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new blademaster (I think i'm done)

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Anonymous
February 24, 2005 8:57:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Alright. i think i'm done with this. The new blademaster PrC.

Prerequisites: BAB +5, Balance: 4 ranks, Tumble: 5 ranks, Combat
reflexes, Quickdraw, Weapon focus: sword. Must be trained by a
blademaster (and must be proficient with a sword)

BAB progression: good (1-10)
Fort save: poor (0-3)
Ref save: good (2-7)
Will save: intermediate (1-5)
Skill points: 2+int
Abilities by level (explinations later):
Level 1: the Circle, Specialization
Level 2: Sivine Strike 1/day/level
Level 3: Bonus Feat
Level 4: Breached Circle
Level 5: Perfect Circle, Divine Strike 2/day/level
Level 6: Bonus Feat
Level 7: "the best attack is not to attack"
Level 8: Divine strike constant
Level 9: Bonus Feat
Level 10: Whirlwind flow.

Blademasters are proficient with martial, simple weapons and no armor
or shields. They are also proficient with blademaster swords (a
blademaster longsword is basically a slightly different longsword. the
damage averages one point higher (2d4) and they can use longsword feats
with a blademaster longsword . . . it's basically a tiny sword upgrade
that they can use of they want, though there are reasons not to).


The Circle
This is a mental state that the blademaster enters by making a
Concentration check DC 20. Once entered, this state continues until
the blademaster lowers his mind from a combat state (usually this is as
long as combat continues). While in this state the blademaster cannot
be caught flat footed and always goes first in initiative order. If
another creature has the Circle or another ability that allows them to
go first the two will act at the same time.

Divine Strike
The actuality of the divine lies in many guises, the perfect draw, the
perfect strike, and the perfect kill. Using this power, the
blademaster leaves no room for error or chance. he strikes where he
wants and how he wants. Mechanically, the blademaster may choose any
amount of damage ranging from one point up to the maximum allowed for a
strike (including critical damage, etc) for his damage. Therefore, a
blademaster wielding a longsword could choose to do between one and
eight points of damage on a successful attack, at his option. He may
use this ability once per day per blademaster level at second level,
twice per day per blademaster level at fifth level, and at will at
level 8.

Breached Circle
The Circle is the blademasters best defense. When in the circle a
blademaster with this ability may extract an attack of opportunity from
anyone entering his circle (threatened area), so skilled is he at
defending the space.

"the best attack is not to attack"
A blademaster with this ability had truly come to understand this
maxim. He doesn't always seek his opponent's downfall, but lets it
come to him as they desire it. Using this ability a blademaster may
make attacks of opportunity while he is in full defense mode.

Perfect Circle
Using this ability, the blademaster is always assumed to be taking 10
to maintain his circle as a free action. If this would allow him to
enter the circle, then he is always assumed to be in it unless he
lowers it. If it would not, he may still roll normally.

Whirlwind Flow
The Blademaster of this level attains the whirlwind Flow, a perfect
attack that encompasses the entirety of his circle in one fluid motion.
mechanically, the blademaster performs a whirlwind attack. This is a
standard action as opposed to a full round action. He makes an attack
versus everyone he threatens at his highest base attack bonus. This
action does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the blademaster
already has the Whirlwind Attack feat he may replace it with this
ability and select a bonus feat instead.

Bonus Feats
Occasionally, a blademaster receives bonus feats. The feats must come
from the following list. the blademaster must still meet the
prerequisites for these feats and where applicable they apply to the
blademaster's sword (for example a blademaster may not take Improved
Critical: longbow as a bonus feat). (feats described below are new
feats that require the Circle). Any blademaster feat with the Circle
as a prerequisite may only be used while within a blademaster's Circle.


Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, Two Weapon Fighting,
Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Blind Fight, Cleave, Great Cleave, Combat
Expertise, Spring Attack, Great Cleave, Greater Two Weapon Fighting,
Improved Critical, Defensive Mastery, Sight of the Circle, Supreme
Cleave, Mountain Charge, Running Slash, Deflect Arrows.


Defensive Mastery: This feat follows the logic of the Divine strike
out to defense. A Blademaster perfects the defense of his blade and
moves in concert with it out of pure instinct. A blademaster with this
feat may add his blademaster level to his defense score while in his
Circle.
Prerequisites: The Circle, Combat Expertise, Dodge

Sight of the Circle: A blademaster with this level of training is
innately aware of all things in their circle whether they can see them
or not. While in her circle a blademaster with this feat suffers no
miss chance at all for fighting blind.
Prerequisites: the Circle, Blind-Fight

Supreme Cleave: A blademaster is a mobile and perfectly tuned weapon on
the field of battle. A blademaster with this feat may make a five foot
move between cleave attempts. He may only move up to his full move
with this feat, however.
Prerequisites: Cleave, the Circle, Combat Reflexes, Mobility

Mountain charge: This movement takes it's name from a historic battle
between the a blademaster and a master warrior on a mountainside. The
opponent had higher ground and repeatedly used the angle of the
mountain to his advantage to rush the blademaster. Undaunted, the
blademaster simply returned the same kind of charge without the benefit
on an incline. A blademaster with this feat may make a charge attack
without the prerequisite distance having been covered (in fact, he need
not move at all, in regards to grid mobility).
Prerequisites: the Circle

The Charge of Many Slashes: A blademaster need not think about the
attack. it happens around him before his mind is aware of the danger.
This feat allows a blademaster to make a full move, attacking one
threatned opponent per 5-foot square of movement. He may only make one
attack per 5 feet and each attack suffers a cumulative -2 penalty from
those previous (-2, -4, -6, etc). This is considered a full round
action, but the blademaster may take up to his full move.
Prerequisites: the Circle, mobility, combat reflexes

Ranged Defense: The blademaster with this feat may use his sword to
deflect incoming ranged attacks (DM discretion on non-material
attacks). In all other ways this ability functions as the feat Deflect
Arrows.
Prerequisites: the Circle, weapon focus: sword.

*****


So that's it. I have a few problems with it. I don't know that I
think the level seven power is really a decent power level for level 7
of a prestige class. Also, i wanted to use this class to give more
options (the weapon master is really just about doing more damage more
than anyhting) and this does increase damage but I think also gives the
blademaster some neat options. However, I fear that the bonus feats
are being depended on heavily for the combat versatility. Should I
remove some feats from the bonus feat list and make sure it's all stuff
that can provide the kinds of options I want?

Other than that, thoughts? Opinions? Like it, hate it? What would
you change?

More about : blademaster

Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:02:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

freakybaby wrote:
> "Anivair" <anivair@gmail.com> wrote in
> news:1109253448.366215.236930@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
>
> > Alright. i think i'm done with this. The new blademaster PrC.
> >
> > Prerequisites: BAB +5, Balance: 4 ranks, Tumble: 5 ranks, Combat
> > reflexes, Quickdraw, Weapon focus: sword. Must be trained by a
> > blademaster (and must be proficient with a sword)
> >
> > BAB progression: good (1-10)
> > Fort save: poor (0-3)
> > Ref save: good (2-7)
> > Will save: intermediate (1-5)
> > Skill points: 2+int
>
> <snip.
>
> > Other than that, thoughts? Opinions? Like it, hate it? What
would
> > you change?
>
> What are the class skills?

Sorry, I don't use class skills IMC (barring skills that are unique to
a class) but I suppose they would be bluff, tumble, concentration,
intimidate, jump, balance, knowledge (tactics or warfare if you use
that sort of thing), and maybe sense motive (to prevent feinting) and
listen (due to alertness of the circle or some such).
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:15:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Peter Knutsen wrote:
> Anivair wrote:
> > Alright. i think i'm done with this. The new blademaster PrC.
> [...]
> > BAB progression: good (1-10)
> > Fort save: poor (0-3)
> > Ref save: good (2-7)
> > Will save: intermediate (1-5)
>
> There's no official precedence for "intermediate" save
> goodness, is there?

Not in the SRD, but the Wheel of time had quite a few of them. it was
a pretty easy upgrade. 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5. Easy as pie. I just like
hte idea of them.

> > Skill points: 2+int
> > Abilities by level (explinations later):
> [...]
>
> What's the hit dice?
>
> As for class skills, don't most PC-grade character classes
> get Craft (any) and Profession (any)? If so, do you have any
> particular reason for not giving those as class skills to
> the Blademaster?

No, i don't and I'll include them.

Hit dice will be d10. Sorry, I use grim-n-gritty in all my games so
I'm not used to having to include it.
Related resources
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:18:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:

> So that's it. I have a few problems with it. I don't know that I
> think the level seven power is really a decent power level for level
7
> of a prestige class.

A thought on the level seven power.

It sounds really good and it sort of is. You can go full defense (+6
AC for a blademaster) and still make an attack of opportunity on anyone
that enters your circle. But that's it. You can, of course, move away
from the opponant every round and they probably won't have a very good
chance of hitting you at +6 to your AC, but then again you could do the
same thing with expertise, more or less. Expertise can give you +5 to
your AC and at that level you will have 3 attacks per round, so you're
more likely to do better damage with expertise.

Granted, it's a phillosophy as well as a mechanic and attaing that
level shows an implicid understanding of a large part of hte
blademaster phillosophy, but it just feels like I've got a level seven
prestige class power that is slightly less cool than combat expertise.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 2:57:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> Anivair wrote:
> > Peter Knutsen wrote:
> > >
> > > There's no official precedence for "intermediate" save
> > > goodness, is there?
> >
> > Not in the SRD, but the Wheel of time had quite a few of
> > them. it was a pretty easy upgrade. 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5.
> > Easy as pie. I just like hte idea of them.
>
> Unfortunately, this is a poorly-designed intermediate save
> progression. Keith Davies derived the formulae for the Good and Poor
> progressions, and added a medium progression between them:
>
> Good Save
> 2 + floor( level / 2)
> Medium Save
> 1 + floor( level / 2.5)
> Poor Save
> 0 + floor( level / 3)
>
> So Medium goes: 1,1,2,2,3,3,3,4,4,5,5,5, etc. This stays
consistently
> between the other two (20th level by the WoT method: +10; 20th level
> by Keith's method: +9). Little difference in levels 1-10 (only two
> levels, in fact), but accuracy recommends using Keith's version.

Ahh . . . I can't say it's that big a deal here. the difference is one
for a prestige class (it means that at level 7 it goesn't go up but
after that the progression isn't different). Really, given that it's
only ten levels I'd almost prefer the easier progression, but for a
full class I can see the point.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 3:44:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Anivair" <anivair@gmail.com> wrote in
news:1109253448.366215.236930@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> Alright. i think i'm done with this. The new blademaster PrC.
>
> Prerequisites: BAB +5, Balance: 4 ranks, Tumble: 5 ranks, Combat
> reflexes, Quickdraw, Weapon focus: sword. Must be trained by a
> blademaster (and must be proficient with a sword)
>
> BAB progression: good (1-10)
> Fort save: poor (0-3)
> Ref save: good (2-7)
> Will save: intermediate (1-5)
> Skill points: 2+int

<snip.

> Other than that, thoughts? Opinions? Like it, hate it? What would
> you change?

What are the class skills?
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 5:35:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Peter Knutsen wrote:
> >
> > There's no official precedence for "intermediate" save
> > goodness, is there?
>
> Not in the SRD, but the Wheel of time had quite a few of
> them. it was a pretty easy upgrade. 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5.
> Easy as pie. I just like hte idea of them.

Unfortunately, this is a poorly-designed intermediate save
progression. Keith Davies derived the formulae for the Good and Poor
progressions, and added a medium progression between them:

Good Save
2 + floor( level / 2)
Medium Save
1 + floor( level / 2.5)
Poor Save
0 + floor( level / 3)

So Medium goes: 1,1,2,2,3,3,3,4,4,5,5,5, etc. This stays consistently
between the other two (20th level by the WoT method: +10; 20th level
by Keith's method: +9). Little difference in levels 1-10 (only two
levels, in fact), but accuracy recommends using Keith's version.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 10:14:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:

> Consider instead 'treated as if he rolled a natural 20 for his
> initiative'. This gives others *some* chance to beat it, and removes
> the need for handling multiple 'he goes first' effects.

I had considered that but I've always been a fan of absoloutes. This
stems from the Scavenger trillogy idea that you will know your draw is
fast enough when you can outdraw yourself in the mirror. It's worth
noting that this ability only works while in hte circle (which is not
all the time until, possibly, fifth level). In a game that is not mine
I can see it goint that way. In most of my games the difference is
academic, but I see the point.

> 'Divine Strike'... misleading name, sounds like a paladin or cleric
> thing. I'd change the name.
>
> Wow. *way* powerful ability.

Again, from the scavenger trillogy. The idea is that the perfect draw
and strike are so fast and precise as to have not really happened. The
divine is perfection and though you can't attain it you can get very
close. This also stems from the cultural use. The blademasters view
their teacher as a god. But for any other game it would be worth
changing. it's flavor. As for the power, ths is almost verbatim the
ability as taken from sword and fist. There are a few small
differences. One (my favorite) is that instead of simply doing maximum
damage you may choose to do any ammount of damage form one point to
your maximum. A small difference, but terribly important, esspecially
because I wanted to move away fro the idea that the class is just out
to do more damage, but not weaken the ability. Second: in any other
game, I'd say that the last bit should be 3/day/level (blademaster
level), but IMC the difference between 3/day/level and at will is
almost academic (it's reasonably low on combat) so I changed it for
flavor. I would recomend that a normally balanced game use 3/day/lvl.


> I don't think it was ever settled that a combatant *can't* take AoO
in
> full defense. I remember that one raging a couple of months ago.

