View Full Version : ToB Samurai

2008-05-02, 04:56 PM


Hit Die: d10

Class Skills
Balance (Dex), Concentrate (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Martial Lore (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis)

Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

Table: The Samurai
Base Attack[br]Bonus|

1|Ancestral daisho, ancestral finesse

1|Life in death (initiative)

1|Bonus feat

1|Koryu master (1d4)

2|Life in death (saves)


2|Bonus feat

2|Koryu master (2d4), noble bearing

2|Life in death (AC)

3|Koryu master (sonic)

3|Bonus feat

3|Koryu master (3d4)

3|Reactive technique


4|Bonus feat

4|Koryu master (4d4)

4|Life in death (damage)

4|Koryu master (force)

4|Bonus feat

5|Koryu master (5d4), soul and blade as one[/table]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
As a samurai, you are proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light and medium armor, but not with shields.

You begin your career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Devoted Spirit, Diamond Mind, and White Raven. You may also choose one additional school from the following list that you may add to your schools known. You may select maneuvers from this school as normal. Once you make this choice you cannot change it. You may choose from Falling Star (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=771597), Iron heart, Stone Dragon, Tiger Claw, and Twin Spirit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40991).

Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by samurai is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in it's description. Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one. You learn additional maneuvers at higher levers as shown on the table above. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered samurai level thereafter, you can chose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. The new maneuver may be of any level you can learn. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.

Maneuvers Readied
You ready your maneuvers by meditating for 5 minutes. The maneuvers you chose remain readied until you decide to meditate again and change them. You do not need to sleep or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers.

You begin every encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how much you may have used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver you expend it for the current encounter.

You can recover one expended maneuver by spending a standard action to demoralize an opponent with an Intimidate check or all expended maneuvers by using a full-round action to quickly meditate (this does not provoke attacks of opportunity).

Stances Known
You begin play with knowledge of one 1st level stance from any discipline open to samurai. At 5th level, and ever 5 levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th), you can chose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated int he stance description.

Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stances at higher levels in place of one you already know.

Ancestral Daisho

A samurai favors the weapon passed down to him through his family. You begin your career with your ancestral daisho, which is always of masterwork quality. Your ancestral daisho depends upon which extra school you choose to learn:

Falling Star: Yumiya (Masterwork Composite Longbow)

Iron Heart: Nodachi (Masterwork Greatsword)

Stone Dragon: Naginata (Masterwork Glaive)

Tiger Claw: Katana (a masterwork bastard sword) and the wakizashi (a masterwork short sword)

Twin Spirit: Yari (Masterwork Lance)Because a samurai is focused in their use, you are proficient with your ancestral daisho (even it it's an exotic weapon).

This weapon(s) may be enchanted as the Oriental Adventures Samurai's Ancestral Daisho.

Ancestral Finesse

Thanks to your life-long training with the weapon, you may use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls with your ancestral daisho. This works like the Weapon Finesse feat, except that it applies only to your ancestral daisho (even if the feat would not normally apply to it).

Life in Death (Ex)

At 2nd level you take a calm and patient view of the world, seeing the beauty and poetry in all things, and matching your rhythm to the world around you. You add your Wisdom modifier to your initiative rolls. At 5th level you understand yourself on a deeper level, and add your Wisdom modifier to your Fortitude and Reflex saves. At 9th level the flow of battle is a dance that you perform with grace and skill; you add your Wisdom modifier to your AC as long as you are in medium or light armor, or unarmored (this bonus applies to touch and flatfooted AC, but not when encumbered, using a shield, immobilized, or helpless). At 17th level you can see life even in the death that follow the strokes of your weapon; you add your Wisdom modifier to all damage rolls.

Bonus Feat

Due to your constant training and search for perfection, at 3rd level you gain a bonus feat from the fighter bonus feat list. You gain an additional bonus feat from the fighter bonus feat list at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th levels.

Koryu Master (Ex)

The speed at which you can wield your ancestral daisho is unrivaled. At 4th level, a number of times per day equal to your Initiative modifier, you may add 1d4 damage to the first attack made with your ancestral daisho in a round. This damage increases by 1d4 every four levels (2d4 at 8th, 3d4 at 12th, 4d4 at 16th, and 5d4 at 20th). At 10th level this extra damage becomes sonic damage. At 18th level it becomes force damage.

Staredown (Ex)

At 6th level your can lock your eyes with an opponent, intimidating them with your fearsome gaze. You gain a +4 competence bonus to Intimidate. At 10th level your skill on the battlefield is visible to all; you may use an Intimidate check to demoralize all opponents within 30 ft. as a standard action. At 14th level your abilities are quick to show themselves; you may use an Intimidate check to demoralize opponents within 30 ft. as a move action. At 18th level the deadly skill inherent in every breath you take radiates from you; you may use an Intimidate check to demoralize opponents within 30 ft. as a swift action.

Noble Bearing (Ex)

At 8th level the way in which you hold yourself commands the attention and respect of others. You can use an Intimidate check to demoralize someone you are not in combat with or do not threaten in combat (they must still be able to see you). At 12th level the nobility of your presence leaves a lasting impression; creatures you demoralize are shaken (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#shaken) for a number of round equal to your Charisma modifier. At 16th level you give off such a sacred aura that even those normally oblivious or immune to it can sense something divine; you may demoralize opponents that are immune to fear or mind-affecting effects. At 20th level you have reached the pinnacle of your skill, smoothly flowing from form to form without rest; you may recover a single maneuver by demoralizing an opponent as a move action.

