Author Topic: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track  (Read 2820 times)

Timeless Error

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The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« on: June 17, 2012, 09:22:18 PM »
EDIT: New version can be found here, as part of the fighter class.

This is a huge experiment, and I can't vouch for its balance at all.  Please critique and let me know how I can make this track more sane, if it needs it.

--

Some warriors depend on brute strength, others on technical skill.  The Soldier is clearly the latter, so refined that he never takes a single misstep.  For every success he has, he gains momentum, which just makes him more potent.  Truly, Soldiers are martial juggernauts, nigh-impossible to best in combat.

The Soldier

All abilities of the Soldier are Extraordinary unless otherwise noted.

This track's abilities depend on [Concentration points].  A [Concentration point] is a mechanic unique to the Soldier track, and can be used only to activate Soldier track abilities.  [Concentration points] expire at the end of the [Encounter], and you may have a maximum number of [Concentration points] equal to your level + your KOM available to you at any given time.

*Abilities with an asterisk may be used twice at the same time by spending twice the necessary [Concentration points], doubling their effects.

1st Circle – Focused Warrior: Whenever you successfully target an opponent with an offensive action, or you are targeted by an offensive action, but it fails, you gain one [Concentration point].  Whenever you target an opponent with an offensive action, but it fails, or you are targeted by an offensive action, and it succeeds, you lose one [Concentration point].  It is not possible to reduce your [Concentration point] total below zero.
By expending two [Concentration points], you may use one of the following abilities:
        Dodge*: You gain a bonus to saves, and deflection bonus to AC, equal to half the number of circles you have in this track for one [Round].
        Strike*: When you make an attack, you gain a +2 bonus on the attack roll and deal extra damage equal to your character level.
        Withstand*: You may gain [Lesser resistance] against one incoming offensive action, before you know the result of that offensive action.

2nd Circle – Skilled Warrior: You may make one additional five ft step per [Round].  You may spend a swift action to gain a number of [Concentration points] equal to twice the number of circles you have in this track.  Whenever you score a critical hit on an opponent, you gain two [Concentration points].  By expending three [Concentration points], you may use one of the following abilities:
        Disable*:  On a successful melee attack, you may reduce your opponent’s movement speed by 10 ft.
        Redouble Efforts*: You gain the benefits of either Dodge, Strike or Withstand for the duration of the [Encounter].  This stacks with the ability you gained (Dodge, Strike, or Withstand respectively) once, but not more (so a 4th circle Soldier could gain a +6 deflection bonus to AC, and a +6 bonus to saves, by spending eight [Concentration points] to gain double the benefits of Redouble Efforts and the benefits of Dodge once, but could not gain double the benefits of Dodge like they normally could).

3rd Circle – Powerful Warrior: Whenever you successfully target an opponent with an offensive action, or you are targeted by an offensive action, but it fails, and you would gain one [Concentration point], you instead gain three [Concentration points].  By expending four [Concentration points], you may use one of the following abilities:
        Feint: Your opponent must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 level + KOM) or become [Flat-footed] for one [Round].
        Terrify: Your opponent must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 level + KOM) or become [Shaken] for one [Round].
        Timed Retreat*: When you are targeted by an attack, but it fails, you may immediately move up to half your speed.

4th Circle – Brilliant Warrior: You may make one additional attack of opportunity per [Round].  Whenever you kill a (non-mook) opponent whose level is equal to or greater than yours, you gain four [Concentration points].  By expending five [Concentration points], you may use one of the following abilities:
        Duck: When your Armor Class is targeted by a melee attack, you gain a +5 bonus to AC against that one attack, and if your opponent misses you, you may take an attack of opportunity.
        Counterattack: If you have not yet expended all your attacks of opportunity this [Round], you may make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who hits you with a melee attack.  If this attack of opportunity hits, their attack deals half damage.

5th Circle – Mighty Warrior: Whenever you successfully target an opponent with an offensive action, or you are targeted by an offensive action, but it fails, and you would gain three [Concentration points], you instead gain five [Concentration points]. By expending six [Concentration points], you may use one of the following abilities:
        Keep Going*: You gain [Immunity] to [Unconscious] and [Dying] for 2 [Rounds], though you still die when your hit point total reaches your negative Constitution score.
        Leap Attack: Directly before taking a standard action, you may, as a non-action, move up to your speed.
        Lock Blades: On your turn, you may, as a non-action, render both you and one opponent within your [Melee] range incapable of making attacks, with one exception: you may make attacks of opportunity, but your opponent may not.  This persists for as long as that opponent remains in your [Melee] range.

