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    Default Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Stygian Nightmare Discipline

    No one knows when the first Stygian Nightmare adept appeared, nor the why of it. It is probably better that way. Stygian Nightmare is not so much a martial discipline one chooses to master so much as it is a psychic plague that imparts knowledge unbidden into the minds of those that host it. Such hosts have their dreamscapes riddled with nightmares filled with morbid imagery that they know, on some fundamental level, is but a mere echo of an afterlife that is not spoken of in planar cosmology. And as the contagion burns deeper into their minds, it imparts knowledge of the means to bring these images to others, to mimic the inescapable grasp of this place that the hosts see in their mind’s eye: Stygia, the place where the dead go to die.

    Those who begin to utilise or even master the movements and techniques whispered and thrust into their heads acquire a unique martial discipline that brings utmost terror into the minds of their foes whilst denying them all hope of escape. The Stygian Nightmare adept is as inevitable as death itself. Stygian Nightmare’s associated skill is Autohypnosis, as it requires the ability to control one’s subconscious fears and project them into the minds of others. The associated weapons of the Stygian Nightmare discipline are the bastard sword, greataxe, scythe, sickle, spear and spiked chain.

    Because the Stygian Nightmare discipline was never taught widely at the Temple of the Nine Swords or any similar centre of training, most martial adepts do not know any maneuvers from it, or even know it exists. Any martial adept can learn maneuvers from the Stygian Nightmare discipline. There are two ways to master the discipline. The first is to have caught the psychic contagion prior to further training in the Sublime Way. If you choose this approach, you simply replace one discipline that adept could normally learn maneuvers from with the Stygian Nightmare discipline.

    The other way is to seek out a master of the Stygian Nightmare discipline–a martial adept capable of using at least 5th-level maneuvers from the discipline, and to have them infect you with the Stygian Nightmare contagion. You must train for a month under the master, or spend a month in research and training, and spend 1,000 xp at the end of the month. You gain the ability to learn maneuvers from the Stygian Nightmare discipline. In addition, you may exchange your maneuvers known for maneuvers of the Stygian Nightmare discipline. You may exchange one maneuver of each level, and the new maneuvers you learn must be of the same level as the exchanged maneuvers, unlike normal.
    Last edited by Edge; 2011-10-23 at 02:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Maneuvers

    1st Level
    Clawing Back Time: Strike – You steal life from your target, gain temporary hp.
    Pale Horseman’s Reckless Harvest: Stance – Make wide, sweeping attacks at the expense of accuracy and safety.
    Panic Assault: Strike – Attack deals +1d6 damage, Cha damage with Autohypnosis check.
    Paranoid Posture: Stance – Paranoia keeps you on your toes, never caught flat-footed.
    Unsettled Mind: Counter – Instantly shake off sleep or fear effect.

    2nd Level
    Cerberus’ Guard: Strike – Fight defensively, target takes penalty to AC next round.
    Pale Horseman’s Ride: Strike – Charge target, gain temporary hp.
    Tartarean Gift: Boost – Gain +1d6 negative energy damage, struck targets take another 1d6 next round.
    Visage of Dread: Counter – Use Autohypnosis check instead of AC against one opponent’s attacks this turn.

    3rd Level
    Nightmare Logic Bearing: Stance – Move an equal distance as a free action whenever designated target moves.
    Rotting Blow: Strike – Deal minor Con damage, target briefly loses DR and hardness.
    Terrorising Procession: Strike – Charge, all foes along path shaken for 1 round.
    Wraithdance: Boost – Become semi-corporeal, move like a ghost.

    4th Level
    Decree of the Kerberoi: Strike – Target must obey an Old Law or suffer temporary energy drain.
    Pale Horseman’s Reaping: Strike – Deal extra damage to low hp target, gain temporary hp.
    Phantasm’s Parry: Counter – Block enemy’s attack with Autohypnosis check, attacker takes Cha damage.

    5th Level
    Dark Hallucination: Strike – Target sees loved ones dead, becomes unable to act.
    Horrific Steps of Hypnos: Enter subconscious of adjacent foe, teleport to another within 50ft, both take negative energy and Cha damage.
    Pale Horseman’s Folly: Stance – Provoke attacks of opportunity in order to attack touch AC in melee.
    Procession of the Lethe: Strike – Charge target, attack, and charge a second target. Squares you move through cause forgetfulness and Wis drain.

    6th Level
    Necrotising Blow: Strike – Deal moderate Con damage, target briefly loses DR and hardness.
    Orphean Ordeal: Strike – Attack target, deal extra damage, their closest loved one must save or die.
    Pale Horseman’s Inevitable Scything: Strike - Deal significant extra damage to low hp targets, gain temporary hp.

    7th Level
    Decree of the Arkerberoi: Strike – Target must obey Old Laws or suffer energy drain.
    Nightmare Inescapable: Strike – Deal Wis, Cha damage at range, target must move closer to you or not move at all.
    Phantasm’s Rot: Counter – Melee attacker has weapon destroyed, moderate Con damage.

    8th Level
    Avernian Gate: Boost – Become incorporeal, gain touch attack that damages Wis, Cha.
    Caul of the Pale Horseman: Stance – Erect walls of force around yourself that follow you as you move, area within gains some traits of Stygia.
    Horrific Steps of Thanatos: Enter subconscious of adjacent foe, teleport to another within 100ft, annihilate minds of both.

    9th Level
    Premomento Mori: Strike – Attack target, they must save or perish. Survivors are accompanied by a demoralising shade.
    Last edited by Edge; 2010-10-02 at 06:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Maneuver Descriptions

    1st Level
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    Clawing Back Time
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 1, Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    Desperate to delay your death and postpone your soul’s journey to Stygia, you steal the life from those you attack. You make a normal melee attack as part of this maneuver. If your attack hits and deals damage, you gain temporary hit points equal to 1d4 + your initiator level. You do not gain any temporary hit points if you use this maneuver on a construct or undead creature.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Pale Horseman’s Reckless Harvest
    Stygian Nightmare (Stance)
    Level: Crusader 1, Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    You adopt a position that allows you to make wide, reaping blows that threaten the lives of many at the expense of accuracy and your own safety. Whilst in this stance, you take a -2 penalty to attack rolls and AC. In exchange, whenever you successfully deal damage with a melee attack, you deal slashing damage equal to your Strength modifier to all foes within your reach.

    Panic Assault
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 1, Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You draw forth your nightmare visions of Stygia and thrust them into your target’s mind through your blade. You make a normal melee attack as part of this maneuver. In addition, make an Autohypnosis check (DC equal to target’s AC). If the Autohypnosis check fails, resolve the attack normally. If it succeeds and the attack hits, you deal an extra 1d6 points of negative damage and 1 point of Charisma to your target. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Paranoid Posture
    Stygian Nightmare (Stance)
    Level: Crusader 1, Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    Drawing on the paranoia and fear of sleepless nights, your hone your reactions to better prepare a defence for yourself. Whilst in this stance, you can never become flat-footed.

