Capoeirista (3.5e Class)
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Strong. Fast. Athletic. These are all words that fit the capoeirista, almost to a tee. They are practitioners of the art of capoeira, and learn a style of fighting that looks almost like a dance, but is far deadlier. Known for their artistic flips and tumbles even in combat, a capoeirista is a force to be reckoned with. While a monk is an earthquake of power vanquishing the enemy, the capoeirista is a tidal wave, dodging and blocking many attacks and using their own unique art to overcome any opposition. What they lack in weaponry they make up for in athletic prowess, and they aren't afraid to show it.
Making a Capoeirista
Capoeiristas fill the niche of a monk quite nicely, preferring to strike hard, strike fast, and get out. Though they are more capable of holding their own then a monk or even a rogue, they often prefer to deal with multiple enemies at a time, so as not to get attacked and drawn in by just one. They have virtually no weapon proficiency, but what they lack in weaponry they make up for with martial power. In addition to second-line fighters, the capoeirista is also an ideal backup for the rogue, as they are able to keep up with the thief's tumbles, and are often able to outclass them.
Abilities: Dexterity is a very important skill, decreasing the chances that the unarmored capoeirista will get hit. Strength is also important, as it helps power their attacks. Constitution is third, because it gives the capoeirista more hit points, and thus more staying power. Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma are placed on the back burner, for they are less important.
Races: All races are welcome to learn the art of capoeira. That said, dwarves, half-orcs, and gnomes rarely join, as they lack the dexiterity, the patience, the stature, or all three. Humans are the race most likely to practice capoeira, though a few elves join as well, intrigued by its emphasis on dexterity. Half-elves also practice capoeira, though not nearly as much as their human half-brothers. Halflings rarely take up capoeira, but those who do are formidable opponents and their skills are often legendary.
Alignment: Any. However, a capoeirista's alignment often affects their style (See Style, below).
Starting Gold: 5d4.
Starting Age: Moderate.
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+2||Flurry of blows, ginga, style, unarmed strike|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Evasion, Kip Up|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Acrobatic charge, fast movement +10 ft.|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Slow fall 20 ft., stylistic feat|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+5||Fast movement +20 ft., slow fall 30 ft.|
|7th||+5||+5||+5||+5||Acrobatics (+10), leap of the clouds, stylistic feat|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||Acrobatic attack, slow fall 40 ft.|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||Fast movement +30 ft., improved evasion|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+7||+7||Aluno formado, slow fall 50 ft.|
|11th||+8/+3||+7||+7||+7||Greater flurry, stylistic feat|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+8||+8||Abundant step, fast movement +40 ft., slow fall 60 ft.|
|14th||+10/+5||+9||+9||+9||Stylistic feat, slow fall 70 ft.|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+9||+9||Fast movement +50 ft., professor|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+10||Slow fall 80 ft.|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+11||Fast movement +60 ft., slow fall 90 ft.|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+12||Mestre, slow fall any distance|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
A capoeirista's class features focus on acrobatic prowess and unarmed and unarmored combat. All of the following are class features of the Capoeirista.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Capoeiristas are proficient will all simple weapons as well as the short sword. They are not proficient with any armor or shields. In fact, many of a capoeirista's special powers require unfettered movement. When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, the capoeirista loses his AC bonus, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.
AC Bonus (Ex): A capoeirista is highly trained at dodging blows, and he has a sixth sense that lets him avoid even unanticipated attacks. When unarmored and unencumbered, the capoeirista adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC. In addition, he gains a +1 bonus to AC when he becomes an aluno graduado. This bonus increases by 1 each time he gains another rank (+2 at aluno formado, +3 at professor, and +4 at mestre).This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when the capoeirista is flat-footed. He loses this bonus when he is immobolized or helples, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carres a medium or heavy load.
Flurry of blows (Ex): When unarmored, a capoeirista may attack with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, he may make one extra attack in a round at his highest attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of oppurtunity the capoeirista might make before his next action. When a capoeirista reachs 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1, and at 9th level it disappears. A capoeirista must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows. When using a flurry of blows, a capoeirista may attack only with unarmed strikes. When a capoeirista reaches 11th level, his flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack he gets from flurry of blows, he gets a second extra attack at his full base attack bonus. This functions as the monk ability of the same name.