6th Circle – Genius Warrior: Once per [Round] on an attack action, you may make one additional attack at your lowest base attack bonus.  You may spend an immediate action to gain a number of [Concentration points] equal to twice the number of circles you have in this track.  By expending seven [Concentration points], you may use one of the following abilities:
        Redirect: When an opponent targets you with a single-target offensive action, you may, before you learn the result of the offensive action, change its target to another opponent within the offensive action’s range.
        Send Flying: Choose to activate this ability at the beginning of your turn.  Every successful attack you make forces its target to make a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 your level + your KOM) or become [Blown away].

7th Circle – Deadly Warrior: Whenever you successfully target an opponent with an offensive action, or you are targeted by an offensive action, but it fails, and you would gain five [Concentration points], you instead gain seven [Concentration points]. By expending eight [Concentration points], you may use one of the following abilities:
        Moment of Perfection: You may automatically treat one die roll as if you had rolled the maximum possible result on that die roll.  For example, instead of rolling a d20, you might opt to treat it as a natural 20.
        Untouchable: For one [Round], you gain [Immunity] to physical damage.  However, in the [Round] after that, you gain [Vulnerability] to physical damage.  You may not use Untouchable for two [Rounds] in a row.
        Wave of Death: One attack you make, if successful, deals extra damage equal to three times your character level.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 06:00:59 PM by Timeless Error »
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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 09:58:49 PM »
are these the same focus points used by the likes of Kensai, I am Not Left Handed, and My Name Is War?

Timeless Error

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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 10:15:36 PM »
are these the same focus points used by the likes of Kensai, I am Not Left Handed, and My Name Is War?
Yes, but that is one of the many things which I am not sure is a good idea.  I'm on the brink of replacing it with a different term - suggestions?
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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 10:55:10 PM »
are these the same focus points used by the likes of Kensai, I am Not Left Handed, and My Name Is War?
Yes, but that is one of the many things which I am not sure is a good idea.  I'm on the brink of replacing it with a different term - suggestions?
they fit thematically, but the massive influx of points from later circles would make the feats more powerful than intended.
Skill points? Martial points? i'm not that good at naming things.
if you do change it, make sure to specify that they expire at the end of the encounter, so you don't have allies "miss" him constantly between encounters so he has a metric ton of points to work with. maybe add a cap to it.

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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 11:07:04 PM »
are these the same focus points used by the likes of Kensai, I am Not Left Handed, and My Name Is War?
Yes, but that is one of the many things which I am not sure is a good idea.  I'm on the brink of replacing it with a different term - suggestions?
Yeah, it should be something completely different. Maybe call it advantage? It makes sense, since it is effectively measuring how much better you were than your opponent. The closest existing mechanic is chain components in iron magi, but these are fluctuating up and down at a whim. To even start to balance this track we'd need to understand how many points  you would expect to gain each round based on level and situation. It also strongly rewards being better than your opponent in the first place. I mean, if your opponent's AC is good enough to block 50% of your attacks(including iteratives), you have no net gain on points. And if they are good enough to be hitting you at least that much, again, no gain.  So it makes you better at killing things you are already good against, while providing minimal benefit to things that you need help with.
Later circles make it easier to gain the points, but you are also needing more  to access your abilities. Due to being tied to the same economy, all of these options are more or less mutually exclusive at any time, and based on how difficult it seems to be to gain them, kinda weak. I may be mis-estimating how many focus points you have; again, a analysis of how many points are expected would help alot.
As for the abilities themselves, they seem like they are all over the place. Some of them feel weak even without the focus point cost, others make me raise my eyebrows, but without a firm grasp on the expected number of points, its hard to say.

Basically, analyze your point system and give expected values in various situations, and then we can figure out how things work.
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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 01:14:19 AM »
This seems like it would love To Iron Married...