Reactive Technique (Ex)

At 13th level you gain a patience and insight that allows you to strike at the perfect moment with a devastating blow. When you make an attack of opportunity, you may perform a standard action martial strike instead of a normal attack a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier (min 1/day).

Soul and Blade as One (Ex)

At 20th level, you can focus your mind and body, guiding your weapon with such skill and precision that you may perform multiple maneuvers in the space of a heart beat. You may initiate two different martial strikes that each require a standard action or less as a single standard action. If they both call for an attack, you make only one attack and both maneuvers are applied to it. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom modifier or Charisma modifier, whichever is higher (min 1/day). After using this ability you must wait until you refresh your maneuvers as a full-round meditation to use it again.

Yes, I know that samurai were superb horsemen and archers and so one, but this is a ToB oriented class. If there are great homebrew ToB schools for archery and mounted combat, post 'em and maybe we can work out some more.

So opinions/comments/suggestions? I'm thinking that the Bonus feats shouldn't be from the fighter pool, but a more select offering, like the options the Warblade has. And most importantly is still needs a great capstone ability.

NOTES:EDIT #1 NOTES:I haven't gotten to check out the two homebrewed martial schools yet, so I don't know how strong they are. And I'm thinking that the Iaijutsu Master needs to be altered so it will stay relevant for mounted combat and archery oriented builds, and not abusable by just drawing your weapon every round or something.EDIT #2 NOTES:The Soul and Blade as One may still be nasty, perhaps Wis or Cha mod, whichever is lower? I'd also like to start writing is some fluff, but I'm not the best at that. We'll see how I do and you can pick it apart. ^_^ Oh, and I think I'm going to start on a custom list for the Bonus Feats.

Right now, The class has a focus more on one crazy strong attack a turn, as opposed to full attack actions. What think you?EDIT #3 NOTES:I still think that Koryu Master could be messed with a bit, but I'm overall liking the way it hits once a round. And Soul and Blade as One could probably use a tad more tweaking.EDIT #4 NOTES:What do you think of the Life in Death changes? I think they're more flavorful than before. The Koryu Master change I'm not sold on, but that should reduce it's power just a bit without being too complicated. And yes, I'm still working on that bonus Feat list (I keep getting distracted by trivial things like work and life!)

Added Ancestral Finesse
Added Handle Animal to class skills
Added Spot to class skills
Added additional schools and one school you choose at 1st level
Made the Demoralize action to regain maneuvers a standard action
Added the different ancestral weapons with the new schools
Added the OA Samurai's enchantment ability
Added Soul and Blade as One
Changed Fort save to good progressionEDIT #2:
Changed Fort save to poor progression
Allowed Soul and Blade as One to use any maneuvers and added the refresh requirement
Changed Iaijutsu Master from dealing the damage on all attacks made the round of drawing the weapon to the first attack every round.EDIT #3
Added the Naginata as an Ancestral Weapon
Added Stone Dragon as an optional school
Renamed Iaijutsu Master to Koryu MasterEDIT #4
Added Martial Lore to Class skills
Changed Life in Death's Wis instead of Con to HP into Wis to AC
Changed Life in Death's Wis instead of Dex for AoOs into strike on AoOs Wis mod/day
Changed Demoralizing an opponent to recover one maneuver instead of all maneuvers
Added recovering a maneuver by Demoralizing an opponent as a Move action to Staredown
Added the Init/per day to Koryu MasterEDIT #5 3/29/2011
Cleaned up a large amount of formatting and made abilities gained more visible on the class table
Added a little bit of fluff to the various class abilities, so the class wasn’t just a crunch-fest
Separated Reactive Technique from Life in Death, and specified that you can only use standard action strikes
Specified that Soul and Blade as One can only combine martial strikes that each take a standard action or less
Divided Staredown’s abilities into it and Noble Bearing

lord of kobolds
2008-05-02, 05:40 PM
Needs a capstone

2008-05-02, 05:46 PM
I know. I say that at the bottom of my post. I'm pondering it, and I'm thinking something that has to do with maneuvers, but I don't know yet. Ideas are appreciated.

2008-05-02, 06:52 PM
Very nice...I think I may actually use this. I was going to make my own, but never considered making it ToB. Works well. I also was planning on including something similar to your Iaijutsu damage bonus on round weapon is drawn.

One idea, as an improvement to Iaijutsu Master and a sort of capstone, is that during the round it is drawn it is Vorpal.

Another thing I can envision is some bonus to criticals. It seems applicable for a Samurai.

Seems like all of it is straight skill, so I can't think of any of the abilities being lost if you become Ronin. That'd be awesome though. I set up a system for repentance from Ronin: find a Daimyo who will accept your services, work for him for a year or two, then commit Seppuku and get resurrected, probably at your own cost.

2008-05-02, 07:14 PM
Thanks. The Vorpal thing is very in keeping with the crazy movie-version of the samurai.

I tried not to give the class any abilities it would lose going ronin. Because really, going ronin does erode your skills, just your support. So that would all be fluff, and how NPCs would react and such. Shouldn't affect his fighting capabilities.

The critical suggestion is also pretty interesting...increase the threat range, multiplier, or both? Or give Imp Crit automatically? Or something else? Hmmm...

2008-05-02, 07:42 PM
Increase the multiplier for the capstone, that's a pretty nice level 20 ability to have.

