folding the Fan/Unfolding the Fan, allowing you to use Low Wind Rising or The Falling Leaf.

• Folding the Fan gives you Sheathed without any required tags.
• Unfolding the Fan gives you Diagonal and Thrust.
• Low Wind Rising gives you High and Slash.
• The Falling Leaf gives you Low.

Sure, it's roundabout, but you can get Middle, Bash, and Lunge from there (from The Wood Grouse Dances and The Red Hawk Takes The Dove, respectively), and from there can get your hands on Circle (via Leaf Floating On The Breeze).

I mean, it takes going FtF → UtF → TFL → TWGD → FOTB to get to Circle, but it's the principle of the thing. I'm very conflicted. Because you really SHOULD be in a Form, so I want to change Low Wind Rising to require "Any one" instead of "None", but I also love the idea of a complicated chain of set-up moves to get you to Circle. It's very much in the spirit of the subsystem for that to work...

sirpercival
2016-11-02, 10:54 AM
Posted the first two Moderate styles. There'll be one more, then 3 each of Advanced and Expert. I may add more after that, but this is what I have currently planned.

Also, the way this is working out, it seems like Bastard Sword is the weapon of choice, or maybe the Two-bladed sword. Gives the most versatility in terms of which styles you can use at any time.

Garryl
2016-11-02, 12:02 PM
Back on this again? It looks like a very different take on the concept (mechanically, anyways) from the first one you did, which was ToB-based. It'll be interesting to see how Astronomer-style mechanics work for a melee class.

Would it be correct to assume that some of the tags have corresponding implications outside of just which maneuvers grant and use them? For example, [Bash] being always present while you're wielding a bludgeoning weapon, [Sheathed] requiring you to have a sheathed weapon on your person, etc.

sirpercival
2016-11-02, 12:56 PM
Back on this again? It looks like a very different take on the concept (mechanically, anyways) from the first one you did, which was ToB-based. It'll be interesting to see how Astronomer-style mechanics work for a melee class. I was reading over Astronomer in preparation of doing something for the Local Speakeasy Competition, and I saw that I had linked Heronmarked from a comment in the Astronomer thread. I had forgotten that I moved towards Astronomer mechanics for it, but being reminded got me excited about the project again.


Would it be correct to assume that some of the tags have corresponding implications outside of just which maneuvers grant and use them? For example, [Bash] being always present while you're wielding a bludgeoning weapon, [Sheathed] requiring you to have a sheathed weapon on your person, etc. Yes, definitely implications. I should probably make some of it explicit, though. Flame style and Iron style both have explicit qualifications for the techniques, at least. I guess the Tag section could use some expansion. :)

Let me know if you have specific comments on the rules & techniques, this needs serious critique (and playtesting).

Amechra
2016-11-02, 05:52 PM
1) I'm not too much of a fan of Blade Focus - I dislike "weapon focus for everything" type features, though, so that's to be expected. What if it went the opposite way, and gave additional bonuses to any weapon you have Weapon Focus in? So, say, you've got +[tags] to attack rolls while in a Form and +[2+tags] to damage rolls with any weapon you have Weapon Focus with?

2) I agree that tags should have "some" presence in the fiction (look at me, using technical terms and all :p). The only one that I can really see that needs it is [Sheathed] - you can Bash with a sword, Slash with a spear, and Thrust with a quarterstaff without breaking the immersion.

3) Tags for ranged weapons? I think a simple [Nocked] tag could work - techniques that require the [Nocked] tag also require a ranged weapon, and you can't use ranged weapons with techniques that don't require the [Nocked] tag.

4) Do Factotums have Bladecraft as a class skill?

5) Just to check - If I'm in Cat Crosses the Courtyard, I get +2s to stuff until I explicitly enter another Form, right? The whole thing about defaulting to your most recent Form is just in regards to your Tags, right?

6) Fold/Unfold the Fan feel like they have too much synergy to me - you can just cycle between the two of them indefinitely.

I haven't looked at the Moderate styles yet, other than a peak - I find it kind of odd that you go from small damage bonuses in the Basic style immediately to +4d6 damage. I'd prefer to see the damage scale off your ranks in Bladecraft - maybe not in as clumsy a way as Iaijatsu Focus, but still in a way that brings the skill into account.

sirpercival
2016-11-02, 09:26 PM
1) I'm not too much of a fan of Blade Focus - I dislike "weapon focus for everything" type features, though, so that's to be expected. What if it went the opposite way, and gave additional bonuses to any weapon you have Weapon Focus in? So, say, you've got +[tags] to attack rolls while in a Form and +[2+tags] to damage rolls with any weapon you have Weapon Focus with? I like this better, actually. I'll update in the next version.


2) I agree that tags should have "some" presence in the fiction (look at me, using technical terms and all :p). The only one that I can really see that needs it is [Sheathed] - you can Bash with a sword, Slash with a spear, and Thrust with a quarterstaff without breaking the immersion. I agree that [Sheathed] really needs some exposition. I agree also that Bash, Slash, Thrust, and Lunge are non-weapon-type-specific. But I do need to discuss the tags in the text.


3) Tags for ranged weapons? I think a simple [Nocked] tag could work - techniques that require the [Nocked] tag also require a ranged weapon, and you can't use ranged weapons with techniques that don't require the [Nocked] tag. Oof... this subsystem was intended for melee, not ranged. I need to put some thought into whether ranged should be included at all, and if so, how to integrate it.


4) Do Factotums have Bladecraft as a class skill? Of course. They have EVERY skill. However, they get techniques more slowly than other classes b/c medium progression BAB.


5) Just to check - If I'm in Cat Crosses the Courtyard, I get +2s to stuff until I explicitly enter another Form, right? The whole thing about defaulting to your most recent Form is just in regards to your Tags, right? To be honest, it's not clear in the text because I've been going back and forth in my mind about this. I'm really not sure what it should be. What are your thoughts?


6) Fold/Unfold the Fan feel like they have too much synergy to me - you can just cycle between the two of them indefinitely. I should probably make it explicit that Folding the Fan requires you to be attacked. That helps break it up a little... but yes, while it's a bit against the spirit of the subsystem to cycle back and forth, I don't really have a mechanical problem with it.


I haven't looked at the Moderate styles yet, other than a peak - I find it kind of odd that you go from small damage bonuses in the Basic style immediately to +4d6 damage. I'd prefer to see the damage scale off your ranks in Bladecraft - maybe not in as clumsy a way as Iaijatsu Focus, but still in a way that brings the skill into account. Yes, that's probably a good idea. Any suggestions on a nice progression?

khadgar567
2016-11-02, 09:34 PM
Can we use iajutsu then fold the fan in same turn

Amechra
2016-11-02, 10:24 PM
3. Ranged gets no love, I tells ya. If you want, I could write up a few as an unofficial expansion.

5. I like the idea of keeping the benefit until you explicitly change Forms. Otherwise, their effects are kind of... transitory.

6. That's what I thought - thought you should know.

I think a nice progression would be:




Ranks

Bladecraft Dice



1-4

1d4



5-8

1d6



9-12

1d8



13-16

1d6+1d4



17-20

2d6



21+

1d6+1d8



Then a given Technique would have a multiplier - so a Moderate technique might deal three Bladecraft Dice. If you've ever looked at 4e, the Fighter's moves used [W] in pretty much the same way.



@khadgar:

Yes, you can - your opponent needs to be flat-footed for it to work, though.

sirpercival
2016-11-03, 01:39 PM
3. Ranged gets no love, I tells ya. If you want, I could write up a few as an unofficial expansion. I totally agree, and I'd love a ranged subsystem a la ToB or Bladecraft. However, I'm not sure this particular subsystem is the way to go. There isn't enough variety in ways to attack with any given ranged weapon - you could make separate styles for each kind of ranged weapon (slings, bows, xbows, etc.), but that doesn't really match what I'm doing with Bladecraft, either. And how would ranged parries work? Shooting other ammunition out of the sky? How would you defend against a melee Assault with a ranged weapon?

If you want to write something up to show me why I'm completely, horribly off base, I would absolutely love to see it. I just don't think that I have any idea how to make something both mechanically useful and thematically appropriate for Bladecraft. I think instead we need a Bowcraft subsystem - can still use tags, maybe, but with a somewhat different structure & interaction? I dunno. Have at it!


5. I like the idea of keeping the benefit until you explicitly change Forms. Otherwise, their effects are kind of... transitory. OK cool, I've now made it explicit.






Ranks

Bladecraft Dice



1-4

1d4



5-8

1d6



9-12

1d8



13-16

1d6+1d4



17-20

2d6



21+

1d6+1d8



Then a given Technique would have a multiplier - so a Moderate technique might deal three Bladecraft Dice. If you've ever looked at 4e, the Fighter's moves used [W] in pretty much the same way. Yes, I am stealing this directly. Thank you!

By the way, anyone who wants to take a crack at writing more styles, or individual techniques, is definitely welcome. I may edit before incorporating, but I will accept any and all contributions with grace and aplomb. :)


EDIT: OK, I updated both posts with all this most recent stuff.

EDIT2: ...and added the last Moderate style.

Sicarius Victis
2016-11-04, 05:22 PM
In my opinion, they should enter a Form of their choice when they roll for initiative, rather than "entering their most recent form". Make things a bit simpler, and give players a bit more control.

Yes, suggesting that martials should have some control over the combat. Crazy, right?

sirpercival
2016-11-04, 06:28 PM
In my opinion, they should enter a Form of their choice when they roll for initiative, rather than "entering their most recent form". Make things a bit simpler, and give players a bit more control.

Yes, suggesting that martials should have some control over the combat. Crazy, right?

Hahaha excellent whitetext.

If I use your wording, though, then it implies you don't get the benefit of a Form when not in combat. Instead, you can just wander around in whatever Form you want, and then when combat starts you're in whatever you had been. It's easy to change stance at any time, it's just a swift action.

Sicarius Victis
2016-11-04, 08:40 PM
Hahaha excellent whitetext.

If I use your wording, though, then it implies you don't get the benefit of a Form when not in combat. Instead, you can just wander around in whatever Form you want, and then when combat starts you're in whatever you had been. It's easy to change stance at any time, it's just a swift action.

So, they're INTENDED to be used out of combat? That makes a lot more sense.
A non-caster getting abilities to use both in and out of combat? Preposterous!
But what if they enter combat while not in a Form, and they haven't been in a Form recently? Like, if they get woken up in the middle of the night by a random encounter because the person on watch sucks at their job?
Looking at you, Belkar.
And thank you, I'm quite proud of my white texts.
And in case I haven't made it abundantly clear enough yet, I'm quite disappointed by the treatment martials tend to get. That's why I like this Bladecraft idea so much.

sirpercival
2016-11-04, 08:53 PM
So, they're INTENDED to be used out of combat? That makes a lot more sense.
A non-caster getting abilities to use both in and out of combat? Preposterous!
But what if they enter combat while not in a Form, and they haven't been in a Form recently? Like, if they get woken up in the middle of the night by a random encounter because the person on watch sucks at their job?
Looking at you, Belkar.
And thank you, I'm quite proud of my white texts.
And in case I haven't made it abundantly clear enough yet, I'm quite disappointed by the treatment martials tend to get. That's why I like this Bladecraft idea so much.

I agree re: martials. That's why I started writing this!

The idea is, a blademaster is always in a form. If you're walking around, you're probably walking around in Cat Crosses the Courtyard, or maybe Lion on the Hill or Leopard in the Tree. You can't NOT move that way, which is why Blademasters are so distinctively dangerous-looking. :)

Sicarius Victis
2016-11-04, 09:07 PM
I agree re: martials. That's why I started writing this!

The idea is, a blademaster is always in a form. If you're walking around, you're probably walking around in Cat Crosses the Courtyard, or maybe Lion on the Hill or Leopard in the Tree. You can't NOT move that way, which is why Blademasters are so distinctively dangerous-looking. :)

So, you're bringing even more realism into it than I thought.
Realism? In D&D? Unheard of! With how unnaturally capable martials are, there's no way D&D could have any realism!
Really, though, the big problem with martials in RPGs is that they tend to mostly be limited by real-life capabilities, and not even GOOD real-life capabilities, casters are just so beyond realistic that WotC and other companies are perfectly fine with overpowering them beyond belief. After all, it's magic. Magic can do anything. Non-magic characters, though, apparently can't.

Garryl
2016-11-05, 02:37 AM
Rather than dealing with the start and end of encounters for forms, just have them be constant.

I'm trying to do a cleaner writeup of forms, but they're intrinsically tied to tags, which I'm not fully sure about. Is the intent that it's unlike the Astronomer, which adds and subtracts, with bladecraft tags instead being completely replaced and overwritten with each technique you use? I think that's what you're going at, but I just want to be certain. I mean, that's what the current text says, but I think I'm mixing some of it up in my head with previous discussions about the Astronomer's mechanics.

Forms
Forms are passive bladecraft techniques. Each form grants you a set of benefits or other effects while you remain within it, and sets you up to use other techniques from your initial fighting stance. Entering a form usually requires a swift action.

You remain in a form you enter indefinitely, even outside of an encounter, until you leave the form (a swift action, or as part of entering a new form). You can maintain a form without limit, although you automatically leave your form if you fall unconscious or become paralyzed. Some forms also have other conditions that may cause you to automatically leave them. You can normally remain within a maximum of a single form at a time.

Forms usually grant one or more tags, and usually do not require any tags to enter.

Assaults
Assaults are offensive bladecraft techniques. Assaults most often involve making an attack of some sort, and frequently require a standard action or a full-round action to use.

Assaults generally require one or more tags to use, and grant one or more tags upon completion.

Parries
Parries are defensive bladecraft techniques. Parries most often involve deflecting or otherwise defending against an attach of some sort, and frequently require an immediate action to use.

