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Dubhaidhean [3.5 ToB PrC + new feat] (PEACH)

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Dubhaidhean [3.5 ToB PrC + new feat] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:08 pm

Yes, I know the Shadow Sun Ninja already combines these two schools. This is going to be a different take on it - more focused on what you can actually do with it, less focused on (read: ignores entirely) the spiritual/mystical light and dark theme.

For the record, "dubhadh" (pl. "dubhaidhean") is apparently the Scottish Gaelic word for eclipse. Near as I can tell (I know almost nothing about the language and it is notoriously difficult for English speakers to pronounce based on spelling), the pronunciation is something like "dove-aye" (except more of an 'a' sound than an 'I' sound?) for the singular and "dove-aye-en" for the plural. If anyone happens to know a better way to pronounce it (or a better way to write out the pronunciation), let me know.
Image
"We will fight precisely where I wish to fight." — Caelish Adunna, a Dubhadh

The dojo of the Dubhaidhean began in the time not long after Reshar left the Temple of the Nine Swords, while the original nine masters still ruled well and justly. In that time, a special tournament was held for a total solar eclipse which was predicted, rightly, to fall upon the Temple, bathing the grounds in midday shadow for nine minutes. As a special event during these nine minutes, the Shadow Master and the Sensei Beyond the Dawn engaged in a ritualistic spar, demonstrating their own abilities and glorifying the eclipse with their duel.

As the Temple was, in those days, universally heralded as the greatest school of the Sublime Way in existence, and this event was grandiose and of mythical or religious importants to many peoples, very many guests watched this duel, enjoying the display of mastery. Indeed, a number of the Courts Seelie and Unseelie watched with great admiration, for the eclipse is a special and magical time for the fey, when their powers are broadened and when the rest of the world often stops to acknowledge them; so too was it at the Temple, where the Courts were considered guests of the highest honor. As they watched the Shadow Master flit from shadow to shadow, maintaining perfect positioning, and the Sensei Beyond the Dawn constantly repositioned himself, and when able, repositioned the Shadow Master as well with his trips and throws, a faerie champion in the Court of Autumn whispered to his Regent. The Courts saw promise in these martial arts, and wished to know more.

After the celebration, the Shadow Master and Sensei Beyond the Dawn were invited to the Court of Autumn to train some of the Regent's finest warriors, but both politely declined, citing their responsibilities to the Temple and instead inviting the fey to train there at the temple. A select few did, and several years later some of the finest proteges of the Shadow Hand and Setting Sun disciplines returned with them to the Court of Autumn to establish the Dubhaidhean school there, so named for the fey word for "eclipse". As a show of favor to the Temple, the dojo retained contact with the Temple, and those warriors who sought a mastery of the blending of the "eclipse schools" as the Dubhaidhean referred to them would be invited to the Court of Autumn to train.

After the fall of the Temple of the Nine, the Dubhaidhean became more reclusive, more deeply hidden within the wyld lands of the Court of Autumn. Few, if any, practitioners of the Sublime Way from outside the Court itself have trained there in the time since, and not many are even aware of it any more. Nonetheless, the ways of the Dubhaidhean have earned a bit more renown, and these "eclipse masters" are known among those who study the Sublime Way. Most never trained in the actual dojo of the Dubhaidhean, but rather learned the arts from those wandering the world who knew them.

Becoming a Dubhadh
For those who wish to master the battlefield - to control where his allies, his enemies, and he himself shall fight - and control the most sublime of the Sublime Ways - the ways of the Dubhaidhean are ideal. Almost always Swordsages, since only Swordsages focus on the subtle arts of Setting Sun and Shadow Hand, there is certainly a place among the Dubhaidhean for any who begins to meld these two schools.