>From the SRD: "You can defend yourself as a standard action. You get a
+4 dodge bonus to your AC for 1 round. Your AC improves at the start of
this action. You can't combine total defense with fighting
defensively or with the benefit of the Combat Expertise feat (since
both of those require you to declare an attack or full attack). You
can't make attacks of opportunity while using total defense."

I'm actually considering combining this withthe previous ability
(breached circle) just because it seems a touch weak for a seventh
level prestige class ability.

> > Perfect Circle
> > Using this ability, the blademaster is always assumed to be taking
10
> > to maintain his circle as a free action. If this would allow him
to
> > enter the circle, then he is always assumed to be in it unless he
> > lowers it. If it would not, he may still roll normally.
>
> This equates to 'Take 10 when entering the Circle', since you made no
> earlier mention of having to maintain it -- just roll to enter it.

Sorry. I forgt to add that. My preferance right now is either "until
the end of the combat" or "3+ your wisdom modifier in rounds". I'm
open to suggestions.


> Could he take Improved Critical: Longsword, though? "blademaster's
> sword" could mean here "sword the blademaster uses", or the very
> slightly different sword mentioned in an earlier paragraph.
>
> Ambiguity.

I think I said earlier that all feats relating to a weapon type
(greatsword, longsword, shortsword) can be applied to teh blademaster
swords. they aren't really different swords so much as they are
variations made specifically withthis class in mind. My primary
reason, though, was to avoid the extra convenient "gosh, i just happen
to have a focus in this incredibly rare sword . . . what do you mean I
can join your club" angle that I hate in connection with prestige
classes. The swords are more setting based. Optional. And I did mean
the blademaster's chosen sword (the one he is focused in for the
purpose of taking the class).

> > Defensive Mastery: This feat follows the logic of the Divine
strike
> > out to defense. A Blademaster perfects the defense of his blade
and
> > moves in concert with it out of pure instinct. A blademaster with
this
> > feat may add his blademaster level to his defense score while in
his
> > Circle.
> > Prerequisites: The Circle, Combat Expertise, Dodge
>
> That is a *big* defense bonus. I can't see someone *not* taking it,
if
> available.

True. Then again, i use grim-n-gritty. their defense may already be
good enough. but the real point is that some of these, i wanted to
make class abilities. i think most blademasters should have this
ability. But it didn't really fit the progression well so I included
it as an option. DO you think it's unbalanced, or just too tempting to
pass up?

> > Sight of the Circle: A blademaster with this level of training is
> > innately aware of all things in their circle whether they can see
them
> > or not. While in her circle a blademaster with this feat suffers
no
> > miss chance at all for fighting blind.
> > Prerequisites: the Circle, Blind-Fight
>
> This one's not bad. A little good, but uncommon application.

It's my favorite of them and I think it embodies the feeling I was
going for with the circle as an extention of the consciousness.

> > Supreme Cleave: A blademaster is a mobile and perfectly tuned
weapon on
> > the field of battle. A blademaster with this feat may make a five
foot
> > move between cleave attempts. He may only move up to his full move
> > with this feat, however.
> > Prerequisites: Cleave, the Circle, Combat Reflexes, Mobility
>
> *must* add Great Cleave. Cleave allows only a single additional
attack
> per round. This ability is markedly better than Great Cleave, and
the
> prereqs are trivial for this class.

Noted. that was an oversight on my part. Consider it added.

> > Mountain charge: This movement takes it's name from a historic
battle
> > between the a blademaster and a master warrior on a mountainside.
The
> > opponent had higher ground and repeatedly used the angle of the
> > mountain to his advantage to rush the blademaster. Undaunted, the
> > blademaster simply returned the same kind of charge without the
benefit
> > on an incline. A blademaster with this feat may make a charge
attack
> > without the prerequisite distance having been covered (in fact, he
need
> > not move at all, in regards to grid mobility).
> > Prerequisites: the Circle
>
> If anything, I'd make this a general feat, not requiring the circle.
It
> just exchanges AC for attack bonus.

A mot point since you can't take the class without the Circle and so
far it's not ona list for others. Right now it's somehting only the
blademasters know of, technique-wise, but I'd certainly consider
allowing it's use outside the class later.

> > The Charge of Many Slashes: A blademaster need not think about the
> > attack. it happens around him before his mind is aware of the
danger.
> > This feat allows a blademaster to make a full move, attacking one
> > threatned opponent per 5-foot square of movement. He may only make
one
> > attack per 5 feet and each attack suffers a cumulative -2 penalty
from
> > those previous (-2, -4, -6, etc). This is considered a full round
> > action, but the blademaster may take up to his full move.
> > Prerequisites: the Circle, mobility, combat reflexes
>
> Mechanically unsound, I think. I'd consider instead 'you may take a
> five-foot step between your iterative attacks'. The prereqs as they
> stand are trivial and this is a very powerful ability -- more
attacks,
> at higher attack bonus, and greater movement. A human fighter using
> this ability gets to take *more* -- potentially many more -- attacks
> than in a full attack... a human barbarian would get a revolting
number
> of attacks.
>
> Not balanced as written, and again, mechanically unsound -- it
doesn't
> fit anything else.
>
> One thing that goes a long way toward balancing it, though, is that
just
> about everyone attacked with this ability gets an AoO on him.

True. But I agree, it is a bit devastating. My origional idea was to
just allow a full move and a full attack in hte same round provided no
more than one attack was made in any one square, but i modled this off
a feat that was proposed on this board a while back. I'll drop it back
to my origional idea.

> > Ranged Defense: The blademaster with this feat may use his sword to
> > deflect incoming ranged attacks (DM discretion on non-material
> > attacks). In all other ways this ability functions as the feat
Deflect
> > Arrows.
> > Prerequisites: the Circle, weapon focus: sword.
>
> Needs something else. Prereqs here are trivial.

True, but deflect arrows has a prerequisite. I just thought I'd keep
it as close as possible.

> Overall, I think this class is way too powerful for what it costs.
> Granted, it really only works well in a certain niche, but it's a
damn
> big niche. Given the powers granted by the class, the prerequisites
are
> very low, and the special feats outlined here often have prereqs that
> are trivial for a member of this class.

that much is true. But I am morally opposed to having to write out
your character progression from level one so that you qualify for a
prestige class. I'd far rather my gamers play their characters
properly, making in character choices, and at a later level still have
the ability to train to join a prestige class before the campaign is
over. It may not suit everyone's tastes. For those peope, I would
suggest adding spring attack back in as a prerequisite (as in
weaponmaster).

> The class powers are quite powerful in their applicability, and it
looks
> like as long as the character is in melee, they *will* be applicable.
> I'd tighten them up, more than a little. Disallowing the use of the
> powers when wearing any armor heavier than light (or any armor at
all)
> or encumbered would be appropriate and probably help quite a bit.

Ouch. I had meant ot include that, actually. Light armor only. Sorry
to have left it out. The circle can only be used in light or no armor
and with a maximum of a buckler (I'd consider a light shield but that's
all).
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 10:24:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> Keith Davies wrote:
> > Anivair wrote:
>
> One thing I noticed: the table lists "Specialization" at 1st level,
> but you don't mention what it is. If you meant Weapon
Specialization,
> the blademaster already gets enough goodies. I'd drop it completely.

I would too, but the concept already exists in hte game. I personally
dislike a feat that does notig but add damage, but it's also a symbol
of having mastered a weapon, and if anyone should posess it, it's these
people. What have they done if not mastered a weapon?

> Agreed. Drop the "at will". To continue the progression, give them
> 3/day at 8th (which gives the epic blademaster another use/day at
> 11th, 14th, etc.), and make the character choose to use it *before*
> his attack roll. Otherwise, this is just massive guaranteed damage.
> (Why ever deal less damage than max; why use it on anything *but* a
> crit; and once you can use it at will, why not use it on every hit?)

Did I say at will? I meant constant. The idea being that by that
level the blademaster doesn't factor chance into his strikes at all.
As for crits, you have to declare it's use before you attack. I should
have mentioned that. And as I said above, for any other campaign but
mine I do recommend going to 3/day/level.

> I think it shouldn't overrule the 5-foot rule. In addition, it's
> oddly worded and incomplete. I'd use: "When in the Circle (see
> above), a blademaster with this ability is so skilled at defending
his
> space, he may take an attack of opportunity against anyone entering
> his "circle" (threatened area) who is moving more than 5 feet. This
> ability does not grant extra attacks of opportunity, and it does not
> remove the restriction against taking more than one attack of
> opportunity against any given provocation."

I don't think the bit about not alowing extra attacks of opportunity is
needed. Or it shouldn't be. I would only mention if it DID (though
for the masses it may be important). Though to be honest I dont' see
any reason to not include a 5-foot step. What it means is that you
can't engage a blademaster without giving them the opportunity to
strike you before you strike them. that's the point. It's part of the
whole going first thing. Otherwise you could wait until the
blademaster has made an action of some sort and then attack, leaving
them basically wide ope, which, IMO, should not occur. they don't
become open.

> I may have been offline, and missed that one. That said, I have
never
> assumed that Total Defense precluded AoOs.

it wasn't clarrified in 3E, maybe, but the SRD makes it very clear.


> Also, may want to check the existing text for Supreme Cleave, which
> was at least in the 3.0 Master Samurai PrC, and is probably in some
> 3.5 PrC somewhere.

I believe it's the same. if it's not, the intent was for it to be the
same. I was ruing off memory, there.

> Add Dex 13, and this is half of the version of Deflect Arrows that I
> use (I limit it to once per round, though). I thought you and I had
> talked about DA before. *shrug* Anivair, if you'd like, I can post
> my revised Deflect Arrows for your review. Let me know.

Sure. it can't hurt. I was just trying to make sure that it didn't
basically become a better deflect arrows with no prerequisites.

> I agree with Keith's conclusion, though I think with the changes
Keith
> and I have suggested, and limiting the Circle to light or no armor,
> the class becomes strong, but balanced.

Thanks for the input. It was most helpful (esspecially in pointing out
holes in the wording and the logic). I will certainly be making use of
the vast majority of your suggestions.
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 11:10:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Alright. i think i'm done with this. The new blademaster PrC.
[...]
> BAB progression: good (1-10)
> Fort save: poor (0-3)
> Ref save: good (2-7)
> Will save: intermediate (1-5)

There's no official precedence for "intermediate" save
goodness, is there?

> Skill points: 2+int
> Abilities by level (explinations later):
[...]

What's the hit dice?

As for class skills, don't most PC-grade character classes
get Craft (any) and Profession (any)? If so, do you have any
particular reason for not giving those as class skills to
the Blademaster?


--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 11:48:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> > Anivair wrote:
> > > Peter Knutsen wrote:
> > > >
> > > > There's no official precedence for "intermediate" save
> > > > goodness, is there?
> > >
> > > Not in the SRD, but the Wheel of time had quite a few of
> > > them. it was a pretty easy upgrade. 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5.
> > > Easy as pie. I just like hte idea of them.
> >
> > Unfortunately, this is a poorly-designed intermediate save
> > progression. Keith Davies derived the formulae for the
> > Good and Poor progressions, and added a medium progression
> > between them:
> >
> > Good Save
> > 2 + floor( level / 2)
> > Medium Save
> > 1 + floor( level / 2.5)
> > Poor Save
> > 0 + floor( level / 3)
> >
> > So Medium goes: 1,1,2,2,3,3,3,4,4,5,5,5, etc. This stays
> > consistently between the other two (20th level by the WoT
> > method: +10; 20th level by Keith's method: +9). Little
> > difference in levels 1-10 (only two levels, in fact), but
> > accuracy recommends using Keith's version.
>
> Ahh . . . I can't say it's that big a deal here.

Completely understood. I'm just nitpicky, and I like elegance.

> the difference is one for a prestige class (it means that
> at level 7 it goesn't go up but after that the progression
> isn't different). Really, given that it's only ten levels
> I'd almost prefer the easier progression, but for a full
> class I can see the point.

Two places, actually. 7th and 9th. I prefer using the more accurate
progression for any class, because I, like Keith, stack save
progressions in order to prevent weirdness about massive bonuses from
multiclassers stacking "Good" saves.

But, obviously, what works for you works for you, and this is so
*completely* a pointless nitpick that it makes little difference
either way. :D 

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 12:20:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> Anivair wrote:

One thing I noticed: the table lists "Specialization" at 1st level,
but you don't mention what it is. If you meant Weapon Specialization,
the blademaster already gets enough goodies. I'd drop it completely.

> > Divine Strike
> > The actuality of the divine lies in many guises, the perfect
> > draw, the perfect strike, and the perfect kill. Using this
> > power, the blademaster leaves no room for error or chance.
> > He strikes where he wants and how he wants. Mechanically,
> > the blademaster may choose any amount of damage ranging from
> > one point up to the maximum allowed for a strike (including
> > critical damage, etc) for his damage. Therefore, a
> > blademaster wielding a longsword could choose to do between
> > one and eight points of damage on a successful attack, at
> > his option. He may use this ability once per day per
> > blademaster level at second level, twice per day per
> > blademaster level at fifth level, and at will at level 8.
>
> 'Divine Strike'... misleading name, sounds like a paladin or
> cleric thing. I'd change the name.
>
> Wow. *way* powerful ability.

Agreed. Drop the "at will". To continue the progression, give them
3/day at 8th (which gives the epic blademaster another use/day at
11th, 14th, etc.), and make the character choose to use it *before*
his attack roll. Otherwise, this is just massive guaranteed damage.
(Why ever deal less damage than max; why use it on anything *but* a
crit; and once you can use it at will, why not use it on every hit?)

