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View Full Version : 3.5 Martial Adept Samurai (PEACH)



tempestman
2011-07-08, 12:21 PM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Srcmd_3aDug/TDJNZxZ82wI/AAAAAAAAAdY/fRmCLzqB0E0/s1600/Musashi-SwordoftheSamurai.jpg

"A samurai should always be prepared for death - whether his own or someone else's." - Stan Sakai

Samurai are professional warriors, members of the noble class who are trained in the arts of warfare. They are not only trained for their role in society, they are born for it Ė born into a system of allegiance, loyalty, and honor that influences every stage of their lives. A samurai cut loose from this system is no longer a samurai; he is an ordinary warrior with no honor or standing in society.

Adventures: Samurai undertake quests and other adventures at the behest of their lords, who often use mid- to high- level samurai as troubleshooters. A samurai might be ordered to defend a village beset by bandits, to lead allies in battle, or to hunt down and duel a rival who has stained the lordís honor.

Characteristics: Wielding their weapons and utilizing various maneuvers and stances in combat, samurai are potent and mighty melee combatants, rivaling fighters and paladins. Their adherence to the code of bushido and their ancestors is intimidating to their foes, and the fixed stare of a samurai can unnerve most opponents. Furthermore, a samurai can call upon the spirits of her ancestors to empower her weapons.

Alignment: Almost every aspect of a samuraiís life is ruled by the code of bushido, which demands total obedience to oneís lord, bravery in the face of utmost peril, and honor and respect to superiors, peers, and lessers alike. Samurai are always lawful, stoic in demeanor, and implacable when matters of honor and justice are concerned.

Religion: Samurai often pray to the spirits of their ancestors, but some choose to follow gods as well. Any nonchaotic god of war or combat is a good choice of deity for a samurai, as are gods of loyalty and honor.

Background: Samurai are traditionally of noble birth, although folk tales and legends are full of stories about samurai who were orphans adopted by noble families or foot soldiers who showed outstanding bravery and loyalty in battle. Becoming a samurai means untold hours learned to use weapons in combat, lessons in manners and etiquette, and relentless instruction in the tenets of bushido.

Races: Most samurai are humans or half-elves, although a small number belong to the half-drow, aasimar, and tiefling races. The dwarves have begun to adopt parts of the samurai code over the past few decades, as many samurai philosophies line up with dwarven views on life and family quite nicely. High elves also make mighty and noble samurai, although the wood elves are often too savage and wild to adhere to the tenants of bushido. Few other races boast any large number of samurai.

Other Classes: Because both classes live their lives according to a code of honor, samurai tend to get along with paladins. Monks, who also follow a strict code, also tend to get along with samurai, although their differing views on combat styles may put them at odds. Samurai get along with honorable fighters and warblades, but not so much with barbarians. Bards generally get along well with samurai, as the noble warriors make for epic tales of valor and battle.

Role: With their armor and mighty weapons, samurai are front-line melee combatants. They also benefit from a series of abilities that give morale penalties to their foes. In social settings, a samuraiís training in matters of etiquette make them good negotiators and spokesmen.

Game Rule Information

Abilities: Strength is of paramount importance to the sword-wielding samurai, and Dexterity and Constitution help him survive in the midst of battle. Like monks, a samuraiís defensive capabilities benefit from a high Wisdom. Many of the samuraiís other class features depend on Charisma Ė a samuraiís force of personality can make his enemies quake in fear.

Alignment: Any lawful

Hit Die: d10

Class Skills: The samuraiís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Iaijutsu Focus (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (nobility), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive, (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int Modifier) x 4

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int Modifier

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|AC Bonus|Maneuvers Known|Maneuvers Readied|Stances Known

1st|
+1|
+2|
+0|
+2|Ancestral Daisho, Art of War|+0|3|3|1

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+0|
+3|-|+0|4|3|2

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+1|
+3|Kiai Smite 1/day|+0|5|3|2

4th|
+4|
+4|
+1|
+4|Aesthetic Grace, Resolve|+0|5|4|2

5th|
+5|
+4|
+1|
+4|Iaijutsu Master|+1|6|4|3

6th|
+6/+1|
+5|
+2|
+5|Stare Down|+1|6|4|3

7th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+2|
+5|Kiai Smite 2/day|+1|7|4|3

8th|
+8/+3|
+6|
+2|
+6|Lightning Blade|+1|7|4|3

9th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+3|
+6|-|+1|8|4|4|2

10th|
+10/+5|
+7|
+3|
+7|Mass Stare Down|+2|8|5|4

11th|
+11/+6/+1|
+7|
+3|
+7|-|+2|9|5|4

12th|
+12/+7/+2|
+8|
+4|
+8|Kiai Smite 3/day|+2|9|5|4

13th|
+13/+8/+3|
+8|
+4|
+8|-|+2|10|5|5

14th|
+14/+9/+4|
+9|
+4|
+9|Improved Stare Down|+2|10|5|5

15th|
+15/+10/+5|
+9|
+5|
+9|-|+3|11|6|5

16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
+5|
+10|-|+3|11|6|5

17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+5|
+10|Impetuous Endurance|+3|12|6|5

18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+6|
+11|Kiai Smite 4/day|+3|12|6|5

19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+11|-|+3|13|6|5

20th|
+20/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+6|
+12|Kiai Warlord|+4|13|7|6 [/table]

Class Features: All of the following are class features of the samurai class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Samurai are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light and medium armor. Samurai are not proficient with shields.

