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House Rules

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 7 months ago

Tome of Battle Enhancement 


Prestige Classes


Magic Items




Tome of Battle balance discussion:



Old Martial Feats: just had a "cost" of maneuvers being X levels lower than highest maneuver level known. Changed as below:

Martial Feats: 
In addition to the cost being able to only apply the meta martial feat to maneuvers of X levels below hightest level available, there are 2 alternatives:
1) use up X readied maneuvers or 1 maneuver X lvls higher than applied maneuver
2) gain the effect only 1/day (taking the feat multiple times allows more uses)
Each Martial Feat may only be used once per round. Taking the same feat twice does not increase the uses per round.
These are NOT bonus figher feats.

Other Feats:  I have changed all the feats to be more balanced and added some of my own. Here they follow in
alphabetical order.


Henri: That would only work properly for Warblades, and somewhat well for Crusaders - but Swordsages get shafted by this cost system. Swordsages recover maneuvers far too slowly to make effective use of such a system. Even "Adaptive Style" doesn't fix the problem, as the feat only works once a day. You could keep the cost system for Warblades and Crusaders, and have a specialised subsystem for Swordsages maybe something like "Swordsages get 1 free use of a Martial Meta feat per encounter for every 3 Swordsage levels". *Free* meaning no maneuver sacrifices are required.


How is that for an idea anyway? Swordsages get 2/level, Crusaders 3/level, Warblades 4/level. Per encounter. Could work too.



Alternate "cost" for Martial Meta maneuvers:


  • Martial Meta feats can be used limited times a day
  • When the first Martial Meta feat is acquired the hero has a meta-martial-pool of "X" where X is the number of readied maneuvers that hero has access to (as the hero acquires additional readied maneuvers per day this pool is subsequently expanded), a minimum of 3 charges are granted (to gain use for non-martial adepts)
  • For each Martial Meta feat beyond the first this pool is expanded by 1(?) charge
  • All Martial Meta feats share the same pool (thus the hero cannot use X Martial Quicken and X Martial Sharpen a day, just a total use of X martial Meta feats a day)
  • A Martial Meta feat can only applied to maneuvers of an appropriately low level (Martial Quicken requires 4 levels lower than max known, thus a 5th level maneuver can only be quickened if the initiator knows a 9th level maneuver)
  • A Martial Meta feat that is applied to a maneuver raises the maneuver level appropriately (Martial Quicken would raise it by 4, thus it is difficult to apply successive Martial Meta feats to maneuvers)




  • A Martial Meta feat can only be used once per round
  • Martial Meta feats are not Fighter feats


Henri: Effectively I'm suggesting that Martial Meta feats are like Turn Attempts, heroes get a certain amount of them (increasing with level) and they can be used to perform Martial Meta effects. Additionally it has the bonus effect that it makes room for feats that manipulate your Martial Meta pool (e.g. expend 1 martial meta charge to immediately add +4 to any attack roll you make, or, expend 1 martial meta charge to reduce the effective level of a maneuver by 1).



First Blitz

Herc - nothing gives no attacks of opportunity. Adding dodge and mobility to prerequisites makes it too expensive

Henri - level 1 maneuver (Douse the Flames) negates attacks of opportunities, higher level maneuvers do it too (for longer periods), tumble negates attacks of opportunities

How about the compromise: Provokes no movement-based attacks of opportunity.

Greater Martial Study

Herc - take Warblade level instead and Martial Study x3.  Being able to take ALL disciplines nullifies Master of Nine Prestige Class.

Henri - I disagree, Master of Nine gets more than just access to all disciplines and he gets full initiator level. Halving initiator level is a very significant drawback for the purpose of gaining maneuvers. The Greater Martial Study is intended to give non-martial adepts a realistic option to gain access to maneuvers without requiring them to spend significant time multiclassing. Paying 3 feats to achieve this is not insignificant by a long margin.
How about the compromise: Greater Martial Study gives access to a limited number of disciplines (equal to Intelligence modifier, minimum 1).

Addition: Stances like "Martial Spirit" (the 2 healing on attacks) can be much easier acquired using just Martial Study and Martial Stance, Greater Martial Study doesn't break anything in that regard.


Improved Initiator

Herc - spell level and caster level are not the same thing. This would be like giving a feat to a wizard to take higher level spells than he
has access to normally.  And this is built into the system already in that each non-martial adept class gives 1/2 a initiator level. A feat to boost this
would be baroken.

