Author Topic: March of Aeons [Epic Martial Discipline]  (Read 5354 times)

Bozwevial

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March of Aeons [Epic Martial Discipline]
« on: January 17, 2013, 02:21:48 AM »
March of Aeons



The March of Aeons is said to be the oldest of all martial traditions, yet none can say for sure who its first master was. Some legends speculate that the March is yet to be founded, and that some future hero will scatter her knowledge to the ages so that all of eternity might have its own guardian. Bleak-eyed oracles conjure images of a tyrant whose command of Time will be so immeasurably powerful that his enemies have always and will always struggle against agents of his will. Sages wonder whether there ever will be a true origin to the March, and whether the entire tradition might have sprung from nowhere in some vast cosmic joke. Whatever the truth, all the rumors agree that those epic heroes who embark along the March seem to have their own grand designs in mind, whether conquest or salvation.

The key skill for the March of Aeons discipline is Knowledge (history). Its associated weapons are the flail, the dagger, and the scythe.

Quote from: The Demented One
Epic Martial Disciplines
Epic martial disciplines are the fighting styles of the most powerful warriors and swordsmen in all creation. Powerful secret techniques wielded by gods, archfiends, and epic heroes, they represent the absolute pinnacle of the Sublime Way.

Learning Epic Martial Disciplines
Every epic discipline has an epic feat associated with it, called an initiation feat. Once an epic character has taken the initiation feat of a discipline, he gains the ability to learn the maneuvers of that epic discipline. Unlike normal maneuvers, epic maneuvers must be learned individually–each one has a unique XP cost and training time to learn. Learning even a single epic maneuver is an arduous quest for the mightiest of heroes, as they must seek out a master of the discipline to learn it from. Such beings include deities, demon princes, and things far more strange. Without such a mentor, the training time required to learn an epic maneuver is doubled–and even then, the pinnacle maneuver of an epic discipline can never be learned without a mentor. As with normal martial maneuvers, a martial adept must meet certain prerequisite number of maneuvers known from the same discipline to learn epic maneuvers. Each discipline has a single “pinnacle” maneuver, one that requires all other maneuvers of the discipline to be learned before it can be mastered.

Using Epic Maneuvers
Epic maneuvers are readied and initiated differently than normal maneuvers. Whenever a martial adept readies his maneuvers, he may choose a single epic martial discipline to ready for that day. Doing so readies all epic maneuvers of that discipline that he has learned. They do not count towards his normal maneuvers readied. Each readied epic maneuver can be initiated once per encounter–they cannot be recovered by any means. The martial adept may enter epic stances of his readied discipline as if they were normal martial stances, save that no ability or effect can ever allow him to gain the benefits of any other or second stance at the same time as he gains the benefits of an epic stance. Epic maneuvers do not have a level, but are treated as being of 10th level for all purposes. The saving throw against an epic maneuver has a DC of 20 + the listed ability modifier, although many epic maneuvers list ways in which their DC can be increased. All epic maneuvers are extraordinary abilities, unless otherwise listed.

Knight of Paradox [Epic, Initiation]
You have begun to walk the March of Aeons.
Prerequisites: Knowledge (history) 24 ranks, Martial Lore 24 ranks, must be capable of initiating 9th-level maneuvers of any discipline
Benefits: If a creature you are in an encounter with casts Time Stop, you may choose to be affected by the spell as well, allowing you to act as normal during its duration. Characters with this feat may learn maneuvers from the March of Aeons discipline.

Maneuvers
Spoiler
All maneuvers of the March of Aeons discipline are supernatural abilities unless indicated otherwise.

