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    Default Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Given the patent silliness that occurs (theoretically) with Iron Heart Surge, I wondered if a quick rewrite could clarify the language/usage issues it has.

    While I'm not happy with the amount of space the maneuver now takes up, I thought I'd ask for opinions on the rewrite. Have I missed anything obvious?

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    IRON HEART SURGE
    Iron Heart (Boost)
    Level: Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Iron Heart maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: See text

    You are an unstoppable force, in a world without immovable objects.

    Your spirit, dedication, and willpower allow you to overcome almost anything to defeat your enemies. When you use this maneuver, choose a condition, spell or spell-like effect currently affecting you.

    If you choose a condition (such as blinded, sickened, shaken or paralysed) caused by external factors (eg, you may not remove self-inflicted exhaustion, nor natural blindness), that condition ends immediately.

    If you choose a targeted spell, it is dispelled from you automatically. If you choose a spell with an area or emanation (such as antimagic field), or an effect (such as stinking cloud or acid arrow) you gain immunity to that spell and its effects for its duration, or for 24 hours, whichever is lower. This immunity applies not just to the original spell, but any identical spell for as long as the original spell lasts, or 24 hours, whichever is lower. Note that a spell must have a duration (even if that duration is permanent) for you to become immune to it in this fashion. Spell-like abilites, powers, and psi-like abilities are considered to be spells for this maneuver.

    If you choose a spell-like effect (such as those caused by maneuvers, or some special monster abilities), that effect ends immediately. The ability of monsters to grapple, trip, swallow whole and similar is not considered to be spell-like. Poison is similarly not a spell-like effect. Damage is not a spell-like effect, even if it is caused by one, and even if the damage is ability damage. Ability drain and energy drain are, however, considered spell-like effects.

    Using Iron-Heart Surge is a mental action, like casting a stilled and silent spell, or manifesting a power, and may be used while paralysed or otherwise denied physical actions. In addition, Iron-Heart Surge is specifically permitted to be used while petrified as a free action, as long as the maneuver was readied (and not expended) when the petrification took place.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Not bad. I'm not sure about keeping the ability to remove stuff like antimagic field and acid arrow, though - it just doesn't make much sense to me. As I see it the idea of IHS is to remove debilitating conditions, not keep your equipment functioning or remove HP damage (Warblades have another maneuver for that).

    I'd probably make it more specific:

    IRON HEART SURGE
    Iron Heart (Boost)
    Level: Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Iron Heart maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: See text

    When you use this maneuver, you may choose one condition from the list below which is currently affecting you. That condition is removed immediately. You also surge with vengeance and confidence against your foes, gaining a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls until the end of your next turn.

    Iron Heart Surge can remove the following conditions: Blinded, Charmed, Confused, Cowering, Cursed, Dazed, Dazzled, Deafened, Diseased, Dominated, Energy Drained, Entangled, Exhausted, Fascinated, Fatigued, Frightened, Nauseated, Panicked, Paralysed, Poisoned, Shaken, Sickened, Stunned. It can also remove any effect that gives a penalty to your ability scores or saving throws (such as ray of enfeeblement), reduces your speed or actions per round (such as slow) or imposes mental control (such as suggestion).

    At the DM's option, Iron Heart Surge can also remove any unusual condition in line with those listed above.

    Unlike other maneuvers, you may use Iron Heart Surge even when one of the above conditions would otherwise prevent you from using a standard action.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    I like more the one Saph proposed. It makes more sense, IMHO.

    Even if FAQs say the opposite, I can see the mighty warrior ignore blows in the head and ignore stunning, but not put away an AMF.