    Unsettled Mind
    Stygian Nightmare (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 1, Swordsage 1, Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You

    You have seen true terror in your nightmares, and nothing in the mortal world or beyond can shake you – and you will do anything to stay out of your own subconscious. You can use this maneuver any time you would be required to make a save against a sleep or fear effect. If you choose to do so, you shrug off the sleep or fear effect, ignoring it as though you had successfully saved against it.


    2nd Level
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    Cerberus’ Guard
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 2, Swordsage 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous/1 round (see text)

    You mimic the guardian of the Gates of Stygia, drawing enemies in close before finishing them off. As part of this strike, you make a normal defensive attack. Regardless of whether your attack hits or misses, at the start of your next turn, all foes that were adjacent to you when you initiated this maneuver take a penalty to AC equal to the number of attacks that missed you last round after you initiated this maneuver, with a minimum penalty of -1.

    Pale Horseman’s Ride
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 2, Swordsage 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
    Range: Special
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    Your charge echoes the wrathful ride of the Pale Horseman, your weapon drawing your foe’s life into you. As part of this maneuver, you make a normal charge attack that deals an additional 1d6 negative energy damage on a hit. If your charge attack is successful, you gain temporary hit points equal to the damage you dealt to the target.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Tartarean Gift
    Stygian Nightmare (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 2, Swordsage 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: End of turn

    You call upon the essence of Stygia and shroud your weapon in it. Until the end of your next turn, your melee attacks deal an extra 1d6 negative energy damage. Creatures wounded by your attacks this turn also take an additional 1d6 negative energy damage at the start of your turn next round.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Visage of Dread
    Stygian Nightmare (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 2, Swordsage 2, Warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You

    As an opponent readies an attack, you fling a brief image of Stygia into his mind, likely enough to case him to either halt in his attack or swing wide. You can use this maneuver any time you are subject to a melee attack. You must declare your usage of this maneuver once the attack has been rolled, but before you know the result.

    Make an Autohypnosis check. For the purposes of this attack, your Autohypnosis check result replaces your AC.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.


    3rd Level
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    Nightmare Logic Bearing
    Stygian Nightmare (Stance)
    Level: Crusader 3, Swordsage 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You/One creature (see text)
    Duration: Stance

    You are inescapable. Like the source of terror in a nightmare, the harder your target flees, the harder you pursue. Whilst you are in this stance, at the start of your turn choose one creature you have line of sight to. Until the start of your next turn, any time the selected creature moves for any reason, you must immediately move an equal distance as a free action. Resolve your movement before the target takes any other actions in their turn and before moving on to the next creature’s turn. You must end your move closer to your selected target that you were before it.

    Rotting Blow
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 3, Swordsage 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous; one round (see text)
    Save: None

    You channel the essence of decay that pervades Stygia and force it into your opponent through your weapon and your mind. As part of this maneuver, make an attack roll. If you hit your target, rather than dealing normal weapon damage, you deal 1d2 Con damage. In addition, on a successful attack the target loses any damage reduction or hardness they may possess for one round.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Terrorising Procession
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 3, Swordsage 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
    Range: Special
    Target: One creature
    Area: Every 5ft square adjacent to each square of movement
    Duration: Instantaneous; one round (see text)
    Save: Will negates (see text)

    You charge forth, a trail of nightmares and visions of Stygia filling the minds of those in your wake. As part of this maneuver, you make a normal charge attack. Both the creature you charge and any creatures in adjacent to the squares you moved through during the charge must make a Will save (DC 13 + Charisma modifier) or become shaken until the start of your next turn.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Wraithdance
    Stygian Nightmare (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 3, Swordsage 3, Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: One round

    Mingling Stygia’s own essence with your own, you become more wraithlike. After initiating this maneuver, you cannot be harmed by nonmagical weapons until the start of your next turn.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.


    4th Level
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    Decree of the Kerberoi
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 4, Swordsage 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisite: 2 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    In an ironic move, you break the laws of the multiverse to impose the chthonic Old Laws of Stygia upon one creature. As part of this maneuver, you make a normal melee attack. If your attack hits and deals damage, your target becomes beholden to one of the Old Laws, selected at random, though they do not become aware of it until their first violation. If the target breaks an Old Law, they immediately gain a negative level (no save) for as long as they are beholden to the Law. These negative levels stack.

    Roll a d8 to determine the Old Law imposed by this maneuver:
    1. Must not harm incorporeal undead.
    2. Must not directly harm a martial adept with knowledge of Stygian Nightmare maneuvers more than once.
    3. Must eat and drink everything put before you.
    4. Must not wield or wear any item of a magical nature.
    5. If confronted by an incorporeal undead, must destroy it, or let itself be destroyed by it.
    6. Must not use any Stygian Nightmare maneuvers.
    7. Must not drink river water.
    8. Must not use Necromancy effects.


    If a target is subject to this maneuver more than once in an encounter, then only the Old Law imposed by the latest application of this maneuver applies, though all negative levels the target has accrued through this maneuver remain. The target remains beholden to the Old Law until the end of the encounter, at which point they automatically lose any negative levels they gained from this maneuver.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Pale Horseman’s Reaping
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 4, Swordsage 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You utilise a vicious arcing blow that cuts short lives to add them to your own. As part of this attack, make a normal melee attack. If it hits, it deals an extra 2d6 negative energy damage. If the target's current hit points are less than its full normal hit points, the attack instead deals an extra 3d6 damage. If its hit points are equal to or less than half its full normal hit points, it deals 4d6 extra damage instead. If you drop a creature with this maneuver, you gain 1d10+4 temporary hit points.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Phantasm’s Parry
    Stygian Nightmare (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 4, Swordsage 4, Warblade 4
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You; one creature (see text)
    Duration: Instantaneous

    As a foe attacks you, you respond by parrying and counterattacking with a lance of visions from the depth of Stygia. You may only use this maneuver when targeted by a melee or ranged attack. You must declare your use of this maneuver once the attack has been rolled but before you know the result.

    Make an Autohypnosis check. Replace your AC with your check result for the purposes of determining whether your attacker hits. If they miss, they immediately take 2d4 Charisma damage.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.


