View Full Version : [PF] Martial Techniques: enchanted unarmed combat. (Includes "light" monk fix.)

2011-11-09, 06:06 PM
This post was originally about my "light" monk fix, which makes a few changes to the PF monk to make it a more effective melee class. However, as I thought about it, the star of the show became Martial Techniques, a sort of martial-arts technique which is also a magic weapon - it seems a bit more flavorful than everyone wearing brass knuckles while keeping unarmed combat competitive in a magic-weapons-focused game.

The contents of the light monk fix are as follows. It is compatible with almost all existing PF monk material, and is not required for the use of martial techniques.

The monk is a full BAB class. Because PF largely standardizes hit dice, it also has a d10 hit die. It also gains two modifications to the ki pool class feature:
* Ki Pounce: By spending a ki point as a swift action, the monk can infuse her movements with alacrity. For the remainder of the round, she may make a full attack with her unarmed strike or a monk weapon at the end of a charge instead of a single attack. This includes Flurry of Blows. This ability is gained at fourth level as part of the Ki Pool class feature.
* Ki Recovery: When a monk confirms a critical hit with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, or reduces an enemy to 0 HP or lower with an unarmed strike or monk weapon in the heat of combat, she recovers a ki point. This ability is also gained at fourth level as part of the Ki Pool class feature.

And here is the new category of magic items:

Martial Technique: While other warriors seek out powerful enchanted blades to augment their fighting ability, monks and other martial artists seek to develop martial arts techniques which focus their inner strength into more powerful blows. Such techniques are often outright supernatural in their capabilities, such as wreathing the practitioner's limbs in flames or filling them with unholy might.

Each martial technique takes the form of a scroll or tablet containing the secrets of a supernatural martial arts technique. Martial techniques have an enhancement bonus and may optionally have special abilities, just like a magic weapon. A martial technique may only be used by a character who has Improved Unarmed Strike as a feat or class feature. While the character is attuned to a martial technique, her unarmed strikes gain the enhancement bonus and special abilities with which the scroll is enchanted. Any special abilities which may only be applied to particular sorts of weapons only grant their benefits if the attuned character's unarmed strike counts as that sort of weapon (for example, a +2 keen martial technique will only grant the benefits of a +2 martial technique unless the character's unarmed strikes deal slashing damage.)

A character who qualifies to use a martial technique may spend fifteen minutes of meditation, practice and study of the scroll to attune her fighting style to the martial technique encoded in the technique's scroll. Alternately, a character with the ki pool ability may expend a ki point to attune to a martial technique as a move action while studying its physical scroll, as long as she has ever been attuned to the technique before. A character may also choose to use either of these methods to attune herself to a martial technique to which she has previously been attuned within the past 72 hours without requiring the physical scroll, and is often said in this case to possess the technique. A character may possess as many techniques as she wishes; many martial artists have morning training sessions in which they cycle through all their collected martial techniques to retain this connection. A character may only be attuned to one martial technique at a time, and only one character may be attuned to any copy of a martial technique at a time, although multiple characters may possess any given copy of a technique.

When a character who qualifies to attune to martial techniques defeats a character attuned to a martial technique in a duel, he may choose to attune himself to the defeated character's martial technique immediately as a free action, breaking the defeated character's attunement. A character whose technique is stolen in this way ceases to possess the technique, as if she had not been attuned within the past 72 hours. Further, a character who steals a martial technique this way gains an instinctive awareness of the location of the original technique scroll as long as he remains attuned to the technique. Exactly what constitutes a proper duel for this purpose is a matter of DM's discretion.

Martial techniques may be created by any character who has Improved Unarmed Strike and either Craft Wondrous Item or the ki pool class feature. The creation of a martial technique is a process of meditation and training rather than research and magical enchantment, but the time and cost required for the process are the same as normal magic item creation. The creator must meet any level-based requirements of the bonuses she wishes to add; she does not need to supply specific spells required for special abilities, although this does not change the price of the ability. A martial technique has a market value of 500 GP plus the price of its enhancement bonus and special abilities. A martial technique's enhancement bonus may be increased or new special abilities added by a character attuned to the technique using the same crafting process, with a market value equivalent to the difference in market value between the old and new bonuses. It is possible to create a martial technique with no enhancement bonus, which grants a +1 nonmagical enhancement bonus to attack rolls as if using a masterwork weapon. A martial technique whose magical effects are suppressed, such as by an antimagic field, also gives this +1 bonus to attack rolls.

2011-11-21, 06:41 PM
These are some sample martial techniques. Any of them may be made with a higher or lower enhancement bonus than listed, altering their price accordingly, and like any martial technique they may have their enhancement bonus increased or other qualities added by a practitioner after the technique's initial creation.

For the moment, the prices listed do not take into account the unique weapon abilities, largely because I'm completely terrible at pricing unique weapon abilities.

