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    Default Complete Martial - The Blademaster (base class) - now retooled!

    Well, this is partly a project I've been working around for a few months, partly something I did to test my homebrewing skills, and partly a test on the meaty parts of homebrewing. This is part of a tentative "first chapter", which offers options for characters who wish to use a bit more of the Tome of Battle materials (like if they weren't overused already...)

    The purpose of this class, mostly, is a class that serves as a base for the rest of the base martial adept classes: so to speak, the "precursor" class. Of course, the way it is written and handled may appear either quite weak or quite strong, but since this is mostly opinion of mine, I'm placing my work under consideration.

    Please provide assistance, critique, playtesting, overhaul, or even the "wow, I can't believe this could suck! And yet, he excels at sucking!" kind of critique. Just recall that this is not meant to replace or become the be-all, end-all class for martial disciplines; rather, it should be a good NPC class or a way to use ToB material without much hassle. So to speak, a compliment to the already-existing Warblade, Crusader or Swordsage.

    UPDATE: Ladies and gentlemen! Children of all ages! Outsiders and Eldritch Abominations too!!

    So...after a deep thought, I realized; should I retackle this class and make it a tad better? Having gone wild with retoolings, I decided I should do a "retooling" of my own (they tend to work somewhat fine, depending on the kind of system I use) and let all of you people work things out. This will be a tad unorthodox, since I'll edit later the explanations for the changes. However, it should be a bit more effective, and using the ideas provided here. Hopefully it'll tackle most, if not all of them.

    --

    BLADEMASTER
    “The way of the Iron Heart is a way of life. It is not merely taking a sword and doing some fancy moves, any fool can do that. Only the real student knows its secrets. Curious? Here, let me show you what it is to live the way of the Iron Heart.”
    — Guruk Steeltalon, hobgoblin blademaster of the Iron Heart

    The nine disciplines that comprise the Sublime Way are taught in many forms. Crusaders draw their talent from their faith and conviction, swordsages execute the most impressive maneuvers through intense training, and warblades master their arts through sheer talent. Yet, all of them hold something in common; all sacrifice the focus and dedication. The blademaster seeks to focus all of its training into a single discipline, a method that most martial adepts consider antiquate and obsolete. However, through moving beyond the perception of a discipline as a combat art, and embracing the teachings of the discipline, blademasters eventually discover the meaning behind it. As they progress in their chosen discipline, they become undefeatable with its weapons, master the skill relevant to their chosen path, and eventually shape their fighting style based on the greater understanding of its meaning.

    MAKING A BLADEMASTER
    With their single-minded focus in a particular discipline, a blademaster excels at a particular fighting style, and on a particular set of functions; yet, no two blademasters are the same. A blademaster of the Shadow Hand, for example, is a nimble combatant who fights from the shade, while a master of the White Raven fights at the forefront and leads his companions through precise orders and tactical knowledge. The focus of the discipline shapes how the blademaster will eventually develop.
    Abilities: Because of their discipline focus, blademasters have no particular ability scores they favor; instead, they should seek to work with the abilities that favor their discipline. As a rule of thumb, a blademaster will look for high Strength and Dexterity scores, with the highest score in the ability that favors their attack and damage. As well, a blademaster seeks to have a high score in the ability that governs its representative skill; this is especially true of blademasters of the Diamond Mind and Tiger Claw disciplines. Finally, any good blademaster understands the importance of a high Constitution; high hit points and high Fortitude saves are a plus to everyone. Nearly all disciplines require at least three good scores to be effective, although some are effective enough with two.
    Races: Any member of any race is eligible to become a blademaster, although each discipline favors the race that developed the art in the first instance. For example, elves are the reputed masters of the Setting Sun disciple, and dwarves are believed to have developed the arts of the Stone Dragon; it is natural that elven blademasters favor Setting Sun and dwarves favor Stone Dragon as their usual disciplines. Amongst the savage humanoids, hobgoblin blademasters favor Iron Heart above all, and most usually incline towards either Iron Heart or Tiger Claw, seeking raw power and physical prowess than finesse or fancy movements. Races from the deserts and wastelands (such as the races presented on Sandstorm) are well inclined to learn from the Desert Wind discipline, while races with ties to the Plane of Shadow are mostly inclined towards Shadow Hand. Finally, outsiders of good and evil alignments tend to seek specialization at the Devoted Spirit discipline,
    Alignment: In concept, individuals of any alignment can become blademasters, although the single-minded focus and the penchant for specializing on a single discipline favors lawful characters better than chaotic characters. A discipline also guides the choice of alignment of a character; while Devoted Spirit blademasters are often of any good or evil alignment, blademasters of the Shadow Hand tend to be closer to the evil side of the axis. However, it is not rare to see a neutral Devoted Spirit blademaster or a lawful good Shadow Hand master.
    Starting Gold: 4d4 x 10 gp (100 gp)
    Starting Age: as monk
    Hit Die: d10

    Table 1-1: The Blademaster
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Maneuvers Known|Maneuvers Readied|Stances

    1st|+1|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    0
    |Disciple of the Blade (first discipline)|
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    2nd|+2|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    0
    |Discipline Aptitude|
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    3rd|+3|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Discipline Secret (+1)|
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    4th|+4|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    ||
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    5th|+5|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    6th|+6/+1|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Discipline Secret (+2)|
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    7th|+7/+2|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    | |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    8th|+8/+3|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |Discipline Gift|
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    9th|+9/+4|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Discipline Secret (+3)|
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    10th|+10/+5|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Disciple of the Blade (second discipline)|
    3
    |
    2
    |
    1

