The Sword-Breaker King Arts
Manse made a post a while ago about special martial techniques and they tickled me.
I had an (unusually awesome) kung fu dream concerning a shadowy Robin Hood-like guy named the Sword-Breaker King. I wrote it up as a lark. Sorry not sorry for the weeb content.
No idea if this is balanced. Probably not.
1. Shield Arm - Your hands and forearms become steely hard and impervious to pain. You gain DR X to weapon attacks, where X equals the highest level technique in the Sword Breaker King Arts. You do not benefit from DR from unarmed attacks, as they employ a variety of chokes, nerve punches, and grapples that don't necessarily benefit from your shield arm training. You do gain this DR when you do things like reach into fires or try and hold open a falling portcullis: any damage centered on your arms is absorbed.
2. Step on Shields and Spears - You can automatically disengage or move past a foe holding ground if they are wielding a weapon. Using this technique, students of this art can walk on spear tips and easily move across the battlefield unchallenged, targeting generals and champions.
|From the unparalleled Kill Six Billion Demons|
3. Sword Snatching Grip - If your damage reduction completely negates the damage a weapon attack would do to you, you may automatically disarm your opponent.
4. Wild Boar's Gore - If your opponent misses a weapon attack against you, you may apply their attack roll against another foe with which you are engaged.
5. Iron Rain Technique - Make an attack roll against a foe. If you hit, you may automatically sunder an opponent's weapon or shield instead of doing damage. Everyone engaged with you must Save vs. Dragon Breath or take 1d6 damage from the exploding shards of the weapon.
Alternate HP system
|Reach Heaven Through Violence|
You have two states: solid and staggered.
- If you are solid, you are alert and have good footing. You are aggressive.
- If you are staggered, you are knocked off balance or disadvantaged. You are vulnerable.
Keep a coin next to your character sheet. If it's heads up, you're solid. If it's tails up, you're staggered. (You might be flipping this a lot during the flow of combat.)
- If you are solid and an opponent hits and would damage you, don't roll any damage. You become staggered.
- If you are staggered and an opponent hits you, your opponent rolls their damage dice and you roll your HD.
- Your HD is determined by your class: magic-users d4, cleric and thief d6, fighter d8.
- If your opponent rolls higher than you, you are taken out. You fall, gasping and clinging to life.
- If you roll higher than your opponent, you're safe (for now). If you roll 4+ on your HD, you return to solid at the beginning of your next turn.
- You can spend your turn to catch your breath and instantly return to solid.
The knight Blackthorn is engaged with a two assassins.
- Round 1:
- Blackthorn acts first and makes an attack against Assassin 1 and succeeds. Assassin 1 is now staggered.
- Both assassins make an attack against Blackthorn and only Assassin 1 succeeds. Blackthorn is now staggered.
- Round 2:
- The assassins gain initiative. Both assassins make an attack against Blackthorn and both succeed. This could be it for our hero!
- Assassin 1 rolls his damage dice (1d6) vs Blackthorn's HD (1d8). The assassin rolls 5, but Blackthorn rolls a 6! Blackthorn is safe for now and will become solid at the beginning of his next turn since he rolled 4+.
- Assassin 2 rolls his damage dice (1d6) vs Blackthorn's HD (1d8). Both the assassin and Blackthorn roll a 4. Because the assassin has to roll higher to take out Blackthorn, Blackthorn survives the attack (by the skin of his teeth).
- Blackthorn becomes solid. Blackthorn makes an attack against Assassin 1 and succeeds.
- Blackthorn rolls his damage dice (1d6) vs the assassin's HD (1d6). Blackthorn rolls a 4 and the assassin rolls a 1. Blackthorn takes out Assassin 1.
Another Alternate HP System
|Skull of Ys Mara|
Forget all that shit I just said about not having HP.
When you and a minion are in the same combat area, add your minion's HP to your own as temporary hit points.
When you or your minion is attacked, you can choose to direct the damage to your HP or your temporary hit points. If your minion would take enough damage to die, he dies and the rollover carries on to your HP. Alternately, you can choose to always take the damage to your own HP. HP never rolls over from master to minion.
Essentially, this creates scenes where you or your minions leap to defend each other. Have real BUCKYYYY NOOOO scenes.
O Hashiin the Unwashed is surrounded by six of his bloody acolytes, each with 2HP. This gives him 12 temporary hit points as long as he's near his acolytes.
Because he is a cruel master, you must defeat each of his acolytes before you can meaningfully defeat him.