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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 11:18:13 AM »
are these the same focus points used by the likes of Kensai, I am Not Left Handed, and My Name Is War?
Yes, but that is one of the many things which I am not sure is a good idea.  I'm on the brink of replacing it with a different term - suggestions?
they fit thematically, but the massive influx of points from later circles would make the feats more powerful than intended.
Skill points? Martial points? i'm not that good at naming things.
if you do change it, make sure to specify that they expire at the end of the encounter, so you don't have allies "miss" him constantly between encounters so he has a metric ton of points to work with. maybe add a cap to it.
Now I agree entirely, these should not actually be focus points.  I think I'll rename them to concentration points.

are these the same focus points used by the likes of Kensai, I am Not Left Handed, and My Name Is War?
Yes, but that is one of the many things which I am not sure is a good idea.  I'm on the brink of replacing it with a different term - suggestions?
Yeah, it should be something completely different. Maybe call it advantage? It makes sense, since it is effectively measuring how much better you were than your opponent. The closest existing mechanic is chain components in iron magi, but these are fluctuating up and down at a whim. To even start to balance this track we'd need to understand how many points  you would expect to gain each round based on level and situation. It also strongly rewards being better than your opponent in the first place. I mean, if your opponent's AC is good enough to block 50% of your attacks(including iteratives), you have no net gain on points. And if they are good enough to be hitting you at least that much, again, no gain.  So it makes you better at killing things you are already good against, while providing minimal benefit to things that you need help with.
Ideally, someone taking this track is going to be really good at either attacking or defending (preferably both, of course) - so, someone who's focused on optimizing either their attack or AC.  I don't know if that's a good thing, but it was the intent of the track.  If you really think this doesn't work, I could up the gain to two focus points on successes.  However, the swift-action acquisition points was intended to be the main source of the track's focus (now concentration) points.  I originally had it as 2 x circles, but thought it was two much, but I should probably change it back.  Thoughts?
Later circles make it easier to gain the points, but you are also needing more  to access your abilities. Due to being tied to the same economy, all of these options are more or less mutually exclusive at any time, and based on how difficult it seems to be to gain them, kinda weak. I may be mis-estimating how many focus points you have; again, a analysis of how many points are expected would help alot.
Tied to the same economy?  Expending concentration points does not require an action, and, if offensive, multiple effects can be applied to the same attack.  Perhaps I should have made that explicit.  Unless I'm misinterpreting what you mean, I don't think it's a problem.  As for gaining them being difficult, I agree that right now they're a little sparse, and I'm going to improve the swift and immediate action access.
As for the abilities themselves, they seem like they are all over the place. Some of them feel weak even without the focus point cost, others make me raise my eyebrows, but without a firm grasp on the expected number of points, its hard to say.
This was the part of the track that I was really worried about - the balance of the abilities themselves.  I would appreciate your opinions on the ones that struck you as poorly chosen.

Basically, analyze your point system and give expected values in various situations, and then we can figure out how things work.
Assuming I make the changes I mentioned, a low level (let's say 2nd circle) Soldier should be getting, on average, 4-6 concentration points per round (4 from the swift action, and potentially two more from a success).  A high level (let's say 6th circle) Soldier might get 12-16 (12 from the swift action, and potentially four more from multiple successes - this could easily get higher if the Soldier gets lucky or is facing a weaker opponent).
Responses bolded.

This seems like it would love To Iron Married...
It certainly would.
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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 11:25:04 AM »
your numbers don't match up with the track. A high level soldier will be getting 7 focus points  whenever they are missed or when they hit, which should add up to more than 16 even without the swift. And you can be focusing on both defense and accuracy, and then be getting the points from both aspects.
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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 11:33:24 AM »
your numbers don't match up with the track. A high level soldier will be getting 7 focus points  whenever they are missed or when they hit, which should add up to more than 16 even without the swift. And you can be focusing on both defense and accuracy, and then be getting the points from both aspects.
Oh boy, I'm out of it today.  I was reading the document version of what I posted, which is out of date.  Never mind.   :-[

Let me try that again: A 6th circle Soldier should be getting between 12 and 22 focus points (more if he gets lucky).  Thoughts now?
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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 12:38:27 PM »
Assuming 22 focus points. The total benefit of the track in any given round is essential purchased from these points.


