Level Up (A5E) Traditions Revisited: Sanguine Knot

scaramouche

Explorer
With all the discussion around Maneuvers, and particularly the dearth of ranged options, I was inspired to look at the existing traditions to see how they might be tweaked to allow for a broader set of options. For a first pass, I'm not even thinking of new maneuvers, but rather looking at existing maneuvers that might work perfectly well with ranged weapons but are currently Melee only. Sanguine Knot seemed like a good place to start, since its focus on leadership and teamwork lends itself to being more weapon agnostic. And also because Sanguine Knot has some legitimately bad maneuvers.

RANK ONE

Doubleteam:
Remove 'within your reach'. The maneuver already requires the ally be within 20' of you and that they make a melee attack. There's no need to further restrict you to being in melee distance, and the fiction is that you're 'fraying defenses' which can certainly be imagined to be done with any weapon, ranged or melee.

RANK TWO

Nothing here except to say that Double Tackle is just the absolute worst, requiring 3 exertion and a boatload of actions to basically use the Shove action (with an optional expensive sacrifice play that makes two PCs prone in order to guarantee one enemy prone). Maybe we just replace this with a (better) weapon agnostic maneuver?

RANK THREE

Follow-Up Topple:
Remove 'within your reach'. Remove the 2nd instance of 'melee' so the line reads 'you can use your reaction to make a weapon attack against that creature'. Reaction attacks with ranged weapons are rare, but a single reaction shot (with a knock down rider) as a rank 3 maneuver feels fair. Your friend hits the enemy and you shoot them in the leg and down they go.

Look at Me!: Remove the first instance of 'melee' so the line reads 'when you make a weapon attack against a creature'. Change 'ally within reach' to 'ally within reach of the creature'. Nothing wrong with drawing enemy attention with ranged fire as well as melee.

RANK FOUR

Brotherhood Stance:
Would be nice to change this to an ungendered 'Solidarity Stance' but that's just me. Remove 'melee'. Help is already range limited, so there's no need to double down on the melee restriction, and this change allows for more flexibility and fun Legolas style running around the battlefield shooting things up close to help your buddies.

RANK FIVE

United We Stand:
Remove the first instance of 'melee' so it now reads 'Make a weapon attack against a creature'. Change 'ally within your reach' to 'within reach of the creature'. This is a 5th rank, capstone maneuver. Nothing gets broken by having the triggering attack happen at range. Your allies all need to be in melee anyway.

With these changes, Sanguine Knot suddenly has 5 quite decent options for ranged combatants, scattered across almost every rank (nothing in Rank 2 unless Double Tackle is taken to the shed and shot). And best of all, there's minimal effort here in terms of creating new maneuvers. Let me know what you think. And if you liked this, let me know what Tradition I should look at next.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

xiphumor

Hero
With all the discussion around Maneuvers, and particularly the dearth of ranged options, I was inspired to look at the existing traditions to see how they might be tweaked to allow for a broader set of options. For a first pass, I'm not even thinking of new maneuvers, but rather looking at existing maneuvers that might work perfectly well with ranged weapons but are currently Melee only. Sanguine Knot seemed like a good place to start, since its focus on leadership and teamwork lends itself to being more weapon agnostic. And also because Sanguine Knot has some legitimately bad maneuvers.

RANK ONE

Doubleteam:
Remove 'within your reach'. The maneuver already requires the ally be within 20' of you and that they make a melee attack. There's no need to further restrict you to being in melee distance, and the fiction is that you're 'fraying defenses' which can certainly be imagined to be done with any weapon, ranged or melee.

RANK TWO

Nothing here except to say that Double Tackle is just the absolute worst, requiring 3 exertion and a boatload of actions to basically use the Shove action (with an optional expensive sacrifice play that makes two PCs prone in order to guarantee one enemy prone). Maybe we just replace this with a (better) weapon agnostic maneuver?

