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View Full Version : Knight of the Word (A Truenaming/ToB prestige class for 3.5) PEACH



JoshuaZ
2019-02-20, 08:56 PM
Before we get to the class, note that this does not use the Tome of Magic Truenaming class. Instead I've made two versions of the class, one which uses Kellus's Way Words Work fix (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?90961-The-Way-Words-Work-(or-Truenaming-that-doesn-t-make-me-cry-myself-to-sleep-at-night)), and the other uses the Book of Words fix (https://www.scribd.com/document/20615649/Truenamer-Homebrew?campaign=SkimbitLtd&ad_group=66663X1511838X998cdb3a60447eb3af004bf30bb 9b3d9&keyword=660149026&source=hp_affiliate&medium=affiliate). For each class feature, if there are differences between the two, I list what the class feature does for both. Given that this is supposed to work for two different homebrew systems, there may be a lot of balance issues and mechanical details that need work. So any feedback will be very appreciated. Here is:

Knight of the Word

""With my Blade, I stand for the Word. With my voice and my blade, I shall protect the innocent, help the poor. Neither my mouth nor my blade will be silent against evil. If I fall, another shall take my place, for I am but a fragment of the eternal echo of the words of creation."
- The oath of the Order of the Word Made Steel. the most well known formal order of Knights of the Word. " .

A Knight of the Word studies the truenames not of people and objects as much as they study the truenames of the martial maneuvers. According some oral traditions, the basics of this idea dated back to one of the Diamond Mind apprentices who survived the fall of the Temple of Nine Swords. But scattered records suggest that attempting to find the truenames of maneuvers may have been much older; some have claimed that Reshar himself studied the basic methods and techniques, but this claim is likely more motivated by the tendency for many forms of martial adepts to believe that their techniques and traditions go back to that sage than any motivation of sober historical analysis. Regardless of the actual history, the skill and power of those who follow the ways of the Knights of the Word is undeniable.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Truenaming: Able to use an utterance.
Martial maneuvers: Able to use a martial maneuver of at least second level. Able to use two martial stances.
Skills: 5 ranks in Martial Lore, 8 ranks in Truenaming.
Feats: Way of the Sublime Word (detailed below).


You can combine your skill with a blade with your truenaming abilities.
Way of the Sublime Word
Prerequisites: Able to use a first level utterance, able to use a first level maneuever.
Benefit:You count all truenaming advancing classes as adding their full level for purposes of determining initiator levels. You count all initiating classes as truenamer levels for purposes of determining your effective level of truenaming (or levels in whatever class you have truenaming from). These abilities applies to the numerical effects and similar aspects of initiating and truenaming, not your effective level for learning utterances or maneuvers and similar features. Finally, you treats Martial Lore and Truenaming as class skills for all classes; if you previously spent either as a cross-class skill, they immediately gain skill points back as if they had been spent as a class skill.

Note: If using The Way Words Work, this feat has the descriptor.


Class Skills
The Knight of the Word's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Jump(Str), Knowledge(any)) (Int), Martial Lore (Int), Ride(dex), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).
Additionally, you treat any skill as a class skill if you have any maneuver which has that skill as a key skill.

Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

Hit Dice: d6


[tr]
Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special
Truenaming


1st
+1
+2
+0
+0
Know the Name-Know the Maneuver, Martial maneuvers, Martial Nomenclature
+1 to existing truenaming class


2nd
+2
+3
+0
+0
Stance of Iron Phrasing
+1 to existing truenaming class


3rd
+3
+3
+1
+1
Name the Stance
+1 level of existing truenaming class


4th
+4
+4
+1
+1
Nomenclature of Steel
+1 level of existing truenaming class


5th
+5
+4
+1
+1
Bonus feat
+1 level of existing truenaming class


6th
+6
+5
+2
+2
Repeated Martial Nomenclature
+1 level of existing truenaming class


7th
+7
+5
+2
+2
Way of Words Unyielding
+1 level of existing truenaming class


8th
+8
+6
+2
+2
Call Upon Many Names
+1 level of existing truenaming class


9th
+9
+6
+3
+3
Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature
+1 level of existing truenaming class


10th
+10
+7
+3
+3
Name of the Maneuver Not Yet Known, Perfect Martial Nomenclature, Supreme Synthesis
+1 level of existing truenaming class




Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Knight of the Word is proficient in all simple and martial weapons as well as light and medium armor.

Truenaming: At every level when a new Knight of the Word level is gained, the character gains one level in a truenamer class they already had a level in.

If using the the Book of Words, this means they increase their truenamer level for purposes of number of utterances known, which lexicons they have access to, and what level utterances they may use, as well as any features which depend on their effective truenamer level.

If using The Way Words Work, they learn additional vocalizations as if they had gained a level in any one truenaming class they have previously gained levels in that can use recitations. These levels stack with previous levels to determine their truenamer level. They also have their absolute limit increase at every level of Knight of the Word (even second level, where the truenaming does not otherwise increase). When they gain the first level of Knight of the Word they choose a single ability score that is the primary initiating modifier for at least one martial discipline they know at least one maneuver in; once this choice has been made it cannot be changed. At each level, their absolute limit increases by 2+ this ability modifier.

Martial Maneuvers: A Knight of the Word gain one additional martial maneuver at every even level. These martial maneuvers may be drawn from the Diamond Mind, the Broken Blade (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?122533-The-Broken-Blade-(3-5-ToB-Discipline)-PEACH), or any other discipline which they have at least one maneuver from. They gain one additional stance at 3,6 and 9, with the same rules as for maneuvers. Finally, they gain one additional maneuver readied at 4 and 8. Levels of Knight of the Word add fully to their total initiator level.

Know the Name-Know the Maneuver(ex): Whenever a Knight of the Word learns a maneuver, they automatically learn the maneuver's truename. Whenever a Knight of the Word would make a martial lore check to recognize a maneuver which they already know, they may make a truename check at the same DC. If either check succeeds, they recognize the maneuver. The truename check can only recognize the specific maneuver; this ability cannot be used to learn what other disciplines an individual has access to. Other class features such as Martial Nomenclature below involve using these truenames. Note: If using the Way Words Work, then a Knight of the Word adds their Knight of the Word class level to all truename checks made as part of a class feature, including this one.

