Various Maneuvers

DMdraft | The Monster Manual

Notes on Initiator Level for Blade Magic, and Selecting Maneuvers:

Initiator Level:
Some maneuvers and stances have variable effects (such as duration) that depend on initiator level. However, maneuvers are not impacted as strongly by a user’s level as spells are. This difference in effect is primarily a balance and game play issue. Since you can use maneuvers repeatedly, they tend to scale poorly. As you attain higher levels, you usually use your low-level maneuvers less often (if you haven’t already traded them out for higher-level stances however many stances, boosts, and counters remain useful across all levels.

If you are a single-class character, your initiator level equals your level in the class that provides access to martial maneuvers (crusader, swordsage, or warblade). If you lack any martial adept levels, your initiator level is equal to 1/2 your character level.

Multiclass Characters:
Even when you gain levels in a class that does not grant martial maneuvers, your understanding of the martial disciplines still increases. A highly skilled fighter has the basic combat training and experience needed to master advanced maneuvers. If you are a multiclass martial adept, and you learn a new maneuver by attaining a new level in a martial adept class, determine your initiator level by adding together your level in that class + 1/2 your levels in all other classes. Look up the result on the table below to determine the highest-level maneuvers you can take. You still have to meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it.

For example, a 7th-level Crusader/5th-level swordsage has an initiator level of 9th for determining the highest level maneuvers he can take as a crusader. As a result, he can take 5th-level crusader maneuvers. As a swordsage, his initiator level is 8th, allowing him to take 4th-level swordsage maneuvers.

This process applies to all of a character’s levels, whether they are in martial adept classes or other classes.

Selecting Martial Maneuvers:
Much like spells, martial maneuvers are organized by level. Higher-level maneuvers are more powerful than lower level ones. As you gain levels, you have the option to select higher-level maneuvers. Your level in a martial adept class determines the highest-level maneuvers you can select. For example, a 5th-level warblade can select maneuvers of 3rd level or lower.

Highest-Level Maneuvers Known
Initiator Level Maneuver Level
1st–2nd 1st
3rd–4th 2nd
5th–6th 3rd
7th–8th 4th
9th–10th 5th
11th–12th 6th
13th–4th 7th
15th–16th 8th
17th+ 9th


Desert Wind

Desert Wind maneuvers focus on quick movement and swirling, flaming strikes. The scimitar, light mace, light pick, spear, and falchion are the preferred weapons of the Desert Wind discipline. The complex spinning and slashing of the curved blade incorporated into many Desert Wind maneuvers are in fact carefully honed gestures that evoke the power of fire, if performed correctly and with the proper focus. Tumble is the key skill for Desert Wind, providing the initiator with agility and maneuverability. Desert Wind maneuvers are usable only by a swordsage, unless you take the Martial Study feat.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Blistering Flourish Strike Dazzle creatures around you.
1 Burning Blade Boost Deal 1d6 fire + 1/initiator level.
1 Distracting Ember Boost Fire elemental appears, based on Tumble ranks.
1 Flame’s Blessing Stance Gain fire resistance flanks enemy.
1 Wind Stride Boost 10-ft. bonus to speed.
2 Burning Brand Boost Gain +5-ft. reach, deal fire damage.
2 Fire Riposte Counter Counter foe’s attack with fiery touch that deals 4d6 damage.
2 Flashing Sun Strike Gain extra attack.
2 Hatchling’s Flame Strike Cone deals 2d6 fire damage.
3 Death Mark Strike Enemy takes extra fire damage and explodes in a fiery spread.
3 Fan the Flames Strike Ranged touch attack deals 6d6 fire damage.
3 Holocaust Cloak Stance Attackers take 5 fire damage.
3 Zephyr Dance Counter +4 AC against single attack.
4 Firesnake Strike Stream of fire twists around corners.
4 Searing Blade Boost Attacks deal +2d6 fire damage + 1/initiator level
4 Searing Charge Strike Fly while charging, deal +5d6 fire damage.
5 Dragon’s Flame Strike Cone deals 6d6 fire damage.
5 Leaping Flame Counter Teleport adjacent to foe who attacks you.
5 Lingering Inferno Strike Deal +2d6 fire damage, and target takes 2d6 fire damage per round for 3 rounds.
6 Desert Tempest Strike Attack foes as you move by them.
6 Fiery Assault Stance Melee attacks deal +1d6 fire damage.
6 Ring of Fire Strike Surround foes with burning flame.
7 Inferno Blade Boost Melee attacks deal +3d6 fire damage + 1/initiator level.
7 Salamander Charge Strike Charge and create trail of fire.
8 Rising Pheonix Stance Hover on column of super-heated air.
8 Wyrm’s Flame Strike Cone of fire deals 10d6 fire damage.
9 Inferno Blast Strike Burst of fire deals 100 points of damage