And don't bother with the ronin beyond some stuff in the fluff about how many samurai have lords, those who don't are ronin and are socially stigmatized blah blah blah.

But yeah, good stuff.

2008-05-02, 07:49 PM
The vorpal capstone would be nasty if it was based upon the round the weapon is drawn. A Crystal of Return would make it scary lethal.

2008-05-02, 07:51 PM
Yeah, I'd go with Ronin as a solely "Everyone in your home culture hates you" kind of issue. Just RP, but still very detrimental.

2008-05-02, 07:55 PM
I would add Stone Dragon to the list of disciplines available because all the ToB classes get that.

2008-05-02, 08:09 PM
There's a homebrew falling star discipline I saw somewhere that did archery.

2008-05-02, 08:24 PM
Nice. I'm confused about the recovery method, doesn't that mean that at level 18, it can recover its maneuvers as a swift action? Time Stands Still every turn is pretty powerful, I think. I don't have much experience with ToB so I'm not sure.

2008-05-02, 08:33 PM
First of all, Ancestral Daisho needs to do so much more than just be masterwork weapons. Oriental Adventures Samurai entire ability of the same name should be used here. He also needs a high fortitude save to go with the will save.

A capstone ability would be nice...but ideas are escaping me right now...perhaps the ability to activate two maneuvers simultaneously (instead of two stances like a warblade.)

The Iajutsu Master PrC in OA is also capable of Finessing their Katana. (Usually still weilding it two handed but that doesn't matter.) This is a minor ability that could easily be added at level 1 to allow for more versatile character builds.

Zeta Kai
2008-05-02, 08:41 PM
Staredown is cool ability; I don't remember seeing it elsewhere. Did you make it up yourself?

2008-05-02, 08:46 PM
First of all, I like this. Most of the time I hate all Samurai classes, but this one actually impresses me. You put some thought and work into this.

I dig the recovery method set up for this class, very cool. You didn't cop out and say "recovery method as" like most people do. Good for you. I second watsyurname529's suggestion in adding Stone Dragon to the list of Disciplines (everyone gets it), and if you did decide to, I'd suggest removing Devoted Spirit from the class.

Lastly, I also second all of Talya's suggestions here. All of them would go that extra step to finish this class out.


2008-05-03, 01:29 AM
Thanks for all the feedback! Ok, to get to all these...

Behold_the_Void: Should the multiplier increase just apply to the katana and wakizashi, do you think? and I plan on keeping any ronin stuff strictly fluff. Speaking of, I'd like fluff to be added at some point, instead of the barebones crunch it is now.

Hadrian_Emrys: Vorpal is a strong contender, my only issue with it is that it's repeatable as an enchantment, so it's not unique, it only occurs 5% of your attacks, and plenty of creatures are immune to it, which sucks. Perhaps toss it on in addition to a unique capstone ability?

Icewalker: That's the plan. :smallsmile:

watsyurname529: I thought about that for a while. I didn't feel that most of the Stone Dragon maneuvers were "samurai-ish" (but you're welcome to tell me your interpretation of them!). One of the reason I didn't give them Stone Dragon was because the three official classes have access to it, I wanted to throw some changes in with the class.

streakster: Falling Star...Fax made that, right? I think I've glanced over it, but not really in depth. Has anyone had a chance to play with it, see how it works out? Thanks. Anyone make a mounted combat school?

UglyPanda: That's a great point, I had missed that! Perhaps if the recovery mechanic was Demoralizing an opponent as a Standard Action? That should take care of absurd abuse, I think.

Talya: I know about the Ancestral Daisho from the OA Samurai, and I'm not terribly impressed. Unless I'm reading it wrong, you still have to pay the normal amount of cash to upgrade the weapons. The only differences is that it restricts the level you can advance it, and it's much better in a low-magic setting. Is there anything I'm missing there?

I really would like the signature capstone to involve maneuvers somehow, since it's a ToB class...doing two strikes could be interesting...I'll think more on it.

And I'll check out the Iaijutsu Master PrC, thanks!

Zeta Kai: Staredown is originally from the CW Samurai, but I modified it quite a bit. So, sadly, I can't claim credit on this one. Glad you like it though.

ErrantX: Thanks! I've seen a lot of Samurai threads recently, which is what inspired this. And I didn't want to do just a quick fix. I'm happy to hear you like it!

I explained my iffiness to Stone Dragon in my response to watsyurname529, but it's easily includible. Devoted Spirit is certainly the least fitting of the four schools I gave the Samurai, my thinking was that it was representing the Samurai doing the peaceful, Bushido meditation thing, getting in touch with himself, the world, etc, and forming a supernatural connection. Yeah, kinda stretchin' a bit.

Again, thanks everyone for the responses, I'll update tomorrow when I'm not tired and prone to make funky typos. :smallbiggrin:

2008-05-03, 09:09 AM
Actually, I think that Tiger Claw would fit better than either Stone Dragon or Devoted Spirit. It'd also have the added benefit of lending direct support to the katana/wakizashi dual-wielder flavor of samurai.

2008-05-03, 09:16 AM
Talya: I know about the Ancestral Daisho from the OA Samurai, and I'm not terribly impressed. Unless I'm reading it wrong, you still have to pay the normal amount of cash to upgrade the weapons. The only differences is that it restricts the level you can advance it, and it's much better in a low-magic setting. Is there anything I'm missing there?