Parries generally require one or more tags to use, and grant one or more tags upon completion.

Tags
Tags determine which of the techniques you know are available to you at any given moment. Each form grants one or more tags, while using assaults and parries require and change the tags you have.

Each technique (forms, assaults, and parries) grant one or more tags. Upon completing the use of a technique, you lose all of your previous tags and gain the tags granted by the technique you used. These tags completely replace any tags you may have had before using the technique, even tags that were not required by or related to the technique.

Each form grants one or more tags. You gain these tags (replacing your previous tags) when you enter the form. At the start of your turn, if you haven't used any techniques since the start of your previous turn, your tags are replaced by those of the form you are in, as though you had just entered it.

If your tags are the result of a form that you are in, you lose them when you leave that form.

sirpercival
2016-11-05, 09:55 AM
So, you're bringing even more realism into it than I thought.
Realism? In D&D? Unheard of! With how unnaturally capable martials are, there's no way D&D could have any realism!
Really, though, the big problem with martials in RPGs is that they tend to mostly be limited by real-life capabilities, and not even GOOD real-life capabilities, casters are just so beyond realistic that WotC and other companies are perfectly fine with overpowering them beyond belief. After all, it's magic. Magic can do anything. Non-magic characters, though, apparently can't.

This is an intrinsic problem with D&D, and one that isn't going to be solved by Bladecraft. I mean, as ridiculous of a blademaster as Rand Al'Thor was, he still used channeling against channelers, and reserved swordplay for mundanes. The point of Bladecraft is to make combat interesting and effective for a martial character who focuses on combat. The strength of spellcasting is in being able to avoid combat altogether, by one means or another.


Rather than dealing with the start and end of encounters for forms, just have them be constant.

I'm trying to do a cleaner writeup of forms, but they're intrinsically tied to tags, which I'm not fully sure about. Is the intent that it's unlike the Astronomer, which adds and subtracts, with bladecraft tags instead being completely replaced and overwritten with each technique you use? I think that's what you're going at, but I just want to be certain. I mean, that's what the current text says, but I think I'm mixing some of it up in my head with previous discussions about the Astronomer's mechanics. You're correct, it's a replacement process, with a few specific exceptions in the technique writeups.


Forms
Forms are passive bladecraft techniques. Each form grants you a set of benefits or other effects while you remain within it, and sets you up to use other techniques from your initial fighting stance. Entering a form usually requires a swift action.

You remain in a form you enter indefinitely, even outside of an encounter, until you leave the form (a swift action, or as part of entering a new form). You can maintain a form without limit, although you automatically leave your form if you fall unconscious or become paralyzed. Some forms also have other conditions that may cause you to automatically leave them. You can normally remain within a maximum of a single form at a time.

Forms usually grant one or more tags, and usually do not require any tags to enter.

Assaults
Assaults are offensive bladecraft techniques. Assaults most often involve making an attack of some sort, and frequently require a standard action or a full-round action to use.

Assaults generally require one or more tags to use, and grant one or more tags upon completion.

Parries
Parries are defensive bladecraft techniques. Parries most often involve deflecting or otherwise defending against an attach of some sort, and frequently require an immediate action to use.

Parries generally require one or more tags to use, and grant one or more tags upon completion.

Tags
Tags determine which of the techniques you know are available to you at any given moment. Each form grants one or more tags, while using assaults and parries require and change the tags you have.

Each technique (forms, assaults, and parries) grant one or more tags. Upon completing the use of a technique, you lose all of your previous tags and gain the tags granted by the technique you used. These tags completely replace any tags you may have had before using the technique, even tags that were not required by or related to the technique.

Each form grants one or more tags. You gain these tags (replacing your previous tags) when you enter the form. At the start of your turn, if you haven't used any techniques since the start of your previous turn, your tags are replaced by those of the form you are in, as though you had just entered it.

If your tags are the result of a form that you are in, you lose them when you leave that form. Thank you for these! I'll adapt and incorporate.

khadgar567
2016-11-05, 10:08 AM
any toys for dual wielders or sword and board master or gun and sword guys

sirpercival
2016-11-05, 11:33 AM
any toys for dual wielders or sword and board master or gun and sword guys

Absolutely! Dual wield and Sword/Board are coming in the Advanced styles. Not sure about gun & sword.

khadgar567
2016-11-05, 11:40 AM
Absolutely! Dual wield and Sword/Board are coming in the Advanced styles. Not sure about gun & sword.
thaanks for info for sword and gun we may need entire new dicipline

Amechra
2016-11-05, 01:08 PM
Gun and sword might be a bit outside the scope for this (unless we're talking Noel Vermillion-style "guns are a melee weapon, right?").

Oh, and Percy - are you planning on updating the Styles other than Vine to take into account stuff like Bladecraft dice and the different types of tag?

...

I've been musing about how you'd do Desert Wind-style "FIRE EVERYWHERE", and I hit upon the idea of "special" Auxiliary tags. I have a few takes on it:

1) You have a Style that requires a feat to access. The Tag only shows up in that Style.

2) Techniques that create the Tag are sprinkled around the Styles, and then there's a Style with Techniques that require it. You ignore the Tag unless you've got a feat that says you don't. Basically a more open version of 1.

3) The Bladecraft equivalent of metamagic - if you've got the Tag when you use a Technique, you get cool prizes.

sirpercival
2016-11-05, 09:08 PM
Gun and sword might be a bit outside the scope for this (unless we're talking Noel Vermillion-style "guns are a melee weapon, right?"). Right.


Oh, and Percy - are you planning on updating the Styles other than Vine to take into account stuff like Bladecraft dice and the different types of tag? I thought I had... can you point out particular Techniques which you think should be updated?? Maybe I missed some.



I've been musing about how you'd do Desert Wind-style "FIRE EVERYWHERE", and I hit upon the idea of "special" Auxiliary tags. I have a few takes on it:

1) You have a Style that requires a feat to access. The Tag only shows up in that Style. I like this one. I mean, all you need is sword-and-torch style :D

umbrapolaris
2016-11-06, 12:26 AM
I like the concept, more based on skills than ToB' s "magical" effects.

Did you thought about "move" tags ? for example:

1- The techniques require the user to be in a specific position to the target (behind, flank, above, prone, turning the back, etc...).
2- Move in a certain way like rotating around the target to flank/surprise it (see Anakyn vs Dooku fight), jumping to/above the target (aka Wu Xia Pan movies) , sliding to the target, etc...

This would be interesting and give more option for fencing or backstabbing type of styles. Could even be implemented in conjunction with others tags.

example:
we all see in movies, the guy finishing his enemy by turning his back to him and impaling him by thrusting the blade by his hips ; this case would be replicated by a technique with [Turn the Back] + [Thrust]

would be fun and may lead to the creation of some kind of unique secret move ("botte secrète").

sirpercival
2016-11-10, 09:21 AM
Sorry about the lack of updates - I took a break to write the Soul Refractor entry for the Local Speakeasy competition. However, I return with new material!

- added a new feat
- renamed Basic style to Wax style, which fits better thematically
- posted the first ModerateAdvanced style (Smoke)


I like the concept, more based on skills than ToB' s "magical" effects.

Did you thought about "move" tags ? for example:

1- The techniques require the user to be in a specific position to the target (behind, flank, above, prone, turning the back, etc...).
2- Move in a certain way like rotating around the target to flank/surprise it (see Anakyn vs Dooku fight), jumping to/above the target (aka Wu Xia Pan movies) , sliding to the target, etc...

This would be interesting and give more option for fencing or backstabbing type of styles. Could even be implemented in conjunction with others tags.

example:
we all see in movies, the guy finishing his enemy by turning his back to him and impaling him by thrusting the blade by his hips ; this case would be replicated by a technique with [Turn the Back] + [Thrust]

would be fun and may lead to the creation of some kind of unique secret move ("botte secrète").

I'm not against this idea in principle, but I have some reservations. The two problems I have with adding more tags are:
It's already quite complex in terms of bookkeeping and planning during combat; and
I don't want to restrict the player's options TOO much on a round-by-round basis. You should always have at least a few options for any set of tags you end up with.

The movement tags you're describing are already handled in the technique descriptions if it makes sense. I'm trying to strike a balance between tags being descriptive and interesting as a mechanic, and making each combat a set script for a blademaster because every movement of a limb is captured in a tag. You know?



Edit: Added Stone style, a S&B Advanced style. One more Advanced, then it's on to the bizarre and complicated Expert styles!

Edit2: I'll preview that Advanced style #3 is Wind style. Any guesses as to the names of the 3 Expert styles?

Edit3: I'd love some more fluff and backstory for this subsystem. I'm consumed with the mechanics, though... anyone want to take a crack at writing some? I'll accept any and all contributions (probably with some minor editing).

Sicarius Victis
2016-11-10, 04:25 PM
One thing I particularly like about this is that you managed to give someone with a good BAB some actual meaning.

In fact, since it requires a decent amount of feats to make full use of, you actually managed to give the Fighter some meaning too.

And that's no easy feat.

sirpercival
2016-11-11, 10:02 AM
One thing I particularly like about this is that you managed to give someone with a good BAB some actual meaning.

In fact, since it requires a decent amount of feats to make full use of, you actually managed to give the Fighter some meaning too.

And that's no easy feat.

I see what you did there, lol.

Obviously, though, the best Blademaster is a Feater (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?253293-The-only-prestige-class-you-ll-ever-need). Though if you're a Feater, you don't need Bladecraft to lay the smack down on everything, so there's that...

Amechra
2016-11-11, 11:40 AM
I see what you did there, lol.

Obviously, though, the best Blademaster is a Feater (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?253293-The-only-prestige-class-you-ll-ever-need). Though if you're a Feater, you don't need Bladecraft to lay the smack down on everything, so there's that...

I actually think that the Feater isn't as good as the Fighter here (blasphemy!). It lacks full BAB, so it doesn't automatically have Bladecraft as a class skill.

sirpercival
2016-11-11, 12:07 PM
I actually think that the Feater isn't as good as the Fighter here (blasphemy!). It lacks full BAB, so it doesn't automatically have Bladecraft as a class skill.

Go into Feater from Human Paragon :D

Amechra
2016-11-11, 12:41 PM
Go into Feater from Human Paragon :D

Mein gott man, what have you done! God have mercy on us sinners.

=---=

So I have some ideas vis-a-vis Psionics + Bladecraft, but I can't get them to coalesce.

sirpercival
2016-11-12, 01:23 PM
And so, Wind style, and the 3 Expert styles (Clay, Glass, and Water) have been posted! That's it for the styles I have planned; next up is the Blademaster PrC.


So I have some ideas vis-a-vis Psionics + Bladecraft, but I can't get them to coalesce.

Interesting. Do you want to idea dump here, so I can help you brainstorm?

Amechra
2016-11-12, 02:54 PM
The ideas are along the lines of:

- Something something Autohypnosis something Bladecraft.
- Something something Psionic Focus something Bladecraft Tags.
- Something something Psychic Warrior ACF (Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars?)

So... yeah.

sirpercival
2016-11-12, 03:20 PM
The ideas are along the lines of:

- Something something Autohypnosis something Bladecraft. Autohypnosis certainly has synergy w/ Bladecraft, since it helps memorize forms. Maybe if you have enough ranks in Autohypnosis & Bladecraft, you can learn extra techniques? Or maybe that you can make an Autohypnosis check to increase your effective ranks for Bladecraft die size?

- Something something Psionic Focus something Bladecraft Tags. You can acquire a tag when assuming psionic focus? Or, and I might like this better, you can expend psionic focus in place of a tag you don't have?

- Something something Psychic Warrior ACF (Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars?) Gets Bladecraft as a class skill; gives up first bonus feat to learn 3 techniques. Can take [Bladecraft] feats as bonus feats.

How's that?

Other ideas I have:
- 10 magic item sets, one associated with each style. each includes a weapon, of course.
- an incarnum/Blademaster PrC. No soulmeld prereq, just Bladecraft/techniques, essentia, & incarnum feats. 10 themed soulmelds, one for each Blade style (paired w/ a chakra?). Only built-in chakra bind is Hands, which forms weapon(s)/shield.
- ACFs for marshal, paladin, ranger, barbarian

Oh, question. I'm wondering if Wax style might need a few more techniques. Dedicated styles for TWF and S&B don't come online until Advanced, so it would nice to have a bit of Basic support for those. Thoughts?

Amechra
2016-11-12, 05:36 PM
I think Wax Style could do with some SnB and TWF tricks. Some off the top of my head:

- A Parry that applies your Shield bonus vs. Touch attacks, plus benefit.
- A Form that lets you "store" a positional tag in your off-hand weapon.
- An Assault where you make an attack with your off-hand weapon, then make an attack with your main weapon if you hit.

sirpercival
2016-11-13, 02:59 AM
OK, I added 5 new techniques to Wax (if it gets any bigger, I'll have to move one of the other styles to a different post!), and made a few edits to some of the others.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-13, 12:21 PM
I really like the idea of this system. A few thoughts:


Maybe make a general rule for extending how many bladecraft dice you get for higher levels of bladecraft in case someone wants to play very epic?

Why does the Blade Training feat require that the two new techniques be of the same complexity? I don't see an obvious balance issue in letting them be of different complexity.

As it is right now, you can learn a technique even if that technique requires a tag you cannot obtain from any techniques you know. Is this deliberate?


As long as we're brainstorming ways for it to interact with other systems, maybe a feat that gives you small bonuses to each form when one has psionic focus, depending on what form one is. Possibly improving the basic benefits or giving other benefits. I don't have the details for this worked out completely and it might depend on the final versions of what the forms are.

Another idea might be feats that reflect specialization in a specific style? I'm not sure how these should work, and they maybe should be made specific for each style.