> > Breached Circle
> > The Circle is the blademasters best defense. When in the circle
> > a blademaster with this ability may extract an attack of
> > opportunity from anyone entering his circle (threatened area),
> > so skilled is he at defending the space.
>
> This one I don't have a particular problem with. I assume you
> want it to overrule the '5-foot steps never provoke AoO' rule;
> I wouldn't do it that way.

I think it shouldn't overrule the 5-foot rule. In addition, it's
oddly worded and incomplete. I'd use: "When in the Circle (see
above), a blademaster with this ability is so skilled at defending his
space, he may take an attack of opportunity against anyone entering
his "circle" (threatened area) who is moving more than 5 feet. This
ability does not grant extra attacks of opportunity, and it does not
remove the restriction against taking more than one attack of
opportunity against any given provocation."

> > "the best attack is not to attack"
> > A blademaster with this ability had truly come to understand
> > this maxim. He doesn't always seek his opponent's downfall,
> > but lets it come to him as they desire it. Using this
> > ability a blademaster may make attacks of opportunity while
> > he is in full defense mode.
>
> I don't think it was ever settled that a combatant *can't*
> take AoO in full defense. I remember that one raging a
> couple of months ago.

I may have been offline, and missed that one. That said, I have never
assumed that Total Defense precluded AoOs.

> > Whirlwind Flow
> > The Blademaster of this level attains the whirlwind Flow, a
> > perfect attack that encompasses the entirety of his circle in
> > one fluid motion. Mechanically, the blademaster performs a
> > whirlwind attack. This is a standard action as opposed to a
> > full round action. He makes an attack versus everyone he
> > threatens at his highest base attack bonus. This action does
> > not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the blademaster
> > already has the Whirlwind Attack feat he may replace it with
> > this ability and select a bonus feat instead.
>
> At will?
>
> Not balanced -- it's easily worth more than a single feat (to
> take WA you need Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack... it's possible
> to enter this class with *none* of them). It is much more
> efficient to *not* take WA (which frees up four feats, counting
> WA) and wait for this ability.
>
> I'd rework it.

Agreed. I'd do something like "Gains Dodge. If has Dodge, gains
Mobility. If has Mobility, gains Spring Attack. If has Spring
Attack, gains Whirlwind Attack. If has Whirlwind Attack, may make WAs
as a standard action." This is balanced precisely *because* none of
those feats are prereqs for this class.

Personally, I'd like to see some bonus feats for PrCs done as feat
trees like this.

> > Bonus Feats
> > Occasionally, a blademaster receives bonus feats. The feats
> > must come from the following list. the blademaster must still
> > meet the prerequisites for these feats and where applicable
> > they apply to the blademaster's sword (for example a blademaster
> > may not take Improved Critical: longbow as a bonus feat).
> > (feats described below are new feats that require the Circle).
> > Any blademaster feat with the Circle as a prerequisite may only
> > be used while within a blademaster's Circle.
>
> Could he take Improved Critical: Longsword, though? "blademaster's
> sword" could mean here "sword the blademaster uses", or the very
> slightly different sword mentioned in an earlier paragraph.
>
> Ambiguity.

I'd do "a sword with which he has Weapon Focus", to use the precedent
set by the prerequisite.

> > Defensive Mastery: This feat follows the logic of the Divine
> > strike out to defense. A Blademaster perfects the defense of
> > his blade and moves in concert with it out of pure instinct.
> > A blademaster with this feat may add his blademaster level to
> > his defense score while in his Circle.
> > Prerequisites: The Circle, Combat Expertise, Dodge
>
> That is a *big* defense bonus. I can't see someone *not* taking it, if
> available.

Since the Divine strike is a uses/day ability, I'd add "Using this
feat uses up a Divine strike use for the day, and lasts a number of
rounds equal to your blademaster level." Seems to balance it a bit
better.

> > Sight of the Circle: A blademaster with this level of training
> > is innately aware of all things in their circle whether they can
> > see them or not. While in her circle a blademaster with this
> > feat suffers no miss chance at all for fighting blind.
> > Prerequisites: the Circle, Blind-Fight
>
> This one's not bad. A little good, but uncommon application.

And requires Blind-Fight already which, again, is not a prereq. This
one seems fine as-is. It's basically just "blindsight 5' while in
Circle", which seems fine to me.

> > Supreme Cleave: A blademaster is a mobile and perfectly tuned
> > weapon on the field of battle. A blademaster with this feat
> > may make a five foot move between cleave attempts. He may
> > only move up to his full move with this feat, however.
> > Prerequisites: Cleave, the Circle, Combat Reflexes, Mobility
>
> *must* add Great Cleave. Cleave allows only a single additional
> attack per round. This ability is markedly better than Great
> Cleave, and the prereqs are trivial for this class.

Also, may want to check the existing text for Supreme Cleave, which
was at least in the 3.0 Master Samurai PrC, and is probably in some
3.5 PrC somewhere.

> > Mountain charge: This movement takes it's name from a historic
> > battle between the a blademaster and a master warrior on a
> > mountainside. The opponent had higher ground and repeatedly
> > used the angle of the mountain to his advantage to rush the
> > blademaster. Undaunted, the blademaster simply returned the
> > same kind of charge without the benefit on an incline. A
> > blademaster with this feat may make a charge attack without
> > the prerequisite distance having been covered (in fact, he
> > need not move at all, in regards to grid mobility).
> > Prerequisites: the Circle
>
> If anything, I'd make this a general feat, not requiring the
> circle. It just exchanges AC for attack bonus.

Agreed. Leaving it as a Circle feat is nice flavor, though,
especially with the legend behind it.

> > The Charge of Many Slashes: A blademaster need not think
> > about the attack. it happens around him before his mind is
> > aware of the danger. This feat allows a blademaster to make
> > a full move, attacking one threatned opponent per 5-foot
> > square of movement. He may only make one attack per 5 feet
> > and each attack suffers a cumulative -2 penalty from those
> > previous (-2, -4, -6, etc). This is considered a full round
> > action, but the blademaster may take up to his full move.
> > Prerequisites: the Circle, mobility, combat reflexes
>
> Mechanically unsound, I think. I'd consider instead 'you
> may take a five-foot step between your iterative attacks'.

Which synergizes well thematically with Supreme Cleave, too.

> The prereqs as they stand are trivial and this is a very
> powerful ability -- more attacks, at higher attack bonus,
> and greater movement. A human fighter using this ability
> gets to take *more* -- potentially many more -- attacks
> than in a full attack... a human barbarian would get a
> revolting number of attacks.

And anything with a higher move would become absolutely disgusting.

> One thing that goes a long way toward balancing it, though,
> is that just about everyone attacked with this ability gets
> an AoO on him.

Perhaps a balancer for this feat (if the feat *must* remain as-is)
would be that the CoMS provokes attacks of opportunity as if moving,
but draws them when entering a threatened space during a CoMS.
Thematically, this could represent lowering the defenses to make the
CoMS.

> > Ranged Defense: The blademaster with this feat may use his
> > sword to deflect incoming ranged attacks (DM discretion on
> > non-material attacks). In all other ways this ability
> > functions as the feat Deflect Arrows.
> > Prerequisites: the Circle, weapon focus: sword.
>
> Needs something else. Prereqs here are trivial.

Add Dex 13, and this is half of the version of Deflect Arrows that I
use (I limit it to once per round, though). I thought you and I had
talked about DA before. *shrug* Anivair, if you'd like, I can post
my revised Deflect Arrows for your review. Let me know.

> Overall, I think this class is way too powerful for what it
> costs. Granted, it really only works well in a certain niche,
> but it's a damn big niche. Given the powers granted by the
> class, the prerequisites are very low, and the special feats
> outlined here often have prereqs that are trivial for a member
> of this class.
>
> The class powers are quite powerful in their applicability, and
> it looks like as long as the character is in melee, they *will*
> be applicable. I'd tighten them up, more than a little.
> Disallowing the use of the powers when wearing any armor heavier
> than light (or any armor at all) or encumbered would be
> appropriate and probably help quite a bit.

I agree with Keith's conclusion, though I think with the changes Keith
and I have suggested, and limiting the Circle to light or no armor,
the class becomes strong, but balanced.

Hope this helps.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 1:39:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > One thing I noticed: the table lists "Specialization" at 1st
> > level, but you don't mention what it is. If you meant Weapon
> > Specialization, the blademaster already gets enough goodies.
> > I'd drop it completely.
>
> I would too, but the concept already exists in hte game.

Then I'd allow them to *select* Weapon Specialization (any sword) as
bonus feats, but don't give it to 'em for free. *Especially* not with
the Divine strike (or whatever you may rename it) ability.

> > Agreed. Drop the "at will". To continue the progression, give
> > them 3/day at 8th (which gives the epic blademaster another
> > use/day at 11th, 14th, etc.), and make the character choose to
> > use it *before* his attack roll. Otherwise, this is just massive
> > guaranteed damage. (Why ever deal less damage than max; why use
> > it on anything *but* a crit; and once you can use it at will,
> > why not use it on every hit?)
>
> Did I say at will? I meant constant. The idea being that by
> that level the blademaster doesn't factor chance into his
> strikes at all.

At will ~= constant, so that's not the issue. I disagree *massively*
with the concept, if it's constant. As existing in the game, nothing
but *greater deities* gets that ability. Since it's foolish not to
use it at full, on every attack, once you have it constant, it's way
too good.

> As for crits, you have to declare it's use before you attack. I
> should have mentioned that. And as I said above, for any other
> campaign but mine I do recommend going to 3/day/level.

I think you may have underestimated its power, even in your campaign.
It's a better ability than any other class gets, ever.

> I don't think the bit about not alowing extra attacks of
> opportunity is needed. Or it shouldn't be. I would only mention
> if it DID (though for the masses it may be important).

Repetition of rules is always nice, as long as they remain consistent.
:D 

> Though to be honest I dont' see any reason to not include a
> 5-foot step. What it means is that you can't engage a
> blademaster without giving them the opportunity to strike
> you before you strike them. that's the point. It's part of
> the whole going first thing.

Okay, I can understand that rationale. I just don't like it, since
there's no such thing as a perfect mortal.

> > Anivair, if you'd like, I can post my revised Deflect Arrows
> > for your review. Let me know.
>
> Sure. it can't hurt. I was just trying to make sure that it
> didn't basically become a better deflect arrows with no
> prerequisites.

It's basically an amalgam of 3.0 and 3.5, with some suggestions
mentioned here thrown in.

DEFLECT ARROWS (General)
[flavor text]
Prereq: Dex 13, Improved Unarmed Strike or Weapon Focus.
Benefit: You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) or
be holding a weapon with which you have Weapon Focus to use this feat.
Once per round when you would normally be hit with a ranged weapon,
you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be
aware of the attack and not flatfooted, and make a successful Reflex
save (DC 15) to deflect the ranged weapon. Attempting to deflect a
ranged weapon doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged
weapons, such as boulders hurled by giants, and ranged attacks
generated by spell effects, such as /[Melf's] acid arrow/, can't be
deflected.
Special: A monk may select Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat at 2nd
level, even if she does not meet the prerequisites, but may only use
the bonus feat with an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon.
A fighter may select Deflect Arrows as one of his fighter bonus
feats.

> > I agree with Keith's conclusion, though I think with the
> > changes Keith and I have suggested, and limiting the Circle
> > to light or no armor, the class becomes strong, but balanced.
>
> Thanks for the input. It was most helpful (esspecially in
> pointing out holes in the wording and the logic). I will
> certainly be making use of the vast majority of your suggestions.

Glad to help!

--
Nik
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Anonymous
February 25, 2005 5:53:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> Peter Knutsen <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>>There's no official precedence for "intermediate" save
>>goodness, is there?
>
> Star Wars has it (average of Good and Poor). ISTR seeing it used
> elsewhere, but don't remember where.

Thanks for clearing that up. If WotC is using it, then it's
good enough for me.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 9:22:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> At will ~= constant, so that's not the issue. I disagree *massively*
> with the concept, if it's constant. As existing in the game, nothing
> but *greater deities* gets that ability. Since it's foolish not to
> use it at full, on every attack, once you have it constant, it's way
> too good.

I don't think it is hte same as constant. I can see the instintc to go
that way, but a lot of things are different, even though they're small.
Firstky, if it's at will it can be turned off. A constant ability
cannot. And there are plenty of reasons not to do maximum damage
(esspecially in a grim-n-gritty game such as the one I run). I really
did try to change the wording to discourage the idea that it's max
damage all the time. Though I agree that in a game that is not mine
3/day/level is probably the way to go.

<snip deflect arrows>

I like that. I'll give it some thought.
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 11:14:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> > Not balanced -- it's easily worth more than a single feat (to
> > take WA you need Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack... it's possible
> > to enter this class with *none* of them). It is much more
> > efficient to *not* take WA (which frees up four feats, counting
> > WA) and wait for this ability.
> >
> > I'd rework it.
>
> Agreed. I'd do something like "Gains Dodge. If has Dodge, gains
> Mobility. If has Mobility, gains Spring Attack. If has Spring
> Attack, gains Whirlwind Attack. If has Whirlwind Attack, may make
WAs
> as a standard action." This is balanced precisely *because* none of
> those feats are prereqs for this class.

Too complicated for me, esspecially since the progression of feats for
this doean't make much sense. oing from spring attack to whirlwind is
fine mechanically, but what training do you get that encompasses those
feats?

I changed the wording so that instead of functioning like whirlwind
attack the blademaster only gets to roll once if he uses this ability.
He applies that roll to everyone around him. It's similar, but not the
same and it means that one poor roll results in a totally wasted round,
rather than one wasted swing, which I think is a nice balancing
factor).
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 6:33:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Quentin Stephens wrote:
> "Anivair" <anivair@gmail.com> wrote in
> news:1109253448.366215.236930@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
>
> > Alright. i think i'm done with this. The new blademaster PrC.
> >
> > Prerequisites: BAB +5, Balance: 4 ranks, Tumble: 5 ranks, Combat
> > reflexes, Quickdraw, Weapon focus: sword. Must be trained by a
> > blademaster (and must be proficient with a sword)
>
> Might be better to demand Weapon Specialisation or even better.

