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Storyteller_Arc
2018-07-20, 09:03 AM
MASTER OF THE BLURRED BLADE (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CwFtGK1r5_bdX-Nz_CPriZFQbU6hVez20ue-cgYJqRE/edit)

An Epic Tome of Battle Prestige Class in the vein of the infamous Librim Eternia (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?247756-Librim-Eternia-Tome-of-Epic-Prestige-(Completed)), this prestige classes, and future Prestige Classes, plan to do what Lbrim Eternia didn't do - and allow Epic Tome of Battle plays greater speciality in how they decide to play their characters. Instead of having a generic, flavourless pile of 'meh' that is Lord of Nine Blades.

Reviews would be very much appreciated, either on this thread or by commenting on the google doc itself. Much appreciated would also be suggestions for more flavour in regards to the class, and most especially suggestions for its Epic Feats, as each Librim Eternia PrC, except The Chosen, have several feats unique to that class, and I most certainly want to replicate that element as well.

Network
2018-07-31, 05:20 AM
Could you make a table for Focused Strike, to show how many maneuvers and stance are gained at each level? You could even have "Strike maneuvers known" and "Any maneuvers known" as separate columns to make it clear that at least half the maneuvers from the class must be strikes.

Furthermore, why give 1/2 base attack bonus for a martial class?

noob
2018-07-31, 10:34 AM
Actually he made a small naming mistake and meant epic attack bonus.
The epic attack bonus does not depends on the class and grows at a rate of 1 every 2 levels.
Also once you are in the epic levels you no longer gain the bab from the tables of your classes.
Or even weirder he knew it could be entered pre epic thanks to a feat (you can enter that class at level 19 with a feat and at level 17 if you also have a bard) and gave a bab value but forgot the saves.
I wonder how epic swordcasting looks like. Can you please make some epic swording spells?

Network
2018-08-01, 12:15 AM
Actually he made a small naming mistake and meant epic attack bonus.
The epic attack bonus does not depends on the class and grows at a rate of 1 every 2 levels.
Also once you are in the epic levels you no longer gain the bab from the tables of your classes.
This is based on Libram Eternia, which ignores the core books' rule on epic attack bonus. Instead, each epic class is given a base attack bonus progression. The rule on epic saving throw bonuses still applies.

Or even weirder he knew it could be entered pre epic thanks to a feat (you can enter that class at level 19 with a feat and at level 17 if you also have a bard) and gave a bab value but forgot the saves.
Like the classes from Libram Eternia on which it is based, it has a minimum entry level of 21 due to the skill restriction: "Skills: Martial Lore 23." (achievable on the 20th level). Libram Eternia assumes people will take a prestige class as soon as they go epic.

The maximum number of ranks in a skill is level +3 (so 23 ranks at 20th level). Bardic music gives a bonus on skills, it does not increase ranks.

noob
2018-08-01, 06:17 AM
This is based on Libram Eternia, which ignores the core books' rule on epic attack bonus. Instead, each epic class is given a base attack bonus progression. The rule on epic saving throw bonuses still applies.

Like the classes from Libram Eternia on which it is based, it has a minimum entry level of 21 due to the skill restriction: "Skills: Martial Lore 23." (achievable on the 20th level). Libram Eternia assumes people will take a prestige class as soon as they go epic.

The maximum number of ranks in a skill is level +3 (so 23 ranks at 20th level). Bardic music gives a bonus on skills, it does not increase ranks.