Henri - I disagree, this feat only gives access to maneuvers that (at best) a martial adept would have access to anyway. Martial adepts only benefit if they multi-class, or need it to get Superior Initiator.



Superior Initiator

Herc - as Improved Initiator
Henri - semi-true, the feat can give a full-initiator access to maneuvers 1 level sooner. On the other hand, it costs 2 feats to acquire (the first of which is useless to a full-initiator). Getting access to level 6 maneuvers at level 10 instead of 11 is certainly not very broken. A nice set of new options, but not over-the-top. The hero does not gain additional maneuvers known or readied, only the selection he may learn from is increased. There are many more feats or combination of feats that are stronger than merely getting a single higher level maneuver slightly earlier (keep in mind that due to the maneuvers known progression the hero in question would only ever have 1 single maneuver at a slightly higher level than normal).


Martial Cleave

Herc - level 1 Iron Heart maneuver called Steel Wind. That does what this feat SHOULD do. Reflex saves to avoid damage is for area spells only.

Henri - don't hate it, fix-it. The idea is, essentially, to use up a maneuver to create a mini-localised fireball. How about this reworked version:

  • Martial Cleave can be applied to strike maneuvers 1 level lower than the highest maneuver known. The hero deals half-damage to two adjacent foes, the damage can be negated with a Reflex Save (DC equal to attack roll + original maneuver level). The effect of the original maneuver does not happen, the effect of the Martial Cleave replaces the maneuver

Martial Death Surge

Herc - use maximise/empower instead. its a fun minigame but ultimatly we are here to play dnd

Henri - DnD is about fun ;) - the idea of Death Surge is to create another form of empower/maximise, just a lower-level one.


Martial Ease

Herc - this is like Quickening a magic missile but only using a lvl 1 slot instead of a lvl 5 slot. I fixed this using new martial

Henri - it doesn't matter what martial-meta-cost is used, Martial Ease is intended to be a feat that can make Martial Meta feats slightly cheaper. In Herc's system that would be counting a "cost 4" maneuver as a "cost 3" maneuver. Surely there must be a way to use feats to make meta feats more usable.


Martial Flexibility

Herc - same as Martial Ease. These two feats are doomed

Henri - same as prior reply - there ought to be a way to make meta feats cost less by investing feats into it. Even something like "when you gain Martial Flexibility you may select a Martial Meta feat you own, the cost of using that Martial Meta feat is reduced by 2 to a minimum of 1."



Martial Great Cleave

Herc - maybe as a maneuver...but no, same as Martial Cleave above

Henri - same compromise suggestion as for Martial Cleave, adapted to all threatened foes. Essentially creating a form of mini-fireball by expending a strike maneuver. Consider that strike maneuvers are standard or full-round actions, so the character gives up a lot of focussed damage in exchange for creating (a reflexable) mini-fireball/ki-blast/energy-splash.


Martial Substitution

Herc - changed the way Meta Martial feats work...actually using this as default inside most Martial feats

Henri - fine, though in my suggested alternative it can be used to lower effective maneuver level to apply higher level martial meta feats. Technically a variant could be used that used up meta-martial-charges instead of maneuvers in my system.


Sacrificial Grapple

Herc - grappling in someone elses turn when they hit you. nice idea but no matter what you do too powerful...epic feat maybe?

Henri - actually not at all epic level. The basic relevant feat is "Karmic Strike" (Complete Warrior, p102) - in this case the Attack of Opportunity is replaced with a grapple attempt. Otherwise identical to the original.


Sprawling Tattoo

Herc - as tattoos don't take space (a space is a body slot not some arbitrary number) this is a dead feat

Henri - tattoos take space. Sure, it isn't a body slot, but there is still a limit to the number of tattoos available. The exact number can be debated. Note that the Tome of Battle allows actual items to give access to upto level 3 maneuvers from a discipline for as little as 3000gp. Even if you add 50% (4500gp) to add it to an existing item that is still very cheap and accessable and the item isn't static, the user can change the maneuver by reseting the item for 24 hours. The official items are:

  • Upto Level 3 - 3000gp
  • Upto Level 6 - 15000gp
  • Upto Level 9 - 45000gp


Steady Focus

Herc - use Maneuver Focus instead
Henri - I like the idea of having a way to "upgrade" a maneuver from standard to full-round action to get a benefit. Is the idea that evil?