    11th|+11/+6/+1|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    ||
    4
    |
    2
    |
    1

    12th|+12/+7/+2|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |Discipline Secret (+4)|
    4
    |
    2
    |
    1

    13th|+13/+8/+3|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    ||
    5
    |
    2
    |
    1

    14th|+14/+9/+4|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    ||
    5
    |
    2
    |
    1

    15th|+15/+10/+5|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |Discipline Secret (+5)|
    6
    |
    3
    |
    1

    16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Discipline Potency|
    6
    |
    3
    |
    2

    17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    ||
    7
    |
    3
    |
    2

    18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |Discipline Secret (+6)|
    8
    |
    4
    |
    2

    19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    ||
    8
    |
    4
    |
    2

    20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Discipline Coupling|
    8
    |
    4
    |
    3
    [/table]

    Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level; x4 at first level): Bluff, Climb, Craft, Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Listen, Martial Lore, Profession, Ride, Search, Spot, Swim.

    CLASS FEATURES
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As a blademaster, you are proficient with all simple weapons, plus all weapons pertaining to your chosen discipline (see below). As well, you are proficient with light and medium armor, and with all shields (except tower shields).

    Maneuvers: Unlike other martial adepts, a blademaster begins play knowing all martial maneuvers of first level of his chosen discipline (see Disciple of the Sword, below). At 3rd level, and every two blademaster class levels after that, you gain all maneuvers from the next level pertaining to your chosen discipline (except maneuvers of Devoted Spirit which oppose your alignment). At 10th level, a blademaster may choose disciplines from a single other discipline (see Disciple of the Sword, below) as shown on Table 1 above.

    Maneuvers Readied: Unlike other martial adepts, you are treated as having readied all maneuvers of your chosen discipline at all moments. Once you are able to choose maneuvers from a second discipline (either by reaching 10th level or through the Martial Study feat), you must ready maneuvers as usual. You may ready two maneuvers from other disciplines aside your primary discipline (see Disciple of the Sword, below) beginning at 10th level; maneuvers acquired through the Martial Study feat are considered as if you didn't have any martial maneuvers until 10th level, in which they are treated as maneuvers known. You ready maneuvers by practicing for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you decide to practice again and change them. You need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers; any time you spend 5 minutes in practice, you can change your readied maneuvers.
    You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used only once per encounter (until you recover them, see below).
    You recover all of your expended maneuvers as a free action at any round in which you do not use a strike or boost maneuver, nor use a full round action. A blademaster may make a single melee or ranged attack, move, use counter maneuvers and other actions and still recover expended maneuvers. If you use a full attack action, you recover a single maneuver of your choice instead.

    Stances Known: You begin play with knowledge of all 1st level stances from your chosen discipline. At higher levels, you are treated as knowing all stances of your chosen discipline at the moment you acquire higher level maneuvers; furthermore, at 10th level, 16th level and 20th level you may learn one stance from your secondary discipline (see Discipline of the Sword, below). Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.
    Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one you already know.

    Disciple of the Blade: You have trained with one of the masters of the original disciplines, and finally mastered the intricate exercises and movements of the style. You differ from other martial adepts in how focused you are in following your discipline, to the extent of all others. While other martial artists scoff at your single-minded approach to combat, you are confident that your discipline will pay off in the end.
    At 1st level, choose one of the nine disciplines of the Sublime Way. You automatically gain proficiency with the discipline’s associated weapons, and you add the discipline’s key skill to your list of class skills.
    Desert Wind: scimitar, light pick, falchion; Tumble
    Devoted Spirit: falchion, greatclub, maul, longsword; Intimidate
    Diamond Mind: rapier, trident, bastard sword; Concentration
    Iron Heart: dwarven waraxe, bastard sword, longsword, two-bladed sword; Balance
    Setting Sun: nunchaku, unarmed strike*; Sense Motive
    Shadow Hand: sai, siangham, spiked chain, unarmed strike*; Hide
    Stone Dragon: greataxe, greatsword, heavy mace, unarmed strike*; Balance
    Tiger Claw: kama, kukri, greataxe, unarmed strike*; Jump
    White Raven: longsword, battleaxe, warhammer, greatsword, halberd; Diplomacy
    *You gain Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat.

    At 10th level, your mastery of the first discipline eventually leads to training in other disciplines while retaining the singular focus of the first discipline, unaffected. You may choose another discipline to follow, gaining the same benefits as with your first chosen discipline. You may also choose maneuvers and stances of the second discipline.

    Discipline Aptitude: At 2nd level, whenever you take a feat such as Weapon Focus (or a spell that requires choosing one weapon), you may instead allow the feat to apply to all weapons of your chosen discipline. This does not extend to weapon style feats, however.