    BTW, is more or less the version I use now that one of my players took it.
    Last edited by Kaiyanwang; 2010-03-12 at 06:07 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Personally, I'd choose a mixture of both, namely Saph's list of conditions and Sophismata's spell removal. IMO, IHS removing AMF (at least for you) is a feature, not a bug. IHS, for me, is about crushing debiliating effects, or at least strive in such an environment where others are still affected it.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    I'd just like it if IHS made the thing not effect you for a short duration instead of dispelling it. So it still stops AMFs, but it doesn't dispel them. Then again, there's potential abuse there too. But that way an Orc can stop being dazzeled in the sun without dispelling the sun.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Not bad. I'm not sure about keeping the ability to remove stuff like antimagic field and acid arrow, though - it just doesn't make much sense to me. As I see it the idea of IHS is to remove debilitating conditions, not keep your equipment functioning or remove HP damage (Warblades have another maneuver for that).

    I'd probably make it more specific:

    IRON HEART SURGE
    Iron Heart (Boost)
    Level: Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Iron Heart maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: See text

    When you use this maneuver, you may choose one condition from the list below which is currently affecting you. That condition is removed immediately. You also surge with vengeance and confidence against your foes, gaining a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls until the end of your next turn.

    Iron Heart Surge can remove the following conditions: Blinded, Charmed, Confused, Cowering, Cursed, Dazed, Dazzled, Deafened, Diseased, Dominated, Energy Drained, Entangled, Exhausted, Fascinated, Fatigued, Frightened, Nauseated, Panicked, Paralysed, Poisoned, Shaken, Sickened, Stunned. It can also remove any effect that gives a penalty to your ability scores or saving throws (such as ray of enfeeblement), reduces your speed or actions per round (such as slow) or imposes mental control (such as suggestion).

    At the DM's option, Iron Heart Surge can also remove any unusual condition in line with those listed above.

    Unlike other maneuvers, you may use Iron Heart Surge even when one of the above conditions would otherwise prevent you from using a standard action.
    I like it. Two questions (just to help you make it tighter):
    *Obviously you put in the line about "standard action" to allow the removal of paralysis. Is there a similar analog for Charmed, or do you still have to want to remove Charm?
    *If you are multiply-poisoned and choose "poison", does it remove one poison's effect or all?

    I fully agree with you it should not stop AMF. Just things that affect you, not things that affect other things that affect you.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Riffington View Post
    I like it. Two questions (just to help you make it tighter):
    *Obviously you put in the line about "standard action" to allow the removal of paralysis. Is there a similar analog for Charmed, or do you still have to want to remove Charm?
    That one's difficult. The problem is that Charm screws around with your character's desires and motivations. On balance I'd say that it should be allowed to remove it, but I can't think of a good way of phrasing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riffington View Post
    *If you are multiply-poisoned and choose "poison", does it remove one poison's effect or all?
    All, just to cut down on bookkeeping - besides, at higher levels poisons usually come in multiple doses anyway.
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    I like Saph's version but I would keep a vaguer version of the anti-spell aspects. How about adding this line:

    Alternatively Iron Heart Surge can end harmful magic affecting you as if casting a targeted Dispel Magic on your person with an effective caster level equal to your hitdice. When used this way you can choose not to remove beneficial spells.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Lysander, I'd probably use initiator level, rather than hit dice just to keep it consistent with other dispel-type effects.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    So, take a Warblade and put him in a box. There is no light, so he cannot see, so he is blinded. Iron Heart Surge. What happens?

    That's one of the sillier problems with IHS, and I don't quite see from the wording how either version deals with it.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    That one's difficult. The problem is that Charm screws around with your character's desires and motivations. On balance I'd say that it should be allowed to remove it, but I can't think of a good way of phrasing it.
    White Iron Heart Surge removes charm, domination, and similar affects, a character cannot purposefully remove these conditions. If the character uses Iron Heart Surge to remove another condition, these conditions are removed as well.

    Thus, a character under only a charm effect cannot use UHS to remove it. A charmed character who is also blinded can use IHS to remove the blind, and incidentally, the charm is removed as well. Possibly add something about friends convincing him to use IHS to remove such effects outside of battle (charmed by a bard, have his party convince him to use IHS).
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy View Post
    So, take a Warblade and put him in a box. There is no light, so he cannot see, so he is blinded. Iron Heart Surge. What happens?

