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  1. - Top - End - #631
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfin View Post
    Hello, all.

    Firstly I want to apologize for abandoning this, especially without any word. It was really not a cool thing to do. Stuff came up, and then more stuff, and then more, and by that time I wasn't even thinking of this site – but I should have notified you people and made arrangements.

    But secondly and most importantly, I want to thank Harnel and everyone else for taking the project up. At this point I'd like to think it's not so much my project or Harnel's but ours as a whole.

    It looks like it's been a couple of months since new content has been added, so I'm going to try resurrecting the original thread and moving all the new content to there, where I will hopefully start finishing it.
    Now that I've permission to resurrect it, Masters of the Sword is officially back up and running. The first order of business is schlepping over all the great work that was done in my absence, and then editing both that material and my original work. After that begins the business of finishing the handbook.

    Any and all feedback, input, and additions are of course always welcome.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-11-11 at 01:17 PM.

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

    Sweetness. Any plans to resurrect the Swordsage's Handbook as well? I think Hazzarddevil did a repost.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Great to see this back.
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  4. - Top - End - #634
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    Sweetness. Any plans to resurrect the Swordsage's Handbook as well? I think Hazzarddevil did a repost.
    I'll look into it, but I'd first like to finish this one. When I started the Swordsage handbook it was mostly as a reserve - I never intended to seriously buckle down until I had the Warblade handbook finished. That ended up with interest quickly dying off, which is something I don't want to repeat.

    Also, besides editing and putting up combat styles and weapon choices from the repost thread (a big thanks to Harnel for both of those), I've added a new section, Tips and Tricks. If anyone has anything to contribute - whether combat advice, general tricks, cool ways to use spells or magic items, or anything of that sort - it'd be great to hear it.

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

    I'd say increase the rank on Know: History. It covers wars you know, not just historical wars, but "wars" (read: Tactics). This is in fact it's intended use, not an oversight (Red Knight's Paladin's get in in FR and she is the goddess of tactics.).
    Last edited by deuxhero; 2011-11-11 at 06:54 PM.

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

    The problem I see with that is that how often it comes in a "normal" game? Must games are about a little band of adventurers against the world, there are few instances in which the knowledge of military tactics would be useful (the only one that springs to mind is in RHoD).

    So it is almost the perfect fir for a niche skill.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    A 4 man group of commandos is almost all the time though. If nothing else, it gives you an in-character ability to pull of what battle strategy you decide on.

    Either way, the skill's commentary should note it.
    Last edited by deuxhero; 2011-11-11 at 07:49 PM.

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

    A fair point; I'll add that in.

    Now everything done so far has been added. As far as the handbook goes, this is what it looks like is left to add:

    - Magic items
    - Tips and tricks
    - Sample progressions and more builds

    Magic items is obviously the most major and time-consuming of those; rather than running through every magic item, I'm planning on only featuring those which are potentially useful.

    As for tips, I'll look into scouring the forums and other handbooks, though any submissions are greatly appreciated.

    For sample progressions, I'm planning on adding a basic, sword-and-board warblade who takes Weapon Focus and Specialization feats; after that, perhaps a TWFer who focuses on Tiger Claw and perhaps goes into BCM. I'm split between doing one progression focusing on each discipline or one for each applicable ToB PrC - any thoughts?
    Besides that, any build submissions in the vein of what we have so far are very welcome.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-11-12 at 11:37 AM.

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

    I'd put the feral template up there, as well as the shadow template depending on what you're going for. Feral is one of my favorites and has tons of good advantages.
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  10. - Top - End - #640
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    The problem is that Savage Species is 3.0, which means that it's debatable whether it's allowable in 3.5. As for the Shadow template - personally I'm not sure if it's the best choice for a warblade, but you're right that it's definitely worth putting up.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfin View Post
    The problem is that Savage Species is 3.0, which means that it's debatable whether it's allowable in 3.5. As for the Shadow template - personally I'm not sure if it's the best choice for a warblade, but you're right that it's definitely worth putting up.
    Yeah, that's true, but you might simply note that if their DM okays it, feral is fantastic. And shadow is very build dependent. Most warblades wouldn't mesh with it (usually better for swordsages), but it does work with some more hit-and-run, mobility-oriented builds.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Dark could use a mention, though- +1 LA for massive Hide and Move Silently bonuses (even better than a Whisper Gnome's bonuses); a Dark Whisper Gnome with Martial Study (any Shadow Hand) could make a pretty effective Warblade. Of course, it makes more sense with a Swordsage, but it can work with a Warblade too.

