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  1. - Top - End - #301
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Glad to see that the maneuvers section is finished! Now get cracking on the stances

    Also, I'll write up stuff if you'd like more multiclass and PrC options. I'm a fan of the warblade =P
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by MeeposFire View Post
    Just as some advice, on the Wizards boards many handbooks in 4e do not put in stuff that at least does not warrant a black or purple rating in general. This is so you do not have to clog up a handbook with a bunch of bad stuff that you say "do not take this". Just looking at the complete warrior stuff you would not need a bunch of those red choices. This also has the benefit of making less work for you. You would just need to make a statement of "If you do not see it here I did not find it worthwhile even in a niche sense though you can try to convince me otherwise". It also makes the guide easier to read.

    You are doing a very good job and I especially like that you do take outside opinions. Keep it up!

    EDIT: You may want to keep trap choices in the guide listed red since trap choices need to be posted like blade meditation. You should also leave a section for cherry picking the best maneuvers from other disciplines if you took martial study or the stance feat.
    I've always liked having the whole array laid out. Personal preference, I guess.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose87 View Post
    I've always liked having the whole array laid out. Personal preference, I guess.
    I agree with Mongoose87.

  4. - Top - End - #304
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Well there is one big difference between a 3.5 handbook and 4e. 3.5 is done so we do not need to worry about any more bloat than we already have. 4e books have a lot to work with and is only going to get bigger so if you all like the large amount of RED options (telling you do not take me) thats cool I just thought it would make it easier to read and easier to write (and I like making it easier on handbook writers as it is very time consuming).

  5. - Top - End - #305
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    And I really appreciate that.
    Right now, I think I'll just do every feat relevant to the warblade, but as fatigue catches on...we'll see.
    On another note: which do you guys think is the bigger priority - feats from PHBII and the Completes or stances?

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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfin View Post
    And I really appreciate that.
    Right now, I think I'll just do every feat relevant to the warblade, but as fatigue catches on...we'll see.
    On another note: which do you guys think is the bigger priority - feats from PHBII and the Completes or stances?
    My vote is for stances, as they are entirely relevant to the class, being in the same book. Players may not have access to other materials, and thus the information may be less relevant to their attempt to build a better warblade.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Sounds good to me. I'll get cracking.

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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    I agree stances. Start with the "core" of the class and then build outward. Every warblade player needs help with stances, maneuvers, and class features. A subset of those players will need stuff for the PHB2.

    EDIT: In addition stance mastery is a capstone I think that makes it important to delve into as soon as we can.
    Last edited by MeeposFire; 2010-12-22 at 12:22 AM.

  9. - Top - End - #309
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Some comments on maneuvers:

    Tiger Claw Discipline: Actually, less than half of the maneuvers in Tiger Claw are geared towards TWF. The rest of the discipline is geared towards "Make a Jump check as part of your attack, and get some extra damage/effect". Since TWF warblades generally can't use strikes with TWF, they usually have to cherry-pick their way through whatever boosts/counters they can grab from all of the disciplines, not just Tiger Claw.

    Steel Wind: This actually stays pretty useful up through ECL 11, and even after that. Yes, after BAB +6, you get two iterative attacks, but Steel Wind allows you to move + attack twice at full BAB (mini-pounce). Even after BAB +11, are the odds of both your Steel Wind attacks hitting can be better than your second/third iterative attacks hitting.

    Wolf Fang Strike: You might want to add that Wolf Fang Strike allows you to TWF *without* taking any TWF feats, and the -2 penalty supercedes the usual TWF penalties. There are some quirks to it, too... your off-hand weapon doesn't have to be light (still gets only a -2 penalty). It's also another way to mini-pounce (move + two attacks).

    Douse the Flames: This completely shuts down reach/lockdown/standstill builds for a round.

    Leading the Attack: The +4 morale bonus also applies to ranged attacks. Good maneuver if you've got some beatstick allies with you up front, but a great maneuver if you've got some rear-echelon-squishies behind you plucking away with slings and crossbows.