There is a feat who increase the maximum number of skill ranks up to level + 5
And with bardic music you can have temporary hit dice which can allow to train to have more skill ranks if you have a bard that plays 24h/24 during your training
Also there is a feat who gives a single rank into a skill and allows to get above maximum rank.
So I guess you did not learn a lot about stuff within non homebrew dnd 3.5 for increasing skill ranks.
I studied early entry and you did not study that field of dnd as much hard(you probably stopped at spell level based early entry).
your prc can be entered pre epic thanks to the first feat and can be entered two levels earlier thanks to the bard shenanigan and can be possibly entered one more level earlier with the second feat I mentioned and if you also have retraining shenanigans you can possibly get level 10 in that prc before epic

Network
2018-08-01, 11:44 PM
There is a feat who increase the maximum number of skill ranks up to level + 5
If you meant Laborious Training from Ravenloft - Legacy of the Blood, it is a 3rd party feat.

And with bardic music you can have temporary hit dice which can allow to train to have more skill ranks if you have a bard that plays 24h/24 during your training
Extremely cheesy. Inspire Greatness gives virtual HD, not true levels. If they were true levels, you'd become a 20th-level character and would need the experience points of a 21st-level character before taking a level in the class.

Also there is a feat who gives a single rank into a skill and allows to get above maximum rank.
Primary Contact (from Cityscape) gives a free skill rank in an associated skill of your organization. No RAW organization has Martial Lore as an associated skill, so the trick is GM-dependent. Taking the feat at 20th level would still require a shenanigan such as dark chaos shuffle.

Laborious Training and Primary Contact would also allow a character to fulfill the requirements for Cosmic Descryer, which is an official epic prestige class. But by RAW, the SRD also says that a character must be epic before taking a level in an epic prestige class:

These are classes that characters cannot pursue until they have already become epic characters in some other fashion.

noob
2018-08-02, 03:55 AM
Extremely cheesy. Inspire Greatness gives virtual HD, not true levels. If they were true levels, you'd become a 20th-level character and would need the experience points of a 21st-level character before taking a level in the class.
I am not directly taking a level in the class.
basically I gained a level and I decide to train with bardic music to get two more skill points in martial lore.
then after the bardic music ends I have 23 skill points in martial lore while being level 18.
afterwards I can start retraining my levels in levels of that prc until I have 10 levels in that prc and I am now 8 martial class levels/10 that prc or if there is no retraining I will have classes 18/ that prc 2 before level 20.
Without the bard trick I can even say "ok now I am level 20 I can start retraining levels into levels of that prc"
Furthermore in your document your class is not written as an epic prestige class you could add that descriptor.
Or even add a requirement that is really epic like ecl 21.
or I can get bitten by a werewolf and thus be epic for a short while then retrain old class levels into levels in that class(since the epic requirement only asks to be epic for pursuing the class and not for qualifying) and then get cured from being a werewolf and have ecl <21 and have levels in that class and still qualify for it since you only ask to be epic(the class is not even specifically written to be epic in its document) and have the right amount of skill points(and a trivial amount of maneuvers).
As long as you do not ask for ecl>=21 people can have levels in that epic class and qualify for it before being truly epic.(being epic temporarily through lycanthropy does not makes you have the malus in exp gain after you get cured and you only had to retrain while being a lycanthrope)

Temotei
2018-08-02, 04:28 AM
Does anyone actually do that in real games, noob? Anything like that would get banned at any table I've played at without a second glance. I'm not sure cheesy early entry tricks should be used to critique homebrew--certainly the only critique given shouldn't be "I can enter your class early with X trick so it's broken."

Especially when the class grants epic spellcasting for free even to noncasters at level 1.

noob
2018-08-02, 04:53 AM
Does anyone actually do that in real games, noob? Anything like that would get banned at any table I've played at without a second glance. I'm not sure cheesy early entry tricks should be used to critique homebrew--certainly the only critique given shouldn't be "I can enter your class early with X trick so it's broken."

Especially when the class grants epic spellcasting for free even to noncasters at level 1.

If it did not give epic spellcasting I would not bother to do early entry.

Temotei
2018-08-02, 05:41 AM
If it did not give epic spellcasting I would not bother to do early entry.

