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    Default [3.5 ToB Discipline] Chthonic Serpent, Discipline of Whips and Chains (PEACH)


    Chthonic Serpent

    The school of the Sublime Way focuses on versatility and efficiency. Their students are taught to use many weapons, and to excel in the weapons most suited to their disciplines. Reshar believed strongly that a weapon must be usable in all situations and that a martial adept must use any weapon available.

    As such, the 'soft' weapons were largely scorned by Reshar. Though masters of Setting Sun could put nunchaku to powerful use, and the spiked chain was a thing to be feared in the most skilled of Shadow Hand adepts, Reshar himself found that the weapons, though potent in the hands of a master, simply did not offer enough to warrant the special training necessary in their use. If warriors were to be efficient, choosing how to spend their time training is crucial - and time spent mastering such a complicated weapon was wasted, thought Reshar, for his vision of a martial adept was one who would not be dependent on any single weapon.

    Alikarin ahn Tollerria, a friendly rival of Reshar's, disagreed with this decision. He felt, strongly, that the weapons offered opportunities that could not be found with in rigid weaponry, and that training specially in their use could offer rewards to a dedicated student.

    In many ways, Alikarin did find that Reshar was correct - he spent many decades simply experimenting with the weapons, and never had the success of his friend. He drew few students, because he felt he himself was still a novice. Nevertheless, he persevered, and after many years, his small dojo, though obscure and remote, had succeeded, through the combined efforts of Alikarin and his students, in developing ways of using soft weapons not only with the techniques of the Sublime Way, but also with their own discipline: the Chthonic Serpent.

    The ways of the Chthonic Serpent rely on throwing one's opponent off-guard, distracting him and ruining his timing, before finally trapping him within the binding chains of their weapons. The weapons associated with the Chthonic Serpent discipline are the Dire Flail, Flail, Flindbar(MM3), Heavy Flail, Kusari-Gama(DMG), Spiked Chain, Tentacle, and Whip. The skill associated with Chthonic Serpent is Use Rope (Dex).

    Because Alikarin had only succeeded in developing a successful discipline for these weapons by the time both he and Reshar were quite old, Reshar never mastered the discipline and it was never included in his school. As such, it never gained nearly the fame as Reshar's nine, but Alikarin's little dojo lives on, and masters of Chthonic Serpent may be found on occasion. Only Swordsages and Warblades may learn maneuvers from Chthonic Discipline, but most cannot. There are two ways to learn maneuvers from the discipline.

    The first is to have received prior training in the discipline. A Warblade or Swordsage may start with access to Chthonic Serpent, but doing so means neglecting their training in another discipline. A Swordsage or Warblade may during character creation select one of the disciplines he has access to, and replace it with Chthonic Serpent. That discipline's associated skill is no longer a class skill for the character, and they gain Use Rope as a class skill instead.

    The other way is to seek out a master of the Chthonic Serpent, one capable of 5th or higher level maneuvers from the discipline. Such a one may train a Swordsage or Warblade in the discipline. Training costs 1,000 XP and takes a month. After the month, the character gains the ability to learn maneuvers from the Chthonic Serpent discipline, and may further swap out any maneuvers he does know at the time for maneuvers from the Chthonic Serpent discipline of the same level. He also gains Use Rope as a class skill. The difficulty of finding such a mentor is left to the DM to decide.

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    First, big thanks to The Demented One and Krimm Blackleaf for their excellent homebrewed disciplines; they inspired this. Also, many thanks to The Demented One for the "replace a discipline you have or go find training" mechanic for gaining access to the discipline - that's brilliant, and I've nicked that here. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"? Certainly intended to be, here.

    Anyway - I'm pretty newb with Tome of Battle and sort of newish with melee in general. Plus, ya know, Grapple rules. So this definitely needs serious review, and I'd really appreciate it if I could get any.


    1st Level Maneuvers
    Binding Constrictor: Strike - On a successful attack, start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Gain +1 to Grapple check per two initiator levels. Maintain Grapple at distance.
    Coils of Rapture: Stance - If you are smaller than your opponent, all size modifiers for Grapple checks are halved. Allows Grappling of opponents more than two size categories larger than you.
    Crack of the Whip: Stance - Whips may deal lethal damage, attack lightly armored opponents, take attacks of opportunity, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity when attacking.
    Flexible Strike: Strike - Strike ignores target's Shield AC.

    2nd Level Maneuvers
    Dance of Chains: Counter - Counter attack with Grapple attempt.
    Viper Lash: Strike - Attack with 5 ft. greater reach, target is denied Dexterity bonus to AC.

    3rd Level Maneuvers
    Boa Strike: Strike - On a successful attack, start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Gain +1 to Grapple check per two initiator levels. Immediately deal constriction damage equal to weapon damage +2d6. Maintain Grapple at distance.
    Careful Chains: Stance - Gain bonus to Grapple checks depending on ranks in Use Rope.
    Whirling Scythe: Boost - On successful trip attempt before the end of your turn, gain free attack and deal +4d6 damage.
    Wrap-Around Attack: Strike - Against this strike, target's Shield bonus to AC becomes a Shield penalty to AC.

