Author Topic: Discipline of the Mantis  (Read 2647 times)

Tim4488

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Discipline of the Mantis
« on: March 11, 2013, 09:08:24 PM »
Inspired by Yoder's Discipline of the Tiger and Discipline of the Monkey, here's my attempt at something similar. Frankly, I have no idea if it's over- or under-balanced, though I know it needs some work before it's good to go.

Anywhere you see ellipses, reference the text from the official Discipline of the Serpent track.

Discipline of the Mantis
1st Circle
External TechniquesEX: ...

2nd Circle: Raptor Stance
...
Repeated StrikesEX: You strike your opponent several times in succession, adding injury after injury. As a standard action, make a single melee attack that deals normal damage. Compare your attack roll -5 to your opponent's AC. If this would still result in a hit, you deal an additional 1d6 damage.
Mantis HookEX: By holding your arms in an unusual configuration, you are able to use them for attack as well as defense. As a standard action, make a single melee attack that deals normal damage. You also gain a +2 Deflection bonus to AC against that foe for one round, which stacks with any other Deflection bonuses you may possess (though not with itself).

3rd Circle: The Fist Takes Flight
...
Sweeping StrikeEX: You have trained to face multiple foes at once, splitting your attention equally between the two. As a standard action, make a single melee attack that deals normal damage. Apply the same attack roll to another opponent within [Melee] range. If that attack hits, you deal normal damage to the second opponent as well.
Snap PunchEX: Your attacks are so rapid, opponents never see them coming. Once per [Encounter], you may make a single melee attack at your highest BAB as a move action. This attack suffers a -5 penalty to hit and may not be replaced with a combat maneuver, but otherwise follows all the normal rules for attacking.

4th Circle
Ceaseless FlowEX: ...

5th Circle
Stop the BreathEX: ...

6th Circle: Mantis Perfection
Choose one of the following abilities (this choice is permanent):
Perfect StrikingEX: Repeated Strikes deals an additional 2d6 damage, rather than 1d6. Snap Punch no longer suffers a penalty on the attack roll.
Rapid FistsEX: Repeated Strikes deals an additional 2d6 damage, rather than 1d6. You may use Snap Punch one additional time per [Encounter].
Fight the HordeEX: The Deflection bonus from Mantis Hook now applies to all opponents. Sweeping Strike may be applied an additional time, potentially striking 3 opponents within melee range.

7th Circle
On PowerEX: ...

Note that Repeated Strikes does benefit from External Techniques, as well. I originally had Sweeping Strike at 2nd Circle, but decided that Mantis Hook was too weak for 3rd and that perhaps a Swift-less Cleave was worth bumping up to the 3rd. I'm worried that Perfect Striking might be too obvious a choice over Fight the Horde, but maybe I'm wrong (especially given the possibility to use Fight the Horde with Ceaseless Flow to hit 3 opponents and then still use your normal attack routine). Snap Punch deviates significantly from the standard format of the abilities, and thus probably has the most balance issues.
Raptor Stance is a reference to the "raptorial" grasping limbs of the insect, though frankly I'm open to naming suggestions for any/all of the abilities.

EDIT 1: Made Mantis Hook explicitly not stack with itself, and also made it clear that the AC bonus only lasts for 1 round. Cleaned up Snap Punch for clarity, have not yet rebalanced it.
EDIT 2: Added a -5 penalty to Snap Punch. Adjusted Perfect Striking to remove the Penalty, added Rapid Fists to allow Snap Punch 2/encounter.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 11:12:26 AM by Tim4488 »
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Yoder

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Re: Discipline of the Mantis
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2013, 09:51:37 AM »
Nice to see this track.

Repeated Strikes and Mantis Hook seem fine, assuming Mantis Hook doesn't keep stacking each hit (up to +8 or +10 if used every hit).

Combining Cleave w/ a Monk is a really neat idea.

Snap Punch is problematic. Monk already gives you the potential for 5 attacks per round, and this up it to 6. C6 can raise that to to 7. I do like the idea of a flurry, but this does need some nerfing.
I assume these snap punches can't be replaced w/ CMs like normal attacks, right?

If Snap Punch gets nerfed, I think C6's choices will be equally appealing to players.
"Trifles go to make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."
~ Michelangelo

My Homebrew

My friend just shared this: "Remember that time Gandalf convinced the whole party to flee so that he could take out the Balrog and not have to share any of the XP? Shows up the next session with fancy new robes and everything. What a jerk."

Tim4488

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Re: Discipline of the Mantis
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2013, 11:39:52 AM »
Mantis Hook is not intended to stack with itself. I'll make that explicit.

I'll make Snap Punch explicitly state that it can't be replaced with Combat Maneuvers, and moreover, I'll make sure it's clear that you only get a single attack at your highest BAB, not your full attack routine. Would a -5 on Snap Punch's attack roll be enough to bring it back into line, or does it need more change than that?

Actually, if I make Snap Punch work at a -5 at 2nd Circle, another option would be to have 6th Circle remove that penalty OR keep the current extra use, depending on which is better balanced.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 11:51:33 AM by Tim4488 »
"MY BLADE THIRSTS FOR MORE LEGEND." - Valixes

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Yoder

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Re: Discipline of the Mantis
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 08:54:33 AM »
Okay, good.

I think a -5 on Snap Punch would be sufficient.

That's an good choice to offer players.
"Trifles go to make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."
~ Michelangelo

My Homebrew

My friend just shared this: "Remember that time Gandalf convinced the whole party to flee so that he could take out the Balrog and not have to share any of the XP? Shows up the next session with fancy new robes and everything. What a jerk."

Tim4488

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Re: Discipline of the Mantis
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 11:11:54 AM »
Alright, I adjusted Snap Punch and created a 3rd option at 6th circle. Two of them do the same thing to Repeated Strikes, but it seemed like the language more flow more easily to have "pick one of the following three" rather than "pick one of the two, then if you pick this one, pick one of these two things." So I think I'm probably okay with the fact that Perfect Striking and Rapid Fists overlap. Thanks for the feedback.
"MY BLADE THIRSTS FOR MORE LEGEND." - Valixes

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Tim4488

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Re: Discipline of the Mantis
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 08:04:31 AM »
In retrospect, I wonder if it would make more sense to have Repeated Strikes just force a Fortitude save or take extra damage, to bring it more in line with the original track.
"MY BLADE THIRSTS FOR MORE LEGEND." - Valixes

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Yoder

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Re: Discipline of the Mantis
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 01:26:51 PM »
It's not a bad alternative, adn you can always change it if you want to.
"Trifles go to make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."
~ Michelangelo

My Homebrew

My friend just shared this: "Remember that time Gandalf convinced the whole party to flee so that he could take out the Balrog and not have to share any of the XP? Shows up the next session with fancy new robes and everything. What a jerk."

Tim4488

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Re: Discipline of the Mantis
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 06:09:23 PM »
Haha, looking back again again, I realize that I actually unintentionally altered the track to not trigger a single saving throw at all. In which case, eh, I might as well leave it for now. If someone tries and decides it would work better with a Fort or Ref save, I think that would also be reasonable. I imagine it depends largely on what sorts of defenses your most common foes have.
"MY BLADE THIRSTS FOR MORE LEGEND." - Valixes

My homebrew.