I thought about that, but teh idea of requiring 4 levels of fighter
doesn't work for me either. there are other combat classes that seek
to master a weapon. (noteably, Hong's martial artist class, whihc i
think flows into this class very nicely).
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 1:50:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Anivair" <anivair@gmail.com> wrote in
news:1109253448.366215.236930@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> Alright. i think i'm done with this. The new blademaster PrC.
>
> Prerequisites: BAB +5, Balance: 4 ranks, Tumble: 5 ranks, Combat
> reflexes, Quickdraw, Weapon focus: sword. Must be trained by a
> blademaster (and must be proficient with a sword)

Might be better to demand Weapon Specialisation or even better.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 2:55:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > At will ~= constant, so that's not the issue. I disagree
> > *massively* with the concept, if it's constant. As
> > existing in the game, nothing but *greater deities* gets
> > that ability. Since it's foolish not to use it at full,
> > on every attack, once you have it constant, it's way too
> > good.
>
> I don't think it is hte same as constant. I can see the
> instintc to go that way, but a lot of things are
> different, even though they're small.

At will--unlimited duration is effectively the same as constant.

> Firstky, if it's at will it can be turned off. A constant
> ability cannot.

Most can.

> And there are plenty of reasons not to do maximum damage
> (esspecially in a grim-n-gritty game such as the one I run).

Why, exactly? In grim-n-gritty, it seems *MORE* useful to always do
maximum damage. In life or death fights, it is foolish not to use
one's abilities to their utmost.

The only instance where maximum damage is undesirable is when trying
not to kill someone.

> I really did try to change the wording to discourage the
> idea that it's max damage all the time.

The wording makes that clear, but there's no effective way to
discourage that idea, as it remains foolish not to use it that way.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 3:08:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > I'd do something like "Gains Dodge. If has Dodge, gains Mobility.
> > If has Mobility, gains Spring Attack. If has Spring Attack, gains
> > Whirlwind Attack. If has Whirlwind Attack, may make WAs as a
> > standard action." This is balanced precisely *because* none of
> > those feats are prereqs for this class.
>
> Too complicated for me, esspecially since the progression of feats
> for this doean't make much sense. oing from spring attack to
> whirlwind is fine mechanically, but what training do you get that
> encompasses those feats?

Same argument works for the feat prereqs, though. *shrug* It was
just an idea.

> I changed the wording so that instead of functioning like
> whirlwind attack the blademaster only gets to roll once if
> he uses this ability. He applies that roll to everyone
> around him. It's similar, but not the same and it means
> that one poor roll results in a totally wasted round,
> rather than one wasted swing, which I think is a nice
> balancing factor).

I don't. It makes the situation worse. Options good. On/off from
one roll situations bad. Here's another idea:

"
If the character has Whirlwind Attack, he may make Whirlwind
Attacks as standard actions, or combine them with Spring Attack (only
one foe can be selected to be the target of Spring Attack).
If the character does not have Whirlwind Attack, he gains the
ability to make two attacks at his highest base attack bonus (but at
-2 to all attacks until his next action, including these two) as a
standard action, which he can combine with Spring Attack (if he has
it), with the same restriction as above.
"

What do you think of this one? It was intended to mimic Manyshot for
melee.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 4:16:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> > Keith Davies wrote:
> > > Anivair wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Divine Strike
<snip>
> > > > He may use this ability once per day per blademaster
> > > > level at second level, twice per day per blademaster
> > > > level at fifth level, and at will at level 8.
> > >
> > > 'Divine Strike'... misleading name, sounds like a
> > > paladin or cleric thing. I'd change the name.
> > >
> > > Wow. *way* powerful ability.
> >
> > Agreed. Drop the "at will". To continue the progression,
> > give them 3/day at 8th (which gives the epic blademaster
> > another use/day at 11th, 14th, etc.), and make the
> > character choose to use it *before* his attack roll.
> > Otherwise, this is just massive guaranteed damage. (Why
> > ever deal less damage than max; why use it on anything
> > *but* a crit; and once you can use it at will, why not
> > use it on every hit?)
>
> Unless I was hurting for class abilities, I'd probably
> keep it at $level/day and leave it at that -- find
> something else for the other levels. 24+ per day does
> come close to 'constant' or 'at will' for practical
> purposes.

Ack! I didn't notice that it was $LEVEL/day! I meant to suggest that
it should be ONCE/day, period, until 5th, when it went up to 2/day,
and 3/day at 8th. $level/day seems too much, to me.

> > I may have been offline, and missed that one. That said,
> > I have never assumed that Total Defense precluded AoOs.
>
> ISTR you were away from the group at the time. I didn't
> take part.

And I seem to be wrong. *shrug* Personally, I'll probably house rule
to allow AoO in Total Defense.

> > > > Whirlwind Flow
<snip>
> >
> > I'd do something like "Gains Dodge. If has Dodge, gains
> > Mobility. If has Mobility, gains Spring Attack. If has
> > Spring Attack, gains Whirlwind Attack. If has Whirlwind
> > Attack, may make WAs as a standard action." This is
> > balanced precisely *because* none of those feats are
> > prereqs for this class.
> >
> > Personally, I'd like to see some bonus feats for PrCs
> > done as feat trees like this.
>
> Same here. It fits character development/class
> progression better.
>
> I'd probably do it this way, too.

That said, I came up with a more flavorful alternative in a separate
response.

> It came to me that requiring the circle to be broken at
> times would help balance. One possibility would be to
> break it on movement -- the circle establishes 'your space'
> and changing that breaks the circle.
>
> However, a better option might be to treat the circle like
> psionic focus. You establish it as a standard action and
> keep it until you do something to break it. You can let it
> lapse at will, but certain actions will automatically break
> it. Suggested actions that break circle:
>
> . Divine Strike
> . Whirlwind Flow
> . Charge of Many Slashes

As well as anything that would break psionic focus: unconsciousness,
sleep, etc.

> I suggested reducing uses/day of Divine Strike to class
> level per day. If Divine Strike breaks the circle --
> especially if it's non-trivial to restore it -- by the
> time DS could see common use, there are strong reasons
> to *not* use it (big defense bonuses, etc.). DC20 to
> establish may be a little low; by the time you can take
> this class, DC20 is pretty damn easy to hit.

I think Divine Strike of class level per day is only okay *if* it
breaks the circle, and it is non-trivial to restore it. Otherwise,
even $level/day is too much for it, as I mentioned above.

--
Nik
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Anonymous
February 27, 2005 1:48:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> > And there are plenty of reasons not to do maximum damage
> > (esspecially in a grim-n-gritty game such as the one I run).
>
> Why, exactly? In grim-n-gritty, it seems *MORE* useful to always do
> maximum damage. In life or death fights, it is foolish not to use
> one's abilities to their utmost.
>
> The only instance where maximum damage is undesirable is when trying
> not to kill someone.

True. I don't know about other people's game, but IMC there are plenty
of times when that's the way to go. In fact, i'd say almost 50% of the
fights in my games have been in that vein. There are also internal
roleplaying reasons not to. It provides a way for the blademaster to
hold himself back a bit for whatever reason (lack of confidence, fear,
whatever).

> > I really did try to change the wording to discourage the
> > idea that it's max damage all the time.
>
> The wording makes that clear, but there's no effective way to
> discourage that idea, as it remains foolish not to use it that way.

Foolish under certain circumstances. But I do agree that in campaigns
other than mine 3/day/lervel is probably the best bet.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 1:51:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> Ack! I didn't notice that it was $LEVEL/day! I meant to suggest
that
> it should be ONCE/day, period, until 5th, when it went up to 2/day,
> and 3/day at 8th. $level/day seems too much, to me.

That would be far too low (and it would imply that a good strike is
somehting rare for a blademaster which is not what I'mn going for).
Really, with the exception of hte 3/day/level difference this is
exactly the same as the ability granted to weaponmaster from sword and
fist. Didn't we debate that at the time, too? I suspect there were
people in both camps on it. But it's per class level, not characters
level, for the record.

> > It came to me that requiring the circle to be broken at
> > times would help balance. One possibility would be to
> > break it on movement -- the circle establishes 'your space'
> > and changing that breaks the circle.
> >
> > However, a better option might be to treat the circle like
> > psionic focus. You establish it as a standard action and
> > keep it until you do something to break it. You can let it
> > lapse at will, but certain actions will automatically break
> > it. Suggested actions that break circle:
> >
> > . Divine Strike
> > . Whirlwind Flow
> > . Charge of Many Slashes
>
> As well as anything that would break psionic focus: unconsciousness,
> sleep, etc.

That's actually not a bad idea.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 9:20:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> > > And there are plenty of reasons not to do maximum damage
> > > (esspecially in a grim-n-gritty game such as the one I
> > > run).
> >
> > Why, exactly? In grim-n-gritty, it seems *MORE* useful
> > to always do maximum damage. In life or death fights,
> > it is foolish not to use one's abilities to their utmost.
> >
> > The only instance where maximum damage is undesirable is
> > when trying not to kill someone.
>
> True. I don't know about other people's game, but IMC
> there are plenty of times when that's the way to go. In
> fact, i'd say almost 50% of the fights in my games have
> been in that vein. There are also internal roleplaying
> reasons not to. It provides a way for the blademaster to
> hold himself back a bit for whatever reason (lack of
> confidence, fear, whatever).

I've revised my position.

It is *NEVER* useful to do less than maximum damage. If trying not to
kill someone: use *NONLETHAL* damage (and do maximum).

The way you've described this class, those reasons (lack of
confidence, fear, whatever) have *no* place in the makeup of this
class. Those would be valid reasons to *refuse* to allow a PC to take
this class.

> > > I really did try to change the wording to discourage
> > > the idea that it's max damage all the time.
> >
> > The wording makes that clear, but there's no effective
> > way to discourage that idea, as it remains foolish not
> > to use it that way.
>
> Foolish under certain circumstances.

See above. It is *always* foolish.

> But I do agree that in campaigns other than mine
> 3/day/lervel is probably the best bet.

3/day/level is *FAR* too high for any ability. This means it's *30*
times a day at 10th level. That's damn near the same as "at will" or
"constant".

1/day/level is fair, or more if it breaks the Circle.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 9:37:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > Ack! I didn't notice that it was $LEVEL/day! I meant to
> > suggest that it should be ONCE/day, period, until 5th,
> > when it went up to 2/day, and 3/day at 8th. $level/day
> > seems too much, to me.
>
> That would be far too low

It's an amazingly powerful ability.

> (and it would imply that a good strike is somehting rare
> for a blademaster which is not what I'mn going for).

That's represented by being *higher level*.

> Really, with the exception of hte 3/day/level difference
> this is exactly the same as the ability granted to
> weaponmaster from sword and fist. Didn't we debate that
> at the time, too?

The rest of this class is *far* better than the rest of weapon master.
*Far* better. And the number of times per day is absolutely a major
factor. 1-3/day is reasonable for very powerful abilities.
$level/day for prestige classes is reasonable for powerful abilities.
3/level/day is totally pointless, as it becomes effectively the same
as "always on" or "constant".

> > > It came to me that requiring the circle to be broken
> > > at times would help balance. One possibility would
> > > be to break it on movement -- the circle establishes
> > > 'your space' and changing that breaks the circle.
> > >
> > > However, a better option might be to treat the circle
> > > like psionic focus. You establish it as a standard
> > > action and keep it until you do something to break it.
> > > You can let it lapse at will, but certain actions will
> > > automatically break it. Suggested actions that break
> > > circle:
> > >
> > > . Divine Strike
> > > . Whirlwind Flow
> > > . Charge of Many Slashes
> >
> > As well as anything that would break psionic focus:
> > unconsciousness, sleep, etc.
>
> That's actually not a bad idea.

Keith's found that the XPH is a good source for ideas for other
mechanics, too. :D  For his (rather significantly altered) magic
system, we've discovered effective ways to turn several spells into
[Magical] feats, modeled on the psionic feats.

--
Nik
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Anonymous
February 28, 2005 10:17:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> I've revised my position.
>
> It is *NEVER* useful to do less than maximum damage. If trying not
to
> kill someone: use *NONLETHAL* damage (and do maximum).

I can't say that's true. nonlethal damage is all well and good, but
there are times when you're trying to do a little bit of real damage.
I have plenty of room in the class for doing one point of damage, which
will hurt but won't kill. Though in theory I see your point.
nonlethal damage is for when you want to hurt but not kill, but at the
same time you can reasonably want to maim someone but not kill them and
I'd say nonlethal damage isn't handey for maiming.

> The way you've described this class, those reasons (lack of
> confidence, fear, whatever) have *no* place in the makeup of this
> class. Those would be valid reasons to *refuse* to allow a PC to
take
> this class.

Depends. the way i've described the class is the phillosophy they
teach. It's the ideal. But as you said, nobody's perfrect.
Furthermore, look at this. You're a blademaster. You go fight a dozen
orcs. You are perfectly confident. But now you fight your father. or
your mentor. Or a childhood bully turned capable enemy. there are
plenty of cases where a normally confident person can be made to second
guess themselves. Or, take the father example. say for some reason
(star wars springs to mind here) you have ot fight your father. but
you don't really want to kill him so you're holding back a bit. No
excuse to do nonlethal damage, but it is a good reason to be not
dealing maximum damage.