Devoted Spirit

Devoted Spirit maneuvers focus on toughness, endurance, ripostes, and abilities designed to defeat a specific alignment. Those who follow the Devoted Spirit discipline seek to support a cause by defending it, nurturing it, and destroying its enemies. The falchion, greatclub, longsword, and maul are the Devoted Spirit discipline’s preferred weapons, though many who follow this school of battle embrace weapons tied to the causes they follow. Intimidate is the key skill for Devoted Spirit.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Crusader’s Strike Strike Successful attack allows you to heal 1d6 + 1/initiator level.
1 Iron Guard’s Glare Stance Enemies take –4 penalty on attacks against your allies.
1 Martial Spirit Stance Heal 2 hit points with each successful attack.
1 Vanguard Strike Strike Allies gain +4 bonus on attacks against target.
2 Entangling Blade Strike Overcome foe’s DR, deal +2d6 damage.
2 Shield Block Counter Grant shield bonus + 4 as AC bonus to ally.
3 Defensive Rebuke Boost Foes you strike must attack you or provoke attack of opportunity.
3 Revitalizing Strike Strike Successful attack allows you to heal 3d6 + 1/initiator level.
3 Thicket of Blades Stance 5-ft. steps provoke attacks from you.
4 Divine Surge Strike Deal +8d8 damage.
4 Doom Charge Strike Deal +2d6 damage, target has –20-ft. penalty to speed.
5 Daunting Strike Strike Target of attack becomes shaken.
5 Divine Surge, Greater Strike Charge attack deals extra damage against good, you gain DR 10/—.
5 Law Bearer Strike Deal +4d6 damage, +8 attack against chaotic enemy, gain +5 on saves and AC.
5 Radiant Charge Strike Deal +6d6 damage against evil foes, gain DR 10/—.
5 Tide of Chaos Strike Charge attack deals extra damage against law, grants you concealment.
6 Aura of Chaos Stance Reroll and add maximum damage dice.
6 Aura of Perfect Order Stance Treat d20 result as 11.
6 Aura of Triumph Stance You and allies heal 4 points with each attack against evil.
6 Aura of Tyranny Stance Drain hit points from allies.
6 Rallying Strike Strike Successful attack allows you to heal 3d6 + 1/initiator level in 30-ft. burst.
7 Castigating Strike Strike Deal +8d6 damage and trigger area blast.
7 Shield Counter Counter Shield bash cancels foe’s attack.
8 Foehammer Strike Deal +6d8 damage, also gain +1 on attacks and deal +2d8 damage per point of Con damage you voluntarily take.
8 Immortal Fortitude Stance You cannot die due to hit point damage.
9 Strike of Righteous Vitality Strike Successful attack grants heal spell.

Diamond Mind

Diamond Mind maneuvers allow a warrior to use her cunning, intellect, and feel for the battlefield against her enemies. Time seems to flow slower to a Diamond Mind initiate. The bastard sword (or katana), rapier, shortspear, and trident are this discipline’s favored weapons. Concentration is the Diamond Mind discipline’s key skill.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Moment of Perfect Mind Counter Use Concentration check in place of Will save.
1 Sapphire Nightmare Blade Strike Opponent f lat-footed, +1d6 damage with Concentration check.
1 Stance of Clarity Stance Gain +2 AC against one foe, –2 against all others.
2 Action Before Thought Counter Use Concentration check in place of Refl ex save.
2 Emerald Razor Strike Turn melee strike into touch attack.
3 Insightful Strike Strike Use Concentration check to determine damage.
3 Mind Over Body Counter Use Concentration check in place of Fortitude save.
3 Pearl of Black Doubt Stance Gain +2 AC each time foe misses you.
4 Bounding Assault Strike Double move and attack.
4 Mind Strike Strike Attack deals 1d4 Wisdom damage.
4 Ruby Nightmare Blade Strike Attack deals double damage with successful Concentration check.
5 Disrupting Blow Strike Successful attack causes foe to be unable to act for 1 round.
5 Hearing the Air Stance Gain blindsense 30 ft., +5 bonus on Listen checks.
5 Rapid Counter Counter Strike opponent who provokes attack from you.
6 Greater Insightful Strike Strike Use double Concentration check to determine damage.
6 Moment of Alacrity Boost Gain +20 bonus on initiative during battle.
7 Avalanche of Blades Strike With each attack that hits, make another attack with increasing penalty.
7 Quicksilver Motion Boost Use swift action to complete move action.
8 Diamond Defense Counter Gain save bonus equal to level.
8 Diamond Nightmare Blade Strike Attack deals quadruple damage with successful Concentration check.
8 Stance of Alacrity Stance Gain extra counter each round.
9 Time Stands Still Strike Take full attack action two times.

