Author Topic: New Class: The Battlemind  (Read 11759 times)

sage

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New Class: The Battlemind
« on: July 10, 2012, 06:21:00 PM »
(Cross-posted from my blog: http://www.latorra.org/2012/07/10/the-battlemind/.)

This morning I accidentally woke up and designed the Monk for Dungeon World.

So why is this post about the Battlemind? Because I think that’s a better name for what I’m thinking here. It sidesteps the whole orientalism/exoticism angle and gets right to what the class really is, allowing you at your table to place it into the world. It also more clearly differentiates this class for the Fighter with fists as their signature weapon.

The touchstones for this class are my half-remembered 3E psionics rules, the concept of the Monk, and the Greybeards from Skyrim. Usually for a class Adam and I would do a pretty thorough review of what that class looked like in each edition, but this is just an idea that sprung into my head.

So what’s the core of this class?

The Battlemind
You start with these moves:

Oneness
When you have time and tranquility to center your mind and body lose any Focus you had and gain 3 Focus. You cannot have more than 3 Focus at any time.

Stance
When you set your mind and body to combat choose a stance available to you and roll+Wis. Choose three of these stances to be available to you to start with:
  • Serpent’s Coil: While in this stance you use Focus to Hack and Slash.
  • Troll’s Strength: While in this stance your damage dice is d10+Focus.
  • Dragon Turtle’s Shell: While in this stance your Armor is equal to your Focus.
  • Dragon’s Foresight: While in this stance you use Focus to Defy Danger.
  • Unending Life: While in this stance you cannot die. Don’t make the Last Breath move even if you reach 0 HP. As soon as you leave this stance, if you’re still at 0 HP, you make the Last Breath move as normal.
  • Giant’s Reach: While in this stance your body is a weapon with these tags: Hand, Close, Reach, +1 damage, messy, forceful.
On a hit you assume your chosen stance until your concentration lapses. On a 7-9 you must also choose: spend one Focus or be put in some danger (the GM will describe it).

Battlebody
While you wear no armor, have Focus remaining, and carry less than your Load, you have 2 armor.

Fists of Power
Your body itself is a weapon with Hand range.
 
Damage dice is probably d8 (but see the Stances). HP is likely Constitution+8. Load is probably on the low end.

Focus is the main thing that the class’s moves revolve on. The core moves already demonstrate a lot of the core things moves can do with Focus: Spend it, count it, use it as a bonus. There’s a whole lot of advanced moves that fall straight out of that:

Focused Defense
When you’re in a stance and take damage you may spend 1 Focus and leave that stance to negate the damage.

Expanded Mind
When you use Oneness you gain 4 Focus. Your maximum Focus is 4.

Combat Flow
When you kill an enemy while in a stance you may change stances immediately, without rolling. Just choose a new stance.

Mastery
Choose a new stance to add to your list.

Crouching Tiger
When you concentrate on movement and speed you may spend 1 Focus to defy gravity: for a few moments, so long as you keep moving, you may run up and across any vertical surface.

Restored Focus
When an ally successfully Aids you you may choose to gain 1 Focus instead of taking +1.

(not that) adam

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 07:23:16 PM »
(for some reason, I had to search in "last posts" to be able to read this topic)

Sage, you're clearly on something serious here. I'm gonna playtest it no matter what. My first thought about it:

Let's have stances as a sort of spell list, like in the D&D3.5 tome of battle (one of the latest, best and most power-playing-enhancing handbook of the entire edition) but without levels!

Phantom Grasp: when in this stance, add the Ignore Armor tag to your fists.
Chi Blast: when in this stance, you can project blasts of spiritual energy that count as ranged weapons with Near, +1-Damage and Messy as tags. Reducing your ammo for this weapon means losing 1 focus.


Also, some advanced moves ideas:

Versatile Stance: when you roll a 10+ to enter a stance, you can decide to treat it like a roll of 7-9 and enter instead in two stances at the same time, applying the effects of both of them.