Why dance around the issue then? Epic spellcasting is broken and this class grants it for free to anyone with extra benefits at level 1 with no drawbacks other than it's limited to four seeds. That's a problem. The entry requirements by themselves are not a problem.

Network
2018-08-02, 09:29 AM
This is an homebrew based on Librim Eternia, so this is why it gives epic spellcasting. Note that Spectacular Finisher is a bit stronger than the epic abilities of the SRD, but at about the same level as the classes from Librim Eternia, so I think the class has the intended level of balance.

Not sure how Blurred Blade would combine with Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz (feats from PHB2), which give extra targets (and therefore extra attacks) when using Spring Attack. Without clarification, one could interpret "get a full attack" as applying to all targets (which can be up to 3 for Rapid Blitz). This interpretation is too good for a 1-level dip. My personal suggestion: add the restriction that the full attack is performed on one target. Instead of giving additional attacks, Bouding Assault and Rapid Blitz allow you to split the attacks between 2 or 3 targets respectively.

Cosi
2018-08-02, 07:50 PM
Giving out Epic Spellcasting for free is actually a good design decision. Epic Spellcasting is a minigame that makes you way better than anyone without access to it even if you use it in nominally fair ways. It needs to either not exist, or (as this class does) be given to everyone for free. Having the Cleric and Wizard get it while the Fighter and Rogue don't makes the game unbalanced even if you aren't doing the Solar Cascade. That's probably straight up the best idea in the class.

Moving on to the rest of the class:

Focused Strike: Shouldn't this stuff be part of the class table, like it is for other ToB PrCs? At least put in entries for stance/maneuver progression in the table. It also says you get something "at 6th level and every five levels after that", while the table only goes up to 10. Are we supposed to understand that this is a procedurally defined progression that extends forever?

Blurred Blade: First, this is real hard to do anything useful with. It only really does anything if you already have a way to move and full attack. Otherwise you're replacing your standard action attack with a strike you could use as a standard action. Second, unless the broader Lbrim Eternia project this is supposed to be a part of defines some extra maneuvers, I feel like this isn't good enough for Epic. The Wizard is probably throwing around Quickened wail of the banshee or something similarly insane. Getting to use elder mountain hammer and also make some basic attacks seems bad. I would suggest changing this to something that lets you use a strike to replace your whole full attack.

Combo Starter: This is cool. Resource management manipulation is never really bad. I do worry that this has the effect of making the character less interesting to play as it effectively turns every character into "alternate between your two best strikes". Not sure how to fix it. Maybe a stronger condition?

Bonus Feats: I'm too lazy to check if these are reasonable, so I assume they are.

Adrenaline Rush: So this is supposed to be how you use Blurred Blade? And also be a disruption tool I guess. I would probably move "take move actions whenever you want", "take extra move actions", and "strike after move action" to different places so the class flows better (e.g. get the extra moves at/before Blurred Blade).

Spectacular Finisher: This just seems like way too many words for "kill one guy". Also, when you phrase it that way, it stops being impressive because finger of death is a 7th level spell.

Overall, while I think giving Epic Spellcasting to everyone represents a good design direction, I'm not sure the rest of the class is bringing enough to the table for an Epic game.

KateHoll
2018-08-04, 05:25 AM
This is very useful information for me. Thank you very much for the link!

Storyteller_Arc
2018-10-02, 10:40 AM
... So, I hadn't subbed to my own thread, and I never noticed any of these replies until today... oops.

Storyteller_Arc
2018-10-02, 12:06 PM
This is an homebrew based on Librim Eternia, so this is why it gives epic spellcasting. Note that Spectacular Finisher is a bit stronger than the epic abilities of the SRD, but at about the same level as the classes from Librim Eternia, so I think the class has the intended level of balance.

