Martial Combat Techniques

Maneuvers or Martial Combat Techniques are a method by which martial fighters have created their own style of pseudo magic. It is not really magic or psionic, but it comes close and produces effects similar to that of those. These techniques are exceptionally rare and powerful, in comparison a caster can create their own spells or learn through a teacher in the matter of a few days/weeks. Techniques however can take years to create and months to learn, for someone to learn a technique they must be taught by someone who has the technique and essentially mastered it. Their creation will follow a similar style to that of the Epic Spell system in 3.5, the tuning for this system is still underway but for the most part it is “workable”. There are four base styles of maneuvers and one advanced style, they are:

Base Styles

A strike is a maneuver that utilizes a special attack. A Strike imparts a special bonus on top of a normal attack, such as extra damage or additional effects like blindness. A strike follows the normal rules of an attack except the extra damage isn’t multiplied on a critical hit. You can’t use a special attack such as bullrush or sunder in conjunction with a strike.

A counter is a fast defensive maneuver used to foil an opponent’s actions. Such as if an opponent charges you and you are granted a counter to move 5ft out of the way. Usually your opponent must take a specific action that grants you the ability to use a counter.

Stances aren’t technically maneuvers, they’re a fighting style that you maintain from round to round. So long as you maintain a stance you gain its benefit. Some stances only grant you bonuses if you meet certain conditions such as if you move x feet this round or are flanking an opponent. You use a swift action to not only end your current stance, but to take form into another. You may choose to just end you current stance without gaining another one as a free action. If you are rendered helpless or unable to continue maintaining your stance, the benefit of the stance is no longer granted.

These types of maneuvers allow a warrior to focus themselves, conjure up energy and unleash it through their attacks. Boosts often grant a bonus to attack and damage for the duration of the turn. Some boosts impart additional effect such as stun or fatigue, some in rare cases don’t modify a attack and instead grant a bonus to skill checks or movement speed. If a boost affects your attacks it applies to all attack for that round regardless if you switch weapons, otherwise a boost generally lasts until the end of your turn.

Advanced Styles

These are an exceptionally rare style of maneuvers, similar to that of stances. A form is a change or alteration to the physical aspect of the user. But they all come with a draw back or price that cannot be bypassed or negated in any way. This maneuver can be maintained up until a set duration and then cannot be accessed until specified again.

Creating your own Maneuvers

The beginning process of creating a maneuver is to choose the base style. The base styles have a set cost and then you may modify your maneuver from there. Note however that certain bonuses should fit the theme of your maneuver.

Strike (+0)
Initiation Action: Standard
Range: Melee Attack
Target: Target
Duration: Instantaneous
Damage: Deals 1d6 damage
Limitation: Once every 3 rounds

Counter (+3)
Initiation Action: Immediate
Range: Melee Attack
Target: Target
Duration: Instantaneous
Limitation: Once per opponent per combat

Boost (+1)
Initiation Action: Swift
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: End of your turn (1 round)
Limitation: Once per combat

Stance (+2)
Initiation Action: Standard
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Until Dismissed

Form (+5) Epic/Ruin only
Initiation Action: Full Round Action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: 3 Rounds
Limitation: Once every 3 days
Backlash: Fatigued after use
note Backlash cannot be mitigated in any way and ability damage is healed at its normal natural rate and restoration has reduced effects on it. A Lesser Restoration heals 1/2 the ability damage. Restoration heals only 2d4 points of ability damage and greater heals 3d4. The body is immensely strained and although the magic is to circumvent this, its effects are reduced because of the severity and nature of these forms.

After choosing the base style you may modify it using the following tables/charts.

Benefit Cost
Action Time
Decreased by one step (Standard > Move > Swift > Immediate) 1 per step
Increased by one step (Standard > Full Round > +1 Additional Round…) -1 per step
Increase duration by 100% 2
Dismissible 1
Melee to 10ft Range Increment 2
Increase range by 100% 2
Extra target within reach 1
Change from Target to Area 1
Change from personal to Target 2
Change from Target to Touch 3
Change Area to Bolt (5ft x 30ft or 10ft by 15ft) 1
Change area to cylinder (10ft radius x 30ft high) 1
Change area to cone (30ft) 1
Change area to four cubes (5ft each) 1
Change area to radius (20ft) 1
Increase area by 100% 1
Saving Throw Area techniques and other special traits
Has a save (DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Stat) -2
Increase saving throw by +1 1
Increase damage die by one step (d20 maximum) 1 per step per die
Add an additional die to the damage 1 per die
Add +2 dmg per level 3
Add +5 dmg 1
Average dmg per die 1
Half Strength Mod to damage 1
Full Strength Mod to damage 3
Strength and a Half to damage 5
Convert damage to Acid Cold Fire or Lightning 1 Per Die/10 Dmg
Convert damage to Sonic or Force 2 Per Die/10 Dmg
Add +1 to hit 1
Additional Attack 3
Maneuver as part of a full attack 4
Other(Enhancement Bonuses) Double the cost for bonuses other than enhancement
Numeric Bonus to CMB Atk Checks Saves etc… 1 per
Increased DR 1/+1 0.5 per
Increased DR 1/+2 1 per
Increased DR 1/+3 1.5 per
Increased DR 1/+4 2 per
Increased DR 1/+5 2.5 per
Increased DR 1/Epic 3.5 per
Increased DR 1/- 4 per
Scaling Factors These factors apply to a specific bonus that isn’t damage or attack. (Ex. Shield bonus to AC)
At 6th, 12th and 18th level gain +1 in the bonus 2
At 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th level gain +1 in the bonus 3
At 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level gain +1 in the bonus 4
Mitigating Factors
Backlash 1d6 points of damage (Max of 2x level) -1
Burn 100xp (Max 2,000xp) -1
Change target, touch, or area to personal -2
Decrease damage die to a d4 -3
Take a penalty on a attack, save or ac -1 per
Circumstance to gain a bonus Bonus cost /2 (Rounded Up)
Form Modifiers
Remove Fatigue Backlash +3
Exhausted after duration -1
Condition to Use -1 per condition
Recharge Duration (per day) +2 per day removed
Recharge Duration (per day) -1 per days added
Recharge Condition -2 per condition
Physical Ability Score Damage (d4s) -2 per
Backlash 1d6 points of damage (Max of 2x level) -1 per

