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Go Back   Wizards Community > Dungeons & Dragons > D&D Fundamentals > Classes and Prestige Classes


Sublime Way variant Marshal


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Old 12-08-06, 02:01 PM
Tempest Stormwind's Avatar
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Default Sublime Way variant Marshal

Marshal
Modified from the original by Tempest Stormwind.
Inspired by RadicalTaoist's Sublime Way Ranger and discussion here.
Some elements borrowed from Mystyc's retooled marshal.


It is the intent of this variant to simultaneously give the marshal a boost up to the same approximate power level as other PC classes and make it more compelling as a PC class choice. It is intended to replace the existing marshal, widely held to be weak, uninteresting or only useful as a dip.

Significant changes to abilities from the original class are italicized.
Removed abilities are struck through.
Completely new abilities are not specially formatted.



We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty!
~Sir Alerias, Warmaster of the White Raven, to his victorious troops



Sometimes it is not enough to be a conquering warrior, a champion of all that's right, an experienced sellsword, or an elite foot soldier. Sometimes the circumstances require a solid commander of soldiers and situations. Sometimes the circumstances demand a marshal.

Marshals inspire trust in those they lead. They earn that trust by slogging through harsh landscapes, dangerous battlefields, and haunted catacombs along with those under their command. With a look, they can see where to best deploy their resources or come up with a sneaky ruse to fool their enemies. A marshal has a tactician's mind, a cartographer's overview of the disputed landscape (or dungeon warren), and a way with words that can inspire battle-hardened fighters to give it their all when melee breaks out.

A marshal is not necessarily the greatest martial combatant, but that doesn't mean his opponents should count him out in personal combat. Several marshals act as champions for their units, inspiring their companions by deed, meeting mighty enemy warriors head-on and challenging opposing generals on the field of battle with their loyal regiments alongside them, pressing the advantage. That said, a marshal does not belong questing for personal glory. His place is with his men, training them, drilling them, and ultimately leading them ever onward towards victory.

About the Marshal
Weapon and armor proficiency: Simple and martial weapons; light, medium, and heavy armor; shields (but not tower shields).

Hit Die: d8

Class skills: Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (architecture and engineering, geography, history, local, nobility and royalty, religion) (Int), Martial Lore (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier (x4 as a first-level character).
Code:
   Base Fort Ref  Will                         Auras      Maneuvers Stances  Max 
Lv. Atk save save save  Special              Minor Major Known Ready Known  Level
1.  +0   +2   +0   +2   Command style          1     0     2     2     1     1st 
2.  +1   +3   +0   +3   Command presence +1    1     1     3     2     1     1st 
3.  +2   +3   +1   +3                          2     1     3     2     1     1st 
4.  +3   +4   +1   +4   Bonus feat             2     1     4     3     1     2nd 
5.  +3   +4   +1   +4                          3     2     4     3     1     2nd 
6.  +4   +5   +2   +5   Command presence +2    3     2     5     3     2     3rd 
7.  +5   +5   +2   +5                          4     2     5     3     2     3rd 
8.  +6   +6   +2   +6   Bonus feat             4     2     6     3     2     4th 
9.  +6   +6   +3   +6                          5     3     6     3     2     4th 
10. +7   +7   +3   +7   Command presence +3,   5     3     7     4     2     5th 
                        battlefield adaptation                                   
11. +8   +7   +3   +7                          6     3     7     4     3     5th 
12. +9   +8   +4   +8   Bonus feat             6     3     8     4     3     6th 
13. +9   +8   +4   +8                          7     3     8     4     3     6th 
14. +10  +9   +4   +9   Command presence +4    7     4     9     4     3     7th 
15. +11  +9   +5   +9                          8     4     9     5     3     7th 
16. +12  +10  +5   +10  Bonus feat             8     4     10    5     4     8th 
17. +12  +10  +5   +10                         9     4     10    5     4     8th 
18. +13  +11  +6   +11  Command presence +5    9     4     11    5     4     9th 
19. +14  +11  +6   +11                         10    4     11    5     4     9th 
20. +15  +12  +6   +12  Bonus feat, shining    10    5     12    6     4     9th 
                        beacon of authority
Class Features

Skill Focus: At first level, a marshal gains Skill Focus (Diplomacy) as a bonus feat.

Auras (Ex): The marshal exerts an effect on allies in his vicinity. He can learn to produce different effects, or auras, over the course of his career. The marshal may project one minor aura and (starting at 2nd level) one major aura at a time.

Projecting an aura is a swift action. The aura remains in effect until the marshal uses a free action to dismiss it or activates another aura of the same kind (major or minor). A marshal can have an aura active continually; thus, an aura can be in effect at the start of a combat encounter even before the marshal takes his first turn (but see below on major auras).

Activating an aura involves haranguing, ordering, directing, encouraging, cajoling, or calming allies. A marshal sizes up the enemy, allies, and the terrain, then gives allies the direction that they can use to do their best.

Unless otherwise noted, a marshal's aura affects all allies within 60 feet (including himself). An ally must have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher and be able to understand the marshal's language to gain the bonus. A marshal's aura is dismissed if he is dazed, unconscious, stunned, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to be heard or understood by his allies.

A marshal begins play knowing one minor aura of his choice. At each level indicated in Table: The Marshal, he learns either a minor or a major aura, as appropriate. A marshal's minor auras are fixed, but he may exchange one major aura he knows for another major aura at level 6 and every 4 levels after that (10th, 14th, and so on).

All bonuses granted by a marshal's auras are morale bonuses that do not stack with each other. Unlike most effects, a marshal aura stacks with the marshal's commander aura if applicable. They do not stack with the commander auras of others.
Commander auras are introduced in Heroes of Battle and are adaptations of D&D Miniatures command effects.
Auras
Minor Aura: A minor aura lets allies add the marshal's Charisma bonus (if any) to certain rolls. However, a minor aura is limited by experience -- a marshal cannot grant a bonus higher than his marshal initiator level +1, even if his Charisma bonus is greater than this.
  • Accurate Strike: Bonus on rolls made to confirm critical hits. Additionally, if an ally's attack would be subject to a miss chance, reduce that miss chance by 5% per point of bonus. (If the ally is attacking an invisible target, he still must target the correct square.)
  • Art of War: Bonus on disarm, trip, bull rush, and sunder attempts, including attempts to resist these techniques.
  • Defensive Awareness: Bonus on flat-footed and touch Armor Class (to a maximum of that ally's normal Armor Class).
  • Demand Fortitude: Bonus on Fortitude saves.
  • Determined Mind: Bonus on Concentration checks and rolls to overcome spell resistance.
  • Force of Will: Bonus on Will saves. This stacks with the Bolstering Voice stance. This is an exception to normal stacking rules.
  • Master of Opportunity: Bonus to Armor Class against attacks of opportunity.
  • Master of Tactics: Bonus on damage rolls when flanking.
  • Motivate Agility: Bonus on Dexterity checks, Dexterity-based skill checks, and initiative checks.
  • Motivate Charisma: Bonus on Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks.
  • Motivate Endurance: Bonus on Constitution checks and Constitution-based skill checks. Additionally, creatures gain a number of hit points equal to the marshal's Charisma bonus times his command presence (if any) +1. For example, a first level marshal (with no command presence) would grant those under the aura a number of hit points equal to his Charisma bonus. These are not temporary hit points, nor are they bonus hit points per hit die. These hit points go away if Motivate Endurance ends for any reason, which may prove hazardous or even fatal in some situations.
  • Motivate Intelligence: Bonus on Intelligence checks and Intelligence-based skill checks.
  • Motivate Power: Bonus on Strength checks, Strength-based skill checks, and Grapple checks. Those under the effect of Motivate Power treat their Strength score as 1 higher per point of bonus for purposes relating to carrying capacity, including lifting and pushing/dragging objects.
  • Motivate Wisdom: Bonus on Wisdom checks and Wisdom-based skill checks.
  • Over the Top: Bonus on damage rolls when charging. This only applies to the first attack made after a charge if the ally is capable of making more than one such attack.
  • Watchful Eye: Bonus on Reflex saves.