Recurring Bloodshed
March of Aeons (Strike)
Initiation Action: One standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant
XP Cost: 20,000 XP
Training Time: 10 days

The adept of Aeons can draw knowledge of a masterful strike from nothing, imitating that which does not yet exist in an elegant and deadly paradox. You make a single melee attack, which automatically hits regardless of your target's AC, miss chances, or other effects (except for any which explicitly cause all attacks to fail) and deals an extra +25 damage. This attack needs no attack roll and so cannot fail as a result of a natural 1. If this attack is successful, then the next melee attack you make against your target, so long as it is made before the end of your next turn, carries the same benefits and deals the same amount of damage. If your first attack kills the target, you automatically recover this maneuver (an exception to the rule that epic maneuvers cannot be recovered by any means).

Killing Pendulum Stroke
March of Aeons (Strike)
Prerequisite: One March of Aeons maneuver
Initiation Action: One standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant
XP Cost: 30,000 XP
Training Time: 15 days

Immersing himself within the currents of Time, the adept of Aeons folds a display of unmatched violence into a brief moment. As part of this maneuver, you make a full melee attack. You may ignore any and all penalties to your attack rolls, such as those arising from the use of Power Attack and similar feats, fighting with two weapons, making iterative attacks, and so forth.

Hourglass Siphoning Prana
March of Aeons (Boost)
Prerequisite: One March of Aeons maneuver
Initiation Action: One swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: One round
XP Cost: 30,000 XP
Training Time: 15 days

Under the onslaught of the ages, all bastions, mortal or divine, crumble and fall. When you initiate this maneuver, any creature you strike with a melee attack until the beginning of your next turn is subject to a surge of compressed Time. The effect of one supernatural or extraordinary ability, spell, psionic power, spell-like ability, or psi-like ability with a finite duration affecting the target ends for that target, as if its duration had expired. You may only terminate an effect that you know of, but if you know of multiple such effects, you can choose which one to end. You may not target any given creature more than once with a single use of this maneuver.

Transience of Strife
March of Aeons (Counter)
Prerequisite: One March of Aeons maneuver
Initiation Action: One immediate action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: One round (see text)
XP Cost: 30,000 XP
Training Time: 15 days

Though there is an appointed hour when the adept of Aeons will reach his end, Time is not a hunter unbeknownst to its prey, and it will safeguard him until that fated moment. You can initiate this maneuver whenever you are attacked. You act as though under the effects of a time stop spell, except that the duration is only one round of apparent time.

Eternity's Martyr
March of Aeons (Counter)
Prerequisite: One March of Aeons maneuver
Initiation Action: One immediate action
Range: See text
Target: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous and 1d4 rounds (see text)
XP Cost: 30,000 XP
Training Time: 15 days

Even those doomed by circumstance may find solace in continued struggle, ensuring that in some far-flung reality Time progresses as they had hoped. You can initiate this maneuver whenever you are attacked. A version of you from another timeline throws itself in the way of the attack, taking its full force in your place, and vanishes as quickly as it appeared, dragging your attacker out of your timeline alongside it. Your attacker is affected as though by the time hop power for 1d4 rounds, except that it must make a Will save (DC 10+half your initiator level+your Wisdom modifier) to end the effect early instead of a Wisdom check, and each round it remains in the other timeline, it takes your IL in damage as both your other self and Time conspire to make its stay as unpleasant as possible.

Excision of History
March of Aeons (Strike)
Prerequisite: Two March of Aeons maneuvers
Initiation Action: One standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous
XP Cost: 45,000 XP
Training Time: 20 days

Armed with nothing but a blade, an adept of Aeons can exile his foes from Time as though they were weeds in a garden. You make a single melee attack. If it hits, your target must make a Will save, DC 10+half your initiator level+your Wisdom modifier, or wink out of existence as the connection between its past and present is severed. In addition, the localized paradox erases a small portion of your target's influence on the timeline. Any actions your target took on its last turn are undone, as per the time regression power, except that only the effects of your target's actions are reversed. The effects of any abilities triggered by, actions taken in response to, or actions taken as a result of these reversed actions remain, and any resources used to activate them remain expended even if their trigger condition is rendered impossible retroactively. Only your target's actions are wiped from the timeline; its life and effects on the world are otherwise unchanged.