    Come to think of it, Whisper Gnomes could use mentioning as a great race for small, more dextrous Warblades; you build them like a halfling warblade, only they're even better since they have the same stat modifiers plus a bonus to CON in exchange for a hit to CHA, plus a +8 bonus (half size, half racial) to Hide, a +4 racial bonus to Move Silently, a +2 racial bonus to Spot and Listen, and Silence as an SLA. If halflings get a black rating, I'd give Whisper Gnomes a Blue rating, easy, and maybe even Cyan.
    Last edited by Lateral; 2011-11-12 at 03:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Another race, while not stellar at +2 LA and 2 RHD, Thri-Kreen are good martial adepts (especially with buyoff). They rock Tiger Claw especially.

    +2 Strength, +4 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Int, -4 Cha
    40 foot land speed
    Darkvision 60', magical sleep immunity
    +3 Natural Armor
    Multiple limbs
    Natural Attacks/Poison
    +30 foot racial bonus to jump checks
    Other minor stuff

    Also, for roles, I'd mark Primary Melee as gold. It's the key role for any martial adept, and likewise, I'd upgrade mobility to Light Blue.
    Last edited by TravelLog; 2011-11-12 at 02:05 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #644
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    Another race, while not stellar at +2 LA and 2 RHD, Thri-Kreen are good martial adepts (especially with buyoff). They rock Tiger Claw especially.

    +2 Strength, +4 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Int, -4 Cha
    40 foot land speed
    Darkvision 60', magical sleep immunity
    +3 Natural Armor
    Multiple limbs
    Natural Attacks/Poison
    +30 foot racial bonus to jump checks
    Other minor stuff
    Nonpsionic Thri-Kreen are better. The latest version is from Shining South, which incidentally was published after the XPH and so is the latest version of both variants of Thri-Kreen anyway. They lose the psi-like abilities, but keep everything else, in exchange for only having +1 LA. Normal thri-kreen lose you 3 IL 'cause of the RHD and LA, but these only lose you two, allowing you access to 9th level maneuvers that much faster. (For Warblades, LA is obviously more of a problem than RHD since you get +1/2 IL on each RHD but each LA gets you zilch.)

    Much better, in my opinion. They make great Tiger Claw-focused MWF combatants, what with their four arms and that massive bonus to jump checks. (It's not a +30-foot bonus, though, it's a +30 bonus. Fine distinction, but important; Leaping Dragon Stance granting a +10-foot competence bonus instead of a +10 competence bonus is one of the reasons why it's so good.)
    Last edited by Lateral; 2011-11-12 at 02:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    Nonpsionic Thri-Kreen are better. The latest version is from Shining South, which incidentally was published after the XPH and so is the latest version of both variants of Thri-Kreen anyway. They lose the psi-like abilities, but keep everything else, in exchange for only having +1 LA. Much better, in my opinion. They make great Tiger Claw-focused MWF combatants, what with their four arms and that massive bonus to jump checks. (It's not a +30-foot bonus, though, it's a +30 bonus. Fine distinction, but important; Leaping Dragon Stance granting a +10-foot competence bonus instead of a +10 competence bonus is one of the reasons why it's so good.)
    You are right, I'd forgotten about the newer version. Far, far better, especially since Thri-Kreens aren't really built for psionics anyway. And yeah, I meant +30, my bad. It basically puts any Tiger Claw maneuver on steroids. I'd put them as light-blue. Gold if going Tiger Claw. Still 2 RHD though, bothersomely.
    Last edited by TravelLog; 2011-11-12 at 02:13 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #646
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Underfolk from RoD.
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    Just like humans, except instead of an extra feat at 1st level, they get:
    +1 Natural Armor
    30' Darkvision
    +2 to Listen checks
    Weapon Familiarity with Light/Heavy Picks
    +4 to Hide checks, +10 when in rocky terrain
    Light Sensitivity as a trade off.
    Fantastic in an underground game (light blue at least, no LA)


    Chaos Gnomes (LA +1):
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    +2 Dex, +2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Str
    Lose gnome racial bonuses and illusion boost, BUT +1 CL for [chaos] spells a couple SLAs and (the main draw) a 1/day reroll, for anything. Also, immune to compulsion effects.
    Probably blue, though with the reroll, maybe light blue for small, dextrous war blades.