Major Aura: Beginning at 2nd level, a marshal can project a major aura in addition to his minor aura. A major aura lets allies add +1 to certain rolls. This bonus improves by +1 at 7th, 14th, and 20th level. A major aura lets allies add the marshal's command presence (see below) to certain rolls. The bonus from a major aura only applies during an encounter; although it may be active before the encounter begins, your team is not in the proper state of mind to benefit from it until the encounter starts. Benefits from an active major aura apply to each individual on their first turn with no particular action on the part of the marshal.
  • Hardy Soldiers: The marshal's allies gain damage reduction equal to the marshal's command presence. For example, if the marshal is 10th level, everyone affected gains DR 3/-.
  • Motivate Ardor: Bonus on weapon damage rolls.
  • Motivate Attack: Bonus on melee attack rolls.
  • Motivate Care: Bonus to Armor Class.
  • Motivate Urgency: Allies' base land speed is increased by a number of feet equal to 5 x the marshal's command presence. For example, the allies of a 10th-level marshal (+3 command presence) add 15 feet to their base land speed.
  • Precision Teamwork: When an ally uses the Aid Another action successfully, the recipient of that action gains an additional bonus on that roll equal to the marshal's command presence. For instance, if an ally of a 10th level marshal (+3 command presence) successfully aids another ally's attack roll, that other ally gains a +5 bonus instead of a +2. Multiple Aid Another attempts stack this way as normal for Aid Another (this is an exception to normal stacking rules).
  • Resilient Troops: Bonus on all saves.
  • Steady Hand: Bonus on ranged attack rolls.

Additionally, an ally under a marshal's major aura adds the marshal's command presence to all morale checks. If the marshal's aura(s) would otherwise boost these allies' Will saves for that morale check, all pertinent effects stack (an exception to standard stacking rules).

Introduced in Heroes of Battle, a morale check is a type of DC 20 Will save against fear. A unit's morale is critical to its success on the battlefield.
Command Style: Not all marshals are created equal. Marshals gain access to martial maneuvers, but exactly how they execute them depends on their style of command. At 1st level, marshals choose one of the following. Once chosen, it cannot be changed.
  • Warrior-Chief: This style is focused on leading by example, fighting right alongside one's troops as a significant threat on the battlefield. The marshal gains access to the Iron Heart school, adds Balance to his list of class skills, and may take Skill Focus (Balance) or Ironheart Aura as bonus feats (see Bonus Feats, below).
  • Siegemaster: This style reflects defense and sheer brute force. A siegemaster marshal is always keenly aware of defenses, either holding or breaching them. The marshal gains access to the Stone Dragon discipline, adds Balance to his list of class skills, and may take Skill Focus (Balance) or Stone Power as bonus feats (see Bonus Feats, below).
  • Crusade Commander: A crusade commander is fiercely dedicated both to a cause and to his men, although how he views his troops depends on that cause. Crusade commanders draw upon their zeal to inspire themselves and their troops to supernatural levels. The marshal gains access to the Devoted Sprit school, and may take Devoted Bulwark as a bonus feat (see Bonus Feats, below).
    Although this may grant the least, note that only crusaders had access to Devoted Spirit, and much of it affects your allies.
  • Strategic Champion: A strategic champion focuses on tactics on many more levels than a typical marshal, often keeping open games of chess, shogi, go, or similar running while planning troop movements. When he rides to battle, he does so to challenge enemy champions one-on-one, while his well-trained men deal with the details of the engagement. The marshal gains access to the Diamond Mind discipline, adds Concentration to his list of class skills, and may take Skill Focus (Concentration) or Unnerving Calm as bonus feats (see Bonus Feats, below).
Additional command styles may be developed by the DM if the character design calls for it. For instance, a Guerilla Tactician style that grants access to Shadow Hand, adds Hide as a class skill, and adds Shadow Blade and Skill Focus (Hide) could be used for the leader of a commando squad if the DM considers it worthwhile.

Maneuvers: A marshal begins his career with knowledge of two martial maneuvers, drawn from the White Raven discipline and the discipline he gains from his command style.

Once he knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by marshals is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. Maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity when initiated.

Marshals learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on Table: The Marshal. A marshal must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it.

A marshal counts his full class level towards his initiator level (rather than half, as normal). Marshals qualify for feats and prestige classes as if they were warblades (for instance, if a feat requires "warblade level 1st", a first-level marshal meets that requirement).

Unlike other martial adepts, a marshal focuses his study on coordinating his allies rather than furthering his own personal might. Thus, he does not use Table 3-1 in the Tome of Battle (which progresses at the same rate a wizard gains access to new spell levels) to determine the highest level maneuver he may learn. Instead, he uses the maximum level indicated on Table: The Marshal (which advances at the same rate a sorcerer gains access to new spell levels).

Upon reaching 5th level, and at every two marshal levels after that (7th, 9th, 11th, and so on), a marshal can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. In effect, he loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. He can choose a new maneuver of any level he wishes, as long as it is not greater than his highest maneuver level known. For example, upon reaching 11th level, a marshal could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as he meets the prerequisite of the new maneuver. Only a single maneuver can be swapped at any given level.

Maneuvers Readied: A marshal can ready both of the maneuvers he knows at 1st level, but as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he must choose which maneuvers to ready. A marshal readies maneuvers by discussing tactics with at least one of his allies for 5 minutes (an "ally" for purposes related to readying and recovering maneuvers is an intelligent creature who would fight alongside the marshal in combat, and the ally must have a means of communication with the marshal). Maneuvers chosen to be readied remain readied until the marshal decides to discuss a change in plans with his allies again. Rest is not required to ready maneuvers; any time a marshal could plan new battle tactics, he could change his readied maneuvers.

A marshal begins an encounter with all his readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he might have already used them since he chose them. When he initiates a maneuver, he expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless he recovers them, as described below).

A marshal recovers maneuvers by directing his allies, getting them back into position and signalling that they're ready to work alongside him again. He must make a successful Diplomacy or Intimdiate check (DC 20) to do so. This check takes a full-round action. Alternatively, a marshal may elect to speed up this process, taking only a standard action to do so, although the DC increases to 30. If this check is successful, all of his expended maneuvers become readied; if it fails, no maneuvers are recovered, but he may try again the following round.
At least one ally must be able to hear the marshal and signal in response for him to recover his expended maneuvers. These Diplomacy or Intimidate checks do not have any other effect on your allies (such as heartening them or pressing them to work harder); their only effect when used this way is to attempt to recover your maneuvers.
A marshal may change his stance or his auras while recovering maneuvers if he would otherwise be able to do so.

Stances Known: A marshal begins play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any discipline open to him. At 6th, 11th, and 16th level, he can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and the marshal does not have to ready them. All the stances he knows are available to him at all times, and he can change the stance he is currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.

Unlike with maneuvers, a marshal cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one he already knows.

Command Presence: A marshal literally personifies leadership, and exudes an air of confidence that others find heartening. From 2nd level on, a marshal projects this presence most commonly through a major aura, although he also gains a bonus based on his command presence rating to other command-related mechanics. A marshal gains a bonus equal to twice his command presence on Diplomacy checks, opposed Charisma checks (typically to assert authority), saving throws against fear, rally checks and skill checks made as part of a duel of wills. Furthermore, he adds his command presence to his Leadership score, and one-half his command presence to his commander rating (to a maximum effective commander rating of 7).

Introduced in Heroes of Battle, commander ratings range from 0 to 7 and are representative, roughly, of rank (they correspond to Private, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Colonel, and General, respectively). Commander rating factors in to numerous battle commands and can grant a commander aura.
Also from Heroes of Battle, rally checks allow you to motivate troops, granting them a bonus on saves against fear. It's functionally similar to changing an NPC attitude, but a bit more involved.
A duel of wills is a type of Intimidate check introduced in the Tome of Battle that attempts to dishearten a single significant foe at the start of combat. It's a signature of the Devoted Spirit and Diamond Mind schools.