Feats that are more well thought out than that suggested below:


Honed Mind [Bladecraft, Psionic]
Your training in bladecraft has honed your mind far beyond that of other warriors
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Psionic Body, one other feat.
Benefit: You count Bladecraft feats as psionic feats. This means you get additional hit points from Psionic Body and other similar feats that depend on your number of psionic feats. You also may take Bladecraft feats when you could take a psionic bonus feat (such as if you have levels in Psychic Warrior).


[b]Arcane Bladeform [Bladecraft]
You can channel arcane energy to quickly change your Form.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, Spellcraft 3 ranks, able to cast an arcane spell of at least first level.
Benefit: You may change Form or assume a Form as a free action. Doing so requires sacrificing a spell slot or prepared spell. The spell slot or prepared spell must be of at least first level to assume a Basic form, at least 2nd level to assume a Moderate form, at least 3rd level to assume an Advanced form, and at least 4th level to assume an Expert form.

Note: If I've estimated correctly the 4th level slot ability is doable pre-epic using the Eldritch Knight PrC to provide the necessary BAB.


Also, it might be nice to have some rules for how this interacts with Tome of Battle type material. Suggested feat for that:

Way of the Blade, Way of the Nine [Bladecraft]
You have learned both the way of the Nine Swords and the way of Bladecraft and can see how they complement each other.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, Martial Lore 4 ranks, two Bladecraft Forms, a martial stance
Benefit: This feat provides three benefits. First, you may make Martial Lore checks to recognize Bladecraft techniques and may make Bladecraft checks to recognize martial maneuvers. Second when you move into a new Form you may change what martial stance you are in, and when you move into a martial stance you may change what Form you are in. Third, whenever you would learn a martial maneuver you may instead learn a new Bladecraft technique that you meet the prerequisites for.


Specific thoughts about different techniques:
The Creeper Embraces the Oak- The bonus to AC the opponents get should probably just be with respect to attacks from you. Otherwise this is too weak even for a basic technique (and could lead to silliness like an ally attacking you to gain an AC bonus).

The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain seems a little strong given that in most campaigns other beings are not going to have any bladecraft skill. Maybe instead have the flat-footed only if your total ranks in Bladecraft exceed their BAB, and get a +2 bonus to the attack roll if your total ranks in Bladecraft is higher than theirs?

Emptiness- the Form grants any tag besides sheathed. How does this work? Do you need to use a swift action to change which one it grants or is it a wildcard tag declarable at any time?

The Branch in the Storm- I would consider allowing one to use the extra immediate action for any parry that requires an immediate action rather than just Branch in the Storm. Also, I would suggest adding a bonus to your attack roll equal to the number of times in a row that turn you have successfully used Branch in the Storm.

Apple Blossoms in the Wind- where it says "While in this Form, whenever you attack multiple opponents in the same action (either with an Assault or as a full attack action)" I would change the parenthetical to read "such as either with an Assault or as a full attack action" to make it clear that it applies to other abilities that grant attacks on multiple opponents (such as some class features).

Allnightmask
2016-11-13, 03:54 PM
Sounding off here with a question on Clay Style's Tower of Morning. How would this interact with something like Blessed weapons' auto confirmations? Could we get a limit or something or is it OK to slay evil with extreme prejudice?

sirpercival
2016-11-13, 10:45 PM
I really like the idea of this system. YAY!


A few thoughts:

Maybe make a general rule for extending how many bladecraft dice you get for higher levels of bladecraft in case someone wants to play very epic? Sure. :) Any ideas how to define the progression?


Why does the Blade Training feat require that the two new techniques be of the same complexity? I don't see an obvious balance issue in letting them be of different complexity. Good point. Removing that restriction.


As it is right now, you can learn a technique even if that technique requires a tag you cannot obtain from any techniques you know. Is this deliberate? Absolutely. There are a few techniques that let you use tags in place of other tags, or where the tags can be altered.



As long as we're brainstorming ways for it to interact with other systems, maybe a feat that gives you small bonuses to each form when one has psionic focus, depending on what form one is. Possibly improving the basic benefits or giving other benefits. I don't have the details for this worked out completely and it might depend on the final versions of what the forms are. That's kinda cool, HOWEVER. There are a relatively large number of forms, and coming up with a lot of fiddly little bonuses might be overdoing it.


Another idea might be feats that reflect specialization in a specific style? I'm not sure how these should work, and they maybe should be made specific for each style. I'm totally okay with this. ToB-style tactical feats seem like a great idea, actually.


Feats that are more well thought out than that suggested below:

Honed Mind [Bladecraft, Psionic]
Your training in bladecraft has honed your mind far beyond that of other warriors
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Psionic Body, one other feat.
Benefit: You count Bladecraft feats as psionic feats. This means you get additional hit points from Psionic Body and other similar feats that depend on your number of psionic feats. You also may take Bladecraft feats when you could take a psionic bonus feat (such as if you have levels in Psychic Warrior).


[b]Arcane Bladeform [Bladecraft]
You can channel arcane energy to quickly change your Form.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, Spellcraft 3 ranks, able to cast an arcane spell of at least first level.
Benefit: You may change Form or assume a Form as a free action. Doing so requires sacrificing a spell slot or prepared spell. The spell slot or prepared spell must be of at least first level to assume a Basic form, at least 2nd level to assume a Moderate form, at least 3rd level to assume an Advanced form, and at least 4th level to assume an Expert form.

Note: If I've estimated correctly the 4th level slot ability is doable pre-epic using the Eldritch Knight PrC to provide the necessary BAB.

Also, it might be nice to have some rules for how this interacts with Tome of Battle type material. Suggested feat for that:

Way of the Blade, Way of the Nine [Bladecraft]
You have learned both the way of the Nine Swords and the way of Bladecraft and can see how they complement each other.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, Martial Lore 4 ranks, two Bladecraft Forms, a martial stance
Benefit: This feat provides three benefits. First, you may make Martial Lore checks to recognize Bladecraft techniques and may make Bladecraft checks to recognize martial maneuvers. Second when you move into a new Form you may change what martial stance you are in, and when you move into a martial stance you may change what Form you are in. Third, whenever you would learn a martial maneuver you may instead learn a new Bladecraft technique that you meet the prerequisites for.
Awesome, I'll add these to the opening post. I'm going to edit Arcane Bladeform slightly, but Honed Mind and Way of the Blade, Way of the Nine (greeeeat name) look great as-is. I'm actually going to make an Incarnum version of Honed Mind


Specific thoughts about different techniques:
The Creeper Embraces the Oak- The bonus to AC the opponents get should probably just be with respect to attacks from you. Otherwise this is too weak even for a basic technique (and could lead to silliness like an ally attacking you to gain an AC bonus). Good call. Editing to reflect this.


The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain seems a little strong given that in most campaigns other beings are not going to have any bladecraft skill. Maybe instead have the flat-footed only if your total ranks in Bladecraft exceed their BAB, and get a +2 bonus to the attack roll if your total ranks in Bladecraft is higher than theirs? OK, I can do that.


Emptiness- the Form grants any tag besides sheathed. How does this work? Do you need to use a swift action to change which one it grants or is it a wildcard tag declarable at any time? Whoops! I'll add the text; it's the same process as Sheathing the Sword, but with only one tag.


The Branch in the Storm- I would consider allowing one to use the extra immediate action for any parry that requires an immediate action rather than just Branch in the Storm. Also, I would suggest adding a bonus to your attack roll equal to the number of times in a row that turn you have successfully used Branch in the Storm. Ooh, I like those. Implemented.


Apple Blossoms in the Wind- where it says "While in this Form, whenever you attack multiple opponents in the same action (either with an Assault or as a full attack action)" I would change the parenthetical to read "such as either with an Assault or as a full attack action" to make it clear that it applies to other abilities that grant attacks on multiple opponents (such as some class features). Good call. Edited.


Sounding off here with a question on Clay Style's Tower of Morning. How would this interact with something like Blessed weapons' auto confirmations? Could we get a limit or something or is it OK to slay evil with extreme prejudice? Ah, I forgot about this. I'll edit to handle these situations.



All these edits (and a couple more) posted now.

roko10
2016-11-14, 12:38 AM
Finally, a system for martials that's not just refluffed spellcasting, but doesn't boil down to "I swing my sword"!

I noticed that you need to know at least 5 Expert techniques before you can learn other Expert techniques, though. Did you mean "at least 5 Advanced techniques"?

sirpercival
2016-11-14, 04:43 AM
Finally, a system for martials that's not just refluffed spellcasting, but doesn't boil down to "I swing my sword"! :smallcool: I'm glad you like it!


I noticed that you need to know at least 5 Expert techniques before you can learn other Expert techniques, though. Did you mean "at least 5 Advanced techniques"? Derrrrp, fixed. :smallannoyed: Thank you.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-14, 10:20 AM
Glad you like the feats. Your wording for Arcane Bladeform is much better than mine.



That's kinda cool, HOWEVER. There are a relatively large number of forms, and coming up with a lot of fiddly little bonuses might be overdoing it.

Yeah, if a single feat is more than two paragraphs something may be not ideal.



Sure. :) Any ideas how to define the progression?

Well, the initial set isn't very regular, which makes it a bit tough. And one doesn't want to monkey with that (I assume you thought carefully about how much it would be at each level). Let me suggest the following: At 24, add a 1d4. At 27, a 1d4 becomes a 1d6. At 30, a 1d6 becomes a 1d8, then repeat (so at 33, get another 1d4, 36 the 1d6 becomes a 1d6, etc.). Will that work?

sirpercival
2016-11-14, 02:52 PM
Well, the initial set isn't very regular, which makes it a bit tough. And one doesn't want to monkey with that (I assume you thought carefully about how much it would be at each level). Let me suggest the following: At 24, add a 1d4. At 27, a 1d4 becomes a 1d6. At 30, a 1d6 becomes a 1d8, then repeat (so at 33, get another 1d4, 36 the 1d6 becomes a 1d6, etc.). Will that work?

The initial set raises the max value by 2 each time. (The average value is more sporadic.) I could make it a very smooth progression 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d10+1d4, 1d10+1d6, 1d10+1d8, 2d10, etc. but every time you add 1d4 it jumps by 4 instead of 2. Does that seem like a problem to anyone - to have the progression be more intuitive, but less smooth?

JoshuaZ
2016-11-14, 03:33 PM
The initial set raises the max value by 2 each time. (The average value is more sporadic.) I could make it a very smooth progression 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d10+1d4, 1d10+1d6, 1d10+1d8, 2d10, etc. but every time you add 1d4 it jumps by 4 instead of 2. Does that seem like a problem to anyone - to have the progression be more intuitive, but less smooth?

That seems like it would work. Maybe then slightly lower so that the 1d10 instead becomes a 1d8+1d4 which deals with the sudden jump. So 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d8+1d4, 1d8+1d6, 2d8, 1d8+1d10, 2d8+1d4, 21d8+1d6, 3d8, 2d8+1d10, 3d8+1d4, etc. Since 1d8+1d4 has a max of 12 and and a higher min and average than 1d8 it is still a better deal but isn't as extreme as just going from 1d10 to 1d10+1d4. Would that work better?

HisHighestMinio
2016-11-14, 06:05 PM
That seems like it would work. Maybe then slightly lower so that the 1d10 instead becomes a 1d8+1d4 which deals with the sudden jump. So 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d8+1d4, 1d8+1d6, 2d8, 1d8+1d10, 2d8+1d4, 21d8+1d6, 3d8, 2d8+1d10, 3d8+1d4, etc.

I can see the appeal for this, but I think going from d10 to d8 adds a certain ugliness to the system, no offense intended. I think sirpercival's new progression looks nice, especially considering the leap of 4 will usually only come up once in a player's career.

And for the system as a whole, it seems interesting. Looks like a lot of bookkeeping, but still easily manageable. And it isn't just "Spells, but physical;" it has its own feel.

Amechra
2016-11-14, 06:35 PM
Bloody hell, people, the progression is super-duper smooth!

It goes 1d4 → 1d6 → 1d8, then you reset and add a d6. Your maximum always increases by exactly 2, and your average increases by 1 each time (with an extra 0.5 whenever you reset).

So the next step after 1d6+1d8 is 2d6+1d4.

It's like I'm a mathematician or something, jeez. :smallwink:

sirpercival
2016-11-14, 07:25 PM
Bloody hell, people, the progression is super-duper smooth!

It goes 1d4 → 1d6 → 1d8, then you reset and add a d6. Your maximum always increases by exactly 2, and your average increases by 1 each time (with an extra 0.5 whenever you reset).

So the next step after 1d6+1d8 is 2d6+1d4.

It's like I'm a mathematician or something, jeez. :smallwink:

OH SNAP ok I'll put in an epic progression lol. Thank you for making it super clear. :smallbiggrin:

JoshuaZ
2016-11-14, 07:35 PM
Bloody hell, people, the progression is super-duper smooth!

It goes 1d4 → 1d6 → 1d8, then you reset and add a d6. Your maximum always increases by exactly 2, and your average increases by 1 each time (with an extra 0.5 whenever you reset).

So the next step after 1d6+1d8 is 2d6+1d4.

It's like I'm a mathematician or something, jeez. :smallwink:

Doh! Yes, that is very regular.

sirpercival
2016-11-14, 07:37 PM
I swapped the order of the dice, so now it's crystal clear. SWEET.

I'm working on the Blademaster PrC fluff right now (mechanics are done), so that should be posted tonight or tomorrow.

At that point, everything I have officially planned will be finished. What else would people like to see?

