Thursday, March 2, 2017

Way of the Stone

I sense some trepidation as I move forward with this; that's understandable, the gentle reader can't guess where I'm going.  I trust that I'm on point, however, so I'll just move forward.

The Way of the Stone concentrates on defense.  There are four kinds of defense: can't be hurt, can't be moved, can't be touched and can't be seen.  I'm still struggling with category names for these.  For the present, in order, I will use pedestal (power to support), wall (impenetrable), moat (empty barrier) and smoke (ability to vanish).  That is, until something better comes along.

So far, I have accumulated 18 abilities: 11 amateur, 5 authority, 1 expert and 1 sage.  These are quite difficult to invent.

Amateur Way of the Stone:

  • Correct stance (moat).  Posture, proper movement and relaxation improves the monk's ability to balk attacks.  Reduces natural armor class by 1 point.
  • Evade missiles (moat).  Permits a saving throw against fired or hurled weapons.  Save vs. magic blocks or dodges weapon.
  • Heightened balance (pedestal).  Retains the body's equilibrium against chance of falling.  See wiki.
  • Root feet (pedestal).  If desired, the monk is not driven out of a combat hex when stunned, but holds position.  The skill also effectively increases the monk's weight 50% against overbearing attacks.
  • Strength of the pillar (pedestal).  Increases the character's encumbrance limit by one point of strength.  The skill also enables the monk to bear twice their ordinary weight limit if the character does not need to move [beneficial if a roof support needs a little help].
  • Back tumble (smoke).  If desired, if the monk is stunned and forced back a combat hex, the monk can choose to use this momentum to tumble back one additional hex away from the enemy.
  • Camouflage (smoke).  The ability to proficiently disguise the body.  See wiki.
  • Stealth (smoke).  Approach others without their knowing, without being seen or heard.  See wiki.
  • Block pain (wall).  If the monk has sustained an injury, the limitations of the injury (arm, leg, back, etcetera made inoperative) can be ignored completely for 1 round per level of the monk, per week. No consequence results from this use, though the injury does reassert itself and must be healed normally.
  • Correct fall (wall).  By relaxing the body, the monk removes 1 h.p. of damage per die when falling.
  • Invigorate body (wall).  Counters the effects of cold.  Increases natural CLO when desired (+0.5), provides a +1 save against cold attacks and subtracts 1 point of damage per die of magical cold damage.

Authority Way of the Stone:
  • Awareness (moat).  Provides heightened preparedness against surprise attacks.  Monk is surprised only 1 in 6.
  • Mystic block (moat).  If the monk has been struck in the previous round and is not stunned, the monk may use their first attack in the round to "roll against the hit" rather than the enemy combatant.  The roll to hit equals the enemy's armor class; a successful hit removes damage from the last attack done to the monk in the previous round [if the monk was attacked twice, the second attack that caused damage would be removed but not the first attack].  Only one attack per round may be used to attempt a mystic block.
  • Mislead (smoke). If desired, a monk that is fighting among others can discount themselves from being a target that round.  This will not reduce the number of enemy attacks, only that they will be directed at the monk's allies that are within reach.  The ability cannot be used if the monk fights alone.
  • Harden sinew (wall).  If it is indicated that the monk sustains an injury, the monk is allowed a saving throw against magic.  Success indicates that the injury does not take place ~ however, the monk will still receive any hit point damage in full that would have caused the injury.  Indicates the monk's increased ability to relax the body. 
  • Purify body (wall).  Counters the effects of heat.  Reduces natural CLO when desired (-0.5), provides a +1 save against heat and fire attacks and subtracts 1 point of damage per die of magical heat and fire damage.

Expert Way of the Stone:

  • Wisp (smoke).  Enables the monk to delude an opponent into believing that the monk has not shifted one hex to the left or right during combat.  The actual shift requires an ordinary action point cost and must be the last action taken by the monk that round.  The first attack by an enemy the following round will be wasted into the monk's previous position.

Sage Way of the Stone:

  • Petrify (wall).  The monk turns to stone, obtaining a death-like state from which the monk retains awareness.  Requires 3 rounds to employ.  May be broken instantly.  While petrified, the monk is immune to combat attacks that would have no effect on stone.

As before, that's a start.  I'll be discussing the Way of the Heart with my next post.


Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

So far, the abilities fit nicely into the two Ways described. I'm already conflicted on which to concentrate on with Sofia, and you're only halfway there! How balanced the fields end up once all of the abilities are determined will go a long way in my determining, and I'm very interested in seeing the next two. So far, very interesting.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Due to a background roll, Sofia's current natural AC is 7 vs. 9 for 1st level monks. If she were to gain Novice rank in correct stance, which base AC would the ability subtract from

Alexis Smolensk said...

Could you please break down that 7 AC for me? I don't remember a background roll that automatically gives -3 to AC. Monks don't receive dexterity bonuses to armor class and the only natural AC improvement I can remember is having a monk as a father (which makes the character naturally AC 9).

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

I just had it down as AC 7... maybe it was an error? I do know it came from the body composition roll during character generation.

Tim said...

Holy, these are super cool!
I had a moment upon reading Evade missiles where I thought, "That's a lot more rolling to do!" (no pun intended) But I realize that it won't feel too extreme given that ranged weapons need to be set up in advance, so you end up with just as many rolls as before.

It would definitely, however, in combination with these many other skills, make fighting a powerful monk quite the ordeal. I quite like how much you've been able to use combat stun mechanics in here. Not only do they complement the monk well, but they also make use of your earlier improvements to the combat system in a natural fashion.
I expect Sofia will have to start keeping a small list of abilities handy since there's quite a lot of stuff here that a monk can do at any moment in combat; although I'd add that you've got a fine balance of active and passive abilities here.
All in all, great work as always.

Maxwell Joslyn said...

Tim makes a good point about higher level monks (and to a lesser degree anyone with Puissance skills which I expect will be similar in concept to these if not in effect) having a lot of combat options. But spell casters have dealt with that forever and been just fine, so I expect it's no problem.

Tim said...

Very true, Maxwell! This nicely solves the linear warriors, quadratic wizards dilemma too.

James Clark said...

Will an amateur of Way of the Stone (smoke) recieve a -2 bonus to stealth? -1 for the stealth ability and -1 for camoflage.

Also, I presume that onl an amateur in smoke has any increased ability at stealth, right?

Alexis Smolensk said...

The stealth page shows a number of modifiers for various things. Camouflage is -2, but naturally it takes time to ready oneself (probably about an hour, to apply paint to the skin or arrange one's appearance, though at the moment the wiki doesn't say).

The stealth skill gives the -1 per level bonus "with stealth ability"; without stealth ability, characters get -1 per TWO levels.