Home >Path of War >The Art of the Blade >

Piercing Thunder


The Piercing Thunder discipline finds its traditions rooted in one of the oldest weapons known to intelligent beings: the spear. Be this spear fought in melee, tossed to hunt, or used as part of a charge, the spear, and later the polearm, has been a standard in military practice. Those who follow Piercing Thunder’s teachings know that these mighty hafted weapons are equally at home in the hands of a warrior on the battlefield as they are in those of a poor peasant militiaman—the spear knows no rank, only skill. Piercing Thunder shows superiority through the overwhelming force granted by reach and mobility. Piercing Thunder’s associated skill is Acrobatics, and its associated weapon groups are polearms and spears.

The specialized nature of some Piercing Thunder maneuvers requires you to be wielding a discipline weapon or a weapon that inflicts piercing damage. If you are not wielding such a weapon, then you cannot perform those maneuvers. In addition, while you maintain a Piercing Thunder stance, you can retrieve unattended weapons as a free action, provided the weapon is within your reach at some point during your turn (including as part of a move action).

Order of Presentation: In the maneuver lists and descriptions, the maneuvers are grouped alphabetically by level.

Initiator Level: Some maneuvers effects depend on the initiator level, which is usually the character’s level in the class that provides access to martial maneuvers. The word “level” in the maneuver lists always refers to initiator level.

Creatures and Characters: “Creatures” and “characters” are used synonymously in the maneuver descriptions.

Discipline Restrictions Some disciplines carry specific restrictions on when they can be used, as well as specific rules for those disciplines, as defined in that discipline’s maneuver list.

Table: 1st Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Bronze Lancer’s EdgeBoostYour next charge attack deals +1d6 damage.
Bronze Lancet ChargeStrikeCharge attack that deals +1d6 damage and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Iron Pikeman’s AttitudeStanceGain the benefits of the Endurance feat and reduce armor’s restrictive qualities.
Oaken ShieldCounterIncrease your shield bonus by +4 against one attack.
Phalanx LancerStanceUse heavy weapons one handed with a shield and deal +1d6 damage those weapons. You can lock your shields with those of allies to gain a bonus to AC.
Piercing StrikeStrikeStrike through two opponents that are adjacent to each other.

Back to Top

Table: 2nd Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Armor-Piercing ThrustStrikeYour attack is made against your opponent’s touch AC.
Brace for ImpactCounterMake an Acrobatics check to negate an incoming charge attack. If wielding a discipline weapon, you deal damage back.
Hastened LeapBoostMove up to 20 feet or make an Acrobatics check to make a running jump with a +10 bonus.
Throwing ThunderStrikeHurl your discipline weapon at a target as an attack that deals +2d6 damage and may knock the target prone.
Thunderous FallStrike Your attack deals +2d6 damage, and if the target is mounted, they may be dismounted; if they’re on foot, you may make a trip attempt as a free action.

Back to Top

Table: 3rd Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Goring StrikeStrikeIncreases reach by 5 feet and attacks opponents in a line, dealing +3d6 damage.
Iron Lancer’s EdgeBoostYour next charge attack deals +3d6 damage and staggers your target.
Piercing Thunder HammerStrikeYou make a powerful downward blow that deals +2d6 damage and may knock your target prone.
Twin Thunder StanceStanceYou may wield two heavy weapons as if they were both one-handed weapons, and gain the benefits of the Two-Weapon fighting feat.

Back to Top

Table: 4th Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Iron Lancet ChargeStrikeCharge attack that deals +6d6 damage, does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and may knock the target prone.
Leaping StrikeStrikeUse an Acrobatics check in place of your attack roll, dealing +6d6 damage if you hit.
Repositioning LeapCounterMake an Acrobatics check to negate an attack and leap out of the way of danger.
Twisting LanceStrikeMake a trip attempt with a +4 bonus, and if you succeed, make an attack that deals +5d6 damage.

