Competitor Games

We are the Competition

[3.5] The War Mind - Revised Class

Game design for the d20 system

[3.5] The War Mind - Revised Class

Postby Ernir » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:23 pm

This article has a related thread on the Giant in the Playground forums that may contain more up-to-date information than what is provided here.


The class is available in .pdf for printing.
THE WAR MIND

"If you know the enemy, and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles." - the Talariic Codex

For some, war is more than a way to survive, more than even a way of life - it is a form of art. A gruesome and terrible art, but an art nonetheless. One such person was the author of the Talariic Codex, whose name has been lost to the ages. The Codex is an exhaustive essay on the subject of warfare, explaining each of its elements and how they work together to form a whole. And more importantly, it contains detailed explanations on how to apply these principles of warfare. Those who have studied the Codex, and come to understand the teachings within are known as War Minds - the masters of sublime warfare.

BECOMING A WAR MIND

War minds do not form an organization, their only unifying link is their respect for the teachings contained within the Talariic Codex. Those who tread the path of the war mind have either come to it after finding and studying the Codex, or after receiving lessons on the art of war from another War Mind.
Swordsages and warblades come to the class naturally, their knowledge of the Sublime Way providing an excellent background for understanding the art of war. Fighters and (literate) barbarians usually find the contents of the Codex too rigid to be of much use, although those who pick up skills in more refined ways of fighting sometimes find that the way of the war mind can greatly expand their versatility and combat ability. Psychic warriors, who actually have a lot in common with war minds when it comes to the emphasis on the mental state of the warrior, don't usually find the time to devote themselves to the studies required to become a war mind, although it is not unknown that those who begin their careers as psychic warriors later turn away from that class to pursue war minds.

War minds are most common among the races that have a natural affinity for psionics. Members of the common races can not progress as a war mind unless they have some wild psionic talent, or had some experience in unlocking their latent psionic potential.

Requirements
To qualify to become a war mind, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment
Any nonchaotic.

Base Attack Bonus
+3.

Feats
Psychic Renewal (Tome of Battle)

Skills
Knowledge (history), Knowledge (psionics) and Martial Lore: At least 8 ranks in one of the skills, and at least 2 ranks in the other two.

Class Skills

The war mind's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Psicraft (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level
4 + Int modifier.

Hit Die
d10.
LevelBase
Attack Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Man.
Known
Man.
Readied
Stances
Known
SpecialPowers
Known
Maximum Power
Level Known
1st+1+2+2+0100Chain of Integrated Training,
Chain of War
11st
2nd+2+3+3+0000Chain of War21st
3rd+3+3+3+1110-32nd
4th+4+4+4+1001Chain of War32nd
5th+5+4+4+1100Sweeping strike43rd
6th+6+5+5+2000Chain of War43rd
7th+7+5+5+2100-54th
8th+8+6+6+2000Chain of War54th
9th+9+6+6+3110-65th
10th+10+7+7+3000Perfect Form, Chain of War65th



Class Features

All the following are class features of the war mind prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
War minds gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Power Points/Day
A war mind can manifest powers. His ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points he has available. The war mind gains power points according to his manifester level (which is equal to his initiator level, see Chain of Integrated Training, below). A war mind's base daily allotment of power points is his manifester level squared divided by four (see table). Unlike most psionic classes, power Points from the war mind class do not stack with power points from other classes: use whichever power pool is largest, that provided by the war mind levels or that provided by the rest of the character's classes. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Wisdom score. His race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.

Manifester LevelPPManifester LevelPP
101130
211236
321342
441449
561556
691664
7121772
8161881
9201990
102520100


Powers Known
A war mind chooses his powers from the psychic warrior power list. At 1st level, a war mind knows one psychic warrior power of your choice. At every even-numbered level higher than 1st, he learns one new power. A war mind can manifest any power that has a power point cost equal to or lower than his manifester level. The total number of powers a war mind can manifest per day is limited only by his daily power points.

A war mind simply knows his powers; they are ingrained in his mind. He does not need to prepare them (in the way that some spellcasters prepare their spells), though he must get a good night's sleep each day to regain all his spent power points.

The Difficulty Class for saving throws against war mind powers is 10 + the power's level + the war mind's Wisdom modifier.

Maximum Power Level Known
A war mind gains the ability to learn one 1st-level power when he takes his first level in the prestige class. As he attains each even-numbered level beyond 2nd, a war mind gains the ability to master more complex powers.

To learn or manifest a power, a war mind must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the power's level.