Prerequisites
  • Feats
    • Combat Expertise (but see Battlefield Expertise, below)
    • Improved Trip
  • Martial Maneuvers
    • Mighty Throw, Devastating Throw, Comet Throw, Soaring Throw, Ballista Throw, or Tornado Throw.
    • Shadow Jaunt, Shadow Stride, or Shadow Blink.
    • One stance from each of the Shadow Hand and Setting Sun schools.

Class Features of Dubhaidhean
Hit Die
d8.

Skills
4+Int points per level. Class skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Table 1: The Dubhadh
LevelBase Attack
Bonus
FortRefWillSpecialManuevers
KnownReadiedStances
1st+0+2+2+0Eclipse School, Improved Throw+1+0+0
2nd+1+3+3+0Twilight Shadow+0+1+0
3rd+2+3+3+1Transposition of Dawn+1+0+0
4th+3+4+4+1Eclipse Recovery+0+0+1
5th+3+4+4+1+1+0+0
6th+4+5+5+2Transposition of Dusk+0+1+0
7th+5+5+5+2Shadow Throw+1+0+0
8th+6+6+6+2+0+0+1
9th+6+6+6+3Transposition of the Eclipse+1+0+0
10th+7+7+7+3Total Eclipse+0+1+0

Armor and Weapon Proficiency
A Dubhadh gains proficiency in daggers, nunchaku, quarterstaves, sais, short swords, sianghams, spiked chains, and unarmed strikes. A Dubhadh is considered armed even if unarmed, and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity with his unarmed strikes, but does not gain the ability to deal lethal damage with his unarmed strikes. A Dubhadh does not gain any new proficiency with armor.

Maneuvers
At each odd level, a Dubhadh gains an additional maneuver known from the Setting Sun or Shadow Hand schools. He must meet a maneuver's prerequisites in order to learn it. He adds his full Dubhadh level to his Initiator Level determine his total Initiator Level and his highest-level maneuvers known.

At 2nd, 6th, and 10th, a Dubhadh also gains an additional maneuver readied.

At 5th and again at 8th level, a Dubhadh may choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. He may choose a new maneuver of any level he is capable of initiating, as long as he meets the maneuver's prerequisites; he need not replace a maneuver with another of the same level. The new maneuver must be from the Setting Sun or Shadow Hand disciplines, but the one forgotten may be any that he knew.

Stances Known
At 4th and at 8th level, a Dubhadh learns an additional stance from the Setting Sun or Shadow Hand disciplines. He must meet a stance's prerequisites in order to learn it.

Eclipse School (Ex)
Whenever a Dubhadh is in a Setting Sun or Shadow Hand stance, or initiates a Setting Sun or Shadow Hand maneuver, he may consider himself to be in a stance or be initiating a maneuver from either or both schools for the purpose of triggering other effects such as feats or class features. Thus, a Dubhadh may retain the benefits of the Shadow Blade feat while in a Setting Sun stance, or apply the Insightful Strikes class feature to attacks made with a Shadow Hand strike if he had selected Setting Sun as his Discipline Focus. If a benefit would work for either a Setting Sun or a Shadow Hand maneuver, this feature does not allow that benefit to stack with itself (for example, a high level Swordsage with Insightful Strikes in both Setting Sun and Shadow Hand would only add his Wisdom modifier once to Setting Sun or Shadow Hand strikes, not twice even though the strike would be from both schools). On the other hand, separate features that each work with maneuvers from one discipline, such as the Discipline Weapon special ability, would stack (so a weapon with both the Setting Sun and Shadow Hand features would trigger the bonuses from both, which stack, when a maneuver of either discipline is used).

A Dubhadh may also consider the dagger, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, short sword, siangham, spiked chain, and unarmed strike to be the discipline weapons for both Setting Sun and Shadow Hand.

Improved Throw (Ex)
Whenever a Dubhadh moves a target such that it falls prone (as with many Setting Sun maneuvers), the act of falling prone provokes attacks of opportunity from any who threaten the square in which the target lands, excepting the Dubhadh himself. The target is considered flat-footed against any of these attacks of opportunity.

