3.5 Martial Stunt mechanics - Myth-Weavers

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3.5 Martial Stunt mechanics

3.5 Martial Stunt mechanics

I figured I post these here, maybe someone might be able to use them. These are Martial Stunt rules to enhance combat options for non-casters. I made these up a while ago, before I started working on my own D20 system. I know, that there have been plenty of re-works and class changes by numerous sources (such as the official and unofficial Tome's), but with this I wanted to try something different. I wanted to create a combat system that can be added onto 3.5 without actually changing any of the existing rules or classes. It is supposed to be easily modifiable, have a light learning curve, and be usable by all classes that may rely on hitting things (even Bards, Rogues, and yes, clerics and druids to an extend too). That way groups can ease into it at their own pace and discretion. In addition, I wanted it to mostly emulate combat abilities that stay in the realm of the plausible for martial characters. Of course, GMs and players are free to add their own Wushu or Spellblade Martial Stunts to the list.

Is this balanced? Well, that probably depends on where you stand on the melee vs caster debate. However, you can use Martial Stunts only a certain number of times per day, just like psionics or incarnum classes. Most Martial Stunts are merely improved versions of existing feats and class abilities and all lag significantly behind what clerics, wizards, and druids can pull of at a similar level. Personally, to me that makes them overall underpowered. Then again, the purpose of these rules are not to completely rebalance 3.5, but simply to provide more fun and interesting options to martial characters.

Martial Stunts Core Rules
Every character has access to a number of guts points equal to their BAB after a full rest. Guts points can be spent once per round to use a known martial stunt as soon as the trigger conditions apply. No more guts points? No more Martial Stunts. Normally, martial stunts only cost one guts point unless otherwise noted.

Unfortunately, wimpy things like studying, praying, and communing with nature interfere with the pure machismo that form the essence of guts points. Whenever you memorize arcane or divine spells subtract the level of your highest memorized spell from the total guts points you receive this day. Spontaneous casters are not affected by this.

A character cannot use the same Martial Stunt multiple times for a single trigger condition unless specified in the stunt itself. However, multiple different Martial Stunts can be used at the same time provided the trigger conditions qualify them. You can use Martial Stunts to create trigger conditions for further Martial Stunts. If an enemy uses Martial Stunts on the same trigger condition, the effects are resolved simultaneously.

Every character knows a number of martial stunts equal to half their BAB (round up) in addition to any stunts learned through their class. Martial Stunts are learned as soon as a character gains additional BAB or are acquired at a new level. You cannot save up your learned stunts for a later time when you meet higher level prerequisites.

Some Martial Stunts require targets to make a saving throw or skill check. The DC to resist the effect of a martial stunt is equal to the BAB of the attacker + the ability modifier mentioned in the stunt's description.

Not really difficult, no? On to the classes.

Class Modifications

Monks get full BAB. A Monk gets an extra Martial Stunt at 1st level and every 4 levels thereafter. Monks can use a guts point at the beginning of their turn to increase their unarmed damage by one size category until the end of their turn. A monk can spend 2 guts points each round at 8th level and 3 guts points at 16th level.

A fighter learns an extra Martial Stunt at every odd level. In addition at 8th level a fighter can use two guts points each round. At 16th level he can use three. A fighter also gains 6 skill points per level and adds spot, balance, and tumble to his class skills.

Optional: Fighters often carry an arsenal of weapons with them, one for every occasion. As a consequence they are very adept at changing weapons on the fly. A Fighter can ready and draw all weapons as a swift action and light weapons as a free action. In addition whenever a fighter moves through or is adjacent to a square that contains an unattended weapon he may pick it up as a free action provided he has at least one hand free. Doing so however provokes attacks of opportunities. (Note:Not sure if this is actually necessary, but I figured it gives fighters more versatility for creating stunt builds. Might not make sense why, until you peruse the Triggers in the Martial Stunt list below.)

Swashbucklers, Paladins, Barbarians, and Rangers learn an extra Martial Stunt at 1st level and every 5 levels thereafter. They also can use two guts points each turn at level 10.

Rangers, Fighters, Paladins, Swashbucklers, Barbarians, and Monks can re-train existing martial stunts at 5th, 10th 15th and 20th level, exchanging a known martial stunt for a new one as long as they meet the stunt's prerequisites.

On to the fun part! The spoilers includes ~10 pages of examples for about 70+ Martial Stunts. The list can obviously be easily expanded, modified, or reduced at a GMs discretion. Martial Stunts are fairly quick to write up, just like spells. Opinions on balance and level-appropriate-ness welcome.

Didn't read through the whole list and I'm certainly no 3.5 expert (more familiar with PF these days and even there I'm no guru), but these seem like a nice idea with pretty solid mechanics, and from my quick perusal of the first half or so of the list, don't seem terribly unbalanced (which, as you said, is a bit of a loaded term to begin with). They would definitely make playing a martial character more interesting, but don't seem quite as "out there" as the ToB stuff (which I'm not at all against, but they do have a significantly different "feel" to them than the standard martial classes).

Nice idea, thanks for sharing.

I like it in general, but it needs Omnislash.

Actually Limitbreaks in general wouldn't be a bad consideration for this list.

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