Back to Top

Table: 5th Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Meteor Spiral ThrustStrikeYour attack deals +8d6 damage, automatically overcomes damage reduction, and may nauseate the target.
Stance of the ThunderbrandStanceYou gain a +4 dodge bonus to your AC, your reach increases by 5 feet, and opponents you threaten provoke attacks of opportunity with any movement, including 5-foot steps and teleportation.
Throwing CometStrikeHurl your weapon as a 30-foot line, dealing +8d6 damage and possibly knocking opponents prone.
Twisting ParryCounterMake an attack roll opposing an incoming attack. If you succeed, you redirect the attack to an adjacent opponent.

Back to Top

Table: 6th Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Diving Thunderbolt StanceStanceYou gain a bonus on Acrobatics to jump equal to twice your initiator level, become immune to falling damage, and can charge enemies you attack from a higher elevation.
Glorious Thunder ChargeStrikeCharge attack that deals +8d6 damage, does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and may nauseate the target.
Impaling Comet StrikeStrikeIncreases reach by 10 feet and attacks opponents in a line, dealing +6d6 damage and automatically overcoming damage reduction.
Lightning Rush BoostIncrease your speed by 30 feet for one round, then move up to your speed as a free action.
Steel Lancer’s EdgeStrikeCharge attack that deals +6d6 damage, does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and you can make an Acrobatics check to jump away after the attack.

Back to Top

Table: 7th Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Breaking the ChargeCounterInterrupt a charge attack passing through your reach with an attack that deals +5d6 damage and may knock the target prone.
Leaping Thunder CrashStrikeUse an Acrobatics check in place of your attack roll, dealing +35 damage if you hit and possibly disarming the target.
Rush to the FrayStrikeCharge attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity and allows you to attack all adjacent opponents for +5d6 damage at the end of the charge.

Back to Top

Table: 8th Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Adamantine Lancer’s EdgeBoostYour next charge attack deals +8d6 damage, automatically overcomes damage reduction, and may daze your target.
Deadly Thunder Lancer’s StanceStanceGain bonuses on attack rolls, damage rolls, and Acrobatics checks to jump and tumble, and you can move before or after maneuvers or attacks.
Thundering Lancer’s BlowStrikeYour attack deals +12d6 damage, and you can make a bull rush attempt that also knocks the target prone.

Back to Top

Table: 9th Level Piercing Thunder Maneuvers
ManeuverTypeDescription
Piercing Charge of the Dread LancerStrikeCharge across the battlefield as a line attack, striking each opponent you pass through and dealing +15d6 damage.

Back to Top

1st Level

Bronze Lancer’s Edge

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Boost); Level: 1
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: 1 round

DESCRIPTION

With practiced skill, you are capable of achieving greater force with your discipline weapons. After initiating this boost, the next charge attack you make this turn deals an additional 1d6 points of damage.

Bronze Lancet Charge

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 1
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Charge attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You make a thunderous charge and deliver a powerful attack. Make a charge attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If your attack hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 1d6 points of damage.

Iron Pikeman’s Attitude

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Stance); Level: 1
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Stance

DESCRIPTION

You have practiced ways to mitigate and circumvent the woes of heavy armor and gear. While you maintain this stance, you gain the benefits of the Endurance feat and you may treat armor you are wearing as one category lower (heavy armor is treated as medium armor, and so forth, to a minimum of light armor). In addition, you reduce the armor check penalty of armor you are wearing by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increase the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by your armor by 1. For every 3 initiator levels you possess beyond 1st level, you reduce the armor check penalty and increase the maximum Dexterity bonus by an additional 1 (up to a maximum of a –5 armor check penalty reduction and a +5 increase to maximum Dexterity bonus).

Oaken Shield

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Counter); Level: 1
Initiation Action: 1 Immediate action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You shift your weapon’s haft into a more defensible position, shielding you from assault. You can initiate this counter in response to a melee or ranged attack being made against you. Your shield bonus to your AC against that attack increases by +4 (if you have no shield bonus to AC, your shield bonus increases to +4).

Phalanx Lancer

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Stance); Level: 1
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Stance

DESCRIPTION

Through heavy conditioning and strength training, you have become adept at using a shield in tandem with a polearm to great effect. While maintain this stance, you can wield a normally two-handed discipline weapon as a one-handed weapon (or a normally one-handed discipline weapon as a light weapon) when using a shield in your off hand. When fighting in this manner, your attacks with discipline weapons and shield bashes deal an additional 1d6 points of damage (+1d6 per ten initiator levels).