Ginga: The ginga (pronouned jinga, literally: to rock back and forth; to swing) is the fundamental movement in capoeira. While each style (see style, below) has its own form, all are accomplished by maintaining both feet approximately shoulder-width apart and then moving one foot backwards and then back to the base, describing a triangular 'step' on the ground. Ginga is done to prepare for other movements: hiding, dodging, feinting, and attacking. It puts the capoeirista in constant motion, making them a frustrating opponent. Entering the ginga is a free action that provokes no attacks of oppurtunity. It grants a +3 bonus to AC, reflecting the frustrating movement. This bonus increases to +5 when he becomes an aluno graduado, to +7 when he becomes an aluno formado, to +9 when he becomes a professor, and finally to +11 when he becomes a mestre.
Style: At first level, a capoeirista must choose what style of capoeira he follows. This choice will determine what bonus feats he gets later on in his advancement. Regardless of what style he chooses, a capoeirista is able to fight with manacles around his wrists.
Lawful: Lawful capoeiristas usually practice Capoeira Angola, categorized by it's playful movements, acrobatics, dedication to music, and dedication to history. It's movements are for more 'dance-like' then the other styles, but it focuses more on dodging the enemy and placing him in a 'check mate' sort of position then pummeling him into submission. Capoeiristas who choose to practice Capoeira Angola gain Dodge as a bonus feat at 1st level. At 4th level they receive Mobility as a bonus feat. At 7th level they receive Improved Initiative as a bonus feat, and at 11th level they receive Elusive Target(introduced in Complete Warrior) as a bonus feat. At 14th level they receive Spring Attack as a bonus feat. Finally, at 17 level, they receive Bounding Assault(introduced in Players Handbook II) as a bonus feat.
Chaotic: Chaotic capoeiristas usually practice Capoeira Regional. Capoeira regional was designed to make capoeira more effective and bring it closer to its fighting origins. It is faster and more aggressive then Capoeira Angola. As such, practitioners who choose to follow this style gain Power Attack as a bonus feat at 1st level. At 4th level, he receives Improved Critical(unarmed strike) as a bonus feat. At 7th level he gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. Furthermore, he gains Flying Kick(introduced in Complete Warrior) as a bonus feat at 11th level, and Roundabout Kick(also introduced in Complete Warrior) as a bonus feat at 14th level. Finally, at 17th level, he gains Sun School(again, introduced in Complete Warrior) as a bonus feat.
Capoeira Contemporânea: The third and final style is Capoeira Contemporânea. Members train in the other two styles, as well as adding their own tricks. It welcomes capoeiristas of all alignments. At 1st, 4th, and 7th level it can choose any of the bonus feats offered by the other style at that level, as well as any feat from either style that could be gained at a lower level. For instance, a 4th level practitioner of Capoeira Contemporânea could choose to receive either Mobility or Improved Critical, or Dodge or Power Attack. At 11th level, he gains Weapon Focus(unarmed strike) as a bonus feat. At 14th level, he receives Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat. Finally, at 17th level, he gains Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat. The capoeirista need not meet the prerequisites for any of the bonus feats that he gains through this class feature.
Unarmed Strike: Capoeiristas are highly trained in fighting unarmed, giving them considerablt advantages when doing so. At 1st level, a capoeirista gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A capoeirista's attacks may be with either fist interchangeabley, but is actually mostly done with kicks. This means that a capoeirista may even make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a capoeirista striking unarmed. A capoeirista may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes. Usually a capoeirista's unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penaly on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling. A capoeirista's unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons. A capoeirista also deals more damage then a normal person. At first level, this damage is 1d6. At fourth level it increases to 1d8, to 1d10 at 8th, to 2d6 at 12th, to 2d8 at 16th, and finally to 2d10 at 20th. A small capoeirista's damage starts off one die size small then a medium sized capoeirista, and increases from there. A large capoeirista's unarmed damage starts off one die size larger then a medium sized capoeirista, and increases from there. This functions as the monk ability of the same name.
Evasion (Ex): A capoeirista of 2nd level or higher can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can only be used if a capoeirista is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless capoeirista does not gain the benefit of evasion. This functions as the monk ability of the same name.
Kip Up (Ex): At second level, a capoeirista may stand up from prone as a free action that does not provoke an attack of oppurtunity. This stacks with any features gained from the Prone Attack feat.
