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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    Here's the voting thread for the sixth prestige class contest, Hybrid Power Voting will consist of each voter giving a first, a second, and a third place vote, as well as a vote for the categories of Most Original, Most Likely to See Play, and Best Use of Theme. Anyone can vote, and in fact, entrants must vote to qualify for victory.

    A first place vote is worth three points, a second place vote is worth two points, and a third place vote is worth one point. Votes for the three other categories are each worth 1 point in their category. You may not vote for your own entry.

    You are encouraged to include reason with your votes, though this is not absolutely required.

    The entry that ends up with the most points wins the contest, and each category goes to the entry with the most votes in it.. Voting starts now and will continue until June 7, 2019 (Edit: Now extended to the 10th).

    So our entries are:
    Entry Creator 1st 2nd 3rd Total Points Most Original Most Likely to See Play Best Use of Theme
    The Sovereign rferries - - - - - - -
    Soulforge Meister Morphic Tide - - - - - - -
    True Mystic The Kool - - - - - - -
    Goetic Collectivist JoshuaZ - - - - - - -
    Blood Iron Master Lanth Sor - - - - - - -
    Pact-Bound Knight Silva Stormrage - - - - - - -
    Akashic Savant PairO-Dice Lost - - - - - - -

    As always, everyone is welcome to vote, and you are welcome to explain the reasoning for your votes.
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2019-06-04 at 02:29 PM.
    My homebrew:

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    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    Alright my votes

    1: Soulforge Meister: Great concept, great use of theme. Simple and flavorful but has a LOT of utility and frankly Chakra Infusion is my favorite class feature in the entire contest by far. Great way of allowing all those obscure situational magic items see play and I love classes that let me tinker for hours trying to find neat tricks with them. I may not be that well versed in Incarnum but this is a class I would absolutely play in a campaign.
    2: Goetic Collectivist: Cool concept and I do love dual progression binding PRC's that are good and actually boost binding instead of just having it as a side feature like Anima Mage. I still think that the numerous small abilities that swap out every day might be annoying to see in actual play but overall great class, fluff is on point and the mechanics work well together.
    3: Akashic Savant: I like the fluff a lot for this class but I am frankly not a big fan of PRC's with weird progression rates. Also as a side note I am not well versed enough in Incarnum to really comment on balance and a lot of class features so that might be why I rated it here. Still it's an interesting class and I do like the fluff and concept behind it.


    Most Original: Akashic Savant: The actual way you mended the two subsystems was actually fairly clever and well done and the class features for this class were very unique and game changing.
    Most Likely to See Play: Goetic Collectivist: Binding and manifesting are popular subsystems and the Collectivist really does work well with both of them. As much as I like the Soulforge Meister incarnum is not a particularly popular subsystem.
    Best Use of Theme: Soulforge Meister: Artificer and Incarnum really work well together and I think this was a great combo that made intuitive sense right off the bat.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    1st: Akashic Savant by Pair'oDice Lost. The reason for this is that the PRC focuses near-totally on the intersection of the subsystem's flavor to make a skillmonkey PRC that happens to progress two power sources, rather than diving into the nitty-gritty of the subsystem integration. It's a way of going about the contest theme that I wasn't expecting given the entries that came before mine, but very much appreciate, as it doesn't crowd out other mergers of the two subsystems in any way because it mostly doesn't care about them.

    2nd: Blood Iron Master by Lanth Sor. Sure, it's in desperate need of an editing pass (Blood Spine Eruption doesn't mention spell level and Rend the Sanguine is useless to prepared casters, alongside a lot of other wording difficulties), but it has what it needs to be a usable gish without previous theurging, while tying in wonderfully with Ruby Knight Vindicator's Maneuver refresh for the ability to use numerous instances of plenty of different Maneuvers, alongside the amount of hell Blood Spine Eruption can let loose with the bonus of Blood Iron Wisdom.

    3rd: Pact Bound Knight by Silva Stormrage. It was either this or Goetic Collectivist, and both are subsystem amalgamations first and foremost. I'll go with the Initiator that rides on winds of flavor right in the middle of combat for the things they get up to. It's this low because it's a pure theurge, and it backloads the foundational effect that is Infused Weapons

    Most Original: Goetic Collectivist by JoshuaZ. Psicarnum exists first-party, and the Akashic Savant is a flavor intersection drawing pretty tightly from first-party sources. This one takes a left field on Binder and ties it into Psionics in flavor.