    Deep Gnomes (Svirfnebli) are expensive at +3 LA, BUT:
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    Darkvision 120', +2 to ALL saves
    +4 Dodge AC against all creatures
    constant nondetection, SR 11+Character Level
    Stone Cunning and a handful of SLAs
    +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -4 Cha, -2 Str
    --Two versions, one from Underdark and one from Monster Manual (use the Underdark version)
    With buyoff, blue/light blue for dextrous warblades. Not worth it otherwise.


    Saurian Shifter (Dragon Magazine 328)
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    --Specifically, Junglerunner version: +2 Strength and +20' movement speed
    --Raptorleap version: +2 Strength, +4 on jump checks and always treated as having a running start
    Definitely at least blue, if not light blue.


    Gnoll, Flind (+2 LA, 2 RHD):
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    +6 Strength, +4 Con, +2 Dex
    +2 Natural Armor, Weapon Familiarity: Flindbar
    Black, blue with buyoff


    Azerblood (+1 LA, Outsider dwarves, Dragon Magazine 350):
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    +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Cha
    30' movement, Darkvision 60'
    Fire Resist 10, Heat Metal 1/day at Character level, +1 (+1 per 5 levels) on saves vs. heat and fire spells, Stability
    Outsider (native, dwarf), dwarven weapon familiarity
    +4 dodge AC vs. Giants, +1 racial bonus to attack vs. Salamanders and Mephits (Fire, Steam, Magma only)
    +2 Appraise/Craft checks for fire/metal/stone
    +2 saves vs. poison, +2 to saves vs. spells/SLAs
    Strictly better than a dwarf basically.


    Worghest (Dragon 350, LA +2)
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    +2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Cha
    Outsider (native, goblin, shapechanger)
    Outsider traits
    Scent Ability, Track as a bonus feat, +4 to move silently
    Shapechange to a wolf as a standard action
    Feed: spend a full round action to feed, gain the benefit of Death Knell at character level, creature has only a 50% chance of being raised by resurrection spells that do not need a corpse, if a corpse is needed, 0% chance.


    Zenythri (Dragon 350, LA +1):
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    Outsider (native)
    Outsider Traits
    Acid/Electricity/Sonic resist 5
    +2 to Balance/Survival
    True Strike 1/day
    Use the Lesser version (LA +0). Give up Native Outsider status and become Humanoid (Planetouched) along with the survival and balance bonuses.
    Last edited by TravelLog; 2011-11-12 at 02:54 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #647
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Want a second opinion?
    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    Underfolk from RoD.
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    Just like humans, except instead of an extra feat at 1st level, they get:
    +1 Natural Armor
    30' Darkvision
    +2 to Listen checks
    Weapon Familiarity with Light/Heavy Picks
    +4 to Hide checks, +10 when in rocky terrain
    Light Sensitivity as a trade off.
    Fantastic in an underground game (light blue at least, no LA)
    I'd only peg them at Black. 30' Darkvision is kind of crappy, the NA is very small, the skill bonuses are modest except in rocky terrain (which is pretty situational), and Light Sensitivity, while a small drawback, is a drawback nonetheless. Maybe Blue in a heavily underground campaign, but that's it.

    Chaos Gnomes (LA +1):
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    +2 Dex, +2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Str
    Lose gnome racial bonuses and illusion boost, BUT +1 CL for [chaos] spells a couple SLAs and (the main draw) a 1/day reroll, for anything. Also, immune to compulsion effects.
    Probably blue, though with the reroll, maybe light blue for small, dextrous war blades.
    Hmm. Net +4 stat bonuses, but one of them's really a dump stat and you're losing STR. The reroll and immunity is nice, though- I'd peg them as Blue for small, dextrous warblades, but certainly not light blue.

    Deep Gnomes (Svirfnebli) are expensive at +3 LA, BUT:
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    Darkvision 120', +2 to ALL saves
    +4 Dodge AC against all creatures
    constant nondetection, SR 11+Character Level
    Stone Cunning and a handful of SLAs
    +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -4 Cha, -2 Str
    --Two versions, one from Underdark and one from Monster Manual (use the Underdark version)
    With buyoff, blue/light blue for dextrous warblades. Not worth it otherwise.
    No. Even with buyoff, it's no better than Red- you have a bonus to a secondary stat and a minor tertiary stat in exchange for a hit to STR. (Granted, the -4 CHA is no big whoop, but still.) 120' Darkvision isn't really that much better than 60' Darkvision, and the SR is as much a pain in the ass as it is a boon. The Dodge bonus, Nondetection, save bonuses, and SLAs are nice, but it's totally not worth that massive LA.