Martial Nomeclaturer(ex):
At first level, when a Knight of the Word uses a maneuver they may attempt a truename check with DC equal to 15 + twice the maneuver's level. This s part of the activation of the maneuver; if the maneuver is occurring out of turn. If the Knight of the Word succeeds on the check they treat their initiator level as 2 higher for purposes of that maneuver and you add your class level as a bonus to any attack rolls made with that maneuver as well as a bonus to any skill checks made as part of the maneuver. If this truename check fails they get a -2 penalty to initiator level for the maneuver and they take a -4 penalty to attack rolls made with the maneuver. This may means they do not have sufficiently high initiator level to initiate the maneuver, in which case the maneuver is expended and the action essentially wasted. Note that if the maneuver requires an attack to initiate, that attack still occurs.

In the Book of Words system, the Law of Resistance does apply to this truename check, with this being considered the name of the new maneuver in question. Thus, the Knight of the Word increase the DC for each time they have used this ability for the same maneuver.

Stance of Iron Phrasing(ex): At 2nd level, a Knight of the Word gain a special stance, the Stance of Iron Phrasing. For all purposes, this is a stance not from any particular discipline and is of first level. When in this stance the Knight get a +4 bonus to truenaming checks. Also, while in this stance you get an additional +4 bonus to truenaming checks when naming a being who currently has damage from a martial maneuver you have used.

Name the Stance(ex): At third level, a Knight of the Word may attempt to call upon the true name of a stance they wish to adopt. They may make a truename check as a free action to switch to a new stance. The DC of this truename check is 15 + three times level of stance. A Knight may attempt to use this ability at most once a round whether or not successful. Note that if you are using the in Book of Words, the Law of Resistance applies, treating each time the Knight name a specific stance as a separate use subject to Law of Resistance.

Nomenclature of Steel (ex): The closer to perfectly you can name a strike, the more deadly and precise your strikes become. At fourth level, a Knight of the Word learns to even more precisely name maneuvers. Whenever they use the Martial Nomenclature ability, for every 5 they exceed the DC on, they get an additional +1 bonus to any associated attack rolls, to a maximum of their Knight of the Word class level.

Bonus feat: At fifth level, the Knight of the Word gains a bonus feat. This bonus may be any feat that has a martial maneuver or martial maneuvers as a prerequisite or a fighter bonus feat. If using the Book of Words, then this may be any feat that has some number of ranks in truenaming as a prerequisite. If using the Way Words Work, this may be any feat that has the [truename] description.

Repeated Martial Nomenclature (ex) At 6th level, a Knight of the Word may attempt to name a maneuver they have previously used and is not currently refreshed. To do so, you make a Truename check with DC equal to that of Martial Nomenclature plus 5. If they succeed, they use the maneuver as if it were readied and they also gain same bonuses they would get as if they had succeeded at Martial Nomenclature. If they fail at the making the check, they may not use Repeated Martial Nomenclature again on the same maneuver for the remainder of the encounter.


Way of Words Unyielding(ex) As a Knight of the Word progresses they begin to learn how to combine their martial training with their knowledge of truenames to more effectively resist both. At 7th level a Knight gets a +1 bonus to all saves against martial maneuvers, which becomes +2 if they know the maneuver themselves. They also get a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made to initiate martial maneuvers or made as part of a martial maneuver; this bonus becomes +2 if it is a maneuver known them.

This ability adds 5 name resistance against hostile truename effects , treating name resistance as zero if they have no name resistance. If using the Book of Words, this also adds a +2 bonus to saves against truenaming effects. If using The Way Words Work, this ability also adds three times your initiator level to your effective total hit points for purposes of which utterances can affect you.

Call Upon Many Names (ex) At eighth level, a Knight of the Word learns how to simultaneously assume multiple stances by calling upon their truenames. To attempt to use this ability, a Knight of the Word must make as a swift action make a truename check with DC 15 + twice levels of every stance they are currently in + twice the level of a stance they are not currently in . If they succeed they gain the benefits of the extra stance in addition to any other stances they are already in, and this lasts for 1 minute or until you change any active stances. If the Knight fail at this check, they cease to be in any stances until they use a swift action to resume stances as usual.

Note that this is naming the new stance for purposes of the law of resistance for Book of Words, and combines with any resistance incurred by Name the Stance.

Yes, the wording here is weird because it mentions being in more than one stance. This is primarily to deal with abilities which already allow more than one stance simultaneously, such as the Master of Nine's Dual Stance. And yes, this means that if your truename check is high enough get very large numbers of simultaneous stances for a brief period of time. But you'll be spending many swift actions to do so, and if you fail any of the checks, you lose them all.

Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature (ex) At 9th level, a Knight of the Word may attempt to name a maneuver they know but do not have readied. To do so, you make a Truename check with DC equal to that of Martial Nomenclature plus 10. If they succeed, they use the maneuver as if it were readied and they also gain same bonuses they would get as if they had succeeded at Martial Nomenclature. If they fail at the making the check, they may not use Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature again on the same maneuver for the remainder of the encounter.

Name of the Maneuver Not Yet Known (ex): At 10th level, a Knight of the Word may learn the truenames of maneuvers whe the maneuver is not one they are themselves capable of performing. When they gain this ability, a Knight of the Word immediately gains the truenames of 8 maneuvers of their choice from any disciplines. These maneuvers must be of levels no higher than the highest level manuever they can use. Also, twice the level of the maneuver must not exceed the minimum of their ranks in Truenaming and ranks in Martial Lore.