Razor Boar's Onslaught
This martial technique was developed by practitioners of the Boar Style, modeled on a legendary boar with tusks sharp enough to tear its foes asunder with a single blow. It is a devastating sequence of blows that slice flesh and inflict grievous wounds. The Razor Boar's Onslaught is a +2 keen martial technique. In addition, when attacking with the Razor Boar's Onslaught, any critical threat gains +4 to its confirmation roll for each previous hit landed with Razor Boar's Onslaught during the same round. This ability only functions if the user's unarmed attacks deal slashing damage. Masters often modify this technique by adding the vorpal quality to it.
+2 keen: 18,500 GP

Advance Of The Raging Tiger
The Advance Of The Raging Tiger is a leaping assault favored by disciples of the Tiger Style. While any martial artist can benefit from its use as a +2 vicious martial technique, it holds a unique benefit for a master of the Tiger Style. If the character using the Advance Of The Raging Tiger uses the Tiger Pounce feat's second ability to move towards a target, he may instead leap towards the target, using the result of an Acrobatics check to determine how far he moves towards the target if it is greater than half his movement speed. If the result of the Acrobatics check is lower than half his movement speed, he may move half his movement speed towards the target as normal.
+2 vicious: 18,500 GP

Dance Of The Crane
Crane Style practitioners are masters of reserved, graceful movements that confound their enemies' attempts to attack. The Dance Of The Crane is a sequence of movements that permit their user to shift effortlessly between attack and defense. The Dance Of The Crane is a +2 defending martial technique with an additional benefit. When its user fights defensively, uses the total defense action, or uses Combat Expertise, he gains an additional bonus to AC equal to half again the bonus being granted by his defensive fighting methods, rounded up. The dodge bonus granted by the Dance Of The Crane's defending property counts as a defensive fighting bonus for this purpose if it is used in the same round that the user fights defensively, uses the total defense action, or uses Combat Expertise.
+2 defending: 18,500 GP

Reaping Mantis Claw
Wielders of the Mantis Style are unparalleled in their mastery of the pressure points that can incapacitate an enemy without bodily harm. In addition to granting the benefits of a +2 merciful martial technique, the Reaping Mantis Claw greatly benefits those who use those pressure points against their enemies. If its user has the ability to select other conditions than Stunning to apply on a normal use of Stunning Fist, she may select two of those conditions and apply both on a failed save. Furthermore, whenever the user's target successfully saves against the user's Stunning Fist, the target is sickened until the beginning of the user's next turn.
+2 merciful: 18,500 GP

The Four Punishing Winds
The Four Punishing Winds are a set of martial techniques developed by masters of the four elemental styles: Marid Style's Punishing Northern Mistral, Djinn Style's Punishing Eastern Bora, Efreet Style's Punishing Southern Qibli, and Shaitan Style's Punishing Western Simoon. Each is a +2 energy burst technique of the same energy type as its originating style (so that the Northern Mistral is a +2 icy burst technique, and so on.) Each is especially powerful when used in unison with its originating style. All attacks made with the Punishing Wind are considered Elemental Fist attacks for purposes of triggering the benefits of the appropriate elemental combat style feats. Additionally, the Punishing Wind automatically deals its burst damage on any actual Elemental Fist attack that deals damage of the same element, whether or not the attack is a critical hit.
The Four Punishing Winds have another unique quality that sets them apart from most martial techniques and reflects their close relationship to the martial arts styles that created them. A character who possesses one of the Punishing Winds and enters the stance of the corresponding style may attune to that style's Punishing Wind as a free action. Furthermore, in the rare case of a character who is able to enter multiple stances at once, such a character may attune to more than one of the Punishing Winds at a time for as long as he is in the stances of the corresponding styles. A character who is attuned to multiple Punishing Winds does not add their enhancement bonuses together, instead gaining the highest enhancement bonus of any of the techniques to which he is attuned; however, he gains the other benefits of all the techniques to which he is attuned. While attuned to more than one of the Punishing Winds, the Wisdom bonus to damage granted by the elemental style stances is granted only once per hit no matter how many of the styles are active, although other benefits are gained as normal. It is exhausting to channel such elemental fury through a mortal body. A character who attunes to two Punishing Winds simultaneously becomes fatigued as soon as he is no longer in any elemental stance; if he attunes to three at once, he becomes exhausted instead. A character who attunes to all four at once is also dazed for 1d4 rounds after he is no longer in any elemental stance. A character with the Timeless Body class feature does not accrue these penalties.
The Four Punishing Winds may be enhanced as normal for a martial technique. However, they may not be enchanted with any property that deals an energy damage type other than the type that Punishing Wind already deals, and a character who attunes to multiple Punishing Winds simultaneously does not gain the benefits of properties other than those the Punishing Winds normally possess. Only the pure forms of these techniques may be combined.
+2 energy burst: 32,500 GP

2011-11-22, 01:03 PM
This is certainly a unique way of getting enhancements on your unarmed attacks without being an actual weapon, like gloves or handwraps or the overpriced Amulets. The sample Techniques are also well orchestrated and fit rather well. Well done.