+3 AC
+2 attack, +level damage
gain damage reduction against an attack actions equal to your best save modifier, which could easily be 25+

these do not seem to balance against each other. +3 AC is a 15% chance that you negate an attack. If its would miss anyways, you didn't help anything, and if it hits despite it, you didn't help. Its only useful in that gap, which only occurs 15% of the time(unless that gap is on one of the edges of their attack range, but I expect that would be unusual)
the attack and damage scale well, and seem like a reasonable benefit from 1st circle. That you have to spend points to get, making it no guaranteed. And the more attacks you have, the more expensive it is. It takes half of your points at high levels to get it on all of your attacks- meaning this bonus would be half of the entire benefit of the track on those rounds.
The  damage reduction is quite powerful, and you picked a really odd scaling for it. The modifier for your best save. I have a level 6 character with a +16 reflex save, which is a TON of damage mitigation at that level. that scaling doesn't seem to be very balanced.

reduce enemies speed by 10ft
sudden draw
the speed reduction is interesting and could quickly hinder opponents with moderate speed.
sudden draw is an odd mechanic. if you use it to jump ahead of the opponent in initiative, you get 2 rounds in between their attack once. Since Legend doesn't go in for rocket tag, I'll assume that this difference is not enough to kill the opponent, but it does give you one action lead on them for the rest of the combat, much as going first would. Going first would be better, due to having an extra round to buff/debuff, but not that much better. This kinda translates  to a point tax to go first if you didn't naturally.

feint and terror are interesting, due to  their lack of an action cost. They maybe worth it for that reason alone. Though mummies can force a similar save when they hit, as part of their race.So I'm not sure.
timed retreat is kinda powerful. It basically forces enemies to run up to you, possibly giving you an AoO, or you get to negate their entire attack routine. Sure, there is a save for one of the attacks to go through, but to step back and go "Na na, your other 5 attacks can't hit" is really, really good. Its not like its a save and get all  your attacks, its a save to get 1 attack, and the others are just lost. You can even use it against range fairly often if you make proper use of  the environment. (I shoot at you, and you sidestep behind a wall)

Duck is like dodge, but better. It has an effect if the attack misses, not just if the ability makes the difference, and a +4 can make it very likely they will miss. Hence, its much less random if it will help you- it most likely will.
counterattack refrences a full attack action, which does not exist. Its just an attack option. The ability is basically a potential half damage on a hit, and you lose an attack if nobody actually swings at you within your range.

keep going effectively is a +CON hp, that requires you to burn points when you are using the ability. That is most of the Unstoppable 7th circle utter brute track. I'm not sure if that is too powerful or too weak.
leap attack is interesting. In D&D it would be nice, but seeing how you can generally move and attack anyways, its not amazing. Useful, though, as it frees up a move action for whatever.
lock blades is interesting, but doesn't work. All it does is make them move out of your melee range to break free(and you can't AoO them due to not being able to attack at the time), at which point they can attack someone else, use a ranged weapon on you, or, as written, walk back up to you and attack.

redirect should probably take an immediate action, and be clarified how it works with attacks. A single attack is not an action, the attack action gives all of your attacks. Whether it qualifies as single target is debatable, since it my or may not be directed at a single person.
Send flying  is fun(I am partial to tossing enemies around), but if you are in melee, you are just going to be knocking them out of reach.

Stun makes me cringe. It seems way to easy to stunlock somebody. There is no action cost, no use limit, you can just spam Save-or-stuns at them constantly and render them unable to respond.
With the numbers given, you should be able to maintain untouchable constantly, making the vulnerability a moot point and letting you laugh at the pathetic barbarian's one round invulnerability.
Whirlwind bypasses normal attack limits. You can easily get 2, possibly 3, swifts, which you could spend on this, and target everything in range with guns repeatedly, gaining points from all of the hits, giving you a ton of points. Which actually makes me wonder how balanced this would be with destruction, seeing as you could get a lot of attacks out.

I think this track, as written, would be way too swingy. you can make a character that will essentially never miss, eps. if you use epic flail and wraithblade. This would then start gaining points on every swing. Combine that with something like destruction to be hitting even more people for even more points, and all of the point estimates go out the window, leading to this being much more powerful. Also couple that with a high-AC build, and start raking in the points from people missing you. Conversely, if you don't do anything special, you will be getting hit fairly often, and only hitting occasionally yourself, and you may not even be getting the expected amounts. At the very least, there should be a ceiling on the points you can get, and balance around the assumption you would be at that limit most of the time.
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Timeless Error

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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 03:07:15 PM »
Assuming 22 focus points. The total benefit of the track in any given round is essential purchased from these points.