Grant Move Action (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a marshal can direct and motivate his allies to act immediately.... and so on and so forth.

Bonus feat: At 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, a marshal gains a bonus feat. He must meet all the prerequisites for this feat (but see below), which must be one drawn from the following list or the feats mentioned in his command style:
Adaptive Style†, Alertness, Battlefield Inspiration‡, Clarion Commander†, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Danger Sense‡, Daunting Presence‡, Diehard, Endurance, Far Shot, Great Fortitude, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Leadership, Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery, Negotiator, Persuasive, Point Blank Shot, Scribe Martial Script†, Skill Focus (Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Sense Motive), Quick Draw, Ride-By Attack, Tactician*, Tower Shield Proficiency, Warlord*, White Raven Defense†, White Raven General*.
† Introduced in the Tome of Battle. As noted above, marshals count as warblades for the purposes of feat prerequisites.
‡ Introduced in the Miniatures Handbook. Some may also appear in other sources.
*Described below.

A marshal with a Leadership score (character level + Charisma modifier + command presence + other modifiers based on reputation) of at least 8 can take Leadership as one of these bonus feats, even if he is not yet 6th level. However, if his Leadership score drops below 8 before he attains 6th level, he loses the feat (his soldiers grow disheartened and desert) until he meets either prerequisite again.

It's extremely rare, but in fringe cases, a houserule limiting followers to one level below the leader might be handy.
DMs using Heroes of Battle may also allow marshals to take Leader feats that they qualify for as bonus feats.


Battlefield Adaptation (Ex): At 10th level, a marshal has seen enough battles to be able to simultaneously see how to adjust his personal combat style and direct his troops simultaneously as the tide of battle shifts. As a swift action, he may activate or change any combination of his stance, his minor aura, and his major aura as he sees fit.
For instance, Sir Alerias, a 10th level marshal, is directing his troops aggressively, using the Over the Top minor aura, the Motivate Attack major aura, and the Leading the Charge stance. After leading a successful charge, he adjusts his tactics and the orders he gives his team, spending a swift action to change his minor aura to Master of Tactics and his stance to Tactics of the Wolf (while he could change his major aura as part of this action, he elects to keep using Motivate Attack).

Shining Beacon of Authority (Ex): A 20th level marshal is a thing of beauty and terror on the battlefield. His merest presence is enough to turn the tides of nearly any war as his troops are inspired to superhuman levels, and enemy forces cower in terror, fearfully whispering his name amongst themselves.
Shining Beacon of Authority is treated as a special martial stance, and follows all the rules relating to stances, except that it can only be entered while in an encounter. Exactly how it behaves depends on how it is entered:
  • If the marshal enters Shining Beacon of Authority from a stanceless state, he instantly projects another minor aura and another major aura that he knows. These auras cannot be changed once projected, and last until Shining Beacon of Authority ends. This effect counts as being in a stance from both the White Raven discipline and the marshal's command style discipline (for instance, a warrior-chief coud benefit from both the Ironheart Aura and the White Raven Defense feats while in this form of Shining Beacon).
  • If the marshal shifts from a White Raven stance into Shining Beacon of Authority, he focuses on his allies, instilling them with his own supreme sense of confidence. All allies under the effect of his auras have any morale bonuses affecting them doubled, regardless of their initial source. This effect counts as being in a White Raven stance.
  • If the marshal shifts from a stance from his command style discipline into Shining Beacon of Authority, he becomes a serious threat to his foes. Warrior-chiefs exhude raw danger with their combat prowess, siegemasters let the earth tremble in their presence, crusade commanders become terrifying zealots of their cause, and strategic champions project their own presence to their enemies, exemplifying the single-minded threat of a dedicated foe.
    Regardless of how his command style describes this ability, the effect is the same: He chooses one or more currently active auras to invert when entering this stance. Allies cease gaining the benefit of inverted auras, but enemies feel the effects: an inverted aura imposes a morale penalty to all enemies in range on whatever it would normally affect (for instance, inverting Motivate Attack would impose a penalty equal to the marshal's command presence on all enemy attack rolls in the range of his aura). Each affected enemy is entitled to a Will saving throw (DC 10 + half the marshal's class level + the marshal's Charisma modifier) to negate this effect each time you engage it. This otherwise follows all rules relating to auras (for instance, an enemy must have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher and be able to hear the marshal to be affected). Inverted auras remain that way until Shining Beacon of Authority ends and cannot be changed while this effect lasts. This effect counts as being in a stance from the marshal's command style discipline.
Shining Beacon of Authority ends whenever the marshal shifts to another stance as normal, but it also ends when the encounter does. It is impossible to motivate or demotivate troops to this degree outside of the pressures of combat.

It is important to note that stances switch from "active" to "inactive" -- you cannot enter a given stance from the same stance. In order to change Shining Beacon of Authority from one form to the other, I'd need to end Shining Beacon and either assume a stanceless state or enter another stance first, and then re-enter Shining Beacon from that other state (which requires another swift action and typically must be done on the following turn).




New Character Options

Devoted Commander [General]
Your devotion to your deity is an inspiration to those around you. You lead with the same strength you put behind your faith.
Prerequisites: Command Presence +1, Smite Evil.
Benefit: If you have levels in paladin and marshal, you add your full paladin level to your marshal initiator level (they still count half toward any other initiator levels you may have). Your paladin and marshal levels stack when determining your command presence and the damage from your smite evil ability.
You may freely multiclass between paladin and marshal. You still must remain Lawful Good and abide by the paladin code of conduct in order to retain your paladin abilities and take paladin levels. You still face the normal XP penalties for having multiple classes more than one level apart.
Normal: Levels in other classes count as half-levels toward any initiator level. Paladins have intense multiclassing restrictions and cannot gain their special mount before level 5 (see below).
Special: If you have selected the Crusade Commander command style, you gain the special mount feature as a paladin of your marshal level + your paladin level. This can grant you the special mount feature if you didn't already have it, provided the sum of your marshal and paladin levels is 5 or greater.

Tactician [General]
Your command style is more cerebral than most, focusing on intelligent tactics and competent maneuvering rather than raw emotion. You instruct your troops in detailed maneuver execution during training, which they recall with crystal clarity when you issue orders.
Prerequisite: Command presence +1.
Benefit: Allies under the influence of at least one of your marshal auras may treat the benefits they recieve from them as competence bonuses instead of morale bonuses as they choose, at no special action to you. Allies individually choose which type of bonus they recieve from each aura as a free action at the start of each of their turns; this does not require any special effort on your part.
Normal: Aura bonuses are entirely morale bonuses, and thus never stack with other morale bonuses (such as Inspire Courage). Marshal auras stack with the marshal's commander auras.

Warlord [General]
You are a mighty force of inspiration on the battlefield, and directly command more troops than other marshals.
Prerequisite: Charisma 15+, Command Presence +2.
Benefit: The radius of your marshal auras doubles, becoming 120 ft. If you have a commander aura (described in Heroes of Battle), its range increases to 60 ft.
Additionally, troops within 60 ft. no longer need to hear you to benefit from your marshal auras. They must be otherwise able to percieve you, however -- seeing you gesture, sensing your voice in their heads, and so forth. Soldiers further away than this are treated normally.
Normal: Marshal auras extend 60 ft, and only affect troops who can hear the marshal. Commander auras extend 30 ft.

White Raven General [General]
As an experienced White Raven adept, you understand that a general is only as good as the troops he leads, and as such you have learned to adapt your commands to fit the situation, inspiring your troops to execute somewhat more complicated tactics than normal.
Prerequisite: Three minor auras, Command Presence +2, White Raven Defense, two White Raven maneuvers, one White Raven stance.
Benefit: While in a White Raven stance, you may project a second minor aura. Doing so takes a separate swift action from projecting your other auras or assuming the stance, and can be done any number of times while in the stance. If you enter a stanceless state or any stance from a school other than White Raven, this second aura fades.
Normal: You may only have one minor aura and one major aura active at the same time.
Special: If you possess the Battlefield Adaptation ability, you may adjust this additional aura at the same time you change your other auras or your stance.