> > > > I really did try to change the wording to discourage
> > > > the idea that it's max damage all the time.
> > >
> > > The wording makes that clear, but there's no effective
> > > way to discourage that idea, as it remains foolish not
> > > to use it that way.
> >
> > Foolish under certain circumstances.
>
> See above. It is *always* foolish.

We'll agree to disagree on this one.

> > But I do agree that in campaigns other than mine
> > 3/day/lervel is probably the best bet.
>
> 3/day/level is *FAR* too high for any ability. This means it's *30*
> times a day at 10th level. That's damn near the same as "at will" or
> "constant".

perhaps. it's modled off published abilities that I don't think are
particularly overpowered, so I'd say it's a matter of taste at this
point. Check out hte weapon master from sword and fist for the partial
inspiration.
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 12:48:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > I've revised my position.
> >
> > It is *NEVER* useful to do less than maximum damage. If
> > trying not to kill someone: use *NONLETHAL* damage (and
> > do maximum).
>
> I can't say that's true. nonlethal damage is all well
> and good, but there are times when you're trying to do
> a little bit of real damage.

I disagree. See below.

> I have plenty of room in the class for doing one point
> of damage, which will hurt but won't kill.

Doesn't follow, due to the hp abstraction. Damage that doesn't bring
a character to or below 0 is never significant damage. Damage that
*does*, even 1 point, is *always* significant damage.

On top of that, 1 point +damage mods for a moderate-level character
*will* kill most non-adventurers.

> nonlethal damage is for when you want to hurt but not kill,
> but at the same time you can reasonably want to maim
> someone but not kill them and I'd say nonlethal damage
> isn't handey for maiming.

That's why you try to kill, and hope your shot isn't an instakill...
Or use the existing maiming mechanics: Crippling Strike and its kin.

> > The way you've described this class, those reasons (lack
> > of confidence, fear, whatever) have *no* place in the
> > makeup of this class. Those would be valid reasons to
> > *refuse* to allow a PC to take this class.
>
> Depends. the way i've described the class is the
> phillosophy they teach. It's the ideal. But as
> you said, nobody's perfrect.

Then why should they all have perfect control over damage dealt? One
or the other.

> Furthermore, look at this. You're a blademaster.
> You go fight a dozen orcs. You are perfectly
> confident. But now you fight your father. or
> your mentor. Or a childhood bully turned capable
> enemy. there are plenty of cases where a normally
> confident person can be made to second guess
> themselves. Or, take the father example. say for
> some reason (star wars springs to mind here) you
> have ot fight your father. but you don't really
> want to kill him so you're holding back a bit. No
> excuse to do nonlethal damage, but it is a good
> reason to be not dealing maximum damage.

This is represented by *rolling* for damage, by *fighting
defensively*, and by dealing a bit of nonlethal damage *first*, so
that one of your lethal strikes can overcome your foe's fatigue (hp <
nonlethal damage; unconscious and not dying). Your mechanic fails the
abstraction of both the D&D hit point system and the grim-n-gritty hit
point system.

> > > But I do agree that in campaigns other than mine
> > > 3/day/lervel is probably the best bet.
> >
> > 3/day/level is *FAR* too high for any ability. This
> > means it's *30* times a day at 10th level. That's
> > damn near the same as "at will" or "constant".
>
> perhaps. it's modled off published abilities that
> I don't think are particularly overpowered,

You didn't think your first version of this class was, either, and
there's no other description for that version. That said, 3.0
materials are no longer considered as useful, especially when the
class has been overwrittenby a 3.5 version.

> Check out the weapon master from sword and fist for
> the partial inspiration.

Sword and Fist was a steaming pile of imbalance, in both directions.

That said, the weapon master's /ki/ damage (which only does maximum,
notice) is $level/day. *NEVER* more. You're doubling that pretty
early on, then granting the ability at-will... And you can never use
/ki/ damage on a crit (which you explicitly can, as a blademaster).

--
Nik
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Anonymous
March 1, 2005 8:30:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> > (and it would imply that a good strike is somehting rare
> > for a blademaster which is not what I'mn going for).
>
> That's represented by being *higher level*.

No, there is no mechanic that raises your damage based on level.
Hitting more frequently is a mechanic that is based on level (as it is
dependant on your BAB which rises with level). The idea that damage
goes up with level is an average I'd say, but it's based on feats that
are optional and magic items. And equating skill to gear is a mistake
of everquest proportions. All things being equal a higher level
fighter does the same damage as a lower level fighter. he just does it
more often. It equals more damage per round, I agree, but not per
attack.
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 10:16:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol wrote:

> This is nonsensical. How can you possibly argue that seeking a high
damage
> build based on level is not possible ("there is no mechanic") because
the
> methods of doing so are optional?! Increasing fighter skill is
largely
> represented by feat availability (bonus feats!) so you simply
*cannot*
> legitimately ignore their effect.

Because fighters are not the only combat class and other classes get
very few feats?

> A 20th level fighter who wants to be a high damage hitter can boost
his
> Str by 5 points and take Power Attack, WS and GWS from among his many
> extra feats. With a two handed weapon that can mean as much as an
extra 45
> damage modifier over and above his 1st level compatriot to attack
with the
> same bonus. Lay off the crack pipe Anivair. "All things being equal"
is an
> implausibly artificial situation.

Or he can boots his dex by five points and forgoe power attack. And if
he has specialization is a longsword and you give hiim an axe he does
the same damage as any other guy.

All things being equal is not implausible. All things being equal a
20th level hits way more often than a first level fighter. But he
does the same damage. What part of that got confusing?
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 5:12:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Anivair" <anivair@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1109683859.511769.315810@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
>
> > > (and it would imply that a good strike is somehting rare
> > > for a blademaster which is not what I'mn going for).
> >
> > That's represented by being *higher level*.
>
> No, there is no mechanic that raises your damage based on level.
> Hitting more frequently is a mechanic that is based on level (as it is
> dependant on your BAB which rises with level). The idea that damage
> goes up with level is an average I'd say, but it's based on feats that
> are optional and magic items. And equating skill to gear is a mistake
> of everquest proportions. All things being equal a higher level
> fighter does the same damage as a lower level fighter. he just does it
> more often. It equals more damage per round, I agree, but not per
> attack.

This is nonsensical. How can you possibly argue that seeking a high damage
build based on level is not possible ("there is no mechanic") because the
methods of doing so are optional?! Increasing fighter skill is largely
represented by feat availability (bonus feats!) so you simply *cannot*
legitimately ignore their effect.

A 20th level fighter who wants to be a high damage hitter can boost his
Str by 5 points and take Power Attack, WS and GWS from among his many
extra feats. With a two handed weapon that can mean as much as an extra 45
damage modifier over and above his 1st level compatriot to attack with the
same bonus. Lay off the crack pipe Anivair. "All things being equal" is an
implausibly artificial situation.
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 5:14:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Anivair" <anivair@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1109683683.251067.221780@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
>
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
>
> > Doesn't follow, due to the hp abstraction. Damage that doesn't bring
> > a character to or below 0 is never significant damage. Damage that
> > *does*, even 1 point, is *always* significant damage.
> >
> > On top of that, 1 point +damage mods for a moderate-level character
> > *will* kill most non-adventurers.
>
> Firstly whether damage is signifigant or not is irrelevant. If I chop
> off your hand I'd say that's signifigant, but it probably doesn't drom
> you to zero hit points or below either. And whether an attack like that
> is valid (without getting into the what is a hit point rule) is
> probably up to a DM.

You can't make that argument and ignore the "hit point rule". That kind of
injury is completely outside of the hit point model and is therefore an
irrelevant counter example.
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 4:57:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Anivair" <anivair@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1109769239.195861.268520@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>
> Symbol wrote:
>
> > > Firstly whether damage is signifigant or not is irrelevant. If I
> chop
> > > off your hand I'd say that's signifigant, but it probably doesn't
> drom
> > > you to zero hit points or below either. And whether an attack like
> that
> > > is valid (without getting into the what is a hit point rule) is
> > > probably up to a DM.
> >
> > You can't make that argument and ignore the "hit point rule". That
> kind of
> > injury is completely outside of the hit point model and is therefore
> an
> > irrelevant counter example.
>
> Are you sure it's outside the hit point model?

Yes. How much damage does a two weapon fighter have to take before he can
no longer use his off hand weapon without a regeneration spell?

> What about if I cut
> your face a bit? Worked in hte princess bride? Is that outside the
> hit point model?

No.

> What about a punch to the face? Or a stab in the leg?

Fine.

> At what point are my players allowed to actually make contact when they
> hit in combat?

They aren't in most countries unless they are acting in self defence or
engaged in a combat sport. In each case their are laws and regulations
that govern what is allowed.

Characters on the other hand follow the rules laid on in the PHB and DMG.
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 2:04:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> > > (and it would imply that a good strike is somehting
> > > rare for a blademaster which is not what I'mn going
> > > for).
> >
> > That's represented by being *higher level*.
>
> No, there is no mechanic that raises your damage based
> on level. Hitting more frequently is a mechanic that

makes you deal more damage.

> The idea that damage goes up with level is an average
> I'd say, but it's based on feats that are optional and
> magic items.

So, in other words, a character who doesn't try to deal more damage...
won't?

> And equating skill to gear is a mistake of everquest
> proportions.

Then your complaint is with the game.

> All things being equal a higher level fighter does the
> same damage as a lower level fighter. he just does it
> more often. It equals more damage per round, I agree,
> but not per attack.

Haven't you been reading any of the other threads? Per attack is
meaningless. "Attacks" in 3.x only mean "times when you get through
your opponent's guard a little", and are not measurable. "Per round"
or "per $time_unit" are the only meaningful measures of damage and
effectiveness, since those are the only factors that can be
objectively measured between characters.

I think the problem is that you're trying to model this character as
"the best", when "the best" is an inextricable aspect of level gain.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 2:15:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
>
> that's not what i was looking for at all. Consistant
> damage is not the same as consistantly high damage.

Since damage is abstract, this is an unwise desire.

> I don't care if a blademaster does four points of
> damage per round provided it's regular. The regularity
> is all that matters to me for this class.

Then don't break the rules (i.e. don't let them do less damage than
they could normally do). Let them choose: average (rounded up) or
roll, with every hit. Consistency or precision, not both.

If you give the option of max damage, it will always be selected.
There is still no good reason to ever do less than max.

> I will opt to simply let me players make the descision
> for themselves whether they think that max damage is
> more or less valid than some other number.

You still haven't provided any reasonable instance where less than max
is preferable, given the hit point abstraction.

> 2) the other point is just the refutation of the idea
> that higher level automatically means more damage.

It does if you intend to do more damage when you are higher level,
just like higher level for a caster means more powerful spells, though
you can be an idiot and cast at lower effectiveness.

> a 20th level fighter certainly can strike with a
> longsword for 1-8 very easily. It's not a hard build
> at all and the system doesn't prevent it (or nessisarily
> discourage it)

Except that this character wouldn't have survived to 20th level. This
means a 10-11 Str, all the way up to level 20, and no magic or
feat-based boosts whatsoever. He'd never do enough damage to be
effective. Ever.

> I want to avoid saying more level equals more damage,
> because that's not always true.

Except in contrived situations such as the above, it is absolutely
true for a fighter-type (which is what is under discussion here).

You can make a caster with a 9 in their casting stat, too, so "a 20th
level caster can cast spells" isn't always true. You're making the
same kind of semantic play here, and it's just as invalid.

> One of the great things about 3e is that you can create
> a fighter that doesn't fit the fighter mold, and I like
> to discourage people from assuming that mold when I can.

Then don't reward them by giving them all the benefits of that mold
without any of the drawbacks (as you're doing, by giving them heavy
damage without having to trade off for anything).

> I'm not saying either thing. I'm saying that assuming
> that a fighter will have items, feats, and spells that
> grant him greater damage maybe a decent bet, but not an
> assumption that you should make about all fighters. It
> isn't, or shouldn't be the case across the board, and
> the system doesn't demand it.

Designing *anything* balanced *DOES* demand it.

You can't say "well, some people will build suboptimally, so this
class that is massively unbalanced for an optimal build is just fine."

Well, you can... You'd just be wrong.

> What I said was that I don't want a blademaster to
> have to roll their damage, because that implies that
> there is some chance in their strikes. that they
> sometimes get a good hit and sometimes get a bad hit.

There is always some unpredictability in combat. That's the whole
point of rolling. You're removing the skill of the opponent from the
equation completely.

> High damage isn't the goal.

It will be the result, as written.

> I abhore stacking damage for the sake of numbers.

Then abolish hit points and damage completely, because the hit point
abstraction is *all* about numbers, no matter what form it comes in.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 2:32:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > Doesn't follow, due to the hp abstraction. Damage that
> > doesn't bring a character to or below 0 is never
> > significant damage. Damage that *does*, even 1 point,
> > is *always* significant damage.
> >
> > On top of that, 1 point +damage mods for a moderate-level
> > character *will* kill most non-adventurers.
>
> Firstly whether damage is signifigant or not is irrelevant.

It absolutely is! You're breaking the hit point abstraction, so
significant damage is the most relevant factor.

> If I chop off your hand I'd say that's signifigant, but
> it probably doesn't drom you to zero hit points or below
> either.

This breaks the hit point abstraction. It can only occur as a special
attack that does not use the hit point model at all, or upon being
dropped below 0 hit points, with a GM's house rule.

> And whether an attack like that is valid (without getting
> into the what is a hit point rule) is probably up to a DM.

You *can't* discuss that kind of attack wihtout getting into the what
is a hit point rules. You're talking about breaking the hit point
abstraction.