    4th Level Maneuvers
    Blurred Bonds: Boost - All threatened targets are denied Dexterity bonus to AC and take a -4 penalty to all checks to resist Disarming or Trips.
    Death Adder Lash: Strike - Attack with 5 ft. greater reach, target is denied Dexterity bonus to AC. Deals 1 Constitution damage.
    Rapture Rose: Strike - On successful disarm, throw opponent's weapon at another.
    Reap What Has Been Sown: Counter - Gain a free trip attempt that does not provoke attacks of opportunity against those who try to close with you.

    5th Level Maneuvers
    Choking Python: Strike - On a successful attack, start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Gain +1 to Grapple check per two initiator levels. Immediately deal constriction damage equal to weapon damage +4d6.
    Way of Ourobouros: Stance - Grapple two enemies at once while dual-wielding the discipline's associated weapons.
    Whirlwind Lash: Strike - Make a Trip or Disarm attempt against all threatened enemies. This does not provoke attacks of opportunity and enemies cannot attempt to retaliate.

    6th Level Maneuvers
    Cobra Lash: Strike - Attack with 10 ft. greater reach, target is denied Dexterity bonus to AC. Deals 1d4 Constitution damage.
    Death's Embrace: Boost - Blinds each foe attacked this turn.

    7th Level Maneuvers
    Anaconda Crush: Strike - On a successful attack, start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Gain +1 to Grapple check per two initiator levels. Immediately deal constriction damage equal to weapon damage +6d6. Maintain Grapple at distance.
    Reap the Whirlwind: Boost - On next successful Trip attempt this turn, gain free full-attack against target.

    8th Level Maneuvers
    Calamity Symphony: Stance - All of discipline's associated weapons add 5 ft. to their reach and maintain the ability to strike at adjacent squares as well. Against any target completely surrounded by threatened squares, all attacks gain the benefits of flanking.
    Wrath of Quetzalcoatl: Strike - Attack with 15 ft. greater reach, target is denied Dexterity bonus to AC. Deals 1d8 Constitution damage.

    9th Level Maneuvers
    Bonds of Jörmungandr: Strike - Crush the life out of your target.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-12-11 at 06:44 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent

    1st Level Maneuvers
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    Binding Constrictor
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature; see text

    Channeling the great constrictor snakes of the jungle, you whip your weapon around your enemy such that it binds him, and you begin to crush him in the tightening vice of chain.

    As part of this maneuver, you make a single melee attack against an opponent with one of the discipline's associated weapons. If this attack hits, you may immediately make a free Grapple check against him, and if you use Weapon Finesse with this attack, you may substitute your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on this and all Grapple checks until the grapple is broken. You also gain a bonus on this check equal to half of your Initiator Level.

    When a grapple is begun in this way, the weapon used for it may be used to attack your opponent without penalty even if it is not a light weapon for you. You may also make attacks with a weapon in another hand, and if so armed you may threaten squares around you and take attacks of opportunity, though you take a -4 penalty on all attacks against any opponent beside the one you have bound. Alternatively, if the weapon in your other hand is also one of the discipline's associated weapons and can reach your foe, you may wrap both around him, which adds +4 to your Grapple check.

    You may also maintain the grapple without moving into your opponent's space. Doing so prevents your opponent from damaging you by grappling or from pinning you. However, it also allows him to use non-light weapons to attack you, though he still takes the -4 penalty and may not use more than one. You cannot pin him without entering his space as normal, nor can you take items from him or prevent him from speaking. You are not treated as grappled for the sake of casting spells or other actions that require concentration, though at least one hand is occupied with the task.

    Crack of the Whip
    Chthonic Serpent (Stance)
    Level: Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    You know the true way of the whip: where lashes can leave lasting damage, how to handle armored opponents, how to move a whip quickly and strike suddenly, and most of all how to use a whip in every situation.

    While in this stance, any Whip that you use may be used for attacks of opportunity and does not provoke attacks of opportunity itself. You may choose to deal either lethal or non-lethal damage with a whip, at no penalty. Finally, enemies are immune to your whip attacks only if the sum of their Armor and Natural Armor bonuses are greater than your Initiator Level.

    Coils of Rapture
    Chthonic Serpent (Stance)
    Level: Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    Your fighting style takes after monstrous serpents, and your weapon is like an extension of yourself - wrapping, constricting, and crushing your foes.

    While in this stance, you may grapple targets up to four size categories larger than yourself. Further, if your target is larger than you, all size bonuses and penalties to grapple checks are halved.

    Flexible Strike
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    Your weapons of choice bend and curve, easily allowing you to wrap attacks around shields, ignoring them completely.

