Dungeons & Dragons Online

Adding Options to Martials in Combat

Content of the article: "Adding Options to Martials in Combat"

Halloa folks,

I came across this great thread today about /u/pjnick300's expanding utility to high level martial classes, and I thought I'd share the project I've been working on for the last 6 months on the same subject. I, too, have long felt that martial classes in 5e don't have enough tactical variety. Furthermore, in the homebrew community, new homebrew spells are being published for public consumption dozens if not hundreds of times a day, meaning the gap between options for martials and options for spellcasters grow ever wider.

To combat this, I started work on Combat Arts, which are learnable at-will abilities that can replace any weapon attack from the Attack Action. They are similar to the Battlemaster's Maneuvers, except in 3 significant regards: 1. Combat Arts do not consume limited resources to use, 2. They sacrifice, instead of increase, damage output in exchange for benefits, and 3. They avoid applying negative effects on enemies and instead focus on granting the user positive benefits.

Here is a collage of all of the Combat Arts I have made thus far.

Google Drive Link for whomever it matters.

You'll notice that instead of simply being a bunch of mechanics that there is a bit of flavor text for each Combat Art. That's because I wanted it to add a bit of Narrative to tie them together. At the bottom of this post, you can read the "story" I made to bind these Combat Arts, as well as the rules governing them.

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I have approximately 17+ Combat Arts planned (I've been working a little bit on a potential Twin Strike thing most recently). Much of them are inspired by 4e at-will powers. For all its flaws, there are some things that 4e did wonderfully well.

I will greatly appreciate your thoughts, comments, and criticisms, as expanding martial options is of considerable interest to me, and the only thing worse in homebrew development than negative comments is zero comments.



Combat Art Battle Record

Welcome to the Mushin Miyashina Battle Record, a collection of memories describing unique battles and warriors, and the martial techniques I encountered within them. In my desire for power, I fought desperately time after time, tempering my blade in the blood of my foes. My school’s motto is “Victory by any means”, which means my school has no hard and fast rules. Explore the world, dance on the edge of death, and take your opponent’s skills for your own.

Combat Arts

Combat arts are martial techniques and weapon skills available to the following classes: Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, and Rogue. When for the first time a character gains their first level in one of these classes, they learn one Combat Art. They learn an additional Combat Art at the 2nd and 3rd level of that class, for a total of 3 Combat Arts at 3rd level. Afterwards, whenever they reach their subsequent subclass level in that same class, they learn 1 additional Combat Art. For example, both a Fighter and a Rogue will know 3 Combat Arts by 3rd level, but a Fighter will learn its fourth Combat Art at 7th level while a Rogue will learn theirs at 9th.

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Whenever they gain a level in one of these classes, they can replace one of their Combat Arts with a different one.

Combat Art At-Will

Combat Arts with the “at-will power” tag can be used as frequently as one wants, but any one at-will Combat Art can only be used once per turn and can only be applied to weapon attacks made via the Attack Action.

Each Combat Art can only be used with certain types of weapons. You meet a combat art’s prerequisite when you make a weapon attack using the Attack Action with a weapon listed under Weapon Type. If the weapon type says “No Restriction”, then you can use any kind of weapon attack for that Combat Art. Each Combat Art can be used once per turn, and only on weapon attacks that would normally apply a positive ability modifier to weapon damage.

When you take the Attack Action, you can use certain Combat Arts if you are attacking with a weapon of an appropriate type. The type of weapon required is described under the tag Weapon Type. Each Combat Art can be used once per turn, and only on weapon attacks that would normally apply a positive ability modifier to weapon damage.

Source: reddit.com

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