Supreme Martial Study

Herc - recovering feats is the domain of the base classes, fighters should not get it, if they want it, they should take martial adept levels
Henri - a fighter should be able to create his own version of fighting - if he so chose he should be able to mimik the martial adept classes to some extent. Yes, sure, by taking Warblade at level 1 he gains a cheap recovery method for all maneuvers he acquires later; on the other hand - investing 4(!!) feats to get a reasonable recovery method doesn't seem that overpowered. The game shouldn't be about multi-classing to get the character you want, but using feats to do so. Any hero should be able to, with suitable training (i.e. 4 feats), gain some measure of insight into any techniques and abilities. Admittedly it is still inferior to true specialists (relevant classes), but that doesn't mean the training time was wholly ineffectual.

Tattoo Contemplation

Herc - extra maneuvers should be gotten using Martial Study or Improved Mental Rehearsal
Henri - Tattoo Contemplation is primarily intended for flavorful characters; doesn't feel broken to me and can give interesting options to, for example, an unarmed-style Swordsage.






Herc - prerequisite for Savage Dexterity, otherwise useless

Henri - this is similar to Weapon Focus, but can raise damage by 2 in the case of a two-handed weapon wielder, but its better for qualifying for later feats, agreed


Non entities:

Herc - why would we ever want these?   - Brawn,  Brute Critical,  Greater Brute Critical

Henri -


  • Brawn is pretty useless, agreed
  • Brute Critical is better than Improved Critical (access at level 4) for weapons with a threat range of 20, including unarmed strike
  • Greater Brute Critical increases the threat range of weapons such as greataxe or unarmed attacks to 18-20



Desert Wind Storm [Martial, new suggestion by Herc]

Your techniques of controlling the desert wind manifests in the power of not only fire but earth and wind as well.
Prerequisite: A Desert Wind maneuver
Benefit: Choose acid or electricity.  A maneuver that deals fire damage, deals the chosen elemental damage instead. To use this feat you must expend 2
additional readied maneuvers or an additional single readied maneuver that is 1 level higher than the target maneuver. You may only apply this feat to a
maneuver at least 1 level lower than your highest level maneuver available.
Special: You may take this feat twice.  Each time you may choose a different elemental damage.


Herc - martial substitution feat with flavour

Henri - good idea, I approve - the name doesn't really work though... "Desert Wind Storm" still evokes hotness in my head. The cost seems a bit high (2 maneuvers?) - how much does Energy Substitution cost for spells? Isn't it only a feat?



Dual Martial Strike [Martial, new suggestion by Herc]
In a burst of inner power, you unleash two maneuvers on a single hapless foe.
Prerequisite: Any three Martial feats
Benefit: Choose two readied strike maneuvers and a single foe. A single attack you make against that foe is imbued with both strike effects. If the attack
misses both manuevers (and the additional manuevers) are expended as normal. To use this feat you must expend 4 additional readied maneuvers or an additional single readied maneuver that is 4 levels higher than the highest of the two chosen maneuvers. You may only apply this feat to two maneuvers at least 3 levels lower than your highest level maneuver available.
Note: Especially useful for full round maneuvers such as charges


Herc - inspired by Martial Twin

Henri - excellent - apart from the cost discussion



Flash Response [renamed - was Martial Response, but not a martial meta feat]
Your dedicated training of combat techniques means that you are quick to act.
Prerequisite: Improved Initiative, at least 3 martial maneuvers known
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to your initiative, you may reroll your initiative at any time during an encounter. This is usable once per encounter.
Special: This is a bonus fighter feat.

Herc - was Martial Response...name change because its not a Martial feat

Henri - no problem at all



Grapple Expert [new suggestion by Herc]
Your mastery of wrestling hauls new foes into the grapple.
Prerequisite: Improved Grapple
Benefit: You may lose your Dexterity to AC to all those in the grapple until the start of your next turn. In that time, if an enemy out of the grapple deals damage to you with a melee attack you may attempt to grapple him as a swift action. Your opposed check to initiate the grapple is increased by 4. You still take the -20 to grapple multiple foes.

Herc - inspired by Sacrificial Grapple

Henri - good stuff, though I don't think I'll play a hero that would make use of that. Looks like something the Giant Octopus of Bengala would use ;)



Maneuver Focus [was Martial Focus]
Your specialization into a single martial maneuver grants you the ability to refocus your mind in the heat of battle.
Prerequisite: Blade Meditation, or Swordsage lvl1
Benefit: When you gain this feat you select a single known maneuver from the discipline chosen for Blade Meditation or from one of the disciplines chosen in the swordsage discipline focuses. This maneuver automatically becomes readied and available again in 1d3+1 rounds. This maneuver cannot be changed to another maneuver nor may it be removed from your list of maneuvers known.
Special: This feat may be taken multiple times. Each time it applies to a different known maneuver from any disiplines chosen in the Blade Mediation feat or swordsage discipline focuses.
Special: A fighter may select Maneuver Focus as a bonus feat.