Divergence Blade
March of Aeons (Boost)
Prerequisite: Two March of Aeons maneuvers
Initiation Action: One swift action
Range: See text
Target: You
Duration: One round (see text)
XP Cost: 45,000 XP
Training Time: 20 days

While all other friends may abandon the adept of Aeons, he may rest assured that he will always have an ally in himself. When you initiate this maneuver, you temporarily split your own timeline to call upon the services of another potential version of yourself. This boost functions as the time duplicate epic spell, except that when your double disappears, you do not vanish for a round, as you simply merge the two timelines with no loop. You may not expend any resources which your double expends, and vice-versa. Any resources which your double expended are still lost to you as normal, due to the nature of the split.

Renewal of Heartbeats
March of Aeons (Counter)
Prerequisite: Two March of Aeons maneuvers
Initiation Action: One immediate action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: One round (see text)
XP Cost: 45,000 XP
Training Time: 20 days

Time is as much a promise of rebirth as it is of endings. You may initiate this maneuver whenever you are attacked. You erupt into a torrent of golden fire as your body becomes a conduit to the heart of Time, pulling you completely into its currents and rejuvenating you. You disappear for one round as though affected by by time hop. When you emerge, you are restored to full health and free of any negative conditions that could be removed by the heal spell, as well as any ability drain or negative levels you may possess. You appear in the square you previously occupied, or the nearest empty space if that square is full.

Causality-Rending Mandala
March of Aeons (Stance) [Pinnacle]
Prerequisite: Eight March of Aeons maneuvers
Initiation Action: Swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Stance
XP Cost: 100,000 XP
Training Time: 50 days

As one who is both lord and servant of Time, the master of Aeons may shatter the established order of events in favor of a more pleasing configuration, though at the cost of his very being. You may step back in time to the moment you shattered causality, revising your own personal history by fighting alongside your past self. As a free action, you may return to the moment you first entered this stance as though using time regression, taking one negative level per round traversed in this fashion. You appear in any square adjacent to your past self, or the nearest empty square if no adjacent square is free. You control both your past and future selves, who act on the same initiative count. As per Divergence Blade, you cannot use a resource your past self has consumed, and vice versa. When you reach the point where you originally stepped back, your past self vanishes. Stepping back in time ends this stance.

In addition, at places of power and under certain circumstances which usually involve the alignment of various celestial bodies, you may use this stance to travel through time, taking one ally per initiator level along with you. The exact details of these requirements vary depending on your desired destination.

Negative levels gained through this stance do not risk becoming permanent, but cannot be removed in any way (including by resurrection spells). Instead, they heal naturally at the rate of 1 negative level per day. If you accrue enough negative levels to kill you, you are erased from existence to ease the stress on the timestream, and cannot be brought back without the use of epic-level magic.

Many thanks to sirpercival, veekie, Agita, and especially The Demented One.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 03:46:00 AM by Bozwevial »

phaedrusxy

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Re: March of Aeons [Epic Martial Discipline]
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 02:00:04 PM »
Wow... awesomeness. I'd been toying around with something like Excision of History and Divergence Blade for high level/capstone abilities for the Agraramel. If you don't mind, I'll just use these. :D Did the Balefire ability from the Wheel of Time series help you come up with Excision of History? It's basically a ray attack that does the same thing.

Bozwevial

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Re: March of Aeons [Epic Martial Discipline]
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 02:04:47 PM »
Wow... awesomeness. I'd been toying around with something like Excision of History and Divergence Blade for high level/capstone abilities for the Agraramel. If you don't mind, I'll just use these. :D Did the Balefire ability from the Wheel of Time series help you come up with Excision of History? It's basically a ray attack that does the same thing.
I have actually never read past the first book in Wheel of Time, and that was years ago. The idea of paradoxing someone out of existence was an idea I had been toying with pretty much since I volunteered to write this for sirpercival, and a lengthy conversation with veekie about time-travel mechanics helped me turn that into something that's hopefully more interesting than your typical save-or-die.