Learning the truenames this way does not give one the usual knowledge of the ability to perform the maneuver. They may once an encounter use this ability to attempt to perform a maneuver they do not know. To do so, you make a Truename check with DC equal to that of Martial Nomenclature plus 15. If they succeed, they use the maneuver as if it were readied and they also gain same bonuses they would get as if they had succeeded at Martial Nomenclature. Being able to perform a maneuver this way does not count as knowing the maneuver for prerequisite purposes such as for feats, class features, or learning other maneuvers.

A Knight of the Word may learn the truenames of additional maneuvers for maneuvers where they are not capable of using regularly using one of four mechanisms detailed below. However, they cannot at any time know more truenames of maneuvers they do not know than the minimum of their ranks in Martial Lore and ranks in Truenaming.

First, whenever they learn to actually use a maneuver, if it is a maneuver which they do know the truename of, they may immediately learn the truename of additional maneuver. This new maneuver must be of level no higher than the level of the maneuver in question.

Second, whenever they gain a class level where they put at least one skill point in Truenaming and one skill point in Martial Lore, they may immediately learn one truename of a maneuver of their choice, subject to the same restrictions as above.

Third, they may learn the truename from anyone who knows the truename already, either from this class feature, or from some other class feature which grants the names of the maneuver such as Know the Name-Know the Maneuver. Doing this requires eight hours of martial training and pronounciation discussion, at the end of which they one learning makes two checks, a Martial Lore check and a Truename check. The DCs for each of these is 20 more than the equivalent Martial Nomenclature DC. However, you get a +2 bonus to the checks if you know at least one maneuver already in that discipline, and you get an additional +2 to the check if you would otherwise meet the requirements for learning that maneuver (such as having enough maneuvers of the relevant discipline to meet that manuevers prerequisites). Failing either of these checks means one fails to learn the maneuver; one may try again.

Fourth, they may learn the truename from simply observing a maneuver being used once. This works exactly like the third way above but the DCs are increased by an additional 15.

Finally, note that no matter, what, one cannot use this ability to discover the truename of an epic martial maneuver. Such maneuvers truenames are so complicated and subtle that there is no known way for a mortal martial adept to discover their truenames without fully understanding and being able to practice the maneuver themselves.


Perfect Martial Nomenclature(ex): At 10th level, when a Knight of the Word succeeds at using Martial Nomenclature, for every 7 they succeed at they may do one of the following: 1) Increase the save DC by 1 (they may take this option multiple times) 2) Increase extra damage by 25% (they may take this option multiple times) 3) Replace any energy damage with another type of energy damage (if they choose this twice the energy damage instead becomes untyped).

Supreme Synthesis(ex) At 10th level, a Knight of the Word reaches the pinnacle of combining truenaming with martial combat.

If using the Book of Words, whenever they would learn a martial maneuver they may choose to instead learn an utterance whose level is of level no higher than the highest level maneuver they know can learn and whose level is no higher than their highest level utterance known; This applies to the specific lexicon in question; for example if they know third level utterances in the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind and second level utterance from the Lexicon of the Crafted Tool, they may use this to learn an utterance of third level or lower from the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind or an utterance of second level or lower from the Lexicon of the Crafted Tool. The chosen utterance must also not be of level higher than the highest level maneuver they would be able to learn with that opportunity.

If using the Book of Words, whenever they would learn an utterance, they may instead choose to learn a martial maneuver. The martial maneuver must be of a level no higher than the highest level maneuver they know and must be of a discipline they in which they know at least one maneuver, and must be of level no higher than the highest level utterance they would be able to learn with that opportunity.

If using The Way Words Work, whenever they would learn a martial maneuver they may choose to instead learn an utterance or incantation whose level is of level no higher than the highest level maneuver they know, and not higher than the highest level maneuver they could use using this opportunity to learn a maneuver. If used to learn an utterance, the utterance learned must be of level no higher than the highest level utterance known. If used to learn an incantation, the incantation learned must be of level no higher than the highest level incantation known. If they have levels in Lexeme, they may also when they would gain an additional readied maneuver choose to instead increase by one their number of unique utterances daily.

If using the Way Words work, whenever they would learn an utterance, incantation, or recitation, they may instead choose to learn a martial maneuver. The martial maneuver must be of a level no higher than the highest level maneuver they know and must be of a discipline they in which they know at least one maneuver, and must be of level no higher than the highest level utterance, incantation or recitation they would have been able to learn using that opportunity to learn a vocalization.



Playing a Knight of the Word

A Knight of the Word can, like many who have access to both magic and combat ability, in a wide variety of ways. Some Knights may use their power to protect the innocent; they will often be drawn to the Order of the Word May Steel (see below). Others may be more interested in their own personal advancement or power. A Knight of the Word may be just as mercenary anyone else. But given a Knight's interest in truenaming, they are likely to be less hesitant to lie, or to break an oath than others.

Combat: A Knight of the Word in combat will play like a general gish with a focus on martial adepts. The main combat difference is that they are unlikely to have many direct battlefield control options since few maneuvers or truename effects fall into that category. Since both truename fixes are still less powerful overall than standard arcane spellcasting, most of the time a Knight of the Word will likely be slightly less strong in practice than a Jade Phoenix Mage. However, a Knight of the Word that is high level enough that they can use maneuvers without readying them may end up proving very powerful if they have the right maneuvers readied.

Advancement: A Knight of the Word will be interested in both improving their own martial skill as well as their own understanding and ability with Truenaming. They may seek out ancient lore just as a truenamer might, or powerful magical artifacts. Given the capstone ability, a high level Knight of the Word can easily advance either in truenaming or in a martial class while continuing to advance their power in the other. Master of Nine is a good potential prestige class for them to consider. If using the Way Words Work, the Word Warrior prestige class may be useful, and most knights will qualify for it with no effort.


Resources: A Knight of the Word will have two separate sources of potential resources to turn to, truenaming organizations and organizations associated with the Sublime Way or other martial ability. Separate from those, they may turn to others who have traveled down similar paths, and relevant organizations are detailed below.

Knights of Word in the world

"They can do amazing things with a sword, even more so than some of those other strange people who practice what they call the Sublime Way. Even stranger is how they apparently do so while screaming nonsense syllables. But at least they aren't involved in necromancy. " - Telfana Silverblade, an elven paladin.

