That makes at least 77% of the maneuvers in the book nonmagical, and while some people and some of the default fluff portray all 100% of it as "almost magical" blade "magic," that's entirely optional; with non-melodramatic RP descriptions, these 77% are easy to portray simply as the amazing martial abilities of a powerful (high-fantasy) but mundane warrior.
If you play with this latter "grittier" game style, there is nothing that 77% of maneuvers have in common with spells except (a) they're mechanics in an SRD-based RPG, and (b) they're divided into nine levels of power.
As for the much-maligned term "blade magic" ... I have no trouble imagining that when a Level 11 warrior adventures through the land, slaying hydras and giants and making it look easy, the common folk look at him and call his fighting abilities "magic" regardless of whether he uses nonmagical ToB maneuvers, actual magic of some kind (e.g. Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Hexblade), or is truly a non-ToB mundane warrior (e.g. Fighter, Rogue).
In passing, I'd like to note that out of the 16.8% of maneuvers that are actually magical, a large fraction are so horribly underpowered that no one would ever use them. So I suspect that the actual percentage of ToB maneuvers used that are "martial techniques" rather than blade "magic" is actually higher than 77%.
To bring this rant back on-topic instead of letting the ToB debate spiral out of control yet again (in spite of how some of the posts in this discussion irritated me in their lack of purpose other than to express bitterness against ToB) ...
Morty, what if the next round of the playtest packet organizes the Maneuvers into "Levels" that are available successively at Levels 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9? Will that make them feel too similar to spells to you? Honest question.
And as for the people who are saying "All maneuvers should give you something new that you can do, not just boost your numbers," I am inclined to agree initially, but I have two questions:
- Should that include any "default" maneuvers that are granted at Level 1, a la Deadly Strike? Or is it ok if those maneuvers just increase numbers?
- How would such a system accommodate the player base that WotC is worried about who like to play super-simple characters that don't have to make very many decisions during combat?