+3 AC
+2 attack, +level damage
gain damage reduction against an attack actions equal to your best save modifier, which could easily be 25+

these do not seem to balance against each other. +3 AC is a 15% chance that you negate an attack. If its would miss anyways, you didn't help anything, and if it hits despite it, you didn't help. Its only useful in that gap, which only occurs 15% of the time(unless that gap is on one of the edges of their attack range, but I expect that would be unusual)
the attack and damage scale well, and seem like a reasonable benefit from 1st circle. That you have to spend points to get, making it no guaranteed. And the more attacks you have, the more expensive it is. It takes half of your points at high levels to get it on all of your attacks- meaning this bonus would be half of the entire benefit of the track on those rounds.
The  damage reduction is quite powerful, and you picked a really odd scaling for it. The modifier for your best save. I have a level 6 character with a +16 reflex save, which is a TON of damage mitigation at that level. that scaling doesn't seem to be very balanced.
Yeah, I tried to do something interesting with the DR there, but perhaps it would be better to change it to something more standard.  Just [Lesser resistance], perhaps?
Suggestions on how to revise Dodge?  I suppose I could allow it to modify your AC after you know the result of the attack roll.


reduce enemies speed by 10ft
sudden draw
the speed reduction is interesting and could quickly hinder opponents with moderate speed.
sudden draw is an odd mechanic. if you use it to jump ahead of the opponent in initiative, you get 2 rounds in between their attack once. Since Legend doesn't go in for rocket tag, I'll assume that this difference is not enough to kill the opponent, but it does give you one action lead on them for the rest of the combat, much as going first would. Going first would be better, due to having an extra round to buff/debuff, but not that much better. This kinda translates  to a point tax to go first if you didn't naturally.
Hm...yeah, Sudden Draw is rather ugly.  How would you recommend changing it?

feint and terror are interesting, due to  their lack of an action cost. They maybe worth it for that reason alone. Though mummies can force a similar save when they hit, as part of their race.So I'm not sure.
timed retreat is kinda powerful. It basically forces enemies to run up to you, possibly giving you an AoO, or you get to negate their entire attack routine. Sure, there is a save for one of the attacks to go through, but to step back and go "Na na, your other 5 attacks can't hit" is really, really good. Its not like its a save and get all  your attacks, its a save to get 1 attack, and the others are just lost. You can even use it against range fairly often if you make proper use of  the environment. (I shoot at you, and you sidestep behind a wall)
Agreed on Timed Retreat.  I'll come up with another option.

Duck is like dodge, but better. It has an effect if the attack misses, not just if the ability makes the difference, and a +4 can make it very likely they will miss. Hence, its much less random if it will help you- it most likely will.
counterattack refrences a full attack action, which does not exist. Its just an attack option. The ability is basically a potential half damage on a hit, and you lose an attack if nobody actually swings at you within your range.
Ah, that was me going into 3.5 mode with Counterattack.  To avoid losing an attack for nothing, perhaps you could instead opt to take an additional opportunity attack that round?

keep going effectively is a +CON hp, that requires you to burn points when you are using the ability. That is most of the Unstoppable 7th circle utter brute track. I'm not sure if that is too powerful or too weak.
leap attack is interesting. In D&D it would be nice, but seeing how you can generally move and attack anyways, its not amazing. Useful, though, as it frees up a move action for whatever.
lock blades is interesting, but doesn't work. All it does is make them move out of your melee range to break free(and you can't AoO them due to not being able to attack at the time), at which point they can attack someone else, use a ranged weapon on you, or, as written, walk back up to you and attack.
Unstoppable was my balance point on Keep Going.  Since it's some, but not all, of what strikes me as a rather mediocre seventh circle, I think it should be fine.
I'll think about how to rewrite Lock Blades.


redirect should probably take an immediate action, and be clarified how it works with attacks. A single attack is not an action, the attack action gives all of your attacks. Whether it qualifies as single target is debatable, since it my or may not be directed at a single person.
Send flying  is fun(I am partial to tossing enemies around), but if you are in melee, you are just going to be knocking them out of reach.
Huh, you're right.  I'll specify that Redirect can also work to redirect part of an attack action.
I don't want to change Send Flying for the very reason that it is fun to fling enemies around, as you mentioned.  I think it already has its tactical applications, and it should stay.