    5th Level
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    Dark Hallucination
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike) [Mind-Affecting]
    Level: Crusader 5, Swordsage 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: 60ft
    Target: One creature
    Duration: 1 round/4 initiator levels
    Save: Will negates

    Now a horrifically simple task for you, you call forth images from Stygia of the inevitable future deaths of your target’s loved ones. Your target must make a Will save (DC 15 + Charisma modifier) or be dazed for the duration of the effect and take 1 Cha damage each round they remain under the effect. The target can attempt a new save each round to end the effect.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Horrific Steps of Hypnos
    Stygian Nightmare [Teleportation]
    Level: Crusader 5, Swordsage 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 full-round action.
    Range: Adjacent; 50ft (see text)
    Target: One adjacent non-mindless creature and one non-mindless creature within 50ft of initial target.
    Duration: Instantaneous.

    You enter the subconscious of one creature adjacent to you before jumping to that of another nearby creature, dragging images of Stygia along with you. Your initial target takes 6d6 points of negative energy damage and 2d4 Charisma damage and you teleport into any square adjacent to another creature within 50ft of the first target. The creature you teleport adjacent to takes 3d6 points of negative energy damage and 1d4 Charisma damage. Neither of the creatures targeted by this maneuver can be mindless.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Pale Horseman’s Folly
    Stygian Nightmare (Stance)
    Level: Crusader 5, Swordsage 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    You imitate the uncaring reaping of life performed by the Pale Horseman, focusing purely on taking life, even at the expense of the safety of your own. Whilst in this stance, all melee attacks you make are made against your target’s touch AC. However, every attack you make provokes attacks of opportunity from an opponent who can reach you.

    Procession of the Lethe
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 5, Swordsage 5, Warblade 5
    Prerequisite: 1 Stygian Nightmare maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
    Range: Melee attack; see text
    Target: Two creatures; see text
    Area: One 5ft square per 5ft of movement
    Duration: Instantaneous; 5 rounds; see text

    You charge inexorably, unstoppable as the slow-flowing yet inevitable eddies of the River Lethe. As part of this maneuver you charge a creature and then charge a second after resolving your attack against the first creature. After your two charges, all the squares you exited during your charges are filled with a spectral incarnation of the waters of Lethe. The spectral waters remain for 5 rounds and during that duration any creature other than you that moves through the affected squares takes 1 Wisdom damage and temporarily forgets one spell, psionic power, martial maneuver, spell-like ability or feat. The creature chooses which type of ability to forget, and then randomly determines which to lose. A creature cannot elect to forget a type of ability that it does not actually possess. The lost ability still fulfils prerequisites whilst forgotten and returns at the end of the encounter.


    6th Level
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    Necrotising Blow
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 6, Swordsage 6, Warblade 6
    Prerequisite: 2 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous; 1 round/4 initiator levels (see text)
    Save: None

    You call forth the essence of the flesh-hungry twice-dead of Stygia and force it into your opponent through your weapon and your mind. As part of this maneuver, make an attack roll. If you hit your target, rather than dealing normal weapon damage, you deal 1d6 Con damage. In addition, on a successful attack the target loses any damage reduction or hardness they may possess for one round per four initiator levels your possess.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Orphean Ordeal
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 6, Swordsage 6, Warblade 6
    Prerequisite: 2 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Save: Fort negates (see text)

    You call forth the essence of a spiteful shade of Stygia to cause your opponent the utmost grief. As part of this maneuver you make a normal melee attack. If your attack hits, it deals an extra 8d6 negative energy damage. In addition, if successfully hit, the target’s closest loved one must make a Fortitude save (DC 16 + Charisma modifier) or die. If the loved one fails their saving throw, the target immediately realises their fate on a fundamental level and takes a -2 morale penalty on all attack rolls, saves and checks for the rest of the encounter.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Pale Horseman’s Inevitable Scything
    Stygian Nightmare (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 6, Swordsage 6, Warblade 6
    Prerequisite: 2 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You scythe through opponents with nauseating ease. As part of this attack, make a normal melee attack. If it hits, it deals an extra 3d6 negative energy damage. If the target's current hit points are less than its full normal hit points, the attack instead deals an extra 5d6 damage. If its hit points are equal to or less than half its full normal hit points, it deals 10d6 extra damage instead. If you drop a creature with this maneuver, you gain 1d20+9 temporary hit points.


    7th Level
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    Decree of the Arkerberoi
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 7, Swordsage 7, Warblade 7
    Prerequisite: 4 Stygian Nightmare Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One target
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You manage to impose the Old Laws on a target in a more lasting and binding manner. As part of this maneuver, you make a normal melee attack that deals an extra 5d8 negative energy damage. If your attack hits and deals damage, your target becomes beholden to 1d2+1 random Old Laws, though they do not become aware of it until their first violation. If the target breaks an Old Law, they immediately gain a negative level (no save) that lasts until the end of the encounter. These negative levels stack. However, the Laws the target is beholden to do not stack - the Laws applied through the latest use of this maneuver on a target overwrite the Laws imposed by previous uses.

    Roll a d8 to determine the Old Laws imposed by this maneuver, re-rolling duplicate Laws:
    1. Must not harm undead.
    2. Must not harm a martial adept with knowledge of Stygian Nightmare maneuvers more than once.
    3. Must eat and drink everything put before you.
    4. Must not wield or wear any item of a magical nature.
    5. If confronted by an undead creature, must destroy it, or let itself be destroyed by it.
    6. Must not use any Stygian Nightmare maneuvers, Necromancy spells or Shaping powers.
    7. Must not drink.
    8. Must use Necromancy effects in preference to all others.


    It should be noted that these Old Laws are similar but different to those imposed by decree of the Kerberoi and that some of the Old Laws are or could be contradictory and the target may be forced to take a negative level in some situations. The target is beholden to the Laws until the end of the encounter.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Nightmare Inescapable
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 7, Swordsage 7, Warblade 7
    Prerequisite: 3 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: 60ft
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous; one round (see text)
    Save: Will partial (see text)

    With a simple mental revelation, you beckon a creature towards their second death. Your target must make a Will save (DC 17 + Charisma modifier) or take 1d6+1 Wisdom damage and 1d6+1 Charisma damage and be forced to only take move actions that bring them closer to you for one round. A successful save halves the ability damage (round down) and removes the need to only move closer to you.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Phantasm’s Rot
    Stygian Nightmare (Counter)
    Level: Crusader 7, Swordsage 7, Warblade 7
    Prerequisite: 3 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
    Range: Adjacent
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You reply to your opponent’s attack by storing Stygia’s rot in your very flesh. You may only initiate this maneuver in response to a melee attack. If the attack hits you, your opponent’s weapon is instantly destroyed, unless it is an artefact, in which case it is unharmed. Even a creature’s natural weapons can be destroyed by this maneuver, and if you do destroy a natural weapon with this maneuver the target also takes 1d4 Con drain.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.