    Saurian Shifter (Dragon Magazine 328)
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    --Specifically, Junglerunner version: +2 Strength and +20' movement speed
    --Raptorleap version: +2 Strength, +4 on jump checks and always treated as having a running start
    Definitely at least blue, if not light blue.
    I wouldn't recommend mentioning Dragon Magazine stuff in a handbook- it isn't 1st party, and a lot of people don't allow it.

    Gnoll, Flind (+2 LA, 2 RHD):
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    +6 Strength, +4 Con, +2 Dex
    +2 Natural Armor, Weapon Familiarity: Flindbar
    Black, blue with buyoff
    Those are pretty good bonuses. With buyoff, I agree that it's at the low end of Blue.

    Azerblood (+1 LA, Outsider dwarves, Dragon Magazine 350):
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    +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Cha
    30' movement, Darkvision 60'
    Fire Resist 10, Heat Metal 1/day at Character level, +1 (+1 per 5 levels) on saves vs. heat and fire spells, Stability
    Outsider (native, dwarf), dwarven weapon familiarity
    +4 dodge AC vs. Giants, +1 racial bonus to attack vs. Salamanders and Mephits (Fire, Steam, Magma only)
    +2 Appraise/Craft checks for fire/metal/stone
    +2 saves vs. poison, +2 to saves vs. spells/SLAs
    Strictly better than a dwarf basically.


    Worghest (Dragon 350, LA +2)
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    +2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Cha
    Outsider (native, goblin, shapechanger)
    Outsider traits
    Scent Ability, Track as a bonus feat, +4 to move silently
    Shapechange to a wolf as a standard action
    Feed: spend a full round action to feed, gain the benefit of Death Knell at character level, creature has only a 50% chance of being raised by resurrection spells that do not need a corpse, if a corpse is needed, 0% chance.


    Zenythri (Dragon 350, LA +1):
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    Outsider (native)
    Outsider Traits
    Acid/Electricity/Sonic resist 5
    +2 to Balance/Survival
    True Strike 1/day
    Use the Lesser version (LA +0). Give up Native Outsider status and become Humanoid (Planetouched) along with the survival and balance bonuses.
    Again, don't bother with Dragon Mag- it isn't worth detailing all of its stuff in your guide; it's not 1st party and was generally not very consistently balanced.
    Last edited by Lateral; 2011-11-12 at 03:34 PM.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    Want a second opinion?
    Sure. Second opinions are always good.

    I'd only peg them at Black. 30' Darkvision is kind of crappy, the NA is very small, the skill bonuses are modest except in rocky terrain (which is pretty situational), and Light Sensitivity, while a small drawback, is a drawback nonetheless. Maybe Blue in a heavily underground campaign, but that's it.
    This one I disagree with you on. If humans are light blue, then these guys are at the very least blue. In an underground campaign, they are better than humans IMO, so easily light blue under those circumstances. In a normal campaign, low end of blue because of light sensitivity, which can easily be overcome with equipment, like a custom pair of dark glasses.

    Hmm. Net +4 stat bonuses, but one of them's really a dump stat and you're losing STR. The reroll and immunity is nice, though- I'd peg them as Blue for small, dextrous warblades, but certainly not light blue.
    I think with the reroll/compulsion, they're blue/low end of light blue. Rerolls are golden in D&D, and to get one racially 1/day is pretty nice.

    No. Even with buyoff, it's no better than Red- you have a bonus to a secondary stat and a minor tertiary stat in exchange for a hit to STR. (Granted, the -4 CHA is no big whoop, but still.) 120' Darkvision isn't really that much better than 60' Darkvision, and the SR is as much a pain in the ass as it is a boon. The Dodge bonus, Nondetection, save bonuses, and SLAs are nice, but it's totally not worth that massive LA.
    With buyoff, and an underground campaign, I'd say black/low blue. Otherwise red.