Iron Heart

The Iron Heart discipline focuses on pure weapon skill. Its students learn to complete fighting maneuvers that border on the supernatural. The Iron Heart’s preferred weapons are the bastard sword, dwarven waraxe, longsword, and two-bladed sword. Its key skill is Balance, because body control, good footing, and impeccable timing are important to completing Iron Heart maneuvers.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Punishing Stance Stance Attacks deal +1d6 damage, but you have –2 to AC.
1 Steel Wind Strike Attack two opponents.
1 Steely Strike Strike +4 bonus on one attack, enemies gain +4 bonus on attacks against you.
2 Disarming Strike Strike With successful attack, attempt to disarm foe.
2 Wall of Blades Counter Replace AC with attack roll result.
3 Absolute Steel Stance Stance +10-ft. bonus to speed, +2 AC with movement.
3 Exorcism of Steel Strike Strike opponent’s weapon, it deals –4 damage.
3 Iron Heart Surge Boost Remove effect, gain +2 morale bonus on attacks.
4 Lightning Recovery Counter Reroll an attack that misses with +2 bonus.
4 Mithral Tornado Strike Make attacks against adjacent foe, +2 on each attack.
5 Dancing Blade Form Stance +5-ft. reach during your turn.
5 Dazing Strike Strike Melee attack dazes opponent.
5 Iron Heart Focus Counter Reroll save.
6 Iron Heart Endurance Boost Heal hit points equal to two times your level.
6 Manticore Parry Counter Deflect attack and Counter redirect it against opponent.
7 Finishing Move Strike Gain extra damage against weakened foe.
7 Scything Blade Boost Strike one foe, free attack against another one.
8 Adamantine Hurricane Strike Two attacks against each adjacent foe, +4 bonus on each attack.
8 Lightning Throw Strike Use melee attack as a line attack.
8 Supreme Blade Parry Stance Gain DR 5/—.
9 Strike of Perfect Clarity Strike Deal +100 damage on single attack.

Setting Sun

The Setting Sun discipline teaches its initiates to turn their opponents’ strength against them. With a quick shift in stance and a carefully aimed attack, a Setting Sun warrior sends a charging enemy tumbling in a new direction. Setting Sun’s preferred weapons are the quarterstaff, short sword, nunchaku, and unarmed strike. The discipline’s key skill is Sense Motive.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Counter Charge Counter Ruin charge attack, force charging foe to move away from you.
1 Mighty Throw Strike Grab foe, throw him up
1 Step of the Wind Stance Ignore difficult terrain, gain bonus against foes in such terrain.
2 Baffling Defense Counter Use Sense Motive check to dodge attack.
2 Clever Positioning Strike Swap positions with target of attack.
3 Devastating Throw Strike Grab foe, throw him using leverage, strength.
3 Feigned Opening Counter As an immediate action, provoke an attack, then counter.
3 Giant Killing Style Stance +2 bonus on attacks and +4 bonus on damage against larger foes.
4 Comet Throw Strike Grab foe, throw him using leverage, strength.
4 Strike of the Broken Shield Strike Attack deals +4d6 damage, makes target fl at-footed.
5 Mirrored Pursuit Counter You match opponent’s movement.
5 Shifting Defense Stance 5-ft. step with each missed attack against you.
5 Soaring Throw Strike Grab foe, throw him using leverage, strength.
5 Stalking Shadow Counter Move into foe’s space as he tries to move away from you.
6 Ballista Throw Strike Throw foe in 60-ft. line, deal 6d6 damage to all in area.
6 Scorpion Parry Counter Parry attack into second opponent.
7 Hydra Slaying Strike Strike Foe is unable to use full attack action.
8 Fool’s Strike Counter Refl ect foe’s attack.
8 Ghostly Defense Stance Enemies hit target of your choice while you have concealment.
9 Tornado Throw Strike Move and throw foes repeatedly.