Knights of the Word have been around since at least shortly after the fall of the Temple of Nine Swords. Since then, they have spread out to many areas. In fact, the spread of the Knights of the Word and their techniques may has also helped spread the general knowledge of truenaming.

Daily Life: Knights of the Word constantly hone both their skill with the blade and their truename ability. At the same time, some of them adventure, either to help others, or to search out lost secrets of truenaming, or to further various obscure theories about the nature of truenames of maneuvers.

Notables:
Telen Feltenthal (LG, Human male Truenamer 2/Swordsage 3/Knight of the Word 10) is the current Master of the Order of the Word May Steel (see below). He is dedicated to the Order's goals and to helping out those weaker than he is. He believes that the Order can be a role model for both masters of the Sublime Way and to Truenamers for the good they can use with their powers.

Alina of the Shining Blade (LG, Half-elf female Truenamer 1/Swordsage 4/ Knight of the Word 8) is the second in command of the Order of the Word May Steel. She does not fully agree with how Telen is running the order, believing that they can cause more good if instead of working as individuals the knights work as bodyguards and protectors for hire, and then donate the money to charitable causes. Alina's position is one which more and more members of the order are seeing as reasonable, much to Telen and some of the old-guard's concern. No direct confrontation has occurred, because at the end of it all, Alina and Telen understand that they have the same goals, and Telen is completely confident that Alina would sooner die than disobey his orders as long as those orders are not obviously evil.

Belazar of the Everspeaking Blades (N, Human male Truenamer 1/Warblade 4/ Knight of the Word 5) is the head of the mercenary group the Everspeaking Blades (see below). He is famous for having one rule: Once bought, he stays bought. Recently, Belazar came into direct conflict with some members of the Order, which resulted in his loss and the death of one his apprentices. He is itching for a rematch but he will not go out of his way to confront them unless someone is paying him.

Teralasan (NE Human necropolitan female Truenamer 1/Swordsage 4/Knight of the Word 10/Master of Nine 4) is probably the most powerful Knight of the Word in existence. If some stories are accurate, Teralasan was actually at the Fall of the Temple of Nine, but on the side of the attackers. Others say that she was at the Fall but that she actually betrayed the Temple's forces at a crucial moment, allowing the victory of the attacking horde. Teralasan has at least once claimed that she actually taught Reshar, but most people consider this to be a boastful lie. She is apparently fanatically dedicated to honing her own skills. She has been known to hunt down a specific master of the Sublime Way and challenge them to a duel to the death with no provocation. Then she may go to another master and calmly offer to exchange information and knowledge. What her actual agenda is and whether she is fully sane are both open questions.

Talvinel Getorix of the Family of Getorix, (N, Human Truenamer 2/Swordsage 3/Knight of the Word 10/Fiendbinder 1). Talvinel is one of the current heads of the Society of the Unspoken Nine. Talvinel has a strong focus on the goals of the society. In the past he has used his aristocratic background and family connections to search for the most elusive of truename lore. As he has exhausted a large part of his family fortune, he has only recently turned towards trafficking with beings from the lower planes to gain further information. Currently, only a few select members of the Society have begun to suspect that he has engaged in such risky activity.

Organizations: There are three organizations of Knights of the Word that are of note. The most notable is the The Order of the Word Made Steel. The Order is functionally an order of Knighthood in the classical sense. They take seriously the idea in many religions and traditions that the entire universe was created with a Word. They believe that some Ultimate Divinity, far beyond any of the gods people know today created the world with a single Word, and that Word has echoed through time, constantly recreating and renewing the world around us. The Order is dedicated to following that the echoes of that Word are cared for and honored, for all souls have some echo of that first Word. They are dedicated to helping protect the innocent and engage in charitable works. While the Order is willing to work with people of many faiths and walks of life, in practice members of many standard religions are uncomfortable working with their ecumenical outlook. The Order of the Word Made Steel is willing to work with all sorts of people, but membership itself is only offered to those who have training in both truenaming and the Sublime Way and who are in the judgment of the heads of the order a good enough person to deserve membership.

The Society of the Unspoken Nine is substantially less interested in helping others.
The Society is dedicated to the belief that there are not just truenames of individual maneuvers, but truenames of entire martial disciplines. They are dedicated to finding those truenames. Most Knights of the Word consider the Society to be at best misguided, with their idea conflicting with how truenames fundamentally work. Critics of the society argue that, to a large extent, disciplines are organized for convenience, teaching, and commonality of theme, technique and history, not because they reflect overarching facets of the universe as a whole. Still, the Society struggles onwards, trying to study all the myriad truenamess. The Society has some overlapping membership with the Order, but for the most part, the Society's strange beliefs and relentless focus on finding the most esoteric aspects of truename magic or martial lore makes it difficult for one to balance the competing interests of the two organizations.

The Everspeaking Blade is a mercenary company which sells their skills to the highest bidders. Their are only six core members who have mastered the skills to be a Knight of the Word, but currently many members are in training to eventually reach that level of ability. The Everspeaking Blades have a policy that they are willing to be hired out to more than one client at a time, but that any group will always include at least one Knight of the Word. Frequently, individual Knights are hired as bodyguards, but sometimes groups are hired with a Knight as the leader, and some of the jobs they have been hired for have been substantially less than savory.



Knights of the Word in the Game

A Knight of the Word will function in the game substantially close to a truenamer or a martial adept, depending on which side they have emphasized. They will often have more outside combat abilities than a strict martial adept, and the large number of both effects they will have at ready will make them more easily

Adaptation: Most settings how the Knights are adapted will depend in part on how common Truenaming and the Sublime Way are presented in the setting. Closely connected, how the Order and Society are adapted may influence how Knights of the Word are generally presented.

In the Eberron, the Society might be associated with groups interested in exploring Xen'drik, hoping to find lost secrets of truenaming. The Order might be more directly connected with a specific religion or nation, possibly connected to Thrane.