Yes, you're missing something.

The sacrifice they make to improve their daisho can be cash or items. They get full value from such items. That means every item that your party loots that you normally sell for 1/2 value, they get full market value for in their sacrifice. This essentially means they can get their upgrades for half the market price. Or from another perspective, they get them for the same cost as if crafting them themselves, only without needing the craft feats or specific spells for whatever ability they want.

They also get to fully customize their weapon. Even in higher magic settings, most DMs don't provide a high level wizard/blacksmith to make weapons with the exact features to order.

Lastly, ancestral daisho is based on character level, not class level, so if they choose to multiclass out or PRC, they get to continue advancing their daisho. (Also, they do get those boosts at about the same point your party starts having the possibility of getting them as loot drops or purchases, only they get them cheaper and custom-to-order.)

If you normally play in unusually high magic settings, you can always drop the level they get their upgrades by -1 or -2.

2008-05-03, 09:20 AM
Finesse would definitely be good, because it'd make the TWF Samurai much easier to pull off (don't need to worry about pumping up Strength for to-hit rolls alongside the high Dex for the TWF tree). You could make the capstone ability something like "may use two maneuvres on the turn they draw their weapon" (that's assuming you can't already do that- I know there's a whole array of types- strikes, counters, the buffy ones...).

2008-05-03, 10:46 AM
Except...am I wrong, or did samurai not do two weapon fighting at all. To my understanding the katana was the weapon, and the wakizashi was just like a spare knife and a ritualistic blade.

2008-05-03, 11:18 AM
It's a popular perception, though, and who says D&D has to be real?

2008-05-03, 11:29 AM
It's a popular perception, though, and who says D&D has to be real?

I have always wondered where that "it's a popular perception" thing came from, myself. Around here, most people, when they think "samurai", think something in the style of Kenshin or even The Bride, single katana and absolutely nothing else, and would be completely mistified by the mere mention of samurai dual-wielding. Hell, I have to remind most people that the samurai daisho was a pair of weapons, and that they also used quite a variety of other weapons such as bows or spears.

2008-05-03, 11:33 AM
I have always wondered where that "it's a popular perception" thing came from, myself. Around here, most people, when they think "samurai", think something in the style of Kenshin or even The Bride, single katana and absolutely nothing else, and would be completely mistified by the mere mention of samurai dual-wielding. Hell, I have to remind most people that the samurai daisho was a pair of weapons, and that they also used quite a variety of other weapons such as bows or spears.

In OA, of all the various Samurai clans, only one of them actually gains Exotic Proficiency: Katana and TWF as available bonus feats. The rest have to either take those feats as part of their character progression (outside of class bonus feats), or weild the katana two handed. It does not in any way assume they are dual weilding. Iajutsu Master as a PrC is only available to a clan that does not gain those TWF bonus feats, so basically, the one PrC that allows them to finesse a katana, doesn't generally use it one handed.

(I love the OA book, btw.)

2008-05-03, 12:45 PM
Miyamoto Musashi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miyamoto_Musashi) might have something to do with it. He used two weapons and his school of martial arts specialized in dual-wielding. Swordsmen had the wakizashi as a backup, not as a serious weapon. It's only in gaming that a katana and wakizashi are used together. Musashi himself used a jitte, not a wakizashi.

2008-05-03, 01:00 PM
Historically speaking the only "Samurai" who ever fought with two weapons was Miyamato Musashi who was more of a traveling duelist than a Samurai (in that he never really served a lord and also never bathed... making it very unlikely he was even recognized as part of the nobility). He maintains a popular influence over Japaneses popular culture references to Samurai because he went his entire life undefeated (though he stopped fighting with metal swords rather early in his career).

His historic rival was a man named Yagyu Munenori who lived at the exact same time as Musashi though the two of them never fought. Musashi lived a ronin's life and challenged countless people to duals defeating each of them in turn while Munenori served as an adviser and teacher to his lord and only fought one time in his life (killing seven men either while or shortly after standing while in his mid 40s).

Their thoughts and teachings were recorded in two of the more famous books about Japaneses swordplay and bushido:

Miyamato Musashi's Book of the Five Rings (orriginally book of the five scrolls).
Yagyu Munenori's "The life giving Sword".

Musashi suggested a number of tactics and tricks to avoid letting the other person get the upper hand and talked about a number of very aggressive tactics. He advocated never giving the enemy room for rest and never turning your back on any enemy but a corpse (and even then only a disarmed one).

Munenori's teachings were more philosophical in nature but they stemmed more from patients and tactical understanding. His final school of sword play was more about turning one's opponent's energies against them than in matching them blow for blow. A master of the Yagyu school should be able to kill an opponent using the opponent's sword (because once you truely master the sword, any sword on the field of war is your sword).

I see both of these schools working better as Prestige classes since they were very unique cases.

Musashi's adepts would likely favor two weapon fighting (if actually emulating Musashi then using a Katana in each hand with a single wakasashi in reserve) and most of the stone dragon stances and maneuvers would work here. They'd be aggressive, hard to move, and cunning.

Munenori's adepts would likely favor defensive styles not unlike the duelist with access to white raven (if emulating the real Munenori) or setting sun (but only at later tiers of mastery).

The nice thing about your class as you have it set up so far is that you could mostly fill either shoe rather well.