    That's one of the sillier problems with IHS, and I don't quite see from the wording how either version deals with it.
    No light to see with is not the same thing as Blinded. One is a condition caused by spells or abilities. Another is an environmental condition.
    Last edited by unre9istered; 2010-03-12 at 11:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    Thus, a character under only a charm effect cannot use UHS to remove it. A charmed character who is also blinded can use IHS to remove the blind, and incidentally, the charm is removed as well. Possibly add something about friends convincing him to use IHS to remove such effects outside of battle (charmed by a bard, have his party convince him to use IHS).
    I have never heard of a story where a hero is under a terrible domination effect and then breaks through it, shedding it away... only because it was in the way of some other effect.

    I'd be much more a fan of being able to declare the action even when dominated.
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetRein View Post
    I have never heard of a story where a hero is under a terrible domination effect and then breaks through it, shedding it away... only because it was in the way of some other effect.

    I'd be much more a fan of being able to declare the action even when dominated.
    I'm operating under the assumption that a character doesn't really know that he's been dominated. When blinded or paralyzed, the character goes, "RAWR YOU HAVE INCONVENIENCED ME" and manages to shrug it off. With a domination effect, they don't realize anything's wrong until they make the Will save, so they have no reason to even try IHS.

    That's my assumption though. It works for charm and suggestion; for dominate, I can see someone actively being aware that they're doing something they don't want to, and being able to IHS surge out of it. I prefer to work dominate as also being unaware that anything's wrong, though.
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetRein View Post
    I have never heard of a story where a hero is under a terrible domination effect and then breaks through it, shedding it away... only because it was in the way of some other effect.

    I'd be much more a fan of being able to declare the action even when dominated.
    If you're allowed some measure of free action before you receive commands, then you can IHS off Domination. But as soon as you get a command, you're probably stuck, because IHS will generally not be an action related to carrying out that command, which is the only thing you can do while dominated. Rules-wise, the only way IHS really works against Domination is either accidental (you IHS a different status effect in the course of carrying out a 'hold off your party for me' order) or if IHS is changed to an Immediate action so you can set it off in between being Dominated and actually getting an order.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    I'd just add a line to Iron Heart Surge like this to address the mind-control aspect:

    "Iron Heart Surge can be activated instinctively if necessary. A person can therefore benefit from iron heart surge even when a condition prevents them from willingly or consciously activating it."

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    I'd just add a line to Iron Heart Surge like this to address the mind-control aspect:

    "Iron Heart Surge can be activated instinctively if necessary. A person can therefore benefit from iron heart surge even when a condition prevents them from willingly or consciously activating it."
    I prefer to keep exceptions limited. What we've got is really the same situation as petrified or stunned, a status effect that prevents you from using IHS, so it can come under the same exception. Saph's statement:

    "Unlike other maneuvers, you may use Iron Heart Surge even when one of the above conditions would otherwise prevent you from using a standard action."

    Can be modified to:

    "Unlike other maneuvers, you may use Iron Heart Surge even when one of the above conditions would otherwise prevent you from using a standard action to activate Iron Heart Surge or would prevent you from wanting to end the condition (examples: charmed, stunned, dominated, or petrified)."

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    It could be a non-action that occurs whenever the player doesn't take a free action to make it not happen at the start of their turn. The free action to stop it from happening may not be taken while dominated or charmed.

    Have it strip ... first, all dominated and charmed conditions. Then have it strip one other condition of your character's choice, from a given list. Also include "under the effect of a spell" in that list.

    Don't worry about it letting you strip self-inflicted exhaustion.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Or say that IHS can be used as an immediate action to counter mental effects before they take hold, while requiring a standard action for physical effects.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    Or say that IHS can be used as an immediate action to counter mental effects before they take hold, while requiring a standard action for physical effects.
    Indeed.