In Forgotten Realms, the Knights of the Word may be closely associated with and venerate Oghma. The Order may be more strongly associated with Mystra as a good-leaning interest in magic. Similarly, the Society may be associated with Mystra or Azuth.

In Golarion, Knights of the Word may be found among other groups which are generally interested in knowledge, such as the Pathfinder Society and the Magaambya. The Society might strike a delicate balance, being allied with both the Pathfinder Society and the Aspis Consortium both of whom have some interest in studying secrets. The Society might also be interested in ancient Thassilon if they have reason to think their study of rune magic touched upon truenames.

Encounters: PCs might encounter a Knight of the Word in a variety of circumstances. If the PCs are creating disturbances, the Order might send someone or a group out to deal with them. In the other direction, the PCs might be enlisted by the Order to help deal with some terrible evil. If a specific PC has become renowned for their combat ability, a Knight of the Word might seek them out either to learn from them, or possibly to duel them. The PCs might also encounter a Knight from the Society after some ancient tome of truename magic.

Knight of the Word feats
Note: If using The Way Words Work then each of these feats has the [truename] descriptor. If a feat is explicitly marked with that descriptor then it is only a feat for the Way Words Work system.

Light of the Word, Light of Steel
Few understand the power of truenames. Few have the patience to engage in the delicate art of the sublime way. And few are called to be paladins. You are in that very rare intersection.
Prerequisites: Lay on hands class feature. Able to use a first level utterance. Able to use a martial maneuver. Paladin level 2.
Benefit: This feat has four benefits. First you add any levels in paladin as full levels for purposes of calculating your martial initiator level, rather than half levels. Second, you count paladin levels for purposes of calculating your effective truenamer level. Third, you count any martial initiator or truename advancing levels as levels of paladin for purposes of both lay on hands and for calculating the caster level of your paladin spells. Fourth, you may freely multiclass between paladin, any truename associated class and any martial initiating class.
Special: If you become a blackguard, you may immediately trade this feat out for Way of the Broken Word.
Note that while most people with this feat belong to the Order of the Word Made Steel, they do not have to be associated with the Order to have this feat.


Martial Recital [Truename]
Your use of recitations is so smooth and fluid you can recite even as you change stances.
Prerequisites: Martial Lore 5 ranks, Truenaming 5 ranks. Able to use a first level recitation. Able to use a martial stance.
Benefit: You may use the same swift action you use to maintain a recitation to change martial stance. Also, you get a +2 bonus to any truename check to begin a recitation if you have used any martial strike, boost or counter since the start of your last turn.

Way of the Broken Word
There is power in words and oaths. But there is power in foresaken oaths as well.
Prerequisites: Able to use a first level utterance. Able to use a martial maneuver. Blackguard 1st level.
Benefit: This feat has three benefits. This feat has three benefits. First you add any levels in blackguard as full levels for purposes of calculating your martial initiator level, rather than half levels. Second, you count blackguard levels for purposes of calculating your effective truenamer level. Third, you count any martial initiator or truename advancing levels as levels of blackguard for purposes of calculating the caster level of your spells.

JoshuaZ
2019-02-20, 08:58 PM
Knight of the Word Items and Artifacts

New weapon special property:

Wordbound A Wordbound weapon has special glyphs engraved into it. Each glyph corresponds to a separate weapon special ability, each equivalent to a +1 bonus. The glyphs are arranged in a specific order. On a blade this generally has the lowest order glyph at the base of the blade with the higher order glyphs further up the blade (if the weapon is not bladed, they may be arranged differently but in some clearly ordered fashion). Anyone can make a DC 15 truenaming check to identify each glyph and what special ability it corresponds to. Activating any of the glyphs requires making a successful truenaming check as a move action. The first glyph requires making a DC 15 truenaming check, the next with a DC 18, then 21 and so on. Once a glyph is activated, it has a maximum of 10 rounds before it deactivates, but rounds where a glyph higher in the order are active do not count against this maximum. When a given glyph is active, the weapon has the benefits of the corresponding weapon special ability. When at least one glyph is active the bearer gets a +1 bonus on all attack rolls. Someone may attempt to activate more than one glyph simultaneously in which case the DC to activate is the DC of the highest ordered glyph they wish to activate +10. For example if they wish to activate the first three glyphs the DC would be 21+10=31.

A Wordbound weapon costs 20% less than a weapon with the same regular special abilities. Making a Wordbound weapon requires the same requirements as making the same weapon but also requires someone with at least as many ranks in truenaming as the caster level of the weapon. Each glyph on a Wordbound weapon counts as a +1 for determining its maximum bonus such as whether the item can be crafted pre-epic and whether it can crafted as an epic weapon.

Wordbound weapons are most commonly used by the Order of the Word Made Steel, who originally developed Wordbound weapons as a way of making Martial Discipline weapons more cheaply but other Knights of the Word and even other truenamers with interest in martial combat have learned to make them.

The Blade of Stolen Words (Major artifact)

The Blade of Stolen words is a +1 Ghost Touch, Martial Discipline (Narrow Bridge (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?113982-The-Narrow-Bridge-(3-5-undeath-themed-ToB-discipline)) Bastard sword. Whenever any being takes damage from the Blade, the Blade whisper's that being's truename into one wielding the blade, immediately revealing their personal truename. However, the most feared ability of the weapon is its ability to rip truename knowledge out of a being.

If playing with the Book of Words:

Whenever someone makes a successful martial strike against a being capable to using utterances with the Blade of Stolen Words, any being which is damaged must make a will save with DC the save DC of the martial strike or 25, whichever is higher. If they fail the save, they permanently lose one of their highest level utterances known (randomly selected), and the user of the sword if they are capable of using utterances of that level, gains this utterance as an extra utterance, even if they would not normally be able to use an utterance of that level from that lexicon. If the being is killed by the strike in question, then they automatically fail their save. The only way to restore an utterance lost this way is for the one who gained the utterance to die followed by a wish or miracle. If the user of the Blade did not gain the utterance (if the being unable to use a utterance of that level), then a wish or miracle is sufficient.