As an alternate capstone I might suggest something that comes from older samurai films instead of more recent potrayals:

Master Duelist: If the Samurai wins initiative they may choose to hold a standard action (as normal) to attack on their opponent's turn with full Iajatsu strike bonus only they may still make a number of attacks as though using the full attack action if they choose not to use a maneuver. If a foe attempts to strike the Samurai while they are holding their action they may make their full attack before the effects of the enemies rolls are applied. The first attack roll made in this fashion is an automatic threat for a critical hit.

Reason: In all of the older samurai films, a battle between two skilled warriors was determined in a single blow (Old OA Iajatsu fluff) but in the films it was always the person who moved first who died.

Though I mentioned setting sun in this post, I don't think that the vast majority of Samurai should get it, historically speaking they were much more war time commanders than martial artists as we currently think of them.

Random NPC
2008-05-03, 01:25 PM
Nice. However, I would change the Iaijutsu Master to once per encounter since it's pretty cheap for a character to sheathe and draw all the time to get bonus damage. Something that could be a lot of fun, give characters who draw the katana two-handed more dice for the Iaijutsu technique. 2d4 at 4th, 3d4 at 8th, 4d4 at 12th, 6d4 at 16th, and 8d4 at 20th. This way, you give characters the option to play between the two-handed duelist or the two weapon fighter.

Also, the regaining maneuvers should be done only once you have depleted all of your maneuvers.

Finally, I agree with Talya on the Ancestral Daisho from OA would make a great class feature

2008-05-03, 02:33 PM
i really don't se stone dragon as fitting, or at least not enough to merit giving another discipline. and i don't see the logic of 'every other class gets it', especially when we are talking about the 3 core tob classes, versus all of the homebrew classes, of which, not all of them have stone dragon.

i would drop sd, and instead give it demented one's twin spirit discipline:

and tempest stormwind's falling star discipline:

aaron out.

2008-05-03, 04:09 PM
Actually, having different sets of available schools depending on a character's preferred styles would make a lot more sense.

So... something like: Diamond Mind, Stone Dragon, and White Raven plus one more based on the preferred style.

Mounted: Twin Spirit
Two Weapon: Tiger Claw
Two Handed: Iron Heart
Archery: Falling Star

I do not have my ToB handy to tinker with the details, but something along those lines would be a great way to avoid needles PrCs by applying enough options to just the core class.

2008-05-03, 04:52 PM
I like Hadrian_Emrys' idea. And reiterate that I think Ancestral Daisho should be added.


2008-05-03, 05:41 PM
ok, hadrian's idea is the best so far, but think that tempest's and demented's disciplines would fit well among the choices.

2008-05-03, 08:29 PM
Wait, you DO think they will fit well, or DON'T? :smallconfused:

In any case, I think that IF the Diasho is included, it would be better altered to match the chosen style. So... A Katana (Bastard Sword) and Wakazashi (Shortsword) / Nodachi(Greatsword) / Yari (Lance) / Yumiya (Composite Longbow).

2008-05-03, 08:43 PM
I have always wondered where that "it's a popular perception" thing came from, myself. Around here, most people, when they think "samurai", think something in the style of Kenshin or even The Bride, single katana and absolutely nothing else, and would be completely mistified by the mere mention of samurai dual-wielding. Hell, I have to remind most people that the samurai daisho was a pair of weapons, and that they also used quite a variety of other weapons such as bows or spears.

Seven Samerai and Yojimbo influenced me

Random NPC
2008-05-03, 09:59 PM
Wait, you DO think they will fit well, or DON'T? :smallconfused:

In any case, I think that IF the Diasho is included, it would be better altered to match the chosen style. So... A Katana (Bastard Sword) and Wakazashi (Shortsword) / Nodachi(Greatsword) / Yari (Lance) / Yumiya (Composite Longbow).

I would say keep the Daisho as a two weapon heirloom. Even if a Samurai would prefer other styles of combat, he had the traditional Daisho nonetheless

2008-05-03, 10:55 PM
I suppose, though that does seem to smack of Fluff scuffing Crunch's kicks.

2008-05-03, 11:57 PM
compared to most samurai builds for ToB this is the best so far. jsut one question. what are the numbers as far as maneuvers known readied and stances. second. i to have been influenced by well known samurai flicks. Kenshin is my favorite as can be seen by my Rurouni class. (sry not good at all this coding and file linking stuffs give me time) but another favorite of mine happens to be Ronin Warriors. and they each wield a different weapon. (Ryo-Twin Katana, Rowen- Bow, Sage- Nodachi, Kento- Three Section Staff, Cye- Trident) What i suggest is since DnD is not meant to be reality. when a character builds the samurai class allow him, at the DM's approval to have a different ancestral weapon instead of just the daisho. this has proved to work greatly for my party who is now running an Oriental Adventures party, and yes we are five samurai. as for the cap ability. since this is a ToB based samurai class. give him something along the lines of allowing him to perform double attacks or strikes. such as the Iaijutsu master in OA would have. though it is inevitably up to you i encourage you to finish. for this is with out a doubt the best samurai class for ToB ive ever seen so far. please for my sake and other samurai fans alike finish. (ps. if you finish soon ill will give you a cookie)

2008-05-04, 08:15 AM
I have always wondered where that "it's a popular perception" thing came from, myself. Around here, most people, when they think "samurai", think something in the style of Kenshin or even The Bride, single katana and absolutely nothing else, and would be completely mistified by the mere mention of samurai dual-wielding. Hell, I have to remind most people that the samurai daisho was a pair of weapons, and that they also used quite a variety of other weapons such as bows or spears.