    Most Likely to See Play: Goetic Collectivist. Incarnum locks up item slots, Blood Iron Master is high-level and very specific, The Sovereign is a DM nightmare and a half, True Mystic is Wizard/Archivist in particular and Pact Bound Knight and my own entry both pidgeonhole the usage of the subsystems, while Goetic Collectivist is a one-level investment in the other subsystem, with both being commonly used and widely applicable.

    Best Use of Theme: Akashic Savant. Because it targets an existing intersection of flavor, rather than being a mechanical consideration like my entry, or an extention of one side's flavor into overlaping the other's like the Pact Bound Knight.
    My most liked class, thematically, is the Artificer. Make free items! (fail by RAW to)Hold up the setting! Have access to every magic item...
    My most liked class, mechanically, is the Bard. I sing the enemy to death! (at level 21)I talk you into a suicidal fanatic! I need to cheese rules that make me sing as I fight or talk to get things done...

    I prefer t2 over anything else, because t2 lets you become anything. I think Psionics is more versatile than magic.

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    PairO'Dice Lost's Avatar

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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    1st: Goetic Collectivist
    Ever since reading the Anima Mage's flavor text about "exploiting" vestiges for fun and profit and then seeing that the mechanics were just another get-free-metamagic PrC, I'd hoped to write a PrC that actually involved squeezing extra power out of individual vestiges in a cool and flavorful way. I no longer have to, because this PrC does that and does it very well--and including THE CEPHALOPOCALYPSE!! the oft-forgotten epic vestiges in the list is the cherry on top.

    2nd: Pact-Bound Knight
    Second spot goes to another binding PrC--I'm not biased, I swear. The ability to cherry-pick interesting maneuver combos with Martial Lore from the Void is a novel trick and expresses the "I am a master of all nine disciplines" theme better than many ToB PrCs. Also, Dance of Death is one of my favorite vestige abilities for melee-focused binders, so anything that makes it even more awesome will always get my vote.

    3rd: Soulforge Meister
    The Ironsoul Forgemaster was begging to be given some artificer-flavored love, and this fills that need very nicely. Like Silva said, Soulbound Regalia allows for using all those cool-but-overpriced-or-situational items, which opens up a bunch of fun options without going all Spreadsheets & Dragons like artificers with crafting cost reduction tend to do.

    Most Original: Pact-Bound Knight
    I both write and play a lot of dual-progression PrCs, and I've never seen a binding/initiating one before, or at least not one that was at all memorable. Making the concept of vestigial influence something to be embraced rather than avoided is also unique as far as I know, so well done there.

    Most Likely to See Play: True Mystic
    It's basically a Mystic Theurge with class features crossed with a Geomancer that's actually dual-progression as it should have been, so it's definitely the least objectionable for homebrew-averse DMs.

    Best Use of Theme: Soulforge Meister
    Incarnum and artificing go together like peanut butter and +3 chocolate of sweetness.
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2019-06-11 at 11:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    First Place Vote: Pact Bound Knight I love Tome of Battle and I love the binder. So it would be tough to not get me to put a maneuver/pact-magic PrC as first. But this class does a really great job winning my vote in its own right. First, it does a really good job of mechanically combining both the pact-magic side and the maneuver side: so many hybrid classes focus on one side or the other, and this one combines them smoothly. And the flavor is really when done. In some respects this class almost feels like what the Knight of the Sacred Seal should have been.


    Second Place Vote: Akashic Savant This was a close second. The flavor is really well done. Both incarnum and psionics have a natural theme of the collective unconsciousness or something close to that. I'm not 100% happy in general with the surrounding fluff of incarnum, but that's by no means something that I should hold against this class which is flavorful and mechanically well done. And I really like how the flavor is carefully connected to the Sapphire Hierarchs; it is nice to see when homebrew does a good job connecting to pre-existing material and doesn't feel like it exists in a complete vacuum. My primary quibble is twofold: First, the weird progression seems overly weak. I could see for balance reasons not having full manifesting but having only partial meldshaping also means that at tenth level one is going to have issues, and even if one had full for both, it isn't like meldshaping is that powerful a system. Second, there's no strong reason to require Incarnum Radiance in the requirements, and it would be nice if a Soulborn or Totemist could take the class also (certainly one could easily fluff a Soulborn as being interested in this PrC).

