Bloodstorm Blade (or How to Throw a Mancatcher)  

Posted by Michael Donaldson


Every now and again you come across an ability that strikes fear into your heart as a DM. A lot of the most crippling combos in D&D are not obvious and require quite a bit of fanangling to pull off, but the very worst were somehow designed that way. When the guys over at WotC were writing Tome of Battle they apparently didn't feel like the whole book was powerful enough, so they included this little jewel of a prestige class. I won't bore you with all the details, but if you read the following ability and don't immediately seize up, you need to go re-read it until you do.

Thunderous Throw (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, you build up incredible tension as you ready yourself to throw your weapon, which becomes visible around you like heat waves. When you release your weapon, that power rushes out with your weapon. As a swift action, you can choose to treat your ranged attack rolls with thrown weapons as melee attacks for the rest of your turn. You use your melee attack bonus, including Strength bonus, feats, and so forth, to determine your attack bonus for each attack as normal, but you apply the standard modifiers for range penalties. Attacking into melee, through cover, and so forth incurs the standard penalties. In addition, you can apply 1-1/2 your Strength bonus to damage if you wield the thrown weapon with two hands, and you can use Power Attack with your thrown weapon attacks (adding two times the number subtracted from attack rolls as a bonus on damage rolls when throwing a two-handed weapon).
Obvious benefits aside, this means that you can do anything with a thrown weapon that you can do with a melee weapon. Like, say:
  • Trip
  • Disarm
  • Spring Attack
  • Use Maneuvers
  • Charge
  • Grapple Them With a Mancatcher/Pincer Staff
That's right, folks. Mancatch from a distance. In a previous article I discussed the benefit of a 1st level spell by the name of Guided Shot, which eliminates range increment penalties. Can you imagine a perfect 50' Mancatcher throw that grapples your foe?

Alright, alright. I hear some of you going "That's insane!" but I hear others murmuring that it's not really that much more powerful than some other PrC abilities, which granted is true. The Bloodstorm Blade, however, isn't ready to give up just yet.

Blade Storm (Ex):At 10th level, you can hurl your weapon as a full-round action to make it seem as if you are attacking a dozen foes at once. You become the center of a storm of steel as your thrown weapon flies out to strike a foe, returns to ricochet harmlessly off you, then flies out to attack another foe. You can make a ranged attack with a thrown weapon at your highest attack bonus against as many targets as you wish. You can attack each target just once with this attack, calculating range and cover penalties from your position on the battlefield.

Holy crap, Michael! What is this, a per day ability?

When you use blade storm, you lose th use of one Iron Heart strike you have readied for the current encounter, just as if you had initiated the strike (except you do not also gain the strike's normal effect). Once you use this ability, you can recover the maneuver you expended and use it normally.
FACEPALM! So wait, WotC, you're saying that I can throw a single mancatcher at every living thing in 50' and grapple it too!? This is the sort of nonsense that caused a collective welcome sigh of relief from a large portion of the community when the far more structured 4th edition surfaced.

Can you think of funnier weapons for the Bloodstorm Blade to throw? I'm interested if you can!

This entry was posted on March 11, 2010 at Thursday, March 11, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

8 comments

Anonymous  

how about rhrowing an adamantine greatsword and sundering one item on every person in 50 feet. you can't sunder the unequipped monster but you dont even need improved sunder anymore. on that same idea, what about disarming everybody with a spiked chain or entangling everybody with a net.

March 12, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Mass Trip Flurry!

But criticizing WotC for not anticipating that someone would want to use Blade Storm in combination with Thunderous Throw to be able to use a Mancatcher to scoop up an entire tribe at once . . . Well, I think it is safe to assume that the combo never occurred to them and, honestly, you were looking for the silliest possible way to combine those abilities.

March 12, 2010 at 10:36 AM

I try hard not to be to vocal against WoTC's playtesting but seriously guys... Did you even look at this and think? "What kind of ridiculousness could anyone possibly use this for?"

Bravo guys.

March 12, 2010 at 1:20 PM

confirming the silliest possible way to combine these abilities is with a harpoon, not a mancatcher :)

March 12, 2010 at 1:32 PM
Anonymous  

I'm assuming I'm fucking this up but, why not use the feat that lets you throw another person?

March 25, 2010 at 12:41 AM

How about the feats for charging/bullrushing and sitting on a horse with a lance while doing this... I think you can see where this is going.

April 6, 2010 at 11:45 PM
Anonymous  

With the DM permission... ROCKET PUNCHES!

April 15, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Wow, this is so overpowered compared to wizards creating entire new planes of reality....

Yeah, no.

Why do you all hate the idea of people without magic actually having power?

At the level an initiator would get this ability, the wizards can be summoning flocks of Vrooks or animating entire armies of undead.

So yeah, get it through your head. "logical, sensible reality" only applies in levels 10 or lower in D&D 3.5 Past that, breaking the laws of physics on the basis of skill alone is perfectly plausible.

September 5, 2010 at 5:20 PM

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