Battosai (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Status: Done except for NPC
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His sword already had the speed to rival a god. But now, as the Battōsai, his sword surpasses god-like speed. It's like nothing you've ever seen before.
—Tojiro, elf tenken

Battōjutsu is the practice of drawing the sword from the sheath as the wielder attacks, greatly increasing the blade’s velocity and attack power. The battōsai practices this technique extensively until he is able to use it to deliver a single destructive attack.

Becoming a Battōsai[edit]

Battōsai are expert swordsmen who seek to find speed that exceeds mortal ken. For whatever reason, they have found battōjutsu to be the answer they were looking for. Armed with it, they are formidable warriors who can defeat enemies in a single strike.

Entry Requirements
Base Attack Bonus: +6
Skills: Sleight of Hand 8 ranks.
Feats: Quick Draw, Combat Reflexes.
Ability Scores: Dexterity 16

Table: The Battōsai

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +0 +2 +0 Battōjutsu, Tenken Abilities
2nd +2 +0 +3 +0 Lethality
3rd +3 +1 +3 +1 Mortal Draw

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the battōsai. All battōsai abilities can only be used when the character is unarmored and carrying nothing more than a light load.

Weapon & Armor Proficiency: A battōsai is proficient with all simple and martial one-handed melee slashing weapons. He is not proficient with any form of armor or shields.

Battōjutsu (Ex): A battōsai has studied the art of battōjutsu extensively, allowing him to unleash powerful attacks as he draws his blade. When making a normal attack or an attack of opportunity with his weapon sheathed, the battōsai can use battōjutsu to unsheathe his sword and strike in one lightning fast motion. A battōjutsu attack requires two hands to execute: one to hold the scabbard and one to hold the blade. As a result, a battōjutsu technique can only be performed with a one-handed slashing weapon and cannot be executed when the user is holding anything else in their hands. Attacking in this way doubles the critical threat range of the battōsai’s attack. This ability stacks with any other effect that increases the battōsai’s threat range. For example, a battōsai that is using a bastard sword and has Improved Critical for that weapon, the bastard sword (which normally has a critical threat range of 19-20) now has a critical threat range of 13-20.

Using battōjutsu is a full-round action if the battōsai uses it during his turn. In addition, the battōsai may sheathe his weapon as a free action even after having drawn it in the same turn. This allows him to prepare another battōjutsu attack.

Tenken Abilities: If a battōsai has levels of tenken, his battōsai levels stack with his tenken levels for the purposes of determining his AC bonus, unarmored speed bonus, and shukuchi attack bonus. He gains no other class features that he would normally gain from taking levels in tenken.

Lethality (Ex): At 2nd level, the battōsai can accelerate his blade to god-like speed using his battōjutsu technique. This greatly increases the damage of a single attack. The battōsai’s critical multiplier with his weapon doubles (x2 becomes x4, etc.).

Mortal Draw (Ex): At 3rd level, the battōsai has truly earned his title, for he is a master of battōjutsu, able to strike quickly enough to kill in a single strike. He attacks and damages normally, forgoes his increased critical modifiers, and his target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Battosai level + Dexterity modifier) or die instantly. This is a death effect.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Battōsai[edit]

Combat: Tenken, and by extension battōsai, are frontline fighters, especially once they have accumulated enough AC modifiers to hold their own against other martial combatants. Both of these classes also double as mage killers, closing the distance and hitting hard and fast before the puny little magicians can buff themselves six ways from Sunday. Others entering the class without levels in tenken will still have the same role, although they may not make mages cry quite so much.

Advancement: Tenken is logical, since their abilities stack to a limited degree. Rogues and other classes that offer sneak attack damage makes sense as well, if you're looking to perfect the one-hit knockout.

Resources: Battōsai are more likely to kill each other then play buddy-buddy when two cross paths. The simple fact is, once they have become strong enough to take levels as a battōsai, most characters feel the need to test themselves against others of similar skill. This inherent lure of combat, the need to validate and reaffirm one's own skill; these are commonplace among practitioners of ultra-skilled disciplines, like battōsai.

Battōsai in the World[edit]

Swords are weapons. The way of swords is the way to kill. However you dress it up in righteousness, killing is your truth.

Battōsai are the undisputed masters of lightning-fast swordplay, and they have honed their craft through battle after battle, kill after kill. Wherever there is a good fight to be found, a battōsai will be drawn like a moth to a flame.

NPC Reactions: NPC's react to a battōsai in much the same way they would react to someone of the battōsai's base class, but due to the level of acclaim most have reached by the time they are powerful enough to become battōsai they are often either well-respected or terribly feared.

Battōsai Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can research battōsai to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Local)
DC Result
11 Battōsai are warriors who can kill with a single attack.
16 A battōsai often takes levels as a tenken, and are already too fast for the unaided eye to follow.
21 Their name comes from battōjutsu, the technique of drawing a blade from the sheath to increase its speed and attack strength.
26 Information on specific battōsai.

Battōsai in the Game[edit]

Battōsai are good party PC's; they are swordsmen who adventure to perfect their craft. While they may be more fixated on the betterment of their swordsmanship than on acquiring wealth or power, they still understand the value of having a team in order to support them, and most adventuring parties would welcome someone of the battōsai's rare talents. NPC battōsai fit the same mold, and make challenging opponents for those who cannot equal their amazing speed.

Adaptation: In the deep, wide world of a campaign, battōsai could be anywhere, always on the hunt for worthy opponents to pit their skills against.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPC of this class->

EL whatever: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter->

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