Twilight Shadow (Su)
Whenever a 2nd level Dubhadh uses a Shadow Hand maneuver to teleport, he may choose two squares within the range of the maneuver, and teleport to one square while creating a shadow duplicate of himself in the other square. This twilight shadow shares the Dubhadh's saves and armor class, along with any damage reduction, miss chances, or other defensive features the Dubhadh may have. However, the twilight shadow disappears instantly upon taking any damage, and is incapable of affecting anything through its own actions. It may pretend to attack, but these attacks deal no damage, etc. The twilight shadow is incapable of speech, but otherwise will mimic the Dubhadh perfectly (e.g. it will respond to non-damaging effects exactly as the Dubhadh would). The twilight shadow is aware of anything the Dubhadh is, and nothing more.

The twilight shadow may move as much as the Dubhadh himself does (i.e. taking a 5 ft. step when the Dubhadh does, taking a move action when the Dubhadh does, etc). The twilight shadow lasts a number of rounds equal to half the Dubhadh's class level.

The Dubhadh may switch places with the twilight shadow as a Free Action. The Dubhadh may do so repeatedly during his turn, but not in the middle of an action (e.g. he could not switch with the twilight shadow in the middle of a move action to avoid attacks of opportunity). As a special rule, whenever the Dubhadh would be able to make multiple attacks (on a Full-Attack, for example), he may switch back and forth between attacks. This swap occurs seamlessly, and it is impossible for an observer to notice the difference unless the Dubhadh does something that the twilight shadow could not. This teleportation does not, however, trigger the creation of more twilight shadows.

True Seeing and similarly-powerful anti-illusion effects instantly reveal the twilight shadow's nature. A character who makes a DC 25 Martial Lore check is aware of the limitations on twilight shadows, which may help in keeping track of which is the real Dubhadh. A twilight shadow that enters an Antimagic Field or Dead Magic Zone immediately disappears. A twilight shadow affected by a Dispel Magic or similar effect has an effective Caster Level equal to the Dubhadh's Initiator Level; if the caster of the Dispel Magic succeeds on his Caster Level check, the twilight shadow immediately disappears.

Transposition of Dawn (Ex)
As a Swift Action, a Dubhadh of 3rd level may switch any willing ally with any other willing ally, himself, or any twilight shadows he may have. The two chosen targets must line of effect to one another and must also both have line of sight to the Dubhadh.

When he uses Transposition of Dawn, a Dubhadh loses the use of one Setting Sun or Shadow Hand boost that he had readied, just as if he had initiated the boost (except that he does not also gain the boost's normal effects). After having used this ability, a Dubhadh may recover the use of the expended maneuver normally. Using Transposition of Dawn counts as initiating a Setting Sun and/or Shadow Hand boost for any effects that trigger on the use of such a maneuver.

Transposition of Dawn does not trigger the creation of a new twilight shadow, even if the Dubhadh uses it to move himself.

Eclipse Recovery (Su)
As a Move Action, a 4th level Dubhadh may call any twilight shadows he has available to him. Any that are able to reach him in a single Move Action may enter his square and disappear. For each that does so, the Dubhadh may recover a single maneuver he has expended. The Dubhadh may not move during the Move Action.

Transposition of Dusk (Ex)
At 6th level, a Dubhadh may use Transposition of Dusk, which functions exactly like Transposition of Dawn except that unwilling enemies may be included in the transposition as well, and that using this requires a Standard Action and the expenditure of a strike from the Setting Sun or Shadow Hand schools rather than a boost. Unwilling targets may make a Will sav to avoid being transposed; if any target succeeds on this save, the transposition fails but the expended maneuver remains expended. The DC of the save is 10 + the level of the strike expended + the Dubhadh's Wisdom modifier.