Miyamoto Musashi for one, as others have said. He established the predominant two-sword school of swordsmanship. Also, in what is probably the most famous novelization based on his life (the one by Eiji Yoshikawa), one of the major fights involves him using his katana and wakizashi together while fighting a running battle against 40 men. That novel basically defined how Musashi is portrayed in fiction.

There are also dual-wielders in a lot of jidai-geki films and manga. For example, Manji of Blade of the Immortal dual wields almost constantly.

Musashi himself used a jitte, not a wakizashi.

I'd be interested in seeing a source for this, since I've never seen in claimed before.

I suppose, though that does seem to smack of Fluff scuffing Crunch's kicks.

I concur. In a fantasy world, why shouldn't the heirloom weapon be a pair of ornate handaxes or a tetsubo?

2008-05-04, 11:45 PM
Thanks for the great suggestions everyone! Sorry I haven't been able to post as much as I like. I just moved, so I've been setting up the computer and network and such. Hopefully that should be taken care of now! Anyways:

BlackStaticWolf: Tiger Claw? That strikes me as a bit feral for a Samurai. And what weapons would you suppose it would go with? I would think that Tiger Claw is more likely to fit with a ninja than a Samurai. What would be your fluff take on it?

Talya: You're right, I didn't notice that, pretty schnazzy. Certainly something I could toss in. I was thinking about it a little and since the bonuses are from the spiritual connection the samurai has to his ancestral weapon, how strong would it be if the bonuses were allowed to apply in anti-magic fields?

MorkaisChosen: Yeah, I'm liking the finesse option, I think it's going in. As for the capstone, doubling strikes is sounding like an attractive initial option.

SuperPanda: Great info, thanks. As for the capstone, very interesting. A bit complicated, but very flavorful. I'd like to work that in somehow...*ponders*

Random NPC: Interesting idea on the two-handed Iaijutsu damage...might swing that in somehow. And why do you think they should only be able to recover maneuvers once they've spent them all?

Stycotl: Don't have the time tonight to check out the disciplines, but thanks for the links.

Hadrian_Emrys: I really like that idea. Several concrete schools, then one depending on what your Ancestral Weapon is (since I think I'm going to use that suggestion. D&D customization FTW)

RedHeadSamurai: Glad you like it. And I pretty much agree with your suggestions. And I like cookies. :smallsmile:

Thanks everyone who put in the info about Samurai, great stuff. I'm glad you're all liking it. Updating....

2008-05-05, 12:42 AM
As for mounted and archery based disciplines, see Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40991) for the Twin Spirit mounted style discipline, and Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10707) for the Falling Star archery style discipline.

There's also an archery based discipline somewhere in This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48255) wall of text, but I'm not sure if he completed everything, or how balanced it all is (what can I say, I don't even play, that's a little much to read).

2008-05-05, 06:03 AM
Actually, I know why I think of TWF Samurai with Katana and Wakizashi.

Miko Miyazaki.

2008-05-05, 03:07 PM
The class is shaping up nicely. I agree that the Iaijutsu thing needs some serious work, search me if I know how to fix it though. Perhaps changing it to bonus damage when attacking with your ancestral weapon type? It would tie into why families stick with a certain style on a fluff level, and be a nice little kicker on a crunch one.

2008-05-05, 05:29 PM
I'm not really sure. My current thought is completely removing the Iaijutsu flavor to the ability, and then having the damage apply to the first attack every round (including strikes) that the Samurai makes with his Ancestral Weapon.

My other thought was just removing it, and finding something else to fit on those even levels...

2008-05-05, 06:24 PM
The Daisho is, indeed, a combination of a main hand katana with an off hand wakisashi. Bút.. Very little people actually mastered it's use, and it's a combat style more of legend than reality. Nevertheless, carrying a Daisho as a weapon, instead of merely a single katana, became a symbol of status amongst the Samurai.

Now, I like the class, apart from one single thing: It's extremely powerful. It gets more special abilities, and substantially more power, than the Swordsage, and it pushes aside some very important attributes, like strength and constitution. It makes wisdom replace a lot of things, and even grants additional attacks of oppurtunity per round on the wisdom score, instead of dexterity, ánd a feat.

One thing for an extreme damage output: Take quickdraw, and re-sheath your weapon every single round.

Iaijutsu could change to Batojitsu, as in: The first attack you make after drawing your weapon in that same round. That would deal your damage, but won't turn into a miasma of blood and gore that the rogue and wizard can only stare at in wonder.

Besides that, it's got two high saves and a high hit die. Ouchies.

2008-05-05, 06:58 PM
Yeah, the Daisho is traditional, but since this is D&D I don't see why we can't flub a bit and give several options for an Ancestral weapon.

As for the classes power level, it probably does need a bit of tuning in actual play. It's not really fair to compare it to Swordsage, since they focus on different things (SS can get very sneaky/defensive).

I know I reduced the dependancy on stats, I was trying to avoid MAD. Nearly ever caster needs only 1 or 2 good stats, and that helps make them even better. I was aiming to make do something like that for this class. And you may want Str. It's not like you Wis bonus gets multiplied on 2-handed weapons and so on.

Iaijutsu can't pump out that much damage, especially not compared to a rouge 2-weapon fighting with SA on each hit. But I'm debating it all together (as I said earlier). It doesn't really fit with the mounted combat or archery options. Having it take effect only on the first attack of the round might be an option, and works well with strikes that don't give a full attack.