    Third Place Vote Blood Iron Master This was a very difficult choice. The Soulforge Meister has absolutely amazing mechanics, whose fluff almost writes itself; if the fluff that doesn't write itself was more detailed, then the very good mechanics would push this into third place. The mechanics really are great though, and I have a few ideas already for PCs I'd like to play who'd have levels in this class. The Sovereign does a simpler and better job of the simple mage-who-casts than some of the existing ones, and I'd rather play it than an Eldritch Knight; if there were more fluff or mechanics to support the fluff, I'd like it a lot. The True Mystic is fun and it takes two classes which naturally both use books and connects them in a rational way; I'd like it a bit more if it had a few more class feature. That's difficult to do when you have a hybrid class where both sides are built so heavily on intelligence as the single modifying, but still something else would be nice. The True Mystic also fits in with a lot of historical attitudes about magic; if one looks at medieval mysticism there's not really a distinction between the divine and arcane, and a class which gets back to those sort of historical roots makes me happy.

    Ultimately, the Blood Iron Master is my third place vote. I would like it more if it had a slightly higher progression level for both sides, or at least full progression for the maneuvering side (which is the weaker of the two systems in use), but the central mechanics are excellent, and the flavor is top-notch. It isn't easy to do a novel spin on the Blood War, but this does it, and the entire idea of "Blood Iron" opens itself to all sorts of potential new ideas (which if Lanth Sor doesn't mind, I may do in the future). In my mind, one of the best tests of homebrew is "does it inspire other people to want to make more homebrew" and in that regard, it does very well.

    Most Original: Pact-Bound Knight. This gets originality in two ways. First, I didn't see it coming at all, and second it does it really well. There's a danger when one has high originality that the originality isn't executed well. That's not a problem here. In this case, I'll also note that the mechanics chosen are also clever; I particularly like the influence point mechanic. Here, I'll note that the Akashic Savant and the Blood Iron Master were also close seconds (especially the originality of the Blood Iron Master).

    Most Likely to See Play True Mystic - - This classes uses two popular systems and has easy entry. It isn't so strong that DMs would disallow it, and the fact that one cannot have banned schools helps reduce the more worrisome possible shennanigans from such a hybrid class. I suspect that the Sovereign would be highly likely to be ones that PCs would want to play, but I could see a lot of DMs being uncomfortable allowing it, especially because it is in some respects outright stronger than other similar gishes (e.g. Eldritch Knight or Spellsword). That's not a fault of the class per se, arguably both the Eldritch Knight and Spellsword are weaker than they should be, but anchoring bias is a thing. The Blood Iron Master requires such high entry that many games will end or just be ending before one gets to it, and it will be tricky to have another hybrid class before it because of the alignment restrictions since the official hybrid class is the Jade Phoenix Mage; I think I could have some fun making a character who is a JPM and then takes levels in Blood Iron Master, but that I'd have fun playing that character doesn't make it likely. The main reason the Akashic Savant gets a low rating here is that it seems like a lot of people don't like the fluff for incarnum, and the alignment restriction imposed by having to be an incarnate (not even a totemist or soulborn) to enter is going to drastically reduce the set of PCs able to take it.

    Best Use of Theme: Akashic Savant Absolutely shows what a combination of two classes should do, does a really great job combining the standard fluff for both, and supports the mechanical interchange really well. Here the Pact-Bound Knight and the Soulforge Meister were both close seconds.
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2019-05-29 at 08:37 AM.
    My homebrew:

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    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Silva Stormrage View Post
    3: Akashic Savant: I like the fluff a lot for this class but I am frankly not a big fan of PRC's with weird progression rates. Also as a side note I am not well versed enough in Incarnum to really comment on balance and a lot of class features so that might be why I rated it here.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaZ View Post
    Second Place Vote: Akashic Savant This was a close second. [...] My primary quibble is twofold: First, the weird progression seems overly weak. I could see for balance reasons not having full manifesting but having only partial meldshaping also means that at tenth level one is going to have issues, and even if one had full for both, it isn't like meldshaping is that powerful a system.
    Not trying to change anyone's votes, obviously, but since it was mentioned twice, my rationale for having it lose as many levels as it did were as follows:

    1) The class features are on the powerful side. Several essentia-capacity-boosting features, which stack with one another; the ability to grab off-list powers and soulmelds as needed between encounters, up to 5 per day at higher levels; a strong defense against mind-affecting effects, both incoming and ongoing; the ability to stealthily and continually monitor enemies from a great distance for an indefinite duration and manifest things at them until they notice; a version of psychic reformation on tap with no XP cost; an effective second psionic focus...all of those are pretty substantial class features to add on top of one full or almost-full progression, much less two.