Creation Time and Cost

The cost for creating a maneuver is equal to its cost * 250gp and takes up to a week for each 500gp it costs. To determine the level of the maneuver, see the following chart. If a maneuver goes into epic it follows a different calculation. Point Cost * 9000gp and one day for every 25,000gp in the total cost.

Point Total Maneuver Level Form Level
0-2 / 0-5 0 0
3-5 / 6-10 1 1
6-8 / 11-15 2 2
9-11 / 16-20 3 3
12-15 / 21-25 4 4
16-19 / 26-30 5 5
20-23 / 31-36 6 6
24-27 / 37-42 7 7
28-31 / 43-49 8 8
32-36 / 50-57 9 9
37+ / 58+ Epic Epic
And their breakdowns

Slash (1)
Maneuver type: Strike
Initiation Action: Standard
Range: Melee Attack
Target: One Creature
You make a swing as per normal except you push hard and the blade moves faster, this causes the strike to deal +1d6 damage in addition to a normal swing.
Strike +0

Crushing Blow (1)
Maneuver type: Strike
Initiation Action: Standard
Range: Melee Attack
Target: One Creature
This attack deals +1d6 damage and the target must make a fort save dc 10 + 1/2 HD + Str or be knocked prone
Strike +0
Has a Save +0

3.5 Converted Examples

Charging Minotaur (1) 1st level Maneuver
Maneuver Type: Strike
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Melee Attack
Target: One Creature
As part of this maneuver, charge, but replace the attack at the end of the charge with a Bull Rush attempt. Resolve the bull rush attempt normally. If your Strength check exceeds the opponent’s result, you deal bludgeoning damage equal to 2d6 + your Str modifier in addition to pushing the target back as normal. Assuming your Strength check is high enough, you can push your target back more than 5 feet (as normal for a bull rush, but without having to follow).
If you have the Pounce ability or another ability that lets you make multiple attacks on a charge, those abilities do not apply to this maneuver.
Strike: +0
Full Round Action: -1
Additional D6: +1
Strength To Damage: +2
Circumstance to gain damage: -1

Iron Hand Stance (7) 1st level Stance
Manuever Type: Stance
Initiation Action: 1 Swift Action
Range: Personal
Target: self
Duration: Until Dismissed
By keeping his hands stiff and his arms loose and ready, the disciple uses his bare palms as shields to protect himself from the weapons of his foes. While in this stance, the initiator gains a +2 shield bonus to his AC while he has at least one free hand. At the initiator’s 6th level this bonus increases by +1, again at 12th and a final time at 18th.
Stance: +2
Swift Action: +2
Circumstance to gain shield bonus: +3

Lion’s Roar (11) 3rd level Maneuver
Maneuver type: Boost
Initiation Action: Swift
Range: 60ft
Target: You and allies within 60ft
As a swift action, you can initiate this boost after you’ve reduced an opponent to 0 or fewer hit points. You and allies within a range of 60ft gain a +5 morale bonus on damage rolls for 1 round.
Boost +1
Personal to Target: +2
Target to Area (20ft Radius): +1
Increase area by 200% (60ft Radius): +2
+5 Morale to damage (Circumstance to gain bonus /2) +5

Inferno Blast (32) 9th level Maneuver
Maneuver type: Strike
Initiation Action: 1 Full Round Action
Range: 60ft
Area: 60ft radius burst centered on you
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Reflex Half
You focus your internal ki into a blinding hot burst of fire that deals 100 points of fire damage to all creatures in the area. You are not harmed by your own inferno blast.
Strike: +0
Remove the 1d6 Damage: -1
Target to Area (20ft Radius): +1
Increase Area by 200%: +2
Deal 100 damage: +20
100 damage is fire dmg: +10
Has a save +0


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