Maneuvers: A samurai begins his career with the knowledge of three martial maneuvers (found in the Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords). The disciplines available to him are Devoted Spirit, Iron Heart, Setting Sun, and Stone Dragon. The samurai cannot, however, learn any stances or maneuvers with the chaotic descriptor.

Once a samurai knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by samurai is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. His maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and he does not provoke attacks of opportunity when he initiates one.

The samurai learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the table above. He must meet a maneuverís prerequisite to learn it. See page 39 of the Tome of Battle to determine the highest-level maneuvers a samurai can learn.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered samurai level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), a samurai can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. In effect, he loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. He can choose a maneuver of any level he likes, as long as he observe his restriction on the highest-level maneuvers he knows; a samurai needs not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. A samurai can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.

Maneuvers Readied: A samurai can ready all three of the maneuvers he knows at 1st level, but as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he must choose which maneuvers to ready. The samurai readies his maneuvers by meditating and exercising for 5 minutes. The maneuvers he chooses remain readied until he decides to mediate again and change them. The samurai need not sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready his maneuvers; any time he spends 5 minutes in mediation, he can change his readied maneuvers.

The samurai begins an encounter with all his readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he used them since he chose them. When he initiates a maneuver, the samurai expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless he recovers them, as described below).

A samurai can recover all expended maneuvers by using a full-round action to quickly meditate. Doing this does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If he completes his mediation, the samurai refreshes all of his expended maneuvers and can use them in subsequent rounds.

Stances Known: A samurai begins play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any disciple open to him. At 2nd, 5th, 9th, 14th, and 20th level, he can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and the samurai does not have to ready them. All the stances he knows are available to him at all times, and he can change the stance he currently uses as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description.

Unlike with maneuvers, a samurai cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one he already knows.


AC Bonus (Ex): A samurai is highly trained at anticipating and blocking blows, and he has a sixth sense that lets him avoid even unanticipated attacks. When unencumbered and not wearing heavy armor or carrying a shield, the samurai adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC. In addition, a samurai gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five samurai levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).

Ancestral Daisho: All samurai begin play with at least one masterwork weapon, a weapon that belonged to the samuraiís ancestors and is a relic of his family. The samurai does not have to pay for this weapon, but the total cost of the weapon cannot exceed 300 gp. Protecting this weapon is an important point of honor for the samurai, and as the samurai acquires treasure through adventuring, he has the ability to awaken the supernatural abilities latent within the steel of the weapon. This option allows a samurai who prefers to use his ancestral blade to wield a magic weapon, while a samurai who wants to use a different weapon to do so.

At any time, a samurai may retreat to a temple or shrine and spend time in prayer in order to awaken the ancestral spirits in his familyís weapon. This requires a sacrifice of valuable items worth the amount shown on the table below. This sacrifice does not have to be gold Ė the character can sacrifice magic items or other goods worth the required amount rather than selling his goods to pay for the sacrifice. The samurai must meet the minimum character level (including any prestige class levels) shown on the table, and he must spend one day per 1,000 gp sacrificed in the shrine or temple. During this time, he must spend at least 8 hours each day kneeling before his ancestors and his weapon, not stopping to eat or rest. Many samurai request the assistance of a cleric or shaman in this process, but a cleric or shaman is no required.

The values shown on the table below are the total value of sacrifice required to bring a single weapon to the listed weapon bonus. If the samurai already has a +3 weapon, he can raise it to a +4 weapon by sacrificing 14,000 gp and spending two weeks in prayer. Before a samuraiís ancestral weapon becomes a +1 weapon, it is an ordinary masterwork weapon in every way. Its latent supernatural powers do not cause it to be considered a magic weapon until those powers are awakened.

A samurai who loses his ancestral weapon is dishonored until he can recover them. He cannot enhance any other weapon in this way.

A samurai is automatically proficient with his ancestral weapon and gains the corresponding weapon proficiency feat as a bonus feat if it is not a simple or martial weapon.

{table=head]Weapon Bonus|Total Sacrifice Required|Minimum Character Level

+1|1,500 gp|4th

+2|6,000 gp|7th

+3|13,500 gp|9th

+4|24,000 gp|11th

+5|37,500 gp|13th

+6*|54,000 gp|14th

+7*|73,500 gp|15th

+8*|96,000 gp|16th

+9*|121,500 gp|17th

+10*|150,000 gp|18th[/table]

*A weapon canít actually have an enhancement bonus higher than +5. Use these lines to determine the price when special abilities are added.

Art of War (Ex): A samuraiís studies in warfare make him more readily capable of learning a wide variety of combat abilities. For the purpose of qualifying for feats, the samurai treats his ability scores as though they are two points higher than they actually are. Furthermore, a samurai can learn fighter feats as if he were a fighter with levels equal to his number of samurai levels.

Kiai Smite (Ex): Once per day, a samurai of 3rd level or higher can give a great cry during combat that invigorates him. When a samurai shouts (a free action), his next attack gains a bonus on the attack, damage, and critical confirmation rolls equal to his Wisdom modifier. As the samurai gains levels, he can make a kiai smite more often.

Aesthetic Grace (Ex): At 4th level, a samurai gains a bonus equal to his Wisdom bonus (if any) on all saving throws.

Resolve (Ex): At 4th level, a samurai becomes immune to fear effects (magical and otherwise) and all charm and compulsion effects. The samuraiís loyalty to his lord frees him from the mind-affecting attacks many of his foes may hope to employ.

Iaijutsu Master (Ex): By 5th level, a samurai has become adept at Iaijutsu, a fighting technique that concentrates on drawing his weapon and striking a foe in one fluid motion. He gains Quick Draw as a bonus feat. Furthermore, whenever a samurai draws a weapon, its critical threat range increases by 2 until the end of the samuraiís turn. This effect stacks with the effects of keen edge, the Improved Critical feat, and the keen enhancement, but is applied after any multipliers.

Stare Down (Ex): At 6th level, a samurai becomes able to strike fear into his foes by his mere presence. He gains a +4 on Intimidate checks and whenever he successfully demoralizes an opponent, the target takes a -4 penalty on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws for one round, instead of the normal -2 penalty.

Lightning Blade (Ex): At 8th level, the samurai has practiced the Iaijutsu techniques used in ritual duels between samurai, and he is able to anticipate when any enemy will attack. He gains the Improved Initiative feat as a bonus feat and adds his Wisdom modifier to initiative rolls in addition to his Dexterity modifier.

Mass Stare Down (Ex): At 10th level, a samurai has sufficient presence that he can cow multiple foes at once. Using an Intimidate check, the samurai can demoralize all opponents within 30 feet as a single standard action.

Improved Stare Down (Ex): At 14th level, even a glance from the hard eyes of a samurai is enough to give his foes pause. The samurai can demoralize opponents within 30 feet as a move action instead of as a standard action. Furthermore, any targets the samurai successfully demoralizes become frightened for one round, then shaken for one round (using the samuraiís -4 penalty rather than the standard -2).

Impetuous Endurance (Ex): Starting at 17th, a samuraiís fighting spirit enables him to push his body beyond the normal limits of endurance. He no longer automatically fails a saving throw on a roll of 1. He still might fail the save if his result fails to equal or beat the DC.

Kiai Warlord (Ex): At 20th level, the samuraiís prowess and skill in combat have become the stuff of legends, granting him a fear-inspiring presence. When the samurai draws his blade, opponents within 40 feet must succeed on a Will save (DC 20 + the samuraiís Cha modifier) or become frightened for 4d6 rounds. If a creature fails their Will save by 5 or more, they become panicked for 4d6 rounds instead. Creatures that succeed on their Will saves become shaken for 1 round. Any foe that successfully resists the effects of a samuraiís frightful presence cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours.

Code of Conduct: A samurai must be of lawful alignment, and he dishonors himself, his family, and his weapon if he ever willingly commits a chaotic act. Additionally, the samurai code of bushido requires that he be obedient to his lord, accept death at any time and face it bravely, avenge any dishonor, and shun any appearance of cowardice. The core principles of bushido are honor, loyalty, and courage. Violating these precepts results in dishonor, which in turn can result in a samurai being stripped of his family name or being asked to commit ritual suicide.

Ex- Samurai: A samurai who becomes non-lawful, violates the tenets of bushido cannot gain new levels as a samurai. He retains his class abilities, but his ancestral weapon loses any ďawakenedĒ magical abilities. If the samurai returns to a lawful alignment, he must atone for his violations (see the atonement spell description in the Playerís Handbook) and redeem his honor in order to restore his weapons to their prior status and continue advancing as a samurai.

A samurai that loses his ancestral weapon cannot gain new levels as a samurai until he recovers the weapon. He need only recover the weapon to resume training as a samurai, he does not have to atone or otherwise redeem his honor.

Author Notes:
Anyone familiar with the samurai class knows that it is a weak class incapable of keeping up with other 3.5 Base Classes (at least the Complete Warrior version is). It has some cool concepts, and is based off of arguably some of the greatest historical warriors, but the class itself just sucks. Then there is the Oriental Adventures version of the class, which is more flexible and delves into the supernatural aspects of the class with its ancestral daisho class ability (which I kept). My original thoughts were to simply combine the two classes into one samurai class, but then I realized that it would still be rather low on the totem pole of classes. That's when I decided to make it a martial adept class like the crusader, swordsage, or warblade. Having played a warblade, I knew that this idea would make for a much stronger (and in my opinion, much more enjoyable) class.

After coming to this decision, I had to figure out how I wanted the samurai to learn his martial maneuvers. I decided on allowing access to 4 schools (Crusader has access to 3, Warblade 5, and Swordsage 6). I then decided on the four schools: Devoted Spirit (based on the concept of a samurai's devotion to a lord and support from his ancestors), Iron Heart (based on the concept of a samurai only caring about pure martial skill), Setting Sun (more of a thematic choice since Japan has often been called the "Land of the Rising Sun"), and Stone Dragon (which is available to all martial adept classes in the ToB). I also wanted to make it so that the samurai has access to a unique combination of maneuvers and stances that the other classes may not have (such as being able to enter a Devoted Spirit stance while using Iron Heart maneuvers).

Then came the readying his maneuvers. I had originally intended on copying the swordsage's way of readying and refreshing maneuvers (more known and ready, but takes longer to refresh), but then I settled on following the warblade's way of doing it (less known and ready, but can refresh them all much faster), to an extent (I kept the full-round meditate action rather than the swift flourish action followed by an attack). However, the samurai learns stances in a similar fashion to the swordsage.

More importantly, I hope you all enjoy this revision of the samurai.

Giving credit where credit is due: the Art of War class ability is based off of the ability with the same name by Zieghander.

Added Iaijutsu Focus to the class skills list.

Spiryt
2011-07-08, 02:00 PM
As far as my little Optimization sense tells, this is about on par with Warblade, maybe a bit stronger.

So nice work I guess, Art of War is particularly nice idea.

tempestman
2011-07-08, 02:19 PM
As far as my little Optimization sense tells, this is about on par with Warblade, maybe a bit stronger.

So nice work I guess, Art of War is particularly nice idea.

That was more or less what I was aiming for. The power level is bumped up slightly due to the decreased Hit Die (d10 as opposed to d12) and the Lawful alignment requirement. I took Art of War from someone's homebrew class, but I can't remember who it was that made it (I'll credit once I remember it), and altered it somewhat.

Gideon Falcon
2011-07-08, 02:26 PM
The Ancestral Daisho ability doesn't actually do anything except give you a free masterwork weapon. The given costs for upgrading the weapon are exactly the same as the costs for upgrading a normal weapon, which anyone can do anyway. The only other benefit is that you don't need to go to town to get it, which is not much of a benefit since the time is not reduced.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-07-08, 02:30 PM
The Ancestral Daisho ability doesn't actually do anything except give you a free masterwork weapon. The given costs for upgrading the weapon are exactly the same as the costs for upgrading a normal weapon, which anyone can do anyway. The only other benefit is that you don't need to go to town to get it, which is not much of a benefit since the time is not reduced.

Yeah, same with the OA samurai. I can't believe they thought a +1 to attack in the first couple of levels was the equivalent of a bonus feat. Honestly, free weapon focus with the katana would be better.

tempestman
2011-07-08, 03:04 PM
I altered Ancestral Daisho and reduced the costs by 25%, making it a more beneficial ability. Now a samurai can make his ancestral weapon enchanted without going into town and finding the appropriate person to enchant it (or buy it from), and he can do it at a slightly reduced cost.

ocel
2011-07-08, 03:23 PM
I like the concept, but instead of bonuses, why not have abilities like legendary weapons, where your character develop's their own customizable legendary or magic weapon, related to the disciplines the class learns? For example, the sacrified magic items add their enchantments to the weapon. Maybe the Ki-strikes could be diversified a bit, like merging T.G. Oskar's Ki-powers?

eftexar
2011-07-08, 03:40 PM
I really like this class, especially the Iaijutsu Master ability. However I wonder about the Ancestral Daisho and Frightful Presence abilities.
The Frightful Presence ability is reliant on HD and in my personal opinion that is a horrible way to limit things (it makes the ability all but useless in epic level campaigns). Why not have the severity of fear set by how horribly the save was failed. I would suggest that on a failed save they are shaken, but if they fail by 5 or more are instead frightened and if by 10 or more are instead panicked.
As for the Daisho ability, I'm just not a big fan on class granted weapons unless they have some unique flavor to them, but I suppose a benefit is a benefit.
All in all though, this is the best samurai build I have ever seen.

tempestman
2011-07-09, 07:17 AM
I really like this class, especially the Iaijutsu Master ability. However I wonder about the Ancestral Daisho and Frightful Presence abilities.
The Frightful Presence ability is reliant on HD and in my personal opinion that is a horrible way to limit things (it makes the ability all but useless in epic level campaigns). Why not have the severity of fear set by how horribly the save was failed. I would suggest that on a failed save they are shaken, but if they fail by 5 or more are instead frightened and if by 10 or more are instead panicked.
As for the Daisho ability, I'm just not a big fan on class granted weapons unless they have some unique flavor to them, but I suppose a benefit is a benefit.
All in all though, this is the best samurai build I have ever seen.

Thanks! I altered the frightful presence to make it more effective, and I also replaced the stare down class ability line with an altered version of some Complete Warrior feats that largely do the same thing while at the same time keep some more oriental flair.

YouLostMe
2011-07-09, 07:49 AM
Art of War (Ex):
I see what you did there, even if it wasn't on purpose. Sun Tzu would be rolling in his grave. :smallamused:

This class is all right. I personally would have picked reflex over fortitude for a good save, but this class seems to make a decent oriental tank.

What bothers me the most, though, are the Kiai features. Firstly, I have more than a couple ideas about Samurai, and very few of them involve the people yelling to scare foes, or having occasional special blows that deal more damage or crit better. In addition, multiple per-day abilities just cry for consolidation. I'd prefer a Ki pool (the WotC Ninja has that, right?) which could be burned for different abilities (consolidation right thar), including adding Wis to initiative, the kiai smite, the kiai shout, and then a small host of other abilities like extra AoOs, bonus HP, faster movement, and ignoring DR/Hardness (that one's actually pretty important, since your Samurai will be wielding an ancestral weapon, and chances are high that the thing isn't made from adamantium... adamantite... whatever it's called). The Ki pool could be 1/2 Samurai level and keep up, more or less, with the progression you've currently got.

Also, level 19 is a dead level. I recommend moving Impetuous Endurance to level 18, and then otherwise filling in level 19 (I'd suggest moving the ability currently at level 18 up a notch, by my above paragraph makes those features obsolete).

tempestman
2011-07-09, 11:31 AM
I see what you did there, even if it wasn't on purpose. Sun Tzu would be rolling in his grave. :smallamused:

This class is all right. I personally would have picked reflex over fortitude for a good save, but this class seems to make a decent oriental tank.

What bothers me the most, though, are the Kiai features. Firstly, I have more than a couple ideas about Samurai, and very few of them involve the people yelling to scare foes, or having occasional special blows that deal more damage or crit better. In addition, multiple per-day abilities just cry for consolidation. I'd prefer a Ki pool (the WotC Ninja has that, right?) which could be burned for different abilities (consolidation right thar), including adding Wis to initiative, the kiai smite, the kiai shout, and then a small host of other abilities like extra AoOs, bonus HP, faster movement, and ignoring DR/Hardness (that one's actually pretty important, since your Samurai will be wielding an ancestral weapon, and chances are high that the thing isn't made from adamantium... adamantite... whatever it's called). The Ki pool could be 1/2 Samurai level and keep up, more or less, with the progression you've currently got.

Also, level 19 is a dead level. I recommend moving Impetuous Endurance to level 18, and then otherwise filling in level 19 (I'd suggest moving the ability currently at level 18 up a notch, by my above paragraph makes those features obsolete).

I'll take the Ki pool into consideration. Level 19 isn't entirely dead, since he does learn a new maneuver. Sadly I'll have to wait until tomorrow, as the rest of my day is full of crap I need to do.

Kyuu Himura
2011-07-09, 02:48 PM
No Diamond Mind?? I is sad :smallfrown:

Although, that being said, I like what you did, keep up the good work

tempestman
2011-08-09, 06:39 PM
No Diamond Mind?? I is sad :smallfrown:

Although, that being said, I like what you did, keep up the good work

I wanted to stick with 4 schools to have it fit in the each ToB class's amount of disciplines (Crusader 3, Samurai 4, Warblade 5, Swordsage 6). I picked each school for a particular reason:


Devoted Spirit: Samurai were always well-known for their devotion to their lords. Why not have their loyalty inspire their allies with seemingly supernatural effects? Also Devoted Spirit was only available to 1 class: Crusader.
Iron Heart: Iron Heart is supposed to the pure martial mastery discipline, all about using one's steel to defeat enemies. Legends make samurai out as the ultimate sword masters, so I figured it fit. Also Iron Heart was only available to 1 class: Warblade.
Setting Sun: I originally thought this Disciple was called Rising Sun, and Japan is often called the Land of the Rising/Risen Sun, so I thought it fit thematically. It has an Eastern martial arts theme to it, so it still fits. Like the previous disciplines, Setting Sun is only available to 1 class: Sword Sage.
Stone Dragon: Dragons are big in Eastern mythology (in all mythology really) and so I figured I'd incorporate Stone Dragon into the samurai class. It's also the ONLY discipline shared by all 3 ToB classes, so I though I would continue that legacy.


So I wanted the Samurai's disciplines to bring together new combinations not originally possible without multi-classing while also making them fit the class concept. I hope I did a good job. I also need to update the original post to fix some alterations to the class.

Ziegander
2011-08-09, 09:31 PM
I took Art of War from someone's homebrew class, but I can't remember who it was that made it (I'll credit once I remember it), and altered it somewhat.

From me (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10640928#post10640928), I believe. Though it's likely that I also borrowed the concept from someone years and years ago. :smallwink:

This is a well-constructed ToB Samurai, for sure. I'd consider adding Listen and Tumble to the list of class skills.

dawnsolara
2011-08-09, 09:55 PM
I understand that the Quick Draw feat is thematic in name, but it does virtually nothing for this Samurai that fits the class's flavor. First, any character with +1 BAB can draw a weapon as a free action. The feat' other benefit lets you use a move action to attempt to HIDE drawing a weapon using the Sleight of Hand skill. Not exactly something an honorable warrior does, and fairly useless anyway since the class doesn't have Sleight of Hand as a class skill. I'd suggest replacing the Quick Draw feat with something more useful.

Overall, though, I like the class, but I also second the idea of replacing the per-day abilities with some sort of ki pool.

Oh, also - samurai definitely kiai'd when they fought. Or at least exhaled very sharply to control their breath (but when you're doing that, it's just as easy to have your breath make a sound, and might startle a foe, so why not?). Using your breath like that has a number of advantages, most notably making your motions faster and stronger and helping to focus your mind. There's a reason my sensei is making me work on it :smallbiggrin:

byaku rai
2011-08-09, 10:02 PM
Everything makes sense... except the non-proficiency with heavy armor. :smallmad: It could be argued that the archetypal samurai armor is only medium armor, but I personally hold that it is right up there with full plate, or at least half plate with a higher max dex.

tempestman
2011-08-10, 06:56 AM
From me (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10640928#post10640928), I believe. Though it's likely that I also borrowed the concept from someone years and years ago. :smallwink:

This is a well-constructed ToB Samurai, for sure. I'd consider adding Listen and Tumble to the list of class skills.

Apparently so. I hope you don't mind good sir. :smallsmile:


Everything makes sense... except the non-proficiency with heavy armor. :smallmad: It could be argued that the archetypal samurai armor is only medium armor, but I personally hold that it is right up there with full plate, or at least half plate with a higher max dex.

Historical samurai were known for wearing a cuirass, which in D&D is a breastplate (medium armor). Plus both Samurai classes (CW and OA) had medium armor proficiency only (I think, one may have actually had heavy armor too). Plus this class is already contesting with the warblade in terms of power, so I didn't want to give it an advantage by making it proficient with heavy armor.

My next plan is to create 1 or 2 prestige classes that fit this revision. I'll probably go with Ronin and Kensai, but I'm not sure how true to the Complete Warrior PrCs I want to stay. Thoughts on this?

~Corvus~
2011-08-10, 01:14 PM
...Seems great! Pretty high on power, but it's nice you restrict the armor and the HP a little.


I understand that the Quick Draw feat is thematic in name, but it does virtually nothing for this Samurai that fits the class's flavor.
..And what better reason than flavor, if it doesn't really add or detract from the class?


What bothers me the most, though, are the Kiai features. Firstly, I have more than a couple ideas about Samurai, and very few of them involve the people yelling to scare foes, or having occasional special blows that deal more damage or crit better.

Try doing Kendo, or even watching it, and you might change your mind. Youtube is a wonderful place. look at dawnsolara's post ^^

Akabana_Shin
2011-08-10, 10:52 PM
Am I the only one who finds this class MAD?

Other than that, I kind of like it.

unosarta
2011-08-10, 11:02 PM
Am I the only one who finds this class MAD?

Other than that, I kind of like it.

It is quite Multi-Ability Dependent, which is probably a problem, although it technically doesn't really need dexterity very much, and can probably just get away with just Strength, Constitution and Wisdom.

deuxhero
2011-08-10, 11:46 PM
The feat' other benefit lets you use a move action to attempt to HIDE drawing a weapon using the Sleight of Hand skill. Not exactly something an honorable warrior does, and fairly useless anyway since the class doesn't have Sleight of Hand as a class skill. I'd suggest replacing the Quick Draw feat with something more useful.



Actually, the "traditional" Samurai outfits are designed to disguise legwork, I wouldn't be surprised if they were just as crafty with their hands.

~Corvus~
2011-08-10, 11:58 PM
Am I the only one who finds this class MAD?

Other than that, I kind of like it.

I felt that pointing out that a Samurai (as the OP said) was pulled from CW & OA [and Iaijutsu Master] would be redundant. Its almost as MAD as a paladin, but all you REALLY need is Str, Con and Wis, and you're covered.

~Corvus~
2011-08-10, 11:59 PM
Actually, the "traditional" Samurai outfits are designed to disguise legwork, I wouldn't be surprised if they were just as crafty with their hands.

MMMM that's different. From what I understand about Kendo, understanding where your opponent can move based on his legwork would be a huge advantage. This has less to do with deception and more to do with preventing others from predicting their next actions.

deuxhero
2011-08-11, 12:12 AM
Uh... that's the definition of deception...

tempestman
2011-08-11, 06:33 AM
It is somewhat MAD, admittedly, but like several other people said, the main ability scores you need are Strength, Constitution, and Wisdom.

Dexterity can boost Armor Class a little bit, but it's unnecessary. Charisma can bump up the samurai's stare down abilities, but again, it's not a huge deal.

Even Wisdom can be dumped a little, the Armor Class bonus goes up even with a +0 Wisdom bonus (although Aesthetic Grace suffers from +0 or lower Wisdom bonus).

I'd put the importance of Ability scores in this order: Strength > Constitution > Wisdom > Dexterity > Charisma > Intelligence.

EDIT: I switched Charisma and Dexterity in importance, since most of the samurai's Charisma-base abilities are actually based off of his Intimidate ability. Kiai Smite and Kiai Warlord are the only features that really suffer from a low Charisma, but with the maneuvers as the samurai's main attack option, they aren't super important.

dawnsolara
2011-08-12, 02:05 AM
...Seems great! Pretty high on power, but it's nice you restrict the armor and the HP a little.


..And what better reason than flavor, if it doesn't really add or detract from the class?


Try doing Kendo, or even watching it, and you might change your mind. Youtube is a wonderful place. look at dawnsolara's post ^^

I wasn't saying that you shouldn't give it Quick Draw. But don't expect it to count as a class feature, or contribute to power at all - so why not just give it at first level, so they have that flavor from the beginning? Otherwise, fifth level comes, and they're sort of staring at the Quick Draw add-on, mystified, since they could have just had it from level one without adding to their power or versatility. But that's just my 2 cp.

tempestman
2011-08-12, 08:05 AM
I wasn't saying that you shouldn't give it Quick Draw. But don't expect it to count as a class feature, or contribute to power at all - so why not just give it at first level, so they have that flavor from the beginning? Otherwise, fifth level comes, and they're sort of staring at the Quick Draw add-on, mystified, since they could have just had it from level one without adding to their power or versatility. But that's just my 2 cp.

Quick Draw lets you draw a weapon as a free action. Without it, you may draw a weapon as a free action as part of a move action. So if you want to simply draw a weapon and then full-round attack, you need Quick Draw.

At least that's what the RAW says (I think). Posted Quick Draw below (pg. 98, Player's Handbook)

Quick Draw [General]
You can draw weapons with startling speed.
Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: You can draw a weapon as a free action instead of as a move action. You can draw a hidden weapon (see the Sleight of Hand skill) as a move action.
A character who has selected this feat may throw weapons as his full normal rate of attacks (much like a character with a bow).
Normal: Without this feat, you may draw a weapon as a move action, or (if your base attack bonus is +1 or higher) as a free action as part of a movement. Without this feat, you can draw a hidden weapon as a standard action.
Special: Fighter bonus feat.

Mulletmanalive
2011-08-12, 08:11 AM
I know this is a strange thing to say, but this has the same issues that I find with most things to do with ToB: you have manoeuvres but a bunch of abilities that aren't tied to it.