Army of One [General]
Left alone, a leader can quickly wane without his allies. Carrying the spirit of your men within your heart, their strength reinforces your resolve in battle.
Prerequisite: Marshal level 1st, Intimidate 4 ranks, Martial Lore 4 ranks, must know at least two White Raven maneuvers.
Marshals normally count as warblades for feat prerequisites; this is unique.
Benefit: Immediately after you successfully demoralize an opponent with the Intimidate skill, you can recover your expended marshal maneuvers as a swift action.
Normal: A marshal can only recover maneuvers by spending a full-round action to make a Diplomacy or Intimidate check (or a standard action at a higher DC), and must have at least one ally nearby to to so.

Rally the Legion
White Raven [Language-dependent]
Level: Crusader 2, marshal 2, warblade 2
Prerequisites: One White Raven maneuver, aura (see text)
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Special; see text
Area: Special; see text
Duration: Special; see text

Raising your weapon and racing across the battlefield, you deliver a powerful motivational speech to your troops. All who hear you are heartened, and feel the urge to echo your cry as you ride past.

As part of this maneuver, you can move up to two times your land speed (on foot or on a mount). All allies that are within the reach of one of your auras during any part of your movement, including when you start and stop, gain the benefit of that aura as if you were right beside them, even if you were only within range for a moment. Note that you cannot change your marshal aura (a swift action) in the middle of this maneuver (a full-round action), although you may change it just before initiating Rally the Legion or after it is finished.
This effect lingers for a number of rounds equal to half your Charisma bonus plus your command presence rating, if any. If you become incapable of projecting an aura while this maneuver is lingering, its effects immediately end. If you change your auras while Rally the Legion is lingering, the change only affects those troops currently within range of your aura, not those under the lingering effects from the maneuver.
Valid auras for Rally the Legion include any major or minor auras, paladin auras such as Aura of Courage, and similar effects (such as command auras or an angel's protective aura racial ability), but not temporary effects from spells or powers. Track the effect of each aura separately (for instance, if a marshal/paladin only moves within 60' of a particular ally during this maneuver, the paladin's 10-foot-radius Aura of Courage doesn't affect the ally while his marshal auras will, and if a marshal is silenced, his marshal auras end for those Rally the Legion is lingering for but other auras not dependent on his voice (if any) are unaffected).
Command auras are an effect from a high Commander Rating in Heroes of Battle, and can be likened to an old Major Aura (without this variant). Any class can gain one.

Call to Glory
White Raven [Language-dependent]
Level: Crusader 8, marshal 8, warblade 8
Prerequisites: Three White Raven maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 round
Range: Special; see text
Area: Special; see text
Duration: Special; see text

You call out a quick yet complicated sequence of words, numbers, and acronyms that would seem like gibberish to anyone but those who fight alongside you, who recognize them as posture and attack summaries similar to those found on martial scripts. Charged with power, your voice delivers to them a sudden flash of insight, and they shift their fighting technique as a result.

Call to Glory allows you to command your allies in the execution of a single martial maneuver -- essentially, it is the verbal equivalent of a martial script. When you initiate this maneuver, you also expend one other readied maneuver of 3rd level or lower from a school other than White Raven. If you are a crusader, this maneuver must also be a granted maneuver.
Initiating this maneuver is like casting a one-round spell like summon monster; it continues past the end of your turn and is completed at the start of your next. If you are damaged during this time, you must make a Concentration check (DC 18+damage dealt) or have your intricate speech disrupted.
Once successfully initiated, all allies within 30 feet of you who can hear you speak suddenly gain a flash of insight -- the maneuver you expended at the start of initiation appears in their minds, exactly as if they'd read it on a martial script. As long as you continue to verbally direct them (a standard action on your part similar to concentrating on a spell), they can initiate this maneuver once, at an initiator level of one-half their character level or their own initiator level, whichever is higher. This maneuver is subject to Table 3-1 in the Tome of Battle; 1st-level conscripts cannot hope to initiate a 3rd-level maneuver, although higher-level allies could. They cannot recover this maneuver; it is a one-time effect. If you stop reciting your commands or an ally can no longer hear you recite, the maneuver instantly fades from their minds. Most allies of White Raven adepts learn to recognize when a Call to Glory is being initiated, and move into a position to make optimal use of what they are being told during the round he issues commands.
Unlike other martial maneuvers, Call to Glory is impossible to re-orchestrate in the heat of battle. After initiating Call to Glory, it is removed from your list of readied maneuvers as if you didn't ready it earlier, which makes it impossible to recover through normal recovery methods. You cannot ready another maneuver to take its place (or re-ready Call to Glory) until you would normally be able to ready maneuvers (which requires 5 minutes of calm). The Adaptive Style feat can ready Call to Glory, but only if it is the only maneuver readied by using that feat.

SPECIAL: Using this maneuver is draining, and costs you 25 XP per level of the maneuver you granted. Furthermore, marshals with the Warlord feat can initiate this maneuver even if their allies cannot hear them, provided that they are capable of otherwise percieving the marshal.
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Old 12-08-06, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Amazing job! I loved RT’s Sublime Ranger so I was hoping for more of these. I had a question about the recovery mechanic, and initiator levels, but the more I looked at the system, the more I saw how it made sense. I have a head ache right now, but when I recover, Ill give this another look.
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Old 12-08-06, 03:17 PM
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cthascott cthascott is offline
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

A wonderful variant, I particularly enjoy the fact that you've encorporated some of WoTCs new game mechanics into your design. I try and use new mechanics for my campaigns and characters to leave my players guessing, "What's next?". Talk about a field commander and tactical man-at-arms whose main ability is to own his enemies. I liked your posts before Tempest and this one may just take the cake. Fantastic. (standing up)
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Old 12-08-06, 03:18 PM
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Tempest Stormwind Tempest Stormwind is offline
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
Amazing job! I loved RT’s Sublime Ranger so I was hoping for more of these. I had a question about the recovery mechanic, and initiator levels, but the more I looked at the system, the more I saw how it made sense. I have a head ache right now, but when I recover, Ill give this another look.
Thanks! I was hoping it would turn out that well.

Here's a handy flowchart on the recovery.

Spend Swift action to begin recovery.
Full Round action: Diplomacy Check (DC 20+Initiator level) OR Standard Action: Intimidate Check (DC 25+Initiator level).
If successful, and if at least one ally is within range of your auras, and if that ally is able to hear you and respond: Recover all maneuers. Else, no recovery.

It was inspired slightly by psionic focus, which requires a Concentration check (DC 20). It's not guaranteed, particularly at the low levels.

I might alter that so that either skill could be used, and the only difference is the DC (20+IL for Full Round, 25+IL for Standard), but as it stands I'll leave it as is. I see the Intimidating marshals as needing to be VERY good at indimidation (as compared to other marshals who use the more logical, but slower, diplomacy), but this pays off in the speed at which their underlings react to them.
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Old 12-08-06, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Darn you Tempest, doing my work for me!

But seriously...this is amazing. I've been troubled for a long time over my Marshal's recovery method, and this is great! Wonderful job!

Just three things I'd like to see done.

1st: Give it (somewhere) the ability to have multiple auras at one time. Multiple minor auras isn't that overpowered, but it does allow some nice combos.

2nd: Where'd all the team-related stuff go? Grant move action? Adreniline surge? Maybe stick a few of this type of action in, so the Marshal can coordinate his allies.

3rd: Allow his diplomacy/intimidate recovery to provide some benefit, even if its only a +1 to hit or something. Allow his rallying speech some effect to his troops, since he IS spending a full-round action.

But this is amazing. Have a cookie

Hell, have two
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Old 12-08-06, 04:39 PM
Seerow Seerow is online now
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

1) Tempest, I love what you've done to it. The marshal is actually interesting again.