Acrobatic Charge (Ex): A capoeirista of 3rd level or higher, so long as he is not wearing any armor or carrying a medium or heavy load, may charge without difficulty over difficult terrain. In addition, he need not charge in a straight line. The capoeirista must still be able to see his opponent at the beginning of the charge, and may even initiate the charge from a ledge above the target, from a level below the target, manuever through a crowd in a busy street, or surmount any number of obstacles as part of the charge action, but he must make successful Tumble, Jump, Balance, or other checks as appropriate to complete the charge.
Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, a capoeirista gains an enhancement bonus to his speed. A capoeirista in any armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed. See the Special column on the table for details.
Slow Fall (Ex): At 4th level or higher, a capoeirista withink arm's reach of a wall can use it to slow his descent. When first using this ability, he takes damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is. The capoeirista's ability to slow his fall improves with his capoeirista level until at 20th level he can use a nearby wall to slow his descent and fall and distance without harm. See the Special column on the table for details.
Aluno Graduado (Ex): At 5th level, a capoeirista is considered an aluno graduado, or graduated student. He is now able to teach others in capoeira, and gains the Leadership feat(despite the fact that the prerequisites of said feat would normally not allow it). However, he does not gain any cohorts or followers until he attains the rank aluno formado(at 10th level).
Acrobatics (Su): A 7th level capoeirista gains a +10 competence bonus on Balance, Jump, and Tumble checks. This bonus increases to +20 at 13th level and +30 at 19th level. In addition, a capoeirista can always choose to take 10 on a Balance, Jump, or Tumble check, even when circumstances would normally prevent him from doing so.
Leap of the Clouds (Su): At 7th level, a capoeirista's jumping distance (vertical or horizontal) is not limited according to his height.
Acrobatic Attack (Ex): At 8th level, if the capoeirista attacks by jumping at least five feet toward his opponent, jumping down at least five feet onto his opponent or swinging on a rope or similar object into his opponent, he gains a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls. The capoeirista must make a Jump check; if the result is less than five feet, he cannot use this ability on that attack. If the result is greater than the distance between the capoeirista and the opponent, the capoeirista can limit the distance to that between himself and the opponent as a free action.
Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a capoeirista's evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks such as a dragon's breath weapon, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless capoeirista does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Aluno Formado (Ex): At 10th level a capoeirista becomes an aluno formado rather then an aluno graduado. Recognized as a formed student, they have made their own style of capoeira(since everyone is unique) and are now able to teach others. They are now allowed to gain cohorts and followers, and gain a +5 miscellaneous bonus to their Leadership Score, reflecting how they have taken time to truly learn capoeira. All their cohorts must be other capoeiristas, or bards.
Abundant Step (Su): At 12th level or higher, a capoeirista can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell "dimension door", once per day. His caster level for this effect is one-half his capoeirista level(rounded down).
Professor (Ex): At 15th level, the capoeirista becomes a professor. There is not much difference between an aluno formado and a professor. The main difference is that the professor usually has his own school. It is at this point when NPC capoeiristas usually settle down, finding a nice city or village in which to set up a school of capoeira. They gain a miscellaneous +2 bonus to their Leadership score, which stacks with the bonus they already have by being an aluno formado.
Mestre (Ex): At 20th level, a capoeirista attains the highest rank in capoeira, that of mestre(master). They are the true voices of capoeira, and all other ranks are usually bestowed by him. He has the power to grant his cohorts the rank of aluno graduado, aluno formado, and professor prematurely, if he deems them worthy. He is greatly reknowned, causing his Leadership score to go up again. If he did not settle down as a professor, he almost always settles down as a mestre.
|21st||Fast movement +70 ft.|
|24th||Fast movement +80 ft.|
|25th||+5 AC bonus, Acrobatics +40, bonus feat|
|27th||Fast movement +90 ft.|
|30th||+6 AC bonus, bonus feet, fast movement +100 ft.|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
AC Bonus (Ex): The capoeirista's bonus to Armor Class when unarmored increases by +1 for every five levels higher then 20th (+5 at 25th, +6 at 30th, and so on).
Acrobatics (Su): A capoeirista's bonus on Balance, Jump, and Tumble checks increases by +10 every six levels higher than 19th
Unarmed Strike: The damage for a capoeirista's unarmed strike does not increase after 20th level.
Unarmored Speed Bonus: The epic capoeirista's speed when wearing no armor increases by 10 ft. every three levels higher then 18th.