    Discipline Secret: At 3rd level, a blademaster learns to apply a secret taught only to serious practitioners of a discipline. Each secret is unique to the chosen discipline of the blademaster, and resembles some of the key concepts of each discipline. Each bonus starts at +1, and increases by 1 per each three class levels of the blademaster.
    Desert Wind: dodge bonus to AC when moving
    Devoted Spirit: sacred bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls against creatures opposing your alignment
    Diamond Mind: competence bonus on Concentration checks
    Iron Heart: morale bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls when flanked
    Setting Sun: competence bonus on bull rush, grapple and trip opposed checks.
    Shadow Hand: circumstance bonus to damage rolls against creatures caught flat-footed, denied their Dexterity bonus to AC or flanked equal to twice the bonus.
    Stone Dragon: dodge bonus to AC, competence bonus on checks to resist bull rush, grapple and trip.
    Tiger Claw: competence bonus to Jump checks
    White Raven: morale bonus to an ally's attack rolls, AC or checks when aiding another, morale bonus to your (and ally's) attack rolls when flanking.

    At 9th level and again at 15th level, you learn another secret from your discipline, as shown below. A blademaster applies the same bonus to both of the secrets, as usual.
    Desert Wind: enhancement bonus to speed equal to five times the bonus (9th), fire damage equal to bonus against creatures attacking you if you move 10 or more feet (15th)
    Devoted Spirit: damage reduction X/evil, good, chaos or law (your choice when acquiring this secret) equal to twice the bonus (9th), sacred bonus to saves against spells of creatures opposing your alignment (15th)
    Diamond Mind: insight bonus to initiative checks (9th), insight bonus on all saves equal to half the bonus (15th)
    Iron Heart: bonus to damage rolls per successful hit until the beginning of your next turn (9th), insight bonus to attack rolls equal to half the bonus per missed attack until the beginning of next turn (15th)
    Setting Sun: insight bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls after using a Setting Sun counter or attack of opportunity until the beginning of your next turn (9th), dodge bonus to AC (15th)
    Shadow Hand: bleeding damage equal to bonus (9th), ability damage (your choice, when acquiring this secret) equal to half the bonus against creatures caught flat-footed, denied their Dexterity bonus to AC or flanked (15th)
    Stone Dragon: DR/adamantine equal to twice the bonus when in contact with ground (9th), 1d6 points of damage per point of bonus to constructs and objects (15th)
    Tiger Claw: bonus to damage rolls after a successful Jump check or unarmed strike equal to twice the bonus (9th), Con damage equal to half the bonus on a successful critical hit or if an opponent fails a save to a Tiger Claw maneuver (15th)
    White Raven: morale bonus to damage rolls equal to bonus to yourself and an ally when flanking, or twice the bonus to an ally when using the aid another action (9th), morale bonus to AC to all allies within 30 feet (15th)

    Discipline Gift: At 8th level, you gain a special benefit when dealing damage with weapons of your chosen discipline:
    Desert Wind: you deal an extra 1d6 points of fire damage and gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC if you move more than 10 feet. Your attacks ignore resistance to fire (but not immunity to fire). Treat this extra bonus as if it were the scout's skirmish ability for all purposes (except for the Swift Hunter feat)
    Devoted Spirit: you deal an extra 1d6 points of damage depending on your alignment, and the damage is considered as aligned for purposes of bypassing damage reduction. You must choose which of your alignments apply for purposes of this ability (except Neutral); once chosen, the benefit is permanent and may not be changed. A True Neutral blademaster must choose one alignment.
    Diamond Mind: when using the full attack action, you may deal one extra attack at your highest attack bonus. Unlike similar abilities, the extra attack granted stacks with other extra attacks, such as that gained from a haste spell, a feat, or a class ability.
    Iron Heart: you gain Cleave as a bonus feat, even if you don’t meet the prerequisites. If you already have Cleave, you gain Great Cleave instead; if you already have both, you may do a 5-foot step when using the Cleave or Great Cleave feat if you haven’t done so already. You deal an extra 1d6 points of damage to each target of the Cleave (or Great Cleave) feat.
    Setting Sun: you deal an extra 2d6 extra points of damage on attacks of opportunity, unarmed damage from a grapple, or attacks which may cause trip attempts (but so as long as the trip attempt succeeds)
    Shadow Hand: you deal 1d6 points of damage when striking creatures that are flat-footed, denied their Dexterity bonus to AC, or flanked by you. Treat this benefit as if the rogue's sneak attack for all purposes.
    Stone Dragon: your attacks bypass adamantine damage reduction and hardness. Treat this as if the monk's ki strike (adamantine) feature, except it applies only to Stone Dragon weapons.
    Tiger Claw: your unarmed strikes deal slashing or bludgeoning damage. If you succeed on two or more attacks on a full attack action, you rend the opponent, dealing extra damage equal to the result of a Jump check divided by 3.
    White Raven: you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and deal 2 extra points of damage per each ally within 30 feet. Only allies with an effective character level equal to your character level -2 or greater count for purposes of this ability.

    Discipline Potency: At 16th level, any maneuver you execute from your primary discipline that allows a saving throw gains a bonus to the save DC equal to the discipline secret bonus.

    Discipline Coupling: At 20th level, you have mastered your chosen discipline to the point you can blend your discipline into others. You can blend them at a moment's notice even when it may seem almost impossible.
    You may initiate a second stance while gaining the benefits of the first one, but only if the first stance is a stance of your discipline. As well, you may activate a boost of your primary discipline as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity if you used a counter on the last round, or a counter as a free action outside your turn that does not provoke attacks of opportunity if you activated a boost of your primary discipline in the current round. Treat maneuvers and stances learned through other means (such as with the Martial Study or Martial Stance feat) as if they were your secondary discipline for purposes of this ability.