JoshuaZ
2016-11-15, 11:03 AM
A few more suggested feats:

Blade Dance of the Forgotten One[Bladecraft]
You can combine your bladecraft with the skills of one of the most legendary of all blademasters, Paimon the Dancer.
Prerequisites: Able to bind the vestige Paimon, Bladecraft 4 ranks. 2 ranks in either Perform(Dance) or Tumble.
Benefit: This feat grants you three abilities. First, when bound to Paimon you may apply the benefit of Paimon's Skills to bladecraft, granting you a +4 bonus to Bladecraft checks. Second, when using Paimon's Dance of Death you may at the start of the dance grant yourself one tag of your choice. Third, when making a binding check for Paimon, you may substitute a Bladecraft skill check for the regular binding check. Doing so requires you to draw out the seal of Paimon with your blade in a fluid but precise manner.
Special: This feat may be taken as a bonus feat by a binder. They must still meet the usual prerequisites.

Esoteric Bladecraft[Bladecraft]
Your style of Bladecraft is particularly esoteric or involves extra flourishes that make it more difficult to determine your techniques.
Prerequisites: Bladecrat 4 ranks
Benefit: The DC to identity a bladecraft technique you use or to identify a Form you are in is increased by 5.

King Killer Form[Bladecraft]
You may combine your Bladecraft with the brutal efficiency of an assassin.
Prerequisites: Either the Death Attack class feature. Must know at least three Assault techniques.
Benefit: When you make the Death Attack class feature and use an Assault as the attack, you add a bonus to the save DC depending on the level of complexity of the Assault. The bonus is +1 for a Basic Assault, +2 for Moderate, +3 for Advanced and +4 for Expert.
Special: A binder may substitute Marchosias's Death Attack for having the Death Attack class feature. If so, this feat may be taken as a bonus feat by a binder. They must still meet the usual prerequisites.

Monastic Bladestyle[Bladecraft]
Your monk training has focused on using the revered art of bladecraft in combination with traditional monk weapons to an extent that few
Prerequisites: Flurry of blows class feature, 4 ranks in Bladecraft, able to use at least two Assault techniques.
Benefit: Whenever you use your flurry of blows class feature and make an Assault using a special monk weapon, you do not take the -2 penalty to the attack roll.

Raging Bladeform[Bladecraft]
For some, their skill with the blade is an oasis of intense calm, for you it is the precise opposite. Your skill with the blade further enflames your emotion.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, Rage class feature
Benefit: You may change Form or assume a Form as a free action when you initiate a rage. Also, in any round you successfully use an Assault that does damage to an opponent, that round does not count against your total duration of rage.

Roguish Bladecraft[Bladecraft]
Some use their bladecraft in an honorable open fashion. You use your bladecraft to get the job done.
Prerequisites: Sneak attack or skirmish 1d6. Bladecraft 2 ranks. Cat Crossing the Courtyard Form and one Assault technique.
Benefit: Whenever you gain the benefit of the Cat Crossing the Courtyard Form and make a sneak attack, you get a +1 bonus to the attack roll and you one one extra damage for every die of sneak attack damage (or similar damage such as from the skirmish class feature). Also, if you gain the Trap Sense class feature, you may whenever your bonus would increase choose to forgo the bonus increase to instead learn an additional Bladecraft technique.





At that point, everything I have officially planned will be finished. What else would people like to see?

Some of the psionic ideas that you and Amechra were batting around earlier would be really nice.

CinuzIta
2016-11-15, 11:22 AM
I swapped the order of the dice, so now it's crystal clear. SWEET.

I'm working on the Blademaster PrC fluff right now (mechanics are done), so that should be posted tonight or tomorrow.

At that point, everything I have officially planned will be finished. What else would people like to see?

First of all, let me say your work is amazing! Some years ago I created a prc called "Sword Saint" that was supposed to use something like this but due to my lazynees I never created any maneuvers and made the class a simple mundane melee prc! Now that you've created this beautiful subsystem (or is it a complete system perhaps..?) I may think about updating my work so that it synergize to yours (if that is okay to you, of course).

Concerning the "requests" I'm waiting to see your prc first, then I may leave a comment on it!

Also, do you think a Dragoon-esque style of bladecraft would be okay or it might end up being to "supernatural" for this with all its jumps etc..?

sirpercival
2016-11-15, 02:55 PM
Okie dokes, I posted the Blademaster PrC, and also edited & incorporated that slew of feats, thank you JoshuaZ!

New plans:
- Bladecraft ACFs for Barbarian, Hexblade, Knight, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Scout, and Swashbuckler
- 2 new PrCs:
- the Warden, who is all about protecting people using Bladecraft; has a dedicated Style
- the Destroyer, basically the opposite of the Warden; also has a dedicated Style


Also, do you think a Dragoon-esque style of bladecraft would be okay or it might end up being to "supernatural" for this with all its jumps etc..? I don't see it being too supernatural - but I'll say that that style of fighting I think is more a product of quirks in the charging mechanics than from actually making sense as a fighting style.

caledscratcher
2016-11-15, 03:25 PM
...For some reason I just had the idea of recreating that old Heroes of Hyrule homebrew with this in place of ToB, maybe with a mix of styles, feats, and prestige classes instead of just the latter two.

And now that I'm thinking about it, I feel that an interesting way to represent Link's exceptional nature would be to have a feat that requires you to know at least one form, assault, and parry from a certain LoZ-inspired style, and it gives you the ability to gain a [Courage] tag in place of any other tag that a technique from that style would give, and if you have that tag in addition to all the others you need from that style, you get a bonus.

Maybe the same could be done for [Power] and [Wisdom] as well.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-15, 04:56 PM
Okie dokes, I posted the Blademaster PrC, and also edited & incorporated that slew of feats, thank you JoshuaZ!

New plans:
- Bladecraft ACFs for Barbarian, Hexblade, Knight, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Scout, and Swashbuckler
- 2 new PrCs:
- the Warden, who is all about protecting people using Bladecraft; has a dedicated Style
- the Destroyer, basically the opposite of the Warden; also has a dedicated Style

I don't see it being too supernatural - but I'll say that that style of fighting I think is more a product of quirks in the charging mechanics than from actually making sense as a fighting style.

Good edits. I like how you changed Monastic Bladestyle- makes more sense and more balanced the way you have done it. And splitting up the skirmish and sneak attack ones also makes sense. One typo on "King Killer's Form" - "Binde" should be "Binder."

Also for the Blademaster PrC, are the heron marked features supernatural or extraordinary? They aren't marked as such and it isn't clear from their wording. I could see some of them going either way. Given the system and fluff, my expectation would be that they are all (ex).

sirpercival
2016-11-15, 07:49 PM
...For some reason I just had the idea of recreating that old Heroes of Hyrule homebrew with this in place of ToB, maybe with a mix of styles, feats, and prestige classes instead of just the latter two.

And now that I'm thinking about it, I feel that an interesting way to represent Link's exceptional nature would be to have a feat that requires you to know at least one form, assault, and parry from a certain LoZ-inspired style, and it gives you the ability to gain a [Courage] tag in place of any other tag that a technique from that style would give, and if you have that tag in addition to all the others you need from that style, you get a bonus.

Maybe the same could be done for [Power] and [Wisdom] as well. Yeah, if I'd written this before writing HoH I probably would've used Bladecraft instead of ToB. Though... having the Gerudo & Sage use similar mechanics is nice...


Good edits. I like how you changed Monastic Bladestyle- makes more sense and more balanced the way you have done it. And splitting up the skirmish and sneak attack ones also makes sense. One typo on "King Killer's Form" - "Binde" should be "Binder." Whoops, good catch.


Also for the Blademaster PrC, are the heron marked features supernatural or extraordinary? They aren't marked as such and it isn't clear from their wording. I could see some of them going either way. Given the system and fluff, my expectation would be that they are all (ex). They should be (Ex), sorry for the confusion. I'll mark them thusly.

sirpercival
2016-11-16, 04:04 AM
Hey all, I'm having a discussion over on minmaxboards, about whether or not (and if so, how) to rework the tags. The goal is to make it more balanced and more intuitive. If anyone wants to hop over there to weigh in, you're welcome to join. Here's the beginning of this particular discussion. (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=6390.msg317233#msg317233)

caledscratcher
2016-11-16, 05:26 AM
I know I had a minmax accounts, but I seem to have forgotten my password, username, and what email I used to sign up, so I'll jot down the thought here that I like the suggested total restructuring, but feel that instead of making it so each grade gets access to a new type of tag, you could mix it with the suggestion for having the number of tags be limited (for the most part) by grade, and make it so you can only have one of each type at a time.

That way, if all you have is wax style, all you need to worry about is what the one (MAYBE two with a form) tag you have is, and the learning curve increases as you level, which I feel very much fits the spirit of the subsystem.

Also, I feel this could allow expansions to innovate themselves. "We don't have any advanced styles based around High and Sheathed! What would that be like, anyways?" And bam! A style built around a weapon sheathed at each shoulder, practiced by people who want to have weapon-options while being quick and sneaky. Call it Dusk Style.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-16, 08:27 AM
I may comment over there if I get time. Just a minor note: the tag system being reworked may impact the balance of the Blademaster PrC and the feats, so if that is going to be reworked one should then make sure to go back and make sure it hasn't done anything ridiculous to those.

sirpercival
2016-11-16, 09:23 AM
I know I had a minmax accounts, but I seem to have forgotten my password, username, and what email I used to sign up, so I'll jot down the thought here that I like the suggested total restructuring, but feel that instead of making it so each grade gets access to a new type of tag, you could mix it with the suggestion for having the number of tags be limited (for the most part) by grade, and make it so you can only have one of each type at a time.

That way, if all you have is wax style, all you need to worry about is what the one (MAYBE two with a form) tag you have is, and the learning curve increases as you level, which I feel very much fits the spirit of the subsystem.

Also, I feel this could allow expansions to innovate themselves. "We don't have any advanced styles based around High and Sheathed! What would that be like, anyways?" And bam! A style built around a weapon sheathed at each shoulder, practiced by people who want to have weapon-options while being quick and sneaky. Call it Dusk Style. You don't think having 16 tags will get TOO complicated? Even moreso than the current system with 10?

I suppose that having more styles & tags would give me more granularity, and allow me to explore some parts of the subsystem in a little more depth... BLARGH WHY DO I ALWAYS GIVE MYSELF MORE WORK with homebrew projects...? lol.



I may comment over there if I get time. Just a minor note: the tag system being reworked may impact the balance of the Blademaster PrC and the feats, so if that is going to be reworked one should then make sure to go back and make sure it hasn't done anything ridiculous to those. Of course. What are your thoughts on the rework options?



EDIT: I'm mixing some metaphors, biting the bullet, and just diving head-first into the full tag restructuring. I've already re-written the intro post and edited the feats; I'm going to post them now. I'm going to take out the techniques descriptions and Blademaster until they're converted; expect them over the next couple days. I need to add about 36 new techniques, too... :smalleek:

JoshuaZ
2016-11-16, 05:05 PM
I'm not sure. 16 tags seems like a lot. One of the nice things about the system is that the total number of tags isn't that high, but it still enough for it to be an interesting mechanic. I agree that more complex techniques should in general require or grant more tags, but I haven't thought it through more than that.

sirpercival
2016-11-16, 06:06 PM
I'm not sure. 16 tags seems like a lot. One of the nice things about the system is that the total number of tags isn't that high, but it still enough for it to be an interesting mechanic. I agree that more complex techniques should in general require or grant more tags, but I haven't thought it through more than that.

Let's see how it works as I do it. If it feels like too many, we can trim it to 12 by having 3 of each kind. (I'd probably axe Diagonal, Lunge, Shift, and Cradle.)

sirpercival
2016-11-16, 10:53 PM
16 is too many. I'm scaling back to 12.

EDIT: I'm still upping the number of styles to 4 at each complexity, though.

sirpercival
2016-11-18, 10:41 AM
OK I posted the first of the new Basic styles, the other three should be coming shortly.

EDIT:

OK, all four Basic styles have been posted. While the tags have been almost completely reworked, most of the old techniques haven't been edited at all (except for possibly the flavor text). A couple have had very slight edits. There are 12 new techniques as well (20 original Wax techniques + 12 to make 8 per style). I'm actually quite happy with how these worked out!

The Moderate, Advanced, and Expert techniques will not be moved into new Styles (as far as I can tell; if there are exceptions, I'll let you know), and will hopefully require a similarly minimal amount of editing. I'll need to rework all the tags, and add a completely new style at each complexity. Shouldn't take me more than a day or two - certainly by the end of the weekend it'll all be done.

Feel free to comment on the Basic stuff - if there are things I need to fix, I'd love to get them worked out before posting too much more.

Anyone who's sad about the original material being taken down, I'm going to post it on my "sirpercival's things" thread over on minmax, so you can use it as a resource and/or comparison.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-18, 06:38 PM
The new techniques look good to me, and I like the new tag system. It has enough tags to be interesting, but not so many that there's a real complexity problem. And the tag breakdown into separate categories is well done.

I also like the skill tricks were they already there and I didn't notice them or did you add those too?

One minor note/suggestion: with this many tags it gets easier to be in a situation where if one uses a specific assault or parry one will then be stuck with very few options for what technique to use next, which might be balanced if one had slightly more techniques (which also fits if one is increasing the total number of techniques). My suggestion is to also get extra techniques based on your number of ranks in Bladecraft, maybe number of ranks/4? This would keep the inability to use the most complex techniques without substantial investment but would mean that someone could more easily if they wanted to get a few more techniques by effectively spending skill points.

sirpercival
2016-11-18, 07:29 PM
The new techniques look good to me, and I like the new tag system. It has enough tags to be interesting, but not so many that there's a real complexity problem. And the tag breakdown into separate categories is well done. Excellent! That's what I was feeling, too.