Herc - was Martial Focus

Henri - excellent revision

Greater Maneuver Focus [was Greater Martial Focus]
Your experience and mastery of lesser maneuvers allows you to perform them at will.
Prerequisite: Maneuver Focus
Benefit: The maneuver chosen in the Maneuver Focus feat is automatically recovered in 2 rounds.
Special: This feat may be taken multiple times. Each time it applies to a different Maneuver Focus feat.
Special: You may refocus your maneuver focus once a week to gain a different maneuver of a discipline chosen for Blade Meditation or from one of the disciplines chosen in the swordsage discipline focuses.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as a bonus feat.

Herc - was Greater Martial Focus

Henri - excellent revision



Improved Mental Rehearsal
You are so adept at rehearsing your maneuvers that you can maintain more internal energies than normal.
Prerequisite: Two or more maneuvers known than maneuvers readied
Benefit: You may ready one additional maneuver.
Special: This feat may be taken twice.

Herc - new i.e. extra readied maneuver. Useful with Martial Feats

Henri - there is already a feat "Extra Readied Maneuver" (requires Swordsage level 1). Giving Warblades access to extra readied maneuvers tampers with the balance the Warblade vs Swordsage classes - though I admit that it is semi-essential to make effective use of the Martial Meta costs that Herc is suggesting. However, personally, I'd purely play a Warblade taking this feat twice - thereby granting me a number of maneuvers equivalent of a Warblade 10 levels higher(!)



Martial Magic Strike [Martial]
You are able to blend together martial maneuvers and magic lore.
Benefit: When making use of a strike maneuver you may expend a readied spell or spell slot to gain extra damage to that attack. The extra damage is +1d4 per spell level. Additionally this attack counts as magic for purposes of bypassing DR. No additional maneuvers need be expended for this feat.
Special: Additionally if the readied spell has the good/evil/law/chaos descriptor, the attack also gains this descriptor in order to bypass DR. Spontaneous
casters do not gain this effect.

Herc - was Martial Magic...changed to damage instead of imbue with spell effect because its a prestige class in a feat.

Henri - good revision, no problem - love the "special" touch :)



Martial Life Surge [Martial]
You are able to use your maneuvers to unlock inner energy reserves that revitalize your body.
Prerequisite: Any one Martial Meta feat
Benefit: For every 2 points of damage dealt to a living target, gains you 1 hitpoint. To use this feat you must expend 3 additional readied maneuvers or an additional single readied maneuver that is 3 levels higher than the target maneuver. You may only apply this feat to maneuvers at least 3 levels lower than your highest level maneuver available.

Herc - better than original

Henri - much


Sacrificial Hold [complete revision by Herc]
You may lower your defences in combat to hold an enemy in place.
Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +4
Benefit: You may lose your Dexterity to AC until the start of your next turn. In that time, if an enemy that you threaten deals damage to you with a slashing or piercing melee attack, you may catch the attack with your body. If you do, take additional damage (see below) and the foe is considered flat footed and his speed is reduced to 0ft. If the foe lets go of his weapon he may act normally but is disarmed. In the foes subsequent round, if he chose to hold on to the weapon, he may make an opposed strengh check as a standard action. If he succeeds he regains his weapon and you take the damage (see below) again. If he fails you maintain your hold on the weapon.
Table: +1d6 per size category of weapon starting at Tiny (Smaller than tiny do 1) e.g. greatsword does 4d6 (large).

Herc - better than original

Henri - yep, though (from karate training) I don't see a problem with catching bludgeoning weapons in a similar manner. The pain may be a bit much. Maybe 1d4?



Savage Dexterity [revision by Herc]
You have learned to impose your physique to improve your defensive capacity at the expense of your swiftness.
Prerequisite: Brute
Benefit: While unarmored you gain your Strength modifier to AC. This counts as natural armour. Your dexterity modifier no longer grants you any bonus to AC, however penalties still apply.  Eventhough you do not have a dexterity bonus to AC you may still be caught flat footed as normal.