    --

    I could add the flavor text it has, but perhaps by request. I don't intend this class to be overpowered, and I can deal if the end result is overpowered. The idea is of a character who dabbles in a single style, which ends in less skill points, and less maneuvers. As well, it may seem as a bad choice to litter it with the Weapon Focus tree, but it's meant to be specializing in the discipline with such desire that the character becomes a master of his or her own discipline at the expense of the others. The secondary discipline was added so that the character could have some variety after all.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2010-05-15 at 09:06 PM. Reason: Madness...? MADNESS!? THIS. IS. MORE. RETOOLING!!!!

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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    The Recovery Mechanic will reduce the use of Save boosts. If a character has one of the replace a saving throw with a concentration check boosts, then they can't recover their maneuvers until they are forced to make that type of saving throw.

    That might not happen the entire combat and then they are stuck without being able to use their class abilities (maneuvers) because they are waiting on a specific action from another character.

    To rephrase: If they choose certain maneuvers, then the recovery of maneuvers if entirely out of the players control.
    Last edited by lvl 1 fighter; 2009-08-08 at 12:07 AM.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Good point Level 1 Fighter. My suggestion to fix that might be to say that they may expend one maneuver once per round if they don't use any other maneuvers that round. Not sure if it should be a free or a swift action.

    If possible, convert the table to the format used by most of the people here.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    I am not sure if giving no maneuver level bumps for so long is good, but I can pretty much see why you did it... might make Setting Sun a little weaker, and maybe Tiger Claw since those have a lot of similar maneuvers arrayed across their levels.

    People other than the target should be able to stop the bleeding wounds inflicted by the Shadow Hand capstone. In fact, you have it phrased like it maybe keeps the bleeding from ever getting started, rather than that it stops it.

    I am just getting into ToB myself, so I am not sure on balance, but I am curious what a member of this class who uses the silly discipline I am creating, Falling Anvil, would be like.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    @Fighter: makes sense. It's difficult to make a unique recovery method, and this is mostly a method based by the Crusader. Since they have a very reduced amount of readied maneuvers at the very beginning (two, compared to the lowest which would be the Warblade's three readied maneuvers), I'd be willing to simply make them at-will. It would make the class even more powerful, though. I might just make two of the dead levels (second or third level, perhaps, then later on 13th or 14th level) allow one maneuver to be cast at-will, from their very limited choice. That would balance it out a bit. But yeah, I should work on a better recovery method (there's an ACF I did for Fighter which has a hilarious recovery method)

    @Draco: care to point where the table code is? What I did was a bit unorthodox (since it's mostly a copy-paste from the Word document where I have it), but it still looks roughly workable.

    As for the bleeding, I was trying to work it out as per normal bleeding rules (using a cure or a DC 15 Heal check stops the current bleeding, but it doesn't prevent new instances).

    And as for your discipline...perhaps the effect of Mosquito Bite, but tailored to the discipline weapons of the Falling Anvil? I was thinking something like delayed damage. I'd have to check something within the rules that may apply to the Looney-verse. The only thing that I can work is basically a Bluff check once per round; if succeeds, the enemy attacks you but instead it takes the damage itself. Something like...

    Creature: Hah! You take damage!
    You: *natural 20 Bluff check* No, YOU take damage!
    Creature: No, YOU take damage!
    You: No, YOU take damage!
    Creature: No, YOU take damage!
    You: No, YOU take damage!
    Creature: No, YOU take damage!
    You: No, I take damage!
    Creature: No, I take damage! *takes the damage*
    You: See? You take damage!

    *assume that's the character's intent. Obviously, it doesn't work on low-Int creatures, and high Int creatures actually take a penalty...
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    I have only heard of the "Mosquito Bite" skill trick (I assume that is what you are referring to?) once before and I never knew what it was. I assumed it was some way to deliver injury poisons without the target realizing they had even been hit (no hp damage probably). What does it actually do?
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Table Code is here. GitP has one of the easier code formats I've seen for HTML and tables anyway.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    I have only heard of the "Mosquito Bite" skill trick (I assume that is what you are referring to?) once before and I never knew what it was. I assumed it was some way to deliver injury poisons without the target realizing they had even been hit (no hp damage probably). What does it actually do?
    Close; it lets you deal regular HP damage without the target knowing it's been hit. Mostly useless in combat when they're expecting to be attacked, but handy for assassinations and such.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Most of the class features are just existing feats. A warblade who takes Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization is way ahead of this class. Give them some awesome, discipline-specific stuff, like you did for the capstone.

    I also don't understand why you would give this focused class access to a second discipline at 11th level at the same exact power level. It doesn't fit with the flavor at all. If you want them to have a second discipline, give them maneuver progression with it starting at level 1, but at a slower rate than their primary, and not gaining the benefit of any class features. I don't think that giving them a second discipline is necessary at all, though.

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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    I wouldn't have them starting with level 1 maneuvers, because then very few people would take any maneuvers from the second discipline. I don't THINK any of the class features EVER apply to the second discipline, but I could be wrong. I agree that the second discipline should AT LEAST lag the first in class ability effecrts, and MAYBE not even get any them ever.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Thanks for the link, Astral. Will change as soon as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    I have only heard of the "Mosquito Bite" skill trick (I assume that is what you are referring to?) once before and I never knew what it was. I assumed it was some way to deliver injury poisons without the target realizing they had even been hit (no hp damage probably). What does it actually do?
    Mostly that. The idea is that, if you succeed on the skill trick, the creature assumes it wasn't HP damaged at all. Other damage kinds apply (so the creature knows it was poisoned, IIRC). The Falling Anvil variant would imply that your damage from an attack or Falling Anvil maneuver is ignored, always, given you succeed on the discipline skill check.

