Author Topic: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track  (Read 7180 times)

Timeless Error

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The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:28:06 PM »
ATTENTION: The following track is outdated.  I have updated it here.


Zen Warriors are those who have realized the underlying, non-dual nature of reality.  They meditate to clear their minds of worries and indecision, and live their lives attuned to the world around them.  In combat, Zen Warriors move suddenly and surprisingly, acting with an almost supernatural unpredictability.

--

Becoming a Zen Warrior requires the utmost discipline.  Most Zen Warriors are trained in monasteries or tutored by masters of the art.  Thus, access to the Zen Warrior track requires the Guild Initiation feat.

The Zen Warrior track changes your KOM to Wisdom, unless Wisdom is already your KDM.

The Zen Warrior

All abilities of the Zen Warrior are Extraordinary unless otherwise noted.

1st Circle – Spontaneity: At the end of any turn in which you do not take any of the same actions you took, or use any of the same active abilities you used, in the previous round, you may add your circles in this track as an untyped bonus to damage and a deflection bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn.
For example, a character with this track might spend his first turn moving (as a move action), initiating a trip (as a standard action), and doing nothing with his swift action.  In the next round, the same character might spend his second turn making a full attack (as a standard action), using the Shadow Blink feat to apply the [Teleport] descriptor to his movement as a swift action, and teleporting as a move action.  This sequence of actions would grant the character access to his Spontaneity bonuses.
Doing nothing with an action twice in a row (such as when a character has no abilities useable as swift actions) still activates your Spontaneity bonuses.

2nd Circle – Action Before Thought: You become even more unpredictable.  Opponents seem to never see your next move coming, and your wide variety of options leaves them shocked.  All Spontaneity bonuses you gain extends to the end of your next turn.
       Reverse-reversal: Additionally, just when your enemies are convinced they will never see you do the same thing twice, you surprise them by doing the expected.  Once per [Encounter] per four levels (minimum one), you may take an action that you took last [Round] and still benefit from your Spontaneity bonuses.

3rd Circle – Empty Mind, Whole Body: By clearing your head of thoughts, you become surprisingly resilient.  Once per [Encounter] per four levels (minimum one), as an immediate action, if you are successfully attacked while affected by your Spontaneity ability, you may reduce the damage you take from that attack by your character level.

4th Circle – There Is No Spoon: You know the truth that is the void behind reality.  Whenever your Spontaneity ability activates, you additionally gain temporary hit points equal to twice your character level for as long as your Spontaneity ability is active.

5th Circle – Nothing Binds Me: With five minutes of meditation, you may switch one of your feats between [Encounters].  You must still meet all the prerequisites for the feat you are selecting, and you may not switch out a feat that you are using as a prerequisite for another feat or ability.  Switched feats are not permanent changes, and once you have switched a different feat, your previous switched feat reverts to the original feat.

6th Circle – Brink of Liberation: You have almost reached a state of ultimate peace.  Empty Mind, Whole Body is now active whenever your Spontaneity ability is, taking no action to activate.
 
7th Circle – Enlightenment: You have attained perfect clarity of mind.  Your Nothing Binds Me ability does not require meditation (but must still be done between [Encounters]).  Additionally, you may use Foresight once per [Scene] as a Spell-Like Ability, on yourself only.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 08:56:08 PM by Timeless Error »
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Valixes

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 07:03:03 PM »
The 1st circle needs more clarification with how different the actions have to be, and it causes a lot of book keeping. For example, an Iron Magi could take this track and then replace their standard attack action with different [Chain Components] in different orders - but it would still be a standard action attack - leaving it in an odd place to qualify for the 1st circle.

EDIT: Otherwise I love the hell out of it. :D

ConstableBrew

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 07:09:57 PM »
This is pretty innovative. I love it.

Grue

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 07:12:49 PM »
the only problem i see is the Nothing Binds Me and Enlightenment circles are somewhat duplicating Floating Feat. Track Features duplicating Feats are generally frowned upon, but they are different enough from the feat to warrant someone more experienced with nitpicking than me to look at it.