In addition, adjacent allies (up to a maximum number equal to your initiation modifier) wearing shields may interlock their shields with yours as a free action on their turn. Each shield-bearing character improves their shield bonus to AC by +1 for each ally in this position (up to a maximum of +5). Allies linking shields with you in this manner do not need to be in this stance unless they wish to increase the number of allies within the phalanx as well.

Special Note: If you possess the armament shield class feature (see Zweihander Sentinel warder archetype in Path of War), its benefits are suspended while you maintain this stance. You must be wielding an actual shield to interlock it with the shields of allies.

Piercing Strike

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 1
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One or two creatures
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You issue a potent impaling blow with your weapon, battering defenses aside and striking bloodily at your foe. During this strike, your weapon’s reach increases by 5 feet. Make a melee attack roll and compare it to the ACs of up to two creatures within your reach that are adjacent to each other. If the attack roll hits a target, it deals weapon damage as normal. Use the same damage roll for each target.

Back to Top

2nd Level

Armor-Piercing Thrust

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 2
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You make a potent attack toward your foe, unleashing a heavy thrust that pierces through their defenses. Make a melee touch attack with a weapon you are wielding. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal.

Brace for Impact

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Counter); Level: 2
Initiation Action: 1 Immediate action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

In the chaos of battle, you know you can truly only trust the weapon in your hand. You can initiate this counter when an opponent makes a charge attack against you. Make an Acrobatics check, using your opponent’s attack roll as the DC. If you succeed, the attack is negated and that opponent takes damage equal to your initiator level. If your weapon has the brace property, this damage is doubled. If you are not wielding a discipline weapon or a piercing weapon, this counter does no damage to your opponent but can still negate the attack.

Hastened Leap

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Boost); Level: 2
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

By using this method, you become capable of a quick burst of speed, launching yourself forward with alacrity towards you foes. When you initiate this boost, you can either move up to 20 feet or make an Acrobatics check to jump. If you jump, you are treated as if you had a running start and your check is made with a +10 competence bonus.

Throwing Thunder

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 2
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Ranged attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

By rearing back for a powerful throw, you are capable of turning any pole arm into a deadly and dangerous missile. Make a ranged attack, using a discipline weapon you’re wielding as a thrown weapon. The weapon’s range increment increases by 20 feet for this attack. If the weapon does not normally have a range increment, it instead gains a 20 foot range increment for this attack, and you do not take the normal penalty for throwing a nonstandard weapon. If your attack hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 2d6 points of damage, and the target must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 12 + your initiation modifier) or be knocked prone.

Thunderous Fall

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 2
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

Using the principles of Piercing Thunder, you are well-suited to taking advantage of your superior reach to bring your foes to the ground, be they cavalry or infantry. Make a melee attack. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 2d6 points of damage, and if the target is riding a mount, they must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 12 + your initiation modifier) or be dismounted, falling prone in a square of your choice adjacent to their mount. If the target is not mounted, you may instead make a trip attempt against them as a free action with a +2 competence bonus to your combat maneuver check. This strike can only be initiated with a discipline weapon.

Back to Top

3rd Level

Goring Strike

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 3
Prerequisites: One Piercing Thunder maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Line equal to melee reach
Target: One or more creatures
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

With a mighty thrust with your weapon, you pierce your enemies, delivering a devastating attack to multiple foes within your reach. During this strike, your weapon’s reach increases by 5 feet. When you initiate this maneuver, your strike targets every creature in a line with a range equal to your reach. Make a melee attack roll and compare it to the AC of each creature within the area. If the attack roll hits a target, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 2d6 points of damage, and the target must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 13 + your initiation modifier) or suffer 1d4 points of bleed damage. Use the same damage roll for each target. This strike can only be initiated with a discipline weapon or a piercing weapon.

Iron Lancer’s Edge

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Boost); Level: 3
Prerequisites: One Piercing Thunder maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: 1 round

DESCRIPTION

The disciple urges punishing force from his attacks to devastate his foes. After initiating this boost, the next charge attack you make this turn deals an additional 3d6 points of damage, and the creature struck is staggered for one round.