If playing with The Way Words Work:

Whenever someone makes a successful martial strike against a being capable to using utterances with the Blade of Stolen Words, any being which is damaged must make a will save with DC the save DC of the martial strike or 25, whichever is higher. If they fail the save, they permanently lose one of their highest level vocalization, and the user of the sword if they are capable of a vocalization of that level, gains this vocalization as an extra vocalization. If the being is killed by the strike in question, then they automatically fail their save. The only way to restore an vocalization lost this way is for the one who gained the vocalization to die followed by a wish or miracle to restore the lost vocalization. If the user of the Blade did not gain the vocalization (if the being unable to use a vocalization of that level), then a wish or miracle is sufficient.

The Blade was last seen some forty years ago. Recent stories claim that Teralasan is searching for the Blade. Others say that she in fact previously wielded the weapon, and that both her power and apparent insanity come in part from her previous use of that dread object.

If the stories of bards are to be believed, the Blade was a gift by a now forgotten god of thievery to a champion who was to fight the other god's brother, a god of knowledge and words. Some say that the blade can only be destroyed by a cleric of this forgotten god. Others say that the weapon can only be destroyed by a powerful enough truenamer saying the truename of the Blade of Stolen Words itself.

Cosi
2019-02-20, 10:27 PM
The disciplines you have access to as a Knight of the Word seem unnecessarily complex. Is there a reason I should be able to pick up Shadow Hand maneuvers if I didn't have any Shadow Hand maneuvers previously, but not pick up Iron Heart maneuvers if I didn't have any Iron Heart maneuvers previously? Allowing you to progress your previous disciplines is good, as it prevents the class from being implicitly locked to one base class or another.

Like all Theurge classes, this causes your character to stop working at 15th level for no reason. Don't do that, just write a 15 level PrC.

I'm not going to read an entire Truenamer fix to check (though if that's the one I'm thinking of, it still has problems), but there's no way this needs to lose a level of Truenaming at 2nd level. With an obvious entry of ToB 4/Truenamer 1, you end up 5 levels behind on your Truenaming, meaning that if you took Leadership, had your cohort take Leadership, and adventured with your cohort's Truenamer cohort, you'd have more Truenaming at your disposal than you would taking this class.

The bonuses from Name the Strike should scale and/or be larger. Also I'm pretty sure as written you can activate this multiple times. Just make it part of using the maneuver. Also Name the Strike should either only work with Strikes, or have a different name.

Again, I have not read the Truenaming fix you're using in any detail, but I cannot imagine that the +2 bonus to Truespeak checks Stance of Iron Phrasing provides is something you care about. You can make your skill check bonuses stupidly large if you want to, a +2 bonus is simply not a very big deal.

I very much doubt that letting people use Name the Stance more than once per encounter is a problem. Limit it to once per round so failing the check matters.

Nomenclature of Steel should just be part of Name the Strike.

Stance of Words Unyielding is going to be a fluff ability the vast majority of the time. How often do you expect people to encounter Truenaming enemies?

Call Upon Many Names allows you to keep adding stances as long as you keep making checks. Not sure if this is intended. Also, are you supposed to be able to use this with Name the Stance to add an extra stance as a free action?

This is basically an editing problem, but Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature doesn't work with the wording of Name the Strike. Name the Strike occurs as part of the activation of a maneuver, and while Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature is clearly supposed to let you activate a maneuver that isn't readied, it doesn't actually specify that you can do that.

Supreme Synthesis makes multiclassing smoother. It does not seem like a cool reward for finishing out ten levels of a PrC, it seems like something that Swift Hunter feat for Truenamer/Initiators should do. Particularly the skills and IL stacking. The maneuver/utterance stuff is kind of neat.

The fact that your "NPC Reaction" section takes two sentences to say "people do not have special reaction to Knights of the Word" is pointless even by the standards of late-period 3.5 PrC bloat.

However, while that is fairly critical, the class is (presumably) not actually all that bad, because it meets the basic bar for a Theurge PrC: advancing both class's abilities, and giving some combo abilities.

JoshuaZ
2019-02-20, 10:53 PM
The disciplines you have access to as a Knight of the Word seem unnecessarily complex. Is there a reason I should be able to pick up Shadow Hand maneuvers if I didn't have any Shadow Hand maneuvers previously, but not pick up Iron Heart maneuvers if I didn't have any Iron Heart maneuvers previously? Allowing you to progress your previous disciplines is good, as it prevents the class from being implicitly locked to one base class or another.

Good point. Simplified and adjusted; deleting the swordsage selection bit.



Like all Theurge classes, this causes your character to stop working at 15th level for no reason. Don't do that, just write a 15 level PrC.

I considered that, but it seems to go against the general way that 3.5 has been setup to do that, and I'm hesitant to go against such a common meta-design aspect. Maybe we can get some others to comment on that (and yes, the nature of the capstone was in part to deal with this issue).



I'm not going to read an entire Truenamer fix to check (though if that's the one I'm thinking of, it still has problems), but there's no way this needs to lose a level of Truenaming at 2nd level. With an obvious entry of ToB 4/Truenamer 1, you end up 5 levels behind on your Truenaming, meaning that if you took Leadership, had your cohort take Leadership, and adventured with your cohort's Truenamer cohort, you'd have more Truenaming at your disposal than you would taking this class.

Good point. Truenaming at 2nd added back in.



The bonuses from Name the Strike should scale and/or be larger. Also I'm pretty sure as written you can activate this multiple times. Just make it part of using the maneuver. Also Name the Strike should either only work with Strikes, or have a different name.

Renamed and rephrased. Also made it so the bonus scales and slightly simplified (so removed the tiny damage increase).



Again, I have not read the Truenaming fix you're using in any detail, but I cannot imagine that the +2 bonus to Truespeak checks Stance of Iron Phrasing provides is something you care about. You can make your skill check bonuses stupidly large if you want to, a +2 bonus is simply not a very big deal.