Not sure how Blurred Blade would combine with Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz (feats from PHB2), which give extra targets (and therefore extra attacks) when using Spring Attack. Without clarification, one could interpret "get a full attack" as applying to all targets (which can be up to 3 for Rapid Blitz). This interpretation is too good for a 1-level dip. My personal suggestion: add the restriction that the full attack is performed on one target. Instead of giving additional attacks, Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz allow you to split the attacks between 2 or 3 targets respectively.

Bounding Assualt and Rapid Blitz don't work like that.

Bounding Assualt and Rapid Blitz simply allow you to make your 2nd and 3rd attack iterative attack during a Spring Attack. This PrC simply cuts out the middleman and lets you make a full-attack from the get-go.


Are we supposed to understand that this is a procedurally defined progression that extends forever?

It is based on Librim Eternia, yes.


Blurred Blade: First, this is real hard to do anything useful with. It only really does anything if you already have a way to move and full attack. Otherwise you're replacing your standard action attack with a strike you could use as a standard action.

... Did you miss the fact you can make a Full-Attack action with your Spring Attack now? All you need is 35ft movement speed and there you go. You can move, make a full-attack, and replace one of the attacks with a standard action strike.


Second, unless the broader Lbrim Eternia project this is supposed to be a part of defines some extra maneuvers, I feel like this isn't good enough for Epic. The Wizard is probably throwing around Quickened wail of the banshee or something similarly insane. Getting to use elder mountain hammer and also make some basic attacks seems bad. I would suggest changing this to something that lets you use a strike to replace your whole full attack.

Wail of the Banshee is a level 9 spell, that is a Death affect, and allows for a Fortitude Save to negate. Quickened Spell makes it a level 13 spell, which means it even more resource draining. This Prestige Class is about taking your Tome of Battle maneuvers, and allow you to use them in conjunction with full-attack actions. Which, quite frankly, opens up any martial characters to be doing significantly more damage than before. Especially as instead of 'Elder Mountain Hammer', you instead use stuff like Diamond Nightmare Blade, for 4x damage on an attack.


Combo Starter: This is cool. Resource management manipulation is never really bad. I do worry that this has the effect of making the character less interesting to play as it effectively turns every character into "alternate between your two best strikes". Not sure how to fix it. Maybe a stronger condition?

I'll change it so you can only grab a lower level strike. Means you have to decide whenever or not to just get weaker and weaker with your strikes, or take the time to hit the refresh button.


Spectacular Finisher: This just seems like way too many words for "kill one guy". Also, when you phrase it that way, it stops being impressive because finger of death is a 7th level spell.

Falls over laughing at the thought that Finger of Death would work at Epic levels

Network
2018-10-09, 01:29 AM
Bounding Assualt and Rapid Blitz don't work like that.

Bounding Assualt and Rapid Blitz simply allow you to make your 2nd and 3rd attack iterative attack during a Spring Attack. This PrC simply cuts out the middleman and lets you make a full-attack from the get-go.
Respectfully disagree on the RAW:

When using the Spring Attack feat, you designate two foes rather than one. Your movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from either of these foes. While using an attack action with the Spring Attack feat, you can make a second attack with a -5 penalty. You can use both attacks against one of the opponents targeted with this feat, or split your attacks between them.

You can designate a third target for your Spring Attack feat. In addition to the second attack you gain from your Bounding Assault feat, you can make a third attack with a -10 penalty.
With Bounding Assault, you designate 2 foes and have 2 attacks, which can be split or used against the same foe. With Rapid Blitz, you designate 3 foes and have a total of 3 attacks. The extra foes are useful for avoiding attacks of opportunity, even if no attack is made against them.

Blurred Blade says that you can use a "full-attack action" on a Spring Attack. A full attack is a serie of attack actions, and Bounding Assault gives 2 attacks per attack action, which by RAW would amount to allowing 2 full attacks per round (3 with Rapid Blitz). Your RAI is that Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz shouldn't give extra attacks for iterative attacks, isn't it? I suggest to add a line that says exactly how Blurred Blade interacts with Bounding Assault to avoid any confusion.