    The idea is that, much like the Warner Bros. cartoons, the creature wouldn't notice it's dead until it noticed the wound, in which case it would fall flat dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm
    Give them some awesome, discipline-specific stuff, like you did for the capstone.
    Might do, but the given feats aren't so terrible at all. Consider that you gain the full Weapon Focus feat path for at least five different weapons, all the way to Greater Specialization: that's a minimum of 20 bonus feats. Which, I reckon I mentioned, apply for purposes of qualifying for prestige class or feats (albeit separately, I think I should clarify that)

    However, this is the reason why I post this here. I could get some good ideas, even though I went a bit conservative on the matter. I was actually thinking to retrace the nifty capstone ability to level 10 and give the class an even better capstone ability. Mostly, to give it a class feature from another class, but based on the discipline they selected. So, a Desert Wind Blademaster would gain Skirmish, while a Tiger Claw Blademaster would get into a Rage (except their effective level would be half their class level) It may seem a bit out of flavor, but it supports the flavor text a bit. Allow me to point part of the flavor text:

    Quote Originally Posted by "NPC reactions" flavor text
    Few people actually know of the existence (or rather, continued existence) of blademasters, whom they tend to confuse with other classes. An Iron Heart or Stone Dragon blademaster, for example, can be easily confused with a very resilient fighter, or a Desert Wind blademaster as a sorcerer of unparalleled power and penchant for combat. Devoted Spirit blademasters are often confused with paladins (and evil blademasters with blackguards), while Shadow Hand blademasters are feared as assassins. Setting Sun blademasters are confused mostly with ascetic monks, Diamond Mind blademasters are confused with eerily focused duelists and swashbucklers, Tiger Claw blademasters are confused with fearsome berserkers, and White Raven blademasters are confused with generals and leaders of vast armies. Depending on the discipline they follow, and how close it looks to another class, most NPCs would react to them as if they were members of said class; for example, guards would hunt the Shadow Hand blademaster to prevent assassinations, or people would flock to the Devoted Spirit blademaster for aid in vanquishing an evil fiend.
    I was actually thinking on the idea that blademasters tend to resemble other classes because of their maneuvers. There are some that may be a bit off (Desert Wind as sorcery, given the resemblance between some maneuvers and some fire spells), but that can be worked out eventually. Still, it's a tentative idea, one that I may find myself inclined to if you all agree or make a fine point.

    I also don't understand why you would give this focused class access to a second discipline at 11th level at the same exact power level. It doesn't fit with the flavor at all. If you want them to have a second discipline, give them maneuver progression with it starting at level 1, but at a slower rate than their primary, and not gaining the benefit of any class features. I don't think that giving them a second discipline is necessary at all, though.
    Give it a bit of diversity, so to speak. Notice that the class allows maneuver retraining at the levels right after the second discipline is accessed. It's a bit against flavor, but not so much. Extreme focus would lead to people (and most specifically martial adepts) reading you like a book, so being too extremely focused will hurt them in the end. Giving a second discipline and allowing maneuver retraining means you become less predictable, without the cost of a feat (which is pretty valuable) Still, I see the argument: it would be too late for a blademaster to work a new maneuver progression until late. I could counter with what some of the PrCs work with; for example, entering Jade Phoenix Mage or Eternal Blade as a Warblade, which expand the access to some disciplines while retaining your full initiator level.

    In either case, what I would need to work with is:
    -- Enhancing the recovery method. Something that works, but that's different from the usual.

    -- Viability of the Weapon Focus feat path for the primary discipline.

    -- Viability of a second discipline.

    -- Working with other homebrew disciplines (think of it as a "web enhancement" for the class, or an "alternate" class feature) BTW, I know about the Martial Compendium (bookmarked the thread where they have it listed around), so I'll probably work around Falling Star and other full disciplines...eventually.

    -- Viability of new and "awesome" class features similar to the capstone ability.

    -- Viability of reducing the capstone class ability's access and work a new capstone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    I started reading the fluff and thought the class would get access to every maneuver in one discipline. Would that be unbalanced?

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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Quote Originally Posted by Hat-Trick View Post
    I started reading the fluff and thought the class would get access to every maneuver in one discipline. Would that be unbalanced?
    It depends.

    Mostly, granting access to all maneuvers of one discipline (instead of a specific amount of maneuvers) could range from very good to unbalanced, depending on the chosen discipline, the recovery method and the amount of readied maneuvers. In terms of Diamond Mind, for example, granting all maneuvers would be slightly unbalanced since most, if not all, of the disciplines' maneuvers would be very, very good. In terms of Devoted Spirit, it would be difficult since there are restrictions for several maneuvers (or at least, if you notice, some maneuvers are aligned). Stone Dragon would be very, very balanced, and White Raven would follow suit.