I also like the skill tricks were they already there and I didn't notice them or did you add those too?The skill tricks are new :)


One minor note/suggestion: with this many tags it gets easier to be in a situation where if one uses a specific assault or parry one will then be stuck with very few options for what technique to use next, which might be balanced if one had slightly more techniques (which also fits if one is increasing the total number of techniques). My suggestion is to also get extra techniques based on your number of ranks in Bladecraft, maybe number of ranks/4? This would keep the inability to use the most complex techniques without substantial investment but would mean that someone could more easily if they wanted to get a few more techniques by effectively spending skill points. I COULD do that... except that it de-values full BAB as a means of getting more techniques, which I feel is a real strength of the system (since it's mostly pointless in the core mechanics). There's also a pretty sizable amount of support for putting ranks in Bladecraft already.

Two options I see right away:
Learn a technique at every BAB instead of even BAB
Have more available mechanisms for changing tags on the fly.
Any preference between the two?

JoshuaZ
2016-11-18, 07:43 PM
Excellent! That's what I was feeling, too.

The skill tricks are new :)

I COULD do that... except that it de-values full BAB as a means of getting more techniques, which I feel is a real strength of the system (since it's mostly pointless in the core mechanics). There's also a pretty sizable amount of support for putting ranks in Bladecraft already.

Two options I see right away:
Learn a technique at every BAB instead of even BAB
Have more available mechanisms for changing tags on the fly.
Any preference between the two?

Good point about undermining BAB. Above suggestion withdrawn. As for these two options:
The second one seems like it could lead to too much complexity or undermine the importance of tags. The first seems better and I like that one as an option; the only detail is you'll then need to a) increase the number of required techniques needed of each level to get to the next level b) increase the number of techniques given by the Blade Training feat.

sirpercival
2016-11-18, 09:03 PM
As for these two options:
The second one seems like it could lead to too much complexity or undermine the importance of tags. The first seems better and I like that one as an option; the only detail is you'll then need to a) increase the number of required techniques needed of each level to get to the next level b) increase the number of techniques given by the Blade Training feat.

Ok that's fine. So I guess I should increase it to 8 techniques of each complexity (= 3 at 1st level, +1 at every other level, across each complexity)? And 3 from Blade Training? That'll get you Moderate at 6 with no feat, Advanced at 11 with one Blade Training, and Expert at 16 with two more BTs (for 3 total)?

JoshuaZ
2016-11-18, 09:11 PM
Ok that's fine. So I guess I should increase it to 8 techniques of each complexity (= 3 at 1st level, +1 at every other level, across each complexity)? And 3 from Blade Training? That'll get you Moderate at 6 with no feat, Advanced at 11 with one Blade Training, and Expert at 16 with two more BTs (for 3 total)?

That sounds right to me and sounds reasonably balanced. (I may have some more feats suggestions, as well as some magic items that interact with the system but I'm going to hold off until the other techniques are done before posting them because they may depend sensitively on that).

sirpercival
2016-11-18, 09:18 PM
That sounds right to me and sounds reasonably balanced. (I may have some more feats suggestions, as well as some magic items that interact with the system but I'm going to hold off until the other techniques are done before posting them because they may depend sensitively on that).

Crap, I just realized my math was off. I need to give 4 at BAB +1 to allow Moderate at 6th level, so I'm gonna do that.

Amechra
2016-11-19, 01:47 AM
Interesting note (if you treat the Styles as "complete" fighting styles):

- Cloud Stylists have to reset after Skipping Stone on the Shore, and will be using Low Wind Rises all the frickin' time. Also, to them, The Red Hawk Catches A Dove → The Fox And The Chicken → The Wolf Stalks Through The Mist probably all seem like parts of the same technique.

- Leaf Stylists can't use The Maiden Dances, and have to reset their pattern after The Robin Pecks The Worm. Which, unfortunately, will happen inevitably, unless you can continue to loop Drifting Snow and Leaf Floating On The Breeze. Literally anything else will lead to the sequence ending at The Robin Pecks The Worm.

- Wax Stylists have to reset after Cat On Hot Sand and The Millstone Grinds Flour. They end up boiling down to "spam (Un)Folding The Fan over and over".

- Wood Stylists can't use The Falcon Stoops, and have to reset their pattern when they use Pressing Apples Into Cider. Their sequences tend to be short or repetitive. Dog Howling At Midnight is probably viewed as a poor stance to start from - it provides limited options.

...

And then the guy who has mastered more than one comes by and demonstrates that the so-called "dead ends" of each style flow into each-other flawlessly, making up for each-other's weakness.

Sicarius Victis
2016-11-19, 02:39 AM
Interesting note (if you treat the Styles as "complete" fighting styles):

- Cloud Stylists have to reset after Skipping Stone on the Shore, and will be using Low Wind Rises all the frickin' time. Also, to them, The Red Hawk Catches A Dove → The Fox And The Chicken → The Wolf Stalks Through The Mist probably all seem like parts of the same technique.

- Leaf Stylists can't use The Maiden Dances, and have to reset their pattern after The Robin Pecks The Worm. Which, unfortunately, will happen inevitably, unless you can continue to loop Drifting Snow and Leaf Floating On The Breeze. Literally anything else will lead to the sequence ending at The Robin Pecks The Worm.

- Wax Stylists have to reset after Cat On Hot Sand and The Millstone Grinds Flour. They end up boiling down to "spam (Un)Folding The Fan over and over".

- Wood Stylists can't use The Falcon Stoops, and have to reset their pattern when they use Pressing Apples Into Cider. Their sequences tend to be short or repetitive. Dog Howling At Midnight is probably viewed as a poor stance to start from - it provides limited options.

...

And then the guy who has mastered more than one comes by and demonstrates that the so-called "dead ends" of each style flow into each-other flawlessly, making up for each-other's weakness.

Mastery may come from a focus on one style of combat, and from learning it inside and out. However, perfection comes the understanding that each is but a piece of the puzzle, and from putting the pieces together into something much better. When watching a true master of Bladecraft demonstrating their skills, it should be different to tell when one fighting style ends and another begins, as they will flow seamlessly through each and put them all together into a perfect dance of unending motion and unfailing coordination. The dance of Bladecraft is the truest dance of all, for it is a dance of muscle and steel, of life and death, where tragedy can be but a single misstep away, and victory comes only from true understanding and mastery of your craft.



...I have honestly no idea where that came from.

sirpercival
2016-11-19, 07:44 AM
Interesting note (if you treat the Styles as "complete" fighting styles):

- Cloud Stylists have to reset after Skipping Stone on the Shore, and will be using Low Wind Rises all the frickin' time. Also, to them, The Red Hawk Catches A Dove → The Fox And The Chicken → The Wolf Stalks Through The Mist probably all seem like parts of the same technique.

- Leaf Stylists can't use The Maiden Dances, and have to reset their pattern after The Robin Pecks The Worm. Which, unfortunately, will happen inevitably, unless you can continue to loop Drifting Snow and Leaf Floating On The Breeze. Literally anything else will lead to the sequence ending at The Robin Pecks The Worm.

- Wax Stylists have to reset after Cat On Hot Sand and The Millstone Grinds Flour. They end up boiling down to "spam (Un)Folding The Fan over and over".

- Wood Stylists can't use The Falcon Stoops, and have to reset their pattern when they use Pressing Apples Into Cider. Their sequences tend to be short or repetitive. Dog Howling At Midnight is probably viewed as a poor stance to start from - it provides limited options.

...

And then the guy who has mastered more than one comes by and demonstrates that the so-called "dead ends" of each style flow into each-other flawlessly, making up for each-other's weakness. This is all entirely intentional, and also, in my opinion, 100% necessary. The styles are NOT "complete", and were explicitly designed not to be, and it's why I kept the number of techniques per style so limited (compare 8 techniques to ~25 maneuvers in a discipline). If you ever want or need to be able to switch seamlessly between styles mid-combat, there have to be entry and exit points so you don't waste any actions. This is a requirement - a Blademaster who isn't versatile or adaptable is a dead Blademaster. The styles are convenience groupings only - the ultimate Blademaster knows every technique.



Mastery may come from a focus on one style of combat, and from learning it inside and out. However, perfection comes the understanding that each is but a piece of the puzzle, and from putting the pieces together into something much better. When watching a true master of Bladecraft demonstrating their skills, it should be different to tell when one fighting style ends and another begins, as they will flow seamlessly through each and put them all together into a perfect dance of unending motion and unfailing coordination. The dance of Bladecraft is the truest dance of all, for it is a dance of muscle and steel, of life and death, where tragedy can be but a single misstep away, and victory comes only from true understanding and mastery of your craft.



...I have honestly no idea where that came from.It came from a place of beauty. Integrate it into the fluff a little more and I'll include it somewhere :smallbiggrin:

EDIT: Oh, also - I posted the Moderate styles. In looking over the existing 3 Advanced styles, I noticed that collectively, they included 11 Assaults and 5 Parries... that, my friends, is "balance". :smallannoyed:

Sicarius Victis
2016-11-20, 02:24 AM
I have a few more written-up bits of fluff along the same flavour as the first that I felt were rather interesting. What are your thoughts?

Mastery of Bladecraft

There are many practitioners of Bladecraft that believe themselves masters, after perfecting their skills with a single style.* They believe that each individual style is self-contained, seperate from the rest.* They believe that all they need is mastery of a single style to claim mastery of the entire art of Bladecraft.* However, others understand that each style, however seperate from the rest it may seem individually, is but a piece of the puzzle.* What many believe to be individual and unique styles are merely a way for practitioners to group them together for the purposes of* simpler learning.* Those few who truly understand this earn the right to bear the iconic heron-marked blades, and can truly call themselves masters of their craft.

The Dance of Bladecraft

To an outside observer, watching a practitioner of Bladecraft at work may see what they do as but a simple dance.* While not far from the truth, this is a severe understatement of what Bladecraft truly is.* Properly-practiced Bladecraft should indeed appear as a dance, but it is a dance of muscle and sinew, of heron-marked steel and incredible stakes, a true dance of life and death.* For a practitioner of Bladecraft, a single step in their dance, a single technique in their fight, could mean the difference between victory and defeat.* Bladecraft truly is a dance, and truly is a dance of the highest stakes.

I feel that the wording of the second one was a bit more awkward than it could have been, and both of these are still works in progress.

Amechra
2016-11-20, 03:01 AM
This is all entirely intentional, and also, in my opinion, 100% necessary. The styles are NOT "complete", and were explicitly designed not to be, and it's why I kept the number of techniques per style so limited (compare 8 techniques to ~25 maneuvers in a discipline). If you ever want or need to be able to switch seamlessly between styles mid-combat, there have to be entry and exit points so you don't waste any actions. This is a requirement - a Blademaster who isn't versatile or adaptable is a dead Blademaster. The styles are convenience groupings only - the ultimate Blademaster knows every technique.

I know - I just wanted to point it out to everyone so they'd all know how clever you are :smallcool:.

Enough flattery, though - I've noticed that The Viper Flicks Its Tongue doesn't have the Style marked next to its "type" (others are Cloud Parries or whatever - it's just an Assault). Due to this single flaw I must give my undying hatred to this project.

Now, if I didn't despise it, I would give you feats along the following lines:

Hunter's Bladecraft [General]
You have exhaustively studied the fighting styles of your favored prey
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Favored Enemy
Benefit: Add Bladecraft to the list of skills you gain a bonus towards due to Favored Enemy. In addition, add half your Favored Enemy bonus to AC against Assaults made by a Favored Enemy.

Perfected Mind Blade [Psionic]
You have learned to hone you mind blade to perfectly resonate with a particular set of Techniques.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, the ability to form a mind blade, Psychic Strike 1d8
Benefit: As long as you are in a Form, add a single Bladecraft Die to your Psychic Strike damage.

Zealous Bladecraft [Exalted]
You have learned secret techniques to strike down the evil and defend the good.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Smite Evil 1/day
Benefit: You may expend a daily use of Smite Evil to use any Assault you know, regardless of your current Tags - if you do so, treat your weapon as a Blessed weapon, and any bonus damage from the Assault is holy damage. If you use the Assault against a non-evil creature, it automatically fails instead.
Special: You gain an additional daily usage of Smite Evil.

...

But I do, so I won't.

So there.

khadgar567
2016-11-20, 04:14 AM
is there legend of zoro type style in there for vigilante or we just get a feet for it from amercha

sirpercival
2016-11-20, 09:51 PM
I have a few more written-up bits of fluff along the same flavour as the first that I felt were rather interesting. What are your thoughts?

Mastery of Bladecraft

There are many practitioners of Bladecraft that believe themselves masters, after perfecting their skills with a single style.* They believe that each individual style is self-contained, seperate from the rest.* They believe that all they need is mastery of a single style to claim mastery of the entire art of Bladecraft.* However, others understand that each style, however seperate from the rest it may seem individually, is but a piece of the puzzle.* What many believe to be individual and unique styles are merely a way for practitioners to group them together for the purposes of* simpler learning.* Those few who truly understand this earn the right to bear the iconic heron-marked blades, and can truly call themselves masters of their craft.

The Dance of Bladecraft

To an outside observer, watching a practitioner of Bladecraft at work may see what they do as but a simple dance.* While not far from the truth, this is a severe understatement of what Bladecraft truly is.* Properly-practiced Bladecraft should indeed appear as a dance, but it is a dance of muscle and sinew, of heron-marked steel and incredible stakes, a true dance of life and death.* For a practitioner of Bladecraft, a single step in their dance, a single technique in their fight, could mean the difference between victory and defeat.* Bladecraft truly is a dance, and truly is a dance of the highest stakes.

I feel that the wording of the second one was a bit more awkward than it could have been, and both of these are still works in progress.
Do you want me to wait til you're finished, or incorporate them somewhere now?