    There's a point where you should cross the "Trying to specify it in the current rules." versus "Let it exceed the current rules and just get to the point." for the sake of simplicity in playability.
    I believe this is one of those points.
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Not bad. I'm not sure about keeping the ability to remove stuff like antimagic field and acid arrow, though - it just doesn't make much sense to me. As I see it the idea of IHS is to remove debilitating conditions, not keep your equipment functioning or remove HP damage (Warblades have another maneuver for that).
    While I like the much shorter rewrite, I always saw the ability to remove AMF's as a feature of IHS, rather than a problem. The fact that the entire AMF would collapse I found odd, but kind of awesome in a peculiar way. Ultimately, I feel immunity to the effect makes more sense than removing it entirely, but you're the first person I've seen who's disliked the AMF immunity IHS provides.

    Still, I like your rewrite better - it's more concise and offers even less room for... interesting interpretations.

    Balance wise, what if IHS was to systematically remove all listed conditions when used? It doesn't remove the source of the problem, in most cases (stinking cloud), but it does help fight stacked debilitating effects.

    Personally, I'd really like IHS to offer a method of removing or ignoring things like Solid Fog and Forcecage.


    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    I'd just like it if IHS made the thing not effect you for a short duration instead of dispelling it. So it still stops AMFs, but it doesn't dispel them.
    That's the essential change I made when I rewrote it. Check the first post.


    Quote Originally Posted by Longcat View Post
    Personally, I'd choose a mixture of both, namely Saph's list of conditions and Sophismata's spell removal. IMO, IHS removing AMF (at least for you) is a feature, not a bug. IHS, for me, is about crushing debiliating effects, or at least strive in such an environment where others are still affected it.
    Quote Originally Posted by SweetRein View Post
    There's a point where you should cross the "Trying to specify it in the current rules." versus "Let it exceed the current rules and just get to the point." for the sake of simplicity in playability.
    I believe this is one of those points.


    Hmmmm. Changes in bold:

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    IRON HEART SURGE
    Iron Heart (Counter)
    Level: Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Iron Heart maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: See text

    You are an unstoppable force, in a world without immovable objects.

    Your spirit, dedication, and willpower allow you to overcome almost anything in pursuit of your enemies. This maneuver is used in reaction to a successful spell, spell-like effect or other ability that is about to impose one of the following, listed conditions on you. When your next turn begins, that condition is removed immediately, and you surge with vengeance against your foes, gaining a +2 morale bonus to attacks until the end of that turn.

    Iron Heart Surge can remove the following conditions: Blinded, Charmed, Confused, Cowering, Cursed, Dazed, Dazzled, Deafened, Diseased, Dominated, Energy Drained, Entangled, Exhausted, Fascinated, Fatigued, Frightened, Nauseated, Panicked, Paralysed, Petrified, Poisoned, Shaken, Sickened, Stunned. It can also remove any effect that gives a penalty to your ability scores or saving throws (such as ray of enfeeblement), reduces your speed or actions per round (such as slow) or imposes mental control (such as suggestion).

    At the DM's option, Iron Heart Surge can also remove any unusual condition in line with those listed above.


    Balance wise, you can recover it every other turn. Although avoiding the use of a standard action is more powerful, you will always be vulnerable in the round following the IHS.

    Edit: This even applies to non-Warblade acquisitions. A Swordsage can use this every round, but must spend his turn doing nothing in order to refresh it. Adaptive Style is the same. A Crusader could get this refreshed the turn after using it, but it would be drawn randomly, and they would not get it back until the redraw.

    A non-adept with Martial Study can only use it once per encounter.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy View Post
    So, take a Warblade and put him in a box. There is no light, so he cannot see, so he is blinded. Iron Heart Surge. What happens?
    The blinded condition is different from the inability to see. The cleric spell Remove Blindness/Deafness never really generated that sort of problem.
    Last edited by Sophismata; 2010-03-12 at 09:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sophismata View Post
    The blinded condition is different from the inability to see. The cleric spell Remove Blindness/Deafness never really generated that sort of problem.
    Technically he is seeing. He's just seeing darkness.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    Technically he is seeing. He's just seeing darkness.
    Touché.

    (Apparently, 'touché' is too short. Nuts.)

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    Or say that IHS can be used as an immediate action to counter mental effects before they take hold, while requiring a standard action for physical effects.
    Brilliant.