Maneuvers
At each odd-numbered level, you gain a new maneuver known from the Diamond Mind or White Raven disciplines. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. You add your full War Mind levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known.
At 3rd level and again at 9th level, you gain an additional maneuver readied per day.
At 4th level, you gain a new stance from the Diamond Mind or White Raven disciplines.

Chain of Integrated Training (Ex)
At 1st level, a war mind learns the first principle of warfare for the individual combatant: the ability to integrate all his knowledge into a single whole. The war mind uses his initiator level as his base manifester level. Feats, magic items, and so on may alter a war mind's manifester level as normal for psionic classes without affecting his initiator level.

Chains of War
At 1st level, and at every even-numbered level after that, you gain knowledge of a Chain of War, selected from the list below. These are a representation of the fact that through focus and study of the art of war, a war mind has learned to use his psionic powers to tap into the very principles of warfare itself, granting him powers beyond far beyond those of the less meditative warriors. These principles are not isolated truths, but a series of links, one leading to the other, hence the name of "Chains".

Chain of Personal Superiority (Ex)
A principle of warfare for the individual combatant: the ability to both deal punishment and take it. Calling upon inner reserves of knowledge and dedication, a war mind can provide himself with an insight bonus to Strength and Constitution equal to one-half his war mind level (minimum 1). This bonus lasts for up to 1 minute. A war mind can use this power three times per day. Activating this power is a free action.

Chain of Defensive Posture (Ex)
A principle of warfare for the individual combatant: enemies must be overwhelmed before a counterattack can be launched. If this fails, the counterattack must be anticipated and averted. Calling upon inner reserves of knowledge and dedication, a war mind can provide himself with an insight bonus to Armor Class equal to one-half his war mind level (minimum 1). This bonus lasts for up to 1 minute. A war mind can use this power three times per day. Activating this power is a free action.

Chain of the Enduring Body (Ex)
A principle of warfare for the individual combatant: a warrior must unleash in oneself the spirit of the enduring body. The spirit of the ideal body transforms a war mind, granting him damage reduction (DR/-) equal to one-third his war mind level, minimum 1.

Chain of Overwhelming Force (Su)
A principle of warfare for the individual combatant: to discover the underlying violence of the world and deliver it in a perfectly executed attack. The war mind taps into this underlying energy and apply it to a single attack, with devastating results. Activating this power is a free action. After activation, the war mind's next attack deals 1d6 extra points of damage per war mind level. If the attack misses, the power is wasted. A war mind can use this power three times per day.

Chain of Actions Denied (Su)
A principle of warfare for the individual combatant: never allow your opponent to act unhindered. Using his psionic powers, the war mind can infuse his attacks with the power to overwhelm the minds of his enemies. Activating this power is a free action. After activation, the victim of the war mind's next attack must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the war mind's initiator level + the war mind's Wisdom modifier) or be stunned for one round. If the attack misses, the power is wasted. A war mind can use this power three times per day.

Chain of Constant Vigilance (Su)
A principle of warfare for the individual combatant: a warrior must be perpetually aware of all things around him. While psionically focused, the war mind gains the benefits of being under a Detect Hostile Intent power.

Chain of Combat Awareness (Ex)
A principle of warfare for the individual combatant: a warrior that does not know his enemy does not know the way to victory. As a free action, the War Mind can roll a Sense Motive check to determine the threat posed by any creature within 30'. The DC for this check is 20 for creatures of the same type as the war mind itself, 25 for others. On a successful check, the war mind learns the challenge rating of the targeted creature. On a failed check, he gains no information. He may retry the check the next time the creature comes within range of the ability if he gains another rank in Sense Motive.

Sweeping Strike (Ex)
At 5th level, a war mind can overcome some of the limitations of mundane warriors, allowing him to effectively engage multiple opponents at once. On each melee attack a war mind makes, he can choose another creature he threatens that is adjacent to the original target of the attack, and the attack applies to both targets equally. A war mind can use this ability on any melee attack (including martial maneuvers) except for a cleave attempt.

If a war mind drops one or both of his foes with a sweeping strike, he can attempt a cleave normally; however, he makes only one cleave attempt per sweeping strike, even if he drops more than one foe, and the cleave attack itself does not gain the benefits of Sweeping Strike.