Bonus Feats: The epic capoeirista gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic capoeirista bonus feats) every five levels after 20th.
Epic Capoeirista Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Energy Resistance, Epic Prowess, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Fast Healing, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Spell Resistance, Improved Stunning Fist, Infinite Deflection, Keen Strike, Legendary Climber, Righteous Strike, Self-Concealment, Shattering Strike, Vorpal Strike..
Human Capoeirista Starting Package
Weapons: Shortsword (1d6, crit 19-20 x2, one handed, 2 lbs., slashing), sling (1d4, crit x2, range inc. 50 ft., 0 lb., bludgeoning).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Feat: Improved Initiative.
Bonus Feats: Blind-Fight. If in Capoeira Angola, Dodge. If in Capoeira Regional, Power Attack. If in Capoeira Contemporânea, choose either Dodge or Power Attack.
Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day's trail rations, bedroll, sack, and flint and steel. Three torches. Pouch with 10 sling bullets.
Playing a Capoeirista
Religion: Capoeiristas, especially older mestres, have some disdain for common religion. After all, capoeira was created by slaves, and how would any of the 'righteous' gods allow that to happen? That belief is changing, however, and younger capoeiristas prefer gods that value choices, freedom, and strength, such as Fharlanghn, Heironeous, and Kord. Chaotic capoeiristas often pay homage to Olidammara, while evil capoieristas prefer Hextor and Vecna. Some older mestres who still remember the slavery their fathers and grandfathers went through, but have the desire to pay homage to a deity, favor St. Cuthbert, and seek to destroy those who would enslave the weak..
Other Classes: Capoeiristas can get along with most classes, but find the most similarities with monks and bards. They share the monk's disposition to unarmed combat, though some capoeiristas do not understand why monks follow such stringent laws, and often ask them about it. Because of capoeira's deep ties to music, they feel an odd kinship with bards, even to the point of multiclassing. They understand fighters and paladins, even if they don't necessarily aggree with their methods. They have slight disdain for barbarians, who follow no law. However, a special few barbarians are able to earn their trust. They have a dislike for spellcasters, viewing them as weak cowards. However, they recognize the advantage a spellcaster offers, and often treat them like children: annoying, but something that must be protected.
Combat: The capoeirista holds a role in combat very similar to a monk's: get in, strike hard, and get out. They prefer single combat, where they are able to use the ginga, their acrobatics, and tumbling to the greatest effect. Against multiple foes, the capoeirista will try to single out the strongest opponent. They are also good back-ups for rogues, as they are often able to outclass a rogue at acrobatic manuevers, and can protect the striker as they move into position.
Advancement: You profit most from reamaining a capoeirista throughout your advancement, so that your AC bonus, slow falling, fast movement, flurry of blows, and various other abilities continue to increase. Capoeiristas that feel the need to multiclass often take levels in bard, searching to get a deeper insight into capoeira's deep ties to music. Some capoeiristas also take levels in barbarian, in part to gain weapon proficiencies, but mostly to be able to rage. A raging, tumbling, flipping barbarian/capoeirista is a terrifying force to be reckoned with. Alternitively, you could become a barbarian first to gain more hit points and a better Base Attack Bonus. Other then that, no class really compliments your unique abilities.
Capoeiristas in the World
|“||Through constant practice in the roda, we gain attacks and skills that no one else is capable of, or, more importantly, expects.||”|
|—Santo, human capoeirista|
Capoeiristas put the power and appeal of acrobatic flips, tumbles, and attacks in the player's hands while providing DMs with a new, unique fighter that is sure to be unexpected and a challenge. The class provides challenges that the PCs may not be expecting, and each NPC capoeirista could be the center of an underground fight club or some other illegal opperation.
Daily Life: A capoeirista remains ever ready to face the challenges of a new day. With no spells or powers to need to pray or rest for, capoeiristas can leap up in pursuit of adventure whenever they desire. This causes almost all capoeiristas to be decisive and swift to act. Chaotic capoeiristas are often impetuous, annoying, and quick to act, while lawful capoeiristas tend to be more ready to improvis and less rigid in their thinking than some might expect. They desire challenges and good opponents and constantly seek the means to gain it. To capoeiristas, life and adventure are the same thing. Capoeiristas possesse feats of acrobatic prowess that few can match. They often gather followers by means of their tricks alone, among other things. Groups of capoeiristas often use their talents to put on shows for money, and always enjoy doing so. The more difficult the tricks, the better. Often mestres who want to show off or who need money to buy enough space to have a formal school travel around in a nomadic existence, like a troupe of travelling playrights or bards. Each of the groups contains at least one bard to provide the more complicated music, and often has at least one fighter who serves as a mock bodyguard. Few people ever suspect that these troupes of capoeiristas are actually capable fighters, and any thieves will rue the day they decided to steal from one.
Notables: As a capoeirista gains experience, so does his standing among other capoeiristas. However, while many mestres have come and gone, three are still remembered to this day. Mestre Loka was a kind capoeirista who taught Capoeira Regional, travelling all over the world. However, he had an intense rivalry with another mestre, the jealous Mestre Zumbi. Zumbi was annoyed that Loka had done better then him back when they were still training. Mestre Loka and his greatest pupil, Mestre Rochedo, gathered fighters of various backgrounds and styles and went on a great world tour, of which the likes has never been seen since. They went to strange and exotic places and defeated the best fighters with their skill in capoeira. Mestre Zumbi also went on a similar world tour around the same time, and it was only a matter of time before the two schools met. It was an epic battle, resulting in Mestre Zumbi being wounded. However, this only served to maximize his hatred and he gave into strange magicks, selling his soul to be more powerful. Now he wanders the earth, searching for Mestres Loka and Rochedo.
Organizations: Capoeiristas have loose knit orgainizations, based on the style they take. Most schools of capoeira gather at least once a year to hold a Batizado, where they all completely recognize new members, ranks, and statures. They all share some food and drink before engaging in a playful jogo(the match of capoeira) in which all the members participate. If two capoeiristas meet on the street and are of the same style, they often engage in a friendly, playful match. Members of opposing styles may still engage in a friendly match, though some turn deadly if each participant seeks to show the superiority of his school.
NPC Reactions: Capoeiristas often appear inconspicuous when travelling alone, or with a group of non-capoeiristas. Often they appear to be the odd man out, much like a monk. In fact, most NPCs are not sure how a poor peasant-looking figure is talking on the same terms as a fighter! However, if they are well known, or perform any acrobatics for street shows, NPCs often view them with wonder, as a child would view an spellcaster. More brutish NPCs view capoeiristas with disdain and annoyance, seeing how a capoeirista's moves are all fluid and lighter-then-air. This usually stems from a deeply buried jealousy. Lawful NPCs' reaction is usually one step closer to hostile, regardless of the capoeirista's actual alignment. Chaotic NPCs are indifferent.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(local) can research Capoeiristas to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Some warriors prefer to use acrobatics. They are called 'capoeiristas'.|
|10||The most powerful capoeiristas can perform impossible feats of athletic ability.|
|15||Capoeira was developed by slaves, and because of this they can fight perfectly fine while wearing manacles.|
|20||Information on specific capoeiristas.|
Capoeiristas in the Game
Capoeiristas fit easily into any ongoing campaign because of the common-ness of travelling troupes of actors and bards. They are also present in any campaign that features slavery, whether it in the past, or still ongoing. The PCs might first learn of a group of rebels trying to overthrow their oppressive government, or perhaps overthrow the government that the PCs work for. Alternatively, they could be a boss character in a fight club scenario, or someone that helps the PCs when they are attacked by slavers and/or robbers. A lone capoeirista makes an excellent new villain, a powerful temporary ally, or a participant in an ongoing plot because his pursuit of adventure can get him involved in anyone's travels to gain it. Capoeirista PCs should present no more difficulty than introducing a monk. Although their abilities are strange and obscure, the idea that someone can use feats of superhuman strength and agility. The player of a capoeirista usually finds their athletic talent and its use of attack to be the most entertaining part of the class. Being able to get into and out of situations that no one else can is most enjoyable.
Adaptation: You can alter the capoeirista to suit your game in a number of ways. You could decide that capoeiristas are only present in nations where people are enslaved. You could decide that all are Lawful and members of Capoeira Angola, or that capoeiristas are all Chaotic and are members of Capoeira Regional. You might decide that capoeiristas all have a level or two of bard; after all, they can attack while playing an instrument. You could decide that capoeiristas are brigands that steal from the rich and give to the poor, or even use them as an elite military unit andd/or bodyguard service.
Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.
EL : <-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.->.