Piercing Thunder Hammer

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 3
Prerequisites: One Piercing Thunder maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

As a seasoned spearman, you know how to leverage your strength properly. By drawing up your strength, you deliver a crushing strike that can bring even the most stable enemies to their knees. Make a melee attack. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 2d6 points of damage, and the target must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 13 + your initiation modifier) or be knocked prone.

Twin Thunder Stance

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Boost); Level: 3
Prerequisites: One Piercing Thunder maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Stance

DESCRIPTION

You have learned how to use normally two-handed weapons in one hand, using the weapons’ size and momentum to strike your foes with powerful blows. While you maintain this stance, You can wield normally two-handed weapons as one-handed weapons, and you gain the benefits of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat while using two discipline weapons in either hand (even if you do not meet its prerequisites).

If you already possess the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you may instead wield one or both of weapons as light weapons (reducing the penalties further and making them eligible for use with feats such as Weapon Finesse or Deadly Agility), and you gain the benefits of the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat, or the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting if you already possessed Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, even if you do not meet these feats’ prerequisites. You do not need to be wielding multiple weapons to gain the benefits of this stance.

Special Note: If you possess the armament shield class feature (see Zweihander Sentinel warder archetype in Path of War) and wielding a two-handed weapon in one hand, the benefits of armament shield will still apply to that weapon. If you are wielding a pair of two-handed weapons, armament shield only applies to one of them, although you can choose which weapon it applies to as a free action at the start of each turn. Note that even if you are wielding more than two weapons, you can only gain extra attacks with a single off hand weapon each turn.

Back to Top

4th Level

Iron Lancet Charge

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 4
Prerequisites: One Piercing Thunder maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

Your knowledge of how to deliver a powerful charge that delivers bone-shattering force is unparalleled. Make a charge attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 6d6 points of damage, and the target must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 14 + your initiation modifier) or be knocked prone.

Leaping Strike

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 4
Prerequisites: One Piercing Thunder maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

In a daring feat of acrobatics, you leap high into the air and descend with the force of a lightning bolt. Make a melee attack, using an Acrobatics check in place of your attack roll. Any bonuses and penalties that would be applied to a normal attack roll, such as weapon enhancements, spell effects, or the penalties for fighting with two weapons or shooting into melee, are applied to the skill check as well. If your attack hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 6d6 points of damage.

Repositioning Leap

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Counter); Level: 4
Prerequisites: One Piercing Thunder maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

With a powerful leap and roll, you are able to evade an enemy’s attack and reposition yourself to better defend yourself. Make an Acrobatics check, using your opponent’s attack roll as the DC. If you succeed, the attack is negated, and you may jump away from your position, using your Acrobatics check result to determine the distance moved. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Twisting Lance

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 4
Prerequisites: One Piercing Thunder maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You sweep your enemies’ legs out from under them with the haft of your weapon before following up with a spinning strike its head. Make a trip attempt with a +4 competence bonus on your combat maneuver check. This trip attempt does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If you successfully trip your target, you can make a single melee attack against them as a free action. If your attack hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 5d6 points of damage.

Back to Top

5th Level

Meteor Spiral Thrust

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 5
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You put a vicious twist in your thrust, delivering a powerful blow that penetrates armor and body alive. Make a melee attack. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 8d6 points of damage, and automatically overcomes damage reduction. In addition, the target must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 15 + your initiation modifier) or become nauseated for 1d3 rounds.

Stance of the Thunderbrand

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Stance); Level: 5
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Stance

DESCRIPTION

You tightly concentrate your focus on the battlefield, maximizing the effectiveness of your reach and keeping enemy attacks at bay. While you maintain this stance, you gain a +4 dodge bonus to your AC and your weapon’s reach increases by 5 feet. In addition, any creature you threaten that leaves their square provokes an attack of opportunity from you, even if their movement was a 5-foot step or movement that would not otherwise provoke attacks of opportunity (such as with the Spring Attack feat or a teleportation effect). Your opponents cannot use the Withdraw action to treat the squares they start in as no longer threatened by you.

