Sunday, December 15, 2013
Deflected by Flashing Steel
This idea came from an online conversation "Save versus Sword!!" at Original D&D Discussion here. I'd like to thank snakeeyes and Azafuse for the initial idea. deadDMwalking and Exploderwizard from TheRPGsite helped me work out the kinks. Here's my submission...
If a fighter is wielding a magic sword, he's able to deflect an amount of damage equal to the sword's enhancement (count the sword's highest plus possible), in addition to, the fighter's level to reduce damage.
This applies to only fighters or straight-up warriors, no ranger, cavalier, barbarian, or paladin fighter sub-class types. GMs can decide how narrowly they want to define the word "sword" in their campaign.
This special maneuver is usable once per day and in response to any weapon, attack, or act of god - an arrow shot from a bow to a red dragon's fiery breath... even falling rocks during a cave-in. The only thing for which there would be no possible defense is direct contact with a sphere of annihilation. The fighter does not have to be aware of the threat or danger in order to make use of flashing steel deflection. However, utilization must be announced before damage is rolled (or after the GM rolls but before the player knows the extent of his character's wound).
This is not an automatic ability. A religious battle-ritual must be performed by the fighter while his magic sword is wrapped in a crimson sheet or blanket... frequently a blood-soaked shroud. If the fighter does not currently worship a deity of war (combat, battle, crusades, etc.), then a quest must also be completed before the feat is bestowed upon him. Henceforth, the character may be recognized as a Templar Knight.
If the fighter forges (or re-forges) his own sword, with specific runes of war worked into the blade, then he may also include his strength modifier (the larger number if there's a discrepancy) in the deflection, as long as, that particular sword is enchanted, infused with magic, or blessed / made sacred by a war-god worshiping cleric.
Note, when a fighter falls out of favor with the god(s) of war or a magical sword is brandished which has not been through the blood-shroud ceremony, the maneuver cannot be performed as intended.
For example, if a 6th level fighter, Carr, with a +1 bastard sword, +3 vs. dragons is about to be slashed in twain by a giant mutated claw, the PC can elect to (partially) deflect said blow by 9 points of damage [11 assuming the character forged his own rune-sword and his strength bonus was +2].
"I use Espada Bastardo to impede the creature's claw attack."
"Very well," says the GM as he rolls a few dice. "The mutant crab is thwarted to a degree. Carr would have taken 25 points of damage, but instead takes only 16."
It may not be much, and the Templar Knight in question might still die, but at least his extraordinary blade gives him a chance of survival.
p.s. See this in its own slick PDF! Give me feedback please. Thanks.