Perfect Form (Ex)
At 10th level, a war mind's every attack is delivered with the skill and finesse most can't muster except during out-of-combat displays. All iterative attacks the war mind makes use his full base attack bonus minus 5, instead of using progressively lower attack bonuses.
Last edited by Ernir on Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Ernir
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:25 pm

Re: [3.5] The War Mind - Revised Class

Postby Ernir » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:24 pm

Example War Mind:

Lord Ladiz
Male Elan Warblade 5/War Mind 5
LN Medium aberration
Init +2; Senses: Listen +15, Spot +10,
Languages Common
------------------------------------------------
AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed (Dex +2, Armor +6, Ring +1)
hp 80 (10 HD)
Fort +11, Ref +9, Will +8
------------------------------------------------
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee glaive +17 (1d10+4/x3)
Ranged composite longbow +12 (1d8+3/x3)
Base Atk +10, Grp +13
-----------------------------------------------
Power Points 52
Powers Known (ML 10):
Vigor, Expansion, Hustle, Dimension Slide
Maneuvers and Stances Known (IL 10)
Stances - Leading the Charge, Punishing Stance, Hearing the Air (active)
Strikes - Steel Wind, Steely Strike, Emerald Razor (ready), Ruby Nightmare Blade, Disrupting Blow (ready)
Boosts - White Raven Tactics (ready)
Counters - Moment of Perfect Mind (ready), Wall of Blades
Other - Iron Heart Surge (ready)
-----------------------------------------------
Abilities Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 20, Cha 6
SQ Repletion, resilience, resistance
Feats Psychic Renewal (ToB), Power Attack, Combat Reflexes, Ironheart Aura (ToB), Stormguard Warrior (ToB)
Skills Autohypnosis 5 (+10) Balance 5 (+7), Concentration 13 (+15), Intimidate 8 (+6), Knowledge (history) 2 (+3), Knowledge (local) 5 (+6), Knowledge (psionics) 2 (+3), Listen 5 (+15), Martial Lore 13 (+14), Spot 5 (+10)
Possessions Periapt of Wisdom +2, Gauntlets of Ogre Power +2, Breastplate +1, Cloak of Resistance +1, Glaive +1, Ring of Protection +1, Mwk Composite Longbow (+3 str bonus), 20 arrows
Ernir
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:25 pm

Re: [3.5] The War Mind - Revised Class

Postby Ernir » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:25 pm

Why the revision?

The War Mind was not an unusable class before. Not at all. What bothered me about it was twofold - it was primarily used for the first five levels as a means to access Sweeping Strike, with the rest being ignored. The second part of it was that it suffered heavily from what I call the "level 16 problem". The abilities of the old class progress steadily until the 15th level, at which point its PP progression actually overtakes that of the Psychic Warrior, but after that... it simply runs out of steam. It shares this characteristic with a few other 10-level classes designed to be entered at low levels, like the Mystic Theurge.
Also, I wanted to squeeze in the Tome of Battle. It's perfect flavorwise for a character like this, and there isn't a Psionic/ToB class existing in WotC D&D.

To list/summarize the goals and reasons:
  • Make the War Mind more than a 5-level class
  • Make a Psionic/ToB progressing PrC
  • Solve the War Mind's perceived "level 16 problem" (see Power Points/Day and "Chain of Integrated Training", above)
  • Close the bag o' rats + Sweeping Strike + Great Cleave loop (while retaining its usefulness in other aspects)
  • Insert scaling class features
  • Insert more "mind-related" class features

On the PP progression

The new war mind's PP progression is... unique. A bit more unique (and less elegant) than I would like, particularly when it comes to it not pooling with other Psionic classes. It was the only way I could think of to provide a way for the PP to scale beyond the 10 levels of the class, without making it the easiest go-to dip ever for PsyWars who just want to double up on their PP pool.
The spoiler contains a graph of the PP progressions of the PsyWar and the new war mind. The war mind's progression is, of course, a function of its manifester level rather than its actual character level.

The opening quote, "If you know the enemy, and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles" is not something I made up. It's from Sun Tzu's Art of War, I am told.
Ernir
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:25 pm

Re: [3.5] The War Mind - Revised Class

Postby Ernir » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:26 pm

Whoo, this class is actually here, finally! Only a few months after I intended to port it here over from GitP.

The only news I have for those that have read the class before is that I think I have finally made the description of how its manifester level works not-stupid.
Ernir
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:25 pm

Re: [3.5] The War Mind - Revised Class

Postby DragoonWraith » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:01 pm

Thrilled to finally see this here.
"change the world..."
User avatar
DragoonWraith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:23 pm


Return to d20 Design

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron