I'm trying to find out exactly how Stances and Maneuvers work, since I plan on going as a Swordsage specializing in Diamond Mind and Desert Wind schools for their maneuvers. Is it possible to use Maneuvers from two separate schools in a single round? For example, starting in a Desert Wind Stance and activating a Boost and then switching to a Diamond Mind Stance in order to use a Diamond Mind maneuver while the Boost is still active. Would that be at all possible? Since Stances are swift actions, I'm wondering if that's possible, my DM said he isn't entirely sure since there isn't anything in Tome of Battle prohibiting it explicitly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just an aside: be aware that Fire (very often used by Desert Wind maneuvers) is the most commonly resisted element, so that Fire damage may not be worth much depending on your opponents. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2015 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


I'm breaking this down so we're on the same page.

  • "Is it possible in the same round for a martial adept to initiate maneuvers from two different schools?
    Yes, it's possible as long as the martial adept doesn't exceed his normally allotted number of actions. Most martial adepts can't take more actions in a round than other creatures.

  • "Can a martial adept that starts his turn in a Desert Wind stance use a Desert Wind boost then switch to a Diamond Mind stance?"
    Usually not. A martial adept usually takes a swift action to initiate a boost and usually takes a swift action to enter a stance, but most creatures only get 1 swift action per turn. (An example exception is the prestige class ruby knight vindicator (Tome of Battle 122-6), which can use its level 7 class feature divine impetus to take multiple swift actions.)

  • "Can a martial adept be in a Desert Wind stance and use a Diamond Mind maneuver?"
    Yes. There is no requirement that a martial adept be in a discipline's stance to use a discipline's maneuvers. For example, a martial adept can start the turn in a Desert Wind stance, take a swift action to initiate a Desert Wind boost, and take a standard action to initiate a Diamond Mind maneuver. This is all totally legit.

I think that hits all the points. And thank you for being willing to experiment with Tome of Battle to make martial characters better.

  • \$\begingroup\$ All of my questions were answered perfectly and this is just what I needed to hear, thank you so much for the help! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2015 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ It’s worth noting in the second point that if you can take more swift actions (e.g. with the ruby knight vindicator prestige class from the same book), you could totally do it, it’s just a matter of actions available. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 25, 2015 at 17:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan is, of course, correct... which is why I was careful to put waffle language like usually and most in front of just about everything. I figured in this case the querent was better served understanding basics before edge cases. Although if you think it's necessary for those edge cases to be included, I can. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2015 at 17:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another point to add: Since stances are considered to be ongoing effects with an "indefinite" duration (until you choose to switch/end the stance, or are rendered helpless), you are allowed to remain in a stance outside of combat (ToB, p.38), and thus would start combat already in a stance. \$\endgroup\$
    – tzxAzrael
    Jul 25, 2016 at 5:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tzxAzrael Probably not a big need to address that issue here when it's addressed elsewhere in answer to a question more closely related to using Tome of Battle maneuvers outside combat. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2016 at 7:07

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