Storyteller_Arc
2018-10-09, 06:21 AM
... A full-attack action is not an attack action. Its a full-attack action.

Not even by RAW are you right.

noob
2018-10-09, 09:04 AM
Falls over laughing at the thought that Finger of Death would work at Epic levels

it is useful.
Step 1: cast your twinned irresistible transdimensional disjunction(because there is no dispelling such as overdispelling)
Step 2: cast 55555555555555555555555555 disintegrate to get rid of the varied cover and defenses and wards.
Step 3: cast a second twinned irresistible transdimensional disjunction.
step 4: your opponent probably only have type and class based immunities so you can possibly kill it with 55555555555555555555 fingers of death so that he fails a save by natural 1.
step 5 cast imprison and trap the soul alternatively until the opponent fails.
All that took less than one turn.

Storyteller_Arc
2018-10-09, 10:42 AM
it is useful.
Step 1: cast your twinned irresistible transdimensional disjunction(because there is no dispelling such as overdispelling)
Step 2: cast 55555555555555555555555555 disintegrate to get rid of the varied cover and defenses and wards.
Step 3: cast a second twinned irresistible transdimensional disjunction.
step 4: your opponent probably only have type and class based immunities so you can possibly kill it with 55555555555555555555 fingers of death so that he fails a save by natural 1.
step 5 cast imprison and trap the soul alternatively until the opponent fails.
All that took less than one turn.

... Yeah. No.

I'm not looking to compete with Pun Pun. That is nowhere near the standard level of Epic games.

Cosi
2018-10-09, 07:47 PM
... Did you miss the fact you can make a Full-Attack action with your Spring Attack now? All you need is 35ft movement speed and there you go. You can move, make a full-attack, and replace one of the attacks with a standard action strike.

Yeah, I missed that bit. That's fair, and makes the ability more reasonable.


Wail of the Banshee is a level 9 spell, that is a Death affect, and allows for a Fortitude Save to negate. Quickened Spell makes it a level 13 spell, which means it even more resource draining.

If you're an Epic level caster, you've presumably got enough cheese going on that those costs are not significant. And, yeah, there are defenses against it. There are defenses against maneuvers too, and it hits multiple enemies.


This Prestige Class is about taking your Tome of Battle maneuvers, and allow you to use them in conjunction with full-attack actions. Which, quite frankly, opens up any martial characters to be doing significantly more damage than before. Especially as instead of 'Elder Mountain Hammer', you instead use stuff like Diamond Nightmare Blade, for 4x damage on an attack.

Why do you think martial characters have a problem with damage output? It's trivial to make a martial character who can hit any particular level of damage output you care to name without needing anything extra. The added mobility the class gives is something, but the damage potential is largely irrelevant.


I'll change it so you can only grab a lower level strike. Means you have to decide whenever or not to just get weaker and weaker with your strikes, or take the time to hit the refresh button.

That's a lot more reasonable.


Falls over laughing at the thought that Finger of Death would work at Epic levels

The point isn't that finger of death itself is useful, it's that "kill a dude" is not a Epic effect -- it is a 13th level effect, because that is when you can use finger of death. Yes, "use all your strikes" is more impressive sounding than finger of death, but it's not actually a more impressive effect. It's still killing one guy. A 17th level caster is looking at AoE death effects, and you're not even supposed to be threatened by those guys at the point where you get this.

Of course, it's also worth pointing out that this class's abilities don't actually help you defend against finger of death, except some applications of Epic Spellcasting. None of the stuff about hitting someone with a strike and also some regular attacks, or hitting one guy with lots and lots of strikes, or moving around more is really helping you deal with the stuff that makes a 13th level martial non-competitive.

Storyteller_Arc
2018-10-10, 02:30 AM
Stop.

Comparing.

This class.

To cheesy, abusive, fully optimized casters.