Timeless Error

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 07:17:39 PM »
The 1st circle needs more clarification with how different the actions have to be, and it causes a lot of book keeping. For example, an Iron Magi could take this track and then replace their standard attack action with different [Chain Components] in different orders - but it would still be a standard action attack - leaving it in an odd place to qualify for the 1st circle.

I see.  I'm trying to think how I could clarify it.  Maybe add a clause to the effect of "If you use the same active ability in two consecutive rounds, you do not qualify for the Spontaneity bonus"?

EDIT: Otherwise I love the hell out of it. :D

This is pretty innovative. I love it.

Many thanks to both of you!  I'm flattered, and I'm glad you like it so much.

the only problem i see is the Nothing Binds Me and Enlightenment circles are somewhat duplicating Floating Feat. Track Features duplicating Feats are generally frowned upon, but they are different enough from the feat to warrant someone more experienced with nitpicking than me to look at it.

Floating Feat was the inspiration for those abilities, but I shot for something more powerful.  I think per [Encounter] switching and no need to spend an extra feat slot different enough to warrant a new ability, don't you?
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ConstableBrew

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 07:38:01 PM »
1st Circle - Should be clarified that each of the actions taken (Standard, Move, and Swift/Immediate) must be different from the previous round.
2nd Circle - I would change it to say that all Spontaneity bonuses end at the end of your next turn.
4th Circle - This needs some clarification. Does the temporary HP regenerate each time Spontaneity is reactivated? Or is the same pool maintained (with whatever losses there were from attacks against you)? Also, this amount of HP may be a little low, but I'm not sure. I think you could make it comparable to the Mechanist Savant's Assemblage Generator automations.
5th and 7th Circles - I personally don't feel these provide much strength, especially for these high level circles. Maybe an additional attack? Increasing bonuses for each round that no actions are repeated?

The book keeping for this track could put people off. I think you should create a printable worksheet that makes the task easy.

Timeless Error

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 07:46:04 PM »
1st Circle - Should be clarified that each of the actions taken (Standard, Move, and Swift/Immediate) must be different from the previous round.
OK, I'm working on a rewording of the first circle now.
2nd Circle - I would change it to say that all Spontaneity bonuses end at the end of your next turn.
That is an oversight, and I will correct it immediately.
4th Circle - This needs some clarification. Does the temporary HP regenerate each time Spontaneity is reactivated? Or is the same pool maintained (with whatever losses there were from attacks against you)? Also, this amount of HP may be a little low, but I'm not sure. I think you could make it comparable to the Mechanist Savant's Assemblage Generator automations.
They disappear and reappear every time you gain Spontaneity bonuses.  As for low amounts, would 3 x level be better?
5th and 7th Circles - I personally don't feel these provide much strength, especially for these high level circles. Maybe an additional attack? Increasing bonuses for each round that no actions are repeated?
An additional attack is pretty generic - I'd want something more tied into the theme.  Increasing bonuses?  I had considered that, but like you say below, that's a lot of bookkeeping - also hard to pull off, because I've found that most Legend characters have a trick that they want to pull off at least every other round.  Also, I don't think 7th circle is weak because of Foresight.  I can think of something extra to put for 5th circle if necessary, though.

The book keeping for this track could put people off. I think you should create a printable worksheet that makes the task easy.
I'll work on it if I have time.

All fair critiques.  Responses are bolded inside the quote.