    Considering that the closest equivalents to the AS are the Soul Manifester (which gets exactly two class features, Psionic Investment which AS partially mimics with Third Eye and Psionic Distillation which AS does better and gets 9 levels earlier) and Sapphire Hierarch (which gets a bunch of class features, but they're all mostly fluffy, passive, weak, and/or redundant with what cleric casting gives you already), so I figured I'd err on the side of losing levels.

    2) The "pick one progression" setup was based on the Ultimate Magus, where giving you full advancement on both sides would be too powerful so you can basically choose which "side" of the class to focus on (or try to split them evenly as intended, but c'mon, no one does that). My assumption is that everyone would focus on the psionics side and the 4 lost levels from Incarnate 3/Akashic Savant 1 are enough to balance that, but I didn't want to mandate a meldshaping-secondary setup because (A) the class is 50/50 thematically, so 9/10 manifesting and 6/10 meldshaping wouldn't make sense, and (B) you can focus on the meldshaping side to "play down" in a less optimized group if desired.

    3) The class features largely make up for the lost levels, but in a way that emphasizes the theme. The +1 to ML with Clairsentience/Telepathy powers when something is bound to the Third Eye makes up for the initial lost manifesting level, but only for those disciplines. A Psion 3/Incarnate 3/Akashic Savant 10 with all his "pick one progression" levels set to psionics is effectively an Incarnate 9 and loses 3 soulmelds shaped, 9 essentia, and 2 chakra binds compared to an Incarnate 16, but can effectively get 2 soulmelds shaped and 2 chakra binds from Third Eye, another soulmeld (from any list and choosable each day) from Access Archetypal Records, and a bunch of essentia (and at a higher cap) from Psycarnum Integration, so he actually comes out ahead even before taking the manifesting side into account.

    An AS who focuses on meldshaping definitely loses more, but honestly the intended entry was more Ardent than Psion, given that an ardent's alignment-and-auras emphasis make it a better fit for the flavor than a psion is, so Practiced Manifester + Access Archetypal Memories goes a long way toward clearing that up. And the classic "use the better of two levels and ability scores" feature comes at 1st, instead of midway or as a capstone, so even with a psion entry and focusing on the meldshaping side your ML and bonus PP continue to advance as a consolation prize.

    Second, there's no strong reason to require Incarnum Radiance in the requirements, and it would be nice if a Soulborn or Totemist could take the class also (certainly one could easily fluff a Soulborn as being interested in this PrC).
    I went with more of an Incarnate focus because the AS is very much a skill- and utility-focused class emphasizing the less combat-relevant disciplines, so it meshes with and enhances the skillmonkey-ish Incarnate quite well but clashes with the more combat-focused Totemist and Soulborn. Plus, from a mechanical standpoint giving a Totemist a second extra chakra to juggle might be a bit much and the Soulborn's progression is so slow that theurging it with pretty much anything is pointless, and from a flavor standpoint there were only so many Third Eye bind effects I could come up with before the deadline before the Totemist- and Soulborn-specific ones started becoming stretches or overlapping with other melds, so it was either leave some out haphazardly or cut them all. Given more time to ponder Third Eye bind ideas and a way to elegantly merge the Totem and Third Eye chakras, I might open it up to any meldshaper, but I don't think AS particularly suffers from being Incarnate-focused.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    Since a lot of people have still not voted, I'm going to extend the voting deadline until the end of Monday the 10th. Please get your votes in.
    My homebrew:

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    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    Oooops sorry for the delay, currently travelling and forgot all about this.

    1st - Goetic Collectivist, another masterpiece!

    2nd-Akashic Servant, which was a toss-up vs the Collectivist.

    3rd-Pact-Bound Knight, which could also compete for 2nd or even 1st place.

    Most original- Soulforge Meıster, on the grounds that it merges the subsystems with which I am least familiar :D

    Most likely to see play-True Mystic, simple but really what the Mystic Theurge should have been.

    Best use of theme-Blood Iron Master, a theurge with flavour unto itself.