Shadow Hand

The Shadow Hand discipline teaches the arts of stealth, deception, and ambush. Its maneuvers allow a warrior to take on a shadowy aspect or to channel dark energy to sap an enemy’s strength. This discipline’s preferred weapons are the dagger, sai, short sword, spiked chain, siangham, and unarmed strike. Its key skill is Hide.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Child of Shadow Stance You gain concealment as long as you move.
1 Clinging Shadow Strike Strike Foe suffers 20% miss chance on attacks.
1 Island of Blades Stance You and allies flank all adjacent foes.
1 Shadow Blade Technique Strike Roll two attacks, use lower result to deal bonus cold damage.
2 Cloak of Deception Boost Turn invisible until the end of your turn.
2 Drain Vitality Strike Attack deals 2 points of Constitution damage.
2 Shadow Jaunt Boost Teleport 50 ft. through shadows as standard action.
3 Assassin’s Stance Stance Gain sneak attack +2d6.
3 Dance of the Spider Stance You climb walls like a spider.
3 Shadow Garrote Strike Ranged touch attack deals 5d6 points of damage.
3 Strength Draining Strike Strike Your attack deals 4 points of Strength damage.
4 Hand of Death Strike Touch renders foe paralyzed for 1d3 rounds.
4 Obscuring Shadow Veil Strike Deal +5d6 damage and foe has 50% miss chance on attacks for 1 round.
5 Bloodletting Strike Boost Strike deals 4 Constitution damage.
5 Shadow Stride Boost Teleport 50 ft. through shadows as move action.
5 Step of the Dancing Moth Stance Ignore terrain, walk over liquid.
6 Ghost Blade Strike Target becomes flat-footed.
6 Shadow Noose Strike Ranged touch attack deals 8d6 damage and might stun f lat-footed target.
6 Stalker in the Night Strike Move and attack while remaining hidden.
7 Death in the Dark Strike Deal +15d6 damage to surprised target.
7 Shadow Blink Boost Teleport 50 ft. through shadows as swift action.
8 Balance on the Sky Stance Walk on air.
8 Enervating Shadow Strike Strike Target of strike gains 1d4 negative levels.
8 One With Shadow Counter Become incorporeal for 1 round.
9 Five-Shadow Creeping Ice Enervation Strike Strike Channel shadow into target, causing hp damage, ability damage, other effects

Stone Dragon

The Stone Dragon discipline focuses on strength, power, and toughness. Its teachings grant a martial adept the ability to splinter steel with a single, focused blow. Stone Dragon’s defensive abilities focus on tapping into the enduring power of stone to turn aside attacks. This discipline’s favored weapons are the greatsword, greataxe, heavy mace, and unarmed strike. Its key skill is Balance. Unlike with other disciplines, adepts of this school rely on an external force—the power of the earth and stone—to help power their maneuvers. As a result, Stone Dragon maneuvers can be initiated only if you are in contact with the ground.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Charging Minotaur Strike Charging bull rush deals damage, ignores attacks of opportunity.
1 Stone Bones Strike Gain DR 5/adamantine.
1 Stonefoot Stance Stance +2 bonus on Strength checks, +2 bonus to AC against larger foes.
2 Mountain Hammer Strike Deal +2d6 damage, overcome DR and hardness.
2 Stone Vise Strike Deal +1d6 damage, attack immobilizes creature.
3 Bonecrusher Strike Deal +4d6 damage, +10 bonus on attacks to confi rm critical hits.
3 Crushing Weight of the Mountain Stance Constrict for 2d6+1-1/2 times Str when grappling.
3 Roots of the Mountain Stance +10 bonus on checks against bull rush, trip, and others, and gain DR 2/–.
3 Stone Dragon’s Fury Strike Deal +4d6 damage against objects, constructs.
4 Bonesplitting Strike Strike Attack deals 2 Constitution damage.
4 Boulder Roll Boost Gain +4 bonus on overrun attempts.
4 Overwhelming Mountain Strike Strike Deal +2d6 damage, target loses move action.
5 Elder Mountain Hammer Strike Deal +6d6 damage, overcome DR and hardness.
5 Giant’s Stance Stance Deal damage as if you are one size category larger.
5 Mountain Avalanche Strike Gain ability to trample foes.
6 Crushing Vise Strike Deal +4d6 damage, attack immobilizes creature.
6 Iron Bones Strike Gain DR 10/adamantine.
6 Irresistible Mountain Strike Strike Deal +4d6 damage, target loses standard action.
7 Ancient Mountain Hammer Strike Deal +12d6 damage, overcome DR and hardness.
7 Colossus Strike Strike Strike deals +6d6 damage, knocks opponent backward.
8 Adamantine Bones Strike Gain DR 20/adamantine.
8 Earthstrike Quake Strike Local quake knocks enemies prone.
8 Strength of Stone Strike Gain immunity to critical hits.
9 Mountain Tombstone Strike Attack deals 2d6 Constitution damage.