    Saurian Shifter (Dragon Magazine 328)

    I wouldn't recommend mentioning Dragon Magazine stuff in a handbook- it isn't 1st party, and a lot of people don't allow it.
    I disagree. Players should know all of their options. Even if the DM doesn't accept it, the idea of a handbook is provide all relevant information. Just like LA buyoff, situations differ, but it's important to know what is a possibility.

    Those are pretty good bonuses. With buyoff, I agree that it's at the low end of Blue.
    On the same page here.

    Again, don't bother with Dragon Mag- it isn't worth detailing all of its stuff in your guide; it's not 1st party and was generally not very consistently balanced.
    See above.
    Last edited by TravelLog; 2011-11-12 at 03:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    This one I disagree with you on. If humans are light blue, then these guys are at the very least blue. In an underground campaign, they are better than humans IMO, so easily light blue under those circumstances. In a normal campaign, low end of blue because of light sensitivity, which can easily be overcome with equipment, like a custom pair of dark glasses.
    I think that you're overselling the benefits it gives you. They just aren't that powerful; certainly nowhere near as good as a bonus feat and extra skill points. In an underground campaign, Blue due to the massive Hide bonus, but outside of that their benefits really are quite minor and situational.

    I think with the reroll/compulsion, they're blue/low end of light blue. Rerolls are golden in D&D, and to get one racially 1/day is pretty nice.
    Hmm. That's true; free rerolls are rare and useful. All right, then Blue without buyoff and Cyan with.

    With buyoff, and an underground campaign, I'd say black/low blue. Otherwise red.
    No. They have a +3 LA; you can't even buy off the first point of LA until level 9. I think you're overestimating the usefulness of buyoff and their abilities; it just isn't worth the +3 LA, even with buyoff.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    I think that you're overselling the benefits it gives you. They just aren't that powerful; certainly nowhere near as good as a bonus feat and extra skill points. In an underground campaign, Blue due to the massive Hide bonus, but outside of that their benefits really are quite minor and situational.
    They get the human's extra skill points. All they miss out on is the feat.


    No. They have a +3 LA; you can't even buy off the first point of LA until level 9. I think you're overestimating the usefulness of buyoff and their abilities; it just isn't worth the +3 LA, even with buyoff.
    I'll give you this one. I had forgotten about waiting until level 9.
    Last edited by TravelLog; 2011-11-12 at 03:55 PM.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    They get the human's extra skill points. All they miss out on is the feat.
    Oh. That changes things a bit. Still, I wouldn't peg them as blue in a non-underground campaign.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    Oh. That changes things a bit. Still, I wouldn't peg them as blue in a non-underground campaign.
    True enough, Light Sensitivity is terrible if you actually have to deal with it regularly.

    Also, thoughts about the Dragon Mag races? I know you don't agree with them, but I still think it's important to understand the available options, usable or not. Example, Cleric Handbooks almost always mention DMM stuff, even when a lot of DMs ban it, or at least nerf it.
    Last edited by TravelLog; 2011-11-12 at 04:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Unfortunately, the extra feat is what makes humans so good. Especially because it's not that difficult to get some form of darkvision, I just don't see underfolk being worth it.

    As for Dragon Magazine stuff, it's different because of the fact that it's third party. For now at least I think it's best to include only first party options.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfin View Post
    Unfortunately, the extra feat is what makes humans so good. Especially because it's not that difficult to get some form of darkvision, I just don't see underfolk being worth it.

    As for Dragon Magazine stuff, it's different because of the fact that it's third party. For now at least I think it's best to include only first party options.
    Fair enough I suppose. Some of the other stuff I provided should be useful at least.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Oh, definitely - thanks for sharing it. In fact, I'll get to adding it in right now.

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

    The Shadow template's latest source is in Lords of Madness. It has a +2 LA.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Gnoll Flind and Underfolk got left out I think.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateral View Post
    The Shadow template's latest source is in Lords of Madness. It has a +2 LA.
    Ah; that makes much more sense. At LA +1 it seemed a little on the powerful side.

    Underfolk I don't think makes the cut, as I'd put it at black. But you're right about flind gnoll - I forgot that one.
    Last edited by Elfin; 2011-11-12 at 06:54 PM.

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

    I'll see if I can build a simple Ur-Vindicator build for the Builds section over the next week; I agree that that section could use some filling out.
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    Default Re: Masters of the Sword: A Warblade's Handbook [Under Construction]

    Doesn't the Vindicators need Devoted Spirit? Which Warblade doesn't get access to.
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