Shadow Throw (Ex)
When a 7th level Dubhadh uses a Setting Sun maneuver to throw an enemy, he may, as a Free Action, teleport to any location to which he has both line of sight and line of effect, and through which the thrown enemy will move. He may then make a single attack against the thrown enemy, stopping its movement and knocking it prone in the square before the Dubhadh (this attack counts as taking his extra attack from Improved Trip, and therefore the Dubhadh does not get a second attack when the target is knocked prone). The thrown enemy is treated as flat-footed for this attack. If the Dubhadh misses this attack, the target sails past him to land in the square it would have anyway. If the Dubhadh chooses to teleport to the square in which the target would have landed, and misses, the enemy still remains in the previous square it had passed through.

Whether he misses or hits, the thrown enemy still takes any damage it would have normally from the maneuver used throw him when he lands.

When he uses Shadow Throw, a Dubhadh loses the use of one Shadow Hand strike that he had readied, just as if he had initiated the strike (except that he does not also gain the strike's normal effects). After having used this ability, a Dubhadh may recover the use of the expended maneuver normally. Using Shadow Throw counts as initiating a Shadow Hand strike for any effects that trigger on the use of such a maneuver.

Shadow Throw may create a twilight shadow in the square that the Dubhadh left. Immediately after making his attack, the Dubhadh may switch places with this twilight shadow (or any other) as normal.

As a special rule, if the Dubhadh uses Tornado Throw, he may expend the use of Five-Shadow Creeping Ice Enervation Strike without gaining that strike's benefit, if he has it readied and unexpended, to use Shadow Throw on every throw made by Tornado Throw. The teleportation does not count as the necessary movement before he is able to throw again, however. If he uses any other Shadow Hand strike, he may only use Shadow Throw with a single throw during Tornado Throw.

Transposition of the Eclipse (Ex)
At 9th level, a Dubhadh may use Transposition of the Eclipse, which is exactly like Transposition of Dusk except that it requires an Immediate Action and the expenditure of a counter from the Setting Sun or Shadow Hand schools rather than a strike.

Total Eclipse (Su)
Once per day, a Dubhadh who has attained 10th level may move all creatures to which he has both line of sight and line of effect to any other free square to which he also has line of sight and line of effect. This works equally well on both enemies and allies, and no saving throw is allowed. Since he may also move himself, he may also create a twilight shadow in any free square to which he has both line of sight and line of effect. This is a supernatural ability made as a Free Action.

Image Credits
Image adapted from Monk by BNI. All credit to him for the image.

New Feat
Battlefield Expertise
Benefit
On your turn, before making attack rolls of any kind, you may choose to take a penalty to all attack rolls for the rest of the round. For the rest of the round, you gain a bonus on opposed attack rolls made for Disarm attempts equal to twice this number (effectively negating the penalty and adding the number instead as a bonus), a bonus to Bluff checks made to Feint equal to this number, and a bonus to Trip checks equal to this number. The number chosen may not exceed your base attack bonus.
Special
Battlefield Expertise may be used in place of Combat Expertise to qualify for a feat, prestige class, or other special ability. You can take both this feat and Combat Expertise.
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Re: Dubhaidhean [3.5 ToB PrC + new feat] (PEACH)

Postby Proven Paradox » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:13 pm

This is hella cool. I will be adding this to my allowed homebrew lists.

The only thing I would like to see is for the abilities to be spread out a tad. You've got two dead levels there that could be filled pretty easily. You absolutely need to fill the fifth level; it doesn't boost BAB or any saves on top of granting no special abilities. A new maneuver is kinda cool, but not nearly enough to ease the sting of having no special ability to look forward to. Eighth level is less of an offender since it boosts BAB, two saves, and a new stance is much more to look forward to than a maneuver.

Off the top of my head, I have two suggestions for that. I think you could move Improved Throw to second level, and make everything that comes after delayed by one level up to fifth. If you'd rather have first level stand out more, perhaps you could make it so that Twilight Shadow's switching ability comes later. It could slide into that 5th level easily.
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Re: Dubhaidhean [3.5 ToB PrC + new feat] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:06 pm

Thank you for the praise!