    8th Level
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    Avernian Gate
    Stygian Nightmare (Boost)
    Level: Crusader 8, Swordsage 8, Warblade 8
    Prerequisite: 3 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: One round

    You open an Avernian Gate, the portals that transforms the matter of living and once-dead into the ephemera of the twice-dead, and step through. You briefly gain some of the abilities of the shades of Stygia. Until the beginning of your next turn you and all your equipment become incorporeal. You cannot use your equipment to attack corporeal targets, but you do gain a melee touch attack that deals 1d4 Wisdom damage and 1d4 Charisma damage.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Caul of the Pale Horseman
    Stygian Nightmare (Stance)
    Level: Crusader 8, Swordsage 8, Warblade 8
    Prerequisite: 4 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Area: 30ft radius, centred on you
    Duration: Stance

    Whilst in this stance, you radiate an aura filled with the essence of Stygia. You possess a 30ft radius aura with the following effects:

    • Creatures that begin their turn within the area of your aura cannot leave the area of the aura through any means until the start of their next turn.
    • Living creatures that begin your turn within the area of the aura must make a Will save (DC 18 + Charisma modifier) or take either 4d6 negative energy damage, 1 Constitution drain or 1 Charisma drain (creature's choice).
    • Undead and non-living Constructs that begin your turn within the area of the aura must make a Fortitude save (DC 18 + Charisma modifier) or be slowed until the start of your next turn.


    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

    Horrific Steps of Thanatos
    Stygian Nightmare [Teleportation]
    Level: Crusader 8, Swordsage 8, Warblade 8
    Prerequisite: 3 Stygian Nightmare maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
    Range: Adjacent; 50ft (see text)
    Target: One adjacent non-mindless creature and one non-mindless creature within 50ft of initial target.
    Duration: Instantaneous.
    Save: Will partial

    You dive into the mind of your opponent and burst forth from the thoughts of another, your psyche broadcasting images of Stygia all the while. Your initial target takes 10d6 points of negative energy damage and 3d4 Charisma damage and you teleport into any square adjacent to another creature within 50ft of the first target. The creature you teleport adjacent to takes 5d6 points of negative energy damage and 2d4 Charisma damage. A DC 18 + Cha modifier Will save halves the Charisma damage for both creatures. Neither of the creatures targeted by this maneuver can be mindless.

    This maneuver is a supernatural ability.


    9th Level
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    Premomento Mori
    Stygian Nightmare (Strike)
    Level: Crusader 9, Swordsage 9, Warblade 9
    Prerequisite: 5 Stygian Nightmare Maneuvers
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature
    Duration: Instantaneous; permanent (see text)
    Save: Will partial (see text)

    Time in Stygia does not flow linearly – everything and everyone dwells there in their second death already even if their first death, or even their birth, has not yet occurred. With this maneuver, you pull forth a snapshot of an object in Stygia that confirms for your opponent that they are already dead, a premomento mori, and channel this hateful image into your target’s mind through the only medium that is fitting: your weapon.

    As part of this maneuver, you make a normal melee attack. If your attack hits the target must make a Will save (DC 19 + Charisma) or go and reside in Stygia, falling dead on the spot. Even on a successful save the target is struck gravely by not only his own mortality, but the mortality of his soul, which is not helped by the shade of the target arising from Stygia to constantly remind their still-living selves of their ultimate fate. In game terms, on a successful save the target is permanently cursed with a -2 penalty to all attacks, saves and checks. This effect can only be removed with the application of a wish or miracle spell.
    Last edited by Edge; 2010-10-02 at 06:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    That 9th level is a little overstrong, I think...
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    That 9th level is a little overstrong, I think...
    Indeed. Skill checks are probably the single easiest mechanical aspect to buff (aside from damage): I can, with little effort, force a DC 60 odd save, which nothing in the Monster Manual will make.

    Then, to add insult to injury, you inflict 5 negative levels on a successful save. A successful save on an ability that can be used every other round nets you an effect only 2 negative levels below the average for Energy Drain, which is a 9th level spell. Further, those negative levels aren't going away? I hate to be so caustic, but that's just unreasonable.

    9th level maneuvers should not be as strong or stronger than 9th level spells. A successful saving throw should never mean you're still 100% screwed, and 5 negative levels every other round pretty much means that.

    Haven't looked over the rest yet, but this makes me very concerned.

    Ingredients

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    I only got to the first stance and compared it to Diamond Mind's. Diamond Mind grants a +2 bonus to AC against one enemy at the cost of -2 against all others. This one makes it impossible for you to be flat-footed and gives you a +2 or better AC bonus against all enemies.

    Didn't get further yet.
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    You probably want to change Pale Horseman's Folly to apply to melee attacks only; if you're an archer it's... it's pretty ridiculous.

    And Stygian Wounds needs some clarification/elaboration. Do you roll an Autohypnosis check every time you would otherwise roll for damage? Or do you roll it once and then use the result for all damage that round? Either option seems crazy powerful for a level-2 maneuver- anything like TWF on a swordsage would (assuming both attacks hit, max ranks in Autohypnosis and a +3 Wis) deal 20-60 damage, at 3rd level. And it only gets worse at higher levels, with more attacks.

    However, may I add that this discipline has completely kick-ass flavor. The "mind plague" idea, the attacks where you channel the Pale Horseman, and particularly the strikes where you make your target obey the Old Laws. Heh.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    That 9th level is a little overstrong, I think...
    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_In_Tonic View Post
    Indeed. Skill checks are probably the single easiest mechanical aspect to buff (aside from damage): I can, with little effort, force a DC 60 odd save, which nothing in the Monster Manual will make.

    Then, to add insult to injury, you inflict 5 negative levels on a successful save. A successful save on an ability that can be used every other round nets you an effect only 2 negative levels below the average for Energy Drain, which is a 9th level spell. Further, those negative levels aren't going away? I hate to be so caustic, but that's just unreasonable.

    9th level maneuvers should not be as strong or stronger than 9th level spells. A successful saving throw should never mean you're still 100% screwed, and 5 negative levels every other round pretty much means that.

    Haven't looked over the rest yet, but this makes me very concerned.
    Urgh. This is what I get for writing up the higher level maneuvers in the wee hours. I'll change the save DC to 19 + Charisma modifier, and make it so that negative levels from multiple uses don't stack - only one shade to follow the target around, after all, and drop the number of negative levels imposed, either going for three or 1d3+1, possibly even lower. Edit: Dropped the negative levels from the maneuver and replaced them with a permanent minor penalty to most rolls. Similar effect to negative levels, but without losing higher level spells and the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    I only got to the first stance and compared it to Diamond Mind's. Diamond Mind grants a +2 bonus to AC against one enemy at the cost of -2 against all others. This one makes it impossible for you to be flat-footed and gives you a +2 or better AC bonus against all enemies.

    Didn't get further yet.
    I'll drop the AC bonus from Insomniac's Posture, but I don't think that ignoring flat-footedness is worth a stance on its own. Needs just a little something else to make it worthwhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Sanguine View Post
    You probably want to change Pale Horseman's Folly to apply to melee attacks only; if you're an archer it's... it's pretty ridiculous.