> Secondly, I never said one point plus damage mods. I said
> one point. The mods aren't automatically added. They just
> factor into your upper limit, but there is no lower limit
> on damage for the ability.

This breaks every rule, then, and is an unbalanced, unconsidered
ability that has no meaningful place in the game.

You're trying to use the flavor text of the ability to step inside the
hit point abstraction in ways that don't work.

> > > nonlethal damage is for when you want to hurt but
> > > not kill, but at the same time you can reasonably
> > > want to maim someone but not kill them and I'd say
> > > nonlethal damage isn't handey for maiming.
> >
> > That's why you try to kill, and hope your shot isn't an
> > instakill... Or use the existing maiming mechanics:
> > Crippling Strike and its kin.
>
> Crippling strike is a valid point.

It's the only way to model maiming. Period.

The hit point model *CANNOT* model maiming.

> But swinging and praying to not kill someone is so against
> the grain of the class that I can't even see the reason.

Then you need to use abilities that don't use hit points at all. Give
them Crippling Strike. Look at the other abilities like that. Give
them "Stunning Strike". Give them "Disabling Strike" (opponent must
make a save DC or behave as if disabled for 1 round per blademaster
level). Give them "Weakening Strike" (deal Str damage instead). Give
them *something* that actually models what you're thinking of, instead
of trying to shoehorn it into the hit point abstraction where it
doesn't fit.

> In fact, it's against the concept of any really skilled
> fighter. What really skilled fighter has to cross his
> fingers to get his desired result?

The vast majority of skilled fighters' desired result is "kill or
disable my enemy". Any other desire requires doing stuff outside the
hit point model.

> > This is represented by *rolling* for damage, by *fighting
> > defensively*, and by dealing a bit of nonlethal damage
> > *first*, so that one of your lethal strikes can overcome
> > your foe's fatigue (hp < nonlethal damage; unconscious
> > and not dying). Your mechanic fails the abstraction of
> > both the D&D hit point system and the grim-n-gritty hit
> > point system.
>
> Those are all fine tools for use outside the realm of
> this class. As well, hit points are not the same as
> fatigue. There's a different system for fatigue as
> well as a otally different combat system (see star
> wars) that handles hit points that way. If you opt
> to treat hit points like fatigue points it's your
> choice, but that breaks the hit point and combat model
> faster than not. Perhaps what you meant was that the
> damage sustained until that point isn't nessisarily
> lethal or too much of a hindrance, but that's not the
> base model.

It is most certainly the model when you've dealt nonlethal damage.
Read what nonlethal damage *is* again, sometime.

> > > Check out the weapon master from sword and fist for
> > > the partial inspiration.
> >
> > Sword and Fist was a steaming pile of imbalance, in
> > both directions.
>
> I'll call that an opinion.

Change that. Look at the lists of errata, then look at how many
things changed from 3.0 to 3.5, and tell me it was balanced with a
straight face.

> > That said, the weapon master's /ki/ damage (which only
> > does maximum, notice) is $level/day. *NEVER* more.
> > You're doubling that pretty early on, then granting the
> > ability at-will... And you can never use /ki/ damage
> > on a crit (which you explicitly can, as a blademaster).
>
> The weaponmaster's ability is exactly the same.
> 1/day/level, then 2/day//level and then 3/day/level.
> It is in my book.

It's not in mine, or any version I've seen. No errata changed it to
that that I ever saw.

My book says: "ki damage 1/day/level" on the chart, and in the
description of the ability, it doesn't mention uses/day at all.

Nope, WotC errata right off the site doesn't change it, either.

Here, I'll even give you the benefit of the doubt, and check Oriental
Adventures, where it's called the Kensei, and changed only slightly...
Nope, same here. 1/day/level with no increases. The 3.5 update to OA
(Dragon #318) doesn't change the Weapon Master/Kensei class at all.

You may have misread the entry.

> And I noticed it only did maximum. That's why I changed
> it.

But your change fails to model your intent. The hit point abstraction
does not allow for the kind of thing you want, so you need to leave
the hit point abstraction.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 9:16:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> > Too complicated for me, esspecially since the progression of feats
> > for this doean't make much sense. oing from spring attack to
> > whirlwind is fine mechanically, but what training do you get that
> > encompasses those feats?
>
> Same argument works for the feat prereqs, though. *shrug* It was
> just an idea.

True, it does. But it's a touch less worrisome there. For example, if
you have dodge you can learn mobility. learning doge is a part of
learning mobility, but you don't do the same thing to learn both, see?
And that goes double for whirlwind and spring attack? If I have dodge
and I go train with some guy and he's trying to teach me how to focus
my defense against one opponant odds are I'm not learning what I need
to learn to know mobility or spring attack.

So while the prerequisites work for hte feats, because you learn
different things each time, a PrC ability should be one type of
training that you recieve that gives you that ability. And one ability
doesn't cover all those feats. does that make any better sense?

Regardless, for balance, I see your point, but thematically I don't
know if it works in my head.

> > I changed the wording so that instead of functioning like
> > whirlwind attack the blademaster only gets to roll once if
> > he uses this ability. He applies that roll to everyone
> > around him. It's similar, but not the same and it means
> > that one poor roll results in a totally wasted round,
> > rather than one wasted swing, which I think is a nice
> > balancing factor).
>
> I don't. It makes the situation worse. Options good. On/off from
> one roll situations bad. Here's another idea:
>
> "
> If the character has Whirlwind Attack, he may make Whirlwind
> Attacks as standard actions, or combine them with Spring Attack (only
> one foe can be selected to be the target of Spring Attack).
> If the character does not have Whirlwind Attack, he gains the
> ability to make two attacks at his highest base attack bonus (but at
> -2 to all attacks until his next action, including these two) as a
> standard action, which he can combine with Spring Attack (if he has
> it), with the same restriction as above.
> "
>
> What do you think of this one? It was intended to mimic Manyshot for
> melee.

Not actually bad.

true, I suppose it does have an on/off feel. though in grim-n-gritty
there's less of that because yourt opponants roll defense so a good or
bad roll doesn't nessisarily mean you will hit or miss.
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 9:39:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> My book says: "ki damage 1/day/level" on the chart, and in the
> description of the ability, it doesn't mention uses/day at all.

you're right. Sword and fist does say that. I must be thinking of the
wheel of time. Either way, provided you're not dealing with a
character that does ui nreasonable ammounts of damage, I can't see this
as a problem. A longsweord fighter with a 14 strength regularly doing
10 points of damage or so isn't really an issue, when there are
characters that do that as a minimum floating around (I had a character
in a game once that did something like 24-40 or something . . . it was
disruptive. he's the reason that my games are way less powerful than
they once were, because his damage output just removed the fun and
danger from combat). It's not as if we're talking massive damage
output here. I can't say it'll bother me. But if it was in a
different game I can see limiting it more (in fact, I would encourage
limiting it to 1,2,3/day/level or 1,2 or just 1 depending on the type
of game being run and the character, quite honestly . . . 1.day.level
is a lot for a character like i meantioned abouve that can ammass 40 or
more points of damage. For a regular fighter who can do 4-10 it's not
the same ability).
Anonymous
March 5, 2005 6:25:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > My book says: "ki damage 1/day/level" on the chart, and
> > in the description of the ability, it doesn't mention
> > uses/day at all.
>
> you're right. Sword and fist does say that. I must
> be thinking of the wheel of time.

Almost definitely, and this is your problem. Wheel of Time is *not*
balanced, either with itself or with D&D.

> Either way, provided you're not dealing with a character
> that does ui nreasonable ammounts of damage, I can't see
> this as a problem.

You need to expand your imagination, then. It's always going to *be*
a problem.

> A longsweord fighter with a 14 strength regularly doing
> 10 points of damage or so isn't really an issue, when
> there are characters that do that as a minimum floating
> around

This is your problem, as well. Don't balance the class based on what
a longsword fighter with a 14 Str is going to be doing, because that
is a decidedly *sub-par* character.

Balance requires you use the most likely build for the class. In this
case, *especially* with that "free max damage, most of the time"
ability, that's going to be high Str greatsword fighters.

> It's not as if we're talking massive damage output here.
> I can't say it'll bother me. But if it was in a
> different game I can see limiting it more

Okay, so when you keep saying "in another game", you're not referring
to Grim-n-Gritty, as you keep implying, but referring to a game where
people don't intentionally handicap their characters (a front-line
fighter with a 14 Str *is* handicapped, whatever you want to say about
it).

If it's making the game less fun for you, then you need to examine the
foes you're putting up against the party, and you need to remember
that high damage output is *better* (and *significantly* better, at
that) in a Grim-n-Gritty game... So your "in Grim-n-Gritty, I think
it's fine, but in a normal game, I'd limit it more" argument is
exactly the *opposite* of what should be: Grim-n-Gritty needs to limit
damage *more*, not less.

If you want to discuss game materials and proposed classes on this
newsgroup, you're going to get discussion that regards standard games,
because that's the most useful baseline.

> For a regular fighter who can do 4-10 it's not the
> same ability).

Not true at all. First, no regular fighter who isn't completely
nerfed will only be doing 4-10. Second, what you mean is a fighter
who can do 10 every time. (I repeat yet again: In a fight to the
death, or even a fight to the disabling, there's no reason to do less
than maximum; you still have not provided any viable counterexamples
that don't break the hp model completely.)

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
March 6, 2005 8:53:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> This is your problem, as well. Don't balance the class based on what
> a longsword fighter with a 14 Str is going to be doing, because that
> is a decidedly *sub-par* character.

And where do you suggest I set my par, then? In your campaign or in
mine?

Further, that's a perfectly reasonable fighter. I suspect you simply
play in big number games the likes of which I have no intention of
running, playing in, or planning prestige classes for.

> Okay, so when you keep saying "in another game", you're not referring
> to Grim-n-Gritty, as you keep implying, but referring to a game where
> people don't intentionally handicap their characters (a front-line
> fighter with a 14 Str *is* handicapped, whatever you want to say
about
> it).

What I'm refering to is a game that isn't my game. I'd like ot think
that my game is pretty reasonable. my players have this nasty tendancy
to take feats, abilities, and skills based on roleplaand not based on
what gives them the best damage output. I refuse to make plans based
on what I consider metagaming.

> If it's making the game less fun for you, then you need to examine
the
> foes you're putting up against the party, and you need to remember
> that high damage output is *better* (and *significantly* better, at
> that) in a Grim-n-Gritty game... So your "in Grim-n-Gritty, I think
> it's fine, but in a normal game, I'd limit it more" argument is
> exactly the *opposite* of what should be: Grim-n-Gritty needs to
limit
> damage *more*, not less.

Are you sure? What you're actually saying is that high damage (wich i
never abdicated, I am attempting to create a situation where there is
more CONSISTANT damage) is more deadly in grim-n-gritty, which I find,
via experience, is true after fourth level or so. Actually, more liie
five. From 1-3 you actually have more hit points, in most cases (the
noteable exception possibly being high con fighters and barbariens, but
most classes have more HP up till this time) and you end up breaking
even around 4-5. past that you have substantially less, which suits me
just fine. But saying that it's better is a misnomer. grim-n-gritty
does make such a chracter deadlier, which is sort of the point of the
class in the first place. If a blademaster is no more deadly in a sword
fight than a regular fighter, then it's sort of a class that has fallen
short of intent. it should be more dangerous in melee with a sword
than a straight fighter.

> Not true at all. First, no regular fighter who isn't completely
> nerfed will only be doing 4-10. Second, what you mean is a fighter
> who can do 10 every time. (I repeat yet again: In a fight to the
> death, or even a fight to the disabling, there's no reason to do less
> than maximum; you still have not provided any viable counterexamples
> that don't break the hp model completely.)

your opinion. I see no reason to assume you are correct in that
assumption and since I have seen evidence to the contrary in games for
many any years I will ignore it. I am not refering to a fighter dong
10 every time. i'm talking about a fighter doing 1-10 every time and
doing ten when he wants to. You, obviously, would be the sort of
fighter who would do 10 every time, and based on that I should assume
that you would not be welcome in my game. If you can't see the point
behind roleplaying a weakness, then your opinion lacks validity at my
table.
Anonymous
March 7, 2005 6:26:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:
> >
> > This is your problem, as well. Don't balance the class
> > based on what a longsword fighter with a 14 Str is going
> > to be doing, because that is a decidedly *sub-par*
> > character.
>
> And where do you suggest I set my par, then? In your
> campaign or in mine?

Set it by the baseline campaign: the contents of the three core
rulebooks. By that baseline, this is a sub-par character.

> I suspect you simply play in big number games the likes
> of which I have no intention of running, playing in, or
> planning prestige classes for.

You know nothing about my games, and you've gotten this wrong every
single time.

> > Okay, so when you keep saying "in another game", you're
> > not referring to Grim-n-Gritty, as you keep implying, but
> > referring to a game where people don't intentionally
> > handicap their characters (a front-line fighter with a
> > 14 Str *is* handicapped, whatever you want to say about
> > it).
>
> What I'm refering to is a game that isn't my game.

What makes your game different from any other?

> I refuse to make plans based on what I consider metagaming.

Guess what: allowing a PC to choose damage dealt is inherently
metagaming. The PCs do not *know* how much damage any given blow
deals, because hit point damage is only *potential* damage.

So your methods, again, do not support your intent.

> > you need to remember that high damage output is *better*
> > (and *significantly* better, at that) in a Grim-n-Gritty
> > game... So your "in Grim-n-Gritty, I think it's fine,
> > but in a normal game, I'd limit it more" argument is
> > exactly the *opposite* of what should be: Grim-n-Gritty
> > needs to limit damage *more*, not less.
>
> Are you sure? What you're actually saying is that high
> damage (wich i never abdicated, I am attempting to create
> a situation where there is more CONSISTANT damage)

This claim is still false. You are permitting maximum damage in every
instance. Since damage numbers are inherently metagame abstractions,
roleplaying decisions cannot and should not affect them.