2) The one thing I disagree with is the Intimidate being faster. I think I'd rather the option that you mentioned in your post of being able to use either check, just increasing the DC for lower time.

I understand your reasoning, of intimidating being harder but faster, but here's mine: I don't like the idea of a mean marshal being mechanically superior to one who's nice and tries to talk his way through things.

3) For the capstone, I personally like the second option. The first option is kind of akward, and the third would make a better feat than anything else, but definitely not worth being a capstone. The second option however, seems like it'd be worth going to 20 for, and is very easy to integrate.

Quote:
2nd: Where'd all the team-related stuff go? Grant move action? Adreniline surge? Maybe stick a few of this type of action in, so the Marshal can coordinate his allies.
Read his designer's notes, he mentions that White Raven maneuvers cover much of these things already, so the grant move action is no longer needed.
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Old 12-08-06, 06:16 PM
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Tempest Stormwind Tempest Stormwind is offline
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

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Originally Posted by Gideon_Gideonson View Post
Darn you Tempest, doing my work for me!

But seriously...this is amazing. I've been troubled for a long time over my Marshal's recovery method, and this is great! Wonderful job!
Thanks.
Quote:
Just three things I'd like to see done.

1st: Give it (somewhere) the ability to have multiple auras at one time. Multiple minor auras isn't that overpowered, but it does allow some nice combos.

2nd: Where'd all the team-related stuff go? Grant move action? Adreniline surge? Maybe stick a few of this type of action in, so the Marshal can coordinate his allies.

3rd: Allow his diplomacy/intimidate recovery to provide some benefit, even if its only a +1 to hit or something. Allow his rallying speech some effect to his troops, since he IS spending a full-round action.

But this is amazing. Have a cookie

Hell, have two
1) I was actually considering making that into a feat, available after a particular command presence. The justification for this would be things like Extra Granted Maneuver -- the class works fine without it, but a special-ability-monkey would love the feat anyway.

2) Adrenaline Surge isn't in the base marshal anyway :p But here's a sample from the Book of Nine Swords on what White Raven can do:
  • Leading the Charge (Stance): Allies deal bonus damage on charge attacks.
  • Bolstering Voice (stance): Allies gain boost on Will saves, bigger boost vs. fear.
  • Leading the Attack (Strike): Allies gain +4 attack on a foe you hit.
  • Tactical Strike (Strike): Deals bonus damage, adjacent allies move 5'.
  • Tactics of the Wolf (Stance): Deal bonus damage when flanking.
  • White Raven Tactics (Boost): Ally immediately takes an action after you.
  • Flanking Maneuver (Strike): Hitting a flanked target gives you an extra attack.
  • Order Forged from Chaos: Allies immediately get a move action. [This is essentially Grant Move Action, and can be used unlimited times per day, but it shows up later than GMA did and has some other limitations.]
  • Clarion Call (Boost): Drop a foe and all nearby allies gain either a free attack or a move action.
  • Swarming Assault (Strike): Hit a foe, everyone nearby gets a free attack against it.
  • War Master's Charge (Strike): All nearby allies charge with you. Hits deal serious bonus damage and stun the opponents.
That enough teamwork for you? On top of the auras, the other White Raven maneuvers I left out, and the Diamond Mind stunts that can sometimes synergize (particularly with the boosts)? :p

3) I considered that, actually, but I figured that since the majority of the marshal's maneuvers would probably be White Raven, which rely on haranguing others into position, the mere act of recovering them by ordering others back into position would be enough. Don't think of it like the warblade's "HA! I'm back in action, baby!" or the crusader's "I can see!", think of it more as "All right, boys, back into position! We'll take them again, on my mark!".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
1) Tempest, I love what you've done to it. The marshal is actually interesting again.
The one-word response is Yay.

The slightly longer one: That's exactly what I was hoping. It didn't make sense when a warblade made a better marshal than a marshal, so I pulled the parts of the warblade that did that and added them to the marshal, streamlining it along the way.
Quote:
2) The one thing I disagree with is the Intimidate being faster. I think I'd rather the option that you mentioned in your post of being able to use either check, just increasing the DC for lower time.

I understand your reasoning, of intimidating being harder but faster, but here's mine: I don't like the idea of a mean marshal being mechanically superior to one who's nice and tries to talk his way through things.
Eh, I'm not stuck on the differential; I'll split it up as is. Intimidate can be used, though. A great example of an Intimidate-using marshal would be that Mordorian commander (I can't remember his name for the life of me; he's got the scarred-over eye) in Return of the King. You follow him because you're AFRAID of him.

Do note that Diplomacy gets a bit of a boost -- he gets his Command Presence on those checks, to say the least, and the best synergy with other skills. (That said, I may double the command presence benefit to Diplomacy... I'm not so sure about it.)

Quote:
3) For the capstone, I personally like the second option. The first option is kind of akward, and the third would make a better feat than anything else, but definitely not worth being a capstone. The second option however, seems like it'd be worth going to 20 for, and is very easy to integrate.
Actually, after discussing it with my Dreamscarred colleagues (many of whom have self-admitted raging hard-ons for the Tome of Battle), we're likely to reword the first into something less awkward. The second might make a good maneuver in its own right.
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Old 12-08-06, 07:20 PM
periscope periscope is offline
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

For the Capstone ability, How about this for the option 2:

Command the Troops: A number of times per day equal to the Mashal's Cha modifier, you may project a special aura on top of your existing two auras that doubles any Morale bonuses on your allies and Morale penalties on your enemies for a number of rounds equal to 3+cha mod.. During this time, you cannot change any auras or initiate any White Raven maneuvers, although you can shift your stance.

Pretty much its your option 2, but I named it .

Seriously this is a great class. One question though, how about as a 3rd option for recovery, you intimidate the enemy? that way you have a way to recover if your all by your lonesome. About one maneuver per intimidated enemy sounds ok, right?
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Old 12-08-06, 07:48 PM
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Tempest Stormwind Tempest Stormwind is offline
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Originally Posted by periscope View Post
For the Capstone ability, How about this for the option 2:

Command the Troops: A number of times per day equal to the Mashal's Cha modifier, you may project a special aura on top of your existing two auras that doubles any Morale bonuses on your allies and Morale penalties on your enemies for a number of rounds equal to 3+cha mod.. During this time, you cannot change any auras or initiate any White Raven maneuvers, although you can shift your stance.

Pretty much its your option 2, but I named it .

Seriously this is a great class. One question though, how about as a 3rd option for recovery, you intimidate the enemy? that way you have a way to recover if your all by your lonesome. About one maneuver per intimidated enemy sounds ok, right?
Actually, I've already written the second ability; as I was typing this it went up.

Enjoy Shining Beacon of Authority. THAT is something seriously worth being a 20th level marshal for.

Other updates include two new feats and another maneuver.



As for intimidating all your lonesome: if you're riding out to meet a single foe one-on-one, you'll probably have an attendant or squire. A marshal with NO allies is pretty hung -- and not being able to recover maneuvers without them is a good way to do that.
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Old 12-08-06, 08:29 PM
Seerow Seerow is online now
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Wow, the Shining Beacon of Authority is awesome. And you know it's a solid ability when the only way I can think of to break it involves Gestalt. Excellent work.
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Old 12-08-06, 08:48 PM
Ultimatecalibur Ultimatecalibur is offline
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Are 11, 13, and 17 intended to be dead levels? 11 gives a single point of bab while 13 and 17 give nothing at all.
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Old 12-08-06, 08:59 PM
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Tempest Stormwind Tempest Stormwind is offline
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Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
Wow, the Shining Beacon of Authority is awesome. And you know it's a solid ability when the only way I can think of to break it involves Gestalt. Excellent work.
This is good to hear. Glad it's turning out interesting.
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Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
Are 11, 13, and 17 intended to be dead levels? 11 gives a single point of bab while 13 and 17 give nothing at all.
Hmm... I hadn't thought of that. I'm adjusting the minor auras to account for this, and either adding new ones or removing his new ability to rotate auras. Once I make that decision, it'll change -- but there won't be any dead levels.