    As a part of this maneuver, make a single melee attack. This attack ignores your opponent's Shield bonus to AC.


    2nd Level Maneuvers
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    Dance of Chains
    Chthonic Serpent (Counter)
    Level: Swordsage 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature entering an adjacent square

    Your twirling, whirling weaponry is always ready to ensnare an opponent.

    At any point in which an opponent is about to attack you in melee, you may initiate this maneuver to gain a free grapple attempt that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If successful, that attack takes a -4 penalty and from then on normal grapple rules apply.

    Viper Lash
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    Like a rattlesnake glaring down its prey, you coil up, readying yourself - until you suddenly lash out and strike your foe.

    As a part of this maneuver, make a single melee attack. You may attack a target up to 5 feet beyond your weapon's usual reach. Your target is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC for this attack.


    3rd Level Maneuvers
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    Boa Strike
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Chthonic Serpent maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    As Binding Constrictor, but deal constriction damage equal to your weapon's damage (or the sum of both if using two weapons to grapple) + 2d6.

    Careful Chains
    Chthonic Serpent (Stance)
    Level: Swordsage 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Chthonic Serpent maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    You know how best to use your weapons for binding, and know the forms and the moves to pull off elegant, effective binds.

    While in this stance, you gain a bonus to Grapple checks based on ranks in Use Rope.
    {table=head]Use Rope Ranks | Grapple Bonus
    4-8 | +3
    9-13 | +5
    14-18 | +7
    19+ | +10[/table]

    Whirling Scythe
    Chthonic Serpent (Boost)
    Level: Swordsage 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Chthonic Serpent maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: End of Turn

    Your weapons are always in motion, always ready to strike a foe who presents a weakness.

    Until the end of the turn, on any successful Trip attempt you gain a free attack, which deals an extra 4d6 damage.

    Wrap-Around Attack
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Chthonic Serpent maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    Your attacks are so flexible that they can not only avoid an opponents shield - your opponents attempts to use their shield actually hinder their ability to avoid your blows.

    As a part of this maneuver, make a single melee attack. For this attack, your target's Shield bonus to AC becomes a Shield penalty to AC, reducing it by the same value it normally adds.


    4th Level Maneuvers
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    Blurred Bonds
    Chthonic Serpent (Boost)
    Level: Swordsage 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisite: One Chthonic Serpent maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: End of Turn

    Spinning weapons become hard to see, hard to predict. You know just how to use this to your advantage.

    When you initiate this maneuver, all opponents you threaten are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC, and take a -4 penalty on Disarm and Trip checks, against your first attack against them this turn.

    Death Adder Lash
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisite: One Chthonic Serpent maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    A sudden blur, a twinge of pain - and the snakebite kills.

    As Viper Lash, but also deals 1 Constitution damage.

    Rapture Rose
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisite: One Chthonic Serpent maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack plus one ranged attack
    Target: Two creatures

    Death stalks all, and takes from us everything we have.

    When initiating this strike, you attempt to disarm an opponent; this does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If successful, you may fling your opponents weapon at another foe. This attack is treated as a ranged attack that deals the weapon's damage. The weapon's range increment is 10 ft., and you may further only target units within a cone beginning at the original owner of the weapon and pointed at you.

    Reap What Has Been Sown
    Chthonic Serpent (Counter)
    Level: Swordsage 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisite: One Chthonic Serpent maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 Immediate Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One attacking creature

    Your weapons whip and twirl about you, providing an effective shield against attacks.

    At any point in which a foe is entering a square adjacent to you, you may initiate this maneuver to begin a grapple against them.


    5th Level Maneuvers
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    Choking Python
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisite: Two Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    The python's massive strength is a source of inspiration - and terror.

    As Binding Constrictor, but deal constriction damage equal to your weapon's damage (or the sum of both if using two weapons to grapple) +4d6.

    Way of Ourobouros
    Chthonic Serpent (Stance)
    Level: Swordsage 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisite: Two Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    The snake eating its own tail, a sign of infinity, or life and death, or the inherent duality in all things - you have learned to give and take in equal measure, and know how to handle multiple opponents.

    While in this stance, you may grapple an opponent with any of the discipline's associated weapons without entering their space, as with Binding Constrictor. Further, if you use two such weapons, you may bind two opponents in this fashion at once, as long as both are within your reach. Finally, when using Binding Constrictor, Boa Strike, Choking Python, or Anaconda Crush, you may choose to instead initiate the maneuver as a full-round action, in which case it may be used simultaneously with each hand against two different opponents.

    Whirlwind Lash
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisite: Two Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Full-Round Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    You yourself have become as a maelstrom, pulling all with your whirling weapons.

    When you initiate this maneuver, you may make a single Disarm or Trip attempt that does not provoke attacks of opportunity against each opponent you threaten.


    6th Level Maneuvers
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    Cobra Lash
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 6, Warblade 6
    Prerequisite: Two Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    The king of snakes stands tall, strikes long. And none caught in its mesmerizing gaze see it coming.

    As Viper Lash, but may attack up to 10 ft. further than normal with the attack, and deals +1d4 Constitution damage.

    Death's Embrace
    Chthonic Serpent (Viist)
    Level: Swordsage 6, Warblade 6
    Prerequisite: Two Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: End of Turn

    Cold steel, wrapped around foes, showing them the way to the dark of the grave.

    When you initiate this maneuver, each foe you successfully damage with a melee attack this turn must make a Reflex save against DC 16 + your Dexterity modifier, or have their eyes plucked out, blinding them.


    7th Level Maneuvers
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    Anaconda Crush
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 7, Warblade 7
    Prerequisite: Two Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    The largest, heaviest snake there is, could squeeze a man's life from his lungs with scarcely an effort.

    As Binding Constrictor, but deal constriction damage equal to your weapon's damage (or the sum of both if using two weapons to grapple) +6d6.

    Reap the Whirlwind
    Chthonic Serpent (Boost)
    Level: Swordsage 7, Warblade 7
    Prerequisite: Two Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: End of Turn

    Striking high and low, your relentless blows provide a tempest of death for your foes.

    After initiating this maneuver, you gain a free full-attack against the next foe you successfully Trip this turn.


    8th Level Maneuvers
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    Calamity Symphony
    Chthonic Serpent (Stance)
    Level: Swordsage 8, Warblade 8
    Prerequisite: Three Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    Great, whirling coils of death surround you wherever you go, the sweet sound of their slicing the air providing a serenade of destruction.

    While in this stance, your weapon adds 5 ft. to its reach, while maintaining the ability to strike adjacent squares. Further, any foe completely surrounded by squares you threaten (or with squares you threaten on three sides and you yourself on the fourth) is considered flanked for all attacks.

    This ability does not function if they have a wall or similar on one or more sides, even if you would threaten those squares.

    Wrath of Quetzalcoatl
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 8, Warblade 8
    Prerequisite: Three Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Standard Action
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    Quetzalcoatl, great feathered serpent god, is great and benevolent. This does not prevent his wrath from being terrible indeed...

    As Viper Lash, but may attack up to 15 ft. further than normal with the attack, and deals +1d8 Constitution damage.


    9th Level Maneuvers
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    Bonds of Jörmungandr
    Chthonic Serpent (Strike)
    Level: Swordsage 9, Warblade 9
    Prerequisite: Four Chthonic Serpent maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 Full-Round Action (see text)
    Range: One melee attack
    Target: One creature

    The Midgard Serpent, the very bones of the world itself, is the source of your strength. Who can help but be crushed under the very weight of the world?

    When initiating this maneuver, make a melee touch attack to initiate a Grapple. If you succeed on the Grapple check, your opponent takes 4 Strength damage and 4 Constitution damage. You then may make another Grapple check. If you succeed again, your opponent takes another 4 Strength damage and another 4 Constitution damage. You may then make a third Grapple check. If your foe fails this check, your foe is crushed to death, dropping immediately to -10 HP (or lower, if necessary for death).

    If your opponent succeeds on any Grapple check, your Grapple is broken and the maneuver is over. However, if they succeed on the first check, you will have used only a Standard Action, and may take your Move Action for the round. If they succeed on the second check, you may trade a Swift Action if you have one remaining for a Move Action if you like. If they succeed on the third check, then you have used a Full-Round Action as normal.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-11-13 at 07:23 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent

    Feats
    Chthonic Grip
    Prerequisites
    • Blade Meditation (Chthonic Serpent) feat
    • Able to use any two of Binding Constrictor, Boa Strike, Choking Python, or Crushing Anaconda

    Benefits
    You may initiate a Grapple with any of the weapons associated with the Chthonic Serpent discipline. Doing so requires a successful melee attack (not touch attack), followed by a successful Grapple check, but does not provoke an attack of opportunity and does not require that you move into your enemy's space. Grappling in this fashion is identical to using the Binding Constrictor maneuver.

    When using Binding Constrictor, Boa Strike, Choking Python, or Crushing Anaconda, these maneuvers deal an extra +2d6 constricting damage.
    Special
    Chthonic Grip can be used in place of Improved Grapple to qualify for a feat, prestige class, or other special ability. If you already have Improved Grapple when you select Chthonic Grip, you can choose to lose the Improved Grapple feat and gain a new feat in its place. You must meet the prerequisite for the new feat.

    Snake Dance
    Prerequisites

    Benefits
    Choose a Bardic Dance you know, and a Chthonic Serpent Stance you know. You gain the benefits of that Stance whenever you use that Dance, even if you are already in another Stance because of the Martial Dance class feature.
    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack; instead, choose a different Dance with which to associate any Chthonic Serpent stance. No Dance may have more than one Stance associated with it.

    Summon Suffering
    Prerequisites
    • Able to cast 3rd level Arcane spells
    • One Chthonic Serpent maneuver of at least 3rd level

    Benefits
    As a Swift Action, expend an Arcane spell slot in order to gain the Kyton's Dancing Chains ability for a number of rounds equal to the spell's level. Each chain animated with this ability is entitled to a single attack per round, and any one may be used as the your weapon for your attacks, though it can only be used to attack a target within 15' reach of you.

    Items
    Chthonic Serpent Belt
    A Chthonic Serpent Belt looks like a rattlesnake, and the buckle is an intricate device in which the head of the snake opens, revealing two fangs which can be slid over the beads in the serpent's tail. With the buckle closed, the belt looks much like Ourobouros, the snake eating its own tail. The belt functions as a Crown of White Ravens, except that it features maneuvers from the Chthonic Serpent discipline. It comes in Novice, Scholar, or Master varieties.
    Weight: 1 lb.
    Price: 3,000 gp (novice), 15,000 gp (scholar), or 45,000 gp (master)

    Monsters
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2010-01-10 at 05:44 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Do you mind if I upload this to the wiki when you finish with it? It's part of a certain lack of material we have.
    http://www.dnd-wiki.org -- the Dungeons and Dragons Wiki.
    The only good spell point system you will ever see.

    I'm good at rating things. If you want me to tell you how you can improve your homebrew, PM me a link.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    I like the flavour, with all the world-serpents and all :)
    Oh, and I learned a new word today. Although I have no idea how to pronounce it, I do know what 'chthonic' means.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Ok dude, you did really well on this.
    Major Props if this is your 1st TOB Style
    One Q though
    Ok what are the spec for the Kusari-Gama?
    I can't find a copy of the book it is in right now and all the sites I use to find out wep specs don't have it listed.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    I like it. (Then again I like anything from Tome of Battle) But I can't help but think there's already enough disciplines. Why introduce another?

    I know that each discipline has a certain flavor niche.. but it probably wouldn't unabalance them too much to "spread it around"..

    Also, isn't Reap of The Whirlwind a bit high level? I thought the feat "improved trip" does the same thing?

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Corporate M View Post
    I like it. (Then again I like anything from Tome of Battle) But I can't help but think there's already enough disciplines. Why introduce another? I know that each discipline has a certain flavor niche.. but it probably wouldn't unabalance them too much to "spread it around"..
    To be honest, the more the better. If you think about the stupendous amount of spells there is than ToB has quite a bit to go . One of the things that makes casters stronger is the versatility they get from having so much options.
    I also noticed that it can still be a challenge to find the right disciplines if you go for a certain feel/style/focus for a character. I just started playing a character whom I wanted to embody speed and precision and it was suprisingly hard to find the right mix of disciplines to make that possible.
    So yes, more please!

    Also, isn't Reap of The Whirlwind a bit high level? I thought the feat "improved trip" does the same thing?
    I think you missed the 'full' before the 'attack' that you get after a successful trip .

    As to the discipline itself: awesome! Realy realy wel done! I love the flavour, the 'chains' of manouvres (Viper/Death Adder/Cobra Lash) and the power level seems about right. I am sorry I have no more time right now for an in depth balance review, I will try to post again when I have done so. I just had to say I realy liked it!
    Last edited by Anarril; 2009-11-13 at 01:00 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Surgo View Post
    Do you mind if I upload this to the wiki when you finish with it? It's part of a certain lack of material we have.
    Yeah, I'll look into doing that and some of my other stuff this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iferus View Post
    I like the flavour, with all the world-serpents and all :)
    Oh, and I learned a new word today. Although I have no idea how to pronounce it, I do know what 'chthonic' means.
    I am thrilled with the flavor, personally, and yeah, 'chthonic' is incredibly fitting as an adjective. I actually am not sure how to pronounce it either; I learned the word because a member at another forum I'm at uses it as her username... This discipline went through so many names, and I was worried that using such a bizarre word would turn people off, but I really like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarWolfPrime View Post
    Ok dude, you did really well on this.
    Major Props if this is your 1st TOB Style
    One Q though
    Ok what are the spec for the Kusari-Gama?
    I can't find a copy of the book it is in right now and all the sites I use to find out wep specs don't have it listed.
    It's in the Dungeon Master's Guide, but not on the SRD - it's in the "alternate worlds" section, as a suggestion for something you might add to an Asian flavored game. They're like Spiked Chains but they're Light and do less damage (1d4? 1d6? something like that).

    And yes, it's my first homebrew of Tome of Battle. I've created several low-level adepts, but they've seen very little action and as I said, they're all low-level. So this meant a lot of combing through ToB to try to figure out what's appropriate at each level. I actually have a spreadsheet of how many Strikes, Boosts, Counters, and Stances each discipline has in each level, so I could make sure this fell in line with the rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corporate M View Post
    I like it. (Then again I like anything from Tome of Battle) But I can't help but think there's already enough disciplines. Why introduce another?

    I know that each discipline has a certain flavor niche.. but it probably wouldn't unabalance them too much to "spread it around"..
    Oh, I forgot to swipe The Demented One's boiler-plate for handling this.

    The idea would be that a Warblade or Swordsage can replace one of their disciplines with this, not just add another. Yes, the number of disciplines each class can access is an important part of balancing ToB.

    As for just being unnecessary - I disagree. Options are always good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corporate M View Post
    Also, isn't Reap of The Whirlwind a bit high level? I thought the feat "improved trip" does the same thing?
    Hehe, as the guy above me said - full-attack. Yeah.

    Actually, I was most unsure of Whirlwind Lash. No idea if that's balanced, but I sort of suspect not... I mean, with Improved Trip that becomes the much-better version of Whirlwind Attack...

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarril View Post
    To be honest, the more the better. If you think about the stupendous amount of spells there is than ToB has quite a bit to go . One of the things that makes casters stronger is the versatility they get from having so much options.

    I also noticed that it can still be a challenge to find the right disciplines if you go for a certain feel/style/focus for a character. I just started playing a character whom I wanted to embody speed and precision and it was suprisingly hard to find the right mix of disciplines to make that possible.
    So yes, more please!
    Agreed. If you're looking for more, check out The Demented One's stuff and Krimm Blackleaf's stuff - they've both made quite a few disciplines, it's awesome. They're very good, too. ErrantX has at least the very cool Sublime Suel Arcanamach redux, which is just sweet, and IIRC he's got some other ToB stuff besides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarril View Post
    I think you missed the 'full' before the 'attack' that you get after a successful trip .
    Yuuuup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarril View Post
    As to the discipline itself: awesome! Realy realy wel done! I love the flavour, the 'chains' of manouvres (Viper/Death Adder/Cobra Lash) and the power level seems about right. I am sorry I have no more time right now for an in depth balance review, I will try to post again when I have done so. I just had to say I realy liked it!
    Hey, just the general response has been awesome! Yeah, there's the two main chains (constriction and venom are, after all, the two mutually exclusive tactics of snakes), plus a couple of shorter chains (the 'Reap' series, the 'Flexible' series), all of which I find pretty cool.

    Anyway, though, I'd really love that in depth review, I'm really looking forward to it.


    I think one of the big things here is, unlike the 1st party disciplines, a lot of these depend on using one of the associated weapons. I mean, wrapping your enemy in a sword doesn't make much sense. How do people feel about that?
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-11-13 at 02:14 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    It would be extremely scary is the Chain-Tripper in my party saw this. I might show it to him anyways.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    That was my other fear. Tripping is already effective. Here I am, adding a lot of ways to improve trips. Kinda scary.

    Oh well, at least Grappling needs the love.

    By the way, I'd forgotten Prerequisites. They're in there now, pretty standard.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-11-13 at 05:23 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post


    I think one of the big things here is, unlike the 1st party disciplines, a lot of these depend on using one of the associated weapons. I mean, wrapping your enemy in a sword doesn't make much sense. How do people feel about that?
    What about unarmed strikes? An Unarmed swordsage with focus on this and Setting Sun can be the most awesome monk ever!
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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Going by Classical Greek, it should probably be pronounced as kuh-TAHN-ick.

    Anyway, it's a well-written discipline and, while I'm by no means an expert on critiquing these sorts of things, I think it's pretty balanced and I don't see any issues with Reap The Whirlwind. I mean it is only the next foe you successfully trip so there's no potential for abuse with Whirlwind Lash/Mithral Tornado/Adamantine Hurricane/Whirlwind Attack, and the free attack from Improved Trip just adds a single attack (at the cost of two feats) onto your full attack so it's not like you're getting multiple full attack actions.

    If anything I think the discipline is a bit on the weak side compared to all of the Swordsage/Warblade disciplines except Stone Dragon and Desert Wind (only because it's fire damage). On first glance it seems very strike-heavy, with no utility maneuvers and only a couple of counters and boosts. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if I'm a Warblade and I'm looking at dropping one of my disciplines for this, it's not going to be one that gives get-out-of-jail-free cards or breaks the action economy, and it synergizes too well with Tiger Claw dual-wielding to want to give that up.

    As a "fabled tenth school" that you can only get access to after character creation, either through RP, XP or a special PrC, I think it's great. As a replacement of one of the Nine, I think it would benefit from more utility-type stuff. Maybe a stance that gives a Climb speed based on your Use Rope ranks, or a counter that deflects ranged touch attacks, or a short-term affect that duplicates Animate Rope?

    Just throwing some ideas out there. Anything that makes whips viable is cool by me.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    The Animate Rope idea is awesome - but hard to put on a Warblade maneuver.