Tiger Claw

The Tiger Claw discipline embraces a feral rage that lurks within the heart of its initiates. In battle, such warriors growl like wild animals, attack with a fury similar to that of a barbarian, and rely on overwhelming, vicious assaults to defeat their enemies. The Tiger Claw discipline’s favored weapons are the kukri, kama, handaxe, claw, greataxe, and unarmed strike. Its key skill is Jump.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Blood in the Water Stance Gain +1 bonus on attacks and damage for each critical hit.
1 Hunter’s Sense Stance Gain scent.
1 Sudden Leap Boost Jump as a swift action.
1 Wolf Fang Strike Strike Attack with two weapons.
2 Claw at the Moon Strike Make Jump check, deal +2d6 damage
2 Rabid Wolf Strike Strike +4 bonus on attack, deal +2d6 damage, –4 AC for 1 round.
3 Lion’s Roar Boost Defeat enemy, allies deal +5 damage.
3 Tactics of the Wolf Stance You and allies deal +1 damage/2 initiator levels against fl anked target.
3 White Raven Tactics Boost Ally’s initiative changes, he can act again.
4 Death From Above Strike Leap into the air, attack foe from above, deal +4d6 damage.
4 Fountain of Blood Boost Defeat foe, cause fear in enemies.
5 Dancing Mongoose Boost Make one extra attack with each weapon (max of two extra attacks).
5 Pouncing Charge Strike When you charge, make multiple attacks.
6 Rabid Bear Strike Strike Gain +4 on attack, deal +10d6 damage, –4 AC with attack.
6 Wolf Climbs the Mountain Strike Enter larger foe’s space, deal +5d6 damage, gain cover from foe.
7 Hamstring Attack Strike Attack deals 1d8 Dexterity damage, foe’s speed has –10 penalty.
7 Prey on the Weak Stance Attack of opportunity with each foe that drops.
7 Swooping Dragon Strike Strike Jump over foe, deal +10d6 damage, stun.
8 Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip Boost Gain ability to rend with successful attacks.
8 Raging Mongoose Boost Make two extra attacks with each weapon carried (max four extra attacks).
8 Wolf Pack Tactics Stance Free 5-ft. step with each successful attack.
9 Feral Death Blow Strike Leap upon foe, slay him with a single strike.

White Raven

The White Raven discipline teaches that the combined effort of several warriors working together far exceeds the efforts of those same warriors working individually. Adherents of this tradition serve as leaders and inspiring figures on the battlefield. This discipline’s favored weapons are the longsword, battleaxe, greatsword, halberd, and warhammer. Its key skill is Diplomacy.

Level Maneuver Type Description
1 Bolstering Voice Stance Allies gain +2 bonus on Will saves, +4 against fear.
1 Douse the Flames Strike Target cannot make attacks of opportunity for 1 round.
1 Leading the Attack Strike Allies gain +4 bonus on attacks against foe you strike.
1 Leading the Charge Stance Allies deal +1 damage/initiator level on charge attacks.
2 Battle Leader’s Charge Strike No attacks of opportunity while charging, deal +10 damage.
2 Tactical Strike Strike Deal +2d6 damage, adjacent allies move 5 feet.
3 Lion’s Roar Boost Defeat enemy, allies deal +5 damage.
3 Tactics of the Wolf Stance You and allies deal +1 damage/2 initiator levels against flanked target.
3 White Raven Tactics Boost Ally’s initiative changes, he can act again.
4 Covering Strike Boost Every opponent you strike cannot make attacks of opportunity for 3 rounds.
4 White Raven Strike Strike Deal +4d6 damage, target becomes fl at-footed.
5 Flanking Maneuver Strike Hit flanked target, allies gain free attack.
5 Press the Advantage Stance Move +5 feet with 5-ft. step, move into difficult terrain.
6 Order Forged from Chaos: Boost Allies move up to their speed during your turn.
6 War Leader’s Charge Strike No attacks of opportunity while charging, deal +35 damage.
7 Clarion Call Boost If you drop a foe, allies within 60 ft. can make free attack or take move action.
7 Swarming Assault Strike Allies make free attacks against a foe you strike.
8 Swarm Tactics Stance Allies gain +5 on attacks against enemy adjacent to you.
8 White Raven Hammer Strike Deal +6d6 damage, stun opponent.
9 War Master’s Charge Strike You and allies charge, no attacks of opportunity, deal extra damage, stun.

Various Maneuvers

Thousand Years of Sleep Zardoz