    However, the actual difficulty comes from the other points. With a recovery method such as Warblade, having virtual access to all (readied) maneuvers of the discipline would be potentially powerful. With the Swordsage recovery method, it would be reasonable. With the current recovery method, it would be really bad since it has a built-in requirement of using all maneuvers in order to recover them (something to which I'm looking for ideas), which means an effective 1/encounter use of maneuvers. As well, learning all maneuvers would mean little if the readied maneuvers are so few (though, as it currently stands, it's roughly the same)

    Still, that would be a reasonable point. Allowing learning from other disciplines in a very, very limited method, but allowing to learn all disciplines from their chosen discipline. I'll think of that, but I need more ideas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    I still think that, basically, a warblade comes out ahead in this, if they choose the correct feats: it is rare that one ever uses more than one kind of weapon, so having the feats with several ones is just a bonus.
    I don't know if it would be overpowered, but: perhaps let them take maneuvers of their chosen discipline earlier, as if they were of a lower level.
    Also, generally, I would give them at least one more ability similar to the capstone at an earlier level. They should get soemthing unique that other classes don't have.
    Finally, I'd consider giving them the specific feats of each discipline as well: gloom razor/shadow blade and so on.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2009-12-11 at 10:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    At second level, the character is to have three maneuvers known. The only discipline that has three or more Level 1 non-stance maneuvers is Desert Wind. All of the others have only two first level maneuvers. They have one strike and two boosts. As such, it is impossible for any discipline other than Desert Wind to be the chose discipline for the class unless you plan on only taking this class's first level.

    That's what needs fixing.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Quote Originally Posted by jagadaishio View Post
    At second level, the character is to have three maneuvers known. The only discipline that has three or more Level 1 non-stance maneuvers is Desert Wind. All of the others have only two first level maneuvers. They have one strike and two boosts. As such, it is impossible for any discipline other than Desert Wind to be the chose discipline for the class unless you plan on only taking this class's first level.

    That's what needs fixing.
    This was a class attempt between my earliest homebrews (which are absent from GitP) and my retoolings, so it's a tad more bugged than the three known maneuvers.

    However, I think it's time to deal with some alterations based on what I've devised for retoolings. Call it the "retooling" of the Blademaster, if you like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    I wonder how many of the homebrew disciplines have the 3 non-stance maneuvers at 1st level?
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    I wonder how many of the homebrew disciplines have the 3 non-stance maneuvers at 1st level?
    I don't think this is a complete list but Army of One, Dread Crown, Narrow Bridge, Oncoming Storm, and Twin Spirit all do.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    So does Falling Anvil.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Have you considered adding any of the various homebrewed disciplines to the list of discipline abilities, or are you just going to leave it as core?
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    Default Re: Complete Martial - The Blademaster (now retooled!)

    @Homebrewed Disciplines: Yes and No. Technically, the Core disciplines will be the ones that'll see support. However, I may consider to make access to homebrew disciplines as ACFs, where essentially you gain new options. They'll appear separately, perhaps on a link in the first page, but on a newer post.

    That doesn't mean I won't give support to the homebrew disciplines, but that I need some time to work out with the Discipline Secrets and the Discipline Gift.

    UPDATE: made some slight changes to the class (wait, a fix after a retooling?)

    Skill points are now 4 + Int per level. More skills were added (Climb, Knowledge [local], Listen, Search, Spot).

    Changed a bit one of the Stone Dragon discipline secrets. Now the 3rd level secret counts even if not in contact with ground.

    Tiger Claw's discipline gift now deals more damage.

    White Raven's discipline gift now extends to 30 feet, but allies need to be at least two levels lower (or at least with an ECL two levels lower) to provide the benefit. This means all of your allies (hopefully), your cohort (if any) and NPCs, but not suddenly surrounding with followers for insane bonuses to attack and damage.

    Might make a slight expanding for homebrewed disciplines. Might start with Falling Star, since that seems to be the most popular and the oldest of the homebrewed disciplines, enough to have everyone look at it.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2010-05-15 at 09:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Did some thinking for The Demented One's Sleeping Goddess discipline, and here's what I've come up with.

    3rd- morale bonus on rolls to become psionically focused

    9th-morale bonus on attack and damage rolls while psionically focused

    15th-morale bonus to power points equal to one half bonus times initiator level

    Discipline Gift- Treat all discipline weapons as though made of deep crystal and enchanted with the Sleeping Goddess discipline weapon enhancement, even if nonmagical.

    Edit-
    Also came up with some epic stuff for it.

    Progression-
    21- Discipline Secret +7
    22- Bonus Feat
    23-
    24- Discipline Secret +8, Bonus Feat
    25-
    26- Bonus Feat
    27- Discipline Secret +9
    28- Bonus Feat
    29-
    30- Discipline Secret +10, Bonus Feat

    Adds no additional maneuvers, unless taking the Epic Feat "Martial Knowledge".

    Epic Feats -

    Hidden Secrets- Discipline Secret +7 or higher, access to a secondary discipline
    Benefit- you gain the discipline secret for your secondary discipline, but not the Discipline Gift.

    Blade of the Master- Hidden Secrets, Discipline Bonus +9 or higher
    Benefit- You gain the Discipline Gift for your secondary discipline.

    Expanded Knowledge- Two Disciplines known or more, Hidden Secrets
    Benefit - You gain access to another discipline. You immediately learn 8 maneuvers and three stances, as per your secondary discipline learned maneuvers. You gain no additional readied maneuvers. This feat may only be taken once.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Zarthrax; 2011-04-24 at 04:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Yipes! I had almost forgotten about the Blademaster...

    Let's see how this might work out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarthrax View Post
    Did some thinking for The Demented One's Sleeping Goddess discipline, and here's what I've come up with.

