Chthonic Serpent

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DragoonWraith · talk · 22:34, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
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Contents


Chthonic Serpent

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The school of the Sublime Way focuses on versatility and efficiency. Their students are taught to use many weapons, and to excel in the weapons most suited to their disciplines. Reshar believed strongly that a weapon must be usable in all situations and that a martial adept must use any weapon available.

As such, the 'soft' weapons were largely scorned by Reshar. Though masters of Setting Sun could put nunchaku to powerful use, and the spiked chain was a thing to be feared in the most skilled of Shadow Hand adepts, Reshar himself found that the weapons, though potent in the hands of a master, simply did not offer enough to warrant the special training necessary in their use. If warriors were to be efficient, choosing how to spend their time training is crucial - and time spent mastering such a complicated weapon was wasted, thought Reshar, for his vision of a martial adept was one who would not be dependent on any single weapon.

Alikarin ahn Tollerria, a friendly rival of Reshar's, disagreed with this decision. He felt, strongly, that the weapons offered opportunities that could not be found with in rigid weaponry, and that training specially in their use could offer rewards to a dedicated student.

In many ways, Alikarin did find that Reshar was correct - he spent many decades simply experimenting with the weapons, and never had the success of his friend. He drew few students, because he felt he himself was still a novice. Nevertheless, he persevered, and after many years, his small dojo, though obscure and remote, had succeeded, through the combined efforts of Alikarin and his students, in developing ways of using soft weapons not only with the techniques of the Sublime Way, but also with their own discipline: the Chthonic Serpent.

The ways of the Chthonic Serpent rely on throwing one's opponent off-guard, distracting him and ruining his timing, before finally trapping him within the binding chains of their weapons. The weapons associated with the Chthonic Serpent discipline are the Dire Flail, Flail, Flindbar(MM3), Heavy Flail, Kusari-Gama(DMG), Spiked Chain, Tentacle, and Whip. The skill associated with Chthonic Serpent is Use Rope (Dex).

Learning Maneuvers from the Discipline

Because Alikarin had only succeeded in developing a successful discipline for these weapons by the time both he and Reshar were quite old, Reshar never mastered the discipline and it was never included in his school. As such, it never gained nearly the fame as Reshar's nine, but Alikarin's little dojo lives on, and masters of Chthonic Serpent may be found on occasion. Only Swordsages and Warblades may learn maneuvers from Chthonic Discipline, but most cannot. There are two ways to learn maneuvers from the discipline.

The first is to have received prior training in the discipline. A Warblade or Swordsage may start with access to Chthonic Serpent, but doing so means neglecting their training in another discipline. A Swordsage or Warblade may during character creation select one of the disciplines he has access to, and replace it with Chthonic Serpent. That discipline's associated skill is no longer a class skill for the character, and they gain Use Rope as a class skill instead.

The other way is to seek out a master of the Chthonic Serpent, one capable of 5th or higher level maneuvers from the discipline. Such a one may train a Swordsage or Warblade in the discipline. Training costs 1,000 XP and takes a month. After the month, the character gains the ability to learn maneuvers from the Chthonic Serpent discipline, and may further swap out any maneuvers he does know at the time for maneuvers from the Chthonic Serpent discipline of the same level. He also gains Use Rope as a class skill. The difficulty of finding such a mentor is left to the DM to decide.

Maneuvers of the Chthonic Serpent Discipline

Maneuver List

1st Level Maneuvers

  • Binding Constrictor: Strike - On a successful attack, start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Gain +1 to Grapple check per two initiator levels. Maintain Grapple at distance.
  • Coils of Rapture: Stance - If you are smaller than your opponent, all size modifiers for Grapple checks are halved. Allows Grappling of opponents more than two size categories larger than you.
  • Crack of the Whip: Stance - Whips may deal lethal damage, attack lightly armored opponents, take attacks of opportunity, and do not provoke attacks of opportunity when attacking.
  • Flexible Strike: Strike - Strike ignores target's Shield AC.

2nd Level Maneuvers

  • Dance of Chains: Counter - Counter attack with Grapple attempt.
  • Viper Lash: Strike - Attack with 5 ft. greater reach, target is denied Dexterity bonus to AC.

3rd Level Maneuvers

  • Boa Strike: Strike - On a successful attack, start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Gain +1 to Grapple check per two initiator levels. Immediately deal constriction damage equal to weapon damage +2d6. Maintain Grapple at distance.
  • Careful Chains: Stance - Gain bonus to Grapple checks depending on ranks in Use Rope.
  • Whirling Scythe: Boost - On successful trip attempt before the end of your turn, gain free attack and deal +4d6 damage.
  • Wrap-Around Attack: Strike - Against this strike, target's Shield bonus to AC becomes a Shield penalty to AC.

4th Level Maneuvers

  • Blurred Bonds: Boost - All threatened targets are denied Dexterity bonus to AC and take a -4 penalty to all checks to resist Disarming or Trips.
  • Death Adder Lash: Strike - Attack with 5 ft. greater reach, target is denied Dexterity bonus to AC. Deals 1 Constitution damage.
  • Rapture Rose: Strike - On successful disarm, throw opponent's weapon at another.
  • Reap What Has Been Sown: Counter - Gain a free trip attempt that does not provoke attacks of opportunity against those who try to close with you.

5th Level Maneuvers

  • Choking Python: Strike - On a successful attack, start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Gain +1 to Grapple check per two initiator levels. Immediately deal constriction damage equal to weapon damage +4d6.
  • Way of Ourobouros: Stance - Grapple two enemies at once while dual-wielding the discipline's associated weapons.
  • Whirlwind Lash: Strike - Make a Trip or Disarm attempt against all threatened enemies. This does not provoke attacks of opportunity and enemies cannot attempt to retaliate.

6th Level Maneuvers

  • Cobra Lash: Strike - Attack with 10 ft. greater reach, target is denied Dexterity bonus to AC. Deals 1d4 Constitution damage.
  • Death's Embrace: Boost - Blinds each foe attacked this turn.

7th Level Maneuvers

  • Anaconda Crush: Strike - On a successful attack, start a grapple as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Gain +1 to Grapple check per two initiator levels. Immediately deal constriction damage equal to weapon damage +6d6. Maintain Grapple at distance.
  • Reap the Whirlwind: Boost - On next successful Trip attempt this turn, gain free full-attack against target.

8th Level Maneuvers

  • Calamity Symphony: Stance - All of discipline's associated weapons add 5 ft. to their reach and maintain the ability to strike at adjacent squares as well. Against any target completely surrounded by threatened squares, all attacks gain the benefits of flanking.
  • Wrath of Quetzalcoatl: Strike - Attack with 15 ft. greater reach, target is denied Dexterity bonus to AC. Deals 1d8 Constitution damage.

9th Level Maneuvers

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