All Sekiro artwork belongs to From Software.
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I thought I was going to do some Prosthetic Arts and Consumables, but I was suddenly struck with inspiration for my first Sekiro subclass: Tomoe, the Fighter Archetype, and by extension the 8th level spell.
I always thought it was remarkable how Genichiro, despite growing up with and being devoted to Ashina, does not use a single technique from the Ashina school of fighting. He is the only Ashina warrior to use a bow, and his unique combos and special abilities are all descended from the Okami Warriors, e.g. Floating Passage and Lightning of Tomoe.
In this subclass, the 3rd level Dance of Tomoe grants an approximation of the Floating Passage combo attack by letting you extend your weapon attack combos a little farther.Also at 3rd level, Fountainhead Arts lets you seamlessly transition between melee weapon attacks and bow attacks, as well as makes you an expert dancer.
At 7th level, Floating Leaps grants you Genichiro’s/Okami Warrior’s uncanny ability to leap high and remain suspended in the air for short periods, as if you’re defying gravity. You can use these jumps to switch to making bow attacks while in melee ranged by jumping out of the reach of enemies before making your bow attack.
At 10th level, Heretical Powers gives you a taste of the Lightning of Tomoe. Using the weapon you are wielding as a conduit, you can cast certain spells: lightning arrow, and lightning bolt in a 20-foot cone.
At 15th level we get an upgrade to Dance of Tomoe granting you an even more powerful Floating Passage.
At 18th level, you get The Lightning of Tomoe, access to an 8th level transmutation spell of the same name that grants you the ability to cast lightning arrow and lightning bolt as a cone at-will, as well as extra lightning damage on weapon attacks you make.
Why is lightning of tomoe a spell instead of just written out in the Fighter subclass? Because the spell might later be granted as a boon to creatures who fulfill certain conditions or quests, as well as something used by other creatures that aren’t necessarily Fighters. Most importantly, however, is that making it a spell distinct from the subclass enabled me to design a separate, beautiful splash page.
If there are any changes I am considering to this subclass, it is with swapping the 15th and 18th level features. 8th level spells come online for fullcasters at 15th level, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to grant a Fighter access to a single 8th level spell once per day at that same level. But 15th is also when Fighter subclasses often get a basic boost to their average damage output, hence the upgrade to Dance of Tomoe. Furthermore, The Lightning of Tomoe looks more like a proper capstone than an upgrade to Dance of Tomoe. But for real play, it’s generally better to get the cool stuff sooner rather than later, since you can enjoy it more.
So you can see I am a bit torn on this. If you have any thoughts on this subject, please let me know what you think.