As for the dead levels, well, for one thing, I assume fractional BAB/saves. Since a Swordsage 3 can enter this (though Swordsage 4 would probably be better due to Insightful Strike), 5th would be more like 8th (which gains BAB and saves) or 9th (which gains a save). A Swordsage 4/Dubhadh 5 is also 9th level, which means 5th level maneuvers for the first time.

The other thing is that dead levels are pretty common in ToB classes, because of the maneuvers. This was an intentional design decision for the ToB authors, and I think it was a good one. I like the progression as is pretty well. I could add a fluffy filler ability at 5th and 8th, but that almost feels like a cop-out. No one's going to get excited about that, most likely.

Hmm, what if at 5th and 8th I allowed the Dubhadh to replace a maneuver with a higher level one (as Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade do each even level except 2nd)? I've always considered the lack of that a major problem with ToB PrCs (since it seems to me that initiators are balanced with those in mind and don't work as well when you only get one or two maneuvers of each level).

EDIT: made the above change.
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Re: Dubhaidhean [3.5 ToB PrC + new feat] (PEACH)

Postby Proven Paradox » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:13 pm

I don't think it's wise to presume optional rules are in effect personally. That leaves level five still looking hella dead to me.

Dead levels in ToB classes happen, yes, and they can be acceptable (and I think that dead level at 8 is entirely okay). But looking over the classes that have dead levels, they all have something else going for them, whereas that 5th level is just completely barren. Consider the others.

Jade Phoenix Mage has four dead levels. 3rd has +1 BAB, maneuvers known, maneuvers readied, and spellcasting. 5th has +1 BAB, stances, and casting. 7th has +1 BAB, maneuvers known, and spellcasting. 9th has +1 BAB, ref/will saves, maneuvers known, meaneuvers readied, and spellcasting. So those 'dead' levels still have plenty to love.

Master of the Nine has only one, 1st level. You get +2 will saves, +2 maneuvers known, and +1 maneuvers readied there. That's plenty to keep me happy untill class features kick in. The entire reason you're in that class is for more maneuvers known/readied anyway.

Ruby Knight Vindicator. Full BAB so all of its dead levels at least have that. First level has +2 will saves and a stance. Level 3 has +1 ref/will and spellcasting. Level 3 has +1 will, maneuvers known, and spellcasting. Level 6 has +1 all saves, maneuvers known, and a stance. 8th has +1 will, known, and spellcasting. 10th has +1 will, known, and spellcasting. All of those dead levels have something going for them.

Amusingly enough, the only class that really supports that point is Shadow Sun Ninja. Level three comes with +1 all saves and manevuers known. 6th level has +1 BAB, saves, and maneuvers known. But 9th level has just +1 maneuvers known. That kinda sucks. Though I suppose it's possible that the advancement of Monk abilities gives you something nice there.

So of the published ToB PrCs, there is only one level as dead as that 5th level. (Again, level 8 is okay there; a stance is nice and BAB and saves advance, so it's got some meat to it in spite of the lack of class feature.)


You could do maneuver replacement as you suggest, but that breaks precedent in a way that kind of sticks out to me in a bad way. Certain precedents SHOULD be broken, but this isn't one of them I think--just like having non-standard BAB/save progressions. I think either rearranging class features so that dead level falls somewhere less dead otherwise (4th level looks good, as does 6th) or splitting up an existing class feature's abilities (Twilight Shadow is the obvious candidate) so that the full power of it is unlocked at that dead level would be much better design.
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Re: Dubhaidhean [3.5 ToB PrC + new feat] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:38 am

Proven Paradox wrote:I don't think it's wise to presume optional rules are in effect personally. That leaves level five still looking hella dead to me.

As far as I'm concerned, it's not optional. I would not play in a game where fractional BAB/saves were not used.