I know - I just wanted to point it out to everyone so they'd all know how clever you are :smallcool:. Lol - ok then :smallbiggrin:


Enough flattery, though - I've noticed that The Viper Flicks Its Tongue doesn't have the Style marked next to its "type" (others are Cloud Parries or whatever - it's just an Assault). Due to this single flaw I must give my undying hatred to this project. http://i.imgur.com/1SdePSU.gif


Now, if I didn't despise it, I would give you feats along the following lines:

Hunter's Bladecraft [General]
You have exhaustively studied the fighting styles of your favored prey
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Favored Enemy
Benefit: Add Bladecraft to the list of skills you gain a bonus towards due to Favored Enemy. In addition, add half your Favored Enemy bonus to AC against Assaults made by a Favored Enemy.

Perfected Mind Blade [Psionic]
You have learned to hone you mind blade to perfectly resonate with a particular set of Techniques.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, the ability to form a mind blade, Psychic Strike 1d8
Benefit: As long as you are in a Form, add a single Bladecraft Die to your Psychic Strike damage.

Zealous Bladecraft [Exalted]
You have learned secret techniques to strike down the evil and defend the good.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 6 ranks, Smite Evil 1/day
Benefit: You may expend a daily use of Smite Evil to use any Assault you know, regardless of your current Tags - if you do so, treat your weapon as a Blessed weapon, and any bonus damage from the Assault is holy damage. If you use the Assault against a non-evil creature, it automatically fails instead.
Special: You gain an additional daily usage of Smite Evil.

...

But I do, so I won't.

So there. It's really too bad I'll never see these, because I like them a lot, and would totally include them when I update to the next version (probly tomorrow, including the Advanced styles).


is there legend of zoro type style in there for vigilante or we just get a feet for it from amercha I actually think that what you're going to be looking for is the forthcoming Blade-bound Swashbuckler substitution levels. :)

I have a question for everyone. Over on mmx someone commented that I used the word "The" too much in technique names. Does it seem like an overabundance to others? If so, I can take some/most of them out.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-20, 09:56 PM
I have a question for everyone. Over on mmx someone commented that I used the word "The" too much in technique names. Does it seem like an overabundance to others? If so, I can take some/most of them out.

I don't have that impression. The is the most common word in the English language.

(Also minor note: the three feats that Amechra did not suggest if they had been suggested should have the [Bladecraft] descriptor.

Amechra
2016-11-20, 11:00 PM
Before I declared my seething rage, I took note that the names are all pretty long. They're thematic, yes, but there's only so much room on the sheet.

As for the non-existent feats, they would have to be marked that way - it'd be remiss to mark them otherwise!

Sicarius Victis
2016-11-21, 12:45 PM
Do you want me to wait til you're finished, or incorporate them somewhere now?

"Mastery of Bladecraft" is ready for incorporation at any time, but "the Dance of Bladecraft" still needs work.

Here you go:

Mastery of Bladecraft

There are many practitioners of Bladecraft that believe themselves masters, after perfecting their skills with a single style. They believe that each individual style is self-contained, seperate from the rest. They believe that all they need is mastery of a single style to claim mastery of the entire art of Bladecraft. However, others understand that each style, however seperate from the rest it may seem individually, is but a piece of the puzzle. What many believe to be individual and unique styles are merely a way for practitioners to group them together for the purposes of simpler learning. Those few who truly understand this earn the right to bear the iconic heron-marked blades, and can truly call themselves masters of their craft.



As for the non-existent feats, they would have to be marked that way - it'd be remiss to mark them otherwise!

Of course, since we all know you never suggested any feats to us, there's no way that we could believe that they had been marked incorrectly. After all, how would we know if they had?

Temotei
2016-11-22, 12:39 AM
Low Wind Rising says it requires the [Stand] tag but explicitly calls out a sitting position as valid for a starting point, whereas the [Stand] tag says you need firmly planted feet. It also allows you to use it from a prone position. Seems kind of contradictory.

Pressing Apples to Cider into Low Wind Rising is one of my fellow players' desires. Is there a balance reason for [Stand] or was it just tagged with it because there was nothing else that fit well?

Cool system, though. Looks like we're using it in one of our campaigns coming up in my group. I'll PM you more details after it sees use if we do end up using it and you'd like to see them.

sirpercival
2016-11-22, 10:09 AM
Alright, I FINALLY got a new update posted. (Busy weekend!)

Changelog:
In the opening post I split the explanation of blade styles into its own section, so I could add an explicit note of the "styles are not inherently separate" thing.
I added two feats which I got FROM SOMEWHERE WHO KNOWS, and another that seemed like it was called for. Also FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER I decided to add Soulknife to the list of classes which are getting sub levels.
Did some minor edits on the Basic & Moderate techniques.
The biggest part of the update is that I added the reworked Advanced techniques, including the brand new Blood style. I noticed when working out tags that it's becoming much, much harder to make sure that every technique has an entry point while keeping required & granted tag sets unique. So, Blood style involves several tag-manipulation techniques which are probably going to end up being must-learns.
Minor note: When working on the Basic techniques a few days ago, I noticed that I had accidentally written both Rain in High Wind (an Advanced tech in Wind style), and Rain on High Wind (a Basic tech in Cloud style). So I changed the Cloud tech to "in" which is what it was supposed to be originally, and renamed the Wind tech to Two Lovers. So don't be confused.
I haven't yet done a culling of "The" since there doesn't seem to be a clear consensus about whether it's necessary. (My inclination is to leave it as-is, but that's mostly laziness, so I'm not actually giving myself a vote.)

Current Priority List:
Expert Styles rework (including the new Sun style)
Find a place to post the table of techniques I'm compiling as I do the rework
Blademaster PrC overhaul. Will be trimmed to 5 levels.
Sub levels for: Barbarian, Duskblade, Factotum, Hexblade, Knight, Marshal, Monk, Ninja, Paladin, Psychic Warrior, Ranger, Rogue, Samurai, Scout, Soulknife, and Swashbuckler. (Hopefully all of them will fit in one post... which is already full of feats.........)
Reaver (+ Thorn style) and Warden (+ Husk style) 5-level PrCs. {note: style names may change}
Other material TBD; haven't decided if I'm actually going to write the Bladecraft-incarnum PrC, but if I do it'll probably be 10 levels.

Re: Sicarius's fluff, I think that's actually going to get incorporated into the Blademaster PrC.


Low Wind Rising says it requires the [Stand] tag but explicitly calls out a sitting position as valid for a starting point, whereas the [Stand] tag says you need firmly planted feet. It also allows you to use it from a prone position. Seems kind of contradictory. Thematically, [Stand] is actually supposed to be more about not moving around than actually standing. I couldn't think of a better word for "staying in the same place", though. If anyone can think of a better one, let me know, and I'll happily change it.


Pressing Apples to Cider into Low Wind Rising is one of my fellow players' desires. Is there a balance reason for [Stand] or was it just tagged with it because there was nothing else that fit well? Well, I needed a tech that required [Stand], and it didn't seem like there was a better fit for LWR. The DM has the designer's explicit permission to allow LWR to require "any one Motion or Position" instead of [Stand]; I haven't done that, though, because it throws off the balance of tags when looking at Basics in total. When I post the table this will be more obvious. But! If people have suggestions for tag swaps among techniques, I'd love to hear them.


Cool system, though. Looks like we're using it in one of our campaigns coming up in my group. I'll PM you more details after it sees use if we do end up using it and you'd like to see them. That would be so great. I have no hopes of actually playing this any time soon, so I'd love some playtest data!



On a complete side note, I wonder what a non-D&D system would look like where this was the basis of the combat mechanics. And you could adapt Astronomer and/or BC into a magic system.

PairO'Dice Lost
2016-11-22, 01:12 PM
Thematically, [Stand] is actually supposed to be more about not moving around than actually standing. I couldn't think of a better word for "staying in the same place", though. If anyone can think of a better one, let me know, and I'll happily change it.

Perhaps "Centered"? As in "Techniques which require or grant the [Centered] tag keep the combatant's center of gravity low and their limbs close to their torso, for maximum balance and power through their entire body."

sirpercival
2016-11-22, 02:55 PM
Perhaps "Centered"? As in "Techniques which require or grant the [Centered] tag keep the combatant's center of gravity low and their limbs close to their torso, for maximum balance and power through their entire body."

Hmmm... I like the word, but the description doesn't quite fit. You often need [Stand](/[Centered], or actually I think [Center] since nothing else is past tense) when you're extending your arms. But I like [Center]. Let me think about how to word it.

Eno Remnant
2016-11-22, 07:02 PM
I've been keeping up with this for a little while, and it's very cool. Definitely going to mess around with some characters that use Bladecraft.

I don't have a lot to contribute, per se, but it would be remiss of me to not note that the quote you use in the very first post is about dancing - yet you're not planning substitution levels for Bards. I get that they're only 3/4 BAB, which makes them rather weak practitioners of Bladecraft; but I feel as though they could account for this in some fashion or other. Just a thought.

sirpercival
2016-11-22, 07:46 PM
I've been keeping up with this for a little while, and it's very cool. Definitely going to mess around with some characters that use Bladecraft.

I don't have a lot to contribute, per se, but it would be remiss of me to not note that the quote you use in the very first post is about dancing - yet you're not planning substitution levels for Bards. I get that they're only 3/4 BAB, which makes them rather weak practitioners of Bladecraft; but I feel as though they could account for this in some fashion or other. Just a thought.

I've been going back and forth about it. I DO have the one feat. However, there are very few bards that specialize in melee combat. Bardsaders have their own subsystem. Basically it's DFI/Snowflake Wardance bards, which is certainly a niche, but a pretty narrow one. I can't remember, would Snowflake Wardance compete for actions?

Basically, it boils down to this: if the people want Bard sub levels, they shall get Bard sub levels. :smallsmile:

Eno Remnant
2016-11-22, 09:03 PM
I've been going back and forth about it. I DO have the one feat. However, there are very few bards that specialize in melee combat. Bardsaders have their own subsystem. Basically it's DFI/Snowflake Wardance bards, which is certainly a niche, but a pretty narrow one. I can't remember, would Snowflake Wardance compete for actions?

Basically, it boils down to this: if the people want Bard sub levels, they shall get Bard sub levels. :smallsmile:

Didn't even see the feat. Must have missed it the last time I went over them. It's pretty nice, though I still think sub levels are a good idea.

Melee bard is rare? It's half of what I'm known for playing. All you need is PHBII and Complete Adventurer (though it's infinitely better with UA, Frostburn and Dragon Compendium), and you're laughing.

Snowflake Wardance is a free action activation. Shouldn't conflict.

I'd certainly love to see what you can do with it.

EDIT: I had a bit of 'brew I was sitting on that I decided to finish up today. Threw a Bladecraft option on it, hope that's alright with you. This is it. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?506928-Class-Variant-Bard-of-the-Sublime-Way&p=21420346#post21420346)

sirpercival
2016-11-22, 10:29 PM
Didn't even see the feat. Must have missed it the last time I went over them. It's pretty nice, though I still think sub levels are a good idea.

Melee bard is rare? It's half of what I'm known for playing. All you need is PHBII and Complete Adventurer (though it's infinitely better with UA, Frostburn and Dragon Compendium), and you're laughing.

Snowflake Wardance is a free action activation. Shouldn't conflict.

I'd certainly love to see what you can do with it. Well then, I'll include Bard. :)


EDIT: I had a bit of 'brew I was sitting on that I decided to finish up today. Threw a Bladecraft option on it, hope that's alright you. This is it. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?506928-Class-Variant-Bard-of-the-Sublime-Way&p=21420346#post21420346)Awesome, I'll take a look!



Working on the Expert styles, I think I need to take out the explicit requirement part of Hand tags. If I don't, the Expert techniques will get incredibly, ridiculously confusing, and you won't be able to use them without wielding a double weapon that you sheathe with your buckler.

The techniques writeups will specify if you need to do something in particular, not the tags.

Sicarius Victis
2016-11-22, 10:35 PM
Working on the Expert styles, I think I need to take out the explicit requirement part of Hand tags. If I don't, the Expert techniques will get incredibly, ridiculously confusing, and you won't be able to use them without wielding a double weapon that you sheathe with your buckler.

Unless you've got the feat, of course.

sirpercival
2016-11-22, 11:36 PM
So, I'm thinking about allowing a Bladecraft check to change a granted tag. It's kinda necessary in Expert, since there are only 32 techniques (including forms) and 81 possible combinations of the 12 tags... my coverage is less than half. Two questions: (a) does anyone see a problem with this? (b) should it be an intrinsic part of the skill, or should it be a feat w/ high pre-reqs?

Eno Remnant
2016-11-23, 01:42 AM
So, I'm thinking about allowing a Bladecraft check to change a granted tag. It's kinda necessary in Expert, since there are only 32 techniques (including forms) and 81 possible combinations of the 12 tags... my coverage is less than half. Two questions: (a) does anyone see a problem with this? (b) should it be an intrinsic part of the skill, or should it be a feat w/ high pre-reqs?

This sounds like a really good mechanic, actually. I'd suggest making it intrinsic to the skill, but with DCs that aren't easy even at high levels. Additionally, there'd probably be two DCs - one for changing a tag to another in the same category, one for changing a tag to one from a different category. Maybe even have a scaling set based on the level of the technique, which you can of course explain by saying that it's harder to bend the more advanced techniques into ways they weren't intended.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-23, 08:11 AM
This sounds like a really good mechanic, actually. I'd suggest making it intrinsic to the skill, but with DCs that aren't easy even at high levels. Additionally, there'd probably be two DCs - one for changing a tag to another in the same category, one for changing a tag to one from a different category. Maybe even have a scaling set based on the level of the technique, which you can of course explain by saying that it's harder to bend the more advanced techniques into ways they weren't intended.

I agree with Eno, but I think the DC is going to require careful calibration. It should be setup so that someone with max ranks in Bladecraft can at least sometimes do it without too much optimization. Maybe have the DC increase by 1 for every time you have successfully used the ability in that encounter, that way it doesn't let someone with very high Bladecraft simply autosucceed?

sirpercival
2016-11-23, 08:27 AM
Amechra over on mmx had the great suggestion of having the check be to retain a granted tag. I don't know if it should be instead of or in addition to the new tags, but I like it because it still feeds into the interplay mechanic between techniques. So the DC could be lower, because it isn't unrestricted. Thoughts??

PairO'Dice Lost
2016-11-23, 12:39 PM
Whether you allow retaining or changing or both, keep in mind the Truenamer problem, as Joshua alluded to: if you put interesting effects behind high skill DCs that assume moderate optimization, all that does is make those effects rarely attainable for those who don't really optimize their skill checks and basically at-will for those who do, and you don't want the tag system to completely fall apart if someone gets a +60 or so Bladecraft modifier.

Riffing on Eno's suggestion that the more advanced techniques are less flexible than the more basic ones, one option is to allow changing tags to anything you want with Basic techniques, changing tags to any other tag of the same type with Moderate techniques, just retaining tags with Advanced techniques, and not allowing changes with Expert techniques, or something along those lines. That way, regardless of someone's modifier there's only so far they can manipulate the tags.

sirpercival
2016-11-23, 01:41 PM
Whether you allow retaining or changing or both, keep in mind the Truenamer problem, as Joshua alluded to: if you put interesting effects behind high skill DCs that assume moderate optimization, all that does is make those effects rarely attainable for those who don't really optimize their skill checks and basically at-will for those who do, and you don't want the tag system to completely fall apart if someone gets a +60 or so Bladecraft modifier.

Riffing on Eno's suggestion that the more advanced techniques are less flexible than the more basic ones, one option is to allow changing tags to anything you want with Basic techniques, changing tags to any other tag of the same type with Moderate techniques, just retaining tags with Advanced techniques, and not allowing changes with Expert techniques, or something along those lines. That way, regardless of someone's modifier there's only so far they can manipulate the tags.

The problem with that particular implementation is that the Expert techs are the ones that actually need this mechanic, not the Basic or Moderate.

However, if the mechanic is that you can retain one (and only one) of your current tags, and that it overwrites the granted tag of the new technique (if there is any), then this works incredibly well. First, I had been worried that it was easy to move down a level of complexity in technique, but very difficult to move up; this makes it straightforward, though you still have to be smart about it. Second, you'll never get more than 4 tags this way, so you don't have to worry about anything breaking. Third, it makes using Advanced & Expert techniques much, much easier on the player.

What we can also do is make the DC dependent on the number & type of tags the new technique grants. Something like, base DC 15, +3 for each tag the new tech grants, -2 if it grants a tag of the same type (so you'd be overwriting). So with Basic techs, you have DC 16 or 18 for 1 or 2 tags; Moderate techs have DC 19 or 21 for 2 or 3 tags; Advanced have DC 22 or 24 for 3 or 4 tags; and Expert are always DC 25. That seems quite straightforward - depending on your build & Form, it's probably not automatic, but you should make it more often than not.

Here's a draft, formalizing an addition to the Bladecraft skill:

"You can also make a Bladecraft check when using a technique to retain a previously granted tag. If the technique would have granted a tag of the same type as the tag you are retaining, the retained tag replaces the tag you would have been granted. If the technique does not grant a tag of the same type, you retain the tag in addition to the new tags granted by the technique. The base DC for retaining a tag is 15, +3 for each tag the technique normally grants, -2 if the technique would have granted a tag of the same type. Note that, as this use of the Bladecraft skill is always in combat, you may not take 10 when attempting to retain a granted tag."

In looking this over, I noticed that I need to edit the skill tricks for the tag revisions. If I use the above implementation, Exotic Grip would be replaced by a skill trick which lets you take 10 when retaining a tag.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-23, 04:44 PM
The problem with that particular implementation is that the Expert techs are the ones that actually need this mechanic, not the Basic or Moderate.

However, if the mechanic is that you can retain one (and only one) of your current tags, and that it overwrites the granted tag of the new technique (if there is any), then this works incredibly well. First, I had been worried that it was easy to move down a level of complexity in technique, but very difficult to move up; this makes it straightforward, though you still have to be smart about it. Second, you'll never get more than 4 tags this way, so you don't have to worry about anything breaking. Third, it makes using Advanced & Expert techniques much, much easier on the player.

What we can also do is make the DC dependent on the number & type of tags the new technique grants. Something like, base DC 15, +3 for each tag the new tech grants, -2 if it grants a tag of the same type (so you'd be overwriting). So with Basic techs, you have DC 16 or 18 for 1 or 2 tags; Moderate techs have DC 19 or 21 for 2 or 3 tags; Advanced have DC 22 or 24 for 3 or 4 tags; and Expert are always DC 25. That seems quite straightforward - depending on your build & Form, it's probably not automatic, but you should make it more often than not.

Here's a draft, formalizing an addition to the Bladecraft skill:

"You can also make a Bladecraft check when using a technique to retain a previously granted tag. If the technique would have granted a tag of the same type as the tag you are retaining, the retained tag replaces the tag you would have been granted. If the technique does not grant a tag of the same type, you retain the tag in addition to the new tags granted by the technique. The base DC for retaining a tag is 15, +3 for each tag the technique normally grants, -2 if the technique would have granted a tag of the same type. Note that, as this use of the Bladecraft skill is always in combat, you may not take 10 when attempting to retain a granted tag."

In looking this over, I noticed that I need to edit the skill tricks for the tag revisions. If I use the above implementation, Exotic Grip would be replaced by a skill trick which lets you take 10 when retaining a tag.

This seems reasonable, and since it is just retaining a tag, having someone who has heavily optimized so they can auto-succeed on the check isn't nearly as unbalancing.

Amechra
2016-11-23, 04:55 PM
An alternative - using a Bladecraft technique removes the required tags, and new tags overwrite any tag of the same category. Resetting to the Form still wipes all your tags.

This replaces the "your techniques replace ALL tags you've got" thing.

sirpercival
2016-11-23, 08:20 PM
This seems reasonable, and since it is just retaining a tag, having someone who has heavily optimized so they can auto-succeed on the check isn't nearly as unbalancing. Yes, that's what I was thinking.


An alternative - using a Bladecraft technique removes the required tags, and new tags overwrite any tag of the same category. Resetting to the Form still wipes all your tags.

This replaces the "your techniques replace ALL tags you've got" thing.

This is what happens with the Astronomer (which has 10 uncategorized tags). However, Astronomer too has the ability to adjust tags on the fly with a move action. I think I like the setup I'm proposing better for Bladecraft, though who knows, after some playtesting.

JoshuaZ
2016-11-26, 11:10 PM
A few more suggestions:

New magic weapon special ability:

Bladecraft Infused,
A Bladecraft Infused weapon treats its enhancement bonus as 2 higher than it is whenever it is used as part of an Assault or Parry.

Moderate Transmutation; CL 5th, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must have 5 ranks in Bladecraft; Price +1 bonus.



More feat suggestions:

Arcana Assault [Bladecraft]
You may combine arcane power with your Bladecraft.
Prerequisites: Arcane Bladeform, Bladecraft 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks, able to cast an arcane spell of at least 2nd level, must know at least three Assault techniques.
Benefit: When you use an Assault technique you may as a free action sacrifice a spell slot or prepared spell of at least first level. If you do, you get a bonus to the attack rolls in the assault equal to three times the level of the spell slot or prepared spell sacrificed.

Bladecraft Animator [Bladecraft]
You may imbue some of your bladecraft skills into the undead you make.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 5 ranks, knowledge of 5 bladecraft techniques, Able to create or raise some form of intelligent undead (such as with the spell create undead).
Benefit: When you create an intelligent undead you may imbue it with some of your Bladecraft skill. The undead gets 1 rank in Bladecraft, gets also a +1 inherent bonus to Bladecraft, and gains knowledge of 1 basic form and 2 basic techniques you know. The undead being may choose to learn additional Bladecraft techniques later as usual.

Bladestyle Gambit [Bladecraft]
You can combine your training in the combat methods of the Red Knight with your training in Bladestyle.
Prerequisites:Lady's Gambit (from Dragon Magazine #317), BAB 8, Iron Will, Power Attack, Bladecraft 5 ranks, must have Red Knight as your Patron Deity
Benefit: This feat gives you three benefits. First, whenever you lose hit points as part of using Lady's Gambit, you may also change your bladestyle form as part of the same free action. You must expend at least 2 hp to switch to a basic form, 4 hp switch to moderate, 6 to for advanced and 8 for expert. Second, you also count all feats that have Lady's Gambit as a prerequisite as bladecraft feats. Third, you treat cleric and favored soul levels as full BAB for purposes of qualifying for techniques and treat bladecraft as a class skill for both those classes.

Note: While this feat is thematically linked to a specific deity from Faerun, in other settings it can be easily adopted for followers of other war themed deities. In Eberron, adopting this to Dol Arrah and The Mockery would both be reasonable. In Golarion, Iomedae and Gorum would both make sense.

Bladecraft Initiative [Bladecraft]
Your training in bladecraft makes you understand that who makes the first cut often makes the last cut.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 5 ranks, BAB +3, Dex 13
Benefit: You add a Bladecraft die to initiative checks.
Special: This feat counts as Improved Initiative for prerequisite purposes.

Bladecraft Power [Bladecraft, Psionics]
You may use your skill in bladecraft to improve your psionic power.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 8 ranks, Honed Mind
Benefit: Once daily you may engage in a special meditation with your blade. You gain 1 Bladecraft die of power points.

Flexible Bladecraft [Bladecraft]
You can sometimes use Bladecraft techniques that you haven't fully trained to use.
Prerequisites: At least two Moderate Bladecraft techniques, at least one other Bladecraft feat, Int 13
Benefit: You may use an Assault or Parry technique that you do not know. The technique must be of complexity strictly lower than your highest complexity. Thus, if you know Moderate techniques, you can use this with Basic techniques. If you know Advanced techniques you may use this with Moderate or Basic techniques. If you know Expert techniques you may use this with Moderate, Basic or Advanced techniques.
Using this ability is difficult since you aren't completely trained in the technique, therefore any technique you use this way you take a -2 penalty to attack rolls made as part of it, and you treat your Bladecraft skill as 3 lower than it would be for all purposes of the technique (such as for any Bladecraft skill check made as part of the technique or any Bladecraft die used in the technique). You may use this ability a number of times daily equal to your int modifier + one fifth your number of ranks in Bladecraft (minimum 1). When using a technique this way, you must still meet all the tag requires as usual. You do not know any of the techniques you may use from this feat for prerequisite purposes.
Notes: This feat is balanced around roughly the current number of Bladecraft techniques. If more techniques are introduced, the balance of this feat may need to be reevaluted. Also if one has the feat, to optimize speed of play it is recommended that players keep a small list of additional techniques ready so that they do not slow down the game deciding what techniques to use.

Luck of the Blade
Even the most skilled masters of Bladecraft are vulnerable to the forces of luck, a sudden gust of wind, a bit of uneven ground, an opponent stumbling at just the wrong time. But you can always twist those events in your favor.
Prerequisites: One other luck feat, Bladecraft 5 ranks, at least two Assault techniques and at least two parry techniques.
Benefit: When you make an attack roll as part of an Assault technique or Parry technique and you roll a natural 1, you may as a swift action expend two luck rolls to replace that roll with a 20. You gain one extra luck roll when taking this feat.

Mounted Bladecraft [Bladecraft]
You can combine your skill with riding in combat with your bladecraft.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 5 ranks, Ride 4 ranks, Mounted Combat
Benefit: You may when you have an unsheathed weapon, whenever you would make a Ride check for Mounted Combat you add a Bladecraft die to the check. Also, whenever you are on a mount you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls made as part of a Parry or Assault technique.

Necromancy Assault [Bladecraft]
You channel necromantic energy with your bladecraft.
Prerequisites: Bladecraft 4 ranks, knowledge of at least one Parry technique and 1 Assault technique. Able to cast a first level spell. One of Spell Focus(necromancy) or Specialist Wizard(necromancer).
Benefit: Whenever you engage in an assault,you may have that assault do 1 extra damage that is negative energy damage. If the attack does additional Bladecraft Die of damage, then there is also an additional 1 negative energy for every Bladecraft Die.

Vile Assault [Bladecraft]
You may make wounds with your bladecraft Assaults particularly hard to heal.
Prerequisites: Necromantic Assault, knowledge(religion) 10 ranks
Benefit: Whenever you use the Necromantic Assault ability against a living being, you may half the damage from the attack is treated as Vile damage as undead flesh forms in the resulting wounds. While knowledge of this ability is not a priori evil, in many cases using the ability would be evil.


New spells and powers:

Bestow Bladecraft
Transmutation
Level: Clr 4 Sor/Wiz 3
Components: V,S, F
Casting time: 1 minute
Range: Touch
Effect:
Duration: 10 min/level
Target: 1 willing creature with BAB at least 1
Saving throw: None
Spell resistance: No (harmless)

The target gains the skill of a single Bladecraft Form, a Bladecraft Assault and a Bladecraft Parry, chosen by the caster at the time of casting. They must be techniques of a level the being can use (and thus in most cases will be basic techniques). And you cannot bestow techniques if the required BAB of that technique would exceed your caster level. No being can benefit from more than one copy of this spell simultaneously.

Focus: A cooperating being with at least 1 rank in Bladecraft (possibly the target themselves or the spellcaster).

Special: A Warmage who has at least 1 rank in Bladecraft may take this spell as an Advanced Learning spell even though it is not an evocation spell.

Bestow Bladecraft, Greater

Transmutation
Clr 7 Sor/Wiz 6

This spell functions just like Bestow Bladecraft but the being gains an additional 3 techniques.


Bestow Bladecraft, Mass
Clr 6 Sor/Wiz 5
Target: Willing creature with BAB at least 1, up to 1 per 3 caster levels.

This spell just as Bestow Bladecraft except as noted here.