    And Stygian Wounds needs some clarification/elaboration. Do you roll an Autohypnosis check every time you would otherwise roll for damage? Or do you roll it once and then use the result for all damage that round? Either option seems crazy powerful for a level-2 maneuver- anything like TWF on a swordsage would (assuming both attacks hit, max ranks in Autohypnosis and a +3 Wis) deal 20-60 damage, at 3rd level. And it only gets worse at higher levels, with more attacks.

    However, may I add that this discipline has completely kick-ass flavor. The "mind plague" idea, the attacks where you channel the Pale Horseman, and particularly the strikes where you make your target obey the Old Laws. Heh.
    Re: Pale Horseman's Folly - will do.

    Re: Stygian Wounds - the results of going with my gut feeling rather than actually doing the number-crunching. Might make the damage Autohypnosis check -10 or something.

    Thanks for the responses so far.
    Last edited by Edge; 2010-07-30 at 04:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    The fluff here is amazing. I really like it a lot.

    that is no spoken of in planar cosmology.
    Typo. should be "not spoken of".


    Procession of the Lethe and Pale Horseman’s Reaping seem like they should be supernatural.

    Decree of the Kerberoi is very weird and I have no idea what is supposed to be implied by what is going on there. But it seems that the rules as given force it to occur almost immediately since by the time this maneuver is being used many or possibly most opponents will have magic items. This applies even more so to Decree of the Arkerberoi which is a 7th level maneuver.
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Permanent penalties are bad design. They should not ever exist. Make it -2 for the day, or an encounter, or make it dispellable with a Remove Curse, but don't make it absolutely permanent, especially the "Not even deities far stronger than the one affecting you can remove it" type thing. Getting hit with that manuever, on a save, would be a reason to reroll my characters identical, telepathically linked twin who happened to shop at the same store and train the same way.

    EDIT: Also, your 8th level "become incorporeal" boost is pretty worthless (though Ghost Touch weapons solve that), and your stance should be supernatural.
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2010-07-30 at 08:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Insomniac’s Posture: Stance – Never flat-footed, (need something else here, maybe?)
    I'd replace this with:

    Sleepless Stance: You are immune to sleep effects. You receive a +4 bonus on saves against effects that would cause fatigue or exhaustion.

    It seems more in keeping with the flavour.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    The level 9 is still a bit on the ridiculous side. W/out even worrying about opponents making the save, you can run around permanently impairing people with a penalty that can only be removed through some extremely specific campaign element. And you can do this multiple times per fight.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    Permanent penalties are bad design. They should not ever exist. Make it -2 for the day, or an encounter, or make it dispellable with a Remove Curse, but don't make it absolutely permanent, especially the "Not even deities far stronger than the one affecting you can remove it" type thing. Getting hit with that manuever, on a save, would be a reason to reroll my characters identical, telepathically linked twin who happened to shop at the same store and train the same way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    The level 9 is still a bit on the ridiculous side. W/out even worrying about opponents making the save, you can run around permanently impairing people with a penalty that can only be removed through some extremely specific campaign element. And you can do this multiple times per fight.
    I'm going to change it to be removable with a wish or miracle.

    EDIT: Also, your 8th level "become incorporeal" boost is pretty worthless (though Ghost Touch weapons solve that), and your stance should be supernatural.
    A Shadow Hand counter does pretty much the same thing at the same level, but without the touch attack.

    I went back and forth on the stance, given fluff-wise its less the martial adept bringing forth Stygian elements than it is Stygia imposing itself on another plane through the conduit of the adept, somewhat similarly to the manifest zones of Eberron. But I guess you're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    I'd replace this with:

    Sleepless Stance: You are immune to sleep effects. You receive a +4 bonus on saves against effects that would cause fatigue or exhaustion.

    It seems more in keeping with the flavour.
    Eh, I was going less for "I can't sleep" and more "Ohmygodmymind. Where are theywherearethey? WHY CAN'T I SEE THEM ANY MORE?" It's self-imposed insomnia to avoid horrific nightmares combined with the paranoia of potentially seeing those images with your waking eyes.

    Probably doesn't make much sense, but paranoia fuelled by sleep deprivation was what I was going for.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    On Sleepless Stance why not immunity to being flat-footed, or at least to AC loss (immediate actions while flat-footed are pretty useful... especially to say a wizard) and a (small) bonus to Initiative or to Reflex saves instead?
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    On Sleepless Stance why not immunity to being flat-footed, or at least to AC loss (immediate actions while flat-footed are pretty useful... especially to say a wizard) and a (small) bonus to Initiative or to Reflex saves instead?
    Works for me. How small an initiative bonus? Equal to Improved Initiative? Less (probably)?

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Less. It's a first level stance and fairly easily obtainable with a pair of feats for everyone and has another fairly useful effect (a better version of Uncanny Dodge). I might make it scale on Autohypnosis so it could be something like +1 at 1st level and +4 by 20ths... maybe 8 or less ranks +1, 9-13 +2, 14-18 +3, and 19+ +4. Not sure.
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    With sleepless stance, I wasn't aiming for "I can't sleep" so much as "I must not let myself fall asleep". Really, there's no particular reason not to have both stances in there.

    For your stance, small bonuses to any of Spot, Listen, and Reflex saves would make sense as an additional bonus.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Okay finally read over all the Lv 1 maneuvers.
    Panic Assault: Looks similar to a Diamond Mind power (I forget which one) and slightly better but still balanced.

    Unsettled Mind: Total immunity is maybe a tad strong but it's not brokenly powerful to negate sleep and fear. Looks okay.

    Pale Horseman's Folly: Touch attack + Power Attack is really powerful even if it opens you to AoO, especially as most enemies lack Combat Reflexes. I'd probably say from a fluff point of view I'd go with a bonus to hit at the cost of a penalty to AC; if Punishing Stance didn't already exist I'd have just said bonus damage at the cost of AC. If you really want it to be touch attacks and/or AoO then I'd say move it to a higher level, give it a worse penalty, make it unusable with Power Attack, or change it from touch attack to a bonus to hit and damage.

    Visage of Dead: Skill checks are higher than attack bonuses making this strictly better than the Lv 2 or 3? Iron Heart power that lets you make an attack roll to replace your AC. So I'd check that power's level and make this one higher or the same (as it does require you to invest resources into the skill).

    Going to read over 2nd level abilities now.

    Edit: Read the 2nd level maneuvers

    Cerberus’ Guard: I assume it means make an attack on the defensive; looks neat and interesting.

    Pale Horseman’s Ride: I like it.