EDIT: And it's done. Major auras are rotatable, minors aren't, but you get more minors.

Last edited by Tempest Stormwind : 12-08-06 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 12-08-06, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Doesn't DC 20/25+initiator level seem a bit... high? Assuming a Cha of 16, you'd need a 14 to make the Diplomacy check unless you had something else boosting it. Maybe it should be 15/20+initiator level?
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Old 12-08-06, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Hmm, those might be indicating points where, if you wanted to PrC, that's the point at which you do it.

I also like the execution of this class. I wish the one I just wrote had the balance this did. Did have one question:

Quote:
A marshal recovers maneuvers by motivating his allies. This involves spending a swift action, which must immediately be followed by a successful Diplomacy or Intimdiate check (DC 20+the marshal's initiator level). This check takes a full-round action. Alternatively, a marshal may elect to speed up this process, taking only a standard action to do so, although the DC increases to 25+his initiator level. If this check is successful, all of his expended maneuvers become readied; if it fails, no maneuvers are recovered, but he may try again the following round.
At least one ally must be able to hear the marshal and signal in response for him to recover his expended maneuvers. These Diplomacy or Intimidate checks do not have any other effect on your allies (such as heartening them or pressing them to work harder); their only effect when used this way is to attempt to recover your maneuvers.
Can you take 10 on that check, if another ability grants "take 10 even when stressed" for Diplomacy (or Intimidate)? The reason I ask is because basically the DC is going to be either 17 or 22 regardless of level (because any decent Marshal is going to keep his skill ranks in Diplomacy maxed out), taking 5 ranks in Bluff, Sense Motive, and Knowledge (nobility and royalty) will give a +6 bonus to Diplomacy due to synergies (so now it's down to 11 or 16), and then command presence will add anywhere from +1 - +5 to a Diplomacy check (10 or 15, assuming a +1), and then you'll probably have a decent Charisma modifier, and you can have someone cast Eagle's Splendour on you to reduce the DC further by 2. So, if you could take 10 (unless I'm mistaken about the synergy bonuses stacking, even if they don't that's still quite a lot of modifiers), it's pretty much a given that as long as you have an ally around, you can recover your maneuvers as a standard + swift action. I'd...guess that you couldn't take 10, and that makes me sad . Also, if there are non-costly ways of lowering initiator level, that might make things a bit wonky.

Familiars, animal companions, and summoned creatures don't count as allies, do they?

I apologize if I'm mistaken on the synergies. I thought it was neat that all of those are class skills for the marshal.
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Old 12-08-06, 09:22 PM
Seerow Seerow is online now
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Quote:
Doesn't DC 20/25+initiator level seem a bit... high? Assuming a Cha of 16, you'd need a 14 to make the Diplomacy check unless you had something else boosting it. Maybe it should be 15/20+initiator level?
That's a fair point, and something I'm surprised I didn't catch when reading it earlier.

Why exactly are you adding initiator level to the check TS?

You explicitly compared it to gaining psionic focus. Do you make a Psion add his manifester level to the concentration check to gain focus? The check should be a hindrance early on, but doesn't necessarily have to matter at later levels, it's mostly flavor, really.
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Old 12-08-06, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Actually I was thinking it might be a bit low because of all the bonuses a pretty normal Marshal will be getting to his Diplomacy checks. I forgot to add in Skill Focus (Diplomacy) in my previous post, which is a Marshal bonus feat. Keep the ally needing to see it, but replace the skill check with some other mechanism?
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Old 12-08-06, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kresalak View Post
Doesn't DC 20/25+initiator level seem a bit... high? Assuming a Cha of 16, you'd need a 14 to make the Diplomacy check unless you had something else boosting it. Maybe it should be 15/20+initiator level?
In hindsight, I put the IL in there to force a Marshal to put lots and lots of points into one skill or the other. It's there to prevent him from RELYING on his maneuvers at low level, although they remain nice.

I did all of this on the fly, without actually running any balance numbers. If my balance checks show that it'll be too weak, I'll drop the IL amount.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edea View Post
Can you take 10 on that check, if another ability grants "take 10 even when stressed" for Diplomacy (or Intimidate)? The reason I ask is because basically the DC is going to be either 17 or 22 regardless of level (because any decent Marshal is going to keep his skill ranks in Diplomacy maxed out), taking 5 ranks in Bluff, Sense Motive, and Knowledge (nobility and royalty) will give a +6 bonus to Diplomacy due to synergies (so now it's down to 11 or 16), and then command presence will add anywhere from +1 - +5 to a Diplomacy check (10 or 15, assuming a +1), and then you'll probably have a decent Charisma modifier, and you can have someone cast Eagle's Splendour on you to reduce the DC further by 2. So, if you could take 10 (unless I'm mistaken about the synergy bonuses stacking, even if they don't that's still quite a lot of modifiers), it's pretty much a given that as long as you have an ally around, you can recover your maneuvers as a standard + swift action. I'd...guess that you couldn't take 10, and that makes me sad . Also, if there are non-costly ways of lowering initiator level, that might make things a bit wonky.
No, unless he has some other way of taking 10 on Diplomacy. If he does, then yes, he can. Do note that to my knowledge, there's no way a straight-classed Marshal can get that ability, and since they're already a level behind the warblades, that'd retard their maneuver progression even more.

Really, at later levels, it IS a given that he should get his maneuvers back. It just shouldn't be at low levels, where his team matters even more.

Quote:
Familiars, animal companions, and summoned creatures don't count as allies, do they?
Sure they do. Why wouldn't they? Do note that several don't meet the Intelligence requirement, though (adding clarification: The "ally" as defined in his maneuvers should be one who can benefit from his aura. I'd left that caveat off by mistake).
Quote:
I apologize if I'm mistaken on the synergies. I thought it was neat that all of those are class skills for the marshal.
No, you got them right.
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Old 12-08-06, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Who else likes the idea of racial sub levels for dwarven marshals who get Stone Dragon rather than Diamond Mind?

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  #19  
Old 12-08-06, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

This is really good. It makes the marshal interesting. I'll have to go over this in more detail later. I was wondering why the concentration was a class skill until i saw that he had access to Diamond mind. A question for now:

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Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind View Post
Levels in Marshal count as levels in Warblade for purposes relating to feat prerequisites, prestige class prerequisites, and initiator level.
Would the martial have access to fighter feats (Lev -2)? I assume not, but I'm just checking.
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  #20  
Old 12-08-06, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

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Originally Posted by Crashy75 View Post
This is really good. It makes the marshal interesting. I'll have to go over this in more detail later. I was wondering why the concentration was a class skill until i saw that he had access to Diamond mind.
Good to hear it.

Diamond Mind was there because we needed something that gave it personal fighting prowess, and to open up a bit of options beyond White Raven. Diamond Mind fit the bill without being too over-the-top. See my design notes.
Quote:
A question for now:


Would the martial have access to fighter feats (Lev -2)? I assume not, but I'm just checking.
No. That's a property of the warblade's Weapon Aptitude ability, which the marshal doesn't have. The only reason that the line you quote is there is for things like Scribe Martial Script, Adaptive Style, and so on -- things that, in whole or in part, require "warblade level Xth".
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Old 12-09-06, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

I was thinking. Perhaps you could allow this class to select either Diamond Mind or Iron Heart as it's second discipline.
Diamond Mind is a discipline for samurai types while Iron Heart is a discipline for eruo marshal types. Obviously, if they selected Iron Heart, then they would gain balance and lose concentration. Just a thought.
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Old 12-09-06, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

A case could be made for Devoted Spirit (and I'll get a feat prepared for that one later). Not Iron Heart, though -- that's TOO warrior for the marshal.
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  #23  
Old 12-09-06, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

I almost think you're putting too much importance on whether a given discipline "fits" the marshal. Shouldn't that be up to the player and each individual character? I mean, it begs for White Raven anyway, and I would expect most players to go heavily into that, but shouldn't they have the option to go in slightly different directions? You definitely should add at least one more discipline, and which one is your choice, but don't strain yourself trying to find the "perfect fit" -- personally, I'd just add Stone Dragon (which everyone gets) and be done with it.