Anyway, BAB/saves are not something to look forward to anyway. No one's really all that excited by that, unless they're getting BAB +6 or +11 or +16 (speaking of which, point of interest, a Swordsage 3/Dubhadh 5 with fractional BAB hits +6/+1 exactly). So those really don't save dead levels, so looking at which levels are getting those sorts of things in ToB doesn't really convince me much. On the other hand, a maneuver learned, especially of a new level (for example, a Swordsage 4/Dubhadh 5), doesn't quite strike me as quite dead.

Proven Paradox wrote:You could do maneuver replacement as you suggest, but that breaks precedent in a way that kind of sticks out to me in a bad way. Certain precedents SHOULD be broken, but this isn't one of them I think--just like having non-standard BAB/save progressions. I think either rearranging class features so that dead level falls somewhere less dead otherwise (4th level looks good, as does 6th) or splitting up an existing class feature's abilities (Twilight Shadow is the obvious candidate) so that the full power of it is unlocked at that dead level would be much better design.

Well, I simply disagree with you. One, I like giving the class the option to replace maneuvers - like I said, I think that's an important part of ToB design that the PrCs don't take advantage of (in fact, were I to DM I'd houserule that the forget/replace mechanic is on every even initiator level rather than class level). Second, I think the feature progression is pretty good as-is - if there's a specific issue with getting a feature too early or too late, I'd consider that, but moving things around just to not have dead levels seems to me like it would weaken the design quality of the class, not enhance it.
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Re: Dubhaidhean [3.5 ToB PrC + new feat] (PEACH)

Postby Siosilvar » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:34 pm

DragoonWraith wrote:Twilight Shadow (Su)
Whenever a 2nd level Dubhadh uses a Shadow Hand maneuver to teleport, he may choose two squares within the range of the maneuver, and teleport to one square while creating a shadow duplicate of himself in the other square. This twilight shadow shares the Dubhadh's saves and armor class, along with any damage reduction, miss chances, or other defensive features the Dubhadh may have. However, the twilight shadow disappears instantly upon taking any damage, and is incapable of affecting anything through its own actions. It may pretend to attack, but these attacks deal no damage, etc. The twilight shadow is incapable of speech, but otherwise will mimic the Dubhadh perfectly (e.g. it will respond to non-damaging effects exactly as the Dubhadh would). The twilight shadow is aware of anything the Dubhadh is, and nothing more.

The twilight shadow may move as much as the Dubhadh himself does (i.e. taking a 5 ft. step when the Dubhadh does, taking a move action when the Dubhadh does, etc). The twilight shadow lasts a number of rounds equal to half the Dubhadh's class level.

The Dubhadh may switch places with the twilight shadow as a Free Action. The Dubhadh may do so repeatedly during his turn, but not in the middle of an action (e.g. he could not switch with the twilight shadow in the middle of a move action to avoid attacks of opportunity). As a special rule, whenever the Dubhadh would be able to make multiple attacks (on a Full-Attack, for example), he may switch back and forth between attacks. This swap occurs seamlessly, and it is impossible for an observer to notice the difference unless the Dubhadh does something that the twilight shadow could not. This teleportation does not, however, trigger the creation of more twilight shadows.

True Seeing and similarly-powerful anti-illusion effects instantly reveal the twilight shadow's nature. A character who makes a DC 25 Martial Lore check is aware of the limitations on twilight shadows, which may help in keeping track of which is the real Dubhadh. A twilight shadow that enters an Antimagic Field or Dead Magic Zone immediately disappears. A twilight shadow affected by a Dispel Magic or similar effect has an effective Caster Level equal to the Dubhadh's Initiator Level; if the caster of the Dispel Magic succeeds on his Caster Level check, the twilight shadow immediately disappears.


Best ability ever.

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Re: Dubhaidhean [3.5 ToB PrC + new feat] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:23 pm

Hehe, glad you like it!

Personally I think Shadow Throw is more so. I love that ability.
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