Good point, especially because you'll have other stances as options one is forgoing. Changing to +4 for now, maybe should make it larger or do something in addition?



I very much doubt that letting people use Name the Stance more than once per encounter is a problem. Limit it to once per round so failing the check matters.
Good call. Adjusted.

Nomenclature of Steel should just be part of Name the Strike.

I'm not sure, especially given that the bonus now scales. I'll have to think about it, but for now am going to keep it that way.



Stance of Words Unyielding is going to be a fluff ability the vast majority of the time. How often do you expect people to encounter Truenaming enemies?

Agreed that this is rarely going to matter. Maybe if it also gave you an effective increase in hit points or spell resistance with respect to power words? That would be thematically similar and make this slightly more likely to get used. Thoughts?



Call Upon Many Names allows you to keep adding stances as long as you keep making checks. Not sure if this is intended.

Yes, see the spoilered design note.



Also, are you supposed to be able to use this with Name the Stance to add an extra stance as a free action?

If you can make the checks, yes.



This is basically an editing problem, but Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature doesn't work with the wording of Name the Strike. Name the Strike occurs as part of the activation of a maneuver, and while Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature is clearly supposed to let you activate a maneuver that isn't readied, it doesn't actually specify that you can do that.

Good point. Edited.



Supreme Synthesis makes multiclassing smoother. It does not seem like a cool reward for finishing out ten levels of a PrC, it seems like something that Swift Hunter feat for Truenamer/Initiators should do. Particularly the skills and IL stacking. The maneuver/utterance stuff is kind of neat.

Well, that's at least partially positive. The goal in part was to make multiclassing smoother. One will also get from this a few extra skill ranks, and an increase in initiator level of 1 and an increase in effective truenaming by a few. But yeah, this may not be enough. Do you have any thoughts for what would be a good idea for an additional capstone? An earlier draft had Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature also at 10th level; maybe bump it up there again- I'd rather actually add something new than do it, but I don't have any obvious things.



The fact that your "NPC Reaction" section takes two sentences to say "people do not have special reaction to Knights of the Word" is pointless even by the standards of late-period 3.5 PrC bloat.

Good point. Deleted the section.



However, while that is fairly critical, the class is (presumably) not actually all that bad, because it meets the basic bar for a Theurge PrC: advancing both class's abilities, and giving some combo abilities.

Yeah, that's a really low bar. Hopefully with some more editing and input, we can make it substantially better.

Elves
2019-02-21, 01:07 AM
Stance of Words Unyielding has a cool name but I'm not sure what it actually has to do with the class. Why not change it to be against martial adepts? Nullify their maneuvers by commanding the maneuver to not function. (A reason why they get Broken Blade!)

I think turning the capstone into a feat could work but then the feat would just be called 'Knight of the Word' and there's no need for a PrC. Which might actually be a more elegant solution.

Keeping it as a PRC though, there should be a capstone ability on top of that. It should probably be worse than Island in Time since EB lacks dual progression.


Ideas for abilities, for the capstone or otherwise. The idea being that you gain insight into the true nature of a maneuver, and can use that to manipulate it.

- truename a maneuver to use it even when expended

- if you research a maneuver's truename, with associated costs, you can invoke it (once/encounter?) even if you don't know it <--I like this

- remind a maneuver of its essence, granting a reroll to (damage or skillcheck)

- maneuver energy substitution (even untyped to x)

That's not many but more later possibly.


I want to say the thing that feels missing is a really cool way to enhance your maneuvers, but that may be overthinking it -- after all, numerical bonuses are how the game represents getting better at something; representing a greater knowledge of the maneuver's essence with a numerical bonus is perfectly fine.

Re 15 levels, I think the solution you have currently is fine as long as you add a capstone -- adding more levels should be dependent on having cool class abilities to fill them with.

JoshuaZ
2019-02-21, 09:22 AM
Ok. Based on Elves' and Cosi's comments I've made the following other changes. Name the Maneuver has been changed to being called Martial Nomenclature, and there are three levels of that, the basic one (which was previously Name the Maneuver), Repeated Martial Nomenclature, now at 6th level which allows one to use a maneuver which has been exhausted, and Spontaneous Martial Nomenclature (which is remaining the same at 9th level).

I've changed Stance of Words Unyielding so that it is always active rather than a stance, and made it so it gives bonuses both against maneuvers and against truenaming.

I've added Know the Name-Know the Maneuver at first level which is mostly fluff but helps lead in to some of the other abillities.

I've added Perfect Martial Nomenclature at 10th level so there's a better capstone, which uses a whole bunch of different options.

Elves- I agree that numerical bonuses by themselves aren't amazing fun; one of the difficulties is that so many martial maneuvers have different effects that exactly what they do, may vary.

I like the idea of learning truenames of maneuvers to allow their use even if one doesn't know the maneuver; right now I'm thinking this would also go at 10th level, and would have learning the truename as the same cost as researching a spell, or can be learned from any Knight of the Word who already knows that maneuver, and the DC would be 20 higher than that for Martial Nomenclature. Does this seem balanced? If so, I'll throw it in.

I'm also thinking of moving the part of Martial Synthesis which combines initiating and truenaming levels in a feat as suggested. If so, this feat would probably be called "Master of the Sublime Word" and would become a prerequisite for the class itself. Does this seem reasonable to people?

JoshuaZ
2019-02-22, 11:55 AM
Update: Made a separate feat for Way of the Sublime Word which is now an entry requirement.

Thoughts about the current version?

Elves
2019-02-22, 12:35 PM
My noob may be showing, but isn't full double advancement for a feat significantly stronger than Swift Hunter? Which is just +18 damage/+5 AC at max, on a low tier combo. Is there a reason it wouldn't be worth 1 dip and 1 feat to nearly get a t3 gestalt?

Re use maneuver without knowing, seems quite flavorful so why not throw it in.

Thanks for doing this Joshua.