> is more deadly in grim-n-gritty, which I find, via
> experience, is true after fourth level or so. Actually,
> more liie five. From 1-3 you actually have more hit
> points, in most cases (the noteable exception possibly
> being high con fighters and barbariens, but most
> classes have more HP up till this time) and you end up
> breaking even around 4-5. past that you have
> substantially less, which suits me just fine.

Guess what: This class can never be taken during the time in which a
G-n-G character has more hit points.

> But saying that it's better is a misnomer.

This does not follow, when you say this:

> grim-n-gritty does make such a chracter deadlier,

Which completely supports "high damage is better in G-n-G".

> which is sort of the point of the class in the first
> place.

Pick one: DEADLIER or MORE CONSISTENT. You keep switching from one to
the other when it supports your argument to do so. Cut it out and
pick one to focus on.

> If a blademaster is no more deadly in a sword fight
> than a regular fighter, then it's sort of a class that
> has fallen short of intent.

That's silly. The blademaster should have *different* abilities, and
more *options*. That's how you balance classes. If you want to make
it better at a given niche than the class which specializes in that
niche, you're better off just using the class which specializes in
that niche in the first place.

> it should be more dangerous in melee with a sword
> than a straight fighter.

So, you want to outdo another class at what it's best at. I think
this discussion is finished, since your intent appears to be for the
class to be overpowered.

> > Not true at all. First, no regular fighter who isn't
> > completely nerfed will only be doing 4-10. Second, what
> > you mean is a fighter who can do 10 every time. (I
> > repeat yet again: In a fight to the death, or even a
> > fight to the disabling, there's no reason to do less
> > than maximum; you still have not provided any viable
> > counterexamples that don't break the hp model
> > completely.)
>
> your opinion. I see no reason to assume you are
> correct in that assumption and since I have seen
> evidence to the contrary in games for many any years
> I will ignore it.

Support yourself.

> I am not refering to a fighter dong 10 every time.
> i'm talking about a fighter doing 1-10 every time
> and doing ten when he wants to.

Why would he want to do less? Remember: damage numbers are a metagame
abstraction, and a character has no knowledge of them whatsoever.

> You, obviously, would be the sort of fighter who
> would do 10 every time,

Liar. You still know nothing about me, clearly.

I would do 10 every time *if trying to kill someone*. If I was not
trying to kill someone, I would not be dealing hit point damage at
all, because I understand that dealing lethal damage is *trying to
kill someone*.

> If you can't see the point behind roleplaying a
> weakness, then your opinion lacks validity at my
> table.

I can see the point behind roleplaying a weakness. But you're
describing using a metagame decision to support roleplaying, in a way
that's stupid and doesn't fit in with the way the rules actually work.
Use the tools made available for those roleplaying choices, instead,
which have been provided to you, repeatedly.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
March 7, 2005 12:27:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> You know nothing about my games, and you've gotten this wrong every
> single time.

You're right. i'm calmer now and i'm sorry I ragged on your games. In
me defense, when you imply that a longsword wielding average strength
fighter is a weak concept or that no fighter should ever want to do
less than maximum damage for any reason I am usually lead to believe
that the person speaking is apower gamer. You are equating more damage
to "better" which I was not doing, but I suspect that you, like me,
were just crossing the word tree in hte wrong spot occasionally and
that you actually meant better for trying to kill your opponant and not
better as in a better roleplaying descision. That's fine, and like I
said, I appologize if I was too hard on you or your games. Not my
place. I'll try to stick to rules form now on.

> > What I'm refering to is a game that isn't my game.
>
> What makes your game different from any other?

Apparently a great deal if this thread is any indication. but I guess
that's neither here nor there.

> > I refuse to make plans based on what I consider metagaming.
>
> Guess what: allowing a PC to choose damage dealt is inherently
> metagaming. The PCs do not *know* how much damage any given blow
> deals, because hit point damage is only *potential* damage.

I don't think it needs to be. Example: a paladin has a set number of
points for lay on hands. Is it metagaming, then, to allow the paladin
to choose how many points he heals? it can't be metagaming in one
direction (removing hit points) and not in the other direction (adding
hit points). When a paladin does this I see it as an experienced
healer adding what he wants and reserving the rest of the energy. And
my opinion on a blademaster doing this is what he is taking what he
wants and not wasting any elergy to enact an effect greater or lesser
than his desire.

> > is more deadly in grim-n-gritty, which I find, via
> > experience, is true after fourth level or so. Actually,
> > more liie five. From 1-3 you actually have more hit
> > points, in most cases (the noteable exception possibly
> > being high con fighters and barbariens, but most
> > classes have more HP up till this time) and you end up
> > breaking even around 4-5. past that you have
> > substantially less, which suits me just fine.
>
> Guess what: This class can never be taken during the time in which a
> G-n-G character has more hit points.

I don't see the connection. Just because a blademaster will be higher
level than the 4-5 baseline when he takes the class doesn't mean he
will only be *fighting* people of that level. His damage output has
little to do with his damage input (how much he can take). All I said
was that a blademaster who opts to do maximum damage is possibly more
deadly (or more rapidly deadly) against low level characters than a
counterpart without that ability (though that may or may not be true,
since a normal fighter has the potential to roll very well for damage
and probably has a few damage enhancing feats that a blademaster does
not have.

Though I'm starting to see why the initial class had no many
prerequisites. in part to ensure that you don't end up with power
attack and great cleave as well as this ability. but since I've
already said that I don't want too many prerequisites I'm hoping that
there's another way around this. I may of course just say that certain
abilities cannot be used this this ability such as power attack, since
the idea is that you are being as precise as possible and power attack
forces you to sacrifice accuracy. That's worth some thought. I don't
like the idea of blademaster abilities breaking the circie. it seems
counterintuitive, but there are plenty of other feats that could do
this (power attack, expertise, etc).

> > But saying that it's better is a misnomer.
>
> This does not follow, when you say this:
>
> > grim-n-gritty does make such a chracter deadlier,
>
> Which completely supports "high damage is better in G-n-G".

Again, this is what I was talking about above. Deadlier is noot hte
same as better in my mind, though as I said I suspect you meant better
for killing someone rapidly.

> > which is sort of the point of the class in the first
> > place.
>
> Pick one: DEADLIER or MORE CONSISTENT. You keep switching from one
to
> the other when it supports your argument to do so. Cut it out and
> pick one to focus on.

In my mind they are two different arguments. But consistant is my goal
here and always has been. I agree that doing more damage is always
deadlier no matter what your combat system, but as I said, I don't want
or expect the blademaster to do maximum damage all the time. Maybe
there's an answer in there somewhere. Maybe some mechanic that would
allow for maximum damage but encourages the median damage or some other
number. Not a bad thought. I'll give you credit for it if I come up
with anyhting (or if you come up with anyhting).

> > If a blademaster is no more deadly in a sword fight
> > than a regular fighter, then it's sort of a class that
> > has fallen short of intent.
>
> That's silly. The blademaster should have *different* abilities, and
> more *options*. That's how you balance classes. If you want to make
> it better at a given niche than the class which specializes in that
> niche, you're better off just using the class which specializes in
> that niche in the first place.

A fighter doesn't specialize in sword fighting, though. A fighter
specializes in all aspect of combat. that's what the class is for.
note that if a ranged fighter (such as an archer) or a fighter who
fights dirty somehow (disarms, trips) or some other variety of fighter
who is not a straight face to face fighting swordsman goes up against a
blademaster he should be able to win amost every time. In my testing
of this class (and this was before I removed half od the ridiculously
overpowered abilities) an archer took a blademaster every time given
range. He just had too much damage on the blademaster by the time he
closed the gap. The strength of the fighter class lies in the
versatility. But if all you focus on is the sword then it stands to
reasoon that you should outclass most straight fighters in that area.
that's why the class is called bladeMASTER.
>
> > it should be more dangerous in melee with a sword
> > than a straight fighter.
>
> So, you want to outdo another class at what it's best at. I think
> this discussion is finished, since your intent appears to be for the
> class to be overpowered.

See above. I don't think allowing the blademaster to be a better
swordsman than a normal fighter is a bad idea at all. Most prestige
classes do this. A bloodhound is a better tracker than a regular
ranger. A shadowdancer is better at hiding then a regular rogue. It's
how prestige classes work (almost all of them).

> > your opinion. I see no reason to assume you are
> > correct in that assumption and since I have seen
> > evidence to the contrary in games for many any years
> > I will ignore it.
>
> Support yourself.

The rules support it. A combat roll is nothing more than attempting to
hit oon your turn and a damage roll is nothing but the damage you deal
when you hit. the definition of nonlethal damage specifically states
that it isn't real damage sustained. I think the rules support this
just fine. Noplace in the rules does it specify that dealing normal
damage is reserved for deadly combat and a lot of aspects of the game
(falling damage, for example) say otherwise.

> > You, obviously, would be the sort of fighter who
> > would do 10 every time,
>
> Liar. You still know nothing about me, clearly.

Again, I'm sorry if I'm pissing you off. I should be more civil, but
you said you can't think of a reason to do less. I assume that's
because of your take on the hit point and combat system, which i
disagree on. I'll leave the disagreement on that point, though, and
not harp on you personally.

> I would do 10 every time *if trying to kill someone*. If I was not
> trying to kill someone, I would not be dealing hit point damage at
> all, because I understand that dealing lethal damage is *trying to
> kill someone*.

that's not a definition that I see anywhere in the rules, though.
Nonlethal damage isn't just not trying to kill someone, it's damage
that isn't debilitating at all. it's reserved for the likes of
knocking people out, exhaustion, and the like. Actual combat damage
still seems, to me, to be the province of lethal damage.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 9:31:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer <dacileva.flea@hotmail.com.tick> wrote:
> Anivair wrote:
>> So there's a fuzzy line between hit points and
>> metagaming already. I don't like that line, but
>> it's there.
>
> It doesn't have to be. Keith's healing system completely fixes
> healing, or you can refrain from telling your players how many actual
> hit points need be healed.

Makes it consistent with natural healing, rather, and is 'unmitigated'
by level.

[basically, every level of magical healing gets you one day's natural
(damage) healing -- $level + Con bonus hit points, IMC. A paladin's
/lay on hands/ works in units of day's healing as well, and must be
allocated in units of 'one day'.]


Oh, and I missed it in the killer snip, but: if you introduce penalties
(especially cumulative penalties) for damage that doesn't leave the
target unconscious (i.e. penalties before he reaches 0) you're
introducing a death spiral. Fights become a race to do the first damage
because it impedes the target. This not only degrades the play, it's
also not terribly realistic.

Physical damage in a fight really only comes in a few types:
.. doesn't matter
.. doesn't matter yet
.. does matter
.. did matter

D&D models each of these to varying degrees, as described below:

Doesn't Matter
This damage is relative minor, and covers most minor wounds -- cuts,
bruises, scrapes, etc., though not limited to these -- drawn in a
combat. Adequately covered by hit point ablation.

Doesn't Matter Yet
This covers more serious wounds that don't affect fighting ability,
at least until the character stops fighting. This can include minor
broken bones, torn muscles, and even fatal wounds... it *is* possible
to continue fighting with an arrow through the lungs (or even the
heart!), for a short time at least. This isn't really addressed in
most cases by the rules, though Barbarian Rage and the Diehard feat
both come close.

Does Matter
Injuries that cause outright physical failure, such as broken limbs,
dismemberment, and so on. The body part either isn't there or doesn't
work, even if the character is still fighting. Being able to choose
to apply such injuries usually comes down to class abilities (such as
the feats that modify what Sneak Attack does). It may be appropriate
to add this kind of injury to critical hits, or to simply assume that
these are the wounds that take the person out of the fight.

Did Matter
Serious wounds that take him out of the fight. Totally modeled using
negative hit points (hit points drop below zero, the creature is
dying and not fighting).

D&D does them to varying degrees of 'accuracy' and never very much
detail in order to keep things reasonably simple and play smooth. It
could be possible to expand on them and go into more detail; personally
I wouldn't bother.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "English is not a language. English is a
keith.davies@kjdavies.org bad habit shared between Norman invaders
keith.davies@gmail.com and Saxon barmaids!"
http://www.kjdavies.org/ -- Frog, IRC, 2005/01/13
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 9:33:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> The problem is that if you penalize people for fighting at less than
> full hp capacity, you're turning hit points into 'meat points', at
> which point the rest of the hit point abstraction fails. Hit points
> are explicitly only partially about physical punishment.

Well, the nice thing about using grim-n-gritty is that hit points
really are meat points and I can't say I mind that. it takes the tone
away from high fantasy and epic herism and makes is more gritty (as
implied by the name) which is my preferance, but you are correct that
hit points are obviously not meat points. However, I don't know that
penalizing people for fighting at less than full hit points is a bad
idea. if you lost 90% of your hit points you can certainly not claim
to be uninjured (since several aspects of the combat model suggest that
you certainly were hit, just not disabled or killed) and I wouldn't say
such a person is running at 100% efficiency whether there's a mechanic
penalty or not.

> And the blademaster doesn't *know* the skill of the he's fighting,
> until the opponent acts.

I wouldn't say this is true at all, but I will allow that he won't know
the success of their attempt to dodge until they act (though even this
is debateable, but I suppose such a wide gap in skill is nicely
represented by a gap in levels which makes for a good balance of the
hit point system anyway).