The smite ability would work nicely as an "expend a manoeuvre from so-and-so Discipline for X result" ability. Heck, i'd even say that having Ancestral Daisho work only when you're in certain stances as your mind focuses on your ancestors.

I know these are mostly cosmetic, but these are the things that seperate stuff that i consider "alright" from stuff that i consider "very good."

gunnar11
2011-08-12, 08:19 AM
Nice work ^^
I like the idea and the concept, but as already said: It seems like a warblade, only a bit more powerful.

Second: No Hide and Move Silently as skills? I thought samurai were good at hiding and moving silently?


Other than that, Perfect :smallbiggrin:

gkathellar
2011-08-12, 01:40 PM
Actually, the "traditional" Samurai outfits are designed to disguise legwork, I wouldn't be surprised if they were just as crafty with their hands.

This is a myth. While a hakama does indeed disguise footwork and leg movement to a limited degree, it was civilian garb, wearable in a fight but not designed for such. Certainly, it saw no use on the battlefield where it could have easily snagged or twisted in a disadvantageous way.

tempestman
2013-01-31, 10:16 AM
I understand that's it's been awhile since I last worked on this project but I'm considering touching it up a little. If Iaijutsu Focus wouldn't be too powerful of a skill for this class I might add it in and change up some of its class skills to incorporate the skill (perhaps its recovery method?).

Thoughts on this?

mistformsquirrl
2013-01-31, 10:45 AM
Just a quick glance, some constructive criticism (feel free to ignore, it's just my opinion):

1) I feel like this class could really stand to be split into two - one for unarmored/lightly armored samurai; and another for heavily armored 'battlefield' samurai.

By splitting the class into two classes, you can reduce the MAD issues, give the unarmored samurai some significant reasons to take Dex and Wisdom, while the armored samurai would want Strength and Constitution primarily. Instead of trying to cram all four onto one character.

2) Devoted Spirit feels weird here, especially with the neglect of Diamond Mind. It might be worth it to do something like this:

Unarmored Samurai:

Diamond Mind - This discipline is practically written for this type of character.

Setting Sun - Essentially jujutsu, it fits perfectly.

Tiger Claw - Thematically this one sounds a little odd, but consider the dual wield abilities - it's suitable I think for a niten-ryu practitioner. The discipline I'm least certain of though.

White Raven - Samurai being nobles could be expected to lead soldiers in battle. While I don't think every samurai should take this discipline, I think it makes sense for it to be available.

Battlefield Samurai:

Iron Heart - If ever there was a discipline that fit a frontline warrior, this is it I think.

Setting Sun - As before - it may seem odd to some for a character in heavy armor to be throwing people around; but a lot of armored combat (both western and eastern) involves grappling, so...

Devoted Spirit - I find the theme a bit weird here (it's very much fluffed as a 'holy/unhoy' thing which doesn't fit samurai especially well) - but I do think mechanically it could be interesting.

Stone Dragon - Mechanically I feel it works well with Devoted Spirit, and the fluff doesn't even conflict like Devoted Spirit's does.

---

Zireael
2013-01-31, 03:06 PM
I wanted to stick with 4 schools to have it fit in the each ToB class's amount of disciplines (Crusader 3, Samurai 4, Warblade 5, Swordsage 6). I picked each school for a particular reason:


Devoted Spirit: Samurai were always well-known for their devotion to their lords. Why not have their loyalty inspire their allies with seemingly supernatural effects? Also Devoted Spirit was only available to 1 class: Crusader.
Iron Heart: Iron Heart is supposed to the pure martial mastery discipline, all about using one's steel to defeat enemies. Legends make samurai out as the ultimate sword masters, so I figured it fit. Also Iron Heart was only available to 1 class: Warblade.
Setting Sun: I originally thought this Disciple was called Rising Sun, and Japan is often called the Land of the Rising/Risen Sun, so I thought it fit thematically. It has an Eastern martial arts theme to it, so it still fits. Like the previous disciplines, Setting Sun is only available to 1 class: Sword Sage.
Stone Dragon: Dragons are big in Eastern mythology (in all mythology really) and so I figured I'd incorporate Stone Dragon into the samurai class. It's also the ONLY discipline shared by all 3 ToB classes, so I though I would continue that legacy.


So I wanted the Samurai's disciplines to bring together new combinations not originally possible without multi-classing while also making them fit the class concept. I hope I did a good job. I also need to update the original post to fix some alterations to the class.

I'd put Diamond Mind in and leave Stone Dragon out. The samurai are famed for their ability to focus.

Twilightwyrm
2013-01-31, 04:53 PM
The Ancestral Daisho ability doesn't actually do anything except give you a free masterwork weapon. The given costs for upgrading the weapon are exactly the same as the costs for upgrading a normal weapon, which anyone can do anyway. The only other benefit is that you don't need to go to town to get it, which is not much of a benefit since the time is not reduced.

Does your DM let you sell your loot at full market price? Because if not, this means that, functionally anyways, you can upgrade your Katana at about half the cost. There is another benefit too however: access to high level enchantment bonuses. The magic item creation rules stipulate that you must be at least three times the level of the total enchantment bonus you want to bestow upon the item. Meaning that, while the DM's guide says +10 weapons technically usable by any character below epic level, you would need a 30th level spell casting patron to acomplish this. Even something lower, like a +7 bonus, requires a caster of 21st level or higher, and a +6 one of 18th. Good bloody luck finding easily accessible spellcasters of that level that just sell their item crafting services
By contrast, the Samurai doesn't have to mess around with any of that bullcrap, and can instead enchant his katana to a +10 weapon the moment he has the available money, and time, to do so.