Throwing Comet

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 5
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: 30′
Target: 30′ line
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

With an overhand spin, you hurl your polearm at your enemies, decimating their ranks in a whirling path. When you initiate this maneuver, you throw your weapon, creating a 30-foot line that deals damage to each creature in the area as if you had hit them with an attack with a weapon you are wielding (including damage from magical properties or other bonuses), plus an additional 8d6 points of damage, and knocks them prone. Use the same damage roll for each creature. Creatures caught in the line can make a Reflex save (DC 15 + your initiation modifier) to take half damage and not fall prone. After resolving this maneuver, the weapon you threw lands in the furthest square from you at the end of the line. If it is enchanted with a property such as returning or teleporting, or you otherwise have the ability to cause thrown weapons to return to you, it does so normally as if you had made an attack with it.

Twisting Parry

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Counter); Level: 5
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 Immediate action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

A champion of combat, the disciple of the Piercing Thunder is capable of using the size and weight of his weapon to buffet an attack aside to strike at another foe. You can initiate this counter in response to a melee or ranged attack being made against you. Make an attack roll with a weapon you are wielding. Use the higher of your AC and your attack roll as your effective AC against the incoming attack. If the attack against you misses, you deflect the attack at another creature you can see within reach or range of the attacker. Treat the attack as if it had been made against that creature, using the attacker’s original attack roll to resolve the attack as normal. If there is no new target available, the attack is simply negated.

Back to Top

6th Level

Diving Thunderbolt Stance

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Stance); Level: 6
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Stance

DESCRIPTION

Your movements are light and nimble, allowing you to reach incredible heights and strike with the force of a swooping dragon. While you maintain this stance, you become immune to falling damage, gain a bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump equal to twice your initiator level, and your vertical jumping distance is not limited by your maximum movement speed. In addition, if you attack your opponent from a higher elevation (including after jumping towards them as a move action), you are considered to be charging that opponent for the purposes of feats and abilities you possess that would provide a beneficial effect.

Glorious Thunder Charge

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 6
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

Brandishing his potent weapon in a glorious display of martial superiority, the disciple charges to battle his foe with determination matched by only the gods themselves. Make a charge attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 8d6 points of damage, and the target must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 16 + your initiation modifier) or become nauseated for 1d3 rounds.

Impaling Comet Strike

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 6
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: Line of weapon’s reach(see text)
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You are capable of pressing an incredible assault upon a foe. During this strike, your weapon’s reach increases by 10 feet. When you initiate this maneuver, your strike targets every creature in a line with a range equal to your reach. Make a melee attack roll and compare it to the AC of each opponent within the area. If the attack roll hits a target, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 6d6 points of damage, and automatically overcomes damage reduction. Use the same damage roll for each target. This strike can only be initiated with a discipline weapon or a piercing weapon.

Lightning Rush

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Boost); Level: 6
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: 1 round

DESCRIPTION

By digging in his heels and launching off like a speeding comet, the disciple of the Piercing Thunder is capable of lightning fast sprints for a short period of time. After initiating this boost, your base land speed increases by 30 feet until the start of your next turn. This adjustment is treated as an enhancement bonus. In addition, you can immediately move up to your speed as a free action. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Steel Lancer’s Edge

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 6
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You add a burst of speed and force to the end of your charge, striking your foe with a deadly thrust before using the momentum to leap away from their counterattack. Make a charge attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 8d6 points of damage, and automatically overcomes damage reduction. In addition, regardless of whether your attack hit or not, you can make an Acrobatics check to jump as a free action. Movement during this jump does not provoke attacks of opportunity from the target.

Back to Top

7th Level

Breaking the Charge

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Counter); Level: 7
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
Range: 10′
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

The disciple of the Piercing Thunder is wise to the ways of combat and when opponents rush by, his lance is always at the ready. You can initiate this counter whenever a charging opponent passes within 10 feet of you (including if you yourself are being charged). Make a melee attack against that creature with a weapon you are wielding, even if its reach would not otherwise allow you to strike the foe. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 5d6 points of damage, and the target must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 17 + your initiation modifier) or be knocked prone. Regardless of whether or not they succeed at the save, the target’s movement ends, potentially keeping them from making their charge attack. This maneuver may only be made with a discipline weapon.

