Tome of Battle Homebrew – Swarm of Shadows

By Ken Wai Lau

Here’s a new Tome of Battle homebrew maneuver that I’ve invented. As I understand it, the Shadow Hand discipline draws upon the plane of shadow with it’s supernatural maneuvers, whereas the extraordinary maneuvers represents the concept of assassination – of striking without being seen.

The capstone maneuver of the Shadow Hand discipline is a very powerful ability which draws upon the supernatural power of the shadow, but I wanted to try and create an alternative level 9 maneuver that represented the assassination aspect of the discipline. This maneuver might be suitable for those who practice the Shadow Hand discipline, but refuses to draw upon the negative energy plane. I have yet to test it out in play, so I don’t really know if it is overpowered compared to the other level 9 maneuvers.

Let me know what you think.

Swarm of Shadows

Shadow Hand (Strike)
Level: Swordsage 9 (Five Shadow Hand maneuvers)
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: 25 ft
Area: 25-ft radius burst centred on you
Saving Throw: None

You quickly vanish and reappear next to nearest opponent several meters in front you and strike him. Then you vanish and reappear next to the foe who stands a few feet away and strike him also. Then you blink again… and again… and again… all within the space of a heartbeat. As you reappear right where you started, your opponents crumple to the floor all around you.

As part of this maneuver, you make a single melee attack against each opponent within 25 from your starting position. If you hit, you deal an extra 15d6 points of damage against your foe. All targets are considered flat-footed against this attack.

You do not need line of effect, but you must be aware of the target and be able to reach him using whatever mode of movement is available to you when you initiate this maneuver. For example, if you do not have a fly speed, are unable to air walk or leap the required distance in height, you cannot attack any targets that are airborne.  Likewise, if your fly speed is insufficient to cover the vertical distance needed to reach an airborne target in a single move action, you cannot attack the target.

Tome of Battle


  1. Jean Corbould October 9, 2014 1:33 pm  Reply

    It’s a nice idea, but I can’t help thinking that it’s a little overpowered. If you want an AOE ability, you already have tornado throw and Inferno blast.

    • Ken Wai Lau February 1, 2015 7:24 pm  Reply

      I intended this as a combination of Death in the Dark and Shadow Blink maneuvers. Maybe I should include a saving throw in order to nerf it a little?

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