    Spectral Wounds: As long as the DM keeps some control on magic items to keep the PCs from just getting +10 competence bonus items to Autohypnosis and +10 enhancement bonus items, etc it looks fine.

    Tartarean Gift: Max +6d6 damage to 1 creature (assumes haste and full attack from a single weapon at Lv 16+) or +2d6 damage to 5 creatures. It’s easy enough to block (undead, or any spell that stops negative energy damage) although slightly better than fire damage (worse than other energy types). Infinite healing for undead allies but that just means a neat trick for the bad guys (I like that). I don’t know which I like better this one or Pale Horseman’s Ride; both seem like they’d be fun to use.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-07-30 at 05:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Spectral wounds is incredibly broken and needs to be entirely removed. Even without items, it's still a massive amount of free damage. To give you an idea, there are full round strikes that let you get checks as damage and they are much higher level; all hits dealing damage equal to a check (-10) as a second level boost is nuts.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Okay finally read over all the Lv 1 maneuvers.
    Panic Assault: Looks similar to a Diamond Mind power (I forget which one) and slightly better but still balanced.

    Unsettled Mind: Total immunity is maybe a tad strong but it's not brokenly powerful to negate sleep and fear. Looks okay.

    Pale Horseman's Folly: Touch attack + Power Attack is really powerful even if it opens you to AoO, especially as most enemies lack Combat Reflexes. I'd probably say from a fluff point of view I'd go with a bonus to hit at the cost of a penalty to AC; if Punishing Stance didn't already exist I'd have just said bonus damage at the cost of AC. If you really want it to be touch attacks and/or AoO then I'd say move it to a higher level, give it a worse penalty, make it unusable with Power Attack, or change it from touch attack to a bonus to hit and damage.

    Visage of Dead: Skill checks are higher than attack bonuses making this strictly better than the Lv 2 or 3? Iron Heart power that lets you make an attack roll to replace your AC. So I'd check that power's level and make this one higher or the same (as it does require you to invest resources into the skill).

    Going to read over 2nd level abilities now.

    Edit: Read the 2nd level maneuvers

    Cerberus’ Guard: I assume it means make an attack on the defensive; looks neat and interesting.

    Pale Horseman’s Ride: I like it.

    Spectral Wounds: As long as the DM keeps some control on magic items to keep the PCs from just getting +10 competence bonus items to Autohypnosis and +10 enhancement bonus items, etc it looks fine.

    Tartarean Gift: Max +6d6 damage to 1 creature (assumes haste and full attack from a single weapon at Lv 16+) or +2d6 damage to 5 creatures. It’s easy enough to block (undead, or any spell that stops negative energy damage) although slightly better than fire damage (worse than other energy types). Infinite healing for undead allies but that just means a neat trick for the bad guys (I like that). I don’t know which I like better this one or Pale Horseman’s Ride; both seem like they’d be fun to use.
    Re: Pale Horseman's Folly: I think it's fine with Power Attack, but it probably does need to be higher level. EDIT: I needed a 5th level stance, so there it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    Spectral wounds is incredibly broken and needs to be entirely removed. Even without items, it's still a massive amount of free damage. To give you an idea, there are full round strikes that let you get checks as damage and they are much higher level; all hits dealing damage equal to a check (-10) as a second level boost is nuts.
    I'll drop it and bump Visage of Dread up to take its place.

    I now need another 1st level stance, 1st level boost or counter and a 2nd level strike. I'll think on it.
    Last edited by Edge; 2010-07-30 at 05:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Okay read over level 3s and 4s.

    Rotting Blow: I'd make it 2 Con damage instead of 1d2.

    Wraithdance: I'd say too strong. Unless the DM uses a lot of enemies with class levels they usually don't have magic. If natural attacks that count as magic also work a little weaker but I'd probably change it to DR 10/magic. Closer to the X Bones line from Stone Dragon which gives DR /adamantine on a successful attack (and it's only to DR 20 as a Lv 8 maneuver).

    Decree of Kerberoi: The way it works seems really, really neat but it seems somewhat over powered. The self-contradictory laws annoy me on some level, but not game mechanically. The negative level stacking makes it possibly too powerful. I'd make it to where the negative levels didn't stack, or else breaking the same law twice didn't cause them to stack, and also make it to where they end at the end of the encounter just as being beholden to the laws does.

    Pale Horseman's Reaping: Too strong for a Lv 4. It's a save or die as a Lv 4 maneuver. I'd change it so that it was simply attack roll that dealt normal weapon damage + 4d6 negative energy damage instead.

    Going to read over the 5s and 6s now.
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Decree of Kerobei and the more powerful version of it need to be entirely removed as well. Being contradictory is bad design, no save is bad, and it's essentially a "instantly lose" since anything with basic WBL will be taking tons of negative levels and, by dropping food on the battlefield (quick draw + dropping) you can also give free action negative levels if they don't waste their time eating it.

    In short, it's broken, and needs to be rewritten entirely at best.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Haven't gotten to the more powerful version of Decree but I'd say make it completely non-stacking and you've solved most of the problem, although even then you might should make it a higher level maneuver, but it has nice flavor. And a lot of monsters don't have basic WBL because they aren't classed (then again most of the times I've played the DM has liked monsters for the sake of being monstrous and used homebrewed creatures too). But even at 1 automatic negative level per use it should probably be level 5 or 6.

    As for the level 5 and 6 maneuvers:
    Dark Hallucination: I’d make it Daze not Stun and note it as Mind-Affecting.

    Procession of Lethe: Not sure about the power level (I’d have to look at some charge related White Raven powers of around the same level) and even then its effect makes it hard to quantify but I like the concept.

    Necrotizing Blow: Make it flat 4 Con damage.

    Orphean Ordeal: No. Just no. Killing someone not even nearby is completely broken. Make it where the target must make a Will save or believe their loved one has died and suffer the same penalty maybe, but the other is too far reaching.

    Pale Horseman’s Inevitable Scything: See Pale Horseman’s Reaping. Maneuvers don’t really become Save or Die until Lv 9.

    Horrific Footsteps of Hypnos: The damage is okay, but the Charisma damage is a bit much. I'd probably just remove the charisma damage.

    And for the level 7 to 9 maneuvers:

    Nightmare Inescapable: Little worried about the amount of ability damage. I’d probably note it as mind-affecting so it didn’t affect oozes, constructs, and vermin (all of which it’s a no-save auto-kill against since they tend to have 1 Cha).

    Phantasm’s Rot: No. Just no. Automatic weapon destruction is broken. Destruction of a natural weapon is horribly broken. Scrap it and make something new.

    Horrific Steps of Thanatos: Love the name but it should probably be toned down. 4d4 Cha damage, no save, no attack roll required is broken. I’d make it 3d4 and a save for half. Still crippling to sorcerers and a good number of monsters but low enough it’s not an autokill to melee brutes. The secondary target would probably take 1d4 flat (maybe save for half).