Andezzar
2013-04-03, 06:52 AM
The magic item creation rules stipulate that you must be at least three times the level of the total enchantment bonus you want to bestow upon the item. Meaning that, while the DM's guide says +10 weapons technically usable by any character below epic level, you would need a 30th level spell casting patron to acomplish this. Even something lower, like a +7 bonus, requires a caster of 21st level or higher, and a +6 one of 18th. Good bloody luck finding easily accessible spellcasters of that level that just sell their item crafting servicesThis is not true. Only the real enhancement bonuses (which are capped at +5) have that requirement. Special abilities only have the prerequisites mentioned in their entires even though their cost is calculated in the same way as real enhancement bonuses. So Level 15 enchanters will be able to make (nearly) any non-epic weapon.

I cannot find what happens to the samurai if his ancestral daisho is destroyed? You only reference what he must do if the weapon is lost. Could he forge a new one or would he have to commit seppuku?

If the Ancestral weapon is a katana (MW Bastard Sword) does the Samurai get EWP: Bastard Sword? The Bastard Sword is a Two-Handed Martial Weapon but can be used one-handed with the EWP feat.

tempestman
2013-04-04, 07:59 AM
I'd put Diamond Mind in and leave Stone Dragon out. The samurai are famed for their ability to focus.

Every other martial adept class has Stone Dragon as an available school and I wasn't about to change tradition. Also dragons are a big deal in Eastern cultures (moreso Chinese culture than Japanese culture if I remember correctly). I also don't want to increase the number of schools since it fills the gap between the Warblade's 5 and the Crusader's 3 (making the number of schools known go Crusader 3, Samurai 4, Warblade 5, and Swordsage 6). I also wanted to make certain maneuver and stance combinations that were previously unavailable without multiclassing available through the samurai class. I suppose it's mostly a thematic issue for me. Obviously since it's homebrew you guys can add or change the classes how you see fit when you use the class.



If the Ancestral weapon is a katana (MW Bastard Sword) does the Samurai get EWP: Bastard Sword? The Bastard Sword is a Two-Handed Martial Weapon but can be used one-handed with the EWP feat.

The samurai would get EWP: Bastard Sword, as his or her training would involve learning how to use it both ways. The same goes for any other weapon that has a "can be used as a martial weapon this way and as an exotic weapon that way."


I cannot find what happens to the samurai if his ancestral daisho is destroyed? You only reference what he must do if the weapon is lost. Could he forge a new one or would he have to commit seppuku?

Now for the big question. I'm thinking about possible solutions to a samurai that had his ancestral daisho destroyed or a samurai that wants to create an ancestral daisho (whether because he finds his family's to be too great or too weak or perhaps because he is the one to start his family line). I figure that a Samurai could take either Craft Wondrous Item or Craft Magic Arms and Armor so long as his initiator level met the caster level requirement. Or to make it easier on everyone (and less broken), add a part to the ancestral daisho ability that lets a samurai forge a new daisho or (if he never had one) forge the daisho that will one day became an ancestral daisho.

Any thoughts on which way to go and the wording of the ability? I think it'd be a cool role-playing option to allow a player to basically make a samurai that is starting his family line.

Now for my question: Should I keep the lawful alignment requirement and remove the "Samurai" cannot learn maneuvers and abilities with the chaotic descriptor"? I feel like I should and just add a flavor part that says chaotic samurai are often called ronin or something along those lines.

Edit: Changed Kiai Smite so it's based on Wisdom to remove minor MAD issues. I'm thinking of retooling the ability completely and making it work more like the Pathfinder paladin's smite (smaller passive bonuses for an extended period of time rather than a large damage boost for one attack).

Andezzar
2013-04-04, 09:19 AM
Any thoughts on which way to go and the wording of the ability? I think it'd be a cool role-playing option to allow a player to basically make a samurai that is starting his family line.If you are starting a family line and making/buying the future heirloom, that would simply be a fluff decision, saying that this weapon does not have any significant history yet, but would be treated with the same reverence. As for having the daisho destroyed, I'm torn. On the one hand I would not like to have the character perpetually screwed, especially if the weapon was destroyed in an honorable endeavor, such as defending his lord, on the other hand the samurai has failed to protect his sword. I would not go as far as the stupid paladin code saying "tough luck, it is over", but I would think that the samurai should be required to jump through some hoops in order to regain his honor and the right to have such a weapon. Since the samurai is not a very religious class, I don't think that an atonement spell would be fitting, but an act of contrition towards his lord and a quest at his pleasure might be.



Now for my question: Should I keep the lawful alignment requirement and remove the "Samurai" cannot learn maneuvers and abilities with the chaotic descriptor"? I feel like I should and just add a flavor part that says chaotic samurai are often called ronin or something along those lines.I'd only restrict the alignment to non-chaotic. There are always those that adhere more closely to the codex than others. I would remove the " if he ever willingly commits a chaotic act" line. A samurai might be required to commit a chaotic act in service of his lord. Keep the restriction on maneuvers.


Edit: Changed Kiai Smite so it's based on Wisdom to remove minor MAD issues. I'm thinking of retooling the ability completely and making it work more like the Pathfinder paladin's smite (smaller passive bonuses for an extended period of time rather than a large damage boost for one attack).That sounds good.