This class is designed to support Martials in Epic Games. It is not designed to be a magical fix to the ****ing game itself

JBPuffin
2018-10-10, 08:21 PM
Stop.

Comparing.

This class.

To cheesy, abusive, fully optimized casters.

This class is designed to support Martials in Epic Games. It is not designed to be a magical fix to the ****ing game itself

But youíre creating an Epic Prestige class - everything at the level of play youíre designing for us either an epic spellcaster or, tbh, utterly abandoned by the horse they rode in on. You donít even need to be that high-op to render martials useless before epic, much less when you have a BYO spell system which can be cracked over your knee like a charred twig. As much as you want to salvage the olí initiator classes from their inevitable fate (and epic spell casting certainly helps), not comparing them to their future teammates is a disservice to the class, even if it does let you win the argument.

Storyteller_Arc
2018-10-11, 02:30 AM
I am not trying to salvage the initiator at Epic Levels.

I am not trying to make a Prestige Class that magically thinks a systematic problem between Martials and casters.

I am not interested in hearing about people bitching and whining about casters.

I am here. To make a Strike-Focused alternative. To Librim Eternia's Lord of Nine Blades. That, is what you should be comparing this class to. As well as the other prestige classes from Librim Eternia.

Kapskaen
2018-10-11, 09:43 PM
As a staunch supporter of both Librim Eternia (literally every one of my games that've gone into epic have replaced the 'base' Epic level progression with levels of Chosen unless the player either wants a different PrC/EPrC, or has a real good reason not to), and Tome of Battle, I've gotta say that I really do like this class. I've got an Epic level Blade Scholar myself, and was underwhelmed by Lord of Nine Blades, taking only a single level of it for the free maneuvers and stances at 1st. This class, however, is actually interesting.

I'll admit that I'm not the greatest when it comes to balancing things, so I can't really offer much of an opinion as to that. That said, what critique I can give is as follows:
Focused Strike: This ability actually gives you a reason to continue levelling in this class beyond a dip, and still allows you to take non-Strike maneuvers to shore up your toolkit, which is good. I don't object to 'one out of every two must be a Strike' because a) that's your intended focus, and b) over 50% of all maneuvers are Strikes anyways, so you're not short on options. Gaining access to additional disciplines is also nice. Also, unlike a lot of other takes, you also grant additional readied maneuvers, which are an absolute must, because there's nothing worse than having a huge pile of options, and picking only a tiny handful of them.
Blurred Blade: Being able to replace an attack of a full attack with a Strike? Absolutely. You may want to specify that said Strike must include making a single attack as part of it's action, otherwise people will abuse it with Time Stands Still or similar. Being able to Full Attack with Spring Attack? Absolutely. I would rule that using Bounding Assault and Rapid Blitz with your Spring Attack'd Full Attack would grant you additional attacks (like a Speed weapon), but would not add attacks to a 'normal' full attack.
Combo Starter: Expend a maneuver, and 1/round ready another lower level one? I like it. Presumably, it replaces the readied 'slot' of the one you just expended until such time as you refresh and reset everything.
Adrenaline Rush: A free move action is a nice thing for melee to have. And with it being limited to per encounter, it forces you to decide whether you want to use is to press the attack, or as an emergency 'Get out of dodge' card for when your AC and/or save bonus isn't high enough
Spectacular Finisher: This is the only ability I'm not sure about. I get the concept of it, being a 'You there! I'm going to hit you until you stop moving.' technique, but the problem I've encountered in Epic play is that it is way, way too easy to raise your AC, and way harder to raise your attack bonus. Also, after the fact, you can't use any of your special techniques for the rest of the encounter, and in fact may be helpless for 3 rounds immediately after, depending on what you mean by 'cannot take any actions'. I honestly don't know what should be changed or how to fix it, but as someone whose worn both the DM and PC hats, I can't say I like it.

I haven't read through the feats, so I can't offer opinion on those, but I may come back to do that later.