    Lion's Roar: Should be blue or turquoise. The extra damage also applies to ranged attacks.

    Death From Above: One of my favorites... kinda wish it were turquoise. This is another "free movement" maneuver. Against a medium opponent, you can get another 10' of movement (jump over them), against large/huge you can get up to 20' more movement. Great way to set up flanking, too.

    Bonesplitting Strike: Another one that I'd like to see turquoise. 2 Con damage, *no save*.

    Dancing Mongoose: Works with ranged attacks.

    Raging Mongoose: As above, another must-get for a ranged warblade.

    White Raven Hammer: Turquoise? This is Pure Gold.


    Stances:

    Punishing Stance: Should be turquoise. Most warblades are going to spend 90% of their time in this stance, even at higher levels. When you get the ability to be in two stances (Master of Nine, capstone), this is almost always one of them.

  10. - Top - End - #310
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Bonesplitting Strike: Another one that I'd like to see turquoise. 2 Con damage, *no save*.
    Darrin speaks truth. CON damage is a damage boost and a debuff for your save-granting maneuvers and your allies' spells all rolled into one. It even makes Concentration incrementally harder, and you never know when that extra 1 point in your favor will swing a fight.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Some comments on maneuvers:

    Steel Wind: This actually stays pretty useful up through ECL 11, and even after that. Yes, after BAB +6, you get two iterative attacks, but Steel Wind allows you to move + attack twice at full BAB (mini-pounce). Even after BAB +11, are the odds of both your Steel Wind attacks hitting can be better than your second/third iterative attacks hitting.
    With the requirement being that you have to hit two opponents, it's not really that useful if you aren't being attacked by multiple enemies.

    You're better off Wolf Fang Strike.
    Last edited by poignant123; 2010-12-22 at 09:22 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #312
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Punishing Stance: Should be turquoise. Most warblades are going to spend 90% of their time in this stance, even at higher levels. When you get the ability to be in two stances (Master of Nine, capstone), this is almost always one of them.
    Personally, I would just burn a feat at lv15 to nab another 8th lv stance so I can have both of them active at lv20. Stance of alacrity is a no-brainer for me (considering that so MIC items and warblade's recharge mechanic are swift actions).

    You may want to add a small footnote reminding players to turn off punishing stance outside of combat, since that AC penalty may disadvantage them against traps or foes who get to act before them in the first round of combat.

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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    Personally, I would just burn a feat at lv15 to nab another 8th lv stance so I can have both of them active at lv20. Stance of alacrity is a no-brainer for me (considering that so MIC items and warblade's recharge mechanic are swift actions).

    You may want to add a small footnote reminding players to turn off punishing stance outside of combat, since that AC penalty may disadvantage them against traps or foes who get to act before them in the first round of combat.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    Darrin speaks truth. CON damage is a damage boost and a debuff for your save-granting maneuvers and your allies' spells all rolled into one. It even makes Concentration incrementally harder, and you never know when that extra 1 point in your favor will swing a fight.
    I would mitigate this by pointing out that there's a lot of things, as you go up in levels, that are immune to Con damage. Therefore, while very nasty, it can also, depending on your campaign, be situational.
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  15. - Top - End - #315
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Steel Wind: This actually stays pretty useful up through ECL 11, and even after that. Yes, after BAB +6, you get two iterative attacks, but Steel Wind allows you to move + attack twice at full BAB (mini-pounce). Even after BAB +11, are the odds of both your Steel Wind attacks hitting can be better than your second/third iterative attacks hitting.
    Well, after Level 7, Steel Wind isn't very useful because it's obviously inferior to Mithral Tornado (unless you're using a non-spiked-chain reach weapon).