I don't think you should even have the capstone. Very few base classes get any such ability -- it's mostly a prestige class convention. Only the monk can be claimed to have such a thing in the PHB, and perfect self isn't something to fall all over yourself. (I must confess, I went through the same search when I worked the class over, though.) Also, having only three "dead" levels is not the end of the world. I think it does more harm than good to crowbar in more abilities just to fill in those last few blanks.

All that said, I very much like the revision, especially the ToB incorporation. If I weren't using my own marshal, I'd definitely be using this one.
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Old 12-09-06, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

I'm having a lot of trouble finding something to critique. Good stuff! I was originally going to fold the marshal arch-type into a sublime fighter replacement but I really like what you've done here. Geeze, maybe i'll end up with 20 core classes after all. Now, I definitely don't think this class is too powerful at low levels. It seems comparable to a warblade which is a really good thing. I have only a few minor things to suggest. I already gave the Iron Heart suggestion so...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind View Post
...Auras (Ex): ...An ally must have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher and be able to understand the marshal's language to gain the bonus...
Perhaps you could specify that auras are Language-Dependent. I guess it's really saying the same thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
Maneuvers: ...
Unlike other martial adepts, a marshal focuses his study on coordinating his allies rather than furthering his own personal might. Thus, he does not use Table 3-1 in the Tome of Battle (which progresses at the same rate a wizard gains access to new spell levels) to determine the highest level maneuver he may learn. Instead, he may learn maneuvers of up to one-half his initiator level (just as a sorcerer gains access to new spell levels).
I'm not so fond of the wording. When i first read this, I thought you ment that the marshal would gain access to maneuvers as if his IL was half his class level (for example, gaining 2nd level maneuvers at 6th lev, 3rd level maneuvers at 10th and so on) and though the reference to the sorcerer and wizard clarified it for me, I think it should be clearer. I would state in the maneuvers section that the marshal gained higher level maneuvers at a slower rate than other martial adepts and make an additional column on the level chart that gave the maximum level known. So...
Code:
      Maneuvers     Stances Max
    Known  Readied  Known   Level
1.  3       3       1       1st
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
Leader's Presence
You are a beacon of inspiration on the battlefield, and may directly command more troops than other marshals.
Prerequisite: Charisma 15+, Command Presence +2.
Benefit: The radius of your marshal auras doubles, becoming 50 feet + 5 feet/class level.
Additionally, troops within normal Close range (25 feet + 5 feet/2 class levels) no longer need to hear you to benefit from your marshal auras. They must be otherwise able to perceive you, however -- seeing you gesture, sensing your voice in their heads, and so forth. Soldiers further away than this are treated normally.
Normal: Marshal auras extend 25 feet + 5 feet/2 class levels, and only affect troops who can hear the marshal.
The more i look at this one, the more i think it should be part of the class. 11th level looks like a great spot for it. I like really good 11th level class abilities. 11th level is when you get engaged (no 10 level prcls) and 16th is when you get married (no 5 level prcls). Well, I guess you can still get divorced by 7th if you use paragon classes but still...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
Maneuver:
Rally the Legion
White Raven (Strike)
Level: Crusader 2, marshal 2, warblade 2
Prerequisites: One White Raven maneuver, Minor Aura class feature
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Special; see text
Area: Special; see text
Duration: Special; see text

Raising your weapon and racing across the battlefield, you deliver a powerful motivational speech to your troops. All who hear you are heartened, and feel the urge to echo your cry as you ride past.

As part of this maneuver, you can move up to two times your land speed (on foot or on a mount). All allies that are within the reach of your aura during any part of this movement, including when you start and stop, gain the benefit of your auras (both major and minor) as if you were right beside them, even if you were only within range for a moment. Note that you cannot change your aura (a swift action) in the middle of this maneuver (a full-round action), although you may change it just before initiating Rally the Legion or after it is finished.
This effect lingers for a number of rounds equal to half your Charisma bonus plus your command presence rating, if any. If you become incapable of projecting an aura while this maneuver is lingering, its effects immediately end. If you change your auras while Rally the Legion is lingering, the change only affects those troops currently within range of your aura, not those under the lingering effects from the strike.
This is a great maneuver!!! I'm just having a hard time figuring out if it is balanced at 2nd level. This should be a boost i think. Most boosts have a duration of 1 round. Covering strike has a duration of 3 rounds but that's sort of a weird boost/strike maneuver. It requires that you strike your opponents which seems to justify the extended duration. This maneuver should probably have a 1 round duration. It's less satisfying that way I know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
Maneuver:
White Raven Volley
White Raven (Strike)
Level: Crusader 8, marshal 8, warblade 8
Prerequisites: Three White Raven maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 round
Range: Special; see text
Area: Special; see text
Duration: Special; see text

You bark out a quick yet complicated sequence of words, numbers, and acronyms that would seem like gibberish to anyone but those who fight alongside you. Charged with power, your voice delivers to them a sudden flash of insight, and they shift their fighting technique as a result.

White Raven Volley allows you to command your allies in the execution of a single martial maneuver -- essentially, it is the verbal equivalent of a martial script. When you initiate this maneuver, you also expend one other readied maneuver of 2nd level or lower. If you are a crusader, this maneuver must also be a granted maneuver.
Initiating this maneuver is like casting a one-round spell like summon monster; it continues past the end of your turn and is completed at the start of your next. If you are damaged during this time, you must make a Concentration check (DC 18+damage dealt) or have your intricate speech disrupted.
Once successfully initiated, all allies within 30 feet of you suddenly gain a flash of insight -- the maneuver you expended at the start of initiation appears in their minds as if they knew it and had it readied. As long as you continue to chant (a standard action on your part similar to concentrating on a spell), they can initiate this maneuver once, at an initiator level of one-half their character level (subject to Table 3-1 in the Tome of Battle; 1st-level conscripts cannot hope to initiate a 2nd-level maneuver, although higher-level allies could). They cannot recover this maneuver; it is a one-time effect. If you stop reciting your commands, the maneuver instantly fades from their minds. Most allies of White Raven initiates learn to recognize when a White Raven Volley is being initiated, and move into a position to make optimal use of what they are being told.
Unlike other martial maneuvers, White Raven Volley is impossible to re-orchestrate in the heat of battle. After using White Raven Volley, it cannot be readied again until you have 5 minutes of calm (just like reading a different set of maneuvers). A crusader who is granted White Raven Volley after having used it automatically treats it as expended.
SPECIAL: Using this maneuver is draining, and costs you 50 XP per level of the maneuver you granted.
What a cool maneuver!!!!! This would also be a boost. There are a few non-standard mechanics here (It can't be recovered, xp drain, concentration check). I think this would be much better as a class ability usable once per day (or once per encounter if you like). Also, the name suggests that your allies are about to shoot a bunch of arrows. also, you should change the Initiation Action to 1 full round action.
Awesome. Just awesome.
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  #25  
Old 12-09-06, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