JoshuaZ
2019-02-22, 02:18 PM
My noob may be showing, but isn't full double advancement for a feat significantly stronger than Swift Hunter? Which is just +18 damage/+5 AC at max, on a low tier combo. Is there a reason it wouldn't be worth 1 dip and 1 feat to nearly get a t3 gestalt?

Re use maneuver without knowing, seems quite flavorful so why not throw it in.

Thanks for doing this Joshua.

Swift hunter is a relatively weak feat; this only advances initiating and truenaming level, which is only a small part of your actual abilities from those classes; most maneuvers don't depend on initiating at all, and effective truenamer level shows up in Kellus's system for maximum augments but doesn't end up doing that much in most contexts for either system. I think should be ok. Maybe people with more experience can comment.

I'm still working on the mechanics for using maneuvers without knowing them, but I think I have it basically down. I'll try to add that in later today or tomorrow.

JoshuaZ
2019-02-23, 11:19 AM
Ok. I've included the mechanism to learn the truenames of martial maneuvers one doesn't know. Hopefully this is close to balanced and not too complicated. Input is definitely welcome especially regarding if the DCs are sane; I'm a little worried about the DCs; I don't have a great feel for them, and the fact that it is easier to pump DCs using the Book of Words than with The Way Words Work may end up upsetting some of the balance issues. Input definitely welcome.

Edit: Also changed some of the wording on Supreme Synthesis to prevent certain types of abuse, and restricted slightly Know the Name-Know the Maneuver to fit the flavor better.

Edit: Also if someone who is good with tables wants to make a happy version of the table for the maneuvers known/readied + stances known I'd appreciate it.

Elves
2019-02-23, 05:52 PM
The DC is 48 for 9ths?

Even without optimization, Truespeak check at 20th will be like

23 - ranks
5 or more - int
3 - skill focus
2 - masterwork tool
10 - amulet of silver tongue

which puts it at 75% which is about right, but with paragonistic assembly, item familiar, or other pumping, it will be trivial. For once per encounter it's not a huge deal, but it may be a good compromise to raise the DC by 5 and/or reduce the # of maneuvers automatically known.

OTOH, you could keep as is and remove Perfect Martial Nomenclature, which I wonder if is even needed now -- this seems like a pretty satisfying capstone, that for 1 turn each encounter you get to use an 8th/9th you don't know.

JoshuaZ
2019-02-25, 11:02 PM
The DC is 48 for 9ths?

Even without optimization, Truespeak check at 20th will be like

23 - ranks
5 or more - int
3 - skill focus
2 - masterwork tool
10 - amulet of silver tongue

which puts it at 75% which is about right, but with paragonistic assembly, item familiar, or other pumping, it will be trivial. For once per encounter it's not a huge deal, but it may be a good compromise to raise the DC by 5 and/or reduce the # of maneuvers automatically known.

OTOH, you could keep as is and remove Perfect Martial Nomenclature, which I wonder if is even needed now -- this seems like a pretty satisfying capstone, that for 1 turn each encounter you get to use an 8th/9th you don't know.

Hmm, I'm not sure. One of the issues this runs into is that Kellus's system has a harder time pumping truenaming checks than the Book of Words. I tried to avoid having different DCs for each, but this suggests maybe I should have them each use separate DCs.

Also, I've put up a new magic weapon special ability, as well as a new artifact. Comments on those are welcome.

Elves
2019-02-25, 11:32 PM
The cheating thing to do would be to make that specific ability a flat 75% success chance. (Less than 75% and I doubt anyone would risk losing their turn over it.)

Like I said above, I personally favor the idea of dropping Perfect Martial Nomenclature, which I'm not sure really adds much, and more or less assuming Maneuver Not Yet Known will be automatic if you pump Truenaming. It seems to hit the right spot of being strong but still less strong than Island In Time. However truename check discrepancies might still affect the other abilities.


Edit: Wordbound property is cool as hell.

The immediate thought that occurs for the Blade is that successfully hitting someone with it would tell you their truename. Too much?

JoshuaZ
2019-02-26, 10:05 AM
The cheating thing to do would be to make that specific ability a flat 75% success chance. (Less than 75% and I doubt anyone would risk losing their turn over it.)

Like I said above, I personally favor the idea of dropping Perfect Martial Nomenclature, which I'm not sure really adds much, and more or less assuming Maneuver Not Yet Known will be automatic if you pump Truenaming. It seems to hit the right spot of being strong but still less strong than Island In Time. However truename check discrepancies might still affect the other abilities.

Hmm, I'm not sure. Perfect Martial Nomenclature may not add much in its current form, but it does allow one to actively use truenaming to really improve maneuvers. A thought about how to deal with the truename check discrepancy issue: Give a flat class level bonus to the truenaming checks for using class features when using Way Words Work. The Way Words Work truenamer will still then be slightly behind the Book of Words truenamer, but that will be made up for in part that the Way Words Work truenamer is stronger as a class than the Book of Words truenamer. Would that work?



Edit: Wordbound property is cool as hell.


Glad to hear that.



The immediate thought that occurs for the Blade is that successfully hitting someone with it would tell you their truename. Too much?

No, that seems pretty good, and makes the Blade less situational where right now it isn't that useful against beings who don't have any truename ability. Added in.

Elves
2019-02-26, 05:10 PM
A scaling bonus based on system seems cleaner than different DCs, yes.

How does Wordbound interact with the +10 maximum on weapons? I don't see that specified.

Should it specify that "per encounter" on ...Maneuver Not Yet Known means until the next encounter starts? To avoid infinite use out of combat.

JoshuaZ
2019-02-26, 10:04 PM
A scaling bonus based on system seems cleaner than different DCs, yes.

How does Wordbound interact with the +10 maximum on weapons? I don't see that specified.

Should it specify that "per encounter" on ...Maneuver Not Yet Known means until the next encounter starts? To avoid infinite use out of combat.

Added scaling bonus.

Add wording to Wordbound. Does that make sense?

I'm not sure there's an issue there? Is there any really broken options if they have out of combat access to maneuvers they wouldn't have otherwise?