    Wolf Fang Strike: You might want to add that Wolf Fang Strike allows you to TWF *without* taking any TWF feats, and the -2 penalty supercedes the usual TWF penalties. There are some quirks to it, too... your off-hand weapon doesn't have to be light (still gets only a -2 penalty). It's also another way to mini-pounce (move + two attacks).
    Indeed, it's a lovely way for a low-level Warblade without TWF to get the occasional extra attack using their spiked shield or spiked armor or what have you.

    Lion's Roar: Should be blue or turquoise. The extra damage also applies to ranged attacks.
    Eh, I like this maneuver, but I thought black was probably more accurate. It's just too situational: you have to drop a foe, have enough other foes remaining so that the encounter isn't already over, have LR readied, have your swift action available, not have any boosts that you'd rather spend your swift action on (like WRT!), have allies that are going to make attacks rather than cast spells, and be at a low enough level that the damage bonus matters. (+5 isn't much at high levels.)

    Death From Above: One of my favorites... kinda wish it were turquoise. This is another "free movement" maneuver. Against a medium opponent, you can get another 10' of movement (jump over them), against large/huge you can get up to 20' more movement. Great way to set up flanking, too.
    This one, yeah, I could actually see upgrading to cyan. It's a very healthy amount of bonus damage at Level 7. Unlike many strikes it works on everything, and the Jump check is a cinch. Then the free movement is just (delicious) icing on the cake.

    Bonesplitting Strike: Another one that I'd like to see turquoise. 2 Con damage, *no save*.
    Agreed with Shneekey -- immunity to ability damage should keep this one blue.

    Punishing Stance: Should be turquoise. Most warblades are going to spend 90% of their time in this stance, even at higher levels. When you get the ability to be in two stances (Master of Nine, capstone), this is almost always one of them.
    Disagree. Yeah, at low levels it might be cyan quality; while I like the low-level White Raven stances, I have to say it's hard to consider any stance besides Punishing Stance optimal at low levels (except Blood in the Water, for a kukri crit-fisher, which scales to high levels much better too).

    But at higher levels? Nah, the bonus damage is ok, but there are a number of stances I'd rather use. Hearing the Air, Dancing Blade Form, Thicket of Blades (via feat or dip, or substitute Roots of the Mountain), Wolf Pack Tactics ... or the king of all stances, Stance of Alacrity.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    I'd rate both Steel Wind and Steely Strike at blue to cyan. The nice thing about Steel Wind is that it works great with reach weapons; it's much easier to get into position to hit two enemies when you can be 10' from both of them. In the same way, Steely Strike is superb when you're fighting only one enemy. Ready both of them at level 1, and you should be able to handle most situations. (Moving up to a pair of enemies, activating Punishing Stance, then using Steel Wind can practically end low-level encounters in a single turn.)
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    I'd actually like to say that War Master's Charge (the White Raven 9th level strike) is less useful than it appears. I'd even go so far as to demote it to purple.

    First of all, it only effects allies within 30 ft. At level 17+, with your allies flying, teleporting, and moving around all crazy-like, it's going to take some serious planning to make sure all melee allies are within that close range.

    Second, it requires an immediate action from your allies to charge. War Master's Charge is what you want to open a fight with. You want to start the battle with your heroic, powerful charge. However, you're playing a dangerous game, there. If you win initiative, that's your best chance to charge before the melee closes. However, your allies can't take immediate actions if they are flat-footed, so in order to get the most use out of the WMC, you'd want to delay until they've had a turn. You'd also better hope your allies go before the enemy has a chance to move. You could use White Raven Tactics to bring a single ally up in the initiative order, but that's just one person; you ideally want as many allies charging as possible on a WMC. Thus, your optimum initiative order to use it is if all your allies go before you, and choose to remain within 30 ft., but you go before the enemy. Do you see how hard that is to pull off?

    Third, a War Master's Charge can only target a single opponent. While your allies don't get in each others' ways during the charge, that still limits your options a great deal. If your facing a medium target, how many fighters will you be able to swarm around him? Remember, you have to make your attack on a charge at the soonest available square you reach and threaten the target. Again, the optimum War Master's Charge would have three chargers up front, and then hopefully more chargers with reach behind them. How often is that going to happen at level 17+? You could maybe fit more in if you're all flying, I guess. Thus, you're better off saving a WMC for larger opponents, so that you can fit more allies into the charge. Again, there's way too many 'ifs.'