Stun makes me cringe. It seems way to easy to stunlock somebody. There is no action cost, no use limit, you can just spam Save-or-stuns at them constantly and render them unable to respond.
With the numbers given, you should be able to maintain untouchable constantly, making the vulnerability a moot point and letting you laugh at the pathetic barbarian's one round invulnerability.
Whirlwind bypasses normal attack limits. You can easily get 2, possibly 3, swifts, which you could spend on this, and target everything in range with guns repeatedly, gaining points from all of the hits, giving you a ton of points. Which actually makes me wonder how balanced this would be with destruction, seeing as you could get a lot of attacks out.
OK, 7th circle doesn't work at all.  I'll come up with three new abilities.

I think this track, as written, would be way too swingy. you can make a character that will essentially never miss, eps. if you use epic flail and wraithblade. This would then start gaining points on every swing. Combine that with something like destruction to be hitting even more people for even more points, and all of the point estimates go out the window, leading to this being much more powerful. Also couple that with a high-AC build, and start raking in the points from people missing you. Conversely, if you don't do anything special, you will be getting hit fairly often, and only hitting occasionally yourself, and you may not even be getting the expected amounts. At the very least, there should be a ceiling on the points you can get, and balance around the assumption you would be at that limit most of the time.
Eh, as I mentioned, it was an experiment, and it appears to have not worked quite as well as I had hoped.
As for a point cap, how about 25?  Or, to be more generous, 30?

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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 03:28:08 PM »
The cap needs to be something that scales somehow. Perhaps level+KOM would be appropriate.

lesser resistance would probably work

Being able to activate dodge after you know the result is also problematic. by 3rd circle, if you know an enemy hit you by 3 or less, then its a no brainer to activate it. It costs 2 points, and you get 3 or more back, meaning you not only negate the attack, you gain points from it.

Maybe  sudden draw works by allowing you to take an initiative bonus, but doing so starts you with negative points, so you have to regain them before you can start doing things. Effectively, you prepay the cost. Alternatively, give a 3 point bonus at the start of combat, which you can forgo for an imitative boost. It can make sense fluffwise. Acting extra quickly makes it harder to ready yourself.

For counterattack, being able to AoO someone who attacks you, and if it hits halves the damage, seems reasonable and interesting to me.

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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 03:54:05 PM »
The cap needs to be something that scales somehow. Perhaps level+KOM would be appropriate.
I was referring to what the cap would be at level 20.  For throughout the entire track, I was thinking level +5, but level + KOM probably works better.

lesser resistance would probably work
OK.

Being able to activate dodge after you know the result is also problematic. by 3rd circle, if you know an enemy hit you by 3 or less, then its a no brainer to activate it. It costs 2 points, and you get 3 or more back, meaning you not only negate the attack, you gain points from it.
Also a good point.  Replace your AC with a saving throw for one attack, maybe?

Maybe  sudden draw works by allowing you to take an initiative bonus, but doing so starts you with negative points, so you have to regain them before you can start doing things. Effectively, you prepay the cost. Alternatively, give a 3 point bonus at the start of combat, which you can forgo for an imitative boost. It can make sense fluffwise. Acting extra quickly makes it harder to ready yourself.
You know, I think I might just replace Sudden Draw with something else entirely.

For counterattack, being able to AoO someone who attacks you, and if it hits halves the damage, seems reasonable and interesting to me.
So, just remove the ability as written entirely, and replace with something along the lines of "If you have not yet made an attack of opportunity this [Round], you may make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who hits you with a melee attack.  If this attack of opportunity hits, their attack deals half damage"?
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To do list:
Spoiler
Replace all mention of focus points with concentration points.
Replace Withstand with an effect that grants [Lesser resistance].
Revise Dodge.
Replace Sudden Draw.
Revise or replace Timed Retreat.
Revise Counterattack.
Revise Lock Blades.
Come up with three new seventh circle abilities.
Put a cap on the maximum number of available concentration points at any given time.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 04:21:20 PM by Timeless Error »
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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 04:05:03 PM »
replacing Ac with a save is Acrobatic Adepts Gimick, I wouldn't copy that.
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Re: The Soldier - Sheer Martial Skill in a Track
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 04:06:33 PM »
replacing Ac with a save is Acrobatic Adepts Gimick, I wouldn't copy that.
I suppose not.  Other suggestions, then?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 05:12:38 PM by Timeless Error »
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