    In terms of Strikes/Boosts/Counters, it has 14 Strikes, 3 Boosts, and 2 Counters. I think you're right on that; it was intended to be similar to Tiger Claw, but you don't need a second Tiger Claw but it simultaneously synergizes with it. Which is weird and awkward.

    I'll think about switching some things to boosts, and more utility type stuff. I'll have to go through ToB to figure out what kinds of utility if generally available, though.

    As for Unarmed Strikes, yes... ish. Mechanically, I like the idea, especially for the Setting Sun synergy, but I mean, how would you use an unarmed strike for either the Lash line or the Constrict line? The former involves essentially throwing your weapon at an enemy (much as these weapons are actually used), while the Constrict line involves wrapping the weapon around an enemy - neither of which an unarmed strike can do.

    The other thing is that the associated weapons list is already as long as any other list (Tiger Claw and Shadow Hand match this at 6); this may be offset by the fact that so many of them are exotic, though. But I kind of felt awkward about the list to begin with; there are some other options that might be appropriate, too. Braid Blade, Spinning Sword, possibly Nunchaku, etc. *shrug*

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Ok so it is like a spiked chain except it does Bludgeoning on one end and slashing on the other.
    I fig the slashing end would have the Kamas damage(1d6) and 1d6 on the other end. With a ten foot reach.
    An I assume it can be used with either end. If that is the case, I would wield one in my main hand by the weight end and hurl the Kama end like a snakes fangs.
    An hold the other by the Kama end and hurl the weight like the snakes tail, in my off hand.

    I also found these:

    Kusarigama
    Double Kusarigama
    Kusari-fundo
    Meteor Hammer
    Kyoketsu Shoge

    Only thing I have to say about a few of theses is they should also be classified and double weapons and a few should have different damage types on each end. Some are piercing or slashing on one end or bludgeon on the other end. Google the images of these weps an d you will see what I mean.
    Last edited by LunarWolfPrime; 2009-11-13 at 09:01 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    There's already a statted Kusari-Gama, like I said. I'm not sure if the D&D Wiki one matches it though. Anyway, I'm not really brewing weapons, just a style that uses them. Since those are homebrewed weapons, I feel pretty comfortable leaving them off of the list and allowing DMs to decide if a weapon is fitting or not - I'd say all of those weapons are, for example. Though I probably would hesitate to allow the Meteor Hammer in a game - it's effectively two Kusari-Gamas for cheaper than one, but with much better damage. Uh what?

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Err... bump? I'd really like some in-depth critique on this, if anyone's got any.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    sorry, no good with in depth reviews but at a glance, it seems very balanced. also, you have won. I love Soft weapons, and enjoy the idea of a ToB style that uses them
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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Hehe, glad you enjoy it.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    Err... bump? I'd really like some in-depth critique on this, if anyone's got any.
    Just so you know, I am working on what I said earlier but its taking some time and some other things came up. But it is getting there .

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Sweet, that's awesome!

    I'm also working on perhaps adding some utility to the discipline. So far I have some kind of grappling hook like ability in mind, but I need to work out the details and figure out where it fits.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Wow. That's all I can say. This is fantastic.

    I've been in love with the ToB since it came out because it finally gives martial characters some edge against casters. Unfortunately, it nerfs most of the base martial classes. I'm going to (at some point) post a big chart where I give all the base martial classes (that is, classes that aren't pure casting classes) a small amount of martial stances and maneuvers (nothing supernatural, but enough to give options in combat).

    This is an amazing idea. Having Use Rope as the base skill is genius, and I love the flavor of the style all around. My hat's off to you. Let me know if you come up with any others. Absolutely brilliant.

    Edit: Upon reading the maneuvers, my one dislike is the progression of the Viper's Lash abilities. If I used this in a game I would remove the ever-increasing range; to me, it just stretches the believability too much. I just don't see how you could ever hit someone 20-25 feet out with a spiked chain, but to each his own. Still, fantastic flavor, and great work!
    Last edited by Exanedral; 2009-12-04 at 03:06 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    I'm glad you like it! I'm really keen on more feedback on this one.

    Anyway, at least half of the range of the Viper Lash line is supposed to be from a lunge, in addition to the length of the weapon itself. When used with, say, a Flail, it's kind of weird, but for most of the associated weapons it works pretty well, I think. I'll consider slowing the range progression and upping the other effects, though.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Not that I'm much at measuring out mechanics, and I don't pretend to have analysed the build particularly, but this 1st level maneuver jumped out at me:

    Coils of Rapture
    Chthonic Serpent (Stance)
    Level: Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    Your fighting style takes after monstrous serpents, and your weapon is like an extension of yourself - wrapping, constricting, and crushing your foes.