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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    1st: Akashic Savant, I have a soft spot for akashic things.
    2nd: Pact Bound Knight, Loved the feel of this.
    3rd: Goetic Collectivist, an interesting twist on the betwixt.

    Most Original: Goetic Collectivist, its like the Akashic record of the betwixt, this makes me happy.
    Most Likely to See Play: The Sovereign it was the most mundane of the classes while not breaking the sky. Works well in many builds.
    Best Use of Theme: True Mystic, I strongly support there being a class that ignores magic disparities and says "Because Magic" this cuts those barriers quite well and simply.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    I cringe as I write this, for I simply have not had time to actually read everything. Thus, the votes are quite superficial opinions.

    1st place: Akashic Savant. 9/10 manifesting and 6/10 meldshaping is actually really good, and this class has the supporting details to make it worthwhile. I just love this class.
    2nd place: Pact Bound Knight. What can I say, I love both these mechanics and Binders need more love.
    3rd place: Soulforge Meister. Just edged out the Goetic Collectivist here, I like the way you've made the incompatible mechanics compatible.
    Most Original: Goetic Collectivist. I dunno, something about this just seems quite flavorful. I like it.
    Most Likely to See Play: The Sovereign. Stack with Eldritch Knight or similar classes for almost-full BAB and almost-full casting. Not super strong or flavorful, but an easy grab that would see a lot of use.
    Best Use of Theme: Soulforge Meister. 4 different power sources, I think this one is obvious here.
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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    1st) Pact Bound Knight
    2nd) Akashic Savant
    3rd) Goetic Collectivist
    My Homebrew:
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    The Fortunar Base Class: A Fortuneteller wielding a minor Deck of Many Things. Mid T3.

    Completed Classes
    The Grandmaster : A master of animated stattuettes and tactical magic. High tier 3.
    The Hidden Word: An infiltrator with a wide range of abilities that works best in small teams. Tier 2-3
    Web-Spinner: A martial class based around using webs. Mid T3.
    The True Warrior: A swift mundane martial combat class that can dodge and slice their way to victory. Low Tier 3.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    First Place : The Sovereign
    I don't like things too complicated and this is really the only class here I could personally see myself playing.

    Second Place : Pact Bound Knight
    Binders are cool and maneuvers are cool. I also love the vestiges getting more control.

    Third Place : Goetic Collectivist
    +1 for the binder and it would give me a reason to learn how manifesting works.

    Most Original : Akashic Savant
    God this class is cool, I just have some kind of mental block when it comes to learning Incarnum.

    Best Use of Theme : Akashic Savant
    Again, it goes to Akashic Savant. It truly blends the systems in an awesome way.

    Most Likely to be Played : Pact Bound Knight
    Cool name and has maneuvers.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Voting Thread for Prestige Class Contest Thread VI: Hybrid Power

    Voting is closed. Finally tally is:

    Entry Creator 1st 2nd 3rd Total Points Most Original Most Likely to See Play Best Use of Theme
    The Sovereign rferries 1 - - 3 - 2 -
    Soulforge Meister Morphic Tide 1 - 2 5 1 - 3
    True Mystic The Kool - - - - - 3 1
    Goetic Collectivist JoshuaZ 2 1 3 11 3 2 -
    Blood Iron Master Lanth Sor - 1 1 3 - - 1
    Pact-Bound Knight Silva Stormrage 2 4 1 15 2 1 -
    Akashic Savant PairO-Dice Lost 3 3 1 16 2 - 3

    First goes to PairO-Dice Lost's Akashic Savant, second place to Silva Stormrage's Pact-Bound Knight, and third place to my own Goetic Collectivist. Most Original was the Goetic Collectivist. Most Likely to see Play was The Kool's True Mystic, and Best Use of Theme is the Akashic Savant.

    Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to everyone who gave feedback on the classes, and everyone who voted. Next contest will be up in the next 24 hours or so.
    My homebrew:

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    Completed:
    ToB disciplines:

    The Narrow Bridge
    The Broken Blade

    Prestige classess:
    Disciple of Karsus -PrC for Karsites.
    The Seekers of Lost Swords and the Preserver of Future Blades Two interelated Tome of Battle Prcs,
    Master of the Hidden Seal - Binder/Divine hybrid
    Knight of the Grave- Necromancy using Gish



    Worthwhile links:

    Age of Warriors

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