Share Bladecraft
Telepathy [mind-affecting]
Level: Psion/Wilder 4, Psychic Warrior 4
Display: Mental, visual, see text
Manifesting time: 1 standard action
Targets: Manifester and also 1 willing creature/4 manifester levels, at least one of which has a rank in Bladecraft
Duration: 1 min/level
Range: Close
Saving throw: None, or Will negates see text
Power resistance: Yes
Power points:7

For the duration of this power, every target is treated as having ranks in Bladecraft equal to at least half the highest number of ranks of any other target. Also, all beings are treated as knowing any Bladecraft techniques any others know (provided they have the required BAB and Bladecraft skills).

Augment: For every 1 in this augment, all targets get a +1 insight bonus to Bladecraft checks.
Augment: For every 2 power points in this augment all targets have their total BAB treated as 1 higher for purposes of what Bladecraft techniques they may gain through the shared-link.
Augment: If you pay at least four points in this augment, the power loses the [mind-affecting] descriptor.
Augment: For every 2 points in this augment, one of the targets may be unwilling, and if so, that being's knowledge of Bladecraft is shared with the other beings but it does not gain any benefits from this ability.


Also artifacts:

The Rusted Blade (major artifact)

The Rusted Blade, also known as the Sword of Paimon, and the Blade of the Forgotten God. The Rusted Blade takes different forms over time and some have even questioned if it is in fact a single artifact. The basic appearance is always the same, a bladed weapon with a crystal hilt and a blade that looks slightly rusted, hence the most common name. The origin of the sword is uncertain and the other disagreeing names reflect various alleged origins. Some claim it was the blade of Paimon, and that whatever transformed him into a vestige, granting the sword its powers. Others acknowledge that it was Paimon's sword but believe that it predates him. Others believe that the sword was the sacred relic of a now forgotten god of war, and yet others point to the crystal hilt and tell of stories of a powerful warrior with great telepathic ability who imbued some of his knowledge and abilities into his own blade with his dying breath. Whatever the true history, many a Blademaster has searched for the blade, and of those who found it, many regret their successful search.

The sword functions for anyone as a +2 keen, bladestyle weapon of the type it appears (most frequently, a shortsword, longsword or bastard sword). The blade also also grants the user a +2 competence bonus to Bladecraft checks, tumble checks and Perform(dance) checks. In the hands of someone who has ranks in Bladecraft, these bonuses all double. The Rusted-Blade is also always treated as heron-marked.

The true power of the sword however only emerges rarely. When someone uses an Assault technique with the Rusted Blade, there's a small probability that their mind will be briefly drawn into communion with the Blade. The chance of this occurring depends on the complexity of the technique. There is 1% chance for a basic Assault, 2% for a Moderate assault, 3% for an Advanced assault, and 4% for an Expert Assault. This mental communion is so powerful it overrides even immunity to mind-affecting effects.

From the standpoint of anyone watching, the communion occurs instantly but from the perspective of the being drawn in, weeks or months go by. The wielder find themselves in a mental realm which reflects their own memories and training; a blademaster who trained at a temple might find themselves in a reflection of that temple, taught by their mentor priest their. A druidic warrior who learned in a forest might find themselves in the same forest clearing they first learned bladecraft. In this alternate realm, they are trained mercilessly in the art of bladecraft by tutors more than willing to inflict wounds that appear fatal. There are no breaks for food, water, sleep, or casual conversation, just constant tutoring. The continual training and many repeated deaths can be extremely traumatic and at least one blademaster became an outright pacifist after undergoing the experience. At the end of the communion, the wielder gains 1 bonus technique they meet the prerequisites for and a bonus Bladecraft feat of their choice, and they gain a +1 inherent bonus to bladecraft.

Once the blade has had a wielder enter into communion, the blade does not draw anyone into communion until it has disappeared and reappeared in another form. The blade disappears most often 3d6 months after the event, and any attempt to prevent this such as locking it in a vault apparently fails. The blade then reappears a decade or two later. Where it has reappeared has varied, from a locked armory to a treasure vault, to an ancient tomb, to simply being found by a peasant on the side of the road. Some have speculated the blade spends its missing time on other planes or far off worlds, but there's no real evidence.

At least two masters of bladecraft have entered into communion with the Rusted Blade more than once. Krevaric the Undying, is a powerful undead warrior has sought out the blade successfully three times and gained its benefits. The legendary paladin Lemat of the Flashing swords supposedly accessed the Rusted Blade twice, but if legends are to believed, the second communion occurred when she was forced to take up the Blade after finding it appear in the dungeon cell she was trapped in by a powerful necromancer. Few people lack the will or insanity to experience the communion more than once, and very few have the opportunity.

No way of destroying the Rusted Blade is known, but some bards claim that if a true master of bladecraft carries the Rusted Blade for a year and a day without using it in combat, then it will become inert.

Bladecraft Stealer (minor artifact)
At least three of these necromantic horrors exist, one a knife, one a shortsword and one a bastard sword. No one is sure where they come from, but some speculate that they are formed when a particularly powerful bladecraft master is killed using powerful necromancy and leaves an impression on the blade. Each is a +1 Vicious Weapon, with generally one other +1 modifier. If by a being who has ranks in bladecraft to a kill a living being that has Bladecraft techniques, they randomly learn one technique known by the being they killed. Any being killed this way with a technique stolen cannot be resurrected except by divine intervention. Some say that using such a device will slowly lead the user to go insane as fragments of the thoughts of the beings in question enter their mind, but that may just be bards hoping that there is some active downside to these weapons.

Ruby Destiny (major artifact)
The Ruby Destiny is sacred to Wee Jas. This ancient relic is shortsword with a dull black hilt, a curved crossguard and a deep crimson blade. The Ruby Destiny is said to have been given as a gift from the goddess herself to a brave young paladin, but what the paladin did to deserve the gift the legends do not say.

For anyone who is not a worshipper Wee Jas, the Ruby Destiny functions as a +2 shortsword which also gives the wielder a +2 bonus to saves against any spell-like or supernatural abilities of undead, as well as giving the wielder a +1 competence bonus to bladecraft checks and the ability to make bladecraft checks untrained. When wielded by a worshipper of Wee Jas, they are treated as having maximum ranks in Bladecraft, and they are treated as knowing every technique in the Cloud Style, and if they have sufficient BAB, then also the Bone style.

If anyone ever uses uses the Ruby Destiny to knowingly oppose the goals of Wee Jas, they must make a DC 25 fortitude save or die, as their body shrivels, and their soul is drawn screaming into the weapon. Any being who dies this way cannot be resurrected by any means except if Wee Jas herself specifically allows it.

It is said that the Ruby Destiny can only be destroyed if Wee Jas herself wills it, or if it is used to successfully kill a high priest or priestess of Wee Jas.

sirpercival
2016-11-28, 12:38 PM
Now that the holiday is past and I'm back into my usual routine, it was clearly time for a major update.

Changelog:
Expert styles (including the new Sun style) have been posted
Incorporated the ability to retain a tag into the Bladecraft skill
Replaced Exotic Grip with Exotic Articulation
Moved the skill & skill tricks sections into the first post because of character count limits
Added the following new feats (adapting from JoshuaZ): Arcane Assault, Cavalier's Bladeform, Favor of Fortune, Honed Power, Proactive Training, and Seize the Moment.
Created an Extras post in the last reserve, adding in items, artifacts, spells, and powers, almost all of which were adapted from JoshuaZ.
Minor text fixes
EDIT: rewrote the example combat in the intro post

Current Priority List:
Find a place to post the table of techniques
Blademaster PrC overhaul. Will be trimmed to 5 levels.
Sub levels for: Barbarian, Dread Necromancer, Duskblade, Factotum, Hexblade, Knight, Marshal, Monk, Ninja, Paladin, Psychic Warrior, Ranger, Rogue, Samurai, Scout, Soulknife, and Swashbuckler. (Hopefully all of them will fit in one post... which is already full of feats.........)
Reaver (+ Thorn style) and Warden (+ Husk style) 5-level PrCs. {note: style names may change}
Other material TBD; haven't decided if I'm actually going to write the Bladecraft-incarnum PrC, but if I do it'll probably be 10 levels.

I really, really hope I can fit everything I'm planning into the posts I've reserved. The 40k character limit is killer... If not, I'm going to have to create a new thread and reserve more posts! UGH.


--Tons of awesome--
...wow. You are insane and amazing. Insanamazing? Amazinsane? Whatever. You're it. It's your fault I'm running up against character limits, but I'll accept that headache as the price of inspiration. :smallamused:

I'm holding onto Bladestyle Gambit for something other than a feat, I think... but I'm not sure what, exactly. I'd never heard of Lady's Gambit, but it fits the theme really well. Maybe the Red Knight deserves her own PrC? Or maybe another artifact/relic/something? Not sure.

I'm also holding onto Bladecraft Animator, Necromancy Assault, and Vile Assault for the (newly-added-to-the-list) upcoming Dread Necromancer sub levels. Which will be called Animatrix of War, as referenced in the Rusted Blade writeup. :smallbiggrin:

JoshuaZ
2016-11-28, 03:35 PM
...wow. You are insane and amazing. Insanamazing? Amazinsane? Whatever. You're it. It's your fault I'm running up against character limits, but I'll accept that headache as the price of inspiration. :smallamused:

I'm flattered. You've also done a really good job editing my ideas into actually balanced, usable things.



I'm holding onto Bladestyle Gambit for something other than a feat, I think... but I'm not sure what, exactly. I'd never heard of Lady's Gambit, but it fits the theme really well. Maybe the Red Knight deserves her own PrC? Or maybe another artifact/relic/something? Not sure.

I'm not sure. A PrC that advanced divine spellcasting and had full BAB would make sense, but I don't have any obvious ideas for other class features.



I'm also holding onto Bladecraft Animator, Necromancy Assault, and Vile Assault for the (newly-added-to-the-list) upcoming Dread Necromancer sub levels. Which will be called Animatrix of War, as referenced in the Rusted Blade writeup. :smallbiggrin:

That's probably more thematically sensible than having separate feats. Looking forward to it.

VoodooPaladin
2016-11-28, 07:47 PM
I think Thunder Behind Clouds (and to a lesser extent, Meltwater Floods the Banks) is a bit silly. I mean, you slap some hillbilly ogre with your sheathed sword, he's going to think you just hit him with a stick for no damage. Not everyone would recognize the insult.

But I love the idea! Expert techniques are at a higher level of combat than most fighters can ever dream of - it makes a lot of sense for masters to have invented some techniques that work on the subconscious of a warrior, since they know it so well themselves. Perhaps Thunder Behind Clouds could be gated to have no effect upon those who don't know any blade techniques? (And again, to a lesser extent, Meltwater Floods the Banks?)

And while I'm at it, can I ask how Whirlwind on the Mountain is supposed to work? It says you can target a creature larger than you/holding a reach weapon, even if you don't threaten them - but under what conditions? Is it supposed to be that you can attack a creature that's threatening you, even if you don't threaten them? Or something more specific?

sirpercival
2016-11-28, 09:24 PM
I think Thunder Behind Clouds (and to a lesser extent, Meltwater Floods the Banks) is a bit silly. I mean, you slap some hillbilly ogre with your sheathed sword, he's going to think you just hit him with a stick for no damage. Not everyone would recognize the insult.

But I love the idea! Expert techniques are at a higher level of combat than most fighters can ever dream of - it makes a lot of sense for masters to have invented some techniques that work on the subconscious of a warrior, since they know it so well themselves. Perhaps Thunder Behind Clouds could be gated to have no effect upon those who don't know any blade techniques? (And again, to a lesser extent, Meltwater Floods the Banks?) I think Meltwater works fine - it's similar to the Taunt mechanic. As for Thunder, I feel like those that are too stupid to be insulted will still get enraged by the attacks - for the ogre, think of it like a bunch of bee stings. None of the attacks are going to actually injure it, but they will definitely piss it off.


And while I'm at it, can I ask how Whirlwind on the Mountain is supposed to work? It says you can target a creature larger than you/holding a reach weapon, even if you don't threaten them - but under what conditions? Is it supposed to be that you can attack a creature that's threatening you, even if you don't threaten them? Or something more specific? Oh, whoops, good catch! Yes, it's supposed to be someone that threatens you, but whom you do not threaten. I'll clarify (will be posted along with the next update).

VoodooPaladin
2016-11-29, 03:36 AM
As for Thunder, I feel like those that are too stupid to be insulted will still get enraged by the attacks - for the ogre, think of it like a bunch of bee stings. None of the attacks are going to actually injure it, but they will definitely piss it off.

Ah, I hadn't considered the annoyance factor. That makes more sense; thank you! While I was looking through, I also noticed that Jaguar's Caress doesn't specify a duration for the speed loss. Unintentional?

If I haven't said it before, I really like Bladecraft - it feels like you put a lot of thought and effort into it. I especially like the little things, like taking the time to recontextualize ToB as the 'science' to the Heron's 'art'. That really helps nip cognitive dissonance in the bud, at least for me.

sirpercival
2016-11-29, 11:32 AM
Ah, I hadn't considered the annoyance factor. That makes more sense; thank you! While I was looking through, I also noticed that Jaguar's Caress doesn't specify a duration for the speed loss. Unintentional? Yes, will clarify that as well.


If I haven't said it before, I really like Bladecraft - it feels like you put a lot of thought and effort into it. I especially like the little things, like taking the time to recontextualize ToB as the 'science' to the Heron's 'art'. That really helps nip cognitive dissonance in the bud, at least for me. Thanks, I'm glad you like it! The general response so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

sirpercival
2016-11-29, 01:38 PM
Hi all, I created a new thread here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?507496-Heron-Marked-The-Art-of-Bladecraft-(v2)) because I just needed more space. I'm going to lock this one.