And I'm still on the fence as to the high Fort save.

2008-05-05, 10:53 PM
Make it just high Will save. Determination keep the bastards going. The iai thing... I think the first attack each round has merit.

2008-05-06, 11:20 AM
*nod* That's what I was initially thinking, and why you get to apply your Wis modifier to both Ref and Fort. I changed it at Talya's suggestion, mostly to see how it looked, and get peoples feel for the second high save. I figure, when building a melee class, it's better to ere on the side of over powered, since they still won't come close to a caster.

I'm liking the extra damage on the first attack every round...I'm just not sure how to flavor it. Ideas?

2008-05-06, 12:00 PM
Change the wording of "Soul & Blade as One" to allow them to initiate any two maneuvers as a standard action, instead of just "two strikes." It may be that they want to initiate two boosts, or a boost and a strike, etc. It was the two boosts idea I was thinking of when I suggested it, but I don't see a reason to limit this to strikes alone.

2008-05-06, 12:18 PM
I think that the capstone is a bit powerful. if your able to use two strikes together as just one standard action thats powerful but add that in with the ammoutn of times equal to your wisdom modifier and its godly. i think you should limit it to once per encounter three times a day

2008-05-06, 01:10 PM
Casters are overpowered, but are limited in their number of bursts. Melee combatants can go on and on.
Since you use ToB, there is a limit per encounter, but that's per encounter. Not per day. It's even limit per number of rounds, as you can, and will, refresh your boosts and strikes.

Now take a wizard or sorceror. Boom, boom, out of spells. Hmm.. Yes, they can destroy whole civilizations, mostly including themselves, but what they can't do is just that.. Whole day long. Third level spells, your main damage spells, will be useless once you've attained suppreme mastery of them, since just about any foe whatsoever has high enough saves and spell resistance, by then, to simply ignore most of the spell damage thrown at them, while a sword cuts them to shreds.

The power of casters is usually debated through a player-versus-player single encounter. Which means the caster blasts all her spells at her silly and weak melee opponent. That's nice, but it really doesn't keep you going through an adventuring chronicle, let alone a large battle. While a sword or two, with the right strategic brains wielding them, prove event-turning on such occasions.

Again; I love this class, and I think the special abilities are, flavour-wise, very well chosen and developed! Just.. Consider the balance of the game.

2008-05-06, 01:46 PM
Talya: Hmm...I'll try that. I'm going to tone down a bit of the other stuff, so it should be ok.

RedHeadSamurai: Hmm...That possible, I guess. I'd like to have it usable more than 1/encounter. Perhaps treat it like a maneuver, and have it need to be refreshed? Maybe add a recharge to it, like a breath weapon? In the upper levels, being able to use in 15+ times per day could be just a tad crazy.

Dryad: That's a good point, and I'd love to get this class really well balanced, and have people enjoy it. I'm not sure if you were referring to any specific part of the class, or just in general, but I am going to alter it a bit.


2008-05-07, 12:07 AM
Dual Strike (Ex): At 20th level, a Rurouni may make two Strike maneuvers at the same time. When using a Strike with an initiation action of one Standard action, the Rurouni may immediately make a second Standard action to use a second Strike maneuver. This action is not a separate action in and of itself, but is considered to be an additional effect of the first Strike used. This effect may only be used once per round, and only three times per day

This is the capstone to my rurouni. i think its what your trying to go for or at least around that. its pretty balanced. if it works for you use it.

2008-05-07, 12:29 PM
Personally I hate per-day limitations, whereas once per-encounter makes me happy. It's not overly front loaded (like casters), it doesn't run out during marathon scenes (like casters), and it makes for a neato fighting style in the spirit of a "one decisive blow" sort of samurai flavor.

2008-05-08, 09:07 AM
Also, I just remembered that the Iron Heart weapon should be either the no-dachi OR the naginata (two handed martial with reach: 1d10 slashing damage with a 19-20x2 crit).

2008-05-08, 10:51 AM
Hmm...I don't want to add too many weapons, nor more than one per discipline. But that is a big one, so I'm thinking change the Nodachi to Stone Dragon, and the Naginata(which will be a Masterwork Glaive) to Iron Heart. Any different discipline ideas?

2008-05-08, 01:12 PM
Why the swap and inclusion of stone dragon? Greatsword and Iron Heart are so very much wed together.

2008-05-08, 01:32 PM
Either that or the Naginata paired with Stone Dragon. I think that if each Ancestral Weapon is wedded to it's own school, then there should be one school that two weapons share. Or the class could be more customizable, and the extra school and the Ancestral weapon aren't directly linked.

2008-05-08, 01:50 PM
The Naginata paired off with Stone Dragon would work well I imagine.

2008-05-08, 03:44 PM
I think that The Nodachi is better off with stone dragon. it is just a MW greatsword. and the disciplines main weapons are two handed weapons.

2008-05-08, 09:02 PM
I glaive IS a two handed weapon, with reach. Iron Heart is a style based upon overwhelming force, and as such, would do better to have the highest damage weapon possible. It just makes sense crunchwise. Historically, the naginata was primarily used by females, and the way it's use is taught reflects a more defensive approach. So THAT fits as well.

2008-05-09, 11:11 AM
I think that The Nodachi is better off with stone dragon. it is just a MW greatsword. and the disciplines main weapons are two handed weapons.