    While in this stance, you may grapple targets up to four size categories larger than yourself. Further, if your target is larger than you, all size bonuses and penalties to grapple checks are halved.
    As I understand it, that means a halfling warblade, with Small size, is capable of Grappling something at Gargantuan size. Or that a dwarf, at Medium size, is capable of Grappling something at Colossal size. And on top of that, he'd be able to take no worse penalties than if he were tackling something half the size. I don't know the average Grapple modifier for a large or huge creature, but it just boggled my mind for realism, being a first-level maneuver. Strikes me as a very powerful feat to give to a first level character -- the chance for a dwarf to grapple the Tarrasque. Is this one unbalanced?

    Otherwise, I certainly appreciate the effort and thought that's gone into it.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    I did think this stance was a little overpowered as well, but with the penalties you're taking, you're not going to get very far at first level.
    But imagine the 15th level martial adept, wielding a spiked chain, using this stance to wrap his chain around the leg of a red dragon, crushing the bones and holding it back while the monster tries futilely to attack his fleeing allies. I mean yeah, it's a stretch, but some of the regular disciplines do pretty crazy stuff. Comet Throw (cough cough). To balance it, you could probably move it up a few levels, but either way, the idea behind it is pretty cool.

    Edit: Better idea! Have it be a scaling stance. First it starts out at level one allowing you to grapple opponents one size modifier above you. At third you get a new stance, 2 sizes above... at fifth you get 3 sizes, and seventh you get 4. That way by the time you're high level, such an epic feat might not seem so out of place.
    Last edited by Exanedral; 2009-12-04 at 03:41 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Exanedral View Post
    I did think this stance was a little overpowered as well, but with the penalties you're taking, you're not going to get very far at first level.
    But imagine the 15th level martial adept, wielding a spiked chain, using this stance to wrap his chain around the leg of a red dragon, crushing the bones and holding it back while the monster tries futilely to attack his fleeing allies. I mean yeah, it's a stretch, but some of the regular disciplines do pretty crazy stuff. Comet Throw (cough cough). To balance it, you could probably move it up a few levels, but either way, the idea behind it is pretty cool.

    Edit: Better idea! Have it be a scaling stance. First it starts out at level one allowing you to grapple opponents one size modifier above you. At third you get a new stance, 2 sizes above... at fifth you get 3 sizes, and seventh you get 4. That way by the time you're high level, such an epic feat might not seem so out of place.
    Scaling's a good idea. I'm just conscious of buff spells and how much they might upend the mechanics to turn this from impossibility to numerically possible. Again, this might be a bit of a rudimentary analysis given I haven't looked intimately at the various modifiers you get for the different sizes.

    One thought: the RAW (heh heh) says "All size bonuses and penalties are halved" if the target is larger than you. I assume (and this might need clarification) this means the target's size bonuses and penalties are halved? Or does it also include that, say, a Small user of this stance also has their size penalty halved?

    I think you're right on the Tarrasque hypothetical, though: its grapple modifier is +81, so this stance is pretty much meaningless in that scenario anyway. And it also looks like Gargantuan black dragons will still survive a 7th level dwarf with a normal grapple modifier in the +58 region.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    The issue is that grappling, as it stands in 3.5, is... pretty much a non-starter against non-humanoid enemies. Every monster that's any good at grappling, has huge racial bonuses to grappling. Tarrasque's +81 is an example, though far from the only one. The size rule ("you cannot grapple things two sizes larger than you ever, no, not even then") is a pretty serious issue.

    Basically, rather than being overpowered, I think of it as undoing an overpowered penalty.

    And yes, the idea would be that both the enemy's bonus and your penalty would be halved. This has the effect of halving the total difference in modifiers due to size - if a Halfling's -4 becomes a -2, and an Ogre's +4 becomes +2, the difference has gone from -8 to -4 - significant, I think, but still a very serious disadvantage.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    This is awesome, that's all I really have to say.

    I lied, I'd also like to say that if I could be a practitioner of the sublime way, I'd want to follow and focus on this discipline.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    Wow, thanks. That's really nice to hear.

    Does any one have any thoughts on improving the discipline's utility/defenses?

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    Default Re: [3.5 Tome of Battle Discipline] Chthonic Serpent (PEACH)

    "More counters" springs to mind. It always struck me that the biggest disadvantage of Grapple is the lack of mobility -- you can't attack others without breaking your grapple.

    How about a maneuver or two along these lines--

    "Coiling the Shield" Counter -- if you're grappling someone and you are attacked by someone other than the person you're grappling with, you can use this counter to use your opponent's body as additional AC. Ordinarily attacking someone in grapple (IIRC) brings on a random chance of hitting aggressor or victim, but with this counter you get a +4 to AC against an attack of this kind, and if the strike hits the opponent, it does x1.5 damage (being you suddenly springing around to use the body of the opponent as a shield, or suchlike.)

    Could even do that one as a stance.

    "Serpent Vaults the Mountain" attack -- if grappling someone, you may make an unarmed attack against an adjacent foe without breaking your grapple (I envision using your opponent's centre of mass as a fulcrum for an awesome-looking kick or something like that...)

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