    So sadly, War Master's Charge as-written does not let you lead an entire army across the field to slam into the other army and devastate the ranks. At best, you're probably using it to have two, maybe three of your other melee buddies charge a single target and hopefully deal 100 points of bonus damage or so, and that's assuming initiative, ally placement, and enemy placement are just right. You've also just eaten your allies swift actions for their next turn. Maybe if they've got pounce you did slightly more damage?

    See what I'm talking about? There's just too much finicky nonsense to keep track of with a War Master's Charge. Give me Mountain Tombstone, Time Stands Still, or Strike of Perfect Clarity any day.
    Last edited by CockroachTeaParty; 2010-12-22 at 11:34 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #318
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    First of all, it only effects allies within 30 ft. At level 17+, with your allies flying, teleporting, and moving around all crazy-like, it's going to take some serious planning to make sure all melee allies are within that close range.
    Not at the start of an encounter, surely. As a battle goes on, yeah, this might become a concern.

    Second, it requires an immediate action from your allies to charge. War Master's Charge is what you want to open a fight with. You want to start the battle with your heroic, powerful charge. However, you're playing a dangerous game, there. If you win initiative, that's your best chance to charge before the melee closes. However, your allies can't take immediate actions if they are flat-footed, so in order to get the most use out of the WMC, you'd want to delay until they've had a turn. You'd also better hope your allies go before the enemy has a chance to move. You could use White Raven Tactics to bring a single ally up in the initiative order, but that's just one person; you ideally want as many allies charging as possible on a WMC. Thus, your optimum initiative order to use it is if all your allies go before you, and choose to remain within 30 ft., but you go before the enemy. Do you see how hard that is to pull off?
    At high levels, it seems quite likely that most creatures (allies and enemies alike) will spend their first action in combat to buff themselves, cast a spell, or fire a ranged attack.

    Also, it depends how good your party's initiative is. If you have a Draconic Aura (senses), Belts of Battle and Rings of Anticipation on everyone, and the occasional Nerveskitter or Weapon of Warning, I'm not sure it's crazy to think your whole party could beat all the monsters in initiative.

    And distance limitation notwithstanding, I still don't think this maneuver is useless later in a battle, either. Remember, in 3e there's no rule that a Charge action has to target the closest opponent. It's perfectly reasonable to use this maneuver to leave one monster behind and charge his friend, since you don't provoke attacks of opportunity during this charge (and can go through your allies' squares easily).

    Third, a War Master's Charge can only target a single opponent.
    Where are you getting that? You want at least one other person to hit the same target as you, so you can get the auto-stun effect. But I don't see any such restriction on the whole group.
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  19. - Top - End - #319
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    4Es charge mechanic is you have to attack from the closest square not the closest target. You can move past other enemies but you must attack your target from the closest square you can. No moving behind him and then attacking.

    Now on the charge. It is a gamble, but it is a very worthwhile gamble. That is why when I was talking about SoPC I was saying how important it was to not have too many full round action attacks. WC effect on the battlefield is immense. You can completely change a fight with the free movement, extra damage, and free stun. Most classes that really like to charge will not miss the swift action (in fact they want to find a use for one). The fact it is not always the best option does not mean it is purple though you could argue less than light blue (the effect is just too good). I do think it is important to list all of its problems though as they are easy to forget (I forgot that it required an immediate action from your allies and so they can not use it until after their turn, which is annoying).

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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Where are you getting that? You want at least one other person to hit the same target as you, so you can get the auto-stun effect. But I don't see any such restriction on the whole group.
    Page 94 of Tome of Battle, under the entry for War Master's Charge:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tome of Battle
    "As part of this maneuver, you charge an opponent. In addition, all allies within 30 feet of you at the beginning of your turn can also charge this target as an immediate action."
    It's all against a single dude.