RANK THREE

Follow-Up Topple:
Remove 'within your reach'. Remove the 2nd instance of 'melee' so the line reads 'you can use your reaction to make a weapon attack against that creature'. Reaction attacks with ranged weapons are rare, but a single reaction shot (with a knock down rider) as a rank 3 maneuver feels fair. Your friend hits the enemy and you shoot them in the leg and down they go.

Look at Me!: Remove the first instance of 'melee' so the line reads 'when you make a weapon attack against a creature'. Change 'ally within reach' to 'ally within reach of the creature'. Nothing wrong with drawing enemy attention with ranged fire as well as melee.

RANK FOUR

Brotherhood Stance:
Would be nice to change this to an ungendered 'Solidarity Stance' but that's just me. Remove 'melee'. Help is already range limited, so there's no need to double down on the melee restriction, and this change allows for more flexibility and fun Legolas style running around the battlefield shooting things up close to help your buddies.

RANK FIVE

United We Stand:
Remove the first instance of 'melee' so it now reads 'Make a weapon attack against a creature'. Change 'ally within your reach' to 'within reach of the creature'. This is a 5th rank, capstone maneuver. Nothing gets broken by having the triggering attack happen at range. Your allies all need to be in melee anyway.

With these changes, Sanguine Knot suddenly has 5 quite decent options for ranged combatants, scattered across almost every rank (nothing in Rank 2 unless Double Tackle is taken to the shed and shot). And best of all, there's minimal effort here in terms of creating new maneuvers. Let me know what you think. And if you liked this, let me know what Tradition I should look at next.
I’d have to look at things more carefully, but the main thing that this post points out to me is that there are multiple kinds of answers to this question. This is a Table Fix which would be easily implemented by individuals, but would seem clunky and confusing as an Official Fix, saying “these maneuvers work this way but oh wait just kidding actually they work this other way.”

I think I tend to think about the problem from a design perspective, largely because the existence of the GPG and its willingness to accept community pitches makes the possibility of correcting less than ideal portions of the game in relatively quick fashion feasible in a way it simply isn’t for something like O5e.

Not a criticism of your suggestion, of course. Just a reminder to myself and everyone else that when we talk about addressing problems in what I maintain is overall a fantastic game, we should bear in mind that different people will suggest fixes that work in some contexts but not others.
 

scaramouche

Explorer
I don't disagree. I started out with the ambition of writing new traditions and content to cover these gaps (in what I agree is overall a fantastic game). But then I thought it might be a helpful exercise to revisit some existing traditions and see where small tweaks might do the job, as an etude, as it were; a way of practicing and establishing some initial design thinking.

For instance, if many of us feel these tweaks are reasonable, then it gives us some starting points for thinking about new maneuvers and loosening some of those guard rails a bit. And conversely, if we feel these become unbalanced, that also informs future thought.

To be clear, I'm not demanding that these changes get published! They're food for thought and discussion (and maybe a pitch for my own table, haha).
 





Valrei

Villager
I do like these changes, in general I think it is a shame that so many non-biting zephyr maneuvers intentionally exclude ranged weapons.

A thing I'd like to add to your point about the brotherhood stance:
A character with the Forgotten Folx culture can help within 15 feet, the rules for the help action do include you have to be able to threaten the creature you are helping against in some way but with a ranged weapon at 15ft. or a reach weapon at 10ft. that requirement would also be fulfilled. This would give a Forgotten Folx character with sanguine knot maneuvers (which fits very nicely flavour wise) a cute little bonus interaction when using Brotherhood stance if the melee requirement was dropped.

(you seem to imply this with your Legolas running around helping remark but just felt like adding this explanation for those who don't see why dropping the melee requirement would do anything)

P.S. Why rapid current next? Because it seems a logical choice for including more ranged options? Or is there another reason?
 

scaramouche

Explorer
Absolutely agree with regards to Forgotten Folx and similar fun with Help. It's not at all abusive and creates a fun niche to occupy.

With regards to Rapid Current, yes, I felt it was a good candidate for being weapon agnostic, since it's more concerned with movement. I haven't looked at it with that lens yet, so I could be wrong!
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top