Leaping Thunder Crash

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 7
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

With a tremendous leap into the air, you come crashing down upon your enemy with the force of the gods themselves. Make a melee attack, using an Acrobatics check in place of your attack roll. Any bonuses and penalties that would be applied to a normal attack roll, such as weapon enhancements, spell effects, or the penalties for fighting with two weapons, are applied to the skill check as well. If your attack hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 35 points of damage, and the target must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 17 + your initiation modifier) or drop any held items, as though they had been disarmed.

Rush to the Fray

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 7
Prerequisites: Two Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One or more creatures
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

You charge fearlessly towards a group of foes, heedless of difficulties and deliver a flurry of potent attacks. Make a charge attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. During this charge, you ignore difficult terrain (potentially allowing you to charge where you otherwise could not). At the end of your charge, you can give up your regular attacks and instead make a melee attack or combat maneuver attempt at your highest base attack bonus against each opponent within reach. If an attack hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 5d6 points of damage, or if used for a combat maneuver attempt, you gain a +5 competence bonus on your combat maneuver check. You must make a separate attack roll against each target.

Back to Top

8th Level

Adamantine Lancer’s Edge

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Boost); Level: 8
Prerequisites: Three Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: 1 round

DESCRIPTION

As a master of the Piercing Thunder discipline, you wield your lance with impossible strength and penetrating power, piercing steel as easily as flesh and bone. After initiating this boost, the next charge attack you make this turn deals an additional 8d6 points of damage. In addition, each attack you make during that charge automatically overcomes damage reduction, and any creature struck must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 18 + your initiation modifier) or become dazed for one round.

Deadly Thunder Lancer’s Stance

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Stance); Level: 8
Prerequisites: Three Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: Self
Duration: Stance

DESCRIPTION

Mastery of the spear and its many styles comes to you as you near the pinnacle of the Piercing Thunder discipline. While you maintain this stance, you add your initiation modifier to attack rolls, damage rolls, and Acrobatics checks to jump or tumble. In addition, you gain the benefits of the Spring Attack feat, even if you do not meet its prerequisites. When you use this feat, you can initiate a strike with an initiation action of one standard action or less instead of making a normal attack during your movement. If that strike includes a charge, you gain the normal benefits and penalties of the charge combat maneuver, although your movement is not limited to a straight line, you may move through difficult terrain or other obstacles as if you were not charging, and you do not have to end your movement after initiating your strike.

Thundering Lancer’s Blow

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 8
Prerequisites: Three Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

By leveling a heavy blow from your powerful weapon, you strike so hard to as to bring your opponent to their knees with this strike. Make a melee attack. If it hits, it deals weapon damage as normal plus an additional 12d6 points of damage, and you can make a bull rush attempt against the target as a free action. This bull rush attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity, and you gain a bonus on your combat maneuver check equal to 1/2 your initiator level. If your bull rush attempt is successful, the target is knocked prone at the end of their movement.

Back to Top

9th Level

Piercing Charge of the Dread Lancer

Discipline: Piercing Thunder (Strike); Level: 9
Prerequisites: Four Piercing Thunder maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Line (see text)
Target: One or more creatures
Duration: Instant

DESCRIPTION

As a master of the Piercing Thunder discipline, you can make a devastating charge across the battlefield, striking all in your way with razor precision and unstoppable killing force. When you initiate this maneuver, you make a charge attack, moving up to twice your speed in a straight line as normal. Unlike a normal charge attack, you do not designate an opponent, and do not need to end your movement within reach of an opponent. In addition, your movement ignores difficult terrain and intervening creatures, and does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Rather than making an attack at the end of your charge, your strike targets every opponent who was caught in your path; treat your movement as a line-shaped effect for determining who is affected. Each opponent caught within the line takes damage as if you had hit them with an attack with a weapon you are wielding (including damage from magical properties or other bonuses), and must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 19 + your initiation modifier) or take an additional 15d6 points of damage. A successful save halves the additional damage, but does not negate the damage from your attack. Use the same damage roll for each creature. This strike can only be initiated with a discipline weapon.

 
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.