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D&D 3E
Book of Nine Swords 
3rd-Nov-2009 11:48 am
So what do people think of this Tome of Battle?  I personally really like the concept, but I've heard quite a few people decry it as overpowered.  It certainly makes non-casters more threatening, but a well built fighter or barbarian can do similar damage.  I feel the ToB classes are more versatile, and just a lot of fun to play.  Now, just to convince more of my gaming group to try it... ;)-

Anyway, what do you fine folk think?  Balanced, overpowered, fun, silly?  Fun/terrible experiences?
Comments 
3rd-Nov-2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
Like just about anything else in D&D, in most hands it's a well-balanced, fun system. Also, just like anything else, in the wrong hands it's an overpowered tool.

Personally, I feel it makes melee characters a lot more fun to play.
3rd-Nov-2009 07:40 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree that a 'well built' fighter or barb can equal the damage output of a Bo9S character.


On the other hand, a straight 20th level fighter is almost always way behind a straight 20th wizard or cleric, and a straigh 20 Bo9S isn't.

I like it. its fun, and it makes the power arc similar between melee and casters.
3rd-Nov-2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
Personally, I love it and allow it in all of my games. But it is, in fact, overpowered. It's easy to adjudicate such things, and honestly having a troll with a few levels in Crusader makes it just perfect. ToB can unbalance your game, especially tossing in some of the template out there (Mineral Warrior comes to mind).

but a well built fighter or barbarian can do similar damage.

I have to disagree. Once you get through about 8 levels, fighters and straight barbarians begin to fall behind. By 12, give me a Cleric or Druid any day. But looking at a Warblade, for instance, at level 12 you can't make a fighter that can touch him. Or barbarian. ToB classes let your melee players run with the big dogs through all levels.
3rd-Nov-2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
in my group we call it the "book of broken swords."
3rd-Nov-2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
*Rereads original post* Whoops, sorry, should have clarified. Yeah, the fighter/barbarian comment was more at lvl 10 and lower (and even then, requires the Shock Trooper/Combat Brute combo). As for the couple comments of broken, why do you feel it's broken? Is it the high damage output, the per encounter maneuvers, or some of the higher level maneuvers?

Thanks for the swift replies!
3rd-Nov-2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the double post, but those were just suggestions as to why ToB is "broken." Other reasons are perfectly fine :)
3rd-Nov-2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
Is that the book with the terrible annie-may-sue "darkness and light ninja"?
3rd-Nov-2009 10:41 pm (UTC)
*hides in shame* Yes, it is. As much as I like the book, there's a couple prestige classes in there that make me twitch. Bloodstorm Blade makes my head hurt ;)...
4th-Nov-2009 01:56 am (UTC)
It's the Book of Awesome and Fun. Honestly, this is the only way I can play 3.5e anymore. Per encounter abilities are genius. Each of the disciplines adds tons of flavor to your character and mixxing them is the very versatility you speak of. I'm running a fire ninja(desert wind/shadow hand ninja) in one game, and Sora from Kingdom Hearts (iron heart/tiger claw warblade/duskblade) in another.

It's . . . yes, it's all mean to be Rule of Cool, but that's why you play D&D anyways, to do awesome stuff and be badass.

Anyhow if they won't try it tell them they're being ignorant for banning something they haven't tried.
4th-Nov-2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
I've never used it, but I've read it and I like what I've read. It seems to make melee guys more effective at higher levels, where normally they'd wind up being semi-useless halfway through. Plus, some of the moves look cool.
4th-Nov-2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
*sigh* This again?

The Warblade is on-par with a Barbarian in terms of damage output (Warblade looks a little better at 5, where it gets another maneuver, but Barbarian hasn't gotten its second attack at 6). There was a nice level-by-level analysis on the WotC boards back in the day.

That means it's leaps better than the Fighter, which is a terribly weak class overall.

The ToB classes are able to play in the same game as high level spell-casters. They're about equal to a Barbarian and a Rogue--the mid-line for damage potential.

The best way to view ToB is the fixes for the 3 weakest classes: the Fighter upgrades to Warblade, the Paladin upgrades to Crusader, and the Monk upgrades to the Swordsage. Yes, they are better than those 3 classes. But they aren't as good as an full-caster, which are half of the classes available. They are more powerful than the weakest classes, but not as powerful as the strongest classes. That makes them balanced.


That said, the ToB classes have a slightly different feel to them, where you have a set of maneuvers and power abilities rather than using full attacks. There is also an implied flavor that doesn't sit well with some people ([sarcasm] and of course we all know that flavor can't be changed [/sarcasm]) So whether they are fun or not is a matter of personal opinion--I happen to think they're okay, but not necessarily more fun than other classes (but I haven't played a lot of ToB stuff).

Whether you like the idea of them or whether they're fun to play is a matter of opinion. But they are NOT over-powered or game-breaking.
22nd-Nov-2009 10:53 am (UTC)
Hm, me and this book have a very mercurial relationship. The way I see it this book gives martial characters easier access to the one thing they lack: some form of spellcasting. A member of my group thought about trying the book out but he felt it was too restricting as far as character development was concerned.

I like the book, if you can find a reasonable way to fit it to a game then it's a terrific addition. The problem is that it's like the Baghdad Battery, an absolute nightmare to get to fit.
13th-Jan-2010 12:14 pm (UTC)
I've played several campaigns with this book and it does get kind of ridiculous. Encounters are supposed to be quite difficult but not exactly difficult enough to destroy your characters assuming their rolls are at least halfway competent; these classes sometimes completely break the encounter though. Basically, their "maneuvers" sometimes turn the tide of battle so much that one has to engineer a bit harder encounter that has the potential to completely overpower the players that don't have such strong classes. I will agree that these classes make up for some of the weaker ones but they can, if paired WITH the weaker ones, get them killed easily. Of course people always say that the melee needs some kind of "spells" to match spellcasters at higher levels but the spellcasters also have many flaws that no one sees, so find them out before sayin' such things.

tl;dr: It's a fun addition but it can lead to really hard encounters since their abilities sometimes easily quash the "appropriate" encounters for their levels, especially at lower levels which might lead to the "weaker" classes' untimely death.
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