The Stone Dragon discipline is a lot about planting yourself and not moving. What better weapon to do that with than one with reach? And as Hadrian said, the Glaive is two-handed.

Random NPC
2008-05-09, 12:47 PM
On the regaining maneuvers deal. I think this is better:

You can recover one expended maneuver by spending a Standard Action to Demoralizing an opponent with an Intimidate check or all expended maneuvers by using a full-round action to quickly meditate (that does not provoke attacks of opportunity).

the way I see it, I would NEVER spend a full-round action to regain my maneuvers when I can do it with a standard action!

The Life in Death ability seems too powerful. I don't know how to change it.

Koryu Master is great, but it would be better if you had to meet certain characteristics. Maybe the number of d4s decreases as the battle goes on. Say, you can use the Koryu Strike once per encounter, plus one additional time per 4 Samurai class levels. After this, decrease the number of d4s by 1 for every additional round you use this ability. So, a Samurai of 4th level can use this ability 2 times per encounter, an 8th level samurai can deal 2d4 three times per encounter and 1d4 on the fourth round, and so on.

2008-05-09, 05:59 PM
Hmm...That's a good point. It certainly makes me think harder on which method I'd use on a given turn.

Life in Death I'm happy with, but I can see how it's on the powerful side. It shall be considered...

That's a...complicated Koryu Master suggestion. Interesting though. My biggest problem with it though is that it's rather disappointing in the early levels. Whoo, I got to level 4, I now get an extra d4 on one attack each combat! Yeehaw. I dunno, ponderin' time.

I'm working on a list of bonus feats, I shall post soon.

Random NPC
2008-05-09, 11:09 PM
How about this. As long as you have no expended maneuvers, you can perform the Koryu strike :smallwink:

2008-05-11, 02:31 PM
Hm...You'd still get it on your first strike, but after that you'd have to either refresh your maneuvers or do without the extra damage...

As for Life in Death, what do you think of switching one of it's thing to AC instead? It's precedented, but is it too powerful, especially if the Samurai gets it as long as he is wearing medium armor or lower?

2008-05-11, 02:54 PM
I suppose that would depend upon if you were trying to get closer to par with casters, or trying to balance againt current melee types.

2008-05-11, 03:16 PM
I would add Martial Lore to their skill list.

2008-05-11, 04:45 PM
Hmm...we should probably aim to keep them closer to melee types. Casters should not be the power goal of all classes. :smalltongue:

And good call on the Martial Lore skill.

2008-05-11, 08:09 PM
The problem with Life in Death lies in the having so many abilities wanting to pile in together. and having them spaced out all over the place.

I dislike using Wis:
-to gain extra hit points. What the heck does insight have to do with endurance? No point in making a fight between Con and Wis.
-to determine the number of AoOs. It would make more sense to expand the list of things that provoke an AoO, a number of times per encounter, equal to your Wis Mod. It would even be neat to gain an additional attack per AoO with that limited number of special AoOs. That way, Dex and Wis work together instead of against each other.

I like using Wis:
-to up initiative. Makes sense, and has a nice swordsage-y flavor.
-as a bonus to Fortitude and Reflex saves. "I WILL SURVIVE!"

I don't feel one way or the other about using Wis:
-to grant bonus AC. It seems to be THE martial art flavored badge of honor in class creation. It makes sense I suppose.
-to deal damage. It's the Wis version of "Improved Finesse".

2008-05-12, 02:20 AM
Replacing the Con mod to HP was always the one that sat worst with me, too. I figured it was a form of the Samurai's Wisdom realizing the connection of life and death and whatever, but that's much better served with the Wis to Fort save.

The bonus to AoOs was with the thought that we could predict his enemies moves and attacks due to his insight (think how they portrayed the fights in The Last Samurai). I like getting the scores to work with each other, you've given me an idea, lets see how you like it.

Updated! :smallbiggrin:

2008-05-12, 08:55 AM
I like it, but OW. A strike as an AoO? That's going to leave a mark. :smallamused:

2008-05-14, 03:18 AM
OK, this is what I'm currently thinking for the bonus feat list...opinions?

Armor Proficiency (Heavy)
Blade Meditation
Combat Expertise
Combat Reflexes
Devoted Bulwark
Evasive Reflexes
Far Shot
Great Cleave
Great Fortitude
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Bull Rush
Improved Disarm
Improved Initiative
Improved Sunder
Improved Trip
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Iron Will
Ironheart Aura
Lightning Reflexes
Mounted Archery
Mounted Combat
Point Blank Shot
Power Attack
Precise Shot
Quick Draw
Rapid Shot
Ride-By Attack
Skill Focus (Intimidate)
Spirited Charge
Stone Power
Stunning Fist
Tiger Blooded
Two-Weapon Fighting
Unnerving Calm
Weapon Focus
Whirlwind Attack
White Raven Defense

2010-11-27, 05:03 PM
Hey everyone! I'm currently playing this in a PbP game on these here boards. We just started, at level 5. As far as I know this will be it's first time to get some serious play (as this group appears to actually have the potential to stay running for a while!).

I went with Lesser Aasimar for the race, as I wanted something that I felt would be quite a strong option for the class. I chose the Nodachi for the AW. Next level I'm planning on picking up Imperious Command.

We're about halfway through our first combat and things are going well. I'll continue to update and see if this needs further tweaking. :smallsmile:

I'm glad I'm finally able to give this class a spin!