    3rd- morale bonus on rolls to become psionically focused

    9th-morale bonus on attack and damage rolls while psionically focused

    15th-morale bonus to power points equal to one half bonus times initiator level

    Discipline Gift- Treat all discipline weapons as though made of deep crystal and enchanted with the Sleeping Goddess discipline weapon enhancement, even if nonmagical.
    For starters, let's specify how the entry for "Disciple of the Blade" would look like (also, for reference):
    Sleeping Goddess: bastard sword, quarterstaff, shortsword, shortspear, unarmed strike; Autohypnosis.

    As for the discipline secrets, a cursory look at Sleeping Goddess shows mostly a focus on emulating psionics, with each maneuver dealing with a psychic discipline. As far as I can see, the focus of the school seems to be "self-improvement" and "mental assault"; the self-improvement part is easy to deal with, but the mental assault bit is much harder. Out of the discipline's strikes, I can see a few that have a thematic link (Call the Blade, the strikes that add increased HP or ability damage on a failed Will save), so let's work on that.

    Going through the secrets, they're pretty nice and right along the level of each, but none really echoes that "mental assault" thing aside from the morale bonus to attack and damage rolls while psionically focused. The first ability really has little utility (you don't need to be psionically focused except for using psionic feats or in case you can combine the effect with Diamond Mind) and the second unnecessarily anchors the utility of the first. Furthermore, the bonus power points seem a bit too far away, too late for 15th level when you pretty much gain the bulk of the bonus. Thus, I'd go with the following:

    Disciple Secret:
    Sleeping Goddess: insight bonus to damage rolls equal to twice the bonus when the target fails a saving throw from strike maneuvers you execute (3rd); increased power points equal to three times the bonus (9th); heal hit points equal to bonus when making a successful Autohypnosis check (15th)

    The first is a rather simple demonstration of Telepathy; you increase the damage dealt when making a strike because you assault their minds as well as their bodies; the second secret is placed at a good moment, when you gain a reasonable boost to PP but not so late so as to make it weak, and the third secret not only reflects self-improvement by providing extra lasting power, but also allows you to boost the discipline's key skill.

    As for Discipline Gift, I reckon that what you're trying to work with is granting all weapons a +2 on attack and damage rolls, and 2d6 points of damage if spending 2 power points. It's quite powerful compared to the rest, so I'd rather go with the following, which I find a bit more balanced:

    Discipline Gift:
    Sleeping Goddess: by spending 2 power points at the beginning of your turn, all attacks you make during that turn deal an extra 1d6 points of damage. If using a maneuver that forces a saving throw, the weapon deals an extra 1d10 points of damage if the target fails the save.

    This allows you to emulate a bit of the Deep Crystal ability, but it applies to all of your attacks instead of just one (so that you don't bleed your PP so quickly), and it also ties the focus on mental assault with the psychokinetic burst weapon special quality (since, if you notice, most of the Discipline Gifts resemble weapon special qualities, and only very rarely weapon materials).

    Hopefully it reflects better the focus of the discipline, although the only way to be sure of it is if TDO comes here and gives his blessing.

    Edit-
    Also came up with some epic stuff for it.

    Progression-
    21- Discipline Secret +7
    22- Bonus Feat
    23-
    24- Discipline Secret +8, Bonus Feat
    25-
    26- Bonus Feat
    27- Discipline Secret +9
    28- Bonus Feat
    29-
    30- Discipline Secret +10, Bonus Feat
    Not sure about the feat progression, but otherwise it's fine. Discipline Secret is just about the only progression you get, so I'm torn between granting them bonus feats every 2 levels or every 3 levels. Also, I might want to see at a bonus feat list, probably adding Fighter bonus feats to the list.

    Still, because I'm not sure how Epic might work out, can't say this may be the final product. Thus far, while I incline to adding bonus feats every 3 levels, this progression is fine.

    Adds no additional maneuvers, unless taking the Epic Feat "Martial Knowledge".

    Epic Feats -

    Hidden Secrets- Discipline Secret +7 or higher, access to a secondary discipline
    Benefit- you gain the discipline secret for your secondary discipline, but not the Discipline Gift.

    Blade of the Master- Hidden Secrets, Discipline Bonus +9 or higher
    Benefit- You gain the Discipline Gift for your secondary discipline.

    Expanded Knowledge- Two Disciplines known or more, Hidden Secrets
    Benefit - You gain access to another discipline. You immediately learn 8 maneuvers and three stances, as per your secondary discipline learned maneuvers. You gain no additional readied maneuvers. This feat may only be taken once.

    Thoughts?
    Might need to see Martial Knowledge to see if it's effective. It's probably Martial Study but without that silly "limited to three maneuvers only" thing, so might just work out with "Epic martial adepts (having an initiator level of 21 or higher) may gain Martial Study as many times as they desire" and call it a day.

    As for the Epic bonus feats: the first two are fine, although a bit tough. Hidden Secrets isn't a problem, but Blade of the Master could simply require Hidden Secrets and have no other troubles with it.