I second the suggestion to add Stone Dragon. Also noticed that it's the only one whose 9th level strike doesn't have any prerequisites; since the others need at least 4, it'll otherwise be extremely difficult to squeeze all three 9th level maneuvers out without some choice stance selections, and at the moment it seems impossible since you only get two disciplines to work with.
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Old 12-09-06, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashy75 View Post
Perhaps you could specify that auras are Language-Dependent. I guess it's really saying the same thing...
It's not a spell; it doesn't have the descriptor. Still, they are equivalent, as you noticed, so it's kind of minor.
Quote:
I'm not so fond of the wording. When i first read this, I thought you ment that the marshal would gain access to maneuvers as if his IL was half his class level (for example, gaining 2nd level maneuvers at 6th lev, 3rd level maneuvers at 10th and so on) and though the reference to the sorcerer and wizard clarified it for me, I think it should be clearer. I would state in the maneuvers section that the marshal gained higher level maneuvers at a slower rate than other martial adepts and make an additional column on the level chart that gave the maximum level known. So...
Code:
      Maneuvers     Stances Max
    Known  Readied  Known   Level
1.  3       3       1       1st
I suppose that'd work. Consider it added.
Quote:
The more i look at this one, the more i think it should be part of the class. 11th level looks like a great spot for it. I like really good 11th level class abilities. 11th level is when you get engaged (no 10 level prcls) and 16th is when you get married (no 5 level prcls). Well, I guess you can still get divorced by 7th if you use paragon classes but still...
Ummm... it might. But I still like the idea of this as a feat. Not quite sure why, though.
Quote:
This is a great maneuver!!! I'm just having a hard time figuring out if it is balanced at 2nd level. This should be a boost i think. Most boosts have a duration of 1 round. Covering strike has a duration of 3 rounds but that's sort of a weird boost/strike maneuver. It requires that you strike your opponents which seems to justify the extended duration. This maneuver should probably have a 1 round duration. It's less satisfying that way I know.
It's a strike in the same way that Ring of Fire or Bounding Assault is a strike, and because it has an odd duration (though I suppose I could use it like Order Forged From Chaos and remove the type altogether...). It lingers longer than other maneuvers since its benefit really is quite minor. It's low-level since it's something I can see any marshal doing, and since maneuvers don't scale by maneuver level, all that maneuver level does is set a minimum level it can be learned at.
Quote:
What a cool maneuver!!!!! This would also be a boost. There are a few non-standard mechanics here (It can't be recovered, xp drain, concentration check). I think this would be much better as a class ability usable once per day (or once per encounter if you like). Also, the name suggests that your allies are about to shoot a bunch of arrows. also, you should change the Initiation Action to 1 full round action.
Awesome. Just awesome.
1) I'd rather keep it a maneuver and let it inherit those mechanics, since I see any White Raven adept using it.
2) Help come up with another name, then, since that troubled me for a while.
3) Why change the initiation action? One round lets it be disrupted, which is pretty key to how it's balanced (Imagine a legion of warriors each granted Emerald Razor, Battle Leader's Charge, or something else granted by Martial Study, and you'll see why it should be able to be disrupted).



I'm not putting in Stone Dragon for exactly the same reason you're suggesting we add it. Yes, "every other martial adept has it" -- but every other martial adept has it. The Stone Dragon school doesn't fit the marshal concept at all, and the marshal is NOT an initiator first. If anything, the third school should be Devoted Spirit.

...Okay, how about this. Since everyone seems to think that the marshal needs a third school, I'll add something in around level 8 or so. At that point, he'd gain access to another school -- Devoted Spirit being the most likely candidate.

I might let him choose between his schools there. Make a case for another school and I'll hear you out. Remember, though, a marshal isn't supposed to be questing for personal glory. (The addition of Diamond Mind was put in there since it fit the theme and let the marshal fight against others alongside his allies -- it even fit mechanically since Dimond Mind is great in one-on-one fights, meaning either the marshal's dueling for his men, or his men are watching his back in a melee.)

Last edited by Tempest Stormwind : 12-09-06 at 01:12 PM.
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  #27  
Old 12-09-06, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
Remember, though, a marshal isn't supposed to be questing for personal glory. (The addition of Diamond Mind was put in there since it fit the theme and let the marshal fight against others alongside his allies -- it even fit mechanically since Dimond Mind is great in one-on-one fights, meaning either the marshal's dueling for his men, or his men are watching his back in a melee.)
Why can't the leader be after the glory? Unless you want to put in a code of conduct, a marshal should be just as capable of hogging the spotlight as any other class. You're assuming that every marshal will be roleplayed the way you would roleplay one, which isn't going to be the case. Each player should decide why their marshal is questing, and an evil marshal would most certainly be willing to lead his men to glorious deaths and then take all the credit. In the same vein, a chaotic marshal probably isn't an army general -- he's a warlord, and he keeps his position not by rank, but by being stronger than any challengers. A discipline focused on personal power is a perfect fit.

You're thinking too much about what disciplines you would use for your character. Loosen up a little.
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Old 12-09-06, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

I love it. I do request you return the skill focus: diplomacy. But only because it seems the only reason you removed it was to discourage dipping, but now that the class is slightly more viable, the skill focus I think would still help the marshal overall.
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Old 12-09-06, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind View Post
.It's a strike in the same way that Ring of Fire or Bounding Assault is a strike, and because it has an odd duration ...
The problem is that both Ring of Fire and bounding assault are attacks of some sort. Rally the Troops is not an attack at all
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
(though I suppose I could use it like Order Forged From Chaos and remove the type altogether...).
That would be a good idea. Rally the troops actually doesn't fit the criteria for a boost, strike or counter (though it might make an interesting stance- I can see that really) Just looked them up; boosts are swift actions and strikes are attacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
1) I'd rather keep it a maneuver and let it inherit those mechanics, since I see any White Raven adept using it.
I can accept that. I'm really just nit-picking anyway. Oh, and this one shouldn't have a descriptor for the reasons stated above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
2) Help come up with another name, then, since that troubled me for a while.
Ok... I'll try. These are just brainstorms (that suck- It's times like these that I wish I joined the military). Hopefully they will get the ball rolling: Drill, Quick drill, Crash course in killing (sounds like it should be a thrash metal song), Command the troops, Drill the troops, This is what we trained for, On my command. Well, that's all I've got for now. That is a tough one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
3) Why change the initiation action? One round lets it be disrupted, which is pretty key to how it's balanced (Imagine a legion of warriors each granted Emerald Razor, Battle Leader's Charge, or something else granted by Martial Study, and you'll see why it should be able to be disrupted).
I didn't think of that. I made that suggestion to try to put this maneuver in line with other maneuvers. You've said yourself that these are not spells.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
I'm not putting in Stone Dragon for exactly the same reason you're suggesting we add it. Yes, "every other martial adept has it" -- but every other martial adept has it. The Stone Dragon school doesn't fit the marshal concept at all, and the marshal is NOT an initiator first. If anything, the third school should be Devoted Spirit.
Well, i agree that stone dragon doesn't work for the marshal. However, I don't feel that devoted spirit would work either. <Edit: I have changed my mind on this. See below> I don't see the marshal as a supernatural class at all. I do like the non-supernatural D.S. maneuvers though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest Stormwind
...Okay, how about this. Since everyone seems to think that the marshal needs a third school, I'll add something in around level 8 or so. At that point, he'd gain access to another school -- Devoted Spirit being the most likely candidate.
I might let him choose between his schools there. Make a case for another school and I'll hear you out. Remember, though, a marshal isn't supposed to be questing for personal glory. (The addition of Diamond Mind was put in there since it fit the theme and let the marshal fight against others alongside his allies -- it even fit mechanically since Dimond Mind is great in one-on-one fights, meaning either the marshal's dueling for his men, or his men are watching his back in a melee.)
Well, I don't think the marshal necessarily needs 3 schools. I do think that he should be able to choose his second school depending on the player's concept.

I see the Iron Heart marshal as a leader that likes to get down and dirty with his troops- the leaders that are loved by their men because they know he's one of them. Also, while the marshal will have a number of allies, he's also likely to fight against a larger number of enemies. What happens if he's caught alone? Many Iron Heart maneuvers are made to be used in a battle against a large number of foes. "Sometimes you have to show 'em how it's done." Have you ever played the Romance of the three kingdoms games? I see Zhang Fei as an Iron Heart marshal; not only a good general, but a tiger alone as well- even against multiple opponents. Of course, he also probably has barbarian levels.
I guess a Devoted Spirit marshal could be a religiously inspired crusader type though. Going back to RotTK, I could see the leaders of the Yellow Turban rebellion being Devoted Spirit marshals. Here I am, contradicting myself again! Oh well.
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Old 12-09-06, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Sublime Way variant Marshal

Absolutely love it TS.
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Sublime Way variant Marshal

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