    True Presence of the Pale Horseman: No. No. This is insane on so many levels. Besides just the whole inescapable wall of force thing, the continuous save or die on all undead or constructs in the area, and the automatic damage to living creatures nearby… all with a 100-ft radius and without using any in-combat actions. This needs to be totally scrapped and reworked.

    And for the level 9: I'd make it able to be removed with Remove Curse as well; Miracle and Wish are expensive for PCs. Otherwise I'd specify whether it deals normal damage or not.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2010-07-30 at 07:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Okay read over level 3s and 4s.

    Rotting Blow: I'd make it 2 Con damage instead of 1d2.

    Wraithdance: I'd say too strong. Unless the DM uses a lot of enemies with class levels they usually don't have magic. If natural attacks that count as magic also work a little weaker but I'd probably change it to DR 10/magic. Closer to the X Bones line from Stone Dragon which gives DR /adamantine on a successful attack (and it's only to DR 20 as a Lv 8 maneuver).

    Decree of Kerberoi: The way it works seems really, really neat but it seems somewhat over powered. The self-contradictory laws annoy me on some level, but not game mechanically. The negative level stacking makes it possibly too powerful. I'd make it to where the negative levels didn't stack, or else breaking the same law twice didn't cause them to stack, and also make it to where they end at the end of the encounter just as being beholden to the laws does.

    Pale Horseman's Reaping: Too strong for a Lv 4. It's a save or die as a Lv 4 maneuver. I'd change it so that it was simply attack roll that dealt normal weapon damage + 4d6 negative energy damage instead.

    Going to read over the 5s and 6s now.
    Rotting Blow: Any reason why?

    Wraithdance: Problem is, DR/magic is largely worthless, IMHO. Might change it to allow movement through difficult terrain and solid objects for one round, but no other incorporeal benefits.

    Decree of the Kerberoi: The self-contradictory laws are there for a reason - Stygia is not fair. Note that the level stacking becomes less likely after the first application of a negative level, as the target then immediately knows all the laws it is subject to, allowing it some chance of avoiding some of them. I'll change the negative levels to vanish with the laws. Also realised I forgot one of the things I intended: a target was supposed to only be effected by one randomly selected law with each use, with later uses overwriting earlier ones. The higher level version was to be all the Laws. Urgh.

    Pale Horseman's Reaping: Not exactly a SoD, given the target is still alive, but probably close enough. And I realise I forgot to include the temporary hp I intended. I'll revamp as a significantly weaker version of Iron Heart's Finishing Move that also grants temporary hp when you drop a foe with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    Decree of Kerobei and the more powerful version of it need to be entirely removed as well. Being contradictory is bad design, no save is bad, and it's essentially a "instantly lose" since anything with basic WBL will be taking tons of negative levels and, by dropping food on the battlefield (quick draw + dropping) you can also give free action negative levels if they don't waste their time eating it.

    In short, it's broken, and needs to be rewritten entirely at best.
    With the changes I propose above and the tweaking and removal of some laws, hopefully they will be improved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Haven't gotten to the more powerful version of Decree but I'd say make it completely non-stacking and you've solved most of the problem, although even then you might should make it a higher level maneuver, but it has nice flavor. And a lot of monsters don't have basic WBL because they aren't classed (then again most of the times I've played the DM has liked monsters for the sake of being monstrous and used homebrewed creatures too). But even at 1 automatic negative level per use it should probably be level 5 or 6.
    And yet the wight, a CR 3 creature, is potentially applying one with every slam attack. You might say the wight allows a save, whereas the Decrees do not, but after the first negative level imposed by the Decrees the target is given the knowledge to avoid gaining any more. The negative levels aren't really the point of these maneuvers - they're sticks to make the subject behave in certain ways as a means of crowd control.

    As for the level 5 and 6 maneuvers:
    Dark Hallucination: I’d make it Daze not Stun and note it as Mind-Affecting.

    Procession of Lethe: Not sure about the power level (I’d have to look at some charge related White Raven powers of around the same level) and even then its effect makes it hard to quantify but I like the concept.

    Necrotizing Blow: Make it flat 4 Con damage.

    Orphean Ordeal: No. Just no. Killing someone not even nearby is completely broken. Make it where the target must make a Will save or believe their loved one has died and suffer the same penalty maybe, but the other is too far reaching.

    Pale Horseman’s Inevitable Scything: See Pale Horseman’s Reaping. Maneuvers don’t really become Save or Die until Lv 9.

    Horrific Footsteps of Hypnos: The damage is okay, but the Charisma damage is a bit much. I'd probably just remove the charisma damage.
    Dark Hallucination: Okay, fair enough.

    Necrotising Blow: As with Rotting Blow, why the fixed damage? Also worth bearing in mind that Stone Dragon's 9th is 2d6 Con damage.

    Orphean Ordeal: Because killing a 1st level commoner, or one of an orc's wives elsewhere in the cavern complex is broken? Sorry, I honestly don't see it. A 3rd level (admittedly Corrupt, so there is a price to pay for it) spell can deal 1d6 damage/caster level at any range to a target's loved ones. I think allowing the maneuver to do something similar at twice the innate level (and yes, I am aware that they do not correlate exactly) is fair.

    Pale Horseman's Inevitable Scything: Will make similar changes as its lower-level cousin so that they are similar but less damaging versions of Finishing Move.

    Horrific Footsteps of Hypnos: Might be worth noting how many maneuvers in this discipline actually apply extra damage and how many deal ability score damage. Taking opponents down through ability score damage is one of their main ways of killing.

    And for the level 7 to 9 maneuvers:

    Nightmare Inescapable: Little worried about the amount of ability damage. I’d probably note it as mind-affecting so it didn’t affect oozes, constructs, and vermin (all of which it’s a no-save auto-kill against since they tend to have 1 Cha).

    Phantasm’s Rot: No. Just no. Automatic weapon destruction is broken. Destruction of a natural weapon is horribly broken. Scrap it and make something new.

    Horrific Steps of Thanatos: Love the name but it should probably be toned down. 4d4 Cha damage, no save, no attack roll required is broken. I’d make it 3d4 and a save for half. Still crippling to sorcerers and a good number of monsters but low enough it’s not an autokill to melee brutes. The secondary target would probably take 1d4 flat (maybe save for half).

    True Presence of the Pale Horseman: No. No. This is insane on so many levels. Besides just the whole inescapable wall of force thing, the continuous save or die on all undead or constructs in the area, and the automatic damage to living creatures nearby… all with a 100-ft radius and without using any in-combat actions. This needs to be totally scrapped and reworked.

    And for the level 9: I'd make it able to be removed with Remove Curse as well; Miracle and Wish are expensive for PCs. Otherwise I'd specify whether it deals normal damage or not.
    Nightmare Inescapable: Will do.