Herc - better than original

Henri - not sure, realistically, what is the difference of hardening my muscles with and without armor? I think, since it is a replacement effect, it should work for any armor (including heavy) - but the Greater variant (Savage Armor) can be limited as described initially



Savage Armour [new suggestion by Herc]
You maintain your powerful defensive capabilities while wearing armor.
Prerequisite: Brute, Savage Dexterity, proficiency with light armor
Benefit: You keep the effects of Savage Dexterity feat while wearing light armor.
Special: You may take this feat multiple times. Each time the armour you may use increases by one catagory provided you are proficient with that armour. (light to medium to heavy)
Herc - changed from Greater Savage Dexterity

Greater Savage Dexterity [reintroduced by Henri]

Your agile, powerful posture greatly enhances your defensive capability

Prerequisite: Brute, Savage Dexterity

Benefit: While unarmored, or wearing light armor, you gain your strength modifier as an AC bonus in the form of natural armor and, in addition, you gain your bonus to AC due to dexterity. The strength bonus to AC is considered an enhancement bonus (does not stack with items such as Amulet of Natural Armor).

Henri - less broken than the original, I think it is viable now



Introduced by Herc:


Sudden Martial Maximize [Martial]
You perform maneuvers to maximum effect.
Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of a maneuver modified by this feat are maximized. Usuable 1/day. Taking this feat multiple times allows more uses per day.

Sudden Martial Quicken [Martial]
You can perform maneuvers faster.
Prerequisite: Any 4 Martial feats
Benefit: A maneuver that would normally take a standard action to complete instead only takes a move action. Usuable 1/day. Taking this feat multiple times allows more uses per day.


Sudden Martial Enlarge [Martial]
Your training allows you to project your ranged maneuvers over a greater distance.
Benefit: A maneuver with a range and/or area measured in feet has these measurements increased by one-half. Usuable 1/day. Taking this feat multiple times allows more uses per day.

Sudden Martial Empower [Martial]
You are able to focus so strongly on a maneuver that you can increase its potential effect.
Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of a maneuver modified by this feat are increased by one-half. Usuable 1/day. Taking this feat multiple times allows more uses per day.

Sudden Martial Life Surge [Martial]
You are able to use your maneuvers to unlock inner energy reserves that revitalize your body.
Prerequisite: Any one Martial feat
Benefit: For every 2 points of damage dealt to a living target, gains you 1 hitpoint. Usuable 1/day. Taking this feat multiple times allows more uses per day.
Sudden Martial Still [Martial]
You may perform your martial skills even while frozen
Benefit: You may perform a maneuver even when unable to move. Usuable 1/day. Taking this feat multiple times allows more uses per day.


Henri - sheer genius



Scribe Martial Tattoo



Herc - prices are just wrong


Calculate as if they were command activated 3/day items because we have 3 encounters per day i.e. 1800/1.67=1080
Each maneuver tattoo should have base cost: 1080 x lowest possible initatior level x maneuver level (the squared thing is bull)
Tattoos for maneuvers only. Stances are too powerful and should cost at least x5 more. (or x4 since they should require a maneuver to use)
Limit to up to lvl 3 maneuvers?
lvl1: 1080gp
lvl2: 6480gp
lvl3: 16200gp
Note: Not all high level maneuvers have prerequisites. This cannot be used as a reason to make them cheaper.


Henri -

  • regarding making maneuvers cheaper due to prerequisites: Ofcourse it is possible, the formulae you suggest assumes that any spell may be used, obviously that makes the cost higher in contrast to maneuvers that require the user to actually qualify to using it. The DMG specifically states that having restrictions (such as alignment, class, skills, etc) is the basis for discounts on the costs.
  • There is no need to have a limit of upto 3rd level maneuvers, there is no theoretical reason why an item can't cast 50 wishes each day; correspondingly there is no theoretical reason to limit the maneuver level.
  • Regarding the cost computation as you suggest it: The Tome of Battle already provides a cost for items that grant maneuvers: Crown of White Ravens (page 149). The item grants maneuvers depending on the level of the item:
    • lowest, upto 3rd level maneuvers, 3000gp
    • mid, upto 6th level maneuvers, 15000gp
    • highest, upto 9th level maneuvers, 45000gp
  • The maneuver granted by such an item is not static either, it can be changed within a 24 hour period.








Comments (3)

Anonymous said

at 11:49 pm on Jun 13, 2007

Why not place comments with actual feat text. Makes it easier for the lazy to know what the comments are actually about. Baai.

Anonymous said

at 12:48 am on Jun 14, 2007

Use multiple browser windows :P

Anonymous said

at 7:19 pm on Jun 14, 2007

I'd like it all in one place. Excuuuuuuuuze me! :P

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