> > For example, I stick fight. A jab is way less
> > damaging than a full yeild crack to the head.
>
> A jab can still *kill*. That's the whole point.
>
> > So if I were a blademaster I would use the jab
> > for two points of damage or so
>
> Two points of damage can kill.
>
> > and the full tilt crack to the head as maximum
> > damage.
>
> Maximum damage can fail to noticeably harm. You *cannot* *ever* say
> that any given amount of damage represents a crack "to the head".
> Your *target's* skill directly affects what *actual* damage you deal.

True, of course, but the fact remains that a jab contains less
potential damage than a full tilt swing regardless. And while either
one can kill you (since they are one or more points of damage) getting
hit by a more powerful swing is more likely to kill you (which is
backed nicely by the system due to higher strength and two handed
swings raising damage, and by power attack which is nothing more than a
more powerful swing). If those are already a given, then do you see
the reverse logic coming into play? As I said, it's m ore like taking
the power to decide away from the dice and into the hands of the
player.

> Not in the slightest. It disregards the target's skill completely,
> and it ignores the fact that a two point hit *can be fatal*.

true, but if you remove the effect it's the same. A jab to teh stomach
can be fatal as can a swing to the torso or head (or even the leg,
really) so allowing the player to choose isn't really problematic. if
the blademaster does two points of damage by jabbing to teh stomach and
that kills them, fine. If he does eight points of damage with a swing
to the leg, then they are disabled and bleeding from a major vein if
they are taken that low. No problem, really.

> > Now the question is how to get there without killing
> > the hit point model or overpowering the class.
>
> If he wants to be able to disable his targets without killing them,
or
> do less damage, then you need to go outside the hit point model.
> Don't kill it, as it's quite useful. Just go outside it.

Agreed. I think that hte more I think about it the more I think that
the called shot model is the way to go (with a regular D&D game I would
just impolement the effects as special abilities as you implied below
(snipped) and that would be that.

> Give him something similar to Crippling Strike, but for Dex instead
of
> Str.

This is exactly my thought on crippling strike (and was from the get
go) since I feel that it's really more about prescision anyway. I
think a lot of trained fighters will agree that prescision is a big
deal 9a bigger deal that D&D seems to make it, though the game has
allowed for finesse fighters, which is fine).

> > Called shots may do this much better, since I'm using
> > Grim-n-gritty. Thoughts?
>
> Probably, yes. That said, no hit point system whatsoever can well
> support called shots, because that requires you to start separating
> hit points from actual meat points, and it requires you to start
using
> hit locations. This is, possibly, a valid thing to attempt, but I
> dislike it, and games which work in this way are much more cumbersome
> than D&D.

Well, i think grim and gritty does it well. for example there's a
disabling shot. You do less damage, but reduce the victem's speed to
represent that you could have made a more damaging shot but instead
dought out an effect that would help you later. And since hp are
basically meat points in grim-n-gritty this works fine. Really, i
strongly recommend everyone at least test out the system. I love it.

> It doesn't have to be. Keith's healing system completely fixes
> healing, or you can refrain from telling your players how many actual
> hit points need be healed.

I don't think I saw his healing ideas. do you remember the name of the
thread, or do you have a link?

> > > The designers of 3.x understood that ditching hit points
> > > would result in a loss of fans, since most people agree
> > > that classes and hit points are integral to what makes
> > > D&D D&D. I disagree, myself, but I'm in the minority of
> > > that opinion.
> >
> > I like hit points for D&D.
>
> I do, too. What I said was that I disagree that it *must* be in D&D.

A while ago familydragon suggested a 4 class system that allows for
free multiclassing and really allowed for much more versatility. that
model could easily be abstracted away from classes alltogether. I
liked it a lot in theory, but the game I ran using that system turned a
big sour as it was high fantasy (which i dislike). but it was a great
mechanic.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 9:37:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:

> [basically, every level of magical healing gets you one day's natural
> (damage) healing -- $level + Con bonus hit points, IMC. A paladins
> /lay on hands/ works in units of day's healing as well, and must be
> allocated in units of 'one day'.]

Thanks. i was looking for that.

> Oh, and I missed it in the killer snip, but: if you introduce
penalties
> (especially cumulative penalties) for damage that doesn't leave the
> target unconscious (i.e. penalties before he reaches 0) you're
> introducing a death spiral. Fights become a race to do the first
damage
> because it impedes the target. This not only degrades the play, it's
> also not terribly realistic.

I think it's terribly realistic. I've only been in five or so really
dangerous fights, but they all seemed to follow the death spiral model
just fine. Though i aggree that it's not terribly heroic and if you're
running that sort of game it doesn't work.

Ten again, the grim-n-gritty death spiral isn't particularly bad. it
provides a penalty without really inhibiting you until you're really
bad off.

I'll take a look at your healing formula, see if I can make heads or
tails of it (having gone to a college without a math requirment) and
see what I think. Thanks for reposting it here.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 9:47:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> > Maybe there's an answer in there somewhere. Maybe
> > some mechanic that would allow for maximum damage
> > but encourages the median damage or some other
> > number. Not a bad thought. I'll give you credit
> > for it if I come up with anyhting (or if you come
> > up with anyhting).
>
> As I've recommended, you could allow this ability to instead deal
> average damage without the risk of a roll.

Not a bad idea. I'll give that thought. Would you recommend that for
the ability as written 1/2/3/day/level) or would you still recommend it
at just 1/day/level period?

> > Most prestige classes do this. A bloodhound is a
> > better tracker than a regular ranger.
>
> Not true, except as regards their marks.
>
> > A shadowdancer is better at hiding then a regular rogue.
>
> Not true, except as regards shadows.

Right. And a blademaster is not a better fighter than a fighter except
in regards to one type of sword and one specific type of combat (direct
melee).

> > and a lot of aspects of the game (falling damage, for
> > example) say otherwise.
>
> Falling damage is always potentially lethal.

but realistically there's a point at which a 30 foot fall cannot kill a
character at full health. For example, that point for barbariens is
usually called level 2 (and sometimes one). I realize this is one
those gaffes you're talking about, but here we have a situation where
my ability to fight relates to my ability to absorb damage from a
deadly fall. Close, but no cigar and it ha always felt totally off to
me.

> Beyond that, falling damage is one of the gaffes (it's basically part
> of environmental damage, which should do damage proportional to
> level). The hit point system fails if you look too closely at
falling
> and environmental damage. (Just what makes the 20th level fighter
> able to survive *far* longer falls than the 1st level fighter?)

Agreed. I'm personally fond of doing ability damage or forcing a
fortitude save based on the fall. In fact, the fortitude save explains
people falling out of airplanes and living, which does happen IRL,
though not often.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 9:59:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:

> *shrug* from what I can see having the more aggressive abilities
> breaking the circle can certainly be appropriate. Your earlier posts
> suggested that the circle was largely defensive (see big bonuses to
> defense, awareness, etc.); going on the offensive could quite
reasonably
> remove those benefits.

I don't want it to be a purely defensive act. The actual idea is that
it just creates in you a far greater awarness. Call it hyperawarness
of your circle. So you respond to danger better and also respond to
your enemies better. That was the idea behind the divine strike, but I
might change divine strike to the ability to remove your BM level from
called shot penalties instead and keep the 1/2/3/day/level. (or
constant eventually). That seems reasonably provided the called shots
rules aren't too terrible when I look at them.

> You're giving both very good defense and very good offense to the
same
> class. That's not really a good idea... notice how many of the other
> prestige classes have to choose. Consider how someone who tries to
> develop both doesn't really develop either of them so well...
certainly
> not as well as this class would grant them.

In grim-n-gritty fighters get good defence and good offence. I think
so, anyway. let me check. (does so) Yeah, they get good defense and
good offense. Though i see your point. OTOH, I can't think of a
logical reason to inhibit either considering the class. Though I might
limit the defensive abilities to those actually in your circle (meaning
that it only applies to people you threaten) which should solve the
problem to a large extent. And it provides viable tactics for harming
a blademaster (ie stay the hell away from them and kill from a distance
which is the most logical tactic i've ever heard regarding any really
skilled warrior).

> *Personally* I'd go with the 'breaking the circle' mechanic. In
fact,
> I'd consider adopting this class if it were included.

Feel free to change it and adopt it for yourself. I don't own the
idea.

> See above for monks. If a fighter can outperform a monk in his
combat
> schtick, he should be able to do as well as a blademaster. After
all,
> if he goes this route it is *all* he gets.

But of course we're overlooking the fact that unless we assume a really
high level character, odds are the blademaster IS a fighter. The best
way to take the class, IMO< is to be a fighter who focuses in a
specific sword and then takes the blademaster class because it will
help him perfect the sword in ways the fighter class cannot. If a
fighter specialized in swords can defeat a blademaster in a sword fight
them the class really isn't doing anyone any good. It's purporting to
be a class that is good with a weapon but you'd really be better of
staying a straight fighter, so why bother with the class at all? As I
said, this is not different than other prestige classes. A blademaster
will outfight a fighter in a straight melee with one type of sword. In
any other setup he loses. I think that's exactly the balance I want
for the class and the balance that exists for many prestige classes.
Anonymous
March 8, 2005 9:17:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I'll respond to the other subthreads later.

Anivair wrote:
> Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> > > Maybe there's an answer in there somewhere. Maybe
> > > some mechanic that would allow for maximum damage
> > > but encourages the median damage or some other
> > > number. Not a bad thought. I'll give you credit
> > > for it if I come up with anyhting (or if you come
> > > up with anyhting).
> >
> > As I've recommended, you could allow this ability
> > to instead deal average damage without the risk of
> > a roll.
>
> Not a bad idea. I'll give that thought. Would
> you recommend that for the ability as written
> 1/2/3/day/level) or would you still recommend it
> at just 1/day/level period?

Actually, if the ability dealt average damage without risk of a damage
roll, I'd recommend it be an option for the blademaster to use at any
time, with no penalty. It's the act of sacrificing the risk inherent
in the really effective strikes by making a precise, but less
potentially powerful, attack. If you like to keep the character to
retain the complete control over damage actually dealt, allow the
character to make an attack roll, then the character may choose as
follows:

If the attack is not a crit threat,
1) deal average damage; or
2) make a damage roll.

If the attack is a crit threat,
1) deal average damage (no crit chance); or
2) roll the crit confirm and roll damage (according to the crit, or
normal damage if the crit doesn't confirm).

> > > Most prestige classes do this. A bloodhound is a
> > > better tracker than a regular ranger.
> >
> > Not true, except as regards their marks.
> >
> > > A shadowdancer is better at hiding then a regular rogue.
> >
> > Not true, except as regards shadows.
>
> Right. And a blademaster is not a better fighter than a
> fighter except in regards to one type of sword and one
> specific type of combat (direct melee).

Keith has already pointed this out. The blademaster *IS* a better
fighter with a sword in direct melee than a fighter who is specialized
with a sword in direct melee. That's the problem. No one should be
able to outdo a fighter *in his chosen niche*.

> > Falling damage is always potentially lethal.
>
> but realistically there's a point at which a 30 foot fall
> cannot kill a character at full health. For example,
> that point for barbariens is usually called level 2 (and
> sometimes one). I realize this is one those gaffes you're
> talking about,

*Exactly*. This is not a realistic, or even supportable, outcome of
this rule, despite it being the way the rules work. That's what makes
it a rules gaffe.

Falling damage, like other forms of environmental damage, should be
replaced by $damage/level effects.

> but here we have a situation where my ability to fight
> relates to my ability to absorb damage from a deadly fall.
> Close, but no cigar and it ha always felt totally off to
> me.

That's because it's a rules gaffe. :D 

It's based too heavily on the way falling worked in prior editions,
where hit points meant many different things, none of which worked
correctly together. Heh.

> Agreed. I'm personally fond of doing ability damage or
> forcing a fortitude save based on the fall. In fact, the
> fortitude save explains people falling out of airplanes
> and living, which does happen IRL, though not often.

Agreed. If you want a harsher game than D&D, it's actually much
easier than going all the way to Grim-n-Gritty, though, obviously, you
can always do whatever is most fun for you and your players. That
said, you could do what d20 Modern does:

*Massively* lower the Massive Damage Threshhold (MDT). D20 Modern
uses your Con as your MDT, with a feat that improves it by 3. IIRC,
it also modifies it based on size. If it doesn't, it should.

In my d20 Modern games, I changed the MDT rules a little: instead of a
flat DC 15 MDT roll, I set the DC at something like 5+damage dealt, or
10+damage dealt. I haven't had it occur yet (only three sessions of
d20 Modern, all of which involved only mooks on the enemy side), so
when it does, we'll examine it and see if it needs to be altered.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
March 9, 2005 2:24:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer wrote:

> If the character has Whirlwind Attack, he may make Whirlwind
> Attacks as standard actions, or combine them with Spring Attack (only
> one foe can be selected to be the target of Spring Attack).
> If the character does not have Whirlwind Attack, he gains the
> ability to make two attacks at his highest base attack bonus (but at
> -2 to all attacks until his next action, including these two) as a
> standard action, which he can combine with Spring Attack (if he has
> it), with the same restriction as above.

I just had a thought on this. It makes the second part better than
whirlwind attack.

Bear this out. it means that if you have whirlwind attack and you use
it as a standard action. nice, though as I've said before whirlwind
attack is almost never 100% useful (as you are rarely surrounded by 8
attackers and often not surrounded by more than 3). But the second
part basically gives you an extra attack that you can use against
anyone. So one lets you attack all foes around you once and one left
you attack one foe in front of you faster (more often). Does that make
sense?

Maybe a stipulation that those attacks must be on different enemies? I
don't know, but I just thought about it and I wanted to point it out.

I actually got rid of whirlwind flow for now but noot the flow of the
class is off (before it was nicely patterened) and it feels off without
somehting in that slot. I just don't know what.
!