    (apparently, brilliant is long enough!)
    Last edited by Kaiyanwang; 2010-03-13 at 07:03 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    I have a Warblade in the game I'm currently running.

    We have had a few arguments over what the maneuver can and can't remove.

    I've house-ruled the following:

    If you can make a standard action and the have presence of mind use the maneuver then you can remove the condition.

    If your condition does allow for either, then you can't cheese your way out of it by using IHS.

    Charm & Suggestion could be removed by IHS but since the character is not aware of the effect they won't see a need to use it.
    Dominate means they are controlled by an outside source, and that source will not want to use IHS to remove their control.
    Cower, Frightened & Panicked means that all actions are used to flee, IHS would not be an action that gets you further away from whatever that you fear.

    This is what I believe is the 'spirit' with which the maneuver was written.
    Last edited by RedXian; 2010-03-21 at 11:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    Or say that IHS can be used as an immediate action to counter mental effects before they take hold, while requiring a standard action for physical effects.
    Hmm. I like it.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    I'm not sure how much it would help this discussion, but there's a very effective (albeit slightly wordy) version of IHS in my sig.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedXian View Post
    I have a Warblade in the game I'm currently running.

    We have had a few arguments over what the maneuver can and can't remove.

    I've house-ruled the following:

    If you can make a standard action and the have presence of mind use the maneuver then you can remove the condition.

    If your condition does allow for either, then you can't cheese your way out of it by using IHS.

    Charm & Suggestion could be removed by IHS but since the character is not aware of the effect they won't see a need to use it.
    Dominate means they are controlled by an outside source, and that source will not want to use IHS to remove their control.
    Cower, Frightened & Panicked means that all actions are used to flee, IHS would not be an action that gets you further away from whatever that you fear.

    This is what I believe is the 'spirit' with which the maneuver was written.
    See, that guts the maneuver's usefulness though, and I don't agree that it's within the spirit of the maneuver either. IHS is supposed to represent sheer force of will throwing off magical effects, which should rightfully include mind control - Conan the Barbarian is totally a multiclass Barbarian/Warblade, using Iron Heart Surge to break the mesmerizing effects of evil magicians.
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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Glyphstone View Post
    See, that guts the maneuver's usefulness though, and I don't agree that it's within the spirit of the maneuver either. IHS is supposed to represent sheer force of will throwing off magical effects, which should rightfully include mind control - Conan the Barbarian is totally a multiclass Barbarian/Warblade, using Iron Heart Surge to break the mesmerizing effects of evil magicians.
    Isn't the Will save supposed to represent that "sheer force of will"?

    I put this to you, do you honestly think that the intention of the maneuver was to break out of almost every condition regardless of who or what put you in that condition?

    Iron Heart Surge is a 3rd level maneuver so a Warblade has access to it as early as level 5. Do you want me to believe that a level 20 Wizard can dominate a Level 5 Warblade's mind and the warblade can shake it off like it's nothing?

    For that matter can you think of any other class that can negate such a wide range of conditions, spells and spell-like effects no checks required? No possibility for failure?

    Even with my house ruling it's still a very useful maneuver.

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    Default Re: Iron Heart Surge (Rewrite)

    Quote Originally Posted by RedXian View Post
    Isn't the Will save supposed to represent that "sheer force of will"?

    I put this to you, do you honestly think that the intention of the maneuver was to break out of almost every condition regardless of who or what put you in that condition?

    Iron Heart Surge is a 3rd level maneuver so a Warblade has access to it as early as level 5. Do you want me to believe that a level 20 Wizard can dominate a Level 5 Warblade's mind and the warblade can shake it off like it's nothing?

    For that matter can you think of any other class that can negate such a wide range of conditions, spells and spell-like effects no checks required? No possibility for failure?

    Even with my house ruling it's still a very useful maneuver.
    I don't think that's any more unreasonable than a Level 1 wizard being able to completely block a level 20 wizard's attempt to dominate someone with the first level spell Protection From Evil.

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