    Yes, you could probably design a melee party around this maneuver, but it takes a certain degree of planning, and the whole positioning/initiative thing still leaves me leery.

    I forgot about the auto-stun, though, which redeems it somewhat. Still, you'd better all be flying, or have some way of ignoring difficult terrain, since that will prevent anyone from charging.

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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    Still, you'd better all be flying, or have some way of ignoring difficult terrain, since that will prevent anyone from charging.
    By the time you'll reach 9th level maneuvers, difficult terrain shouldn't matter for any of the characters who want to charge.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Updates:
    -Douse the Flames is now blue.
    -Lion's Roar is now black.
    -Death From Above is now cyan.
    -Caveats have been added to Bonesplitting Strike and War Master's Charge.
    -Text has been added to Wolf Fang Strike.

    All stances will be up by the day's end.

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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Elfin, a note for Steely Strike: it only reduces your AC against enemies OTHER than your target. IMO, it's probably the best low-level attack maneuver out there.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Elfin, a note for Steely Strike: it only reduces your AC against enemies OTHER than your target. IMO, it's probably the best low-level attack maneuver out there.
    It's a lot like Stone Bones. It's awesome at levels 1 and 2 where one-hit kills are the name of the game, but quickly loses its punch beyond those levels.
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  25. - Top - End - #325
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    You're right; I hadn't noticed that. Changing it.
    By the way, 3rd-level stances are up.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2010-12-22 at 04:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    It's a lot like Stone Bones. It's awesome at levels 1 and 2 where one-hit kills are the name of the game, but quickly loses its punch beyond those levels.
    I think Steely Strike is much better than Stone Bones. For Stone Bones to do anything, first you have to hit your enemy, then he has to survive, then he has to hit you back in the next round. This doesn't actually happen very often - most of the time you'll miss, or your opponent will miss, or you'll kill your opponent, or your opponent will do something other than attack you back. Steely Strike actually boosts your to-hit chance instead of doing something if you hit them.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    I think Steely Strike is much better than Stone Bones. For Stone Bones to do anything, first you have to hit your enemy, then he has to survive, then he has to hit you back in the next round. This doesn't actually happen very often - most of the time you'll miss, or your opponent will miss, or you'll kill your opponent, or your opponent will do something other than attack you back. Steely Strike actually boosts your to-hit chance instead of doing something if you hit them.
    But Stone Bones is good for both against a single powerful enemy and several enemies at once.

    Warblades with their limited maneuvers known will probably do better with versatility.
    Last edited by Greenish; 2010-12-22 at 04:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    But Stone Bones is good for both against a single powerful enemy and several enemies at once.

    Warblades with their limited maneuvers known will probably go for versatility.
    Stone Bones is more useful the more people you have beating on you that round, because DR is applied to every attack. If you have to take down a Boss-type, or at least close and smack him a good one, but he's flanked by buddies? This is good to keep them off of you while you finish off the nasty one.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    But Stone Bones is good for both against a single powerful enemy and several enemies at once.
    It's actually not that great in either situation. The Stone Bones line has two problems:

    1) if you miss, it doesn't do anything
    2) even if you hit, it depends on your opponent hitting you the round afterwards.

    As a general rule, anything that requires your opponent to do a certain thing is a lot less useful than something that works no matter what (which is also why a maneuver which boosts your to-hit is usually better than a maneuver which boosts your AC).

    The first-level maneuvers I usually pick for a level 1-2 Warblade are:

    1. Steely Strike
    2. Steel Wind
    3. Charging Minotaur
    4. Moment of Perfect Mind

    Possibly swap one of those for Leading the Attack or Wolf Fang Strike if you need to fill pre-reqs.
    Last edited by Saph; 2010-12-22 at 04:47 PM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #4 in the series, Chosen, is out as of September 2013. For updates, check my blog!

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