    Phantasm's Rot: Again, not really seeing it. A Power Attacker can achieve equal results fairly easily with a sunder. I will, however, add rules for regaining the natural weapons lost to this maneuver.

    Horrific Footsteps of Thanatos: At this level the ability damage will probably be painful to many creatures, but not lethal after a single application. For example, the cornugon. A single application will massively reduce the capabilities of its spell-like abilities, but little else - its impressive melee capabilities remain intact.

    True Presence of the Pale Horseman: Point taken, but the walls of force shall probably remain, albeit on a smaller scale.

    Premomento Mori: I refuse to allow a level 3/4 spell to remove the effects on principle. I'm sorry, but I fail to see how such magic could banish one's own twice-dead soul that has been imposed by the will of a plane that almost nobody has ever heard of.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    For your questions:

    Rotting Blow: To ensure it will be useful each time you use it (as some creatures do have odd Con) mostly. Also Bonesplitting Strike and the various Shadow Hand maneuvers that deal Con damage tend to deal flat damage as opposed to a roll.

    As for the wight comparison, they also have so-so attack bonuses, and low hp for their level. And are known for tearing through unoptimized parties of their level, or just unprepared ones (I've had PCs threaten to hit me because of a single wight before).

    Orphean Ordeal: I was actually more thinking about what this does in the DM's hands if used against a PC and actually of spells from BoVD which have the same effect and are noted as easily abused.

    Phantasmal Rot: If built for it a Power Attack can do the same against a humanoid foe's weapon and have no effect on a monster. That also means giving up an attack, and is far from a sure thing (magic and adamantine raising hit points and hardness). This is an immediate action and no chance to respond, works on natural weapons and deals Con damage as well. Also again something that is very horrible when used on a PC much worse than on a monster.

    Horrific Footsteps of Thanatos: No problem on dragons and outsiders. But on humanoids (the other common high level opponent) it gets too much fast. Either it is a no save just suck against a sorcerer or a no save die on a melee or wizard (which average 8 Cha if built with the elite array, which is less than the Cha damage this attack deals on average).

    As for the changes, I'm getting sleepy so I'll probably go to bed before I can read them. Or say anything too stupid.
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Changes mentioned in my previous post have been made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    For your questions:

    Rotting Blow: To ensure it will be useful each time you use it (as some creatures do have odd Con) mostly. Also Bonesplitting Strike and the various Shadow Hand maneuvers that deal Con damage tend to deal flat damage as opposed to a roll.

    As for the wight comparison, they also have so-so attack bonuses, and low hp for their level. And are known for tearing through unoptimized parties of their level, or just unprepared ones (I've had PCs threaten to hit me because of a single wight before).

    Orphean Ordeal: I was actually more thinking about what this does in the DM's hands if used against a PC and actually of spells from BoVD which have the same effect and are noted as easily abused.

    Phantasmal Rot: If built for it a Power Attack can do the same against a humanoid foe's weapon and have no effect on a monster. That also means giving up an attack, and is far from a sure thing (magic and adamantine raising hit points and hardness). This is an immediate action and no chance to respond, works on natural weapons and deals Con damage as well. Also again something that is very horrible when used on a PC much worse than on a monster.

    Horrific Footsteps of Thanatos: No problem on dragons and outsiders. But on humanoids (the other common high level opponent) it gets too much fast. Either it is a no save just suck against a sorcerer or a no save die on a melee or wizard (which average 8 Cha if built with the elite array, which is less than the Cha damage this attack deals on average).

    As for the changes, I'm getting sleepy so I'll probably go to bed before I can read them. Or say anything too stupid.
    Rotting Blow and Necrotising Blow: Hmm. I guess. I'll think about it.

    Wights vs. the Decrees: The decrees no longer apply all the Old Laws and newer uses overwrite the Laws imposed by older uses. A creature is only beholden to the Laws until the end of the encounter, at which point they also lose all negative levels imposed by the maneuver.

    Phantasmal Rot: So your main issue is using it on a PC? Rust monster syndrome, am I right?

    Well, put it this way, if a PC does lose their weapon to this maneuver, given the classes that can use it, they're likely to get at least a half-decent replacement upon killing them. At least.

    Horrific Steps of Thanatos: Okay, lowering Cha damage.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    is but a mere echo of an afterlife that is no spoken of in planar cosmology.
    Typo.

    The sentence structure is a bit odd in the learning later section, potentially making it sound like you don't have to pay the 1,000 XPs if you train under a master, rather than researching it yourself.

    P.S. I think this would combine well thematically with the Far Realms discipline (and/or my own) for a character who doesn't so much join the party as is released into their custody from the Insane Asylum where he has spent most of his life.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2010-08-01 at 04:43 PM.
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    Thumbs up Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    P.S. I think this would combine well thematically with the Far Realms discipline (and/or my own) for a character who doesn't so much join the party as is released into their custody from the Insane Asylum where he has spent most of his life.
    I was thinking of that myself, fear, insanity, and lunacy, all rolled into one. It'd make for a truly harrowing combination, especially facing a swordsage with all three.

    I wasn't quite sure what to make of Falling Anvil at first, but it's growing on me. It'd be the kind of thing some unnatural jester/clown would employ.

    For some reason, I can see these three disciplines becoming part of a plot hook for an evil traveling circus or carnival, much like how Deathrattlers (a homebrew incorporeal undead I devised, using chains with Chthonic Serpent maneuvers) are being shaped in my campaign. I'll show what I come up with for both of those when I finish them.

    ...Will continue to watch this thread with great interest as with all ToB homebrew,
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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Typo.

    The sentence structure is a bit odd in the learning later section, potentially making it sound like you don't have to pay the 1,000 XPs if you train under a master, rather than researching it yourself.

    P.S. I think this would combine well thematically with the Far Realms discipline (and/or my own) for a character who doesn't so much join the party as is released into their custody from the Insane Asylum where he has spent most of his life.
    Fixed.

    Also need to throw in another 1st level stance and 1st level strike/boost/counter to round the discipline out. Once that's done, I can get to work on a Stygian Nightmare focused PrC.

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    Default Re: Stygian Nightmare [3.5 ToB Discipline, PEACH]

    Bump for an update, as I want to get this nicely finished up so I can move on to the PrC I have in mind for this discipline.

    The first level stance Insomniac's Posture is now called Paranoid Posture, in order to more accurately reflect the fluff I had in mind for it. I ultimately decided that never being flat-footed was enough for a 1st level stance, and didn't add to it.

    Two new first level maneuvers added: the strike Clawing Back Time and the stance Pale Horseman's Reckless Harvest.

    Thoughts on these, and on any existing maneuvers, would be appreciated.

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