EDIT: OK, guys, how does this sound for a rewording of first circle:

"At the end of any turn in which you do not take any of the same actions you took, or use any of the same active abilities you used, in the previous round, you may add your circles in this track as an untyped bonus to damage rolls and a deflection bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn."
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 08:19:30 PM by Timeless Error »
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--Timeless Error, Emerald Knight

Djtooth

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 08:22:02 PM »
The funny think about the feat shadow blink is you don't teleport... You gain the[teleport] descriptor to your movement on the round which only means you do not provoke attacks of opportunity. People will still see you walk from point A to point B. You cannot bypass walls nor instantly appear at a different elevation that was inaccessible before. Shadow Blink just allows you to move fast enough to avoid attacks made against you during your move... So your move action would be the same as before you used shadow blink. Brackets are funny that way.
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Timeless Error

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 08:30:01 PM »
The funny think about the feat shadow blink is you don't teleport... You gain the[teleport] descriptor to your movement on the round which only means you do not provoke attacks of opportunity. People will still see you walk from point A to point B. You cannot bypass walls nor instantly appear at a different elevation that was inaccessible before. Shadow Blink just allows you to move fast enough to avoid attacks made against you during your move... So your move action would be the same as before you used shadow blink. Brackets are funny that way.

You're right, and I guess I didn't pick the best example.  I'll think of something else.
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Mystify

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2012, 12:46:51 AM »
The funny think about the feat shadow blink is you don't teleport... You gain the[teleport] descriptor to your movement on the round which only means you do not provoke attacks of opportunity. People will still see you walk from point A to point B. You cannot bypass walls nor instantly appear at a different elevation that was inaccessible before. Shadow Blink just allows you to move fast enough to avoid attacks made against you during your move... So your move action would be the same as before you used shadow blink. Brackets are funny that way.
The teleport descriptor says you instantly move over great distances. Not move there really fast. People objected when I tried to use deftly striking to attack mid-teleport with shadow blink, because you arrive at the end instantly.
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Timeless Error

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2012, 08:03:18 AM »
The funny think about the feat shadow blink is you don't teleport... You gain the[teleport] descriptor to your movement on the round which only means you do not provoke attacks of opportunity. People will still see you walk from point A to point B. You cannot bypass walls nor instantly appear at a different elevation that was inaccessible before. Shadow Blink just allows you to move fast enough to avoid attacks made against you during your move... So your move action would be the same as before you used shadow blink. Brackets are funny that way.
The teleport descriptor says you instantly move over great distances. Not move there really fast. People objected when I tried to use deftly striking to attack mid-teleport with shadow blink, because you arrive at the end instantly.

Still, it's really your swift action that's changing.  As a swift, you apply the [Teleport] descriptor to your movement, and then you move normally, but your movement is treated as teleportation.  I think, at least.  It's kind of vague; should we bring it to the Rules Questions thread (or do we already have a verdict)?
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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2012, 09:04:45 AM »
The funny think about the feat shadow blink is you don't teleport... You gain the[teleport] descriptor to your movement on the round which only means you do not provoke attacks of opportunity. People will still see you walk from point A to point B. You cannot bypass walls nor instantly appear at a different elevation that was inaccessible before. Shadow Blink just allows you to move fast enough to avoid attacks made against you during your move... So your move action would be the same as before you used shadow blink. Brackets are funny that way.

No, that's not true. "Teleportation effects cause creatures to instantly move over great distances." In practice, all you really need is line of sight to the square you want to move to.
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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 12:48:43 PM »
I think this confusion over descriptor tags illustrates another point that you need to clarify in the first circle.

Timeless Error

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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2012, 12:56:15 PM »
"At the end of any turn in which you do not take any of the same actions you took, or use any of the same active abilities you used, in the previous round, you may add your circles in this track as an untyped bonus to damage rolls and a deflection bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn."

How could I improve on this, clarity-wise?  I think it's fairly straightforward now.  If you use any ability that you must activate with an action twice in a row, you don't gain the spontaneity bonus.
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Re: The Zen Warrior: Enlightenment in a Track
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2012, 02:31:26 PM »
I think not being able to use your move action to move two turns in a row is a silly limit. Many characters don't have anything else to do, so they would be reduced to moving every other round, which is silly. You are cutting down on your ability to maneuver, just in the name of doing something different, when moving is likely the thing that will lead to other actions.
I'd also say that not using an action can be considered doing something different, as long as there was some difference in what you actively did. After all, some characters don't really have anything to do with their swifts (My brother seems to come up with characters like this all the time), so they would have a hard time doing something different with their swifts all the time.
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