    On Expanded Knowledge: considering the feat's name is redundant, I'd definitely change it. Ideally, the feat should only benefit Blademasters and no other Martial Adepts, since the idea is that you get a new discipline with which to get discipline focus and other benefits. However, gaining 8 new disciplines and 3 new stances with little practice seems to blur the line between excessive and weak, if only because you gain a wealth of new maneuvers but few readied slots to use them. I'd go as follows, though:

    ADEPT STUDENT [EPIC]
    Prerequisites: Discipline secret +7 or higher, access to two or more disciplines
    Benefit: Albeit late in your career, you learn maneuvers from a third discipline and reinforce knowledge of your secondary discipline. This allows you to gain the following benefits:
    First, you immediately become proficient with the weapons of your third discipline, and you gain the discipline's key skill as a class skill for all your future classes.
    Second, you immediately learn maneuvers from your new discipline. You immediately learn four new maneuvers and one new stance. You may choose from any discipline with which you have focus (except your primary discipline), but not from disciplines you may have access to from other martial adept classes or Martial Study.
    Third, you may ready two more maneuvers. These maneuvers may be readied from any of your disciplines (except your primary discipline), including maneuvers learned through Martial Study or from other martial adept classes.
    Special: You may take this feat up to three times. Each time you take this feat, you gain access to a new discipline. Furthermore, each time you take this feat, you gain access to two more maneuvers and one more stance, and may ready one more maneuver per number of times you choose this feat. For example, if you're a 24th level Blademaster with Iron Heart as your primary discipline and Devoted Spirit as your secondary discipline, and already took Adept Student (Diamond Mind) as your 21st level feat, you can take this feat again. You gain access to a new discipline, six new maneuvers, two new stances, and may ready three extra maneuvers from Devoted Spirit, Diamond Mind or your newly chosen discipline.

    --

    I must admit, while I made a few changes eventually, the adaptation for Sleeping Goddess was well thought and pretty close to how the class abilities work, but not that close to the intent of the discipline per se. I had difficulties trying to get them close to the original concept, since they were roughly at the same degree of power of the other Blademaster disciplines, but they didn't seem that close to the original discipline intent, considering that I wished to reinforce that idea of providing the class with ways to work with mental assault, one of the key concepts of the discipline.

    Still; might wish to volunteer for adapting other disciplines? I could use some brainstorming...
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    I wouldn't mind a bit. Worst case scenario, I give you a jumping off point for further tweaks.

    Basically, I'd just use the epic feats that Krimm has cobbled together here, here, and here, with the sole exception of the Master of One feat as the epic feat list, or maybe filter those depending on the first chosen discipline. The reason I would bar Master of One is thematic incoherency plus that would basically give the blademaster two disciplines at will. Granted, at epic, that's not theoretically an issue, but still seems kinda hinky...lol

    Martial Knowledge grants two maneuvers and one stance that you meet the prerequisites to learn flat out.

    And yeah, I like your version better. I was originally just going to call it Tertiary Focus or some such.
    Avatar by niezck1! Thanks!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zarthrax's Avatar

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    Elizabethtown, Kentucky

    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    Ok, some more homebrew-y things to start with.

    Oncoming Storm
    3-competance bonus to Sleight of Hand checks
    9-insight bonus to speed x 5 ft.
    15-(unsure, but judging from the discipline feat (Oncoming Storm Expertise), I'd say the Oncoming Storm Discipline on all discipline weapons would actually work well here. If not, I could also see having the master be treated as though he had ranks in Iajitsu Focus equal to his modifier to Sleight of Hand checks.)
    Gift- Whenever you successfully attack an opponent, you make a Sleight of Hand check opposed by their Spot check. If you succeed, the enemy thinks that you missed intentionally and does not even register the fact that he was wounded for one round per +2 of the Discipline Secret bonus. (To represent how very much an Oncoming Storm master is almost like an Iajutsu master in ways. A focused assault can kill an enemy before he even realizes he's dead.)

    Golden Saint-
    3-Whenever the master deals nonlethal damage, he may add his Discipline Secret bonus to the damage.
    9- May make a Diplomacy check as a standard action if touching an ally or other good creature. The target heals HP equivalent to one day's rest plus Discipline Secret bonus. This counts as magical healing.
    15- 1/day, may cast a single spell from the Good domain as if you were a cleric of equivalent level to your initiator level. Maximum level spell available is determined by your Discipline Secret bonus.
    Gift- May choose to do nonlethal damage with any discipline weapon, regardless of weapon enchantments. For instance, the Flaming enchantment deals +1d6 fire damage that is nonlethal.

    Dread Crown-
    3- Discipline Secret bonus as additional damage on all Dread Crown strikes
    9- one half the discipline secret bonus to the DC of all used poisons. (Stacks with Discipline Potency with the relevant boosts.)
    15- 1/day, may cast a single spell from the Evil domain as if you were a cleric of equivalent level to your initiator level. Maximum level spell available is determined by your Discipline Secret bonus.
    Gift- When taking a full attack, the attack with the lowest to hit bonus total, if it hits, deals all its normal damage as vile damage instead.
    Last edited by Zarthrax; 2011-04-28 at 08:48 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Complete (?) Martial (or, yet another ToB homebrew) - The Blademaster (base class

    I was considering asking my DM to allow me to use this class, however, I am unclear as to how this functions with multiclassing/PrCs. Do you have to progress the class to gain access to higher level maneuvers or are all the manuevers available to you with the proper initiator level (class level + 1/2 other classes)?

    On the first interpretation, it seems kind of underwhelming to multiclass/prestige with compared to the ToB martial base classes. While the second interpretation opens itself up to some abuse. I.E. Taking one level of the class at level 20 would get you a large amount of maneuvers readied at all times with very little effort, throw in some martial prestige classes for better results.

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