Absorb Soul: when you kill an enemy, you regain 1 focus.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

sage

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 07:57:00 PM »
There's something really odd here, the original post doesn't show up. So you can see it at my blog: http://www.latorra.org/2012/07/10/the-battlemind/

lumpley

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 09:48:52 PM »
It accidentally landed in the spam pit, but I've freed it. Carry on!

-Vincent

stras

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 10:45:33 PM »
Vincent to the rescue!

MrPrim

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 10:51:28 PM »
...

DAMMIT!  I was like another few days work from designing a class that was almost like this!  :D

Alright, well, the existence of the Battlemind does push me more towards using the Cleric/Wizard "Spell" system rather than just making each "Power" a separate, Focus-powered Move.

I like the Unending Life move, though I think that "until your concentration lapses" needs a bit more mechanicla heft when dealing with that Move, specifically.

Christopher Weeks

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 01:10:27 PM »
Expanded Soul (must have Expanded Mind)
When you use Oneness you gain 5 Focus. Your maximum Focus is 5.  When you take a life, you lose all focus.

Also, how do Battlebody and Dragon Turtle's Shell interact?  How does Dragon Turtle's Shell interact with armor?

sage

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 03:35:19 PM »
Currently they don't stack—they're both n armor, not +n armor. n armor means "you get this much armor," +n armor means "add this much to your total armor."

Christopher Weeks

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 06:32:46 PM »
That's what I thought.

Antisinecurist

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 07:30:18 PM »
This is really cool, Sage.

Over at: http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=2952.0, MrPrim has posted his own Psion draft that shares a tiny bit of overlap. I have also posted my Soulknife draft which is more sneaky/assassin/spy based.

It would be very cool to see a compiled "Complete Focus" for these types of characters; a sort of DW-psionics-sourcebook. Already we have drafts for a caster-type, a fighter-type, and a sneak-type... Every party role but the cleric!

- Alex

Antisinecurist

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2012, 09:05:08 PM »
Currently they don't stack—they're both n armor, not +n armor. n armor means "you get this much armor," +n armor means "add this much to your total armor."

I'm skeptical of Dragon Turtle's Shell's utility, then.

- AD

sage

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 09:12:33 PM »
Yup, I agree. That may be a tough one to nail down—giving the class less armor when not in that stance makes it too much of a requirement. Making the stance stack lets the Battemind get the highest starting armor by a long shot, no problem.

Antisinecurist

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2012, 09:16:06 PM »
How about something like...

Dragon Turtle's Shell: When you'd suffer an attack in this stance, you may leave the stance to negate the attack. You simply shrug off any damage or ill effects.

- Alex

EDIT: Actually, shoot, that's just "Focused Defense" except better. Um... Hm.

Superdave

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2012, 05:17:37 PM »
I've played every class in DW (even the Druid) to at least 3rd level so I'm really excited about the new Battlemind, though I kind of like the name "Monk".

A couple of questions, though:

How doeas Serpent's Coil work? What does it mean to use Focus to Hack n Slash? Do you use your wis for that move or do you spend a Focus to just do the move with no roll needed? Same thing for Dragon's Foresight.

Also, can you change stances in combat? Can you use one to HnS, then use a different one to Defy danger, then use another one to turtle up?

If so, I really like it because you can use wis to get into your stances when you need them. You may have to spend Focus to do so, which limits you as your Focus decrerases, until you can meditate again.

And all the moves, even the ones by (not that Adam) are very cool and flavorful. This reminds me of when I first saw DW and then when I first saw the Druid. It justs makes me want to play one right now!

Great work...now bring on the Barbarian!

sage

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Re: New Class: The Battlemind
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2012, 05:27:57 PM »
For Serpents Coild you use Focus, not Str, for the roll. So roll+Focus.

You can totally change stances in combat, so long as you do the fictional action that triggers the move (which is pretty simple).